Alex AuBuchon

News Host / Reporter

Alex AuBuchon is APR’s Morning Edition host and also writes news and feature stories. He got his start in nonprofit radio at the University of Tennessee’s venerable WUTK-FM.

AuBuchon started as a student DJ before quickly falling in with the news team. He spent a semester on the news staff and then a year as News Director, delivering live newscasts and teaching broadcast workshops to undergraduate journalism students.

AuBuchon then switched over to commercial radio, taking a job as Operations Manager and Assistant News Director for a group of four radio stations in his hometown of Paris, Tennessee. He scheduled traffic and automation breaks and did administrative work for four stations during the week, and delivered newscasts and maintained a popular news website on the weekends.

Alex crossed back over to public radio in January 2015, moving to Alabama to wake up early and give listeners the news they need to get ready for the day.

Alex AuBuchon / APR

(BIRMINGHAM, AL)-- Summertime means music festivals in Alabama and across the country.

The beach season kicked off with some of the world’s biggest musical acts at Hangout Music Fest in Gulf Shores back in May. Jazz and blues fans pay homage to W.C. Handy with a festival in Muscle Shoals each July. The biggest names in country gather in Cullman each June for Rock the South.

But in Birmingham, there’s one festival that does things a little differently. 


Coastal Alabama is drying out and cleaning up after a near miss from what was briefly Hurricane Barry.

The storm system moved farther west than forecasters expected, making landfall on Louisiana's central coast Saturday morning. But the storm still dumped a tremendous amount of rain on Alabama's coast. The towns of Fairhope and Daphne reported as much as 7 inches of rainfall over the weekend.

The Baldwin County Health Department says those heavy rains on the Eastern Short of Mobile Bay caused up to $200,000 of sewage to overflow into local creeks feeding into the bay.

July 1 means Alabamians can now buy three new commemorative license plates for charitable causes.

The new plates are for Colon Cancer Awareness, with proceeds going to the nonprofit awareness organization Rumpshaker Inc.; Prostate Cancer Research, with proceeds going to the Mike Slive Foundation; and Thank a Lineman, with proceeds going to the Central Alabama Community Foundation to fund health and education programs.

State forestry officials are working to head off a rumor that Alabama is under a statewide burn ban.

The Alabama Department of Environmental Management said it has issued annual summertime restrictions on fires to clear vegetation. This applies to the state's 12 most urbanized counties. The agency said it has nothing to do with the current drought conditions.

Ron Gore is the head of the Air Division of ADEM. He said there is an environmental reason for the current summer restrictions.

(BIRMINGHAM, AL)-- Scientists and religious leaders are working together to call for action when it comes to climate change.

Faith, Science and Climate Action is a speaking tour traveling to the cities across the Southeast. The group will host a talk this evening at Birmingham’s Daniel Payne Center. Their goal is to bring the science and faith-based communities together in a region they say is one of the most affected by climate change.

A University of Alabama student has some extra tuition money for the coming school year thanks to a public service announcement competition on distracted driving.

The latest fallout related to Alabama’s new abortion law could occur this week in Tuscaloosa.

The University of Alabama's board of trustees will consider whether to return a record $21.5M gift. The donor encouraged students to boycott the university following passage of Alabama’s controversial abortion law that makes performing an abortion a felony in virtually all cases.

The legal battle over the Alabama’s abortion ban officially got underway last week. Both the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama and Planned Parenthood Southeast filed suit on behalf of the state’s three abortion clinics. They say the new law is blatantly unconstitutional. But lawmakers say that was the plan all along.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more on what’s next for Alabama’s controversial abortion ban.

Tonight, PBS audiences across Alabama and nationwide will get a glimpse into the lives of a determined group of students.

“Wrestle” is a documentary telling the unlikely success story of the wrestling team at Huntsville's J.O. Johnson High School. The team and school were underfunded, and the wrestlers were inexperienced. But the kids were also working to navigate life in north Huntsville – meaning crime, poverty and many other pitfalls.

Deontay Wilder is on a mission — and not afraid to talk about it — as he prepares to defend his piece of the heavyweight title Saturday against Dominic Breazeale in New York.

Wilder recently appeared on the Associated Press PodcastOne Sports Now podcast, telling co-hosts Jim Litke and Tim Dahlberg that he is eager to teach Breazeale a lesson for speaking badly about him and wants to show the world he is the real heavyweight champion.

Casey Cep
Kathryn Schulz

Harper Lee is best known for her classic Pulitzer Prize-winning novel To Kill a Mockingbird – and notorious for her staunch privacy.

Lee spent decades trying to write a second novel – and also tried her hand at true crime after helping her friend Truman Capote research his book In Cold Blood. She spent years investigating the circumstances surrounding the Reverend Willie Maxwell, suspected of five murders and shot dead himself at the funeral of his stepdaughter. But no work of Lee’s ever came to light.

Journalist Casey Cep has written a new book on the Maxwell murders and Lee’s investigation. Furious Hours delves deeply into the lives of the Reverend Maxwell; Tom Radney, the lawyer who defended him; and Harper Lee herself.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon spoke with Cep earlier this week about her book.

segregation cell

Alabama’s prison system has been in the news a lot this year, and not for good reasons. Violence, inmate riots, allegations of mismanagement and corruption and a failed prison building plan in the state legislature have all pointed out plenty of problems.

The Alabama Public Radio news team spent several months in a national award-winning effort examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out.

Alex AuBuchon / APR

All week long on Alabama Public Radio, we’ve been looking back at the tornado outbreak on April 27, 2011. The storms impacted homeowners and businesses, and you’ve heard from many of them during our coverage.

Now we’ll look ahead. For the past two months, dozens of scientists have been conducting groundbreaking research on tornadoes and severe weather right here in Alabama.

APR’s Alex AuBuchon has more on the impact that research could have on meteorologists' understanding of severe weather and forecasters’ ability to predict it.

Space Matters map
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Last night, students, historians and others gathered at the oldest structure on the University of Alabama’s campus for the unveiling of a new kind of historical exhibit.

“Space Matters” is an interactive exhibit inside the Gorgas House Museum. It uses animated maps, videos and music to tell the nuanced stories of three historical figures from Tuscaloosa's history before and during the Civil War.

At least three tornadoes have been confirmed to have struck Alabama during a weekend of violent weather across the Southeast.

The National Weather Service plans to continue to survey storm damage today.

One tornado was confirmed to have struck Shelby County with a preliminary rating of EF-0 and winds topping out at 76 mph. That storm was blamed for significant roof damage to homes and for damaging several trees.

Parkinson's Foundation hopes to bring awareness to disease this month

Apr 11, 2019

April is the gateway month to May flowers and summer vacation. For the Parkinson’s Foundation, April is more important than its showers; it is Parkinson’s awareness month.

Every year 60,000 more people are diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s is a neurological disorder that progressively deteriorates the body. As an idiosyncratic disorder, the disease affects everyone with it differently.

The most visible signs of Parkinson’s are hand tremors and difficulty walking. People with Parkinson’s also have internal battles with their pain, anxiety and depression.

The Tuscaloosa City Council tonight approved the so-called “Elevate Tuscaloosa” tax plan Tuesday night.

The panel voted 5 to 2 to approve the 1% increase to the city sales tax. Mayor Walt Maddox proposed the increase earlier this year to generate an additional five hundred million dollars in city income over three decades. That would fund 21 projects spanning education, infrastructure, economic development and entertainment.

Elevate Tuscaloosa
City of Tuscaloosa

Earlier this year, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox pitched a grand plan to the city’s leaders and its citizens.

Elevate Tuscaloosa would raise the city’s sales tax by one percent in order to fund more than $500 million in municipal work. The 21 projects it funded spanned education, infrastructure, economic development, public safety, entertainment and recreation.

But Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox and his team suffered a crushing blow at the March 5 city council meeting. The Elevate Tuscaloosa plan was killed in just a few seconds on a 4 to 3 vote.

Singer, songwriter and activist Joan Baez has been thrilling audiences – and making them think – for over sixty years now.

Her music has become a soundtrack for nonviolence, civil rights and environmentalism – and she was one of the first artists to record and advocate for the work of a then much less popular Bob Dylan in the early 1960s.

Baez released her latest album, "Whistle Down the Wind", in March of last year – her first in nearly a decade. And she’s embarking on a tour that she says will be her last.

Columbus tornado
Rogelio V. Solis / AP

Weekend storms raked parts of the Southeast, leaving deaths and injuries in their wake as a tornado smashed into a commercial district in a small Mississippi city and drenching rains fed a rising flood threat.

A woman was killed when a tornado hit Columbus, Mississippi, according to officials.

Columbus Mayor Robert Smith Sr. said 41-year-old Ashley Glynell Pounds of Tupelo and her husband were renovating a house Saturday evening, and when the husband went to get them something to eat, the building collapsed and killed her.

Winter’s nearly over, and that means summer music festival lineups are starting to circle the internet.

In Alabama, that means country fans will be planning to head to Cullman for Rock the South and most everybody else will be looking toward Hangout Fest in Gulf Shores.

But this year, Tuscaloosa is throwing its hat in the music festival ring for the first time in over a decade.

Maori Davenport
Jay Hare / Dothan Eagle

An Alabama high school basketball star who had been ruled ineligible to play has dropped her lawsuit against the Alabama High School Athletic Association shortly after her senior season ended.

Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan dismissed the suit Wednesday at the request of Maori Davenport's mother, Tara.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne of Alabama has announced he will challenge Democratic Senator Doug Jones in 2020 as Republicans try to reclaim the seat previously held by Jeff Sessions.

Byrne made the announcement yesterday in Mobile. The congressman is the first Republican to announce for what's expected to be a crowded GOP primary field seeking to unseat Jones, Alabama's lone Democrat in statewide office.

Byrne said Jones doesn't represent "Alabama's interests and Alabama values."

Hoda Muthana

An Alabama woman who left home to join the Islamic State after becoming radicalized online now wants to return to the United States, according to a lawyer representing her family.

24-year-old Hoda Muthana regrets ever aligning herself with the terrorist organization and is putting herself at risk by speaking out against it from a refugee camp where she has lived since fleeing the group a few weeks ago. That's according to attorney Hassan Shibly, who is representing Muthana's family.

KKK cross burning
Jim Wallace / Courtesy Lonnie Bunch

A small Alabama newspaper is advocating for the resurgence of America's most feared white supremacist terrorist organization, the Ku Klux Klan.

An editorial published last week by The Democrat-Reporter of Linden, Alabama, begins with the line: "Time for the Ku Klux Klan to night ride again."

The editorial says Democrats and "Democrats in the Republican Party" are plotting to raise taxes in Alabama, so the Klan should raid the "gated communities" where they live.

A German firm is opening its new North American headquarters in west Alabama.

The Tuscaloosa News reports SWJ Technology will build its new 5,000-square-foot facility in the Alberta neighborhood of Tuscaloosa, a part of town that was devastated by a tornado in April 2011.

The company has more than 85 employees in the southeastern United States. It started in 2003 in Frankfurt, Germany. It provides services to companies like Mercedes-Benz U.S. International and the suppliers that service it.

Sanders, Sanders-Fortier
Kim Chandler / AP

For nearly 40 years, state Sen. Hank Sanders of Selma was a fixture of the Alabama Statehouse.

Sanders, 76, did not seek re-election last year after nine terms in office. When lawmakers convene next month, Senate District 23 will be represented by another member of the Sanders family. His daughter, Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier, won election to her father's longtime Senate seat last November.

The long-serving Democrat said he has no regrets about leaving state politics, because he says he is leaving the district in good hands.

Birmingham/Shuttlesworth International Airport

Birmingham's airport is experiencing strong growth in passenger traffic, according to new numbers. reports more than 2.9 million passengers passed through the airport in 2018. That's a 10 percent increase compared to the 2.7 million passengers who used the airport in 2017.

Last month, the airport also set a record: It served 224,012 passengers, a record total and a nearly 16 percent increase in passengers over January of the previous year.

St. John's
Chris Pruitt / Wikimedia

An Alabama church has removed a pew honoring Confederate President Jefferson Davis, saying the memorial has no place in the church at a time when Confederate symbols have been adopted by white supremacists.

The pastor of St. John's Episcopal Church in Montgomery, Robert C. Wisnewski Jr., posted a message on the church website last week saying the wooden pew was dedicated more than 90 years ago at a service featuring a pro-lynching segregationist.

Justice for EJ
Kim Chandler / AP

Federal officials are investigating an Alabama mall shooting in which a police officer killed a black man he had mistaken for the gunman.

News outlets report U.S. Attorney Jay Town issued a statement Friday that the U.S. Department of Justice has been reviewing and is continuing to investigate the shooting death of 21-year-old Emantic "EJ" Bradford Jr.

Dominique Ray

A federal appeals court has blocked the planned execution of an Alabama inmate to consider whether the state was violating the Muslim inmate's rights by not allowing an imam to replace a Christian prison chaplain in the death chamber.

The 11th U.S Circuit Court of Appeals granted a stay for 42-year-old Dominique Ray, a day before his scheduled execution for the slaying of a teenager more than two decades ago. The Alabama attorney general's office had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to vacate the stay and let the execution proceed Thursday night.