A federal judge says the state of Alabama may not use a large dose of a sedative to execute five death row inmates.

U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins issued an order Thursday denying the state's requests to dismiss lawsuits from five inmates who have challenged Alabama three-drug lethal injection procedure. The inmates were asked to present alternative means of execution and among other things suggested single doses of midazolam in amended complaints.

National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America

As the NAVTA website says, veterinary technicians (vet techs) find themselves caring for a wide variety of animals, some with fur, some with feathers, even some with scales.  They are the nurses of the veterinary world, and can help make sure your pet gets the best possible health care.  So, hug a vet tech this week!


Alabama is chosen as the home for a manufacturing plant that will bring in nearly two hundred new jobs. A-P-R Student reporter Kendall Worman has more…

Governor Robert Bentley says that Shape Corporation plans to build a 24 million dollar plant in Athens.  The manufacturer specializes in injection molding and roll-forming operations and has several other facilities around the globe.

The corporation will provide design, engineering, testing and manufacturing of metal and plastic solutions.

Elmore County Courthouse
courthouselover / Flickr

A probate judge in Alabama is asking the state's Supreme Court for a way out of issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Elmore County Probate Judge John Enslen filed a petition earlier this week saying the federal government should issue same-sex marriage licenses, not state or county offices. Enslen says the federal government is responsible for upholding and enforcing other laws created at the federal level.

NASA’s new rocket program designed to eventually carry astronauts to Mars has a new   

  man at the helm. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more.

            John Honeycutt has been named the new manager of NASA’s Space Launch System program.

            The program is currently in development at Huntsville’s Marshall Space Flight Center and aims to construct the largest rockets ever built.

St. Clair Prison
Equal Justice Initiative

The U.S. prison system is set to release thousands of inmates nationwide including hundreds in Alabama later this month thanks to new sentencing guidelines.

The Washington Post reports that this one-time release will occur between October 30 and November 2. The change is due to new guidelines shortening drug trafficking sentences that were approved last year.

The Alabama Ethics Commission have released an opinion on  the idea of public employees being paid by outside sources.

Commissioners say the arrangements are presumed to be in conflict with the underlying principles of state ethics law. Commissioners say they will only approve such arrangements on a case-by case basis made through formal opinion requests.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton says the opinion process will bring the arrangements into the open and allow public scrutiny.

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.

Alabamians will soon find out which of the state’s drivers' license offices, National Guard armories and state parks will shut down due to budget cuts.

The governor's office says state agencies will announce their plans for dealing with funding reductions later today.

Governor Robert Bentley says state agencies have to work with the amount of money appropriated to them by lawmakers for the new fiscal year beginning tomorrow.

Former Alabama first lady Dianne Bentley told a judge that she and her husband's "likes, dislikes and lifestyles" have become so different that it caused discord and arguments in their home.

Her sworn testimony was unsealed Tuesday with other documents in Gov. Robert Bentley's divorce.

Dianne Bentley said that she and the governor had become incompatible and that a divorce was in the best interest of their family.

Vote Here
Danny Johnston / AP

A special election will be held in Limestone County today to fill a vacant state representative seat.

Democrat Henry White and Republicans Ronnie Kaufman, Danny Crawford, Mike Cricillis, Jerry Hill, and Chris Seibert are all running in the District 5 election.

John Merrill is Alabama’s Secretary of State. He says the special election is necessary due to an unfortunate circumstance.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is moving forward with plans to close some driver’s license offices across the state.

Bentley made the remarks today during a trip to Birmingham.

There are 33 possible driver’s license offices in the state that could close.  He will follow the recommendations by Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Director Spencer Collier.

In addition to the license offices, Bentley is expected to close some Alabama National Guard Armories and possibly some state parks. 

A Selma-based auto supplier is continuing its lawsuit against a former employee they fired, after a Montgomery County judge ruled whistleblower protections don’t apply.

Alabama's Water War and Politics

Sep 28, 2015

All year long on Alabama Public Radio, we’re been looking at water. In other words, we’ve been examining the condition of our water supply and the health of our rivers.   Politics is playing a big role in the state of our water, not only in Alabama but some of the surrounding states.  This has led to a new approach to manage water and help people who been hurt in the water war.

It’s 5:30 in the morning at the East Point Working Waterfront in Apalachicola, Florida. 

State agencies reviewing impact of cuts, level funding

Sep 27, 2015

Many state departments will be making do with less money when the fiscal year begins on Thursday.

Yet some state agency chiefs are remaining silent on what, if any, program reductions will be required.

A spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley says the governor and finance director are reviewing spending plans. She said they do not yet know of any specific impact on services and agencies.

Last week, lawmakers approved a general fund budget deal designed to shield critical state agencies.

A federal grand jury indicts the office manager of a surgical practice in Birmingham for stealing thousands from her employer.U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance says 49-year-old Anntwine Moss is charged with wire fraud and tax evasion for stealing more than $987,375 from Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgery of Alabama between 2006 and 2013. Moss was indicted on Thursday.The indictment says Moss wrote herself unauthorized checks, made unauthorized direct deposits into her account and used the company's credit cards for unauthorized personal purchases.