Supreme Court takes on Alabama redistricting, Aging conference in Mobile

Nov 12, 2014

Once-powerful Democrats are challenging legislative districts drawn by Alabama Republicans. APR's Stan Ingold reports, the redistricting has helped shrink Democratic representation to just eight seats in the state Senate. All of the districts represented by Democrats in Alabama have African-Americans as the majority. Black Democrats say the GOP did it by misusing a landmark voting rights law, intended to ensure the right to vote for southern blacks, to instead limit their voting strength. They argue that Republicans relied to heavily on race to draw new electoral maps following the 2010 census. The case goes before the Supreme Court tomorrow. Last year, a conservative majority on the court effectively blocked a key component of the Voting Rights Act, and this case will be watched closely for signs that the rest of the law could be in peril. A conference begins today in Mobile to help Alabamians live better as they age. APR student reporter Josh Hoppenstein has more. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s Urban Affairs and New Nontraditional Program Unit are teaming up on today’s event. It’s called the Successful Aging Conference – The Changing Face of Aging (Think, Adapt, Succeed.) The day includes speakers talking about generational issues, crime prevention, and basic estate planning. Amanda C. Outlaw is a Regional Extension Agent. She thinks that it’s important for senior citizens to be the best prepared for the ageing process as they can be. “Well I just hope that the public sees this as an opportunity to continue their education and to remember the face of aging is changing. Everyday people are retiring earlier and so we have to learn to how think, adopt and succeed at every age. “ The event is meant to help with Alabama’s growing senior population with other issues like obtaining health care as they age. The latest edition of Alabama, Inc airs tonight on your local Alabama Public Television station. The APR newsroom is collaborating on this television program about business in our state. News director Pat Duggins will profile Fred Spicer.** He’s the executive director and C-E-O of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. Before coming to Alabama, Spicer also made a name for himself by appearing on the Martha Stewart show. Spicer says it went fine, until something happened… Fred--“We actually had to stop in mid taping because I corrected her…” Pat—Nobody beat you with a stick or anything right? Fred—No, she was very gracious about it!” Spicer also talks about how he almost became a marine biologist before turning to landscape architecture. Alabama, Inc is tonight at 10 pm on your local Alabama Public Television station. University of Alabama officials say a senior chemical engineering and chemistry student has been chosen to participate in a conference on climate change being hosted by the United Nations. University officials said in a statement that Catherine King of Huntsville is one of eight students the American Chemical Society selected to attend the UN's conference in Lima, Peru. The event is expected to include representatives from more than 190 countries. University officials say while in Peru, King will interview world leaders and blog about the discussions she attends during the early December conference.