Hot Seat & LimelightOctober 21, 2010

Stop beating around the bush: As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a recent annual survey by the Violence Policy Center entitled When Men Murder Women: An Analysis of 2008 Homicide Data ranked Alabama third in the list of states with the highest rate of women killed by men. The study reached its conclusion by analyzing a portion of data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s otherwise unreleased Supplementary Homicide Report. Alabama received third place with a rate of just over two homicides per 100,000 people. Way to reinforce our redneck stereotypes! Beating us in the beating game are Nevada and, surprisingly, Vermont. New Hampshire walks away as the state least likely to kill it’s women with a rate of just 0.30 people killed per 100,000. View the full report at

Getting ready to play ball: On Tuesday, the Birmingham City Council voted to approve funding for the entertainment district portion of Mayor William Bell’s downtown development plan, and laid the groundwork for a vote next week to approve funding for a baseball stadium downtown near the newly completed Railroad Park. According to a story in the Birmingham News, the council has to vote on the baseball stadium again next week because the vote on Tuesday was not unanimous. Councilman Roderick Royal was the sole abstainer, citing lack of detail in the current plan as the reason for his “no” vote. Even if Royal changes his vote, there remain a few obstacles to the planned stadium, which also requires an agreement from the Birmingham Barons to relocate from their Hoover home.

Don’t look now, but Alabama is on fire: According to a recent report by the Birmingham News, Alabama is suffering from a rash of wildfires across the state that so far have consumed more than 16 square miles of forest and fields and destroyed 85 homes and other buildings. Alabama has been plagued by drought recently, though not as badly as in recent years. Jefferson County has seen its fair share of fires, though many are located in the south-western portion of the state. However, there are some forces working in our favor. Dan Jackson, forest operations division director for the Alabama Forestry Commission, told the News that there has been a lucky absence of wind this year, which has helped halt the spread of the existing fires.

Downtown Draw: Downtown Birmingham’s newest attraction, Railroad Park, has received a lot of attention lately, but they’re not resting on their laurels. Already hosting an impressive array of attractions and amenities, including free Wi-fi, a playground replete with obstacle course, skate park and of course a fabulous view, they have begun programming a number of events in the park in order to attract new visitors. The Railroad Park Sunset Cinema has begun showing free movies every Friday at 7 p.m., and on October 24th Magic City Smooth Jazz will host Jazz in the Park from 5 – 9 p.m., which is also free to the public. This Thursday’s free movie will be the cult comedy Clue. For more information on Jazz in the Park visit

Originally published in Birmingham Weekly on October 21, 2010.

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