Alex AuBuchon

News Host / Reporter

Alex AuBuchon is APR’s Morning Edition host and also writes news and feature stories. He got his start in nonprofit radio at the University of Tennessee’s venerable WUTK-FM.

AuBuchon started as a student DJ before quickly falling in with the news team. He spent a semester on the news staff and then a year as News Director, delivering live newscasts and teaching broadcast workshops to undergraduate journalism students.

AuBuchon then switched over to commercial radio, taking a job as Operations Manager and Assistant News Director for a group of four radio stations in his hometown of Paris, Tennessee. He scheduled traffic and automation breaks and did administrative work for four stations during the week, and delivered newscasts and maintained a popular news website on the weekends.

Alex crossed back over to public radio in January 2015, moving to Alabama to wake up early and give listeners the news they need to get ready for the day.

The state of Alabama is going under the microscope again in terms of civil rights policy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's civil rights office says it will investigate the Alabama Department of Environmental Management's civil rights policies.

Al.com reports The EPA's External Civil Rights Compliance Office issued a letter earlier this week stating it will investigate whether ADEM has adopted grievance procedures assuring the prompt and fair resolution of complaints. These procedures are required by the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Northport City Hall
WVUA-TV

Less than two months after he took the oath of office, former Northport Mayor Wayne Rose has resigned his appointed position as a representative on the City Council.

The Tuscaloosa News reports Rose was sworn in on May 7 and attended the following council meeting May 21. He was then absent from both meetings in June. Council President Jay Logan announced Rose's resignation on Monday.

Logan says Rose told the council that he had to prioritize spending time with his family and running his Northport lumber yard over his responsibilities as councilor.

Alabama’s commerce secretary says the current rhetoric about tariffs and trade barriers from the White House are hurting investments in Alabama.

Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield recently said an in interview with Bloomberg that state officials aren’t planning to fight President Trump on the issue, but they are urging a “more measured approach” on trade.

Canfield says the state has already seen timelines slip on a couple of large projects, and the longer these trade disputes drag out, the more possible it is that they threaten jobs in Alabama.

One candidate in Alabama’s Lieutenant Governor’s race just got a big name endorsement. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is endorsing Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh in the Republican runoff.

Cavanaugh's campaign announced Huckabee's endorsement Monday. Cavanaugh was the state chairwoman of Huckabee's 2008 presidential campaign in Alabama.

A new study from Tuskegee University may change the way breast cancer is diagnosed in the U.S.

Tuskegee researchers have developed a new test that more accurately determines the specific subtype of breast cancer that needs to be treated. Researchers say this will be particularly helpful for African-American women. Studies show black women are more likely to be diagnosed later in life, and are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer after their initial diagnosis than white women.

The National Weather Service has confirmed it was a tornado that tore through a northern Alabama county Friday night, uprooting and destroying a mobile home and leaving two adults and two children with minor injuries.

NWS officials confirmed an EF-2 tornado struck the areas of Jones Chapel and Vinemont in Cullman County around 7 p.m. Friday.

One of Alabama's most populous counties has a plan to put armed police officers in each of its public schools.

Officials in Baldwin County on the Gulf Coast say agencies are partnering to provide permanent school resource officers at each of its 46 campuses beginning this August. Currently, only some county schools have officers on duty constantly.

Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack says Baldwin already has 30 school resource officers, meaning 16 more are needed. The sheriff's office and city police departments will have to fill those positions.

A police lieutenant in Alabama’s largest city has resigned amid charges of forcibly raping a teen relative.

Al.com reports Birmingham Police Lt. Pete Williston submitted his resignation Tuesday. Defense attorney Scott Morro says Williston is remorseful and he and his family along with the police department need "healing."

Morris Police Chief Mike Nazarchyk says a 24-year-old woman reported the abuse in May. She told police that Williston sexually abused her from 2008 to 2011, starting when she was 14 years old.

Members of the Mobile City Council are asking Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey to approve funding to help restart passenger train service between the port city and New Orleans.

WALA-TV reports members sent Ivey a letter yesterday saying renewed Amtrak service would help increase tourism and economic development in Mobile.

Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi must commit almost $35 million total over three years by today to be eligible for the same amount in federal funds that would let Amtrak trains travel the northern Gulf Coast for the first time since Hurricane Katrina.

Alabama's governor is distancing herself from President Donald Trump on the issue of trade, saying import tariffs like those supported by the Trump administration would hurt the state.

Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement yesterday saying import tariffs could cause retaliatory tariffs that would drive up the cost of items made in Alabama and sold abroad.

The administration already has imposed new tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese imports, plus steel and aluminum from China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico.

Bill Canary
BCA

Alabama's largest electrical utility is quitting a business group that tries to influence policy and politics in Montgomery.

News outlets report Alabama Power Co. is leaving the Business Council of Alabama in a disagreement over its leadership and other issues.

Tax documents filed by the business group show most of its money comes from dues and assessments, so losing a large member like Alabama Power could affect its future operations.

Gulf State pier
Alabama State Parks

A new pilot program will allow shark fishing two days this month at Gulf State Park.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says the shark fishing events will take place at the park's saltwater fishing pier tomorrow and June 26. Registration is required and fishing is limited to 10 anglers.

Parks Director Greg Lein said the trial program is being implemented after feedback from people who fish at the pier. Lein says many anglers have expressed concern that they can't catch other species because of the abundance of sharks around the pier.

Low-income residents receiving federal assistance in Alabama might soon see their rent go up by more than $800 a year.

Al.com reports the possible rate increase could impact more than 180,000 people and about 83,000 households according to the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. The center says the average US. Department of Housing and Urban Development rent would go up 20 percent.

Patients seeking cancer treatment in Alabama have a new option for care.

Grandview Medical Center in Birmingham opened its new, state-of-the-art cancer center just two weeks ago. The new, twenty six thousand square foot facility is designed to help patients more easily access a wide range of cancer treatment options and resources in one location.

Dr. Jennifer De Los Santos is the director of the cancer center. She says the new facility will offer a team approach to cancer care – and that’s something she says is new for the Birmingham area.

Marshall Space Flight Center
NASA

The director of NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center in Alabama is retiring.

Marshall officials say Todd May announced his retirement to employees yesterday. It is set to take effect July 27.

A statement from U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville says May is being replaced on an acting basis by Marshall's deputy director, Joan A. "Jody" Singer.

May was first named acting director of Marshall in 2015 and then took over the position on a permanent basis. Before that, the Fairhope native managed the Space Launch System, NASA's heavy-lift rocket that's still in development.

A onetime county official accused of taking three quarters of a million dollars in public funds in north Alabama is going to prison.

News outlets report that Judge Pride Tompkins sentenced former Franklin County administrator Crista Lynn Madden to 20 years in prison during a hearing Monday.

The 49-year-old Madden pleaded guilty in March to felony charges of using her office for personal financial gain.

Josh Coleman
via Facebook

The mayor of Alabama's largest city has hired its first LGBTQ liaison.

AL.com reports Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced yesterday at PrideFest that Josh Coleman will serve as both a city spokesman and a representative of LGBTQ interests. Coleman is currently the vice president of Central Alabama Pride, and will start his new city job on June 25.

Woodfin says Coleman's appointment upholds the legacy of "the city that taught the world the importance of inclusion."

An Alabama lawmaker has been indicted on federal charges that he paid kickbacks to a doctor's office that referred Medicare patients to his health care business.

The indictment against Republican state Rep. Ed Henry of Hartselle was unsealed yesterday in U.S. District Court in Montgomery. He is charged with six counts of paying illegal kickbacks and other federal crimes.

The votes are in after yesterday's primary election, but that wasn't enough to decide the Republican candidates in a number of key statewide races.

Several GOP races will be on a runoff ballot next month, including for Attorney General, Lieutenant Governor, and one seat in U.S. Congress.

Perhaps the biggest surprise of yesterday's election came in the race for U.S. House District 2. Veteran U.S. Representative Martha Roby was forced into a runoff with Bobby Bright, a former Democrat who switched parties after losing the seat to Roby back in 2010.

Primary results are in, and incumbent governor Kay Ivey will face Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox in the November 2018 gubernatorial election.

Governor Ivey managed to avoid a runoff against a field of opponents including Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, evangelist Scott Dawson, and State Senator Bill Hightower.

She is seeking to win the governorship outright for the first time; she inherited the position after then-Governor Robert Bentley resigned in April 2017 amid a sex-tinged scandal.

Birmingham will be the seventh city with a team featured in the newly-formed Alliance of American Football.

The spring professional football league, which will begin play the weekend after the Super Bowl in February, announced Birmingham’s addition yesterday. Other cities with teams in the Alliance are San Diego, Atlanta, Orlando, Memphis, Salt Lake City and Phoenix.

Alabama Republicans say they won't certify the votes of a statewide candidate who's come under scrutiny for what the party calls "egregious" comments.

The decision announced Thursday means Jim Bonner, who's running for the utility-regulating Public Service Commission, won't get the party's nomination even if he wins Tuesday's primary.

The two-time delegate to the Republican National Convention is trying to unseat incumbent Jeremy Oden. But he's made several comments on social media and radio that could be seen as offensive to women, blacks, Jews and Muslims.

Six women are suing a north Alabama rheumatologist, accusing him of sexual assault and inappropriate behavior while they were his patients.

News outlets report the lawsuit was filed in Morgan County Circuit Court Wednesday against Dr. Michael Dick of Decatur.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit have been identified by pseudonyms, seeking to preserve privacy. Dick referred questions to his lawyer, who declined to comment.

cigar box guitars
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Summer is basically here, and that means it’s music festival season. In Alabama, Hangout Music Festival on the Gulf Coast took place earlier this month, and Sloss Fest in Birmingham is coming up in July. APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports on one festival this weekend that might not be on your radar. It shines a spotlight on an unusual and historic instrument.

Officials say Hyundai is planning to invest more than $350 million to build a new plant in Alabama in addition to updating the existing plant in Montgomery.

News outlets report the South Korean automotive manufacturer announced yesterday that it will invest $388 million to construct the 260,000-square-foot engine head manufacturing plant, as well as enhance its assembly plant in Montgomery.

UH72A Lakota
Dura-Ace / Wikimedia

Governor Kay Ivey moved to deploy members of the Alabama National Guard late last week – but it’s not in response to Alberto.

At the request of the Trump administration, Ivey approved the deployment of a helicopter and five troops to the southwest United States in order to help protect the southwestern border. Those soldiers will be supporting the Texas National Guard in partnership with U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Ivey says “Alabama is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our nation” and “we are proud to assist in the Southwest border mission”.

Government forecasters are set to release their prediction later today for how many hurricanes and tropical storms they expect to form over Atlantic and Caribbean waters in the next six months.

The Atlantic hurricane season officially starts Friday, June 1 and ends on November 30.

If Alabama were to expand its Medicaid program, more than 200,000 people in the state would gain health insurance.

That’s according to a new report from the Urban Institute, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. They find that Alabama would see a drop from just over 17% to just over 12% of the population uninsured. The state would also see an additional $1.5 billion each year in spending from the federal government.

Alabamians wanting to register to vote in the June 5th primary have until the end of the day today to register.

The primary election will see voters deciding on who will represent their political party in the general election in November.

John Merrill is Alabama’s Secretary of State. He says there are several ways to get registered.

Patricia Todd
via Twitter

An LGBTQ organization in Florida founded in the aftermath of the PULSE nightclub shooting is taking back a job offer from an Alabama lawmaker. This comes after she made a social media post speculating about the governor's personal life.

The One Orlando Alliance announced yesterday it has retracted a job offer to Patricia Todd, Alabama's only openly gay lawmaker. Todd was set to become the group's executive director. Chairwoman Jennifer Foster said Todd showed a "lapse" in judgment with regard to her comment.

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