News

First responders are at work in Foley following a reported tornado that hit an RV park. The storm is believed to have injured several people, one seriously. Witnesses told reporters the twister touched down near the Anchors Aweigh Trailer Park before moving onto a near Lowe's retail outlet. The incident follows a tornado warning named by the National Weather Service at 3:41 pm when a thunderstorm capable of spawning a tornado was spotted in the Foley area. APR news will be monitoring the situation and update you on apr.org and during Morning Edition tomorrow on Alabama Public Radio.

Bark in the Park 2018

Apr 21, 2018
Bark in the Park [Facebook]

Humans and their furry friends are invited to the 5th Annual Bark in the Park Fundraiser benefitting the Will May Dog Park, part of Sokol Park on Watermelon Road in Tuscaloosa.  There will be live music, food trucks, a Pet Parade, children's activities, dogs available for adoption, and much more! 

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A former police chief in central Alabama has pleaded guilty to violation of an ethics law and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Brian Allan Stilwell was charged for crimes he committed between 2010 and 2015. Stillwell was Police Chief of the Clanton Police Department at the time. He was also treasurer of the Chilton County Fraternal Order of Police.

Prosecutors accused Stillwell of using the Fraternal Order’s bank debit card to take money for personal use. He was also accused of using his position as police chief to take money from the Police Department.

Walter Leroy Moody
ADOC

A man responsible for a wave of terror across the Southeast in the late 1980s was put to death last night.

83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody was pronounced dead at 8:42 p.m. last night following a lethal injection at W.C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.

Moody was convicted of killing U.S. Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance and Robert Robinson, a black civil rights attorney from Savannah, Georgia, with bombs sent through the mail. Two other bombs, including one mailed to a Florida NAACP office, were intercepted and did not explode.

David Valdez / White House Photo Office

Former First Lady Barbara Bush passed away earlier this week. Dr. David Alsobrook worked for the National Archives and was the director of the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library in Texas. Alsobrook, who now lives in Mobile got to know the Bush family during his time there and has this remembrance…

So, as the director, how well did you get to know the Bush family?

Robert Vance
Joyce Vance via AP

A package bomber who created a wave of terror across the South is scheduled to be executed in Alabama, nearly 30 years after killing a federal judge with a bomb mailed to his home.

Walter Leroy Moody Jr., 83, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday. At his 1996 trial, prosecutors described Moody as a meticulous coward who committed murder by mail because of his obsession with getting revenge on the legal system, and then committed more bombings to make it look like the Ku Klux Klan was behind the judge's murder.

An Alabama legislator and a lobbyist who once chaired the Alabama Republican Party are scheduled to appear in federal court later today on conspiracy charges.

Alabama Republican Representative Jack D. Williams of Vestavia Hills and lobbyist Marty Connors are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in federal court in Montgomery.

The two were arrested earlier this month, along with G. Ford Gilbert of California, on conspiracy to commit bribery and mail fraud charges.

U Mobile worship
University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is offering a new master’s degree aimed at educating the next generation of church music leaders.

The new Master of Arts in Worship Leadership and Theology will start next fall, and will combine coursework in music and music education as well as theology and leadership. The degree will be offered mostly online along with a three-day intensive seminar twice a year held on campus and also streamed online.

A student group at the University of Alabama won’t be hosting a speech from a prominent white nationalist this week after all.

The group Students for America First had invited Jared Taylor to speak on campus on Thursday. Taylor is the editor of the website “American Renaissance” and planned to give a talk entitled “Diversity: Is It Good for America?”

However, university officials moved to cancel the event yesterday, saying Students for America First didn’t meet the requirements for a registered student organization.

The city of Birmingham says it did not violate state law when it put up a plywood box around a 52-foot-tall Confederate monument in a city park.

In a court filing yesterday, the city disputed the state of Alabama’s claims that Birmingham violated a law prohibiting the removal or alteration of any monuments more than 40 years old.

Fulton flood damage
Clarke Co. EMA

Last weekend was a wet one across the state of Alabama, and forecasters say several spots saw record-breaking amounts of rainfall as well as flooding and rain-related damage.

National Weather Service officials say the rain was extreme in southwest Alabama, especially in Clarke County. Total rainfall for that area this weekend was 9.34 inches. Emergency management officials say 18 car and residence rescues were made Saturday night and early yesterday morning.

Alabama’s interim state superintendent says about 200 teacher positions in Montgomery will have to be eliminated in order to stabilize finances.

Al.com reports interim superintendent Ed Richardson also says Montgomery will need to outsource about 400 support jobs. He says the Alabama Education Association could have prevented those job cuts for Montgomery Public Schools if the group had not gone to court to block his plan to sell Georgia Washington Middle School to the town of Pike Road.

First Aid for Pets

Apr 14, 2018
theopie [Flickr]

Knowing what to do for a pet in an emergency can make  a big difference.  For example, applying a splint may seem easy, but done incorrectly, it could do more harm than good.  Learn the basics for pet first aid so you can help your four-legged friend in need.

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debate
WTVM-TV

The leading Democratic contenders for governor spent much — but not all — of their time agreeing with one another in a debate Wednesday night.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and former state legislator James Fields appeared in the debate hosted by WVTM in Birmingham Wednesday night.

Failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore is countersuing a woman who says he molested her when she was 14 and he was 32.

Moore's attorneys filed the defamation counterclaim on Monday against Leigh Corfman — who has an ongoing defamation lawsuit against Moore — denying Corfman's accusations of sexual misconduct first raised in an interview with the Washington Post. Corfman is among several women who say Moore romantically or sexually pursued them decades ago when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s.

Alabama U.S. Senator Doug Jones, the Democrat who unexpectedly prevailed in one of the country's most Republican states, has a book set to come out next year.

St. Martin's Press told The Associated Press that Jones' "Bending Toward Justice: The Birmingham Church Bombing that Changed the Course of Civil Rights" is scheduled for release in January.

A university in east Alabama still recovering from a tornado strike has released surveillance video showing what the storm looked like as it hit campus.

Jacksonville State University released a video compilation made from multiple cameras as a tornado touched down on campus on March 19.

Birmingham's public transit system is getting $3.6 million in federal grant money to pay for new buses.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says the funding will go to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority in order to replace old buses that have outlived their usefulness.

The agency says the new vehicles will reduce maintenance and other costs as well as improving reliability.

Indi Samarajiva [Flickr]

Taking care of your furry friend makes for a great relationship with a faithful companion.  Taking care of your favorite public radio station makes for great listening.  If only a few people do it, it can be expensive, but if a lot of us do it, it will be healthy  -and affordable!

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"The King of Alabama"

Apr 4, 2018
James Peppler

“If you did not know him, and had never heard anything about him, and were to go into a room where he was seated, he was a person who would not monopolize a conversation,” says Fred Gray, a civil rights attorney in Tuskegee, Alabama. He’s recalling one of this earliest clients, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

“I think initially most people heard it on the media, and those who heard it, told other people about it, so it spread like wildfire. There wasn’t any question about that. It hit me when he was killed, because I knew we had lost a great leader.”

Jackson House
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Wednesday, April 4 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior’s assassination. For the past month, the Alabama Public Radio news team has been examining Dr. King’s work and his impact here in Alabama. You’ve heard a photographer from Montgomery recall documenting King’s work. APR guest reporter Ousmane Sagara shared how people in his nation of Mali remember Dr. King. You also heard about the house where King hid from white supremacists, just days before his assassination. Now APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports on another place in Alabama closely connected to Dr. King, and how his influence is being felt by a new generation…

Would it surprise you to hear that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wasn't the only name under consideration  to lead the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955? Over the last month, Alabama Public Radio has been examining the work Dr. King did in Alabama and his impact here. This special series of reports is airing ahead of the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. King's assassination in Memphis this Wednesday. Be sure to tune in Wednesday night at 7 pm for the APR news special "The King of Alabama." I sat down with civil rights attorney Fred Gray in his law office in Tuskegee. Gray represented Rosa Parks, Dr.

APR

This Wednesday marks fifty years since the death of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the APR news team is examining Dr. King’s work in Alabama and his impact here. The civil rights leader inspired his supporters with the Montgomery bus boycott, his letter from the Birmingham Jail, and by leading voting rights marches across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on one witness to Dr. King’s earliest work in the civil rights movement, and the place where the two men met...

Bob Fitch Photographic Archives / Stanford University Libraries

This Wednesday marks fifty years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the Alabama Public Radio news team has been examining Dr. King’s work and impact here in Alabama. You met a photographer from Montgomery who chronicled the civil rights icon. APR guest reporter Ousmane Sagara of the West African nation of Mali reported on how his countrymen remember Dr. King. And, we examined how Alabama is one of only two states that celebrates the birthdays of Dr. King and Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the same day.

Stan Ingold / Alabama Public Radio

This Wednesday marks fifty years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the Alabama Public Radio news team has been examining Dr. King’s work and impact here in Alabama. APR guest reporter Ousmane Sagara of the West African nation of Mali reported on how his countrymen remember Dr. King. We examined how Alabama is one of only two states that celebrates the birthdays of Dr. King and Confederate General Robert E. Lee on the same day. Today we look at one man who followed Dr. King with his camera.

"We remember Dr. King, too." An audio postcard from West Africa

Apr 1, 2018

This Wednesday marks fifty years since the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. Throughout March, the APR news team is reporting on King’s work and impact here in Alabama. The event is being remembered in the United States, but not just in the U.S. Alabama Public Radio participated in a visiting journalist program last year with the West African nation of Mali. That’s where the APR news team met Ousmane Sagara. His home country has its own relationship with Dr. King. We invited Sagara to file this report from Mali’s capitol city.

"The Believers..." Alabamians Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert E. Lee

Apr 1, 2018

Next month marks fifty years since the death of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the APR news team is looking at King’s work and impact here in Alabama. Each year, America honors King on the third Monday in January. The nation takes a day off work and school to remember his accomplishments. Alabama is one of only two states that also celebrates another man on the same day as Dr. King.

“He asked a question: why do we celebrate Robert E. Lee’s birthday?”

Easter with Pets

Mar 31, 2018
stacydubuc [Flickr]

So much of what we enjoy about the Easter celebration can mean trouble for our best friends.  Almost everything in the Easter basket should be kept away from our pets, and much of the food on our table, including anything with grapes, raisins, garlic, onions, avocados.  Uncooked breads containing yeast also should be kept away from an animal that likes to sneak a taste or two.   Enjoy the holiday, but remember to keep your furry buddy safe to help celebrate all year long.

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Alabama lawmakers are stretching out this year's legislative session as tensions and disagreements on Wednesday derailed what they hoped would be their final meeting day.

Legislators abandoned a plan to conclude the session Wednesday as a number of measures had not reached final passage by late evening. They are returning to the State House Thursday morning.

"I think everybody — with clearer heads, at nine in the morning, making reasonable decisions— we'll still end up with a good session," said Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.

Patricia Todd
via Twitter

Alabama's first openly gay legislator bid farewell to the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening.

Representative Patricia Todd, a Democrat from Birmingham, will not seek re-election after serving 12 years in the state House.

Todd said on the House floor that her colleagues are "incredible, beautiful people" who all treated her with equality, even though some she thought she "would never get along with or like."

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