Impact Alabama, Senior Bowl and Disaster Loan Deadlines

Jan 21, 2015

Sarah Louise Smith, Executive Director of Impact Alabama

It’s tax season and university students across the state are rolling up their sleeves to help taxpayers manage all the paperwork.

The group Impact Alabama has opened help centers to assist families with children who earn fifty two thousand dollars a year or less. Families without children to make less than twenty thousand dollars also qualify for assistance.

Sarah Louise Smith is the Executive Director of Impact Alabama. She says families get tax tips and the student volunteers gain experience working with customers.

“Most of our students are volunteering with us through Service Learning Forces, meaning we combine service at the tax site with the academic curriculum that they're learning in the classroom. It’s really a great opportunity for the students to get involved because they're able to see firsthand the things they’re learning in the classroom.”

Smith says this year’s group is focusing on the earned income tax credit. It’s considered to be the federal government’s largest anti-poverty program and can help families get a larger refund. You can go to Impact Alabama’s website,, for a list of help centers.

More than 100 NFL prospects are in Mobile undergoing a week of evaluation at this year's Senior Bowl.

The players were weighed and measured before hundreds of onlookers from the NFL on Tuesday morning.

The rest of their week is packed with interviews, meetings and practices under the scrutiny of NFL coaches, scouts and executives. The potential reward: Improved draft stock and a bigger payday.

Senior Bowl executive director and former NFL general manager Phil Savage calls it "the greatest job fair in the football world".

The Crimson Tide will be sending four players to the Senior Bowl including Blake Sims and Jalston Fowler. Auburn will be sending six players including Nick Marshall and Sammie Coates.”

Deadlines to sign up for disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Association are coming up for those in Alabama counties that suffered severe weather losses last year.

Officials say small businesses, agricultural co-ops, and most non-profit organizations have until February 6th to sign up for the loans in southern Alabama.

Baldwin, Covington, Escambia, Geneva and Houston counties are those eligible for loan applications for severe weather between last April 28 and May 6.

Some nonprofits in 19 Alabama counties will have until February 12th to sign up to cover losses. Those counties include Baldwin, DeKalb, Etowah, Jefferson, Limestone, Mobile, and Tuscaloosa. Applicable organizations include food kitchens, homeless shelters, museums, libraries, community centers and schools.

President Obama delivered his State of the Union address last night, and one of the audience members was a 103 year old voting rights activist.

Democratic U.S. Representative Terri Sewell of Alabama's 7th district invited Amelia Boynton Robinson as her special guest for the address last night. Boynton took part in the Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches and was beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge on “Bloody Sunday”.

She also made history in 1964 as the first African-American to run for Congress in Alabama. Boynton was born in Savannah, Ga.

Boynton says she feels a special bond with Sewell, Alabama's first African-American congresswoman. Sewell told the press she believes Boynton paved the way for her achievements.