John Archibald: Preferential Treatment for the Governor's Security Head

Those who protect prominent politicians often stay out of the limelight, But the head of Alabama Governor Robert Bentley's security detail is getting some unwelcomed attention. It's for how much he's making and for a promotion some say wasn't deserved. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald has the details.

The Uncertain Future Of The AEA

Paul Hubbert is the retired leader of the Alabama Education Association. This week he wrote a letter to the AEA board of directors saying the organization is in trouble. He says there are management, financial, and organizational problems. Kyle Whitmire of AL.com and the Birmingham News joins us to discuss the future of the AEA.

Contracts Bring Controversy In Vestavia Hills Schools

If you could keep your six-figure salary but work only "as needed," mainly from home, advising the person doing your old job, would you take that deal? After 14 years as Vestavia Hills schools superintendent, that's exactly what Dr. Jamie Blair is doing now. And that's raised some questions in this highly regarded school district. Some support the school board's decision, but others say it's just wrong. WBHM's education reporter Dan Carsen has much more.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Birmingham economic development officials have been pushing to grow technology and life sciences companies in recent years. But that growth isn't as robust as some think it could be. And it has to do with venture capital. We explain in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

VIDEO: AL.com and WBHM Investigate Alabama's Prison Problems

VIDEO: Alabama's prisons are overcrowded, underfunded, and riddled with problems ranging from poor prisoner healthcare to inmate sexual abuse. With the threat of a federal takeover on the horizon, what's next for Alabama's prisons? Learn more in this video produced by AL.com. It highlights the recent prison reporting by the Alabama Investigative Journalism Lab, and features AL.com and WBHM reporters.

Churches Could Be Key To Ending HIV Stigma In Rural Alabama

According to the Centers for Disease Control, African Americans account for 75 percent of Alabama's HIV cases, but only about 25 percent of the state's population. In many neighborhoods, HIV is a disease spoken about in whispers. People are scared to get tested, and scared to be seen going to a clinic. In order to combat stigma and increase awareness, doctors and academics are going to an unlikely place -- the church -- in an attempt to break down some barriers. Ashley Cleek traveled down to the Black Belt to see how it's going.

The Story of Sloss Quarters

A part of Birmingham's past is coming alive again. From the 1880's to the mid 1900's, Sloss Furnaces was an economic driver for the Magic City. It put Birmingham on the map as the place in the south for iron production. But those furnaces and boilers left over today don't tell the stories of the people who worked and lived there. That's about to change.

Artwalk: Public Forum

Artist Steve Lambert likes to say his medium is "trouble." That's a creative way of saying he's less interested in pretty pictures than in artwork that challenges the audience. Or in the case of his latest, work that forces them to examine their own views. The New York-based artist is currently an artist in residence at Birmingham's Space One Eleven gallery. This weekend he brings his work called "Public Forum" to Birmingham’s Artwalk.

John Archibald: Open Season for Campaign Finance Abuse

Alabama has seen a number of high profile corruption trials in recent years, but one that won't be added to the list is that of Lowell Barron. The former Democratic State Senator and a staffer faced charges of misusing campaign funds. The attorney general's office though dropped the case last week after the Alabama Supreme Court upheld a lower court judge's ruling blocking certain evidence from being presented. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald says that constitutes a slap in the face.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Drive north of Birmingham on Interstate 65 and you will soon see an expansive construction site. It’s the pending interchange between Interstate 65 and Interstate 22. That project was supposed to be completed this year, but officials now say it'll be at least next year before the orange barrels are gone. Still developers see potential. We talk about it now in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Javacia Harris Bowser: The

It's that time of year -- students are headed back to the classroom for their fall semesters and teachers are getting ready to implement their lesson plans in the hopes of inspiring a new group of young minds. And while there are guidelines and rules teachers must follow when creating their curriculum, some teachers are look for ways to think outside the box to connect with their students. Our guest blogger Javacia Harris Bowser writes about this in her monthly post for WBHM. As an educator herself, she has some insights and inspiration for teachers.

John Archibald: Court Fines and the Wonders of Birmingham

The flashpoint for protests in Ferguson, Missouri, these last few weeks is the shooting death of 18-year old, African American Michael Brown by a white police officer. But those protests rest on kindling of distrust between the town's black majority and the white leadership. Part of that distrust could be due to court fines that have become increasingly part of Ferguson's revenue and it sounds similar to a phenomenon in Alabama. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald talks about that and offers his seven wonders of the Birmingham world.

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