Huntsville City Schools Desegregation Case, Commercial Space Flight and BP Scammers Sentenced

Jan 27, 2015


A federal judge will review an agreement to settle a desegregation case involving Huntsville city schools.

The school system and the Justice Department released the agreement on Monday. It's aimed at resolving disputes over the racial fairness of a student attendance plan devised last year.

The federal government objected to the plan arguing it didn't improve academic opportunities for black students.   The school system agrees to take several steps in the settlement, which follows mediation sessions.

Alabama’s future in space is a bit clearer today. Alabama Public Radio’s Pat Duggins has more on launch plans for NASA’s new commercial space capsules and how our state fits in.

NASA says commercially built space capsule by Boeing and the Space-X company will undergo test flights in 2016. The goal is a manned test flight by 2017. Both capsules will carry astronauts and cargo to and from the International Space Station. Boeing’s spacecraft is called the CST-100 and it will be launched by an Atlas-V rocket built at a factory in Decatur. NASA administrator Charles Bolden is a former astronaut who says it could pave the way to Mars…

“There will be people who go for days at a time, people who will go for hours at a time on suborbital flights. The world of low Earth Orbit belongs to industry it doesn’t belong to the government. It doesn’t belong to NASA at all.”

These new capsules will have to pass NASA safety checks. It was on this date back in 1967 when the Apollo one launch pad fire killed three astronauts, including Mercury veteran Gus Grissom.

After the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, BP set up a twenty billion dollar trust for insurance claims. But as APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports, not all those claims have been legitimate…

Three Alabama residents are headed to prison after attempting to steal more than three million dollars from the BP oil spill claims fund.

A federal judge sentenced Marcella Truss of Birmingham to twelve years in prison, her husband Martee Davis of Grand Bay to thirteen years, and her brother Howard Carroway of Mobile to eight years.

The three were also ordered to pay back nearly two million dollars in claims that had been awarded.

A U.S. Attorney says the three had filed over 50 false claims with BP using over three dozen fraudulent identities.

Two other individuals, Robert Truss III of Houston and and Cedric Dion Ravizee of Birmingham, were indicted in April. Their sentencing will occur soon.  I’m Alex AuBuchon, APR news.