There are only two and a half weeks left in the current Supreme Court session, and Alabamians are still waiting on a definitive answer regarding same-sex marriage.
Gay marriage is currently legal in Alabama, but a state Supreme Court ruling has ordered all county probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. U.S. District Judge Callie Granade passed a ruling that would force those probate judges to begin issuing licenses, but that won’t go into effect until after the Supreme Court rules.
Tuscaloosa is competing with nearly 70 other communities for part of a half-billion dollar grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
City officials and residents gathered inside the Rosedale Court Apartment complex yesterday to identify what they see as important points. Members of the recovery operations for Tuscaloosa asked people about resiliency, at-risk populations and overall impacts that could lead to the city winning part of the grant.
Tuscaloosa City Councilor Harrison Taylor says it is all about being prepared.
Local officials in Tuscaloosa are considering changes to local ordinances that govern rebuilding of commercial areas after the devastating tornadoes of April 2011.
The Tuscaloosa News reports Mayor Walt Maddox planned to present amendments to the city code Monday night to the Planning and Zoning Commission. One of the changes being pushed by the mayor would require businesses to hide larger trash bins from public view. Others proposals deal with design details for commercial buildings in the tornado recovery zone.
Tuscaloosa city officials will soon be taking applications for loans of up to $20,000 aimed at helping businesses rebuild in the city's tornado recovery zone.
The Tuscaloosa News reports (http://bit.ly/15TZchw) the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs recently gave the city approval to use $500,000 for the loans. Businesses meeting certain terms will have their loans revert to grants, meaning the money won't have to be repaid.
Officials from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will present Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley with a check for $49 million to be used to help Alabama communities rebuild from damage caused by the April 27, 2011 tornadoes.
The Alabama Legislature is closer to providing money to repair and rebuild public schools hit by tornadoes in 2011 and 2012.
The Senate Finance and Taxation-Education Committee voted unanimously Tuesday for a bill that would allow the state to sell $30 million in bonds. Of that, $15 million would go to Murphy High School in Mobile, which was hit by a tornado in December.
Three schools in the Tuscaloosa area would benefit, with $3 million for Alberta City Elementary and $2.5 million each for University Place Elementary and Holt Elementary. They were hit on April 27, 2011.
The Alabama House of Representatives has passed a bill that authorizes the state to issue $30 million in bonds to rebuild several tornado-damaged schools across the state.
Democratic Rep. Napoleon Bracy's bill passed 103-0 Tuesday night and now goes to the Senate. If approved, it will provide $15 million to Murphy High School in Mobile to repair damage from a tornado on Christmas Day, 2012.
Alabama is getting nearly $120 million in federal assistance to help with recovery from the deadly tornadoes in April 2011.
Gov. Robert Bentley announced Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development will provide the state government with $49.2 million to distribute to recovery projects. Tuscaloosa will get $43.9 million, Birmingham $17.5 million, and Jefferson County $9.1 million.
Bentley says the new funding will help several areas of the state that are still suffering long-term effects from the storms.
Nine local governments in north and west Alabama have been awarded more than $15.7 million in grants to help with tornado recovery.
The grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development include $4.8 million to help rebuild Hackleburg's downtown. Eighteen people were killed and many of the businesses in the Marion County town were destroyed or heavily damaged by an April 27 tornado.