Same Sex Marriage Vigil, Teacher and Coach arrested in Ashville, Tornado relief fundraiser

Apr 29, 2015

The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments yesterday as to whether state bans on same-sex marriage are federally constitutional. APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports, supporters of same-sex marriage gathered last night at one of The University of Alabama’s most recognizable landmarks.

Dozens of supporters of same-sex marriage gathered near Denny Chimes to take part in a candlelight vigil last night. Advocates shared personal and deeply emotional stories about why gay marriage was important to them.

Meredith Bagley is a communications professor at Alabama. She says last night’s vigil sends a big message.

“The argument that we hear so often that this is maybe coming too soon for parts of the country… The best way to refute that is to show, as we did tonight, that there are dozens of people in this small niche of Alabama that are ready for it.”

On Valentine’s Day, Bagley and her partner Alexandrea Davenport got married during the brief window same-sex marriage was legal in Alabama.

Police say a high school teacher and coach has been taken into custody after being accused of having sexual relations with a student.

Multiple reports 47-year-old Anthony Dwight Rice was sent to the St. Clair County Jail Monday on three counts of violation of the school employee sex act with a student at Ashville High School just south of Gadsden. Authorities say Rice and the female student had a relationship between December 2014 and April 2015.

Rice resigned from Ashville High on Tuesday. He taught physical education, driver's education and coached several sports.

This week Alabamians are remembering the storm system that sent tornadoes ripping across the state four years ago. Tomorrow evening in Alberta City outside of Tuscaloosa author Kim Cross will be holding a fundraiser for the Alberta School of Performing Arts.

Alberta Elementary School was destroyed in the storm. Cross says the program will open with a reading from her book “What Stands in a Storm.”

“I’m going to bring a panel of characters from the book onto the stage. We’re all going to talk about how it personally affected us and what personal things we learned and gained from the really horrific day. It wasn’t an easy day for all of these people and yet all of them walked away changed in really powerful ways and we’re going to talk about that.”

Speakers will include a first responder and a storm chaser and a survivor of the tornado. The fundraiser will take place at the Alberta School of Performing Arts Thursday evening at six P.M.