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Riley predicts bright future for area, region

By Staff
From staff reports
Gov. Bob Riley predicted great things for South Alabama when he visited Escambia County Thursday to deliver the keynote speech at the Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce's annual banquet.
Quoting a University of Alabama economist, Riley said, &#8220Alabama is on the cusp of greatness.”
Riley predicted the company will affect south Alabama in the way that Mercedes positively impacted the Tuscaloosa area.
A native of Ashland, Ala., in Clay County, Riley said small towns are special.
Referring to the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan, Riley said the difference in people from places like Atmore is that they care about and help each other.
Of his visits to South Alabama after Hurricane Ivan, he said, &#8220Everywhere, people were helping each other. Compare that to New Orleans, where 2,000 people stood on a bridge and waited for someone to help them when they could have walked three-quarters of a mile and gotten food and water.”
To lead, he said, you sometimes have to change old models. If Alabama changes its models, it can compete with anyone, he said.