280 Living January 2023

Page 1

New projects and economic development coming in 2023


Several of the larger projects in the city of Chelsea include: completing phase two of the Athletic Complex, constructing a second gym at the Chelsea Community Center and a potential partnership with the Shelby County Board of Education about a master plan at Chelsea High School.

New year. New ORGANIZED you. 5287 Hwy 280 S. Suite 261 | spacecadetsorg.com | 205.326.7025 See our feature on pg. A15 facebook.com/280living Sponsors A4 News A6 Business A10 Chamber A16 Community A17 Schoolhouse B4 Sports B6 Opinion B13 Calendar B14 INSIDE The All-South Metro football and volleyball teams have been announced. See page B6 All-South Metro January 2023 | Volume 16 | Issue 3 THE 280 CORRIDOR’S COMMUNITY NEWS SOURCE 280LIVING.COM | STARNESMEDIA.COM BROUGHT TO YOU BY SERVING THE 280 CORRIDOR, HOMEWOOD, HOOVER, MOUNTAIN BROOK, TRUSSVILLE AND VESTAVIA HILLS Let’s Face It: Your Smile is Yours Forever Our Lifetime Smile Guarantee offers peace-of-mind. If you’re unsatisfied with your smile after treatment, we’ll fix it at a discounted price. Visit BhamSmile.com to schedule a free consultation. 2023 A LOOK AHEAD
See A LOOK AHEAD | page A20
a new year and
with it come new
Here is a look of what’s happening in
along and around the U.S. 280 corridor.
See page A12 Get to know some of the faces behind the many successful businesses in our area.
Work continues on turf baseball and softball fields as part of phase two of the Chelsea Sports Complex on Dec. 9. Photos by Erin Nelson.

YOUR TRUSTED RESOURCE for preventing elder mistreatment.

In our society, older people, for example, are often isolated and alone, which increases the likelihood of neglect and abuse. We can create a more just society for all people— regardless of our age—by building a stronger social structure. Elder abuse is a serious health pandemic that we all should care about and eliminate in Alabama.

What do we do to help?

We are a trusted resource that seeks to improve long-term health, social, and functional status; enhance autonomy and independence. We mitigate the risks of recurrent abuse so older individuals can remain safe and independent in their local communities as they age.

We serve all people who want to prevent adult mistreatment from occurring in their community. We place a special focus to provide direct support to victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation, those who are at the greatest risk of mistreatment, and family caregivers.

The Center also provides extensive education and training for professionals, members of the community, and caregivers so they can learn how to spot, stop, and avoid these crimes.

How are we mobilizing people in your own communities?

Members of all ages across our communities need to learn how to recognize, report, and prevent elder mistreatment.

The Elder Justice Center of Alabama is the first place communities can contact to receive education, tools, and resources they need to identify, report, and prevent adult mistreatment.

We also work with our professional partners who serve on the front lines to prevent and properly respond to elder mistreatment. Criminal justice and law enforcement professionals, first responders, financial institutions, health and social service agencies, and other business leaders can receive training and resources at no cost to them. Together, we can prevent and properly respond to elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation so older and vulnerable adults can age with dignity across our communities.

Why is what we do is so important?

Older adults deserve to age with dignity and safety across our communities.

The mission of the Elder Justice Center of Alabama is to mobilize communities to prevent and properly respond to adult mistreatment

How can you help continue our mission?

Your support helps our Elder Justice Center will expand our services and make available new services and resources.

You can make a donation at elderjusticeal.org.


A2 • January 2023 280 Living
ELDER ABUSE Physical Abuse Emotional Abuse Sexual Abuse Exploitation Neglect (& Self-Neglect)
Make your donation today at


There’s never been a better time to choose good health.

At Grandview Medical Group, our healthcare providers take the time to identify your health risks and can help you prioritize good health. Regular checkups and age-appropriate screenings are important to be healthy now – and to stay well in the future. With same-day appointments and online scheduling, we make it easy to see a provider. You can even see us from the comfort of home via telehealth.

Make a choice to thrive. It’s time now.

Find an appointment at PrimaryCareGrandviewHealth.com or call 205-941-6221.

280Living.com January 2023 • A3
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Dr. Tindell is an employee of
Neil Tindell, D.O. Board Certified, Family Medicine 4317 Dolly Ridge Road, Suite 201 Birmingham Welcome!

About Us

Editor’s Note By Leah Ingram Eagle

in Hoover.

Happy New Year!

The holiday break is ending, and it’s time to put up your new calendar. Do people still use paper calendars? I have one on my fridge and an electronic version on my phone. I used to look forward to getting a new planner every year but haven’t done that since my one from 2020 was only used for two months.

The older I get, the faster the years seem to go by.

My son just turned 14 last month and will be old enough to get his driver’s permit on his next birthday. He will be heading to high school in the fall. He was literally just in preschool.

My daughter will turn 9 in March, and I’m sure I’ll only blink a few times before she’s a teenager, too.

Each new year brings resolutions, plans and plenty of surprises and unexpected events.

What we do know heading into 2023 is some of the upcoming projects for Shelby County and the city of Chelsea. Those are featured in this month’s cover story. We’ll also take a look at projects taking place

This issue also features standout athletes that made the Starnes Media All-Metro football and volleyball teams.

Do you make resolutions? I kind of gave that up years ago. Instead, I just want to focus on being happy and grateful and being kind. I think if everyone did that, we could make the world a better place.

Blessings to you and your family in 2023!


Legals: 280 Living is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. 280 Living is designed to inform the 280 community of area school, family and community events. Information in 280 Living is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/ photos submitted become the property of 280 Living. We reserve the right to edit

4 ALL Foundation (A2)

Advanced Turf Care - Gardner (A8)

Alabama Vision Center (A17)

Ascension St. Vincent’s Health Systems (A19, B3)

Bedzzz Express (B1, B16)

Bellini’s Ristorante (A16)

Birmingham Orthodontics (A1)

Birmingham Water Works Board (B5)

Briarwood Soccer Club (B9)

Bromberg’s (A23)

Cahaba Glass (B10)

Cardinal Roofing (A17)

Chiropractic Today (B2)

Clark Holmes Smith Oral Facial Surgery of Alabama (A11)

Compact 2020 (B12)

Cremation Center of Birmingham (B5)

Edward Jones - Laci Graul (A10)

Element Wellness (A12)

Enroll Alabama (B1)

Eyes on Chelsea (A13)

French Drains Pro (B4)

Gardner Landscaping (A6)

Grandview Medical (A3)

Groome Transportation (B14)

Hearing Solutions (B11)

Lakeshore Foundation (A9)

Legend Windows (A11, B4)

Mr. Handyman of Birmingham (A18)

Nature One Landscape Design (A16)

Oak Highland Design Decorating Den (A14)

OLLI - Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (B2)

One Man & A Toolbox (A8)

Overture Tributary Vestavia Greystar (B15)

Pak Mail (B13)

Parrot Structural Services LLC (B15)

Piggly Wiggly (B3)

Rockett’s Bug Juice Gardens (A22)

ROME Study, UAB Division of Preventative Medicine (B11) Royal Automotive (B7)

Senior Placement Services (B12)

South Oak Subdivision (A7)

Southeastern Jewelers and Engraving (B10)

Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (A22)

Space Cadets (A1, A15)

Tenet Healthcare Brookwood Baptist Health CVA (A21)

TherapySouth Corporate (A24)

Vapor Ministries/Thrift Store (A19)

Vulcan Termite & Pest Control (A23)

We’ll Do It (A5)

Window World of Central Alabama (A21)

Please Support Our Community Partners Find Us

A4 • January 2023 280 Living
Evan Riley, 9, sings the National Anthem before the Oak Mountain boys basketball game against Vestavia Hills at Oak Mountain High School on Dec. 9. Photo by Erin Nelson.
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► Alabama Outdoors ► Cahaba Ridge ► Chiropractic Today ► Chelsea High School ► Chelsea Library ► Cowboy’s ► Danberry ► Edgar’s Bakery ► Edward’s Chevrolet ► Ground Up Coffee & Smoothies/ Snider’s Pharmacy ► Lloyd’s Restaurant ► Mt Laurel Library ► North Shelby Library ► Oak Mountain High School ► Spain Park High School ► St. Vincent’s 119 ► Somerby at St. Vincent’s ► Winn-Dixie Chelsea ► Winn-Dixie Inverness Want to join this list or get 280 Living mailed to your home? Contact Dan Starnes at dan@ starnesmedia.com. Pick up the latest issue of 280 Living at the following locations: Dan Starnes Leah Ingram Eagle Jon Anderson Neal Embry Kyle Parmley Melanie Viering Erin Nelson Ted Perry Simeon Delante Sean Dietrich Alana Smith Emily VanderMey Eric Richardson Warren Caldwell Don Harris Madison Gaines Sarah Villar Publisher: Community Editors: Sports Editor: Design Editor: Photo Editor: Page Designer: Production Assistant: Contributing Writers: Graphic Designer: Sales Director: Client Success Specialist: Business Development Exec: Business Development Rep: Operations Specialist:
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dan@starnesmedia.com Contact Information: 280 Living P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780 dan@starnesmedia.com
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Funds, future plans discussed at council work session

The Chelsea City Council met in a special work session meeting on Nov. 29 to discuss possible changes in distribution of the one-cent sales tax, along with possible changes to the Nick Grant program.

The meeting was held at the request of council members Scott Weygand and Cody Sumners after the topic was discussed at the Nov. 15 council meeting. The hope was to create guidelines and limits and for the council to come to an agreement on a fair allocation of the funds.

During the two-hour-plus meeting, the mayor and council members all weighed in with their thoughts and ideas regarding ways to determine what is covered under the program, creating new categories and setting limits on amounts that can be distributed each year.

Several council members suggested streamlining the process to make sure items requested through the Nick Grant Program are ones that cannot be funded via teacher stipends or the county.

Since the inception of the one-cent education sales tax in 2019, the five Chelsea schools (now four, since Mt Laurel Elementary has moved to the Oak Mountain school system) have received $1,411.558.40 from Nick Grant awards.

Totals per school since Oct. 2019:

► Chelsea Park Elementary, $184,096.53

► Forest Oaks Elementary, $290,930.69

► Mt Laurel Elementary, $151,341.24 (through Jan. 2022)

► Chelsea Middle, $290,930.68

► Chelsea High School, $500,246.93

In addition to money for educational purposes, other potential options include athletic and club assistance funds and school capital

project spending.


Mayor Tony Picklesimer reported that there is currently $4,417,483 in the education fund, which averages monthly revenues around $180,000 per month.

“Our citizens have told us and expect us to spend this on our schools, that's what they told us loud and clear on July 12,” Picklesimer said.

The mayor also presented the potential for a $15 million bond for 15 years that would have a debt service of $1.385 million, or $115,000 per month.

“When we did the last bond issue, as I've always done, I presented bond issues to you that would allow the next administration to do a project of their own,” Picklesimer said. “That's the case with the current bond issue.”

Another topic of discussion during the meeting was the possibility of the city partnering with the Shelby County Board of Education on a master plan at Chelsea High School for both academics and athletics, including a $16

million competition gym.

Picklesimer said that the Board of Education has presented the master plan to a group of coaches and administrators at Chelsea High School and some council members. They will also unveil it to the public at a meeting at Chelsea City Hall in January.

“I look forward to partnering with SCBOE on facility improvements, which is what the people said they wanted to use the one-cent sales tax for- to partner with them on facilities,” Picklesimer said. “Hopefully the council will get behind it and we can support this effort.”

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Clerk Crystal Ethredge, who was in attendance at the meeting, serves on the Nick Grant committee along with council members Chris Grace and Cody Sumners. The committee looks at the grants before they get passed on to the council for a vote. Council members look over a copy of the master plan for Chelsea High School during a work session meeting Nov. 29. Photo by Leah Ingram Eagle.

Previously South Oak belonged to one family and in 2020 South Oak became available to others through a Local Developer that had the vision to maintain the beauty and integrity of the original property with the large Oaks.

Once you enter the Beautiful 8’ High Wooden Gates you enter a true respite for those who want to enjoy the beauty of the Birmingham Countryside in unincorporated North Shelby County, just 10 minutes from Hwy. 280.

The Development is zoned for Mt Laurel Elementary and Oak Mountain Schools, and there are many private schools nearby.

South Oak consists of three phases. Currently there are only a few lots remaining in Phase 1 with multiple homes being built and several occupied. Phase 2 is taking reservations with 6 reserved already. Amenities for the residents and their guests are being added as each Phase brings on new opportunities while reserving the character and the lifestyle that South Oak offers.

The Development allows you to purchase a lot and choose when to build.

There are Covenants and Restrictions as well as Architectural Standards for the home designs.

280Living.com January 2023 • A7
@pamgrantrealtor RE/MAX HALL OF FAME CONTACT US FOR A PRIVATE TOUR Pam Grant 205-966-6507 Ted Gregg 205-966-2613 Daniel Worthington 205-601-6689 Birmingham Countryside Lifestyle Reimagined Welcome to South Oak! South Oak Development consist of 500 Acres with 300 acres being divided into 3-10 acre lots for Custom Homes with the remaining 200 acres reserved for Hiking, Biking and Walking Trails along with a Barn, Pasture, Boat House, Beach, 7.5 Acre Lake for Fishing and Swimming, Meeting Rooms, Kitchenette, Barbecue area and Full Bath. southoakbirmingham.com

New zoning district created for medical cannabis facilities

The Shelby County Commission unanimously passed an amendment to the zoning regulations of Shelby County to create a new zoning district for a Medical Cannabis Facility (MCF) District during its Nov. 28 meeting.

The amendment is intended to define and regulate medical cannabis facilities and establish reasonable regulations for cultivation, processing and secure transportation of medical cannabis or for the location of a state testing laboratory in appropriate areas. The MCF will be a completely new land use category in the unincorporated, zoned areas of Shelby County.

The new amendment covers all areas in unincorporated Shelby County (not municipalities) and all requests must meet the requirements of the zoning district, have a public hearing with public input and go before the Shelby County Planning Commission and then the County Commission for final approval.

County Manager Chad Scroggins said he believes this gets out in front of the issue, allows for public involvement that is critical to the zoning process and creates an opportunity for the public to have a say of what’s coming into their communities.

“It requires them to have a zoning change and nothing is more stringent,” Scroggins said. “We are doing this to get ahead of it, since it’s just a matter of time, and we would encourage municipalities to look at creating a similar zoning classification.”

The zoning is not for retail sales facilities, but manufacturing and processing.

When the zoning was previously approved unanimously by the Shelby County Planning Commission, Scroggins said members from the medical cannabis community were present to argue against it, saying they were concerned the zoning is limiting them and is restrictive. However, Scroggins said he wasn’t concerned.

Sharman Brooks, supervisor of the county’s Development Services Department, said the main goal of this amendment was to identify

and define it and put some standards in place to be prepared for the future.

“Should we get an application for rezoning, we now have some guidance and equally to give the adjoining neighbors and property owners a voice in front of the planning commission in a public hearing to say we love it or hate it, so it doesn’t just pop up and everyone’s surprised,” Brooks said.

Brooks added that the amendment is a living document and can be amended as needed.

Commission Chair Kevin Morris said that

he appreciates the staff being proactive enough to be out in front of this, and if such a facility comes to the county, everyone will be able to respond accordingly and have proper discussion along the way.

During the county manager’s report, Scroggins reported that the staff is continuing to work on the new comprehensive plan. It is in the editing process and the goal is to adopt it in March 2023.

“When you see the final draft, I think you’ll be impressed with the work,” he said.

Other items approved during the meeting:

► Commission committee and board appointments

► Unaudited financial reports 2021-22

► Water fittings and accessories bid to Ferguson Waterworks

► Radio test catalog bid to Tessco Incorporated

► Diesel exhaust fluid to McPherson oil

► Inmate footwear to Victory Supply

► Cleaning items for the jail to Budget Janitorial

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Sharman Brooks, left, and Chad Scroggins address the commission during the Nov. 28 meeting regarding a new zoning district for medical cannabis facilities. Photo by Leah Ingram Eagle.

New council member Driver discusses priorities

Hoover’s newly appointed City Council member, Khristi Driver, said some of her most important priorities are community redevelopment, making the city more attractive to young people and making a city performing arts center a reality.

The Hoover City Council on Nov. 21 chose Driver, a 47-year-old attorney from The Preserve community, to replace Mike Shaw on the council.

Shaw was elected to represent Alabama House District 47 in the state Legislature on Nov. 8 and had to resign his post on the City Council immediately.

Driver, who is associate general counsel for Southern Nuclear, is the first woman on the Hoover City Council since Mari Morrison, also an attorney, lost her seat to John Lyda 10 years ago.

Driver, who has served as president of the new Downtown Redevelopment Authority since it was created last year, said one of her priorities as a councilwoman will be to aid in redevelopment efforts in places such as Lorna Road and U.S. 31 in the Green Valley area. Bluff Park and Meadow Brook could use some redevelopment, too, but to a lesser extent, she said.

Also, while different parts of Hoover have different styles and purposes, it could be helpful to have some architectural guidelines that help give Hoover communities a more cohesive look, Driver said.

Second, Driver said she would love to see Hoover become a more attractive place for young people, so they’ll want to live and work in the city when they finish their education.

There are some projects already in the works, such as the Village Green amphitheater and entertainment district at Stadium Trace Village, that should help in that effort, but Hoover needs more things like that, Driver said.

It would be nice to have more entertainment options, such as the former Galleria Fun

Country complex, which decades ago offered a go-cart track, carpet golf and batting cages at its location on Alabama 150, she said. “It was a really fun, cool place for teenagers,” she said. “A safe thing for them to do.”

Third, Driver said she would love to see the idea for a citywide performing arts center become a reality and be executed in a responsible way.

“That helps build community and provides an opportunity for us to bring in entertainment, music and other performing arts,” she said. “Both of my children are musicians, so this is something that’s near and dear to my heart.”

When asked how she feels about taxes, Driver said she doesn’t like paying them but knows they are necessary. She’s not prepared to say she would never support new taxes or an increase in an existing tax, she said.

“There are a lot of factors that go into thinking through those kinds of decisions,” she said. If additional taxes are ever needed, “we have to make sure that’s done in a prudent way and in the right time,” she said.

On the flip side, there may be some taxes that should be lowered at times, she said. A lot of people are challenged with current economic conditions, and some people are calling for some relief from grocery taxes, she said. She would want to examine that idea more closely, she said.

Hoover officials also in recent months have been talking about possibly going back to the bond market to borrow additional money. Driver said she’s not opposed to debt when it’s done in a responsible way and with a strategy in place that’s good for the bottom line of the city and could pay for itself over the long term. She

would have to study any such proposal before coming to a conclusion, she said.

With schools playing such a big role in the Hoover community, Driver also was asked what her criteria would be for choosing school board members.

She said she would look for people who are thoughtful and listen to a variety of perspectives before making decisions and who are willing to be creative and compromise on issues when necessary to achieve the greater good.

She would look for people who are willing to ask hard questions and challenge proposals brought before them to make sure the ideas will help achieve desired results, she said. As a council member, she won’t try to dictate results on particular issues but instead would look for people who have good, analytical minds to make the best decisions as they come up, she said.

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Jefferson County Circuit Judge Reginald Jeter swears in Khristi Driver as a new member of the Hoover City Council at Hoover City Hall on Nov. 21. Photo by Jon Anderson.

Business Business Happenings


Lifeline Children’s Services, the largest evangelical adoption agency in the United States, celebrated the grand opening of its international headquarters in Birmingham with an open house and ribbon cutting on Dec. 8. lifelinechild.org

Burn Boot Camp had a soft opening for its new Meadow Brook location at 1801 Doug Baker Blvd. in December and is having its grand opening throughout the month of January. 205-903-8154, burnbootcamp.com

Precision Tactical Arms held its grand opening celebration Dec. 6 for its new location at 105 Inverness Corners. It is located between Fresenius Medical Care and Verizon. 205-848-8212, ptarms.com

The Guthrie’s chicken restaurant has opened a new location in the former Zaxby’s spot at 4629 U.S. 280 S. 205-834-8164, guthrieschicken.com

Birmingham Wellness Massage has opened a second Hoover location at 2236 Cahaba Valley Drive, Suite 101, and plans to have a ribbon cutting and grand opening Jan. 5. 205-224-9406, birminghamwellnessmassage.com

Capella Pizzeria has opened in the Inverness Village shopping center at 4700 U.S. 280, Suite 13. 205-438-6108


Southern Immediate Urgent Care recently leased a 5,800-square-foot standalone medical building on 1.37 acres along U.S. 280. It is situated across from

the Chelsea Walmart Supercenter. Southern Immediate Urgent Care is headquartered in Alabama and has multiple locations throughout the state. They provide efficient, comprehensive family-friendly medical services in high-quality settings to meet a variety of healthcare needs. Services include lab/X-ray, primary care, occupational medicine and urgent care services for all ages. southernimmediatecare.com

The Naaman Clinic, a dermatology and skin cancer surgery clinic at 100 Concourse Parkway, Suite 265, in Riverchase, is building a new office in the Tattersall Park development near the intersection of U.S. 280 and Alabama 119. Most of the staff is expected to relocate to the new office as their primary worksite, but the Riverchase office will remain open as well, said Alyssa Cosby, a receptionist at the clinic. The target timeframe for opening the new office is next fall, Cosby said. The Naaman Clinic specializes in medical laser and cosmetic procedures. The clinic also offers services at other doctors’ offices in Trussville, Montgomery, Gadsden and Sylacauga. 205-453-4195, naamanclinic.com


The AMC Summit 16 theater at The Summit shopping center is receiving a facelift, according to the general contractor, Petrie Construction. The project will include updates to the floor, concession area and box office, in addition to other changes. 205-298-1329, amctheatres.com/movie-theatres/birmingham-al/amc-summit-16


Earlier this month, Avadian Credit Union announced the formation of the Avadian Foundation and awarded the first grants to organizations in the state of Alabama that are addressing needs in four key areas identified as the focus for the Foundation. Avadian has 12 locations

throughout the Birmingham-metro area. 205-437-3696, avadiancu.com

DiDi Henry, sales representative with EXIT Royal Realty in Birmingham, was honored with the Bronze Award by EXIT Realty Corp. International. The award was given in recognition of closing between 25 and 49 real estate transaction sides during the production year July 1, 2021, to June 30, 2022. 205-848-2228, exitroyalrealty.com


Dr. Kelsey McCluskey, an optometrist, and Dr. Jessica Duddleston, an ophthalmologist, have joined the staff of the Alabama Vision Center, which operates at 7191 Cahaba Valley Road, Suite 203, in Hoover and 3928 Montclair Road in Mountain Brook. McCluskey’s clinical services include: comprehensive routine eye care, treatment and management of ocular diseases such as diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, dry eyes, glaucoma, and binocular vision disorders. McCluskey also fits specialty contact lenses, including scleral lenses and orthokeratology lenses for myopia control. Duddleston is a comprehensive ophthalmologist specializing in cataract surgery, laser eye procedures, medical and surgical glaucoma, diabetic eye exams, and macular degeneration, among other things. 205-991-2021, alabamavisioncenter.com


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A10 • January 2023 280 Living
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Compassionate Crossings

When Hope Ausley found out this fall that her 16-year-old cat, Simon, didn’t have much more time to live, she made the difficult decision to put him down.

But like many cats, Simon didn’t like getting into a car, so Ausley and her husband, Francis, took advantage of a new Hoover-based business that provides euthanasia services at pets’ homes.

They called Dr. Lindsay Floyd of Compassionate Crossings, who came out to the Ausleys’ Cahaba Heights home about 10 p.m. one night and gave Simon a peaceful transition into death in the comfort of his own home.

“We were able to hold Simon, have him in his heating pad and blanket,” Ausley said. “We sat in his favorite chair by the fireplace.”

It by far beat having Simon get agitated about having to get into a car and go to a veterinarian’s office, she said. “It was a real blessing.”

Also, Floyd was absolutely wonderful and didn’t rush the process, Ausley said. “We were able to spend time with him in the end.”

Floyd, who grew up in Hoover and moved back to Bluff Park in 2012, works as an associate veterinarian at the Lincoln Veterinarian Clinic in Talladega County. She started her Compassionate Crossings business in October as a side business to help meet a need for both pet owners and vet clinics, she said.

Putting a pet to sleep is an incredibly intense time for most pet owners, and many people like the idea of letting their pet transition into death in a calm, quiet, comfortable environment to

which the pet is accustomed, instead of taking their pet to an unfamiliar office with a lot of strangers and unfamiliar animals around, Floyd said.

Also, it’s difficult to get some animals to a vet’s office, she said. Cats usually are terrified of vet clinics, and some dogs are heavy, aggressive or nonmobile, she said. Sometimes, pet owners who are disabled have difficulty getting out, she said.

Floyd said she isn’t trying to compete with vet clinics but instead provide a service for them as well. She only makes her appointments after hours (usually 6-10 p.m.) or on weekends or holidays, all times most vet clinics are closed, she said.

Also, providing in-home euthanasia service is not really a moneymaker for vets, she said. And with manpower shortages, it’s hard for vets to make time to leave the office, she said.

When she opened in October, Floyd sent

letters to vet clinics in communities south of Birmingham, letting them know she was available to help, and vets surprisingly have been the source of most of her referrals, she said.

She had about 25 clients in her first two months, which was more than she expected, she said. Compassionate Crossings, while based in Hoover, also is licensed to do business in Homewood, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and other parts of Jefferson and Shelby counties, she said. As her business grows, she hopes to extend her reach into other communities, she said.

Compassionate Crossings does not provide any medical, surgical or hospice services — only euthanasia and body aftercare services, she said.

Floyd graduated from Hoover High School in 1999, got her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Auburn University in 2007, completed an internship in medicine and surgery in North Carolina and then practiced for four years in South Carolina before moving back to Hoover in 2012.

She has two dogs and two cats.

Lane and Kathryn Hagan, a Mountain Brook couple, in November found themselves in need of euthanasia services and called Floyd to help. Their 15-year-old cat, Stella, had beaten cancer in 2020 but had gotten sick again and was going downhill fast, and they didn’t want to take Stella to a vet clinic, Lane Hagan said. They wanted Stella’s final moments to be peaceful and easy, and they also wanted their kids — ages 8, 6 and 5 — to be there to say goodbye, he said.

Going through it at home was easier for everyone, Lane said. “You don’t want to go out and have an emotional experience in front of other people if you don’t have to,” he said.

Lloyd was very professional and compassionate and talked to the children in a way they could understand what was happening, he said. “It was a very pleasant experience,” Lane said. “We would definitely recommend her to anybody going through the same situation.”

For more information, visit their website compassionate-crossings.com.

280Living.com January 2023 • A11
New business offers in-home euthanasia service for pets
Left: Ross Scruggs and Dr. Lindsay Floyd sit on their patio swing with Jack, center, the couple’s 12-year-old dog, and Dave, a 6-year-old sphynx cat, at their home.
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Above: Compassionate Crossings, an athome end-of-life pet service, offers families a variety of options of remembrance for their pet through pet cremation packages. Photos by Erin Nelson.



estern medicine has traditionally focused on curing disease rather than preventing it, but that's beginning to change, thanks to the growing popularity of wellness.

“The wellness market is booming,” according to a report from McKinsey & Company, a research and consulting firm. The firm estimates the global wellness market to be at more than $1.5 trillion, with 5-10% annual growth.

“Consumers intend to keep spending more on products that improve their health, fitness, nutrition, appearance, sleep and mindfulness,” McKinsey said.

Brooke Carter, a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner and the manager and clinical director of Element Wellness Center in Hoover, agrees that wellness is becoming more popular.

“People are tired of leaving their health to other people,” Carter said. “It’s better to empower your own health before you rely on someone else to try to fix a problem or a health concern that you could have prevented.”

Wellness means “equipping your body to work at its highest capacity,” she said.

“I think people are trying to get away from treating symptoms and focusing more on prevention,” said Carter, who has worked in healthcare for 18 years.

Element Wellness delivers a system of body balance, energy and proactive healing to allow patients to feel their best, reach their full potential and do more of what they love. They do this by using the eight elements of natural wellness — oxygen, water, cold, rest, nourishment, movement, heat and light.

Dr. Lee Goldenberg opened Element Wellness in July 2022 and also operates Greystone Chiropractic next door. And Element Wellness is already attracting positive

attention. In September, the facility received a 2022 Best of Birmingham Award in the Wellness Center category from the Birmingham Award Program.

Here are some of the services the facility offers:

► IV vitamin therapy uses simple, effective vitamin intravenous infusions to help increase energy, enhance immune response and reduce signs of aging.

► Whole body cryotherapy uses extreme cooling to treat pain and arthritis, inflammatory disorders and injuries. This technique assists in post-injury recovery, accelerates muscle recovery time, increases energy and endorphin levels and boosts performance.

► A full-spectrum infrared sauna allows patients to gain the benefits of each part of the spectrum — far, near and mid infrared. For example, near Infrared light helps with cellular health, wound healing and skin rejuvenation.

► Red light therapy uses low-level wavelengths of red light to help repair skin and sun damage, to diminish wrinkles and scars, to increase collagen production and hair growth. The technique can also be used for full-body detox and healing and recovery

► The facility provides nutrition consulting from Allie Parsons, a Certified Holistic Nutritionist, who focuses on whole-body wellness but specifically enjoys helping patients who are struggling with digestion or hormone Imbalances.

► Element also offers yoga classes, led by Teresa Epstein, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Yoga Teacher who also earned her Bachelor's Degree in

Psychology with a Certificate in Mental Health at UAB. Yoga brings the body and mind together and is built on three main elements — exercise, breathing and meditation. It improves flexibility, strength, balance and body awareness.

A Russellville native, Carter graduated from The University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing in 2003 and UAB School of Nursing in 2014. She specialized in family practice and has spent much of her career in gastroenterology.

Brooke has a specific interest in helping patients achieve higher levels of health and wellness through specific vitamin infusions and lifestyle recommendations.

Carter — a Hoover resident — is perfectly suited to her role at Element Wellness said Goldenberg. She is “easy to talk to” and “patients connect with her very well.”

She is also “thorough and detail-oriented,” Goldenberg said. “Brooke will learn about your health and your lifestyle and your goals and figure out what will be best for you.”

Carter said that she has enjoyed the challenge of managing the wellness center.

“This is a very different role for me, but it’s been very rewarding to try something new, to sort of step outside of my comfort zone,” she said.

Working with the facility’s patients has been very gratifying, Carter said. “I previously worked where people are sick, so I’ve really enjoyed doing things to be proactive and trying to avoid illness.”

Element Wellness is also “calming and rejuvenating" and has a spa-like vibe or atmosphere, she said.

“It’s a relaxing environment," she said. “We have fun when patients are in here. I think they always leave here smiling and relaxed and better than they came.”

In her spare time, Carter enjoys spending time with her family, watching her son play baseball,and singing in her acoustic band, We are Wolves.

A12 • January 2023 280 Living
health in ‘calming
► WHERE: 6600 Tattersall Lane ► CALL: 205-326-7333 ► WEBSITE: elementwellness.me
Boosting patient

Treating patients like family with a highly engaged care approach

he friendly, knowledgeable staff at Eyes on Chelsea Vision Care treat their patients like family while providing a full range of services and products, including eye exams for adults and children, vision therapy, fittings for contact lenses and a great selection of glasses and sunglasses.

Eyes on Chelsea can also handle eye emergencies, the treatment of eye diseases and the co-management of surgeries, such as LASIK.

In addition, the optometrists at Eyes on Chelsea take the time to fully explain the results of your eye exam, describe all of your options and listen carefully to your eye care needs.

The optometrists also encourage patients to ask questions and share their health information, which could be vital to monitoring, diagnosing and treating potential vision problems.

This is in keeping with the highly engaged patient care approach of Dr. Jessica Palmer, the owner of Eyes on Chelsea, who was named Shelby County’s Healthcare Practitioner of the Year for 2022.

“I listen to what a patient is telling me,” she said. “I find that helps more than anything when I'm trying to help them with a visual problem.”

Palmer also makes sure that her staff at Eyes on Chelsea have access to the latest tools to treat their patients.

“We’ve continued to add new technology and treatment options,” she said.

“I’m not afraid to take on challenging cases and am open to trying new technology and procedures when the opportunity arises,” Palmer said.

Eyes on Chelsea brought in an exciting new service in 2022 called Cynosure Envy, a device that works with radiofrequency to stimulate collagen growth in the face and neck, in addition to helping to relieve dry eyes.

“The procedure is a non-invasive and pain-free alternative to Botox,” Palmer said.

Eyes on Chelsea also offers Ortho-K lenses, a special product that allows nearsighted individuals clear vision throughout the day without the use of glasses or contacts, and the staff can

► WHERE: 10699 Old Highway 280, Building 2

► CALL: 205-980-4530

► WEBSITE: eyesonchelsea.com

help patients with hard-to-fit contact lenses.

Palmer graduated from Troy State University in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree, and obtained her Doctorate of Optometry degree from UAB in 2005.

After graduating from UAB, Palmer worked at Chelsea Eye Care and at a practice in Sylacauga, which she now owns. She moved to Chelsea because it was a central location between the two offices.

“I fell in love with the community and decided to start my own practice here,” she said.

In 2007, she opened Narrows Eye Care off U.S. 280. Nine years later, she opened a second location, the Sylacauga Eye Clinic.

Palmer moved her practice from the Narrows to inside Chelsea city limits in 2019 and changed the name to Eyes on Chelsea Vision Care.

Managing her own business is both rewarding and challenging, Palmer said.

“It’s rewarding in that I have the flexibility to take off to attend a school event with my daughter, and I also enjoy being able to treat patients without the constraints of corporate policies and product availability,” she said.

Running the practice “can also be a challenge at times.” she said, citing such administrative needs as staffing and insurance. “However, the good outweighs the bad for me.”

Women in business often face their own unique demands, Palmer said.

“As a woman, we sometimes have to wear a lot of hats — mom, wife, daughter, business owner,” she said. “I think it is a challenge to multitask while also being able to give yourself the care you need. I still strive to do and be better every day.”

Women bring a lot of positive qualities to the table in business, Palmer said.

“We are typically great at multitasking and are empathetic to others’ needs,” she said. “We are typically good listeners and problem solvers. That helps in most business and management situations. Women rock!”

Her other work associates at Eyes on Chelsea are Dr. Rena Lewis, pediatric optometrist and specialist in myopia control, and Dr. Judson Harrison, general optometrist and Ortho-K corneal reshaping specialist.

Palmer enjoys operating her practice in Chelsea.

“Since moving our office from the Narrows location to our current location in Chelsea in 2019, we have been overwhelmed with the Chelsea community’s support,” she said. “I am fortunate to be able to keep up existing relationships with my Narrows business family while meeting new neighbors in Chelsea. I live and shop in Chelsea already so I was happy to be able to contribute to my home city in this way as well.”

After many years working in the field, Palmer said her work remains gratifying.

“I still enjoy being able to help people see,” she said. “It's my favorite thing about my job. Many would think this just involves selling eyeglasses, but this is not always the case. Sometimes we do vision therapy, or myopia management with eye drops or contacts you only wear at night. There's a lot more to it and we enjoy helping people navigate through their options.”

In-person optometrist visits are better for patients than just ordering glasses online, according to Palmer.

“We offer years of expertise that you won't get online,” she said. “You won't have someone to tell you what frame is suitable for your face shape online. You won't have someone taking your measurements for lenses online to make sure you don't have double vision in your new glasses. You don't have a guarantee that the materials used are of good quality. More so than anything else, you won't be supporting a business that is out there supporting your city or schools.”

280Living.com January 2023 • A13
Dr. Rena Lewis and Dr. Jessica Palmer

Here’s some expert tips on how to start

he holidays are over and the Christmas decorations are, well, somewhat put away. If you are anything like me, I am slow about taking down my decorations because I love how they brighten my home and make me feel. They add warmth, color and give me a sense of peace that our homes should reflect.

So when all the decorations are finally put away and the rooms are not as warm or colorful as they used to be, do you find yourself like me and miss that feeling? Do you see your furnishings and color scheme with a different eye and think it may be time to update the old stuff and bring in something new? After all, it is a new year!

New Year’s is a time we usually resolve to make change in our lives or in the way we do things. Sometimes it can be a big change or sometimes the change can be small and subtle. Even the smallest change can make a world of difference in the way we feel or the way we perceive ourselves and our surroundings.

It’s the same when it comes to decorating our homes: sometimes the smallest change can make a big impact.

Tackling your resolve to update your space shouldn’t be overwhelming, but fun. The first place to start is thinking about what colors you like and how you want to use your space. For example, is your main living area providing all the seating you need for your family? Is it comfortable and relaxing? If you want to add seating, but have limited space, consider using small scale ottomans that serve a dual purpose of not only a place to rest your feet but also as extra seating. Adding small scale accent chairs can provide for extra seating, too. These simple additions are a great way to add function to your rooms. Which brings me to the next consideration for creating that perfect room: color.

Beauty, color and warmth are the main features that

► CALL: 659-207-0735

► WEBSITE: oakhighland.decorating den.com

draw people into a space. This is achieved by creative use of fabrics, textures and accessories like wood pieces, artwork, lighting and area rugs.

Using fabrics can be a very creative approach to update a space. The addition of a new accent chair upholstered in a fun print, using a new fabric on an existing piece of furniture, adding new drapery or simply adding colorful, textured pillows are simple and easy solutions to introduce beauty, warmth and color to your room. There are many textural fabrics such as a boucle, velvets and tweeds that can be used on chairs, ottomans or throw pillows to bring in new elements of design that add dimension to a room.

The advantage of using fabric is that it enhances and softens interiors like no other design element can. It can set a mood from soft, quiet and sophisticated to bold and beautiful. The number of fabrics to choose from are almost unlimited, with new collections being introduced every fall and spring, assuring the perfect color and pattern for each of our tastes and needs. The ability to apply this wide selection of colors, textures and prints gives each of us a unique opportunity to enjoy truly personalized surroundings.

Another often overlooked option to consider is lighting. The appropriate use of lighting is vitally important for creating or enhancing the beauty in your space.

Just as the design function in a room is important, so too is the function and purpose of lighting. There are three main categories of lighting: ambient or general, task or focal and accent. Ambient or general lighting is

used to illuminate the entire room and create a warm and inviting look. Task or focal lighting is used for a specific purpose where you need brighter light such as cooking or reading. Accent lighting is used to illuminate and highlight architectural features or objects in a room such as artwork or a sculpture.

With a little thought and planning, the lighting in your space can be made more efficient and attractive. The right choice of fixture, the proper lamp, the placement and height all have major effect on the results, but you may find that the simplest change — such as changing the type of bulbs in your fixtures — can make a big difference. When it all comes together, beauty, comfort and convenience can be added to every area of your home.

Fabrics and lighting are just a couple of ways to make simple updates to your home. As with any updates to your interior spaces, remember the basic principles of design — balance, rhythm, harmony, emphasis, proportion and scale — and your space will have that “put-together” look. However, the most important thing to remember is that your space is just that — it’s your space. It should reflect who you are and what makes you comfortable!

Angelia Spraberry, owner of Oak Highland Design, LLC understands that decorating your home can be a little intimidating. As an interior designer, Angelia loves to guide clients through the process of determining the perfect design solutions for their homes, blending their personal tastes with emerging design trends and tailoring to their budget. Oak Highland Design is associated with Decorating Den Interiors, which is a network of suppliers and manufacturers allowing designers access to a significant number of quality companies.

A14 • January 2023 280 Living SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Women in Business
Looking to update your space?

On a mission to decrease stress and make room for more enjoyment


was my own first client,” Kim McBrayer, CEO of Space Cadets, said, as she sought out a long-term solution to her own clutter problems. “I refined the organizing processes with everyday application in my own life,” McBrayer said. “Taking that experience and applying it to clients gives me insights to how organizing can help other people.” McBrayer has always had a knack for rearranging furniture and setting up spaces. This natural gift, paired with her passion for helping others, grew into a business dedicated to helping declutter peoples’ lives.

Space Cadets, located in Brook Highland Plaza, is a onestop shop for all your organizing needs. It is a closet and organizing company that McBrayer started in 2001 to help people bring peace and order to their chaotic clutter. While Space Cadets first and foremost provides organizing services, it also offers retail products and closet design and installation services to broaden the package. The company has merged both the closet and organizing sides of the business to make the process as fluid and cohesive as possible for clients. Space Cadets offers a wide array of organization techniques and products for every budget and every need to solve clutter issues. Space Cadets has continued to grow with services offered in the Gulf Shores/Fairhope and Auburn/Lake Martin areas and plans to expand to Huntsville as well.

“If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life,” McBrayer said. “I count it one of my greatest joys that I get to work in this business that I am deeply passionate about.” She recognizes the value that organization has given her in her personal life as a recovering messy person. After researching ways to manage clutter and studying the concept of organizing to help herself, she created Space Cadets to share her new skill set with others. “My passion for curing clutter led me to share that with others who need help,” McBrayer said. “We get to change peoples’ lives by making a difference in how we process the things in their homes and find simplicity in the systems we use.”

McBrayer said that knowing they have a role to play in the transformation process, and how it's going to help someone on the backend, is so rewarding. She recognizes the value that organization can play in your life especially during difficult times. McBrayer walked through a medical journey with her son and husband and lost them both to cancer and a traumatic brain injury. “I needed order and peace in my home — it helped me maintain the roles and responsibilities I had to take care of,” McBrayer said. “Between hospital stays, running a business and raising my daughter, time was constrained, but having organized spaces helped me navigate that time immensely.”

Focusing on closet installation, Space Cadets works primarily in construction — a field that women are not frequently featured in. “I love carving new paths for women and finding new places for us to belong,” McBrayer said. She grew up loving power tools and playing in her Papa’s workshop. “The fact I get to do this every day in a male-dominated industry speaks to the reality of what we can do now and the ceilings that have been broken for women,” McBrayer said.

“Considering the traditional female roles in running a household, the women on my team bring a unique viewpoint,” McBrayer said. “When they assess rooms such as the kitchen or laundry room, they bring a valuable perspective of how women take care of a home and they personally understand how women use their spaces and storage, which works to everyone’s advantage.”

As the CEO of Space Cadets, McBrayer makes it her priority to empower the women who work for her. When she first hires someone, she looks at their potential strengths and matches them to a position that will best utilize and enhance those gifts. The dynamic team of men and women at Space Cadets embodies compassionate care and a thorough work ethic in every encounter with clients, and the women at Space Cadets are irreplaceable assets to the team.

As General Manager, Marissa Wilkins wears many hats overseeing the entire business and running the retail shop. Pulling from her experience as an elementary school teacher, she knows how to keep all the pieces and people together. With a background in nursing, Ashley Burchfield and Jennifer Jahraus are skilled at managing lots of details. Burchfield and Jahraus started out as project organizers with Space Cadets, but are now handling in-house organization

► WHERE: 5287 U.S. 280 S., Suite 261

► CALL: 205-326-7025

► WEBSITE: spacecadetsorg.com

— keeping the organizing company organized. Client Manager Carla Henley visits clients in their homes to gather information and then oversees each project to completion, ensuring plans are entirely executed.

Piloted by Lead Organizer Christie Rierson, Jennifer Williams, Kayla Ott, Sarah Varner and Kristyn Edwards make up the team of organizers behind the business. They transform clients’ messes into the likeness of Pinterest boards — taking chaos and turning it into order. “They are very empathetic, compassionate and patient, carefully considering the sensitive feelings that are often involved when sorting through peoples’ personal items and memories,” McBrayer said.

“We couldn’t do what we do without the men in our business, too,” McBrayer said. “Each person on this team is invaluable.” McBrayer’s business partner, Butch Dill started it all with her 22 years ago and continues to manage all operations. Designer Brian Lindsey is the visionary and genius behind every design curating each closet to best fit the client’s needs. Production Manager Darren Thomas leads a team of installers — Randy Kendrick, Jeff Austin, Chris Rigdon and Chris Stephens (Gulf Shores) — as they make the magic happen in bringing those designs to life.

Clients have told the Space Cadets team time and time again that working with them is a life-changing experience. From preventing overspending due to lack of knowledge about what is actually in a space to making items quick and easy to locate, Space Cadets is on a mission to help decrease stress in peoples’ lives so they can enjoy life more. “Yes, it’s about the stuff — but it’s about so much more,” McBrayer said. “Everything we touch touches the rest of our lives.”

280Living.com January 2023 • A15 SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Women in Business


JLB president talks volunteerism at chamber luncheon

Junior League of Birmingham President Martina Winston, who was the chamber’s Diamond Award recipient for Citizen of the Year in 2021, was the guest speaker at this year’s awards presentation on Dec. 1.

Winston shared about volunteerism and the importance of giving back to the community.

Growing up in the South Side of Chicago, she said her greatest mentor was her grandfather. She admired him from a very young age and said he was always doing service for others.

“I never know why he'd drag me to events,” Winston said. “All I wanted to do was stay home and play, but he would say there were other kids who needed help. That instilled in me the power of giving. You never know how one small moment will impact someone else. I saw the beauty and compassion and care my grandfather was able to provide to others.”

She said the reason she finds it's so important to give back is because there were men and women and community leaders that supported her growing up and she wants to do the same for others.

Winston said her grandfather told her before he passed away that whatever you do, make sure you do the things that are most important–the things that truly add value and have an impact.

“You never know what other people are going through, or what someone else’s story is,” Winston said.

Winston said she isn’t involved in so many volunteer efforts for recognition or awards, but simply because God has asked her to ensure she gives of herself as he did for us.

“As you are doing things within your community, make sure that it's intentional; that you're doing it with purpose and have an impact,” she said.

The chamber presented the Diamond Awards during the luncheon, honoring those organizations and individuals who help make Shelby County the best place to live and do business in the state.

A total of 17 individuals or groups received nominations based on their significant

accomplishments and how they have made a positive difference in the county or a specific municipality.

The winners of the 2022 Diamond Awards are:

► Citizen of the Year: Lisa Strickland Davis, chair of Columbiana Beautification Board

► Nonprofit org of the year: Alabama Wildlife Center

► Public servant of the Year (two winners): Lewis Brooks, superintendent of Shelby County Schools, and Ali Payne, manager of community and senior services for the city of Columbiana

A16 • January 2023 280 Living
Mon 5-9 p.m. | Tues - Thurs 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. & 5-9 p.m. | Fri- Sat 11 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. *Bar opens at 4 p.m. Monday-Thursday*
From left, Martina Winston, Lewis Brooks, Alec Etheredge and Brian Massey pose for a photo at the Diamond Awards luncheon Dec. 1. Photo by Leah Ingram Eagle.


Shelby County Jail utilizes remote heart rate sensors

The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office recently purchased remote heart rate sensors for use at the Shelby County Jail. They have already proved to be potentially lifesaving when the device sounded the alarm on the first inmate it was used on.

Sheriff John Samaniego recently approved the purchase of these remote heart rate sensors that are being used on certain at-risk inmates held in custody in the Shelby County Jail. The heart rate sensors are placed in secure bands and then affixed to the at-risk inmates on their ankle or wrist. The system from 4Sight Labs, known as Custody Protect, works by using Bluetooth technology to transmit real-time data between the sensors and electronic monitoring tablets. When deputies receive a notification that an

inmate’s heart rate is outside an acceptable range, deputies and medical staff can respond in seconds.

“In my time as Sheriff the inmates who arrive at our jail are increasingly entering our facility off the streets more physically ill and experiencing the challenges of mental illness at a higher rate than anytime I can recall in my career,” Sheriff John Samaniego said. “This product will be deployed to assist in our mission to administer a safe and secure facility with the inmate’s health and well-being in mind. In the first 48 hours of deploying Custody Protect we are already seeing the benefits the product has to offer.”

– Submitted by Shelby County Sheriff’s Department.

Shelby County Sheriff’s deputies work with the Custody Protect heart rate sensor program. Photo courtesy of Shelby County Sheriff’s Office.
Have a community announcement? Email Leah Ingram Eagle at leagle@starnesmedia.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue. Jessica
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A18 • January 2023 280 Living Mr. Handyman is taking care of Birmingham’s “To-Do” List ® like us on follow us on 205-606-0800 Give us a call! $50 OFF One coupon per hous eh old. Participating locations on ly. Minimum $300 of service. Not valid with any othe r o er or discount. L im ited time only. Independently owned and operated franchise.© 2022 Mr. Handyman SPV LLC. All rights Reserved MrHandyman.com Visit mrhandyman.com to learn more about our services
Above left: A graduate raises her arm to the crowd as she walks across the stage to receive her diploma during Oak Mountain High School’s 23rd commencement ceremony at UAB’s Bartow Arena on May 25. Above right: The setting sun puts on a colorful display over Oak Mountain Lake before the annual Fire on the Water fireworks show at Oak Mountain State Park on July 3. Below: The Eagles jump up with Davis Gillespie (9) after Gillespie hit a homer in a game against Stanhope Elmore at Oak Mountain High School on March 11. Left: Chelsea’s Kathryn Bryars (15) tags home plate to score for the Hornets in game one of the Class 6A area 9 tournament against Briarwood at the Chelsea Sports Complex on May 3. Right: Ukraine’s Danylo Filchenko reacts after completing his final pass in the men’s trick final of The World Games 2022 waterskiing and wakeboarding competition at Oak Mountain State Park on July 15.

New symptoms? Heart care shouldn’t

Feeling out of breath during short walks or when climbing stairs? It may be time for you to talk with a heart care specialist. From heart screenings to managing chronic heart conditions, get the care you need close to home. And getting the right heart care sooner can make a difference.

280Living.com January 2023 • A19 Every item you donate equals lives and communities transformed in Africa and Haiti. DONATE. DONATE SHOP LIVES CHANGED PROCEEDS Gently Used Clothing & Household Items Impact the Poorest Places on Earth Shop where it makes a difference Greystone | Vestavia Hills | Westover Online: VaporThrift.com
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Our facilities are currently taking precautions to help keep patients and visitors safe, which may include conducting screenings, restricting visitors, masking in areas of high community transmission and practicing distancing for compassionate, safe care. We continuously monitor COVID-19 guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and adjust our safety practices and safeguards accordingly.
Talk with a cardiologist who listens
a doctor at ascension.org/StVincentsALHeart


Phase two of the Chelsea Athletic Complex on Shelby County 11 will wrap up this year. According to Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer, teams will be playing ball at the complex on March 1.

Projects left to complete include the concession stand and restrooms.

The complex will feature a total of six (200-foot) baseball fields and one (375-foot) championship field.

The Chelsea High School baseball program plans to utilize the championship field for some practices and home games upon completion.

“We have a lot of extra property out there [to develop], but that will be after me,” Picklesimer said.

The track project at Chelsea High School should be complete in the first quarter of 2023, in time for the outdoor track season to begin in March, Picklesimer said. This is the second part of the turf and field project, as the football field was turfed last summer.

The expansion project at the Chelsea Community Center is underway and will bring with it the addition of a second gym.

“Our youth basketball and volleyball programs have exploded and we are currently having to rent gyms from the Shelby County Board of Education and local churches, so we really need a second gym just for our youth operations,” Picklesimer said.

The new gym will also feature several racquetball courts and can be used by homeschool programs for their PE classes. Locker rooms will be added as well and will include showers. The project is scheduled to be completed by October 2023.

The City of Chelsea recently approved for Dix-Hite + Partners to do a study of all the current recreational facilities available in the city and make recommendations for what else is needed.

Picklesimer said that public meetings will be held and it will be a several-month process.

This month, representatives from the Shelby County Board Of Education will be presenting a master plan for Chelsea High School facilities upgrades for academics and athletics. Picklesimer said this is what the citizens said they wanted the city to do with the money in the education fund generated from the one-cent sales tax.


Currently under construction is an Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) distribution center just off U.S. 280 behind the Elite Off-Road and Performance building. The city owns the property where the building is being constructed and will be the landlord.

Currently, the ABC is running both retail and wholesale operations out of the ABC store in the Winn Dixie shopping center.

“Wholesale liquor sales is big business for the ABC, providing to all restaurants and convenience stores,” Picklesimer said. “They came to me asking me to help them find a place to do a wholesale distribution center, and that evolved into us building them a building and leasing it back to them.”

The distribution center will bring around 10 jobs to the city and will generate monthly revenue from their rent costs.

Things continue to progress in the Foothills Business Park. Lot 10 is under contract, and dirt was used for it from lots eight and nine, leaving them both pad ready. Paving is complete, along with the fountain at the entrance.

A contract has been approved for HDC, LLC HuntStore and Gunsmithing to lease the former Bernie’s building next to Fire Station 31. The current location on State Highway 119 will close and the business will move to Chelsea.

Also coming to Chesser Park Drive near Walgreens is AIM Academy, an early-care and preschool center offering care from infants to kindergarten and a before- and after-school program for children through fifth grade. AIM Academy has several locations in the Southeast.

Construction has begun on the city’s hotel, LaQuinta Inn by Windham. The project is expected to be completed around spring 2024.


The county has numerous projects going on, many of which are associated with park and recreation opportunities, and the county will be partnering with other municipalities and entities to complete them.

With the help of the Shelby County Board of Education and the town of Indian Springs, Shelby County will redo the track around the field at Heardmont Stadium and also convert the grass field to turf. This project is set to be done in 2023 and will allow the field to be used for more events.

Shelby County Manager Chad Scroggins said he is excited about the partnership and it will bring other tourism opportunities to Heardmont Park.

The county also plans to partner with the city of Hoover to install fitness courts and outdoor fitness equipment, including eight pickleball courts, at Veterans Park on Valleydale Road.

On the western side of Shelby County, a partnership with the city of Helena will create a pocket park at the Shelby County 52 bridge. Railing is currently being installed on the bridge to allow for a viewing site over Buck

Creek, and Scroggins said there is a potential for outdoor concerts on the bridge in the future.

“We are working with the city of Vestavia Hills to assist with their plans to build a natural park at the old Altadena Valley Golf Course to create an Altadena Park along the Cahaba River. This is a small portion of a larger park project they have, and we’re excited to be a part of that,” Scroggins said. “Vestavia has residents in Shelby County as well.”


One of the key initiatives in 2023 is to work with the state in any capacity to encourage the widening of I-65 from Alabaster to the county line, Scroggins said.

“It’s a priority project for us to talk to the governor’s office and the ALDOT director and our legislative delegation,” he said. “We know our citizens support that and know it's one of our major needs in the county for sure going forward.”

The Shelby County comprehensive plan continues in review after survey results from county residents in 2022. The county’s goal is to bring it to adoption in March 2023.

Upcoming Events

► May 9-14: Regions Tradition, Greystone

► May 11-14: Bassmaster Elite Series, Lay Lake

► May 18-21: XTERRA, Oak Mountain State Park

► June 2-4: Bump N Grind Mountain Bike race, Oak Mountain State Park

Plans are in the works for a broadband analysis to understand any gaps with the county, and water line extensions are taking place in Calera and along U.S. 280 in Chelsea and Westover.

Additional trails will be installed at Double Oak Park along with parking and trail improvements at Oak Mountain State Park.


Shelby County will host a plethora of events in 2023.

Kendall Williams, manager of tourism and events, said the new Discover Shelby website will launch during the first quarter of the year.

“I’m excited to be able to offer a better resource for our residents and visitors to find out what to do, where to go, where to stay and where to eat — all the fun stuff to do in Shelby County,” Williams said.

In May, two national events will take place in the county. The B.A.S.S. Elite series tournament will be held on Lay Lake May 11-14 and televised on Fox Sports.

“It gives us a chance to expose the nation to Lay Lake and to the natural beauty we have here in Shelby County,” Williams said. “Roughly 90 anglers participate and we expect thousands of spectators to come for the event.”

XTERRA will return for its 16th year at Oak Mountain State Park May 18-21. The family-friendly festival will feature live music, beer gardens, food trucks, trail runs, mountain bike races and off-road triathlons for pros and amateurs. Williams said it will be bigger and better than ever and draw athletes from all over the world.

“It has expanded from a two-day event to a four-day event,” she said. “We are now going to be hosting the U.S. championship of the trail run portion for anyone who has previously qualified in a regional event.”

Williams said the 14-day span in which these two events will take place shows the beauty of the county’s assets and the diversity of spots in the county to host them.

Also in 2023, the tourism and events department plans to lean into finders trails throughout the county, including a winery trail, brewery trail, museum trail and local coffee shop trail, to promote them for residents and visitors alike to visit.

CONTINUED from page A1
Work continues on the new running track at Chelsea High School’s football stadium Dec. 9. Photos by Erin Nelson. Cleared land on U.S. 280 East in Chelsea next to Elite Off-Road Performance for a new ABC Beverage distribution center Dec. 9. Cleared land behind Buffalo Wild Wings on U.S. 280 in Chelsea for a new hotel is seen Dec. 9.
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The Hoover school board and city of Hoover in 2023 plan to embark on at least $40 million worth of capital projects, officials said.

The timelines and costs for capital projects are very fluid, so the dollar amount is subject to change and does not include projects for which costs were not yet known.


The most expensive project the two entities have going this year is a $16.5 million performing arts center the school system is building at Hoover High. The 36,000-squarefoot facility is being built right next to the new band room at Hoover High and will seat 940 people in the new auditorium, compared to the current 270-seat theater.

School officials broke ground on the project at the end of September, and Blalock Building Co. expects the job to take 16 to 17 months to complete.

Meanwhile, plans for a 10-classroom addition at Bluff Park Elementary School have been put on hold. Superintendent Dee Fowler said the school has experienced an unexpected decline in enrollment.

The 10-classroom addition remains in the school system’s five-year plan, and money ($4.5 million) is still allocated for it, but “we will continue to gather enrollment data and monitor,” Fowler said.

Another project put on hold is an estimated $2 million worth of upgrades to the bathrooms and concession stands at the on-campus football stadium at Hoover High. This project had been slated for fiscal 2023 when there was some talk of Hoover High moving its varsity football games away from Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and back on the school campus.

However, Fowler said, “the city continues to graciously allow Hoover High to utilize

the Met for their home football games. Their generosity has removed the urgency of this project.”

A $1 million roofing project at Gwin Elementary and a $600,000 roofing project at Brock’s Gap Intermediate School also were delayed a year, and planning has not yet started for a $1.6 million addition to the transportation building, said Matt Wilson, the school system’s director of operations.

But there are numerous other school system projects moving ahead in 2023.

The school system plans to seek bids for an upgrade to the athletic facilities at Bumpus Middle School in January and hopefully get started on that project late spring of this year and complete it in the summer of 2024, Wilson said.

The Bumpus upgrades should include new

home bleachers, restrooms, concessions, lighting, a press box and fieldhouse for the football stadium and a press box for the softball field, Wilson said.

Similar upgrades are planned at Berry Middle School, but planning for Berry is not as far along, so there are questions about the timetable there, he said. A total of $4.45 million is budgeted for the athletic upgrades at Bumpus and Berry.

A $1.5 million theater upgrade at Spain Park High School should get into the design phase in early 2023 and hopefully have construction under way in the summer, Wilson said.

School officials also this year hope to begin a $1.3 million multi-year project to upgrade the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems at Green Valley and

Rocky Ridge elementary schools and the Farr Administration Building. The low bid for a separate project to upgrade the HVAC system at Gwin Elementary came in higher than expected at $1.4 million, but the school board agreed to award that contract in December.

The school board also allocated $250,000 each to Deer Valley, Trace Crossings and Riverchase elementary schools for new playground equipment this year. The Riverchase and Trace Crossings playground projects should begin this summer, but school officials still were waiting on a proposal from Deer Valley, Wilson said.

The board budgeted $1.2 million for restroom upgrades at both the Hoover and Spain Park baseball and softball fields, and that work hopefully will be completed by the

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Larry Beaury returns the ball as he and Tony Pace play a game of pickleball against Gail Furtner and Greg Hart at the Chelsea Community Center. Shelby County plans to partner with the city of Hoover to install fitness courts and outdoor fitness equipment, including eight pickleball courts, at Veterans Park on Valleydale Road. Photos by Erin Nelson.

end of the summer, Wilson said.

The school board is partnering with the city of Hoover to replace the natural turf on 11 baseball and softball fields in the city with artificial turf.

The city of Hoover plans to pay an estimated $9 million for artificial turf on seven fields at Hoover city parks and the varsity baseball fields at Hoover and Spain Park high schools, and the school board has budgeted $1 million for artificial turf on the varsity softball fields at each high school.

The Hoover City Council in November hired Lathan Associates Architects to do the design work for its part, and Wilson said he expected the school system would work with the city to coordinate the two efforts. Timetables for the actual conversion of the fields were undetermined at press time.

The school board also has budgeted $1.8 million for a potential automotive academy and $600,000 for a potential cosmetology/ barbering program at the Riverchase Career Connection Center, $100,000 for a shower upgrade in the Hoover High football locker room (with boosters matching that amount),

$600,000 for security improvements at schools and $1.1 million for miscellaneous flooring, paving, lighting and painting projects in fiscal 2023, with most of that work likely to take place during the summer, Wilson said.


The city of Hoover has at least $15 million worth of projects in the works for calendar 2023, including the artificial turf project with the school system. But numerous additional projects don’t have cost estimates yet.

The Hoover City Council in October agreed to pay $1.3 million to buy a former bank property on U.S. 31 as a site for a new fire station to replace Fire Station No. 1 in Green Valley and in December voted to pay $1.9 million for the Lorna Professional Building on Lorna Road for conversion into administrative offices for the Fire Department. The plan is to tear down the former bank building and build a brand new fire station, but the office building will need only

interior renovations, said Jehad Al-Dakka, the city’s chief operations officer. Both of those projects are expected to move forward in 2023, he said.

One of the more important projects at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex is the repaving of the parking lots, which will be done in phases, Al-Dakka said. That project also will include some changes in the design and striping of the parking lot at the stadium, he said.

The locker rooms and batting cages at the stadium also are slated for an upgrade, Al-Dakka said. Cost estimates were not yet available, but all the work at the stadium should begin right after the SEC Baseball Tournament at the end of May, he said.

A new traffic signal is scheduled to be installed at the main entrance to the Hoover Met Complex off Stadium Trace Parkway as well, likely in the spring of 2023, Al-Dakka said.

Another new traffic light is planned to be installed on Chapel Road at the entrance and exit for Gwin Elementary School, but that won’t take place until Jefferson County finishes the final touches on its project to redo the intersection of Chapel Road, Patton Chapel Road, Chapel Lane and Preserve Parkway, Al-Dakka said.

New traffic signals also are slated for the intersection of U.S. 31 and Hendrick Hoover Auto Mall (with construction expected to start in the spring), the intersection of John Hawkins Parkway and ATI Parkway (with construction expected to start in the fall) and the intersection of U.S. 31 and Patton Chapel Road North (construction time uncertain).

The city also has a final design for a new pavilion at the Bluff Park Community Park on Cloudland Drive and is seeking bids from contractors, Al-Dakka said. He hopes to start construction this spring, he said.

The Hoover-Randle house is slated for a roof replacement, including replacing a temporary tent over the outdoor patio with a permanent covering, Al-Dakka said. The budget for the project is $370,000 to $400,000.

The city’s 911 center needs additional space to accommodate extra staff during inclement weather and disaster situations,

so $320,000 has been budgeted for that expansion, which Al-Dakka said he hopes will begin this year.

The Hoover Senior Center is slated to get improvements for its vestibule, with work likely in the spring. That $100,000 project was made possible by a $50,000 donation from an individual, Al-Dakka said.

Two drainage improvement projects are scheduled for South Sanders Road and Maiden Lane, with $412,000 budgeted.

The city expects to complete a rehabilitation project for the Inverness sewer plant and upgrades for Inverness and Riverchase pump stations in the spring, and it also plans to spend $1.6 million to replace a sewer pump station in the Applecross community and an estimated $700,000 to upgrade the Woodford pump station.

A project to replace street lights on U.S. 31 between Patton Chapel Road South and Interstate 65 should be completed this fall, Al-Dakka said.

The city is partnering with Jefferson County to make several improvements at Russet Woods Park. A plan developed by Leadership Hoover included stormwater pipe repairs, new playground equipment, a small amphitheater, gazebo, pavilion, pickleball court, fresh grass, benches, dog waste stations and a designated parking area. However, those plans are still being reviewed to see what all can be accomplished with the $150,000 coming from Jefferson County and $100,000 budgeted by the city, Al-Dakka said.

Hoover also is partnering with Shelby County to install eight pickleball courts and a fitness court at Veterans Park. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama has provided $50,000 to assist with the fitness court.

Installation of a new sidewalk on Chapel Road between Matzek Road and Park Avenue should be complete this spring, and work already has begun on a $150,000 project to repair sidewalks in The Preserve.

Additional sidewalks are scheduled to be built this year on Oriole Drive, Old Columbiana Road, Al Seier Road, Sulphur Springs Road, Maiden Lane, Inverness Center Drive and Russet Woods Drive.

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The parking lots at the Hoover Met Complex are slated for repaving in 2023, as well as some changes in the design and striping.

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The 2022 high school football season featured plenty of standout moments and highlight reel performances. Now, it’s time to release the annual Starnes Media All-South Metro Football Team.

Homewood senior quarterback Woods Ray is this year’s overall Player of the Year, leading Homewood to a 10-win season and to the quarterfinals of the Class 6A playoffs. Mountain Brook running back Cole Gamble is this year’s Offensive Player of the Year, as he torched opposing defenses as the leader of the Spartans’ dominant rushing attack.

It was nearly impossible to name a singular Defensive Player of the Year, considering how dominant Hoover’s defense was much of the year. Linebackers Kaleb Jackson and Bradley Shaw and defensive back DJ Estes share the honor as the top defensive players this season.

Chris Yeager is named Coach of the Year, as he took the Spartans to the state championship game for the first time since 1996.

► Player of the Year: Woods Ray, Homewood

► Offensive Player of the Year: Cole Gamble, Mountain Brook

► Defensive Players of the Year: Kaleb Jackson, Bradley Shaw and DJ

Estes, Hoover

► Coach of the Year: Chris Yeager, Mountain Brook


► QB: Woods Ray, Homewood –The Player of the Year put together a tremendous season, totaling 38 touchdowns (27 passing, 11 rushing). Ray threw for 2,677 yards and rushed for 812 yards, as the Patriots advanced to the Class 6A quarterfinals.

► QB: Peyton Floyd, Hewitt-Trussville – was one of the top passers in the state, throwing for 2,413 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also rushed for 726 yards and 16 scores.

► RB: Cole Gamble, Mountain Brook – The Offensive Player of the Year ran for over 200 yards in three straight playoff games and finished the season with more than 1,900 yards and 35 touchdowns on the year.

► RB: Emerson Russell, Chelsea – was a major bright spot for the Hornets, rushing for 1,130 yards and 11 touchdowns on the year.

► WR: Jackson Parris, Homewood – served as Woods Ray’s top target, snagging 80 passes for 1,288 yards and 13 touchdowns.

► WR: Amare Thomas, Pinson Valley – played both ways for the

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Chelsea running back Emerson Russell (1) during a football game between Hewitt-Trussville and Chelsea at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium on Oct. 21. Photo by Shawn Bowles.

On a keto or low-carb diet, fat is your friend and a primary energy source. Consuming healthy fats instead of carbs will help reduce inflammation, decrease your weight, increase your energy and, over time restore your health. However, on the contrary, consuming grains (pasta, bread, cereal), processed foods, sugary foods and drinks inevitably subtracts your health. And let’s say that in addition to that poor diet, you are adding increased fat consumption because you heard “it will help reduce weight”, WRONG in a big way!! It’s disastrous and dangerous for your health. You cannot play on both sides of the fence. The grains processed foods and sugary items plus “healthy” fats are not friends that work together. In fact, they are your “well-being” enemy. Mixing both worlds will cause metabolic chaos, health compromise and creates triglyceride havoc. Bottom line, transitioning to a fat-based lifestyle needs to calculated and strategized for success and safety. Consider a consult with a qualified wellness doctor if you have health issues before starting. (Of course, we can help with this).

When transitioning to a minimal carb lifestyle, you’ll have the expected withdrawal symptoms. However, it’s worth the ride. You will achieve weight loss, reduced inflammation, improved cognitive abilities, increased energy, mental clarity and focus,

and with time, improve your lab test. A fantastic resource for information is dietdoctor.com. It’s loaded with facts, quick videos of concepts and strategy implementation help. This site has valuable information, research articles, real people sharing inspiring success stories of significant health improvements and weight loss. Also has meal plans, recipes, and much more.

On a low-carb or keto diet, most people don’t need to count calories or fat grams. While keeping carbs low and protein within a fairly wide moderate range of 1.22.0 g/kg of reference body weight per day, most people can eat as much fat as they require to enjoy their meal. This approach often allows people to eat less, lose weight, and improve their health. The amount of fat you should eat on a keto or low-carb diet depends on several things, including your protein and carb intake, your current weight, and your weight goals.

Falsely, many believe that on a keto diet, the more fat you eat, the more fat you will lose. This is not true. If you eat more fat than you need to enjoy your food or for energy supplies, this can slow down or stop weight loss, even if you eat very few carbs. This also applies to the medium-chain fats found in coconut oil and MCT oil, which are normally burned rather than stored.

Your body is less likely to burn its own fat if it has excess dietary fat coming in, regardless of the type. Although adding less fat at meals can help you burn more of your own body fat, don’t make the mistake of trying to follow a diet that is low in both carbs and fat. This strategy will ultimately leave you hungry and lead to failure.

The best fat to eat is what occurs naturally in food and have been minimally processed. No food contains all 3 fats so eating a variety of food will be needed to have a well-balanced keto or low-carb diet. For example, butter is considered a good source of saturated fat, and olive oil is a good source of monounsaturated fat. Here’s a few examples of healthy sources of each type of fat to consider: Saturated fats: butter, ghee (clarified butter), cream, whipping cream, coconut cream, coconut oil and cheese. Monounsaturated fat options are olives and olive oil, avocados and avocado oil, macadamias and macadamia oil, almonds, pecans, and others. Polyunsaturated fats such as Omega 3 include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, anchovies), grass-fed animals, dairy from grass-fed animals, eggs from pastured chickens, chia seeds, flaxseeds and walnuts.

Also, aim for a low omega-6:omega-3 PUFA ratio. The omega-6 PUFA linoleic

acid and the omega-3 PUFA alpha-linolenic acid are considered essential fatty acids because your body needs them but can’t make them on its own. Therefore, you must get them from food. Alpha-linolenic acid is found mainly in seeds. However, the most important omega-3 fats are EPA and DHA, which are found in fatty fish and grass-fed meat. These long-chain fats are important for brain health and keeping inflammation under control. Having fatty fish at least twice a week, choosing meat and dairy products from grass-fed animals when possible, and eating significantly less processed foods can help improve your omega-6:omega-3 ratio.

And lastly but not least, AVOID completely the trans fats, also known as partially hydrogenated oils, (fast food oils as an example) because of their adverse effects on heart disease and other associated risk factors. This would be passing the fence and approaching the cliff into serious health risk! Let us help you to a healthier and happier 2023. Contact us today to schedule. Resources: Mercola. com, dietdoctor.com.


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The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at The University of Alabama offers a wide variety of intellectually stimulating, non-credit courses and learning opportunities designed for adults “50 and better”. A year-round, member-centered and member-led program, OLLI provides opportunities to learn new things, make friends, travel, and embrace life.

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Shelby County teachers of year honored

All of the teachers who were nominated for Teacher of the Year in Shelby County Schools were honored at a reception at Shelby County Instructional Services Center on Dec. 6, sponsored by the Shelby County Schools Education Foundation.

Each of the winners was awarded a $1,000 classroom grant from the Shelby County Legislative Delegation.

“It is truly special to get to celebrate each one of these incredible educators who go above and beyond to serve the students of Shelby County,” said SCSEF director Bethany Ivey.

One teacher was selected from each of the elementary, middle and high schools throughout the county as the nominees from their respective schools. There were three selected as the overall winners of the categories.

► Elementary School Teacher of the Year: Sarah Cooley, first-grade teacher at Chelsea Park Elementary

Cooley is in her 17th year of teaching. In her video that was shown during the event, she said she loves seeing her students grow and the relationships that are made every year.

Several of her current and former students described her as sweet, kind and always helping people in need and agreed she was very deserving of this honor.

“She has the drive to make learning fun,” said fellow first-grade teacher Lana Morris. “She is so creative and comes up with so many things. She always makes sure the kids have hands-on activities. She's really dedicated to making sure there's imaginative play and creativity in all the things the kids do.”

Within the last year, Cooley designed and

created an Imagination Lab at Chelsea Park Elementary and had her first book, “Celebrating Christmas,” published.

CPES Principal Mary Anderson said that Cooley puts 110% into everything she does, going above and beyond in her classroom.

“Her instruction is top notch,” Anderson said. “She definitely makes learning fun for all of her students. She's just a go-getter. She will do whatever it takes to get the job done and she's a positive role model for others. She’s been an amazing teacher to all the students that have graced her doors.”

“This means so much to me,” Cooley said. “I love teaching here, and I think we all are deserving of Teacher of the Year. I definitely appreciate it and I definitely feel honored.”

► Middle School Teacher of the Year: Jeff Norris, sixth-grade math teacher at Oak Mountain Middle School

Norris is in his 18th year in education and has also been an assistant principal and principal during his tenure.

In his video, one of his co-workers described Norris as one of the most innovative teachers, adding that his class is fun but also pushes the children to do their best. She continued by saying he expects a lot from them but loves them at the same time.

“I think the kids know that he cares about them, and it's a unique teacher that can pull all that together and make that happen,” she said. “He has the unique ability to tap into what the kids love and it makes them excited about learning.”

His students described him as caring and kind and someone they will always remember.

Oak Mountain Middle School Principal Larry Hanyes described Norris as one of the more versatile teachers he has seen, enthusiastic and energetic.

“His classrooms are full of action every day,” Haynes said. “He makes it look easy, but to go and set up the class and have great lessons going for two straight days, then he completely changes the class and has it set up again in a different way. This isn't something that goes on every now and

then it goes on all the time, it is challenging for the students but at the same time they are truly learning.”

Norris quoted Todd Whitaker, who said, “The best thing about teaching is that it matters, and the hardest thing about teaching is that it matters every day,” and he said to hear the kind words from his students and colleagues was eye opening and humbling.

► High School Teacher of the Year: Beth House, English Language Arts teacher at Montevallo High School

Montevallo High School Principal Steve Bromley said that House is one of those people he can depend on, describing her as optimistic, having a positive attitude and loving what she does. He said the school is very grateful to have her.

Her students described her as positive, uplifting, compassionate and welcoming, saying she is connected with everybody and really cares about her students, going above and beyond to help.

Her co-workers said she was a great role model for what a teacher needs to be and she was so deserving of the award.

“It's an honor,” House said. “It feels good to be recognized. Honestly, in the classroom there’s not a lot of day-to-day recognition, so it’s nice for your peers to recognize you in that way.”

Other school-level Teachers of the Year in the 280 Living coverage area were:

► Jana Baker, Forest Oaks Elementary

► Racheal Trice, Chelsea Middle

► Noemi Blair, Chelsea High

► Lacey Vansant, Inverness Elementary

► Haley King, Mt Laurel Elementary

► Janice Pitts, Oak Mountain Elementary

► Teresa Brunetti, Oak Mountain Intermediate

► Emily Roberts, Oak Mountain High

B4 • January 2023 280 Living Have a schoolhouse announcement? Email Leah Ingram
at leagle@starnesmedia.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.
Superintendent Lewis Brooks, Beth House, Sarah Cooley, Jeff Norris, Bethany Ivey and Susan Dubose. Photo courtesy of Shelby County Schools.

The Shelby County Board of Education’s newest board members were sworn in during the Dec. 15 meeting.

Shelby County Probate Judge Allison Boyd read the oaths of office for Amber Polk and Brian Boatman. It was also the last meeting for previous board members Aubrey Miller and Jane Hampton.

Jessica Pickett was approved as the new assistant principal for Chelsea High School. She has more than 12 years of experience in public education and has most recently served as the administrative assistant at Chelsea High School.

She thanked Superintendent Lewis Brooks and the school board for giving her an opportunity to serve in a different role in CHHS.

“Since I began teaching at Chelsea High School, this system has offered me countless opportunities to grow as a professional, but more importantly as a person,” Pickett said. “Because of your leadership, our system is the best in the state, and we are truly preparing our students for the journey. I would like to thank [CHHS principal] Dr. [Brandon] Turner and the administrative team at CHHS for their continued support. The strong collaboration within the administrative

team is an example of being better together. I am blessed to be able to continue to be able to work beside them.”

Pickett added that the Chelsea community has welcomed her and her family with open arms and said she looks forward to continuing to serve the students, faculty and community of Chelsea.

Brooks shared in his superintendent’s report that after the Christmas break, which began Dec. 16, teachers would work virtually Jan. 2 and return to buildings on Jan. 3 for professional development and instructional planning. Students return to classes on Jan. 4.

During the meeting, the board approved the following:

► Out-of-state field trips.

► A bid for HVAC equipment to Trane U.S. Inc. for $161,067.

► A bid for grease traps in school kitchens to Meeks Environmental Services, $675 per 1,000 gallons pumped.

► A bid to renew the contract for CNP pizza delivery for an additional six months to Domino’s Pizza.

► A bid to H&H Products for $67,5000 for 90 new wooden lockers in the locker room at Chelsea High School.

► A bid for canopy removal services for a damaged canopy at Oak Mountain Elementary School to High Cotton Welding for $25,000.

► Personnel actions.

► TEAMS contract for teacher meeting all criteria.

► A reception followed the meeting to celebrate the incoming board members.

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New SCBOE members take office
Amber Polk, left, and Brian Boatman are sworn in by Shelby County Probate Judge Allison Boyd on Dec. 15. Photos by Leah Ingram Eagle.
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Jessica Pickett was named the new assistant principal at Chelsea High School during the Dec. 15 board meeting.


All-South Metro Volleyball

The 2022 high school volleyball season is in the books, with many teams in the Starnes Media coverage area putting together strong seasons. Hoover and Mountain Brook advanced to the state tournament, while several others qualified for regionals.

Here is this year’s rendition of the All-South Metro Team, as we attempt to recognize the standout players throughout the area.

► Player of the Year: Emma Pohlmann, Chelsea

► Offensive Player of the Year: Savannah Gann, Vestavia Hills

► Defensive Player of the Year: Brooklyn Allison, Spain Park

► Coach of the Year: Grace Burgess, Oak Mountain


► Outside hitter: Savannah Gann, Vestavia Hills — named the Offensive Player of the Year after a stellar senior season. She amassed 537 kills, putting her over 1,000 for her career. She also had 265 digs as a six-rotation player.

► Outside hitter: Emma Pohlmann, Chelsea — the University of North Florida commit is this year’s Player of the Year after capping off a tremendous high school career. This season, she surpassed 1,000 career kills and digs, posting 412 kills and 457 digs in her final campaign with the Hornets.

► Outside hitter: Emily Breazeale, Spain Park — went for 470 kills and 219 digs in another stellar season.

► Outside hitter: Lauren Buchanan, Chelsea — has quickly

established herself as one of the area’s top players as a sophomore. This season, she posted 416 kills and already has more than 650 in her career.

► Setter: Maggie Harris, Hoover — ran the offense with precision, piling up 1,264 assists in addition to 176 kills and 336 digs.

► Setter: Hannah Parant, Mountain Brook — had another monster season, tallying 1,168 assists, 324 digs and 255 kills.

► Setter: Lilly Johnson, Spain Park — one of the top setters in the area, she put together 529 assists and 125 digs this season.

► Libero: Brooklyn Allison, Spain Park — the East Tennessee State signee concluded her high school career as Defensive Player of the Year, compiling 431 digs, 60 assists, 38 aces and 2.34 passing average for the Jags.

► Libero: Audrey Vielguth, Vestavia Hills — the junior had nearly 500 digs on the season, as several opposing coaches raved about her ability.

► Libero: Bella Guenster, Hoover — missed 10 games but still led the team with 490 digs for the season. She played her best in the most important matches, notching 50 digs in the regional final and 48 in the state quarterfinals.

► Middle hitter: Alanah Pooler, Hoover — held down the middle for the Bucs, finishing with 200 kills and 117 blocks.

► Middle hitter: Alice Garzon, Mountain Brook — compiled 343 kills, 87 blocks and 48 digs this season.

► Right side: Annie Lacey, Mountain Brook — finished the year with 210 kills and 30 blocks for the Spartans.

► Utility: Lauren Schuessler, Oak Mountain — a do-it-all player for the Eagles, racking up 424 assists, 238 digs and 152 kills on the year.


► Outside hitter: Stella Helms, Briarwood — had 361 kills for the year for an ascending Lions team.

► Outside hitter: Kendyl Mitchell, Hoover — one of the Bucs’ offensive weapons, racking up 361 kills.

► Outside hitter: Raegan James, Hoover — came back to the team

and posted 322 kills and 396 digs this season.

► Outside hitter: Paige Parant, Mountain Brook — posted a solid allaround season, going for 220 kills and 281 digs.

► Setter: Jolee Giadrosich, Briarwood — piled up more than 1,000 assists on the year.

► Setter: Helen Macher, John Carroll — surpassed 2,000 career assists with a strong senior season, piling up 851 on the year.

► Setter: Madison Moore, Chelsea — wrapped up her career with 815 assists on the season.

► Libero: Anna Frances Adams, Mountain Brook — finished up her career with 544 digs on the season.

► Libero: Sydney Humes, Homewood — the Florida A&M commit led the Patriots defense to the regional tournament.

► Libero: Makayla Ragland, Oak Mountain — finished with 357 digs in her final season with the Eagles.

► Middle hitter: Mira McCool, Homewood — helped the Patriots to another strong season in the middle of the team’s attack.

► Middle hitter: Mae Mae Lacey, Mountain Brook — racked up 289

kills and 86 blocks.

► Right side: Adair Byars, Hoover — capped off her career with a solid season, posting 250 kills and 198 digs.

► Utility: Jordan Madsen, Vestavia Hills — the sophomore played every set this season, registering 256 kills and 28 blocks.


► Outside: Mabrey Whitehead, Oak Mountain; Maria Groover, John Carroll; Marley Carmichael, Hewitt-Trussville.

► Setter: Haley Thompson, Spain Park.

► Libero/DS: Peyton David, Hoover; Stella Yester, John Carroll; Caroline Jones, Briarwood.

► Middle: Megan Ingersoll, Spain Park; Kenzie Richards, Hoover; Reese Hawks, Hoover

► Right side: Sydney Laye, Chelsea.

Starnes Media's publications cover several communities throughout the Birmingham metro area. Schools included for consideration on this team were Briarwood, Chelsea, Oak Mountain, Hoover, Spain Park, Homewood, John Carroll, Mountain Brook, Vestavia Hills and Hewitt-Trussville.

B6 • January 2023 280 Living
Allison, Burgess earn postseason awards
From left: Briarwood’s Jolee Giadrosich (5), Oak Mountain’s Makayla Ragland (6) and Briarwood’s Stella Helms (3). Oak Mountain head coach Grace Burgess. Spain Park’s Brooklyn Allison (8), left, and Chelsea’s Emma Pohlmann (17). Photos by Erin Nelson. Chelsea’s Madison Moore (5). Oak Mountain’s Lauren Schuessler (16). Chelsea’s Lauren Buchanan (7).
280Living.com January 2023 • B7


CONTINUED from page B1

Indians at times but caught 50 passes for 964 yards and 11 scores.

► WR: Keown Richardson, Vestavia Hills –led the Rebels’ prolific offense on the receiving end, grabbing 45 passes for 602 yards and 5 touchdowns.

► WR: Jadon Loving, Hewitt-Trussville –caught 54 passes for 613 yards and 5 touchdowns as the top receiver in the Huskies’ offense.

► TE: Tucker Smitha, Vestavia Hills –caught 44 passes from the tight end position after playing in the backfield much of his career.

► OL: Kade Martin, Hewitt-Trussville –The junior with SEC offers has started for three years along the Huskies line.

► OL: Walker Williams, Chelsea – only allowed 2 sacks the entire season, grading out at 88% while playing against many of the top defensive lineman in the state in Region 3.

► OL: Ethan Hubbard, Hoover – The Duke commit was a stalwart on the line for the Bucs.

► OL: Davis Peterson, Mountain Brook – finished the year with more than 60 knockdowns and 40 pancakes for a Spartans team that advanced to the state championship game.

► OL: Luke Oswalt, Oak Mountain – The senior was one of the leaders for the Eagles.

► ATH: Jaylen Mbakwe, Clay-Chalkville – The Alabama commit did a little bit of everything for the Cougars. He finished with 615 yards and nine receiving touchdowns and ran for two more scores.

► ATH: John Paul Head, Vestavia Hills –accounted for over 3,000 total yards and 38 touchdowns leading the Rebels offense.

► K/P: Peyton Argent, Hoover – connected on 34-of-35 extra points and 8-of-9 field goals,

with a long of 47 yards. He also averaged 43.8 yards per punt.


► DL: Tyrell Averhart, Hewitt-Trussville –led his team with 80 total tackles and 23 tackles for loss. He also racked up 6 sacks and intercepted a pass.

► DL: Jordan Ross, Vestavia Hills – scored a pair of defensive touchdowns and racked up 16 TFLs on the year.

► DL: Hunter Osborne, Hewitt-Trussville –The Alabama commit finished the year with 21 quarterback hurries and seven TFLs.

► DL: Jordan Norman, Hoover – The senior racked up 68 tackles and 10 sacks on the year.

► LB: Trent Wright, Mountain Brook – The senior accumulated over 140 tackles and 10 TFLs

in a standout season.

► LB: DJ Barber, Clay-Chalkville – The junior has established himself as one of the top linebackers in the state, racking up 145 tackles and eight sacks on the year.

► LB: Kaleb Jackson, Hoover – finished a stellar year with 118 tackles, 10 TFLs and five sacks for the Bucs.

► LB: Bradley Shaw, Hoover – had a strong season, getting 106 tackles with 15 TFLs and five sacks.

► DB: Grant Downey, Vestavia Hills – intercepted eight passes and punted for the Rebels.

► DB: Parker Sansing, Homewood – As one of the top defensive backs in the area, he finished with 90 tackles on the year.

► DB: Rickey Gibson, Hewitt-Trussville –The Tennessee commit led the team with four

interceptions, finished with 41 tackles and scored an offensive touchdown.

► DB: Jay Avery, Hoover – racked up six picks and made 52 tackles on the year.

► ATH: Garrett Murphy, Oak Mountain –made 166 total tackles and handled the kicking duties for the Eagles.

► ATH: DJ Estes, Hoover – racked up 71 tackles, 15 TFLs and six sacks playing multiple positions for the Bucs.


► QB: Christopher Vizzina, Briarwood – The Clemson commit threw for 1,828 yards and 16 touchdowns, and rushed for 11 touchdowns to cap off a phenomenal high school career.

► QB: John Colvin, Mountain Brook – threw for over 2,000 yards, as the Spartans played in the state championship game.

► RB: Aaron Osley, Clay-Chalkville – picked up 773 yards and eight touchdowns as the Cougars’ primary back.

► RB: LaMarion McCammon, Hoover – The senior gained 858 yards and 11 touchdowns this year.

► WR: Jordan Woolen, Hoover – caught 43 passes for 736 yards and five touchdowns in a standout year.

► WR: MJ Conrad, Chelsea – A big target in the Hornets passing game, he racked up 621 yards and five scores on 44 grabs.

► WR: Charlie Reeves, Homewood – caught 51 passes for 685 yards and 11 scores for the explosive Patriots’ attack.

► WR: Clark Sanderson, Mountain Brook –came on strong down the stretch, piling up over 800 receiving yards on the year.

► TE: Donovan Price, Hewitt-Trussville – In addition to his blocking prowess, he caught 27 passes for 338 yards and three touchdowns.

► OL: Mac Smith, Mountain Brook – finished the year with over 50 knockdowns and 30 pancakes.

B8 • January 2023 280 Living
Above: Spain Park linebacker Jack Kendrick (2) tackles Pelham wide receiver Jake Fox (17) during a game between Spain Park and Pelham on Oct. 27 at Ned Bearden Stadium in Pelham. Photo by Todd Lester Right: Briarwood quarterback Christopher Vizzina (17) scrambles as he looks for an open receiver during a game between Helena and Briarwood on Sept. 30 at Briarwood Christian School Lions Pride Stadium. Photo by James Nicholas. Oak Mountain offensive lineman Luke Oswalt (77) during a game between Pelham and Oak Mountain on Aug. 26 at Heardmont Park. Photo by Todd Lester. Left: Chelsea punter/kicker Jack Seymour (10) attempts the extra point during the Kickoff Classic at the Cramton Bowl in Montgomery on Aug. 18. Photo by Erin Nelson. Middle: Pelham wide receiver Trey Corkill (6) goes up for a pass defended by Chelsea cornerback Chris McNeill (7) during a football game between Chelsea and Pelham at Chelsea High School on Sept. 23 in Chelsea. Photo by Laura Chramer. Right: Chelsea wide receiver MJ Conrad (6) makes a catch during a football game between Hewitt-Trussville and Chelsea at Hewitt-Trussville Stadium on Oct. 21, in Trussville. Photo by Shawn Bowles.

► OL: Sawyer Hutto, Oak Mountain – a senior that has led the Eagles line for a few years.

► OL: AJ Franklin, Hoover – The Alabama all-star selection was a key factor to the Bucs’ offensive success.

► OL: Harrison Clemmer, Briarwood – the anchor to the Lions’ offensive line, known for his run blocking.

► OL: Henry Boehme, Mountain Brook –allowed no sacks all season at right tackle.

► ATH: Carson McFadden, John Carroll –accounted for over 2,300 total yards leading the Cavs offense from the quarterback position.

► ATH: Brady Waugh, Briarwood – The Lions’ top target snagged 53 passes, gaining 624 yards and eight touchdowns on the year.

► K/P: Jack Seymour, Chelsea – averaged 41.5 yards per punt and connected on all but one of his extra points.


► DL: Caldwell Bussey, Spain Park – racked

up 5.5 sacks and 46 tackles to lead the Jags’ defense.

► DL: Jamon Smith, Clay-Chalkville – A North-South All-Star Game selection, he finished up with nine TFLs and eight sacks on the year.

► DL: Andrew Sykes, Vestavia Hills – The two-year starter had 42 tackles and five TFLs for the Rebels.

► DL: Chaleb Powell, Hoover – finished with 60 tackles and 10 TFLs to go along with six sacks.

► LB: Braylon Chatman, Hewitt-Trussville – racked up 119 tackles with 14 TFLs in a big season.

► LB: Hunter Jones, Hewitt-Trussville –racked up 124 tackles and nine TFLs in a strong season for the Huskies.

► LB: Vaughn Frost, Mountain Brook –accumulated over 100 tackles on the year.

► LB: Talton Thomas, Homewood – led the Patriots with 130 tackles with 16 TFLs on the year.

► DB: Keith Christein, Hoover – recorded two safeties, blocked four punts and returned an interception for a score.

► DB: Clay Burdeshaw, Homewood –, finished up with 108 tackles on the year.

► DB: Mac Palmer, Mountain Brook – had over 60 tackles and two interceptions on the year.

► DB: Chris McNeill, Chelsea – covered the top receiver on each team and intercepted four passes.

► ATH: Grey Reebals, Briarwood – finished with 87 tackles and six TFLs as the key cog to the Lions’ defense.

► ATH: Jack Kendrick, Spain Park – had 69 tackles and seven TFLs for the Jags.


► QB: Will O’Dell, Oak Mountain; Carter Dotson, Chelsea; Evan Smallwood, Spain Park

► RB: Jaqson Melton, Hewitt-Trussville; Taurus Chambers, Pinson Valley

► WR: Jaxon Shuttlesworth, Chelsea;

Jonathan Bibbs, Spain Park; Clark Sanderson, Mountain Brook; Fred Dunson, Hoover; KJ Law, Hoover; Sawyer Smith, Oak Mountain

► OL: Jaxon Brooks, Homewood; Walker Chambless, Briarwood

► ATH: Devan Moss, Oak Mountain; Zach Archer, John Carroll

► DL: Emmanuel Waller, Oak Mountain; Lane Whisenhunt, Vestavia Hills; Preston King, Briarwood; Brian Alston, Spain Park; Zi’Keith Springfield, Pinson Valley; Jevonta Williams, Pinson Valley; Parker Avery, Mountain Brook; Randall Cole, Clay-Chalkville; Luke Dickinson, Briarwood; Andrew Parrish, Hoover

► LB: Jonas Harrelson, Spain Park; Matthew Yafonda, Clay-Chalkville; Houston Owen, Vestavia Hills; Jack Cornish, Briarwood; Devin Finley, Clay-Chalkville

► DB: Riggs Dunn, Hewitt-Trussville; Braxton Urquhart, Hoover

► K/P: Riley Rigg, Hewitt-Trussville

280Living.com January 2023 • B9
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Left: Oak Mountain linebacker Garrett Murphy (16) tackles Pelham wide receiver Darius Copeland (1) during a game between Pelham and Oak Mountain on Aug. 26 at Heardmont Park.
fends off
on Oct. 7.
Photo by Todd Lester Right: Calera running back Amari Brundidge (33) Briarwood linebacker Grey Reebals (23) during a football game between Briarwood and Calera at Lions Pride Stadium Photo by Laura Chramer.

Hornets win 1st state cross-country title

The weather was cold, dreary and gloomy the day of the state cross-country meet.

But to Trey Lee and the rest of the Chelsea High School team, it felt like a bright, warm, sunny day.

That’s because the Chelsea girls team won

the Class 7A state meet Nov. 5 at Oakville Indian Mounds Park, posting a dominant day to win the first state title in program history. The Hornets put four runners in the top nine and scored 35 points, ahead of 60 points for second-place Auburn.

“I forgot that it was cold, that my socks were wet and muddy,” said Lee, the second-year

Chelsea coach. “In that moment, all I knew was the fact that we finally accomplished our goal and exceeded it.”

Ty Cason led the way for Chelsea, running the 5K in 18 minutes, 34 seconds, setting her personal best mark by 20 seconds and finishing third overall. Right behind her was senior Auburn commit Cady McPhail, who capped off

a stellar high school cross-country career with a fourth-place finish in 18:39.

Mia Dunavant was sixth, as the eighth grader ran the race in 18:45. Juliette Edwards finished ninth in 19:01. Tyndal Ann Griffith also set a personal best mark and finished 13th, while Lemmie Floyd beat her personal record by a minute and finished 24th. Joss O’Kelley, Kylie

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Above: Chelsea’s Ty Carson approaches the finish line in third place during the girls Class 7A race of the AHSAA State Crosscountry Championships at Oakville Indian Mounds on Nov. 5. Right: Chelsea’s Parker Campbell pushes to the finish line with Huntsville’s Luke Kennedy, as Campbell places 18th behind Kennedy. Photos by Erin Nelson.

Jones, Brylee Bennet and Evie Scroggins also ran for Chelsea.

“It’s our first year in 7A, and so many people have been like, ‘Oh no.’ But the big thing is to not be afraid,” Lee said.

Oak Mountain’s girls finished fifth in the 7A meet, scoring 197 points. The top runner was Lauren Cole, who finished 26th in the race. Faith Scardino was not far behind, finishing 31st. Catarina Williams was 42nd and

Laura Rodgers finished 57th. Brighton Bell, Joy Damron, Adelaide McKeown, Hayley Datema, Selah Whitley and Nina Evans also posted times.

Chelsea and Oak Mountain had boys run as individuals. For Chelsea, Parker Campbell was 18th overall, while Hudson Williams was 29th. Matthew Womack led the Oak Mountain guys with a 22nd-place finish. John Shoemaker placed 30th and Bennett Phillips ran in 96th.

Briarwood qualified for the 6A state meet as well. The girls had a strong showing, finishing fourth in the team competition. The Lions scored 147 points, well clear of St. John Paul II in fifth. Briarwood’s boys placed 12th.

The Briarwood girls were led by Mary Grace Parker, who earned a top-10 finish by crossing the line ninth overall, running the 5K in a time of 19:28. Bela Doss finished 21st in a strong run as well. Luci Williams was 33d and Allie

For the boys, Brandon Dixon was the top performer, as he finished 40th in 17:27. Ford Thornton (56th), Whit Thornton (62nd) and Kolby Day (89th) were all in the top 100. Patrick Hnizdil, Graham Thornton, Spencer Martens, Whit Parsons, Drew Goolsby and William Pollard also ran for the Lions.


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Hale was 50th. Lena Anne Parker, Blakeley Margene, Zoey Eighmy, Lauren Luker, Ginger Potts and Chloe Lowery also ran in the race. Left: Briarwood’s Mary Grace Parker approaches the finish line in the girls Class 6A race. Above: Chelsea’s Cady McPhail approaches the finish line during the girls Class 7A race. Photos by Erin Nelson.

Varsity Sports Calendar


Girls at 6 p.m., boys at Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30

12: vs. Bessemer City. Girls at 6 p.m., Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 Girls at 6 p.m., boys at Girls at 6 p.m., boys at

26: @ Pelham. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30

27: vs. Calera. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30

31: @ Benjamin Russell. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.


3: @ Helena. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30

6: @ Hewitt-Trussville. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

10: vs. Spain Park. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

13: vs. Oak Mountain. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 16: Girls vs. Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa. TBD.

Jan. 16: Boys vs. Northridge. Brookwood High School.

Jan. 20: vs. Hewitt-Trussville. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 24: @ Spain Park. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 27: @ Oak Mountain. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 31: @ Pelham. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.


Jan. 3: @ Oxford. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 6: @ Spain Park. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 10: vs. Hewitt-Trussville. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 13: @ Chelsea. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 16: Boys vs. Grissom. 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 20: vs. Spain Park. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 24: @ Hewitt-Trussville. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 27: vs. Chelsea. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 31: vs. Clay-Chalkville. Girls at 5:30

p.m., boys at 7 p.m.


Jan. 3: vs. McAdory. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 6: vs. Oak Mountain. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 10: @ Chelsea. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 13: vs. Hewitt-Trussville. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 16: Girls vs. Northridge. Brookwood High School. TBD.

Jan. 16: Boys vs. Hartselle. Brookwood High School. 3 p.m.

Jan. 20: @ Oak Mountain. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 24: vs. Chelsea. Girls at 6 p.m., boys at 7:30 p.m.

Jan. 27: @ Hewitt-Trussville. Girls at 5:30 p.m., boys at 7 p.m.

Jan. 30: Boys @ James Clemens. 6:30 p.m.

Jan. 31: Girls @ Mountain Brook. 6 p.m.


Jan. 7: Ice Breaker Invitational. Birmingham CrossPlex.

Jan. 11: Hump Day Invitational. Birmingham CrossPlex.

Jan. 16: MLK Track Classic. Birmingham CrossPlex.

Jan. 27-28: Last Chance Invitational. Birmingham CrossPlex.



Jan. 13-14: Southeastern Pools. Thompson High School.

Jan. 17: @ Pelham. TBD.

Jan. 27-28: Heaton Memorial Tournament. TBD.

Jan. 31: Tri-match vs. Fort Payne, Mountain Brook. Chelsea High School. TBD.


Jan. 13-14: Southeastern Pools. Thompson High School.

Jan. 26: Tri-match. TBD.

Jan. 27-28: Mortimer Jordan Invitational. Mortimer Jordan High School.

Jan. 2: @ Hewitt-Trussville. 6 p.m.

Jan. 6-7: Region Duals. Hoover High School.

Jan. 13: Southeastern Pools. Thompson High School.

Jan. 18: Tri-match vs. Wetumpka, Carver-Birmingham. Spain Park High School. 5 p.m.

Jan. 26: Tri-match vs. Auburn, Pell City. Spain Park High School. 5 p.m.

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Sean of the South By Sean Dietrich

I am backstage, about to tell stories onstage. A man with a name tag and a clipboard announces, “Ten minutes to showtime.”

I am tuning my guitar, hoping I won’t stink tonight.

This is what all performers think about before they go onstage. They say silent prayers that all go, more or less, the same way.

“Dear God, don’t let me suck.”

It’s easy to stink at storytelling because there is no school for such things, so you don’t know if you’re getting it right. Which leads me to ask: “What am I doing with my life?”

I am still unclear on how I started telling stories for a living. The only education I have in storytelling came from elderly men who wore Velcro shoes and wore their slacks up to their armpits.

I have always had a soft spot for old men. From childhood, I believed that I was an old man trapped inside a kid’s body. I never fit in with peers, and I never wanted to. This was only made worse by the fact that I was raised as a tee-totaling fundamentalist who was forbidden from touching NyQuil.

As a young man, I would find myself in a crowd of teenagers who were smoking cigarettes, sipping longnecks, far from parental eyes, and for some reason, nobody ever offered me any real chances at sinning.

I would have appreciated the opportunity, but they viewed me as different. It was as though I were elderly.

Once, as a joke, my friend Jordan handed me a lit cigarette in front of everybody. I didn’t want anyone to think I was a wimp, so

I took the biggest drag I could. I almost died from a coughing fit. My friends howled until they peed.

Thus, I was blacklisted from social situations. I was the old man of the group. During social scenarios, I would generally hang in the corner, drinking prune juice, adjusting my Velcro footwear, holding everyone’s car keys.

People called me “D.B.,” which was short for “Designated Baptist.”

Ah, but my truest friends were elderly men. What I liked about them most was that they had already gotten their petty teenage sins out of the way. They were more interested in major sins. For example, weekend trips to Biloxi. Or scratch-off lotto tickets.

After my father died, I looked for anyone with white hair to pay attention to me. I just wanted someone to be proud of me. I wanted to piece together a father figure. When I found the right person, I would follow him around like a labrador until he took me home.

There was Ben. Bless him. He has Alzheimer’s now. He was a Mississippian who talked like Rhett Butler. We spent nearly every afternoon together.

He was retired and had nothing to do but tell stories. And he told some doozies. Some I can’t repeat here. Some I have told on stages.

When Ben came down with dementia, the world lost a library.

And there was the retired Auburn University professor. He was a man who chainsmoked Winstons and read Wordsworth. He would loan these books to me and encourage me to read them. He would ask me to summarize them.

I don’t know if you’ve ever read British Romantic poetry, but back in those days everybody was always saying things like “heretofore” and “whithersoever” to each other just for kicks. The poems were miles above me, but I loved them.

So the good professor would help me. In his ratty apartment, he taught a high-school dropout to appreciate literature.

Maybe this is how I started telling stories. Because my life has been spent in the company of old men who loved to tell them; who could not restrain themselves from telling stories.

Old men are not like boys. They don’t have big ambitions — if any. They’re past ambition, and they have only experience left. They are ready to integrate what they know into the world around them. And if you listen, they will help you.

After all, old men have seen their mistakes get worse over time and watched their qualities get better with age. They’ve lost those they care about and discovered that success is nothing.

Sometimes they are grumpy, sure. Some-

times their joints get stoved up. Sometimes they can’t help telling it like it is. But other times, they will say something so profound, so incredibly put, that you have to write it down.

They are filled to the hairline with stories. And if you listen to them carefully, they will tell you one while they whittle a stick on the porch.

And when they are gone, you will miss the sound of Rhett’s voice.

“Five more minutes,” the man with the clipboard says.

I hurry to the bathroom one last time. When I am at the sink, there is an old man beside me. White hair, thick glasses.

He dries his hands with paper towels and says, “You ever heard of this storyteller guy, Sean Dietrich?”

I keep my head down. “No sir. Can’t say that I have.”

“Me neither. My dang wife dragged me here tonight; I sure as heck didn’t wanna come. I ain’t never heard of this joker before. All I can say is, I hope this guy doesn’t stink.”

He tosses his paper towel into the garbage and leaves the bathroom.

He was wearing white Velcro shoes.

I sincerely hope I don’t let that old man down.

Sean Dietrich is a columnist and novelist known for his commentary on life in the American South. He has authored nine books and is the creator of the “Sean of the South” blog and podcast.

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m not much of a resolution person. I don’t do well with never doing something. Except for skydiving, which I can say with extreme confidence that “I will never!” But that’s what a resolution is: a “firm decision to do or not to do something.” That sounds a little intense when you Google it.

Do we really need a hard and fast resolution every year? Probably not—unless you’re harming someone, littering, entering an elevator before others come out, or yelling at others in traffic, in which case you should definitely resolve not to do those things. I do think kindness is a great resolution that we should all commit to.

But overall, I think we are a good bunch

most of the time. It’s been a hard few years, so why would I say that I’m never eating cake or that I’m going to run everyday if I hate running? That’s just setting myself up for failure, and I have no time for failure this year.

For 2023, I’m going to just do my best.

Should I eat fewer Kit Kats and drink more water? Definitely.

Should I sleep more and yell less? You betcha.

Should I save more money? For sure.

Business news to share?

If you have news to share with the community about your brick-and-mortar business along the 280 corridor, let us know!

Should I read more books and scroll less often? Yes!

What I’m not going to do is set an unrealistic goal, whether it be weight, money, or relationship based, that’s going to make me feel somehow less than.

My best is enough.

And I like the idea of aspiring toward instead of resolving from, this new year. Let’s aspire toward our goals, and be a positive light. Let’s aspire toward goodness and compassion. Let’s eat, drink, and be merry in moderation. Let’s get outside and

exercise if we feel like it, and rest when we don’t. Let’s give ourselves and others grace, and embrace whatever circumstances are thrown at us this year.

As long as we are trying hard and spreading love while we do it, our best is enough. Happy New Year to you and yours!

Alana is a nurse anesthetist, writer and boy mom (ages 7 and 2), who lives in north Shelby County with her husband, kids and Boxer, Sam. When she’s not writing or chasing little humans, she can usually be found in the aisles of Target. She shares her writings at Holy Moly Motherhood (on Facebook and Instagram), where she takes on all things motherhood and marriage.

280Living.com January 2023 • B13
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Telling stories Dietrich Smith Holy Moly Motherhood By Alana Smith 2023: A new year! at Lee Branch 980.8879 www.pakmailleebranch.com DHL FedEx UPS USPS DHL FedEx UPS USPS There’s a Bright New Year Ahead Bring in this ad for 20% OFF packing & shipping of one package UPS, FX or DHL for the month of January 2023


North Shelby Library

North Shelby Library will be closed Jan.1 and Jan. 16.


Wednesdays: Storytime Friends. 10:30 a.m. Story program ideal for 3-5 with caregivers nearby. Stories, songs, finger plays, and fun make up a lively 30-minute program. Registration begins 1 week in advance. Registration required.

Thursdays: Family Fun Nights. 6-7:30 p.m. All ages.

Jan. 12: Pizza & Pokémon. 6-7:30 p.m. All ages with adult assistance if needed.

Jan. 17: Toddler Storytime: Explore Our Senses. 10:30 a.m. Ages 18-36 mos.

Jan. 31: Baby Tales. 10:30 a.m. Birth-18 months.


Monthly: Activity Bundles. Designed for PreK1st grade.

Monthly: Craft and STEM Kit-to-Go. All ages with adult assistance.

Monthly: In-House Scavenger Hunt: Let It Snow! All ages.

Tuesdays: Tech Tuesdays. 3:30-4:30 p.m. All ages with adult assistance if needed.

Jan. 10: Balloon Car Construction with Jan the Science Lady. 10:30 a.m. Preschool ages 3-5.

Jan. 18: Homeschool Hangout: Snowstorm in a Bottle. 1 p.m. Grades K-12 with adult assistance if needed.

Jan. 18: K-5th Homeschool Art Craft Kit to Go: Color-bleed Snowflake Art. 1 p.m. Grades K-5 with adult assistance if needed.


Tuesdays: Tween Minecrafternoon. For ages 8-12. Join other tweens online on the library’s Minecraft Realm. Patrons must have their own supported version of Minecraft at home in order to play. Registration required.

Jan. 7: Spanish Club for Ages 8-17. 2 p.m.

Jan. 12: Tween Leadership Council Meeting. 5 p.m. For ages 8-12.

Jan. 20: Tween Book Club. 4:30 p.m. For ages 8-12.

Jan. 23: Tween Sewing Class. 5-6:30 p.m. For ages 8-12.

Jan. 26: Fortnite Tournament. 5:30 p.m. For ages 8-17.


Mondays: Teen Dungeons & Dragons. 6 p.m.

Jan. 5: Teen Leadership Council Semester Meeting. 4 p.m.

Jan. 6: Teen Manga Book Club. 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 12: Pizza & Pokémon. 6-7:30 p.m. All ages with adult assistance if needed.

Jan. 14: Teen Volunteer Day. 6th-12th

graders can sign up for 1-2 hours of service. Limit five volunteers per day.

Jan. 14: Capture the Flag. 6 p.m.

Jan. 18: Homeschool Hangout: Snowstorm in a Bottle. 1 p.m. Grades K-12 with adult assistance if needed.

Jan. 20: Teen Girls’ Book Club. 4:30 p.m.

Jan. 26: Fortnite Tournament. 5:30 p.m. For ages 8-17.


Jan. 6 and 20: Language Club. 5 p.m.

Jan. 10: True Crime Digital Book Club. 6 p.m.

Jan. 17: Alabama Theater painting — Acrylic Painting Program. 9 a.m. Cost $10.

Jan. 19: NSL Book Club. 10:30 a.m.

Jan. 23: Discovering 19th-Century Life in Alabama Letters and Diaries. 10:30 a.m.

Jan. 31: Paper Flower Craft Program. 10 a.m.

Mt Laurel Library

Mt Laurel Library will be closed Jan. 30.


Jan. 6 and 20: Ukulele Storytime. 10 a.m. Ages 19-36 months.

Jan. 14: Crafty Saturday. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Jan. 20: Mr. Larry’s Magic Show. 4 p.m.


Jan. 19: Tween Button Making. 4-5 p.m.


Jan. 5: Mt Laurel Book Club. 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Jan. 9: Mt Laurel Knitting Group. 2-4 p.m.

Jan. 18: Lunch and Learn – Representative Susan DuBose. Noon.

Chelsea Library


Jan. 7 and 22: Chess Club. 2-3 p.m.

Jan. 10: Virtual Music & Books Club. 5:306:30 p.m.

Jan. 14: Lego Day. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Children and teens.

Jan. 28: KZT Hands On S.T.E.A.M. Day. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Children and teens.


Jan. 9: Teen Book Club. 5-6 p.m.


Jan. 9: Medicare Info. 10-11 a.m.

Jan. 12: Book Club. 10-11 a.m.


Email dan@starnesmedia.com for your Women in Business Strategy Session

B14 • January 2023 280 Living
You can inspire our future female leaders with Women in Business.

Overture Tributary’s celebrated reputation in Birmingham is owed to more than just its first-rate, premium apartment and cottage style homes.

The active adult community’s lifestyle innovation and wellbeing emphasis are perhaps its most significant differentiators. They encompass detailed measures to keep every resident feeling energetic, engaged, fulfilled, and connected with their neighbors. It’s a community whose idea of creating a satisfactory experience does not end with the home finishes and technological conveniences (though those are essential, as well), but continues to include individual wellness in a wide sense of the concept.

Through detailed planning and professional oversight, led by a full-time Lifestyle Coordinator, residents can depend on routine exercise classes and activities to maintain or

further develop their fitness/ health. The community’s extraordinary fitness center is comprehensively outfitted for both individual training and enjoyable group sessions in the adjoining yoga studio. Organized gatherings might also include chess and billiards contests to keep the strategic wheels spinning.

Overture Tributary exists to help residents develop strong community ties with one another. The idea is that your family lives nearby for regular visits, while your neighbors are right next door and ready to join you on the next fitness outing, game night, language course, spa day, or evening trip to a local restaurant. Choose how to spend each day, organize new activities of your own, have the family over for a meal, and treat every day as a chance to reach every wellness goal on your terms.

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