Issues

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.

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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.

Public transit in the Gulf South is in need of an overhaul. The solution could lie in the past

The Gulf South is not known for its great public transit systems. Some believe Bus Rapid Transit could solve lingering issues and lead to a better future.

New exhibition driving bill would stiffen penalties, including fines and jail time

People have been injured, even killed, in exhibition driving-related incidents in Birmingham. Now, lawmakers are addressing the issue on a statewide level.

Legal complaint claims Alabama discriminates when distributing sewage infrastructure funds

Alabama only allows state funds for sewage infrastructure to go to public bodies. A civil rights complaint argues the policy hurts communities of color.

After deadliest year on record, families remember loved ones lost in Alabama prisons

Two hundred sixty-six incarcerated people died inside Alabama's prisons in 2022, and dozens have died so far in 2023.

Special session underway on spending federal pandemic funds

On Thursday, an Alabama House committee passed a plan to spend about $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan Act on mostly health care reimbursements, water and sewer infrastructure and broadband expansion.

WBRC’s new podcast explores the disappearance of Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney

The 3-year-old went missing in 2019 outside a public housing complex in Birmingham. Her body was found about a week later in a dumpster. 

Ivey calls session on relief funds, proposes tax rebates

Gov. Kay Ivey delivered her state of the state address on the opening night of the 2023 legislative session where key issues include how to use the state's remaining pandemic relief funds as well as a $2.8 billion education budget surplus.

Hoover says a girls basketball team’s treatment after topping the boys is a miscommunication

After a parent wrote a Facebook post alleging gender discrimination when a girls' basketball team was denied trophies, Hoover City officials said it came down to policy.

City relinquishes power over old Powell School, raising concerns about historic preservation

The property has the distinction of being the site of the city’s first public school, though it closed its doors in 2002 due to a sharp decline in enrollment.

The 2023 Alabama legislative session starts Tuesday. Here’s your preview

Lawmakers return to Montgomery at a time when money is flush thanks to federal COVID funds. Education is among the top issues expected to generate discussion.

Mississippi updated its solar energy guidelines. Renewable energy advocates want more

Mississippi added incentives for low-to-moderate income residents to encourage more investment in renewable energy. Activists are pushing for more access.

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54% of support comes from members

In Selma, Biden says right to vote remains under assault

President Joe Biden referenced the searing memories of 1965's “Bloody Sunday” in Selma to recommit to securing voting rights.

How this year’s Selma Bridge Crossing could mark a community renaissance

President Biden visits Selma for the 58th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday." Residents there are still recovering from tornadoes that ripped through the city in January.

These billboards want you to know how to get abortion pills — even if your state banned abortions

The nonprofit Mayday.Health organized the campaign to travel across 14 states with abortion bans.

As Alabama coal miners strike nears end, a look at why it started, and how it failed

After 700 days, the United Mine Workers of America Union asked Warrior Met Coal to allow the strikers to come back to work unconditionally.

A small team works to aid immigrants in Louisiana: ‘Do the best you can with the time you have’

Three women detail the grueling, personal work behind regular visits to Louisiana’s detention centers to help immigrants make it through the asylum process.

How a rare edition of ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’  traveled from Italy to Lawson State

Lawson State Community College now owns a rare copy of one of the most influential books in American history. And it took a 5,000 mile journey to get there.

Red Mountain Cut features time capsule of Alabama’s robust geologic history

A national natural landmark, the road cut along Birmingham's Red Mountain Expressway documents more than a hundred million years of geologic history and was once an educational centerpiece.

‘It’s a fight for freedom.’ Ukraine backers call for continued arms support 1 year into war

A group of supporters gathered at Railroad Park in Birmingham to draw attention to human rights violations in the country and call for continued arms support from the U.S.

Alabama governor says state will resume executions

The governor in November directed the state prison system to undertake a “top-to-bottom” review of death penalty procedures after the state was forced to cancel three lethal injections because of problems with intravenous lines.

Alabama advocates urge treatment over punishment for pregnant women jailed for substance use

Alabama’s chemical endangerment laws are strict, especially for pregnant women. One program offers alternatives to jail for treating prenatal substance use.

JeffCo Commission agrees to support Magic City Classic for 1 year, will consider longer contract later

The annual football game between Alabama State and Alabama A&M Universities has been played 80 times at Birmingham’s Legion Field.

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