News

Authorities say a University of North Alabama police officer is currently on administrative leave after shooting a woman during a traffic stop.

 

The confrontation occurred at around 3 a.m. Sunday in Florence, Ala., according to the TimesDaily of Florence.

 

The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency released a statement saying the driver in the traffic stop allegedly tried to run over the campus officer, forcing the officer to fire multiple shots striking the vehicle. The driver then fled the scene. Photos show a red car crashed into a utility pole.

 

Samford University is refusing 3 million dollars from the Alabama Baptist State Convention, reportedly due to a proposed LGBT student organization at the university.

Samford’s Board of Trustees executive committee approved the decision to refuse the $3 million budget allocation late last week after consulting with state convention leaders. The move will be effective January 1.

An Alabama man accused of plotting a terrorist attack is eligible to get out of jail, but a court still has to set conditions for his release.

WHNT-TV reports District Judge Schuyler Richardson of Madison County ruled Friday the court must set conditions for 22-year-old Aziz Sayyed's release to ensure he returns for trial and to protect the public. 

A July 19 hearing to determine the conditions has been set.

The state is locating farms that have been in the same family for at least 200 years as part of Alabama's bicentennial commemoration.  

The Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries says it wants to highlight farms that have been owned by the same family for at least 200 years. But first, the agency has to locate those operations.

Green Garden Girl [Flickr]

The dog house pictured here is a nice one - roomy, elevated a couple of inches off the ground, with shingles that keep things dry inside.  The only improvement would be a little shade in the hot summer sun!

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The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has directed a judge to redo the sentencing order for a man sentenced to die for killing his ex-girlfriend in 2011. 

 Appellate judges on Friday ruled that Cedric Jerome Floyd should get a new sentencing order. The court ruled that the judge who sentenced Floyd to the death penalty failed to adequately explain the finding, as required by law, that the crime was particularly heinous and warranted a death sentence.

Mo Brooks
Getty

The race to fill Alabama’s second U.S. Senate seat is heating up, and a recent informal poll could spell bad news for the incumbent.

Nine candidates, both Republican and Democrat, vying for Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat participated in a candidate forum and straw poll last night in Huntsville. Al.com reports the event was organized by the Christian Citizen Task Force, with over 300 people in attendance.

State prosecutors are urging an appellate court to uphold the ethics conviction of former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.  

The attorney general's office argued this week in a court filing that Hubbard's behavior was in clear violation of the law.

Lindsay Turner Trammell
Schoolyard Roots

Since 2010, the Druid City Garden Project has operated teaching gardens in Tuscaloosa city and county elementary schools. The gardens enhance students’ math, science and even English classes – and a University of Alabama study has shown working in the school gardens has not only improved students’ education, but also their eating habits and propensity to eat healthier food options.

Now, the organization is announcing some changes to take the program beyond the boundaries of Tuscaloosa.

weather.gov

 Strong storms have caused isolated damage in north Alabama.  

The National Weather Service says storms with winds blowing as hard as 50 mph knocked down trees and toppled power lines in the northeast Alabama city of Gadsden on Wednesday.

    No injuries were reported, but storms were still moving through the region. Forecasters say heavy rain and more damaging winds were possible north of Interstate 20.    The weather service says strong storms also were developing in south Alabama.    

After a bloody stretch in the state’s capital, Montgomery officials are working to get guns off the streets by appealing to people's pocketbooks.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports CrimeStoppers and the Central Alabama Community Foundation partnered for a gun buyback program this past weekend, where people were offered cash in exchange for turning in weapons. Rifles, shotguns and functioning handguns were worth $50 each, and weapons considered high-capacity – able to shoot more than a regular 12-round magazine – were worth $100.

A lot of outdoor activities are scheduled for Independence Day today. The temperatures are also creeping into the nineties with lots of humidity. So, health officials say it’s important to be aware of the risk of heat illness. One of the most common conditions is heat exhaustion. That’s when you get overheated and lose electrolytes through sweating. If it goes untreated, heat exhaustion can lead to heat stroke, which can be fatal. Dr. Ed Geno teaches family medicine at the University of Alabama. He says people need to know what to look out when it comes to heat stroke…

A new survey shows optimism is high among Alabama business leaders. The latest Alabama Business Confidence Index shows level of sixty one point six percent. That's well above the five-year average for the third straight quarter. The report is compiled from a survey on expectations for the coming quarter. Those numbers are compared to the current quarter. The index looks at industry sales, profits, hiring, capital expenditures, plus expectations for Alabama’s economy and the nation’s. The survey is conducted by the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama.

If your Fourth of July plans include a visit to Orange Beach, it’ll cost less to get there. The company that operates the Beach Express Toll bridge is lowering its prices for the summer. Toll rates for visitors to Orange Beach are dropping by seventy five cents. The toll is going from three dollars and fifty cents to two dollars and seventy five cents until after Labor Day. Orange Beach residents will see their tolls drop by a twenty five cents, down from a dollar twenty five to just a dollar. The drop is meant to help ease congestion on Alabama highway fifty nine.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says his office will not share voter data with a Presidential commission on elections integrity. Both Republican and Democratic States are refusing to comply with the request for voter names, social security information, and voting history. The Commission grew out of questions from the Trump administration after the GOP candidate won the White House, while losing the popular vote to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. According to a Washington Post analysis, Alabama joins one third of U.S.

Natalie Maynor [Flickr]

We humans enjoy sharing things with our pets, but some things that are part of our celebrations can actually harm our furry friends.  Making an emergency trip to the veterinarian's office is no way to celebrate Independence Day! 

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Thousands of Alabamians may see a difference in their credit scores starting today. Not because their finances have changed--but, rather how their scores are added up. The three major credit reporting companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion will change which records they use. These companies will now only use public records with someone’s name, address, social security number, and date of birth. That means tax liens and civil judgments may be deleted since many of these legal actions lack all this information.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says he has questions he wants answered before turning over Alabama voter data to President Donald Trump's commission investigating alleged voter fraud.

 Merrill said Friday that there are a "number of questions we have to get answered."  He said security is one issue, but declined to name the other concerns.

The school board in Birmingham is working to prevent a charter school from opening in the city.

The board recently filed suit against the Alabama Public Charter School Commission in order to prevent STAR Academy from beginning operations. Board members say they denied a charter to start the school at the local level. They say that decision was improperly overruled by the state commission.

Alabama Now Considered Drought Free

Jun 29, 2017

Alabama and Mississippi are completely free from drought for the first time in more than a year.  

A federal assessment shows rains have eliminated a dry spell that began in April 2016, the last time Alabama was totally drought-free.

Days of heavy rains from Topical Storm Cindy helped, and now only slivers of northwest Alabama and northeastern Mississippi are considered abnormally dry. That's a step below being in a drought.

Gulf Coast visitors and Orange Beach residents are getting some welcome news from the Baldwin Beach Express toll bridge.

American Roads Incorporated, the company that operates the toll bridge and expressway, have announced a reduction in tolls from now until Labor Day. Rates will now be $2.75 for non-Baldwin County residents driving one way with a two-axle vehicle. The cost for each additional axle will be an extra dollar. Orange Beach residents will see even more substantial savings. Tolls for a one-way trip are dropping to $1 if paid electronically and $1.25 in cash.

Two more charter schools could be opening in the state next year, after the governing commission approved their applications.

Al.com reports the Alabama Public Charter School Commission fully approved one applicant and conditionally approved another.

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

Jun 27, 2017
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.

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