A&S in the News: December 10-16, 2017

‘Hilaritas’ Concert

UA hosts 48th annual ‘Hilaritas’ holiday concertTuscaloosa News – Dec. 10

The University of Alabama School of Music hosted the 48th annual Christmas concert, “Hilaritas,” with an encore performance Sunday at Moody Concert Hall.The first performance was held Dec. 8. The show featured 16 performances by the Alabama Jazz Ensemble, Huxford Symphony Orchestra and University Singers. Classics like “O Christmas Tree,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas,” “Frosty the Snowman” and a holiday singalong of “Let it Snow” were featured along with some new music. Organizers say they try to do something different for “Hilaritas” every year.

Surface Water

State releases comprehensive assessment on Alabama’s surface watersPublic – Dec. 11

Barring any major catastrophic event, Alabama appears poised to sustain its water needs for the next 20 years, according to an assessment report released today by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs’ Office of Water Resources … The report was made possible by an appropriation from the Alabama Legislature. The University of Alabama, Auburn University, Troy University and the Geological Survey of Alabama also supplied information for the report. OWR plans to update the report every five years.

Alabama Senate Election

6 things to watch in the Alabama Senate election TuesdayMarco Eagle (Florida) – Dec. 11

This from the category of “things you never thought you’d hear”: There is U.S. Senate race in Alabama this week that is neck-and-neck … “Huntsville is Republican territory but not Roy Moore territory,” said Joseph Smith, chair of the Department of Political Science at The University of Alabama. “That’s a place where you might see a drop off in Republican voting.” Madison County is also one of the most populous in the state, so both candidates need to perform well there.

Roy Moore

Roy Moore isn’t going to win or lose because of Steve BannonWashington Post – Dec. 11

If Roy Moore wins a U.S. Senate race in Alabama on Tuesday, Breitbart News chairman Stephen K. Bannon is going to take credit … “If Moore wins” on Tuesday added Carol A. Cassel, who specializes in political behavior and public opinion at The University of Alabama, “it’s because Alabama is a Republican, culturally conservative state. I think those factors put blinders on people when they consider the evidence against Moore, so it’s often disbelieved or questioned. I don’t think Bannon makes much difference.”

UA Winter Commencement

UA to award more than 2,200 degrees on SaturdayTuscaloosa News – Dec. 12

More than 2,200 degrees will be awarded during the University of Alabama’s graduation ceremonies on Saturday. UA will have two ceremonies at Coleman Coliseum on Saturday. Graduates from the Culverhouse College of Commerce, College of Communication & Information Sciences, College of Engineering, School of Social Work and School of Law will receive diplomas during the 9 a.m. ceremony.
Tuscaloosa News – Dec. 16

Senator Doug Jones

Meet Doug Jones, the law-and-order man who has won Alabama’s Senate seatLos Angeles Times – Dec. 12

The odds of any Democrat capturing a U.S. Senate seat in Alabama are steep at best, but Doug Jones was uniquely suited to pull off an upset Tuesday over Republican Roy Moore … “I would expect him to be a very conservative Democrat,” said Joseph Smith, chairman of the political science department at The University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette – Dec. 13
Chicago Tribune – Dec. 13
Newport News Daily Press (Virginia) – Dec. 13
San Diego Tribune – Dec. 13
Baltimore Sun – Dec. 13
Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel (Florida) – Dec. 13
Annapolis Capital-Gazette (Maryland) – Dec. 13
The Morning Call (Allentown, Pennsylvania) – Dec. 13
GVTC Communication – Dec. 13
Sudden Link – Dec. 13
Toshiba – Dec. 13
Cable One – Dec. 13
Atlantic Broadband – Dec. 13

Black Voters

Alabama’s black voters sent Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate. It could be a model for 2018The Sky News – Dec. 13

Synethia Pettaway heard there was some trouble down at the polling station. The all-white crew of Alabama polling officials at the Woodrow Avenue firehouse in Selma was turning away a black mother, she said, apparently because she couldn’t carry her baby indoors to vote in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate special election … The high turnout among African-Americans in Alabama “might suggest that we will see similarly energized voters in other elections,” said Joseph Smith, chair of the political science department at The University of Alabama.

Alabama Governor Race

UA political science professor says Jones’ win may not translate into a win for a Democrat in the Governor’s raceWVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Dec. 13

While the election was good news from Democrats, their elation may only last until the next political race. University of Alabama assistant political science professor Allen Linken says the trend may not translate to a Democratic governor.

Resilient Coral

Coral is more resilient to acidifying oceans than we thoughtScience Line – Dec. 13

Marine creatures, from spiky sea urchins and tiny phytoplankton to shelled mussels and bright coral, construct their shells or skeletons using the same mineral found in a Tums antacid tablet … No one was sure which calcifiers relied on this alternative process, and to what extent, to assemble their mineral components. “It was suggested for coral,” says Alberto Pérez-Huerta, a geologist at The University of Alabama, “but there was not proof.” Until now.

Performing Arts Center

UA campaign aims to bolster the artsTuscaloosa News – Dec. 14

A birds-eye view of the new performing arts academic center.
A birds-eye view of the new performing arts academic center.

The University of Alabama has raised about half the money needed to break ground on a new performing arts center planned for the north side of the historic Bryce Hospital building. To date, $6.3 million in verbal and written commitments have been collected, said former director of athletics Bill Battle, who co-chairs the group leading the campaign with his wife, Mary. The goal is $15 million, or about a quarter of the project’s $60 million budget. The center and renovated hospital building will be used by the theater and dance department.
Fox 6 (Birmingham) – Dec. 14
WVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Dec. 14
WTOC (Savannah, Georgia) – Dec. 14
WALB.com (Albany, Georgia) – Dec. 14
WTVM.com (Columbus, Georgia) – Dec. 14
WDAM – Channel 7 (Jackson, Mississippi) – Dec. 14
WSFA 12 News (Montgomery) – Dec. 14
WMC Action 5 News (Memphis, Tennessee) – Dec. 14
Birmingham Business Journal – Dec. 15

Debra Marshall

Former WWE wrestler to graduate from UAWVUA (Tuscaloosa) – Dec. 14

Before she was queen on the WWE, Debra Marshall was homecoming queen at Holt high school. And now, instead of a crown, she’ll wear a graduation cap at The Capstone’s commencement ceremony on Saturday. The former WWE Women’s champion is receiving her master’s in criminology and criminal justice. She wants to use her experiences in live TV and choreography to help criminal defense attorneys select jurors. Marshall worked extensively in the public defender’s office in Tuscaloosa and with attorney Steve money to vet jurors for criminal cases, including two high-profile murder cases.

Governor Kay Ivey

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey could face political heat over special Senate electionAl.com – Dec. 14

Gov. Kay Ivey, in the wake of Tuesday’s Senate election, is hearing criticism from both sides of the political aisle ahead of what could be a heated 2018 gubernatorial race … William Stewart, professor emeritus of political science at The University of Alabama and a longtime observer of state politics, said Ivey is likely to “catch some flack” for calling the special election, but doubts it will be a make-or-break issue.

Actor’s Charitable Theatre

Actor’s Charitable Theatre presents play based on C.S. Lewis booksTuscaloosa News – Dec. 14

The Actor’s Charitable Theatre will present a play based on C.S. Lewis’ popular “Chronicles of Narnia” books this weekend at the Bama Theatre in downtown Tuscaloosa … The cast of more than 50 actors from the West Alabama area includes Mary Kathryn Matthews, a local music teacher, as the witch; Tristan Hallman, a recent Tuscaloosa County High School graduate and current University of Alabama theater student, as Mr. Tumnus, the faun; and four youngsters as the Pevensie siblings.

Newest Turtle Species

Meet the intermediate musk turtle, Alabama’s newest turtle speciesBham Now – Dec. 16

Peter Scott, a post doctoral scholar at UCLA, who received his PhD at The University of Alabama was not trying to discover a new species of turtle.