Forty-five-year-old Chris "Champ" Napier spoke with StoryCorps facilitators about his challenging upbringing in Prichard, Alabama. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison, but received a pardon after 14 years. With a second chance at life, Napier has written a book, does motivational speaking at schools and prisons and has made it his mission to live by his grandmother's last words to him...



Ed Beck grew up in Mobile, Alabama. In this StoryCorps piece, his wife Nancy asks him about a personal memoir he's writing and the changes he's made to it. Ed also reflects on his actions during the Jim Crow era and why he feels it's important to talk about that difficult time in US History...     


Ed Beck was a young man living in New Orleans when Hurricane Betsy struck the coast in 1965. He sat down at StoryCorps with his wife Nancy to reflect on his days volunteering after the Hurricane, a devastating experience where he saw the deadly impact of systemic segregation...


When Kara Cresswell-Osborne was 16 years old, a disturbing experience at her grandparents' church in Montgomery, Alabama opened her eyes to the existence of racism in her family. 

In February of 2017, StoryCorps came to Mobile, Ala. and Kara shared this story with her mother Kimberly Geissmann in an open, honest conversation about family history, shame and racial acceptance.

WARNINGThis story contains a quote where a racial slur is used...


Aurelia Chestang grew up in Mobile, Alabama in the 1940s. She sat down with StoryCorps to tell her daughter, Yvette, about her grandparents - the challenges they faced during a deeply segregated era and how they overcame strict racial boundaries by hosting elaborate parties...  

An agreement has been reached to move a minor league baseball team from the Alabama Gulf Coast to the Tennessee Valley.

BallCorps LLC announced that a lease, license and management agreement has been signed for the Mobile BayBears to move to Madison, Alabama. The team will continue to play at Hank Aaron Stadium in Mobile through the 2019 season, and will then move to a new $46 million, 7,000 seat ballpark in Madison for the 2020 season.

U. Mobile Professor Develops Christmas Tree Light Calculator

Dec 11, 2017

A math expert at the University of Mobile is looking to take some of the guesswork out of decorating your Christmas tree.

Troy Henderson is a professor of mathematics at the university. He has developed and released a free online calculator that anyone can use to determine the optimal way to string lights on their Christmas tree. Henderson's calculator takes the dimensions of the tree and the length of lights available and uses calculus to determine the optimal spacing.

Hospitals in Alabama as well as Mississippi are suing more than a dozen drug manufacturers, claiming they deceptively marketed and sold dangerous opioids.

Jackson, Mississippi’s Clarion Ledger reports the class-action lawsuit was filed late last week in federal court in Mississippi. The plaintiffs are Infirmary Health Hospitals, based in Mobile, Monroe County Healthcare Authority, based in Monroeville, and Southwest Mississippi Regional Medical Center based in McComb, Mississippi.

The road map is in place for the 2017 college football postseason. Here's the picture for Alabama's colleges and universities, as well as the bowl games that will be taking place across Alabama this year:

Airbus Acquisition Likely to Mean New Jobs in Mobile

Oct 19, 2017

More airplane manufacturing jobs are likely coming to the Mobile area.

Mobile is currently the site of an assembly line for French airplane manufacturer Airbus, and it may be getting a second one. That news follows a deal giving Airbus a majority stake in the C series aircraft from Canadian plane maker Bombardier. The C series is similar to the A-320 and A-321 aircraft already manufactured in Mobile. Airbus says they plan to open an assembly line in south Alabama to manufacture the C series planes.

"Where Does Your Water Come From?"

Oct 10, 2017
^0 inch pipelines carry water from Big Creek Lake to water treatment plants in Mobile

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will hear arguments regarding the on-going water war involving Alabama. The specific case is between Florida, and Georgia, but it includes the river basin flowing through Alabama. The APR news team spent 2015 investigating the condition of Alabama's water supply and the health of its rivers. Click below to hear that series again...

Nate quickly weakened to a tropical depression after making landfall in Biloxi, Mississippi and tracking north into central Alabama, but parts of south Alabama are dealing with power outages and some flooding.

Residents in Mobile know who their next mayor will be, but there’s still some work to be done in Birmingham.

In Mobile, Sandy Stimpson was elected to his second term as mayor. He defeated former mayor Sam Jones with just over 57 percent of the vote.

But in Birmingham, incumbent mayor William Bell is heading to a runoff with challenger Randall Woodfin. Unofficial returns from last night showed Woodfin was leading a crowded field of mayoral candidates with approximately 40 percent of the vote. Bell had earned around 36 percent.

A deadly mosquito-borne virus has been detected in south Alabama. reports mosquitoes in parts of Mobile County are carrying Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), a disease that Mobile County Health Officer Dr. Bernard H. Eichold II says has a human mortality rate between 50 to 75 percent. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention describe EEE as "one of the most severe mosquito-transmitted diseases in the United States", but it is also very rare, with only a few cases reported across the country each year.

collapsed training facility

A new football practice facility at the University of South Alabama has collapsed during construction, according to school officials.

South Alabama athletic director Joel Erdmann says there weren’t any injuries after the Jaguar Training Center collapsed Saturday afternoon. He says the facility was currently under construction.

School spokesman Bob Lowry released a statement saying the facility fell within the construction limits of the site and says no workers were present in the area at the time.

A new state law restores voting rights for many people with felony convictions, and two legal groups will be holding clinics this summer to make sure those people are registered to vote.

The ACLU of Alabama and Legal Services of Alabama both plan to hold a series of “restoration clinics” at churches in Birmingham, Mobile and Selma this summer.

Alabama Tourism Represents in New York City

Jun 16, 2017
Mardi Gras float
AL Tourism Dept

Alabama tourism is strutting its stuff in the Big Apple this week.

The state’s Tourism Commission is setting up a series of events and displays to promote Alabama in New York City. Today, the state will officially unveil an eight story tall billboard of Little River Canyon. The display will be located about half a block from Madison Square Garden.

Alabama Tourism Director Lee Sentell says the point is to get people talking about the state.

A law that would regulate ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft failed to pass the Legislature this year. It’s unclear when or if those companies will begin service in certain Alabama communities.

Uber is blaming the cities involved. reports a spokesperson for Uber singled out Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle and Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson as being primarily responsible for the stalled legislation.

Residents of Sumter County with questions about a proposed charter school can voice their questions tonight.

The Alabama Department of Education is coordinating a public hearing on the proposed new school to be held in Livingston. The University of West Alabama is hoping to open a charter school catering to children from pre-kindergarten through fifth grade. The proposed school would teach science, math, technology, and art.

A new proposal from the Mobile mayor's office would decriminalize several minor offenses, including the possession of marijuana for personal use.

Local news outlets report Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson's proposed ordinance will be introduced at today’s city council meeting. Under the code change, police would issue an Alabama Uniform Non-Traffic Citation and Complaint in the event of such an offense, which typically carries a $100 fine and court costs.

Lloyd Gallman / Montgomery Advertiser

Municipal officials can lose sleep over the volume of trash that residents produce, but those in Montgomery have the opposite problem. They say the city isn’t producing enough trash to sustain a citywide recycling program.

Montgomery has a similar population size to three other major Alabama cities, Huntsville , Birmingham and Mobile. But the Montgomery Advertiser reports that the capital city is the only one without a recycling program and the only one with any doubts about its ability to maintain one.

Sessions protest

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions will face a Senate confirmation vote to become the country’s next Attorney General later today, and protestors in Alabama are once again making their voices heard in opposition.

More than 100 people reportedly took part in a second sit-in at Senator Sessions’ office in Mobile. The office was closed, but demonstrators reportedly packed the building outside his office and in a second-floor lobby.

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.

Back Lot render
Core Hospitality Advisors

Developers constructing a new hotel in downtown Mobile area are also rolling out the red carpet for operators of food trucks.

Core Hospitality Advisors is building a Hilton Garden Inn across from Bienville Square in downtown Mobile. The developers say they wound up with some additional land upon beginning construction, and plan to add a food truck court to the property. The space will be called The Back Lot and will have parking and support for three food trucks at a time.

Adam Cowart of Core Hospitality Advisors explains the setup for the food trucks and the patrons.

Mobile sit-in
Benard Simelton via twitter

As Alabama’s junior U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions prepares for confirmation hearings next week to become the country’s next Attorney General, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is doing everything they can to prevent it.

Earlier this week, NAACP President Cornell William Brooks and five others were arrested in Mobile while protesting Senator Sessions’ nomination.

Benard Simelton is the President of the Alabama State Chapter of the NAACP. He tells us about the events that took place around the state and in Mobile earlier this week.

NAACP President Cornell William Brooks

Several demonstrators including the president of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People were arrested yesterday protesting the nomination of Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions as U.S. Attorney General.

The NAACP members were staging a sit-in at Senator Sessions’ office in Mobile. Cornell William Brooks, President and CEO of the NAACP, said they would remain at Sessions' office until they were able to speak with the Senator or they were removed.

USS Gabrielle Giffords
Austal USA

Austal has delivered its latest Littoral Combat Ship, the USS Gabrielle Giffords, to the Navy.

The Australian-based shipbuilder and defense contractor announced the new warship was handed over to the Navy last week. It’s the fifth vessel of its kind built by Austal; seven more are currently under construction in Mobile.

The commander of the Littoral Combat Ship squadron, Captain Jordy Harrison, says the ship will join other LCS ships in San Diego next year to undergo testing and training for eventual deployment.

More than $2 million dollars in federal funding is coming to Alabama and two other Southern states to restore and improve passenger rail service.

Yesterday, the Southern Rail Commission announced Federal Railroad Administration funding for eleven communities in Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

The communities will get money for station-area planning and construction projects to improve safety, access and convenience.

Trump tree
Evan Vucci / AP

The chief of staff to Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson is apologizing for his role in having a cedar tree cut down at a public park and used as a prop for President-elect Donald Trump’s rally last weekend.

Colby Cooper, who has served as Stimpson’s chief of staff since 2013, says he became “overzealous” in making sure every detail was covered for the weekend’s rally.

Ivan Lopez
Mobile Police Department

A police officer in south Alabama has been fired after authorities say he improperly followed a suspect into a neighboring jurisdiction and fired his gun into a moving car without justification.

Mobile Police Chief James Barber announced yesterday that new officer Ivan Lopez was terminated for policy violations committed last weekend.

Barber says Lopez was on a DUI patrol when he followed a driver seen swerving across the center line into the city of Prichard — outside Mobile police's jurisdiction.