Morning news update


Fight continues over funding for Sheriff's department

The Alabama Supreme Court has ended Sheriff Mike Hale's injunction that prevented the commission from cutting the Sheriff's budget, but the ruling was based on a technicality and Sheriff Hale can renew his request starting Friday morning. The case will go before Judge Joseph Boohaker on Friday morning, and he says he wants to make a decision before Tuesday. That is the day the county commission is scheduled to vote on more budget cuts, including laying off more than 200 employees.

City of Hoover may cut funding for schools

The Hoover School Board says it is not giving up on keeping its funding from the city. Mayor Tony Petelos revealed a budget plan that called for cutting all city funding for the schools. Now, board members are trying to negotiate a way to get some, or all, of the $7 million the mayor's budget plan would cut. Board members say that even if the city cuts the funding, they may be able to dip into reserves to cover the gap, but they are concerned about what kind of precedent this could set. The Hoover City Council will vote on the budget sometime next month.

Bell says there are no plans to close Cooper Green

Jefferson County Commissioner William Bell says that there are no plans to shut down Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, despite the county's money problems. Bell spoke to hospital employees on Thursday. The commissioner did ask for a contingency plan in case they were forced to shut down the facility, however, all county agencies were asked to provide such a document.

Hyatt Place part of new downtown development

Thursday marked the grand opening of one new business in an attempt to redevelop and breathe new life into downtown Birmingham. The brand new Hyatt Place hotel is at the corner of 20th Street and 4th Avenue South. Hyatt Place is the first business to open as part of the downtown redevelopment project. Cityville is under construction, as well as another hotel at 8th Court. The area is in council member Johnathan Austin's district, and he says the development is important to the progress of downtown, and Birmingham in general. Austin says when the much anticipated dome comes, he expects the city to attract more events and conventions, and he says new hotels in downtown will be able to accommodate those extra visitors.