Issues/Program Report 2nd Quarter 2016

July 1, 2016

Per the FCC, this is a list of the most frequently cited issues of concern to the people in the WBHM/WSGN listening area during the last quarter. The list details the most significant programs addressing these issues. All of these programs were published at WBHM.ORG and broadcast on WBHM 90.3 FM and WSGN 91.5 FM between April 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016. The list includes the following issues:

Government

2016-04-01 09:26:38

The firestorm continues a week after allegations that Alabama Governor Robert Bentley had an affair with top advisor Rebekah Mason, who resigned Wednesday. While Bentley and Mason deny an affair, he did admit to making inappropriate comments to her.

2016-04-05 08:12:56

At a public meeting Monday night, more than a hundred people huddled into a tight room in the Jefferson County courthouse. Residents poured out into the hallway. They gathered to discuss proposed changes to the Mayor Council Act, legislation that divides powers between the mayor and city council.

2016-04-05 18:20:43

An Alabama legislator says he’ll introduce articles of impeachment against Governor Robert Bentley.

2016-04-06 19:04:36

A small delegation of Alabama lawmakers - led by a Republican Representative from Hartselle - announced plans to impeach Governor Robert Bentley, the Legislature overrides Bentley's budget veto and the role the Legislature's infamous "Goat Hill" committee will play in all of this. The latest from AL.dom's Kyle Whitmire.

2016-04-07 09:12:29

The scandal around Governor Robert Bentley grew this week as fellow Republican Representative Ed Henry filed articles of impeachment against the governor. It’s the latest fallout after the governor admitted to making inappropriate comments to a top advisor, although he denies a physical relationship with her. Bentley says there are no grounds for impeachment and he’ll fight this political attack. We talk about the situation with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald, who says impeachment is premature, but weakens an already weak governor.

2016-04-07 18:12:35

Protesters gathered again last weekend at the Etowah County Detention Center, one of the nation's most notorious holding pens. The center houses immigration detainees awaiting possible deportation. It's been under fire in recent years for poor conditions and treatment of prisoners, and some even engaged in a hunger strike last year.

2016-04-08 09:28:47

The scandal surrounding Governor Robert Bentley took a new turn this week when a legislator filed articles of impeachment against the governor. Bentley’s been under fire since allegations of an affair with his former chief advisor surfaced last month. But that’s not all happening in Montgomery. As the 2016 legislative session moves into its final days, Don Dailey of Capitol Journal on Alabama Public Television say lawmakers have a lot on their plates. Dailey’s the host , and he tells WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley what’s next for the legislature and the embattled governor.

2016-04-13 16:04:37

Wednesday morning a bill that would make changes to the city of Birmingham’s Mayor-Council Act was approved by the Jefferson County Legislative Delegation committee 10-3, with 5 abstentions.

2016-04-14 07:29:37

Alabama has a part-time legislature meaning lawmakers have jobs and careers outside of their time in Montgomery. That means conflicts of interest can arise depending on how state laws are written or public money spent. One case involving a Baldwin County Republican, Representative Randy Davis, has caught Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald's attention. He talks about the situation and the Birmingham City Council's failure to resend a pay increase.

2016-04-14 15:49:02

Cleveland led the Department of Career and Technical education under former superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice, who retired in March.

2016-04-15 07:26:33

There are only eight more meeting days left in Alabama’s 2016 Legislative Session, and the Alabama State House saw a burst of activity this week. For an update from Montgomery, we talk with Don Dailey, host of Capitol Journal on Alabama Public Television. To start, Dailey tells WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley about Leni’s Law, a bill the house passed Wednesday that would criminalize a specific marijuana oil in a bid to help people coping with debilitating seizures. It’s named for Leni Young, a girl and former Alabama resident who suffers from a seizure disorder.

2016-04-19 15:23:17

2016-04-20 17:39:13

2016-04-21 07:24:22

The scandal around Governor Robert Bentley took a new legal turn this week. Former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Director Spencer Collier, who accused the governor of an affair with a top advisor, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against Bentley. The governor says he fired Collier for cause and that he'll aggressively defend the lawsuit. We talk about that and other developments around this scandal with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.

2016-04-22 08:40:39

Only five days remain in Alabama’s 2016 legislative session, and big issues are still on the table, from a lottery bill to a possible $800 million dollar bond for building new prisons. However, in recent weeks, these important issues have been overshadowed by scandal in the wake of accusations Governor Robert Bentley had an affair with a former top advisor. This week, a lawmaker introduced a resolution that could impeachment proceedings against Bentley forward. For more on this, we talk with Don Dailey, host of Capitol Journal on Alabama public television. To start, Dailey tells WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley about Bentley’s recent comments to the media.

2016-04-27 14:24:59

2016-04-27 18:38:11

2016-04-28 12:48:41

The NAACP filed a federal lawsuit Thursday contending a law that blocked a minimum wage increase in Birmingham is racially motivated. The suit names Alabama Governor Robert Bentley and Attorney General Luther Strange and includes Greater Birmingham Ministries and two fast-food works as plaintiffs.

2016-04-28 13:51:38

Oxford city leaders say public safety is what sparked the recent passage of an ordinance that forces transgender people to use public restrooms corresponding with their biological sex. But transgender advocates say the law is unjustifiable.

2016-04-29 14:45:58

The sun is setting on Alabama's 2016 Legislative session. With only two more meetings left this year, the Alabama Senate and House discussed and passed a flurry of bills this week on everything from approving Governor Robert Bentley's $800 million prison construction bond proposal to how to spend BP oil settlement funds to naming the lane cake Alabama's official dessert.

2016-05-02 07:03:30

From the Lyric Theater in downtown Birmingham to the Howell School in Dothan, a number of renovations have been supported by the state’s historic tax credit. It offered developers financial incentives to take on projects that might have come with big risks. But the bill to renew those tax credits has died this legislative session, and the tax will expire this month.

2016-05-03 11:47:47

In Alabama, suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 12 to 16. A bill passed by the state legislature that could be signed by the governor would help teachers better prevent these suicides.

2016-05-04 13:20:29

Mayors from across the country are in Birmingham this week for a conference addressing violence against African-American men and boys. It's the third annual gathering for Cities United, a coalition of mayors formed to curb such violence.

2016-05-04 18:29:55

2016-05-05 08:43:01

This week, Rep. Ed Henry and Red Bay Democratic Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, tried to get inside the governor's office and find the infamous Wanda's Desk. John Archibald, columnist for al.com and the Birmingham News, was there, and he tells WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley what happened.

2016-05-05 09:11:23

In a surprising move, the Oxford City Council rescinded an ordinance it recently passed that would’ve forced transgender people to use public restrooms that match their biological sex. The mayor hadn’t signed the order yet, which gave council members a chance to call it back, bowing to pressure from civil rights organizations.

2016-05-06 07:24:54

Alabama’s 2016 Legislative Session is one for the books. Lawmakers wrapped up at midnight on Wednesday. Don Dailey, host of Capitol Journal on Alabama Public Television, join’s WBHM’s Rachel Lindley to recap what bills passed, and what bills fell short, ike a hike in the gas tax and an agreement about what to do with BP oil spill settlement money. Perhaps the largest upset was the death of Governor Bentley’s prison bill in the session’s la

2016-05-10 16:46:02

The $420 million budget represents an increase of about 4 percent over the previous year.

2016-05-10 16:54:25

The Birmingham City Council re-elected Council President Johnathan Austin by one vote, 5-4, on May 10. The council was required to hold new elections because of a bill passed by Alabama Legislature this session.

2016-05-11 17:28:04

2016-05-12 07:54:53

There's the adage, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." That could apply to the Birmingham City Council this week as they were forced to elect new leaders because of a new law requiring them to do so every two years. It was high political drama, but in the end, Council President Johnathan Austin retained his post by a five to four vote. Although there was a change at the number two spot. We talk about this and the potential ouster of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.

2016-05-12 16:26:39

2016-05-12 20:13:01

Governor Robert Bentley has signed two bills that could make it much harder for women to get abortions in Alabama, but legal challenges loom.

2016-05-16 05:15:30

Jury selection is scheduled to begin Monday in the trial of Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard. He faces 23 felony ethics charges of using his public office to benefit his private businesses. It’s a trail that involves a who’s who of Alabama politics and has the potential to cast light on a hidden side of Montgomery. We talk about what’s to come with Don Dailey. He’s host of Capitol Journal on Alabama Public Television.

2016-05-17 10:27:42

“It’s hard to get up in front of a group and sell your ideas. And somebody among this group is really going to be a great entrepreneur,” she says. “You could see that they loved it. They are passionate about it.”

2016-05-17 10:46:38

“Anybody who is concerned about the quality of education our students are receiving in schools should be concerned. Well documented research shows that when schools lack diverse student bodies and when they are segregated, they are less able to provide the full range of benefits that a K 12 education ought to include.”

2016-05-17 10:56:11

The sign on the broken escalator says use the elevator. The sign on the broken elevator says take the stairs. This is what visitors and staff of the downtown library are currently dealing with.

2016-05-19 07:27:27

Two years ago something simple but significant happened in Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's office. Bentley asked his staff to sign non-disclosure agreements. More than 80 staffers did, but one who didn't was Rebekah Mason. She's the former political aide Bentley's accused of having an affair with. They're the latest details in the scandal surrounding the governor. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald talks about it along with the continued political spats at Birmingham City Hall.

2016-05-24 06:39:33

When David VanWilliams moved to Birmingham, he was looking for a fixer-upper and fell in love with the neighborhood of Inglenook. Inglenook sits just north of the airport. Like its southern neighbors, Crestwood and Avondale, Inglenook has turn of the century brick bungalows and wide streets with sidewalks. But unlike those other neighborhoods, potholes mark the road and many houses are in disrepair. Residents don’t have the money to fix them.

2016-05-25 15:40:38

2016-05-26 09:44:48

The eyes of Alabama’s political world have turned to a Lee County courtroom as the trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard is now underway. He faces 23 felony ethics charges. He's accused of using his elected position and his former role as head of Alabama’s Republican Party for personal gain. Both sides gave their opening statements Tuesday with witness testimony following. Watching is all is Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald and he offers his observations to WBHM's Andrew Yeager.

2016-05-26 17:54:41

Birmingham City Council members want to restore bus service to Fairfield following a vote this week by the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority to stop service to the area on June 1.

2016-05-27 14:38:45

Walk around downtown Birmingham and there’s an energy you wouldn’t have felt a few years ago. Residents are moving to new lofts and apartments. Restaurants and retailers are opening. People do yoga at Railroad Park or take in a ballgame at Region’s Field. They’re visible signs of a Birmingham revival. But that revival is uneven. Talk to some in neighborhoods away from Downtown and they’ll say "revival" doesn’t mean much to them. No fancy lofts, just abandoned homes and potholed roads that never seem to be fixed. And all this takes place against the backdrop of Birmingham’s racial history, with investment, by-and-large, coming from whites in a city that’s been majority black for a generation.

2016-06-02 07:40:22

Wednesday brought the most anticipated moment of House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics trial so far. That’s when Governor Robert Bentley took the stand. Bentley testified about whether Hubbard lobbied him on behalf of a business client. Bentley is embroiled in his own scandal, accused of an affair with a former aide. But the testimony was perhaps less than what political junkies hoped for. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald talks about the trial and about financial troubles that have the City of Fairfield veering toward bankruptcy.

2016-06-09 08:12:07

The trial of House Speaker Mike Hubbard has brought to light some curious aspects of Alabama ethics law, most notably a provision regarding friendship. Hubbard took the stand in his own defense this week and testified about how he emailed so-called "friends" for business opportunities and advice when he was laid off in 2011.

2016-06-09 11:16:36

Financial troubles continue to plague Fairfield, Birmingham's struggling neighbor. On Monday, the city council had another contentious meeting, with arguments over unpaid bills and late paychecks. Last month, the city learned they were in debt to the Birmingham Water Works for more than $128,000, on top of a more than $500,000 debt to the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority for bus service. The authority voted to stop service to the area on July 5.

2016-06-10 06:03:46

Indicted Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s trial on 23 felony ethics charges is drawing to a close. Lawyers make final closing remarks Friday. Hubbard is accused of using his position as Speaker of the House for personal financial gain. If convicted, Hubbard will automatically lose his position as Speaker.

2016-06-10 09:21:47

Alabama and the nation are in the midst of an opioid epidemic, with deaths from prescription pain medication and heroin overdoses on the rise. Yet, as the death toll increased, Alabama cracked down on opioid addiction treatment centers, specifically methadone clinics. Currently two companies are trying to open methadone clinics in Lee County, and they’re seeing stiff pushback from local officials. Al.com's Amy Yurkanin recently reported on the state's struggle with methadone clinics, and she tells WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley more.

2016-06-13 16:37:43

Sunday was Birmingham's Pride celebration, in honor of National Pride month. It's a time when lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and their allies come together to honor the LGBT community. That event was marred by what is now known as the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Early Sunday morning a man entered a crowded gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida and began shooting. At least 49 people are dead and dozens more injured. WBHM's Esther Ciammachili spoke with Eva Walton Kendrick of the Human Rights Campaign of Alabama, an LGBTQ advocacy group. Kendrick says this tragedy has shaken the LGBT community in Birmingham.

2016-06-14 08:34:09

Alabama Republicans are figuring out what's next after now former House Speaker Mike Hubbard was found guilty on 12 of 23 felony ethics charges last week. A jury determined Hubbard used his office for personal financial gain. He was considered one of Alabama's most powerful politicians. For more on what this means for future political leadership in the state, WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley spoke with Natalie Davis, professor of political science at Birmingham-Southern College. Davis says, while Hubbard’s political career is over, his impact on the Alabama Republican Party will last for years to come.

2016-06-14 11:06:45

Islamic leaders in Alabama have condemned Sunday morning’s deadly shooting rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida -- a shooting carried out by a Muslim man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State. WBHM’s Sherrel Wheeler Stewart spoke with Khaula Hadeed, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations Alabama.

2016-06-14 14:21:48

2016-06-16 09:43:49

A new political landscape is emerging in Alabama following last week’s conviction of now former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard. On Friday night, a jury in Lee County convicted Hubbard on 12 felony ethics charges. He could face up to 20 years in prison for each charge. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald watched much of the testimony and was there as the verdict came down. He spoke with WBHM's Andrew Yeager.

2016-06-16 10:29:41

2016-06-16 13:31:24

Your right to vote is arguably the most important and coveted right a person can have in this country. When the 2016 presidential election is over, one person, the president, will represent a nation of close to 320 million people. After this primary season, more than a few of those American's have lost faith in American’s voting process.

2016-06-16 17:23:38

2016-06-20 14:17:15

State leaders, along with officials from around Jefferson County and Washington D.C., cut the ribbon Monday on the interchange between Interstate 22 and Interstate 65, completing a long-awaited highway between Birmingham and Memphis.

2016-06-22 13:05:19

Council members say they support Deontay Wilder, but the city has several pressing needs.

2016-06-23 06:52:25

2016-06-24 06:53:38

The number of families living in poverty in Alabama has risen, but the number of families currently receiving TANF funding has dropped.

2016-06-29 19:42:50

2016-06-30 07:47:05

High-profile positions often come with perks. But with public positions involving public money, perks can drift into illegal ethics violations. Those are the concerns around Birmingham's airport authority CEO and what's been called his private gym. We talk about the controversy with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald. We also hear about the unanswered questions around the firing of a high-raking employee of the State Department of Finance.

2016-04-01 07:11:46

2016-04-22 15:40:48

Fueled by voter anger at a changing America, 50 years ago a pugnacious governor from Alabama made waves and got a lot of votes. Today, Wallace allies and family see Trump walking a similar path.

2016-05-30 20:37:52

2016-06-11 09:54:20

After the jury found Hubbard guilty of more than half of the 23 charges, he's been stripped of his leadership position, and could face up to 20 years in prison for each felony count.

2016-06-12 23:17:19

Omar Mateen was previously interviewed by the FBI several times over possible ties to terrorism. Authorities say he pledged allegiance to ISIS before attacking a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 50.

2016-06-12 23:19:14

At first, many witnesses say, the sharp staccato sounds seemed like part of the nightclub's pounding music. Then they realized: It was gunfire, and it wasn't stopping.

2016-06-14 14:14:48

This year's primaries have been filled with complaints about the voting process. The controversies raise questions about how confident Americans are that their votes will count in November.

2016-06-15 13:10:59

Americans strongly prefer primary elections open to all voters but it's tough to move away from caucuses and closed primaries even in states where there's lots of unhappiness with the current system.

2016-04-14 12:55:54

The Alabama House of Representatives is expected to vote next week to establish a 15-person investigatory committee to probe the possible impeachment of Governor Robert Bentley.

2016-04-28 12:55:09

A state lawmaker says he has enough signatures to re-ignite an impeachment effort against Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley. Republican Rep. Ed Henry announced Thursday that he had obtained 23 signatures on impeachment articles.

2016-05-07 08:01:23

Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore faces removal from the bench over his effort to block same-sex marriage from coming to Alabama despite the U.S. Supreme Court that effectively legalizing gay marriage nationwide.

2016-06-11 07:05:51

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard's conviction on ethics charges automatically removes him from office and could mean years in prison for the powerful Republican.

2016-06-15 16:40:41

Education

2016-04-14 15:49:02

Cleveland led the Department of Career and Technical education under former superintendent Dr. Tommy Bice, who retired in March.

2016-05-03 11:47:47

In Alabama, suicide is the second leading cause of death in youth ages 12 to 16. A bill passed by the state legislature that could be signed by the governor would help teachers better prevent these suicides.

2016-05-17 10:27:42

“It’s hard to get up in front of a group and sell your ideas. And somebody among this group is really going to be a great entrepreneur,” she says. “You could see that they loved it. They are passionate about it.”

2016-05-17 10:46:38

“Anybody who is concerned about the quality of education our students are receiving in schools should be concerned. Well documented research shows that when schools lack diverse student bodies and when they are segregated, they are less able to provide the full range of benefits that a K 12 education ought to include.”

2016-05-06 11:33:42

WBHM's Mary Scott Hodgin recently reported on surplus property owned by Birmingham City Schools. Vacant schools are a common sight throughout Birmingham. The buildings symbolize decades of population decline and budget cuts. As Birmingham's city center and interest in historic properties grows, many hope these large structures will be revitalized. We've created a map showing where these empty schools are located. Take a look.

2016-05-13 09:24:21

Eva Hardy Jones became principal of Powell School in 1976. Around this time, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places, but it and its students were in need.

2016-05-25 22:16:00

You could call schools the glue of a community. They're starting points for friendships and networks, and they affect property values and economic development. For our series on revitalization in Birmingham, WBHM's Dan Carsen returns to a redeveloping neighborhood to see how that's playing out in the local school.

2016-04-01 11:21:44

Bice isn’t leaving the education field. He’s the new education director for Birmingham based Goodrich Foundation.

2016-04-11 22:23:21

Recent reports have referred to Alabama as "ground zero" for incidents of teacher-student sex. Whether that's fair or not, most agree there's a serious problem. So state senator Cam Ward of Alabaster has sponsored a bill to mandate an hour of training for educators on appropriate teacher-student interaction in the age of social media.

2016-04-21 16:43:48

2016-04-22 09:13:55

In more affluent districts, local property tax revenue makes a big difference for schools. But in rural Sumter County, which is mostly farms and timberland, there isn’t much to tax. It’s also hard to raise rates on what is there.

2016-04-26 07:04:07

“Obviously growing up in Birmingham, Alabama in the late 50s and 60s there were barriers, but fortunately I had lots of folks who invested a lot in me and I owed it to them not to allow those barriers to deter me.”

2016-04-28 15:09:47

School Ministries of Birmingham's goal is to establish Christian-oriented released time education (RTE) programs in high schools in the greater Birmingham area. The group's first program started at Spain Park High School in Hoover in January. Nick Patterson, editor of the weekly newspaper WELD, tells WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley about SMB's plans and the legality of RTE programs. Patterson also discusses the third annual Cahaba Riverkeeper water quality and bacteriological testing program.

2016-04-28 17:07:43

A sports-marketing firm yesterday presented the Vestavia Hills school board with an update that included a new rebel logo. Tensions over the system’s Rebel Man mascot and the name “Rebels” flared up last year. The school board has since ditched the mascot but kept the name. But the system’s rebranding process is ongoing.

2016-05-05 20:34:33

Vacant schools are a common sight throughout Birmingham. The buildings symbolize decades of population decline and budget cuts. Now, as the city center grows, many hope these large structures will be revitalized.

2016-05-11 09:51:51

“We think it’s important that parents and teachers have good information each year about the progress students are making. That information needs to line up with the expectation that when students graduate, they’ll graduate for college and careers.”

2016-05-13 13:07:13

After controversy over a mascot and team-name some call racist, a marketing firm has released its "rebranding package" for Vestavia Hills High School.

2016-05-17 16:00:27

With area high school graduations this month, some students can find themselves at a crossroads as they determine what's next in their life. For commentator, and high school senior Berucha Cintron, this crossroads took place in the form of a short, emotional conversation she had with her mother several years before.

2016-05-26 14:05:06

As WBHM explores the Magic City's uneven revitalization, the weekly newspaper WELD continues its look at REV Birmingham, the city's economic development organization. This week, they focus on REV through the eyes of the small businesses it serves. REV launched in 2012 and cites “helping small business owners define and achieve their goals” as one of their core goals. Nick Patterson, editor of WELD, tells WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley what reporters

2016-06-15 06:43:47

2016-06-20 09:29:18

Fair or not, the words "Ensley" and "success" don't often appear together in local media reports. But tucked among vacant buildings and weedy lots a few feet from an Interstate, there's a high school with a college acceptance rate most suburban schools would envy. For the latest chapter of "The Junction: Stories from Ensley, Alabama," education reporter Dan Carsen talks with the people making it happen to find out how this school works.

2016-06-22 10:05:11

“We have lots of challenges and skepticism and there will be criticism, but also success is knowing that as we are getting this off the ground and running there are people who are saying this is great I'm glad you are doing something,” Dr. Alicia Hill says.

Health Care

2016-04-27 18:38:11

2016-05-12 20:13:01

Governor Robert Bentley has signed two bills that could make it much harder for women to get abortions in Alabama, but legal challenges loom.

2016-06-10 09:21:47

Alabama and the nation are in the midst of an opioid epidemic, with deaths from prescription pain medication and heroin overdoses on the rise. Yet, as the death toll increased, Alabama cracked down on opioid addiction treatment centers, specifically methadone clinics. Currently two companies are trying to open methadone clinics in Lee County, and they’re seeing stiff pushback from local officials. Al.com's Amy Yurkanin recently reported on the state's struggle with methadone clinics, and she tells WBHM’s Rachel Osier Lindley more.

2016-05-20 12:12:19

Beth Seibels of Birmingham is 62 years old and has suffered from anxiety and depression for more than 30 years. Two years ago, things got worse. For the first time, she was feeling suicidal.

2016-05-31 05:20:14

The Zika virus has popped up in Alabama, although you can't blame mosquitoes yet. The pests spread the disease but so far the only cases in the state are from people who have traveled to Zika infected areas. But public health officials are offering tips to fight mosquitoes, which spread a number of diseases.

2016-06-30 16:26:23

2016-04-11 09:14:42

A study of Social Security and tax records says poor people live longer in some cities than in others, and it's not clear why.

Economy

2016-05-02 07:03:30

From the Lyric Theater in downtown Birmingham to the Howell School in Dothan, a number of renovations have been supported by the state’s historic tax credit. It offered developers financial incentives to take on projects that might have come with big risks. But the bill to renew those tax credits has died this legislative session, and the tax will expire this month.

2016-05-24 06:39:33

When David VanWilliams moved to Birmingham, he was looking for a fixer-upper and fell in love with the neighborhood of Inglenook. Inglenook sits just north of the airport. Like its southern neighbors, Crestwood and Avondale, Inglenook has turn of the century brick bungalows and wide streets with sidewalks. But unlike those other neighborhoods, potholes mark the road and many houses are in disrepair. Residents don’t have the money to fix them.

2016-05-26 17:54:41

Birmingham City Council members want to restore bus service to Fairfield following a vote this week by the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority to stop service to the area on June 1.

2016-05-27 14:38:45

Walk around downtown Birmingham and there’s an energy you wouldn’t have felt a few years ago. Residents are moving to new lofts and apartments. Restaurants and retailers are opening. People do yoga at Railroad Park or take in a ballgame at Region’s Field. They’re visible signs of a Birmingham revival. But that revival is uneven. Talk to some in neighborhoods away from Downtown and they’ll say "revival" doesn’t mean much to them. No fancy lofts, just abandoned homes and potholed roads that never seem to be fixed. And all this takes place against the backdrop of Birmingham’s racial history, with investment, by-and-large, coming from whites in a city that’s been majority black for a generation.

2016-04-04 06:28:05

The U.S economy has been growing for almost seven years and analysts are debating when it will inevitably return to recession. One report from the bank BBVA Compass says it probably won't happen in 2016, but its prediction about Alabama's economy is less upbeat. We explain in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

2016-04-11 05:00:24

The scandal surrounding Governor Robert Bentley’s alleged affair with a former top advisor has grabbed attention from CNN to the New York Times to the Washington Post. With that national media attention, some Bentley opponents in the legislature have suggested his troubles have hurt the state’s economic development efforts. We explore that in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

2016-04-12 10:24:05

2016-04-13 13:25:58

A new study finds that women in Alabama are paid significantly less than men.

2016-04-18 06:19:06

If you don't work in the healthcare industry, you might not be familiar with Alabama's Certificate of Need process. It's bureaucratic, often with mounds of paperwork and legal fees, but it determines what healthcare facilities get built in the state. And in some cases, which ones are blocked. We hear about the process and some changes in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

2016-04-21 16:11:07

Poultry production has risen in the past several decades. It's now a more than $45 billion industry in the U.S. Alabama is located in the heart of what’s considered the agricultural “chicken belt” of America. In 2013, Alabama farms produced roughly 1 billion chickens. While that may make it sound like the state's poultry farming economy is healthy, farmers tell a different story. Every one of Alabama’s chickens is produced by contract famers, and some of these farmers tell the weekly newspaper WELD that they’re getting a raw deal.

2016-04-22 16:46:54

A report out today from state officials shows Alabama attracted more than $7 billion in investments and added nearly 20,000 new jobs last year.

2016-04-25 06:05:50

The housing market is cyclical as are so many things in business. After a housing-led recession and recovery, the Birmingham housing market is becoming a sellers market with far more demand than homes to go around. But the adage "location, location, location" still applies. Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West explains in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

2016-05-02 08:58:30

Birmingham has a lot to offer young companies, but the city is lacking when it comes to sustaining small businesses in the long term. That’s according to a new study by American City Business Journals. They measured the nation’s largest metro areas for small business vitality, and Birmingham ranked 82nd out of more than 100 metro areas.

2016-05-05 11:04:47

Alabama doesn’t have a minimum wage law. The state uses the federal rate of $7.25. Earlier this year, the Birmingham City Council tried to increase the city’s minimum wage, but we overridden by a bill Governor Robert Bentley signed into law inFebruary. The bill, originally flied by Mountain Brook Republican state Rep. David Faulkner, said only the state can set the minimum wage.

2016-05-06 11:33:42

WBHM's Mary Scott Hodgin recently reported on surplus property owned by Birmingham City Schools. Vacant schools are a common sight throughout Birmingham. The buildings symbolize decades of population decline and budget cuts. As Birmingham's city center and interest in historic properties grows, many hope these large structures will be revitalized. We've created a map showing where these empty schools are located. Take a look.

2016-05-09 05:00:50

Anyone who commutes along I-65 or U.S. 280 around Birmingham, knows those highways can get congested. But those are far from the only roadways feeling pressure. Backups are annoying and have real costs.Birmingham Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West talks about that in this week’s Magic City Marketplace. He also explains why retail has been lagging in downtown Birmingham's revival.

2016-05-09 07:14:04

A Nevada company says it wants to buy an unfinished nuclear power plant in northeast Alabama.

2016-05-13 09:24:21

Eva Hardy Jones became principal of Powell School in 1976. Around this time, the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places, but it and its students were in need.

2016-05-16 05:00:45

Birmingham’s banking sector has seen smaller banks entering the market hoping to latch onto growth in the state’s biggest metro area. So far in 2016, that trend is not slowing. We start there in this week’s Magic City Marketplace. The Birmingham Business Journal's Ty West also explains how the healthcare community is reacting to a General Fund budget Alabama's Medicaid commissioner says is below what's needed to maintain services.

2016-05-19 16:08:37

What does REV Birmingham, the city's economic development organization, do? They describe themselves as a group "that stimulates business growth and improves quality of life in Birmingham." But WELD says that mission isn't clearly visible to Birmingham residents. Reporters from WELD took to Facebook to ask what their readers thought.

2016-05-20 08:13:16

Downtown Birmingham and some nearby neighborhoods are seeing an influx of new residents, mainly young professionals and retired baby boomers. It’s a national trend -- the Census Bureau reports millions of Americans have migrated from the suburbs to the cities since 2010. Experts like Bruce Katz,a Vice President of the Brookings Institution and co-author of “The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy," think this is a good thing. Katz believes cities like Birmingham are the new economic engines in post-recession America. Katz spoke with WBHM's Greg Bass about his visit to Birmingham last year, and the central idea behind what he calls “The Metropolitan Revolution.”

2016-05-23 06:10:15

Birmingham's city center has seen project after project pop up over the last five years or so. While the business community would love to see that continue, there's concern the acrimony right now between Birmingham Mayor William Bell and the city council could cut into the momentum. We talk about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace. Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West explains to WBHM's Andrew Yeager what has business leaders worried.

2016-05-23 08:16:40

By certain indicators, Birmingham is having a moment. Boosted by the openings of Railroad Park and Regions Field, downtown’s seen almost 40 percent residential growth since 2000. Construction cranes dot the skyline, historic buildings are being restored, and the city was recently named a top destination by Lonely Planet and the Travel Channel. Despite this, Birmingham’s revitalization has only touched part of the city, leaving many longtime residents feeling ignored.

2016-05-24 07:11:40

Behind every new coffee shop and oyster house and once-vacant building is a real estate developer. The same goes for parks and condos and baseball fields. To understand how developers choose where to invest, we'll start in Avondale.

2016-05-25 07:00:10

The neighborhood of Rosedale is easy to miss, quietly tucked at the base of Red Mountain on the edges of Homewood. For years, residents of the community have been fighting to keep its historic character, but the city is expanding and there is a constant threat of commercial development.

2016-05-25 22:16:00

You could call schools the glue of a community. They're starting points for friendships and networks, and they affect property values and economic development. For our series on revitalization in Birmingham, WBHM's Dan Carsen returns to a redeveloping neighborhood to see how that's playing out in the local school.

2016-05-27 06:05:24

When a city neighborhood rebounds, it’s typically a story of investors buying cheap property, building and attracting new residents. That runs the risk of pushing out current residents who are often poor. This week as we explore Birmingham’s revitalization, we have at an example from Cleveland of an alternative model – worker cooperatives.

2016-05-27 10:03:26

Birmingham’s western business district is one of the city’s oldest. At one time, a thriving community of working class families surrounded it. A shopping mall anchored the retail center, and businesses, large and small, lined Third Avenue West. Now, it's a different story. The area has been in decline for decades. In 2011, the city Birmingham spent $46 million on the Birmingham Metro CrossPlex sports facility in hopes of giving the area an economic boost.

2016-05-30 05:00:13

Medical research is a notable part of the Birmingham economy and more and more funding for potential breakthroughs is coming from private dollars. That can open up ethical questions. We also talk about a planned technology festival in Birmingham and the effect of new federal overtime rules in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

2016-05-31 05:00:22

With rising concerns about the Zika virus, mosquitoes have even more of a target on their backs than usual this summer. While the bugs spread the disease, the only cases of Zika in Alabama so far have been related to travel to infected areas. As residents try to protect themselves, one type of business is expecting to do well: mosquito control companies.

2016-06-06 05:00:13

Birmingham’s food scene wins accolades from the around the country. It seems there’s always a new restaurant to try. But that success has created a new problem. There are not enough people to staff restaurant kitchens. We hear about that from Birmingham Business Journal editor Ty West in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

2016-06-13 08:04:18

The University of Alabama at Birmingham wants to expand its role as a statewide player in healthcare through the passage of the University Authority Act approved this spring by the Alabama Legislature. It allows the school's medical branch to join forces with other healthcare facilities around the state - especially in rural Alabama.

2016-06-20 05:00:30

Birmingham’s banking industry is not what it used to be. After major acquisitions in the 2000s and the Great Recession, Birmingham is left with two big banks: Regions and BBVA Compass, which was snapped up by a Spanish financial giant. While all that activity has died down, there’s chatter we could see a pick up in mergers and acquisitions among banks. We start there in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

2016-06-20 09:29:50

A group of Alabama organizers filed a federal lawsuit last week on behalf of immigrant laborers who say their employers never paid them. The workers and their supporters gathered at the steps of the Hugo Black Courthouse in Birmingham Friday afternoon to celebrate the lawsuit.

2016-06-27 05:03:00

A “good news” Birmingham business mystery may soon be revealed. The firearms business is booming. Changes in the industrial economy are impacting Alabama’s waterways and roadways. Ty West is Editor of the Birmingham Business Journal. He joins WBHM’s Scott Hanley to consider some of these latest stories in the Magic City Marketplace.

Arts and Culture

2016-05-11 17:28:04

2016-05-17 10:56:11

The sign on the broken escalator says use the elevator. The sign on the broken elevator says take the stairs. This is what visitors and staff of the downtown library are currently dealing with.

2016-04-12 10:24:05

2016-04-05 10:20:16

People with autism often get uncomfortable in situations like live theater. Sudden loud noises and bright lights can cause distress. With one in 68 children being diagnosed with the condition, lots of Alabama families don’t see musicals or plays. One theater in Birmingham wants to change that by offering one of Alabama’s first “sensory-friendly” performances.

2016-04-07 09:11:35

2016-04-07 15:31:48

2016-04-11 08:56:48

2016-04-11 11:57:07

2016-04-19 14:38:02

Alabama has a rich folk history, full of songs, stories and primitive arts and crafts. For years, the Alabama Folk School has brought them to life through a year-round teaching program at Camp McDowell, the camp and conference center for the Episcopal Diocese of Alabama. The Alabama Folk School recently appointed a new director, and Camp McDowell itself has seen some major changes and renovations in the past year.

2016-04-20 08:40:30

In the 1930’s, the Federal Housing Authority practiced "redlining," denying services to people in certain areas based on racial or ethnic makeup. This mostly discriminated against black, inner city neighborhoods. In Alabama, Birmingham was no exception. The echoes of redlining can still be heard today, especially when young black families start house shopping. In this commentary, young adult author and WBHM staffer Randi Revill shares her thoughts on searching for home among Birmingham’s silent but ongoing racial division. Revill's first novel, "Into White," comes out this Fall.

2016-04-21 04:57:32

Christopher Hitchens and Larry Taunton seem unlikely candidates to be friends. Hitchens was a writer and avowed atheist who died of esophageal cancer in 2011. Taunton is the founder of the Birmingham-based Fixed Point Foundation. It’s an evangelical Christian organization that has sponsored debates with prominent atheists. It’s through this work the two met and became friends. Larry Taunton is out with a book called “The Faith of Christopher Hitchens: The Restless Soul of the World’s Most Notorious Atheist”

2016-04-28 07:43:15

"I want my South back." That's the rallying cry from Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald. In a recent column he lays out a Southern identity that he admits may be a fictional memory, but one he'd like see more of. He also reflects on the fifth anniversary of the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak that killed more than 250 people in Alabama.

2016-04-29 08:08:15

Alabama has an official state bird, nut, fruit and even crustacean. The state might soon have an official state cake— a lane cake. The House of Representatives voted Thursday night to name lane cake as the official state cake. The bill now goes to Alabama Governor Robert Bentley for his signature. The effort to name lane cake the state dessert made some traction last year, but ultimately fell flat. To celebrate the cake's move towards official state-dessertdom, today we revisit this story by WBHM 2015 Summer intern Stephanie Beckett.

2016-05-13 06:10:41

2016-05-19 10:59:26

2016-05-26 12:38:48

2016-06-02 06:29:43

Birmingham native, Dunya Habash, spent two weeks in a Syrian refuge camp in 2014. She was filming for her recently released documentary, Za’atari: Jordan’s Newest City about a settlement created following the Syrian civil war. A recent honors graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, Habash tells WBHM’s Esther Ciammachilli about this experience and how her own music helped tell the story.

2016-06-08 11:58:48

Ira Glass has one of the most recognizable voices in all of public radio. He’s hosted the wildly popular program This American Life for more than 20 years, and influenced a generation of young audio storytellers. Glass brings his unorthodox stage show “Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host," to Birmingham this weekend. As the title suggests, it features Glass, two dancers from Monica Bill Barnes & Company, and storytelling. WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley talked with Glass to find out more.

2016-06-10 10:42:42

2016-06-10 10:58:29

2016-06-13 07:17:23

In 1965, Carolyn Houston Crumbley Major became the first African-American graduate of Ensley High School. Producer Mary Quintas spoke with Carolyn's son, Rafaael Crumbley, and sister, Janice Houston Nixon, about Carolyn's contributions as an integration pioneer - and what her legacy means today.

2016-06-14 08:03:26

Hundreds gathered in downtown Birmingham yesterday evening to remember victims of Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, that killed 49 people. A diverse group of faith leaders led those assembled in Linn Park in prayer.

2016-06-15 11:06:26

2016-06-30 16:45:54

2016-06-08 11:37:35

Yaa Gyasi's debut novel follows the family lines of two separated half-sisters in 18th-century Ghana: One is married off to an Englishman, while the other is sent to America and sold into slavery.

2016-06-09 06:44:11

2016-06-10 16:42:55

Science and Technology

2016-06-21 15:30:49

Careers in 3-D printing and design are growing, and college students are taking note. A new student-run makerspace has opened in UAB’s Sterne Library. Students and faculty alike now have a place to learn and explore these new and innovative ideas.

Environment

2016-04-22 07:12:01

Safe drinking water is an issue that’s been playing out from Parkersburg, West Virginia to Hoosick Falls, New York. It’s a question many courts are taking on. Among the most recent is in North Alabama, where residents and a water authority are suing 3M, maker of products from Scotchgard to Post-It Notes in connection with toxins in the water supply. The EPA is expected to release new guidelines on safe levels this spring. Meanwhile, the fight is on over who might foot the bill if a cleanup is in order.

2016-06-28 17:09:30

Thousands of Alabama residents may be eligible for compensation from Volkswagen following a settlement over emissions fraud.