Stan Ingold

Assistant News Director

Born in Morehead Kentucky, Stan Ingold got his start in public radio as a volunteer at Morehead State Public Radio.  He worked there throughout his college career as a reporter, host and producer and was hired on as the Morning Edition Host after graduating with a degree in History from Morehead State University. He remained there for nearly three years. Along with working in radio he spent a great deal of time coaching speech and forensics at Rowan County Senior High School in Morehead, working with students and teaching them broadcasting techniques for competitions. 

Stan arrived at Alabama Public Radio in March of 2011. Since then he has been busy criscrossing the state gathering news stories and bringing them to you, the listener. His story on the Key Underwood Coondog Memorial Cemetery recently earned him a regional Edward R Murrow Award for Feature Reporting.

Ways to Connect

 Auburn University is once again replacing its landmark oak trees at Toomer's Corner.

A university statement says workers will plant new trees on Saturday because of damage caused by a fire in September.  

The current trees were planted there after a University of Alabama fan poisoned the original Toomer's oaks.

Toomer's Corner is a traditional gathering for Auburn fans to celebrate football victories by rolling the trees with toilet paper. A German man pleaded guilty last month to setting fire to paper on one of the trees after a game.

In a unanimous court decision, U.S. heavyweight boxer Deontay Wilder has won his latest fight.

A Manhattan federal jury found in his favor Monday as the World Boxing Council champion seeks $5 million for a fight that never happened against a Russian heavyweight challenger. 

The 31-year-old Tuscaloosa native was not in court when the nine-person jury returned its verdict after brief deliberations. Neither was the Russian boxer — Alexander Povetkin.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler is asking for an attorney general's opinion on when the election to fill Jeff Sessions' former Senate seat should be held.  

 Zeigler said Monday that he sent the request to the attorney general's office. Zeigler argues the election should be held this year and that Governor Robert Bentley is incorrect to let it wait until the 2018 statewide elections.

The state is taking control of the troubled public school system in Alabama's capital.    The state school board voted unanimously Thursday to clear the way for a state takeover of Montgomery's public school system.    The move means the Alabama Department of Education will intervene is as many as roughly two dozen failing schools. Local officials will continue overseeing schools that are doing better.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that State Superintendent Michael Sentance addressed the gap in financial terms.

The head of Alabama's two-year college system is retiring.  

Mark Heinrich will step down as chancellor of the Alabama Community College System on April first.

   System trustees accepted his notice at a meeting in Montgomery on Wednesday. Heinrich has been on medical leave since August, with Jimmy Baker serving as acting chancellor.

   The Opelika-Auburn News reports that a statement from the system says Baker will continue in the position.

 Governor Robert Bentley is using the first day of the legislative session to propose a 4-percent pay raise for state employees, a figure that immediately drew skepticism from some lawmakers over whether the state could afford it.   

Finance Director Clinton Carter announced the proposed raise during budget presentations Tuesday. The raise would cost the state general fund a projected $19 million.

 A longtime aide says former Alabama Governor Don Siegelman is to be released from prison this week, nearing the end of a 6 and 1/2 sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice.  

Friend and former aide Chip Hill says the ex-governor was told he'll be released to house arrest Wednesday. The 70-year-old Democrat is in a federal prison in Louisiana.

Siegelman was convicted of selling an appointment to a state health board in exchange for donations to his 1999 lottery campaign. Siegelman's supporters unsuccessfully sought a presidential pardon for the former governor.

The Alabama Oyster Social has raised $35,000 for a shellfish lab in Auburn.

 

The Opelika-Auburn News reports the donation was given to the Auburn University Shellfish Laboratory in Dauphin Island during a recent event. The social brought out more than 600 attendees as many made their way through the line at a 32-foot bar, which included around five thousand raw oysters.

Chef David Bancroft says the response was the greatest "by far."

A lawyer for Governor Robert Bentley is denying that his campaign fund violated the law by paying legal fees for a former aide with whom Bentley was accused of having an affair.  

Bentley attorney William Athanas says the roughly $9,000 payment for legal fees of Rebekah Mason was consistent with state law. He says that's because it involved work she performed as Bentley's senior political adviser.

Governor Robert Bentley is naming six finalists for the U.S. Senate seat now held by attorney general nominee Jeff Sessions.  

Bentley's list includes U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt of Haleyville and the pro tem of the State Senate, Del Marsh of Anniston.

Others include State Attorney General Luther Strange; Bentley appointee Jim Byard; state Representative Connie Rowe of Jasper; and former state legislator Perry Hooper Jr. of Montgomery.

wrestlingclassics.com

Former Alabama House Speaker Tom Drake of Cullman has died. 

The law office of Drake's son says Drake died Thursday morning. He was 86.

    A one-time professional wrestler known as the "Cullman Comet," Drake served nine terms in the Alabama House, including two stints as speaker. He was a floor leader for former governors including George C. Wallace.    Drake practiced law in Cullman after leaving politics in 1998. He is a member of the National Wrestling Hall of Fame. 

Alabama's main port in Mobile has signed an agreement meant to increase trade with Cuba.

The Alabama State Port Authority says the five-year understanding signed Thursday aims to create and improve relationships between Cuban ports, the state port in Mobile and the maritime community.

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit challenging a state law that blocked a plan to raise the minimum wage in Birmingham.    U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor on Wednesday dismissed the lawsuit filed by the Alabama Chapter of the NAACP and Greater Birmingham Ministries on behalf of minimum wage workers.

The Birmingham City Council voted to raise the city's hourly minimum wage to $10.10. The Alabama Legislature, before the increase took effect, last year swiftly passed legislation requiring a uniform state minimum wage.

Some lawmakers want high school seniors to pass the U.S. citizenship test before graduating.

Senator Arthur Orr and Representative Terri Collins said Monday that they are introducing the bill in the 2017 legislative session that begins next week. 

Orr said everyone should have a "working knowledge of our government."

The legislation would require students pass the test, with at least a 60 percent grade, in order to get a diploma. Students would be able to take the test multiple times.

dry river bed
weather.com

A new report shows that widespread rain is gradually relieving the Deep South's ongoing drought, leaving only a handful of counties in Alabama and Georgia with extreme drought conditions.

A national report on the drought released Thursday found that rain drenched a large part of an area that has been abnormally dry, from northern Louisiana to the Carolinas and Virginia.

The U.S. Drought Monitor shows that about a half-dozen counties in the northeastern Georgia mountains and patches of another half-dozen counties in central Alabama are still dealing with extreme drought.

Alabama Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn told lawmakers the "risk" in Alabama's crowding prisons is growing each day.

Dunn addressed the legislative judiciary committees Wednesday as the Bentley administration tries to build support for an $800 million prison construction bond issue.

A more than $60 million museum that failed shortly after it opened in Mobile is getting a second chance. 

The mayor's office says the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum will hold a grand reopening on the city's waterfront on February 18th. That's during Mardi Gras season, when thousands of visitors are in town for parades and balls.

The mayor's office says the museum will feature a new exhibit on ship wrecks, plus new hours, free parking and lower ticket prices.

policymaker.alabama.gov

Federal judges have struck down 12 Alabama legislative districts, saying Republicans relied too heavily on race when drawing the lines. 

A three-judge panel ruled Friday in the long-running lawsuit over the legislative districts.

    The judges say 12 districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered, and they blocked the Alabama Legislature from using them in future elections. The panel upheld 24 more challenged districts.  

The lone Democrat and black person in Alabama's congressional delegation says she is skipping the inauguration of president-elect Donald Trump.  

Representative Terri Sewell of Selma tweeted Wednesday that she can't accept the disrespect shown to Representative John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights veteran who grew up in Alabama.

Trump criticized Lewis after the congressman questioned the legitimacy of the election and said he isn't attending the inaugural. Dozens of other congressional Democrats have since said they won't go, either.

President-elect Donald Trump has met with one of the judges on his shortlist for potential Supreme Court nominees.   

Judge William Pryor met with Trump in New York Saturday, a person familiar with the meeting said Tuesday. The person, who asked for anonymity because the details of the meeting are not public, provided no further information.

Alex AuBuchon / APR

Attorney General Loretta Lynch, in her final speech as head of the Justice Department, said worries of difficult days ahead should be a call for action, not despair.

Lynch spoke at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church where four girls were killed in a KKK bombing in 1963. In the speech for Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Lynch echoed King's words after the bombing to not give into despair.

Lynch praised the work of President Obama's administration to achieve justice for all citizens.

 State wildlife officials are cautioning hunters that it remains illegal to bait deer despite the drought that damaged wildlife food plots.

Officials with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources say they have written a large number of citations for baiting deer.    

State law forbids hunters from hunting over bait. Food must be 100 yards away from the hunter and out of the hunter's line of sight.

Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Director Chuck Sykes said there is a false rumor that baiting has been allowed because of 2016's drought.

A motel room once used by Martin Luther King Jr. to plan landmark civil rights protests is the centerpiece of a new national monument in Alabama.

President Obama signed an order creating the Birmingham Civil Rights National Monument in one of his final acts in office. The announcement Thursday coincides with the upcoming King holiday.

In 1963, King stayed at the A.G. Gaston Motel while planning protests against legalized segregation in Birmingham. King worked with aides in an upstairs suite known as the "war room."

High schools dominate Alabama's new list of failing schools as tenth-graders struggled under the new ACT Aspire test.    There are nearly 50 high schools on the list of 75 failing schools released Thursday by the Alabama Department of Education.   

State law requires the department to designate schools in the bottom 6 percent of standardized test scores as failing.

U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch will deliver her final speech as attorney general in Birmingham at 16th Street Baptist Church.

The Sunday speech will commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. and comes on the eve of the national holiday named for King.

Lynch has served as attorney general in the Obama administration since 2015.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the visit Wednesday.

The man accused of attempting to rob the Alabama Credit Union and taking nearly a dozen people hostage in Tuscaloosa has been identified.

18 year old Cedrick Lamar Collins of Tuscaloosa was taken into custody roughly two hours after the standoff began. According to a University of Alabama news release, he’s been charged with first-degree robbery, but more charges are expected to follow.  

“Mr. X and Mr. Y”

Author: Donald Brown  

Publisher: Borgo Publishing

Pages: 122

Price: $20.00 (Paper)

In June of 1959 Donald Brown, 23 years old, recently graduated from Birmingham Southern College, was a cub reporter for the “Birmingham News.” When a report came in that two armless, legless torsos had been found in two different counties in northeast Alabama, the city editor sent Brown to cover the story.

The two torsos will be, for a time, known as Mr. X. and Mr. Y.

North Alabama has a huge new structure on its landscape.

NASA says construction work is finished in Huntsville on a 221-foot-tall, twin-tower stand that will be used to test hardware for the space agency's new rocket.

 The massive structure is located at Marshall Space Flight Center, where engineers are installing equipment needed to test the largest fuel tank that will be part of the Space Launch System rocket.

Sessions
AP

The confirmation hearing for Senator Jeff Sessions is set to begin this week.

The Alabama senator has been nominated for the U.S. Attorney General post. Sessions’ nomination has drawn criticism from groups like the NAACP because of comments he made regarding the Ku Klux Klan and his prosecution of three activists accused of voter fraud in Perry County, Alabama. The son of the defendants in that case has come forward to endorse Sessions for Attorney General.

A German man has pleaded guilty and apologized after setting a fire that engulfed an oak tree at Auburn University's landmark Toomer's Corner.

Jochen Weist pleaded guilty to criminal mischief Thursday in Lee County. Asked to speak, Weist said: "I'm sorry."   

The Opelika-Auburn News reports the man agreed to pay more than $20,000 in restitution. He will avoid jail time with a three-year suspended sentence and five years on probation.

A prosecutor says the man likely will get his passport to return to Germany.

Pages