Payday lenders in the spotlight
Lawmakers and community members will discuss issues surrounding high interest payday and title pawn loans at an Educational Forum on Fair Lending and Fiscal Responsibility on Tuesday, Jan. 26.
Legislators and community leaders from Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Blount counties will discuss ideas for changes in laws that allow some Alabama lenders to legally charge up to 456 percent APR on payday loans and 300 percent on automobile title loans.
The forum will be hosted by numerous community groups, including the Alliance for Responsible Lending in Alabama (ARLA), The Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, Greater Birmingham Republican Women, The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham and the YWCA Central Alabama. The event will be open to the public at 4:30 p.m. at the YWCA Central Alabama, 309 23rd Street N.
For more information, visit ywcabham.org.
Babies wear red
A group of Anniston volunteers are knitting and crocheting red hats for the babies of St. Vincent’s Hospital to raise awareness for heart disease in preparation for National Wear Red Day. After knitting and crocheting for several weeks, the volunteers have over 100 hats available for the babies to wear on Feb. 5.
“We are so thrilled to see the community coming together to bring attention to the number-one killer of Alabamians — heart disease,” said Danielle Deavours, communications director for the American Heart Association. “I just think it’s great that we are focusing on babies going red as well because these families who have just had a new addition have an even greater reason to focus on their heart health.”
The volunteers will complete the hats at a knitting event Thursday, Jan. 28, at 6 p.m. at Mt. View Church of Calhoun County, located at 3300 McClellan Blvd. Anniston, Alabama.
For more information, email Danielle.firstname.lastname@example.org or call (334) 425-0779.
The next big thing: new thunder lizard in Birmingham
The McWane Science Center is showing off a new creature feature: the skeletal remains of a new species of dinosaur discovered in Montgomery County.
The 83 million-year-old remains are from the most complete, primitive duck-billed dinosaur to ever be discovered in the eastern United States, according to a press release from McWane and Florida State University. The rare skeletal remains were found by amateur fossil enthusiasts near a creek in Marine sediments. The fossil finders, not identified in the press release, contacted McWane, which dispatched a team to carefully remove the remains.
After the bones were prepared and cleaned at McWane Science Center and the University of West Alabama they were studied by a team of paleontologists from McWane, FSU and the University of Bristol.
The dinosaur, called Eotrachodon orientalis, which means “dawn rough tooth from the east,” is known as a Hadrosaurid. It was probably 20 to 30 feet long as an adult, mostly walked on its hind legs though it could come down on all four, to graze on plants with its grinding teeth, and had a scaly exterior. The one found in Montgomery County had an unusual, large crest on its nose.
Currently, the duck-billed dinosaur’s remains are on display in a McWane laboratory for the general public to view. For more information, visit mcwane.org.
The big and little of mentoring
As national mentoring month draws to a close, the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Birmingham is drawing attention to a couple of particularly effective mentors.
The Big Brother of the Year, Steve Wadley is mentor to Little Brother Currion Dunson, who, based on the photo, is actually taller than his “brother.” Not that height is the point.
“Over the last several years I have had the immeasurable privilege of being part of a boy as he begins to stare manhood in the face,” Wadley said. The two spend time hiking and boating among other things.
The Big Sister of the year, Christie Borton, has been matched with her Little Sister Tamiah Murray for more than five years, playing cards and taking trips to the Georgia Aquarium and Six Flags over Georgia to celebrate Tamiah’s making the honor role.
Both the Dunson-Wadley and Murray-Borton pairings are being honored for being matches that go “above and beyond in their mentor relationship,” according to the BBBS press release. They will be officially honored at the organization’s annual Volunteer Appreciate Dinner Jan. 28 at Mountain Brook Community Church. For more information about BBBS, visit bbbsbhm.org.