BirminghamWatch

Jeffco Commission Approves Rebranding, Bicentennial Promotion Contract After Scales Raises Questions

The Jefferson County Commission unanimously agreed to a contract with Big Marketing and Communications today, but not without Commissioner Lashunda Scales again expressing her opposition to contracts that don’t reflect the county’s need to increase its dealings with historically under-represented businesses.

Trump’s EPA Seeks to Remove Much of Nation’s Headwaters and Wetlands From Protection

The action principally would remove oversight for small tributary headwaters that do not flow year-round and for wetlands not clearly connected to flowing streams.

Governor and Lawmakers Asking for Patience From Public in Hoover Shooting Investigation, Some Want More Information From ALEA

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey pledged Monday that information about the shooting death of an armed man by police would be made public, but she urged patience.

Ready, Set, Action: Birmingham’s Become a Film-Making Destination That Brings Jobs, Millions of Dollars to Economy

The Magic City is not quite Hollywood, yet. But Birmingham’s economy is getting a show business-sized boost with millions of film dollars flowing into the local economy. The city’s Red Mountain substituted for the Hollywood Hills, wearing the famous HOLLYWOOD sign in “Bigger,” one of dozens of films made in metro Birmingham in recent years.

State Looking at Plans to Fix or Replace Crowded, Crumbling Prisons; Lawmakers Don’t Expect to Be Part of Infrastructure Plan

Gov. Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Corrections aren’t yet talking publicly about possible fixes for the state’s crowded and aging prisons, but they are extending a multimillion-dollar contract with an outside project manager to study construction needs.

As Alabama’s Unemployment Rate Decreases, Medicaid Enrollment Does Not

Alabama’s unemployment rate hit record lows in the past year, falling below 4 percent, but the number of people enrolled in Medicaid hasn’t decreased.

54% of support comes from members
Lake Homes Realty

Utility Filings Show Coal Ash Ponds Are Too Close to Groundwater Reservoirs. Environment Groups Again Call for Moving Toxic Material

All of Alabama Power Company’s open coal ash ponds sit within five feet of an aquifer, or groundwater reservoir, in violation of federal standards, recent company filings confirm.

Birmingham Council Approves Funds for Transit Authority, With Conditions

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve funding for the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority and a handful of other organizations, including the Birmingham Business Alliance, Create Birmingham and REV Birmingham.

Trey Glenn Resigns as EPA Regional Administrator After Indictment

Trey Glenn resigned Sunday as EPA Region 4 administrator for Alabama and seven other southeastern states following his indictment on multiple felony ethics charges last week in Jefferson County.

Conquering Hero or Political Villain? How Alabama’s Conservative Voters Will View Jeff Sessions After Turbulent AG Tenure

The end of Jeff Sessions’ topsy-turvy time as attorney general came abruptly, a day after one of the nation’s most important mid-term elections. After nearly two years of being publicly berated by President Donald Trump, Sessions is out and free to return home to Alabama, the state that sent him to the U.S. Senate for 20 years.

Written in Black and White: In Alabama’s Statehouse, the Parties Are Split Almost Entirely by Race

When newly elected Neil Rafferty takes his place in the Alabama House of Representatives next year, he will be the only white Democrat in the 105-seat chamber

EPA Southeast Administrator, Former ADEM Commissioner Indicted on State Ethics Charges

A former director of the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, who’s now the regional administrator for the EPA, has been indicted on state ethics charges related to the case in which an executive of Drummond Corporation and a partner in the Balch and Bingham law firm were convicted earlier this year.

Jefferson County’s ‘Blue Wave:’ How the First Black Sheriff and District Attorney Won Election

Jefferson County’s first black sheriff and district attorney were swept into office Tuesday on a wave of Democratic straight-ticket voting.

Alabama’s Wave of Women Candidates Won About Half of Offices Sought

Alabama, not unlike the rest of the country, had a wave of women on the ballot in this year’s primary election and in Tuesday’s general election.

Two New Lawmakers to Join Incumbents in Jefferson Legislative Delegation

Incumbent Alabama lawmakers serving Jefferson County all won re-election in Tuesday’s general election voting, and two new members who ran for open seats, will join the Jefferson County delegation.

Birmingham Council Members Push Back Against Road in Watershed That Protects Drinking Water

The Birmingham City Council appears set to oppose construction of the controversial Cahaba Beach road and bridge project across the Little Cahaba River.

Woodfin Calls for Civility at City Hall; Councilor’s Criticism Continues

Mayor Randall Woodfin called for greater civility between his office and Birmingham City Council on Tuesday, following weeks of escalating tension. The tension culminated with Woodfin and most of his staff being absent from council’s Oct. 30 meeting.

Flyer Aimed at African-American Voters Depicts Trump With Klan Marchers

A campaign mail piece sent primarily to African-American voters features photos of President Donald Trump alongside members of the Ku Klux Klan — and it’s not the first time that the groups listed as the flyer’s sponsors have used the tactic.

Polls Open Under Gray Skies

Voters began going to the polls across the state at 7 a.m., many of them braving threats of rain but not the severe weather that had been predicted.

Sample Ballots: Review and Print Your Ballot Before You Go to the Polls

Are you headed to the polls Tuesday? Check out a blank sample ballot for elections in Shelby and Jefferson Counties.

The Rundown
UA Online
54% of support comes from members

Maddox Defines Himself as Voice of Progress as Election Day Nears

At the end of what many have deemed a Sisyphean campaign, Walt Maddox is making a final appeal to voters. His argument? Think of the future.

Kay Ivey’s Campaign for Governor out of Public Spotlight, in Friendly Terrain

Seen incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey on the campaign trail lately? If you have, you’re one of a small group of Alabamians.

2018 General Election Voter Guide: Alabama Voters Face Nov. 6 Election with Few Statewide Races Predicted as Close

Alabama Democrats are hoping to put at least a small dent in Republicans’ stronghold on all three branches of state government in the Nov 6 general election.

‘Better, Brighter, More Dynamic:’ With Numbers Showing Him Behind Incumbent Gov. Kay Ivey, Walt Maddox Reaches out to Young Voters

Walt Maddox kicked off the final week of his campaign for Alabama governor Monday night with a visit to Auburn University, where he spoke with students about issues pertaining to the state’s college-aged demographic.

Facebook, Twitter, Other Social Media Play Roles in Elections. But Handshakes Remain a Factor Too

Recently, Alabama’s Republican secretary of state, John Merrill, got into a Twitter spat with Mallory Hagan, a Democrat running for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives, over whether Merrill is suppressing the vote in the state. To have candidates for political office, one of them an incumbent office holder, debate such a contentious issue on Twitter demonstrates how much social media has become a part of the conversations surrounding elections, including the upcoming midterms.

Who Has Final Say Over Jefferson County Money Matters?

Jefferson County commissioners and Jefferson County Tax Collector J.T. Smallwood have different ideas of who must OK contracts set up by Smallwood. Commissioner David Carrington said Thursday any contract involving Jefferson County government income and expenses must be approved by the commission. Smallwood, an elected official, said he doesn’t work for the commission.

Firehouse Ministries Loses City Money in Racially Charged Dispute

Tensions continued through the week between a Birmingham City Council member and Mayor Randall Woodfin over the council’s Tuesday decision not to contribute $1 million over five years to the Firehouse Ministries Homeless Shelter.

Ivey Says Lottery Approval Is up to Legislature, Voters

Gov. Kay Ivey isn’t necessarily a big fan of a new state lottery, but she would not get in the way if the Legislature and Alabama voters approved an amendment to the state constitution to legalize the games.

Birmingham Police Face Biggest Backlog in Sexual Assault Kits Not Submitted for Analysis

Rhiannon Reese of Crisis Center Birmingham says she doesn’t want to play the blame game about sexual assault kits not submitted for analysis to Alabama’s forensic lab.

Ivey Campaign Goes on Offense Against Maddox, Tying Him to Soros-Backed PACs

After playing defense from charges by her opponent that she was avoiding a debate, Gov. Kay Ivey and her re-election campaign have turned the tables and gone on offense.

President’s Proposed Budget Cut: Eliminate Help to Keep Power on for Poor Families

Erica Dunning is proud of her tidy house, built by Habitat for Humanity in a quiet Chalkville neighborhood, and her job working for Jefferson County. But she’s not too proud to admit that, once upon a time, she needed help to make ends meet.

As Alabama Goes to the Polls, Worries Emerge That Some Are Denied Voting Rights

Since last year, Lorenzo French says he’s helped about 50 people in rural Greene County regain their ability to vote. Many of them were improperly removed from voter rolls because they had a felony conviction, though not the type that should have banned them from voting, French said. Others didn’t have photo identification, a requirement to vote in Alabama since 2014.