Alabama Governor Robert Bentley came out to defend the state’s closure of dozens of driver’s license offices after Congresswoman Terri Sewell said she was pursuing a Department of Justice investigation.

Bentley sent a letter to U.S Representative Terri Sewell yesterday responding to Sewell's criticisms. She has asked the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate since Alabama requires a photo ID to vote. She says the closures disproportionately impact poor and African-American populations.

The fallout continues from Alabama’s new general fund budget. APR student reporter Taylor Swinney reports the fiscal year has just begun and the impact is now being felt…

Alabama’s Law Enforcement Agency says there will be fewer State troopers on the road to help out with major events like Mardi Gras and races at Talladega. The department is facing a budget cut of eleven million dollars.

Congresswoman Terri Sewell is asking the U.S. Department of Justice to investigate the closure of 31 Alabama driver's license offices.

Sewell sent a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch yesterday saying the closures disproportionately impact rural, African-American and poor communities.

Sewell says the closures will severely limit access to a state issued driver's license, the most popular form of photo identification used in voting.

A judge has set a hearing on House Speaker Mike Hubbard's claims of prosecutorial misconduct and argument that the ethics law is unconstitutional.

Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker says the hearing is on October 26.  Walker says for Hubbard to prevail, he must prove misconduct that substantially impacted a grand jury's decision to indict Hubbard.

Hubbard faces 23 ethics charges accusing him of using his public offices to benefit his businesses.

Alabama’s share of an eighteen billion dollar settlement following the 2010 Gulf oil spill might be clearer today. The U.S. Justice Department plans to file details into the agreement with BP oil after years of legal fighting over damage done by the spill. A sixty day public comment period will come after the deal with Alabama and four other Gulf states is laid out. That’s the next step toward final court approval. BP paid nearly six billion dollars in payments to businesses impacted by the spill already.

It may have been the first time since the 2009 SEC Championship that Alabama wasn't favored to win a game. But the 38-10 result of a rain-soaked contest in Athens left no doubt that the Crimson Tide was the best team on the field.

Despite the weather, Alabama QB Jake Coker had his best game of the season in terms of quarterback rating. He completed nearly 70% of his passes and gained just shy of 200 yards through the air. RB Derrick Henry had a productive day as well, rushing for nearly 150 yards and adding a touchdown.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham recently conducted a conference designed to help their counseling and health staff better address the needs of transgender students.

The two-day event last week is part of a national trend of college officials introducing new policies and programs to better include and serve their transgender students, as issues specific to their community are gaining broader attention.

NatalieMaynor [Flickr]

If you take your pet to a local Blessing of the Animals ceremony, make sure you have it either on a leash or in a cage or carrier.  That way, everyone can be focused on enjoying the special event!


Former Alabama first lady Dianne Bentley says she's "doing fine" days after her divorce from Gov. Robert Bentley.

Dianne Bentley filed for divorce from the governor in late August, citing an irretrievable breakdown.  A judge officially ended their 50-year marriage Tuesday.

The former first lady says God is helping her, and expressed thanks for prayers. She says she still wants to represent the state "as a lady" even though she isn't first lady anymore.


October 3, 2015 marks ten years since Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox first took office. APR news director Pat Duggins takes us "behind the scenes" to today's media briefing on the Mayor's first decade in office and what is ahead.

The Alabama Attorney General's Office is seeking an execution date for a death row inmate convicted in the 1992 rape and murder of a Homewood woman. reports the Attorney General submitted a motion to the Alabama Supreme Court last week saying inmate Christopher Brooks has exhausted his direct appeals and should be scheduled to be executed.

Republican Representative Phil Williams of Huntsville says he is challenging Mike Hubbard to be speaker of the House, saying he, and others, believe the House needs fresh leadership.

A letter to house members come as several Republican legislators called for Hubbard to step down as he heads to trial on ethics charges.

Williams shares a sentiment that the House can't operate effectively with current leadership.

Tuscaloosa's fourth annual Garden Party is taking place Sunday evening from 5 to 8 PM. The event is the main fundraiser for the Druid City Garden Project. It features chefs from eight local restaurants under one roof preparing dishes you won’t be able to find anywhere else.

I spoke with the Druid City Garden Project’s executive director Lindsay Turner about the party and the work the event is going to fund.

The Alabama Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a former member of the Tuscaloosa Board of Education who says illegal votes cost her a 2013 re-election.

Kelly Horwitz says her opponent for a school board seat in 2013, Cason Kirby, benefited from illegal votes cast by members of University of Alabama fraternities and sororities. She claims some of those votes were the result of bribery, with Greek members pressuring classmates and offering free drinks or concert tickets to get people to vote.

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency says it is pulling examiners out of 31 part-time satellite driver’s license offices because of budget cuts.

The agency made the announcement today. The examiners currently travel to the locations during some days of the week.

The agency said the change will save money on travel costs.

Secretary Spencer Collier says the impact on citizens will be lessened because of online renewals and other options.