Jefferson County Judge Robert Vance Jr. has qualified to run for chief justice of Alabama on the Democratic ticket. He has no competition from his party, but he will face either Republican Tom Parker, a justice on the Supreme Court, or Lyn Stuart, who was appointed chief justice in 2016. Parker and Stuart meet in the Republican primary in June. Vance ran for chief justice before, in 2012, but lost to Roy Moore, who later resigned from office after being suspended.
Rural Alabama Charter Opens as First Integrated School in Sumter County (AL.com)
'What Did We Teach?' Bessemer Supt. Asks After Mix-Up Sends Several HS Freshmen Back to Middle School (WBRC)
Infrastructure Spending: Which State Is Falling Apart the Worst? (24/7 Wall Street)
Inside Birmingham's Bid to Become the Southern Silicon Valley (Forbes)
Doug Jones Heckled Over Brett Kavanaugh at Birmingham Town Hall (AL.com)
Reading Birmingham: Put Aside the Politics. This is First and Foremost a Story of People who Love Music.
About 10 years ago, while visiting rural England, I met a genuine Southernphile (and yes, that is a word I just made up). When a young hotel clerk learned I was from Alabama, he engaged me in a long and animated conversation about his love for Southern pop culture.
While his sources were dubious (his favorite movie was Smokey and the Bandit and his favorite television show was The Dukes of Hazzard), his fascination was sincere. What he loved most of all was the band Lynyrd Skynyrd. “I don’t care about the politics,” he said. “They just sound so bloody good.”
Historian Andre Millard found a similar lack of interest in politics, especially the politics of race, among many of the musicians interviewed for his book Magic City Nights. Read more.
Alabama’s senators split their votes on a bill to extend the National Flood Insurance Program through Nov. 30, giving lawmakers more time to consider proposed reforms. The program runs a significant deficit, but it offers citizens access to flood insurance that otherwise is expensive and often not available at all.
Here’s how the senators voted on that and other major issues in the week ending Aug. 3. The House was in recess. Read more.