Your West Alabama Wednesday Outlook
1) Federal prosecutors called several witnesses, including two special agents in the kidnapping trial of Derick Brown going on at the downtown Tuscaloosa Federal Courthouse. The agents discussed Derick Brown’s timeline based on surveillance videos around the area where three-year-old Camille “Cupcake” McKinney was taken in 2019. The court then heard testimony from a fourteen-year-old who said Stallworth and Brown talked to her at an area middle school and offered her candy the day Cupcake was kidnapped. These witnesses and more all placed Brown in the vicinity.
2) Tuscaloosa City Schools will pilot a project to pay student interns in an effort to combat the chronic teacher shortage. Each intern will receive $1,200 per month, earning a total of $4,800 by the end of their internship. The system will spend $48,000 for 10 student teacher interns from January to April in 2023. Superintendent Dr. Mike Daria told news partner ABC3340 the plan makes sense because residencies are paid in other professions and teaching is a critical profession. Math, science and special education will be areas of top priority.
3) Schools with 50% of the student body receiving free or reduced-price lunches will soon have farm to table school lunches available. It is part of the USDA’s "Local Food for Schools Agreement" with the state and local farmers. Dom Wambles with the Alabama Department of Agriculture an Industries says, "We’re working with somewhere between 35 and 45 producers and about 75% of those are socially disadvantaged farmers.” Selected farmers will receive part of the grant to harvest food specifically for school lunches.
4) Alabama’s Senior US Senator, Republican Richard Shelby has told AL.com he believes his party will have a good shot at the presidency in 2024. Last night former President Trump announced he is running, prompting Shelby to say Florida governor Ron DeSantis could be a real challenger to the controversial Trump. Shelby also called President Biden a "decent guy" who is not well and has been captured by the hard left in the Democratic party.