News

Huntsville may benefit from the White House directive to revamp the nation’s intercontinental ballistic missile arsenal. The Air Force says it has awarded contracts to Boeing and Northrop Grumman for work that could lead to replacement of the nation's intercontinental ballistic missiles. Chicago-based Boeing has built long-range missiles for the Defense Department since Minuteman I in the 1960s. It’s missile-replacement effort will be done in Huntsville, Alabama as well as Utah, Ohio; and other locations. The contracts are part of a planned overhaul of the U.S.

Alabamians from the Tennessee Valley to the coast are getting ready to view Monday’s solar eclipse. The prime spot to see the sun completely blotted out by the Moon is north and east of Alabama along a line extending from Nashville, Tennessee to Columbia, South Carolina. But Alabama is expected to get about a ninety five percent eclipse over much of the state. Stores in northern Alabama are selling thousands of protective glasses to view the sun, and the University of Alabama in Huntsville has an eclipse-watching party.

American Humane Association

The 2017 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories: Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement/ Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs.

The Southern Poverty Law Center is clashing with Secretary of State John Merrill over Alabama voters listed as “inactive.” The civil rights organization is asking the state to restore hundreds of thousands of people to active voter status ahead of a U.S. Senate runoff election in September and the General Election in December. The SPLC says there was widespread confusion in Election Day last Tuesday. The group believes large numbers of people were incorrectly moved to inactive voting status during an update of rolls.

The Southern Poverty Law Center says it has added Heather Heyer's name to its Wall of Tolerance at the Civil Rights Memorial Center.

 The SPLC said on its website Friday that it had added a tribute to Heyer to its center in Montgomery, Alabama.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey appears closer to announcing an upcoming run for governor after filing paperwork to create a campaign organization.

Earlier this week, Ivey filed paperwork with Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill's office to reserve the name "Kay Ivey for Governor Inc." for a nonprofit organization. Ivey spokesman Daniel Sparkman says Ivey is seriously considering running in 2018 and is "taking the steps necessary to be successful."

All year long, the Alabama Public Radio news team has been investigating the state’s rural healthcare system. One issue is hospitals. Seven rural counties in Alabama don’t have one, and one more county may be added to that list by the end of the month. John Paul Jones hospital in Wilcox County says it will close after sixty years. Five other rural hospitals have closed since the year 2010. Eighty percent of those that are left are operating in the red, in part due to Medicare which pays less in rural Alabama than almost anywhere else in the nation.

A recent report shows Alabama is lagging behind much of the country when it comes to tobacco use.

The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network released its annual report called "How Do You Measure Up?" earlier this month. It finds that although the national adult smoking rate is just over 15 percent, more than one in five adults in Alabama are smokers. Meanwhile, nearly four thousand people in the state are diagnosed with tobacco-related cancer each year.

Sitting Alabama Senator Luther Strange will be facing off with former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in a runoff for the Republican nomination for Senate.

Moore forced Strange into a runoff in yesterday’s primary election, even though the former Alabama Attorney General was backed by an endorsement from President Donald Trump and millions of campaign dollars from establishment Republicans.

Alabama has a new poet laureate. Jennifer Horne was recently elected to the position by the Alabama Writers’ Conclave and is just awaiting Governor Kay Ivey’s signature. We sat on her back porch just outside of Tuscaloosa, and with the buzzing of cicadas, an occasional dog barking, and even a train…I asked her what a poet laureate does?”

Advocates working to fix problems with rural health care say Alabama is ground zero nationally. Studies say Alabama has the highest infant mortality rate in the U.S. The state also leads the nation for diabetes. Alabama is also home to Gadsden which had the lowest life expectancy in the nation in 2016. Despite all this, rural hospitals in the state receive among the lowest reimbursements nationally from Medicare. That’s blamed for eighty percent of Alabama’s hospitals that are operating in the red.

Alabama Senator and former Attorney General Luther Strange is pulling out all the stops to maintain his Senate seat – including calls from the President.

Strange’s campaign announced yesterday that President Donald Trump has recorded robocalls telling Alabama voters to “go to the polls and vote for Luther Strange.” Trump says his administration is accomplishing many of his campaign promises, but he “needs Luther to help us out.”

Free Back-to-School Haircuts in LaFayette

Aug 14, 2017

Three barber shops in the town of LaFayette are joining together to send kids back to school with free haircuts and backpacks.

The program is going into its fourth year and offers free haircuts and backpacks to students ranging from prekindergarten to the twelfth grade. The event was started by three classmates that wanted to give back to the community they came from.

Pastor Gregory Sutton runs one of the barber shops involved. He says he hopes they can act as an example to the students of how to use your talents to benefit the community.

leagueofthesouth.com

Some white Southerners are again advocating for what the Confederacy tried and failed to achieve in the 1860s: secession from the Union.

 

So-called Southern nationalists are among the demonstrators who are fighting the removal of Confederate monuments around the South. They say it's time for Southern states to secede again and become independent of the United States.

Alabama candidates in the race for Attorney General Jeff Sessions' former U.S. Senate seat spent the weekend in a flurry of last-minute campaign stops ahead of Tuesday's primary.  

Republican Senator Luther Strange, who currently holds the seat, said Saturday that President Donald Trump's endorsement was "critical" in the campaign's homestretch.

Strange faces a slate of Republican challengers, including former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, U.S. Representative Mo Brooks, state Senator Trip Pittman and Christian Coalition leader Randy Brinson.

American Humane Association

The 2017 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways.  Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories:  Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs. 

************

 

A judge has dropped sex charges against two school employees, saying the state law is overbroad and unconstitutional.

Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson dismissed charges against 44-year-old Carrie Witt and 27-year-old David Solomon yesterday. Witt is a former teacher at Decatur High School who was arrested in March 2016 for allegedly having sex with two Decatur High students, one 17 and one 18. Solomon is a former contract teacher at Falkville High School accused of having sex with a 17-year-old Falkville High student.

A hospital serving one of Alabama's poorest and most rural counties is scheduled to close by month's end.

George Alford, board chairman of Camden's J. Paul Jones Hospital, tells WSFA-TV that the hospital is losing $1 million annually. He says the hospital struggles with falling population, poverty and cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.

President Trump is making his feelings known on Alabama’s Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. The Commander-in-chief is endorsing Luther Strange ahead of next week’s contentious GOP election. Trump’s support came in the form of a Tweet. Strange is in a tight race with former state chief justice Roy Moore and Congressman Mo Brooks, a member of the House Freedom Caucus. Republican contenders have openly tried to woo Trump voters in the state where he continues to enjoy heavy popularity. Civil Rights icon and Congressman John Lewis is endorsing Doug Jones in the Democratic primary race.

NASA is gathering stakeholders in the International Space Station to look at the future of the orbiting complex, and potential changes could impact the city of Huntsville.

NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville controls science work that’s done aboard the football field-sized space station. That could soon mean working for or with private industry on the complex.

AP

Primary elections for the race to fill Jeff Sessions’ former U.S. Senate seat are taking place a week from today, and one candidate just picked up a high-profile endorsement.

Martial artist and action star Chuck Norris has announced his support for former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, according to multiple news outlets. Norris is best known for starring in “Walker, Texas Ranger” and is a longtime supporter of the former chief justice.

A deadly mosquito-borne virus has been detected in south Alabama.

AL.com reports mosquitoes in parts of Mobile County are carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a disease that Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II says has a human mortality rate between 50 to 75 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe EEE as "one of the most severe mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States", but it is also very rare, with only a few cases reported across the country each year.

American Humane Association

The 2017 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories: Service Dogs, Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs.

*******

The Service Dog category includes animals that assist people with disabilities other than sight and hearing. Most have received special training.

*******

Law Enforcement dogs include what we often think of as police dogs, animals specially trained to patrol, search buildings, track criminals, and to detect drugs, narcotics and explosive devices.  Arson dogs are animals trained to sniff out accelerants that may have been used to start a fire.  Every year hundreds of lives (and billions of dollars in property) are lost as a result of fires that were set intentionally.  The dog works with a handler who is a law enforcement officer trained to investigate fire scenes.

******************* 

A judge says he is not moving the murder trial of an Alabama man that has so far been jailed for 10 years without receiving a trial.

Yesterday, Houston County Judge Kevin Moulton denied a defense request to move the trial due to publicity surrounding the case. Judge Moulton says defense lawyers for Kharon Davis failed to demonstrate that media coverage surrounding the trial would prevent Davis from receiving a fair trial in Houston County. Moulton says defense lawyers would be able to determine whether jurors were biased against their defendant during jury selection.

A park in Alabama is shutting down its greyhound racing operation by the end of the month, which means nearly 400 dogs will need new homes.

Wind Creek Hospitality recently announced that the Mobile Greyhound Park will stop live greyhound racing at the end of the month in response to declining market demand.

Alabama Sighthound Adoptions President Darla Dean recently told WALA-TV that organizations across the country have agreed to adopt the dogs. Most will go to homes, but a few that are still in top racing shape will move to other greyhound tracks.

The Gulf of Mexico is setting an unwanted record – this year’s “dead zone”, where there’s too little oxygen to support any marine life, is the largest ever measured.

Scientists say this year, the oxygen-depleted region is about the size of New Jersey, covering 8,776 square miles. Scientist Nancy Rabalais has been measuring the area since 1985. She and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their latest findings yesterday.

Alabama will be part of a new U.S. Justice Department initiative aimed at crimes related to opioid addiction. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions is dispatching twelve federal prosecutors to focus on health care fraud and opioid scams. The northern district of Alabama will get one of the prosecutors as well as states like Florida, Tennessee, Nevada, Kentucky, and Maryland. Today’s DOJ announcement was a reversal of Obama-era policies that may send more people to prison and for much longer terms. Sessions is making aggressive prosecutions of drug crimes a top priority.

The state of Alabama is working with other states to try and improve cybersecurity measures.

Governor Kay Ivey announced yesterday that she has signed onto a multi-state “Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity” that was agreed upon at this year’s National Governors Association summer meeting.

The compact was signed by 38 governors across the country. It makes recommendations to better secure states’ online infrastructure by building better cybersecurity governance, preparing and defending the state from threats, and developing Alabama’s cybersecurity workforce.

Brady Kilpatrick
Walker Co. Sheriff's Office

Authorities in Florida have captured the last of the dozen prisoners who fled an Alabama county jail in a scheme involving peanut butter.

Florida’s Martin County Sheriff's Office announced on social media that local deputies and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force captured 24-year-old Brady Andrew Kilpatrick last night about 20 miles north of West Palm Beach.

Kilpatrick was being held in the Walker County jail on marijuana and drug paraphernalia charges when he and 11 other prisoners fled Sunday night.

Carnival Cruise Line is extending its contract to base a cruise ship on the Alabama coast in Mobile.

 Mayor Sandy Stimpson says the Miami-based company is extending its deal to sail from Mobile through December 2018. That means the city won't endure a repeat of 2011, when the company ended service from Mobile.

    Carnival currently offers four- and five-day cruises aboard the 855-foot Fantasy from the Alabama Cruise Terminal.    The company's original 13-month contract to operate in Mobile would have ended in December.    

Pages