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Alabama Counties approved for Natural Disaster Designation, Santa-Con Pub Crawl

Twenty-Five Alabama counties are approved for a Natural Disaster Designation from the U-S-D-A. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold has more…

Farmers in the 25 designated counties are eligible to be considered for assistance from the USDA-Farm Service Agency.

Governor Robert Bentley sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack last month, requesting assistance for farmers in Alabama counties or the counties the USDA deemed appropriate. 

Secretary Vilsack formally designated 13 Alabama counties as primary natural disaster areas and 12 contiguous counties were added.

The designation by the USDA was prompted by excessive rainfall, wind and flooding that occurred this year.  The severe weather caused extensive damage to many crops during the 2015 growing season.

Tuskegee University officials say author and pundit Cornel West is expected to deliver the keynote address at the school's annual Martin Luther King Jr. convocation.

Officials say the event is scheduled for 1 p.m. Jan. 18 at the Chappie James Arena. The title of West's speech is "Race, Democracy and the Dream Today."

West is a professor of philosophy and Christian practice at Union Theological Seminary in New York. West graduated from Harvard and earned graduate degrees in philosophy from Princeton. West has also taught at Harvard, Princeton, Yale and has written more than 20 books.

Officials say the event is free and open to the public.

Holiday celebrations are getting underway and one tonight in Tuscaloosa may be hard to miss.

The annual Santa-Con Pub Crawl usually sees people dressing up as various Christmas characters and making their way around local bars. 

Daniel Di Bona is one of the founders of the podcast network Super-Rich-Kids-Network. He says part of this year’s Santa Con will be a toy drive…

“We’re really accepting kind of everything, the list that we have from Toys for Miners, I mean there is everything from infants to teenage kids. We’re not asking anyone to break the bank, bring something, what we tell people is pick an age bring one or two toys you would have wanted at that age.”

Di Bona says Toys for Miners is a group gathering toys and goods for the children of mine workers who were recently laid off in Brookwood.  The Santa Con Pub Crawl and toy drop off kicks off at Druid City Brewing this evening and continues tomorrow at the Downtown Pub in Tuscaloosa.

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