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.

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.

Tabitha Isner, the Democratic candidate in Alabama's 2nd Congressional District, says Russian hackers made more than a thousand attempts to break into her campaign website last month.

Isner says there were 1,400 attempts to break into the website. Most came from accounts with Russian internet service providers.

Isner says she has no idea why her campaign was targeted. She says the hackers were attempting to log in manually to the site.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Hyundai Motor Company's labor union says steep auto tariffs could cost U.S. jobs, including here in Alabama.

The labor union at South Korea's largest auto company says if President Donald Trump goes ahead with imposing 25 percent auto tariffs, it will hurt Hyundai's U.S. sales and jeopardize the more than 3,000 jobs at the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama facility in Montgomery.

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.

Etowah Co. Jail food
Reuters

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey says the state will no longer give jail food funds to "sheriffs personally" in the wake of criticism that some sheriffs pocketed vast sums by skimping on inmates' meals.

In a memo to the state comptroller yesterday, Ivey rescinded the state's 2008 policy of "paying prisoner food service allowances directly to sheriffs in their personal capacities." The directive says the money must now go to government accounts.

lethal injection chamber
EJI

A lawsuit challenging Alabama’s lethal injection process took an unexpected turn yesterday. Eight of the inmate plaintiffs asked to be put to death instead by the state’s newly-approved execution method – inhaling nitrogen gas.

Both the Alabama attorney general's office and lawyers for inmates submitted a joint motion to dismiss the litigation yesterday. Lawyers say the inmates' claims challenging Alabama’s use of midazolam in executions as inhumane are now moot, since their pending executions will now be carried out by use of nitrogen.

In the race for Alabama's Attorney General, challenger Troy King is making a big issue of incumbent Steve Marshall's heavy financial support from the Republican Attorneys General Association.

King filed an ethics complaint yesterday arguing those donations are a "flagrant violation" of the state ban on transfers between political action committees, since the group took money from PACs.

RAGA attorney Charlie Spies calls the complaint a "desperate ploy" based on an "incorrect reading of the law."

data center render
DC BLOX

A technology company based in Atlanta plans to build a new data center at an old steel-making site in downtown Birmingham.

DC BLOX announced yesterday it will use the 27-acre site of a former Trinity Steel plant to locate a facility that could be valued at some $785 million over the next decade.

DC BLOX currently operates large data centers in Atlanta, Huntsville and Chattanooga and maintains a high-speed and high-capacity private fiber optic network to offer cloud computing to businesses.

The Alabama Blues Project is soon to have its own permanent home.

The organization will be relocating to the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center in Tuscaloosa. That facility is also home to the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra and Tuscaloosa Arts Council.

According to the Tuscaloosa News, the Alabama Blues Project has been bouncing from one available space to another over the past two decades. The nonprofit provides blues music programs and lessons for children and adults.

Authorities say dozens of dogs were recently rescued from a reported puppy mill in central Alabama.

Trussville police Lt. Phil Dillon tells AL.com that last week, officers were called to a home where they found numerous dogs both inside and outside living in unsanitary conditions. Dillon says the owners of the home operated a business selling both puppies and parakeets.

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