Tuscaloosa

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.

Steve Flowers on Mule Days

Sep 19, 2018

When campaign season comes. there are certain things politicians do to win over the voters - handing out buttons and kissing babies come to mind. But, according to APR political commentator Steve Flowers, there's one tradition native to Alabama that residents of the town of Winfield find familiar...

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is reporting a string of large campaign contributions as she looks to reclaim fundraising dominance in the gubernatorial race.

Campaign finance reports show the incumbent Republican has received $95,000 in large contributions over the last three weeks.

Ivey received $25,000 each from the Alabama Builders Political Action Committee, the Trucking Association PAC and Georgia Crown Distributing Inc.

She also received $20,000 from another political action committee.

Ivey faces Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox in the November election.

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.

Alabama Blues Project Getting New HQ

Jul 9, 2018

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.

Sheriff Ron Abernathy
Tuscaloosa County

The sheriff of Tuscaloosa County is threatening legal action against social media commenters and others who have criticized his department over the suicide of a former student at the University of Alabama.

Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy raised the possibility of legal action yesterday during a news conference to discuss the death of Megan Rondini and an investigation into her allegations of sexual assault.

Record Rainfall Causes Damage in Clarke Co.

Apr 16, 2018
Fulton flood damage
Clarke Co. EMA

Last weekend was a wet one across the state of Alabama, and forecasters say several spots saw record-breaking amounts of rainfall as well as flooding and rain-related damage.

National Weather Service officials say the rain was extreme in southwest Alabama, especially in Clarke County. Total rainfall for that area this weekend was 9.34 inches. Emergency management officials say 18 car and residence rescues were made Saturday night and early yesterday morning.

ci.tuscaloosa.al.us / City of Tuscaloosa

City leaders in Tuscaloosa are focusing on encouraging more development on the city’s west side and in other parts of the community.

The Tuscaloosa News reports plans involve luring new investors and development to west Tuscaloosa as well as eastern and southern areas of the city that have been neglected or fallen from favor.

Tuscaloosa Native Wins UA Cason Award

Feb 19, 2018
Dr. Trudier Harris
UA

An Alabama native and African-American author has won the University of Alabama’s annual non-fiction writing award for her work on women and black southern writers.

The university released a statement late last week naming Dr. Trudier Harris as this year’s winner of the Clarence E. Cason Award in Nonfiction Writing. Dr. Harris has written or edited more than two dozen books including the award-winning “The Scary Mason-Dixon Line: African American Writers and the South”.

Steve Flowers on George Wallace Part Two

Nov 8, 2017

When George Wallace graduated from law school in 1942, the only job he could find was driving a dump truck for the state highway department in Tuscaloosa...

Traffic Research Project in Tuscaloosa

Oct 24, 2017
traffic radio
UA

Tuscaloosa is the first city in Alabama to take part in a new project aimed at paving the way for self-driving cars.

New short-range radios installed at dozens of traffic signals throughout Tuscaloosa and Northport will be collecting data for research aimed at decreasing travel time, reducing vehicle crashes and laying the groundwork for eventually supporting self-driving cars. Researchers say one useful application of the radios will be red light warnings in cars, similar to collision warnings already installed in some newer vehicle models.

"Where Does Your Water Come From?"

Oct 10, 2017
^0 inch pipelines carry water from Big Creek Lake to water treatment plants in Mobile

The U.S. Supreme Court says it will hear arguments regarding the on-going water war involving Alabama. The specific case is between Florida, and Georgia, but it includes the river basin flowing through Alabama. The APR news team spent 2015 investigating the condition of Alabama's water supply and the health of its rivers. Click below to hear that series again...

Walt Maddox Announces Gubernatorial Run

Oct 5, 2017

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is running for governor.

Maddox made the announcement this morning morning with the release of a video on social media.

Schoolyard Roots Director on Garden Party

Sep 22, 2017
schoolyard roots
via Twitter

One of the state’s premiere events for the food-obsessed is taking place this weekend in Tuscaloosa.

Schoolyard Roots, formerly known as the Druid City Garden Project, is hosting its annual Garden Party this Sunday at the Tuscaloosa River Market. Schoolyard Roots is a nonprofit organization that builds and maintains teaching gardens in area elementary schools, providing kids both with healthy produce and hands-on learning opportunities.

Eric Courchesne is the Interim Executive Director of Schoolyard Roots.

The High Cost of "Sugar"

Aug 30, 2017

Paying for college is a on-going problem in the U.S. The website studentloanhero.com says the average graduate ends up with $37,000 worth of debt along with their diploma. That’s almost one and a half trillion dollars overall -- more than what U.S. households owe on their credit cards.

APR student reporter Miranda Fulmore reports there’s a growing trend on college campuses to address this money crunch, and it’s raising eyebrows.

Group Celebrates 2 Years of Marriage Equality

Jun 26, 2017
druid city pride
Alex AuBuchon / APR

An LGBT rights organization in Tuscaloosa celebrated the anniversary of a monumental Supreme Court decision this past weekend.

Today is the two-year anniversary of the court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a case that ultimately guaranteed same-sex couples the right to marry throughout the United States. Druid City Pride, a community organization in Tuscaloosa, commemorated the occasion with food, music, and a fundraising raffle.

Russell Howard is the director of Druid City Pride. He says he wants to keep seeing progress toward LGBT equality in Alabama.

Kudzu Coalition Spring Fling Tomorrow

May 26, 2017

A grassroots political activist group in west Alabama is shining a light on many other progressive organizations tomorrow.

The Kudzu Coalition of West Alabama is hosting a Spring Fling and Memorial Day celebration in downtown Tuscaloosa. Dozens of municipal and community organizations will be on hand to share their work.

Organizers say they want the Spring Fling to be an opportunity for people to find ways to get involved in their community, and for existing groups to find new ways to work together.

Investigators believe the three Alabama mosques broken into in March were robbed by the same man – and that he committed a series of burglaries at mosques across the country earlier this year.

According to the Gadsden Times, detectives say three mosques in Alabama, two in Arizona and one in Virginia were broken into earlier this year.

Student Entrepreneurs Selling Local Produce

May 19, 2017
Druid City Garden Project

Parents in the Tuscaloosa area got to pick up some healthy produce while picking their kids up from school this week.

Students at several elementary schools opened “farm stands” in their schools’ carpool lines to sell all sorts of veggies grown at the schools. It’s all part of the Druid City Garden Project. That’s a nonprofit organization that helps run teaching gardens at ten Tuscaloosa elementary schools.

Panel on Jail Mental Health Care in Tuscaloosa

Apr 26, 2017

Mental health care in correctional facilities was the subject of a talk in Tuscaloosa yesterday.

Dr. Marisa Giggie, the chief psychiatrist for the Tuscaloosa County Jail, held the panel discussion alongside Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Ron Abernathy and Circuit Court Judge Bradley Almond. They talked through the challenges in caring for a growing number of mentally ill inmates in correctional facilities, and new ideas to try and keep those with mental illnesses out of jail in the first place.

The president and CEO of the Boys & Girls Club of West Alabama has been charged with possession of child pornography.

The Tuscaloosa News reports 52-year-old Anthony Dellon Bush was arrested yesterday.

Authorities say pornographic images were found on the Tuscaloosa man's phone and work computer, but they were not of children who were involved in the Boys' & Girls' Club. Police found the images during an investigation of an incident earlier this month in which Bush was arrested and charged with assault.

Multiple Mosques Burglarized in Alabama

Mar 17, 2017

Police across central Alabama say three mosques in the state have been burglarized in recent days, and one Islamic leader hopes the cases aren't part of a conspiracy of hatred.

Tuscaloosa police say two safes containing cash and a handwritten Quran were stolen from the Islamic Center of Tuscaloosa earlier this week. Police have released a photo of a car believed to be involved in the robbery that was captured on surveillance video.

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