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Alabama editorial roundup

May 16, 2018

Recent editorials from Alabama newspapers:


May 16

Opelika-Auburn News says the U.S. Supreme Court’s latest decision on sports gambling is concerning:

It was tough enough on sports-crazed universities such as Auburn and Alabama when last fall the FBI began revealing its findings and accusations in a nationwide, can’t-miss turkey shoot targeting NCAA basketball.

Then this week comes a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that clears the way for legalized gambling on sports for any state that wants it.

Alabama lawmakers should take a long pause before rolling the dice on this one.

College sports, which is king here, is one of the biggest entertainment attractions throughout the United States, and all due diligence should be taken to protect the integrity of the game. That means making sure there are never even hints of unfair influence from high-stakes gamblers trying to influence a game’s outcome.

And that means universities and states have just inherited yet another headache in the red-tape world of sports regulation.

Chances are there are better experts to handle being charged with finding the answers to what should and shouldn’t be welcomed in Alabama than our politicians, which is why their best move at this point would be to let the dust settle and see what measures get proposed.

The NCAA, which governs most major collegiate athletic programs, and professional sports organizations are among those that do have immediate responsibility in this issue.

Don’t look for anything overnight from the NCAA, as its method of operation seems by design to include slow moves in the face of change.

Professional sports, on the other hand, such as the NFL and NBA, took no time in calling for help and going to Congress to find it. They already argue that a federal regulatory framework for legalized sports betting is a much better option than a patch-work system of state-by-state approaches that could vary in all types and manner.

It is estimated that Americans illegally wager about $150 billion on sports each year. Finding a way to legalize and tax that kind of money has its appeal, and no doubt it will lure the interest of many wannabe get-rich-quick lawmakers looking for easy winnings.

Alabama’s legislators - and voters too, for that matter - can’t even agree on whether the state should have a lottery, let alone legalized betting on sports.

Collegiate sports in our state clearly are the most identifiable market for gamblers.

We have no reason to rush into allowing our college athletes and programs to be used for winning or losing by players away from the actual game on the field or court.

The state of Alabama should be in no hurry to do anything with this new court ruling, except be on its guard.

That task is in itself proving plenty tough enough already.

Online: http://www.oanow.com


May 14

Dothan Eagle says Alabama politics have been hit once again by a salacious controversy:

If there’s something Alabama voters can count on during campaign season, it’s the inevitable bombshell that has nothing to do with the actual business of governing.

Late last year, we watched as fallout from megaton nuclear sex scandal accusations turned GOP hopeful Roy Moore radioactive. Now, with the June 5 primaries right around the corner, a Democrat, gubernatorial candidate Sue Bell Cobb, has her own explosive PR firestorm to contain.

News broke late last week that Cobb’s campaign field manager for Jefferson County, Paul Littlejohn III, served 30 years in state prison for a rape conviction, and now faces charges of violating the state’s Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Cobb calls the arrest “politically motivated,” and defends Littlejohn’s character. Littlejohn promptly resigned from the campaign.

Bringing the campaign aide’s status to light may well have been a partisan strategy. The arrest, however, is standard law enforcement procedure.

The brouhaha adds an interesting wrinkle to the governor’s race, and it’s less about whether or not Littlejohn complied with SORNA requirements than Cobb’s failure to anticipate the explosive potential of not disclosing the employment of a convicted sex offender as a campaign aide - assuming she knew before Littlejohn’s status was reported.

What’s regrettable is that a political race, which should be focused on how each candidate hopes to improve the state of Alabama, is once again mired in salacious controversy.

Perhaps as political cover, Cobb has said that she knows of no campaign that performs background checks on its workers.

We imagine this is the last campaign season that will be the case.

Online: http://www.dothaneagle.com


May 16

Times Daily on children in hot cars:

Just when it seemed winter would never loosen its grip on the Shoals area, it’s gone, and summer has swooped in to take its place. So much for spring, but that’s weather in north Alabama for you. Seasons come. Seasons go. Seasons get lost, drive in circles, and refuse to ask for directions.

This past weekend brought high temperatures of more than 90 degrees.

It may be nearly another two weeks before Memorial Day brings the unofficial start of the summer pool season, but people throughout the region are already looking at the beach bound with envious eyes.

There is no getting around it: The heat is on. Another long, hot summer is ahead, ready or not.

Unfortunately, the summer heat also brings danger, and not just to those working in it who have to be wary of dehydration and heatstroke.

According to the website NoHeatStroke.org, on average 37 children die each year from vehicular heatstroke.

The website counted only five such deaths last year, but one was in Alabama. The worst year the website lists for Alabama is 2013, with five children dying in hot cars.

It’s not just children who shouldn’t be left alone in hot automobiles.

The same goes for pets and the elderly.

The symptoms of heat stroke, according to the Mayo Clinic, include:

. High body temperature. A core body temperature of 104 or higher is the main sign of heatstroke.

. Altered mental state or behavior. Confusion, agitation, slurred speech, irritability, delirium, seizures and coma can all result from heatstroke.

. Alteration in sweating. In heatstroke brought on by hot weather, your skin will feel hot and dry to the touch. However, in heatstroke brought on by strenuous exercise, your skin may feel dry or slightly moist.

. Nausea and vomiting. You may feel sick to your stomach or vomit.

. Flushed skin. Your skin may turn red as your body temperature increases.

. Rapid breathing. Your breathing may become rapid and shallow.

. Racing heart rate. Your pulse may significantly increase because heat stress places a tremendous burden on your heart to help cool your body.

. Headache. Your head may throb.

Adults can take action, including seeking medical help, if they think they feel a heatstroke coming on. Children cannot.

Parents and other adults have to be on the lookout, which is why the National Weather Service this past weekend began issuing seasonal reminders to “look before you lock” your car to make sure you haven’t accidentally locked a child inside.

Summer is a time of outdoor fun and celebration. We should all be on guard to keep it from being a time of tragedy.

Online: http://www.timesdaily.com

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