Auburn University

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.


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.

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/

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 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 ( 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.


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.

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/

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 ( ) 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.

Auburn University officials say crews will begin installing wires that will temporarily replace poisoned oak trees that were cut down and removed from campus.

   The Opelika-Auburn News ( ) reports that Auburn city crews will begin installing the wires at Toomer's Corner on Tuesday. School officials say the wires will be strung along three poles and will form a "V" over the intersection of Magnolia Avenue and College Street.

Auburn University

A new policy has banned smoking on the campus of Auburn University.

Four campus groups passed resolutions to ban smoking on campus and officials say the ban will go into effect on Aug. 21.

Auburn University student Liz Howerton told the newspaper that most students she's talked to are supportive of the idea and that it "can only do good for the campus."

Lee Bradberry, who owns a nearby cigar shop, says he applauds the school's concerns for public health but has misgivings about the policy because he thinks it infringes on individual rights.

calsidyrose / Flickr

New agriculture statistics prepared for Alabama counties reveal that agriculture, forestry and related industries have an annual economic impact in Alabama of $70.4 billion.

The study was conducted by Auburn University and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. It shows that the Alabama counties that receive the greatest economic impact from agriculture are Mobile, Cullman and DeKalb.

  More than 800 students from 60 colleges will be at Auburn University this weekend for a national event known as the "Landscape Olympics."

Auburn's team of 40 students will show off their skills in 28 events, including tree climbing.

The National Collegiate Landscape Competition attracts recruiters from 50 companies, including Caterpillar and John Deere. They will be at Auburn scouting for the nation's top prospects during the event.

A new study of Alabama's agricultural and forestry industries says they contribute more than $70 billion annually to Alabama's economy and account for 22 percent of the state's workforce.

The Alabama Agribusiness Council and other groups joined Gov. Robert Bentley in releasing the study Tuesday.

Bentley said the last similar study was done in 1989, and the new study by Auburn University shows how important agriculture and forestry are to Alabama's economy.

The Auburn University Board of Trustees has approved two men for positions on the board.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports ( that the board made the decision during a meeting in Montgomery Thursday afternoon.

Mike DeMaioribus was approved as the District 8 trustee; and Wayne Smith was approved as an at-large trustee.

The 58-year-old DeMaioribus is the senior vice president at Dynetics Inc., a Huntsville-based company that specializes in intelligence, missiles, aviation and space.

Auburn University officials are considering offering a graduate-level degree in brewing sciences.

The degree is among issues expected to be discussed at the school's board of trustees meeting Feb. 1.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports ( that the program would provide graduate-level coursework for students and professionals interested in learning about brewing, including malting, mashing, brewing and fermentation.

The trustees are also expected to discuss a possible graduate-degree program in turf grass management.


A tentative trial date has been set for Harvey Updyke Jr., the man accused of poisoning the Toomer's Oaks at Auburn University with a powerful herbicide during Auburn's national championship run in the 2010 football season.

Updyke is scheduled to appear in court April 8. A hearing will also be held Feb. 13 to discuss pending motions — which include a request by the Lee County District Attorney's Office to revoke Updyke's bond.

Auburn University is seeking input from students, faculty and residents on what Toomer's Corner should look like if the iconic oak trees have to be destroyed after they were poisoned.

The Opelika-Auburn News reports ( that feedback is being sought in the form of an online survey from now until Jan. 18.

Dan King, assistant vice president for Auburn's facilities department, says officials at the university are being proactive in developing a future plan in the event that the trees must be taken down.

AP Photo/Opelika-Auburn News, Vasha Hunt, Pool

Attorneys for Harvey Updyke say the University of Alabama fan is mentally competent to stand trial on charges of poisoning Auburn University's landmark oak trees.

But the lawyers said Thursday that Updyke still plans to use an insanity defense to fight the charges.

Attorney Margaret Brown told a judge in Opelika that Updyke's mental condition at the time of the offense is an entirely different question than his competency now, about two years after the incident.

Auburn has fired coach Gene Chizik.

Auburn announced Sunday that Chizik was dismissed two years after leading the Tigers to their first national title since 1957. The Tigers closed with a 49-0 loss to No. 2 Alabama that was the second-most lopsided Iron Bowl game ever and worst since 1948.

The move came after a 3-9 season without any Southeastern Conference wins. It was the most losses by an Auburn team since an 0-10 season in 1950.

Chizik had three years left on a contract worth $3.5 million annually. The announcement came after a team meeting.