Hoover Sun November 2022

Page 1

November 2022 | Volume 11 | Issue 2



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You Decide

Seventeen candidates are seeking federal and state legislative seats that represent parts of Hoover in the Nov. 8 general election.

See page A14

Under the Lights

Hoover council at odds over changes in video recordings Highlights from the middle portion of the high school football season.

See page B4

INSIDE Sponsors........... A4 City......................A6 Business.............A9 Community...... A14

Schoolhouse.... A16 Metro Roundup.. A17 Sports.................B4 Events.................B6




or more than five years, the Hoover City Council has been recording and broadcasting its meetings on a city YouTube channel, and those meetings were available for anyone to go back and review at any time. That’s no longer the case. At some point this year, videos of previous

Hoover public meetings were removed from public access on YouTube. The city also stopped broadcasting and video recording the public comment section of council meetings at the end of the meeting. Therefore, the general public no longer is able to see and hear those public comments on the YouTube broadcast. Those two decisions have drawn criticism from some council members and members of

the public. A majority of council members said they were surprised to learn that older meetings had been removed from public view and that general public comments were no longer being recorded. No elected official is taking responsibility for the initial decision.


A screenshot of the Oct. 3 Hoover council meeting. Illustration by Ted Perry. Mary-Coker Green, 2023 Miss Hoover, stands in front of the lake at Aldridge Gardens. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Flipping the switch Miss Hoover 2023 wants to remove stigma of mental illness By JON ANDERSON When Mary-Coker Green was growing up, some people labeled her as the “happy girl” because she always tended to respond to a lot of things in life with joy. She didn’t like feeling sad, so she tended to suppress those kinds of emotions, she said. When a tragedy came into her

life during her senior year of high school, she faced some new realities that were hard to swallow and she had to relearn how to do life, she said. And now, the new Miss Hoover 2023, at age 19, is working to help others cope with trauma and stress.

See SWITCH | page A20

A2 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

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November 2022 • A3


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A4 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

About Us Editor’s Note By Jon Anderson We write about a lot of runs and walks in the Hoover Sun because there are so many of them at Veterans Park off Valleydale Road. This month, I especially want to draw your attention to one being held Nov. 6, called the Out of the Darkness Walk. There are details about it on page B9, but I want to use my editor’s note this month to briefly discuss its importance. The Out of the Darkness Walk is organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. It gives people whose loved ones have taken their own lives a chance to remember them, support others who have experienced the same thing and receive support themselves. But it’s also for anyone who wants to help remember those lost and help the foundation raise money for life-saving research, prevention efforts and support for survivors.

I’ve never had suicidal thoughts, but I did go through a time of depression as I went through a marital separation and divorce years back, and I understand the darkness that can infiltrate a person’s mind, heart and soul. There were days I didn’t feel like getting out of bed or even eating. I

lost about 15 pounds (that I really didn’t need to lose), and there were times I somewhat isolated myself because I was ashamed my marriage had failed. They were indeed dark days. My relationship with God and support from family and friends are what pulled me through that time and gave me hope for the future. Hopefully, this walk on Nov. 6 can give comfort to those who have lost loved ones and help others realize there is indeed a light at the end of the tunnel and that life is worth living. People going through crises or mental distress can call or text 988 to connect with a trained crisis counselor for free, 24 hours a day.


The Spain Park marching band performs at halftime during a game between Spain Park and Chelsea on Oct. 7 at Chelsea High School Stadium. Photo by Todd Lester.

Sun Publisher: Dan Starnes Community Editors: Jon Anderson Leah Ingram Eagle Neal Embry Sports Editor: Kyle Parmley Community Reporter: Eric Taunton Design Editor: Melanie Viering Photo Editor: Erin Nelson Page Designer: Ted Perry Production Assistant: Simeon Delante

Client Success Specialists: Warren Caldwell Eric Richardson Graphic Designer: Emily VanderMey Business Development Executive: Don Harris Business Development Representative: Madison Gaines Operations Specialist: Sarah Villar

For advertising contact: dan@starnesmedia.com Contact Information: Hoover Sun P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780 dan@starnesmedia.com

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: janderson@starnesmedia.com P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253

Published by: Hoover Sun LLC Legals: Hoover Sun is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. Hoover

Sun is designed to inform the Hoover community of area school, family and community events. Information in Hoover Sun is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of Hoover Sun. We reserve the right to edit articles/photos as deemed necessary and are under no obligation to publish or return photos submitted. Inaccuracies or errors should be brought to the attention of the publisher at (205) 313-1780 or by email.

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Please Support Our Community Partners Alabama Goods (A17) Ambrose Design & Remodeling (A7) Art House Creative; Austin Freeman (A12) Bedzzz Express (A24, B1) Birmingham Orthodontics (A1) Brewer Cabinets (A20) Bromberg’s (B13) Brookwood Diagnostic Centers (B10) Budget Blinds (A5) Carpet Warehouse Galleria (B9) Christian Coleman House District 47 (A9) Committee to Elect Bill Veitch for DA (A19) Dave and Buster’s (A18) ENT Associates of Alabama (A18) Etc. (B3) Gardner Landscaping (A5) Groome Transportation (A21) Hearing Solutions (A16) IOP Services LLC (B2) Issis & Sons (A19) Kete Cannon, ARC Realty (A17) Las Garzas (A17) Legend Windows (A16, B8) Luckie’s Pinestraw (A1) Medical West Hospital (A11) Medicare Advisors of Alabama (B7) Mike Shaw - House District 47 (A13) Moss Rock Festival/ Magic City Art Connection (B15)

Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (A6) Pappas’ Grill (B11) Proveer at Grande View (B5) Red Mountain Glass and Mirror (B10) Ross Bridge Dentistry (A20) Signature Homes (A23) Sikes Children’s Shoes (B12) Southern Blood Services (B7) Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (A6) Southlake Orthopaedics (B13) Sovereign CPA (A21) The Crossings at Riverchase (B1) The Outlet Shops of Grand River (A2) TherapySouth Hoover (B5) Tre Luna Catering & Restaurant (B8) Truewood by Merrill (B2) UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center (A3) United Way of Central Alabama (B11) Van Gogh Window Fashions (A18) Vapor Ministries/Thrift Store (A8) Vulcan Termite & Pest Control (B12) Walton Financial (B16) Window World of Central Alabama (A23)

Find Us Pick up the latest issue of Hoover Sun at the following locations: ► Ahepa 3 Senior Apartments ► Aldrige Gardens ► Aspire Physical Recovery Center at Hoover ► Bluff Park Diner ► Hoover City Hall ► Faulkner University ► Galleria Woods ► Greenvale Pediatrics ► Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce ► Hoover High School ► Hoover Public Library ► Hoover Recreation Center ► Hoover Senior Center ► Hyatt Regency Birmingham

- The Wynfrey Hotel ► Kasey Davis Dentistry ► Lakeview Estates ► MedCenter Hoover ► Morningside of Riverchase ► RealtySouth Alford Avenue ► Rittenhouse Village ► Holiday Retirement - Rocky Ridge ► Spain Park High School ► The Preserve ► Wild Roast Cafe See HooverSun.com/ about-us for a complete list of locations.


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A6 • November 2022

Hoover Sun


City’s 2023 budget includes 3.5% COLA for employees By JON ANDERSON The $154 million budget the Hoover City Council approved for fiscal 2023 includes a 3.5% cost-of-living adjustment for city employees and almost $15 million in capital projects. The COLA was the primary change the City Council wanted to make from the budget Mayor Frank Brocato proposed on Sept. 6, said Councilman Curt Posey, who is chairman of the council’s Finance Committee. While many cities are giving COLAs, Brocato originally proposed giving employees an extra step raise in the pay scale to help deal with inflation instead of giving a COLA. His proposal was to give an immediate 5% step raise for most city employees on Oct. 1 but also allow them to get their regular step raise on their employment anniversary date, as usual. Employees who were already on their 12th step would have been bumped to the final 13th step Oct. 1 and then given a one-time 5% bonus payment on their anniversary date, and employees who already have achieved their highest level of pay allowed (at step 13) would have received a one-time 5% bonus on Oct. 1. The idea was to provide current city employees a financial boost without permanently raising salary levels for future employees, but City Council members said they believed a COLA would be a better course of action than the extra step raise. Posey said council members were concerned that employees who already were at the top of their pay scale wouldn’t get enough of a benefit without the COLA. There are more than 130 city employees with 20 or more years of experience, and council members want to give them incentive to stay longer, he said. A 3.5% COLA also will better help Hoover stay competitive in the employment

Jacob Childers, a senior crew worker for the Hoover Parks and Recreation Department, cuts the grass at Hoover Sports Park Central on Sept. 27. He and other city employees received a 3.5% cost-of-living adjustment in their pay for fiscal 2023, which began Oct. 1. All city employees received a 3.5% cost-of-living adjustment as part of the budget, in addition to any step pay increase they will receive on their employment anniversary. Photos by Jon Anderson.

marketplace, Posey said. The 3.5% COLA will cost the city about $2.6 million, Chief Financial Officer Tina Bolt said. It also will be about $900,000 less than the immediate step raise in the short term but will end up costing the city more in the long term because the COLA raises the salary scale, Bolt said. The budget approved by the council also gives city employees a discount on health insurance premiums if they voluntarily participate in a wellness program, with the city picking up 85% of insurance premiums instead of 80%. The wellness discount effectively gives

employees 1.5% more take-home pay, Brocato said. It will cost the city about $900,000 but should pay dividends down the road with lower health care costs if employees stay healthier, City Administrator Allan Rice said.


The $154 million 2023 budget represents a 2.6% increase from the original 2022 budget and a 19% increase from actual expenses in fiscal 2021. It does not include “proprietary funds” (such as the sewer fund), for which the council budgeted $23.7 million. The $130 million general fund budget

includes money to hire 17 additional city employees, among them 13 custodians. City officials believe they can get better custodial service by hiring more day-to-day custodial staff in-house rather than contracting the service out, Brocato said. They also believe it actually will cost about $89,000 less to make more of the custodians city employees, records show. Other new positions approved include another plumbing, gas and mechanical inspector; a third animal control officer; a part-time police evidence control technician; and a fulltime senior recreation assistant at the Rec Center (to replace two part-time recreation assistant positions). In total, the new funding for all 17 new positions is about $95,000. The council also approved about $281,000 in salary upgrades for 14 job classifications. There are three jobs in particular where the city is finding it hard to compete in the job market with current salaries, including building inspectors, emergency communication officers and public works and park maintenance crew members, Rice said.


The budget includes $14.8 million for new capital projects, including $3 million for road paving projects, $2 million for sewer system upgrades, $1.5 million to design the proposed new Interstate 459 interchange near South Shades Crest Road and $1 million more for the widening of South Shades Crest Road. Other new capital funding includes: ► $827,050 for projects to improve stormwater drainage ► $700,000 to repay loans for about 15 police vehicles and a Fire Department vehicle ► $592,117 for emergency dispatch






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November 2022 • A7

Mayor’s Minute

By Frank V. Brocato

Hoover Council President John Lyda and President Pro Tempore Curt Posey listen to Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato update his 2023 budget recommendation to the council on Sept. 27.

equipment and software ► $500,000 to go into a fund to replace turf on athletic fields at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex ► $300,000 for renovation of the Hoover Randle Home ► $266,887 to upgrade the traffic signals at the intersection of U.S. 31 and Patton Chapel Road North ► $265,000 for a building inspections/permitting software system ► $250,000 for renovation of the Hoover Lake House next to the Hoover Municipal Center ► $200,000 for Phase One of resurfacing the parking lot at the Hoover Public Safety Center ► $200,000 to replace body-worn cameras for Hoover police officers


The City Council made several changes to the mayor’s proposed budget other than the COLA, including

adding: ► $150,000 to contribute toward a golf tournament associated with historically black colleges and universities and the Magic City Classic weekend. ► $135,000 to raise salary levels for Hoover police lieutenants to bring them back in line with Fire Department captains. Fire Department captain salaries were recently raised with a restructuring of personnel that gave them additional duties. ► $100,000 for a music festival at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. ► $58,000 to fund projects at Hoover Sports Park East, Hoover Sports Park West, Hoover Sports Park Central and the city’s sports complex next to Spain Park High School. ► $23,569 for additional salary and benefits for the Hoover city clerk. ► $15,000 additional for hospitality and tourism efforts.

Have you specifically, stopped by the there have Hoover Recbeen a lot reation Center of cosmetic improvements lately? If so, you may have including: noticed quite repainting the gym, deep a few changes cleaning the taking place. locker rooms, Our staff has been working installing new flooring in the hard to make nursery and some improveadding new ments both operationally bicycles to the Frank V. Brocato and aestheticycle room. We also cally. It is all being done with the goal of cre- combined some of our departating a better quality of life for ments and brought them under our residents when it comes to the umbrella of Parks and Recrecreation and leisure activities reation. The department now consists of six divisions, includin the city. In February, we welcomed ing administration, athletics, Erin Colbaugh as the new direc- events, park maintenance, rector of our Parks and Recreation reation and the Senior Center. Department. One of her first And the work is not done action items was to gather the yet. Some projects still on the staff and create a new mission horizon include: adding pickleball courts at Veterans Park statement to drive their efforts. Their new “why” statement and the Hoover Met Complex, is: Hoover Parks and Recreation fitness courts at Veterans Park exist to unite the community by and Senior Center vestibule providing enriching opportuni- renovations. If you are out and about and ties that serve everyone. Once that statement was see some of our staff working complete, the staff got to work hard, I ask you to stop and say across the city. For example, thank you. Their efforts are a they completed renovations at big part of why we love to live, Georgetown Park, installed new work and play in Hoover. parking lot lights at Central and Riverchase sports parks and placed new fencing and gates at the Explore Playground. At the Rec Center

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A8 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

Construction starts for Village Green amphitheater By JON ANDERSON Construction work has begun for a 2.4-acre Village Green amphitheater and entertainment area in the Stadium Trace Village development. The Village Green will include a covered stage for concerts and other performing arts, a public area for 600 to 800 people, a full-service bar and food service area, places for artists and craftspeople to set up booths on special occasions and a 1,400-square-foot secure play area for children with play mounds, a crawling tunnel, slide, musical-themed playscapes and an interactive art wall, said developer Will Kadish of Broad Metro. Kadish said the idea is to create a family-oriented arts and entertainment space where people will want to gather for events and in conjunction with shopping and eating at the numerous restaurants in Stadium Trace Village or medical appointments at the UAB medical clinic on the property. The days of people being cooped up in an enclosed shopping mall are gone, Kadish said. People want options and want to be able to walk around, and that’s the type of environment he and his team are creating at Stadium Trace Village, he said. The Hoover City Council already has approved the creation of an official “entertainment district” at Stadium Trace Village that will allow people to carry open containers with alcoholic beverages outside bars and restaurants in a defined area. But that entertainment district won’t become active until the amphitheater and entertainment area open. Kadish has had the amphitheater and entertainment area as part of his plan for several years. A year ago, his project manager, Jim Masingill, said they hoped to have the entertainment area completed by this past July, but there have been delays in getting to construction.

A rendering of the Village Green amphitheater at Stadium Trace Village in Hoover. The groundbreaking for the project was Sept. 23. Photo courtesy of Broad Metro, LLC.

Kadish said some people, especially during the height of the COVID-19 shutdown, doubted his team’s ability to get this project done, but the team persevered. “It’s necessary to get things right, and there’s only one opportunity to do it right,” he said. “We’ve been very careful, and we’re moving forward constantly. We’re working to make things better, and we’re happy where we are now.” He said he was excited to break ground in late September. The goal is to have construction completed and have a few trial events in October or November 2023 and really gear up with more events in the spring of 2024, he said. The Village Green will have amphitheater-style seating around a 10,000-square-foot public area with a synthetic lawn turf, but the

total amount of open space for people will be about 21,000 square feet, Kadish said. The covered stage area will be 40 feet by 32 feet, including 800 square feet of stage support space with a large prep room for entertainers, according to information provided by Broad Metro. Right beside the stage and open area will be the bar, which he plans to call “The Deesh,” which was a nickname for his son, Andrew Kadish, who died two years ago at the age of 22. Next to the bar will be a food service area where restaurants located in Stadium Trace Village will be able to sell and serve food during special events, Kadish said. Making a place for visual artists also was a very important component of the Village Green, he said. He intentionally had pedes-

trian areas made wide enough to allow room for artists and craftspeople to set up booths to display and sell their wares, he said. The Hoover Arts Council has been an important piece of the puzzle and ally in development of the space, he said. His company’s total investment in the Village Green now exceeds $5 million, he said. At one point, Kadish was negotiating with Slice Pizza & Brew to occupy an adjacent 1.1-acre restaurant space, but that deal did not happen, and Kadish said he is still looking for the right restaurant to take that spot. There also is a currently vacant half-acre retail space next to the Village Green. Chambless King Architects is the architect for the Village Green, and Gonzalez-Strength & Associates is the landscaping and engineering firm for the project.

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November 2022 • A9

Business THE ART OF TEETH: Aspiring artist-turned-dentist opens ‘Dental Boutique’ in Hoover Dr. Mollie Helf, owner and dentist at the Dental Boutique, in Hoover. Photo by Erin Nelson.

By ERIC TAUNTON When she was in college at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Mollie Helf had the opportunity to study abroad in London. While in London, she immediately became infatuated with art and called her dad to tell him she was going to be an art major when she got back to UAB, she said. “He said ‘OK. Well, let’s talk about it whenever you get home from London,’” Helf said. “When I got home, he brought it up, and I think he had some time to get his feet back underneath him because I think I really shocked him. … He said, ‘Hey, I’ve been thinking a lot about what you talked about on the phone. You don’t have to be a doctor, that's fine, but you’ve already put in two years of undergrad classes for pre-med; you should consider doing something that you’re not going to start all the way over. What about dentistry?’” She shadowed a dentist during her junior year of college and fell in love with dentistry, she said. After practicing dentistry in various places for three years, Helf decided she wanted to open her own practice. She came across an opportunity to combine two practices that shared an office building after both of the owners were looking to retire, she said. “The two practices that I purchased were Faith Dental and Charles Carter DMD,” Helf said. “They were actually working under the same roof on Old Rocky Ridge, but they were two different entities, so they had two different tax I.D. numbers, the whole shindig. Dr. Neale Rhea and Dr. Carter decided to retire and sell their practices at the same time. The Lord provided, and I was able to purchase them.” Helf opened her practice, called The Dental Boutique, in April. She decided to bring both

practices under the same name because she didn’t want to confuse the two groups of patients, she said. She enjoys caring for her patients, she said. “It’s so sweet; it’s absolutely wonderful,” Helf said. “I’d been out practicing three years, and I’ve really been able to get a taste of different offices — what works and what doesn’t work. I think my ultimate goal was to be my own boss and own a practice so I could love on my patients in a way that I know is best. It’s just been absolutely sweet. The Lord has provided the most perfect practice and the most

perfect patients.” The name, The Dental Boutique, fulfills one of Helf’s goals to have a practice that “feels different than any other practice,” she said. “I thought that name was a good fit for the vibe that I wanted to have,” Helf said. “I wanted it to be something that’s a little luxurious and something that’s not like any other name.” She offers her patients amenities such as blankets, light adjustments and neck pillows. Plus, she feels like she’s getting a chance to bring art into her work as well, she said.

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“I didn’t realize all of the hand skills that you have to have to be a dentist,” Helf said. “You really are creating art; it’s in people’s mouths.”

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A10 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

Business Happenings NOW OPEN Hoover residents Donna Bishop and Tahara Evans have started an event management company called Bishop Evans Events. The pair have more than 30 years of experience in event planning, fundraising and Southern hospitality and plan to offer services for things such as weddings, corporate events, rehearsal dinners, holiday parties, birthday parties, showers, teas and vow renewals. Their expertise includes event management, floral design and event design. 205-516-3737 or 205-612-2485, bishopevansevents.com Chick-fil-A on Oct. 6 opened its newly built location in the Hoover Commons shopping center at 1609 Montgomery Highway. The previous Chick-fil-A restaurant was torn down to make way for a new design. 205-979-9990, chick-fil-a.com Hoover Fitness has changed its name to HF Elite Fitness and Training and reopened in a smaller, renovated space at 2153 Clearbrook Road. 205-822-9009, hooverfitness.com


Business news to share? If you have news to share with the community about a brick-and-mortar business in Hoover, let us know at hooversun.com/about-us

Mavis Tires & Brakes plans to open a location behind the Cahaba Market strip shopping center along U.S. 280. mavis.com Lake Cyrus residents Monti and Shana Osman plan to open a milkshakes and dessert shop called Magic Milkshakes & More in the former location of Pivot Fitness at 2801 John Hawkins Parkway, Suite 157-0 in the Galleria Trace Plaza shopping center. They hope to have the 2,500-square-foot shop open sometime in November. magicmilkshakesmore.com

NEW OWNERSHIP The Hills at Hoover apartment complex at 3627 Cedarbrook Drive has a new owner. A Florida-based company called Hills at Hoover Apts LLC paid $44 million for the 320-unit apartment complex to Oxford Hills at Hoover LLC, Hills at Hoover LLC, Hoover Exchange LLC and Hoover Sale 2022 LLC. The deal closed Sept. 14, according to Josh Jacobs, first vice president of investments at Marcus & Millichap, which represented the sellers. The Hills at Hoover complex was originally built in 1972 and covers 25 acres off Lorna Road. It has 329,980 square feet of rentable space, according to materials provided by Jacobs. The property has 80 one-bedroom units, 160 two-bedroom units and 80 three-bedroom units, with rents ranging from $870 to $1,126 per month. 205-987-0737

Long-Lewis Ford Lincoln of Hoover is building a new showroom for its Lincoln vehicles, including the Black Label line of vehicles, at its dealership at 2551 John Hawkins Parkway. The new showroom is 8,500 square feet and represents an investment of more than $3 million, General Manager Terry Poole said. Long-Lewis Ford Lincoln, with Allen Vines as its principal dealer, also has purchased the Ernest McCarty Ford dealership at 1471 First St. N. in Alabaster and will be converting it into a Long-Lewis Ford Service Center that will include used car sales, rental cars, parts department, service department, body shop and Quick Lane maintenance center for routine vehicle maintenance, Poole said. 205-989-3673, longlewis.com



Scenthound, a dog hygiene and grooming company, plans to open its third Birmingham-area location in the Stadium Trace Village development at 5190 Medford Drive, Suite 118, either late this year or early 2023. Franchise owners Jacob Lee and Brett Basik already have their first Birmingham-area location in The Village at Lee Branch off U.S. 280 and plan to open a second location in Mountain Brook in November. In all, they plan to have 10 stores between Birmingham and Nashville, with at least four in the Birmingham area. 205-878-3147, scenthound.com Precision Tactical Arms, which specializes in weapons manufacturing, plans to soon open its third brick-andmortar location at 105 Inverness Corners. 205-703-8212, ptarms.com The Guthrie’s chicken restaurant plans to open in the former Zaxby’s location at 4629 U.S. 280 S. guthrieschicken.com

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama in July discovered that North Highland Co., a company that Blue Cross hired to conduct surveys of its Blue Advantage Medicare Advantage plan, suffered a significant cyberattack, resulting in the potential compromise of personal information for up to 8,700 of Blue Cross’ current and former Blue Advantage members. North Highland’s investigation into the matter determined that personal information such as names, ages, genders, cities, zip codes and email addresses were compromised. However, North HIghland determined that no credit card information, banking information or Social Security Administration numbers were compromised. North Highland no longer has Blue Cross member data in its active information systems and engaged third-party forensic experts to assist in remediation efforts and to prevent future incidents, Blue Cross said. Blue Cross notified people who were impacted and offered them one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft restoration services. Anyone current or former members with questions or concerns can contact 888-234-8266. 888-234-8266, bcbsal.org Capstone Building Corp., based in Meadow Brook Corporate Park, recently broke ground on a $13.45 million garden-style housing development in West Point, Georgia, to be called West Point Village. The development will have 72 units covering 79,389 square feet and including units with one to three bedrooms. The project will have a total of 148 beds and 92 bathrooms, as well as a community garden, clubhouse, meeting/community room and exercise facility. The development is expected to be completed by July 2023. The developer is Pennrose LLC, and the architect is Kitchen & Associates. 205-803-5226, capstonebuilding.com Barber Companies, a private real estate investment firm, has purchased a 12,425-square-foot, single-story office building at 2 Riverchase Ridge in the Riverchase Office Park. The property formerly was the headquarters for Wayne’s Pest Control. barbercompanies.com

Euphoria Nail Bar plans to open in one of the new buildings in Stadium Trace Village on the corner of John Hawkins Parkway and Stadium Trace Parkway. Discount Tire purchased the former Sears Auto Center at 3240 Galleria Circle and plans to open a Discount Tire store there by the end of this year, according to company spokeswoman Mary Freydberg. discounttire.com Sherwin-Williams is building two new paint stores in Hoover — one at 6309 Adena Lane behind the Cahaba Market strip shopping center along U.S 280 and another at 1051 Amber Drive in the Stadium Trace Village development. sherwin-williams.com

Regions, which has an operations center at 2090 Office Parkway Circle and numerous branches in Hoover, was fined $50 million by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and ordered to refund at least $141 million to customers the bureau said Regions harmed with illegal surprise overdraft fees. From August 2018 through July 2021, Regions charged customers surprise overdraft fees on certain ATM withdrawals and debit card purchases, even after telling consumers they had sufficient funds at the time of the transactions. The bureau found that Regions leadership knew about and could have discontinued its surprise overdraft fee practices years earlier but chose to wait while the bank pursued changes that would generate new fee revenue to make up for ending the illegal fees. Regions issued a statement, saying that “although Regions Bank disagrees with the CFPB’s characterizations, the bank cooperated with the investigation and is pleased to move forward. Agreeing to the settlement reflects Regions’ desire to focus its attention on continuing to support customers through a wide range of account enhancements that have already lowered fees for many customers.” 256-562-2200, regions.com

Dr. Lauren Cabaniss has joined Pediatric Dental Associates of Alabama and will be seeing patients at the practice’s offices in Cullman and the Southlake community in Hoover. Dr. Cabaniss has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a doctorate in dental medicine from the UAB School of Dentistry. She was a research assistant in UAB’s Institute of Oral Health Research under Dr. Mary MacDougall, participating in studies of cell culture (isolating bone marrow from mice), histological staining, polymerase chain reaction and DNA/RNA isolation. The Medplex office in Hoover is at 3000 Southlake Park, Suite 200. Other dentists there are Dr. Baker Chambliss and Dr. Monica Caplash. 205-453-0314, pediatricdentalassociatesal.com ARC Realty this year has added at least 10 real estate agents at its Hoover office at 5220 Peridot Place, Suite 124, in the Stadium Trace Village development, including six agents that joined in September. The new agents are Thomas Douglass, Julie Douglass, Kim Slifka, Britt Patterson, Vicki Lugar, Cindy Jones, Sameer Ratani, Carter Ross, Susie Helton and Patrick McPhail. 205-969-8912, arcrealtyco.com

ANNIVERSARIES Tortugas Homemade Pizza at 2801 John Hawkins Parkway recently celebrated its 23rd anniversary. 205-403-9800, tortugaspizza.com

Anatole’s Bike Skate Surf at 5413 U.S. 280, Suite 101, in the Cahaba Market strip center, is celebrating its one-year anniversary in November.

CLOSINGS The Sunoco Highway 31 gasoline station and convenience store at 1537 Montgomery Highway has closed.


November 2022 • A11

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A12 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

New drug recovery, mental health center coming to Hoover From left, Kimberly Boswell, Alabama Department of Mental Health Commissioner, Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato, Birmingham Recovery Center Managing Director Colin Harris, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin, Birmingham Recovery Center Director of Business Development John Giannetto, Birmingham Recovery Center Executive Director Ian Henyon, Hoover City Council President John Lyda attend a groundbreaking at the Birmingham Recovery Center on Sept. 7. Photo by Eric Taunton.

By ERIC TAUNTON A new partnership between the Birmingham Recovery Center in Hoover and LIV Ventures plans to build three new drug and alcohol abuse and mental health facilities in Hoover, Madison and Baldwin County. The new Longleaf Wellness Center in Hoover will be a 15,000-square-foot facility in front of the Birmingham Recovery Center in International Park off Acton Road. It will be a partial hospitalization and intensive outpatient program with a capacity of 60 patients that will provide substance use treatment as well as serve as a recovery resource for the community, said Collin Harris, managing director of the Birmingham Recovery Center. When the Birmingham Recovery Center first opened at the end of June 2021, the center’s staff quickly identified a need for an outpatient facility that provided mental services. Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said he is excited to see the need for more mental health and addiction recovery facilities being filled. “I don’t know if you know this, but I was a firefighter and a paramedic for the city of Hoover for 42 years, and I can’t tell you how many calls I went on that involved people suffering from drug abuse and drug overdose, and we didn’t know where to take them and get them hospitalization,” Brocato said. “It was just as difficult to find somewhere to take people that were suffering from some sort of mental illness episode.” Longleaf aims to strategically expand in order to make intensive substance use disorder treatment more accessible to residents of Alabama, starting with its Madison County location. The new facilities will host support groups and retreats and provide meeting spaces for people with an “invested interest in recovery support,” Harris said. Ian Henyon, executive director of Birmingham Recovery Center, said the center has two

overarching principles since it saw its first patient last summer: to be the gold standard for outpatient treatment throughout the mental health and addiction recovery industries and to improve the treatment experience for residents in Alabama. “With the formation of this partnership and the announcement of these three new facilities, Longleaf is setting a higher standard for behavioral health services here in Alabama,” Henyon said. “Our evidence treatment is trauma-informed and centered around attachment

theory (a theory concerning relationships between people). Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said mental health and recovery facilities such as Longleaf are vital to the community because not enough resources have been put into mental health and recovery services. “This conversation about mental health has to be had,” Woodfin said. “Our Birmingham police and fire and rescue units respond to thousands of calls on a monthly basis every year. You can’t imagine the amount of calls

where mental health services are needed.” Henyon said he challenges their competitors and organizations to “do better” when treating patients struggling with addiction and mental health. “The race to the bottom to provide the lowest cost and highest volume services does not lead the way to lasting healing and change,” Henyon said. “If we all do better, the standard of care gets raised for everyone.” The Longleaf Wellness Center in Hoover is expected to be completed in late 2023.

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November 2022 • A13

Left: Millennial Bank sits on the property at 20 Meadowview Drive. This is the company’s second location and will also serve as its headquarters. Right: A Sonic is under construction at 30 Meadowview Drive. The drive-in restaurant is currently accepting applications for employment. Below: Total Care 280, the practice of Dr. Amy Bentley Illescas, sits at 10 Meadowview Drive. The business relocated from its previous location in Greystone. Photos by Leah Ingram Eagle.

Progress continues on Meadowview Drive By LEAH INGRAM EAGLE

In October 2022, a ribbon cutting was held for the Millennial Bank location at 20 Meadowview Drive. This is the bank’s second branch and also now serves as the headquarters. This was the second parcel sold at the property and is 15,000 square feet, built in the space of the former Joe’s Crab Shack restaurant. Lobby hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday with drive through hours extending to 5 p.m. For information, visit millennial.bank.

It’s been over two years since Millennial Bank bought the property on Meadowview Drive off U.S. 280 West. Situated on the hill between Valleydale Road and Brook Highland Parkway, the property sold for $2.9 million, ($606,695 per acre), according to Shelby County public records.


After purchasing the property, Millennial Bank sold the first parcel to Southern Care Internal Medicine in September 2020 for $950,000, with Millennial providing $760,000 in financing, according to public records. The medical company is owned by Dr. Amy Bentley Illescas, who moved her practice from Greystone to 10 Meadowview Drive. The two-story building was built in the spot of the former Petruccelli’s restaurant and is also home to several other specialists. The practice is open Monday-Friday from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, visit totalcare280.net.



According to its website, Leeds-based Millennial Bank was chartered in 1997 as Covenant Bank, and the two merged in 2018. It is a full-service, locally owned and operated, locally managed, community-oriented institution.

“With roots in the Birmingham area for more than two decades, our relationships with our customers, employees and shareholders run deep,” the website said. “Our mission is to deliver quality financial services to our local friends and patrons in a manner reflecting the highest level of customer service and integrity.”

Millennial Bank sold a third piece of land at 30 Meadowview Drive, to AL Birmingham Meadowview LLC for $1.13 million, according to Shelby County records. The company was founded in 1998 and is a subsidiary of RealtyLink LLC out of Greenville, South Carolina. RealtyLink sold half of its plot to a local Sonic franchisee. The project was initially expected to open in Spring 2022 but is currently still under construction. Efforts to find out an opening date were unsuccessful as of press time. The company is in the hiring process; those interested can apply at careers.sonicdrivein.com/us.


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A14 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

Community Have a community announcement? Email Jon Anderson at janderson@starnesmedia.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

Candidates battle for legislative seats By JON ANDERSON and NEAL EMBRY The Nov. 8 general election is quickly approaching, and 17 candidates are battling for legislative seats representing parts of Hoover at the federal and state level. U.S. Rep. Gary Palmer, a Hoover resident who has represented Alabama’s Sixth Congressional District since 2014, faces Libertarian challenger Andria Chieffo, who works as an amnesty floor monitor at the Amazon Fulfillment Center in Bessemer. At the state level, seven legislative seats representing parts of Hoover have competition in the general election. In Alabama House District 15, Helena Councilwoman Leigh Hulsey, a Republican, faces Democrat Richard Rouco, who lives in Hoover’s Russet Woods community, in a battle to replace state Rep. Allen Farley, who did not seek re-election. Close by, in Alabama House District 56 (which includes Ross Bridge and part of Lake Cyrus), Democrat Ontario Tillman from Bessemer is competing against Libertarian Carson Lester from Birmingham’s Oxmoor Glen community. In House District 47, which includes parts of Hoover and Vestavia Hills, Hoover Councilman Mike Shaw, a Republican, is up against Democrat Christian Coleman, who also lives in Hoover. Both candidates grew up in Vestavia Hills, so they have ties to both cities. The House District 48 race, which covers part of Greystone, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook and north Shelby County, features incumbent Rep. Jim Carns of Mountain Brook versus Libertarian Bruce Stutts of Vestavia Hills. In House District 45, which includes parts of north Shelby County, eastern Jefferson County and southwest St. Clair County, Republican Susan DuBose of Greystone faces Libertarian Kari Mitchell Whitaker of the Dunnavant Valley community. In House District 43, which stretches from Meadow Brook to Riverchase, Republican Rep. Arnold Mooney faces a challenge from Democrat Prince Cleveland and Libertarian Jason Burr. And in Senate District 15, incumbent Sen. Dan Roberts, a Republican from Mountain Brook, must overcome a challenge from Libertarian Michael Crump, who wants to ensure people can live their lives without government influence. See bios on the candidates here and find more information on them at hooversun.com.


► Name: Gary Palmer (I) ► Party: Republican ► Age: 68 ► Residence: Hoover ► Political experience: Elected to U.S. Congress in 2014 representing Alabama’s 6th District ► Professional experience: President of the Alabama Policy Institute for 24 years; worked in engineering, as well as with Focus on the Family Palmer ► Civic experience: Rotary Club of Birmingham; member of Briarwood Presbyterian Church; ► Education: Bachelor’s degree in operations management from University of Alabama in 1977 ► Main issues: Fiscal conservatism; reducing regulation; lowering energy costs; replacing the Affordable Care Act; protecting the life of the unborn ► Website/social media: palmer.house.

gov; Twitter @USRepGaryPalmer; Facebook: CongressmanGaryPalmer

► Name: Andria Chieffo ► Party: Libertarian ► Main Issues: “Andria Chieffo is excited to provide a liberty-supporting option on the ballot for District 6, but is unable to devote herself to a full-time campaign at this time. Andria supports our state party’s planks and the planks of the national Libertarian Party,” from Chieffo the Libertarian Party of Alabama’s Candidate Coordinator Angela Walser Efforts to reach Andria Chieffo for bio information were unsuccessful by press time.


► Name: Leigh Hulsey ► Party: Republican ► Age: 44 ► Residence: Helena ► Political experience: Helena City Council member for 14 years (now council pro tem); ran unsuccessfully for Alabama House District 73 in 2021; vice president of campaigns for Republican Women of North Shelby County; executive committee for Shelby Hulsey County GOP ► Professional experience: Owner of CrossFit Alabaster for 10 years; previously worked as paralegal and stay-at-home mom ► Civic experience: Co-founded Putting First Responders FIRST group in Helena; president of Alabaster Business Alliance; small group leader at Church of the Highlands Riverchase campus ► Education: Bachelor’s degree in human development and family studies from Auburn University in 2001 ► Main issues: Prevent government overreach; protect the unborn, the right of people to have guns and states’ rights; secure funding for road projects in District 15; make sure schools are well funded; advocate for special needs children; develop walking, biking and blueway trails; repeal grocery tax and recent gasoline tax increase ► Website/social media: hulseyforhouse. com; “Leigh Hulsey for State House District 15” on Facebook

► Name: Richard Rouco ► Party: Democratic ► Age: 58 ► Residence: Hoover ► Political experience: First run for public office; elected to Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee this year ► Professional experience: Lawyer for 28 years, first with Cooper Mitch, then Whatley Drake and now with Quinn, Connor, Weaver, Davies and Rouco; practices mostly employment law but also antitrust, voting rights and civil rights cases ► Civic experience: Formerly served about five years on board of Greater Birmingham Ministries; active with Birmingham Bar Association;

member of American Bar Association, Union Lawyers Association and YMCA of Hoover ► Education: Law degree from University of Alabama School of Law, 1994; bachelor ’s degree in philosophy Rouco and English from Florida State University, 1987 ► Main issues: Improve health care by expanding Medicaid, freeing up state money for public safety, public schools and small business assistance; eliminate grocery taxes; temporarily suspend recent state gas tax increases; strengthen public education; expand family medical leave options ► Website/social media: roucoforhd15. com; “Richard Rouco for House District 15” on Facebook


► Name: Dan Roberts (I) ► Party: Republican ► Age: 64 ► Residence: Mountain Brook ► Political experience: Elected in 2018 to the state Senate representing District 15 ► Professional experience: Real estate development, private equity and international trade ► Civic experience: E l d e r, Briarwood Presbyterian Church; board member of Roberts Briarwood Christian School; chairman of Briarwood Ballet ► Education: Master’s degree in real estate development and urban affairs from Georgia State University in 1985; bachelor’s degree in building science from Auburn University in 1980 ► Main issues: Tax reform; strengthening Alabama’s workforce; parental choice in education (sometimes called school choice); allowing businesses to compete, especially in the Southeast ► Website/social media: danrobertsforsenate.com; Facebook: DanRoberts4StateSenate

► Name: Michael Crump ► Party: Libertarian ► Age: 47 ► Residence: Mountain Brook ► Political experience: Treasurer, Greater Birmingham Libertarians ► Professional experience: Customer service for a blockchain cryptocurrency company ► Civic experience: Past volunteer at Sidewalk Film Festival, various church Crump events ► Education: Bachelor’s degree from Herzing College ► Main issues: Abolishing some government entities such as the IRS and ATF; ensuring citizens live their lives without government influence; pro-homeschooling; against all gun laws; would forfeit legislative pay for two years ► Website/social media: LinkedIn: themichaelcrump


► Name: Arnold Mooney (I) ► Party: Republican ► Age: 71 ► Residence: Meadow Brook ► Political experience: Has represented House District 43 since 2014; unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate in 2020; staff assistant for U.S. Sen. James Allen in 1977; ran U.S. Sen. Albert Lee Smith’s campaign for U.S. Senate in 1984; was chairman Mooney of Alabama Rep. Mary Sue McClurkin’s campaigns for Alabama House District 43; managed U.S. Senate campaign of U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks in 2017; ran several other Alabama House and Senate campaigns ► Professional experience: Worked over 40 years in commercial real estate; associate broker at Southeast Commercial Partners; former vice president for Colonial Properties Trust ► Civic experience: Has served on Eagle Forum of Alabama board of directors; Workforce Investment Board 1999-2014, including chairman, vice chairman and finance chairman; former Meadow Brook Home Owners Association president; served as chairman of Unchartered Waters Sports Ministry; Fellowship of Christian Athletes board of directors and executive committee for north-central Alabama; involved in Briarwood Christian School capital campaigns, booster clubs and soccer program; has served as Meadow Brook Baptist Church deacon, personnel committee chairman and capital campaign chairman; Southern Seminary Foundation board of directors; led fundraising campaign for rugby stadium at Furman University; Monday Morning Quarterback Club member; St. Andrew’s Society past president; raised funds for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of Alabama ► Education: Master’s degree in history from Samford University in 1975; bachelor’s degree in history and political science from Samford University in 1973 ► Main issues: Fight against encroachment of the federal government; fight for limited government and low taxation; protect traditional family ideals, religious freedom, the right to bear arms and the life of unborn babies; promote free market health care without government interference; repeal common core standards and let local communities make curriculum decisions ► Website/social media: arnoldmooney. com

► Name: Prince Cleveland ► Party: Democratic ► Age: 41 ► Residence: Inverness ► Political experience: First run for public office; member of Shelby County Democratic Executive Committee; worked on fundraising team for former state Sen. Kim Benefield in 2006 ► Professional experience: Content usage analyst Cleveland for Ebsco Industries for past 8½ years; formerly worked as fundraising consultant for Satcher Health Leadership Institute at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta for two years ► Civic experience: Active member of


November 2022 • A15

New Hope Baptist Church; serves on UAB Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center Young Professionals Board, The Blackburn Institute Advisory Board, University of Alabama Community Affairs board of advisors and the American Legion Alabama Boys State Program; served on board of directors for Albert Schweitzer Fellowship of Alabama; active member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity; member of Alabama Leadership Initiative’s 2019 class ► Education: Master’s degree in public administration from University of Alabama in 2006; bachelor’s degree in political science from University of Alabama in 2003 ► Main issues: Eliminate tax on groceries; take advantage of federal dollars to expand Medicaid; protect the Education Trust Fund, prioritize its revenue toward successful educational initiatives and invest in innovative educational resources; protect women’s right to make their own health care decisions ► Website/social media: princeforalabama.com; Prince Cleveland for Alabama HD 43 on Facebook; #prince4alabama on Twitter; princeforalabama on Instagram

Shelby Auxiliary, chairwoman of Daughters of American Revolution Caring for America Committee, board member of Greystone PTA, children’s Sunday school teacher and Vacation Bible School leader at Asbury United Methodist Church ► Education: Bachelor’s degree in finance from University of South Alabama in 1985; master’s degree in business administration from Spring Hill College in 1990 ► Main issues: Would like to see more charter schools, more school choice options and increased focus on technical and vocational education options; leave teaching on gender issues and critical race theory to parents; give local control over curriculum decisions; maintain integrity of Alabama elections; protect people’s right to bear arms, keep government limited; protect people from government mandates like mask and vaccine mandates; create environment where businesses can grow and bring more jobs ► Website/social media: susandubose.com; “Susan DuBose for State House District 45” on Facebook

► Name: Jason Burr ► Party: Libertarian ► Age: 47 ► Residence: Meadow Brook ► Political experience: First run for public office ► P ro f e s s i o n a l experience: Currently delivers pizza for Domino’s; has also worked in pharmaceutical research, industrial food quality control, industrial paint coating and commercial truck Burr driving ► Civic experience: Habitat for Humanity volunteer; longtime member of First United Methodist Church in downtown Birmingham; has worked on mission projects in Costa Rica and Panama ► Education: Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Birmingham-Southern College in 1999 ► Main issues: Favors citizen initiative and referendum legislation to let the people vote on laws themselves if enough signatures to get issues on ballot; favors smaller government and fewer taxes; favors elimination of grocery tax and qualified immunity law that protects government officials and police officers from lawsuits; favors medical freedom for individuals; considers all gun laws a constitutional infringement ► Website/social media: Jason Burr Alabama House District 43 on Facebook

► Name: Kari Mitchell Whitaker ► Party: Libertarian ► Age: 44 ► Residence: Dunnavant Valley ► Political experience: First run for public office ► Professional experience: Worked in corporate communications for Ebsco Industries from 2002 to 2008 until becoming a stay-at-home mom and launching her own graphic design business, Launchpad Creatives ► Civic experience: Active member of St John’s Anglican Whitaker Church in Chelsea; former Girl Scout troop leader; assistant teacher of Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Lion Heart Academy ► Education: Bachelor’s degree in graphic design from University of Montevallo in 2002 ► Main issues: Prevent new taxes and eliminate some current taxes and a lot of unnecessary spending; set two-term limit for state legislators; expand school choice options by tying education dollars to students and not schools; decriminalize cannabis; give every adult autonomy over their own body, including choice regarding vaccines, medical treatments and chemicals or plants ingested; support free markets; oppose governmental restrictions that favor large corporations; protect gun ownership rights while preventing high-risk people and known criminals from easily obtaining weapons; protect the environment; protect the unborn; get government out of marriage, but grant equal protections and privileges to all family units, regardless of sexual orientation ► Website/social media: votewhitaker.org; “Whitaker Works for Alabama” on Facebook


► Name: Susan Dubose ► Party: Republican ► Age: 59 ► Residence: Greystone ► Political experience: First run for public office; president of Republican Women of North Shelby County; member of Shelby County Republican Party Executive Committee; has served as vice president of Greater Birmingham Republican Women; was alternate delegate to 2020 Republican Dubose

National Convention; served on strike team for Donald Trump’s campaign in Florida ► Professional experience: Worked as a residential, commercial and construction loan officer and business development officer for Compass Bank for more than 12 years before becoming stay-at-home mom in 1997 ► Civic experience: Government Affairs Committee and Women’s Business Council for Shelby County Chamber of Commerce; former president of American Heart Association’s Heart Guild; served as chairwoman of Heart Guild Ball, chairwoman of Distinguished Young Women of Shelby County scholarship program, board member of King’s Home

and Spain Park High School Band Boosters ► Education: Bachelor’s degree in public administration from Auburn University in 1995 ► Main issues: Make sure Hoover and Vestavia Hills get fair share of money for infrastructure projects; improve education; support charter schools and school choice options without hurting successful school systems; re-examine impact of legislation legalizing medical marijuana; revisit automatic future gasoline tax increases already approved ► Website/social media: electmike shaw.com

► Name: Christian Coleman ► Party: Democratic ► Age: 33 ► Residence: Hoover ► Political Experience: None ► Professional Experience: Freelance writer ► Civic Experience: Alabama Air National Guard; grew up attending New Pilgrim Baptist Church and Mountaintop Community Church ► Education: Bachelor’s degree in film from the University of Alabama in Coleman 2011; master of fine arts degree from the University of New Orleans in 2015 ► Main Issues: Medicaid expansion; make election day a state holiday; opposes school choice; improving education; paid family leave; clean energy and protecting the state’s environment ► Website/social media: christianforalabama.com; Instagram: christianforalabama


► Name: Bruce Stutts ► Party: Libertarian ► Age: 60 ► Residence: Vestavia Hills ► Political experience: None ► Professional experience: Compass Bank; Regions Bank; independent portfolio manager; college instructor for Huntington College Finance & Investment; BBVA/PNC Bank ► Civic experience: Church of the Highlands Stutts ► Education: Master’s degree in finance; bachelor’s degree in corporate finance and investments from the University of Alabama ► Main issues: individual freedom; not limiting voters to major two parties; reduce taxes when possible; support smaller government


► Name: Mike Shaw ► Party: Republican ► Age: 50 ► Residence: Hoover ► Political experience: Six years on Hoover City Council ► Professional experience: Chief technology officer and senior vice president for Mutual Savings Credit Union for 17 years ► Civic experience: Represents the Hoover City Council on the Hoover Shaw

Planning and Zoning Commission and Sports Facility Advisory Committee; founded Hoover Technology Roundtable; member of technology advisory group for Riverchase Career Connection Center; Tech Birmingham board member; former Birmingham Infragard board member; founded Destination Hoover International; member of Shades Mountain Baptist Church

► Name: Jim Carns ► Party: Republican ► Age: 82 ► Residence: Vestavia Hills ► Political experience: State representative, 1990-2005; Jefferson County Commission, 20062010; state representative, 2012-present ► Professional experience: Founder, American Metal Technology; founder, Modern Sales; vice president, Carns Modern Handling Systems ► Civic experience: Alabama Air National Guard veteran; board member, Youth Leadership Development Program; elder, Briarwood Presbyterian Church ► Education: Bachelor’s degree in engineering from University of Alabama in 1962 ► Main Issues: Protecting the life of the

unborn; ensuring election integrity (pro-voter ID, voted to ban curbside voting); pro-Second Amendment; fiscal responsibility; supports vocational training; welfare reform; anti-vaccine mandate ► Website/social media: electjimcarns. com; Facebook: RepJimCarns


► Name: Carson Lester ► Party: Libertarian ► Age: 45 ► Residence: Oxmoor Glen in Birmingham ► Political experience: First run for public office; former chairman of Laurens County (Georgia) Republican Party; worked in Herman Cain campaign for U.S. Senate (Georgia) in 2004 ► Professional experience: Has been in insurance business about 18 Lester years; currently is executive general adjuster for Charles Taylor Adjusting; also owned and ran a bakery for about three years ► Civic experience: Former worship leader for Lighthouse Community Church in Charlottesville, Virginia, and Dublin Community Church in Dublin, Georgia; worked in music ministry at The Church of Brook Hills in north Shelby County and Christ Fellowship Church in Homewood (now is agnostic); coached youth baseball in Homewood; was 2021 president of Southern Loss Association and still is on the board; teaches claims litigation management at Claims College ► Education: Bachelor’s degree in sociology from Samford University in 1999 ► Main issues: Favors limited government and government decisions being made at the lowest possible level; favors repealing criminal laws where there is no clear victim, such as driving without a seatbelt, driving with an open container of alcohol, or ingesting chemicals or plants; favors repealing all taxes except an equal sales tax on everything; favors removing government from health care and education ► Website/social media: “Carson Lester for AL State House District 56” on Facebook

► Name: Ontario Tillman ► Party: Democratic ► Age: 44 ► Residence: Bessemer ► Political experience: First run for public office ► Professional experience: Practicing law for 10 years; coached basketball at Lee High School in Huntsville, Satsuma High School in Mobile and Bessemer City High School; started working with attorney Leroy MaxTillman well Jr. in 2017 and was named partner in Maxwell Tillman law firm in 2018, working on criminal, civil and family law cases; taught at West Hills Elementary School in Bessemer while in law school ► Civic experience: Has been involved with Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Habitat for Humanity, March of Dimes, boys’ clubs and sports leagues; led free legal clinics; attends Liberty Faith Christian Church ► Education: Law degree from Miles Law School in 2012; master’s degree in collaborative teaching from Alabama A&M University in 2004; bachelor’s degree in special education from Alabama A&M in 2001 ► Main issues: Bring more high-paying jobs to House District 56; work to provide more adequate and affordable housing; expand mental health services; improve transit system, roads and other infrastructure; increase pay for teachers and retired teachers; focus on science, technology, engineering and math education ► Website/social media: “Ontario Tillman for District 56 Alabama State Representative” on Facebook

A16 • November 2022

Hoover Sun








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Schoolhouse Have a schoolhouse announcement? Email Jon Anderson at janderson@ starnesmedia.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue. Top row, from left: Daniel Zhao, the Alabama School of Fine Arts. Photo courtesy of Alabama School of Fine Arts; Sam Olsen of Briarwood Christian High School. Photo courtesy of Briarwood Christian High School; Vickie Kim, Indian Springs School. Second row, from left: Manu Nakano, Yuji Nakano and Nour Shoreibah, Indian Springs School. Photos courtesy of Indian Springs School; Right: Spain Park semifinalists. Below: Hoover High School semifinalists. Photos courtesy of Hoover City Schools.

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29 students from Hoover named National Merit semifinalists By JON ANDERSON At least 29 students from Hoover have been named National Merit semifinalists this year, including 18 from Hoover High, five from Spain Park, four from Indian Springs School, one from Briarwood Christian School and one from the Alabama School of Fine Arts. They are among 16,000 semifinalists named by the National Merit Scholarship Corp. this year, meaning they are in the top 1% of high school students nationally and now will compete to become finalists and then National Merit Scholars. This year’s semifinalists from Hoover High are Christos Argyropoulos, Jari Chen, Lukas Fu, Kashvi Gaddam, Lauren Geisler, Thomas Gullahorn, Dylan Haigler, Thomas Hao, Matthew Harden, William Hertz, Eshika Kudaravalli, Dominic Renda, Hannah Reynolds, Midhun Sadanand, Matthew Shen, Jacob Upton, Rati Venkatesan and Liz Wang. The Spain Park National Merit semifinalists this year are David Collins, Zachary Lin, Benjamin Roberts, Fiona Selle and Nicholas Stefanov. Semifinalists from Indian Springs School who live in Hoover are Vickie Kim, Mayu Nakano, Yuji Nakano and Nour Shoreibah. Sam Olsen is the semifinalist from Briarwood, and Daniel Zhao is the semifinalist from the Alabama School of Fine Arts. The semifinalists were chosen based on their performance on the Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, which was given to the students during their sophomore or junior year. The semifinalists represent the highest-scoring performers in each state, with the number of semifinalists from each state based on the state’s percentage of the national total of graduating seniors. The National Merit Scholarship Corp. said

that about 95% of the semifinalists are expected to earn finalist standing, and about half of the finalists will win one of about 7,250 National Merit Scholarships to be given out next year. Winners will be announced in groups from April through July, with a total of $30 million being awarded. To become a finalist, the semifinalist and a high school official must fill out a detailed application, sharing information about the student’s academic record, school and community activities, leadership abilities, employment, and honors and awards. Finalists also must have an outstanding academic record throughout high school, be endorsed and recommended by a high school official, write an essay, and earn SAT or ACT scores that confirm their earlier performance on the qualifying test. The National Merit Scholarship Program is underwritten by about 400 business organizations and higher education institutions that share the goals of honoring the nation’s scholastic champions and encouraging the pursuit of academic excellence. Spain Park Principal Amanda Esslinger echoed Montgomery’s sentiment. “This achievement highlights their hard work throughout their educational careers,” Esslinger said. “I am looking forward to watching them continue to grow and succeed in the future.” Separate from the scholarship program, the nonprofit also recognizes students from various minority groups for significant achievement on the PSAT and/or Advanced Placement tests. Five students from Hoover High (Gabrielle Boyd, Alyson Goodwin, Anthony Hill, Mekayla Mcneil and Phanuelle Manuel) and one from Briarwood (Drew Woodruff) were chosen for the National African American Recognition Program or National Hispanic Recognition Award this year.


November 2022 • A17



Photos with Santa returns to Sims Garden FOR LUNCH & DINNER

By ERIC TAUNTON The newfound Sims Garden tradition, Photos with Santa, will be returning to the garden this year. Sims Garden is taking reservations for children and their families to Brought to spend 15 minutes with you by our Santa Claus. Children sister paper: will not only be able to take photos with Santa but also chat, ask questhehomewood tions and receive toys star.com from him, said Amy Milam, manager at Sims Garden. Refreshments such as hot chocolate and Christmas cookies will also be provided, she said. Photos with Santa began in 2020 after the garden’s Pumpkin and Mum sale received positive feedback that October. Prior to the Pumpkin and Mum Sale, there were discussions amongst the Sims Garden team about fundraising efforts to improve and renovate the property, Milam said. “We started thinking about the next thing and the next thing was Christmas,” Milam said. “It seemed like it was a natural thing to follow on, to do a Christmas event and have Santa photos that were COVID safe, we called it ‘Santa safe.’ They were all outside, just like the Pumpkin and Mum Sale was, and we knew that a lot of Santa photos weren’t going to be happening, like your typical mall or Bass Pro Shop Santa events.” The garden will host Photos with Santa every

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The Gwaltney family poses for a photo with Santa during the annual Sims Garden Photos with Santa fundraiser December 2021. Photo by Erin Nelson.

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Hoover Sun


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Charles Kessler bringing luxury subdivision near Vestavia Hills By NEAL EMBRY

Hills City Schools, most of his buyers don’t need the school system, Kessler said, allowing them Developer Charles Kessler has plans to build to lessen their tax burden by staying in Jefferson 11 homes, in addition to one already built, on County. Sicard Hollow Road just outside The homes will differ from lot to the limits of Vestavia Hills, to create lot, Kessler said. Brought to “Sicard Hollow Farms,” a luxury “I don’t want any two to be the you by our subdivision. same,” he said. sister paper: The subdivision will be located at Kessler has told homeowners not 4401 Sicard Hollow Road and will to remove trees without permission sit next to the Cotswolds in Liberty and wants to keep the area wooded. Park. The homes will range from the This represents “one of the last vestavia low $900,000s to one that will likely places you can go” in Vestavia Hills voice.com be about $2.5 million, Kessler said. for development, Kessler said, and The subdivision will include private provides easy access to the Summit streets, a gate and the minimum square footage and the Colonnade along U.S. 280. for each home will be between 2,500 and 3,000 Construction was set to begin in October and square feet, he said. should take between 12 and 24 months, KesWhile the homes won’t be zoned for Vestavia sler said.

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A20 • November 2022

Hoover Sun


CONTINUED from page A1 Green, who once lived in Hoover but moved to Citronelle when she was in the eighth grade, was part of the Mobile Azalea Trail Maids (high school seniors who serve as ambassadors for the city of Mobile, much like the Hoover Belles do for Hoover). She was driving home to Citronelle from a Trail Maids appearance in October 2020 when she had a head-on collision that claimed the life of the man driving the other vehicle. There was nothing she could do to avoid the accident, she said, and the man ended up dying on the scene. “I was thrown into a world of trauma, anxiety and depression,” Green said. Green said she was thankful she survived the crash, but she had trouble balancing that with the sadness she felt about the man who died, and she wasn’t accustomed to dealing with sadness. Through counseling, she learned it was normal and OK to have conflicting emotions and learned how to better process those emotions in a healthy manner instead of suppressing them, she said. Now, she wants to help others do the same.


She started a campaign called “Flip the Switch” to try to change the way people view mental illness and help people dealing with stress and trauma. She has done presentations in schools to teach young people how to cultivate healthy mental and emotional habits, and she created “emotional activity sheets” that have been distributed nationally through the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. Green also wrote a children’s book called “The Girl Who Grew a Garden,” which teaches children how to take the pain of losing someone or something they loved and use it to grow something beautiful. She uses the analogy of a beautiful sunflower that wilted and died but whose seeds were used to grow more sunflowers. Green has volunteered at the Amelia Center

Miss Hoover 2022 Jordan Carraway crowns Mary-Coker Green, a 19-year-old Auburn University student from Citronelle, as Miss Hoover 2023 at the Hoover Library Theatre on Aug. 21, with assistance from Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen 2022 Hailey Adams, at right. Photo courtesy of Melanie Posey/city of Hoover.

in Birmingham, counseling little girls who have lost a sibling or parent and sharing with them what she has been learning through her grief process, she said. Green also said she went through a late phase of insecurity after starting college and for a while doubted she was good enough to be who

she wanted to be. Last year, she was named Miss Shelby County and went on to compete in the Miss Alabama competition for the first time. She found herself surrounded by young women who were confident in themselves and for the first time began to feel like she was good enough,

too, she said. She realized it was OK not to be perfect all the time, and she thinks it’s important for people to be open about their shortcomings, she said. “People celebrate you for success but relate to you because of your struggles,” she said.

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Green started her life in Pensacola, but her family moved to Hoover when she was 8 so she could attend Hoover schools, she said. Both her parents worked from home and liked the Hoover school system, she said. She attended South Shades Crest Elementary School and Brock’s Gap Intermediate School, and then she was homeschooled through Hope Christian School while in sixth and seventh grade. Her family then moved back to Citronelle to be closer to her grandparents, and she finished high school as a homeschooler through Moffett Road Christian School. Green then went to Auburn University, where she now is a sophomore studying agricultural business and economics. Her mother was raised on a cattle farm, and her father was raised on a fish farm and now runs his own cut-flower farm, with a heavy dose of sunflowers and zinnias. She wants to go to law school and study agricultural law and policy, in order to eventually be a voice for farmers in the shaping of government policies related to agriculture and the environment, she said. She’s particularly concerned that some climate-control legislation isn’t realistic for farmers, she said. For example, electric tractors are not really efficient for farmers, she said. She believes there needs to be more of a balance found between protecting the environment and helping farmers maintain their livelihood, she said. Green was chosen as Miss Hoover 2023 from among 12 young women in a competition on Aug. 21. The Miss Hoover competition is an “open competition,” which means the contestants don’t have to live in the city. Green said she is thrilled to become more associated with Hoover again and noted this was not her first time in a Hoover competition. She was the first runner-up in the Miss Hoover’s Outstanding Teen competition seven years ago. She loved the time she spent living in Hoover and was upset when she had to move, she said. Before winning Miss Hoover in August, she already had reconnected with

November 2022 • A21

People celebrate you for success but relate to you because of your struggles.


some of her old Hoover friends at Auburn, some of whom immediately called her by her childhood nickname: Coco. She switched to the name Mary-Coker her junior year of high school, she said. It’s a combination of her great grandmothers’ names, Mary Nell Green and Verla Mae Coker.


When Green won the Miss Hoover competition this year, she performed “The Devil Went Down to Georgia” on the fiddle as her talent. It’s her favorite fiddle song to play, she said. Green said she’s always had a natural inkling for playing music. She learned to play the piano at age 6 and, because her great grandfather was a well-known fiddle player in south Alabama, she decided to give the fiddle a try in the summer between fourth and fifth grade. She tried a year of classical violin lessons and determined that wasn’t for her, so she switched to playing Irish, country and American fiddle music and enjoyed it much more, she said. She likes the way people get excited, clap their hands and stomp their feet in joy with that kind of music, she said. Green had her first official event as Miss Hoover at the city’s 9/11 Remembrance Ceremony and has started making more appearances. She took part in a charity day at the Tidal Wave Auto Spa, was at the Taste of Hoover event at Aldridge Gardens and was emcee for the Little Miss Blackberry Pageant in Chilton County. She said she is eager to keep reconnecting with people in Hoover while at the same time preparing for the Miss Alabama 2023 competition this coming summer.


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Mary-Coker Green holds a copy of her children’s book, “The Girl Who Grew a Garden.” Photo courtesy of Mary-Coker Green.

A22 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

The Hoover City Council holds a work session at Hoover City Hall on Oct. 13. Photo by Erin Nelson.


CONTINUED from page A1 Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato said the change was made at the direction of the council and directed questions to Council President John Lyda. Lyda said he didn’t know who made the initial decision. Council members Steve McClinton, Mike Shaw, Sam Swiney and Casey Middlebrooks said they were not informed before videos were first removed nor consulted before those changes were made. Jason Cope, the city’s technology director, directed questions to the city’s public information officer, who obtained a response from City Attorney Phillip Corley. Corley asked that questions be submitted in writing and, when asked who made the initial decision to take down YouTube videos, said, “This was a council policy communicated by the council president to the city clerk. … The policy was communicated to the city clerk on Sept. 6, 2022.” However, videos from the past five years were taken down prior to Aug. 1. Corley did not respond to further questions about who made the initial decision. Corley did say that he advised the city that state law does not require meetings to be videoed or livestreamed, or for recordings of meetings to be made or preserved. “However, temporary recordings should be deleted once minutes are approved according to the Records Disposition Authority issued by the Alabama Local Government Records Commission,” Corley wrote. “Another alternative would be to livestream only with no recordings or not to livestream at all. Transparency under Alabama law means that the meetings are open to the public and minutes of what was done at those meetings are made available to the public. The minutes are permanent public records and the official record of actions taken at a meeting.”


Lyda, in response to concerns from fellow council members, said he took input from council members and drafted a “compromise” policy that allows for videos of council meetings to stay online for 60 days or after the minutes of those meetings are approved, whichever occurs later. That was the first time an official policy had been created, he said. People also can download a copy of the videos before they disappear. Lyda said council members’ opinions ranged from having no cameras at all to recording the meetings and keeping the

recordings available forever, and he tried to find some middle ground. “I’ve not seen an issue in my tenure as president where we’ve had as wide an array of opinions as we did on this matter,” Lyda said. “My goal was to draft a policy that no one loves but everyone can live with.” Corley said nothing has been done wrong. “The city has not improperly deleted videos or records,” he wrote. “The city complies with Alabama law with regard to records retention. The city goes above and beyond state law requirements by streaming the meetings and making the videos publicly available.” But a majority of council members — McClinton, Shaw, Swiney and Middlebrooks — said they still actually prefer that recordings of council meetings be available for public view forever. Robin Schultz, a Bluff Park resident who lost two bids for the Hoover City Council in 2016 and 2020, spoke to the council about the matter on Aug. 1. He said the recent changes in handling of videos go against the idea of transparency so frequently heralded by council members, especially when they were running for office, and asked them to make the old videos available again and keep making all meetings available going forward. Councilman Steve McClinton said he agrees. “I’m for total transparency,” McClinton said. “Why take them down? There’s no reason for that.” Lyda said state law determines what transparency is, and state law doesn’t require that meetings be recorded — either in audio or video format. Most city clerks at least make an audio recording of the meeting to help them develop the written minutes of the meeting, which are required by state law. Lyda said that even though state law doesn’t require a video recording, it is the desire of the Hoover City Council to provide that for the public, so the new policy he created is his attempt to define how those recordings should be handled for this council term. “Our main goal and mission is to follow the law to the letter of the law,” Lyda said.


Councilman Derrick Murphy said that when the current mayor and five new council members were elected in 2016, their primary objective was to make viewing of council meetings possible for people who couldn’t make it to a meeting. “That was the primary objective, and it was met,” Murphy said. “Outside of that is logistics.” For government bodies that do broadcast

We should always allow people who have complaints about Hoover to be on the record. Whether I agree with them or not, they have a right to be heard. To censor it is very dangerous.


or record meetings, each one does it differently, and he’s satisfied as long as there is live streaming of council meetings and work sessions, he said. “I think we have to be fair,” Murphy said. “From a transparency standpoint, we have been transparent as a city. … A lot of processes have been put in place the last six years that this city never had. I’m proud of that.” Councilman Curt Posey said his original goal also was to have a live webcast of meetings, and that has been accomplished. Posey also noted that the council does record public comments that are part of official public hearings on matters. Also, Lyda frequently will allow public comment on other votes that don’t require a public hearing, and those comments also are part of the council videos. The cameras now are being cut off only for the general public comment period at the end of the meeting, and that is something that was recommended by the city attorney because of potential legal ramifications, Posey said. “You don’t know what a person is going to say,” Posey said. “The majority of us could care less if the public comment is on there.” Shaw said cutting the cameras off for the public comment period doesn’t bother him because some people are reluctant to speak to the council if they know they are being recorded and broadcast to the general public and have to give their name and address.


But Shaw said he does think the recordings should be left online for good for transparency’s sake. “I think it helps people see what their government is doing,” Shaw said. “Sometimes people want to go back and look at particular issues for historical purposes.”

McClinton said while the minutes of meetings do record actions taken at meetings, it’s important for people to be able to see and hear what was actually said in the meetings and how it was said. “A piece of paper and words of minutes don’t capture the emotion and passion and somebody’s body language and the inflection of their voice,” McClinton said. Also, at Corley’s direction, the council meeting minutes contain much less information than they once did. Corley has advised the city clerk that minutes only need to contain the actions taken by the council, not necessarily capturing everything that was said about a matter. The public comment portion of Hoover’s council meetings has drawn more people to the microphone — and more public criticism of council decisions — following the serious flooding events of October 2021. People with complaints about the council’s handling of stormwater flooding matters are frequent guests at the microphone, and Lyda has become more strict about enforcing a three-minute time limit for speakers, particularly those who are critical of the council or city staff. Some residents have started making their own video recordings of meetings. McClinton said it shouldn’t matter whether people are being critical of public officials. “We should always allow people who have complaints about Hoover to be on the record,” he said. “Whether I agree with them or not, they have a right to be heard. To censor it is very dangerous.” Swiney said that, to him, the public comment portion of the meeting is part of the council meeting and should be recorded just like the rest of the meeting. Middlebrooks said that would be his preference, too. However, he does believe there needs to be more compromise in all levels of government, and he accepted Lyda’s revised policy as a compromise. Schultz said the current group of elected officials have a history of touting transparency and have taken steps to make the city more transparent, but the recent actions are a step back in the wrong direction. The videos should be made public again, and future videos of complete council meetings should remain available for people to see whenever they want, he said. “We’d like to refer back to them,” Schultz said. “Sometimes they make for good reference material. You all have nothing to hide.” Shaw said he doesn’t think the issue is dead. “I think there’s certainly ongoing discussion about it.”


November 2022 • A23


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November 2022

Hamilton, Moseley help Team USA to World Cup gold

By KYLE PARMLEY The city of Hoover was represented well on the big stage in the World Baseball Softball Confederation (WBSC) U-18 Baseball World Cup in September. Hoover High School head baseball coach Adam Moseley and second baseman RJ Hamilton were each part of Team USA, which earned the title with a 5-1 win over Chinese Taipei on Sept. 18 in Sarasota, Florida. Moseley served as Team’s USA pitching coach, while Hamilton was one of 20 players on the roster. It was Moseley’s fourth time being selected as part of a Team USA baseball event. “Any time you put USA on your chest, you get a different feel,” Moseley said. “Being able to represent our school and our state on the highest level in amateur baseball was pretty fun.” Team USA went 8-1 over nine games in the World Cup, with no win more key to the title than the semifinal win over Japan. In the third inning, Japan took a 3-2 lead before a rain delay forced a postponement until the following day. Team USA came out the next day, got out of a jam immediately and proceeded to win 4-3 in walk-off fashion in the seventh inning. Hamilton played a big role in the two-run seventh inning to lift his team to the victory. He reached on a bunt after an errant throw and later scored the game-winning run on a teammate’s base hit. Hamilton comes from a military family, so being able to play for the red, white and blue took on added significance for him. “It meant a lot to me,” he said. “Being able to wear that USA across the chest meant a

lot to me, and in some form give back to the family that fought for this country.” Hamilton advanced through a strenuous tryout process to be part of the team. Simply being selected as one of the 100 players to play in the Prospect Development Pipeline League over the summer in North Carolina is an incredible honor. From the PDP League, 40 players were chosen to go to Fort Myers, Florida, for a training camp to determine the final 20 on the World Cup roster. Moseley provided some insight into Hamilton’s performance at the training camp, which sealed his spot on the team. Hamilton is an athletic middle infielder who can make a significant impact in multiple aspects of the game, particularly on the base paths. Hamilton provided exactly what the coaches thought he could, and more. Throughout the World Cup, he was a perfect 5-for-5 on stolen base efforts. He was also stellar with the bat at training camp, rising to the occasion as one of the top hitters on the team during; that stretch. “I knew I had the ability to make it. It was just me putting in the work and being more consistent,” Hamilton said. “I put in the work and it paid off. I trusted my work that I’ve put in and let God take the rest of it.” Hamilton, a Vanderbilt University commit, now looks forward to one final spring season at Hoover. He said it meant a great deal to him to be able to have the Team USA experience alongside Moseley, who has coached him throughout his high school career. He left quite an impression. “To hear the comments about his character and how he carried himself and represented his family and Hoover, Alabama, if he had not gotten a hit in the entire event, people still would’ve talked about him,” Moseley said.

Hoover High School baseball coach Adam Moseley and RJ Hamilton helped Team USA to the WBSC U-18 World Cup title in September. Photo courtesy of Adam Moseley.

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B2 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

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November 2022 • B3

B4 • November 2022

Hoover Sun



The regular season has officially ended, with several teams looking to extend their seasons deep into November in the state playoffs. Here are some highlights from the middle portion of the high school football season. Photos by Todd Lester and Barry Stephenson.

Spain Park wide receiver Jonathan Bibbs (3) has been a bright spot in a tough season for the Jags. He caught nine passes for 93 yards in a loss to Vestavia Hills and caught two balls for 109 yards and a touchdown in a loss to Tuscaloosa County.

Left: Hoover quarterback Brewer Smith (16) continually improved throughout the season, before an injury sidelined him. He played his best game against Mountain Brook, as the Bucs won 26-14 on Sept. 23. He completed 16-of-28 passes for 224 yards and a pair of touchdowns in the fourth quarter to put the game away. Right: Hoover’s defense has been one of the top units on either side of the ball in the entire state this season, with perhaps its most dominant performance coming in a 40-0 win over Oak Mountain on Sept. 30. Oak Mountain gained just 119 yards in the game, and Hoover’s defense forced four interceptions, two of them by Jay Avery.

Left: Hoover wide receiver Jordan Woolen (6) has been a playmaker in the passing game all season and had one of his best games to date in the win over Mountain Brook. Woolen led all receivers with eight grabs for 122 yards, including a 32-yard touchdown reception early in the fourth quarter. Right: Hoover wide receiver KJ Law (4) could not be stopped in the big win over Oak Mountain. Law touched the ball four times and scored on three of them. He took a handoff twice, taking it to the end zone from 17 and 71 yards out. He caught two passes for 82 yards, one of them a 56-yard touchdown reception.


November 2022 • B5

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B6 • November 2022

Hoover Sun


Artwork by Jane Marshall, an artist who splits her time between Birmingham, Alabama, and Michigan. Photos courtesy of Moss Rock Festival.

Moss Rock Festival to highlight animals, nature, art By JON ANDERSON Animals and nature are recurring themes in the artwork of Jane Marshall, so it’s only natural that the organizers of the Moss Rock Festival chose her to be their featured artist this year. Marshall, an 85-year-old artist who has homes in both Birmingham and Michigan, will exhibit a collection of her woodcut paintings, woodcut reduction prints and ceramics at the Moss Rock Festival, which is scheduled for Nov. 5-6 in the lower parking lot next to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The festival, now in its 17th year, is billed as an “eco-creative” event designed to celebrate art, nature, creative designs and ways that people can live wisely to sustain the natural environment. Marshall said art has been a focus and anchor for her throughout her life, providing opportunities to observe things people often see as mundane and translate them into a “rich, visual vocabulary.” She started drawing animals when she was 3 or 4 years old and is intrigued by the connection between animals and humans, she said. “We effect them, and they are important to us,” Marshall said. “If they aren’t surviving, we aren’t going to survive.” Marshall said she often uses animals in her art that sometimes are irritating to humans, such as deer (which eat people’s flowers), beavers (which tear things up to build dams) and raccoons (which get into trash and can ruin gardens or crops). Even though they can be nuisances at times, they really are beautiful animals, she said. She often relies on her immediate environment to stimulate her art, from bird watching on her back deck to enjoying the greenery of spring and fall colors. Marshall has been a teacher in some form or fashion since she was 21 and spent many years teaching at colleges, such as the University of Wisconsin, Albright College, Saint Mary-ofthe-Woods, Kansas State University, Marshall University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham. But she also has spent time selling art supplies and managing art supply stores. Alex Kunzman, co-director of the Moss Rock Festival, said he has known Marshall for years. She was part of the Magic City Art Connection’s exhibit of “Movers and Shakers: Celebrated Women Artists of Alabama,” and he has his own personal collection of her artwork. Her pieces involving animals are very whimsical and full of personality, and they reflect the way animals relate to both nature and people, he said.

“They’re just really colorful and beautiful,” Kunzman said. “She’s just a very talented artist we have in Alabama. We’re excited to be able to spotlight her this year out at Moss Rock. … She just embodies what the Moss Rock Festival is all about — the appreciation of animals, nature and wildlife.” In total, there should be about 100 artists at the festival whose work either depicts nature, is influenced or inspired by nature, uses natural materials or uses recycled or repurposed objects in the art, Kunzman said. The design portion of this year’s festival will feature Storyteller Overland’s retrofitted vans for adventure travel. “They’re really cool,” Kunzman said.

2022 Moss Rock Festival • WHERE: Hoover Metropolitan Stadium lower parking lot, 5310 Stadium Trace Parkway • WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, Nov. 6, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. • COST: $10 in advance; $12 at gate; children ages 15 and younger get in free • PARKING: Free at Hoover Met Stadium • WEB: mossrockfestival.com


The “Smart Living Market” will feature items for everyday living that include fresh, organic, locally made, sustainable products and consumables in the areas of food, home décor, body and health products and technology. For example, Jean’s Apothecare offers herbal seasonings, candles, aromatherapy, infused honey, lip balm, body butter and paper goods such as stationery. All the company’s botanicals are sourced from certified organic farmers, and its partners are ethical in their crop decisions and labor practices, Kunzman said. Chicken & Sweets Southern Yardbird offers handcrafted jams and preserves using locally sourced fruits and vegetables as much as possible, as well as pickles, candied jalapenos and squash relish, zucchini corn relish, chow chow, fresh peaches, crackling cornbread, ginger snaps, fried lemon pies and more. There also will be honey from the Ivy Brook Apiary in east Birmingham and Gitts Bajan Pepper Sauce made with fresh habanero and scotch bonnet peppers using a true Caribbean family recipe. The Hoover Public Library will have used books for sale, and the Grace Klein Community will have information to share about its program to recover leftover food and share with people who need it.


Also, Colin Williams, an art professor and director of new media at the University of Montevallo, will have 200 to 300 tree saplings for people to take and plant at home, Kunzman said. Each sapling will be trackable so Williams can tell where they end up as part of a project, Kunzman said. The festival also will include a Wonderkid Studio with interactive workshops for children.

Jane Marshall will be the featured artist at the 2022 Moss Rock Festival in the parking lot at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. Photo courtesy of Brett Levine.

One of the workshops will let kids create three-dimensional butterflies using string, yarn, raffia, beads, pipe cleaners and jewels, and another workshop will allow young artists to explore all stages of a butterfly’s development. At least five Hoover schools are participating in an art project to creatively highlight the endangered monarch butterfly and the habitats that help it survive, Kunzman said. The Birmingham Quilters Guild will be exhibiting quilts from its 2022 Quiltfest as well as more quilts chosen especially for its fall festival showcase. There also will be a “sweetery” with goodies from award-winning pastry chef Susan Notter of Elizabeth Moore Chocolates and designer chocolates by Kathy D’Agostino of Chocolata. The Café by the Woods area will include Rae Rae’s Catering, which offers Polish sausage, jumbo hot dogs, chili and slaw dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, Philly beef and chicken cheese steak sandwiches, nachos, pulled pork and chicken, chips, lemonade and fruit punch. There also will be numerous food trucks, including Cousins Maine Lobster (Saturday only), Nawlins Style Po’boys, Tamale Queen, Corazon Mexican and D&M Snow Cones. For those who want alcoholic beverages, the festival for the 11th year will feature a beer garden with about 50 craft beers to taste, as well as a home brewery group called the Car Boy Junkies, wine from Plenty of Vino and beer snacks, Kunzman said. The beer garden will have three sessions (12:30-2 p.m. Saturday, 2:30-4:30 p.m.

CRESCENT STAGE PERFORMANCES Saturday ► 12:30-12:50 p.m. — IAmGreatness ► 1-2:10 p.m. — Alabama School of Fine Arts jazz ensemble ► 2:15-3 p.m. — Urban Sounds ► 3-3:15 p.m. — IAmGreatness ► 3:15-4:10 p.m. — M.U.A.D. ► 4:15-5:15 p.m. — CHEYLOE ► 5:30-7 p.m. — Kamal (VIP event) Sunday ► 11:15 a.m.-noon— Urban Sounds ► 12:10-12:30 p.m. — Dala ► 12:35-1:30 p.m. — NKOSI ► 1:45-2:15 p.m. — Rhea and Michael ► 2:30-3:30 p.m. — Bob Marston

Saturday and 1-3 p.m. Sunday). Tickets for the beer garden cost $30 in advance and $40 at the gate, but the beer garden ticket includes festival entry and a commemorative beer glass sponsored by The Beer Hog. Festivalgoers also will have live music and dance performances throughout the day. For a list of artists who are signed up to come and a sample of their work, or for tickets or more information, go to mossrockfestival. com or call 205-595-6306.


November 2022 • B7



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B8 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

Runners take off at the start of the 2021 Bluff Park 8K. Photo by Jon Anderson.

People take part in the 2021 Walk to End Epilepsy at Railroad Park in Birmingham in November 2021. Photo courtesy of Kellie Franklin.

Bluff Park 8K returns for second year in December By JON ANDERSON The inaugural Bluff Park 8K was so successful last year that founder Lynsey Tibbs has decided to do it again. Tibbs has scheduled the 2022 Bluff Park 8K for Saturday, Dec. 3, with a 7:30 a.m. start time. The course will be the same, starting at Bluff Park United Methodist Church and then heading south on Valley Street and Park Avenue, winding down to Farley Road before heading back north to finish at Bluff Park United Methodist. One difference this year will be more encouragement along the route, Tibbs said. The Birmingham Community Church plans to provide music at a water station just after mile 3 of the 5-mile run, and Berry Middle School cheerleaders will be present to pump runners up as they go up the final hill in the race, she said. Another change this year is with awards. Awards will be given out to the top three male and top three female finishers in each fiveyear age group, instead of having 10-year age groups for people ages 20-59. There also will be awards for top finishers among those 19 and younger and those 60 and older. The top three male and female finishers overall will receive a cash prize, as will the top three male and female “masters” finishers (age 40 and older).

Bluff Park 8K • WHERE: Starts and ends at Bluff Park United Methodist Church • WHEN: Saturday, Dec. 3, 7:30 a.m. • COST: $35 through Nov. 2; $40 starting Nov. 3 • WEB: runsignup.com/bluffpark8k

The cost to participate is $35 through Nov. 2 and $40 starting Nov. 3. A registration link, complete course map and results from last year’s race can be found at runsignup.com/ bluffpark8k. Runners also can register on site the day of the race until 7 a.m., Tibbs said. Proceeds from the race will benefit Grace’s Kitchen, a nonprofit that provides food for people in need through various ministries. Last year’s race raised $11,000 for Grace’s Kitchen, far exceeding the $4,000 goal, Tibbs said. There were 315 people in the 2021 Bluff Park 8K, she said. By Sept. 1, 46 people had registered this year, which is far ahead of registration numbers at that time last year, she said. All runners who register will receive a T-shirt and post-race breakfast provided by the Ranch House Restaurant, Tibbs said Timing for the race will be done by The Right Time, the official timing company for The Trak Shak.

it’s FALL y’all

Epilepsy Foundation sets $75,000 goal for 2022 Birmingham walk By JON ANDERSON The Hoover-based Epilepsy Foundation Alabama plans to hold its 2022 Walk to End Epilepsy at Railroad Park in Birmingham on Saturday, Nov. 5. Registration for the 1-mile walk is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m., and a short program before the walk will start at 11 a.m., said Sara Franklin, a regional director for the Epilepsy Foundation. It’s free to participate in the walk, but organizers ask participants to find people and/ or companies who will sponsor them with donations. The Epilepsy Foundation uses proceeds to raise awareness about epilepsy, fund research and training programs on seizure recognition and first aid, and to improve access to specialty and supportive care for people with epilepsy. Last year’s Birmingham walk drew about 800 people and raised about $130,000, including corporate sponsorships, Franklin said. This year’s goal is $75,000, she said. This year’s walk also will be used as a time to celebrate the Seizure Safe Schools Act, which was passed by the Alabama Legislature

Walk to End Epilepsy • WHERE: Railroad Park • WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 5, 10 a.m. • WEB: walktoendepilepsy.org/ Birmingham

and signed by Gov. Kay Ivey in the spring of 2021 and went into effect this school year. The act allows non-medical school personnel who are trained to administer nasal anti-seizure medication to do so in emergency situations when a school nurse is not on campus. The act was similar to legislation that passed a few years ago, allowing trained personnel to administer epinephrine and insulin to students at school during emergencies, Franklin said. There are about 7,500 students with epilepsy in Alabama schools, and this new legislation could help save their lives in the event of a severe epileptic seizure, Franklin said. To sign up for the 2022 Birmingham Walk to End Epilepsy or for more information, go to walktoendepilepsy.org/Birmingham.


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November 2022 • B9

Hundreds gathered at Veterans Park for the 2019 Out of the Darkness Walk, which aims to fight suicide and spread awareness about mental health. Photo by Erin Nelson.


Out of the Darkness Walk set for Veterans Park Nov. 6 By JON ANDERSON The 2022 Out of the Darkness Walk for the Birmingham-Hoover metro area is scheduled to be Nov. 6, at Veterans Park off Valleydale Road. The walk, organized by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, is one of six in Alabama and more than 350 walks scheduled around the country this year to remember people who took their own lives and raise money for life-saving research, prevention efforts and support for survivors and those who lost loved ones. Last year’s walk at Veterans Park drew 1,148 people and raised more than $101,000, said Marissa Grayson, chairwoman of the Birmingham area walk. The goal this year is $160,000. As of Oct. 20, 464 people had registered to participate this year either as individuals or as part of 90 teams, and they already had raised about $44,000, according to the event website. People are encouraged to register as individuals or teams in advance at afsp.org/Birmingham and collect donations for the walk. There is no fee to participate, but each individual who raises at least $150 will receive an Out of the Darkness Walk T-shirt. The walk, which is about a mile, is scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m., but check-ins will begin at 1 p.m. People are invited to bring friendly dogs on leashes if they wish. There also will be food trucks, kids’ crafts, music, resource tables and a station where people can write out messages of

2022 Out of the Darkness Walk • WHERE: Veterans Park, 4800 Valleydale Road • WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 6, 2:30 p.m. • COST: Free to register, but donations sought • WEB: afsp.org/birmingham

hope, Grayson said. In 2020, 793 people committed suicide in Alabama, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s more than two per day and 16 suicides for every 100,000 people who live in the state, which is higher than the national average. However, suicides in Alabama have declined since reaching 836 suicides in 2017. For every suicide death, there are four hospitalizations for suicide attempts, eight emergency department visits related to suicide, 27 self-reported suicide attempts and 275 people who seriously considered suicide, according to the CDC. People experiencing mental health-related distress or who are worried about a loved one who may need crisis support can call or text 988 to connect with a trained crisis counselor for free, 24 hours a day.

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Veteran Peyton Ligon reads his acceptance speech at the 2022 Hoover Freedom Awards at Hoover Country Club on July 21. Photo by Eric Taunton.

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Veterans celebration planned at Hoover Public Library By JON ANDERSON The Hoover Public Library plans to hold its annual veterans celebration on Nov. 6. The day kicks off at 2 p.m. with a program in the Hoover Library Theatre honoring the winner of this year’s Freedom Award, given out by the Hoover Veterans Committee and Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce. This year’s winner is Peyton Ligon, a decorated veteran of the U.S. Army. By the end of Ligon’s 27-year stint in the Army, he had received a Silver Star, Bronze Star with Valor, Purple Heart, combat infantry medal and expert infantry level, among several other awards. As a member of the American Legion Ryan Winslow Post 911, Ligon has helped dozens of veterans and their dependents apply for government benefits and compensation and assisted veterans with financial needs by hosting fundraisers with the Legion, said Paul Pocopanni, chairman of the Hoover Veterans Committee. At 2:30 p.m., the Alabama Youth Symphony

will give a patriotic concert in the Library Theatre, to be followed by a reception with food for veterans at 3 p.m. in the lobby of the theater. At 3:45 p.m., there will be a ceremony to lower the U.S. flag from the flagpole in front of the Hoover Public Library. The library also plans to have a “walk of honor” with pictures of U.S. veterans from all wars displayed in the hallway that goes through the middle of the library. People who want to honor a veteran by adding a photo can call 205444-7840 for more information. There also will be a display to remember prisoners of war and people who went missing in action. The library also each year holds a poster contest for children to create artwork in honor of veterans and displays some of the posters in the library. Children also can stop by the library Nov. 6-10 to get materials to make a craft for a veteran they want to honor. The library and other city offices will be closed on Veterans Day, Nov. 11.


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B10 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

2022 Taste of Hoover pleases palates at Aldridge Gardens By JON ANDERSON

Guests sample food and socialize at the 2022 Taste of Hoover event at Aldridge Gardens on Oct. 6. Photos by Jon Anderson.

Tahara Evans thought she would come to the 2022 Taste of Hoover event at Aldridge Gardens and then go get dinner afterward. But this was her first time to attend the event, and she didn’t realize just how much food there would be, she said. “I don’t think I’ll want to eat for a couple of days now,” she joked after making the rounds of the 32 food and beverage vendors on Oct. 6. The event is designed to give people a taste of the restaurants, caterers and drink providers in Hoover and a fun night out to socialize, said Tynette Lynch, the city’s director of hospitality and tourism and CEO of Aldridge Gardens. Organizers sold about 350 tickets and gave out about 50 complimentary tickets this year, so there were a few more people than normal, Lynch said. She normally tells restaurants to plan to feed samples to about 300 people, so she was a little nervous they might not have enough food to make it through the night, but it turned out fine, she said. “We’ve never run out of food,” and this is the 11th year of the event, she said. The Taste of Hoover also serves as a fundraiser for Aldridge. With contributions from sponsors lumped in with ticket proceeds, revenue was probably about $15,000 to $16,000, and net proceeds likely will end up around $10,000 after bills are paid, Lynch said. Evans’s husband, Hal Wood, said he knew there would be enough food to equate to dinner, and he took advantage of the offerings. His favorite was the cornbread salad by Yellow Bicycle Catering & R&S Food Service, he said. That was a new menu item, and it got a lot of good reviews, chef Lea Smith said. Yellow Bicycle Catering also served numerous other

samples, including Jamaican barbecue pork sandwiches, chicken sandwiches, shrimp and grits, bread pudding and spinach potatoes. Yellow Bicycle also won the prize for the best display at Taste of Hoover, with Pollo Lucas coming in second and Newk’s Eatery placing third. Wood said he had never been to Pollo Lucas, a Mexican chicken restaurant off Lorna Road, but was very impressed with its food as well. He also is a big fan of The Whole Scoop ice cream shop and enjoyed the samples from Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery and Dread River Distillery, he said. “All of it was fantastic,” Evans said. She’s an event planner who just joined with partner Donna Bishop to form Bishop Evans Events, and they will be looking for food and drink providers for their customers, she said. Gloria Womack said she and her husband, Wally, of Vestavia Hills have come to the Taste of Hoover several times before, and she was even more impressed this year. “I thought it was one of the best they’ve had,” she said. “The volume of food was wonderful. There were more places to sit.” Wally Womack said one of his favorites was the bread pudding from Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux, as well as a couple of samples of gumbo he had. Karen Mitchell of Vestavia Hills said she comes to the Taste of Hoover every year because she loves the variety, seeing people and finding new restaurants she can visit. Her favorite dish Thursday night was the bread pudding from Tre Luna Bar & Kitchen, but “it’s all been great so far,” she said. As people sampled food and socialized, they listened to live music from Brendan Young, a Nashville recording artist from the Birmingham area.

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Food and beverage providers that participated in this year’s Taste of Hoover included: ► Baba Java Coffee ► Back Forty Beer Co. ► Big Whiskey’s American Restaurant & Bar ► Brock’s Gap Brewing Co. ► Buffalo Wild Wings ► Carrabba’s Italian Grill ► Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery ► Coca-Cola Bottling Co. United ► Dread River Distillery ► Edible Arrangements ► Emily’s Heirloom Pound Cakes ► GRK Street Cafe ► International Wines & Craft Beers ► Jefferson State Community College Culinary and Hospitality Institute

November 2022 • B11

► Jimmy John’s Sandwiches ► Merk’s Tavern & Kitchen ► Newk’s Eatery ► Pollo Lucas ► R&S Food Services/Yellow Bicycle Catering ► Rock N Roll Sushi ► Savoie Catering ► Steak ‘n Shake ► Super Chix ► Taziki’s Mediterranean Café ► Teriyaki Madness ► The Casual Pint at The Grove ► The Happy Catering Co. ► The Joyful Food Co. ► The Whole Scoop ► Tre Luna Catering ► Twin Peaks ► Walk-On’s Sports Bistreaux

Business news to share? If you have news to share with the community about your brick-and-mortar business in Hoover, let us know!

Share your business news with us at hooversun.com/about-us

Taste of Hoover featured food and beverage samples from Hoover restaurants and bars as well as local music.

B12 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

Junior League Market Noel coming to Finley Center The 2021 Market Noel at the Finley Center in Hoover, Alabama, raised $235,000 for the Junior League of Birmingham’s community improvement projects. Photo courtesy of Junior League of Birmingham.

By JON ANDERSON The Junior League of Birmingham is gearing up for its 2022 Market Noel shopping event at the Finley Center in Hoover on Nov. 16-19. It’s a chance for people to shop from about 100 merchants that are expected to be selling clothing, jewelry, home décor, holiday items and other goods, said Jayna Goedecke, the Market Noel chairwoman this year. General admission tickets are $15, with proceeds being used to assist the Junior League’s 21 community projects to improve people’s lives in the areas of safety, crisis recovery, health and wellness, economic security, financial stability, education and culture. The Junior League’s partners include groups such as Cornerstone Schools of Alabama, Girls Inc., The Literacy Council, Youth Leadership Forum, The Foundry’s Hope Inspired Ministries, Community Food Bank of Central Alabama, Meals on Wheels, Crisis Center, Grace Klein Community, Mother’s Milk Bank of Alabama, NorthStar Youth Ministries and the YWCA. This year’s Market Noel will begin with a “Preview Noel” event from 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 16, that gives people first dibs on merchandise available for sale. Guests that night also will be treated to music, food and drinks. Tickets for the Preview Noel are $55. The first 100 people to purchase tickets will receive a swag bag. General admission shopping is from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. On Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Texas Roadhouse is providing a free lunch for first responders. Then that night, from 5 to 8 p.m., an event called JLB Hearts Bham will allow shoppers to see performances by various choirs, dance groups, cheerleaders and other groups. On Saturday morning from 9 to 11 a.m., there’s a special event called Brunch with the

Big Guy, with Tre Luna providing biscuits, waffles and fruits, and kids will have a chance to do a craft and get a picture taken with Santa. There also will be mimosas for moms. Tickets are $12 for children and $28 for adults. Also, on Saturday from noon to 3 p.m. will be a chance to have milk, cookies and a photo with Santa. A $36 ticket is good for two children and two adults. Extra children will cost $6 each. The Junior League also is offering people a chance to win a diamond jewelry item from Diamonds Direct valued at $5,000. A $48 ticket bought online gives you two chances to win. The winner will be drawn at the Preview Noel event, and the price goes up at the event. For the men, there’s a cigar drop. For each $12 ticket bought online, you can get a cigar

and one chance to win a men’s prize package valued at more than $300. The winner of the Cigar Drop also will be drawn at Preview Noel, and the price increases at the event. The final special item for sale is a cocktail kit from Tito’s Handmade Vodka, with a holiday-inspired specialty drink curated especially for Market Noel. The cost for the kit is $48. Goedecke said the Market Noel is an easy way to do a little holiday shopping for a good cause. “We help a lot of people out,” she said. Also, because there was no food at the 2021 event, this year, Olexa’s, a restaurant and bakery from Mountain Brook Village, will be selling breakfast, lunch and snacks at Market Noel, Goedecke said. Parking at the Finley Center will be free. Last year’s Market Noel raised $235,000,

2022 Market Noel • WHAT: Shopping event organized by Junior League of Birmingham • WHERE: Finley Center at Hoover Metropolitan Complex • WHEN: Nov. 17-19; Preview Noel Nov. 16 • TICKETS/INFO: jlbonline.com/ market-noel-2022-tickets

and the goal this year is $250,000, Goedecke said. To buy tickets or for more information, go to jlbonline.com/market-noel-2022-tickets.

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November 2022 • B13 The Birmingham Children's Theatre puts on a musical performance as part of the 2021 Christmas tree lighting at the Riverchase Galleria. Photo courtesy of the Riverchase Galleria.

Pro fisherman and 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion Randy Howell, at right, announces the winner of his boat giveaway at the 2021 Randy Howell Hope Festival, benefitting the King's Home in November 2021. Photo courtesy of Larry Dancy.

Randy Howell Hope Festival moves back to Chelsea By JON ANDERSON After a year at Veterans Park in Hoover, the King’s Home is moving its annual Randy Howell Hope Festival back to the King’s Home campus in Chelsea. Organizers decided the Chelsea campus had a more intimate feel and was more easily accessible to kids from the King’s Home, said Elishua Markham, the organization’s development director. This year’s Randy Howell Hope Festival, scheduled for Nov. 12, will include live music, a cornhole tournament, food trucks and vendors, but the highlights of the event are the fishing rodeo for kids, led by 2014 Bassmaster Classic champion Randy Howell, and a boat giveaway by Howell. This is the 12th year that Howell has given away a boat as a fundraiser for the King’s Home, which offers long-term shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence or homelessness. The organization collects donations, and for every $100 donated, donors get a chance to win the boat, Markham said. The boat Howell is giving away this year is a 2022 Triton 21XRT, which has a 250-horsepower Mercury Pro XS 4-stroke motor, T-H Marine Bluewater LED light package, Clarion Bluetooth stereo, ghost trolling motor

2022 Randy Howell Hope Festival • WHAT: Fishing rodeo, cornhole tournament, boat giveaway and fundraiser for the King’s Home • WHERE: King’s Home campus in Chelsea • WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 12 • WEB: kingshome.com/randyhowell and Triton trailer. It’s valued at more than $100,000, Markham said. Last year, the King’s Home raised $378,000 with the boat giveaway, she said. “It’s a really amazing thing that Randy Howell does for us.” The King’s Home operates 21 group homes on six campuses in four counties, Markham said. The nonprofit last year changed the name of its boat giveaway event from Campfire for the King to the Randy Howell Hope Festival. The day kicks off at 10 a.m., and Howell is scheduled to announce the winner at 2 p.m. People can make donations and get a chance to win the boat by going to kingshome.com/ randyhowell.

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City, Galleria Christmas tree lightings set for November By JON ANDERSON The city of Hoover and Riverchase Galleria both plan to celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season with tree lighting ceremonies in November. The first of the two tree lightings will be Friday, Nov. 18, at the Galleria. The mall plans to start gearing up for the tree lighting about 6 or 6:15 p.m. with live Christmas music from a band in the food court, said Mike White, general manager for the Galleria. Then at 6:30 p.m., the lights on the big Christmas tree in the food court will be turned on, and Birmingham Children’s Theatre will put on a show called “Letters to Santa,” White said. It will be a musical variety show featuring modern Christmas tunes and should last about an hour, said Jessie Kisor, education director for Birmingham Children’s Theatre. The city of Hoover’s official tree lighting ceremony is scheduled for 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 29, in the upper parking lot at Hoover City Hall, with parking available at the Hoover Public Library next door. Mayor Frank Brocato usually has a child

Riverchase Galleria Tree Lighting • WHERE: Galleria food court • WHEN: Friday, Nov. 18, 6 p.m.

City of Hoover Tree Lighting • WHERE: Hoover City Hall parking lot • WHEN: Tuesday, Nov. 29, 5 p.m. help him flip the switch to turn on the lights on the 43-foot-tall Christmas tree by U.S. 31, as well as other Christmas lights on the City Hall campus. The night also is scheduled to include music from the Gwin and Rocky Ridge elementary school choirs and instrumental music from a school band, as well as light snacks, coffee, hot chocolate and kid photos with Santa.

B14 • November 2022

Hoover Sun

Clockwise from top: Ahmad Austin, far left, discusses his semi-abstract paintings with Sarah Gotleib and Stewart Gotleib on Oct. 1 at the 59th Annual Bluff Park Art Show, held at the Hoover Met; Handmade necklaces sparkle, made by Tonia Davis Evans; Geneive Washam, center top, and Emma Washam eagerly look for the Cotton Candy and Raspberry popsicles by Urban Pops. Photos by Meg McKinney.

Georgia painter takes top prize at 2022 Bluff Park Art Show By JON ANDERSON

Gary Curtis, a painter from Woodstock, Georgia, won the best in show award at the 2022 Bluff Park Art Show on Oct. 1. Above: The Best in Show-winning piece, “The Master’s Violin.” Photos courtesy of Bluff Park Art Association.

Painter Gary Curtis from Woodstock, Georgia, won the top prize at the 2022 Bluff Park Art Show on Oct. 1. Curtis, who has been a full-time artist for about 40 years, had a painting of a violin and a glass bottle selected as the “best in show” and collected a $2,500 prize. He was among about 130 artists participating in this year’s show, and his painting will be added to the Bluff Park Art Association’s permanent collection. Curtis, a native of southern California who spent many years in corporate management with a Fortune 500 company, began his art business shortly after moving to the Atlanta area in 1980, according to his website. Among his favorite subjects are mirror-like, reflective silver vessels and transparent glass, such as the bottle in the piece that won the Bluff Park Art Show. Curtis said on his website that he has always been fascinated by the way objects become distorted as seen through cut crystal. This year’s Bluff Park Art Show was moved outside of Bluff Park for the first time in 59 years due to construction at The Park at Shades Cliff, where the show has long been held. The Bluff Park Art Association chose to move this year’s show to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. The show, as always, included a variety of mediums, including painting, woodworking, pottery, jewelry, leather, textiles, metal, glass, photography and mixed media. The judge this year was Anne Perry-Uhlman, director of the Fayette Art Museum. Here is the complete list of awards given out this year, the winners and their chosen media: ► $2,500 Best In Show: Bluff Park Art Association Permanent Collection Purchase Award (in honor of Linda Chastain and sponsored by Gene and Pam Smith) — Gary Curtis of

Woodstock, Georgia, painting ► $1,750 Bluff Park Art Association President's Award (in memory of Donna Leigh Jackins and sponsored by her family) — Lindanne Phillips of Hayden, ceramics ► $1,000 Show Judge Award (in honor of Uhlman) — Trina Ross of Florence, painting ► $1,000 August A. and Cary Moore Artist Appreciation Award — Jim Brown of Homewood, printmaking ► $1,000 Bluff Park Art Association Board of Directors Award — Laura Walker of Cullman, 2D/3D mixed media ► $1,000 Award for Artist New to the Bluff Park Art Show — Krel Buckelew of Hanceville, painting ► $1,000 Five Divas of Bluff Park Award (for excellence in 2D art) — Scott McQueen of Northport ► $500 Hoover Arts Alliance Award (for excellence in painting) — Sundi Hawkins of Pell City ► $500 Morrison Honea Award (for excellence in woodworking) — John Sowell of Birmingham ► $500 BenchMark Physical Therapy Award (for excellence in jewelry) — Theresa Clements of Athens ► $500 Award (for excellence in metal work) — Robert Taylor of Birmingham ► $500 Award in honor of Henley Hager — Melissa Holbein of Huntsville, ceramics ► $500 Hendricks Subaru Award (for excellence in sculpture) — Jeanie Stephenson of Decherd, Tennessee ► $300 EW Motion Therapy Award (for excellence in ceramics) — Peggy Wood of Wilsonville ► $300 award in honor of Madge Sidwell (past BPAA president) — Stephen Reid of Headland, woodworking ► $300 Popular Vote Award — Hannah Lewis of Montevallo, printmaking


November 2022 • B15

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