The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

1 day ago

Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston donates $50K to Miles College

(Miles College/Facebook, YHN)

The football program at Miles College is getting a boost thanks to a donation from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.

WRBC-TV reports Winston, a Hueytown, Alabama, native, on Wednesday presented Miles College President Bobbie Knight and Athletic Director Reginald Ruffin a check for $50,000, which will be used for upgrades within the Alabama school’s program.

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Earlier this month, NBA Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley donated $1 million to the school, a private historically black liberal arts college in Fairfield, Alabama.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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1 day ago

Birmingham launches anti-littering campaign

(Wikicommons, YHN)

An Alabama city has kicked off a new anti-littering campaign.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin launched his “Don’t be a D.U.M.M.Y.” campaign.

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D.U.M.M.Y. stands for Dumping Ugly Mess in My Yard.

The mayor and people in various Birmingham communities are tired of illegal trash dumping, WBRC-TV reported.

First-time offenders will face a $500 fine.

For a second or subsequent offense, the fine doubles to $1,000.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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3 days ago

Alabama voting rights activist jailed on drug charges while on bond for capital murder charge

(Dothan Police Department)

An Alabama activist is jailed on assault and other charges.

Records show 54-year-old Kenneth Glasgow was being held without bond at the Houston County Jail on Tuesday.

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He was arrested Saturday on charges including drug possession, assault and evidence tampering.

Police tell news outlets that Glasgow struggled with an officer who tried to arrest him after finding crack inside his pocket.

Glasgow has worked for years to register prisoners to vote inside Alabama jails and prisons.

He was charged with capital murder in 2018 after a fatal shooting but was out on bond.

He’s the half-brother of nationally known activist Al Sharpton.

 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

RELATED: Al Sharpton’s half-brother, already facing Alabama capital murder charges, arrested again

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1 week ago

Alabama’s largest airport records busiest year in a decade

(Birmingham Shuttlesworth International Airport/Facebook)

Federal Aviation Administration data shows 2018 was the busiest year on record for Alabama’s largest airport.

The latest data available from the federal agency shows more people boarded flights at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth in 2018 than in any year since 2008.

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About 1.46 million people flew out of Birmingham total, followed by about 581,000 outbound passengers from the Huntsville International Airport, the second busiest air hub in the state.

Birmingham’s Airport Authority President Ronald Mathieu attributed the increase to the economy doing well.

He says that growth is expected to be reflected in 2019’s numbers, too.

 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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1 week ago

Alabama prison study group to make recommendations

(Gov. Bentley/Flickr)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey’s study commission on criminal justice policy will make recommendations that could include sentencing changes and expanding the use of pretrial diversion programs.

The panel met for the final time Tuesday and will submit recommendations ahead of the legislative session that begins Feb. 5.

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State Sen. Cam Ward is a Republican from Alabaster.

He says he expects a package of four to five bills to be introduced in the session.

Family members of inmates held a rally before the meeting, urging the state to do more to address conditions inside prisons.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 weeks ago

Sentencing set for officer found guilty of manslaughter

(Montgomery County Jail/Contributed)

A judge later this month will sentence a former Alabama police officer who was found guilty of manslaughter for the fatal shooting of an unarmed man.

Circuit Judge P.B. McLauchlin set a Jan. 29 sentencing date for former Montgomery police officer Aaron Cody Smith.

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A jury in November found Smith guilty of manslaughter for the 2016 shooting death of 58-year-old Gregory Gunn.

Smith shot and killed Gunn after he fled from a random stop-and-frisk.

The defense maintained that Smith fired in self-defense because Gunn was grabbing a painter’s pole from a porch, but prosecutors said Gunn was never a threat.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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3 weeks ago

Canadian eagles migrate to the warmth and Alabama

(NPS/Contributed, YHN)

Golden eagles are back from Canada, spending the winter in the eastern U.S.

Researcher Trish Miller says that when she and her husband began studying golden eagles east of the Mississippi River, scientists had not realized how many there were — particularly in Alabama.

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The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources says four tagged birds are back in Alabama wintering grounds and a fifth is on the way.

About 5,000 of the golden eagles winter in Eastern parts of the US.

Scientists keep tabs on golden eagles in two ways: fitting them with cellular tracking tags and setting out bait monitored with motion-sensitive game cameras.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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3 weeks ago

Mobile Mayor: Officer’s post ridiculing homeless was inappropriate

(Sandy Stimpson, Mobile Police Department/Facebook, YHN)

The mayor of the South Alabama city of Mobile said a police officer’s social media post appearing to ridicule homeless people was inappropriate and said the city is taking corrective steps.

Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson wrote on social media Tuesday that the post reflected poorly on the city.

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He said the city is taking corrective action, but did not elaborate.

The Facebook post showed two Mobile Police officers, holding what the post called a “homeless quilt” made of cardboard signs that apparently had been confiscated from panhandlers around the city.

The city police chief apologized for the post.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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1 month ago

Stolen gaming console offers serious break in Mobile murder case

(Mobile Police Department/Contributed, YHN)

A prosecutor in Alabama says authorities were able to trace a stolen gaming console to two suspects accused of shooting an Alabama college professor to death last month.

A Mobile County Assistant District Attorney said during a bond hearing Monday that a Nintendo Switch system belonging to University of South Alabama Professor Matthew Wiser was connected to a network by one of the suspects, allowing police to track it to Derric Scott and Tiquez Timmons and make their arrests.

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The 20-year-olds are set to be arraigned on felony murder charges Wednesday.

Mobile investigators said they think Wiser was killed during a home invasion robbery.
(Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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1 month ago

Two officers on leave amid investigation into inmate’s death

(ALDOC/Facebook)

Two Alabama prison officers are on leave as the department probes the use of force in the death of a state inmate.

The Alabama Department of Corrections said it is investigating the alleged use of force that resulted in the death of an inmate at Ventress Correctional Facility inmate.

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Fifty-five-year-old Michael Smith of Fairfield, died Dec. 5 after being removed from life support following a November incident at the prison.

The prison system said it is also investigating the death of another inmate at Holman Correctional Facility.

 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 months ago

City of Auburn probes halt on student housing projects

(Auburn University/Flickr)

A college town in Alabama has proposed temporarily halting construction on any new student housing developments amid concerns the number of existing facilities exceeds the amount of students in the city.

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders proposed an ordinance at last week’s city council meeting that would stop new student housing developments for about 90 days to give leaders time to figure out a long-term solution.

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Data from a city task force showed the number of beds designed specifically for students in the city is too high at approximately 37,000, and Auburn University officials say the school isn’t forecasted to see major enrollment growth.

The ordinance will be introduced Dec. 17.

 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 months ago

This weekend’s comprehensive college football TV schedule

(Pixabay)

For a printable version, click here. Pro tip: Save the image below to your phone for quick and easy access all weekend.

(Note: All times are Central)

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2 months ago

This weekend’s comprehensive college football TV schedule

(Pixabay, YHN)

For a printable version, click here. Pro tip: Save the image below to your phone for quick and easy access all weekend.

(Note: All times are Central)

1
2 months ago

Troy University to study plastic recycling

(Pixabay, YHN)

Alabama researchers are studying new ways to recycle plastics.

Troy University says its recently established Center for Material and Manufacturing Sciences has received a $2.7 million grant to look at new methods of recycling plastic waste.

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A statement from the school says the money will pay for scientists and students to work on the project, plus equipment to do the work.

The grant is from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which is part of the U.S. Commerce Department.

It provided another grant of $3.2 million last year.

The research looks at ways to recycle polymers into new materials.

Researchers will also study using hemp fiber to reinforce plastics and ways to test recycled material.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 months ago

Study to look for signs of hookworm in Alabama’s Black Belt

(Wikicommons, YHN)

Researchers are once again trying to determine whether Alabama’s Black Belt region has a problem with intestinal parasites called hookworm.

A study led by University of Alabama at Birmingham is recruiting participants for a program that will screen hundreds of children in Wilcox and Perry counties for signs of hookworm.

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State health officials took issue with a previous study involving Baylor University that found evidence of hookworm.

The parasite was once widespread in the United States and is now a problem mainly in underdeveloped counties.

Health officials say poor waste disposal systems and environmental conditions in rural west Alabama put the area at risk for the problem.

UAB announced the new program in a statement this week. The work is being funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 months ago

This weekend’s comprehensive college football TV schedule

(Pixabay)

For a printable version, click here. Pro tip: Save the image below to your phone for quick and easy access all weekend.

(Note: All times are Central)

1
2 months ago

Grants to help fund water wells in 10 Alabama counties

(Pixabay, YHN)

A national nonprofit group says grant money will help provide loans to increase the amount of safe drinking water that’s available in 10 Alabama counties.

The North Carolina-based Water Well Trust says it has received a $300,000 federal Agriculture Department grant that will fund new and improved wells for rural households.

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Combined with matching funds from the Water Systems Council, the money will be available in Bullock, Barbour, Dallas, Hale, Lowndes, Macon, Montgomery, Perry, Pike and Wilcox counties.

A statement from the group says the grant money will provide low-interest loans of as much as $11,000 per household.

The money is for homeowners who don’t have access to a public water system.

Prospective applicants can apply online or get an application form from Water Well Trust website.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 months ago

Texas group resumes search for missing Aniah Blanchard

(Texas EquuSearch/Facebook, Blanchard Family/Contributed, YHN)

A Texas-based nonprofit that works to find missing people is resuming its search for the missing stepdaughter of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris.

Destinie Duvall with Texas EquuSearch told the Opelika-Auburn News that Aniah Blanchard is “tugging at our hearts, so it’s tough to sit still and wait.”

The horse-mounted search group headed home last week after Duvall said it used “every resource available” to find the 19-year-old Blanchard.

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Duvall said then that the group would revive the search pending new leads.

But she now says searchers want to keep looking despite there being no new leads as of Saturday.

Blanchard was last seen on Oct. 23 at a gas station in Auburn, Alabama.

A man spotted there at about the same time, 29-year-old Ibraheem Yazeed, is charged in her disappearance.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 months ago

Fish added to Alabama creek to boost tourism

(Rainbow Fly Fishing club/Facebook)

Hundreds of fish have been added to an Alabama creek as part of an ongoing effort to boost tourism.

Black Creek was restocked Tuesday with about 1,100 pounds of trout above Noccalula Falls by the Rainbow Fly Fishing Club, The Gadsden Times reported.

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The group also stocked 1,000 coppernose bluegill into the watershed in late March.

Rep. Craig Lipscomb (R-Rainbow City) is a member of the fishing club, and said they’re working with the city to fill a gap for activities at the falls in the winter months.

“We’re thinking about eco-tourism,” he said.

Lipscomb said trout fishing in Georgia brings in tens of millions of dollars for the state and Gadsden would benefit even from a fraction of that.

Georgia has about 4,000 miles of trout streams and they are managed by the state’s Department of Natural Resources.

Fly fishing for trout is expected to last beyond the winter months.

“They’re a cold-water fish but they’ll stick around into summer,” Lipscomb said.

He said the club plans to feed the fish to keep them in the upper part of the watershed instead of following Black Creek downstream into the Coosa.

Lipscomb said even in summer, the deeper part of the pools and shaded areas of the gorge will be habitats for the fish.

The trout will be stocked twice a year — once in November and once in February.

Fishing for trout requires a permit issued by Noccalula Falls Park as well as an Alabama State Fishing License.

Permits cost $9 per day or $11 for a three-day pass.

There are other limitations including dates for catch and release and only using fly rods, artificial lures and barb-less hooks.

More information can be found at www.flyfishgadsdenal.com.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 months ago

Bitter cold sets record low temperatures in Alabama

(Wikicommons, YHN)

The National Weather Service says a cold snap has set new records in the Deep South.

The overnight temperature dropped to 18 degrees (-8 Celsius) in Birmingham, Alabama, early Wednesday, breaking the previous low record of 22 degrees (-6 Celsius) set in 1911.

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The weather service says more than 100 other sites in Alabama also reached historic lows, including Hamilton and Florence at 13 degrees (-11 Celsius).

The weather service says Greenville, Mississippi, dropped to 17 degrees (-8 Celsius), breaking a record of 23 degrees (-5 Celsius) set 108 years ago.

The temperature dropped below freezing as far south as the Gulf Coast.

The weather service says that resulted in “sea smoke” in some places, or low clouds that formed over coastal waters as chilly air moved over warmer water.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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3 months ago

This weekend’s comprehensive college football TV schedule

(Pixabay)

For a printable version, click here. Pro tip: Save the image below to your phone for quick and easy access all weekend.

(Note: All times are Central)

1
3 months ago

Man charged in missing AL woman case caught in Florida

(Escambia County Jail/Contributed, Blanchard Family/Contributed)

Authorities have arrested the man wanted in the disappearance of UFC heavyweight Walt Harris’ stepdaughter.

Jail records show Ibraheem Yazeed was arrested in Florida and booked into the Escambia County Jail early Friday.

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He’s charged with first-degree kidnapping in the disappearance of 19-year-old Aniah Blanchard, who was last seen at a gas station in Auburn, Alabama, on Oct. 23.

Blanchard was reported missing the next day.

Her car was later found abandoned in Montgomery, more than 50 miles (90 kilometers) away.

Police said the car contained evidence that Blanchard had been harmed.

Auburn police this week released images of Yazeed showing him at the gas station while Blanchard was there.

A reward of about $105,000 was offered for information leading to an arrest.

Alabama State Bureau of Investigation Capt. Joe Herman told WSFA-TV that Yazeed was out on bond at the time of Blanchard’s disappearance.

He faces charges of attempted murder and kidnapping in a February case. A judge revoked the bond Thursday.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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3 months ago

‘Mockingbird’ courthouse gets preservation grant

(Monroe County Museum/Facebook)

The South Alabama courthouse linked to Harper Lee’s novel “To Kill a Mockingbird” is receiving a preservation grant.

The program Partners in Preservation says the old Monroe County Courthouse in Monroeville is receiving $125,000 to repair serious structural problems in a wall.

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Recipients were announced following an online vote.

The 115-year-old old courthouse is now a museum that tells the story of Lee and fellow writer Truman Capote, who were both from Monroeville.

Lee’s Pulitzer Prize-winning book used the red-brick courthouse as the model for a pivotal trial scene in her story of racial injustice.

The two-story courtroom was then recreated as a Hollywood set for the 1962 movie based on Lee’s novel.

Partners in Preservation is a project of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and American Express.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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3 months ago

National Peanut Festival opens in southeast Alabama

(National Peanut Festival/Facebook, YHN)

An event that bills itself as the world’s largest celebration of the peanut is under way in Alabama.

The National Peanut Festival opened Friday in Dothan and continues through next Saturday with rides, exhibits, music and agricultural competitions.

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Now in its 76th year, the festival began in 1938 as a three-day event with an appearance by agricultural scientist George Washington Carver of Tuskegee.

It has been held each year since except during the 1940s, when organizers took a break for World War II.

The festival now lasts 10 days and draws an estimated 200,000 people annually.

The festival site isn’t hard to find if you make it to Dothan: a 24-foot-tall peanut marks the entrance.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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