BirminghamWatch

Association Protests Plan To Put Recovering COVID-19 Patients In Nursing Homes

The Alabama Nursing Home Association opposes a decision by Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson to place patients who are recovering from COVID-19 in nursing homes.

Jefferson County Commission Sets Up $1 Million Virus Fund, Extends County Closings Through April

The Jefferson County Commission used its second emergency meeting of the COVID-19 pandemic to extend the closure of county facilities until April 30 and set up a $1 million COVID-19 fund to handle needs as they arise.

Lawyers: Set Parole Hearings, Prevent Virus Spread In Alabama’s Crowded Prisons

A group of law school faculty members and former prosecutors has written Gov. Kay Ivey urging her to have the state Board of Pardons and Paroles hold expedited hearings to reduce the risk of COVID-19 to Alabama’s prison population.

No Need To Worry About Drinking Water During The COVID-19 Crisis, ADEM Director Says

Public drinking water is safe, according to the director of the Alabama Department of Environment.

UAB To Test Potential COVID-19 Vaccine

The University of Alabama at Birmingham and the biopharmaceutical company Altimmune Inc. will test a potential vaccine for COVID-19, the university announced today.

World Awaits Results Of COVID-19 Drug Treatment Developed At UAB Center

In the search for a drug treatment for COVID-19, prime interest has centered on Remdesivir, a compound produced by Gilead Sciences that has its roots in a National Institutes of Health-funded center based at UAB.

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Layoffs, Job Losses — COVID-19 Impact Expected To Play Out Over Months

The coronavirus pandemic has caused layoffs and job loss across the country. Now Alabamians are figuring out how to cope with a new normal.

Jackson County Reports Alabama’s First Coronavirus Death

An employee at the Jackson County Courthouse has died from the coronavirus, according to County Commission Chairman Tim Guffey, which could be Alabama’s first death from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mosquito Spraying To Continue In Birmingham Despite Objections

The city of Birmingham will continue the practice of spraying for mosquitoes, despite vehement objection from two city councilors.

Parkers Will Be Able To Pay At Birmingham Meters Using An App

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to modernize its parking system, approving a three-year contract with ParkMobile, an application that allows users to pay for parking with their smartphones.

Some Prisoners Invited To Vote By Absentee Ballot For The First Time This Year

Valentine’s Day took on new meaning Friday as members of five organizations continued their tour to get persons in jail and prison registered to vote by absentee ballot in the upcoming primary and beyond.

Study: Diversion Programs Work – When They Don’t Sabotage Participants

There are many alternatives to prison including drug courts, veterans courts and community corrections. But a new report says in many cases these alternatives hinder rather than help those they are supposed to serve.

Iowa’s Election Problems Can’t Happen in Alabama, Merrill Says

Problems like the ones in the Iowa Democratic caucus cannot happen in Alabama because the state holds elections, not closed meetings of political parties to select candidates, the state’s top elections official said Thursday.

Shelby, Jones Side With Their Parties as Senate Acquits President Trump of Impeachment Charges

Both United States Senators from Alabama cast their votes along party lines as President Donald Trump was acquitted Wednesday of both articles of impeachment filed by the House of Representatives.

Jones Sides With Senate Democrats, Will Vote to Convict Trump in Impeachment Trial

Sen. Doug Jones will vote to convict President Donald Trump of two charges in his impeachment trial.

Gasp, SELC Challenge ABC Coke Consent Decree

A fight over ABC Coke’s air pollution in Birmingham and Tarrant entered federal court Tuesday as groups charged that a consent decree agreement approved last spring is too weak to guarantee that unlawful discharges of the cancer-causing chemical benzene will stop.

Birmingham Council Approves Sending Up to 297 Neighborhood Reps to Conference

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to send up to 297 neighborhood representatives to this May’s Neighborhoods USA Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Despite Pledges, Birmingham Barely Out of Gate on Energy Efficiency, Renewables, Sustainability

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin promised in December to pivot toward prioritizing sustainability during the remaining two years of his term in office. But for some, Woodfin’s administration — and Birmingham’s municipal government as a whole — has been frustratingly inert when it comes to environmental issues.

Environmental Groups Protest New Waters of the US Rule

Environmental groups in Alabama and elsewhere say they will fight to delay or stop a new federal rule that would remove the 1972 Clean Water Act’s oversight of half the nation’s wetlands and many small streams.

JeffCo Commission Approves Fees for Credit, Debit Card Payments to Revenue Department

The Jefferson County Revenue's Office will now apply a 1% convenience fee on debit and card payments after passing with unanimous consent on Thursday.

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Birmingham Council Reallocates Unused CrossPlex Funds to Repave Roads, Under Protest

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to reallocate money from a completed capital project at the Birmingham CrossPlex to citywide road repaving, rebuffing the protests of District 8 Councilor Steven Hoyt, who called the proposal “unfair.”

Alabama Representatives Flip Votes on Two Measures Involving Cleanup of PFAS Pollution

Alabama’s representatives in the U.S. House flipped votes on two issues last week concerning regulation of PFAS chemicals, which have been linked to cancer. These chemicals have been found in drinking water and land in northern Alabama.

Jefferson County Commission Delays Vote on Fee for Card Payments

The Jefferson County chief financial officer says discussion about a 1% debit and credit card convenience fee should be tabled for another two weeks.

Education Town Hall Set for Jan. 15

A town hall meeting on the status of education in Birmingham has been set for Jan. 15, 6-8 p.m.

Jefferson County Commission Moves to Preserve Downtown Jail Where Martin Luther King Jr. Was Held

The Jefferson County Commission Thursday took the first steps toward acknowledging and preserving remnants of the jail where Martin Luther King Jr. was held.

Jefferson County Gets New Human Resources Director, Raising Hopes for Lifting Consent Decree on Personnel Practices

Jefferson County Commissioner Joe Knight offered a predictable straight line after Caroline Brown was introduced as Jefferson County’s new human resource director at Tuesday’s commission committee meeting.

Birmingham City Council Delays Vote on Five Points West/CrossPlex Grant

The Birmingham City Council on Monday delayed voting on an item granting funding to the Five Points West/CrossPlex Business Alliance under the city’s Building Opportunities for Lasting Development (BOLD) initiative.

Court Says Gardendale Must Pay Opponents’ Legal Fees in Failed School System Breakaway

The City of Gardendale will have to pay $850,000 to the lawyers of black students, according to a new court ruling.

Birmingham School Superintendent Receives 3.55 out of 5 in Evaluation

Birmingham’s school superintendent has “met expectations and goals for improvement” according to an evaluation presented at Tuesday’s board meeting.

Don’t Look at Us, Jefferson County Commission Tells People Upset Over Rising Property Taxes

Jefferson County Commission President Jimmie Stephens used the commission’s committee meeting Tuesday as a platform to dispel the misconception that county government is raising property taxes through reappraisals.

Woodfin Touts Neighborhood Revitalization Work, Cuts in Crime Rates in Update on his Administration’s Progress

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin marked the halfway point of his first term in office Tuesday evening with a presentation highlighting his administration’s accomplishments and broadly gesturing toward his plans for the next two years.

High Court Rules Confederate Monument Outside Birmingham City Hall Cannot Be Covered, Fines City

The Alabama Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that the city of Birmingham had violated state law by covering a Confederate monument outside City Hall.