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:


State Republicans Criticize Doug Jones For Opposing Supreme Court Nominee
2020-09-30 15:39:31

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.

Birmingham Passes “Phantom” Budget, Unchanged From Woodfin’s Proposal
2020-09-30 14:58:00

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.

Jones Hopes To Defy Political Odds Again
2020-09-30 13:46:17

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.

Gov. Ivey Extends COVID-19 Mask Order
2020-09-30 13:39:19

Alabama's mask mandate will remain in place through Nov. 8.

Live Updates: 1st Presidential Debate Between Trump And Biden
2020-09-29 11:00:00

'The Whole South Goes Dark': What Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s Death Could Mean For Abortion Access
2020-09-25 11:57:36

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.

Everything You Need To Know To Vote Absentee In Alabama
2020-09-25 11:08:55

Want to cast your ballot by mail in Alabama? Here's a guide.

Protesters Not Allowed Into Birmingham Council Meeting To Speak On Drastic Cuts To The Library Budget
2020-09-23 11:14:57

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.

Doug Jones: Supreme Court Nomination Is 'A Political Power Play'
2020-09-22 11:20:10

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.

Officials Urge Residents to Stay Away As Hurricane Sally Cleanup Begins
2020-09-17 12:44:31

One person died from the storm as forecasters warn rivers will remain flooded into the weekend.

Birmingham City Council Seeks Halt To Closing Of Recreation Centers
2020-09-16 21:07:41

A proposal to close 12 of Birmingham's recreation centers is facing pushback by city council members.

Woodfin’s Constantly Changing Budget Leaves Library Board, City Council to Wonder: “What the Heck Is Going On?”
2020-09-16 20:33:57

A proposed budget for the city of Birmingham wants to cut funding to the Birmingham Public Library for the third time.

Three Jeffco Cities Pick Mayors as Six Municipalities Hold Runoffs on Oct. 6
2020-09-16 14:26:35

Voters return to the polls next month for municipal runoffs around Jefferson County.

JeffCo Commissioners Discuss $199 Million Budget With One-Time Longevity Bonuses For County Employees
2020-09-09 12:50:00

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.

Alabama's New Prisons Planned For Bibb, Elmore and Escambia Counties
2020-09-03 12:11:53

State officials announced the latest development in their plan to replace most existing male prisons with three regional prisons.

Jefferson County Bids for Release From HR Consent Decree
2020-09-02 16:19:32

Jefferson County's attorney filed a motion yesterday asking that the county be removed from its consent decree.

Fact Check: Trump's RNC Speech
2020-08-27 20:30:00

Ivey Extends Face Mask Order Through Oct. 2
2020-08-27 11:49:47

State officials caution the downward trend in coronavirus infections might reverse itself if the mask order is lifted.

City Notifies Birmingham Library Employees Of Furloughs; Library Board President Contests City Authority
2020-08-27 11:10:24

The city and the library board are at odds over whether the mayor has the right to furlough hundreds of employees.

RNC Live Coverage: Wednesday, August 26
2020-08-26 14:01:00

Brocato Claims Second Term As Hoover Mayor As Jeffco Cities Elect Leaders
2020-08-25 23:25:59

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato easily defeated his challenger in Tuesday's election, City Council President Gene Smith.

Budget Blows To Birmingham Schools and Transit Cushioned, Other Groups Not As Lucky
2020-08-25 19:09:27

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.

RNC Live Coverage: Tuesday, August 25
2020-08-25 15:00:00

Tuscaloosa To Close All Bars And Prohibit Alcohol Sales
2020-08-24 12:28:33

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox announced Monday a prohibition on alcohol sales and the closure of all bars for the next 14 days.

RNC Live Coverage: Monday, August 24
2020-08-24 12:00:00

Voters In Several Jefferson County Municipalities Choose Mayors, Council Members On Aug. 25
2020-08-24 10:08:22

Voters will head to the polls Tuesday, Aug. 25, to determine the outcome of multiple municipal elections.

Alabama's Census Leader Hopes For A "Second Wind" To Boost Census Participation
2020-08-24 05:00:32

Time is running out on the census and Alabama is below the average among states for people who have filled out their forms.

Fact Check: Biden's DNC Speech
2020-08-20 19:00:09

DNC Live Coverage: Thursday, August 20
2020-08-20 18:15:00

Accounting Contract Leads To Squabble On The Jefferson County Commission
2020-08-20 13:11:53

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.

DNC Live Coverage: Wednesday, August 19
2020-08-19 13:15:17

Woodfin’s Budget Features Pay Cuts, Furloughs And Funding Reductions
2020-08-18 20:45:50

The city of Birmingham faces a $63 million shortfall in business tax revenue because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

DNC Live Coverage: Tuesday, August 18
2020-08-18 10:09:00

DNC Live Coverage: Monday, August 17
2020-08-17 13:40:14

Birmingham Council OKs Al Fresco Dining as 'Hail Mary' for Restaurants
2020-08-11 15:54:17

Birmingham officials approved outdoor seating for restaurants in hopes of giving them an economic boost during the pandemic.

BCRI Gets Emergency Funding From City Of Birmingham
2020-07-30 19:25:45

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.

Gov. Ivey Requires Face Masks In Schools, Extends Statewide Ordinance
2020-07-29 11:01:59

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.

DOJ Finds Excessive Use of Force In Alabama's Male Prisons
2020-07-23 15:34:47

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.

Alabama Secretary Of State: There Will Be No Delay In Reporting November Election Results
2020-07-22 11:27:58

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.

Birmingham Council OKs Partial Transit Funding Under Protest From Hoyt
2020-07-22 10:20:03

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to fund the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority through the end of 2020.

Investigation Finds Most Judges Who Break Laws Or Ethics Rules Don't Lose Their Jobs
2020-07-20 13:07:38

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.

Jones Starts Last Leg Of Campaign With Almost 16 Times As Much Money As Tuberville
2020-07-16 13:57:37

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.

Jones Expects Competitive Senate Race With Tuberville
2020-07-15 12:58:28

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.

Gov. Ivey Issues Statewide Mask Order
2020-07-15 12:24:33

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.

Analysis: Trump's Endorsement Helped Tuberville Win Amid Low Turnout
2020-07-15 12:10:27

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.

Tuberville Beats Sessions, Wins Alabama Senate GOP Primary
2020-07-14 20:29:44

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.

First Police Review Finds BPD Is “Doing Pretty Good,” Woodfin Says, Ends With Explicit Ban On Chokeholds
2020-07-14 12:27:00

Mayor Randall Woodfin says there is still room for improvement in the Birmingham Police Department. This comes after a 30 day internal review.

Alabama's Budgets In Good Shape Despite Economic Hit From The Pandemic
2020-07-14 12:26:32

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.

Report: Complicated Alabama Voting Rules Restrict Access To The Polls
2020-07-14 10:30:05

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.

Jay Town Resigns As U.S. Attorney Of The Northern District Of Alabama
2020-07-10 16:00:30

U.S. Attorney Jay Town is resigning from his position with the U.S. Department of Justice after nearly three years on the job.

2020 Primary Runoff Voter Guide: Your Source Of Information For The July 14 Election
2020-07-06 10:35:43

Alabama's Senate primary runoff is July 14. Check out these candidate profiles and what's on the ballot.

Supreme Court Blocks Curbside Voting, Loosening Of ID Requirements For Absentee Ballots
2020-07-03 15:00:28

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.


Restaurants Are Hardest Hit As Businesses Try To Rebound From Pandemic
2020-08-25 16:47:05

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.

Alabama Is In 'Survival Mode' Says University Of Alabama Economist
2020-08-06 16:18:02

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.

Birmingham Gives Tax Breaks For UAB-Area Student Apartment Project, Commission Expected To Follow Suit
2020-08-05 15:40:20

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.

Business Capital, Knowledge Remains Out Of Reach For Many Minority Entrepreneurs
2020-07-31 13:59:07

None of the Black-owned businesses in 4th Avenue and Civil Rights commercial districts have gone out of business because of the pandemic.

With End Of $600 Unemployment Benefit, Groups Expect Surge In Evictions, Homelessness
2020-07-24 15:00:13

As Congress debates another stimulus package, many Alabama residents will now see their weekly unemployment checks drop to less than $300.

First Black American To Lead Birmingham Business Alliance
2020-07-20 05:00:29

Kenneth Coleman starts Monday as the new president and CEO of the Birmingham Business Alliance.

Health Care

Remembering A Life Lost To COVID-19 Behind Bars
2020-09-23 15:01:18

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.

Alabama's Nursing Shortage Worsens During Pandemic
2020-09-10 16:35:53

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.

Number Of COVID-19 Patients In Alabama Hospitals Falls To Less Than Half Its Peak
2020-09-10 13:21:47

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.

UAB's Director Of Infectious Diseases Warns Caution Around COVID-19 Vaccines In Trial
2020-09-03 17:46:21

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.

Can Alabama College Students Skip The Next Phase Of Coronavirus Testing? Maybe.
2020-08-28 12:45:19

GuideSafe plans to roll out the next phases of testing at Alabama higher education institutions.

After Bipolar Diagnosis, French Became Her 'Asylum From The Madness'
2020-08-24 14:57:02

This Alabama woman struggled with mental illness and found solace in French. She recently recounted her story in an award-winning essay.

COVID-19 Totals Increase By 699 Cases And 29 Deaths In Thursday Report
2020-08-20 12:56:48

Recent coronavirus numbers reflect a downward trend in the rate of infections over the past month.

COVID-19 Tracking App Available To The Public
2020-08-17 16:38:48

All Alabama residents can now use the phone app GuideSafe, which anonymously tracks COVID-19 exposure.

College Entry Testing Shows Less Than 1% Of Students Have COVID-19
2020-08-14 12:26:12

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.

As Nursing Homes’ Stocks Of PPE Get Too Low For Comfort, Ivey Grants Them $50 Million In COVID Aid
2020-08-07 11:40:00

Federal aid for nursing homes comes as older adults comprise the largest share of COVID deaths in Alabama amid dwindling supplies.

Pregnancy During The Pandemic: What You Should Know
2020-08-04 17:52:01

The interim chair of UAB’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology debunked a number of COVID pregnancy myths.

UAB Launches COVID Testing For More Than 200,000 College Students
2020-08-03 15:10:23

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.

JeffCo Health Officer: COVID-19 Straining Entire Public Health System
2020-07-21 18:33:51

Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson says COVID-19 is putting a strain on every part of the public health system.

Drug Overdoses Increase During The Pandemic
2020-07-20 07:56:45

Suspected drug overdoses have increased significantly in recent months across Alabama. Experts say the uptick is related to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

Health Inspectors Are Enforcing Coronavirus Rules, Can Close Jefferson County Restaurants And Bars That Do Not Comply
2020-07-15 12:39:14

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.

Williamson: People’s Actions In The Next Two Weeks Critical To Controlling The Future Of COVID Infections
2020-07-15 12:33:49

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.

As More Inmates Die, Alabama Prisons Expand Testing For COVID-19
2020-07-14 10:31:54

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.

Fauci Says Alabama Still Could Rein In COVID-19, Even As Cases Spread Among Young People
2020-07-08 12:02:55

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.

UAB To Open New Coronavirus Facility For Elderly Patients
2020-07-01 19:53:27

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.


Board Of Education President Criticizes Woodfin’s Plan To Cut Funding For Birmingham Schools
2020-09-01 18:39:50

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.

Birmingham School Board Takes The ‘Interim’ Off Sullivan’s Superintendent Title
2020-09-01 13:03:55

The Birmingham Board of Education voted Monday to make Mark Sullivan the superintendent of the school district.

College Virtual Learning Rife With Technical Challenges
2020-08-24 10:52:03

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 Principal Busts A Move In Back-To-School Parody
2020-08-07 14:46:36

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.

Students With Disabilities Face Significant Challenges As Schools Plan To Reopen
2020-08-05 11:43:50

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.

Jefferson County Schools To Go Virtual-Only For First Nine Weeks; Start Sept. 1
2020-08-04 15:31:10

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.

Health Officer Recommends Virtual Classes For Middle And High Schools, No Contact Sports For Now
2020-07-28 14:51:45

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.

Jefferson County Board Of Education Unanimously Approves 'School Roadmap'
2020-07-23 20:37:54

Parents can choose between traditional in-person classes, remote learning with Jefferson County teachers, or virtual learning with outsourced teachers.

Local Districts Will Decide High School Sports Plans
2020-07-23 17:25:52

Recommendations around high school sports this fall largely mirror public health guidelines, but the Alabama High School Athletic Association leaves the details to schools.

Birmingham City Schools Will Begin The Year Online
2020-07-22 13:46:36

BCS joins a growing list of school districts, including Tuscaloosa, Montgomery and Huntsville, that will begin the school year with remote learning only.

Birmingham Schools Discuss Plans To Reopen Aug. 24
2020-07-18 11:11:06

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 Will Begin The Year With Online Learning
2020-07-16 09:58:35

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.

'Black At Samford' Pushes For Changes In The University’s Culture, Treatment Of Black Students
2020-07-07 17:09:10

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

City Leaders Approve Budget Despite Concerns About Library System
2020-09-30 11:41:38

Demonstrators gathered outside Birmingham's city hall Tuesday night, just hours before council members approved a budget that furloughs more than 150 library employees.

New Book From NPR’s Guy Raz Draws Lessons From Entrepreneurs
2020-09-21 15:08:11

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.

Poets Reflect On Six Months Of Pandemic
2020-09-11 14:38:01

Several Alabama poets share their experiences and works inspired by the coronavirus pandemic.

Remembering An Alabamian Driven To Figure Out How Things Worked
2020-09-04 08:13:20

Fred Bischoff worked hard and played hard. The devoted family man a died in June from COVID-19.

A Year In The Life Of A Dying Alabama Mall
2020-08-18 16:25:30

The Jasper Mall takes the spotlight in a documentary playing at the Sidewalk Film Festival later this month.

Through The Intercom, Nursing Home Employee Sings To Residents
2020-08-13 11:28:47

At a nursing home in Marion, Alabama, one employee uses her voice to help lift morale among residents and staff during the pandemic.

This Year's Sidewalk Film Festival Becomes A Drive-In
2020-08-11 15:17:17

The annual event will move from its home in downtown Birmingham to a drive-in theater in Leeds.

SEC Announces Delayed Start Of 2020 Football Season
2020-07-30 16:31:55

The SEC is delaying the start of its football season and taking extra precautions amid the coronavirus pandemic.

An Update On The Pandemic's Effect On WBHM
2020-07-08 09:43:37

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.


PSC Allows Alabama Power To Raise Fee Charged To Solar Power Users
2020-09-01 18:35:45

Solar power users in Alabama will see a new fee after a vote by the Alabama Public Service Commission this morning.

Advocates Call For Environmental & Racial Justice At North Birmingham Superfund Site
2020-07-11 14:29:44

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

Vestavia Hills Board of Ed. Stands By Rebel Name
2020-09-01 12:17:57

There's another effort to remove the Rebel name from Vestavia Hills High School but leaders say the name has a new meaning.

Activists Make Hoover Their Focal Point For Protests
2020-08-28 08:50:13

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.

Health Care Disparities: Being The Target Of Racism Can Make You Physically Sick, Research Shows
2020-07-23 06:12:58

The American Academy of Pediatrics has found that racial discrimination against Black children and youth can affect their health.

UAB Researchers Create Culturally-Based Protocol For Palliative Care
2020-07-21 10:19:18

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.

Researcher Finds Emojis Still Lack Diversity
2020-07-17 10:48:26

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?

Civil Rights Foot Soldiers Optimistic About Black Lives Matter Movement
2020-07-10 12:22:36

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.


Gov. Kay Ivey Surveys Aftermath of Hurricane Sally
2020-09-18 16:40:18

"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.

Hurricane Sally Affects The Environmentally Fragile Alabama Coastline
2020-09-16 15:34:56

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 Blasts Ashore In Alabama With Punishing Rain
2020-09-16 05:55:49

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.

Hurricane Sally Could Bring Historic Flooding, 80 MPH Winds And Tornadoes
2020-09-15 12:47:59

Gov. Kay Ivey is urging anyone south of Interstate 10 to evacuate immediately as the Alabama coast prepares for landfall of Hurricane Sally.