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So far Anna Claire Vollers has created 27 blog entries.

In a rural Alabama town, young Southerners have created their own ‘magical community’

Sarah Cole, 32, is relaxing on the front porch swing with her partner, Robert Fitzpatrick, when her phone buzzes.  It’s a text from their friend, Tim Higgins, inviting them over. Tim and his partner, Aaron Head, live just across the street. The spring breeze ruffles at least half a dozen different windchimes strung along the porch [...]

By |2021-04-13T10:06:42-05:00April 12, 2021|Economy, Feature, Life & Culture|

Moms and daughters: What Birmingham public servants Crystal and Carole Smitherman learned from each other

Reckon Women’s series on Southern mothers and daughters who share the same profession is part of Reckon’s celebration of Women’s History Month.  Crystal Smitherman, 27, is a Birmingham city councilor for District 6, the same district where her mother Carole Smitherman served as city councilor in the early 2000s. She’s also an attorney, like her mother, who is now a Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge.  [...]

By |2021-03-24T16:54:01-05:00March 18, 2021|Reckon|Women, Story|

Moms and daughters: What Toyota plant workers Angela and Destini Stewart learned from each other

Reckon Women’s series on Southern mothers and daughters who share the same profession is part of Reckon’s celebration of Women’s History Month.  Angela Stewart and her daughter, Destini Stewart, try to eat lunch together whenever they can. The two women work at Toyota Motor Manufacturing in Huntsville, Ala. Angela began working at the plant in [...]

By |2021-03-24T16:54:24-05:00March 16, 2021|Reckon|Women, Story|

Moms and daughters: What attorneys Elizabeth and Wesley Smithart learned from each other

Reckon Women’s series on Southern mothers and daughters who share the same profession is part of Reckon’s celebration of Women’s History Month.  The first time newly minted attorney Wesley Smithart attended a meeting of the Women’s Section of the Alabama Bar Association, she got to watch her mother, Elizabeth Smithart, lead the meeting as chair.   The two women, both graduates of the University [...]

By |2021-03-17T09:50:40-05:00March 15, 2021|Reckon|Women, Story|

Workplace pregnancy protections proposed by Alabama lawmakers

Alabama lawmakers are eyeing several proposals that could have significant impact on the rights of pregnant people and, specifically, pregnant workers.  Here’s a quick look at the proposed bills:  Pregnant workers  The most comprehensive is the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, HB 352, sponsored by Rep. Neil Rafferty, D-Birmingham. It would require all employers to provide reasonable accommodations for [...]

By |2021-02-24T09:38:55-06:00February 11, 2021|Health, Politics, Reckon|Women, Story|

Sweeping Black maternal health reforms proposed in Congress

African American moms could get better health care under a series of proposals recently introduced in Congress. This week, the congressional Black Maternal Health Caucus introduced a sprawling legislative package aimed at improving health outcomes for mothers and addressing glaring racial disparities in maternal health. Dubbed the Black Maternal Health [...]

By |2021-02-11T12:12:07-06:00February 10, 2021|Health, Reckon|Women, Story|

For these Southern Republicans, the future of conservatism isn’t on Fox News

Mississippi native Mandy Gunasekara scoffs at the notion that the GOP is in disarray. In fact, Republicans are more energized than ever, said the veteran Republican strategist Gunasekara, who most recently served as chief of staff at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under the Trump Administration, now runs a political consulting firm, Section [...]

By |2021-02-25T17:02:27-06:00February 1, 2021|Politics, Story|

Ga. factory worker, fired after miscarriage scare, sues ex-employer over attendance policy

Seven days after Georgia mom Kaytiara McAlister learned she was pregnant, that pregnancy cost her job, according to a new federal lawsuit..  McAlister claims she was fired from her job at a manufacturing center in west Georgia after leaving her shift early due to severe abdominal pain and heavy bleeding related to her pregnancy. Her employer, TydenBrooks, claims in court documents the company did nothing wrong. But McAlister, in court documents and an interview with [...]

By |2021-02-25T17:02:55-06:00January 19, 2021|Health, Reckon|Women, Story|

Rep. Mo Brooks has sponsored just one bill that became law. What else has he done in Congress?

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks has sponsored just one bill that made it into law during his decade in Congress: the renaming of a U.S. Post Office in Alabama. Brooks, the embattled and unapologetic congressman from northern Alabama, has come under pressure after helping mobilize a contentious challenge of the recent [...]

By |2021-01-11T21:08:01-06:00January 11, 2021|Politics, Story|

Some voted Trump, some backed Biden. What are their hopes for the future?

Both President Trump and the Biden/Harris campaign touted coalitions of voters supporting their campaigns. There were Climate Voters for Biden. Sportsmen for Trump. Latinos for both. With Congress set to certify the election results and the inauguration of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris as the next president and vice president, [...]

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