Esther Ciammachilli

Esther Ciammachilli


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.

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 […]

Department Of Justice Investigates Overcrowding At Alabama Prisons

The Department of Justice is investigating Alabama’s prison system, and whether crowded conditions put inmates and officers in danger. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit

Lawsuit Aims To Change How Alabama’s Appeals Court Judges Are Elected

Civil rights activists say the process violates the Voting Rights Act. Renee Montagne talks to Vanzetta McPherson, a retired federal magistrate judge, about how the imbalance impacts the community. Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit Photo by bloomsberries

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.

Broken Gas Pipe Removed, Investigation Underway

An investigation is underway into what caused a gas pipeline to start leaking near Helena. Officials with Colonial Pipeline say the broken pipe was removed over the weekend and sent to an outside firm for investigation. Crews constructed a 500 foot bypass to circumvent the broken pipe before it was removed. Colonial says they identified […]

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.

Gas Flowing Through Pipeline Again, Environmental Groups Following Cleanup

Gasoline is flowing once again through a pipeline that carries fuel to several southeastern states. But, it could still be several days until fuel delivery is back to normal. Crews worked day and night for nearly two weeks constructing a 500-foot bypass off a broken gas pipeline. Officials with Colonial Pipeline – the company that […]

Gas Leak Cleanup Going Well, Bentley Says

Colonial Pipeline, the company that owns and operates the gas pipeline, has deployed roughly 700 people to clean up about 300,000 gallons of gas. It spilled into a pond near Helena.

A Paralympian Cyclist Gears Up For Rio

Nearly 300 Americans are heading to Rio de Janiero to compete in the Paralympics that begin Sept. 7. For Jennifer Schuble, it’s her third time and the cyclist hopes to win gold yet again.

Paralympic Athlete Josh Roberts Going for Gold in Rio

Most of us expect to sweat when we get hot, but imagine if you couldn’t? This condition affects many people with spinal cord injuries – like Roberts.

What it’s Like Being “Out in Alabama”

Alabama native and 31-year-old Joshua Glenn talks about his role in the film and its significance to the LGBT people in Birmingham and the South.

Cursive Law Writes New Chapter For Handwriting In Alabama’s Schools

Schools in Alabama were already required to teach cursive writing, but a new law now requires schools to provide cursive instruction by the end of the third grade, and report proficiency levels.

How to Avoid Being the Victim of Violent Crime

Recent studies show that violent crime is on the rise in America, and 2016 homicide numbers in Birmingham are on pace with last year, the highest number of homicides the city has seen since 2008. But does this mean you have a higher chance of becoming a victim of a violent crime?

Birmingham’s Comprehensive Plan: Four Years After the Launch

Some feel Birmingham residents are worse off now than they were before the Comprehensive Plan was implemented.

UAB Launching New Solar Energy System

The $122,000 project atop the Campus Recreation Center is part of a larger plan at UAB to use buildings as incubators for new sustainable technology.

What’s Ailing Birmingham’s Public Transportation Industry?

There are several transformative projects many feel have lost momentum. We start this week’s Magic City Marketplace asking, “Where do we go from here?

Hate-Filled Heckling in the Name of Religion

The hearing Monday for suspended Chief Justice Roy Moore sparked disturbing heckles directed at members of the LGBT community. Moore supporters chanted anti-gay slurs and mocked a speaker attempting to give an emotional testimony. For more on this and other news, we turn to John Archibald, columnist for the Alabama Media Group.

Medicaid Cuts Sending Shock Waves Through Alabama Medical Community

The first round of cuts to the state’s Medicaid program went into effect on August 1. Officials did away with the “primary care bump,” a payment incentive given to primary care providers in an effort to encourage them to accept Medicaid patients. The cuts are already sending shock waves through Alabama’s medical community, especially in […]

An Alabama Museum You Can Enjoy From The Driver’s Seat

Artist Butch Anthony has created a drive-thru museum in Seale, Ala. On display is a collection of odd items, decorated and displayed inside shipping containers that vehicles drive between.

Gay Rights Group Calling for Moore’s Ouster Through Public Advertisement

The Human Rights Campaign, a group that advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community put the sign up in downtown Montgomery. The sign went up just days before Moore’s hearing on judicial ethics charges. In January, he sent an order to probate judges saying the state’s gay marriage ban was still in effect even after a U.S. Supreme Court decision legalized same-sex marriage.

Iron Giant Percussion Takes Drumming to New Heights

Four guys plus a table full of random stuff that makes noise equals Iron Giant Percussion. The Birmingham natives take drumming to new heights, pounding out rhythms on everything from bongos to porcelain floor tiles.

Reducing Recidivism in Alabama, U.S.

People who have spent time in prison for non-violent felony offenses have a difficult time finding – and in some cases – keeping a job. This lack of opportunity can often force people into situations where the only option is to break the law and risk being sent back to prison. It’s called recidivism.

How Alabama Ethics Laws Allow for Questionable Campaign Spending

A loophole in Alabama’s campaign finance law allows for questionable contributions.

Why is Commercial Real Estate such a Hot Commodity in Birmingham?

Birmingham is attracting a lot of commercial investment. Since 2011, out-of-state investors have spent more than $3.8 billion on commercial property in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. This trend is said to have peaked in 2014, but experts say investor money is still flowing into the city. In this week’s Magic City Marketplace, Ty West, editor […]