Interviews

Randall Woodfin to Run for Mayor of Birmingham

The assistant city attorney's campaign is set to officially kick off Saturday morning at the North Birmingham Recreation Center, close to where he went to elementary school.

Lyrical Skill, Lofty Aspirations: The Monastery

Their inspirations include modern rappers but also go all the way back to A Tribe Called Quest, Jimi Hendrix, and actual monks. They’re The Monastery, a duo making their mark on Alabama’s growing rap scene with intricate lyrics they hope will entertain and enlighten.

Woodlawn Runner Jayla Kirkland Goes Against the World’s Best In Poland

Jayla’s time of 23.11 in the 200 meters captured first place last month at the prestigious New Balance Nationals Outdoor competition. In that same competition, she placed third in the 100 meter race.

The Junction: Stories from Ensley, Alabama – Janice Houston Nixon

In 1967, 12-year-old Janice Houston Nixon decided to transfer from the all-black school in her native Ensley, to an all-white school nearby. Nixon was inspired to do so by her sister, integration pioneer Carolyn Houston Crumbley Major, who we profiled in a previous episode of The Junction: Stories from Ensley, Alabama. In this latest installment of the […]

Birmingham Revitalization: An Alternative Model from Cleveland

When a city neighborhood rebounds, it’s typically a story of investors buying cheap property, building and attracting new residents. That runs the risk of pushing out current residents who are often poor. This week as we explore Birmingham’s revitalization, we have at an example from Cleveland of an alternative model – worker cooperatives.

Legal Expert Talking School Resegregation and More

“Anybody who is concerned about the quality of education our students are receiving in schools should be concerned. Well documented research shows that when schools lack diverse student bodies and when they are segregated, they are less able to provide the full range of benefits that a K 12 education ought to include.”

54% of support comes from members

New Rebel Logo Part of Vestavia Rebranding

A sports-marketing firm yesterday presented the Vestavia Hills school board with an update that included a new rebel logo. Tensions over the system’s Rebel Man mascot and the name “Rebels” flared up last year. The school board has since ditched the mascot but kept the name. But the system’s rebranding process is ongoing.

Parker High School, Family And Community Helped Propel Top Scientist Dr. Willie May

“Obviously growing up in Birmingham, Alabama in the late 50s and 60s there were barriers, but fortunately I had lots of folks who invested a lot in me and I owed it to them not to allow those barriers to deter me.”

“The Faith of Christopher Hitchens”

Christopher Hitchens and Larry Taunton seem unlikely candidates to be friends. Hitchens was a writer and avowed atheist who died of esophageal cancer in 2011. Taunton is the founder of the Birmingham-based Fixed Point Foundation. It’s an evangelical Christian organization that has sponsored debates with prominent atheists. It’s through this work the two met and became friends. Larry Taunton is out with a book called “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist”

Sen. Cam Ward On Bill to Thwart Inappropriate Teacher-Student Contact

Recent reports have referred to Alabama as "ground zero" for incidents of teacher-student sex. Whether that's fair or not, most agree there's a serious problem. So state senator Cam Ward of Alabaster has sponsored a bill to mandate an hour of training for educators on appropriate teacher-student interaction in the age of social media.

U.S. Marshal Talks Crime, Collaboration and Change

You probably remember westerns where with U.S. Marshals ride into town and take on criminals. Well in real life in North Central Alabama, it’s U.S. Marshal Marty Keely who leads the team capturing federal criminals and works through a regional task force to fight crime.

Grading Teachers on Student Test Scores? Trisha Crain on “PREP Act”

Should educators be evaluated partly on student test scores? Should it take five years rather than three for teachers to get tenure? If State Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh’s “Preparing and Rewarding Educational Professionals (PREP) Act” becomes law, those changes and more are coming to Alabama’s schools. So WBHM’s Dan Carsen talks with Alabama School […]

Trisha Powell Crain on Top Education Stories of 2015

This year has been extremely busy on the Alabama education beat: a study commissioned by the state education department itself called school funding inadequate and unequal; state Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh floated a draft bill that could, among other seismic shifts, tie teacher pay to student test results; and, as Alabama School Connection’s Trisha […]

Sociologists’ Book Urges End of Sex Division in Sports

Can you imagine a world with no gender divisions in sports? University of Alabama at Birmingham sociologist Adrienne Milner can. Not only that — she wants to help make it happen. Along with University of Miami professor Dr. Jomills Henry Braddock II, she’s written a new book called “Sex Segregation in Sports: Why Separate Is Not […]

Success More Than Jokes For Birmingham’s Roy Wood Jr. On Daily Show

For me, I think I have been very, very lucky to have a career up until this point where pretty much everything I have done, prepared me for what I am doing today on The Daily Show – from the acting, to the stand ups, even the prank phone calls. Roy Wood Jr.

UAB Student, Iraq Vet Hopes to Help Feed Black Belt with Aquaponics

Ramon Jeter was raised by a single mother on the west side of Birmingham. Right out of Ramsay High School he joined the Navy. He eventually served as a field medic in Iraq. Now the married new father is studying public health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and he’s been accepted to Clinton […]

NPR’s Michel Martin on the Montgomery Bus Boycott 60 Years Later

2015 has been a year of racial turmoil in America. The deaths of African-Americans by police ignited protests and riots, and the killing of nine worshippers at a church in South Carolina sparked national debate about the polarizing representation of the Confederate flag. These events reignited discussions about civil rights in the U.S., 60 years […]

Winston Groom — The Generals

George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and George Marshall have become almost mythical figures after fighting in the U.S. Army during World War II. They’re also the subjects of Alabama author Winston Groom’s new book called The Generals. Marshall served as chief of staff of the army. McArthur commanded troops in the South Pacific. Patton fought in North Africa and Europe. WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke with Groom about the book.

Trisha Powell Crain Talks Money, Politics, and More in Alabama Education

There's never a shortage of stories coming from Alabama's schools. But before WBHM's and the Southern Education Desk's "Issues and Ales" education forum Thursday evening, we wanted to shed as much light as possible on the big picture behind the headlines. For better or worse, that backdrop always includes money and therefore politics. So our education reporter Dan Carsen sat down with Alabama School Connection founder and BirminghamWatch contributor Trisha Powell Crain to talk about that and more.

A Different Kind of Medical Drama: Local Doctors Give Voice to Bizarre New “ICD-10” Diagnosis Codes

Have you been struck by a duck? Maybe hurt in a spaceship accident? If so, the new medical coding system that went live across the nation this month has a code that applies to you. The tenth revision of the International Classification of Diseases, or “ICD 10,” includes almost seventy thousand codes — roughly five […]

UA Online
54% of support comes from members

Dr. Minda Berbeco On Alabama’s New Science Standards

Alabama’s State Board of Education on Thursday approved new K-12 science standards that will go into effect next school year. Science teachers across Alabama say the new standards are better than the current decade-old ones. We wanted a national perspective too, so WBHM’s Dan Carsen caught up with Dr. Minda Berbeco, Programs and Policy Director for […]

A Window On Other Arenas: Sports, Race, And More With UAB Sociologist Adrienne Milner

You don’t have to be a scholar to know that African-Americans are heavily represented in contact sports like football and basketball, but underrepresented in “lifetime sports” like tennis or golf. Some casual observers have come up with relatively simple explanations for that phenomenon. But a University of Alabama at Birmingham sociologist and author who studies […]

An International History of the American Civil War

Americans tend to think of the Civil War as a domestic conflict, as a war between brothers. But the war didn’t take place in a vacuum. It had great implications for the international community. University of South Carolina history professor Don Doyle examines the Civil War through an international lens in his book “The Cause of All Nations.” He spoke to WBHM’s Andrew Yeager.

INTERVIEW: Carsen & Lindley On Emotional Vestavia Mascot Meeting

Since the mass shooting by a white supremacist in Charleston, South Carolina last month, symbols like the Confederate flag have come under renewed scrutiny. In Vestavia Hills, it’s the high school’s rebel mascot — sometimes called Colonel Reb or The Rebel Man — that’s drawing national attention. WBHM’s Dan Carsen went to an emotional public […]

Alabama’s Teacher Of The Year On Teaching, Common Core, Mascots And More

Vestavia Hills science teacher Jennifer Brown is Alabama’s 2015-2016 Teacher of The Year. The 16-year educator, who once wanted to be a professional basketball player, sits down with WBHM’s Dan Carsen to talk about her motivations and about controversial issues like Common Core, charter schools, standardized testing and Vestavia Hills City Schools’ “Rebel” mascot. But the […]

Improving Birmingham’s Mass Transit

Mass transit is a point of frustration for many Birmingham boosters, who see the bus system as woefully under developed and underfunded. But with the World Games coming to Birmingham in 2021 and the city going after other tourism events, the public transit system gains new importance. We talk about it in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

Hale Woodruff’s Talladega College Murals At Birmingham Museum of Art

Hale Woodruff is regarded as one of the most important African-American artists of the 20th century. His best-known works are six very large murals he painted for the Talladega College library in the 1930s. An exhibition of the murals, along with early works from Woodruff’s career, opens this Saturday at the Birmingham Museum of Art. WBHM took a tour of the show this week with curators Kelli Morgan and Graham Boettcher.

Alabama Has Highest Number of Death Row Inmates Per Capita

Alabama has more inmates on death row per capita than any other state. Anthony Ray Hinton was on death row in Alabama for 30 years, sentenced to death in 1985 for murder. Hinton maintained he was not guilty, and in April he was released after reexamined ballistic evidence raised troubling questions about his conviction. Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper WELD, discusses the state of the death penalty in Alabama.

UAB’s New Athletic Director Mark Ingram on Football’s Return

As UAB works to reinstate its football, bowling and rifle programs, a man who will have a big part of that is Mark Ingram. He’s UAB’s new athletic director who’s only been on the job two weeks. WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke with Ingram and began by asking when the team would return.

UAB Alumni President Speaks about Return of Football

The return of UAB’s football, bowling and rifle teams represents the work of many students, faculty, alumni and community members. One man who was in the think of it is Wes Smith. He’s president of the UAB National Alumni Society. He also led the task force that reviewed the decision to cut those athletic programs.

UAB Football’s Return Represents New Model But Challenges Remain

UAB football supporters cheered university president Ray Watts' decision Monday to reinstate the school’s football, bowling and rifle programs. He cut the teams in December citing costs. But Watts also had a message for those fans -- be ready to show significant support. That’s because football will depend on fundraising. Watts says the university will cap its support of athletics at $20 million dollars. Money to cover additional costs and new facilities will have to come from donors, business and the community. WBHM's Andrew Yeager spoke with Malcolm Moran. He’s the director of the Nation Sports Journalism Center at Indiana University.

More Robust FEMA APP Released Just In Time for Hurricane Season

The Atlantic hurricane season begins June 1, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is launching a new feature to its app that is a one-stop-shop of sorts that will help people prepare for, respond to and recover from hurricanes.