News

Court ruling offers temporary victory for Alabama birth centers

The preliminary injunction requires Alabama public health officials to license birth centers that meet certain national standards.

Judges aiming to give Black voters more influence in Alabama set to redraw congressional districts

U.S. District Judge Stanley Marcus, noting a ruling will be issued “shortly,” said the three-judge panel is aware of the time constraints posed by elections next year when the state's seven U.S. House seats will be on the ballot. The court could rule as early as this week.

What would a government shutdown mean for me?

If a shutdown arrives, millions of federal employees will be furloughed and many others — including those working in the military and the Transportation Security Administration — will be forced to work without pay until it ends.

In Alabama’s Paint Rock Valley, researchers count every tree thicker than a pencil

In an effort to better understand the biodiversity of north Alabama, scientists are conducting a “tree census,” with the goal of studying roughly 100,000 trees for 50 years.

State Rep. John Rogers charged with obstruction of justice

The indictment accuses Rogers, a Democrat from Birmingham, and his assistant of offering additional grant money as a bribe to persuade a person to give false information to federal agents who were investigating possible kickbacks that prosecutors said were paid to Rogers' assistant.

After 12 years and a pandemic, Jefferson County’s health officer steps down

Dr. Mark Wilson is well-known for leading residents through the COVID-19 pandemic, but his legacy includes a larger effort to expand the role of public health.

54% of support comes from members

The Supreme Court will let Alabama’s congressional map be redrawn to better represent Black voters

The justices, without any noted dissent, rejected the state's plea to retain Republican-drawn lines that were turned down by a lower court.

6 months later, Mississippi communities hit by March tornado fear they’ve been abandoned

As national attention wanes and volunteers head to other disasters, residents of Rolling Fork and nearby Silver City have been left to recover on their own.

Court appointee proposes Alabama congressional districts to provide representation to Black voters

The three proposals all create a second district where Black voters comprise a majority of the voting age population or close to it — something that state lawmakers refused to do when they drew lines this summer.

Elections in two JeffCo-area seats Tuesday

In the House District 55 race, voters will select a replacement for Rep. Fred Plump. The District 16 seat is vacant after former Rep. Kyle South stepped down June 30.

Supreme Court to decide whether Alabama can postpone drawing new congressional districts

The outcome could determine what map the state uses in the 2024 elections and whether the high court will revisit arguments over the role of race in redistricting.

Q&A: Author of ‘Rocket Men’ details how Black quarterbacks helped move the NFL forward

John Eisenberg talks with the Gulf States Newsroom about the Black quarterbacks who helped change the NFL, as well as the players who never got the chance.

Q&A: Why New Orleans’ unhoused people face increased danger from relentless heat

Delaney Nolan discusses her report for The Guardian that revealed a spike in heat-related illness calls among New Orleans’ unhoused people this summer.

How a rural Alabama school system outdid the country with gains in math

Piedmont City schools notched significant improvement in math, landing in the top spot among school districts across the country in a comparison of scores from before and during the pandemic. Nationwide, students on average fell half a year behind in math, researchers say.

Protecting Margaritaville: Jimmy Buffett, Bama and the Fight to Save the Manatee

The singer, who died Sept. 1, grew up in Mobile and had a huge following in Alabama, even if many of his devotees in the state were less than thrilled by his liberal politics.

With spread of fentanyl, opioids kill record number of Black men in Birmingham

The number of opioid overdose deaths among Black men in Jefferson County has quadrupled since 2019, sparking action from residents and health experts.

Birmingham residents reflect on 60th anniversary of church bombing

We spoke with several residents on Friday, asking for their reflections on the 60th anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing.

Jackson says we must own hardest chapters of US history during 1963 church bombing remembrance

Jackson, the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court, spoke at the 60th anniversary of the Sept. 15, 1963 bombing at 16th Street Baptist Church. She said the country should celebrate the great strides that have been made since 1963 but that there is still work to do.

Birmingham students take trip back in time for lesson on 16th Street Baptist Church bombing

The event, which centered around Christopher Paul Curtis’ novel “The Watsons Go to Birmingham,” was held to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the attack.

Birmingham marks the 60th anniversary of the 1963 church bombing that killed four Black girls

On the morning of Sept. 15, 1963, dynamite planted by Ku Klux Klan members exploded at the church, killing the girls and shocking the nation. The large, prominent church was targeted because it was a center of the African American community and the site of mass meetings during the Civil Rights Movement.

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54% of support comes from members

On 60th anniversary of church bombing, victim’s sister, suspect’s daughter urge people to stop hate

Lisa McNair's sister Denise was one of the girls who lost their lives. Tammie Fields’ father was questioned as a possible suspect in the church bombing but never charged. Decades after the bombing, the two women met at a Black History Month event and forged a seemingly unlikely connection and friendship.

Birmingham Council Amends Laws Affecting Predatory Towing

Among the concrete changes made by the council, it is requiring companies that run private parking lots to post signs within 60 days that clearly state parking rates and give clear information about what to do and whom to contact if your car is booted or towed.

A ‘catastrophic’ loss: Severe heat puts a heavy strain on rural farmers in the Gulf South

For one family of farmers in Louisiana, this year’s record-breaking extreme heat is taking a toll on both their crops and their health.

Alabama asks US Supreme Court again to intervene in redistricting case

Despite losing at the Supreme Court earlier this year in the long-running redistricting case, Alabama is pursuing another appeal, hoping for a different result with the most recent GOP version of the map.

In fight to remove divisive New Orleans highway, activists turn to new strategy — an EPA study

The Claiborne Avenue Alliance hopes a study on the health impacts caused by the expressway will support efforts to remediate and potentially remove the highway.

Hundreds of military promotions are on hold as a Tuberville demands end to abortion policy

Top defense officials are accusing Republican Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville of jeopardizing America's national security with his hold on roughly 300 military promotions, raising the stakes in a clash over abortion policy that shows no signs of easing. Tuberville brushed off the criticism, vowing he will not give in.

She looked for help after her power bill doubled. But aid for utilities often falls short

Dolabriel Curry-Hurst’s January power bill in Alabama jumped above $700 — more than twice of what she owed the previous year.

Gulf South’s ‘Hot Labor Summer’ is heating up heading into the fall

The seven strikes in the region signify a slow-growing labor movement that gained momentum in 2021.

Birmingham City Council OKs $4.5 million more for Rickwood Field improvements

Major League Baseball chose Rickwood Field, the country’s oldest surviving baseball field, to host its “2024 MLB at Rickwood Field, A Tribute to the Negro Leagues” game next June.

Judges reject Alabama’s congressional lines, will draw new districts to increase Black voting power

The three-judge panel blocked use of the state's newly drawn congressional map in next year's elections. A special master will be tapped to draw new districts for the state, the judges said. Alabama is expected to appeal the decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Parents, students deal with record-breaking heat at the start of football season

This has been a record-breaking summer across the country and particularly in the Gulf South in August. Several cities between Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama shattered their all-time high temperature records.

Alabama’s John Christy may be the country’s best known and most criticized climate change skeptic

Alabama’s State Climatologist John Christy is no stranger to controversy and doesn’t shy away from the spotlight. His critics say his work has been plagued by errors and many of his conclusions dismissed.