Issues/Program Report 2nd Quarter 2021

July 1, 2021

Per the FCC, this is a list of the most frequently cited issues of concern to the people in the WBHM 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 between April 1, 2021 and June 31, 2021. The list includes the following issues:

Government

As Other States Drew Fire For Passing Restrictive Election Laws, Alabama Skirted The Limelight
2021-06-24 15:30:00

National attention fell on Georgia for changes to its election laws earlier this year, but Alabama made changes too.

Mayor Woodfin Seeks Community Help To Find Shooters Of Children
2021-06-23 08:42:12

Five children have been killed or injured by gun violence in Birmingham this year, and city leaders are pleading for witnesses to come forward.

Environmental Groups Appeal Judge’s Cahaba River Ruling To The Supreme Court
2021-06-16 11:23:31

Two local environmental groups are appealing a Jefferson County Circuit Court’s recent decision to throw out the lawsuit against the Birmingham Water Works Board.

Bang, Bang. You’re Closed: Birmingham Threatens To Close Clubs With Violent Episodes
2021-06-15 11:14:21

A drive-by shooting at Club Euphoria in west Birmingham left 21-year-old Lykeria Taylor dead and another male injured. Earlier that night, gunfire broke out at the club, leaving three others with non-life-threatening injuries.

Five Ways Birmingham Is Celebrating Its 150th Birthday
2021-06-14 16:49:03

Mayor Randall Woodfin and the CEO of Vulcan Park and Museum announced this week a series of events to celebrate Birmingham’s 150 anniversary.

People in Alabama Prisons Confused, Frustrated As State Officials Withhold Their Stimulus Checks
2021-06-10 09:15:19

Thousands of people in Alabama prisons received COVID-19 stimulus payments from the federal government, but state officials are holding the checks. They say people in prison will get their money, but maybe not all of it.

Birmingham Mayor Combats Violence Against Children With $125K Incentive
2021-06-09 11:09:07

Since January of this year, six children under the age of 10 have been shot in Birmingham, according to police reports. Only one of the shooting incidents has led to an arrest.

Birmingham City Council To Hear $13 Million Vaccine Sweepstakes Proposal Tuesday
2021-06-07 11:19:51

Council President William Parker's plan includes gift cards, savings bonds, college scholarships and drawings in an attempt to encourage more people get vaccinated against COVID-19.

Five Things You Need To Know About Alabama's New Medical Marijuana Law
2021-06-03 15:26:45

Alabama's new medical marijuana law is more than 100-pages long. We did the hard work and pulled out the highlights that may impact you.

Ivey's Prison Construction Plan Meets Financial Roadblock
2021-06-03 11:01:02

State officials are back to the drawing board after Gov. Kay Ivey’s plan to lease three privately-owned prisons missed a major financial deadline this week.

Gov. Kay Ivey Launches Reelection Campaign for 2022 Gubernatorial Race
2021-06-02 11:42:25

In a campaign video, Ivey, 76, noted the state's economic growth, low unemployment and critical improvements in education and to the state’s infrastructure.

City of Birmingham Employees Could Receive One-Time Premium Pay
2021-06-01 15:17:38

Birmingham’s 3,500 city employees could see extra “premium pay” later this month. The city council approved the one-time payments as a “thank you” for their work during the coronavirus pandemic.

Birmingham Seeks Dollars For Its Entertainment Venues
2021-05-25 10:21:13

The city will seek federal funding for Boutwell Auditorium, Sloss Historic Landmark Furnace, the Southern Museum of Flight, Birmingham Botanical Gardens and Arlington Historic House.

JeffCo Commissioners Look Forward To Dropping Social Distance At Meetings
2021-05-21 13:48:32

Restrictions prompted by Gov. Kay Ivey's coronavirus public health orders will expire at the end of the month.

Woodfin Presents $455 Million Proposed Operating Budget
2021-05-18 14:47:30

Employee pay raises and restored funding to agencies around the city are among the highlights of the proposed fiscal 2022 plan.

Legislative Wrap-Up: What Died And What Passed On The Final Day
2021-05-18 11:34:56

Many bills made it out before Monday's deadline. But the lawmakers also expect a special session later this year.

Alabama Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Legislation
2021-05-18 08:45:05

Lawmakers had a change of heart after decades of debate on the issue.

Woodfin Won’t Resign In Controversy Over Police Shooting
2021-05-11 14:04:24

The Birmingham chapter of Black Lives Matter has called for the resignation of Mayor Randall Woodfin and Police Chief Patrick D. Smith following the fatal police shooting of an armed Black man.

Governor Shuts Down Extra Help For The Unemployed, Says Workers Needed To Invigorate The Economy
2021-05-10 09:35:26

Alabama will stop participating in all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs beginning June 19. Gov. Kay Ivey says she made the decision because of the increasing difficulty of business owners and employers to find workers to fill jobs.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Medical Marijuana And Yoga Bills Pass, Gambling Bill Stalls
2021-05-07 10:53:44

A medical marijuana bill goes to the governor. Meanwhile a gambling bill looks unlikely to pass this session.

Alabama Legislature Drops Resistance, OKs Medical Marijuana
2021-05-06 23:21:04

The bill faced strong resistance among House lawmakers.

Birmingham City Council Approves Incentives For HBCU Classic At Legion Field
2021-05-04 07:47:09

Legion Field is adding another HBCU football classic to its schedule.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Updated Sex Ed Language, DA's Fight Medical Marijuana Bill
2021-04-29 22:09:00

Alabama lawmakers have been more receptive to bills that ease restrictions on alcohol this year. Senators approved a wine delivery bill this week without much debate.

Analysis: President Biden Addresses Congress
2021-04-28 14:51:17

Alabama Avoids Loss Of Congressional Seat With Slight Population Gain
2021-04-27 12:48:23

Alabama avoided the loss of a congressional seat as its population grew from 4.8 million in 2010 to 5.03 million last year, according to figures released Monday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

A Decade Later, Tuscaloosa Continues Rebuilding From Deadly EF-4 Tornado
2021-04-27 10:19:40

Of the 62 tornadoes that struck Alabama on April 27, 2011, the largest twister hit Tuscaloosa, killing 53 people and destroying more than 5,000 homes and businesses. A decade later, much of the city has redeveloped, but communities are still recovering.

Local, Federal Officials Launch Partnership To Reduce Gun Violence In Birmingham
2021-04-23 15:16:23

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin launched a partnership with federal and local law enforcement agencies to impose stiff penalties for people who have unauthorized guns.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Racial Profiling, Voting, Vaccine Passport Bills Considered
2021-04-23 11:32:46

A bill to ban racial profiling has failed to win support for almost a decade, but it was one of many measures debated this week in the Alabama Legislature.

Erasing The Stain: 15,000 Pardoned Of Marijuana Possession Convictions
2021-04-20 16:49:25

Mayor Randall Woodfin plans to pardon more than 15,000 Birmingham residents convicted of marijuana possession.

Jefferson County Nears Deal For New Humane Society
2021-04-20 16:35:16

The plan is for Jefferson County to purchase lots one and two of the property, which would remain under county ownership. The Greater Birmingham Humane Society would purchase lot three and build an animal hospital and adoption control facility there.

Financial Controversy Over Two Prison Contracts Gives Bibb Opponents Hope
2021-04-20 12:24:57

Major banks have backed off of financing two of the three proposed new prisons in Alabama. The banks’ sudden resignation as lead underwriters for the bond sale is considered highly unusual.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Senate Moves To Nullify Federal Gun Control, Passes Gambling Bill
2021-04-16 09:53:08

Alabama is one of several conservative states where lawmakers are considering a measure making it a crime to enforce federal gun regulations.

Redevelopment Of Southtown As Mixed-Use Property To Begin In June
2021-04-13 14:27:26

The redevelopment plans have been several years in the making.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Medical Marijuana, Yoga Bills Gain Traction
2021-04-09 09:17:46

The push to legalize medical marijuana is gaining momentum in the Alabama Legislature. The bill would allow people with certain conditions to buy medical marijuana with a doctor’s approval. We have more in our weekly legislative wrap-up.

Birmingham Getting $5 Million To Battle Homelessness
2021-04-08 15:48:56

The funding will come through HUD’s Home Investment Partnerships Program and is intended to help cities create affordable and supportive housing and services for people experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Secretary of State John Merrill Won’t Run For Office Next Year, Acknowledges Affair
2021-04-08 12:32:01

Merrill was expected to announce a run for U.S. Senate in 2022.

Gov. Kay Ivey Announces 'Safer Apart' Order As Mask Mandate Ends
2021-04-07 15:03:09

Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday issued a proclamation transitioning the state from an amended Safer at Home Order to a new Safer Apart Order.

Alabama Expands COVID Vaccine Eligibility To Those 16 And Older
2021-04-02 11:48:07

That means a total of about four million Alabamians will be eligible starting Monday.

Legislative Wrap-Up: Bills on Habitual Offenders, Trans Athletes, Public Records Advance
2021-04-02 11:40:13

Alabama's prisons are severely overcrowded. Some state lawmakers say repealing a law that stiffens punishment for repeat offenders would help alleviate that.

Economy

Shipt Founder, Bill Smith, Brings His Latest Startup To Birmingham
2021-06-14 10:01:27

Landing, an apartment rental company, will relocate it headquarters to Birmingham, creating more than 800 new jobs.

Alabama Coal Workers Strike For Better Wages, Fair Treatment
2021-06-07 10:17:32

The strike has gone on for more than two months with no resolution in sight.

How One Utility In The Mississippi Delta Is Using Teamwork To Keep Faucets Flowing
2021-05-26 14:31:17

Water providers in some rural communities across the region often fail to deliver clean and reliable water. Black Bayou Water Association is addressing that issue by connecting small utilities.

Will The Gulf Coast Amtrak Line Ever Leave The Station?
2021-05-12 11:27:22

Plans for a passenger line connecting New Orleans with Mobile are underway, but opposition from the freight train industry could derail the service – and possibly President Joe Biden’s vision for an Amtrak resurgence.

Hack Exposes Vulnerability Of America’s Energy Supply Lines
2021-05-10 10:48:48

Colonial Pipeline shut down its 5,500-mile pipeline on Friday after a ransomware attack. The pipeline made news back in 2016 after a gasoline spill in Shelby County. Some say it takes major events to bring attention to the pipeline's vulnerabilities.

Governor Shuts Down Extra Help For The Unemployed, Says Workers Needed To Invigorate The Economy
2021-05-10 09:35:26

Alabama will stop participating in all federally funded pandemic unemployment compensation programs beginning June 19. Gov. Kay Ivey says she made the decision because of the increasing difficulty of business owners and employers to find workers to fill jobs.

Big Union Loss At Amazon Warehouse Casts Shadow Over Labor Movement
2021-04-16 15:28:20

Last week's overwhelming vote against forming a union at Amazon's Bessemer warehouse was the latest in a string of disappointments for labor unions. Now Amazon employees and union backers are trying to find a way forward.

Alabama Amazon Workers Reject Union, But Organizers Say The Fight Isn't Over
2021-04-09 10:29:53

The union accused Amazon of illegal anti-union tactics and will challenge the results.

Why Alabama Lawmakers Just Won’t Give Up The Grocery Tax
2021-04-07 17:03:04

Politicians across the aisle agree that grocery taxes harm low-income families. And yet the tax remains untouched.

Health Care

UAB And JeffCo Officials Plan Hospital-Based Intervention Program For Gunshot Survivors
2021-06-30 05:00:00

Trauma doctors in Birmingham are treating a record number of patients with gunshot wounds. Health officials hope a violence intervention program could help reverse the trend.

Lagging Vaccination Rates, Rising Delta Strain: How Gulf States Are Handling Latest COVID Concerns
2021-06-24 06:22:51

With the lowest vaccination rates in the county, many people in the Deep South remain at risk.

Second Gentlemen Doug Emhoff Visits Birmingham To Encourage COVID-19 Vaccines
2021-06-17 21:11:16

Roughly 30% of Alabamians are fully vaccinated.

Controversial New Alzheimer’s Drug Approved Despite Reservations
2021-06-08 13:00:04

The drug, aducanumab, is expected to help slow the progression of the disease, but not to improve current memory impairments, according to a release from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Why Alabama's Declining Vaccination Rate Could Spell An 'Uncomfortable Summer'
2021-06-07 16:18:12

Close to 70% of Alabamians are still not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, but many people have stopped wearing masks and returned to normal activities.

Five Things You Need To Know About Alabama's New Medical Marijuana Law
2021-06-03 15:26:45

Alabama's new medical marijuana law is more than 100-pages long. We did the hard work and pulled out the highlights that may impact you.

Indian Immigrants in Mississippi ‘Frustrated’ As Loved Ones Suffer In COVID-19 Surge Abroad
2021-06-02 11:08:25

Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama have the lowest vaccination rates in the U.S. and doses are going to waste. Other countries, such as India, are still struggling with high deaths and low vaccine supply.

Low Likelihood of Matched Bone Marrow Donors Amongst African Americans
2021-05-25 08:49:16

When patients with certain blood cancers are looking for a cure, their options begin with finding a bone marrow match. But for African Americans, bone marrow matches are much harder to find.

COVID Hospitalizations Among Elderly Now Fewer Than Young Adults
2021-05-20 12:51:19

Vaccine rates statewide have fallen significantly over the past six weeks. Public health leaders are grappling with how to encourage more people to get vaccinated.

UAB Closes Three COVID-19 Mass Vaccination Sites While Alabama's Vaccination Rate Remains Below 50%
2021-05-14 15:48:52

UAB announced this week it's closing the majority of its public COVID-19 vaccination sites because of a decline in participation. Meanwhile, Alabama remains at the bottom nationally for the number of adults that have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Using Pastors And Pints, Gulf States Try To Boost COVID Vaccination Rates In White Communities
2021-05-13 12:50:14

Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama have the lowest vaccination rates nationally, according to data from the Kaiser Family Foundation. Health officials are considering creative incentives to get the numbers up from church events to possible beer giveaways.

As Demand Drops, Health Officials Look For Ways To Encourage Vaccinations
2021-05-13 11:57:51

Health officials say at first they were focused on vaccinating elderly and at-risk people in Alabama. Now the focus is shifting to people who are skeptical or apathetic about the vaccine.

Starting Thursday, UAB To Offer Pfizer Vaccine To Adolescents
2021-05-11 17:49:03

The Pfizer COVID-19 shot was found to be 100% effective in preventing disease among children aged 12 to 15 years old.

Fentanyl Overdose Deaths Increase 100% In Jefferson County
2021-05-04 19:12:41

The powerful synthetic opioid is now being mixed with drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine, leading to more overdose deaths.

Retiring Children's Of Alabama CEO Expects Medicaid To Face Budget Pressure Again
2021-05-03 13:48:12

CEO Mike Warren said he thought he could fix Medicaid, but he was naive.

Alabama Health Officials: 'Plenty' Of COVID-19 Vaccines
2021-04-30 12:41:46

While about 30% of Alabamians have received at least one shot of a COVID vaccine, officials said demand has declined in recent weeks, leaving thousands of unused doses sitting on shelves.

Past And Present Collide As Community Health Centers Strive To Close Rural Care Gaps In The Pandemic
2021-04-19 14:10:40

Many rural health leaders believe community health centers, which were born in the 60s to reach low-income communities of color, were a missing piece in achieving equity in the vaccine rollout.

UAB Health System CEO: 'It really was that bleak.'
2021-04-14 07:46:18

CEO Will Ferniany will end his health care career having led the organization through the coronavirus pandemic. He plans to retire later this year.

Alabama Pauses Distribution Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
2021-04-13 12:31:07

Alabama is one of several states halting distribution of the vaccine as federal health officials examine links to adverse health effects.

Businesses React To Birmingham's New Mask Order
2021-04-06 17:20:35

A local ordinance replaces the statewide mask order expiring April 9. Some say the move is necessary, but others call it an "undue burden."

Education

School Is Still In Session In This Louisiana Parish. How Is The 'Balance Of Instruction’ Going?
2021-06-22 09:57:22

Red River Parish Public Schools is the first district in Louisiana to throw out the traditional school calendar. The goal for school leaders is to provide more instruction and support throughout the year, but some parents say students are burnt out.

Children’s Well-Being In Alabama Improves, But Still Lags Behind The Country
2021-06-21 13:57:09

Alabama's children are graduating on time and more children have health insurance. But the state still falls behind the rest of the country in overall well-being for children.

Second Gentlemen Doug Emhoff Visits Birmingham To Encourage COVID-19 Vaccines
2021-06-17 21:11:16

Roughly 30% of Alabamians are fully vaccinated.

Birmingham Schools Will Vaccinate Students And Their Families
2021-05-28 14:16:57

Birmingham City Schools and Alabama Regional Medical Services will be giving COVID-19 vaccinations to city school students and their parents over the summer in an effort to make schools and their communities safer when they reopen in the fall.

Birmingham Promise Gets $8 Million Boost From Private Companies
2021-05-25 16:58:40

The Birmingham Promise Initiative has raked in $8 million in additional donations. The education scholarship offers graduates of Birmingham City Schools free college tuition, apprenticeships and paid internships.

Science and Technology

James Spann: April 27, 2011 Tornado Outbreak Will Remain 'Part Of My Soul'
2021-04-23 17:57:54

The loss of life from the once-in-generation storm still weighs on the iconic TV meteorologist.

Arts and Culture

Five Ways Birmingham Is Celebrating Its 150th Birthday
2021-06-14 16:49:03

Mayor Randall Woodfin and the CEO of Vulcan Park and Museum announced this week a series of events to celebrate Birmingham’s 150 anniversary.

Birmingham Council OKs Law To Allow Museum To Return Native American Art
2021-06-08 15:55:34

The Birmingham Museum of Art will soon return several works of art to two Native American tribes that have requested them back.

New Orleans’ Return To Cultural Parades Is A Step Toward Healing In The South
2021-05-06 09:43:30

In April, Mardi Gras Indians held a funeral and parade for one of their own – one of a few large cultural events to occur since the pandemic started and most large events in the region were canceled.

Remembering the April 27, 2011 Tornadoes From Those Who Lived It
2021-04-27 11:50:10

Three people recount their memories of that devastating day.

Environment

Religion

Crime

Birmingham Residents Offer Solutions To Gun Violence But Some Victims Feel Hopeless
2021-06-28 16:58:06

Birmingham residents are concerned about the city's gun violence. Local activists say reducing shootings has to be a community effort, with local government support. But some victims say there’s not much authorities can do.

How Birmingham’s Police Chief Plans To Slow The City’s Homicide Rate
2021-06-28 05:00:00

Birmingham finished 2020 with a 25-year high in homicides. This year shows no sign of that slowing. WBHM talked with the city's police chief about how he plans to respond.

Mayor Woodfin Seeks Community Help To Find Shooters Of Children
2021-06-23 08:42:12

Five children have been killed or injured by gun violence in Birmingham this year, and city leaders are pleading for witnesses to come forward.

Race and Culture

In The Birthplace Of The Civil Rights Movement, What Changed In The Year Since George Floyd’s Murder?
2021-05-28 15:20:29

The death of George Floyd at the hands of law enforcement sparked police reform efforts and organizing all over the country. But in the birthplace of the civil rights movement, there hasn’t been as much action.

Birmingham Activists Remember George Floyd One Year After His Death
2021-05-26 11:36:15

Those who gathered at a vigil Tuesday evening remembered Floyd and other Black people who died at the hands of police. They also called for police reform.

Low Likelihood of Matched Bone Marrow Donors Amongst African Americans
2021-05-25 08:49:16

When patients with certain blood cancers are looking for a cure, their options begin with finding a bone marrow match. But for African Americans, bone marrow matches are much harder to find.

'When Buses Were A-Comin': Remembering The Freedom Riders 60 Years On
2021-05-13 15:29:49

A group of young civil rights activists began their journey to the South to challenge segregation on interstate buses in May 1961. The riders were taunted and beaten by white mobs – and jailed. Participants of the movement share what their fight means now.

Weather

The Tornado Outbreak Of April 27, 2011: Are We Better Prepared Now?
2021-04-27 14:29:12

It's been roughly a decade since April 27, 2011, a day that marked U.S. weather history. Some of the tornadoes that day tracked more than 80 miles long, bringing wind speeds up to 210 mph in some areas. The storm killed about 250 people in Alabama, alone.

Survivors Continue To Cope 10 Years After Historic Tornado Outbreak
2021-04-26 08:27:17

The powerful tornadoes that hit Alabama 10 years ago killed hundreds and left behind significant destruction. With trauma, time doesn’t always heal. Some of the survivors continue to show the scars.

How To Prepare For A Tornado
2021-04-10 17:14:11

Maybe you've weathered multiple storms or perhaps it's your first season. Either way, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest on how to prepare. We've got you covered with this guide.