Student reporter Maria Blough

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(MOBILE, AL)-- An event in Mobile is hoping to create a dialogue between the community and local leaders. Speed Date Your Elected Officials is meant to give citizens the chance to talk with their leaders in a casual environment.

“We think it’s important to provide every opportunity to provide face-to face direct communication between our business leaders and our community members and our elected officials to help improve communication,” said Kellie Hope, the vice president of community and governmental affairs with the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce.

COLUMBIANA, AL-- The Becoming an Outdoors Woman workshop is helping women gain valuable outdoor skills. Participants choose four classes from a diverse list that ranges from archery to Dutch oven cooking.

“The reason behind the event is to introduce women to outdoor skills in a non-threatening environment, in a hands-on workshop where they can feel comfortable learning,” workshop coordinator Hope Grier said. “A lot of women either do not get the opportunity to do this or they are taught by somebody such as a father or a boyfriend or a husband.”

Alabama Recycling Coalition

Nearly 17,000 jobs in Alabama relate directly to the state’s recycling industry, according to a study done by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Southeast Recycling Development Council.

This week many recycling organizations within the state are meeting up at the Alabama Recycling Coalition Expo to talk about the industry.

AL State Parks

Many of Alabama's state parks will offer free admission on Friday. The park system is using the 200th day of the year to celebrate the state's 200th birthday.

Twenty-one different parks span the state and feature the diversity of Alabama's landscape.

"We offer a huge range of geographical features," said Kevin Jones, the marketing specialists for Alabama State Parks. "You go from the beaches at Gulf State Park, and then you travel north through north Alabama and you're getting to the foothills of the Appalachians."

The Fourth of July is the deadliest holiday on the roads, according to new research done at The University of Alabama’s Center for Advanced Public Safety.

“We found that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s, which used to be considered to be a really bad time, is really not nearly as bad as the Fourth of July,” researcher David Brown said.

He pointed to Independence Day being an isolated day off in the middle of summer as a potential reason for the results.

(BIRMINGHAM, AL)-- Scientists and religious leaders are working together to call for action when it comes to climate change.

Faith, Science and Climate Action is a speaking tour traveling to the cities across the Southeast. The group will host a talk this evening at Birmingham’s Daniel Payne Center. Their goal is to bring the science and faith-based communities together in a region they say is one of the most affected by climate change.