Andrew Yeager


It was probably inevitable that Andrew Yeager would end up working in public radio. The son of two teachers, NPR News programs often formed the backdrop to car rides growing up. And it was probably inevitable that Andrew would end up in news after discovering the record button on his tape recorder. He still remembers his first attempted interview - his uncooperative 2-year-old sister.

Originally from east central Indiana, Andrew earned degrees in broadcasting and political science from Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio. While there he spent more than his fair share of time at WOBN, the student-run radio station. After college Andrew worked for an educational non-profit and volunteered at WMUB in Oxford, Ohio. He ventured into public radio full-time as a reporter for WNIN in Evansville, Ind. Besides covering an array of local stories, Andrew's work has been heard on many public radio programs.

Andrew lives with his wife and two children in Birmingham. When not consumed by public radio work, he's often picking up items strewn about the house by said children, reading or heading out on a bike ride when not enveloped by the Alabama heat.

Living in Birmingham and Liking it — 30 Years On

UAB students started classes this week. But for students stepping onto campus 30 years ago in 1986, they had the opportunity to take a class that might sound a little odd. The course was called "Living in Birmingham and Liking it." Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald ran across this tidbit recently. He reflects on it and on Birmingham's changes over the last three decades.

Birmingham’s Climate for High-growth Companies

The idea of starting or growing a business is pretty straightforward – an entrepreneur takes money and through hard work develops products or services to bring to the marketplace. But not all marketplaces are equal. This week in Magic City Marketplace we have some perspective on how well Birmingham is for entrepreneurs and companies trying to scale up quickly.

Pilot Project Aims to Make Trails More Accessible

A pilot project at Oak Mountain State Park aims to make trails in Alabama more accessible.

Birmingham’s Evolving Luxury Home Market

Birmingham’s housing market has steadily improved since the recession with some pockets absolutely on fire this year. But there's a segment of housing worth look at more closely – luxury homes. We talk about these homes selling for more than a million dollars in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

New Schools Chief Steps Into Turbulent Education Climate

Alabama has a new public schools chief. Last week, the State Board of Education selected Michael Sentance. He's the former Secretary of Education of Massachusetts and worked with the U.S. Department of Education. But he's never been a classroom teacher or principal and he was chosen over three Alabama candidates. That has some in the education community in an uproar. We talk about the situation with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.

What can we Learn from Other States’ Lotteries?

Alabama lawmakers will meet in a special session Monday to take up a lottery proposal from Governor Robert Bentley. The governor wants lawmakers to pass a constitutional amendment setting up a lottery. The revenue would go to the general fund which supports agencies such as Medicaid, prisons, and mental healthcare. If passed, the plan would have to be approved by voters to go into effect. Alabama’s one of six states that doesn’t have a lottery, so to gain perspective on what’s happened elsewhere WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke with Mary Borg. She’s a professor of political economy at the University of North Florida and studies lotteries.

CEO Pay in Birmingham

Researchers have documented rising inequality between those at the top of the economic ladder and workers at the bottom. Perhaps nothing represents this split more than the CEO salary. We hear about the earnings of Birmingham area CEOs in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

What do we Learn from a Church Bomber’s Denied Parole?

Thomas Blanton will stay in jail. He's the last remaining Klansman convicted for Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church bombing which killed four black girls in 1963. Blanton was up for parole Wednesday after serving 15 years of his four life sentences. But the state's parole board did not free Blanton. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald reflects on the hearing and also comments on Alabama's likely new Speaker of the Alabama House Mac McCutcheon.

Birmingham Startup Lands $20 million in Venture Capital

Birmingham tech startup Shipt grabbed eyeballs earlier this year when its logo went up on a on a downtown building. It drew wider attention with the announcement the company pulled down $20 million in venture capital. We talk about what that means in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Many Unknowns Around Governor’s Call for a Lottery

Proponents of a lottery in Alabama received a notable boost this week after Governor Robert Bentley announced he would call a special session on that issue. He wants lawmakers to pass a measure to create a lottery which would then have to be approved by voters. Bentley says it's up to voters to decide but calls a lottery the best remaining way to deal with persistent budget crises. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald offers his take on the proposal.

Governor Announces Special Session on Lottery

Governor Robert Bentley says he will call a special session in order for lawmakers to pass a measure that would allow residents to vote on setting up a state lottery. In a video released by the governor’s office Wednesday, Bentley says money from a lottery would fund “essential state services” for children, the elderly, the […]

Strong Headwinds Against Wind Energy in Alabama

Drive through the Midwest or Great Plains and you may see expansive wind farms rising from the fields. That sight is not something you see in Alabama. Still there are those who see a place for wind energy in this state and we talk about it in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

House Speaker Mike Hubbard Sentenced to Four Years in Prison

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has been sentenced to four years in prison for breaking the state’s ethics law. A judge in Lee County sentenced Hubbard Friday.

Who is Worse? Democrats or Republicans?

When it comes to less than stellar behavior in Alabama politics, both sides bring plenty to the table. Democrats are the party of George Wallace and the two-year college scandal. Republicans have now seen their House Speaker Mike Hubbard removed from office on ethics convictions. Meanwhile Republican Chief Justice Roy Moore faces his own ethics charges and Governor Robert Bentley faces an impeachment effort. Which side is worse? Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald says it's a trick question.

Cahaba Grand Sale Leaves Void for Large Events

Alabama’s largest church, the Church of the Highlands, purchased the Cahaba Grand Conference Center for $8 million earlier this year. As that facility along Highway 280 transitions from conference venue to house of worship, it’s causing ripples through the Birmingham area event space market. We talk about it in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

A Private Gym For Birmingham Airport Leader Raises Questions

High-profile positions often come with perks. But with public positions involving public money, perks can drift into illegal ethics violations. Those are the concerns around Birmingham's airport authority CEO and what's been called his private gym. We talk about the controversy with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald. We also hear about the unanswered questions around the firing of a high-raking employee of the State Department of Finance.

Interstate 22 Interchange Opens Completing Link to Memphis

State leaders, along with officials from around Jefferson County and Washington D.C., cut the ribbon Monday on the interchange between Interstate 22 and Interstate 65, completing a long-awaited highway between Birmingham and Memphis.

The Potential for a New Round of Bank Mergers

Birmingham’s banking industry is not what it used to be. After major acquisitions in the 2000s and the Great Recession, Birmingham is left with two big banks: Regions and BBVA Compass, which was snapped up by a Spanish financial giant. While all that activity has died down, there’s chatter we could see a pick up in mergers and acquisitions among banks. We start there in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

The Post-Hubbard Landscape for Alabama Politics

A new political landscape is emerging in Alabama following last week’s conviction of now former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard. On Friday night, a jury in Lee County convicted Hubbard on 12 felony ethics charges. He could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald watched much of the testimony and was there as the verdict came down. He spoke with WBHM's Andrew Yeager.

Birmingham Restaurants Face Worker Shortage

Birmingham’s food scene wins accolades from the around the country. It seems there’s always a new restaurant to try. But that success has created a new problem. There are not enough people to staff restaurant kitchens. We hear about that from Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Governor Testifies in House Speaker’s Trial

Wednesday brought the most anticipated moment of House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics trial so far. That’s when Governor Robert Bentley took the stand. Bentley testified about whether Hubbard lobbied him on behalf of a business client. Bentley is embroiled in his own scandal, accused of an affair with a former aide. But the testimony was perhaps less than what political junkies hoped for. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald talks about the trial and about financial troubles that have the City of Fairfield veering toward bankruptcy.

Mosquito Control Businesses Expect Boost From Zika

With rising concerns about the Zika virus, mosquitoes have even more of a target on their backs than usual this summer. While the bugs spread the disease, the only cases of Zika in Alabama so far have been related to travel to infected areas. As residents try to protect themselves, one type of business is expecting to do well: mosquito control companies.

Increase of Private Funds for Medical Research Raises Ethical Concerns

Medical research is a notable part of the Birmingham economy and more and more funding for potential breakthroughs is coming from private dollars. That can open up ethical questions. We also talk about a planned technology festival in Birmingham and the effect of new federal overtime rules in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Birmingham Revitalization: An Alternative Model from Cleveland

When a city neighborhood rebounds, it’s typically a story of investors buying cheap property, building and attracting new residents. That runs the risk of pushing out current residents who are often poor. This week as we explore Birmingham’s revitalization, we have at an example from Cleveland of an alternative model – worker cooperatives.

Former Chief of Staff Among First Witnesses in Hubbard Trial

The eyes of Alabama’s political world have turned to a Lee County courtroom as the trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard is now underway. He faces 23 felony ethics charges. He's accused of using his elected position and his former role as head of Alabama’s Republican Party for personal gain. Both sides gave their opening statements Tuesday with witness testimony following. Watching is all is Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald and he offers his observations to WBHM's Andrew Yeager.

Businesses Worry Birmingham’s Political Spat Could Hurt City’s Revival

Birmingham's city center has seen project after project pop up over the last five years or so. While the business community would love to see that continue, there's concern the acrimony right now between Birmingham Mayor William Bell and the city council could cut into the momentum. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace. Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West explains to WBHM's Andrew Yeager what has business leaders worried.

Governor Asks Staff to Sign Confidentiality Agreement

Two years ago something simple but significant happened in Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's office. Bentley asked his staff to sign non-disclosure agreements. More than 80 staffers did, but one who didn't was Rebekah Mason. She's the former political aide Bentley's accused of having an affair with. They're the latest details in the scandal surrounding the governor. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald talks about it along with the continued political spats at Birmingham City Hall.

Jury Selection Begins in Hubbard Trial

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard. He faces 23 felony ethics charges of using his public office to benefit his private businesses. It’s a trail that involves a who’s who of Alabama politics and has the potential to cast light on a hidden side of Montgomery. We talk about what’s to come with Don Dailey. He’s host of Capitol Journal on Alabama Public Television.

Small Banks Continue Move to Birmingham

Birmingham’s banking sector has seen smaller banks entering the market hoping to latch onto growth in the state’s biggest metro area. So far in 2016, that trend is not slowing. We start there in this week’s Magic City Marketplace. The Birmingham Business Journal's Ty West also explains how the healthcare community is reacting to a General Fund budget Alabama's Medicaid commissioner says is below what's needed to maintain services.

More of the Same as Birmingham City Council Reelects President

There's the adage, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." That could apply to the Birmingham City Council this week as they were forced to elect new leaders because of a new law requiring them to do so every two years. It was high political drama, but in the end, Council President Johnathan Austin retained his post by a five to four vote. Although there was a change at the number two spot. We talk about this and the potential ouster of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.

Nevada Company Interested in Unfinished Alabama Nuclear Plant

A Nevada company says it wants to buy an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeast Alabama.

Congestion Not Likely to Improve Around Birmingham

Anyone who commutes along I-65 or U.S. 280 around Birmingham, knows those highways can get congested. But those are far from the only roadways feeling pressure. Backups are annoying and have real costs.Birmingham Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West talks about that in this week’s Magic City Marketplace. He also explains why retail has been lagging in downtown Birmingham's revival.