Athens News Courier (Newspaper) - July 26, 2009, Athens, Alabama
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College costs rising faster than income
Alabama's college students may not be selling their blood to pay tuition, but they are scrambling to find new ways to finance their education.
Scales tip toward buying
Because of the slide in home prices, low interest rates and tax incentives, renters are realizing they could handle a mortgage for just a little more money.
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Sunday, July 26,2009
Schools brace for cuts
By K.\rfn Middlkton kuwiMnthensncws-cournr.coai School systems already chafing under 9-percent proration in the state education budget declared by Gov. Bob Riley in December, learned Friday they’ll have to find even more ways to cut expenses.
Because of declining tax collections Riley increased proration by 2 percentage points to 11 percent on Friday.
Riley said tax collections for education have dropped 10 percent since December. At
the same time he increased proration, he took the remaining $116 million out of a state rainy day fund to help schools from having a worse spending cut.
Riley says the latest cutback means the state will spend $5.7 billion on education this fiscal year. That’s down $1 billion from fiscal 2008. ^
Alabama’s constitution prohibits deficit spending and gives the governor the power to cut spending when appropriations exceed tax collections.
The budget cuts come as local school officials around the state are preparing to open their doors for the 2009-2010 school year, which begins in early to mid-August in most areas.
According to the Associated Ifress, in a letter to local school superintendents Friday, state schools Superintendent Joe Morton warned that the budget for the upcoming school year might also start out with the gov-
See Proration, page 8A
listen to a new sound ...
Valley natives Finesse, left, and David Fanning are making big impressions on Music Row in Nashville. Finesse a client of Fanning's company New Voice Entertainment is featured on a club hick-hop remix of country music star Jason Aldean's hit, "She’s Country."
Local artists work with country music singer Jason Aldean on newest genre
ByJknniffh R. HllL Jcnniferiffathcnsnews -< oiiricr. t am In 2004, well-known rapper Nelly recruited country music star Tim McGraw to sing on his single “Over and Over Again.’’ Earlier this year, on the Country Music Awards, rapper T-Pain did a rewrite of country-pop performer Taylor Swift’s hit “Love Song.’’ The two performed, and yes, Swift rapped, to the spin-off spoof “Thug Story,’’
Though both collaborations were on
different ends of the serious spectrum, both are a part of a genre of music that has made more and more inroads in this decade — hick-hop.
Hick-hop the combination of rock, hip-hop and country, sometimes formerly referred to as the country-rap or rap-rock genres, has been established for about 20 years. The genre includes well-known artists such as Bubba Sparxxx, Cowboy Troy, Nappy Roots, Colt Ford, Kid Rock and Everlast. Although, some are full-
fledged hick-hop artists, most, like local Hazel Green rap artist Finesse, like to dabble in the genre when occasionally looking for an interesting spin on their own sound.
Finesse, a.k.a. Stephen Moore, 21, recently added a club remix of country singer Jason Aldean’s “She’s Country” to his rap discography. The single, on Aldean’s label Broken Bow Records, was
See HIck’hop, page 8A
Council studying ways to slow traffic in neighborhoods
By Karen Middlli on
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Complaints are coming increasingly from the city’s residential neighborhoods about speeding vehicles. One city councilman says it’s time for an ordinance specifying when and where traffic-calming devices should be installed if police can’t catch speeders.
“At least two of the councihnen — me and Jimmy Gill — have been getting a good bit of calls
fmm residents about speeders,” said District 2 Councilman Harold Wales, “I’ve gotten police to Indian Trace to check it out. Of course, no one speeds while they’re there, but once they leave, it resumes.
“I told the residents I would like to do what I could to stop it. We have no policy about sp>eed bumps.”
Wales said Public Works Director James Rich gave him a list of
procedures residents must follow to have traffic-calming devices installed on their streets. He distributed copies of the procedure to the other members of the council in a work session two weeks ago and asked them to study it.
“You just can’t just rush out and throw up speed bumps anywhere on city streets like you would in a parking lot where you’re tiying to slow traffic,” said Wales, “I want an ordinance rather than just ran
domly installing these.”
While the speed bump issue is not on Monday night’s council agenda, Wales said he would encourage discussion on the matter.
“We need to decide what are the criteria,” he said. “There might be two people on a street who want the speed bumps and 30 who might not. We need to study this and decide what we need to do to
See Traffic, page 8A .
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