When the World Games comes to Birmingham in 2021, it’s projected to bring with it $256 million in economic impact, thanks to an estimated influx of 100,000 athletes and sports fans. But at Tuesday’s meeting of the Birmingham City Council, officials said they were working to prevent a potential unintended consequence of that influx: an uptick in human trafficking.
The council voted Tuesday to pass a resolution calling for a communitywide awareness campaign against human trafficking. The measure, spearheaded by District 6 Councilor Crystal Smitherman and Mayor Randall Woodfin, calls for “comprehensive education of (city) staff and the implementation and enforcement of a zero-tolerance policy of any act that may support human trafficking.” Read more.
Cedar waxwing populations are generally stable, according to one study. Another said the waxwing family have increased somewhat. Read more.
The red-winged blackbird population has declined by 92 million birds, according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Read more.
Heron populations in general are in decline, and the green heron is a “common bird in steep decline,” according to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology . Read more.
The family of new world warblers has sustained one of the largest declines “in abundance” in the past 50 years, according a study. Read more.
Birmingham’s downtown housing market has boomed in recent years. Pricey lofts and luxury condos have mushroomed throughout the city center. But skyrocketing rents and leases mean many low-to-moderate income workers, such as in the restaurant and hotel industry can’t afford to live there. Read more.
Eleven days after announcing a name for the new downtown stadium, the executive director of the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Center was again at a podium, this time announcing that the 50th Bassmaster Classic presented by Dick’s Sporting Goods will be in Birmingham and on Lake Guntersville on March 6-8, 2020.
“I want to have announcements every day. I’ll never complain about that,” Snider said after an afternoon press conference. “But yeah, this is exciting.”
Bruce Akin, CEO of Bass Anglers Sportsman Society, said it is more than appropriate for the company to bring its “super bowl of fishing” to Alabama, the state where B.A.S.S. was born. This year’s announcement is a bit later than normal, he said, as organizers wanted to be sure construction on the Interstate 59/20 bridge through downtown Birmingham would be done in time.
This will be the 13th time that Alabama has hosted this event out of 50. Read more.
A four-hour committee meeting of the Jefferson County Commission ended Tuesday with a 3-2 vote to move the creation of a UAB Healthcare Authority to the agenda of Thursday’s commission meeting.
Commissioners Jimmie Stephens, Joe Knight and Steve Ammons voted in favor of taking up the measure Thursday, with Lashunda Scales and Sheila Tyson voting no.
Stephens said the health care authority is needed because that was part of the commission’s pledge when in-patient care was closed at Cooper Green Mercy Hospital, “to form the best possible indigent care for our citizens.”
But Scales pleaded with her fellow commissioners to delay action, saying the move lacked transparency and had little to do with providing health care to the poor. Read more.
Woodfin updated the public on progress toward key goals, including workforce development and economic opportunity. Read more.