Election 2016

Trump's staff picks disappoint, alarm minority groups

Nov 18, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump's picks for staff positions in his administration are alarming civil rights leaders who say his choices could turn back the clock on social issues.

Trump's picks include Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions for attorney general, alt-right architect Stephen Bannon as senior adviser and chief strategist, and former Army Lt. Michael Flynn as national security adviser.

Trump garners record vote count in Alabama

Nov 16, 2016

History was made last week in Alabama as more than 1.3 million votes were cast in the state for President-Elect Donald Trump.  That is the highest amount any candidate for President has ever received in Alabama, according to Secretary of State John Merrill.

Merrill attributes some of the high vote count for Trump to a surge in late registrations, after more than half a million people signed up to vote within the last year…

Trump wins Presidency

Nov 9, 2016

Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States.

The Republican nominee won  after capturing Wisconsin's 10 electoral votes, putting him over the 270 threshold.

Voters eager to shake up the nation's political establishment picked the celebrity businessman to become the nation's 45th president.

Trump rode an astonishing wave of support from voters seeking change and willing to accept a candidate loose with facts and accused of sexual misconduct.

He upset Democrat Hillary Clinton, who would have become the first woman to serve in the Oval Office.

Shelby wins U.S. Senate Race

Nov 8, 2016

Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby will spend a sixth term in Washington.

Shelby easily defeated Democratic challenger Ron Crumpton. Crumpton is best known in the state as an advocate for legalizing medicinal marijuana.

The 82-year-old senator was first elected as Democrat in 1986, but switched to the GOP in 1994. He faced no significant opposition in 2004 and 2006, as right-leaning scorecards ranked him as one of the most conservative members of the U.S. Senate.

Donald Trump wins Alabama

Nov 8, 2016

Donald Trump has won Alabama's presidential election, continuing the Republican streak in the Deep South state.

Trump easily defeated Hillary Clinton on Tuesday.

Trump was long the favorite in the deeply red state, considered one of the safest for Republicans. Alabama hasn't voted for a Democratic presidential candidate since Jimmy Carter in 1976.

Trump and Clinton both visited the state several times during the hard-fought primary battles.

      

           Alabama was a popular destination for those seeking the presidency this year. Republicans and Democrats made it a point to visit the Yellowhammer State to try and keep it red or turn it blue. This of course means news coverage, which in turn, brings out cartoonists. If you follow sites like Al-dot-com you’ll see the work of one man in particular…

            “Never dreamed I’d get a job drawing editorial cartoons, political, I’m not really that political by nature, I just make fun of everything.”

Future of State Parks at stake with Amendment 2

Nov 7, 2016

Voters in Alabama and the rest of the country head to the polls tomorrow to help determine the next President of the United States.  But that won’t be the only issue citizens in the Yellowhammer State have on the ballot.  APR’s MacKenzie Bates has more on the issue known as “Amendment 2”…

Alabama’s State Parks, like many services in the state in recent years have seen its fair share of funding cuts.  Over the past five years, more than $30 million from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources budget has been slashed.

Alabama could see record number of voters on election day

Oct 25, 2016

Alabama could see record number of voters at the polls on Election Day.

Secretary of State John Merrill says he anticipates between 2.2 million and 2.4 million state voters to cast ballots in the upcoming election. He says either number would be a record turnout.

Merrill believes high voter enthusiasm will drive turnout in the race that pits Republican Donald Trump against Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Alabama Auditor Jim Zeigler is opposing a November ballot measure that clarifies the threshold to oust an impeached public official.

Amendment 6 specifies that a two-thirds vote of the Alabama Senate is required to remove an impeached public official.

Zeigler says the change would make it almost impossible to remove Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. Zeigler called it the "Get Out of Impeachment Free Card."

A civil rights group challenges Alabama's practice of electing appellate judges by statewide vote.  Officials with the NAACP’s Alabama Chapter say the practice has resulted in all-white courts in a state where one of every four people is African-American.

The chapter and four black voters sued the state in Montgomery federal court today.  They argue electing judges through at-large elections in Alabama violates the Voting Rights Act.

Residents of a southwest Alabama town where five people were slain are trying to raise money to help the victims' families pay funeral expenses.

Authorities say 27-year-old Derrick Dearman of Leakesville, Mississippi killed five people at a house where his estranged girlfriend has sought refuge from him.  The bodies were found Saturday.

Governor Robert Bentley says the only option left for the state for government funding is a lottery.  A-P-R’s student reporter Meagan Mowery has more…

Governor Bentley once said state lotteries are outdated but now he is changing his tune.

On Wednesday Bentley announced plans for a special session to focus on bringing a state lottery to Alabama.

Lawmakers are heading back to Montgomery for a special session on a state lottery.

Governor Robert Bentley made the announcement this morning in a video urging legislators to approve the measure and allow Alabamians to vote on the issue.

Bentley says he believes voters in the state will make the right decision if lawmakers approve the constitutional amendment for a state lottery…

The Alabama Supreme Court is holding an impeachment trial to determine whether a sheriff should be removed from office on grand jury charges of corruption and neglect of duty.

Sumter County Sheriff Tyrone Clark Sr. is being tried in the same Supreme Court chambers where justices normally hear appellate cases. His charges are not criminal; the penalty would be removal from office.

Clark is accused of allowing an inmate held on drug trafficking charges to leave jail, return with contraband and avoid being searched.

Hubbard trial continues, Alabama Voting App rolls out

May 25, 2016

The former chief of staff for the Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has testified in the ethics trial of his former boss.

Josh Blades testified today that he was upset and concerned about "legal implications" after learning that language added to a 2013 budget bill could have benefited one of Hubbard's clients.

Blades said he learned later that a group that would get the work was paying Hubbard through a consulting contract. The language was stripped in conference committee.

Lawyers have picked a jury for House Speaker Mike Hubbard's ethics trial scheduled to start next week. A-P-R’s Stan Ingold has more…

The panel of 12 jurors and four alternates is made up of five black men, four white men, four black women and three white women.

The Montgomery Advertiser and al.com reports that Lee County Judge Jacob Walker instructed the panel not to discuss the high-profile case.

Runoffs in 2 state school board races Tuesday

Apr 10, 2016

Some Alabama voters head to the polls Tuesday for primary runoffs.

Two Republican incumbents face runoffs for seats of the state school board seats

Incumbent Matthew Brown faces Jackie Ziegler, the wife of state Auditor Jim Ziegler, in a runoff to represent south Alabama's District 1 on the Alabama state school board.

Brown was appointed by Gov. Robert Bentley to fill a vacant post in July. Ziegler is a former school principal. The winner faces Democrat Ron Davis in November.

The metro area of Huntsville led Alabama's population growth last year according to census data from July 2014 to July 2015.

The Rocket City added more than 4,000 people over a one-year span, the most in the state. That pushed the city to just under 445,000 residents.

According to the data, Baldwin County added almost as many new residents as Huntsville with 3,996. That marked a 2 percent growth in the one-year span, the fastest rate of growth in the state.

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is taking on a new position as chairman of Don Trump's advisory committee on national security.

Trump named the Mobile Republican to the post yesterday. A release from the Trump campaign says he's honored to have Sessions as a member of his team.

The announcement comes a week after Sessions endorsed the New York businessman for the GOP nomination for president.

An EF-2 Tornado ripped through parts of Birmingham last night. APR student reporter Parker Branton has more…

Two tornados ripped through parts of Jefferson County.

The tornado was rated EF2 by a survey crew in Bessemer from the National Weather Service this morning.  There was also EF1 damage near McAlla.

Matt Grantham is a Meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Birmingham. He described what path the tornado took.

Voter turnout in the state looks "extraordinarily high," pointing to a projected turnout as high as 60 to 70 percent in one county.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill says there were a few minor hiccups around the state as polls opened this morning, but nothing that directly affected voting or voter participation.

Presidential hopefuls flooded the state of Alabama this weekend. APR student reporter Parker Branton has more…

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at Miles College in Birmingham while Florida Senator Marco Rubio made two stops at Samford University and the Huntsville Space and Rocket Center. Businessman Donald Trump also made an appearance in Huntsville.

Secretary Clinton praised Mayor William Bell of Birmingham for his work to raise the minimum working wage.

The list of Presidential candidates coming to Alabama keeps growing.

The Alabama Secretary of State’s office says Republican Doctor Ben Carson will be making a stop at Auburn University-Montgomery on Monday.  The time of the event has not been confirmed yet.

Carson is the fourth candidate for the White House to come to Alabama in the next few days.  Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton will be in Birmingham on Saturday.  Republican candidate Marco Rubio will also be in the magic city.

Huntsville city leaders have announced that Google is bringing high-speed fiber optic Internet and television service to the area.

Mayor Tommy Battle and Google representatives and others made the announcement today at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

Battle expects faster Internet speeds to boost the local workforce and help provide more opportunities for residents to work from home.

The National League of Women’s Voters launched a website that is a “one-stop-shop” for voting information ahead of Alabama’s presidential primary.  Vote 4-1-1-dot-org provides nonpartisan information to the public with both general and state-specific information.

Kathryn Berg is First Vice President of the league of women’s voters of Alabama. She says the website sorts out the differences between partisan primary votes and the general election for President…

Advocacy groups representing three states, including Alabama want changes to a national form regarding proof of Citizenship to register to vote.

The 30 groups want a federal elections official to throw out the rule in Alabama, Georgia and Kansas

The groups sent a letter to the new executive director of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission, arguing the impact would be particularly significant because 2016 is a presidential election year when people typically register in greater numbers.

An Alabama death row inmate is once again appealing to have his execution delayed. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has the latest.

Alabama inmate Christopher Brooks is asking the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to halt his execution. His death sentence is currently scheduled to be carried out on January 21.

Brooks’s attorney filed the notice of appeal yesterday. Earlier this month, a federal judge denied an emergency motion for a stay of execution.

A lesbian mother in Alabama wants the U.S. Supreme Court to review an Alabama decision declaring adoptions invalid.

In 2007, the woman adopted her long-term partner’s three children. When the couple broke up, the former partner prevented the other from seeing the children. She asked Alabama’s Supreme Court to enforce her visitation rights, but instead the justices declared her adoption invalid.

Three Tuscaloosa Police officers are on paid leave following a videotaped incident that went viral on the internet. APR’s Pat Duggins says Police Chief Steven Anderson admits even 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.

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