April 2021 | Volume 11 | Issue 11
Your Community Realtor
Buying or Selling? Call me for a free consultation 205.249.0057 THEHOMEWOODSTAR.COM
HOMEWOOD’S COMMUNITY NEWS SOURCE
‘LEVEL OF PROTECTION’
Local entrepreneur John Cassimus tapped to lead 12-part cooking series called “Darn Hungry.”
See page B1
Spring Home & Garden Guide
Find tips and tricks for your spring home and garden projects from area businesses in our 2021 Spring Home & Garden Guide.
See page B2
INSIDE Sponsors .......... A4 News ..................A6 Business ........... A8 Chamber ......... A12 Events .............. A16
Community...... A18 Schoolhouse.... A19 Opinion............ A20 Sports............... A21 Camp Guide.... A26
Homewood police officer Josh Reebals presses the record button on a police-issued body camera before getting out of his vehicle. Sgt. John Carr said the department has plans to expand this program in the future. Photo by Erin Nelson.
Newly acquired body cameras provide accountability for police, public By INGRID SCHNADER
t didn’t take long for the Homewood Police Department’s new purchase of body cameras to make an impact. The department purchased the body cameras in early February and started regularly using them Feb. 12. Then, on Feb. 13, officers responded to a shots
fired call at the Motel 6 on Vulcan Road. Police body camera footage showed an officer responding to the scene at Motel 6. He ran up to the scene and saw a group of eyewitnesses to the crime surrounding a man who was bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. The officer then applied a tourniquet above the victim’s wound before the victim was transported to UAB with life-threatening injuries.
Meanwhile, three or four other Homewood police officers pursued the suspect, Laderrius Travon Hollis, who was in his vehicle. After Hollis crashed his car on Green Springs Highway, the officers began to chase him on foot. With the help of the Birmingham Police Department, the officers set a perimeter
See CAMERAS | page A30
Magic City Acceptance Academy aims to offer a brave space facebook.com/thehomewoodstar
The Magic City Acceptance Academy will be an LGBTQaffirming environment serving up to 400 students in grades 6-12 opening fall 2021. Screenshot by Ingrid Schnader.
By INGRID SCHNADER A new, unique school is opening in Homewood this fall. The Magic City Acceptance Academy will be an extension of the Magic City Acceptance Center and will provide an affirming learning environment for LGBTQ students. Up to 400 students in grades 6-12 will be served at the school, MCAA Principal Mike Wilson said, and it will be open for classes by fall 2021. The MCAC is an LGBTQ youth center that opened in
See ACADEMY | page A30
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The Homewood Star
A2 • April 2021
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April 2021 • A3
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The Homewood Star
A4 • April 2021
About Us Editor’s Note By Ingrid Schnader I figured out the secret to enjoying running. In the past, every time I went for a run, I was haunted by how fast I could run in middle school. Back then, when we did our physicals for P.E. class, I could run a mile in seven and a half or eight minutes. I played soccer back then, and although I didn’t run much outside of soccer practice, I was much faster back then. So then as an adult when I would run and see my mile pace at 12 minutes, I would get so discouraged. If I forced myself to go any faster, I couldn’t walk the next day. I would then quit and tell myself, “I’m terrible at running.” I’ll always be a biker first, but recently, I’ve really wanted to get into running because it’s an activity I can
do with my dog (he’s a bit scared of my mountain bike). I decided to go slow and not look at my pace. Even if it feels like I’m barely moving, I run slow enough to be able to enjoy the run. And guess what? This mindset has made all the difference.
I think we sabotage ourselves like this a lot of times throughout life. There are so many things in my life I didn’t try because I told myself, “I’m bad at X.” When we eliminate this mindset, we allow ourselves to try new things and practice them and get better at them. I’m so happy the time has changed and the weather has warmed up a bit. Now when I get done with work, not only is the sun still up, but the weather feels perfect for going outside and trying something new. Enjoy the issue!
PHOTO OF THE MONTH
Homewood’s Austin Whitley (12) high-fives John Hall (16) after scoring a run in a game against John Carroll Catholic on March 5 at Homewood High School. Photo by Erin Nelson.
Publisher: Dan Starnes Managing Editor: Nick Patterson Community Editors: Ingrid Schnader Jon Anderson Jesse Chambers Neal Embry Leah Ingram Eagle Sports Editor: Kyle Parmley Design Editor: Melanie Viering Photo Editor: Erin Nelson Page Designers: Kristin Williams Ted Perry Account Managers: Layton Dudley Ted Perry Content Marketing Manager: Erica Brock Graphic Designer: Emily VanderMey Local Sales Manager: Senior Business Development Exec.: Business Development Exec.: Client Success Specialist: Marketing Consultants:
Gregg Gannon Michelle Salem Haynes
Don Harris Anna Bain Warren Caldwell Kentevious Forehand Stacey Hatcher Jamie Lester John Yarbrough Business Administrator: Anna Jackson
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Please submit all articles, information and photos to: email@example.com P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253
Published by: The Homewood Star LLC Legals: The Homewood Star is published monthly. Reproduction or use of editorial or graphic content without prior permission is prohibited. The Homewood Star is designed to inform the Homewood community of area school, family and community events. Information in The Homewood Star is gathered from sources considered reliable but the accuracy cannot be guaranteed. All articles/photos submitted become the property of The Homewood Star. 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 Ballet(A28) Alabama Power (A32, B14) Amanda Dabbs, RealtySouth (B5) Bedzzz Express (B1, B16) Birmingham Botanical Gardens (A8) Birmingham Museum of Art (A28) Bluff Park Shutter Company (B11) Brandino Brass (B4) Byars-Wright Insurance (B13) Cardinal Roofing (B3) Children’s of Alabama (A12) Closets by Design (B9) Color World House Painting (B7) ENT Associates of Alabama (A10) Etc. (A19) First Lenders Mortgage Corp. (B14) French Drains Pro (A8) Gardner Landscaping (B2) Green Springs Animal Clinic (A24) Guin Service (B8) Hiltz Lauber/Rugko (A17) HomeRN (A6) Homewood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (A25) Homewood Parks and Rec (B15) Indian Springs School (A26) Issis & Sons (A9) Jefferson County Commission (A23) Johnny Montgomery, ERA King (B10) Kathryn Romanchuk, The Faulkner Group (B12) Kete Cannon, ARC Realty (B11) LAH Real Estate (B6) Momentum Motorworks (A20) NeedCo Inc. (B13) Nicole Brannon, ARC Realty (A1) One Man and a Toolbox (A12, B10) Over the Mountain Glass (A16) Piggly Wiggly (A15) Publix (A31) Red Mountain Theatre Company (A21) Renew Dermatology (A2) ROME Study, UAB Division of Preventative Medicine (A20) Senior Smart (A3) Shades Creek Dental (A5) Sikes Children’s Shoes (A16) SOHO Social (A11) Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (B12) The Dance Foundation (A27) The Harbor at Lay Lake (A15) Thomas Andrew Art (A10) Truitt Insurance & Bonding (A1) TrustCare Urgent Care (B1) TrustMark Bank (A13) Village Dermatology (A7) Window World of Central Alabama (A11) Worx Birmingham (A25)
April 2021 • A5
Ask the Doctor Ron MacBeth, DMD Dr. MacBeth lives in Homewood with his wife, Lisa, his two daughters, Vivian and Louise, and fur-baby, Sandy. Dr. MacBeth came to Birmingham in 2006 to attend Birmingham-Southern College. Dr. MacBeth then attended the UAB School of Dentistry. When deciding where to start a practice, Homewood best resembled the tight-knit, family-focused community in which they wanted to live. Dr. MacBeth looks forward to serving this community and hopes to see you soon!
Cavities Part 1:
What is a cavity and how can I prevent them? What is a cavity?
How can I prevent a cavity?
A cavity is a small hole in the outer layer of your tooth, known as the enamel. They are the result of tooth decay. Over time, tooth decay can cause damage to both the enamel and the inner layer of a tooth. When food remains in your teeth, it creates plaque. Plaque is a soft, sticky substance containing bacteria that promotes cavities. If bacteria deposits from plaque aren’t removed by brushing and flossing, they can create cavities, gum disease, and buildup. Foods with carbohydrates like bread, cereal, soda, sweets, or candy remain on your teeth. When you consume these foods, the plaque-causing bacteria turns the sugar into acid. The acid breaks down your tooth enamel over time and the plaque holds the acid in place on your teeth.
The most effective way to prevent cavities is to maintain good oral health by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing at least once a day. Here are a few additional tips on how to maintain good oral health and prevent cavities:
Crowns are used when a tooth is decayed so badly that not much of the tooth remains. Your dentist will remove and repair the damaged portion of the tooth. A crown will be made from gold, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal. The crown will cover the remainder of your tooth.
Avoid sugary foods and drinks. These foods stick to your teeth and attract bacteria. Brush your teeth after you eat or drink anything that isn’t water. We recommend carrying a portable toothbrush with you. Use mouthwash to rinse additional food residue. Drinks lots of water. Water will rinse extra food and residue off your teeth. How are cavities treated? Treatment depends on the severity of the cavity. In common cases, the dentist will remove the decayed portion of the tooth using a drill. The dentist then fills in the hole with a filling material.
In the most severe situations, a root canal will be necessary. You may need a root canal is the root or pulp of your tooth is dead or not able to be repaired. The dentist will remove your nerve, blood vessels, and tissue as well as the decayed portions of the tooth. The dentist then fills the roots with a sealing material. In some cases, a crown is also needed over the tooth. To maintain good oral health and avoid cavities, it is important to visit your dentist regularly. If you think you are suffering from a cavity, contact Shades Creek Dental today. See Part 2: What are the signs and symptoms of cavities? in the May issue of The Homewood Star.
EXPERIENCE THE DIFFERENCE of Shades Creek Dental Learn more about us and how to keep your teeth healthy by visiting
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Dr. Ron MacBeth with wife Lisa & daughters Vivian & Louise Photo by Sarah Sexton Photography
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1045 Broadway Park, Suite 101 Homewood, Al 35209
The Homewood Star
A6 • April 2021
City Bank, subdivision projects move forward in Planning Commission By INGRID SCHNADER The Homewood Planning Commission approved a final development plan for a one-story bank building and approved a final plat for a seven-lot subdivision at its March 2 meeting. The Robertson Banking building will be at 2611 18th Place S. and will be approximately 3,000 square feet. The project will need six variances, including a monumental sign variance and a variance to allow the parking lot to be constructed closer to the property line. “In order to provide all of the parking spaces that the bank needs, we had to construct that parking lot really right up to the property line, both on the north and the southern sides,” said Ryan Medley with Sain Associates. Robertson Banking is an
Alabama-based company and is one of the oldest banks in Alabama. Its main office is in Demopolis, and the bank already has one branch in Birmingham. The Planning Commission also approved a final plat for a seven-lot subdivision on Forest Ridge Road. The
developer agreed to five conditions, including requirements that all homes be built with residential sprinkler systems and a fire hydrant be added to Forest Ridge Road. The next Planning Commission meeting will be May 4.
Above: A map shows where the seven-lot subdivision will be built. Map courtesy of Planning Commission packet. Above left: A rendering of the new Robertson Banking branch that will open in Homewood. Rendering courtesy of Whit Bird.
The new planning commission met for the first time March 2. Screenshot by Ingrid Schnader.
Mayor names new Planning Commission, police task force By INGRID SCHNADER Homewood Mayor Patrick McClusky named four new members to the Homewood Planning Commission. These four positions were filled because of expiring terms on the commission. The new commissioners are Giani Respinto, Paige Willcutt, Patrick Harwell and Winslow Armstead. “I got a lot of great candidates who approached me or were sent to me,” McClusky said at the Feb. 22 City Council meeting. The mayor also thanked the four members whose terms are expiring. Those members are Mark Woods, James Riddle, Jeff Foster and Billy Higginbotham. “I know they have all done a very good job on the Planning Commission, and I wanted to say thank you to each one of you guys,” McClusky said. The candidates he chose have backgrounds in a wide variety of aspects, he said, from real
estate, planning and development, CPAs, local business owners and commercial business developers. A commissioner’s term is six years, so the new commissioners’ terms will expire in 2027. The new commissioners had their first meeting at the March 2 Planning Commission meeting. The mayor also recently named the members of the city’s new police task force. This is a joint task force of community members and Homewood Police Department leaders to evaluate the department’s policies and procedures, which first appeared on the City Council agenda in June 2020, following the May 25 death of George Floyd. Those on the new task force are John-Mark McGaha, Lee Lavette, Lavona Wormely, Police Chief Tim Ross, George Terry, Mark Quimby, Mario Naevez, former councilor Mike Higginbotham, Jeff Walker and Mayor Patrick McClusky. The first task force meeting was March 18.
The office building at 2719 19th St. S. has plans to be redeveloped into an event venue. Rendering courtesy of Susan Zuber.
Developers present plans to renovate downtown office building into event space By INGRID SCHNADER J.T. Murphy, vice president at Civil Consultants Inc., presented plans to the Homewood City Council on Feb. 22 to redevelop the office building at 2719 19th St. S. to an event venue. The building at that space was previously an office space, Murphy said. It’s across the street from the Sherwin-Williams Paint Store. During its redevelopment, its use will be changed to an event-type of space called The Farrell. “Think wedding receptions and things like that,” he said. The developers went to the council to request permission to work in the city right of way. The space in front of the building — between the western-facing side of the building and 19th Street — currently has a narrow strip of
HEAR IT FROM THE FAMILY
pavement used for parking. In the redevelopment plans, this is instead a space filled with greenery. “The owners desire to make it a nicer courtyard area, to have an outdoor space for going outside, taking pictures during a nice evening and things like that,” he said. The plans will improve the streetscape on 19th Street, Murphy said. Plans also show a 6-inch curb to protect the landscaping. Councilor Jennifer Andress asked if it would be possible to add a sidewalk. Murphy said the building owner looked at that, but because of requirements for sidewalks in business zones, “there’s just not enough right of way to make that happen,” he said. The landscape plan will at least improve the look, he said. The council approved this request 10-0, with Councilor John Hardin abstaining.
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April 2021 • A7
Bid for Phase 1 of Green Springs Revitalization accepted By INGRID SCHNADER The Homewood City Council accepted a proposal from Dunn Construction for phase one road construction for the Green Springs revitalization project during its March 8 meeting. The item was originally budgeted for $2.25 million, Finance Director Robert Burgett said. Dunn Construction’s proposal was $2,415,842. At a special called council work session last July, a representative from Kimley-Horn discussed some of the updates that Green Springs Highway would see under the revitalization project. The highway has had two vehicle travel lanes in each direction with a turning lane in the middle. The revitalization concept will narrow the four lanes of traffic from 12 feet to 11 feet to make room for a median with greenery and trees in the middle. The concept also includes 5-foot-wide bike lanes on each side of the road with room for a buffer between the bike lane and vehicle travel lane in some portions. At the March 8 City Council meeting, the council also: ► Accepted a report from the Homewood Chamber of Commerce that chamber Director Meredith Drennen gave at the March 1 Finance Committee meeting. She said ribbon-cuttings have picked up speed in Homewood. “The pickup in that kind of activity is a really good sign, so we’re pleased with that,” Drennen said. Councilor Barry Smith asked Drennen if she thought the annual Taste of Homewood event would happen this year, and Drennen said she hopes the event will happen in June. She also said the chamber’s renewal income is “pretty much on par with pre-pandemic.” ► Accepted a bid from Hiller Fire Protection of $28,588 for citywide fire system maintenance. “It’s how we maintain the sprinkler system for every building in Homewood,” Fire Chief Nick Hill said at the March 1 Finance
The revitalization concept will narrow the four lanes of traffic from 12 feet to 11 feet to make room for a median with greenery and trees in the middle. The concept also includes 5-foot-wide bike lanes on each side of the road with room for a buffer between the bike lane and vehicle travel lane in some portions. Rendering courtesy of Kimley-Horn.
Committee meeting.. “A long time ago, we realized when we were doing inspections, the city buildings weren’t getting done because we didn’t have the budget for it. There was nobody in charge of it. So the Fire Department said it would manage it, but the budget actually falls under the mayor.” ► Set a bid date for April 5 at 4:30 p.m. for the Mamie L. Fosters/Rosedale Drive
intersection improvement project. ► Approved a liquor license to Buka, which is a neighborhood wine shop opening soon in West Homewood. The license is for beer and wine to be consumed off the premises. The council’s approval is contingent on receiving letters from the fire and police departments. ► Set a public hearing for March 29 to consider rezoning property at 2713 18th St. S. from
a MXD (Mixed Use District) to C-4 (a)(Retail Shopping District) ► Extended the business license deadline from March 2 to April 2 for FY 2021 to provide a one-time, 30-day delay from charging penalties. “This will help our local, small businesses out, given everything that’s going on this year,” Council President Alex Wyatt said.
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The Homewood Star
A8 • April 2021
Business New salon ‘feels like home’ for owner Farrah Shunnarah By INGRID SCHNADER
Farrah Shunnarah, owner of French & Towers Salon Co., gives her client, Ashton Henderson, a lift and tone. The salon opened Jan. 5 at the space formerly occupied by Wheelhouse Salon. Photo by Ingrid Schnader.
The building at 2904 Linden Ave. is staying true to its roots. After Wheelhouse Salon moved out, a new salon concept moved in: French & Towers Salon Co., which is owned by Farrah Shunnarah, a hairdresser of 13 years. Shunnarah began hairdressing in New York City. It was supposed to just be a job that got her through college, and then she was going to be a lawyer. She discovered that not only was she good at it, but she enjoyed it and wanted to make that her career instead. She moved to Alabama when her dad got sick, but she only planned to stay for six months. Once again, she fell in love with something unexpected. This time it was Alabama. She stayed and continued her career as a hairdresser at Sanctuary Salon, which closed after the owner died. She then worked at a salon suite for a bit, but in the back of her mind, she always wanted to open her own salon. “I’ve saved every dime for this for six or seven years,” she said. “I’ve been planning on this for a long time.” But the timing was never right. Throughout the years, she found places that would fall through. Then she found Wheelhouse. “It almost did itself,” she said. “It was so meant to be that everything worked itself out. … It was a godsend.” Because the space was a former salon, Shunnarah found more blessings along the way, she said. She didn’t have to redo the plumbing. The Wheelhouse owners left shampoo stations for Shunnarah to use. She didn’t have to do as much electrical work as she would have in other spaces. It couldn’t have worked out better, she said. The salon opened Jan. 5, and so far, the numbers have been better than what Shunnarah originally
April 15-18 OUR 2021 SPRING PLANT SALE IS MOVING ONLINE! Get ready to garden by shopping hundreds of plants specially selected for our region and grown by six of our dedicated volunteer growing groups. Members of the Friends will enjoy priority access to shop our new e-commerce website and first choice of pickup time April 23–25 at the Gardens.
French & Towers Salon Co. • WHERE: 2904 Linden Ave. • HOURS: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday and Monday • WEB: frenchandtowerssalonco.square space.com
predicted. She credits much of the salon’s success to the stylists she hired, many of whom were also former Sanctuary Salon stylists. Clients who walk through the doors often say the salon feels like a home, Shunnarah said. Not only is the building an old house that was renovated into a salon, but some elements throughout the salon have homey touches: the fireplace that’s filled with stacks of books; the waiting area, which has a couch with lots of colorful throw pillows and a large window letting in sunlight from Linden Avenue; and the hand-painted mural of the intersection of French & Towers, which were two streets near where Shunnarah grew up. After working for years at Sanctuary Salon and seeing how the Homewood community supports local businesses, Shunnarah is glad to have her salon in Homewood, she said. “It’s different from anywhere else I’ve ever worked,” she said about Homewood. “It really is just a tight-knit community, and I always wanted to be a part of that again. “This area is a bunch of people like me who had a dream and did it. And people just support each other. I love that.”
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April 2021 • A9
Above: Original owner Fred Sikes puts a shoe on his grandson, Eddie, in a photo published in Footwear News in January 1965. Photo courtesy of Laura Player. Left: Laura Player, owner of Sikes Children’s Shoes and the Jack n’ Jill Shop, said the business’ new location will have better parking, more accessible restrooms and dressing rooms, a central point of sale and more space for merchandise. Photo by Ingrid Schnader.
Sikes and Jack n’ Jill opening new location By INGRID SCHNADER Since the 1950s, Sikes Children’s Shoes and the Jack n’ Jill Shop have been staple shopping destinations on 18th Street. When Sikes opened on Valentine’s Day in 1955, it was a one-story building, and Jack n’ Jill was originally across the street. After Sikes moved into the two-story building next door, Fred Sikes approached the owner of Jack n’ Jill and convinced him to move his shop next door. They put an entryway between the two shops, which would help guide shopping moms from the children’s shoes to the clothing and vice versa. At the end of 2020, the shop announced it would be closing its historic 18th Street location. The store operated at a temporary spot on 18th Place through March, and in April, it plans to open its location in a new building at 2719
19th Place S. Laura Player started working at Sikes when she was a student at Homewood High School 30 years ago, and in 2014, she became the owner of the two stores. She said there were some issues with the setup in the former location: for example, a customer shopping for both shoes and clothing would have to have the purchases rung up as two separate transactions. That customer couldn’t shop at both stores simultaneously. So when the Sikes and Jack n’ Jill leases expired at the end of 2020, Player made the decision to move to a new building. The clothing and the shoes will all be under the same roof, but there will be an entrance for the shoe store and an entrance for the clothing store. In the middle of the room will be a cash register, and customers can walk freely from one side of the store to the other. The new store will also have restrooms and
dressing rooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. These amenities wouldn’t have been possible at the former building without gutting it out, which is another one of the big reasons for the move, Player said. A large perk of the new building is more parking availability for shoppers. There will be a parking lot in the back with a rear entrance into the store, and there will also be some front street parking. The former store had a smaller parking lot that was shared with a few other merchants. “It was hard to get in and out with the kids and the strollers,” she said. “This will be easier for the moms.” “The store will also have better flow,” Player said. “We were crowded in our old store.” Sikes has a reputation for having the best shoe selection for children in the South, she said. Some customers are in the fourth or fifth generation of shopping there.
“It’s really cool because wherever you go, if you mention you own the store, they’ll say, ‘Oh my gosh, I grew up there!’” she said. “One thing we’re going to continue to do in this store is provide that same tradition and service to our customers like we always have. Just because we’re in a new building doesn't mean we’re going to change the model of how we do things.” One tradition that isn’t going anywhere: babies will still get a photo taken with their first pair of shoes. This formerly was done with Polaroids, Player said, but now they use a digital camera and print and frame it for the customer. Player expects to stay at the temporary location through Easter and then open the new building the next Saturday, April 10. Follow the store on Instagram for updates at @sikesshoesandjacknjillshop or visit the website at sikesshoes.com.
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STARNES PUBLICATIONS APRIL 2021
The Homewood Star
A10 • April 2021
18 Street S.
Homewood Business Happenings
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Relocations and Renovations Maple Street Biscuit Co., 2801 18th St. S., recently added patio seating on the 18th Street sidewalk. 205-414-0999, maplestreetbiscuits.com
April 2021 • A11 Buffalo Rock Co., 111 Oxmoor Road, recently announced its board of directors voted to approve Matthew Dent as the chief executive officer. He is the first CEO in the company’s 120-year history that is not a member of the Lee family. 205-942-3435, buffalorock.com
Sikes Children’s Shoes owner Laura Player said she plans to move to a new building at 2768 19th Place S. for Sikes and Jack n’ Jill on April 10. The new location will have one point-of-sale for both brands. 205-879-3433, sikesshoes.com
The board of trustees at Samford University, 800 Lakeshore Drive, in March elected Beck A. Taylor as its 19th president, effective July 1. Taylor succeeds Andrew Westmoreland, who is retiring after serving as president of Samford University since 2006. 205-726-2011, samford.edu
Andrew Nix will join Regions as chief governance officer, advising the Regions Financial Corp. board of directors and executive management on a wide range of corporate governance best practices while serving as a liaison to external stakeholders, including institutional stockholders, regarding corporate governance matters. Nix will report to Tara Plimpton, chief legal officer for the bank. Regions has branches at 1 Independence Plaza, 601 Lakeshore Parkway, 100 Green Springs Highway and 1118 Royal Tower Drive. regions.com
Little Professor Bookshop, 2844 18th St. S., celebrated in March its first anniversary under new ownership. Under the leadership of Jonathan and Meredith Robinson, Little Professor has refreshed its branding and implemented a membership program. It also recently began weekly book readings by Homewood locals and began offering birthday party packages. 205-870-7461, littleprofessorhomewood.com
Art House Creative, 2810 Crescent Ave., has welcomed two new sales agents to the team. Austin Freeman was born and raised in Alabama and has lived in the Birmingham area his whole life. After eight years in sales, Austin decided to turn his passion for helping others into a new career in real estate. He recently joined the Birmingham Association of Realtors. Abby Ruggiero was born and raised in Birmingham and graduated from the University of North Alabama with a degree in visual merchandising and marketing. She joined the Birmingham Association of Realtors in 2020. 205-352-7742, soldbyarthouse.com
Alabama Goods, 2933 18th St. S., is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Alabama Goods is a locally owned retail store in Homewood and Huntsville specializing in Alabama-made products. 205-803-3900, alabamagoods.com
The Homewood Star, published by Starnes Media, 1833 27th Ave. S., is celebrating 10 years of delivering local news to the community. 205-313-1780, thehomewoodstar.com
Local 39, 1006 Oxmoor Road, recently celebrated its first anniversary. The restaurant serves mostly bar fare with a few menu items borrowed from SAW’s BBQ. 205-407-4206, local39homewood.com
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The Homewood Star
A12 • April 2021
Local food bank sees increase of activity during pandemic By INGRID SCHNADER In July 2019, 73,000 people received assistance from the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Then in July 2020, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number jumped to 250,000 people. These numbers show that Brett Meredith has been busy since he took on the role as CEO of the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama in May 2020. He spoke at the Feb. 16 Homewood Chamber of Commerce monthly luncheon and shared information about the work the food bank does. “Food plays a big part in what we do and plays a big part in what the community is,” Meredith said at the luncheon. In central Alabama, one in four children is food insecure, which means they lack reliable access to nutritious food. In addition, 24,000 children in central Alabama who are at risk of being hungry don’t qualify for federal aid. This is where the food bank can help, he said. “A family may be just making it and are just over the poverty levels, and they’re not able to get additional federal help,” Meredith said. “That’s where we’re able to provide the things to families who are working and struggling to make it.” The coronavirus pandemic has impacted the food bank’s numbers, Meredith said. Before the pandemic, food insecurity rates were at the lowest point since before 2008. Feeding America, a nonprofit hunger relief organization, estimates food insecurity in the food bank’s 12-county service area will increase by 20-30% from 2018. About 40% of people receiving food assistance are doing so for the first time. Meredith said he can personally attest to this.
A screenshot during the Feb. 16 Homewood Chamber of Commerce meeting, during which Brett Meredith reviews the amount of food distributed annually by the Community Food Bank of Central Alabama. Screenshot by Ingrid Schnader.
“When we were out doing mobile pantries last summer — and I was at several of them — I would ask people, ‘Are you doing OK?’” he said. “It was amazing how many folks were very thankful, but also they would say, ‘This is the first time we have ever needed to seek help.’ “It’s an important time that we do what we do best, and that is feed people in this pandemic.” The food bank distributed about 16 million pounds of food in 2019. In 2020, after Meredith
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arrived, the food bank “geared up,” he said. The food bank distributed almost 22 million pounds of food in 2020. During the pandemic, the food bank also increased its use of mobile pantries. In July 2020, which was an exceptionally busy month for the food bank, more than 115 mobile pantries were used to be a direct service to the community. “We were working very hard to find the areas we needed to be so we could make a
difference,” Meredith said. The journey from food insecurity to food security starts with emergency food assistance, such as from the food bank. “But there is a line of education and help we need to provide as a community so we can get folks to food security,” he said. The food bank is at 107 Walter Davis Drive, which is off Valley Avenue in West Homewood. Visit feedingal.org for more information.
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The Homewood Star
A14 • April 2021
The Homewood Star turns 10 Editor Ingrid Schnader looks back on paper’s decade of community-focused reporting By INGRID SCHNADER The Homewood Star celebrates a milestone this month: 10 years of serving the Homewood community with hyperlocal news coverage. Ashley Berkery, the paper’s first editor, said she got the gig through a longtime friend of hers, Alison Grizzle. Grizzle’s husband, Dan Starnes, is the founder of Starnes Media. Back in 2011, Starnes only had two monthly newspaper publications: 280 Living for the U.S. 280 corridor and Village Living for the Mountain Brook community. Berkery grew up in Homewood, and her background was in teaching French and working in public relations. When she got pregnant, Berkery quit teaching, and then Starnes approached her about The Homewood Star. “With my baby in my stroller, I took copies of Village Living around Homewood and went into all of the businesses. I said, ‘Hey, I know this isn’t the hyperlocal paper, but it’s going to be, and this is the format, and do you want to buy an ad?’” she said, laughing. “I sold a lot actually.” She said she remembers going into the office and seeing printed pages of the newspaper laid out on the floor for the first time and thinking it looked good. Then, to her surprise, Starnes told her, “I’m going to need your editor’s note by tomorrow.” “I was like, what? I thought I was just going around town with my baby stroller selling ads,” she said. “He said ‘No, I want you to be the editor.’” As much as she enjoyed selling ads, Berkery said it had been in the back of her mind all along that she would actually have liked to help with the paper’s editorial content. She went home and wrote her editor’s note that night, and Berkery said she remembers feeling honored to do it. A lot has changed since April 2011. Berkery said in the early days, her “office” was the dining room table, and she printed newspaper pages and laid them out across the table while her child haphazardly crawled over her power chords. Today, Starnes Media has three offices in downtown Homewood for its editorial, advertising and digital staff (although the majority of the team has been working from home since March 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic). Technology has also changed the newspaper industry in the past 10 years. “We didn’t have a program to edit,” Berkery said. “Whatever Keith McCoy (the former creative director) sent me, I would print out and physically mark up with a pen. Then I would scan it and send it back. “I remember one vacation, we were on deadline, and my family went to the beach. … We’re packing up our Tahoe, and that thing was packed, and I said, ‘Hang on, I’ve got one more thing.’ I had my big printer that I had to take to the beach, plug it up and print copies of the paper. My friend was like, ‘You’re bringing your printer?’ And it was a big one.” Other times, Berkery remembers calling a coworker on the phone and calling out edits as they read through the article. Berkery said she doesn’t remember any of the writers using online word processors back then, which is what the team uses today to edit stories. Other things have also remained
Former editor Ashley Berkery and Starnes Media founder and publisher Dan Starnes with the Star’s founding staff Anna Cate Little, Blake Rhodes, Lauren Denton, Susan Sutton, Keith McCoy and Madoline Markham. Staff photo.
The cover of the first issue of The Homewood Star, published in April 2011. Staff image.
the same. On the cover of the inaugural issue of The Homewood Star, there is an article with a headline that reads: Plan to improve West Oxmoor Intersection. The article discusses
plans for Homewood’s “turkey foot” intersection. The Homewood City Council had recently authorized then-Mayor Scott McBrayer to notify the Alabama Department of
Transportation of the city’s intention to fund improvements to the intersection, and the mayor was quoted in the paper saying, “I hand delivered the letter to ALDOT, so we’re moving
forward with the project.” As city projects sometimes go, though, the intersection has so far lasted another 10 years and remains the same. In our November 2020 issue, we reported that the city budgeted $210,000 in fiscal 2021 for the engineering and design for the project. The inaugural issue also covered the swearing in of the council’s newest member at the time, Peter Wright, who did not run for council again in 2020. When asked in 2011 about positive changes on the horizon for Homewood, Wright mentioned the “revamping” of the Homewood Recreation Center, which has since been completed. He also mentions extending the Shades Creek Greenway trail into West Homewood near the Wildwood Shopping Center. Problems in securing right-of-way access on properties along the trail’s intended path have stalled the project. The project was then brought up again last year, but it was delayed again, this time because ALDOT bumped up the Interstate 65/Lakeshore interchange in its schedule. Some staff have been on board since day one. Lauren Denton wrote a column in the inaugural issue and still writes columns today. Rick Watson, who was listed as a contributing writer in the first issue, continued writing for Starnes Media publications for many years until his death in July 2020. Although Berkery fielded some complaints over the years, The Homewood Star received lots of love from the community, she said. “For the most part, we got glowing reviews all the time,” she said. “It was something to be proud of. And I loved connecting to people, so it was a really good fit.” And although Berkery is no longer on staff at Starnes Media, she said she continues to read every word of The Homewood Star in 2021, just as she did in 2011.
April 2021 • A15
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The Homewood Star
A16 • April 2021
Events Participants toss bags at the 2019 Cornhole Classic at Good People Brewing. This year’s event will be at The Bell Center with a maximum capacity of 60 teams. Staff photo.
Formerly held at SoHo Square, this year’s Homewood Grown fundraiser will be at Patriot Park. Staff photo.
The Bell Center’s Cornhole Classic returns Homewood Grown moves to Patriot Park By INGRID SCHNADER
By INGRID SCHNADER The Bell Center is hosting its ninth annual Cornhole Classic on April 10. The event will be at The Bell Center this year instead of at Good People Brewing in an attempt to scale back the event during the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be a maximum of 60 teams to allow for social distancing, and the boards will be distanced from each other. Participants will have their own bags to throw instead of sharing them between people. Money from the event benefits The Bell Center, which is a nonprofit organization with programs for children up to age 3 who are at risk of developmental delays. This year’s fundraising goal is $35,000. “The money raised from this event goes to The Bell Center’s general operating fund, so it really helps us get the things we need on a dayto-day basis,” said Macy Craddock with The Bell Center. “Every single one of our toddler programs has feeding incorporated into it to teach children about social time and playing. So we have to buy that food, and that’s just
Cornhole Classic • WHERE: The Bell Center, 1700 29th Court S. • WHEN: April 10, 1 p.m. • COST: $50-60 for teams, free for spectators • WEB: thebellcenter.org/events/ cornhole-classic
one example of many things it goes toward.” The family-friendly event will have live music and a food truck, Craddock said. This year, Michael Latham will be playing live music, and Cantina is the food truck. The cost of a two-person team ranges from $50-60, depending on whether the team is social or competitive. The ticket price includes two beers per team. The event is free for spectators. Visit thebellcenter.org/events/cornholeclassic for more information.
Homewood Grown is finally making its first appearance at Patriot Park on April 30. In the past, the event was held annually at SoHo Square. Last year, the event was supposed to make its debut at Patriot Park, but it was canceled because of the COVID-19 pandemic. “Homewood Grown is the largest fundraiser each year hosted by Homewood City Schools Foundation,” Events Committee Chair Ashley Berkery said. “It is so important to our Homewood community because we have structured it to where the money raised circles directly back to provide grants for our teachers and schools.” Dinner from Happy Catering Company will be provided. The keynote speaker will be Alabama Supreme Court Justice Jay Mitchell, who is a Homewood High School alumnus and dad to four current Homewood students. The 2021 Teacher Impact Award winners will also be announced. To accommodate social distancing, tables
Homewood Grown • WHAT: Annual fundraiser for the Homewood City Schools Foundation • WHEN: 5:45 p.m. April 30; dinner starts at 6:30 p.m. • WHERE: Patriot Park • WEB: homewoodgrown.instagift. com
will be limited to six guests. “We are excited to offer an outdoor event to our guests with safe protocols in place, all while raising money to support Homewood City Schools and our children,” Berkery said. Tickets are $125 for individuals and $750 for a table of six. Those who purchased tickets to last year’s event will have their payments transferred to the 2021 event. Visit homewoodgrown.instagift.com to purchase tickets.
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April 2021 • A17
Runners take off at the start of the 2019 Red Shoe Run in downtown Birmingham. The 2021 event moves to downtown Homewood to start and finish on 29th Avenue. Staff photo.
The Homewood Athletic Foundation will revive its sixth annual Cornapalooza cornhole tournament April 18 at Pizzeria GM, with proceeds benefiting local high school athletic programs. Staff photo.
Red Shoe Run moves to Homewood from Birmingham for 17th year
Cornapalooza tournament set for April 18
By INGRID SCHNADER
By INGRID SCHNADER
The Red Shoe Run is back in its 17th year to benefit the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. And after having the race in Birmingham for the past couple of years, the Red Shoe Run is returning to Homewood on April 24. The race will start and end on 29th Avenue South in front of Dave’s Pizza. The race course will then take runners up 18th Street, down Central Avenue, behind Homewood Central Park and in a loop around Dawson Memorial Baptist Church, and then racers will return to 29th Avenue. The theme for the race is the Rockin’ 5K. This was a theme that started in 2019, and since it was a big hit then, the race has stuck to the theme, said Community Outreach Manager Stephanie Duncan. “We’ll have some rock ‘n’ roll music out on the course, and our t-shirt will have a rock ‘n’ roll theme,” she said. “And then of course, we will encourage our participants to dress in a rock ‘n’ roll costume. Whoever does that will be entered into a raffle after they submit a photo of themselves online.” This year’s fundraising goal is $85,000,
Red Shoe Run • WHERE: Begins and ends on 29th Avenue in front of Dave’s Pizza • WHEN: April 24; 5K starts at 8 a.m.; fun run starts at 8:30 a.m. • COST: $25 until April 16, and then price increases to $30 • WEB: runsignup.com/race/al/ birmingham/redshoerun2021
which would provide 680 nights of comfort and care for Ronald McDonald House families who come to Birmingham to seek life-saving care for their critically ill children. The cost of the race is $25 for the 5K and for the 1-mile fun run until April 16, and then the price increases to $30. There are also virtual options that cost $30 (the increase is to cover shipping costs) until April 16, when the price for these options increases to $35. The race will follow COVID-19 guidelines and will have a socially distanced starting line. Masks are required for participants and spectators.
The Homewood Athletic Foundation is hosting its sixth annual Cornapalooza cornhole tournament, which raises money and provides resources for student athletes in Homewood. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the event was canceled last year, and the foundation wasn’t able to provide grants to student-athletes. Jeremy Bernstein with the Homewood Athletic Foundation said he hopes to raise money at this event so the foundation won’t have to deny future grants. In the past, the foundation has given grants to the football team for new tackling dummies that promoted safe tackling; to the basketball team for out-of-town travel; to fund a multisport strength and conditioning coach; to the wrestling team for new mats for the school; and much more, Bernstein said. The cornhole tournament will be at Pizzeria GM on April 18, and those who eat lunch at Pizzeria GM that day will have proceeds from their meal also donated to the athletic foundation. Registration begins at 12:30 p.m., and the event begins at 1 p.m. The event is free to attend, and only teams who are competing in the tournament must
Cornapalooza • WHERE: Pizzeria GM, 600 Oak Grove Road • WHEN: April 18; registration starts at 12:30 p.m.; event starts at 1 p.m. • COST: Free to attend. Team pricing starts at $400. • WEB: homewoodaf.org/ cornapalooza-registration-2021
register and pay for the event. Team pricing starts at $400. “The funding that comes from this event helps pay for a lot of the competitive advantages that middle school and high school athletes have, but beyond that, it’s a really great community event,” Bernstein said. “It’s a chance to get great fellowship with Homewood people and Homewood businesses and have a chance to enjoy yourself and support Homewood athletics as a whole. It’s a really fun day.” Visit homewoodaf.org/cornapaloozaregistration-2021 to register for the event.
The Homewood Star
A18 • April 2021
Community Have a community announcement? Email Ingrid Schnader at firstname.lastname@example.org to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.
6 at Brookwood Baptist presented with Melissa Cole Award The Medical Staff of Brookwood Baptist Medical Center recently honored six members of hospital staff with the distinguished Melissa Cole Award. The award, named in memory for the beloved team member who personified dedication and compassion in her role as a cardiac intensive care unit nurse, is presented annually to nurses and staff who demonstrate the same outstanding qualities that defined Cole’s work and career. The award recognizes individuals who have made a significant career commitment to the care of patients at Brookwood Baptist Medical Center and who define the standards of great care and serve as role models for all. Recipients receive a plaque, monetary award and a temporary dedicated parking space. The 2020 Melissa Cole Award recipients are: ► Catherine Akhtar, RN – Cath Lab ► Jason Duke, CST – Main OR ► Laura Dunham, OTR/L – Behavioral Health
► Ann Johnson, RN – Emergency Department ► Lisa Williams, RN – 4 Main ► Shelly Miller, RN – Women’s Medical Center “The past year has been one of the most challenging times in our nation’s history, and the professionalism, determination and perseverance our staff has shown has been inspirational,” said Dr. Mark Adams, immediate past president of the Brookwood Medical Executive Committee and medical director of inpatient rehabilitation. “In particular, these six staff members truly embody what it means to be a health care hero, and I am humbled by the level of compassionate care they have demonstrated throughout the pandemic. On behalf of our entire medical staff, thank you for your exemplary service in patient care, and we are grateful to have you as part of our Brookwood family.” – Submitted by Laura Clark.
Pictured with Dr. Mark Adams, immediate past president of the Brookwood Medical Executive Committee, are 2020 Melissa Cole Award recipients Jason Duke, Lisa Williams, Ann Johnson, Catherine Akhtar and Laura Dunham. Photo courtesy of Laura Clark.
Milo’s Tea surprises grocery workers
From left: Ronnie Carlton, CEO Tricia Wallwork, Stan Virciglio and Andy Virciglio during Supermarket Employee Day celebration. Photo courtesy of Danielle Durange.
Fun fact: the Piggly Wiggly in Homewood was the first grocery store to sell gallons of Milo’s Tea in the 1980s. On Supermarket Employee Day, which was Feb. 22 in the holiday’s inaugural year, Milo’s Tea Co. decided to give back. The Milo’s Tea Co. Team, headed by CEO Tricia Wallmark, held a celebration with balloons to honor the essential workers who have made sure Birmingham families had food throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. “It’s a small thank you for a big job that kept our families well-stocked and fed during the pandemic,” the company said in a statement. One employee also won a drawing for free Milo’s tea for a year plus some Milo’s Tea Co. swag. – Submitted by Danielle Durange.
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Susan Williams walked into a sweet surprise at work Feb. 24 at the CVS Pharmacy on U.S. 31. Every aisle and cash register had a sign announcing her 25th anniversary, and there were large banners hanging in front of the entrance and over the cash registers. Williams started working there when the business was a Big B drugstore, and she has formed personal relationships with her customers over the years. Will Weaver, the store operations manager, said she’s the hardest working person he’s ever met. Photo by Ingrid Schnader.
Members of the Homewood Police Department on Jan. 20 handed out goodie bags to the students at The Exceptional Foundation and presented a $1,600 check as part of the department’s annual Beards 4 Bucks campaign. The goodie bags and check are usually handed out and presented during Santa’s visit to the center in December, but it had to be postponed due to COVID-19. With the Beards 4 Bucks campaign, members of the Homewood Police Department can donate money to the campaign to grow out their facial hair. Photo courtesy of John Carr.
April 2021 • A19
Schoolhouse Have a schoolhouse announcement? Email Ingrid Schnader at email@example.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue. The 13 Homewood City Schools students who were named National Merit Scholarship Program finalists. Photo courtesy of Merrick Wilson.
Alli Phelps, a teacher at Shades Cahaba Elementary School, receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at UAB. Photo courtesy of Merrick Wilson.
Many HCS staff to be fully vaccinated By INGRID SCHNADER By mid-March, a majority of the teachers and staff at Homewood City Schools will have been fully vaccinated for COVID-19. At the March 16 school board meeting, the board approved a contract waiver day for March 19 to allow faculty and staff to receive their second round of coronavirus vaccinations. The day will be treated as an e-learning day for students. The vaccine was not required for teachers and staff but was offered through a partnership the school system has with UAB Medicine. “We are so grateful to UAB for their partnership,” said Justin Hefner, the superintendent of Homewood City Schools. “We
believe — we don’t know this to be true, but we believe — this puts us at about the 70% mark regarding employees that will be fully vaccinated.” During the week of March 7-13, the school system had its “best COVID week” of the entire school year, Hefner said. There were three new positive cases and 11 close contacts. “We’re really grateful for the work our teachers and administrators do to follow our procedures,” he said. The board also approved a field trip for the Homewood High School Marching Band, which will be attending the Tournament of Roses Parade on Dec. 28 through Jan. 2, 2022. The next school board meeting will be April 20 at 6 p.m.
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All 13 HCS National Merit semifinalists become finalists The National Merit Scholarship Corporation announced the names of approximately 15,000 finalists in the 66th annual National Merit Scholarship Program. “Homewood City Schools is pleased to announce that all 13 Homewood High School National Merit semifinalists this year have been named finalists,” the school system said in a statement. “Congratulations to the following students: Madeline Garrity, Patrick Harris, Reed Jeffries, Samuel Jones, Caleb McLendon, Robert Merchant, Michael Moorman, Jonathan Parris, Gabriel Quijano, Ayona Roychowdhury, Daniel Wiesen, Matthew “Hugh” Williams
and Jane Wilson.” The goal of the National Merit Scholarship Corporation is to honor the nation’s scholastic champions and encourage the pursuit of academic excellence. Selection of finalists is based on their academic record, participation in school and community activities, demonstrated leadership abilities, employment and honors and awards. “Homewood City Schools is proud of the exceptional degree of academic excellence and extracurricular pursuits our students have demonstrated throughout their high school career.” – Submitted by Merrick Wilson.
The Homewood Star
A20 • April 2021
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Opinion Ordinary Days By Lauren Denton
A year with Ruby From my position at the the dog. Ruby invaded our lives with all the cuteness you could kitchen island as I’m writing stuff into a fuzzy yellow puppy. this column, I see three dog toys, a few pairs of shoes and She frolicked all over our yard and laps, made cute noises and a camp chair propped up in the corner of the room. Our dining faces, and liked to sit right next to us, often with one paw resttable holds six books, a school binder, a box of Legos and ing on our feet. a mini Christmas tree (don’t The flipside of all that cuteask). The floor is about three ness was that she also shredded days past needing a good vacevery dog toy we gave her, shed Denton uuming, and there’s a smear of fur all over our house (despite honey on the counter from the peanut butter the fact that she was supposed to be a sandwich Sela made yesterday. non-shedding doodle) and ate every stray It’s our Saturday morning house, raw and sock, scrunchie and face mask she found — unfiltered. The best part? I’m withstanding then disposed of them in less-than-desirable it. I’m sitting here writing these words ways. instead of whirling around in a frenzy, But that was biggest thing that surprised picking up everything and swiping it with me about getting a dog — instead of becoma damp cloth, and barking at my people to ing more bent on order and cleanliness, I help me clean up. became more OK with letting things be as Don’t get me wrong, I’ll get them to help they are. I realized life is about a lot more me later, but for now, I’m content to let it sit, than how clean my floors are or how unclutto do my work amidst the clutter, and I’m tered my countertops are. And it’s OK for only able to do that by the grace of God … me to take a breather while toys and art supwell, and Ruby. plies litter my dining table and dog toys are Ruby is our dog. I’ve written about her underfoot — things don’t have to be perfect here a few times, mainly the part about how in order for me to relax. our kids finally wore us down and we got a Instead of the mountain of frustration I dog — and during the lockdown, no less. expected to deal with when adding a dog She’s been with us for a year now (which into our lives, I’m actually kind of grateful truly shows how fast time has flown), and she got me (mostly) out of my tight, conin that year, I have learned to let go of a trolling ways and forced me to accept the whole lot. big ol’ mess that life really is. It’s no surprise to anyone who reads my Now, to be completely honest, I can only columns regularly that I like to keep things go so long before I pull out the vacuum and neat. I like a place for everything and everytake care of the floors, and before I haul thing in its place. I like order and routine everything off the counters and tabletops and a vacuumed floor. In fact, for much and threaten to take everything to the garof my life, it was hard for me to be able to bage can if the rightful owners don’t claim relax in my space if everything wasn’t neat their stuff in the next three minutes, but still. and orderly. I remember many times back Having Ruby in our house is a constant when my kids were younger when, instead of reminder that life should be about a lot more taking advantage of a thin slice of time before than clean floors and a neat home, and somethe end of naptime and doing something for times choosing joy and fun is the best thing myself — read a few pages of a book, eat you can do, for yourself and the people in lunch, sit and do nothing — I’d whisk myself your family. There will always be time to around the house and straighten everything vacuum and clean, but life is short and these just so I’d be able to relax. people won’t be young for long. Of course, by the time I finished, the So thank you, Ruby, for the fun and kids would be awake and the energy level laughter you’ve added to our lives, and for in the house would pick up, and that tiny the ways you’ve changed me. slice of time to myself was gone. Or I’d look around at the mess all over the house and When I’m not writing about my family stop whatever I was doing to get a handle and our various shenanigans, I write on the chaos, even if it meant foregoing a novels and go to the grocery store. My chance to play a game with one of my girls novels are in stores and online. You can or to just sit and watch them play. reach me by email at lauren@lauren A cluttered, messy house was unbearable kdenton.com, visit my website, lauren to me, and if I did have to bare it, it made kdenton.com, or find me on Instagram me grumpy and irritable. @LaurenKDentonBooks, Twitter @LaurenK I wish I could say my precious children Denton, or on Facebook ~LaurenK cured me of this malady, but instead it was DentonAuthor.
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April 2021 • A21
Challenging season energizes Lady Patriots Homewood’s Sunny Ferren (5) passes the ball as Chelsea’s Abbie Johns (6) moves in on coverage during a March 4 game at Waldrop Stadium. Photo by Erin Nelson.
By INGRID SCHNADER When a team loses the first game of its season, that game can either set the tone for the rest of the season, or the team can take it as a learning opportunity and come back stronger. For the Homewood High School girls soccer team, losing to Huntsville in the team’s first game was a “wake up call,” said Eleanor Kyle, who is a senior on the team. “A lot of us maybe didn’t have the right mindset, or maybe some of us weren’t in the game as much as we should have been,” Kyle said. “We were motivated after that to keep up and not let it get to us. We wanted to prove to everyone and to ourselves that we were worth getting to state.” When The Homewood Star spoke with the team in March, the team had won the next seven games. This was on top of having a more rigorous schedule this year. This is because some schools moved into Homewood’s area and also because teams in the area become more challenging, said Lilly Lowery, a junior on the team. It’ll be harder to get into the finals this year, Lowery said. Instead of looking at the challenging schedule as a negative, Frances O’Hare said she looks at it as a good thing. “It’s caused us to up our game,” she said. “We’re all very motivated and eager to play these hard teams coming up. I think it’s an exciting thing for us to have an opportunity to play them.” Another challenge is that many teammates are new to varsity this year, Kyle said. “Compared to JV, varsity is a completely different skill level and mindset,” she said. “I think it definitely was a wakening moment for a bunch of people, but I think many of us have really worked past that. We have great team
chemistry, and we have worked well to get past the JV versus varsity level.” When the team went to play in a tournament in Calera, it had only played two games thus far in the season, and O’Hare said they were still feeling “iffy” with their connections on the team. Nonetheless, the tournament went well and has become one of the girls’ favorite memories of the season so far. “Everyone gave it their all, which was really difficult to do based on how talented and tired we were by the last game,” she said. The Lady Patriots’ final game in the
tournament was against Bob Jones, a team which O’Hare described as being very good, but the Homewood team had impactful energy on the field. O’Hare said one specific example of this was in Lowery: she was playing center back, and although the strikers on the other team were fast, Lowery didn’t back down from a single ball, O’Hare said. “It was really motivating,” O’Hare said. “She sets a great example for all of us, and she makes me try harder on the field.” Homewood defeated Bob Jones 5-0 that game, which O’Hare said has since impacted the team.
“Everyone was pumped up from that big accomplishment, and it’s been carrying us through our practices,” she said. “Everyone’s going a lot harder and trying to pick up the intensity. It’s been fun to collectively pick up our skill level.” Although there are still improvements to be made, O’Hare said the team is in very good shape because of how hard they’ve been working in the preseason. “The whole team is pumped and ready for this season and excited for the challenges ahead,” she said.
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The Homewood Star
A22 • April 2021
Homewood’s Christian Thompson (34) knocks the ball away as Chelsea’s Thomas Simpson (34) takes a shot during a Jan. 22 game at Homewood High School. Thompson, who averaged 15 points and nine rebounds over the final eight games of the season, received third team honors. Photos by Erin Nelson.
All-South Metro Basketball Thompson garners 3rd team honors
John Carroll’s Aden Malpass (12) rises toward the goal to shoot a basket in a Feb. 2 game against Mountain Brook at Spartan Arena. Malpass made the boys honorable mention AllSouth Metro team.
By KYLE PARMLEY The 2020-21 high school basketball season was a banner one for the Starnes Media coverage area. Six programs advanced to the state final four, with three of them lifting a blue map as state champions when all was said and done. Mountain Brook’s boys won their sixth state title in the last nine years, led by first-year head coach Tyler Davis and forward Rayven Turner. As a result, Davis earns Starnes Media’s All-South Metro Coach of the Year honors, while Turner is the Player of the Year. For the second time in three years, Hoover’s girls beat Hewitt-Trussville in the Class 7A state championship game. Three first-team players were featured in that game, including Player of the Year Amiya Payne from Hewitt. Oak Mountain’s boys won the 7A title for the first time in program history as well. Jason Harlow is Coach of the Year on the girls side after leading Chelsea to the state final four for the first time in school history. Here is the entirety of the AllSouth Metro team.
BOYS 1ST TEAM
► Guard: Win Miller, Vestavia Hills; led the Rebels with 16.6 points per game as a sophomore. The 6-foot-3 guard has already amassed 872 career points. ► Guard: DJ Fairley, Hoover; the
Alabama A&M signee posted 16.3 points and 6.6 rebounds per game for a Bucs team that advanced to the regional final. ► Guard: Cam Crawford, Spain Park; capped off his career with 15.7 points and 5.8 rebounds per game, while leading the Jags back to the final four. ► Forward: Rayven Turner, Mountain Brook; led the way for
the Spartans’ title, going for 16.4 points and 6.1 boards per game in his senior season. ► Center: Will Shaver, Oak Mountain; the 6-foot-11 post player posted 14.3 points and 7.7 rebounds per game. He was a force at the rim, blocking 50 shots and altering many more.
BOYS 2ND TEAM
► Guard: Greedy Williams,
Pinson Valley; put together a stellar senior season after transferring to Pinson, posting 14.9 points, 4.3 rebounds and 4.3 assists per contest. ► Guard: Landon Nuyt, Briarwood; paced the Lions offense with 17 points per game. He scored 25 points or more in seven games. ► Guard: Donovan Shangase, Clay-Chalkville; led the Cougars to
the program’s best season, registering 14.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game. ► Forward: Noah Young, Oak Mountain; the North Alabama football signee did it all for the Eagles, going for 12.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. ► Center: Colin Turner, Spain Park; went for 10.8 points and 5.1 boards per game and blocked 45 shots.
BOYS 3RD TEAM
► Guard: Jo Jo James, Pinson Valley; had a breakout senior season, going for 14.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.8 assists per night. ► Guard: Isiah Daniel, ClayChalkville; scored 13.7 points per game for the Cougars, including 30 points in the regional semifinals. ► Guard: Bo Barber, Mountain Brook; as the Spartans’ point guard, averaged 10 points and 4.2 assists per game. ► Forward: Chip Culpepper, Hoover; capped off a great career with 13.4 points and 5.4 rebounds per game. He also blocked 28 shots and picked up 29 steals in the year. ► Center: Christian Thompson, Homewood; averaged 15 points and nine rebounds over the final eight games of the season.
BOYS HONORABLE MENTION
► Guard: Paul Lanzi, Chelsea; Jude Cleary, Vestavia Hills; Colby Carter, Hoover; Riley Edmiston, Chelsea; Evan Smith, Oak Mountain; Paulson Wright, Mountain Brook; Josh Harrington, Spain Park; JR Lambert, Spain Park; Blake Floyd, Spain Park; Holton Smith, Chelsea; Aden Malpass, John Carroll; O’Neal Merchant, John Carroll; Grant
April 2021 • A23 Left: John Carroll’s O’Neal Merchant (3) looks to pass the ball in a Feb. 2 game against Mountain Brook at Spartan Arena. Merchant made the boys honorable mention All-South Metro team. Far left: Anna Grace Gibbons (15) takes a shot during a Jan. 15 area game at Briarwood Christian School.
Uldrich, Vestavia Hills ► Forward: Carter Hollis, Hewitt-Trussville; Tyler Pickett, Hewitt-Trussville; John Elliott, Briarwood; Mac Swoger, Mountain Brook
► Player of the Year: Rayven Turner, Mountain Brook ► Coach of the Year: Tyler Davis, Mountain Brook
GIRLS 1ST TEAM
► Guard: Amiya Payne, Hewitt-Trussville; led the area in scoring with 21.4 points per game, while pulling down 7.4 rebounds. The Middle Tennessee signee finished with a school record 2,420 points in her career. ► Guard: Reniya Kelly, Hoover; led the Lady Bucs to the state title as a sophomore, putting up 15.1 points, 4.9 rebounds and three rebounds
per game. ► Guard: Emma Smith, Vestavia Hills; led the Lady Rebels to a 30-win season, as she went for 15 points and 7.6 rebounds per contest. ► Guard: Ellen Fleming, Chelsea; led the Lady Hornets in scoring with 10.7 points per game as they went to the state final four for the first time. ► Forward: Aniya Hubbard, Hoover; scored 14.4 points and 6.9 rebounds after recovering from a knee injury suffered in the 2020 playoffs.
GIRLS 2ND TEAM
► Guard: Jada Knight, Hoover; as the floor general for the Lady Bucs, she posted 10 points per game. ► Guard: Jordan Hunter, Hewitt-Trussville; the freshman filled up the stat sheet regularly, finishing the year with 10.1 points, 4.3 assists
and 4.3 rebounds per game. She also picked up 68 steals on the season. ► Guard: Emma Stearns, Mountain Brook; led the Lady Spartans with 10.4 points per game. ► Guard: Alison Stubbs, Vestavia Hills; capped off her career with 8.8 points and 4.2 rebounds per game. ► Forward: Charity Shaw, Oak Mountain; led the Lady Eagles offense, posting 9.1 points and seven rebounds a game.
Chelsea; led the Lady Hornets in rebounds and steals, with 5.1 rebounds per game and 62 steals for the season. ► Guard: Bryanna Williams, Pinson Valley; posted 16.2 points and six rebounds per game. ► Forward: Yari Sigler, Pinson Valley; led the Lady Indians with 17.4 points and seven boards per game.
GIRLS 3RD TEAM
► Guard: Maddie Vaughn, Briarwood; Anna Grace Gibbons, Homewood; April Hooks, Hewitt-Trussville; Sydney Schwallie, Chelsea; Raegan Whitaker, Oak Mountain; Michelle Jones, ClayChalkville; Abby Gordon, Oak Mountain; Avery Masdon, Spain Park ► Forward: Kristen McMillan,
► Guard: Tamyia Muse, ClayChalkville; nearly averaged double figures for the Cougars, going for 9.9 points and six boards per game. ► Guard: Camille Chase, Spain Park; averaged 8.9 points and 4.8 rebounds for the Jags after recovering from a knee injury. ► Guard: Sophia Brown,
GIRLS HONORABLE MENTION
Hoover; Emily Straughn, Mountain Brook; Josie Edwards, Vestavia Hills; Mackenzie Titus, Chelsea; Cheyenne Pearson, Clay-Chalkville
► Player of the Year: Amiya Payne, Hewitt-Trussville ► Coach of the Year: Jason Harlow, Chelsea Starnes Media produces seven monthly publications (280 Living, Hoover Sun, Village Living, The Homewood Star, Vestavia Voice, Cahaba Sun and Iron City Ink). Its sports coverage consists primarily of high school athletics at Briarwood, Chelsea, Oak Mountain, Westminster-Oak Mountain, Spain Park, Hoover, Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Homewood, John Carroll, Hewitt-Trussville, Clay-Chalkville and Pinson Valley.
The Homewood Star
A24 • April 2021
Above: John Carroll’s Cian Loehr (21) tags Homewood’s Max Heath (5) out at second base in an attempted steal during a March 5 game at Homewood High School. Left: JT Weisberg (11) pitches in a March 5 game against the Patriots. Photos by Erin Nelson.
Cavs have eyes set on baseball playoffs By KYLE PARMLEY Jared Bonvillain has a prime example of the standard his John Carroll Catholic High School baseball team is capable of achieving. The Cavaliers have not shied away from competition this year, and they went down to Mobile for the Catholic Cup in late February. John Carroll dropped three games against three stout teams, but the Cavs’ lone victory of their four games was a significant one. John Carroll earned a 7-6 win over McGillToolen, the 2019 Class 7A state champion. The Cavs rallied from a 4-3 deficit with four runs in the sixth inning. William Gignilliat tied the game with a single, Aden Malpass walked in the go-ahead run, another run scored on Mitchell Walker’s hit by pitch and Cian Loehr notched another run-scoring single. In that game, JT Weisberg and Luke Harris
combined to allow just five hits on the mound. It was the complete team victory Bonvillain hopes to see more of throughout the season. “Getting a win against them really gave our kids a boost of confidence,” he said. “When we throw it well and field it well, we’re a very competitive team. Case in point, we’ve proven to be able to beat one of the best teams in the state. You use the win as an example of if you play to that high of a level, this is what you’re capable of.” This is Bonvillain’s fourth year as the Cavs’ head coach, and the team is aiming to win its area and host a first-round playoff game at the least. John Carroll was well on its way to making the postseason last spring before the season was shortened because of COVID-19. It was disheartening for last year’s group of seniors to not be able to cap off its final campaign by realizing the fruits of its labor over the
past several years, Bonvillain said. “That’s motivated this group to work even harder, and not just work harder for the program that’s in place now, but work harder for the ones that didn’t get to enjoy it,” he said. Bonvillain has intentionally pitted his Cavs against strong teams. Being prepared for the competition the Cavs will see in the postseason is far more important to him than stacking up easy wins. John Carroll has already played the likes of Pelham and Homewood. Against Homewood, the Cavs led twice in the late innings, before falling 10-9 in the second game of the doubleheader. “The thing I’ve loved seeing of our kids so far is we’re competing against some tough competition,” he said. Bonvillain said one of the most impressive things about this year’s team has been getting
contributions from the whole roster. The Cavs knew heading into the season Weisberg would be their top arm, but the emergence of sophomore Gignilliat has been a boon for the team. Another example is Davis Deason, who has risen from the junior varsity catcher last year to the varsity catcher and a key contributor this season. Mitchell Walker, William Ydarraga, Sam Murray, Harris and Luke Wammack have also provided solid innings in the first month of the season. Weisberg, Seth Seidenfaden, Campbell McFadden and Malpass are among the bats clicking as well. The Cavs have eight seniors this year, guys who have been with Bonvillain since they were freshmen. Their coach said he is not looking forward to senior day, but he is looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish in their final go-round.
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April 2021 • A25
Varsity Sports Calendar
April showers bring...
BASEBALL April 1: vs. Briarwood. 6:30 p.m. April 2: @ Oak Mountain. 4:30 p.m. April 6: vs. Chelsea. 6:30 p.m. April 8: @ Chelsea. 6:30 p.m. April 12: Doubleheader vs. McAdory. 4 p.m. April 13: @ Mountain Brook. 5 p.m. April 15: vs. Mountain Brook. 5 p.m. April 16: Doubleheader @ Brookwood. 4 p.m.
SOFTBALL April 1: vs. Mountain Brook. 5 p.m. April 2-3: Calera Tournament. TBD. April 6: @ Briarwood. 5 p.m. April 8: vs. Mountain Brook. 5 p.m. April 13: vs. Chelsea. 5 p.m.
SOCCER April 1: Girls @ Mountain Brook. 6:30 p.m.
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April 1: Boys @ Vestavia Hills. 7 p.m. April 2: Girls @ Chelsea. 7 p.m. April 5: Girls vs. Shades Valley. 5 p.m. April 6: Boys vs. Chelsea. 7 p.m. April 7: Girls vs. Albertville. 6 p.m. April 8: Boys vs. Thompson. 7 p.m. April 12: Girls vs. Northridge. 7 p.m.
April 16: vs. Briarwood. 5 p.m.
April 13: Boys @ Mountain Brook. 7:30 p.m.
April 21: @ Ramsay. 5 p.m.
April 15: Girls vs. Hoover. 7 p.m.
April 27: vs. Clay-Chalkville. 4:30 p.m.
April 20: Boys vs. Oak Mountain. 7 p.m.
April 29: @ Pelham. 5 p.m.
April 22: Girls @ Spain Park. 6 p.m.
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The Homewood Star
A26 • April 2021
As days turn warmer, it’s time to start thinking about summertime at last, and no summer is complete without a camp experience. Peruse our guide to learn more about which programs best fit your child’s personality, interest, age and availability. No matter which you choose, it’s time to jump in for fun and adventure this summer.
SUMMER@SPRINGS INDIAN SPRINGS SCHOOL Share experiences. Expand horizons. Sharpen your mind in a beautiful setting this summer. Summer@Springs offers academic enrichment courses designed to be fun and adventurous for students who want to make the most of their summer breaks. Summer@Springs courses are open to the public for students entering grades eight through 12 and run weekly in June and July. Courses include Driver’s Ed, ACT Boot Camp, Study Skills, Research & Academic Writing, Algebra I & II Readiness, AP Chemistry Prep, Sign Language, First Aid, Weightlifting, Cooking and Photography. Summer@Springs is a program of Indian Springs School, an independent, coeducational day and boarding school serving a vibrant community of 300 students in grades eight through 12. Summer@ Springs courses are taught by the school’s award-winning faculty on its inspiring, 350-acre campus located off Interstate 65 near Pelham. Guided by the motto “Learning through Living,” Indian Springs School fosters a love of learning and creativity, a sense of integrity and moral courage, and an ethic of participatory citizenship with respect
CAMP DETAILS ► Variety of courses for students entering eighth through 12th grades running weekly in June and July For more information and to register, visit summerat springs.org
for individuality and independent thought. Summer@Springs offers all students the opportunity to experience Indian Springs School, ranked “Best Private High School” in Alabama for eight consecutive years. For more information about Summer@ Springs and to register for courses, please visit summeratsprings.org. For more information about Indian Springs School and to apply for the 202122 school year, please visit indiansprings. org. Admission to Indian Springs School is rolling based on the availability of space for grades eight through 12.
Use the summer to explore! SUMMERATSPRINGS.ORG
2021 SUMMER CAMP GUIDE - SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
April 2021 • A27
The Dance Foundation This summer, The Dance Foundation will offer weekly classes for ages 1 to adult and summer camps for 4K through 12th grade June 7 through Aug. 7. Weekly classes include Moving Together for 12- to 24-montholds and a grown up; Movement to Music for ages 2-4; Ballet for kindergarten and older; Modern Dance for second grade and older; Hip Hop for second through sixth grades; and Tap and Contemporary Dance for ages 16 to adult. The Dance Foundation’s teaching approach and curriculum engage the imagination and nurture creativity. Live music is an essential component to classes for students through first grade to develop the students’ musicality and to allow for spontaneity and creative freedom in the class. The Dance Foundation also offers half-day camps for students entering 4K through high school. In a new camp for dancers and creatives in sixth through 12th grades, participants will use movement, videography and editing tools to tell a story. The Dancing with the Camera camp will provide participants the skills and equipment to create their very own short dance film. A Dance Workshop with intensive study in Ballet and Modern Dance is also offered for sixth through 12th grade dancers. A yearly favorite is the Once Upon a Fairytale camp for 4- and 5-year-olds. Daily adventures are inspired by classic fairy tales
CAMP DETAILS ► Variety of weekly classes for ages 1 to adult and summer camps for 4K through 12th grade ► Summer classes run June 7 through Aug. 7 For more information, visit thedancefoundation.org
and stories from around the world. Each day, campers dance, create art and explore the day’s fairytale. Two camps are offered for first through third graders this summer. In Once Upon a Ballet for budding ballerinas, campers will discover the familiar folk-
tales of ballet and learn classical dance steps and gestures of famous characters. Campers will make costume pieces, explore the use of props and dance along with the traditional music of “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Nutcracker” and others. In Adventures in Enchanted
Lands, campers create their own mermaid story, search for dragons’ eggs and design fairy wings. Each day is an adventure with magical creatures and enchanted activities. Campers explore each day’s theme through dance, art and drama classes. The popular Dance Explorations camp offered is for third through sixth graders to give students a taste of a variety of dance styles, including Modern Dance, Jazz, Musical Theatre, Improvisation and Hip Hop, as well as lessons in dance history, music and stage makeup. The Dance Foundation has seen success this dance season with its COVID-19 health and safety protocols that have been
in place since last summer’s programs. Visit thedancefoundation.org for current policies. The Dance Foundation is a nonprofit organization supported by generous corporations, foundations and individuals. The Dance Foundation teaches 2,000 students each week through a Community Partnership Program and a Studio Program with tuition assistance. Its studios in downtown Homewood are also home to dozens of artists and arts organizations for classes, workshops, rehearsals and performances. The Dance Foundation has been a gathering place for learning with and through dance for more than 40 years.
A28 • April 2021
2021 SUMMER CAMP GUIDE - SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION
The Homewood Star
ALABAMA BALLET SCHOOL The Alabama Ballet School is the official school of the Alabama Ballet, the state’s premiere professional ballet company. The Royal Academy of Dance certified Alabama Ballet School provides the highest quality training to aspiring artists of all ages through various summer programs including Summer Intensive, Junior Camp, and Tutus and Tiaras. Junior Camp is a two-week camp for dancers ages 8-12. Students will take age-appropriate ballet classes, learn modern dance and jazz technique, and take character and/or theatre dance classes. All students will study dance history and prepare for an end-of-session performance. Tutus and Tiaras is a one-week camp for children ages 4-7. Students will take age-appropriate ballet and tap classes, create ballet-oriented crafts and learn how ballet dancers tell stories with pantomime. Students will also have a storytime
CAMP DETAILS ► Junior Camp and Tutus and Tiaras scheduled for July 19-30 For more information and to register, visit alabamaballet.org
where they can learn the story of ballets such as “The Nutcracker,” “Swan Lake,” “The Sleeping Beauty,” and other classical ballets. Both camps will take place July 19-30 at the Alabama Ballet Center for Dance in Birmingham. For more information, contact Alabama Ballet School Administrator Rachel Singletary at rachelsingletary@alabama ballet.org or 205-322-1874. Registration is open now at alabamaballet.org.
Opening April 17
Ways of Seeing
The Art of Travel, Trade, & Transportation Ways of Seeing: The Art of Travel, Trade and Transportation is made possible by the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, with additional support from the Dora and Sanjay Singh Endowment for Global Arts, Culture, and Education, a fund at the
Adama Kouyaté, Malian, 1928–2020, Man on Motorcycle, 1954–1955, printed later, gelatin silver print; Gift of Peter Stepan, Intercultural Projects, Munich, 2001.44, © Adama Kouyaté
Birmingham Museum of Art
Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham
April 2021 • A29
Calendar Homewood Events April 10: The Bell Center Cornhole Classic. 1 p.m. The Bell Center. Benefits The Bell Center, which is a nonprofit organization with programs for children up to age 3 who are at risk of developmental delays. Register at thebellcenter .org/events/cornhole-classic. April 15-25: Virginia Samford Theatre presents “Plaza Suite.” This three-act comedy is by Neil Simon, and each act involves different characters but all set in Suite 719 of New York City’s Plaza Hotel. The two main characters in each act are played by the same two actors; the VST version will feature performances by the husband and wife team of Kelsey and Nick
Crawford. Visit virginiasamfordtheatre.org for tickets. April 17-18: Birmingham Botanical Gardens Spring Plant Sale. Shoppers will have the opportunity to choose from dozens of varieties of natives, ferns, perennials, herbs, tropicals, houseplants, trees and shrubs, which will be available via a new e-commerce website. April 17: Hand in Paw Mutt Strutt. Virtual. Grab your furry quaranteam mate and join Hand in Paw virtually for a fun and safe day full of exciting race routes, contests and more. April 18: Homewood Athletic Foun-
dation Cornapalooza tournament. 1 p.m. Pizzeria GM. A cornhole tournament that raises money and provides resources for student athletes in Homewood. Register at homewoodaf. org/cornapalooza-registration-2021. April 24: Virtual Walk MS. Walk with your friends and family around your neighborhood or gather your team for a socially distanced stroll through the park. No matter your route, you can tailor Walk MS for you through exciting and new ways to connect and celebrate. Register at nationalmssociety.org. April 24: Red Shoe Run Rockin’ 5K. 8 a.m. Race begins and ends on 29th Avenue
in front of Dave’s Pizza. Benefits the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. Register at runsignup.com/race/al/homewood/redshoerun2021. April 30: Homewood Grown. 6:30 p.m. Patriot Park. This is the largest fundraiser each year hosted by Homewood City Schools Foundation. Dinner from Happy Catering Co. will be provided. The keynote speaker will be Alabama Supreme Court Justice Jay Mitchell, who is a Homewood High School alumnus and dad to four current Homewood students. The 2021 Teacher Impact Award winners will also be announced. Purchase tickets at homewoodgrown.instagift.com.
Homewood Public Library Events CHILDREN’S EVENTS April 5: Reading Buddies. 3:30 p.m. on Zoom. Kindergarten through fifth grade. Read to friends from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society on Zoom. Registration required. Tuesdays April 6-27: Storytime Live. 10 a.m. on Zoom. Preschool. Join Homewood storytellers for a song- and story-filled live storytime. Join using the Zoom webinar link at homewoodpubliclibrary.org. Wednesdays April 7-28: Virtual Program Room. All ages. Visit the virtual program room each week for links to storytime, read alouds, escape rooms, Kids Create activities and more. Each Wednesday will feature new activities to explore. TEEN EVENTS All month: Teen Poetry Contest. In honor of National Poetry Month, the Homewood Public Library is holding a poetry contest for sixth through 12th graders. Create an original poem (maximum two pages in length) in any poetry style. Teens can submit up to two original poems. Poems can be submitted via the library’s website. If submitting two poems, please submit each poem separately. Judges will read each poem and determine first-, second- and third-place winners. Winners will be announced the first week of May. April 1 and 15: Teen Theatre Thursdays. 4-5 p.m. via Zoom. This bimonthly program will focus on teaching the performing arts to aspiring teen thespians with assistance from the Red Mountain Theatre Company. Open to sixth through 12th graders. Register for each class individually online. Zoom meeting information will be sent closer to the event. Questions? Please contact Judith Wright at judith.wright@ homewoodpubliclibrary.org. April 6: Tween Social Justice Book Club – “The Parker Inheritance” by Varian Johnson. 4-5 p.m. Fourth through
seventh grade. This virtual book club will feature books that focus on hot topics in the world today. April’s book is “The Parker Inheritance” by Varian Johnson. Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, believing there was buried treasure in the city. When Candice finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery that exposes an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert. Register online. April 6: Teen Advisory Board (TAB). 6-7 p.m. via Zoom. The Teen Advisory Board will meet via Zoom. TAB members will receive the Zoom meeting information a few days before the meeting. Interested in applying for TAB? Apply at homewoodpubliclibrary.org/tab-application. April 10: Online ACT Practice Test with Princeton Review. 10 a.m to 2 p.m. Take action now to ensure you improve your ACT Score. Try a full-length free practice ACT test online today. This free practice test is offered by Princeton Review. After the practice test, you’ll receive a comprehensive score report detailing your strengths and weaknesses. Open to sixth through 12th graders. Register online. ADULT EVENTS Mondays in April – Virtual Library Yoga with Jackie Tally. 2-3 p.m. Take time out of your busy schedule for free yoga classes sponsored by Homewood Public Library. A gentle workout of 15 minutes in the chair, 15 minutes standing with chair and 15 minutes on the mat. All levels of fitness welcome. Register online. April 6: Not Your Mama’s Book Club – Spirituality & Resilience with Andrea Mathews. 2-3:30 p.m. No book reading required; discussion group only. Research has indicated that spirituality builds resilience. Andrea Mathews explores the way that we can build practices into our lives that help
us to be stronger and more resilient through the process. Register online. April 7: Niki Sepsas presents “Colors Only God Can Create: Stopping to Smell the Flowers.” 2-3 p.m. A round-theworld look at some of the most unusual, the most beautiful and most expensive flowers that beautify our planet. Register online. Zoom meeting information will be sent closer to event. April 13: Virtual Crafting Circle. 10-11:30 a.m. On Zoom the second Tuesday of each month 10-11:30 a.m. to knit, embroider, crochet, smock, tat, cross stitch, hand sew, etc. We'll talk about new craft books we've discovered, show off our current or finished objects, and chat about our needlecrafts. Can't make it exactly at 10? Unable to stay the whole time? Hop on and off when you can. Register online. Zoom invitation will be sent out the Monday before each event. April 13: Oxmoor Page Turners Book Club – “Transcendent Kingdom.” 6:30-8 p.m. Explore Yaa Gyasi's follow-up to her acclaimed national best seller. “Homegoing” is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama. Register online. Zoom meeting information will be sent closer to event. April 14: First Step Wednesdays – Get the Most Out of Your iPad and iPhone. 2:30-4 p.m. This workshop is geared toward casual users. Apple-certified trainers answer your questions on how best to use your Apple device. Register online. April 15: Homewood Senior Center Book Club – “Educated.” 1-2 p.m. Discuss this universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it. Register online. Zoom meeting information will be sent closer to event.
lin discuss the various COVID-19 vaccines and research being done on them by UAB. Register online. April 20: The ABCs of Medicare. 1011 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. Have you been wondering about all the new changes to our Medicare benefits? Karen Haiflich will answer all your questions about how benefits are currently computed, how to become insured and how to file a claim. Register online. April 21: UAB CAPPI Series – Molecular Mechanisms that Drive Addiction and Promising New Treatment Approaches. 12-1:30 p.m. UAB researchers from diverse scientific disciplines are joining forces to help crack the stubborn mysteries of addiction. Their goal is to define the molecular events that drive addictive behavior and, ultimately, to develop new treatments that can help people sustain long-term recovery. Dr. James Bibb discusses the promising new treatment plans that will help those with addictions. Join the lecture on Zoom: uab.zoom.us/j/93579306170 April 22: iProduct Master Class. 2:30-4 p.m. Apple-certified trainers of Connect It! take a deep dive into the settings for your iOS devices. Register online. April 27: Dixie’s Pet Loss Support Group. 6-7:30 p.m. Sponsored by the Greater Birmingham Humane Society. Participation is free; for reservations, contact GBHS volunteer Coordinator Randy Hicks at 205-542-7111. April 28: Better Than Therapy Book Club – “I’ll Be Gone in the Dark.” 2-3:30 p.m. Explore the book that author Michelle McNamara was writing at the time of her sudden death which offers the chilling account of a criminal mastermind and the wreckage he left behind. It is also a portrait of a woman’s obsession and her unflagging pursuit of the truth. It has been hailed as a modern true crime classic — one which fulfilled McNamara’s dream: helping unmask the Golden State Killer. Register online. Zoom meeting information will be sent closer to event.
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CONTINUED from page A1 and were able to take Hollis into custody. And it was all caught on footage. “We would have never had any of this before,” Sgt. John Carr said. The Homewood Police Department has had cameras in its police cars since the ’90s. However, car cameras can’t cover everything. In the Feb. 13 incident, car footage would have missed the Homewood police officer applying a tourniquet. If the officers only had cameras in their cars, footage also wouldn’t have been recorded of officers chasing Hollis on foot. “You’re getting multiple video angles from multiple officers chasing this subject, and you get to see the apprehension of the suspect on video,” Carr said. “That’s a level of protection for us and sometimes the suspect. It’s like, ‘We’re not going to beat you up. We’re not going to hurt you. We’re not going to use force when it’s not necessary. And this video camera that’s on our body is going to show that.’ It reaffirms what we’ve been doing, and it shows the public that our guys and girls are working, serving the citizens of Homewood, and they’re doing it the right way.” The purchase of the body cameras has been a priority for the department for years, Carr said. The issue was always cost. Not only are the cameras expensive, but the long-term cost is in data storage. The camera turns on as soon as an officer turns on his police lights in his car, and the officer can’t turn it off. Additionally, the video can’t be deleted from the system. This adds up to a lot of data storage space.
CONTINUED from page A1 downtown Birmingham in 2014. It offers free programs such as art classes, counseling, HIV/STI testing, health and wellness workshops. Wilson said he began to notice that the youth who came to after-school programs were filled with anxiety because of bullying they encountered at school. With MCAA, students will be able to attend a school with a vision statement about being an LGBTQsafe and affirmative environment. Charity Jackson, the chief academic officer at MCAA, said she has been working to choose instructional strategies that align with that mission and vision. One thing the school is committed to having, she said, is social-emotional learning processes. This will teach students about self-management, such as managing emotions and behaviors to achieve goals; self-awareness; responsible decision-making; relationship skills, such as working in teams and dealing with conflict; and social awareness, such as showing empathy for others. “Children spend most of their time during the week at school, so we want to make sure we’re creating a space that is brave; where students are aware of themselves; they have self-management skills; and they’re making responsible decisions,” she said. Teachers and staff in the building will also be informed about what trauma does to a person, she said. Jackson has spent eight years in the classroom, working in areas that are considered urban. No matter what a student’s background was, they had potentially experienced trauma, she said. This could be poverty, abuse in the home, bullying and more. With
Above: Lt. John Self plays footage from a Feb. 13 shooting investigation, captured on a police-issued body camera, inside his office at the Homewood Police Department. Left: Self adjusts the category knob on a body camera. Photos by Erin Nelson.
In December, the Homewood City Council approved the spending $75,222 for 35 body cameras, plus one year of data storage. There
will be a recurring annual cost of $16,700 for the data storage, Police Chief Tim Ross said at the council meeting.
The footage helps with more than just accountability for officers and citizens. For one, it can allow the department to celebrate the things
they did well. “No one would have ever known that officer put on a tourniquet and saved that person’s life,” Carr said. “That officer’s probably going to win an award, and now the chief can see it.” The cameras also help capture evidence. Imagine you’re applying a tourniquet and trying to save someone’s life — you might be so focused on that one task that you can’t take in other details of the scene. But for this officer, for example, he was able to capture witness identities with his body camera (witnesses of a shooting will often flee the scene, Carr said). Last, the video captured from police body cameras will be helpful for training purposes, Carr said. The department can review the Feb. 13 footage and discuss what the officer did right and what he could have done differently. The department has plans to expand this program in the future, Carr said. Officers currently have to share the 35 cameras and check them out of the system. If the department purchases 30 additional cameras in the future, each officer will have his or her own camera. This will help officers start and end their shift more efficiently, Carr said. The department also plans to integrate the program with the police vehicles. The body cameras aren’t compatible with the dash cameras, so now all car footage is captured from the officer’s body camera. Carr said he hopes to bring back vehicle cameras in the future. “We’re happy we got them, and we’re really hoping we can get more next year,” Carr said. “We know that budgets are tight right now, and we understand that, but we want to be on par with the other departments.”
It’s those higherlevel thinking skills we’re hoping they develop so that they’re not only successful in a potential college or university but also in a career field.
the COVID-19 pandemic, students are all dealing with those related traumatic experiences as well. “When it comes to students who identify as LGBTQIA2S+, I think it’s super important we look at the statistics,” she said. “I think it’s over 90% of students in Alabama that identify have experienced bullying or derogatory terms being stated to them on a daily basis at school. It’s huge.” She wants to ensure that students have a space that is brave, she said. “People say safe spaces, and being safe is a part of it, but also knowing thyself, being empowered to actually use your voice, being affirmed in your identity, attributes to that bravery that it takes to be yourself,” she said. The building will have a sensory room, and students will have opportunities to use that space without any distractions that could possibly elevate their traumatic response. The school’s first week will be focused on building authentic relationships with students, Jackson said. “We’re hoping to build self-awareness so they can be aware of other people so they can also be aware of
A rendering showing the Magic City Acceptance Academy, which plans to be open for classes by fall 2021. Rendering courtesy of Jim Gibbs.
their own community and what’s going on in the world,” she said. This mindset ties in with the learning model the school plans to use. It will have project-based learning, which is based on not using the traditional teaching models of a teacher in front of a classroom giving a lecture. Project-based learning allows students to engage with and explore a concept, and opens opportunities for creativity. “It’s those higher-level thinking skills we’re hoping they develop so that they’re not only successful in a potential college or university but also in a career field,” she said. “We’re looking at servicing the whole student, from academic to the whole being that is in front of us.”
The curriculum will follow state standards, and students will fill out a needs assessment questionnaire about which additional elective classes they will be interested in attending. Other important elements in the building will be individual restrooms to protect privacy; a shower in the building for those who don’t have access to water; a closet with donated clothing that students can take; a washer and dryer for students to wash clothes; places to sit and relax; an adaptable physical activity space and more. The school will be at 75 Bagby Drive, which is a former office building, and Wilson said the entrance will open up to a large atrium during the
renovation process. When Wilson imagines the first day of school at MCAA, he said he imagines a group of students who walk in with a sense of belonging. They’ll know they’re attending a school that’s for them, he said. “I want to take a big leap and it all of a sudden be August,” he said. “There’s a lot of work to do. … I want to be at the point where I’m surrounded by students. To think about this school, that’s such an inclusive space, in Alabama, it’s such a huge victory for us. It says a lot for our resilience. It’s about the resilience of people on a mission to do something right.” Visit magiccityacceptanceacademy .org for more information.
April 2021 • A31
MORE OF WHAT YOU
Good news, friend. You’ll now see more of your tried-and-true favorites in-store. Subs, fried chicken, Oreo cookies, and more are all here. The best part? They’ll be easy to find in our curated aisles. Discover more of what you love at GreenWise Market.
GreenWise Market at Lane Parke 1000 Jemison Lane, Mountain Brook, AL 35223 greenwisemarket.com
WA TK IN
As we work in communities to meet the needs of our customers, please maintain a safe social distance of six feet from our crews and field representatives to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Also, you can visit alpwr.co/vm for more information about these safety and reliability measures and for recommendations about planting the right tree in the right place.
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If you have any questions before crews come by your home, please call Alabama Power at 205-257-2155 and ask for someone in the Vegetation Management Group to contact you. Or you can email us at email@example.com. Work in Homewood and nearby areas is expected to continue through early 2021.
© 2021 Alabama Power Company.
As part of this process, Alabama Power goes to great lengths to talk with individual property owners. Company representatives are going door to door, leaving notices at locations where work is needed.
Vegetation Management Group 205-257-2155 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Alabama Power crews are working in several Homewood neighborhoods, removing trees and other vegetation that threaten the safety and reliability of our electrical system.
Thank you for your understanding.
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A PUBLIC NOTICE FROM ALABAMA POWER
Spring Home & Garden B2
Local entrepreneur starts new adventure By INGRID SCHNADER John Cassimus does it all. Not only did he help grow the original Zoë’s Kitchen into a successful franchise, but he also assisted in the growth of Maki Fresh and Jinsei Sushi; opened Miss Dots in Mountain Brook in 2015; and he opened Crazy Cazboy’s, a discount store in Homewood, in 2019, among other entrepreneurial adventures. Next up, this serial entrepreneur is in the kitchen. Cassimus was tapped to lead a 12-part cooking series, “Darn Hungry,” which is available to watch online and is hosted by SkyPoint Cameras. His love for cooking started at a young age. In 1944, Cassimus’ grandfather, John Proferis, opened a restaurant in Birmingham called John’s Restaurant. His mother and grandmother, who were both Greek, were talented chefs, and Cassimus grew up watching them in the kitchen. One night, when his mother was at a friend’s house, a 9-year-old Cassimus got a sweet tooth. He wanted cake, but there wasn’t any in the house. He called his mom and told her he wanted to make a cake from scratch. She told him to grab her copy of “The Joy of Cooking” by Irma Rombauer and follow the recipe. “She came home a couple of hours later, and I had a cake sitting there,” Cassimus said. “She shook her head at me — I was only 9 years old and
John Cassimus, founder of Crazy Cazboy’s in Homewood and longtime local entrepreneur, was tapped to star in a 12-part cooking series filmed by SpyPoint Cameras. Photo courtesy of Nancy Jones.
had made a cake, turned the oven on and everything by myself. She was impressed.” This experience ignited his love for cooking. “Cooking is something that’s an artistic form for me,” he said. “My artistic abilities for me are that I have a pretty good eye for design. But in regards to music, painting or
drawing, I have zero artistic ability. “But when it comes to food, that’s how my art comes out and my creativity is taken. Anything I want to cook, I experiment with, and I come up with things that typically taste good.” One of his most beloved recipes is the chicken roll-up he created for Zoë’s Kitchen. He continued to
develop the menu there until he sold it to a private equity fund in 2007. In addition to his entrepreneurial adventures, Cassimus also enjoys hunting, biking, photography and flying airplanes. His love for cooking pairs well with his love for the outdoors, he said. “Typically when you hunt, you’re at someone’s house, or a lodge, or
a farm, and everything’s always about fellowship and talking about the day,” he said. “In my life, I feel cheated if I don’t celebrate every day with a big meal.” The chief marketing officer for SkyPoint Cameras, which is a company that sells hunting and security cameras, met Cassimus at a trade show last year. He followed Cassimus on social media and saw that he was posting about food every night. He called Cassimus and pitched the idea to help create a cooking show. Like many other adventures in Cassimus’ life, he said yes. With “Darn Hungry,” Cassimus makes clean, simple recipes in short 10-minute videos. “I’m not making really crazy, intricate recipes where it takes process after process,” he said. “I will get crazy sometimes and do something fancy, but my cooking is basically lean proteins — fish, chicken, venison or meat — and I’m always about vegetables and salad.” At home, Cassimus is busy and has limited time to cook. So viewers can trust that his videos can accommodate a busy schedule while still delivering with nutritious, tasty recipes. “These are recipes that anybody can do that are simple, that won’t break the bank and that taste really great,” he said. To watch the episodes of Darn Hungry, visit spypoint.com or search the SkyPoint Trail Cameras account on YouTube.
Not Your Ordinary Urgent Care Join Our Team. We’re Awesome! trustcarehealth.com Click on Careers
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The Homewood Star
B2 • April 2021
Home & Garden Guide
Special Advertising Section
Gardner Landscaping 205-401-3347 • GardnerLandscapingLLC.com Refreshing your yard for the spring can seem like a daunting task, but the experts at Gardner Landscaping have perfected creating beautiful outdoor spaces in a timely manner. Since 2006, Grant Gardner and his team have been partnering with residential and commercial customers whose properties come alive with manicured landscaping. The team leans on the knowledge and experience they’ve gained over the years, and they never shy away from the newest outdoor design trends. Creating the perfect outdoor environment comes from a combination of cultivated greenery and pops of vivid color. “Our specialty is making a beautiful landscape with trees, shrubs and flowers. However, we are also very good at developing outdoor play and entertainment areas for our customers,” Gardner said.
No matter the client’s taste, Gardner and his team are ready to provide, from traditional plant materials to the unusual. “We strive to satisfy individual preferences, while advising our customers based upon several factors such as the intended purpose of the space,” Gardner said. One of the things that sets Gardner Landscaping apart from similar businesses is its full staff of licensed, insured and talented personnel. “We have the personnel and resources to get to your project in a timely manner,” Gardner said, adding that they strive to provide each client with a quote on their project within 24 hours. To find out how the team at Gardner Landscaping can liven up your outdoor space this spring, just give them a call or reach them online.
Spring is in bloom, and it’s the perfect time to plant a garden, do some cleaning or start a home renovation. Find tips and tricks from area businesses to jumpstart any project in our guide.
Providing High Quality Service and Customer Satisfaction
Best Price for Privacy Evergreens & Ornamental Trees At Gardner Landscaping our goal is to exceed your expectations in creating and maintaining beautiful landscapes, hardscapes, and lawns. We also work to minimize drainage and erosion issues.
Your Large Tree, Shrub and Drainage Experts CALL: 205-401-3347 EMAIL: GardnerLandscaping@gmail.com www.GardnerLandscapingLLC.com
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
April 2021 • B3
Cardinal Roofing 205-377-8400 • cardinalroof.com According to CEO Adam Winger, if you stacked up all the shingles Cardinal Roofing installed last year, they would be 12 times taller than the Eiffel Tower. Despite that, if you ask Winger what the company does, he won’t say they build, maintain and repair roofing — he’ll tell you that Cardinal Roofing does things differently. “Our processes are different, our products are different, and our people are different. We care about our roofs, but we care about the people under them more,” he said. Each year they help around 1,500 homeowners through direct services, but they also help by educating people about the health of their roof and how to spot potential problems before they become severe issues. “Your roof will tell you a story about its health if you pay attention,” Winger said. “Are you finding more and more sand granules in your gutter downspouts? Do you see curled, creased, missing or lifted shingles? Are there dark streaks running down your roof? All of these signs could indicate your roof is either aging or damaged.” Ignoring these problems because you are unaware of them or simply don’t have the time or resources to mend them can create a disastrous situation. But Cardinal Roofing does its best to alleviate those problems when they arise. “We helped replace the roof of a Birmingham family for free this past Christmas. Water was pouring into several rooms in the family’s house including the bedroom of their two young sons. It was heart wrenching. We changed the family’s life that day, and I couldn’t be prouder of the way our team came together.” Just like with an automobile, performing routine maintenance can greatly extend
the life of your roof. “It needs consistent maintenance to extend its useful life,” Winger said. “For example, pipe covers may need to be replaced, flashing may need to be re-sealed and turbines may need to be replaced. There is no better time than spring to perform annual roof maintenance. “The force of strong winds and the impact of spring and summer hail can create hairline fractures (or worse) in shingles,” Winger continued. “Eventually,
rainwater will find these cracks and create leaks. This type of damage can rarely be seen from the ground. Therefore, after violent storms this season, have a licensed professional inspect your roof for damage.” Proper roof maintenance can save you money from larger repairs in the future, and it can also help you cut back on your energy bill. “More time at home means we spend more money to heat and cool our air throughout the day,” Winger said.
Making sure your roof is ventilated correctly can help reduce that cost. “Not only will a properly ventilated roof reduce the cost of heating and cooling, but it will also increase the life of your roof. Consider adding vents to the ridges of your roof or having your turbines inspected to ensure proper air circulation throughout your home.” If you need maintenance, repairs or a new roof, you can call Cardinal Roofing or request a free inspection on its website.
Early Spring Roofing Tips: 1. General Leaks - Check for water stains on your ceilings and in your attic. Pay close attention to places where vents penetrate your roof and where two roofing slopes form a valley. 2. Damaged Shingles - After violent winds, look for missing, lifted, warped or curled shingles. Also check for branches on your roof and shingle fragments in your yard. Shingles have a 12-15 year life and should be inspected frequently after year 10. 3. Gutter Issues - Clogged or damaged gutters redirect the natural flow of water. Both the weight of the gutters and the water flow can cause major roofing issues if left unaddressed. 4. Chimney Issues - Whether you used your fireplace over the winter or not, the winter season is hard on your chimney. Deteriorating chimneys are notorious for causing leaks and should be checked regularly. 5. Critters - Animals become more active in the spring. Hearing critters in your attic could indicate a hole or other damage to your roof.
Cardinal Roofing owner and Homewood local, Adam Winger, with his wife, Casey, and their three children.
B4 • April 2021
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
The Homewood Star
Brandino Brass 205-978-8900 • brandinobrass.com Brandino Brass has become a mainstay in the design, construction and home improvement industry throughout the Southeast. Located in Homewood, the family-owned hardware and lighting company has been a resource to architects, designers, contractors and homeowners alike with their extensive collection and variety of options. Brandino Brass has high-quality decorative and architectural hardware that includes everything from cabinet hardware and elegant doorknobs to fireballs, bathroom accessories and unique light fixtures. One of the best features of Brandino Brass has always been its beautiful showroom. In the showroom, clients are able to the view the hardware and lighting in person, instead of online shopping. Customers can see the actual size of each piece, feel the material, see the finish and choose the best option for their home. The company also is well known throughout the Southeast for its attention to detail and efficiency. When homeowner E.A. Montgomery began renovating her house a few years ago, she knew with which small details she wanted to start. “It was actually one of the first places we came,” she said of Brandino Brass. Her house is filled with the company’s products, including drawer pulls, doorstops and French door bolts. “It’s the best you can find in this city,” Montgomery said. “There’s nowhere else to go in Birmingham. And their customer service matches the quality of the product, which you don’t always find.” The reputation in the community is only a window into their high-quality customer service. Brandino Brass ensures that from the time you choose your
hardware to the final installation, you will receive friendly accessibility. “From your first walk in, to execution, there’s not a problem they haven’t handled with immediacy,” Montgomery said. Customers aren’t the only side of the business that Brandino Brass employees have impressed with their reliability. “Whenever you place an order and need something, it’s always a place to come if you need it quick,” contractor John Parker said. Hardware can go through several hands before reaching the installation
stage of the process, so efficiency is crucial when coordinating a customer’s order. After a customer picks out the specific hardware they want, Brandino Brass creates a list of parts for each door, window and cabinet in the house to which their hardware is being applied. Ginny Monheit of A+G Interior Design said working with Brandino Brass makes fulfilling her customers’ hardware and lighting needs much easier. “They are very knowledgeable about their product and helpful in making
selections,” Monheit said. “However, their service does not stop there. They are willing to go to our clients’ homes and count the exterior versus interior doors, cabinets, drawers, hinges and anything else the client needs. And once the product has arrived, they help with product placement and locations. They could not be more full-service.” The beautiful lighting showroom is now open to designers, homeowners or anyone who simply wants to peruse the offerings in a calm and comfortable environment.
Decorative Door and Cabinet Hardware Interior and Exterior Lighting
2824 Central Avenue, Suite I00 Homewood, AL 35209 Monday-Thursday 8am - 5pm Friday 8am - 1pm
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
April 2021 • B5
Amanda Dabbs – Fred Smith Group 205-746-8820 • email@example.com • fredsmithgroup.com Spring is here, and it’s an ideal time to sell your home, according to Amanda Dabbs, a veteran Realtor in Homewood. “This is close to the end of the school year and is a perfect time for families to transition from one home to another,” Dabbs said. “Whether moving in from another state, downsizing, upsizing, whatever your reason for moving, most families use this time so as not to disrupt their child’s school year.” However, it’s critical to have a full-service agent to help you through the process. “This is your home that you love, and we want to make sure your home receives all the recognition and value it deserves,” Dabbs said. “A full-service agent will be able to provide an abundance of knowledge and expertise, as well as a marketing plan that has helped our clients get upwards of 98% of their listing price when selling their homes. We also have established relationships with other local Realtors that help us navigate you smoothly from contract to close.” The help of a skilled professional is particularly important in a hot market. “The Birmingham market is thriving, so selling and buying a home can prove to be a challenge if you don’t have the right agent,” Dabbs said. Dabbs and her fellow Fred Smith Group agents — including
AMANDA DABBS, BRANDY HERSCHBACH AND LIZA ROITMAN
Brandy Herschbach and Liza Roitman — specialize in helping to guide clients through multiple offer situations, she said. “We aim to sell your home for
the most value in the shortest amount of time,” Herschbach said. They can also assist sellers of vacant properties in staging and decluttering their homes.
They can be invaluable to buyers seeking to navigate the market. “Currently, housing inventory is very low, so finding a home can prove to be difficult
right now,” Roitman said. “That’s why we use our ability to connect the dots for our clients and find them the perfect home whether currently on the market or not. We also stay very knowledgeable with our current market so that our buyers know immediately when something is coming available and don’t miss out.” Working with the Fred Smith Group, clients not only get the benefit of a full-service agent but a full team of agents with over 25 years of experience, Roitman said. They can help any customer in the market to buy, sell or rent a home. “We also help investors find homes that they can flip, or buy and hold as an income property,” Herschbach said. Dabbs said she and her fellow agents are committed to Homewood. “Homewood is the community where we live and raise our own families, the community we care about,” she said. They regularly volunteer in the community with organizations such as Greater Birmingham Humane Society, The Bell Center, Homewood Soccer Club and the Homewood schools. “We live and work in Homewood, so we are very familiar with this market, but we also service the greater Birmingham area as well,” Dabbs said. “You are our No. 1 priority, and we aim to make all our clients have the most ideal experience possible.”
Be a step ahead of the competition with a full service team! FREE MARKET ANALYSIS • STAGING • PHOTOGRAPHY • MARKETING PLAN Amanda Dabbs
B6 • April 2021
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
The Homewood Star
LAH Real Estate 205-870-8580 • lahrealestate.com For many homeowners, 2020 — the year that lasted a decade — revealed the myriad ways that their homes just don’t meet their needs anymore. According to LAH Real Estate, right now is the perfect time to list your home and find one that suits you and your family better. But there are a few things the team at LAH Real Estate think you need to do first. Hire a Real Estate Agent It’s a sellers market right now, and you may be tempted to list your home yourself. Don’t. “For sale by owner” deals almost always become disastrous. The legality of real estate is extremely complex. Often, the funds you may have saved by not hiring a Realtor in the beginning are lost along with a lot of wasted time and peace of mind. All that said, you shouldn’t hire just any Realtor. Do your research. You will want an agent who is familiar with your area and is knowledgeable about the market. Once you’ve picked a Realtor you think may be right for you, interview them to make sure it’s a good fit. Don’t be afraid to speak with a few different agents. At LAH Real Estate, we aspire to create a community of expert Realtors who work together with integrity to meet all of our clients’ real estate needs. Our agents have a client-first mindset and are excellent at helping you through the listing process. Depersonalize Your Home Once you’ve chosen the right agent
for you, one of the first things they’ll tell you is to depersonalize your home as much as possible. Potential buyers need to be able to envision themselves in the home. The personal touch that has made the house your home for so many years can distract them from that. Family photos, statement art pieces and bold or unique furniture should be removed. Your walls should be neutral colors, allowing buyers to easily envision the home the way they would alter it to suit them. Call the Handyman Small things that you may have become accustomed to in your home may stick out to others. For example, according to the LAH team, you should fix leaky faucets before showing anyone your home. Dripping water suggests faulty plumbing and major repair bills. And that isn’t the only thing that might set off alarm bells in a buyer’s mind. Other small things to repair are any loose handles and any damaged or discolored caulking. LAH agents have a client-first attitude, so if you choose an LAH agent, you won’t have to hunt down every small repair that’s needed. Your LAH agent will help you identify anything that needs to be addressed. They’ll also guide you on everything from staging your home to creating curb appeal. If you’re planning to list your home this spring, the agents at LAH Real Estate know what it takes to sell your home for top dollar.
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
April 2021 • B7
Color World Housepainting of Birmingham 205-557-9770 • colorworldhousepainting.com/birmingham The arrival of spring is often a time when people decide to freshen up the look of their homes — both inside and out. Some people try to take on home improvement projects themselves, but it’s often helpful to have the expertise of someone who knows the ins and outs of the job. That’s where Color World Housepainting of Birmingham can help. Located in Homewood, Color World offers services such as residential and commercial painting, gutter installation, pressure washing, carpentry and drywall repair, holiday lighting and more. The company is a great resource for property owners who want to improve their curb appeal through painting or lighting, or for those who are experiencing water issues and damage due to aged or inadequate gutter systems. Springtime is often a time when people put their homes on the market for sale, and investing money in a fresh paint job inside or outside the house can greatly improve the appeal — and selling price — of your home. Also, with COVID-19, people have been spending more time in their home and may be ready to freshen things up just for themselves. Gary Sheffer, the franchise owner of the Birmingham Color World store, said there are a lot of new trends and colors right now, and he’s up to speed on what they are. Sheffer, a trained professional, will come out to your home himself for a consultation before ever starting the job. “We spend a lot of time talking to folks and listening to what they’re trying to do,” Sheffer said. Sheffer is the son of a builder and
contractor, so he has always been around and enjoyed building projects, he said. He originally pursued a career in banking but always did handyman and woodworking jobs on the side to tap into that deeply rooted passion. “When I saw the Color World franchise, it blended my interest in home improvement with the opportunity to meet and help people, which I most enjoyed during my time in banking,” he said. “I have been able to transfer the professionalism from my 20 years in banking to provide the
friendly and responsive service that folks should expect and deserve when selecting a service provider.” And, in addition to his time-consuming work as a franchise owner, Sheffer extends the servant leadership he employs in his full-time work to his volunteer work as well. He is currently president-elect for the Kiwanis Club of Homewood-Mountain Brook, is a member of the City Salesman Club and has served as both a member of the Homewood Environmental Commission and with
Habitat for Humanity. Sheffer is ready to meet you and give you the best-looking home on the block. He encourages interested customers to visit Color World’s website, colorworldhousepainting.com/ birmingham, to schedule a free in-home estimate, where he will stop by your home, listen to what needs you have and walk through the cost and expectations of the project — making one less to-do list item for customers on what is surely a lengthy list as summer approaches.
SPRING IS THE PERFECT TIME TO PAINT YOUR HOME. OWN THE BEST LOOKING HOUSE ON THE BLOCK! Call Today for a Free Quote
• • • • •
Interior & Exterior Painting Deck & Fence Staining Gutter Installation Power Washing Holiday Lighting
2-Coat Exterior Painting Job
Interior Painting Job
*May not be combined with any other offers. Expires May 31, 2021
B8 • April 2021
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
The Homewood Star
Guin Service 205-595-4846 • guinservice.com In 1958, Bill Guin, a young man of just 25, decided to go into business for himself. He had a wife and three young children at home; he had a steady job with a promising future, but he also had a burning desire that he couldn’t ignore — to start his own business. He had the drive and ambition to be successful, and a moral code to always do what’s right. Bill’s first job as a new business owner was to put the plumbing in a new house for a friend he had made during his days as a young engineer. Today his grandson, Joseph Braswell, the current owner of Guin Service, has a copy of that first invoice hanging on his wall. “I look at that invoice every morning as I walk into my office” says Joseph. “When I think about my grandfather going into business at that young age, it really motivates me to carry on his legacy.” Joseph says he operates the business under one key principle that dates back to 1958: Treat people like family. “We treat every customer and employee like they are members of our family,” he says. And that’s not just a cliché for Joseph; that principle really is what drives him to try to be the best mechanical business in the city. “When we have our staff meetings, we rarely talk about money or profits,” says Joseph. “Almost every meeting we’ve ever had is about how we can provide better service for our customers.” Those meetings always consist of discussing ways to be more efficient so we can show up on time, showcasing new software to better communicate to our customers, or giving out prizes to employees for a job well done. Joseph says that nothing makes his day more than
receiving a notification about another five-star review. “My favorite thing is to take a screen shot of the review and text it to the employee that performed the service,” he says. “I think it shows the employee that we appreciate his hard work, and it reinforces the values that guide us to do what we do. “I have an unwavering opinion that if you do the right thing, everything else
will work itself out,” Joseph continues. “If I thought that we had to do something dishonest to be profitable, I would shut the doors immediately. I think this attitude is what sets us apart.” The other thing that Joseph says sets them apart is their people. “We are blessed to have, what I believe, are the best employees in the world,” he says. “It makes my job easy knowing that every employee has bought into our company culture.”
Joseph says even though he has great employees, manpower is still his biggest challenge. “We hire on character and train on the technical aspects of our business,” he explains. “It’s a much longer process, but it always pays off in the long run.” With great people and an honest approach to business, it is no wonder Guin is continuing to thrive after 63 years in business.
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
April 2021 • B9
Imagine your home, totally organized! Custom Closets, Garage Cabinets, Home Office, Pantries, Laundries Wall Beds, Wall Units, Hobby Rooms, Garage Flooring and more...
SPECIAL FINANCING for 12 Months!
With approved credit. Call or ask your Designer for details.
Closets by Design 205-777-4000 • closetsbydesign.com (click “Central Alabama”) Closets by Design is all about simplifying, and there’s no better time than a changing season to begin truly simplifying and getting your closet, house and garage organized. Let Closets by Design help you set the right tone for the year to come. “We are here to help simplify our clients’ lives by giving them a quick, hassle-free design consultation to help them maximize their space,” Aly Harris, the Closets by Design office manager, said. Closets by Design specializes in designing, building and installing custom closets, garage cabinets, home offices, laundries, pantries and much more. With a wide selection of finishes, accessories and hardware, Closets We build each closet by Design makes sure that you can get the with you in mind. Our customized look you products simply offer always wanted. Customers can choose the best value in the from three types of closet industry. systems. Although the ALY HARRIS styles differ, each aim to maximize space and create a closet or area that helps organize not only your clothes or supplies, but also your life. This way, you can dedicate more time to focusing on the things and people you love. “We build each closet with you in mind,” Harris said. “Our products simply offer the best value in the industry.” Closets by Design was started in California in 1982 and has since grown to be a national company with 51 locations. Even though the company is relatively new to Alabama, they have already helped hundreds of clients design and build their dream closets and storage spaces. With a no-obligation, in-home consultation, Closets by Design continues to create custom-tailored designs with the highest quality product construction. Simplification and ease are key. Closets by Design is also a floor-based system, unlike most of their competitors, which makes their systems stronger and more stable. “We bring a fresh perspective on getting organized to Alabama,” Harris said. Part of the appeal of Closets by Design is that its team members spend time understanding and prioritizing the necessity of home office space. They’ve created a line of innovative and effective office systems in a variety of styles and finishes to match your unique needs. Attractive pantries are developed to streamline cooking and cleaning with easy-to-reach and easy-to-organize shelves. They also can help customers take their garages a step further and transform it into a workshop, garden center or arts and crafts room. Closets by Design makes sure plenty of storage space is key. “At Closets by Design, we make sure that the client has a true consulting experience, giving the customer the control over the design and the cost,” Harris said.
40% Off Plus
Free Installation Terms and Conditions: 40% off any order of $1000 or more or 30% off any order of $700 or more on any complete custom closet, garage, or home office unit. Not valid with any other offer. Free installation with any complete unit order of $600 or more. With incoming order, at time of purchase only. Expires in 30 days. Offer not valid in all regions.
Call for a free in home design consultation and estimate
(205) 827-4911 www.closetsbydesign.com Follow us
Locally owned and operated.
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
B10 • April 2021
The Homewood Star
Johnny Montgomery – ERA King Real Estate 205-223-2313 • eraking.com
One Man & A Toolbox 205-823-2111 • oneman-toolbox.com Since 1997, One Man & a Toolbox has been helping people with a variety of home improvement projects and repairs. “The company was started to fill a void in the market to provide professional contracting services for jobs too small for a general contractor to do. In many cases, small handyman-type projects are done by unskilled, unlicensed, uninsured people working out of their trucks going from job to job — many times not completing jobs as they go, or not standing behind jobs after they are complete,” owner Jay Moss said. One Man & a Toolbox is insured and bonded to further protect customers. “We offer carpentry, painting, minor plumbing, electrical, pressure washing, roof and gutter repair, appliance installation, drywall repair, door and
window repair and more,” he said. Spring is the perfect time to take care of home maintenance issues. One Man & a Toolbox’s affordable hourly rates can fit any budget. “We are an over 20-year-old company,” Moss said. “We have invested in technology and skill enhancement of our technicians to ensure jobs are done timely and professionally.” Their technicians are skilled and professional. They pride themselves on getting the job done well and on time. “We have multiple technicians, so if you think a job is too large for one man and a toolbox, you can have two men and more if the job requires it,” he said. They service not only Birmingham, but also Montgomery, Tuscaloosa and Gadsden.
Johnny Montgomery has been helping homebuyers and sellers for 44 years, and he said it never stops being exciting. Especially now that it’s a family business with Montgomery working alongside his talented wife, Liz. “I still get a lot of excitement seeing people get a good investment and get a home that they really love,” he said. “I go to work when I start negotiating for you. A lot of the time it’s not the first effort, it’s the third and fourth and fifth that you get a deal worked out.” That’s the kind of hard work he likes to do as a Realtor with ERA King Real Estate, Co. “A house is a big investment — the biggest that most people make — and they have trusted me to take care of that for them,” he said. “I don’t take that lightly.” It’s so much more than just sticking a sign in the yard, Montgomery said. It’s knowing the neighborhoods, negotiating, repair request, title companies, termite companies, banks and mortgage
companies, attorneys and closing services, and sometimes calming the nerves of emotional buyers and sellers. “The best advice I can give you is to get an agent with experience and good negotiating and problem-solving skills,” he said. “Every transaction comes with challenges, and if we can solve them, you’re going to get your house.” It’s a seller’s market right now, but this spring is still the perfect time to buy, Montgomery said. “The house you buy now, by next year, it will look like you stole it — the future is now.”
One Man & a Toolbox Handyman Services
Doing it Yourself isn’t for everyone. Residential Commercial Special Projects 205-823-2111 • OneMan-Toolbox.com
44 years selling Homewood houses
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
April 2021 • B11
Kete Quick Cannon – ARC Realty 205-601-4148 • ketecannon.com
Bluff Park Shutter Co. 205-572-5380 • bluffparkshutter.com There are a lot of mass-produced shutters on the market, but why do all shutters have to look the same? Cary Lott at Bluff Park Shutter Co. specializes in custom, handmade shutters that can help set your home apart from the rest. “There’s nothing to me that changes the curb appeal of a house than nice custom shutters,” Lott said. “To be able to get something custom is a big draw for people.” Bluff Park Shutter Co. also uses quality wood — eastern red cedar from Alabama and western red cedar that is extremely rot-resistant and recommended for outdoor use. “You could put this cedar outside with nothing on it,” Lott said. “It’s not going to warp or split and has a longer life than most types of wood.” The Bluff Park Shutter Co. also uses
higher-end finishes and rubs its stains on by hand instead of spraying them onto the wood. The company also can paint the shutters if you want them painted. Lott, a resident of the Bluff Park community, has an artistic background and got into the shutter business after helping a friend in the construction business make some shutters for himself. He liked the end product and did some research and discovered there was a need in the Birmingham market for custom shutters. Lott will come to your home for a consultation and bring samples for you to review. Then he’ll put his two wood craftsmen to work to make the magic happen. You typically can have your custom shutters installed two to four weeks from placing your order, depending on the complexity of the order. For more information, go to bluffparkshutter.com.
Selling real estate in Homewood for over 28 years, Kete Quick Cannon has seen a lot of changes in the industry. Kete has qualities that set her apart from her fellow real estate agents in Homewood. As a lifelong Homewood resident, Cannon knows just how special the city is and its people are. With three decades of networking, she has her ear to the ground on what’s happening in the area’s real estate market. Kete not only stays connected to her clients in Homewood, but also to her clients who have purchased lake homes, downsized or relocated to other places. This provides her with knowledge and resources she passes on to future clients looking to purchase or sell in those areas. “My services encompass everything from consultation, interior design, staging, investment properties, vacation homes … whatever my clients need,” she said. Cannon enjoys working with her clients whether buying or selling. She has achieved many awards in real estate but said her greatest success lies in the referrals she receives and her repeat clients. “I have clients who I assisted from their very first home who are now in their retirement home,” she said.
“Now I’m selling their grown kids their very first homes. But in some way, no matter where I move them to, it all ties back to Homewood. That’s what makes Homewood special and what I do special — lifelong relationships and lifelong friends. I’m their Realtor for life and through the changes in their lives. “I am very lucky that I love what I do!” Cannon said. “Helping my clients achieve their dream is what I love about this business.”
YOUR HOUSE HAS NEVER BEEN WORTH MORE! If you are looking to make a change, let me put my Homewood expertise to work for you! Whether you’re ready to settle down with some chickens and get back to nature, right-size your living space or just move around the corner, NOW has never been a better time. Take advantage of this hot market and historically low interest rates. Curious to know what your home is worth and what exciting new opportunities await? Contact me for a no-obligation consultation.
QUALITY, HAND CRAFTED SHUTTERS
KETE CANNON, REALTOR 205.601.4148 (MOBILE) KETE@KETECANNON.COM KETECANNON.COM
bluffparkshutter.com (205) 572-5380 @BPShutter
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
B12 • April 2021
The Homewood Star
Kathryn Romanchuk and Kristin Longoria 205-531-5809 • mountainbrookcrestline.realtysouth.com
Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists 205-520-9777 • foundationsunlimited.com As spring rolls in, take a moment to check the overall health of your home for the warmer, wetter months. Are the gutters clogged? Windows sealed? What about your foundation? Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists can help you pinpoint problems before they worsen. Six key foundation issues to watch for: ○ Concrete raising ○ Cracks in the floors or walls ○ Cracks in your brick that look like stair steps ○ Gaps around exterior window frames and doors ○ Sagging or uneven floors ○ Separation between the wall and counters or cabinets Our foundation repair contractors can quickly identify the root cause of any problems your home may have and propose the best solution for you. Whether it’s due to poor construction, soil problems,
weight-related pressure problems or age, a professional, experienced team uses the latest techniques to handle any type of basement foundation repair. The initial meeting with a foundation expert is always free. And warranted, proven quality remains a priority to complete each project successfully and on time. “The entire staff of Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists are very professional and knowledgeable and made every effort to make sure the job was done right,” said one customer. Other customers from all around the Birmingham area have trusted Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists for great results. “We just bought a new house, and there was a sagging spot in the kitchen floor,” one customer said. “… They have just been superb and taken care of everything we needed.”
Kathryn Romanchuk, a member of The Faulkner Group in RealtySouth’s Crestline office, and Kristin Longoria of Movement Mortgage are the perfect team to help homebuyers succeed in a supercharged market. Both members of this real estate dream team are Homewood area residents with skills and expertise that complement each other in a way that is beneficial to their clients. Longoria handles the financial details while Romanchuk uses her many years of experience to guide clients through the real estate process from start to finish. Researching is always the first step. “My favorite part of each real estate transaction is really getting to know my clients and their goals,” Romanchuk said. “I love using what I know about the market and utilizing RealtySouth resources as well as social media avenues on both a personal and business level to help my clients sell their current home, buy their new home ... or both!” It’s important to remember that before you even start searching, especially right now when homes are going under contract in hours, buyers need to be prepared by getting pre-approved and having all of the documentation needed to make a move as soon as a home suited for their family comes on the market. That’s where Longoria comes in. “I have a personalized team consisting of my production assistant, processor
and underwriter who work together to make sure all details are handled while counting down to closing,” Longoria said. For sellers, Romanchuk utilizes what she describes as a full concierge of cultivated vendors and services at her disposal to create a custom marketing plan for each listing. Together, Longoria and Romanchuk take the guesswork out of the real estate experience and. “We’re the team that makes it stress free,” Romanchuk said. “We take a daunting task and make it fun and simple.”
AL | Movement Mortgage, LLC supports Equal Housing Opportunity. NMLS ID# 39179 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) | 877-314-1499. Movement Mortgage, LLC is licensed by AL # 21022. Interest rates and products are subject to change without notice and may or may not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in. Borrowers must qualify at closing for all benefits. “Movement Mortgage” is a registered trademark of the Movement Mortgage, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company. 8024 Calvin Hall Rd, Indian Land, SC 29707
Dreaming about your perfect home? FOUNDATION PROBLEMS? WE HAVE THE SOLUTION.
Make it a reality with your neighborhood dream-team Kathryn Romanchuk and Kristin Longoria!
FOUNDATION REPAIR BASEMENT WALL REPAIR FLOOR LEVELING CRAWLSPACE ENCAPSULATION
REQUEST A FREE QUOTE TODAY
Kathryn Romanchuk REALTOR® 205-531-5809 Kathryn@RealtySouth.com
NMLS# 1285471 205-410-8504 Kristin.Longoria@Movement.com
The Faulkner Group
Family-Owned and Operated Since 1996 AL | Movement Mortgage, LLC supports Equal Housing Opportunity. NMLS ID# 39179 (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org) | 877-314-1499. Movement Mortgage, LLC is licensed by AL # 21022. Interest rates and products are subject to change without notice and may or may not be available at the time of loan commitment or lock-in. Borrowers must qualify at closing for all benefits. “Movement Mortgage” is a registered trademark of the Movement Mortgage, LLC, a Delaware limited liability company. 8024 Calvin Hall Rd, Indian Land, SC 29707
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
April 2021 • B13
Byars|Wright Insurance 205-417-1321 • byarswright.com
NeedCo Inc. 205-871-2066 • needco.net The kitchen has become the heart of the home, and not just for cooking. Creating a dream kitchen for your family that’s beautiful and functional requires a well thought-out design plan! 1. The Work Triangle The work triangle is the distance between the refrigerator, sink and range. A good triangle will provide efficient workflow between these points. A poor work triangle will result in an excessive amount of walking between them. Each point of your triangle should be no more than 4 feet apart. 2. Lighting The right amount of light is extremely important! The three types of lighting you should use in your kitchen are: ○ General lighting lights the entire space. Recessed lights are great for general lighting because they evenly
disburse light throughout the space. ○ Task lighting helps perform certain tasks. Shadows from overhead lighting can be cast under wall cabinets, making prep work difficult. Over-the-sink and under-counter lighting are examples of task lighting. ○ Accent lighting highlights the kitchen design. Pendants, up-lighting and lighting inside glass cabinets help show off the wonderful design of your kitchen. 3. Storage Maximize your storage by using smart storage solutions. A large pantry with roll-out trays can house crockpots so they’re easy to lift out. Take advantage of space that might not be readily accessible to house seasonal items. We hope you find these tips helpful when planning your next kitchen renovation or new build. At NeedCo, we have designers on staff to assist you with planning your dream kitchen!
“What would happen if a flood destroyed my home?” “What if a tree falls on our home and our roof collapses?” These are common questions that homeowners ask and worry about. Thankfully, Byars|Wright Insurance can provide solutions for them! Whether you’re buying a new home this spring or still enjoying the one you’re in, let Byars|Wright help protect your investment. When it comes to insuring your home, Byars|Wright has the team of experts that you need. With an experienced personal insurance department and an excellent claims team, we’re here to make sure your property is insured and loved ones are protected. For 75 years, Byars|Wright has protected homes, businesses and, more importantly, relationships. Our family-owned independent insurance agency has five offices across the greater Birmingham area, with a central location nestled in downtown Homewood. Ranked No. 1 in Business Alabama’s
Best Companies to Work For, we’re proud to have a team that feels like family. Led by branch manager and producer Gabe Clement, the Byars|Wright Homewood branch is at 1701 28th Ave. S. Gabe, a Homewood resident himself, was named “Homewood’s BEST Insurance Agent” in 2020 and also included in the Associated General Contractors of Alabama’s Top 40 Under 40 in Construction.
Protect all that you’ve built with a company you can TRUST.
Protecting Relationships Since 1946 www.needco.net
*NEW LOCATION* Homewood Showroom 925 Oxmoor Road Homewood, AL (205) 871-2066
Bessemer Showroom 1240 Raimund Muscoda Rd Bessemer, AL (205) 481-1003
Huntsville Showroom 504 Andrew Jackson Way NE Huntsville, AL (256) 534-8690
"You're at home with NeedCo."
Personal, Commercial, and Life Insurance (205) 417-1321 | byarswright.com
Spring Home & Garden • Special Advertising Section
B14 • April 2021
The Homewood Star
First Lenders Mortgage Corporation 205-305-4348 • jrbrant@ firstlenders.com
HISTORICALLY LOW RATES, AND ALL TIME HIGH HOME VALUES MAKE THIS THE TIME TO GET CASH OUT OF YOUR HOME TO MAKE HOME REPAIRS, PAY DOWN PERSONAL DEBT, PAY FOR COLLEGE OR KIDS CARS ETC.
CONVENTIONAL LOANS UP TO $548,250
This program allows up to 95% LTV for qualified borrowers.
FHA (HUD) 96.5/LOANS UP TO $356,362
This program allows all funds to close to come in the form of a gift or secured loan. Most flexible program on credit and debt ratios.
VA 100% LOANS UP TO 1.2 Million
This program is designed for qualified veterans/national guard.
JUMBO LOANS from $548,250 to 1 Million This program will allow up to 90% loan to value.
USDA LOANS UP TO $356,362 100% Loans for Moderate Income.
Office: 205-942-9696 Cell: 205-305-4348 NMLS: 189545 JRBrant@FirstLenders.com
85 BAGBY DRIVE, SUITE 204 HOMEWOOD, AL 35209
When you’re ready to find your dream home, First Lenders Mortgage Corporation wants you to make them your first choice. Assisting with home loans for purchases, refinances and home improvements, First Lenders Mortgage Corporation has offices in Albertville and Homewood, serving customers throughout the state of Alabama. Founded in 1988, the company offers a variety of mortgage loans, including conventional loans, FHA loans, VA veteran loans and USDA loans. Jody Brant has been in the mortgage business since 1993 and is the senior loan originator in the Homewood office. He assists clients with determining JODY BRANT the best mortgage product to fit their personal needs and works with all types of people with clients through the buying process of unique situations and different prequalification, application, processing, needs. underwriting and closing. After closing, “We are experts on the process of the client will finish the loan process and purchasing a home and refinancing. refinance. We have numerous satisfied clients When ready to take the first step, throughout Alabama, including first-time clients can prequalify online using their homebuyers,” Brant said. phone or PC by answering a short series With spring on the way, many firstof questions. First Lenders Mortgage time homebuyers are in the market. Corporation will then follow up promptly First Lenders Mortgage Corporation and answer any questions along the way. are experts on the process of Brant says his mission is to let his purchasing a home and refinancing. family help yours. They have numerous satisfied clients For more information, contact throughout Alabama, including firstour office at 205-942-9696 or visit time homebuyers. First Lenders firstlenders.com. Mortgage Corporation will walk their
Open the blinds or shades and let the sunshine in to naturally heat your home. For more ways to stay energy efficient when at home, visit alabamapower.com/tips. APC-EEF 02/2021
April 2021 • B15
Parks & Recreation
Fitness Classes Dance Trance
Tuesday & Thursday 5:45pm-6:45pm Monday, Wednesday & Saturday 9:30am-10:30am Homewood Community Center Dance Trance is a high-cardio, highenergy 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
Vinyasa yoga classes in an energetic environment using upbeat music at Homewood Community Center. All levels welcome. Tuesday 8:00am-9:00am Wednesday 12:00pm-1:00pm Friday 9:30am-10:30am Contact Marla: 205-223-8564 firstname.lastname@example.org
Tuesday: 6:15am – 7:15am Saturday: 8:15am – 9:15am All classes in Fitness Studio 2 @ Homewood Community Center
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.northstarkarate.com 205-966-4244 email@example.com
Belly Dancing with Aziza Class Fee: $60 cash only Contact Aziza: 205-879-0701 firstname.lastname@example.org www.azizaofbirmingham.com Learn the ancient art of Middle Eastern belly dance with Aziza, over 40 years of experience in performance and instruction. Each session is 5-weeks long held at Homewood Community Center.
Confi.Dance Confi.Dance is a dance class in a small group setting to teach you the secrets of looking good on the dance floor and having more fun than you thought possible. Class Meets: Wednesday 3:00pm – 4:00pm at Homewood Community Center For more information: Jackie Tally email@example.com
Bench Aerobics Step & Line Dance Class Times & Location Tuesday: 4:15pm – 5:15pm (Step Aerobics) Thursday: 4:15pm – 5:15pm (Cardio Line Dance) All classes in Fitness Studio 2 @ Homewood Community Center Cost: $15/month or $3/drop-in (1st class FREE) For more information contact Rosa at 205-253-9344 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Misc. Information We Love Homewood Summer 2021 Pool Day 2021 Information Saturday, May 1, 2021 Come celebrate Homewood! More information available at: www.homewoodparks.com
For summer pool information: membership, hours of operation, swim team, party rentals, etc. Please visit: www.homewoodparks.com
Follow us for athletics, community centers programming and event updates @homewood.parks
BIRMINGHAM OWNED AND LOCALLY OPERATED SINCE 1994
SAVINGS $ SAVE 800 OUR LOWEST PRICE EVER! UP TO
Queen Mattress Your Choice: Extra Firm or Pillowtop
Queen Mattress Our Best Selling Hybrid
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399 499 799
Queen Mattress Mattress Queen Responsive Open Coils SealyCool™Gel Foam
Target Shopping Center
Fieldstown Road next to AutoZone
Highway 280 next to Driver’s Way
28th Avenue South next to TCBY Yogurt
with purchase of Nectar Mattress Pillows, Mattress Protector & Sheet
Queen Mattress Memory Foam with Gel
Queen Mattress 800 Pocketed Coils Medium Firm
Hwy 31 across from Crest Cadillac
Hwy. 150 Across from CarMax
Hueytown Allison-Bonnett Memorial Dr.
Hwy 280 between Subway & Studio 21
Leeds In Front of Walmart and Lowes
Tannehill Promenade Next to Publix
Mtn. Brook Shops of Montevallo Montevallo Road
Pelham Pkwy. Across from Valley Elem.
Gadsden Hwy. Across from Starbucks
Chalkville Mtn. Rd. between Sam’s & Kmart
Next door to Honey Baked Ham
Bedzzz Express Outlet Greystone
Bedzzz Express Outlet Pelham
Hwy. 280 Next to Issis & Sons
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Buy Local. Buy Online. Same Low Prices. Open Monday - Friday 10am - 7pm • Saturday 9am - 6pm • Sunday 1pm - 6pm bedzzzexpress.com
*Some promotions may be limited to select sets. Not responsible for errors in ad copy. Quantities and selections may vary by location. Mattress images are for illustration purposes only. Gifts with purchase (including gift cards and rebates) are not valid with any other promotions except special financing for 6 or 12 months. 0% APR for 60 months available with purchases of $1999 or over and does not include sales tax. **Monthly payment is based on purchase price alone excluding tax and delivery charges. Credit purchases subject to credit approval. Other transactions may affect the monthly payment. ***The Nationwide Marketing Group credit card is issued by Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. Special terms apply to qualifying purchases charged with approved credit. The special terms APR will continue to apply until all qualifying purchases are paid in full. The monthly payment for this purchase will be the amount that will pay for the purchase in full in equal payments during the promotional (special terms) period. The APR for Purchases will apply to certain fees such as a late payment fee or if you use the card for other transactions. For new accounts, the APR for Purchases is 28.99%. If you are charged interest in any billing cycle, the minimum interest charge will be $1.00. This information is accurate as of 3/14/2021 and is subject to change. For current information, call us at 1-800-431-5921. Offer expires 3/29/2021. **** See store for details. ***** Free Delivery on mattress sets $799 and up. †Offer valid March 14–29, 2021, while supplies last. Maximum savings of $300 requires purchase of a TEMPUR-breeze° or TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt® mattress. Save $300 on any size TEMPUR-breeze° or TEMPUR-LuxeAdapt® mattress. Savings realized at time of purchase. Certain offers may not be combined. Excludes previous purchases. See store for availability and details. Copyright 2021 Tempur-Pedic North America, LLC. All rights reserved. †For J.D. Power 2020 award information, visit jdpower.com/awards. ††Offer valid March 14–29, 2021, at participating retailers only. Maximum savings of $400 requires purchase of a Lux Estate or Lux Estate Hybrid mattress. Save $400 on Lux Estate and Lux Estate Hybrid Stearns & Foster® mattresses. Stearns & Foster® Lux Estate Cassatt mattresses were awarded a 2020 Live Better Award by House Beautiful. Certain offers may not be combined. Not valid on prior purchases. See store for availability and details. Copyright 2021 Sealy, Inc. All rights reserved.