Staff Sergeant Ryan Pitts is the most recent recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. The honor is awarded to military personnel for personal acts of valor above and beyond the call of duty. Pitt joins an exclusive fraternity. Just over three thousand soldiers out of the millions of U.S. servicemen and women are awarded the Medal of Honor. It also connects soldiers today to some of the first recipients of the award following the Battle of Mobile Bay.
It's been one year since the Supreme Court ruled a key provision in the 1965 Voting Rights Act unconstitutional. In Shelby County, Alabama versus Holder the ruling says states with a history of chronic racial discrimination no longer needed to get Justice Department approval for changes to voting rules. Janai Nelson is the Associate Director-Counsel for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Alabama Public Radio’s Ryan Vasquez talked with Nelson about the act, and how violations outlawed by the measure are now re-appearing.
All year long, Alabama Public Radio is collaborating with A-L-dot-com on the Affordable Care Act. The federal deadline to sign-up for health insurance is now well in the rear view mirror and you find yourself without health care. You don’t receive insurance from your employer. You don’t qualify for Medicaid, and you didn’t sign up in the federal marketplace during the open-enrollment. The Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate says that Americans have to obtain health insurance or pay a penalty.
A new study says Alabama state worker pension funds could run out of money in a decade if changes aren't made. The report from the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University is part of a larger effort to look at improving the lives of Alabamians. Scott Beaulier is Director of the Johnson Center. Alabama Public Radio’s Ryan Vasquez recently talked to him about the paper and if the plight of Alabamians really differs that much from other states.
In the last few years the state has had to tighten its belt to rein in spending during some lean budget years. Alabama’s teachers have had to shoulder some of that burden with pay cuts and increased contributions to their pensions. Teachers received a two percent pay raise last year, their first since 2007. More raises were expected this year to help bring teacher pay back to pre-recession levels. Governor Robert Bentley took up the cause during his State of the State address...
Harvey Milk was one of the first openly gay public officials in the United States. His story and tragic death have made him a civil rights icon in the GLBTQ movement.
Up until recently most of Milk's own words weren't widely known with only four of his speeches having been published; at least until now. Jason Black is an associate professor in Communication Studies at the University of Alabama. He is also the editor of "An Archive of Hope: Harvey Milk's Speeches and Writings."
It's football season and for many young athletes that means lots of practices and training to get in shape for the big game every week. It's also a prime time for these players to get injured. Drew Ferguson is a licensed athletic trainer and Director of Sports Medicine at Children's Hospital of Alabama. Ferguson says extra care needs to be taken at youth levels to keep players safe because they lack the resources of the older counterparts.
Robert Robinson owns Sundries and Specialties. It’s a brand new business, and he wants a brand new website to go with it.
“Well the front page I wanted to show various items like what we may sell,” Robinson says. “Our store being sundries and specialties we may sell sundries, which is various items and then we specialize in jewelry or certain antiques. So I want the picture to represent that situation and describe some stuff about or business.”
The Alabama Public Radio news team traveled to the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. last week to collect a national Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society for Professional Journalists. APR News Director Pat Duggins and reporters Maggie Martin, Ryan Vasquez, and Stan Ingold earned the honor for the Best Breaking News Coverage during the April 2011 tornadoes. It is an honor well deserved!
In Tuscaloosa this morning we awoke to horrible news. You've probably all heard by now that there was a shooting here that left 17 people injured. Of course, we were all asking ourselves a lot of questions. Your APR News team was busy asking those questions of other people.