Drought Continues Across Parts of State, Farmers Gather in Mobile This Weekend

Jul 29, 2016

Authorities say extreme drought conditions are persisting in some Alabama counties. Alabama Public Radio’s Stan Ingold has more.

Severe and moderate drought conditions are still in place for larger parts of the state, along with summertime heat.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that the worst conditions are in the northeast corner of Alabama. Those are conditions classified as "extreme" drought. This part of the state includes sections of Madison, Jackson and DeKalb counties.

A sliver of northwest Alabama along the Mississippi line is also experiencing extreme drought. Severe drought conditions are also prevalent in parts of northern Alabama, northwest Alabama and in several counties near the Georgia line.

Hundreds of farmers will meet in Alabama’s Port City to trade ideas this weekend.

The Alabama Farmers Federation is hosting the 44th annual Commodity Producers Conference in Mobile. Farmers from across the state will participate in seminars on topics like drones, geographic information system mapping, and other new technologies.

Mary Johnson is the Director of News Services for the Federation. She says she expects a huge turnout at the conference.

“We expect to have over 800 farmers down there. This is going to be one of our largest commodity producer conferences that we have had in the past 10 years or so.”

Johnson says the event is a form of continuing education for producers so they can better improve their farms. Participants will be taking part in seminars as well as visiting farms in the Mobile area.

Two employees of the Alabama Licensing Board for General Contractors have been indicted on charges of ethics violations and possession of forged instruments.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange released a statement yesterday saying 51-year-old Nancy Saffo and 47-year-old Christy Easterling were arrested earlier this week.

Strange says Saffo and Easterling used their positions on the licensing board to obtain checks and currency for personal gain. If convicted, the two face up to 20 years in prison on each count for the ethics violation and up to 10 years on each count for the forgery violation.

Saffo and Easterling have since been released from jail on bond.

Longtime Alabama news personality Bob Gambacurta has died.

Gambacurta was found unconscious Tuesday evening at his Montgomery home, according to his friend Jeff Martin.

Gambacurta served as communications director for former Alabama Governor Fob James. He had previously worked as a news anchor and reporter at WSFA. Most recently Gambacurta had worked as a political columnist and commentator.

He was 71 years old.