Esther Ciammachilli

Esther Ciammachilli

Host/Reporter



If you’re reading this then you now know how to spell Esther’s last name. That's the most asked question she’s received since she joined WBHM in 2015. (It's Italian​, if you're wondering.)

Esther came to Birmingham from Reno Public Radio in Reno, Nevada, where she was the host of All Things Considered and a reporter, but wore many other hats. She spent a decade as a singer/actress in Las Vegas before returning to school to get her degree. As she tells it, she got tired of singing for her supper. She’s a graduate of the Reynolds School of Journalism at the University of Nevada, Reno, with no position on Alabama football.

You can hear Esther in the afternoons on WBHM as the host of All Things Considered, as well as in her stories about the people and places around Birmingham and North Central Alabama. Her background in the arts fuels her passion for arts and culture stories, but she doesn't shy away from hard news issues.

When she’s not on the airwaves at WBHM, Esther enjoys spending time with her family, eating at Alabama’s delicious restaurants, and hiking or going to the gym to work it all off.

US Attorney General Lynch Gives Final Speech in Birmingham

US Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke to a packed congregation at the 16th St. Baptist Church yesterday to commemorate Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Lynch says the city’s past and King’s work have made Birmingham a beacon for civil rights in the United States.

U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions and a Look at Civil Rights

Jeff Sessions’ civil rights track record is on trial and is likely to remain a topic of conversation until his confirmation hearing. Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper Weld discusses a little about how civil rights actually work.

Musician James Mullis: An Old Soul with a Millennial’s Heart

Birmingham musician James Mullis offers his unique blend of blues, folk and Americana.

Proposed Development at CrossPlex Causing Controversy

If you build it, they will come. That’s one reason the Birmingham City Council approved the $3.7 million for infrastructure improvement at the CrossPlex in Five Points West. The project includes new roads and sidewalks around the 38-acre property.

Journalism Under Fire After Presidential Election

Journalism is operating in a brave, new world following this past presidential election. Issues surrounding “fake news,” far-right and far-left media websites and the role social media plays in disseminating news stories are all factors in this change. This leaves journalists and major news outlets like the New York Times, CNN and even NPR scrambling […]

The Queer Library: A New Home for LGBT Literature

The brainchild of Change Project founder Steven Romeo, every book is written by an LGBT author or contains LGBT content.

Colonial Pipeline’s Shocking Safety History

Colonial Pipeline has a shocking history of what federal regulators call “significant incidents.” Its track record for safety is far worse than some other pipeline companies in the South. Colonial is currently under federal investigation following the gas leak and subsequent explosion that killed two people near Helena.

“Rainbow Viaduct” Will Be Saved

The 21st Bridge, also known as the “Rainbow Viaduct” is included in a major renovation project headed by the Alabama Department of Transportation. The future of the viaduct has been an issue of contention among ALDOT, Birmingham city officials and historic preservation groups. ALDOT recently made a critical decision that will greatly affect the bridge project. Here to talk about that and other news is Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper Weld.

TopGolf Complex Coming Soon to Uptown

The Birmingham City Council this week cleared the way for construction of a proposed 65,000 square-foot Topgolf complex in Uptown. The council also approved a $1.5 million incentive package to be spread out over the next eight years.

First Rain After Drought is Both Good and Bad

Groups that monitor Alabama’s waterways say there are some drawbacks and are warning of potential health risks found in and around rivers and streams.

Alabama Cattle Ranchers Hit Hard by Drought

After months of warm, dry weather, it did finally rain this week. But a few days of precipitation won’t erase months of drought. The lack of rainfall has crippled the state’s $2 billion cattle industry. The drought has forced ranchers to buy hay from out-of-state and if the dry weather persists this winter, things could get a lot worse for farmers and their herds.

Anxiety and Fear: Birmingham Muslims React to Election of Donald Trump

When Donald Trump was on the campaign trail, he made a promise to “make America great again.” Part of that plan involves a complete and total ban on Muslim immigrants trying to enter the United States. But what about the Muslims that already live in the U.S? Many say they’re concerned for their own safety […]

Jeff Co Death Sentence Numbers One of Highest in Nation, Report Finds

Jefferson County has one of the highest rates of capital punishment in the nation, according to a report released last month by Harvard Law School’s Fair Punishment Project. The report found that the county is one of only 16 in the nation to hand down five or more death sentences between 2010 and 2015. We […]

Tuscaloosa Teacher Investigated After Pro-Trump Image in Class

A Tuscaloosa high school teacher is under investigation after projecting a pro-Donald Trump image in one of his classes.

KKK Literature Appears in Birmingham Neighborhood After Election

Residents in Southside discovered pamphlets from the Ku Klux Klan asking for Alabamians to “rise up” and join the organization.

Calls for Citizen Poll Monitors Could Lead to Voter Discrimination in Alabama

This coming Election Day in Alabama a record 3.3 million people are registered and waiting to vote. It’s the climax to what has been a long and contentious presidential campaign season. Claims of a possible voter fraud and calls for citizen poll watchers has government agencies and civil rights groups in Alabama taking precautions.

Lawsuit Language Sparks Debate at Birmingham City Council Meeting

A $2.5 million lawsuit payout signed by Birmingham Mayor William Bell sparked heated debate during Tuesday’s City Council meeting. Members of the Birmingham City Council questioned whether the mayor has the authority to approve expenditures that large without seeking council consent. We talk about this with Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper Weld. Patterson […]

One Dead, Several Injured After Gas Pipe Explodes in Shelby County

Colonial Pipeline owns and operates the line located off Grey Hill Road near McCalla which funnels gas to millions of people. It has since been shut down.

Big Push to Make AL Civil Rights Monuments National Parks

A big push is underway to designate several Alabama civil rights locations as national parks. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Mayor William Bell joined Jewell for a tour of Birmingham’s civil rights district.

Protecting Yourself from a Cyber Attack

A cyber attack known as a distributed denial of service or DDoS took out several website-based companies last Friday. Users of Twitter, Netflix and the Birmingham News’ AL.com were denied access to these sites for several hours. Nick Patterson, from the weekly newspaper Weld, looks at how this attack affects you and what you can do to prevent being a victim of this in the future.

Attorney: Suspension is Not Removal; Roy Moore Still Chief Justice

Attorneys for Roy Moore say he’s technically still Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, despite being suspended for the remainder of his term without pay. Mat Staver is with Liberty Counsel, the group representing Moore. He says Acting Chief Justice Lyn Stuart acted unilaterally when she removed Moore’s name from the court’s letterhead and […]

AL Climatologists: Current Drought Once in a Lifetime Phenomenon

State climatologists say the ongoing drought in some areas of Alabama is a phenomenon seen roughly once in a lifetime. The U.S. Drought Monitor rates stricken areas on a scale of D1 to D4, four being areas of exceptional drought. Northeast and north-central Alabama including Jefferson County are at a D3 or above. “For the […]

Asylum Seeking Detainees in AL Claiming Civil Rights Violations

A new report comprised by several immigration advocacy groups finds that Habeus Corpus is routinely denied for detainees being held at the Immigration and Customs Enforcement complex in Gadsden. The ICE facility at the Etowah County Detention Center houses hundreds of detainees seeking asylum in the U.S. and Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper […]

Breaking the Cycle of Domestic Violence

Nick Patterson from the weekly newspaper Weld reports on an effort to stop the cycle of abuse and domestic violence in Birmingham and north-central Alabama.

AL Medical Boards Could Face Scrutiny from Federal Trade Commission

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision set a new precedent regarding federal antitrust laws and state medical agencies. The ruling means regulatory groups made up of members with private sector interests are subject to federal antitrust laws. Agencies like the Medical Association of Alabama – which is headed by several private medical practitioners – could potentially be affected.

Attorney: Moore Decision Disregards “Rule of Law”

Lawyers for former Chief Justice Roy Moore are appealing his removal from office saying the move was a disregard for the “rule of law.” Attorneys with the Liberty Counsel, a conservative non-profit law firm out of Florida that represents Moore, filed the appeal yesterday. It once again comes down to semantics. Among other arguments, Moore’s […]

Roy Moore Calling His Second Ouster “Politically Motivated”

Moore is calling his punishment the result of a “politically motivated effort by radical homosexual and transgender groups,” who targeted him because of what he calls his “outspoken opposition to their immoral agenda.”

Urban Dwellers Making a Push to Save Disappearing Honeybee

A quote about the honeybee made famous by an anonymous thinker states, “If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe then man would only have four years of life left.” As ominous as that sounds it’s not far from true. Bees play an extremely important role in the production of crops and the […]

Fate of Chief Justice Roy Moore Hangs in the Balance

Several children were among the overall peaceful protestors that gathered at the state Supreme Court Wednesday for the trial of yet another high-ranking Alabama official, Roy Moore.

Roy Moore Faces Removal from Bench for Second Time in 13 Years

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore is facing removal from the bench for the second time in 13 years. Moore goes to trial Wednesday on judicial ethics charges for allegedly ignoring a U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized same-sex marriage.

Alabama Joining Antitrust Lawsuit Over Drug Used to Treat Opioid Addiction

Attorney General Luther Strange is joining 35 other Attorneys General in an antitrust lawsuit against the makers of Suboxone, a prescription drug used to treat opioid addiction. Reckitt Benckiser Pharmaceuticals, now known as Indivior, is accused of conspiring with MonoSol Rx to switch Suboxone from a tablet to a film (that dissolves in the mouth) […]

A Look at the Struggling Neighborhoods of Birmingham’s West Side

Communities like Ensley, West End and Fairfield were commercial hubs during the industrial heyday of the late 1800s and early 1900s.