Gigi Douban

Gigi Douban

News Director



Gigi Douban has reported for public radio since 2006. She’s filed stories for WBHM, NPR, Studio 360, and Public Radio International’s The World. Most recently, Gigi reported for Marketplace, bringing the country stories about toxic landfills, debtors prisons, and lighter fare, like why urinals are ubiquitous in public bathrooms, but not in homes. She's also written for Bloomberg News and Runner’s World, and on occasion, actually runs.

Back to Basics with One of Birmingham’s Oldest Food Trucks

The number of food trucks in Birmingham has exploded over the last couple of years. But the Travis Chicago Style no-frills white truck with a red stripe gets high marks from Birmingham residents, particularly African Americans who grew up seeing his truck.

Attorney: Death Row Inmate’s Injuries Worse Than Expected

Attorney Bernard Harcourt, lawyer for Alabama death row inmate Doyle Lee Hamm, says Hamm’s injuries following Thursday’s botched execution were worse than expected.

Attorney to Document Inmate’s Injuries Following Failed Execution

An attorney and medical expert will visit Holman Correctional Facility on Sunday to document injuries following the botched execution of Doyle Lee Hamm. Bernard Harcourt, Hamm’s lawyer, will take Mark Heath, a cardiac anesthesiologist, to do a full medical evaluation on Hamm’s injuries. Hamm, the prisoner who was set to be executed Thursday, suffered serious injuries when the attempted lethal injection failed Harcourt said Saturday.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Marijuana Penalties, Religious Daycares, and Execution Methods

Alabama lawmakers debated a controversial measure this week that would ease the penalties for marijuana possession. And for prison inmates on death row, they debated an alternative execution method with nitrogen gas.

Committee Probes Whether Laws Limit Access for Voters

An Alabama advisory committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights holds its first hearing Thursday in Montgomery. It’s the first of a series of discussions looking into the ways Alabama’s voting regulations affect people’s ability to vote. There will be testimony from academics and policy makers, and members of the public will be invited to comment.

Lawmaker Proposes Bill to Arm Teachers

This school shooting in Parkland, Florida this week that left 17 people dead took center stage for Alabama lawmakers. On Thursday, Republican state Representative Will Ainsworth announced plans to introduce legislation that would allow teachers to carry firearms during school hours. The law would require training.

The Governor’s Race: Candidate Lineup

Want to know more about who’s running for governor? Here are the candidate profiles as they appeared originally here by Cheryl Slocum with the non-profit news site BirminghamWatch.   Eleven people have lined up to run for governor this year. Among the candidates are some of the state’s best-known names, including the governor herself, and some that […]

Birmingham Legion FC to Have a Home at UAB

Birmingham Legion FC, the new sports team looking to bring second-division professional soccer to Birmingham, has a home for its inaugural season in 2019, and it’ll be right in the heart of the city. Legion FC and the University of Alabama at Birmingham have signed an eight-year leasing agreement to play home matches at BBVA […]

Labor Department Investigation Finds Taziki’s Violated Overtime Rules

The U.S. Department of Labor today announced Taziki’s Mediterranean Café will pay $135,844 to employees after an investigation found the company violated overtime rules.

Lawmakers Weigh Harsher Penalties for Opioid Users

The number of fatal drug overdoses is rising across the U.S. Alabama lawmakers this week considered a bill that would impose stiffer penalties around the deadly opioid fentanyl. Meanwhile, critics say more punishment could strain the state’s overcrowded prisons. Also, a bill on video voyeurism and the proposed education budget.

Several School Systems Closing Due to Flu Outbreak

The flu outbreak is forcing several school systems in the northern part of the state to close for a few days. This comes as high absences are reported in schools across the state and health officers investigate an estimated 87 deaths, potentially related to the flu. The following school systems have confirmed closings for the following […]

Legislative Update: Uber and Lyft Regulations, Guns in Church

This week, the Alabama Senate voted to regulate ride-sharing services such as Uber and Lyft. And a House committee endorsed legislation sponsored by Rep. Lynn Greer that would allow people at church to defend themselves with guns. Similar bills are advancing in states from Florida to Virginia. Don Dailey, host of Alabama Public Television’s Capitol Journal tells WBHM’s Gigi Douban not all churches are on board.

UAB Breaks Ground on Proton Therapy Center

Construction began Tuesday on a new high-tech cancer treatment facility on the campus of UAB. Proton International at UAB, the product of a partnership between the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Proton International, will be a three-story facility at the intersection of 20th Street South and 4th Avenue South focusing on proton therapy. Proton […]

President’s State of the Union Address Live Stream

President Trump is delivering his State of the Union address to Congress, which will be followed by a response from the Democratic Party. Journalists across the NPR newsroom will be annotating those remarks, adding fact-checks and analysis in real time. You can watch the speeches or follow the annotations below. The live stream begins at […]

Why Birmingham-Southern is Slashing Tuition

Car shoppers aren’t the only ones who experience sticker shock. It happens with colleges, too. Birmingham-Southern College has announced that beginning next fall, it’ll slash its $35,000 a year tuition in half. It’s one of several schools around the country cutting tuition in hopes of attracting more students. But there’s more to it than the […]

Ditch the Marriage Licenses? Senate Says ‘I Do’

The Alabama Senate this week took on bills aimed at curbing racial profiling and doing away with marriage licenses.

Alabama Lawmaker George Bandy Dies at 72

State Rep. George Bandy, D-Opelika, died Tuesday morning. He was 72.

Weather Briefing: Bitter Cold and Ice Means Dangerous Roads

Bitter cold and ice will make Alabama roads dangerous on Tuesday. State emergency agencies are urging drivers to stay off the roads.

Closings and Delays for Tuesday January 16

Light to moderate snowfall is expected across most of the state Tuesday, and schools and government offices are closing or dismissing early.

Recap: First Week of the 2018 Legislative Session

Alabama state lawmakers went back into session this week. Don Dailey tells WBHM’s Gigi Douban the latest about state budgets, pay raises, Medicaid and tax cuts.

Toyota, Mazda Announce Huntsville as Site for New Plant

Mazda and Toyota announced Huntsville as the city of choice for a new manufacturing plant on Wednesday.

Winter Weather School Delays on Monday January 8

Some schools will be delayed this morning due to the potential for winter weather. Those include schools in Anniston, Boaz, Etowah County, Oxford, and others opening three hours late. Gadsden State Community College opens at 10:30. A winter weather advisory is in effect for East Alabama, where a few places could see temperatures of 32 […]

Doug Jones Certified as Winner of U.S. Senate Election

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill on Thursday certified the election results from the Dec. 12 special U.S. Senate election, naming Democrat Doug Jones the winner over Republican Roy Moore. Jones defeated Moore by more than 21,000 votes, or 1.6 percentage points. Moore had refused to concede. On Wednesday, he sued to block the certification […]

Moore Seeks to Block Certification of Election Results

Republican Senate Candidate Roy Moore has filed a lawsuit to block certification of the election in which he narrowly lost earlier this month. Moore says the results shouldn’t be finalized. Instead, potential voting irregularities should be investigated and a new election called. Moore lost the election by about 20,000 votes and says voting anomalies around […]

How the Shipt-Target Deal Could Affect Birmingham

Target wants in on the same-day delivery business. And last week it announced it’s spending $550 million to buy the Birmingham-based startup, Shipt. The deal could have ripple effects for Birmingham.

Three Reasons Alabama Made Democrat Doug Jones its Next Senator

In a dramatic and highly contentious race, Alabama voters on Tuesday elected Democrat Doug Jones to the U.S. Senate. Jones will occupy the seat previously held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. This marks the first time in a quarter century an Alabama Democrat won a U.S. Senate seat.

The GOP Take: Why Roy Moore Lost His Senate Bid

Republicans across Alabama woke up in a state of shock Wednesday morning over Democrat Doug Jones’ stunning defeat of GOP candidate Roy Moore. A strong 40 percent turnout – much higher than state projections – was key to Jones’ victory, Republican strategist Jeff Vreeland said.

Alabama Voters Pick Democrat Doug Jones

Former U.S. Attorney Doug Jones handed Republican Roy Moore a stunning blow in Tuesday’s special Senate election for the seat formerly held by Attorney General Jeff Sessions. The results capped off an intense race defined in recent weeks by allegations of sexual misconduct against Moore from decades ago. Moore did not concede late Monday evening.

Alabama Recovers After Winter Storm, Thousands Without Power

Alabama is thawing out today after the state was hit with a winter storm Friday that brought several inches of snow, tens of thousands power outages and hazardous road conditions. About 40,000 homes were still without power this afternoon after a winter storm blanketed the state Friday with snow and ice. Statewide about 85,000 lost power […]

Snowfall Brings Hazardous Conditions

Snowfall early Friday morning sparked a reaction statewide with schools, government, and medical facilities closing and roads deemed unsafe to drive.

A Write-In Vote for Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson or Minnie Mouse for Senate? Think Again

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill issued guidance Wednesday on casting a write-in vote in the December 12 special election for U.S. Senate.

Fifth Woman Accuses Moore of Sexual Assault

A fifth woman came forward Monday with powerful sexual allegations against Republican U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore. Beverly Young Nelson said Moore sexually assaulted her when she was a 16-year-old waitress at a restaurant Moore often frequented. Moore continued to deny the allegations.