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Tide, Tigers win. B1
SEPTEMBER 7 / 2008
$1.50 Classifieds: 532-4222
The largest portion,
WHERE DOES YOUR TRAFFIC FINE GO?
In city traffic court, the court costs total $107. Here’s the breakdown:
A TIMES SPECIAL REPORT:
Republican Wayne Parker and Democrat Parker Griffith square off in the battle to replace Bud Cramer as the representative for the 5th Congressional District. Defense spending is a hot topic along the campaign trail.
IN LOCAL: Wayne Parker points to Obama stance. PAGE A11
Parker vs. Parker
goes to the
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By NIKI DOYLE
Party with a pu rpose! A GUIDE TO HUNTSVILLE ’S CH
Times, Septemb er 7, 2008
The officer who nabbed you for speeding on the Parkway won’t see acentofthat$127ticket,butagood chunk of it will go straight into one of the city’s peskiest projects – the jail. Exactly $33.50 of each traffic citation, or nearly $975,000 a year, goes to paying off the $86.4 million debt from the construction of the Public Safety Complex and the incomplete and over-budget jail expansion. Does the city’s massive debt lead to pressure on police leaders to set traffic ticket quotas? “There is no such thing as a quota,” Police Chief Henry Reyes said. But there is a budget line. The city’s 2008 budget shows officialsexpectrevenueofabout$1.65 million from municipal court fees, which include traffic tickets written by Huntsville police officers and otherfinesleviedbythecity’s judges, said City Finance Director Randy Taylor. The“CorrectionsFund”allocation was approved more than 10 years agotopayoffthedebtfromtheconstruction of the Public Safety Complex, Taylor said. That was long before the jail expansion’s problems caused the city to more than double the budget for the project. The city planned to spend $30 million on the jail, which was to be completeayearandahalfago.Now, the budget is up to $70 million, an amount that, if needed, wouldn’t be paid off until at least 20 years from Please see TRAFFIC on A8
$33.50 (31.31%) Corrections Fund (jail)
$21 (19.63%) State General Fund Court costs assessed in Madison County District Court are higher, but no part of it goes to the jail because it’s being built by the city.
$17 (15.89%) City Court Costs
$16 (14.95%) Fair Trial Costs
$8.50 (7.94%) Driver’s Ed
The dish on white Charity begins at ho me Fake a rested face
ARITY BALLS AND SOIRE ES
Your actual fine is...
Speeding $20 Speeding 25 mph over $40 Driving without a license $75 Improper/expired tag $25 Not wearing a seatbelt* $10 *According to state law, no court costs are paid for this charge
$3 (2.8%) Peace Officer’s Annuity & Benefit Fund $3 (2.8%) Advanced Tech Data Fund $5
Crime Victims Compensation Fund: $2 DNA: $2 Law Library: $1
IN ENJOY!: A guide to charity balls.
Eric Schultz/Huntsville Times
Congressional Medal of Honor winner Leo Thorsness went to the convention to watch Sen. John McCain accept the Republican nomination for president. The Air Force retiree spent six years in captivity in Vietnam. “If a door’s got a handle on the inside,” he says, “that’s a good day.”
IN LOCAL: Ran for Senate in South Dakota. PAGE A11
McCain POW cellmate lives in Madison
Folks stand in line for traffic court at municipal court in Huntsville on Thursday.
Hurricane Ike grew to fierce Category 4 strength Saturday as it roared on an uncertain path that forced millions from the Caribbean to Florida, and Louisiana to Mexico, to nervously wonder where it would eventually strike.
IN NEWS: Storm takes a southwesterly shift. PAGE A3
Where will Hurricane Ike go? Coastal residents wary
Huntsville, Alabama Vol. 99, No. 169, 92 pages Contents © 2008, Huntsville Times
Full forecast, D6
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IN PARADE: Warren Buffett’s 10 secrets to make YOU rich.