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Chinese Drywall Settlement, Draft Beer in Fayette

Chinese drywall
Chinese drywall

Homeowners in Alabama as well as five other states whose houses were ruined by substandard Chinese drywall will find out what their settlement will be today.

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon has scheduled a one-day, non-jury trial to hear expert testimony and determine a settlement amount for 3,000 homeowners. Those people will be replacing drywall and also repairing the damage caused by drywall manufactured by Taishan Gypsum Co.

The cheap drywall was used by lots of contractors to repair Gulf Coast homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. Homeowners have reported the drywall damages wiring, pipes, and even appliances like televisions. Health effects such as respiratory problems, sinus issues and headaches have also been reported.

Another thousand cases of homeowners affected by the Chinese drywall will be tried later. The plaintiff’s attorney says those cases don’t fit into a simple dollars-per-square-foot formula. The cases include homeowners who lost their homes entirely or had gone bankrupt. Some homeowners are currently living in tents outside their now-uninhabitable homes.

You may soon be able to buy a draft beer in the city of Fayette.

The Fayette City Council is set to vote on an amendment to its alcohol beverage ordinance to allow the sale of beer on tap. The path to today’s vote was cleared when Gov. Robert Bentley signed a bill allowing leaders in Fayette to make the change. The measure would allow the sale of beer by the keg and malt liquor along with draft beer.

Councilman Jason Cowart says this ordinance will help the growth that Fayette is already seeing.

“We want to project an image of Fayette that we’re open for business, we’re open to you coming here. We have a fine aquatics center that’s now in its third year. We’ve had a good year in terms of trying to grow.”

If today’s city council vote is yes, then the beer bill be advertised in local newspapers before a final vote is held later.

Twelve Alabama writers were inducted into the inaugural Alabama Writers Hall of Fame celebration yesterday. Harper Lee and Rick Bragg were among those honored.

The Writers Hall of Fame is a collaboration between the Alabama Writers Forum and the Alabama Center for the Book.

Jeanie Thompson is the Executive Director of the Alabama Writers Forum. She says the writers chosen all had certain qualities.

“A writer who’s being inducted into the Alabama Writers Hall of Fame will have made a mark in his or her area by distinguished publishing, by unusual publishing, or by groundbreaking publishing over their career.”

Thompson says that Alabama’s literary prowess is one of its most exportable arts products and that the Hall of Fame is a great way to recognize the authors in their home state.

Alabama has one of the highest rates of prescription drug abuse in the country, and a state task force is attempting to do something about it.

The Alabama Drug Abuse Task Force announced the "Zero Addiction" campaign yesterday with a website,, as well as radio and television ads.

Gov. Robert Bentley says the task force hopes to educate people about the dangers of abusing painkillers and other medications.

The television and radio spots will begin airing in the next two weeks. A website lists treatment facilities and options in each Alabama county.

Task Force Chairman Barry Matson says they hope to spark honest conversations in families.

Federal Drug Enforcement Agency data shows Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana were among the top 11 states for prescribing hydrocodone, an addictive opioid painkiller, in 2014.

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