Tuberculosis Meeting Eases Concerns, Governor Bentley Says No New Taxes

Jan 15, 2016

Perry County Health Department, Marion, Ala.

A public meeting was held in Perry County last night about an outbreak of tuberculosis. APR’s MacKenzie Bates has the latest about the ongoing efforts to contain the respiratory disease.

Officials with the Alabama Department of Public Health took questions about tuberculosis for about an hour at Francis-Marion High School. Officials say 26 people have been diagnosed with tuberculosis within the last year, 20 of which are from Marion. The illness has resulted in three deaths.

Marion resident Cynthia Bagley says she took her and her family to get tested for TB at the Perry County Health Department just to be on the safe side…

“I wanted to make sure my grandkids are also tested because with me just getting tested we still wouldn’t know. With my grandkids in the family, they’re around me so I don’t feel like it would be right for me to be tested and my grandkids not get tested.”

Officials say 500 of the 3,000 citizens in Marion have been tested for tuberculosis. Screenings will continue today at the Perry County Health Department from 9 am to 3 pm.

Governor Robert Bentley isn't planning to propose any tax increases in an upcoming legislative session that could see more funding cuts to state agencies.

Bentley's decision comes after nearly a full year of fighting with lawmakers over taxes. Last year, Bentley asked lawmakers to approve $541 million in tax increases to avoid budget cuts. Legislators approved an increased cigarette tax but rejected many of his other ideas.

Budget chairmen say they doubt lawmakers will approve any tax increases. House budget chairman Steve Clouse of Ozark said lawmakers will try to address critical needs in Medicaid and the state’s prisons. He says other agencies will likely face cuts.

Legislators spent this week in preliminary budget hearings. The session begins Feb. 2.

Tuscaloosa boxer Deontay Wilder is getting ready to defend his WBC Heavyweight title in Brooklyn tomorrow.

The Bronze Bomber will lace up his gloves to face Polish fighter Artur Szpilka in Wilder’s third championship defense since winning the WBC belt a year ago.

Despite his fame, Wilder still trains at Sky Boxing in Northport. The difference now is that a lot more fans and autograph seekers hang around the gym. Wilder says they don’t get in the way of his training.

“I’m not a guy that’s not afraid to say ‘no,’ that’s for sure. No matter what. But, I’m a guy who likes to take the time off for the people, and try to be reasonable with them.”

Wilder broke his right hand in the bout where he earned his championship belt, and he says he’s looking forward to testing it out on Szpilka. He admits his right hook was only about 85% effective during his last two fights. The fight will be tomorrow night at 9 p.m. on Showtime.