News

Presence of chemicals in landfill fire smoke catalyzes EPA to step in

The EPA is taking action to extinguish the fire after air sampling results showed carcinogenic chemicals in smoke from the site.

Birmingham-Southern president says he’ll do everything possible to keep the college open

Birmingham-Southern College, a private institution, is asking the state to help bail it out after financial troubles. School President Daniel Coleman shared with WBHM what he sees as the path ahead for the college.

Alabama extends time for executions, ends automatic review

The Alabama Supreme Court abolished the one-day time frame for executions. Instead, the governor will set a window of time. The court also eliminated an automatic “plain error review” of death penalty cases.

Parole denied for 90% of Alabama inmates, a new low

The rate of state inmates being granted parole in Alabama has plummeted to a new low, with 90% of eligible inmates being rejected last fiscal year.

A Mississippi community is ‘grateful’ for more air testing, but skeptical of what comes next

A $500,000 EPA grant will make more air testing in Pascagoula’s Cherokee Forest community possible. Residents worry their voices will — again — not be heard.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey sworn in for her 2nd full term

In a wide-ranging speech, the Republican governor thanked supporters, promised a focus on education, broadband expansion and regulation cuts for businesses but also nodded to GOP hot-button issues.

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In tornado-ravaged Selma, prayers of thanks

The Sunday after a tornado devastated much of the historic city of Selma, church congregations raised up prayers of gratitude for lives spared and gave prayers of comfort for lives lost elsewhere to the storm.

What came together to make a deadly Alabama tornado

Experts say a natural La Nina weather pattern, unusually warm moist air juiced by climate change, and long-term shift in where tornadoes hit all are factors in Thursday's devastating tornado in Alabama.

Tornado hits Selma; 9 deaths reported across South

Seven deaths were recorded in hard-hit Autauga County, Alabama.

‘Dangerous’ Alabama tornado slams buildings, uproots trees

The National Weather Service in Birmingham said a “large and extremely dangerous tornado” caused damage as it moved through Selma.

Lawsuit filed over landfill fire near Moody seeks class action status

The complaint cites years of inspections and violations from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management showing that the agency had found unauthorized waste on the property.

Birmingham wants to try micro shelters again. Here’s how they’ll be different this time

The pilot program centers around micro shelters from Pallet Shelters, which has built shelter villages for people experiencing homelessness across the country. This is the first program of its kind in Alabama.

Gov. Ivey announces rules for prison ‘good time’ incentives

Ivey's executive order categorizes offenses and outlines how much “good time” will be forfeited.

Officials break ground on a new $120 million Cooper Green facility

Healthcare leaders say the current building is more than 50 years old and too expensive to maintain.

Alabama woman who joined IS hopes to return from Syria camp

Hoda Muthana was born in New Jersey to Yemeni immigrants and was raised in a conservative Muslim household in Hoover, Alabama, just outside Birmingham. In 2014, she flew to Turkey and crossed into Syria.

An old school in Birmingham’s Bush Hills is now an urban farm. Residents are thinking bigger

The Bush Hills Community Garden and Urban Farm grows truckloads of produce each year that’s given to area residents free of charge. In addition, the old elementary school on the property will soon be home to a teaching kitchen and community center.

In the fight for environmental justice, Birmingham tells Jackson to stay loud

Gulf States communities have been living in contaminated environments for years. Jackson and Birmingham residents share strategies that can help.

St. Clair County declares emergency in response to landfill fire

The declaration means the county can ask the state for funding and resources. But residents are left with unanswered questions about the fire's affect on the local air and water quality.

Officials see hurdles to putting out landfill fire near Moody as neighbors suffer

Residents near landfill fire say the smoke is affecting their health, but officials are still trying to figure out how to put out the blaze — and who will pay for it.

The Downtown YMCA is closing. Will other Birmingham recreation centers be able to fill the gap?

The closure will leave only one full-service YMCA that’s technically in Birmingham city limits — the Mountain Brook branch.

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Landfill fire near Birmingham burns for more than a month

Smoke from the underground blaze has caused the air quality in the area to reach hazardous levels.

Advocacy group helps Mexican families in Alabama reunite after decades apart

Some Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. hadn't seen their parents for decades. An advocacy group in Alabama is working with Mexican officials to reunite dozens of families in time for the holidays.

Organización ayuda a familias mexicanas reunirse después de décadas separadas

Algunos inmigrantes mexicanos que viven en los Estados Unidos no han visto a sus padres por décadas. Una ONG en Alabama trabaja con las autoridades mexicanas para reunir a decenas de estas familias.

Investigation accuses Alabama Power of funneling money to local news sites for favorable coverage

A trove of leaked documents allegedly shows Alabama Power indirectly and covertly paid news outlets for favorable coverage. A story from NPR and the nonprofit news collaborative Floodlight says the practice continued for almost a decade and hid transactions by utilizing nonprofits and shell companies.

Why 2022 was a rough year for Gulf South food pantries, and those who need them

The federal aid that Gulf South food pantries have relied on during the pandemic ended this year, but the demand for food assistance still remained high.

Students and faculty nervous about Birmingham-Southern’s financial stress, possible closing

Students, alumni and faculty of Birmingham-Southern College are nervous after school officials revealed the campus could close as early as next year. The private college is now asking for $37 million in public money, most of it from the state, to keep the doors open.

She was an ABC News producer. She also was a corporate operative

An ABC News freelance producer confronted critics of a consulting firm's powerful clients. Her actions confirm people's worst suspicions about the news media, says a former network news president.

Wealthy Governor’s Company to Pay Nearly $1 Million for Chronic Air Pollution Violations

In the generations before Bluestone acquired the plant in 2019, people living in the area faced exposure to levels of contaminants in the air and soil that have ranked among the worst in the nation.

Denial, detention and deportation threats: The uphill battle for Cameroonian asylum seekers in Louisiana and Mississippi

A Gulf States Newsroom investigation digs into the Deep South’s thorny regional immigration system and the obstacles and steep odds at every turn.

In the Southeast, power company money flows to news sites that attack their critics

A consulting firm hired by Alabama and Florida power companies paid six news outlets to publish stories in their favor.

Private Alabama college seeks bailout, warning it may close

State legislators warn that Birmngham-Southern College may close within months without money from the state and county.

Alabama Supreme Court denies new trial for man on death row

Lawyers had argued he was due a new trial because the state failed to disclose a key prosecution witness was paid a reward several years after testifying.