Around the South for Apr. 17: AL, AR & KY

Alabama: Ivey hits debate critics. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) rebuked her opponents in the June 5 primary for criticizing her non-appearance at a debate. At a groundbreaking ceremony for a plant expansion in Huntsville, the home of one of her foes, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle (R), Ivey said, “This race is not going to be about stunts anybody is trying to pull to get media attention. It’s about our individual records.” Ivey has declined to appear at another debate, citing schedule conflicts ……. Arkansas: Hutchinson tours tornado damage. Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) toured Mountainburg Sunday morning to observe the damage of a tornado with 120 miles per hour winds. “Y’all have done a great job in responding,” said Hutchinson, “and I’m here primarily to thank you for the community pulling together so well,” reported Arkansas Online. He added, “[W]e’re very blessed that only four people were injured.” ……. Kentucky: Bevin apologizes for remarks about teachers’ strike. After contending that a lot of children were sexually abused or even ingested poison while their teachers were out on strike, Gov. Matt Bevin (R) issued a public apology. “The words that people say can have unintended consequences,” he said in a video, reported the Courier-Journal. “I apologize for those who have been hurt by the things that were said… It was not my intent.” …….