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.
Birmingham native, Dunya Habash, spent two weeks in a Syrian refuge camp in 2014. She was filming for her recently released documentary, Za’atari: Jordan’s Newest City about a settlement created following the Syrian civil war. A recent honors graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Habash tells WBHM’s Esther Ciammachilli about this experience and how her own music helped tell the story.
Birmingham City Council members want to restore bus service to Fairfield following a vote this week by the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority to stop service to the area on June 1.
Testimony in the trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard continues. We look at how arguments are taking shape and the strange similarities in how the prosecution and defense describe Hubbard to the jury.
Woodlawn was a predominantly white neighborhood until it was integrated in the 1970s. After that, many whites fled, migrating over the mountain and Woodlawn became predominantly black. And many of them left too. The Woodlawn Foundation is trying to change that with projects like the Park at Wood Station, a 64-unit townhouse complex on First Ave. South.
The sign on the broken escalator says use the elevator. The sign on the broken elevator says take the stairs. This is what visitors and staff of the downtown library are currently dealing with.
Earlier this week, the Birmingham City Council narrowly reelected Johnathan Austin as council president. Steven Hoyt was elected the new president pro-tem. This shuffle was the result of changes to the Mayor Council Act, approved recently by the Alabama Legislature. This move is causing some new tensions among council members. To discuss this and other […]
Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore faces removal from office for the second time in this career, a rumored plea deal involving House Speaker Mike Hubbard lights up social media and we talk about the “Alabamafication” of America. It’s the latest from Kyle Whitmire, political columnist for The Birmingham News and AL.com.
In a surprising move, the Oxford City Council rescinded an ordinance it recently passed that would’ve forced transgender people to use public restrooms that match their biological sex. The mayor hadn’t signed the order yet, which gave council members a chance to call it back, bowing to pressure from civil rights organizations.
Today the Oxford City Council recalled a controversial ordinance that would’ve forced people to use public bathrooms and changing facilities that correspond to their biological sex. WBHM’s Esther Ciammachilli was at the meeting and discusses it with WBHM Program Director Michael Krall. You can listen to their conversation above or read it below: Refresh our […]
Oxford city leaders say public safety is what sparked the recent passage of an ordinance that forces transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological sex. But transgender advocates say the law is unjustifiable.
Lawmakers approve a General Fund budget that left an $85 million hole in the state’s Medicaid program and the head of the Alabama GOP feels compelled to defend the party. The latest from Kyle Whitmire, political columnist for The Birmingham News and AL.com.
An east Alabama city wants to send people to jail for not using public restrooms corresponding with their biological sex. It’s the latest move in an ongoing battle over transgender rights in the United States. The city council of Oxford, just east of Birmingham, has passed a law preventing transgender residents and visitors from using public restrooms […]
One Alabama woman dove head first into the relief effort after the tornado outbreak in April 2011. Her group, Toomer’s for Tuscaloosa, took off overnight, organizing aid for displaced residents and other emergency responders. But while helping others pick up the pieces to their lives, her personal life was crumbling.
There’s a new twist in the feud between Governor Robert Bentley and former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency head, Spencer Collier; a trip to Las Vegas could put Bentley in hot water with campaign finance law and a look at the state’s lack of oversight on religious daycare centers. The latest from AL.com’s Kyle Whitmire.
The former secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency is suing Governor Robert Bentley and others for wrongful termination and defamation of character. Spencer Collier filed a suit today, April 19, against Bentley, his former top adviser Rebekah Mason, and current ALEA Secretary Stan Stabler. The suit includes Bentley’s 501c4 the Alabama Council for Excellent […]
Alabama is joining eight other states petitioning the federal government to drop a proposal banning the modification of street vehicles into off-road race cars. Attorney General Luther Strange announced he is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to drop a proposed change to the Clean Air Act. The new rule would forbid the modification of […]
A small delegation of Alabama lawmakers – led by a Republican Representative from Hartselle – announced plans to impeach Governor Robert Bentley, the Legislature overrides Bentley’s budget veto and the role the Legislature’s infamous “Goat Hill” committee will play in all of this. The latest from AL.dom’s Kyle Whitmire.
People with autism often get uncomfortable in situations like live theater. Sudden loud noises and bright lights can cause distress. With one in 68 children being diagnosed with the condition, lots of Alabama families don’t see musicals or plays. One theater in Birmingham wants to change that by offering one of Alabama’s first “sensory-friendly” performances.
A Demopolis woman was sentenced to nearly four years in prison for filing more than $250,000 in false tax returns, and continued to break the law after pleading guilty last year. Eunice F. Plummer pleaded guilty in October to eight counts of filing false tax returns for other people and three counts of attempting to evade […]
Following the eruption of a scandal involving Governor Robert Bentley and his now former top political adviser, Rebekah Caldwell Mason, the governor is refusing to step down, despite mounting pressure from Alabama lawmakers. And Bentley’s involvement in the ethics trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard is made clear following disclosure by fired Alabama Law Enforcement […]
Alabama is joining 26 other states in filing a merits brief before the U.S. Supreme Court opposing the Obama administration’s order granting amnesty to roughly four million undocumented immigrants.
Attorney General Luther Strange says the Alabama Supreme Court recently issued a precedent-setting decision regarding theft of property offenses.
A note: The audio profile above was produced in January of this year, before Mother Angelica passed away. The founding matriarch of a monastery turned global religious television network died on Easter Sunday at the age of 92. Mother Mary Angelica, or Mother Angelica as she’s known, built the Eternal Word Television Network in Birmingham, […]
The Fairfield City Council recently made an unconventional move: they voted to get rid of their police department in an effort to save money. But some city leaders say it’s a shortsighted response to a big budget problem.
Alabama’s top law enforcement officer, Spencer Collier, is fired following statements he made about an alleged affair between Governor Robert Bentley and a top adviser, Rebekah Mason. For more, we turn to AL.com’s Kyle Whitmire. Following Spencer Colliers press conference, Governor Robert Bentley held his own saying he did not have a physical relationship with Rebekah Mason. […]
Federal and state leaders from Alabama announced a bill that would designate Birmingham’s Historic Civil Rights District as a National Park.
Homicide rates are on the rise across the country. In Birmingham, the city finished 2015 with a dramatic 55 percent increase. In response, law enforcement is stepping up efforts to combat violent crime. One key element is to add more face-to-face engagement between police and the community through old fashioned walking beats.
Alabama’s largest employer is increasing its minimum wage to $11 an hour, officials say. The decision was made before a contentious minimum wage fight between city and state lawmakers.
Life is difficult without identification. For homeless people, not having it can make life even more challenging. There are organizations that help homeless people get state-issued IDs, but cost increases are hurting their efforts. Hundreds pack into Boutwell Auditorium for Project Homeless Connect, an event that brings together several community organizations that provide free services […]
A public meeting was held in Montgomery Wednesday, March 9, to discuss legislation that would affect payday loans, a U.S. lawmaker from Alabama is chosen to advise Republican front-runner Donald Trump on national security issues and we say goodbye to a beloved, satirical social media entity. All that in this week’s conversation with Kyle Whitmire, […]