Perry County

APR

Please find enclosed Alabama Public Radio’s entry for best radio documentary, titled “Help Wanted: Alabama’s Rural Health Care Crisis.” The three member Alabama Public Radio news team spent the year, with no budget, investigating why the system here is so badly broken and why solutions aren’t being pursued.

On September 27, 2017, the Washington Post published an article about how only one half of rural hospitals in the U.S. can deliver a baby.

In rural Alabama, it’s barely a third.

Stan Ingold / Alabama Public Radio

All year long the APR news team has been looking at rural health across the state. One of the major problems is that rural residents lack access to medical care. A big reason for this is a lack of doctors. However, there is an effort underway to try to address the issue. The University of Alabama has something called the rural medical scholars program and it is bringing the next generation of doctors who will be practicing in rural Alabama.

Sessions
AP

The confirmation hearing for Senator Jeff Sessions is set to begin this week.

The Alabama senator has been nominated for the U.S. Attorney General post. Sessions’ nomination has drawn criticism from groups like the NAACP because of comments he made regarding the Ku Klux Klan and his prosecution of three activists accused of voter fraud in Perry County, Alabama. The son of the defendants in that case has come forward to endorse Sessions for Attorney General.

Suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore will appear before the Alabama Court of the Judiciary this afternoon.

Moore is facing judicial ethics violations that could result in his removal from the head of the Alabama Supreme Court. The charges stem from an order Moore gave the state's probate judges back in January encouraging them not to issue same-sex marriage licenses. That was in defiance of a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

Kairos Center

New poverty statistics paint a sobering picture for the state of Alabama.

The nonprofit organization Alabama Possible recently released their 2016 State Poverty Data Sheet. It reveals more than 900 thousand Alabamians currently live in poverty. Though it’s an issue across the state, conditions are especially grim in Alabama’s Black Belt. In Perry County, for example, nearly half the county’s residents live below the poverty line.

A committee of lawmakers opened impeachment hearings against Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, beginning a probe on whether there are grounds to remove the two-term Republican from office.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike Jones opened the hearings Wednesday by noting the seriousness of the committee's task.

Twenty-three representatives in April signed impeachment article accusing Bentley of corruption and neglect of duty. The articles were filed after Bentley admitted making sexually-charged remarks to a top aide.

A tuberculosis outbreak is continuing in the small Alabama town of Marion.

Alabama Department of Public Health officials say two more people have tested positive for TB in Perry County. Division of tuberculosis control director Pam Barrett says one case of the infection was diagnosed in a child less than 15 years old.

Officials say the tuberculosis outbreak has killed three people since 2011, prompting more aggressive screening efforts in Marion. Those efforts included paying residents to get tested, attend follow-up appointments and complete necessary treatment.

Republicans in the Alabama House say a small business tax credit and a teacher pay raise are among their top priorities for the legislative session that begins Tuesday.

Republicans announced the platform, titled "Right for Alabama."

House Speaker Mike Hubbard says legislators will seek a teacher pay raise in the upcoming session, although they aren't yet specifying an amount.

Tuberculosis epidemic endures

Jan 28, 2016

A few weeks ago, the small town of Marion in Alabama’s black belt came down with a tuberculosis epidemic.  Officials with State Department of Public Health are still seeing people to treat the respiratory disease.  APR’s MacKenzie Bates went back to the Perry County town to check on the progress…

It’s a cold morning outside the Perry County Health Department.  People are walking inside and out of the building to either get screened or find out results of the test for tuberculosis.

Tomorrow is the last day for residents in a small Perry County town to be tested for tuberculosis and get paid for it. APR’s MacKenzie Bates has the latest on what officials are doing to eradicate the respiratory illness in Marion,

New numbers released by the Alabama Department of Health say 85 people have tested positive for the TB infection. Nine of those people have active cases. The Health Department is paying residents $20 for each screening and more money for follow-ups.

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.

Eric Parker
Brynn Anderson / AP

The Alabama Department of Public Health will be holding a town hall meeting tonight to discuss an outbreak of tuberculosis.

26 people have been diagnosed with TB in the Marion, Centreville and Tuscaloosa areas since last January.

Pam Barrett is the director for the Division of TB Control with the Alabama Department of Public Health. She says keeping track of those infected has been a problem.

Jurors hearing the federal retrial of former Madison police officer Eric Parker will be back in court today for a fourth day of deliberations.

Jurors will return to court this morning after telling U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala they were once again unable to come to a unanimous decision in the civil rights case.

The judge is trying to avoid a second mistrial for Parker on charges of violating the rights of 58-year-old Sureshbhai Patel by using excessive force during a police stop in February. Parker's first trial ended in a hung jury.