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Alabama Ranks Poorly in Child Well-Being, Impeachment Committee Gets Organized

Kids Count

A new national report shows Alabama is trailing the rest of the country in overall child well-being.

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is out with its annual Kids Count Book this week. The study ranks child welfare based on indicators in four areas including economics, education, health and family. Although Alabama has seen some improvements, the state ranks 46th in the country for economic well-being and 48th in education.

Rhonda Mann is the Policy and Research Director at VOICES for Alabama’s Children. She says there is still reason to be optimistic in spite of the overall ranking…

“In the 2016 Kids Count Data Book, Annie Casey ranked Alabama 46th out of all 50 states. Don’t focus on the overall ranking. It is depressing and it is disappointing, but it does not mean that we aren’t making progress.”

Mann says the data offers a road map on what needs to be addressed. State lawmakers have begun to implement what they call Plan 2020. The initiative aims to help Alabama’s children by expanding access to early childhood education.

The legislative committee tasked with the potential impeachment of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is solidifying its operation.

Alabama House Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike Jones announced yesterday that chairmen for two subcommittees have been appointed. Republican Jim Hill of Moody, Alabama will chair a subcommittee reviewing candidates to serve as the committee’s special counsel. Democrat Marcel Black of Tuscumbia is chairing another that will recommend what subpoenas the committee should issue.

The House Judiciary Committee is launching an investigation to determine whether Governor Bentley committed any impeachable offenses related to a sex-charged scandal involving former aide Rebekah Caldwell Mason.

Earlier this year, 23 of Alabama’s representatives signed impeachment articles accusing the governor of corruption and willful neglect of duty.

A ceremony will take place in Limestone County later today to remember the case of the Scottsboro Boys. APR’s Pat Duggins reports the event is meant to remember the judge in the case, rather than the defendants.

Volunteers at the Center for Lifelong Learning in Athens will read letters written during the time of the trials of the Scottsboro Boys.

It was on June 22, 1933 when Circuit Judge James Horton of Decatur set aside the conviction of Haywood Patterson. He was one of the nine black teenagers who were falsely accused of sexually assaulting two white women in 1931. An all-white jury convicted Patterson even though one of victims testified that her accusations were false, and there was conflicting testimony from other witnesses.

The public reading of the letters is a fundraiser to pay for a bronze statue of Judge Horton. He was accused of being a black sympathizer and was voted out of office a year later. Over fifty thousand dollars has been collected so far for the statue.

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