published Tuesday, August 2nd, 2011

Tornado recovery aided by grant, and more regional news

WALKER COUNTY, Ga.

Tornado recovery aided by grant

Walker County officials have received a $50,000 grant from the Chattanooga-based Lyndhurst Foundation to help with storm recovery costs.

During the April 27 tornadoes, the storm cut a path through Hinkle, Chattanooga Valley and Rossville. About $30,000 of the grant will be used to help with cleanup along the rights of way there and to help homeowners trying to clean up lawns, Walker County Coordinator David Ashburn said in a news release.

The remaining $20,000 will be used to buy 100 shelters and medical cots, 200 bedding kits and 200 personal hygiene kits to be used for portable hospital operations in the future, Ashburn said.

The Lyndhurst Foundation is working with local foundations, churches and nonprofit organizations to provide tornado relief in Walker, Dade and Catoosa counties.


BIRMINGHAM, Ala.

Alabama towns join tax holiday

A record number of Alabama communities will participate in a back-to-school sales tax holiday.

Authorities temporarily will stop collecting the 4 percent state sales tax on designated school supplies and clothing from Friday through Sunday. The local sales tax also will be exempted in 272 participating communities, which is five more towns than last year and the most since the program started in 2006.

The Birmingham News reports that one notable exception is cash-strapped Jefferson County, which could become the largest-ever U.S. municipality to declare bankruptcy.

The National Retail Federation estimates Southern shoppers will spend about $615 per family on back-to-school purchases.


NASHVILLE

State publicizing photo ID law

The Tennessee Department of State has begun a campaign to remind residents about a new photo identification requirement for voting going into effect Jan. 2.

Those wishing to vote will be required to show photo identification at the polls. Accepted will be any photo ID issued by the state, including a driver's license, and those issued by other states or the federal government, including U.S. passports, government employee ID cards and military ID cards.

The new state law is designed to be a safeguard against voter fraud.

The state's presidential primary is March 6.


CANTON, Ga.

Cherokee County schools reopen

Schools have reopened in Cherokee and Henry counties, a week earlier than most metro Atlanta districts, and the first subject is how to deal with the heat.

Cherokee County, which has about 40,000 students, held its first day of classes Monday.

County schools officials are allowing students to carry water bottles on school buses until temperatures cool down. The National Weather Service says that won't happen this week.

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