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Category: Hodgepodge

The Pizitz Middle School Highball Flight: Told by Students (Part One)

| 9:00 am March 16, 2016

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On Monday, March 7th, the sixth graders at Pizitz Middle School in Vestavia, led by science teacher Mrs. Diane McAliley, launched a weather balloon. It was their first time to do it, and the results blew away all expectations. The goal was to go higher than 90,000 feet. They did, reaching an altitude of 106,693 feet! The goal was to retrieve the payload, which included two GoPro cameras, GPS and a temperature and pressure sensor with data logger. Two chase teams miraculously located the payload in a tree in Randolph County. The video is stunning and the data is spectacular. A team of students wrote about their experiences. We are sharing two of those stories today and two tomorrow.

The following blogpost was written by Nathaniel Bass, sixth grader at Pizitz Middle School:

Who needs Six Flags when you have science at Pizitz? In Mrs. McAliley’s science class, you don’t learn sitting at a desk, listening to a teacher lecture — you don’t even sit and read textbooks all day. You get outside and launch a weather balloon!

Meteorologist Bill Murray came to Pizitz and we had a day-long course for Pizitz “Junior Meteorologists”. We learned about weather and how it could affect our launch. That’s how the journey began, then it got serious. We’re talking about two GoPros, a 600 gram weather balloon, a meteorologist, and an awesome teacher! We launched the Pizitz Highball on March 7th with barely any cloud-cover or jet streams. The balloon took off at around 12:20 p.m. and stayed in the air (maybe not with any air that high up) for four and a half hours! Reaching a maximum height of 100,693 feet — we’re talking 20.2 miles into the air and we’re talking way past the troposphere and almost reaching the stratosphere, with a freezing temperature of -76 degrees Fahrenheit! The ascent took 3 hours and 49 minutes, with the descent only taking 47 minutes. “Mrs. Mac we have a problem! We lost connection with the Pizitz Highball for 45 minutes!” We thought it had landed. Were we ever wrong. We got back in touch and had found it had landed near Woodland, Alabama.

Now I ask you again, do we need Six Flags when you have Pizitz Science? This was probably the most fun (and educating) science project I have ever done! I learned so much more in these nine weeks than I learned in 4th and 5th grade combined. I give all the thanks to Mrs.Mac for being such an awesome teacher. Also thanks, Bill Murray, for helping us pick a launch date.


Created with flickr slideshow.

The following post was written by Ranee Brady, sixth grader Pizitz Middle School:

In January, Bill Murray (meteorologist) came to Pizitz Middle school to speak to the whole 6th grade about the conditions of the weather balloon launch. We got to view GFS models about the recommended weather conditions to launch our weather balloon. We used the GFS models (18 UTC local time) to find the perfect day to launch. We would look at the different models and view the vorticity, icing, wind speed, and precipitation of each day. We were given a chart, and the students labeled the different days as a “go” or “no go” day. The perfect day was March 7, 2016. All of the 6th grade gathered onto the Pizitz football field and watched as the large, helium-filled balloon, rose up into the atmosphere. We had 2 GoPros and a computer to take videos and track it. The balloon rose 20.2 miles up with an altitude of 32,520m (106,693 feet). The temperature got to – 60 degrees Celsius (about –76°F)! The ascending time was 3hrs and 45 minutes. It popped, and the parachute carried it in descent for 47 minutes. It landed in Woodland, Alabama. The recovery had a fun time tracking it! The next day, we were able to watch some of the videos the GoPro cameras took! They were amazing! This was a great experience, and I know I loved it!

Progress & Positive News from Our Friends at Alabama NewsCenter!

| 11:40 am March 11, 2016

From an Alzheimer’s love story to hunting for economic development in Alabama’s Black Belt and a true sign of progress in downtown Birmingham, there was plenty of positive news in Alabama this past week.

Here are some of our favorites from our partners at Alabama NewsCenter.

Rotary Trail gateway sign a sure sign of Birmingham project’s progress

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Alabama Crimson Tide players strive to catch NFL attention at Pro Day

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An Alzheimer’s love story: How a celebrity couple deals with the disease

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RSA, Alabama Black Belt Adventures partnership is boosting outdoor tourism in region

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First Alabama-made Airbus aircraft shows off JetBlue colors

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Bill Taylor on economic development, the auto industry, the Alabama worker and why he’s leaving EDPA

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Canadian auto supplier Kobay Enstel plans Alabama factory

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Honda, Ford, Fiat Chrysler drive U.S. auto sales to best February since 2000

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Alabama trade mission targets opportunities in Spain, Morocco

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Mobile Chamber signs trade memo as gateway to Morocco

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Golden State Foods launches $63 million Alabama project

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UAB researcher attacks breast cancer with tiny, squishy balls and cubes

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Rededicated, aerospace-themed Doyle Park opens in Mobile after $1.5M renovation

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Jeff Underwood and the Lakeshore Foundation help the broken rebuild themselves

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Alabama School of Math and Science offers ‘world-class education’

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Treat yourself to green beans at Albany Bistro in 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

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The itinerary for Can’t Miss Alabama is shamrocks, flowers and festivals, oh my!

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Two opera pieces put Holocaust in Alabama Spotlight

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Sure sign of spring: Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday (March 13)

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Investors poured over $1 billion into Alabama multifamily in 2015

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Birmingham among top housing markets for singles

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Large number of Alabama households headed by 55+ age group

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New home sales in Alabama were up 19 percent to start the year compared to 2015

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Come Hear Delta Meteorologist Thursday at 1 p.m.

| 10:00 am March 9, 2016

Stitched Panorama

The first meeting of 2016 is coming up Thursday for the Central Alabama chapter of the National Weather Association and you’re invited!

Mark Yerges, one of the Lead Meteorologists for Delta Airlines, will be our guest speaker.

The meeting will start at 1 PM at the Vestavia Hills Library, located @ 1221 Montgomery Highway. The conference room is located immediately to the left once you enter the library. Light refreshments will be provided.

Thank you to those who have already paid their membership for 2016. The 2016 membership is $25 plus a small fee to pay on-line. As an incentive to students, we are offering a discounted yearly membership rate of $15. We have an excellent lineup of speakers coming up for the year.

You can pay on-line at the chapter website.

We look forward to seeing you at the meeting!

Inspiring Good News from Alabama NewsCenter!

| 10:18 am March 4, 2016

From the Fort Morgan Pier to the White House, Alabamians were creating stories that inspire us. Here are our favorites from our partners at Alabama NewsCenter.

Nick Saban and Alabama Crimson Tide feted by Obama at the White House

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SlossFest lineup includes Ryan Adams, Death Cab for Cutie, Flaming Lips and more

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Tommy Bice feels he is leaving Alabama education on ‘upward trajectory’

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Mobile’s Innovation PortAL to create ‘entrepreneurial ecosystem’ in heart of downtown

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What is this PortAL anyway?

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Alabama’s Fort Morgan Pier, once a community’s focal point, must be replaced

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Birmingham’s skyline is Pepsi-free as sign is replaced with new images

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Alabama Theatre first image unveiled for UAB skyline sign

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Experts weigh in with severe weather tips you may have forgotten

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Four safety tips to protect your family against storms and tornadoes in Alabama

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Birmingham’s Coca-Cola United pops open new $67 million facility in Chattanooga

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Alabama 2016 export awards go to eight companies

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Two Spain Park High School basketball stars stem from impressive athletic family trees

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‘Mr. and Mrs. Coach’ aim to bring home Alabama basketball championships

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Lauderdale County girls eye another Alabama basketball title

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Be a part of history, run for fun or hop to an early Easter with Can’t Miss Alabama

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Looking at Alabama’s Black Belt through millennial eyes

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Where to go off the beaten path in Alabama to experience civil rights battles, triumphs

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Civil rights center at Alabama State University steps back in time

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Fox Point Farm goes to the goats to become Alabama Makers

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UAB study shows link between ADHD and vision impairment in children

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Scallops are on the menu in 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

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Arbor Week: A time to take care about planting trees near power lines

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Seven shareable ideas for savings this March

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Montgomery area January home sales up 14 percent over 2015

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Tuscaloosa’s January home sales up 19 percent over 2015

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Lee County home sales at new January peak

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Lake Martin waterfront property sales up in January compared to 2014

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Lake Martin area median sales price in January up 90 percent from January 2015

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Baldwin County condo sales hit new January peak

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Gadsden begins new year with peak sales

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Cullman January home sales up 15 percent over 2015

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Marshall County January median home sales price up 25 percent over a year ago

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Calhoun County home sales start year 23 percent ahead of January 2014

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Loving the Good News Stories from Alabama NewsCenter

| 11:14 am February 19, 2016

Valentine’s Day may be over, but we still found plenty to love with the good news stories reported by our partners at Alabama NewsCenter.  Here are a few of our favorites.

EDPA President Bill Taylor to retire, Alabama Power’s Steve Spencer to take the lead

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Record-setting Roz Ryan brings “Chicago” to Birmingham

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For DeMarcus ‘Boogie’ Cousins, the time is now

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UAB football spring practice offers look at program’s rebirth

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Dramatic rise in Alabama graduation rates result of innovation, effort

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Alabama exports have climbed nearly 80 percent in the past decade

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Highlands Bar and Grill leads Alabama James Beard 2016 semifinalists

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‘Race’ showcases Jesse Owens’ run for history

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Bloody Sunday’s tear gas and billy clubs could not extinguish the torch of this Alabama Bright

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The creators of Caia’s Cookies in Birmingham add a sweet touch as Alabama Makers

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Birmingham’s Jonathan Fuller reflects on fellowship at holy grail for actors: Shakespeare’s Globe

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Newbern Library fills a community void in Alabama’s Hale County

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Black business history scholar issues strong words for entrepreneurs at A. G. Gaston Conference

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Zika virus has hit Alabama, but UAB experts say there is likely little danger to the public

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2016 TED Prize winner, UAB space archaeologist Dr. Sarah Parcak, uses $1 million award to ignite

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Birmingham FUSION awards, event expanded for 2016

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Get a green thumb, go to the flea market and see the boat show in this Can’t Miss Alabama weekend

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Dr. Jesse J. Lewis Sr.: Power of Leadership spotlights exemplary work of visionary

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No hype, but H.Y.P.E. empowers Alabama youngsters in Talladega

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Cypress Inn’s Smoked Chicken is on the menu for 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

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Take the Alabama Black History Month Quiz

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Run University trains runners for Mercedes Marathon and beyond

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Vulcan Run set the pace for the success of the Mercedes Marathon

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Green Home Giveaway means energy savings for Cummins family

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Urban Land Institute to feature Lyric Theatre as case study

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Montgomery year-end home sales up 12 percent over 2014

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Tuscaloosa finishes strong 2015 with 11 percent rise in 4Q home sales

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Morgan County year-end home sales up 21 percent over 2014

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Gadsden home sales finish 2015 17 percent higher than 2014

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Marshall County year-end sales up 8 percent over 2014

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Lake Martin “waterfront” home sales at near December peak level

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Dothan begins year with 13 percent more home sales than 2015

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Ztest B

| 7:07 pm February 17, 2016

Alpha Bravo Charlie

A Valentine’s Weekend Bunch of Good News from the Alabama News Center

| 9:00 am February 12, 2016

Valentine’s Day is upon us, reminding us how much we love good news about Alabama. Like a box of chocolates, here’s an assortment of some of our favorite good news stories from our friends at Alabama NewsCenter this past week.

Dr. Jesse J. Lewis Sr. is honored and The Temptations Review performs to a packed house at the Lyric Theatre

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Alabama Power security officer saves young man in Bessemer house fire

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Make-A-Wish and Alabama Power take an Alabama teen and family to the mountaintop

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Broetje Automation opens Mobile location to support Airbus plant

Airbus  Inauguration Sept. 14, 2015

Workforce development efforts flying high in southwest Alabama

Airbus  Inauguration Sept. 14, 2015

Mercedes races past BMW in January luxury car sales race

DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Mobile readies to ‘raise Cain’

Mardi Gras goods are pictured Sunday, Jan. 10, 2016, in Mobile, Ala. (Mike Kittrell/Alabama NewsCenter)

Seven delightful day trips to add extra sweetness to your Valentine’s fun, with this edition of Can’t Miss Alabama

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40 years after making Oscars history, Birmingham’s Louise Fletcher reflects on ‘Cuckoo’s Nest’

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Dennis Edwards brings the music of the Temptations back to Birmingham, his hometown

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Lyric Theatre, Rickwood Field and Vulcan restorations were Tom Cosby’s passion

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Procedure by UAB cardiologists gives Selma’s first black police chief new opportunities

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The Rev. Jesse Jackson talks University of Alabama football, politics and unity at Wenonah High School breakfast

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Power of Leadership spotlights exemplary work of African-American pioneers

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Birmingham Housing Authority program gives residents path to goals and dreams

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It’s a new day for The Birmingham Times and its founder

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Pilleteri’s homemade Italian sausage is on the list of 100 Dishes to Eat in Alabama Before You Die

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NFL players with an Alabama connection shine bright in Super Bowl 50

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UAB School of Dentistry offers tips for Children’s Dental Health Month

Close-up of Dr. Stephen Mitchell (Pediatric Dentistry) performing dental exam on unidentified patient.

L.O.V.E. your house for Valentine’s Day

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Where does Alabama rank among best states to retire?

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Alabama home sales ended 2015 12 percent higher than 2014

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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Foundation for Progress in Journalism buys The Birmingham Times

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

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Small town grocers impact communities across the state in big ways

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

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Good times roll as Mobile prepares for Mardi Gras

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

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

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

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KBR signs big lease in Hoover’s Galleria Tower

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Patti Callahan Henry touches hearts and inspires spirits through writing

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

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Alabama Power Foundation announces Students to Stewards grant recipients

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Alabama Power warns of Birmingham area scam

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Lake Martin hits new December peak for residential sales

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Home sales in Wiregrass up slightly in December

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Phenix City finishes 2015 strong in home sales

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

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Shoals narrowly misses new peak in home sales during December

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Birmingham 2015 home sales up 6 percent over 2014

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Baldwin County annual home sales were 12 percent higher than 2014

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Rocket City home sales lift off in December

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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

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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

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

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

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Alabama-made Honda Ridgeline tackles pickup market high and low

DETROIT AUTO SHOW

Austal is cruising with a spike of shipbuilding activity in Mobile

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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

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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

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

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

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Birmingham honors Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King’s vision shared at Unity Breakfast

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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

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Renew Our Rivers enters its 17th year in Alabama

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Alabama Power begins operating under new Martin Dam license today

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

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

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Emerging trends: Alabama commercial real estate industry predictions for 2016

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Alabama’s most improved housing markets during November

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Alabama foreclosure rate drops again in November

Foreclosure Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and House

Cullman December homes selling at brisker pace

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Dothan December home sales up 17 percent over 2014 numbers

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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Birmingham honors Martin Luther King Jr.

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Martin Luther King’s vision shared at Unity Breakfast

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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

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

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

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Emerging trends: Alabama commercial real estate industry predictions for 2016

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Alabama’s most improved housing markets during November

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Alabama foreclosure rate drops again in November

Foreclosure Home For Sale Real Estate Sign and House

Cullman December homes selling at brisker pace

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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.