Saraland voters took to the polls yesterday to vote on a property tax increase in order to fund improvements to the school system. The measure passed comfortably, with 62% voting in favor of the increase and 38% voting against. Property taxes will now increase by 7.5 mill, or about $75 for a $100,000 home.
A powerful nor’easter threatens to bring crippling snow to the northeastern US today and tomorrow. A blizzard warning has been issued for a 250 mile stretch of the northeast, with Boston and New York among the cities threatened. Upwards of 50 million people could be affected by the storm.
Alabama became the 37th state where same-sex marriage will be legal after a federal judge threw out the state’s ban on same-sex marriages yesterday. The ruling was made by U.S. District Judge Callie V.S. Granade at the US District Court for the Southern District of Alabama. The ruling negated Alabama’s Sanctity of Marriage Amendment and the Alabama Marriage Protection Act.
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia has passed away at the age of 90. The Saudi king had been in bad health for months, with pneumonia being the latest scourge to afflict him. Crown Prince Salman bin Abdulaziz is Abdullah’s successor.
Two people were killed yesterday afternoon in a head on collision on Highway 45. The victims have been identified as 38-year-old Eddye Lee Rivers Jr. of Mobile and 23-year-old Stephanie Marie Stevens of Chunchula. Two other victims were riding with Rivers and had to be taken to local hospitals for treatment.
Weeks after announcing the repairing of relations with Cuba, the Obama administration began lifting restrictions today. The US Commerce and Treasury departments announced new rules yesterday opening up the ability of US citizens to travel to the island nation without special permits. However, most will still be required to go on supervised group trips.
MSN has picked Mobile as one of the 15 “hottest” cities for 2015. The Microsoft affiliated website is not referring to temperature, but rather the city’s economic prospects for the coming year. In the article, MSN declared that Mobile will become the southern trading hub of the US.
In what would amount to a huge win for net neutrality advocates, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler has all but confirmed that he will use Title II of the Communications Act to impose net neutrality rules. Previous net neutrality rules were thrown out in court, with justices declaring that the FCC did not have the authority to enact them. Using Title II will give the FCC the ability to regulate ISPs like phone companies.
The US economy closed 2014 in style, creating over 252,000 jobs in the final month of the year. The job totals for October and November were also revised up by 50,000. The unemployment rate fell from 5.8% to 5.6%, the lowest in six years. All in all, 2014 was the best year for job creation since 1999.
A Hard Freeze Warning has been issued for Mobile County. The warning is in effect from midnight tonight to 10:00 AM tomorrow morning. Temperatures will dip below freezing by 10:00 PM and will not go above the mark until roughly 11:00 AM. A wind advisory is also in effect from noon today until midnight tonight.