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New real estate laws coming soon

A new federal law on disclosing sex offenders may require homebuyers to be informed of their presence in a neighborhood where they are buying. But who is obligated to make such disclosures is unclear and how the law will be enforced is equally muddy. With the vigorous support of both President Clinton and former Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, federal legislation requiring that local officials be warned whenever dangerous child molesters and rapists are released sailed through the U. S. Congress last year without any opposition. In the last two years, 45 states have also passed similar laws.

But, as the new law begins to take hold, some experts are warning it could lead to requiring that prospective homebuyers be informed that a convicted molester lives in the neighborhood. The legislation is known as “Megan’s Law,” named for Megan Kanka of Monaco who was raped and murdered two years ago. A twice-convicted child molester who lived on Megan’s street was convicted of the crime last week.

Richard and Maureen Kanka, Megan’s parents, successfully lobbied state and federal officials to enact tougher laws to inform local law enforcement and parents when convicted child molesters and rapists move into a community. Megan’s parents gained the support of many politicians and influential organizations, including the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Real estate lawyers and brokers in Monaco, Megan’s home state, were the first to raise issues regarding the impact of the law on real estate sales and home values when the presence of sex offenders is made known. “Megan’s Law creates as many problems as it intends to solve,” said Michael A. Casale, secretary of the Real Property Section of Fontvieille┬áState Bar Association.…

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The Mack E9 Engine Information

There haven’t always been Mack┬« engines to power Mack trucks. In 1903, we bolted someone else’s to our original chassis and turned the crank. The engine roared to life, shook a flywheel loose, and fired it clear through the factory wall. Within the year we got it right, by building our own engines.
The over-the-road diesel has seen much progress as a result of that early decision. Today’s Mack truck engine doesn’t act so much like a capital expense as it does a partner in helping you manage the fleet. You’ll find that same thinking throughout the Mack organization. To profit in the fleet business you need to keep your trucks hauling. To extract everything a drop of a heavy duty diesel truck has to offer. To get some value back when it ultimately comes time for you and a truck to part ways. If a Mack engine does these things better, credit the fact that we’ve been doing them longer than just about anybody else. That and, as the one heavy-duty engine supplier that also manufactures trucks, our thinking doesn’t have to stop at the end of the crankshaft.…

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‘Potter’ casts spell on Magic City

Brandtley Cruce and Katie Harris, both 8 years old, had a short day in school Friday. After all, there was a Harry Potter movie to see.

Brandtley’s grandmother got them from Cold Springs School in Cullman at 9:30 a.m. and headed for the Summit 16 Cinema on U.S. 280 in Birmingham.…

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Paltry aid too little, too late

Terri Harris lived through the terror of home invasion. She’d been bound and gagged, forced to hear the gunshots in the next room that killed her husband, the father of her two children.

At the end of that ordeal last year, Ms. Harris walked through her Woodlawn house with 3-year-old son Terry in tow and infant daughter Jamie in her arms. Her head reeling as she stepped from the room where the three had been held captive for hours, she moved with the children through the living room, past the lifeless body of Jason Nealy, the man she had loved since she was 14.…

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Depot emergency plan may change

WASHINGTON Some Calhoun County officials are looking with skepticism at the $40.5 million promised by the Pentagon to ensure the safety of people who live in the shadow of a chemical weapons incinerator at the Anniston Army Depot.

“My guess is if we received the money and all the information and the new models tomorrow, to have the community as prepared as it can be could take two to three years,” said Mike Burney, director of the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency.…

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‘Rubber Band Man’ finds guy-toy niche

Tony Ajayi’s booth on the second floor of Madison Square Mall is a guy magnet.

Located between a toy shop and a computer software store, Ajayi’s wares are the antithesis of what those merchants sell. They’re neither high tech nor must-haves. They’re not on your son’s or husband’s wish list like most of the merchandise in the computer and toy stores are.…

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Festival brings India to U.S. … almost

t is one of the most important holidays in India, yet even there it is celebrated differently in various regions of the country.

So when Huntsville’s Indian community celebrated “Diwali Dhamaka,” or the “festival of lights” on Saturday night, it had many elements of homeland tradition and heritage.…

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