JeffCo Commission Honors Pioneering Black Judges

Lifelong friends and former neighbors in Birmingham’s “Dynamite Hill” community were honored by the Jefferson County Commission on Thursday after their retirement as judges of the 10th Circuit Court of Jefferson County.
Judge Helen Shores Lee, the first black woman to serve in the civil division of the Circuit Court of Jefferson County, and Judge Houston Brown, the first black presiding judge in the circuit, were honored for their service to the community with a proclamation presented by District 2 Commissioner Sandra Little Brown.

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A+, the ACT and Poverty: Can Program Help Poor Schools Too?

A first look at the list of 81 Alabama high schools whose students scored best on the 2016 ACT exam shows an encouraging intersection: Fifty-four of those schools are participants in the A+ College Ready Initiative, a program that helps schools implement Advanced Placement programs and aims to raise education aspirations across the state.

But another view of the data, reported by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, reveals that 51 of the 54, about 94 percent, of top-performing A+ College Ready schools share another advantage. The schools are working with more affluent student bodies, those with less poverty than the state average. Read more.

2016 General Election

How Long Should it Take to Vote?

So how long should it take you to read the ballot and vote – and is there a time limit? Jefferson County Probate Judge Alan King said while there’s no set time limit for voters to cast their ballots, it is not expected to take more than 12 minutes. “Normally, it’s suggested statewide that voters can read a ballot and vote in five to seven minutes,” said. “But that’s for a one-page ballot. We have a two-page ballot.”

Hoover, City or Suburb? Uneasy Voters Focused on Schools, Growth, Identity

Hoover band heads outside to find room to practice. Photo: Marvin Gentry

Hoover band heads outside to find room to practice. Photo: Marvin Gentry

Hoover will have four new City Council members in November after voters Tuesday chose political newcomer Curt Posey over former Hoover City Councilman Trey Lott in the runoff election for City Council Place 1.

Posey won 2,555 votes, or 77.35 percent of the votes cast in the Oct. 4 runoff. Lott garnered 748 votes, or 22.65 percent.

The City Council Place 1 runoff wraps up a municipal election in which voters unseated the long-time mayor; elected four new council members; and returned three incumbent council members who faced stiff competition, with one winning by 24 votes.

In the Aug. 23 election, Posey won 41.21 percent of the votes; Lott won 40.59 percent; and incumbent Joe Rives, who was appointed to fill Lott’s seat when Lott moved to Alabaster in 2015, received 18.20 percent.

Many residents, school officials and city leaders say this hard-fought election was a referendum on issues inextricably tied to each other–school funding and growth management. Candidates also said voters were facing the reality that Hoover is Alabama’s sixth-largest city, no longer a typical suburb, and must define its identity going forward.

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ID You’ll Need at the Polls

By Kesha Drexel

To vote in Alabama’s March 1 primary, voters must present photo identification or a free Alabama Photo Voter ID card. Forms of identification accepted include a valid Alabama driver’s license or non-driver ID card, a valid state or federal-issued ID, a valid U.S. passport, a valid employee ID from the federal, state, county or municipal government, a valid student or employee photo ID from a college or university, a valid U.S. military photo ID card and a valid tribal photo ID card. A voter without a valid form of photo identification can vote on a regular ballot if he or she is positively identified as an eligible voter in the precinct by two election officials. If the voter cannot be identified by two election officials, he or she can vote on a provisional ballot. For more information, visit or call the Secretary of State Elections Division at 800-274-8683 or 334-242-7210.