9 cases of pertussis identified in Jefferson and Shelby Counties. There’s a vaccine for that at your local pharmacy.

Birmingham, Alabama, pertussis outbreak. Vaccines. Immunizations.
Pertussis can be deadly for children age 1 and under. Photo via Pixabay

Earlier this August, the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) reported an outbreak of pertussis, also called whooping cough, in Shelby and Jefferson counties. Beyond the outbreak, this serious, highly contagious respiratory disease is on the rise in Alabama. Good news! Protecting your family is as simple as stopping by your local pharmacy or doctor’s office for a vaccine.

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PALS volunteers pick up 123,440 pounds of litter this year in Jefferson County, Wenonah High School Wins Litter Quitter Campaign


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Over 61 tons of trash has been picked up in JeffCo so far this year. Photo courtesy of PALS.

There’s a lot of taxpayer money being spent on cleaning up after litterbugs in the Birmingham and Jefferson County areas so ALDOT (Alabama Department of Transportation) has launched the Trash Costs Cash campaign that is aimed at preventing people from dumping litter on neighborhood streets and major roadways.

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PALS volunteers pick up trash along highways and waterways.

Over 61 Tons of Trash Cleaned Up in Jefferson County

Jefferson County works with PALS, (People Against A Littered State) and during the first eight months of this year countywide volunteers have cleaned up litter along roadways and waterways in incorporated and unincorporated Jefferson County. These 53 volunteer cleanups have resulted in 61.72 tons of litter cleanup up from our rivers and roads. That’s 123,440 pounds, by 1,831 volunteers spending 7,324 volunteer hours.

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Cahaba River – Photo from Cahaba Environmental Center

The waterways cleanups have taken place in Bankhead Lake, Cahaba River, Shades Creek and Village Creek/Bayview Lake. Jefferson County also  participated with other organizations and the City of Birmingham in the Valley Creek Watershed Video competition. Ten area high schools competed in the ‘Litter Quitters’ campaign by uploading Youtube videos about not littering for likes and the video with the most likes would win the competition. The winning Litter Quitter video was by Wenonah High School took first place followed by Oak Grove High in second and Fairfield High in third. Wenonah High School’s video was turned into a :15 TV commercial on local Birmingham channels.

Keeping Birmingham Beautiful

Trash can create health and safety hazards, we all should do our part to help alleviate litter. The City of Birmingham through Keep Birmingham Beautiful is helping to raise awareness about the hazards of littering through educational programs. The city also will give anyone the appropriate tools, gloves and trash bags free-of-charge to use to pick up trash in their neighborhood.

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Photo courtesy of Keep Birmingham Beautiful

“The City of Birmingham wants to ensure that beauty and charm is our lasting signature. Through efforts driven by Keep Birmingham Beautiful and Stormwater Management, we envision a city where all 99 neighborhoods are clean, green and beautiful places to live,” said Sade Hammond of Keep Birmingham Beautiful.

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Student volunteers for PALS. Photo courtesy of PALS

The organization also offers 20 easy ways to keep neighborhoods clean:

  • Lead by example, don’t litter
  • Set an example and pick up a piece of trash every day
  • Keep the front of your home clean and inviting (mow your lawn)
  • Teach children how to recycle and dispose of trash
  • Always recycle on the go
  • Organize a community initiative – such as a community garden
  • Engage local businesses to participate in litter prevention
  • Place a trash bag in your car to keep your trash in and from blowing out of the car
  • Clean up graffiti on the walls in the community
  • Keep storm drains clear of litter
  • Revitalize and clean up parks
  • Adopt a highway
  • Pick up after your pets
  • Carpool to work
  • Donate unwanted vehicles
  • Get to know your neighbors
  • Reuse shopping bags
  • Properly dispose of cigarette butts
  • Post community updates on social media
  • Participate in the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup

Mayor Randall Woodfin and the City Council are dedicated to protecting the natural beauty of the areas throughout the City of Birmingham by educating the public through environmental literacy.  

Bham Now Aldot
Photo courtesy of Keep Birmingham Beautiful

Hammond added, “The citizens of Birmingham have the knowledge, intellectual skills, attitudes, experiences and motivation to make and act responsibly when making environmental decisions. Through the mission of Keep Birmingham Beautiful and StormWater Management, we will continue providing local educational initiatives and the tools to help our citizens make the correct environmental decisions that enhance the of life in our community.”

MILLIONS SPENT CLEANING UP OUR MESSES

ALDOT spent $6.8 million last year cleaning up people’s messes across Alabama, and that’s money that could be spent elsewhere. Instead of paving and repairing roads, ALDOT has had to direct resources to cleaning up litter along highways and waterways.

Littering Is a Crime!

Littering is a crime! Alabama Code Title 13ACriminal Code 13A – 7-29 clearly states that littering is a Class C Misdemeanor and the first offense costs the litterbug $250, and it only goes downhill from there, if the litterbug is caught again, it is a $500 fine for each violation after the first $250!  We know your mama would be embarrassed if you were caught littering!

Binge-watching?  Episodes of public television’s Discovering Alabama are available online

Screenshot of Dr. Doug Phillips host of Discovering Alabama. From the episode titled Sipsey Wilderness.

Forget Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime. If you looking to do some serious binge-watching, checkout episodes of Alabama Public Television’s  Discovering Alabama.

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UAB School of Dentistry named one of the top dental schools in the world

UAB School of Dentistry students with John Lytle Wilson’s art work in the background at Magic City Dentistry.. Photo by Pat Byington for Bham Now

According to the ShanghaiRanking’s 2018 Academic Ranking of World Universities, the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Dentistry has been named one of the world’s top 25 dental schools.

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We came, we ate, we applauded: Birmingham Restaurant Week’s Harvest Brunch recap

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Photo by Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now
Birmingham Restaurant Week’s Harvest Brunch kick-off. Photo by Jacob Blankenship for Bham Now

Birmingham Restaurant Week brings together some of the city’s best brunch restaurants into one delicious, mouthwatering experience. And this past Saturday (Aug. 11), foodies across Birmingham headed to Woodlawn for the Harvest Brunch kick-off to get first dibs on the food and hype surrounding the event.

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4 easy steps to using iNaturalist to become a citizen scientist, featuring Birmingham’s Kiwanis Vulcan Trail

Birmingham, Alabama, Kiwanis Vulcan Trail, August 2018, iNaturalist
A common Eastern bumble bee drinking from a bear’s foot flower along Kiwanis Vulcan Trail. Photo by Terri Robertson for Bham Now

For the past year, I’ve donned my citizen scientist hat and used iNaturalist to identify all sorts of bugs, plants and birds in Birmingham. If you love nature and science, if you have kids and want an educational way to integrate tech and the real world—or if you just want to know what the H is that bug clinging to your window—iNaturalist if for you. It’s free and easy, and I’m going to walk you through your first ID.

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Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Awards honor Birmingham’s own Wendy Jackson and Wenonah High School

Alabama Wildlife Federation
Wendy Jackson, second from the right next to Governor Kay Ivey receiving Conservationist of the Year award. Photo from Alabama Wildlife Federation Facebook page.

Earlier this month, several Birmingham conservation leaders were honored at the Alabama Wildlife Federation Governor’s Conservation Award banquet, including former longtime Freshwater Land Trust Executive Director Wendy Jackson and students from Wenonah High School.

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12 ways to support teachers and schools in Birmingham this fall, including how to send them on a beach trip

Bham Now Teacher support
Photo courtesy of Birmingham City Schools

Packing lunch boxes. Carpooling to school. Homework. It’s back to school time in Birmingham. How can you help your child and your child’s teacher have the best school year yet?  Bham Now has pulled together 12 tips to help you through.

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UAB study affirms benefits of CBD oil, a product derived from cannabis, for patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy

UAB School of Medicine Division of Epilepsy. UAB study affirms benefits of CBD oil, a product derived from cannabis, for patients with treatment-resistant epilepsy
UAB School of Medicine Division of Epilepsy. Photo via UAB’s website

Good news! Researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham conducted a study on the benefits of CBD oil, or cannabidiol, as a treatment for patients with intractable epilepsy who do not respond to traditional therapies. The results are in, and CBD oil significantly reduced the frequency, severity and adverse effects of seizures in participants.

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Drivers of Hwy 280 are looking for less traffic and more results

Viewpoint of 280 from Inverness. Photo via Friends of HWY 280 Facebook Page

HWY 280 has made a reputation for having the worst traffic in the city. However, after living off of the highway for over 20 years, I’ve never had that point of view, until this last month.

The changes

About five years ago, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) made changes to the highway to help with the flow of traffic. Some of those changes included taking down some traffic lights, decreasing the maximum speed limit and changing left hand turns to U-Turns.

In the last year, I’ve heard people mention that think the highway should go through revitalization again. Mayor Brocato of Hoover mentioned creating a rapid transit system on Highway 280. Also, Birmingham City Council approved funding for a project that is supposed to improve the I-459 and HWY 280 interchange. 

What the people say

Colvin Sellers, a frequent 280 commuter said, “I noticed some slight improvement on the traffic [since the improvements 5 years ago]. What I don’t like is that there are certain areas I’m trying to get to and I have to go all the way down the highway and make a u-turn to get to where I want to go. I think that synchronizing the lights would help with the traffic flow.”

Personally, I’ve noticed that the flow of traffic has slowed down dramatically, specifically between the Summit and Greystone. This is also the area that continues to have tons of business growth.

What is ALDOT going to do?

ALDOT is looking to extend a road across Little Cahaba River to create a more direct route from Hwy 280 to Liberty Park and Grants Mill Road.

I spoke with DeJarvis Leonard, head of ALDOT’s East Central Region, and he mentioned that ALDOT is looking at ideas to continue to improve the highway. “We’re still monitoring the traffic by using the Adaptive Signal System.”

Apparently there are no set modification plans for the highway.

The Adaptive Signal System allows traffic to flow better by adapting to the time of day and the amount of traffic on the highway.

Since 280 ends in the heart of Birmingham, I’m sure there will be plans to continue to revitalize the highway so people can get to their destinations in a timely manner!

Birmingham, I-459, Hwy. 280, Birmingham traffic, traffic, driving, ALDOT, City of Birmingham
Photo via medium.com’s website.

4 reasons why The Essential at Founders Station is hot in Birmingham, including phenomenal pastries

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Victor King and Kristen Hall-Owners of The Essential. Photo by Stacey Stacy Allen of Mountainside Photo Co.

The Essential is booming at Founders Station. Check out the top four reasons why it’s one of Birmingham’s latest hot spots. 

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10 days of Birmingham Restaurant Week deals starts NOW, including a feast at Perry’s Steakhouse and Grille. PLUS, enter to win Harvest Brunch tickets!

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Birmingham, Alabama, Birmingham Restaurant Week deals, participating restaurant, #BRW2018
Farmers Market Pappardelle plus appetizer and dessert for $30 at Vino during #BRW2018! Photo submitted

Let’s say you’re in a lunch rut and have $10 in your pocket to burn. Or maybe one of your life goals is to conquer the ridiculously tall, Famous Pork Chop at Perry’s Steakhouse & Grille. Good news! Birmingham Restaurant Week, Aug. 10-19, starts Friday. Eat your way through 10 days of special prix fixe menus for all budgets at dozens of Birmingham metro’s best restaurants. 

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Ergonomic furniture business, Corona Group, to invest $2 million to expand in a 55,000 square-foot space in Birmingham’s Avondale neighborhood

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The Corona Group is investing $2 million in Avondale.

The Avondale neighborhood continues to be the hotbed for growth with new businesses moving in and established businesses expanding! The neighborhood also pops with exciting entertainment and dining options for everyone in Birmingham to enjoy.

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Get your tickets now! Tank and the Bangas performs Friday Aug. 17 at Art on the Rocks at the Birmingham Museum of Art, presented by Dale’s Seasoning.

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Tank and the Bangas performs Friday Aug. 17 at Art on the Rocks at the Birmingham Museum of Art, Alabama
Tank and the Bangas. Photo by Gus Bennett

Did you catch Tank and the Bangas when they performed at Saturn Birmingham in May 2017? That was shortly after the band won NPR’s Tiny Desk Contest out of 6,000 entries, and just before the New Orleans group’s success skyrocketed. Fortunately for us, they’re back in the ’Ham on Friday night, Aug. 17, for Art on the Rocks at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Get tickets before they’re gone.

Continue reading “Get your tickets now! Tank and the Bangas performs Friday Aug. 17 at Art on the Rocks at the Birmingham Museum of Art, presented by Dale’s Seasoning.”