Issues/Program Report 4rd Quarter 2019

Jan 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 Oct 1, 2020 and Dec 31, 2020. The list includes the following issues:

Government

Birmingham Council OKs Incentives For Project At Old Carraway Hospital
2020-12-29 14:47:35

The Birmingham City Council approved an economic incentives package this week for the long-awaited redevelopment of the former Carraway Hospital property.

Two Birmingham Water Board Leaders Reappointed, Two New Members Named
2020-12-29 12:28:03

The Birmingham City Council approved four appointments to the Birmingham Water Works Board on Tuesday.

Jefferson County Emerges From Consent Decree After 45 Years
2020-12-22 13:30:59

After 45 years, Jefferson County has been released from its consent decree.

Birmingham Revenue Appears Stable, Council Extends Funding For Rickwood, McWane And Ruffner
2020-12-22 12:20:42

The city of Birmingham has approved contracts with three area nonprofits — Friends of Rickwood Field, McWane Science Center and Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve. These nonprofits previously had their funding cut by the city because of the pandemic.

Bus Rapid Transit Line Coming To Birmingham
2020-12-18 13:06:20

Construction on the Birmingham Xpress will start in January and is scheduled to finish in time for the World Games in 2022.

DOJ Lawsuit Could Lead To Federal Oversight Of Alabama Prisons
2020-12-16 09:13:24

More than a year after finding unconstitutional conditions in Alabama's male prisons, federal officials are taking legal action against the state.

Birmingham Will Apply For Grant To Revitalize Smithfield Court
2020-12-15 11:10:16

With the grant month, the city plans to improve the area around Smithfield Court, including infrastructure improvements such as street paving, sidewalks, lighting and parks as well as beautification and anti-blight efforts.

Spend It All: JeffCo Commission Makes Sure to Leave No Cares Act Money On The Table
2020-12-15 11:03:34

The county commissioners sought to tie up any loose ends for Cares Act money at its meeting on Tuesday.

Predictable Prejudice: Predictive Policing Software Promises Unbiased Crime-Fighting, But Can It Deliver?
2020-12-14 12:43:47

Predictive policing software programs such as PredPol was adopted by the Homewood Police Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in 2016 and Birmingham Police Department in 2019.

Birmingham Officials Reject Defunding, But Plan Police Reforms With Civilian Oversight
2020-12-10 14:46:10

The city of Birmingham’s Public Safety Task Force released a report Thursday morning that outlines four areas that the city can improve on.

DOJ Sues Alabama Over Violence In Prisons
2020-12-09 18:24:32

The lawsuit is an attempt by federal officials to force the state to remedy a prison system long riddled with violence.

Slated For A Mega Prison, Brierfield Residents Demand Answers
2020-12-09 14:40:01

Gov. Kay Ivey recently announced where she wants to build three new mega prisons. Residents are pushing back on the plan.

Jones Calls For Bipartisanship In Farewell To Senate, Does Not Address Talk Biden Favors Him For AG
2020-12-09 14:36:44

Democratic Senator Doug Jones gave his farewell speech Wednesday on the floor of the U.S. Senate.

Gov. Ivey Extends Mask Order Into 2021
2020-12-09 12:19:35

Governor Kay Ivey is extending Alabama’s Safer-at-Home order until January 22, 2021.

Cam Ward Plans New Direction For Pardons And Paroles
2020-12-03 13:40:06

State Sen. Cam Ward is replacing Charlie Graddick as director of Alabama's Bureau of Pardons and Paroles. Under Graddick's leadership, paroles rates declined significantly.

State Finance Chief: All Coronavirus Relief Money Will Be Spent
2020-12-02 14:18:47

The state is working through a backlog of requests from local governments, nonprofits, and others for CARES Act funds.

Jeffco Commission To Consider Mortgage Assistance
2020-12-02 09:32:49

The Jefferson County Commission is expected Thursday to amend its disbursement of Cares Act funds to include mortgage assistance for residents adversely affected by the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Birmingham Bringing Back Up to 132 Furloughed Employees
2020-12-01 17:51:40

The city will borrow money from its general fund reserve amid concerns from some council members.

Alabama Nears Deadline To Spend Coronavirus Relief Money
2020-12-01 09:02:43

Alabama must spend its remaining coronavirus relief funds by Dec. 30. Advocacy groups are urging Gov. Kay Ivey to fund immediate needs across the state. But, getting the money out isn’t an easy task.

Council Postpones Vote On Holiday Pay, Says Woodfin Expects Them To Make Budget Decisions “Blindly”
2020-11-24 14:38:34

The Birmingham City Council delayed a proposal to pay city employees for an unpaid holiday on Black Friday.

Commission OKs Cares Act Funding In Quick Session
2020-11-17 15:59:22

"We don’t want to send money back to Washington. We want to make sure that it’s spent here and for us to do that, we need to make sure we’ve looked at every avenue possible," said Jefferson County Commissioner Steve Ammons.

Birmingham Council Balks At Mayor’s Plan To Bring Back Some Workers, Wants More Information
2020-11-17 15:47:10

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin wants to use $7 million from the reserve fund to bring back more than 130 furloughed city employees. But the city council is not sold.

Birmingham City Council Approves Carraway Hospital Rezoning
2020-11-11 13:27:32

Birmingham's Carraway Hospital, which has been closed since 2008, will be redeveloped to include retail, dining, residential, office and entertainment spaces.

New Microtransit Program Coming To Birmingham
2020-11-10 17:11:42

The Birmingham City Council approved deals with this week with two bike- and scooter-sharing companies.

Alabama Democrats Celebrate Biden Victory
2020-11-07 19:25:57

Alabama Democrats celebrated the news that Joe Biden was declared the winner in the 2020 presidential race.

With New Flag Design, Mississippi Ushers In A New Symbol Of Hope
2020-11-06 11:49:52

Mississippi voters overwhelmingly approved a new design for a state flag to replace the Confederate-themed flag that had been in place since 1894.

Big Turnout But No Major Problems At Jefferson County Precincts
2020-11-06 11:36:28

About 64% of registered voters in Jefferson County turned out to vote in Tuesday's general election, according to the county's website.

Ivey Extends Mask Mandate Through December 11
2020-11-05 11:01:24

The extension comes as new COVID-19 cases rise in Alabama.

Alabama Moves One Step Closer To Removing Racist Language From State Constitution
2020-11-05 10:02:45

Alabama voters approved an amendment to remove racist language from the state constitution. But change won't be fast and there are more hurdles to clear.

Voters Change Constitution With Votes For At Least Five Amendments
2020-11-04 12:56:25

Five of the six statewide amendments on Alabama’s ballot passed Tuesday.

Trump Sweeps Alabama, Tuberville Ousts Jones for Senate Seat
2020-11-04 10:49:08

Trump won Alabama overwhelmingly Tuesday night over Democrat Joe Biden.

Tommy Tuberville Wins Alabama U.S. Senate Race
2020-11-03 19:42:43

Tommy Tuberville will serve as the next U.S. senator from Alabama. He'll serve alongside current U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby.

Live: 2020 Election Updates And Results
2020-11-03 16:03:17

2020 BirminghamWatch Voter Guide: Finally, Voters Are Streaming Into Polls for Election Day 2020
2020-11-03 15:00:27

Voters are turning out Tuesday to vote in the 2020 general election.

Deeply Red Alabama Returns To Form With Tuberville Win
2020-11-03 09:30:52

Republican Tommy Tuberville defeated Democratic incumbent Sen. Doug Jones in Tuesday's election.

Jeffco Election Officials Work Through The Weekend To Fix Absentee Ballots
2020-11-01 21:20:27

Some voters in Jefferson County have already come in to "cure" their ballots and can continue to do so before the deadline on Monday, November 2, at 5 p.m.

Jones Tells Supporters He Can Beat Tuberville, Despite What Polls Say
2020-11-01 10:26:29

Sen. Doug Jones, who is up for reelection on Tuesday, says the platform of his opponent, Republican Tommy Tuberville, has mostly been copied from President Trump.

2020 BirminghamWatch Voter Guide
2020-10-30 11:33:29

Your guide to the 2020 Election.

Today Is The Deadline To Apply To Vote By Absentee
2020-10-29 08:30:27

Today, Thursday, Oct. 29, is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot.

Birmingham Council Approves Incentives Package To Bring Grocery Store To District 1
2020-10-28 13:23:20

Birmingham's Roebuck neighborhood is getting a new grocery store in an effort to reduce food deserts in the city.

Some Jeffco Absentee Ballots In Jeopardy After Court Rulings
2020-10-28 12:18:26

Local election officials say they're doing what they can to ensure every vote counts.

2020 Voter Guide: Jones Meets Tuberville In Scrimmage To Claim U.S. Senate Seat
2020-10-27 14:01:18

This voter guide includes sample ballots, breakdowns of the constitutional amendments up for a vote and profiles of candidates.

Uncertainty Looms Over Validity Of Some Jefferson County Absentee Ballots
2020-10-26 17:52:59

County voters who used a waiver to bypass the state's witness or notary requirements are unsure whether their absentee ballots will be counted.

Poll Watchers Have Strict Rules To Follow, And So Do Others
2020-10-23 17:01:05

Here are a few dos and don'ts at the polls this Election Day.

Woodfin Says Sale Of Parking Decks Would Lessen COVID-19’s Economic Damage
2020-10-23 09:50:04

The city could sell six parking decks, the proceeds from which could help offset a significant budget shortfall sparked by the pandemic.

Live: Final Presidential Debate Between Trump And Biden
2020-10-22 14:00:30

Supreme Court Blocks Curbside Voting In Alabama, An Option During Pandemic
2020-10-21 23:14:38

The Alabama secretary of state and attorney general hailed the order as a victory.

Young Alabama Voters Look Forward To Election Day
2020-10-21 15:32:29

More than 15 million people have turned 18 since the last presidential election, and new research shows they are interested and politically active. We checked in with three young Alabama women to hear what they’re thinking.

Birmingham City Council Approves Software For Police Department’s Real-Time Crime Center
2020-10-21 10:10:44

The software could include facial recognition technology.

Today, October 19, Is The Last Day To Register To Vote
2020-10-19 12:48:38

A record number of people in Alabama have applied for and cast absentee ballots ahead of the November 3 election.

Crowds Turn Out For Saturday Absentee Voting in Jeffco
2020-10-17 17:35:29

Your Guide To Alabama's 2020 Constitutional Amendments
2020-10-16 14:16:32

Changes to voting, the judicial system and the Alabama Constitution itself are on the ballot.

County Commission Votes To Open The Courthouses For Saturday Absentee Voting
2020-10-16 13:03:05

The Jefferson County Commission voted unanimously Friday to open the courthouses in Birmingham and Bessemer for in-person absentee voting.

The Census Counting Is Done, But The Result Is Unknown
2020-10-16 08:00:00

Officials note a 99.9% response rate for Alabama. What's behind that number is tricky.

Voters Answer Call To Become First-Time Poll Workers
2020-10-15 13:13:07

As uncertainty around the November 3rd election looms, election officials and dozens of non-partisan organizations are recruiting poll workers.

Federal Court Says ID, Witnesses Required For Absentee Voting
2020-10-14 20:54:01

To vote absentee you must now provide a photo ID and have the signatures of two witnesses or a notary.

Jefferson County Election Officials Consider Offering Absentee Voting On A Weekend
2020-10-14 16:52:32

"The volume of absentee voting that we're seeing is truly unprecedented and we're doing it in the midst of a pandemic," said Jefferson County Probate Judge James Naftel.

Jefferson County Clerk’s Office Redesigns To Handle Throngs Of Voters
2020-10-12 11:15:00

It was a working weekend of those in the clerk’s office as they set the stage for what they hope is a more efficient processing of in-person absentee voters.

Watch Live: Amy Coney Barrett's Supreme Court Confirmation Hearings
2020-10-11 21:11:09

Secretary of State Intervenes As Frustration Mounts Among Jefferson County Voters
2020-10-08 18:05:23

The Alabama Secretary of State's Office created a new plan to help Jefferson County with its long absentee voting lines and understaffing, but specifics of the plan remain unclear.

Live: The 2020 Vice Presidential Debate
2020-10-07 16:00:00

Municipalities In Jefferson County Elect New Mayors In Runoffs
2020-10-06 21:13:09

The cities of Homewood and Center Point have named new mayors. Meanwhile, the city of Fairfield has reelected its mayor after a runoff election.

Nonprofits Adapt To Harsh Financial Conditions After Birmingham Budget Cuts
2020-10-05 16:46:19

The city of Birmingham's newly passed 2021 fiscal budget is nearly $50 million smaller than last year. Among the numerous budget cuts was funding to external nonprofits.

With Voters More Polarized, Alabama Straight Ticket Voting Expected to Increase
2020-10-01 17:14:43

Alabama is one of six states that still allows straight ticket voting, and it is increasingly popular.

What You Can Do About Election Disinformation
2020-10-01 12:49:03

Disinformation this election is not just about Russia. But there are ways to be on guard.

Economy

Alabama Labor Department Discontinues In-Person Unemployment Assistance
2020-12-23 14:30:57

Labor officials cite safety concerns as the primary reason for moving to a phone-based system.

Federal Regulators To Set Election Date On Amazon Union
2020-12-16 17:53:15

Employees at Amazon's Bessemer warehouse want to unionize, but the online retail giant opposes those efforts.

Demand For Bikes & Outdoor Gear Surges During Pandemic
2020-10-21 16:48:52

The pandemic has driven many people outdoors, but finding the right gear could be a challenge.

Health Care

Here's What Kids Yearn For In A Post-Pandemic World
2020-12-30 11:37:58

As we welcome a new year, we asked kids what they're most looking forward to after the pandemic.

UAB’s Marrazzo Concerned About Rising COVID Numbers, But Hopeful About Vaccines
2020-12-29 16:45:15

Alabama ranks third in the nation in per capita hospitalizations for COVID-19.

Jeffco Health Department To Roll Out Moderna Vaccine
2020-12-28 16:34:38

The health department will soon begin its vaccine rollout as UAB drafts a timeline for making the vaccine available to more employees.

Moderna Vaccine For COVID-19 Has Arrived In Alabama
2020-12-21 16:02:13

Alabama will receive its first shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine today.

Local Area Hospitals Near ICU Capacities
2020-12-18 14:19:34

As of Thursday, more than 2,400 COVID patients were hospitalized across the state. About 25% of those hospitalizations were in Jefferson and Shelby counties.

Hospital Officials Urge Against Holiday Gatherings In Open Letter To Alabamians
2020-12-16 08:59:45

Birmingham-area hospital officials are asking Alabamians to take all possible precautions to stop the spread of the disease, including avoiding holiday gatherings with people who do not live in their households.

UAB Hospital Receives First Delivery Of Pfizer's COVID-19 Vaccine, Vaccinations Begin Thursday
2020-12-15 13:02:39

UAB Hospital received its first shipment of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday morning.

Providers Plan For Vaccinating Millions of Rural Alabamians
2020-12-14 15:55:46

As Alabama receives its first allotment of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, health officials anticipate challenges distributing the vaccine in rural communities.

Local COVID-19 Hospitalizations Spike As Alabama Faces Shortages In Number Of Available Healthcare Workers
2020-12-14 12:53:04

Experts predict that number of new COVID-19 hospitalization will continue to rise in the coming weeks.

UAB Predicts COVID Hospital Patients Will Double By Christmas, Vaccines Expected Soon
2020-12-11 16:07:07

In a gathering of 20 people, there's more than a 50% chance that one person in that gathering will be infectious and contagious with COVID-19, according to Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson.

UAB Hospital Braces For 'Terrifying' Increase in COVID Hospitalizations
2020-12-09 13:13:17

As COVID case numbers continue to increase, UAB Hospital is predicting a dramatic surge in hospitalizations next week.

COVID-19 Hospitalization Number Reaches Record High In Alabama
2020-12-07 14:07:46

Alabama's COVID-19 hospitalizations reached a new record, according to the state department of public health.

Alabama Health Officials Hope To Receive First COVID-19 Vaccines Next Friday
2020-12-04 14:52:52

Alabama will receive about 41,000 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, which will be distributed at 16 vaccination sites at hospitals across the state.

UAB Expert: Alabama Could See 'Tidal Wave' Of Coronavirus Cases This Month
2020-12-01 14:27:22

Alabama will likely receive its first shipment of a COVID-19 vaccine in January, according to health care experts. It was previously predicted that Alabama would receive the vaccine in December.

COVID Hospitalizations Hit Record High As Case Numbers Rise
2020-11-30 19:56:09

UAB Hospital is caring for 125 COVID-19 patients, which is a new record high.

Health Experts: Scale Back Thanksgiving Plans To Avoid COVID-19
2020-11-20 17:49:49

Research from Georgia Tech University shows there is a one in five chance you will catch the virus if you gather with a group of ten people in Jefferson County.

Hospitalized For Months: One Man's Fight Against COVID-19
2020-11-19 14:19:35

COVID-19 has left 38-year-old Victor Perea hospitalized for almost three months. His wife wants others to understand how bad the virus can be.

Jones Pleads With Public To Follow COVID Safety Guidelines As Cases And Deaths Increase
2020-11-18 06:00:13

Health experts are warning about gathering with friends and family over the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday.

Rising COVID-19 Cases Starting To Strain Hospital Resources, Staff
2020-11-17 16:02:40

The COVID-19 caseloads in Alabama hospitals are "worsening fairly rapidly," according to the president of the Alabama Hospital Association.

Concerns Raised About COVID At Horizon Church Polling Place After Worker Tests Positive
2020-11-13 07:49:59

Voters who cast their ballots last week at Horizon Church may have been exposed to COVID-19.

Rapid Rise Of Alabama, National COVID-19 Numbers Worries UAB Doctor
2020-11-12 14:07:51

Alabama's number of new COVID-19 cases and deaths continues to rise.

Birmingham Offers 'Beacon' For Alabama's Transgender Community
2020-11-12 11:56:29

The newly expanded Magic City Wellness Center is one of several providers working to increase access to gender-affirming medical care.

Health Experts Warn Alabama May See Another COVID-19 Surge; Fauci Is Optimistic About A Vaccine
2020-10-28 10:14:09

Alabama could see another surge of COVID-19 in the coming weeks. But a vaccine could be around the coroner, according to the country's top infectious disease expert.

UAB Launches First Uterus Transplant Program In Southeast
2020-10-27 15:17:42

For women without a functioning uterus, uterine transplantation offers the possibility to become pregnant.

UAB Looking For A Variety Of Patients For COVID-19 Clinical Trials
2020-10-06 18:19:34

UAB is offering both inpatient and outpatient COVID-19 trials ranging from vaccines to treatments that hope to weaken the effects of the virus.

Education

Educators Mixed on Governor's Push For In-Person Learning
2020-12-02 16:42:22

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey said the longer schools are disrupted, the more likely kids will suffer academically.

'History Of Us' Course Introduces Students To Their Ancestors And The Role Of Race In America’s History
2020-11-09 12:16:14

'History of Us' is touted as the first Black history course of its kind taught in the Tuscaloosa public school system. The course asks students to be historians by researching major themes in Black history and framing those themes locally.

As More Students Return To School, Officials Brace For 'Rolling Blackouts'
2020-11-04 16:44:07

Following the release of a new dashboard, state education officials are optimistic about the number of coronavirus cases in Alabama schools. But challenges remain.

Birmingham City Students Return To Classrooms In November
2020-10-21 10:03:03

The school system will return to a blended model of instruction, though many families still prefer virtual learning.

Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Has Lifelong Passion For Education
2020-10-01 14:20:50

Longtime educator Mark Sullivan is the new leader of Birmingham City Schools. He's no stranger to the school system and many hope that will keep him around longer than his predecessors.

Science and Technology

Bored Kids Stuck At Home? One Teen Finds A Captive Audience For Coding
2020-12-27 05:39:37

Hoover High School sophomore Shaams Nur launched Hoover Codes earlier this year. It's a virtual computer programming camp for kids ages 8-12.

Arts and Culture

Annual Birmingham-Area Bird Count Canceled Due To Pandemic
2020-12-22 12:55:34

Since Alabama Audubon's Christmas Bird Count won't happen this year, researchers could miss out on data about bird populations.

One Black Artist's Quest To Shake Up The Comics World
2020-12-21 16:00:00

Lashawn Colvin recently opened her very own comic book store in Montgomery, becoming the first known Black woman in the South to do so.

A Visit With Santa? It's Still Happening Despite The Pandemic
2020-12-17 10:50:09

How do you visit Santa in a pandemic? It's a question retailers, families and Santa himself are dealing with this season.

New Exhibit At Birmingham Museum of Art Shows American History's Violent Struggle
2020-11-20 14:07:03

A new art exhibit features the work of Jacob Lawrence, widely considered one of the greatest modernist painters of the 20th century.

UA Sophomore Starts First Black Student-Led Magazine
2020-11-09 09:25:13

The University of Alabama launched its first Black student-led magazine this semester. Nineteen Fifty-Six focuses on issues minority students face on campus and in everyday life.

Birmingham Theaters Take To The Stage Despite A Pandemic
2020-11-02 11:18:19

Live theater generally means tight quarters for performers and audience. Some Birmingham theater groups are finding ways to make it work in the pandemic.

Will COVID Cancel Halloween? Not Necessarily.
2020-10-15 12:42:27

Public health leaders say Halloween celebrations can happen, but with adjustments.

Environment

'Life Raft' Explores Climate Change In The Gulf Region
2020-11-18 14:00:57

Life Raft is a new podcast answering questions about climate change and relieving some of the stress that comes along with all of it.

The 'Dirty Secret' Of Wastewater Failures in Lowndes County
2020-11-17 08:41:36

Activist Catherine Coleman Flowers describes her fight for environmental justice in her hometown in a new memoir.

ADEM Holds Public Hearing On Alabama Power’s Coal Ash Pond Disposal Plans
2020-10-21 11:18:28

This was the first of three public hearings scheduled to review ADEM's permits detailing how coal ash will be managed at various power plants.

Religion

As The Pandemic Drags On, UAB Pastoral Care Head Finds New Ways To Connect
2020-12-21 09:13:04

Eight months after we first spoke, we checked back in with Malcolm Marler, senior director of pastoral care at UAB Medicine.

Crime

Birmingham Police Need The Public's Help In Solving Homicides, Woodfin Says
2020-12-30 16:06:52

The overall crime rate in Birmingham went down compared to last year, but the city’s murder rate increased 13 percent in 2020, according to data from the Birmingham Police Department.

Race and Culture

Alabama Struggling With Racial Disparities In Child Poverty Levels, Report Says
2020-12-04 11:40:43

Children of color will make up the majority of the child population and the majority of the workforce in Alabama by 2030, according to the 2020 Alabama Kids Count report.

Dogs, Firehoses Were A Precursor To Today’s Violent Protests
2020-11-23 09:54:41

“You will never be Christ, but that doesn’t mean that you stop pursuing that Christ-like behavior. What we have to do is be in relentless pursuit of having a positive relationship with the community we serve," said Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith.

‘Unjustifiable’ Sheds Light On An Overlooked Alabama Police Killing
2020-11-16 13:26:26

The podcast from Reckon South digs into the case of Bonita Carter, a 20-year-old Black woman, who was shot and killed outside of a convenience store in 1979.

Efforts to Keep Jones In U.S. Senate Sets New Records
2020-11-12 12:44:04

The effort to re-elect U.S. Senator Doug Jones fell short. However, organizers say Black women, who were credited with helping him win the seat in 2017, are preparing for the future.

'History Of Us' Course Introduces Students To Their Ancestors And The Role Of Race In America’s History
2020-11-09 12:16:14

'History of Us' is touted as the first Black history course of its kind taught in the Tuscaloosa public school system. The course asks students to be historians by researching major themes in Black history and framing those themes locally.

Weather