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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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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Politics & Government
10:01 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Ala. GOP Dispatches Volunteers To Swing States

Alabama Republicans are sending volunteers to assist GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in key swing states
Credit algop.org / Alabama Republican Party

Alabama Republicans are sending volunteers to assist GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney in swing states, including Ohio and Florida.

Ken Brown, the char of the Cullman County GOP, returned this week from Ohio. He was among more than 100 people from Alabama working for the party.

He says that he and other volunteers spent days knocking on doors to meet voters and helping with other campaign duties.

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Governor-Budget
9:44 am
Sun November 4, 2012

Alabama Governor Drops Riley's Budget Process

Governor Robert Bentley has abandoned a budgeting process used by former Gov. Bob Riley's administration.
Credit State of Alabama

Gov. Robert Bentley's administration has abandoned a budgeting process used by former Gov. Bob Riley's administration that required government agencies to set goals and plan their spending to achieve those goals.

The budgeting process, which went by the acronym SMART, was run out of the state's Executive Planning Office. The last person to head that office, Jonathan Barganier, says that data collected was useful, but it often wasn't used by legislators for budget decisions. He said the additional paperwork it required was a challenge.

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Business & Education
10:30 am
Sat November 3, 2012

College Officials Aim To Increase UAB Enrollment

Univ. of Alabama System Chancellor Robert Witt wants to increase enrollment at Birmingham campus.
Credit uab.edu / University of Alabama at Birmingham

A new chancellor wants to see student enrollment grow at the University of Alabama-Birmingham.

Chancellor Robert Witt said Friday during a meeting of the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees that he's met with UAB's interim president and other staff to discuss ways to increase growth at the Birmingham campus.

Roughly 18,000 students are enrolled at the campus. Witt did not publicly set a specific goal for growth.

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Alabama Gambling Trial
10:15 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Alabama Casino Developer Gets Prison Delay

A federal judge has approved another delay two-week delay for Country Crossing developer Ronnie Gilley to report to prison.
Credit al.com

A federal judge has given Country Crossing casino developer Ronnie Gilley another two-week delay in reporting to prison.

Gilley was supposed to report to federal prison on Monday. U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson has granted Gilley's request to delay that until Nov. 19. The delay will allow the Enterprise businessman more time to recover from a complication from an unspecified surgery. It is the fourth delay granted to Gilley.

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Superstorm-Utility Crews
4:46 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Ala. Utility Crew Returns Home

A Decatur Utilities crew claims it had to affiliate with a union to help with the recovery effort after Superstorm Sandy.
Credit Nathan Reed / Flickr

An Alabama utility crew heading to New Jersey has returned home, claiming it had to affiliate with a union to help with the recovery effort after Superstorm Sandy. But union officials, a New Jersey utility company and the governor say they were are mistaken.

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Casino Raid
4:36 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Lowndes County Casino Raided, Machines Seized

Attorney General Luther Strange says a search warrant was served Friday at Southern Star Entertainment Center in White Hall.
Credit LutherStrange.com

The attorney general's office and state troopers have raided an electronic bingo casino in Lowndes County and seized more than 350 machines.


Attorney General Luther Strange said a search warrant was served Friday at Southern Star Entertainment Center in White Hall after an investigation of several months.


The casino opened in March with what it described as legal bingo machines, but Strange said they were illegal. He said cash was seized along with the machines.

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