Alabama Seeks to Lift Cuba Embargo, Deadline for North AL Disaster Loans

Alabama Public Radio

By: Alex Aubuchon

Alabama may see the creation of new jobs abroad in the future if the governor approves a recent joint resolution from the state legislature.

The bill would lift the embargo between Cuba and the state of Alabama. This would clear the way for companies like Cleber LLC. That’s an Alabama tractor company aiming to be first U.S. business to build a factory in Cuba since 1959.

Addie Bryant is the chief of staff at Engage Cuba. She says if the resolution is passed, Alabama can expect to see some definite economic benefits.

“You’ll see the Port of Mobile pick up business. You’ll begin to see commodities start shipping through there, and with Cleber leading the way in the manufacturing space, there is an expectation that business will improve and I wouldn’t be surprised if, quite frankly, you see some cruise lines starting to cruise out of Mobile.”

The resolution has passed both the Alabama Senate and House of Representatives and is waiting on Governor Bentley’s signature.

The deadline is approaching to apply for disaster loans for damages caused by December storms in northwest Alabama.

The U.S. Small Business Administration says businesses, private nonprofit organizations, homeowners and renters affected by severe storms, tornadoes and heavy rain from Dec. 23 to 28 can apply for physical property damage loans until April 25. Economic injury applications must be returned by Nov. 25.

Low-interest disaster loans are available for those in Lauderdale County in northwest Alabama and several counties in southwest Tennessee.

Applicants may apply online on the U.S. Small Business Administration website.

The AARP Foundation is offering help to low- to moderate-income taxpayers with free tax assistance.

The American Association of Retired People is focusing on offering assistance to millions of older Americans, but people don’t need to be a senior citizen to use this service.

Lynnette Lee-Villanueva is Vice President National Director of the AARP Foundation Tax-Aide Program. She reminds the public that the service is offered to any and everybody.

“We are there really to help anybody. We do train specifically for the needs of the 50+ population as people begin to enter into retirement years. Their tax status and their filing requirements might change a bit and so we are trained to help them out.”

AARP Foundation Tax-Aide volunteers are ready to collaborate with taxpayers free of charge through a hectic tax season.

Mother Mary Angelica, a Roman Catholic nun from Hanceville, Alabama who founded a global religious media empire in a monastery garage, has died at the age of 95.

Chairman and CEO Michael P. Warsaw says the founder of the Eternal Word Television Network died at the monastery where she lived in Hanceville, about 45 miles north of Birmingham. Mother Angelica had been in declining health after suffering a series of strokes over the last 15 years.

Mother Angelica was born Rita Rizzo in Ohio in 1923. She entered the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration monastery in Cleveland at age 21 and joined other nuns at a new monastery in Alabama in 1962.

The nun began broadcasting a religious TV show from the monastery garage in 1981. That eventually grew into Eternal Word Television Network, a worldwide TV, radio and publishing operation reaching over 100 million homes in the U.S., South America, Africa and Europe.