Category: General

As You Were: Federal Judge Stays Ruling, Allows Jefferson County System to Run Gardendale Schools While Appeals Play Out

The takeover of two elementary schools by the Gardendale Board of Education will not happen in the coming academic year, after a federal judge issued a stay of her original ruling in the city’s attempt to break away from the Jefferson County Schools.

U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala agreed to motions filed by both Gardendale officials and by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, which represents the original plaintiffs in the landmark Stout v. Jefferson County Board of Education case that resulted in racial desegregation of the county system in the early 1970s.

Both parties had asked Haikala to delay the ruling she issued on April 24 and amended a few days later. That order allowed Gardendale to do a partial takeover of the schools inside city limits; Snow Rogers and Gardendale elementary schools would have been under city control beginning this summer, while Gardendale High and Bragg Middle schools would have remained part of JefCoEd for at least three years, until Haikala was satisfied that Gardendale had made sufficient progress toward desegregation. Read more.

Students Purportedly Wearing “Blackface” in Online Photos Rekindle Racial Allegations in Gardendale’s Bid to Form Its Own School System

Earlier Stories

Gardendale School Board Appeals Federal Court Ruling, Asks for Full Control of All Schools in the City Right Away


What’s Next? Residents Speak out About Next Steps for Gardendale’s New School System

Judge Stands with Order: Gardendale Can Take Steps Toward Separate School System
NAACP Asks Judge to Reconsider Allowing Gardendale to Start Its Own School System
NAACP Plans to Ask Judge to Reconsider Gardendale School Order; Ruling in Case Defies Conventional Procedure
Judge Haikala Is No Stranger to the Spotlight
Federal Judge Gives Gardendale Control Over City’s Elementary Schools, Lets JeffCo Keep Middle and High Schools for Now.
Read Haikala’s May 9 order
Read Hiakala’s initial ruling.

From Vacant Industrial Land to Puppy Palace? Residents Debate Use of Old Trinity Steel Land in Titusville

Sixty Titusville residents sat in the sweltering gymnasium of Memorial Park Recreation Center to consider giving their support for the old Trinity Steel property going to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society.

“It is so hot in here,” said Greater Birmingham Humane Society President and CEO Allison Black Cornelius, “but they stayed.”

When each side had made its case, 52 residents voted for the Humane Society to move to the long idle property from its Snow Drive location in Homewood. Eight voted no. Read more.

Briarwood Presbyterian Church Police Department Bill Moves Forward in Legislature

Briarwood Presbyterian Church may soon join the ranks of the Vatican and Washington National Cathedral as a religious institution with its own police department.

Critics of the bill to allow Briarwood to establish its own police department say the move is unconstitutional. But Briarwood representatives cite the increasing rate of mass shootings at churches, schools and commercial venues as reasons for bringing police officers on staff.

Since the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee approved the legislation April 19, the Alabama House of Representatives is likely to vote this next week on whether to allow the Vestavia Hills church to establish its own police department. Read more.

PARCA Survey: Most Alabamians Say State Officials Don’t Care What They Think

The divide between state government and its people is wide, and there’s no bridge in sight.

In a recent survey conducted by the Public Affairs Research Council of Alabama, more than two-thirds of those surveyed said state government officials don’t care what they think, and slightly less than two-thirds said they feel they have no say in what government does. Read more.

Bentley Resigns Amid Scandal; Kay Ivey to Become Governor

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has officially resigned from office and Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey will be sworn in to take his place at 6 p.m.

The governor in a speech shortly after 5 p.m. said, “The time has come for me to look for new ways to serve the great people of our state. I’ve decided it’s time to step down as governor.”

Bentley said that although he would be leaving his office today, his administration would be working with Kay Ivey’s administration to provide any assistance needed for a smooth transition.

“Thank you, goodbye, and I love this state from the bottom of my heart,” Bentley concluded.

Operation Reveille: Sounding a New Day for Once-Homeless Veterans

Jimmy Moore’s hometown is Bessemer but for three years, the U.S. Air Force veteran’s home was his 2007 Ford Explorer.

Moore, a 1974 McAdory High School grad, worried that his possessions might be stolen when he was homeless. He feared someone might stab him to take what he had.

“You were always having to be awake, 24-7, sleep lightly,” the 61-year-old said, “trying to figure out where you’re going next.”

But Moore can rest easy. He doesn’t fear for his safety or his possessions. He has a roof over his head, thanks to Operation Reveille, a one-day one-stop-shop that took chronically homeless veterans off the street and into their own homes. Read more.

New West End Clinic Takes Health Care to the People, Jefferson County Commissioner Says

March 23, 2017 – Sandra Little Brown called Wednesday’s ribbon-cutting at Cahaba Medical Center “a crying moment.”

The District 7 Jefferson County Commission member said she had to defend herself against false claims that she had voted to end in-patient care at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital.

“We went through so much stress with the closing of in-patient care at Cooper Green,” Brown said during Thursday’s commission meeting. “So many people were against us. Now the people can say, ‘They took lemons and made lemonade.’”
Brown said she has worked since in-patient care at Cooper Green ended to create a hub-and-spoke system to take healthcare closer to where many people live.

Read more.