Montgomery, AL – Democrat Pebblin Warren will be sworn into the state House of Representatives Thursday. Warren beat Republican Lacy Ward in yesterday's special election for House District 82. The district includes Macon County and parts of Bullock and Lee counties. The District 82 seat was vacated last October when Republican Representative Johnny Ford resigned to become mayor of Tuskegee. Warren is 52 years old and has worked for the Alabama Department of Post Secondary Education for nearly 16 years.
Montgomery, AL – There's more help available for Alabamians who have questions about their state income tax returns. State Revenue Commissioner Tom Surtees says, starting Thursday through April 15, there will be after-hours help available. Taxpayers can call 334-328-7161 between 6 and 9 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays and from 9 a.m. until noon on Saturdays. Surtees says the department decided to provide the after-hours help because so many people do their tax returns at night or on the weekends.
Hoover, AL – A judge has declared a mistrial in the murder trial of former Hoover High School student Ricky Reynolds. The now 19-year-old is charged with murder. He's accused of stabbing classmate Sean Joyner at Hoover High in 2002. Jefferson County Circuit Judge Mac Parsons set a new trial for August because the jury was not able to come to an agreement after 10 hours of deliberation. Reynolds remains free on bond.
Daleville, AL – A train derailed Tuesday afternoon in Daleville. About seven cars jumped the tracks. The train was carrying soybean and corn products to Enterprise when the accident occurred. Wiregrass Central Railroad vice-president Neil Etheridge says the tracks separated and caused the cars to derail. Etheridge says the clean-up will take about a week, and the train is then expected to be up and running again in Dale County.
Montgomery, AL – Alabama Education Association executive secretary Paul Hubbert is backing away from his request that teachers receive a seven percent pay raise. Hubbert says the raise could hurt the 2007 education budget. He says he has NOT decided how much to reduce his request, but he says he's considering a six percent pay boost. Governor Bob Riley has proposed an education budget that he says fully funds education requests and gives teachers a four percent raise.