UAB SGA Vote on Watts, Nasa Rocket, Casino Suit

Jan 13, 2015

UAB President Ray Watts


The controversy over the end of the football team at the University of Alabama in Birmingham may enter its latest chapter today. APR student reporter Kristen Feyt has more…

UAB’s Undergraduate student government association is scheduled to hold a no confidence vote against UAB President Ray Watts today. The faculty senate is expected to take similar action on Thursday. Relations between Watts, the faculty, and the student body were strained after a decision to cut the football program. State Representative Jack Williams of Jefferson county is looking to pass legislature to reinstate the football program at UAB. He says that Watts’ cancellation on the football program may have lasting repercussions on the state’s economy.

It’s important that we have a good, strong economy and UAB is the driving force in our economy and a decision that can have such long term negative impacts is not healthy for UAB, it’s not healthy for Birmingham or Jefferson county, or the state of Alabama and that’s why we’re fighting to reverse it.

UAB has unveiled a plan to improve communication following the negative response to the school’s decision about the Blazers. For APR News, I’m Kristen Feyt.

NASA is studying results of an engine test that could lead to a manned mission to Mars. APR’s Pat Duggins has more on the Huntsville connection to the project…

Engineers at NASA successfully tested the RS-25 rocket engine at the Stennis Space Center in Mississippi, just east of New Orleans. The motor was successfully fired for five hundred seconds. The test was meant to check out the computers that run the engine and the pressures the motors will face during flight. The Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville is watching these test results closely. Engineers in Alabama are designing the so-called Space Launch System. That’s a new rocket that will use the RS-25 engine to carry astronauts out of Earth orbit for the first time since the end of the Apollo moon missions in 1972. Once the Space Launch System is ready, an Orion Space capsule will be perched on top. NASA did a test launch of Orion last month on a Delta-four rocket built in Alabama. More engine tests are scheduled for April.

Lawyers for the State of Alabama and a casino-operating Indian tribe sparred before the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals over whether the state can take the tribe to court over its gambling operations.

A three-judge panel heard arguments in Alabama's appeal Tuesday after a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

The state attorney general's office says the tribe is operating illegal slot machines, which are not allowed without a compact with the state.

A lawyer for the Tribe says Alabama has no jurisdiction on Indian land. He said a federal commission decides whether the machines are bingo games, which are allowed with a compact, or slot machines.

The tribe has three casinos in Alabama.