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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.

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.

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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.

The teacher shortages are real, but not for the reason you heard

The U.S. education secretary has called for investment to keep teachers from quitting. A teachers union leader has described it as a five-alarm emergency. In reality, there is little evidence to suggest teacher turnover has increased nationwide or educators are leaving in droves.

A Black pastor sues the police who arrested him while watering his neighbor’s flowers

Michael Jennings, the Black Alabama pastor arrested while watering his neighbor’s flowers, has filed a federal lawsuit against the police officers involved in his detainment. The lawsuit also names the city of Childersburg, which oversees the police department that arrested Jennings, as a defendant.

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.

Deion Sanders has ushered in a new era of HBCU football. Will the SWAC capitalize on it?

As a new college football season kicks off, a brighter spotlight will be put on HBCUs in the Gulf South, thanks to the influence of “Coach Prime.”

Imani Perry draws on her hometown, Birmingham, in her new book exploring the South

Perry is an Ivy League professor in New Jersey but a Southerner at heart. She was born in Birmingham, but today she teaches African American studies at Princeton University. In her latest book she argues to truly understand the United States start with the American South.

The story of ‘the Colony’: How a small, Black community thrived, survived in Cullman County

The Colony, Cullman County’s only Black community, has a rich history of resilience and self-made success. Its current residents are working to continue it.

The Tragedy of North Birmingham

Industrial plants in Birmingham have polluted the air and land in its historic Black communities for over a century. In an epicenter of environmental injustice, officials continue to fail to right the wrongs plaguing the city’s north side.

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Alabama man’s execution was botched, advocacy group alleges

Alabama corrections officials apparently botched an inmate's execution last month, an anti-death penalty group alleges, citing the length of time that passed before the prisoner received the lethal injection and a private autopsy indicating his arm may have been cut to find a vein.

Confrontations between Alabama miners, strikebreakers a part of a rough labor history

Federal labor officials fined the United Mine Workers of America union $13.3 million for, among other things, property damage at the picket lines.

A Black pastor was watering his neighbor’s flowers. Then the police showed up

Michael Jennings, a longtime pastor at Vision of Abundant Life Church in Sylacauga, Ala., says he was doing a neighborly deed of watering his out-of-town neighbor’s flowers, per their request, when a police officer showed up.

A Louisiana woman sought a legal abortion and was denied. Now, she wants lawmakers to step in

The woman, who was denied an abortion after her baby was diagnosed with a lethal anomaly, is asking her state lawmakers to make the change in a special session.

A new mural, shop at Birmingham’s airport pays tribute to U.S. Civil Rights Trail

City and state leaders hope the mural gives visitors to Birmingham’s airport a memorable introduction to the city’s history within the civil rights movement.

Midwives urge Alabama health officials to revise rules on birth centers

Critics say if adopted, the rules would further restrict options to pregnancy care in Alabama.

Birmingham Modernizing Garbage Pickup

Birmingham will spend just over $6.5 million to give each household in Birmingham a new, 96-gallon garbage receptacle that Mayor Randall Woodfin said will modernize the way the city picks up garbage.

Birmingham Council Approves $5 Million for World Games Debt

The decision during Tuesday’s council meeting came amid an atmosphere of bitterness from city officials who felt they’d been misled by the Games’ organizers.

Was Joe Nathan James’ execution ‘botched?’ One reporter attended an independent autopsy

It took three hours for the state of Alabama to execute Joe Nathan James Jr. last month. The state autopsy won’t be available for months. One reporter conducted an independent autopsy.

A woman’s denied abortion highlights how Louisiana hospitals are in limbo post-Roe

Nancy Davis' story underscores a new reality: Even the few legal abortions are hard to get when that access is now in the hands of hospital administrators.

New aviation high school in Bessemer aims to help students soar

At the Alabama Aerospace and Aviation High School, students, parents and teachers are excited as they prepare for the school’s take off on Monday.

Jefferson County Commission delays discussion on World Games deficit

The World Games officials have asked the commission for an additional $4 million to help close a reported $14 million debt after the July event.