Homewood Star July 2024

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Residents in Homewood could be casting a ballot in a special election as soon as August to determine a new form of government for the city and possibly the hiring of a city manager.

Supporters of the change seemed confident in June that they would get the remaining amount of signatures from a petition to hold the referendum that has circulated since mid-March.

The petition requires signatures from 10% of voters who participated in the last municipal election and still reside in the city.

There was no formal deadline to stop collecting the signatures on the petition, but city officials were clear they did not want to hold a referendum near the general election in November.

City Council President Alex Wyatt said in a June 4 informational session regarding the change in government that

the hope was to collect the remaining signatures in the next few weeks.

“We want to get this petition wrapped up so that we can hopefully have an election in August or September,” Wyatt said. “If we don’t have it then, the referendum may be pushed until after the general election, but we are trying to get it before the general election.”

Homewood Fire Chief Brandon Broadhead outside Fire Station No. 1 Broadhead is Homewood’s sixth fire chief. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Classes & Activities

Central Barre

Tuesday 6:15am

Wednesday 5:15pm

Saturday 8:15am

Homewood Community Center

Central Barre is a small group fitness class incorporating barre, core, cardio, balance, strength training and stretch to give you a complete workout in 55 minutes.  We use a variety of small equipment such as weights, resistance bands, balls and sliding discs to increase variety and provide real results.  ellyngagnon@gmail.com

Dance Trance

Saturday 9:30am-10:30am

Homewood Community Center

Dance Trance is a high-cardio, high-energy dance fitness experience that leaves participants soaking wet!  It is a non-stop workout that feels more like a party than an exercise class. www.dancetrancefitness.com

Fun For All Line Dancing

Beginner and Beyond Beginner line dance instruction encompassing a variety of music genres, e.g., pop, country and R&B. You will learn line dance terminology, line dance steps, and, of course, line dances to specific music.

Homewood Community Center, Fitness Studio 2

Tuesday 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

$5.00 per person per visit funforalllinedancing@gmail.com

North Star Martial Arts

North Star Martial Arts primary focus is to make a life lasting impact on our students, and their families. Classes range from beginners to adults. For detailed class listings and times please visit the park’s website or www.northstarma.com. 205-966-4244 • info@northstarma.com


Vinyasa yoga classes in an energetic environment using upbeat music at Homewood Community Center. All levels welcome. Friday: 8:00am-9:00am - Basics Class

Friday: 9:30am-10:30am - Regular Class Contact Marla: 205-223-8564 • mac@yolimber.com

Bench Aerobics Step & Line Dance

Monday: 5:00pm - 6:00pm

Tuesday: 4:15pm – 5:15pm (Step Aerobics)

Thursday: 4:15pm – 5:15pm (Cardio Line Dance)

Homewood Community Center Fitness Studio 2

Cost: Classes are FREE (with donations) For more information contact Rosa at 205-253-9344 or benchaerobics@bellsouth.net

Royce Head Personal Training

Affordable personal training available to members in the Fitness Center at the Homewood Community Center. Workouts are fast, fun, safe, and effective and each person is started with a program to fit their fitness level. Call Royce for more information: 205-945-1665

Fast Track Line Dance

We learn the current and classic intermediateadvanced line dances. This class is not for beginners. Saturday 11:00am-1:00pm

Homewood Community Center, Fitness Studio 2 Jackie Tally jgtally@aol.com (or) Helen Woods aquafool@aol.com


FIT4MOM Birmingham provides fitness classes and a network of local moms to support every stage of motherhood. From pregnancy, through postpartum and beyond, we serve our community by offering our fitness and wellness programs to help keep moms strong in body, mind and spirit. View our website for Membership Plans, Passes and Schedule. https://birmingham.fit4mom.com/

Homewood Parks & Recreation

Senior Center

Read/Watch/Review –Summer & the Beach

Wednesday, July 10, 1:00-2:00pm

A different take on “Book Club” –

Each month we talk about topics rather than all reading one book. Pick any book, audiobook, or movie that you’d like, within the topic, and come share about it. (August topic will be: Sailing/Nautical)

World Traveler/ Writer Niki Sepsas:

The Grand Journey

Monday, July 29, 3:00-4:00pm

The legendary vessels that made the “Golden Age” of transatlantic travel an unforgettable experience and how a crossing today remains one of cruising’s classic itineraries. Sponsored by Homewood Public Library

Tai Chi Classes

Tai Chi is an ancient mind-body marshal art exercise that with regular practice improves health and wellbeing. It is a moving meditation in the form of fluid, graceful, circular and slow motions.

For additional information about Tai Chi Classes, contact Galina at: galinawaites@gmail.com

Tai Chi, Sun Style

Mondays at 1:30pm

During Sun Style class participants will learn in more depth about Tai Chi history, principals and styles, practicing the 73 forms of Sun Style. This class is suitable for anyone who is willing to take the time learning beautiful, liberating and empowering set of movements(forms).

Tai Chi for Arthritis and Fall Prevention

Wednesdays at 1:30pm

This class is suitable for anyone, easy on the joints, helps to calm the mind, improves balance and coordination.

The program of Tai Chi for Health Institute.

Tai Chi for Energy

Thursdays at 1:30pm

Participants will learn exciting Tai Chi for Energy form (Tai Chi for Health Institute) that combines movements from Chen and Sun styles of Tai Chi, seamlessly integrated with each other. Some additional Qi Gong warm up exercises will be included in this class.

About Us

Editor’s Note By Tim Stephens

You’ll notice a few changes in this issue of The Homewood Star. We’re rolling out some new features with the goal of bringing readers closer to the people, places and things that are interesting and relevant in our community.

Expect to see more Q-and-As and spotlights on businesses, restaurants and other fixtures about town. From local government to arts and entertainment to new places, we want to be a guide in helping you live, work and play in Homewood. We will introduce you to public servants, teachers, entrepreneurs, entertainers, athletes and more.

You’ll soon find even more of these new

features on our website, social media channels and in our daily newsletter.

We also want your help. Know someone with an interesting story who should be featured? Know of or own a local business or restaurant that would make a great spotlight? Let us know about it by emailing tstephens@starnesmedia.com.

Please Support Our Community Partners

Bill White Roofing and Specialty (6)

Bromberg’s (10)

Budget Blinds (12)

Cardinal Roofing (1)

Children’s of Alabama (7)

ENT Associates of Alabama (7)

Gardner Astroturf (2)

Green Springs Animal Clinic (21)

Guin Service (1)

Hometown Market (9)

Homewood Barbershop (5)

Homewood Chamber of Commerce (24)

Homewood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (17)

Homewood Parks and Rec (3)

Issis & Sons (13)

Mr. Handyman of Birmingham (23)

One Man & A Toolbox (10)

One Source Heating Cooling and Electrical LLC (15)

Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (21)

Piggly Wiggly (2)

Red Mountain Theatre Company (19)

Shunnarah Flooring (15)

Sikes Children’s Shoes (6)

Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (20)

SouthState Bank (9)

The Welch Group (11)

TherapySouth Corporate (5)

TrustMark Bank (4)

Find Us

CORRECTION: In the June issue of Homewood Star, a photo caption in the article titled “‘Starting to take shape’: Econo Lodge development project progressing toward completion” mistakenly stated that Kyle D’Agostino is the founder and owner of Poole and Company Architects. D Agostino is actually the principal and owner of the company. We regret the error.


Council authorizes sharing agreement with Mountain Brook fire department

In the event of an emergency, the Homewood Fire Department will turn to neighboring Mountain Brook for help.

That is the result of the Homewood City Council voting in its June 10 meeting to authorize the mayor to sign a sharing agreement, which says that the Homewood and Mountain Brook fire departments can borrow equipment from one another.

“Basically, what that agreement does [is] it allows us to share reserve equipment,” Homewood Fire Chief Brandon Broadhead said. “Homewood has a reserve engine and a reserve aerial [truck]. Mountain Brook has one. But if they happen to run out, if for some reason they have some major breakdown, they can now borrow one from us through this agreement that we just signed on Monday, and vice versa.

“If we run out of our trucks or have some catastrophic failure, we can borrow a fire engine from them instead of having to rent or purchase another one in the short term,” he said. “It’s really critical because our trucks now take a little over three years to build. Their lead time is about 30 months from the time you order one until you get one.”

In other action, the council:

► Approved an ordinance to prevent non-authorized vehicles on Shades Creek Greenway. This includes but is not limited to motorcycles, golf carts, motorized scooters and motorized skateboards. Exceptions are electric bicycles, devices used in the transport of people with handicaps or disabilities and devices used for official purposes by city employees.

► Adopted the Division G multi-jurisdictional hazard mitigation plan.

► Established an agreement with the Regional Training Institute for clinical rotations with the Homewood Fire Department.

► Approved budget amendments for Public Works to transfer funds for street materials and supplies, and for the Parks Department to transfer funds for new employees to travel to a conference.

► Expanded the entertainment district in West Homewood.

► Appointed Nancy Womack to an at-large position on the Homewood Environmental Committee.

► Upgraded the PC network tech position to a network systems administrator in the city’s IT department.

► Set a public hearing for consideration to rezone 2917 Linden Avenue from C-1 (Office Building District) to C-4(a) (Retail Shopping District) to be redeveloped for appropriate retail uses. That hearing will be on July 8.

Homewood Fire Chief Brandon Broadhead speaks during the June 10 city council meeting. Photo by Solomon Crenshaw Jr.


Homewood City Schools Foundation works to ‘enhance greatness’ of school system

Molly Hasenfuss said she did a little happy dance the day representatives from the Homewood City Schools Foundation walked into her classroom.

She’d requested a grant to buy 10 sewing machines for her family and consumer science class at Homewood High School, and she found out the foundation was giving her the full amount.

“I was thrilled,” Hasenfuss said.

The class had 20 older machines already that required a lot of maintenance and needed to be replaced eventually. The new ones will bring the total up to 30 for now and allow every student in the class to have a machine of their own to use.

And slowly the older machines can be phased out.

“So many of my students enjoy sewing,” Hasenfuss said. “For nine weeks each year, we go over the basics, and these machines are beginner friendly.”

Barbara Wheeler, one of the foundation’s board members, said it was so much fun to see the reactions of Hasenfuss and her students.

“The purpose of the Homewood City Schools Foundation is to be able to strengthen and support the entire Homewood school system,” Wheeler said.

The foundation — a nonprofit organization created in 1994 — works to provide financial support for the five Homewood schools’ educational programs, classroom enhancements, technology, teacher professional development and more.

Each year, they give out more than $100,000

in grants to teachers, Wheeler said, including the one that went to Hasenfuss’ classroom.

That money is raised in a variety of ways, including two main fundraisers — Homewood Grown and Homewood High Rollers Casino Night.

This year’s casino night event will be held Sept. 20 at Rosewood Hall. Those who attend will have dinner and receive two drink tickets and $1,000 in play money. At the end of the night,

Bill White Roofing and Specialty

Discover Ageless Roofing Craftsmanship

Homewood Middle School teacher Ikeia Blackston received the Family and Consumer Sciences grant in Fall 2023 to update class mixers and microwaves and also to add heat press machines. The heat presses will provide a new hands-on experience for the students as they design and print their own t-shirts. Photo courtesy of Homewood City Schools Foundation.

they can turn in their chips for a chance at prizes.

“It’s a really fun event, and it sold out quickly last year,” Wheeler said, noting that last year’s event netted about $25,000 for the foundation. Homewood Grown, an annual community event that “celebrates all things Homewood,” also sells out quickly, she said.

“It sold out in 10 minutes,” Wheeler said of their last event in April. “Everybody wants to go

to Homewood Grown. It’s a fun night, and you get to hang out with your friends.”

At that event, the foundation also gives Teacher Impact Awards to one teacher from each of the five schools.

All of the money made at Homewood Grown and Homewood High Rollers goes to make Homewood’s schools even better, Wheeler said, as do the donations the foundation receives year round.

“We have a great system, and we just want to enhance that greatness and keep it going,” she said. “That is the whole purpose of this foundation — to make sure our teachers and students get the most that they can to make this system not just good but great. We want it to be the best it can be.”

Wheeler said between July 2023 and May 2024, Homewood City Schools Foundation grossed about $360,000. About $250,000 of that came from Homewood Grown.

Carlye Dudgeon, executive director for the Homewood City Schools Foundation, said the foundation exists to strengthen and support the Homewood school system, which is “already known for its excellence in education” and which has “tremendous community support.”

“We do this with the goal of meeting current educational needs and shaping the future of the Homewood community,” she said.

For more information about the Homewood City Schools Foundation or Homewood High Rollers Casino Night, visit homewood cityschoolsfoundation.com or call (205) 706-8870.

In the Classroom


Homewood student serves as Senate page

Homewood High School student Allie Grace Broadhead had the distinguished opportunity to be active in Alabama state government by serving as a Senate page this year.

Broadhead received numerous opportunities to participate by helping run bills on the Senate floor and meeting Governor Kay Ivey, Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, Representative David Faulkner and Senator April Weaver. She also attended a caucus luncheon and a judicial meeting, toured the Supreme Court and networked with politicians and other teens from across the state.

This experience allowed Broadhead to gain firsthand insight into the legislative process, deepen her understanding of state government operations and build connections with leaders and peers. She believes learning about government is very important because she desires to be in the FBI and eventually become a behavioral analyst.

"Being a Senate page in the Alabama Senate is not just about witnessing history, it's about actively participating in it," Broadhead said. "Meeting Governor Ivey opens doors to endless opportunities for growth, networking and understanding the intricate workings of governance firsthand. Through my campaign, Keeping Kindness, which focuses on raising mental health awareness and suicide prevention through random acts of kindness, I've learned that every encounter presents an opportunity to spread compassion and make a meaningful difference in someone's life."

Broadhead was recognized several times for creating the Keeping Kindness campaign and for founding the Kindness Club at Homewood High School.

“It was a joy to have Allie join me for Alabama's legislative session," Weaver said. “It is important for people of all ages to get involved with the legislative processes. What better way than to serve as a page? Allie was able to be a part of how laws are made here in Alabama, and I hope her experience encourages her to stay involved in all stages of her life.” – Submitted by Merrick Wilson, Homewood City Schools.

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

Get to Know: Jana Flinkow

Jana Flinkow has spent her career working for Homewood schools. She served as a history teacher at the middle school and high school before becoming a grade-level administrator. This year, she will be the assistant principal of curriculum and instruction at Homewood High School.

Q: What inspired you to become an educator?

A: My love for students. And I've always loved learning.

Q: How long have you been in education?

A: I'm entering my 16th year in education.

Q: Tell us about your favorite teacher when you were in school.

A: Coach Stole. We knew he cared about us in school and out of school.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of being a teacher for you?

A: Seeing these students grow and truly maximize their unique potential as adults is 100% the most rewarding thing about being a teacher.

If you suffer from allergies or other ear, nose, throat or hearing problems, we don’t want you to treat your healthcare lightly or ignore symptoms that could lead to more serious issues.

For a complete and thorough evaluation make an appointment today to see one of our 15 board certified physicians, 4 highly trained, licensed PA’s, or 16 clinical audiologists – all available to serve your needs at any of our 10 locations.

At our practice, your health comes first; and we strive to treat each patient as a person, not just another case. Our goal is to deliver a positive personal experience along with a positive outcome.

For your convenience, we have same day appointments available, as well as early morning, evening, and Saturday appointments. Please call 1-888-ENT-5020 (1-888-368-5020) for more information, visit us on our website at www.entalabama.com, and scan the QR code below to follow us on social media.

Homewood High School student Allie Grace Broadhead with Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. Photo courtesy of Homewood City Schools.
Jana Flinkow was named the new assistant principal for Homewood High School in July. Photo courtesy of Homewood City Schools.

Business Buzz


Effie’s Boutique in Homewood, 2918 18th St. S., has celebrated its grand opening of the newly expanded store. The boutique carries women’s clothing with all the needed shoes and accessories. The shop opens Monday through Saturday at 10 a.m. 205-896-1814, effiesinc.com


Andy, Andrew and Austin Virciglio, the owners of the Homewood Piggly Wiggly at 3000 Montgomery Highway, have been recently nominated for the 2024 Alabama Retailer of the Year. The grocery store is a neighborhood staple, offering shoppers fresh foods and ingredients daily until 9 p.m.

205-879-0884, thepigbham.com

Kelly Seibels, owner of Seibels Cottage, was recently nominated for the 2024 Alabama Retailer of the Year award. Seibels Cottage, 2927 18th St. S., carries rustic contemporary furnishings for lake homes, beach houses, camp cottages, hunting lodges and more. 205-879-3558, seibelscottage.com

Chris Reebals, of the Christopher Collection, has been nominated for the 2024 Alabama Retailer of the Year award. The Christopher Collection, 2913 Linden Ave., is a boutique-style collection of furnishings, décor, art and design elements for your home.

205-719-3206, christophercollection.com

The Cottage Basket owner Shelli Morrow was recently nominated for the 2024 Alabama Retailer of the Year award. The shop at 2901 18th St. S. carries a large variety of gifts, kids and baby items, jewelry, accessories, home decor and more.

205-460-1054, thecottagebasket.com

Dave Horn and Taylor Hughes, owners of Soho Social, Soho Standard and Social Taco, have been nominated for the 2024 Alabama Retailer of the Year. The three restaurants, located in Rosewood Plaza, were designed to foster community and help customers feel comfortable moving interchangeably between the restaurants when deciding what to eat or drink on a particular outing.


Joshua Gentry, Nick Pihakis and Rachel Ishee, owners of Little Donkey Restaurant, have been nominated for the 2024 Alabama Retailer of the Year. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., the restaurant at 2701 18th St. S., Suite 200, offers Mexican food with a Southern twist. Customers can enjoy dishes like fajitas, bowls, street tacos and even fried chicken. 205-703-7000, thelittledonkey.com

Wil Drake, Jason Wallis, Molly Seckman, Nick Pihakis Paul Yeck and Rachel Ishee, of Hero Doughnuts and Buns, have recently been nominated for the

Sarah Robinson, HUM Executive Concierge Agency

We’re introducing readers to people from the Homewood business community. This month’s profile is Sarah Robinson, the founder of HUM Executive Concierge Agency, which provides clients with executive concierge and lifestyle management in Birmingham, Mountain Brook, Homewood and Vestavia Hills.

Q: Tell us about HUM Concierge.

A: HUM Concierge is all about freeing up time for busy professionals and families. We want them to be able to focus on what matters most to them, whether that’s career, family relationships, health and wellbeing, whatever it is that means something to them. And we do that by providing fractional house manager, personal assistant and private secretary services to handle those pesky details of life that can take up all our time.

Q: How did you get involved with your business?

A: I started HUM Concierge when I was considering making some very big changes in my life. I’d spent more than 20 years as a corporate consultant in the executive C suite. And so I kept asking myself, “What can I do with all of these executive problem solving skills that I’ve developed?” And a friend of mine who lives in another city suggested that I look at the concierge lifestyle management business. So I started doing

some research, and the more research that I did, the more I fell in love with the whole idea. And so I decided it was the perfect fit.

Q: What sets you apart from your competition?

A: I would say that what sets HUM apart is our focus on relationships. We spend a lot of time getting to know our clients and understanding their preferences. We want our clients to feel like their concierge is an extension of themselves because we will handle the assignments and tasks at the same level of excellence that they would.

HUM Concierge specializes in easing the friction between work life and home life for busy professionals and their families. Working with us is like having a trusted friend take over your to-do list so that you can focus on what matters most to you.

Q: What would your customers say about you?

A: I think our clients really love the professionalism and warmth and enthusiasm that we have for what we do. Every single home team member truly enjoys doing what we do. And I think that shows up in every interaction that we have. I also think our clients love that they don’t have to micromanage us to get the results and outcomes that they want. Because our team has so much experience that we don’t have to be given extensive instructions in order to accomplish a task with excellence.

2024 Alabama Retailer of the Year award. Hero, at 1726 28th Ave. S., offers breakfast sandwiches made on their signature bun, a variety of doughnuts, salads, burgers and more. The restaurant is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 205-623-1017, herodoughnutsandbuns.com


Art Alley, 109 Broadway St., is celebrating 24 years in Edgewood. The gallery specializes in art from around the Southeast and is open Wednesday and Thursday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 205-879-1105, artalley.live

Cowlicks Salon, 1923 29th Ave. S. is celebrating its first anniversary in Homewood. Cowlicks is a kids salon, offering cuts and services for children of all ages, while maintaining the consistency of an adult salon. The salon also has a parent’s menu for basic haircuts or a wash and blow out. Cowlicks is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. 205-747-0592, cowlickscuts.com

Business News to Share?

Do you have news to share with the community about a business in Homewood or the greater Birmingham area?

Let us know at starnesmedia.com/ business-happenings

Homewood Shoe Hospital

Homewood Shoe Hospital has been providing the Homewood community with shoe repair, orthotics and shoe lifts for over 60 years. Owned and operated by pedorthist Victor Costa for almost three decades, the business fixes, cleans and polishes shoes of all sizes and types, from cowboy boots to flip-flops to Birkenstocks. Turnaround times are usually under two weeks, and prices vary based on the condition the shoes are in at the time of drop-off.

Alongside their restoration services, the Shoe Hospital designs custom foot orthotics intended to alleviate foot and ankle pain and aid in mobility. In 2006, Victor became board certified as a pedorthist, and he now makes custom orthotics. The store also offers shoe lifts up to four inches to correct leg length discrepancies.

Homewood Shoe Hospital is located downtown at 2900 Central Ave. and is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. You can visit their website at homewoodshoehospital.net.

Dr. Victor Costa and his daughter, Mariana Elchert, of the Homewood Shoe Hospital on June 19.
Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.


Discover Asian, Middle Eastern and European foods at Hometown Supermarket in Homewood

Tucked away in a corner of west Homewood sits Hometown Supermarket, an all-inone community center and grocery store bringing Asian, Middle Eastern and European foods to the Birmingham area. Joy Shu, Hometown’s head of marketing, said the market is like a “home away from home” for many people in the area who miss the food of their native country. For others, it provides a rich environment to explore new snacks, try fresh seafood, pick from a plethora of unique fruits and vegetables, and be involved in community activities.

Walking through the produce section of Hometown Market, a shopper will find coconuts, longans, dragon fruit, and mangosteen, all denoted by their country of origin.

The supermarket also offers a variety of other popular food items including spring rolls, dumplings, kimchi, miso, fish sauce, green tea, and herbs.

Each aisle and product is clearly labeled in English and every product includes an official English name. The front of the store features Asian foods and further into the store a variety of Indian and African foods are available.

Asian snacks such as Buldak ramen, Pocky biscuit sticks, Hello Panda, Yan Yan and shrimp crackers and many others are available at the supermarket.

Bubble tea — a Taiwanese drink made by blending tea with milk, fruit or fruit juices, and adding tapioca pearls — can be made-to-order at the bubble tea corner or purchased pre-packaged from the store.

However the true star of the show, according to assistant general manager Linda Li, is the seafood area. There, a shopper will find tanks of sea creatures — such as live tilapia

and Canada crab — in addition to a fresh selection of fish and pre-packed seafood.

The area is host to a large variety of fish, from wild caught shark, to Yellow Croaker imported from China, to spot prawn. Conch, jellyfish, scallops, mussels and live blue crab can be found there, too, and for any order that requires it, the market will clean the fish.

Li also said that the market is home to a diverse selection of rice and noodles that are uncommon in typical American grocery stores.

“When (someone) from China or another country comes

Hometown Supermarket

• Where: 808 Green Springs Highway, Suite 140

• Hours: Daily from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.

• Facebook: Hometown SupermarketBHM

to America, they try to look for what they remember. What they’ve tasted before,” Li said. “That’s why ‘hometown,’ (it’s like) let them come over and (find) the memory and everything they’re missing.

Part of making the supermarket feel like home, Li said, was making it a center for the community. That’s why Hometown Supermarket has an upstairs level that is used entirely for dance rehearsals and Tai Chi practices, and the downstairs area is home to the Birmingham Hometown Table Tennis Club.

The supermarket offers professional table tennis coaches and sparring partners to help guide enthusiasts. The store also hosts events throughout the year including the table

tennis competition for the Alabama State Games.

Li and Shu said anyone can come play, or join in the table tennis tournaments the market hosts. More information can be found atalagames.com/ table-tennis.

For anyone looking for a bite to eat after a table tennis match, the supermarket is also home to a Chinese restaurant, Mr. Chen’s. Recently, the restaurant expanded its hours and is now open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Li said one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes is the seafood combo, which is big enough to share.

Currently, the market is working to expand its dine-in food options with a Filipino bakery, expected to open in August of this year.

Each week, the market hosts a barbecue on Sunday, excluding holidays, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and will be holding an Asian food festival on Saturday, Sept. 14, this year.

Fun activities, such as a recent Zongzi Festival crafting event, will be sprinkled throughout the year and will be announced on the market’s Facebook at HometownSupermarketBHM.


The artistic type

Every year around the holidays, Soshanya “Sash” Pike sends handwritten thank-you cards to the customers at her spa, Aphros Beauty. It’s no easy task; in just two years since the spa opened, her clientele is already up to around 260 people.

“My hands start to hurt after a while,” she said with a laugh.

Pike, who grew up in Jamaica and has 17 years of experience in spa management, uses those same hands to work her magic as a brow artist and permanent makeup specialist at Aphros.

Formerly located in Hoover, Aphros recently celebrated its grand opening at its new location at the Dental Arts Building at Brookwood Medical Center on May 8. Pike said Aphros is unique because it offers permanent makeup, paramedical tattoos and skin care and beauty treatments all in one setting.

“I’ve had some women who are cancer patients tell me that they want to do this [permanent makeup] now, because after they go through chemo, they will lose everything,” Pike said.

The services at Aphros include a traditional menu of body scrubs, body wraps, body polish, facials and waxing, alongside permanent makeup services such as ombre brows, combination brows, microblading and micro shading. She currently has a staff of four that includes an esthetician, but she plans to add a lash expert soon.

“I chose the name Aphros because I’m a sucker for Greek mythology, and Aphrodite is the goddess of beauty,” Pike said. “That name has already been taken a lot, so I decided to shorten it. We’re about not just beauty but everything that comes with it.”

Although she already had a background in spa management, Pike did not become interested in permanent makeup until a few years ago.

“We visited my friend’s sister, who was an

Spa offering permanent makeup, brow services moves to Homewood

eyebrow artist,” Pike said. “That’s when the light bulb came on and I thought, ‘This is something I could do.’”

Pike said she decided to go to California and train under Destiny Renee, a makeup artist in Sacramento and owner of Trophy Beauty.

“I’ve always been the artistic type, and I know a lot of the artists there are good at keeping up with the trends,” Pike said. “I learned about color theory, how to choose needles and how to map brows out.”

Paramedical tattooing is a fairly new development in permanent makeup, where fleshtoned pigment is used to camouflage a medical

One Man & a Toolbox Handyman Services

condition or treatment.

“A good example is creating 3D nipple tattoos following a mastectomy,” Pike said. “You can’t feel it. When you touch it, it feels like normal skin, but it looks like a real nipple and areola.”

Pike, who started her career at Sandals Resort and later Palace Resorts, said she knew for a long time that she wanted to start her own business.

“I always wanted to have my own spa,” Pike said. “I still keep in touch with GMs [general managers] from the resorts I worked at, and they know it’s always been a dream of mine. I just wanted to add permanent makeup

“When you connect with people, men and women, who are losing their hair from chemo and have lost their self-esteem, to help them with something that seems so small, it’s the best feeling.

to my services.”

Pike said she has many clients who have touched her heart, but one person who especially comes to mind is Racquel Innis-Shelton, a local oncologist who visits her every couple of weeks.

“She recently told me, ‘I work so much, and this time here is time that I can take for myself and not have to think about my work,’” Pike said.

Both of their sons are around the same age, Pike said, and were already friends before she met Innis-Shelton, and now they are both good friends as well.

“When you connect with people, men and women, who are losing their hair from chemo and have lost their self-esteem, to help them with something that seems so small, it’s the best feeling,” Pike said. “It reminds me of why I do what I do.”

Aphros Beauty is located at 2045 Brookwood Medical Drive, Suite 24. Hours are Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Walk-ins are welcome. For more information or to make an appointment, call 205-377-6511 or email concierge@ aphrosbeauty.com.

Sash Pike, owner of Aphros Beauty Permanent Make-up & Spa in Homewood. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Sips and Bites

Best Brunch?

Chris Zapalowski has been cooking since childhood, and he now co-owns Homewood Gourmet, located at 2703 Mamie L Foster, 18th Place, with his wife, Laura. They keep it simple at the fast casual restaurant, with a menu full of Southern staples and New Orleans cuisine.

Q: Anything new or upcoming that we should know?

A: Every single Saturday, from May until November, we sell breakfast from 7 a.m. to noon at Pepper Place Farmers Market.

Q: What is your favorite part about working in the industry?

A: I think the reward is watching a smile on their face while they’re eating, having that first bite of the plate and watching them enjoy it.

Q: How’d you get started in the industry?

A: They always say you’re gonna do what you love, and I love to eat. I started cooking at a fairly young age and then started working in restaurants after graduating from college.

Just a block from downtown Homewood lies Luca, one of the newest additions to the city’s food scene.

The Italian restaurant boasts a large pizza oven and offers pasta, sandwiches and more. Luca also features a wide selection of meats and cheeses, sauces and spices, and wine.

Led by executive chefs Rita Bernhardt and Paul Yeck, the restaurant is spearheaded by the Pihakis Restaurant Group.

Adjacent to the restaurant is Luca Mercato Lagotto, a take-home market offering a range of Italian products.

The restaurant has plenty of seating, including 129 indoor seats in the dining room and bar and an expansive outdoor patio courtyard that seats 60.

Luca is located at 1722 28th Ave. S. and is open Sunday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, visit eatluca.com.

The Homewood Star is spotlighting local restaurants in print and online. To be considered for this free feature, please submit your restaurant’s information here: go.starnesmedia.com/business-spotlight

We asked Homewood residents their favorite spots to enjoy Sunday brunch.

Here are the top five answers:

► Big Bad Breakfast: Featuring biscuits, omelets, eggs, pancakes, sandwiches and more daily from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at 1926 29th Ave. S. For more information, go to bigbadbreakfast.com.

► Demetri’s: Menu items include original breakfast foods, shrimp and grits, fried steak and eggs, hangover burger and fries and more at 1901 28th Ave. S. Hours are Monday through Saturday 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; Sunday brunch 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, go to demetrisbbq.com.

► Maple Street Biscuit Company: Featuring biscuit sandwiches, brunch bowls, taco bundles, biscuits and gravy and more. The restaurant, located at 2801 18th St. S., is open Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, go to maplestreetbiscuits.com.

► Ruby Sunshine: Featuring beignets, biscuits and gravy, shrimp and grits, eggs and omelets, pancakes, sandwiches and more at its 1017 Oxmoor Road location. Hours are Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.; Saturdays and Sundays from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, go to rubybrunch.com .

► Soho Standard: Menu items include beignets, waffles, French toast, cinnamon rolls, shrimp and grits, steak and biscuits and more. The restaurant, located at 1830 29th Ave. S. #175, is open Monday through Saturday, 4-10 p.m. and features bottomless tapas brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, go to sohostandard.bar

Chris Zapalowski. Photo courtesy of Chris Zapalowski.
An assortment of dishes at Luca in Homewood. Photo courtesy of Angie Mosier.

Recently sold homes in Homewood

► ADDRESS: 200 Bonita Drive

► BED/BATH: 4/3.5

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 3,709 sq. ft.


► LIST PRICE: $1,500,000

► SALE PRICE: $1,409,500

► ADDRESS: 173 Old Montgomery Highway #C

► BED/BATH: 2/1

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 961 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: Foxcroft Condominiums

► LIST PRICE: $175,000

► SALE PRICE: $180,000

► ADDRESS: 1622 Woodfern Drive

► BED/BATH: 4/3

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 2,004 sq. ft.


► LIST PRICE: $675,000

► SALE PRICE: $680,000

► ADDRESS: 1909 Shades Cliff Terrace #D

► BED/BATH: 2/1

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 980 sq. ft.

► NEIGHBORHOOD: The Hermitage Condominiums

► LIST PRICE: $159,900

► SALE PRICE: $152,000

► ADDRESS: 815 Forrest Drive

► BED/BATH: 3/2

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 1,685 sq. ft.


► LIST PRICE: $657,000

► SALE PRICE: $657,000

► ADDRESS: 3434 Sandner Court #D

► BED/BATH: 2/1

► SQUARE FOOTAGE: 864 sq. ft.


► LIST PRICE: $133,950

► SALE PRICE: $138,000



Homewood events guide

Tuesdays: West Homewood Farmer’s Market. 5-8 p.m. 160 Oxmoor Road. Tuesday evenings feature family fun, live music, food trucks and fresh produce. The market will run through Aug. 6. westhomewood.com.

July 1-3: Disney Mini Camp. 9 a.m. to noon. Homewood Theatre, 1831 28th Ave. S., Suite 160 N. Ages 3 to 2nd grade. Come explore the theater with favorite Disney characters. This mini camp will help students learn about ensemble, imagination and creative drama through Disney-themed warm ups, games and lessons. This camp will culminate in a short production on July 3 for friends and family. The registration fee is $175. To register, visit homewoodtheatre.com/education-2.

July 4: 4th of July Festival. 5 p.m. Downtown Homewood. The whole family can enjoy inflatables and rides in the streets, a DJ and one of the best locations in the Birmingham metro area to view the “Thunder on the Mountain” fireworks show at Vulcan Park. All of the festival activities will end at 9 p.m., when the fireworks begin. An unlimited attraction wristband will be required to enjoy inflatables for $10 per person. Visit homewoodparks.com/special-events for more information.

July 4: Thunder on the Mountain. 9-10 p.m. Vulcan Park and Museum, 1701 Valley View Drive. Come out to one of the many viewing points from around Birmingham to view the epic fireworks that have become a beloved Magic City tradition. The soundtrack can be heard on iHeart media radio stations. For more information, go to visitvulcan.com/ july-4th-fireworks.

July 8-12: Musical Theatre Bootcamp. 9 a.m. to noon. Homewood Theatre, 1831 28th Ave. S., Suite 160 N. For grades 6-12. This camp is a musical theater intensive where students will learn all about being a triple threat. Students will learn dancing, singing, acting and putting it all together. This camp will culminate in a short production on July 12 for friends and family. The registration fee is $250. To register, visit homewoodtheatre.com/education-2.

July 12-13: Vulcan Vault. July 12 at 3 p.m. to July 13 at 10 p.m. Rosewood Plaza, 2850 19th St. S. Athletes can compete in, and spectators can watch, this competitive pole vaulting event. Competitors must be 2024 USATF members. Registration is $125, but the event is free for spectators. To register, visit gotribeelite.org/vulcan-vault-24.

July 15-18: Trinity UMC VBS. 9 a.m. to noon. Trinity United Methodist Church, 1400 Oxmoor Road. Ages 4K through 3rd grade. Kids will embark on a heroic adventure filled with Bible stories, games, crafts and more. Attendance is free of charge. Register online at trinitybirmingham. com/event/vacation-bible-school.

July 21: Le Tour De Cahaba 2024. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Ride begins at Cahaba Cycles,1724 27th Court South. Bike alone or with family, and choose from five different distance options, from 10 to 65 miles, or the Slow Your Roll family ride, which is under 5 miles. The fee to participate is $30 prior to July 19, and $40 after that date. The Slow Your Roll ride is $15 per adult, $10 per child and free for kids under age 5. A portion of the fee goes to support BUMP (Birmingham Urban Mountain Pedalers). There will be a post-ride cookout at the Homewood Cahaba Cycles store. This is a rain or shine event. Visit cahabacycles.com/articles/2024-le-tour-decahaba-pg1153.htm for more information.

July 22-Aug. 2: Wizard of Oz Production Camp. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Monday through Friday. Homewood Theatre, 1831 28th Ave. S., Suite 160 N. Grades 3-8. Limited to 15 students. Registration is $300. To register, visit homewoodtheatre.com/education-2.

Homewood Public Library


Wednesdays: Summer Storytime. 10:30-11 a.m. Round Auditorium. For preschoolers.

July 1: Comic Creators. 4-6 p.m. Room 102, Lower Level. Rising grades 4-12. Registration required.

July 6 and 20: Toddler Jams with Fiddlesticks. 10:3011:30 a.m. Round Auditorium. For preschoolers. Registration required.

July 8: Nature Tails with Fresh Air Family. 10:30-11 a.m. Round Auditorium. Preschool through first grade.

July 9: Travelin’ Tales with That Puppet Guy! 9:30-10 a.m. and 11-11:30 a.m. Large Auditorium. All ages.

July 11: Shinkendo 101 with Shinkendo of Birmingham. 3:30-4:15 p.m. Large Auditorium. Grades 2-5. Registration required.

July 12 and 26: Teen Art Boot Camp. 3-4:30 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Rising grades 4-12. Registration required.

July 15: Teen Crochet Circle. 3-5 p.m. Room 102, Lower Level. Rising grades 4-12. Registration required.

July 15: Science Show at West Homewood. 3:30-4 p.m. West Homewood Senior Center. All ages.

July 16: Zoofari Earth with Animal Tales. 9:30-10 a.m. and 11-11:30 a.m. Large Auditorium. All ages.

July 16: Southern Museum of Flight Presents — The Science of Flight. 2-2:45 p.m. Southern Museum of Flight. All ages.

July 22: Adventures in Paleontology with Alabama Museum of Natural History. 3:30-4:15 p.m. Round Auditorium. All ages.

July 23: Mr. Larry’s Magic Show. 9:30-10 a.m. and 11-11:30 a.m. Large Auditorium. All ages. July 24: River Adventures with Cahaba Riverkeeper. 3:30-4:15 p.m. Round Auditorium. Grades 3-5. Registration required.

July 25: Alabama Animals with Ruffner Mountain. 3:304:15 p.m. Large Auditorium. Grades 2-5. Registration required.

July 30: Water Play Day! 10:30 a.m. to noon. Library parking lot. All ages.

July 30: 6th Grade Social. 6-8 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Rising grade 6. Registration required.


Tuesdays: Game Design Basics. 2-3 p.m. on Zoom. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 1: Comic Creators. 4-6 p.m. Room 102, Lower Level. Rising grades 4-12. Registration required.

July 7 and 21: Teen Dungeons & Dragons. 3-5 p.m. Room 10, Lower Level. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 8: Resume Building and Professionalism for Teens. 3-4 p.m. Room 109. Grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 8 and 22: Teen Ani-Marathon 2024. 4-6 p.m. Room 102, Lower Level. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 11 and 25: Teen Theatre. 4-5 p.m. Round Auditorium. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 11: Teen Advisory Board (TAB). 6-7 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Rising grades 6-12. July 12 and 26: Teen Art Boot Camp. 3-4:30 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Rising grades 4-12. Registration required.

July 13: Teen Fencing. 3-4:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 14: Yoga for Teens. 3-4 p.m. Round Auditorium. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 15: Teen Crochet Circle. 3-5 p.m. Room 102, Lower Level. Rising grades 4-12. Registration required.

July 18: Fish IDing with Alabama State Fisheries. 1-2 p.m. Room 110, Lower Level. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 19: Teen Sumi-E Inkwash Painting. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 22: Career Planning for Teens. 3-4 p.m. Room 109,

Lower Level. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 25: ACT Math Bootcamp. 6-7:30 p.m. Room 102, Lower Level. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 27: Fantasy Fairy Jars. 1-2 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.

July 28: Culture Club — Shinkendo of Birmingham. 3-5 p.m. Large Auditorium. Rising grades 9-12. Registration required.

July 29: ACT Reading/English Bootcamp. 6-7:30 p.m. Room 102, Lower Level. Rising grades 6-12. Registration required.


Mondays: Virtual Library Yoga with Jackie Tally. 2-3 p.m. on Zoom. Registration required.

Thursdays: Game Nights at the Library. 6-8:30 p.m. Room 101, Lower Level.

July 6: Adult Crafting with September Reed — Paper Lanterns. 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Registration required.

July 9: Not Your Mama’s Book Club — Understanding the Enneagram. 2-3 p.m. Library Boardroom.

July 9: Oxmoor Page Turners Book Club — Family Lore. 6:30-8 p.m. Library Boardroom.

July 10: West Homewood Read, Watch & Review — Summer & the Beach. 1-2 p.m. Homewood Senior Center.

July 10: Staff Movie Picks — “Ticket to Paradise.” 3-6 p.m. Large Auditorium.

July 11: Stories of the South — The History of the Iron Bowl. 6:30-7:30 p.m. Large Auditorium.

July 11: Read It & Eat Book Club — “The Paris Novel.” 6:30-8 p.m. Urban Cookhouse.

July 12: EW Motion Therapy — “Redefining Nutrition: How Daily Habits Shape our Health.” 11 a.m. to noon. Large Auditorium.

July 16: The ABCs of Medicare. Noon to 1 p.m. Room 116, Lower Level.

July 16: Seasonal Stories with Sid Burgess. 1-2 p.m. Round Auditorium.

July 16: Forever YA Book Club — “City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare. 6-7 p.m. Room 108, Lower Level.

July 18: Miniature Painting With September Reed. 6:30-8 p.m. Room 109, Lower Level. Registration required.

July 19: Big Ideas Book Club — “Building a Second Brain” by Tiago Forte. Noon to 1 p.m. Library Boardroom. Registration required.

July 19: Taylor Swift Cocktail Class with Kelly Viall of Birmingham Sushi. 6:30-8 p.m. Large Auditorium. Adults 21 and over. Registration required.

July 23: Stories of the South with Mildred J. Mills. 1-2 p.m. Round Auditorium.

July 24: Windows 11. 2:30-4 p.m. Computer Training Lab and Zoom. Registration required.

July 24: Staff Movie Picks — “Jaws.” 3-6 p.m. Large Auditorium.

July 29: West Homewood Presents Niki Sepsas — The Grand Journey. 3-4 p.m. Homewood Senior Center.

July 29: Dixie’s Pet Loss Support Group. 6-7 p.m. Room 106, Lower Level. For reservations, contact Jenni Smith at 205-9030958.

July 30: Niki Sepsas Presents — Amsterdam: Queen City of the Golden Age. 2-3 p.m. Round Auditorium.

July 31: Better Than Therapy Book Club — “Hello Beautiful.” 2-3:30 p.m. Library Boardroom.

July 31: Introduction to Word 2016 — Part 1. 2:30 - 4 p.m. Computer Training Lab and Zoom. Register online.

Back to School Bash returns next month

The Homewood Parks and Rec Department will team up with the West Homewood Neighborhood Association for the city’s annual summer festival.

The event will feature food, fun, bounce houses, a pep rally and live music at Homewood’s annual Back to School Bash, scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 24, from 4:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Patriot Park.

Rusty Holley, the superintendent of Homewood Parks and Recreation, said this year’s

event will feature a pep rally with members of the Homewood High School Patriot Band at 5 p.m. At 5:30 p.m., local band DeVine and Co will take the stage. Inspired by the music of the Grateful Dead, DeVine and Co blends rock, jazz and improvisation to create their own sound.

Holley said the band will perform throughout most of the evening.

Mechanical rides this year will include a cyclone swing and another ride for adults called Reckless.

“The cyclone swing is for the younger kids,

while Reckless looks like a big pirate ship. It has a patriotic look to it,” Holley said.

Two to four food trucks will be at the event, and guests will have access to nearby restaurants as well.

“The food truck vendors are all either sponsors of the West Homewood Neighborhood Association or sponsors of We Love Homewood Day,” he said. “Cantina and Neighbors Ice Cream will also be open across the street.”

Holley said his team always begins preparing three to four months ahead for the Back to School Bash, especially when planning for the

mechanical rides and inflatables.

“This has been happening every year for around the last 20 years,” Holley said. “For the last seven years, we’ve partnered with the West Homewood Neighborhood Association, who’s helped with the logistics.”

General admission is free, but attendees must purchase a $10 wristband to enjoy the inflatables and the rides. Proceeds benefit the HHS band, Holley said.

Patriot Park is located at 710 Oak Grove Road in Homewood. For more information, visit homewoodparks.com/special-events.

Left: Children play on an inflatable during the annual Back to School Bash. Staff photo.
Right: People gather at Patriot Park for the Back to School Bash in August 2022. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.


swings at a

All-South Metro Baseball

McFadden, Ross named to 1st team

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

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

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

► Player of the Year: Mason Blasche, Hoover

► Hitter of the Year: Caleb Barnett, Mountain Brook

► Pitcher of the Year: Bryson Morman, Oak Mountain

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


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

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

► Pitcher: Jack Ross, Homewood; posted

an 8-2 record with a 1.88 earned run average.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Homewood’s Jack Ross (5)
pitch during an area game against Mountain Brook at Homewood High School on April 12. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.
Homewood’s Cooper Sain (44) in a game against Ramsay in February. Photo courtesy of Scott Butler.

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

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

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

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

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

► Infield: Levi Nickoli, Homewood; hit five home runs and surrendered just a 1.59

ERA as a pitcher.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

► Catcher: Peyton Parkinson, Oak Mountain.

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

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

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

John Carroll’s Carson McFadden.
Photo courtesy of Sherry Rowe.

All-South Metro Softball

Patriots, Cavs players named to team

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

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

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

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

► Hitter of the Year: Maggie Daniel, Spain Park

► Pitcher of the Year: Tait Davidson, Vestavia Hills

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

► Outfield: Sheridan Andrews, Oak Mountain; hit nearly .400, hit four homers and stole 20 bases as a sophomore.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Homewood’s Mia Gonzalez (21) pitches in a game against Shades Valley during the Class 6A, Area 9 tournament at Mountain Brook High School on April 26. Photo courtesy of Scott Butler.
John Carroll’s Mallory Ogle (11) heads for home plate to score for the Cavaliers in a game against Homewood during the Kick-Off Classic at the West Homewood Athletic Complex in February 2023. Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.


Have a community announcement? Email Sarah Villar at svillar@starnesmedia.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.

Homewood siblings glide onto national water skiing scene

What began as family fun on the lake has turned into aspirations of world championships for a Homewood family.

Siblings RJ and Tessa Teter started waterskiing as small children, when their parents took them to Lake Lanier near their home in northern Georgia. “My dad sort of skied for fun on the lake on the weekends,” RJ said.

Those fun weekends eventually stoked a competitive nature in RJ. When the Teter family moved to Alabama, RJ brought that fire with him. By age 8, he was entering competitions and discovering he was “pretty good at tournament skiing.”

Soon to be a senior at Homewood High School, RJ is now among the best in the country. Following in her older brother’s direction, rising freshman Tessa is, too.

The thrill of competing against other elite water skiers is only part of what drives the Teters.

“It’s one of the only sports where every time you take a part in it, you end up losing,” RJ said. “There’s always a shorter rope length, there’s always a faster speed. The world champion can go out there and win the competition, but they’re losing to the boat.”

Many of the top competitors are children of current or former pros.

The Teters’ rise didn’t happen like that, but their development came through seeking mentorship from top trainers.

“We just sort of stumbled into the competition part of it,” RJ said.

“Before that, we were just recreational skiers.”

The siblings practice their craft at Lymanland near Tuscaloosa, on the manmade lake built by renowned skier Lyman Hardy, currently the president of the American Water Ski Association.

RJ’s best event is the slalom, which he’ll compete in at the worlds. His best national finish was fifth in his age division. Tessa already boasts a fourth-place finish in trick skiing.

“I definitely had his expertise to help me, and it was easier because we had already been to some bigger tournaments, so we knew how to deal with it,” Tessa said.

They enjoy the camaraderie of the sport.

“The people in your age division, you’ve been skiing against your

whole life, so you’re pretty familiar with them,” Tessa said. “It’s really fun going to the big tournaments.”

The fun takes a backseat to the competitive side once it’s time to crank the boat and go for it. That’s when all the training becomes instinct, and where even the slightest movement can dramatically impact the result.

“It’s a very technical sport because, I mean, you’re standing on a piece of carbon fiber and fiberglass at 36 miles an hour, trying to get from one side

of the course to the other,” RJ said. “And you have to do that six times in 16 seconds. The slightest degree of body position, left or right, forward or back, very much changes how the ski will react and where you will go.”

The Teter siblings were scheduled to compete at the Junior U.S. Open Water Ski Championships in Texas in late June. Then in July, RJ will compete in the slalom at the 2024 International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation Under 17 world championships.

Above: RJ Teter, 17, slaloms at LymanLand USA. Right: Tessa Teter, 14, and her older brother RJ. The Teters competed in the Junior U.S. Open in Texas in late June and RJ is competing in the slalom at the 2024 International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation Under-17 world championships at the end of July in Canada. Photos by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

Ordinary Days By Lauren Denton

Enneagram, anyone?

Raise your hand if you know what the Enneagram is. Raise your other hand if you know your Enneagram number. (If you had a third, I’d ask you to raise it if you’re more sure of your spouse’s number than you are your own. I may or may not be raising my hand.)

The Enneagram, at the most basic level, is a system that uses different personality types to help people understand themselves and the people around them. As I understand it, one of the most important aspects of the Enneagram is the motivation — two different people may display the same behavior, but they do that behavior for different reasons, depending on their Enneagram number.

I first heard the term “Enneagram” sometime after my friends Holly and Anna and I became a trio. Our conversations frequently included phrases like “her two wing was talking” or “my eightness made me do it.” When I was clueless, they directed me to “The Road Back to You” by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile. That helped explain those clever little turns of phrase, but I didn’t get very far in the personality pegging, so I left the book on my bookshelf.

A couple years later, I cracked the book open again after hearing authors talk about how they never begin writing a new story without first knowing their characters’ Enneagram numbers. I skimmed through the book, making notes about what my new character might do in certain situations. But alas, just

like last time, I didn’t get very far. I’ve recently given it a third try, not because I feel left out or need help writing a book, but rather because I’m finally seeing how it could be a real help when it comes to understanding the people I love. Not to mention myself.

I’ll be the first to say I’m an extremely flawed human. I say the wrong things, do the wrong things, act in ways that even I think are ridiculous, but I never stopped to think about why I do what I do.

I’ll admit, I’m having a little trouble figuring out which Enneagram number I fit into.

To go a step further, I’m finding it easier to type the people around me than myself! That’s probably not all that uncommon. After all, isn’t it easier to see the speck in someone else’s eye than the log in our own?

At the end of the day, I really just want to love my people well, see them for who they are and have the grace to give them what they need. If the Enneagram can give me any helping hand at that task, I’ll take it. And if it helps me write a better book, then I’ll take that too.

When I’m not writing about my family and our various shenanigans, I write novels and go to the grocery store. You can find my books in stores, online, and locally at Little Professor Bookshop. You can reach me by email at Lauren@LaurenKDenton.com, visit my website LaurenKDenton.com, or find me on Instagram @LaurenKDentonBooks or Facebook ~LaurenKDentonAuthor.

Possible Change in Government Structure

CONTINUED from page 1

Ward 5 Councilwoman Jennifer Andress said that as of June 21, less than 100 signatures were left to obtain in order to hold the referendum.

“We are all bringing in more signatures daily as more and more people have done some research and are ready to sign the petition,” Andress said.

The state requires that a referendum be held between 40 and 90 days from the time signatures are collected. Otherwise, the signatures are no longer valid.

If 10% of voters agree to hold a referendum, the petition would be submitted to the probate court, and an official date would be scheduled for a special election.

If the vote to change the form of government is approved, it would be enacted in November 2025, when the new council is seated.

The referendum would ask voters whether they want to change from the current government structure of an 11-member council with five wards to a five-member council with four wards. The new change could also allow for a city manager, which would be a full-time executive position within the city.

Sam Gaston, city manager for Mountain Brook, who has been in the position for more than 30 years, gave a presentation at the June 4 informational session about the new governmental structure.

Gaston outlined reasons why cities operate with a city manager position and what it often looks like for a city that has one in place.

“This form of government works very well in cities like Homewood, Vestavia, Mountain Brook,” Gaston said. “For a city of your size, with roughly 29,000 [residents], over a $50 million budget and 350 to 400 employees, you need more than just a part-time mayor and 11 council members. You need a professional running your operations on a day-to-day basis.”

a community of its size.

“Having 11 city council members and a part-time mayor is challenging, and no one is managing the city on a full-time basis,” Gaston said. “Having a professional city manager will increase the efficiency, professionalism, longrange planning and innovation in the city government, resulting in better and coordinated services to the citizens of Homewood.”

Currently there are 16 city managers in the state of Alabama, with five of them in Jefferson County municipalities.

Gaston said there are three options in Alabama if you want professional local government management:

► Council/manager form of government: The city of Vestavia Hills currently operates under this form and is the same form that Homewood is considering.

► City manager position by ordinance: The city of Mountain Brook operates under this form as well as several additional cities, including Pelham.

► City administrator: The city administrator answers to the mayor. Alabaster and Hoover have city administrator positions.

Gaston ended his presentation at the informational session by encouraging those interested in the various forms of government to talk with their friends in neighboring cities such as Mountain Brook and Vestavia.

Andress said feedback from Gaston’s presentation, which can be viewed on the city’s

Where Do I Vote?

Go online to myinfo.alabama votes.gov/voterview to confirm your registration status, ballot status, polling location and address.

commented on how helpful Sam Gaston’s presentation was, that they ended up watching after it was over several days later,” she said.

One concern that some community members have had is that decreasing the size of the city council from 11 to five also decreases the amount of representation for residents.

Wyatt addressed some of these points at the informational session, saying there will likely be differing opinions about what the best number for a new council would be. He added that the number could change depending on the feelings of the council members moving forward.

“You will likely find some people who think five is too little, they want seven, or some who want nine, thinking that nine is the best number,” Wyatt said. “I think it is OK that there are differing opinions about that. If there are strong feelings about a certain number needed on the council, or adequate representation for a particular ward, that would need to be addressed to the council, from the public,

Steps Toward A Rederendum

► Collect signatures: A petition to hold the referendum that has circulated since mid-March. To go forward with the referendum, the petition requires signatures from 10% of voters who participated in the last municipal election and still reside in the city.

► The probate court schedules a special election: If 10% of voters agree to hold a referendum, the petition would be submitted to the probate court, and an official date (between 40 and 90 days from the time signatures are collected) would be scheduled for a special election.

► The voters decide: A special election will be held to ask voters whether they want to change from the current government structure of an 11-member council with five wards to a five-member council with four wards as well as allow for a city manager, which would be a full-time executive position within the city. On the ballot this will read as, “Shall the council-manager form of government as provided by the Council-Manager Act of 1982 be adopted for the City of Homewood?”

limits of Homewood still are not clear on what the petition means if they choose to sign it.

Additional details about the petition and the potential changes can be found online at cityofhomewood.com.

from page

My goal is to make someone’s worst day better, by answering the call. Homewood makes this possible by the support they provide for our department everyday.”

Broadhead began his fire service career at the age of 14, when he joined the Boy Scouts Fire Explorer Program in Montevallo. When he graduated high school, he became an EMT and went to work for Regional Paramedics, which is what led him to eventually work in Homewood, according to information provided by the city.

After completing paramedic school, longtime Chief John Bresnan gave Broadhead a job, which was unheard of at the time since they did not hire untrained firefighters, according to the city.

Broadhead was hired in 2008 and never left Homewood.

He completed both paramedic and firefighter training, then started his journey through various positions in administration.

“Homewood has that small-town feel while being large enough to have big city services,” Broadhead said. “I have been a part of HFD for a little over 16 years, so there was not much of a learning curve to becoming fire chief. Things are moving quickly as I prepare to implement plans I presented to the mayor during the interview process and fill the vacant positions on my team.”

As Broadhead settles into his new role, he hopes to work with key stakeholders to implement plans that will increase efficiency both for the firefighters and the citizens of Homewood.

“I plan to ensure HFD is reachable from the public. We have started a social media campaign to help the community become familiar with our members,” Broadhead said. “I believe it is important to know your first responders before you ever call 911. I am also working with our neighboring Over the Mountain departments to provide mutual aid staffing during large events. These events require large numbers of first responders and rarely happen to multiple communities at the same time. By partnering with our neighbors, we can provide that surge capacity we need while still maintaining a responsible fiscal budget.”

One thing Broadhead enjoys is driving the town’s official 1927 American LaFrance fire truck, which is the first truck the department ever had, according to information provided by the city.

It took roughly 10 years to refurbish and now makes appearances at special events, sometimes with Broadhead behind the wheel.

The city said a small group of firefighters regularly maintains the truck.

A current challenge facing the department is recruitment for a job in public safety.

“The shift in generational ideas have driven a change in the way we recruit,” Broadhead said. “We are trying to appeal to the side of people that are looking for a calling and not just a job.”

Broadhead said he believes in the inverted pyramid style of leadership.

“It is my job to ensure my senior officers

are equipped and have the resources they need to serve their firefighters,” Broadhead said. “In return, our firefighters will better serve our customers. Our customers, the citizens, are the reason we exist and deserve the highest level of service possible.”

Broadhead said even though Homewood

is the second most densely populated city in Alabama, it is the residents that make it feel like a small town.

“The amount of support the citizens have shown to HFD over the years makes each and every firefighter truly feel like part of the community,” Broadhead said. “HFD are

problem solvers. When you have an issue and you are not sure who to call, call us and even if we can’t solve your issue, we will help you find someone that can.”

Broadhead is the father of three girls and his wife, Amber, is a teacher at Edgewood Elementary School.

Brandon Broadhead Broadhead is Homewood’s sixth fire chief.
Photo by Erin Nelson Sweeney.

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