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     A federal judge has ordered the Alabama Department of Corrections to report data on the number of mentally ill inmates who have been placed in segregation units. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued the order Tuesday after attorneys for inmates asked him to intervene because of a high number of suicides.

Alabama second most dangerous state for pedestrians

Jan 24, 2019

   According to a new study, Alabama is the second most dangerous state in the country for pedestrians. The 2019 “Dangerous by Design” report compiled figures from the last ten years to reach its conclusions. During that time Alabama recorded 841 pedestrian deaths. While there are 11 more states with higher fatality totals, the state’s “pedestrian danger index” which takes into account population, is the second highest.

Birmingham is the most dangerous location in Alabama with 179 fatal accidents involving pedestrians from 2008 to 2017. 

   Ten  Montgomery Public Schools made the list of “failing schools” released by the Alabama Department of Education for 2019. The list includes Chisolm Elementary, Highland Gardens Elementary, Johnson Elementary, Davis Elementary, E.D Nixon Elementary, Bellingrath Middle School, Southlawn Middle School, Capitol Heights Middle School, and high schools Jefferson Davis and Lanier.

   

   

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has begun her first full term as governor, promising to help build a foundation for the state's future. The 74-year-old governor was sworn into office Monday on the steps of the Alabama Capitol. Ivey used her inauguration speech to talk about coming initiatives in infrastructure and corrections. She says that if Alabama wants to compete in the 21st century, it must improve infrastructure. A proposed gas tax for road and bridge construction is expected to be debated by lawmakers this spring.

   Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean has thrown his hat into the ring to run for mayor. He used a video on social media to make the announcement. In that video, Dean professed his wish to be the mayor that works to move all of Montgomery forward. He says quote, “no more West Montgomery and East Montgomery. Just all of us working with one goal; to better our entire community.”

He outlined his platform as one for better jobs, improved education and upgrades to Montgomery’s quality of life. 

   Citing congested and neglected roadways and crumbling bridges, legislative leaders said a gas tax measure to improve infrastructure will be a major topic of the 2019 regular session. The state gas tax is currently 18 cents a gallon and that’s what it has been since 1992. It is among the lowest in the nation, according to comparisons from the American Petroleum Institute. House Speaker Mac McCutcheon says they have discussed ideas such as linking the gas tax to a regional average or indexing. He said the goal is to provide a revenue stream that will not be burdensome at the pump.

npr.org

     Attorneys for inmates are asking a federal judge to find the Alabama prison system in contempt of a court order to boost prison mental health staffing. Lawyers wrote in a Thursday motion that the Department of Corrections is "woefully short" of required staffing levels. Attorneys for inmates wrote that a court order requires 263 full time equivalent mental-health positions. The state last month informed the court that it could not comply with the order.

Hurricane season has ended

Dec 3, 2018

   Hurricane season has come to an end. There have been no organized tropical features across the Atlantic basin since Oct.31, and there are no suspect features across the basin that might become organized tropical systems during the post-hurricane season through early December. Looking back on the 2018 hurricane season, there were 15 named tropical storms, eight of which became hurricanes. Of those eight hurricanes, two were major hurricanes. There were four landfalls of tropical storms and hurricanes on the United States this season.

Rosa Parks Day to be celebrated in Montgomery

Nov 30, 2018

   More than 60 years ago Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat to a white man on a bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Tomorrow her legacy will be remembered with the first Rosa Parks Day in Alabama. Earlier this year the state legislature unanimously passed a bill to make the first day in December of each year Rosa Parks Day. It was signed by the governor in April. A day-long schedule of events is set for tomorrow in Montgomery. Alabama State University’s National Center Director Dr. Janice Franklin says ASU is holding a tribute at noon at Tullibody Hall.

Larry Watkins to be enshrined in SWAC Hall of Fame

Nov 29, 2018

   The Southwestern Athletic Conference Hall of Fame will add the name of a former Alabama State University player and coach to its annals Friday. Larry Watkins played centerfield for ASU’s baseball team in the early 70s and was a part of the first ASU team to make the NCAA playoffs. He then coached the program for more than 30 years.   Watkins won SWAC Coach of the Year in 1991 and is currently ASU’s special assistant to the athletic director. The induction ceremony is set for 6pm at the Sheraton in Birmingham on Friday.

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