Mary Scott Hodgin

Mary Scott Hodgin

Health and Science Reporter



Mary Scott Hodgin is an award-winning journalist from Birmingham, AL. She covers health and science, as well as the Alabama prison system.

Hodgin grew up in Birmingham and attended the University of Alabama. Before joining public radio, she lived in Spain and previously worked as a camp counselor in rural Wyoming and Alaska. She has experience in documentary filmmaking and is fluent in Spanish.

When she's not reporting, Hodgin enjoys spending time outdoors, finding new music and experimenting in the kitchen.

Uncertain Immigration Policy Takes a Toll on Area Youth

There have been a series of developments in recent weeks on immigration policy and a lot of uncertainty around the fate of undocumented residents. That’s rubbing off on children in Alabama.

Conservation Groups Push For Faster Alerts on Sewage Spills

Sewer operators are required to notify the public of sewer spills if they endanger public health. Conservation groups say it’s not happening fast enough.

Cocktails, Costumes, and a James Beard Nomination

The Atomic Lounge serves up costumes and cocktails. The new Birmingham bar is a semifinalist for a James Beard Award.

Abandoned Properties Locked In Limbo As The Tax Bill Grows

There are thousands of tax delinquent properties in Jefferson County. Many of them are vacant and in disrepair. But even burned down houses and empty lots can still rack up thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes and fees. This is the second part of our look at Alabama’s tax lien system.    The Cycle of […]

Late Paying Your Property Tax? Investors See An Opportunity

What if you’re late paying your property tax? In Alabama, give it a few months and a lien will probably be placed on your property. But one man’s delinquent property tax is another man’s opportunity. Every year, these debts are put up for auction and investors from around the country buy them to make money.    […]

After 35 Years, ASO Musician Proud to Call Birmingham Home

The Alabama Symphony Orchestra features 53 full-time musicians from all over the world, each with a unique story. Kevin Kozak moved to Birmingham 35 years ago to join the group and currently plays 2nd horn. Mary Scott Hodgin speaks with Kevin about his journey to Alabama and why he has remained with the ASO for […]

A New Direction for Birmingham’s Largest Public Housing Complex

Picture public housing and a certain image comes to mind. Typically, it is one of poverty, where hundreds of people live in a low-income neighborhood. Birmingham’s Housing Authority is hoping to re-shape this picture by re-developing Loveman Village, the city’s largest public housing complex. The idea is to build new apartments and diversify the area, but ultimately, the hope is to change the perception of public housing.

Alabama Organizers File Federal Lawsuit, Take Stand Against Wage Theft

A group of Alabama organizers filed a federal lawsuit last week on behalf of immigrant laborers who say their employers never paid them. The workers and their supporters gathered at the steps of the Hugo Black Courthouse in Birmingham Friday afternoon to celebrate the lawsuit.

Birmingham City Council Delays Spending Budget Surplus on Blight, Schools

Birmingham’s City council wants to use $5 million in surplus funds to tackle blight in the city and enhance school reading programs. The proposal next goes before the committee of the whole. If approved, the council would allocate $2 million dollars to tear down abandoned homes and $2 million dollars to cut overgrown grass. The remaining $1 […]

Birmingham Revitalization: Struggling to Keep Homewood’s Rosedale Neighborhood

The neighborhood of Rosedale is easy to miss, quietly tucked at the base of Red Mountain on the edges of Homewood. For years, residents of the community have been fighting to keep its historic character, but the city is expanding and there is a constant threat of commercial development.

Eva Hardy Jones: Powell School’s Legendary Principal

Eva Hardy Jones became principal of Powell School in 1976. Around this time, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places, but it and its students were in need.

What to Do With Birmingham’s Surplus Schools?

Vacant schools are a common sight throughout Birmingham. The buildings symbolize decades of population decline and budget cuts. Now, as the city center grows, many hope these large structures will be revitalized.

Losing History in One of Birmingham’s Oldest Neighborhoods

Birmingham city leaders are stepping up efforts to deal with dilapidated  or abandoned properties. In communities overshadowed by blight, preservation is rarely an option, since resources are devoted to cleaning up and demolishing hazardous properties. In these neighborhoods, residents want to document the past before it’s destroyed. A Crumbling History Andre Brown drives a blue […]

Fighting Blight: More Demolitions, Tougher Code Enforcement in 2016

It’s not unusual to drive along some inner city Birmingham streets and see well-maintained homes alongside burned structures and weed-infested lots. For years, residents have complained, and, if they were lucky, some lots and abandoned property were cleared. This year, with millions more in the budget and new laws with penalties for owners who don’t maintain their property, the city is hoping to stop blight in its tracks.

Birmingham’s Blight-Ravaged Inner City Communities Ready for Change

Birmingham has received national attention for its booming downtown revitalization and new development projects. But that’s not the whole story. Less than a mile from downtown gems like Railroad Park and Regions Field, inner city neighborhoods struggle with decaying, abandoned homes and buildings.

A Trip To The Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention

Limestone County, Alabama has a long and storied old time fiddling tradition. This past weekend, about 15,000 fiddlers and old time music fans gathered for the 49th annual Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention in Athens. RV’s from around the country loaded with fiddles, guitars, and banjos filled the campus of Athens State University. The convention and competition bring together musicians of all ages.

Voices from Birmingham’s History: Flooding Along Village Creek in Ensley

Birmingham is in a valley, resting at the foothills of the Appalachians. The city’s creeks collect water running down from the mountains and filter it through the floodplains. Last week, WBHM reported on developers today taking a new interest in the 1925 Olmsted Plan for parks and green space in Birmingham. The Olmsted Plan preserved the city’s major tributaries, specifically those of Village and Valley Creek.

After Almost 100 Years, Birmingham’s Olmsted Park Plan Sees New Life

With the success of Railroad Park in downtown Birmingham, the city’s seen increased support for more public green spaces. As the city develops new parks and trails for Birmingham residents, leaders are taking lessons from the city’s history, including seeking advice from a park plan published almost a century ago.

For Undocumented Alabamians, Medicaid Cuts Could Make Health Care Even Harder To Find

After more than a week of disagreement in Montgomery, Alabama Senators approved a cut-filled general fund budget on Monday. It includes millions of dollars in cuts to the state’s Medicaid budget. Medicaid provides health care for low income individuals and families. But often poor undocumented immigrants can’t receive care under Medicaid. Advocates for the undocumented say Medicaid cuts will make health care even more difficult to find for this marginalized group.