Tanya Ott

Tanya Ott is a part-time editor at WBHM and instructor for the University of Alabama's journalism department. She hosts a podcast on business strategy and emerging technologies and trains public radio newsrooms around the country. Over her 30+ year career, she has reported for Marketplace, NPR and other networks and worked at local stations in Florida, Colorado, Georgia and Alabama, including as WBHM's news director from 2002-2013.

Are Resumes Worthless?

If your New Year's Resolutions include getting a job or finding a better one, Dale Callahan says throw out everything you know about job searching. He’s a UAB professor and author of the book Resumes are Worthless: How to Find the Work You Love and Succeed.

Alabama Unemployment Rate Goes Down

Alabama's unemployment rate dropped to 7.5% in November, below the national average of 7.7%. Officials say hiring in two sectors increased.

Will Gun Control Fly in Alabama?

In the aftermath of last week's school shooting, President Obama says it will take a national effort to address gun violence. In a press conference yesterday he mentioned several recent shootings, including the one last weekend at Birmingham's St. Vincent's Hospital.

Instagram’s New User Agreement: Social Media Suicide?

100 million people use the photo website Instragram to share snapshots of everything from their dinner to their cats and their children. But Instagram unveiled a new user agreement this week that has many critics crying foul. Find out why....

Jeffco Sets Closure Date for Cooper Green

After several delays, Jefferson County officials now say Cooper Green Mercy Hospital will discontinue inpatient and emergency room service on Dec. 31. Acute care patients will be moved to other hospitals, and Cooper Green will operate as an urgent care facility.

UAB and Birmingham Partner on 50th Anniversary Events

The City of Birmingham and the University of Alabama at Birmingham are collaborating on a series of events to recognize the 50th anniversary of some of the key events of the civil right era. The year will include lectures, musical performances, special academic courses, internships and more.

Flu Comes Early to Alabama

The Centers for Disease Control is predicting a bad flu season and today announced the Alabama and four other southern states are showing the most flu activity right now.

Alabama Shakes Up For Three Grammy Awards

A year ago the members of Alabama Shakes were working day jobs and playing small gigs in bars. Today, they're nominated for three Grammy Awards and being hailed by Rolling Stone, NPR and the New York Times.

Alabama, Auburn Among Wealthiest Athletics Programs

Alabama is Number 4 and Auburn is Number 9 nationally in survey of athletic department revenues. The Southeastern Conference dominates.

Question Linger in Shootout Involving Mayor

Birmingham Mayor William Bell has had a relatively low key tenure compared to his predecessor. But not last weekend. The mayor and his security detail were involved in a downtown shootout that could have been ripped from a Hollywood movie. There are still a lot of questions about the incident.

Jefferson Finally Getting Public Defenders Office

Criminal defendants in Jefferson County who can't afford to hire a lawyer will have a new advocate in their corner. Birmingham Attorney Kira Fonteneau will lead the newly created Public Defender Office.

Alabama Announces CollegeCounts Scholarship

Got a college-bound student in your life? There's a new opportunity to help finance that education. The state has created a new scholarship program that's aimed at Alabama students who are often overlooked for financial assistance.

Gene Chizik Out at Auburn

Auburn University is giving head football coach Gene Chizik his walking papers and a sizable payout despite a dismal season and an NCAA investigation into recruitment violations.

Alabama Municipalities Dangerously Vulnerable

A new report shows some of Alabama's largest municipalities have very low financial reserves. Local governments rely a lot on sales taxes and revenues have been lower since the recession. The report from the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama finds that the City of Montgomery had a negative fund balance for 2010, though the city's finance director disputes that. Kyle Whitmire says many other communities may be in the black, but they're still dangerously vulnerable.

Public Hearing on U.S. 280 Improvements

Tonight, the Alabama Department of Transportation holds a public hearing to discuss possible solutions to the congestion problems on U.S. 280. They'll be seeking public input and according to one source revealing new improvement proposals.

Potential Power Shift on Birmingham Board of Education

After months of infighting that resulted in a state takeover, there appears to be a power shift on the Birmingham Board of Education. New board member Carole Clarke was sworn in this week and minutes after taking the oath the board elected a new president and vice president. Who they elected and how is pretty telling.

Bentley Rejects Health Exchanges, Medicaid Expansion

Alabama is joining a growing list of states that will not set up an insurance exchange under the federal health care law. Gov. Robert Bentley says the tax burden is too high, but critics say the decision is a major blow to the state's health care system and the overall economy.

UAB Medicine Institutes Tobacco-Free Policy

UAB Medicine is instituting a new tobacco-free hiring policy. Starting July 1, 2013, all new hires will have to be tobacco abstainers -- no smoking, sucking/dipping, chewing or snuffing any tobacco product.

Democratic Leader Criticizes Bentley on ACA

House Minority Leader Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) says Gov. Bentley's decision to not set up a health insurance exchange is disappointing and dangerous.

Mississippi School Segregation

Alabamians are voting today on a measure that would strip racist language from the state's 1901 constitution. It would remove reference to racially segregated schools. School segregation may be illegal, but in many communities it's still a reality. Southern Education Desk reporter Annie Gilbertson has the story from Mississippi.

Election 2012: Alabama and the Nation

Alabama voters go to the polls today to elect a president, members of congress, a state supreme court chief justice, president of the Alabama Public Service Commission and several other offices. They'll also decide on eleven constitutional amendments including one controversial measure that removes racist language from the 1901 constitution.

Baxley Loss Could Be End of Era

Democrats controlled Alabama for 136. But in 2010 Republicans wrest control of the legislature and today there's only one Democrat in statewide elected office and she faces an uphill battle in Tuesday's election.

UA Looks For New President

University of Alabama trustees will meet today to discuss a new president following the resignation of Guy Bailey after less than two months in office. The Birmingham News and al.com are reporting that key members of the board say they'll name University of Alabama provost and executive vice president Judy Bonner as the next leader of the Tuscaloosa campus.

Amendment Four: Does It Do More Than Remove Racist Language?

When you go to the polls next week you'll have 11 statewide amendments to vote on. A lot of them may seem confusing, but one should be a no brainer. It would remove racist language from the state constitution. But critics say it's a wolf in sheep's clothing.

Rev. Al Sharpton Coming to Birmingham

The Rev. Al Sharpton will be in Birmingham Friday to attend a forum and rally against the downsizing of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. But will Sharpton's appearance pressure Jefferson County Commissioners into changing their minds? John Archibald and Tanya Ott discuss that, plus a city councilwoman's criticism of a lesbian photo exhibit, the resignation of the school board president, and demands by the county attorney for a pay raise.

Patient Satisfaction at Birmingham Hospitals

The controversy over the closure of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital's in-patient services has focused a lot of attention on the finances of the hospital. But medical outcomes and patient satisfaction have received relatively little attention. How do patients score Cooper Green, UAB Hospital and St. Vincent's? Click the link above for the answer.

College Debt in Alabama

A new study shows that 54% of Alabama's college graduating class of 2011 finished with debt and the average amount was more than $25,000. This is below the national average ($26,600), but still a concern for students and parents.

Birmingham Hospitals Receive Products from Compounding Pharmacy

Health officials have released the names of 44 health care facilities in Alabama that received products from New England Compounding Center that have not been connected to a meningitis outbreak.

Bentley Reveals Retirement Incentive Plan Details

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley plans to ask legislators to pass a bill offering eligible state employees an incentive if they voluntarily retire. He says the program would save taxpayers up to $26 million a year.

Democratic Donkey Gone From AL Ballot

A mistake results in the traditional donkey logo signifying the Democratic ticket not appearing on Alabama's ballots in the November election. Party officials worry it could hurt the party's vote.

Alabama Got Injectable Products, But None Contaminated

Alabama health officials say 10 health care facilities in Alabama received sterile injectable products from a pharmacy involved in a fungal meningitis outbreak nationwide. The Department of Public Health says there is no evidence the products sent to Alabama were contaminated.

Lee County’s Nowlin To Lead Jeffco Schools

The superintendent for Lee County, Stephen Nowlin, has been named to serve as the new superintendent in Jefferson County. The school board voted 4-1 on Thursday for Nowlin to replace retiring Superintendent Phil Hammonds.