Issues

Alabama Will Follow CDC Guidelines For COVID-19 Booster Shots

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has authorized a third shot of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine for certain groups.

Alabama Lawmakers Will Take On A $1.3 Billion Prison Construction Plan In A Special Session

As Alabama faces mounting federal pressure to address violence in state prisons, lawmakers begin a special session Monday to vote on a proposal that includes two new mega prisons for men and a new women's facility.

Remembering 9/11

It’s one of those moments in history where everyone remembers where they were and what they were doing. I’m speaking, of course, about September 11th. I was attending a workshop in Baltimore ahead of the Public Radio Program Director’s Conference. Long before everyone owned a smartphone, a colleague entered our workshop and said, “You need […]

Pay, Workers Increase In Hospitality Industry, But Some Restaurants Still Face Shortage

Labor data shows recent increases in wages and workers in Alabama’s leisure and hospitality industry, though the number of workers has not reached pre-pandemic levels and some restaurants still are scrambling to hire help. One Birmingham restaurateur says he’s still dealing with major staffing shortages. “It’s crazy … I work more now than I did […]

There Were More Deaths Than Births In Alabama Last Year, A Grim First For The State

Alabama's top health official says the state has "literally shrunk." According to preliminary data, it saw 64,714 total deaths and 57,641 births in 2020.

Crestwood Blvd Hotel Has Eight Weeks To Clean Up Its Act, Council Says

A crime-plagued motel on Crestwood Boulevard will have eight weeks to clean up its act, the Birmingham City Council decided Tuesday.

Yes, It Is Safe To Get The COVID And Flu Vaccines At The Same Time

Alabama is gearing up for flu season. Health professionals say it's okay to get the COVID-19 vaccine in conjunction with the flu vaccine.

Hoyt Leaves Legacy In District Eight After Sixteen Years

For the last sixteen years, Birmingham City Councilor Steven Hoyt has represented areas like Ensley, West End and Five Points West. But Hoyt will leave office next month after choosing not to run for reelection. His last meeting is October 19.

Bridging The Empathy Gap Between Birmingham Schools And The Community

The interactive art exhibit “All In” put viewers in the shoes of Ramsay High School students.

JeffCo Employees Getting 3% Raises In Budget Passed Thursday

The Jefferson County Commission unanimously passed a $882,750,611 budget last week. It includes a 3% across-the-board raise for county employees.

Birmingham Applies For Grants To Beef Up Surveillance, Readies To Open Real-Time Crime Center

The city of Birmingham will apply for a $100,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to purchase and maintain license plate readers in an effort “to improve the [Birmingham Police Department’s] response to violent crime.”

You Know Delta, But Have You Met Mu And The Rest Of The Relatives?

Researchers say there always will be new variant strains of the COVID-19 virus, although all the strains won’t be as deadly as delta.

Animal Shelters In The Gulf South Are Literally Overflowing With Animals

With staffing shortages and high intake, shelters in Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana are overwhelmed with the number of animals they have.

A Man Died After Being Turned Away From 43 ICUs At Capacity Due To COVID, Family Says

Ray DeMonia didn't die from COVID-19, but after the 73-year-old experienced a cardiac emergency, he was turned away from dozens of packed ICUs, his family says.

Alabama Hospitals Hit Plateau With COVID Patients But Facilities Still In Crisis

Alabama still has more ICU patients than available beds. Hospital officials need more nurses too.

As COVID Rages On, Gulf States Hospitals And Their Staff Look For A Helping Hand

As a field hospital closes up shop in Mississippi this weekend, the state, along with Louisiana and Alabama, still has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country as the pandemic looks to be far from over.

20 Years After 9/11, Leader With The Birmingham Islamic Society Says Progress Is ‘Miniscule’

Many will reflect on the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks this weekend. But for members of the Muslim community, that event brings on a complicated set of emotions.

COVID Policies Vary By School District, Causing Confusion For Parents

The state of Alabama has issued recommendations to school districts on how to handle COVID-19 in the classroom. But many of them are just recommendations, giving districts lots of flexibility in setting their own COVID-19 protocols.

COVID Infusion Therapy Effective At Reducing Severity Of Disease — If You Get It Soon Enough

Monoclonal antibody therapy does not work unless it is given in the first 10 days of COVID symptoms, according to health experts.

Birmingham Council OKs Rezoning To Allow Event Venue In Kingston

The city’s long-range land-use plan for the area states that the property should transition “toward a more mixed-use low designation” because of its proximity to residential areas, said Katrina Thomas, the city’s interim deputy director of planning, engineering and permits.

‘Can-Do Cal’ Takes A Customer-Focused Approach To New Job As JeffCo County Manager

Cal Markert will start his new role of Jefferson County Manager on Oct. 1, 2021.

Health Officials Launch New Vaccination Initiative For College Football Fans, Urge Precautions For Labor Day

The Alabama Department of Health is launching a new vaccination campaign at college football games across the state.

Project To Turn Old Ensley High Project Into Apartment Complex Moves Forward

Plans to redevelop the former Ensley High School into a 244-unit apartment complex took another step forward Tuesday, despite pushback from one councilor.

COVID Drives Up Costs At Jefferson County Jails

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office asked for more money during the final weeks of the 2020 fiscal year. The apparent reason was a hefty cleaning bill at the two county jails. But commissioners learned that increased expenses for feeding prisoners brought on by pandemic protocols contributed to the large request.

LGBTQ Students Find Hope In New Affirming School: The Magic City Acceptance Academy

The Magic City Acceptance Academy is a new charter school giving LGBTQ students and allies a safe space to learn and be themselves. It's the first school of its kind in the South.

‘I Don’t Know How Much Longer We Can Do This’: Alabama State Health Officer Frustrated As COVID Cases Surge

Alabama is in a “crisis situation” with a surge in case numbers and hospitalizations, particularly in school-aged children, according to State Health Officer, Dr. Scott Harris.

Birmingham Poet And Activist Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins Dies At 42

Birmingham poet and Ensley neighborhood activist, Brian “Voice Porter” Hawkins was found dead in his home at 42-years-old.

Alabama Names Ashley M. Jones As Its New Poet Laureate

Jones, a Birmingham native, is Alabama's first Black poet laureate and the youngest person to hold the position.

Despite Record Number On The Road, Women Truck Drivers Still Face Barriers Getting Into Industry

Experts say trucking can lift women out of poverty, but barriers like lack of access to child care keep them out.

Strong Campaign Propels Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin To A Second Term

University of Alabama at Birmingham political science professor Peter Jones said fundraising and a "boots to the ground" strategy gave incumbent Mayor Randall Woodfin his commanding victory in Tuesday's election.

Six City Council Members Win Reelection; Parker And Hilliard Face Runoffs

City Councilors William Parker (D4) and John Hilliard (D9) will face challengers in a runoff on Oct. 5.

Here Are The Full Results From Birmingham’s City Election

A runoff election is Oct. 5 for races in which no candidate won a majority.