Prison commissioner: No evidence inmate suffered

10 hours ago

Alabama's prison commissioner says there were no visible signs that an inmate suffered during an execution last night. Commissioner Jeff Dunn issued the statement Friday on the execution of inmate Ronald Bert Smith Jr. Dunn says Smith coughed early in the execution Thursday night, "but at no time ...was there observational evidence that he suffered." Witnesses reported that the 45-year-old prisoner heaved and coughed repeatedly for 13 minutes during the execution. His hand also appeared to...

Carbon monoxide leak at Redstone sends 7 to hospitals

11 hours ago

What's being described as a carbon monoxide leak at Huntsville's Redstone Arsenal resulted in seven people being sent to a hospital. The problem occurred this morning at Redstone Arsenal's Fox Army Health Center. An official says Redstone firefighters confirmed elevated levels of carbon monoxide at the building when they responded to an alarm. Post spokesman Chris Colster says four people were sent to the hospital at first, and three more were taken to a hospital after the health center...

"...and justice for all."

12 hours ago

“…I met some good people in there and some evil, evil people.” Randall Padgett spent three years on Alabama’s death row for a crime he didn’t commit. If you think he’s the only one with a complaint about the state’s justice system, critics say get in line… “I have talked to prisoners who are enduring horrible conditions…” Ebony Howard is with the Southern Poverty Law Center. “Prisoners who are not getting the medication that they need. Prisoners who have died since I’ve known them, because...

Alabama death row inmate Ronald Bert Smith was executed last night for the 1994 killing of a Huntsville man. But the way he died may lend additional support to those attempting to outlaw the use of the sedative midazolam in a three-drug lethal injection cocktail. During the 34-minute execution last night at Holman Correctional Facility, Smith reportedly coughed and heaved for nearly 15 minutes. Smith’s attorneys had appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court to block the execution, arguing he was...

The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office is reminding residents to pay attention to possible fire hazards in the home now that the holiday season is in full swing, Scott Pilgreen is the Alabama Fire Marshal. He says one hazard people don’t usually think about during the holiday season is burning candles. “We need to make sure that the candles that we have, whether it be for decoration or scent or both, that we keep them at a proper distance from anything that could be combustible. It could be...

State: Alabama graduation rate not accurate

Dec 8, 2016

Alabama's 89 percent graduation rate is not accurate, but it may be months before the correct numbers are revealed. A review of the state's graduation rates by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Inspector General shows the state misstated its rates by counting students who received Alabama Occupational Diplomas in its numbers. They also did not properly oversee local school systems' awarding of class credits, resulting in some diplomas that weren't honestly earned. A state...

Southern states still in drought's crosshairs

Dec 8, 2016

The recent rain across Alabama is providing some relief from the ongoing drought, but the dry conditions that have plagued the state are far from over. The worst of the drought is in central Alabama, including Jefferson County and communities in the eastern part of the state. John Christy is the Alabama state climatologist. He says the rain has helped but the drought far from over… “The soils are still below normal in terms of their moisture capacity and the creeks being low tells us there is...

Alabama’s teachers are getting some good news about their retirement savings. Al.com reports investments by the Alabama Teachers’ Retirement System, managed by the Retirement Systems of Alabama earned 10.4% during the most recent fiscal year ending September 30. That’s up from just 1.04% the year before. As Alabama state treasurer Young Boozer puts it, “What happened was we moved the decimal point one place to the right.” Officials say the main reason for the jump in earnings was domestic...

An Alabama man is just hours away from execution by lethal injection. Ronald Bert Smith was sentenced to die for killing a convenience store clerk in 1994. It would be the first execution in the state since 2013. But it’s how a judge arrived at the death penalty in this case that has civil rights groups crying foul… Ronald Smith’s jury recommended life in prison. The judge overturned that suggestion and imposed the death penalty. Alabama is the only state where a judge is empowered to do that...

Report: LGBT students face discrimination at US schools

Dec 7, 2016

A report from an international human rights organization concludes many public schools are still hostile environments for LGBT students in Alabama and other states. The lengthy report from Human Rights Watch was released today and offered suggestions of ways for states to make policy changes. It was based on hundreds of interviews primarily with current and former high school students, parents, administrators and teachers in Alabama, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Texas and Utah. The report...

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