There’s a lot of unrest around politics in Washington right now, and it’s the same in the United Kingdom as the clock is ticking on a Brexit deal. The UK is scheduled to leave the European Union on October 31st, which has put Prime Minister Boris Johnson and parliament in a state of turmoil. Andrew Staunton is the UK’s representative in the American South. As the British Consul General in Atlanta, he oversees relations in six states, including Alabama. On a recent trip to Birmingham he sat down with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager. Read more and listen to the interview.
Visit the Alabama Theatre in downtown Birmingham, face the stage and you might notice the red and gold console to the left. It’s a theater organ known as the Mighty Wurlitzer. It’s an instrument whose heyday has long passed. But this weekend, as part of the Sidewalk Film Festival, it’ll return to its original purpose: accompanying silent films. Read more.
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.
Democrats across the country took the House and flipped several governorships during the midterms. It was a different story in Alabama. Democrats here lost every statewide race, and they lost five statehouse seats to Republicans. The Montgomery Advertiser recently reported the Alabama Democratic Party sat on hundreds of thousands of dollars as candidates say that money could have been used toward their campaigns. Many Alabama Democratic candidates blame their poor performance on the lack of support from the state party. Heather Milam, one of many Democrats who ran for the first time, lost the race for secretary of state to Republican incumbent John Merrill. She spoke with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager. Read more.
Alabama’s startup scene grabbed eyeballs last year when Target bought Birmingham-based Shipt for $550 million. The city’s entrepreneurial community wants to keep that momentum going. One new effort is the Alabama Futures Fund. The $25 million fund will provide venture capital to new companies either in Alabama or to those willing to relocate here. WBHM’s Andrew Yeager spoke with Matt Hottle of Redhawk Advisory.
Scientists recognize Alabama as one of the most biodiverse states in the US but know far less about its insect diversity. A landmark study has shown a dramatic decrease in flying insects, and there may be cause for concern here, too. Read more.
It’s a good time to be in the market for a job in this state. That goes for older adults, too. Alabama’s overall unemployment rate is low – just 4 percent. It’s even lower among seniors. But the older adults who are most likely to be hired are those who are willing to adapt and learn new skills or try on a whole new career.
“I’m a 25-year-old. I’m just trapped in an 81-year-old body,” said Johnny Ward. “I’ve got a lot of energy, and I’m saying, why waste this knowledge and experience I have. Why not use it?”
Here in Alabama and across the U.S., there are many like Ward. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, senior citizens represent a growing demographic in America’s work force.
Many still need jobs. It can be difficult to make ends meet with a Social Security check or disability payment. And some want to work because they enjoy it. Read more.
When Target bought Birmingham-based Shipt, the online grocery delivery service last year, it drew attention to the city’s tech startup scene. Local entrepreneurs got another chance in the spotlight this week. AOL co-founder Steve Case brought his Rise of the Rest tour to the Magic City Wednesday.
The tour is an effort to highlight startup communities that aren’t in tech hotbeds such as San Francisco and New York. Case spoke with WBHM’s Andrew Yeager. Read more and listen to the interview.