Recount in Senate race, UA student heads to UN climate conference

Nov 25, 2014

A north Alabama senate race is officially headed to a recount. Alabama Secretary of State Jim Bennett says there will be an automatic recount in the Senate District 6 race. Official returns have Republican Larry Stutts defeating veteran Russellville Democrat Roger Bedford by 67 votes. Alabama law requires an automatic recount if the margin of victory is less than half of a percent. A state board certified results yesterday. Bennett says the recount will be held December 1st. The deputy secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs says the troubled Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System has made significant improvements, but there is still progress to be made. Deputy Secretary Sloan Gibson says the wait for an appointment is still too lengthy at the Montgomery-area facilities. He says additional personnel actions might also be taken after the system's director was fired earlier this year. If you’re heading out on the roads this Thanksgiving, get ready for a record amount of company. Triple-A Alabama is predicting the heaviest traffic since 2007 on our interstate highways and other roads. The holiday is expected to put two million more cars on the road compared to last year. That’s a four and a half percent increase overall. Triple-A spokesman Clay Ingram says there’s a lot more going on than just Thanksgiving to keep traffic busy… “There’s going to be a combination of factors. Not just people traveling for Thanksgiving, but local people heading to football games and shopping malls and things like that. So, it’s going to be really busy, no question about it.” Ingram adds that Thanksgiving will mean an equal mix of cars on the Interstates and smaller roads. That’s different from other holidays, when motorists typically stick to the bigger highways to get to destinations like the beach or Florida’s theme parks. A University of Alabama student is heading to Lima, Peru next month for a United Nations conference on climate change. Catherine King is a chemical engineering major with a focus on green chemistry. She’s one of 8 students across the country the American Chemical Society selected to attend the conference. King says the issue of climate change has become too politicized. “Actually the United States is one of the only countries who’s still debating whether it exists at all. A lot of places have accepted it. And I don’t think it should be a political debate. I think it’s kind of a problem that it is.” The conference runs from December 1st through the 12th. King and the other students will be observing and blogging about the event at the website studentsonclimatechange.com. And you can find an interview with her at APR.org.