Author: Shalen Lawson

“This is out there, even for us,” Morty said to Rick — breaking the fourth wall in honest commentary as giant semen monsters threatened to take over the world. And that clip from episode four just about sums up the misadventure that is “Rick and Morty” season five. So much of the art of this adult animated series is the haphazard balance between typical Adult Swim-brand absurdity and compelling plots with complex characters. Unlike several other popular mature cartoons, Rick and Morty’s actions have real and lasting consequences — there’s no watching Peter Griffin die in episode three only to be inexplicably revived in episode four…

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Six of the eight Birmingham mayoral candidates highlighted neighborhood revitalization and education during a virtual debate Tuesday night.  While all candidates were invited to attend, Napoleon Gonzalez and Chris Woods were unable to participate. This left incumbent mayor Randall Woodfin, former mayor William Bell, Jefferson County Commissioner Lashunda Scales, philanthropist Cerissa Brown, activist Ervin Philemon Hill II and activist Darryl Williams to answer questions from a panel of Alabama journalists from AL.com, The Birmingham Times, CBS 42, The Birmingham Association of Black Journalists, WBHM and Summit Media. The debate was moderated by Janae Pierre of WBHM. One of the highly debated topics was “The Birmingham Promise,” which Woodfin said he created…

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Any savvy business owner knows that when goods and services are in short supply, the prices tend to increase. That includes the cost of labor. And for employers griping about the pandemic-induced lack of employees, it’s high time to pay up. As businesses reopen at full capacity amid previously declining rates of COVID-19 infections, 46% of small business owners are still struggling to find staff as of June, according to the National Federation of Independent Business. On June 19, Alabama stopped receiving the federally funded COVID-19 relief that provided additional weekly $300 unemployment compensation payments after Governor Kay Ivey opted out of the program. In a May press release, Ivey said the increased federal aid was to blame for businesses having difficulty filling jobs. “Among…

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