U.S. Air Force officials have reversed an earlier proposal and no longer plan to relocated C-130 Cargo planes assigned to the 908th Airlift Wing at Maxwell Air Force Base. In February, cuts to the Defense budget prompted the Air Force to announced it would retire older aircraft, which could have included seven of eight C-130 planes. That decision could have affected more than 500 employees. A statement issued Thursday by 2nd District Congresswoman Martha Roby of Montgomery said the development is a positive one for central Alabama, but she added that the decision is not final.
The nation's diabetes problem is getting worse, and health officials say the biggest changes have been in a number of Southern states. The diabetes rate in Oklahoma more than tripled over 15 years, and also boomed in Southern states like Alabama, Georgia and Kentucky. Most cases are the kind of diabetes linked to obesity. Health officials believe extra weight explains the increases in the South and Southwest. The diabetes rate more than doubled in several Northern states, too.
Alabama's unemployment rate has declined for the second straight month to 8.1 percent. The State Department of Industrial Relations announced today that October jobless rate is down from a revived rate of 8.2 percent in September. Nearly 9,000 more Alabama residents were working in October than in the prior month. Among the state's 67 counties , Shelby County recorded the lowest jobless rate at 5.4 percent. But counties in the Black Belt remain mired with high unemployment numbers. Wilcox at 17.6 percent, Bullock at 16.2 percent and Dallas County at 14.8 percent.
Members of Alabama's congressional delegation say the Obama administration should continue pursuing BP over the Gulf oil spill. The company has agreed to pay $4.5 billion in criminal penalties, but many civil claims over the 2010 oil spill aren't resolved. Senator Jeff Sessions of Mobile says he hopes the Justice Department continues pursuing BP under the Clean Water Act and the Restore Act. The spill fouled miles of Alabama's coast more than two years ago, and tar balls are still washing ashore in places.