Smithsonian Magazine

It was on this date back in 1963, when four black girls were killed when a bomb went off during Sunday services at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Three Ku Klux Klansmen were eventually convicted for their roles in the blast. Ceremonies in Birmingham remembered the victims of the attack. Click here to listen to some of Alabama Public Radio's international award winning coverage of the civil rights movement...

Media outlets are asking a judge in Tuscaloosa to unseal the divorce case of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and first lady Dianne Bentley.

A motion filed today by a group of Alabama television stations and newspapers says the case was sealed last month following a hurried hearing held without notice to the public.

The motion says the divorce is newsworthy and a fair subject for reporting by the media. It says allowing the case to remain closed promotes the spread of rumors.

Indicted House Speaker Mike Hubbard has given a litany of complaints about his case in a recently unsealed document.

Hubbard says the state’s ethics law is unconstitutionally vague, did not apply to him as Republican party chairman and that he had a free speech right to lobby for his clients.

Late last week, a judge unsealed Hubbard's motion to dismiss his ethics case on the grounds that the ethics law is unconstitutional.


 Alabama is updating its science standards to require that students understand evolution and learn about climate change.

Educators say the new rules don't require that students in the Bible Belt state believe in evolution or accept the idea that climate is changing globally.

However, students will be required to understand the theory of evolution starting next year. Teachers will address climate change, which wasn't a focus in the state's previous, decade-old standards.

The state school board approved the new standards unanimously late last week.


Dr. Don Williamson is stepping down next month to take a job as president of the Alabama Hospital Association.

For more than two decades, Williamson has served as Alabama's state health officer.

In an interview with The Associated Press, Williamson said he's proud of the work the state has done to establish a statewide trauma system and to provide health insurance to children. The state's ALL Kids program provides subsidized insurance to more than 80,000 children and has won Alabama praise for reducing rates of un-insurance for children.

Bubba the School Cat

Sep 12, 2015
Facebook - BubbatheSchoolCat

Bubba the School Cat has been with the same group of students through middle school and now into high school.  In 2017, will Bubba graduate with the rest of his class? 


A Senate committee has approved a House-passed cigarette tax and other revenue bills as lawmakers press forward in trying to close a budget shortfall.

The Senate Finance and Taxation Committee approved the 25-cent cigarette tax after postponing a vote earlier in the day.

The committee also approved Medicaid provider taxes on pharmacies and nursing homes.

Committee Chairman Arthur Orr says negotiations are continuing and he did not know when the bills would be up for a Senate vote.

The jury has deadlocked in the civil rights trial of former Madison police officer Eric Parker. They will continue deliberating this morning.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala instructed the jury to come back today and re-evaluate the evidence and testimony presented in the case. Parker is charged with violating the civil rights of Indian grandfather Sureshbhai Patel when he threw the man to the ground during a police stop. Patel was seriously injured in the fall and remains partially paralyzed.


All year long on Alabama Public Radio, we’ve been looking at water. Specifically, the APR news team is reporting on the condition of Alabama’s water supply and the health of our rivers. Alabama, by reputation, gets a generous amount of rainfall every year. But what happens when there’s not enough rain or if it falls at the wrong time. Irrigation may be a possible way for Alabama farmers to make more money when their crops come in.

The rumbling of tractors means harvest time is coming at the Dee River Ranch near Aliceville. If you want to see it all, you need a truck…

Cigarette tax increase passes house, Sept. 11 Memorial

Sep 10, 2015

The House of Representatives narrowly approve a cigarette tax increase as a plan to fill a budget shortfall inches forward in the Alabama Legislature.

Representatives voted 52-46 for the bill to place an additional 25-cent tax on each pack of cigarettes. Republicans were narrowly able to muster the votes within their own party to approve the cigarette tax. Democrats largely voted against the bill, saying the state should consider tax reform or gambling measures.

Eric Parker
Brynn Anderson / Associated Press

Jurors will continue deliberating this morning in the civil rights trial of former Madison police officer Eric Parker.

Parker’s defense rested its case yesterday afternoon after the officer testified in his own defense.

Parker said he had been called out to investigate reports of a suspicious person. He said he was aware of the language barrier between himself and Indian grandfather Sureshbhai Patel, but it was still his responsibility to investigate.

House Committee approves tax hikes, NASA Smartwatch App

Sep 9, 2015

An Alabama budget committee has approved a cigarette tax increase and other revenue bills as lawmakers try to fill a budget shortfall.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted 8-6 for a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax increase. The increase would raise $66 million annually.

The committee also voted for bills to raise the car rental tax from 1.5 to 2 percent, increase the car title fee from $15 to $28, and adjusts the business privilege tax so smaller businesses pay less and larger ones pay more.

The civil rights trial of former Madison police officer Eric Parker was delayed for hours yesterday for a closed hearing involving the Madison police chief.

WHNT reports Police Chief Larry Muncey and other high-ranking members of the Madison Police Department were called into a closed hearing before the judge regarding allegations of improper contact between members of the department.

Muncey was asked to bring copies of all e-mails he sent regarding the trial. If the allegations are proven true, Muncey could face criminal contempt of court charges.

Legislators are going to try for a third time to put together a state budget. Governor Robert Bentley has given lawmakers a wide berth when it comes to money making options to help the budget shortfall.

However, political commentator and columnist Steve Flowers thinks the short session will make things difficult.

Alabama lawmakers are returning to Montgomery today for their third attempt at balancing the state’s general fund budget.

The special session begins at 5 PM this afternoon.

So far, legislators haven’t been able to agree on how to handle a projected funding shortfall of at least $200 million for the upcoming fiscal year.