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Water war continues, Chinese drywall settlement

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley was absent from a private meeting with the governors of Florida and Georgia as they discuss a long-running water dispute.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott met with Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal at the governor's mansion in Tallahassee.

The meeting comes as the U.S. Supreme Court prepares to hear a challenge from Florida seeking to limit Georgia's withdrawals from the Chattahoochee River.  All three states have battled for decades over rights to take water from the Apalachicola, Chattahoochee and Flint river system.

Florida argues that Georgia is guzzling more than its share of water for growing Atlanta at the expense of the Apalachicola Bay oyster fishery.

In 2013, Scott took the legal battle to the Supreme Court after the oyster industry nearly collapsed, causing a federal disaster declaration.

Homeowners in Alabama as well as five other states received a court decision today. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more on a settlement for damages caused by Chinese drywall…

U.S. District Judge Eldon Fallon held a one-day, non-jury trial today with expert testimony that will result in a settlement for around 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.

The cases of another thousand homeowners affected by the Chinese drywall will be settled later. Those homeowners have experienced more significant damages.

Beer lovers in the city of Fayette** may soon be able to buy draft beer or their favorite brand by the keg. The Fayette city council is set to vote on a change to its local alcoholic beverage ordinance.

The proposed amendment would allow the sale of draft beer, malt liquor, and beer by the keg. Today’s vote was cleared by a signature from Governor Robert Bentley to allow town leaders to decide whether or not to endorse the change.

Councilman Jason Cowart says alcohol sales are economically important to his city…

“Taxes collected off of alcohol sales pay for city streets. So if you’re living in Lamar county, Marion county, all around us and you don’t feel like making the 40, 60, and in some cases 70 mile trip to Tuscaloosa for a night on the town. You can stop right here in Fayette.”

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

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