Alabama Coastal Cleanup Tomorrow, Mercedes Expansion in Tuscaloosa

Sep 18, 2015

Mercedes-Benz U.S. International, Inc. Vance, Ala.

The state of Alabama has a general fund budget in place for the new fiscal year beginning in less than two weeks.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley signed the state's general fund budget yesterday morning. He says the spending plan isn’t perfect, but it is a step in the right direction for the state.

Lawmakers passed a $1.7 billion budget on Wednesday after months of negotiations over a substantial budget shortfall. Legislators approved a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase and a transfer of $80 million in education funds to minimize cuts to state services.

Bentley is praising lawmakers who voted for the cigarette tax. He says they put "people over politics."

The spending plan cuts $88 million from state agencies. It provides level funding to some agencies deemed critical, like prisons, Medicaid, and mental health. Other agencies will see cuts of up to 5.5%.

Alabama’s coastline and waterways will be getting a makeover this weekend.

The Alabama Coastal Cleanup will happen in Mobile and Baldwin counties at various coastal and inland sites starting tomorrow.

Angela Underwood is the event planner for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. She says they always expect a lot of people to volunteer.

“This is the 28th year of the annual Alabama Coastal Cleanup, and it is actually part of the international larger coastal cleanup which occurs the third Saturday of September every year in Alabama. It’s the largest single volunteer event through the year.”

Volunteers should be prepared to work outside in the sun. Event organizers recommend to bring some sunscreen, a hat, and gloves for protection. To get involved, you can go to AlabamaCoastalCleanup.com.

ESPN’s College GameDay is set up in front of Bryant-Denny Stadium as second ranked Alabama hosts number 15 Ole Miss tomorrow night.

Both the Crimson Tide and the Rebels are 2 and 0 on the season. This game is their first SEC game of the year. The Rebels upset Alabama 23-17 last year in Oxford. Coach Nick Saban watched last year’s game in preparation for tomorrow night. He is looking to avoid a repeat of that loss.

“I evaluate what we did well and what we needed to improve on. And that’s the first thing we get out this year is when we play somebody is try to figure out how we could those things better and how we can make those adjustments. So I always think that’s a big part of planning.”

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in the press box during a Crimson Tide home game, we’ve produced a video that takes you behind the scenes.

Mercedes-Benz is planning a major expansion at its assembly plant in Tuscaloosa County.

That’s according to a statement yesterday from the Alabama Department of Commerce. They say the automaker is planning a nearly $1.3 billion expansion of its plant. Officials say Gov. Robert Bentley recently attended a meeting with Mercedes executives and the Tuscaloosa County Industrial Development Authority.

The expansion is expected to create 300 new jobs and prepare the facility to produce sport utility vehicles.

Alabama Department of Commerce officials say Mercedes has invested more than $4 billion in its Tuscaloosa County campus. The plant employs roughly 3,500 people.