News

The Mobile Police Department has released additional information on an officer-involved shooting that occurred earlier this week.

Mobile Police Chief James Barber recently held a press conference where he identified the officer involved and talked through the incident. He says 18-year-old Michael Moore was driving a stolen vehicle with two passengers when he was pulled over by officer Harold Hurst Monday evening for making an erratic turn.

The mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando is one topic likely to come up tonight in the city of Florence.

Shoals Pride Fest is underway and a panel discussion will address equality for the LGBT community in Alabama. Organizers say the attack at the Pulse nightclub in Central Florida has left many in the Shoals gay community hurting. Pride Fest President Benjamin Newbern says tonight’s panel discussion will also venture into political issues as well…

Kairos Center

New poverty statistics paint a sobering picture for the state of Alabama.

The nonprofit organization Alabama Possible recently released their 2016 State Poverty Data Sheet. It reveals more than 900 thousand Alabamians currently live in poverty. Though it’s an issue across the state, conditions are especially grim in Alabama’s Black Belt. In Perry County, for example, nearly half the county’s residents live below the poverty line.

A committee of lawmakers opened impeachment hearings against Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley, beginning a probe on whether there are grounds to remove the two-term Republican from office.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Mike Jones opened the hearings Wednesday by noting the seriousness of the committee's task.

Twenty-three representatives in April signed impeachment article accusing Bentley of corruption and neglect of duty. The articles were filed after Bentley admitted making sexually-charged remarks to a top aide.

Mobile police shooting
WKRG-TV

A south Alabama police officer shot and killed an 18-year-old man during a traffic stop earlier this week, according to authorities.

Mobile Police Chief James Barber says a city officer saw a vehicle cut off another car Monday evening. The officer stopped the vehicle, carrying driver Michael Moore and two passengers.

Barber says Moore had no driver's license and was asked to step out of the car. At that point, police say the officer noticed that Moore had a gun in his waistband and reached for it.

Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard's name has been removed from the Alabama Legislature's website and his legislative district is listed as vacant in the wake of his conviction on ethics charges.

A jury convicted Hubbard Friday evening on 12 felony ethics charges. The felony convictions caused Hubbard's automatic and immediate removal from office.

House Speaker Pro Tem Victor Gaston is fulfilling the speaker's duties.

The Radio-Television Digital News Association today named Alabama Public Radio the winner of its national “Kaleidoscope Award” for diversity coverage. APR news spotlighted the diversity of its statewide audience in 2015 with on-going coverage of issues including, the same sex marriage debate in Alabama, the 50th anniversary of the "bloody Sunday" attack on voting rights marchers in Selma, as well as Tuscaloosa's welcome home parade for WBC World Heavyweight Boxing Champion Deontay Wilder.

Tuscaloosa vigil
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Gay rights advocates in Tuscaloosa are remembering the dozens of victims of a gruesome mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando Sunday.

Druid City Pride, an LGBTQ organization in Tuscaloosa, held a candlelight vigil last night along with countless other groups across the state and throughout the country. Those taking part memorialized the 49 people killed and remembered the dozens more injured in the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

LBGT groups in Alabama are holding vigils to remember the victims of the Orlando Nightclub shooting. The University of Alabama group called Spectrum will gather at Gorgas Library on the Tuscaloosa campus tonight at 7:30 p.m. for a candlelight remembrance. The group Druid City Pride is planning a similar event at city hall. There will also be a vigil at 6:30 at the Civil Rights Memorial Center in Montgomery. A lone gunman killed at least fifty people during the early Sunday morning rampage at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando…

Hubbard trial
Todd J. Van Ernst

Mike Hubbard’s political career appears to be over.

The former Alabama House Speaker faces sentencing next month after being convicted on 12 of the 23 felony ethics charges. APR’s MacKenzie Bates was at the Lee County Courthouse and files this report.

Hubbard’s defense attorney put his arm around him as the verdicts were read one by one convicting him of using his political office for personal gain.

Hubbard maintained his innocence throughout the indictments, saying the transactions that were made fell within the state ethics law.

Alabama Public Radio is airing NPR's rolling coverage following this morning's shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. This programming will continue through All Things Considered, and then the news team will break in as needed. Be sure to tune in for the latest during ATC and tomorrow on Morning Edition on APR.

APR

Alabama Republican Mike Hubbard was once a man who moved political mountains. He’s credited with helping to stage the 2010 GOP takeover of the state legislature which gave the Republicans a supermajority. It also gave Hubbard the gavel as House Speaker. Now, his political career is in tatters as he faces up to 240 years in prison after being convicted of 12 felony ethics charges.

A business in Alabama is helping NASA move forward with its Orion deep space exploration project. Space Science Services is currently working on NASA projects including modification of the structure complex for the mobile launch platform for the Orion Project. That's the new space capsule designed to carry astronauts out of Earth orbit for the first time since 1972. The company is also testing on the vertical assembly building platform for that project. The company has been in business since 1961 and has had a site in Dothan for about 25 years.

A new Louisiana State University policy could keep the University of Alabama's "million dollar band" from taking the field during November's football game between the Crimson Tide and the LSU Tigers. The new policy will bar opponents' marching bands from performing at halftime of football games at Tiger Stadium during the upcoming season. LSU team spokesman Michael Bonnette tells The Advocate newspaper it's a "safety issue." LSU says the field's sidelines aren't large enough to accommodate bands from both schools as the first half of a game is about to end.

Cat Adventure Day

Jun 11, 2016
carolyn.will (Carolyn Williams) [Flickr]

If your cat is unaccustomed to walking on a leash, start by letting it explore in a limited area while you are holding the other end of the leash to keep it from scampering under the brush or up a tree.  As it becomes comfortable with the situation, you can broaden your range.

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APR

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard's conviction on ethics charges automatically removes him from office and could mean years in prison for the powerful Republican. He faces up to 20 years in prison for each count, or 240 years total. Sentencing is set for July 8. Jurors on Friday found the one-time GOP star guilty of 12 counts of public corruption for using the influence of his political office to benefit his companies and clients. He was acquitted of 11 other counts.

Lee County Sheriff's Office

A jury has convicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard on 12 charges of violating the state ethics law.

The jury returned the verdict Friday evening after deliberating for seven hours. Sentencing is set for next month.

 

Hubbard faced 23 felony ethics charges accusing him of using political positions as House speaker and chairman of the state GOP to make money and investments from lobbyists and company owners.

The ethics case of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard is now in the hands of the jury.  APR’s MacKenzie Bates reports from the TK Davis Justice Center in Opelika…  

   Lee County Circuit Judge Jacob Walker handed the case to the jury just before two o’clock this afternoon.  They’re trying to determine if Mike Hubbard used his positions as House Speaker and former state party chair to make money and obtain business and investment for his companies.

Alabama Center for Rural Enterprise

A new report on sanitation and drinking water has singled out Lowndes County, Alabama for its widespread lack of sewage systems for its residents.

According to the report from the Unitarian Universalist Service Committee, around 80 percent of Lowndes County residents don’t have access to municipal waste treatment and have to install their own septic systems. Those systems can cost up to $30,000 thanks to the type of soil in the area, and the median household income in Lowndes County is just $26,000.

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard's fate will soon be in the hands of a jury.

Prosecutors and defense lawyers have begun closing arguments this afternoon in Hubbard's ethics trial. They are expected to finish Friday morning.

The arguments will cap nearly three weeks of trial that included testimony from the current and past governor. Hubbard testified in his own defense, rebutting assertions that the contracts and investments his companies stemmed from his political sway.

There’s now an official meeting date for the legislative committee that’s looking into the possible impeachment of Governor Robert Bentley. APR’s Stan Ingold has the details.

The House Judiciary Committee scheduled a meeting for 10 a.m. next Wednesday in Montgomery. Committee members will discuss a procedure for handling the investigation, including the possible hiring of special counsel.

A federal judge is permanently barring Alabama from enforcing state laws to block gay marriage.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade of Mobile issued the order today in litigation that followed the U.S. Supreme Court decision that effectively legalized same-sex weddings nationwide.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says water officials in north Alabama “unnecessarily” caused panic when they issued an advisory not to drink potentially contaminated tap water.

A state judge is refusing to dismiss ethics charges against Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard.

Lee County Judge Jacob Walker says he will let the charges go to the jury, rejecting a defense request for a summary judgment of acquittal after prosecutors rested their case.

Defense lawyer Bill Baxley says he plans to call on former Gov. Bob Riley, who testified earlier as a prosecution witness.

A former NASA astronaut who helped pave the way for the International Space Station is charged with murder. State troopers arrested James Halsell Jr. of Huntsville after a traffic crash that killed two girls. Eleven year-old Niomi Deona James and thirteen year-old Jayla Latrick Parler of Brent weren’t wearing seat belts. The two were ejected from their car during the early Monday morning crash. Two adults were injured in the crash. Both were taken to DCH Medical Center for treatment. Troopers say a preliminary investigation indicates alcohol and speed may have been factors.

Alabama Public Radio staffers, including news director Pat Duggins, assistant news director Stan Ingold, Morning Edition host Alex AuBuchon, Digital Media Center Director Elizabeth Brock, Classical Music director David Duff, and Development director Jeff Deneen met with Gulf coast listeners over the weekend. APR held a "donor dinner" for major contributors and underwriters at Mobile's Carnival Museum. That event was followed by the 2nd "Putting The Pub in Public Radio" at Fairhope Brewing Company. Many thanks to all who came out! Click on the "Youtube" link at the bottom to see the video...

Things got testy when former Alabama Governor Bob Riley took the witness stand again in Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics trial. The prosecutors tried to keep Riley from going on too long with his answers. The former governor accused Matt Hart from asking questions out of context. The prosecutions wants Riley to help them build the case that Hubbard illegally used his position as Alabama House Speaker to help himself and his businesses. There are twenty three felony counts against him. Hubbard says he did nothing wrong.

Elkhart Truth

Remarks got heated today in the ethics case of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard

Former Alabama Governor Rob Riley and prosecutor Matt Hart exchanged barbs after Hart stopped Riley from elaborating at length on his answers.

Riley accused Hart of asking Questions without context when Hart asked if he had ever warned Hubbard about overstepping the state ethics law.

The former governor testifies that he and Hubbard often talked about Hubbard’s difficult financial situation.

The trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard is entering its third week. Former Governor Bob Riley is expected to return to the witness stand. Last Friday, he told jurors how Hubbard emailed him several times asking for a job. Riley says other conversation were just banter. Prosecutors called Riley to testify as they seek to prove Hubbard improperly asked lobbyists for work, investments and financial favors. The speaker is facing twenty three ethics charges. Conviction of any one of them could mean his ouster from his post in the state house.

Lessons from My Cats

Jun 4, 2016
Mindy Norton

Whether you're a dog person or a cat person, the truth is that cats now outnumber dogs as house pets in the US.   Part of the reason may be the valuable lessons you can learn from your feline friend!

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