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.

The City of Selma remembered the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” over the weekend. But today marks another milestone in the civil rights movement.

Saturday was the 50th anniversary of “Bloody Sunday” in 1965. Today marks 50 years since the second march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge called Turnaround Tuesday. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., led that protest himself, but turned back before state troopers could attack like they did just two days prior.

Selma city councilman Benny Lee Tucker was a teenager in 1965. He says he had a specific job during King’s march…

Alabama will soon be playing host to a meeting of attorneys general from across the South.

The southern region of the National Association of Attorneys General will discuss data breaches, security issues and other topics at a meeting in Point Clear March 12 and 13.

Governor Robert Bentley recently awarded several grants to help fund programs providing assistance to survivors of domestic abuse in Alabama.

The Department of Economic and Community Affairs says Bentley awarded nearly $40,000 to the Marion County Commission. That grant supports a program that helps prosecute domestic violence cases in both Marion and Winston Counties.

A coalition of civil rights organizations filed a motion asking a federal judge to order Alabama's probate judges to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. The request will also add plaintiffs to a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state's gay marriage ban.

Mohammed Fairouz
Samantha West

This weekend, tens of thousands of people will make their way Selma to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

This means a lot a work for city workers to prepare for the crowds. James Benderson is the director of city planning and development for Selma. He says they have a lot of help.

“We have state police agencies, a lot of the local police municipalities within the area will be helping out. We have the national parks service helping out, so it’s a collaborative effort between a lot of different agencies making it work out for everybody.”

The latest twist in Alabama's same sex marriage controversy drew a quick response from the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled that probate judges have to stop issuing marriage licenses for same-sex couples. The state’s probate judges will be required to adhere to Alabama law defining marriage as strictly between a man and a woman, even though a federal district court declared that law unconstitutional in late January.

Richard Cohen is the president of the Southern Poverty Law Center. He says he’s disappointed in the court’s ruling.

Channel & Hicks
Alex AuBuchon

There’s been a new twist in Alabama’s same sex marriage controversy. No new marriage licenses for same-sex couples will be issued, at least for now.

The city of Selma is preparing to remember the fiftieth anniversary of the attack known as "Bloody Sunday".

Today also marks fifty years since the funeral of civil rights activist Jimmie Lee Jackson. His death at the hands of an Alabama State Police Trooper is considered one of the reasons Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. came to Selma to help organize the voting rights marches.

Vera Jenkins Booker was the nurse that tended to Jackson when he was brought in to the Good Samaritan Hospital in Selma.

Governor Robert Bentley will deliver his state of the state address tomorrow.

The big issue is will likely be a half billion dollar tax hike. Bentley announced his plan on Friday and his annual speech will be his first big opportunity to sell it to what may be a skeptical Republican majority in the state house and senate.

Four hundred million dollars of the proposed tax hike would come from raising taxes on cigarettes and new car purchases. A pack of cigarettes would go up by eighty two cents. Buying a new car would be taxed by two to four percent.

One Birmingham teenager is dead and two others are injured after shots were fired Friday during a fight the teens had staged for social media.

The Birmingham Police Department says a group of girls had been arguing and decided to fight to settle their differences. They also decided to film the fight to post on Facebook later.

After the fight started, two teenage males started shooting, and three people were hit.

One 14-year-old girl, Kierra'onna Rice, later died at an area hospital, and two more were injured.

Police have taken the two suspects into custody.

Testimony is wrapping up in a lawsuit between former Alabama State University athletic director Stacy Danley and the university itself.

A ruling is expected to be issued sometime next month, after both sides file their final briefs.

Alabama vehicle owners having a hard time meeting  car tax deadlines due to Wednesday's winter storm will be getting some relief.

According to the Alabama Department of Revenue, deadlines for certain vehicle taxes will be pushed back a week in areas where county offices have been closed since Wednesday.

Deadlines for vehicle registration, renewal, transfer and vehicle property tax payments will be extended until next Friday, March 6. Those responsible for paying those taxes will be immune from interest or delinquent penalties next week.

The world is getting ready to remember the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday in Selma early next month. But another bit of Selma history is being remembered now.

100 years before the voting rights march and Bloody Sunday, the Battle of Selma took place during the Civil War. A historic marker was just unveiled at the corner of Highland and Summerfield Road.

In April of 1965, Union general James H. Wilson defeated the troops under Confederate general Nathan Bedford Forrest. Wilson’s biographer, Edward Longacre, says Wilson was only 27 at the time.

Residents in much of northern and central Alabama are digging out this morning after a winter storm dumped a substantial amount of snow on the region.

Roads are impassable in more than ten Alabama counties. The heaviest snow fell north of Birmingham – forecasters say some areas received upwards of ten inches of snow accumulation.

Paige Colburn is the emergency management officer for the Huntsville – Madison County EMA. She says they’re hoping to avoid a repeat of last Friday, when stuck and abandoned cars caused major problems for emergency crews.

Governor Robert Bentley is declaring a state of emergency ahead of a winter storm expected to bring snow, ice, and freezing rain to the region.

Thirty Alabama counties stretching from the Tennessee border to Birmingham and Tuscaloosa are under a winter storm warning from 9 AM until midnight today.

Tim Troutman is the lead forecaster at Huntsville’s National Weather Service. He says everyone in the warning area should prepare for a lot of snow.

Alabama Republican lawmakers are getting ready for a major push for the establishment of charter schools.

A charter school bill will be a top priority for the GOP when the legislative session kicks off next week.

Charter schools are publicly funded schools that operate outside the rules and regulations of regular public schools.

The bill, if passed, would allow up to 10 new charter schools to be established in Alabama each year. It would also allow school systems to convert an unlimited number of existing schools to charter status.

The Alabama Republican Party has a new leader. Voters elected Terry Lathan of Mobile as chairwoman of the state party.

Lathan is a former schoolteacher and has worked 35 years in various leadership positions in the Mobile County GOP and the state executive committee. She defeated former state representative Mary Sue McClurkin.

Lathan is entering the leadership role with Alabama's Republican party at a historical high point. The GOP holds every statewide office, supermajorities in the legislature and controls the state appeals courts.

Governor Robert Bentley will ask lawmakers to approve a $700 million tax and revenue package in the upcoming legislative session.

Bentley said Thursday he wasn't going to sugarcoat the state's budget situation. He said Alabama needs additional revenue to maintain services. Bentley also joked that it must be true if a Deep South Republican says raising taxes is the only option.

Bentley is expected to discuss the specifics of those new tax proposals in his State of the State address on the opening day of the legislative session, March 3.

Alabama is delaying its planned severe weather preparedness day because of the very real severe weather much of the state is experiencing.

Tomorrow was supposed to be "Ready Alabama Preparedness Day." Events would have included thousands of schoolchildren gathering in downtown Birmingham for weather education sessions. But the state says it's delaying the event out of caution and concern for the safety of both students and the first responders who would be teaching the sessions.

The execution of an Alabama death row inmate has been put on hold.

U.S. District Judge William Keith Watkins granted the emergency stay to Tommy Arthur. The convicted killer is challenging the state’s new execution drug combination on the grounds that it’s cruel and unusual punishment. The cocktail uses the same chemicals used in botched executions in other states.

Project Hope executive director Esther Brown says this form of capital punishment is not that different from policies of the past.

The University of Alabama’s College of Communication and Information is hosting a series of speakers to start a strategic planning process for the future of the University.

The first of those speakers, Jerry Michalski, joined us for an interview. He’s a technology expert and the founder of REX, the Relationship Economy Expedition. He’s advised several large companies, tech startups and nonprofits about how to take advantage of the rapidly increasing connectivity in today’s world.

Weather forecasters along the Tennessee Valley are warning residents of northern and central Alabama to be on guard for icy roads this morning.

The overall threat of snow and sleet has eased over much of Alabama. But temperatures are expected to hover right around the freezing mark, and in some cases below freezing, as residents recover from a nasty ice storm.

The Alabama Supreme Court will hear a petition from two conservative groups looking to halt same-sex marriage in the state.

The court voted 6 to 2 to hear arguments from the Alabama Policy Institute and Alabama Citizens Action Program. They claim that U.S. District Judge Callie Granade's ruling which declared Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional doesn't apply to Alabama's probate judges.

A federal judge in Alabama has ruled on three gay couples' request that she force a probate judge to issue marriage licenses in Mobile County.

U.S. District Judge Callie Granade has ordered Mobile County Probate Judge Don Davis to begin issuing Same-Sex Marriage Licenses.

Granade held the hearing amid confusion across the state, as many probate judges refused to issue the licenses after state Chief Justice Roy Moore said they didn't have to.

The same sex marriage issue is a bit clearer in Alabama, but not by much. A U.S. District Judge ordered the probate judge in Mobile County to issue marriages to same sex couples. What’s less certain is whether this ruling will force other counties to do likewise. All the legal wrangling could leave tomorrow especially hollow for one Tuscaloosa couple.

Bobby Martin
Jay Reeves / AP Photo

Alabama judges hope a federal court hearing today in Mobile clears up the confusion regarding same-sex marriage.

At least 22 of the state's 67 counties are issuing licenses for same-sex marriages, but the majority are not.

Chilton County Probate Judge Bobby Martin says it's been a difficult week due to the conflicting orders from federal courts and Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore.

Voters in Birmingham overwhelmingly approved a tax increase yesterday that will go toward Birmingham’s City Schools.

According to Birmingham Board of Education President Randall Woodfin, the extra tax will cost the average homeowner an additional $1.83 a month.

Money from the tax increase will be used to put a preschool classroom in every Birmingham city elementary school. Some schools that already have preschool programs are expected to expand them. The money will also go toward funding music and other fine arts programs as well as foreign language education.

Alabama became the 37th state to legalize same-sex marriage yesterday.

Couples throughout Alabama have been applying for – and receiving – marriage licenses. But some judges are refusing to issue same-sex marriage licenses, despite the threat of steep penalties.

Meredith Bagley and Alexandrea Davenport, both faculty at the University of Alabama, were married in Vermont five years ago, but they wanted to get an Alabama marriage license now that same-sex marriage is legal.

But when they went in to apply at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse yesterday morning?

Same-sex marriage is officially legal in Alabama starting today, but Chief Justice Roy Moore is doing everything he can to stand in its way.

Moore issued a letter last night ordering all state probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He argues that the federal district court’s ruling does not trump state law.

Ben Cooper is the chairman of Equality Alabama, a volunteer organization defending LGBTQ rights in Alabama. We spoke with Cooper before the law took effect, and he said some of these challenges were expected.

Gay marriage is set to be legalized in Alabama Monday. All that’s left is for U.S. District Judge Callie Granade to lift the stay she imposed last month. At that point, same-sex couples all across the state will be free to apply for marriage licenses. That's despite a robust appeal attempt by the State of Alabama and its Attorney General, Luther Strange.

“Alabama has a law defining marriage as between a man and a woman. It’s my job as Attorney General to defend the laws of the state, so that’s what we’re doing in courts across the state.”

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