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Deadline approaches for USDA loan discrimination funds for underserved farmers

Gulf South farmers are racing to meet the deadline for DFAP. Some say the aid is a step in the right direction, but more needs to be done.

Alabama can enforce a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors, appeals court rules

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals had previously ruled that the injunction should be vacated, but the decision had been effectively on hold for more than 18 months while families with transgender children asked the full appellate court to reconsider the decision.

Prisoners’ bodies returned to families without heart, other organs, lawsuit alleges

The family of Brandon Clay Dotson, who died in a state prison in November, filed a federal lawsuit last month against the Alabama Department of Corrections and others saying his body was decomposing and his heart was missing when his remains were returned to his family.

Nick Saban’s retirement is a blow to Alabama football’s fans — and a boon to its haters

Sports fans in Birmingham were more than happy to weigh in on the Alabama football icon’s storied career.

Alabama’s Nick Saban retiring after 7 national titles, most in major college football history

Nick Saban’s coaching reign has come to an end. His dominance over college football, however, will forever linger in the lore of the sport.

Federal judge says Alabama can carry out nation’s 1st execution using nitrogen gas

U.S. District Judge R. Austin Huffaker rejected Alabama inmate Kenneth Eugene Smith’s request for an injunction to stop his scheduled Jan. 25 execution by nitrogen hypoxia.

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Mercedes-Benz autoworkers in Alabama want to join the UAW. Here’s what the past could teach them

Amid a new push in a region that’s historically unwelcoming to unionization, author Stephen Silvia details what the UAW could learn from its past efforts.

New Orleans residents are uneasy about the NOPD’s planned drone program, documents show

The Gulf States Newsroom obtained more than 350 pages of public comments concerning the NOPD’s planned drone program. Here’s what they said.

Alabama judge puts a temporary hold on medical marijuana companies

A Montgomery circuit judge issued a temporary restraining order late Wednesday to stop the Alabama Medical Cannabis Commission from issuing licenses for “integrated” facilities that grow, transport and sell medical marijuana. The coveted licenses will be on hold while he hears a challenge to the selection process.

Inflation is slowing, unless you’re ‘makin’ groceries’ for New Orleans gumbo. Here’s why

With a variety of ingredients from across the region, making a pot of gumbo can illustrate a lot of the ways inflation impacts the average grocery shopper.

Michigan Wolverines to play for national title after stopping Alabama

Michigan advanced to its first College Football Playoff championship game with a 27-20 victory over fourth-seeded Alabama in the Rose Bow

A tantalizing Rose Bowl matchup pits Saban’s Alabama against Harbaugh’s Michigan in the CFP

Nick Saban has won six national championships at Alabama, establishing the most successful program of the 21st century. Jim Harbaugh has completely revitalized his alma mater, reaching three straight College Football Playoffs at Michigan with style and controversy.

The 2023 moments that will stick with us: Reflections from the Gulf States Newsroom

Our regional reporters reflect on delightful, discarded moments they had in the field as they covered stories across Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana.

A lawsuit challenging Alabama’s transgender care ban for minors will move forward, judge says

U.S. District Judge Liles Burke said no to a request from the U.S. Department of Justice to put the Alabama case on hold until appellate courts decide if they will hear related petitions on whether states can enact such bans.

This New Orleans restaurant made it through the pandemic. Can it survive water billing issues?

Plume Algiers is a mom-and-pop Indian restaurant that overcame every obstacle to open in New Orleans. Now, water billing issues could put them out of business.

Despite strong economic signs, food pantry lines are still growing in the Gulf South

The U.S. economy had a strong year, but more people found themselves in line at their local food pantry due to inflation and a weakened social safety net.

Judge weighs request to stop nation’s first execution by nitrogen, in Alabama

Attorneys for Kenneth Eugene Smith are asking a judge to block his Jan. 25 execution by nitrogen hypoxia. They argued that the method violates the constitutional ban on cruel and unusual punishment and said the mask would interfere with his ability to pray with his spiritual adviser.

Pajamas, movies, relish: hear some of our favorite holiday traditions

We heard from patrons at Adventurer's Coffee Co. in Calera about their unique holiday traditions.

A books-to-prisons program creates connection behind bars

Katie Willis and Megan Lyle, founders of the local bookstore Burdock Book Collective, began their books-to-prisons program in 2020.

What did Alabama students think of the climate change quip in the presidential debate?

Two University of Alabama students, a conservative and a progressive, said they’re hoping for a more nuanced conversation on the environment.

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Place, Erased: A virtual listening session with the Gulf States Newsroom; watch replay

Watch a replay of the Gulf States Newsroom's listening session for its recent series about towns transformed by major environmental shifts.

Alabama Power partners with a company accused of misleading customers

A flier promoting the program began hitting mailboxes in November. In this new arrangement, HomeServe wants to sell what it calls an emergency home repair program to Alabama Power customers.

Jackson State’s Sonic Boom of the South is ready to prove it’s ESPN’s ‘Band of the Year’

The Sonic Boom hopes the inaugural competition to crown the best bands in the nation will expose a wider audience to the rich culture of HBCU schools.

Alabama’s plan for execution by nitrogen gas is ‘hostile to religion,’ lawsuit says

The Rev. Jeff Hood, who plans to enter the death chamber to minister to Kenneth Eugene Smith, said the Alabama Department of Corrections asked him to sign a form acknowledging the risks and agreeing to stay 3 feet away from Smith's gas mask.

Lawsuit challenges Alabama inmate labor system as ‘modern day slavery’

The class action lawsuit also accuses the state of maintaining a discriminatory parole system with a low release rate that ensures a supply of laborers while also generating money for the state.

Meet the tiny fish that only call Jefferson County home

Though the creek water at Turkey Creek Nature Preserve is crystal clear, and thousands visit the preserve each year, it’s highly unlikely most will see three unique fish species that swim alongside them. They are the endangered watercress, rush and vermilion darters 

Alabama and Georgia propose a deal to settle their water war over the Chattahoochee River

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said Tuesday they will ask the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to approve a plan that would guarantee minimum water flows at Columbus, Georgia and in southeast Alabama.

How making Jackson’s famed Farish Street more green could also help cool it off

On the heels of Mississippi’s record-breaking summer, the historic neighborhood hopes that adding more trees and green space can solve its heat island problem.

How a pianist is using classical music to bridge divides in Alabama

Classically trained concert pianist, Miki Sawada, is aware of the impression classical music has. She's trying to bring the music to a wider audience and bridge the country's divides.

The GOP debate field was asked about Trump. But most attacks focused on Nikki Haley

With just over a month before the 2024 primary calendar begins, the debate demonstrated how firm Trump's grip remains on the party.

Alabama’s prison population sees troubling growth in latest DOJ report

For the first time in nearly a decade, U.S. prison populations are trending up. Alabama's numbers are a part of troubling gains across the Gulf South.

A narrowing Republican presidential field will debate in Tuscaloosa Wednesday

Four candidates will be on stage at the University of Alabama for their last scheduled meeting before the Iowa caucuses kick off the presidential nominating season next month. Former President Donald Trump, the race’s clear front-runner, will not be among them.