August 06, 2012 Morning Edition News




90.3 WBHM Former Jefferson County Commissioner John Katopodis has been transferred from a New Jersey federal prison to a community corrections program in Philadelphia. The Birmingham News reports Katopodis was transferred in the last few days. His release date is November 2. Many inmates are placed in halfway houses or home detention as they near release, but a federal prisons spokesman says they don’t give information about whether an inmate is at a specific facility or on home detention. Katopodis was convicted of fraud in 2009 for using money earmarked for a children's charity to take trips to casinos and pay off personal credit card debt.


A new study finds Alabama's retirement plan for county circuit clerks is underfunded and doesn't function like a normal pension plan. The study by Cavanaugh Macdonald Consulting of Kennesaw, Ga., says the fund for circuit clerks has nearly $11 million in assets, but that is only 15% of what it needs to meet its future liabilities. The actuaries say the state court system provides the bulk of the money each year to pay benefits, and that the retirement program operates primarily as a pay-as-you-go system rather than working off investments. State pension chief David Bronner, who helps administer the fund, is recommending the Alabama legislature fold circuit clerks into the retirement program for public employees.


The director of the Cullman County Emergency Management Agency has been elected president of the Alabama Association of Emergency Managers. Phyllis Little has served in her current job in Cullman for nine years. She is the past president of the North Alabama Emergency Management Mutual Assistance Association. Little will take over as association president at its annual conference next summer.


Baldwin County officials are still working to hire teachers and education workers ahead of the start of the school year. The Board of Education will meet Monday to hire additional teachers and other employees before classes begin on August 20. School system spokesman Terry Wilhite tells The Mobile Press-Register enrollment has increased roughly 2 percent. While most teachers are in place, Wilhite said the meeting will allow the Board of Education to fill the last few remaining slots.