Alabama lawmakers are off and running now that this year's regular session is underway. The first week began with the governor's State of the State Address. Meanwhile, legislators are already tangling over some high-profile bills. We hear details from Alabama Public Television's Don Dailey.
After Thursday's mix of sleet and freezing rain, some school systems are closed or opening late on Friday, March 6.
Saturday, March 7 is the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. That's when police beat marches trying to walk from Selma to Montgomery in support of voting rights. While people look back at Selma 50 years ago, the weekly newspaper WELD has published a letter written just 11 days after Bloody Sunday. It offers a unique insight into what some of the people in Selma thought about those events as they unfolded. WELD editor Nick Patterson reads from the letter, which he says "offers a pretty significant glimpse into the mind of one particular facet of the community in Selma."
Alabama probate judges are again in the crosshairs after a state supreme court order Tuesday telling them not to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. This is in opposition to a federal judge's ruling overturning Alabama's ban on gay marriage. We talk about the situation and emails in the Speaker Mike Hubbard corruption case with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.
The Alabama Accountability Act has been controversial since the night it passed the state legislature in 2013. What started as a school flexibility bill morphed into a way to give tax credits and scholarships to students to attend other public schools and private schools. But late Monday the state Supreme Court upheld the law. WBHM's Dan Carsen caught up with Alabama School Connection writer Trisha Powell Crain to talk it over. Crain starts with a brief overview of the Act, and some concerns.
This week marks the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the day police in Alabama beat marchers going from Selma to Montgomery in support of voting rights. Less well-known is the violent confrontation that sparked the Selma marches. It happened a few weeks earlier during a demonstration in Marion, a small town near Selma. A black civil rights activist named Jimmie Lee Jackson was shot and killed.
Probate judges in Alabama find themselves under competing orders after the Alabama Supreme Court told them this week to stop issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples. A gay rights organization says it can't find any counties now issuing marriage licenses to gay couples and Mobile's probate judge says he won't issue marriage licenses to anybody. To explain what's happening, WBHM spoke to Henry Corky Strickland about the order. He's the dean of Samford University's law school. In this interview, Strickland explains what makes the situation so unusual.
This weekend, TEDx Birmigham featured the chance to hear individuals sharing their experiences and passions. WBHM's Michael Krall and Will Dahlberg attended TEDx Birmingham and share their thoughts.
Charter schools are public schools exempt from many of the curriculum and staffing rules that apply to standard schools. But to stay open, charters are supposed to meet achievement goals spelled out in their charter contract. Alabama is one of eight states that does not allow charter schools, but that could change soon. After failing to pass a charter bill in 2012, Republican lawmakers are trying again in the session that's starting today, March 3, 2015. WBHM's education reporter Dan Carsen caught up with Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, the charter bill's sponsor. He says being late to the game is actually an advantage.
Hospitals around Birmingham are preparing for a major shift in the healthcare marketplace -- the proposed merger of Baptist Health System and Brookwood Medical Center. That deal could close as soon as next month and would combine two big players in Birmingham healthcare. Thats where we start in this week's Magic City Marketplace.
Leonard Nimoy, best known for his role as Mr. Spock on Star Trek has died at the age of 83. In 2009, WBHM's Michael Krall interviewed Nimoy who came to Birmingham to give a lecture about his photography. While there were plenty of questions regarding his photography, Nimoy also took time to talk about his role as Mr. Spock.
Lingering ice and snow from Wednesday's winter storm has some schools, particularly in north Alabama, closed or delayed Friday