Help Us Reach Our One-Day Goal of $125,000!

Government

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.

SPLC Proposes ‘Collaborative Process’ to Address Prison Crisis

The Southern Poverty Law Center sent a letter Tuesday to Gov. Kay Ivey and state Department of Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn proposing its own plan to address the state's prison crisis.

Fed’s Report Condemning Alabama Prisons: State Vows Action

Alabama authorities vowed Thursday to begin the monumental task of fixing their troubling prison problems, responding to a U.S. Department of Justice report that condemned excessive violence, inmate deaths and a critical staffing shortage in the state correctional system.

Alabama Legislature Considers an Abortion Ban and Prison Reforms

This week Alabama lawmakers considered a bill that would make abortions a felony unless the mother's health is at risk. And it wrestled with a solution to the state's prisons crisis.

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.

DOJ Alleges Alabama Prisons Violate the Constitution

The Department of Justice released a report Wednesday alleging that violence and other dangerous conditions in the state’s male prisons violate the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.


Restoration Work Begins on Historic A.G. Gaston Motel

Work has begun to restore the motel that was a headquarters for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. during the civil rights movement.

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.

Lawmakers Consider a Lottery, Medical Marijuana, and Common Core Repeal

Medical marijuana, a repeal of the Common Core, and a lottery bill were all on the legislative agenda this past week. We take a look at these and other measures lawmakers considered.

Lawmakers Tackle Alabama’s Persistent Prison Problems

Alabama’s prisons are overcrowded, understaffed, and plagued by violence. Mental health care for inmates is inadequate. There have been suicides and homicides within prison walls. Alabama Sen. Cam Ward explains how lawmakers are approaching the problems.

Gas Tax Increase a Political Win for Ivey

It’s been a great week for Gov. Kay Ivey. Her proposed 10-cent-a-gallon gasoline tax increase passed overwhelmingly. The money will go toward infrastructure improvements.

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.

Hoover School Officials, Lawyers Seek Feedback on Discrimination for Ongoing Case

Tonight, Hoover school officials and lawyers representing black students in the system want to get community feedback on plans that would show various school policies and practices are not discriminatory. The meeting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Trace Crossings Elementary.

Alabama Says its $900 Million Prisons Plan Can Help Fix Mental Health Crisis. Some Disagree.

As Alabama prisons continue to grapple with a federal lawsuit over mental health care, officials say they have a plan: they want to build three big regional prisons for men.

Alabama House Approves Gas Tax Increase

The Alabama House of Representatives on Friday approved legislation to increase the state gas tax by 10 cents per gallon. The tax increase would be phased in over three years

Alabama House Set to Consider Gas Tax Increase

It's hard to know how much consensus there will be among Alabama House members on a proposed gas tax increase. The House is set to consider the bill Friday.

State’s Proposed Gas Tax Bill Places Fees on Electric, Hybrid Car Owners

State lawmakers went into special session today to consider a proposed gas tax increase to fund road and bridge construction. The bill would impact all motorists -- but some would pay significantly more than others.

Support for Gas Tax Increase Uncertain Among State Lawmakers

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey’s State of the State address Tuesday was typical. But shortly after finishing her speech, she issued a call for a special session around her proposed increase to the state's gasoline tax. That special session starts Wednesday morning.

Gov. Ivey Calls Special Session Around Gas Tax Proposal

A gas tax increase, more money for prisons, and a pre-kindergarten expansion were among the legislative priorities Gov. Kay Ivey highlighted in her State of the State address on Tuesday.

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 […]

Weather Service Surveys Tornado Damage in Southeast Alabama

Teams from the National Weather Service in Birmingham are evaluating the damage from six potential tornadoes that touched down across parts of Alabama Monday. The storms killed at least 23 people in Lee County Sunday.

Dozens Still Missing In Alabama After Deadly Tornadoes Hit

In Alabama, Lee County was hardest hit by the series of tornadoes that devastated the state. Authorities put the death toll at 23 so far, with dozens still missing.

Supreme Court Justice Questions Landmark Ruling from Alabama

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas recently called for review of a landmark First Amendment case that originated in Alabama. It was New York Times Company v. Sullivan, and it raised the bar for public officials claiming libel.

Workplace Discrimination is Illegal. But Data Shows it’s Still a Huge Problem.

Despite legal protections, most workers who face discrimination are on their own. Thousands of people report workplace discrimination to the government each year. Employers are rarely held accountable.

Dozens Being Treated After Water Treatment Chemical Spill

A chemical spill at a Birmingham water treatment plant sent dozens of workers to area hospitals with respiratory problems. Officials say the water supply hasn't been affected.

Special Coverage: Michael Cohen’s Testimony to Congress

Michael Cohen, President Trump’s former lawyer, testifies today on Capitol Hill. Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings (D-MD) has signaled that the committee will question Cohen about topics including “debts and payments relating to efforts to influence the 2016 US Presidential election” as well as the president’s compliance with campaign finance and tax laws. Cohen pleaded guilty last […]

Council Delays Vote on MLB Youth Academy

The Birmingham City Council delayed a scheduled vote Tuesday on an agreement for a Major League Baseball-supported youth academy in the city. The program was planned for George Ward Park, but the council passed a separate resolution asking the park board to consider other locations instead.

Report Highlights Alabama’s Poor Roads as Officials Consider the ‘T Word’

The state’s roads are in bad shape. Those potholes and accidents costs the average driver in the Birmingham area about $1,800 a year, according to a new report from a Washington-D-C-based transportation group. State lawmakers are expected to discuss a proposed tax increase to fund road and bridge construction.

Reaching Everyone in the 2020 Census Might be Harder in Alabama

We’re not far into 2019, but those at the U.S. Census Bureau have long been focused on 2020. That’s when the next national census will take place. Many in Alabama say this census is especially critical for the state.

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.

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 […]