Issues/Program Report 4th Quarter 2016

Government

2016-10-04 13:04:40

2016-10-06 08:10:59

Voters in a number of Alabama cities went to the polls Tuesday for municipal runoff elections. As residents looked at their ballots this cycle, there were fewer names than might have been there otherwise thanks to a new law. In fact, it disqualified at least 118 candidates statewide. Particularly noteworthy is what happened in the Jefferson County town of Adamsville. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald talks about that and reacts to the suspension of Alabama Chief Justice Roy Moore on ethics charges.

2016-10-06 16:24:24

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision set a new precedent regarding federal antitrust laws and state medical agencies. The ruling means regulatory groups made up of members with private sector interests are subject to federal antitrust laws. Agencies like the Medical Association of Alabama - which is headed by several private medical practitioners - could potentially be affected.

2016-10-07 17:30:07

About three dozen people organized by education advocate Larry Lee have signed on to be plaintiffs in pending legal action intended to rescind the hiring of Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance.

2016-10-13 09:32:32

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley is battling it out with legislators as they look to possible impeachment of the governor. The impeachment effort was sparked by allegations Bentley had an affair with his top political advisor, Rebekah Mason. Bentley denies this. Nevertheless the House Judiciary Committee has hired a special council to investigate. The committee’s issued subpoenas for documents. Bentley’s lawyer says the panel doesn’t have that power. But still the governor’s office has released thousands of document and we talk about what they reveal with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.

2016-10-20 15:30:38

When voters go to the polls next month, they’ll be voting on a proposed constitutional amendment that some say has to pass or cities and towns could be thrown into legal chaos. Supporters of Amendment 14 say without its approval, hundreds of local laws across Alabama could be wiped out by legal challenges. The list includes laws related to schools to local taxes to law enforcement.

2016-10-20 15:30:59

When Alabama voters head to the polls November 8, they won’t just choose candidates in the presidential and congressional races. They’ll also have the chance to vote “yes” or “no” on 14 proposed statewide constitutional amendments. Some are technical or just affect a local area. Others have a much wider impact.

2016-10-26 16:41:55

2016-10-27 07:26:36

The split between Governor Robert Bentley and the former head of the state's law enforcement office has taken an interesting turn and one that doesn't exactly put the governor in the best light. Earlier this year, former Alabama Law Enforcement Agency director Spencer Collier, one day after being fired, accused the governor of an affair with his top aide. Bentley denied the accusation and instead turned attention to an internal ALEA report that showed financial mismanagement. But as information about the report dripped out, it appeared far less than purported to be. Last week, Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange weighed in. We hear about that from Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald

2016-10-28 16:48:19

A big push is underway to designate several Alabama civil rights locations as national parks. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Mayor William Bell joined Jewell for a tour of Birmingham's civil rights district.

2016-11-03 07:42:45

On Tuesday, millions of voters across the country will head to the polls and make their picks for president. It will be the end of a campaign season that's been nasty, brutish and long. It's also a season in which the campaign rhetoric has been driven at many points by fear. But Birmingham Media Group columnist John Archibald has a different message -- fear not!

2016-11-03 15:56:30

2016-11-07 09:44:32

This coming Election Day in Alabama a record 3.3 million people are registered and waiting to vote. It’s the climax to what has been a long and contentious presidential campaign season. Claims of a possible voter fraud and calls for citizen poll watchers has government agencies and civil rights groups in Alabama taking precautions.

2016-11-08 18:38:19

Election officials in Jefferson County say voter turnout has been heavy today and could surpass the totals in the previous General Election.

2016-11-09 10:04:36

There was little doubt Republican Donald Trump would win Alabama in yesterday’s presidential election. But with a tight race nationally, Alabama Republicans and Democrats gathered at their own watch parties to follow the results.

2016-11-10 09:26:20

Political watchers and the public are waiting to see what a Trump presidency will look like. Republican Donald Trump’s stunning victory Tuesday caps an election season that was raucous, divisive and unlike any other in the modern era. After such a campaign, a key question is can the country come together? We talk about it with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.

2016-11-10 15:55:15

2016-11-13 01:22:15

Recent anti-Donald Trump rallies around the nation have been marred by violence. Some feared that would happen in Birmingham, especially after social-media threats. But Saturday night, though hundreds protested, no one got hurt. That’s not to say emotions weren’t high.

2016-11-17 09:13:13

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was an early backer of President-elect Donald Trump and as a result Sessions is expected to get a prime spot in a Trump Administration. If that happens, Alabama Governor Robert Bentley would name a successor. That opens up a new horse race. We talk about it with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.

2016-11-17 17:06:48

"What we’ve been doing hasn’t worked. I’ve been saying all along we need to do more on this side to get people the resources they need, and quit using prisons as a way to kinda brush the problem aside."

2016-11-18 06:16:26

Alabama’s effort to transform its Medicaid system took a hit last month as several major providers decided to withdraw from the effort. More than a million people in the state depend on Medicaid for healthcare. The pull out is adding uncertainty to what’s already been a troubled process.

2016-11-22 12:48:57

Susan Herman spoke to a packed audience, answering questions about current concerns and potential roles for the ACLU under President-Elect Donald Trump.

2016-12-01 07:46:56

A lawsuit offers sordid details about Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's alleged affair.

2016-12-08 10:30:50

Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald discusses plans to renovate a vacant building in downtown Ensley.

2016-12-15 09:40:59

Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald discusses judicial override. Alabama executed an inmate last week whose death penalty was given by a judge over the recommendation of a jury.

2016-12-22 08:51:42

Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald discusses the big stories of the year in Alabama politics.

2016-10-14 05:25:41

2016-10-17 04:55:07

2016-11-18 18:18:00

Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions is President-elect Donald Trump's pick for the nation's top law enforcement officer. Sessions' anti-immigrant views and past allegations of racism are sure to draw scrutiny.

2016-11-21 06:22:53

2016-12-05 05:00:00

A trial starts Monday over conditions in Alabama's prisons. Mentally ill inmates say they're denied basic care. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is conducting a civil rights probe into the prisons.

2016-12-19 06:02:00

Jefferson County, Ala., schools have been under a desegregation order for decades. Now that a majority-white city wants to form its own district, a judge must decide if it's violating civil rights.

2016-12-19 11:30:00

Alabama boosted its graduation rate with questionable methods — but some policy changes also legitimately boosted the rate. It's hard to know how wrong it is, pending federal and state audit results.

2016-10-04 15:00:11

Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican Mike Pence square off in the vice-presidential debate Tuesday night. NPR's politics team, with help from reporters and editors who cover national security, immigration, business, foreign policy and more, is live annotating the debate. Portions of the debate with added analysis are highlighted, followed by context and fact check from NPR reporters and editors.

2016-10-08 16:00:01

Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton are scheduled to face off in the second presidential debate Sunday night at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri.

2016-11-08 12:14:03

Today, as results come in across the country, the NPR Politics team and member station reporters will be updating this breaking news blog in real-time.

Health Care

2016-10-06 16:24:24

A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision set a new precedent regarding federal antitrust laws and state medical agencies. The ruling means regulatory groups made up of members with private sector interests are subject to federal antitrust laws. Agencies like the Medical Association of Alabama - which is headed by several private medical practitioners - could potentially be affected.

2016-10-11 19:17:45

Several decades ago, Finland’s education system was considered mediocre. But starting around 2001, it came to be regarded as a powerhouse, usually at or near the top of the world’s nations on internationally normed tests. How? And can those strategies work in Alabama?

Education

2016-10-07 17:30:07

About three dozen people organized by education advocate Larry Lee have signed on to be plaintiffs in pending legal action intended to rescind the hiring of Alabama Superintendent Michael Sentance.

2016-12-19 06:02:00

Jefferson County, Ala., schools have been under a desegregation order for decades. Now that a majority-white city wants to form its own district, a judge must decide if it's violating civil rights.

2016-12-19 11:30:00

Alabama boosted its graduation rate with questionable methods — but some policy changes also legitimately boosted the rate. It's hard to know how wrong it is, pending federal and state audit results.

2016-11-01 21:29:57

Imagine not being able to read an email from your family. Or a job application. Or medication labels. How about a simple road sign? Adult illiteracy is a complex, stubborn problem. Based on conservative estimates, in the five-county area around Birmingham alone, there are more than 90,000 adults who have trouble reading and writing. There are almost as many reasons as there are people.

2016-11-01 22:11:30

Fred Oliver of Birmingham is 86 and a world traveler. He served in the Korean War, spent time in Japan, and has held more jobs than he can count. He loves to visit far-off places, but as we reported yesterday, his latest odyssey is close to home, at the Literacy Council of Central Alabama: he’s learning to read and write.

2016-10-11 19:17:45

Several decades ago, Finland’s education system was considered mediocre. But starting around 2001, it came to be regarded as a powerhouse, usually at or near the top of the world’s nations on internationally normed tests. How? And can those strategies work in Alabama?

2016-11-09 16:40:08

Hikers and runners who use trails at Oak Mountain State Park south of Birmingham have a new tool to help guide their outdoor fun. They’re trail signs, but they’re more than simple markers.

2016-11-10 14:09:03

A Tuscaloosa high school teacher is under investigation after projecting a pro-Donald Trump image in one of his classes.

2016-12-02 14:00:18

Mountain Brook High School sophomores Brett Lewis and Sean Fredella have been selected to present their talks at the first ever TED-Ed Weekend in New York.

2016-12-09 13:57:49

UAB leaders broke ground Friday on a new home for the university’s Collat School of Business.

2016-12-12 07:15:40

“This is a black eye for the department and it makes the education system here look bad, and in some ways undeservedly so.”

2016-12-12 16:42:46

Federal Judge Madeline Haikala is considering whether Gardendale can pull out of the Jefferson County system & start its own without violating civil rights.

2016-12-22 12:49:13

Arts and Culture

2016-10-28 16:48:19

A big push is underway to designate several Alabama civil rights locations as national parks. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and Mayor William Bell joined Jewell for a tour of Birmingham's civil rights district.

2016-11-09 16:40:08

Hikers and runners who use trails at Oak Mountain State Park south of Birmingham have a new tool to help guide their outdoor fun. They’re trail signs, but they’re more than simple markers.

2016-10-24 16:48:15

2016-10-27 06:24:19

2016-10-27 13:53:15

2016-10-27 13:53:42

2016-10-28 07:00:28

Prisons have been used as a setting for popular entertainment. The Netflix series “Orange is the New Black” is just one example. But a new radio drama is taking that a step further. “Corrections” is a health-themed drama produced by UAB that’s written by and performed by inmates at the Donaldson Correctional Facility in western Jefferson County. The first episode airs Saturday morning on WJLD AM 1400.

2016-11-04 06:11:28

For decades, photographers have captured Hale County in Alabama’s Black Belt. Photojournalist Walker Evans documented families there suffering from the Great Depression. Starting in the 1960s, Alabama-native William Christenberry took pictures of decaying buildings. Now photographer Lauren Henkin can add her work to the tradition. Last year, Henkin spent a month in Hale County as an artist-in-residence sponsored by the Do Good Fund, which supports photography of the South. Some of those pictures will be displayed in an exhibit called “What’s Lost is Found.” It opens Friday at the Birmingham Museum of Art where she’ll also talk about the project. Henkin spoke with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager.

2016-11-16 00:00:56

Ensley residents who remember that tragic event and the role the community played in the civil rights movement say this rich history is important today as Ensley looks toward revitalization.

2016-12-13 08:53:17

Tuesday, a historic marker will go up in Gadsden, Alabama, commemorating the 1906 lynching of a black man, Bunk Richardson, by a white mob.

2016-12-14 10:11:57

The brainchild of Change Project founder Steven Romeo, every book is written by an LGBT author or contains LGBT content.

2016-12-22 16:26:44

Arc Stories features live storytelling from right here in Birmingham. No notes, no outlines. Just great storytellers sharing great, true stories. Sometimes funny, sometimes moving, and always engaging.

2016-12-29 07:16:05

Meet Joshua Johnson, the host of 1A -- a new program which will succeed The Diane Rehm Show.

2016-10-31 06:26:21

The Greater Birmingham Humane Shelter in Alabama hosts yoga sessions — for people — right alongside the shelter's cats.

Economy

2016-10-03 05:00:45

Birmingham’s downtown has seen many new apartment projects go up with more on the way. Developers have been pretty clear they’re after the high-end apartment market. But not everyone who wants to live in the city center can afford those high rents. It’s creating something of a housing gap and we talk about that in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

2016-10-10 06:38:44

You may see more pink ribbons and other pink items in the next few weeks as October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. The UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center is one of many operations working to fight breast cancer. We talk about that effort and how it overlaps with the business community in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

2016-10-17 05:00:48

When a New Orleans-based airline announced it was starting non-stop flights from that city to Alabama earlier this year, they announced those flights would come to Huntsville. It was a blow to Birmingham which had been under consideration. But it also speaks to the position Birmingham is in when it comes to attracting new airlines or flights. We talk about it in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

2016-10-24 05:00:06

Earlier this year the Air Force declared its Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning 2 program combat ready. It’s been 23 years in the making and has suffered though shortcomings and budget issues. But with the fighters ready to take the sky, political leaders in Alabama are hoping to bring the program to this state and the economic benefits that come along with it. That’s in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

2016-10-31 05:00:13

There’s been plenty of attention showered on downtown Birmingham for its building boom and growth in restaurants and attractions. But there’s another area that’s been expanding too into almost another economic hub. That’s the U.S. 280 corridor from Jefferson to Shelby counties. We talk about that in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

2016-11-01 21:29:57

Imagine not being able to read an email from your family. Or a job application. Or medication labels. How about a simple road sign? Adult illiteracy is a complex, stubborn problem. Based on conservative estimates, in the five-county area around Birmingham alone, there are more than 90,000 adults who have trouble reading and writing. There are almost as many reasons as there are people.

2016-11-01 22:11:30

Fred Oliver of Birmingham is 86 and a world traveler. He served in the Korean War, spent time in Japan, and has held more jobs than he can count. He loves to visit far-off places, but as we reported yesterday, his latest odyssey is close to home, at the Literacy Council of Central Alabama: he’s learning to read and write.

2016-11-07 05:00:45

Alabama has a long history with space exploration thanks to the Marshal Space Flight Center and other NASA facilities in Huntsville. But Birmingham is taking a small step toward that space industry through a project at UAB. We hear about it along with Amendment 11, a ballot proposal economic development leaders want to see passed, in this week’s Magic City Marketplace

2016-11-14 05:00:29

President-elect Donald Trump won the election on a promise to make America the best place in the world to do business. But apart from backing away from trade deals, the specifics of what a Trump Administration would do for the business community are still unclear. We get a sense of what might be coming in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

2016-11-21 05:00:19

As Birmingham works to keep its post-recession economic rebound going, a part of that is Millennials. As these people born roughly between 1980 and 2000 enter the job market or advance in their careers, they’ll rent apartments, buy homes, spend money that will fuel future growth. So business leaders are keen to attract and keep Millennials in Birmingham. That’s where we start in this week’s Magic City Marketplace.

2016-11-30 09:59:10

After months of warm, dry weather, it did finally rain this week. But a few days of precipitation won’t erase months of drought. The lack of rainfall has crippled the state’s $2 billion cattle industry. The drought has forced ranchers to buy hay from out-of-state and if the dry weather persists this winter, things could get a lot worse for farmers and their herds.

2016-12-01 15:48:56

The Birmingham City Council this week cleared the way for construction of a proposed 65,000 square-foot Topgolf complex in Uptown. The council also approved a $1.5 million incentive package to be spread out over the next eight years.

2016-12-05 05:00:24

What a national historic monument designation for Birmingham's Civil Rights District could mean for tourism

2016-12-12 06:09:57

We look at what a President Trump could mean for the struggling steel and coal industries.

2016-12-19 05:00:18

In this week's Magic City Marketplace, what to expect from Birmingham transit in 2017 and the effect of an interest rate hike on Birmingham banks.

Environment

2016-11-30 09:59:10

After months of warm, dry weather, it did finally rain this week. But a few days of precipitation won’t erase months of drought. The lack of rainfall has crippled the state’s $2 billion cattle industry. The drought has forced ranchers to buy hay from out-of-state and if the dry weather persists this winter, things could get a lot worse for farmers and their herds.

2016-11-09 16:40:08

Hikers and runners who use trails at Oak Mountain State Park south of Birmingham have a new tool to help guide their outdoor fun. They’re trail signs, but they’re more than simple markers.

2016-10-21 16:16:30

2016-11-01 11:39:19

Colonial Pipeline owns and operates the line located off Grey Hill Road near McCalla which funnels gas to millions of people. It has since been shut down.

2016-11-30 16:16:20

Groups that monitor Alabama’s waterways say there are some drawbacks and are warning of potential health risks found in and around rivers and streams.

2016-12-09 09:53:02

Colonial Pipeline has a shocking history of what federal regulators call “significant incidents.” Its track record for safety is far worse than some other pipeline companies in the South. Colonial is currently under federal investigation following the gas leak and subsequent explosion that killed two people near Helena.

2016-10-06 11:31:50

2016-10-19 18:42:26

The Alabama Drought Declaration issued Tuesday comes after conditions across the stare continue to degrade due to little rainfall and above normal temperatures.