Dave Gray announces his new venture: Biso Collective

Dave Gray's the founder and CEO of a new Birmingham software company called Biso Collective
Dave Gray, founder and CEO of Biso Collective

Dave Gray, founder and CEO of Biso Collective, is busy building his brand new business right here in Birmingham. You might know him from his previous work with Daxko. 

Read on to learn all the details of what he’s up to now plus the impact he aims to make in Birmingham.

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Meet the fun people behind the scenes at Closets by Design in Birmingham

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Three designers and the office manager from Closets by Design in Birmingham
l-r: Karen, Aly, Dustin, and Naomi at Birmingham’s Closets by Design. Photo by Lauren Bedford for Bham Now

Do you get the same thrill from HGTV that other people get from ESPN? Do you love organizing things, and making your space just so? If so, you’ll want to get to know the folks at Closets by Design in Birmingham. They have a dedicated creative team that can help bring your organizational fantasies to life.

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The opioid crisis in Birmingham: ways you can help slow the epidemic

Opioid crisis in Birmingham: poppies
Did you know that opioids derive from poppies? “Poppies,” by Susie Tremmel. CC BY 2.0

The opioid crisis in Birmingham is real, just like it is across the United States. Actually, did you know Alabama has the highest prescribing rates in the nation? According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Alabama’s prescribing rate was 121 per 100 people in 2016.

Given how common these drugs are, we all need to know what we can do. To find out more, I talked with three Alabama experts:

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Whole30 in Birmingham: your guide to where to shop, eat out, or get takeout

A guide to where to shop, eat out and get takeout for people who are doing Whole30 in Birmingham
Paleo Diet—Day 12,” by Mark Bonica. CC BY 2.0

Whole30 is a 30-day challenge designed to re-focus your eating. On it, you eat nutritious, real food, and then see what you might feel better keeping out of your diet for good. For those of you doing Whole30 in Birmingham, we’ve put together a guide to where you can shop, eat out, and get takeout to make the month a fun excuse to explore some new places.

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Women climbers in Birmingham: how you can get involved

Kayla Lamb is one of the women climbers in Birmingham. Here she is at Sand Rock, in Alabama.
Kayla Lamb at Sand Rock. Photo by Ryan McCorvey

Women climbers in Birmingham are a big part of the surge in local popularity for the sport. With four local climbing gyms, several amazing outdoor climbing spots nearby, and a few specialized options, there are many ways you, too, can get in on the fun.

To give you a glimpse into the women’s climbing scene in Birmingham, I spoke with eight women climbers who train at local gyms: First Avenue Rocks, Birmingham Boulders, High Point Climbing and Fitness, and the UAB Climbing Club. We talked about their favorite things, where they climb, and making the sport more inclusive.

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How Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham helps families like the Clarks and how you can get involved

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When you walk in the doors of the Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham, across the street from Children’s of Alabama and UAB, it’s clear you’re in a special place. People call it “the house that love built” for a reason. Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama (RMHCA) provides tremendous support to families whose children need medical treatment far from home. They are grateful for their generous donors, many volunteers, and dedicated staff, and the difference they make.

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama welcomes guests with beautiful artwork made by local artists
“Untitled” by the West Alabama Quilters Guild, designed by JoAnn Williams. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now
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What’s open on Christmas Day in Birmingham?

What's open on Christmas Day in Birmingham: Geocaching at Railroad Park
Geocaching at Railroad Park is a good way to get out on Christmas Day. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now

Sometimes it’s good to get out of the house on Christmas Day. Maybe the festivities have waned, and you’re ready for a change of scenery. Maybe you just want something to do that doesn’t involve candy canes, carols, or cards. Maybe all the togetherness has been a little too much . . . togetherness. Whatever your reasons, we’ve got you covered with a list of what’s open on Christmas Day in Birmingham .

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Animal-Assisted Therapy: Big changes are afoot at Birmingham’s Hand in Paw

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Hand in Paw brings comfort and joy through Animal-Assisted Therapy
Hand in Paw’s therapy animals bring comfort and joy to those who need it most. Photo by Andie Thompkins

Tucked away on a side street in Avondale sits a place that’s home to a lot of joy. Since 1996, Hand in Paw has been bringing Animal-Assisted Therapy to tens of thousands of people. Now, thanks to generous donors, much hard and loving work, and new volunteers, they’re poised to touch even more lives.

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Giles Perkins: Birmingham’s better because you were here

Giles, colleagues, and family with Birmingham-based sculptor Brad Morton at 2016 rail dedication at Railroad Park.
In the foreground (l-r): Birmingham-based sculptor Brad Morton, Camille Spratling, Railroad Park Foundation, Sherry Williams, Adams and Reese, Giles Perkins and two of his children. Photo by Christopher Mosley

“We drink from wells we did not dig,” by the Rev. Peter Raible, is the line that keeps coming into my head when I think of Giles Perkins. Last Sunday, he died from pancreatic cancer at age 51. This is a huge loss to the many people who knew and loved him. While most people in Birmingham probably never heard of Giles Perkins, all our lives – no matter our political leanings- are different because he was here. 

This Friday, there’ll be a 2 pm memorial service for him at Railroad Park. While there have already been a number of great obituaries written for him, it seems appropriate to take a minute to share some highlights from his life.

And to say, from Birmingham to Giles: thank you. You left us a whole lot better than you found us. 

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10 gift ideas from local makers of Birmingham including handmade felted slippers

Now that November’s winding down, it’s time to think about getting holiday gifts. You can always go big box store or online, but why not think about supporting Birmingham makers and small business owners this year? To help you with your holiday gift needs, we put together a list of 6 holiday markets that sell Birmingham made goods. And, at these 6 markets, we found at least 10 gift ideas from local makers including some warm and cozy handmade felted slippers.

No holiday shopping guide would be complete without a visit to Alabama Goods to check out Birmingham makers and their gift offerings.
Alabama Goods is awash in local makers’ holiday wares. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now.
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9 of the most expensive items in Birmingham record and comic book stores

Birmingham's Seasick Records is one of the local record and comic book stores Bham Now visited to find treasures.
Staff Picks at Seasick Records. Photo by Sharron Swain for Bham Now.

Sometimes a scavenger hunt is a lot of fun, and a recent trip to three Birmingham comic book stores and two record stores was no exception. I was on a quest to find the most expensive item in some of Birmingham’s comic book stores and record stores. So, my kids and I hopped in the car and went exploring. Here’s what we found. 

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Alabama Environmental Council’s recycling center to close soon. Here’s what you can do.

Alabama Environmental Council's Birmingham recycling center to close soon
Recyclables everywhere at the Birmingham recycling center. Photo from the Alabama Environmental Council Facebook page.

For 50 years, Alabama Environmental Council has been a leader in environmental protection. During that time, they’ve protected public lands, promoted recycling, educated, and advocated. And, they’ve operated the state’s oldest nonprofit recycling center, in Birmingham, for 40+ years.

By Christmastime, they may close their Birmingham recycling center. But, they’ll continue their work to keep Alabama beautiful. Without the Birmingham recycling center, AEC can focus on environmental conservation in Alabama.

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Join Mayor Woodfin Dec. 6th at The Crisis Center’s holiday breakfast

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Mayor Randall Woodfin will be speaking at The Crisis Center’s Holiday Breakfast. Photo by the Mayor’s office. 

All are warmly invited to The Crisis Center’s free annual Holiday Breakfast. It will take place on Thursday, December 6th, at 7 am. Birmingham’s Mayor Randall Woodfin will speak about how personal crisis impacts the entire community. He’ll also ask our local business community to create more pathways for hope and healing through empathy and emotional support.

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