Avatar

Sam Prickett

BirminghamWatch



Sam Prickett is a reporter with BirminghamWatch, a nonprofit, independent news site. WBHM and BirminghamWatch collaborate through a content-sharing partnership.

Woodfin Won’t Resign In Controversy Over Police Shooting

The Birmingham chapter of Black Lives Matter has called for the resignation of Mayor Randall Woodfin and Police Chief Patrick D. Smith following the fatal police shooting of an armed Black man.

Birmingham City Council Approves Incentives For HBCU Classic At Legion Field

Legion Field is adding another HBCU football classic to its schedule.

Birmingham Agrees To Sell Old Ensley High To Be Redeveloped As 244-Unit Housing

The Birmingham City Council approved an ordinance Tuesday selling the former Ensley High School property, which has been abandoned since 2006, to Zimmerman Properties for $50,000.

Erasing The Stain: 15,000 Pardoned Of Marijuana Possession Convictions

Mayor Randall Woodfin plans to pardon more than 15,000 Birmingham residents convicted of marijuana possession.

Birmingham Sets Up Civilian Board to Review Police Misconduct

The five-member board will have the authority to investigate citizen complaints and will have some subpoena powers to aid those investigations.

Redevelopment Of Southtown As Mixed-Use Property To Begin In June

The redevelopment plans have been several years in the making.

Birmingham Getting $5 Million To Battle Homelessness

The funding will come through HUD’s Home Investment Partnerships Program and is intended to help cities create affordable and supportive housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Bill Would Cut Pensions For Future Birmingham Employees, Raise Employee Contributions

A bill proposed this session would require the city of Birmingham to fully fund its pension obligation and increase employee contributions to the pension fund by half a percent. But opponents of the bill say, if passed, it would disproportionately affect lower-earning city employees.

Derelict Banks High School Building Set To Be Demolished

The Birmingham City Council voted unanimously Tuesday to approve the one-year extension of a loan agreement with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to tear down the building.

Environmental Groups Say Water Board Isn’t Effectively Protecting Drinking Water Supply

A new lawsuit against the Birmingham Water Works Board claims it failed to comply with a 2001 consent decree that protects land around the Cahaba River watershed, a major source of Birmingham’s drinking water.

Birmingham Divvies Up $500K In Bold Funding For Nonprofits

Nine Birmingham nonprofits will receive funding from the city’s Building Opportunities for Lasting Development grant initiative this year, despite an overall reduction in funding for the program.

Field Of Candidates For Birmingham Mayor Continues To Grow

Currently, there are six people in the race for mayor of Birmingham. The filing deadline is July 10.

Birmingham Mayor, Council Pushing Two Separate Wish Lists In Legislature

The city of Birmingham is sending two sets of lobbyists to Montgomery — one from Mayor Randall Woodfin’s office and one from the City Council.

Federal COVID-19 Rent and Utilities Assistance Set For Birmingham Residents

The City of Birmingham has received nearly $6.3 million in federal funding to assist residents who are unable to pay rent and utilities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Candidates Lining Up To Run For Birmingham City Council

Several incumbents plan to seek re-election and some challengers have emerged.

Birmingham City Council Approves The Council President’s Trip To Meet With Legislators

The Birmingham City Council has approved its first official travel since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic last year.

William Bell Will Run For Mayor’s Seat Again

Former Birmingham Mayor William Bell has filed paperwork to run again for mayor.

Woodfin Kicks Off Mayoral Reelection Campaign, Says He’ll Ramp Up Work On Neighborhoods, Education Priorities

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced this weekend that he is running for another term.

City Council Approves Bid For Birmingham Real-Time Crime Center

The city of Birmingham's 'real-time crime center' is coming to life thanks to the city council's approval of a nearly $1 million construction bid.

Birmingham Council Hires Its Own Lobbyist And Lawyer, Saying The Mayor Doesn’t Share Information

The Birmingham City Council decided this week to hire its own lobbyist and legal consultant.

Woodfin Looks Toward A Better 2021 In State Of The Community Address

The mayor discussed continued neighborhood revitalization, the rise in homicides, and encouraging economic development projects on the horizon.

Birmingham Council Goes Virtual, Mayor Still Hospitalized

Jefferson County's recent spike in COVID-19 cases — along with Mayor Randall Woodfin’s recent COVID diagnosis and hospitalization — finally pushed the city council's weekly meeting fully online.

Birmingham Police Need The Public’s Help In Solving Homicides, Woodfin Says

The overall crime rate in Birmingham went down compared to last year, but the city’s murder rate increased 13 percent in 2020, according to data from the Birmingham Police Department.

Birmingham Council OKs Incentives For Project At Old Carraway Hospital

The Birmingham City Council approved an economic incentives package this week for the long-awaited redevelopment of the former Carraway Hospital property.

Two Birmingham Water Board Leaders Reappointed, Two New Members Named

The Birmingham City Council approved four appointments to the Birmingham Water Works Board on Tuesday.

Birmingham Revenue Appears Stable, Council Extends Funding For Rickwood, McWane And Ruffner

The city of Birmingham has approved contracts with three area nonprofits — Friends of Rickwood Field, McWane Science Center and Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. These nonprofits previously had their funding cut by the city because of the pandemic.

Birmingham Public Library Executive Director Resigns After Three Controversial Years

Floyd Council, executive director of the Birmingham Public Library, announced his resignation Tuesday morning after three embattled years on the job.

Birmingham Will Apply For Grant To Revitalize Smithfield Court

With the grant month, the city plans to improve the area around Smithfield Court, including infrastructure improvements such as street paving, sidewalks, lighting and parks as well as beautification and anti-blight efforts.

Jones Calls For Bipartisanship In Farewell To Senate, Does Not Address Talk Biden Favors Him For AG

Democratic Senator Doug Jones gave his farewell speech Wednesday on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Birmingham Bringing Back Up to 132 Furloughed Employees

The city will borrow money from its general fund reserve amid concerns from some council members.

Council Postpones Vote On Holiday Pay, Says Woodfin Expects Them To Make Budget Decisions “Blindly”

The Birmingham City Council delayed a proposal to pay city employees for an unpaid holiday on Black Friday.

Birmingham Council Balks At Mayor’s Plan To Bring Back Some Workers, Wants More Information

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin wants to use $7 million from the reserve fund to bring back more than 130 furloughed city employees. But the city council is not sold.