Families who visit the Newton County Library to check out books with their library card now have the opportunity to use their card for free puppet shows featuring characters such as Big Bird and the Fraggles at the Center for Puppetry Arts, as its "Passport to Puppetry" library loan program has launched statewide.
Update, 4:47 p.m.: Power has been restored to much of the city of Covington. Utility Director Bill Meecham said about three-fourths of the city had its power restored, but there are still some pockets without power.
The Newton County Board of Education has reached a settlement agreement with Dennis Carpenter, deputy superintendent for operations, and LaQuanda Carpenter, principal of Alcovy High School, releasing each of them from their respective contracts effective at the end of the work day on Feb. 1 for Dennis Carpenter and effective at the end of the work day on Jan. 31, 2013 for LaQuanda Carpenter.
A frequently traveled bridge on one of the county's main corridors needs to be repaired in less than 90 days or else it would be downgraded by the state, a move that would reroute and disrupt school bus and truck traffic. However, county officials say the fix is a simple one that can be completed quickly.