News

Alabama Celebrates MLK, Robert E. Lee Days

Jan 15, 2018

Alabama celebrates two very different holidays today. It’s both Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Robert E. Lee Day.

Alabama continues to celebrate Robert E. Lee Day despite continuing controversy over Confederate monuments and holidays. Mississippi is the only other state that still celebrates Robert E. Lee Day as a full state holiday.

As the nation honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior this weekend, southern states are banding together to promote civil rights tourism. Fourteen states stretching from Kansas to Delaware, including all of the Deep South, are joining to promote the U.S. Civil Rights Trail. The monument highlights about one hundred and thirty sites linked to the modern civil rights movement. The list includes the hotel in Memphis where Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated to the birthplace of the confederacy. The joint effort is being unveiled as part of the MLK holiday weekend.

APR

“We can’t react to every statement, every Tweet that the President feels necessary to put out,” says actor and activist Danny Glover following alleged racist statements by President Trump.

Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin confirmed that Mr. Trump referred to Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa as ****hole countries. The reported statement prompted outrage and demands for a Presidential apology from lawmakers and officials in the U.S., Africa and elsewhere.

ihynz7 (Irina Hynes) [Flickr]

Most cats love to play, and it doesn't require a lot of expensive toys.  A piece of string might do nicely.  For dogs, all you need is a leash to take your four-footed friend for a nice walk, or a ball to throw and chase.  What matters is doing something you both enjoy - together!

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The lawsuit over Alabama’s voter ID law may not be over just yet. Groups, including the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, are appealing a federal judge's dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the measure. U.S. District Court Judge L. Scott Coogler tossed out the lawsuit on Wednesday, saying the state had provided free voter IDs to people who did not have them.

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s state law requiring people to show government issued photo ID at the polls.

The lawsuit was one of the latest battles between voting rights advocates who say these measures are aimed at suppressing voter turnout and conservative states that argue they’re needed to prevent voter fraud.

Stran-Hardin Arena
Alex AuBuchon / APR

The University of Alabama is set to open an athletic arena that is unparalleled in the United States.

Yesterday, university officials celebrated the completion of Stran-Hardin Arena, a brand-new $10 million facility for UA's Adapted Athletics program. The new arena features an NCAA-regulation venue for wheelchair basketball along with brand new strength training equipment adapted for athletes in wheelchairs, men's and women's locker rooms, conference and study rooms and much more.

President Trump is holding a joint press conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg at the White House right now. The two leaders are taking reporters' questions regarding NATO defense, global security and trade. Click the title to view live coverage...

Troy is about to see a big economic boost with more than 350 new jobs coming to the city after a leading firearms maker announced it will soon build a facility there.

Gov. Kay Ivey's office confirmed yesterday that Kimber Manufacturing, based in Yonkers, New York, will invest $38 million over the next five years. The facility should be up and running by early 2019. Ivey says Kimber's investment in Troy will create a significant number of high-paying design engineering and manufacturing jobs.

Japanese automakers Toyota and Mazda have reportedly chosen Alabama as the site of a new $1.6 billion joint-venture auto manufacturing plant, a person briefed on the decision said Tuesday.  

 The plant will employ about 4,000 people and will be built in the Huntsville area in Limestone County, said the person, who asked to remain anonymous because the location hasn't been officially announced. Officials in Alabama are expected to hold a news conference Wednesday afternoon to announce the plant site.

Etowah Co. Jail food
Reuters

Two advocacy groups have sued Alabama sheriffs seeking records about whether the sheriffs are profiting from the food they serve in their jails.

The Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice filed the lawsuit yesterday against 49 sheriffs they said did not comply with a public records request.

The Alabama Crimson Tide hoisted its seventeenth national championship trophy last night. APR’s Pat Duggins reports it was a come from behind win over the Georgia Bulldogs that took the last few minutes, and a touchdown in overtime, to clinch…

Governor Kay Ivey will take center stage as she gives her first State of the State address since being catapulted to the governor's office nine months ago.    

Ivey will give the traditional Tuesday night speech from the Alabama Capitol on the opening day of the 2018 legislative session.

Fan Central
Pat Duggins / APR

It’s the Tide versus the Bulldogs for tonight’s College Football Championship. Georgia and Alabama each won their shot at the title by winning the Rose Bowl and the Sugar Bowl respectively. Now they’re playing for the national title, and APR’s Pat Duggins got some predictions from fans near Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

al.com

A fire has destroyed the home of a woman who accused U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of sexual misconduct. Authorities say, however, that there is no indication the blaze had anything to do with the allegations. 

EMoore accuser Tina Johnson of Gadsden lost her home Wednesday in a fire that's under investigation by arson specialists in Etowah County.

A statement from the sheriff's office says authorities are speaking to a person of interest about the fire. The statement says investigators don't believe the fire is linked to Moore or the allegations against him.

Alabama lawmakers return to Montgomery on Tuesday to begin the 2018 legislative session. Here are seven issues to watch throughout the session.

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PRISON SPENDING

Alabama is facing a court order to improve conditions in its prisons after a federal judge last year ruled that mental health care was "horrendously inadequate." State lawmakers this session will deal with the price tag of trying to comply with the ruling against the state.

Remembering a Friend

Jan 6, 2018
MJN-SAH

Prissy was an American Snowshoe cat, a breed based on a cross with a Siamese cat.  You see the seal point markings and white feet, both of which are specific to her breed.  She had at least two owners who loved her - one advertised to find her a new home, and one gave her a chance to live out her life as a loved pet.

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Corfman 14
Family photo

A woman who says failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore molested her when she was 14 has filed a defamation lawsuit against Moore and his campaign.

Leigh Corfman filed the lawsuit yesterday. She argues Moore and his campaign defamed her and made false statements as they denied various sexual misconduct accusations in the midst of the U.S. Senate race.

Corfman says Moore sexually abused her when she was 14 and then "called me a liar and immoral when I publicly disclosed his misconduct."

Justice Glenn Murdock is stepping down from the Alabama Supreme Court.  

Murdock announced his resignation Thursday in a letter to Governor Kay Ivey. Murdock said his resignation will be effective on Jan. 16.

Hobson
Brynn Anderson / AP

The man who ran former Chief Justice Roy Moore’s failed bid for U.S. Senate in Alabama is now running for a U.S. congressional seat himself.

Rich Hobson announced yesterday that he is running as a Republican for the 2nd District congressional seat currently held by U.S. Representative Martha Roby. That district includes most of metropolitan Montgomery and the Wiregrass region in southeast Alabama. Roby won her last bid for re-election in 2016 with less than 50 percent of the vote, after withdrawing her support of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The Alabama Crimson Tide are back at practice for this Monday’s national championship game in Atlanta. The Tide will face Georgia after the Bulldogs defeated Oklahoma in this week’s Rose Bowl game in Pasadena. Alabama won its slot in the title game by beating Clemson in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. This was the third time the Crimson Tide has faced the Tigers in a major game. And one football historian says it might not be the last time. APR’s Pat Duggins reports on how legendary Alabama coach Bear Bryant dealt the same coaches time after time, just as Nick Saban is now…

H. Brandt Ayers
Getty

The chairman of an Alabama newspaper company has been accused of assaulting female employees by spanking them while he was a newsroom executive decades ago.

Multiple news outlets have reported that at least three women are accusing H. Brandt Ayers, the chairman of Consolidated Publishing Co., of hitting and assaulting them while Ayers was the publisher at the Anniston Star. Consolidated operates that newspaper along with five others.

The University of South Alabama will be purchasing two new medical robots, thanks to funds approved by the foundation board.

The USA foundation board approved $4.6 million to the university. Around $1.7 million of the total funds will be used toward two DaVinci surgical robotics systems. Health officials at the university say the systems would have a major impact on the school's medical center.

The medical center will receive one of DaVinci's new Xi models, and the USA Children's and Women's Hospital also will get a Xi to replace its older Si model.

State health officials say incidents of the flu are on the rise across Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Public Health says flu activity is picking up for the season, and urged people to get vaccinated if they haven't already.

Health officials say if you're going to get vaccinated, you should request the "quadrivalent vaccine" that protects against four different strains of flu. It is the only version that protects against the Type B / Yamagata flu strain which is currently circulating in Alabama.

Ferlinka Borzoi (Deb West) [Flickr]

The end of every year gives us a chance to consider what went right or wrong in the past, and how we might do better for ourselves and our furry companions going forward.  It's a great opportunity to hit the reset button and try to make the coming year a better one for all!

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Alabama’s U.S. Senate race is over…now, is Roy Moore gearing up for a race for Governor? The state of Alabama officially certified Democrat Doug Jones as the state’s new U.S. Senator after a Montgomery judge rejected Moore’s request for a restraining order. The twice removed chief justice alleges irregularities. Political observers think Moore may be setting himself up for a race for Governor. A Moore spokesman dropped a hint about it on CNN last night. Moore's campaign was plagued by accusations of sexual assault and child molestation.

al.com

Doug Jones was certified as the winner of the December 12th special election to fill Alabama's open U.S. Senate seat. Election officials say Jones won with just under twenty-two thousand votes. Defeated U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore reacted to Alabama finalizing the election results by again saying experts agree the election was "fraudulent."  

He made the comment in a brief statement Thursday afternoon, shortly after a state board officially declared Democrat Doug Jones the winner of the Dec. 12 election.

Roy Moore has filed a lawsuit to try to stop Alabama officials from certifying Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of the U.S. Senate race.

The court filing occurred just ahead of today's meeting of a state canvassing board to officially declare Jones the winner of the Dec. 12 special election. Jones defeated Moore by about 20,000 votes.

Moore's attorney wrote that he believes there were irregularities during the election and says there should be a fraud investigation and eventually a new election.

A judge has refused to give a new trial to a man who spent a decade in jail before going to trial on murder charges. 

Houston County Circuit Judge Kevin Moulton last week refused a grant Kharon Davis a new trial. The case drew national attention because Davis was held without bond for 10 years before going to trial

A jury in September found Davis guilty of murder in the 2007 shooting death of Pete Reaves. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Weather Update

Dec 26, 2017

Across much of the state...        

Tonight... Cloudy skies. Evening showers, cool with lows in the lower 30's. Chance of precipitation around 40%

Wednesday...Morning clouds, should clear up by the afternoon. Highs around 40. Chance of precipitation around 20%

Along the coast...

Tonight... Partly cloudy skies with showers later. Lows in the mid 40's. Chance of rain around 40%

Wednesday...Morning showers. Highs around 50. Chance of rain around 40% in the morning.

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