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More Violence in Alabama's Prisons, County Runoff Elections Next Week

Draper Correctional Facility, Elmore, Ala.

Corrections officials are reporting more violence in Alabama’s prisons.

Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton says two inmates were stabbed at Draper Correctional Facility in Elmore earlier this week. Three inmates started fighting in a prison dorm, and one used a makeshift knife to stab the others. The inmate accused of the stabbing was transported to another prison.

Horton also says an inmate at the St. Clair Correctional Facility in Springville reported being assaulted last weekend and appeared to have puncture wounds on his arms and legs. That incident was being investigated. Another inmate at St. Clair was treated for a possible broken arm after he told an officer he had fallen down some stairs.

A bill to spend $800 million on four new prisons in an effort to cut down on overcrowding and prison violence has passed the state Senate and is currently being considered by the House.

Runoff elections will take place in counties across the state this coming Tuesday.

Secretary of State John Merrill has put out information for voters with the elections involving forty one of Alabama’s sixty seven counties.

Tiebreaker elections had to move into the runoff periods starting in April since a number of races were not decided in March,. Merrill says the state school board has two contested positions.

“We have several counties in our state that do not have any kind of runoff on the ballot at all, but we do have two regional runoffs that will be held, one is for Alabama State School Board District one and the other is for Alabama State School Board District 7.”

Merrill believes each community needs to work to promote the races that are on their ballot. Doing so could make a significant difference on determining who is inevitably elected.

Gadsden will host hundreds of librarians from across the state at its Alabama Library Association Convention.

The event begins next Tuesday and ends that Friday. Keynote speakers and breakout sessions will be a part of the activities over the length of the convention.

Craig Scott is a librarian at the Gadsden Public Library. He says all librarians are welcome to attend.

“We’re just very excited. Gadsden’s a smaller community. Normally, this association and convention goes to the four bigger cities in Alabama: Huntsville, Birmingham, Montgomery and then Mobile. Gadsden’s a little bit smaller community, and we’re trying to make this attractive to the smaller and mid-sized libraries who might not have a chance to go to the convention each year.”

Scott says attendees will have the opportunity to meet and interact with a variety of authors. For more information on the event, visit the ALLA’s website.

The city of Gulf Shores is planning some major improvements to its beach, and initial construction could begin this fall.

The city is planning a $15 million to $20 million transformation of its beachfront. City spokesman Grant Brown says what's now a "parking lot that has access to the sand" will be improved by adding trees and grass, expanded boardwalks, concert venues and retail stores. The plan also calls for public access to portions of city-owned beach that are currently difficult for visitors to reach.

Gulf Shores plans to pay for the project by applying for funding from the BP oil spill settlement. Brown says construction could take three years to complete.

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