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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Tornado Recovery
4:39 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Alabama Gets $30 Million More For Tornado Recovery

Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama is getting more than $30 million in federal grants to help with the recovery from deadly tornadoes in April 2011.
Credit apr

Gov. Robert Bentley says Alabama is getting more than $30 million in federal grants to help with the recovery from deadly tornadoes in April 2011.

Bentley announced the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development grants on Tuesday. He says nearly $19 million more is still available for cities and counties to seek.

Tuscaloosa County will get $7.3 million for sewer improvements and demolition in Holt.

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Textbooks-Religion Complaints
3:50 pm
Fri December 13, 2013

Ala. Critics Say School Texts Insult Christians

Alabama's school board is postponing a decision on new school textbooks after conservatives complained they promote Islam and oppose Christianity.
Credit istockphoto

Alabama's school board is postponing a decision on new school textbooks after conservatives complained they promote Islam and oppose Christianity.

State School Superintendent Tommy Bice asked for the delay Thursday following complaints by the Eagle Forum of Alabama and ACT for America.

The groups complained that 12 textbooks proposed for social studies classes have a pro-Muslim slant and are anti-Christian.

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Civil Rights
10:50 am
Wed December 11, 2013

How The Media Covered The Civil Rights Movement: Black Newspapers

The plaque honoring Emory Jackson sits outside Nelson Brothers Cafe in Birmingham.
Ryan Vasquez

Let’s put you in the position of a being black person living in the South during the Civil Rights Movement.

“If you picked up a white newspaper you as a black person didn’t exist,” says Craig Flournoy.

Flournoy is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and professor of journalism at Southern Methodist University.

“There was no record of you being born, no record of you graduating from high school much less college, no record of you getting married, no record of your promotion and no record of you dying,” he says.

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Jefferson County-Bankruptcy
4:42 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

After Emerging From Bankruptcy, What's Next For Jefferson County?

Brian Hilson is President and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance which helped Jefferson County in it's process to emerge from one of the largest municipal bankruptcies in U.S. history.
Credit Birmingham Business Journal

Jefferson County has emerged from one the largest municipal bankruptcies in U.S. history. After two years of meeting with creditors and countless days in court the county commission can operate with more ease. But how did they get to this point? Alabama Public Radio’s Ryan Vasquez talked with Brian Hilson who is President and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance about his organization's involvement in helping Jefferson County emerge from bankruptcy and what's next.

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Payday Loans
3:30 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Payday Lending Moratorium Extended In Montgomery

The Montgomery City Council has extended a moratorium on issuing new business licenses for payday lending companies.
Credit Jason Comely / Flickr

The Montgomery City Council has extended a moratorium on issuing new business licenses for payday lending companies.

Council voted Tuesday to extend a 90-day moratorium by six months. Councilman Richard Bollinger said the extension would give city officials time to examine how the businesses impact Montgomery.

Bollinger says city leaders are looking to foster a diverse business climate, and are unsure of why payday lending businesses are concentrated in specific areas of the city.

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More Cold Weather
4:08 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

More Freezing Temperatures Expected For Much Of Alabama Tonight

More freezing temperatures expected for much of Alabama late Wednesday night and early Thursday morning.
Credit National Weather Service

It was brutally cold over night in parts of Alabama, and forecasters say it's not over yet. Tonight's forecast is for more cold weather for the Tennessee Valley, with temperatures dropping to the mid-twenties again.

Tuscaloosa is predicted to have upper twenties, and Mobile could be in the mid thirties.

Meteorologist Holly Allen says precautions for tonight are the same as for last night.

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Birmingham-Day of the Dead
9:45 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Celebrating Dia De Los Muertos in Birmingham

The main altar for this year's Dia de los Muertos Festival was "Year of the Civil Rights Martyr."
Ryan Vasquez

Once a year along 1st Avenue South in Birmingham the streets are closed and Alabamians are transported to another place and another culture.

“There’s the smell of the food, and the smell of the copol, and the smell of the candle wax and the sights of the art and the color and you hear the music.”

Wendy Jarvis is describing Birmingham’s Dia de los Muertos Festival.

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Arts & Life
5:46 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Mobile Finds Its "Mojo" With A Little Jazz And Jambalaya

drumpics.com

When people think of jazz music, the streets of New Orleans and Mardi Gras may come to mind. Just to the east, the city of mobile claims to be the original home of Mardi Gras. And if you ask Carmen Brown, mobile’s jazz scene is strong, though somewhat overlooked…

“They know about Louis Armstrong; New Orleans Louis Armstrong, Al Hirt. Well Mobile, gave the world James Reese Europe and Donald Ashwander and Jabo Starks and Lil Greenwood and Cootie Williams,” says Brown. “So we have our folks who’ve made their mark.”

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UA Sorority Racism
4:10 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

Black Women Accept Bids, Break Racial Barrier At UA Sororities

According to several media reports two traditionally white sororities at the University of Alabama have broken the color barrier.
Credit Michelle Lepianka Carter / AP

Traditionally white sororities at the University of Alabama have broken the color barrier.

UA President Judy Bonner provided an update on the efforts to diversify Panhellenic sororities at Alabama in a video Friday.

Bonner says during the recently reopened continuous open bid process sororities have issued 72 bids this week.

Eleven African American women received bids. Three bids went to other minorities. Eighteen bids have already been accepted. Four of those bids were accepted by African American women and two by other minorities.

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Governor-Payday Loans
4:24 pm
Wed September 18, 2013

Governor Bentley Announces New Measure To Protect Borrowers From Excessive Debt

Governor Robert Bentley announced a new consumer protection measure aimed at helping people avoid excessive amounts of debt from payday loans.
Credit governor.alabama.gov

Governor Robert Bentley announced a new consumer protection measure today aimed at helping people avoid excessive amounts of debt from payday loans.

The measure will also help lenders by providing a method to ensure they are complying with state law. Under the Alabama Deferred Presentment Services Act, payday lenders are not to issue loans to customers who currently have more than 500 dollars in existing payday loan debt.

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Civil Rights-16th Street
4:28 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Searching For Addie Mae Collins

Forensic genealogist Liesa Healy-Miller is making a final plea for help in finding Addie Mae Collins' final resting place in Greenwood Cemetery.
students.cis.uab.edu

As Birmingham prepares to remember the four little girls killed nearly 50 years ago in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing one woman is searching for answers. Liesa Healy-Miller is a forensic genealogist who is making a final plea for clues to where the final resting place is of one of the victims, Addie Mae Collins.

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Alabama-HIV Prisoners
4:57 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Putting An End To Segregating HIV Prisoners In Alabama

Alabama was, until last week, the only prison system in the country to still have a policy in place to segregate HIV prisoners.
Ran Hu University of Michigan School of Social Work

Last week, the Alabama Department of Corrections announced the end of its practice of segregating prisoners with HIV. This came as a result of a successful lawsuit filed by the ACLU. Former inmate Louis Henderson is HIV positive and was one of the lead plaintiffs in the lawsuit. Alabama Public Radio's Ryan Vasquez recently spoke with Henderson, and asked about his experience in the Alabama prison system and what the end of the segregation policy means to him.

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Drone Testing Site
4:44 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Alabama, Tennessee Team Up To Land Drone Test Site

A consortium of companies and universities in Alabama and Tennessee are hoping to develop a site where drones would be tested.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

A consortium of companies and universities in Alabama and Tennessee are hoping to develop a site where drones would be tested.

If approved, the facility could become one of only a half-dozen sites approved by the Federal Aviation Administration for research involving Unmanned Aerial Systems, more commonly known as drones.

Alabama and Tennessee have submitted a joint application in an effort to be selected as one of the six FAA UAS testing sites. Testing would be done at a site near Savannah, Tennessee.

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Civil Rights
5:58 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

How The Media Covered The Civil Rights Movement: The 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing

A small monument outside of the church remembering the 1963 bombing.
Ryan Vasquez

September 15th, 1963 started off just like any other Sunday for Barbara Cross with morning Sunday school class down in the basement of 16th Street Baptist Church.

“Our Sunday school lesson that day was “A Love That Forgives” I’ll never forget that as long as I live,” says Cross. “In my class particular we discussed the scripture from Matthew the fifth chapter talking about agape love the godly type of love and agape is the Greek word for godly love.”

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UPS Plane Crash
5:09 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Crash Investigation Focuses On Tail Section Of Jet

Investigators sift through the wreckage of a UPS cargo jet that crashed just outside of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Wednesday.
Credit National Transportation Safety Board

Investigators say they have recovered the flight recorders on an ill-fated UPS cargo jet that crashed at Birmingham's airport this week, killing its two crew members.

Today's search focused on the tail section of the aircraft, where the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder are typically located. The National Transportation Board says they should know tomorrow if data is on the recovered flight data recorders.

The two devices could hold key evidence about what happened as the jet was attempting to land in Birmingham early Wednesday.

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