Maggie Martin

News Host/Reporter

Maggie Martin was the host of Morning Edition at Alabama Public Radio. The popular news program airs every weekday morning starting at 5:00 AM. For over three decades, Morning Edition has taken listeners around the country and the world with news stories, interviews and commentaries. Maggie highlighted the wide range of programming featured on Morning Edition, from the informative to the quirky.

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Maggie started her public radio career as a reporter and weekend news anchor at WFUV based out of Fordham University in New York City. She filed daily news stories on the tri-state area and covered Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Super Tuesday 2008 among other reports.

After graduating Fordham in 2009, Maggie spent a few years between Chapel Hill, N.C., Wilmington, N.C., and Austin, TX to hone her skills. Her most memorable stories during her travels include a couple who owned four pet bears (Albert, Cherry Bomb, Baloo and Teddy) along North Carolina’s coast and covering the Texas GOP election on an exotic game ranch (complete with zebras and buffalo) outside of Austin, TX.

Maggie joined APR in December 2010 and stayed with us until 2013. She received an Associated Press Award for The Battle of Fort Gaines. Her favorite stories to cover are the historical and quirky.

Ways To Connect

Sea urchins are considered a culinary delicacy in many parts of the world, including Japan and the United States. The market for this "foie gras of the sea" is growing rapidly — so fast that supply can't keep up with demand.

But a scientist in Birmingham, Ala., says he's found a solution: He's built a sea urchin farm in his lab and has even developed a food for them to make them taste better. Now, he wants to take his tasty urchins out of his farm and into restaurants across the country.

Maggie Martin/APR News

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. The disease is a form of dementia that affects memory, thinking and behavior. An organization in Northport is offering free resources designed to help families care for loved ones struggling with the disease.  APR’s Maggie Martin sat down with Stephanie Buffaloe of the Home Instead Senior Care center. Buffaloe says for her, educating others about the disease hits close to home. The center will host free workshops later this month and in October. They’re also offering a free home kit with more resources and information on Alzheimer’s

Tuskegee Human & Civil Rights Multicultural Center

If you'd like to hear more of Alabama Public Radio's international award winning coverage of the civil rights movement, click below. Pat D. All year long on Alabama Public Radio, we’re looking at the 50th anniversary of key moments in the civil rights movement. One of the biggest fights in the movement was the effort to desegregate schools. That included Tuskegee High School.  In 1963, a lawsuit was filed to desegregate, and a federal court agreed. Thirteen black students were chosen to integrate the school and anticipated starting classes with their white peers on September 2nd.

If you'd like to hear more of Alabama Public Radio's international award winning coverage of the civil rights movement, click below. Pat D. 

50 years ago, a bomb exploded at the 16th street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Four young girls were killed in the blast. It would take 14 years before the first Klansman was tried and convicted in the bombing. Robert Chambliss was found guilty of his part in the attack.

Brigitte Lacombe

Actress Ali MacGraw is speaking at the Huntsville Museum of Art today. MacGraw rose to fame in 1969 for her role in Goodbye, Columbus, for which she won a Golden Globe award. Shortly after, MacGraw starred in Love Story, for which she earned a second Golden Globe and an Academy Award nomination. Today, MacGraw is in Huntsville as a special guest for the art museum’s ‘Voices of Our Times’ event. MacGraw says she’s traveled all over the world, but this is her first visit to the South.

2013 marks the 50th anniversary of many pivotal moments in the civil rights era in Alabama. The movement would lead to desegregation of schools and businesses in the Deep South. But, along with these victories, there were casualties along the way. Desegregation almost killed one small Alabama town.

“This used to be the main drag. The school would always have a homecoming parade, Christmas parade. So it was always kind of a celebration strip. And all these homes left and right, I knew everybody in these homes.”

If you'd like to hear more of Alabama Public Radio's international award winning coverage of the civil rights movement, click below. Pat D.

Maggie Martin/APR News

A few months ago, visitors walking through Alabama’s Music Hall of Fame in Tuscumbia would be flooded with music. A look through the songs in the museum’s jukebox, for instance, and you could play anything you liked-for free.

But today, it’s a different story.

“The Hall of Fame is presently closed due to lack of funding," says Wiley Barnard. He's Executive Director of the Music Hall of Fame. "Our power is off. We’re in the dark.”

Barnard says the museum has been closed since Christmas because it owes money to the state-- about $26,000 to be exact.

The quality of health care for female veterans will be the highlight at a town hall meeting in Tuscaloosa tonight. The American Legion is hosting the event. It’s the country’s largest organization of war-time veterans. Officials say women now make up about 15 percent of the country’s service members. About 340,000 women veterans are currently enrolled in the VA health-care system, and officials say they expect that number to keep growing. Roscoe Butler is a field representative with the American Legion.

Facebook: American Heart Association-Birmingham

The American Heart Association of Birmingham is taking a unique approach to heart disease this month. Starting February 1, the Red Couch Campaign encourages survivors and those impacted by the disease to sit on a red couch and share their stories. Matt Hooper is with the American Heart Association in Birmingham. He says some participants are reluctant to share their stories.

The University of Alabama at Birmingham collected several interviews with African-Americans in the area and is sharing 10 of them tonight during an open house at UAB’s Digital Media Commons. UAB students collaborated with the StoryCorps Griot Initiative for the project. “Griot” is a West-African word meaning “storyteller.” Rosie O’Beirne is director of digital media and learning at UAB. She says the process began two years ago.

Mobile County Bicentennial Commission

In just a few days, Mobile County turns 200 years old. Over the past year, the county’s hosted several events leading up to December 18th. They included outdoor music concerts and even a “Tribute to Elvis Gala,” celebrating the King of Rock and Roll who performed in Mobile in the 1950’s. The year-long celebration will wrap up Saturday with a birthday bash complete with two-thousand and twelve cupcakes.

A big deadline is looming today for state's like Alabama. Washington wants to know which states plan to create their own health insurance exchanges, as part of the Affordable Care Act. Each state that says “no” will leave that job up to the federal government. Today's deadline comes just days after the University of Alabama at Birmingham released a report related to the expansion of Medicaid under the act. The report says if Alabama opts into the Medicaid expansion, it could mean a billion dollars in new tax revenue for the state.

The Governor's Mansion in Montgomery is getting ready for the first of three evenings of public tours during the Christmas season.

First Lady Dianne Bentley says the mansion will be open from 5-7 p.m. Monday and during the same hours Dec. 10 and 17. Decorators from across the state volunteered to decorate the mansion and the neighboring Hill House for the holidays. The first lady said she wants to share that with the public.

Free tickets for the tours are available at the Governor's Mansion gift shop across the street from the side entrance of the mansion at 30 Finley Ave.

Wild Drag Racing is the most popular "camp" event at a gay rodeo. Men dress up in drag and have to get on a steer and go across a white line in under 1 minute. Not as easy as it sounds, as you can see from the video above.
The man with the red feather in his hat is John Beck, the "Grandfather" of the Gay Rodeo. He invented Wild Drag Racing. Competitors say it's one of the most dangerous events in a gay rodeo.

Gov. Robert Bentley has announced no decision yet on whether he wants Alabama to create a health insurance exchange or leave it to the federal government.

Friday is the deadline for states to notify the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about what they intend to do. Exchanges are mandated by the Affordable Care Act for each state, but they can be state run or federally run.

November 6th is now just one day away. For Alabamians, it means they’ll cast their votes not only for who they want as president, but who they want to serve as their U.S. Congressional representative. In District 7, which includes Tuscaloosa, Jefferson, Dallas, and Wilcox counties, Democratic incumbent Terri Sewell is running against Republican Don Chamberlain. Sewell was first elected to the U.S. House in 2010. She is the first black woman elected to Congress from Alabama.

Starting today, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is hosting an international film conference. The event will host more than 60 filmmakers and scholars from around the world to talk about how filmmaking plays into the international struggle for civil and human rights. I sat down to talk with Doctor Serge Bokobza, who chairs the foreign languages department at UAB and heads up the conference. He says his year’s event is homage to the 49th Anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham.

Maggie Martin/APR News

"Hi!" shouts Becky Collier, a 4-H program coordinator in West Alabama.

The kids in the audience unenthusiastically shout "hi" back.

“That was pathetic," says Collier.  "We’re going to try that again! HELLO!"


“That is how not to greet people when you’re birding, okay?" says Collier. She’s holding a presentation on birds of prey, or raptors, for a large group of kids this morning. The raptor demonstration is part of the launch of the West Alabama Birding Trail in Pickens County.

Maggie Martin/APR News

"Hi!" shouts Becky Collier, a 4-H program coordinator in West Alabama.

The kids in the audience unenthusiastically shout "hi" back.

“That was pathetic," says Collier.  "We’re going to try that again! HELLO!"


“That is how not to greet people when you’re birding, okay?" says Collier. She’s holding a presentation on birds of prey, or raptors, for a large group of kids this morning. The raptor demonstration is part of the launch of the West Alabama Birding Trail in Pickens County.

Authorities say more than 500 power workers from Alabama are heading north along the East Coast to help restore power as Hurricane Sandy makes landfall.

Alabama Power Co. spokesman Mike Jordan says the company mobilized a force of 365 people Friday and those workers were scheduled to be in the Washington, D.C. area by Sunday.

The author of "Forrest Gump" is scheduled to speak at the University of Alabama.

The Tuscaloosa News reports ( that Winston Groom will speak at noon on Oct. 29 at the Ferguson Theater on the campus.

The event is free and open to the public.

Groom is a 1965 University of Alabama graduate. He is expected to discuss the influence of the university and football on his writing.

Press-Register file/John David Mercer

Former Mobile County Commissioner Stephen Nodine has been sentenced to two years in jail in a case that grew out of the death of his former girlfriend, Angel Downs.

Baldwin County Circuit Judge Charles Partin ordered Nodine to serve two years in jail for perjury and one year each for a domestic violence charge and an ethics violation. The judge said Wednesday the sentences will run concurrently.

The former commissioner made a plea deal in September just days before his second murder trial was set to start for Downs' shooting death. The murder case was closed.

As the November 6th elections draw near, APR News is taking a closer look at each of Alabama's congressional districts to understand what issues voters in those areas have on their minds leading into next month. This week, we take a look at Alabama's 4th Congressional District, which stretches from East to West Alabama and include the cities of Gadsden and Jasper. Doctor Larry Powell is an expert on political communications, political ads and polling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He says there have been fewer campaign ads for both local and national races this year.

Maggie Martin/APR News

If you’re a fan of fried anything, the smell here can be intoxicating. Hundreds have turned out for the first ever Athens Grease Festival, with knives and forks at the ready, The celebration of all things fried is a play on the origin of the city’s name from Athens, Greece.

(Martin): For residents in Alabama's second congressional district, what are the issues they're going to be concerned with this election season?

(Taylor): Well I think clearly the issues that are most in the minds of people in the second district is true across the state is still the state of the economy and jobs, I think the themes that are important to the district are mostly generic ones like the basic state of the economy.

(Maggie): Now there’s also Fort Rocker which is in Dale County what will this US army post look for this election season? 

Operators of some nonprofit clinics that spay and neuter animals say new rules being considered by a state board could cause them to close their doors.

The Birmingham News reports ( that the proposed rules are under consideration by the Alabama State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners.

If approved, the rules would prohibit non-veterinarians from hiring veterinarians and would prohibit non-veterinarians, including non-profit groups, from owning veterinarian equipment.

U.S. voters are just a few weeks shy of casting their ballot for president. Both candidates have discussed several issues during their campaigns, with economic recovery taking the forefront. That’s an issue that resonates with residents in Alabama’s first congressional district, which includes Mobile. Several developments over the summer are spurring economic growth in the coastal city, including an agreement with Airbus.

Four original Tuskegee Airmen from Dallas will return to Tuskegee for the first time since the 1940s on Friday and Saturday. Their arrival at Montgomery Regional Airport in Montgomery, Ala. will be greeted by cadets from Tuskegee University’s Air Force ROTC Friday.

“We’re going to come out strong, cheer and give them a path of honor,” said Lt. Col Kelly Primus, commander of the Air Force ROTC.

The Associated Press

Doctor E.O. Wilson is probably best known for his expertise on insects, particularly ants. But Wilson’s new book isn’t about tiny creatures. Why We Are Here: Mobile and The Spirit of A Southern City is a profile of Wilson’s boyhood town. He collaborated with photographer Alex Harris to capture the history of the coastal city.