Tuscaloosa

 

An APR News feature

The return of sports is on everyone’s mind as fall nears and the answer will largely impact the economy as a whole.  

Jim Page, President and CEO of the West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, said that football season and sports in general are important to the economy.  

“We could get by if football season were modified to a great extent,” Page said.  

University Mall
commons.wikimedia.org

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Two people have been shot outside an Alabama mall. Tuscaloosa police tweeted that the shooting occurred in a parking lot outside University Mall. 

A police spokesman said a 15-year-old girl and a 24-year-old man were both hospitalized. Authorities did not immediately say what prompted the shooting. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox said one of the victims was an innocent bystander.

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Heavy overnight rains quickly swamped the west Alabama city of Tuscaloosa, covering roads with water and leaving guests stranded in a motel. 

As much as 5 inches of rain fell in a brief period late Tuesday. The resulting flash flood filled cars with water and left people temporarily stranded at a motel near Interstate 20/59. No injuries were reported.

coronavirus COVID-19
Pixabay

 

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Officials in an Alabama city say several college students organized “COVID-19” parties as a contest to see who would get the virus first. 

Tuscaloosa City Councilor Sonya McKinstry says students hosted the parties to intentionally infect each other with the new coronavirus. McKinstry says party organizers purposely invited guests who tested positive for COVID-19. She says the students put money in a pot and whoever got COVID first would get the cash.

Starkville trench
WVUA 23

 

STARKVILLE, Miss. (AP) — Two workers were crushed to death by rocks in a trench collapse at the site of town homes under construction in Mississippi. 

Starkville Fire Chief Charles Yarbrough told news outlets the workers were in the trench laying pipe for sewer lines when it collapsed Tuesday morning. One worker died at the scene. The second worker was trapped for more than two hours. He was flown to a hospital in Tupelo where he later died.

corona curfew
Pixabay

Life will change for residents of Tuscaloosa as of Sunday night. The city of Tuscaloosa has issued a nightly curfew, and shelter-at-home order, that officially begins this weekend. City leaders in Birmingham told residents to stay at home on Wednesday. The order was amended to include staying at home Thursday evening. Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox says if things do not change, there could be some serious problems. “We know, that in late April, without any change in the dynamic, Tuscaloosa County’s healthcare system could be overwhelmed.

curfew
WVUA 23

 

Tuscaloosa mayor Walt Maddox announced Wednesday that the city will be under a curfew beginning Friday and lasting through April 3.

 

The curfew will last from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m., and there will be exemptions for those traveling to and from work or other essential tasks.

 

“Within a one-hour drive of city hall, one-third of the state’s coronavirus cases can be found in Jefferson County,” Maddox said. “Within Lee County, which closely mirrors Tuscaloosa County, we see some of the fastest-growing rates of COVID-19 cases in our state.”

Days of rain have left parts of Alabama awash in millions of gallons of dingy water that overflowed from sanitary sewer systems.

Reports submitted to the Alabama Department of Environmental Management show more than 18.5 million gallons of sewer water spilled out over the past 10 days around Birmingham and Tuscaloosa, which had heavy rains over the period.

In the Tennessee Valley, a city leader in Decatur wants action after millions of gallons overflowed there.

ci.tuscaloosa.al.us / City of Tuscaloosa

A consulting firm will help Tuscaloosa officials decide whether the city can support a new conference center or athletics venue.

Pending an expected vote by the City Council, C.H. Johnson Consulting of Chicago will lead the research.

The Tuscaloosa News reports that the firm will gather data and do a marketing analysis. It will look at Tuscaloosa’s market size and judge whether the city can support a convention or athletic center. It would also recommend the size, scope and location of such a facility if it is deemed feasible.

ci.tuscaloosa.al.us / City of Tuscaloosa

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama city’s officials are considering new curfew laws during school hours to try to discourage students from skipping class.

The Tuscaloosa City Council’s public safety committee approved a proposal that would make it illegal for minors to be unaccompanied in public from 9 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. any Monday through Friday that city schools are in session.

Water is Life

Nov 22, 2019

(TUSCALOOSA, AL)-- Hurricane Creekkeeper John Wathen has been at the forefront of the transformation of the Tuscaloosa watershed from “a stream that was on the brink of destruction to a stream in dramatic recovery.”

Wathen was one of the founding members of the Friends of Hurricane Creek, a licensed waterkeeper program. Things looked dire when they started in 2003.

“We lost a lot of the species that were native here,” Wathen said. “We went from a creek that was considered by some scientists as biologically dead.”

acnatta / Flickr

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is expected to attend Saturday's college football matchup between top-ranked University of Alabama and Louisiana State University.

The Federal Aviation Administration is advising that Trump will travel to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, for the game.

It will be the third Trump visit to a high-profile sporting event in as many weeks. Last month Trump attended Game 5 of the World Series in Washington, and Trump traveled to New York on Saturday to watch Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) 244 at Madison Square Garden.

APR

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — State Rep. Chris England of Tuscaloosa is running for chair of the Alabama Democratic Party.

England announced Sunday night on Twitter that he is running for chair.

The Tuscaloosa legislator has been one of the leading advocates for changes in how the state party is run.

England led an Oct. 5 meeting in which a faction of the State Democratic Executive Committee adopted new bylaws and planned a new election for chair. The Democratic National Committee has ordered the state party to take both actions.

Alabama Death Row
EJI

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A federal appeals court says an Alabama man condemned to die for a killing more than 30 years ago should get a new sentencing hearing because of questions over his mental competence.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals released the decision Tuesday in the case of James McWilliams.

Court records show McWilliams is on death row after being convicted of sexually assaulting and killing Patricia Vallery Reynolds in Tuscaloosa in 1984.

DHC

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama hospital chain that quit accepting new patients after a malware attack crippled computer systems said it has resumed normal operations after paying a ransom demand.

The DCH Health System said its hospitals in the west Alabama cities of Tuscaloosa, Northport and Fayette resumed admitting patients Thursday, and its imaging and patient scheduling services were going back online Friday.

DHC

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A hospital system that serves a large part of rural west Alabama has temporarily quit accepting new patients because of a ransomware attack that crippled some of its computer systems.

A spokesman for DCH Health System says its hospitals in Tuscaloosa, Northport and Fayette began diverting most new patients to Birmingham and elsewhere after the attack became apparent early Tuesday.

Putting the 'pub' in public radio

Sep 27, 2019

Put the "pub" back in public radio with APR!

The WUAL Friends Board is hosting a scavenger hunt in Tuscaloosa's new West Queens Business District on October 5. Attendees will have the opportunity to talk with WUAL staff and hosts, meet fellow listeners, listen to live music, and discover local businesses.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — A former Alabama governor who resigned amid a sex scandal has opened a new dermatology office.

The Tuscaloosa News reports former Gov. Robert Bentley's new location opened Friday in Tuscaloosa. He previously practiced in another site.

Bentley is a longtime dermatologist who entered politics.

Al DuPont
WIAT

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — Tuscaloosa's longtime mayor, Al DuPont, has died at a nursing home in Texas. He was 94.

The Tuscaloosa News reports DuPont, who died Wednesday, was first elected mayor in 1980 and served six terms before he retired on his 80th birthday in 2005.

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama appeals court has ruled that an anti-abortion protester shouldn't have been ticketed $250 for handing out pamphlets outside an abortion clinic.

“Tuscaloosa: 200 Years in the Making”

Author: G. Ward Hubbs  

Publisher: University of Alabama Press

Pages: 204

Price: $24.95 (Paper)

This year marks the bicentennial for the state and, as it happens, for the city of Tuscaloosa. There has been a stream of fine books summarizing, explaining, examining Alabama’s past 200 years. Guy Ward Hubbs was the perfect choice to write of his home place.

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.

Tuscaloosa Approves Sales Tax Hike

Apr 9, 2019

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.

Potential New Life for Elevate Tuscaloosa

Apr 9, 2019
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.

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.

German Firm to Locate NA HQ in Tuscaloosa

Feb 19, 2019

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.

UA Hosts Public Lunar Eclipse Viewing

Jan 21, 2019
lunar eclipse crowd
Alex AuBuchon / APR

Skywatchers both in Alabama and across much of the world were treated to something special Sunday night.

The Super Blood Wolf Moon was easily visible across the state of Alabama thanks to clear, but cold conditions.

Hundreds of students and others packed onto the roof of Gallalee Hall on the University of Alabama’s campus for a public lunar eclipse viewing. Attendees got the chance to see – and photograph -- the phenomenon up close and personal thanks to a variety of telescopes at the university observatory.

Free Bus Rides in Tuscaloosa This Week

Oct 8, 2018

It’ll be free to hop on the bus this week in Tuscaloosa.

The Tuscaloosa News reports the city's transit authority is offering free rides across the city as it unveils an entirely new bus route.

Executive Director Russell Lawrence says the authority changed some stops on other routes, leading to the decision to waive the $1 for bus fare or 20 cents to transfer citywide.

It's the system's first new route since 2011.

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