News

A panel of retired Alabama judges will be the ones to hear suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore's bid to return to the bench.

Yesterday, the current justices on the Alabama Supreme Court announced they will recuse themselves from hearing Moore's appeal because their impartiality might be questioned.

Alabama asks to let execution go forward

Oct 24, 2016

The state of Alabama is asking an appellate court to let the November execution of an inmate go forward.

The state attorney general's office on Friday asked the 11th U.S. circuit Court of Appeals to reject Tommy Arthur's request for a stay.

The state argues Arthur has used abusive litigation tactics to "escape" execution. Arthur had been scheduled for execution on six previous occasions, but was given court-issued reprieves.

The city of Elba is getting ready for a town hall meeting to decide how to distribute $2 million of FEMA flood mitigation funds.

The city is using the money to buy and tear down houses damaged during the 2015 Christmas flood. Coffee County Emergency Management Director Larry Walker says there isn't enough funding for everyone who's applied for the buyout, but he says homeowners with major damage will be guaranteed assistance.

$270K grant to help ASU buy cutting-edge research printer

Oct 23, 2016

Alabama State University has won a $271,000 grant by the National Science Foundation to purchase a state-of-the-art 3-D printer.

The printer will be used by students in ASU's College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics departments.

It will enable researchers to custom design and build tissue replacements.

Dr. Derrick Dean is the lead principle investigator.  He says the printer will be used by at least three graduate and undergraduate courses in biomedical engineering and biological sciences.

Study looks at tornadoes on Alabama's Sand Mountain

Oct 23, 2016

Researchers want to determine why the Sand Mountain area of northeast Alabama seems so prone to tornadoes.

The University of Alabama in Huntsville says scientists and students will spend the next year studying the role the region's mountains and valleys play in twister formation.

The work is being performed with a nearly $250,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

A release from the school says the area was affected by 49 tornadoes in the last decade.

Elba to divide $2M in flood funds through drawing process

Oct 23, 2016

The city of Elba will host a town hall meeting to decide how to distribute $2 million of FEMA flood mitigation funds.

The city is using the money to buy and tear down houses damaged during the 2015 Christmas flood.

Coffee County Emergency Management Director Larry Walker says there isn't enough funding for everyone who's applied for the buyout.

He adds homeowners with major damage will be guaranteed assistance.

Walker says there are about 40 homes with minor damage and they're not sure if there's enough money to cover them all.

Perfect Dog Owner

Oct 22, 2016
Scott Feldstein [Flickr]

When we adopt a dog we think we're doing it a favor, giving it a home.  What do they give us in return?  It has been proven that pets can make us happier and healthier people.  They give us companionship and loyalty and acceptance.  What a bargain!

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Ethics panel dismisses complaint against Tom Parker

Oct 21, 2016

A judicial ethics panel dismisses a complaint against Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker over comments he made about the court decision that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.

Parker's attorney announced today that the complaint had been dismissed by the Judicial Inquiry Commission. Attorney Mat Staver called it a victory for free speech.

Parker, in a 2015 interview on a Christian-themed radio show, said the U.S. Supreme Court decision jumped outside of legal precedents to "impose their will on this country."

Alabama jobless rate unchanged

Oct 21, 2016

Alabama's unemployment rate for September is unchanged at 5.4 percent.

A statement released by the governor's office today says the jobless rate represents a total of 117,125 unemployed people in the state. Just over 2 million people were employed at the same time.

The state's unemployment rate remains above the national rate, but the gap is closing. The U.S. unemployment rate inched up to 5 percent in September, compared to 4.9 percent in August.

The annual Druid City Pride festival is taking place this weekend in Tuscaloosa. 

This is the second year for the Pride event, with a lot more activities than last year’s. The theme is One Love, which festival organizers say could not come at a better time.

The events begin this evening at5:30 p.m. with a Happy Hour Kickoff Party at the Lookout rooftop bar at Hotel Indigo in downtown Tuscaloosa. Tomorrow, there will be a tailgate with PRIDE on the University of Alabama quad for the Alabama vs Texas A&M football game, with pride members from both schools in attendance.

Holman Correctional Facility
Sharon Steinmann / AP

Yet another correctional officer has been assaulted at a troubled state prison in south Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Corrections says a lieutenant at Holman prison in Atmore was attempting to control an inmate when the man assaulted the officer with a makeshift weapon yesterday.

The officer was treated for a cut above his eye, and 27-year-old inmate Robert Washington has been charged with assault. He is currently serving 20 years for a robbery conviction in Montgomery.

The Alabama Association of School Boards is seeking public input, including parents and employees, on what they want to see in the Huntsville City Schools district's next superintendent.

WAAY-TV reports the association has held at least two sessions to gather the information and planed Thursday to hold at least two more. The association also has opened an online survey that can be taken anonymously through Friday.

Attorney general's office clears Collier

Oct 20, 2016

A grand jury clears former Law Enforcement Secretary Spencer Collier of wrongdoing.

The attorney general's office announced today that a grand jury found no criminal wrongdoing by Collier and is closing the investigation requested by Gov. Robert Bentley's administration.

Bentley fired Collier in March saying a review found possible misuse of funds. The findings were sent to the attorney general's office.

Race fans headed to Talladega Superspeedway this week may need to leave their lighters at home.

Talladega Superspeedway issued a burn ban for the race week that ends on October 24th. That comes on top of bans from Governor Robert Bentley and the State Forestry Commission.

The ban includes campfires, pit fires, bonfires, and the use of fireworks on Talladega grounds.

Grant Lynch is the chairman of Talladega Superspeedway. He says this isn’t the first time weather conditions have made for a change in plans.

In the wake of severe drought conditions affecting much of the state, Birmingham’s water utility is taking extra steps to conserve water.

The Birmingham Water Works says it plans to implement Stage Three of its drought management plan. That includes a surcharge of 200 percent for both residential and non-residential customers for excess water use. Those surcharges are expected to go into effect November 19.

Moore won't remove items from courthouse office

Oct 19, 2016

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has not cleared out his courthouse office despite a request by the acting chief justice to remove his personal items.

Moore is appealing his suspension from the bench. He says he has several large paintings, a grandfather clock and other items that cannot be quickly removed.

Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart asked Moore to clear out his office by Tuesday evening. Moore's lawyers have asked the Alabama Supreme Court to overrule Stuart.

Ford: Alabama Democratic Party on 'life support'

Oct 19, 2016

The leader of Democrats in the House of Representatives says the state of the Alabama Democratic Party is on "life support."

House Minority Leader Craig Ford called for Chairwoman Nancy Worley and Vice-Chairman Joe Reed to step down today.

Democrats currently hold no statewide office in Alabama. Ford says voters will see few competitive races on Election Day.

A Look at the Traditions of the University of Alabama's Million Dollar Band

Oct 19, 2016
Million Dollar Band
Pat Duggins

When it comes to Alabama’s Million Dollar Band, each week fans get a chance to see the music and marching come together at halftime. Here’s what you don’t see. Football fans take a break during the week after each game. Alabama’s marching band doesn’t.

Twenty-eight Alabama counties have been placed under a drought emergency.

The Alabama Drought Declaration issued yesterday comes after conditions across the state continue to degrade due to little rainfall and higher-than-normal temperatures.

The counties now under emergency status are mostly in the northern and eastern half of the state. The Shoals region, Huntsville and the Birmingham metro area are all affected.

All counties currently under emergency status are:

UAB Hospital
UAB

Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham are participating in a nationwide effort to cure Alzheimer’s disease.

The project is called the A4 study. It’s being funded by the National Institute on Aging to try to reduce the impact of Alzheimer’s and find a cure for the disease. Over five million Americans currently suffer from Alzheimer’s and experts say that number could triple by 2050.

Dr. Reisa Sperling is an Alzheimer’s expert at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School. She says UAB’s help in the study is important.

Alabama Auditor Jim Zeigler is opposing a November ballot measure that clarifies the threshold to oust an impeached public official.

Amendment 6 specifies that a two-thirds vote of the Alabama Senate is required to remove an impeached public official.

Zeigler says the change would make it almost impossible to remove Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. Zeigler called it the "Get Out of Impeachment Free Card."

Former U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of an Alabama death row inmate he says could be "very likely actually innocent."

Meese filed a brief on behalf of inmate Bill Kuenzel with the U.S. Supreme Court which will decide whether to hear Kuenzel's case.

Kuenzel was convicted of killing store clerk Linda Jean Offord in 1987.

The Athens Storytelling Festival kicks off today. The event is expected to attract thousands of visitors to northern Alabama.

School groups will listen to storytellers from all across the country from today until Thursday. The audience could include over 9,000 children.

Amateur storytellers will compete tonight. Thursday night will begin the professional storytelling events.

Wayne Kuykendall is the chairman of the Athens Storytelling Festival. He says the storytelling event is different from many others.

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is being forced to clear out his office in the state judicial building today.

It’s a move that Moore’s attorney Mat Staver of the Liberty Counsel says is intended to “humiliate” Moore. Staver and other attorneys have asked the Alabama Supreme Court to allow Moore to keep his personal effects in his office while he appeals his suspension from the court.

Tuscaloosa officials seek return of passenger air service

Oct 17, 2016

Tuscaloosa officials are making a concerted effort to return passenger air service to the city's airport.

The city council has approved a contract with Sixel Consultants Group to help lure a passenger airline to the Druid City.  They want upgrade the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport's existing facilities to accommodate the service.

A commercial airline has not operated at the airport in nearly 20 years.

Some displaced ITT Technical Institutes students will start hitting the books again this week.

Many students of the now-defunct school have enrolled at local universities and community colleges in Alabama. Lawson State Community College is one of several schools offering help to students affected by ITT’s closure. They have invited many former ITT students to enroll in their second fall mini-term.

Students may face challenges in transferring credits. Regionally accredited institutions only accept credits that meet certain standards.

Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant
Wikimedia

The Tennessee Valley Authority has set a date for an auction to sell an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeast Alabama.

The federal utility says the Bellefonte Nuclear Plant will be sold at auction on Nov. 14. Minimum bids are set at $36.4 million. The TVA won't release any details on potential buyers, so it's unknown how many bidders might be interested in the plant.

A study by Alabama researchers is looking at a potential method for reducing the number of gun suicides in the United States.

A report published by the American Association of Suicidology suggests that many patients at risk for killing themselves would voluntarily place their names on a list of people who can't purchase firearms.   

That could be important since guns account for about half of all suicides, and suicide was the tenth-leading cause of death in the United States in 2013.

Encyclopedia of Alabama

 The first black person to attend the University of Alabama, Autherine Lucy Foster, is among four people who are being honored as the newest members of the university's Alabama Educator Hall of Fame.

The group was honored at a ceremony Saturday night at NorthRiver Yacht Club in Tuscaloosa.  

Foster became the first black person to attend Alabama in 1956. Campus riots broke out and the university removed her. Foster's expulsion was reversed in 1988, and she graduated from Alabama with a master's degree in elementary education in 1992.

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