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.

2 days 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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1 week 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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3 weeks 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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4 weeks 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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4 weeks 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
4 weeks 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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1 month 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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1 month 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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1 month 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
1 month ago

Alabama Democratic Party awaits ruling ahead of weekend leadership elections

(WKRG, Alabama News Network/YouTube, YHN)

Insurgents seeking new leadership for Alabama Democrats argued with the party’s old-line officers in court Thursday over a lawsuit to block a potential revamping of the party in a deeply Republican state.

Circuit Judge Greg Griffin gave lawyers time to submit additional documents, but issued no immediate decision on the suit, filed Wednesday by longtime party chair Nancy Worley and others.

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Any ruling is sure to be appealed.

The lawsuit seeks to block some members of the party’s governing committee from meeting Saturday to elect new leaders.

The suit contends the meeting would be illegal, a claim that supporters of new party leadership deny.

The legal fight comes as the party’s lone statewide officeholder, Sen. Doug Jones, faces a tough reelection battle.

The Democratic National Committee is siding with the upstart group that’s aligned with Jones rather than Worley and party vice chairman Joe Reed, the longtime head of the black caucus.

During a conference call Thursday with reporters, Jones said he goes “way, way back” with the family of state Rep. Chris England of Tuscaloosa, whom he said would make a “strong chair” of the state party.

England, a defendant in the lawsuit, said the meeting set for Saturday has been properly authorized.

At the courthouse, lawyers for Worley and vice chair Randy Kelly argued that allowing a vote for new officers could split the party and create confusion over finances and next March’s primary, the Montgomery Advertiser reported.

“There will be utter chaos,” said attorney Bobby Segall. “The Democratic Party itself will be in trouble.”

Attorneys for the upstart faction said the group was trying to carry out orders from the national party and revise state party bylaws.

National Democrats have warned that state delegates may not be seated at next year’s convention without changes.

Barry Ragsdale, representing Worley critics, said she had repeatedly missed or ignored DNC deadlines and blocking the meeting “is beyond the power of this court.”
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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1 month ago

Christopher Columbus replica ships coming to Alabama

(Columbus Ships/Facebook)

Replicas of Christopher Columbus’ ships are coming back to northern Alabama.

WAAY-TV reports the Nina and Pinta will open to the public at Joe Wheeler State Park Marina on Thursday.

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The two are historically accurate to the real ships.

They were in northern Alabama this summer before heading to Tennessee for almost two months.

While in port, you can walk around the ships and take self-guided tours.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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1 month ago

Flounder fishing prohibited in November

(Outdoor Alabama/Contributed)

Flounder fishing in state waters will be halted in November to protect migrating fish.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is reminding anglers that commercial and recreational fishing for flounder is prohibited from Nov. 1 through Nov. 30.

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Flounder migrate from Mobile Bay, the Mississippi Sound and other inshore waters into the Gulf of Mexico to spawn beginning in November each year.

Kevin Anson, chief biologist with the Alabama Marine Resources Division, said the November closure was established to protect the migrating fish and help grow the population.

Additionally, the department said Alabama waters will close to the recreational harvest of greater amberjack on Nov. 1.

That coincides with the closing of Gulf federal waters.

State and federal waters will remain closed to amberjack fishing through April 30.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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1 month ago

The Shoals Dream Center to offer help and hope in the region

(Shoals Dream Center/Facebook, YHN)

A new facility in Northwest Alabama has opened with the aim of reducing poverty and its effects on families.

The Shoals Dream Center is envisioned as a hub for an array of services to aid the area’s families, The TimesDaily reported.

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Those services would include providing food, academic tutoring and mentoring for at-risk kids.

The center also plans to offer addiction recovery resources and life skills training.

The Shoals Dream Center is an extension of the Chapel church.

“God gave us this location for the purpose of helping people find hope for today and dreams for the future,” Chapel Pastor Bobby Gourley said at a recent ribbon cutting.

“This center is about helping people to move out of the poverty cycle, changing that generational tree,” Gourley added. “It’s about giving people a hand up, not a hand out.”

The social services components will offer after-school programs where students can engage in learning and developmental training, activities and games three days per week, said Toyia Gourley, the director of the Dream Center Academy.

The food distribution is set up in the style of a supermarket, allowing clients the opportunity to shop for items their family needs, the newspaper reported.

The Gourleys came to the Chapel in 2014 after moving to Alabama from Tennessee and their home church, Cornerstone Nashville.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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1 month 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
1 month ago

Funeral set for Kamille McKinney

(Contributed)

A funeral service is set for this weekend for a 3-year-old Alabama girl who was abducted from a birthday party and killed, and officials said Friday they are establishing a permanent reward fund in her memory.

The service for Kamille McKinney was scheduled for Sunday afternoon, with burial to follow at Elmwood Cemetery.

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The child’s body was found amid garbage this week 10 days after she disappeared.

The funeral is planned for New Beginning Christian Ministry, where pastor Sylvester Wilson said the church has a 700-seat sanctuary and can use its fellowship hall as an overflow auditorium.

“It’s open to the public. I already know that our church is nowhere big enough to hold this crowd,” said Wilson.

The child’s mother previously attended the church, he said.

Police have charged a man and a woman with kidnapping and capital murder in the death of the child, who was known to relatives as “Cupcake.”

The city has announced a website for anyone who wants to make donations to help pay the child’s funeral and burial expenses.

More than $12,000 has been given and organizers said any leftover money will go to nonprofits that help at-risk people.

Also, Crime Stoppers of Metro Alabama said it was establishing a permanent reward fund in the girl’s name to help in future child abductions.

The group said it had received more than $35,000 in donations linked to the girl’s disappearance.

“There is no silver lining in the Cupcake tragedy,” Frank Barefield, chairman of the organization’s board, said in a statement. “However, we are deeply moved by the public’s generosity during the investigation of her kidnapping. We hope the memory of Cupcake is somehow kept alive not only in our community, but also in the generosity of these donors.”
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 months ago

Wet weekend: Tropical storm warnings for US Gulf Coast

(US National Weather Service Mobile Alabama/Facebook)

The National Hurricane Center expects a weather disturbance to become a tropical storm Friday as it moves toward the northern U.S. Gulf Coast.

The disturbance, which would be named Nestor, should bring a wet weekend across much of the U.S. South.

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Forecasters say it’s about 390 miles (630 kilometers) south-southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River.

It has top sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph) and is moving to the northeast at 14 mph (22 kph).

A tropical storm warning is in effect from the Mississippi-Alabama line to Yankeetown, Florida, and from Grand Isle, Louisiana to the mouth of the Pearl River.

Forecasters expect blustery winds and heavy rain in parts of Alabama, Georgia and northern Florida, followed by the Carolinas and Virginia by Sunday.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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2 months ago

Federal grant to help develop workers in west Alabama

(UWA/Contributed)

A $2.5 million federal grant will help develop new workers with a goal of expanding economic development in rural west Alabama.

The money is going to the University of West Alabama for work in a 10-county region.

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The area includes some of the state’s poorest counties, and officials sometimes cite the lack of qualified workers as part of the problem.

The grant will fund programs to develop new workers, recruit them into industry and get them working.

It will also establish and expand rural apprenticeship initiatives.

The grant was awarded by the Labor Department in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The University of West Alabama is one of eight organizations in five states to receive the money.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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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

Montgomery voters to elect new mayor

(S. Reed, D. Woods/Facebook, YHN)

Voters in Montgomery, Alabama, are about to elect a new mayor.

Probate Judge Steven Reed and businessman David Woods face each other in the Tuesday runoff.

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The two were the top finishers in the first round of voting in August.

Reed is the probate judge of Montgomery County. Woods is a businessman and owns WCOV-TV.

The winner of the runoff will replace current Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.

Strange did not seek reelection.

If Reed is elected, he will be the city’s first African-American mayor.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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