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Last Build Date: Fri, 21 Oct 2016 09:02:31 +0000


A Look at the Traditions of the University of Alabama's Million Dollar Band

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 14:42:00 +0000

When it comes to Alabama’s Million Dollar Band, each week fans get a chance to see the music and marching come together at halftime. Here’s what you don’t see. Football fans take a break during the week after each game. Alabama’s marching band doesn’t. The band practices for an hour and a half every afternoon, but when I arrive an hour early, the field is already coming to life. Every week during football season, these student musicians play “Yea, Alabama” -- that’s the Crimson Tide fight song -- and they march the same pattern on the football field. It makes you wonder, what keeps these musicians coming back? Behind the music and the hot, hot red uniforms, there are the rituals. “After practice every day, one of the captains will choose one of the members, usually it goes by seniority, and then halfway through the year we’ll start getting freshmen to do a chant.” Danielle Wineger is a sophomore member of the Color Guard. “They’ll say 1-2-3 and then everybody will say M-D-B-C-G Huh.

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Pets in the Storm

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 13:45:00 +0000

If you wonder how you can help the pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, the answer is to make a donation to one of the many organizations that are working in the storm area. And consider adopting a pet. Every animal that is adopted from a shelter or rescue group makes room and gives another animal a chance to be adopted! *****************

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Prison Reform: Alabama's overcrowding problem

Fri, 14 Oct 2016 20:32:04 +0000

Alabama’s prison system has been in the news a lot this year, and not for good reasons. Inmate riots, as well as allegations of mismanagement and corruption have pointed out plenty of problems. The Alabama Public Radio news team has spent the past several months examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out. Today, APR’s MacKenzie Bates hears from critics of Alabama’s prisons are run and how plans to fix things may just throw money at the problem… If you’ve never been inside Alabama’s Atmore Prison, don’t worry. Back in March, Atmore came to you… This cell phone video was shot during riots at the prison. Inmates set fires, and attacked guards and the warden. The violence was supposedly sparked by overcrowding. Rufus Ricks knows the problem first hand… “At lights out, it would be quiet,” Ricks says. “People would asleep. Now it’s not like that no more. There’s always somebody awake and people are always moving around because it’s

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Voices from Roy Moore's Ethics Trial

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:22:31 +0000

Roy Moore is no longer serving as the Chief Justice of Alabama. On September 30, a majority of the Alabama Court of the Judiciary decided to suspend Moore for the remainder of his six-year term as punishment for ethics violations. The charges relate to Moore’s role in the controversy over same-sex marriage in Alabama. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has been following the Chief Justice’s case. He has this report on reactions to the trial and what may be coming next. At Chief Justice Moore’s summary judgement hearing in August, supporters of traditional marriage outnumbered supporters of gay marriage by a wide margin. At the official trial, that scale flipped. “This is the first time that this many equality groups have come together.” That’s Ambrosia Starling, a drag queen and civil rights activist who has been a thorn in Roy Moore’s side from the beginning. “Normally, before, you see one or two. But today, there must have been somewhere between seven and nine equality organizations that all joined

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Wildfires Raging Throughout Alabama

Tue, 11 Oct 2016 14:13:44 +0000

Forest fires have been chewing through acres of land throughout Alabama. APR student reporter Parker Branton has more. On Sunday alone, there were 65 active forest fires burning through the state. The Alabama Forestry Commission is working around the clock to control the fires by bulldozing containment lines and backfiring until the fires are no longer a threat. Coleen Vansant is the spokeswoman for the Alabama Forestry Commission. She says the weather conditions have made this fall fire season unlike any other. “We went into it this year in an extended drought, and then a couple of weeks ago a cold front came through and has lingered, and it has brought with it extremely low humidity and winds. It’s like all the elements of a perfect storm came together in fall fire season.” With no foreseeable rain in the future, Alabama will continue to be under a Fire Danger Warning.

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Justice Reform: "What is three years on death row worth?"

Mon, 10 Oct 2016 12:48:37 +0000

Alabama’s prison system has been in the news a lot this year, and not for good reasons. Inmate riots, allegations of mismanagement and corruption, and a failed prison building plan in the state legislature have pointed out plenty of problems. The Alabama Public Radio news team has spent the past several months examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out. This week, I examine what the State of Alabama does when people are convicted of crimes they didn’t do. Critics say, not much… If you had just been released after three years on Alabam’s death row, what would be first on your to-do list? “Well, hug my kids and my family,” says Randall Padgett of Guntersville. “And, see some nature, touch a tree, touch some grass. I think a tree was the first thing…no, I had to walk across some grass to get to the tree…” Padgett was convicted for the murder of his estranged wife in 1990. He was exonerated seven years later. As a free man, you

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Ragsby's Story

Sat, 08 Oct 2016 13:45:00 +0000

October is Adopt-a-Dog Month, and Ragsby's story is a perfect illustration of the great dogs who just need the opportunity to show somebody what great pets and companions they can become, if only they are given the chance. If you're looking for a canine companion, visit your local shelter or rescue group. You won't change the world by adopting a pet but you will change the world for your new furry friend - and you just might find your world is better, too. *********************

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Druid City Garden Project's Lindsay Turner on Garden Party

Fri, 07 Oct 2016 12:53:01 +0000

It’s time once again for Tuscaloosa's annual Garden Party. The food fest is this Sunday evening at the Tuscaloosa River Market. Ten area farmers will be pairing with chefs from ten local restaurants to create a menu of dishes that won’t be available anywhere else. The event benefits the Druid City Garden Project, a nonprofit educational organization in Tuscaloosa. Lindsay Turner is the Executive Director of the project. Alex AuBuchon: Lindsay, your group puts gardens in local elementary schools—what benefits do the students get from the gardens? Lindsay Turner: We often find that the produce that our kids try out of their garden – they are, first of all, much more willing to try and eat because they are the ones themselves who have planted the seed and have raised that plant all the way to harvest and, because it just tastes so much darn better than the grocery store, so our kids love the taste of the food that they are growing at their schools. And we see in our evaluation results

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Justice Reform: When the jury says "life in prison," and the judge says "death..."

Wed, 05 Oct 2016 10:28:32 +0000

Alabama’s prison system has been in the news a lot this year, and not for good reasons. Inmate riots, allegations of mismanagement and corruption, and a failed prison building plan in the state legislature have pointed out plenty of problems. The Alabama Public Radio news team has spent the past several months examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out. I looked into the on-going complaints over how Alabama judges sentence people to death.   “I just want what’s right for my brother,” says Jodi Kirkland of Andalusia. Her brother Roy Doster is on Alabama’s death row. “Because he didn’t kill that man. I don’t know about the one in Texas,” she says. “But, Texas ain’t trying to kill him.” Putting it lightly, the Alabama Judicial system doesn’t consider Roy Doster to be a boy scout. Both killings occurred after he broke out of jail in Covington County. That’s why Doster is on death row… “It’s total misery. It’s like being in a

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Prison Reform: "Re-entering Society"

Sun, 02 Oct 2016 13:58:49 +0000

For many prisoners at the Limestone Correctional Facility, the heavy bang of a steel gate is the first thing they hear when they enter the Alabama prison system. It’s also the last thing when they come out. “They give you a bus ticket and a check for ten dollars and they say “Have a nice life.” That’s Brenda Lee Kennedy. She was incarcerated in the Montgomery Work Release Center for nearly five and half years before being released in November of last year. “They put you out of the gate, they take you to the bus station and you’re free, you are thrust back into society with absolutely nothing.” That’s a common complaint among ex-convicts. After what could be decades behind bars, inmates are dumped back into society, essentially on their own. Critics call it the second sentence… “You typically lose your driver’s license when you go to prison, when you come out, you have to report to your probation officer.” Joyce White Vance is the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama.

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Dogs and Pickup Trucks

Sat, 01 Oct 2016 13:45:00 +0000


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Roy Moore's Ethics Trial: What Now, What Next

Tue, 27 Sep 2016 11:57:33 +0000

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is set to appear in court tomorrow morning. He’s facing judicial ethics violations that could result in his removal from the state Supreme Court. The charges date back to the legal controversy and confusion over same-sex marriage in Alabama earlier this year, and Moore’s personal battle against it. Chief Justice Moore has some history with this court. In 2003, he was removed from office for unrelated judicial ethics violations. APR’s Alex AuBuchon has the latest on Chief Justice Moore’s case and what to expect tomorrow. “What has he done? He’s upheld the law. The voters vote, and the legislators make law, and the judges uphold the law, they protect the law, they make opinions.” At a hearing last month at the Alabama Judicial Building in Montgomery, Roy Moore received a very warm welcome. Dozens of supporters gathered to cheer on the Chief Justice for standing up for supreme law. One of the loudest voices was that of Johnny Brekeen. He travelled from

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Pet Health Insurance Month

Sat, 24 Sep 2016 13:45:00 +0000

September is Pet Health Insurance Month, a great time to consider whether insurance is a good option to help keep your pet healthy and happy. ************************

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Taking A Look At Poverty In Alabama

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 19:26:20 +0000

When people are encouraged to understand others, they’re often told to walk a mile in their shoes. Alabamians have the chance to do just that at poverty simulations put on by the group Alabama Possible. APR Student Reporter Allison Mollenkamp attended a simulation hosted by the United Way of Alabama. She takes this look back… Volunteers are at a Alabama Possible poverty simulation. The group gathers in a gymnasium. There’s nothing on the walls--just groups of chairs in the middle of the room. Each cluster represents a family in the fictional town of Realville. When everyone finds their seats, the rules are set out. So are the necessities of life in today’s simulation. First are transportation passes. They represent the time and money it takes to get places. No passes mean you can’t go anywhere. The kids in Realville have to go to school. The moms and dads have to go to work. That is -- if they have a job. This is a poverty simulation, so nothing is guaranteed. Each family was given a

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Prison Reform: "How Texas Did It..."

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 22:30:17 +0000

Alabama’s prison system has been in the news a lot this year, and not for good reasons. Inmate riots, allegations of mismanagement and corruption, and a failed prison building plan in the state legislature have pointed out plenty of problems. The Alabama Public Radio news team has spent the past several months examining what happens as people go into the state’s prison system and what happens when they come out. I report on one state where prison reform appears to be working… Alabama’s prison problems are clear. The inmate population is nearly one hundred percent over capacity. Critics says that’s led to violence, including riots and one inmate stabbed to death and a guard injured in the past month. But, Alabama’s not alone. Between 1985 and 2005, Texas’ inmate population had tripled, giving the Lone Star Star the third highest incarceration rate in the nation. But, starting in 2005, things started changing… “We made Texas safer, but we also did smarter things that basically saved us

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Public Radio Mutt

Sat, 17 Sep 2016 13:45:00 +0000

For Ivy, genetic diversity made her a wonderful pet and furry friend. For Alabama Public Radio, programming variety gives you a great menu of listening choices, and makes for a wonderful radio companion at home, in your car, on your computer or phone - wherever you happen to be! ********************

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Board approves community college merger

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 18:27:50 +0000

The state’s community college system trustees approved a merger of three south Alabama colleges. The Alabama Community College Board of Trustees unanimously approved the consolidation today. Faulkner State Community College, Alabama Southern Community College and Jefferson Davis Community College will merge into a multi-campus institution known as Coastal Alabama Community College. The Alabama Commission on Higher Education approved the merger earlier last week. The plan will now be submitted to the Southern Associate of Colleges and Schools. The trustees voted last year to consolidate seven colleges into two regional institutions in an effort to save money and reduce duplications. The mergers were one of the first actions of the new board created by legislators to oversee the state’s twenty-five community colleges and technical schools. For APR News I’m Parker Branton.

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Judge hears arguments in Gulf State Park lawsuit

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 19:53:50 +0000

Lawyers for Alabama officials are pleading their case to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the use of oil spill settlement funds to build a beach hotel. APR Student Reporter Parker Branton has more… Montgomery Circuit Judge Greg Griffin heard arguments Tuesday in the request to dismiss the case. The state auditor and a legislator sued Gov. Robert Bentley. They say the money is being allocated without legislative approval Bill Baxley is an attorney for the plaintiffs. He told the judge the state is trying to build a “Taj Mahl” hotel at a state park. A lawyer for the Governor and the other defendant says the case is similar to the one that was previously dismissed by the court. The state is looking to build a 350-room hotel and conference center on the beach at Gulf State park.

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Tick Season

Sat, 10 Sep 2016 13:45:00 +0000

Ticks cannot fly; they climb tall grasses and weeds, then climb aboard your dog or cat as it passes by. Keeping the vegetation (including bushes) trimmed around your house and in your yard will limit the tick population and give ticks less opportunity to climb up and hitch a ride on your furry buddy. **************************

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Labor Day Pet Safety

Sat, 03 Sep 2016 13:45:00 +0000

Although Labor Day is often seen as the kickoff to Autumn, it's still very warm and humid across most of the country. If your pet is part of your outdoor gathering, watch to make sure it has a shady spot to rest so it doesn't become overheated. ******************

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