Morning news update

Jeffco lawmakers meet over financial crisis

Jefferson County lawmakers will meet today about the county's financial crisis. The legislative delegation is expected to make a decision about which job tax the group will support in an upcoming special session. This comes as the county is prepared to put hundreds of employees on administrative leave without pay. Jefferson County Commission President Bettye Fine Collins says the county has no choice but to send workers home in order to cut pay roll. Governor Bob Riley says he is prepared to help the county by calling a special session if the lawmakers can agree on one bill. Meanwhile, Jefferson County judges, including Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb are expected to speak out about  the financial crisis at noon.

Justice Patti Smith retires from AL Supreme Court

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Patti Smith is done after this year. She says she will not seek re-election in 2010 so she can spend more time with her 83-year-old mother. Smith is one of three justices whose seats are up next year. The other two, Republicans Mike Bolin and Tom Parker, say they plan to run again.

Alabama reservists help crash victims in South Carolina

Some military members from Bessemer step in to help after witnessing a crash on their way back to Alabama. It happened on Interstate 20 westbound in Aiken, South Carolina. The reservists' bus driver says an SUV blew a tire and rolled over into the median on the opposite side of the divider. Since the volunteers on board had medical training, they jumped into action to help those involved. The reservists stayed on the scene, until other law enforcement personnel arrived.

Price of Alabama driver's license goes up

It is about to cost a little more to get a new Alabama driver's license or to renew an old one. Beginning today, the cost goes from $23.00 to $23.50. The extra money will go to the Alabama Citizenship Trust Fund, which provides funding for the American Village and a National Veterans Cemetery in Montevallo.

Gas prices falling

The price of gasoline is falling. Prices across the country fell about seven cents a gallon during the past two weeks to $2.49 for a gallon of regular unleaded. That is more than a $1.50 less than the price at this time last year. Analyst Trilby Lundberg says the rate of decline is slowing. Birmingham drivers are getting a relative bargain. The average for regular in the Magic City is $2.35 cents a gallon for regular.