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Mobile Educators' Conference, Jump in Child Poverty


Alabama education professionals are attending this week’s MEGA Conference in Mobile.

Over 2000 individuals preregistered for the event including teachers, administrators, and school nurses. The conference provides professional learning opportunities to help educators enhance their job skills. It's also a chance to build skills to work with students in the classroom. The conference runs until Friday at noon.

Dr. Linda Felton Smith is the director of Office of Learning Support for the Alabama Department of Education. She says they had over 600 people providing presentations....

“All of the people attending the conference will be energized, enthused and ready to greet and work with their students when they return for the ’15-’16 school year.”

Smith says the conference will help attendees be more than prepared to help students when they return to school.

A new study says almost three hundred thousand children in Alabama are living in poverty. APR’s MacKenzie Bates explains.

A report recently announced by VOICES for Alabama's Children and published by the Annie E. Casey Foundation says the number of children living in poverty jumped up five percent since 2008. According to the 2015 Kids Count national data book, the increase means 27 percent of kids in the Yellowhammer State live in poverty. The national rate is 22 percent.

The annual Kids Count data book looks at the well-being of children across the nation. This year's book concentrates on children's economic safety, education, family, health and community.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services guidelines, the poverty level for a family of four was $23,850 in 2014.

Officials with the city of Montgomery will discuss the design of the city's seal and the city's flag, both of which either allude to or mention the Confederacy.

Yesterday, the City Council approved a resolution authorizing the establishment of a committee to hear from residents about the issue.

The Montgomery city seal features the words "Cradle of the Confederacy" in a six-pointed star in the center, referring to the city having been the Confederacy's first capital. "Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement" is emblazoned within a ring around the center. Mayor Todd Strange says the conflict might be alleviated if the placements of the two phrases were flipped.

As for the flag, the 11 stars across the middle of Montgomery’s city flag represent the 11 states of the Confederacy.

Confederate symbols have been reexamined and many have been removed nationwide after the shooting deaths of nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina last month.

A judge has scheduled a hearing for next month on the future of the currently shuttered VictoryLand casino in Macon County.

Circuit Judge William Shashy issued an order Monday saying he'll consider the owner's bid to reopen VictoryLand on Aug. 4.

Shashy ruled last month that the state wrongly seized more than 1,600 gambling machines and more than $260,000 in cash from VictoryLand during a raid in 2013. Owner Milton McGregor is in in court trying to get everything returned.

But state attorney general Luther Strange’s office says Shashy's decision was wrong, and it's trying to block the release of the machines and cash.

An attorney for VictoryLand says getting the gambling devices returned will be crucial toward reopening the casino, provided they still work.

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