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  • July 19th, 2021

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IS THE AMERICAN ALLIGATOR POPULATION IN TUSCALOOSA INCREASING? – In May, an alligator was struck by a train on Kauloosa Avenue in Tuscaloosa, and in late June another gator was hit by a car on the same road. In the past few years, there have been several reported gator sightings at Lake Tuscaloosa and at Van de Graaff Park. Should alligators now be expected as a common part of the Tuscaloosa wildlife experience? And are their numbers growing? Dr. Scott Jones, a New College LifeTrack instructor who specializes in herpetology, zoology and conservation biology, said Tuscaloosa has always been firmly within the natural territory range for the American alligator. He said Tuscaloosa is just not generally considered to be a place well known for alligators because their populations aren’t as dense in T-Town as they are in Florida and south Alabama. For more information, contact Dr. Scott Jones at spjones9@ccs.ua.edu or Jamon Smith, UA Communications, at jamon.smith@ua.edu.

CURRENT COMMENT

TREND POINTS TO MORE WOMEN SPORTS IN OLYMPIC TV COVERAGE – Women athletes have received the majority of the coverage in each of the past two NBC primetime telecasts of the Summer Olympic Games, and they will likely dominate coverage again if trends continue. In 2012, women athletes received 54.8% of all primetime broadcast coverage in London; the women’s proportion was 53.7% for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. “It really is a ‘follow the American medals’ strategy that NBC tends to employ, as the percentage of time devoted to women athletes closely paralleled American women’s share of team USA medals in both London and Rio,” said Dr. Andrew Billings, the Ronald Reagan Chair of Broadcasting at The University of Alabama, and co-author of a book on Olympic television coverage. Billings and co-authors of the book will post regular updates about NBC’s coverage of men and women athletes throughout the summer games on the website FiveRingTV.com and on Twitter.  For more information, contact Billings at acbillings@ua.edu or Adam Jones, UA Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu

WITH EYE ON INFLATION, ALABAMA ECONOMY REMAINS STRONG – Alabama’s economy is expected to grow about 6 percent in 2021 and employment is expected to increase about 3% as jobs continue to be added, said Ahmad Ijaz, executive director of the UA Center for Business and Economic Research. Although businesses continue to have difficulties in hiring because retirements, child care issues and business supply constraints, he said. “The economy continues to remain on solid footing,” Ijaz said. Inflation is a concern in the short term, but once supply chain and labor force issues settle, possibly at the end of 2021, prices should begin to settle and possibly drop in some areas. “Inflation is definitely a concern as it’s anybody’s guess right now to how transitory this trend is, whether it’s just a short term phenomenon or are we seeing something more permanent,” he said. For more information, contact Ijaz at aijaz@cba.ua.edu or Adam Jones, UA Communications, at adam.jones@ua.edu

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