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Last Build Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2017 23:40:21 +0000


Jennifer Horne on Becoming Alabama Poet Laureate

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 22:38:24 +0000

Alabama has a new poet laureate. Jennifer Horne was recently elected to the position by the Alabama Writers’ Conclave and is just awaiting Governor Kay Ivey’s signature. We sat on her back porch just outside of Tuscaloosa, and with the buzzing of cicadas, an occasional dog barking, and even a train…I asked her what a poet laureate does?” “Every state just about has a poet laureate and we have a national poet laureate. So there is a grand old tradition of having a poet laureate for your country or your state. In Alabama, the poet laureate was established in 1931 by an act of the state legislature, and it was promoted and organized by the Alabama Writers’ Conclave, which is the oldest writers’ organization in the state.” Alabama is known for producing some well-known authors. What’s it like knowing that you’re going to be the literary ambassador for the state? “I definitely feel like I am taking on a role, taking on a responsibility to speak for the literary arts. We do have a wonderful

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Help Wanted: Alabama's Rural Healthcare Crisis

Tue, 15 Aug 2017 20:31:14 +0000

Advocates working to fix problems with rural health care say Alabama is ground zero nationally. Studies say Alabama has the highest infant mortality rate in the U.S. The state also leads the nation for diabetes. Alabama is also home to Gadsden which had the lowest life expectancy in the nation in 2016. Despite all this, rural hospitals in the state receive among the lowest reimbursements nationally from Medicare. That’s blamed for eighty percent of Alabama’s hospitals that are operating in the red. The Alabama Public Radio news team has spent the year investigating rural health care issues, some possible remedies, and the people whose health may be at stake. APR’s Pat Duggins starts us off with this report... “I hurt so bad, and I just stayed in bed like, for years I stayed in bed. I couldn’t get out of bed. I couldn’t wait on myself.” We’re sitting at the dining table with Fay. She asked us not to use her real name. During our visit, one of her favorite songs plays in the background

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2017 Hero Dog Awards, Part 2

Sat, 12 Aug 2017 13:45:00 +0000

The 2017 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories: Service Dogs, Emerging Hero Dogs, Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs. ************

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2017 Hero Dog Awards - Part 1

Sat, 05 Aug 2017 13:45:00 +0000

The 2017 Hero Dog Awards seek to find and recognize dogs who help people in many important ways. Dogs are nominated in one of seven categories: Service Dogs, Law Enforcement/Arson Dogs, Therapy Dogs, Military Dogs, Search and Rescue Dogs, Guide/Hearing Dogs, and Emerging Hero Dogs. ******* The Service Dog category includes animals that assist people with disabilities other than sight and hearing. Most have received special training. ******* Law Enforcement dogs include what we often think of as police dogs, animals specially trained to patrol, search buildings, track criminals, and to detect drugs, narcotics and explosive devices. Arson dogs are animals trained to sniff out accelerants that may have been used to start a fire. Every year hundreds of lives (and billions of dollars in property) are lost as a result of fires that were set intentionally. The dog works with a handler who is a law enforcement officer trained to investigate fire scenes. *******************

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Mayor Brynneth Pawltro

Sat, 29 Jul 2017 13:45:00 +0000

The old saying, "dogs drool, cats rule" may be catchy but don't tell that to the mayor of Rabbit Hash, Kentucky. She is the fourth in a line of mayoral canines to hold the office. For the residents of this small community, dogs definitely rule! ***************************

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Steve Flowers on "Big Jim" Folsom Part Four

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 17:10:51 +0000

After sitting out four years, Big Jim entered the governor's race again in 1954, beating three state senators, the president of the public service commission and the lieutenant governor without a runoff; he beat them by challenging the big mules of Birmingham...

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Steve Flowers on "Big Jim" Folsom Part Three

Thu, 27 Jul 2017 16:59:58 +0000

Big Jim was sworn in early 1947 and began to work with his famous farm-to-market road program. This work is what he's most remembered for today; in fact, most rural roads in Alabama were paved by Big Jim Folsom in his farm-to-market road program ...

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Made in Alabama: A Look at Alabama Makers

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 23:30:06 +0000

If you ask residents of Illinois what product that state is best known for, the answer might be farm equipment. Illinois, after all, is the home of John Deere. Kentucky might point to Bourbon Whiskey, and Wisconsin is the headquarters of Harley Davidson motorcycles. The state of Alabama has a few homegrown products you might not know about. One good place to find these Alabama Makers are t events like these. We’re at a Makers Market where Alabama craftsmen and women gather to show their wares and promote their business. The Alabama Tourism Department spent all of 2016 highlighting local craftsmen and women across Alabama. Lee Sentell is Alabama's Tourism Director... “We saw how many people there are all over the state of Alabama who are making items that are a higher level of what you would think of as crafts, its fine art for many of them and its locally sourced materials and it’s a growing industry and it shows the creative spirit of people in Alabama.” Markets like this show off a

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Sexual Assault Nurse Program Planned For Tuscaloosa

Wed, 26 Jul 2017 16:11:14 +0000

A national news story may help to spark change in Tuscaloosa. Work is underway to offer a new service following the suicide of former University of Alabama student Megan Rondini. APR Student reporter Katie Willem has more on the program called SANE… “Have you ever seen a SANE facility before? Let’s do that. Yeah, let’s do that.” That’s Meg McGlamery. She’s the Executive Director at the Crisis Center in Birmingham. This includes what’s called a SANE facility. SANE is short for Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner. One of the first things you notice is the art on the walls. “They’re done by survivors, and people who’ve worked with survivors, to help show people that they can get through it and that they’re not alone with what they’re feeling.” McGlamery walks through three initial screening rooms connected to a door that survivors of sexual assaults enter when they come to the SANE facility. There, they meet an advocate and a nurse collects evidence from the attack. After that, the client can

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Heat Stroke and Your Pet

Sat, 22 Jul 2017 13:45:00 +0000

If your pet becomes overheated, you can put it in a tub of cool water; or use a garden hose or a small wading pool. And take your furry buddy to the veterinarian to determine if there has been any damage to internal organs! Heat stroke can cause brain swelling or kidney failure, even after you get your pet cooled down. **********************

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National Pet Fire Safety Day

Sat, 15 Jul 2017 13:45:00 +0000

Allowing a pet to jump up on countertops is not a good idea for several reasons, but one of the most dangerous is allowing them access to a gas cooktop. One misstep could bump a knob that turns on the cooking flame, which has the possibility of starting a fire with no human present to correct the situation. Covering or removing the knobs when pets are home alone can help to prevent a disaster. ************************

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Steve Flowers on "Big Jim" Folsom Part Two

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 20:54:55 +0000

During the "Big Jim" Folsom era, Alabama had a history of what was called "learning to get acquainted race." If you wanted to be governor, you ran your first race in hopes you'd run second to the winner; then you'd win the race four years later because you would've become acquainted with the voters...

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Steve Flowers on "Big Jim" Folsom Part One

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 20:47:47 +0000

James E. "Big Jim" Folsom is by far Alabama's most colorful governor. Big Jim was only the second governor in the state's history to be elected to two four-year terms before George Wallace rewrote the history books...

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National Dog House Repairs Month

Sat, 08 Jul 2017 13:45:00 +0000

The dog house pictured here is a nice one - roomy, elevated a couple of inches off the ground, with shingles that keep things dry inside. The only improvement would be a little shade in the hot summer sun! ***********************

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Druid City Garden Project Is Now Schoolyard Roots

Thu, 06 Jul 2017 13:09:30 +0000

Since 2010, the Druid City Garden Project has operated teaching gardens in Tuscaloosa city and county elementary schools. The gardens enhance students’ math, science and even English classes – and a University of Alabama study has shown working in the school gardens has not only improved students’ education, but also their eating habits and propensity to eat healthier food options. Now, the organization is announcing some changes to take the program beyond the boundaries of Tuscaloosa.

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Fourth of July Pet Safety

Sat, 01 Jul 2017 13:45:00 +0000

We humans enjoy sharing things with our pets, but some things that are part of our celebrations can actually harm our furry friends. Making an emergency trip to the veterinarian's office is no way to celebrate Independence Day! **********************

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Alabama Now Considered Drought Free

Thu, 29 Jun 2017 23:14:36 +0000

Alabama and Mississippi are completely free from drought for the first time in more than a year. A federal assessment shows rains have eliminated a dry spell that began in April 2016, the last time Alabama was totally drought-free. Days of heavy rains from Topical Storm Cindy helped, and now only slivers of northwest Alabama and northeastern Mississippi are considered abnormally dry. That's a step below being in a drought. The worst period of dry weather was last fall, when the entire state of Alabama was in a drought for an eight-week period that began in late October. Statistics from the National Drought Mitigation Center show conditions have improved steadily since then. Northeast Georgia still has a small area experiencing drought, and rainfall is considered normal in Louisiana.

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Steve Flowers on the Path to Governorship

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:38:41 +0000

Suppose you're some person keenly interested in being the governor of Alabama one day; if that young person approached me and asked what would be the best course to take to capture that brass ring, my response would be that many times the best way to look into the future would be to study the past...

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Steve Flowers on Bad Districts

Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:28:32 +0000

Alabama's 1901 Constitution is as archaic as any in the nation; it has contributed to the poor image that persists today regarding our racist past. However, much of the damage was done during the 1960s - it was a fascinating and tumultuous era...

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Best Series: "Tuscaloosa Tornado--5 Year Anniversary" Alabama Public Radio

Tue, 27 Jun 2017 12:07:54 +0000

Steve Miller April 19, 2016 All week long on Alabama Public Radio, we’re looking back on the tornadoes that hit the state five years ago on April 27, 2011. Twelve percent of Tuscaloosa was destroyed, over fifty people were killed, and countless lives were changed forever. The very first victim of the tornado APR met face to face was Steve Miller of Tuscaloosa. Now, five years later, APR’s Pat Duggins checks in to see how Miller is doing… “Has it really been five years? Oh, my gosh…” Steve Miller’s come a long way since April 27, 2011. He lives in Tuscaloosa’s Hillcrest neighborhood. His new home has lots of windows and there’s plenty of art on the walls. You might not think anything was out of the ordinary. But, the first time APR visited here, things were a lot different. “All we could hear were sirens. And then, at night, houses going up in flames around. We could see that there were houses were burning. And that was the only light, except for the distant light of the city. And it

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