BE&K sold to Texas-based company

BE&K sold to Texas-based company

BE&K Bought by Texas-Based Company

Houston-based Kellogg Brown Root has announced they are buying Birmingham-based BE&K. The deal is worth 550-million dollars. What we have learned so far is BE&K will soon start operating under the umbrella of KBR, but will keep the BE&K name. KBR is a global construction and engineering company that officials say will create more opportunity for BE&K employees. BE&K employs around 700 workers at it's Hoover headquarters. An official spokesperson for BE&K says he does not anticipate any major layoffs. He says both companies have shared values and are working with their employees to explain what the transition will mean to them. As far as the community service BE&K exemplifies, a spokesperson for the company says he fully anticipates it continuing it's involvement. KBR is now waiting on regulatory approval for the deal to close.

Rebate Checks Closer to Being Tax Free

Alabamians are one step closer to not having to pay state income taxes on federal rebate checks. The Alabama House has approved a bill to make the checks tax exempt. That would save Alabamians about 57-million dollars. The bill now goes to the Senate for debate. The Senate earlier passed a similar bill, but house leaders said they felt that bill was unconstitutional because revenue bills are supposed to start in the House.

Sexual Orientation Added to Hate Crimes Bill

The State House has approved a bill that adds crimes against people because of their sexual orientation to Alabama’s hate crimes law. Representative Alvin Holmes sponsored the bill. It now goes to the Senate where it seems doubtful it will pass with only two days remaining in the regular session.

New Parking Deck to be Built in Birmingham

More parking is coming to downtown Birmingham. A new parking deck will sit adjacent to the old Regions Bank headquarters building on at the corner of 4th Avenue North and 20th Street. It will also be located next to a brand new four star hotel called the Renaissance. That hotel will replace the old Regions headquarters. The project has been in the works for eight-years, but Mayor Langford blames previous administrations for delays. The new deck is expected to be finished in one year.

Jeffco Commissioners Upset About Legal Bills

Some Jefferson County Commissioners are complaining about the county's growing legal bills. Tuesday, commissioners raised the cap on what they can pay law firms and other outfits handling the county's sewer debt crisis. The investment banking firm of Porter and White stands to earn up to a million and a half dollars. Commissioner Shelia Smoot argues that the county is paying too much for too few results. Smoot adds the county should consider other law offices for its bond negotiations, including minority-owned firms.

Free Bus Fares Delayed in Council

Free bus fares will not happen in Birmingham, at least for now. The entire Birmingham City Council abstained Tuesday from the vote to move ahead with free Max Bus fares for the summer. The plan from Mayor Langford has gone from a "smooth ride" to a major bump in the road. Council President Carole Smitherman says Tuesday’s action means the "free fares" proposal is dead. Langford claims that, because they abstained, their previous vote for the free bus rides stands. Smitherman says no, that was not a vote authorizing funding. Smitherman says this issue will change the way council looks at future proposals. She says they will ask a lot more questions.

Anniston Police Searching for Rapist

Police in Anniston are searching for a man they say is responsible for several rapes and robberies. Investigators say the man forces his victims to go to the ATM, after raping them. The most recent crime occurred in the 2000 block of Christine Avenue. Police believe the suspect studies his victims before he attacks. Anniston police are going door to door handing out fliers with the suspect’s picture. A 50-thousand dollar reward has been issued for information leading to an arrest.

Attalla Man Charged in Deadly Shooting

An Attalla man remains behind bars at the Etowah County jail charged in a deadly shooting. Roy Ramirez is accused of killing Terry Trammell. Someone found Trammell's body on Sunday behind an abandoned house just north of Attalla.

City Council Helps Expand Children’s Hospital

The Birmingham City Council has agreed to share 20-million dollars in future occupational tax revenue to help with the Children's Hospital expansion. The expansion will make the hospital the largest Children's Hospital in the country. Up to 20-million dollars in additional tax revenue has been set aside to provide health insurance for the city's uninsured children.