BirminghamWatch

PARCA Survey Says Alabamians Want Fewer Non-Violent Criminals in Prison, More Money for Education

The Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama in a new survey said Alabamians favor supervising non-violent criminals in the community and giving them more rehabilitation opportunities rather than sending them to prison.

Birmingham Launches A Citizen’s Experience to Connect Residents to City Hall

Applications are now open for A Citizen’s Experience, a new initiative from the city of Birmingham designed to promote civic engagement. The free, seven-week program is slated to begin in June and is open only to Birmingham residents who are 18 years old or older.

Percentage of College Freshmen Who Need Remedial Courses Drops

A smaller portion of new high school graduates is having to take remedial classes when they first go to college, according to a PARCA report on data from the Alabama Commission on Higher Education.

Birmingham Iron’s Season Ends Early, as Alliance of American Football Suspends Operations

Even quicker than it came to life, the Alliance of American Football — and with it, the Birmingham Iron — has gone on life support.

Birmingham PD Adds High-Tech Tools To Its Crime-Fighting Arsenal

The Birmingham Police Department will soon have two new high-tech crime-fighting tools at its disposal.

The Big Picture: Woodfin’s Team Updates Residents About Progress on Public Safety, Economic Opportunities and Other Initiatives

A black-and-white photo of Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin — shot in profile, eyes fixed in an expression of steely determination — hovered over the stage of the Alabama School of Fine Arts’ Dorothy Jemison Day Theater on Thursday night.

Lake Homes Realty
54% of support comes from members

Another Pro Football League Takes the Field in Birmingham. Will This One Stay Afloat?

It’s almost become a tradition for football fans in the Magic City. Every few years, yet another professional football league comes to Legion Field, with aspirations to bring some semblance of high-level gridiron action to The Old Gray Lady on Graymont.

175 Down; 3,701 to Go. Jefferson County Starts Chipping Away at Rape Kit Testing Backlog

With the help of a federal grant program, the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office has begun to chip away at the county’s massive backlog of untested sexual assault kits.

MLB Youth Foundation Reassessing Plans for Youth Academy at George Ward Park

  Update – March 6, 2019  The City of Birmingham later provided to WBHM the mayor’s full comment, a portion of which appeared in the BirminghamWatch story below. “I’ll try to make this short. I received a lot of emails and calls and texts and I think I saw the word ‘my,’ ‘our’ more than […]

Judge Delays Decision on Whether Ed May Remains Fairfield’s Mayor, Orders May to Include Council in His Lawsuit

The question of who is Fairfield’s rightful mayor won’t be answered definitively any time soon, as Circuit Court Judge Pat Ballard ordered Ed May II, who was elected mayor, to add members of the City Council to his suit against the Jefferson County Personnel Board.

Behind Teacher Shortage: Fewer New Educators Graduating From Alabama Schools

The number of new teachers coming out of education colleges and programs in Alabama fell by about 40 percent comparing 2010-2011 and 2015-2016, according to the latest available federal data. The decrease could be worse nearly three years later.

Plant Gorgas Latest Coal Giant to Fall as Power Companies Turn Toward Natural Gas, Renewables

By Hank Black The Alabama Power Co. announcement that it will retire its three coal-fired units at the William Crawford Gorgas Electric Generating Plant on April 15 is just the latest blow to coal power as economic realities pile up on the industry. In the past four years, Alabama Power has reduced its coal-fired units […]

PowerSouth CEO Blames ‘Extremist Environmental Ideology’ for Shuttering a Coal-Fired Plant in South Alabama

One of Alabama’s oldest coal-fired power plants will close next year. PowerSouth Energy Cooperative’s chief executive blamed the closure on “extremist environmental ideologies” and “environmental activists” in announcing that the Charles R. Lowman electrical generation plant on the Tombigbee River would be shuttered.

African-American Men and Law Enforcement Discuss Lowering Crime and Saving Young Men

Danny Carr didn’t stammer as he provided closing thoughts to a gathering Thursday night in downtown Birmingham. The Jefferson County district attorney was making a point to reduce the deaths of young African-American men and boys.

Fairfield Council Gives Mayor the Boot, but Ed May II Isn’t Backing Down

The long-running feud between Fairfield Mayor Ed May II and the City Council has reached a boiling point, as the council voted to remove May from office because he was continually absent from council meetings.

Auburn Yearbook Photo Shows Ivey’s Sorority Sisters in Minstrel Show; Governor Is Not in the Picture

The Auburn Plainsman reported Monday that a photo in the 1967 yearbook shows members of Gov. Kay Ivey’s sorority putting on a minstrel show that appears to have been taken during Rush that year.

Birmingham Council Supports Renaming CrossPlex for Langford, Question Parker’s Bid to Bring Oakland Raiders to Legion Field

Mayor Randall Woodfin and members of the Birmingham City Council announced Tuesday that they would support changing the name of the Birmingham CrossPlex to honor former Mayor Larry Langford, who died last month.

Drummond to Pay $775,000 Penalty to EPA, Jefferson County Health Department

Drummond Company has agreed to pay a $775,000 civil penalty as part of a settlement contained in a consent decree relating to alleged violations of environmental laws at its ABC Coke Plant in Tarrant.

Alabama’s Teacher Shortages Reach ‘Crisis’ Level

Alabama’s teacher shortages are reaching crisis level, education leaders say.

Alabama Lawmakers’ Pay up 4% in 2019

Alabamians’ median household income increased in 2017, which means Alabama lawmakers received a corresponding 4.03 percent pay increase this year. Their annual salary is now $48,123. This is the third raise for lawmakers since 2014, when their pay was tied to household incomes through a voter-approved constitutional amendment.

UAB Heersink School of Medicine
cavu
54% of support comes from members

Jefferson County Commission Plans Town Hall Meeting to Explain Sewer Rate Increases

Jefferson County Commissioners had a lengthy discussion during their committee meeting Tuesday about setting a town hall meeting to focus on rising sewer rates as a result of the county’s bankruptcy.

Scales Opens the Windows of the County’s Committee Meeting Room

Citizens of Jefferson County could only imagine the discussion and debate that happened when commissioners assembled for their committee meetings.

One-Third of Alabama’s Failing Schools Are in the Birmingham Metro Area

The Alabama State Department of Education has posted its list of the state’s failing public schools, and 25 Birmingham metro-area public schools are on it. Statewide, 76 public schools are on the list.

North Birmingham Neighborhoods ‘Have Taken a Beating,’ Work to Unite Over Pollution Concerns

The EPA Superfund cleanup and ABC Coke’s proposed air emissions permit have dominated health concerns of residents in northern Birmingham neighborhoods for months. Now officials and residents of several neighborhoods there are attempting to form a coalition to broaden the concerns to other sources of possible pollution.

Woodfin Mournful but Optimistic in His Second State of the Community Address

Following a tragic week for Birmingham, Mayor Randall Woodfin delivered his second State of the Community address Monday night. His speech was equal parts elegiac and hopeful, addressing the death of former Mayor Larry Langford and the murder of Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter while casting an optimistic eye toward the future.

A Life Remembered: Hundreds Line Up to Pay Their Respects to Larry Langford

Hundreds of mourners had already walked by the rose-covered casket in the center of Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham CrossPlex by the time the visitation for Larry Langford was scheduled to begin.

Gov. Kay Ivey Praises Past Progress, Outlines Future Route in Inaugural Address

Gov. Kay Ivey was sworn in this morning along with other constitutional officers in a ceremony of pomp and circumstances on the red carpet-lined steps of the Alabama Capitol.

Gas Tax Is a Top Priority in 2019 Legislative Session

A gasoline tax increase to fund road improvements is expected to be a major topic of the 2019 Alabama legislative session.

Push to Rewrite Mayor-Council Act Shaping up at Birmingham City Hall

In a recent meeting during which two new Birmingham City Council members were appointed, councilors gave clear signals that they’re ready to take on a rewrite of the law that governs separation of powers in Birmingham’s municipal government.

Alabama School Report Card Shows Mostly Improvements, and Some Big Leaps, by Birmingham-Area Schools

Several schools in the Birmingham metro area show significant improvements in achievement in this year’s Alabama State Report Card, which grades the performance of public schools.

Not Just Galleria Shooting, AG Takeover of Local Cases Common

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall was criticized for taking over the case of the shooting death of a black man by police, but his office says intervening in cases held by local district attorneys is common.

LeFleur Still Feeling the Sting From Advocacy Groups’ Condemnation, Responds to Their Criticism

Months after testifying in the North Birmingham bribery trial, the state’s top environmental regulator is firing back at watchdog groups calling for his dismissal or resignation.