Alabama lawyers ask for execution to proceed, Dauphin Island Sea Lab bringing beach to kids

May 11, 2016

Lawyers for the state of Alabama are asking an appellate court to allow the execution of a death row inmate this week.

Vernon Madison is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday night for the 1985 murder of Mobile police office Julius Schulte.

The state attorney general's office told the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday that a lower court decided correctly that Madison is mentally competent and can be executed.

Madison's lawyers have asked the appeals court to block the execution, arguing that strokes and dementia have left him incapacitated and unable to understand he is facing the death penalty.

The state says the court properly applied the law when it determined Madison had a rational understanding of his impending death.

Hundreds of elementary school students in west Alabama are getting a unique chance to learn about the Gulf Coast. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more on how teachers are bringing the beach to the kids.

Students at Crestmont Elementary School in Northport, Alabama are getting up close and personal with a wide variety of sea life: octopi, starfish, stingrays, crabs and much more.

It’s all thanks to an outreach program from the Dauphin Island Sea Lab. Thousands of students visit the Sea Lab on field trips each year. But for schools that can’t afford to travel to the Gulf Coast, researchers bring the Coast into the schools.

Jenny Cook is a Marine Educator with the Dauphin Island Sea Lab teaching the classes at Crestmont. She says these events help students realize their connection to the Gulf.

“I always want students to be aware that, regardless of where they live, they’re connected to an ocean or a sea, and they have a responsibility for caring for the oceans just like people who live right down on the beach.”

For more information on the program, head to the Sea Lab website at DISL.org.

The Alabama Department of Labor hosted its’ annual regional job fair in Birmingham today.

The goal of the fair is to bring employers and job seekers together to help reduce unemployment in Alabama.

Kelly Betts is the public information specialist at the Alabama Department of Labor. She says their first regional job fair was in Montgomery…

“And it was such huge success, we had other cities come to us and ask if they could copy that model and bring it to their cities. So this is our second regional job fair.”

The fair was from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m at the BJCC in Birmingham.