American Humane Association

The 2018 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories: Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement/ Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs.

A Guide Dog is trained to lead, follow commands, ignore distractions, and even disobey a command that would put its human partner in danger. The human also must be trained on how to handle the dog and how to be a good leader of the team. A Hearing Dog is specially trained to alert its deaf owner to sounds we all take for granted. Unlike a Guide Dog that must be of a certain body size in order to lead a person, a Hearing Dog can be large or small, pure-bred or mixed breed. Many are shelter animals who are determined to have the intelligence and temperament to serve as a Hearing Dog. It is a perfect blending of needs - deaf individuals have the opportunity to live an independent life, and dogs who may literally die for lack of homes are given a purpose and owners that will love and care for them. Guide dogs and hearing dogs are living examples of the trust bond between human and animal.

In the world of Search and Rescue operations, dogs have a very special place.  Their keen sense of smell, excellent night vision, extremely sensitive hearing and endurance have made them crucial in efforts to locate people or animals who are missing or trapped.  They truly are life savers!

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Stan Ingold / Alabama Public Radio

               

This year we’re studying at all of Alabama’s Capitals. We have already looked at the territorial capital of St. Stephens and the controversial role Huntsville plays in the story. This time we're looking at Alabama’s first official state capital…one that was built out of the wilderness…

     Its quiet and peaceful at this remote location in south central Alabama on the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers. But at one time, this was the bustling capital city of the newly formed state of Alabama. 

One of Alabama's largest publicly held companies, the Birmingham-based Energen Corp., is being bought out by Texas-based Diamondback Energy Inc. in a stock deal worth more than $9 billion.

The companies announced the transaction in a statement released Tuesday. They say the deal will create a company that will operate in the Permian Basin, which produces oil and natural gas located in west Texas and southeastern New Mexico.

The combined company will produce the equivalent of about 222,000 barrels of oil daily and own more than 266,000 acres in the region.

A city in north Alabama has approved the use of taxpayer money to pay legal expenses for a police officer charged in the death of an armed man police say was suicidal.

Al.com reports the Huntsville City Council voted unanimously late last week to cover the defense of 25-year-old Huntsville Police Officer William Darby.

Darby was indicted earlier this month on a murder charge in the shooting of 49-year-old Jeffrey Parker.

American Humane Association

The 2018 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways.  Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories:  Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs. 

Interacting with an animal can be very theraputic for humans. While other animals can be great therapy animals, dogs really excel in helping humans who are going through a difficult or troubling time. A certified Therapy Dog can make a significant contribution to many treatment programs.

Dogs began helping our military forces as early as World War I, but it wasn't until World War II that the Army established its first K-9 Corps. They serve as scouts, detection specialists for explosives, and assist on guard duty to protect US service men and women around the world. Nowadays, dogs have their own military service records and can be awarded commendations for outstanding service. It is not possible to count the number of lives military dogs have saved, sometimes at the extreme cost of their own. The Military Dog category seeks to recognize the dedication and valor of these extraordinary animals.

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The Alabama Supreme Court has stayed the trial of a Montgomery police officer facing murder charges.

Aaron Cody Smith was scheduled to go to trial Monday on murder charges for the 2016 shooting of 58-year-old Greg Gunn. Yesterday, state Supreme Court justices stayed the trial to consider his appeal on a number of issues.

Smith's attorneys argue he should be immune from prosecution because he was acting in self-defense.

They also argue the trial judge tainted the jury pool with comments about the case.

Not everyone garnering political power in Alabama sits in the governor's mansion, the state legislature or in congress. Last week, APR political commentator Steve Flowers told us about Education Chief Paul Hubbert and the influence he had on the workings of Alabama government. This week, Steve talks about how Hubbert tried to take that power to a higher level...

Tabitha Isner, the Democratic candidate in Alabama's 2nd Congressional District, says Russian hackers made more than a thousand attempts to break into her campaign website last month.

Isner says there were 1,400 attempts to break into the website. Most came from accounts with Russian internet service providers.

Isner says she has no idea why her campaign was targeted. She says the hackers were attempting to log in manually to the site.

A university in Alabama is grappling with a housing shortage after a tornado is and is buying mobile homes to provide living space for students.

WBMA-TV reports Jacksonville State University plans to use 22 mobile homes to house students this fall.

Many houses and apartments were destroyed or heavily damaged when a tornado struck on March 19, creating a housing crunch in the city.

Alabama is accepting comments on its proposal to put a work requirement on 74,000 Medicaid recipients.  

The Alabama Medicaid Agency opened a new public comment period on the proposal.

The proposal would require 35 hours of work, job training, education or volunteer service each week. Exceptions would be made for people with young or disabled children

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