Seven Things to Know for Your Wednesday in West Alabama
1) October is Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) month in Alabama, the only state to make such a designation.
Stillman College and Shelton State are each receiving a $25 dollar donation along with 12 other schools designated as HBCUs in the state from Bullock County Probate Judge James Tatum. He told Alabama News Network the donation is small but the significance large and he hopes others will join him, "It is not a lot but I hope combined with what others give will help make a difference."
Alabama has more HBCUs than any other state with 14.
2) As expected, the Tuscaloosa City Council has approved a moratorium on short-term rental leases in the city.
The council has expressed concern over how the rapid growth of the rentals is impacting traditional neighborhoods. City Attorney Scott Holmes explained how it will impact those who have already applied, saying, "Those who have already started the process will be given 30 days to complete the paperwork."
The moratorium is effective today until the end of January but could be extended.
3) Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has appointed Sommer Coleman as Executive Director of Construction and Facilities & Grounds. She has 18 years of experience working in construction administration.
Coleman holds a master's of Science in Civil Engineer/Construction Project Management and a bachelor's degree in civil engineering, both from the University of Alabama.
4) The repairs to the Covered Bridge Road overpass above I-20/59 westbound continue to block right and center lanes. The work is more problematic than originally thought.
5) A former pastor at Church of the Highlands has filed a defamation lawsuit against a woman who alleges he raped her last year in Yakima, Washington.
Michan Carter denies the rape and claims Mary E. Jones’ public accusation resulted in him losing his employment with the Church of the Highlands and damaged his reputation. Carter is asking for a half-million dollars plus general and punitive damages.
Church of the Highlands has 43,000 members at 17 campuses, including one in Tuscaloosa.
6) Complaints about drivers paying $300-$400 for un-booting their vehicles due to overtime or improper parking have led to the City of Northport capping how much a tow company may charge. The new ordinance caps the fee for vehicles of 2,600 pounds or less at $80. For larger vehicles, the maximum fee for boot removal is $162.50.
Mayor Bobby Herndon told news partner ABC 33/40 what was going on was price gouging, "It's more or less half the price of what a towing charge would be. If we have something towed off around here, we have a set fee for that, so they are setting the de-booting fee at $80 and $162.50".
The City of Tuscaloosa took similar action earlier this year.
7) Due to yesterday’s severe weather threat, Tuscaloosa’s “Tech or Treat” event was postponed until tonight. The sixth annual Halloween related event will be at the Gateway Discovery and Innovation Center from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m.
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