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 group of activists is calling for the removal of a statue on the grounds of the Alabama Capitol honoring a 19th century doctor who experimented on slaves.

Alabama state Senator Hank Sanders and other members of the group Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy held a press conference yesterday calling for the removal of the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims.

A woman in Hawaii is working to put a face with the name of every fallen serviceman on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, and she is searching for photos of four men who lived in Lee County.

Janna Hoehn of Maui has been volunteering with the "Faces Never Forgotten" program for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. The goal of the program is to match every name on the wall with a photo of the fallen veteran.

Officials say a high school in west Alabama is shrinking, and it currently needs $200,000 to keep some administrative jobs that federal funding pays for.

Reports indicate the number of students at Pickens County High School decreased from more than 260 last year to 221 at the start of this school year. Superintendent Jamie Chapman says if enrollment is less than 250, a school can no longer receive federal funding for salaried assistant principals or partial funding for a counselor and librarian.

More than a week after a locker room assault was captured on camera in south Alabama, four high school football players have been charged and the school district faces a $12 million demand.

Area news outlets are citing a statement from Mobile police yesterday that says three of the four students suspended by Davidson High School have been taken into custody. Additional information was unavailable as all three are underage.

An April 27 video shows multiple students hitting and jumping on 14-year-old freshman Rodney Kim Jr., causing a broken arm.

Alabama’s incumbent governor Kay Ivey is rounding the corner toward the June primary elections with a commanding fundraising lead.

According to fundraising reports filed earlier this week, Ivey has raised a total of $3.6 million. She became governor last year after her predecessor Robert Bentley resigned amid a scandal and impeachment calls.

While Ivey has started spending on TV ads, she still has $1.7 million in hand going into the peak of campaign season.

A major pharmaceutical company previously criticized for raising prices on overdose prevention medication is now donating a large amount of the medication to volunteer rescue squads in Alabama.

Drug manufacturer Kaleo Incorporated announced a donation of 872 boxes of Evzio to be carried in state volunteer rescue vehicles. The device auto-injects the opoid overdose prevention drug naloxone and plays a voice recording that talks an untrained non-medical professional through administering the drug.

Charlotte Meadows LEAD
Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser

Montgomery's first charter school most likely won't open this year after a judge ruled it failed to receive enough votes for its application to be approved.

The Alabama Education Association sued LEAD Academy after the Alabama Public Charter School Commission approved the charter school in a 5 to 1 vote back in February. The association claimed six votes were necessary to pass.

Montgomery Circuit Judge J.R. Gaines ruled in favor of the AEA yesterday.

The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education is adding 107 new Pre-K classrooms in 33 counties this fall.

Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement in a press release yesterday. The new classrooms will expand Alabama's voluntary pre-kindergarten program to nearly 19,000 children in more than 1,000 classes in all 67 counties.

This year, the Alabama legislature also approved an $18.5 million budget expansion of the state's Pre-K program.

Roy Moore has filed a new lawsuit against some of the women who accused him of sexual misconduct shortly before last year’s special election for U.S. Senate.

Moore claims the women were part of a “political conspiracy” to derail his bid for Senate. His campaign was dogged by accusations from multiple women that Moore had pursued sexual or romantic relationships with them when they were teenagers and he was a prosecutor in his 30s.

Fort Walton tornado
WTSP-TV

The National Weather Service has now confirmed six tornadoes touched down during Sunday's severe weather outbreak, including four in Alabama.

Reports indicate three people were injured in Foley, Alabama when an EF-0 tornado struck the Anchors Away RV park at around 3:25 p.m. Five RVs were overturned, and three people were briefly trapped inside the RVs and injured. The storm also caused damage to a nearby convenience store and a Lowe's hardware store.

Another EF-0 tornado struck near Elberta, Ala., causing minor damage to trees and a few homes.

An Alabama prison official testified in federal court yesterday that a now-dead prisoner was placed on mental health observation, rather than suicide watch, despite a previous attempt to kill himself.

Warden Cynthia Stewart of Holman Correctional Facility near Atmore also testified that the inmate did not receive wellness checks as frequently as a court order demanded.

A police department in south Alabama says it's investigating after video showed a black woman being knocked down by police and arrested inside a restaurant.

The NAACP is calling the arrest troubling, and protestors have stood outside the restaurant with picket signs.

The National Weather Service has confirmed at least four tornadoes struck the Gulf Coast yesterday, including at least two in Alabama.

Forecasters confirmed a pair of EF-0 tornadoes struck Baldwin County yesterday afternoon. Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack tells WALA-TV that five people were injured, and one of the five was in serious condition as of yesterday evening.

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."

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