State Representative Darrio Melton has a new title this morning -- Mayor of Selma.

Last night, Melton defeated former Mayor James Perkins, Jr. in a municipal runoff election. He will take office next month.

Melton has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 2010.

He recently released a statement saying he was honored by the support he had received during his mayoral campaign. He says Selma, the site of a violent 1965 clash during African Americans' fight for voting rights, has been a symbol of hope and hard work for the past 50 years.

The Alabama House and Senate are set to gather in special session today.

Governor Robert Bentley wants lawmakers to consider a constitutional amendment to create a state lottery. If the legislature says yes, then state voters will get to vote up or down on the idea in November. The Governor wants the money to go the general fund to help pay for Medicaid.

Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh says lawmakers will have questions and suggestions.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore’s effort to have his ethics charges dismissed has been thrown out by a federal judge.

Yesterday afternoon, U.S. District Judge Harold Allbritton issued an order dismissing Moore’s lawsuit against the Alabama Judicial Inquiry Commission. Alabama’s chief justice is facing ethics charges that could result in his removal from office, and Judge Allbritton says that state process should continue without federal interference.

Stan Ingold

       There are many reasons people visit Alabama, to see sporting events, the space connection in Huntsville or the beaches along the gulf coast. However, civil rights tourism is often overlooked by the masses. This dark time in the state’s history is drawing visitors from all over.

Visitors like Betty and Phil Histon from Corvallis Oregon. They’re in Alabama, like many tourists, to try the local barbecue and the see the sites. When we met them they were in the Civil Rights Interpretive Center is Selma…

APR Selma coverage wins national awards

Jun 29, 2016

The industry group Public Radio News Directors, Incorporated named Alabama Public Radio the winner of two first place “PRNDI” awards. These prestigious national honors are connected to APR’s international award-winning coverage of the 50th anniversary of the “bloody Sunday” attacks on voting rights marchers in Selma in 1965. State troopers and a sheriff’s posse used clubs and tear gas to beat back demonstrators on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

A Montgomery man was killed in a crash Saturday night at the Selma Motorsports Park, according to local officials.

33-year-old Darren Dwayne Bryant of Montgomery was driving a pickup truck on the track Saturday night at approximately 8 p.m. when the truck was rear-ended by another vehicle. The truck veered into another lane and then overturned. Bryant died as he was being transported to a local hospital.

Dallas County District Attorney Michael Jackson says the Dallas County Sheriff's Department is treating the event as an accident.

A bare-bones General Fund budget that could mean deep cuts for Medicaid passed a House committee and could see a House vote next week.

The House Ways and Means Committee approved the draft budget yesterday, putting it in line for a House vote next week. The state Medicaid commissioner says this budget will result in some deep cuts to Medicaid and other state services. Gov. Robert Bentley has already threatened to veto the budget unless lawmakers find more Medicaid funding.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's prison construction proposal is facing its first legislative test.

Bentley is asking lawmakers to approve an $800 million bond issue to build four new prisons and close most existing facilities. Some members of the Senate Finance and Taxation Committee questioned aspects of the project during a public hearing Wednesday.

A new study at the University of Alabama is looking to study parents of children who have cancer.

The research is being conducted by the College of Human Environmental Sciences to see how parents of a child with cancer react while the child is going through treatment.

Dr. Sherwood Burns-Nader is heading up the study. She feels this survey can help future parents cope better with the process.

A House committee has approved an education budget that would give most of the state’s teachers a 4% pay raise.

Yesterday, the House Ways and Means Committee unanimously approved a $6.3 billion spending plan for 2017.

The 4% raise would go to teachers making less than $75,000 annually. Others would get a 2% raise.

The budget would also provide funding to hire an additional 475 teachers in 7th through 12th grades.

Budget Chairman Bill Poole of Tuscaloosa says the budget makes the best use of the state's finite resources.

Alabama lawmakers are quickly moving to block a minimum wage hike that has already been approved in Birmingham.

The Alabama Senate could vote today to give final passage to a bill stripping cities of the ability to set their own minimum wages.

Republican Rep. David Faulkner of Mountain Brook says his bill will maintain uniformity across the state. Faulkner says it would be an undue burden on businesses to allow hundreds of different minimum wages across Alabama.

Parts of the Gulf Coast are reeling after a bout of severe weather that caused Governor Robert Bentley to declare a preemptive state of emergency.

A storm reportedly knocked down trees and damaged property in Reform, Alabama, but no one was hurt. The National Weather Service tweeted that radar indicated a possible tornado in that area.

NWS radar also showed a tornado briefly touching down in Hackleburg, in northwest Alabama. Some roofs were damaged, but no injuries were reported.

The federal government is charging a major Hyundai automotive supplier in Selma for threatening to fire employees and close the plant to keep workers from unionizing.

Lear Corporation is a Fortune 500 company that owns a car seat manufacturing plant in Selma. National Labor Relations Board regulators accused the company of intimidating employees for trying to unionize. Workers say one of their main complaints is stagnant wages; many employees have been with Lear for decades and still make little more than $10 an hour.

A Selma-based auto supplier is continuing its lawsuit against a former employee they fired, after a Montgomery County judge ruled whistleblower protections don’t apply.

Planned Parenthood
Getty Images

Planned Parenthood is taking the state of Alabama to court after Governor Robert Bentley halted Medicaid payments to the organization's clinics in Alabama.

A federal judge will hold a hearing later this morning on Planned Parenthood Southeast's request for a preliminary injunction. Last month, Governor Bentley announced that he planned to terminate agreements allowing Planned Parenthood to be paid for providing services to Medicaid patients.

Oasis Tabernacle Church
Alaina Denean Deshazo / Selma Times-Journal / AP

Selma police have arrested a man after three people were shot in Selma’s Oasis Tabernacle Church yesterday.

26 year old James Junior Minter is being held without bond in the Dallas County Jail. He’s accused of shooting his former girlfriend, their 1-month-old son, and the church pastor during services yesterday. Authorities believe Minter was most likely upset about a recent breakup and visitation issues with his son.

The 24-year-old woman and her 1-month-old baby were both rushed to Birmingham for medical treatment. Both are currently in stable condition.

A variety of memorial and remembrance events are being held this weekend for the late voting rights activist Amelia Boynton-Robinson.

Boynton-Robinson laid in state at Selma's Tabernacle Baptist Church this morning, followed by a four-hour memorial service. Tomorrow, she will lie in state until noon at the chapel of Tuskegee University. A memorial program will be held from noon until 3 PM Sunday at the university chapel.

It’s been almost one week since the Legislature ended a special session without a general fund budget.

Governor Robert Bentley is expected to call another special session to deal with a projected $200 million shortfall in the state’s coffers.

As both chambers remain divided on the issue, the house did vote in favor of cutting $156 million from Medicaid before passing their version of the budget.

Huntsville Republican Representative Phil Williams says he was ashamed of that vote, but he believes the move sent a message throughout Montgomery.

Last night, the Alabama House of Representatives approved a dramatic cut to Medicaid as lawmakers try to balance the General Fund budget.

Legislators in the House approved the $156 million dollar Medicaid cut on a second vote yesterday. The first vote failed.

Immediately afterward, the House passed its version of a General Fund budget. Funding for public health, prisons, mental health, human resources and the state’s courts would be unchanged. All other state agencies would see a 5.5% reduction in their operating budgets.


Governor Robert Bentley is calling a special session next week on the general fund budget.

The governor says that he will call lawmakers back to Montgomery on July 13.

The 2015 regular session ended in a stalemate after lawmakers could not agree on tax increases. Bentley vetoed a spending plan that would have cut $200 million from state agencies.

Activists are planning protests at what they say is an unlicensed abortion clinic in Selma.

Abortion opponents say they'll hold a rally Friday and march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge Saturday in a demonstration against the Central Alabama Women's Clinic. Organizers say they have evidence that the medical office performs more than nine abortions monthly. That would require it to come under state regulation as an abortion clinic.

Stan Ingold

There are only two and a half weeks left in the current Supreme Court session, and Alabamians are still waiting on a definitive answer regarding same-sex marriage.

Gay marriage is currently legal in Alabama, but a state Supreme Court ruling has ordered all county probate judges not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. U.S. District Judge Callie Granade passed a ruling that would force those probate judges to begin issuing licenses, but that won’t go into effect until after the Supreme Court rules.

A judge recently stopped another effort from Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s defense to have his ethics case dismissed.

Lee County Judge Jacob Walker III granted a state motion to kill subpoenas against Governor Robert Bentley and the custodian of records for the Alabama Ethics Commission.

Hubbard’s lawyers say those subpoenas were necessary to learn about possible communication records from Governor Bentley regarding Attorney General Luther Strange recusing himself from the case and appointing chief prosecutor Van Davis.

Selma-based Hyundai supplier Lear Corporation is disputing allegations that it fired a whistleblower in a federal safety investigation.

Lear said on Friday that allegations of employees being exposed to the hazardous chemical TDI are false. The company says the air in the plant has been tested by multiple independent parties.

However, NBC recently reported that a Yale University medical clinic tested blood samples from nearly twenty workers, and five showed exposure to the chemical.

A federal judge has issued a temporary restraining order against a company accused of retaliating against whistleblowing workers in Selma.

Workers in a Selma automotive parts plant have complained about conditions in the plant and were involved in a federal investigation.

An order filed by the U.S. Department of Labor Wednesday in U.S. District Court Wednesday blocks the Lear Corporation and Renosol Seating from terminating, suspending, suing, threatening or retaliating against current or former employees.

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley's cornerstone economic development bill is headed to a conference committee.

House members want more time to review Senate changes to legislation that would change the way Alabama recruits companies to the state.

The Senate added multiple amendments before passing the bill on Tuesday. One of those added an $850 million cap on annual incentives.

  The daughters of Dr. Martin Luther King Junior and Governor George Wallace will meet with Governor Robert Bentley today. It’s all part of a ceremony to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march.    It was on this date in 1965 that Dr. King led the procession to Alabama’s State Capitol. APR spoke with Bernice** King during the remembrance of “bloody Sunday” in Selma.

She says voting rights are being challenged in the U.S. and the fight has to go on.

“At that time, we’d been singing songs, we shall overcome, and before I’d be a slave…be dead and buried in my grave,” says Bennie Lee Tucker. He’s seventy four years old, and he spent the last fifty five of those years here in Selma. “And we gonna let nobody turn us around, no more Governor Wallace…no more white folk,” he says.

On the front porch of his home on Eugene Avenue, Tucker recalls March 7th, 1965. It was the height of the voting rights movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior wasn’t the name on everyone’s mind that day.

A group retracing the steps of the 1965 Selma-to-Montgomery Voting Rights March made it to the Alabama state Capitol.

Martin Luther King III on stood near the place his father addressed marchers 50 years ago and called for fewer restrictions in voting.

Governor Bentley addressed the crowd, but was met with some boos and chants of "Medicaid now," calling for expansion of the health care program. Bentley was also booed by some in the crowd at the 50th anniversary commemoration event in Selma last Saturday.

Even though it is Monday today marks the 50th anniversary of Turnaround Tuesday. On this day fifty years ago Martin Luther King Junior led marchers halfway across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.