Tuscaloosa

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...

traffic radio
UA

Tuscaloosa is the first city in Alabama to take part in a new project aimed at paving the way for self-driving cars.

New short-range radios installed at dozens of traffic signals throughout Tuscaloosa and Northport will be collecting data for research aimed at decreasing travel time, reducing vehicle crashes and laying the groundwork for eventually supporting self-driving cars. Researchers say one useful application of the radios will be red light warnings in cars, similar to collision warnings already installed in some newer vehicle models.

"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...

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is running for governor.

Maddox made the announcement this morning morning with the release of a video on social media.

schoolyard roots
via Twitter

One of the state’s premiere events for the food-obsessed is taking place this weekend in Tuscaloosa.

Schoolyard Roots, formerly known as the Druid City Garden Project, is hosting its annual Garden Party this Sunday at the Tuscaloosa River Market. Schoolyard Roots is a nonprofit organization that builds and maintains teaching gardens in area elementary schools, providing kids both with healthy produce and hands-on learning opportunities.

Eric Courchesne is the Interim Executive Director of Schoolyard Roots.

The High Cost of "Sugar"

Aug 30, 2017

Paying for college is a on-going problem in the U.S. The website studentloanhero.com says the average graduate ends up with $37,000 worth of debt along with their diploma. That’s almost one and a half trillion dollars overall -- more than what U.S. households owe on their credit cards.

APR student reporter Miranda Fulmore reports there’s a growing trend on college campuses to address this money crunch, and it’s raising eyebrows.

druid city pride
Alex AuBuchon / APR

An LGBT rights organization in Tuscaloosa celebrated the anniversary of a monumental Supreme Court decision this past weekend.

Today is the two-year anniversary of the court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case that ultimately guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry throughout the United States. Druid City Pride, a community organization in Tuscaloosa, commemorated the occasion with food, music, and a fundraising raffle.

Russell Howard is the director of Druid City Pride. He says he wants to keep seeing progress toward LGBT equality in Alabama.

A grassroots political activist group in west Alabama is shining a light on many other progressive organizations tomorrow.

The Kudzu Coalition of West Alabama is hosting a Spring Fling and Memorial Day celebration in downtown Tuscaloosa. Dozens of municipal and community organizations will be on hand to share their work.

Organizers say they want the Spring Fling to be an opportunity for people to find ways to get involved in their community, and for existing groups to find new ways to work together.

Investigators believe the three Alabama mosques broken into in March were robbed by the same man – and that he committed a series of burglaries at mosques across the country earlier this year.

According to the Gadsden Times, detectives say three mosques in Alabama, two in Arizona and one in Virginia were broken into earlier this year.

Druid City Garden Project

Parents in the Tuscaloosa area got to pick up some healthy produce while picking their kids up from school this week.

Students at several elementary schools opened “farm stands” in their schools’ carpool lines to sell all sorts of veggies grown at the schools. It’s all part of the Druid City Garden Project. That’s a nonprofit organization that helps run teaching gardens at ten Tuscaloosa elementary schools.

Mental health care in correctional facilities was the subject of a talk in Tuscaloosa yesterday.

Dr. Marisa Giggie, the chief psychiatrist for the Tuscaloosa County Jail, held the panel discussion alongside Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy and Circuit Court Judge Bradley Almond. They talked through the challenges in caring for a growing number of mentally ill inmates in correctional facilities, and new ideas to try and keep those with mental illnesses out of jail in the first place.

The president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of West Alabama has been charged with possession of child pornography.

The Tuscaloosa News reports 52-year-old Anthony Dellon Bush was arrested yesterday.

Authorities say pornographic images were found on the Tuscaloosa man's phone and work computer, but they were not of children who were involved in the Boys' & Girls' Club. Police found the images during an investigation of an incident earlier this month in which Bush was arrested and charged with assault.

Police across central Alabama say three mosques in the state have been burglarized in recent days, and one Islamic leader hopes the cases aren't part of a conspiracy of hatred.

Tuscaloosa police say two safes containing cash and a handwritten Quran were stolen from the Islamic Center of Tuscaloosa earlier this week. Police have released a photo of a car believed to be involved in the robbery that was captured on surveillance video.

Construction is still ongoing in Tuscaloosa for a new$16 million 911 dispatch center serving all county emergency agencies and the Emergency Management Agency.

The Tuscaloosa News reports work on the Tuscaloosa County Emergency Operations and Communications Center is expected to finish by the end of the year, with staff occupying the building next spring. Work on the building began last August.

Some high school students in Tuscaloosa are meeting with their state representative later today to ask him to sponsor and introduce a new bill regarding pets in hot cars.

lynching memorial
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Community members gathered alongside the Equal Justice Initiative in Tuscaloosa earlier this week to shine a light on one of the darkest periods in Alabama’s history. The EJI’s Community Remembrance Project unveiled a marker commemorating the eight documented lynching victims in Tuscaloosa County.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon prepared this look at the unveiling and program.

Some Alabama Voters Heading to Polls Today

Mar 7, 2017

Voters in Tuscaloosa as well as a House district in the Birmingham area are heading to the polls today to decide the future of their community representation.

District 58 needs a new representative in the Alabama House after Oliver Robinson retired last fall. Today the district is holding its primary election. If there is no need for a run-off, the general election will be held May 23.

Amtrak passengers between New Orleans and Atlanta will be affected by routine maintenance on the tracks next week, and will be put on buses instead.

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.

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.

UACCS puts on gift drive

Dec 15, 2016

As the holiday season rolls along, groups in Tuscaloosa are working to make things a little bit easier on veterans. The University of Alabama’s College of Continuing Studies is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama for a gift drive for the patients at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

Leroy Hurt is the associate dean for community engagement at the College of Continuing Studies. He says they’re taking typical household items on their visit…

SantaCon
David A. Smith / DSmithScenes

Dozens of Santas took to the streets of Tuscaloosa this weekend for an event known as SantaCon.

The Santas followed a winding route to hit many of the city’s bars and microbreweries. But the main focus of the evening was on charity. The group donated hundreds of toys to Turning Point of West Alabama, an organization serving victims of domestic violence and sexual assault and their children. They also received donations of toiletries for the mothers at Turning Point.

Former astronaut pleads not guilty in deadly wreck

Nov 30, 2016

A former space shuttle commander has pleaded not guilty in a fatal wreck that killed two girls in Alabama.

Court records show 60-year-old James Halsell Jr. entered the written plea last week. The former astronaut is charged with reckless murder in a crash that killed two girls riding in a car near Tuscaloosa, Alabama, in June.

Authorities say they suspect alcohol was a factor. But Halsell's lawyers filed a document in a civil lawsuit blaming the other driver for failing to yield.

ribbon cutting
Alex AuBuchon / APR

State lawmakers and education officials gathered in Tuscaloosa yesterday to celebrate the expansion of public preschool in Alabama.

The dignitaries cut the ribbon on two new preschool classrooms at Verner Elementary School in Tuscaloosa. Those are two of 155 new preschool classrooms opening this year throughout the state, serving 2800 more of Alabama’s four-year-olds than last year. That’s thanks to a $16 million increase in funding from the Alabama Legislature.

The annual Druid City Pride festival is taking place this weekend in Tuscaloosa. 

This is the second year for the Pride event, with a lot more activities than last year’s. The theme is One Love, which festival organizers say could not come at a better time.

The events begin this evening at5:30 p.m. with a Happy Hour Kickoff Party at the Lookout rooftop bar at Hotel Indigo in downtown Tuscaloosa. Tomorrow, there will be a tailgate with PRIDE on the University of Alabama quad for the Alabama vs Texas A&M football game, with pride members from both schools in attendance.

Tuscaloosa officials seek return of passenger air service

Oct 17, 2016

Tuscaloosa officials are making a concerted effort to return passenger air service to the city's airport.

The city council has approved a contract with Sixel Consultants Group to help lure a passenger airline to the Druid City.  They want upgrade the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport's existing facilities to accommodate the service.

A commercial airline has not operated at the airport in nearly 20 years.

Druid City Garden Project
University of Alabama

It’s time once again for Tuscaloosa's annual Garden Party.

The food fest is this Sunday evening at the Tuscaloosa River Market. Ten area farmers will be pairing with chefs from ten local restaurants to create a menu of dishes that won’t be available anywhere else.

The event benefits the Druid City Garden Project, a nonprofit educational organization in Tuscaloosa. Lindsay Turner is the Executive Director of the project.

Alex AuBuchon: Lindsay, your group puts gardens in local elementary schools—what benefits do the students get from the gardens? 

Judge lifts driver license suspension of former astronaut

Sep 22, 2016

A judge in Tuscaloosa has delayed the driver license suspension of a former astronaut charged in the traffic deaths of two girls.

Records show the court delayed the state's move to take James Halsell's driver's license. An order issued earlier this month says the one-time space shuttle commander can keep his license until his case is resolved.

Law officers in Tuscaloosa County were able to rein in a wayward horse by corralling it in a gated softball field at Holt High School.

They're trying to find the horse's owners, which remained a mystery as of early Friday.

Sgt. Alex Miles tells the news site that deputies were sent to the area late Thursday night after people spotted the loose horse, which appeared to have an injured leg and hoof.

Physical and mental health is the subject of a town hall tomorrow at the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

A representative from the Veterans Benefits Administration will be on hand to teach veterans how to file claims for illnesses or injuries while they were on active duty.

Damon Stevenson is the Public Affairs Officer for the Tuscaloosa VA. He says learning how to file claims can help veterans take care of their health.

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