News

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."

Remington AR-15
Phil White / TFB

The city of Huntsville is reiterating its support for a firearms manufacturer that recently filed for bankruptcy.

Huntsville officials released a statement yesterday saying its economic development team will continue engagement with Remington. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday.

The statement also acknowledges Remington has fallen behind on job-hiring obligations tied to financial incentives it receives from the city.

"March For Our Lives" Draws Huge Crowd in Birmingham

Mar 26, 2018
march sign
Rachel Buzzotta / APR

Around five thousand people gathered in Birmingham on Saturday to march in solidarity with protestors in Washington D.C. and across the country.

The marchers were pushing for changes in gun control laws across the United States. Wearing blue shirts and holding signs, people chanted "Not One More" and "Vote Them Out", in reference to politicians they feel aren't doing enough to combat gun violence.

Terri Michael is a school board member in Birmingham. She says people have the power to make a difference.

 Alabama gambling magnate Milton McGregor, who waged a legal war to keep his electronic bingo casino open and thwarted federal prosecutors attempts to convict him, has died. He was 78. 

Alabama's Department of Mental Health Commissioner Lynn Beshear called for mental health prevention and intervention to ensure school safety in an op-ed Saturday.  

Beshear said the state must focus on identifying behaviors that trigger school violence and proactively treating mental health. The state's school-based mental health services put clinicians into schools to counsel students. Only 36 school systems in Alabama have the services and Beshear advocated for expanding it to the other 106.

Alabama lawmakers are expected to conclude the legislative session this week.

Legislators plan to adjourn Wednesday after a flurry of last-minute work. Lawmakers will put the final touches on the education budget. They could also vote on an ethics law exemption, juvenile justice reform and other bills.

Pets Are Living Longer

Mar 24, 2018
Mindy Norton

Our cat, Sasha, benefited from the expertise of a veterinary specialist who performed major surgery to remove many kidney stones.  Today she is doing just fine, thanks to a wonderful team of doctors - her local veterinarian who diagnosed the problem and the specialist who did such a great job with her surgery.

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Alabama’s prison system and justice system are in the national spotlight and not for good reasons. The State’s prisons are one hundred percent overcapacity. Alabama is criticized for spending the least amount of money per inmate per day for rehabilitation, housing, and supervision in the nation. This $26 daily amount is blamed for the State’s 30% recidivism rate.  Alabama likes to trumpet its Wrongful Incarnation Act, which is supposed to compensate people sent to prison for crimes they didn’t commit.

Areas of Alabama are cleaning up after what’s called significant damage from tornadoes last night. The National Weather Service in Huntsville says at least three confirmed tornadoes hit the area. Rooves were ripped off and power lines torn down, but there are no reports of injuries. Alabama Power says nearly ten thousand customers spent the night without power, with Calhoun County being the hardest hit spot. The athletic director at Jacksonville State University reports there was significant damage to the campus. The school’s Coliseum suffered damage, but it’s still standing.

An organization that preserves Civil War battlefields is looking for volunteers to help clean up historical sites across Alabama.

The Civil War Trust says volunteers will be working at more than 160 sites nationwide during its annual cleanup day on April 7.

In Alabama, Fort Morgan is on the list of places slated for work. The red-brick fort located at the tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula played a key role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.

A German automotive supplier has opened a new $46.3 million plant in central Alabama.

MöllerTech officials say the company will hire 222 employees at the new supply plant by the end of 2019. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week almost 16 months after the company announced it would build the plant in Bibb County.

The plant currently has 50 employees.

The supply plant is located next door to Mercedes-Benz's new Global Logistics Center at the Scott G. Davis Industrial Park. The automaker will also have an after-sales North American hub in the park.

Alabama lawmakers are advocating to keep daylight saving time year-round and stop changing clocks.

The Alabama Senate approved a resolution Thursday by Republican Sen. Rusty Glover to "forever put an end to the deadly, energy-wasting, productivity-killing, twice-yearly changing of time." It was co-sponsored by 24 of 35 members and now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for a final vote.

Irish Pets

Mar 17, 2018
Martin Hasketh [Flickr]

Knowing the history of a pet's breed and the purpose for which it was originally bred can help you appreciate the animal.  The Kerry Blue Terrier was originally bred to hunt rabbits and foxes; it would also herd cattle and sheep.  It is a hardy, devoted and playful friend.

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A man convicted of killing his former boss at a traveling carnival nearly two decades ago was put to death last night after having dropped his appeals and asking courts to execute him.

50-year-old Michael Wayne Eggers died at 7:29 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection at a southwest Alabama prison. He was sentenced to death for the murder of his former employer Bennie Francis Murray in 2000. Prosecutors say Eggers admitted to strangling Murray during an argument.

Alabama lawmakers are set to hold public hearings this morning on proposals to allow some teachers to carry concealed handguns into schools.

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the bill by Republican Representative Will Ainsworth this morning. The bill would allow public school teachers and administrators to carry a pistol on school property after undergoing police training.

Ainsworth's bill is one of a number of ideas introduced to make schools safer after the fatal shooting of 17 people at a Florida high school.

State lawmakers have approved an $85 million increase for Alabama’s prison system in an effort to comply with a federal court order to improve mental health care for inmates.

Yesterday, The House of Representatives approved $30 million for the Department of Corrections before September as well as a $55 million boost in next year's general fund budget.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled last year that mental health care in Alabama's prisons was "horrendously inadequate" and ordered the state to improve conditions.

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