Candidates Shore Up Super Tuesday Votes, Remembering Harper Lee in Monroeville

Feb 29, 2016

Fla. Senator Marco Rubio at U.S. Space & Rocket Center, Huntsville, Ala.
Credit Parker Branton / APR

Democrats and Republicans made stops throughout the state of Alabama this weekend.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio made two stops, at Samford University in Birmingham and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at Miles College in Birmingham.

At the Space and Rocket Center, Rubio told the crowd he will win if he gets the nomination.

“I will win because I will unite this party. I will bring it together and I will grow it. We will take our message to people that live today like I grew up, to people living paycheck to paycheck. I grew up paycheck to paycheck, and I’m a conservative. Because limited government is the only economic system in the world where you can make poor people richer and you don’t have to make rich people poorer.”

Other visitors over the weekend included businessman Donald Trump coming to Huntsville on Sunday and former President Bill Clinton in Montgomery. Dr. Ben Carson makes his way to Montgomery later today.

Fans of writer Harper Lee came from as far as Maryland over the weekend for a candlelight vigil in Monroeville for the author who died just over a week ago. APR’s Pat Duggins was there and files this report.

The group of 30 fans was small, but devoted—both to Pulitzer Prize winner Harper Lee and her classic novel To Kill a Mockingbird. Jeannie Anderson of Lake Village, Arkansas says she was in the ninth grade when she first read Lee’s story about Scout, Boo Radley, and Atticus Finch.

“I found out, my friends started texting me that she had passed. And, I knew I had to be here. This is history. This is something the entire world has lost, and they don’t even realize it.”

Harper Lee died in her sleep at the age of 89. Pat Duggins, APR News in Monroeville.

Dozens of weather scientists from across the country will be gathering in Huntsville for a major study on how tornadoes form in the South.

VORTEX Southeast is a research project based in Huntsville that will run through March and April. About 40 weather researchers will use mobile radar, drones and other equipment to study tornadoes in the region.

Social scientists will also be speaking with residents in the Southeast to dig into the psychology behind tornado warnings and figure out the best ways to get people to take action when tornadoes are likely, especially at night.

Researchers are also hoping to shed some light on a few of the mysteries of Southeastern tornadoes, like whether the landscape of the South gives the twisters added strength.

A new study from Auburn University says says regulatory uncertainty and cyberattacks are among the main concerns for Alabama's banking industry.

The university’s report, "Alabama Banking: The State of the State's Banking Industry," examines the condition and performance of Alabama’s banks and incorporates data from 2000 to 2015. It also outlines some policy suggestions aimed at helping state banks better serve their customers.

A comprehensive look into the banking industry by professors at Auburn's Raymond J. Harbert College of Business also reveals that state banks issued $14 billion in small business loans by the end of the third quarter of 2015. More than 386,000 small businesses in Alabama created nearly 25,000 net new jobs as of 2012, based on the most recent data available.

The report says nearly three quarters of the state’s bankers view their biggest threat as non-bank financial firms, which are subject to fewer financial regulations. 7 out of 10 bankers say cyberattacks are also a major threat.