News

The commander of Redstone Arsenal says 911 calls about a potential active shooter prompted lockdown; no shooter was found.  

Authorities locked down post today amid reports of possible active shooter. About two hours later, the all-clear was given and officials said there were no confirmed injuries or arrests.

Alabama Gulf Seafood Summit Underway

17 hours ago
shrimp boats
Alabama Gulf Seafood

Chefs and fishermen from across the state are coming together to reel in new ideas about seafood.

The Alabama Gulf Seafood Summit is bringing together all facets of the state’s seafood industry for a two-day event in Orange Beach.  The event is meant to help networking and for those within the industry to make connections to help foster growth.

healthcare protest
Lawrence Specker / al.com

Protestors gathered in multiple Alabama cities yesterday to voice their opposition to a proposed replacement for the Affordable Care Act.

In Mobile, Al.com reports around 100 people gathered in front of the federal courthouse yesterday evening. The event was in part to promote organizers’ demand for Alabama U.S. Senators Richard Shelby and Luther Strange to actually meet with their constituents ahead of a healthcare vote in the Senate.

druid city pride
Alex AuBuchon / APR

An LGBT rights organization in Tuscaloosa celebrated the anniversary of a monumental Supreme Court decision this past weekend.

Today is the two-year anniversary of the court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case that ultimately guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry throughout the United States. Druid City Pride, a community organization in Tuscaloosa, commemorated the occasion with food, music, and a fundraising raffle.

Russell Howard is the director of Druid City Pride. He says he wants to keep seeing progress toward LGBT equality in Alabama.

A community college in Alexander City, Alabama has been placed on probation due to financial issues.

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges recently put Central Alabama Community College on a 12-month probation, according to Al.com.

Central Alabama Community College President Susan Burrow says the probation is due to audit findings from previous years that at this point have mostly been resolved. Burrow says the probation won’t affect students or any school programs, and the college will retain its accreditation for the twelve-month period.

Sagen Anderson

"That’s great journalism!” That was just one comment from the judges in what was a national award winning-weekend for the Alabama Public Radio news team.

APR news director Pat Duggins represented the news team at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. as APR was presented with its 3rd national Sigma Delta Chi award from the Society of Professional Journalists. This prestigious honor is for APR's documentary "...and justice for all." Click on the "Youtube" link at the bottom of this page.

Tropical Storm Cindy dumped a lot of rain on the state of Alabama, and Governor Kay Ivey is now looking for federal help for the state's farmers due to potential crop losses.

Ivey sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue on Friday asking for a federal disaster declaration in some Alabama counties.

She wrote that a large number of Alabama agricultural producers have "experienced significant losses" because of Tropical Storm Cindy. Ivey says farmers in the southern and central portions of the state had been impacted the most.

Cat History

Jun 24, 2017
Andrew (polandeze) [Flickr]

The Abyssinian Cat is one of the oldest breeds of domestic cats in the world.  Its history dates back to the time of ancient Egypt.  With its ticked coat and body shape it has the appearance of an African wild cat.  However, like many of its feline cousins, it is intelligent, active and playful and makes a great pet.  When you adopt a cat, you are sharing your home with living history!

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Fairfield tornado damage
WTVM-TV

As the remnants of Tropical Storm Cindy are expected to drench parts of Tennessee, Kentucky and West Virginia today, residents in parts of Alabama will be picking up the pieces.

A powerful storm system hit Jefferson County yesterday, leaving four people injured, downing power lines and destroying buildings in the city of Fairfield. The National Weather Service in Birmingham has confirmed that a tornado struck the Fairfield area. They have given it a preliminary rating of EF-2, with an estimated wind speed of 120 miles per hour.

5-day rainfall
NOAA

Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall early this morning, and effects from the storm are still being felt across much of the northern Gulf Coast including Alabama.

Storm-related conditions have already been blamed for one death in Alabama. A ten-year-old boy from Missouri on vacation with his family in Fort Morgan, Ala. was standing outside their condominium when he was struck and killed by a log carried by storm surge.

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has declared a state of emergency for the entire state of Alabama that is still in effect.

The state of Alabama will stop administering the ACT Aspire Test.

The state Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday not to renew the contract with ACT Aspire. State Superintendent Michael Sentance says there were “several issues” with last year’s iteration of the test. He says receipt of results were delayed, and when the state finally received the results, some of the data was incorrect.

James McWilliams
ADOC

The U.S. Supreme Court has come down in favor of an Alabama inmate who argued he didn’t have a mental health expert at his trial to help him try and avoid a death sentence.

The justices divided 5 to 4 yesterday, ultimately siding with Alabama death row inmate James McWilliams. He did not have an independent mental health expert on his side when he was convicted of raping and killing a convenience store clerk in Tuscaloosa.

An Alabama mayor is offering to take Confederate-related monuments recently disassembled in New Orleans.

Hanceville Mayor Kenneth Nail wrote to New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, asking him to consider donating the monuments for display in Veterans Memorial Park in Hanceville. The town of about 3,250 people is about 40 miles north of Birmingham.

Today is the deadline for business owners in fifteen Alabama counties to get drought relief from Washington.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is taking applications for loans of up to two million dollars at four percent interest. The money would go to business owners who can prove they lost income because of the extreme drought conditions last year.

SBA spokesman Jay McKenna says these loans aren’t for ranchers or farmers, who can get help from other federal agencies.

A new state law restores voting rights for many people with felony convictions, and two legal groups will be holding clinics this summer to make sure those people are registered to vote.

The ACLU of Alabama and Legal Services of Alabama both plan to hold a series of “restoration clinics” at churches in Birmingham, Mobile and Selma this summer.

This year is expected to be a difficult one for Alabama's peach growers.

The Alabama Cooperative Extension System says farmers are expected to produce only 10 to 30 percent of their usual harvest this year.

The combination of a warm winter, a late frost and the lingering stress caused by last year's drought are hurting crops at some peach orchards. The central part of Alabama is particularly hard hit.

Edgar Vinson, an Alabama Extension fruit specialist, says peaches need a certain number of cold days every winter to produce healthy fruit in the spring and summer.

A 515-mile underground natural gas pipeline running through Alabama, Georgia and Florida is expected to be fully operational by the end of the month.

The Sabal Trail pipeline will be partially in use next week, according to the Opelika-Auburn News. The pipeline runs from a point near Alexander City, Alabama, to south of Orlando, Florida, in order to supply natural gas to Florida Power and Light and Duke Energy of Florida.

Buzbeto [Flickr]

There are a few tips if you want to take your dog to work.  First make sure that it's okay with your boss, and that none of your coworkers have pet allergies.  Your pet should be healthy and up to date on all its shots, and well behaved.  And puppy-proof your work area so your furry buddy doesn't have access to  electrical cords or poisonous substances (like plants).    

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www.fma.alabama.gov

Alabama is getting a $100,000 federal grant to encourage school districts to buy fresh local fruits and vegetables.

 The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries said Friday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture grant will support a coalition called the Alabama Farm to School Cooperative.

The price of liquor is going up across the state of Alabama soon.

Earlier this week, the Alabama Alcoholic Beverage Control Board voted to raise the state’s markup on liquor from 30 to 35 percent. That amounts to about a $1 increase on a bottle that now costs $30. The goal is to raise about $8.2 million for the state’s courts and prosecutors.

Alabama Tourism Represents in New York City

Jun 16, 2017
Mardi Gras float
AL Tourism Dept

Alabama tourism is strutting its stuff in the Big Apple this week.

The state’s Tourism Commission is setting up a series of events and displays to promote Alabama in New York City. Today, the state will officially unveil an eight story tall billboard of Little River Canyon. The display will be located about half a block from Madison Square Garden.

Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell says the point is to get people talking about the state.

One of two groups that sued over Alabama's legislative districts says it accepts the state's new map, although the other group opposes the new districts. The Alabama Democratic Conference notified a three-judge panel this week that the map approved by Alabama legislators complies with a U.S. Supreme Court ruling. The Democratic group and the Legislative Black Caucus had filed a lawsuit that brought a redistricting order. They argue African-American voters were "stacked and packed" into minority districts to limit their ability to influence elections elsewhere.

Recreational fishermen will have 39 more days to fish the federal waters of the Gulf Coast for red snapper. But some say that could come at the expense of the snapper population and next year's season.

Gulf Coast wildlife officials praised the decision to reopen the federal season for red snapper in Alabama and the rest of the gulf coast for three-day weekends beginning this weekend and continuing through Labor Day, along with three holiday days -- July 3 and 4, and Labor Day itself.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb is running for governor in 2018. Cobb made the announcement Wednesday morning. She told The Associated Press in an interview that "it's time to have a governor who cares more about people than party." She says people in the state have a yearning for courageous leadership and "it's time for honesty in every branch of our government." Cobb, who resigned from the Supreme Court in 2011, was one of the last Democrats to win statewide election in Alabama.

Adelante Alabama
Adelante Alabama

An Alabama-based immigrant advocacy group is urging the city of Birmingham to declare itself a sanctuary city.

The director of the Adelante Alabama Worker Center, Jessica Vosburgh, says that declaration would provide protection to undocumented immigrants in the city and state, and would ensure that Birmingham police officers aren’t working as extensions of federal immigration enforcement.

Alabama ranked 44th in an annual national assessment of child well-being that looks at poverty, education and health access. 

 The Kids Count report was released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Only Arkansas, Arizona, Nevada, Louisiana, New Mexico, and Mississippi ranked lower than Alabama.

Alabama improved in 11 of 16 indicators. The state ranked well, for example, in the percentage of children with health insurance. Only three percent of children were without health insurance.

Gulf Coast states are considering a proposal that would extend the federal red snapper season for recreational anglers, in what has been a contentious and long-running debate.

According to officials in Alabama and Louisiana, the U.S. Commerce Department has told them that if all Gulf states close their state waters to recreational snapper fishing on weekdays through at least September 4, a weekends-only federal season for red snapper could begin as early as this weekend.

ice.gov

An Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee has been charged in connection to a fire inside the Etowah County Detention Center.     

Etowah County Lt. Robin Grant tells local media that 22-year-old Okiemute Omatie of Lagos, Nigeria, is charged with one count of first-degree arson and one count of destruction of state property in connection with the May 26 fire.

Students will be paying a little more to attend the University of West Alabama this fall.

The university’s Board of Trustees has approved a 4.5 percent increase in tuition in order to address some anticipated increases in operating expenses in the upcoming fiscal year. The Tuscaloosa News reports the annual rates for Alabama residents’ tuition would increase by about $327 dollars per year. Out of state students will pay $655 more next year.

Graduate tuition is also increasing, by around $263 for state residents and $454 for out-of-state grad students.

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