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.

Data Center Announced for North Titusville Land

A major data center is coming to downtown Birmingham. Atlanta-based DC BLOX announced it will build what it is calling a technology and innovation campus at the former Trinity Steel site. The development has the potential to invest $785 million over 10 years.

Birmingham Rallies Against Trump’s Immigration Policy

Demonstrators in Birmingham gathered at Kelly Ingram Park to speak out against President Donald Trump's immigration policies.

Trump’s Budget Wish List: What It Could Mean for Alabama

How President Trump's proposed budget cuts could affect Alabama's urban and rural residents.

Tuskegee Researchers Find Key to Earlier Breast Cancer Diagnosis

A team of researchers at Tuskegee University has developed a new test they say may help detect an aggressive form of breast cancer earlier, especially among African American women.

Alabama Power Withdraws from BCA

Alabama Power has withdrawn from the Business Council of Alabama amid concerns over leadership. A spokesman for Alabama Power said there are questions surrounding the organization’s effectiveness. The BCA says it plans to change its executive leadership.

Facebook to Build $750 million Data Center in Huntsville

State and city leaders announced Facebook's plans to build a $750 million data center in Huntsville. Gov. Kay Ivey discussed the project during a news conference Thursday in Huntsville. Ivey's office said the center will employ 100 people with an average annual salary of nearly $80,000.

How an Alabama Congressman Got the Government to Help Pay for College

Women outnumber men on college campuses. But that wasn’t always the case. Carl Elliott, former Alabama Congressman, co-authored the National Defense Education Act in 1958, which improved science, foreign language and technology education nationwide and provided low-interest loans for college and graduate school for needy students. It also opened the door for women to attend college.

Ivey, Maddox to Face Off in November

Gov. Kay Ivey won Tuesday's Republican primary with a significant lead over her three opponents, giving her a chance to be elected to the seat for the first time in November. She will face Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox in the race for governor.

Alabama Governor’s Primary Race is All About Corruption

There’s been rampant corruption among state leaders in Alabama, and it’s escalated in recent years. Voters have noticed. And judging by the anti-corruption political ads and fliers blanketing mailboxes and screens, candidates in Tuesday’s primary are responding.

New Plan Will Arm Some School Administrators

A new program will allow Alabama school administrators to carry firearms, Gov. Kay Ivey announced Wednesday. The Alabama Sentry Program will arm administrators in schools that don't have a school resource officer.

2018 Elections: Candidate Profiles

Four Republicans and six Democrats are vying for the party nominations in the June 5 Alabama primaries. Here are their profiles.

2018 Governor’s Race: James Fields

Democrat James Fields was the first African American to run for a legislative seat in mostly-white Cullman County. Many told him to withdraw, but he went on to win that seat in the Alabama House of Representatives in 2008. Now he's running for governor.

An Alternative to Delivering Babies at the Hospital

Alabama has the second-highest infant mortality rate in the nation. And more rural hospitals are closing. Now some physicians and nonprofits say birth centers are a way to provide cheaper and safer prenatal care and delivery.

Bragg’s Food Memoir is an Ode to ‘The Best Cook’

Alabama author Rick Bragg celebrates his mother's cooking in a new memoir -- The Best Cook in the World: Tales From My Momma’s Table.

When Your Child Isn’t the Child You Expected

Sometimes children turn out differently than parents had hoped or expected. Writer and psychologist Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree: Parents, Children, and the Search for Identity, looked at how parents manage to find profound meaning in raising exceptional children.

2018 Governor’s Race: Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox is best known for rebuilding that city after a devastating tornado hit in 2011. In his bid to become the Democratic nominee for governor in the June 5 primary, he's pushing for an education lottery, expansion of Medicaid, and an end to proposals that would have teachers carry guns.

Barons Pick Up the Pace This Season

The Birmingham Barons have their first home game of the season Wednesday against Montgomery. And like many minor league baseball teams, they're implementing some changes to make games faster and more fun to watch.

State Lawmaker, Former State GOP Head Charged in Corruption Scheme

An Alabama state lawmaker and the former head of the state Republican party have each been arrested in connection with a public corruption scheme, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Severe Storms Bring Extensive Damage to North and East Alabama

Crews with the National Weather Service are assessing the damage Tuesday morning after severe storms tore through the area.

Severe Storm Development Around Alabama

Two waves of severe weather are expected today around the state, including supercell thunderstorms, according to the Alabama Emergency Management Agency.

Friends of Nancy Swift: ‘I Think She Lived to Nurse’

In the aftermath of Wednesday's deadly shooting at UAB Highlands Hospital, friends remember Nancy Turnage Swift, the nursing supervisor who was killed, as outgoing and caring.

Witness Account of UAB Highlands Hospital Shooting

Two people are dead after a shooting yesterday at UAB Highlands Hospital. One was the gunman, who died last night of self-inflicted gunshot wounds. Another shooting victim, a UAB employee, died during surgery last night. A third is in stable condition. Le’Darius Hilliard was inside UAB Highlands Hospital for a brief period during yesterday’s shooting. WBHM’s Gigi Douban talked with him this morning.

Two Dead, One Wounded in UAB Hospital Shooting

Two people have died, including a gunman after an active shooter situation at UAB Highlands Wednesday evening.

Legislative Wrap-Up: State Ethics Law Revisions and the Ten Commandments

The Alabama legislature considers tightening up the state ethics law and a bill that would allow the Ten Commandments to be displayed in public buildings, including schools. The bill's sponsor says it can deter a school shooter from carrying out an attack.

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 […]