Montgomery

Alabama Celebrates MLK, Robert E. Lee Days

Jan 15, 2018

Alabama celebrates two very different holidays today. It’s both Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Robert E. Lee Day.

Alabama continues to celebrate Robert E. Lee Day despite continuing controversy over Confederate monuments and holidays. Mississippi is the only other state that still celebrates Robert E. Lee Day as a full state holiday.

Air force officials and business leaders hope a new innovation center could bring big changes to the city of Montgomery.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports Maxwell Air Force Base plans to build an innovation center outside the gates of the facility, where researchers at the prestigious Air University can collaborate with the nation’s top tech and business minds.

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:

Wallace went to the historic, black Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery and asked for forgiveness from the African American community of Alabama. His conversion and contrition appeared sincere; they responded with forgiveness and rewarded him with their votes, and elected him their governor...

When George Wallace graduated from law school in 1942, the only job he could find was driving a dump truck for the state highway department in Tuscaloosa...

A regional airport in Alabama’s capital will soon begin offering direct flights to the nation’s capital.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports American Airlines service from Montgomery Regional Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. is set to begin June 7, 2018. One flight will arrive in the morning in Montgomery, and another will depart for Washington in the afternoon.

1 Dexter Avenue
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia

U.S. Senate candidate and former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore is facing additional scrutiny over personal compensation from the legal charity he founded.

Property records show the Foundation for Moral Law gave Moore a nearly $400,000 promissory note and mortgage on the group’s historic building in downtown Montgomery. The board of the foundation says the arrangement was to make up for unpaid salary promised to Moore as the organization’s president. That financial stake in the building was later boosted twice and now sits at $540,000.

After a bloody stretch in the state’s capital, Montgomery officials are working to get guns off the streets by appealing to people's pocketbooks.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports CrimeStoppers and the Central Alabama Community Foundation partnered for a gun buyback program this past weekend, where people were offered cash in exchange for turning in weapons. Rifles, shotguns and functioning handguns were worth $50 each, and weapons considered high-capacity – able to shoot more than a regular 12-round magazine – were worth $100.

Two more charter schools could be opening in the state next year, after the governing commission approved their applications.

Al.com reports the Alabama Public Charter School Commission fully approved one applicant and conditionally approved another.

Greg Griffin
Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser

A white Alabama police officer charged with killing a black man last year is now asking the black judge currently hearing the case to step aside.

Attorneys for Aaron Smith are asking Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin to recuse himself from Smith’s case based on a Facebook post he reportedly wrote shortly after the shooting. WSFA reports the motion includes a copy of a post in which Griffin writes he was stopped by Montgomery police because he was black and walking down a street.

Authorities say dozens of athletes and coaches from across the South have fallen ill at a college baseball tournament in Alabama, and the cause is -- as of now -- a mystery.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said people affected by the outbreak are from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

WSFA-TV reports the athletes and coaches were competing in the Southern States Athletic Conference championship tournament in Montgomery when they became ill.

A new judge has been named to a high-profile Montgomery murder trial.

Montgomery police officer Aaron Cody Smith's murder trial will now be overseen by Circuit Judge Roman Shaul.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports Circuit Judge James Anderson recused himself from Smith’s trial last week because the judge’s son works for a law firm defending Smith in a federal civil lawsuit brought by the victim’s family.

Tales from one of Alabama’s most beloved storytellers will be brought to life today on a New York City stage.

Birmingham playwright Don Everett Garrett has written an adaptation of a book by legendary Alabama author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham. Garrett’s “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey: The Musical” will be read at the American Theater of Actors, John Cullum Theater, in New York City, by players from the Actors Equity Union.

A lawyer for a white Montgomery police officer charged with murdering a black man is asking a judge to move the officer's trial out of the city.

Officer Aaron Cody Smith's lawyer will try to persuade a Montgomery County judge later today that Smith won't receive a fair trial in Montgomery because of the protests and intense media coverage related to the case.

Attorney Mickey McDermott says Smith has received death threats after last year’s fatal shooting of 58-year-old Greg Gunn. He filed a motion in December to change the location of the proceedings.

recycling
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.

Steve Marshall AG
Albert Cesare / Montgomery Advertiser

Steve Marshall was sworn in as Alabama's new attorney general yesterday.

Marshall took the oath of office yesterday afternoon in Montgomery. Late last week, Gov. Robert Bentley named Marshall, the long-time district attorney of Marshall County, to the position. It had been vacant since Bentley appointed former Attorney General Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate.

At his swearing-in, Marshall said fighting public corruption and combating human trafficking would be among his top priorities.

Rick Burley
Albert Cesare / Montgomery Advertiser

An old, defunct bowling alley in Montgomery will soon see new life as a call center.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports a $2 million renovation is already underway inside the Brunswick Woodmere Lanes bowling alley. The alley has been out of business for about five years, ever since Brunswick moved to Stratford Square in Montgomery.

The newspaper reports ASK owner Rick Burley plans to move his call center company there from its current, very cramped office building nearby. They plan to add about 300 employees once the new office is finished, nearly doubling their payroll.

The National Weather Service says get ready to bundle up today through the weekend.

Frigid temperatures are in the forecast with the possibility of up to three inches of snow across the central part of the state. Forecasters think the I-20 corridor from Tuscaloosa to Birmingham will see snow accumulations which could make driving hazardous.

Gary Goggins is a forecaster with the National Weather Service. He says Alabamians should make preparations regardless of the local forecast, because trying to predict where snow is going to fall is tough.

An attorney representing a white Alabama police officer charged with the fatal shooting of a black man is hoping for a new venue for the trial.

The lawyer for Montgomery police officer Aaron Smith filed a motion last week seeking to move the upcoming trial. He argues the publicity of the case and protests over the shooting death of 58-year-old Montgomery man Greg Gunn would make a fair trial difficult to obtain in the state capital.

Moore won't remove items from courthouse office

Oct 19, 2016

Suspended Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore has not cleared out his courthouse office despite a request by the acting chief justice to remove his personal items.

Moore is appealing his suspension from the bench. He says he has several large paintings, a grandfather clock and other items that cannot be quickly removed.

Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart asked Moore to clear out his office by Tuesday evening. Moore's lawyers have asked the Alabama Supreme Court to overrule Stuart.

Fans of William Shakespeare will be celebrating his 400th birthday in Montgomery this month.

The Montgomery Museum of Fine Art is hosting a Shakespeare exhibit called “First Folio! The Book That Gave Us Shakespeare.” The book contains original printings of the famous playwright’s work. It was published in the 1600s, just a few years after Shakespeare’s death.

Margaret Lynne Aufeld is the curator of art at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Art. She says this is a rare chance to see this prized publication.

Stuart takes helm of Alabama Supreme Court

Oct 7, 2016

The Alabama Supreme Court has its acting chief justice.

Lyn Stuart is being elevated to the position after former Chief Justice Roy Moore was permanently suspended from the court.  Moore is appealing the ruling.

Stuart is the senior member of the Supreme Court.  She has led the state’s highest court since May after Moore was initially suspended for ethics violations.  She has served on the Alabama Supreme Court since 2000.

Judge to decide Moore's fate "as soon as possible"

Sep 28, 2016

The chief judge on an Alabama disciplinary panel says they'll decide "as soon as possible" whether to remove Chief Justice Roy Moore from office.

The nine-member Court of the Judiciary has concluded its hearing on allegations that Moore intentionally misused his office to try to block gay couples from marrying in Alabama.

Chief Judge Michael Joiner says he does not anticipate a decision would come today.

Lawsuit challenges Alabama's felon voting rights ban

Sep 26, 2016

A federal lawsuit is challenging Alabama's practice of stripping convicted felons' of their right to vote.

Greater Birmingham Ministries and a number of Alabamians who are not allowed to vote because of a past felony conviction filed the lawsuit today in Montgomery federal court.

The Alabama Constitution dictates that people convicted of felonies involving "moral turpitude" will no longer be able to vote, although politicians and courts have wrestled with what crimes should be on that list.

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley will make an announcement tomorrow regarding the Alabama Medicaid Industry.

Bentley will hold the news conference tomorrow at 2 p.m. at the Old House Chamber in Montgomery.

Joining Bentley for the announcement will be Stephanie Azar, the Commissioner of the AMA.

Earlier this month, Lawmakers agreed to using settlement money from the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010 to help fill an $85 Million shortfall in Medicaid’s budget.

Judge hears arguments in Gulf State Park lawsuit

Sep 13, 2016

Lawyers for Alabama officials are pleading their case to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the use of oil spill settlement funds to build a beach hotel.  APR Student Reporter Parker Branton has more…

Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin heard arguments Tuesday in the request to dismiss the case.

The state auditor and a legislator sued Gov. Robert Bentley.  They say the money is being allocated without legislative approval

Alabama officials testing 540 Hyundai workers for TB

Aug 30, 2016

The Alabama Department of Public Health is testing for Tuberculosis among 540 workers at Hope Hull Hyundai Motor Manufacturing facility today. One worker tested positive for the active form of the respiratory disease.

TB is an airborne illness that affects those who are in close contact with it. As a result, ADPH says they are only testing workers in the paint shop.

After a four-year hiatus, the Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base is once again hosting a massive technological conference.

The three-day Air Force IT and Cyberpower Conference kicks off today. IT leaders, top military brass and representatives from leading technology companies will gather in downtown Montgomery to discuss the latest in cyber security and information technology.

Alabama’s Legislature is once again scrambling to find additional funding in a special session.

Governor Robert Bentley reconvened the House and Senate in order to find new revenue for Medicaid, infrastructure, and state debt repayment. One of the most popular approaches seems to be constitutional amendment to establish a state lottery to direct revenue into Alabama’s General Fund budget. Several legislators are pushing their own versions of lottery bills, many of which include other forms of gambling as well.

Alabama State House
Jay Williams / Flickr

Alabama’s Senate and House of Representatives are back in Montgomery once again to try and find a solution to the state’s budget woes.

Governor Robert Bentley called the special session of the state’s legislature to find funding for Medicaid, infrastructure and state debt repayment. One of the most popular plans is to amend the state constitution to set up a lottery, with revenue directed into Alabama’s ailing General Fund.

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