Scale Back Alabama

Two Alabama cities are hoping for the return of a pair of hometown Marines who are among the dozen people missing after two helicopters crashed off the coast of Hawaii.

Yellow ribbons are going up for Marine Sgt. William Josh Turner in his hometown of Florala near the Florida line. He’s a 2009 graduate of Florala High School, where workers remember him as a good student and baseball player.

Counselor Joea (JO uh) McNeil says Turner always wanted to be a Marine.

Martin Luther King, Jr.
AP

The nation honors the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. today.

The federal holiday will be marked in Alabama with volunteer service projects and parades. The Dexter Avenue King Memorial Baptist Church in Montgomery will hold a birthday celebration at 10 a.m. Dr. King led that church from 1954 to 1960.

Current Pastor Cromwell Handy believes work needs to be done to keep King’s memory alive for young people. He says one sign of the generation gap is when youngsters take tours of Dr. King’s old office at the church.

  Governor Robert Bentley says there are no easy solutions to the state's budget and prison problems. Bentley, in his second inaugural address, said state leaders face tough decisions as they come into office for the next four years. However, Bentley said state leaders will not shrink away from the challenge.

     A budget shortfall and the state's severely overcrowded prisons are expected to be the biggest problems facing the Legislature when it convenes in March. The governor is expected to give his proposals when he gives his State of the State address in March.

     

Today is the day the nation observes the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

With the incidents in Ferguson, Mo., New York City and the recent release of the film Selma, civil rights are once again at the forefront of people's minds.

Doug Shipman is the CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta. He believes if Dr. King were still alive, he would be still be working towards his goal of equality.

A program designed to help Alabamians lose weight is kicking off its seventh year.

The state Department of Public Health is encouraging four-member teams to start forming for Scale Back Alabama. The teams will weigh in the week of Jan. 19-25 and weigh out the week of April 6-12. The winners will be announced April 26.

There is no charge to enter. Teams where each member sheds at least 10 pounds are eligible for a random drawing where the first prize is $4,000, the second prize $2,000 and the third prize $1,000.