Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says water officials in north Alabama “unnecessarily” caused panic when they issued an advisory not to drink potentially contaminated tap water.
Last week, the West Morgan – East Lawrence Water and Sewer Authority issued an advisory to approximately 10,000 people instructing them not to drink or cook with tap water due to potentially hazardous levels of chemicals. After a speech yesterday, Governor Bentley said the utility created a crisis that didn’t exist. He says the water hasn’t changed, but the EPA has implemented tighter restrictions than Alabama’s Department of Environmental Management allows.
Attorney Carl Cole represents the water authority. He says he seriously doubts Governor Bentley has even read the EPA advisories, and criticized the Governor for not taking the situation seriously.
Many lawmakers and environmentalists have praised the West Morgan – East Lawrence water authority for their notice. Famed environmental activist Erin Brockovich commended the utility for properly advising customers, and said Bentley and state health regulators were putting politics ahead of public safety.
Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is getting more time to respond to judicial ethics charges that could result in his removal from the bench. APR’s Stan Ingold has more.
A spokeswoman for Moore's attorney says the Alabama Court of the Judiciary is granting a fourteen day extension of the deadline for him to file a response to the charges.
Monday was the original deadline. The new deadline is June 20.
Moore is charged with violating judicial ethics for issuing an administrative order saying Alabama laws against gay marriage remained in place months after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized gay marriage nationwide. Moore is a conservative Christian Republican who opposes same-sex marriage.
Moore has filed suit against the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission, which investigated complaints against the judge and filed the charges.
An Alabama scientist is being recognized for his work as futurist.
Dr. Howard Jacob works with the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville. He is being honored today in San Francisco for his research in genomic medicine. That’s the field that studies and maps the DNA in living things.
In 2009, Jacob and his team from the Medical College of Wisconsin identified a genetic mutation that caused an undiagnosed illness in a child. Jacob says this patient being brought in changed their plans.
“So in 2004, we set out to start building the infrastructure that would be able to read somebody’s DNA in the clinical setting by 2014, and what happened was, we had a very sick little boy who showed up in our hospital in 2009 and we ended up needing to deploy that technology much sooner in order to save his life.”
Jacob says because of this they were able to successfully treat the patient. He is currently working with a team of specialists using technology capable of serving 18,000 patients per year.