Alabama

A federal appeals court has revived a lawsuit that accuses the Alabama Legislature of racially discriminating against the city of Birmingham by preventing the majority-black city from setting its own minimum wage within the city limits.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reversed a judge's decision to dismiss the lawsuit. The court says "plaintiffs have stated a plausible claim that the Minimum Wage Act had the purpose and effect of depriving Birmingham's black citizens equal economic opportunities on the basis of race."

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1st Lt. Jermaine Thurston / U.S. Army

A woman from Alabama recently became the first black female pilot in the history of the Alabama National Guard.

News outlets report Second Lieutenant Kayla Freeman graduated from Fort Rucker's Army Aviation School last month. Freeman graduated from Tuskegee University in 2016, where she was enrolled in the Reserve Officers' Training Corps.

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.

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.

Historically in Alabama, we've voted more heavily in our governor's race year than our presidential year. That's probably because we're more interested in the local sheriff and probate judge races, which run in gubertorial years, than who is president...

A group of activists is calling for the removal of a statue on the grounds of the Alabama Capitol honoring a 19th century doctor who experimented on slaves.

Alabama state Senator Hank Sanders and other members of the group Save Ourselves Movement for Justice and Democracy held a press conference yesterday calling for the removal of the statue of Dr. J. Marion Sims.

The Alabama Department of Early Childhood Education is adding 107 new Pre-K classrooms in 33 counties this fall.

Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement in a press release yesterday. The new classrooms will expand Alabama's voluntary pre-kindergarten program to nearly 19,000 children in more than 1,000 classes in all 67 counties.

This year, the Alabama legislature also approved an $18.5 million budget expansion of the state's Pre-K program.

Alabama U.S. Senator Doug Jones, the Democrat who unexpectedly prevailed in one of the country's most Republican states, has a book set to come out next year.

St. Martin's Press told The Associated Press that Jones' "Bending Toward Justice: The Birmingham Church Bombing that Changed the Course of Civil Rights" is scheduled for release in January.

A university in east Alabama still recovering from a tornado strike has released surveillance video showing what the storm looked like as it hit campus.

Jacksonville State University released a video compilation made from multiple cameras as a tornado touched down on campus on March 19.

Jackson House
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Wednesday, April 4 marks the fiftieth anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior’s assassination. For the past month, the Alabama Public Radio news team has been examining Dr. King’s work and his impact here in Alabama. You’ve heard a photographer from Montgomery recall documenting King’s work. APR guest reporter Ousmane Sagara shared how people in his nation of Mali remember Dr. King. You also heard about the house where King hid from white supremacists, just days before his assassination. Now APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports on another place in Alabama closely connected to Dr. King, and how his influence is being felt by a new generation…

Lawyers say a settlement is possible in the case of an Alabama inmate whose lethal injection was halted last month when the execution team could not find a usable vein.

Lawyers for both the state of Alabama and death row inmate Doyle Lee Hamm wrote that they were in "serious settlement discussions." The filing did not elaborate, so it's unclear what a potential settlement may entail.

Hamm's attorney is seeking to block Alabama from attempting to execute him again.

Alabama's unemployment rate is holding steady at a record low level.

Gov. Kay Ivey's office says the state's jobless rate was 3.5 percent last month. That's the same as November, when the state matched its all-time low for unemployment.

Ivey's office says the December rate means nearly 2.1 million people were employed overall in the state. That's the most ever, surpassing the December number by about 45,000 residents.

Our 2018 election is right upon us; historically in Alabama, we've voted more heavily in our governor's race year than for president. That's probably because we're more interested in the local sheriff and probate judges races...

Alabama Celebrates MLK, Robert E. Lee Days

Jan 15, 2018

Alabama celebrates two very different holidays today. It’s both Martin Luther King Jr. Day and Robert E. Lee Day.

Alabama continues to celebrate Robert E. Lee Day despite continuing controversy over Confederate monuments and holidays. Mississippi is the only other state that still celebrates Robert E. Lee Day as a full state holiday.

Etowah Co. Jail food
Reuters

Two advocacy groups have sued Alabama sheriffs seeking records about whether the sheriffs are profiting from the food they serve in their jails.

The Atlanta-based Southern Center for Human Rights and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice filed the lawsuit yesterday against 49 sheriffs they said did not comply with a public records request.

State health officials say incidents of the flu are on the rise across Alabama.

The Alabama Department of Public Health says flu activity is picking up for the season, and urged people to get vaccinated if they haven't already.

Health officials say if you're going to get vaccinated, you should request the "quadrivalent vaccine" that protects against four different strains of flu. It is the only version that protects against the Type B / Yamagata flu strain which is currently circulating in Alabama.

Our legendary and iconic Governor George Wallace was Governor four times and his wife was governor once; Governor Wallace and Steve Flowers were close. Here's a story about their relationship...

The state of Alabama has set a date for the execution of a terminally ill man.

Al.com reports the Alabama Supreme Court ordered yesterday that 60-year-old Doyle Lee Hamm is scheduled to be put to death on February 22. Hamm has spent 30 years on Alabama’s death row.

He was convicted in the murder of Patrick Cunningham, a hotel employee in Cullman, Alabama. Cunningham was killed during a robbery that apparently netted just over 400 dollars. Hamm confessed to the murder, and two other men agreed to testify against him in exchange for lesser charges.

In most states, the ultimate political prize has been to go to the United States Senate and die there. Being governor of a state, or most states around the country, is generally considered a prelude or stepping stone to a U.S. senate seat - not so in Alabama...

Pensacola rally snow
Alex AuBuchon / APR

President Donald Trump held a campaign-style rally in Pensacola as part of a weekend trip across the Gulf Coast – less than 20 miles from the Alabama state line and just four days before the hotly contested Senate election between Doug Jones and Roy Moore. Some political experts believed the event would be a de facto campaign stop for Roy Moore. Others said Trump was there to thank the Pensacola area for their strong support during last year’s election. Turns out, it was a little of both.

The state of Alabama has received a $1.5 million grant to help expand a program aimed at strengthening early childhood education across the state.

Governor Kay Ivey’s office says the grant comes from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and will help expand Alabama’s Pre-K through Third Grade Integrated Approach to Early Learning. WSFA-TV reports that program is the first pillar of Ivey’s new education initiative, Strong Start, Strong Finish.

Wallace went to the historic, black Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery and asked for forgiveness from the African American community of Alabama. His conversion and contrition appeared sincere; they responded with forgiveness and rewarded him with their votes, and elected him their governor...

An Alabama police dog shown on video doing push-ups with two officers has become a big hit on the internet, as well as a public safety reminder.

Al.com reports Nitro is a 2-year-old Dutch shepherd who joined the Gulf Shores Police Department's canine unit in February. In a video Gulf Shores police recently posted to social media, the dog raises up and down alongside the officers' push-ups as the song "Eye of the Tiger" plays in the background.

Leigh Corfman
NBC

A woman accusing Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore of initiating sexual contact when she was 14 said on national televison today that she was "absolutely not" paid to tell her story publicly.

The declaration by Leigh Corfman on NBC's "Today" show comes after Moore's supporters claimed without evidence that reporters were offering thousands of dollars to women for accusations.

The state election is being closely watched as several GOP senators have called Moore to drop out, and President Donald Trump has remained mostly quiet on the issue.

November is National Diabetes Month

Nov 1, 2017

November is National Diabetes Month and health officials say that should serve as a wake-up call to Alabama especially.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says Alabama has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the country at over twelve percent. The National Diabetes Education Program is promoting a campaign to encourage diabetics to take control of their condition through education and awareness.

Dr. Griffin Rodgers is an expert on diabetes at the National Institutes of Health. He says a lack of awareness about the disease can be especially dangerous.

Torrey McNabb
ADOC

The state of Alabama is once against petitioning a federal appellate court to allow an execution to proceed – this time for a death row inmate convicted of killing a police officer two decades ago.

Earlier this week, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office asked the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn a stay issued by a federal judge in the case. State attorneys argue there is no reason to block the execution of 40-year-old Torrey Twane McNabb, scheduled for tomorrow.

Supporters are pushing for new historic markers to recognize two pioneering black Congressmen from north Alabama.

The TimesDaily reports the proposed markers in Florence would honor James Rapier and Oscar De Priest. Rapier was born a free man in 1837, educated in Canada, and returned to Alabama shortly after the Civil War. He served one term in U.S. Congress from Alabama as a Republican during Reconstruction.

The traditional fourth congressional district, which stretches across north Alabama just below the Tennessee Valley, has produced some of Alabama's most legendary and  powerful congressmen...

In 1964, the so-called solid South was Democratic - more out of tradition and protocol than policy. Both national parties took the South and Alabama for granted in national elections...

Associated Press

As cities across the country are tearing down and relocating Confederate monuments, a county in southern Alabama on Sunday unveiled a new one.

Several hundred people attended a dedication ceremony for the "Unknown

 Alabama Confederate Soldiers" at Confederate Veterans Memorial Park in Crenshaw County, Alabama, 55 miles south of Montgomery.

The memorial park's owner and developer, David Coggins, says the groups in attendance weren't white nationalists or racists, but were acknowledging their heritage and honoring Confederate soldiers everywhere.

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