Issues

Omicron is less severe, but it’s overwhelming Alabama’s hospitals

The omicron variant leads to fewer hospitalizations and deaths, but the variant is infecting more people than any previous surge.

Alabama lawmakers already planning a special session just days into the regular one

Legislators would use the special session to discuss appropriating COVID relief funds. We have more in our weekly legislative update.

Mississippi wants more tech jobs. Here’s what it can learn from Alabama’s tech success

Louisiana and Mississippi rank at the bottom nationally when it comes to the percentage of tech jobs in the state workforce. Alabama sits in the middle of the list, mostly because of Huntsville’s Research Park.

Ivey: State must be ‘smart’ about pandemic relief funds

Governor Kay Ivey called on state lawmakers to use pandemic relief money to expand broadband access, hospitals, and water and sewer infrastructure.

2nd election for Amazon workers in Alabama will be by mail

A federal labor board says Amazon workers at a facility in Bessemer will re-vote next month on whether to unionize.

Georgia snaps 41-year title drought with 33-18 win over Bama

The Alabama Crimson Tide lost the College Football National Championship to the Georgia Bulldogs: 33-18.

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54% of support comes from members

The 2022 Alabama legislative session starts Tuesday. Here’s what to expect

The COVID-19 pandemic will be an undercurrent to this year's legislative session. So too will the fact it's an election year.

Special session possible on relief fund spending

The 2022 Alabama Legislative Session starts this week. But state lawmakers say there may be a special session on how to spend the state's remaining pandemic relief funds.

Some parents express frustration with schools’ responses to the omicron surge

As students across Birmingham return to classrooms after the winter break, schools must contend with the COVID-19 omicron variant. With cases surging, WBHM heard from some parents who are frustrated with the response from school leaders.

Guaranteed income is coming to the Gulf South. Take a look at 3 programs launching soon

Guaranteed income programs are coming to three cities in the Gulf South including Birmingham, which is set to launch soon.

Warming stations become a hot topic as temperatures in Birmingham hit freezing

The City of Birmingham will host a warming station at the BJCC Thursday and Friday night in collaboration with One Roof, an agency dedicated to ending homelessness.

One year later: Alabamians arrested in connection with the U.S. Capitol insurrection

Almost a dozen of Alabamians have been arrested in connection with the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.

With the mental health system strained, here’s how some people are coping during the pandemic

Alabama is among the bottom of states for media health providers per capita. That has people looking online and other places to find help.

State Health Officer warns Alabama is ‘not in a good place’ fighting the Omicron variant

During a media call Tuesday, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris said Alabama is seeing the highest new daily case numbers of the pandemic.

Issues to watch in the 2022 legislative session

Alabama lawmakers return to Montgomery on Jan. 11 for the 2022 legislative session. Here are some issues to watch as the session begins.

Lawmakers face decisions on $1.5 billion in relief funds

Legislative leaders say infrastructure projects — such as broadband and sewer projects — are expected to be a spending priority.

Former Alabama Secretary of State Nancy Worley dies

Worley also served as chair of the state Democratic party until ousted in a power struggle in 2019.

As much of the Gulf South remains unvaccinated, New Orleans issues a mandate for kids

The city will expand its mandate in 2022 to include children 5 and older. The city health director said “there was no good scientific or educational reason to wait.”

Judge orders Alabama prison system to boost staff by 2025

The Alabama Department of Corrections had been ordered to reach staffing targets by Feb. 2022, but the judge said that's clearly "out of reach."

Edward O. Wilson, biologist known as ‘ant man,’ dead at 92

The pioneering Harvard biologist and Alabama native developed a fascination with ants as a teen that continued through his life.

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UAB School of Nursing

Prison visits are back in the Gulf States. Many have not seen loved ones for nearly 2 years

This holiday season, many incarcerated people in the Gulf States are seeing their loved ones for the first time since March 2020 due to COVID restrictions.

Virus hospitalizations, school cases increasing in Alabama

The state's top doctor says caseloads are manageable, but officials are concerned.

Three Birmingham families on what the Magic City means to them as the city turns 150

Birmingham's first 150 years contains powerful history. But it was also home to tens of thousands of people.

Gulf States will get $100M to expand internet access. Here’s what they’re prioritizing

Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi will receive $100 million from the infrastructure bill to expand internet access, but each will have different priorities.

How the social safety net has — and hasn’t — changed in 2021 in 5 charts

Updates to SNAP, TANF and the Child Tax Credit have helped families in the Gulf South, but not everyone has been able to access the improved benefits.

First case of omicron variant in Alabama has been confirmed

Alabama has confirmed its first case of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, according to the state health officer.

Families in need received more from the social safety net in 2021. How helpful was it?

Experts hail changes like the Child Tax Credit and increases in SNAP benefits as historic. But were recipients better off after getting them?

Texas-like abortion bill would let citizen sue providers

The Alabama Heartbeat Act would prohibit medical providers from performing an abortion once cardiac activity is detected, usually around six weeks and before some women know they are even pregnant. The bill was filed ahead of the 2022 legislative session.

Field trips look a lot different for students this year. But that’s not entirely bad

As public schools adjust to all in-person classes, educators have found value in welcoming accessible field trips through virtual tours.

Supply chain issues in California open up a business opportunity for Gulf Coast ports

Southern ports report higher traffic, but problems on the ground keep them from being a true solution to the supply chain tangle.

Former NFL player Glenn Foster dies after arrest in Alabama

Alabama authorities are investigating after former NFL player Glenn Foster Jr. died in custody following a high-speed chase that resulted in his arrest and then a fight involving officers in the county jail where he was being held.

Alabama prisons commissioner Jeff Dunn to retire as system faces federal pressure

Gov. Kay Ivey announced the leadership change just two months months after Alabama lawmakers approved a $1.3 billion prison construction plan.