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Hoover Songbirds senior choir kicks off 30th anniversary season after COVID-19 down time.

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Finishing on Top

Brian and Heather Hinton stand outside the Women and Infants Center at UAB in Birmingham following a biweekly check-up for Heather, who was diagnosed with leukemia in September 2020. Photo by Erin Nelson.

‘Once-in-a-lifetime player’ Audrey Rothman aims to complete her Spain Park career on a high note.

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INSIDE Sponsors........... A4 News....................A6 Chamber.......... A10 Business.............A11 Schoolhouse.... A18

Events.............. A20 Community..... A23 Sports.................B4 Fall Home & Garden.......... B7

Hoover’s Heather Hinton leans on family, community support during leukemia journey By JON ANDERSON


t was just a little over a year ago on Sept. 21 that Heather Hinton got the news she didn’t want to hear: She had leukemia and would need a stem cell transplant to survive. Two days later, Hinton, a wife and mother of four children from Hoover’s Russet Woods community, was at UAB Hospital for six weeks of chemotherapy.

River Grimes, 13, jumps off a curb at the Hoover RV Park on Sept. 9. The city of Hoover has designated space at the Hoover Met Complex for a potential skate park. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Then the search began for a bone marrow donor match. As is the case for nearly 70% of blood cancer patients, Hinton had no relatives who were a match, so she would have to rely on the possibility of finding a match from a stranger. A friend of Hinton’s, Rachel Petry, worked with DKMS, an international nonprofit dedicated to fighting blood cancers and other blood-related illnesses, to organize a drive to get people to sign up for the blood stem

cell registry. One hundred and thirty-eight people responded and ordered at-home swab kits to be added to the donor pool for Hinton or other patients in need of a stem cell donor. Hinton thought she had a donor in December, but doctors couldn’t agree on some of the details of the stem cells, she said. Her first two potential donors came down with COVID-19.

See HINTON | page A26

Nonprofit raising funds for Hoover skate park By JON ANDERSON Johnny Grimes always loved skateboarding as a teenager and now has a 13-year-old son who is into skateboards, too. They have a skateboard ramp in their backyard in the Blackridge

community, but there’s really no safe, designated skate park they can enjoy anywhere close, Grimes said. He knows his family is not alone in the desire to see a skate park and is working with the city of Hoover to

See PARK | page A24

A2 • October 2021

Hoover Sun


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The Crossings at Riverchase will open early 2022

in Hoover, off Highway 31 and just minutes from Birmingham with scenic nature views and easy access to The Galleria at Riverchase. Learn more at our newly-opened Information Center — and ask about our limited-time Ambassador Program for exclusive community updates and residency benefits! Call 205-203-8467 or visit to schedule an appointment today. Information Center | The Plaza at Riverchase | 1839 Montgomery Highway | Hoover, AL 35244 | Independent Living | Assisted Living | Memory Care AL License Pending

October 2021 • A3

A4 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

About Us Editor’s Note By Jon Anderson There’s something about facing death in the eye that gives people a fresh perspective about life. I’ve heard it time and again from people who have battled disease or had a close call with death in other ways — you tend to develop a greater appreciation for the people around you, and your eyes are opened to blessings you previously may have taken for granted. Russet Woods residents Heather and Brian Hinton have experienced this as well following Heather’s leukemia diagnosis a year ago and subsequent search for a bone marrow donor and eventual bone marrow transplant. They’ve been overwhelmed by the love and support they’ve received from family and friends, especially from their church family at Hunter Street Baptist Church and others in the

homeschool community. And they’ve come to appreciate some of the simple things in life even more, like seeing friends, getting hugs from their kids, going on dates and being able to fix dinner and do laundry

again, Heather said. I hope you’ll read the story about their journey and battle with leukemia on the cover of this month’s issue. Perhaps it will cause you to take some time and reflect on your blessings as well — the people in your life and the chance to love and be loved. I also encourage you to think about the reason God has you here on this Earth. We all have a purpose. We just have to discover it and get busy fulfilling it. Our days are limited, and we never know when those days are going to end.


Family members and friends of Victor Hill are recognized before a game with Vestavia Hills High School on Sept. 3 at the Hoover Met. Photo by Barry Stephenson.

Sun Publisher: Dan Starnes Managing Editor: Nick Patterson Community Editors: Jon Anderson Jesse Chambers Leah Ingram Eagle Neal Embry Sports Editor: Kyle Parmley Community Reporter: Eric Taunton Design Editor: Melanie Viering Photo Editor: Erin Nelson Page Designers: Kristin Williams Ted Perry

Anna Bain Ingrid Schnader Emily VanderMey Patrick McDonald Michelle Salem Haynes Don Harris Jarrett Tyus Warren Caldwell Stacie Hatcher Hazen Hoagland Cal Larsen Administrator: Anna Jackson

Client Success Specialist: Content Marketing Manager: Graphic Designer: Director of Sales: Advertising:

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

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: 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 Allsteel Fence (B15) Alys Stephens Center, ArtPlay, Abroms-Engel Institute AEIVA (A3) Bedzzz Express (B1, B20) Benton Nissan of Hoover (A27) Birmingham Orthodontics (A1) Birmingham Wellness Massage (B3) Breanna Sexton, RE/MAX Southern Homes (B18) Brewer Cabinets (B17) Brewer Roofing & Construction (B8) Bromberg’s & Company Inc. (A18) Brookwood Baptist Health (A17) Budget Blinds (B12) Bug Cowboy’s Pest Solutions (B19) Capstone Village (A5) Cardinal Roofing (A19) Caring Transitions of South Birmingham (A25) Carpet Warehouse Galleria (B9) Children’s of Alabama (A11) City of Hoover (A2) Classic Iron Works (B16) Closets by Design (B11) Dreamcakes Bakery (A25) ENT Associates of Alabama (A10) Etc. (A9) Family Medical Supply (A18) French Drains Pro (A24) Gardner Landscaping (B7) Issis & Sons (A27) Julie Ivy White (A22) Kete Cannon, ARC Realty (A7) LAH Real Estate (B13) Luckie’s Pinestraw (A1) Max Transit (A14) Medical West Hospital (A28) Medicare Advisors of Alabama (A13) Moss Rock Festival (B3) Mr. Handyman of Birmingham (B18) One Man and a Toolbox (A11, B15) Over the Mountain Glass (A15) Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (A8) Patti Schreiner, ARC Realty (B17) Preserve Paints (B19) Red Mountain Associates Thrivent Financial (A22) Sarver Orthodontics (A24) Sewing Machine Mart (B1) Signature Homes (B10) Sikes Children’s Shoes (A20) South Haven Health & Rehab (A23) Southern Blood Services (A14) Southern Coin & Collectibles (A7) Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (B16) Southlake Orthopaedics (A12) Sovereign CPA (A13) Standard Air, Plumbing & Insulation (B14) The Crossings at Riverchase-Hoover (A2) The Welch Group (B2) TherapySouth Hoover (A5) Total Skin and Beauty Dermatology (A6) Truewood by Merrill (A21) United Way of Central Alabama (A8) Virginia Samford Theatre (A12, A20) Vivian Mora State Farm Agency (A10) Vulcan Termite & Pest Control (A23) Window World of Central Alabama (B2) Wrapsody (A15)

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 ► 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 Want to join this list or get Hoover Sun mailed to your home? Contact Anna Jackson at ajackson@starnesmedia. com.

October 2021 • A5

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A6 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

City Leadership Hoover launches 5th class By JON ANDERSON The fifth class of the Leadership Hoover organization is getting ready to start in October as class members begin to explore the various facets of life in Hoover. The new class includes 34 people from a variety of fields and industries, including education, government, law, health care, technology, financial services, engineering, real estate, media and utilities. The goal of Leadership Hoover is to gather a group of leaders who are interested in expanding their leadership skills, deepening their sense of civic responsibility, becoming more involved in helping the community and learning about Hoover’s issues and needs. Following a welcome breakfast in August and team-building retreat in September, the new class now will begin to meet once a month to learn more deeply about the city. In October, the class will focus on public safety, hearing from leaders in Hoover’s first responders and communications departments and tour the Hoover fire station, the Hoover Jail, the Police Department’s new Frank and Pam Barefield Training Center and the National Computer Forensics Institute. The November focus will be on education, and in December, the group will examine

Members of the fifth class of Leadership Hoover pose for a photo during a breakfast at the Hoover Randle Home and Gardens on Aug. 24. Photo by Jon Anderson.

economic development, including a presentation from Hoover’s economic developer, Greg Knighton. The class will have a government day in January where it will hear from city, county and state government officials, including legislators and city department heads. Then in February, the focus will turn to Hoover’s diversity with a “one community day.” Small businesses and entrepreneurs will be the focus in March and April will feature various things that add to Hoover’s quality of life, such as park facilities and the Hoover Public Library. The nine-month effort concludes in May with a graduation ceremony and presentation of projects the various groups have undertaken. By December, each group must identify and have approved a project they want to tackle to help improve life in the city, said Lori Leonard, executive director for Leadership Hoover. Some projects from the Leadership Hoover’s fourth class dealt with human trafficking, skills gaps among young people, food insecurity, retail challenges and business support.

The 34 members of the fifth class of Leadership Hoover are: ► Joseph Booker, owner, Joseph Insurance Advisors ► Cody Burns, senior account executive, WBRC ► Stephen Burns, fuel services principal, Southern Co. ► Katrina Cade, owner, PrideStaff ► Pooja Chawla, attorney ► Anita Clemon, assistant vice president for institutional equity, University of Alabama at Birmingham ► Erin Colbaugh, events manager, city of Hoover ► Terri Coleman, counselor, Trace Crossings Elementary School ► Colin Conner, urban forester, city of Hoover ► Randall Cottrell, CEO, Bluejireh ► David Custred, vice president for operations, McLeod Software ► April DeLuca, partner, Magic City Law ► Joe Dunsmore, vice president and deputy chief information officer, Blue Cross and Blue

Shield of Alabama ► Mitzi Eaker, president/owner, Mitzi Jane Media ► Derrick Ellis, independent contractor, Dream Trips ► Dr. Leesha Ellis-Cox, physician ► Robin Gerstenberg, Realtor, Keller Williams Realty ► Heather Harvill, associate counsel, Preferred Growth Properties ► Porsha Hicks, engineering business partner manager and senior vice president, BBVA (PNC) ► Jeffrey Hodges, senior vice president for diversity, equity and inclusion and talent programs manager, Regions Bank ► Laura Jackman, member, Wallace, Jordan, Ratliff & Brandt ► Kimberly Jackson, government and community relations manager, Alabama Power Co. ► Eric King, agent/owner, State Farm Eric O. King Agency ► Shaquana Lamar, principal engineer, Southern Company Services ► Jason Lybrand, partner, Sovereign CPA Group ► Kimberly Ray, building services manager, SouthWest Water Co. ► Kendall Roberson, corporate counsel, Avanti Polar Lipids ► Marcella Roberts, principal/owner/developer, M. Roberts & Associates ► Russell Shamburger, senior vice president, Cadence Bank ► Takeria Stephens, senior vice president and fair lending and redlining compliance manager, Regions Bank ► Dr. Chijoke Ulasi, dental director, Whatley Health Services ► Mary Veal, human resources director, Hoover City Schools ► Christy Williams, vice president of sales, ITAC ► Nina Williams, senior project manager, Jacobs Engineering To learn more about Leadership Hoover, go to

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October 2021 • A7

Mayor’s Minute

By Frank V. Brocato In late August, our Police step-by-step instructions for Department was confronted your convenience: with a situation that required 1. To receive push notifithem to get pertinent inforcations, tap the grid in lower mation to citizens fast in an left corner. effort to protect them. 2. Select “My Settings” One system we used 3. Select “Manage Notifications” notified folks beyond the 4. Select “Hoover Police impacted area. But that situation helped us realize that Department” at the top most Hoover residents are As a “backup,” you can not aware of the Hoover PD also see Hoover PD’s latest (my PD) app. tweets in the app, too. You This is a free app that don’t have to be on Twitter sends out real-time updates, to be able to see these. Here’s Frank V. Brocato notifications and alerts how: directly from Hoover police 1. Tap the grid in the when you need it. It is available to anyone — lower left corner. 2. Select the “Latest Tweets” icon Hoover citizens, Hoover businesses, even those who live outside of the city. Please don’t rely on only one source to be Here’s how you can get it on your cellphone: notified. This app works whether you are on Go to the App Store or Google Play and other social media platforms or not. Keeping search “Wired Blue,” then select the “My you and your family safe is the No. 1 priority Police Department” app. Once you download in the city, and we want to use every tool availit, select “Hoover Police Department” as your able to us to make that happen. I hope you will consider using this tool. department. Once you download the app, it is also important to agree to accept push notifications so you can be updated immediately when information is sent out. Here are some

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The Hoover Fire Department’s Rescue 46 medical rescue vehicle was pulled out of reserve status and put into frontline duty after private ambulance companies quit serving Hoover in April. Photo by Jon Anderson.

Fire Department gets grant for medical rescue vehicle By JON ANDERSON The Hoover Fire Department recently obtained two federal grants totaling almost $250,000 to help buy a new medical rescue vehicle and fitness equipment for all 11 fire stations. The grants came from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Assistance to Firefighters program, Chief Clay Bentley said. Hoover will receive almost $205,000 to help purchase the medical rescue vehicle and almost $44,000 to help purchase the fitness equipment. The city must chip in about $25,000 to receive the grant money, Bentley said. At the beginning of the year, the Fire Department had seven medical rescue units, three of which were fully staffed and in frontline operation, City Administrator Allan Rice said. After private ambulance companies stopped serving Hoover in April, the Hoover Fire Department started staffing a fourth medical rescue unit during the peak hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., using existing personnel and overtime, Rice said. In August, the department began staffing the fourth rescue unit 24 hours a day with existing personnel, he said. By mid-September, the Fire Department added an eighth rescue vehicle to its fleet, and a ninth one was requested in the 2022 budget. The new grant from the federal government will allow the purchase of a 10th one, Rice said. However, the new vehicles likely will serve

as replacement vehicles for some older ones, Rice said. Some of the current frontline vehicles will be shifted into reserve status, and the department may repurpose or sell some of the older vehicles, Rice said. In his 2022 budget request, Bentley asked for permission to hire seven new firefighter/ paramedics so the department can fully staff a fifth medical rescue unit in its frontline fleet. However, Mayor Frank Brocato did not include the additional staff in his budget recommendation to the City Council. Rice said he and the mayor want to gather more data to justify hiring seven new firefighter/paramedics, which he said would cost at least $480,000 a year. Bentley believes the city will take in more than $1 million a year in additional fees for taking people to hospitals now that private ambulance companies no longer serve Hoover, which he said should more than pay for the additional personnel. Rice said he and the mayor want to analyze actual revenue collections and costs for several more months before deciding whether to recommend additional hires. In the meantime, “every call is being answered. Every person is being treated, and every person [who needs more care] is being transported to the hospital rapidly,” Rice said. Reserve medical rescue units are stocked and ready to roll, and fire engines and ladder trucks also answer medical calls, Rice said. Hoover also has mutual aid agreements with nearby departments if needed.

A8 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

Plan for veterans’ monument hits roadblock By JON ANDERSON A plan to build a monument at Hoover’s Veterans Park off Valleydale Road to honor all military members from Alabama killed in action in the War on Terror since 9/11 has hit a roadblock and sent the organizer looking for another location. For the past three years, Hoover resident and Navy veteran Mark Davis has been trying to line up support and funding to build an Alabama Fallen Warriors monument and thought he had it all worked out. He had secured cooperation from city officials and lined up $337,000 worth of monetary and promised in-kind donations necessary to build the monument and was trying to move the project along, only to find out late last year there are guidelines in place for Veterans Park that don’t match his plan. The Hoover Veterans Week Celebration Committee in 2007 established guidelines for memorials and commemorative works at Veterans Park.


The guidelines state that “brick pavers and benches shall be the primary memorial and commemorative works approved for the site.” Benches are to be reserved only for military members killed in action, as substantiated by a Purple Heart award, and the deceased — or a parent, child or spouse of the deceased — must have been a resident of Hoover at the time of death. Also, no statues are to be allowed at Veterans Park, according to the guidelines. The monument Davis wants to build would recognize service members killed in action from anywhere in Alabama — not just Hoover. And his plan was to erect 120 white cylindrical columns, each 10 inches in diameter, lined up in 11 rows with 11 columns on each row except one in the middle being replaced by a U.S. flag 60 to 80 feet in the air. The columns would be 10 feet tall, with about 3 feet buried in the ground for stability,

Mark Davis, founder and CEO of Vettes4Vets, greets guests at the second annual Salute to Veterans Ball in November 2019 at the Finley Center. Photo by Erin Nelson.

leaving about 7 feet of each column above ground, he said. Each column would have a 3-by-6- inch stainless steel or bronze dog tag on it, with the name of the military member, military branch, and the date and location of their death. Additionally, Davis’ plan was to allow for bronze busts of those killed in action to be

located at the site if their families preferred Hoover’s Veterans Park over a site in the deceased military member’s hometown. Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato had voiced support for Davis’ plan but said he originally was unaware of the guidelines put in place in 2007. Most of the people involved in establishing the guidelines are less involved in city

government now, and the current chairman of the Hoover Veterans Committee — retired U.S. Air Force Brig. Gen. Paul Pocopanni — said he wasn’t aware of the guidelines either until recently.


Former Hoover Councilman Jack Natter, a

October 2021 • A9 get the Veterans Committee, of which Davis is a member, and the Hoover Parks and Recreation Board, which oversees Veterans Park, to approve the plan. Pocopanni, chairman of the Veterans Committee, said he has been working on proposed amendments to the original guidelines that would allow the Alabama Fallen Warriors monument to proceed, but developing those amendments is taking some time. His plan is to present the proposed changes to the committee for its consideration and let the committee vote on it, he said.


The Alabama Fallen Warriors Monument was slated to be built at Veterans Park and was planned to have 120 concrete columns (11 rows with 11 columns in each row except the center row, which will have 10 columns and a U.S. flag in the middle standing 60 to 80 feet tall). Each of the concrete columns likely will have about 7 feet standing above ground. Image courtesy of Alphagraphics.

retired U.S. Navy rear admiral, was chairman of the Veterans Week Celebration Committee at the time the guidelines were established. Natter said the committee hotly debated the guidelines and details of the design of the commemorative portion of Veterans Park in 2007 because committee members were highly concerned about maintaining the dignity of the park. Some people wanted to put tanks and airplanes in the park, but the end consensus was to keep it simple and something designed to focus on Hoover residents, Natter said. “There was a tremendous amount of time

spent in establishing the guidelines,” he said. “They weren’t just put together overnight.” Additionally, Natter — in an email to Davis in December of last year — noted that the Alabama Veterans Memorial Park on Interstate 459 near Liberty Park honors veterans from Alabama killed in action from World War I to current day. Duplication should be avoided as additions for Hoover’s Veterans Park are considered, Natter said in the email. Natter, in an interview with the Hoover Sun, commended Davis for what he’s trying to do. “It’s a wonderful idea, but it’s the wrong location,” he said.

That said, if the current Veterans Committee wants to change the guidelines for Veterans Park, it can do so, Natter said. He just wants the committee to make an informed decision, understanding the thought processes that went into developing them, he said. City Administrator Allan Rice said Davis’ idea is magnificent and a wonderful tribute to the group of veterans he seeks to honor and said no one has told Davis he absolutely can’t build the monument there. However, Rice and Brocato said they want to be very sensitive to the original intent of Veterans Park. They told Davis he needs to

Davis said he’s been waiting a long time and believes his effort to get the monument built at Hoover’s Veterans Park is dead. “I can’t get an answer out of anybody about why we’re not doing it,” he said. “I just feel like I’ve wasted three years.” About $10,000 has already been spent on design work, and much effort went into getting funding and in-kind donations lined up from the city of Hoover, Shelby County and other companies and groups working with the Alabama Fallen Warriors Project, Davis said. “I’m not angry at anybody,” he said. “I’m just disappointed and disheartened we’re not doing this here in Hoover.” Davis has started talking to Alabaster officials about putting the Alabama Fallen Warriors monument at Alabaster’s Veterans Park instead. There is room there, and that location would be just about 4.5 miles north of the Alabama National Cemetery off Alabama 119, where many of those who were killed in action are buried, Davis said. Alabaster City Administrator Brian Binzer said he met with Davis to hear his proposal but said any discussion about additions to their Veterans Park are very preliminary. “It’s very new,” Binzer said. “No decision has been made … There are so many details that have to be considered. Ultimately, the decision would be made by the mayor and City Council.” Davis said he is encouraged by the response he has received thus far in Alabaster and is eager to get the ball rolling.

A10 • October 2021

Hoover Sun


Spann: Western Hoover overdue for deadly tornado By JON ANDERSON

they don’t always happen there. … They can happen anywhere.” Spann said the proof of that is the March 25 tornado that tore through West Blocton, Helena, Pelham and the Oak Mountain, Eagle Point and Highland Lakes communities before reaching Greystone Farms and continuing through Shoal Creek, Vandiver and St. Clair County. He’s very familiar with that one because it damaged his home in Greystone Farms, he said. The National Weather Service said the EF3 tornado traveled 50 miles with estimated peak winds of 140 mph. Some of the most significant damage was in Eagle Point, but Greystone Farms was hit hard as well with roughly 100 homes damaged, Mayor Frank Brocato previously said. Spann noted that this past April was the 10th anniversary of the deadly string of 62 tornadoes that tore across Alabama on April 27, 2011, killing 252 people. The fact that 252 people died that day is inexcusable, Spann said. He takes the loss personally and is in the process of trying to memorize the names of all those who died that day, he said.

The western part of Hoover is statistically overdue for a violent tornado because it has been so long since one occurred there, ABC 33/40 chief meteorologist James Spann told the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce in September. The “doomsday scenario” for Hoover is a tornado touching down near the Bessemer Municipal Airport and cutting through Russet Woods and Trace Crossings, taking out Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, the Riverchase Galleria and other businesses along John Hawkins Parkway before heading off toward the Colonnade, Spann told the 117 people gathered at the Finley Center on Sept. 16. “We have great fear that on that path, if it’s an EF4 or EF5, the death toll could be in excess of 50 or maybe 100 because the response is not proper, simply because we haven’t had one in so long,” Spann said. “Everybody in Hoover says they only happen in Oak Grove, Rock Creek, Sylvan Springs, McDonald Chapel, Pratt City, Edgewater and Pleasant Grove,” Spann said. “But

ABC 33/40 chief meteorologist James Spann speaks at the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Finley Center on Sept. 16. Photo by Jon Anderson.

“The warnings were excellent that day,” Spann said. In most areas, people had at least 45 minutes to seek shelter, he said. With the severity of the outbreak, a more reasonable number of people to be killed that day would have been 30, Spann said. One of the lessons learned from that deadly day is that understanding the physical science of weather is not enough, he said. “We need help from social scientists — people who understand human behavior.”

The No. 1 reason so many people died 10 years ago is “the notion that you should hear some magical World War I war raid siren before a tornado strikes,” Spann said. “You won’t. During a raging storm at 3 a.m., no. You might hear one on a sunny day when you’re outside.” What people really need is a weather radio, and probably less than 15% of people in Hoover have a weather radio, Spann said. “If you don’t have one, go buy one today,” he said.

Also, helmets can save lives, Spann said. “A $5 bicycle helmet from Walmart would have saved probably 55 lives on April 27, 2011,” Spann said. “We did not do an adequate job of reminding people that this is what they needed to do.” The peak season for tornadoes begins in November and runs through May, Spann said. “I think one of the reasons I’m here on this planet is to mitigate loss of life during tornadoes,” he said.

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October 2021 • A11

Business Couple opens 1st Clean Eatz franchise in metro area By JON ANDERSON Trace Crossings residents Steven and Katie Lee have brought a new healthy food option to Hoover. The couple in mid-August opened a new meal planning service and café in The Village at Brock’s Gap called Clean Eatz. A franchise of a Wilmington, North Carolina-based company, it offers healthy meals to go as well as a dine-in café. It’s called Clean Eatz because it only uses “clean” ingredients, Steven Lee said. Meals don’t include salt or processed ingredients, and they aren’t cook with processed oils. Clean Eatz doesn’t offer soft drinks and has no fryer in the kitchen, he said. The goal is to provide people the convenience of prepared meals that properly control food portions with a balance of proteins, carbs and fats. The business is also designed to eliminate people having to guess whether what they’re eating is healthy and help them avoid the temptation to choose less healthy options due to a busy lifestyle and lack of preparation. “We want to help people live long, healthy lives,” Katie Lee said. People can sign up to receive an email every Thursday that shows menu selections for the following week, with menu items changing weekly, the Lees said. There are five lunch or dinner options and one breakfast option each week. People choose which meals they want and how many, then pick up the meals

Clean Eatz • WHERE: 1021 Brock’s Gap Parkway, Suite 141 • WHAT: Meal planning service and café • WEB:

Victor and Beverly Saavedra eat at Clean Eatz on Aug. 20 in The Village at Brock’s Gap shopping center in Hoover. Photo by Jon Anderson.

on Sunday or Monday, the Lees said. There’s no subscription that requires people to order the same number of meals each week. However, the meals are less

expensive if bought in bulk. Prices range from $38 for five meals ($7.60 per meal) to $128 for 21 meals ($6.10 per meal). Most of the meals are portioned for individual servings, but

Clean Eatz also offers grab-and-go frozen meals for families. One of the key features of the café is that it allows customers to build their own bowls. Customers choose a base (brown rice, quinoa kale blend, sweet potato chunks or protein noodles), a protein (chicken, salmon, shrimp, shredded beef, black bean burger or bison), up to three vegetables, a sauce and a spice. “You can have a different combination every single day and not get tired of it,” Steven Lee said. The café also offers salads, burgers, wraps, flatbread sandwiches, smoothies, apple slices with a peanut butter cup, veggie cups, sweet potato fries, “good for you” nachos, boneless wings, buffalo cauliflower, smoothies, fruit-infused water and unsweet tea. “It’s a lifestyle — just eating clean,” Katie Lee said. Steven Lee has been the head trainer for Burn Boot Camp just two doors down from Clean Eatz for 2½ years. He studied exercise science at Missouri State University and worked as a trainer in Atlanta for a

year before moving to the Birmingham area to work with Burn Boot Camp in Hoover, where he met Katie. Katie grew up in Oneonta and graduated from the University of North Alabama with a bachelor’s degree in business, with a concentration in hospitality, in 2014. She has been working in marketing for iHeartMedia for about six years. The couple was introduced to Clean Eatz when Steven went to compete in an athletic competition in Charlotte at the end of 2019. There was a Clean Eatz across the street from the Burn Boot Camp, where he ordered healthy meals to eat in the hotel, and they fell in love with the concept. They started exploring the concept of a franchise in April 2020 and made the decision to proceed. One reason the concept hit home with them was because people in both of their families have dealt with serious health issues, Katie said. Her Dad had triple heart bypass surgery and almost died, and around the same time her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer with only a few weeks to live, she said. She believes if her dad had had a long-term plan of eating healthy meals, he might have been able to avoid his heart issues, she said. And if their families need something like this, others do, too, she said. To sign up for their weekly menu email, email To find out more about their business, go to

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A12 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

Business Happenings NOW OPEN Hoover residents George and Eileen McCluney have opened their third Beef O’Brady’s franchise at 5279 U.S. 280 in the Brook Highland Plaza shopping center. Their other Beef O’Brady’s restaurants are in Helena and in The Grove shopping center in Hoover. 205-637-6661, Helena-based A&B Professional Services is now open and offers comprehensive services, including carpet cleaning, floor cleaning, tile and grout cleaning, upholstery cleaning and janitorial services. 205-218-8812, The Center for Vein Restoration has opened an office at 2290 Valleydale Road, Suite 204, led by Dr. Mohamed Hassan. 888-507-2865,

Club4Fitness opened its new 35,000-square-foot fitness center in the former Steinmart store at 2792 John Hawkins Parkway in the Colonial Promenade Hoover shopping center July 16. The fitness center includes free weights, cardio machines, cycling classes, group

fitness classes, hydro massages, tanning services, red light therapy, personal training, a Crossfit rig, Olympic deadlift platform and child care. 205-644-8719, A Rose Cleaning Services is now open and provides residential and commercial cleaning services. The licensed, bonded and insured company uses eco-friendly cleaning products and works to provide excellent, professional services such as deep cleaning, minor cleaning, organizing, floor buffing, grout cleaning, lawn cutting, declutter and more. 205-529-9352,

IronStone Pizza and right next to Chicken Salad Chick. The restaurant, scheduled to open this fall, will have about 100 seats inside and 10-15 patio seats and employ 20-25 people, said Amy Cain, who handles franchise development for Saw’s BBQ. This will be Saw’s BBQ’s third franchise location and sixth overall. The menu will be like the menu at the Saw’s BBQ in Birmingham’s Avondale community, including barbecue, fried chicken sandwiches, and shrimp and grits, Cain said. 205-538-7337,

Sabzi Mandi Market, an halal meat market and restaurant, plans to open at the former location of Deluxe Cleaners at 3633 Lorna Road. 205-502-7322

COMING SOON My Eyelab plans to open a 2,600-square-foot eyewear store in the new Cahaba Market shopping center at 5415 U.S. 280, Suite 103, according to the D&G Development Group. Benchmark Physical Therapy plans to open a new clinic in a 1,980-square-foot space at 771 Shades Mountain Plaza, according to Casey Howard, a vice president for Harbert Retail, which is representing the landlord of the shopping center, Shades Mountain LLC. The clinic will take up part of 4,500-square-foot space formerly occupied by ABC Day Care. Harbert Retail is working with two other potential tenants to take up the remaining space, Howard said. 866-518-0283, Neil Patel plans to open a Saw’s BBQ franchise at 3780 Riverchase Village in a 3,300-square-foot spot formerly home to

include about 700 self-storage units with about 90,000 square feet of climate-controlled storage space.

RELOCATIONS AND RENOVATIONS Sunoco Hwy 31 plans to open a gasoline station and convenience store at the vacant gas station and convenience store at 1537 Montgomery Highway. Sonic Drive-In plans to open a restaurant at 20 Meadowview Drive in the former location of Joe’s Crab Shack. 866-657-6642, Construction is underway for two climate-controlled self-storage buildings along Alabama 150 near the Walgreens and the entrance to the Deer Valley community. Plans for the two buildings

Deluxe Cleaners has relocated from 3633 Lorna Road to 1590 Montgomery Highway, in front of Publix and across from Archie’s Bar-B-Q and Burgers. 205-979-1615, deluxecleaners Pivot Fitness has completed its relocation from 2801 John Hawkins Parkway, Suite 157-O, in the Galleria Trace Plaza to a 4,500-square-foot spot at 5529 Grove Blvd. in The Grove shopping center that formerly was home to Anytime Fitness. Pivot Fitness offers two types of training: 1) high-intensity interval training with a focus on running, rowing, TRX, dumb-

October 2021 • A13

bell and bodyweight movements and 2) functional fitness classes that incorporate weightlifting movements, cardio and gymnastics. The new location opened in August. 205-438-200, Hoffman Media, 1900 International Park Drive, plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to the former Waldrep, Stewart & Kendrick building at 2323 Second Ave. N. in Birmingham. Hoffman Media plans to lease the two-story 21,840-square-foot building from an affiliate company called The Hoffice on Second and add eight employees to its existing workforce of 91 employees, increasing its payroll to $5,560,218, according to information the company provided to the Birmingham Industrial Development Board. The company plans to spend $2.625 million to renovate the Birmingham building. The Birmingham Industrial Development Board agreed to abate non-educational property taxes and construction-related transaction taxes in connection with the move. 205-995-8860,


America’s First Federal Credit Union, with partners ABC 33/40, The CW 21 and My 68 WABM, raised $25,000 and

collected 19,500 food items (enough to provide about 116,250 meals) during its Feeding Families Across Alabama Food Drive in July. All efforts benefited the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. The Hoover branch at 3312 Old Columbiana Road had the second most food donations, with 1,518 items. Its other Hoover branch is located at #2 Inverness Center Parkway. 205-823-3985, Lake Homes Realty, 15 Southlake Lane, Suite 200, in 2021 was ranked No. 2,711 on Inc. magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list, a ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Lake Homes moved up 445 spots on the list after having a record sales year in 2020, with sales increasing more than 60%. This is the fifth consecutive year Lake Homes Realty has made the Inc. 5000 list. From 2017-20, the revenue at Lake Homes Realty revenue increased by 149%, and the number of employees quadrupled. 205-985-2991, Fresh Technology, 2200 Riverchase Center, Suite 500, an information technology company specializing in products and technologies to help restaurants grow in presence, reputation and profitability, was ranked No. 3,232 on Inc. magazine’s annual Inc. 5000 list, a ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies. Fresh Technology, at 2200 Riverchase Center, Suite 500, grew 113% over three years. The company also made the Inc. 5000 list in 2016 (No. 3,553) and in 2019 (No. 4,824). 205-451-1872, Avadian Credit Union, based at 1 Riverchase Parkway South and with branches in Hoover at 420 Old U.S. 280 and 4720 Chace Circle, has been named as one of the “Best Companies to Work for in Alabama” by Business Alabama and the Best Companies Group. This is Avadian’s third consecutive year to receive this

designation. 205-444-3745, Autism in Motion Clinics, 1820 Southpark Drive, has received a two-year accreditation from Behavioral Health Centers of Excellence, recognizing the autism therapy organization as a behavioral health provider committed to the highest clinical quality and client care in applied behavior analysis. Autism in Motion has 22 clinics across five states, including one in Hoover and one in the Avondale community in Birmingham. The organization plans to open another clinic in Gardendale in early 2022. 205-490-8228,

PERSONNEL MOVES Greystone Golf and Country Club, 4100 Greystone Drive, has hired Cameron Hayes as its new food and beverage director. He oversees all “front of the house” service (bars, beverage carts, restaurants, catering, plaza, and the pool grill). He will be responsible for hiring, training, setting higher standards and ensuring enjoyable and consistent experiences at the club. Cameron comes from Pursell Farms, where he was in the same capacity. His experience also includes Shadow Wood Country Club in Florida as assistant food and beverage director and Sea Island at the Lodge for several years on the food and beverage management team. He is a graduate of Georgia Southern University with a bachelor’s degree in hotel and restaurant management. 205-980-5200,

Dr. Zane Hyde, a fellowship-trained sports medicine surgeon, has joined OrthoAlabama Spine & Sports and will be serving patients at the clinics at 118 Mars Hill Road in Hoover and 1801 Gadsden Highway in Trussville. His expertise includes ACL reconstruction, partial and total knee replacements, shoulder replacements, ultrasound-guided injections and ankle, hip, knee and shoulder arthroscopy. He received his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Medicine. After completing a residency in orthopedic surgery at UAB, he underwent extensive specialty training at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville through a sports medicine fellowship. He is an active member of the Alabama Orthopedic Society, American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine and the Arthroscopy Association of North America. 205-228-7600,

ANNIVERSARIES T. Fox Salon, 2080 Valleydale Road, Suite 7, recently celebrated its 12th anniversary. 205-403-8369,

CLOSINGS The Crafters House, 2000 Riverchase Galleria, Space 147C, has closed its arts and crafts studio inside the Riverchase Galleria. Otto’s Bark and Stuff, 3410 Old Columbiana Road, has closed.


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A14 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

New era begins at Shades Mountain Baptist Church George Wright, the new lead pastor at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, stands inside the worship center. Wright now leads the congregation on Sundays, after moving to the Birmingham area at the beginning of August to begin his new role at the church, following Danny Wood’s retirement earlier this year. Photo by Erin Nelson.

By NEAL EMBRY When George Wright graduated from the University of South Carolina, he landed a “great job” with a company and was excited to start his new life with his new bride, Megan. But before he worked a day in his new role, Wright began to feel what he described as a “total restlessness.” “This is not what I’m supposed to do with my life,” he said he remembered thinking. Wright, now 42, had a strong relationship with Jesus Christ and had been involved in collegiate ministry, but it wasn’t until he graduated from college that he felt God calling him to full-time ministry. Wright planted a church in suburban Atlanta before returning to Columbia, South Carolina, in 2017, to serve as pastor at Shandon Baptist Church. Four years later, Wright has taken over the pastorate at Shades Mountain Baptist Church, which had been led by Danny Wood for more than 20 years. As his new church puts it, he moved “from Columbia to Columbiana (Road).” “It’s been an incredible blessing,” Wright said of following Wood. “Danny has done a great job welcoming me and introducing me to core leadership. It’s been a beautiful process.” Wright said the community at Shades Mountain has been encouraging and welcoming, and said he is grateful to lead the church. As he and his wife prayed about coming to Shades Mountain, it became obvious that this is where the Lord was leading them and their four children, he said. His new church and his previous church have more in common than Wright realized, he said. When he was researching the church during the search process, Wright discovered they both have “Live Sent” as a mission statement. He said he figured it wasn’t original when Shandon Baptist decided on it but never knew it would come up again in his ministry career. “Living sent” has become part of Shades

Mountain’s identity. In the last 19 years, Shades Mountain Baptist has done ministry in 80 countries, 21 time zones and all 50 states and takes 35 trips each year, Wood said. The church has planted 15 churches internationally and 38 in North America. It was something the church grew into upon Wood’s arrival. Church members had always given to missions but took a step forward in going on mission trips, Wood said. “We love to be able to advance the kingdom of God,” he said earlier this year. Wright said he wants to continue focusing on sending people out from the church to spread the gospel, at home and abroad. “We really want to see the church reach the community, and see people go out the door on mission,” Wright said. Spreading the gospel and seeing people

changed by it is what drives Wright, along with empowering the church to live on mission. “I love seeing life change,” Wright said. “It is so exciting to see people experience the good news of the gospel.” As a pastor and as a father, Wright said he is also passionate about reaching the next generation and wants that to be an emphasis at Shades Mountain. Wright has seen something grow from nothing in his time as a church planter and has seen people find life in God. While in South Carolina, Wright said he was able to spend time with college students who got really excited about their faith, and he was also able to play a leading role in racial reconciliation in the area — something he is passionate about. Looking back on his ministry so far, Wright said perhaps the most meaningful is the

“privilege” he has had of seeing each of his children come to faith in Christ and baptizing them. Leading a church in the midst of a pandemic isn’t easy, Wright said. Sometimes things are changing daily, and being in leadership positions is hard, he said. “Everybody’s trying to find their way,” Wright said. “God is teaching us to live with open hands.” Wright didn’t start preaching until Sept. 12 and spent time getting to know other pastors in the area and learning more about Shades Mountain Baptist and the members there. Wright said it’s easy to see why people want to live in Vestavia Hills, but people’s spiritual needs are no less here than anywhere else. “Like everywhere else, the need is great,” Wright said. “There’s always spiritual need; there’s always brokenness.”

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October 2021 • A15

New Riverchase Baptist pastor aims to engage community Riverchase Baptist Church Senior Pastor Chase McLain, left, welcomes Tim and Charlotte McFarland as they arrive for Sunday school. McLain started his new role at the church in July. Photo by Jon Anderson.

By JON ANDERSON Most churches have struggled with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, but Riverchase Baptist Church had an additional hurdle to overcome. The church was without a senior pastor from April 2020 until the summer of this year. That’s when the pastor search committee looked within and asked Associate Pastor Chase McLain to become the senior pastor. McLain had been an associate pastor there for seven years and developed close relationships. He knew the church’s strengths and weaknesses and shared common priorities with the congregation, said Jean Roberson, chairwoman of the pastor search committee. So in June, the church voted to approve McLain, and he started the new role in July. Roberson said the pastor search committee was impressed with McLain’s education level, passion and compassion for people, and relationship-driven leadership style. Plus, “there was a pretty strong fit strategically,” she said. While some churches aim to withdraw from the world and set themselves apart, McLain believes in having a presence in the community, building relationships with the community and being a force for good, engaging in social issues such as hunger and homelessness, Roberson said. He’s committed to Biblical discipleship and empowering people to take responsibility for their own faith, she said. McLain grew up in Montgomery and Alexander City, graduating from Benjamin Russell High School in 2007. He was active in the youth ministry at First Baptist Church Dadeville and felt called to go into ministry. He moved to the Birmingham area in 2007 to attend Southeastern Bible College, graduated from there in 2011 and then graduated from Beeson Divinity School at Samford University in 2014. Initially, McLain thought he might go into youth or music ministry or perhaps teach in a

seminary or Bible college, but as he continued his studies, he felt called toward a different path — something that would help him develop his administrative and pastoral skills. In 2014, he was offered the associate pastor job at Riverchase Baptist. He worked alongside then-Senior Pastor Jeff Greer for three years. The church went without a permanent pastor for about nine months, then had another pastor come in for nine months before leaving in April 2020 after the COVID-19 pandemic hit high gear, he said. McLain said when he took the associate pastor job at Riverchase, it felt like a good place for him and his wife, Alyxis, to invest. It wasn’t just a stepping stone for a couple of years, he said. “We wanted to be in a place that wasn’t a ladder climb, but a place that we could love deeply and be loved deeply by the congregation,

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and we found that through lots of highs and really low lows,” he said. The highs were seeing people come to believe in Jesus Christ, grow in their faith and develop into leaders, and the lows were the multiple transitions the church has gone through and disruptions caused by the pandemic, he said. But it has been great to see the church come out of those challenges and be re-energized to be the church and be excited about what God is doing, McLain said. Riverchase Baptist held strong during the pandemic and is in a growth period, he said. The church has about 400 members, and the average attendance has held steady at about 175, he said. There are a lot of new people of all ages and demographics joining recently, he said. On a recent Sunday, about 30% of the congregation were visitors actively looking for a new church

home, he said. McLain said one of the greatest priorities for the church is to become more intentional about reaching out to people, helping meet their physical and emotional needs — all as a part of introducing them to Christ and helping them grow in their relationship with Him. In December, the church paid off a longstanding mortgage and is getting ready to turn a 3.5-acre lot between Riverchase Baptist and Riverchase United Methodist Church into an activity field, McLain said. He wants to create a space where people can build relationships with others in the community. Possibilities include a walking track, picnic area, pavilion, open recreation space and a community garden, he said. McLain said he’s excited to be in his new role to help lead and grow the church. “I know God has called me to these people at this time.”

A16 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

The Hoover Songbirds pose for a photo. Choir members range in age from about 65 to 90 and are both male and female. Photos courtesy of Linda Campbell.

Hoover Songbirds ready to chirp again

Senior choir to kick off 30th anniversary season after COVID-19 down time By JON ANDERSON The COVID-19 pandemic silenced the Hoover Songbirds senior citizen choir for more than a year, but the group is getting back together this fall for its 30th anniversary season. Practices began in September, and the choir plans to hit the road for its concert tour at retirement centers, nursing homes and assisted living centers in October, said Fred Ernst, the 80-year-old director of the group. For three decades, The Songbirds have been making the rounds around the Birmingham area, sharing their love of music with fellow senior citizens and people with mental disabilities, Ernst said. The choir normally does about 30 concerts in a season but this year has scheduled only about 20, he said. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, they cut out some of the locations where space was tight, he said. They plan to perform in October and November, take December off, come back together for rehearsals in January and complete the season between February and May, said Ernst, who has been with the group about six years and directing for four. Choir members range in age from about 65 to 90 and are both male and female. Ernst said he’s not aware of another group quite like the Hoover Songbirds in the Birmingham area. Sure, there are some senior citizen church choirs, but he’s not aware of any senior citizen choirs that sing the variety of tunes the Songbirds do or do as many concerts as they do, he said. The concerts they give last about an hour and typically include 14 to 15 songs, mostly Broadway tunes and music from what he calls the “Great American songbook.” Some of the songs in this year’s concert lineup include “Hello Dolly,” “Over the Rainbow,” “Anything Goes,” “Oklahoma,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “God Bless the USA” and “Happy Trails.” The concerts typically include some solos, duets and quartet music. Ray Reach, a jazz artist, composer and arranger who previously served as a music director for singers such as Barbra Streisand, Carol Channing, Ella Fitzgerald and James Taylor, is the choir’s accompanist on the piano or keyboard, and professional guitarist Bud Brown plays with them, too.

I have really pushed for this to be a family — a musical family that looks after each other and can be a support group for each other.


Above: The Hoover Songbirds sing “Hi, Neighbor” as an opening number in a 2019 performance. Below left: Hoover Songbirds Director Fred Ernst leads the group in a performance. Below right: Dea Campbell plays the role of “Dolly” in a Hoover Songbirds’ performance of “Hello Dolly.”

The group currently has about 30 members and typically has 25 to 28 at each concert, Ernst said. Several have sung professionally in the past, and a lot of them have sung in groups in the past, but anyone can join as long as they can sing and are willing to make a commitment to be there, he said. Most choir members sing the melody in unison, but some are

allowed to harmonize as long as they can sing on pitch and in the right key, Ernst said. The choir has been a great place to build camaraderie, he said. “I have really pushed for this to be a family — a musical family that looks after each other and can be a support group for each other,” Ernst said.

If people get sick, other Songbirds step up to help them, he said. “At this age, we all need to have a support network like that.” But more than anything, they consider it a ministry being able to entertain other people, especially when they sing for mentally challenged people and see the connection those people have with the music, he said.

“You can’t put a price tag on that.” The choir gets more joy out of performing than it gives to the audience, Ernst said. Tom Brown, who has been singing with the group for about 3½ years, said he was invited to join the group after he retired by another member who has since died. If it were a different type of music, he might not be as motivated to participate, but he thoroughly enjoys the musical selections they sing, he said. They’re classics that most older people have known for years and seem to enjoy hearing, he said. “They make me feel good too,” he said. Ernst, who formerly sang with an orchestra in Cleveland for its pop concert series for 12 years, has a great history in musical performance and encourages the choir to add some flare to its performances with different costumes for different songs, Brown said. The choir also offers a great opportunity to get to know people from all over the city and from a host of backgrounds, he said. And it’s a great outlet for people who love showmanship, he said. Jan Hunter, the events coordinator for The Episcopal Place, which offers housing for low-income seniors and disabled adults, said she has seen the Songbirds in concert at least nine times there. “The residents here really enjoy them very much,” Hunter said. “They’re extremely enthusiastic, bring a sense of joy with them. You can tell they love what they’re doing, and they radiate joy to the residents. … We look forward to having them.”

October 2021 • A17

Hurricane Ida pushes Tulane athletes to Hoover

By JON ANDERSON The remnants of Hurricane Ida didn’t substantially affect central Alabama, but the city of Hoover felt some of the impact of the storm. The Finley Center at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex gained a lot of faces from Louisiana. Three of the athletic teams from Tulane University started practicing at the Finley Center on Sept. 7 after evacuating from New Orleans and planned to stay several weeks, said Reid Harrison, the assistant director of facilities and event management for Tulane’s athletics department. Both the men’s and women’s basketball teams and volleyball team made use of the 155,000-square-foot Finley Center because the Tulane campus was vacated due to wind damage and power and internet outages caused by the storm. E. J. Brophy, general manager for the Hoover Metropolitan Complex, said that, as the former athletic director for the University of Alabama at Huntsville and University of West Alabama, he certainly understood the plight of the Tulane athletics department and was glad to help. “We just want to lend a helping hand to some folks who need it,” Brophy said. “We’re hoping to help them get back on track.” With 83,000 square feet of continuous space, the Finley Center can be divided into 11 full-size basketball courts or 17 full-size volleyball courts. So there was plenty of space for the Tulane teams, Brophy said. Also, the practice schedules of the Tulane teams actually fit very well with the Finley Center’s schedule, he said. The Tulane teams practiced

We just want to lend a helping hand to some folks who need it. We’re hoping to help them get back on track.

The Tulane women’s basketball team practices at the Finley Center in the Hoover Metropolitan Complex on Sept. 10. Photo by Jon Anderson.

mostly in the mornings and early afternoons, and the recreation volleyball teams and Alabama Performance Volleyball Club usually are there late afternoons and evenings. A men’s fall basketball league plays on Sundays, and the Tulane teams took a break on Sundays.

Harrison said it has been especially nice that the Tulane teams were able to do weight workouts at the D1 training center in the Finley Center as well. The Tulane basketball and volleyball teams stayed at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel at the

Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex, along with Tulane’s football, cross country, golf, bowling and swim and dive teams, Harrison said. At one point, there were close to 200 Tulane athletes staying in Birmingham, but those whose sports are out of season ended up going home


or elsewhere, he said. Coming to Birmingham is part of the athletics department’s evacuation plan, he said. While classes were shut down, the athletic teams needed to continue practicing and competing. The football team practiced at Legion Field and, on rainy days, at the University of Alabama’s indoor facility, Harrison said. The golf team played at places such at Heatherwood Golf and Country Club, North River Yacht Club in Tuscaloosa, Shoal Creek Country Club and the University of Alabama’s golf practice facility, he said. The bowling team practiced at Vestavia Bowl, and the swim and dive teams split time between the Heatherwood Golf and Country Club and the Birmingham Crossplex. “Everyone has enjoyed their time here as much as they could,” Harrison said. There are plenty of places to eat, and some of the athletes enjoyed going to Birmingham Barons games, he said. Tulane greatly appreciates the city of Hoover opening up the Finley Center for its teams, Harrison said.

A18 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

Schoolhouse Have a schoolhouse announcement? Email Jon Anderson at to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

For the love of music … and the students Spain Park welcomes Craig Cagle as new band director By JON ANDERSON

Craig Cagle, Spain Park High School’s new band director, on the field at Jaguar Stadium before the season-opening football game Aug. 20. Photo by Todd Lester.

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There’s a new leader who has taken over the Spain Park High School band. Craig Cagle, who for the past 15 years has been the band director at Mortimer Jordan High School in north Jefferson County, has taken over the reins of the band program from Chris Neugent, who moved to the position of band director at Briarwood Christian School. The 44-year-old joined the Spain Park faculty in mid-July right at the beginning of marching season. “Fortunately, a lot of the preparation was already done” for this year’s marching band show, Cagle said. The music had already been selected and arranged, and the plan for movement of band members during the show — or drills as it is known in marching band circles — was written, he said. “All those elements were already in place.” If he and his assistants had had to start from scratch and create all that starting in mid-July, it would have been incredibly challenging, he said. “It’s a great halftime show,” he said.

This year’s show, titled “Neverland,” has a Peter Pan theme and includes “Lost Boy” by Ruth B, along with music from the movie “Hook,” “Pirates of the Caribbean” and a ballad by Randy Crawford called “One Day I’ll Fly Away.” In addition to hosting the Sparks in the Park band competition at Spain Park on Sept. 28, Cagle said he looks forward to leading the band in competitions at Muscle Shoals and Jacksonville State University in October, putting together a holiday showcase with Spain Park’s choir program in December and working with the concert band, jazz band and small ensembles that perform chamber music. “Music’s my life. I love it,” Cagle said. “Performing, conducting, listening and sharing that with young people.” He wants to give his students the same understanding of music that he has and to experience the joy that can come from it. It’s about the music, but it’s also about the life lessons that come with being part of a band: self-discipline, self-motivation and how to be part of a team, Cagle said. “It’s not just a class you take. There’s a lot you learn from being in it,” he said.


Cagle, whose father was a lieutenant colonel in the Army, moved around a lot as a child, living in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and

October 2021 • A19

I want them to know what our goals are. I like a class and a rehearsal that’s organized. Part of that is knowing expectations. Open and clear communication is paramount to being successful.

even Germany for about three years. When his father retired from the military, they moved back to Alabama, and Cagle finished up his last three years of high school at Buckhorn High School in Madison County. He went on to attend the University of Southern Mississippi, earning a bachelor’s degree in music education in 1999 and master’s degree in trumpet music performance in 2001. His first job was as an assistant band director at Alice High School in Alice, Texas — about 1.5 hours from the Mexican border. The school was a little smaller than Spain Park but had a big band with about 350 students, he said. He stayed there five years before moving back to be closer to family in Alabama and taking the job at Mortimer Jordan. Cagle said he wasn’t looking to leave Mortimer Jordan, but Brian Wilson, the band director at Berry Middle School with whom he had worked when Wilson was at North Jefferson Middle School, made him aware of the opportunity, and he decided to apply. So far, it has been great, he said. “I’ve been well-received by the kids. They’ve been open to new ideas,” he said. Cagle said he took time to learn some of the traditions that his students wanted to keep, such as the “Land of 1,000 Dances” song played in the stands and the “SPHS” and “Jags” chants the students do at the end of every rehearsal, but he also wanted them to know his expectations for them. “I want them to know what our goals are,” he said. “I like a class and a rehearsal that’s organized. Part of that is knowing expectations.


Open and clear communication is paramount to being successful.”


Cagle said he wants his students to feel successful when they perform, whether they win the top trophy at competition or not. “If they feel like they’ve done their best and given 100%, that’s a win.” He wants them to get a well-rounded music education and grow, whether they end up making a career in music or simply enjoy it as a lifelong hobby, he said. He appreciates the talent and expertise of the other directors working with him, including Assistant Director Richard Adams, associate directors Brian Wilson and A.B. Baggett and a host of others leading various groups within the band, he said. Spain Park High School Principal Larry Giangrosso said Neugent’s departure was a big loss for Spain Park. The Spain Park band is one of the most joyous groups in the school, so he had to find someone who could continue that, yet challenge the band to reach new heights. Cagle did a wonderful job at Mortimer Jordan for many years, and “he brings a wealth of knowledge and he fits right in,” Giangrosso said. “We’re so thankful to have him on our campus and working with our students.” Cagle’s wife, Emily, teaches music at Bryan Elementary and is the majorette sponsor for the Mortimer Jordan band. They live in Gardendale and have three daughters: one who is a senior at Mortimer Jordan, one who is at Spain Park and one who is at Berry Middle.

Michele McCay, chief financial officer for Hoover City Schools, shares details about the school system’s proposed 2022 budget during a public hearing Sept. 8. Photo by Jon Anderson.

The Hoover Board of Education approved a $229 million budget for fiscal 2022 at its Sept. 14 meeting, representing an 8.5% increase from the original 2021 budget of $211 million. The $229 million budget includes $161 million in spending from the general fund, $30 million from special revenue funds, $23 million in capital projects, $12.6 million for debt payments and about $2 million in trust accounts held for booster and support organizations such as PTO and athletic groups. About 86% of the $161 million general fund expenditures are slated to go toward salaries and benefits for the school district’s 1,948 employees, including $2.66 million in supplements for athletic, artistic and academic extracurricular activities, Chief Financial Officer Michele McCay said. The $23 million in capital projects include $5.1 million in money rolled over from 2021 for bus fleet renewal, roofing projects and bathroom upgrades. It also includes $5.3 million toward a new theater at Hoover High School (to be completed in the fall of 2023), $1.5 million for a theater upgrade at Spain Park High School, $1.9 million for a roofing project at Greystone Elementary, $1.2 million for a cooling tower replacement at Bluff Park Elementary, $1

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Like any other building product, shingles have a useful life. Once that life expires, roof leaks become inevitable. Keep the following tips in mind to avoid the damaging (and expensive) results caused by a roof that is no longer able to properly shed water. KNOW THE AGE. The extreme heat and humidity of the Southeast coupled with the frequency of our violent storms creates a tough environment for shingles. Like a set of balding tires, if you wait until shingles are no longer functional, it is likely too late. We recommend considering replacement every 12-15 years. A few signs of aged shingles are: • Curling in the middle or around the edges of the shingles. • Black algae streaks running down a slope. • Excess rock granules found in gutter downspouts. • Sunlight no longer reflects off the shingles. STORM DAMAGE. Hail, strong winds and flying limbs and debris can reduce the lifespan of your shingles. Although most damage is not visible from the ground, after a storm, look for these signs to know if you need to consider a replacement:

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million for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning upgrade at Gwin Elementary, $870,000 for asphalt and playground repairs and $1.2 million for other miscellaneous projects. The proposed 2022 budget also includes $24.4 million for special education, an increase of about $3.8 million from 2021, McCay said. The number of special education students in Hoover City Schools has grown by 134 this year to 1,531 students, representing 11.4% of the total student population, McCay said. The school district plans to spend $18.8 million for operation and maintenance services, $11.6 million for its child nutrition program and $8.4 million for transportation. On the revenue side, Hoover City Schools expect to receive $221 million in fiscal 2022, including $110 million from city, county and other local sources, $92 million from the state, $19 million from the federal government and $192,000 from other revenue sources. The $110 million in “local” revenues includes $47.2 million from Hoover property taxes, $13.6 million from Jefferson County property taxes, $7.3 million from Shelby County property taxes, $5 million from the city of Hoover, $1.9 million from the Jefferson County Commission, $1.4 million from Shelby County sales taxes, $620,000 from interest revenue and $420,000 from a Medicaid reimbursement.

• Torn shingles in your yard. They can look almost like thick, black paper. • Missing or sliding shingles. • Branches or any other debris on the roof. PERSISTENT LEAKING. Certain roofing components predictably fail over time, and can sometimes indicate larger, more significant problems. Keep an eye on the following as your roof nears the 7 to 10-year mark. • Leaking near the pipes and vents coming through the roof. • Water stains on walls and ceilings near or around chimneys. • Leaking near a roof valley where two slopes come together. Water continuously flows down both sides of the valley exerting tremendous weight and pressure on the seam. If you think your roof may be nearing the end of its lifespan, give us a call. We give you free assessments, and we offer several levels of tune-ups and maintenance arrangements.





A20 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

Events Bluff Park Art Show returns after year off By JON ANDERSON After being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bluff Park Art Show is back this year, once again on the first Saturday in October: Oct. 2. Organizers are calling it the 58th annual show even though the 57th annual show was canceled. This year’s show is scheduled to feature 130 artists from eight states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Rhode Island, Tennessee and Virginia, said Heather Skaggs, a board member and spokeswoman for the Bluff Park Art Association. The artists will showcase a wide variety of mediums, including painting, woodworking, pottery, jewelry, leather, textiles, metal, glass, photography and mixed media, Skaggs said. Sixteen of them will be first-time participants in the show, she said. Skaggs said board members are excited to be able to bring the show back this year. “It was heartbreaking to have to cancel the show last year, but all of us felt, given the information we had, it was the smartest and safest thing to do,” Skaggs said. Artists were slow to sign up in 2020. Eventually, there were enough to make the show work financially, but there still were concerns about conducting the show safely and whether it could be pulled off with social distancing, Skaggs said. One big concern was getting the 10,000 or so estimated people

2021 Bluff Park Art Show • WHERE: Park at Shades Cliff, 517 Cloudland Drive (parking off site with shuttles) • WHEN: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 2 • COST: Free admission • WEB: bluffparkart

Lauren McCormick of Bluff Park tries her hand at painting during the 2019 Bluff Park Art Show. After being canceled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the art show is back this year. Photo by Jon Anderson.

who usually attend back and forth between parking areas and the park where the show is held. Normally, school buses are used as shuttles, but organizers were concerned about having to space people out more than usual and sanitizing the buses between trips, she said. Another concern was spacing at the show itself. Normally, booths are lined up right up against each other. This year, “we are proceeding on with caution, but we do not expect

the show to be canceled this year,” Skaggs said. The Bluff Park Art Show is a juried show and one of the longest-running art shows in Alabama. The Bluff Park Art Association usually gives out about a dozen awards, ranging in price from $300 for the popular vote award to $3,500 for the association’s Permanent Collection Purchase Award — the top prize. This year’s judge is Cynthia

Malinick, the director and chief curator for Auburn University’s Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. She has more than 25 years of experience in the art world and now oversees the museum’s 40,000-square-foot modernist building, which includes six galleries, an auditorium, museum shop and café. Before coming to Auburn University, Malinick served as the vice president for cultural assets with the Girl Scouts of the USA. She

managed the group’s curatorial collection, including fine and decorative arts, furnishings, textiles and jewelry. Under her leadership, the Girl Scouts organization launched multiple facility upgrades and implemented the group’s first open-access online resource designed to showcase its digitized collections. The Bluff Park Art Show will be from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the park at 517 Cloudland Drive, next to the Shades Cliff Pool, but people park off site and take shuttles. Parking areas include Bluff Park United Methodist Church, Shades Crest Baptist Church and Shades Mountain Community Church. The event is expected to include live entertainment and food trucks as usual, Skaggs said. Organizers are welcoming volunteers to help at the event and sponsors for awards. Sponsorships begin at $100. To become a sponsor, email or


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October 2021 • A21

Clockwise, from above: Mike Marston of Sprouts Farmers Market serves food to guests at the 2020 Taste of Hoover at Aldridge Gardens on Oct. 8. R&S Food Service served candied bacon and roasted chicken. Kayleigh Ross of the Jefferson’s restaurant serves an attendee some wings. Photos by Jon Anderson.

Taste of Hoover gears up for outdoor event this month By JON ANDERSON The 2021 Taste of Hoover event, which gives people a sampling of what restaurants in Hoover have to offer, is set for Oct. 7 at Aldridge Gardens. Organizers say the modified setup for the outdoor event last year due to COVID-19 worked well, so they plan to follow a similar model this year. Instead of putting all the restaurant tables in the circle drive around the main building at Aldridge, tables will be spread out under the pavilion and in some grassy areas as well, said Tynette Lynch, the director of tourism and hospitality for the city of Hoover and CEO of

Aldridge Gardens. “Last year was amazing,” Lynch said. “People stayed and stayed.” Restaurants and other vendors that have agreed to participate this year include: ► Chattanooga Whiskey Experimental Distillery ► Coca-Cola ► Emily’s Heirloom Poundcakes ► Eugene’s Hot Chicken ► Farrelly’s Southern Bar & Kitchen ► International Wines ► Jefferson State Community College Culinary & Hospitality Institute ► Jimmy John’s

► Lemonade Junkies ► MELT ► Merk’s Tavern & Kitchen ► Rock N Roll Sushi ► Savoie Catering ► Taco Mama ► Taziki’s Mediterranean Café ► The Happy Catering Co. ► The Whole Scoop ► Tre Luna Catering/Tre Luna Bar & Kitchen ► Super Chix Other restaurants were expected to come, but some were unable to commit to be there due to staffing shortages, Lynch said. “They’re still struggling, and we completely understand that.”

Taste of Hoover • WHERE: Aldridge Gardens • WHEN: Oct. 7 • COST: $45 for members of Aldridge Gardens and $50 for non-members • CALL: 205-682-8019 • WEB:

However, the exposure restaurants get at the event is tremendous, and the restaurant scene in Hoover is growing quickly, she said. “We’re

really excited about that.” Last year’s Taste of Hoover raised about $10,000 for Aldridge Gardens, but it’s not a huge revenue generator for the gardens, Lynch said. It’s more about giving restaurants the exposure and people a chance to enjoy a night out with great food and drinks, she said. Lori Rayne and Jared Piper, a duo that performs at area restaurants, are scheduled to provide music at the Taste of Hoover. Tickets cost $45 for members of Aldridge Gardens and $50 for non-members and can be purchased at or by calling the gardens at 205-682-8019.

A22 • October 2021

Hoover Sun Members of the Hoover High School Marching Band stand at attention during the National Anthem before a game with Alpharetta High School on Aug. 27 at the Hoover Met. Photo by Barry Stephenson.

Hoover Invitational Marching Festival makes a comeback for 2021 season By JON ANDERSON The Hoover Invitational Marching Festival returns to Hoover Metropolitan Stadium on Oct. 23 after a hiatus last year due to COVID-19. The marching band festival is organized by the Hoover High School band program and boosters and is open to bands of any size. As of mid-August, at least eight marching bands had registered to participate. Festival organizers also have invited a university band to perform an exhibition show, and the band had tentatively agreed to come unless the time for its football game performance that day conflicts, Hoover High Band Director Ryan Fitchpatrick said. Hoover High School’s 180-member competition marching band also will perform an exhibition at the festival, Fitchpatrick said. Admission to the festival costs $10 for adults and children. Children ages 5 and younger get in free. Proceeds are used to support the band

program at Hoover High. Last year, instead of having its own competition, Hoover joined with five other band programs from the “over-the-mountain” community to hold a free exhibition show at the Hoover Met. That allowed the band students from those schools to have a competition-like experience but with greater controls on crowd size to allow for more social distancing, Fitchpatrick said. Some local university music directors provided feedback for the bands on their performances. The Hoover High band boosters were able to raise about $3,000 to $4,000 from concessions from that event, but that was not the primary reason for having it, Fitchpatrick said. The money raised helped offset about $14,000 of unbudgeted expenses related to COVID-19 mitigation for the Hoover High band, he said. For more information about this year’s Hoover Invitational Marching Festival, go to

A child looks out during the 2017 Hoover Hayride and Family Night that included trickor-treat booths, food vendors and activities such as face painting. The event returns this year to Veterans Park on Oct. 29. Staff photo.

Hoover Hayride and Family Night returns this year to Veterans Park By JON ANDERSON The city of Hoover plans to host its 2021 Hoover Hayride and Family Night at Veterans Park on Valleydale Road on Friday, Oct. 29. It has been two years since the event has taken place. The hayride night last year was originally changed to a Treat Night at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, but eventually canceled due to evolving recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This year’s celebration is scheduled from 5-8 p.m. at Veterans Park if health conditions allow. “I’m hoping we can still do it as planned,” city events coordinator Erin Colbaugh said. The hayride night is normally on a Thursday night to avoid conflicts with high school

football games, but this year Hoover High School has no football game Oct. 29 and Spain Park High School’s football game that week is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 28. At Hoover Hayride and Family Night, there usually are at least six tractors pulling trailers filled with hay around a decorated path, and kids are encouraged to dress in costumes. The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce recruits businesses, churches and other groups to hand out candy to the kids at booths, and kids are encouraged to bring bags to collect the candy. There also will be food trucks there to provide dinner or snacks, Colbaugh said. Admission to the event is free and open to the public. Parking will be available at Spain Park High School.

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Chamber to host Links Fore Scholars tournament Oct. 11 By JON ANDERSON The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce plans to host its regular 2021 Links Fore Scholars golf tournament at the Riverchase Country Club on Oct. 11. The chamber had a spring tournament that drew about 40 people to Topgolf in Birmingham in May, but this fall’s tournament will be the more traditional kind on an 18-hole golf course. All proceeds beyond expenses will go to the chamber’s scholarship fund, said Toni Herrera-Bast, the chamber’s president and CEO. In May, the chamber gave out $17,000 in scholarships to four students from Hoover, Spain Park and Briarwood Christian high schools. This year’s tournament is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. with a shotgun start. It will have a four-person scramble format, Andy Graffeo squares up to the tee on Hole 1, a par-4 with all team members teeing off and then each player hitting their hole, as he participates in the Link Fore Scholars golf tournament in October 2019 at Inverness Country next shot from the best location Club. Photo by Erin Nelson. of the four balls until the hole is complete. There will be a hole-in-one contest with a The cost to play is $200 per person or $700 for a team of four players registering together vehicle as the prize, and there also will be a and includes green fees, cart fees and lunch. putting contest and contests for the longest and The chamber also is selling gold sponsor- straightest drives, Herrera-Bast said. “We’re just excited to get back out on the ships for $1,000 and silver sponsorships for $800 that include green fees, cart fees and course,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll be able lunch for four players, plus hole sponsorship to raise a lot of money so we can give away some great scholarships. Kids are excited to benefits. There also will be other sponsorship oppor- get back in school, and the money makes a tunities ranging from $350 to $1,000. Players big difference. We’re hoping to reinvest in our can buy a $25 “power pack” that includes two community.” mulligans, two raffle tickets and a putting conTo register for the tournament, go to hoover test ticket or pay $20 for a book of five raffle To become a sponsor, call 205tickets. 988-5672. The deadline to register is Oct. 4.

Community Have a community announcement? Email Jon Anderson at janderson@ to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue. This bronze bust of Eddie Aldridge, the founder of Aldridge Gardens, crafted by Tuscaloosa artist Lee Busby, sits just inside the gate of the 30-acre public gardens off Lorna Road. Photo by Jon Anderson.

Aldridge Gardens dedicates bronze bust of its founder By JON ANDERSON Aldridge Gardens recently installed a bronze bust of its founder, Eddie Aldridge, near the entrance to the gardens. The bust sits just inside the gate of the 30-acre complex, which includes a 5-acre lake, hydrangeas, camellias, Japanese maples, azaleas, bonsai, a public fruit garden and native Alabama plants. Mark Davis, a friend of Aldridge and member of the gardens’ advisory board, organized a fundraising drive to create and install the bust of Aldridge. He raised $19,000 for the project within 35 days. Davis originally wanted to create a life-size statue of Aldridge sitting on a park bench where

he once loved to sit and chat with visitors to the gardens, but Aldridge was against the idea. Following Aldridge’s death in November 2018, his wife, Kay, agreed to the smaller bust as a compromise. Kay and other family members were present for the bust dedication ceremony on Aug. 29. The Alabama Hydrangea Society donated $3,000 to cover the cost of a bronze plaque to go with the bust, and there were 20 to 25 other donors, Davis said. Some paid $300 for “Friends of Eddie Aldridge” brick pavers that were installed beside the bust. Retired Marine Col. Lee Busby, a sculptor from Tuscaloosa, designed and sculpted the bust, and it was cast in bronze at the University of Alabama Foundry.

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A24 • October 2021

Hoover Sun


CONTINUED from page A1 make that dream come true. Grimes has been talking with Hoover City Council members quietly for more than a year and convinced city officials to allocate space at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex for a park. The trick now is to raise the money to build it. Grimes formed a nonprofit called Skate Alabama and is launching a fundraising effort to come up with the money for the skate park. His group’s goal is to build a 20,000-squarefoot skate park, and that likely will cost $600,000 to $900,000, Grimes said. “I know that scares a lot of people. It doesn’t scare me at all,” he said. He has been involved with nonprofits for more than 12 years and believes it’s very feasible to come up with that amount of money, but it’s going to take a lot of volunteers and buy-in from the community, he said.


One of the biggest challenges for projects like this is funding and helping city leaders and others understand the need for such a facility, Grimes said. He said Hoover city leaders have been great partners and he appreciates their willingness to designate space at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex. Now, it’s a matter of helping the rest of the community understand the need, he said. There is a large community of people in Hoover and the greater Birmingham area who are into skateboarding, inline skating, scooters and BMX bikes, and the park Grimes has in mind would cater to all of those groups. The problem is that there is no designated, safe space for people to do this, Grimes said. As a result, people who enjoy these sports either don’t do it, have to travel a long distance to find a skate park or have to find less ideal locations to do it. That may be an office complex, shopping center or other public space that isn’t really designed for skateboarding or similar activities. The idea is to create something where kids or adults don’t have to skate in a grocery store

Gabriel Westry, 14, does an ollie at the Hoover RV Park on Sept. 9. The city of Hoover has designated space at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex as a potential skate park site. Photo by Erin Nelson.

parking lot until they get run off by the property owner or run over, Grimes said. Chastity Westry, a Ross Bridge resident, said her 14-year-old son has been skating for seven years and loves it. They frequently go to Auburn’s skate park and have been to 15 skate parks across the country, including ones in Chicago, Milwaukee and Louisville. “Cities are investing in skate parks all over the country,” Westry said. “It’s probably one of the fastest growing sports.” She noted that skateboarding is now included in the Olympics, which she said helps

put proponents of the sport in a progressive position. Her son frequently plays other sports at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex, and having a skate park there, too, would be convenient, she said. Grimes said having a skate park in Hoover also would provide something for kids who aren’t into team sports, where most of the focus seems to be.


Skateboarding proponents have been trying

to get a skate park in the Birmingham area for more than 15 years, Grimes said. Some small ones have popped up from time to time in places such as Homewood, Vestavia Hills and Trussville, but they eventually were removed, he said. He believes the one in Homewood was shut down because someone wanted to build $500,000 condominiums next to it and didn’t want it there. There are skate parks in Tuscaloosa, Atlanta and Nashville, and Birmingham has a couple of skate bowls at Railroad Park and is preparing

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Johnny Grimes, above and right, the leader of the Skate Alabama nonprofit group, speaks to a group of people at Hoover City Hall on Sept. 2 about plans for a skate park at the Hoover Metropolitan Complex. Photos by Jon Anderson.


Grimes said the image some people have of skateboarders being punks who get into trouble

really is a false notion. “It’s a great community of teenagers and young adults,” he said. Another myth he wants to dispel is that building a skate park is a bad idea because the sport is too dangerous, he said. One study found that skateboarding was no more dangerous than football or basketball, he said. Yes, there is some risk involved in skateboarding, but there are risks in all aspects of life and there are some acceptable levels of risk, Grime said. The risks associated with mountain biking and football haven’t kept cities from having mountain bike trails and football fields, he said. Allan Rice, Hoover’s city administrator, agreed. “We think if the facility is designed and built the right way, it can be a safe location for people to come and enjoy themselves in that sport,” Rice said. It’s likely safer to do skateboarding in a place specifically designed for that purpose than at an office building, shopping center or other location not designed for it, he said. The site currently considered the best location for the skate park is on the edge of the

Hoover Metropolitan Complex parking lot, directly across from the Finley Center and next to the cell tower, Rice said. The area currently is a gravel, fenced-in site being used to store equipment, such as soccer goals and portable bleachers, Rice said. It’s flat, visible and has easily accessible parking, and the equipment there now can easily be moved to another location, he said.


Grimes said the park has yet to be designed, but he envisions it having bowls, stairs, ledges and transitions, and he wants something that can accommodate skaters at all levels: beginner, intermediate and expert. He already has been in contact with Spohn Ranch Skateparks, which he said is one of the biggest companies in the country that designs and builds skate parks. That company also has a consultant that helps design skate parks to accommodate people in wheelchairs or with other disabilities, he said. He also expects Hoover’s skate park would have shade structures, restrooms and lighting, he said.

“It’s going to be great. We anticipate drawing people from all over the region,” Grimes said. And those people will also eat and spend money in Hoover, so there should be some economic benefit to the city, he said. Rice said if the skateboard community can raise the money to build the skate park, the city of Hoover is willing to oversee and maintain it, along with the rest of the Hoover Met Complex. Councilman Curt Posey said he doesn’t expect the city will have money to invest in design and construction, but that could depend on the level of interest shown by the community and the potential to bring in skateboard competitions. Grimes said the Skate Alabama nonprofit will seek out grant money to help build the park, but he expects the effort to hinge on private donations by individuals and businesses, and he’s confident they can do it. “We’re super-excited,” Grimes said. “It’s going to take a full effort of the entire community to make this a reality.” To donate to the cause, volunteer with the group or find out more information, go to



to build a larger skate park in the City Walk area underneath Interstate 59/20. Huntsville recently announced plans to build a $4 million skate park with an anonymous donor contributing $1 million toward the effort. Kipp Graham, a 39-year-old Bluff Park resident, said he has never been a skater, but he has an athletic 13-year-old daughter and would love for her to be able to learn how to skate. Jacob Russell, another Bluff Park resident who has been skating for 17 years, said he has helped build skate parks in Costa Rica, Mexico and Russia and would love for Hoover to get one. They help build community and bring people together, he said. Graham said when he was growing up as a teenager in a rural area, he never had anything like a skate park. Teenagers would start bonfires and drink because they didn’t have anything else to do. If they had had something like a skate park, it would have been a lot more productive activity for them to do, he said.

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A26 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

Above left: Heather Hinton works on her laptop as she receives treatment following a round of chemotherapy in November 2020. Above right: Heather participates in an online worship during her hospital stay. Heather spent six straight weeks in the hospital in late September, October and early November, then another week in late November and more than three weeks for the transplant in January and February. Photos courtesy of Sherry Thomas.


How to Help

CONTINUED from page A1 Finally, on Jan. 22, a third potential donor was identified, and the transplant took place Feb. 10. Now, more than seven months later, Hinton has had some complications with graft versus host disease, in which the donor’s bone marrow or stem cells attack her. She has had trouble with her eyes drying out and ears clogging up. But graft versus host disease is fairly common, and Hinton said she is doing amazing in her recovery. The 44-year-old has started to regain her stamina, has been walking about a mile every couple of days and was able to resume homeschooling her children in August. “I’m feeling so much better,” Hinton said. “I’m feeling more myself than I have in probably a year.”

Every year, about 14,000 people in the United States will need a bone marrow (stem cell) transplant, but only about 40% of patients typically receive one, according to DKMS. People interested in signing up to become a potential bone marrow donor can do so or learn more about the process by calling DKMS at 866-3403567 or visiting

Above: Heather reads a book about the history of castles to her four children, from right: Laney, 15, Hannah, 9, Hattie, 8, and Daniel, 13, as the Hintons homeschool on Aug. 25. Photo by Erin Nelson. Left: Heather Hinton laughs with her husband, Brian, in the kitchen of the Hintons’ Hoover home Sept. 22, 2020, the day after she was diagnosed with leukemia. Photo courtesy of Sherry Thomas.


She and her husband, Brian Hinton, said they are so thankful for everything God has done to bring them through this trial and the incredible support they have received from family, friends, neighbors and fellow church members at Hunter Street Baptist, where Brian is an associate in the pastoral care ministry. Heather’s sister and brother-inlaw, Julia and Jeff Pelton, took the Hintons’ four children into their home while Heather was in the hospital to allow Brian to devote most of his time to caring for Heather, despite having four children of their own. Other friends, Mark and Dori Carpenter, cared for the Hintons’ children on the weekends, along with their three children. In addition to the 138 people who signed up for the bone marrow registry in honor of Heather, many more donated blood platelets in her honor. Two people became couriers in Alabama for Be The Match, another bone marrow registry group. Before Heather went in the hospital, her homeschooling community organized a parade of cars to drive by her house, with people displaying posters of support for her. About 200 people from Hunter Street Baptist gathered in the Hintons’ front yard to sing and pray over them. Friends and church members made meals for the Hintons, their children and the people caring for their children. “I have cried so many tears of gratefulness,” Heather said. “I’m so thankful for the incredible amount

of sacrifices and creative ways people have sacrificed in my honor. I thank God so much for the way He has provided for us. People have taken care of us so, so well.” And Heather is especially thankful for the anonymous man from another country who agreed to donate bone marrow for her. The international bone marrow registry is set up to provide anonymity for donors and recipients, but after a year, each will have the opportunity to say whether they want to learn more about or meet the other. “I really hope I get to meet him, to hug his neck and tell him thank you for giving me another chance at life,” Heather said. “What a sacrifice that someone would be willing to do for someone else.” Being a bone marrow donor — from the first information session to the actual donation — on average can take 30 to 40 hours over four to six weeks, according to DKMS.

The bone marrow collection requires anesthesia, and donors generally feel discomfort and some pain in their lower back for one to two weeks, the organization says. “I’m in awe and just so grateful,” Heather said.


She’s also grateful for how Brian has stayed by her side and cared for her throughout her sickness and recovery. “He’s just been a rock for me,” she said. “He points me to the Lord and helps me remember He is good. He sat through every doctor appointment and took diligent notes. He never wavered. He’s just been with me through it all.” Heather spent six straight weeks in the hospital in late September, October and early November, then another week in late November and more than three weeks for the transplant in January and February. There was a two-week period

where Brian had to leave her in the hospital because he tested positive for COVID-19 in the fall. Brian said it’s amazing Heather didn’t contract COVID-19, too, because it came at a time when she had no immune system to protect her, and he had been feeding her and snuggling in bed with her at times. “That definitely was the Lord’s hand in protecting her,” Brian said. The couple’s 17th anniversary fell during that two-week separation period, so they celebrated their anniversary via FaceTime. “It was hard to be home alone while she was in there fighting,” Brian said. Heather said she and Brian have cried together a lot during the ordeal. “There were times we couldn’t pray, but we knew other people were praying,” she said. “It was comforting to know God was in control of everything, how no matter what happened, I could trust His plan. I knew and still know that God’s got

me and He’s got my kids, and He’s got my husband … all the people I love in the palm of His hands.” Brian said Heather’s battle with leukemia has been difficult for him, too. “It’s hard to watch someone you love suffering in the way she has, but it’s also been inspiring to watch her live out her faith in an amazing way,” he said. “We’ve been able to see God’s hand in so many ways and just understand His grace on a deeper level than maybe we did before.” They might not have detected the leukemia when they did if God hadn’t intervened, Brian said. The leukemia was found when Heather went in for a routine follow-up visit with an oncologist related to a previous spinal infection she had encountered. When Heather was in the hospital for that infection in December 2019 and January 2020, the oncologist did a bone marrow biopsy that came back perfectly normal, but the tests came back differently in the follow-up visit in September 2020. Heather tried to cancel the routine follow-up visit because she thought it was unnecessary and was so busy, but the doctor’s office called back and insisted she come in for it. “That phone call literally saved my life,” Heather said. “I literally am a walking miracle.” Brian and Heather started a CaringBridge site for Heather to give people updates on her condition, and he said Heather really turned it into a ministry, being very honest about her struggles yet encouraging to others who go through similar battles. “God used that and the trial we’ve gone through to encourage others,” he said. “That is one of the things that kept us going: knowing that good could come from this suffering.”

October 2021 • A27


Sports B4 Fall Home & Garden B7



‘A once-in-a-lifetime player’ Easyas 1-2-3

Audrey Rothman aiming to finish her Spain Park career on top 1 YEAR






By KYLE PARMLEY It did not surprise many observers to see the Hoover High School volleyball team defeat Spain Park in straight sets in the 2020 Class 7A state championship. Hoover had one of the best teams in recent memory last fall, winning 50 consecutive matches on the way to its first state title. That doesn’t mean the result sits well with Spain Park outside hitter Audrey Rothman. In fact, it eats at her. It has driven her to push for more in her final season with the Jaguars, as she puts the finishing touches on her senior campaign and storied career. “We’ve been practicing really hard since we had the state championship last year,” Rothman said. “We’ve definitely conditioned ourselves well and we’ve also been in the weight room a lot, getting stronger.” The debate for the best volleyball player in the state of Alabama goes through the city of Hoover. The conversation typically starts and ends with some combination of Hoover’s Rya McKinnon and Rothman. McKinnon was named Alabama Gatorade Player of the Year and Starnes Media All-South Metro Player of the Year last fall. Both played in the AHSAA North-South All-Star Game over the summer. Spain Park head coach Kellye Bowen knows she’s biased but believes Rothman is as good as she’s ever seen. Spain Park outside hitter Audrey Rothman (8) spikes the ball as the Jags face Sparkman in a match at Spain Park High School on Aug. 26. Photo by Erin Nelson.

See ROTHMAN | page B6

B2 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

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October 2021 • B3




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B4 • October 2021

Hoover Sun


Football Highlights Photos by Laura Chramer, Todd Lester, Erin Nelson

Above: Spain Park wide receiver Pierson Cole (1) has emerged as one of the top threats in Spain Park’s passing attack this fall. He caught three passes for 70 yards in a win over Huntsville. Left: Hoover quarterback Bennett Meredith (3) transferred from Spain Park to Hoover this year and has done nothing but impress for the Bucs so far. In his first two games against Georgia opponents, he shined. He threw for 333 yards and three touchdowns and passed for four scores in the first two games. Taking over under center for Spain Park this year has been Evan Smallwood (7), who has sparked the offense with his feet and his arm. He showed that in a big way in the first game of the season, as he passed for 113 yards and a touchdown and ran for 81 yards in the win over Huntsville.

Above: Hoover running back Ahamari Williams (1) has risen to the top of the depth chart this year for the Hoover running attack. He put up big numbers against Vestavia Hills, rushing for 84 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries. Right: Hoover defensive back Jacob Finley (17) intercepted passes in wins over Alpharetta and Vestavia Hills.

October 2021 • B5

Hoover running back/wide receiver Lamarion McCammon (11) runs the ball as he puts an arm out to block North Gwinnett cornerback Taylor Smallwood (16) in the Buccaneers’ opening game during the Corky Kell Classic on Aug. 21 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Spain Park quarterback Evan Smallwood (7) attempts a pass during a game against Briarwood on Aug. 27 at Jaguar Stadium in Hoover. Photo by Todd Lester.

Bucs, Jags wrap up regular season in October By KYLE PARMLEY High school football season hits its final stretch in the month of October, with Hoover and Spain Park hoping to put the final touches on successful regular seasons. There are five Fridays this October. Hoover plays the first four and takes its open week the final week of the 11-week, 10-game regular season. Spain Park’s open date is the final week of September, so the Jaguars play their final five contests in October. Hoover begins the month by hosting Hewitt-Trussville on Oct. 1, in a game that could have major playoff seeding implications. Last fall, the Buccaneers pulled off a 29-28 victory over Hewitt-Trussville, with that one point proving to be the difference in the region

standings at the end of the season. Hoover finished 6-1 in Class 7A, Region 3, while Hewitt finished 5-2. That victory gave the Bucs the second seed in the region, and this year’s matchup could have a similar impact on the standings. Also on Oct. 1, Spain Park hosts Oak Mountain in a crosstown rivalry game. The Jags did not fare well against the Eagles last fall, losing 48-17. Spain Park holds a 14-5 lead in the all-time series and hopes to reassert its control in the matchup this time around. Hoover heads to Spain Park on Oct. 8 for the annual city rivalry game. Despite being in the midst of what turned out to be a six-game losing streak, Spain Park showed up in this contest last year and gave Hoover a tough game. Hoover

outlasted Spain Park 47-34 in a high-scoring affair that featured over 1,000 total yards of offense. The Bucs have won five straight in the series, following Spain Park’s magical 2015 season that featured two wins over Hoover en route to the state championship game. Hoover travels to Tuscaloosa County on Oct. 15 to take on a Wildcats team that has not been very competitive over the past several years. In the last nine meetings, Hoover’s average margin of victory against Tuscaloosa County is 40 points. The same night, Spain Park travels to Vestavia Hills for a critical region matchup. Vestavia Hills has won the last three games in the series after a run of four wins for the Jags. Vestavia holds a 12-6 lead in the series.


Hoover concludes its regular season Oct. 22 as it hosts Thompson in a game that has decided the Region 3 title each of the last four years. After Hoover dominated the rivalry for nearly 30 years, Thompson has taken a stranglehold, winning six of the last eight meetings between the schools. Spain Park wraps up region play at home against Tuscaloosa County on Oct. 22 and hosts Hueytown on Oct. 28 to finish the regular season. The Jags knocked off both of these teams in one-point thrillers to complete the 2020 season with consecutive wins. The Jags trailed Tuscaloosa County 20-0 at halftime last year before rallying to win 35-34. Spain Park trailed Hueytown by two touchdowns in the fourth quarter before rallying again, winning 63-62.

B6 • October 2021

Hoover Sun

Audrey Rothman (8) passes the ball during the Jags’ match against Sparkman. Spain Park head coach Kellye Bowen knows she’s biased but believes Rothman is as good as she’s ever seen. “She’s a once-in-a-lifetime player,” Bowen said. Photo by Erin Nelson.


CONTINUED from page A1 “In my opinion, she is the best senior in her class,” Bowen said. “A lot of people take for granted great players and that’s one thing I’ve tried not to do.” Last year was the furthest Spain Park volleyball has ever advanced in the state tournament and Rothman certainly had a great deal to do with that. She was a first team outside hitter on the All-South Metro team, racking up 512 kills, 244 assists and 172 digs for the season. “She is extremely valuable to Alabama volleyball,” Bowen said. “She’s put a lot of things on the map for us in general at Spain Park. This year, she’s done a great job leading, which hasn’t always been the case, because she’s just let the older kids lead. Now, she’s actually being a vocal leader.” Rothman hasn’t always needed to be that vocal leader. She joined the varsity team as an eighth grader simply trying to fit in. Bowen remembers a team camp four years ago at

I want to walk away knowing I gave my all to this program for the last five years.

which Rothman was standing next to Marlee Johnson, a Jags standout at the time. Johnson told Rothman she had the potential to be great one day. At the time, Rothman was a shy middle hitter, just looking to find her way. “Everything,” she said of what’s changed between then and now. “I was a middle and now I’m an outside. That’s a big thing. I’ve definitely gotten a lot more comfortable. [Coach] Bowen’s always really tried to push me to develop my leadership skills and be a good teammate so I can elevate the play of everyone around me.” The Jags are off to a great start this season.


They won their first 14 matches of the year, only dropping one set along the way. Spain Park had a tough time of things in the Nike Tournament of Champions in Orlando, Florida, but that was only a minor stumble. While last season resulted in a runner-up finish for Spain Park, the path to getting there was a little rocky. Seniors Rothman, Paige Ingersoll, Olivia Myers, Brooke Gober and Bella Halyard were part of a team that suffered a significant slump in the middle of last season. The Jags picked themselves off the mat and got things together ahead of postseason play, but the hope is to stay at the top of the heap as much as possible this fall.

“We know the ceiling is high for this team and we want to walk out of this year with no regrets,” Rothman said. “Me and our seniors, it’s our last year. We just really want to leave it all out on the court.” Bowen called Rothman a perfectionist. After converting kills on 14 of her 16 attacks on opening night — which is a stellar match for any outside hitter — Rothman lamented the two misses and was looking to find ways to correct those mistakes. She plans to give it everything she’s got down the stretch, with hopes that the 2021 campaign culminates in a state title. “I want to walk away knowing I gave my all to this program for the last five years,” she said. Rothman will take that same mentality to Florida State next year, as she becomes part of the indoor and beach volleyball programs in Tallahassee. She has been named an All-American by the American Volleyball Coaches Association and was named to the Junior Volleyball Association Watch List as well. “She’s a once-in-a-lifetime player,” Bowen said.

Varsity Sports Calendar Oct. 13-16: Area tournament. TBD.



Oct. 1: vs. Hewitt-Trussville. 7 p.m.

Oct. 2: Jesse Owens Classic. Oakville Indian Mounds Park.

Oct. 8: @ Spain Park. 7 p.m.

Oct. 9: Dew It on the Trails. Point Mallard, Decatur.

Oct. 15: @ Tuscaloosa County. 7 p.m. Oct. 22: vs. Thompson. 7 p.m. SPAIN PARK Oct. 1: vs. Oak Mountain. 7 p.m.


High School. 4 p.m. Oct. 13-16: Area tournament. TBD.

Oct. 5: @ Oak Mountain. 5 p.m.


Oct. 7: @ Tuscaloosa County. 5 p.m.

Oct. 5: @ Vestavia Hills. 5 p.m.

Oct. 8-9: Margaret Blalock Tournament. Homewood High School.

Oct. 7: vs. Oak Mountain. 5 p.m.

Oct. 22: vs. Tuscaloosa County. 7 p.m. Oct. 28: vs. Hueytown. 7 p.m.

Oct. 12: vs. Sparkman, Chelsea. Hoover

Oct. 8: vs. Hoover. 7 p.m. Oct. 15: @ Vestavia Hills. 7 p.m.

Oct. 8-9: Margaret Blalock Tournament. Homewood High School.

Oct. 9: Helena Invitational. Helena High School. Oct. 16: Husky Challenge. Hewitt-Trussville High School. Oct. 21: Last Chance Invitational. John R. Esslinger Trail of Champions. Oct. 21: Spain Park Last Chance. Veterans Park. Oct. 28: Section meet. TBD.



Home & Garden Guide

Gardner Landscaping........ B7 Brewer Roofing and Construction.................. B8 Carpet Warehouse Galleria........................... B9 Signature Homes............ B10 Closets by Design........... B11 Budget Blinds................. B12 LAH Real Estate.............. B13 Standard Air, Plumbing & Insulation.................. B14 Allsteel Fence................. B15 One Man & A Toolbox.... B15

Classic Iron Works........... B16 Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists......... B16 Brewer Cabinets............. B17 Patti Schreiner – ARC Realty................... B17 Mr. Handyman of Birmingham............. B18 Breanna Sexton – RE/MAX Southern Homes.......... B18 Preserve Paints............... B19 Bug Cowboy’s Pest Solutions...................... B19

Gardner Landscaping 205-401-3347 • When it comes to landscaping, Alabama has it made: There’s a broad variety of trees and shrubs to choose from here. Now is the perfect time to try some out, according to the experts at Gardner Landscaping. “Fall is often considered the best time of year to plant new trees and shrubs,” Grant Gardner said. But how do you choose which ones? A lot of factors come into play when it comes to selecting the right plants for your landscaping, Grant said — factors like sun exposure, soil type, the slope of the landscape and your own preferences in color and type. “At Gardner Landscaping, we take pride in coming up with a plan that meets the needs of each customer and landscape,” he said. That attention to detail is one of the things that sets Gardner Landscaping apart

from many other landscapers. Another is that they have the personnel and resources to get your project completed quickly. “We will normally provide you with the pricing for your project within one day from when we meet with you,” Grant said. Gardner Landscaping specializes in trees and shrubs, and they can use trees and shrubs to create beautiful entertainment and privacy areas. Grant said, “More customers are looking to spend more time around their homes now. We have the best prices in town on large and small trees and shrubs to have great looking landscapes, privacy screens, shade and curb appeal. We also do a lot of clean ups, drainage and landscape borders, as well to get your property where it’s managed correctly. Please call us today, we have the vision to create these enjoyable areas. We would love to help you!”

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Let us be your Gardner TODAY: 205-401-3347 Providing High Quality Service Customer Satisfaction

B8 • October 2021

Hoover Sun


Brewer Roofing and Construction 205-365-7014 • The team at Brewer Roofing and Construction knows that quality roofing affects a home’s value. The management makes it their job to stay abreast of the best roofing techniques, materials and benefits. Their crews have been installing and repairing roofs for more than 20 years, becoming one of Birmingham’s premier home contractors. As a homeowner, your roof is likely not something you think about every day — at least until something goes wrong. The team at Brewer Roofing and Construction, however, thinks about roofs incessantly. Owner Jeff Brewer has generously agreed to share his insight on facts you might not know about your roof. 1. Your roof affects your homes energy efficiency. The biggest way a new roof can save you money stems from energy efficiency. Everything from the material used on your roof to the technique used to install it can help you cut down on energy costs every single month. Older roofs are built using outdated materials and techniques, making them less energy efficient and placing a greater strain on your home’s heating and cooling system. During the warmer months of the year — especially in Alabama, where temperatures soar during the summer months — the reflective material of your roof’s shingles can help keep your home cool. During the fall and winter, proper insulation keeps the heat inside your home effectively, which can cut your energy costs substantially. 2. Insurance sometimes covers the cost of a new roof. Brewer Roofing and Construction is diligent about keeping the costs of their

services as low as possible for their clients. “A lot of times, insurance companies may leave things out,” Brewer said. “We do an audit with every new job to make sure that our clients are getting what they pay for in their insurance premiums every month.” 3. A new roof can increase the resale value of your home. Although the state of your roof isn’t always the first thing on your mind, when it comes time to sell your home, buyers are sure to

notice it. A new roof not only increases the value of your home, but also its curb appeal. 4. There are ways to tell if you need a new roof. Brewer said there are telltale signs that you might need a new roof, including hailstone marks or creased shingles. Brewer Roofing and Construction offers free roof inspections to see if you might need a new roof and, if a new roof is installed, they will make sure the roof has the best ventilation possible so it will

last as long as it can. A new roof can be installed in as little as one to two days. From new construction, roofing, siding, gutters, pools, outdoor kitchens, etc., you can always expect quality work from the team at Brewer Roofing and Construction. They always pride themselves on quality customer service. Their business is one built on referrals, and they see a satisfied customer as the best business strategy of all. “We want to keep everybody happy, and we want to offer great customer service from beginning to end,” Brewer said.

October 2021 • B9



Waterproof Flooring


We Pay the Sales Tax! • Home Stores • Fancy Stores • Chain Stores

Carpet Warehouse Galleria 205-989-5678 • Carpet Warehouse has served the Birmingham area for over 25 years. Locally owned and operated by Tim and Tracy Lanier, Carpet Warehouse is conveniently located on Highway 150 in Hoover across from CarMax and offers a wide selection of flooring from traditional to contemporary to fit every taste and need. Whether you are looking for carpet for your home or other types of flooring, including hardwoods, laminate, vinyl, LVT or LVP, it has something for everyone. It also offers inhome design services, free home consultations and free estimates. There are also trade discounts for contractors and do-it-yourself customers all at the guaranteed lowest prices. Carpet Warehouse prides itself on offering customers the best quality flooring at the lowest prices. “Our super-low overhead enables us to truly sell for less,” Tim Lanier said. “Our crews are all time-proven craftsmen.” Carpet Warehouse offers top brands like CORTEC, Engineered Floors, DreamWeaver, Shaw, Mohawk, Masland, Armstrong, Bruce and Mannington, just to name a few. “There’s really too many to mention. If it’s flooring, we have it,” Lanier said. Some of its most popular types of

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flooring are luxury vinyl tile and planks. The luxury vinyl planks are perfect for families with children and pets. “They look like hardwood or tile, but they are waterproof and pet-proof,” Lanier said. “They are also available in a floating construction, which can go right over the top of most existing hard surface flooring minimizing demolition and costs”. The Laniers enjoy sharing their high level of expertise with customers. “For over 25 years, our family has served the Over the Mountain area. We are a company you can trust. The secret to our success is our commitment to quality and customer satisfaction at the lowest prices. You don’t survive for 25 years unless you are doing things right,” he said.


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with purchase of carpet and pad. Minimum purchase required. Basic installation. CARPET WAREHOUSE 205-989-5678 Not valid with any other offer. Expires 9–30-21.


2711 HWY 150, Hoover • 205-989-5678 • *Basic labor only on free installation. **Same exact product with written veritiable proof. Must present coupon at time of purchase. ***Sales tax paid on installed items only. Not valid with any other offer or prior sales. Unless otherwise specified, all prices are for materials only. We cannot be held liable for typographical errors, manufacturer’s changes or misprints.

B10 • October 2021


Hoover Sun

Signature Homes 205-989-5588 • The Hoover market is doing extremely well, economically. The median household income is $97,000, which is up from $62,000 in 2000 — a 60% increase. The population keeps growing, too. Hoover now has 92,000 people, which is up 40% since 2000. All of this relates to real estate because it thrives in good economic markets, said Dwight Sandlin of Signature Homes. “In the last 12 months, Hoover has sold 2,301 homes. And we have 345 homes in pending, which is the largest number I’ve ever seen pending sales,” he said. Since August 2021, Sandlin said he has seen the market “chill out” a bit. For the past year or so, homebuyers were expressing frustration because every home was selling above list price. “Now it’s getting back to a more normalized market,” he said. And although there’s a short supply of homes on the market in Hoover, Sandlin said the market is very, very healthy right now. This all means that now is an excellent time to start looking to buy a home. “Why you should buy now is because the market kind of leveled out to a reasonable market,” he said. “The prices aren’t escalating every two weeks like they were. And if you’re not so afraid, like, ‘Gosh, if I don’t buy now, next week it’ll be higher.’ But now because there’s not enough houses on the market, now is still a good time to buy.” At Signature Homes, which is a residential real estate development company, Sandlin said he is seeing a “huge demand” for new homes. One upcoming Signature Homes community, called Knox Square, will be a walkable community surrounded by local

shops, restaurants and activities. More than 500 people have joined a waiting list, which doesn’t mean they’re committed to buying a home there but that they want more information when it’s available. Meredith Tolleson at Signature Homes said after everything that happened in 2020, many people are realizing the importance of community.

“We do not take that for granted at all now, because we know what it’s like to not be able to go anywhere,” she said. And the homeowners really take pride in their Signature Homes community, she said. “What we’re seeing a lot of is people are forming their own committees and clubs, and they’re scheduling their own

food trucks to come in the neighborhood,” she said. “They’re active in planning their own things and using the amenities that we’ve put in place to really foster their own community and make it their own, even after long after we leave.” Interest rates are still low, so Sandlin encourages future homeowners to buy now before rates go back up.


October 2021 • B11

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Closets by Design 205-777-4000 • (click “Central Alabama”) Closets by Design is all about simplifying, and there’s no better time than a changing season to begin truly simplifying and getting your closet, house and garage organized. Let Closets by Design help you set the right tone for the year to come. “We are here to help simplify our clients’ lives by giving them a quick, hassle-free design consultation to help them maximize their space,” Aly Harris, the Closets by Design office manager, said. Closets by Design specializes in designing, building and installing custom closets, garage cabinets, home offices, laundries, pantries and much more. With a wide selection of finishes, accessories and hardware, Closets We build each closet by Design makes sure with you in mind. Our that you can get the customized look you products simply offer always wanted. the best value in the Customers can choose industry. from three types of ALY HARRIS closet systems. Although the styles differ, each aim to maximize space and create a closet or area that helps organize not only your clothes or supplies, but also your life. This way, you can dedicate more time to focusing on the things and people you love. “We build each closet with you in mind,” Harris said. “Our products simply offer the best value in the industry.” Closets by Design was started in California in 1982 and has since grown to be a national company with 51 locations. Even though the company is relatively new to Alabama, they have already helped hundreds of clients design and build their dream closets and storage spaces. With a no-obligation, in-home consultation, Closets by Design continues to create custom-tailored designs with the highest quality product construction. Simplification and ease are key. Closets by Design is also a floor-based system, unlike most of their competitors, which makes their systems stronger and more stable. “We bring a fresh perspective on getting organized to Alabama,” Harris said. Part of the appeal of Closets by Design is that its team members spend time understanding and prioritizing the necessity of home office space. They’ve created a line of innovative and effective office systems in a variety of styles and finishes to match your unique needs. Attractive pantries are developed to streamline cooking and cleaning with easy-to-reach and easy-to-organize shelves. They also can help customers take their garages a step further and transform it into a workshop, garden center or arts and crafts room. Closets by Design makes sure plenty of storage space is key. “At Closets by Design, we make sure that the client has a true consulting experience, giving the customer the control over the design and the cost,” Harris said.

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B12 • October 2021


Hoover Sun

Budget Blinds 205-824-3300 • Need some new window coverings this fall? Steve Thackerson is ready to help you have beautiful window blinds, shutters and solar shades that you can control from anywhere. They’re easy to use and easy to afford, he said. “Motorization is a big thing now. There are ways you can tie motorized window coverings into your home’s automation system,” said Thackerson, owner of Budget Blinds of Birmingham. With a touch of your phone — even when you’re not home — you can raise or lower your window coverings, or you can tell Alexa to do it for you. Your Budget Blinds can also open or close at a pre- selected time of day or night. “We can usually tie our product into any system you might have,” Thackerson said. “We take pride in providing style and service for every budget.” At Budget Blinds — your local window covering expert — they take the time to understand you and your unique needs to deliver the best custom window covering solution designed for the way you live. They do any kind of custom window covering. As far as blinds go, they offer wood and faux wood, aluminum, vinyl, composite and vertical blinds or vertical blind alternatives. They also offer shades of all kinds: roller, Roman, cellular, bamboo, woven wood, pleated, sheer,

graphic and solar. And they can get your interior and exterior plantation shutter needs taken care of with wood, café or composite.

You can see a gallery of recent projects on their website to get a feel for what they can do for your home or office. “We install them, so anything

that’s purchased from us, we’ll custom install them and professionally install them,” Thackerson said. “We don’t subcontract that out. We control

everything from setting up the appointment to the final installation.” They also have better warranties than their competitors, he said. “Our manufacturers may also sell to our competitors, but they don’t give them the same warranties they give us. That sets us apart. We get the same products but better pricing and better warranties.” That comes with their national presence and the long relationships he and his wife have built in their more than 30 years in the business. He also has two salesmen with decades of experience. “They are veteran employees who have been with me a long time,” Thackerson said. The highly trained design consultants at Budget Blinds put their heart and soul into creating the perfect answer to your window fashion needs. They even bring their entire showroom to you with their free in-home design consultation. As a locally owned business, they’re also focused on supporting the community. Caring and giving back are in their DNA. “Our business is here in the Vestavia community, and we live here as well,” Thackerson said. Budget Blinds offers in-home consultations to help their clients choose the best window covering for their home. To learn more, call them or go to their website today.

Schedule your FREE in-home consultation today! 2130 Columbiana Road, Vestavia AL 35216 (Next to Charter Communications)


205-824-3300 |


October 2021 • B13

“Elegance on the Farm” 205-283-1483 • • In recent years, the number of out-ofstate residents moving to the Birmingham area has increased. Alongside that increase is a newfound appreciation for the diverse lifestyles that the area provides for those who have lived here their entire lives. LAH Real Estate agent Krisalyn Crye has a knack for understanding the unique needs of her clients and matching them with an equally unique property. She has enjoyed helping both out-of-staters and native Alabamians find their forever homes. “I like to consider myself the Welcome Wagon to Alabama,” Crye said. “I truly enjoy getting to know people, helping them to find activities in the area that their kids will love or restaurants they can’t wait to visit. I want people to leave [a meeting with me] excited about building roots here in Alabama.” While Crye spends the majority of her time as a match-maker between great people and the properties that will meet their needs, it’s a two-way street for her. She sometimes finds an amazing property and invests the same time, energy and skill into finding the perfect family or company that can make the best of all it has to offer. Recently, she came across a property she and her colleagues have dubbed “Elegance on the Farm:” an 8,000-square-f00t and 145 acre property that gracefully combines the best of both rural and urban living nestled into the beautiful green woods in the Gardendale area. She was floored when she first viewed the property. “You have a little of both worlds,” she said “The property is 15 minutes from downtown, some of the best restaurants in Birmingham, UAB and the airport. But it’s also perfect for anyone who

loves to be out in nature,” Crye said. With an eight-stable farm and 145 acres full of green trails for horseback riding, hiking or biking, the property lends itself perfectly to the outdoor lifestyle without taking away the amenities of modern city living. The property was originally built only three years ago to accommodate the lifestyle of a couple who loved nature, equestrian living as well as an active urban life. It’s both the perfect family home as well as a great commercial property that

can be utilized for events, riding lessons or a venue. Whether or not the estate is used as a commercial property or a family home, it is more than equipped for the task with fully integrated state-of-the-art smart systems that allow for things like automated lighting, full control of window coverings with the tap of a button and a high bandwidth that can run streaming services through multiple devices without missing a beat. Not only does the estate utilize the

latest and greatest technology, but it also is done in a way that is aesthetically pleasing, providing both comfort and style. It features a gourmet kitchen with hidden subzero appliances, a Ludowici tile roof, waxed knotty Alder doors, custom hand-hammered banisters and limestone flooring, just to name a few of its gorgeous amenities. For more information about this magnificent property or to enlist Crye’s help in finding your unique Alabama home, call or email Krisalyn Crye today.

B14 • October 2021

Hoover Sun


Standard Air, Plumbing & Insulation 205-386-4001 • Winter is quickly approaching, and, according to Standard Heating and Air President Tyler Kime, now is the time to make sure your home’s heating system is running efficiently and, most importantly, is safe. Standard Heating and Air specializes in residential heating, cooling, plumbing and generator service, repairs and replacements, and the team is available for you to give them a call to have your heating system checked out as the cold winter months approach. “[Customers should] schedule heating maintenance early, before the cold sets in, and have peace of mind that it’s ready for the winter,” Kime said. Kime said many times customers wait too long to cut on their heat, and, when they need heat, the unit doesn’t work. “We can check the heat at any time,” he said. “It’s best to do it before a cold snap comes in.” As many homeowners know, oftentimes when the heat is first turned on after being off for months and months, there could be an odor that emanates from the system. This is common, Kime said, as small dust particular are heated up during the heating process. But, Kime said, this odor should be temporary — and if not, you need to call a professional like the ones at Standard Heating and Air. “We are problem-solvers who stand behind our work,” Kime said. “We provide comfort to our customers, and we make homes more comfortable, reliable, and energy efficient. We keep the necessities running that we often take for granted.” Kime has been in the HVAC business since 2005, and, before him, his father had been in the business since 1969.

“It’s a great industry to be in, with topnotch people,” Kime said. “I love that we are able to serve others.” Service is a key component of Standard Heating and Air’s business. The company gives to many organizations, but most notably to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation of Alabama. Standard Heating and Air has donated more than $10,000 over the past few years to help this great local organization, Kime said. And service happens amongst team

members even while off the clock. “We recently had a technician help a stranded motorist on 280,” Kime said. “He hopped out and pushed the car across one of the busiest intersections in our city: 280 and 119. It was featured on Rick Karle’s Facebook group and is evident of the character of our team members.” It all goes back to Standard Heating and Air’s mission statement: to provide the best service experience to their customers. The key to good service?

“Listening, both to the customer and our team members,” Kime said. “Oftentimes the problem presents itself that way.” So, for customers who value their time and want a reliable, trustworthy company to take care of their needs, now is the time to call Standard Heating and Air. “Winter will be here before you know it,” he said. “Be prepared and not reactive to your heating system. Call a professional, knowledgeable and trustworthy company to take care of you.”



• AC • HEATING on Bryant Evolution Systems • PLUMBING with approved credit • GENERATORS • EASY PAYMENT PLANS 205•322•2679 • 24/7 SERVICE RESIDENTIAL since 1939 & LIGHT COMMERCIAL Locally Owned & Operated • MAINTENANCE PLANS AVAILABLE AL Cert #83594

October 2021 • B15


Allsteel Fence One Man & A Toolbox

205-942-8249 • While multigenerational family businesses are rare these days, Allsteel Fence is the exception as a third generation family business. It prides itself on its deeply-rooted values of customer service and high-quality products. Founded by Bob Jones in 1964, the company has grown from a one-room office with one installation crew and salesman to now over 40 employees and two locations, one in Birmingham and one in Tuscaloosa. Allsteel fabricates their own chain-link wire, provides security gate operator systems, builds custom gates in house, and has the largest inventory of fence materials in central Alabama. They have the capability to serve all clients’ residential, commercial, and industrial fencing needs. Allsteel Fence offers chainlink, ornamental, wood, PVC, custom gates, and gate operator systems, and sells all of these products directly to the public. And if you’re looking to do-it-yourself,

Allsteel offers a better variety, a more knowledgeable sales staff, and prices that always beat the big box stores. For the past 57 years, Allsteel Fence has remained in the Jones family and is currently owned by Bob’s son, Jeff, and managed by his two sons, Jonathan and Alex. Company Vice President Jonathan Jones said Allsteel Fence is able to offer a high level of quality because it manufactures and fabricates so many of its own products. Allsteel Fence’s products provide security and curb appeal to all residential and commercial customers, Jones said. “Our residential fences are often used to provide containment or privacy for pets and children,” he said. “Our commercial fences are typically used to provide security to one’s property.” And, as the business looks to its next 57 years, it will continue to offer high-quality products and unmatched customer service that have become a family tradition.

“Quality Built Fences Since 1964”

205-823-2111 • Since 1997, One Man & a Toolbox has been helping people with a variety of home improvement projects and repairs. “The company was started to fill a void in the market to provide professional contracting services for jobs too small for a general contractor to do. In many cases, small handyman-type projects are done by unskilled, unlicensed, uninsured people working out of their trucks going from job to job — many times not completing jobs as they go, or not standing behind jobs after they are complete,” owner Jay Moss said. One Man & a Toolbox is insured and bonded to further protect customers. “We offer carpentry, painting, minor plumbing, electrical, pressure washing, roof and gutter repair, appliance installation, drywall repair, door and

window repair and more,” he said. Fall is the perfect time to take care of home maintenance issues. One Man & a Toolbox’s affordable hourly rates can fit any budget. “We are an over 20-year-old company,” Moss said. “We have invested in technology and skill enhancement of our technicians to ensure jobs are done timely and professionally.” Their technicians are skilled and professional. They pride themselves on getting the job done well and on time. “We have multiple technicians, so if you think a job is too large for one man and a toolbox, you can have two men and more if the job requires it,” he said. They service not only Birmingham, but also Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and Gadsden.

One Man & a Toolbox Handyman Services


Ornamental Vinyl PVC Repairs

Free Estimates Licensed Insured DO-IT-YOURSELF HEADQUARTERS



Doing it Yourself isn’t for everyone. Residential Commercial Special Projects 205-823-2111 •

B16 • October 2021

Hoover Sun


Classic Iron Works 205-322-6868 • Looking to spruce up the look of your home’s exterior? Jeff Boyd and his team at Classic Iron Works are artisans bringing timeless beauty and an instant boost in curb-appeal to every home they add their unique metal-work to. The team provides custom created doors, handrails, fencing and even burglar bars. One of the simplest ways to add a sense of elegance to a new home or upgrade the look of an older home is getting a new front door installed. Classic Iron Works provides two custom products that will add sophisticated style to and blend seamlessly with any home: their ornamental iron doors and their castle entry doors. The materials used to create both styles save homeowners the headache of

constant maintenance that they might experience with wooden doors. Both the ornamental iron doors and the castle entry doors are crafted from steel and coated with a weather resistant powder coat in black, pewter or Tuscan bronze hues that match well with homes of any color. “We build everything custom,” Boyd said. “If an architect designs your door, if you have a particular style home or even if you just saw a fence or door on the internet that you like, you can send it to us and we can match and build that design for your home.” To find out more about the unique beauty that custom metal work and ornamental iron can add to your home, call or visit Classic Iron Works today.

Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists 205-520-9777 • As fall rolls in, take a moment to check the overall health of your home for the cooler months. Are the gutters clogged? Windows sealed? What about your foundation? Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists can help you pinpoint problems before they worsen. Six key foundation issues to watch for: ○ Concrete raising ○ Cracks in the floors or walls ○ Cracks in your brick that look like stair steps ○ Gaps around exterior window frames and doors ○ Sagging or uneven floors ○ Separation between the wall and counters or cabinets Our foundation repair contractors can quickly identify the root cause of any problems your home may have and propose the best solution for you. Whether it’s due to poor construction, soil problems,

weight-related pressure problems or age, a professional, experienced team uses the latest techniques to handle any type of basement foundation repair. The initial meeting with a foundation expert is always free. And warranted, proven quality remains a priority to complete each project successfully and on time. “The entire staff of Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists are very professional and knowledgeable and made every effort to make sure the job was done right,” said one customer. Other customers from all around the Birmingham area have trusted Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists for great results. “We just bought a new house, and there was a sagging spot in the kitchen floor,” one customer said. “… They have just been superb and taken care of everything we needed.”




205-520-9777 Your home is your castle. Make it the talk of the neighborhood! Custom Castle Entry doors are available in many styles and can fit any home.

Call today! (205) 322-6868 ·

Family-Owned and Operated Since 1996


October 2021 • B17

Brewer Cabinets 205-942-4000 • Jason Brewer has been in the cabinet business for more than 30 years and has an experienced group of designers and installers. Last year, Brewer Cabinets opened a new showroom to display their products. The cabinetry company moved from U.S. 31 in Hoover to a convenient spot on Alabama 119 about a half mile off Interstate 65. The 2,500-square-foot showroom — at 236 Cahaba Valley Parkway — is about double the size of the previous showroom and allows Brewer and his team to display more of what they have to offer. It’s open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The showroom is conveniently attached to Brewer’s warehouse, which allows customers to look at additional products from time to time. Brewer Cabinets installs both traditional cabinets as well as the more contemporary European frameless styles.

They specialize in kitchens and bathroom cabinets but also do commercial work for businesses such as doctor and dentist offices, optometrists and hair salons. In addition to cabinets, the company installs countertops, offering options that include laminate, granite and quartz. Brewer Cabinets was started by Brewer’s parents. “I literally grew up in the cabinet shop,” he said. He started working there when he was 12 and has been doing it since. He’s one of four people who designs the cabinets, and three of them have more than 20 years experience each. He’s especially proud of his two installers. “They’ve been with the business for our family over 30 years, and they’re both really, really good,” he said. Brewer says that if you’re planning to have cabinets added to your home soon, it’s best to submit an order by Nov. 1 for installation this spring.

Patti Schreiner – ARC Realty 205-979-8500 • According to ARC Realty agent Patti Schreiner, the secret is out about the greater Birmingham - Hoover area. “We’re becoming known as a great place to live and raise a family,” said Schreiner, who’s seen an increase in the number of out-of-staters moving to the area. Although the inventory in her area of expertise remains low, she is confident that the market is slowly returning to normal. Schreiner works with buyers and sellers of all ages to help them get into

the house, townhome or condo of their dreams and get their current house sold. She’s spent 25 years guiding local and out of state clients through the real estate process. “I’ve seen all kinds of different markets since beginning my career,” said Schreiner, who is confident that she can help anyone navigate the ups and downs of today’s market. Her clients agree, with some saying that her slogan should be “Call Patti and Start Packing!”

B18 • October 2021

Hoover Sun


Mr. Handyman of Birmingham

Breanna Sexton – RE/MAX Southern Homes

205-606-0800 •

205-234-6549 •

As the weather cools down and you spend more time indoors, you may notice things have gone into disrepair during the summer months. Andrew Howard, the owner of Mr. Handyman of Birmingham, advises all homeowners to take a moment to inspect their home before the winter, especially your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detectors. “As the weather turns cooler, we begin using heaters and fireplaces to stay warm,” Howard said. “These heating sources can emit carbon monoxide that is an odorless gas that is harmful to your health. Test these devices to ensure they are functioning properly and replace batteries as needed to ensure your family’s safety.” If you need help with any of these tasks, Mr. Handyman of Birmingham, a locally owned home improvement and maintenance service, can help. “[We’re] your one-stop shop for a wide range of home maintenance and repair solutions,” Howard said. The staff of Mr. Handyman includes highly skilled craftsmen who are W2 employees with at least 15 years’ experience and undergo extensive background checks,

plus drug and alcohol screens, to assure you a safe and worry-free job. Customer service is exceptional. “We take pride in our work, but customer service goes farther than the perfect job. We will answer the phone with a live voice 24/7 and guarantee our work for one year. We strive to provide an exceptional experience while we maintain and improve your most valuable asset: your home.”

When it comes to buying and selling homes, Breanna Sexton says her passion is the people who live in them. “I love helping people,” said Sexton, who works with RE/ MAX Southern Homes. “A home is one of the largest purchases you will make in your life, and I love to see people’s joy and happiness when they find that right home that fits them.” People aren’t a number for her, she says. She strives for personalized customer service, a very one-onone experience to help make the home buying and selling process easier. Recently, Sexton’s hard work and dedication won her the RE/MAX Platinum Club award for the success she was able to achieve for her clients. “If moving is on your mind, this spring is a good time to get your home listed,” Sexton said. “Interest rates are at an alltime low,” which gives buyers more buying power, and sellers are less likely to spend a long time on the market. Sexton says she will help you get your home ready for sale. She’ll also be herself and be 100 percent authentic, honest and

upfront with you through the whole process. “I go above and beyond for my clients. A lot of people may see success as volume, or earning the title as the best at this or that, but for me that’s not why I do any of it,” Sexton said. “I really just enjoy helping other people. If I can help you find the right home and it goes seamlessly, that’s what makes me happy every time.”


A home office


Breanna Sexton 205.234.6549 |

Preserve Paints 205-783-1238 • As a family-owned and operated business, Preserve Paints is your local, authorized Benjamin Moore retailer. Our foundation is excellent customer service. We pride ourselves in paying close attention to the needs of each customer who walks through our door. We have an experienced staff to help in product selection and custom mixing. There are many ways to choose the perfect paint color, and inspiration can come from anywhere but choosing a color can be overwhelming. Our experts will help you navigate color families and palettes to find the right color for

October 2021 • B19


your home. Need help matching a color? We can create the perfect color for you. Our store is stocked with a full line of Benjamin Moore paints and other paint supplies so you can complete your painting projects. Whether you are staining the deck, reimagining an interior space or painting the whole exterior, we have a Benjamin Moore paint or stain that fits your project. At Preserve Paints, we offer an unparalleled retail experience. Stop by and let us help you get started on your fall projects so your home is ready for hosting holiday gatherings.

Bug Cowboy’s Pest Solutions 205-879-3434 • As fall begins and temperatures cool down, more insect and rodent activity moves indoors, with these critters looking for both shelter and food. Norman “Bubba” James and his team at Bug Cowboy’s Pest Solutions are here to provide guidelines for preventing an infestation or, if one occurs, eliminate it efficiently. James said all households are different, but generally, when heavier rains come in, there are more insects coming indoors. “Food and shelter obviously are the main things that everything needs — rodents, as well as insects,” James said. “So that’s one of the reasons both insects and rodents start coming indoors.” While you can’t eliminate the appeal of the shelter your home provides, you can make your home harder to access.

“Some of the things that we can do to prevent pests from entering your home is keeping items picked up around your home’s exterior. Don’t put firewood against your home. Get rid of any type of debris that doesn’t need to be in or around your home, lawn, or shed,” James said. Shrubs and tree limbs are also important to keep off of the home, James said, because it gives these critters direct access to the home. Keeping tree limbs 10 feet from the home will help with all types of rodents, including squirrels, rats, mice and some insects. He also recommends keeping gutters clean. If a problem should arise, call the Bug Cowboy’s team as quickly as possible, he said. The team has collectively 50 years’ experience between them, living up to their slogan of “We Wrangle What Bugs You.”

Summer Fades. Color Stays. Commercial • Residential

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$10 OFF Reach out today and let us make sure you get the best paint and advice to get your project done right. Hurry, this exclusive offer ends 10/31/21. CPN $XX OFF SELECT PREMIUM PRODUCT

1913 28th Ave S Homewood, AL 35216 (205) 202-4614 2815 Greystone Commercial Blvd Suite 500 Birmingham, AL 35242 (205) 588-1585


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Offer valid for $10 off retailer’s suggested retail price per gallon of up to 5 gallons of Benjamin Moore® premium products. Excludes Century®. Redeemable only at participating retailers. Limit one per customer. Products may vary from store to store. Subject to availability. Retailer reserves the right to cancel this offer at any time without notice. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Offer expires 10/31/2021. ©2021 Benjamin Moore & Co. Arborcoat, Aura, Benjamin Moore, Century, Color Lock, Gennex, Regal, and the triangle “M” symbol are registered trademarks licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co. 7/19

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