Homewood Star March 2023

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Home sales down in 2022

Home sales decreased last year in the city of Homewood, according to data from the Greater Alabama Multiple Listing Service. There were 374 existing homes sold, with seven new homes sold. That’s down from 464 existing homes and 13 new homes sold in 2021, according to the data.

The total number of homes sold was at its lowest point in at least five years. Homewood had between 450 and 495 homes sold from 2018 to 2021.

With a lower number of homes came another increase in average home prices. The average home price for the city was about $535,000, with existing homes averaging $523,000 and the seven new homes averaging $1.1 million.

The average price of a home in Homewood has increased each year since at least 2018,

See REAL ESTATE | page A16

For the love of books: Little Professor

For its 50th “birthday,” the Little Professor bookstore in downtown Homewood is getting a new home.

The local stop for readers is moving down the block to the former Nadeau building, located at 2738 18th St. S.

“Everything will feel very updated,” owner Meredith Robinson said.

The location will offer new outdoor space, an expanded children’s area, a second floor and more, Robinson said. It is envisioned as a place where customers can come not only to purchase new books, but to meet friends, enjoy a cup of coffee and sit to read or study, Robinson said.

The space will be able to host between 50 and 100 people, Robinson said, which is helpful given the popularity in the store’s events,

from book clubs to special events like Harry Potter trivia night. Designated parking will also be a much-needed addition for Little Professor customers, she said, and having more space will mean not having to cap book clubs. The clubs have become the store’s most popular offering, a place to connect and make friends.

HOMEWOOD MOVING SERVICES, TAILORED TO YOUR NEEDS 205-236-4178 | CROCKERMOVINGSERVICES.COM | #CROCKERMOVINGSERVICES RESIDENTIAL • COMMERCIAL • PACKING SERVICES VETERAN OWNED AND OPERATED Homewood City Schools names teachers of the year. Homewood Public Library welcomes new Assistant Director Michelle Hamrick. Sponsors A4 News A6 Business A6 Schoolhouse A10 Events A12 Opinion A14 Sports B4 Camp Guide B8 Metro Roundup B12 Calendar B14 INSIDE facebook.com/thehomewoodstar See page A10 See page B1 A+ Teachers Library Asset GUINSERVICE.COM Serving the Birmingham area since 1958. 205-595-4846 AL#12175 March 2023 | Volume 13 | Issue 10
See BOOKSTORE | page A18 New homes under construction on Broadway Street in Homewood on Feb. 8.
moving to new location as it
Photo by Erin Nelson.
celebrates 50 years
Kathleen Wylee, left, an employee at the Little Professor Bookshop for 17 years, stands beside Meredith Robinson, the owner of the bookstore, at the Homewood location. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Home loans that fit you to a

A2 • March 2023 The Homewood Star
for a home can be challenging. That’s why Trustmark makes it simple to apply online for pre-qualification, so when you find your dream home, you can move fast. It’s good to have one of the South’s leading lenders on your side. Learn more at trustmark.com.
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About Us

Editor’s Note By

As an avid reader and book collector, Little Professor has quickly become my favorite bookstore.

From the friendly staff to member discounts and, of course, the books, the store has become a regular stop for me when I need a break.

In one of this month’s cover stories, we highlight the exciting move of the store from its current location to the former Nadeau shop. This will provide more seating and a fresh look for Little Professor. In addition, the store is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

In other news, a new coffee shop, Bitty & Beau’s, will soon open and will employ people with special needs, providing not only a good cup of coffee, but a great service to Homewood residents.

As the weather warms up, take advantage of it. Fire up the grill, visit a local park or just step outside and enjoy warmer weather.

As always, thank you for reading!


Please Support Our Community Partners

Alabama Ballet (B11)

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Children’s of Alabama (B13)

Cottontails Village (A15)

Cremation Center of Birmingham (A14)

Crocker Moving Services (A1)

ENT Associates of Alabama (A12)

First Lenders Mortgage Corp. (A17)

French Drains Pro (A11)

Guin Service (A1)

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Homewood Chamber of Commerce (B15)

Homewood Family and Cosmetic Dentistry (A14)

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IOP Services LLC (B14)

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Jefferson County Commission (B12)

John Carroll Catholic High School (B10)

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Oxmoor Valley Orthodontics (B13)

Piggly Wiggly (B15)

Publix (A19)

RealtySouth Homewood (A5)

Robertson Banking Company (A6)

Shades Creek Dental (B3)


Due to a reporter’s error, there was a mistake in the story, “Protecting a Legacy” on A1 of The Homewood Star’s February 2023 edition.

The home at Miss Sims’ Garden will not be sold. Caretaker Amy Weis will move


Community Editors:

Sports Editor: Design Editor: Photo Editor: Page Designer:

Production Assistant:

Contributing Writers:

Graphic Designer:

Client Success Specialist:

Business Development Exec:

Business Development Rep:

Operations Specialist:

Dan Starnes

Neal Embry

Jon Anderson

Leah Ingram


Kyle Parmley

Melanie Viering

Erin Nelson

Ted Perry

Simeon Delante

Lauren Denton

Sean Dietrich

Sarah Gilliland

Loyd McIntosh

Emily VanderMey

Warren Caldwell

Don Harris

Madison Gaines

Sarah Villar

out when renovations are complete and will be paid a salary by the nonprofit’s board, as living in the home is currently her only compensation.

The Homewood Star deeply regrets and apologizes for the error.

Sikes Children’s Shoes (A13)

SoHo Social and Social Taco (B5)

Southern Home Structural Repair Specialists (B5)

Southern Preparatory Academy (B8)

The Dance Foundation (B9)

The Welch Group (A18)

TherapySouth Corporate (B7)

TrustMark Bank (A2)

Vapor Ministries/Thrift Store (B4)

Virginia Samford Theatre (B10)

Vulcan Termite & Pest Control (A15)

Wind Creek Hospitality (A3)

For advertising contact: dan@starnesmedia.com

Contact Information: Homewood Star P.O. Box 530341 Birmingham, AL 35253 (205) 313-1780 dan@starnesmedia.com

Please submit all articles, information and photos to: nembry@starnesmedia.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.

Find Us

Pick up the latest issue of Homewood Star at the following locations:

► Alabama Outdoors

► aloft – SoHo Square

► Homewood Board of Education

► Dave’s Pizza

► Edgar’s Bakery

► Homewood Chamber of Commerce

► Homewood Family Dentistry

► Homewood High School

► Homewood Public Library

► O’Henry’s Coffees

► Piggly Wiggly

► Homewood Police Department

► Sam’s Super Samwiches

► Savage’s Bakery

► Single Barrel Barbershop

► Taco Mama - Edgewood

Want to join this list or get The Homewood Star mailed to your home? Contact Dan Starnes at dan@starnesmedia.com.

A4 • March 2023 The Homewood Star
Nicole Perry holds a diamondback terrapin at the annual Friends of Shades Creek Salamander Festival at Homewood High School on Jan. 28. Photo by Erin Nelson.



Absolutely you need a home inspection. Alabama is one of the few states that is Caveat Emptor (buyer beware). As a buyer, taking the proper steps to make sure you’re aware of property defects is important, the first step is a home inspection.


The best time to sell a home is when you, the homeowner, are ready to make a move. There are ebbs and flows to the real estate market, so pairing up with a knowledgeable real estate agent can help make sure your home is staged, marketed, and priced appropriately for your local area and current demand to get the most value out of your house.



Using a highly experienced real estate agent in a home purchase will not only make the whole process run seamlessly, it will also protect the buyer from making costly mistakes. A knowledgeable connected agent will give the buyer an edge to be competitive and successful. The buying process can be a fantastic and financially rewarding experience with the right realtor by your side.

TheHomewoodStar.com March 2023 • A5
LET US HELP YOU FIND YOUR DREAM HOME TODAY 205-407-4774 • 1690 Reese Street Homewood, AL 35209 FIND YOUR TODAY HOME

Mayor’s Minute

Spring is approaching, and I can’t tell you how thankful

I am for the warmer weather moving in! I love to see all of the families and children getting back outside again, and enjoying all of the amenities that Homewood has to offer. There are several projects that are in the works, now that the weather is permitting, so there will be more options for residents in the near future.

Phase II of the Shades Creek Greenway is underway! We are so excited about this new 1.4 mile addition to the current trail system and the benefits it gives our residents and visitors. Big thanks to the Freshwater Land Trust and Goodwyn Mills Cawood for their hard work over the last decade. It’s been on the horizon for a long time, and I am excited that we have finally broken ground on this wonderful project!

We have also begun the Mecca Sidewalk project. The neighbors in this area will finally have a safe path down the hill to Oxmoor Road and the Edgewood strip. Providing more safe pedestrian avenues has always been a goal of ours, and it’s great to see some of these projects that have been in the works for a while start coming to fruition.

I presented an update, similar to the State of the City, to the Shades Valley Kiwanis Club last month. It’s great to share these things with our civic organizations so they can share all of the good things that are going on with their members and neighbors.

Don’t forget the Homewood City School Foundation’s Homewood Grown event is happening soon! Please support the Homewood schools through this event or by donating at their website!

Happy Spring to everyone, and go Patriots!

Business Business Happenings


in Hoover at 1845 Montgomery Highway, Suite 225. The new store is located between Nail Line and Angel Spa. The shop specializes in wedding gowns, bridesmaids’ dresses and prom dresses and also does other men’s and ladies’ formal wear, leather, furs, monograms and jeans. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. 205-870-5961, alabamareweaving.com


Dave Horn and Taylor Hughes, the owners of SoHo Social and SoHo Standard, have now opened a new restaurant, Social Taco. Located off 28th Avenue South in the Homewood City Hall plaza, Social Taco serves Mexican fare with vibrant, fresh ingredients including tacos, Mexican pizza, birria and margaritas. The restaurant and bar is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday. 205-922-0551, socialtaco.bar

UAB Callahan Eye opened Feb. 1 in Homewood with its newest provider, John Owen, M.D., who has practiced in the Homewood area for more than 15 years. The clinic, which is in the Regions Building at One Independence Plaza, Suite 700, is the 19th clinic location in Callahan’s growing portfolio of ophthalmic and optometric care. uabcallahaneye.org


Alabama Reweaving & Alterations has relocated from Homewood to The Plaza at Riverchase shopping center

Timothy Hontzas, chef and owner at Johnny’s Restaurant on 18th Street South, has once again been nominated for a James Beard award, the highest award given to restaurateurs. Hontzas was most recently a finalist in 2022 and is now a six-time semifinalist. Hontzas is nominated in the category of Best Chef: South. 205-802-2711, johnnyshomewood.com

Evernest, a Homewood-based national, full-service real estate and property management firm, recently announced the acquisitions of the management agreements of approximately 700 properties in Atlanta; Tucson, Arizona; and Woodbridge, Virginia. evernest.co


Neighbors, a cooperatively-owned ice cream shop in West Homewood, has closed. The shop thanked its customers for “loving us” for 18 months and cited an inability to sustain itself as the reason for the closing.

A6 • March 2023 The Homewood Star City

Freddy’s Wine Bar to open 2nd location in former Nabeel’s spot

The space formerly occupied by Nabeel’s Cafe and Market will have a new tenant this summer. Stuart Stone, owner and operator of Freddy’s Wine Bar, signed a lease in December and is scheduled to open his second Freddy’s location this June.

Named after his beloved poodle, Stone opened Freddy’s Wine Bar on the bottom floor of Highland Park Towers apartments. Taking a cue from intimate cafés throughout Italy and France, Stone envisioned Freddy’s as a neighborhood gathering place for space specializing in charcuterie, upscale Italian salads and sandwiches, and hand-selected wines from such well-respected regions as Burgundy, Loire Valley, Tuscany and Napa Valley.

Stone understands he has big shoes to fill by moving into a space once occupied by a treasured local business and is well aware of the special bond Nabeel’s had with Homewood for half a century. A native of Birmingham now living in Crestline, Stone and his family were regulars at Nabeel’s, and he desires to honor the spirit and legacy of Nabeel’s while establishing Freddy’s as an anchor in the community.

"I grew up in Birmingham and I remember going to Nabeel's and loved it, especially the chicken salad," Stone said. "It was an institution and we're really excited and happy that it's staying as a local restaurant.

“We’re not trying to erase the past at all. We want to honor the space that was there and keep it as a similar amenity to the neighborhood,” Stone said. “I would love to get my hands on their old chicken salad recipe, but that’s for my own benefit, too.”

A graduate of Auburn University with a degree in environmental engineering, Stone jumped into the food business in 2015 after spending a couple of years working in the family business, Stone Building Company. With the blessing and assistance of his father, Stone opened Pranzo, a trendy spot on 3rd Avenue North in the “no man’s land” between 22nd Street and Richard

Arrington Boulevard in downtown Birmingham. Pranzo — Italian for the word “lunch” — offered Italian-influenced sandwiches and salads before closing in 2016. Despite the setback, the Stones regrouped, opening Freddy’s in late 2017.

“We said, ‘Okay, we learned our lessons, let’s try this one more time,’” Stone said. “We knew we wanted to do something night-oriented with a bar, but we didn't want to be a bar. We also knew we wanted to do more wine because my dad is a big wine geek and taught me a little bit of that kind of thing.”

While the original location is known as Freddy’s Wine Bar — a name that even Stone admits has pigeonholed the restaurant in some respects — the new location will most likely be called Freddy’s Cafe and will have a full-service restaurant, bar and a market under one roof.

“The menu will be similar but will have some

slight differences. We probably won’t have quite as big of a wine and bar program over there [Homewood] as we have here to make way for something that’s a little more [like] Pranzo and Freddy's had a pseudo baby,” Stone said.

Stone says he would like to incorporate as much of the old Nabeel’s decor that remains as possible. For instance, he intends to keep the old mosaic tile treatment in the upper portion of the restaurant. However, much of the artwork and the fireplace were already removed by the time Stone signed the lease. “It was basically an empty box when we went to look at it for the first time,” Stone said. “We’re trying to keep it as a neighborhood space with a local feel, but it'll be a Freddy's.”

The new decor will incorporate elements from the original Freddy’s on Southside, including pressed tin ceilings and copper accents

throughout. Unlike the first Freddy’s, which is strictly a night-time restaurant, the Freddy’s in Homewood will have daytime hours although Stone is still thinking through the exact schedule.

“We'll probably do some charcuterie, fresh to order, cheeses and that kind of stuff during the day, and then probably around six or so that will kind of go dark and we'll be doing dinner service,” Stone said.

Stone said the restaurant may eventually serve lunch.

"That's not going to be day one. We're going to try to baby step our way into that, but I could see us doing a lunch special on Sundays after church.

“We just need to figure out what the neighborhood wants,” Stone added. “At our core, we're a neighborhood space.”

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Stuart Stone, owner of Freddy’s Wine Bar in Birmingham, stands outside of the former Nabeel’s Cafe in Homewood on Monday, Feb. 13. Stone is opening Freddy’s Cafe in the Nabeel’s Cafe location. Photo by Erin Nelson.


Homewood Gourmet moves to new spot

Homewood Gourmet is moving to another location in the city after 12 years in its current spot.

The business, currently located at the Merchant’s Walk on 28th Avenue South, is moving to 2705 18th Place South, behind Rodney Scott’s BBQ.

“Twelve years inside the same four walls is a long time,” said owner Chris Zapalowski. “It’s just hard to do the same thing over and over.”

Zapalowski runs the business with his wife, Laura, and the new location should open early this month, he said.

The old location had stairs, whereas the new space is single-level and is “fresh and clean,” Zapalowski said.

Moving spots gives Homewood Gourmet the chance to be in an “exciting” part of Homewood, Zapalowski said, being located near the new Valley Hotel and new restaurants.

The new space is also a bit bigger, with a larger kitchen and dining room, though the number of seats will remain the same, Zapalowski said.

The business offers catering and take-home meals, including gumbo, shrimp po’boys, house-made boudin, chicken salad and more. Homewood Gourmet also offers a lunch menu, which currently includes salads, sandwiches,

grilled chicken and more.

Zapalowski started his career in New Orleans, working under renowned chef Emeril Lagasse for five years at his flagship restaurant. After Hurricane Katrina, he moved to Birmingham and worked for well-known chef Chris Hastings before purchasing Homewood Gourmet.

Laura Zapalowski has a culinary degree, and she has worked for Food Network and Southern Living and is now a freelance food stylist. She also did recipe testing and editing for Emeril’s show.

The two are able to bounce ideas off of each other, Zapalowski said.

“I wouldn’t change a thing,” Zapalowski said about working with his wife.

The goal of the business, he said, is to “turn an average day into a great day” with their takehome meals and more.

Longtime customers have helped make the business successful, he said.

“We have lots of great customers who’ve been very loyal to us,” Zapalowski said.

The new space will serve to “reinspire” the owners, Zapalowski said. He said they are also excited about the small things, like the space being energy efficient, which might eventually reduce the cost of food.

For more information on Homewood Gourmet, visit homewoodgourmet.com.

Honest Coffee Roasters coming to Homewood

Honest Coffee Roasters, a chain based in Franklin, Tennessee, will soon have a fourth home in the state of Alabama.

Jesus Mendez, Vinh Tran and Christy Wimberly plan to open Honest Coffee in Edgewood in the former Dreamcakes location, 960 Oxmoor Road. This is the second Birmingham-area location, joining the under-construction shop owned by the same group at The Pizitz downtown, and the fourth location in the state. Other shops are located in Huntsville and Madison.

The 2,100-square-foot location will add between 13 and 20 jobs, Mendez told The Homewood Star. The full menu from Honest Coffee will be available, including cappuccinos, lattes and more, he said.

The location pairs a thriving Edgewood community with a growing business, Mendez said. The chain takes great care to start a cup of coffee

off right, he said.

“Honest really prides itself on its coffee beans,” he said.

Employees travel to South America to harvest the beans, Mendez said, and then ship them to Tennessee.

Mendez said he is a “huge people person” and that the team “genuinely enjoys being around people.”

Each Honest Coffee location is different, Mendez said. The owners want to be faithful to Edgewood’s aesthetic and authenticity. The goal is to make it feel like a “neighborhood home coffee shop,” he said.

The store will feature exposed brick and the brand colors of black and gold, along with white and a wood color, Mendez said.

The plan is to open sometime this summer in June or July, he said.

For more information, visit honestcoffee bham.com.

A8 • March 2023 The Homewood Star Spring
continues on the new location of Homewood Gourmet at 2705 18th Place South in downtown Homewood on Feb. 2.
Photo by Erin Nelson. People sit outside Dreamcakes on Oxmoor Road in Edgewood on Feb. 14, 2022. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Bitty & Beau’s offers job opportunities for those with special needs, disabilities

A new business will soon bring popular coffee and job opportunities for those with special needs and disabilities to Homewood.

Bitty & Beau’s Coffee will open a location in Homewood this summer at the former Valley Cleaners location, 1625 Oxmoor Road. The North Carolina-based company offers jobs to those with special needs, meeting a need the owners, Amy and Ben Wright, had in the life of their own family. The couple has four children, including Lillie, who has autism, and Bitty and Beau, who both have Down syndrome.

Amy Wright said about 80% of people with disabilities are unemployed, and the couple did not want their children to join that statistic. So the couple opened their first coffee shop in Wilmington and the company now employs more than 400 people across its many locations.

“Every guest gets to see people with disabilities working,” Wright said.

Seeing the success of employing those with special needs or disabilities may spark a thought among those visiting on how they can be more inclusive in their business or organization, Wright said.

There has been an “outcry” for the coffee shop to come to other cities, Wright said. The shop is very family-friendly and there will be plenty of seating in the new Homewood location, both indoor and outdoor, she said.

“We’ve already felt such support in that community,” she said.

The coffee, which is roasted in Wilmington, has gained notoriety across the country and is the official coffee of the “Rachael Ray Show,” Wright said.

A coffee shop is a place to bring people together, and at Bitty & Beau’s, it serves as a place where people can understand and appreciate each other better, Wright said.

Wright anticipates hiring between 20 and 30 people with disabilities, who will be surprised with job offers, along with support staff to

help them.

“It’s a pretty cool thing, considering many of these people have never interviewed [for a job] before,” she said.

There will be a hiring fair, which is open to anyone both with and without disabilities.

Wright said people with disabilities and special needs are often “undervalued and overlooked,” leading to them not being able to receive job offers.

“What we’re really trying to do is shift cultures,” she said.

While the Wrights could never open enough coffee shops to provide jobs to everyone in need, she said they hope to inspire others to step up and help.

The shop meets people where they are, providing accommodations as needed and training to help them grow, Wright said. The employees are “willing to learn, loyal and grateful” to have a job, she said. Consequently, there is a very low attrition rate, Wright said.

“That sense of gratitude is infectious,” Wright said.

The plan is for the shop to open in the summer, with Robb Crumpton of LIV Development serving as the local owner.

For more information, visit bittyandbeaus coffee.com.

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This rendering shows the future Bitty & Beau’s Coffee, coming to the former Valley Cleaners location sometime this year. Rendering courtesy of Bitty & Beau’s Coffee.

HCS names teachers of the year

Homewood City Schools recently named their teachers of the year for the 2022-23 school year.

The teachers of the year are:

► Sadie Wall, Edgewood Elementary

► Abigail Marchetti, Hall-Kent Elementary

► Hailey Pepper, Shades Cahaba Elementary

► Becky Morton, Homewood Middle School

► Mark Hellmers, Homewood High School Marchetti and Morton were named the district’s elementary and secondary teachers of the year, respectively, and will represent Homewood City Schools at the next level of competition.

The Homewood Star spoke to each teacher about their careers and thoughts on receiving this honor.


Wall initially wanted to be a band director, but her student teaching steered her toward education.

After graduating from the University of Montevallo, Wall taught for one year in Jefferson County schools and two years in Pell City. She was looking for something permanent when she found Edgewood Elementary.

“I was looking for a school that feels like home,” she said.

Edgewood Elementary has been Wall’s home for four years now, teaching music in a system that has been named one of the “Best Communities for Music Education” by the National Association of Music Merchants.

Music creates community, something Wall said she strives to instill in her students. In a polarized world, music can still unite us, she said. It also improves students’ overall well-being to play music, she said.

Wall tries to plan intentional lessons, mixing in different instruments and exposing students to different genres.

“To be able to really connect with music and know the elements that create it, it makes it a much more meaningful experience,” she said.

Music education helps prepare students for their interaction with music as they grow up, Wall said.

“In our society, all of us interact with music in some way,” Wall said. “Everyone will be a music consumer in some way.”

Being named a teacher of the year was an honor and a shock, Wall said.

“I teach with so many amazing teachers,” she said. “It’s just really incredible.”

Wall said she feels very supported in her position at Edgewood and hopes to continue advocating for stronger music programs throughout the state, helping get music education to schools that do not have it.


Marchetti always wanted to be a teacher and has always loved working with kids.

After graduating from Samford University, Marchetti was able to get a job at Hall-Kent and has stayed there for the past six years, teaching kindergarten. The school provides a “very unique blend” of students from diverse backgrounds, she said.

Seeing children learn and grow is exciting to her, Marchetti said.

Marchetti works to bring real-world experiences to the classroom, such as making apple sauce and other hands-on activities, she said. She also co-leads an after-school program called Rise, helping educate at-risk students and facilitating service-oriented projects.

Being a kindergarten teacher is “definitely interesting,” she said. Going slowly with children and parents at the beginning of the year gives way to them becoming more comfortable as the year goes on, she said.

Finding out she had been named teacher of the year was a surprise, she said. She had taken a break and walked out of her room, and when she came back in, her students and colleagues were waiting to surprise her, she said.

“It’s a huge honor and I don’t feel worthy of it,” Marchetti said. “It’s very encouraging and exciting.”


Pepper grew up around education, part of a family of teachers.

When she found music education, she said she never looked back.

“I love … introducing students to

originally worked at Homewood High School before moving to Shades Cahaba.

Shades Cahaba, she said, is a “special school” with “special people.”

Pepper said she tries to focus her classes on meaningful music education and helping students learn all that they can.

Being named a teacher of the year means a lot, Pepper said, as she works with many great teachers.

“It truly is an honor,” she said.


As a student at John Carroll Catholic High School, Morton volunteered in a special needs class, setting her on a path that led back to Homewood.

After obtaining her degree in special education, Morton spent 12 years teaching in Jefferson County schools. She had previously served as a substitute teacher at all five schools in Homewood.

“I loved it; it was so much fun,” she said.

For the past 12 years, Morton has served as a special education teacher at the middle school, going into classrooms to implement individualized education programs, serving 12 classes in her eighth-grade hall. She is hands-on with students and can also use her classroom to help when needed, she said.

Morton arrives at school each day and learns the needs in each classroom, making sure classes are ready for students with special needs.

“I enjoy the challenge,” Morton said. “I enjoy meeting them where they are academically.”

Morton said being in other systems has allowed her to appreciate the support from parents, the administration and the Homewood community for those with special needs.

Each day brings something funny, she said. She’s also proud of the moments where she’s able to help students and find how they will learn best.

Morton also enjoys connecting with her students outside of school and keeping up with them when they leave.

She is passionate about making sure there are ways to help students with special needs after they walk across the graduation stage, from landing a job to transportation.

“That is definitely a love of mine,” Morton said.

Being named a teacher of the year was an “honor,” she said.

“It was very humbling,” Morton said. “I teach with some amazing teachers.”


Hellmers has always been interested in math and found a passion for teaching the subject when he filled in for a teacher at Homewood High School while she was on maternity leave. Twenty-eight years later, Hellmers is still teaching math to high school students.

“I always wanted to do something I felt was important and worthwhile for a career,” he said. “Working in an office didn’t have a lot of appeal.”

High school students are “a little more grown up,” Hellmers said.

Math, he said, is “like solving a puzzle.”

“Math shouldn’t be just, ‘try to solve these 10 problems your teacher did.’ It should be developing skills where, ‘Here's a situation you haven’t seen before; what do you do?’” Hellmers said.

Being named teacher of the year is a nice honor, he said.

instruments,” Pepper said. “I get to give them that basic layer they can build on.”

Being in Homewood is like being “in music teacher heaven,” she said.

“I feel very supported here,” Pepper said.

Music is not just another class to give teachers a break, she said.

Originally from Mississippi, Pepper moved to Birmingham when her husband got a job with the Birmingham Barons baseball team. She

“I don’t think any of the teachers here are looking for prizes or awards or anything, but I know that nominations come from my fellow teachers. … It’s nice to be thought of in that manner by them,” he said.

Hellmers teaches three different classes within the math department and also serves as one of four sponsors of the school’s math team. In the future, he plans to take advantage of the state of Alabama’s STEM-focused “TEAMS” contracts and continue teaching.

“I still kind of like what I’m doing,” Hellmers said. “I’m happy to still be here.”

A10 • March 2023 The Homewood Star
Have a schoolhouse announcement? Email Neal Embry at nembry@starnesmedia.com to be considered for inclusion in an upcoming issue.
Top: Abigail Marchetti reads the book “Tacky the Penguin” with her kindergarten class at Hall-Kent Elementary School on Jan. 27. Marchetti was named one of the Homewood City School’s Teachers of the Year for 2022-23. Above: Becky Morton, a special education teacher at Homewood Middle School, provides academic support to a student in Shelby DiLorenzo’s eighth grade science class Jan. 31. Morton was named the Teacher of the Year by Homewood City Schools for secondary education. Photos by Erin Nelson.

Chalmers assumes new role as president at John Carroll

The Rev. Jon Chalmers recently took on the new role of president of John Carroll Catholic High School, adding to his responsibilities as the pastor of Prince of Peace Catholic Church and leader of the church’s school, both located in Hoover.

Chalmers works alongside Anthony Montalto, the principal of the high school. Montalto, who Chalmers called a “tremendously accomplished instructional leader,” handles the day-to-day work of the school while Chalmers focuses on the long-term success of the school.

The move, which took place in late 2022, saw Chalmers ascend to his new role as the Rev. Robert Sullivan moved from the role of president to director of the John Carroll Catholic Educational Foundation, fundraising and engaging stakeholders in the school. Chalmers said the move was about optimizing the school’s resources to build on the momentum the school gained coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chalmers comes from an education leadership background and has worked at the school since August, helping Sullivan during the time of transition. He has been pastor of Prince of Peace since July.

Chalmers described his role as “focusing on the important in the midst of the urgent,” working to coordinate functions and create and implement the school’s strategic plan.

Chalmers’s graduate work in education was focused on teaching and learning, specifically on making sure all parts of education are connected. He is driven to work toward that interconnectedness at John Carroll, he said.

“I am really interested in ensuring that it’s all connected, that … we don’t understand academics in a silo that’s distinct from our campus ministry, that’s distinct from our athletics, that’s distinct from our

arts or other extracurricular opportunities. We understand these as knit together in the same way the development of the whole person as an individual is knit together,” Chalmers said.

He also works to make sure the school has the resources it needs and plans in place to grow.

While he grew up outside of Pittsburgh, Chalmers moved to Alabama at the age of 20 to attend the University of Alabama. Holding multiple positions in Catholic ministry and education since then, he said he’s found a great community in central Alabama.

“It’s a wonderful community,” Chalmers said.

The school enrolls students from seven different counties, along with several Catholic feeder schools, including Prince of Peace. Because of that, there is a diverse student population, he said.

Chalmers joked that his day looks “a lot like Shades Crest Road,” as he traverses the road between Prince of Peace and John Carroll daily. He’ll spend part of the day at the school, working with families coming in, talking to staff and more. He’ll then come over to the church and read liturgies, coordinate with staff there and more, along with overseeing the kindergarten through eighth grade school on the campus.

“The school is an integral part of the parish,” he said.

While Sullivan has left his role as president, he and Chalmers interact often and coordinate with each other to ensure the school is the best it can be, Chalmers said.

“It’s a joy to be able to work with him,” he said.

Chalmers’s goals include making sure the school flourishes into the future, which will include updating and improving its facilities and ensuring all students have the opportunity to enjoy what John Carroll has to offer, he said.

TheHomewoodStar.com March 2023 • A11
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Rev. Jon Chalmers, left, and Rev. Robert Sullivan stand in a science classroom at John Carroll Catholic High School. Chalmers is the new president at the school and Sullivan is the new director of the John Carroll Catholic Educational Foundation. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Cornapalooza set for this month

An annual cornhole tournament benefiting the Homewood Athletic Foundation is set to take place this month in front of Homewood City Hall.

The 7th annual Cornapalooza tournament will be held March 19 from 1 to 5 p.m, said Erin Yost with the foundation. Taylor Hughes at SoHo Social is helping with food and drinks and Bandwagon will serve as the title sponsor.

“My goal is to see this tournament become a fun, family-oriented community event that everyone in Homewood can come and enjoy,” Yost said.

The event is the foundation’s largest fundraiser and helps provide resources and enhancements “above and beyond” what Homewood City Schools provides, including things like the Hudl app, which provides athletes and coaches with game film, live-stream capabilities, detailed stats and more, Yost said. Future money might


• WHERE: In front of Homewood City Hall

• WHEN: March 19, 1-5 p.m.

• COST: Free to attend, $400 per cornhole team

• WEB: homewoodaf.org

go toward needs like a new pitching machine for the softball team, she said.

The event begins in pool play before moving to a tournament. Homewood Mayor Patrick McClusky is the defending champion.

Those not participating in the tournament do not have to purchase a ticket. Those wishing to sign up for a two-person team can do so at homewoodaf.org and click on the link to sign up.

Taste of Homewood celebrates 20th anniversary

The annual Taste of Homewood event is turning 20 this year, offering Homewood residents a chance to enjoy food from all over the city.

The Homewood Chamber of Commerce puts on the event, with The Homewood Star serving as this year’s lead sponsor, said Chamber of Commerce Director Meredith Drennen. This year’s iteration is set for March 16 from 5:30 to 8 p.m. at Homewood City Hall plaza.

Tickets are $30 in advance and $40 at the door. Tickets can be purchased at homewood chamber.org. Last year was the first year the event was held outside, and it was successful, Drennen said.

There will likely be about 30 restaurants participating in the event, offering samples for guests. Beer and wine will also be available, she said. Some restaurants are participating for the first time, including Saw’s BBQ. Other restaurants include Chick-Fil-A, Cookie Fix, Chocolate America, Meals by Misty, Social Taco and more. A full list can be found on the chamber’s website.

Taste of Homewood

• WHERE: Homewood City Hall plaza

• WHEN: March 16, 5:30-8 p.m.

• COST: $30 in advance; $40 at the door

• WEB: homewoodchamber.org

Guests can enjoy unlimited samples along with live music from Allen Barlow, a teacher at Homewood School of Music. There will also be an in-person silent auction at the event, Drennen said.

“The last few years with restaurants have been absolutely brutal,” she said, as many businesses have struggled to recover or permanently closed due to the pandemic.

The event, which usually draws about 500 people, is a great way to celebrate all Homewood has to offer and support the city’s restaurants, Drennen said.

A12 • March 2023 The Homewood Star
Buddy Ketcham tosses a bag at Homewood Athletic Foundation’s 2021 Cornapalooza tournament at Patriot Park. Staff photo. Guests at the 2022 Taste of Homewood try a Rolli Stick desert by Rolls Homewood featuring a cinnamon roll, sausage ball and fresh fruit during the event held at SoHo Square. Photo by Erin Nelson.
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Kara Kelley serves chili at the 2020 Exceptional Foundation

Chili CookOff event at Brookwood Village. Staff photo.

Chili Cook-Off returns for 19th year

The 19th annual Chili Cook-Off is set for March 4, offering residents a taste of a variety of chilis.

The event will be held from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the upper parking lot of the old Macy’s at Brookwood Village, said Elizabeth Sturgeon with The Exceptional Foundation, the sponsor and beneficiary of the event.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the event or in advance at exceptionalfoundation. org. Children 12 and younger are free.

This year’s event will feature a bigger kid zone with inflatables and Touch a Truck, along with live music, Sturgeon said. The main draw, however, is the all-you-can-eat chili cooked by more than 100 teams, made up of businesses and community organizations.

In 2022, 146 teams competed, with hopes for that many teams or more this year, said Robbie Lee with The Exceptional Foundation. Each team’s four chefs make 15 gallons of chili. Guests can try as much of the chili as they want. There is often traditional chili, along with unique twists on the dish: sweet, spicy, white

Chili Cook-Off

• WHERE: Upper parking lot of the old Macy’s at Brookwood Village

• WHEN: March 4, 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

• COST: $15; children 12 and younger are free

• WEB: exceptionalfoundation.org

chicken and more, Lee said.

An overall winner will be chosen by local celebrities participating as judges. There will also be a participant’s choice award chosen by members of The Exceptional Foundation, along with a spirit award and a people’s choice award, voted on by guests, Lee said.

The proceeds tallied more than $400,000 last year, the highest amount ever. The money represents about a quarter of the organization’s annual budget and helps pay for activities like summer camp, the day program, prom and more.

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A friend and I had a good laugh the other day about chore charts, and since then I’ve been thinking of all the things I’ve used over the years to judge my parenting skills. I don’t think it was a conscious thing — setting these random markers as ways to grade myself as a parent — but they’re definitely there, buried in my mind, letting me know how I’ve done on any particular day. Over my 13 years of being a parent, these markers have shifted and changed, but it seems there’s always a bar hanging somewhere just out of reach, and for better or worse, in some ways I’m always working to meet it.

One of the earliest ways I remember judging my parenting skills was by the amount of TV my kids watched during the day. If it was a day when my arts and crafts game was strong, or we had fun outings planned, the TV consumption was lower, and I felt like a parent superstar. Other days, I’d tell them they could watch one episode, but then I’d stay quiet while episode 3 came on. On those days, I’d feel like I’d taken two steps back while all the other parents at home were probably busy baking healthy snacks with their kids, teaching them things like how to measure flour and sugar, while all I wanted was to sneak in one more chapter of my book while Curious George taught my girls how to make a metal detector out of a transistor radio and a calculator. (Seriously though, we learned so much from Curious George).

And let’s talk about vegetables. When Kate and Sela were very young, they were great eaters. They’d eat anything we put on the tray of their high chairs: black beans, avocado, spinach, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, bell peppers, peas. As they got older though, either

their tastes changed or their desire for independence kicked in, and they both decided to refuse to eat certain foods, especially vegetables. To make it interesting, none of their aversions overlapped. Our sweet pediatrician told me one day at a check-up that I should base their eating on a whole week, not any one particular day. That made me feel a little better, but I was still sure the girls were going to fail to meet their ideal height or weight goals specifically because I couldn’t get them to eat their veggies.

If we were all sitting in a group together right now, I’d ask for a show of hands of those who’ve tried chore charts at your house. I might not ask who’s successfully made a chore chart work though, because I might cry! As my friend said the other day, there’s nothing so hopeful as a mama with a chore chart, and I’ve been that mama so very many times. I’ve attached chore charts to the fridge, the bathroom wall, bedroom doors. I’ve used colorful pens, stickers, rewards. I’ve attempted to set a schedule for sweeping the floor, wiping off countertops, walking the dog and picking up poop in the back yard. I’ve been so hopeful, so full of anticipation and expectation … and boy have I been deflated. My kids are great, and they do help out a little around the house, but it’s never going to be because of a chore chart. In our house at least, they do not work, they leave tape marks on the wall, and no one

cares about the stickers.

There have been other, equally comical ways I’ve measured my skills as a parent — for example, whether they say please and thank you in a voice loud enough to be heard by the adult they’re speaking to, the amount of weeping and gnashing of teeth involved in a yearly flu shot, or maybe even an unexpected hug when sisters say good-bye in the morning before school — but thankfully, I’ve mellowed a bit from that new mom who was so intent on the 3-year-old eating all her spinach and having perfect table manners to a mom who knows … well, there’s really no perfection at all, and that goes for kids, parents, and table manners alike. But here’s something I think is true: My job right now as a parent is to guide, shape, and encourage. Listen, love and listen some more. Correct, reassure and discipline when necessary. And maybe, just maybe, when my girls are adults, we will realize our relationships have blossomed from mother-daughter into friendship. And if I’m lucky enough for that to happen, I know it won’t be because of any painstakingly crafted chore charts or recipes that allowed me to sneakily slip spinach into the sauce. It’ll be because of something that looks a whole lot like grace.

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

A14 • March 2023 The Homewood Star Opinion
charts and vegetables
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Sean of the South By Sean Dietrich Meeting Shelbylane

Homewood. Supercuts hair salon. The young woman cutting my hair goes by the name Shelby. She is as country as a collard, with an accent like Ribbon cane syrup.

She is 21. She is constantly laughing. She smiles a lot. All the customers here do the same whenever Shelby is around. This girl is Pollyanna.

I ask where Shelby’s originally from.

“Woodstock,” she says. “Not the one in New York. The one in Alabama.”

I would have never guessed.

I ask how she got started styling hair.

“Started cutting hair when I was 10 years old. My mama was a hairstylist, but she didn’t cut men’s hair, so Daddy would hand me the scissors and say, ‘You cut my hair, Shelbylane.’ That’s my real name, Shelbylane. My daddy wanted me to have a double first name like a Southern belle. Do you want me to trim the clumps of hair shooting straight out of your ears?”


While Shelbylane works steadily, I’m trying to imagine a world wherein a grown man would give a 10-year-old child surgically sharpened scissors and allow the child to take a whack at his head.

“Your father trusted you a lot, to let you cut his hair when you were so little.”

She laughs. “Oh, Daddy believed in me so much. His confidence in me made me what I am. When I was a kid, I felt like I could do anything because of his faith in me. Do you want me to trim your unibrow, sir?”

“Please. Does your father live in Woodstock?”

“No, he passed away.”

“I’m sorry.”

“It’s okay. He died when I was 14. I’ve had time to deal with it. But I miss him real bad.”

I know all about daddies dying at young ages. I know all about missing daddies real bad.

“But I have a theory,” says Shelbylane, firing up her electric clippers. “If you lose your parent at a young age, it can either make you a good person or a bad one. I know a lot of people who let it ruin them. But I think Daddy’s death made me a good person. I learned that this life is not all there is.”

“What about your mother?”

“She run off when my daddy died.”

“I’m sorry.”

“I was raised by my grandparents. Did you want me to shave the hair on your neck?

It’s like a carpet back here.”

“Yes. Thank you. I’ll bet your grandparents are proud of how well you’ve turned out.”

“Well, my grandmother died. She had dementia. So now it’s just my granddaddy and my step-sister.”

“Do you like your job?”

She smiles largely. “Oh, yessir. I love my job. I went to school and worked hard to learn to cut men’s and women’s hair. It took a long, long time, I practiced a lot. I am a very hard worker.

“When I got my first job at a local salon, they wouldn’t let me cut hair, they made me do petty jobs, like cleaning toilets and stuff. I didn’t mind, but I kept begging them, ‘Please, let me prove what I can do, let me show you how I cut hair on a mannequin or something.’ But they wouldn’t let me. So I quit, and here I am at Supercuts.”

“Do you like Supercuts?”

“Like it? I love it. I don’t have many regular clients yet, but this is my dream job. I have always wanted to cut hair and be my own boss, and now I’m doing it, right here in Homewood. Of all places. Pinch me.”

“I don’t know many folks who feel about their jobs the way you do.”

“Well, cutting hair isn’t just a job, it’s more than that. It’s about making people feel good about themselves, about helping people love themselves. I’m so lucky to be doing this for a living.”

When she finishes her work, my haircut ranks among the best haircuts I’ve ever received. My hair looks perfect, it’s only too bad about my face. I’ve never been a looker.

When I was a kid, before group photos someone always handed me the camera.

“Do you like your haircut?” she asks, passing me the mirror, spinning my chair.

“I do. Your father was right. You’re an artist.”

“Thank you. Come back and see me again. I need all the new clients I can get.”

Well, Shelbylane, let me see what I can do about that.

Sean Dietrich is a columnist and novelist known for his commentary on life in the American South. He has authored nine books and is the creator of the “Sean of the South” blog and podcast.

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when it was about $394,000.

While the price has gone up, square footage has remained about the same. In 2018, the average square footage of a home in Homewood was about 1,990 square feet. 2020 was the highest average of square footage, reaching just under 2,100 square feet. Last year, the average home sold was just under 2,000 square feet.

However, new homes being built have averaged more than 3,000 square feet since at least 2018, according to MLS data.

MLS data also measures the monthly supply of homes in each city, and Homewood has no supply of new homes, with so few built last year. There is just under a month’s supply of existing homes, with 26 homes on the market as of Jan. 10. Eleven homes were pending.

William Siegel with Twin Construction said he is seeing “zero slow down” in any part of the market. The Edgewood neighborhood, in which Siegel lives, has been especially popular, he said.

“It’s a great spot to live,” Siegel said.

While there is much thought that there is a market-wide slow down, Siegel said he isn’t seeing that.

Most new construction in the city involves teardowns and rebuilds rather than empty lots, he said. His group has also seen a lot of major renovations, he said.

Mortgage rates have not been a problem in Homewood, despite their upward trend since the COVID-19 pandemic, Siegel said.

The average interest rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage had fallen below 3% after the COVID-19 pandemic hit, dropping as low as 2.65% in January 2021. That was the lowest rate in history and encouraged many people to move or build because they could borrow money at a lesser price and afford a bigger house.

But the Federal Reserve steadily raised short-term interest rates throughout 2022 in an effort to control inflation. The result was that the average 30-year mortgage rate edged up from 2.75% in December 2021 to 4% in March, 5.25% in May and 7% in October, according to Freddie Mac. The Federal Reserve lists the current interest rate in the U.S. at 4.5%.

Siegel said most people are able to get what they want as far as layout. In Homewood, that typically means four bedrooms with 3.5 baths, Siegel said.

The market is still a seller’s market with low inventory, Siegel said, with a majority of sales coming from Edgewood, though he is hopeful that West Homewood can see more sales as well.

Realtor Julie White echoed Siegel’s comments that inventory is

indeed low. Because of that, homes are selling “pretty quickly,” White said, and she expects to see more of the same in the coming months.

Realtors Katie and Gusty Gulas said they are seeing homes flying off the market once they are posted. The median time a home has spent on the market was three days, Gusty Gulas said.

The overall market is healthy, Katie Gulas said.

“I believe our interest rates are continuing to come down from November highs,” she said.

White added that out of the 11

homes she sold in January, only one went for under the asking price.

Housing costs have gone up, White said, pricing some people out of the market. Those looking for homes under $400,000 have begun to look to Shelby County or other areas in Jefferson County, such as Irondale.

It is definitely a seller’s market, White said. She said there has not been a better time in recent memory for those looking to sell their home.

However, with mortgage rates increasing, those who do not have to move may not move, including

those who refinanced several years ago when mortgage rates were lower, White said. With higher mortgage rates comes lower buying power, she said.

Those looking to upgrade their homes may have to choose between making renovations or moving, White said.

“You want your home to be your home and be reflective of you and your lifestyle,” White said.

West Homewood is growing, though the homes in that area are smaller, White said. Edgewood remains very popular, she said.

“Homewood’s just a place that everyone wants,” White said.

Katie Gulas said living in Edgewood, she understands the reason people want to live there and in Homewood in general. There is close proximity to downtown Birmingham, a nice atmosphere, coffee shops, bookstores and an ability to “entertain kids without a car.”

“That’s what a lot of the buyers are looking for,” she said.

– Community Editor Leah Eagle contributed to this story.

from page A1 19 37 7 18 6 28
The Homewood Star A16 • March 2023
New homes under construction on Edgewood Boulevard, left, and Broadway Street, above, in Homewood on Feb. 8. Photos by Erin Nelson.

When the Federal Reserve raised interest rates in early February to combat inflation, one area of concern for many potential homebuyers was how the Fed’s actions would affect mortgage rates and their ability to afford a new home.

However, Clint Thompson, a mortgage officer with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp. in Inverness, says the perception that mortgage rates automatically increase following a rise in interest rates is incorrect. “There is always misinformation out there when people hear what the Federal Reserve is doing. They think, 'Oh gosh, mortgage rates jumped a quarter of a percent,’” Thompson said.

While it is true that interest rates and other signals from the Federal Reserve influence the economy, Thompson said mortgage rates are more closely related to inflation rates than direct action from the Federal Reserve. Thompson explained that the interest rate hike should eventually have the opposite effect on mortgage rates if inflation slows.

“Mortgage rates can come down when the Fed makes a hike, because overall it's more about inflation than interest rates,” Thompson said. “You may see that 30-year mortgage rates actually improve because the markets interpret that as a positive move.”

Largely due to government spending during the COVID-19 crisis, the U.S. inflation rate grew at a rate of 6.5% in 2022, according to data published by the U.S. Department of Labor in mid-December, after growing to 7.1% in 2021. Among the areas the government spent additional funds, according to Thompson, were mortgage-backed securities and treasuries, which kept mortgage rates from organically adjusting to

market forces, a concept known as “quantitative easing.”

“The Fed basically ignored the whole inflation factor and continued to buy treasuries and mortgage-backed securities,” Thompson said. “That artificially kept interest rates down close to 3%.”

As the government slowed quantitative easing measures over the past 12 months and raised interest rates in February, mortgage rates rose from an average of 3% for a typical 30-year mortgage to just over 6% in under a year, While the rapid rise may create sticker shock among homebuyers, Thompson said the market is responding organically to the Federal Reserve’s policies and, although mortgage rates spiked to more than 7% recently, potential homebuyers should start seeing rates lower in the second and third quarter of 2023.

”We'll just have to see how it all plays out, but the consensus is we should see 30-year mortgage rates close to 5%, maybe even just a fraction below 5%, sometime this summer,” Thompson said.

Fred Smith, owner and operator of The Fred Smith Group RealtySouth agency in Crestline, said the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike may finally return the local real estate market to a much-needed state of normalcy. Smith said the economic conditions of 2020 through 2022 created unnatural conditions in the market that should stabilize now that mortgage rates have risen.

“People are getting used to the rates. It's not like they've gone up to something that's unreasonable. They've normalized,” Smith said.

“2019 was the last normal market. Then we had 2020, and we worked our way through that market, then we entered a seller's market in 2021 and 2022 with bidding wars and all that kind of stuff,” Smith said. “Now, I feel it's going to be a normal 2023.”

With 30-year fixed mortgage rates hovering at 6.9% and housing prices on the rise, what do the current conditions mean for the average homebuyer? Smith and Thompson both recognize that affordability is a factor in many cases but said

there are solid reasons to purchase a home now, especially if you’re renting.

“All of the great reasons for buying a house still exist,” Smith said. “We haven't seen as good of a time to buy for renters, with rent rates going up 20 to 30% in the last two years.”

For homebuyers for whom a one-point or twopoint rise in rates could cause monthly-payment sticker shock, Smith suggested a couple of strategies. First, he said an interest rate buydown is a viable option or an adjustable rate mortgage, especially for new homebuyers likely to move within five years of their purchase.

“In Crestline, the average homebuyer lives there less than seven years,” Smith said. “If they get a seven-year ARM and they're moving about every five years, why have a 30-year fixed rate when you can take advantage of a lower interest rate?”

Thompson, who said he believes mortgage rates should settle back down to 3 or 4% over the next few years, suggests a two-for-one buydown mortgage. This option allows the homebuyer to pay 2% lower than the actual rate for the first year of the mortgage, then 1% lower for the second year, then the rate increases to the regular rate in the third year.

At current rates, a homebuyer would pay 4.9% in year one, 5.9% in year two, then 6.9% for the remainder of the loan or, Thompson said, refinance prior to year three.

“If the experts are right,” he said, “that person's never going to make a payment in the sixes because interest rates will have come down close to 5% and we would have refinanced down before then. So, a two-for-one buydown option can help with affordability.”

Smith also offered one more piece of advice, reminding potential homebuyers they are allowed to write their home’s interest off their taxes. “I'm not going to say it doesn't matter, but the benefit of being able to write off that additional interest is a wash,” Smith said. “It almost doesn't matter, because that interest deduction can overcome the difference in that increased interest rate.”

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TheHomewoodStar.com March 2023 A17
Local experts offer advice to potential home buyers


CONTINUED from page A1

When Robinson and her husband Jonathan bought Little Professor in 2020, they began looking for a long-term partner to build out a new space. So when Nadeau moved into the former Cahaba Cycles location nearby, the furniture store’s previous space became available, much to the Robinsons’ excitement.

Being across from the Valley Hotel is a great location and the design of the store’s new building will help beautify the city even more, Robinson said.

Aesthetically, in addition to more open space, the new location will offer new shelves similar to those at their Pepper Place store, all-natural surfaces like marble and wood, Robinson said. The changes will make the bookstore more “warm and inviting,” she said.

Robinson said she hopes people not only come to buy books but to sit in the space, to “reset [their] day” and to use it as a space to decompress.

The square footage is about the same, but with less back-of-house space for offices and storage, it will look like more, Robinson said. There will be about 20% more inventory and about 50% more seating space. The children’s area will also have expanded inventory, she said.

The pillar of Little Professor is to be a community hub, Robinson said, not just a place of transaction.

“You walk in and you want to sit and stay,” Robinson said.

Kathleen Wylie has been working at Little Professor for a little more than eight years and is excited to see the store move into its new home.

“I think it will be a good move,” Wylie said.

As customers come into the existing location and hear about the move, they’re excited as well, Wylie said.

There will be some jobs opened up with the new location, Robinson said, though the core team from the existing Homewood location is transferring over.

Having the recently opened second location

be helpful during the transition. While there are no plans to have interruptions in the service in Homewood, Robinson said Pepper Place will be available if need be. The store will also continue offering local delivery within five miles.

The downtown location has served as an inspiration for what the owners want with the new Homewood location, Robinson said.

“It feels like a space where we accomplished what we’re trying to do in Homewood,” she said.

The plan is for the new space to open in early spring, Robinson said, but the move itself is 50 years in the making.

Little Professor began at what is now The Cottage Basket, before moving to a building that has since been replaced by the Valley

18th Street location.

People come in to get a book, but they know they’ll be helped by someone who also loves books, Wylie said. Every staff member is knowledgeable and loves reading, she said.

“I really do believe it’s the human element,” Wylie said.

Not only do people connect with staff members, but they also connect with others. Wylie said the staff recently saw a man ask a woman on a date in the store.

“It was so cute,” she said.

The store is a “fun, positive” place, she said. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it served as a respite not only from lockdowns and the loneliness of the pandemic, but a break from the television, Wylie said.

Wylie said.

Robinson said the store has always enjoyed a base of “legacy” customers, in addition to longtime employees like Wylie. So when the Robinsons bought the store, they were “building on a rich history that was already there,” she said.

The “currency” in business, especially at Little Professor, is relationships with customers, Robinson said. The store has become a bit like the bar in “Cheers,” a place “where everybody knows your name.”

“Even if you’re just running in for coffee,” Robinson said.

The hope is that customers walk out feeling brighter than they did before, she said. Customers aren’t being served by an online algorithm but by their fellow Homewood residents.

Children participate in Saturday storytime at the Little Professor in Homewood.
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Summer Camp

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MarCh 2023

Library welcomes new assistant director

After more than a decade at another Jefferson County library, Michelle Hamrick has joined the Homewood Public Library as an assistant director.

Hamrick taught in schools for two years before going to “library school” at the University of Alabama and beginning her career in public service.

“I love working with people,” Hamrick said. “We are always serving the public.”

For 11 years, Hamrick worked at the library in Irondale, helping create a calendar, monthly newsletters and assisting guests who walked in. Time spent in Irondale allowed Hamrick to familiarize herself with libraries in the county, including Homewood’s, which benefited from “rockstar” librarians who came before her, she said.

“I hope to continue that,” Hamrick said.

Her time in graduate school at UA taught her the ins and outs of the ethics of librarianship, cataloging, developing a library’s connections and more, Hamrick said. Libraries, she said, have always been about more than just books.

“Libraries have always been about information,” she said.

Information that used to be collected in books is now available on library computers or in workshops and programs, Hamrick said. The role of the library in the community

has expanded, but the focus remains the same: connecting patrons with information, she said.

Hamrick said she’s still learning her job, but she will primarily serve as a liaison between the library and community organizations. That means organizing events, working

with the library board, ensuring that library staff have what they need, conducting staff training and more.

The Homewood library has many online resources and is “constantly changing,” Hamrick said. There is a need to know and communicate with its patrons and the city as a whole,

she said.

The “best-kept secret” of the Homewood library is that it is not simply a warehouse for books, Hamrick said.

“We are a very dynamic place where community comes together and shares information,” she said.

Community involvement is high at the library and the institution enjoys the support not only of its regular patrons, but also the Friends of the Library, which raises funds that provide needed equipment and books for the library and sponsors programs such as the summer reading program. For those wanting to join that effort, the group is hosting a book sale in early May and is in need of volunteers and books for the event.

“I’m really excited to be a part of that,” Hamrick said.

The circulation, number of visits and programming that the library enjoys have recently raised it to new heights. In 2022, Homewood Public Library was named the only four-star library in the state of Alabama. It shows the library is meeting a series of milestones in its service of its patrons, Hamrick said.

“We are constantly busy,” she said.

Hamrick joined the library at a time of transition as well, as Judith Wright replaced the now-retired Deborah Fout, who served the library for 37 years, as director.

Hamrick said she wants to see the library continue to expand and grow, and that starts with its staff.

“I would like to see all of the staff … feel that they have all of the training they need and have knowledge of all of our resources,” Hamrick said.

For more information on the library, visit homewoodlibrary.org.

Sports B4
Michelle Hamrick, the new assistant director at the Homewood Public Library, stands in the courtyard at the library on Jan. 19. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Homewood Parks & Recreation

Classes & Activities

Central Barre

Tuesdays 6:15am / Wednesday 5:15pm Saturday 8:15am at Homewood Community Center

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

Belly Dancing

Class Fee: $50 per session

Contact Nuriyah: nuriyahraqs@gmail.com

Learn the ancient art of belly dance with Aziza’s School of Middle Eastern Dance. Each session is 4 weeks long at the Homewood Community Center.

Dance Trance

Tuesday & Thursday 5:45pm-6:45pm

Monday, Wednesday & Saturday 9:30am-10:30am

Homewood Community Center

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


Fun For All Line Dancing

Beginner and Beyond Beginner line dance instruction encompassing a variety of music genres, e.g., pop, country and R&B. You will learn line dance terminology, line dance steps, and, of course, line dances to specific music. Homewood Community Center - Studio 2

Tuesdays 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM $5.00 per person per visit

For more information contact funforalllinedancing@gmail.com

North Star

Martial Arts

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

Bench Aerobics Step & Line Dance

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: Classes are FREE (with donations)

For more information contact Rosa at 205-253-9344 or benchaerobics@bellsouth.net

Royce Head Personal Training

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


Vinyasa yoga classes in an energetic environment using upbeat music at Homewood Community Center. All levels welcome.

Friday: 8:00am-9:00am - Basics Class

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


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 jgtally@aol.com

Fast Track Line Dance

We learn the current and classic intermediate-advanced line dances.  This class is not for beginners. Fitness Studio 2 Homewood Community Center.

Saturday 11:00am-1:00pm

Jackie Tally jgtally@aol.com (or) Helen Woods aquafool@aol.com


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

@homewood.parks @homewood_parks

Senior Center

Intro to Line Dancing

This class is for those who have never done line dancing. We will start from scratch!!! See you there! Be sure to contact the Senior Center (205-332-6500) to sign up, so that Jackie will how many to expect.

Wednesdays, 9:30 – 10:15am

Instructor: Jackie Tally


DanceFit’s is easy-to-mimic dance moves with enough repetitions so that participants have time to “catch on.” Includes linear traveling moves, occasional turns, and arm movements so it does have a light cardio element.

Thursdays, 1:30pm

Instructor: Galina Waites

Tai Chi

45minutes will be dedicated to the simpler-yet-effective Tai Chi for Arthritis & Fall Prevention while the last 15 minutes will offer a more challenging level of Tai Chi. This class is easy on the joints, helps to calm/focus the mind, and is great for developing better balance.

Mondays, 1:30pm

Instructor: Galina Waites

Misc. Information

We Love Homewood Day 2023

Saturday, May 6, 2023

Save the date & come celebrate Homewood!

Vendor & Sponsorship information available at www.homewoodparks.com

Summer Day Camp 2023

Program details and registration information can be found at: www.homewoodparks.com

2023 Summer Seasonal Employment

Lifeguard & Camp Counselors

Job descriptions and applications available at www.homewoodparks.com

Applications will be accepted February 1st – March 31st

Homewood Easter Egg Hunt 2023

Saturday, April 1, 2023

Homewood Senior Center - Front Lawn 816 Oak Grove Road

0-2 years: 10:00am

3-4 years: 10:00am

5-7 years: 11:00am

8-10 years: 11:00am

For more information visit: www.homewoodparks.com


B2 • March 2023 The Homewood Star
Follow us for athletics, community centers programming and event updates
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New faces the norm for Patriots softball

There will be plenty of new faces in the lineup for the Homewood High School softball team this spring.

The Patriots featured a senior-heavy team in 2022 and were a win away from advancing to the regional tournament. That means many new regulars for Homewood this season, some young and others simply lacking significant experience.

“The young kids we have are really talented,” Homewood head coach Arica Moss said. “It’s going to be a learning year with a learning curve for a lot of our athletes, but there’s a lot of potential.”

The building blocks on and off the field will be key to this team’s success, as the Patriots will feature varsity players ranging from 7th to 12th grade. But as Moss enters her second year as the head coach, she feels confident in the program’s positive direction.

“We’re building our program continually with our foundation of good teamwork and creating those bonding situations for them to be able to mesh on the field,” she said.

Kate Jourdan and Savvy Smith are two outfielders who are back for their senior years. Both got playing time last season and will be counted on to lead the way this season for the Patriots. Ella Ray is a senior pitcher, giving Homewood three seniors on the squad.

Among those Moss has already seen take big strides over the offseason is Abigail Box, a sophomore second baseman.

“She’s shown so much improvement from last year to this year,” Moss said. “She’s going to be a really great second baseman and a big hitter for us.”

Moss knows her team will not be a finished

product when the season starts, and she is focusing on the big picture as so many players take on new and bigger roles for the first time in their varsity careers.

“What we’re going to continue to build on is the culture we’re instilling,” she said. “It was crucial last year and it is going to be crucial this year. … Everybody is going to play a big role regardless of age.”

The lack of proven returning starters also means increased competition for positions, something coaches almost always view as a positive.

“Regardless of your age and status, that means nothing for tomorrow. That’s going to be a good driving force behind us. That keeps everybody a little more motivated,” Moss said. Homewood has performance-related goals it focuses on each day in practice and in games. As part of that culture being built within the program, Moss wants to see this team battle through the good days as well as the tough ones.

“One of our strengths is hopefully that we’re going to be resilient,” she said. “I’ve got a lot of really hard workers. Maybe because of our

age range and the situation we’re in — I use this phrase a lot — ‘Why not us?’”

Homewood will be playing in an area with Mountain Brook, Shades Valley and Woodlawn, so qualifying for the regional tournament is certainly an attainable goal.

“We’re going to have to work really hard, because we’re so young and don’t have the experience underneath us,” she said. “As we get more experience throughout the season, we’re going to continue to get better. By the time May comes along, we’ve got a shot if we’re playing our best ball.”

B4 • March 2023 The Homewood Star Sports
Homewood head coach Arica Moss talks with the Lady Patriots between innings in a game against Chelsea at Homewood High School on March 17, 2022.
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Photo by Erin Nelson.

Patriots ready for fresh start in 2023

Last season, the Homewood High School baseball team could not seem to catch a break.

The Patriots, playing in arguably the toughest area in Class 6A, got only a handful of innings from what they were expecting to be their top three pitchers due to injuries. That resulted in the end of an eight-year playoff streak for the proud baseball program.

But character is often forged through adversity, and Homewood is hoping to reap the benefits of what a young pitching staff and roster went through in 2022.

Levi Nickoli, Witt Brown and JB Sain were thrown into the fire last season and performed admirably on the mound. Nickoli will be only a freshman this spring, with Brown and Sain entering their junior seasons. Sain won six games on the hill last season, Nickoli provided

late-innings relief and Brown is a crafty lefthander who is tough to hit. And now, the Patriots suddenly have a bevy of arms they feel good about.

“I’m excited for their future at Homewood and beyond,” Homewood head coach Lee Hall said prior to the season.

This season, the Patriots get somewhat of a reprieve when it comes to area play. Now, Homewood will just have to finish in the top two of Area 9, which consists of Mountain Brook and Shades Valley as well.

Hall singled out half of his senior class as the tone-setters for the Patriots this season. Owen Isenhower, Parker Sansing, Jackson Parris and Tripp Gann are hoping to parlay their strong football season into a similarly successful baseball season.

“All four guys were mainstays that helped propel them to a one-point loss that could’ve put

them in the state finals. We hope to piggyback on that momentum football created,” Hall said. “We’re going to ride their leadership and experience in what it takes to win big ball games.”

Hall hopes to see Isenhower excel at the top of the order this spring, after an up-and-down campaign last year. Sansing will join him in the outfield. Parris can adequately play multiple positions across the infield and provides pop in the middle of the lineup.

Hall calls Gann “one of the better defensive first baseman I’ve ever had.” Gann should be a big factor at the plate as well.

As for the other four seniors, Brennan Wheat and Trey Glover are battling with freshman Cooper Mullins for the starting catcher role. Rigdon Gibbons is a right-handed pitcher full of energy and comedic relief in the dugout, but moxie and determination on the mound. Jonathan Box is a second baseman and is “that guy

everybody needs on their team.”

Among some other role players, Jack Ross is a sophomore who will spend time on the hill, as well as corner infield. Jeremiah Gary is a lefthanded pitcher and speedy outfielder transitioning to the team after basketball season. Jackson Warren is a junior coming off a knee injury, but Hall believes he has potential to make a strong impact.

Hall believes the strengths of this year’s team will be its senior leadership and returning pitching experience. He also believes the infield defense could be the best it has been in his six years at Homewood.

The program is in great shape, with strong classes coming through the program in future years. Pitching coach Keith Brown is back for his 26th year with the program as well.

“There are some really good years ahead of us,” Hall said.

TheHomewoodStar.com March 2023 • B5
Left: Homewood’s Jackson Parris (7) makes contact during an at-bat as the Patriots face Mountain Brook in an area game at Spartan Field on April 14. Right: Homewood’s Witt Brown (24) pitches in an area game against Mountain Brook. Photos by Erin Nelson.

Right: Homewood’s Brooke Walden clears the bar at 12 feet, 3 inches during the pole vault competition in the Class 6A state indoor track and field meet at the Birmingham CrossPlex on Feb. 3. Far right: Homewood’s Grayton Murray pushes to the finish line in the boys 1,600-meter run during the Class 6A state indoor track and field meet. Photos by Erin Nelson.

Patriots, Cavs feature strong

The Homewood High School boys indoor track and field team capped off the season by finishing as the runner-up in Class 6A at the state meet, Feb. 3 at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

Homewood scored 66 points to finish second to McGill-Toolen, which finished with 84 points. Mountain Brook finished third and scored 54 points.

Homewood’s girls placed third, scoring 61.75 points. Northridge was the runner-up, with 64.5 points, and Mountain Brook won, racking up 77 points.

“Both teams had an outstanding meet,” Homewood coach Josh Donaldson said. “They outscored the projections, especially on the guys' side. We had a lot of season-best and/ or PRs [personal records] at the state meet between a lot of the different events.”

Brooke Walden was Homewood’s lone individual winner, as she set a state record in the pole vault competition, clearing the bar at 12

feet, 3 inches. The boys 4x800-meter relay team of Will Doughty, Colvin Bussey, Ethan Bagwell and Ben Murray also took the top spot on the podium, winning the race in 8 minutes, 1 second.

“Brooke is one of the hardest workers there is,” Donaldson said of Walden, an Auburn University signee. “She’s put in a lot of work and continues to do that.”

Also reaching the podium for the boys were Slate Rohrer (third in 60-meter hurdles), Ben Murray (third in the 800) and Hunter Drake (third in triple jump). The boys relay team in the 4x400 (Ben Murray, Rohrer, Doughty and Bussey) crossed the line third as well. Bussey (eighth in the 400), Doughty (sixth in the 800), Andrew Laird (seventh in the 1,600), Graham Murray (fifth in the 3,200), Foster Laird (eighth in the 3,200), drake (fourth in long jump), Elliott Allen (seventh in pole vault) and Maxy Salazar (fourth in shot put) contributed points to the boys score.

For the girls, Emma Brooke Levering

finished third in the 1,600 to reach the podium.

The relay teams performed strongly as well.

The 4x200 team (Walden, Liesel Kellen, Mary Siena McBride and Maris Owen) and the 4x400 team (Olivia Burczyk, McBride, Norah Nickoli and Owen) each placed second, while the 4x800 team of Sarah Derriso, Ada McElroy, Camille Etheridge and Sophia Forrestall) finished fifth, all earning points for the team.

Also earning points for the girls were Derriso (fifth in 60 hurdles), Owen (fourth in 400), Levering (fourth in 800 and 3,200), Sydney Dobbins (seventh in 3,200), Chandler Binkley (sixth in high jump) and Julia Mitchell (seventh in high jump and eighth in long jump).

Zaire White, Gabriel Dent, Garner Johnson, Matthew Floyd, Calyb Colbert, Gavin McAbee, Jermald Patterson, Jaela Polk, Lily Giffin, Sadie Busbee and Magi Williams all competed for the Patriots as well.

John Carroll competed in the 4A-5A division, with the boys finishing third. The Cavaliers scored 56 points, just a few shy of Arab,

which finished second with 59.5 points.

Multiple John Carroll guys reached the podium in their events. Sebastian Guerrero placed third in the 800, Arthur Langley was second in the 3,200 and third in the 1,600, and James Edmonds was third in pole vault.

Carson McFadden (sixth in 60 hurdles, fifth in high jump, sixth in long jump), Guerrero (fourth in 400) Langley (fourth in 800) all earned points as well. The 4x200 relay team of McFadden, Jaylin Shepherd, Braydon Lowery and KJ Beck placed fourth, as did the 4x400 team of Beck, Eli McMillan, Langley and Guerrero.

Katie Marie Everett earned points by finishing sixth in the girls pole vault. John Carroll’s girls relay teams in the 4x200 (Lydia Hamilton, Emily Rhodes, Lacy Jackson and Kiera Lawrence), the 4x400 (Rhodes, Isabella Corsini, Jackson and Hamilton) and the 4x800 (Corsini, Amelia Leath, Anna Grace Fuller and Claire Humphrey) all placed in the top 10 as well.

► Clay Burdeshaw, Football – Samford University

► Woods Ray, Football – Dartmouth College

► Dobbs Durkin, Soccer – Spring Hill College

► Drew Vinson, Soccer – Belmont University

► Sunny Ferren, Soccer – Longwood University

► Maddie Massie, Soccer – Furman University

► Grace Studinka, Soccer – Mississippi College

B6 • March 2023 The Homewood Star
These future college athletes of Homewood High School signed scholarships to the following schools on Signing Day on Feb. 3. Homewood City Schools celebrates their hard work & dedication to both academics and athletics:
► Tripp Gann, Baseball – Shelton State Community College
Mr. Handyman is taking care of Homewood’s “To-Do” List ® like us on follow us on 205-606-0800 Give us a call! $50 OFF One coupon per househ old. Participating locations on ly. Minimum $300 of service. Not valid with any othe r o er or discount. Limited time only. Independently owned and operated franchise.© 2022 Mr. Handyman SPV LLC. All rights Reserved MrHandyman.com Visit mrhandyman.com to learn more about our services Homewood athletes sign to continue careers Clay Burdeshaw, left, and Woods Ray, right, recently signed with Samford University and Dartmouth University, respectively, to continue their football careers. Photo courtesy of Homewood City Schools.
at state

Patriots, Cavs soccer teams preview season at media day

The Homewood and John Carroll Catholic high school soccer teams were represented at the third annual Birmingham-area soccer media day event, held this year at Thompson High School on Jan. 25-26.

Homewood’s girls are coming off a Class 6A state championship, while John Carroll’s boys and girls are coming off quarterfinal appearances in Class 4A-5A.

The Homewood girls posted a 20-2-2 record last season and have a tough road ahead in their quest to earn another state championship. They did open the 2023 season as the top-ranked team in the Class 6A coaches poll, though.

“We’ve got a good returning bunch from last year and probably half of the team stepping up from [junior varsity],” Homewood head coach Sean McBride said. “Most of these guys returning play high-club ball.”

McBride was joined by senior captains Maddie Massie, Sunny Ferren and Mary Siena McBride at media day.

“It was a really good ending for us last year,” Massie said. “We worked really hard to get that. We’re all proud of that year, but it’s a new year and we’re working toward a new goal.”

Ferren acknowledged her team will have a “target on our back” as the defending champs, and McBride is aiming to make her senior year a special one.

“We’re going to be a team that works hard from the beginning,” Massie added. “We’re going to continue to work hard and have the mentality as a team that sticks together and has

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positive mindsets.”

The John Carroll soccer programs have collected many state titles over the years, but the boys last won one in 2012 and the girls last hoisted the trophy in 2018. The Cavs have lost to the eventual state champions in the state playoffs the last few years and are anxious to get over the hump.

“There’s a lot of motivation this year to get John Carroll back to where it’s been before,” John Carroll boys coach Matt Kirkpatrick said. “There’s a lot of work to do with that. We’ve got a strong senior class and they’ve been working really hard.”

The Cavs have 13 seniors this year, and Kirkpatrick remarked that he saw vast improvement over the second half of last season, something he hopes to see continue into this spring.

John Carroll’s girls team features four seniors and is a unit looking to return to the final four in Huntsville this spring.

“These girls have been close, it’s just time to get over the hump,” John Carroll girls assistant coach Wes Patridge said.

Patridge noted the positive mindset of the team beginning in preseason workouts has carried the program to this point. He also said head coach Robert Crawford does a “really good job of involving everyone” in activities on and off the field.

Homewood’s boys were one of the top teams in the state throughout last spring but came up just short against eventual state champion Mountain Brook in the quarterfinals. The Patriots will be looking to get back to the same level that saw them earn the 2021 state title.

TheHomewoodStar.com March 2023 • B7
John Carroll girls soccer assistant coach Wes Patridge, Belle Buckner and Mia Mugavero during the 2023 soccer media day. Left: Homewood’s Mary Siena McBride, Sunny Ferren, Maddie Massie, and head coach Sean McBride attend the 2023 soccer media day at Thompson High School on Jan. 19. Right: John Carroll boys soccer head coach Matt Kirkpatrick, Thornton Dent, Sam Rickman and Alberto Gonzalez during the 2023 soccer media day Photos by Kyle Parmley.
www.therapysouth.com HOMEWOOD 1280 Columbiana Rd Suite 160 205.968.1283 SOHO 2610 19th Street S. 205.558.6400

Offering boys a unique outdoor experience

Summers at Southern

Summer camps have existed for generations, but Southern Preparatory Academy in Camp Hill, Alabama, has reimagined the experience and created a unique, exciting program for boys entering grades 6-12.

Summers at Southern, which the Academy has offered for over a decade, returns in 2023 with an authentic outdoor experience on the school’s well-equipped 320-acre campus.

The campus features two fishing ponds, gyms and rifle ranges, as well as a football field, indoor swimming pool, dining hall and dorms.

All activities are designed to allow boys to get outside, get dirty, run, play, jump, swim and get off of their electronics.

Perhaps most important, Summers at Southern also gives boys the chance to problem solve and think for themselves through creative challenges.

With a 16:1 camper-to-counselor ratio, Summers at Southern gives the boys the individualized attention they need.

The counselors challenge the campers in a positive way and make sure they have the best summer ever while making new friends and building their confidence as young men.

► Week One – Adventure (June 18-24): Activities include whitewater rafting, canoeing, paintball, aviation, firearms safety and more.

► Week Two – Survival (June 25-July 1): Activities include archery, land navigation, shelter building, overnight camping, kayaking and fishing.

WHERE: 174 Ward Circle, Camp Hill CALL: 256-307-7348 or 256-790-9202

WEB: summersatsouthern.org

► Week Three – Advanced Adventure (July 9-15): This is an advanced version of Week One with no prior experience required.

► Week Four – The Challenge (July 16-22): Campers sharpen their survival skills while camping overnight, building fires and catching and cooking their own catfish.

Each camp is customized to the boys’ experience and grade level.

Registration opens March 1 at summersat southern.org. For details, call 256-307-7348 or 256-790-9202.

Summer Camp Reimagined

For Boys in Rising 6th - 12th Grades Visit summersatsouthern.org

Are you looking for a summer experience unlike any other? Summers At Southern is a series of week-long themed camps designed specifically with boys in mind. Our camp is 90% outdoors, with activities ranging from white-water rafting, catfishing, aviation, firearm safety education, kayaking, paintball, and much more!

register today.

Inspiring creativity and curiosity through dance

The Dance Foundation

Founded in 1975, The Dance Foundation is a nonprofit in Homewood whose services reach far and wide in the Homewood and Birmingham communities. The Studio Program provides tuition-based dance classes for children to adults in a variety of dance styles including creative movement, ballet, jazz, modern, hip hop, tap and musical theater with live piano music as an essential and unique element for most classes.

The Community In Motion program is at the heart of The Dance Foundation’s mission, with classes for students throughout Homewood and Birmingham at dozens of schools and social service agencies such as the The Bell Center, Homewood High School, YWCA and many others. Through this program, dance is used to build coordination and motor skills, inspire creativity and curiosity and enhance academic learning.

The Dance Foundation’s summer programming includes weekly classes that run June 5-Aug. 5 (no classes July 1-7) and are led by professionally-trained teaching artists with live piano accompaniment for classes through first grade. Summer is a wonderful time to introduce any age student to dance to find out if they have interest in pursuing dance for the upcoming school year.

In addition to weekly classes, five creative half-day camps are offered for students entering 4K through highschool. Each camp is led by professionally-trained teaching artists.

“Beauty and the Beast,” “Cinderella” and “Jack and the Beanstalk” are some of the fairytales that will inspire daily adventures in the Once Upon a Fairytale camp for 4K and

5K campers. Explore the day’s tale through dance, arts and crafts, music and storytelling. This is a great introduction to day camp for your little one, complete with a tea party on the last day.

► 9 a.m. to noon

► 4K: June 13-15, June 20-22 and July 18-20; 5K: June 5-9, June 12-16 and July 10-14

Once Upon a Ballet is the perfect camp for your budding ballerina or ballerino! Campers will discover the familiar folktales of ballet, learn classical dance steps, watch short clips from famous ballets, make costume pieces, explore the use of props and dance along with

the traditional music of “Sleeping Beauty,” “The Nutcracker,” and others!

► First through third grade

► 9 a.m. to noon

► June 12-16, July 17-21

Visit a world limited only by your imagination in the Adventures in Enchanted Lands camp. Create your own mermaid story, search for dragon’s eggs, and design your own 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.

► First through third grade

WHERE: 1715 27th Court S., Birmingham

WHEN: June 5-Aug. 5 (no classes July 1-7)

CALL: 205-870-0073

WEB: thedance foundation.org

► 9 a.m. to noon

► June 19-23, July 10-14

The Dance Exploration camp is a great first, second or tenth experience in dance! Experience a variety of dance styles including ballet, modern dance, hip hop, musical theater and others. Campers will also learn about rhythm, applying stage makeup, costume design and more!

► Third through sixth grade

► 9 a.m. to noon

► June 19-23

The Dance Workshop is for intermediate to advanced level dance students who desire to perform! Campers will participate in a daily technique class and rehearsal of choreography. They will perform in a showing for family and friends at the end of the week, and perform again during the upcoming dance season at The Dance Foundation. Campers must have at least 3 consecutive years of recent dance training.

► Sixth through 12th grade

► 12:30-4 p.m.

► July 24-27

SUMMER SUMMER thedancefoundation.org | 205.870.0073 | 1715 27th Court South, Homewood Once Upon a Fairytale 4K & 5K Once Upon a Ballet 1st-3rd grade Adventures in Enchanted Lands 1st-3rd grade Dance Exploration 3rd-6th grade Dance Workshop 6th-12th grade JUNE 5-AUGUST 5 Moving Together 12-24 months with a grown up Movement-to-Music ages 2-4 with live piano accompaniment Dance for Students with Disabilities ages 8-13: Movement-to-Music, Ballet/Modern Young Dancer Program entering K-2nd grade: Ballet, Tap, Hip Hop Dance Artist Program entering 3rd-12th grade: Ballet, Modern Dance, Tap, Hip Hop CAMPSWEEKLY
VISIT US ONLINE FOR• registration • birthday parties • adult classes

Take the spotlight in a supportive, fun atmosphere

Virgina Samford Theatre

Virginia Samford Theatre in Birmingham offers children and teens ages 7-18 a fun, no-pressure introduction to the joys of creating musical theater with its STARS Camp VST in June.

STARS Camp VST focuses on singing and dancing and also offers classes in stage combat, costume and set design, playwriting and Shakespeare. There are two levels of instruction, beginner and intermediate.

“We'll also have a small showcase at the end of the week to highlight some of the fun music, dancing, scenes and games we've learned,” says Jenna Bellamy, director of the STARS Program at VST.

The VST is also launching its new STARS Summer Studio — open to rising 6th graders and up with prior theater or performance experience — where campers can receive advanced instruction in dance and vocal performance.

All of the instructors are theater professionals or have a musical theater background.

The atmosphere at the camps is “fun, supportive and kind,” Bellamy says.

And this year, the camps will be held at the recently renovated Mountain Brook High School.

“It's exciting to have campers working and learning in their beautiful arts campus,” Bellamy says.

WHERE: Mountain Brook High School

WHEN: June 5-9 and June 12-16,

AGES: 7-18

EMAIL: stars@virginiasamford theatre.org

WEB: virginiasamfordtheatre.org/ vststars/camp-vst

There will be two one-week sessions of Camp VST, Monday-Friday, June 5-9 and June 12-16, from 9 a.m to 3:30 p.m. There will also be two one-week sessions of STARS Summer Studio on the same dates from 12:30-4 p.m.

The cost is $350 for registrations before April 1 and $400 after April 1.

Parents can register their kids at virginia samfordtheatre.org/vststars/camp-vst.

Create fun, Christ-centered memories at Cavalier Camps

John Carroll Catholic High School

John Carroll Catholic High School has an esteemed history and tradition of serving families throughout the Birmingham area with fun, enriching, and Christ-centered spring break and summer camp experiences! Cavalier Camps are organized and run by a first-class lineup of coaches and staff, and they are assisted by some of John Carroll’s top Cavalier students who are committed to the experience of learning, leadership, and service to their school.

From basketball camps run by John Carroll’s head boys basketball coach and twotime Alabama Mr. Basketball, Ronald Steele (JCCHS Class of 2004), to 2020 Metro Volleyball Coach of the Year, Michael Heard, to the basketball, soccer, and satellite camps led by the highly respected and experienced girls basketball and boys soccer coach, Matt Kirkpatrick — Cavalier Camps will provide quality learning while also emphasizing character, and creating memories!

In addition to basketball, soccer, and volleyball camps, John Carroll is proud to offer All-Sports Camp! All-Sports Camp is a great option for kids who love to be active, who would enjoy learning new games and skills, and who like teamwork.

With a large campus footprint, John Carroll is situated conveniently just “over the moun-

WHERE: 300 Lakeshore Parkway

CALL: 205-940-2400

WEB: jcathletics.org

makes it a great option for families who need a central location for their camp needs.

You are invited to experience the value of Cavalier Camps as John Carroll looks forward to another 75 years of serving families from the Central Alabama area through their outstanding spring break and summer camp opportunities!

Here Here Comes Comes The The Fun! Fun!


Basketball Camp at John Carroll!

Hosted by Coach Ronald Steele

March 27-30 (8am-noon)

Boys and Girls (Ages 5-12)


Basketball Camp

Volleyball Camp

Soccer Camp

All-Sports Camp

JCCHS | 300 Lakeshore Parkway | Birmingham | AL | 35209

Learn dance with the professionals

Alabama Ballet

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 the 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 story time 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 17-28 at the Alabama Ballet Center for Dance in Birmingham.

For more information, contact Natalie Hunt, Alabama Ballet School Administrator,


► Junior Camp: Two-week camp for dancers ages 8-12

► Tutus and Tiaras: One-week camp for children ages 4-7

WHERE: Alabama Ballet Center for Dance

WHEN: July 17-28

REGISTRATION: Open now at alabamaballet.org

CONTACT: Natalie Hunt, Alabama Ballet School Administrator

CALL: 205-322-1874

EMAIL: nataliehunt@alabama ballet.org

at nataliehunt@alabamaballet.org or 205-322-1874. Registration is open now at alabamaballet.org.

TheHomewoodStar.com March 2023 • B11 2023 SUMMER CAMP GUIDE SPECIAL ADVERTISING SECTION Fill your roster. Day Care Programs | Private Schools Art/Music Lessons | Distance Learning Guides Tutoring Services | Fall/Summer Camps Email dan@starnesmedia.com for your Education Guide Strategy Session
the story of your program with the readers looking for you!

Take-home meals take center stage at ‘Teenie’s Take-home Market’

Tina Liollio’s heritage is a mix of distinct cultures, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

“My dad’s family is 100% Greek Orthodox, and my mom’s family is 100% Sicilian,” Liollio said. “My mom is from Birmingham, but my dad’s family immigrated from Greece to Pensacola, and that’s where they met. The first few years of my life, we lived in Pensacola, but in the 1990s, we moved to Birmingham, and it’s been home forever.”

Liollio learned to cook from both sides of her family. Her great-grandmother lived across the street, and every Saturday and Sunday, she would go to her house to watch and help make spaghetti and meatballs and all the Sicilian things she liked to make, Liollio said.

She spent time working for Jim-n-Nick’s throughout her early years, but after college, Liollio heard they were starting a new catering program that would launch in the Birmingham area first.

“I started relationship building in the community [for Jim-n-Nick’s] and helped manage things like the call center and their first sales force,” Liollio said. “The restaurant business has been in my dad’s family since the 1960s, so I grew up in the restaurant business.”

When she left Jim-n-Nick’s, she managed the catering market for the state of Alabama, and she supported out-of-state events for major

corporations and nonprofit organizations.

In late 2018, Liollio decided to start her own business that manages events for nonprofits, called Local Link.

“One of the nonprofits that I work for is Jones Valley Teaching Farm,” she said. “They do a lot of work with different schools in Birmingham to show kids what it means to grow your own food. They [recently] opened a center for food education where they teach children things like fractions through interactive cooking and use that as a way to teach and continue

their mission.”

In 2020, when events were virtually nonexistent, Liollio used the opportunity to begin cooking for friends and family and delivering meals to those in need. Once things began to get back to normal, she continued doing events, but her meal delivery experience was always in the back of her mind.

“One of the big events that I did was the World Games. When that was over, Jennifer Ryan, who owns BlueRoot and who I met during the event, reached out to me about a

space she was considering sub-leasing because she was busy with her location at the Pepper Place Market,” Liollio said.

This conversation happened in October 2022, and the spot for Teenie’s Take-Home Market opened in November 2022.

“It all happened so fast,” she said. “It’s so small. It’s 300 square feet. We cook [our meals] at Jones Valley Teaching School because they have a commercial kitchen, I am one of their employees, and that’s where we are certified by the Jefferson County Health Department,” she said.

Currently, Teenie’s Take-Home Market does not offer catering due to space restrictions, but Liollio hopes to add that as part of the business in the future. Products at the store, including main courses, sides and desserts, must be purchased in person.

“We will always have lasagna and Greek chicken on our menu,” she said. “Those are our staples. We do have weekly specials, and we will rotate different things by season, but we will always have staples available.”

Her mission with Teenie’s Take-Home Market is to incorporate more local, women-owned businesses into the store. They purchase wholesale items from companies like BlueRoot, Dryft Coffee, The Breakup Cookie and NOLA Ice – Broad St. Peaux Boys.

“I plan to incorporate many other local, female-owned businesses into the mix each quarter,” she said. “The goal is to offer variety as well as promote other local female entrepreneurs in the community.”

For more information on Teenie’s TakeHome Market, visit teeniesmarket.com.

B12 • March 2023 The Homewood Star Metro Roundup MOUNTAIN BROOK the Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 First Baptist Church Gardendale-South Location-940 Main Street, Gardendale 35071 Classic Car Motoring-3900 Grants Mill Road, Irondale, 35210 City of Bessemer Public Works Laydown Yard-1205 15th Avenue North, Bessemer, 35020 Items Collected Will Include:  Ammunition  Appliances  Batteries  Electronics  Household cooking grease  Paint  Paper Shredding  Pesticides, Herbicides and Fertilizers  Prescription drugs  Tires April 29, 2023 Je erson County Residents Only Verification of Residency Required (valid driver license or photo ID with address) No Businesses Allowed to Participate el  Municiones  Aparatos domésticos  Pilas  Electrónicos  Grasa de cocina  Pintura  Papel para ser triturado  Pesticidas, herbicidas y fertilizantes  Recetas médicas  Liantas/neumáticos April 29, 2023 Día de recaudación de productos tóxicos Solo para residentes del condado de Je erson -Necesita verificación de residencia(license de conducir o foto ID con dirección) No se permite la participación de negocios Site 1 Site 2 Site 3 First Baptist Church Gardendale-South Location-940 Main Street, Gardendale 35071 Classic Car Motoring-3900 Grants Mill Road, Irondale, 35210 City of Bessemer Public Works Laydown Yard-1205 15th Avenue North, Bessemer, 35020
cooler with meals at Teenie’s TakeHome Market Mountain Brook
Tina Liollio stocks the
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Photo by Erin Nelson.

Taking care of (dog) business

Thirty years ago, Greg Milam worked at the Big B Drugs in Bluff Park as a teenager.

After graduating from Berry High School in 1993, he went to Auburn University and then spent more than two decades working all over the country in the car auction business, but now he’s back in Hoover and working in the same building that once housed Big B.

Only this time, he’s not helping in a pharmacy. He’s running his own business.

Milam opened the Birmingham area’s first Camp Bow Wow, a dog day care, boarding and grooming business, in November. He’s taking up about two-thirds of the former Big B Drugs building between Bluff Park Village and Shades Mountain Plaza.

The building most recently was owned by Hoover Fitness, but the owner, Jason Cerniglia, sold it to an investment group and leased onethird of the space, leaving the rest for another tenant.

Milam spent 21 years in the Cox Enterprises car auction business, most recently as the general manager of a location in Seattle, but he decided he wanted to do something different and get closer to family, so he moved back

to Hoover.

“I always thought it was a great place to live and wanted to get back here,” he said. He and his wife came from Seattle in 2019, and Milam signed a franchise agreement with Camp Bow Wow in September 2020. Navigating through COVID-19 and other details of construction buildout and opening a business took two years.

Milam, who lives in Ridge Crossings Estates off Ross Bridge Parkway, said he chose to put his business in

Bluff Park because there are a lot of new families with children moving into the community, and young families often have dogs.

He chose to operate a dog day care, boarding and grooming business because he loves dogs and knows that people these days are looking for quality care for their dogs when they need to leave them, he said.

“People are passionate about their pets. They treat their pets like their children,” he said.

The Camp Bow Wow business

model is very “pro-dog” in the sense that the dogs aren’t just left alone and fed, Milam said. Dogs that stay there generally spend most of their time playing with other dogs and workers, unless the owner specifies that their pet doesn’t get along well with other dogs, he said.

The Camp Bow Wow in Bluff Park has 6,100 square feet of indoor space and 1,300 square feet of outdoor space, he said.

There are 47 “cabins” that are either 4x4 or 4x6 feet, one family cabin that

is 8x6 for owners bringing more than one dog and two larger suites that include a TV for the dog, Milam said. Unless the owner specifies a channel, he usually leaves “Seinfeld” reruns on for the dogs to watch, he said.

“I love to watch ‘Seinfeld,’” he said. “Hopefully the dogs do, too.”

But unless the dogs are eating, taking a brief rest or going in for the night to sleep, they spend most of the time playing with other dogs, he said.

There are three indoor play areas and three outdoor play areas, each with cameras that allow owners to check in on their dogs whenever they want, Milam said.

“You can always see what your dog is doing. We’re not hiding anything. We think that’s important,” he said. “We’re in the business of providing peace of mind. That means transparency.”

Camp Bow Wow accepts all breeds, but all dogs go through a three-hour “interview” during which staff determine if the dog has the right temperament to be there and handles the “cabin” environment well, he said.

So far, business is going well, with about 300 dogs interviewed in the first two months and Camp Bow Wow typically seeing about 35 dogs a day, Milam said. Thus far, about 75% of the dogs have come just for day care, with 25% staying overnight, but he expects that to shift a little more toward overnight stays as time goes on, he said.

The good thing is that they’re seeing a lot of repeat customers, he said. “That means we’re doing our job.”

When people with extraordinary talent and passion are given the technology, the facilities, and the support, they achieve great things. The discoveries taking place today will help shape the future of treatments and lead to cures – benefitting not only our patients and families, but people across the country and around the world for years to come.

TheHomewoodStar.com March 2023 • B13 HOOVER our specialty can Today For Your Complimentary Consultation DEPOT LOCATION 415 West Oxmoor Road Bir mingham, AL 35209 MCCALLA LOCATION 5751 Pocahontas Road Bessemer, AL 35022 Web: OVOrtho.com • Tel: 205-942-2270 Deborah Sema, D DMD, MS · Andrew Havron, D DMD, MS
1600 7TH AVENUE SOUTH • BIRMINGHAM, AL 35233 • 205-638-9100 happens Amazing Childrens AL •org Brand_AMAZING_Starnes-Broadsheet-Newsprint-4.79x7.59-PROD.indd 1 2/1/23 11:33 AM
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Riley Lynch, left, walks Butters as Greg Milam walks Cash during an interview period for Butters on her first time at Camp Bow Wow in Bluff Park. Photo by Erin Nelson.

Homewood Events

March 4: Chili Cook-Off. 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Upper parking lot at old Macy’s in Brookwood Village. This annual event benefits The Exceptional Foundation. The cook-off brings together more than 100 teams cooking all-you-can-eat chili, plus live music and a kid zone. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at exceptionalfoundation.org. Children 12 and younger are free.

March 16: Taste of Homewood. 5:30-8 p.m. Homewood City Hall Plaza. Guests can pay $30 in advance or $40 at the door to enjoy unlimited samples from Homewood restaurants, along with beer and wine. There will also be live music and a silent auction. Tickets can be purchased at homewoodchamber.org.

Homewood Library

For all events requiring registration, go to homewoodpubliclibrary.org unless otherwise noted.


Tuesdays: Wee Ones. 9:30-10 a.m. Round Auditorium. Preschool. Join Miss Mary for a fun and energetic story time with lots of singing and dancing!

Wednesdays: Barks & Books. 3:30-4:30 p.m. Round Auditorium. K-5th grade. Spend an afternoon with our friends from the Greater Birmingham Humane Society and some friendly pups!

March 11: Little Prints. 2-3 p.m. Round Auditorium. All ages. Show off your creativity with different printmaking techniques.

March 13: Homeschool Hour: Mad Science. 11 a.m. to noon. Round Auditorium. K-5th grade.

March 18: Breakfast Club. 9:30-11 a.m. Round Auditorium. All ages. Come by for some yummy cereal and entertaining activities to wake you up on a Saturday morning!

March 20: Homeschool Hour: Art Attack! 11 a.m. to noon. Round Auditorium. K-5th grade. Join Miss Aaliyah to learn about art concepts through books and hands-on activities. Register online.

March 20: Knight School Chess Tournament. 5:30-7 p.m. Round Auditorium.

March 23: Bake & Make. 6-6:30 p.m. Zoom meeting. Families will pick up their baking kits at the children’s desk in preparation for the event (baking kits may include items containing gluten, dairy, nut and egg products). Register online.

March 29: Mr. Larry’s Magic Show. 10:30-11:30 a.m. Library parking lot.


March 2 and 16: Teen Theatre Thursdays. 4-5 p.m. Round Auditorium. 6th-12th grade. Register online.

March 4: Watercolor Painting. 2-3:30 p.m. Room 110. 6th12th grade. All supplies provided. Register online.

March 5 and 19: Teen Dungeons and Dragons. 3-5 p.m. Room 102. 6th-12th grade. All levels are welcome. Register for each session online.

March 28: In-beTWEENers: Library Jeopardy. 4-5 p.m. Room 101. 5th-7th grade. Test your knowledge about books, comics and your beloved library for prizes in Library Jeopardy. Snacks provided. Register online.

March 29: Teen Anime Club. 4-5 p.m. Room 102. 6th-12th grade. Register online.

March 31: Henna Art for Teens. 4-5 p.m. Round Auditorium. 6th-12th grade. Teens will learn how to create henna designs and receive a temporary henna tattoo. All supplies provided. Register online.


Thursdays: Practice Dance sessions for the Jane Austen Regency Ball. 7-8 p.m. Round Auditorium. The Jane

Austen Society of North America-Alabama Region will be holding a Jane Austen Regency Ball on April 1. Novices are welcome and practice sessions will be available prior to the ball, but are not required to participate.

March 1: Read It & Eat Book Club — “Remarkably Bright Creatures.” 6:30-8 p.m. Urban Cookhouse. Join us as we explore “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt.

March 3 and 4: Homewood Library Ghost Tours with S.C.A.R.E. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Large Auditorium. Ages 12 and older. Join authors and paranormal investigators Kim Johnston and Shane Busby in a nighttime investigation of the haunted Homewood Library. S.C.A.R.E.’s team of investigators will conduct a real paranormal investigation. Guests are encouraged to bring voice recorders, cameras and flashlights. All minors must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited to ensure all in attendance will be in on the action. The cost is $35 per person; proceeds benefit the library. Refunds are only available if the event is canceled. Register online at scareofal.com/tickets.

March 6: Experiencing Dyslexia. 6:30-8 p.m. Round Auditorium. For adults. Realistic simulation exercises reveal the lifelong challenges dyslexic individuals face in daily activities and the classroom. Sign up to learn more and engage in conversations about dyslexia with peers from the Hettie Johnson Institute at Spring Valley School.

March 8: Staff Movie Picks — “Roadrunner.” 3-5:45 p.m. A look at how the late chef, writer and adventurer Anthony Bourdain became a cultural icon.

March 14: Embrace Your Inner Rosie the Riveter: How to Start Your Small Business. 10-11 a.m. Room 101. Begin building your community of support and discover the importance of communicating your business effectively. This workshop provides you with the assistance and resources you need to be successful at any stage of the business life cycle. To register, go to catalystcenter.ecenterdirect. com/events/971973.

March 21: Senior Center Book Club: “A Place to Land.” 1-2:30 p.m. Homewood Senior Center. Author Lauren Denton will be with us to answer all your questions.

March 23: Niki Sepsas Presents: Cape Horn Passage. 2-3 p.m. Round Auditorium. A look at Tierra del Fuego, the “Land of Fire,” and the lore and legend surrounding Cape Horn.

Feel like an emotional wreck?

When standard treatment of weekly counseling, and proper use of medications is not sufficient and effective, intensive counseling is available for support, rescue, and strengthening hope.

IOP Services provides 9 hours per week of therapy in a group setting. It is a powerful supplement to standard treatment. Many types of emotional pain ebb and flow. The most difficult times can seem unbearable.

Covered by most insurance plans.*

Immediate Evaluation is Available!

B14 • March 2023 The Homewood Star
IOPServices 600 Century Park South, Suite 200 Birmingham, AL 35226 lopservicesllc.com Call or Text: (205) 999-5247 Email: Info@iopservicesllc.com *We Accept All Major Insurance In most cases treatment is covered

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TheHomewoodStar.com March 2023 • B15


At Alabama Power, we work hard to provide the dependable service our customers expect and deserve. We give 100% to achieve 99.98% dependability. That means regularly inspecting and trimming trees as a way of preventing potential outages.

About 45% of outages experienced by Alabama Power customers are due to trees and plant life.

Overgrown branches can brush against power lines and cause outages. They also make power lines more accessible to wildlife.

We use technology and data analytics to help identify areas in need of tree trimming to protect the electrical system.

Keeping you aware of upcoming work is a priority to us. Scan the QR code to see the neighborhoods tree crews will be working in.

If you have any questions, please call Alabama Power at 205-257-2155 and request to speak with a member of our utility tree care team.

To learn more about how we safely maintain our system or for recommendations on planting the right trees in the right place, visit AlabamaPower.com/trees.

AlabamaPower.com/trees © 2023 Alabama Power Company.

Articles from Homewood Star March 2023