Anniston, AL – The Anniston Army Depot's chemical weapons incinerator has been given approval to increase the number of rockets destroyed each hour. Site manager Tim Garrett says the U-S Environmental Protection Agency gave the go ahead. He says it will allow workers to increase rocket disposal to a maximum of 25 per hour. That's about 75 percent of the rate demonstrated during trial burns two months ago. Operations had been limited to destroying 16 rockets per hour.
Montgomery, AL – The state Senate approved a 90 million dollar increase in the state tobacco tax Thursday. The bill would add 23 cents per pack to name brands cigarettes that participate in the national tobacco settlement. Taxes would increase to 63 cents a pack for brands that do not participate in the settlement. Those are mostly generic brands. The tobacco tax increases also must go back to the House to work out some differences. The House approved a smaller tax hike last month.
Mobile, AL – Mobile County License Commissioner Carol Norris is on the lookout for tax cheats. She says some automobile owners are registering their vehicles in nearby counties where the tax rates are lower. Norris announced plans yesterday to begin pursuing county residents who improperly register their vehicles. She says she's been taking notes as she drives around the county. Those notes and other tips have generated an extra 100-thousand-dollars from people and businesses who should have paid taxes and fees to Mobile County.
Talladega, AL – The wildfire season is just beginning in the western United States. But here in Alabama, the season has already wrapped up. Alabama Public Radio's Butler Cain spoke with Arthur Hitt, Talladega County Manager for the Alabama Forestry Commission. Hitt says Talladega County was one of the state's hot spots this spring.
Montgomery, AL – Alabama will receive more than 86 million dollars from the federal government. The loans and grants will help communities recover their losses from severe weather. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will provide the funds. Severe storms, tornadoes and flooding caused damage in 38 counties last May. The federal aid will provide assistance to nearly 24-thousand people. About 11-and-a-half million dollars will be used for public assistance projects.
Washington, DC – An Alabama man who lost his son in an industrial accident 10 years ago is lobbying Congress to stiffen worker protection laws. Chad Pergram reports from our Capitol Hill bureau in Washingon.