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11/17/98 - 11/30/98

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It Pays to Discriminate??

Circuit Court Judge Orders Aetna to Pay MBI for the Housing Discrimination Lawsuits and Then Some

by Edmund Tsang

Mobile County Circuit Court Judge Braxton L. Kittrell, Jr. ruled in September, 1998 that Aetna Insurance Company must pay Mitchell Brothers Inc. (MBI) a total of $1.675 million in settlement costs for two housing discrimination suits that MBI settled in 1996, as well as a $2 million punitive award. A local attorney who is familiar with the housing discrimination lawsuits involving MBI said that "Abe Mitchell made money in the process." [_Full_Story_]

Is That Clear?
WEIQ-TV Reception in Mobile

by Dan Silver

Ron, a local engineer who maintains the transmission tower for Alabama Public Television station WEIQ, is a cheerful man, despite years of power supply problems and lightning strikes. As he unloaded his pick-up truck I asked him whether he often comes out to viewer's homes to check the station's signal strength. "Only sometimes,'' he said. "When they complain.'' He carried a 4-bay bow tie antenna on a tree- trimmer pole over to my garage, twisted it into a home-made wooden base, and started back to his truck to retrieve a small television set. "No signal-strength meter?'' I asked. "I would love one of those,'' he replied.

The basic problem with WEIQ's reception is the size of its transmission tower. The tower, which rises 600 feet above average terrain, is short compared to towers of area commercial stations. In fact, WEIQ's tower and transmission building, located in Spanish Fort, were given to the Alabama Educational Television Commission 25 years ago by WALA-TV (Channel 10) when that station moved to a better facility. The short tower causes special problems for WEIQ, which generates UHF, ultra-high frequency, easily blocked by obstacles in its path. [_Full_Story_]

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