Alex AuBuchon

News Host / Reporter

Alex AuBuchon is APR’s Morning Edition host and also writes news and feature stories. He got his start in nonprofit radio at the University of Tennessee’s venerable WUTK-FM.

AuBuchon started as a student DJ before quickly falling in with the news team. He spent a semester on the news staff and then a year as News Director, delivering live newscasts and teaching broadcast workshops to undergraduate journalism students.

AuBuchon then switched over to commercial radio, taking a job as Operations Manager and Assistant News Director for a group of four radio stations in his hometown of Paris, Tennessee. He scheduled traffic and automation breaks and did administrative work for four stations during the week, and delivered newscasts and maintained a popular news website on the weekends.

Alex crossed back over to public radio in January 2015, moving to Alabama to wake up early and give listeners the news they need to get ready for the day.

Republican voters in Alabama are heading to the polls once again to set the final tickets ahead of November's general election.

They'll be taking part in several heated Republican runoffs for statewide office and in the race for a U.S. Congressional seat in south Alabama.

Armed with an endorsement from President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is trying to stave off a challenge from former congressman Bobby Bright and a voter backlash over her criticism of Trump during his Presidential campaign.

Those in Montgomery today can hear the personal accounts of people who have dedicated their lives to social justice.

The event Storytellers: How I Became Justice Involved is being held tonight by the Middle District of Alabama Federal Defenders Program. It’s scheduled on the birthday of Robin “Rocky” Myers, a death row inmate in Alabama who many believe was wrongly convicted. Advocates are hoping to raise awareness of Myers’s case while also sharing their own work on social justice issues.

A Montgomery judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Attorney General candidate Troy King ahead of Tuesday’s GOP runoff election.

King had sued appointed incumbent Steve Marshall over hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions Marshall has received from the Republican Attorneys General Association.

King argued $735,000 of the contributions Marshall received from the group violated Alabama’s ban on transfers between political action committees, since the association received contribution from other PACs before giving the money to Marshall.

Hyundai Motor Company's labor union says steep auto tariffs could cost U.S. jobs, including here in Alabama.

The labor union at South Korea's largest auto company says if President Donald Trump goes ahead with imposing 25 percent auto tariffs, it will hurt Hyundai's U.S. sales and jeopardize the more than 3,000 jobs at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama facility in Montgomery.

Authorities are investigating after a man bled to death after being apprehended by a police dog in Montgomery.

Captain Joe Herman of the State Bureau of Investigation said yesterday that preliminary autopsy reports show a burglary suspect died as the result of a ruptured femoral artery. The incident remains under review.

Montgomery police say a canine unit responded to a report of a burglary in progress early Sunday morning, and the animal apprehended a man inside the home. That man, identified as Joseph Pettaway, died later at a hospital.

Etowah Co. Jail food
Reuters

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says the state will no longer give jail food funds to "sheriffs personally" in the wake of criticism that some sheriffs pocketed vast sums by skimping on inmates' meals.

In a memo to the state comptroller yesterday, Ivey rescinded the state's 2008 policy of "paying prisoner food service allowances directly to sheriffs in their personal capacities." The directive says the money must now go to government accounts.

lethal injection chamber
EJI

A lawsuit challenging Alabama’s lethal injection process took an unexpected turn yesterday. Eight of the inmate plaintiffs asked to be put to death instead by the state’s newly-approved execution method – inhaling nitrogen gas.

Both the Alabama attorney general's office and lawyers for inmates submitted a joint motion to dismiss the litigation yesterday. Lawyers say the inmates' claims challenging Alabama’s use of midazolam in executions as inhumane are now moot, since their pending executions will now be carried out by use of nitrogen.

In the race for Alabama's Attorney General, challenger Troy King is making a big issue of incumbent Steve Marshall's heavy financial support from the Republican Attorneys General Association.

King filed an ethics complaint yesterday arguing those donations are a "flagrant violation" of the state ban on transfers between political action committees, since the group took money from PACs.

RAGA attorney Charlie Spies calls the complaint a "desperate ploy" based on an "incorrect reading of the law."

data center render
DC BLOX

A technology company based in Atlanta plans to build a new data center at an old steel-making site in downtown Birmingham.

DC BLOX announced yesterday it will use the 27-acre site of a former Trinity Steel plant to locate a facility that could be valued at some $785 million over the next decade.

DC BLOX currently operates large data centers in Atlanta, Huntsville and Chattanooga and maintains a high-speed and high-capacity private fiber optic network to offer cloud computing to businesses.

The Alabama Blues Project is soon to have its own permanent home.

The organization will be relocating to the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center in Tuscaloosa. That facility is also home to the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and Tuscaloosa Arts Council.

According to the Tuscaloosa News, the Alabama Blues Project has been bouncing from one available space to another over the past two decades. The nonprofit provides blues music programs and lessons for children and adults.

Authorities say dozens of dogs were recently rescued from a reported puppy mill in central Alabama.

Trussville police Lt. Phil Dillon tells AL.com that last week, officers were called to a home where they found numerous dogs both inside and outside living in unsanitary conditions. Dillon says the owners of the home operated a business selling both puppies and parakeets.

The state of Alabama is going under the microscope again in terms of civil rights policy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's civil rights office says it will investigate the Alabama Department of Environmental Management's civil rights policies.

Al.com reports The EPA's External Civil Rights Compliance Office issued a letter earlier this week stating it will investigate whether ADEM has adopted grievance procedures assuring the prompt and fair resolution of complaints. These procedures are required by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Northport City Hall
WVUA-TV

Less than two months after he took the oath of office, former Northport Mayor Wayne Rose has resigned his appointed position as a representative on the City Council.

The Tuscaloosa News reports Rose was sworn in on May 7 and attended the following council meeting May 21. He was then absent from both meetings in June. Council President Jay Logan announced Rose's resignation on Monday.

Logan says Rose told the council that he had to prioritize spending time with his family and running his Northport lumber yard over his responsibilities as councilor.

Alabama’s commerce secretary says the current rhetoric about tariffs and trade barriers from the White House are hurting investments in Alabama.

Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield recently said an in interview with Bloomberg that state officials aren’t planning to fight President Trump on the issue, but they are urging a “more measured approach” on trade.

Canfield says the state has already seen timelines slip on a couple of large projects, and the longer these trade disputes drag out, the more possible it is that they threaten jobs in Alabama.

One candidate in Alabama’s Lieutenant Governor’s race just got a big name endorsement. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is endorsing Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh in the Republican runoff.

Cavanaugh's campaign announced Huckabee's endorsement Monday. Cavanaugh was the state chairwoman of Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign in Alabama.

A new study from Tuskegee University may change the way breast cancer is diagnosed in the U.S.

Tuskegee researchers have developed a new test that more accurately determines the specific subtype of breast cancer that needs to be treated. Researchers say this will be particularly helpful for African-American women. Studies show black women are more likely to be diagnosed later in life, and are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer after their initial diagnosis than white women.

The National Weather Service has confirmed it was a tornado that tore through a northern Alabama county Friday night, uprooting and destroying a mobile home and leaving two adults and two children with minor injuries.

NWS officials confirmed an EF-2 tornado struck the areas of Jones Chapel and Vinemont in Cullman County around 7 p.m. Friday.

One of Alabama's most populous counties has a plan to put armed police officers in each of its public schools.

Officials in Baldwin County on the Gulf Coast say agencies are partnering to provide permanent school resource officers at each of its 46 campuses beginning this August. Currently, only some county schools have officers on duty constantly.

Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack says Baldwin already has 30 school resource officers, meaning 16 more are needed. The sheriff's office and city police departments will have to fill those positions.

A police lieutenant in Alabama’s largest city has resigned amid charges of forcibly raping a teen relative.

Al.com reports Birmingham Police Lt. Pete Williston submitted his resignation Tuesday. Defense attorney Scott Morro says Williston is remorseful and he and his family along with the police department need "healing."

Morris Police Chief Mike Nazarchyk says a 24-year-old woman reported the abuse in May. She told police that Williston sexually abused her from 2008 to 2011, starting when she was 14 years old.

Members of the Mobile City Council are asking Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to approve funding to help restart passenger train service between the port city and New Orleans.

WALA-TV reports members sent Ivey a letter yesterday saying renewed Amtrak service would help increase tourism and economic development in Mobile.

Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi must commit almost $35 million total over three years by today to be eligible for the same amount in federal funds that would let Amtrak trains travel the northern Gulf Coast for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

Alabama's governor is distancing herself from President Donald Trump on the issue of trade, saying import tariffs like those supported by the Trump administration would hurt the state.

Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement yesterday saying import tariffs could cause retaliatory tariffs that would drive up the cost of items made in Alabama and sold abroad.

The administration already has imposed new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, plus steel and aluminum from China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Bill Canary
BCA

Alabama's largest electrical utility is quitting a business group that tries to influence policy and politics in Montgomery.

News outlets report Alabama Power Co. is leaving the Business Council of Alabama in a disagreement over its leadership and other issues.

Tax documents filed by the business group show most of its money comes from dues and assessments, so losing a large member like Alabama Power could affect its future operations.

Gulf State pier
Alabama State Parks

A new pilot program will allow shark fishing two days this month at Gulf State Park.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says the shark fishing events will take place at the park's saltwater fishing pier tomorrow and June 26. Registration is required and fishing is limited to 10 anglers.

Parks Director Greg Lein said the trial program is being implemented after feedback from people who fish at the pier. Lein says many anglers have expressed concern that they can't catch other species because of the abundance of sharks around the pier.

Low-income residents receiving federal assistance in Alabama might soon see their rent go up by more than $800 a year.

Al.com reports the possible rate increase could impact more than 180,000 people and about 83,000 households according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The center says the average US. Department of Housing and Urban Development rent would go up 20 percent.

Patients seeking cancer treatment in Alabama have a new option for care.

Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham opened its new, state-of-the-art cancer center just two weeks ago. The new, twenty six thousand square foot facility is designed to help patients more easily access a wide range of cancer treatment options and resources in one location.

Dr. Jennifer De Los Santos is the director of the cancer center. She says the new facility will offer a team approach to cancer care – and that’s something she says is new for the Birmingham area.

Marshall Space Flight Center
NASA

The director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama is retiring.

Marshall officials say Todd May announced his retirement to employees yesterday. It is set to take effect July 27.

A statement from U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville says May is being replaced on an acting basis by Marshall's deputy director, Joan A. "Jody" Singer.

May was first named acting director of Marshall in 2015 and then took over the position on a permanent basis. Before that, the Fairhope native managed the Space Launch System, NASA's heavy-lift rocket that's still in development.

A onetime county official accused of taking three quarters of a million dollars in public funds in north Alabama is going to prison.

News outlets report that Judge Pride Tompkins sentenced former Franklin County administrator Crista Lynn Madden to 20 years in prison during a hearing Monday.

The 49-year-old Madden pleaded guilty in March to felony charges of using her office for personal financial gain.

Josh Coleman
via Facebook

The mayor of Alabama's largest city has hired its first LGBTQ liaison.

AL.com reports Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced yesterday at PrideFest that Josh Coleman will serve as both a city spokesman and a representative of LGBTQ interests. Coleman is currently the vice president of Central Alabama Pride, and will start his new city job on June 25.

Woodfin says Coleman's appointment upholds the legacy of "the city that taught the world the importance of inclusion."

An Alabama lawmaker has been indicted on federal charges that he paid kickbacks to a doctor's office that referred Medicare patients to his health care business.

The indictment against Republican state Rep. Ed Henry of Hartselle was unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Montgomery. He is charged with six counts of paying illegal kickbacks and other federal crimes.

The votes are in after yesterday's primary election, but that wasn't enough to decide the Republican candidates in a number of key statewide races.

Several GOP races will be on a runoff ballot next month, including for Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, and one seat in U.S. Congress.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of yesterday's election came in the race for U.S. House District 2. Veteran U.S. Representative Martha Roby was forced into a runoff with Bobby Bright, a former Democrat who switched parties after losing the seat to Roby back in 2010.

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