Sherrel Stewart

Sherrel Stewart

Reporter



Sherrel Wheeler Stewart is a veteran journalist with experience in print, digital, and broadcasting. She began her work in professional media in 1982 after graduating from the University of Alabama where she was an editor at The Crimson White student newspaper and also an associate producer with University Television Services.

At The Birmingham News she covered communities, education, and local government before moving to Nashville, Tennessee and working as education editor at The Tennessean. She has also worked in corporate communications and as a visiting professor of journalism at the University of Alabama. In 1998, she returned to The Birmingham News and was the breaking news editor before leaving in 2012.

A founding member of the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists, Sherrell is active in several community organizations. She is on the board of Special Equestrians and is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Down Syndrome Alabama, and the Echo Highlands Neighborhood Association.

Council Delays Vote on MLB Youth Academy

The Birmingham City Council delayed a scheduled vote Tuesday on an agreement for a Major League Baseball-supported youth academy in the city. The program was planned for George Ward Park, but the council passed a separate resolution asking the park board to consider other locations instead.

Report Highlights Alabama’s Poor Roads as Officials Consider the ‘T Word’

The state’s roads are in bad shape. Those potholes and accidents costs the average driver in the Birmingham area about $1,800 a year, according to a new report from a Washington-D-C-based transportation group. State lawmakers are expected to discuss a proposed tax increase to fund road and bridge construction.

Third Rejected Birmingham Charter School Plans to Appeal

The Birmingham School Board informed the state today that it denied an application for a Woodlawn-area charter school and explained why it was rejected.

Birmingham Addresses the Jobs Gap

Birmingham has a workforce problem. Recent reports project thousands of future jobs, especially in information technology, but many potential candidates don’t have the skills to do to do the work.

Birmingham Police Arrest Man Suspected of Killing Police Sergeant

The man suspected of killing Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter last month was arrested Thursday as he was released from rehab.

Bradford Family Renews Calls For Release of Shooting Video

The family of Emantic “EJ” Bradford Jr. renewed the call today for authorities to release all videos from the fatal Thanksgiving night shooting at the Riverchase Galleria mall.

Civil Rights Institute Grapples With Fallout From Davis Decision

A few weeks from now, political activist Angela Davis is expected to speak in Birmingham. This despite that earlier this month, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute rescinded an award it initially planned to give to Davis. The decision roiled the city, sowed divisions, and led to the resignation of three board members.

Birmingham Denies Application For Woodlawn Charter School

The Birmingham school board denied the application Thursday for a proposed charter school in Woodlawn.

Tornado Rips Through Wetumpka Causing Extensive Damage

A tornado Saturday caused significant damage to parts of Wetumpka. Numerous reports show the tornado damaged homes, took down trees, and destroyed a church.

Grand Jury to Decide Fate of Man Charged in Mall Shooting

A Jefferson County judge sent the case of Erron Brown to a grand jury following a Thursday preliminary hearing. Brown is charged with attempted murder in the mall shooting that injured two people and left one dead on Thanksgiving.

Judge Overturns Confederate Monuments Law

A Jefferson County circuit judge struck down a state law around preserving Confederate monuments, handing Birmingham a victory. The state attorney general says he plans to appeal.

Civil Rights Institute Apologizes as Questions Remain

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute apologized today (Monday) for the way it has handled the Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award and the impact of cancelling the award presentation to human rights activist Angela Davis.

Jefferson County’s First African American Sheriff Wants to Boost Diversity

Mark Pettway begins his job as Jefferson County sheriff today. He’s the first African American to hold that post after defeating longtime Republican Sheriff Mike Hale in November. One of his priorities is to hire and promote more women and minorities in law enforcement.

Proposed Birmingham Charter School Draws Mixed Reviews

Birmingham’s first charter school would open in Woodlawn next fall for students in grades K-5 under a proposal before the Birmingham Board of Education. School leaders heard mixed feedback on the plan at a Thursday night hearing.

Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Board Leaders Resign Over Award Controversy

Board leaders for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute stepped down today following days of controversy over a decision to cancel a prestigious award presentation to noted scholar and activist Angela Davis.

Alternative Events Planned To Recognize Birmingham Native Angela Davis

More developments came today in response to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute’s decision to cancel an award presentation for scholar and activist Angela Davis. The top three leaders on the Institute’s board resigned and another group announced alternative events to honor the Birmingham native.

Activists Call for Resignations After Davis Controversy

Local activists called for leaders of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute to resign today after the organization canceled plans to honor human rights advocate Angela Davis. The group planned to present Davis with the prestigious Fred Shuttlesworth Award next month.

Birmingham City Council Appoints Two New Members

Two new representatives will join the Birmingham City Council next year, after being appointed Tuesday to fill vacancies left when former council members Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson were elected to the Jefferson County Commission.

Bradford Family Wants Jefferson County DA to Handle Shooting Case

The lawyer for the family of Emantic Bradford Jr. says State Attorney General Steve Marshall did not follow the normal process when he took over the case from Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr.

Fatal Hoover Police Shooting Prompts Race Debate

The fatal police shooting of a young black man at the Riverchase Galleria mall in Hoover has sparked weeks of vigils, protests and racial unrest. For some it has re-opened old wounds in the Birmingham community, decades after the civil rights movement.

State and Local Leaders Break Ground for BJCC Stadium

Local and state leaders turned the first dirt today on a lot that will become a new open-air stadium in downtown Birmingham. The $175 million stadium is part of a larger BJCC expansion.

State Attorney General Takes Over Galleria Shooting Case

State Attorney General Steve Marshall announced today his office is taking over the prosecution in the Thanksgiving shootings at the Galleria that left one man fatally shot by a Hoover policeman and two others wounded.

Protests Following Police Shooting Reveal Divide in the Black Community

The police shooting of 21-year-old Emantic Bradford Jr. has sparked frequent protests in Hoover. And while demonstrations played a key role in the struggle for civil rights decades ago, many African Americans today are divided as to whether these marches calling for justice in the wake of Bradford’s killing help or hurt the cause.

Woodfin’s First Year: Priority Remains on Neighborhoods

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin began his second year in office Thursday. When he was elected, he pledged to improve the quality of life in the city, and make it a safer, more economically vibrant place.

Residents and Activists Oppose ABC Coke Air Permit

Speakers at the first hearing Thursday asked the Jefferson County Department of Health not to renew the emissions permit for ABC Coke. Companies with air emissions are required to have permits renewed every four or five years, the health department says.

New Jefferson County Commission Takes Office With Three New Members

Sheila Tyson and Lashunda Scales were sworn into office as Jefferson County commissioners Wednesday, along with Steve Ammons, a former Vestavia Hills City Council member. Tyson and Scales are Democrats; Ammons is a Republican. The Republican majority continues on the commission with incumbents Jimmie Stephens and Joe Knight.

Environmental Groups, Others Oppose Renewal of ABC Coke Air Emissions Permit

The Jefferson County Department of Health has received 10 public comments about the proposed renewal of the air emissions permit for ABC Coke, an industrial plant in Tarrant. Most of the comments since August opposed re-issuing the company’s air emissions permit, according to the health department.

Jeffco Voters Elect County’s First African-American Sheriff and District Attorney

Mark Pettway upsets longtime Sheriff Mike Hale and Danny Carr wins Jefferson County District Attorney.

Local Party Leaders Hope the Midterms Turn Counties Purple

Shelby County is red, Jefferson County is blue. But party leaders hope to nudge the political landscape toward a shade of purple, especially in the local races.

Why Many Alabamians Won’t Vote in the Midterms

Alabamians go the polls Tuesday to vote in midterm elections, but if history is a predictor, most eligible voters will likely sit this election out. Six out of 10 Alabama voters didn’t vote in 2014 when it was time to elect a governor, state lawmakers and other key leaders.

UAB Medical Center West to Remain Near Bessemer

Officials in west Jefferson County at a press conference Monday welcomed UAB Medical Center West’s decision to build a new facility there. Prior to that announcement, UAB also considered moving the facility to Hoover.

Republican Circuit Clerk Candidate Staying in the Race

A Republican candidate for Jefferson County Circuit Clerk says he will remain in the race despite a recent court ruling against him in a church dispute over money.