Alabama justice denies telling judges to block gay marriages, Alabama state parks and 'Dirt Pass'

Jun 21, 2016

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is asking a state judicial panel to dismiss ethics charges against him. Moore says he never told probate judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples.

Moore is accused of violating judicial ethics with a 2016 administrative order.  It came six months after the U.S. Supreme Court effectively legalized same-sex marriage.

His lawyers say the order only noted correctly that a state court injunction to refuse same-sex marriage licenses had not been lifted.

Moore could face removal from office over the charges.

The charges against him are among three scandals facing top Republicans in Alabama.

Former House Speaker Mike Hubbard was recently convicted on ethics charges. Gov. Robert Bentley has faced calls for impeachment after a sex-tinged scandal.

Outdoor enthusiasts in Alabama have a new way to support their hobbies. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more on the State Park “Dirt Pass” program.

The Alabama State Parks Division is giving state residents a way to give back to the parks they love.

Hikers, mountain bikers, and anyone who frequents state parks can purchase a “Dirt Pass” to help the state maintain its parks and trails.

The Dirt Pass is $25 and is available at several state parks across Alabama. Donors will receive a wristband identifying them as park supporters.

State park officials hope the new program will help balance budgets after the loss of state funding. Lawmakers moved $3 million from the parks budget to the general fund earlier this year, forcing 5 state parks to close.

The issue of food trucks being allowed to operate in downtown Tuscaloosa will come up at tonight’s city council meeting.

This will be the third time this has been brought up this year.  The option of creating a “food truck zone” was previously suggested. However, truck operators are concerned the zones aren’t in areas with high foot-traffic concentration.

Dustin Spruill is the owner of Local Roots. He says he is not in support of creating a food truck zone,

“We feel like it’s a last minute plea to us, and it’s all based off of the pressure from the brick-and-mortar store. The new zones basically eliminate us from anywhere in the happening area of downtown. We want to have every ability and every right to be in the downtown area, so putting us in a zone is still regulating the food trucks.”

Spruill says people are interested in food trucks. Northport’s event “Trucks by the Tracks,” brought in over one thousand people last month.