News

NOAA Photo Library [Flickr]

A military or war dog can be a soldier's greatest asset and the enemy's worst nightmare.  They are loyal, intelligent,  and they have an average accuracy rate of 98% in sniffing out bombs, gas, drugs and enemy forces.   It's no wonder that most of them are adopted by former handlers when they retire!

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Government forecasters are set to release their prediction later today for how many hurricanes and tropical storms they expect to form over Atlantic and Caribbean waters in the next six months.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts Friday, June 1 and ends on November 30.

If Alabama were to expand its Medicaid program, more than 200,000 people in the state would gain health insurance.

That’s according to a new report from the Urban Institute, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They find that Alabama would see a drop from just over 17% to just over 12% of the population uninsured. The state would also see an additional $1.5 billion each year in spending from the federal government.

Alabamians wanting to register to vote in the June 5th primary have until the end of the day today to register.

The primary election will see voters deciding on who will represent their political party in the general election in November.

John Merrill is Alabama’s Secretary of State. He says there are several ways to get registered.

wikipedia.org

Yellowing court records from the arrests of Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr. 

and others at the dawn of the modern civil rights era are being preserved and digitized after being discovered in a courthouse box.

Archivists at Alabama State University are cataloguing and flattening dozens of documents found at the Montgomery County Courthouse. Circuit Clerk Tiffany McCord hopes electronic versions will be available for viewing as early as late June.

Pet Travel Rules

May 19, 2018
Can Do Canines [Flickr]

If an animal is behaving badly  (growling, hissing, biting), chances are pretty good it is not a true service or support animal.  A legitimate service or support animal is trained to move through crowded areas and confined spaces without acting out.  

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Patricia Todd
via Twitter

An LGBTQ organization in Florida founded in the aftermath of the PULSE nightclub shooting is taking back a job offer from an Alabama lawmaker. This comes after she made a social media post speculating about the governor's personal life.

The One Orlando Alliance announced yesterday it has retracted a job offer to Patricia Todd, Alabama's only openly gay lawmaker. Todd was set to become the group's executive director. Chairwoman Jennifer Foster said Todd showed a "lapse" in judgment with regard to her comment.

The Red Crescent Clinic

May 17, 2018
Red Crescent Clinic

Finding affordable healthcare in Alabama is an ongoing problem. The Alabama Department of Public Health says 800,000 Alabamians can’t afford health insurance. That includes 80,000 children. The state adds medical debt from unpaid hospital bills is a leading cause of bankruptcy. APR student reporter Steve Hecmanczuk reports on a new free clinic in the Birmingham area that could lead to cultural understanding along with a check-up…

With less than three weeks until primary elections in Alabama, civil asset forfeiture is back in the headlines.

Earlier this month, incumbent Attorney General Steve Marshall called the process a “vital tool for law enforcement” that “needs to continue” while speaking at a candidate forum. His GOP opponents vying for the Attorney General nomination all say that reforms need to be made.

Sheriff Ron Abernathy
Tuscaloosa County

The sheriff of Tuscaloosa County is threatening legal action against social media commenters and others who have criticized his department over the suicide of a former student at the University of Alabama.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy raised the possibility of legal action yesterday during a news conference to discuss the death of Megan Rondini and an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault.

Stan Ingold

All year long on Alabama Public Radio we’re looking back on pivotal moments in the fight for civil rights. Many of the landmarks in the battle against segregation can voter discrimination are now tourist attractions. We have already looked at sites in Selma and Montgomery on Alabama’s Civil Rights Trail and now we head to Birmingham.

The Alabama Public Charter School Commission met Monday, approving one application for a new charter school and denying another.

The board approved an application for Woodland Preparatory, a charter school to be located in Washington County and set to open in fall 2019. Al.com reports the school plans to open with 260 students in prekindergarten through 7th grade. The school plans to add one grade each year, eventually growing to serve 664 students from pre-K through 12th grade.

Authorities say an Alabama prisoner stabbed another inmate to death at a state prison Tuesday.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton released a statement saying an inmate fatally stabbed 35-year-old Jeveria Odess McCall at a housing area at Bibb Correctional Facility Tuesday evening. McCall was hospitalized and later died.

29-year-old Keandre Derrod Houston is charged in McCall's death. Horton said officials recovered a makeshift knife believed to be used in the stabbing.

A peaceful rally for the Poor People’s Campaign yesterday ended with some people arrested after sitting in the street to block traffic in Montgomery’s Court Square.

Al.com reports the rally was part of a coordinated national effort, with protests planned in 30 states as well as the District of Columbia.

The Rev. Carolyn Foster of Greater Birmingham Ministries says the goal of the event is to "Draw attention to the fact that people are starving, children are hungry, [and] benefits are being cut back in the wealthiest country in the world."

Bright Blue Dot / Wikimedia

A candidate for Alabama governor says the arrest of a campaign worker accused of violating the state's sex offender registration and notification act was "politically motivated."

Democratic candidate Sue Bell Cobb tells AL.com she accepted Paul Littlejohn III's resignation late last week. Littlejohn was her campaign's Jefferson County field director.

As a registered sex offender, Litlejohn is charged with working too close to a school or daycare through his work at a church and failing to update his employment status.

Alabama health officials say they've identified an Auburn University student with a case of pulmonary tuberculosis. The state Department of Public Health says they notified the school this week of plans to investigate and ensure that students and employees will be screened quickly to see if they were infected. Last Wednesday, the state and university began identifying students enrolled in classes, as well as faculty and staff, who might have been in close contact with the student. Symptoms can include chest pain, chronic coughing, coughing with blood, chills, fever and loss of appetite.

APR wins national Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award

May 12, 2018
RFK Human Rights

The Washington, D.C. based advocacy group “Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights” named Alabama Public Radio the winner of the national Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for radio. This honor is for APR’s yearlong investigation and documentary “Help Wanted: Alabama’s Rural Health Care Crisis.” Previous media laureates of this award have included NPR, CBS-TV’s “60 Minutes,” ABC-TV’s “20-20,” The Washington Post, and the Los Angeles Times. APR’s news team includes News Director Pat Duggins, Assistant News Director Stan Ingold, and Senior Producer and Morning Edition Host Alex AuBuchon.

Birmingham's Steel City Jazz Festival has been canceled this year. Organizers say the event will be back in 2019. The festival was set for June after moving from Linn Park to Legion Field. Founder Cedric Allen says the festival's fans didn't like the change. Al.com reports ticketholders can get refunds at the place of purchase or hold their tickets until next year's event. Since its inception in 2014, the Steel City Jazz Festival has presented a mix of jazz, soul, funk and R&B acts on its stage in downtown Birmingham.

Pet Moms

May 12, 2018
Jack-JackT [Flickr}

Hugging a pet may not do much for the animal, but it sure can bring the human a great feeling of companionship and comfort.  If you have a pet that likes to be hugged, you have a special friend!


Democratic gubernatorial contender Sue Bell Cobb is reviewing the case of a high level campaign worker who was arrested for a sex offender registration violation. Paul Littlejohn was arrested Thursday. He’s the director of Cobb's Jefferson County field office. He is also a registered sex offender following a 1985 rape conviction. The charges accuse Littlejohn of working too close to a school or daycare and failing to update his employment with state authorities. Littlejohn works at a church which operates a day care. Online court records do not list an attorney for him.

Tuition is going up for Alabama's community and technical colleges this fall.

The Decatur Daily reports the Alabama Community College System approved a $10-per-credit-hour increase earlier this week, set to go into effect for the 2018-2019 school year.

The Tennessee Valley Authority is set to begin charging its utilities a fixed fee that will likely be passed on to customers, no matter how much energy they use.

The decision by the TVA's board yesterday is deeply frustrating advocates for ratepayers and green energy. They say it will penalize people who turn off their lights or use renewable energy to save on bills.

The TVA says it is offsetting the fixed fee it needs to maintain the power grid with an equal reduction of about a half-cent per kilowatt-hour in the variable wholesale rate for electricity.

In a response to her primary challengers, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey has released a letter from her doctor saying the 73-year-old governor is in "excellent health."

Ivey's campaign released the letter yesterday after her challengers indirectly made a political issue of the frontrunner's age and health.

In the brief letter from Dr. Brian Elrod of Montgomery, the doctor wrote that he sees "no medical issues that would prevent her from fulfilling her obligations as governor."

A group of activists is calling for the removal of a statue on the grounds of the Alabama Capitol honoring a 19th century doctor who experimented on slaves.

Alabama state Senator Hank Sanders and other members of the group Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy held a press conference yesterday calling for the removal of the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims.

A woman in Hawaii is working to put a face with the name of every fallen serviceman on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and she is searching for photos of four men who lived in Lee County.

Janna Hoehn of Maui has been volunteering with the "Faces Never Forgotten" program for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The goal of the program is to match every name on the wall with a photo of the fallen veteran.

In late 1969, Brewer and Wallace met to discuss the governor's race. Brewer left that meeting and said Wallace had given his word that he wasn't interested in running for governor in 1970; soon thereafter, Brewer began a serious campaign for governor. It was early 1970 that Wallace surprisingly decided to run...

Officials say a high school in west Alabama is shrinking, and it currently needs $200,000 to keep some administrative jobs that federal funding pays for.

Reports indicate the number of students at Pickens County High School decreased from more than 260 last year to 221 at the start of this school year. Superintendent Jamie Chapman says if enrollment is less than 250, a school can no longer receive federal funding for salaried assistant principals or partial funding for a counselor and librarian.

More than a week after a locker room assault was captured on camera in south Alabama, four high school football players have been charged and the school district faces a $12 million demand.

Area news outlets are citing a statement from Mobile police yesterday that says three of the four students suspended by Davidson High School have been taken into custody. Additional information was unavailable as all three are underage.

An April 27 video shows multiple students hitting and jumping on 14-year-old freshman Rodney Kim Jr., causing a broken arm.

Al.com reports that Governor Kay Ivey met with officials from Toyota, Mazda and Honda last week. She was a part of discussions with Mazda and Toyota executives in the run-up to construction for the $1.6 billion joint manufacturing plant.

The governor also spoke with Honda about the plant's $85 million expansion along with other issues.

The state says workers left jobless because of severe weather in three north Alabama counties may qualify for unemployment benefits.  

The Department of Labor says people could receive the assistance if they're without work because of the storms that hit Calhoun, Cullman and Etowah counties on March 19 and 20.

Tornadoes and strong winds pummeled cities including Jacksonville, affecting homes, businesses and Jacksonville State University.

The state says workers can apply for assistance under the disaster area approved by President Donald Trump last month.

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