| Birmingham -- Each week we'll hear an update on political happenings in Birmingham and Jefferson County from Birmingham News local political reporter Kyle Whitmire. Hear him Wednesday afternoons on All Things Considered.
| 2014-03-05 -- It got a little tense at the statehouse last night when the topic of abortion legislation was discussed. This week the Alabama House passed a bill to ban most abortions in the state and make legal abortions difficult if not impossible. One representative brought up the issue of race and how he thinks it plays a role in a woman's choice to abort a pregnancy.
| 2014-02-19 -- Monumental Contracting, one of several contractors involved with a flight information display board that collapsed on 10 year old Luke Bresette at the Birmingham airport last year, has been cleared of responsibility. Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and the Birmingham News joins us for an update.
| 2014-02-05 -- Kyle Whitmire from Al.com and the Birmingham News joins us to discuss the details of Alabama's revolving door ban. It prohibits legislators from lobbyists for two years after they leave office.
| 2014-01-22 -- Governor Robert Bentley has introduced a bill that would make serial meetings among public officials illegal. Bentley also wants to close other various loopholes in Alabama's Open Meetings Act. These changes would not only impact Alabama lawmakers at the statehouse but also Jefferson County Commissioners. Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and the Birmingham News joins us.
| 2014-01-15 -- On Tuesday night, Governor Robert Bentley used his State of the State address to talk about jobs, Medicaid, and raises for state employees. But there were several issues the Governor didn't mention at all. Kyle Whitmire of Al.com and the Birmingham News discusses what was left out of the address.
| 2014-01-08 -- Jefferson County spent millions of dollars in legal costs during Chapter 9 bankruptcy including more than $300,000 in fees for public relations. Some commissioners said they didn't learn about the spending until this week. Plus, the future of Birmingham based law firm Haskell, Slaughter & Young remains uncertain. Kyle Whitmire from AL.com and the Birmingham News discusses these issues and more.
| 2013-12-31 -- If Jefferson County officials were to sit down and write three new year's resolutions,what would they be? Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and the Birmingham News joins us as we look at the county's future in 2014.
| 2013-12-18 -- In 2010, Alabama's unemployment rate was around 10 percent. Governor Robert Bently campaigned on the promise to reduce unemployment numbers, and to not draw a paycheck until he did. Today, unemployment is down to 6.5 percent in Alabama. But the numbers don't tell the whole story. Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and the Birmingham News joins us to discuss Alabama unemployment and job growth.
| 2013-12-11 -- On Monday members of the Hoover board of education agreed to overturn an earlier vote to stop offering bus services next school year. The vote came after months of complaints and protests by parents. Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and the Birmingham News discusses how this decision will impact students, families, and schools in the Hoover system.
| 2013-11-26 -- If things go according to plan, Jefferson County will exit municipal bankruptcy on December 3. However, many of its financial problems remain. Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and the Birmingham News joins us to discuss four things that will come out of exiting bankruptcy and four things that won't change.
| 2013-11-13 -- City Council President Maxine Parker died at the age of 69 on Tuesday. We'll take a look at Parker's legacy as well as what's next for the council. Plus, JeffCo gets another bad review from a major rating agency regarding the county's sewer debt. Kyle Whitmire from Al.com and the Birmingham News joins us to discuss.
| 2013-11-06 -- There are still many hurdles Jefferson County must overcome before exiting bankruptcy. Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and the Birmingham News stops by to discuss worst case scenarios.
| 2013-10-30 -- On Thursday the Jefferson County Commission will be holding a meeting regarding the major sewer creditor groups and the county's bankruptcy exit plans. Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and the Birmingham News joins us to discuss the possibilities of that meeting.
| 2013-10-16 -- Birmingham orthopedic surgeon and former Alabama State University trustee Lawrence Lemak reportedly violated the university's conflict of interest policy. A forensic audit released by Governor Bentleyâs office says Lemakâs businesses or entities that employed his family members benefited from contracts with the school. Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and the Birmingham News has the details.
| 2013-10-09 -- Kyle Whitmire with the Birmingham News and Al.com gives a detailed update on Jefferson County's bankruptcy exit plan.
| 2013-10-02 -- This week city officials finally approved a 2014 budget for Birmingham. Plus, Republican Representative Spencer Bachus announced he will not be seeking another term in Congress. Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and the Birmingham News joins us to discuss this weekâs news in Alabama politics.
| 2013-09-25 -- A six-page letter from a California firm announcing a November bankruptcy court hearing has been mailed out to JeffCo sewer ratepayers. The letter has caused some concern and confusion. Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and the Birmingham News joins us to explain.
| 2013-09-18 -- On Tuesday Jefferson County commissioners approved a budget that's more than $463 million. The budget includes more money to buy county equipment, a cost of living raise for county workers, and additional funds to reopen the JeffCo jail in Bessemer. Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and the Birmingham News joins us to explain the specifics of JeffCo's budget.
| 2013-09-11 -- Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and the Birmingham News offers insights on the legacy of the late veteran legislator Demertrius Newton. He also discusses the impact of Empowerment week on the city of Birmingham.
| 2013-09-04 -- Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and the Birmingham News gives us a quick update on the receiver appointment for Jefferson County. He also has the details on where Alabama falls in the list of most corrupt states in America.
| 2013-08-28 -- Citizens of Birmingham headed to the polls this week. Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and the Birmingham News offers his thoughts and analysis on the results.
| 2013-08-21 -- This week U.S. District Court Judge Lynwood Smith said the county needs to appoint a receiver. The receiver will select, hire, promote, demote, discipline, or fire Jefferson County employees. Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and the Birmingham News explains what the appointment of the receiver means for JeffCo residents and those employed by the county.
| 2013-08-14 -- Kyle Whitmire joins us to discuss developments from Wednesday morning's plane crash. The UPS cargo plane crashed on the outskirts of Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. The pilot and co-pilot were pronounced dead at the scene and the cause of the incident remains unknown.
| 2013-08-07 -- This week Jefferson County successfully defended its bankruptcy plan from four objectors in federal court. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett said the objectors did not have standing to object to the county's plan because they were not creditors. Kyle Whitmire explains what this week's hearing means for ratepayers in Jefferson County.
| 2013-07-31 -- At the core of Jefferson County's sewer problems is a question of fairness: Are Jefferson County sewer rates reasonable? What defines reasonable? And if theyâre not, how do we change the sewer rates? Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and The Birmingham News says there's still work to be done when it comes to creating reasonable sewer rates in Jefferson County.
| 2013-07-24 -- The County Commission wants to raise sewer rates even more than originally planned to help Jefferson County exit bankruptcy. Some argue this is whatâs needed to help Jefferson County while others say it unfairly places a burden on the county's people. Kyle Whitmire takes a closer look at what the hike in rates really means.
| 2013-07-17 -- Local elections are taking place next month. Candidates are getting their platforms ready and thinking about what they want to accomplish while in office. But before they start making promises to voters, they may want to take a closer look at what power they actually have when elected. Kyle Whitmire with Al.com and The Birmingham News says, local officials are often surprised by what they can and cannot do once they get into office.
| 2013-07-10 -- Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and The Birmingham News attended this week's Board of Education meeting. Tensions at the meeting were high between state intervention team officials and elected board members. Kyle explains why the state intervention team is there in the first place as well as what needs to be accomplished before it can leave.
| 2013-07-03 -- Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and The Birmingham News takes a look at the growing tensions in Birmingham's City Council, the surprising announcement of Edward Maddox's run for City Council, and thoughts on Jefferson County's bankruptcy exit plan.
| 2013-06-26 -- In a 5 to 4 vote the US Supreme Court struck down section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Some see the ruling as a setback for voting rights others say it's progress for southern states. The Supreme Court also ruled the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional. Kyle Whitmire with AL.com and The Birmingham News weighs in on what these rulings mean for Alabama.
| 2013-06-19 -- This week 78 schools were listed as failing in Alabama. Birmingham had the most schools listed than any other place in the state. We talk with Kyle Whitmire, political reporter with AL.com and The Birmingham News on what this means for Birmingham schools.
| 2013-06-12 -- Privacy concerns are news with the NSA and PRISM stories, Alabama makes news with roadblocks to gain samples from drivers. And good news about Birmingham? We talk with Kyle Whitmire, political reporter with AL.com and The Birmingham News.
| 2013-05-29 -- A proposal to increase by more than $43,000 the office budget for Commissioner George Bowman has some county commissioners concerned. That proposal comes two weeks after Bowman provided a tie breaking vote for Carol Sue Nelson, the new county attorney. We talk politics with Kyle Whitmire, political reporter with AL.com and The Birmingham News.
| 2013-05-22 -- The Alabama legislative session that wrapped up Monday saw heated debate on issues such as education and guns. But something we didn't hear much about this year is Jefferson County. The last few sessions Jefferson County issues made waves in the legislature. But this year most local bills quietly died. We talk a look with AL.com and The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2013-05-15 -- Gov. Robert Bentley wants a two-year delay before implementing the Alabama Accountability Act, and the Alabama Democratic Party is broke. We talk politics with Kyle Whitmire, political reporter with AL.com and The Birmingham News.
| 2013-05-08 -- There remain many questions about what caused a flight information display at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport to tip over earlier this spring, killing a 10-year-old boy. But we are getting a clearer picture of the design of the display. Also, Bessemer police shut down a popular blues juke joint. We talk about it with AL.com and The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2013-05-01 -- Jefferson County has put the "Help Wanted" sign up again for the top legal job in the county. The Water Works Board is wrestling with the future. We talk about those topics and more with The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2013-04-03 -- It's been almost two weeks since a flight information display at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport tipped over killing a 10-year-old boy and injuring his mother and two of his brothers. There's still key information about the incident which hasn't been released. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire explains what we know and what we don't know.
| 2013-03-27 -- There are many questions for airport officials, contractors and city officials following the death of a 10-year-old boy at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport. A flight information display weighing at least 300 pounds fell over Friday, killing the boy and injuring his mother and two of his brothers. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire talks about why the display wasn't inspected and who is to blame.
| 2013-03-20 -- For those living in urban areas, it's sometimes possible to become callous or indifferent to the steady drip of crime. While murders in Birmingham are low by historic standards, a shooting this past Sunday in Railroad Park left a 15-year-old boy dead. That's bringing new attention to the issue. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire talk about the community response.
| 2013-03-13 -- Alabama Republicans, Democrats and the education community are still in an uproar over the Alabama Accountability Act, almost two weeks after it was rushed through the state legislature. The bill would offer tax credits to parents for transferring their kids from a failing school to a non-failing public or private school. But now there are questions about differing versions of the bill. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire has details.
| 2013-03-06 -- A Montgomery judge is extending a temporary restraining order blocking Alabama's governor from signing a controversial school bill into law. But Republican leaders vow to appeal to the Alabama Supreme Court. We hear about the political fallout from The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2013-02-27 -- Conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court asked tough questions Wednesday about the need for portions of the Voting Rights Act. The court is hearing a challenge to the law filed by Shelby County, Alabama. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire talks about the case.
| 2013-02-20 -- Alabama's on-again, off-again battle over gambling is definitely on-again this week as Attorney General Luther Strange took action to try and stop four casinos in the state. One is a familiar target -- VictoryLand. The other is newer -- The Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire has more.
| 2013-02-13 -- Jefferson County commissioners say they have a deal to lower interest rates on a portion of the county's debt. It's a sign a plan to exit municipal bankruptcy could be on the way. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire explains.
| 2013-02-06 -- No relief for Birmingham shoppers as the Birmingham City Council, reauthorizes a one percent sales tax for five years. We hear more from The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire
| 2013-01-30 -- This week is an important one for Jefferson County's efforts to exit bankruptcy. Two county commissioners spent time in New York meeting with hedge fund managers. On Wednesday a trail gets underway on creditors' request to lift a stay preventing legal action against the county. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire explains the situation.
| 2013-01-23 -- Two Jefferson County Commissioner deny a report they're split over a proposed redistricting plan. But there's no denying that which district Legion Field ends up in has major political implications. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire explains.
| 2013-01-16 -- A big question this year is whether Jefferson County will exit municipal bankruptcy. County commissioners spent a good deal of time this week working toward that effort in closed door meetings. We talk about it with The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2013-01-09 -- There's a battle playing out in Montgomery between the leaders of the Retirement Systems of Alabama and the Alabama Education Association. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire explains the talk of a board "power play."
| 2013-01-02 -- With the new year comes a new set up for Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. The Jefferson County-owned facility turned its emergency room into an urgent care center on January 1st. The hospital also closed inpatient care and laid off more than 200 people. We talk about it with The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-12-19 -- Alabama's attorney general has subpoenaed financial records from the State Republican Party, ones that show a company co-owned by House Speaker Mike Hubbard benefited from party spending. We talk about that with the Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-12-12 -- Apply for a job at Jefferson County, and you, too, could be a winner. Federal Judge Lynwood Smith proposed an interim solution for Jefferson County's personnel problems. Until the court, the plaintiffs and the county could establish a fair and unbiased system for hiring and firing county employees, the county could do so with a lottery. We talk about that and other politics now as we do most Wednesdays with The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-12-05 -- It's not every day a city leader is in a roadside shootout. But that happened to Birmingham Mayor William Bell on Friday. And while the mayor is okay, The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire says police aren't being forthcoming with details.
| 2012-11-28 -- There are three open seats on the BJCC Board. The problem is four people have been appointed. It's a dispute that's embroiled the Jefferson County legislative delegation and is now spurring legal action. The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire has details.
| 2012-11-21 -- A new report shows some of Alabama's largest municipalities have very low financial reserves. Local governments rely a lot on sales taxes and revenues have been lower since the recession. The report from the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama finds that the City of Montgomery had a negative fund balance for 2010, though the city's finance director disputes that. Kyle Whitmire says many other communities may be in the black, but they're still dangerously vulnerable.
| 2012-11-14 -- A change in leadership on the Birmingham Board of Education, racially charged comments from a Birmingham City Councilman and talk of secession -- we hear more from the Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-11-07 -- Alabama Republicans now hold all statewide offices after Tuesday's election. But Democrats swept Jefferson County. We talk about the results with the Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-10-31 -- An undocumented journalist in the middle of debate over illegal immigration speaks in Birmingham and Jefferson County nears a plan to pay back some of its debt under bankruptcy. We hear details from the Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-10-24 -- State auditors have found Jefferson County lawmakers aren't keeping proper records for a legislative fund, Jefferson County's lead attorney wants a raise and Rev. Al Sharpton plans a visit to the Magic City. We have details from the Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-10-03 -- Birmingham gears up for a bond referendum, Governor Bentley weighs in on the dispute over Cooper Green Mercy Hospital's future and not just government services, but government power is being privatized. We talk about it The Birmingham News' Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-07-25 -- The state took firm control of the Birmingham City Schools this week, after the system's superintendent was abruptly fired and then reinstated by a judge. We talk about it Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-07-18 -- Control of the Birmingham City Schools is up in the air after the Birmingham Board of Education fires Superintendent Craig Witherspoon. But with the school system under a state takeover, the state overturned the action minutes later. We talk about it with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-07-11 -- The Birmingham City Council rejects the mayor's new budget and the Birmingham Board of Education holds a meeting with nothing on the agenda. We talk about it with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-06-27 -- The state of Alabama has officially taken over the Birmingham City Schools. We'll talk about what happens from here with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-06-20 -- Birmingham Mayor William Bell wants to build a bridge downtown and loose lips throw a twist into the Updyke trial in Auburn. We talk about it with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-06-13 -- The Birmingham News begins announcing major job cuts this week. We hear what that means for the future of the paper from Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-06-06 -- The state could take over the Birmingham City Schools after the board of education rejects a state-backed cost cutting plan. We talk about it with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-05-30 -- Alabama's media landscape will change when the Birmingham News starts publishing just three times a week this fall. We talk about the unknown questions with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-05-23 -- Jefferson County is looking to cut staff, but that's difficult to do. We look at why with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-05-16 -- The bill to authorize a new occupational tax for Jefferson County is dead. We hear more from Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-05-09 -- Jefferson County officials are still looking to state lawmakers to authorize that illusive occupational tax. We update the situation with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-05-02 -- Time is running out for a new Jefferson County occupational tax and the City of Birmingham looks to end the fiscal year with a deficit. We talk about that with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-04-18 -- The Birmingham City Council passes a new smoking ban. We talk about that and other local government matters with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-04-11 -- The Birmingham Board of Education tries, but fails to fire Superintendent Craig Witherspoon. We talk about the meeting with Weld for Birmingham's Kyle Whitmire.
| 2012-04-04 -- Cooper Green Mercy Hospital offers a cost savings plan as it struggles to pay overdue bills. We talk about that and other political matters with Kyle Whitmire. Heâs senior writer and new media editor at Weld for Birmingham.
| 2012-03-28 -- Jefferson County defaults on more than $15 million in general obligation bonds and more information trickles out about Cooper Green Mercy Hospital's financial hole
| 2012-03-21 -- Cooper Green Mercy Hospital is behind on the bills, Jefferson County looks to reopen a satellite courthouse and Graysville's mayor under fire
| 2012-03-14 -- Post election analysis regarding U.S. Rep. Spencer Bachus and Roy Moore as well as what's behind Milton McGregor's full-page ad in last Sunday's Birmingham News
| 2012-03-07 -- The future of gambling in Alabama in the wake of the acquittal of Milton McGregor and five others in Alabama's gambling corruption trial, and and independent report is highly critical of Jefferson County's finances
| 2012-02-29 -- Treason from within from Jefferson County Commission President David Carrington and another shakeup in the Birmingham Jefferson County Transit Authority
| 2012-02-22 -- Lack of transparency in the Jefferson County budget, and how Jefferson County ended up deciding to lay off tax collectors to save money, but lost money in the process
| 2012-02-15 -- Polling in Alabama's 6th Congressional District Republican Primary and a proposed smoking ban in Birmingham
| 2012-02-08 -- Arguements over Jefferson County's sewer revenues, a bill to change buying car tags in Jefferson County and a candidate drops out of the Republican primary race for the 6th Congressional District
| 2012-02-01 -- A defendant in Alabama's gambling corruption trial is found dead, former Governor Don Siegelman appeals his corruption conviction and Congressman Spencer Bachus releases ads
| 2012-01-25 -- January's tornado's impact on Jefferson County's finances, the legislative fight over a Jefferson County occupational tax and Richard Scrushy is resentenced
| 2012-01-18 -- Jefferson County Commissioners call on legislators or reinstate an occupational tax and Stan Pate enters the race for Alabama's 6th Congressional District
| 2012-01-11 -- Budget hearings in Jefferson County, Jefferson County's sewer receiver loses control of the sewer system and State Senator Scott Beason calls a press conference
| 2012-01-04 -- The latest Jefferson County bankruptcy hearing and State Senator Scott Beason considers a run for congress
| 0000-00-00 -- This week Jefferson County successfully defended its bankruptcy plan from four objectors in federal court. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett said the objectors did not have standing to object to the county's plan because they were not creditors. Kyle Whitmire explains what this week's hearing means for ratepayers in Jefferson County.