Huntsville city schools closer to unitary status

(WAFF) - Good Wednesday Morning, Margo Gray here with your morning headlines.

Would you like filing your taxes to be more simple? Some lawmakers are urging Alabama to switch to a flat tax and do away with the state's current income tax code. Senate Republicans on Tuesday said they will push for a constitutional amendment to switch to a flat tax. The proposal would reduce the personal income tax rate from 5% to 2.75% of a person adjusted gross income. The corporate tax rate would drop from 6% to 4.5%. If approved, the idea would go before voters in 2016.

If you live in Florence, you'll probably come home to a new recycling bin in your driveway in the next week or so - if you haven't gotten one already. Crews are rolling out the blue carts as part of the city's new recycling initiative to help make recycling easier for everyone involved.

A federal judge issued an opinion in the Huntsville City Schools' decades old desegregation order. In a Memorandum opinion, Judge Madeline Haikala said she'll approve the proposed consent order. The decision comes after the district and the Department of Justice presented their plan during a hearing last month. Some of those constitutional wrongs include the disparities between course offerings at predominately white and predominately African American schools and the way student's of different races were disciplined. The proposed consent order the judge plans to approve is a result of their mediation. Muriel Bailey will have more on this at 5:00 & 6:00 o'clock this morning.

The Department of Justice is now involved in an incident involving a Huntsville police officer. Officer Brett Russell was fired from the Huntsville police department after he beat a man in police custody. The Huntsville City Council gave him his job back. Council members had different reasons why they voted to put Russell back on the force, and some probably thought that was the end of the controversy. However, the DOJ is now reviewing the run-in.

Heroin use in Huntsville is skyrocketing. Huntsville Police say the number of grams seized just in the last three months is double what it was all of last year.

A Madison Police officer facing federal charges entered a plea of not guilty in federal court. Eric Parker is facing a civil rights charge surrounding excessive force after being seen on dashcam video slamming the grandfather on the ground. Parker's trial is set for June 1st.

Alright, I'll see you at 4:30 a.m. Again, Lauren Morrison is filing in for Jim who's spending time with the family.