Your Daily News Outlook
1) Only 40% of the elementary education graduates at the University of West Alabama in Livingston pass the teacher certification test the first time. According to a state evaluation, they are not alone. Of the 14 elementary ed programs offered at state colleges and universities, only 7 produce a 50% or better passing rate. At 75% Auburn has the best passing rate followed by the University of Alabama and UAH at 70% each. The worst passing percentage is Alabama State at just 20%.
2) Jury selection is underway at the Tuscaloosa Federal Courthouse in the federal case against Patrick Stallworth. The 42yo is charged with the kidnapping of toddler Kamille 'Cupcake' McKinney three years ago. The three-year-old was found dead in a dumpster after being taken from a birthday party in Birmingham's Tom Brown Village. If convicted, Stallworth could be sentenced to life without parole. The murder case against Stallworth will be conducted by the state.
The U-S Supreme Court will hear a voting rights case today that tests the legal limits on alleged racial gerrymandering, which involves the drawing of voting maps in a manner that dilutes the electoral power of racial minorities. The (John) Merrill v Milligan case arose after Alabama Republicans asked the justices to block a lower court ruling which found the state’s new voting districts likely run afoul of the Voting Rights Act. The lower court ruled the new map developed by the Republican dominated Alabama Legislature dilutes black voting power because the state's black population is 27%. The lower court, which includes two Donald Trump appointees, ruled the state should have two minirity dominated districts.
Alabama currently has just one Congressional District with a majority minority population. That is West Alabama’s 7th Congressional District of Rep. Terri Sewell. A portion of Tuscaloosa County is in the 7th district.