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.

Kentuck Festival Begins Tomorrow

Oct 20, 2017

Thousands of people are expected to attend the 46th annual Kentuck Festival of the Arts this weekend.

The arts festival will feature close to three hundred booths with artists selling their work and demonstrating their crafts. There will also be a music stage and a spoken word tent. For the younger audience, there will be a kids' area which will include many hands-on art activities. Kids under 12 also get free admission to the festival.

Last night, the state of Alabama put a man to death who was convicted of murdering a police officer and also in the process of suing the state over its lethal injection methods.

Airbus Acquisition Likely to Mean New Jobs in Mobile

Oct 19, 2017

More airplane manufacturing jobs are likely coming to the Mobile area.

Mobile is currently the site of an assembly line for French airplane manufacturer Airbus, and it may be getting a second one. That news follows a deal giving Airbus a majority stake in the C series aircraft from Canadian plane maker Bombardier. The C series is similar to the A-320 and A-321 aircraft already manufactured in Mobile. Airbus says they plan to open an assembly line in south Alabama to manufacture the C series planes.

Alabama’s Department of Corrections is scheduled to execute 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb this evening. But as of now, a stay on that execution remains in place.

Yesterday, the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the stay to allow for additional proceedings in McNabb’s lawsuit. He and other Alabama death row inmates are challenging the constitutionality of the state’s lethal injection protocol. Specifically, they argue the sedative midazolam can be ineffective, and might not render them unconscious before other drugs stop their lungs and heart.

Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate Doug Jones has seen a major bump in fundraising efforts, according to campaign officials.

According to the Alabama Political Reporter, over the first three months of the campaign through July 31, Jones only raised $300,000. Now the campaign says Jones has about $1.3 million, a million of which is cash on hand as of the end of the third quarter. Those numbers have not been independently verified, as the third-quarter Federal Election Commission fundraising reports were due on Sunday but have not yet been made public.

Torrey McNabb
ADOC

The state of Alabama is once against petitioning a federal appellate court to allow an execution to proceed – this time for a death row inmate convicted of killing a police officer two decades ago.

Earlier this week, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a stay issued by a federal judge in the case. State attorneys argue there is no reason to block the execution of 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb, scheduled for tomorrow.

Supporters are pushing for new historic markers to recognize two pioneering black Congressmen from north Alabama.

The TimesDaily reports the proposed markers in Florence would honor James Rapier and Oscar De Priest. Rapier was born a free man in 1837, educated in Canada, and returned to Alabama shortly after the Civil War. He served one term in U.S. Congress from Alabama as a Republican during Reconstruction.

A trial is set to begin today for a Jefferson County prosecutor currently suspended amid accusations of perjury.

Charles Henderson is accused of giving false testimony in a divorce case from last year in which he served as guardian ad litem for the divorcing couple’s child, meaning he advocated for the child’s best interest rather than the interest of either parent.

Zoning Issues Loom in Gulf Shores School Split

Oct 16, 2017

It’s been one week since the City of Gulf Shores voted to create its own city school system. Now the question is: What comes next?

Plans for the new independent school system are set to be finalized next spring and will go into effect the following fall. The first order of business will be to appoint a school board. Applications for the five-member board are now available as of today. Plans are for that board to be introduced at the Gulf Shores City Council meeting November 27.

The Alabama Ethics Commission has found probable cause that a state district court judge in Cullman County has violated the state’s ethics law.

Ethics Commission Executive Director Tom Albritton says Cullman County District Court Judge Kim Chaney appointed his son, who is an attorney, to criminal cases in the district. The state ethics code says, in part, that public officials cannot use their offices to benefit themselves or family members.

Albritton says the commission is referring the matter to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office.

Federal judges have tossed out lawsuits challenging the new redistricting plan for the state of Alabama, which effectively clears the way for the new districts to be used in next year’s election cycle.

According to the Alabama Political Reporter, a three-judge panel in federal district court in Alabama’s Middle District decided the lawsuits brought by the Alabama Democratic Conference and Alabama’s Legislative Black Caucus were untimely and lacked standing in the specific districts.

Shrimp Fest Kicks Off Today in Gulf Shores

Oct 12, 2017

The National Shrimp Festival gets underway in Gulf Shores today, despite the effects of Hurricane Nate last weekend.

This year marks the 46th annual iteration of the festival. Attendance is projected to be around 250,000 people in what the Coastal Alabama Business Chamber says is Gulf Shores’ largest event in terms of both attendance and economic impact.

The festival features everything from arts and crafts to sports. Attendees can also hear live music from 4:00 to 11:00 each evening. But the biggest highlight will be the food.

1 Dexter Avenue
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia

U.S. Senate candidate and former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore is facing additional scrutiny over personal compensation from the legal charity he founded.

Property records show the Foundation for Moral Law gave Moore a nearly $400,000 promissory note and mortgage on the group’s historic building in downtown Montgomery. The board of the foundation says the arrangement was to make up for unpaid salary promised to Moore as the organization’s president. That financial stake in the building was later boosted twice and now sits at $540,000.

SPLC

Alabama prison officials say they're increasing mental health staffing following a court order on the lack of treatment for inmates. This issue figured prominently in the APR news team's national award-winning investigation of Alabama's prison system. After our coverage aired, the case was granted class action status and the ruling later rendered. Click below to hear these stories again...

The City of Gulf Shores has approved the formation of its own city-wide school system.

Last night, the Gulf Shores City Council voted unanimously in favor of the measure. Gulf Shores Mayor Robert Craft told those at the meeting that they did not come to the decision lightly, and “our kids deserve the best we can give them”.

Next Birmingham Mayor May Inherit Confederate Monument Fight

Oct 9, 2017

Birmingham’s next mayor may have a fight on his hands immediately upon taking office in November.

Randall Woodfin may have to find a way to deal with the ongoing controversy over an embattled Confederate monument in Birmingham. The city is facing a lawsuit from the state Attorney General Steve Marshall over the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Linn Park.

The Alabama Memorial Preservation Act that was passed this summer makes it illegal to remove or rename any memorial streets or buildings on public property that have been in place for 40 or more years.

Once again, the state of Alabama has the most improved advanced placement scores in the country.

Al.com reports Alabama has had the highest percentage of growth in national qualifying scores for AP classes in math, science and English of any state in the country for the sixth year in a row. Alabama has also seen the highest growth in participation in AP classes from 2008 to this year.

Those numbers were announced late last week at Russellville High School in northwest Alabama.

Nate quickly weakened to a tropical depression after making landfall in Biloxi, Mississippi and tracking north into central Alabama, but parts of south Alabama are dealing with power outages and some flooding.

The latest forecasts estimate Hurricane Nate will make landfall on Alabama's gulf coast as a Category 2 storm, and some residents in Gulf Shores are being urged to evacuate.

Governor Kay Ivey has issued a state of emergency for Alabama ahead of Tropical Storm Nate.

Nate is expected to reach the northern Gulf Coast over the weekend as a hurricane when it makes landfall Sunday morning somewhere between southeast Louisiana and the Florida peninsula. In Alabama, meteorologists predict winds of 75 miles per hour and gusts of up to 90 miles per hour near the coast. Sustained winds of 45 miles per hour with gusts up to 60 miles per hour are forecast as far north as Birmingham and Gadsden.

Alabama’s Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed lawsuits against several casinos in Alabama, saying they are operating illegal slot machines under the guise of electronic bingo.

Yesterday, Marshall’s office filed lawsuits in five counties seeking to shut down the electronic bingo operations. Marshall says the Alabama Supreme Court has made abundantly clear that the machines are illegal.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is running for governor.

Maddox made the announcement this morning morning with the release of a video on social media.

The state of Alabama is asking the U.S. Supreme Court for permission to proceed with the execution of a man convicted of killing his estranged wife and father-in-law back in 1993.

Yesterday, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall asked the nation's high court to overturn an injunction currently blocking Thursday's scheduled execution of 56-year-old Jeffery Lynn Borden.

The University of Alabama will soon be building a new high-tech cybersecurity lab in order to conduct research on business data intelligence, thanks to a $5 million donation.

Easterling Correctional Facility
ADOC

Three inmates have been stabbed in two separate incidents at an Alabama state prison.

Officials with the Alabama Department of Corrections say both incidents were reported Friday at the Easterling Correctional Facility in Clio, Alabama. Reports indicate two inmates were stabbed with a makeshift knife during a fight that broke out in the early afternoon. Additional charges are currently pending against 24-year-old Chandler Boone, who is serving a 50-year sentence for a 2013 murder conviction. The wounded inmates are currently in stable condition.

Tomorrow is the Republican runoff election between sitting U.S. Senator Luther Strange and former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, and the White House is suggesting it won’t really be that big a defeat if their candidate loses.

Online Sales Tax Relief Program in Alabama

Sep 25, 2017

Alabama is one of several states taking part in a program offering relief for online sales tax collection.

The Multistate Tax Commission has a sales tax amnesty program going on in nineteen states, including Alabama.  The program allows online sellers to come forward and register their sales or use tax without penalties.  This includes large online retailers like Amazon and smaller third-party accounts.

schoolyard roots
via Twitter

One of the state’s premiere events for the food-obsessed is taking place this weekend in Tuscaloosa.

Schoolyard Roots, formerly known as the Druid City Garden Project, is hosting its annual Garden Party this Sunday at the Tuscaloosa River Market. Schoolyard Roots is a nonprofit organization that builds and maintains teaching gardens in area elementary schools, providing kids both with healthy produce and hands-on learning opportunities.

Eric Courchesne is the Interim Executive Director of Schoolyard Roots.

When the scandal-plagued former Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley appointed his then-attorney general Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate, Bentley apparently considered it a good thing that he would get to name a new attorney general.

Trump Mobile rally
Jeff Haller / New York Times

President Donald Trump will be moving his visit to the Yellowhammer State up. Senator Luther Strange’s campaign team recently announced the President will attend a campaign rally in Huntsville at 7 p.m. on Friday.

President Trump’s visit comes just four days before the Republican runoff election between sitting U.S. Senator Luther Strange and Roy Moore, Alabama’s former chief justice. The two men are locked in a heated race for the Republican nomination for Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ former Senate seat.

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