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.

Family of Slain Student Files Lawsuit Against Schools, City

Attorneys filed a wrongful death lawsuit today on behalf of the family of a Birmingham teen who was shot and killed at Huffman High School in March.

City Cracks Down on Residential Code Violations

Birmingham has a housing problem. Many of the homes – about 42 percent of them – are in need of major repairs, and city officials are cracking down on building code violations.

Birmingham Explores Electronic Payment Options for Meters

If you park at a meter in downtown Birmingham or on Southside, you’d better be carrying change. But maybe not for long. The city is considering electronic payment options for parking meters.

Feds Announce Dozens of Violent Crime and Illegal Weapons Charges

Federal and local law enforcement announced indictments today for 71 people accused of violent crime and illegal weapons and drug possession in Birmingham and north Alabama.

DA Candidate Fights To Include His Name on Countywide Ballot

Bill Veitch, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Jefferson County District Attorney, has appealed to the state Supreme Court to have his name placed on the ballot in both county jurisdictions.

Woodfin Presents First City Budget Proposal

The Birmingham City Council heard Mayor Randall Woodfin’s first proposed spending plan today, then set a budget hearing for May 14. The mayor says, the city has to make some tough decisions.

Judge Sends Case of Huffman High Shooter to Grand Jury

A Jefferson County grand jury will decide the next steps in the case of Michael Barber, accused of fatally shooting his schoolmate Courtlin Arrington in March at Huffman High.

Jefferson County Unveils New Mural Showing Diversity

A new mural unveiled at the Jefferson County courthouse Tuesday depicts a diversity community. It’s an answer to two murals from the 1930s which show slaves picking cotton and shirtless industrial laborers.

Mixed Response For Birmingham Horse Carriage Rides

In a few weeks, horse drawn carriages will be plodding around the streets of Birmingham, taking people around the city. The city council unanimously approved the carriage service last week. Some are excited about the new service, while others have serious concerns.

Eric Mackey Named State School Superintendent

Eric Mackey is Alabama’s new state superintendent of education. The state Board of Education selected Mackey today after interviewing three finalists. Craig Pouncey of Jefferson County Schools and Kathy Murphy of Hoover City Schools were finalists.

No Decision in the Case of the Covered Confederate Monument

The base of a Confederate monument in Linn Park will remain covered for now. Jefferson County Judge Mike Graffeo did not make a decision after hearing arguments from the City of Birmingham and the state Attorney General’s Office. The state sued Birmingham last year, saying that the city violated the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act in […]

Federal Court to Hear Birmingham Minimum Wage Case

A federal appeals court is scheduled to hear arguments Friday in a case over Birmingham’s attempt to increase the minimum wage in the city to $10.10.

Alabama vs. Birmingham: Court Hearing On Confederate Monument Set for Friday

A Jefferson County judge is scheduled to hear arguments Friday in the state’s lawsuit against the city of Birmingham and former Mayor William Bell for covering a Confederate monument in Linn Park. Bell had city workers cover the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument with plywood in August 2017. His action followed a deadly far-right protest in Charlottesville. That […]

Stuck in Parrish: Train Cars Full of Sewage

The weather is warming up. And while many of us welcome springtime temperatures, residents in the Walker County town of Parrish are filled with dread. That’s because the warmer it gets, the smellier the air becomes. That stench is human waste that a private company let sit on train cars for months.

Apple CEO Commemorates King’s Legacy in Birmingham

Apple CEO and Alabama native Tim Cook returned to his home state today to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Cook spoke to a diverse group of high school and college students at a Southern Christian Leadership Conference forum at Sixth Avenue Baptist Church.

50 Years After King’s Death, Birmingham Remembers

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. led a civil rights movement that changed America. His assassination on April 4, 1968, set off deadly riots and protests in places like Chicago and Washington. But Birmingham didn’t have a prolonged violent response, even though some of King’s most noted victories were launched here.

Birmingham Council Approves $90 Million For Stadium, BJCC Expansion

The City of Birmingham will contribute $90 million over the next 30 years toward a new downtown and an expansion of the BJCC. The council voted 6 to 3 on Monday for the plan following a four-hour and at times contentious debate.

Crowd Packs Railroad Park For March For Our Lives

Railroad Park was transformed today into a sea of signs, sparked by the energy of young people and lots of supporters in the #March4OurLives. The event, one of hundreds across the country, drew more than a thousand people.

Area Students Protest to Push for Safe Schools

Around the country and throughout metro Birmingham Wednesday, students from kindergarten through 12th Grade participated in National Walkout Day. They were honoring recent school shooting victims and raising awareness about the need for school safety.

Few Students Return Following Huffman Shooting Death

Huffman High School was open today, but only about 150 of the school’s 1,300 students returned. The school was closed Thursday following the death of 17-year-old Cortlin Arrington

One Killed, One Injured in Huffman High School Shooting

Huffman High School is closed today following a Wednesday shooting that killed one student and injured another. Courtlin Arrington, 17, was pronounced dead at UAB Hospital Wednesday evening.

The Challenges and Triumphs of Foot Soldier Jeff Drew

Jeff Drew was one of the first black students to attend what was then Ensley High School. It was all white, and for students like Drew, it wasn’t easy.

Gwen Webb: From the Children’s March to the Police Force

Gwen Cook Webb was a feisty, freshman cheerleader at Western High School when she was arrested for protesting downtown near Birmingham’s Kelly Ingram Park in the 1963 Children’s Marches. That same spirit propelled Webb to become the second female African American Birmingham police officer.

Nation of Islam Plans to Fight Crime

It’s just halfway through February, and already 15 people have died violently in Birmingham this year. The local leader of the Nation of Islam told the Birmingham City Council it’s time for the community to take action to stop the violence. He’s introduced a plan to do it.

Appeals Court Says Gardendale Can’t Separate From County School System

A federal appeals court says Gardendale can’t separate from the Jefferson County School System, but that may not be the final word. Gardendale officials say they will appeal a Tuesday ruling by the 11th Circuit Court that overturned a district court’s approval of its separation from the Jefferson County School System.

Who’s in for the Alabama June Primaries?

Qualifying for the June 5 primaries ended Friday with some crowded fields and lots of familiar faces among Democrats and Republicans.

Birmingham City Council Backs New Downtown Stadium

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday voted to back a proposed $305 million downtown stadium and expansion of the BJCC. At the urging of Mayor Randall Woodfin, the council approved a “resolution of intent” to contribute its share — $90 million –toward the project.

Alabama Education Department Issues School Report Cards

The Alabama Department of Education on Thursday will release school system report cards, issuing letter grades assessing school performance, including test results, graduation rates and attendance.

Traffic on I-20/59 Got You Down? Here’s an Update

If you drive through downtown Birmingham, you’ve probably seen the huge beams and cranes towering over the interstate or perched off the side of the roadway. Crews have been working now for more than two years on bridge replacement and lane realignment on Interstate 20/59 in Downtown Birmingham.

Why Metro Birmingham Homicides Are Up

Metro Birmingham had a streak last fall – eight killings in six days. The rash of homicides stretched from Hueytown to Homewood to Tarrant. The area’s murder rate rose in 2017 for the third consecutive year. Government and law enforcement officials in Birmingham and Jefferson County say there are challenges to what some have dubbed a crisis.

Ivey Touts Success, Announces Plans for Pay Raises

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey used her first State of the State address to tout her successes since replacing Gov. Robert Bentley when he was forced out of office nine months ago.

Black Women Boosted Doug Jones to Victory. Now What?

To black women in Alabama who propelled U.S. Sen. Doug Jones to victory in the Dec. 12 special election, it was a way to make a powerful statement about the need for greater focus on their priorities.