Good Day Alabama: February 28, 2017 - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

Good Day Alabama: February 28, 2017

(Source: WBRC video) (Source: WBRC video)

Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama:

JEH JEH LIVE - Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers partners with McWane Center for the new exhibit - Going Places. Created by the renowned Scitech in Perth, Australia, Going Places is an interactive science exhibition that explores the technology humans have developed for travel. If you have ever wanted to pilot an airship, ride on a hovercraft, or control traffic in a city, now is your big chance! As well as exploring the technology that gets us around every day, visitors will explore the way that travel has shaped the social fabric of our time. Visitors will also see new technology and get a glimpse of where our future is headed. With 17 interactive exhibits and 8 information kiosks detailing the incredible technology pioneered by humans to make the farthest reaches of our planet accessible, Going Places will be a wild ride! The key messages of this exhibition are: observe, understand and use an incredible range of travel technology to see how it makes our lives easier and better, AND learn how the Earth's awesome size and natural processes, like gravity, wind, currents, waves, friction, and changing landscapes are overcome by the ingenious designs, researched and developed over time. The exhibition covers many different aspects of transport, including the movement of people and goods, land, sea and air options and technological solutions to make transport possible, easier or more efficient. The exhibition covers many areas of physics and technology, as well as dealing in personal or human interest areas of transportation and moving things around. It is open through May. In March, Express Oil Change & Tire Engineers hosts labs each Saturday.  For more information, visit http://www.mcwane.org/visit/exhibits/level-3/featuredtraveling-exhibit-space/.

ASK THE ANGLER - Reed Montgomery answered viewer questions about fishing. You can contact him with your questions at 205-663-1504 or on his website www.fishingalabama.com - there you can find lake reports, fishing tips, upcoming events, and more.

MCDONALD'S ART CONTEST - McDonald's of Central Alabama hosted the fifth year of the McDonald's Celebration of Creativity Art Contest. To celebrate Black History Month 2017, 95.7 JAMZ, WBRC FOX 6 and McDonald's asked students across Central Alabama to submit unique artwork that expresses their depiction of the civil rights movement and the country's progression. Students grades K-12 submitted their story through a creative and unique drawing, painting or mixed media piece. Celebration of Creativity Art Contest entries were submitted by February 2. Students who submitted their original art competed for cash prizes. The teachers of the first-place winners also won a $250 Alabama Art Supply Gift Card. Division of artwork was broken out by grade level starting with K5 and going up to 12.  McDonald's is proud to be locally owned and operated. The Golden Arches represents a local business partner that happens to be a part of a national chain. They believe that they are your neighborhood restaurant, not just a restaurant in your neighborhood. As such, they strive to be a good neighbor and a positive influence in their community. Beyond supporting schools and other quality community efforts, they are also proud to be a partner with the Ronald McDonald House as they provide a home away from home with families in need.

JERRY BROWN ARTS FESTIVAL - Fifteenth Annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival is this weekend in Hamilton! It runs from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. on Sunday inside the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative - 3196 Co. Hwy. 55 - Hamilton. That's off Exit 14 on I-22 - under the water tower. Admission is free. The Jerry Brown Arts Festival was selected as a Southeast Tourism Society Top 20 event in 2017 for the seventh time in the nine years and for the fifth year in a row. 50-plus artists from five states will be participating in this juried arts festival. Many of the artists will be demonstrating their talent throughout the weekend.  The JBAF is not just a show, it's an educational and artistic experience. This is a family-friendly event, and there will be a free kids' art station.  Media presented at the festival includes pottery, painting, wood, quilting, photography, stained glass, brooms, gourds, soap, metal artists, pens, jewelry makers, leather, literary, and more! For more information, visit www.JBAF.org.

BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Dr. Beth Kitchin joined us to explain why smokers should eat their veggies! Smokers and former smokers have a high risk of getting COPD – Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. COPD is a group of diseases that block the flow of air through the lungs causing breathing problems. Emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and some cases of asthma all fall into this category. Early Symptoms of COPD include a nagging cough - "smoker's cough;" shortness of breath, especially with physical activity; wheezing - a whistling sound when you breathe; and tightness in the chest. As COPD worsens, symptoms include having trouble catching your breath or talking, blue or gray lips and/or fingernails - a sign of low oxygen levels in your blood, trouble with mental alertness, a very fast heartbeat, swelling in the feet and ankles, & weight loss. But a new study offers some hope – and a strategy – to smokers who want to lower their risk. And it's as easy as going to the grocery store. Researchers followed a group of over 44,000 Swedish men ages 45 to 79 years for 13 years. They asked the men to fill out questionnaires about their food intake. Here's what they found... Smokers who ate more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a 40% lower risk of getting COPD than smokers who ate fewer than 2 servings a day.  Former smokers who ate more than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day had a 34% lower risk of getting COPD than former smokers who ate fewer than 2 servings a day. Keep in mind this is an observational study and cannot show cause and effect – only an association or correlation between eating lots of fruits and vegetables and a lower risk of COPD.  However, other studies have also shown similar results. Obviously, the best way to lower your risk of COPD is not to smoke – but it's a hard habit to break. And former smokers are still at risk and want to protect themselves. So eating more fruits and vegetables is good advice! To find out more about serving sizes, visit www.healthyforgood.heart.org

MONEY TUESDAY - In a perfect world, you'd be debt free.  If you must borrow money for purchases, stay within following guidelines. These guidelines will allow you to meet your obligations and still leave you money for investments, charitable giving, vacations and other expenses. Stewart Welch offered us some debt guidelines.

Debt Guideline #1: Your Total Debt Payment - Your total debt payments, including your mortgage payment, should not exceed 30 percent of your take home pay.

Debt Guideline #2: Buying Your Home - One of the biggest mistakes you can make is buying a home that is too expensive. Typically, mortgage bankers will allow your mortgage payments to equal approximately 35 percent of your take home pay. This is considered the maximum amount banks can safely lend without eventually having to foreclose on the home. However, spending 35 percent of your take-home pay on mortgage payments will strain your budget and not leave enough free cash flow to easily meet other living expenses. Your total house payment, including taxes and insurance, should not exceed 25 percent of your take home pay. The ideal home mortgage payment is actually a range of between 15 percent and 25 percent of take-home pay. If you have a high degree of job security and you expect your income to steadily go up, you can use the 25 percent figure.  However, 20 percent is the ideal maximum for most people. At 20 percent, there should be plenty of money left over to meet other lifestyle expenses as well as savings and investment needs. Use 15 percent if you are more conservative and cautious or are uncertain about your job security. 

Debt Guideline #3: Buying Automobiles - You'll probably spend more money buying cars than on any other consumer purchases during your lifetime, including homes. You should strive to avoid a lifetime of auto loans.
Do not finance automobiles for more than 24 months. Let the payments you can afford over 24 months determine how much you can afford to spend on a car - probably a used car. At the end of that 24 months, continue to make your car payments – to yourself, into an Investment Account. Continue to make payments while you drive your existing car. When you have accumulated enough money to pay cash for your next car, then buy another car. By continuing this process throughout your life, you will eliminate car payments and the thousands of dollars in interest expense associated with them. 

Debt Guideline #4: Installment Debt for Consumer Purchases - Purchases bought on installment payments include furniture, appliances, home repairs such as a new roof, etc. For surprises such as a furnace gone bad, you should have an emergency fund. For all other purchases, you should save until you have enough money to pay cash. When these two solutions are not practical, use the following guideline for borrowing. Installment debt payments should not exceed 12-24 months. Smaller purchases such as a washer/dryer should be paid off within 12 months. Larger items such as a new furnace or roof may take 24 months.

Debt Guideline #5: Credit Cards - Credit cards are too easy to get and to use and they're very hard to pay off! You cannot afford to pay 18-21% interest on any amount of money. Therefore, you must pay off your credit charges at the end of each month. The best way to avoid credit card problems is to enter your credit card charges directly into your checkbook register and subtract the balance just as you would a check. Think of your credit cards as part of your overall checkbook system.

Summary Guidelines for Using Debt

  • To achieve financial independence you must take control of your debt by staying within these guidelines:
  • Home mortgage payments should not exceed 25 percent of your take home pay.
  • Other debt payments should not exceed 15 percent of your take home pay.
  • Total combined debt payments -mortgage + consumer- should not exceed 30 percent of your take home pay. For example, if your mortgage payment equals 20 percent of your take home pay, you must limit other debt to 10 percent so that total debt payments do not exceed 30 percent of your take home pay.

For more information, visit www.welchgroup.com.

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