Here’s what to get Alabama dads for Father’s Day

There has been so much written about “what women really mean when they say something,” the topic should have its own wing in the Library of Congress. For men it’s much simpler. When your dad says he doesn’t want a gift for Father’s Day, it usually means either a.) he really wants something, or b.) your previous gifts to him have been so awful, he doesn’t want another ugly necktie.
It’s time to think classy, be a hero to dad and not break your bank account in the process. Forget the ties and the cheap cologne. Here are the best categories for gifts that he will brag out to his buds.

Golf

It’s a fact: men of a certain age tend to like golf. Bent Brook Golf Course in Birmingham is a 27-hole course designed for play that is challenging enough for advanced players while still being enjoyable for players with higher handicaps. Book dad a tee time online and give him a relaxing day chasing a little white ball.

If he just likes practicing his swing, Top Golf Birmingham has more than 100 climate-controlled hitting bays, a full-service restaurant and bars and a rooftop terrace with a fire pit. Their Father’s Day package will make him feel like a VIP.

Gun and Tactical

It’s also a fact that a lot of dads like to shoot. Sheepdog Firearms in Trussville is a unique gun store, shooting range and training facility. In addition to its 4,000 square feet retail area, Sheepdog has a state-of-the-art target retrieval system for an experience that will challenge even the most advanced target shooters.

From archery to firearms, Hoover Tactical Firearms aims to be your one-stop-shop when it comes to weapons. Check out their largest indoor range in the state, shop, archery range and clothing and accessories.

Food

Dads don’t like to eat—said no dad ever. Saw’s BBQ has three locations in the Birmingham area and was recently proclaimed by Men’s Journal as the “Best Barbecue in America.”

Full Moon Bar-B-Que has trademarked itself as the “Best Little Pork House in Alabama” and cooks its meat low and slow over a hickory wood-fired pit. Doesn’t that just make your mouth water?

Time Pieces

A good watch makes the man. In addition to battery replacements and precision repairs, Barton-Clay in Mountain Brook has stylish time pieces that would look great on your old man. Their staff of highly skilled jewelers can accommodate every request.

For more than 180 years Bromberg’s has provided fine jewelry and giftware options for the most discerning customers in Birmingham. They have watches of all kinds, and they all look great.

Cigars

If dad is partial to stogies, The Humidor Room offers a full bar, a wide variety of fine cigars and tobacco products from around the world. A great place to relax with a drink and a smoke.

Vitola Fine Cigars is a family owned and operated tobacconist located in Mountain Brook Village. They specialize in premium cigars, pipes and a great atmosphere. Drop by and smoke a cigar in their lounge filled with leather chairs, big screen TVs and great conversation.

Grill Master

What dad doesn’t like to man the grill? Alabama Gaslight & Grill in Homewood is a family-owned and operated specialty hearth, grill and gas lantern retail outlet. All of their products are made in the USA, and any of them would make a super-cool VIP gift.

ABSCO Fireplace & Patio has two locations around Birmingham is the source for the finest grills from Big Green Egg and Firemagic and a huge selection of fireplace hearths and accessories. They are also a one-stop source for outdoor fireplaces and firepits.

Fitness/Workout Warrior

If dad finds his happy place by working out, Highpoint Climbing and Fitness brings world class climbing to Alabama with 25,000 square feet of indoor climbing surface featuring walls up to 52+ feet tall. They also offer a Kid Zone, Bouldering Room, Weight and Aerobic Rooms, and yoga classes.

Want to lift some iron in The Iron City? Iron Tribe Fitness blends one-on-one coaching with group fitness. Membership at every ITF gym is strictly limited to 300 athletes. They offer great personal coaching and a positive environment where dad can work out in a group of his peers.

Speed

What dad doesn’t feel the need for speed? Autobahn Indoor Speedway provides a premier indoor go-kart racing experience. They deliver the freedom and the exhilaration of driving a high performance vehicle in a safe, comfortable and fun environment.

Is your dad is a NASCAR fan, he knows all about Talladega Superspeedway. Did you know you can buy him a package to get behind the wheel at the legendary raceway? The gift of a day at their NASCAR Racing Experience or Richard Petty Driving Experience is a racing fan’s dream come true.

Sports

If dad is more into spectator sports, the Birmingham Barons are the AA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox and offer great baseball with a small town minor league atmosphere. Their game on Father’s Day will allow you to “Play Catch with Dad” in the outfield before the game starts.

The Birmingham Legion will be bringing pro soccer to the area and will launch their inaugural season next year. Get in on the ground floor and get dad tickets now.

Outdoorsman

What to get the outdoorsman who has everything? A gift card from Mark’s Outdoors would be the smart move. They have everything he could want for hunting, fishing, archery and much more.

Lake Purdy is a fisherman’s paradise. Rent a fishing boat. Get all the bait you need. Haul in big fish. A day well spent.

Oak Mountain State Park is Alabama’s largest state park with 9,940 acres. Enjoy mountain biking, hiking, water sports, cable skiing, beach, horseback riding and much more.

Couple creates restaurant-retail campus on Alabama Gulf Coast

It’s been 35 years since Brian Harsany got his first job in the restaurant industry, and he never looked back. Brian started busing tables and washing dishes in 1983 while in high school, and later went on to major in hotel and restaurant management at Florida State University. His degree and experience took him into management roles at various restaurants, both family and corporately owned businesses.

Then, in early 2006, everything started going to the dogs – and cats, in his case.

Several months prior to that, he’d begun developing a concept for his own restaurant. After he and his wife, Jodi, heard about a piece of property from three different friends – three days in a row – the two finally got in the car to check it out. They immediately saw potential.

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The property was on Canal Road in Orange Beach, and the Harsanys planned to open just one restaurant, which they would name after their rescue dog, Cosmo.

“We know that everyone loves their dogs,” said Brian. “Also, the name allowed us to have any cuisine we wanted. If we had given the restaurant an Italian, French or Greek name, everything wouldn’t have jelled.”

Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar opened in May 2006. The colorful and casual setting paired well with its large and eclectic menu, which could satisfy the palates of foodies to the pickiest of eaters.

It wasn’t long before Brian’s and Jodi’s business plans started growing along with their crew of four-legged family members. Luckily, the property around Cosmo’s afforded them plenty of space to expand.

By 2010, Cosmo’s retail selection had outgrown the space in the restaurant. That year, the Harsanys opened Maggie’s Bottle and ‘Tail, named after Maggie, another adopted dog. The gift and bottle shop is attached to Cosmo’s and sells T-shirts, jewelry, local artwork and merchandise for dog lovers. There’s also an extensive selection of wine and beer, which is available for sampling. They had a need for a venue where guests could hang out and have a drink prior to sitting down for a meal, so they added Maggie’s Parlor as neighboring tenants moved out.

In 2016 came Luna’s Eat & Drink, named after another dog, Luna, followed by Buzzcatz Coffee and Sweets. The original legal name was “Three Angry Cats,” because the Harsanys thought their cats might be angry that no businesses were named after them. However, they decided to make their “doing business as” name Buzzcatz, since “it’s catchy, fun and marketable,” added Jodi.

Jodi serves on the board of a local organization dedicated to improving the lives of animals – Orange Beach Animal Care and Control Program. She and Brian often host events at their businesses to support the group’s mission.

Jodi’s work with the animal program is just one of many community and environmental service groups in which the couple is involved.

Orange Beach City Councilman Jerry Johnson said, “No matter what it is, even if it’s the last minute – if we need catering or people to participate in cleaning an island, Brian and his team are always there. It’s really the culture they have created within their company.”

Brian agreed. “We do a lot of things with our employees in the community, so we can get them involved and they can get a good grasp on what it means to be part of a community,” he said.

They also focus on serving their employees, offering insurance, 401K plans and free exercise boot camps.

“We put ourselves in their shoes and offer them what we’d want to have,” Brian explained, adding that by taking care of their employees, they in turn take good care of their customers.

“It is vitally important that we always execute and give the experience that the guest is expecting when they step foot on our property,” Brian said.

Outside of the restaurants and businesses at the Canal Road campus, the Harsanys also own GTs on the Bay, a family-friendly restaurant and hangout on Wolf Bay, as well as Cobalt The Restaurant, which is nestled under the Perdido Bay Bridge.

“When we first opened Cosmo’s,” said Jodi, “I never imagined all of the opportunities we would have.”

Brian added, “It is our pleasure to be business owners here and to be so involved in our community.”

You can visit Cosmo’s Restaurant and Bar, Maggie’s Bottle and ‘Tail, Luna’s Eat & Drink and Buzzcatz Coffee and Sweets at 25753 Canal Road in Orange Beach; GTs on the Bay at 26189 Canal Road; and Cobalt the Restaurant at 28099 Perdido Beach Boulevard.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

1 hour ago

State Rep. Sorrell vows to cut government waste by seeking to remove requirement for legal notices to be published in newspapers

Earlier this week on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” State Rep. Andrew Sorrell (R-Muscle Shoals) explained his decision to vote against the Rebuild Alabama Act, which is legislation signed into law earlier this month by Gov. Kay Ivey that will ultimately raise gasoline taxes 10 cents by 2021.

In addition to polling that showed his constituents overwhelmingly against the measure to gas taxes, Sorrell justified his “no” vote by explaining that there were areas in state government with waste that could be eliminated to save taxpayers money that should have been considered before a tax increase.

One such area the Shoals Republican identified was a requirement that legal notices were to be published in newspapers.

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“You are never done looking for waste in state government,” Sorrell said. “Imagine if our state government only wasted 2 percent. It sounds like a very small number – hundreds of millions of dollars, right? There is still waste in state government. Actually, I have a bill to address that, and I’ve made that very same point. If we’re going to be talking about tax increases, we have to be talking about where we can save the taxpayers money.”

“Specifically, the bill I’m referencing is a bill that would remove the requirement for legal notices to be published in newspapers,” Sorrell added. “It’s a very expensive and time-consuming process  some of these legal notices are $1,000 — the publishing of the voter rolls every two years. The city of Huntsville spends $100,000 a year on required legal notices. That’s money they could be using to, you know, fix potholes or repave city streets.

Sorrell told APTV host Don Dailey he was still seeking a dollar figure on how much the state spends on legal notices.

“So, I don’t have a number. I’m looking for a number right now,” he added. “I have the legislative fiscal office trying to give me a number right now on how much the state of Alabama spends. This would also help municipalities and counties. But all that information, all those legal notices could be posted online almost for free. And we could be saving the state millions of dollars a year. So yeah, we’ve never done enough to cut waste in government. I’m going to continue looking for ways. I’ve only been down here a few weeks, and I believe I’ve already identified millions of dollars of waste.”

The Alabama Press Association, the trade association that represents the state’s newspapers, has long resisted any efforts to remove requirements to publish legal notices in newspapers over the years.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

University of South Alabama researchers study progression of deadly lung syndrome

Researchers at the University of South Alabama College of Medicine have developed a pre-clinical model for Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), a progressive disease that occurs in critically ill patients. A team led by Dr. Diego F. Alvarez and Dr. Jonathon P. Audia published the results of this NIH/NHLBI-sponsored study in the March 11 online edition of Pulmonary Circulation.

ARDS has a mortality rate of 40 to 60 percent in patients who develop the disorder, which is characterized by worsening lung function. Typically ARDS develops as a result of community- and hospital-acquired pneumonia and patients are treated in an intensive-care setting.

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“Right now there are no therapies to treat these patients once ARDS develops other than supportive care,” said Audia, associate professor of microbiology and immunology. “Our goal is developing comprehensive models to understand the disease progression and how it resolves, and then ultimately being able to use this model to test new therapies.”

Audia and Alvarez, who is an associate professor of physiology and cell biology, have been researching the pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a common cause of hospital-acquired pneumonia, and its impact on lung biology and pathogenesis for the past nine years, publishing numerous scientific articles on the subject.

The current study was the first to take a comprehensive look at the progression of ARDS in animal models examining effects on the lung vasculature, building upon the team’s previous work in cell cultures, Audia said.

The researchers examined two groups of rats infected with Pseudomonas aeruginosa – one group after 48 hours and the other after seven days. The first group of mice displayed the clinical hallmarks of ARDS, while the second group displayed lingering effects of infection, inflammation and fibrosis seen in patients who succumb to ARDS, but signs of lung repair also were observed.

The modeling sets the stage for future research. “We don’t know whether the host response is not strong enough to kill the bacteria or if there’s something defective with the repair pathway and the patients never fully recover,” Audia said. “It’s one of those things that’s a black box. Nobody knows which part goes awry.”

He said further research could help doctors predict how patients will fare in response to an initial pneumonia infection, and ultimately lead to the development of new interventions and therapies to combat pneumonia and ARDS.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

4 hours ago

Google brings Wi-Fi-equipped school buses to Alabama town

Google is not only building a $600 million data center in Alabama, but the internet giant is helping some school kids in a small Talladega County town get their homework done.

Google announced the launch of its Rolling Study Halls program in Munford, a community with around 1,200 residents. The initiative brings Wi-Fi to students with long commutes in 16 communities across the country.

Google provides each school district with Wi-Fi through fully functional school buses, computers and onboard educators for the buses. The company says the program helps students reclaim more than 1.5 million hours of learning time that would otherwise be lost during long bus commutes.

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“It’s important for students everywhere to have access to the tools they need to learn every day,” said Alex Sanchez, a spokesperson for Google.

In Munford, six buses will become Rolling Study Halls, allowing 240 students to access Wi-Fi on commutes between 45 minutes and one hour.

Equipping students

“Innovative programs like the Google Wi-Fi school buses are allowing us to provide our public school students with the 21st-century educations that they will need to compete in the global economy,” Ainsworth said.

“Google’s Rolling Study Halls is something we know will benefit the students of Munford, and help them create the next big thing right here in Alabama,” McClendon said.

Rolling Study Halls is part of Grow with Google, a new initiative to help create economic opportunities for Americans. The program aims to give people across the United States resources to grow their skills, careers and businesses by offering free tools, training and events.

In April 2018, Google began construction of its Alabama data center in the Jackson County community of Bridgeport, in the northeastern corner of the state. Google said the data center will be a hub for internet traffic, fitting into a network that keeps the company’s search engine and its other internet-based products functioning around the clock.

The center is expected to create between 75 and 100 jobs.

Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and state Sen. Jim McClendon joined Google officials to announce the program’s arrival at Munford Middle School alongside students and administrators who use the outfitted buses daily during the 2018–2019 school year.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

Leaders deliver results for a stronger Alabama

Thank you to the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama Senate for your bi-partisan support of the Rebuild Alabama Plan. Because of your leadership, this historical effort will result in safer roads, thousands of new jobs, and a stronger Alabama.  Finally, it’s time to #RebuildAL.

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