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.

Man Charged With Stealing Nearly $200,000 in Quarters

A Harpersville man is being charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in quarters while he worked for an armored truck company.

Barons Adding to Protective Netting Behind Home Plate

The protective netting behind home plate at Regions Field will be extended before the start of the 2016 Southern League Season. The netting will now stretch to the edge of the dugouts. Barons’ officials say space near the bottom of the protective screen has been designed to ensure fans and players will still be able […]

Looking Forward to the General Election

Super Tuesday has come and gone in Alabama. What was surprising and what to expect come November? Analysis of the primary elections. And House Speaker Mike Hubbard is back in court tomorrow – Thursday, March 3. A look at what’s happening in that trial taking place in Lee County.

Storms Couldn’t Keep Alabamians Away From Polls

Alabamians hit the polls yesterday for what’s been dubbed the “SEC Primary” and voter turnout was high despite severe weather.

Alabama Democrats Trying to Get Their Groove Back

Being a Democrat in Alabama wasn’t always taboo. They held a majority in state government for more than a century. But that changed in 2010 when they lost those seats to Republicans. In one of the state’s most conservative counties, Democrats are working on getting their groove back. “We have to get Democrats to come […]

Shelby County Residents to Vote on Sunday Alcohol Sales

During Tuesday’s primaries residents of Shelby County will vote on whether to allow alcohol to be sold on Sundays.

Multi-Million Dollar Contract Awarded for Phase Two of I-20/59 Project

In a deal totaling more than $208 million, the Alabama Department of Transportation has entered a contract with a California construction company that will begin Phase Two of the I-20/59 Bridge Project. Phase Two involves redesigning and constructing the new interchange ramps at I-65. Granite Construction Incorporated will build new ramps to 17th Street and […]

A Look Ahead to the “SEC Primary”

The SEC Primary, also known as Super Tuesday is next week. A look ahead at what we can expect to see when Alabamians go to the polls, and an update on the ethics trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard. State Legislators are now getting involved. Hear the latest from Kyle Whitmire the state political columnist for The Birmingham News and AL dot com.

Birmingham City Council Strikes Back Over Minimum Wage Bill

The Birmingham City Council is once again trying move up the effective date of its minimum wage increase. This is in response to the fast tracked steps the State Legislature is taking to block this action. The council could vote to move up the effective date from March 1 to Wednesday, February 24. Republican Representative […]

Reveals in Case of Speaker Mike Hubbard Could Mean Trouble for Prosecutors

There’s been a big reveal in the ethics trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard that carries potential danger for prosecutors, and U.S. Senator Richard Shelby has quickly progressed from inspirational campaign commercials to attack ads spearing his Republican opponents. Kyle Whitmire has more on this.

2015 Saw Rise in Hate Groups and Extremists in U.S.

The Southern Poverty Law Center released today its annual count of hate groups and extremists in the U.S.

Infamous West End Property Set for Demolition

A blighted property in West End that city officials say has been a scar on that area for too long is being demolished. Birmingham city leaders announced today that demolition of Larkway Gardens begins tomorrow morning, Wednesday, February 17, at 9 a.m. following asbestos removal. In an interview with WBHM last year, Councilwoman Sheila Tyson […]

Alabama in Need of Road Repairs to Spur Economic Development

A report out this week from a Washington think tank outlines the top transportation maintenance projects it says are needed to improve economic growth in Alabama.

100 Year-Old Mural in Bessemer Gets a Makeover

When the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel was restored in the 1980s and 90s, people were awe struck by the transformation. Vibrant colors and details that had been hidden for centuries could be seen once again. At the Bright Star in Bessemer, which bills itself as the oldest continuously operating restaurant in Alabama, the staff is experiencing similar feelings as the eatery’s more than 100 year-old mural slowly gets a makeover.

Alabama IRS Employee Pleads Guilty to Stealing Taxpayers Identities

An Alabama woman has pleaded guilty to identity theft and fraud in a tax scheme.

Alabama Actress Keeps Fannie Lou Hamer’s “Little Light” Shining

“I am sick and tired of being sick and tired.” ~Fannie Lou Hamer~ Actress and Alabama native Billie Jean Young has has done something not many have; she’s performed the same show more than 800 times on four continents. Her one-woman tribute tells the story of a Mississippi sharecropper turned civil rights activist, whose courage […]

Bentley’s “Great State” Plan Lacks Funding Details

The Alabama Legislature is back to work and Governor Robert Bentley announced his Great State 2019 Plan at his State of the State address last night. AL.com’s Kyle Whitmire discusses where funding for this plan is going to come from.

Alabama Ranks High in Nation for Number of Home Fire Deaths

Officials from an emergency response agency say Alabama ranks high among states for the number of home fires and deaths. The American Red Cross of Alabama reported that, just in January, 2016, they responded to 181 home fires from which 18 people have died. A total of 21 people have died from home fires so […]

Streamlining Emergency Response in Area Schools

Most Alabamians remember “snowmageddon.” Two years ago today, January 28, this winter anomaly crippled much of the state, stranding hundreds of students in schools and even on buses overnight. That got children’s advocates thinking about better ways to respond to emergencies including those with the Children’s Policy Council of Jefferson County.

Alabama Eligible for Federal Disaster Relief Following Storms

Alabama is eligible for federal aid to assist in repairing damages caused by severe storms that moved through the state late last year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced that federal disaster aid is available to Alabama as a supplement to state recovery efforts in the area affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding […]

UAB Athletics Hits Another Fundraising Milestone

UAB Athletics announced yesterday that they exceeded a second crucial fundraising mark in the Finish the Drive campaign.

Mother Angelica and the Eternal Word Television Network

Roman Catholics around the globe know the name Mother Angelica. She’s the founding matriarch of a small monastery in Irondale that grew into one of the largest religious media networks in the world, spanning 145 countries.

Madison Officer Acquitted of Excessive Force Charges

A federal judge in Alabama has thrown out a case of an officer accused of using excessive force against an elderly Indian man. This comes as prosecutors were considering a third trial. U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala granted a motion of acquittal Wednesday in the case of Madison police officer Eric Parker. Parker was accused […]

Governor Bentley Addresses Suing Feds Over Refugees

Governor Robert Bentley announced Thursday that he filed a lawsuit against the federal government alleging they violated the Refugee Act of 1980. Bentley held a press conference about this and WBHM’s Esther Ciammachilli was there. She talked to WBHM’s Rachel Lindley about what the governor had to say.

Alabama Sues Federal Government Over Refugee Resettlement Program

Alabama has become the second state to sue the U.S. government over refugee resettlement, accusing the Obama administration of failing to consult with states on placement of those who have fled their home countries.

Death at Building Trades Towers: Southside Apartment Building’s Troubled Past

The Birmingham Building Trades Towers Southside is still vacant after a fire forced the elderly residents, most of the poor, from their homes in October. Since this incident, Al.com’s Amy Yurkanin has uncovered disturbing information about the property, past and current tenants and its elusive owner who lives out of state.

Alabama Chief Justice Orders Stop to Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

Alabama Chief Justice, Roy Moore, issues an order to all probate judges regarding the state’s law on same-sex marriage, and Alabama lawmakers and community leaders address issues of gun rights in the wake of President Barack Obama’s executive order that expands background checks for gun buyers. More on this from Kyle Whitmire, political columnist for […]

Could Long-Time U.S. Senator Richard Shelby be Dethroned in 2016?

Alabama is bracing itself for a busy election cycle; not only for the presidential race and the new SEC Primary March 1, but also for a Congressional seat that’s up for grabs in Alabama in 2016. And, a recent report from a public policy research group shows the state is still struggling to bring in […]

Birmingham City Council Back to Business as Usual After Bell-Lundy Altercation

Following last week’s fight between Mayor William Bell and Councilman Marcus Lundy, it was business as usual today in the chambers of the Birmingham City Council.

Alabama Could See Tornadoes, Record-Breaking Christmas High Temps

Forecasters say a heat wave that could deliver the warmest Christmas ever recorded to cities across the South may also fuel tornadoes and storms featuring golf ball-sized hail and damaging winds of up to 70 mph.

JefCo to Receive Federal Grant to Improve Prosecution of Sexual Assault

Jefferson County will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office on Violence Against Women to improve how the justice system handles sexual assault cases, announced today U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance, Jefferson County District Attorney Brandon Falls, Sheriff Mike Hale and Crisis Center Executive Director Meg McGlamery. The county is one of just seven […]

Former Bibb County Deputy Sheriff Convicted of Sexual Exploitation

A former Bibb County deputy sheriff has been convicted on six criminal charges stemming from allegations that he sexually exploited women he encountered during traffic stops. Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced the conviction of Ervin Heard today Heard, 44, of Centreville, was found guilty on December 17, 2015, of charges of custodial sexual misconduct, […]