APT Premieres Explore Animal Friends, a Historic Murder and Home Grown Food

Three new local programs explore animal friends, a historic murder, and an initiative designed to help people grow their own food and share it.

Alabama Public Television presents three new programs on life in Alabama on Thursday, Feb. 24. Included are a new film in the Discovering Alabama series, a documentary on the life – and death – of a Catholic priest in Birmingham, and the latest edition of APT’s quarterly series Spotlight on Agriculture which examines new opportunities for growing and sharing food.

Doug Phillips has been helping people discover the natural wonders of our state for more than 35 years on Discovering Alabama, often with the company of his beloved dog. In “Animal Friends,” Phillips explores the strong bond between people and their pets and talks to a variety of experts about the intelligence and emotions of our animal companions. Not all humans, Phillips shares, treat their animals with the same amount of care, however. Phillips talks about his own dog being senselessly shot and almost dying, and about the sad prevalence of animal cruelty in Alabama. The episode premieres Thursday at 8:00 p.m.

Faith in the place of fear, perseverance amidst persecution, the courage to combat the rhetoric of the Ku Klux Klan, all describe the character of a Birmingham, Alabama, Catholic priest who faced his martyrdom on August 11, 1921. Father James E. Coyle: Life and Legacy airs Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on APT. Coyle’s legacy of courage and compassion from his birthplace in Ireland, to his time as a priest and instructor in Mobile, Alabama, and his fateful call to serve as Rector of The Cathedral of St. Paul where he willingly laid down his life, are brought to light in this new documentary.

Spotlight on Agriculture: Grow More, Give More on Thursday at 9:00 p.m. highlights an initiative which grew out of the pandemic to help people grow their own food – and encourages them to share it with others. Bethany O’Rear, an Alabama Extension regional agent in Birmingham, developed the project two years ago at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System’s website provides would-be growers with abundant information on soil, planting, seed germination, plant pests and diseases and even a Farming Basics Mobile App. The Extension System project also encourages gardeners to grow extra and give back to their communities.  The project expands community-based gardening as a way to increase donations of healthy vegetables across Alabama.

In addition to broadcast, APT provides a free livestream of its schedule online and on the PBS video app. All three programs will also be available for streaming at aptv.org beginning on the day they premiere.

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