Troopers donate to Cramer Center
FLORENCE — Thanks to the Alabama State Trooper Association, the children helped by the Cramer Children’s Center got an early Christmas gift.
The Quad-Cities post donated $300 to the center.
As a nonprofit organization, the center has limited funding, small staff and needs the community to be involved, officials said.
Troopers said they made the donation to assist center officials with their mission of addressing the needs of child abuse victims in our area.
SACS confirms UNA accreditation
FLORENCE — The University of North Alabama’s accreditation through the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools has been officially confirmed.
SACS conducted its on-site review of UNA in the spring and reported no findings. That review was confirmed at the annual winter meeting of the commission.
A prefect on-site review is accomplished by only 2 percent of all colleges and universities, according to a university release.
SACS is the regional accrediting body for degree-granting institutions in the Southeast. Every SACS-accredited institution undergoes a review every 10 years.
International Paper to stay in Memphis
MEMPHIS — A Shelby County official said International Paper has agreed to an incentive package that will keep its headquarters in Memphis.
Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz, who was briefed on the matter Wednesday, said the deal includes a 15-year, payment-in-lieu-of-tax incentive on new and existing buildings, including a new building to be built near the company’s headquarters.
IP, which has 2,300 employees in Memphis, moved its corporate headquarters to Memphis from Connecticut in 2006.
Great Smokies tourism on rise
GATLINBURG, Tenn. — Visits to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park are up by nearly 8 percent over a year ago.
Park spokeswoman Molly Schroer said November visits to the 500,000-acre park on the Tennessee-North Carolina border totaled 657,935 people. That was up 8.6 percent from November 2011.
After revising October’s figures, which were slightly ahead of the same month in 2011, year-to-date visits to the Smokies through November totaled 9,204,736.
HUNTSVILLE — A judge has signed an order allowing a mental health expert access to a teenager accused of killing a fellow student.
Circuit Judge Karen Hall issued the order to allow Dr. Paul O’Leary to see Hammad Memon, whose attorneys plan to use an insanity defense at trial.
Memon was 14 when he was charged with murder in the 2010 shooting death of another 14-year-old student.