WVAS Local News

Sep 19, 2013

According to economic data released this week much of Alabama was still in recession last year.  The Bureau of Economic Analysis estimates that eight out of 12 metro economies in the state experienced a pullback in gross domestic product.  That included Montgomery with a decrease of 0.6 percent.  Auburn Montgomery professor and respected economist Dr. Keivan Deravi says the Capitol City's economy receded even with gains in manufacturing and construction.  The most sluggish metro economies in the state last year, according to these figures, were Gadsden, Mobile, Tuscaloosa and Anniston.  At the same time, the more robust economies were in Birmingham-Hoover, Florence-Muscle Shoals, Auburn-Opelika and Decatur. 

Possible Tuition Cuts

Alabama's Community College System in many ways has become a producer for employees for industrial manufacturers in the state.  In fact, with the increase in demand for these types of workers, the state has to find new ways of meeting the need.  Alabama's Postsecondary Chancellor Dr. Mark Heinrich says reducing tuition at two-year colleges would help.  Currently tuition is one-hundred and eleven dollars per credit hour for in-state students at Community Colleges.  Dr. Heinrich would like to cut that by half.  He says the resulting higher employment would more than offset the costs on the front end. 

Paying it Forward

A former resident of Pike Road, Alabama, is spearheading an effort to reward a homeless man in Boston who turned in a backpack he found filled with $40,000 dollars in cash and traveler's checks.  After reading media accounts of Glen James' honesty, Ethan Whittington, a native of Pike Road, who now lives in Virginia, started a fund for James on the crowd funding website gofundme.com.  Donations have exceeded $100,000 and growing.  Whittington said he hopes to raise $250,000 for James.