Jefferson County


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama’s most populous county will open its courthouses for absentee voting on two Saturdays because of the heavy turnout expected on Election Day and the pandemic. 

Commissioners in Jefferson County voted during a special meeting Friday to open courthouses in Birmingham and Bessemer this Saturday and again on Oct. 24. The decision was driven by concerns over public health precautions during the coronavirus pandemic.

Stanley Robinson
Associated Press


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Former UConn basketball player Stanley Robinson has died of unknown causes at a family residence in his Birmingham, Alabama. He was 32.

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Coroner Bill Yates said Robinson was found unresponsive by a family member Tuesday at 7:45 p.m in his hometown. He was pronounced dead at the scene 11 minutes later.

Robinson, who had turned 32 on July 14, played at UConn from 2006-10. He started 103 career games and averaged 9.8 points and 6.2 rebounds over four seasons.


MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The number of coronavirus cases in Alabama jumped to nearly 200 as health officials urged people to maintain social distancing and the governor extended the deadline for filing state income taxes until mid-summer. 

Alabama on Monday had at least 197 confirmed cases of coronavirus, of which 86 were in Jefferson County.

State Health Officer Scott Harris said getting supplies for testing is a continuing concern. 

Tomas Rodriguez/Corbis

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (AP) — Some civic and political groups are urging Huntsville-area officials to stop criminally charging people who have marijuana.

The Huntsville Times reports that the Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance and 20 other groups sent a letter urging local police and prosecutors to stop enforcing laws against marijuana possession. The letter argues that stopping enforcement would ease racial disparities in policing and allow officials to focus on violent crimes.

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A man is charged with capital murder in the shooting death of an Alabama police officer who was fatally wounded during a chase.

Kimberly Mayor Bob Ellerbrock tells a city officer died in the shooting.

Jefferson County jail records show 37-year-old Preston Chyenne Johnson was charged with capital murder in the death of a police officer a few hours after his arrest.

Jefferson County Sheriff's Office

Weeks after her disappearance, a convicted sex offender faces charges in the case of an Alabama woman left dead in a shallow grave in Hueytown.

Authorities in Alabama say a man doing plumbing work on an apartment complex's roof has died in a fall.

The Jefferson County Coroner’s Office identified the victim as 23-year-old Taylor Curtis Gray, of Cullman.

Birmingham police told news outlets that Gray was part of a crew doing plumbing work at East Lake House on Tuesday when he fell 4 stories and landed on a second floor concrete awning. Police said he was pronounced dead on the scene just after 10 a.m.

The investigating is ongoing.  


A sheriff's office in Alabama says deputies responded to a kidnapping call to find an injured woman bound by zip ties who led them to the body of a slain woman.

News outlets report the victim called the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office on Friday and told deputies she was being held against her will. A chief deputy told news outlets that upon her rescue, the victim gave detectives information that led them to a wooded area where crews found a body.


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Work is beginning on a business park that promoters say could mean about 1,200 jobs in Birmingham east of downtown.

Officials held a groundbreaking on Thursday for Grand River Technology Park, which will be located off Interstate 20 beside Barber Motorsports Park near Leeds.

The project is planned as a regional site for research, development and light manufacturing. It's also being billed for tourism since the race track is nearby and the Southern Museum of Flight plans to relocate there.

Tombigbee Waterway
Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Authority Facebook

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — The state of Alabama is offering money to help develop its inland ports.

The Department of Economic and Community Affairs says it's accepting applications for grants of as much as $1 million to help improve infrastructure at ports located away from the coast.

Money could be used for improvements like storage, moorings, new construction and maintenance.

The grants are being offered through a $5 million program created by state legislators earlier this year.

HUEYTOWN, Ala. (AP) — A judge has acquitted an Alabama high school principal who had been accused of obstructing an investigation into allegations that a teacher was sexually involved with a student.

Associated Press

BESSEMER, 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 fetus' father, authorities said.

Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — An Alabama woman whose fetus died after she was shot in a fight has been charged with manslaughter, while the woman accused of shooting her has been freed.

AL.Com reports 27-year-old Marshae Jones was indicted by the Jefferson County grand jury Wednesday. She was five months pregnant when 23-year-old Ebony Jemison shot her in the stomach during a December altercation regarding the fetus's father.

Tomas Rodriguez/Corbis

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama's most populous county will immediately end arrests for misdemeanors including the possession of small amounts of marijuana, officials announced Monday.

Officers will begin issuing tickets for nonviolent misdemeanor offenses rather than taking people to jail, Capt. David Agee, a spokesman for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, told a news conference.

"People are always talking about criminal justice reform," he said. "Well this is more than talk, this is action. This is big.'"

One Birmingham police officer was killed and another was critically wounded in a shooting early Sunday morning as the officers questioned two people suspected of trying to break into cars.

Two suspects are in custody, one of whom was shot and is receiving medical treatment, according to police.

Authorities identified the officer who was fatally shot as Sgt. Wytasha Carter, 44, a member of the department since 2011. The names of the wounded officer and the suspects were not immediately released.

Larry Langford Dies at 72

Jan 9, 2019

Larry Langford, the former Birmingham mayor whose captivating political career was ended by a conviction on public corruption charges, died Tuesday. He was 72 years old.

Langford died a little more than a week after being released from federal prison because of his failing health. The cause of death was not announced but attorneys earlier said Langford had end-stage chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and emphysema.

Langford was raised in poverty in a Birmingham housing project, but rose to become one of the Birmingham area's most charismatic and influential leaders.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is looking at solutions to the persistent problem of flooding in Jefferson County near downtown Birmingham.

WBMA-TV reports a three-year study will consider multiple options to ease the persistent flooding around Valley Creek, in areas including Bessemer, Hueytown and Brighton. Rescue crews recently had to remove people from their homes near the creek because of high water.

Sheriff's deputies in one of Alabama's largest counties are now armed with body cameras.

Jefferson County deputies are now officially wearing the equipment after nearly a year of testing and evaluating the technology.

Supporters say recording encounters between citizens and officers reduces police violence and protects officers by providing objective video evidence.

Skeptics argue body cameras create privacy concerns for both officers and citizens.

Jefferson County is making plans to put an armed resource officer in every school in the county as part of a new school safety plan.

Local officials announced the plan as part of a press conference yesterday. Jefferson County Sheriff Mike Hale says there are currently 25 officers for the 56 schools in the county school system. He says they plan to hire enough contract deputies to cover all 56 county schools.

Bright Blue Dot / Wikimedia

A candidate for Alabama governor says the arrest of a campaign worker accused of violating the state's sex offender registration and notification act was "politically motivated."

Democratic candidate Sue Bell Cobb tells she accepted Paul Littlejohn III's resignation late last week. Littlejohn was her campaign's Jefferson County field director.

As a registered sex offender, Litlejohn is charged with working too close to a school or daycare through his work at a church and failing to update his employment status.

A federal appeals court says a mostly white Alabama city won’t be allowed to break away from a mostly black county school system in order to form its own educational district.

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that a lower court was wrong to let the Birmingham suburb of Gardendale split from the Jefferson County school system. The city is more than 80 percent white, while the court decision says the county system is heavily black.

Jefferson County Jail

Three Birmingham-area officials were arrested yesterday on felony state ethics charges.

In a news release last night, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Sherry Lewis, chairwoman of the Board of Directors of the Birmingham Water Works, was arrested along with Jerry Jones, a former vice president at Arcadis (the Water Works' preferred engineering firm) and Mt. Vernon Mayor Terry Williams, who also owns Global Solutions International Inc., an Arcadis subcontractor.

DA Henderson Convicted of Perjury

Oct 23, 2017

Jefferson County’s suspended District Attorney has been found guilty of first-degree perjury.

Suspended Jefferson Co. DA's Trial Begins Today

Oct 17, 2017

A trial is set to begin today for a Jefferson County prosecutor currently suspended amid accusations of perjury.

Charles Henderson is accused of giving false testimony in a divorce case from last year in which he served as guardian ad litem for the divorcing couple’s child, meaning he advocated for the child’s best interest rather than the interest of either parent.

Plaintiffs Seeking to Stop Gardendale School Split

May 23, 2017

Plaintiffs in a more than half-century old desegregation case are asking a federal judge to keep Gardendale, Alabama from establishing its own school system, even though the judge ruled earlier this month they would be allowed to split from Jefferson County schools.

House Democrats Delay Redistricting Vote

May 10, 2017

Alabama House Democrats used a procedural maneuver last night to delay a vote on new legislative districts that they argue fail to correct race-based gerrymandering in the state.

Republicans hold a wide majority in both chambers of state Legislature and have the numbers to approve the new map. But Democrats delayed a vote until Thursday by asking for the 539-page redistricting bill to be read aloud, a process that is estimated to take 13 hours.

Big Year for Alabama Tourism

Apr 24, 2017

A new report says travelers spent more than $13 billion in the state of Alabama last year.

The study was conducted for the state tourism agency by an economist at Auburn University in Montgomery. It says more than 25 million travelers spent a total of $13.4 billion in the state in 2016 on hotels, shopping, transportation and restaurants.

That represents an increase of 5.4 percent from 2015. Tourism Director Lee Sentell says travel spending has doubled in the state over the last 14 years.

Jefferson Co. DA Suspended After Felony Charge

Jan 17, 2017
Charles Todd Henderson

The incoming District Attorney for Jefferson County, Charles Todd Henderson, was scheduled to take office today. But he’s been automatically suspended due to a felony indictment.

According to the Alabama Political Reporter, Henderson was a surprise winner over incumbent District Attorney Brandon Falls. Late last week, Henderson was charged with a Class C felony for allegedly providing false information to a judge. Alabama state law dictates Henderson is suspended until the case is resolved.

Jefferson County Disability Voting Settlement

Oct 31, 2016

Jefferson County and the U.S. Attorney’s Offices for North and Central Alabama have come to a settlement on voting access for the disabled.

An investigation began nationwide earlier this year with combined efforts from the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Joyce White Vance is the U.S. Attorney for the northern district of Alabama. She says they checked 36 polling sites in Jefferson County, and had a lot of work to do.

Authorities say a Jefferson County man who had been a longtime suspect in his wife's disappearance recently confessed to her killing and led police to her remains.

Records show 43-year-old Joseph Poe III was arrested Friday on unrelated charges. On Saturday, Chief Deputy Randy Christian says Poe told Tarrant police he needed to talk to a detective concerning Paula Anne Worcester's disappearance.