News

Spay Day 2021

9 hours ago
Daniesq [Flickr]

How many puppies can you count in this picture?  Should be easy to find homes for them - after all, they're so cute!  But if the shelter has already received more than a hundred puppies that day, chances for these little guys are not so good.  Please spay or neuter your pet!

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Alabama Retail Assn
Alabama Retail Assn

 

Some emergency preparedness goods will be a little cheaper this weekend.

The severe weather tax holiday starts on Friday, and will let shoppers buy tax free certain emergency preparedness items that cost $60 or less, like batteries, portable radios, and tie-down kits.

This is the tenth year that the state of Alabama has partnered with the Alabama Retail Association to tax-exempt emergency goods.

Committee advances transgender treatment ban for minors

Feb 25, 2021
Pixabay

 

A bill that would make it a felony for doctors to treat transgender youth with hormonal therapy and puberty blockers was passed by the Alabama House Judiciary Committee.

It was approved with an 11-3 vote and will now be voted on by the entire House of Representatives.

The Southern Poverty Law Center released a responded to the bill with a statement. 

Alabama Senate approves medical marijuana bill

Feb 25, 2021
Wikimedia Commons

 

Medical marijuana legislation has been approved by the Alabama Senate in a 21-8 vote.

The proposal will now move to the House of Representatives where similar bills have been voted down before.

Africantown builds a museum for the slave ship Clotilda

Feb 25, 2021
APR's Guy Busby

An APR news feature

Work is starting on a museum recognizing the survivors of America’s last slave ship. The Clotilda landed in Mobile in 1860. Their descendants went onto establish the community of Africatown, where the Clotilda Museum will be built.

Africana Film Festival
Africana Film Festival

The Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival is moving online in its ninth year, while continuing to support public health initiatives in West Alabama and West Africa alike.

Proceeds from the festival go to benefit the Edward A. Ulzen Memorial Foundation, and Afram South. Inc, two non-profits support education and public health programs in West Africa and West Alabama.

Thad Ulzen, co-founder of the Tuscaloosa Africana Film Festival, said that the COVID-19 pandemic has made supporting public health in communities even more critical.

Amtrak: Passenger trains to return to Gulf Coast in 2022

Feb 24, 2021

 

Amtrak services may soon be coming to the Gulf Coast. A company official said the passenger service is on track to return in 2022.

Spokesperson Marc Magliari said the compant contacted railroads CSX and Norfolk Southern in January to inform them "that we intend to begin service in 2022."

The route will connect Mobile to New Orleans with four stops in Mississippi. The stops will be in Bay St. Louis, Gulfport, Biloxi and Pascagoula.

It has been 16 years since the last passenger trains traveled along the Gulf Coast.

House approves mandatory kindergarten bill

Feb 24, 2021

 

A proposal that would require Alabamians to send their kids to kindergarten was passed by the Alabama House of Representatives on Tuesday.

The bill by Rep. Pebblin Warren was approved 101-0 and will move to the Alabama Senate.

It requires a child to have successfully completed kindergarten or have demonstrated first grade readiness on a district approved assessment before enrolling in first grade.

Alabama House approves 'Aniah's Law' named for slain teen

Feb 24, 2021
Aniah Blanchard
Auburn Police Department

 

The Alabama House of Representatives approved legislation on Tuesday that gives judges more discretion to deny bail for people accused of violent crimes.

The two bills, which together create Aniah's Law, are named after 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard who was abducted and killed outside of Auburn. At the time of the abduction, the suspect was free on bond from an earlier kidnapping case.

The bills will now make their way to the Alabama Senate after being passed unanimously in the House.

Lottery, casino debate delayed for at least two weeks

Feb 24, 2021

 

The Alabama Senate will have to wait to vote on a lottery and casino bill.

Republican sponsor Sen. Del Marsh said he is spending the next two weeks working on the proposal. He said one issue being discussed is the increased amount of casinos sites from eight to 10. One idea he has is to allow one site in each of Alabama's seven congressional districts and three Native American sites.

There are five states that do not have a state lottery including Alabama.

2 former Alabama school superintendents among 6 indicted

Feb 24, 2021
nazret

 

Six people from Alabama, including two former superintendents, were accused of conspiracy, fraud and identity theft on Tuesday.

Former Athens school superintendent Trey Holladay and former Limstone County superintendent Tom Sisk were among those indicted by a federal grand jury in Montgomery. Holladay's wife was also indicted.

chess
Pixabay

 

Students in one north Alabama city are ready for a week filled with square boards, strategy, knights and kings. Hour of Chess Week runs through Friday in the town of Madison.

Ranae Bartlett is Executive Director of the Madison City Chess League. She began as a parent volunteer for the chess club at her son’s school and started the Chess League not long after. Bartlett said playing chess allows kids to learn important life lessons.

US launches aerospace center at Tuskegee University

Feb 24, 2021

 

Tuskegee University is the new home to the U.S. Department of Defense's aerospace education center of excellence.

The Aerospace Education Research and Innovation Center will support undergraduate researcg in materials and aerospace sciences relevant to the Defense Department and the aerospace industry. With the opening of the center, the Defense Department now says it is the nation's top producer of Black aerospace engineers.

Pixabay

The number of new cases of COVID-19 in Alabama is going down drastically and healthcare providers are working to keep the good news in perspective. The medical community thinks a combination of vaccinations, mask wearing, and the end of the holiday surge are reasons for lower case load.

Dr. Thomas Weida practices at University Medical Center in Tuscaloosa. He said even getting a vaccination doesn’t mean you’re in the clear.

Bloody Sunday memorial to honor late civil rights giants

Feb 23, 2021
John Lewis funeral
Associated Press

 

Multiple civil rights leaders who died in 2020 will be honored at this year's commemoration of Bloody Sunday.

U.S. Rep. John Lewis, Rev. Joseph Lowery, C.T. Vivian, and attorney Bruce Boynton will be recognized at the 56th annual ceremony at the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma.

On March 7 there will be a "drive-in" unity breakfast and a "slow drive" across the bridge, to commemorate the civil rights march that took place in 1965.

U.S. Space Command

 

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said she welcomes a review from the U.S. Department of Defense over the decision to move the Space Command headquarters from Colorado to Huntsville.

She believes it will confirm the state was the right choice for the new location.

The federal review is being conducted to inspect former President Trump's last-minute decision to move the headquarters.

The U.S. Air Force announced last month that Alabama was chosen over five other states, including Colorado.

The nation may see a rise in gas prices soon due to the winter conditions in Texas.

The Lone Star state is the main producer of gas in the country. According to an AL.com article, 11 refineries in Texas and one in Kansas have at least partially closed due to the extreme cold weather. Alabamians could see a slight raise in gas prices within a few weeks.

Annette Elizabeth Allen for NPR

 

The Senate Homeland Security Committee is holding a hearing examining the security failures that led to the breach of the U.S. Capitol on January 6th. Watch the proceedings live.

 

heart
Pixabay

 

February is heart month and medical researchers are finding a possible link between COVID-19 and future cardiovascular problems.

Alabama ranks 51 out of 52 in the nation when it comes to heart health.  

Dr. David Goff is with the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. He said those who already have heart health issues especially need to adhere to health guidelines.  

vaccine
Pixabay

 

Alabama's state health officer says he is optimistic about improving COVID-19 case numbers.

Dr. Scott Harris told reporters that the state is seeing improvements but urged people to maintain precautions such as wearing masks and avoiding crowds. Dr. Harris said the vaccine is getting out, but he would like to see more making its way to the rural areas. 

Pixabay

A Mexican citizen has been extradited to New York to face federal charges of coercing women into working as prostitutes around the United States. Prosecutors say Hugo Hernandez-Velazquez belonged to a New York based group that allegedly used forced women to work in brothels from Alabama to Connecticut. Hernandez-Velazquez was arrested in Mexico in August and extradited to the United States last week.

U.S. Space Command

The inspector general for the Department of Defense may yank the The U.S. Space Command away from Huntsville. The IG is investigating the Trump administration's last-minute decision to relocate the headquarters of the military’s space satellite assets from its current home in Colorado. The inspector general's office will see if Trump’s move complied with government policies.

When A Pet Owner Dies

Feb 20, 2021
KNX 1070 NEWSRADIO [Facebook]

The late Bill Dorris wanted  his faithful dog, Lulu, to be with someone who loved her and would care for her.  The $5 million trust he left for Lulu's care will be managed by a conservator who will reimburse her caretaker for all expenses.  

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Former Trump ambassador is first to enter '22 Senate race

Feb 19, 2021
Lynda Blanchard
Wikipedia

 

Alabama's first candidate for the 2022 Senate race has stepped forward.

Lynda Blanchard, a former President Trump ambassador to Slovenia, is the first to announce a run for Richard Shelby's Senate seat. Shelby announced earlier this month that he would not seek a seventh term.

In her announcement video, Blanchard emphasized that she is a defender of Trump's legacy.

Dr. Scott Harris
montgomeryadvertiser.com

 

The number of COVID-19 cases in Alabama has gone down, but health leaders are cautiously optimistic.

Dr. Scott Harris said the state numbers are improving but that people should continue wearing masks and avoiding crowds.

Hospitalizations, daily cases and the percentage of positive tests in the state have dropped to similar rates as last summer and autumn. Harris said he thinks immunity from vaccinations and virus exposure may be a factor.

The number of deaths from the virus in Alabama set a record in January.

Alabama virus hospitalizations hit lowest point since fall

Feb 19, 2021
hospital bed
Pixabay

 

The number of Alabamians hospitalized for COVID-19 has dropped to its lowest point since last autumn.

On Thursday there were 1,003 people in state hospitals after there were 3,000 in January.

The president of the Alabama Hospital Association, Dr. Don Williamson, said the drop is a positive sign but that people still need to take precautions to prevent further spread the virus.

NASA

Rocket engineers in Huntsville may be breathing a bit easier following the landing of the NASA’s new Mars Lander. The Perseverance Rover touched down at Jezero Crater to search for evidence of ancient life on the red planet. The robot blasted off aboard an Alabama built Atlas-V rocket. Heavy lift Atlas and Delta rockets are built at the United Launch Alliance factory near Decatur. ULA’s website points out that Atlas or Delta rockets have been used to carry all of NASA’s missions to Mars, dating back to Mariner 4 in 1964, which was the space program's first flight to the red planet.

Alabamians were reminded this past week how dangerous driving during snowy conditions can be. People who are not used to extreme cold weather can overlook some important steps to take before operating a vehicle.

Clay Ingram is a PR representative for AAA Alabama. He said it’s important to clean off all your car windows and lights before getting on the road.

www.nipponsteel.com

 

The AM/NS steelmaking plant in Calvert broke ground for a new expanded facility earlier this week. 

The $775 million project will allow for carbon steel slabs to be manufactured at the plant. Slabs were previously imported from Brazil and fabricated on site. 

David Rodgers is the VP of Economic Development for the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce. He said the facility will be a significant investment in an already state-of-the-art steel mill. 

Alabama asks judge to dismiss federal prison lawsuit

Feb 17, 2021

 

The state of Alabama is asking for a lawsuit from the U.S. Justice Department about prison conditions to be dismissed. The suit, filed in December, claims the state is failing to protect prisoners from inmate violence and excessive force from prison staff. 

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