This and that on an October day that finally feels like fall...
Now that is hot!
We all know it was very hot in Alabama this summer, but how hot was it in a non-air conditioned vehicle, especially one with children aboard?
The Alabama Education Association asked the Legislature to affix all state school buses with air conditioning this year and lawmakers approved $198 million for that purpose. It costs about $11,000 per bus for the upgrade.
Many systems immediately took steps to upgrade those buses that lacked air conditioning. However, many of the state’s 700,000-plus students started school riding school buses that lacked air conditioning. Subsequently, AEA asked bus drivers to take pictures of thermometers inside buses.
A reading from Mobile in extreme southwest Alabama showed it was 124 degrees on a bus in August, while the temperature topped out in Jackson County in extreme northeast Alabama at 115 degrees on a bus.
AEA President Sherry Tucker labeled the temperatures “extremely dangerous” and stated that the heat tended to “impede teaching and learning in our schools.”
One thing the state could do is start the school year later. School used to run from the day after Labor Day to Memorial Day. Now, it runs from early- to mid-August to June. Instruction days are the same but there are fewer and/or shorter school breaks.
More prison problems
There was another killing in an Alabama prison this past weekend.
Prison guards at Jefferson County’s Donaldson Correction Center shot an inmate who charged out of an unlocked cell at them with makeshift weapons in each hand. After warnings, corrections officials said, the guards resorted to force.
Alabama prisons are so fraught with violence — beatings, rapes, suicides, killings — that a federal court has described conditions as “unconstitutional.” The state plans to build multiple new prison facilities.
Sun still rose
Everything was pretty much normal in Auburn this week, even after the Auburn University football team lost its first game of the year.
Auburn dropped from No. 7 to No. 12 in the nation in the polls. Yet, preseason goals remain intact.
Auburn could still win the West and the SEC, while advancing to the College Football Playoff, but it will be tough now that the team has a conference loss and three of the top five teams remain on the schedule.
But anything is always possible and the unpredictable is expected with Auburn.
Retired Auburn Attorney Don Eddins is publisher of The Auburn Villager newspaper and the online publication, auburnvillager.com. Before going into law, he was state Capitol reporter for The Huntsville Times and state editor for The Columbus Ledger. In college, he was sports editor of The Auburn Plainsman. Email him your comments about the newspaper to firstname.lastname@example.org.