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City of Fairfield May Lose Water Service, Craft Beer To Go Law Takes Effect Today

Birmingham Water Works Board
Birmingham Water Works Board

The City of Fairfield may soon have its water shut off due to unpaid bills, according to Birmingham Water Works. reportedly obtained an e-mail from Birmingham Water Works officials saying the city of Fairfield has accumulated over $128,000 in unpaid water bills at 17 different city addresses. In a memo to board members, Water Works General Manager Mac Underwood said it’s unfortunate that Fairfield is in this situation, but they can’t provide water service to the city for free.

The potential water cancellation is just the latest financial woe for the Birmingham-area suburb. Fairfield lost a U.S. Steel facility last year, and the town's Walmart recently closed its doors. The metro transit authority plans to discontinue bus service to Fairfield in July, as the city owes more than half a million dollars for that service.

Fairfield Mayor Kenneth Coachman says the city will likely have to file for bankruptcy, but is examining its options. Some have suggested that if Fairfield were to dissolve, the city of Birmingham could absorb Fairfield and its debt.

A new state law could put more money in the pockets of Alabama's breweries.

Starting today, craft beer customers can take beer home with them. Before, they had to drink their beer on the premises. Lawmakers say loosening restrictions on breweries has shown positive economic impact in recent years. Studies say this new law will do the same.

Jeremy Donald is the CEO and co-founder of Tuscaloosa’s Band of Brothers Brewing Company. He says off-site consumption will boost his sales.

“You know, in the whole sense of things, I think it’s an all-around good thing, because we’re taxed on how much beer we make. So therefore, there’s an additional tax revenue stream for the local governments, as well as the state government, as well as the federal government.”

The new law is expected to attract out-of-state companies and customers to Alabama’s breweries as well.

Today is the first day of the 2016 hurricane season, and forecasters say it could be a busy one.

Colorado State University is predicting twelve named storms, five hurricanes and two major hurricanes this season. Weather watchers note that El Niño is weakening. El Niño is a weather phenomenon that warms the waters of the Pacific and weakens storms in the Atlantic. A weak El Niño means more storms are possible.

Jason Beaman is with the National Weather Service in Mobile. He says residents should get ready now.

“The first thing we always tell people is determine your risk. Know if you are in that surge zone or not, and if you have questions about that, the best thing to do is to contact your county emergency manager. Check with your insurance provider, secure an insurance checkup. Make sure you have the coverage that you need. Do you need flood insurance for your location? These are the things that you really need to be thinking about now.”

Beaman says little things like securing blinds and trimming trees near your property could reduce damage if a storm hits.

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