Jefferson County will not participate in sales tax holiday
Jefferson County Commissioners voted this morning not to participate in the state's sales tax holiday. Commissioners voted 3-1 against doing away with the county tax during the state's sales tax holiday. Commissioner Bobby Humphryes opposed the move which county leaders say will save about 200-thousand dollars and save seven county jobs. The sales tax holiday will be held in August. The state and many area municipalities will waive their sales tax over a three-day period.
Fans gather for Michael Jackson memorial
Fans are waiting for the memorial to begin for Michael Jackson. A private service is being held ahead of the public event and the public funeral is being pushed back from noon until sometime after 12:30 at the earliest. Michael Jackson's massive memorial service is drawing thousands of fans and a slew of A-list celebrities including Stevie Wonder, Mariah Carey and Jennifer Hudson. Police are bracing for what could be an onslaught of fans. Hundreds of thousands are expected in the streets of Los Angeles with millions projected to watch the event live. More than 1.6 million people registered on-line for the eight-thousand seven-hundred-fifty free tickets that were handed out at Dodgers Stadium Monday. Lucky Jackson music lovers coming from all over the world made last minute changes to make it to L.A. People without tickets made the trip just to be close to the official Jackson memorial. Streets surrounding the Staples Center were blocked off with police telling people without tickets to stay away. Those trying to make a buck off the event may face tough consequences. Cops say those caught trying to scalp tickets will be arrested. Police say they do not know how many people will show up today to pay tribute to the King of Pop, but they say they are prepared for anything. With more officers on the streets today than they did for the Laker's victory parade last month and forces rivaling the 1984 L.A. Olympics. The city of Los Angeles has set up a web site to allow Michael Jackson fans to help the city pay for his Staples Center Memorial Service. The site was launched this morning and is linked to a PayPal account where donors can help with the ceremony's cost with tax deductible credit-card contributions. The service is estimated to cost $1.5 million to $4 million dollars.
Birmingham budget fight goes on for another week
The fight over Birmingham's budget will continue at least another week. On Monday, councilors demanded a leaner budget and withdrew its latest proposed budget. This leaves the city without an operating 2010 budget. The previous submission was a revised version of Mayor Larry Langford's budget. Langford will also propose a 3rd budget. The reason for the city to start over is a proposed 7% pay cut to all departments. City councilors found that this cut will affect salaries and plan to find a way not to do so. Councilors also found this leaves the city with a $17 million. Langford's new budget plans to use $11 million of $19 million that is set aside for the dome to fund non-profits and pave streets.
Jeffco Commissioners look to AL Supreme Court for help
Jefferson county commissioners are waiting on the Alabama Supreme Court for help. Attorneys for Sheriff Mike Hale have until noon today to file their response to the county's request to lift a temporary restraining order. This prevents the county from cutting five million dollars from Hale's budget because of the loss of the occupational tax. The judge who issued that order, Circuit Judge Dan King, has recused himself from the case. A spokeswoman for Presiding Judge Teresa Petelos says Petelos will not appoint a new judge until the state Supreme Court issues a ruling. A spokesman for Governor Bob Riley's Office says Jefferson County should not expect any help in the form of a state bailout. Last week, Birmingham Senator Rodger Smitherman sent a letter to Riley asking the governor for a 30-million dollar loan from the state. Smitherman claimed the funds would be used to prevent massive county layoffs and service cuts. The governor's office says legally he doesn't have the power to help.
Victim testifies against Hoover rape suspect
Developing news comes in a Hoover man's rape and sexual abuse trial. A woman making the sex crimes claims against Aaron Morrison testified against him in court today. Her story comes on the first day of testimony in Morrison's trial. He is charged with rape first degree, sexual abuse, kidnapping and impersonating a police officer over the alleged crime in 2008.
85-year-old man missing
Birmingham police need your help in finding a missing 86-year-old man. John Theodore Pavloski is about 5'7" 110 pounds with brown eyes and gray hair. He was last seen yesterday on the 700-block of Montclair Road. Pavloski is possibly in the early stages of dementia. If you have seen this man, please call the Birmingham police.
Search begins for missing Birmingham detention officer