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Sun Neighborly news & entertainment for Hoover

Volume 5 | Issue 10 | July 2017

The Blind Boys of Alabama are scheduled to perform at the Freedom Fest at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium on the Fourth of July. Photo courtesy of Blind Boys of Alabama.


American Cons ervation Experie nce workers brea brought into Mo k up stones ss Rock Preser ve to build a sm elp it erosion all retaining wa at t e bo lder fi ll to eld. Photos by Jo n Anderson.




s the popularity of hiking, rock climbing and bouldering has grown, enthusiasts are faced with a challenge — keeping people who love the sport and the outdoors from destroying the natural environment they love so much. Heavy foot traffic at the boulder fields at the 3 50-acre Moss Rock Preserve nature park, next to The Preserve subdivision, has led to increased erosion, said Colin Conner, the city of Hoover’s forester. Soil around the boulder fields is washing away, and tree roots are becoming more exposed, Conner said.

The end result following clean up and restoration.

Pre-Sort Standard U .S. Postage PAID Tupelo, MS Permit # 54

See MOSS ROCK | page A30


Blind Boys of Alabama bring soul to Met for Freedom Fest By J O N AN D ERS O N Ricky McKinnie started losing his sight due to glaucoma when he was 20 and was blind by the age of 23 , but that didn’t stop him from sharing the gospel music he loves so much. McKinnie, who already had a gold album under his belt with the Gospel Keynotes, continued performing and eventually was asked to join the Blind Boys of Alabama around 19 8 8 — 13 years after he went blind. He has been with the group for 29 years now and will be with them when they perform at the city of Hoover’s Freedom Fest on the Fourth of July at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium. “ We’re looking forward to it,” McKinnie said in an interview from his home in Atlanta. The Blind Boys of Alabama, who have won five rammys and been inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, performed two shows to small audiences at the Hoover Library Theatre in

See FREEDOM FEST | page A28 Sponsors .............. A4 News...................... A6

Business ..............A10 Chamber.............. A12

Events ..................A15 School House .... A22

Community .......... B6 Sports ................... B8

Real Estate.......... B17 Calendar .............. B18

Taking Action

Better Than Par

Ten-person collaboration ENVOY on a mission to share messages of hope and love through variety of music.

Hoover grads Julie Baker and yc ael erry loo a ead to collegiate life after stellar prep olfin careers.

See page B5

See page B10

A2 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

July 2017 • A3

A4 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

About Us Editor’s Note By Sydney Cromwell It’s summer. That means it’s time for me to complain about the heat again. Summer really is my least favorite season — and if you went back to my editor’s notes from last summer, you’d see me harping on a similar theme. But as I’m writing this, I’m sitting under a shady tree on a particularly balmy, pleasant day that reminds me not everything about summer is unbearable. When it’s hot, we long for cold weather, then winter comes again and we’re begging for the days of shorts and flip-flops. The drought earlier this year reminded us all of the importance of rain, but after a few days of wet weather we start grousing about it again. I guess it s human nature that we find something most appealing when it’s not

place — I have to remind myself that it’s not a very productive way to look at things. After all, for every hot, sweaty, mosuito-filled summer day there s also shade trees, swimming pools and ice cream to remind me that there are good things that happen in summer. Whatever season — literal or metaphorical you find yourself in, looking for those good things will take you farther and leave you more satisfied than just seeing the bad parts right in front of your face. right in front of us. hile it s easy to point out the flaws in whatever situation you’re currently facing — too busy, too boring, the wrong job, the wrong people, the wrong

PHOTO OF THE MONTH A stickercovered Principal Don Hulin shakes hands with a graduating Hoover High School senior during the sc ool s graduation May 24 at Bartow Arena. In standing tradition with the school, each senior placed a sticker on the principal as they received their diplomas, resulting in Don Hulin being covered in almost 700 stickers by the end of the ceremony. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

Sun Publisher: Managing Editor: Design Editor: Director of Photography: Sports Editor: Assistant Sports Editor: Digital Editor: Page Designer: Community Editor: Community Reporters:

Dan Starnes Sydney Cromwell Kristin Williams Sarah Finnegan Kyle Parmley Sam Chandler Alyx Chandler Melanie Viering Erica Techo Jon Anderson Jesse Chambers Lexi Coon Emily Featherston Copy Editor: Louisa Jeffries

Contributing Writers: Bethany Adams Grace Thornton Interns: Lauren Roland Loren Hopkins

Advertising Manager: Matthew Allen Account Manager: Layton Dudley Sales and Distribution: Warren Caldwell Don Harris Michelle Salem Haynes Rhonda Smith James Plunkett Eric Clements Vicky Hager

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

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

Published by: Hoover Sun LLC Legals: The Hoover Sun is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. The Hoover Sun is designed to inform the Hoover community of area school, family and community events. Information in The Hoover Sun is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of The 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. Please recycle this paper.

Please Support Our Community Partners Alabama Power (A31) Anglin-Nelson Dental Office (A21) ARC Realty (A3, B9) Bedzzz Express (B1, B2) Birmingham Duplicate Bridge Club (A9) Birmingham Orthodontics (A1) Birmingham Water Works Board (B11) Blair Remodeling (A2) Bromberg & Company, Inc. (A12) Carpet Warehouse Galleria (A9) Children’s of Alabama (A13) Closets by Design (A15) Construx (A14) Cynthia Vines Butler, LLC (A13) Encore Rehabilitation (A24) EZ Roof & EZ Restoration (B7) Flat Fee Real Estate (A29) Galleria Woods Retirement Community (B16) Gardner Landscaping (A7) Grandview Medical Group (B13) Heather Goss, Brik Realty (A19) High Point Climbing and Fitness, LLC (B20) Hoover Antique Gallery (A17) Hoover Florist (A18) Hoover Hometown Pharmacy (B6) Hoover Public Library (B4) Issis & Sons (B11) Jets Pizza (A1) Kasey Davis Dentistry (A31) Kelli Gunnells Group (A5) Kete Cannon, RE MAX Southern Homes (A12) LAH Real Estate - Hoover Office (B17) Lakeman Family Dental (B15) Liberty Park (A8) Lucas and Associates (B1) Mainstreet Monograms and More (A26) Medical West Hospital (A32) Morgan Stanley Wealth Management (A16) Mr. Chen’s Authentic Chinese (A23) NextHome Southern Realty (A10) O Sushi Express (A24) Outdoor Living Areas (A5) Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (A19) Patti Schreiner, Re/MAX Southern Homes (A16) Paul Davis Emergency Services of South Birmingham (B5) Pitts & Associates Mental Health Professionals (A23) Pollo Lucas (B4) Pure Dermatology & Aesthetics (A27) R & S Wood Flooring (A18) RealtySouth Marketing (A25) Red Mountain Theatre Company (B18) RegenPath (A17) Samford Academy of the Arts (B6) Schaeffer Eye Center (A6) Shades Valley Dermatology (A14) Shannon Trotter State Farm (B17) Shoal Creek Properties (B15) Shuttlesworth Lasseter, LLC (A29) Southern Veterinary Partners (A26) Standard Air, Plumbing & Insulation (A7) Stardome Theatre (B16) Sugar Sands Realty (B18) Sweetspire Gardens (A23) The Maids (A22) The Welch Group (B3) Therapy South Hoover (B3) Town Village Vestavia Hills (A27) UAB Honors College (B9) University of Montevallo (A21) Vestavia Hills United Methodist Church (A11) Virginia Samford Theatre (B19) Vulcans Community Awards (A11) Vulcan Termite & Pest Control (B5) Weigh To Wellness (B13) Wrapsody (A22)

July 2017 • A5

A6 • July 2017

Hoover Sun


U.S. Steel gets commercial zoning in Trace Crossings Council’s approval follows concessions, residential additions By JO


U .S. Steel started trying to get industrial property in Trace Crossings rez oned for commercial use more than two years ago. At first, it was 26 acres off South Shades Crest Road that U .S. Steel wanted rez oned for a grocery store and gas station, but Trace Crossings residents and others who live along the often congested road in April 2 convinced the Hoover City Council to vote that rez oning down. This year, .S. Steel found success with 24 acres across Stadium Trace arkway from Hoover etropolitan Stadium, but only after numerous concessions and combining the commercial rez oning with a major residential addition to Trace Crossings and road and park projects the city wants done. The Hoover City Council on June agreed to rezone 24 acres across from the Hoover et as commercial land, with 4 acres designated as mixed-use “ village center” that includes 74 single-family detached homes on the land closest to the Chestnut Trace sector of Trace Crossings and commercial development along Stadium Trace. asoline stations, convenience

The Hoover City Council rezoned 24 acres along Stadium Trace Parkway across from Hoover Metropolitan Stadium (shown here as Parcels 10 and 6) from an industrial zone to a commercial zone, with 14 of those acres (Parcel 10) designated as a mixed-use village center that includes 76 detached homes on the land closest to Chestnut Trace and businesses on land closest to Stadium Trace. Map courtesy of Signature Homes.

stores and stand-alone fast-food restaurants will be prohibited. Numerous Trace Crossings residents staunchly ob ected to more commercial development in their community, saying it belongs along John Hawkins arkway. Trace Crossings resident D onald Barley said residents clearly don’t want a hotel or “ cutesy little village” with coffee shops and hair salons in the middle of their community. Also, traffic already is a nightmare, and more homes will only compound the

problem, he said. Chestnut Trace resident Nancy Carr said she appreciated efforts by Signature Homes to reach a compromise but said the rezoning should have been delayed until the city develops a comprehensive master plan. Trace Crossings resident olly c regor said not to be held hostage by .S. Steel. ou have the right to plan, c regor said. ake this plan better. If you can restrict gas stations, you can restrict hotels.

Some residents spoke in favor of the plan. Ky Gregory said he has lived in Hoover all but two years of his life and sees the Trace Crossings revisions as progress. If we don t move forward, we get left behind, he said. John arker, president of the Hoover Softball Association, said when he travels to sports tournaments, he always pays more to stay close to the competition site. Putting a hotel close to the city’s new sports comple is needed, he said. Hoover ayor rank Brocato said he appreciates all the input from developers, city staff, residents, school officials and the City Council and said city officials thoughtfully negotiated the plan. The zoning is incorrect there. It s not an industrial piece of property, Brocato said. There has been much give and take over the last seven months, and there s nothing else that can be done to make this plan better, Brocato said. The overall changes approved by the council add 339 acres and home sites to Trace Crossings. The amended plan includes the annexation of 2 acres south of the Hoover etropolitan Comple , but all home sites are being transferred from other future developments, meaning no net increase in future home sites. Signature Homes transferred acres and 4 home sites from the Blackridge development to Trace Crossings, and .S. Steel transferred

374 home sites from land on the south side of Shelby County 2 known as Trigger Creek. That means there will be , 9 home sites in Blackridge instead of , , and .S. Steel will be limited to ,944 homes in Trigger Creek instead of 2,3 , city officials said. Hoover schools Superintendent athy urphy said she e pects the homes added to Trace Crossings will add 2 students, including 93 elementary, 49 middle and 69 high school students. There should be room to handle those students, particularly if a federal judge approves a proposed rezoning plan, urphy said. However, Hoover High will e ceed capacity once Blackridge and Trigger Creek homes are added, and other schools could be at or above capacity, she said. School officials are examining ways to address crowding and will need the city s help to find funding, she said. Council President Gene Smith said the city is committed to finding a solution to traffic problems, and he believes the city may can negotiate an alternate location for a hotel. The changes the council approved should provide good amenities for the city’s new sports comple , Smith said. Billy Silver, an e ecutive for .S. Steel, said his company is responsible for e isting commercial development in Trace Crossings and will continue to use covenants to protect the integrity of future development.

July 2017 • A7

Mayor’s Minute

By Frank Brocato We hope you are enjoying and clothing free of state sales or use tax. D on’t miss out on your summer! We have so this opportunity to save some many activities and events going on in our city. money! If you have not visited the National Night O ut will new Finley Center next door to be Aug. 1 from 6-8 p.m. at the Hoover et, it s definitely the Grove Shopping Center. a must see. A ribbon-cutting National Night O ut is designed ceremony was June 16, and to heighten crime and drug prewe are open for business. vention awareness, strengthen If you are looking for someneighborhood spirit with our thing fun to do during the police and fire community summer, check out our Friday partnerships and send a mesNight Flicks at V eterans Park. sage to criminals letting them It’s a super fun evening, so know that neighborhoods are Frank Brocato pack up a picnic dinner and fighting back. enjoy watching a movie in the park. There is This is always a very successful event and no admission fee … it’s free! What a great way refreshments will be provided. lease remember, your elected officials and to enjoy the outdoors and have a fun family night. For more details visit our website hoover the city staff are here to serve you, so please or call 444-7500. don t hesitate to contact our office. Be sure and save the date for the Sales Tax Best, Holiday that will begin at 12: 01 a.m. on Friday, July 21 and ends at midnight on Sunday, July 23 . This is Alabama’s 12th annual sales tax holiday, giving shoppers the opportunity to purchase certain school supplies, computers

Aalia Fayyaz, left, an employee at Once Upon a Child in the River Oaks Village shopping center, assists customer Hope Cleveland of Columbiana. Photo by Jon Anderson.

Sales tax holiday moves to July By J O N AN D ERS O N The annual back-to-school sales tax holiday for Alabama is moving to July for the first time. The weekend free of state sales and use taxes — and some local sales and use taxes — on certain school supplies, books, computers and clothing considered “ back-to-school” purchases historically has been the first full weekend in August, but the Legislature this year passed a new law to move the date up to the third full weekend in July. So this year, the 3 6-hour sales tax holiday is from 12: 01 a.m. on Friday, July 21, to midnight on Sunday, July 23 . The Hoover City Council in May agreed to waive the city’s sales taxes for the same type of purchases that weekend, and both Shelby and Jefferson commissions agreed to waive its sales taxes as well. Last year, Jefferson County participated in the sales tax holiday for the first time in years, e cept the percent Jefferson County sales and use tax designated for education remained in effect. Items exempt include clothing with a sales price of $100 or less per item

( excluding certain accessories and protective and sports equipment) ; computer equipment and supplies with a sales price of $750 or less per item or computer package; and noncommercial purchases of school supplies, school art supplies or school instructional materials up to $50 per item. Clothing items eligible for the waiver include: belts, boots, caps, coats, diapers, dresses, gloves, gym suits, hats, hosiery, jackets, jeans, neckties, pajamas, pants, raincoats, robes, sandals, scarves, school uniforms, shirts, shoes, shorts, socks, sneakers and underwear. School supplies eligible for the waiver include binders, blackboard chalk, book bags, calculators, cellophane tape, compasses, composition books, crayons, erasers, folders, glue and paste, highlighters, index cards, index card boxes, legal pads, lunch boxes, markers, notebooks, paper, pencil boxes and other school supply boxes, pencil sharpeners, pencils, pens, protractors, rulers, scissors, writing tablets, clay and glaz es, paints, art paintbrushes, sketch and drawing pads, watercolors, reference maps and globes, required textbooks priced between $3 0 and $50 and books priced at $3 0 or less.

A8 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

Board favors pre-zoning 17 acres off Patton Chapel Road By S AM C H AN D LER The Hoover Planning and Z oning Commission on June 12 voted to recommend the Hoover City Council pre-z one about 17 acres off Patton Chapel Road for residential and commercial development. In April, the Hoover City Council Annexation Committee voted to recommend annexing the property, which currently is z oned in Jefferson County. The affirmative vote by the zoning board means that the property will be sent to the city council for simultaneous annexation and z oning approval at a later date. Twelve of the 17 acres are under contract by the D .R. Horton building company, which plans to construct a 42-home neighborhood on the land. All 17 acres are owned currently by four sisters from the D ouglas family. The plot contains a house, an apartment, a lake and a landscape supply business that faces O ld Columbiana Road. O ne of the sisters, Alma Gaudette, told Hoover Sun in April that the family is searching for a potential buyer to purchase the five acres that aren’t under contract by D .R. Horton. The commission voted to recommend that the fiveacre portion of the property be pre-z oned as Community Business D istrict and the 12-acre portion as Planned Residential D evelopment D istrict. Both parcels already are z oned for similar purposes in Jefferson County. Rhett Loveman represented D .R. Horton at Monday’s meeting. He explained that the

The D.R. Horton homebuilding company wants to build 42 houses on 12 acres off Patton Chapel Road. Map courtesy of the city of Hoover.

42-home neighborhood would be designed for older homebuyers. By mandate, 80 percent of the constructed homes would have to purchased and occupied by adults ages 55 and older. The other 20 percent of homes could be purchased by buyers ages 19 -54, but no one under 18 would be permitted to live in the community permanently. This is intended to eliminate the possibility of placing further strain on enrollment in Hoover City Schools. “ It’ll work to ensure that there is minimal impact on the school system,” Loveman said. The homes in the proposed neighborhood would be constructed to appeal specifically to the senior population. Loveman said they would consist of two bedrooms and two bathrooms on the first floor, with a bonus room located on the second floor so that older citiz ens wouldn’t have to rely on using stairs. The additional room, he said, would be intended to

host visiting relatives. A 20-foot buffer would separate the boundary of the new development from its preexisting residential neighbors. To comply with regulations governing senior-geared communities, the proposed development would include sidewalks that trace both sides of the street. Loveman said the neighborhood as a whole would be designed for active adults who desire convenient access to shopping and entertainment. In other business, the planning and z oning commission voted to recommend the City Council grant conditional use approval for Covenant Classical School to build its third Hooverarea location in Tattersall Park on Greystone Way. The school owns the property, which is z oned as Community Business D istrict. Prior to making that recommendation, the commission granted preliminary approval to Brooks Knapp of EBSCO Industries to

develop a seven-lot subdivision located at Tattersall Park off U .S. 119 and Greystone Way. The approval was contingent upon EBSCO providing a comprehensive traffic study and gaining access permits along U .S. 119 from the Alabama D epartment of Transportation. Last July, the commission voted to recommend the City Council z one the 18 -acre chunk of land as community business district, which it now is. The commission also: ranted final approval to alter Schoel Engineering to create a two-lot subdivision from one lot for Tattersall Park Resurvey No. 1 in Greystone. Tabled a preliminary re uest from Embassy Home Builders to develop an 80- lot residential subdivision on Lake Cyrus Club D rive due to a citiz en’s concerns about stormwater drainage on his property, which backs the proposed development.

July 2017 • A9

Ma yo r l a u n c h e s ‘ F u t u r e H o o v e r ’ i n i t i a t i v e By JO

The Hoover Public Library, Hoover Municipal Center and Riverchase Galleria sit close to one another along U.S. 31. One of the questions Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato hopes to answer with his “Future Hoover” initiative is whether Hoover needs to develop a central “downtown” area and, if so, what should be in it and where should it be. Photo by Jon Anderson.


Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato recently unveiled an initiative to find out what Hoover residents think the city needs to keep it vibrant and healthy and potential ways to pay for those ideas. In a talk to the Hoover City Council that was reminiscent of his campaign speeches last year, Brocato recounted many of the things he believes make the city a great place to live and said he is both concerned about potential problems and e cited about opportunities to improve. Brocato said the initiative, which he dubbed uture Hoover, will over the ne t si months focus on Hoover schools, transportation and roads, city staffing, economic development, stormwater and wastewater management, marketing of the city, and facility needs, such as a fine arts center. He also wants to address the uestion of whether Hoover needs a central downtown area and, if so, what it should include and where it should be. The mayor said he and his staff will start off by talking with school officials to ascertain the school system s needs. The Hoover school system is the city s crown ewel, but the school board already is planning to add portables at Deer alley lementary due to overcrowding and Hoover High School will be over capacity in five to years if something is not done to add space there or build a third high school, Brocato said. lus, the school system s annual debt payments soon will start to increase due to debt restructuring from years past. The mayor and new City Council elected last year doubled the school system s base funding from about 2. million a year to million a year and continue looking for ways to defray the school system s operational costs, he said. However, we know the school system needs more money, Brocato said. It would be very

difficult, if not impossible, to increase the city s level of support for schools without straining the city government s obligations, he said. This concerns me, Brocato said. e know we don t have any more money to give to the school system. Brocato said he wants school officials to let city officials know what the system needs to maintain their current level of e cellence. He also will be working with city staff and the City Council to identify road and transportation needs as well as facility and staffing needs, he said. They also will develop alternatives to financially support those needs, he said. But the most important part of the process will be listening to want the residents and businesses of Hoover want to see happen, Brocato said. Between July and September, he plans

to hold town hall meetings to give people a chance to share thoughts and ideas on all these sub ects. Then in early December, he plans to make a presentation to the council to share the public feedback and, by January, present recommendations for action. It will essentially be a roadmap to prepare the city for the ne t years, he said. e re sitting right in the center of the metro area . e re ready to e plode, so we ust need to look and be prepared for those things, Brocato said. This initiative is designed to let Hoover residents tell elected officials where they want the city to go and how the city should pay for it, he said. At the same time, the new city planner

will lead the way in helping the city develop a comprehensive master plan, Brocato said. The uture Hoover effort will complement the master planning process but not replace it. The master planning process will be more about land use, such as identifying what parts of town are right for residential development, commercial development or an entertainment district. Brocato said he doesn t think the uture Hoover initiative will be hard because people already have been talking about many of these ideas, but the funding issue is always going to be a challenge. Hoover Councilman Derrick urphy thanked Brocato for having foresight and for his desire to move the city forward. If a city gets stagnant, it will fall behind, urphy said.

A10 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

Hoover Happenings

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Now Open D i ve r s i c ar e H e al t h c ar e S e r vi c e s of Ri ve r c h as e is now open at 2500 Riverhaven D rive, in the facility formerly occupied by Golden Learning Center. They offer a wide variety of services for seniors, including short term rehab, complex medical care, long term care, respite care, hospice care, adult day care, and independent living. 987091, d i ve r s i c ar e of r i ve r c h as e .c om


Ab u n d an c e Yoga is now open in the Lee Branch Shopping Center, 611 D oug Baker Boulevard, Suite 116. They strive to make yoga available to all body shapes and siz es, offering classes for anyone from very active Ashtanga and Heated 26 classes to Gentle, Y in, and Restorative classes. They also offer private lessons and workshops. 5405842, ab u n d an c e yoga .n e t


a M c G e e has opened a new Farmers Insurance agency at 801 S hades Crest Road, Suite C, in Bluff Park. Hours are :8 03 - 5: 3 0, Monday-Friday. 83-7 435 3, f ar m e r s age n t .c om / j m c ge e



C l u b Pi l at e s has opened a new studio at 1839 M ontgomery Highway, Suite D , in the Plaz a at Riverchase shopping center. This is the second location in the Birmingham area, following one that opened last year in Cahaba Heights. 937726 5, c l u b p i l at e s .c om / r i ve r c h as e


Pl u m e H om e & Li f e s t yl e is now open in the V illage at Lee Branch, 611 D oug Baker Boulevard, Suite 111. The boutique specializ es in “ life's little luxuries,” including candles, bath and body, perfume, and stationery. 7831594, p l u m e h om e an d l i f e s t yl e .c om


Coming Soon Br i k Re al t y has announced that it will open its third Birmingham-area office in Hoover at 100 Concourse Parkway, Suite 165. The real estate agency, owned by


July 2017 • A11 usty ulas, has offices at epper lace in downtown Birmingham and on Main Street in Trussville. 2064321, b r i k r e al t y.c om

Hirings and Promotions Former Jefferson County D istrict Attorney Br an d on F al l s has joined the law firm of Campbell aw, .C., 336 Stadium Trace Parkway, Suite 206, specializ ing in pest control litigation. 278650, c am p b e l l l i t i gat i on .c om


G r e e n val e Pe d i at r i c s , 5295 P reserve Parkway, Suite 100, has hired D r. Julia Stewart to join their practice. She is now accepting new patients. 9874, gr e e n val e p e d i at r i c s .c om



Re al t yS ou t h ’ s O ve r t h e Mou n t ai n office, 1220 Alford Avenue, has hired D owanna Kelley and Jerri Gilbert.

Anniversaries Exp e d i a C r u i s e S h i p C e n t e r s , 270 D oug Baker Boulevard, Suite 500, celebrated its third anniversary in business on June 2. The travel agency is locally owned by Jon Harvill. 437354, c r u i s e s h i p c e n t e r s .c om / gr e ys t on e al


Mai n s t r e e t Mon ogr am s & Mor e , 160 Main Street, Suite 116, in the Patton Creek Shopping Center, is celebrating its r3 d anniversary in business in July. 489


Closings 12 13

Br o k s t on e has closed its location at the Riverchase Galleria, Suite 167. S h u l a’ s S t e ak H ou s e , located inside the Hyatt Regency Birmingham - The Wynfrey Hotel, has closed.

A12 • July 2017

Hoover Sun


Preview of

Drug epidemic not just about opioids, according to Compact 2020 director


By ERI C A T EC H O Even if the rising usage of drugs such as heroin and fentanyl contributed to the start of Shelby County’s Compact 2020 — an initiative that aims to combat drug use, abuse and overdose — opioids were not the sole reason for the program, Compact 2020 D irector Alan Miller told the Hoover Chamber during its June 15 luncheon. “ It was the opioid crisis that really got Compact 2020 off the ground,” Miller said. “ We were starting to lose our young people to these overdose deaths. Primarily, it was opiate driven, but what we’ve seen over time is it’s not just opiates — it’s opiates, it’s prescription drugs of all kinds … it’s alcohol, and it’s also marijuana.” In 2015, Shelby County had 57 overdose deaths. In 2016, that number was down to 3 6, and there have been 10 so far in 2017. Those numbers, however, are possibly misleading. “ I would love to be able to stand up here and tell you the reduction of these deaths is due to the emergence of Compact 2020 last July,” Miller said. “ I’m concerned that what we’re actually seeing there is an increase of narcan administrations.” Narcan is a prescription medicine that blocks the effects of opioids and can reverse an overdose. Miller said there are efforts to track overdoses and narcan administration to get a more accurate number of potential overdoes, and he believes once those numbers come out, they will realiz e they have only looked at the “ tip of the iceburg.” And while it is important to talk about opioid usage, Miller said it is also important

Assistant District Attorney and Director of Compact 2020 Alan Miller spoke to the Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce on June 15. Photo by Erica Techo.

to think about other mind-altering substances. “ O ne of my concerns is that opiates is all anyone wants to talk about, and they’ll overlook the haz ards of drugs like X anax or even Adderall,” Miller said. “ And we see a frightening trend.” In 2016, a 16-year-old died in a car crash, and twice the therapeutic amount of X anax was found in her system. With that amount of X anax, Miller said, it is possible she blacked out suddenly, and that caused her crash. “ They say that’s completely consistent with X anax intoxication,” Miller said. Getting information about drug use and abuse is important for the whole community, Miller said, and they aim to have a strong focus on getting important information to teenagers. While Compact 2020 has three main segments — drug court, education and law enforcement — as they reached out to drug court participants, they found many of them said the same thing — they started

using drugs at 12, 13 or 14 years old. That’s when they knew they needed to get involved earlier, Miller said, and led to greater efforts for early intervention. Compact 2 2 is utilizing methods to find at risk kids, or individuals who have been in contact with dealers, and putting that information in their parents’ hands. “ Law enforcement only wanted to investigate or take action if we found the child holding drugs,” Miller said. “ That’s how we get probable cause. That’s the only action we could take.” Now, however, they are reaching out to parents before kids are arrested — opening lines of communication and helping families get the help they need, Miller said. Any tips that come in, whether from school resource officers or community members, are investigated and validated before parents are contacted. So far, they have had 42 parent notifications, iller said, with “ mixed results.” “ Every parents wants this to be over quickly, and it all depends on how long your child has been suing,” he said. “ And if it’s addiction, more than likely you’re dealing with a lifelong issue.” For any parent who gets a call from Compact 2020, Miller said he encourages them to listen and seek help. O dds are, they’re only seeing the “ tip of the ice burg,” he said, and the family will likely need professional help. Compact 2020 is expected to grow and expand, Miller said, and they hope to bolster community liaisons and involvement that encourages battling drug usage on a local level. For more information on the initiative, go to


The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce on July 20 plans to give out its 2017 Freedom Award to honor someone who has promoted the ideals of freedom through service in or support of the military. The award winner must be a role model in the Hoover community, have good character and a good reputation, and have shown support for local, state or the federal government. The recipient also must be a Hoover resident, employee of the city of Hoover or employee of a chamber member. The luncheon is set to begin at noon, with networking starting at 11:15 a.m. Reservations are due by Monday, July 17, and can be made online at or by calling 988-5672 or emailing the cham er ffice at li a The cost is $20, payable at the door, for members with reservations, or $25 for non-members or people without reservations.

July 2017 • A13

Education Station on track to bring tutoring services to Bluff Park Tara Bennett poses near the location of her upcoming tutoring business, Education Station, at Bluff Park. Bennett will be working out of the back of the same building where her brother Don will be running a coffee shop and gift shop. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

By G RAC E T H O RN T O N Tara Bennett, a longtime Hoover educator, has an idea for the community — and her brother, D on Bennett, thinks it’s just the ticket. Just behind the new gift shop and coffeehouse he’s opening in Bluff Park, she’s going to have a little schoolhouse offering top-notch tutoring services. It’ll be just behind the caboose at O n a Shoestring. And it’ll be called Education Station. “ My nephew came up with the name — we thought a train theme would be great with the caboose right there next to it,” Tara Bennett said, who has 3 0 years of teaching experience, a doctorate in education and a master’s in school counseling. Her nephew is one who has benefited from her tutoring. hen she was working on her dissertation, she used the testing that she was researching to identify his learning style, and then his dad, D on Bennett, implemented it in how they approached his studies. “ Tara’s Ph.D . explored and documented some 16 specializ ed learning styles of students. As her brother, I was able to use this information to understand how my own kids learned individually and was able to give them every opportunity to succeed educationally,” D on Bennett said. He said he saw the value of that strategy. So when he had a spare building on the property where he was opening a coffee shop, adding a tutoring center to spread that help to

the masses made sense. “ Tara now brings this advantage to children and parents in the greater Birmingham area through Education Station,” he said, noting that the design of the building would be fun for students, too. The little building will have a train running around the outside edge, as well as a train theme on the inside implemented into its tables and computer stations. Tara Bennett agreed with her brother that Education Station would

be something good for Bluff Park. “ O pening the tutoring and testing center seemed like a good opportunity to start something on my own,” she said, noting she still does contract work for local schools. At Education Station, she hopes to tutor students but also provide a variety of other services. O ne of those is the Murphy-Meisgeier Type Indicator for Children, a test like the well-known Myers-Briggs Type Indicator but geared toward helping

children find out their learning style preferences. “ It’s really just a fantastic tool, and it helps teach students their strengths and weaknesses and how to work with those,” she said. “ The test is broken down into three levels — elementary, middle school and high school — and teaches them about their type and what they can do.” Also formerly a special education coordinator, Tara Bennett can test students to see if they need special

education services. She started her career as a special education teacher in idfield, then a school counselor in Homewood and assistant principal in Helena before moving to Hoover as an administrator. She also serves as an adjunct professor at Birmingham-Southern College, teaching courses to education majors. For more information, contact Tara Bennett at 310- 2262.

A14 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

Whole Foods: Riverchase site still slated to open this fall By J O N AN D ERS O N Amaz on’s June 16 announcement that it plans to acquire Whole Foods Market in a $13 .7 billion deal should not affect the opening of the Whole Foods store in the Riverchase V illage shopping center, the Texas-based grocery chain says. Rachael D ean Wilson, a spokeswoman for Whole Foods’ mid-Atlantic and South regions, said in an email that the Riverchase V illage store is still slated to open this fall and that the company is excited to be a part of Hoover, but she would not give a more specific timeframe. Even before the merger announcement, Hoover residents were wondering if the Whole Foods store in Riverchase would ever open. The company first announced it would put its second Birmingham-area store in Riverchase V illage in November 2014, but two years and eight months later, the store still hasn’t opened. Former Hoover Mayor Gary Ivey said in his D ecember 2015 State of the City speech that the store was expected to open in the mid-summer to fall of 2016, but those expectations were not met. Signs in the windows of the store now say it will open this fall. Riverchase V illage for many years was home to a Bruno’s grocery store. Belle Foods took over the Bruno s store but filed for bankruptcy in mid2013 — a year after the company was founded. Whole Foods hired Stewart Perry Construction to gut the Belle Foods store completely, even though it was in the middle of the shopping center. The $2.3 million demolition and construction of a new shell was completed in February 2016 — on time, said Bruce Adams, the project manager for Stewart Perry. An application for interior construction work was not filed until ay 2 6, according to building permit records from the city of Hoover. Interior improvements covering 45,8 8 3 square feet by Y oung Contracting were expected to cost 3.4 million, permit records show. A certificate of completion was issued on D ec 28 . D avid Ashford of Southpace Properties, which handles leasing and management for Riverchase

The Whole Foods Market in Riverchase Village originally was expected to open in mid-summer to fall of 2016, but Whole Foods fans have ad to ait lon er. o pany officials no say t e iverc ase store s o ld open t is fall. Photo by Jon Anderson.

V illage, said his company expects Whole Foods to open this fall. But “ that’s up to them,” he said. “ We certainly hope they open. They’ve been a good tenant with us.” Whole Foods signed a 20-year-lease on the property, Ashford said. The prospect of the grocery store also helped lure other tenants to the center, which Ashford said is now 9 4 percent leased, with only two spaces unclaimed. In conjunction with the Whole Foods construction, the rest of the center also got a new faç ade, except for PetSmart and Best Buy. At the corporate level, Whole Foods was a darling of Wall Street for years but more recently has struggled due to increased competition by a growing number of grocers offering natural, organic and healthy foods. While total sales reached a record $15.7 billion

in the 2 6 fiscal year that ended in September, Whole Foods reported a decline in same-store sales for 2 6 for the first time in many years. In November, the company announced changes to its leadership structure. O ne of two co-founders stepped down as co-CEO , and the board announced that its chief financial officer would leave in September 2017 after 29 years as CFO . A new CFO with business transformation experience was hired earlier than expected in May, and the board of directors, under pressure from its second largest shareholder, added five new independent directors at the same time. As the company makes changes to improve same-store sales, it has continued to both open and close stores. In fiscal 2 6, hole oods opened 28 stores, including three relocations. In the first half of fiscal 2 7, it closed

stores ( including one for renovation and one for relocation) and opened 19 stores ( including four relocations) . The company’s website in early June showed 8 8 “ stores in development,” including the one in Hoover as the only one of those in Alabama. However, Whole Foods also has terminated some leases for “ stores in development.” Hoover City Administrator Allan Rice said the city of Hoover hopes Whole Foods continues with its plan to open in Riverchase. Many residents are eager to see it open, he said. He knows some who drive to the one on U .S. 28 0 in Mountain Brook because they like Whole Foods so much, he said. While interior furnishings are still being installed in the Riverchase store, grocery carts are lined up in the lobby awaiting those eager hands to push them through the aisles.

July 2017 • A15

Events Bark and Wine back at Greystone By LAU REN RO LAN D The eighth annual Bark and Wine event benefiting the Shelby Humane Society will be at Greystone Country Club on July 22 beginning at 6 p.m. Highlights of the night will be a strolling dinner — meaning heavy hors d’eouvres and food stations — beginning at 7 p.m. and both silent and live auctions. The auctions will be held by Granger Thagard & Associates, Inc., beginning at 7: 3 0 p.m. Auction items include a trip to Cuba, local art and a Bourbon Trail tasting excursion. Tickets are available for $150 per person, and reservations are limited to 170. Tables are available for $1,400 and seat eight. This year there are three sponsorship levels: gold, with seating for 10 at $2,500; platinum, with seating for 12 at $5,000; and signature, with seating for 12 at $10,000. All guests are asked to RSV P by July 1. This year’s dinner is focused on supporting the humane society’s is year s ar and ine benefitin t e S elby “ quick-fix program,” which proH ane Society ill s pport t e society s ic fi vides low-cost spay and neutering program.” Photo courtesy of Donna McFeeters. to Shelby County residents. In 2018 , the society will begin supporting rural communities through Shelby D rive in Birmingham. Outreach and will utilize the Shelby Safe et For more information about the event and to program to protect victims of domestic violence purchase tickets, visit To and their pets. donate items to the auction or to sponsor the The Shelby Humane Society is located at 3 event, contact 2 6-33 3. The Shelby Humane McD ow Road in Columbiana, and Greystone Society Facebook page will also be posting Country Club is located at 1100 Greystone more information leading up to the event.

One of the summer activities at Ross Bridge Resort & Spa is a weekend “dive-in” movie at the pool, and there will be more events going on throughout the summer. Photo courtesy of Ross Bridge Resort & Spa.

Summer at the Castle returns to Ross Bridge By ERI C A T EC H O For Ross Bridge Golf Resort and Spa guests, there will be no shortage of activities this summer. The resort’s fourth year of Summer at the Castle, which kicked off in June and will continue through Labor D ay, includes a variety of activities for children, families and adults. The month will kick off with a July 2 fireworks show, starting as soon as it is dark enough for the fireworks. Other events will change on a weekly basis, updating as the summer continues, but a few events can be expected to take place all summer long. “ There’s something going on here just about every hour of the day during the summer,” said Wade Combs, director of food and beverage at Ross Bridge Resort. On ridays and Saturdays, there will be acoustics by the pool from 1 to 4 p.m., a performance by a local musician. In the case of a three-day weekend, these performances will take place on Sunday as well.

Other weekly events include gourmet s mores and a “ dive-in” movie every Friday and Saturday, the daily Castle Beverage Ritual Cocktail tasting from 5-6 p.m. and the daily Follow the Bagpiper from 7: 15 to 8 : 15 p.m. There will also be alternating food and drink specials on Tuesdays. Every other Tuesday, there will either be “ tacos on tap” or “ burgers and brews,” where there are $10 taco trios or $10 burgers, respectively, and $5 draft beers. A weekly calendar will be on display in the lobby of Ross Bridge Resort, and paper copies will be available as well. The events of Summer at the Castle are free and exclusive to resort guests. “ With Summer at the Castle, we are embracing our Scottish heritage and offering a variety of fun activities for families and couples in the region to discover. Ross Bridge has become known for our nightly bagpiper and this summer it will become known for so much more,” said Rick Smith, general manager. For more information, go to rossbridgeresport. com or call 9 16-7677.

A16 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

efferson State c linary st dents oy illips left and Anna riffin second from left, were the 2016 Iron City Chef competition winners. Photo courtesy of Kent Howard. The Hoover Recreation Center turns 25 years old in July. Photo by Jon Anderson.

Hoover Rec Center celebrates 25 years By JO


The Hoover Recreation Center turns 25 years old in July, and on July 10-14 it is having special activities to celebrate. Here’s a look at what is scheduled for Hoover residents each weekday: Mo n d a y, J u l y 1 0 : Two indoor luau pool parties will be held from 8 to 10 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. and include snacks and beach balls for kids. T u e s d a y, J u l y 1 1 : Senior citiz ens are invited to walk with a doctor on the Rec Center track. The doctor will answer questions about how to live a healthier life from 8 : 3 0 to 9 : 3 0 a.m. W e d n e s d a y, J u l y 1 2 : The focus is on fitness, with a free introduction to a whole-body, weighted hula hoop class in the activity room at 9 : 3 0 and 10 a.m. and a fitness class in the gym at 6 p.m. that focuses on body weight, muscle conditioning, cardio and plyometrics. T h u r s d a y, J u l y 1 3 : The Rec Center is having an open house and Family Fun Fest from 11 a.m. to

7 p.m., including music, entertainment, inflatables, Mickey and Minnie Mouse characters, free food and beverages and a chance to win a free Rec Center membership. People are invited to tour the center to see what all is offered. F r i d a y, J u l y 1 4 : The Birmingham Water Works is giving out free water bottles from 9 to 11 a.m., and an all-sports tournament for kids will be from 1 to 3 p.m. The Rec Center includes a gymnasium, 1/ 8 -mile walking track, 25-yard indoor pool, racquetball court, cycling room, fitness center with weight e uipment and fitness machines, personal fitness studio, rooms for yoga, aerobics and pilates classes, a game room, and locker rooms with showers and dressing rooms. Membership costs $44 per month or $240 a year for individuals, $55 per month or $3 00 a year for two adults or a single adult and dependents 23 and younger, or 66 per month or 36 for a household. Discounts are available for senior adults age 55 and older, young adults ages 15-23 , active-duty military and employees of the city or Hoover school board.

3 locals to battle in Iron City Chef By LO REN H O PKI N S Three Birmingham chefs will participate in the 2017 Iron City Chef competition Saturday, July 22. The V estavia Hills Rotary Foundation hosts the event, which takes place at Jefferson State Community College. This year’s competitors include Nabeel’s Cafe and Market, Clif Holt from Little Savannah and Sean Butler from Revolve Kitchen & Brew. Not only does Iron City Chef include the cooking competition itself, but at silent auction will take place before the main event. Iron City Chef will begin at 6 p.m., while the silent auction will open its doors at 5: 3 0 p.m. General admission is $55, but corporate tables and sponsorship prices are available. The competition itself is structured into two rounds. All three chefs will go head-to-head in the first round, while only two will make it to the

second in the hopes of taking home the title. Guests will be able to enjoy all three signature dishes and vote for their favorites. Proceeds from the event will be given back to better the community. In the past 25 years, the V estavia Hills Rotary Club has raised over $700,000 due to the generosity of the businesses and community of the V estavia area. This year s beneficiaries include the V estavia Hills math and debate programs as well as several communities of Z ambia who receive clean water. The V estavia Rotary also awards various scholarships which include the Interact Club Scholarship and the Jeff State Culinary Scholarship which will be presented to the sous chef paired with the winner of Iron City Chef 2017. U pdates and tickets can be found on the V estavia Hills Rotary Club website

July 2017 • A17 Kids can learn more about Hoover s public safety tools at National Night Out. Staff photo.

More than 1,000 people came to watch “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” at Veterans Park In June 2015. Photo by Ron Burkett.

S u m m e r o u td o o r m o v ie s e r ie s c o n tin u e s in J u ly



The 2017 Free Friday Flicks summer outdoor movie series at V eterans Park off V alleydale Road continues in July. This year’s lineup began June 2 with “ Sing,” the animated story of a koala bear that tries to save his struggling movie theater with a singing competition. O ther movies that were on the schedule in June included “ Moana” on June 9 , “ The Secret Life of Pets” on June 16, “ The BFG” on June 23 and “ The Lego Batman Movie” on June 3 0. Here is the lineup for July: J u l y 7 : “ The Jungle Book” ( 2016 version) Ju l y 1 4 : “ Finding D ory” Ju l y 2 1 : “ Trolls” Ju l y 2 8 : Rain date ( if a movie gets rained out) Most of the movies in this year’s lineup are completely animated, except “ The BFG” and “ The Jungle Book,” which combine real actors

with computer animation. All of the movies are rated PG. The movie images are 3 0 feet wide and will be shown on a 3 8 -foot-wide screen, said Keri Lane Hontz as, founder of the movie series and the company called Backyard Movie Parties. The movies are shown at V eterans Park off V alleydale Road, on the grassy area near the main pavilion. Each movie is scheduled to start at dusk. The sun sets between 7: 53 and 8 : 01 p.m. during the weeks the movies are scheduled. Hontz as encourages people to come early — around 6: 3 0 p.m. — and have picnics in the park prior to the show. There are typically food vendors present, but people are welcome to bring their own food as well. Hontz as also encourages people to bring blankets or lawn chairs. To get updates on movie cancellations due to bad weather, follow Backyard Movie Parties on Twitter at @ BY MovieParties or on Facebook.

Thousands expected for 2017 National Night Out event By J O N AN D ERS O N The city of Hoover is expecting thousands of people to show up for the 2017 National Night O ut event at The Grove shopping center parking lot on Aug. 1. The annual event, a nationwide effort led by the National Association of Town Watch, is designed to promote police-community partnerships and neighborhood camaraderie to make neighborhoods safer. Hoover’s event, scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., is one of numerous ones planned in the Birmingham-Hoover metro area that night. The Hoover Police D epartment plans to have specialty police vehicles on site, including its mobile command unit and special response team tactical vehicle, for community members to view, Lt. Keith Cz eskleba said. Motorcycle scouts also plan to conduct a motorcycle riding demonstration, he said. The Police D epartment also frequently has lots of equipment on display, including a bomb robot and equipment used by the tactical team and dive team. Officers will be present to explain how the equipment works.

The Hoover Masonic Lodge No. 644 also likely will bring its child identification e uipment so police officers can make child ID kits for parents that include their children’s name, photograph, fingerprints, physical description and identifying marks in case a child ever goes missing, Cz eskleba said. O ther agencies, such as the Hoover Fire D epartment, U .S. D rug Enforcement Administration, U .S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the U .S. Army National Guard, also frequently attend Hoover’s National Night O ut, but their attendance will depend on availability, Cz eskleba said. The two-hour event also includes free food and other activities for kids. It s a good opportunity for people to interact with law enforcement and other public safety agencies in a non-stressful environment and give them a chance to see some of the many tools that are used to keep their community safe, Cz eskleba said. Hoover police Chief Nick D erz is estimated 6,000 to 7,000 people attended last year’s National Night O ut gathering in Hoover.

A18 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

Hoover chamber gives out $16,500 in scholarships to 2017 graduates By J O N AN D ERS O N The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce this spring handed out $16,500 worth of scholarships to four students from Hoover and Spain Park high schools. Spain Park senior Sungkyung “ Luci” Shin received the $4,500 Matthew & D r. Abby Allen Scholarship to help her attend the U niversity of Alabama at Birmingham and study dentistry. The Allens donated $2,500 for that scholarship, and the Hoover chamber board of directors contributed another $2,000. Matthew Allen is the advertising sales manager for Starnes Publishing, which produces the Hoover Sun and 28 0 Living, among other community newspapers. Three other students received $4,000 each: Spain Park senior Madeleine Bell-Colpack ( headed to the U niversity of Montevallo to study the environment) and Hoover High seniors Kyndrah Moore ( going to U AB to study mass communications) and Julia Sasser ( going to Troy U niversity to study nursing) . Here is a bit more about each of the scholarship recipients, according to information provided by the chamber: S u n g k yu n g “ Lu c i ” S h i n : She moved from Korea to the U nited States when she was 3, first living in eorgia until coming to Alabama for this school year. Her father is pastor of the Korean Presbyterian Church, where she is the pianist and translates the Korean sermons to English for English-speaking members. She has a 4. 4 A and has the highest SAT score ( 1,3 3 0) of the Spain Park Class of 2017. She was on the tennis, swim and cross-country teams at Spain Park, was a homecoming princess, was student council treasurer, president of the Rotary Interact Club and a member of the National Honor Society and Beta Club. She also played cello for the Armstrong Atlanta Y outh O rchestra, O lathe Symphony O rchestra and Emporia State U niversity O rchestra, and she worked in a nail salon while taking five Advanced lacement classes. She wants to be a dentist for poor third-world countries.

The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce gave out $16,500 in scholarships to four students from Hoover and Spain Park high schools this spring. On the front row, from left, are Hoover City Schools Assistant Superintendent Tera Simmons, Hoover High students Kyndrah Moore and Julia Sasser and Spain Park High students Sungkyung “Luci” Shin and Madeleine Bell-Colpack. On the back row, from left, are Hoover chamber President Jerome Morgan Jr., scholarship committee chairman Paul Dangel and chamber member and scholarship donor Matthew Allen. Photo by Jon Anderson.

Ma d e l e i n e Be l l - C o l p a c k : She spent four years in the law academy at Spain Park and was on the mock trial team as a defense attorney. She also took advanced theater and competed in the state Trumbauer Festival for three years. She also was involved in the D iamond D olls support group for the Spain Park baseball team. She wants to work for timber companies, making their clear-cutting practices sustainable, and she wants to help pass laws to require green space in all growing cities. Kyn d r a h Mo o r e : She has been involved in the Hoover High law academy and was on the mock trial team for two years. She was in the math and Spanish honor societies and

was class president in the Student overnment Association, and she has tutored math students the past two years. After her mother died last year, she has worked more than 3 0 hours per week with her father at Jake’s Soul Food Restaurant while maintaining good grades and many school activities. J u l i a S a s s e r : She was a junior and senior class officer and has served on numerous committees to help with the prom, an annual 3 K race and The Forgotten Initiative to help foster children. She was on the Hoover swim and dive team and Student Athlete Advisory Committee and was in the Hoover irls Club, ational Honor Society, National Junior Honor Society

and Hoover Belles. She volunteered with The Wellhouse ministry to help victims of sexual e ploitation and se trafficking and was a leader on the Hoover High School prayer team. She also has served as a swim coach, instructor and lifeguard at the Hoover Y MCA and takes care of children after school to earn extra money. She also had an internship to work with cancer patients at the Kirklin Clinic through the Hoover High School health care academy. Paul D angel, the chamber’s scholarship committee chairman, said the chamber increased its scholarship amounts this year from $1,500 to at least $4,000 to have more of an impact in helping students.

July 2017 • A19

Evangelist Scott Dawson of Greystone to run for governor By JO


Scott D awson, a traveling evangelist who has lived in Hoover for the past 20 years, has entered the race for Alabama governor. D awson, a 49 -year-old husband and father of two college students who has never run for political office, said he decided to run for the state s top office after watching the sad state of Alabama’s political system over the past year. The chief justice of the state Supreme Court was removed from office, the speaker of the House of Representatives was convicted of ethics violations, and the governor was arrested and forced to resign. “ It’s enough,” D awson said. “ We’ve just got to take a breath. Alabama needs someone who will look at issues with a biblical worldview and understand how to make tough decisions looking through the lens of their Christian faith, he said. That doesn’t require a religious fanatic, just a common sense leader, he said. Admitting he knows people will say he has no political experience, but that’s probably a good thing, D awson said. Alabama has been relying on people entrenched in the political system, and, “ Whatever we’re doing, we need to stop doing it, he said. I think Alabama s at a turning point.” It’s not just Republicans versus D emocrats now; sometimes it’s Republicans versus Republicans, D awson said. His experience as a traveling evangelist working with different churches and denominations to put on communitywide events should serve him well, he said. “ The only thing harder than getting D emocrats and Republicans working together is getting Baptists and ethodists working together, D awson said. hen asked about priorities, Dawson said everyone seems concerned about education, prisons, economic development and job growth. State officials must improve Alabama students lagging test scores, he said. Officials need

van elist Scott a son a resident of Hoover s reystone co overnor of Alaba a. Photo courtesy of Scott Dawson.

to look at education through the eyes of teachers and put power back in the classroom, not with special interests, he said. He said he’s thrilled everyone wants to recruit more industry to Alabama, but said there needs to be a focus on building and growing Alabama businesses at the same time so the state doesn’t get held hostage by out-of-state companies. Regarding prisons, the long-term effort needs to be looking at prisoner reform, not prison reform, D awson said. “ Not one parent is praying their child has a better prison,” he said.

nity is r nnin for

However, D awson said he isn’t ready to lay out specific goals. irst, he wants to go around the state to listen more to what people have to say to make sure the focus is not on what he wants to do, but on what the people of Alabama want, he said. “ It’s all about serving,” D awson said. “ Whoever goes to Montgomery in this capacity as governor better realiz e it is not a dictatorship. It is building a consensus.” D awson grew up in Birmingham’s West nd. He preached his first sermon at age 6. He

graduated from nsley High School in 9 and went to Samford niversity, working full time at estern Supermarket to pay for college. He started the Scott D awson Evangelistic Association in 9 7 while still in college and then obtained his bachelor’s degree with a major in religion and a master’s degree from Samford’s Beeson D ivinity School. His organiz ation has grown from one man giving testimonies at youth rallies and a budget of 3, in 9 7 to a comprehensive outreach organiz ation that conducts student conferences, communitywide outreach events and music festivals throughout the eastern U nited States with a budget of 3.6 million. This past year, he preached to more than , people in person, he said. Dawson took a leave of absence as president and CEO of the Scott D awson Evangelistic Association to run for governor and turned over day-to-day management to the executive staff. He will continue to preach as a “ staff evangelist.” He and his wife, Tarra, have been married since 992. They live in reystone len, and both their children graduated from Spain ark High School. Their son, Hunter, is entering his senior year at Samford, and daughter, Hope, is starting her freshman year there. D awson is one of many Republicans who have announced their intention to run for governor next year. O thers include Jefferson County Commissioner D avid Carrington, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, Alabama Public Service Commission Chairwoman Twinkle Cavanaugh, former Morgan County Commissioner Stacy ee eorge, Birmingham businessman Josh Jones and Alabama D epartment of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner John McMillan. ov. ay Ivey, who took office in April after ov. Robert Bentley resigned, has not declared whether she will seek a full term. O n the D emocratic side, Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox has indicated he plans to run for governor.

A20 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

Spain Park High School celebrates its Class of 2017 with a graduation ceremony May 23 in the Pete Hanna Center of Samford University. Photos by Sarah Finnegan.



Hoover High School celebrates its Class of 2017 with a graduation ceremony May 24 in the Bartow Arena of UAB.

Hoover rad ates ta e a selďŹ e follo in t e cere ony.

Spain Park graduates toss their mortarboards.

Spain Park graduates move their tassels after receiving their diplomas.

July 2017 • A21

Family & Cosmetic Dentistry

A22 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

School House

Re f l e c t i n g o n r e w a r d i n g w o r k

Stephen resley School board was incredible learning e perience By JO

Stephen Presley said is five years on t e Hoover school board were eyeopening and helped him appreciate the passion t at Hoover parents ave for their schools. Photos by Jon Anderson.


Stephen Presley had no shortage of hot-button issues to address in his five years on the Hoover school board, including the potential elimination of school buses, charging school bus fees and redrawing school zones. But for him, the hardest issue was the to student disciplinary hearings during his term, he said. hen a disciplinary issue reaches the Hoover school board, it has already been through multiple layers of review. It falls on us to be the final say, and a lot of times, that can affect the future of that particular student, resley said. Having that responsibility can be sobering. But resley, who ust finished his five-year term on the school board at the end of ay, said the ob has been rewarding. It has been an incredible learning e perience for sure, he said. The amount of moving parts and pieces everything that goes into running a school system is not something you can completely understand overnight. resley said he wanted to serve on the school board because his three children received such a uality education in Hoover schools. I wanted to be sure that those children coming after mine were able to receive that same great, uality education, he said. He was surprised at how political the position can be. So many people look at school board issues through a one-sided lens that focuses on

the impact to them or their particular group, resley said. ou have to be able to sit back and remove yourself from being a dad or a parent and look at the entire picture of how it affects everything the whole system, and not ust today, but going forward, resley said. Sometimes, that s not very popular.

resley said his best school board memory was hiring athy urphy to replace Andy Craig as superintendent. resley felt that Craig, who left Hoover at the end of 2 4 to become the Alabama Department of ducation s deputy superintendent for administration and financial services, did an outstanding ob and brought the system

through a difficult time of shrinking revenues. A decrease in state funding levels per student and funding cuts from the city of Hoover after the school system received 6 million from a Jefferson County bond issue left Craig with challenging budget issues, resley said. “ Had we not had somebody with the abilities r. Craig had and a knowledge of accounting Stephen Presley, center, reviews materials at a Hoover school board meeting in November 2015. Joining him are fellow board members Derrick Murphy, left, who is now a Hoover councilman, and Earl Cooper, who is now the school board president.

and numbers, I think our system would have been in a world of hurt,” he said. “ I think he did a masterful job in being able to keep our system providing the level of education that had been provided.” However, Craig was superintendent for eight years, and the average superintendent tenure in Alabama is three to five years. urphy brought a breath of fresh air,” Presley said. “ It was great for her to bring a different perspective.” The level of communication and cooperation between the city and school system has changed dramatically with a new superintendent and new mayor and City Council, Presley said. “ It’s a night-and-day difference,” Presley said. “ There’s open lines of communication. There’s monthly meetings between our superintendent and our mayor. It’s just absolutely incredible the amount of communication going on between this facility and City Hall.” The school bus issue in 2013 and 2014

brought to light the communication problems and helped lead to a change in elected officials, Presley said. “ I think the public spoke loud and clear and demanded that those two entities work together.” Presley explained why he, in D ecember 2013 , joined other board members in reversing their decision earlier that year to eliminate most school buses. Presley said the initial decision made very logical sense financially with the information board members were given. However, as a fairly new board member, he didn’t understand that Hoover schools were subject to a decades-old federal court ruling that included transportation issues. Learning about that changed his mind about bus service, he said. As for regrets, Presley said he hates that the school board didn’t complete their rez oning effort during his tenure. He respects the court’s role in rez oning but had hoped it could have been accomplished by now.

Crafting a rezoning plan was difficult, but resley said urphy and her staff did a fine job of getting community input to make it a community decision. While not everyone is happy with it, the end result submitted to the court was a good plan that should help alleviate overcrowding, he said. The biggest issues the school system is facing now are overcrowding and financially being able to handle capital needs and debt payments that soon will increase. urphy s success at trimming operational costs and the postponement of capital expenditures and early payoff of a loan all should help the school system as it battles those issues, he said. In regard to capital expenditures, a third high school has to be considered, Presley said. He loves the vast amount of opportunities a large high school provides, and if a typical third high school is part of the mix in the future, he hopes that students in each high school will continue to have the same opportunities.

July 2017 • A23

That to me is one of the things that makes our system and our city great is the involvement of parents … in demanding that their children have a quality education.


However, a third high school potentially could be a smaller magnet school that focuses on skilled trades or technology and draws from the entire city, Presley said. That would help free up space in the other two high schools but not require a new geographic-based high school z one. Whatever solution is chosen, the top priority needs to be continuing to provide the level of education that Hoover parents have grown to expect, Presley said. The passion Hoover parents have for schools is unbelievable, he said. “ I could not imagine being a school board member in a system where their parents didn’t care,” Presley said. “ That to me is one of the things that makes our system and our city great is the involvement of parents … in demanding that their children have a quality education.” urphy said resley has profoundly impacted her as a person and a superintendent. Presley, who works for Wayne’s Environmental Services, is a very busy man but this past year as president of the school board took time to meet her every Friday at 7 a.m. to discuss school system issues. “ That’s a huge commitment,” she said. He was willing to challenge her at times, and she appreciated that, she said. Presley said it has been an honor to serve on the school board, but he believes in term limits and is glad there are a lot of bright people in Hoover to take the baton and move the school system forward.

A24 • July 2017

ffic By JO

Hoover Sun

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A student in the New Beginnings program at Hoover High School works on his laptop while sitting on a bean bag in the classroom set aside for students who temporarily need smaller, more-focused learning environments. Photo by Jon Anderson.


Hoover school officials say they re taking steps to improve the ew Beginnings program for students with special challenges who need smaller, more-focused learning environments. This past school year, the program was changed when it moved back to Hoover and Spain ark high schools after the Crossroads alternative school on the former Berry High School campus was sold to the estavia Hills school board. Instead of having live teachers for core classes, the vast ma ority of instruction for ew Beginnings students moved online, with students watching videos and taking multiple-choice tests. Some students reported they liked being on the regular high school campus because it gave them a chance to participate in things they otherwise could not, such as electives and advanced classes. But other students said they needed a real teacher teaching the lessons, like they had before. The online instruction was not effective, and it was too easy for students to cheat, they said. lus, some students complained that being back on their base campus defeated the purpose for them being in ew Beginnings in the first place that they needed a smaller learning environment away from the main campus. Anna hitney, who was principal of the Crossroads School and still oversees both the Second Chance disciplinary program and optional ew Beginnings program, and Simmons iddle School rincipal Brian Cain, who formerly was principal at the Crossroads School, told the Hoover school board recently that some students face barriers that make it hard to function in regular school environments. They may suffer from separation an iety after losing a parent or face mental, emotional or physical disorders, including depression, an iety disorders, eating disorders, self-harm or drug addictions.


etting an education while facing those issues can be difficult, and such students may need e tra help and redirection temporarily to get back on track, Cain said. p to 2 percent of children in the .S. show signs of a mental disorder, and nearly percent won t get the help they need, hitney said. Having a mental illness and not being emotionally safe at a given time in their life it s not a choice that people make, and it s not a moral failing, hitney said. It s ust something that happens, and it happens to kids. Superintendent athy urphy said some changes made with ew Beginnings this past year worked well, and some didn t. She asked a committee headed by hitney and Cain to recommend improvements. The committee recommended and urphy agreed they should, for the immediate future, leave the ew Beginnings program at the base schools and add more academic support, counseling and intervention services. hitney said students need a sense of

belonging they may not get with their digital curriculum. e need to put more humans in there to help these kids, she said. very student needs that one adult who believes in them, that cares if they come to school, that cares how they re doing, hitney said. e think that is so important for our at-risk kids. urphy said instead of having one uncertified teacher s aide supervise the ew Beginnings students at each school, the district will put one certified teacher, who also has a counseling degree, in the room with them. School officials also will try to find ways to get more teachers in the core academic sub ects to spend time with ew Beginnings students as needed and seek ways to blend online learning with live teaching, urphy said. A team of counselors also is evaluating what more can be done to support students emotionally, she said. or the long term, the committee recommended school officials study the feasibility of

creating and sustaining an off-campus location where they take the best parts of what s working now and the best parts of what s worked in the past and make it work for the kids in the future, Cain said. urphy said school officials eyed the former inn-Di ie shopping center near the intersection of Interstate 4 9 and John Hawkins arkway as a site for the Crossroads programs, a career tech academy or fine arts academy. However, they were not able to agree on a price, she said. They ll continue looking, she said. mma Joines, a ew Beginnings student who graduated from Spain ark High School in ay, said she hopes both the short-term and long-term changes are made. The ew Beginnings program is life-changing, but she feels like some people have devalued it and cast the students aside, she said. These kids deserve more than that, she said. urphy said school officials will continue to have conversations about improving the program. e want to get this right.

July 2017 • A25

Simmons Middle presents parents with digital citizenship presentation Simmons Middle School recently hosted a digital citiz enship presentation and teen panel to help parent children in the digital space. The presentation, “ Parenting in the D igital Age,” was coordinated by the school’s Instructional Technology Specialist Jeff Richardson and provided some much-needed guidance for parents. The event began with a panel discussion of seventh- and eighth-grade Simmons’ students. The topics and questions posed to the students were Members of the Parenting in the Digital Age teen taken from a parent survey that was panel are seventh and eighth graders including, completed by almost 150 parents. back row from left: Xander Puliatti, Levi Arroyo, Students were asked to speak on India Loudermilk, Isaac Hwangpo, Paula Calderas topics including their morning routines; Colin and Sade Watkins; front row, from left: face-to-face versus digital communica- Keyvon Lavender, Cagney Watson, Lakiya tion; how they deal with issues such as Freeman, Sergey Klochkov and DJ Oakman. Photo bullying; the posting of inappropriate courtesy of Michelle Berg. material on social media; and the challenges of feeling like they need to be connected 24/ 7. and teen panel was part of the Common Sense After the panel discussion, parents were Education’s Connecting Families Program. given time to discuss what they heard from the As part of the comprehensive digital citiz enpanel within small groups. ship education plan at Simmons, it is critical to Some shared personal experiences related make sure that families are being educated and to the topics addressed, while others shared engaged in the conversation. the rules and strategies they used in their own The goal of having the students share their homes. perspectives and insights was to help parents Hoover City Schools is intentionally making anticipate how to provide their children the this conversation a priority and will continue to support they need and to be better equipped to offer opportunities for parents to be a part of it. effectively parent in the coming years. The “ Parenting in the D igital Age” presentation – Submitted by M ic hel l e B erg.

Alum appointed to U.S. Coast Guard Academy Cole Williams of Hoover recently received an appointment to the U .S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut. Williams is a 2017 graduate of Hoover High School, where he is a member of Mu Alpha Theta and the National Honor Society and serves as team captain of the varsity soccer team. Cole will study naval architecture and marine engineering and plans a future in ship design and engineering. Cole has been recruited by U SCGA coach, Chris Parsons, to play varsity soccer at the Academy. The Coast Guard Academy student body, call the Corps of Cadets, is made up of almost 1000 men and women from the U S, Europe and the Caribbean. – Submitted by B eth Staul a.


rince of eace at olic Sc ool s Ho se of St. rancis service ro p presented a c ec to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama that will sponsor a family room at Ronald McDonald House in Birmingham for a year. Photo courtesy of Prince of Peace Catholic School.

Ronald McDonald Charities names POP students ‘Youth Group of the Year’ Prince of Peace Catholic School’s House of St. Francis middle school service group recently received the “ Y outh Group of the Y ear Award” ; from Ronald McD onald House Charities of Alabama This group of middle school students volunteered at Ronald McD onald House in Birmingham for the past two school years and raised almost $8 ,000 for the charity through bake sales, car washes, jewelry sales and other

fundraisers as their house service project. They also worked hands-on at the RMD house serving families on site whose children were receiving medical treatment in Birmingham. The House of St. Francis hand delivered the check to the Ronald McD onald House and participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the door to the room. – Submitted by Princ e of Peac e C athol ic Sc hool .

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Hoover Sun


time to say

Retiring teachers reflect on years in the classroom By S YD N EY C RO MWE

Above ranc esca il es as spent t e past si years as a fift rade lan a e arts and istory teac er at roc s ap nter ediate. Photo courtesy of Franchesca Wilkes. elo at y yson ill retire t is year after er t e in Hoover. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

year career in p blic ed cation




ranchesca Wilkes has spent more years than most inside Hoover’s classrooms. She attended Hoover schools as a child — Shades Mountain Elementary, Simmons Middle and Berry High — and returned after college for a 25-year teaching career in Hoover City Schools. Wilkes is among several teachers who announced their retirement at the end of the 2016-2017 school year. “ That’s a full and long and productive career. It’s my time to pursue some things that I haven’t gotten a chance to do,” Wilkes said. Though her last si years have been spent in the fifth grade language arts and history classroom at Brock’s Gap Intermediate, Wilkes’ career also has included time at Rocky Ridge Elementary and Trace Crossings. She became a teacher because she wanted to provide the same encouraging atmosphere her own teachers provided for her. “ I struggled in school myself, and I always had good teachers that would take the time to teach me. And I always felt like a valuable student and my voice mattered in the classroom,” Wilkes said. “ The one thing I love is probably the learning process and watching children teach their peers.” Gwin Elementary kindergarten teacher Kathy Tyson also has retired after 29 years in public education, 28 of them in Hoover. She s also taught first, second and third grade, but there s something special about being part of a child s first year in the classroom. “ They’re so forgiving. Every day is like brand new to them, and they come in with — not an empty slate like people think. I think it’s that freshness or that forgiving attitude they have,” Tyson said.

July 2017 • A27

Hoover City Schools retiring faculty, staff

everly illia son s year teac in career incl ded ti e in ont o ery as ell as Hoover s entral ffice and Spain ar s front office. or t e past five years s e as t e principal s secretary in t e front office at Hoover Hi . Photo courtesy of Beverly Williamson.

“ They just love you so hard.” She has years of great memories — including a former kindergarten student coming back as a student teacher — but Tyson said the last four years have been “ my best years ever” because of her team-teaching arrangement with fellow kindergarten teacher Rebekah Reach. Team-teaching has enabled them to give more attention to kids ahead or behind in certain subjects, and Tyson said she was learning new techniques right up until the end of the school year. “ Part of me wants to stay and use the things I’ve learned just this year, but I think teachers never stop learning,” Tyson said. “ Y ou’re in the room with greatness,” Reach said. “ It won’t be quite the same without her.” Tyson chose to retire to help take care of her mother and spend time with family, but she’ll still be a familiar face at Gwin. She plans to help in the kindergarten classrooms on the first day and continue as a substitute teacher. “ This is absolutely the best place to work,” Tyson said. At Hoover High School, Beverly Williamson

has commanded the front desk as the principal’s secretary for five years. ow that she s retired, she’ll have to get used to a much smaller crowd each day. “ I probably literally lay eyes on up to 3 00 people a day,” Williamson said. Her 27-year teaching career included time in Montgomery, as well as Hoover’s Central Office and Spain ark s front office. ith all the people and tasks she had to take care of, Williamson said she sometimes felt like a clown “ juggling so many things at the same time” — and she kept a red clown nose handy for a laugh on particularly busy days. “ The difference I’ve always said … when you work in a central office and you come to a high school, it’s a lot like stepping from a stagecoach to a silver bullet train. The pace is so much faster,” Williamson said. Some of her favorite memories are pep rally days for football home games, when she would play band music and lead students in cheers over the intercom as they changed classes. “ Teenagers are interesting, inspiring and challenging all at the same time,”

Pamela Allen: Bus driver Christine Baker: Deer Valley Elementary third grade Susan Beck: Bus driver Daryl Beckmann: Bus driver Deborah Blalock: Rocky Ridge Elementary literacy coach Karen Burford: Bumpus Middle teacher Tanya Constantine: South Shades Crest Elementary fourth grade Jacquelyn Davis: South Shades Crest Elementary child nutrition John Diplacido: Bumpus Middle eighth grade science Tricia East: Brock’s Gap Intermediate interventionist Cheri Faith: Bluff Park Elementary second grade Lonise Garcia: Berry Middle cafeteria manager Madge Gregg: Hoover High teacher Susan Hardy: Bluff Park Elementary librarian Lydia Harris: Trace Crossings second grade Lewis Harrison: Bus driver Susan King: Spain Park English teacher Suzanne Lindgren: Berry Middle

Williamson said. Williamson’s three young granddaughters have moved into her neighborhood, and she said she’s looking forward to passing on some of her hobbies, including quilting and making jellies. “ They’re moving in, and we are going to have a good time. There’s reasons 1, 2 and 3 right there,” Williamson said. As for Wilkes, she felt the time was right to retire because her two children are graduating high school and college. She plans to start learning some new hobbies, such as painting or a new language, and travel. Wilkes said she

assistant cafeteria manager Lee Ann Looney: Bus driver Martha Mackay: Greystone Elementary fourth grade Barbara Mayer: Central Office Michelle Murphy: Berry Middle sixth grade Susan Murphy: Rocky Ridge Elementary counselor Rebecca Neuberger: Trace Crossings English Language Learning Karen Pfeiffer: Trace Crossings teacher Deborah Robbins: Rocky Ridge Elementary fourth grade Denna Scott: Green Valley Elementary bookkeeper Kathy Self: Trace Crossings second grade Kathy Tyson: Gwin Elementary kindergarten Kathleen Wheaton: Greystone Elementary principal Louise White: Central Office Franchesca Wilkes: Brock’s Gap Intermediate fifth grade Beverly Williamson: Hoover High principal’s secretary Cynthia Wisdom: Gwin Elementary second grade

and her daughter are hoping to take a mission trip to Africa. “ I want to be in that student role now instead of being a teacher,” Wilkes said. But she’ll miss her students and colleagues at Brock’s Gap, and Wilkes said she plans to return occasionally as a substitute teacher. “ I’m going to miss the kids, and I’m going to miss the challenge of the day. I’m going to miss their smiles, their questions, their love of learning, their love of reading and writing,” Wilkes said. “ I feel that I have met my purpose, and I’m ready to pursue other things in life that I’ve always wanted to do.”

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CONTINUED from page A1 September 2015. This year, they are scheduled to put on a 75-minute show beginning at 7: 3 0 p.m. on July 4 that will be followed by fireworks. Erin Colbaugh, the city of Hoover’s events coordinator, said city officials in past years have been able to feature a lot of up-and-coming musicians from Hoover and surrounding areas for the city’s free Fourth of July music festival, but they decided to up their game this year in connection with the city’s 50th anniversary and bring in talent that is internationally acclaimed. The Blind Boys of Alabama, since going mainstream in the mid-19 8 0s, have performed all over the world, including Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia, McKinnie said. They’re still going strong, with 150 to 200 shows a year, he said. They’re in demand throughout the nited States and have tour dates booked this summer in Canada, the U nited Kingdom and Paris. “ We’re excited to have them perform,” Colbaugh said. The Blind Boys of Alabama started singing together at the age of nine, at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind in 19 3 9 , as the Happy and Jubilee Singers and became known as the Blind Boys of Alabama in 19 44. They toured the South during the 19 40s and 9 s and in the early 96 s sang at benefits for the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. But gospel fans started to drift away and follow singers who originated in the church but crossed over into secular music, and the Blind Boys of Alabama saw their audiences decline as they stuck with their gospel roots. Their popularity resurged after they had a starring role in “ The Gospel at Colonus,” which won an O bie ( off Broadway) Award for best musical in 19 8 4 before going to Broadway in 19 8 8 . That show opened their music up to new audiences, and the group gained more fans as they began doing gospel-inspired versions of more mainstream songs. O ver more than 75 years, the group has recorded more than 60 albums, blending

This is the Blind Boys’ mission: to let the world know that a disability doesn’t have to be a handicap. It’s not about what you can’t do. It’s about what you do.



ire or s e plode above Hoover

Sealrena illia s one of t e perstars in atable c aracters interacts etropolitan Stadi . Photos courtesy of Lance Shores/City of Hoover.

traditional gospel music with contemporary spiritual material by artists that include Tom Waits, Prince, Eric Clapton, Peter Gabriel, K.D . Lang, Lou Reed, Willie Nelson and the Rolling Stones. The group has appeared on “ The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “ Late Night with D avid Letterman,” “ The Grammy Awards,” “ 60 Minutes” , “ The Colbert Report” and their own holiday special on PBS. They also received lifetime achievement awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. O ver the years, some of the group members left, and new ones replaced them. There were reunions of the original members as well, but most of them are now deceased. Today, only one member of the five-member group is listed as a “ founding member” on the group’s website. That’s Jimmy Carter, who is from Birmingham and considered the group’s lead singer. Carter, who is now in his late 8 0s, was enrolled at the Alabama Institute for the Negro Blind and a member of the chorus there when the Happy Land Jubilee Singers started performing, but he was too young to join the group when it first began touring and was not in a recorded performance with the Blind Boys until

etropolitan Stadi

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the 19 8 2 record “ I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord,” according to the Encyclopedia of Alabama. O ther current members include McKinnie, music director and 25-year member Joey Williams, 10-year member Ben Moore and fouryear member Paul Beasley, McKinnie said. All the members are blind, except Williams, McKinnie said. Carter is the only one of them who is from Alabama. McKinnie and Beasley are from Atlanta, while Moore is from Pensacola, lorida, and illiams lives in ew ork City. The group also has a four-piece band that performs with them, McKinnie said. hen asked about his most memorable performance, c innie said he liked performing in Ireland and England, but “ we have a great time everywhere we go.” The group also has performed at the White House for Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. “ It was extraordinary. We were really proud to be there, and we were elated that they asked us to come,” McKinnie said. The group loves coming to Alabama and tries to come whenever they are invited, he said. People coming to the Hoover Met can expect to see a show full of gospel music with

est celebration.



est at Hoover

a traditional soul feel, he said. They will play a mix of old gospel favorites, such as Amazing race, ook here He Brought e rom and recious ord, Take My Hand,” but also will sing some newer songs such as “ Higher Ground,” “ People Get Ready” and Spirit of the Sky, c innie said. While the Blind Boys have been around a long time, their faith and mission keep them going, McKinnie said. “ This is the Blind Boys’ mission: to let the world know that a disability doesn t have to be a handicap,” he said. “ It’s not about what you can’t do. It’s about what you do.” Gates will open at the Hoover Met for the 2017 Freedom Fest at 5 p.m. Families are encouraged to come early for a classic and sports car show and children’s activities that include inflatables, building station, face painting, balloon twisters and a photo booth. The city also plans to bring back the OOperstars, a group of mascot-like characters in inflatable costumes that dance to music. They have been extremely popular each year they have performed at the festival, Colbaugh said. The Hoover et officially seats , , but nearly 12,000 people turned out for last year’s reedom est, city officials estimated. Concession stands at the Met will be open.

t A irl as er face painted in patriotic colors at t e



July 2017 • A29

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CONTINUED from page A1 To help combat the problem, a Colorado-based climbing group called the Access Fund has partnered with the Southeastern Climbers Coalition to help reinforce the trail network and protect the boulder field at the Moss Rock Preserve. They obtained a grant of about $3 5,000 from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham for improvement projects at the Hoover nature park, Palisades Park in Blount County, the Trussville sports complex and a sandstone cliff in Steele in St. Clair County. About 60 to 70 percent of the work is taking place in the Moss Rock Preserve, said Ty Tyler, the stewardship director for the Access Fund. Teams of workers from across the country and world spent about five weeks in the Hoover nature park in April and May for the second part of a three-year project that began in 2016. The first year s crews spent a lot of time removing graffiti from the oss Rock boulder field, but they also began work to combat erosion and reinforce trails, Conner said. This year and next year, the focus is on the latter two jobs, just in different parts of the boulder field, he said. Workers brought in soil and rock to reinforce eroding areas, created terraces on the hillside, built a stone staircase and redirected trails to create some separation between hikers and rock climbers. The climbers need space for staging areas and crash mats in case they fall, and the new pathways provide that and give hikers a safer place to walk as well, Conner said. The Access Fund sent a two-person conservation team that works on projects in the eastern U nited States. Chris Wu, a 27-year-old from O hio, and Kate Johnson, a 21-year-old from aine, spent five weeks at the oss Rock Preserve. Each of them have a 10-month contract to work 40 hours a week for the Access Fund, starting in February and going into D ecember, Wu said. Most of their projects this year are in Tennessee and Alabama, though they also have some jobs in O hio and Kentucky, they said. Their conservation team is sponsored primarily by Jeep but also by Clif ( a protein bar company) , REI Co-op ( outdoor gear) , Thermarest ( outdoor sleeping gear) , La Sportiva ( footwear) and Y akima ( car racks) . Johnson said she likes the hands-on work and the mental puzzles that come with fi ing problems in natural environments. Wu said he likes the idea of doing something good for the climbing community and other people who like to spend time outdoors. The Access Fund team had assistance from

or ers

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the American Conservation Experience, an Arizona-based nonprofit that trains people from the U .S. and abroad how to do environmental restoration pro ects on public lands. It s funded through AmeriCorps and does a lot of work for the U .S. Forest Service and National Park Service, said Corey Harrison, the leader of the crew that came to Hoover. The ACE team had seven people from states such as Florida, Louisiana, New Y ork, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. O ne team member, D ylan Empson, was from Clanton. The team originally was slated to stay three weeks in Hoover, but three team members got pulled to work on a job in North Carolina the last week and were replaced by a seven-person international crew from countries that included D enmark, England, Germany and South Korea, Conner said. Harrison, who is from Pennsylvania, said he can t imagine doing any other type of work. y office is pretty fantastic, he said, gesturing to the Moss Rock Preserve around him. I m not sure many people know about the oss Rock reserve, Harrison said. This community has a heck of a resource here. It s definitely worth taking care of. Conner said he couldn t be happier with the work done by this year s crews. They had a very strong work ethic and got more done this year than he anticipated, he said. “ Having all those hands really made the difference, he said. The city of Hoover paid about $4,200 for 3 8 tons of stone from a rock wholesaler in O neonta

perience b ild a s all retainin

all to elp

Workers built a stone staircase as part of their efforts to combat erosion and reinforce trails at the Moss Rock Preserve nature park. Photos by Jon Anderson.

to help with the project and relocated about two more tons of rock from within the Moss Rock Preserve, Conner said. The city also paid about $6,270 for hotel rooms for the two Access Fund workers, he said. The ACE teams camped out near the Boy Scout Troop 3 21 scouting hut in Bluff Park. Tyler said, in addition to the grant money from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham, the Access Fund is pitching in about $5,000 a year for the Birmingham area projects. The Southeastern Climbers Coalition also is contributing, but it s a smaller organization

it erosion at t e bo lder field in t e



with a more limited budget, he said. They plan to come back to the Moss Rock Preserve this fall to sponsor two volunteer days, during which they ask people from the Birmingham area to join them for more work in the nature park, Tyler said. Conner said he fully expects the teams to complete all the scheduled restoration work next year. For more information about the Access Fund or American Conservation Experience, visit their websites at or

reserve nat re par .

July 2017 • A31


Community B6 Sports B8 Real Estate B17 Calendar B18


JULY 2017


YEAR IN REVIEW Several state titles find way back to city of Hoover By KYLE PARMLEY For anyone who keeps tabs on sports at any level, but particularly at the high school stage, it’s very easy to transition from one season to the next without batting an eye. Football, volleyball and cross-country seasons in the fall quickly transition to basketball, indoor track and wrestling in the winter, and before you can blink, spring sports roar into action like a lion. With everything that goes on throughout the school year, there s often not time for reflection. Well, take a moment to do that now. The high school athletic teams at Hoover and Spain Park put together a year filled with lasting memories and noteworthy performances. The Bucs began an extremely successful school year by defeating McGill-Toolen for the Class 7A football championship. Hoover boasted one of the most dominant defenses in recent memory, and rode that all the way to Auburn and a blue map. Spain Park put together an 8 -2 regular season. After consecutive losses to Hoover and Mountain Brook, D aMarius Farmer’s 9 7-yard picksix against Thompson might have given the Jags the momentum to win their final five regular season contests. O n the volleyball court, the Bucs advanced to the title match, but the brute strength of Mountain

Brook proved too much, as the Spartans pulled off the three-peat. Spain Park coach Kellye Bowen did not have the talent many top-level programs possessed, but the Jags never went down without a fight, and overachieved overall. In the winter, the Spain Park girls put on a basketball playoff run for the ages, with one thrilling victory after another on the way to the state championship game, where it met crosstown foe Hoover. Claire Holt’s heroics got the Jags there, and Sarah Ashlee Barker’s clutch 3 -pointer at the end of regulation sent the final into overtime. Hoover went on to win under first-year coach Krystle Johnson, a former state champion as a player at Hoover. Johnson came back home from coaching at Huntsville, tasked with getting the Lady Bucs back on the big stage. That’s exactly what she did. O n the wrestling mat, Hoover had four individual state champions in Patterson Huff, D ’Angelo D ewitt, Randy Jenkins and Austin Carter, as the Bucs finished second at the Class 7A state meet. Spain Park’s boys bowling team overcame an early deficit in the championship match to beat V estavia Hills and claim its second consecutive state title. The Lady Jags advanced to the quarterfinals at state. Bridging the winter and spring, the Hoover boys and girls pulled off impressive sweeps of the indoor and outdoor state track and field championships, racking up a total of four state titles.

Hoover celebrates after winning the state football championship over McGill-Toolen on Nov. 30 at Jordan–Hare Stadium in Auburn. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

Both schools added to their trophy cases once again in the spring, as the left arm of Brock Guffey and big hits up and down the lineup led Hoover to its second baseball state championship in school history, and the first in Adam oseley s tenure as coach. Spain Park’s girls tennis team was impressive in its debut at the state tournament, finishing behind only juggernaut Mountain Brook and

earning a red map in the process. The Jags’ softball team made it to state for the second straight year and finished third. Finally, Spain Park’s girls golf team triumphed and won the 7A title with a great team effort from Jordan Susce, Caroline Waldrop, Mary Kate Horton and Marilyn Steed. Hoover’s Julie Baker and Mychael O ’Berry led the charge for the Bucs, who finished runners-up.

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July 2017 • B3

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Hoover Sun

KICKBALL for all HANDS program’s Kinect Sports League helps autistic teens, adults expand skills



In a simple red kickball, Courtney King sees a tool that can bring teens and adults with autism new confidence, emotional growth and fun. King, a behavior analyst, started the HAND S program 11 years ago to offer therapy and other services to children, teens and adults with autism. She also started the Alabama Autism Assistance program about seven years ago to help families pay for their services. The HA DS office on alleydale Road is host to individual therapy sessions, social groups, school services and seasonal activities such as summer day camp. But down the street at eterans ark in Hoover, its kickball league is a hit with HAND S clients. “ They have a blast,” King said. “ I think it gives them more confidence, and it gives them an opportunity to participate in a sport that otherwise they wouldn’t have an opportunity to do.” Kickball is part of HAND S’ Kinect Sports League, which started about two years ago. The league includes three seasons — spring, summer and early fall — of weekly kickball games and a winter basketball season at

Members of the Kinect Sports League play kickball at Veterans Park in May — the end of their spring season. The Kinect Sports League is hosted by the HANDS program and is open to individuals with autism and their families. Photo by Sydney Cromwell.

alleydale Baptist Church s gymnasium. ickball, King said, is probably the favorite, and they typically have 18 to 25 people participating in a season. “ I just thought it would be a really good way to just get the people together, and it’s a sport that’s pretty easy to learn,” King said. The league is open to autistic teens and adults older than 16, though King said they sometimes allow younger children who demonstrate that they can understand the rules of the game. arents, siblings and volunteers — often called “ sidekicks” — also will take the field, and ing and her family are

frequently among them. “ I play; I ref; I keep score; whatever they need me to do,” King said. Some players need guidance to remember the rules or help with running the bases or another part of the game, while other players can participate independently. King said she enjoys seeing her HAND S clients grow their skills and cheer each other on. As they play, they’re learning about being a good sport and being part of a team as they score homeruns and tag out other players. “ [ I like] watching them learn and participate, and we have kids who are nonverbal, diagnosed

with autism, and they’re out there running the bases, pitching, kicking with no help whatsoever,” King said. King said one player on the team travels with her father from Gadsden each week to play together. Another teammate started out needing someone to prompt him for every part of the game, but can now pitch independently. The Kinect Sports League is free for participants and paid for through donations and corporate sponsorships. For more information, go to, call 733- 0976 or email thehandsprogram@


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follows By BET H AN Y AD AMS

When Kendrick Fincher decided to create a musical ensemble dedicated to sharing a message of hope, he knew he needed the right people around him. “ Having a vision, having a purpose, having a dream is always good, but you also have to have action,” Fincher said. “ So you’ve gotta have those people around you that are willing to work.” O ne such person is Hoover resident Shanice Marie, who met Fincher through church. “ I had the pleasure of working with Kendrick outside of ENV O Y , and he approached me and let me know that he had prayed about a group and wanted to ask me to be a part of it,” she said. “ So I prayed about it myself, and I just wanted to help him support the vision and do as much as I can for the Kingdom.” Fincher, a Trussville resident, has had a musical career has taken him around the world and exposed him to people of all different backgrounds. Those experiences led him to found the 10-person musical group ENV O Y . The group was assembled in D ecember 2016, and the members are working on their first single, set for July 31. While ENV O Y ’s music doesn’t yet have its own identity, it will involve genres including Christian, inspirational and gospel, because there are so many different personalities in the group, Fincher said.

D ue to his work as a musician and a musical producer, Fincher said he doesn’t have one style. “ So I really want to branch out and try to touch everyone musically,” he said. More important than the genre is the message, which Fincher said he hopes will shine through in everything they sing. “ I feel like, if you write from a real place talking about real issues, real things that we deal with, people can relate to it,” he said. Fincher said each of the group’s members has the qualities of leaders he felt were important. While Marie has participated in a number of other musical endeavors, she said her experience with ENV O Y has had one important difference. “ I feel like we’re all on one accord, and we all have one mission,” she said. “ And it’s not just to produce great music; it’s literally to build the Kingdom and gain souls and minister to people.” It’s a mission the group hopes to accomplish in a number of ways. “ Singing is the nucleus of what we do … but the dream that God gave me initially is way bigger than that,” Fincher said. He said he hopes that, within the next three to five years, O s success will provide opportunities to assist in ministries such as building homes and creating community centers. “ O utreach is going to be huge for us,” Fincher said.

Members of ENVOY: Greg McKinney, Jeremy Jefferson, Danielle Johnson, D.J High, Abijah Cunningham, Kendrick Fincher, Cheree May, Bri Woodley and Hoover resident Shanice Marie. Photo courtesy of Charity Green.

Member Charity Green said that, while being a part of ENV O Y is a large undertaking, it’s one that is worth the effort. “ The more we have coming in, the more we sacrifice other things whether it be a ob or whatever the case to push harder on ENV O Y ,” Green said. “ Because we ultimately know that it’s going to be something that helps so many people, something that can be [ on] an international level, something that can show love to the entire world.” According to Marie, the group already is starting to create changes in peoples lives even if those lives are their own. “ I’ve never felt more free in worship than I do right now in my life,” she said. “ I’ve never been able to connect the songs like I am right now, to minister, to truly understand what it means to be a worship leader and to stand in the gap between people and sometimes Christ.” Although ENV O Y was only recently introduced to the public, the group has already been booked for a number of events, according to Green. At 6 p.m. on July 29 , ENV O Y will celebrate

the release of its first single, It s gonna be all right,” with a free concert at the Birmingham Entertainment Center, 2700 16th St. N. Fincher said he hopes the full album will be released at the beginning of the year. U ltimately, he and the others want the group to help people who are facing struggles find hope. “ I really want people, when they see ENV O Y , [ to] see themselves,” he said. “ I want them to see transparency I don t want them to see perfect, because it’s not a perfect group. It’s real people with real issues, real problems, but they’re choosing to spread a positive message even through the issues.” Marie said she hopes ENV O Y will help challenge people’s views of what believers should be versus what they really are. “ At the end of the day, we’re all humans,” she said. “ We all come in different packages, shapes, siz es, shades, backgrounds, but we’re all here for the glory of God.” To find out more about O , find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter or Instagram at @ kendandenvoy.

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Hoover Sun


Community Kelly Doss joins parish staff at Prince of Peace

T an

n e r - Payn

Teresa Tanner and Tracy Tanner are proud to announce the engagement and wedding of their daughter, Tyrese Lashay Tanner of Birmingham, to Allen Emanuel Payne of Cincinnati, O hio. Allen is the son of Nichelle Payne Sampson and Bobby Jones. Tyrese Tanner is a former Hoover High School basketball Lady Buc standout. She led the Lady Bucs to the 2010 AHSAA championship. She also was part of the Auburn Tigers women’s basketball team and All SEC standout from 2009 -14. She is a 2014 graduate of Auburn U niversity with a degree in criminal justice. After graduating, Tyrese played professional basketball in Spain. Tyrese is currently employed at U .S. Bank


in Cincinnati, O hio, as a teller supervisor. Allen Payne played on the Auburn Tigers men’s basketball team from 2009 -14 and is also a 2014 graduate of Auburn U niversity, with a degree in public administration. After graduating, Allen played professional basketball in England. Allen is a graduate assistant at X avier U niversity, where he earned a master’s degree in sports administration last month. The couple was engaged on O ctober 10, 2015, at Newport O n the Levee in Newport, Kentucky. The wedding celebration will take place July 1, 2017, at The Guiding Light Church, with the reception commencing at Boutwell Auditorium. The couple will reside in Cincinnati, O hio. – Submitted by T eres a T anner.

Have an engagement, wedding or anniversary announcement? Email to have it included in an upcoming issue.

Prince of Peace Catholic Church is pleased to announce the appointment of Kelly D oss as parish operations manager, effective May 22. In this new role, D oss will be responsible for the supervision and management of all financial activities, administrative functions, human resources, church staff, school principal and school Doss staff as well as long-range planning for the parish. D oss joins Prince of Peace after wrapping up a successful 3 3 -year career at the American Cancer Society as the Mid-South D ivision’s senior-most staff executive. In that position, he was responsible for driving development, implementing the society’s mission and income strategies across six states, and engaging corporate executives,

high-level donors and leadership volunteers in furthering the fight against cancer. As a lifelong member of St. Eliz abeth Ann Seton Catholic Church in Gardendale, D oss has served as the parish finance chairman under five different priests. He also serves on St. Eliz abeth’s Parish Council and has served in their religious education and liturgy ministries. He holds a bachelor degree in accounting from the U niversity of Alabama in Birmingham and has taken several post-graduate business courses. He resides in Gardendale, Alabama with his wife, Carla. They have three grown children and two granddaughters. – Submitted by Princ e of Peac e C athol ic C hurc h.

Kennedy Thomas inducted into Phi Kappa Phi honor society Kennedy Thomas of Hoover was recently initiated into The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective all-discipline collegiate honor society. Thomas was initiated at Troy U niversity, where she graduated in 2017. She is a 2013 Hoover High alumna. Thomas is among approxiThomas mately 30,000 students, faculty, professional staff and alumni to be initiated into Phi Kappa Phi each year. Membership is by invitation only and requires

nomination and approval by a chapter. O nly the top 10 percent of seniors and 7.5 percent of juniors are eligible for membership. Graduate students in the top 10 percent of the number of candidates for graduate degrees may also qualify, as do faculty, professional staff and alumni who have achieved scholarly distinction. Phi Kappa Phi has chapters on more than 3 00 campuses in the U nited States and the Philippines. – Submitted by Jil l T homas .

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From left: Chapter Vice Regent Kaye Sutley; Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve State Chair Col. Bill Kringel, USAR (Ret.); and Chapter Regent Susan Moore. Photo courtesy of the Lily of the Cahaba DAR Chapter.

DAR chapter recognized by Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve The Lily of the Cahaba Chapter, National Society D aughters of the American Revolution, was awarded recently the Seven Seals Award by the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve ( ESGR) of Alabama. The D AR Chapter, based in Hoover, was honored for “ meritorious leadership and initiative in support of the men and women who serve America in the National Guard and Reserve.” The award recogniz ed the chapter’s support of active military and veterans with projects such as its annual “ Breakfast for a V et,” Wreaths Across America, V eterans Memorial Arbor Plaz a, donations to V A Hospital, veterans

homes and injured military at Lakeshore Foundation, more than 3 certificates of appreciation of service to V ietnam veterans and many other activities in the previous year. The National Society D aughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, patriotism and education. With more than 185,000 members in approximately 3 ,000 chapters worldwide, D AR is one of the world's largest and most active service organiz ations. To learn more about the work of today's D AR, visit D – Submitted by the Lily of the Cahaba DAR Chapter.

From left: Rachel Miller, Caroline Grace Bagwell, Sarah Grace Pugh and Brennen Cooke at the senior luncheon. Photo courtesy of Vickie Griffith.

Mother-daughter luncheon honors senior Hoover Belles Graduating Hoover Belles were recently honored for their service as representatives for the city of Hoover. The Hoover Belle Committee recogniz ed 36 girls at the Hyatt Regency - The Wynfrey Hotel for the annual Mother-D aughter Senior Luncheon, chaired by Kim Milling. Members of this year’s 2017 class completed a total of 1,3 04.25 hours of community service for many local civic and charitable organiz ations. Amelia Grace Hill was presented an engraved silver tray as the graduating Hoover Belle who earned the most community service time, totaling 76.5 hours. In appreciation for their service to the city and surrounding areas, all Senior Belles received personalized certificates signed by ayor rank Brocato and other officials and an engraved keepsake box from Committee Chair and Co-Chair Kay Witt and Cathy Head. As each girl accepted her gifts, she shared her favorite memory as a Hoover Belle. Several stories were shared involving the Belle gowns, such as dressing for an event and realiz ing “ mom” wasn’t there to help with the intricate process, and trying to order and pay through a fast-food window while wearing the wide-hoop gown. Many girls shared stories of precious children who thought the Belles were real life princesses. O ther favorite events included working at Aldridge Gardens, the Summit Christmas Parade, Boo at the Z oo, various Easter egg hunts and D ecorator’s ShowHouse. Each graduating Belle also shared her plans beyond high school. Belles who will attend the U niversity of Alabama in the fall include Brennen Michelle Cooke, O livia Morgan Gault,

Rachel Anne Miller, Lauren Kathleen Nicholas and Lindsay McCall O verton. The Belles who plan to attend Auburn U niversity include Amber Rose Ajlouny, Kara JoAnne Brooks, Rachel Lynn D ees, Katherine Anne Friday, Kathlynn Brooke Gilliam, Hannah Grace Henley, Amelia Grace Hill, Anna Claire Johnson, Lauren Elise Lovell, Anna Eliz abeth Mardis, Mychael Grace O ’Berry, Caroline Eliz abeth O z gun, Jennifer McKenley Parker, Sarah Grace Pugh, Audrey Isabelle Roell, Megan Eliz abeth Schrock and Caroline Eliz abeth Willoughby. Bailey Eliz abeth Smith plans to attend Samford U niversity. Montanna Eleese D arty has plans to attend Birmingham-Southern College. Attending U AB is Miranda Skye Causey. Caroline Grace Bagwell will attend the U niversity of North Alabama, and Sarah Eliz abeth Looney will attend the U niversity of South Alabama. Julia Anne Sasser plans to attend Troy U niversity, and Molly Gail Abraham will attend Southern U nion. Attending Spring Hill College is Caroline Eliz abeth Hart and Mississippi College is Mary Kate Manak. Hayden Lane Woods will attend the U niversity of Mississippi, and those attending Mississippi State are Taylor Anne Brent, Emily Gayle Couch and Jordan Lee Henderson. Shaelah Jo McGilton has plans to attend the U niversity of Central Florida - O rlando. O thers at the Senior Luncheon include Hoover Belle Committee members Kay Witt, Jennie Alley, Cathy Conner-Fuller, Jennifer Cotney ickie ord- riffith, Cathy Head, im Milling, D enise Shepherd and Becky Walker. – Submitted by Vickie Griffith.

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Hoover Sun


PRIZED POSSESSION Seniors Horton, Susce lead Spain Park girls golf team to state title over crosstown foe By KYLE PARMLEY

Senior Mary Kate Horton is shown in the state tournament at RTJ Grand National on May 16.

There is no telling when the surreal nature of the moment will set in for the Spain Park High School girls golf team. After winning the Class 7A state championship held May 15-16 at the Robert Trent Jones Grand National Golf Course in O pelika — edging crosstown rival Hoover by six strokes ( 445-451) — Spain Park players took turns holding the wooden trophy outlined with the borders of the state of Alabama. Looks of wonderment, amaz ement, and sheer giddiness adorned the faces of the ladies that carved up the golf course better than any other team. “ What is this thing? ” senior Mary Kate Horton kept asking aloud incredulously, while doing the first thing teenagers think to do: broadcast the accomplishment on social media. Horton certainly knew what that “ thing” was, because she had dreamed of holding it for four years, and even took a chance for this season, her final one at Spain Park. Throughout the season, she told stories of forgoing the opportunity to purchase a class ring because she had bigger plans for her finger a state championship ring. Was it worth it? Totally. “ The fact that we’ve been short all four years and finally did it was really special, especially in mine and Jordan ( Susce) ’s senior year. Going out like this was awesome,” Horton said. D oz ens of poses were concocted for photo opportunities with the blue map, the new center of attention. Happy tears were shed. Coach Kelly Holland’s face showed a combination of pride, affection, and joy for the girls she watched reach their final destination.

“ I’m really proud of them,” Holland said. “ They’re so close, they’re such good friends, they work so hard together, and I told them they deserve this. I told them that if they played their best, their best would be good enough. It turned out to be a really good team effort. Everyone had to do their part.” Spain Park shot 218 as a team on the opening day at the tournament. Led by Susce’s 70 and Waldrop’s 72, the Lady Jags paced Hoover by eight strokes ( 228 ) . Susce and Horton are heading to play college golf, at the U niversity of Louisville and Samford U niversity, respectively, and ending their high school careers on the high note was special. “ It was fun and I enjoyed it,” Susce said. “ We had some rough patches, but it was all worth it and I’m so glad we got it done today.” e ll miss them, most definitely, said Holland. “ Good leadership. This was probably the best team we’ve ever had top to bottom ( Spain Park won its only other state championship in 2009 ) . They’ve just kept improving and kept this group together. This is what we were trying to do.” Waldrop, a Western Kentucky U niversity commit, will be back to go for the repeat, but realiz es what this year’s team had was special. I ve been on this team for five years and coming up short every year has really, really stunk,” she said. “ Now we’re here and now all my seniors are leaving me and I’m really sad about it. But it means we actually got something done as a team, we all had each others’ backs.” O n Tuesday, May 16, Horton shot a 74, followed by 76 from Waldrop, 77 from Susce and 8 4 from freshman Marilyn Steed. O ver the last three weeks of the season, Spain Park and Hoover traded blows. Spain Park edged out Hoover in the section tournament at Greystone

Country Club, while Hoover took top honors at the sub-state tournament at Canebrake Club in Athens. But the Jags won the most important one, the state title. At the section tournament, Susce was the low medalist, as she edged out Waldrop with a 66 to Waldrop’s 67. Horton shot a 74 on the day for the third Jag team score. Caroline McCabe shot 79 that day to qualify for sub-state as an individual. Steed shot 8 6. At sub-state, Hoover clipped Spain Park by three strokes. Hoover carded a 216 on the strength of 70s from seniors Julie Baker and Mychael O ’Berry, good enough for both to make the all-tournament team. Spain Park scored a 219 , led Susce’s 68 , once again good enough for the low medalist. Horton wrapped up her day with a 74, followed by Waldrop s 77. Steed finished at .

I’m really proud of them. They’re so close, they’re such good friends, they work so hard together, and I told them they deserve this. I told them that if they played their best, their best would be good enough. It turned out to be a really good team effort.


The Spain Park girls golf team is shown celebrating before receiving the Class 7A championship trophy at RTJ Grand National in Opelika on May 16. Photos by Sarah Finnegan.

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Above left: Julie Baker takes a swing during the AHSAA Class 7A girls golf tournament at the Robert Trent Jones Grand National Golf Course on May 16 in Opelika. Above right: yc ael erry its a s ot d rin t e to rna ent. Photos by Sarah Finnegan.

BETTER THAN PAR Hoover seniors Baker, O’Berry look ahead to collegiate life after stellar prep careers Baker earned the low medalist runner-up award at the state tournament. The senior will continue her craft at the University of Southern Mississippi this fall in Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

By KYLE PARMLEY Julie Baker enjoyed playing putt-putt as a young child. ychael O Berry first got on the golf course in the early days of elementary school. Fast forward to the present, and the Hoover High School seniors recently have wrapped up their careers as Buccaneers and are preparing to play golf at the D ivision I level in college. Baker is heading to the U niversity of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, an area she is familiar with. O ’Berry is going down to the Plains to play at Auburn, a school she has admired her whole life. “ I love that area,” Baker said of Hattiesburg. “ My grandparents are from there, and my mom went to school there, so it was always one of my top schools. When I got the opportunity to play there, that’s where I wanted to go. I was really excited.” “ I’ve been an Auburn fan my whole life,” O ’Berry said. “ I have always wanted to play golf; the ( Auburn) coaches are amaz ing; the practice facilities are top notch, and there’s nowhere else I’d rather play.” Baker and O ’Berry were key cogs to Hoover’s back-to-back state championships in 2014 and 2015, so it is no surprise to see the duo realiz ing dreams by continuing to play competitively beyond high school. “ It’s been our No. 1 goal since we started playing golf, and it’s so cool that it’s actually going to happen soon,” O ’Berry said. Baker and O ’Berry said that moving up from the high school ranks into college golf does not necessarily make them nervous, but there is an understanding that the competition will be tough. “ It’ll be interesting, but I think it’ll be really fun,” Baker said. Hoover coach Lori Elgin expressed pride after the Bucs came home with a runner-up finish at the Class 7A tournament ay - 6 at the Robert Trent Jones Grand National Golf Course in Opelika. After the back-to-back titles, Hoover finished second each of the past two seasons. “ I am proud of Julie and Mychael’s

accomplishments in their high school careers,” Elgin said. “ Two state championships and two runner-ups isn’t too shabby. They both are great young ladies who have very bright futures ahead of them.” Baker was the low medalist runner-up individually after posting scores of 73 and 72 over the two-day tournament. “ I’m proud of Julie being the low medalist runner-up in the state tournament,” Elgin said.” The key to those state championships in 2014 and 2015 was teamwork, a quality that is not always prevalent in golf, a largely individual sport. “ Y ou can’t rely on yourself to win,” Baker said. “ Y ou have to rely on four other people. It’s important that we all work together.” Part of being able to trust teammates comes from chemistry, the bond perfected between members of a team throughout the season. “ We travel together a lot, and we spend a

lot of time outside of practice together,” Baker said, “ even though that’s not always golf. We eat out together; we go to practice rounds together, and we hang out a lot.” Carson c ie, eysa Dechachutinan, mily Baker ( Julie’s sister) , Preeti V enkatesan, D anielle Buompastore and Helen Lunsford all have competed with the Bucs as well this season. They form a solid core that Julie Baker and O ’Berry will pass the torch onto next year. “ It takes a strong team,” said O ’Berry. “ Having a good team atmosphere is really important in order to succeed.” As individuals, Baker and O ’Berry were fine-tuning their games last month, as the season neared its end. O ’Berry was battling a back injury that forced her to miss six weeks. Even though she said she had not fully recovered, she was not going to allow the injury to make her miss the final stages of her high school career.

Each pointed to a particular facet of their game they were working to improve upon as the season entered its critical stretch. Baker stressed having more confidence overall, while O ’Berry admitted her putting had not returned to its previous form since her back injury. “ A little bit lately, I’ve ben struggling with my confidence, Baker said. I m hitting the ball O , but sometimes I get nervous and don t hit a good shot.” Even at that rate, Baker has plenty of past experience to bank on if she ever needs proof that she knows what she’s doing. Last summer, Baker won a Southeastern Junior Golf Tour tournament, coming back from a deficit after the first round and posting a great round to charge back to the top of the leaderboard and force a playoff. She birded the first hole in the playoff to win the tournament. “ That was kind of exciting,” she said. O ’Berry said she hit the ball well all season, but that putting is a new problem for her. “ Right now, my weakness is my putting. I don t have a lot of confidence in my putting. I’ve been changing it around a little bit. But we’re working on it,” she said. Baker and O ’Berry are such all-around solid golfers that it almost seemed as if those current issues were minor and would disappear quickly. Much of that comes from having the mental strength to put together a solid round every time out, even when problems arise. “ When you have a bad hole, it’s so important to erase it from your memory and not let it continue to the next hole, because once you do that, you’re basically done for the whole round,” O ’Berry said. “ Y ou have to stay positive through your whole round and not let one shot get to you.” They are both talented enough to excel at the next level and have given Hoover several years of high-quality golf. The page will turn soon to a new chapter in each of their lives, but the next step is what Baker and O ’Berry have been striving toward since the days on the putt-putt circuit. “ We’ve been working really hard for it,” Baker said

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Above aroline ar er finis ed o t er career at Spain ar it t e ost prod ctive stretc of ittin in er i sc ool career. Photo by Sarah Finnegan. eft Annabelle idra posted a record in t e pitc in circle it a . A in st over innin s pitc ed. Photo by Kyle Parmley.

Large cleats to fill Record-setting seniors leave Spain ark with strong legacy By KYLE PARMLEY A roster consisting primarily of experienced veterans with young talent to fill the gaps propelled the Spain ark High School softball team to the best season in school history. Si seniors led the charge for the Jags 47-9 season, each one part of a group that won 7 percent of its games during the past four years, including three state tournament appearances. Julianna Cross and ary atherine Tedder have been mainstays even longer than that, dating back to their middle school days. Those two, along with Jenna Olszewski, Caroline arker, ary ate Teague and Hope addo will leave a legacy that will be hard to match by future classes. In the past, being at the state tournament , Spain ark was ust thrilled to be a part of this and it was ust a bonus for every step. These girls have set some lofty goals, Spain ark coach C.J. Hawkins said. ven though the Jags fell short of a state championship trophy in those three state appearances, Hawkins sang the praises of her team following Spain ark s third-place finish at the 2 7 AHSAA Class 7A state tournament, held at agoon ark in ontgomery ay - 9. I couldn t be more proud of them, said Hawkins. They re all rock stars. They compete and they represented our community, represented our school. They brought so much love and e citement to our area. They re champions. Spain ark began its run in the state tournament with a wild 3-2 victory over Auburn on ay . Spain ark did not e ecute to the best of its ability throughout the contest, but continued to battle despite entering the seventh inning trailing 2- . Caroline endrick scored on an error to tie the game, and with the bases loaded, Olszewski was grazed in the arm by a pitch, earning her base and forcing in the winning run. That s a huge lift, because that was a game we had to come from behind, and we haven t done that in a couple weeks, Hawkins said after the game. e ve been cruising a little bit. Super proud of them showing resiliency and overcoming adversity and some of the mental mistakes and sticking together. nsurprisingly, Olszewski put together another productive campaign to cap off her career at Spain ark. In 2 7, she hit .4 with seven homers and 47 RBIs. The Auburn niversity signee finished second on the team with 64 hits. Tedder began the scoring in the Auburn game, as she capped off an eight-pitch at-bat with a line drive shot over the fence in left field for a home run to give Spain ark the - edge in the first inning, proving to be the final bomb of her illustrious career. The niversity of Te as signee hit for a .46 average with nine homers and 7 RBIs for the year. The second game for Spain ark on that first day

Mary Katherine Tedder — a University of Texas signee — hit for a .460 average in her senior season, along with nine homers and 57 RBIs. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

featured much less drama, as the Jags broke out the lumber and run-ruled Baker, - . After going -for-2 in the Auburn game, arker delivered a bases-clearing double to give the Jags a 4- lead in the first inning. arker finished off her season and career with arguably the most productive three-week stretch of her life. Her secret to that success was simple: watching the ball all the way to the point of contact. In the Jags two games in the orth Central Regional, shutout wins over Tuscaloosa County and Oak ountain, arker racked up si hits and drove in five runs. Over three games at the area tournament, arker drove in four runs against Huffman, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs against Oak ountain in the semifinals, and 2-for-3 with three RBIs against Oak ountain again in the finals. After taking that early lead, arker drove in another run as the Jags rolled to the victory. The second day of the tournament did not go as well for the Jags, as they dropped a 7- decision before coming up on the short end of an -7 loss to Sparkman, eliminating Spain ark from the tournament with a third-place showing. Hawkins said, They re competitors. They re winners. They e pected to be at the top, being able to come out of our area and come out of our region and dominate like we did and then come out 2- in this tournament. This was heartbreaking when it doesn t go our way. Cross finished her career on a high note against

Sparkman, going 2-for-4 at the plate with two runs scored, and made several impressive defensive plays on the day, including a catch at the fence in the first game of the day and an assist in the third inning, as Sparkman s amryn arman tried to stretch her hit into a double and was gunned down with a perfect throw. Cross was a perfect second-hole hitter, as she hit .399 for the year with a team-leading 62 runs scored to go with 6 hits and 32 RBIs. Teague and addo combined to give the Jags a pair of reliable options behind the plate at the catcher position. Teague has signed with AH, and the two catchers combined to drive in 32 runs on the year. The younger supporting cast was led by leadoff hitter and Auburn commit addie a ors, who set a school record with 7 hits while posting a . average. The sophomore showed off her speed and productivity with a team-leading eight triples and stole bases. ighth-grader Annabelle idra helped carve the path to state from the pitching circle as well. She finished the year with a 36-6 record and a .26 RA in ust over 2 innings pitched. Taylor Harrington, Bailey Bowers and Ale is Anderson each logged significant playing time throughout the season, and those three along with a ors, idra, and a cast of others waiting in the wings will attempt to fill some of the void left behind by the strong senior production departing.

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Hoover Sun


Hoover rallies from Game 1 defeat to beat Auburn, capture Class 7A state title By KYLE PARMLEY Garrett Farquhar ignored his coach’s instructions. Farquhar called a team meeting at the hotel after dropping Game 1 on May 19 of the Class 7A state baseball finals to Auburn. Instead of heading straight to bed, the team met to regroup. “ We said we didn’t play our best game, and we still know we have confidence that we’re going to come back on top,” Farquhar said. “ He’ll run tomorrow,” Hoover coach Adam Moseley joked. It worked though, as the Hoover High School baseball team overcame a loss in Game 1 and won both games on May 20 at Montgomery’s Riverwalk Stadium, topping Auburn twice to claim the school’s second state baseball championship. Moseley and the Bucs won the school’s first baseball title in 2 . In his third season at Hoover, the Bucs finished off a playoff run that saw them go - over the four weekends of postseason play. After winning the first game on Saturday, the Bucs jumped out to a big lead and overcame an Auburn rally in the second game’s final inning to win, 6- , and put into action a Buccaneer dogpile for the fourth consecutive week. Brock Guffey — who carved up the Auburn lineup in Game 2 — came on with two outs in the sixth and converted the save despite flirting with the scoreboard and the pitch count. “ He arguably had the best pitching season ever at Hoover, so who else do you want on the mound at the end of the game? ” asked Moseley. Guffey said he felt some fatigue, but in the final game of his high school career, that was a non-issue. “ Mentally, I knew I could do it,” he said after being named series MV P. “ Physically, I was a little worn out. I was going to go out there —

Left: Drew Guffey celebrates after recording a key out in the final innin of Game 3. Far left: Pitcher Brock Guffey was named MVP after a shutout in Game 2 and a save in Game 3. Below: Hoover celebrates after winning the state championship May 20. Photos by Sarah Finnegan.

I told coach all season, whenever, however he wants me to pitch, no matter rain, storm, night, day, I don’t really care. That’s what we did.” Three hits in the seventh allowed Auburn to pull within a run, but with Auburn’s Rowdy Jordan representing the tying run on first base, Hoover catcher a arvey made one of the critical plays in the series. O n a pitch in the dirt, the ball bounced in front of Garvey, tempting Jordan to dance a few steps off the bag at first. arvey retrieved the ball uickly and fired a dart to first base, where Drew uffey caught the ball, spun around and laid the tag to pick Jordan off. “ It’s hard to catch those games,” said Moseley. “ He’s dying back there and he summons up the strength to throw behind right there and get the best player that we’ve seen all year. It was an unbelievable play. That’s what it takes.” Brock Guffey struck out the following batter on a nasty curveball in the dirt, forcing him to chase. The Bucs’ bench was seemingly ready to burst at the seams waiting on arvey to make the throw to first for the final out. O nce he did, it erupted. “ I’m just thankful for the opportunity we got here,” said Farquhar, who also led

the Hoover football team to a state championship in his senior season and finished the day with four total hits. “ My boys, they knew I was going to make plays for them, and I’m just very excited and blessed to have been here. It’s amaz ing.” A senior class of 13 – Ben Abercrombie, Brandon Agsalud, Devin Cole, ar uhar, CJ illiland, Brock uffey, Drew uffey, Kenly Hager, Tanner Hendrix, Jacob Kopkin, Ty Robinson, Kenneth Watson and Tyler Williams – left its mark on the Hoover program, a season that will have its own place in school history. “ It’s the closest team I’ve ever been a part of. This is a special, special group,” Moseley said. To begin Game 3 , Hoover was gifted a baserunner in the first inning, as ar uhar reached on an error. Sonny DiChiara took full advantage and sliced a ball into the right field corner to bring ar uhar around to score for the 1-0 lead. The same scenario played itself out in the third inning, as DiChiara got the scoring started. He belted a pitch to deep center for a double, and Farquhar was waved around third. The throw beat him to the plate, but the Auburn catcher was unable to corral the ball in time to place the tag. After DiChiara grounded into a double

play with the bases loaded in the first game of the day, redemption was sweet in the final game. “ I was just thinking what else could go wrong DiChiara said. Coming into the third game, I just went back to what I usually do, and just let it loose.” Cole went five strong innings in ame 3 , allowing two unearned runs on just the one hit. Brock Guffey took the ball in Game 2 for the Bucs and gave them the kind of performance that allowed Hoover to cruise into the deciding game with a 4-0 victory. He went the distance, allowing just two hits while striking out 11 Auburn batters. He began things by striking out the side in the first inning and had five after two innings. He allowed just two base runners, a single in the third and a double in the fifth. “ That just kind of let everybody know – Brock had his best stuff today, so if we could go do our job offensively, then he was going to take care of his end of the bargain,” Moseley said. In Game 1 of the series, the Bucs fell behind early and lost 9-6. eading up to the state championship series, they had pulled off sweeps of Buckhorn, Grissom and V estavia Hills to roll through the 7A playoffs.

July 2017 • B15

B16 • July 2017

Brock Guffey was recognized as the top pitcher in Class 7A. Photo by Sarah Finnegan.

Hoover Sun

Adam Moseley was named Class 7A coach of the year. Photo by Kyle Parmley.

Hoover, Spain Park represented on ASWA all-state teams By KYLE PARMLEY The Alabama Sports Writers Association recently announced its all-state high school baseball and softball teams, featuring a bevy of local talent garnering postseason recognition. Fresh off the Class 7A baseball state championship, Hoover's Adam Moseley was named coach of the year for the class, while standout pitcher Brock Guffey was named pitcher of the year. Guffey shut down opponents all season, posting a record of 11-0 with an ERA and WHIP both well under 1.00. He struck out 111 batters to just 11 walks on the year and was a major factor in Hoover's comeback win over Auburn in the state championship series. Spain Park's Mary Katherine Tedder was named the ASWA Class 7A player of the year after hitting .460 with nine home runs and 57 RBIs on the season, as the Texas signee helped

lead the Jags to a third-place finish at the state tournament. Also included on the 7A first team were two more Spain Park standouts and a Hoover one. Annabelle Widra, an eighth-grade pitcher who baffled hitters all season, posted a 36-6 record and 1.22 ERA with 272 strikeouts. Jenna Olszewski was a first-teamer as well, as the Auburn signee registered 64 hits and 47 RBIs on the year. Caroline Parker was honorable mention at the designated hitter spot. Hoover's Abby Tissier made the first team as a catcher. She is going to Auburn along with Olszewski, and hit .492 in her final season with 63 hits and 46 RBIs. Three other Hoover baseball players earned recognition as well. Brandon Agsalud brought home a first-team honor, and Sonny DiChiara was named a second team player at the designated hitter spot. Shortstop Garrett Farquhar was named honorable mention.

Counter-clockwise, from left: Mary Katherine Tedder; Caroline Parker; Caroline Hart; Mary Kate Teague; and Leslie Norris. These five players received scholarships from the Hoover Softball Association. Photos by Kyle Parmley.

Hoover Softball Association awards 5 scholarships The Hoover Softball Association scholarship committee and the HSA board awarded $7,500 in scholarships this year to Hoover and Spain Park high school senior softball players. From Hoover High, Leslie Norris and Caroline Hart were awarded scholarships. Caroline Parker, Mary Katherine Tedder and Mary Kate Teague earned scholarships from Spain Park High. Scholarship awards are based on years

played at HSA, community service, academic performance, a submitted essay, parent participation in HSA and other softball achievements. HSA is a Hoover-based recreational softball program. HSA’s annual scholarship program is sponsored by HSA and a partnership with the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Birmingham. – Submitted by John Parker.

July 2017 • B17


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B18 • July 2017

Hoover Sun

Calendar Hoover Library

Hoover Events Tuesday nights: Kids eat free at Vecchia Pizzeria & Mercato. 610 Preserve Parkway. (One child per adult). Visit June 30-July 2: Magic City Con. Hyatt Regency, The Wynfrey Hotel. Saturday, 10 a.m.-midnight; Sunday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. $30 weekend pass. Visit July 7: Free Friday Flicks: “The Jungle Book” (2016). 6:30 p.m. Veterans Park. Movie starts around 8:15 p.m. Free. Visit friday icks. July 8-9: Alabama Gun Collectors Summer Gun Show. Hoover Met Complex. $10 Adults. 12 and under free. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday. Call 317-0948 for information. July 10-14: Mason Music’s Rock Band Camp. Mason Music, Bluff Park Studio. Introduction for kids to explore music concepts in a creative environment. For ages 10-18. $125. Visit mason July 14: Free Friday Flicks: “Finding Dory.” 6:30 p.m. Veterans Park. Movie starts around 8:15 p.m. Free. isit freefriday icks. July 15: Members Only Guided Bird Watch. 8 a.m. Aldridge Gardens. Free. Visit aldridge

July 16: Women’s Self Defense Class. 4-5 p.m. Hoover Fire Station 7. Free. For women 18 and older. Visit hoovercham July 17: St. Francis of Assisi 17th Annual Golf Tournament. Riverchase Country Club. Registration begins at 10 a.m. Lunch at 11:30 a.m. Tee off at 12:30 p.m. Visit saint-francis-golf-tournament/golfer-registration.

July 1-31: tump the Librarian. Nonfiction Department. Draw a card, pick a question from a trivia game. f the Nonfiction epartment staff can’t answer it, you have a chance to win a gift card donated by the Friends of the Library. Play once a day every day during July. All ages.

July 13: Coffee and Contacts. 8:30 a.m. CB&S Bank, Doug Baker Blvd.

July 2: Sunday NovelTea Fiction Book Group. 3 p.m. Plaza Reading Room. Leave Me by Gayle Forman.

July 19: Hoover Chamber Ambassador Meeting. 4:30 p.m. oover hamber of ommerce ffice. Visitors welcome.

July 6: First Thursday Fiction Book Group. 10 a.m. Adult Program Room. The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.

July 20: Hoover chamber luncheon. 11:15 a.m. networking; noon luncheon. Hoover Country Club. Call 988-5672 or email for reservations. Visit

July 8: Purl @ the Plaza. 1-5 p.m. Library Plaza. Bring your red, white and blue yarn to celebrate Independence Day.

July 21: Free Friday Flicks: “Trolls.” 6:30 p.m. Veterans Park. Movie starts around 8:15 p.m. Free. Visit icks. July 27: Hoover Chamber Business After Hours. 5:30-7 p.m. Galleria Woods Retirement Community. July 30: Women’s Self Defense Class. 4-5 p.m. Hoover Lake House. Free. For women 18 and older. Visit

July 10: Beyond the Brick: A LEGO Brickumentary. 2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. The Library Theatre. Free admission and refreshments. July 10: Helping Hands. 3-8:30 p.m. Adult Program Room. Drop in to make newspaper rolls for a local humane society. Teens and adults. July 11: The A, B, C & Ds of Medicare. 1p.m. Adult Program Room.

Stardome Comedy Club July 1-2: Rodney Carrington. 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Saturday, 6:30 p.m. Sunday. $179.50 VIP, $44.50 general admission.

July 7-8: ddie Griffin. 7:30 and 9:45 p.m. Friday; 6:30 and 8:45 p.m. Saturday. $40.50

July 24-28: Summer Comedy Camp for Youth and Teens. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. $234.

July 28-29: Darrell Hammond. 7:30 p.m. and 9:45 p.m. Friday, 6:30 p.m. and 8:45 p.m. Saturday. $28-$33.

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Hoover Library (cont.) July 11: No Reading Required: Celebrities and Brand Entrepreneurship. 6:30 p.m. Adult Program Room. Read, watch or listen, then join.

jazz, folk and classical guitar tunes.

July 13: Second Thursday Fiction Book Group. 10 a.m. Adult Program Room. Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood.

July 16: Glue Gun Gang: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Fairy Jars. 3:00 p.m. Adult Program Room. Decorate jars with bits of nature and glitter to create whimsical fairy lanterns. Registration begins July 1 and is required.

July 15: Insatiable Readers: Favorite Sports: Sweat or Strategy? 10:30 a.m. Plaza Reading Room. Learn about nonfiction titles.

July 18: Glue Gun Gang: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Fairy Jars. 6:30 p.m. Adult Program Room. See July 16 for details.

July 15: How to Find Grants using the Foundation Center databases. 10:30 a.m. Training Center. Reservations required.

July 20: Glue Gun Gang: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Fairy Jars. 10:30 a.m. Adult Program Room. See July 16 for details.

July 16: Mark Schantz. 2:30 p.m. Library Plaza. Birmingham-Southern professor presents a mix of

July 20: Yoga & Poetry with Marie Blair. 6:30 p.m. Theatre Level Meeting Rooms. Bring

movements and words together. Wear comfortable clothes, explore poetry and gentle movements. No experience necessary. July 20: Trivia Night. 7 p.m. Library Plaza. Compete for prizes in our monthly trivia night. July 22: Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio. 2:30 p.m. The Library Theatre. Free admission and refreshments. July 22: Write Club. 10:30 a.m. Fitzgerald Room. Share your literary works and network with other aspiring writers. July 27: Nighttime Nonfiction Book Group. 7:00 p.m. Theatre Conference Room. Lost to the West: The Forgotten Byzantine Empire That Rescued

Western Civilization by Lars Brownworth. July 27: The Onlys. 6:30 p.m. Library Plaza. The Onlys play a variety of rock & roll hits from the 1950s through today. July 28-30: 3rd Annual Sci-Fi/Fantasy Fest. Friday 7-11 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sunday 2 p.m.-6 p.m. Throughout the library and Hoover Senior Center. The Hoover Library, in partnership with Kingdom Comics, brings you the ultimate in convention weekends. July 31: Monday at the Movies. 2 p.m. & 6:30 p.m. The Library Theatre. Following the events of “Jurassic Park,” Isla Nublar now includes a functioning dinosaur theme park. Free admission and refreshments.

Area Events Saturdays: The Market at Pepper Place. 7 a.m.12 p.m. Visit July 1-2: WERA Regionals. Barber Motorsports Park. 8 a.m-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Visit July 1: Southeastern Outings Kayak and Canoe Trip. Locust Fork River, Blount County. Depart 9 a.m. from Cleveland Chevron. Contact Dan Frederick at 631-4680 or email Visit Visit

July 4: Thunder on the Mountain 2017. 9 p.m. Vulcan Park. Fireworks show. Free to the public.

July 8: Second Saturday at Sloss Walk and Talk. 10:30 a.m. Garden at Sloss Quarters. Plaintain Salve- Grandma’s Sure-Fire Remedy. Presented by Birmingham Historical Society. Visit bhistorical. org.

July 5: Throwback Thursday Kids Club: Finding Nemo. 10 a.m. Alabama Theatre. 9 a.m. kid’s activities, face painting and prizes. $5 adults, $3 kids 12 and under and free for 2 and under. Visit

June 29-July 16: Gypsy. Virginia Samford Theatre. $15-$35. Visit

July 6: Birmingham Art Crawl. 5 p.m.-9 p.m. 113 22nd St. N. Meet local artists and performers and buy their work. Visit

July 2: Get Healthy on the Railroad Cooking Classes. 3:30 p.m. Railroad Park. Free. Visit

July 7: Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series: Grease Sing-Along. 7 p.m. Alabama Theatre. $8. Visit

July 4: Southeastern Outings 4th of July Picnic. 6:30 p.m. Bartow Arena. Music by UAB Summer Band and viewing of fireworks show. For information, contact 205-631-4680 or email seoutings@

July 7-30: Newsies. Red Mountain Theatre Company, Dorothy Jemison Day Theatre. 2 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays and Wednesdays; 7:30 p.m. nightly. Tickets start at $25. Visit redmountainthe

July 8: Antique Engine and Tractor Show. 9 a.m.5 p.m. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. $3-$5. Visit July 8: Southeastern Outings River Float. Locust Fork River, Blount County. Depart 9 a.m. from Cleveland Chevron. Contact Dan Frederick at 631-4680 or email July 8-9: Alabama Gun Collectors Association Summer Show. BJCC Exhibition Halls. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Visit July 8: Journey. 8 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. With special guest Asia. $38-$340. Visit July 9: Jazz in the Park. 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Helena Amphitheater. Presented by Magic City Smooth Jazz. Featuring Joe Carnaggion Trio and Phil Denny. Free. Visit

July 15: David Blaine Live. 8 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. $29-$79. Visit July 16: Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series: Singin’ in the Rain. 2 p.m. Alabama Theatre. $8. Visit July 20: Throwback Thursday Kids Club: Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. 10 a.m. Alabama Theatre. 9 a.m. kid’s activities, face painting and prizes. $5 adults, $3 kids 12 and under and free for 2 and under. Visit July 21-23: 34th Annual World Deer Expo. BJCC Exhibition Halls. 3 p.m.-9 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. $13 adults, $7 children 4-11, under 3 free. Visit worlddeerexpo. com. July 21: Art on the Rocks! 7 p.m. Birmingham Museum of Art. $15-$30. Visit July 21: Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series: Christmas Vacation. 7 p.m. Alabama Theatre. $8. Visit

July 9-12: Birmingham Barons v. Mobile Baybears. 6 p.m. Sunday, 7:05 p.m. Monday-Wednesday. $7-$14. Visit

July 22: Southeastern Outings Short Hike and Long Swims. Bankhead Forest. Depart 9 a.m. from Floor Décor Store on Green Springs or at 10:20 a.m. at Jacks in Double Springs. Contact 631-4680 or email Visit seoutings. org.

July 9: Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series: Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. 2 p.m. Alabama Theatre. $8. Visit

July 23: Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series: White Christmas. 2 p.m. Alabama Theatre. $8. Visit

July 10: BAO Bingo. 7 p.m. Birmingham AIDS Outreach. $15-$25. Visit birminghamaids

July 23: Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series: Elf. 7 p.m. Alabama Theatre. $8. Visit alabamathe

July 13: Throwback Thursday Kids Club: Beauty and the Beast. 10 a.m. Alabama Theatre. 9 a.m. kid’s activities, face painting and prizes. $5 adults, $3 kids 12 and under and free for 2 and under. Visit

July 27: Throwback Thursday Kids Club: The Little Mermaid. 10 a.m. Alabama Theatre. 9 a.m. kid’s activities, face painting and prizes. $5 adults, $3 kids 12 and under and free for 2 and under. Visit

July 14: Tim Hawkins. 7:30 p.m. BJCC Concert Hall. $17-$83. Visit

July 27-Aug. 6: Willy Wonka, Jr. Virginia Samford Theatre. 7:30 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 2:30 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. $15-$20. Visit virginiasam

July 14: Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series: Ghostbusters. 7 p.m. Alabama Theatre. $8. Visit July 15: Southeastern Outings Short Hike and Long Swim. DeSoto State Park. Depart 9 a.m. from Applebee’s in Trussville. Call 491-8845 for information. Visit July 15-16: Tannehill Trade Days. 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Tannehill Ironworks Historical State Park. $3-$5. Visit July 15: Float Your Boat Festival. 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Turkey Creek Nature Preserve, 3906 Turkey Creek Road, Pinson. Fun-filled day with balsa wood boat races with prizes, food and swimming. Call 3054385 or visit July 15-16: Sloss Music & Arts Festival. 1:30 p.m.-11:30 p.m. Sloss Furnaces. Featuring 40 bands, beer and cocktails, arts and crafts, live iron pouring demonstrations and more. Two-day general admission passes $115-$155. Visit

July 28-30: Magic City Ice Classic. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Pelham Civic Complex. Figure skating competition. Free. Visit July 28: Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series: Steel Magnolias. 7 p.m. Alabama Theatre. $8. Visit July 29-30: NASA Mid-South. 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Barber Motorsports Park. Visit July 30: Alabama Theatre Summer Film Series: The Sound of Music. 2 p.m. Alabama Theatre. $8. Visit July 30: Foreigner, Cheap Trick, Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Experience. 7 p.m. Oak Mountain Amphitheatre. $29.95-$99.95. Visit foreigneronline. com. July 30: Alabama Music Awards. 5 p.m. BJCC Theatre. $20-$25. Visit alabamamusicawardsshow. com.

Hoover Sun July 2017  
Hoover Sun July 2017