INTERVIEW: Arnold Shober On The Importance Of School Board Leadership

Across the country, school boards have been losing power to state and federal authorities, and some experts see local boards as increasingly ineffective. But last month, an education policy think tank released a national report on the influence of school board leadership. According to the Fordham Institute, local boards really do impact student achievement. Given recent events in Birmingham City Schools and other area systems, WBHM's education reporter Dan Carsen caught up with co-author Arnold Shober, who says the overall vision of a school board is key, as is the way members are elected.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Few were surprised when Energen announced the company was selling its subsidiary Alagasco. Reports had been flying for months that Energen was looking for a buyer for the utility. Now that a St. Louis firm is picking up Alagasco for $1.6 billion, we’ll look at what the sale means for Birmingham. That's in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

John Archibald: Why Bills Don't Pass in Alabama

If there's anyone who can breath a sigh of relief coming out of the recent Alabama legislative session, it's the Birmingham Water Works Board. Officials there were not happy with a proposed bill that would change the make up of the board and bring new restrictions. That bill died. But the board also spent hundreds of thousands of dollars for lobbyists to try and defeat it. We hear about it with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.

Birmingham Barons: National Anthem Tryouts

It's opening day at Regions Field for the Southern League Champion Birmingham Barons. Players and baseball fans have been anxiously awaiting the first pitch. But another group of Barons fans have been looking forward to the season for slightly different reasons.

Kyle Whitmire: 2014 Session Review

The 2014 session has come to a close. For an election year, there was plenty of action and drama at the statehouse. We take a look back at the highs and lows as well as the possibility of a special session with Kyle Whitmire of and the Birmingham News.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

One of Birmingham's largest private companies is being sold to an Ohio-based company. Steris has agreed to buy Birmingham-based Integrated Medical Systems. It's one of two recent cases of out-of-state companies buying Birmingham properties and we hear about that in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Don Dailey: 2014 Legislative Session Review

The 2014 Alabama legislative session is in the books. Lawmakers wrapped up the session Thursday evening but there's a looming question about one key piece of legislation -- the education budget. We review the final days of the session with Don Dailey.

John Archibald: A Legislative Plea Deal

Thursday is the last day of the Alabama legislative session. It's a busy time in Montgomery, but if one thing can cut through all that activity, it's a sudden resignation and a plea deal. Montgomery Republican Representative Greg Wren resigned unexpectedly Tuesday and within hours the state attorney general's office announced a plea deal with Wren over an ethics charge. Many people believe there are similar announcements to come. We talk about it with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.

Folk Singer Willie Watson Brings Classic Folk and Blues to Birmingham

Guitar, banjo and harmonica player Willie Watson was a founding member of Old Crow Medicine Show, a popular Nashville-based Americana band. He left in 2011, after almost fifteen years performing with the band. Since then, Watson has been exploring his love of old folk music. His first solo album, "Folk Singer, Vol. 1" comes out next month. Watson plays Wednesday, April 2, at The Bottletree Cafe.

Cindy Crawford: Magic City Marketplace

Law firms around Birmingham have been kind of playing a game of crack the whip in recent years with economic pressures flinging them around. Now that two firms have gone under it's a game of musical chairs to see where everyone will end up. We talk about the state of the legal field around Birmingham in this week's Magic City Marketplace.

Going Natural: It's Not Just a Hairstyle, It's a Lifestyle

It was the summer of 2002, and I was probably on hour three of the tedious process of attempting to straighten my hair with all the heat my scalp could stand. This, of course, was in addition to the chemical hair relaxer occasionally applied to my tresses. While I wrestled with my hair, my roommate turned to me and said, "Maybe your hair doesn't want to be straight. Why don't you just wear it curly?"

Birmingham Native Callie Courter's New Album 'Love is for the Brave'

Callie Courter can't remember when she wasn't writing poetry and singing around the house. The Birmingham native started writing song lyrics while majoring in music at UAB. As a graduation present, her dad financed the production of her first album, called 'Love Is For The Brave.' She now lives in Nashville, where she's chasing her dreams of being a professional musician. Courter sat down with Les Lovoy to tell WBHM about the new album, her first experience in the studio, and her songwriting process.

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