News

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.

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.

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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.

Tuberville is ending blockade of most military nominees

Tuberville’s blockade of military promotions was over a dispute about a Pentagon abortion policy. The Alabama Republican said Tuesday he’s “not going to hold the promotions of these people any longer.”

Man featured in ‘S-Town’ podcast shot and killed by police during standoff, authorities say

Joseph Tyler Goodson was shot by officers after he barricaded himself inside a home and “brandished a gun" at officers early Sunday, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency said. Bibb County Coroner Patrick Turner said that Goodson was pronounced “brain dead” Tuesday night at a hospital.

The next Republican debate is in Alabama, the state that gave the GOP a road map to Donald Trump

The state that propelled George Wallace, a Democrat and four-term governor, into national politics is now dominated by Republicans loyal to Donald Trump, another figure who leans heavily on grievance and white identity politics.

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Alabama makes the College Football Playoff

Michigan, Washington, Texas and Alabama were selected Sunday and Florida State became the first unbeaten Power Five conference champion to be excluded from the field.

LGBTQ community finds a home in Birmingham’s punk scene

Plenty of people are familiar with the sound and look of punk. But not as many are familiar with the importance of compassion when it comes to being a punk. That's meant the punk scene has become a refuge for some LGTBQ individuals.

She owed $7K due to a water leak. Her utility saw the signs but didn’t tell her

Birmingham Water Works flagged Claire Ahalt’s account for unusually high water use, but she did not find out until asking a utility worker weeks later.

City OK’s $5 million to help keep Birmingham-Southern College open

BSC President Daniel Coleman said in a statement that next he’ll ask Jefferson County to meet the city’s commitment, focus on private donors and reengage with state leaders to work on getting more funding.

A year after the Moody landfill fire: “We need just as much help now”

Around Thanksgiving a year ago a landfill near Moody caught fire blanketing the surrounding area with smoke. The fire burned for months before the Environmental Protection Agency covered the landfill with dirt to extinguish the flames, but there have been flare ups since. To understand what things are like now, we heard from one nearby resident.

Why trees are an environmental and health Swiss army knife

Cool Green Trees plants trees in under-resourced communities in the Birmingham area to help mitigate climate change and advance environmental justice initiatives.

A pro jiu-jitsu league is bringing grapplers from across the globe to a small city in Alabama

For acclaimed grappler Brandon Mccaghren, Decatur, Alabama, was the perfect place to grow the Professional Grappling Federation from idea to reality.

The flu is soaring in the South and rising elsewhere

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention posted new flu data on Friday, showing very high activity last week in Louisiana, and high activity in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, New Mexico and South Carolina.

Alabama inmate executed for the shooting death of man in 1993 robbery

Casey McWhorter was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death for his role in the robbery and shooting death of Edward Lee Williams on Feb. 18, 1993.

LGBTQ doctors are leaving the Gulf South due to discrimination: ‘We weren’t welcome anymore’

The loss of specialized doctors due to the influx of anti-LGBTQ laws is the latest blow to a region already dealing with a shortage of health care providers.

Vincent coffee shop becomes community hub

Alicia’s Coffee in Vincent, Alabama, about 45 minutes southeast of Birmingham. The store is the site of WBHM’s latest News and Brews community pop-up Friday, Nov. 17. The story of Alicia’s Coffee is one of entrepreneurship and a little serendipity. 

Senate takes step toward ending Tuberville’s hold on military nominations

The Senate Rules Committee voted 9-7 to approve a resolution that would allow the Senate to confirm groups of the military nominees at once for the remainder of the congressional term.