Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is being forced to clear out his office in the state judicial building today.

It’s a move that Moore’s attorney Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel says is intended to “humiliate” Moore. Staver and other attorneys have asked the Alabama Supreme Court to allow Moore to keep his personal effects in his office while he appeals his suspension from the court.

Tuscaloosa officials seek return of passenger air service

Oct 17, 2016

Tuscaloosa officials are making a concerted effort to return passenger air service to the city's airport.

The city council has approved a contract with Sixel Consultants Group to help lure a passenger airline to the Druid City.  They want upgrade the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport's existing facilities to accommodate the service.

A commercial airline has not operated at the airport in nearly 20 years.

Some displaced ITT Technical Institutes students will start hitting the books again this week.

Many students of the now-defunct school have enrolled at local universities and community colleges in Alabama. Lawson State Community College is one of several schools offering help to students affected by ITT’s closure. They have invited many former ITT students to enroll in their second fall mini-term.

Students may face challenges in transferring credits. Regionally accredited institutions only accept credits that meet certain standards.

Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant

The Tennessee Valley Authority has set a date for an auction to sell an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeast Alabama.

The federal utility says the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant will be sold at auction on Nov. 14. Minimum bids are set at $36.4 million. The TVA won't release any details on potential buyers, so it's unknown how many bidders might be interested in the plant.

A study by Alabama researchers is looking at a potential method for reducing the number of gun suicides in the United States.

A report published by the American Association of Suicidology suggests that many patients at risk for killing themselves would voluntarily place their names on a list of people who can't purchase firearms.   

That could be important since guns account for about half of all suicides, and suicide was the tenth-leading cause of death in the United States in 2013.

Encyclopedia of Alabama

 The first black person to attend the University of Alabama, Autherine Lucy Foster, is among four people who are being honored as the newest members of the university's Alabama Educator Hall of Fame.

The group was honored at a ceremony Saturday night at NorthRiver Yacht Club in Tuscaloosa.  

Foster became the first black person to attend Alabama in 1956. Campus riots broke out and the university removed her. Foster's expulsion was reversed in 1988, and she graduated from Alabama with a master's degree in elementary education in 1992.

Alabama voters on Election Day will have their say on 14 proposed statewide amendments. One of those is aimed at protecting money for the Yellowhammer State's twenty one state parks.

Amendment 2 would prohibit money generated at state parks— as well as tax dollars earmarked for park maintenance — from being transferred to other government functions. It would also allow more private entities to run hotels, golf courses and restaurants at the parks.

Pets in the Storm

Oct 15, 2016
American Humane Association [Facebook]

If you wonder how you can help the pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the answer is to make a donation to one of the many organizations that are working in the storm area.    And consider adopting a pet.  Every animal that is adopted from a shelter or rescue group makes room and gives another animal a chance to be adopted!


Chief Justice Roy Moore was suspended last month for his stand against same-sex marriage in Alabama.

Now the remaining members of the Supreme Court are kicking him out of the courthouse. Moore’s attorneys say he received two letters earlier this week from the acting head of the Supreme Court Lyn Stuart.

They say he has to remove all his belongings from the state courthouse and turn in his keys by next Tuesday. Moore’s three law clerks were also fired, and his name was removed from the Supreme Court letterhead.

Alabama's first female lieutenant governor, Democrat Lucy Baxley, has died.

A statement released by Baxley's family says she died Friday at home. She was 78. Baxley was elected lieutenant governor and presided over the Senate during a four-year term that began in 2003.

She was the Democratic nominee for governor in 2006 but lost to Republican Bob Riley. Baxley served as state treasurer before becoming lieutenant governor and she was elected president of the Alabama Public Service Commission in 2008 despite having suffered a serious stroke after her gubernatorial bid.

Prison Reform: Alabama's overcrowding problem

Oct 14, 2016

Alabama’s prison system has been in the news a lot this year, and not for good reasons. Inmate riots, as well as allegations of mismanagement and corruption have pointed out plenty of problems. The Alabama Public Radio news team has spent the past several months examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out. Today, APR’s MacKenzie Bates hears from critics of Alabama’s prisons are run and how plans to fix things may just throw money at the problem…

Alabama's newly hired school superintendent is looking for ways to address what he is calling a "crisis in math education" in Alabama.

Yesterday, Superintendent Michael Sentance told state school board members that he wants to develop a strategy to raise state math scores that currently rank at the bottom of the nation.

Sentance says only 31 percent of Alabama eight-graders are proficient at math. He says that has significant consequences for the entire state economy, making it difficult for Alabama to recruit tech jobs and other industry.

No  more "A's," or "F's," for Alabama schools, at least for now. The Alabama Board of Education is postponing plans to assign schools letter grades. Board members tabled a vote on rules pertaining to the proposed new report cards. The vote came after several board members raised skepticism over the plans and suggested additional conversations with lawmakers and new education Superintendent Michael Sentance.  Alabama lawmakers in 2012 approved legislation requiring the development of the A-F report cards. The first report cards were scheduled for December.

Brynn Anderson / AP

Weather conditions across the state have led to hundreds of fast-spreading wildfires, and the Governor has had enough.

Yesterday, Governor Bentley signed an emergency order banning all outside fires across 46 of Alabama’s counties due to the drought conditions. The declaration prohibits all campfires, bonfires, trash or debris fires or any other open burning in any of the specified counties.

Those in violation of the order can be fined up to $500 and sentenced to up to six months in jail, according to the Alabama Forestry Commission.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville is focusing on the needs of the disabled community this month.

The campus is hosting weekly brown bag meetings for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The gatherings focus on including the disabled in the workplace. The topics covered range from return on investment for companies, on-the-job coaching for those with disabilities, etiquette and a disability simulation.

Two hundred and seventy-eight new lawyers will join the Alabama Bar Association tomorrow morning. The new attorneys will be sworn in at the Bar’s fall admission ceremony. The Young Lawyer’s Section of the Bar will host the event. The ceremony will be a ceremonial session of the State Supreme Court. Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stewart will administer the oath to the new members. Justin Aday is the Director of Admissions for the Alabama State Bar. He says the ceremony is more sentimental than official.

Moody's Investor Services has raised its outlook on Mobile from negative to stable. It's a move that Mayor Sandy Stimpson says will help ongoing efforts to put the city on a more solid financial footing. Mobile remains at an Aa2 credit rating, but Stimpson says the change in outlook will have real benefits. The Mayor says the city is getting ready to go back into the market to refinance some existing debt and the timing of the Moody report was perfect.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is fighting back as the legislative committee trying to impeach him is attempting to subpoena lots of documents from the governor’s administration.

On Monday, Bentley’s lawyer Ross Garber filed an objection with the House Judiciary Committee to subpoenas they had issued for various documents. Garber says the legislative committee does not have subpoena power and is seeking a large amount of documents that “go far beyond any legitimate inquiry”.

Fans of William Shakespeare will be celebrating his 400th birthday in Montgomery this month.

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art is hosting a Shakespeare exhibit called “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare.” The book contains original printings of the famous playwright’s work. It was published in the 1600s, just a few years after Shakespeare’s death.

Margaret Lynne Aufeld is the curator of art at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. She says this is a rare chance to see this prized publication.

Ambrosia Starling
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Roy Moore is no longer serving as the Chief Justice of Alabama.

On September 30, a majority of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary decided to suspend Moore for the remainder of his six-year term as punishment for ethics violations. The charges relate to Moore’s role in the controversy over same-sex marriage in Alabama.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon has been following the Chief Justice’s case. He has this report on reactions to the trial and what may be coming next.

Federal prosecutors are recommending a lengthy prison term for a former nonprofit official convicted in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme.

U.S. Attorney Joyce Vance has recommended a 27 year prison sentence for 53-year-old former nonprofit healthcare CEO Jonathan Dunning.

Dunning was convicted in June on 98 counts including conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

Forest fires have been chewing through acres of land throughout Alabama. APR student reporter Parker Branton has more.

On Sunday alone, there were 65 active forest fires burning through the state.

The Alabama Forestry Commission is working around the clock to control the fires by bulldozing containment lines and backfiring until the fires are no longer a threat.

Coleen Vansant is the spokeswoman for the Alabama Forestry Commission. She says the weather conditions have made this fall fire season unlike any other.


Wildfires are burning across Alabama as drought conditions worsen. Forecasters say there isn't enough rain in the forecast to lessen the threat anytime soon. The Alabama Forestry Commission reported that about 70 blazes burned around 730 acres of land on Sunday alone. The situation is worse in north Alabama, where drought conditions are most severe. The state issued a fire danger warning for 46 of Alabama's 67 counties last week, and officials said it will continue until rain returns to the state.

Alabama’s prison system has been in the news a lot this year, and not for good reasons. Inmate riots, allegations of mismanagement and corruption, and a failed prison building plan in the state legislature have pointed out plenty of problems. The Alabama Public Radio news team has spent the past several months examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out. This week, I examine what the State of Alabama does when people are convicted of crimes they didn’t do. Critics say, not much…

Thousands of Alabama children are attending private schools thanks to Accountability Act scholarships, but very few of those students transferred out of a failing public school.

The state program provides private school scholarships to help low-income students attend private schools. When lawmakers started the program in 2013, it was touted as a way to help students escape schools with chronically low test scores.

The Decatur Daily reports that, according to state data over the past three years, only 39 students withdrew from failing schools to attend private schools.

The Alabama Ethics Commission says gifts to school teachers and other public employees might be able to cost more than $25.

Earlier this week, the state ethics panel gave preliminary approval to an advisory opinion saying gifts for public employees are not always subject to the $25 limit. Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton says the commission wanted to clear up confusion about gifts, including customary holiday gifts to teachers.

Gov. Bentley
Albert Cesare / Associated Press

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he can no longer vote for Donald Trump in the wake of the Republican presidential nominee's comments about women.

Bentley joined Alabama U.S. Representatives Martha Roby and Bradley Byrne yesterday calling for Trump to step aside from the presidential race. Trump is under fire for a leaked audio recording from 2005 in which he brags about groping and trying to seduce married women.

Ragsby's Story

Oct 8, 2016
Eric Walker

October is Adopt-a-Dog Month, and Ragsby's story is a perfect illustration of the great dogs who just need the opportunity to show somebody what great pets and companions they can become, if only they are given the chance.  

If you're looking for a canine companion, visit your local shelter or rescue group.  You won't change the world by adopting a pet but you will change the world for your new furry friend - and you just might find your world is better, too.


Stuart takes helm of Alabama Supreme Court

Oct 7, 2016

The Alabama Supreme Court has its acting chief justice.

Lyn Stuart is being elevated to the position after former Chief Justice Roy Moore was permanently suspended from the court.  Moore is appealing the ruling.

Stuart is the senior member of the Supreme Court.  She has led the state’s highest court since May after Moore was initially suspended for ethics violations.  She has served on the Alabama Supreme Court since 2000.