Common themes in current, past cases against Alabama justice, Medicaid funding problems

May 9, 2016

Common threads link the effort to remove Roy Moore as Alabama's chief justice with the case that resulted in his ouster from the same post more than a decade ago.

Each case involves Moore's conservative Christian beliefs and his views on the power of federal courts.

The Republican is suspended and faces a trial after judicial investigators filed a complaint Friday.  It accuses him of failing to respect U.S. Supreme Court and lower federal court decisions that cleared the way for gay marriage.

Thirteen years ago, Moore cited his religious faith in disregarding a federal judge's order to remove a Ten Commandments monument from Alabama's main judicial building.

Moore has 30 days to respond to the charges involving gay marriage.

The dust is settling on this year’s legislative session, and doctors and health officials are wary about the state of Medicaid.

Lawmakers overrode a gubernatorial veto to approve a General Fund budget dedicating about $700 million to Medicaid. Health officials say it’s $85 million short of the amount they need to maintain full coverage. Officials say if the funding isn't restored, they'll have to cut back on services offered.

Dr. Kathy Wood is the president of the Alabama chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She says it's not just patients, but employees, that will feel the cuts.

“Within my office, we have 30 to 35 employees, and you take away one or two here and there, you add all these offices up across this county, this area, this region, you're taking away a lot of employment opportunities.”

House Minority Leader Craig Ford says he expects a special session to address the Medicaid shortfall, and Gov. Robert Bentley hasn't ruled one out.

The Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries division is collecting data on Alabama’s turkeys.

Hunters are encouraged to participate in the Avid Turkey Hunter Survey if they are in the field at least ten days of the spring season.

Steve Barnett is the District Five Wildlife Supervisor and the Wild Turkey Project director. He says the survey can be used to trace several different trends, including the presence of jakes, or young male turkeys.

“We can look at trends of gobbling activity over time to look at gobbling peaks when most gobblers are gobbling during the hunting season and look at the number of turkeys that are being seen from one year to the next. Another good index is the number of Jakes that are seen this year.”

Potential participants can find more information on the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries website.