Author: Virginia Martin

Report: Violence, Housing Costs Affect Health Outcomes


A report out Tuesday published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute ranks the health of all 67 counties in Alabama. This year, Shelby County comes in first. Jefferson County ranks in the top third. The report compares differences based on location as well as race and ethnicity. Read more.

Border Wall Bill Advances

MONTGOMERY – A bill to allow Alabamians to donate some of their income tax return to the construction of a wall on the U.S. southern border by checking a box on their tax return documents could get a vote in the Alabama Senate this week.

Eight GOP members on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee voted in favor of the legislation from Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, on Tuesday. Two democrats, Sen. Linda Coleman-Madison, D- Birmingham, and Sen. Malika Sanders-Fortier, D-Selma, voted against it. Read more.

Birmingham Council Approves MLB Youth Academy at George Ward Park, If the Group Is Still Interested

After weeks of debate, the Birmingham City Council voted Tuesday to approve the proposed development of a Major League Baseball Youth Academy at the city’s George Ward Park, though it remains unclear whether the MLB Youth Foundation is still interested in pursuing the project in the wake of the controversy surrounding it.

Though the MLBYF apparently had nixed its plans for the academy after receiving pushback from residents of the surrounding neighborhood, councilors said they did not believe a “vocal minority” should scuttle the project, arguing that it would benefit youth from all of Birmingham’s 99 neighborhoods.

Despite the lengthy discussion on the proposal and on a proposed compromise that was soundly rejected, almost every councilor voted in favor of the academy, leaving the project’s fate in the hands of the MLBYF. Read more.

Amazon Fulfillment Center on Pace to Meet Contract Timetable Although It’s Missing the Estimated Delivery Date

Bessemer will have to be patient when it comes to the present it’s getting from Amazon.

That present – the online retailer’s first Alabama fulfillment center – won’t be delivered as quickly as company leaders projected at the groundbreaking in October.

But Jefferson County commissioners, speaking during and after their committee meeting this morning, said they are confident the center will come to fruition. Read more.

Hoover Residents Seek Ways to Combat Racism in Schools


Ali Massoud, a 2011 graduate of Hoover High School, says he was disappointed at a video depicting white students who attend Hoover schools using the N-word and anti-Semitic slurs. But he wasn’t surprised.

“I think a lot of students of color who have been through the Hoover High School system have seen small aggressions on display, and so the fact that this was caught on camera shows the rest of the world that those things are not just in our minds” Massoud says. “They are real and they are happening.”

Massoud and others want to know what school officials plan to do about it. Recently, Massoud started a petition demanding Hoover City Schools take meaningful action to address racism within the system. Read more.

Another Pro Football League Takes the Field in Birmingham. Will This One Stay Afloat?

It’s almost become a tradition for football fans in the Magic City. Every few years, yet another professional football league comes to Legion Field, with aspirations to bring some semblance of high-level gridiron action to The Old Gray Lady on Graymont.

This time, the Alliance of American Football promises to help fans get over that difficult spell after the end of the traditional season and create an attraction that brings entertainment and dollars to the economy of a city, state and region that’s a sports hotbed.

Playing in the spring, the AAF bills itself as a developmental organization that gives up-and-coming players a chance to advance or return to the National Football League. Read more.

Fútbol Capital of the South? Birmingham’s New Pro Soccer Team Sells out Its First Match

Across the front of the press box at the new BBVA Compass Field is a slogan that is familiar, but just a little different: “Fútbol Capital of the South.”

Those who have lived in the Birmingham area for a while should remember a similar legend, “Football Capital of the South,” that was displayed across the front of Legion Field’s old upper deck. The main tenants of the new field are hoping they can achieve legendary status in a different kind of football, as the game is known in almost all of the rest of the world.

Birmingham Legion FC, the Magic City’s first ever fully professional soccer club, pays homage to the Old Gray Lady on Graymont Avenue with its name. Read more.