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 federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s state law requiring people to show government issued photo ID at the polls.

The lawsuit was one of the latest battles between voting rights advocates who say these measures are aimed at suppressing voter turnout and conservative states that argue they’re needed to prevent voter fraud.

Stran-Hardin Arena
Alex AuBuchon / APR

The University of Alabama is set to open an athletic arena that is unparalleled in the United States.

Yesterday, university officials celebrated the completion of Stran-Hardin Arena, a brand-new $10 million facility for UA's Adapted Athletics program. The new arena features an NCAA-regulation venue for wheelchair basketball along with brand new strength training equipment adapted for athletes in wheelchairs, men's and women's locker rooms, conference and study rooms and much more.

Troy is about to see a big economic boost with more than 350 new jobs coming to the city after a leading firearms maker announced it will soon build a facility there.

Gov. Kay Ivey's office confirmed yesterday that Kimber Manufacturing, based in Yonkers, New York, will invest $38 million over the next five years. The facility should be up and running by early 2019. Ivey says Kimber's investment in Troy will create a significant number of high-paying design engineering and manufacturing jobs.

Etowah Co. Jail food
Reuters

Two advocacy groups have sued Alabama sheriffs seeking records about whether the sheriffs are profiting from the food they serve in their jails.

The Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice filed the lawsuit yesterday against 49 sheriffs they said did not comply with a public records request.

Hobson
Brynn Anderson / AP

The man who ran former Chief Justice Roy Moore’s failed bid for U.S. Senate in Alabama is now running for a U.S. congressional seat himself.

Rich Hobson announced yesterday that he is running as a Republican for the 2nd District congressional seat currently held by U.S. Representative Martha Roby. That district includes most of metropolitan Montgomery and the Wiregrass region in southeast Alabama. Roby won her last bid for re-election in 2016 with less than 50 percent of the vote, after withdrawing her support of then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

H. Brandt Ayers
Getty

The chairman of an Alabama newspaper company has been accused of assaulting female employees by spanking them while he was a newsroom executive decades ago.

Multiple news outlets have reported that at least three women are accusing H. Brandt Ayers, the chairman of Consolidated Publishing Co., of hitting and assaulting them while Ayers was the publisher at the Anniston Star. Consolidated operates that newspaper along with five others.

The University of South Alabama will be purchasing two new medical robots, thanks to funds approved by the foundation board.

The USA foundation board approved $4.6 million to the university. Around $1.7 million of the total funds will be used toward two DaVinci surgical robotics systems. Health officials at the university say the systems would have a major impact on the school's medical center.

The medical center will receive one of DaVinci's new Xi models, and the USA Children's and Women's Hospital also will get a Xi to replace its older Si model.

State health officials say incidents of the flu are on the rise across Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Public Health says flu activity is picking up for the season, and urged people to get vaccinated if they haven't already.

Health officials say if you're going to get vaccinated, you should request the "quadrivalent vaccine" that protects against four different strains of flu. It is the only version that protects against the Type B / Yamagata flu strain which is currently circulating in Alabama.

Roy Moore has filed a lawsuit to try to stop Alabama officials from certifying Democrat Doug Jones as the winner of the U.S. Senate race.

The court filing occurred just ahead of today's meeting of a state canvassing board to officially declare Jones the winner of the Dec. 12 special election. Jones defeated Moore by about 20,000 votes.

Moore's attorney wrote that he believes there were irregularities during the election and says there should be a fraud investigation and eventually a new election.

Air force officials and business leaders hope a new innovation center could bring big changes to the city of Montgomery.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports Maxwell Air Force Base plans to build an innovation center outside the gates of the facility, where researchers at the prestigious Air University can collaborate with the nation’s top tech and business minds.

The state of Alabama has set a date for the execution of a terminally ill man.

Al.com reports the Alabama Supreme Court ordered yesterday that 60-year-old Doyle Lee Hamm is scheduled to be put to death on February 22. Hamm has spent 30 years on Alabama’s death row.

He was convicted in the murder of Patrick Cunningham, a hotel employee in Cullman, Alabama. Cunningham was killed during a robbery that apparently netted just over 400 dollars. Hamm confessed to the murder, and two other men agreed to testify against him in exchange for lesser charges.

Doug Jones won last night's special election for U.S. Senate, defeating Roy Moore by 1.5% of the vote in last night’s election. Moore’s camp, though, is looking for a possible recount.

Moore refused to concede the election last night, and told his supporters “When the vote is this close, it’s not over. We still have to go by the rules, by this recount provision.”

With ~92% of precincts reporting, multiple media outlets report Democrat Doug Jones has won Alabama's special election for U.S. Senate.

Statewide, UNOFFICIAL election results are as follows:

Doug Jones: 589,531 (49.6%)

Roy Moore: 581,225 (48.9%)

Write-ins (total): 18,727 (1.6%)

Pensacola rally snow
Alex AuBuchon / APR

President Donald Trump held a campaign-style rally in Pensacola as part of a weekend trip across the Gulf Coast – less than 20 miles from the Alabama state line and just four days before the hotly contested Senate election between Doug Jones and Roy Moore. Some political experts believed the event would be a de facto campaign stop for Roy Moore. Others said Trump was there to thank the Pensacola area for their strong support during last year’s election. Turns out, it was a little of both.

U. Mobile Professor Develops Christmas Tree Light Calculator

Dec 11, 2017

A math expert at the University of Mobile is looking to take some of the guesswork out of decorating your Christmas tree.

Troy Henderson is a professor of mathematics at the university. He has developed and released a free online calculator that anyone can use to determine the optimal way to string lights on their Christmas tree. Henderson's calculator takes the dimensions of the tree and the length of lights available and uses calculus to determine the optimal spacing.

Lewis
Jefferson County Jail

Three Birmingham-area officials were arrested yesterday on felony state ethics charges.

In a news release last night, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Sherry Lewis, chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Water Works, was arrested along with Jerry Jones, a former vice president at Arcadis (the Water Works' preferred engineering firm) and Mt. Vernon Mayor Terry Williams, who also owns Global Solutions International Inc., an Arcadis subcontractor.

The state of Alabama has received a $1.5 million grant to help expand a program aimed at strengthening early childhood education across the state.

Governor Kay Ivey’s office says the grant comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and will help expand Alabama’s Pre-K through Third Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning. WSFA-TV reports that program is the first pillar of Ivey’s new education initiative, Strong Start, Strong Finish.

Birmingham police say a shooting over the weekend resulted in the 100th homicide of the year for Alabama's largest city.

Two men were reportedly shot inside an apartment in the Collegeville neighborhood late Sunday night. The Jefferson County Coroner's office identified one deceased victim as 26-year-old Jahbrell Leon Sturgeon. North Precinct Lt. Shelia Finney says a second man was shot in the head, but his injury is not thought to be life-threatening. Police are trying to determine what led to the shooting, and no suspects are in custody.

Hospitals in Alabama as well as Mississippi are suing more than a dozen drug manufacturers, claiming they deceptively marketed and sold dangerous opioids.

Jackson, Mississippi’s Clarion Ledger reports the class-action lawsuit was filed late last week in federal court in Mississippi. The plaintiffs are Infirmary Health Hospitals, based in Mobile, Monroe County Healthcare Authority, based in Monroeville, and Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center based in McComb, Mississippi.

The road map is in place for the 2017 college football postseason. Here's the picture for Alabama's colleges and universities, as well as the bowl games that will be taking place across Alabama this year:

The commissioner of Alabama’s Department of Corrections took the stand yesterday in an ongoing trial regarding mental health care for state inmates.

Back in June, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled that the care available to Alabama state inmates was “horrendously inadequate” and constituted cruel and unusual punishment. This phase of proceedings is all about how the Department of Corrections plans to fix those issues.

The Birmingham Police Department is looking for a new leader after the current chief announced he’s resigning.

Birmingham Police Chief A.C. Roper announced yesterday that he will be resigning his post. Roper says he will stay for the next few months as Mayor Randall Woodfin begins a search for his replacement.

Woodfin heavily criticized the way Birmingham is policed on the campaign trail, leaving much speculation that Roper's job could be in jeopardy.

Alabama’s prison system is on trial once again starting today.

The next phase of hearings regarding health and mental health care for Alabama state inmates begins today in Montgomery. Back in June, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled the system was “horrendously inadequate” and had to change. These hearings are all about how Alabama’s Department of Corrections plans to make those changes.

A former Marine who has launched a write-in campaign for the U.S. Senate seat in Alabama says he believes residents are not being properly represented by the two other candidates.

Ret. Col. Lee Busby appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" this morning. He says winning is "doable" even though the election is only two weeks away. Busby is a former aide to John Kelly who is now President Donald Trump's chief of staff. He is running as an independent candidate against Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore.

A conservative group known for clandestine, undercover investigations has been tied to a woman who falsely told the Washington Post that Roy Moore had impregnated her as a teenager.

That’s according to a story published in the Washington Post yesterday. Moore has been accused of multiple instances of sexual misconduct recently. But the paper determined that one accuser who approached them earlier this month, identified as Jaime Phillips, made up a story likely designed to embarrass the paper.

Alabama voters have until 11:59 p.m. this evening to register to vote in order to participate in the Dec. 12 special election for the U.S. Senate between Democratic nominee Doug Jones and Republican nominee Roy Moore.

Under state law, the last day to register is the 15th day before an election, which is today. Voters can register during normal office hours at county board of registrars' offices and other designated locations in each county. Or voters can register online until 11:59 p.m. tonight.

Roy Moore
NBC News

President Donald Trump is again coming to the side of embattled Republican Roy Moore by bashing the Democratic nominee in a hotly contested Alabama U.S. Senate race.

Trump tweets "the last thing we need" in Alabama and the Senate is a "puppet" of the Democratic congressional leadership. Trump contends Democrat Doug Jones — a former prosecutor — is "WEAK" on crime and border security, and "BAD" for the military, veterans, and gun rights. Trump claims Jones is itching to raise taxes "TO THE SKY" and would be "a disaster."

Al Hicks / NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation

A researcher in Georgia who has studied one of Alabama's biggest bat colonies says the colony could be all but wiped out within years by the deadly fungus that causes white-nose syndrome.

A team of 21 scientists will conduct a study to estimate the number of red snapper in the U.S. waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

The panel of researchers from universities and state and federal agencies was convened by the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium and awarded $9.5 million in federal funds. The project will receive another $2.5 million from the universities involved.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross highlighted the importance of the long-term sustainability of the red snapper fishery for communities along the Gulf Coast:

An Alabama police dog shown on video doing push-ups with two officers has become a big hit on the internet, as well as a public safety reminder.

Al.com reports Nitro is a 2-year-old Dutch shepherd who joined the Gulf Shores Police Department's canine unit in February. In a video Gulf Shores police recently posted to social media, the dog raises up and down alongside the officers' push-ups as the song "Eye of the Tiger" plays in the background.

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