Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has signed an executive order to abolish the state’s Office of Rural Development. The office’s director, former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ron Sparks, will lose his job as a result.

In a statement about the decision, Ivey says she will refocus rural development efforts into existing agencies.

The shuttered office garnered attention recently for implementing Alabama’s new Baby Box Program to combat Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome. Under the program, new Alabama parents can receive a free infant care products inside a sturdy cardboard Baby Box, which can be used as a baby bed for the first few months of life.

SOURCE:, April 12, 2017