FAIRHOPE, Ala. (AP) — Winston Groom, the writer whose novel “Forrest Gump” was made into an Oscar winning 1994 movie that became an enduring cultural phenomenon, has died. 

His death was confirmed Thursday night by Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and the mayor of Fairhope, Alabama, where Groom lived.


The University of Alabama at Huntsville has reached a new high in its number of enrolled students, meeting a longtime goal of the university administration. 

There are now 10,000 students enrolled at UAH, an increase of 36% since 2014.

According to the university, this year’s freshman class has just over 1,300 students. reports over half the class obtained perfect grade point averages of 4.0 in high school with an average of 3.88, and nearly 40% scored a 30 or higher on the ACT.

Morgan Hall



TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — University of Alabama trustees are expected to vote on a proposal to change the name of a building on the Tuscaloosa campus that is currently named after a Confederate general. reports that the agenda for the trustees’ meeting on Thursday includes consideration of a resolution amending the name of Morgan Hall.

Flooding a big concern as Gulf coast recovery begins from Sally

Sep 17, 2020
APR's Guy Busby

Hurricane Sally came ashore at Gulf Shores at 4:45 a.m. Wednesday, 16 years to the day after Hurricane Ivan made landfall in the same city. Sally’s 105 mile an hour winds weren’t quite as powerful as Ivan, but the 2020 storm’s slow speed caused major damage and flooding as it took hours to move across the area. On Wednesday, no home or business in Gulf Shores had power. Grant Brown is Gulf Shores city spokesman. He said the main highway to the beach is impassible within a mile of the Gulf and only residents are being allowed bring allowed back in town.

Mountain Top Industries
Mountain Top Industries


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A company that specializes in aluminum roll covers for pickup trucks is building its first U.S. plant in Alabama. reports Mountain Top Industries, based in Denmark, said it plans to bring a $13.3 million, 73,000 square-foot manufacturing facility to Montgomery and create about 90 jobs.

The company said it will start production at the end of 2020 or in early 2021 and will supply North American markets.

Gulf coast residents pick up the pieces after Hurricane Sally

Sep 16, 2020
APR's Lynn Oldshue

"Hurricane Sally wasn't supposed to be this bad."

Meteorologists said the winds and eyewall for slow-moving Sally had weakened. The forecast was plenty of rain and tropical storm wind. Most residents of the Gulf Coast saw no reason to evacuate and Sally even provided a spectacular sunset on Monday night. But by Tuesday afternoon, the forecast changed. Sally strengthened into a Category 2 hurricane, eventually shutting down power for an estimated 95 percent of Baldwin County residents. Sally howled and whipped all night before daylight revealed her damage.

Sally slams into Alabama Gulf coast

Sep 16, 2020

Alabama Gulf Coast residents were accessing the damage Wednesday morning after Hurricane Sally slammed into the area. The slow-moving Category 2 storm caused severe flooding in some areas and subjected many areas to hurricane force winds for hours. On Dauphin Island in Mobile County, Mayor Jeff Collier says  the beachfront community was hit hard.

“We’ve got a mess. Trees down all over the place, power lines," said the Mayor.


Hurricane Sally hit the Gulf Shores as a Category 2 storm with winds hitting 105 mph. The Alabama coast is receiving large downpours of rain and storm surges are covering the beaches.

The National Hurricane Center said this will result in dangerous, possibly historic flooding from the Florida Panhandle to Mississippi as well as inland on the coast within the upcoming days.

Rosa Parks house


The house of civil rights icon Rosa Parks is now on display—in Italy.

After a journey spanning two continents and three countries, Parks’ Detroit home is now on public display at the Royal Palace in Naples.

Parks, who was from Montgomery, Alabama, sought refuge in the run-down, paint-chipped Detroit house after the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott. Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger sparked the boycott, one of the most important civil rights demonstrations in American history.


Hurricane Sally has the Gulf coast on alert for flooding, storm surge, high winds, and up to two feet of rain The system is crawling toward the northern Gulf Coast at just two mph. That pace that's enabling the storm to gather huge amounts of water to eventually dump on land. Forecasters now expect landfall late tonight or early Wednesday near the Alabama-Mississippi state line. Rainfall is increasing in the two states, where some coastal roads have been closed because of flooding. Forecasters say the slow-moving storm will bring record flooding to the region.

David Burkette


Former Alabama State Senator David Burkette has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor campaign finance charge.

A plea deal for Burkette was filed in the Montgomery County Circuit Court on Monday. 

The Montgomery Advertiser reports that, under the terms of the deal, Burkette would pay a $3,000 fine and waive his right to appeal. In return, the prosecution would not seek restitution or demand a particular sentence.

Gulf coast braces for Sally, and that includes sandbagging

Sep 15, 2020
APR's Lynn Oldshue

Hurricane Sally is closing in on the Gulf coast with rapidly strengthening winds. Tuesday's 5 am forecast has the storm hitting the border between Mississippi and Alabama early Wednesday mornning. The system is expected to reduce to a slow moving tropical storm by tomorrow afternoon. The Alabama Gulf coast is expected to be drenched by two feet of rain and winds of up to ninety miles per hour. Sally could also result in severe flooding.


Alabama has ranked last in response to the 2020 US census. 

Numbers recorded from the U.S. Census show that Alabama has had the lowest percentage of households responding out of any other state in the country.   


Gulf Coast prepares for Hurricane Sally, 1 month after Laura

Sep 14, 2020

As Hurricane Sally looms over the Gulf Coast, Alabama coastal communities prepare themselves for the brunt of the storm along with the projected outcomes in mind. The system is expected to mainly target Louisiana and Mississippi.

However, the winds and rainfall can still have damaging effects on Alabama’s coast with dozens of inches of rain, high winds, and possible three foot storm surge without the storm stalling, intensifying, and/or drifting our way.

Skilled Trades of West Alabama


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Aspiring plumbers, electricians and other trade workers will get a chance to advance their skills under a new apprenticeship program launched in Tuscaloosa. 

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the program by the nonprofit group Skilled Trades of West Alabama will hold an orientation session Monday for its first class of about 70 trainees.


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Crowds gather every year at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church to mark the anniversary of the day when a bomb planted by Ku Klux Klansmen went off just before worship, killing four Black girls. 

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Democratic Sen. Doug Jones of Alabama has called Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville “Coach Clueless” for the former football coach's recent comments about the coronavirus. 

Jones attacked Tuberville in a campaign appearance Friday. He criticized Tuberville’s reaction to tapes of President Donald Trump saying in February he knew the severity of the coronavirus but had downplayed the threat to avoid public panic.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A former powerful Alabama House speaker has reported to jail to begin a four-year prison sentence for his 2016 ethics conviction.

Mike Hubbard reported Friday to a county detention center to begin the sentence after an  unsuccessful effort to overturn his conviction. The Alabama Supreme Court this spring overturned five of the counts in Hubbard’s ethics convictions while upholding six others.

WoodleyWonderworks [Flickr]

A newly released British study of cat owners focused on the relationship between cats, people and wildlife.  While some view a cat as a malicious hunter of defenseless creatures, others note the cat's contribution to pest control.  And some just enjoy their feline friend's company.


Associated Press


TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx praised Alabama’s response to the pandemic, but expressed concern about the number of men she saw not wearing masks as she visited the state. 

Birx visited the University of Alabama on Friday in a tour of southern colleges responding to an outbreak of COVID-19 cases. She praised the response of the state and university, which has been the site of a recent outbreak.

Associated Press


MONTEVALLO, Ala. (AP) — An Army veteran who served in Afghanistan and was shot to death by police in Texas is being buried in his home state of Alabama on the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks. 

Relatives of Damian Daniels gathered at Alabama National Cemetery on Friday to honor the 30-year-old man.

Fort Rucker helicopters
U.S. Air Force


GADSDEN, Ala. (AP) — Helicopters and ground crews are looking for a small airplane that went missing in Alabama during a flight between Georgia and Mississippi. 

News outlets report that a plane with one person aboard disappeared from radar Thursday night northeast of Birmingham in Etowah County. The aircraft was reportedly flying between Tupelo, Mississippi, and Calhoun, Georgia.


FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — A factory that employs hundreds of people manufacturing railroad cars in north Alabama is closing amid declining demand linked to the coronavirus pandemic. 

FreightCar America announced Thursday it's shutting down its plant at Cherokee and plans to abandon the facility by early next year to consolidate operations in Mexico. A local official says the factory has about 500 workers. / Environmental Protection Agency


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has taken a Superfund site in downtown Montgomery off its recommendations for a National Priorities List. 

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management announced the decision in a Wednesday news release.



MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The Alabama Public Charter Commission’s virtual meeting was shut down after hackers displayed pornographic images, wrote profanity and made references to Hitler. reports the incident happened nearly 20 minutes after the Zoom meeting began Thursday. Hackers also played music and showed images of Shrek, the animated character. A new link was then sent to commissioners so they could resume the meeting.


ATHENS, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama judge indicted on charges of using his office for personal gain will go on trial Nov. 16. 

In setting a trial date for former Limestone County Judge Douglas Lee Patterson, a court said the calendar was “firm.”



West Alabama Works launched a database to help working parents find child care during COVID-19. 

Some West Alabama school districts moved to remote learning for the first nine weeks of school, leaving many parents scrambling for day care services and assistance.  



Tuscaloosa, Al.-Tuscaloosa city and county school system leaders agree the first few weeks of school are highlighting the successes and challenges of virtual learning.

“We’ve said all along there’s no substitute for in-class learning,” said Tuscaloosa County School System Superintendent Keri Johnson. “We can’t replicate that in-class experience when you’re at home sitting in front of your computer.”

The biggest challenge is keeping students engaged, Johnson said.

coronavirus COVID-19


The University of Alabama has issued more than 400 conduct referrals for coronavirus violations.

Nearly 2,000 students have tested positive since classes began on Aug. 19.

Only 21 UA employees have tested positive since classed began, according to the UA System COVID-19 Dashboard.

UA President Stuart Bell sent an email to students last week that said student misconduct will not be tolerated.


Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced Sept. 3 that negotiations are beginning for the construction of a new prison site in Bibb County.

Construction should begin early next year, Ivey announced in a news release.