Category Archives: Regionwide

No more digging for change while visiting the courthouse

Pay and display meter on Park Place in downtown Birmingham.If the Jefferson County satellite courthouses don’t reopen in the immediate future, odds are when they do they’ll be in different locations.

During a bankruptcy hearing today the Jefferson County Commission was given permission to break the leases on those spaces. The satellite offices have been closed since last April.

As people continue to head downtown to the county courthouse (where long lines may be the norm for some time to come), they may want to be aware of the expansion of the pilot program implemented by the Birmingham Parking Authority last year. During the holidays, additional pay and display meters were installed along the southern edge of Linn Park and in front of the Birmingham Board of Education headquarters.

These join the ones installed directly in front of Birmingham City Hall back in September (as pointed out first by Jeremy Erdreich on his blog Construct Birmingham). They also resemble ones being manufactured and installed throughout our sister city “across the pond.”

The machines take change as well as cash and credit cards. Who knows? Maybe one day you’ll have a pay and display on a block near you.

United Way launches new campaign, blog

Living United screenshot - United Way of Central Alabama (Birmingham)

Screenshot of Lving United blog for the United Way of Central Alabama.

For those of you that missed the launch of the United Way of Central Alabama‘s Live United campaign last week Thursday on top of the former Kress Building in downtown Birmingham, you can still keep up with their plans through their new blog, Living United.

This is the latest grassroots movement for emerging leaders to emerge here in Birmingham so check it out, find out how to get involved and let them know what you think.

A quiet problem no more

Syphilis as a major issue has been affecting Jefferson County since 2002.  In 2006, there were 238 reported cases in Jefferson County alone.  At first, you could pin point the specific areas in Jefferson County that were affected, but now it’s county wide.  Alabama is currently ranked fifth in the nation with cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, and Chlamydia.  Jefferson County has the tenth highest number of recorded cases of syphilis in the country.

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Good news for Birmingham area real estate

Amid the doom and gloom being reported about the national real estate market, there are two reports that should make Birmingham area developers and home owners quite happy. On the heels of Money Magazine naming Birmingham, AL one of the 10 fastest growing real estate markets in the country, The Birmingham Business Journal posted a story to their website today that the metro area is one of the top 25 places to relocate your family.

Kind of makes you wonder about Forbes’ designation of the city as one of the most sinful in the U.S. back in February… maybe some folks wanted to keep the good news a secret for themselves.

You did know it was Free Cone Day, right?

Free Cone Day imageSo you’ve just finished seeing the unveiling of a 9′ tall Blaze the Dragon (if you haven’t, we think we’ll have photos shortly) and you’re feeling like an ice cream cone. Yes, we know it’s in the high 50s but it is springtime…

and since we’ve been on this food kick since yesterday, we figured you needed to be reminded that today is Free Cone Day at Ben & Jerry‘s locations across the country, including our three area locations.

Get to the airport without driving?

Among the improvements being made to the regional transit system in the near future (due in part to Mayor Larry Langford‘s $9 million pledge earlier this year) is the start of a shuttle that would connect downtown Birmingham, AL with its international airport. Similar services currently exist in many regional cities. No word on the cost of the ride out to the state’s busiest airport.

According to the story published in this week’s Birmingham Times, the service will begin shortly after the BJCTA receives its first allocation of the funds, $4.5 million, in July.

Water restrictions relaxed in Birmingham

The Birmingham Water Works board has relaxed the Birmingham metropolitan area’s drought status to Stage 1, meaning that water restrictions will now be voluntary and fines will not be levied on those that choose not to participate. The utility made the announcement via a press release earlier today that was published by Fox 6 on their website. As of the time of this posting, the release had not been made available on the Water Works’ website.

The announcement comes nearly a week after the utility announced changes to their drought management plan. The changes were the result of suggestions made during the drought summit as well as others made by customers. The long term threat is still not over as the U.S. Drought Monitor still lists the utility’s service area as one in extreme conditions.