Good Day Alabama for August 13, 2014 - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Good Day Alabama for August 13, 2014

Here's what you saw on Good Day today:

BABYPALOOZA - Janice talked with Cecilia Pearson about the latest technology to help new parent with their babies. She showed us some of the gear that you'll be able to see and possibly win during the Baby Shower games at Babypalooza. These items include a Baby Electric Baby Bottle Sterilizer and Dryer, the Baby Touch WiFi Video Monitor & Internet Viewing System, the Duux Ultrasonic Air Humidifier, and more. These products will be on display for parents to see and touch at Babypalooza and they can win them during the Baby Shower games on the main stage throughout the day. Babypalooza Baby & Maternity Expo is this Saturday from 9am until 3pm at the BJCC South Exhibit Hall. It is free to attend but please register. For more information on the products and the event, visit

DEPRESSION & SUICIDE - Mike talked with Erin B. Jones MA, NCC, Crisis & Suicide Line Coordinator, about depression and suicide. She says symptoms of depression include: persistent sadness or decreased mood, fatigue or lowered energy level, disruptions in eating/sleeping, mood disturbances, loss of interest in normal "routine" or activities once enjoyed, difficulty concentrating or focusing, difficult remembering or making decisions. Depression can also manifest as physical conditions such as physical pain or persistent physical symptoms that do not respond to treatment. Substance abuse disorders are also highly common with individuals with depressive disorders or Bipolar Disorder.

It is a myth that talking about suicide, or asking someone if they are suicidal, will plant the idea in their head. This perpetuates the stigma and silence related to suicidal ideations and talking about suicide attempts. The fact that the death of such a beloved actor is getting people to talk about a subject that many are afraid to discuss is a positive aspect of this tragedy. We, as a community, must be willing to recognize that more people die by suicide in Alabama than by homicide, and our youth are at a high risk of suicide attempts or completions. A big part of prevention is talking about it in community forums including our school systems. LGBT youth are specifically at a higher risk of suicide attempts and completions. Specifically, research has shown that having a gay straight alliance in schools are protective factors for LBGT youth and non-LGBT youth. Also, having good family and community support is a protective factor for youth and adults. It is important to support our attempt survivors. Faith or spirituality are huge protective factors for some people. Sometimes animals can be protective factors. We have to realize that suicide is preventable, but it takes a community, a village so to speak, to raise awareness about prevention. We must educate ourselves about risk factors to be aware of. Warning signs of suicide include feelings of hopelessness or worthlessness, talking about death or suicide or having a preoccupation with death, apathy of a loss of interest in life and in normal activities or routine, making final arrangements including giving away prized possessions. Prior attempts are risk factors correlated with a higher rate of suicide completion or an indicator of a future attempt. Depression is highly correlated with suicide attempts, but feelings of hopelessness are actually a better predictor of suicide.Most people tell at least one person about their suicidal intentions.

Stigma surrounds mental illness including people often shaming or blaming individuals for mental illness. There is still a sense of people trying to frame suicide as a moral issue or a selfish choice. The newer view or paradigm of suicide is penacide or killing the pain. The person is in so much, often physical and emotional pain, that they see suicide as the only option for the pain to go away. We have to change the way we talk about suicide. Erin says she chooses to use the term completed, rather than committed, because committed is associated with a crime or committing a sin. We have to get more people talking about personal struggles with depression or mental illness, and support individuals in seeking help. Other than stigma, barriers to seeking mental health include lack of education regarding available resources, lower socioeconomic status and inability to pay for services, lack of Medicaid coverage for early intervention for children in terms of counseling and mental health, and overall lack of resources, a lot of times in very rural areas.

The Crisis Center has a 24 hour Crisis and Suicide line where volunteers, trained in suicide assessment and crisis intervention, answer calls and provide telephone counseling. That number is 205-323-7777. Volunteers and staff answer calls on a National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, as well. assisting individuals 24 hours a day, from across the nation. This NSPL number is 1-800-273-TALK. Thhere is also a Kid's Help Line and Teen Link from 3:00 to 11:00 PM. The Crisis Center also sponsors two support groups; a Survivors Of Suicide group for individuals who have lost a loved one to suicide and a Depression and Bipolar Support group; both groups are open groups and free of charge. The staff at the Crisis Center also goes into schools and the community to provide suicide prevention education. The Lifelines curriculum presented addresses the whole school community by providing suicide awareness resources for school administrators, faculty, students, and parents.

JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joins us live from Ted's Restaurant to discuss Birmingham Restaurant Week 2014. Organized by REV Birmingham, Birmingham Restaurant Week 2014 presented by Regions Bank will take place Friday, August 15 through Sunday, August 24. To date, more than 50 restaurants are currently registered to participate in BRW 2014 with that number expected to grow as BRW nears. Now in its fifth year, BRW will again celebrate the city's acclaimed culinary culture by offering incentives for Birmingham-area residents to revisit their favorite restaurants and bars or to experience venues they have never been to or that have recently opened. During the 10-day event, participating restaurants will offer special two and/or three-course prix-fixe lunch and/or dinner menus in the $5, $10, $15, $20 and $30 per person range. For more information on the restaurants, menus, prices, etc for Birmingham Restaurant Week, visit

ZOO CREW - Mickey visits with Mandy Burke from the Birmingham Zoo to learn more about the rooster and the ZooSnooze. For more information, visit

ASK THE DOCTOR - Marc Routman, MD, an Ear Nose and Throat physician with Brookwood Medical Center. He joins us to take viewer questions about seasonal allergies and treatment options, since kids are going back to school and possibly dealing with fall allergies like grass and weeds. Seasonal allergies are also known as hay fever or allergic rhinitis. As many as one in five people has symptoms of allergic rhinitis. The timing of the symptoms depends on what is causing the allergic reaction. For some people, spring brings the worst of the symptoms. Others can react more in summer and fall, when grasses and weeds are pollinating. Some people react to allergens like spores, dust mites, cockroaches and pet dander that cause symptoms throughout the year. The tendency to develop allergies tends to run in families, and men are more likely to develop hay fever. If you were exposed to secondhand smoke when you were a baby, you may be more likely to develop allergic rhinitis. Anyone who has asthma in addition to hay fever may notice that their asthma symptoms worsen when their seasonal allergies hit. Children with hay fever may develop inner-ear infections. Allergic rhinitis also can contribute to developing sinusitis and secondary sinus infections.

There are several over-the-counter allergy medications designed to treat allergy symptoms. Make sure you read the label on these medications and that they are age-appropriate, since some are only intended to treat adults. Also check for possible drug interactions if you are on other medications. There are several prescriptions medications designed to treat these types of allergies. You also may need to see an allergy specialist to get tested for allergies. These tests help doctors develop a tailored treatment that may include allergy shots that help desensitize your body to the things you react to. You may want to try other at-home treatments such as using a sinus rinse or wash to gently clear mucus and allergens from your nasal and sinus passages. A neti pot or an infant nasal squeeze bulb can be used for your sinus washes. You can either buy a prepared solution or mix ¼ teaspoon of table salt with 2 cups of warm water. Make sure you mix a new solution each time to prevent bacteria from building up in the water.

Other ways to help you avoid airborne allergens include keeping your doors and windows closed and use your air conditioner at home and in the car; don't hang laundry, especially bedding, outside; pollen counts are higher in the early morning, so limit your outdoor activity during those hours; stay inside when it's windy outside; replace your air conditioner filters monthly and use a high-efficiency particulate air filter; wear a dust mask when you're outside, especially for activities like gardening; and if possible, avoid mowing the lawn or raking leaves, since these activities send more pollen into the air.

GARDENING - Mike talked with Alabama Cooperative Extension Agent Bethany O'Rear about Soil Solarization. For many of us, it's hard to get motivated to do garden work during the heat and humidity of an Alabama summer. But you can put that heat to work for you in your garden. You can get rid of many harmful diseases and weed seeds in your garden soil using the sun's heat in a process called soil solarization. Solarization involves spreading a sheet of clear plastic over moistened garden soil and trapping the sun's energy. This will raise the soil temperature high enough to kill many disease pathogens, nematodes and weed seeds. With the loss of fumigants and soil sterilizing chemicals, this is a viable alternative for homeowners with nematodes and soil diseases.

Soil temperatures can be raised to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or higher in as little as four to six weeks during summer in Alabama. The longer you leave the clear plastic tarp in place the deeper the penetration effects will be and the more increased control of pests you will achieve.

Many vegetable gardeners don't want to give up planting space, so they plan to solarize an area where a summer crop has just finished. For example if you've finished harvesting bush beans, pull up the plants and solarize that area.

To gain the maximum benefit from solarizing your soil, follow these guidelines:

-First, remove all weeds and plant debris from the area.

-Then till or use a fork to break up the soil bed. Rake the soil to remove rocks or dirt clods and to smooth the surface. A smooth soil surface will allow close contact between the soil and the plastic.

-Water the soil evenly to a depth of at least 12 inches.

-Bury the edges of your plastic about 5 to 6 inches deep all the way around the plot. This seals in the heat and prevents the plastic from blowing or tearing.

Solarization is most effective with clear plastic. Select a 2 or 4 mil plastic because it is less likely to tear or puncture. Leave the plastic tarp in place for at least 4 weeks. You can monitor soil temperature periodically, but be sure to secure the plastic back in place snugly for an airtight seal.

After removing the plastic, avoid deep cultivation to prevent bringing up more viable weed seeds. The plot is ready to be planted with seeds or transplants. Fall garden crops will get an excellent start without competition from weed seeds and diseases. Solarization not only saves money that would otherwise be spent on herbicides and pest control products, but it may also help increase the number of beneficial bacteria and fungi in your soil. For more information, you can call Bethany at the Alabama Cooperative Extension Office at 205-879-6964.

Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, we have live music in the studio as we gear up for the BAAMFest! Avondale Music & Art Festival! Enjoy a "Taste of New Orleans" this weekend at The Bright Star.... we find out how! Learn how to appreciate your loved ones! Jeh Jeh gets us ready for this weekend's Art on the Rocks! And we have more help for your clogged drains in Our House! Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!

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