News

A university in Alabama is grappling with a housing shortage after a tornado is and is buying mobile homes to provide living space for students.

WBMA-TV reports Jacksonville State University plans to use 22 mobile homes to house students this fall.

Many houses and apartments were destroyed or heavily damaged when a tornado struck on March 19, creating a housing crunch in the city.

Alabama is accepting comments on its proposal to put a work requirement on 74,000 Medicaid recipients.  

The Alabama Medicaid Agency opened a new public comment period on the proposal.

The proposal would require 35 hours of work, job training, education or volunteer service each week. Exceptions would be made for people with young or disabled children

The Alabama Department of Public Health has identified an outbreak of whooping cough in Shelby and Jefferson counties.  

Health officials said Friday that nine children testified positive for pertussis, also known as whooping cough. Another 22 people have developed symptoms.

Pertussis is a highly contagious respiratory disease. It begins with a runny nose and low grade fever but develops into a violent cough.

Health officials identified a number of churches and camps where the infected people attended in June and July.

American Humane Association

The 2018 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories: Service Dogs, Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs.

The Service Dog category includes animals that assist people with disabilities other than sight and hearing. Most have received special training.

Law Enforcement dogs include what we often think of as police dogs, animals specially trained to patrol, search buildings, track criminals, and to detect drugs, narcotics and explosive devices.  Arson dogs are animals trained to sniff out accelerants that may have been used to start a fire.      

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MLK Tuscaloosa
Edward Jenkins

The state of Alabama has a rich and painful history when it comes to the civil rights movement. Researchers recently uncovered new evidence about a lesser-known chapter of that story.

The Tuscaloosa Civil Rights Task Force has located a photo of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at a service in Tuscaloosa. They also found video of what came to be known as “Bloody Tuesday”, when a peaceful march to protest segregation was met with beatings, tear gas, fire hoses and arrests.

"The King of Alabama"

Aug 1, 2018
James Peppler

“If you did not know him, and had never heard anything about him, and were to go into a room where he was seated, he was a person who would not monopolize a conversation,” says Fred Gray, a civil rights attorney in Tuskegee, Alabama. He’s recalling one of this earliest clients, Dr. Martin Luther King, Junior.

“I think initially most people heard it on the media, and those who heard it, told other people about it, so it spread like wildfire. There wasn’t any question about that. It hit me when he was killed, because I knew we had lost a great leader.”

Virginia Wadley Bradley
UAB

A new study from the University of Alabama at Birmingham could help patients ward off dementia.

UAB School of Medicine researchers took part in a project examining what the benefits would be if a patient dramatically lowered his or her blood pressure. The so-called SPRINT MIND trial examined whether a lower blood pressure reading would also reduce the risk of cognitive impairment or dementia.

Researchers found that reducing systolic pressure below 120 did reduce that risk. The systolic reading is the first of two numbers when you get your blood pressure taken.

HERO
HERO

The Appalachian Regional Commission is examining “bright spots” in health care, and one Alabama county made the list.

Hale County was included in a report of ten case studies where researchers from the Appalachian Regional Commission headed to areas with much better than average health statistics. They tried to find out why those counties were healthier, to see what other struggling areas can learn.

Airports across the state of Alabama will be improving their infrastructure soon, thanks to more than $25 million in grants from the Federal Aviation Administration.

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby says the grants will help 25 airports with improvements, new structures and safety advances. The Mobile Downtown Airport will receive the most with $7.08 million, while the Thomas C. Russell Field Airport in Alexander City will get the least with $94,500.

The grants are funded through the Airport and Airway Trust Fund and federal appropriations.

Officials at a school in south Alabama are being recognized for their work in transforming education.

The Genesis Innovative School in Conecuh County’s public school system has been named one of seven schools across the country that are launching creative and innovative programs to better meet students’ needs – that according to the digital education company Fuel Education.

Genesis is a fully virtual public school, with coursework available online 24/7. Students are located all across the state.

lizasperling [Flickr]

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration  is investigating a possible link between incidents of canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) in dogs and extended consumption of "grain-free" dog food, after several reports from veterinarians.  

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For the 27th time this year, a loaded gun has been found in a carry-on bag at the Birmingham airport.

Al.com reports Transportation Security Administration officers found the handgun Tuesday morning at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. TSA officers confiscated the gun and alerted airport police, who then escorted the passenger out of the checkpoint area.

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.

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."

Yet another state lawmaker has been indicted in connection to an alleged bribery scheme to pressure insurance companies into covering treatments at a chain of diabetes clinics.

Federal court documents show Republican Rep. Randy Davis of Daphne was indicted earlier this week on conspiracy to commit bribery and other charges.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo faces questions from lawmakers about how the Trump administration is managing foreign policy...

Loxley work center
ADOC

A county sheriff in south Alabama is urging the state of Alabama to close a prison facility where three inmates escaped in a span of 24 hours.

Baldwin County Sheriff Huey "Hoss" Mack tells WPMI-TV that prisoners are just walking away from the work release center at Loxley.

Three inmates have left the state's minimum-security community work release center this week. Two are back in custody, and a third is still at large as of Wednesday morning.

Police say looking for the escaped prisoners puts a strain on local law enforcement.

pinning
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.

The City of Birmingham and the Alabama Department of Transportation are collaborating to create a new public space underneath Interstate 59-20, and they’re looking for help.

According to Al.com, the city and ALDOT are hosting three two-hour public input sessions at the Birmingham CrossPlex today, from 10 to noon, noon to 2 and 5 to 7. Members of the public are invited to voice their opinions on the design and functionality of the proposed public space.

The recreational red snapper season in Alabama’s state waters has closed six weeks earlier than originally expected.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources closed the state season Sunday. The agency had originally planned to keep the fishing season open until September 3.

Alabama Marine Resources Division Director Scott Bannon says the quota of nearly 985 thousand pounds of snapper allocated to Alabama under NOAA guidelines has already been caught.

A prominent Alabama attorney and a coal company executive have been convicted on federal charges involving bribery of a state lawmaker.

The verdict against Joel Gilbert, a partner with Balch & Bingham law firm, and Drummond Company Vice President David Roberson was announced Friday after a four-week trial. Jurors found the two men guilty of conspiracy, bribery, three counts of honest services wire fraud and money laundering.

Chaining a Dog

Jul 21, 2018
fvfavo (Mario Micklisch) [Flickr]

Not only is chaining (or tethering) considered inhumane and unsafe for animals, it is illegal in more than 20 states and the District of Columbia.


Students in Alabama are heading back to school soon, and their families will get some help getting them ready.

This weekend is the Back to School Sales Tax Holiday. This means sales taxes will not be charged on items needed to get kids ready for school.

Melissa Warnke is the spokeswoman for the Alabama Retail Association. She says only the four percent state sales tax is guaranteed to be removed, but many cities and counties are also participating…

The main school system in Alabama’s largest city has received full accreditation for the first time ever.

News outlets report Birmingham City Schools gained the approval from AdvancED. Superintendent Lisa Herring said during a news conference Tuesday this is the first time that Birmingham City Schools has ever been accredited as a system.

Republican voters in Alabama are heading to the polls once again to set the final tickets ahead of November's general election.

They'll be taking part in several heated Republican runoffs for statewide office and in the race for a U.S. Congressional seat in south Alabama.

Armed with an endorsement from President Donald Trump, U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is trying to stave off a challenge from former congressman Bobby Bright and a voter backlash over her criticism of Trump during his Presidential campaign.

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.

The estate of the man at the center of the popular "S-Town" podcast is suing the show's creators. The executor for John B. McLemore’s estate says the producers exploited details of his private life for financial gain. The lawsuit contends McLemore didn't give permission to broadcast the intimate details of his sexual orientation, mental state and other aspects of his life. "S-Town" tells the story of McLemore, an antique clock restorer from the town of Woodstock who killed himself in 2015.

Pet Fire Safety

Jul 14, 2018
Dan4th (Dan4th Nicholas) [Flickr]

One of the best ways to keep your pet safe is to keep your home safe.  And often, one of the best ways to keep your home safe may be to keep your pet from dangerous situations that could cause a fire!

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He calls her a "Swampy Star." She calls him a tiger thief. Alabama Public Service Commission President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh and State House member Will Ainsworth of Guntersville are swapping accusations ahead of Tuesday's heated GOP runoff in the race for lieutenant governor. Each also claims the other is distorting the truth. Cavanaugh is running an ad targeting Ainsworth's theft arrest when he was a college student and was accused of stealing fiberglass tigers in downtown Auburn. The charges were later dropped.

A Montgomery judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by Attorney General candidate Troy King ahead of Tuesday’s GOP runoff election.

King had sued appointed incumbent Steve Marshall over hundreds of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions Marshall has received from the Republican Attorneys General Association.

King argued $735,000 of the contributions Marshall received from the group violated Alabama’s ban on transfers between political action committees, since the association received contribution from other PACs before giving the money to Marshall.

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