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Session suppositions; a favorite weatherman waves goodbye; and more in this week’s OTR

Off The Record: The latest rumors and rumblings in North Alabama


A feisty February in store

The 2024 Legislative Session is fast approaching and as they like to do lawmakers are testing the waters before diving in. You’ve heard rumblings on gambling and school choice but expect two more issues to be in the spotlight: Ethics reform and reforming the Alabama Department of Public Health. Ethics in Alabama has always been a somewhat sticky situation and efforts to clarify the current code could prove difficult if enough people are paying attention. Meanwhile, the ADPH found itself sideways with the legislative majority during COVID-19. OTR predicts, if not a productive session, at the very least a highly entertaining session. The fun kicks off Feb. 6.

Kanost moving on

OTR’s favorite meteorologist is moving out on a cold front. We hear Chief Meteorologist Taylor Kanost will be leaving WAAY-TV in Huntsville for South Carolina. Kanost, among the most proficient forecasters in the weather world, is reportedly being replaced by a familiar face looking to make a comeback to North Alabama.  

New Hope gold

The Town of New Hope is sitting on what some might consider an outdoor gold mine with a closed section of old Highway 431. Big thinkers believe with a little work that section can be made into a greenway and connected to Downtown New Hope. We even hear that our favorite crusaders of connections, the Singing River Trail, has offered to help and make a link to Marshall County. Stay tuned. 

Organized objections

You may have read Gov. Kay Ivey’s Op-ed this week touting the state as a national leader in automotive manufacturing. A success she credits to a lack of a unionized workforce in Alabama. The rather rare move of Ivey penning an op-ed comes after the United Auto Workers announced a union campaign at Mercedes-Benz plant in Tuscaloosa. Expect both sides of the issue to become more vocal in the coming weeks. In North Alabama, organizations are citing our “high paid workers who don’t need a union” while others maintain “support for unions is at a high in Alabama and growing stronger by the day.” If you don’t already have an opinion on the issue, you soon will.


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