Voting on State Official Cake

Apr 29, 2016

Alabama has an official state bird, nut, fruit and even crustacean.  The state might soon have an official state cake, a lane cake.  The House of Representatives voted Thursday night to name lane cake as the official state cake.  The bill now goes to Gov. Robert Bentley for his signature.  The layered confection made with pecans, flaked coconut and sometimes a splash of bourbon is said to have been invented by a woman from Clayton.  Sen. Beasley of Clayton has been on a multi-year quest to add the dessert to the long list of state emblems.

Montgomery Homicide Investigation

Apr 29, 2016

A shooting death from Wednesday in Montgomery is now being handled as a homicide.  Police say 24-year-old Jordan Wilson of Montgomery was found with a gunshot wound in the 3200 block of Virginia Pines Lane at around 10:30 Wednesday night.  He was taken to a local hospital where he died the next day.  The circumstances surrounding the shooting remain under investigation, and no arrests have been made.  Police ask that anyone with information on this murder to call CrimeStoppers at 215-STOP, the Secret Witness line at 262-4000, or the Montgomery Police Department at 625-2831.  

Debate Continues on Prison Construction Proposal

Apr 29, 2016

The House of Representatives is in lengthy debate on Gov. Robert Bentley's $800 million prison construction proposal.  Lawmakers discussed the legislation for more than four hours Thursday.  Some lawmakers said the building project would solve safety and financial problems in the state prisons, while opposed lawmakers suggested it might compound them.  Bentley is seeking to borrow $800 to build three new mega prisons for men, that will house up to 4,000 inmates each and one new prison for women.  Most existing prisons would be closed.  Rep.

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore says a judicial ethics panel should dismiss complaints against him that were filed against him as he fought to keep gays and lesbians from marrying in the state.  Moore in January told probate judges that a state court order remained in effect telling judges to refuse marriage licenses to gay couples.  

Health Department Reports a Rise in Syphilis Cases

Apr 28, 2016

Officials with the Alabama Department of Public Health say syphilis is on the rise in the state.  According to the department there were 532 cases reported in 2015.  ADPH Sexually Transmitted Disease Director Anthony Merriweather says most of the cases involve men who have sex with men.  Merriweather says syphilis can be treated and cured.  

Sony Music Yo Yo Ma

The way Jimmy Santiago Baca tells it, poetry saved his life — but he's not speaking in hyperbole. Long before the poet won an American Book Award, Baca was in prison on a drug conviction, where he was facing down a prison-yard fight with another inmate.

Baca sought padding however he could get it.

A 60,000-Pound Problem

1 hour ago
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There's a long-held debate in education. " 'Do you fix education to cure poverty or do you cure poverty to cure education?' And I think that's a false dichotomy," says the superintendent of Camden schools in New Jersey, Paymon Rouhanifard. "You have to address both."

That can be expensive.

In 1997, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled that the state's school funding formula was leaving behind poor students. It ordered millions of dollars in additional funding to 31 of the then-poorest districts.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

The nation's top law enforcement officer walked past a barbed-wire fence, through passages lined with rust-colored walls, to meet with a special audience. But this was not a normal meet-and-greet — a stern-looking FBI security detail tracked her every move.

Inside the visitation room in this federal correctional institution, five men in khaki uniforms and black Crocs slippers were waiting to give Attorney General Loretta Lynch a glimpse of their struggles.

This year is the 50th anniversary of the original Star Trek, so mark the occasion, we're going to play a game called "To boldly go where no man has gone before!" We'll ask pioneering journalist Lesley Stahl three questions about the original Star Trek, taken from a new oral history called The Fifty-Year Mission. Stahl covered the Watergate scandal in the 1970s and has been a 60 Minutes correspondent for 25 years.

Sunjeev Sahota has written what I suspect will be finest novel of the year. I know, it's still early in 2016, but hear me out. The subject at the heart of The Year of the Runaways is illegal immigration, which is currently the source of much hand-wringing both here in the U.S. and across the world. Sahota, a British writer of Indian origin, has written not only a timely book, but a gut-wrenching, emotionally honest one, as well.

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