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.

Former State Lawmaker Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison

A federal judge on Thursday sentenced former Alabama Rep. Oliver Robinson to 33 months in prison and three years of supervised release for his role in a scheme to block the expansion of a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency cleanup site in North Birmingham and Tarrant.

Former State Rep. Oliver Robinson To Be Sentenced in Bribery Scheme

Former State Rep. Oliver Robinson is scheduled to be sentenced Thursday in federal court. Federal prosecutors asked the judge in a filing earlier this week to give Robinson a lighter sentence because he pleaded guilty, accepted responsibility for his actions and cooperated with investigators.

Birmingham Council Approves Cameras to Help Fight Crime

Birmingham police will soon have extra eyes to spot crime. The City Council today approved an agreement with Alabama Power to install 100 cameras around the city.

Coal Coming Back in Some Alabama Communities

Coal mines are coming back in some parts of Alabama. Industry observers say easing of regulations and a steady demand for coal overseas means more mining jobs. That’s welcome news in places like Brookwood in Tuscaloosa County, where coal is mined to produce steel.

Sessions Speaks in Hoover as Rosenstein News Erupts

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions drew sustained applause speaking at the Hyatt Regency in Hoover on Monday. Sessions’ remarks at a meeting of prosecutors and law enforcement came just as Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosentein was set to meet with White House officials, presumably about his future in the US Department of Justice.

NAACP Suspends Birmingham President Hezekiah Jackson

The national office of the NAACP has suspended the organization’s local Birmingham President Hezekiah Jackson IV. The NAACP issued a statement Wednesday evening saying it is investigating whether Jackson advised residents not to have their soil tested for potentially damaging toxins and if he received payment for those activities.

Development Planned for Blighted Sites North of Downtown

Change may be on the way for two sites in north Birmingham. Corporate Realty is preparing to redevelop the former Carraway Hospital site. Another group is planning lofts at the old Kirby School and a former armory site in Norwood.

Health Department Gives More Time for North Birmingham Residents to Weigh in on Air Quality

The Jefferson County Department of Health extended the deadline for comments on the proposed renewal of an air emissions permit for ABC Coke. The move comes at the request of residents and environmental groups. Two public hearings are set for November at the Department of Health at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m. Residents may also submit comments online.

Roy Moore Seeks Millions in Damages Over Showtime Prank

Conservative Judge Roy Moore says he was duped into an interview and maliciously defamed on a show called Who is America, hosted by comedian Sacha Baron Cohen. He is seeking $95 million in damages.

Jefferson County Plans More Resource Officers In Schools

Jefferson County law enforcement and education officials announced a plan Thursday to put school resource officers in all 56 county schools.

In A Segregated County, A New Charter School Offers An Alternative

Only about half of University Charter School’s 300-plus students are black. That’s a rarity in Sumter County, Ala., which, like many school systems, has struggled to achieve integration.

Officials Want More Contamination Testing In North Birmingham

More than 500 properties in North Birmingham have not been tested for contamination, Congresswoman Terri Sewell said Wednesday while touring Collegeville with city, state and EPA officials. She wants people who have rejected soil testing to allow the EPA to check for contaminants.

James “Jake” Sanders, Negro League Star

Segregation shut out ballplayers like James “Jake” Sanders from ballparks and the major leagues, but it didn’t quell his passion for the game. He attended the same high school in Fairfield as Willie Mays and went on to star in the Negro League. These days, Sanders travels the country telling the history of the league to school kids so the stories don’t get lost.

Birmingham Students Return With Uniforms Optional

Birmingham students went back to school today. And this year’s school scene looked different from head to toe. The school system decided last month to drop its longstanding uniform requirement. That move brought mixed reactions from parents, retailers and students.

Seniors Find Opportunities and Challenges Returning to Work

It’s a good time to be in the market for a job in this state. And that goes for older adults too.

Local NAACP Leader Says He’s Not Resigning Following Concerns Over Bribery Trial

The local NAACP president says he’s not stepping down amid calls for his resignation. Testimony and emails presented in a recent federal bribery trial showed Hezekiah Jackson through his contacts worked to convince North Birmingham residents not to have their soil tested for contamination.

Florida Gun Violence Survivors Join Alabama Activists In Gun Control Panel

When a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida earlier this year, killing 17 students and faculty, surviving students led a charge for gun control and launched a political movement to demand action from lawmakers.

Appeals Court Ruling Allows Fight for Minimum Wage Increase To Continue

A federal court ruling allows Birmingham minimum wage workers to continue to push for higher pay.

City Offers Help to Renovate Homes in Blighted Neighborhoods

Two big economic development projects in Birmingham might pay off for city neighborhoods. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin announced a program today to spend $1 million on home renovations in blighted neighborhoods.

Residents Weigh in on 10-Block Downtown Attraction

The open space beneath the interstate downtown Birmingham will cover 10 blocks once the massive bridge replacement project is completed. Designers and ALDOT officials are getting public input today at the Boutwell Auditorium what to place in what was once an open parking area. Other feedback sessions are set for July 24.

Racking Up Tickets in Birmingham? It’s Amnesty Time

If you have unpaid parking tickets in Birmingham or tickets for minor traffic offenses, the city is giving you two months to pay. No extra fines. It’s part of the city’s latest amnesty program.

Hoover City Council to Consider Sales Tax Increase

The Hoover City Council is expected to vote Tuesday on increasing its sales tax by a half cent. The council will also consider boosting some lodging taxes and rental property fees.

Judge Helen Shores Lee Remembered For Equity and Fairness

Judge Helen Shores Lee, the first African America female elected to the Jefferson County Circuit Court, died today. She was 77.

New Birmingham Police Chief: ‘We Are Not The Enemy’

Tuscaloosa native Patrick Smith, a long-time leader in the Los Angeles Police Department, started work this week as Birmingham’s new police chief. He’s taking the reins in the midst of a rising homicide rate and growing public concerns about violence – especially among young people.

Amazon Expected to Change Bessemer’s Economy

Bessemer city officials and Amazon have confirmed that the nation’s largest e-commerce company will build a $325 million fulfillment center along I-20/59 near Bessemer City High School.

Teachers, School Funding Among New Schools Chief’s Priorities

Eric Mackey is Alabama’s new superintendent of education. Before this, he was a lobbyist for state school superintendents. Mackey says Alabama schools must address poverty, teachers, and school funding.

Birmingham City Council Approves $436 Million Budget

The $436 million budget for the fiscal year starting July 1 includes basic support for city services and a small cost of living adjustment for employees. But some funds and requests will be handled differently.

Mayor Appoints New Police Chief Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith, a veteran administrator in the Los Angeles Police Department and a native of Tuscaloosa is Birmingham’s new police chief. Mayor Randall Woodfin made the announcement today.

Birmingham Lands New Pro Football Team For 2019

Birmingham is getting a new professional football team and Legion Field is getting a new tenant.
The Alliance of American Football League, led by television and film producer Charlie Ebersol and former NFL executive Bill Pollian, announced Monday it will include Birmingham in its initial eight-team line up.

Council Proposes Changes to Birmingham Mayor’s Budget

The Birmingham City Council wants to restore funding for neighborhood associations and several non-profits in its proposed changes for Mayor Randall Woodfin’s 2019 budget. The council submitted its budget counterproposal to the mayor on Tuesday.

Three Things the New Jeffco Commission Needs to Do

The Jefferson County Commission’s $4 billion bankruptcy is in the rearview mirror. But to fully recover, outgoing Commissioner David Carrington says the new commission will need to focus on these three things.

National Neighborhood Leaders Meet in Birmingham

More than 800 people from around the country are in Birmingham this week for the annual Neighborhoods USA (NUSA) Conference. Local neighborhood leaders say this is their time to show off Birmingham.