Montgomery

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.

A judge is refusing to grant immunity to a white Alabama police officer who claims he was acting in self-defense when he fatally shot an unarmed black man in 2016.

WSFA-TV reports Montgomery Judge Greg Griffin made that decision after a hearing yesterday in which Montgomery police officer Aaron Cody Smith described the shooting. Smith will go on trial next month on murder charges for the death of 58-year-old Greg Gunn.

The shooting happened after Smith stopped Gunn as Gunn was walking home through his neighborhood late one night in February 2016.

Steve Flowers on Little Jim Folson

Jul 18, 2018

Steve Flowers gives a few thoughts on "Little" Jim Folson's carrer in politics and his connection to Mercedez-Benz coming to Alabama...

Those in Montgomery today can hear the personal accounts of people who have dedicated their lives to social justice.

The event Storytellers: How I Became Justice Involved is being held tonight by the Middle District of Alabama Federal Defenders Program. It’s scheduled on the birthday of Robin “Rocky” Myers, a death row inmate in Alabama who many believe was wrongly convicted. Advocates are hoping to raise awareness of Myers’s case while also sharing their own work on social justice issues.

Authorities are investigating after a man bled to death after being apprehended by a police dog in Montgomery.

Captain Joe Herman of the State Bureau of Investigation said yesterday that preliminary autopsy reports show a burglary suspect died as the result of a ruptured femoral artery. The incident remains under review.

Montgomery police say a canine unit responded to a report of a burglary in progress early Sunday morning, and the animal apprehended a man inside the home. That man, identified as Joseph Pettaway, died later at a hospital.

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.

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.

A peaceful rally for the Poor People’s Campaign yesterday ended with some people arrested after sitting in the street to block traffic in Montgomery’s Court Square.

Al.com reports the rally was part of a coordinated national effort, with protests planned in 30 states as well as the District of Columbia.

The Rev. Carolyn Foster of Greater Birmingham Ministries says the goal of the event is to "Draw attention to the fact that people are starving, children are hungry, [and] benefits are being cut back in the wealthiest country in the world."

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.

Alabama’s interim state superintendent says about 200 teacher positions in Montgomery will have to be eliminated in order to stabilize finances.

Al.com reports interim superintendent Ed Richardson also says Montgomery will need to outsource about 400 support jobs. He says the Alabama Education Association could have prevented those job cuts for Montgomery Public Schools if the group had not gone to court to block his plan to sell Georgia Washington Middle School to the town of Pike Road.

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…

"The Believers..." Alabamians Remember Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert E. Lee

Apr 1, 2018

Next month marks fifty years since the death of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior. All month long, the APR news team is looking at King’s work and impact here in Alabama. Each year, America honors King on the third Monday in January. The nation takes a day off work and school to remember his accomplishments. Alabama is one of only two states that also celebrates another man on the same day as Dr. King.

“He asked a question: why do we celebrate Robert E. Lee’s birthday?”

StoryCorps

When Kara Cresswell-Osborne was 16 years old, a disturbing experience at her grandparents' church in Montgomery, Alabama opened her eyes to the existence of racism in her family. 

In February of 2017, StoryCorps came to Mobile, Ala. and Kara shared this story with her mother Kimberly Geissmann in an open, honest conversation about family history, shame and racial acceptance.

WARNINGThis story contains a quote where a racial slur is used...


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.

Air force officials and business leaders hope a new innovation center could bring big changes to the city of Montgomery.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports Maxwell Air Force Base plans to build an innovation center outside the gates of the facility, where researchers at the prestigious Air University can collaborate with the nation’s top tech and business minds.

The road map is in place for the 2017 college football postseason. Here's the picture for Alabama's colleges and universities, as well as the bowl games that will be taking place across Alabama this year:

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...

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...

A regional airport in Alabama’s capital will soon begin offering direct flights to the nation’s capital.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports American Airlines service from Montgomery Regional Airport to Reagan National Airport in Washington, D.C. is set to begin June 7, 2018. One flight will arrive in the morning in Montgomery, and another will depart for Washington in the afternoon.

1 Dexter Avenue
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia

U.S. Senate candidate and former Alabama chief justice Roy Moore is facing additional scrutiny over personal compensation from the legal charity he founded.

Property records show the Foundation for Moral Law gave Moore a nearly $400,000 promissory note and mortgage on the group’s historic building in downtown Montgomery. The board of the foundation says the arrangement was to make up for unpaid salary promised to Moore as the organization’s president. That financial stake in the building was later boosted twice and now sits at $540,000.

After a bloody stretch in the state’s capital, Montgomery officials are working to get guns off the streets by appealing to people's pocketbooks.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports CrimeStoppers and the Central Alabama Community Foundation partnered for a gun buyback program this past weekend, where people were offered cash in exchange for turning in weapons. Rifles, shotguns and functioning handguns were worth $50 each, and weapons considered high-capacity – able to shoot more than a regular 12-round magazine – were worth $100.

Two more charter schools could be opening in the state next year, after the governing commission approved their applications.

Al.com reports the Alabama Public Charter School Commission fully approved one applicant and conditionally approved another.

Greg Griffin
Mickey Welsh / Montgomery Advertiser

A white Alabama police officer charged with killing a black man last year is now asking the black judge currently hearing the case to step aside.

Attorneys for Aaron Smith are asking Montgomery County Circuit Judge Greg Griffin to recuse himself from Smith’s case based on a Facebook post he reportedly wrote shortly after the shooting. WSFA reports the motion includes a copy of a post in which Griffin writes he was stopped by Montgomery police because he was black and walking down a street.

Authorities say dozens of athletes and coaches from across the South have fallen ill at a college baseball tournament in Alabama, and the cause is -- as of now -- a mystery.

The Alabama Department of Public Health said people affected by the outbreak are from Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee.

WSFA-TV reports the athletes and coaches were competing in the Southern States Athletic Conference championship tournament in Montgomery when they became ill.

A new judge has been named to a high-profile Montgomery murder trial.

Montgomery police officer Aaron Cody Smith's murder trial will now be overseen by Circuit Judge Roman Shaul.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports Circuit Judge James Anderson recused himself from Smith’s trial last week because the judge’s son works for a law firm defending Smith in a federal civil lawsuit brought by the victim’s family.

Tales from one of Alabama’s most beloved storytellers will be brought to life today on a New York City stage.

Birmingham playwright Don Everett Garrett has written an adaptation of a book by legendary Alabama author and storyteller Kathryn Tucker Windham. Garrett’s “13 Alabama Ghosts and Jeffrey: The Musical” will be read at the American Theater of Actors, John Cullum Theater, in New York City, by players from the Actors Equity Union.

A lawyer for a white Montgomery police officer charged with murdering a black man is asking a judge to move the officer's trial out of the city.

Officer Aaron Cody Smith's lawyer will try to persuade a Montgomery County judge later today that Smith won't receive a fair trial in Montgomery because of the protests and intense media coverage related to the case.

Attorney Mickey McDermott says Smith has received death threats after last year’s fatal shooting of 58-year-old Greg Gunn. He filed a motion in December to change the location of the proceedings.

recycling
Lloyd Gallman / Montgomery Advertiser

Municipal officials can lose sleep over the volume of trash that residents produce, but those in Montgomery have the opposite problem. They say the city isn’t producing enough trash to sustain a citywide recycling program.

Montgomery has a similar population size to three other major Alabama cities, Huntsville , Birmingham and Mobile. But the Montgomery Advertiser reports that the capital city is the only one without a recycling program and the only one with any doubts about its ability to maintain one.

Steve Marshall AG
Albert Cesare / Montgomery Advertiser

Steve Marshall was sworn in as Alabama's new attorney general yesterday.

Marshall took the oath of office yesterday afternoon in Montgomery. Late last week, Gov. Robert Bentley named Marshall, the long-time district attorney of Marshall County, to the position. It had been vacant since Bentley appointed former Attorney General Luther Strange to the U.S. Senate.

At his swearing-in, Marshall said fighting public corruption and combating human trafficking would be among his top priorities.

Rick Burley
Albert Cesare / Montgomery Advertiser

An old, defunct bowling alley in Montgomery will soon see new life as a call center.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports a $2 million renovation is already underway inside the Brunswick Woodmere Lanes bowling alley. The alley has been out of business for about five years, ever since Brunswick moved to Stratford Square in Montgomery.

The newspaper reports ASK owner Rick Burley plans to move his call center company there from its current, very cramped office building nearby. They plan to add about 300 employees once the new office is finished, nearly doubling their payroll.

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