Japan’s Tankan: Best Reading in Three Quarters

Sentiment among Japanese manufacturers improved for the first time in three quarters, according to the Bank of Japan's key economic indicator, the Tankan survey.

Alabaster school board holding meeting, work session Monday

ALABASTER, Alabama — The Alabaster Board of Education is holding a special meeting and work session on Monday afternoon that will involve discussion on an attendance policy for children of employees who live outside of the school district. The meeting starts at 5 p.m. at the Alabaster Senior Citizens Center with the meeting agenda including a revision of the…

ALABASTER, Alabama — The Alabaster Board of Education is
holding a special meeting and work session on Monday afternoon that will
involve discussion on an attendance policy for children of employees who live
outside of the school district.


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The meeting starts at 5 p.m. at the Alabaster Senior
Citizens Center with the meeting agenda including a revision of the job
description for the administrator of technology and information systems and personnel
business.

The board meeting will adjourn and lead into the work
session that will not involve the board taking any action.

The work session agenda includes discussion on an out-of-zone
attendance policy for employees’ children.

There will also be discussion of draft job descriptions
for the student services supervisor and federal programs coordinator. The board
will also discuss coordinating the state testing program, coordinating the district’s
school nurses and serving as the district’s webmaster.

The board will also get an update on addressing the identified
short-term facility needs by engineering firm Volkert Inc.

For more stories about Alabaster, click here.

Buick Draws Younger Buyers With Regal Sedan, Which Improves For 2014

Buick has gone from a has-been maker of frumpy cars for retirees to a legitimate rival of premium imports in less than a decade.

Southern Living features Avondale neighborhood as ‘hip’ place to live and visit

The magazine is one of several to feature Birmingham and describe its resurgence, after Forbes and National Geographic Traveler earlier this month.


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Avondale Brewing Company’s building was built in 1895 and has served as a firehouse, pharmacy and brothel, among other things. (Birmingham News file)


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – San Francisco resident Jennifer
Benelli never would have stopped in Avondale if it weren’t for a friend who
reads Southern Living and a helpful stranger in Birmingham.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday, Benelli walked into the grocery
store Freshfully with her two sons, ages 12 and 14.

To explain how she heard about the store, she reached into
her purse and produced a crumpled magazine page that highlights the neighborhood’s
businesses.

In a “next great neighborhood” piece in its April issue, Southern
Living featured Avondale, describing it as “one of Birmingham’s hippest places
to live and visit.”

 ”Avondale has
experienced a resurgence as artists and young professionals move into the
historical homes in this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood,” the article says.

The Benellis’ first stop on a Southern spring break trip was
Augusta, Ga., where a friend gave Jennifer the piece about the neighborhood.

Once in Birmingham, Benelli got lost on the way and asked a driver stopped next
to her at a red light for directions to the cluster of locally owned businesses
on 41st Street.

“I love to spend my
dollars locally if I can,” said Benelli, whose only disappointment was that she
and her sons couldn’t sample the food at Saw’s Soul Kitchen because it was closed.

Benelli didn’t leave
Avondale empty-handed, but instead with an armload of boxes of Whistle Stop café
fried green tomato batter to give her friends a taste of Southern cooking.

The magazine featured six Avondale businesses: Saw’s Soul Kitchen (and its pork and greens); 41st Street Pub & Aircraft Sales, mentioning the signature Moscow Mule drink; Feedback Musical Instruments; “funky” Parkside Cafe; Freshfully and Avondale Brewing Company.

It credits Parkside, across from Avondale Park, with helping to start the area’s renaissance.

Jen Barnett, a co-founder of Freshfully, said she has seen a
surge of tourists in the store recently. Several have said the magazine piece
prompted their visit, including a couple from Chattanooga who Barnett said “were
really impressed with Birmingham.”

“It’s great to see so many tourists here,” Barnett said. “All
this publicity seems to be happening at the same time. It’s really building Birmingham
as a brand.”

The Southern Living piece is not the first to laud
Birmingham’s recent progress. Last week, Forbes included the Magic City on a
list of 15 U.S. cities with emerging downtowns.

In the April edition of National Geographic Traveler, an
article described it as a city in a renaissance, thanks to amenities such as
Good People Brewery, Regions Field and Railroad Park.

Follow @kelseymstein
Follow @ALcomBirmingham

Southern Living features Avondale neighborhood as ‘hip’ place to live and visit

The magazine is one of several to feature Birmingham and describe its resurgence, after Forbes and National Geographic Traveler earlier this month.


Avondale_1.jpg

Avondale Brewing Company’s building was built in 1895 and has served as a firehouse, pharmacy and brothel, among other things. (Birmingham News file)


BIRMINGHAM, Alabama – San Francisco resident Jennifer
Benelli never would have stopped in Avondale if it weren’t for a friend who
reads Southern Living and a helpful stranger in Birmingham.

Shortly after 3 p.m. Sunday, Benelli walked into the grocery
store Freshfully with her two sons, ages 12 and 14.

To explain how she heard about the store, she reached into
her purse and produced a crumpled magazine page that highlights the neighborhood’s
businesses.

In a “next great neighborhood” piece in its April issue, Southern
Living featured Avondale, describing it as “one of Birmingham’s hippest places
to live and visit.”

 ”Avondale has
experienced a resurgence as artists and young professionals move into the
historical homes in this pedestrian-friendly neighborhood,” the article says.

The Benellis’ first stop on a Southern spring break trip was
Augusta, Ga., where a friend gave Jennifer the piece about the neighborhood.

Once in Birmingham, Benelli got lost on the way and asked a driver stopped next
to her at a red light for directions to the cluster of locally owned businesses
on 41st Street.

“I love to spend my
dollars locally if I can,” said Benelli, whose only disappointment was that she
and her sons couldn’t sample the food at Saw’s Soul Kitchen because it was closed.

Benelli didn’t leave
Avondale empty-handed, but instead with an armload of boxes of Whistle Stop café
fried green tomato batter to give her friends a taste of Southern cooking.

The magazine featured six Avondale businesses: Saw’s Soul Kitchen (and its pork and greens); 41st Street Pub & Aircraft Sales, mentioning the signature Moscow Mule drink; Feedback Musical Instruments; “funky” Parkside Cafe; Freshfully and Avondale Brewing Company.

It credits Parkside, across from Avondale Park, with helping to start the area’s renaissance.

Jen Barnett, a co-founder of Freshfully, said she has seen a
surge of tourists in the store recently. Several have said the magazine piece
prompted their visit, including a couple from Chattanooga who Barnett said “were
really impressed with Birmingham.”

“It’s great to see so many tourists here,” Barnett said. “All
this publicity seems to be happening at the same time. It’s really building Birmingham
as a brand.”

The Southern Living piece is not the first to laud
Birmingham’s recent progress. Last week, Forbes included the Magic City on a
list of 15 U.S. cities with emerging downtowns.

In the April edition of National Geographic Traveler, an
article described it as a city in a renaissance, thanks to amenities such as
Good People Brewery, Regions Field and Railroad Park.

Follow @kelseymstein
Follow @ALcomBirmingham

National Weather Service warns about patchy fog after midnight in central Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The National Weather Service's office in the Birmingham area this afternoon issued a warning about patchy fog developing this evening, especially after midnight. The agency's hazardous weather outlook for counties in central Alabama warns about fog developing after midnight with the potential to reduce visibility to less than a mile. Also, low clouds might obscure higher…

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — The National Weather Service’s
office in the Birmingham area this afternoon issued a warning about patchy fog
developing this evening, especially after midnight.


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The agency’s hazardous weather outlook for counties in
central Alabama warns about fog developing after midnight with the potential to
reduce visibility to less than a mile.

Also, low clouds might obscure higher hilltops around the
region, but the conditions will improve at day break, according to the agency’s
statement.

The fog warning arrives as tonight’s forecast calls for
showers and thunderstorms before 10 p.m. with a slight chance of showers
between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. The area’s chance of precipitation is 80 percent.

For more weather information, visit al.com/weather.

Apple’s Rumored iWatch And Why It Matters

There is widespread speculation that Apple will introduce its own watch this year.   The implications are substantial in terms of what the watch could be and what it could mean for Apple’s financials and stock price.  The company has not announced anything regarding a new product; therefore, at this point, all discussions about the iWatch and its features are pure speculation.  However, in the past, speculation regarding new Apple products has been more accurate than inaccurate so it warrants reviewing and assessing the implications.

Late Spring Puts Retail Sales on Ice

Abnormally cold weather curbs consumer demand for spring goods, but dollar stores and drug chains benefit from it.

Louisville Slugger Announces New Logo And MLB Prime Bat In Advance Of Opening Day

The 2013 Major League Baseball championship season officially kicks off tonight with an Opening Night game between the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros at 8:05 p.m. ET.  Professional baseball players, including those participating in tonight’s game, have left their respective Spring Training facilities and are on the way or have already reported to their Major League Baseball clubs for the start of the season.  Those players will have their specific equipment (i.e. bats, gloves, spikes), that they prefer to use on the field and/or have chosen to endorse, shipped from their Spring Training locales to the destinations where they will begin the regular season.  Over 60% of them, including Derek Jeter, Josh Hamilton, Evan Longoria and Buster Posey will be using LouisvilleSlugger products in 2013.

Codelco Declares Force Majeure at Key Mine

The world's #1 copper producer, is losing a "relevant" amount of output due to a two-day-old strike at its mine in northern Chile, branding the work stoppage illegal.