Migrant Children Not to Be Housed in Alabama, School Buses to Add Traffic Cameras

Jul 15, 2016

A U.S. Representative from Alabama says the Obama administration is dropping a plan to possibly house migrant children in Baldwin County and in Montgomery.

Rep. Bradley Byrne issued a statement yesterday saying he recently learned the Department of Health and Human Services won't pursue two rural, military airfields in Baldwin County as shelters for migrant children who are currently in the country without their parents.

An email released by Byrne’s office says the government also is dropping the Maxwell-Gunter Air Force complex in Montgomery from consideration.

Byrne, Gov. Robert Bentley and other state Republicans have opposed the plan.

The Department of Health and Human Services didn't have any immediate response to a message from the Associated Press seeking comment. But Byrne says he's glad the federal government realized military airfields in Alabama aren't the place to house children.

Alabama drivers have an additional reason to be careful around school buses now.

A new law will allow school buses in the state to have an extra set of eyes. School districts now have the authority to install cameras on the arms of stop signs on buses to record traffic violators.

Corporal Jess Thornton is a spokesman for the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. He says these cameras are needed due to a rise in reckless driving across the state.

“Obviously when you take that into account, it was something that was pushed and it’s probably going to end being a good thing because if it even saves one child’s life, then it's worth the legislation. Thankfully it doesn’t happen often, but it does happen, and if it happens just once, it’s one too many times.”

Thornton believes the cameras will not only reduce reckless driving, but make it safer for kids to walk to and from the bus alone. The cameras will work much like a traffic light camera. Those caught will be mailed a citation.

Apparently, people have a slightly higher risk of becoming The Incredible Hulk during a thunderstorm.

Scientists are holding a workshop at the University of Alabama at Huntsville’s campus this week studying gamma rays appearing in thunderstorms and future instruments that can be used with them. Gamma rays are a type of high frequency electromagnetic radiation.

Michael Briggs is a principal research scientist with UAH. He says this is a very specific field.

“These gamma rays from thunderstorms are a new field. The TGF, Terrestrial Gamma Ray Flashes, were discovered here in Huntsville in the 1990s, and there’s a small community of researchers interested in them and to talk with each other and see what research everyone’s doing.”

TGFs are flashes of the most powerful radiation in the universe, and they can come from any storm. Data shows that gamma rays were even produced by some of the weakest storms. The workshop will run through Friday.