August 13, 2012, Morning Newscast



90.3 WBHM A majority of the Jefferson County Commission is set to vote tomorrow to close inpatient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital by Oct. 1. The Birmingham News reports that no plans are in place for how the sick or poor will get care or how hospitals that treat them will get reimbursed.Business groups, medical professionals, state lawmakers and community activists are calling on the County Commission to rethink whether to end inpatient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. On Friday, the city of Birmingham filed a lawsuit to prevent closure of the inpatient care unit. The Birmingham Business Alliance (BBA) urged the commission to avoid a quick decision that would create a climate of confusion, distrust and anxiety. Friday, The BBA called on the County Commission to define and articulate a clear plan for indigent care before voting to end inpatient services.


Alabama lags in incentives for solar power. The Birmingham News reports that across the country, solar energy is spreading, spurred by falling prices for equipment, environmental sensitivity and generous incentives from governments and utilities. Tennessee, Florida and Georgia all have solar power arrays running and future projects are in the works. Alabama, on the other hand, finishes at or near the bottom in solar surveys. Traditionally, there hasn't been much interest in solar power in Alabama because it was an expensive technology, the state was relatively poor and power was cheap. However, in more recent years, some other states have created a variety of tax incentives to encourage the installation of solar, in addition to those offered by the federal government. But Alabama is not one of those states. Currently there are only 27 residential customers of Alabama Power selling solar electricity back to the grid.


SELMA, Ala. (AP) — A new monument being built to honor Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest is stirring up controversy in Selma. Todd Kiscaden with Friends of Forrest tells WAKA-TV the group decided to make improvements to the monument after a bust of Forrest disappeared from the monument in March. But state Sen. Hank Sanders, a Democrat from Selma, says Forrest was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and he wants construction stopped. Kiscaden says Forrest was a Confederate hero who led the efforts to defend Selma against Union troops during the Civil War and should be honored. The theft of the bust earlier this year wasn't the first time the monument has been damaged. It was vandalized soon after it was dedicated in October 2000.

Photo Source: National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems