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    Google News / 18.12.2017 06:12
  • McCain treated for viral infection, returns home to Arizona McCain treated for viral infection, returns home to Arizona

    The 81-year-old senator will undergo physical therapy and rehabilitation at the Mayo Clinic in the state.

    WVTM / 11 min. ago
  • Wine glasses have gotten a lot bigger in the past 300 yearsWine glasses have gotten a lot bigger in the past 300 years

    The average glass size is currently 15.1 ounces.

    WVTM / 1 h. 23 min. ago
  • Jerry Richardson will sell Carolina Panthers amid sexual misconduct allegationsJerry Richardson will sell Carolina Panthers amid sexual misconduct allegations

    The team said Friday that former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles was overseeing the investigation by a Los Angeles-based law firm.

    WVTM / 1 h. 41 min. ago
  • Adorable video shows airport employee dancing with girls at gate Adorable video shows airport employee dancing with girls at gate

    An employee at a Dallas airport showed two young passengers his dance moves while they were waiting for a flight.

    WVTM / 2 h. 9 min. ago
  • Power restored at 1 concourse in Atlanta airportPower restored at 1 concourse in Atlanta airport

    More than 600 flights to and from Atlanta have been canceled, including 350 departures, according to Flightradar24.

    WVTM / 2 h. 17 min. ago
  • Here's why your pillowcases are dirtier than you thinkHere's why your pillowcases are dirtier than you think

    Yuck! Here's why it's so important to wash your pillowcases!

    WVTM / 2 h. 19 min. ago
  • Landowners sue Colonial Pipeline, claim it did 'nothing' to fix land contaminated in 2016 explosionLandowners sue Colonial Pipeline, claim it did 'nothing' to fix land contaminated in 2016 explosion

    Two companies and a Jefferson County man are suing Colonial Pipeline, claiming the pipeline corporation has "done nothing" about "contamination" of their property following an Oct. 31, 2016 explosion on a stretch of its gas pipeline that passes through some of their land in Shelby County.

    AL.com / 2 h. 25 min. ago
  • Community pays tribute to Mountain Brook basketball star who was killedCommunity pays tribute to Mountain Brook basketball star who was killed

    Community pays tribute to Mountain Brook basketball star who was killed

    WVTM / 2 h. 44 min. ago
  • Americans consume a lot of media each dayAmericans consume a lot of media each day

    How is possible to spend 12 hours a day in front of a screen or listening to music? Media multi-tasking - many people use more than one device at a time.

    WVTM / 3 h. 22 min. ago
  • Doug Jones says he doesn't think Trump should step down over sexual harassment allegationsDoug Jones says he doesn't think Trump should step down over sexual harassment allegations

    Doug Jones said Sunday that President Trump should not resign in response to sexual misconduct allegations.

    AL.com / 4 h. 9 min. ago
  • Trump says he's not planning to fire special counsel Robert MuellerTrump says he's not planning to fire special counsel Robert Mueller

    On Saturday, the White House repeated that Trump had no intentions of firing Mueller amid fresh speculation from a congresswoman that he would be doing so.

    WVTM / 5 h. 3 min. ago
  • Weekend box office: 'The Last Jedi' has 2nd best weekend of all-time with $220MWeekend box office: 'The Last Jedi' has 2nd best weekend of all-time with $220M

    "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" will happily settle for second.

    AL.com | Entertainment / 7 h. 13 min. ago
  • Nineteen-year-old bicyclist dies after being struck by motorist near PrattvilleNineteen-year-old bicyclist dies after being struck by motorist near Prattville

    A 19-year-old bicyclist died after being hit by a car about five miles north of Prattville.

    AL.com / 8 h. 28 min. ago
  • Man accused of attempting to kill cop breaks out of Florence jail for second time this yearMan accused of attempting to kill cop breaks out of Florence jail for second time this year

    An inmate has escaped from the Lauderdale County Detention Center in Florence for the second time this year.

    AL.com / 9 h. 41 min. ago
  • With tax bill complete, GOP leadership makes case to skeptical publicWith tax bill complete, GOP leadership makes case to skeptical public

    GOP leaders argued that the tax bill - the final version of which was unveiled Friday - is aimed primarily at helping the middle class, brushing aside nonpartisan analyses that show the bulk of the legislation's benefits would go to the wealthy and to corporations.

    AL.com / 10 h. 18 min. ago
  • Fred: A rainy week before Christmas - WBRC FOX6 News - WBRC.comFred: A rainy week before Christmas - WBRC FOX6 News - WBRC.com

    WBRC FOX6 News - WBRC.comFred: A rainy week before ChristmasWBRC FOX6 News - WBRC.comSome of the showers could work their way into Southwest Alabama and scattered showers could move as far north as Birmingham, but any thunderstorm activity will likely be limited to counties to the south. Heavy rain is not expected in this round and ...and more »

    Google News / 10 h. 39 min. ago more
  • 'Alabama's newest senator, Not Roy Moore': 'SNL' pokes fun at Senate race results'Alabama's newest senator, Not Roy Moore': 'SNL' pokes fun at Senate race results

    Alabama was a major topic during "Saturday Night Live" yet again Saturday, with the state's Senate race results taking up much of its recurring "Weekend Update" segment.

    AL.com / 12 h. 3 min. ago
  • The Alabama win changed everything for Gus Malzahn and Auburn - AL.comThe Alabama win changed everything for Gus Malzahn and Auburn - AL.com

    AL.comThe Alabama win changed everything for Gus Malzahn and AuburnAL.comLose that game, and Auburn would finish the regular season 9-3. Lose that game, and Malzahn would be 1-4 against Alabama with four straight defeats. Lose that game, and forget a long extension and fat raise to Malzahn's contract, which had only three ...and more »

    Google News / 13 h. 37 min. ago more
  • Boycott threats to positive press: How Alabama's Senate election swung state tourism - AL.comBoycott threats to positive press: How Alabama's Senate election swung state tourism - AL.com

    AL.comBoycott threats to positive press: How Alabama's Senate election swung state tourismAL.comJones's victory marked the first time in 25 years that Alabama voters elected a Democrat to the U.S. Senate. "It's free publicity and its good publicity," said Dilcy Hilley, vice-president of marketing at the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors ...Moore Refuses To Concede Race To JonesPatch.comThe Alabama Senate Election Was Decided 100 Million Years AgoWIREDDoug Jones on Senate Victory: "Old Alabama" Lost to "New Alabama"EverythingLubbock.comThe Intercept -San Francisco Chronicle -CNNall 8,710 news articles »

    Google News / 13 h. 40 min. ago more
  • Boycott threats to positive press: How Alabama's Senate election swung state tourismBoycott threats to positive press: How Alabama's Senate election swung state tourism

    In the days leading up to Tuesday's election, state tourism officials said they were inundated with social media threats about never wanting to visit Alabama again. After the election, when Doug Jones defeated Roy Moore, the social media angst ended. Replaced were mostly "positive" stories from national and international media and now tourism officials in Alabama are wondering what the effect may be.

    AL.com / 13 h. 42 min. ago more
  • Company picked for Alabama prison care sued in MississippiCompany picked for Alabama prison care sued in Mississippi

    The Alabama Department of Corrections said it picked the Pennsylvania-based Wexford Health Sources Inc. to provide medical care in state prisons, and contract negotiations should be complete by February.

    AL.com / 13 h. 42 min. ago
  • Do we want Birmingham to be another Atlanta?Do we want Birmingham to be another Atlanta?

    ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham. David Sher is Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections and past Chairman of Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, ONB, and CAP. Let's turn Birmingham around. Click here to sign up for newsletter. There's power in numbers. (Opt out at any time) It was painful! I was driving to Atlanta to visit my... ComebackTown is published by David Sher to begin a discussion on a better Birmingham. David Sher is Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections and past Chairman of Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce, ONB, and CAP. Let's turn Birmingham around. Click here to sign up for newsletter. There's power in numbers. (Opt out at any time) It was painful! I was driving to Atlanta to visit my family during afternoon rush hour traffic. It took almost an hour to exit from I-285 to Georgia 400 in Atlanta-almost as much time as it took to drive from Birmingham to Anniston. I kept asking myself --how can people live like this? According to INRIX's 2016 Global Traffic Scorecard, Atlanta's traffic is one of the worst in the world-70.8 hours in traffic each year. That's almost nine eight hour work days in traffic. That compares to about 16 hours for Birmingham. People are always warning me--"We don't want to be another Atlanta!" I've always felt this was an irrational fear--since our seven county metropolitan area has had virtually no population or job growth this century. It's highly unlikely we're going to be another Atlanta. In fact, we'll be fortunate to remain a viable Birmingham. Then Amazon made this crazy announcement that it was looking for a second headquarters. It set public officials and economic development folks from Birmingham and 237 other cities into a frenzy. People accused me of being the devil In a previous piece I wrote that I clearly saw the benefits of submitting an offer -which we did-but I was scared to death we would be selected. People attacked me as if I were an evil traitor. This intense animosity caught me by surprise. These were many of the same folks who had warned me that they didn't want us to become another Atlanta. We can't have it both ways. If we somehow won the lottery and did actually get the Amazon headquarters--we would most definitely become Atlanta 2.0. The unintended consequences of Birmingham winning the Amazon competition Dan Lovell, the Director of Graham & Company's Office Group, in al.com, estimated that "Amazon wants a footprint equivalent to all of Birmingham's office space in the entire central business district - combined...that includes the power company, city offices, all of the single tenant buildings. We'd be creating an additional central business district." And how about those 50,000 jobs promised by Amazon? Add an additional 40,000 employees from other companies to support Amazon--as they have in Seattle--and you get a sense of the impact on Birmingham. To give perspective...Mercedes employs 4,000 people in Alabama after 20 years. We would be adding 90,000 jobs. Birmingham should change for Birmingham--not just for Amazon Ty West, Editor and Chief of The Birmingham Business Journal, got it exactly right when he wrote that Birmingham leaders have promised to make big changes to attract Amazon. "Those same leaders should be willing to stand together, Amazon or no Amazon, and pledge to support transit, nonstop flights and other changes that must be made to put us in position to land Amazon or the next project down the road." We have very limited public transportation and highways 280, 31, and 65 are already over taxed. Our airport has very few direct flights, and we need to make significant improvements in our public education. Why wait for Amazon? Let's do it for ourselves There are scores of companies around the world looking to expand or move. Let's build our basic infrastructure so we can be ready for them. New Jersey is offering Amazon a $7 billion package of tax breaks. We don't know what our Birmingham offer includes--but I promise you it's a bundle. Let's take a small portion of that money and invest in ourselves. No one I know thinks Birmingham actually has a chance to be selected for Amazon's second headquarters--but who knows--no one thought Doug Jones would win either.

    AL.com | Opinion / 13 h. 54 min. ago more
  • Things to do in Birmingham, Dec. 17-23 - AL.comThings to do in Birmingham, Dec. 17-23 - AL.com

    AL.comThings to do in Birmingham, Dec. 17-23AL.comAdam Granduciel's band has played Birmingham before, and the indie rockers return today with a celebrated new album, “A Deeper Understanding.” The record — nominated for Best Rock Album at the 2018 Grammys — features richly layered soundscapes that ...

    Google News / 13 h. 57 min. ago
  • Things to do in Birmingham, Dec. 17-23Things to do in Birmingham, Dec. 17-23

    Your free time is precious, so how to spend it? Here are five ideas for Birmingham this week, Dec. 17-23, 2017.

    AL.com | Entertainment / 13 h. 57 min. ago
  • Alabama artisans choose favorite products by other makers for awesome local gift guideAlabama artisans choose favorite products by other makers for awesome local gift guide

    Alabama is an internationally known hub of manufacturing for cars, planes and ships, but the state also turns out an impressive variety of items that fit perfectly underneath the Christmas tree.

    Big News Network.com / 14 h. 14 min. ago
  • AL Birmingham AL Zone Forecast - Argus PressAL Birmingham AL Zone Forecast - Argus Press

    AL Birmingham AL Zone ForecastArgus Press716 FPUS54 KBMX 171903. ZFPBMX. Zone Forecast Product for Alabama. National Weather Service Birmingham AL. 102 PM CST Sun Dec 17 2017. ALZ011-180000-. Marion-. Including the city of Hamilton. 102 PM CST Sun Dec 17 2017 .THIS AFTERNOON...Cloudy with a ...and more »

    Google News / 14 h. 16 min. ago
  • Fred: A rainy week aheadFred: A rainy week ahead

    BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Showers and thunderstorms have developed over Texas and this area of showers and a few thunderstorms will continue pushing east, although these rain areas will weake

    Big News Network.com / 14 h. 35 min. ago
  • The Top 10 Republicans in Alabama for 2017The Top 10 Republicans in Alabama for 2017

    Who will carry the flag?

    AL.com | Opinion / 14 h. 37 min. ago
  • more news
  • SpaceX capsule back at space station with pre-Christmas haulSpaceX capsule back at space station with pre-Christmas haul

    In this image taken from NASA Television, the robotic arm reaches out and captures the SpaceX Dragon cargo spacecraft for docking to the International Space Station, Sunday Dec. 17, 2017. SpaceX launc

    Big News Network.com / 14 h. 37 min. ago
  • The Top 10 Democrats in Alabama for 2017The Top 10 Democrats in Alabama for 2017

    Who's who in the party that didn't matter before this month

    AL.com | Opinion / 14 h. 42 min. ago
  • Fred: A rainy week ahead - WBRC FOX6 News - WBRC.comFred: A rainy week ahead - WBRC FOX6 News - WBRC.com

    WBRC FOX6 News - WBRC.comFred: A rainy week aheadWBRC FOX6 News - WBRC.comShowers and thunderstorms have developed over Texas and this area of showers and a few thunderstorms will continue pushing east, although these rain areas will weaken as they move into Alabama. This trend will continue but shower chances will continue ...and more »

    Google News / 16 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Family of girl killed in 16th Street Baptist Church bombing reflects on Jones' Senate victoryFamily of girl killed in 16th Street Baptist Church bombing reflects on Jones' Senate victory

    BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Doug Jones' victory in the U.S. Special Senate election in Alabama is emotional for the family of one of the little girls who lost her life in the 16th Street B

    Big News Network.com / 20 h. 35 min. ago
  • Another statewide ride hailing regulation bill could be proposed in upcoming sessionAnother statewide ride hailing regulation bill could be proposed in upcoming session

    BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Ride hailing companies like Uber and Lyft continue to affect how we get around the roads.One Birmingham city councilor wants to make sure city governments keep the t

    Big News Network.com / 20 h. 35 min. ago
  • Talladega Superspeedway opens track to public for fundraiserTalladega Superspeedway opens track to public for fundraiser

    TALLADEGA, AL (WBRC) - In the spirit of the holiday season, Talladega Superspeedway is providing fans and the local community with a unique spin on the standard of a typical charitable driv

    Big News Network.com / 20 h. 35 min. ago
  • Sen. Schumer: Bomb-detection units needed at transit hubsSen. Schumer: Bomb-detection units needed at transit hubs

    U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer wants the Transportation Security Administration to speed up plans to equip transit hubs with screening devices that can detect suicide vests like the one that explod

    Big News Network.com / 20 h. 37 min. ago
  • Auburn Basketball holds on to beat Middle Tennessee 76-70Auburn Basketball holds on to beat Middle Tennessee 76-70

    BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) - Auburn was the feature team Saturday night at the inaugural BHM JAM at Legacy Arena at the BJCC. They didn't disappoint. The 9-1 Tigers dominated early over Mi

    Big News Network.com / 20 h. 52 min. ago
  • Kenya:Meet Kenya's John Wairimu, One of Four Students With a Masters in Nuclear Medicine TechnologyKenya:Meet Kenya's John Wairimu, One of Four Students With a Masters in Nuclear Medicine Technology

    A Kenyan living in the US has joined an elite rank of students: the first four to graduate with a Master's degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology. John Gitau Wairimu, a 34-year-old Kenyan based in Birmingham, Alabama, has become one of only four students in the United States to earn a Master's degree in nuclear medicine technology.

    Birmingham News / 21 h. 35 min. ago
  • Which Restaurants Are Open On Christmas?Pelham-AL, AL PatchWhich Restaurants Are Open On Christmas?Pelham-AL, AL Patch

    While most businesses in Birmingham will be closed on Christmas, there are some restaurants that do remain open, even if just for special holiday hours.

    Birmingham News / 1 d. 2 h. 4 min. ago
  • Santa's disappointing Christmas giftSanta's disappointing Christmas gift

    By Dr. Robert Wilkerson, a Christian author, minister, and public speaker who lives in the Birmingham area. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net Have you ever been disappointed by what Santa brought you for Christmas? One year, as a small boy, I was disappointed.

    Birmingham News / 1 d. 6 h. 42 min. ago
  • An Overlooked Epidemic: Older Americans Taking Too Many Unneeded DrugsAn Overlooked Epidemic: Older Americans Taking Too Many Unneeded Drugs

    By Sandra G. Boodman Kaiser Health News Amber Turner a Clinical Pharmacist checks a prescription she is filling in the Cooper Green Pharmacy. (Frank Couch / The Birmingham Times) Consider it America’s other prescription drug epidemic. For decades, experts have warned that older Americans are taking too many unnecessary drugs, often prescribed by multiple doctors, for dubious or unknown reasons. Researchers estimate that 25 percent of people ages 65 to 69 take at least five prescription drugs to treat chronic conditions, a figure that jumps to nearly 46 percent for those between 70 and 79. Doctors say it is not uncommon to encounter patients taking more than 20 drugs to treat acid reflux, heart disease, depression or insomnia or other disorders. Unlike the overuse of opioid painkillers, the polypharmacy problem has attracted little attention, even though its hazards are well documented. But some doctors are working to reverse the trend. At least 15 percent of seniors seeking care annually from doctors or hospitals have suffered a medication problem; in half of these cases, the problem is believed to be potentially preventable. Studies have linked polypharmacy to unnecessary death. Older patients, who have greater difficulty metabolizing medicines, are more likely to suffer dizziness, confusion and falls. And the side effects of drugs are frequently misinterpreted as a new problem, triggering more prescriptions, a process known as a prescribing cascade. The glide path to overuse can be gradual: A patient taking a drug to lower blood pressure develops swollen ankles, so a doctor prescribes a diuretic. The diuretic causes a potassium deficiency, resulting in a medicine to treat low potassium. But that triggers nausea, which is treated with another drug, which causes confusion, which in turn is treated with more medication. For many patients, problems arise when they are discharged from the hospital on a host of new medications, layered on top of old ones. Alice Cave, who divides her time between Alexandria, Va., and Tucson, Ariz., discovered this when she traveled to Cheyenne, Wyo., after her 87-year-old aunt was sent home following treatment for a stroke in 2015. Before her hospitalization, Cave said, her aunt, a retired telephone company employee whose vision is impaired by glaucoma, had been taking seven drugs per day. Five new ones were added in the hospital, Cave said. Bottom of Form “She came home and had a huge bag of pills, half of which she was already taking, plus pages and pages of instructions,” she said. Some were supposed to be taken with food, some on an empty stomach. Cave said she spent several hours sorting the medications into a giant blue pill box. “It was crazy — and scary.” Cave said she felt helpless to do much; her aunt’s doctors didn’t question the need for more drugs. When Shannon Brownlee’s mother was taken to an emergency room recently to determine whether her arm pain might signal a heart attack (it didn’t) a cardiologist prescribed five new drugs — including an opioid — to the small dose of a diuretic she had been taking to control her blood pressure. Brownlee, senior vice president of the Lown Institute, a Boston-based group that seeks to improve health care quality by reducing unnecessary treatment, said that when her brother questioned the necessity of so many new drugs for a woman in her late 80s, the specialist replied frostily, “I don’t see anything wrong with prescribing lots of medication to older people.” (Stock photo) Bring The Pill Bottles “This problem has gotten worse because the average American is on a lot more medications than 15 years ago,” said cardiologist Rita Redberg, a professor of medicine at the University of California at San Francisco. Studies bolster Redberg’s contention: A 2015 report found that the share of Americans of all ages who regularly took at least five prescription drugs nearly doubled between 2000 and 2012, from 8 percent to 15 percent. University of Michigan researchers recently reported that the percentage of people older than 65 taking at least three psychiatric drugs more than doubled in the nine years beginning in 2004. Nearly half of those taking the potent medications, which include antipsychotic drugs used to treat schizophrenia, had no mental health diagnosis. Redberg and other doctors are trying to counter the blizzard of prescriptions through a grass-roots movement called “deprescribing” — systematically discontinuing medicines that are inappropriate, duplicative or unnecessary. Interest in deprescribing, which was pioneered in Canada and Australia, is growing in the United States, bolstered by physician-led efforts, such as the five-year-old Choosing Wisely campaign. The Beers Criteria, a list of overused and potentially unsafe drugs for seniors first published in 1991, has been followed by other tools aimed at curbing unnecessary drug use. “Lots of different medications get started for reasons that are never supported by evidence,” said Redberg, editor in chief of JAMA Internal Medicine. “In general, we like the idea of taking a pill” a lot better than non-drug measures, such as improved eating habits or exercise. “That’s what we were taught as physicians: to prescribe drugs,” said Ranit Mishori, a professor of family medicine at Georgetown University and a proponent of deprescribing. “We are definitely not taught how to take people off meds.” Kathryn McGrath, a Philadelphia geriatrician, said she tries to begin every appointment with a review of medications, which she asks patients to bring with them. “I think having the pill bottles” is much more powerful than a list, said McGrath, who has written about how to deprescribe safely. Although support is growing, deprescribing faces formidable obstacles. Among them, experts say, is a paucity of research about how best to do it, relentless advertising that encourages consumers to ask their doctors for new drugs, and a strong disinclination – baked into the culture of medicine — to countermand what another physician has ordered. Time constraints play a significant role. So do performance measures that are viewed as a mandate to prescribe drugs even when they make virtually no sense, such as giving statins to terminally ill patients. A Reluctance To Overrule “There’s a reluctance to tinker or change things too much,” said University of Michigan geriatric psychiatrist Donovan Maust, who labels the phenomenon “clinical inertia.” When inheriting a new patient, Maust said, doctors tend to assume that if a colleague prescribed a drug, there must be a good reason for it — even if they don’t know what it is. Maust said he tries to combat inertia by writing time-limited orders for medication. He recently began treating a man in his 80s with dementia who was taking eight psychiatric drugs — each of which can cause significant side effects and most of which had been prescribed for undetermined reasons. “It’s very typical to see a patient who has a few episodes of reflux and is then put on a [proton pump inhibitor, or PPI] and a few years later are still taking it,” said Georgetown’s Mishori. Many experts say the heartburn drugs are overprescribed, and studies have linked their long-term use to fractures, dementia and premature death. “This is a cultural problem and an awareness problem exacerbated by the fragmentation of care,” said Brownlee, the author of “Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine is Making Us Sicker and Poorer.” Many doctors, she added, have never heard of deprescribing. Before his death several years ago, doctors advised Brownlee’s father, a hospice patient, to continue taking a statin, along with several other medications. None would improve or extend his life, and all had potentially harmful side effects. Rx: What For? Older people taking lots of medication was what Canadian pharmacist Barbara Farrell encountered when she began working at a geriatric hospital in Ottawa nearly two decades ago. Her experience, she said, was a catalyst for the Canadian Deprescribing Network, a consortium of researchers, physicians, pharmacists and health advocates she co-founded. The group seeks to drastically reduce inappropriate medication use among Canadian seniors by 2020. Farrell, a clinical scientist at the Bruyere Research Institute, has also helped write guidelines, used by doctors in the United States and other countries, to safely deprescribe certain classes of widely used drugs, including proton pump inhibitors and sedatives. “I’ve found a lot of receptivity” to the guidelines among physicians, Farrell said. “We know there are pockets around Canada and the world where they’re being implemented.” One of Farrell’s most memorable successes involved a woman in her late 70s who was using a wheelchair and was nearly comatose. “She would literally slide out of her chair,” Farrell recalled. The woman was taking 27 drugs four times per day and had been diagnosed with dementia and a host of other ailments. After reviewing her medications, Farrell and her colleagues were able to weed out duplicative and potentially harmful drugs and reduce the doses of others. A year later, the woman was “like a different person”: She was able to walk with a cane and live mostly independently, and she reported that her doctor said she did not have dementia after all. When Farrell asked another patient why she was taking thyroid medication, the woman replied that her doctor had prescribed it for weight loss after her last pregnancy — in 1955. “The patients I see are the tip of the iceberg,” Farrell said. One way to facilitate deprescribing, Farrell said, is to require doctors to record why a drug is being prescribed, a proposal the deprescribing network has made to Canadian health officials. A recent study by a team from the Boston VA Healthcare System found strong support among doctors for this concept. While some doctors are reluctant to discontinue medications, patients can be wary, too. “They may say, ‘I tried stopping my sleeping pill and I couldn’t sleep the next night, so I figured I needed it,’” Farrell said. ” Nobody explained to them that rebound insomnia, which can occur after stopping sleeping pills, lasts three to five days.” Mishori said that she deprescribes only one medication at a time so she can detect any problem that arises from that change. And, she adds, “I never take people off of a medication without doing something else.” In the case of heartburn drugs, she might first recommend taking the drug only when needed, not continuously. Or she might suggest a safer alternative, such as an over-the-counter antacid tablet. Maust, the geriatric psychiatrist, recommends that doctors actively focus on “the big picture” and carefully weigh whether the benefits of a drug outweigh its risks. “In geriatrics,” he said, “less is more.” KHN’s coverage related to aging and improving care of older adults is supported in part by The John A. Hartford Foundation.

    The Birmingham Times / 1 d. 8 h. 10 min. ago more
  • Burglar caught by 95-year-old veteran and his daughterBurglar caught by 95-year-old veteran and his daughter

    A career criminal in Wisconsin learned you don't mess with a Marine Corps veteran and his daughter.

    WVTM / 1 d. 10 h. 49 min. ago
  • Moore in fundraising email to supporters: 'battle is not over' in Senate raceMoore in fundraising email to supporters: 'battle is not over' in Senate race

    Moore sent a fundraising email to supporters asking for contributions to his "election integrity fund' so he could investigate reports of voter fraud.

    AL.com / 1 d. 10 h. 58 min. ago
  • Santa's disappointing Christmas giftSanta's disappointing Christmas gift

    Have you ever been disappointed by what Santa brought you for Christmas? Robert Wilkerson (Courtesy photo)  By Dr. Robert Wilkerson, a Christian author, minister, and public speaker who lives in the Birmingham area. drbobwilkerson@bellsouth.net Have you ever been disappointed by what Santa brought you for Christmas? One year, as a small boy, I was disappointed. Ralphie, the little boy in the movie, "The Christmas Story," and I had a lot in common. He wanted a BB gun, but not just any BB gun. He knew every detail of the gun he wanted. It was a Red Ryder, 200 shot, range model. Like Ralphie, I wanted a bicycle, but not just any bicycle. I wanted the one that was advertised on the back page of the comic books. It was the most beautiful bike in the world. It was a red Schwinn with white trim. It had a seat over the rear fender where a friend could ride with me. It had a light on the front fender where I could see when it got dark. The handle bar grips set it off perfectly. They had beautiful red and white streamers coming out of them. That bike was beautiful, and it looked fast. It was my dream for Christmas. Like Ralphie, I told my parents and anyone else who would listen about it. I even made a trip to the downtown Pizitz department store, and rode the escalator to the third floor to talk to Santa. I stood in a long line until I had my chance to sit in his lap and tell him what I wanted. When Christmas morning came, I was filled with excitement. My mother came into my room and said, "Come on, Bobby. Get up and see what Santa Claus has brought you." I rushed into the room, fully expecting to see my dream bike. When I saw the bicycle by the tree, the words flew out of my mouth, "That ain't no Schwinn!" Disappointment reigned supreme. What I saw was a big ugly bicycle with the name "Collegiate" on it. It was definitely not the Schwinn of my dreams. When I tried to ride it, my feet could barely reach the pedals, and I fell several times. Disappointment reigned supreme. However, as the years went by, I learned to love that big ugly bicycle. One of my first jobs was delivering shoes for McClendon's Shoe Shop on First Avenue North near Woodlawn High School. I delivered shoes all over Woodlawn, and Woodlawn Highlands. When Mr. McClendon wanted lunch, I had to pedal all the way to Mack's Barbeque stand on First Avenue North and Sixty-Fifth Street. They had good barbecue. I did all of this on that big ugly bicycle. My second job was delivering newspapers for the Birmingham Post-Herald. My route covered part of Woodlawn, and all of Woodlawn Highlands. Once again, that big ugly bike made it possible for me to work. I kept that bike until I grew out of the bicycle stage. It never broke down, or needed repair. It was the best bike I ever owned and the only one. As I look back across the years, I learned several lessons from my disappointing gift. They are as follows: Everything doesn't have to be new, flashy, or as advertised in a comic book to be good. Parents sacrifice for their children, particularly at Christmas. My parents were poor, but we didn't know it. They bought a used bicycle from our neighbors, and took it to the Woodlawn Bicycle Shop where it was checked out and painted green. This was the bike they gave me for Christmas. It was all they could afford. I have regretted my words of disappointment on that Christmas morning. My parents must have been disappointed in my reaction. However, they must have known that over the years, I came to love and appreciate that bike, and the ones who gave it to me. As a young adult, I became a Christian, and learned that Christmas was not really about Santa Claus and gifts. It was, and still is, about God, the greatest gift giver, and His greatest gift--His Son Jesus Christ. No one who receives Him is ever disappointed. Merry Christmas!

    AL.com | Opinion / 1 d. 11 h. 12 min. ago more
  • Activists tackling LGBTQ issues following Doug Jones' winActivists tackling LGBTQ issues following Doug Jones' win

    Although the state elected its first Democratic senator in 25 years, the win doesn't erase LGBTQ issues, including poverty, voter suppression, and employment and housing discrimination.

    AL.com / 1 d. 11 h. 12 min. ago
  • After Alabama, abortion may be backseat issue in 2018 racesAfter Alabama, abortion may be backseat issue in 2018 races

    In this photo taken Wednesday, Dec, 13, 2017, Democrat Doug Jones speaks during an interview with the Associated Press, in Birmingham, Ala. Jones said he knew he had a path to victory.

    Birmingham News / 1 d. 11 h. 16 min. ago
  • 3200 Phaethon flyby: Mysterious asteroid will soar by Earth tonight; how to see it, livestream3200 Phaethon flyby: Mysterious asteroid will soar by Earth tonight; how to see it, livestream

    A large - and mysterious - space rock will fly by Earth tonight but have no fear, NASA says 3200 Phaethon isn't any danger to our planet.

    AL.com / 1 d. 11 h. 47 min. ago
  • Convicted felon charged, captured in killing of former Mountain Brook basketball starConvicted felon charged, captured in killing of former Mountain Brook basketball star

    Birmingham police and the U.S. Marshals Gulf Coast Regional Fugitive Task Force arrested Joseph Curtis Moore Friday afternoon. He is charged with capital murder during a robbery in the Dec. 10 shooting death of Terrell Guy, who just turned 21.

    AL.com / 1 d. 12 h. 12 min. ago
  • Santa Tracker 2017: Where is Santa right now? NORAD will tell us when he will come to your houseSanta Tracker 2017: Where is Santa right now? NORAD will tell us when he will come to your house

    The North American Aerospace Defense Command will continue its annual tradition of tracking Santa as he makes his Christmas Eve trek around the world to bring gifts to all the good boys and girls around the world.

    AL.com / 1 d. 12 h. 38 min. ago
  • $12 million awarded to victims in 2015 Max Transit bus crash$12 million awarded to victims in 2015 Max Transit bus crash

    A jury verdict Monday awarded $12 million to victims in a Max Transit bus crash that occurred in Fairfield on Feb. 9, 2015, according to a release by Alexander Shunnarah Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C. With more than 20 passengers on a MAX Transit bus route, the bus driver lost consciousness, causing the bus to overturn and land in a ravine. The lawsuit involved 15 of the crash victims, with the majority of which were represented by Alexander Shunnarah Personal Injury Attorneys, P.C. attorneys Brandon Bishop and Sara Williams.

    Birmingham News / 1 d. 13 h. 35 min. ago more
  • Huntsville megasite possible target of Toyota-Mazda, residents sayHuntsville megasite possible target of Toyota-Mazda, residents say

    State and local economic development officials have refused any comment on the project, for which Alabama is reportedly one of only two states in contention.

    AL.com | Business / 1 d. 14 h. 12 min. ago
  • This Is The Most Charming Place to Hang a WreathThis Is The Most Charming Place to Hang a Wreath

    Once the halls are decked with boughs of holly and stockings are hung by the chimney with care, what's the one spot that could use a little extra cheer? Maybe an extra wreath or two? The sneaky place you may be forgetting: the mirror! After the front door is trimmed, take to the walls with both small and large wreaths. Take a cue from Birmingham, Alabama, designer Dana Wolter, who dresses up every space with elegant and perfectly-placed holiday dA©cor each year.

    Birmingham News / 1 d. 18 h. 26 min. ago more
  • Trussville’s mysterious Charlie Brown Christmas Tree is backTrussville’s mysterious Charlie Brown Christmas Tree is back

    TRUSSVILLE, Ala (WIAT) – The Charlie Brown Christmas tree has been a tradition on North Chalkville Road in Trussville for over a decade.  It has also been one of the community’s greatest mysteries.  Very few people know the identity of ‘the decorator’. The tree, a random pine on the side of the road, is decked out in ornaments and bows–but they just seem to appear one day.  No one sees ‘the decorator’ at work.  Not even Buddy Choat, the mayor of Trussville. “It takes peoples’ minds off being stuck in traffic,” he explained, “but it also gives them some Christmas spirit.  We’re proud of it.  At nighttime, the lights hit the bow and people can see it, so we get a chance to kind of rekindle that feeling of what Christmas is all about.” The tree means something different to almost everyone in Trussville.  For Tina Houser, it was something of a beacon of hope during a tough time in her life.  “When I would come around and see the tree decorated and know that someone went out of their way to spend time and effort just to cheer up the community…it just made it feel a little bit special,” she said.  “It brightened up my holiday.” Houser said she looked forward to seeing the tree each Christmas.  “I think it means a lot of things to a lot of different people,” she explained. However, recently, the community was devastated when the tree was cut down.  It, like it’s legend, had grown over the years.  It got too close to nearby power lines. “No, nobody warned us,” Choat said.  “It’s obviously within the easement of the power company.  Not only this tree, but a lot of trees along this highway were taken down.” However, sometime in the spring, a seed–or actually, a sapling of hope was planted.  In traffic, Trussville residents watched it hopefully, wondering if it had been planted by the mystery decorator. A couple of days after Thanksgiving their questions were answered.  “It was a Christmas miracle,” laughed Choat.  The tree was back and decorated. “It’s all great, we got a new tree,” he said.  “The Charlie Brown Christmas tree is here, and it will be here for many years.”

    WIAT / 1 d. 22 h. 22 min. ago more
  • Crews working to repair water main break in Birmingham off Glenbrook DriveCrews working to repair water main break in Birmingham off Glenbrook Drive

    Crews are on the scene early Friday morning working to repair a water main break off Glenbrook Drive, near Montevallo Road. Birmingham police arrived at the scene around 3:30 a.m. and saw water spewing about 80 feet into the air.

    Birmingham News / 1 d. 23 h. 22 min. ago
  • Man charged in deadly DUI crash in Irondale that killed Birmingham manMan charged in deadly DUI crash in Irondale that killed Birmingham man

    Juan Flores Barrueta, 35, was arrested Friday on a charge of vehicular manslaughter. He is charged in the Nov. 30 traffic death of 39-year-old Marquez Andrea Square.

    Birmingham News / 2 d. 4 h. 27 min. ago
  • Man accused of stealing $890K from destroyed business he was hired to clean upMan accused of stealing $890K from destroyed business he was hired to clean up

    Jerry Ford, a 49-year-old subcontractor, was arrested late Thursday on a charge of first-degree receiving stolen property, records show. Ford's arrest came after authorities searched his home and rental storage unit in Lauderdale County, said Florence police Sgt.

    Birmingham News / 2 d. 4 h. 27 min. ago
  • Army trains, opioid suit, Jedi all on move in today's business newsArmy trains, opioid suit, Jedi all on move in today's business news

    Friday's business highlights include more developments in the net neutrality battle, early returns on the latest "Star Wars" movie, and good news for the Army depot in Anniston.

    AL.com | Business / 2 d. 4 h. 29 min. ago
  • Verdict reached in BJCTA, MAX Transit lawsuitVerdict reached in BJCTA, MAX Transit lawsuit

    A lawsuit against the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority, Max Transit and a bus driver following a February 2015 bus crash wrapped up this week, resulting in a $12 million jury verdict. As part of their verdict, the jury also assessed $6 million in punitive damages. Fifteen of more than 20 passengers were injured during the Fairfield crash with one woman, Charlyse Williams, losing a leg after the driver lost consciousness, causing the bus to overturn and land in a ravine, according to…

    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 4 h. 36 min. ago more
  • Coca-Cola United investing $28 million in Montgomery projectsCoca-Cola United investing $28 million in Montgomery projects

    The project is expected to add about 48 jobs in 2018, the company said.

    AL.com | Business / 2 d. 5 h. 11 min. ago
  • 3 charged in Bessemer robbery and interstate chase - AL.com3 charged in Bessemer robbery and interstate chase - AL.com

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    Google News / 2 d. 5 h. 20 min. ago
  • more news
  • New biotech startup receives first boost of fundingNew biotech startup receives first boost of funding

    A small business startup grant is providing a cash infusion for a Birmingham company made up of former UAB students.

    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 6 h. 10 min. ago
  • Montana Man Arrested Following Chase - Patch.comMontana Man Arrested Following Chase - Patch.com

    Patch.comMontana Man Arrested Following ChasePatch.comBIRMINGHAM, AL - A man from Montana was arrested Thursday afternoon after deputies tried to conduct a traffic stop on I-20 near Leeds. The driver of the 2016 Volkswagen Jetta refused to stop, and a check of the license plate revealed that the car had ...and more »

    Google News / 2 d. 6 h. 31 min. ago
  • Nonprofit leader takes helm of Birmingham Holocaust centerNonprofit leader takes helm of Birmingham Holocaust center

    A longtime Birmingham nonprofit leader is taking the reins at the Birmingham Holocaust Education Center. Joyce Spielberger, who learned more about the organization as a previous board member and officer, has started her new role as interim executive director and will spearhead educating Alabamians about history of the Holocaust and constructing a humane future. She most recently was a consultant with the Birmingham Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program and also served as executive director of Magic Moments…

    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 7 h. 4 min. ago more
  • Alabama holiday spending expected to increase by 2 percent over last yearAlabama holiday spending expected to increase by 2 percent over last year

    Statewide holiday spending is expected to increase this year, according to the Alabama Retail Association. The ARA has predicted Alabama shoppers will spend more than $11.5 billion on holiday-related purchases this year during the months of November and December.  That’s a 2 percent increase over last year when Alabama shoppers spent $11.43 billion during the holiday shopping period. Holiday spending in the state increased by 4.77 percent during the holiday shopping period in 2016 over 2015,…

    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 7 h. 37 min. ago more
  • New restaurant to open at former Fox Valley Restaurant location in Shelby CountyNew restaurant to open at former Fox Valley Restaurant location in Shelby County

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    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 7 h. 49 min. ago more
  • Construction milestone reached for 280 projectConstruction milestone reached for 280 project

    The 26,000-square-foot facility is expected to open in summer 2018.

    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 7 h. 51 min. ago
  • Charles Barkley pledges $1 million for Alabama tech startupsCharles Barkley pledges $1 million for Alabama tech startups

    Charles Barkley has pledged $1 million to help minority women start internet and technology businesses in the state of Alabama. According to AL.com, the Alabama native and NBA star stated that the pledge is part of a thank you to the minority women who overwhelmingly supported senate candidate Doug Jones, who pulled off a close victory for the senate seat on Tuesday evening.  Barkley, who was vocal during the campaign, said he would pick the companies that would receive the startup funds. Barkley…

    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 7 h. 53 min. ago more
  • UAB, Birmingham-Southern create initiative for nursing studentsUAB, Birmingham-Southern create initiative for nursing students

    Birmingham-Southern College and UAB have partnered to bring more students the opportunity to complete a nursing degree. Students at BSC who are working on an undergraduate degree are able to also get a graduate nursing degree from UAB. The two schools have bridged to where students who have completed almost three and a half years of work toward their bachelor's degree at BSC can begin earning their UAB master's degree in nursing. “We are honored that UAB was eager to partner with BSC in this…

    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 7 h. 57 min. ago more
  • 100 Rules of Success: Be younger by tomorrow-part 2100 Rules of Success: Be younger by tomorrow-part 2

    Stewart Welch Founder of The Welch Group, which specializes in fee-only investment advice to families throughout the country. Contact welchgroup.com  What follows is the continuation of success habits that will become part of a book I'm writing, "100 Rules of...

    AL.com | Business / 2 d. 7 h. 58 min. ago
  • Ostrich: 10 most redneck counties in Alabama Ostrich: 10 most redneck counties in Alabama

    The soon-to-be patented Redneck Ratings Index does not lie.

    AL.com | Opinion / 2 d. 8 h. 32 min. ago
  • ‘Don’t try to change your spouse’‘Don’t try to change your spouse’

    By Chanda Temple Special to The Birmingham Times Photos by Oscar Matthews “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, please send nominations to chandatemple@gmail.com. Include the couple’s name, contact number(s) and what makes their love story unique. Who: Jasmine and Clinton Green of Hoover Married: Aug. 8, 2015  Met: In fall 2010, Jasmine was a member of the UAB Gospel Choir. Clinton was the choir’s keyboardist and music director. Even though both were part of the choir, they did not meet until the choir went on a five-day tour in October 2010. During an early tour stop in Memphis, the choir visited the now-closed Neely’s Bar-B-Cue. Because there were only a few seats left in the restaurant, Jasmine and Clinton ended up sitting at the same table. They hit it off. During the tour, Jasmine’s grandmother was very ill. Jasmine often called home to check on her. “Clinton was the only person I could talk to about her while I was on tour. He was so understanding,’’ Jasmine said. “I talked to him like I had known him for years. He was so nice, even though he didn’t know me. He was concerned and he wanted to be there for me.’’ Upon returning to Birmingham, Clinton carried Jasmine’s luggage to her parents’ car, where Clinton and her father had a nice chat. “I complimented her dad on the shirt he was wearing. He ended up giving me that shirt later on.’’ Clinton and Jasmine started dating around December 2010. The proposal: Clinton proposed on Jan. 2, 2015. “I’m old school, so I talked to her dad before I proposed. I also talked to my parents and even my pastor,’’ Clinton said. “I knew that if I was marrying Jasmine, I was marrying her family. I wanted to be cool with her family because she and her dad were really close.” Why Clinton was “The One”: Prior to meeting Clinton, Jasmine had been in relationships that didn’t pour into her like she had poured into them. One boyfriend even cheated on her. But with Clinton, things were different. He returned her love with abundance and made her feel special. “Clinton was the only other man who’s loved me like my dad,’’ Jasmine said. Why Jasmine was “The One”: “It’s simple,” Clinton said. “She checked all the boxes.” “In times past, I introduced girls to my mom, and she would come back later and say, ‘That one was not the one,’ ‘’ Clinton said. “But Jasmine instantly hit it off with my family. My mom said, ‘I love her. She’s genuine. She’s sweet.’ ‘’ Clinton added: “Jasmine is beautiful on the outside, and she’s beautiful on the inside.’’ The wedding: Before they said, “I do,’’ on Aug. 8, 2015, they each wrote a letter to the other. Those letters are now tucked away until they can share them with their future children. First dance: One day after Bible study, Clinton introduced Jasmine to singer PJ Morton’s song, “Forever.’’ Because of lyrics such as “Never in my life, has it felt so right. And I believe this time will last forever,’’ they thought it was the ideal song for their first dance. “Because I had been through a lot, I thanked God that He saved His best for me,’’ Jasmine said. “I cried my whole wedding day because that was my thought.’’ Words of wisdom: “Never stop learning,’’ Clinton said. “Change is going to happen at some point. You can’t trip or flip out when change happens. It’s important to be open and understand the changes.’’ Said Jasmine: “Don’t try to change your spouse. A lot of times, people go in and say, ‘This will change.’ Just let your spouse be themselves. Nine times out of 10, that’s one of the reasons you fell in love with them.’’   Happily ever after: Jasmine is a financial counselor in Birmingham. Clinton is a minister of music at New Life Interfaith Ministries and the music teacher at New Life Christian School of Excellence, both in Bessemer. Final thoughts: Just as Clinton was becoming a part of Jasmine’s life, Jasmine’s grandmother died in December 2010. Clinton never met Jasmine’s grandmother, but he felt connected to her. “It’s like we traded places because a lot of things that I say, Jasmine would say, ‘That sounds like something my grandmother would say,’’’ Clinton said. “I feel that’s part of my assignment as a husband – to be strong when she’s weak. I’m glad to be able to fill that void.’’

    The Birmingham Times / 2 d. 9 h. 16 min. ago more
  • Dothan's Madison Square apartments sell for $7.8 millionDothan's Madison Square apartments sell for $7.8 million

    The sale was part of a three-property deal spanning three states.

    AL.com | Business / 2 d. 9 h. 35 min. ago
  • What will banking's tech revolution mean for Birmingham banking jobs?What will banking's tech revolution mean for Birmingham banking jobs?

    Some think technology could replace many jobs in the banking industry in coming years.

    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 9 h. 47 min. ago
  • Legal roundup: Maynard Cooper, Bradley, Christian & Small attorneys in the spotlightLegal roundup: Maynard Cooper, Bradley, Christian & Small attorneys in the spotlight

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    Bizjournals.com / 2 d. 9 h. 56 min. ago more
  • Anniston Army Depot to repair military train equipmentAnniston Army Depot to repair military train equipment

    The Defense Non-Tactical Generator and Rail Equipment Center services the Army's, Air Force's and Navy's nationwide rail fleets.

    AL.com | Business / 2 d. 10 h. 17 min. ago
  • Mississippi-Alabama opioid suit part of national consolidationMississippi-Alabama opioid suit part of national consolidation

    Two Alabama hospitals recently joined in a class-action suit filed in Mississippi against opioid makers and distributors. That case has now been swept up into a national tide of litigation being consolidated in an Ohio courtroom.

    AL.com | Business / 2 d. 10 h. 42 min. ago
  • Meet the woman behind downtown Birmingham's most heavenly chocolatesMeet the woman behind downtown Birmingham's most heavenly chocolates

    Chocolata, an artisan chocolate shop in downtown Birmingham, was destined to be delicious.

    Birmingham Magazine / 2 d. 12 h. 42 min. ago
  • A bacon food truck, bowl games, and fly fishing: what to check out in Birmingham this monthA bacon food truck, bowl games, and fly fishing: what to check out in Birmingham this month

    A bacon food truck, new brewery, and the Birmingham Bowl football matchup are on the calendar for this month.

    Birmingham Magazine / 2 d. 13 h. 56 min. ago
  • GOP's not all that sad; party grapples with Alabama falloutGOP's not all that sad; party grapples with Alabama fallout

    In a stunning victory aided by scandal, De... . Democrat Doug Jones speaks Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala.

    Birmingham News / 2 d. 16 h. 44 min. ago
  • Black Women Seek Rewards From Democrats After Alabama RaceBlack Women Seek Rewards From Democrats After Alabama Race

    WASHINGTON - Once again, black women showed up for Democrats, with nearly all of them voting in Alabama for new Sen. Doug Jones, just as they did for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot in o

    Big News Network.com / 3 d. 1 h. 7 min. ago
  • Delta and Airbus fly, net neutrality crashes in today's business newsDelta and Airbus fly, net neutrality crashes in today's business news

    Thursday's business developments include a big aircraft order, an FCC decision on Internet regulation and more details from a mammoth Fox-Disney deal.

    AL.com | Business / 3 d. 5 h. 22 min. ago
  • Religious lessons from the week's election Religious lessons from the week's election

    Moore's description of America's ideal was in sharp contrast to what I learned in school and experienced in my spiritual life. Rabbi Jonathan Millerc/o Jonathan Miller  By Jonathan Miller, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Emanu-El, Birmingham, Alabama The week of the stunning Alabama Senate election surprise, political pundits are analyzing and dissecting and spinning and prognosticating. But I believe that there was a religious message sent from the ballot boxes to bring us back to a sense of spiritual sanity.  After all the talk of who is up and who is down and who is in and who is out, we might seize this moment to reflect again on the role religion ought to take in our political arena. Years ago, I heard then Chief Justice Moore give his standard stump speech. Before he was removed from office (the first time), his personal Ten Commandment monument sat in the vestibule of the Alabama Supreme Court building in Montgomery. True to form, Roy Moore was the center of attention.  In his speech, Moore quoted amply from our nation's foundational texts to show that American was conceived as a Christian nation. The quotes came, one after another, staccato style, lifted without context or the well-reasoned discussion that accompanied America's founding generation. I listened carefully, but something didn't sit quite right. Moore's description of America's ideal was in sharp contrast to what I learned in school and experienced in my spiritual life. When the Q and A came, I stood up and asked Justice Moore, "I appreciate your commitment to faith.  I am a pulpit rabbi.  In this community, I work with people of faith, Jews and Christians, all my waking hours.  Justice Moore, what makes you think that the state of faith and the religious institutions in Alabama are so weak and pitiful that we need the assistance of the Alabama Supreme Court to encourage religious living?  Don't you think the synagogues and churches are doing a good enough job that we do not need the Supreme Court to teach us how to live faithfully?" Moore stopped in his tracks.  Not answering my question, he said, "I believe the churches in the state are doing a fine job." It got me to thinking.  True people of faith are safe and secure.  Nothing can shake them.  To know and experience God is unforgettable and transformational.  People of faith do not need a two-and-a-half-ton monument to proclaim what God has planted in their hearts.  And people of faith do not need a politician or a judge to impose morality and dogma in the public square.  We religious leaders in Alabama are quite able to teach and guide our adherents in the ways of faith. Drowned out in all the political wrangling, the Roy Moore phenomenon raises a profound religious question.  When politicians create religious monuments in speech or deed, they imply that the faith community needs a boost.  Is the work we do in God's vineyards not vital enough without the levers of government to help us along?  Politicians' public proclamations of faith imply that God cannot do His job so well, and that those who are appointed to teach others to live faithfully are failing at their job.  Why do people of faith, people who truly believe, need flags and monuments to proclaim the glory of the Almighty? An effective religious leader is a reluctant leader.  Moses did not want to leave the desert and return to Egypt.  God compelled him to do so.  Jesus did not want to offer himself on the cross.  God compelled him to do so.  The Buddha left the comforts of the palace and the seat of power to live seven years in contemplation until he received enlightenment.  None of these pious people worked for their own glory.  They eschewed the spotlight. I disagree with Roy Moore on many of the public issues we face as a nation.  Debate is allowed and encouraged in America, which is what makes our nation great. But our religious institutions are strong.  The faith we live and practice, each in accordance with our own tradition, is transformational.  We can fare very well without politicians getting involved and defining to their own purposes who we are and what we do.  And I have seen that religious leaders serve best when they serve with humility. I have been disappointed in Roy Moore and his implied message that we need him and politicians like him to make good Christians Christian and good Jews Jews.  In the world of faith, I believe that we are doing a good enough job that God can be known to all who seek Him. Perhaps the lesson can be summed up with these contrasting images.  When Roy Moore went to vote, he rode his horse, Sassy, in front of the television cameras for all to see.  When Jesus reluctantly entered Jerusalem, he rode a donkey, like the man he modeled us to be. When we shrink from the spotlight and live our faith, religion becomes vital.  We should all work to make faith great again.

    AL.com | Opinion / 3 d. 7 h. 18 min. ago more
  • #MeToo movement knocked Roy Moore off his high horse#MeToo movement knocked Roy Moore off his high horse

    Without the #MeToo movement, Moore would likely be packing up his horse and headed to Washington. There were plenty of reasons Alabama voters should have rejected Roy Moore long before accusations of child molestation and predator creepiness popped up in this special election. Forget his stained career resume and the allegations, the Ten Commandments Judge did plenty during the election to get himself defeated. Moore is one of the worst U.S. Senate candidates in history, and he ran one of the sorriest political campaigns. Ever. The national GOP dodged a bullet when Doug Jones defeated this scoundrel. Senate Republicans should send thank-you notes to Alabama. But without the #MeToo movement, Moore would likely be packing up his horse and headed for Washington. Speaking of horses ... poor Sassy. When videos of Moore riding his horse to the polls were splashed over the internet, many equestrian enthusiasts were outraged by Moore's aggressive riding style. The way he sat in the saddle, holding his hands high, violently jerking the horse's head was downright abusive, they said. I'm glad Sassy broke her silence. Hopefully, she won't be headed to the polls again any time soon. Check out more of Roy Moore's twisted history in cartoons  

    AL.com | Opinion / 3 d. 7 h. 51 min. ago more
  • California Lawmakers Propose Health Coverage for ImmigrantsCalifornia Lawmakers Propose Health Coverage for Immigrants

    SACRAMENTO, CALIF. - California, flush with cash from an expanding economy, would eventually spend $1 billion a year to provide health care to immigrants living in the state illegally under a proposa

    Big News Network.com / 3 d. 8 h. 7 min. ago
  • Delta orders 100 jets; Airbus will build most of them in MobileDelta orders 100 jets; Airbus will build most of them in Mobile

    Delta has ordered 100 new jets from Airbus, whose CEO said most of them will be built in Alabama.

    AL.com | Business / 3 d. 9 h. 27 min. ago
  • The resurgence of the Justice DepartmentThe resurgence of the Justice Department

    Violent crime is at its highest levels in decades. Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions' leadership, this frightening reality was confronted immediately. Jay TownKent Faulk | kfaulk@al.com  By Jay Town, the United States Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama. The former Marine Corps officer, and career prosecutor, was nominated by President Trump in June and confirmed by the Senate, and thereafter sworn, in August. Like any division of government, the Department of Justice has found its share of headlines this year. There is a stark contrast between the headlines of the day and the underlying news. The headlines come with clever pageantry and facile strobe. The news in the finer font below is more often the circumstance without the pomp. Critical thought about government, including and especially the DOJ, is inevitable, but too often any intellectual curiosity about the news eludes us. As 2017 begins to give up her fight to a new year, it is perhaps a wise resolution to reflect more often upon the DOJ news than to gaze dimly at those headlines. Violent crime is at its highest levels in decades. Under Attorney General Jeff Sessions' leadership, this frightening reality was confronted immediately. FBI data suggests that overall violent crime rates were up approximately 4 percent the last two years while the murder rates have risen at disturbing rates with a 10.8 percent increase in 2015 followed by 8.6 percent last year. In response, partnerships between federal, state, and local law enforcement have re-emerged as the force-multiplier needed to combat the increasing violence. Project Safe Neighborhoods has been revitalized, creating more robust partnerships that target violent criminals and drug traffickers in our communities. Defendants will "smartly" be prosecuted for the most serious, readily provable offenses and no longer will it be a unique approach to law enforcement to reserve bed-space in prisons for our worst offenders. The news is that the DOJ will not cede our safety and security in one city, in one neighborhood, or on one street corner to crime.  The opioid crisis in America is the deadliest in our history. In fact, 77 percent of the 64,000 drug overdoses last year were a result of prescription opioids, synthetic opioids like Fentanyl, or heroin. Opioid abuse is the number one cause of death for anyone under the age of 50. No part of our society -- not young or old, rich or poor -- has been spared the bane of drug addiction. The DOJ has responded by aggressively leading the prosecution of "pill mill" doctors and health care providers who have traded the efficacy of care for the poison of their own greed. President Trump declared the opioid crisis a public health emergency and requested over $1 billion for anti-opioid treatment and law enforcement measures. The Department continues to stem the flow of deadly fentanyl across our borders and into our homes. The news is that never before has there been such impactful measures to combat illegal narcotics. The current administration has relieved law enforcement from the doldrums of previous policies by the trade winds of the freedom to pursue our worst offenders. The FBI continues to be at the forefront of not only traditional aspects of law enforcement, but also the emerging cyber and intelligence threats to our nation. The ATF and DEA continue to rid our streets of illegal guns and illicit drugs. The U.S. Marshals remain the best manhunters in the world. Our other federal partners are engaged at the highest levels. Perhaps more important, however, the morale of law enforcement is emboldened by believing once again that we have their backs, and they have our thanks. The news is that crime again has sanction and sanction is again aggressively pursued. Illegal immigration is at its lowest point in years while deportations continue to rise. Illegal immigrants who commit crimes are being prosecuted, not just deported, and justice given to victims of crime. Combating illegal immigration remains among DOJ's highest priorities. Transnational gangs like MS-13 can no longer take advantage of a porous border without notice. The President's travel ban was successfully defended by the Justice Department and the sanctuary of sanctuary cities is diminishing. The news is that our borders are more secure. There are myriad other successes of the Department of Justice. They won't fit neatly in a headline. They are too complex for the lower-third chyrons. Indeed, they are oft overshadowed by the shrewd headline's bold print.  Read onward! The triumphs of the Department of Justice will continue in the finer font.  And the news is good!

    AL.com | Opinion / 3 d. 10 h. 26 min. ago more
  • Blogger credited for helping solve 37-year-old cold case murderBlogger credited for helping solve 37-year-old cold case murder

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    WVTM / 3 d. 10 h. 43 min. ago
  • In trade dispute, Bombardier stresses its U.S. impactIn trade dispute, Bombardier stresses its U.S. impact

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    AL.com | Business / 3 d. 11 h. 37 min. ago
  • How to enjoy the perfect evening in Birmingham's Uptown How to enjoy the perfect evening in Birmingham's Uptown

    This centralized entertainment district offers all the makings of a great night out.

    Birmingham Magazine / 3 d. 13 h. 16 min. ago
  • more news
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    When you go to the Alabama Theatre this Christmas season, be sure to say thank you and Merry Christmas to Tom and Loretta Cronier. Here's why you should.

    AL.com | Entertainment / 3 d. 13 h. 27 min. ago
  • ‘Power of the sister’ vote made the difference for Doug Jones‘Power of the sister’ vote made the difference for Doug Jones

    By Barnett Wright The Birmingham Times   Doug Jones, with wife Louise, became the first Democrat to win any statewide office in Alabama since 2008. He defeated Republican Roy Moore in a special Senate election on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Stephonia Taylor McLinn, for The Birmingham Times).   Before the Democratic operatives arrived … before the heavy television, newspaper and radio political advertisements hit the airwaves … a stalwart group of African-American women knocked on doors and called on residents across the deep-red state of Alabama. “We have been doing this for the past three months,” said Catrena Norris, a Birmingham resident who is active with local politics. “We have been canvassing throughout Alabama, Birmingham, Montgomery, the Black Belt. … We had been doing that before there were any resources. We did it for free.” She was not alone. Hundreds of other black women worked from offices in Mobile, Huntsville, Tuskegee, and other cities throughout Alabama to get Democrat Doug Jones elected to the U.S. Senate. On Tuesday, Jones became the first Democrat to win any statewide office in Alabama since 2008. He defeated Republican Roy Moore 49.9 percent to 48.4 percent in a special election to fill the Senate seat left vacant when Jeff Sessions became President Donald Trump’s Attorney General. Democrats had not won a Senate race in Alabama since 1992. ‘Vote. . .Or Die’ During the campaign, volunteers for Jones wanted every citizen to understand the importance of the vote. “Literally, you vote or you die,” Norris said. “We wanted to knock on every door we could and tell the people who answered those doors … that the world needs to hear us like they have in the past.” Put simply, African-American turnout got Jones elected. Supporters at the Sheraton in downtown Birmingham as Doug Jones becomes the first Democrat to win any statewide office in Alabama since 2008. (Stephonia Taylor McLinn, For The Birmingham Times). In the 20 Alabama counties that saw a rise in turnout, compared with the 2014 midterm elections, Jones prevailed and in some cases dominated. That included larger counties, such as Jefferson, Montgomery, and Madison, and smaller counties, including Hale, Greene, and Macon. “It was the ‘Power of the Sister’ vote,” said Birmingham City Council Member Sheila Tyson. “That’s what we called our movement. We were in 23 counties in the state of Alabama. We mobilized black women. We pulled data on all the women who hadn’t voted in the last four elections, we went to their homes, and we explained to them what they were losing by not voting.” Many black women were sickened by allegations that Moore had pursued teen girls when he was in his 30s, Tyson said. “They all had issues with the alleged sexual assault,” Tyson said. Exit polling found that 97 percent of African American women went for Jones. More than 90 percent of all black votes went to the Democrat. Every Major Corner Doug Jones became the first Democrat to win any statewide office in Alabama since 2008. He defeated Republican Roy Moore in a special Senate election on Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017. (Stephonia Taylor McLinn, for The Birmingham Times). The Jones campaign, leaving nothing to chance, paid as much attention to local voters as they did to those across the state. “We were on every major corner in Southwest Birmingham and parts of Bessemer,” said Jefferson County Commissioner Sandra Little Brown, whose political organization, Team 7, backed Jones. “We even went into businesses. We started on Monday, and then we got up again at 6:30 a.m. on Tuesday and were back on our posts.” The victory left many locals energized. “We felt we had some hope,” said State Rep. Juandalynn Givan (D-Birmingham). “We felt we had a chance. … We began to pull together, and when we pull together we are stronger. It galvanized us. It became a force that could not be reckoned with.” Turnout for the special election was higher than it was for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in the 2016 general election. African-Americans made up nearly 30 percent of the electorate, surpassing numbers from the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections for Barack Obama in the state. Something different was at play, Givan said: “This gives us a different kind of hope. It gives us the possibility of winning back seats in the U.S. House [of Representatives], in the Senate. It gives Democrats an opportunity to strengthen themselves in the state house, in county seats. It shows that we are not dead if we pull together.” Made A Statement Doug Jones became the first Democrat to win any statewide office in Alabama since 2008. He defeated Republican Roy Moore in a special Senate election on Dec. 12, 2017. (Stephonia Taylor McLinn, for The Birmingham Times). Hezekiah Jackson IV, president of the Metro Birmingham chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), said he was not surprised by Jones’s huge margin of victory, 68 percent to 30 percent, in Jefferson County—home to Birmingham, the largest city in Alabama. “Jefferson County has been ground zero for practically all the dramatic changes and progress that have happened on behalf of all minorities in the state,” said Jackson, who has served as president of the NAACP Metro Birmingham chapter since 1998. “It’s a watershed moment and for us to recognize that collectively we can make a difference. Our theme was simple: we pulled in same direction. We understand how Alabama is supposedly so red. “We understand how the majority of the people here have a certain mindset. But [what was at stake during this election] was just too much. We all pulled together [because] what we saw in Doug Jones was an opportunity to make a statement that we matter.” The results sent another message, too, according to Givan. “Black folks stepped up, showed up, and showed out! And in this instance, we were enough that we put up a roadblock,” she said. “… If we do this in all elections, man, what a beautiful day it can be in the state of Alabama. We can break the Republican stronghold in the state of Alabama. … This can happen in all elections.” Character and Integrity’ U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, who played a key role in the campaign, said Jones made history because Alabama voters turned out in record numbers and “decided to put character and integrity over party affiliation. Voters last night opened a new chapter for Alabama, placing our state on the right side of history,” she said CNN and The New York Times contributed to this post.

    The Birmingham Times / 3 d. 17 h. 57 min. ago more
  • Birmingham Playwrights Take Center StageBirmingham Playwrights Take Center Stage

    By Ariel Worthy The Birmingham Times Local playwright Allison Sanders remembers the venue for her first play. “We would have talent shows on my porch,” said the Titusville native. “We would have concerts on my porch.” Sanders would write plays and stories, have her friends act them out, and even make other kids in the neighborhood pay to watch. “I would keep all the money, and at the end of the year I’d throw a party for everybody with what we made,” she said. Sanders is one of a number of Birmingham-area playwrights who are generating attention for their work. Local Talent Last month, the Urban Soul Theater Series kicked off with Artistic Director Marc Raby’s production of “Love on the Edge.” An encore presentation is scheduled for Jan. 21, 2018, at The Forum Theater at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. George W. Stewart, president of Last Psalm Productions, has built a following for his urban sociodrama style of stage plays. Alicia Johnson Williams’s theater company has turned out 10 plays to local audiences since 2008. And JaPaul Vines has staged plays at the Boutwell Auditorium, Carver Theater, Fairfield Civic Center, and various churches. “Black theater is a vital part of the American story,” said Birmingham-area poet, performer, and playwright Priscilla Hancock Cooper, who is known for performances in “Call Me Black Woman,” a mix of poetry, drama, and music, and “Back to the Dream,” a play she helped write that was showcased at the Red Mountain Theater Company. “Much of what is popular in mainstream theater is drawn from the African-American experience. It’s important in and of itself,” she said. Something for Everyone Allison Sanders, who owns local theater company New Year Productions, remembers a time when there were no outlets for black theater — so she decided to produce her own. “Whenever anybody came to my house, I would make them sing or do poetry,” she said. Sanders began writing as a child, and her first play—“It’s a Tribal Affair”—was written in 1994 and is derived from the African proverb “It takes a village to raise a child,’” she said. “We performed it at schools and live on WJLD. We performed some parts of the show on the radio, and some at the community recreation center.” Allison Sanders at WorkPlay where she had her most recent performances she is one of several Birmingham area playwrights. (Frank Couch Photography) It was a success, and Sanders followed with more children’s plays. Still, she wanted to do more shows for adults. After joining Warriors of the World Church and helping with another local play, “Shaking the Mess Out of Misery,” she began writing for adults. “I want to close the age gap,” Sanders said. “I want kids to know that there is life beyond being a teenager and have adults understand younger people, too.” Her recent work includes “This Isn’t Love,” “Help is on the Way,” “Something Just Ain’t Right,” “Love is the Recipe,” “This Could Be Yours,” and “No More Pirates.” Her plays have appeared at the Carver Theater, Alabama Theater, Inverness Country Club, and Fairfield Civic Center, as well as Workplay and smaller venues like Olivia’s Bar and Lounge and Frames on the Green. Her smaller-venue plays are part of Cute and Cozy Theater, a platform of various plays written specifically to entertain small audiences. Historical in Nature African-American theater evolved from the first known play written by a black playwright — William Henry Brown’s “The Drama of King Shotaway” — to award-winning works like Alice Walker’s “The Color Purple,” August Wilson’s “Fences,” Ntozake Shange’s “for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf,” and Lorraine Hansberry’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” Theater in general is the “antecedent of most entertainment we enjoy today,” said Alicia Johnson Williams, artistic director of Make It Happen Theater Company (MIHTC) and director of college relations at Miles College. Many television and movie actors started in theater, which is “historical and traditional in nature going back to the African Grove Theater in New York City, where Caribbean actors who wanted to perform Shakespeare had to create their own black theater to perform and present,” Williams said. The African Grove, founded in 1816 by playwright Brown, became the first successful black theater, but it was shut down due to its success — because it outshined white theaters. “They got upset … because everybody wanted to see us do it, including [white audiences],” she said. “We’re so passionate when we speak. We’re engaging and animated in what we do. We’re expressive. Storytelling is who we are, and theater is part of that.” Urban Sociodrama Kevin Studdard, Ray Lavender, Perseus Black and Te’Shara Monique on the set of Marc Raby’s Love on The Edge at the Medical Forum theatre Sunday November 26, 2017. (Frank Couch Photography) While most audience goers see the end product, theater, like other creative fields, takes time and requires a passion for the craft. “There’s nothing like seeing your story unfold on the stage,” said local author and playwright George W. Stewart. “I tell people, don’t get in it for the money, get in it for the art.” Stewart, 63, has written several plays, including “Ain’t No Fool Like an Old Fool,” “Trashing the King,” “Honey, All Men Can’t Be Dogs,” “The Cradle is Rocking Me,” “Isolated,” and “Getting Out of Bombingham.” His works — part of a genre he calls “urban sociodrama” — have been performed on stages across the nation. “I try to write something with meaning,” Stewart said. “I’m not one to just write a lot of buffoonery just to make people laugh. I believe it should be enriching.” His stories are actually sermons, he said, and his goal is to make people think about their choices and give them “better decision-making abilities.” George W. Stewart poses in front of a statue of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Kelly Ingram Park he is one of several Birmingham area playwrights. (Frank Couch Photography) “It’s like going to a psychiatrist or sociologist and trying to give them insight about your life,” Stewart said. “You see your life taking place on the stage, … seeing the good and the bad side of life on stage.” Stewart hopes his audience walks away entertained and better, particularly those in the African-American community. For example, he tackles the subject of HIV among senior citizens in “Ain’t No Fool Like an Old Fool.” “Senior citizens account for around 20 to 21 percent of new HIV cases,” he said. “I heard a pastor say he had to go with one of his longtime members whose dad and daughter had to tell the mother that the dad had HIV for five years. … It’s not something we talk about because many people feel it’s ‘nobody’s business.’” “I’ve had elderly ladies ask me, ‘When are you going to do that play again? I want to bring my friend out to see it.’ I’ve had people say, ‘During the play I called my friend, my mate to tell them our relationship is over.’ They had not thought about it.” Real-Life Issues Birmingham playwright JaPaul Vines, 32, doesn’t like to call his work “gospel plays” but urban theater that deals with “real-life issues,” such as depression, crime, and abuse. “Anytime you hear the term gospel play, you expect to hear ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus’ and gospel singing,” he said. “What I learned early on is that your show should be able to be enjoyed by everyone. If I’m a Christian, I should be able to come to your play. If I’m an atheist, I should be able to come to your play.” When his play “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” debuted at the Carver Theater in 2012, Vines recalled being thanked afterward by both a Muslim and an atheist: “They said that while I shared different beliefs, they could relate to the central focus of God because I wasn’t beating them up and throwing it in their faces. You should never write to judge or condemn anyone.” Vines, who owns DeVine Vision Productions, said he wrote his first play at age 9, and then he went on to study theater at Jefferson State Community College. He has written six plays and is working on his seventh. His works include “It’s a Love Thing,” “Love, Love, Love, Comfort, and Joy,” “The Wild Confessions of a Church Mother,” and the black history fictional drama “What Does It Matter.” Another one of his plays, “Who Needs Christmas,” will be performed in December 2018. “Nobody can tell our stories like us,” Vines said. “We as black people have to tell our stories because we know the struggle, we know our experience.” Click to view slideshow.

    The Birmingham Times / 3 d. 18 h. ago more
  • Woodlawn High’s Te’Shara Colley once put together her own theater programWoodlawn High’s Te’Shara Colley once put together her own theater program

    By Ariel Worthy The Birmingham Times Te’Shara Colley went to one play when she was a child. That’s all it took. Colley, 33, known by her stage name Te’Shara Monique, is the lead actress in Marc Raby’s production of “Love on the Edge,” which opened last month and is scheduled for a Jan. 21, 2018, encore at The Forum Theater at the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex. Colley vividly remembers that one play: “It was called ‘Mama Don’t,’ and it was at the Alabama Theater. I thought the stage was so big, and when I looked at the characters I said, ‘I want to do that.’” Acting came naturally for Colley, a Miles College theater major who is on schedule to graduate next year. She has acted “on every stage in Birmingham, except the Lyric Theater.” Te’Shara Colley is known as Te’Shara Monique when on stage. “It [acting] wasn’t until I got into middle school. We didn’t have a theater program, … but we started studying Shakespeare. I started doing some poems in front of the class, and teachers entered me in poetry contests. I was such a shy girl and didn’t ever talk, but when I opened my mouth [to read poetry] the words came to life. “When I got to Woodlawn High School, they offered a drama and theater arts class, and I jumped on it. I thought that was the best thing that could have ever happened. I learned to do accents and improv.” Woodlawn’s theater program eventually ended, but that didn’t stop Colley, who basically kept the course alive by herself. “I got a group of theater kids together and said, ‘We have to have a Black History Month program.’ I had to write it, get it proofread, and then get it approved through the department chair,” she said. “I had to go to each class and ask teachers if they would let the students out of class to go to the program. That was the first presentation in front of the whole school. It was titled ‘By Any Means Necessary.’ We were later able to be in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ at the Children’s Theater.” Over time, those experiences proved very beneficial for Colley, who has taught theater for Center for a New Generation (CNG), a foundation established by Birmingham native and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and philanthropist Susan Ford-Dorsey. “[Secretary Rice] brought me in to help start the program [in Birmingham],” Colley said. “They promoted me over the whole program. I studied under [playwright] David E. Talbert, [actress] Robin Givens, and [playwright, actor, and director] Alvin Moore Jr.” Colley takes acting seriously. Te’Shara Monique and Kevin Studdard on the stage of Marc Raby’s Love on The Edge at the Medical Forum theatre Sunday November 26, 2017. (Frank Couch Photography) “Theater is life to me. Black theater is a lost art form,” she said. “We’re so exposed to reality TV that our children think it’s real TV. They don’t know that these aren’t actors. [Theater] is a lost art form that needs to be revitalized, especially among the younger generation. Older people go see plays, but what about the upcoming generation that they don’t have an open eye to what theater is?” Theater has led Colley to dabble in film a little, as well, she said. “I recently shot an episode of “Fatal Attraction” for TV One. That was my first television series, and it took me out of my acting comfort zone. I love and live theater, where we get no retakes. Once you’re on the stage, that’s it—you go and keep going. [Film is different, you hear], ‘Stop. OK, retake that scene. OK, action. Cut. Roll the sound. Do the scene again.’ It’s tiresome, but it’s rewarding to see the end result. I say if you get into acting, try theater first. Film will spoil you.” The “Fatal Attraction” episode in which Colley performs will air on TV One in January 2018.

    The Birmingham Times / 3 d. 18 h. 6 min. ago more
  • Ensley’s Tyesha Brown left Magic City for LA, but remembers her rootsEnsley’s Tyesha Brown left Magic City for LA, but remembers her roots

    By Ariel Worthy The Birmingham Times Playwright Tyesha Brown graduated from Ensley High School and loves her hometown, but she is not one to remain in Birmingham. “You’ve got to go where you want to be,” she said. “Sometimes you have to leave.” Even though Brown left Birmingham for Los Angeles, she still returns to the Magic City to provide opportunities for local artists to perform in her plays, which have included “All Is Fair in Love and War,” starring actor Yohance Myles and rapper David Banner, “For Better or Worse,” and “The Bougie Feminist.” “I enjoy the opportunity to provide [work] for actors here because they don’t have a lot here,” Brown, 35, said. “You can do it here. … The more people you reach the better.” Another play, “Breast Cancer Monologues,” was very personal for Brown. “My mom had breast cancer, and my dad had colon cancer,” she said. “I created ‘Breast Cancer Monologues’ because I was thinking about how I couldn’t imagine being told I have breast cancer, being told I only have six months to live. So, I came up with the idea to do the monologues from different perspectives of people with [the illness], people close to them.” The show was performed in both Birmingham and Los Angeles. ‘Do This Forever’ Tyesha Brown (left), and actor and producer MarQues McConnico. Brown’s interest in theater began when she was in high school, when the students received a visit from Girls Inc. “They had a grant to do a program called Snapshots, which provided media training for high school girls,” she said. “I was in that group. We wrote a movie, shot it, filmed it, the whole nine yards. That’s how I got into film. I was like, ‘I want to do this forever.’” After graduating from high school in 2000, Brown attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, Md., where she majored in computer science. She discovered that she did not want to sit at a computer all day, “which is weird because it’s kind of what I do now,” said Brown, who has served as a casting producer for Walmart and has worked with the Bravo Network and Emmy Award–winning producer Mark Burnett. Brown wanted to drop out of college to pursue her dreams, but her mom told her no: “My mom said, ‘You need your degree.’ So, I opted for the Walt Disney World College Program because I needed a break from school, but I still got my school credits.” Move to LA Upon completing the Disney program, Brown returned to Morgan State and switched her major to film. Before she graduated in 2005, her mother died of breast cancer. Brown skipped the graduation ceremony and moved to Los Angeles, where she started Virtuous Lady magazine and networked with people in the industry. Eventually, she earned an internship with the BET cable network. “It was at the same time as Hurricane Katrina, and BET had an auction,” Brown said, adding that the winner would have lunch with entrepreneur, author, and producer Russell Simmons. That person backed out, however. “I had the money, … so I paid $2,500 to have lunch with Russell Simmons. We had lunch at the Beverly Hills Hotel Polo Lounge, and he brought [director and producer] Stan Lathan. After that, I kept in touch with [Simmons] for years,” said Brown, who learned a valuable lesson from that meeting. “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” she said. Making it in Hollywood Brown also learned the difficulties of Hollywood. “You can submit your resume to 1,000 places and get no calls back,” she said. “But you can have one person know you, and if they tell someone to hire you, that’s all it will take.” While in LA, Brown met someone working for the BET game show “The Boot.” “The company that produced the show needed somebody to transcribe, which involves watching the footage and logging what you see so the editors can see what’s where and build a story,” she said. Tyesha Brown (left), and actor and producer MarQues McConnico on the set of Juug Gone Wrong. That led to her work with Mark Burnett and shows such as “The Voice,” “Survivor,” “The Amazing Race,” as well as work on BET shows, including “College Hill,” Bravo’s “The Singles Project,” and Walmart commercials. “I casted a lot of moms from Birmingham for those commercials,” she said. “I did a portfolio of about 300 [women talking about how much they saved by shopping at Walmart] for the commercials.” Brown is currently in Birmingham and will return to Los Angeles after she completes some of her projects. “I’m a co-producer for a pilot for the Netflix show ‘Maintenance,’” she said. “I’m also producing a movie with [actor] Clifton Powell, called ‘Juug Gone Wrong.’” Juug Gone Wrong is produced by Birmingham native MarQues McConnico and will star actors Vanessa Simmons, Jessica Ryan, Clifton Powell, and Yayo Juug. Being persistent is key, she said: “If I hadn’t been persistent, half the opportunities I had, the people I met, wouldn’t have happened. It’s not easy, and it’s even harder to stick with it. The struggle is real, but if you really want it, you can make it happen.”

    The Birmingham Times / 3 d. 18 h. 8 min. ago more
  • Artistic Director Alicia Johnson Williams makes it happen for young peopleArtistic Director Alicia Johnson Williams makes it happen for young people

    By Ariel Worthy The Birmingham Times Alicia Johnson Williams, artistic director of Make It Happen Theater Company (MIHTC) and director of college relations at Miles College, said she found a “cultural wasteland” when she moved to Birmingham in the 1980s. “There were very few opportunities for our community at that time, so we had to create those opportunities,” she said. Williams, who grew up in Chicago, knew what Birmingham needed. She remembered going to the theater as a child, with both her family and school, and how arts were supported: “It became an innate part of who I am. It was easy to go see those types of cultural things.” Alicia Johnson Williams She remembers seeing “The Wiz” at the theater. “If it was a black play, a black anything, we were going to see it,” Williams said. “At that time, we went to plays and cultural events all the time. It was part of our school events and activities.” Williams founded Birmingham’s Make It Happen Theater Company (MIHTC) in 1999. And after living in Los Angeles for two years, she moved back to Birmingham wanting to “make it happen.” “Many artistic young people in the area don’t have a vehicle that will enable them to develop their skills and talents, as well as showcase them. MIHTC has done that for people of all ages,” she said. Starting out at the Carver Theater, MIHTC found a home at the Alys Stephens Center, where it started performing an annual Black History Month program. The group has since relocated to the Dannon Project on 5th Ave. N. in downtown Birmingham. Since 2008, students have performed several plays, including “Room 30: Where the A.G. Gaston Motel and the Civil Rights Movement Meet,” “The Four Little Girls,” “And Justice for All …,” and “A.G. Gaston: The Man, the Mogul, and His Mission.” The material is part drama and part musical theater. “In order to really engage young people in the topic of theater, we wanted to utilize material that they could relate to, so it became a research, performance-based, writing entity, … which enhances all their academics. We do workshops. Once we decide on the play’s topic, we do a writing clinic. … Then I put the pieces together for a production.” The company’s most recent performance — “A.G. Gaston: The Man, the Mogul, and His Mission” — highlights the many contributions business icon A.G. Gaston made to the Birmingham community and uses his life to “inspire and motivate young people,” Williams said. Another MIHTC production, “George Washington Carver: Celebrate!” pays homage to different aspects of African-American culture, from music to faith traditions to food. “[We wanted] people to be able to see it and appreciate it for all its worth as a way to identify with,” Williams said. MIHTC students are 7 years old through high school age, and are mostly from Birmingham City Schools and from schools in Jefferson County. They audition, participate in theater workshops and writing clinics and create productions. MIHTC students have performed for the Birmingham City Council, the Magic City Arts Connection, and Bevill State Community College. With the exception of “The Four Little Girls,” Williams has written the material, which can be “customized to accommodate and meet [young people] where they are so they can have a healthy experience not just in terms of the historical information they’re learning but through the process itself,” she said. “There’s more of a direct connection because the information remains true to more than just their ethnicity.”

    The Birmingham Times / 3 d. 18 h. 11 min. ago more
  • Priscilla Hancock Cooper knows the importance of mentors. So she became one.Priscilla Hancock Cooper knows the importance of mentors. So she became one.

    By Ariel Worthy The Birmingham Times Priscilla Hancock Cooper At an early age, Priscilla Hancock Cooper recognized the importance of mentors and artists. “I grew up working for a black weekly newspaper, so I had adult mentors all my life,” she said. “That was embedded in me.” She was also surrounded by creative people. “It’s what I knew, and it really helps,” she said. “It really shaped me. I thought every place was like that.” Those influences can be identified in a number of Cooper’s performances, including “Call Me Black Woman,” a mix of poetry, drama, and music, and “Back to the Dream,” a play she helped write that was showcased at the Red Mountain Theater Company. “Black theater is a vital part of the American story,” she said. “Much of what is popular in mainstream theater is drawn from the African-American experience. It’s important in and of itself.” Cooper’s work in “Call Me Black Woman” touched many—“women in particular,” she said, “and not all of them were black women, which I found interesting.” Cooper teaches creative writing and poetry to incarcerated girls, as well as through the Summer Enrichment Program in the Arts (SEPIA) in her church. She also is an instructor for the Nia Creative Day Camp, which focuses on teaching African-American history and culture. Sharing the “strength and beauty” of that culture gives young people a foundation to believe in themselves “to make change and strive toward accomplishing whatever their life’s purpose may be,” Cooper said. In all of Cooper’s teaching efforts, theater is a key part of the educational process. “Theater is so great for building the confidence of young people because they not only get knowledge and the information but also learn to speak and have confidence for public speaking. “I still have young people I worked with SEPIA who can walk up to me and quote the poems they learned as part of [the program]—and now they’re in their 30s. Those lessons last,” she said. Cooper, who retired earlier this year as vice president of institutional programs at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI), would often use the museum as a platform to reach youth. From day camps to workshops and projects, many young people were taught confidence, she said, adding that teachers are just as important as students because, “when you reach teachers you’re reaching thousands of young people in return.” Cooper’s message is plain: strive for excellence. “I tell writers that every writer needs an editor,” she said. “There has to be a willingness to accept criticism, and that can be difficult. But don’t be deterred by criticism; use it to empower [your] creative work and process.” As a recent retiree, Cooper wants to support others. “I’m still trying to figure out what retirement means,” she said. “But I do know that the [arts] are important, they invaluable, and they can be life-changing. I don’t necessarily have to be the person doing [the work], but I do want to be the one who is supportive of others who are.”

    The Birmingham Times / 3 d. 18 h. 12 min. ago more
  • Drae Jackson, Birmingham native, to premiere HBCU documentary in hometown next monthDrae Jackson, Birmingham native, to premiere HBCU documentary in hometown next month

    By Ariel Worthy The Birmingham Times Drae Jackson oversees an international talent representation, management, marketing, music label and entertainment group, but there is only one place he wants to debut his new documentary. “We Ready” is scheduled for a premiere on January 14 at the Boutwell Auditorium in downtown Birmingham. The film, inspired after Jackson attended a Miles College vs. Alabama State University Turkey Day Classic football game, highlights how the marching bands prepare for the game and the halftime show. “The excitements of the classics are epic, and that’s what I capture,” he said. “Originally it was set to be a 10-episode series for A&E [Network] and gradually it became a documentary film so it could tour film festivals,” Jackson said. “It shows the hustle and bustle to give a tight halftime show, showing competitiveness, and the passion of the students. It was like a behind-the-scenes.” Jackson, 36, from West End, knows about the subject matter. He marched while in middle and high school and is a graduate of West End High School. He is founder of 6103 Entertainment and 6103 HD, an entertainment management company and a film company, respectively. He credits his mom for his success. “I lost my mom when I was 17 and I kept telling her I was dreaming about doing this production company and she would always say ‘hey you can do it,’” he said. “So she called me one night telling me, ‘you know that dream you’ve been telling me about how you were going to do movies and work with entertainers? That’s going to come true for you, I’m proud of you, I just saw it.’ I said ‘mama, you’re crazy, what are you talking about?’ and she didn’t laugh. She said ‘no I saw it, you’re going to fly over the world. I’m happy for you.’ The next morning, I got a call that she was gone to glory.” A year later he got his first major deal, working with the Atlanta-based hip hop group Crime Mob, helping with their business and promotions. “In some type of way God gave her the confirmation and everything has come true,” he said. Finding his place Jackson attended college after his 9th grade math teacher pushed him to go. He attended three colleges: Alabama State University, Morris Brown College and Clark Atlanta University. While at ASU, Jackson talked to Tommie Stewart, the head instructor of the theater department. “They didn’t have a film department, and she told me, ‘With the way you’re thinking, this is not the school for you,’” he said. “She sent me to American Music Drama Academy in New York. She told me as a freshman in college I needed to go beyond” what I was doing. Jackson got accepted into the AMDA, but could not attend because of finances. “I ended up in Atlanta,” he said. “Morris Brown gave me a scholarship based off my proposal of starting a film company.” While at Morris Brown, he spent more time on Clark Atlanta’s campus borrowing film equipment. “People would be like, ‘you go to school across the street,’” he said with a laugh. “I was over there so much so I just decided to take classes there. The irony is I took more classes at Clark, but because of the kind of film I was doing, I was borrowing equipment from Morris Brown. I was doing whatever I needed to do to make it happen, just very ambitious.” Jackson received a degree in film from Clark Atlanta in 2002. Since graduating, he has written and produced five films; three feature films – “Love in Making Love”, “The Perfect One” and “Unsigned Hype” – and two documentaries – “We Ready”, and “Nappy Roots”, a documentary about the hip hop group. He is currently working on his sixth film, “Push It to the Limit”, which takes a look behind the scenes of the music industry. He is also working on a film, that he describes as an “updated ‘Boyz n the Hood’ mixed with ‘Love Jones’.” He has been married to Sheena for 10 years. “She is my rock, she’s been my support through all of it and supported me in any way; answering phones, filing, anything,” he said. He also has three daughters, Emery, 5; Jamie, 7 and Aryanna, 15, and a son, Courtney, 15. Jackson, who currently lives in Atlanta, said he plans to open a multimedia company in Birmingham that focuses on empowering entrepreneurs. “I see a future for Birmingham,” he said. “It’s finally about to have its season like Atlanta did. With the World Games (coming in 2021), the new mayor . . . I see my hometown finally about to become the city I’ve always dreamed it to be and I want to be part of that, and I want to bring something back to the community.”

    The Birmingham Times / 3 d. 18 h. 13 min. ago more
  • The Spirit of St. Luke Ministry is keeping a promise to helpThe Spirit of St. Luke Ministry is keeping a promise to help

    Times staff report Students with the UAB Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) Pre-Health Honor Society are among the volunteers who help provide healthcare services to underserved people in the Black Belt of Alabama. (Provided Photo). The Spirit of Luke Ministry, a Birmingham-based non-profit clinic which provides healthcare services to underserved people in the Black Belt of Alabama, on Dec. 9 visited Vredenburgh, AL to offer clinic services and provide toys to kids. The Spirit of Luke Ministry sponsors A Promise To Help (APTH), which is a healthcare initiative/mission directed to the Black Belt region. It is a volunteer base organization whose goals are to assist in eliminating healthcare disparities in the underserved, underprivileged, and underinsured populations of the Black Belt. APTH was conceived in 2003 by Dr. Sandra Ford and her husband Henry. Once a month, on the first Saturday, Dr. Ford leads a team of volunteer doctors, nurses, ministers, healthcare professionals, media specialists, counselors, social workers, business leaders, skilled laborers, community activist and lover of mankind on a mission to work toward accomplishing the goals of APTH. APTH, aided by mobile medical van, sets up a mobile hospital on each mission and the members of the community can come and get a free medical exam, eye exam, dental exam, blood work, free medicine, free clothing, free food, a spiritual nugget and prayer. Volunteers include the UAB Alpha Epsilon Delta (AED) Pre-Health Honor Society. The students are all undergrads at the University of Alabama at Birmingham which traditionally has a few medical students who participate. The event rotates through different cities in the Black Belt the second Saturday of every month. AED also has an annual gift wrapping party where they ask for $7 gift donations from students all over UAB’s campus. They also provide incentives for organizations to get their members to donate by providing gift cards to the group that donates the most. Kayla Hazelwood, UAB AED President, said, “I think it is important that little girls in this underserved area see that they can certainly become doctors too.” Students say expectations play a big role in the “ceiling” that people can hit in life and they believe residents in the Black belt to be healthy and believe the children can grow to have fulfilling careers. Over the past seven years APTH has had more than 4,000 volunteers participate, examined and treated over 3,500 patients, served nearly 11,000 plates of food, given away over 7,000 bags of clothes, given out 1,900 gifts at Christmas to kids, passed out 1,235 book bag at our annual back to school rally and witness 1,572 men, women and children give their life to Christ.

    The Birmingham Times / 3 d. 18 h. 19 min. ago more
  • Jay Jacobs declines comment on Auburn basketball investigationJay Jacobs declines comment on Auburn basketball investigation

    Bruce Pearl, left, is introduced as Auburn's new basketball coach by athletic director Jay Jacobs during a press conference Tuesday, March 18, 2014, at the Auburn Arena in Auburn, Ala. is our head coach and it's a federal investigation," Auburn's outgoing athletic director said.

    Birmingham News / 3 d. 21 h. 1 min. ago
  • The Latest: Trump sees need to run 'GREAT' GOP candidatesThe Latest: Trump sees need to run 'GREAT' GOP candidates

    Democrat Doug Jones speaks Tuesday, Dec. 12, 2017, in Birmingham, Ala. In a stunning victory aided by scandal, Jones won Alabama's special Senate election, beating back history, an embattled Republican opponent and President Donald Trump, who urgently endorsed GOP rebel Roy Moore despite a litany of sexual misconduct allegations.

    Birmingham News / 4 d. 1 h. 3 min. ago
  • Here's a look at Alabama's Red Marlow and his road to the finals on 'The Voice' Here's a look at Alabama's Red Marlow and his road to the finals on 'The Voice'

    The country singer from Rogersville is the only Alabama contestant to make the finals on "The Voice," surpassing a record previously set by Birmingham's Sarah Simmons, a top eight finisher in 2013. On Dec. 18-19, Marlow will compete for the Season 13 title on the NBC reality series.

    AL.com | Entertainment / 4 d. 3 h. 52 min. ago
  • What Doug Jones said about Alabama and the Toyota-Mazda plantWhat Doug Jones said about Alabama and the Toyota-Mazda plant

    A decision on where it will be built is expected early next year.

    AL.com | Business / 4 d. 4 h. 11 min. ago
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    Turner, 56, replaces Grayson Hall, 60, who remains chairman and CEO.

    AL.com | Business / 4 d. 5 h. 3 min. ago
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    Target's acquisition of Birmingham-based Shipt could transform both companies, that's just one of Wednesday's top business developments in Alabama.

    AL.com | Business / 4 d. 5 h. 4 min. ago
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    Influential and successful fixtures from folk, country, songwriting and studio to be honored.

    AL.com | Entertainment / 4 d. 5 h. 38 min. ago
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    The store, located at 3592 Pelham Parkway, will host a grand opening tomorrow at 10:30 a.m.

    AL.com | Business / 4 d. 5 h. 42 min. ago
  • "Star Wars: The Last Jedi" opening in Alabama IMAX theater"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" opening in Alabama IMAX theater

    "The Last Jedi" is one of the last movies filmed in 70 mm IMAX format and will be the last IMAX movie screened at the center.

    AL.com | Entertainment / 4 d. 6 h. 36 min. ago
  • Here's how ALGOP can regroup after Roy MooreHere's how ALGOP can regroup after Roy Moore

    It's an unfortunate reality that the wrong lessons are usually learned from political races. I've got to be honest with you right now, like many #ALPolitics pundits, I had a very different column planned for today. Instead, I found myself rewriting the majority of this piece at about 10pm after watching a Democrat be named the next Senator of Alabama. Wow. What a night.  But first, there's something I have to say. From many friends through this campaign I've heard that this has been one of the most difficult seasons in their lives. The prominence of conversations about sexual assault have made this a tough month to weather. For many of them, Tuesday felt like a victory party not necessarily because Doug Jones won, but because their voices were heard and Alabamians took the allegations against Roy Moore seriously. Thank you to all the #MeToo women for speaking out and putting yourselves in a vulnerable place. Thank you to those who kept their experiences to themselves and soldiered on when everything around them was throwing them back to what might have been the worst experience of their lives. Way back in September I wrote that Doug Jones wouldn't win the race because he wasn't conservative enough. But what we underestimated is that Roy Moore was maybe the only Republican who had the ability to be beaten by a Democrat in one of the reddest states in the nation. Regardless of the assault allegations, Roy Moore is the single most divisive politician to run for a statewide seat, maybe in Alabama history. It's an unfortunate reality that the wrong lessons are usually learned from political races. No Democrats, Doug Jones winning doesn't mean Alabama is now a purple state. No Republicans, Roy Moore losing doesn't mean Alabamians don't care about social issues anymore. But for the Alabama Republican party, the rebuilding has to begin today. Right now. Because you have a narrow window to mitigate last night's damage and set yourselves up for success in the long-term. Here are a few of the lessons I hope the Alabama GOP takes away from last night. Listen to your younger members. We want good candidates who represent our values. Yes, we are pro-life and care about social issues, but we also want opportunity, a level playing field, and the ability to earn a place of respect in the party and the business world. We're tired of being told to wait our turn and having our ideas being placed on the back burner. There are more millennials than baby boomers now, and last night they learned their voices have power in Alabama. Harness that power, don't relegate it. The political landscape is changing, and it's changing quickly. This race has signaled so many things, and one of those is that people will turn out when the stakes are high. Even Alabama isn't a safe state when the candidate is flawed. We want better. We deserve better. We are BEGGING for better. Whether better means a Republican or a Democrat matters less to younger people than it did to our parents... For now. NOW is when you have to jump in and market yourself. Are you the party of Moore, or of MORE? More economic opportunity. More fairness. More money in the pockets of the middle class. More representatives who actually represent us. Wait just a few more years to start reaching out to younger folks and you'll lose the entire generation as they begin to label themselves Democrats. Peeling that label off will only get more difficult the longer young people see the Democratic Party as the one representing their values. Young voters are more educated and involved than any generation before us. We do care about social issues, but you want to know the best way to turn folks away? Tell them to condemn their gay friends, drop a casual racial slur, or disregard the experiences of women. We care about how we are seen in the scope of history, and history is not going to judge kindly those who don't view all men and women as created equal. We don't want Alabama to be known for our colorful politicians. We want to be known for our beautiful sugar sand beaches and breathtaking mountains! Our scrappy innovators and our courageous freedom fighters. Mercedes and Hyundai and Austal and Shipt and Back Forty Brewing and Nick Saban. Make politics boring again! Let the beautiful people and places of Alabama shine. As someone who almost always votes Republican and has worked hard to get Republican candidates elected since before I was old enough to vote, I hope tonight's setback only causes the party to regroup and make the course corrections that benefit them and the entire state in the long run. Make no mistake, last night was not a rejection of the Republican Party or conservative values, it was a rejection of Roy Moore and his enablers. So, ALGOP, what are we going to do today. Play the victim or adapt and rally?

    AL.com | Opinion / 4 d. 7 h. 2 min. ago more
  • Birmingham Startup Shipt Acquired By Target - Patch.comBirmingham Startup Shipt Acquired By Target - Patch.com

    Patch.comBirmingham Startup Shipt Acquired By TargetPatch.comBIRMINGHAM, AL — Shipt, a Birmingham-based online grocery delivery platform, is set to be acquired by Target in an upcoming purchase, according to the Birmingham Business Journal. Target reached an agreement with company for a $550 million deal. Shipt ...Here's How Acquiring Shipt Will Bring Same-Day Delivery to About Half of Target Stores in Early 2018 - Target CorporateTarget Corporateall 216 news articles »

    Google News / 4 d. 9 h. 52 min. ago more
  • Alabama heads to the polls to determine next senatorAlabama heads to the polls to determine next senator

    Supporters of U.S. Senate candidate Doug Jones gather outside of his polling place in Mountain Brook, Ala. Dec. 12, 2017.

    Birmingham News / 4 d. 11 h. 32 min. ago
  • Enjoy Christmas citrus with these tasty recipesEnjoy Christmas citrus with these tasty recipes

    Brighten up holiday cooking with the help of juicy oranges.

    Birmingham Magazine / 4 d. 13 h. 42 min. ago
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    Paul Finebaum, Tim Brando and others describe the Alabama fan base as only they could.

    AL.com | Entertainment / 4 d. 13 h. 47 min. ago
  • Listen up America, Alabama has spokenListen up America, Alabama has spoken

    Doug Jones's election is a moment of change, not only in Alabama, but for an America yearning for signs that values matter in 2017. Half a century after Alabamians of immense courage changed the course of history in the streets of Birmingham and Selma and Montgomery, the voice of justice once again rings out from the Deep South - from the ballots of black Alabamians, of women, and of young people of all genders committed to moving our world forward. Today, there is a movement that's ALIVE - a burning movement fueled by those who seek an America that says no more to sexual abuse of girls and women, of denial of the fundamental human rights of gay Americans, Muslims and immigrants, and of the continued systemic racism that plagues our nation. While so many watchers from outside our borders scorned and jeered us through these last few months, Alabamians showed Tuesday what we are made of, and what we are still craving. Indeed, there is a hunger for compassion and decency, and respect, and intelligence in American politics and in American culture that can no longer be suppressed. Doug Jones's election is a moment of change, not only in Alabama, but for an America yearning for signs that these values matter in 2017. Over the past several months, Jones has visited every corner of Alabama and worked hard to earn people's votes. He built a strong coalition of canvassers and phone bankers, deploying a strong get-out-the-vote operation such that Alabama Democrats haven't seen in decades. He was willing to speak to any Alabamian, no matter their income, their faith or their race. His victory speech showed his admirable desire and ability to embrace all Alabamians. Jones's voter base represents the future of Alabama: an emerging coalition of black voters, LGBT activists, women and young voters. He won by offering these groups a vision that can help our state assert itself in the 21st century. We believe that he will be a strong ally for Senator Richard Shelby and state officials in attracting economic opportunities to Alabama. And we will hold him to his word that he will be a voice of compromise in an increasingly partisan Senate. In his acceptance speech, Jones called on the Senate to renew the Children's Health Insurance Program. We hope they will do so quickly, as many Alabama families depend on it. Republicans claim to care about children; killing this program belies it. We hope that other Alabama's politicians will heed Jones's example. The last two years have seen far too many political scandals in our state. And as we saw from Moore's few campaign appearances, the Alabama Republican Party may be taking its voters for granted. We would all benefit from a better exchange of ideas, from politicians who court the broad center of the electorate rather than build a base that divides Alabama's people. Jones offered a new path for Alabama's leaders, Republican and Democrat. They should all walk it. This kind of moving beyond party-before-principle was clearly in evidence from our Senior Senator Rep. Richard Shelby, who put country and state ahead of his party, urging fellow conservatives to write in another candidate rather than vote for Moore, and almost 23,000 voters did -- a number slightly greater than Jones's margin of victory. This was one of Shelby's finest moments and we hope will long serve as a shining example to his congressional colleagues. This election outcome is tremendous for Alabama. We believe Doug Jones will be a fine Senator and move us forward in myriad ways.  But Jones's victory does not mean our state is suddenly not the conservative bastion it has been (though even in the hardest-right elections, about a third or more Alabamians vote for more progressive candidates.) Jones understands this, and will seek to represent all Alabamians. That said, the state is changing -- more urban, with a more diverse population, and those segments of the voting population carried the day for Jones. We are encouraged to see more young people engaged in our electoral and political processes, and urge both parties to find ways to continue this.  Finally, while factors affected many votes by individuals and groups who make up the 2 percent margin of victory in this election, it's certain that at least that many votes were cast for Jones by people who believed and wanted to support the brave women who spoke out about Moore's history of predatory behavior and harassment and abuse. We believe those women spoke the truth, finally revealing deeply held secrets, because they couldn't bear to see Roy Moore in the Senate and because - no matter their faith or their politics -- they knew in their hearts that America (and her children) deserved better. We salute those women. We are grateful for this new future they are helping usher forward. We look forward to the high road that Doug Jones will be traveling to Washington.

    AL.com | Opinion / 4 d. 14 h. 48 min. ago more
  • Doug Jones hosts NBA legend Charles Barkley for rally night before Alabama electionDoug Jones hosts NBA legend Charles Barkley for rally night before Alabama election

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    Birmingham News / 4 d. 15 h. 57 min. ago more
  • 'We are NOT Roy Moore': Alabama elects Democrat Doug Jones'We are NOT Roy Moore': Alabama elects Democrat Doug Jones

    Congratulations, Doug Jones. You just won the Alabama U.S. Senate special election. I reckon that's a good thing Congratulations, Doug Jones. You just won the Alabama U.S. Senate special election. I reckon that's a good thing.  Check out the twisted history of Roy Moore in JD Crowe toons  

    AL.com | Opinion / 4 d. 23 h. 32 min. ago more
  • Alabama sent a message ... to womenAlabama sent a message ... to women

    Doug Jones won. There'll be endless talk of politics tomorrow. And the next day. And the next. About winners and losers and how Doug Jones did it. Some will be obsessed with what he means for the Senate, and tax reform, and the Supreme Court, and abortion rights, and the state of politics in Alabama. And the state of Alabamians. Important stuff, I know. But that's not really what I care about today. It's not the message I hear today. Because for the last four weeks I've talked to women who bared their souls to me, who see this #metoo moment in America as a catalyst for change, who seized this awakening to talk of things they've long held close. Not the Roy Moore accusers. Not them. But women who say they were abused by fathers and brothers and wanted nothing more than for someone to know. Because opening up was like a relief valve that kept them from bursting. Some talked of being wooed by men in authority when they were but girls, and how they came to regret relationships that shamed them and scarred them and affected how they would forever regard the opposite gender. Others spoke of pawing and groping and a few told of out-and-out rape. Rape. They looked on this moment in America and Alabama as a time when they could open themselves up, when they could muster strength to show their weakness. When they could finally be believed. Most, by the way, were not interested in naming names of those who did them wrong. They were not obsessed with vengeance or retribution or notoriety. They just wanted to stop hurting. They wanted to believe the world they live in had changed. They wanted to think that finally, we've come to a place in society where sexual abuse is condemned, where the line of harassment is drawn and the consequence is real, where there's power for the powerless, hope for those who dared have none, a genuine climate of safety. That's what's important here. That's the message, more than divisions or disputes between Republicans and Democrats. It was a powerful statement about the way Jones supporters worked, and a powerful statement about the trepidation Alabamians have about Moore. It was a David and Goliath shot, but even that is not the real message here. On this day Alabama stood for victims. It stood for women. It stood for compassion. Because the way Alabama treated the women who accused Roy Moore of improprieties could have been a message to all who have been abused, to all who someday will be. Roy Moore and his supporters called them liars and whiners. And some Alabamians joined in the disdain, calling them sluts and worse, insisting that it was once the Alabama way to find mates too young to drive, and that once upon a time, groping was an acceptable act. But Alabama, against the odds and conventional wisdom, stood and rejected that behavior. It did not condone the silence. It did not excuse the sin. It made a political decision that many found hard, a decision that put decency over party, character over tribe. It stood for its mothers and sisters and daughter and fellow human beings. When nobody thought it would. That's the message Alabama sent yesterday. Not just about politics, or fear, or loathing, or habit, or even Donald Trump. It sent a message to women: This has not been a safe place. But it can be. It can. This is a start. John Archibald's column appears in The Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times, the Mobile Register and AL.com. Write him at jarchibald@al.com.

    AL.com | Opinion / 4 d. 23 h. 39 min. ago more
  • The Alabamafication of America means something different nowThe Alabamafication of America means something different now

    Alabama deals Donald Trump his second loss Don't worry, Alabama Republicans. Whether you accept it or not, whether you believe me and the "fake news" or not, you won tonight, even if Roy Moore lost. Tonight in an alternate universe, there's a columnist a lot like me sitting down to write a column that goes something like this. Today was a bad day for the Republican Party, even as Alabama Republicans are celebrating. Already, Roy Moore had been the poison in the national party's bloodstream, and tonight that poison reached its heart. That moribund muscle, it turns out, was the Heart of Dixie. Tomorrow, Washington Republicans will scramble. It's clear from their muttering and wavering the last month, they don't really know what to do with Moore when he arrives in D.C. Will they seat him? Bet on it. Will they find a way to oust him? It looks like they're stuck. In Alabama, we are accustomed to seeing political ads in which Republican candidates tie their political opponents to Washington liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer.  A year from now a similar sort of ad will be running across America. But instead of Chuck and Nancy, voters will see Trump and Moore and whichever poor Republican sap the Dems want to hit next. The left will weaponize Moore. Typically Democrats are at a disadvantage in most elections. Their policy positions are more complicated. Their explanations are more nuanced. Their messaging is muddled. But not anymore. Rather than having to explain the ins and outs of Obamacare, or the economic theory behind a higher minimum wage, they'll have a simple message: the GOP tolerates slimy old men with wandering hands, political pigs and pedofiles. And that guy in that alternate universe, he has to go on to explain what Moore's win means for Alabama -- an uncertain future where the state cannot recruit manufacturing jobs, much less STEM jobs. A place where everyone is put on the defensive the moment they cross the state lines, even when travelling to Mississippi. Instead, what happened in Alabama tonight is something Alabama should be proud of. It rejected a bleak future with Roy Moore as its ambassador to the rest of the world, and it owes that to a coalition of people who cross racial, class and party lines. Alabama showed that the rights minority voters won with their blood have not been taken for granted. Alabama showed that young voters aren't the entitled, loafing deadbeats, but rather, that they're ready to be engaged citizens. Alabama showed that many Republicans were willing to put the future of their state before the demands of their party which, let's face it, might have run the tables in recent elections but hasn't filled state offices with a lot of winners. Alabama demanded better. Alabama got better. Alabama is better. That doesn't mean we can all go to bed tonight and act tomorrow like nothing happened. This race has done a lot of damage to Alabama, and it's going to take everyone who voted today to fix it. For Democrats, that means turning the patch-work campaign apparatus Doug Jones put together and making it into party infrastructure so that future candidates won't have to build that stuff from scratch. For Republicans, it means demanding that their party field better candidates instead of letting the wingnuts run the show and embarrass our state. For voters, it means investing as much energy and attention in down-ballot races, so men like Moore never climb so high again. For religious leaders, it means realizing that they must do the hard work of helping their flocks become better people, rather than just telling them that they're better than other people. For business leaders and corporations, it means understanding that they must stop leveraging divisive politics to pad their pockets, and that not heeding that warning will ultimately leave them broke. For the national GOP, it's an opportunity -- to turn away from the narcissistic man-baby in the White House, take ownership of this country's direction, and stick to its principles, even when it means losing a race here and there. This election has shown more than anything else, that Alabama needs better choices. Fortunately, it had one acceptable choice left to make. Congratulations, Doug Jones. Kyle Whitmire is the state political columnist for the Alabama Media Group. You can follow his work . 

    AL.com | Opinion / 4 d. 23 h. 39 min. ago more
  • The mockery of our democracyThe mockery of our democracy

    If you don't like the truth, you can call it "fake news" and pick an emoji that will inform the algorithm to deliver more palatable truth. American democracy was always supposed to be about debate, not group think. Clete Wetli is a liberal political activist living in Huntsville and a regular contributor to AL.com. Email Clete at decaturclete@gmail.com or visit cletewetli.com. On the eve of one of the most historic elections in Alabama's history, many people missed the most important and consequential story in a decade. It was the profound regret expressed by former Facebook executives, Sean Parker and Chamath Palihapitiya, when they understood that they embodied the solemn and deep remorse akin to Victor Frankenstein because they finally realized the awful truth of their abominable creation. The truth has become conditional because it is now based on an algorithm designed to feed you exclusively what you desire. If you don't like the truth, you can call it "fake news" and pick an emoji that will inform the algorithm to deliver more palatable truth. Incessant cable television opinion and hyper-partisan social media have become the jesters in a dark comedy that can only be described as the mockery of our democracy. Ironically, people say they don't trust the news, but the ill-kept secret is that they aren't watching any at all. Tragically, they are consumed with absorbing opinions about news without ever having known the facts in the first place. Fox and CNN aren't news, they deliver opinions about news. Social media isn't news, it's individuals reposting opinions about news they never saw to begin with. This simply strengthens tribalism and exacerbates extremism. This is how Trump and Moore have made a mockery of our democracy. To them, truth is inconsequential and the only thing that matters is opinion. They have been richly rewarded by convincing their base that truth is a mutable product that can be made to order. They expect voters to choose a team and remain blindly and religiously allegiant. This is precisely why many Alabama Republicans will vote for Roy Moore while they display a cognitive dissonance that can only be described as absurdly delusional. It's how the White House can say that women alleging harassment should be heard while simultaneously taking an official position that the many women who have accused Trump of sexual misconduct are all politically motivated liars. It's how Republicans are convincing their base that tax cuts for the rich will magically hep the middle class and poor. Whether it's environmental protection, Jerusalem, or civil rights, the truth has now become a matter of perspective or, more accurately, an echo chamber of affirmation. Ex-Facebook executive, Parker, calls it a "a social-validation feedback loop" and his colleague, Palihapitiya, remarked, "Your behaviors--you don't realize it but you are being programmed. It was unintentional, but now you gotta decide how much you are willing to give up, how much of your intellectual independence." That's what's happening. It's not that the news is fake, because no one is watching news anyway. It's simply that we've immersed ourselves in self-indulgent, endless confirmation by excluding any contrary thoughts or challenging ideas. American democracy was always supposed to be about debate, not group think. Our democracy was intentionally positioned to be confrontational and difficult and gridlocked. The idea was to prevent a party from ramming through horrible legislation on slim majority votes. The concept was to avoid electing candidates who can only attribute their inauguration to partisan gerrymandering. Especially in Alabama, we have no option but to decry the mockery of our democracy and begin to take citizenship seriously again. Otherwise, we risk perpetual rebellion simply for its own pointless symbolic stake. We bite the hand that feeds us and curse those who seek to lift us up. America is watching Alabama nervously. America is afraid that Alabama's mockery of democracy could go viral. If Alabama is to prosper, it's got to quit pretending the federal government is the enemy. Real non-partisan truth is out there, folks.

    AL.com | Opinion / 5 d. 2 h. 23 min. ago more
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    AL.com | Entertainment / 6 d. 13 h. 13 min. ago
  • Clear bag policy starts Dec. 13 at BJCC's Legacy Arena in BirminghamClear bag policy starts Dec. 13 at BJCC's Legacy Arena in Birmingham

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    AL.com | Entertainment / 6 d. 13 h. 57 min. ago
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  • Tacky Christmas Light Tour In Birmingham - Patch.comTacky Christmas Light Tour In Birmingham - Patch.com

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  • Another restaurant closes in Birmingham's Lakeview DistrictAnother restaurant closes in Birmingham's Lakeview District

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    AL.com | Dining / 10 d. 11 h. 42 min. ago
  • BBVA Compass’s ‘Blue Elves’ surprise students at South Hampton with toys, savings accountsBBVA Compass’s ‘Blue Elves’ surprise students at South Hampton with toys, savings accounts

    By Ariel Worthy The Birmingham Times A student hugs a “blue elf,” a volunteer with BBVA Compass’s Project Blue Elf. (Ariel Worthy/The Birmingham Times) Students at South Hampton K-8’s elementary school in Pratt City received quite the surprise on Tuesday morning – blue elves. The students walked in a single file line into the cafeteria and were greeted with a line of cheers, celebrations and high fives by “blue elves” part of BBVA Compass’s Project Blue Elf, an annual holiday initiative that provides children in low-to-moderate income areas with toys. A student enjoys the gingerbread cookie she decorated after reading the story of the Gingerbread Man. (Ariel Worthy/The Birmingham Times) Not long after arriving at school, 180 kindergarten through second graders heard the story of the Ginger Bread Man as BBVA Compass Birmingham CEO Andrea Smith read the story. “Story-reading is always wonderful,” said Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring, who was present. Students were also given $25 vouchers for new savings accounts, which is a “multifaceted” benefit, Herring said. “That’s not just financial literacy and responsibility at young ages, it’s life-changing,” said the superintendent. “It’s our opportunity to show the students the power and importance of managing money. That puts just as big a smile on my face as gifts, because that’s lifelong learning, and that’s starting them early on the right track financially.” Smith said it also gives the children an opportunity to learn about banks. “Many times children don’t know banks, they don’t know what banks are,” she said. “So it’s an easy way, one on one, to demonstrate that they can have their own account. And it’s a little encouragement to go ahead and open it now.” Smith said she is also proud of the employees who assist with the initiative, which is in its fifth year. A student smiles after receiving a Candy Land game from BBVA Compass’s Project Blue Elf. (Ariel Worthy/The Birmingham Times) A student proudly shows her Play-Doh collection received from BBVA Compass’s Project Blue Elf. (Ariel Worthy/The Birmingham Times) “The response we get every year, every time we have sign-ups, it’s complete in like 20 seconds,” she said. “Because they see it as a way to really give back and interact with children.”   South Hampton principal Alicica Washington (left) and BBVA Compass Birmingham CEO Andrea Smith stand before students as they prepare to receive their gifts. (Ariel Worthy/The Birmingham Times) Alicica Washington, the principal at South Hampton, said the gift helps with the school’s emphasis on math.   “Money matters,” she said. “We’re going to invite various departments from BBVA to teach students about savings, so they can learn the importance of saving and how it affects the everyday life.” Students learn another lesson as well, Washington said. “It’s teaching the children about giving,” she said. “They were the recipients, but they learned that this time of year is about giving, not self.” After students were read the story of the Gingerbread Man, they decorated their own with blue icing and toppings. Each student received a toy for Christmas from Mr. Potato Head to games –  Candy Land, Trouble, Connect Four – troll dolls and Play-Doh sets. Project Blue Elf is a partnership with Birmingham City Schools, Herring said. “It is a clear investment in children and making sure as many as possible have an opportunity to receive a gift during the holiday season,” she said. “But it’s also a chance for the kids to see adults being proactive and supportive, and engage in ways that take them out of the classroom, but still make it relevant to the learning experience. And given the time of the year, it’s a way to ensure smiles and happiness as the season starts.”

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 10 d. 20 h. 58 min. ago more
  • Sherry Lewis, Birmingham Water Works Board Chair, indicted for ethics violationsSherry Lewis, Birmingham Water Works Board Chair, indicted for ethics violations

    By Lauren Walsh abc3340.com News elected chair Sherry Lewis at the first meeting of the new board. The Waterworks Board of the City of Birmingham called a Special Board of Directors’ Meeting Wednesday January 4, 2017 held in Birmingham, Alabama. (Frank Couch / The Birmingham Times) Sherry Lewis, chairman of the Birmingham Water Works Board, was indicted Wednesday for violating Alabama’s ethics laws. The Attorney General’s Public Corruption Unit issued the indictment. At the same time, it indicted Jerry Jones on three counts. Jones was the Vice President of engineering company Arcadis. He managed the company’s multimillion dollar business with Birmingham Water Works. Lewis has been on the Birmingham Water Works Board since 2008. She was appointed by Mayor William Bell. She was voted to be chair of the board in January 2017, right after a shift in power took place on the board, due to a state law adding four members. Brett Bloomston, an attorney for Lewis said his client “is innocent of the charges returned against her, at the prosecution’s request, by a grand jury that heard only one side of the evidence. “Sherry has lived her entire life in Birmingham, Alabama. She has earned an excellent reputation for her honesty, integrity, and hard work in her professional life, as well as within her community. Sherry has diligent served on the Birmingham Water Works Board, where she has been a voice of reason and a watchdog for the citizens that are served by that Board. “Sherry looks forward to her day in court and expects to be acquitted of all charges by a jury of her peers in a trial where she will have the right to confront the prosecution’s evidence.” Weeks after she became chair, ABC 33/40’s cameras captured Lewis entering the Jefferson County Courthouse, to spend time with the Attorney General’s Public Corruption Unit and its special grand jury. During this time, the board continued work with its independent engineering firm, Arcadis. Jones managed the company’s work with the Birmingham Water Works Board. The company on Monday confirmed his termination, just two days before indictments became public. In a statement, Arcadis said an internal investigation showed Jones violated company policies, and added that the company cooperated with state and federal investigations as well. A review of the board’s minutes shows the board spent millions of dollars with Arcadis. In 2016, the board approved $6.3 million dollars of invoices for Arcadis. In 2017, minutes from January to May show the board approved invoices worth $1.2 million for Arcadis. Updated at 4:03 p.m. on Dec.6, 2017 with comment from Lewis’s attorney.

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 11 d. 1 h. 8 min. ago more
  • Alabama restaurant voted one of 100 best in America for 2017Alabama restaurant voted one of 100 best in America for 2017

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    AL.com | Dining / 11 d. 5 h. 52 min. ago
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  • See Birmingham's craziest holiday light displaysSee Birmingham's craziest holiday light displays

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    Birmingham Magazine / 11 d. 10 h. 39 min. ago
  • Step straight into a Hallmark Christmas movie in this North Georgia townStep straight into a Hallmark Christmas movie in this North Georgia town

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    Birmingham Magazine / 12 d. 11 h. 48 min. ago
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  • Family-owned Birmingham store among Big Pitch winnersFamily-owned Birmingham store among Big Pitch winners

    Times staff report From right, first place winners, Brianna & Rod Cowans; second place, Kate Hardy and noncompeting finalist Rae’Mah Henderson of Yobi Salads Express. (REV Birmingham). Rodriquez and Brianna Cowans of R&M Convenience Store won the $20,000 grand prize and the $5,000 popular vote prize in this year’s REV Birmingham’s Fourth Annual Big Pitch by PNC. R&M is a family owned and operated store in Enon Ridge that is undergoing a rebranding to 3rd Street Market, reflecting their shift from a convenience store to grocery store. No contestant has ever won the grand prize and popular vote at the same time. “We were able to bring home not one, but both awards,” said Brianna Cowans, owner R&M. “Thanks to our family, friends and continuous supporters. A special thanks to David Fleming, CEO of REV Bham, and the entire REV Team.” REV Birmingham REV Birmingham (REV) creates vibrant commercial districts by filling vacant spaces and growing sustainable businesses. Finalists presented their dreams for a chance to win start-up investment cash and professional services in front of a live audience. The proposed businesses have to make money while benefiting a neighborhood or making a positive impact on Birmingham. Ten finalists competed for a shot at a share of $40,000 in start-up capital before judges, potential investors, and a live audience on Nov. 18 at The Negro Southern League Museum. The judges were made up of academics, business innovators, and representatives from the banking and tech sectors. Second place went to Kate Hardy of Square One Goods, a cheeky shop full of Birmingham flavor that prompts smiles with its cards, stationery and gifts. The $10,000 prize will help Hardy as she works toward a brick and mortar retail location for her store. Teen sensation Rae’Mah Henderson, who at 17 is a year shy of the BIG PITCH age requirement, presented her concept for Yobi Salads Express on stage at the competition. Although not eligible for the cash prizes, Henderson was awarded a scholarship from Create Birmingham for CO.STARTERS, their business development program which is a partner with REV Birmingham. Henderson presented her idea for Yobi Salads Express. She was met with a standing ovation at the end of her presentation. Lakey Boyd, of Innovate Birmingham, offered the following advice to potential entrepreneurs. “Just start. Take the first step and get connected to your customers. Getting early traction with customers helps to confirm your business concept, help you make a better product, and build a business model to achieve actual revenue,” Boyd said. “If you have an idea that compels you, then take action and share it by connecting to like-minded folks.” For more information, visit www.revbirmingham.org.

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 17 d. 21 h. 8 min. ago more
  • New group aims to help women startups in BirminghamNew group aims to help women startups in Birmingham

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    Birmingham Magazine / 18 d. 12 h. 33 min. ago
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    Birmingham Magazine / 19 d. 8 h. 17 min. ago
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  • Monique “Mo” Jefferson’s journey from Ramsay High to champion trainerMonique “Mo” Jefferson’s journey from Ramsay High to champion trainer

    By Ariel Worthy The Birmingham Times In high school and college Monique “Mo” Jefferson was always considered a “gym rat” and nothing has changed in her professional career. In high school she played basketball at Ramsay High School and in college she was a member of the Columbus State University (GA) team. Now she is a professional sports and fitness trainer and founder of Champion Status Training, which specializes in individual and group training, boot camps with organizations, churches, etc., nutrition planning, maintenance programs, “for people who are already consistently working out, but get bored with what they are doing.” The program was founded in 2013. “It gives them a variety of what they can do in their workouts,” she said. She also offers online training where a client would do everything they would do in person with Jefferson, but instead via video. Monique “Mo” Jefferson is the owner of Champion Status Training. (PROVIDED PHOTO) “A lot of trainers don’t know how to combine the two and make it work,” said Jefferson. “I interact with people in a way where they don’t feel like I’m just after their money. Most trainers don’t know how to do both. It’s not all about that for me.” Jefferson, 29, whose slogan is “I’m professional yet personal” wants her work to also be a ministry. She shares Ecclesiastes 3:1, “To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the Heaven” with clients to apply “to their everyday lives and goals they may have set out for themselves,” she said. Jefferson, who studied exercise science at Columbus State University (CSU), has always been involved in athletics and fitness but didn’t want to pursue it.  However, a come-to-Jesus meeting to “find my true purpose” led her to fitness training, she said. A personal trainer is different and more beneficial than working out alone, Jefferson said. “I have a lot of clients tell me it’s not only helping them physically, it’s helping them mentally and emotionally,” she said. “I have a lot of people I become friends with through training them. It helps them in life in general.” “Most people need that one-on-one interaction, that push, and that variety,” she said. “Most people get bored trying to work out by themselves and just going on their own. To have someone guide them, make it fun and diverse, giving them a variety, makes them keep going.” Jefferson is looking to open a gym by summer 2018. It’s a competitive field, she said. “It’s kind of a fight. Most gym owners are males. I wouldn’t say the industry is male-dominated, but it’s a competition for a woman to enter into it; training too. You don’t see many females training guys; some don’t feel comfortable doing it. But you see it in the NFL, or NBA. You’re starting to see more females coach and be trainers to guys.” Jefferson graduated from Ramsay High School in 2006, and from CSU in 2011. However, she remains active with Jefferson County area schools, helping train basketball teams. She oversees strength and conditioning programs for boys and girls in a number of programs including Bessemer City. She coaches third and fourth graders in Mountain Brook in the Over The Mountain community league. When she’s not training others, Jefferson said she is usually training herself. In fact, it’s how she began thinking about fitness training. “While playing basketball people would see me working out and want to join me. It would spark something . . . me being a gym rat. I’ve always been the person on the team living in the gym. Being in that arena, and combining basketball with it, it became the only thing I wanted to eat, sleep and breathe.” During weekends, if she is not coaching, Jefferson is either reading or listening to music. Speaking of music, she also plays the piano, trumpet and violin. “A lot of people don’t know that I am musically gifted,” she said. “I’ve been playing the piano and violin since I was 7, and the trumpet since middle school. I love jazz.” Jefferson plays the piano at different churches in the area. To reach Jefferson, visit www.championstatustraining.com or email her at info@championstatustraining.com.

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 25 d. 15 h. 12 min. ago more
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    AL.com | Dining / 27 d. 10 h. 12 min. ago
  • Photo Gallery: 2017 Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights AwardsPhoto Gallery: 2017 Fred Shuttlesworth Human Rights Awards

    Times Staff Report Photos by Stephonia Taylor McLinn The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI) on Saturday hosted its combined 2017 Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award Program and 25th-anniversary celebration in the Institute at 520 Sixteenth Street North. The recipients of the Shuttlesworth Award this year were Dr. Richard Arrington, Birmingham’s first African American Mayor (1979- 1999), Harry Belafonte, musician, actor and human rights activist; and Viola Liuzzo, (honored posthumously) a volunteer and civil rights activist from Detroit who was the only white female to die in the struggle. Belafonte, now 90 years of age, was unable to travel. Several members of Viola Liuzzo’s family were in to Birmingham to receive the award. The BCRI opened on Nov. 15, 1992, and a number of leaders attended the ceremony including mayor-elect Randall Woodfin, Congresswoman Terri Sewell and U.S. Senate candidate Democrat Doug Jones.  Since its opening, more than two million people have visited the BCRI. Click to view slideshow.

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 27 d. 15 h. 12 min. ago more
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    AL.com | Dining / 30 d. 9 h. 20 min. ago
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  • Obamacare Shopping Is Trickier Than Ever. Here’s A Cheat SheetObamacare Shopping Is Trickier Than Ever. Here’s A Cheat Sheet

    By Jay Hancock Kaiser Health News Renewing this year’s health care plan for 2018 may not be the best option. Experts say shopping around will get coverage at a better price under the Affordable Care Act. (All graphics, Kaiser Health News)  Health care is complicated. Shopping for an individual health plan just got even more so, with President Donald Trump’s decision last month to block $7 billion in Affordable Care Act subsidies. Known as cost-sharing reduction payments (CSRs), these federal funds had helped insurers offset the costs of the discounts they are required to offer to some lower-earning customers to help them pay for deductibles and copays. We’ll spare you the details. But because of how state regulators responded to the chaos and how insurers are trying to recover the money through higher premiums, common-sense rules of shopping may no longer apply. A high-coverage “gold” plan in many states might now be cheaper than a medium-coverage “silver” plan. The reported 15 or 20 percent premium spikes resulting from Trump’s move might nail you right in the wallet. Or, weirdly, it could save you hundreds of dollars next year if you play your cards right. Experts’ advice, in brief, is: SHOP AROUND. Play with different options on healthcare.gov or state marketplaces. Don’t just renew this year’s plan. More than ever, for 2018 that might not be the best deal. Find your situation here: Household income is between $12,060 and $30,150 for an individual, $16,240 and $40,600 for a couple and $24,600 and $61,500 for a family of four. By law, insurers still must pass along the cost-sharing reductions, even though Trump cut off the reimbursement. And you are probably eligible for them. But to qualify for the cost-sharing reductions, which lower deductibles and copays when you seek care, you must purchase a silver plan on the marketplace. People buying the other metal levels — the more comprehensive gold or platinum plans or less generous “bronze” plan — cannot get this benefit. So unless you hardly ever see a doctor, get a silver plan. However, if you’re healthy and at the lower end of these income ranges, a bronze plan might make the most sense. That’s because of the other Obamacare subsidy, which reduces premiums. These subsidies are paid directly to qualifying consumers in the form of tax credits. The premium subsidy is so generous for 2018 (we explain why, below) that, for many people, they could cover the entire cost of bronze plans. Cost-sharing reductions help only if you expect to pay out-of-pocket costs for docs and hospitals. If you don’t — and if you feel like gambling that you won’t need expensive care — a free or super-cheap bronze plan might be better. At the lower ranges of this income group, you might be eligible instead for Medicaid — in states that expanded that program under the ACA. This online subsidy calculator can help you figure it out. Household income is between $30,150 and $48,240 for individuals, $40,600 and $64,960 for a couple and $61,500 and $98,400 for a family of four. You’re eligible for subsidies to reduce premiums but not the cost-sharing reductions. Even so, Trump’s decision to cut them may affect you — in a good way. To recover the missing $7 billion, most insurers are jacking premiums for silver plans — an estimated 20 percent extra. The good news is that higher premiums don’t hurt most marketplace consumers. Obamacare caps how much eligible consumers are expected to pay for health insurance — even if premiums go to the moon. The federal premium subsidies cover the difference. But that’s not all. Trump’s move makes the premium subsidy more generous. Here’s how. The level of premium subsidy you receive is based not just on your income but also on silver-plan prices, and now silver premiums are going up a lot. The higher the silver premiums, the more generous the subsidies. But that subsidy is not limited to use on a silver plan. Anybody eligible can take those subsidies and shop for any kind of plan on the marketplace. That’s why in Texas, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states a high-benefit gold plan might be less expensive next year or not much more than a silver plan. It’s why many consumers could see their premium bills fall in 2018 — in some cases, to zero. To repeat: Shop around. Shop early. The plan you have now probably won’t be cheapest next year. Household income is more than $48,240 for individuals, $64,960 for a couple and $98,400 for a family of four. More than 7 million of these folks buy individual health insurance plans through or outside the ACA’s online marketplaces. If this is you, you’re ineligible for any Obamacare subsidies. That means your chances of getting slammed by premium increases for 2018 are high. Silver-plan premiums are soaring by 35 percent or more because of high claims and Trump’s decision to stop cost-sharing reimbursement to insurers. But there are ways to limit the pain. Generally avoid silver plans and look at bronze and gold. Those premiums are probably rising less. However, California and about a dozen other states allowed insurers to sell a separate class of silver plans without the cost-sharing money built into premiums. These may be available only outside the official, online ACA marketplaces, so to find them you have to ask a broker or check websites of insurers or online brokers such as eHealth or GetInsured. Household income is less than $16,643 for an individual, $22,411 for a couple and $33,948 for a family of four. You may qualify for Medicaid, the federal and state health program for low-income people. However, 19 states, mostly in the South, did not expand the program under the health law. Medicaid eligibility in those places is much narrower, especially for adults, than in the rest of the country. That accounts for many of the 28 million uninsured Americans. The subsidy calculator shows whether your income makes you eligible for Medicaid and whether your state has expanded Medicaid.

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 34 d. 8 h. 48 min. ago more
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Appoints New PresidentBlue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Appoints New President

    Special to The Times Tim Vines Tim Vines has been named president and chief operating officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. After a transition period in 2018, Vines will succeed Terry Kellogg as both president and chief executive officer; in the meantime, Kellogg is expected to remain CEO. Vines has been with Blue Cross for 23 years. During his tenure, he has served as executive vice president and COO; chief administrative officer; senior vice president for Health Management; senior vice president for Business Operations; vice president for Special Claims Operations; and vice president for Health Management. A graduate of Auburn University with a degree in finance, Vines plays a very active role in the community. He is currently chairman of the board of trustees of Samford University, where he also serves on the Executive Committee. In addition, Vines serves on the boards of the American Red Cross Alabama Region and the Better Business Bureau serving South and Central Alabama.

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 36 d. 9 h. 44 min. ago more
  • Birmingham Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin Announces Plans For Inaugural FestivitiesBirmingham Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin Announces Plans For Inaugural Festivities

    Times Staff Report Mayor-elect Randall Woodfin (center) prepares to take office Nov. 28 with a noon swearing-in ceremony at Linn Park. He is flanked by transition team co-chairs Bobbie Knight (left) and Gen. Charles Krulak. (Nick Patterson, The Birmingham Times) The Randall Woodfin Administration will officially begin on Tuesday, Nov. 28, with a noon swearing-in ceremony in Linn Park followed later by a “green-carpet” community reception at 5:30 p.m. held in conjunction with the Birmingham City Council. “The citizens I have met over the past year know I am not a red-carpet kind of guy,” Woodfin said. “Along with the Birmingham City Council, we are hosting a green-carpet community reception to recognize all of the thousands of people who worked at the grassroots level to make our election a reality. We want this to be a festive evening for all of Birmingham to celebrate.” Inaugural events begin on Sunday, Nov. 26, with a day of service from 2-5 p.m.  Church groups, community organizations, nonprofits and other groups are encouraged to identify ways they can support this day of service which will culminate with a prayer service from 5:30-7 p.m. “We want to instill a renewed belief in public service to our city.  That goes beyond City Hall,” Woodfin said. “It means each of us supporting our neighbors, friends, family members and those who simply need a helping hand.  We want this to be a time when our citizens can come together and celebrate this special time, but also work together as a community.” The inauguration is the culmination of more than a year of hard work “by many, many people across our city who joined together to win this important election,” Woodfin said. “Whether they knocked on doors, made phone calls or just went out to vote, they made a difference in the outcome of the election, and now it is up to us to honor their support with an administration that is focused on improving all of our neighborhoods, educational and economic opportunities, public safety and other issues important to our great city.” Woodfin, 36, the youngest elected mayor in Birmingham in more than 100 years, defeated incumbent William Bell in an Oct. 3 runoff, capping a fractious mayoral election that began with 12 candidates running for the city’s chief executive. The Committees At a press conference at Vulcan Park and Museum on Oct. 10, Woodfin named Gen. Charles Krulak, the retired Marine Corps commandant and former president of Birmingham-Southern College, and Bobbie Knight, who retired last year as a vice president in Alabama Power’s Birmingham division as co-chairs of his transition team. Woodfin also named his campaign manager, Ed Fields, as transition coordinator. On Oct. 24, Woodfin announced six co-chairs of citizen-led committees which he said would be instrumental in moving the city forward to “its full potential.” Woodfin, during a press conference at the Negro Southern League Museum in the Parkside district, named two co-chairs each for committees dedicated to Neighborhood Revitalization and Public Safety, Social Justice and Transparency and Efficient Government. He named: BLOC Global managing partner Herschell Hamilton, and Birmingham Police Detective Ralph Patterson to the Neighborhood Revitalization committee. Physician and educator Dr. Nancy Dunlap and attorney Richard Rice to the Social Justice Committee Daniel Coleman, a lecturer at Birmingham-Southern, and business owner Annie Allen to the Transparency and Efficient Government committee. On Oct.30, Woodfin announced co-chairs of his Education and Workforce Development and Economic Development and Entrepreneurship committees at the Alabama Workforce Training Center. He announced that Dr. Perry Ward, the president of Lawson State Community College and Fred McCallum, the former president of AT&T Alabama, would co-chair the Education and Workforce Development Committee. To co-chair the Economic Development and Entrepreneurship Committee, Woodfin named Renasant Bank Executive Vice President Tracey Morant Adams, and UAB Director of External Affairs Josh Carpenter. Krulak said that the Woodfin administration could mark a turning point for a city which has “made great strides since the 1960s. It’s gone from a beacon of civil rights to a beacon of human rights to a revitalization of our downtown that we see today,” he said. “At the same time, we can’t turn a blind eye to the problems that continue to exist. Neighborhoods that need revitalization, an education system that needs increased attention and support, concerns about regulations and bureaucracy and their impact on growth opportunities… Birmingham now stands at an inflection point and we need to take advantage of it.”

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 38 d. 14 h. 57 min. ago more
  • ‘Community Conversations’ Continue this week at The Ballard House‘Community Conversations’ Continue this week at The Ballard House

    By Ariel Worthy The Birmingham Times The Ballard House. (All photos, Ariel Worthy, The Birmingham Times) The Ballard House Project will continue its “GATHER for Community Conversations” this week with a forum on Hip Hop and another on the Impact of Women. These events are part of the Ballard House Project Community-Wide Collective Memory Program. “We are gathering across the metro area to record community conversations about Birmingham’s historic past,” said Majella Chube Hamilton, executive director of Ballard House. “Our community was built with the hard work, sacrifice, and legacy of people from all walks of life and backgrounds.” Both upcoming events will be held at the Ballard House, 1420 7th Ave. North, Birmingham, AL 35203. They are free and open to the public. On Thursday Nov. 9, the first of two forums, will center on “Through the Prism of Hip Hop: Exploring Black Music as an Expression of Black Life.”  The talk, which begins at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. will surround the music genre’s impact on today’s culture. Dr. DeReef Jamison, UAB assistant professor of African-American Studies, will delve into the rise of hip hop and the implications of its reflection. Jamison’s research looks at connections between Africana intellectual history and social science. He examines how particular historical figures in the Africana intellectual tradition connect with cultural consciousness. An interactive discussion and live music mix will also be part of the experience. Sisters Barbara Shores (left), and Helen Shores Lee will be among the panelists discussing “The IMPACT of Women” at the Ballard House. The next forum will be on the “IMPACT of Women: Educated & Organized” and takes place Sunday Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. The event will include a panel discussion of authors, educators and community organizers who will share their insight and memories about critical, yet rarely discussed, components of history. Panelists will include: Former Judge Helen Shores Lee, Barbara Shores, Dr. Ruth Barefield-Pendleton, Sophia Miller, Margaret Beard, and Dr. Tondra Loder-Jackson. “Since before the turn of the 20th century, African American women have worked collectively to improve the living conditions of the Birmingham area’s most vulnerable,” said Hamilton. “They forged service and social networks of sisterhood which have transformed our community for good. Few are aware that their contributions are all around us.” The work of women in Birmingham has lifted the most vulnerable residents and created service and social networks, Hamilton said. “Transformational civic and service organizations worked to alleviate pain and suffering of their neighbors. Despite personal and professional barriers, they formed a human tapestry and network of support to educate, house, protect, and lift others seeking a better life,” she said. “We are reflecting on facets of that legacy.” She added: “Their imprint is reflected in the opportunities afforded all around us.”        

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 38 d. 15 h. 12 min. ago more
  • Nonprofit Joins Businesses to Distribute More than 32,000 pounds of food and goods to 800 Birmingham familiesNonprofit Joins Businesses to Distribute More than 32,000 pounds of food and goods to 800 Birmingham families

    By Joseph D. Bryant Housing Authority of the Birmingham District From left: Housing Authority Board Chair Cardell Davis, HABD President/CEO Michael Lundy, Buffalo Rock Zone Director Kevin Nelson, Pepsico/Frito-Lay Regional Vice-President Marla Daudelin, Piggly Wiggly Human Resource Supervisor Otis McGuire, Feed the Children’s Aaron Hazel; HABD Executive Vice-President/COO Adrian Peterson-Fields; Birmingham Piggly Wiggly owner Chris Ajlouny. (Provided photos) An army of more than 100 volunteers clad in blue t-shirts worked with assembly-line precision last week, passing boxes down one to another outside Birmingham’s Smithfield Court. The work appeared endless, yet each worker smiled and waved as cars and buses entered the line. Before the day was over, more than 32,000 pounds of food and goods were distributed to 800 families who reside in 14 Birmingham public housing communities. Smithfield Court on Nov. 3 was the site of a mass food distribution partnership between PepsiCo, Frito-Lay and Feed the Children, a national non-profit agency that exists to defeat hunger. “This is just a great day. It is overwhelming to see so many people gathered here to help our neighbors,” said Michael Lundy, president/CEO, Housing Authority of the Birmingham District. “This is more than a gesture of goodwill. What is happening here has the ability to touch lives and provide a helping hand to those who need it the most.” Distributed were one 25-pound box of nonperishable food items; one 14-pound box of personal care items; one box of AVON products; Disney books; Frito-Lay snacks; PepsiCo products; Life Original Cereal; Quaker Chewy Granola Bars; Quaker Standard Oatmeal; canned goods from Piggly Wiggly. The food was enough to supplement meals for a week. The partnership also included Piggly Wiggly and Buffalo Rock. Each company provided volunteers to assist housing authority staff who worked the event. Families receiving services were all public housing residents and signed up to receive vouchers through the housing authority. This is the second time that Feed the Children coordinated food distribution in Birmingham, and the first time organizers partnered with the housing authority. “I am really proud to be here. What better way to help our community that to provide food to those who need it?” said Marla Daudelin, region vice president, Central Gulf region, PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay division. “Definitely this is going to be an annual event.” Otis McGuire, Piggly Wiggly human resource supervisor, said that even though the volunteers were gathered to serve, they also received a lasting gift. “We should be grateful for this partnership where various entities come together for a common good,” he said. “Nothing should make us feel better than touching lives. It’s a duty – it’s a responsibility, to give back.”  

    The Birmingham Times | Business / 38 d. 15 h. 18 min. ago more
  • Revered Alabama restaurant named one of America's best for 2017Revered Alabama restaurant named one of America's best for 2017

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    AL.com | Dining / 48 d. 4 h. 52 min. ago
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    AL.com | Dining / 58 d. 10 h. 17 min. ago
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    The problems started last week when the Pledge of Allegiance was recited at school and an African-American student remained seated in solidarity with the ongoing national debate over standing for the American flag and the national anthem, Pell City Police Chief Paul Irwin said Thursday.

    AL.com / 73 d. 7 h. 23 min. ago