Find us on Google+

Category: Hodgepodge

This Week’s Good News from Alabama NewsCenter

| 3:03 pm January 29, 2016

How about some good news to go along with this beautiful weather? Here are some of our favorite stories from the past week from our friends at Alabama NewsCenter.

Jake Ganus stood out at UAB and Georgia and hopes to do the same at the Senior Bowl

2016-01-29_14-21-08ganus

Roll Tide revelry as Alabama Crimson Tide celebrate national championship with fans

2016-01-29_14-19-58tide

Cam Newton sets his sights on a Super Bowl championship for Carolina Panthers

2016-01-29_14-18-01panthers

Southern Living at 50: Editors reflect and look toward the future

2016-01-29_14-22-14southernliv

Southern Living ‘Evening with the Editors’ kicks off magazine’s 50th anniversary celebration in Birmingham

2016-01-29_14-24-10southliving2

Alabama and Auburn working together? Ron Anders awarded for doing the impossible

2016-01-29_14-27-07alau

Foundation for Progress in Journalism buys The Birmingham Times

2016-01-29_14-29-09bhmtimes

Airbus relaxes some hiring criteria in Mobile with latest wave of openings

2016-01-29_14-30-29airbus

Small town grocers impact communities across the state in big ways

2016-01-29_14-31-33grocer

See the ‘Greatest Show on Earth,’ a lovely bird sanctuary or timeless theater with Can’t Miss Alabama

2016-01-29_14-32-58cantmiss

Good times roll as Mobile prepares for Mardi Gras

2016-01-29_14-34-16mardigras

How well do you know your Mobile Mardi Gras and Carnival history?

2016-01-29_14-35-38history

Rock on: Birmingham’s Daniel C. Jackson picks up guitar again for ‘Rock of Ages’

2016-01-29_14-36-53rocker

UAB Adult Sickle Cell Clinic receives $1 million from Sickle Cell Foundation

2016-01-29_14-38-54med

KBR signs big lease in Hoover’s Galleria Tower

2016-01-29_14-40-09kbr

Patti Callahan Henry touches hearts and inspires spirits through writing

2016-01-29_14-41-25patti

Bright Star broiled seafood platter, one of ‘100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die’

2016-01-29_14-42-41food

Alabama Power Foundation announces Students to Stewards grant recipients

2016-01-29_14-44-33water

Alabama Power warns of Birmingham area scam

2016-01-29_14-47-44scam

Lake Martin hits new December peak for residential sales

2016-01-29_14-49-19lakemartin

Home sales in Wiregrass up slightly in December

2016-01-29_14-51-08keys

Phenix City finishes 2015 strong in home sales

2016-01-29_14-52-17phenix

Athens closes out 2015 with 18 percent more home sales than 2014

2016-01-29_14-56-49athens

Shoals narrowly misses new peak in home sales during December

2016-01-29_14-54-59shoals

Birmingham 2015 home sales up 6 percent over 2014

2016-01-29_14-57-45bham

Baldwin County annual home sales were 12 percent higher than 2014

2016-01-29_14-59-24baldwin

Rocket City home sales lift off in December

2016-01-29_15-00-23rocket

Recap of the Good News from Alabama NewsCenter

| 9:00 am January 25, 2016

Here is a recap of the good news from the past week from our friends at Alabama NewsCenter.

Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide found on the streets of Jerusalem

005 DSC_0841

Is Nick Saban knocking on Bear Bryant’s door?

MFB

Jacksonville State’s John Grass recognized as FCS 2015 AFCA National Coach of the Year

The Jacksonville State University Gamecocks, a 41 point underdog to 6th ranked Auburn, traveled to the Plains and took the Tigers to overtime before falling 20-27. The almost victory over the highly ranked SEC school vaulted the Gamecocks to the #1 ranking atop the FCS polls. Jacksonville State Gamecocks head coach John Grass.

Order on the court as SEC teams are finding success in a different sport

Tyler Harris (12). Kentucky vs Auburn in Auburn, Ala. on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics

Yorozu breaks ground on $100 million auto supplier plant in Jasper

025 DSC_0100

Southwest Alabama needs nearly 5,000 skilled workers, survey reveals

cmp3.10.3.1Lq4 0xad6b4f35

Worthington Industries eyes Alabama facility for $8.5 million investment, consolidation

035 Feature-Worthington_Cryogenic-Transport-Trailers

Alabama-made Honda Ridgeline tackles pickup market high and low

DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Austal is cruising with a spike of shipbuilding activity in Mobile

045 Feature_Austal_Keel

Freedom Soap takes a pure path to being an Alabama Maker

Freedom Soap, Chasity Curtis, Birmiingham, Alabama

Hope finds a home at Brother Bryan Mission in Alabama Bright Lights

055 BrotherBryanFeature

Code.org, A+ College Ready and Alabama Department of Education aim to elevate computer science graduates

Code.org / AP Computer Science Principals

Familiar Alabama face Tommy Dewey joins CBS drama series ‘Code Black’ tonight

065 Code-Black-feature

Helena’s Rebecca Luker returns to her role in Broadway’s ‘The Secret Garden’

070 LukerFeature

Enjoy the best boat show, intrigue your inner artist, run for a reason in this edition of Can’t Miss Alabama

075 OperBirmingham100.feature

Birmingham honors Martin Luther King Jr.

080 DSC_2705

Martin Luther King’s vision shared at Unity Breakfast

085 Feature-2

Alabama Power employees join others in remembering Martin Luther King

I have a dream

Southern Company subsidiary in Alabama awarded grant to lead advanced nuclear technology development

095 Farley_Feature

Renew Our Rivers enters its 17th year in Alabama

100 ROR_Feature

Alabama Power begins operating under new Martin Dam license today

105 Feature-5

Saw’s BBQ pork-stuffed tater is on the menu in 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

135 Pork-stuffed-Tater-featured-1

Heavy hitters of Alabama commercial real estate to lead ACREcon 2016 panel discussion

110 Feature-6

Emerging trends: Alabama commercial real estate industry predictions for 2016

115 Feature_CrystalBall

Alabama’s most improved housing markets during November

140 HouseBarFeature

Alabama foreclosure rate drops again in November

Foreclosure Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and House

Cullman December homes selling at brisker pace

125 iStock_000013527750_Medium

Dothan December home sales up 17 percent over 2014 numbers

A map pin with a red flag pinpoints the city on a select area from a high quality map. The red flag creates highlighted copy space for text.

A New Serving of Good News from the Alabama News Center

| 10:49 am January 22, 2016

In the midst of this bad weather, how about a dose of good news? Here is some from the past week from our friends at Alabama NewsCenter.

Nick Saban and the Alabama Crimson Tide found on the streets of Jerusalem

005 DSC_0841

Is Nick Saban knocking on Bear Bryant’s door?

MFB

Jacksonville State’s John Grass recognized as FCS 2015 AFCA National Coach of the Year

The Jacksonville State University Gamecocks, a 41 point underdog to 6th ranked Auburn, traveled to the Plains and took the Tigers to overtime before falling 20-27. The almost victory over the highly ranked SEC school vaulted the Gamecocks to the #1 ranking atop the FCS polls. Jacksonville State Gamecocks head coach John Grass.

Order on the court as SEC teams are finding success in a different sport

Tyler Harris (12). Kentucky vs Auburn in Auburn, Ala. on Saturday, Jan. 16, 2016. Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics

Yorozu breaks ground on $100 million auto supplier plant in Jasper

025 DSC_0100

Southwest Alabama needs nearly 5,000 skilled workers, survey reveals

cmp3.10.3.1Lq4 0xad6b4f35

Worthington Industries eyes Alabama facility for $8.5 million investment, consolidation

035 Feature-Worthington_Cryogenic-Transport-Trailers

Alabama-made Honda Ridgeline tackles pickup market high and low

DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Austal is cruising with a spike of shipbuilding activity in Mobile

045 Feature_Austal_Keel

Freedom Soap takes a pure path to being an Alabama Maker

Freedom Soap, Chasity Curtis, Birmiingham, Alabama

Hope finds a home at Brother Bryan Mission in Alabama Bright Lights

055 BrotherBryanFeature

Code.org, A+ College Ready and Alabama Department of Education aim to elevate computer science graduates

Code.org / AP Computer Science Principals

Familiar Alabama face Tommy Dewey joins CBS drama series ‘Code Black’ tonight

065 Code-Black-feature

Helena’s Rebecca Luker returns to her role in Broadway’s ‘The Secret Garden’

070 LukerFeature

Enjoy the best boat show, intrigue your inner artist, run for a reason in this edition of Can’t Miss Alabama

075 OperBirmingham100.feature

Birmingham honors Martin Luther King Jr.

080 DSC_2705

Martin Luther King’s vision shared at Unity Breakfast

085 Feature-2

Alabama Power employees join others in remembering Martin Luther King

I have a dream

Southern Company subsidiary in Alabama awarded grant to lead advanced nuclear technology development

095 Farley_Feature

Renew Our Rivers enters its 17th year in Alabama

100 ROR_Feature

Alabama Power begins operating under new Martin Dam license today

105 Feature-5

Saw’s BBQ pork-stuffed tater is on the menu in 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

135 Pork-stuffed-Tater-featured-1

Heavy hitters of Alabama commercial real estate to lead ACREcon 2016 panel discussion

110 Feature-6

Emerging trends: Alabama commercial real estate industry predictions for 2016

115 Feature_CrystalBall

Alabama’s most improved housing markets during November

140 HouseBarFeature

Alabama foreclosure rate drops again in November

Foreclosure Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and House

Cullman December homes selling at brisker pace

125 iStock_000013527750_Medium

Dothan December home sales up 17 percent over 2014 numbers

A map pin with a red flag pinpoints the city on a select area from a high quality map. The red flag creates highlighted copy space for text.

This Week’s Good News from Our Friends at Alabama NewsCenter

| 10:01 am January 15, 2016

A football champion is crowned, an historic landmark is reborn and the next Alabama-built vehicle was unveiled to the world. Here is some of the good news from our partners at Alabama NewsCenter.

Crimson Tide national championship dominated TV ratings in Birmingham, Southeast – Ratings reveal Birmingham was top market for the national championship game.

2016-01-15_09-32-19game

15th game new territory for Crimson Tide team, fans – Extended playoff season takes some adjusting for Alabama and those who support team.

2016-01-15_09-29-37champions

Dabo Swinney has earned Clemson fans in the heart of Crimson Tide country – Family, friendly bonds will have some in Shelby County pulling for the Tigers tonight.

2016-01-15_09-34-47swinney

Roll retail roll: Alabama’s national championship had fans waiting in line to buy merchandise – Stores opened after the game to meet the demand of the Crimson Tide faithful.

2016-01-15_09-37-03fans

See the latest look of the future Powell Avenue Steam Plant in Birmingham – Birmingham Design Review Committee approves latest exterior designs for Alabama Power’s renovation project.

2016-01-15_09-38-35plant

The Lyric Theatre in Birmingham lights up with Thursday grand opening – Historic theatre undergoes massive makeover and opens its doors for business.

2016-01-15_09-39-47lyric

UAB researcher hoping to solve mysteries of fibromyalgia, help patients break free – Research by Jarred Younger and his team at the Neuroinflammation, Pain and Fatigue Lab has revealed possible underlying causes.

2016-01-15_09-41-23pain

Samford University celebrates 175 years of education – Milestone anniversary will include campus expansion and capital campaign.

2016-01-15_09-42-38samford

Auburn Toomer’s Corner Oaks seedlings take root across the Southeast – Acorns from the lost trees have emerged from Missouri to Washington, D.C.

2016-01-15_09-43-38toomer

A legendary theater, classic performances and a civil rights icon highlight Can’t Miss Alabama – Musical performances and other events will brighten your MLK holiday weekend.

075 CantMissAlabama-logo

Nabeel’s Camel Rider is on the menu in 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die – See how this popular, flavorful sandwich is made.

2016-01-15_09-45-04nabeel

Birmingham actor AJ Hunsucker brings ‘Producers’ national tour to Alabama – Vestavia Hills graduate is part of the production in Huntsville this weekend.

2016-01-15_09-46-09show

Honda showcases the new Ridgeline pickup to be built in Alabama – Unveiling at the North American International Auto Show reveals new design, speakers in truck bed and more.

2016-01-15_09-47-38honda

Alabama 2015 auto production tops 1 million, setting record – Major manufacturing milestone reached for what has become a leading industry for the state.

2016-01-15_09-48-33wreck

See the new video campaign that promotes the UAB experience – The university unveiled a new series of spots aimed at attracting students, faculty to campus.

2016-01-15_09-49-38uab

EDPA leads initiative to bring information technology jobs to Alabama – Organization is cultivating growth in an industry with tremendous upside for the state.

2016-01-15_09-50-50tech

Jasper Maddox Middle School teacher Greg Tinker brings history to life – This Alabama Bright Light has been investing in young minds for 27 years.

2016-01-15_09-52-08teacher

Alabama Power celebrates 110 years in 2016 – Celebrating the past. Anticipating the future.

2016-01-15_09-53-15alpower

Building your brand: Elevating Alabama commercial real estate professionals to higher places – ACREcon speaker looks to lift business through personal branding.

2016-01-15_09-54-54brand

Five takeaways from Alabama’s November residential sales report – This is what stood out from the state’s home sales in November.

2016-01-15_09-56-03houses

‘2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers’ finds majority of Americans still use Realtors – Highlights from National Association of Realtors report reveals who is buying homes and why.

2016-01-15_09-56-59keys

Tuscaloosa ends 2015 with strong home sales – December 2015 home sales were up more than 20 percent over the same month a year ago.

2016-01-15_09-57-52tuscaloosa

Starting off 2016 with the Latest from the Alabama News Center

| 8:36 am January 11, 2016

Two Alabama university football programs are making championship runs. The anticipation of that and the promise of a new year were among the highlights of this past week at Alabama NewsCenter.

Crimson Tide shuts out and moves on to national championship game

MFB

Crimson Tide air attack gives Clemson another worry

MFB

Jacksonville State has gone undefeated since Auburn loss

015 QB-Eli-Jenkins

Crimson Tide, other fans can cash in on favorite team with University FanCards

020 Feature3

Jacksonville State University’s championship run gives fans plenty to crow about

025 Feature-Struts-waitress-Haley-Jackson

UAB football pushing its program still two seasons away

030 UAB-Screen-Grab-1

Airbus supplier Zodiac Aerospace lands at Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley

035 A320_Cabin_IFE_HG_08

Hyundai to add Santa Fe Sport to Alabama production line-up

2016 Santa Fe Sport

Crimson Tide basketball buckled up, future hitched to Avery Johnson

MBB

MBB

Urban Cookhouse’s half-baked cookie is on the menu in 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

050 Urban-Cookhouse-cookie-featured

Mobile’s Riverside Ice feels nice with chilly temperatures

Riverside Ice, the newest attraction in downtown Mobile, Ala., opened Saturday, Nov. 14, 2015. (Mike Kittrell)

Shaping molten glass into functional art makes Orbix an Alabama Maker

Orbix Hot Glass, Cal Breed, Glass Blower, Maker

Energy efficiency tips for your home to start the new year

065 100-watt-incandescent-light-energy-efficiency-resolution

University of Alabama students turning Camaro into hybrid vehicle

070 CamaroEcoCar-FEATURE

Enjoy a Winter Wonderland or bridal show, dance like a diva and run in the L’Arche marathon in Can’t Miss Alabama

075 CantMissAlabama-logo

UAB’s Undiagnosed Diseases Program gives answers where there were none

Two nurses are sitting beside Mandalynn Smith (Pediatric Patient) who is laying in a hospital bed at Children's Hospital of Alabama before an infusion of pamidronate, a drug in the bisphosphonate family, used to treat bone diseases, as part of UAB's Undiagnosed Diseases Program, 2015.

Jeh Jeh Pruitt’s brother’s death created an Alabama Bright Light

085 Dannon-featured

Never a day off for the holidays at Alabama Power

090 Holiday-workers-2

Robust inspection program keeps focus on safety at Alabama Power hydroelectric dams

095 Feature2

Edison Electric Institute honors Alabama Power for restoration efforts

100 apc-workers-featured

The Little House of ‘what-nots,’ antiques in Moody

105 Owner-Linda-Hancock-HERO1

Shelby County chamber is ‘Keeping It Real’ with Alabama teens

110 Keeping-it-real-featured

Millennials: Builders are desperate to hire you

115 Millenials-Construction-featured

Young blood: Alabama construction industry looks to grow next generation of builders

Vocational Training - Blueprints

Real estate industry seeing positive results from TRID

125 TRIDFeature

New Fannie Mae study shows gap in consumer knowledge on mortgages

130 CashHomeFeature1

Building WELL: New construction and design standard focuses on people inside

135 WELL-Feature

The “Social Media-rologist” Dilemma

| 7:22 am January 4, 2016

Operational meteorologists are dealing with an issue that won’t go away, and seems to be more problematic every year. It usually begins with a flood of Facebook private messages and posts asking “is this true”. And, they share a link to a social media post with an eye opening headline about a big winter storm coming in two to three weeks for the southern U.S. Or, if not a winter storm, severe cold, ice, or a tornado outbreak. We all know these are the “sexy” parts of weather that gets the attention of people. And usually there is a really cool map with vivid colors that show the 2 to 3 week threat.

Snow-Panic

The truth is most weather professionals were drawn into the business by their experience with some banner event in their young life, like a snow storm or tornado outbreak. It was the case with me, and with others I know that forecast the weather for a living. Nothing wrong with being interested or fascinated with events like this. It is the core of who we are.

WHY A PROBLEM? So, what’s the harm of forecasting snow, ice, or tornadoes more than two weeks in advance?

*There is very little skill in a SPECIFIC forecast beyond seven days. Yes, we can forecast trends and the overall pattern sometimes, but even that ability is limited. I love looking at pattern recognition and teleconnections, attempting to resolve what the overall conditions might be like in 15-30 days, but there is no way I can tell you detailed weather information that far in advance. And, I have yet to find anyone who can.

The greatest thing missing in meteorology is humility. There are many things we don’t know, and many things we can’t do.

*Most of the 2-3 week “forecasts” are done by people not qualified to forecast the weather 2-3 days in advance. Most are young weather enthusiasts that, in their love for ice, snow, or severe weather, just “wishcast” by throwing out model maps they have pulled down on various sites promoting the weather they love and desire without understanding the limitations of using those products, or the science behind them.

In no way do I want to discourage young people learning about meteorology; they have a treasure trove at their fingertips with their phone, tablet, or computer. I could only dream about this when I was 13 years old. Nothing should be allowed to dampen their enthusiasm, and encouragement is what they need from older guys like me. Every Friday, I have a young person and their family in our studio for the sole reason of encouraging them, and opening the door for a potential future career in meteorology. Many incredible scientists have come out of those Friday sessions going back 37 years. And, most of them are sure smarter than I am.

But, young people need to understand a banner headline about a snow storm in three weeks in the southern U.S. can create a societal impact they don’t understand. More about that later.

*Let me point out there are some that are really good at developing long range ideas. Joe Bastardi is one of them; I have learned much from Joe over the years and love reading his products and hearing his ideas. Sure, he gets it wrong sometimes, but we all do. And, Joe understands how to issue his products without causing human weeping and gnashing of teeth.

On social media this weekend, after dealing with dozens of questions about a big southern snow next week, I posted a note on Facebook encouraging people to “think before they share”. I had a screen grab of a “clickbait” headline with the post; turns out that article was pretty well done, and by a college student majoring in meteorology. His followers came over in masses attacking me and my integrity/character; I have no problem with that since “if you dish it out, you have to take it”. That is just part of being in weather these days. And, please don’t go to his site attacking him or his character. His intentions are good, and this has nothing to do with character or integrity, it is about ethics.

His headline read “SOUTHERN WINTER STORM THREAT INCREASING SECOND AND THIRD WEEKS OF JANUARY”. He even draws a rain-snow line in the discussion… “The rain/snow line will probably be somewhere extending from Birmingham to Atlanta into Upstate SC and central NC.”

I clearly should not have used that guys headline since he is pretty qualified and his work was good. My bad. But, there is still an issue.

*Most weather enthusiasts don’t understand societal impacts of what they write. Write a good clickbait headline, and you can get thousands and thousands of shares. It will spread across Facebook like wildfire. Good for them getting all those likes and clicks, but do they think about the real human impact?

A mother with a child suffering from chronic kidney disease is scheduled for peritoneal dialysis in 2 weeks. After seeing the Facebook headlines, she begins to call wanting to reschedule for before or after the “snow storm” coming her way. A delay in dialysis could bring health complications.

A family has a long planned camping trip in two weeks; they cancel and due to the approaching “snow storm”. Desperately needed time away vanishes.

A rural county with very limited funding spends a significant amount of money on snow chains for police cars and rock salt and sand for road treatment for the coming winter storm.

A trip is cancelled to see an aging parent, who doesn’t have long to live, due to the potential for a big snow storm in 2 weeks.

These are actual examples of the cases I heard about this weekend from social media questions to me. No, dialysis isn’t being delayed, the camping trip isn’t being cancelled, money isn’t being spent, and the elderly parent will be seen. But there was serious consideration in each circumstance due to reading Facebook headlines on their newsfeed.

Could we have a snow storm in 2-3 weeks? SURE. But with the skill set we have now, nobody knows if the snow will come at all, or if it will be in Louisville, Nashville, Birmingham, Jackson, or Atlanta. The one thing we can tell is that the pattern looks cold next week (scroll down for the morning discussion and video).

The followers of social “media-rologists” become fiercely loyal since they hear what they want to hear, and use the stereotypical argument of “the weatherman on TV is always wrong”. And unlike those of us in the mass media, when the armchair forecaster is wrong they simply disappear for a while, or hang on to the few long-range forecasts that were correct as proof they’re the real deal.

Is the “TV weatherman” always wrong? Read this essay from Brad Panovich, chief meteorologist for the NBC affiliate in Charlotte. Of course we get it wrong sometimes. And, on occasional, we miss a high impact event. But long time readers know I bring it to the table and take full responsibility for when that happens.

I am asking three things here…

*For those that are qualified to write long range thoughts, please communicate uncertainty with clarity, and avoid “clickbait headlines”.

*If you are young person that loves weather, go for it. Write a discussion, tell a good story. But please don’t ramble into a territory that can cause a negative human impact with crazy 2-3-4 week snow storms and tornado outbreaks. You can learn responsibility at a very young age, that will carry you far in life. If you are local, send me an email and come see me. We will help get you started.

*For the masses, “think before you share”. I know this problem isn’t going away, but you can help by not sharing outrageous long range forecasts.

Happy New Year from the Alabama News Center!

| 1:06 pm January 1, 2016

Christmas storms, football and economic development news made for an interesting week and our partners at Alabama NewsCenter found and highlighted the good in all of it. Here is a look back at the last week of 2015 as we start the new year.

Business Facilities names Alabama ‘State of the Year’ for 2015

005 Feature

Moonpies, blueberries and music: New Year’s Eve celebrations pack a delightful surprise in Can’t Miss Alabama

010 CantMissAlabama-logo

Honda plans Super Bowl push for Alabama-built Ridgeline

015 CWhRMaLU8AETmhh

Mobile leaders express optimism for 2016 in ‘State of the Economy’

Port of Mobile: APM Terminals Dec. 9, 2015

Airbus hiring in Mobile tops 300 with more being added

Airbus  Inauguration Sept. 14, 2015

Crimson Tide fit in Cotton Bowl practice between press conferences, children’s hospital visit

MFB

Alabama Crimson Tide looks for better outcome in College Football Playoff this year

MFB

Rain doesn’t dampen enthusiasm of Auburn, Memphis fans at Birmingham Bowl

040 IMG_0869.JPG

Birmingham Bowl’s 10th year may be its most successful

045 AuburnArrivalFeature

Birmingham Bowl: Auburn, Memphis players visit Children’s of Alabama

Shon Coleman (72) Auburn football practice at Sports Blast Shelby County Monday, Dec. 28, 2015, in Birmingham, Ala. Photo by Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics

Birmingham Bowl: Auburn defense faces challenge with Memphis quarterback

055 Paxton-Birmingham-Bowl-featured

Birmingham Bowl: Tigers will win at Legion Field, but which ones?

Coach Gus Malzahn celebrates a touchdown.  San Jose State vs Auburn in Auburn, Ala. on Saturday, Oct. 3, 2015. Zach Bland/Auburn Athletics

Alabama Launchpad boosted high-tech startups with nearly $650,000 in 2015

070 20472604354_35be90b3b3_k

Expert assesses Christmas day tornado damage in Birmingham

075 FeatureCar

Alabama Power crews converge on Birmingham following Christmas tornado, storms

080 FeatureDamage1

Alabama Power restores service as tornado victims pick up pieces in Birmingham

085 bfeature

Gov. Robert Bentley visits tornado-torn Birmingham, praises Alabama Power

090 GOvernor-storm-feature-2

Alabama Power hydro teams work to soften blow of major rain events

DCIM121MEDIA

Heavy rains pushing up Alabama Power lakes to well above summer levels

100 LayDamFeature

Alabama Power opens spillway gates at dams following huge rains, storms

105 Martin-Dam-2

Alabama Power continues operating spillway gates at Coosa River dams

110 FeatureBridge-e1451344728806

Storm damage, flooding cancels Oak Mountain Festival of Lights

115 FestivalOfLighs9061

Still time to enjoy some Birmingham drive-through Christmas lights

120 Feature210

Mountain Brook church’s Christmas cheer reaches Birmingham’s inner city

125 ABL-Mountain-Brook-Community-Church-Feature

See why tomato pie at Carlile’s is on 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

130 TomatoPieFeature

Alabama preschoolers’ parents get help to grow their little learners

UAB researchers look for relationship between eye movement and the brain to help diagnose and treat concussions

135 UAB-chair-Lewis-Rand

Alabama homeowners spent around $2 billion home improvements during 2015

145 FeatureHomeImprovement

New FHA rules could give boost to condo sales

150 Feature35

FHLBank gives boost to six Alabama affordable housing projects

House with checkmark isolated on white

November home sales in Montgomery increase 8 percent over last year

160 Feature6

Huntsville
November home sales rocket up 19 percent over 2014

165 FeatureRocket

Tuscaloosa November year-to-date home sales up 9 percent over last year

170 DCspringfeature

Gulf Coast condo sales enjoy rare November uptick in 2015

175 CondoWestFeature

November home sales in Lee County up 29 percent over last year

180 CollegeStFeature

Shoals November home sales up 5 percent over last year

185 HandKeysFeature

November home sales in Morgan County up 20 percent over last year

200 Feature36

November home sales in Alabama’s Wiregrass unchanged from last year

195 WiregrassNovember-sales

Baldwin County November year-to-date home sales up 12 percent over 2014

San Antonio area aerial

Gadsden November year-to-date sales up 19 percent from last year

210 olderhomeFeature

Marshall County November home sales up 14 percent over last year

215 FeatureHomeInHand

Cullman November home sales up 10 percent over last year

220TightCropFeature4

Lake Martin November home sales up 7 percent over last year

225 SouthernFeature

Lake Martin ‘waterfront’ home sales up 19 percent over last year in November

230 LakeFrontFeature

Merry Christmas from the Alabama News Center!

| 1:40 pm December 25, 2015

005 FeatureRegionsCenter

Christmas lights aren’t the only thing making life brighter these days. Sharing some of our favorite good news stories from around the state this past week from our friends at Alabama NewsCenter seems like a perfect way to wish you a Merry Christmas!

We are putting our weekly roundup of stories from the Alabama News Center on a dedicated page today because the blog is in high traffic mode in anticipation of severe weather.

Click here to read all the good news!

Good News From the Alabama News Center!

| 9:31 am December 25, 2015

Christmas lights aren’t the only thing making life brighter these days. Sharing some of our favorite good news stories from around the state this past week from our friends at Alabama NewsCenter seems like a perfect way to wish you a Merry Christmas!

Regions Center is Birmingham’s most visible sign of the holidays

005 FeatureRegionsCenter

Christmas story brings light to the dark depths of DeSoto Caverns

010 Feature27

See 110,000 twinkling holiday lights at winter wonderland in Trussville

015 Feature-Image-Christmas-2015

Christmas on the River: A community labor of love and light

020 In-2014-Christmas-on-the-River-celebrated-43-years-in-Demopolis.-Feature-2

A football game, dancing stars and holiday lights highlight Can’t Miss Alabama

030 CantMissAlabama-logo

Todd family takes Alabama syrup-making tradition to the seventh degree

035 Todd-syrup-3-generations-HERO

Raise your vote for the MoonPie drop in Mobile

Moonpie over Mobile - 2010

Moonpie over Mobile – 2010

‘Grease’ is the word for Birmingham’s Jordan Fisher

045 Feature29

2015 was blockbuster year for Alabama economic development

050 weld_feature

NASA’s Alabama hub moves closer to 3-D printed rocket engine

055 Marshall-3-D-Printed-Rocket-Engine-featured

Mobile-based Austal USA to christen future USS Omaha Saturday amid chatter of LCS cuts

060 Feature28

Mobile’s Austal USA awarded Navy ship support contract worth up to $198 million

065 LCSFeature

Alabama Bright Lights: Nancy and Tony Kurre’s Bright House shines in many ways

070 Tony-Kurre-and-BrightHouse-featured

2015 Alabama Professor of the Year Michael Flowers not done yet at Birmingham-Southern

075 Feature32

UAB School of Dentistry gives Mykiria Mitchell reason to smile

080 UAB-Smile-feature

UAB Women and Infants Center celebrates anniversary with lifesaving scrubs repurposed as art

\Close-up of Lillis Taylor (Artist-In-Residence, Alys Robinson Stephens Center) is teaching quilting to patients and families in UAB's Women and Infants Center as part of UAB's Institute for Arts in Medicine (AIM), 2014.

The House Special from Cosmo’s Pizza rates as one of the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

090 cosmos-featured

Montgomery’s Camellia Bowl matches experience of Ohio against new arrival Appalachian State

095 Feature30

GoDaddy Bowl pits Georgia Southern against Bowling Green in Mobile

100 FeatureGS

New coal ash and water rules could cost Alabama Power customers plenty

105 Feature33

Be prepared for possible severe storms Wednesday through Thursday morning

Lightning behind cross-shaped electric pole

Alabama Power prepared for today’s severe weather

WorkingCrewVisualsforNewsCenter-P-5059-MegMcKinney: Mountain Brook, AL: Alabama Power crews remove and replace utility poles, clear broken cables, and replace, in wooded area of 18 Eden Circle.

ACRE Corporate Cabinet headlines 2015 subcontractor awards

120 constructionfeature

Birmingham November year-to-date residential sales up 6 percent over last year

125 VulcanFeature

Mobile area home sales during November rose 6.3 percent over last year

Avenue of Oaks - Spring Hill College

November home sales in Montgomery increase 8 percent over last year

135 Feature6

Athens area November home sales up 7 percent over last year

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Calhoun County November area home sales up 20 percent over last year

145 WindowsFeature

Phenix City November year-to-date home sales up 3 percent over last year

Real Estate "sold" sign with red brick building and trees blurry in the background

The Social Media Dilemma

| 8:41 am December 24, 2015

Times have changed; prior to any significant severe weather or winter storm threat, I spend long hours working social media, posting updates on what people can expect, and answering questions. Countless hundreds of questions. I am glad to do it; that is why I am here. And, I am honored people ask me.

My Facebook page “post reach” has exceeded 12 million over the past five days. Remarkable.

Screen Shot 2015-12-24 at 7.35.43 AM

So here is the problem… when the event is taking place, after I post an update, pointing people to this blog where the posts have deep detail and information you won’t find anywhere else, immediately the comments go like this…

“What about”… followed by the name of a community. Jasper, Cullman, Wedowee, Reform, Northport, Greensboro, Oneonta, Heflin, Sylacauga, Fayette, Rockford, Haleyville, Brent, Millport, Eutaw, Talladega, Pell City, Centre… and I could go on and on and on.

People basically are asking for an individual briefing just for them as opposed to reading the blog. The problem with that… if I did individual briefings, I would spend 24 hours a day updating a few hundred people, not allowing me time for TV, the Internet, or commercial radio, where I reach literally hundreds of thousands. It makes no sense, and it can’t happen.

We work extremely hard to make our blog posts easy to read, relatively short, very descriptive, and with easy to use maps where anyone can see their community and understand what to expect. I spend way, way too much time pasting in links to blog posts in response to the individual briefing requests across all social media platforms.

If you are reading this, of course, this message isn’t for you. But, please be our ambassador and remind people to “READ THE BLOG”!

Good News For the Holidays From the Alabama News Center

| 11:51 am December 18, 2015

A Heisman, higher water levels, helping others, hunting for the perfect Alabama Christmas gift and all that jazz were some of our favorite stories this past week from Alabama NewsCenter. Here are some we would like to share with you.

Henry takes Heisman and Alabama football team graduates 23 players

MFB

Camellia Bowl football teams pay a visit to veterans at Montgomery hospital

010 Feature26

BBA: Birmingham added 3,000 jobs, $1.2 billion in capital investment in 2015

BBA Chairman's Luncheon 2015

BBA Chairman’s Luncheon 2015

Can’t Miss Alabama full of movies and merriment this week

020 Star-Wars-5

STERIS unveils new Birmingham headquarters, creating 100 new jobs

025 Feature22

Grits, glass and gears in Made in Alabama 2015 holiday gift guide

030 Feature23

FERC issues new Lake Martin license allowing higher water levels

035 Feature24

Giants to join legends in Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

040 2015-inductee-Daniel-Jose-Carr-featured

Report card for Alabama infrastructure finds much room for improvement

045 Feature14

Incompatible, yet needed: What are incompatible kidney transplants and why are they done?

050 uab_kumar_locke_herron-featured

Grammy Award-winner Henry Panion spreads message of need for arts in schools

055 Panion-featured

Baby Bleu Salad at Homewood Gourmet is one of the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

060 Baby-Bleu-Homewood-Gourmet-featured-edit

Alabama Bright Lights: Heart Gallery Alabama works to find forever homes for foster children

065 Michelle-Bearman-Wolnek-FEATURE-ABL

Birmingham’s Taziki’s marks milestone with 50th location, eyes more in Alabama

070 Feature13

Visit The Market at Pepper Place in Birmingham to ‘Know Thy Farmer’

075 Pepper-Place-featured-image

Discover what Pepper Place Market District in Birmingham has to offer for holiday shopping

080 Pepper-Place-holidays-featured1-e1450378682278

Iconic Auburn buildings turned into gingerbread fantasy land

085 Feature18

Christmas at the Falls is an east Alabama holiday tradition

090 Christmas-at-the-Falls-Feature

Laser lights vs. traditional lights: A look at the newest sensation in holiday decorating

095 Outside-Christmas-lights-featured

Tis the season for utility scams

100 feature2

ACREcon 2016 aims to elevate Alabama’s commercial real estate industry

150191_Real_Estate_Conference

Leadership profile: Berkadia’s David Wilson talks demographic shifts in multifamily industry

135 Feature16

Alabama’s third quarter Housing Affordability Index remained high

110 CashHomeFeature

Alabama home sales enjoyed best October in five years

Funny town in summer - seamless background with trees

National home prices rise, Huntsville ranks high in institutional purchases

Cityscape scene of downtown Huntsville, Alabama, from Big Spring Park after sunset

Alabama new home sales fall year-over-year during October

125 New-Construction-graph-500x207

Dothan November area home sales up 19 percent over last year

130 DSC_05921

Ending the Week on a High Note: Stories from the Alabama News Center

| 1:20 pm December 11, 2015

Bobby Bowden on a tank! A Heisman Trophy winner? A Birmingham company will distribute Coke in Atlanta, the hometown of Coke! A 103-year-old baseball player! Taylor Hicks and Gov. Robert Bentley lighting a Christmas tree! There were plenty of things to capture our attention at Alabama NewsCenter this past week.

Bobby Bowden retraces World War II from Omaha Beach to Battle of the Bulge

005 BobbyBowdenNormandyFeature

Alabama Crimson Tide running back Derrick Henry should win the Heisman

MFB

Alabama aims to attract more auto industry growth on heels of Honda’s economic impact report

010 Feature-HONDA

Tomberlin’s Take: If Airbus expands, aerospace becomes more like automotive in Alabama

Airbus Media Tour Sept. 13, 2015

Birmingham’s Coca-Cola distributor expanding into Coke’s hometown of Atlanta

VIPGEO_ATL_KS377:34WQ

Apple CEO Tim Cook says the world needs Robert F. Kennedy-style optimism

Tim Cook, chief executive officer of Apple Inc., speaks during an Apple product announcement in San Francisco, California, U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2015. Apple Inc. introduced a larger iPad with a 12.9-inch screen, designed to attract business users and jump-start demand for its tablets. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Tim Cook

Alabama State Capitol aglow with Christmas tree and lights

030 Feature6

Fresh Air Family finds the kitsch in Christmas with annual ‘wacky, tacky’ tour of holiday lights

035 Wacky-Tacky-Marvin-Gentry-featured

Clark Griswold lives: Crestline home ablaze in Christmas lights

040 Feature10

Exceptional Foundation Christmas carolers spread holiday cheer

045 ExceptionalCarolersDSC_7607FEATURE

Children take a storybook train ride to meet Santa on his own turf

050 Feature21

The holiday season brings a variety of concerts and other festivities in this edition of Can’t Miss Alabama

Bellingrath Gardens and Home in Theodore, Ala., is celebrating the 20th anniversary of Magic Christmas in Lights in 2015. The dazzling nighttime display features more than 1,100 set pieces, 3 million lights and 15 scenes, set out in a walking tour throughout the 65-acre Garden estate. Photo taken Tuesday, Nov. 24. (Mike Kittrell)

Remember these tips for a safe, festive holiday season

060 Holiday-decor-featured

BBVA Compass Field first of many athletics facilities coming to UAB

065 Ray-Watts-Manolo-Sanchez-and-Mark-Ingram

Auburn swimmer earns way onto 2016 Olympics team

Luis Carlos Martinez Auburn Swimming vs Texas on Thursday, January 8, 2015 in Auburn, Ala.  Photo by Wade Rackley/Auburn Athletics

Daniel Corporation announces completions of two Birmingham projects

DCIM100MEDIADJI_0073.JPG

Tomorrow land: UAB engineering lab explores the future of tech, teaching

080 ETLab-physical-therapy-HERO

Alabama Power provides details about environmental costs, other operations during day-long public meeting

085 PSC-HearingPic2-feature

As climate change talks continue, so does production of carbon-free energy from Plant Farley

090 Plant-Farley-featured-2

Alabama Power employees brighten holidays for less fortunate

095 Gorgas-Shopper.natalie.feature-image

Birmingham’s Negro Southern League Museum welcomes 103-year-old former player

100 Feature7

Giants to join legends in Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame

105 2015-inductee-Daniel-Jose-Carr-featured

Clay-Chalkville coach Jerry Hood says he’s ‘lucky’

110 Head-Coach-Jerry-Hood-featured

UAB researcher explores the science of aging

115 AustadUABaging-featured

Fellowship of Christian Athletes and Jack Baker hit home runs with young lives in Alabama Bright Lights

120 ABL_Jack_BakerFEATURE_8119

Jinsei’s Kadoma Tuna listed as one of the 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

125 Jinsei-featured

Five key takeaways from Alabama’s monthly residential sales report

130 HomeSalesRiseFeature