Auburn University

Alabama Historical Association Meeting in Auburn

Apr 21, 2017

Alabama is getting the chance to celebrate its state history in Auburn this weekend.

The Alabama Historical Association is holding its 70th annual meeting at Auburn University this weekend. The meeting is open to anyone who shares an interest in Alabama’s history from its founding and through modern times. It will feature papers on Alabama history and tours of historic houses and sites around Auburn University. The meeting will also feature two keynote speakers, whose speeches will be themed around Alabama’s upcoming Bicentennial and the state’s history during World War One.

University trustees are set to vote on a new president of Auburn University today. Some say that selection process should be more transparent.

The trustees will hold a special meeting later today to name a new president.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports no candidates have been announced in the search to replace Auburn President Jay Gogue. That means there's been no chance for any prospective new administrators to meet with the university community.

 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.

Auburn University

Auburn University is planning to build to a brand-new $28 million facility at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

According to Al.com, the Auburn University's board of trustees meeting agenda states the project for the 44,000-square foot facility will begin May and end in July 2018 if approved at a meeting this Friday.

Some of the best athletes in college football are in Mobile this week, gearing up for the annual Reese’s Senior Bowl.

The game is a chance for standout athletes to practice and play before a host of NFL scouts, before NFL teams draft their next class of players in April. A few of this year’s top prospects, including University of Alabama defenders Jonathan Allen and Reuben Foster, have opted to sit out this year’s Senior Bowl. But the roster still includes four Crimson Tide players, two players from Auburn, and one athlete from the University of South Alabama in Mobile.

Albert Brewer
Alabama Department of Archives

Former Alabama Governor Albert Brewer has died at the age of 88.

Brewer was known for reshaping Alabama’s public education system during a fill-in term as governor after the death of Lurleen Wallace, then championing constitutional reform as an elder statesman of Alabama politics.

Current Alabama Governor Robert Bentley released a statement yesterday saying the state had lost a great leader.

Wayne Flynt, an expert in Southern history at Auburn University, calls Brewer “the only governor we had who ever came close to being a ‘New South’ governor.”

The Beat Bama Food Drive is Auburn University’s counterpart to Alabama’s Beat Auburn Beat Hunger. The food drive collects money and food for the Food Bank of East Alabama.

The organizers of the food drive encourage all student organizations on the Auburn campus to get involved. Food donations are supplemented with money from benefit nights and a cornhole tournament.

Caroline Jager is the President of the Beat Bama Food Drive. She says the food drive is best summed up by its motto: “Educate, Unite, Serve.”

Alabama’s former House Speaker will find out how long he will spend in jail later today after being convicted on a dozen ethics charges last month. APR’s MacKenzie Bates has the details.

Officials with the Attorney General’s office say they want Mike Hubbard to spend five years in prison and another 13 on supervised probation. His lawyers call that recommendation ridiculously extreme and absurd.

Hubbard was found guilty on 12 of 23 felony ethics charges back on June 10th.

The Tuscaloosa City Council has approved a deal that will allow the ride-sharing service Uber to begin operations in the city within a month.

The Tuscaloosa News reports the council voted 6-1 yesterday to change its vehicle-for-hire ordinance to allow Uber and similar companies to begin operations in the city.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox says he plans to sign the amended ordinance into law.

Marco Rubio
Parker Branton / APR

Democrats and Republicans made stops throughout the state of Alabama this weekend.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio made two stops, at Samford University in Birmingham and the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at Miles College in Birmingham.

At the Space and Rocket Center, Rubio told the crowd he will win if he gets the nomination.

abandoned grocery store
Carmen K. Sisson

Close to two million Alabamians currently live in areas with no grocery stores or access to fresh produce. That’s something the state government hopes to change.

This year, the Alabama state legislature passed the Healthy Food Financing Act, aimed at providing incentives for grocers to open stores in underserved areas of the state. But the legislation doesn't currently include any funding for the program.

Ellie Taylor is the president of the Alabama Grocers Association. She says it was important to get the framework in place first, and then find funding.

Three Tuscaloosa Police officers are on paid leave following a videotaped incident that went viral on the internet. According to APR’s Pat Duggins, even Police Chief Steven Anderson admits he was disturbed by it.

The graphic video shot from inside a Tuscaloosa apartment shows local police officers pushing their way inside, and pulling two University of Alabama students out. A Taser and a nightstick are used as the officers forcibly subdue and arrest the young man and woman. Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steven Anderson says the images left him with some questions.

A former Auburn University lab technician accused of distributing a chemical similar to a date-rape drug has pleaded guilty in federal court.

Court documents say Stephen Howard's guilty plea to three counts of possessing and distributing a form of butanediol was accepted yesterday by U.S. District Judge Charles Coody.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the chemical known as BD is odorless and colorless and is used as a sedative.

Huntsville Police Chief Lewis Morris says he's retiring on September first.

Morris made the announcement during a news conference this morning. Huntsville city officials say west precinct commander Capt. Mark McMurray will serve as interim police chief.

Morris has served as police chief since April 2012. The announcement comes a day after 48-year-old officer Brett Russell was convicted of federal excessive force and obstruction of justice charges for assaulting a suspect and filing a false report.

NASA Auburn
Auburn University

Auburn University has entered into a Space Act Agreement with NASA to explore and advance the applications of additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing.

The act was signed yesterday by Dr. John Mason, Auburn's vice president for research and economic development, along with Patrick Scheuermann, director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville.

The agreement will allow Auburn students to engage in NASA's missions and opportunities, investigate and develop technologies and share NASA facilities and technical expertise.

Mobile County’s probate court will hear arguments today on whether or not same sex couples can adopt children.

Several Alabama counties have already started approving adoptions for gay couples.

Susan Watson is the Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama. She says if adoptions are approved, it will be one step closer to gaining equality for same sex couples.

The Mobile area is winning even more aviation jobs from this week’s Paris Air Show. A German aviation company is expanding its south Alabama operation.

MAAS Aviation says it will build a new facility in Mobile for painting aircraft. The $39 million plan will include the creation of 80 new jobs along Alabama’s gulf coast.

The new MAAS facility will be at the Mobile Aeroplex site near the new Airbus manufacturing plant. Along with painting airplanes, it will repair and overhaul aircraft as well.

The former police officer who injured an Indian grandfather in February appeared in court today. 

Former Madison police officer Eric Parker entered a not guilty plea in a Huntsville federal court building today.

Parker is accused of using unreasonable force and violating the human rights of 57 year old Sureshbhai Patel. Patel was walking down the street in suburban Madison in February when he was stopped by police officers.

Same-sex marriage is officially legal in Alabama starting today, but Chief Justice Roy Moore is doing everything he can to stand in its way.

Moore issued a letter last night ordering all state probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. He argues that the federal district court’s ruling does not trump state law.

Ben Cooper is the chairman of Equality Alabama, a volunteer organization defending LGBTQ rights in Alabama. We spoke with Cooper before the law took effect, and he said some of these challenges were expected.

Uber

The car-hailing service Uber is hoping students around the country, including those at some of the South's largest universities, will make the mobile app part of college life this fall.

The company announced Thursday that it will bring service to 22 college towns, including Tuscaloosa and Auburn - home to the University of Alabama and Auburn University.

The app lets users see a map of nearby drivers using personal vehicles or upgraded black cars and SUVs, get an estimated time of arrival and cost and order a ride. It's all designed to compete with traditional taxis.

meetmycollege.com

Alabama State University officials say they're planning to use a National Science Foundation grant to establish a data analytics lab.

University officials said in a release Monday that the school will use the $399,000 grant to focus on "big data," a term that's increasingly used to describe a volume of data so large and complex that it's difficult to interpret using standard database and software techniques.

Officials say the university will partner with Auburn University on a research project aimed at infusing data analytics in mathematics and statistics courses.

Albert Cesare/oanow.com

Auburn University officials say upgrades to the school's aviation program will focus on research and supporting the aerospace and aviation industries.

School officials on Tuesday said a new aviation center will oversee Auburn's flight school and work with the Harbert School of Business on professional flight management and aviation management programs.

School officials say they're hoping the upgraded aviation program will support economic development in Alabama. The center will be housed at the Auburn University Regional Airport.

auburn.edu

Auburn University officials say an eagle that once soared over home football games has died at age 34.

University officials said in a statement that Tiger — known as War Eagle VI — underwent surgery for a cataract in her left eye Tuesday and veterinarians determined more operations were necessary. Dr. James Bellah, director of the Southeastern Raptor Center said she risked complete vision loss without additional surgery. Bellah says the bird appeared to be recovering after surgery but died overnight.

A decade-old old broadcasting contract at Auburn University is taking center stage in a new campaign ad.

Auburn University's former lobbyist appears in the television spot accusing Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard of getting confidential information to win the college's broadcasting contract more than a decade ago.

Lobbyist Buddy Mitchell says he gave Hubbard copies of the proposals to broadcast Auburn sporting events. Mitchell says that enabled Hubbard to undercut his competitors and win the 2002 contract.

U.S. Army / Wikipedia

Auburn University officials say the school's senior counsel for national security, cyber programs and military affairs has been named to the advisory board of the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.

In a release Monday, officials said retired Army Lt. Gen. Ronald Burgess Jr. will serve a one-year term in the position. INSA officials say the organization is a nonprofit working to develop solutions to the country's national security issues.

The group's more than 1,000 members include current and former intelligence, military and government agency officials.

Auburn University

The Auburn University Board of Trustees has approved a 2014 budget of $1.054 billion.

   The Opelika-Auburn News reports (http://bit.ly/15xghAz) that the board approved the budget at its regular meeting on Friday.

   The budget is broken up into three parts: Auburn's main campus, Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System.

   Auburn University's main campus receives the bulk of the budget, with 80.7 percent or $851 million.

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Auburn University

The National Security Agency has designated Auburn University and three other schools as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Operations. The others are Carnegie Mellon University; Mississippi State University; and the Air Force Institute of Technology.

Auburn officials say the program, which now has a total of eight schools, is designed to cultivate more cyber professionals in an ever-changing global environment.

Auburn University

A power outage left parts of the Auburn University campus in the dark before electrical service was restored.

   Many buildings on campus went dark around 1 p.m. Tuesday, but the lights were back on about 45 minutes later.

   University spokesman Mike Clardy says it's not clear what caused the problem.

   Employees were working in the dark at the football building during the outage, and students posted comments on social media about other buildings being without power.

www.secsportsfan.com

Auburn is switching to a new type of football ticketing system that officials hope will speed up entry for fans and reduce the problem of counterfeiting.

   Workers at Jordan-Hare Stadium will now have scanners to check the bar codes on tickets.

   It's the first time the system has been used for home football games at Auburn, but it's been used previously for baseball and basketball games.

Julie Bennett/jbennett@al.com

Auburn University has unveiled its new, $72 million recreation and wellness center.

   The 240,000 square-foot facility opened after a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday.

   The Opelika-Auburn News reports (http://bit.ly/1cX5p3U ) the facility is home to modern health and wellness equipment, an indoor running track, rock climbing walls and more.

   Recreation and Wellness Director Jennifer Jarvis says the recreation center is likely to help students stay on campus longer, working to develop strong bodies and spirits.

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