Riley Appoints Commission

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Gov. Bob Riley has formed a commission to find ways to improve the quality of life in Alabama's Black Belt region.

The governor signed an executive order forming the commission Wednesday, almost a year and a half after he had originally announced he would create the panel.

Riley said the commission is not like previous efforts to study problems in the impoverished region, which stretches from the Mississippi line across much of west Alabama.

State Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma and state treasurer Kay Ivey were appointed to lead the commission. Ivey is a native of Wilcox County, which is in west Alabama.

The governor said the commission would be broken into subcommittees that will work to see measurable improvement in areas such as the jobless rate and the performance of public school students in the Black Belt.