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.

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.

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.

Two men who worked for a company that runs the transit system at Auburn University are facing charges after a student was allegedly raped on one of the buses.

President Trump will be hitting the campaign trail in Alabama this coming weekend in hopes of boosting Luther Strange ahead of next week’s Senate primary runoff.

President Trump made the announcement via Twitter, saying he’d be in Huntsville Saturday night to support Luther Strange for Senate and that “’Big Luther’ is a great guy who gets things done!”

peanut plant
Jay Hare / Dothan Eagle

Local farmers in southeast Alabama have opened a peanut-buying station as another way to peddle the area’s cash crop.

The Dothan Eagle reports the new station, the Farmer’s First Peanut Company, opened late last week in Geneva County. The $2 million facility was built by a group of local farmers looking for a locally-controlled peanut buying station. The facility will sell the crop to Georgia-based Birdsong Peanuts.

Tuition is rapidly increasing at many colleges and universities across the country, but Birmingham-Southern College will now be moving the other direction.

University officials say they will reduce tuition and mandatory fees by more than 50 percent starting in fall 2018.

"The marketplace spoke, and we listened," BSC President Linda Flaherty-Goldsmith says. "We want to make sure that the best and brightest students have access to the kind of personalized, challenging, hands-on educational experience that BSC provides."

ballotpedia.org

A former state representative in Birmingham has pled guilty to multiple charges in connection with an EPA Superfund site in the area.

 

Federal prosecutors are charging former Representative Oliver Robinson with conspiracy, bribery, wire fraud and tax evasion. Prosecutors say Robinson took a contract with a private law firm in exchange with using his position in the state legislature to fight the expansion of an EPA Superfund site in Birmingham. The Superfund site is heavily contaminated with lead, arsenic, and other chemicals.

 

Alabama Supreme Court Justice Tom Parker will have his own day in court after all.

U.S. District Judge Keith Watkins recently ruled against dismissing Justice Parker’s contention that certain state restrictions on judges' speech violate their First Amendment rights.

Beetles Threatening Alabama Timber

Sep 5, 2017

Alabama’s eleven billion dollar timber industry could be at risk due to a very small bug.

Southern Pine Beetle populations have reached epidemic levels in Montgomery County. The beetles are also found in the Oakmulgee district of the Talladega National Forest and an area including Marengo, Clarke, and Choctaw counties.

UAB Campus
UAB

Researchers at UAB are seeking approval from the Food and Drug Administration regarding a new potential treatment for cancer.

Scientists say they’ve developed a way to genetically modify a cancer fighting immune system cell so that it survives chemotherapy. Project Director Dr. Lawrence Lamb says the so called Gamma Delta T-cells recognize cancer cells because of signals of stress the infected cells give off in the patient.

The deadline is looming for Alabama’s correctional officials to tell a federal judge how they plan to overhaul mental health care in state prisons.

U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has scheduled a status conference for September 7 to get an update on the mediation between the state of Alabama and lawyers representing Alabama inmates.

Whooping Cough on the Rise in Alabama

Aug 28, 2017

Pertussis, or "whooping cough" is on the rise across the country, and the state of Alabama has seen over 150 cases so far this year.

The highly contagious disease is preventable with vaccines. However, children and infants who have not received vaccinations for the disease are at high risk of infection.

Dr. Karen Landers is a medical consultant for Alabama's immunization program. She says whooping cough has been around for many years and is caused by a bacterium called Bordetella pertussis.

Last year was a record year for Alabama’s automotive industry.

Alabama Department of Commerce officials say exports of Alabama-made automobiles jumped 13 percent last year, climbing to $7.9 billion dollars. Total sales of state-made cars are estimated at around $20 billion.

Alabama-built cars were reportedly shipped to 86 countries last year. Germany was the largest export market, with more than $2.4 billion in shipments to there alone. Next on the list were China, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Australia, South Korea, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates and India.

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