Judge postpones hearing in Hubbard case, Mobile Mardi Gras

Feb 8, 2016

A judge has rescheduled a hearing on indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard's request to dismiss ethics charges against him.  Circuit Judge Jacob Walker delayed the hearing until Feb. 16 because of a scheduling conflict.

Hubbard is alleging prosecutorial misconduct after a political consultant says he communicated often with the lead prosecutor and used the information to try to damage Hubbard politically.

Political consultant Baron Coleman wrote in an affidavit that began a "whisper campaign" during the primary election.  Coleman says he drew no conclusions on whether anything that transpired was illegal or unethical.

Walker gave prosecutors until Feb. 11 to file a response.

Hubbard is scheduled to go to trial in March 28 on ethics charges accusing him of using his public positions to benefit his companies.

Medicaid funding could be a key sticking point during this year’s legislative session in Montgomery.

A new report says the number of uninsured workers is higher in Alabama, in part, because the state hasn’t expanded Medicaid. The advocacy group Families USA issued the study. It says, even with the Affordable Care Act, the number of uninsured workers only dropped by twelve percent from 2013 to 2014.

Families USA spokeswoman Dee Mahan crunches the numbers this way… 

“The decrease was around thirty six thousand from twenty thirteen to twenty fourteen because there was a pick-up with ACA coverage but the percent change was substantially on the lower end for Alabama”

ACA is the Affordable Care Act. Governor Robert Bentley’s budget request includes only one hundred million more dollars for Medicaid. The state agency that handles the insurance program for the poor wants almost sixty million more. 

Mardi Gras is in air in Mobile and all along the Gulf coast.

Tomorrow is officially Fat Tuesday, but parades have been going on since early January. There are two more processions scheduled for today and six more tomorrow during Mardi Gras itself.

Judi Gulledge is the Executive Director of the Mobile Carnival Association. She says a year of work leads up to the elaborate celebrations, which last longer than you might think.

“Most people think Mardi Gras is about a two and a half week celebration. It’s a year-long preparation and it really begins with the start of the Camilia Ball on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. So the Carnival season typically runs from around Thanksgiving to Fat Tuesday.”

Mardi Gras may not be fun for everyone. The crush of visitors for tomorrow’s Fat Tuesday celebration is so bad, the U.S. Postal Service will not pick up or deliver mail in certain spots of Mobile.