Quotes: War has rules, mud wrestling has rules - politics has no rules. - Ross Perot
Commission OKs level funding for budget
The Walker County Commission approved a $21.5 million budget for the upcoming fiscal year during a special called meeting Monday morning. The budget included level funding for all departments. The only significant changes were the elimination of an annual appropriation of $24,000 to the Birmingham Regional Planning Commission and a reduction in funding for ClasTran from $35,000 to $5,000. ClasTran is a Birmingham-based public transit system that operates in Walker County. The Walker County Development Authority did not receive any extra appropriation beyond the $200,000 the board receives annually from coal tax proceeds. The budget for 2013-2014 included an across-the-board cut of 4 percent to help the county prepare for a $27 million debt that will come due in 2018.
New monument at old Houston Jail
Several state and local officials joined the descendants of the first sheriff of Hancock County, which was later renamed Winston County, at a ceremony held Friday morning at the old Houston Jail. The memorial dedication was held in honor of Willis Farris, who served as sheriff of Hancock (Winston) County during a three year term, from Aug. 31, 1850, to Sept. 19, 1853. A cast bronze bust of Farris was unveiled Friday and is now on display at the jail. Farris also served as sheriff from 1859 until 1863 and was elected to represent Winston County in the Alabama House of Representatives from 1874 to 1875 and again from 1875 to 1876. Farris was born in 1814 in South Carolina and married Jane Collins around 1836. The couple lived in Lawrence County in 1840 and moved to Hancock County in 1850. According to historical and family records, Farris was against the secession from the Union during the Civil War. He felt the separation of states would weaken the country and many of the Winston County citizens agreed with him.
Black Warrior Riverkeeper settles lawsuit against company that operates Jefferson County prison sewage plant
The Black Warrior Riverkeeper has reached a settlement in its lawsuit that claims William E. Donaldson Correctional Facility's sewage treatment plant has polluted western Jefferson County streams. Improvements to the prison's sewage plant and a conservation project in the local watershed will be paid for by Alabama Utility Services LLC (AUS), the company that operates the sewage plant, according to terms of the settlement. "AUS will invest in critical repairs and upgrades at the Donaldson plant, which should ensure that the facility complies with the law now and in the future," according to a statement from Eva Dillard, Black Warrior Riverkeeper's staff attorney. "As a result of the lawsuit and settlement, the plant will be totally refurbished."