Top Headlines: Heat, drought hit Alabama farms, Montgomery’s charter school experiment begins

‘It’s all brown’ is the assessment from state’s seared farms
The heat and worsening drought conditions are hitting Alabama farmers in their wallets. Agriculture is the state’s top industry, generating an economic impact of $83.86 billion in 2017, according to the Alabama Farmers Federation. The federation hosted a farm tour in Montgomery County on Tuesday morning, and the temperature and humidity made conditions outside unpleasant as early as 8:30 a.m. Unirrigated corn in the state is suffering, said Drew Wendland, of Autauga Farming Company, a major producer. – Montgomery Advertiser

Montgomery’s charter school experiment about to begin
In a city where 75% of students live below the poverty line and only 30% of public-school students are reading and performing math skills at grade level, some parents and community leaders are hoping a wave of new charter schools may be a lifeline to a better education. On Aug. 19, LEAD Academy will open its doors as Montgomery’s first public charter school, an independently run but publicly funded school meant to give teachers and administrators more autonomy and flexibility in how they meet their students’ needs. – US News & World Report

Alabama’s food factories uneasily await visit from ICE
It may have been an unsettled quiet for the large number of Hispanics among the 86,000 people employed in the Alabama poultry industry, but it has been quiet here since the 680 workers at Mississippi plants were arrested last week by immigration authorities. Several of the Mississippi plants where the arrests occurred are owned by a Tuscaloosa company. – WBHM

New piece of the puzzle acquired for additive manufacturing at Auburn
The National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence at Auburn University is now home to a $1.5 million x-ray CT system. The new machine will do nondestructive testing of 3D printed parts, essential to the university’s programs to produce mission critical parts for aerospace and aviation industries. It was acquired with a grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. – 3D

Otelco reports decreased revenue for second quarter
Alabama-based Otelco Inc., a wireline telecommunications services provider in Alabama, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, Vermont and West Virginia, today announced financial results for its second quarter ended June 30. The company reported revenue of $15.7 million, a 7.3% decrease from the second quarter 2018. The continued loss of residential voice customers and competitive pricing pressures on internet services, combined with the FCC’s one-time A-CAM and CAF-BLS positive adjustments in second quarter 2018 results, were the primary drivers of the decline. – Globe NewsWire

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CBD: Miraculous remedy or latest version of snake oil?
In the past year, Alabama and the federal government started letting pharmacies sell CBD, or Cannabidiol, as long as the THC concentration is less than .3%. THC is the main ingredient that causes a high from marijuana. CBD oil is popping up in more and more locations in North Alabama, as people believe it can relieve pain, stress and even cancer-related symptoms. However, it’s also unregulated. – WAAY

Harris Poll suggests people still want to buy cars from dealerships
A vast majority of vehicle shoppers still want the dealership involved in the buying process, and it doesn’t appear that is changing with younger buyers. That’s according to a study by Urban Science in conjunction with Harris Poll that surveyed some 2,000 shoppers and about 200 dealers in February. – AutoNews

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