Ryan Vasquez

News Host/Reporter

Ryan Vasquez is a reporter and the APR host of All Things Considered.  

A native of Miramar, Florida, Ryan comes to Alabama Public Radio after graduating from the University of Florida in 2006. While in Gainesville, Ryan worked for a sports-talk radio station as well as a WUFT-TV, but he gained his passion for public radio at Mid-Florida Public Radio. In his nearly eight years in public radio, Ryan has covered such stories as the 2004 and 2008 Presidential Elections, the 2010 Gulf Oil Spill and the deadly April 27th, 2011 outbreak of tornadoes. Ryan has contributed stories to Florida Public Radio, NPR and APM’s Marketplace Morning Report.

Ryan joined Alabama Public Radio in September of 2007. He also contributes to the Telecommunication and Film School at the University of Alabama as an adjunct instructor.

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UA-Interim Provost
5:12 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

UA Taps Interim Provost To Replace New President

The University of Alabama has named a replacement for provost Judy Bonner, who was recently tapped as the school's first female president.
Credit University of Alabama

The University of Alabama has named a replacement for provost Judy Bonner, who was recently tapped as the school's first female president.


Long-time administrator and faculty member Joe Benson will serve as interim provost, which is the school's chief academic official.


Benson has been vice president for research and vice provost since 2009. A statement released Monday says he will continue in the vice presidential slot and as provost until his planned retirement in summer 2013.

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Courthouse Democrats
5:09 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Democrats Hold Majority Of Ala. Courthouse Offices

Democrats still hold a majority in elected offices in county courthouses statewide, but the Republican Party managed to whittle away at the last Democratic stronghold.
Credit DonkeyHotey / Flickr

The Alabama Democratic Party came out of last week's election still holding a majority of the elected offices in county courthouses statewide, but the Republican Party whittled away at the last Democratic stronghold.


State Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead said the GOP had a net gain of 45 county offices. That included everything from probate judge and circuit judge to county school board seats.

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Supreme Court-Voting Rights
5:08 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

High Court To Take New Look At Voting Rights Law

The nations highest court will take up a challenge to the Voting Rights Act originating from Shelby County, AL.
Credit www.usda.gov / Wikimedia Commons

The Supreme Court says it will consider eliminating the government's chief weapon against racial discrimination at polling places since the 1960s.


Acting three days after the election, the justices are agreeing Friday to hear a constitutional challenge to the part of the landmark Voting Rights Act that requires all or parts of 16 states with a history of discrimination in voting to get federal approval before making any changes in the way they hold elections.

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Death Penalty Appeal
4:57 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Ala. Supreme Court Asks Lower Court To Reconsider

The Alabama Supreme Court has asked the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to take another look at the case of death row inmate Anthony Ray Hinton.

Alabama Supreme Court has asked the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals to take another look at the case of death row inmate Anthony Ray Hinton, convicted of killing two people during 1985 robberies at Birmingham fast food restaurants.


The 56-year-old Hinton had questioned the qualifications of a firearms expert who testified during the trial. The Supreme Court asked the appeals court to use a different standard when reviewing the trial judge's decision that the firearms expert was qualified.

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Obit-Tuskegee Airmen
4:54 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Original Member Of The Tuskegee Airmen Dies

Tuskegee Airman Lt. Col Herbert E. Carter has died. He was 95.
Credit tuskegee.edu

Tuskegee city officials say Lt. Col. Herbert Eugene Carter, one of the original Tuskegee Airmen, has died.


Tuskegee Mayor Johnny Ford said Carter died Thursday afternoon at East Alabama Medical Center. He was 95.


Carter flew 77 missions and crashed landed only once. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first black aviators in the U.S. military. They were trained in Alabama at the Tuskegee Institute, now Tuskegee University, as a segregated unit during World War II.


Ford said he's ordered all U.S. flags in Tuskegee to be flown at half-staff.

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Education Budget
5:15 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

1st Post-Recession Budget Offered For Ala. Schools

The State Board of Education is recommending its first post-recession budget for public schools.
Credit alsde.edu / Alabama Department of Education

The State Board of Education is recommending its first post-recession budget for public schools. The budget recommendation approved Thursday seeks to replace one-third of the nearly 1,400 teaching positions that were cut during the recession.


It also seeks to restore textbook spending and school operational funds that were cut.


The board is recommending $4.1 billion for K-12 schools in the next school year. That's up $415 million from this year. Next year's overall state education budget is expected to increase nearly $408 million to $5.9 billion.

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Oil Spill Grants
4:51 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Recipients Picked For BP Tourism, Seafood Grants

More than 100 nonprofits have been picked to receive grants to promote the Gulf Coast's tourism and seafood industries after BP's 2010 oil spill.
Credit http://www.alabama.travel/ / Alabama Tourism Department

More than 100 nonprofit groups and government entities have been picked to get shares of $43.7 million in BP funds to promote the Gulf Coast's tourism and seafood industries following the company's 2010 oil spill.


The first round of grants announced Wednesday by court-supervised claims administrator Patrick Juneau is part of a proposed settlement between BP and a team of private plaintiffs' attorneys.


The deal calls for BP to fund a total of $57 million in tourism and seafood promotion grants.

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Voter Turnout
4:43 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Alabama Voting Slightly Off 2008 Pace

Secretary of State Beth Chapman syas voter turnout this year was slightly off the pace of 2008.
Credit sos.state.al.us / Alabama Secretary of State

Alabama's voter turnout for Tuesday's election was slightly less than the unusually high performance four years ago.


Secretary of State Beth Chapman said Wednesday the turnout for the general election was 72.4 percent. More than 73 percent of Alabama's voters participated in 2008. Chapman had forecast the turnout would fall between 72 percent and 74 percent.


The 2008 figure remains the highest since Alabama recorded a 76 percent turnout in the 1992 presidential race, according to figures compiled by the secretary of state's office.

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Politics & Government
4:37 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Ala. Rep. Jeremy Oden Asks For PSC Appointment

Representative Jeremy Oden is asking to be appointed to fill an unexpired term on the state's Public Service Commission.
Credit legislature.state.al.us / The Alabama Legislature

Republican state Rep. Jeremy Oden of Vinemont has asked Gov. Robert Bentley to appoint him to fill an unexpired term on the state Public Service Commission.


The term of Republican Commissioner Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh opened up Tuesday when she beat Democratic incumbent Lucy Baxley for president of the PSC. Cavanaugh was sworn into office Wednesday, leaving the final two years of her term open.

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Dead Candidate Wins
4:26 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Dead Candidate Beats Incumbent In Alabama

The Bibb County Commission seat decision now sits with Governor Robert Bentley who will appoint a new commisioner.
Credit State of Alabama

Even a dead Republican beat a Democrat in the GOP's sweep of Alabama.


A Republican nominee who died almost month before Election Day beat the Democratic incumbent for a seat on the Bibb County Commission on Tuesday.


Probate Judge Jerry Pow says Republican nominee Charles Beasley defeated Democrat Walter Sansing despite having died on Oct. 12. Beasley carried about 52 percent of the votes.


Pow says some voters probably didn't know Beasley died before the election, but others did.

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Alabama Power Rates
5:10 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

PSC: Alabama Power Rates To Remain Flat In 2013

An Alabama Power official says procedures approved by the Ala. Public Service Commission will allow rates to remain flat for 2013.
Credit Alabama Power / Wikipedia

An official with Alabama Power Co. said accounting procedures approved by the state's utility regulatory board will allow rates to remain the same through 2013.


The Public Service Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to allow Alabama Power to spread out some costs over several years, including complying with federal mandates for enhanced security at the Farley Nuclear Plant.


Alabama Power vice president Nick Sellers said that should keep rates flat during the coming year.

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UA Security Alert
5:03 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Man Arrested After Shooting At 'Bama Frat House

Tuscaloosa Police have arrested a man after after shooting at a University of Alabama frat house.

Tuscaloosa police say a man is charged with attempted murder after a shooting at a University of Alabama fraternity house.


Authorities say 61-year-old Eugene Kelly also faces additional charges after the confrontation that occurred Tuesday at Phi Delta Theta.


Police say a man allegedly went to the fraternity house after a dispute with two relatives who work for the organization. A police spokesman says a shot was fired at the fraternity house, but no one was hurt and the alleged gunman left.


No students were involved.

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Town Shutdown
5:27 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Ala. Town Shuts Down Amid Leadership Void

Senator Paul Bussman of Cullman is trying to help the Cullman County town of Colony solve their leadership void issues.
Credit facebook.com

A north Alabama town is shutting down after leaders couldn't pick a new mayor.


The Cullman County town of Colony closed on Monday.


Town hall is locked, and there's no one authorized to pay bills or make deposits.


The problem is the City Council's inability to select a mayor for the town of about 270 people.


Two candidates tied in the municipal runoff on Oct. 9, sending the decision to the council. But members have deadlocked each time they voted on a new mayor, leaving Colony without a chief executive.

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Amendments-Vote
4:54 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Suit Challenges 2 Amendments On Ala. Ballot

A lawsuit by a Montgomery woman challenges Amendment 9 and 10 on the Nov. 6 ballot.

A Montgomery woman has filed suit challenging two constitutional amendments that are on Tuesday's statewide ballot.


Sandra Bell asked a judge Monday to block officials from certifying the vote on Amendments 9 and 10.


Bell says the proposals violate the very state Constitution they seek to amend. She is representing the Alabama Association for Judeo-Christian Values.


Amendment 9 would update a constitutional article on corporations. Amendment 10 could modernize language on banks, including removing mention of the gold standard.

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Prison Factories jobs
10:10 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Prison Factories Caught In Private Biz Debate

One of the nation's toughest periods of unemployment is drawing prison factories into the jbos debate.
Credit Daniel Lobo / Flickr

Factories that employ convicted felons are at the heart of a simmering debate about whether prisons should be siphoning away jobs — at much lower wages — that could be filled by those who need them during the nation's toughest period of unemployment in decades.

Congressional Republicans, a handful of Democrats and private-industry critics want to clamp down on Unicor. That is the trade name of Federal Prison Industries. Almost 13,000 inmates work in federal lockups for a few dollars a day, making everything from military uniforms to office furniture.

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