Senate debates revised lottery bill, Depot/U hosting website development bootcamp

Aug 18, 2016

The Alabama Senate has begun debate on a revamped lottery bill that would allow electronic gambling machines in more locations.  Senators expect to vote sometime this evening.

The bill was altered to allow electronic lottery terminals, which can resemble slot machines and video poker games, in Lowndes and Houston counties, in addition to four state dog tracks.

Alabama voters must approve any lottery proposal. The revised bill pushed the referendum date back from Nov. 8 to Dec. 20. Some Republicans had expressed concern about the gambling referendum coinciding with the general election.

Sen. Jim McClendon accepted changes to his original bill in an effort to get the stalled legislation through the Alabama Senate.

McClendon urged lawmakers to approve the bill and send it to the Alabama House of Representatives for debate.

A new tech program in Mobile is promising to teach anyone who wants to learn how to build a website in just ten weeks.

Depot/U is holding an open house in Mobile this evening for people to come learn about their new website development boot camp. The ten-week program teaches people with no prior tech experience how to design the parts of websites that people see and interact with.

Claire Flowers is a community organizer for Depot/U. She says this program is really more about concepts than specific technologies.

“You’re not going to be using the same technologies that you learn today five years from now. But what we teach students is how to learn those different concepts, so that we can set them up to go into a job and learn whatever technologies that they use on that job.”

Tonight’s open house will be held from 5:30 to 7:30 at Rural Sourcing on Saint Louis Street in Mobile. The event is free, but those interested in attending are encouraged to register online ahead of time.

A new study from the finance website WalletHub says Alabama has the eighth worst bullying problem among forty-five US states and the District of Columbia.

The rankings measure bullying in schools and the legal structures in place to prevent bullying both in person and online.

Alabama ranked second highest in the country for weak cyberbullying laws. It also had a particularly high rate of attempted suicide among high school students at around eleven percent.

Jill Gonzalez is an analyst with WalletHub. She says coincidence and harsh realities combine to give the South an aggravated bullying problem.

“I think it’s a little bit of both. So the bullying prevalence is high in a lot of Southern states. There’s not a lot of prevention to go around. Like I said, there’s not a lot of psychologists or, really, support groups within those states either so I think it really is the perfect storm.”

Five southern states ranked among the top ten states with bullying problems.