Special Session Looming, Alabama Writers Hall of Fame

Jun 8, 2015

Novelist Harper Lee
Credit Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Alabama’s legislators will be headed to a special session later this summer to devise a working General Fund budget.

The Senate passed a budget late last week that included $200 million in cuts to various state agencies. Governor Robert Bentley vetoed that budget, calling it “unworkable” and extremely damaging to Alabama residents.

APR’s political commentator Steve Flowers says one of the main reasons the General Fund budget was so difficult to pass is what lawmakers were hearing from the people they represent.

“Their constituents don’t want any new taxes. They’re going home and they’re hearing their constituents say, ‘Dale, I don’t care if you close the prisons down or what you do, I don’t want you voting for any new taxes.’ So that’s what they’re hearing, and that’s why they’re responding like they are.”

Lawmakers will likely enter a special session to pass a General Fund budget sometime in August.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" author Harper Lee is among the inaugural inductees into the Alabama Writer's Hall of Fame.

The 89-year-old Lee and 11 other writers are being honored as members of the hall's first class during an event tonight at the Bryant Conference Center in Tuscaloosa.

Only five of the inductees are still living. Aside from Lee they include author and University of Alabama professor Rick Bragg, poets Sonia Sanchez and Andrew Glaze, and novelist Sena Jeter Naslund.

The seven posthumous inductees include Helen Keller and William March, as well as Zora Neale Hurston.

The honor comes just weeks before the release of Harper Lee's second book, "Go Set a Watchman." It's described as a sequel to "Mockingbird”, but was actually written before the beloved novel about racial injustice in the Deep South.

"To Kill a Mockingbird" won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1961.

June not only marks the beginning of summer, but also the start of registration for alligator hunting season in Alabama.

Gator hunters can apply for official state tags between now and July. One tag means hunters can catch one gator in one of the four zones around the State.

Kim Nix is with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. She says there are a couple of reasons people sign up to hunt a gator.

“Well, a lot of people are hunting the gator for the meat. I believe that the challenge is also an interest to people because it is a very challenging type of thing. Many of them have not done it before so, it can be a novelty. They’re hunting for the meat and also the hide.”

A record setting alligator was caught last year, weighing in at eleven hundred pounds. It was stuffed and is currently on display at the Montgomery Zoo.

A small earthquake shook parts of west Alabama this weekend, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

The USGS reports a 3.0 magnitude earthquake hit nine miles northwest of Eutaw and 31 miles southwest of Tuscaloosa, at a depth of nearly 4 miles.

Earthquakes of that size are considered minor, and no injuries were reported.

This is the fifth earthquake in that area since last November.