Hoover Sun July 2024

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For the past three years, a familiar crowd has gathered at Super Chix at Stadium Trace Village on Wednesday nights for trivia.

“It’s a big hit; people love it,” said Zeel Zaveri, the restaurant’s owner-operator. “I see the same people coming in every Wednesday, which is always good to see. So now it’s more like family.”

Dr. Peter DeFranco talks about the influx of sediment that flows from Scout Creek into Scout Creek Lake behind his home
Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Relieve suffering of chronic pain and regain your life with Birmingham Health

Sadly, many people live every day with pain, as well as numbness, tingling and other symptoms. In many cases, these debilitating symptoms are caused by neuropathy or chronic joint pain.

And most of these patients want to find relief without the drugs and surgeries often recommended by the practitioners of traditional medicine.

In Birmingham, these patients have another option to relieve their suffering and regain their lives — Birmingham Health in Vestavia Hills.

At Birmingham Health, Dr. Alex Casey — a highly skilled Chiropractic Physician — offers effective nerve pain treatments without unwanted surgical procedures, injections or addictive drugs.

Over the last decade, Dr. Casey has developed the HTX System, which offers a variety of natural treatments designed to restore health both internally and externally, addressing pain and improving blood flow at the microvascular level to support continuous healing.

“Our approach works despite what traditional medicine tells everyone,” Dr. Casey said.

In developing the HTX System, Dr. Casey was driven by a desire to relieve the type of chronic suffering that he saw two of his family members experience due to neuropathy.

“I experienced first-hand the declining quality of the life they lived,” Dr. Casey said.

He was also very frustrated with the way that traditional medicine managed

their care.

“I felt a calling to become an expert in reversing people’s neuropathy to keep patients from the side effects of traditional neuropathy treatment,” Dr. Casey said. “I have dedicated my life to this.”

In treating pain, Dr. Casey doesn’t rely on a one-size-fits-all method. Instead,

he uses an approach tailored to each patient, using treatments that are specifically designed to address that person’s unique type of nerve damage.

Dr. Casey enjoys helping his patients and seeing them get their lives back.

“It’s extremely gratifying to be able to help people get back to doing what they love to do the way they love to do

Birmingham Health

• Where: 801 Shades Crest Road

• Call: 205-598-6867

• Web: bhamhealth.com

it,” he said. “I’m grateful for being able to offer services that don’t include medicine, injections or surgeries and watch my patients — even people with really bad neuropathy or chronic pain — get better.”

There are emotional as well as physical benefits for patients, Dr. Casey said.

“There’s nothing more gratifying than seeing someone who has lost almost all their hope regain confidence because their dignity is being restored,” he said.

“It's incredibly tough to hear the decline patients experience. It can be extremely emotional, but it's real, and it needs to be addressed rather than having the patient feel unheard.”

Dr. Casey is an Alabama native who earned his bachelor’s degree at the University of West Georgia and graduated from Life University in Marietta, Georgia in 2011.

Birmingham Health is located at 801 Shades Crest Road. For more information, go to bhamhealth.com.

To arrange a complimentary consultation with Birmingham Health, call today at 205-598-6867 and speak to one of our HTX coaches.

About Us

Editor’s Note By Jon Anderson

Hoover is filled with interesting people who have stories to tell, and that’s especially true in the restaurant industry.

The Hoover Restaurant Alliance has declared July 19-27 as “Hoover Restaurant Week.” It obviously lasts more than a week, but the organizers wanted to include two weekends as part of the celebration. There’s also a bartender challenge July 15-18.

Armbrester features another restaurant chain that entered the Hoover market a year ago: Hero Doughnuts & Buns.

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One of this month’s cover stories highlights a restaurant group that has jumped into Hoover full force. Grace Thornton shares how the Power Brands Hospitality Group soon will have 10 restaurants in the city. Katharine

We’re also starting several new features this month, including a business spotlight and a chance to get to know several people in the community. This month, we chat with T. Fox SalonSpa stylist Brooke Qualls, retiring educator Kari Tibbs and city forester Colin Conner. I hope you enjoy these and other new features in the works.

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Dan Starnes

Hoover gains more state money for pickleball complex at Met

The city of Hoover has taken another step closer to getting 24 new outdoor pickleball courts at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex.

State Rep. David Faulkner recently announced that for the second year in a row, state legislators put $500,000 into the state’s budget for upgrades at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex.

According to Faulkner, the goal is for that money to be used to help build a new outdoor pickleball complex that will be big enough to bring in a big national tournament.

“That sport is growing all over the country,” Faulkner said. “There’s a real opportunity here for Hoover to bring in a national pickleball tournament, and the economic impact from that would be enormous.”

This latest allocation brings the total available for a covered outdoor pickleball complex at the Met to $1.3 million, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said. Hoover also received $300,000 from the Jefferson County Commission for the project, Brocato said.

But the desired pickleball complex is still “a work in progress,” Brocato said. The estimated cost of the complex is $3.5 million, City Administrator Ken Grimes said.

Brocato said he would like to find more money for the complex in the city’s fiscal 2025 budget, but that’s still undetermined as city officials develop the budget. The Hoover Parks and Recreation Department still has other desired projects that need addressing as well, Grimes said.

The city just opened eight outdoor, lighted pickleball courts at Veterans Park as part of a joint project with Shelby County at the end of April, and they appear to be quite popular, Grimes said.

The 83,000-square-foot Finley Center at the Hoover Met Complex can be divided into 21 indoor pickleball courts, but Hoover is interested in having dedicated outdoor courts there as well.

Faulkner also shared that the Legislature allocated $1 million to help with costs for the SEC Baseball Tournament because the tournament brings in so many visitors each year and has such a large economic impact.

“That’s fantastic for the state of Alabama,” Faulkner said. “Let’s keep the SEC Tournament here in Hoover for years — forever.”

State Rep. Leigh Hulsey also recently delivered $10,000 from her legislative discretionary fund to the city of Hoover, to be split evenly between the Hoover Police Department and Hoover Fire Department.

State Rep. Mike Shaw and state Sen. April

Weaver also gave a report to the Hoover City Council about the Legislature’s passage of a law to strengthen penalties against false reporting of crimes and to provide for restitution to law enforcement agencies that expend resources on investigating false reports.

The bill, sponsored in the House by Shaw and in the Senate by Weaver, was filed in response to a false police report by Hoover resident Carlee Russell, who falsely claimed she was kidnapped on the side of Interstate 459 and held against her will for two days in July of last year.

In other business in June, the Hoover City Council:

► Amended the city’s 2024 budget to add $500,000 to cover extra legal bills associated with the city’s effort to get a certificate of need for an ambulatory surgery and diagnostics

Groups of people play

center in Riverchase. The legal bill for that effort has increased after South Haven Health & Rehabilitation CEO Loree Skelton contested the application with the State Health Planning and Development Agency.

► Reappointed Kyle Puchta, Rohen Por and Larry Ingram to the Hoover Board of Zoning Adjustment, each for three more years, with terms ending May 31, 2027.

► Hired Onsite Metered Concrete to provide concrete for the city at a cost not to exceed $110,180.

► Agreed to have high grass and weeds cut at 425 Shades Ave. and 2874 Wisteria Drive and to put liens on the properties to pay for the work and declared property at 1691 and 1697 Montgomery Highway as a public nuisance due to similar high weeds and/or grass.

pickleball at the new pickleball courts at Veterans Park in Hoover on June 13. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Mayor’s Minute

In just a few days, hundreds of athletes will descend on our city, and we can’t wait to roll out the red carpet! For the second year in a row, Hoover has been chosen to host The Hartford Nationals, conducted by Move United. The event will be held July 12-18 at various locations around Hoover and the Birmingham metro area.

The Hartford Nationals is the largest and longest-standing national sport championship event for athletes with a physical disability, visual impairment and/or intellectual disability. This is the 67th year for the event. More than 400 athletes and coaches are expected to participate in this weeklong series of events that include competitions, clinics, educational sessions and social opportunities. The sports include archery, para-triathlon, para-powerlifting, shooting, swimming, track and field and wheelchair tennis.

The Hartford Nationals is hosted locally by the city of Hoover, the Lakeshore Foundation and the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Activities will take place at the Hoover Met Complex, the Finley Center, the Lakeshore Foundation and Spain Park High School, along with the Birmingham CrossPlex and Oak Mountain State Park.

Move United is the nation’s leading community-based adaptive sports orga-

nization. Athletes that compete at the Hartford Nationals event must have qualified through more than two dozen sanctioned competitions that previously took place across the country throughout the Move United member network. In addition, this national competition has been a stepping stone for many athletes to go on and compete at the international level, including the Paralympic Games.

There are still volunteer opportunities for area residents. For more information, you can go to moveunitedsport.org/ events/nationals.

I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank our city employees, police officers, firefighters and E-911 staff along with leaders of the Hoover City Schools system for their recent participation in two tabletop exercises. One involved an active shooter scenario at two of our schools, and the other involved a major weather event that impacted several schools. The goal was to bring all of these organizations together to participate in and get training on these hypothetical scenarios so that we are prepared to work together in case anything like this were to happen in our city. It was a very successful training exercise.

We certainly hope we never have a scenario that requires us to put this training to use, but we are prepared if need be.

Frank V. Brocato

Construction begins on new Fire Station No. 1

Construction has begun on a new $5.7 million fire station set to be built on U.S. 31 in the Green Valley area.

The new Fire Station No. 1 at 1596 Montgomery Highway will replace the city’s original fire station, which sits just a couple hundred yards to the west behind the Hoover Court shopping center.

The new 8,800-square-foot station is right on U.S. 31, in a space formerly occupied by a bank between Salvatore’s Pizza & Pasta and the Stone Creek Dental Care building. It will have three vehicle bays, one of which will be a drivethrough bay, Chief Clay Bentley said. Another section of the building will be two stories with sleeping quarters upstairs.

The current fire station is tucked out of sight in an area sometimes referred to as “dumpster row” because of all the dumpsters behind the Hoover Court businesses, Bentley said. This new location will give the Fire Department easier and quicker access to U.S. 31 and more visibility, and it will be built in a way that shows the city’s commitment to revitalizing older parts of the city such as Green Valley, he said.

It will be a facility of which the community can be proud and will allow firefighters to do their jobs better, he said.

Hoover Council President John Lyda, who has lived in the Green Valley community for 22 years, said city officials are always on a quest to improve Hoover’s quality of life, amenities and facilities. You can often tell a lot about a city’s pride and financial health by looking at its fire stations and police patrol cars, and “this is the next important step to show the pride that we have in our city,” Lyda said.

He commended the mayor and his staff for carefully scouting sites to select the best location for Hoover’s next “state-of-the-art station.”

At the June 4 groundbreaking ceremony, Mayor Frank Brocato, who worked for the Fire

Department 42 years, took the crowd assembled down “memory lane,” sharing a brief history of how the Hoover Fire Department got started in the Green Valley community.

When the Hoover Volunteer Fire Department incorporated in 1962, there were 97 houses in the fire district, Brocato said. The first real fire station that was built cost about $6,000 to build and included two bays and a sleeping area, he said. It also served as Hoover’s city hall and jail. Often, prisoners were held in the bathroom until the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office arrived to take them to the county jail, he said. That building was the hub for Hoover, and


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Officials participate in the official groundbreaking ceremony for a new Hoover Fire Station No. 1 on June 4. From left are Hoover Councilman Sam Swiney, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, former Hoover Mayor Frank Skinner, Hoover fire Chief Clay Bentley and Hoover Assistant Fire Chief Matthew Javinett. Photo by Jon Anderson.

many of the city’s early leaders worked there, including numerous mayors who served in the Fire Department.

The city and its Fire Department have grown dramatically over the years. With 97 houses, there were just three fire calls in the first year of the Fire Department, and now the city has close to 100,000 people and 11 fire stations responding to more than 14,000 calls a year, Brocato said.

The existing Fire Station No. 1 has been renovated and added onto several times and served the city well, but it’s time for something better, officials said.

“This station will outlast all of us,” City Administrator Ken Grimes said. In the end, “It’s not the station that makes the city; it’s the people” who are trained and ready to respond and serve 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days of the year, he said.

The new station was designed by Aho Architects and will be built by Kyser Construction of Tuscaloosa. Two of the people who designed it are the daughter and son-in-law of a former longtime Hoover firefighter, Artie Childs, Brocato said.

The goal is to have the station built by July or August of 2025, officials said.

In the Classroom

2 Hoover teachers are finalists for Presidential award

Two teachers from Hoover City Schools recently were selected to be among six finalists from Alabama for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching this year.

Ashley Dark from Gwin Elementary School was chosen as one of three Alabama finalists in the mathematics category, while Berry Middle School’s Melody Greene was selected as one of three finalists in the science category.

Other finalists in mathematics are Heather Hurt at Vestavia Hills Elementary East and Shandra Upchurch at Riverton Elementary in Huntsville. Other finalists in science are Maegan Gayle at Hutchens Elementary in

Mobile and Mary Beth Brennan at Pelham Oaks Elementary in Pelham.

There typically are 60 to 75 teachers from Alabama nominated for this award each year, and only two will be selected, said Charlene Dindo, a retired teacher who won the science award in 2001 and now works as the program’s mentor director for the Alabama Department of Education.

The finalists now forward information about themselves to the National Science Foundation, which administers the award program for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. A team from the National Science Foundation will review the applications and make a recommendation to the White House, which will make the final decision, Dindo said.

Kari Tibbs: former eighth grade assistant principal at Berry Middle School

Tibbs recently retired from her role as the eighth grade assistant principal at Berry Middle School.

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: Twenty-four years, all in Hoover City Schools and all of that at Berry Middle School. I student-taught at Berry Middle School and Green Valley Elementary. I was a K-12 special education specialist. After student-teaching, I taught for 13 years and then transitioned to assistant principal. I did that for 11 years.

Q: What inspired you to go into education?

A: My mom worked for a school system. As kids, we played like we were teaching. After high school, I was a history major at first and then was able to better understand some of the other facets of education and change my major to special education. It’s really simple, I guess just the Lord.

Q: Why special education?

A: I worked one summer briefly at a camp that was hosted by another teacher who taught in Midfield City Schools. She was an enrichment teacher, and her camp was geared toward all kids, and she

embraced every level of learner and every walk of life. That really just opened my eyes to better understanding the diversity of the world and just the needs of others and how to embrace that, and so I wanted to be a part of something like that.

Q: What has been the best part of being in education?

A: The ability to interact with and grow alongside the kids. They inspire me, and in all levels of learning I’ve been involved in, it’s been such a joy to partner alongside those families and those students.

Q: What has been the most challenging?

A: The intensity of the needs and the intensity of the day-to-day. I could tell it was time for me to step off the merry-go-round.

Q: Why did you decide to retire, and what do you plan to do?

A: I have exactly zero plans right now. I know for sure I’m taking the summer months off. That’s going to be part of my regeneration here — getting myself kind of refocused. I want to just get out and explore and see what’s available and see what the world’s like.

Dark Greene

Business Buzz


Amazing Lash Studio has opened its first Birmingham-Hoover area location in The Village at Lee Branch at 250 Doug Baker Blvd., Suite 200. The studio offers lash extensions, lash lifts, brow waxing and tinting, brow lamination, lash tinting and facial waxing. Hours are 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. 205-654-7039, amazinglashstudio.com


La-Z-Boy has completed renovations of its stores at 2944 John Hawkins Parkway and 5401 U.S. 280. 205-733-1937, 205-437-0280; la-z-boy.com


Jessica Daviston, a Hoover resident and Realtor with Sotheby's International Realty, was featured for a second time on HGTV's “House Hunters” show on June 16. Her first appearance was on March 31. 205-475-2008, sothebysrealty.com

Bojangles, which has a location in Hoover at 485 Southland Drive, has started offering catering through a new partnership with ezCater. This is Bojangles’ first venture into catering as a company, though select franchises previously have offered the service. Bojangles has at least 20 locations in Alabama, including in Chelsea, Trussville, Fultondale and McCalla in Jefferson County. 205-978-0565, bojangles.com/catering


J&M Tank Lines, 1100 Corporate Parkway, is pleased to announce that Jeff Null has been named the new vice

president of operations. He comes to the company with over 30 years of experience in the trucking industry. J&M specializes in dry-bulk transportation, with experience in food-grade, liquid bulk and plastic materials across the Southeast and beyond. 800-456-8265, jmtank.com

205-515-0693, Brian Bentley: 205-296-4615, Brady Cunningham: 205-603-9157; realtysouth.com


Then Again Consignment at 3659 Lorna Road, Suite 121 celebrated its 29th anniversary in June. 205-987-3640, thenagainconsignment.com

K&J's Elegant Pastries, at 3601 Market St., Suite 101, celebrated its 11th anniversary in June. 205-842-8357, kjselegantpastries.com

Missy Burchart, a Hoover resident, has been promoted to president and CEO of Wilbron, a management consultancy and public relations company in Birmingham. She is replacing fellow Hoover resident Brandon Wilson, who will become Wilbron’s executive chairman. Burchart previously served as chief operating officer and brings more than 30 years of experience in public relations, including leadership at integrated public relations and advertising agencies in Atlanta, Boston and Detroit. Since joining Wilbron in 2022, Burchart has grown the employee base, increased revenue and retooled the company’s processes to increase efficiency and impact. She helped Wilborn become only the second agency in Alabama to win a Silver Anvil award from the Public Relations Society of America. Wilson will remain an active part of the company, providing guidance to steer Wilbron’s mission, vision and strategic direction. 205-549-1000, wilbron.com

Claudia Heard and Gage Sumner have joined the RealtySouth Over-the-Mountain office at 2409 Acton Road, Suite 137, as Realtors, while Brian Bentley and Brady Cunningham have joined as Realtors at the Inverness office at 109 Inverness Plaza.

Claudia Heard: 205-703-1552, Gage Sumner:


We’re introducing readers to people from the Hoover business community. This month’s profile is Brooke Qualls, a stylist at T. Fox Salonspa at 280 Valleydale Rd. #7 in Hoover.

Q: Tell us about your business.

A: This is my 15th year at T. Fox Salonspa, a top 200 salon, Hoover’s best of the best and Shelby County’s Small Business of the Year.

Q: How did you get involved?

A: I’ve always had a love and an interest in the beauty industry ever since I was a young girl. So after high school, I decided to pursue my dream, and I fell in love with it. Then I was able to apprentice under Traci Fox. And we also do all of our continuing education with Aveda.

Q: Give us your 30-second elevator pitch.

A: I love my career. I love the creative part of it. I love the precision cutting bay. Most of all, I love my team, and I love my amazing leader, Traci Fox.

Q: What sets you apart from your competition?

A: We collaborate and work together as a team. We are passionate about the quality of

service, and we pay attention to detail.

Q: What would your customers say about you?

A: I’m laid back. I’m a good listener, and as my boss tells me, I’m consistent, dependable and reliable. I’m like a rusty fish hook: I’m not going anywhere.

The Inverness Country Club, 1 Country Club Drive, celebrated its 51st anniversary in May. The club offers a golf course, racquetball, swimming, fitness classes, tennis courts and event space for use. 205-991-8608, iccalabama.com

United Community Bank celebrated one year on Meadow Lake Drive in June. The bank is open weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. 205-705-1540, ucbi.com

Liberty Mutual/Comparion Insurance Company has been open for one year in Meadow Brook's Corporate Park. The business offers vehicle, property and life insurance. 205-995-9883, comparioninsurance.com

Business News to Share?

Do you have news to share with the community about a business in Hoover or the greater Birmingham area? Let us know at starnesmedia.com/ business-happenings

Get fit at Thompson Fitness

Thompson Fitness, a training studio focused on personalized fitness, is one of Hoover’s newest exercise offerings.

Owner Sean Thompson, a personal trainer and nutritionist, offered online fitness classes for several years before opening an in-person location last November. Gymgoers can choose to train in person through small groups and one-on-one sessions, or in the comfort

of their own home through online classes. Thompson’s regimens focus on weight loss and body transformation. His tagline is “Look Better, Feel Better, Have More Energy.”

Potential new members can get started by booking a 30-minute consultation, where they’ll build a custom workout plan.

Thompson Fitness is at 2341 John Hawkins Parkway #137 and is open from Monday to Saturday. You can visit their website at tfit205.com.

Brooke Qualls. Photo courtesy of Brooke Qualls.
Sean Thompson, right, leads a class at Thompson Fitness in Hoover in November 2023. Photo courtesy of Sean Thompson.

Hero Doughnuts & Buns celebrates

In June, Hero Doughnuts and Buns celebrated its one-year anniversary at Stadium Trace Village, one of nine locations throughout Alabama and the Southeast.

Wil Drake, the culinary director of Hero who founded the company with Jason Wallis, remembers the motivation behind opening a location in Hoover.

“We loved the idea of coming to Hoover,” Drake said. “We had a little bit of a connection there and saw it as a great opportunity.”

Early in the planning stages of the Stadium Trace Village development, it was brought to Drake’s attention that Hero Doughnuts would be a great fit for the rapidly growing area.

Hero Doughnuts regularly catered to customers in Hoover, and Hoover residents frequently traveled to the Homewood or Railroad Park locations.

“It seemed like a high-traffic area with the Hoover Met nearby,” said Drake, who was also pleased that the Stadium Trace development would be visible from Interstate 459. The commitment to a new location “was kind of a no-brainer,” he said.

Their opening on June 28 of last thrilled loyal Hoover fans, he said. “They were so excited to have something in their neck of the woods.”

Since opening Hero in Hoover, time has flown so quickly that it doesn’t feel like an entire year has passed, Drake said. He’s enjoyed watching Trace Crossings continue to develop, and he — along with many of his customers — are looking forward to the amphitheater that will be part of the Village Green at Stadium Trace Village.

Drake first began selling doughnuts at a pop-up shop, and when he opened his first

brick-and-mortar restaurant, he knew he didn’t want his business to just be about doughnuts. The wide variety of menu items that Hero offers reflects his original dream.

“All of the things on the menu are stuff that I grew up enjoying as a child. The doughnuts and the old-school griddle burgers, the fried chicken and the hash browns,” Drake said. “It all comes from a place of nostalgia for me.”

Drake cherishes the “generational memories” he made as a child enjoying classic Southern

When physicians, scientists and researchers with extraordinary talent and passion are given the technology, the facilities, and the support, they achieve great things. The discoveries, innovations and clinical trials happening today will help shape the future of treatments and lead to cures.

cooking, particularly with his dad, “who is my hero,” he said. “That’s the reason for the name.”

The blend of classic Southern recipes with more contemporary menu items, such as shakes and coffees, has proven a success at the Hoover location, Drake said. The lunch menu has been particularly popular with Hoover customers, he said.

“We get a lot of customers that don’t even eat doughnuts. They come to us for our famous hamburger and fried chicken sandwiches,”

All of the things on the menu are stuff that I grew up enjoying as a child. The doughnuts and the old-school griddle burgers, the fried chicken and the hash browns. .

Drake said. “Doughnuts is just a little of what we do.”

The Stadium Trace Village location is the first Hero restaurant and team that has really leaned into collaborating with schools, Drake said. “We’ve seen that it’s been really helpful for both parties, and we’ve tried to implement that at our other locations.” When they have participated in spirit days and donated a percentage of their sales for the day for Hoover schools “that’s been a big hit, too.”

“We’ve got the best team in the world,” Drake said of the staff at Stadium Trace Village. “We have a lot of young and shining faces to greet our guests, and then we’ve got an amazingly talented kitchen and bakery,” he said. “We make everything from scratch and cook to order, so it definitely takes a village to get it all across the finish line.”

For more information, go to herodoughnuts andbuns.com.

Fitting Birmingham's Children in Quality Clothing and Shoes for over 69 years

Above: Guests order at Hero Doughnuts & Buns in Hoover’s Stadium Trace Village on June 10. Inset: A sampling of Hero Donuts’ selection Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Recently sold homes in Hoover

► ADDRESS: 612 Brooks Lane

► BED/BATH: 4/3.5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,838 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: The Highlands

► LIST PRICE: $425,000

► SALE PRICE: $415,000

► ADDRESS: 3587 Marc Ave.

► BED/BATH: 4/3

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,050 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Reynolds Landing at Ross Bridge

► LIST PRICE: $490,000

► SALE PRICE: $490,000

► ADDRESS: 3366 Sawyer Drive

► BED/BATH: 3/2.5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,836 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Sawyer Trail at Ross Bridge

► LIST PRICE: $459,000

► SALE PRICE: $461,000

► ADDRESS: 5568 Park Side Road

► BED/BATH: 3/3.5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,820 sq. ft.


► LIST PRICE: $294,900

► SALE PRICE: $294,000

► ADDRESS: 3301 Chandler Way

► BED/BATH: 4/3

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,762 sq. ft.


► LIST PRICE: $899,000

► SALE PRICE: $875,000

► ADDRESS: 5228 Greystone Way

► BED/BATH: 6/5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 7,959 sq. ft.


► LIST PRICE: $1,500,000

► SALE PRICE: $1,500,000




Guests browse various booths at the Ross Bridge Farmers Market on June 7.

Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Hoover events guide

July 1-4: Ross Bridge Junior Golf Clinic. 8-10 a.m. each day. Renaissance Ross Bridge Golf Resort & Spa. Golfers ages 8-16 will receive expert instruction from Caleb Stodden and his staff. The first three days focus on golf skills, fitness, etiquette and sportsmanship. Day four is graduation day, when a parent/guardian is invited to play with or cheer on their junior for a few holes. Cost: $225. Another session will be offered Aug. 5-8. To register, go to events.r2it.com/rtjgolf/tournaments/2024RBjr2.

July 2: Family movie at the Hoover Library Theatre: “Wish.” 6:30-8:15 p.m.

July 3: Family movie at the Hoover Library Theatre: “Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie.” 10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.

July 3-Aug. 15: Visual Art Exhibition by Bryce Lafferty. Lafferty is the department head and professor in the Department of Art and Design at Jacksonville State University. A native of New England, he enjoys depicting the landscapes and geologic diversity of the Southeast.

July 5-10: Transplant Games of America. The Transplant Games bring together thousands of organ donors and recipients from all 50 states and abroad to participate in 20 competitions ranging from tennis, basketball, golf and swimming to ballroom dancing and a trivia challenge. Events will be at venues throughout the Birmingham-Hoover area. The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex will be the primary site for the games, but the Hoover Met will host tennis matches, and other area venues include Barber Motorsports Museum, Vestavia Bowl, the Birmingham CrossPlex, Railroad Park and Highland Park.

July 9-10: Arthur Atsma Magic Show. 10:30-11:30 a.m., 2-3 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday and 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. Wednesday. Hoover Library Theatre.

July 10: Devine and Company Concert. 7 p.m. Hoover Library Plaza. A band led by Matthew Devine plays the music of the Grateful Dead.

July 11: Venice Immersive: Movie and Craft Night for Adults. 6 p.m. Hoover Public Library. Adults can create a Venetian mask while watching “A Haunting in Venice.”

July 11-19: The Hartford Nationals. This event by Move United is a national sport championship event for athletes with a physical, visual

and/or intellectual disability. More than 400 youth and adult athletes with disabilities and coaches are expected to participate. Activities will take place at the Hoover Met Complex, the Finley Center, Lakeshore Foundation, Spain Park High School, Birmingham CrossPlex and Oak Mountain State Park. More information at moveunitedsport. org/events/nationals.

July 13: National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors. 11 a.m. Hoover Public Library. Speak with members and see repairs and restoration work.

July 15: Hoover Bartender Challenge (east Hoover). 5 p.m. The Anvil at The Village at Lee Branch, 611 Doug Baker Blvd. #103.

July 16: Hoover Bartender Challenge (west Hoover). 5 p.m. The Electric at Bluff Park Village, 2146 Tyler Road #212.

July 16-17: Dino-Man Dinosaur Show. 10:30-11:30 a.m., 2-3 p.m. and 6:30-7:30 p.m. Tuesday and 10:30-11:30 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. Wednesday. Hoover Library Theatre. With magic, merry mayhem and life-size dinosaurs, the audience takes a trip through the Mesozoic era in this event for kids.

July 18: Hoover Bartender Challenge Citywide Championship. 5 p.m. Beef’s at the Grove, 5519 Grove Blvd. Judges will be WBRC news anchor Clare Huddleston, Hoover Councilman Steve McClinton and Sweet Home Spirits owner Austin Creel.

July 19: Vintage Videos. 2 p.m. Hoover Library Theatre. A showing of the 1954 film “The Long, Long Trailer.”

July 19: After-Hours Board Game Night. 7 p.m. Hoover Public Library.

July 19-21: Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday. Shoppers in Hoover can purchase certain school supplies, computers, books and clothing free of sales taxes normally charged by the state of Alabama,

city of Hoover, Shelby County and Jefferson County. However, 1% of the Jefferson County sales tax designated for schools remains in effect. Go to the Alabama Department of Revenue website for a list of eligible items.

July 19-27: Hoover Restaurant Week. People are encouraged to patronize Hoover restaurants; numerous restaurants will be offering specials in connection with Restaurant Week; specials from participating restaurants will be featured at hooverrestaurantweek.com. A kickoff event, with periodic live coverage by WBRC Fox 6 morning show “Good Day Alabama,” is scheduled at the pavilion at Bluff Park Community Park on July 19, starting at 7:30 a.m.

July 21: Top Shelf: Vive’ la France! 6 p.m. Hoover Public Library. Learn more about champagne and celebrate the summer’s Paris Olympics.

July 22-26: Kaptiva-Real Madrid Soccer Camp. Hoover Met Complex. A soccer camp for all ages, whether budding young talent or a seasoned player looking to sharpen skills. Includes coaching influenced by the Read Madrid methodology. Register at hoovermetcomplex. com/upcoming-events.

July 23: Understanding Alzheimer’s and Dementia. 6 p.m. Hoover Public Library. Learn how the disease is staged, risk factors and more.

July 25: Sci-Fi Fantasy Trivia. 7 p.m. Hoover Public Library.

July 26-28: Hoover Indoor Pickleball Tournament. Hoover Met Complex. An amateur co-ed tournament for pickleball players of all ages and skill levels.

July 27: Sci-Fi Fantasy Day. 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Hoover Public Library. Venture to the library for sci-fi, fantasy and geeky activities. Featuring discussion panels on fandom favorites, a costume contest, nerdy vendors, open gaming, an interactive screening of “The Princess Bride” and geeky crafts. There’s also a KidCon featuring activities inspired by “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.”

July 27-28: 3STEP Sports Flag Football Competition. Hoover Metropolitan Complex. Teams of flag football players from across the region will compete. To register, follow the link at hoovermetcomplex. com/upcoming-events.

Hoover mother-son duo to compete in Transplant Games

Chase Waters and his mother, Jennifer McCombs Thompson, have a special bond.

Waters was born with a rare kidney disorder, and Thompson donated a kidney to her son during his freshman year at Hoover High School. Thirteen years later, the dynamic duo are healthy and active, and ready to compete in the 2024 Transplant Games of America this July in Birmingham.

While in utero, Waters developed hydronephrosis, a condition in which the kidneys are unable to rid the body of urine. At birth, one of his kidneys was no longer functioning and the other was only partially functioning. Waters and Thompson knew throughout his childhood that a kidney transplant was in his future.

“Growing up, they always knew that I had kidney problems and they always knew that I would, one day, need to have a transplant,” Waters said. “But I was able to live off of one kidney working anywhere between 20 and 30%.”

Despite the prognosis, Thompson said she was able to give her son as normal a childhood as possible, but he did have a strict regimen of medications and treatments. He even earned a spot on the freshman baseball team at Hoover High School before the transplant became necessary at age 15.

“He just wanted to be a normal kid, and for the most part he was,” Thompson said. “He took a lot of medications every day and they had to be taken at exactly the same time for effectiveness, and he had growth hormone shots to stimulate his growth. So that was really difficult.”

Now 28, Waters is in excellent shape. He currently works at Oak Leaf Lawn and Landscapes, based in Hoover, and he previously spent time working as a wildland firefighter for the U.S. Forest Service and as a park ranger at Lovers Key State Park in Florida.

Now that the Transplant Games are coming to Birmingham, Waters has signed up for a laundry list of competitions, including the 5K and 20K cycling events, the 4x100 relay and the high jump. He hopes he and the other competitors can be an encouragement to fellow organ transplant

“I’ve never seen a more determined kid when it comes to putting your all into something physically. That is a gift that he has, and it still resonates with him.


”patients, as well as a challenge to other athletes.

“We can hang,” Waters said. “As long as you take care of yourself, you can compete with anybody.

“I’ve never really had the chance to compete before because they [the Transplant Games] have always been in really far away cities like Chicago or Salt Lake City,” he added. “Having them in Birmingham is a statement for the city. I feel like I can’t not compete because it’s in my hometown.”

As a donor, Thompson is also competing in several cycling events. She said her son’s tenacity and bravery as a child were always a constant source of inspiration. Almost 30 years later, she is still in awe of her son’s abilities.

“I’ve never seen a more determined kid when it comes to putting your all into something physically,” Thompson said. “That is a gift that he has, and it still resonates with him. It’s still there.”

The 2024 Transplant Games of America will be held July 5-10 at venues throughout the Birmingham-Hoover area. The Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex will be the primary site for the games, but the Hoover Met will host tennis matches and other area venues include Barber Motorsports Museum, Vestavia Bowl, the Birmingham CrossPlex, Railroad Park and Highland Park.

To learn more about the Transplant Games, visit transplantgamesofamerica.org.

Jennifer McCombs Thompson, left, and her son, Chase Waters, are preparing to participate in the 2024 Transplant Games of America in Birmingham. Thirteen years ago, Thompson donated a kidney to Waters when he was a freshman at Hoover High School. Photo courtesy of Jennifer McCombs Thompson.


All-South Metro Baseball

Blasche named Player of the Year

High school baseball in the Birmingham area is always full of quality teams with rosters of talented players. The annual Starnes Media All-South Metro Baseball Team aims to recognize those players who had outstanding spring seasons.

Hoover’s Mason Blasche earns Player of the Year honors for leading the Bucs as a position player and pitcher. Mountain Brook’s Caleb Barnett is the Hitter of the Year after a spectacular season at the plate, in addition to being one of the area’s top arms. Bryson Morman from Oak Mountain was brilliant on the mound all season and is the Pitcher of the Year.

Mountain Brook’s Lee Gann and Spain Park’s Will Smith share Coach of the Year honors after each led their team to the postseason. The Spartans nearly advanced to the semifinals with a strong season, while the Jags replaced many starters and still found their way back to the playoffs.

► Player of the Year: Mason Blasche, Hoover

► Hitter of the Year: Caleb Barnett, Mountain Brook

► Pitcher of the Year: Bryson Morman, Oak Mountain

► Coaches of the Year: Lee Gann, Mountain Brook, and Will Smith, Spain Park


► Pitcher: Mason Blasche, Hoover; hit for a .398 average and drove in 33 runs, while pitching more than 54 innings against stout competition.

► Pitcher: Bryson Morman, Oak Mountain; posted a 1.23 ERA and threw 25 consecutive scoreless innings.

► Pitcher: Jack Ross, Homewood; posted an 8-2 record with a 1.88 earned run average.

► Pitcher: Dylan Lewkutz, Hewitt-Trussville; led the area with 70 innings and had a 1.68 ERA.

► Catcher: John Paul Head, Vestavia Hills; reached base at a .500 clip and drew 23 walks.

► First base: Will Adams, Hoover; another strong two-way player for the Bucs who won six games on the mound.

► Second base: James Graphos, Mountain Brook; stole 33 bases and knocked in 26 runs.

► Third base: Caleb Barnett, Mountain Brook; led the area with 8 home runs and was a perfect 7-0 pitching with a 1.04 ERA.

► Shortstop: Steele Hall, Hewitt-Trussville; hit .331 and stole 31 bases.

► Infield: James Battersby, Spain Park; drove in 26 runs and stole 22 bags.

► Infield: Jaxson Wood, Hoover; racked up 48 hits and 24 RBIs, while hitting .364.

► Outfield: Brett Moseley, Hewitt-Trussville; one of the top players in the area, hitting .404 with 34 RBIs.

► Outfield: Chapman Blevins, Spain Park; hit .326 and drove in 28 runs.

► Outfield: Will Clark, Briarwood; drove in 23 runs with a .322 average.

► Designated hitter: Carson McFadden, John Carroll; had a big year with a .536 OBP and 31 RBIs.

► Designated hitter: Matthew Widra, Spain Park; belted four homers and drove in 36 runs.

► Utility: John Robicheaux, Mountain Brook; a tremendous two-way player, hitting .427 and winning seven games.

► Utility: Jake Souders, Briarwood; posted six wins on the mound and had a .546 OBP.


► Pitcher: Kenneth Diddell, Mountain Brook; set the state record for career saves by adding 11 this spring.

► Pitcher: CJ Gross, Spain Park; went 5-0 with a 1.93 ERA.

► Pitcher: Cooper Sain, Homewood; went a perfect 6-0 with a 1.34 ERA.

► Pitcher: Logan Moller, Chelsea; threw 53 2/3 innings and racked up an impressive 67 strikeouts.

► Catcher: Coleman Gray, Spain Park; drove in 29 runs and had a .496 OBP.

► First base: Carson Wideman, Hewitt-Trussville; hit .346 with 29 RBIs.

► Second base: Rob Wright, Hewitt-Trussville; came up clutch with 29 RBIs and a .522 OBP.

► Third base: Christian Helmers, Hewitt-Trussville; won seven games as a pitcher and was a strong two-way player.

► Shortstop: Nick McCord, Oak Mountain; racked up 32 hits and swiped 10 bases.

► Infield: Levi Nickoli, Homewood; hit five

Above: Hoover’s Mason Blasche (15) tags first base as James Clemens’ Satchel Wheeler (8) catches the ball during game one of a second-round Class 7A playoff series at Hoover High School on May 2.

Left: Spain Park’s Chapman Blevins (22) swings at a pitch in game one against Thompson during the first round of the Class 7A playoffs at Thompson High School in Alabaster on April 26.

Below left: Hoover’s Jaxson Wood (1) fields the ball in game three of a first-round Class 7A playoff series against HewittTrussville at Phil English Field on April 27.

Below right: Spain Park head coach Will Smith was named one of the Coaches of the Year for the 2024 season. Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

home runs and surrendered just a 1.59 ERA as a pitcher.

► Infield: Chase Lackey, Chelsea; had 33 hits and stole 19 bases.

► Outfield: Hunter Keller, Mountain Brook; hit .336, piling up 43 hits on the season.

► Outfield: William Tonsmeire, Vestavia Hills; hit .306 and stole 18 bases.

► Outfield: Aden Malpass, John Carroll; hit .391 and knocked in 26 runs.

► Designated hitter: Jackson Miller, John Carroll; drove in 30 runs.

► Designated hitter: Noah Smith, John Carroll; hit .435 with 31 RBIs.

► Utility: Jackson Barnes, Briarwood; hit .357 and won three games as a pitcher.

► Utility: Alex Harrison, Oak Mountain; hit .301 and held opponents to an 0.48 ERA in 29 innings pitched.


► Pitcher: William Andre, Hoover; Blake Patrick, Spain Park; Ty Shotts, Mountain Brook; John Littleton, Mountain Brook; Grant Hill, Chelsea; Cooper Huffman, Hewitt-Trussville; Chase Rafferty, Vestavia Hills; Collin Jones, Vestavia Hills; Kevin Jasinski, Oak Mountain.

► Catcher: Peyton Parkinson, Oak Mountain.

► Infield: Aiden Berke, Spain Park; Rhys Jones, Spain Park.

► Outfield: Cam Simpson, Hewitt-Trussville; Colby Durden, Hewitt-Trussville; Hayden Greer, John Carroll; Jeremiah Gary, Homewood; Camdyn Teague, Hoover; Carter Jackman, Hoover.

Starnes Media covers 10 schools across its six publications. The team is put together by the sports department in consultation with coaches.

All-South Metro Softball

Maggie Daniel named Hitter of the Year

The 2024 Starnes Media All-South Metro Softball Team recognizes the top players in the area for their efforts throughout the high school softball season.

Hewitt-Trussville won its fourth state championship over the last six years, outlasting Daphne in a thrilling title game. Sara Phillips capped off her career in style, as the star pitcher threw nine shutout innings in that game and was masterful all season. She wins Player of the Year, the third year in a row that a Husky has earned the title.

Taylor Burt of the Huskies is the Coach of the Year and Tait Davidson of Vestavia Hills is the Pitcher of the Year, each for the second consecutive season. Spain Park’s Maggie Daniel is the Hitter of the Year after another terrific season behind the plate for the Jags.

► Player of the Year: Sara Phillips, Hewitt-Trussville

► Hitter of the Year: Maggie Daniel, Spain Park

► Pitcher of the Year: Tait Davidson, Vestavia Hills

► Coach of the Year: Taylor Burt, Hewitt-Trussvill


► Pitcher: Sara Phillips, Hewitt-Trussville; went 16-2 in the circle, posting a 1.35 earned run average with 175 strikeouts.

► Pitcher: Tait Davidson, Vestavia Hills: posted a 15-8 record with a 1.32 earned run average, with 217 strikeouts in another strong season.

► Pitcher: Olivia Christian, Hoover; led the area with 21 wins, putting forth a 1.91 ERA and 100 strikeouts.

► Catcher: Maggie Daniel, Spain Park; one of the most feared hitters in the area, hitting 14 home runs and getting on base at a .613 clip.

► First base: Corey Goguts, Hewitt-Trussville; burst onto the scene with a .462 average, 10 home runs and 45 runs batted in.

► Second base: Lucy Spisto, Vestavia Hills; hit .385 with 31 stolen bases.

► Third base: Alea Rye, Oak Mountain; drove in 37 runs in her senior campaign.

► Shortstop: Bella Foran, Hoover; a firstteamer for the third straight year, hitting .400 with 52 RBIs.

► Infield: Olivia Faggard, Hewitt-Trussville; capped off her career with 43 RBIs for the state champs.

► Infield: Charlee Bennett, Spain Park; hit seven home runs, stole 30 bases and got on base at a .583 clip.

► Outfield: Emma Hawkins, Oak Mountain; the catalyst for the offense, hitting .405 with 49 hits.

► Outfield: Hannah Christian, Hoover; had a phenomenal senior year, hitting .500 with 77 hits and 41 RBIs.

► Outfield: Ki Davis, Hoover; hit .413 with 62 hits and 29 stolen bases.

► Designated hitter: Sydney Carroll, Chelsea; one of the top power hitters in the area, finishing with 11 homers.

► Designated hitter: Meredith Kellum, Briarwood; hit .485 with 10 homers.

► Utility: Zaylen Tucker, Hewitt-Trussville; a strong season at the plate and in the circle, swiping 36 bases and winning 10 games.

► Utility: Mallory Ogle, John Carroll; hit .418 and pitched for the Cavs.


► Pitcher: Kaitlyn Raines, Hoover; had a 14-6 record with a 1.34 ERA and 148 strikeouts.

► Pitcher: Ella Ussery, Spain Park; won 11 games and struck out 145 batters.

► Pitcher: Kate Hicks, Hewitt-Trussville; won eight games in her final season.

► Catcher: Anna DuBose, Oak Mountain; hit .423 and knocked in 28 runs.

► First base: Emma Stearns, Mountain Brook; drove in 30 runs in the middle of the order.

► Second base: Baylor McCluney, Chelsea; hit over .300 as a senior.

► Third base: Teagan Huey, Spain Park; drove in 30 runs and walked 23 times.

► Shortstop: Madeline Epperson, Chelsea; finished her final season with a .406 OBP.

► Infield: Marrison Kearse, Mountain Brook; hit .362 with 26 RBIs in a versatile role.

► Infield: Chaney Peters, Hewitt-Trussville; drove in 33 runs.

► Outfield: Reagan Rape, Mountain Brook; knocked in 33 runs and stole 35 bases.

► Outfield: Sheridan Andrews, Oak

Mountain; hit nearly .400, hit four homers and stole 20 bases as a sophomore.

► Outfield: Claire Robinett, Mountain Brook; an on-base machine (.530 OBP) and stolen base threat (29 steals).

► Designated hitter: Emily Williams, John Carroll; hit seven home runs with a .543 OBP.

► Designated hitter: AhKeela Honeycutt, Hewitt-Trussville; hit seven homers and had the walk-off hit at state

► Utility: Katie Hopson, Chelsea; sparked the Hornets with a .374 average and 28 RBIs.

► Utility: Mia Gonzalez, Homewood; the Patriots’ most versatile player, collecting 45 RBIs and pitching well.


► Pitcher: Reagan Stewart, Spain Park; Kelsey Crain, Oak Mountain; Sophia Williams, Oak Mountain; Annie Gregory, Mountain

Spain Park’s Charlee

Brook; Grace Pilgrim, Homewood; Alaysha Crews, Chelsea; Jaley Young, Spain Park.

► Catcher: AT Goldman, Mountain Brook; Lindsey Westhoven, Hoover.

► Infield: Edith Kaplan, Mountain Brook; Mollie Hanson, Hoover; Kloeanne Smith, Homewood; Claire Purkey, Chelsea; Emma Parmley, Chelsea; Caroline Brown, Chelsea; Carolyn Graham, Oak Mountain.

► Outfield: Bella Williams, Oak Mountain; Caroline Charles, Spain Park; Tatum Lasseter, Spain Park; Lexie Kelly, Hewitt-Trussville; Madison Letson, Homewood.

► Designated hitter: Allie Whitaker, Spain Park; Makaila Hope, Hewitt-Trussville.

Starnes Media covers 10 schools across its six publications. The team is put together by the sports department in consultation with coaches.

Above: Spain Park’s Maggie Daniel (14) makes contact in a game against Daphne during the AHSAA state softball tournament at Coccolocco Park in Oxford on May 13.
Bennett (16) tags the Daphne base runner out at second during the AHSAA state softball tournament on May 13.
Below: Hoover’s Hannah Christian (9) catches a fly ball in center field in a game against Hewitt-Trussville during the AHSAA state softball tournament at Choccolocco Park in Oxford on May 13. Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.
Above: Hoover’s Bella Foran (27) during a game between Auburn and Hoover on April 8 at Jim Brown Field in Hoover. Photo by Kyle Parmley.

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Life in Hoover

Colin Conner has been Hoover’s city forester since 1998 and recently was made a manager in the Hoover Public Works Department.

Q: How long have you been the city forester?

A: I started in 1998, so I tipped over 25 years in December.

Q: What do you do in a nutshell?

A: I manage the horticulture and urban forestry division of the Public Works Department. That ranges from tree care and landscape care to turf care (including sports fields). We even do vegetative maintenance on public right-of-way, and sadly, I have reached now into the world of litter control, so I’m helping keep the city clean. But a highlight still today with our urban forestry program is consultation with residents. I field calls all the time from residents who have concerns about trees. We’ll talk things through over the phone and even make house calls and put hands on trees and kind of try to identify risk characteristics or species ID.

Q: Why did you decide to go into forestry?

A: I always was drawn to the outdoors. … I wanted a career in forestry, maybe managing parks like in state park settings or working as a veterinarian, and I quickly realized I didn’t have the brain capacity to go through vet school, so I just chose forestry.

Q: What’s your favorite tree and why?

A: That’s an unfair question for a forester. If I had to pick one, it would be quercus alba,

which is white oak. Oaks just have a really unique ability to live a long time. I just appreciate an older, larger tree — a tree that’s been around the block a time or two.

Q: If you weren’t doing this, what would you like to do?

A: I think it would be cool to travel but earn an income at the same time, so having a transport service and delivering unique items around the country is something that appeals to me.

My name is Capt. William P. Gresham. I’m retired from the Hoover Fire Department. I was there for 26 years. My father-in-law was Chief Marshall Ralph Sheppard, who was the first fire chief of the Hoover Volunteer Fire department. He gave me an old photograph several years ago. It was the very first call that was made, the first response to a fire on U.S. 31 across from Hendrick Chevrolet GMC,

formerly Ivan Leonard Chevrolet at East Hoover Lane. Not only was Chief Sheppard in the photograph, but we had Chief Hartley Ayers from Vestavia. We had O.E. Braddock, who later became a mayor of Hoover, and also not pictured but probably over on the engine was Mr. Raymond Patton. So this was made in February 1963, and it had great significance for the Hoover Fire Department in that it was the first photograph made and certainly the first call that was made.

A photo of the first call made to the Hoover Fire Department back in 1963. Photo courtesy of Capt. William Gresham.

Paving the way: Hoover’s 1st female motorcycle officer

Who wouldn’t be filled with happiness to witness a child’s pure excitement?

Approaching a red light on her Harley Davidson, Hoover police officer Logan Hosford captured the interest of a curious little girl.

“She waved at me from the back seat, all dressed up in a princess outfit. When I said hi to her, she yelled so excitedly, ‘She’s a lady police officer, Mom!’ It is a feeling I will never forget,” Hosford said. “I remember meeting police officers as a child and seeing them as superheroes. It fueled my dream of becoming one when I grew up.”

The Auburn native began her law enforcement journey in 2015 in Gulf Shores and joined the Hoover Police Department in 2019 as a patrol officer. In 2022, she became Hoover’s first female motorcycle officer, also called a motor scout. She also held the distinction of being the first female detention officer for Gulf Shores during her time there.

“I enjoy the work in traffic and patrol,” Hosford said. “We practice meaningful law enforcement in Hoover, whether making traffic stops to improve driving habits and safer driving or stops to save lives.”

Hosford became interested in joining the motorcycle unit at the urging of one of her first field training officers, who was also a motor scout. Although she had been comfortable serving as a patrol officer and firearms instructor, she applied and got the job.

Hosford said the message she shares now with new female officers or aspiring young women interested in law enforcement is to cultivate a positive police culture.

“This job is so rewarding, but it also involves a dark side of society, including traumatic situations for the citizens involved and the responding officers,” she said. “Strive to be teachable, an asset to your team, self-motivated, dependable and trustworthy. Pursue

• Income tax planning and compliance

• Estate tax planning and compliance

• Audit, compilation and review services

• Business valuations

• Employee benefit plan audits

• Trustee and elder care services

• Tax compliance–non-profit organizations

further education if available, aim for personal growth and encourage your brothers and sisters in blue to do the same.”

Being a motor scout is a challenging feat. Motor scouts go through an 80-hour training class, with specialized training where officers learn to use their bikes daily.

“It is much different than civilian driving. It requires continuous training and skill building,” Hosford said. “When I was in motor

Diana S. Knight, CPA, CVA

Jeff W. Maze, CPA, MA

Jason Lybrand, CPA, MBA

school the first full week of training, I was so beaten up and bruised. It was the hardest thing I have ever done, but I knew it would be challenging, and I knew that this was where I was supposed to be.”

Working on a 1,000-pound motorcycle was a step outside her comfort zone, but Hosford said it is taking that step that builds the confidence and skills to elevate an officer to join specialized units like the motorcycle unit.

“Often, there are stereotypes for females in law enforcement, especially regarding physical strength or size. As a police officer, male or female, you will need to push yourself mentally and physically to be at the top of your game,” she said. “Specialized units are highly sought after and competitive, and you must be among the best to be selected. I hope to inspire females to achieve elite units in their agencies. It is achievable; if I can do it, you can.”

Logan Davis, a motor scout with the Hoover Police Department, leads a charter bus from the Hoover Met Stadium with other members of the Hoover Police Motorcade during the SEC Tournament at the Hoover Met Stadium in May 2023. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

DeFranco blames poor stormwater regulations and lax enforcement and is pushing the city of Hoover and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management to tighten up regulations and increase fines for developers who break the rules.

The city’s engineering staff is working on tweaks to the city’s stormwater ordinance, but Mayor Frank Brocato said while the city wants to protect residents and waterways, he doesn’t want to use a heavy-handed approach.

Scout Creek Lake receives stormwater from a wide basin in western Hoover. Problems were evident as far back as the development of The Grove shopping center. Later, more problems arose with construction of The Shoppes of Hoover, which includes the Sprouts grocery store.

Things improved for a while thanks to a detention pond built by developer Will Kadish for the first phase of Stadium Trace Village, but the muddy water began flowing into Scout Creek Lake again late last year, DeFranco said.

DeFranco points the finger at two particular projects — a roughly 10-acre parcel that Charles Kessler is developing for commercial use next to the UAB Medical West freestanding emergency department and a 30+-acre parcel right next to it being developed for 475 apartments in unincorporated Jefferson County by the Dobbins Group.

After a heavy rain this past Christmas season, Trace Crossings residents experienced a heavy flow of muddy water and sediment into Scout Creek Lake. DeFranco said he has filed at least 60 complaints with ADEM over the Kessler and Dobbins properties since Christmas Day.

ADEM issued violation notices to both the Kessler and Dobbins properties in January. The notice for the Dobbins property said slopes were not property stabilized, erosion rills were observed on site, and sediment was observed leaving the site and being deposited into a culvert to I-459. However, “the discharge was not great enough to significantly impact the turbidity of the receiving waters, a UT (unnamed tributary) to Scout Creek,” the notice said.

ADEM spokeswoman Lynn Battle said Forestry Environmental Services, the erosion control site contractor for the Dobbins Group, made appropriate adjustments and resolved the matter without any enforcement action by ADEM.

David Ball, a principal partner in the Dobbins Group, said his

company has been an open book and is doing everything it can to fight runoff.

“There is no evidence that Scout Lake has suffered sedimentation due to runoff from our property at all,” Ball said.

There were some problem issues identified, but Forestry Environmental Services addressed those immediately and has passed every inspection from Jefferson County, he said.

“We’re a bit confused as to why we keep getting dragged into this,” Ball said. “Nothing’s perfect in a site under development, but we have been very, very careful about runoff. … any sediment that has run off our slopes was caught at our silt fence boundaries, and we basically came back in and resolved it. You’re going to get colorization of water, but that’s very different than wholesale sediment running through and adding to what Dr. DeFranco claims is happening.”

Kessler’s company, Baronwood Property, does have an enforcement action pending, Battle said.

The violation notice for Kessler’s company noted numerous problems, including slopes not properly stabilized, stormdrain inlets without proper protection, no treatment or setting time for water

prior to being discharged through an open culvert, slopes tracked in the wrong direction, silt fences not properly maintained, erosion rills observed on site, excessive sediment accumulation against silt fences, sediment accumulation downslope of the site and untreated turbid water discharged from the site.

“A substantial visual turbidity contrast was observed in Scout Creek as a result of the facility discharge,” the violation said.

Additionally, Kessler’s contractor had not posted pre-construction inspection information, rainfall records or daily best management practice logs, the violation notice said.

Kessler said his company has been given a proposed fine by ADEM. He wouldn’t say the

amount, but said he plans to fight it because it’s excessive.

Normally, he pays a fine for stormwater runoff violations if he gets one, but this time he believes his company is being blamed improperly and thinks the fine is too much, he said. His company has spent tens of thousands of dollars on silt fences and other erosion control measures and has acted quickly to address problems, he said.

There have been at least two significant rainfall events that caused sediment to escape since Christmas, but given the amount of rainfall, “there’s no way we could have prevented that,” Kessler said. Yes, there was brown water, but “we did not cause anything to get into Scout Creek that was mud.”

Kessler claims DeFranco tried to extort money from him — that if his company would pay $25,000, DeFranco would stop his complaints.

DeFranco said he has never seen or spoken to Kessler and never tried to extort money from him in any way. And even if he stopped filing complaints, there are other people filing complaints, and “I sure don’t control them.”

“He must be crazy,” DeFranco said. “Twenty-five thousand dollars would not even cover the cleanup.

The cost of cleaning up that lake will probably be $100,000 to $150,000. Twenty-five thousand dollars won’t even touch it!”

DeFranco said 100% of the problems with Scout Creek Lake since December have come from these two developers, though he said the Dobbins Group has done everything it can to correct issues.

Both ADEM and the city of Hoover issued temporary orders to stop work, but work resumed once corrective actions were taken.

City Engineer Chris Reeves said while some of the sedimentation in Scout Creek Lake is a result of nearby development, there is also some natural erosion that takes place along Scout Creek.

DeFranco said the city of Hoover’s engineering staff has its hands tied. Current city regulations only require developers to handle rain events of a quarter-inch or less, but he said that’s not enough. And the current $100 fines from the city aren’t sufficient to deter developers from improper controls.

Also, the engineering staff is underfunded and undermanned, DeFranco said. He believes that’s intentional because city leaders don’t want to slow development.

The mayor said DeFranco is inappropriately painting the city with a broad brush. While DeFranco and others bought property on a lake, any engineer will tell him that lake was created to capture sediment and keep it from getting into the lake below him, Brocato said.

“It is not the city’s responsibility to clean out and take care of his lake,” the mayor said. “That is something the developer who built that lake should have built something to protect Scout Lake, and that wasn’t done.”

The city, working with ADEM, is doing everything it can to address problems with construction sites upstream, Brocato said. The city also is taking care of stormwater issues on public rights of way, but “the city of Hoover is not responsible for every square inch of the city of Hoover when it comes to stormwater.”

The mayor said the city wants to have good regulations and address violations by developers, especially with repeat offenders, but “you hate to get to a point where you always have to be punitive.”

Reeves said his staff is working on revisions to stormwater regulations, such as requiring developers to put up a bond to cover off-site erosion remediation. The amount could be $100,000 or $250,000 or more, depending on the size of the site, he said. He hopes to have something for the mayor and council to consider by the end of the summer.

Above: Developers are carving up land along John Hawkins Parkway for commercial and apartment developments. Here is part of the worksites on May 27.
Left: Runoff from Scout Creek into Scout Creek Lake in October 2023.
Below: Runoff from Scout Creek into Scout Creek Lake in April. Photos courtesy of Peter DeFranco.

CONTINUED from page 1

“Hoover has supported me and all our other brands so much, so we can’t thank Hoover enough,” he said.

The primary partners of the Power Brand Hospitality Group in the Hoover area are Zaveri, Arnold Soni and his brother, Neal Soni. Arnold Soni said he agrees that Hoover is the perfect place to start new restaurants.

Soni moved to Hoover from India in 1980 with his parents, and his first jobs were at McDonald’s in the Riverchase Galleria and at Jim ‘N Nick’s. In 2020, he became the owner-operator of the Trace Crossings Taco Mama location.

Soni said Hoover has “been a great fit” for him “because I’ve been in the market here and know the market.”

He said he and the others at Power Brands “just really love Hoover.”

The group has a total of 17 brands, ranging from Biscuit Belly, a comfort-food biscuit-sandwich restaurant, to Frutta Bowls, which offers healthy bowls and smoothies, and Soni said many of those brands are represented in Hoover.

All total, Power Brands has about 70 restaurants in Birmingham, Huntsville, Charlotte and Atlanta, with more on the way.

Soni said the Power Brands model works because it provides the backing for local residents to become part owners of a restaurant.

Often a restaurant’s owner-operator may put up some money, but Power Brands works out much of the funding and helps with construction. Then the local owner-operator has a vested percentage in the business.

Soni said the owner-operator model works because the restaurants have a local owner who is invested in the restaurant’s success, but they also have the support of the larger group, which helps with details like securing good prices for supplies.

“Some are younger and don’t have the financial capability that some of us older people do, but somebody who is vested is always going to take care of their business better than a manager or people that they hire,” he said. That’s what we try to display and do with all our brands — someone who is vested and always in the building.”

Power Brands promotes from within their system if someone is interested and qualified, Soni said.

That’s part of Zaveri’s larger role with Power Brands — to coach new owner-operators.

Zaveri moved to Hoover in 2019 to open the area’s first Super Chix on Jan. 1, 2020, after a Power Brands partner got introduced to their location in Dallas and worked to bring it to Alabama.

“When we started Super Chix in Hoover, we were location number four,” Zaveri said. “Right now they have about 35, so they are growing in leaps and bounds.”

Another one of those 35 is the new Super Chix on U.S. 280. One of the partners there, Perla Chavez, is a Hoover High School graduate and was Zaveri’s first hire at the Trace Crossings location.

“Coaching, training — that’s my strength, and I love helping others who are interested in business and are ready to do whatever it takes,” Zaveri said. “I love spotting talent and grooming them and making them ready.”

He’s also helping coach Majd Lutfi, who will be the operating partner of the new Five Guys opening up next to Super Chix in Stadium Trace Village in the next couple of months.

Power Brands will also be opening Grimaldi’s, a coal-brick-oven pizzeria, around the same time at Stadium Trace Village.

There are no plans for any openings past that, but Zaveri said Power Brands is “always looking for more” and wanting to grow.

They recently acquired the Saw’s BBQ location in Riverchase and also opened Phil Sandoval’s Mexican Restaurante in The Village at Brock’s Gap.

David Cohen, founder of the Hoover Restaurant Alliance, said Power Brands

Hospitality Group is unique because of what they accomplish.

“They’re all independent names and independent restaurants, but there’s a camaraderie, a uniformity, a system so that they offer each other support,” said Cohen, who owns The Whole Scoop ice cream shop in The Village at Brock’s Gap. “That’s what makes them stronger. They use all their expertise and their builders and support structures to open up all these wonderful restaurants in Hoover, but there’s always a private owner on site.”

For instance, Biscuit Belly at Trace Crossings is a part of Power Brands, but when you walk in on any given day, you see Andrew and Rachel Adams, the owner-operators.

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“That’s what’s going to continue to make them successful is you see an owner in the building all of the time,” Cohen said.

He said Hoover is special, and there’s “something special going on here — it’s Southern hospitality, but it’s Hoover style.”

Power Brands Hospitality Group is part of that, he said. “In their restaurants, you get treated a little differently.”

It’s part of what makes Hoover great, he said.

“We are a growing, vibrant community,” Cohen said. “We’re all in it together, and good stuff is happening.”

For more information about Power Brands Hospitality Group, visit powerbrands hospitality.com.

Restaurant partners, Jorge Cortes, left, and Zeel Zaveri, stand alongside Super Chix store managers, Michael Douglas and Andres Reyes outside the restaurant in Hoover’s Stadium Trace Village
June 12. Super Chix is part of the Power House Brands Hospitality Group and Zaveri, a partner with Super Chix, trains and coaches managers to become restaurant partners
Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

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UAB Medical West, as a community hospital, knows how important it is to have quality care close to home. That’s why we’re thrilled to open our brand new state-of-the-art facility right off of I-459 at Exit 1 in August. In addition to our current services, the new facility will allow us to offer robotic surgery, more beds in our Intensive Care Unit and Operating Room, and the newest state-of-the-art imaging technology including 3-D mammography. It’s just one more way we can continue to bring the highest quality of care to the communities in West Jefferson County. For more information about our services near you, visit us online at medicalwesthospital.org.

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