Issues

With ‘dollar stores in every direction,’ some communities are saying enough

Dollar General opens about three locations a day. Advocates against the rapid expansion released a four-step guide for keeping stores from opening.

As grocery prices soar, push grows to end sales tax on food

Alabama is one of only three states that tax groceries at the same rate as other purchases. But as food prices soar — and as the state sees a record budget surplus — Alabama lawmakers are considering removing, or phasing out, the state's 4% sales tax on food.

Advocates warn of a ‘dollar store invasion.’ Researchers are still figuring out the consequences

A recent report from the Institute for Local Self Reliance laid out 17 problems with dollar stores, but some researchers said there isn’t a consensus yet.

New complaint alleges sex assault, medical neglect, abuse of detainee at Louisiana ICE facility

The attorneys and advocates who filed the complaint on Daniel Cortes De La Valle’s behalf are asking ICE to release him immediately.

Suit accuses Jefferson County of racial gerrymandering in commission districts

The lawsuit accuses the commission of intentionally packing Black voters into two supermajority Black commission districts based in and around Birmingham.

Tougher penalties on fentanyl trafficking now law

Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law Thursday after the measure, which sets mandatory minimum sentences, passed both legislative chambers without opposition.

54% of support comes from members

Birmingham-Southern College to stay open — for now

The decision follows a few tense months after years of financial stress came to a head in December. The private college is asking for $37 million in public money. It hasn’t received that money, but the future's looking brighter for students.

Health advocates hope Narcan’s over-the-counter status will bypass Alabama’s strict laws

Public health officials say the federal rule change should expand access to the overdose-reversing medication, after years of navigating tough state restrictions on who can dispense Narcan.

Dollar stores are everywhere in the South. These 5 charts explain what’s behind their growth

Dollar store brands have expanded at a fast rate across the U.S. — especially in the Gulf South — over the past 15 years. Here’s what’s driving the trend.

Alabama leaders propose four bills to boost state’s economic competitiveness

Backers of the bills said the bills will provide more opportunities for rural areas and expand entrepreneurship.

After botched executions, Alabama will try lethal injection again

Alabama paused executions for three months after the state failed to execute two men and took more than three hours to kill another man. Now, after an internal review and a rule change, prison officials will resume the procedure.

Alabama medicinal plants inspire new UAB art exhibit

The new art exhibit showcases handmade books, sculptures and drawings inspired by medicinal plants found in Alabama.

An inside look at an AP African American Studies class

As Southern political leaders continue to take aim at critical race theory in education, students at Baton Rouge Magnet High call the AP pilot class empowering.

Volunteers are driving in to offer hot meals, necessities to Mississippi tornado survivors

The gym of a Rolling Fork school has become a makeshift hub to get much-needed emergency aid, meals and hope for thousands affected by the tornadoes.

UAB tops Utah Valley, sets up Conference USA showdown in NIT

UAB beat Utah Valley 88-86 in overtime to set up an all-Conference USA final in the NIT. UAB will face North Texas for the fourth time this season on Thursday for the NIT championship.

As midwifery evolves, this Mississippi museum is preserving the history of granny midwives

Granny midwives were some of the first to universalize the practice of midwifery in the South. A permanent installation hopes to share their history.

In Rolling Fork, a congregation comes together to save a century-old church

After a deadly EF-4 tornado, a Mississippi town finds hope in the hands of volunteers.

‘We’re going to help them’: How Mississippians are banding together after a devastating tornado

Officials, aid organizations and volunteers sprung into action on Saturday to help Mississippi begin rebuilding in the aftermath of a powerful tornado.

Bills tackling fentanyl trafficking and ‘good time’ limits in prisons advance

The bills would set a mandatory minimum sentence for trafficking or possessing fentanyl and reduce good time incentives, which can shorten prisoners’ sentences.

Man sentenced to 30 years after police officer shot friend

Alabama’s felony murder law holds someone liable for murder if they participate in a felony that results in someone's death.

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54% of support comes from members

US ‘concerned’ by Mexican seizure of Alabama company’s port

Mexico’s seizure of the Caribbean cargo port stretched into its second week Tuesday. Vulcan Materials said that police and prosecutors still had not presented any legal paperwork to justify the seizure.

Proposed Ivey budgets: Income tax rebates; public money for charter schools; modest pay raises

Gov. Kay Ivey’s proposed budget for 2024 will call for state money for start-up charter schools, tax rebates for those who filed income taxes in 2021 and some pay raises for state employees. 

Birmingham City Council delays BSC funding decision until at least mid-April

The struggling college is seeking $30 million from Alabama’s Education Trust Fund, as well as $5 million from Birmingham and $2.5 million from Jefferson County.

In the quest for new cancer treatments, researchers look to outer space

The Southern Research team is studying how bacteria reacts in the microgravity environment, and whether it prompts the development of novel cancer therapies.

BSC prez ‘disappointed’ legislature didn’t approve funding but will continue push to stay open

The Alabama Legislature opted not to spend some of the state’s $1 billion-plus allocation from the American Rescue Plan Act to keep the financially troubled liberal arts college open.

Lawmakers wrap up special session on COVID relief funds

Gov. Kay Ivey signed a more than $1 billion plan to spend federal pandemic relief funds after lawmakers approved the package Thursday.

Lawmakers say prison plan will continue despite cost jump

The Alabama Corrections Institution Finance Authority on Wednesday increased the spending cap for a 4,000-bed prison now under construction in Elmore County, from $623 million to $975 million.

With the NCAA Tournament in town, Birmingham is ready for thrilling games, an economic boost

Birmingham is hosting NCAA Tournament games this weekend for the first time since 2008. It's the latest addition to the city's growing profile as a sports hub.

Spurred by slow deportation wait times, Louisiana ICE detainees attempted a hunger strike

A man held at the ICE facility in Jena said detainees are being held in some cases up to three months after receiving their final deportation notices.

Oats steers Alabama to March Madness in a turbulent season

Nate Oats is steering Alabama through the best and most scrutinized season in Crimson Tide history after one player was charged with capital murder and two others were involved.

In rural Mississippi, E.R. staff are being trained to care for moms and deliver babies

Across the Gulf South, hospitals are cutting labor and delivery services. A program at UMMC hopes to equip health care professionals to fill in the rising gaps.

A months-long landfill fire in Alabama reveals waste regulation gaps

An unregulated landfill that accepts vegetative waste has burned underground for months. Neighbors were inundated with smoke and left wondering why the site wasn't regulated in the first place.