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Governor visits Russellville

Healthcare and broadband – and the challenges faced by rural areas attempting to provide such services – were the topics of the day for Gov. Robert Bentley, who spent the morning in Russellville Wednesday.

Bentley met with the Franklin County Broadband Taskforce at the Franklin County Courthouse, and taskforce director Katernia Cole-Coffey laid out a timeline of efforts by the group to bring reliable broadband Internet to the county. She outlined the roadblocks the group has faced – primarily, issues of funding. “We need some help,” Cole-Coffey said. “We know the need.”

Bentley acknowledged the hurdles to providing broadband to rural areas and outlined some of the progress being made at the state level in this regard, for Franklin County and other rural counties, as well.

“If we’re going to help rural Alabama, rural Alabama needs to be connected to the rest of the world,” Bentley said. “We have looked at ways to bring broadband to the entire state of Alabama.”

The governor also spent several hours at Russellville Hospital, visiting with administrators and local medical professionals.

For more from Bentley’s visit, pick up a copy of next week’s Franklin County Times.