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Central Alabama VA Firing Upheld And November Is National Adoption Month

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November is National Adoption Month.

The head of the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System will not be keeping his job. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold has more...

The Veterans Administration terminated James Talton last month for neglect of duty. He appealed to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board. The board has issued a 32-page decision upholding the termination. In its decision, the board cited Talton for failing to take action against a Central Alabama V-A employee who borrowed money from a patient and then drove him to a crack house to obtain drugs in early 2013. Talton's appeal said he wasn't aware of the facts of the case. The employee who drove the patient to the crack house was removed from his position after the VA placed Talton on administrative leave in August. November is national adoption month.

A group in Alabama is raising awareness about youth in foster care who need permanent homes. Heart Gallery Alabama is an organization out of Birmingham that promotes the adoption of children currently in Alabama’s foster care system. The group is holding an event today to celebrate families that have adopted. The gathering is also a chance for adoptive parents a chance to talk with families thinking of adoption. Michelle Bearman-Wolnek is the Executive Director for Heart Gallery Alabama. She says this month is great for families that have adopted…

“I think that this is just a great time for the community to come together and celebrate families that have accepted that challenge, as well as the reward that they got by adopting children.”

Bearman-Wolnek also says that this month is great for anybody whether they interested in adopting or not, and an opportunity to get Alabama’s youth involved in foster care.

Alabama is one of seven states to qualify for grant money from Partners for Breakfast in the Classroom. The program aims to move the federal free breakfast program out of the cafeteria and into the classroom. As part of this effort all kids will eat free breakfast in the classroom and not just those approved for free federal lunch. This helps to alleviate problems such as late arrivals to school, pressure to go directly to class, and reluctance to be labeled “low-income.”

The Governor's Mansion in Montgomery will be open for free candlelight tours the first three Monday nights in December. Designers from across the state have volunteered their time to decorate the mansion and the neighboring Hill House for candlelight tours. First lady Dianne Bentley says the mansion belongs to the people of Alabama and she wants to share it with the public during the holiday season.

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