Issues/Program Report 3rd Quarter 2019

October 1, 2019

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 July 1, 2019 and September 30, 2019. The list includes the following issues:

Government

2019-09-20 09:00:38

Church of the Highlands, Alabama’s biggest megachurch, has expanded into the inner city, leasing space at two Birmingham schools. But there’s been pushback in the community, some of it highlighting a racial divide.

2019-08-28 14:14:42

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin released details Wednesday of a plan to offer Birmingham City Schools graduates the chance to go to a public two or four-year school in Alabama tuition free. This follows a tweet Tuesday evening announcing the program.

2019-09-20 08:06:47

Gov. Kay Ivey says her radiation treatments for lung cancer will not interfere with her job as governor. We talk with an oncologist about the likelihood she could continue with business as usual.

2019-08-28 14:59:54

Jefferson County Commissioners learned during their committee meeting Monday that the county is on the hook for more than $1 million in back payments for Medicare and Medicaid that was overpaid when Cooper Green was a hospital.

2019-08-28 15:11:23

Nearly three dozen people attended a press conference Tuesday at the Adelante Alabama Worker Center to support two of their own who were detained by agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

2019-07-24 12:22:37

The Birmingham City Council passed Mayor Randall Woodfin's fiscal 2020 budget. Woodfin said his proposed $451 million budget was "as lean as they come."

2019-07-02 13:29:07

Marshae Jones was charged with manslaughter in the death of her fetus after being shot in the stomach during a fight. The case has drawn international attention, with people on both sides of the debate over whether a fetus should have the rights of personhood.

2019-07-02 15:11:02

Allegations that children are living in squalid conditions, forced to sleep on concrete floors with limited access to bathrooms and no way to brush their teeth or bathe, have prompted calls for action and pushback from officials with Customs and Border Protection.

2019-08-20 17:00:59

Anniston City Councilwoman Millie Harris says some residents want out of the city because of poor schools, high crime rates, and declining property values.

2019-07-02 18:13:37

Marshae Jones is facing a manslaughter charge for "intentionally causing the death of her fetus."

2019-07-11 16:25:34

The Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to establish a “healthy food overlay district,” designed to make healthy food options more accessible for the approximately two-thirds of the city’s population that lives within food deserts.

2019-07-03 16:10:09

Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington announced Wednesday afternoon that she has dropped the manslaughter case against Marshae Jones, the Alabama woman who was charged in the death of her fetus when she was shot in the stomach during an argument.

2019-09-08 22:27:48

Doug Jones launched his re-election campaign Sunday, challenging voters to look at his record instead of the labels cast on him by his opponents.

2019-07-03 22:18:31

2019-07-03 22:30:53

2019-07-16 20:54:33

Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones raised $1.8 million for his election campaign during the past three months, outpacing the still-forming field of candidates for Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate elections.

2019-09-04 17:14:21

The Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority rejected a proposed budget today that would have increased fares and cut some bus routes.

2019-09-27 11:01:49

It won’t be long before construction starts on the planned Protective Stadium at the BJCC in downtown Birmingham. It’s expected to be finished in 2021. That brings up a big question: what happens to Birmingham’s current stadium, Legion Field?

2019-09-09 11:23:55

Birmingham is one month away from a citywide election that will not only determine the future of funding for city schools but also whether up to one-third of City Council seats change hands.

2019-08-13 11:04:58

It may have been an uneasy quiet for the large number of Hispanics among the 86,000 people employed in the Alabama poultry industry, but it has been quiet here since the 680 workers at Mississippi plants were arrested Wednesday by immigration authorities.

2019-08-10 14:18:41

The Jefferson County Commission recently passed a budget of more than $700 million for fiscal 2020.

2019-08-30 11:28:11

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey apologized Thursday for appearing in blackface in a skit more than 50 years ago while a student at Auburn University. Ivey says she does not remember the incident but does not deny it happened.

2019-07-12 10:52:54

Birmingham has gained attention for its downtown rebirth. But the Birmingham area economy still falls behind similar cities, particularly when it comes to job growth. A partnership announced in December between the city and the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank, aims to boost the Birmingham economy with an eye toward making those gains more equitable.

2019-09-13 12:45:20

U.S. Senator Doug Jones says he is trying to rebuild the Alabama Democratic Party, not destroy it. That’s in response to criticism leveled at him by state party chairwoman Nancy Worley. It’s also the latest turn in a leadership fight that’s embroiled Alabama Democrats.

2019-09-18 18:56:34

The MAX Transit Board approved its $34 million budget Wednesday, including a fare increase and some service cuts.

2019-07-22 15:14:13

Violent crime remains high in Birmingham, particularly among young black men. Now, the city is partnering with several nonprofits to teach skills they hope will prevent conflicts from escalating.

2019-07-31 16:50:09

When prisoners are released, they often face lots of hurdles. They can't find work or housing or health care. Often, they end up back in prison. The Dannon Project recently received a large federal grant that will allow the nonprofit to help more former inmates get on their feet.

2019-08-22 13:55:01

The Birmingham Jefferson Transit Authority (BJCTA) is considering cuts and fare increases to the MAX bus system. Many bus riders around Birmingham say the buses are unreliable and inefficient.

2019-09-05 12:07:51

Gov. Kay Ivey's task force on criminal justice policy convened Wednesday in Montgomery to discuss the state's troubled prison system.

2019-09-24 17:15:08

Birmingham will try a new ridesharing service to offer area residents more public transit options.

2019-08-14 15:40:43

Despite looming service reductions from the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority, District 5 Birmingham City Councilor Darrell O’Quinn emphasized Tuesday that the city has increased its dedication to public transit.

2019-07-01 17:42:33

Lawyers for a Jefferson County woman who was charged last week with manslaughter in the death of her 5-month-old fetus filed a motion to dismiss on Monday.

2019-08-27 17:20:43

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Board received a makeover Tuesday with the City Council’s appointment of a dozen new members and reappointment of five current members.

2019-09-19 17:25:00

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Thursday she has lung cancer. This comes after her doctor found a spot on her lung during a routine visit.

2019-09-12 16:08:24

The Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority recently rejected a proposed budget that would have increased bus fares to $1.50 and cut bus service. Executive Director Frank Martin says riders aren’t paying enough into the system, and neither is the city of Birmingham.

2019-09-10 22:31:26

Acting NOAA Administrator Neil Jacobs said "nobody's job is at risk" after National Weather Service forecasters in Alabama contradicted President Trump's claim last week that the state would be hit hard by Hurricane Dorian.

2019-09-15 18:50:17

Sunday marked the 56th anniversary of the bombing of Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church. Former Vice President Joe Biden spoke at the memorial observance.

2019-08-23 14:45:33

A recent report from the Southern Poverty Law Center says Alabama’s community corrections program unfairly burdens low-include people by charging fees to those under its supervision.

2019-09-06 09:35:51

Sen. Doug Jones told an audience of students from Miles College that when he went to Washington, D.C. he didn’t realize that he was going to be a part of a government that functioned according to what someone says on Twitter — an oblique reference to President Donald Trump’s penchant for tweets that make the nation’s capital go topsy-turvy.

2019-08-15 10:50:24

The Alabama Democratic Party is in the midst of a leadership crisis. The party must approve a new set of bylaws and elect new leaders by Saturday. But many observers say it looks like state Democrats will blow the deadline.

Education

2019-08-28 14:14:42

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin released details Wednesday of a plan to offer Birmingham City Schools graduates the chance to go to a public two or four-year school in Alabama tuition free. This follows a tweet Tuesday evening announcing the program.

2019-07-16 11:32:12

Next month, many area students go back to school. But at Birmingham's Avondale Elementary School, several teachers and students won't be returning after what they say was a chaotic year.

2019-09-23 16:23:39

It was a history-making moment for the Jefferson County Board of Education.

2019-09-09 10:58:24

A new report found students of color and children with disabilities are more likely than others to be arrested by school resource officers in connection with their conduct at school.

2019-07-17 11:46:34

Birmingham school officials say it's unclear how they'll make up a proposed $2 million funding gap from the city, but it won't put a huge burden on the school system.

2019-08-23 14:55:22

The U.S. Department of Education announced a $25 million grant today to support charter schools in Alabama.

Crime

2019-07-02 13:29:07

Marshae Jones was charged with manslaughter in the death of her fetus after being shot in the stomach during a fight. The case has drawn international attention, with people on both sides of the debate over whether a fetus should have the rights of personhood.

2019-07-03 16:10:09

Jefferson County Bessemer Cutoff District Attorney Lynneice Washington announced Wednesday afternoon that she has dropped the manslaughter case against Marshae Jones, the Alabama woman who was charged in the death of her fetus when she was shot in the stomach during an argument.

2019-07-22 15:14:13

Violent crime remains high in Birmingham, particularly among young black men. Now, the city is partnering with several nonprofits to teach skills they hope will prevent conflicts from escalating.

2019-07-01 17:42:33

Lawyers for a Jefferson County woman who was charged last week with manslaughter in the death of her 5-month-old fetus filed a motion to dismiss on Monday.

Health Care

2019-07-03 22:30:53

2019-08-20 16:07:18

Health officials announced Tuesday the county is fighting an outbreak of Hepatitis A.

2019-08-29 13:09:13

For decades, blood banks have separated blood into different parts: cells, plasma and platelets. Experts say that has a lot of advantages, but sometimes, patients just need whole blood.

2019-07-30 11:13:11

Many seniors have health issues that prevent them from getting to the grocery store. Others can't afford or have limited access to nutritious food. A new program delivers healthy groceries to their doorstep.

2019-08-09 11:16:25

UAB Hospital is Alabama’s busiest high-level trauma center. But how prepared is the hospital for tragedy on a larger scale?

2019-09-06 09:14:08

Rural hospitals in Alabama are struggling to make ends meet. Now, experts say Medicare is throwing the state a lifeline.

Economy

2019-07-12 10:52:54

Birmingham has gained attention for its downtown rebirth. But the Birmingham area economy still falls behind similar cities, particularly when it comes to job growth. A partnership announced in December between the city and the Brookings Institution, a Washington, D.C. think tank, aims to boost the Birmingham economy with an eye toward making those gains more equitable.

2019-07-25 12:37:21

The Fourth Avenue Business District in downtown Birmingham once teemed with life. But over decades, the area's experienced a decline. Many hope a revitalization effort underway could breathe new life into the district.

2019-09-09 11:00:22

Many people can't afford to live in downtown Birmingham's high-end lofts and condos. They city's first Opportunity Zone development aims to change that. But some question how effective it will be.

Arts and Culture

2019-08-27 17:20:43

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Board received a makeover Tuesday with the City Council’s appointment of a dozen new members and reappointment of five current members.

2019-08-30 11:13:44

Acclaimed actor Andre Holland is best known for his role in the Oscar winning film Moonlight and playing Andrew Young in the movie Selma. Holland purchased the Lincoln Theatre in his hometown of Bessemer, Alabama and plans to re-open it as a single-screen cinema and performing arts space.

2019-07-10 14:27:02

Later this month, Freedom Fest makes its debut in downtown Birmingham. But music festivals around here seem to come and go. We sent WBHM’s Janae Pierre to find out why it’s so hard to keep a music festival going here in the Magic City.

2019-09-17 05:00:10

Birmingham owes its existence to mining. But as coal and iron faded in importance, some of those old mines have gone “back to nature.” The new book "Back to Nature: A History of Birmingham’s Ruffner Mountain" chronicles the history of the vast nature preserve.

2019-07-08 11:54:38

The popular podcast “Welcome to Night Vale” can be a little hard to describe. It takes place in a fictional desert town with stories told through a community radio station where conspiracy theories are real. They bring their bizarre mix of horror and humor to Birmingham's Lyric Theatre Wednesday.

2019-08-08 14:51:56

The Birmingham Museum of Art opens an exhibit this weekend that lets museum-goers become Barbie through an interactive, reimagined dream house. The exhibit also delves into how complex this figure can be.

2019-08-22 07:29:20

The Mighty Wurlitzer theatre organ's heyday has long passed. But this weekend as part of the Sidewalk Film Festival, it’ll return to its original purpose: accompanying silent films.

2019-09-30 12:48:18

The bass player talks about his latest project, the Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra, as well as his time with the iconic rock band.

2019-08-23 11:01:15

This short documentary film takes a hard look at a rural community atop Sand Mountain in northeast Alabama ravaged by drugs and poverty. Jared Ragland co-directed the film with Adam Forrester. It screens this weekend at the Sidewalk Film Festival.

2019-08-09 11:05:24

This year marked the first time Boy Scouts of America allowed girls to attend summer camp with the boys. At Camp Comer in Mentone, here's how it went.

2019-07-01 18:19:01

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. often planned strategy for the civil rights movement in room 30 at the A.G. Gaston Motel. For others, it was a place for wedding receptions and fancy dances. As restoration of the famed but deteriorating structure begins, Birmingham celebrated the motel’s anniversary and its founder on Monday.

2019-07-09 12:38:02

UAB anthropology professor Sarah Parcak uses satellite images to find buried sites in Egypt and around the world. She takes readers on that journey of discovery in her new book, "Archaeology from Space: How the Future Shapes Our Past."

Science and Technology

2019-07-25 14:48:14

Research out this week shows the timing of your meals could help you eat less. The UAB-led study explored the benefits of a type of intermittent fasting.

2019-07-16 16:55:08

Energy officials from around the country gathered in Birmingham Tuesday to mark the opening of the Energy Storage Research Center. They say the facility has big implications for the future of renewable power.

2019-07-18 17:58:07

Air travelers flying out of Birmingham can now identify themselves with the touch of a finger or an eye scan. Officials at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on Thursday unveiled new biometric technology from the company CLEAR.

Environment

2019-08-16 09:10:52

Many cities in Alabama now have ordinances in place to encourage low-impact development. The goal is to reduce the amount of runoff that pollutes and erodes area waterways and better prepare for extreme weather.

2019-07-15 18:13:48

Many of the state’s cotton farmers are monitoring their fields more closely after agriculture officials issued warnings about a new virus threatening their crops.

2019-09-26 10:55:00

There’s a growing number of outdoor enthusiasts who say nature isn’t just for white people. They want recreation groups to do more to attract people of color. The Birmingham Audubon Society organized a trip where black birders led a group to Hale County.

2019-07-16 21:03:21

Environmental groups say ABC Coke’s air permit renewal issued in April is flawed and are appealing to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to agree that it does not comply with requirements of the federal Clean Air Act.

2019-07-15 11:12:03

Last month's wastewater spill at a chicken plant in Hanceville resulted in the largest reported fish kill in years. Environmental groups and residents want to see hefty fines against those responsible for the incident, but how do officials come up with a dollar amount?

2019-07-12 15:33:48

The North Birmingham community made clear this week that it wants money from an ABC Coke pollution penalty to be used to create a trust fund to benefit residents in the surrounding area.

2019-08-14 20:10:44

Increased construction around Birmingham has led to concerns about the amount of sediment in the Cahaba River.

2019-07-23 23:20:19

Two workers were found dead Tuesday evening after a trench collapsed on them in a Hoover neighborhood. The discovery came after an hours-long rescue and recovery effort.