Interview: Birmingham Barons General Manager Jonathan Nelson

This Saturday, the Birmingham Barons kick off a five-game series against the Tennessee Smokies. The 2013 Southern League Champions are already off to a strong start for their second season at Regions Field. More than 35,000 fans attended the Barons season-opening homestand earlier this month. For more on what to expect this baseball season, WBHM's Rachel Osier Lindley caught up with Birmingham Barons general manager Jonathan Nelson. This is Nelson's 21st season working in professional baseball, and his 10th season as the Barons general manager. In this conversation, Nelson talks about the pressures of following the 2012-2013 season, the impact of the new Regions Field downtown and his favorite Barons mascot.

Longtime Secretary of the Alabama Senate Dies

Former longtime secretary of the Alabama state Senate, McDowell Lee, has died at the age of 89. His daughter says Lee died Thursday afternoon after a brief illness at his home in Auburn. In 2008, WBHM's Andrew Yeager spoke with Lee about his position and the change he had seen through five decades in the legislature.

John Archibald: A Lackluster Primary

Election season is gearing up as candidates campaign for the primaries on June 3rd. There are races for governor and congress. But it's perhaps understandable if this year's races don't generate as much excitement as in the past. Alabama Media Group columnist John Archibald picks out a few key races.

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 AL.com 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.

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