Issues/Program Report 3rd Quarter 2020
October 1, 2020
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 between July 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020. The list includes the following issues:
Republican party leaders say Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones is making Alabama look weak by refusing to meet with Supreme Court nominee Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
The Birmingham City Council approved Mayor Randall Woodfin’s proposed 2021 city budget this week. The $412 million budget includes nearly 250 indefinite furloughs with more than half coming from the city’s library system.
Democratic U.S. Sen. Doug Jones won a special election in deeply conservative Alabama in 2017. He maintains he can do it again in November.
Alabama's mask mandate will remain in place through Nov. 8.
The death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has brought about concerns over reproductive rights. Some worry that if President Trump's Supreme Court Justice nominee is approved that access to abortion will grow even narrower, especially in the south.
Want to cast your ballot by mail in Alabama? Here's a guide.
Protesters gathered outside Birmingham City Hall on Tuesday morning, but they weren’t allowed to speak at the City Council meeting going on three stories above them.
Debate over the future of the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's seat is the latest political clash. The divide is reflected in Alabama too.
One person died from the storm as forecasters warn rivers will remain flooded into the weekend.
A proposal to close 12 of Birmingham's recreation centers is facing pushback by city council members.
A proposed budget for the city of Birmingham wants to cut funding to the Birmingham Public Library for the third time.
Voters return to the polls next month for municipal runoffs around Jefferson County.
Jefferson County commissioners are set Thursday to consider a budget that would include $1.485 million for a one-time longevity payment to each county employee.
State officials announced the latest development in their plan to replace most existing male prisons with three regional prisons.
Jefferson County's attorney filed a motion yesterday asking that the county be removed from its consent decree.
State officials caution the downward trend in coronavirus infections might reverse itself if the mask order is lifted.
The city and the library board are at odds over whether the mayor has the right to furlough hundreds of employees.
Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato easily defeated his challenger in Tuesday's election, City Council President Gene Smith.
The Birmingham Public Library is among several organizations slated to take a significant financial hit next fiscal year under Mayor Randall Woodfin's proposed budget.
Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox announced Monday a prohibition on alcohol sales and the closure of all bars for the next 14 days.
Voters will head to the polls Tuesday, Aug. 25, to determine the outcome of multiple municipal elections.
Time is running out on the census and Alabama is below the average among states for people who have filled out their forms.
Tensions were high at the county commission meeting this week after Commission President Jimmie Stephens said he felt he was being disrespected by President Pro Tem Lashunda Scales.
The city of Birmingham faces a $63 million shortfall in business tax revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Birmingham officials approved outdoor seating for restaurants in hopes of giving them an economic boost during the pandemic.
The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has been closed since March because of the pandemic causing a lack of revenue. Now it's receiving $250,000 in emergency funding from the city of Birmingham.
Face masks will be required in schools and colleges for anyone in second grade and above. The requirement, along with the statewide mask ordinance and Safer at Home order, are now set to expire August 31 at 5 p.m.
In one case, a lieutenant slammed a handcuffed prisoner on a concrete floor several times, knocking him unconscious and leaving him unable to breathe. He required hospitalization.
Demand for absentee ballots is expected to surge because of the pandemic. Secretary of State John Merrill is confident election officials can handle the increase.
The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to fund the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority through the end of 2020.
A recent investigation by Reuters also finds Alabama's system for tackling judicial misconduct makes it harder to discipline judges than in most other states.
Democrat U.S. Sen. Doug Jones is heading into the November election with more cash on hand than competitor Tommy Tuberville, according to reports the candidates filed Wednesday with the Federal Elections Commission.
The race for U.S. Senate is set between incumbent Democrat Doug Jones and Republican challenger Tommy Tuberville. Jones believes he can win despite Alabama's conservative leanings.
Beginning Thursday, face coverings will be required in public spaces throughout Alabama. Gov. Kay Ivey issued the order Wednesday, citing recent spikes in COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations.
Tommy Tuberville defeated Jeff Sessions to win the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Tuesday's runoff election. Here's a recap of the race and a look at what to expect in the months ahead.
Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions lost the Republican nomination for his old Senate seat in Alabama to former college football coach Tommy Tuberville.
Mayor Randall Woodfin says there is still room for improvement in the Birmingham Police Department. This comes after a 30 day internal review.
Unemployment skyrocketed in Alabama and the economy sputtered after shutdowns prompted by the coronavirus pandemic. Still Alabama’s two budgets are on reasonably good footing.
A new report details barriers and inconsistencies around voting that significantly limit access to the ballot box for Alabama's poor, rural, and minority voters.
U.S. Attorney Jay Town is resigning from his position with the U.S. Department of Justice after nearly three years on the job.
Alabama's Senate primary runoff is July 14. Check out these candidate profiles and what's on the ballot.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday halted plans to provide curbside voting in the July 14 primary runoff and to ease ID requirements to vote by absentee ballot.
Some restaurants in Birmingham are working to regain a loss in revenue after forced closures during the pandemic. Meanwhile, other restaurants like Babalu and Lucy's Coffee & Tea weren't so lucky - closing their doors indefinitely.
One economist says the country's deficit isn't as important as surviving the pandemic. He's advocating for renewed extra unemployment checks, injection $1 trillion a month into the country's budget and issuing another round of stimulus checks to working Americans.
The company building a seven-story student housing development near UAB received permission from the city this week to forgo some property and sale taxes for the project. The county is now set to hear a similar request later this week.
None of the Black-owned businesses in 4th Avenue and Civil Rights commercial districts have gone out of business because of the pandemic.
As Congress debates another stimulus package, many Alabama residents will now see their weekly unemployment checks drop to less than $300.
Kenneth Coleman starts Monday as the new president and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance.
Hershell Moon came from a big family and served in the Vietnam War. He was incarcerated at St. Clair prison when he died from COVID-19 in June.
In the fight against COVID-19, Alabama hospitals say one of their biggest concerns is a shortage of nurses. Many are turning to travel nurse companies to meet demand.
The number of people hospitalized in Alabama for COVID-19 has dropped to less than half the peak figure of more than a month ago.
The director of infectious diseases at the University of Alabama at Birmingham said vaccines in phase three clinical trials have been fast-tracked and not much is known about the long term effects or success rates.
GuideSafe plans to roll out the next phases of testing at Alabama higher education institutions.
This Alabama woman struggled with mental illness and found solace in French. She recently recounted her story in an award-winning essay.
Recent coronavirus numbers reflect a downward trend in the rate of infections over the past month.
All Alabama residents can now use the phone app GuideSafe, which anonymously tracks COVID-19 exposure.
Preliminary numbers from a program to test college students returning to campus indicate a low positivity rate. The program has tested about 30,000 students so far.
Federal aid for nursing homes comes as older adults comprise the largest share of COVID deaths in Alabama amid dwindling supplies.
The interim chair of UAB’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology debunked a number of COVID pregnancy myths.
Alabama health experts and university leaders launched a statewide campus re-entry initiative to test and monitor the spread of COVID-19 on college campuses.
Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson says COVID-19 is putting a strain on every part of the public health system.
Suspected drug overdoses have increased significantly in recent months across Alabama. Experts say the uptick is related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
The Jefferson County Health Department is using food inspectors to monitor restaurant and bars’ adherence to COVID-19 orders, and they can immediately close establishments that do not comply.
The former head of the Alabama Hospital Association says the state can slow the spread of COVID-19 if people wear masks and socially distance.
In recent weeks, the number of state inmates who have died from COVID-19 has more than doubled, with two more deaths announced Monday. Last week, ADOC officials announced plans to expand testing among the inmate population.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says states that are seeing an outbreak of the virus should mandate masks and close bars.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham is creating a specialized skilled nursing facility for some COVID-19 patients in Jefferson County. Alabama's nursing homes have seen an influx of coronavirus cases since the pandemic began in late March.
The city of Birmingham's proposed 2021 budget has faced criticism for funding cuts including those for the city's school system, libraries and social services.
The Birmingham Board of Education voted Monday to make Mark Sullivan the superintendent of the school district.
As the pandemic spreads on college campuses, many schools are increasingly relying on virtual instruction. That's expected to bring a host of technical troubles.
Childersburg High School's principal has gone viral for his parody of MC Hammer's "U Can't Touch This." Quentin Lee said the video was simply a fun way to welcome students back amid the pandemic.
For more than 96,000 students with special needs across Alabama, the loss of in-person services could mean a decline in learning, communication or functional skills. It also takes a toll on family members.
The Jefferson County Board of Education voted Tuesday to begin the 2020-2021 school year with nine weeks of online education only and no option for traditional classroom learning.
Jefferson County's health officer issued strict guidelines about how schools should operate this fall. It's up to schools whether to adopt those recommendations.
Parents can choose between traditional in-person classes, remote learning with Jefferson County teachers, or virtual learning with outsourced teachers.
Recommendations around high school sports this fall largely mirror public health guidelines, but the Alabama High School Athletic Association leaves the details to schools.
BCS joins a growing list of school districts, including Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Huntsville, that will begin the school year with remote learning only.
The Birmingham Board of Education is considering four possibilities to begin the academic school year: remote learning, a hybrid model, traditional school and a virtual school option for the first nine weeks. A final decision will be made July 31.
Selma City Schools is the first district in the state to announce they’ll be completely virtual to start the academic year. Superintendent Avis Williams said the decision was based on coronavirus numbers plus concerns from teachers and parents.
Samford University is predominantly white. Now Black students are pushing for changes to procedures and culture to treat them more fairly and make the campus more multicultural.
Science and Technology
Arts and Culture
Demonstrators gathered outside Birmingham's city hall Tuesday night, just hours before council members approved a budget that furloughs more than 150 library employees.
The podcast "How I Built This" follows entrepreneurs' ups and downs. In his new book, Guy Raz shares what he's gleaned from inspiring company founders and reflects on his own life.
Several Alabama poets share their experiences and works inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.
Fred Bischoff worked hard and played hard. The devoted family man a died in June from COVID-19.
The Jasper Mall takes the spotlight in a documentary playing at the Sidewalk Film Festival later this month.
At a nursing home in Marion, Alabama, one employee uses her voice to help lift morale among residents and staff during the pandemic.
The annual event will move from its home in downtown Birmingham to a drive-in theater in Leeds.
The SEC is delaying the start of its football season and taking extra precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic.
We don’t often turn the spotlight on ourselves, but the last four months at WBHM have been unlike any other time in the station’s history thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. In advance of WBHM's one-day fund drive, we hear from station's executive director Chuck Holmes on how COVID-19 has affected WBHM.
Solar power users in Alabama will see a new fee after a vote by the Alabama Public Service Commission this morning.
The "Right to Breathe Caravan" toured several north Birmingham neighborhoods Saturday, calling for environmental and racial justice in communities that have faced decades of industrial pollution.
Race and Culture
There's another effort to remove the Rebel name from Vestavia Hills High School but leaders say the name has a new meaning.
Months after the police killing of George Floyd, activists in Alabama continue to protest. One group is focusing its efforts on the city of Hoover.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has found that racial discrimination against Black children and youth can affect their health.
Ronit Elk led the study for the new protocol, after noticing the lack of respect for cultural differences for the nation’s sickest minority patients.
Its World Emoji Day, a day to celebrate those little characters that help us express ourselves online. Emojis have come a long way, but how inclusive are they?
The civil unrest in America today looks a lot like protests held in the 60s, when Black Americans fought for equal rights. Foot Soldiers of that time say it's the same fight but they're hopeful change will come.
"It’s really, really bad. I think that I only saw two piers that were still standing. The rest are just sticks in the water," said Gov. Ivey.
Dauphin Island was hard hit by Hurricane Sally causing flooding on the already nearly two mile wide island. But the effects of climate change on the island have been taking place for years.
Hurricane Sally made landfall early Wednesday morning near Gulf Shores as a Category 2 storm. It brought 105 mph winds, life-threatening flooding, storm surge and power outages.
Gov. Kay Ivey is urging anyone south of Interstate 10 to evacuate immediately as the Alabama coast prepares for landfall of Hurricane Sally.