• Donald Watkins Sr. sentenced to 5 years for scamming Barkley, others

    Associated PressLawyer Donald Watkins Sr. was sentenced to five years in prison Tuesday after earlier being convicted of swindling NBA star Charles Barkley and using the name of former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to bolster an investment scam.
    U.S. District Judge Karon O. Bowdre also ordered Watkins to pay about $14 million in restitution.
    Prosecutors had sought a prison sentence of 17½ years for Watkins and 6½ years for his son, Donald Watkins Jr. Both were convicted on fr
  • Distracted driving study enrolling teens to participate in simulation

    By Alicia RohanUAB NewsMotor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death among teenagers, with inattention being the primary contributor. They account for approximately one in three deaths among teens ages 16 to 19. A University of Alabama at Birmingham study is testing the influence of age and driving experience on driving attention development under various conditions.
    Researchers are looking for individuals 18 years of age who have either just received their driver’s lic
  • Hall of Fame boxer Pernell ‘Sweet Pea’ Whitaker dies after being struck by vehicle

    Tom SchadUSA Today SportsHall of Fame boxer Pernell “Sweet Pea” Whitaker died Sunday after being struck by a vehicle in Virginia Beach, Virginia. He was 55.
    The Virginia Beach Police Department said in a news release that a man was hit by a vehicle around 10 p.m. ET on Sunday at an intersection west of downtown Virginia Beach and pronounced dead at the scene.
    Police later identified the victim as Whitaker, who won world titles in four divisions during his career and also ea
  • Sadie Roberts-Joseph, Founder Of African American Museum, Found Dead In Car Trunk

    Black Voices
    BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A 75-year-old Louisiana woman who founded an African American history museum was discovered dead in the trunk of a car, and police said Saturday that investigators were working diligently to find those responsible.
    Baton Rouge police Sgt. L’Jean McKneely said investigators were still waiting for a coroner to determine a cause of death for Sadie Roberts-Joseph after her body was found Friday afternoon.
    The Advocate reported Roberts-Joseph
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  • DC Blox Birmingham opens flagship data center in Titusville

    By Michael Tomberlin
    Alabama NewsCenter Click to view slideshow.
    DC Blox has opened its flagship hub data center in Birmingham, the first of what could become a $785 million investment in infrastructure seen as key to the city and state’s growth in the technology-based economy.
    Thursday, DC Blox held the grand opening of the first phase of its Alabama headquarters with 13,000 square feet of office space and 18,000 square feet of data center space. The company said growth plans could a
  • Inside the Birmingham Zoo and its must-see attractions

    By Ameera Steward 
    The Birmingham Times
      Ritina Bailey of Bessemer has been a fan of the Birmingham Zoo for so long that she couldn’t wait for her daughter to have the same fun experiences. Bailey, 40, remembers visiting the zoo both as a little girl and while pregnant with her daughter, Rhylynne Fuller. 
    “I’ve been bringing her since she was about 9 months old. … Sh
  • Uganda native reflects on Israel bringing safe water tech to remote villages

    By Jahan Berns  
    I read recently about two young newly-graduated Israeli water engineers, Selda Edris and Mayes Morad, who went to a rural community in Uganda and gave the gift of life, i.e. the gift of clean and safe water. Their love and their gift will possibly culminate in the saving of hundreds of lives in that rural community. 
    The article goes on to describe the pure delight expressed by the joyful children when for the first time, t
  • YWCA Central Alabama Selects Industry Vet as New CEO

    ywcabhm.org LaRhonda Magras, Ed. D. has been elected CEO of YWCA Central Alabama and the appointment is effective September 1, the Board of Directors announced Tuesday. 
    Magras, currently senior vice president, program and operations with YWCA Nashville and Middle Tennessee, succeeds Yolanda Sullivan, who retired as CEO late last year. 
    “For her entire career, LaRhonda has been an advocate for women and children, and her commitment to eliminating rac
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  • The Birmingham Zoo attracts about 600,000 annually. What some had to say.

    By Ameera Steward 
    The Birmingham Times  
    The Birmingham Zoo is the largest in Alabama and averages about 600,000 visitors annually. Here’s what some had to say: 
    Lawonda Jackson, Columbus, Miss. 
    “[My two children and I] love coming out and looking at the different animals, the exotic animals, … everything. I love this zoo, particularly because it features a litt
  • Stress Management Health event July 13 at the Downtown Public Library

    By Crystal Mullen-Johnson Stress dominates our lives if we don’t develop healthy coping mechanisms. Stress can have a detrimental impact on our mental and physical health and it’s important to understand how to counteract stress to live a healthier life. According to the American Institute of Stress, the most common sources of stress in the United States are the future of our nation, money, work, political climate, and violence/crime. 
    Stress is defined as a nonspecific res
  • Ongoing building plans at the Birmingham Zoo include these

    By Ameera Steward 
    The Birmingham Times  Building plans for the Birmingham Zoo are ongoing, according to Roger Torbert, Vice President of Education. 
    In June, the zoo held a ribbon cutting and grand opening of the New Arrival Experience and Welcome Plaza, which includes the Hugh Kaul Plaza, a first-aid station, administrative offices, rental space, a larger gift shop, a new membership office, and the Altec/Styslinger Learning Center. 
    &ldquo
  • How zoo officials ensure that the animals remain protected

    By Ameera Steward 
    The Birmingham TimesAt one time, most animals came to the zoo from the wild, but now that’s rare, said Roger Torbert, Birmingham Zoo Vice President of Education, who added that many come from other zoos or are rescue animals. 
    Late last month, the Birmingham Zoo received two new elephants from San Diego: a 9–year-old named Ingadze — nicknamed Gadze —
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  • How Urban Impact brings community development to the Main St.

    By Urban Impact Inc. The Historic 4th Avenue Business District stands as a monument to the resilience of a people and the innovation of policymakers and planners who were determined to reify the legacy of a 20th Century vibrant African American commercial district. 
    According to Vulcan Park and Museum’s “A Place of Our Own” Exhibit, in the early 1900’s over 30 percent of the black businesses in the
  • Conservation an important part of the zoo’s mission

    By Ameera Steward
    The Birmingham TimesConservation is a huge part of the Birmingham Zoo’s mission.
    “We’re working to let people know that zoos really work to save species in the natural world, all around the world,” said Roger Torbert, Birmingham Zoo Vice President of Education.
    Global Connections
    One Birmingham Zoo initiative involves working with a conservation group based in Bullowa, Zimbabwe, through the Chipangali Wildlife Orphanage, a collaboration that features thr
  • Clastran Turns Around, Being Steered in the Right Direction

     
    By Erica Wright 
    The Birmingham Times  The nonprofit ClasTran coordinates specialized transportation, also known as paratransit, services in Jefferson, Shelby, and Walker counties. It provides subsidized rides for people who are 60 and older and eligible for paratransit under the American with Disabilities Act. ClasTran also provides unsubsidized rides for people who do not meet the criteria mentioned but travel on a space-available basis
  • Bacarra Mauldin: The advocacy of Clastran’s executive director

    By Erica Wright 
    The Birmingham Times  
    Advocacy has been a part of every job Bacarra Mauldin has worked—and it’s an important part of her role as executive director of ClasTran. 
    “My mother was a coordinator at North Birmingham Community School, and she didn’t believe in babysitters, so she would take me to community meetings all the time,” said Mauldin. “I think that helped define who I am
  • Asthetik, new studio, hosts grand opening for creatives and millennials

    Je’Don Holloway-Talley 
    For The Birmingham TimesAsthetik, a new creative studio on the north side of Birmingham’s downtown district, held its grand opening on June 29 and drew more than 125 attendees, many of whom were creatives and millennials. 
    The 1,700 square-foot studio, located at 212 24th St N., is a modern flex space that houses a photo studio, exposed brick, floor-to-ceiling windows, and 16-foot ceilings, is owned by Dontez and Jamie Heard. 
    &ld
  • Best summer safety measures for swimming and children

    By Samuetta Hill DrewStaying cool during sizzling southern days and swimming go hand and hand. It is not uncommon for Southerners to jump into a pool for some hot fun in the summertime. After all, pools offer great family fun for all ages.  
    Last week’s article quoted different statistics about swimming pool injuries and deaths while offering safety tips to help prevent these types of unfortunate occurrences, especially for younger children. This week let&rsqu
  • These groups received $107K from city to help with violence reduction

    By Ameera Steward
    The Birmingham Times
    TeAndria Ellis remembers when her brother was killed seven years ago at the age of 22. The teens who killed him were ages 15 and 16.
    “One thing my mother said to one of the guys’ moms as they were being sentenced…was that neither one of us win,” Ellis said, “So, with that in mind we want to help as many parents as possible with alleviating the potential hurt they will experience due to violent crimes in the city of Birmingham.
  • ‘We still date on the weekends . . . and we go to our special spot’

    BY JE’DON HOLLOWAY-TALLEYSpecial to the Birmingham Times
    “You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone, please send nominations to Erica Wright ewright@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.
    VIVIAN AND CEASEAR ‘GUS’ WALKER SR.  
    Live: Chelsea
    Married: A
  • Black Women Mayors: A Rising Force in Major American Cities

    By Janell RossNBC NewsNEW ORLEANS — When Mayor LaToya Cantrell — the first woman to lead Crescent City — took office earlier this year, she saw an intricate form of injustice.
    Thanks to a Louisiana law from the 1960s, New Orleans has reaped just nine cents for every dollar the city generated in hospitality taxes, according to the state’s budget. With the perennial tourist destination expected to generate almost $200 million in hospitality tax revenue this year a
  • Stevie Wonder Says He’s Getting a Kidney Transplant in the Fall

    By Gregory KatzAssociated PressStevie Wonder surprised concertgoers in London Saturday night by announcing that he will take a break from performing so that he can receive a kidney transplant this fall.
    The 69-year-old music legend made the announcement after performing “Superstition” at the end of a packed British Summer Time concert in London’s Hyde Park.
    He said he was speaking out to quell rumors and sought to reassure fans that he would be okay.
    “I’m going to b
  • City’s Young Basketball Talent on Display at Skills Clinic 

    Time staff report 1 of 21 Charles “Choo” Smith Jr., former members of the Harlem Globetrotters served as one of the coaches. (Amarr Croskey Photo, For The Birmingham Times)Big 3 coach James “ Hollywood” Robinson (center) working with Jeremiah Williams(left) and Antonio Hill (Right) during Young 3 Training Camp. (Amarr Croskey Photo, For The Birmingham Times) Antonio Hill practices footworkduring Young 3 Skills Clinic. (Amarr Croskey Photo, For The Birmingham Times) J
  • Chicago Defender Newspaper Moves to Digital Only, Will Cease Print Publications

    By Stacy M. BrownBlackPressUSAAfter 114 years of using ink on paper to deliver news that informs, educates and empowers the African American community throughout the Windy City, Real Times Media, parent company of the Chicago Defender, has announced that the Chicago Defender will move to a digital-only format with its July 11 edition. The final printed edition will be delivered Wednesday, July 10.
    “This is not a sad day, it’s an exciting time,” said Hiram E. Jackson, chief exec
  • How to spot signs of, report elder abuse

    By Holly GainerUAB NewsApproximately one in 10 older people living in the United States has experienced physical, sexual, psychological or financial abuse or neglect, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse.
    To understand how to keep your elderly loved ones safe, whether in your care or in the care of others, Patricia Speck, DNSc, a board-certified family nurse practitioner who specializes in forensic nursing, family and sexual violence at the University of Alabama at Birmingham&nbs
  • Ebony, Jet Magazines Fire Remainder of Staff, May Close for Good

    BlackPressUSAIt’s official, Ebony Magazine—along with its sister publication Jet Magazine—has potentially closed its doors for good.
    Former employees of the company took to Twitter last week using the hashtag #EbonyOwes to air out their frustrations with the company, as it has fired all of its employees with little to no notice.
    According to USA Today, members of Ebony magazine’s digital team say they’ve been fired and haven’t received their final paychecks in
  • Urban Impact kicks off historic revitalization in 4th Ave. Business District

    By Ameera StewardThe Birmingham Times1 of 4 From left: Darryl Washington, Urban Impact Director of Programs; Elijah Davis, Urban Impact Strategic Growth Manager; Carla Youngblood, Urban Impact Compliance Director; and Ivan Holloway, Urban Impact Executive Director. (Ameera Steward, The Birmingham Times) Denise Gilmore, senior director of the office of social justice and racial equity, the office of Mayor Randall Woodfin. (Ameera Steward, The Birmingham Times)Darryl Washington, Director of Progra
  • Say Y.E.S. to Yolaine Joseph’s Enhancing Skincare Line

    By Erica WrightThe Birmingham TimesWorking for the Howard University campus radio station gave Yolaine Joseph an opportunity to do something no one else had done before—and taught her a valuable business lesson, as well.
    “Something I learned in college that I also try to practice with my business now is to fill a void,” she said. “Nobody was on the radio [at Howard] in the morning, … and I was like, ‘Why aren’t we starting out in the morning with someth
  • Meet The Mentors Who Lead By Example

    Birmingham Times staff reportRonnie Rice, President, 100 Black Men of Metro Birmingham
    Attorney Ronnie Rice delivers keynote address during 100 Black Men Mentoring Awards ceremony. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times)
    The 100 Black Men of Metro Birmingham earlier this year held its first annual mentoring awards program, honoring nine students—and that’s only the beginning, said Ronnie Rice, an attorney and president of the organization.
    Rice, who works with Alexander Shunnarah I
  • Jeffco Delivers Assistance to City of Fairfield

    Office of Jefferson County Commission District 1
    Fire station renovations, new sidewalks and millions in street repairs on are the way to the city of Fairfield through ongoing partnerships with Jefferson County, according to the office of Commission President Pro-tem Lashunda Scales.
    Scales, whose district includes Fairfield, on Monday, delivered a status report to Mayor Eddie Penny and the Fairfield City Council.
    “It is essential that residents and city leaders of know that they are not f
  • How Mentoring Programs Make Difference For Young Adults in Birmingham

    By William C. Singleton IIIFor the Birmingham Times1 of 8 Oxmoor Valley Elementary School Principal Melvin Love welcomes attendees to 100 Black Men Mentoring Awards ceremony. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times) From left: Samuel Craig, Kayleb Henley and Adrian Whitely give speeches on what the 100 Black Men mentoring program means to them. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times) From left: Samuel Craig, Kayleb Henley and Adrian Whitely give speeches on what the 100 Black Men mentoring pr
  • Grand Entrance for The Birmingham Zoo

    Story by: Ameera StewardPhotos by: Amarr Croskey1 of 5Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times) F. Dixon Brooke, Jr., Renew the Zoo Capital Campaign Chair. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times) Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin (left); Chris Pfefferkorn, president and CEO, the Birmingham Zoo (center) and Zoo employee showing off one of the parrots. (Amarr Croskey, For The Birmingham Times)
    The Birmingham Zoo last week introduced one of its newest improvements
  • Eddie Bradford: Building Bridges for a Better Future

    By Ameera StewardThe Birmingham TimesEddie Bradford, (at podium), mentoring chairman of 100 Black Men of Metro Birmingham, surrounded by mentors and mentees. (Amarr Croskey, The Birmingham Times)
    Being surrounded by influential men made Eddie Bradford want to be an influential man.
    He learned from older men—a wise cousin; local attorneys and businessmen—and those interactions showed him what a mentoring program should look like, so he established his own. Bradford is not competing wi
  • Dannon Project Develops Mentors and Mentees

    By William C. Singleton IIIFor the Birmingham TimesFrom their first meeting, Tarnett “Todd” Morris knew there was something different about Micah Whitlock.
    “I’ve had some mentees, and the first thing they do ask for money, ask you to help them with this or that,” Morris said. “They don’t understand the purpose of the mentor program. But Micah, he’s one of these kids that tries to live by the book. Occasionally, kids are going to get off track, but
  • City Council Passes Moratorium on New Self-Storage Facilities

    By Erica WrightThe Birmingham TimesThe Birmingham City Council on Tuesday passed a temporary moratorium on the opening of new self-storage facilities in downtown.
    The council voted unanimously to pass the ordinance which will halt the issuance of business licenses for six months. However, the ordinance leaves room for an additional three month moratorium if the council needs more time to evaluate current zoning.
    The ordinance, which goes into effect immediately, does not affect existing faciliti
  • Bessemer’s Amazon Fulfillment Center Wins Economic Impact Award

    By Jerry UnderwoodAlabama News CenterTrade & Industry Development, a leading publication dedicated to site selection for business, named three Alabama projects as winners of its top 2019 economic development awards.
    The Alabama projects were among 30 across the nation claiming the magazine’s 2019 Corporate Impact/Community Impact (CiCi) Awards.
    “Great companies from around the world recognize that Alabama is the ideal destination to carry out their growth plans because of the man
  • No Prosecution For Alabama Woman Who Was Shot, Lost Fetus

    Blake PattersonAssociated PressBESSEMER, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama district attorney said Wednesday she is dropping the manslaughter charge against a woman who lost her fetus when she was shot during a fight.
    Marshae Jones was arrested last week after a grand jury concluded she intentionally caused the death of her fetus by initiating a fight, knowing she was pregnant.
    Jones was five months pregnant when 23-year-old Ebony Jemison shot her in the stomach during a December argument over the fet
  • ‘Let [husbands] know they are wanted. Stroke their egos’

    By Anita DebroSpecial to the Birmingham Times
    “You Had Me at Hello’’ highlights married couples and the love that binds them. If you would like to be considered for a future “Hello’’ column, or know someone who would, please send nominations to Erica Wright at ewright@birminghamtimes.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique.BAYON AND DERRICK MCKENZIE
    Live: Chalkville
    Married: July 1, 1989
    Met: Derrick and B
  • Civil rights groups, supporters gather for Marshae Jones

    Ameera StewardThe Birmingham TimesFamily, friends, and supporters of Marshae Jones at a press conference in Bessemer. (Ameera Steward, The Birmingham Times)
    A number of civil rights and women groups gathered in Bessemer Tuesday to express outrage at the indictment of a Pleasant Grove, Ala. woman whose unborn child was killed in a shooting.
    “Where is the justice in the system where you get shot, you lose your child and…the person who shot you is free and you’re the one that&rsq
  • City celebrates 65th anniversary of famed A.G. Gaston Motel

    By Erica WrightThe Birmingham Times
    Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin along with family members of A.G. Gaston, unveil an street designation in his honor. (Erica Wright Photos, The Birmingham Times)
    Rochelle Malone remembers the times she went fishing with her great-grandfather, Birmingham business mogul, Dr. Arthur George Gaston. 
    “He would always send me to the other end of the lake because I was a little chatterbox and I didn’t understand that fishi
  • Birmingham Times captures national awards for journalism

    Times staff report The Birmingham Times captured several top journalism awards last week at the 2019 National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Merit Awards in Cincinnati, Ohio. 
    The Times won first place for Best Layout and Design, Kacy Sesser-Dorne, designer; first place for Best Feature Story for “Survivor Sisters” written by staff reporter Erica Wright and second place for Best News Story for “The Life of Emantic Bradford Jr.” by staff reporter Ameera
  • Attorney to file motion to dismiss charges against Ala. woman whose unborn child died in shooting

    Associated PressA Birmingham attorney says she plans to file a motion to dismiss charges against an Alabama woman whose unborn child was killed in a shooting, according to WBRC.
    Marshae Jones was five months pregnant when 23-year-old Ebony Jemison shot her in the stomach during a December altercation over the fetus’s father, authorities said.
    Last week, Jemison was initially charged with manslaughter, but a Jefferson County grand jury declined to indict her after police said an investigati
  • Rickey Smiley To Take Over Tom Joyner Morning Show

    Times Staff ReportBirmingham native Rickey Smiley will take over The Tom Joyner Morning Show when Joyner retires at the end of the year.Joyner said that Smiley has established himself as a trusted leader on-air and in the community with his current show, captivating audiences with his authentic humor but also his unique perspective on topics important to his audience. 
    “I’m happy to see the landscape of Urban Adult Contemporary morning radio continue to expand with Rickey, and I
  • Bank of America Launches $5 Billion Home Loan Assistance Program

    By Stacy M. BrownBlackPressUSABank of America officials have spent the past few months asking their customers and clients a simple question – what would you like to have the power to do?
    “For many, the goal is to own a home and saving up for a down payment is the biggest barrier for anyone to buy a home,” said Richard Winter, the vice president and Area Lending Manager for Bank of America’s Baltimore region.
    The banking giant has committed to removing that barrier with th
  • Alvin Garrett: Grammy-Nominated Artist Inspires with Music for the Soul

    By Anita DebroSpecial to the Birmingham TimesSinger Alvin Garrett wants to inspire.
    While the Grammy-nominated songwriter still wants to make you groove to the bass line of a song, he also wants you to hear the message of positivity and hope on his latest album “This HILL.”
    “My craft is inspiration,” 41-year-old Garrett said on a recent Friday night in June before taking the stage for his album-release party. “I call my music inspirational soul.”
    The title son
  • Brian “B-Flat” Cook: Ramsay High Grad Goes Full Force As Mainstream Producer

    By Je’Don Holloway TalleyFor the Birmingham TimesHuffman resident and Ramsay High School grad Brian “B-Flat” Cook is a music producer and independent-music recording artist—but it hasn’t always been that way.
    In 2004, he emerged on the music scene as a rapper on local indie label Amabala (Alabama spelled backward) Records. Eventually, he realized he could get more opportunities with the label as a singer and later as an engineer.
    “I always knew I could hold a
  • How Druex Kaine Uses Music to Bridge the Generational Gap

    By Je’Don Holloway TalleyFor the Birmingham TimesGrowing up in Alabaster, Angelo “Druex Kaine” Lacey knows how tough it can be for independent artists to make a name for themselves.
    “I make music with the hopes that it will bridge the gap [for music makers] of yesterday’s and today’s generations,” he said. “Coming from Alabaster as an independent artist, I know there are only so many channels and resources presented to get your music to the masses.
  • Rocquelle “Rocki” McKeithen: Miles College grad on the upswing

    By Je’Don Holloway TalleyFor the Birmingham TimesRocquelle “Rocki” McKeithen earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and accounting from Miles College in 2011—and it’s come in handy.
    “I’ve never really had a big team, but I’m always the visionary among the people around me,” said the singer and songwriter. “I [handle] my own public relations. I’m my own manager and financial advisor. The one thing I’m try
  • Artist Nadia Tellis is the ‘Cover Girl’ in music and fashion

    By Je’Don Holloway TalleyFor the Birmingham TimesHaving developed a reputation as a stellar cover singer is not a problem for Ensley native Nadia Tellis.
    “I like timeless music,” said Tellis, 39. “A song like ‘Can We Talk’ by Tevin Campbell; … [music by artists] like Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Patti Labelle; [a classic like ‘Before I Let Go’] by Frankie Beverly and Maze, … which Beyoncé just redid—records like that
  • Ensley Native, Ashley Sankey, Self-Taught Musician

    By Je’Don Holloway TalleyFor the Birmingham Times
    Even though she’s a classically trained keyboardist and percussionist and a formally trained jazz and opera vocalist, Ensley native Ashley Sankey wanted more.
    “I taught myself the guitar,” she said. “I am also a master vocalist in soul and gospel music. My music often falls under the genre of soul music.”
    Sankey, 32, said she is pursuing her career as an independent artist because so many have counted African A

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