University of North Alabama


FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — The University of North Alabama says the school will keep its lion mascot following a request by an animal rights group that the lion be transferred to a sanctuary. 

The school said in a statement reported by WHNT-TV Monday that lions have a “special place” in the university's traditions.

University of North Alabama


FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — The University of North Alabama says its 17-year-old lion mascot Una has died on campus after a brief illness. 

A veterinarian who cared for Una and her brother, Leo III, says Una died with Leo and caregivers at her side. Officials say the two lions had lived in a campus habitat since 2003.

Una was born in New Hampshire in 2002.

University of North Alabama

FLORENCE, Ala. (AP) — The University of North Alabama is opening a new center to help students, including those from the LGBTQ community.

The Mitchell/West Center for Social Inclusion will open this fall on the campus in Florence.

An announcement from the university says the center will address multiple challenges including suicide prevention, food insecurity and LGBTQ issues.

It will also serve as a link to The Point Foundation, which grants scholarships for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students.

University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is honoring its first black student by renaming part of campus in his honor.  

A statement from the school says the University Commons area will now be called the Wendell W. Gunn University Commons.

Gunn was the first black student to enter what was called Florence State College at the time. He graduated with a degree in chemistry and mathematics in 1965 and earned a master's of business administration from the University of Chicago in 1971.

Authorities say a University of North Alabama police officer is currently on administrative leave after shooting a woman during a traffic stop.


The confrontation occurred at around 3 a.m. Sunday in Florence, Ala., according to the TimesDaily of Florence.


The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency released a statement saying the driver in the traffic stop allegedly tried to run over the campus officer, forcing the officer to fire multiple shots striking the vehicle. The driver then fled the scene. Photos show a red car crashed into a utility pole.


Kairos Center

New poverty statistics paint a sobering picture for the state of Alabama.

The nonprofit organization Alabama Possible recently released their 2016 State Poverty Data Sheet. It reveals more than 900 thousand Alabamians currently live in poverty. Though it’s an issue across the state, conditions are especially grim in Alabama’s Black Belt. In Perry County, for example, nearly half the county’s residents live below the poverty line.

University of North Alabama

The search for a new president of the University of North Alabama is down to three people after one of the finalists removed himself from consideration.

Officials say Robin C. Capehart of West Liberty University has dropped out of the running.

That leaves Provost Kenneth D. Kitts of the University of North Carolina at Pembroke; Chancellor Randall W. Hanna of the Florida College System; and Chancellor Sandra J. Jordan of the University of South Carolina-Aiken.

The three will be on campus in Florence for interviews starting later this week.

University of North Alabama

The University of North Alabama is starting its fall break a day early because of a campus death threat.

A university statement released Monday says the school will shut down on Thursday because of a threat that said four people would die on Oct. 9.

The school says the threat was found last week on campus in Florence. University police are investigating.

Students had been scheduled to be in class on Thursday and start fall break the following day.

Officials at the University of North Alabama have approved a tuition increase for the coming school year.

The TimesDaily of Florence reports the board of trustees approved of increasing tuition by $11 per credit hour during a meeting Monday.

University President William Cale had proposed a $13 per credit hour increase to account for a 3 percent cost of living raise for faculty and staff.

University of North Alabama

The president of the University of North Alabama is retiring.

The school says William G. Cale Jr. is stepping down after more than nine years in the position.

Trustees will discuss the process for finding a replacement during a meeting set for March 17, and the university says Cale will be available to assist during a period of transition.

Cale came to North Alabama from Penn State University-Altoona, where he was the chief executive and dean. He also worked at Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas.

Cale and his wife plan to remain in the Florence area.

University of North Alabama

The military has reversed a decision to close the ROTC program at the University of North Alabama.

School leaders learned of the decision this week.

The leader of the UNA battalion, Lt. Col. Mike Snyder, says he and his staff have been working with cadets to find transfer options. Now they'll work on recruiting new cadets to keep the program vital.

The university has had a Reserve Officers Training Corps program for 65 years.

The first black student at the University of North Alabama is returning to campus.

   Wendell Wilkie Gunn will speak at the university's fall convocation ceremony on Wednesday.

   Gunn is speaking exactly 50 years after he became the first black student to enroll at the school, which was then called the Florence Teachers College.

   Gunn transferred to North Alabama from Tennessee State University in 1963. He earned an academic award for physics in 1964 and graduated in '65.

The University of North Alabama is using a smartphone app and shuttle buses to address a shortage of parking spaces.

   WAAY-TV ( ) reports the school has lost about 300 on-campus parking spaces because of construction and is using five shuttle buses to move students across campus from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. five days a week.

   Students who use a free iPhone and Android application the school began offering can use their phones to find out when the next shuttle bus is scheduled to arrive at their stop.

High school students looking to earn college credit through a University of North Alabama program will now have to pay to participate.

   School officials recently approved instituting a $100 per course fee for high school students working to earn college credits. The dual enrollment program initially offered free courses, but university officials say the program has grown more than administrators anticipated.

The University of North Alabama Board of Trustees has approved an approximate 5 percent tuition hike.

   The TimesDaily of Florence reported Monday ( ) that the increase is set to take effect during the 2013-14 school year. The board approved tuition increases of $11 per credit hour for both undergraduate and graduate students.

   The hike brings undergraduate tuition to $236 per credit hour for in-state students, and $276 per credit hour for in-state graduate students.

The George Lindsey Film Festival is beginning in Florence, but without its namesake.

The University of North Alabama's annual event starts Wednesday. It's the first time the festival has been held since the death last year of actor George Lindsey.

The festival includes several films that include the state of Alabama as a theme.

One of those movies is "Muscle Shoals," a documentary about the music industry in northwest Alabama. Another is "Eating Alabama," which looks at the state and its food.

Authorities say a new federal grant will open doors for disadvantaged students to become part of the nursing program at the University of North Alabama.

Officials say the $2.1 million grant goes to UNA's College of Nursing and Allied Health.

The Florence TimesDaily reports ( that the grant will provide access to the university's Opportunities for Entry into Nursing program for what officials describe as "under-represented minorities."