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.

A former police chief in central Alabama has pleaded guilty to violation of an ethics law and fraudulent use of a credit card.

Brian Allan Stilwell was charged for crimes he committed between 2010 and 2015. Stillwell was Police Chief of the Clanton Police Department at the time. He was also treasurer of the Chilton County Fraternal Order of Police.

Prosecutors accused Stillwell of using the Fraternal Order’s bank debit card to take money for personal use. He was also accused of using his position as police chief to take money from the Police Department.

Walter Leroy Moody
ADOC

A man responsible for a wave of terror across the Southeast in the late 1980s was put to death last night.

83-year-old Walter Leroy Moody was pronounced dead at 8:42 p.m. last night following a lethal injection at W.C. Holman Correctional Facility in Atmore, Alabama.

Moody was convicted of killing U.S. Circuit Judge Robert S. Vance and Robert Robinson, a black civil rights attorney from Savannah, Georgia, with bombs sent through the mail. Two other bombs, including one mailed to a Florida NAACP office, were intercepted and did not explode.

Robert Vance
Joyce Vance via AP

A package bomber who created a wave of terror across the South is scheduled to be executed in Alabama, nearly 30 years after killing a federal judge with a bomb mailed to his home.

Walter Leroy Moody Jr., 83, is scheduled to receive a lethal injection Thursday. At his 1996 trial, prosecutors described Moody as a meticulous coward who committed murder by mail because of his obsession with getting revenge on the legal system, and then committed more bombings to make it look like the Ku Klux Klan was behind the judge's murder.

An Alabama legislator and a lobbyist who once chaired the Alabama Republican Party are scheduled to appear in federal court later today on conspiracy charges.

Alabama Republican Representative Jack D. Williams of Vestavia Hills and lobbyist Marty Connors are scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon in federal court in Montgomery.

The two were arrested earlier this month, along with G. Ford Gilbert of California, on conspiracy to commit bribery and mail fraud charges.

U Mobile worship
University of Mobile

The University of Mobile is offering a new master’s degree aimed at educating the next generation of church music leaders.

The new Master of Arts in Worship Leadership and Theology will start next fall, and will combine coursework in music and music education as well as theology and leadership. The degree will be offered mostly online along with a three-day intensive seminar twice a year held on campus and also streamed online.

A student group at the University of Alabama won’t be hosting a speech from a prominent white nationalist this week after all.

The group Students for America First had invited Jared Taylor to speak on campus on Thursday. Taylor is the editor of the website “American Renaissance” and planned to give a talk entitled “Diversity: Is It Good for America?”

However, university officials moved to cancel the event yesterday, saying Students for America First didn’t meet the requirements for a registered student organization.

The city of Birmingham says it did not violate state law when it put up a plywood box around a 52-foot-tall Confederate monument in a city park.

In a court filing yesterday, the city disputed the state of Alabama’s claims that Birmingham violated a law prohibiting the removal or alteration of any monuments more than 40 years old.

Fulton flood damage
Clarke Co. EMA

Last weekend was a wet one across the state of Alabama, and forecasters say several spots saw record-breaking amounts of rainfall as well as flooding and rain-related damage.

National Weather Service officials say the rain was extreme in southwest Alabama, especially in Clarke County. Total rainfall for that area this weekend was 9.34 inches. Emergency management officials say 18 car and residence rescues were made Saturday night and early yesterday morning.

Alabama’s interim state superintendent says about 200 teacher positions in Montgomery will have to be eliminated in order to stabilize finances.

Al.com reports interim superintendent Ed Richardson also says Montgomery will need to outsource about 400 support jobs. He says the Alabama Education Association could have prevented those job cuts for Montgomery Public Schools if the group had not gone to court to block his plan to sell Georgia Washington Middle School to the town of Pike Road.

debate
WTVM-TV

The leading Democratic contenders for governor spent much — but not all — of their time agreeing with one another in a debate Wednesday night.

Former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and former state legislator James Fields appeared in the debate hosted by WVTM in Birmingham Wednesday night.

Failed U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore is countersuing a woman who says he molested her when she was 14 and he was 32.

Moore's attorneys filed the defamation counterclaim on Monday against Leigh Corfman — who has an ongoing defamation lawsuit against Moore — denying Corfman's accusations of sexual misconduct first raised in an interview with the Washington Post. Corfman is among several women who say Moore romantically or sexually pursued them decades ago when they were in their teens and he was in his 30s.

Alabama U.S. Senator Doug Jones, the Democrat who unexpectedly prevailed in one of the country's most Republican states, has a book set to come out next year.

St. Martin's Press told The Associated Press that Jones' "Bending Toward Justice: The Birmingham Church Bombing that Changed the Course of Civil Rights" is scheduled for release in January.

A university in east Alabama still recovering from a tornado strike has released surveillance video showing what the storm looked like as it hit campus.

Jacksonville State University released a video compilation made from multiple cameras as a tornado touched down on campus on March 19.

Birmingham's public transit system is getting $3.6 million in federal grant money to pay for new buses.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says the funding will go to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority in order to replace old buses that have outlived their usefulness.

The agency says the new vehicles will reduce maintenance and other costs as well as improving reliability.

Jackson House
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Wednesday, April 4 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior’s assassination. For the past month, the Alabama Public Radio news team has been examining Dr. King’s work and his impact here in Alabama. You’ve heard a photographer from Montgomery recall documenting King’s work. APR guest reporter Ousmane Sagara shared how people in his nation of Mali remember Dr. King. You also heard about the house where King hid from white supremacists, just days before his assassination. Now APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports on another place in Alabama closely connected to Dr. King, and how his influence is being felt by a new generation…

Alabama lawmakers are stretching out this year's legislative session as tensions and disagreements on Wednesday derailed what they hoped would be their final meeting day.

Legislators abandoned a plan to conclude the session Wednesday as a number of measures had not reached final passage by late evening. They are returning to the State House Thursday morning.

"I think everybody — with clearer heads, at nine in the morning, making reasonable decisions— we'll still end up with a good session," said Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh.

Patricia Todd
via Twitter

Alabama's first openly gay legislator bid farewell to the House of Representatives on Tuesday evening.

Representative Patricia Todd, a Democrat from Birmingham, will not seek re-election after serving 12 years in the state House.

Todd said on the House floor that her colleagues are "incredible, beautiful people" who all treated her with equality, even though some she thought she "would never get along with or like."

Remington AR-15
Phil White / TFB

The city of Huntsville is reiterating its support for a firearms manufacturer that recently filed for bankruptcy.

Huntsville officials released a statement yesterday saying its economic development team will continue engagement with Remington. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Sunday.

The statement also acknowledges Remington has fallen behind on job-hiring obligations tied to financial incentives it receives from the city.

An organization that preserves Civil War battlefields is looking for volunteers to help clean up historical sites across Alabama.

The Civil War Trust says volunteers will be working at more than 160 sites nationwide during its annual cleanup day on April 7.

In Alabama, Fort Morgan is on the list of places slated for work. The red-brick fort located at the tip of the Fort Morgan Peninsula played a key role in the Battle of Mobile Bay in 1864.

A German automotive supplier has opened a new $46.3 million plant in central Alabama.

MöllerTech officials say the company will hire 222 employees at the new supply plant by the end of 2019. The ribbon-cutting ceremony was held this week almost 16 months after the company announced it would build the plant in Bibb County.

The plant currently has 50 employees.

The supply plant is located next door to Mercedes-Benz's new Global Logistics Center at the Scott G. Davis Industrial Park. The automaker will also have an after-sales North American hub in the park.

Alabama lawmakers are advocating to keep daylight saving time year-round and stop changing clocks.

The Alabama Senate approved a resolution Thursday by Republican Sen. Rusty Glover to "forever put an end to the deadly, energy-wasting, productivity-killing, twice-yearly changing of time." It was co-sponsored by 24 of 35 members and now moves to the Alabama House of Representatives for a final vote.

A man convicted of killing his former boss at a traveling carnival nearly two decades ago was put to death last night after having dropped his appeals and asking courts to execute him.

50-year-old Michael Wayne Eggers died at 7:29 p.m. after receiving a lethal injection at a southwest Alabama prison. He was sentenced to death for the murder of his former employer Bennie Francis Murray in 2000. Prosecutors say Eggers admitted to strangling Murray during an argument.

Alabama lawmakers are set to hold public hearings this morning on proposals to allow some teachers to carry concealed handguns into schools.

The House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee will hold a hearing on the bill by Republican Representative Will Ainsworth this morning. The bill would allow public school teachers and administrators to carry a pistol on school property after undergoing police training.

Ainsworth's bill is one of a number of ideas introduced to make schools safer after the fatal shooting of 17 people at a Florida high school.

State lawmakers have approved an $85 million increase for Alabama’s prison system in an effort to comply with a federal court order to improve mental health care for inmates.

Yesterday, The House of Representatives approved $30 million for the Department of Corrections before September as well as a $55 million boost in next year's general fund budget.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled last year that mental health care in Alabama's prisons was "horrendously inadequate" and ordered the state to improve conditions.

Lawyers say a settlement is possible in the case of an Alabama inmate whose lethal injection was halted last month when the execution team could not find a usable vein.

Lawyers for both the state of Alabama and death row inmate Doyle Lee Hamm wrote that they were in "serious settlement discussions." The filing did not elaborate, so it's unclear what a potential settlement may entail.

Hamm's attorney is seeking to block Alabama from attempting to execute him again.

Orange Beach oil
Julie Dermanksy

A massive grant from the RESTORE Act and the Alabama Gulf Coast Recovery Council will help fund a variety of projects in southwest Alabama.

Fifty projects will be given funding for infrastructure, environmental restoration and economic development thanks to that $315 million grant. The biggest payouts include $56 million for road expansion projects in Baldwin County, $28 million for a new facility at the Port of Mobile, $27 million for projects affecting Aloe Bay on Dauphin Island and $21 million to redevelop the docks in Bayou La Batre.

A bill that passed the Alabama Senate yesterday would give payday loan customers longer to repay their loans.

The bill, sponsored by Senator Arthur Orr, would give borrowers 30 days to repay a loan, instead of as little as 10 days in some cases. Orr says that change would give people a much better chance at paying off the loan. He says the change drops the effective yearly interest rate of payday loans from 450 percent APR down to 220 percent.

A north Alabama man pleaded guilty to terrorism charges yesterday, admitting he bought bomb-making materials and had hoped to conduct terrorist attacks.

In federal court in Birmingham, Aziz Sayyed, 23, of Huntsville, entered the guilty plea to charges that he sought to aid a foreign terrorist organization.

Huffman police
Brynn Anderson / AP

One of the largest schools in Birmingham is closed today after metal detectors and other security measures failed to prevent a 17-year-old student from being fatally shot and another wounded in an apparent accident.

Investigators are reviewing surveillance video and interviewing students and staff to try to figure out exactly what led to the shooting at Huffman High School yesterday at dismissal time.

Birmingham Interim Police Chief Orlando Wilson says “We consider it accidental until the investigation takes us elsewhere. We have a lot of unanswered questions.”

A lawyer representing an Alabama death row inmate whose lethal injection was recently halted after staffers could not connect an intravenous line says his client should not face a second date in the death chamber.

An attorney for Doyle Lee Hamm wrote in state court filings yesterday that Hamm had experienced "torture" during the failed attempt to execute him two weeks ago. Bernard Harcourt says attempting the procedure again would violate a constitutional ban on cruel punishment.

Hamm has severely compromised veins from a battle with lymphoma as well as past drug use.

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