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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Alabama State President
4:38 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

ASU, Suspended President Agree To Separation

Alabama State University and President Joseph Silver agree to mutual separation.
Credit wtvy.com

Alabama State University trustees have formed a mutual separation agreement with suspended university President Joseph Silver.


School officials have agreed to pay Silver $685,000 to resign from his position and the agreement includes a clause prohibiting either party from disparaging the other.


Silver was placed on paid administrative leave Nov. 26 after officials said he tried firing executive vice president John Knight — a state representative from Montgomery.


Trustees voted 8-1 to accept the agreement and one member chose not to vote.

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HIV Inmates-Alabama
4:28 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Judge Blocks Ala. Policy Of Segregating HIV Inmates

A judge has blocked Alabama's policy of segregating HIV inmates calling it a violation of federal law.
Credit Ryan Vasquez

A judge has struck down Alabama's policy of segregating prison inmates with HIV, ruling that it violates federal law.


U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson ruled Friday in favor of inmates who filed suit to end the longstanding practice. Thompson says the state's policy violates federal disabilities law.


Thompson says the state and inmate attorneys will have time to propose a way to bring state prisons into compliance with his order.


The American Civil Liberties Union calls the decision "historic." The state has yet to comment on the ruling.

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Alabama Unemployment
4:24 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Ala. Jobless Rate Drops To 7.5 Percent

Labor Commissioner Tom Surtees says the latest job numbers show employers are expecting a strong holiday shopping season.
Credit http://dir.alabama.gov / Alabama Dept. of Industrial Relations

Alabama's unemployment rate fell sharply to 7.5 percent in November, a drop officials say was helped by holiday hiring.


The state Department of Labor said Friday the number represents 162,182 people who were jobless last month.


The state's unemployment rate was below the national rate of 7.7 percent, and it's down six-tenths of a percent from October.


The rate of 7.5 percent is also well below the year-ago rate of 8.3 percent.

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Auburn-Trees Poisoned
5:26 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Attorney Says 'Bama' Fan Competent To Stand Trial

Attorneys say Harvey Updyke is competent to stand trial on charges of poisoning Auburn University's landmark oak trees.
Credit AP Photo/Opelika-Auburn News, Vasha Hunt, Pool

Attorneys for Harvey Updyke say the University of Alabama fan is mentally competent to stand trial on charges of poisoning Auburn University's landmark oak trees.


But the lawyers said Thursday that Updyke still plans to use an insanity defense to fight the charges.


Attorney Margaret Brown told a judge in Opelika that Updyke's mental condition at the time of the offense is an entirely different question than his competency now, about two years after the incident.

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Alabama State President
5:10 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

Governor Bentley Plans To Vote To Keep ASU President

Governor Robert Bentley says he plans to vote to keep Alabama State President Joseph Silver.
Credit article.wn.com

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley says he will vote to retain Joseph Silver as president of Alabama State University unless he hears a legitimate reason why Silver should be fired.


Bentley serves as president of the Alabama state Board of Trustees by virtue of his position as governor.


The trustees have scheduled a meeting for 2:30 p.m. Friday and are expected to take a vote on whether to fire Silver two months after he was hired. The president was suspended shortly after he attempted to fire two top administrators.

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Tornado Relief
5:10 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Governor Announces Tornado Relief Grants For Ala.

Governor Bentley announced federal grants for tornado recovery for nine local governments.
Credit The Birmingham News, Tamika Moore

Nine local governments in north and west Alabama have been awarded more than $15.7 million in grants to help with tornado recovery.


The grants from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development include $4.8 million to help rebuild Hackleburg's downtown. Eighteen people were killed and many of the businesses in the Marion County town were destroyed or heavily damaged by an April 27 tornado.

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Alabama State President
5:03 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Alabama State Board To Consider President's Fate

Alabama State's board will meet Friday to to consider the fate of embattled president Joseph Silver.
Credit wtvy.com

Alabama State University's board of trustees will meet Friday to consider the fate of embattled president Joseph Silver.


The Montgomery Advertiser reported the developments after it obtained an email sent from one trustee to the board chairman.


Silver has been on leave since Nov. 26, when the executive committee of the board took that action in an emergency meeting.


Immediately following that meeting, Silver claimed he was being punished for questioning several contracts currently in place at ASU that didn't benefit the school.

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Alabama Public TV
4:55 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Alabama Public TV Raises Money With Fired CEO's Letter

Alabama Public Television is using a form letter signed by its fired executive director Allan Pizzato in a fundraising campaign.
Credit APTV.org

Alabama Public Television is using a form letter signed by its fired executive director in a fundraising campaign.


The statewide network recently sent a letter to past donors bearing the name of Allan Pizzato. Commissioners fired Pizzato in June, a decision that preceded a wave of resignations by other leaders of Alabama Public TV.


Network spokesman Mike McKenzie says a mistake by a direct-mail company resulted in the letters going to about 1,000 households.

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Altered Student Grades
5:19 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

7 On Leave Amid Montgomery Grade-Changing Probe

Montgomery Public Schools' Superintedent says that seven employees will be placed on leave immediately for their role in a grade-changing scandal.
Credit amboo who? / Flickr

The superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools says that seven employees will be placed on leave immediately for their role in a grade-changing scandal.


Superintendent Barbara Thompson said no teachers were among those who were penalized.


Thompson and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange made the comments at a Tuesday news conference. Thompson and Strange credited teachers who they say resisted some administrators' efforts to get them to change student grades.

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Alabama Storms
5:58 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Tornado Damages Homes In Birmingham Neighborhood

The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touched down in a Birmingham neighborhood Monday morning.
Credit Slawek Puklo / Flickr

The National Weather Service has confirmed that storm damage in Birmingham was caused by a tornado with maximum winds estimated at 90 mph.


The National Weather Service says the tornado hit at about 4:45 a.m. Monday in the area around Finley Avenue near the Birmingham farmer's market. Birmingham Mayor William Bell says there are no reports of injuries from severe weather that damaged roofs and broke windows. He says the city provided tarps to residents whose roofs were damaged.

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Elder Abuse
4:53 pm
Mon December 10, 2012

Ala. Legislators Offer Bills To Curb Elder Abuse

Two bills proposed for upcoming legislative session aims to curb elder abuse.
Credit Erin Stevenson O'Connor / Flickr

Two bills proposed for the legislative session starting Feb. 5 will provide additional criminal penalties for the abuse, neglect and financial exploitation of older citizens.


Two Republican legislators, Sen. Cam Ward of Alabaster and Rep. Paul DeMarco of Homewood, announced the legislation Monday in Shelby County along with the state director of Senior Services, Neal Morrison. The legislation is recommended by the Alabama Interagency Council for Prevention of Elder Abuse and is backed by the governor.


The bills would apply to victims who are 60 or older.

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GOP Chairman Challenged
5:04 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

GOP Chairman Disappointed Bentley Not Supportive

GOP Party Chairman Bill Armistead is disappointed Gov. Robert Bentley isn't backing his re-election bid.
Credit facebook.com

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Bill Armistead says he's disappointed Gov. Robert Bentley has abandoned him, but he doesn't think it will affect the outcome of his re-election bid.


Bentley held a conference call with members of the Republican Executive Committee Thursday night, where he endorsed Birmingham attorney Matt Fridy for the party's top leadership job. Bentley backed Armistead when he was elected two years ago. Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey and House Speaker Mike Hubbard are also backing Fridy.

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UA President
4:50 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

2 Aides To Former UA President Still Being Paid

Although Guy Bailey resigned as UA president in late October, two of his aides continue to draw a salary.
Credit blog.al.com

Two top aides to former University of Alabama President Guy Bailey are leaving the school but will continue to draw a salary for months.


Both presidential assistant Mary Larson Diaz and presidential chief of staff Justin Clark moved to Tuscaloosa with Bailey from Texas Tech University after he took the job at Alabama. Their combined salaries were $246,000 annually.


But both positions were eliminated following Bailey's unexpected resignation after just two months on the job.

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Alabama Gambling Trial
4:43 pm
Fri December 7, 2012

Lawyers Say Ex-Lobbyist Attacked In Alabama Prison

Lawyers for ex-lobbyist Jarrod Massey say he's been attacked in prison.
Credit blog.al.com

Lawyers for a former lobbyist who pleaded guilty in Alabama's gambling corruption case say he was attacked at a federal prison in Montgomery and moved to a different prison.


Attorneys for former Country Crossing casino lobbyist Jarrod Massey filed court documents requesting to see their client and check on his wellbeing. The date of the attack and Massey's condition are not disclosed in court records.


The U.S. Bureau of Prisons reports Massey was moved from the federal prison in Montgomery to the one in Talladega.

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Naked Student Shot
5:10 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

Parents Of Ala. Freshman Suing Over Campus Killing

The parents of University of South Alabama student who was shot to death by campus police are suing the school over his death.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

The parents of a University of South Alabama freshman who was shot to death by campus police are suing over his death.


An attorney for relatives of Gil Collar says the 18-year-old freshman never touched the officer, and the shooting never should have happened.


Attorney Jere Beasley says the family is filing suit against the school and the officer. The university had no immediate comment.


Police and witnesses say Collar was nude and acting erratically outside the campus police station before he was shot to death on Oct. 6.

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