Issues

New CDC report finds ‘significant increase’ in children diagnosed with developmental disorders

While the results showing an increase in rates may seem alarming, researchers say it could be a sign of better access to mental health services.

The Dollar Store Takeover: A Virtual Listening Session and Conversation

The Gulf States Newsroom will host a listening session and conversation on Stephan Bisaha's four-part audio series examining the spread of dollar stores.

Alabama senator says white nationalists are racists after weeks of declining to say so

Tuberville’s brief comment follows several media interviews in which he has repeatedly declined to describe white nationalists as racist. The furor started with a May interview on WBHM

In rural Mississippi, Baby University is helping parents with ‘more than diapers’

The free program in Clarksdale, Mississippi teaches young parents how to better care for their children while filling in the gaps of the social safety net.

City council approves $5 million to build Birmingham amphitheater

Birmingham’s $5 million investment in the project is expected to be matched by equal contributions from Jefferson County, the BJCC and venue promoter and operator Live Nation.

Tuberville’s hold leaves Marines without confirmed leader for 1st time in 100 years

Tuberville has stalled all nominations for senior military jobs because he disagrees with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin’s decision to have the Defense Department pay for travel when a service member has to go out of state to get an abortion or other reproductive care. Abortion is now illegal in Alabama.

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Alabama student finds home in the comfort of her mind

Jameia Boone grew up in a home of structure and stability in Mississippi, but that all changed once she moved to Troy, Alabama, for college.

Through social clubs and education, Birmingham woman creates community

Delena Chappel works to extend a sense of community to her students and other Black women.

US Forest Service and historically Black colleges unite to boost diversity in wildland firefighting

Wildfire season around the U.S. continues to grow while minorities remain underrepresented in forestry and firefighting.

She thought one call would fix her power bill. A year later, she’s still not satisfied

Power bill disputes usually sway in the utility company's favor. But as this New Orleans renter's story shows, there are ways customers can get answers.

United Methodists lose one-fifth of US churches in schism driven by growing defiance of LGBTQ bans

Roughly half of churches in the United Methodist Church North Alabama Conference have voted to disaffiliate within the last year, according to new study.

As ‘overwhelming’ heat dome settles over the Gulf South, unhoused residents seek refuge

The Fourth of July holiday brought sweltering temperatures to the Gulf South. Here’s how some of the people most vulnerable to the heat are dealing with it.

Alabama’s health care system for women ranks near the bottom of this new scorecard

The Commonwealth Fund’s new report includes 12 new measures that evaluate and rank states on reproductive services and women’s health care.

How hard is life after prison? This simulation in Birmingham offers a taste

Across the country, U.S. justice officials are hosting simulated experiences to highlight the barriers many people face after leaving prison.

You can now see the renovated A.G. Gaston Motel

Almost 40 years after it closed, the newly renovated A.G. Gaston Motel in downtown Birmingham opened to the public Thursday. Visitors will be able to walk in the same steps as many historic Black figures.

Lawmakers begin redrawing Alabama’s congressional map

On Tuesday, the effort to redraw the map began with a public hearing at the State House. This follows the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision upholding a lower court’s ruling that Alabama’s congressional map does not reflect the state’s Black population.

Birmingham budget passed after compromise with councilors

Birmingham’s most contentious budgeting process in years ended Tuesday with the city council’s unanimous approval of Mayor Randall Woodfin’s nearly $555 million budget.

Alabama lawmakers to convene to redraw maps US high court declared unfair to Black voters

The U.S. Supreme Court this month affirmed the panel's finding that Alabama likely violated the Voting Rights Act with a congressional map that had only one majority Black district out of seven in a state where more than one in four residents is Black.

 A year after the loss of Roe v. Wade, Gulf South residents reflect on abortion rights

The Gulf States Newsroom asked Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi residents when they realized things had changed after the ruling. Here's what they said.

‘Kids will end their lives’: Anti-trans legislation is impacting mental health in the Gulf South

As book bans and legislation pile up, a Louisiana trans teen describes the mental toll it’s taking on him and highlights the importance of support systems.

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MLB to stage Negro Leagues tribute game at Rickwood Field next June honoring Willie Mays

The stadium, opened in 1910, is the oldest professional ballpark in the U.S. and a National Historic Site. The game will honor Hall of Famer Willie Mays, a Birmingham native who began his professional career with the Birmingham Black Barons in 1948.

Alabama must move quickly to draw new congressional districts

The U.S. Supreme Court last week affirmed a lower-court ruling finding Alabama likely violated the Voting Rights Act with an Alabama congressional map that had only one majority Black district out of seven in a state where more than one in four residents is Black. The state must now draw a new map by July 21.

Ivey signs grocery tax reduction into law

Alabama is one of only three states that tax groceries at the same rate as other purchases. Advocates had long argued that taxing food at such a rate placed an unfair burden on families.

Alabama ranked 45th in annual survey of child well-being

While this is one spot higher than the year before, analysts observed Alabama's improvement is largely the result of other states showing poorer outcomes as opposed to Alabama’s child well-being improving.

Ride the Birmingham Xpress for free, at least for now

The Birmingham Bus Rapid Transit system, also known as Birmingham Xpress, will be free for riders for at least the next few months — though exactly how long remains up in the air.

New voting districts could change again in some states before the 2024 elections

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a lower court ruling that Alabama’s congressional districts likely violated the federal Voting Rights Act by diluting the political power of Black voters. The ruling also could lead to new U.S. House districts in Louisiana, and potentially Georgia.

Chief suspect in Natalee Holloway disappearance pleads not guilty to extortion charges

Joran van der Sloot pleaded not guilty Friday to federal charges that he tried to extort money from the missing teen’s mother in exchange for revealing the location of her body.

Supreme Court rules in favor of Black voters in Alabama redistricting case

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined with the court's liberals in affirming a lower-court ruling that found a likely violation of the Voting Rights Act in Alabama's congressional map.

Voting rights marcher recalls being clubbed, hearing fatal gunshot during pivotal day of protests

Della Simpson Maynor was just 14 when she marched for voting rights in her hometown of Marion, Alabama. But while events in Alabama helped give birth to the Voting Rights Act, court cases originating in the state have led to its steady erosion over the years.

Alabama lawmakers close out 2023 legislative session

A proposal to exempt overtime pay from state income tax made it out on the last day. A bill that would have put more teeth in the state’s public records law did not.

As the US invests more in climate-smart ag, these Louisiana farmers could serve as a model

Climate-smart agriculture is getting a “once-in-a-generation” investment of $20 billion. Louisiana farmers show what a successful rollout could look like.

Birmingham school aims to bring Montessori to Black families

Montessori is an education philosophy that emphasizes student-led learning. It also tends to be associated with rich, suburban families. One Montessori school in Birmingham is flipping that stereotype.