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.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey appears closer to announcing an upcoming run for governor after filing paperwork to create a campaign organization.

Earlier this week, Ivey filed paperwork with Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill's office to reserve the name "Kay Ivey for Governor Inc." for a nonprofit organization. Ivey spokesman Daniel Sparkman says Ivey is seriously considering running in 2018 and is "taking the steps necessary to be successful."

A recent report shows Alabama is lagging behind much of the country when it comes to tobacco use.

The American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network released its annual report called "How Do You Measure Up?" earlier this month. It finds that although the national adult smoking rate is just over 15 percent, more than one in five adults in Alabama are smokers. Meanwhile, nearly four thousand people in the state are diagnosed with tobacco-related cancer each year.

Sitting Alabama Senator Luther Strange will be facing off with former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore in a runoff for the Republican nomination for Senate.

Moore forced Strange into a runoff in yesterday’s primary election, even though the former Alabama Attorney General was backed by an endorsement from President Donald Trump and millions of campaign dollars from establishment Republicans.

Alabama Senator and former Attorney General Luther Strange is pulling out all the stops to maintain his Senate seat – including calls from the President.

Strange’s campaign announced yesterday that President Donald Trump has recorded robocalls telling Alabama voters to “go to the polls and vote for Luther Strange.” Trump says his administration is accomplishing many of his campaign promises, but he “needs Luther to help us out.”

Free Back-to-School Haircuts in LaFayette

Aug 14, 2017

Three barber shops in the town of LaFayette are joining together to send kids back to school with free haircuts and backpacks.

The program is going into its fourth year and offers free haircuts and backpacks to students ranging from prekindergarten to the twelfth grade. The event was started by three classmates that wanted to give back to the community they came from.

Pastor Gregory Sutton runs one of the barber shops involved. He says he hopes they can act as an example to the students of how to use your talents to benefit the community.

A judge has dropped sex charges against two school employees, saying the state law is overbroad and unconstitutional.

Morgan County Circuit Judge Glenn Thompson dismissed charges against 44-year-old Carrie Witt and 27-year-old David Solomon yesterday. Witt is a former teacher at Decatur High School who was arrested in March 2016 for allegedly having sex with two Decatur High students, one 17 and one 18. Solomon is a former contract teacher at Falkville High School accused of having sex with a 17-year-old Falkville High student.

AP

Primary elections for the race to fill Jeff Sessions’ former U.S. Senate seat are taking place a week from today, and one candidate just picked up a high-profile endorsement.

Martial artist and action star Chuck Norris has announced his support for former Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore, according to multiple news outlets. Norris is best known for starring in “Walker, Texas Ranger” and is a longtime supporter of the former chief justice.

A deadly mosquito-borne virus has been detected in south Alabama.

AL.com reports mosquitoes in parts of Mobile County are carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a disease that Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II says has a human mortality rate between 50 to 75 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe EEE as "one of the most severe mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States", but it is also very rare, with only a few cases reported across the country each year.

A judge says he is not moving the murder trial of an Alabama man that has so far been jailed for 10 years without receiving a trial.

Yesterday, Houston County Judge Kevin Moulton denied a defense request to move the trial due to publicity surrounding the case. Judge Moulton says defense lawyers for Kharon Davis failed to demonstrate that media coverage surrounding the trial would prevent Davis from receiving a fair trial in Houston County. Moulton says defense lawyers would be able to determine whether jurors were biased against their defendant during jury selection.

A park in Alabama is shutting down its greyhound racing operation by the end of the month, which means nearly 400 dogs will need new homes.

Wind Creek Hospitality recently announced that the Mobile Greyhound Park will stop live greyhound racing at the end of the month in response to declining market demand.

Alabama Sighthound Adoptions President Darla Dean recently told WALA-TV that organizations across the country have agreed to adopt the dogs. Most will go to homes, but a few that are still in top racing shape will move to other greyhound tracks.

The Gulf of Mexico is setting an unwanted record – this year’s “dead zone”, where there’s too little oxygen to support any marine life, is the largest ever measured.

Scientists say this year, the oxygen-depleted region is about the size of New Jersey, covering 8,776 square miles. Scientist Nancy Rabalais has been measuring the area since 1985. She and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration released their latest findings yesterday.

The state of Alabama is working with other states to try and improve cybersecurity measures.

Governor Kay Ivey announced yesterday that she has signed onto a multi-state “Compact to Improve State Cybersecurity” that was agreed upon at this year’s National Governors Association summer meeting.

The compact was signed by 38 governors across the country. It makes recommendations to better secure states’ online infrastructure by building better cybersecurity governance, preparing and defending the state from threats, and developing Alabama’s cybersecurity workforce.

Brady Kilpatrick
Walker Co. Sheriff's Office

Authorities in Florida have captured the last of the dozen prisoners who fled an Alabama county jail in a scheme involving peanut butter.

Florida’s Martin County Sheriff's Office announced on social media that local deputies and the FBI Violent Crimes Task Force captured 24-year-old Brady Andrew Kilpatrick last night about 20 miles north of West Palm Beach.

Kilpatrick was being held in the Walker County jail on marijuana and drug paraphernalia charges when he and 11 other prisoners fled Sunday night.

The city of Gulf Shores is getting more serious about the potential of forming a separate citywide school system.

Last night, Gulf Shores City Council members approved conducting a feasibility study for the project. That comes after a citizens group presented city leaders with a petition supporting the formation of a city school system. The group also provided $12,000 to help fund a study on whether the town should leave the Baldwin County school system.

Authorities say the dozen inmates that escaped from a county jail in Alabama over the weekend did so using peanut butter.

Walker County Sheriff James Underwood says the inmates used the peanut butter to change the number above a cell door to match the number identifying a door leading outside. So when an inmate asked a young and inexperienced jailer to let him into his cell, the jailer opened the outside door instead.

The dozen inmates were then able to flee, tossing off their uniforms and using blankets to scale a razor wire fence.

The economy overall across the country may be improving, but many households in Alabama aren’t any more financially secure.

That’s the takeaway from a new report from Prosperity Now examining the financial well-being of individual households in Alabama and across the country. The report finds nearly half of Alabama households are in liquid asset poverty. That means they don’t have enough savings to live at the poverty level for three months if they suffer a significant income loss.

Farmers in Alabama's peanut belt are hopeful about their upcoming harvest.

Larry Wells of the Wiregrass Research and Extension Center says rainfall this year has been just what the crop needs: Not too dry and not too wet. That allows farmers more time to work in their fields to maintain the peanut plants.

Wells tells the Dothan Eagle that the crucial months for rain will still be August and September. He says receiving about 1 inch of rain a week will keep crops on the right path for harvest.

Another Alabama inmate was found stabbed in a state prison yard earlier this week.

Officials with the Alabama Department of Corrections say Timothy Robertson was fatally stabbed Tuesday night. Robertson is the third prisoner to be killed at Elmore Correctional Facility this year. Another inmate, whose identity has not yet been released, will be charged with Robertson’s murder.

Robertson’s death is the fourth killing of an Alabama prisoner this year, and six correctional officers have been injured in assaults at state prisons so far this year.

One prisoner is dead and a correctional officer was stabbed in separate incidents in Alabama’s state prison system.

Alabama Department of Corrections spokesman Bob Horton says an Alabama correctional officer is in stable condition after being stabbed during lunch yesterday. 36-year-old Wendell Tyrell Jones used a makeshift weapon to stab the guard from behind in the dining hall of Bibb County Correctional Facility.

collapsed training facility
WKRG-TV

A new football practice facility at the University of South Alabama has collapsed during construction, according to school officials.

South Alabama athletic director Joel Erdmann says there weren’t any injuries after the Jaguar Training Center collapsed Saturday afternoon. He says the facility was currently under construction.

School spokesman Bob Lowry released a statement saying the facility fell within the construction limits of the site and says no workers were present in the area at the time.

Back-to-School Tax-Free Weekend Begins Today

Jul 21, 2017

Alabamians will have to schedule their back-to-school shopping a bit early this year if they want to buy tax free. The sales tax holiday has been moved up a few weeks to this weekend – starting today.

Officials made the move because the Tax Free Weekend started to fall after school has started for some systems. The Tax Free Weekend gives relief to consumers, but it has also boosted the economy during the 12 years Alabama has participated.

152nd MP Ceremony
WHNT-TV

Members of Alabama’s Army National Guard are heading out to active duty soon.

The approximately 40 soldiers of the 152nd Military Police Company, out of Decatur, Alabama, will be heading to Cuba to oversee internal security and detainee operations at Guantanamo Bay.

A rare form of mad cow disease has been found in Alabama, according to state officials.

Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan released a statement saying atypical bovine spongiform encephalopathy was confirmed in an 11 year old beef cow.

The U.S. Depertment of Agriculture says this is only the fifth case of this particular form of the disease ever confirmed in the United States.

McMillan says the disease was discovered during routine screening at a livestock market. The infected cow wasn’t slaughtered, and its meat didn’t enter the food chain.

Maj. Gen. Sheryl Gordon
Dave Martin / AP

The Alabama National Guard will soon be under female command for the first time in history.

Major General Sheryl Gordon was named by Governor Kay Ivey as the guard’s adjutant general yesterday. Ivey calls Gordon a “trailblazer and visionary leader” in a recent press release. Gordon is the first woman ever to hold that post.

Many saw the recent extension of the federal red snapper season as a boon for many industries on Alabama's gulf coast. But the measure isn’t popular with everyone.

Two environmental groups are suing the federal government for extending the season. The lawsuit filed by the Ocean Conservancy and the Environmental Defense Fund says the decision broke the law by ignoring scientific assessments, promoting overfishing, and failing to follow required procedures like providing adequate notice and time for public comment before making changes.

Police in Alabama and four other Southeastern states are cracking down on traffic violations this week in an effort to cut down on wrecks and traffic fatalities.

“Operation Southern Shield” starts today in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs oversees grants used for the program. They say officers will be looking to reduce the number of drivers speeding, driving impaired or distracted, and not wearing seatbelts.

Members of a city board of education in Alabama are looking to dismiss a lawsuit against them that centers on their vote not to retain the school system’s superintendent.

The four members of the Gadsden City School system had voted against renewing Superintendent Ed Miller’s contract. The Gadsden Times reports they voted over the three other members of the board, who claim they weren’t consulted about the vote.

Tuition will be increasing slightly for students in Alabama’s two-year college system.

The Tuscaloosa News reports trustees have approved a 1.4 percent tuition increase for Alabama’s Community College System. The price of each credit hour will be going up $2 to $119 for students who are Alabama residents. Nonresidents will be paying $234 per credit hour, beginning this fall.

Trustee chairman Al Thompson calls the rate hike “modest”. He says it’s part of an annual adjustment that was first established by the Alabama Board of Education, which used to operate the system.

Two new people are joining Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s cabinet.

Governor Ivey’s office says Jim Purcell has just been named the acting secretary of Information Technology, and Todd Cotton is now the acting commissioner of the Alabama Department of Senior Services.

Purcell has worked as the chief operations officer of the Alabama Office of Information Technology since last December. That position involves overseeing all the shared services offered by the agency across the state.

An Alabama state court says a 12-year-old girl who was impregnated by a relative will be allowed to get an abortion without a parent’s consent.

Yesterday, the Alabama Civil Court of Appeals ruled in favor of a girl seeking a waiver from a state law that requires minors receive parental consent before having an abortion. The decision says a relative currently charged with statutory rape got the girl pregnant, and the girl was removed from her home after her mother reacted violently. The girl doesn’t know her father.

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