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Key COVID moments in the Gulf South 2 years later

On the two-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, take a look back at the Gulf States Newsroom’s coverage of the infectious disease’s impact on the Gulf South region.

Alabama won’t require background checks for concealed guns

Alabama will become the latest state to allow people to carry concealed handguns without first undergoing a background check and getting a state permit.

Alabama lawmakers roll the dice on a new lottery bill

The constitutional amendment would authorize a state lottery, sports betting, eight full casinos and two smaller gambling operations.

Why Gulf South oil producers can’t protect the region from rising gas prices

Experts say activating unused oil wells could temper the rising costs of gas, but consumers should not expect prices to get anywhere near their COVID low.

Alabama’s ‘ultimate school choice’ bill gets complicated when considering race and poverty

Parents could get about $5,600 per kid in state money to use for other schooling options. The proposal is currently in a legislative study committee. But experts told WBHM school choice brings up concerns around equity.

Vestavia Hills schools and city face a lawsuit for allegedly withholding public information

The Vestavia Hill City Schools along with the superintendent and the city face a lawsuit alleging they’re improperly withholding public information on COVID-19 masking and safety protocols. The lawsuit was filed by two parents last month.

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Kamala Harris marks ‘Bloody Sunday’ anniversary in Selma

Vice President Kamala Harris visited Selma, Alabama, on Sunday to commemorate a defining moment in the fight for equal voting rights.

Alabama lawmakers advance a record-setting education budget

Legislators also took up measures to improve math education and attack what's known as "period poverty."

After a wave of HBCU bomb threats, a look at another era of violence at Jackson State

In 1970, the campus was the scene of a violent shooting by police that left two young men dead, many others injured and campus changed forever.

Foster, first Black student at University of Alabama, dies

Autherine Lucy Foster, the first Black student to enroll at the University of Alabama, has died. She was 92.

Alabama Supreme Court backs move to protect land around water source

The Alabama Supreme Court has sided with environmentalists who say the Birmingham Water Works Board is not abiding by a court order to protect land around Lake Purdy and parts of the Cahaba River.

Birmingham leaders say decision to ban Russian athletes from the World Games ‘a show of solidarity’

The World Games ban was in response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine last week.

A rodent infestation shut down Family Dollar stores. How one Alabama town is coping

A Family Dollar in York, Alabama is one of the few shopping options in town. But it's shuttered due to a warehouse rodent infestation.

Birmingham residents rally in support of Ukraine

More than 50 people showed up at Railroad Park Saturday for a rally in support of Ukraine. This comes days after Russia's invasion of the country.

Alabama educators push back on bill banning ‘divisive concepts’ from the classroom

Lawmakers also took action this week on a delay to a school reading requirement and a ban on transgender treatments for youths.

Is New Orleans ready for Mardi Gras? A Q&A with health director Jennifer Avegno

New Orleans is in full celebration mode with Mardi Gras just days away, but where does COVID fit into the equation? The city’s health director has answers.

The 2021 Jackson water crisis and the cracks that remain in a long-damaged system

A year ago, below freezing temperatures collapsed Jackson, Mississippi’s water system, revealing longstanding cracks in its infrastructure.

World Game medals make their debut in Birmingham, but will soon be all over the world

Medals for the World Games, which will take place in Birmingham in July, were unveiled by city leaders and games organizers Wednesday at the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

US vaccination drive is bottoming out as omicron subsides

The vaccination drive against COVID-19 in the U.S. is grinding to a halt, and lagging demand is especially stark in conservative corners of the country where many people weren't interested in the shots in the first place.

House votes to allow concealed handguns without permit

The Alabama House of Representatives approved legislation ending the requirement for a person to get a permit in order to carry a concealed handgun in public.

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Alabama lawmakers advance transgender students bathroom ban

The effort by Alabama legislators comes after the U.S. Supreme Court last year rejected a Virginia school board's appeal to reinstate its transgender bathroom ban.

Bill that would ban concealed carry permits in Alabama advances

Lawmakers also advanced a so-called bathroom bill but delayed a bill increasing penalties for rioters.

Across the bridge: Alabama Dem carries torch for voting bill

Rep. Terri Sewell's voting bill collapsed in the Senate last month, but she is determined to press on. In March, Selma will mark the anniversary of the “Bloody Sunday” voting rights march.

Mississippi’s plan to stop Alabama from stealing its teachers? Pay them thousands more

As Mississippi lawmakers plot how to keep more teachers in the state, educators warn the state’s bill targeting critical race theory could drive them away.

WBHM to bring Birmingham’s voices to national NPR audiences through ‘1A Remaking America’

A two-year public media partnership between WBHM and 1A will explore local threats to America’s democracy.

Amtrak’s proposed Mobile-New Orleans line is ‘a bad idea’ for Alabama, officials say

Mississippi wants to move full steam ahead with plans to restore the passenger rail, but Alabama worries the line will disrupt the freight rail.

Applications close soon for flood damage relief in central Alabama

Jefferson and Shelby counties experienced flooding in October 2021. The federal applications for flooding relief close soon.

How a Birmingham art educator makes art feel accessible and inclusive

Angie May wants art to reach everyone who visits the Birmingham Museum of Art. As the associate director in learning and engagement, she heads inclusive and innovative initiatives to open art history to younger generations.

Alabama Republicans pass bill to hike penalties for removing Confederate monuments

Republicans also advanced a bill that would require jail time for those who participate in a riot, plus another banning certain therapies for transgender youth.

Jewish family faces death threats after complaining about Nazi salute performed in class

A teacher at Mountain Brook High School allegedly led students in a salute that mimics how Nazis raised their arms in World War II. A Jewish student in the class complained and his family says they’re now receiving death and arson threats.

Travel nurse salaries are rising due to demand. Some hospitals say it’s price gouging

In the Gulf South, Mississippi has spent around $90 million on temporary medical staff. Louisiana has spent nearly $250 million.

After bomb threats, Southern HBCU leaders discuss how to move forward: ‘We can’t cave’

Historically Black colleges and universities in multiple states, including Alabama, have received bomb threats this month.