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.

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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.

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.

State Auditor Jim Zeigler is asking the House Judiciary Committee to restart an impeachment probe of Governor Robert Bentley.    Zeigler sent a  letter to House Judiciary Chairman Mike Jones on New Year's Day asking the committee to resume the investigation.   

The committee announced November third that it was suspending proceedings at the request of Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange.  Strange said his office was pursuing "related work.'

Within the next five months, President-elect Donald Trump could appoint a majority of the board for the Tennessee Valley Authority. The TVA is the nation's largest government-owned utility.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press reports three Democratic members of the board, including Chairman Joe Ritch, are leaving after the Republican-controlled Senate failed to confirm President Barack Obama's reappointment of the three directors last year.

An organization created to advance Governor Robert Bentley's political agenda is asking to be dismissed from a lawsuit filed by the governor's former security officer.

A lawyer for the Alabama Council for Excellent Government filed the dismissal motion Wednesday, saying the bodyguard has no grounds to sue the organization.

Ray Lewis last month sued Bentley, Bentley's former political adviser Rebekah Mason and the organization which paid Mason. Lewis claims his career and reputation were damaged as Bentley and Mason tried to hide a relationship.

Tom Surtees, who served both as Alabama's Revenue and Labor commissioner, has died.

The governor's office says Surtees died Friday after fighting cancer. He was 66.   

Surtees was appointed head of the Revenue Department in 2004 by then-Gov. Bob Riley. He later became commissioner of the Department of Industrial Relations, which became the Department of Labor in 2012.

Surtees retired from the state in 2014. Governor Robert Bentley is calling him a leader and a dedicated public servant.

Governor Robert Bentley's office says he has interviewed suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore and 10 other people for the U.S. Senate seat now held by attorney general-designee Jeff Sessions.

Bentley spokeswoman Yasamie August says Moore was interviewed at the recommendation of the Alabama Republican Party. Moore is fighting what amounts to a permanent ouster after being convicted of violating judicial ethics rules over his opposition to gay-marriage.

A failed voting-fraud prosecution from more than 30 years ago is likely to re-emerge as a contentious issue during Senator Jeff Sessions' confirmation hearing for attorney general.    He was dogged by his handling of the case as U.S. attorney during his 1986 confirmation hearing for a federal judgeship.  

                                                                                                                                                             

Alabama members of the Electoral College are gathering to cast their votes for Donald Trump.

Electoral College members will meet at state capitals across the country to cast their votes for president. Alabama Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan said the state's electors are "rock solid 100 percent" behind Trump.             

Trump won Alabama with more than 62 percent of the vote. All of Alabama's nine electors told The Associated Press that they intend to stick with Trump. 

Alabama state troopers are increasing patrols during the busy holiday traveling season.

Secretary of Law Enforcement Stan Stabler urged motorists to be cautious and "to help us make our roadways safer for everyone."

The holiday travel season typically brings an increase in traffic fatalities. Stabler said troopers investigated 14 traffic fatalities during the five-day Thanksgiving travel period. Last year, troopers investigated 26 traffic deaths during travel period around Christmas and New Year's Day.     

President-elect Donald Trump is coming to Alabama this weekend as part of his post-election victory tour. Trump will hold a rally in Mobile at 3 p.m. Saturday.  

The event will be held at the 40,000-seat Ladd-Peebles Stadium.

The stadium was the site of one of Trump's first large rallies of the presidential campaign. The Trump campaign says the visit is a way to say thank you to voters. Alabama overwhelmingly supported Trump over Democrat Hillary Clinton in the November election.

Statistics show about 16 percent of low-income Alabama preschoolers are obese, and the problem is getting worse.

A report based on 2014 statistics from the Women, Infants and Children feeding program shows that 16.3 percent of children ages 2 to 4 in the program were obese.   

That's an increase from about 14 percent of children in 2000, when Alabama was ranked 18th nationally in the obesity statistics.

The state is now ranked 10th nationally, and statistics show the problem is getting worse. Nationally, the obesity rate about 2- to 4-year-olds is on the decline.

A sharp increase in syphilis cases has led the Alabama Department of Public Health to issue a health advisory for north Alabama.  

The ADPH says there's been a 90 percent increase in reported cases over 2015 in Madison County. The department announced Friday that 54 cases have been reported in Madison County in 2016.

Health officials say infection can occur after a person has direct contact with a syphilis sore during sex. Syphilis can also be passed from a pregnant woman to her baby.

A federal agency is providing $325,000 in funding for operation of a special court that deals with drug-related cases in Birmingham.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration is providing the money to Birmingham's municipal drug court. The funding will be spread out over three years.  

Birmingham's court is the only program in Alabama to receive the money, but it's only one of more than 40 programs nationwide to receive funding.

Alabama Political Cartoonist JD Crowe Sketches Governor Robert Bentley.

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