More than a thousand people gathered Thrusday afternoon at Lawson State Community College in Birmingham to hear a speech by President Barack Obama. He used the visit to promote ideas he says will help working families and to tout proposed new rules on payday lenders. While the remarks were about policy, for many people, the fact they heard a sitting president speak in Birmingham represented a once in a lifetime opportunity.
ArcLight Stories features live storytelling from right here in Birmingham. No notes, no outlines. Just great storytellers sharing great (true) stories. In partnership with WBHM, ArcLight Stories is a now an ongoing radio show! The next broadcast is today at 2pm and 7pm. Listen to previous episodes by clicking above.
Heroin related deaths more than doubled last year in Jefferson county. All this week, WBHM has explored Alabama's heroin problem. With a rise in use of the drug, police report more heroin arrests, and judges say their dockets are filling up with cases. According to Birmingham's drug court, eight out of ten cases are for heroin. We conclude our series with a look at the courts. Ashley Cleek followed one addict into the criminal justice system to see what works and what doesn't.
Though the Alabama Legislature was on Spring Break this week a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court has state lawmakers concerned. On Wednesday a divided Supreme Court said a lower court must review whether Alabama's Republican-led legislature relied too heavily on race when it redrew the state's voting districts in 2012.
With heroin use increasing in Alabama the last few years, public health leaders are looking for ways to reduce heroin overdose deaths. Naloxone could be part of it. The drug, more commonly known as Narcan, can reverse the effects of a heroin overdose if administered to a user in time. It's not addictive nor does it produce a high. State Representative Allen Treadaway (R-Morris) refers to it as a miracle drug. Treadaway is also a Birmingham police captain and he's introduced HB 208 in the Alabama legislature to expand access to Naloxone.
UAB President Ray Watts faces calls for his resignation after documents released this week suggest university leaders considered announcing the end of the school's football, bowling and rifle programs months earlier than they did. The documents come from a public relations firm that was devising a strategy for handling the controversial decision and mentions a task list for an announcement in September. But Watts has said the decision to kill the football program was not made until shortly before the announcement was actually made in December. We talk about the situation with Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald.
As heroin use increases in North Central Alabama, law enforcement is taking a hard look at how to stop the supply, and handle heroin dealers and users. But beyond arresting dealers, they're also often the first on the scene of heroin overdoses. Les Lovoy reports on how law enforcement officials are juggling drug enforcement and saving lives.
President Barack Obama visits Birmingham Thursday. He'll speak at Lawson State Community College about payday lending. It's a big business in Alabama -- one of the states with the most payday lenders per capita.
Thursday night, the band Wye Oak, Brooklyn composer William Brittelle, and the Alabama Symphony Orchestra collaborate on innovative orchestral re-imaginings of Wye Oak songs. WBHM's Michael Krall spoke with band member Andy Stack about the concert and the band's sound...
In Part One of WBHM's five-part series, we heard about how and why heroin use is on the rise in Alabama. Now in Part Two, education reporter Dan Carsen looks at how some young people are trying to slow its spread in their schools. The story starts with a confession in a small office just outside downtown Birmingham.
Heroin use has exploded in Alabama, with heroin-related deaths more than doubling in Jefferson County last year. All this week, WBHM explores the heroin problem in our series Heroin in Alabama. We'll hear what schools, law enforcement, the courts, and others are doing to fight heroin abuse and curb overdose deaths. To start, a look at the scope of the problem and how we got to here.
This month marks the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights March from Selma to Montgomery. On the eve of marching to the state capitol building, protestors stayed at The City of St Jude. It's not actually a city, but a Catholic mission that takes up two city blocks in west Montgomery. It was started in the 1930s in an attempt to address the lack of education and healthcare for African-Americans in the South. It's association with voting rights may be seen favorably now, but it was not always held in high regard. Reporter Ashley Cleek brings us this story of a place before its time.