“Alabama was shaken by one of the worst tornado outbreaks in our state’s history one year ago. Citizens of Alabama were faced with tragedy, homes were shattered, businesses were shut down, and the loss of life was unimaginable . . .
Difficult periods of rebuilding took place as the University of Alabama football team claimed the national football championship for the second time in the past three years. Even when off-field challenges faced the team, the spirit of the team members and its fans helped propel them to claim the BCS National Championship.
Bo Jackson, a former Auburn University football player, is leading a group on a five-day, 300-mile charity bike ride through some of the areas hardest hit by last year’s storms. Some of his fellow bike riders will include celebrities such as Lance Armstrong and Cam Newton.
The “unity ride,” as Bo calls it, began in Henagar on Tuesday and will finish in Tuscaloosa on Saturday with the main goal of raising $1 million for the governor’s Emergency Relief Fund. If you would like to donate to the cause and continue to help your fellow Alabamians, please visit www.bobikesbama.com.
In just one year’s time, Alabama’s economy has begun to thrive. According to a recent report from the state Department of Commerce, there was a 9.3 percent increase in the number of new jobs announced for the state and an 87.7 percent increase in announced capital investment in 2011.
Also during 2011, 70 new companies announced plans to locate in Alabama, creating 4,879 jobs, and 313 companies already located in Alabama announced expansions, complete with 12,369 jobs.
Alabama’s exports also surged to new levels, reaching $17.9 billion — up more than 15 percent over 2010 and a record high for the state.
In short, even in difficult and adverse situations, Alabama’s citizens continue to prove they are both strong and charitable. Together, we are getting Alabama back on her feet and facing a brighter tomorrow.”
The Examiner thanks Lt. Governor Kay Ivey for her input and cooperation with this article.
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This column was prepared by Hank Richards, nextooze.com writer for North Alabama and reporter for Oil Spill Recovery of the the Alabama Gulf Coast Restoration Program.
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