Hangout Music Fest, Nepal Fundraiser in Birmingham

May 15, 2015

The sixth annual Hangout Music Fest kicks off this afternoon on the beaches of Gulf Shores.

The three-day music festival features more than 80 performances by some of the biggest music names in the world, like Beck, the Foo Fighters, My Morning Jacket and plenty more.

Forty thousand people are expected to head to Gulf Shores for the event, which means a big economic boom for the community. Grant Brown is the Recreation and Cultural Affairs Director for the City of Gulf Shores.

Selma Audit, Alabama officers honored in Washington D.C.

May 13, 2015

Selma city officials are asking for a state audit.  A-P-R’s Stan Ingold reports the investigation may determine why the city's tax revenue during the Bloody Sunday 50th anniversary was lower than anticipated.

Mayor George Evans told the Selma Times-Journal the city's tax revenue for the month of March was roughly sixteen thousand dollars more than it was in March 2014. That's despite thousands of extra visitors coming to town for the anniversary weekend.

Martin Jay Creasman
Alabama Department of Corrections

A 51 year old escapee from a Morgan County prison has been arrested on accusations that he stole a pickup truck and crashed it into two women, killing them both.

Birmingham police allege Martin Jay Creasman stole a pickup truck from a Birmingham auto shop, then crashed into a car containing 92 year old Margie Lovell and 69 year old Linda Jones. The two women were on their way to a church meeting. The Avondale United Methodist Church released a statement on Twitter saying Lovell and Jones were "well-loved" and "pillars of [their] congregation".

President Obama brought his Middle Class Economics plan to Lawson State Community College in Birmingham.

The Commander-in-Chief covered everything from Washington policy to a fairly new government agency called the Consumer Financial Protections Bureau. The CFPB was created as part of Wall Street reform after the 2008 financial crisis. It's an independent consumer watchdog, and President Obama says they've already made a big impact.

President Obama visited Alabama to talk about economics. The Commander-in-chief arrived in Birmingham aboard Air Force One for a speech at Lawson State Community College.

The President told the crowd what’s good for the middle class is good for America. The White House is criticizing a budget plan in congress which includes tax breaks for the wealthy.

Mr. Obama also targeted Pay Day Loan operations which charge high interest rates…

President Barack Obama will be in Birmingham this afternoon to talk about the economy.

The President will be speaking at Lawson State Community College on consumer protection issues and the contrast between his vision for the American middle class and Republican efforts to undermine that vision.

According to a White House press release, Congressional Republicans are continuing to roll back progress toward a safer financial system and stronger economy, encouraging the types of abuses that led to the 2008 financial crisis.

President Barack Obama will travel to Alabama next week to give a speech about the economy. It's his second visit to the state this month.

Obama will be in Birmingham on Thursday afternoon. The White House hasn't released any other details about the trip.

Earlier in March, Obama traveled to Selma, Alabama, to mark the 50th anniversary of "Bloody Sunday." Obama led a symbolic march across the bridge where throngs who protested their lack of voting rights were beaten by police.

One Birmingham teenager is dead and two others are injured after shots were fired Friday during a fight the teens had staged for social media.

The Birmingham Police Department says a group of girls had been arguing and decided to fight to settle their differences. They also decided to film the fight to post on Facebook later.

After the fight started, two teenage males started shooting, and three people were hit.

One 14-year-old girl, Kierra'onna Rice, later died at an area hospital, and two more were injured.

Police have taken the two suspects into custody.

Mental Health, IBM Grant and Aerofest

Feb 5, 2015

Officials with Alabama Psychiatric Services say they are ending their service next week.  The company released a statement on their website saying services will stop on February 13. 

Officials say the company is shutting down because of a decline in funding and a change in how it provides behavioral health services.  They also say the company will work to help patients transition to other service providers. 

The change will affect clinics in Birmingham, Cullman, Decatur, Dothan, Fairhope, Florence, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery and Tuscaloosa.

Alabama is still buzzing over the news that Birmingham will be the host city for the 2021 World games. The first task in preparing to host the games will be to watch how Poland does it.

Wroclaw, Poland will be hosting the 2017 games and Alabama be taking notes on how that city handles it. Over four thousand athletes from one hundred countries usually take part.

International World Games Association

Birmingham is among three cities that have submitted bids to host an international sporting event in 2021.

Birmingham along with Lima, Peru, and Ufa, Russia, are in the running to be the site of the World Games seven years from now.

The host city will be announced by the International World Games Association in early 2015.

The games have been held every four years since 1981. While not as well-known as the Olympics, organizers say they involve about 4,500 athletes from 100 countries.

Birmingham is trying to land its biggest prize in years: The 2016 Democratic National Convention.

Officials with the Democratic National Committee will arrive in Alabama's largest city Monday for a two-day visit to assess whether Birmingham could host the massive gathering.

The national representatives will meet with area promoters to discuss logistical needs like hotels and arena space. They'll also attend a public party Monday night at a downtown concert venue, and a private event is planned at the city's year-old baseball park.

City officials in Birmingham and Mobile say new population estimates showing modest gains are important because they show growth in each case. reports that Birmingham's net gain was barely a blip - 672 people between July 2012 and July 2013. Mobile's gain was even more modest: The city added 11 people, for a .01 percent growth rate.

The estimates were released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

Both cities have struggled with declining populations for years, and both cities remain below their 2010 census populations.


Nick Saban confirms he and a partner are working to open a Mercedes-Benz dealership in the Birmingham area. reports the Alabama football coach said a statement Monday he's "honored to join the Mercedes family" and "extremely excited" about the business venture planned for Irondale.

According to county records, nearly $3 million in Jefferson County business property taxes haven't been collected because there aren't enough agents on staff to recoup the money.

Tax collector J.T. Smallwood says the bankrupt county has no tax agents in Birmingham and has one in the Bessemer Division.

According to the tax collector's office, Jefferson County has missed out on $570,000 in 2013 because of uncollected taxes. The county did collect $560 million during the last fiscal year.

  A lawyer for the city of Birmingham says a large cabinet housing flight information monitors that toppled and killed a 10-year-old boy inside a newly renovated airport terminal wasn't inspected by the city after installation.

The monitors were installed in a $201 million upgrade at Birmingham's airport. Assistant city attorney Steve Stine said Tuesday the monitor display didn't require city inspection under municipal code because it wasn't a structural component of the building.

Slawek Puklo / Flickr

The National Weather Service has confirmed that storm damage in Birmingham was caused by a tornado with maximum winds estimated at 90 mph.

The National Weather Service says the tornado hit at about 4:45 a.m. Monday in the area around Finley Avenue near the Birmingham farmer's market. Birmingham Mayor William Bell says there are no reports of injuries from severe weather that damaged roofs and broke windows. He says the city provided tarps to residents whose roofs were damaged. / Birmingham Yellow Cab

Birmingham and Jefferson County are getting some extra help fighting crime. About 100 taxi drivers in Jefferson County have been trained to be on the lookout for suspicious activity. If they see something, they can call police and report it immediately. Yellow Cab announced the new "TOP" or Taxis on Patrol program Monday in front of Birmingham City Hall. The taxis will be equipped with GPS technology that can send and receive information. They will also have security cameras that will be able to help police during investigations.

The City of Birmingham has lost the court fight to keep the Cooper Green Mercy hospital open for the poor. The city was unable to force Jefferson County in the latest round in court Wednesday to keep hospital open and operating as usual. Lawsuits against the county are effectively frozen in place until the county emerges from bankruptcy under Chapter 9. The city asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Bennett to lift a stay so the city could sue the county in state court. The county commission voted in August to close the inpatient unit and emergency room at the county owned hospital.

Jason Comely / Flickr

New payday loan businesses won't be allowed to open in Birmingham until at least next June. The city council on Tuesday extended a ban on the businesses until June 19, 2013. Officials picked that date because it comes after the end of the Legislature's regular session. They want lawmakers to address the number of payday loan businesses in their city and across Alabama during the session. An industry lobbyist criticized the move. Max Woods of Borrow Smart America said the decision hurts customers and small businesses. He also said it doesn't address problems with banks.

Florida Atlantic University

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights is holding a public hearing about crackdowns on illegal immigration in Alabama and other states. The panel will meet in Birmingham on Friday to hear from both supporters and opponents of the laws. Speakers include Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who's pushed for such measures nationwide, and Republican state Sen. Scott Beason of Gardendale, a sponsor of Alabama's law. Critics of the measures are on the agenda, but they're complaining that members of what they call hate groups are being allowed to participate.

Broke Ala. County Delays Decision On Indigent Care

Aug 14, 2012

Commissioners in bankrupt Jefferson County have delayed a decision on whether to close its charity hospital serving the poor. Commission President David Carrington recessed a meeting indefinitely Tuesday after chaos erupted in the packed commission chamber. Demonstrators yelling and singing civil rights protest songs prevented members from discussing the future of Cooper Green Mercy Hospital. The hospital is costing the county millions of dollars annually, and supporters of the shutdown say the county can't afford it.

Thousands Attend Birmingham Job Fair

Aug 8, 2012
Wikimedia Commons

A job fair featuring more than 100 employers drew an estimated 5,000 people seeking work in Birmingham. People began lining up three hours before the event began Wednesday at the city's convention center. The job fair was put together by the office of Rep. Terri Sewell, whose district includes part of metro Birmingham and much of the state's impoverished Black Belt region. Sewell says the unemployment rate in her district is 18.8 percent, or more than 10 percentage points above the national level.

Bankrupt Ala. County Considers Hospital Shutdown

Aug 7, 2012

Leaders in bankrupt Jefferson County are nearing a decision on whether to quit admitting patients to the county's charity hospital as a cost-saving move. The Jefferson County Commission will vote next Tuesday on whether to cease in-patient care at Cooper Green Hospital in Birmingham. The hospital would continue seeing patients at its emergency room, but it would quit admitting patients. Opponents of the proposed closing say they'll stage protests if the commission decides to end hospital admissions.

City Explores Hosting Teams Displaced By Disasters

Aug 7, 2012
Ralph Daily / Flickr

Birmingham's mayor has commissioned a study to determine whether the city could be home to sports teams displaced by hurricanes and other natural disasters. The Birmingham News reports that Bravis Building Solutions was hired partly to research whether Birmingham has the capacity to serve as an evacuation city for pro teams when natural disasters strike their home cities. The study also explored the possibility of Birmingham hosting National Football League summer training camps. Recruiting some type of professional team to Birmingham has been among Mayor William Bell's goals.

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — A Jefferson County Circuit judge postponed an injunction hearing on the lawsuits against Birmingham school officials by the city and state superintendents. The Birmingham News reports that the postponements made Friday will give the school board a chance to decide whether to keep fight the lawsuits or settle. Circuit Judge Houston Brown says the injunction hearing will be postponed until Aug. 1. Brown agreed to delay the hearing that had been set for Monday.

Mitt Romney In Birmingham Aug. 15

Jul 27, 2012
Gage Skidmore / Flickr

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has scheduled a fundraising reception Aug. 15 in Birmingham.

A letter from the Romney campaign said the event will be at The Club. People contributing $5,000 can get their photo taken with the former Massachusetts governor at 5:30 p.m. A general reception, costing $1,000 per person, is at 6 p.m. Then a private dinner starts at 7 p.m. for those contributing $25,000 or more.

Law Firm Files Complaint Concerning APT Firing

Jul 20, 2012
photo Allan Pizzato


A Birmingham law firm has filed an initial complaint concerning the decision to fire the former executive director of Alabama Public Television and another top executive.

Attorneys Mark White and Augusta Dowd of the firm White, Arnold and Dowd said in a statement Thursday that they filed the complaint for their client Alan Pizzato, who was fired by the Alabama Educational Television Commission. The complaint was filed in the Jefferson County Circuit Court.

Birmingham School Board Sued by B.O.E & Attorney General

Jul 20, 2012

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — Attorney General Luther Strange and the Alabama Board of Education have filed a lawsuit against the Birmingham's school board and its members.

Strange, the state school board and State Superintendent of Education Thomas Bice filed the lawsuit Friday.

The lawsuit claims Birmingham's school board is in a state of financial and political crisis. The lawsuit asks the court to affirm that Bice and the state school board have complete authority and the responsibility to manage the financial operation for Birmingham's school board.

State Superintendent of Education Tommy Bice says he intends for the state takeover of the Birmingham school system to end its reputation for being top heavy with administrators, and he will do that with or without with cooperation of the Birmingham school board.

The state Department of Education took over the system Wednesday after the Birmingham board failed to agree on a cost-cutting plan. The state Board of Education met Thursday to implement Bice's management plan.