Gadsden

The Gadsden school board has voted to search for a new superintendent rather than extend the contract of their existing leader. But the decision was deeply contested, and is drawing sharp dissent from board members.

The Gadsden Times reports the city Board of Education voted 4-3 earlier this week to begin a nationwide search for a new superintendent. Current Superintendent Ed Miller will leave once his contract expires in August.

Investigators believe the three Alabama mosques broken into in March were robbed by the same man – and that he committed a series of burglaries at mosques across the country earlier this year.

According to the Gadsden Times, detectives say three mosques in Alabama, two in Arizona and one in Virginia were broken into earlier this year.

Police across central Alabama say three mosques in the state have been burglarized in recent days, and one Islamic leader hopes the cases aren't part of a conspiracy of hatred.

Tuscaloosa police say two safes containing cash and a handwritten Quran were stolen from the Islamic Center of Tuscaloosa earlier this week. Police have released a photo of a car believed to be involved in the robbery that was captured on surveillance video.

Gadsden’s water utility is filing suit against dozens of area companies over pollution in the city’s water supply.

The Gadsden Water Works and Sewer Board filed a lawsuit yesterday saying more than 30 area carpet and textile companies are responsible for elevated levels of two chemicals in the city’s water supply. That’s prompted health advisories from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and other groups.

The Mobile Police Department has released additional information on an officer-involved shooting that occurred earlier this week.

Mobile Police Chief James Barber recently held a press conference where he identified the officer involved and talked through the incident. He says 18-year-old Michael Moore was driving a stolen vehicle with two passengers when he was pulled over by officer Harold Hurst Monday evening for making an erratic turn.

The mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando is one topic likely to come up tonight in the city of Florence.

Shoals Pride Fest is underway and a panel discussion will address equality for the LGBT community in Alabama. Organizers say the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Central Florida has left many in the Shoals gay community hurting. Pride Fest President Benjamin Newbern says tonight’s panel discussion will also venture into political issues as well…

Etowah County Detention Center
Hannah Rappleye / NBC News

In many respects, Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsden, Alabama is just like any other county jail. But for 300 or so of the facility's occupants, it's a different story. They're not inmates, but immigrant detainees, and they're being held awaiting deportation. That arrangement prompted a legal complaint.

The federal government pays Etowah County and communities across the country to keep immigrant detainees under lock and key in local jails. Critics complain these locations are isolated and detainees are kept thousands of miles from friends and family.

Birmingham's City Council president is defending the group’s recent decision to raise their salary from $15,000 to $55,000.

Some council members have said they have been asked to do full-time work on part-time pay.

Local media reports the nine-member council voted 8-1 to approve the raise last week and faced questions Tuesday night on the way the increase was handled. The vote was added last minute to a meeting agenda as an addendum and was passed with virtually no time for public comment.

Civil rights advocates are pursuing a complaint against the Etowah County Detention Center in Gadsden.

The complaint covers a wide range of conditions-related issues including medical neglect and alleged abuse by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers against foreign detainees.

Christina Mansfield is the co-founder of Community Initiatives for Visiting Immigrants in Confinement (CIVIC). She says the report alleges how ICE officers have physically assaulted and coerced detainees into signing travel documents that could prompt deportation.

Alabama Republican lawmakers are getting ready for a major push for the establishment of charter schools.

A charter school bill will be a top priority for the GOP when the legislative session kicks off next week.

Charter schools are publicly funded schools that operate outside the rules and regulations of regular public schools.

The bill, if passed, would allow up to 10 new charter schools to be established in Alabama each year. It would also allow school systems to convert an unlimited number of existing schools to charter status.

Cal Tech

Freezing precipitation is causing more travel problems and delays in north Alabama.

Icy spots forced officials to close a number of roads in the Tennessee Valley early Monday. That includes Memorial Parkway in Huntsville.

Huntsville police removed barricades from the Parkway as temperatures warmed and conditions improved.

But more than two dozen school systems across the region delayed opening because of the threat of slippery roads, and at least two systems closed for the day.

The Alabama Prison Reform Task Force is currently considering a slate of recommendations from the Council of State Governments to address Alabama's poorly performing prisons.

Some of their suggestions include hiring more probation officers and creating a new, lesser felony class for low-level offenses.

The Task Force estimates that proposed changes should reduce Alabama's prison population from 200% capacity down to 162% by 2021.

albeer.org

Gadsden City leaders have set 6 a.m. as the time when alcoholic beverages may begin to be sold on Sundays.

The Gadsden Times reports city council unanimously approved the start time during a meeting on Tuesday. Gadsden voters approved of Sunday sales in an Aug. 26 referendum. The newspaper reports that city ordinances prevent alcohol sales between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m. on other days of the week.