Issues

Despite pushback, the organizers of Cullman’s first PRIDE event are pushing forward

The announcement of Saturday’s event drew threats and calls for counter-protests. In response, LGBTQ+ communities across the state have offered their support.

6 ways the conversation around a guaranteed income in the US has changed

A guaranteed income conference held in Atlanta shows how the movement has progressed since 2017, with more than 50 pilots currently handing out cash.

New mental health crisis center aims to interrupt revolving door of jail and ER visits

The new clinic in Jefferson County will offer short-term crisis care to people who might otherwise wait hours at a hospital or wind up in jail.

Mississippi’s latest move in its anti-abortion agenda? A tax break for corporate donations

Tax documents show energy company foundations financed the anti-abortion movement in the Gulf South for years. Now, they could get a tax break for that support.

Commission rejects opening courthouse for Saturday absentee voting

Commissioner Sheila Tyson presented the resolution to open the Jefferson County Courthouse for Saturday absentee voting. Others felt the special circumstances of the pandemic had passed.

Birmingham City Council moves toward approval of cannabis dispensaries

Birmingham has taken “the first step” on the road to legalizing medical marijuana. The City Council voted Tuesday to approve an ordinance authorizing medical cannabis dispensaries to operate within Birmingham city limits.

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The landmark Voting Rights Act faces further dismantling in case from Alabama

The law is once again on the chopping block ­— this time on the question of how state legislatures may draw congressional district lines when the state's voters are racially polarized.

Gulf States rank at the bottom for climate-adapted housing. Organizers want to change that.

As natural disasters and extreme weather become more frequent in the Gulf South, a new report hopes to be a road map to providing more climate-adapted housing.

How Dr. Emily Fortney is using her clinical psychology work to help pregnant people

Suicide is a leading cause of death in women, and mood and anxiety disorders make perinatal risks more complicated. Dr. Fortney’s work is focused on this issue.

Regions Bank to refund $141M for illegal overdraft fees

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau found that between 2018 and 2021, Regions was charging overdraft fees on some ATM withdrawals as well as some debit card purchases, even after the bank told the customers they had enough funds to cover the transactions.

Jackson’s water crisis put new attention on its longstanding lead contamination issue

Jackson’s water issues echo infrastructure struggles across the Gulf South, resulting in nearly 1,800 lawsuits over the past year and attention from the EPA.

Birmingham councilors allege promises broken but city still renews Via contract

Under the contract, the city will pay the Via ridesharing service up to $2.64 million per year to provide transit services.

Alabama prisoners refusing to work in 2nd day of protest

Prisoners including those who provide food, laundry and janitorial services refused to show up for work at major state prisons, leaving staff scrambling to keep the facilities running.

Scottsboro is home to the largest gray bat summer cave. They’re leaving for the winter

At Sauta Cave anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000 gray bats emerge to feast on insects. It’s thought to be the largest emergence of bats east of the Mississippi River, a spectacle that draws curious onlookers from across Alabama.

‘We got our miracle’: Freed Americans back home in Alabama

Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh had gone missing June 9 in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine while while fighting with Ukrainian forces against Russia.

Alabama halts execution because of time, IV access concerns

Officials said the state halted the scheduled execution of Alan Miller after they determined they could not get the lethal injection underway before a midnight deadline.

Birmingham’s new Xpress rapid bus line gives residents a new option to travel across the city

The Birmingham Xpress is a single route that runs east to west between Five Points West and Woodlawn. A total of 32 stops take riders by places like Princeton Baptist Hospital, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Railroad Park and Sloss Furnace.

Jackson residents claim city’s water woes stem from decades of neglect in new lawsuit

The lawsuit claims that Jackson’s water quality was poor long before the recent pump failure at O.B. Curtis — caused by decades of neglect and mismanagement.

Ahead of its Alabama debut, John Archibald gives an inside look at ‘Pink Clouds’

AL.com columnist John Archibald brings his columns to the stage with the debut of his first play, "Pink Clouds." It premieres Saturday at Red Mountain Theatre.

Russian separatists release 2 U.S. veterans as part of a prisoner exchange

Alex Drueke and Andy Huynh went missing in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine near the Russian border June 9. They had traveled to Ukraine on their own and became friends because both are from Alabama.

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54% of support comes from members

Judge blocks upcoming lethal injection in Alabama

The judge issued a preliminary injunction to block the state from executing Alan Miller on Thursday by any method other than nitrogen hypoxia, an untested method Miller says he requested but Alabama is not ready to use.

Video appears to show Alabama corrections officer beating inmate

The video, circulating on social media, shows what appears to be a distressed inmate on the edge of a roof at a building at Elmore Correctional Facility, while a group of prison staff look at him from the ground.

U.S. Steel used convict labor in Birmingham. Has it reckoned with its past?

A century ago, U.S. Steel was one of the companies involved in Alabama's convict lease system. The steelmaker has a mixed record on acknowledging that history.

New data show how often Alabama uses solitary confinement

Survey numbers from 2021 show that roughly five percent of people in Alabama's prisons are housed in isolation for at least 22 hours a day for 15 days or more.

Memoir explores ‘being Black but growing up white’ after the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing

"Dear Denise" follows Lisa McNair's life in a series of letters to the sister she never met. Lisa recounts her experience growing up in the first generation of African Americans after legal segregation.

Alabama could use nitrogen hypoxia for executions in death sentences. What is it?

The state approved the method in 2018, but it has not yet been used or tested. A man awaiting a Sep. 22 execution said he opted for nitrogen hypoxia instead of lethal injection due to a fear of needles, but corrections officers lost his paperwork.

School resource officers turn to mental health to make kids safer

Parents’ school safety concerns carry more weight this year after the mass shooting in May at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. School resource officers in Hoover are adjusting by placing a greater emphasis on mental health.

Musicians say The World Games is shorting their payment for performances during the opening and closing ceremonies.

According the American Federation of Musicians, The World Games changed the contract for orchestra performers after the fact, causing payments to musicians to be reduced by about one-third.

Jefferson County Commission approves extra money for The World Games

Commissioners approved allotting an additional $4 million to help offset the deficit incurred by organizers of The World Games. The matter passed on a 4-1 vote.

Southern Decadence returns to New Orleans, marked by parades and monkeypox awareness

Health officials gave out monkeypox vaccines and encouraged everyone — not just the LGBTQ community — to take the virus more seriously at the annual festival.

In Jackson, Miss., volunteers work hard to bring water to residents who need help

Local nonprofits have been delivering water directly to some residents, but the groups are still working on scaling up to dealing with a problem that stretches across the city.

In Jackson, Miss., football goes on despite the water crisis

Football is a way of life in Jackson, Mississippi. So are boil water notices. The latest water crisis has not stopped fans from filling the stands to support a local college team.