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Pelham City News Serving Pelham and Surrounding Communities

Winter 2014



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Greetings, My wife and I had our grandchildren staying over on Christmas morning. Which means: the Waters family just had the best Christmas ever! In fact, I can’t remember a Holiday Season I’ve enjoyed more. I hope you can say the same. In office just over a year, I find myself asking, where has the time gone? Yes, it’s gone by fast, but there are a lot of people who have worked hard to get a lot accomplished: The Pelham City Council has brought us a Pelham City School System and helped to lower our residential sewer rates; the Pelham Beautification Board

brought us Pelhambration and another wonderful Christmas Tree lighting; The Pelham Library Guild brought us a Taste of Pelham; The Pelham Planning & Zoning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustments are working hard to keep Pelham growing and moving forward; and The Pelham Personnel Board conducted a total review and re-write of the City of Pelham Classification and Pay Plan. This Herculean task took seven months and now ensures our pay plan to be current and not in conflict with our civil service law. Our city employees are working consistently to

make our city look and function better. And we’re not finished! In 2014, at a minimum, I hope to assist the Planning & Zoning Commission and the Pelham Personnel Board in a total rewrite of our sub-division rules and regulations and a cover-tocover review of our civil service law. Meanwhile, it’s time to go jump in the lake…again! The annual Polar Plunge will be held on Saturday, January 18, at Oak Mountain State Park. This worthwhile event is again being sponsored by the Pelham Police Department and surrounding law enforcement

Below, Lynn Waters looks on as Mayor Gary Waters addresses the sizable crowd attending the annual Pelham Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony at the Pelham Civic Complex and Ice Arena. Below right, Mayor Waters and Lynn enjoy dinner with Library Director Barbara Roberts at the annual Pelham Senior Center Thanksgiving Covered Dish Dinner. Right, Mayor Waters and Dot Johnson prepare to indulge in some patriotic cake at the dinner. The cake was adorned with, “Thank you, Mayor Waters!“

2 / Winter 2014

agencies on behalf of the Alabama Special Olympics. For more information, contact Officer Mike Williams at the Pelham Police Department (6206570). I’ll see you on the beach. Happy New Year, Pelham!

FROM COUNCILMAN SCOTT As the new year begins, most of us are just about ready to put our evaluations of 2013 to bed and begin to focus on implementing our plans for 2014. A year goes by quickly, and often brings some surprises. If anyone had told me in early 2013 that I would spend a large part of January 1st 2014 riding around Shelby County on a Harley Davidson motorcycle owned by my wife, I would have told them they were crazy. With 2013 came the purchase of the new Harley and multiple riding opportunities for my wife and myself. If I had to list my most pleasant surprises of 2013 for the City of Pelham, number one on the list would be the creation of a city school system. I do believe that the process to get to this point was well researched; the new system is going to start on a sound financial footing and will require no funds from the city budget. By following state law and having the council select the members of the Pelham Board of Education, we were able to have some outstanding, well qualified individuals apply and be selected. As the educational landscape in Shelby County continues to evolve, we will be

Rick Hayes - President, Place 1

able to, in the immediate future, point to the new school system as one of the primary factors in Pelham’s success as a thriving and growing community. Early in 2013, some large and significant buildings in Pelham were vacant. Due to the new administration and yeoman’s work by City Council President Rick Hayes, the old Moore Handley building is now the new home of Summer Classics production and corporate efforts. Soon, what was once a major eyesore will be fully renovated and fronted by a new retail showroom. Just down the street, the once-vacant Food World location is now home to Mi Pueblo, Pelham’s latest grocery store. Many thanks to Joel Rivera for his investment in our city and for providing all Pelham residents with a unique shopping experience. The oncevacant old Walmart location is now humming with activity as Mas Tec renovates the building to become its Birmingham area corporate headquarters. This was made possible by a referral from former councilman Bill Meadows. Thanks, Bill, and we especially thank you for the 200

Beth McMillan - Place 3

new employees that will occupy that building. There are few of us that could have foreseen the old Marvin’s building on Lee Street become a very successful haunted house with Warehouse 31 drawing thousands to Pelham. What once was yet another eyesore is now a permanent fixture of our city with multiple future possibilities outside of the haunted house. The process of enhancing our main business corridor, Hwy 31, began in 2013 with the filling of some of our largest vacant buildings found there. Other potential problem areas have been identified and we saw some improvements in 2013 with more to follow in 2014. As we begin 2014, the business environment and growth potential for our city appears positive. Sales tax collections in 2013 beat all projections, which would indicate increased purchasing in Pelham. Housing starts in the

city were way ahead of 2011 and 2012, and it appears that new construction starts will continue this year. Weekly, there are businesses and developers in the city seeking out new opportunities. As a community, we are now well positioned to direct the growth that is coming our way. Will the newly created school system draw new families to Pelham? I believe it will, if the board of education is able to accomplish its mission of being one of the best systems in the State of Alabama. With more residents come more opportunities for our current and future merchants. Increased retail sales activities mean more revenue for the city to deliver city services while retaining the best employees found in Shelby County. If we can have a first class school system coupled with exceptional city services, we will be a community that families will seek out. Once again, I want to thank Continued on page 6

Maurice Mercer - Place 4 Karyl Rice - Place 5 / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 3

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City to phase out outdoor tornado sirens When you hear a tornado siren, what goes through your mind? Do you think, “There must be severe weather happening nearby, I need to be aware of it!” Or do you look outside and think, “But it’s sunny out. Where is the storm?” One problem with outdoor tornado sirens is that they are used to alert an entire county of impending severe weather, and usually, only part of the county is in the path of the storm. Another problem with these outdoor sirens, says Pelham Police Captain Larry Palmer, is that they are not capable of being heard inside some residences or other buildings. “Pelham’s tornado sirens were put into place at a time when the city had a critical need for a warning system, and we had no other resources to work with,” explained Captain Palmer. “It still works, but it is outdated technology. We have to wait for a tornado warning to be issued, and then someone has to manually set off the sirens. That isn’t a very effective system.” He explained that with advancements in technology, there are many other ways, that are more accurate and much quicker, to alert the public to severe weather. The National Weather Service now uses what they refer to as “weather polygons” to hone in on the area that is

in the path of severe weather. When James Spann or other TV meteorologists show a storm on radar, there is a shape around the area that is affected the most– this is the weather polygon. Now, there are phone services, smartphone apps, and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) certified weather radios with GPS technology to automatically alert you when you are in a polygon with severe weather. “Please, get a weather radio,” Captain Palmer implores Pelham citizens. “The prediction accuracy for this technology is through the roof, and you will be alerted instantly when any warning is issued for your area.” He explained that many of the 29 existing warning sirens in Pelham are in great need of repairs, so as they fail, the plan is to start phasing them out. Then, these weather radios and phone alert systems will be the only way to alert citizens of severe weather. To help prepare for the impending loss of the warning sirens, Pelham will participate in the 2014 Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday. During the tax holiday, items related to severe weather preparedness will be exempted from state sales and use taxes, as well as city sales taxes. This will include the weather radios Captain Palmer suggests.

continued from page 3…

the citizens of Pelham for responding to a call for representation on yet another city Board. The membership and activities of the Pelham Industrial Development Board have been allowed to stagnate over the last five years and it is time for a new Board and a proactive agenda. The new Board needs to be actively engaged in job creation and the recruitment of unfulfilled retail needs in our City. Over the next few weeks the Council will

6 / Winter 2014

once again have the challenge of finding the right mix of individuals to fill this Board. The number of inquiries we have received and the quality of the candidates certainly make our job a bit easier. It is a pleasure to serve you as a member of your Council and I always welcome hearing from you. Ron Scott Council Place 2

Other items affected by the tax holiday include batteries, phone chargers, flashlights, lanterns, first aid kits, duct tape, plywood, window film, portable generators, gas cans, tarps, food storage containers, nonelectric can openers, ice packs, fire extinguishers, smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors, cords and ropes. The tax holiday will begin one minute after midnight on Friday, February 21, and end at midnight on Sunday, February 23–the weekend after Severe Weather Awareness Week. This is the second time the city has participated in the state sales tax

holiday, which was suggested by Gov. Robert Bentley’s Tornado Recovery Action Council after the storms of April 27, 2011. “People need to take this opportunity to stock up on the supplies they’ll need before, during and after severe weather,” Gov. Bentley said last year. “From NOAA weather radios, to first aid kits and generators, these supplies can help you and your family stay safe.”

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Paul Howell

Dr. Barbara Regan

Rick Rhoades

Angie Hester

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Board member profiles on the following pages.

Pelham Board of Education—making first crucial decisions for Pelham schools The Pelham Board of Education (PBOE) will meet in the conference room of city hall every second Tuesday of the month at 9am and every fourth Thursday of the month at 4pm. They invite anyone interested in helping develop the new school system to attend the meetings. and are being held as the future Internet headquarters for the board. They also plan to make Facebook and Twitter accounts to help pass along information later on down the line. “This is a great opportunity for not only our students, but the community,” said board member Brian Long. “I would like to see more students and more teachers involved in the process.” City Council President Rick Hayes presided over the first meeting of the PBOE, on December 4, until members voted members to various positions on the board. Rick Rhoades was voted Board President, Paul Howell is Board Vice-President, Angie Hester

is Board Secretary, and Dr. Barbara Regan is the Board Parliamentarian. Former Mayor Bobby Hayes, also present for the first meeting, actively voiced his support on several occasions. “This is the biggest day for this city since we got a sewer system,” he said. “I would not have missed this inaugural meeting for the world.” He charged the board with taking care of Pelham’s children and helping the city to grow. Moseley Johnson, former bus driver for the Shelby County School system, discussed being tired of hearing about the discrepancies between schools in Pelham and elsewhere in the county. “I am in support of this, one hundred percent,” he asserted, offering assistance with transportation-related concerns. During the second meeting, on December 10, the board voted each member in charge of specific tasks the PBOE must undertake. “There are mile-high hurdles— no roadblocks, mind you, just hurdles— in front of us,” Rick said, maintaining his

confidence that the board will be able to get everything done in a timely manner. He was appointed to find the necessary resources to write the separation agreement between the PBOE and the SCBOE. Dr. Regan is in charge of starting up the superintendent search, which the board agrees is another very critical first step for the fledgling school system. Paul, with his background in finances, is in charge of finding a CSFO for the board. Brian Long will be consulted on his knowledge of construction when the time comes for new facilities to be built or existing facilities to be upgraded. Finally, Angie has been placed in charge of trying to make the entire school experience in Pelham to be better for teachers, students and their families alike. The group also decided each member would be responsible for communicating with a specific school. This will include making visits to the schools and talking with not only the administrators and teachers, but

students and parents as well. “We want to be a personal, powerful, professional presence in the schools,” said Rick. He will be the liaison for VES, Paul for VIS, Dr. Regan for RMS and Brian for PHS. Angie will be taking feedback on the entire school experience in Pelham. Working closely with the schools will also allow the board to promote the positive things going on at each. “There are some outstanding students in Pelham, but that tends to be overlooked,” said Paul. “We need to make the community aware of these great things,” agreed Rick. During its third meeting, on December 26, the firm of Bishop Colvin Johnson & Kent, LLC, was chosen in executive session as legal representation for the board. Godspeed to the new Pelham Board of Education. And a special thank you to those who were selected to serve first— moving the city towards more and better opportunities for Pelham students and vital growth for the City of Pelham. / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 9

Rick Rhoades Pelham School Board President While in Paris with wife, Ames, in early 2013, Rick Rhoades remembers discussing the upcoming year in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. “I said, ‘I just hope I can find something worthwhile to do. I don’t want to be sitting around, not being productive.’ I’ve definitely found something!” he laughed. Rick has nothing to worry about as far as productivity goes: he was selected by the city council to join the Pelham City School Board, a body with four other members who voted Rick president during their first meeting Tuesday, Dec. 4. Rick is confident in the board and the work they are doing. They all share a similar philosophy: the belief that educating children will enable them to take their rightful place in the community, and that is some of the most important work they can do. “Every decision we make is for the students,” he said. “This is going to work because everyone is coming into it for the right reasons.” He wants to make Pelham into the best school system around, where teachers are able to educate and guide students into young adults who can compete on the world stage. “Our schools can be just as great as we want them to be, and if we don’t want them to be great, we’re missing a tremendous

opportunity,” he continued. Rick, who coached football at PHS for five years and also on the collegiate and professional ranks, said part of what he brings to the board is a unique perspective, as he has been involved with schools from “every angle,” as a student, teacher, coach, father and grandfather. This helped him decide to run for a position on the school board. “I’ve been a teacher and a coach all my life, it’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” he said. He is glad he can help make decisions that will make education in Pelham a better experience for everyone involved. In addition to coaching at PHS, he was also a top teacher of AP History, with students consistently excelling in his popular but tough classes. Rick wants everyone involved. “It’s gonna take all of Pelham playing a part,” he said. “It’s a mistake not to take ourselves seriously.” He thinks the board should pay attention to how the split goes as some PHS students leave to attend Helena’s new high school, as he knows this will change the dynamic in Pelham high school. He also has several ideas on critical areas for school development, which include having facilities that are more Open Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm Emergency Svc. Avail.

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centralized to the city, developing high-quality pre-k classes, and finding the right Superintendant. When Rick discusses the job he and his fellow board members have ahead of them in restructuring the education system in Pelham, he points out just how much they will need from school leaders and the local community. “When you rent a car, you’ll probably take decent care of it. But when you buy a car and own it, it’s that much more precious to you. Pelham needs to take ownership of our schools,” he explained. He says the job of the board is to outline ideas for what they think Pelham schools should be, and to find the superintendent to best fit their model (as well as a faculty, staff and administration who will work to accomplish their vision). “I look at it this way. Let’s say I want a painting done,” Rick said. He describes going to a painter, asking for a painting of


a specific view around dusk with beautiful fall leaves on display. He supplies the painter the size canvas he wants, along with paint and other tools. “If he comes back to us with a painting with snow on the ground and the leaves off the trees, we’re just going to have to start over. Similarly, we’re giving others all the tools they need to achieve our vision for Pelham schools, and we’re going to depend on their skills but keep them accountable.” Rick and Ames have two sons and five grandchildren. The eldest, Bobby, lives in Helena and teaches history at PHS, and has Payton, 12, Alex, 9, and Megan, 6. John, who lives in Hoover, has 5-year-old Janae and 11-month-old Jaya.

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Paul Howell Pelham School Board Vice-President church with all have a common bond because our kids are in schools together.” Paul says the board will depend on the local community. His time working with students as the ROTC instructor at McNeese State University provided him with some favorite memories from his career. “Those were some of the years where I touched the most lives by helping students make critical decisions. I know the impact teachers and schools can have on the lives of students and the local community,” he said. Now, he wants to help give back to the schools here in Pelham. One of the first issues the PBOE has to face is hammering out the separation agreement with the SCBOE. Board President Rick Rhoades has been placed in charge of this, but Paul

“My grandmother was a school teacher, and my mother and father were also career teachers, so I’ve grown up involved with schools my whole life,” said Paul Howell. He taught ROTC at the college level for a few years, so he has some experience as a teacher himself. And now, he will continue the family tradition once again as one of the founding members of the Pelham Board of Education. Spending 21 years in the military, he learned a lot about organization, decision-making, and leadership, which he says will help guide him to make the right decisions for Pelham’s students. “Having a local board is better, because we can be more in touch with the community and respond more quickly to all situations,” he said. “Businesses, neighbors, people you go to

will be a consultant as well— he has nearly 10 years of experience with the ProAction Group helping companies through transitional periods. Paul’s main charge right now is searching for a Chief School Financial Officer (CSFO) for the board. He needs to find someone who will help the board find funding, decide what issues to make a priority so they receive that funding and lay out a budget for the board. “It’s amazing how much money can be wasted on

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frivolous things,” he said, so they want to find someone who will help keep unnecessary spending down. He is trying to find a suitable CSFO in Alabama, because he wants someone with history in the state. Once the board’s initial start-up tasks are done, Paul wants them to explore options for Riverchase Middle School, including possibly redistributing students to classes at both VES and VIS. Paul says PHS needs trailers, and he knows there are many upkeep issues around the buildings and campus, but he said, “that school has produced a wealth of talent.” He wants to see what sort of options for restructuring will be available for the school following the loss of HHS students next year. Paul is married to Dianna, VP for Williams-Sonoma at the Summit. They have three children: Kristen, a PHS graduate who now attends the University of North Alabama; Nathan, another PHS graduate who now attends Auburn University, and 11-year-old Ian, who attends Valley Intermediate. “Both of my grown children received an education at Pelham High School that helped them do well in college,” he said. “With the help of this board, I’m going to make sure Ian does, too.”

Angie Hester Pelham School Board Secretary “I’m passionate about my kids’ education. And not just my kids, but all Pelham children,” said Angie Hester, member and secretary for the newly-formed Pelham Board of Education. “I had every opportunity in schools when I was growing up, and so I’ve been disappointed with the county system.” Angie, a telecommunications project manager, is married to Chad Hester, a general contractor for Southland Remodeling. The couple has Ashley, a senior at PHS; Josie, a 7th grader at RMS; and Kylee, a 1st grader at VES. As their girls move up through the system, Angie says she has seen the shift away from certain programs in Pelham, and she has seen which programs work and which do not. But she wants to hear the perspectives of others, too. As the Pelham BOE contact person for making the overall school experience better, Angie hopes to hear from a lot of parents, and students especially. “I want the parent perspective, but I also need input from all the little ears on the ground,” she laughed, as she referenced the students. As the possible person in charge of the future PBOE

Facebook page, she knows she will be on the receiving end of a lot of criticism. However, she feels it is important for the people affected by the changing Pelham schools to have a voice that can be heard by those in charge of decisionmaking. She would also love to see administrators and faculty become more involved with this whole process moving forward. Angie will be looking into bringing high-quality Pre-K programs to the city. She wants to rethink the structure of the current ESL programs in place, and her biggest cause is bringing a robotics program to PHS and RMS. She had a good experience with the gifted program at VIS, and she would like to see children from that group being integrated with robotics when they move up through the school system. She says the intermediate and middle school students are at a good age to become interested in math and science, and thus, robotics. “The kids will eat it up! And they will learn,” she said. As a woman with a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and a Masters in Information Engineering Management, she is very interested in seeing more engineers, especially young

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women, coming out of Pelham a few years down the line. The other major priority Angie suggests for the board is fixing and improving the facilities at PHS. She wants broken ceiling tiles, floor tiles and other items in need of minor repairs to be replaced or fixed immediately. She also wants a professional cleaning of the entire school done in the shortterm. For the long term, she wants to get rid of the trailers

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“I’m excited about the possibilities that forming a new school board presents us,” she said. “With our help, every Pelham student can be taken to a higher level of achievement at their own rate.”

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Dr. Barbara Regan Pelham School Board Parliamentarian Dr. Barbara Regan, a former educator, librarian, advocate for drug-free programs in middle and high schools, and school board member in Illinois, has been awarded the 3rd seat on the Pelham City School Board. To prepare, Barbara visited several local restaurants and stores that employ or attract PHS students, and asked the students directly how it is to attend school there. She wants to emphasize the value of getting feedback from young people so the board knows how their decisions affect the students they will work so hard for. “I expect so much from them, and they should expect so much from us,” she said. She takes great joy in seeing students, teachers and other administrators with their “idea lightbulbs” constantly on. “I loved being an educator. We had a romance going on, education and me,” she laughed warmly. So, after going to school and teaching at schools in the suburbs of Chicago, it only made sense for her to serve on a school board there. She moved down south to be near her mother, and then to Pelham to be near her daughter, Sharon, and grandchild, Ernest, who is 13 and attends RMS. She also has two sons, Benjamin and Byron. When she heard the city needed experience for the new

school board, she applied immediately. “I’m not doing this for me. There is a need for someone to be an advocate for the kids,” she said. “The kids around me, they’re my friends and neighbors, and I want the best education for them. Why wouldn’t I? If I can help someone achieve higher education, I will.” She says the board’s first steps are to go through state school board training and utilize the state’s help in their search for, ideally, a permanent superintendent. “What a joy it is to have a superintendent who fits like a hand in a glove,” she said. “It’s not just a handshake, it’s a warm feeling.” Tight school security is also a high priority for Barbara. “When there is fear, learning will not happen,” she said. She wants more work put into the buildings and grounds to make it a safer and more secure place. She wants to see a partnership between the schools and businesses in Pelham. A superintendent, a grant writer, teachers, the schools foundation and others will join together to help bring grant money into the schools and earmark it for security and other specific uses. “Pelham deserves this,” she

said. “If the curriculum is well put together, learning for those students can explode.” She said a continual curriculum of learning from kindergarten all the way through 12th grade will be beneficial in helping achieve this. “I want to see a thread woven between them: I don’t want the curriculum to jump around from one grade to the next.” She says the board will work to do everything they can to help the

schools, students and city. “We don’t have a hidden agenda,” she said. “Ultimately, everything we do is for the students.” She wants the citizens of Pelham to know that the board needs their help to make the schools top-notch. “I’m going to lean on you, and I need you to push my shoulder back in place,” she said. “We can’t do this without the support from our local community.”

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14 / Winter 2014



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Brian Long — Pelham School Board Place 3

16 / Winter 2014

their students. As a businessman, Brian also sees a need for more programs, hopefully sponsored by local businesses, to allow students to see what it’s like to run a business. “I would like to see our students become more involved in our community through our businesses,” he said. “We have some fantastic businessmen and women in our city, and I would like to see them bring their knowledge to our schools and help create and inspire our future leaders.” Brian has a lot of faith in the board and what they can accomplish for the city of Pelham. “This is one of the greatest opportunities our city has had in a long time, with TOYOTA • LEXUS • SCION • NISSAN • INFINITY • HONDA • MITSUBISHI •

aspect of having our own school system,” he said. Helping with construction is not the only reason Brian wanted to be a part of this endeavor. “It was the opportunity to become a part of a team of people and assist a community in creating a great school system that drove me to apply for the board,” he explained. “I believe this will give us something to take pride in and assist in creating a overall great place where people want to live.”  “I really feel like we can take something that is good and make it great,” he continued. “As it stands now, Pelham schools are good, but I want them to be considered to be the ‘best.’ If we all agree that they are not the very best, then we should do everything in our power to make them the best.” Brian is married to Leslie Long, and the couple has three children. Their oldest, 15-yearold John-Michael, attends PHS. They also have two daughters who both attend RMS: 14-yearold Emorie and 11-year-old Erin. Brian wants to make the school system the best it can be for his kids and all the other students going to schools across the City of Pelham. Although he has no experience as a teacher, Brian has volunteered as a coach for many youth sports with his children through the years. “I greatly appreciate what our teachers and coaches do,” he said. “Let me be the first to say that our teachers and administrators are the ones that make our schools successful. We could never be thankful enough for what they do everyday. We should provide our teachers and students the best facilities possible,” explained Brian. He wants to empower these teachers and coaches with facilities that will help them form the best environments for

the chance to improve the education our children are receiving. I believe our new city school system will rejuvenate a sense of pride in the community. I predict that five years from now, we will be looking at our school system, our teachers and our students and say, ‘what a great idea it was to start our own city school system,’” he said.



Brian Long, a branch manager at Lansing Building Products, humbly does not think his skill set makes him any better suited for the Pelham Board of Education than the skills shown by the other 21 people who volunteered to serve on the board. However, he has knowledge that many others do not. “I have been around the building industry for almost 20 years, and the experience that I have around construction should be valuable in the upcoming couple of years. It is very obvious that we need to upgrade our current facilities. Hopefully I will be able to assist our board and community in making some decisions that will best serve our school system,” he explained. Brian’s knowledge and background may indeed come in handy in the future, as he has been designated as the “point person” for any eventual construction, which could include additions to current structures or building new schools from the ground up. This position also means he would likely be in charge of any capital improvements to existing school buildings and grounds. “The intermediate school is the newest of the facilities in Pelham, and it is evident from the school’s outward appearance. It would be nice to bring the other facilities up to par with the intermediate school,” he mused. He says the community as a whole needs to come together to decide what to do with the “outdated and inconveniently located” Riverchase Middle School. “Two other schools need either major renovations or possible relocation as well. I know that our city will come together and we will figure out the best course of action for all of our facilities. I’m looking forward to working with our educators and community in this


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Frank Saunders—Award-Winning Grocery Bagger Strange things sometimes go on in the break room at Pelham’s Publix…like training Frank Saunders, the supermarket’s award-winning bagger! “When they first asked me to bag items ‘competitively,’ I thought it was a joke,” Frank laughed. “But it was a good opportunity to meet my district and regional managers and represent the Huntley Parkway Publix Super Market.” Some might wonder how exactly you make bagging into a competition. For Publix and the Alabama and National Grocer’s Associations, it starts by giving participants an equal amount of groceries to bag. The baggers are then judged on overall speed, proper bag building technique, the distribution of weight between bags, and the style, attitude and appearance of the bagger. They are judged using both plastic and reusable bags, which do have slightly different rules for each.

18 / Winter 2014

After months of practice, Frank took 1st place in both the Publix District and Regional Best Bagging Competitions, which were held in the Vestavia Publix store. And winning bagging competitions has more perks than just improving handeye coordination: Frank won $25 and $125 respectively for his first place titles. He then traveled to San Destin for the Alabama Grocer’s Association Annual Convention, pitting him against baggers from Publix, Western, and various smaller grocers across the state. He came in 3rd place at the competition, bagging $250. “The weirdest thing about that competition was being in my bagging clothes at the beach,” he recalls. “I had to put on my uniform before checking out of the hotel one day, and the people checking in kept giving me strange looks.” Charlie Herron of the Rocky

Ridge Western in Birmingham came in first at the convention, and will be traveling to Las Vegas in February to compete in the National Grocer’s Association Bagging Competition. Frank credits Publix manager Randy Taylor and customer service staff Rush Netterville for helping him speed up his pace and stay on track during the hours of practice leading up to the competitions. “I wouldn’t have gotten very far if Randy hadn’t made it fun.” The 22-year-old Pelham resident attended PHS for his first three years of high school before moving to Alexander City and finishing at Benjamin Russel. He came back to Pelham soon after, though, and is currently attending Jeff State for computer science and business.

For all the success he’s had this year, there will be no second attempt to win the national bagging championship for Frank. He has now moved from bagging to customer service at Publix, and only baggers are eligible to participate in competitions. “I had bruises on my hands—I needed a break!” he explained. Publix store manager Frances Duggins said, “We’ll just have to train a new ‘best bagger’ for next year.”

Gustavo Jimenez—Award Winning Meat Cutter Last summer, Gustavo Jimenez of Pelham went for his third time to the final round of the annual Texas Roadhouse National Meat Cutting Challenge, held at the Grant Wailea Resort in Maui, Hawaii. In both of his prior final round attempts, held in NYC in 2009 and Orlando in 2011, Gustavo came in third place. In 2013, he took it all, winning the national title for the Pelham location and a $20,000 prize! This was a long journey for Gustavo. Back in September 2012, he traveled to Atlanta for the first level of competition, the market level, against competitors from 400 restaurants. The next level, the regional competition, was held in Tampa, FL in February 2013, with around 200 competitors. In March, he traveled to San Antonio, TX for the semi-final competition, against 24 other butchers. During the final competition in Hawaii, Gustavo was pitted against

just 6 others—two butchers from Texas and one each from Iowa, Missouri, Wisconsin and New York. Each competitor had 50 lbs of meat, which consisted of two sections of sirloin, a tenderloin, and a ribeye, from which to cut their steaks. They were given 90 minutes to cut as many high-quality steaks from their meat as possible, with as little waste as possible. “Every single steak has to be these specific dimensions; if it’s not, they throw it out. It doesn’t count,” Gustavo explains. Sounds like tough competition, but Gustavo knows what he’s doing: he’s been cutting around 300 lbs of meat for Pelham’s Texas Roadhouse 5 days a week for 7 years. He says he has the experience for consistency and quality when he’s cutting meat the Texas Roadhouse way. “I do this every day!” he laughs. Working with food means exacting conditions to comply with

FDA regulations, so Gustavo spends around 6 hours every day in a walk-in meat locker that never goes above 36 degrees. He wears multiple layers of clothing to keep his body warm—two shirts, two pairs of pants and socks, one or two jackets, and gloves. With so many years of practice, however, he has sped up his cutting process, and always works quickly. “I could spend 60 hours a week in the meat locker, but I’d be sick every day,” he says. One way he keeps warm and upbeat in such chilly conditions is by listening to the radio while he’s working. “I listen to Spanish music, Latino music, 80s songs, whatever keeps me moving.” No one bothers him while he’s in the zone, either, he says. “Everybody knows that’s my office,” he jokes. Gustavo, originally from Mexico City, came to Hoover in 2005 and then moved to Pelham the

following year. He is married to Sabrina Jimenez, who also works at Texas Roadhouse as a server. The pair has three children: 5-year-old Joaquin, who starts at VES in the fall, 2-year-old Isabella, and little Ulysses, who is 5-months-old. What will this growing family do with Gustavo’s winnings? “We’re going to put it towards a down payment on a house,” he says. “We want to stay in Pelham, so we’re looking.” Congratulations to Gustavo, and good luck finding that house!

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2014 Pelham High Varsity Schedules Softball Schedule (thru Mar 20) ThFri.urs. 67 Hoover TBA Home Games Played at Pelham High School’s Judy Hayes Field






Thurs. 20 Tues. 25 Sat. 27

Prattville Stanhope Elmore Thompson

Pelham HS Pelham HS Pelham HS

6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 4:30 p.m.

MARCH Mon. 3


Hillcrest HS

5:30 p.m.


Baseball Schedule (thru Mar 22) Home Games Played at Pelham High School’s Bobby Hayes Field day


FEBRUARY Mon. 17 Mon. 17 Wed. 19 Fri. 21 Sat. 22 Sat. 22 Tues. 25



Huntsville/Birmingham Challenge Tournament Buckhorn Pelham HS Bob Jones Pelham HS Hartselle Hartselle HS Sparkman Sparkman HS Grisson Grissom HS Hazel Green Hazel Green HS Thompson (DH) Thompson HS


1:00 p.m. 3::30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p.m. 11:00 p.m. 2:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m.

Sat. 8 Tues. 11 Thurs. 13 Fri. 14 Sat. 15 Tues. 18 Thurs. 20

TBA Chelsea Hueytown TBA TBA Oak Mountain Spain Park

Hoover HS Spain Park HS Spain Park HS Pelham HS Pelham HS Vestavia HS Vestavia HS Oak Mountain HS Pelham HS

6:00 p.m. TBA TBA 5:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. TBA TBA 5:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Head Varsity Coach Amy Sullivan • Assistant Head Coach Sabrina Tutchtone MARCH Sat. 1 Sat. 1 Tues. 4 Fri. 7 Sat. 8 Sat. 8 Thurs. 13 Sat. 15 Tues. 18 Thurs.20 Sat. 22

Brookwood Bob Jones Hoover (DH) Baker (DH) Briarwood Hewitt-Trussville Oxford Auburn (DH) Chelsea Chelsea Hoover (DH)

Vestavia HS Vestavia HS Pelham HS Pelham HS Hewitt-Trussville HS Hewitt-Trussville HS Oxford HS Pelham HS Pelham HS Chelsea HS Hoover HS

12:30 a.m. 3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. 5:00 p.m. TBA TBA 4:30 p.m. 11:000 a.m. 6:30 p.m. 6:30 p,m. 11:00 p.m.

Head Varsity Coach Sean Anderson • Assistant Head Coach David White

20 / Winter 2014





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Valley Intermediate becomes a Leader in Me school Principal Dana Payne Martin said VIS wanted to turn their annual Alabama/Auburn Spirit Week into a win-win situation, no matter which side “won.” The kids were challenged to collect change from couch cushions and car floors, or donate part of their allowance to put in Alabama and Auburn money jars set up in the school. Students chose where the proceeds would go, with Alabama’s fans choosing The Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Auburn’s choosing Ronald McDonald House Charities. Another “collection style” competition, as part of Spirit Week, was a canned food drive with all the food collected given to Oak Mountain Missions. “We wanted to use these events to show the kids that competition can be healthy and fun,” as well as support good causes, Dana said. These changes to Spirit Week are a part of the school’s initiative to become a “Leader in Me” school his year. The distinction is based off rules outlined in

22 / Winter 2014

Steven Covey’s bestselling book, Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. New signs around the school encourage the students to think of themselves as leaders. A series of paintings in the front hall of the school showcase good leadership qualities: setting goals, courage, understanding, compassion, choice, collaboration, cooperation, responsibility, empathy and communication. Each painting was done by a different student. “We realize children today need to develop ‘soft skills’ to help them be ready for college or the workforce, so we looked for a program we could integrate into our curriculum to help them cultivate these skills,” said Dana, explaining the “Leader In Me” program fit just what they were looking for. Other facets of Spirit Week were relay races and “The Teacher’s Games,” in which students still divided into Alabama and Auburn fans and held November 26. As part of that day’s school-wide events, Pelham city youth league cheerleaders cheered between games, and the school band played each team’s spirit songs. “We wanted to allow the children to give their performances so they could participate too,” Dana explained. “We also wanted to teach them about sportsmanship, and how you always support your team but

never boo the other team,” she continued. Being a “Leader In Me” school means the VES faculty has given students the opportunity to become leaders by allowing them to take over the roles adults usually assume in school. During Spirit Week, this meant allowing students to emcee for the tournament and referee the games. Students were even able to come up with games the teachers played. One part of Spirit Week didn’t change– every day had a different theme, and each allowed the students and faculty to dress up in crazy ways. The first day’s theme was “We are a dynasty,” with many students and teachers dressing up like Duck Dynasty characters. The second day’s theme was, “Be a good sport, don’t be tacky.” This day, everyone’s shirts, pants, shoes, socks, jackets and all other manner of clothing and accessories clashed.

Next, “I’m dreaming of a victory,” meant wearing their favorite PJs to school! On the fourth day, “Our team has character” day, participants dressed up as their favorite book characters. And the final day’s theme, “Show your team spirit,” encouraged everyone to wear as much gear from their favorite sports team as possible. This just goes to show, VES knows, even up-and-coming leaders need to know how to have fun!

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For Third Year, Baptist Health System Hospitals Earn “Top Performer on Key Quality Measures®” Recognition from The Joint Commission For the third consecutive year, three Baptist Health System hospitals were each named a Top Performer on Key Quality Measures® by The Joint Commission, the leading accreditor of health care organizations in America. Princeton Baptist (Birmingham), Shelby Baptist (Alabaster) and Walker Baptist (Jasper) were recognized by The Joint Commission for their exemplary performance in using best practices shown to improve care for certain conditions. All three Baptist medical centers were recognized for their achievements in four areas: heart attack, heart failure, surgery and pneumonia. “Safe, effective care is what matters most to our patients. Physicians and staff at our hospitals understand that and strive daily to deliver safe, effective care,” said BHS President and CEO Shane Spees. “That is why Baptist Health

System has made a strong commitment to use evidence-based clinical care processes that have been proven to lead to the best possible outcomes. We are proud to receive, again this year, the distinction of being named Top Performers by The Joint Commission.” According to The Joint Commission, 1,099 hospitals throughout the nation were listed as Top Performers, which is approximately one-third of all Joint Commission-accredited hospitals that reported accountability measure performance data for 2012. The Top Performer designation is awarded to hospitals – like Princeton, Shelby and Walker Baptist – who attain and sustain excellence in clinical care. “All the Top Performer hospitals – such as Princeton, Shelby and Walker Baptist -- have demonstrated an exceptional com-

mitment to quality improvement, and they should be proud of their achievement,” says Dr. Mark R. Chassin, president and chief executive officer of The Joint Commission.

In addition to being included in The Joint Commission’s “Improving America’s Hospitals” annual report, Princeton, Shelby and Walker Baptist will be recognized on The Joint Commission’s Quality Check web site ( The Top Performer program will be featured in the December issues of two The Joint Commission publications, The Joint Commission Perspectives and The Source. ABOUT BAPTIST HEALTH SYSTEM Baptist Health System, Inc. is one of the largest health care systems in Alabama and one of the state’s largest employers. The System is a

not-for-profit, 501(c) corporation that owns and manages four hospitals in the state of Alabama. Baptist Health System is a ministry of the churches of the Birmingham Baptist Association, whose representatives elect the Board of Trustees. It was founded in 1922 by a group of local Baptist congregations. ABOUT THE JOINT COMMISSION Founded in 1951, The Joint Commission seeks to continuously improve health care for the public, in collaboration with other stakeholders, by evaluating health care organizations and inspiring them to excel in providing safe and effective care of the highest quality and value. An independent, notfor-profit organization, The Joint Commission is the nation’s oldest and largest standards-setting and accrediting body in health care. / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 23

PHS Football Banquet honors outstanding student-athletes Coach Brett Burnett led an afternoon of accolades and recognition at the 2013 Panther Football Awards Banquet on December 15. “This was a fun season as a coach—to watch these young men grow and mature,” the head coach said. “A lot of what makes Friday nights so special is the support we have on the sidelines, including the fans, band and cheerleaders,” Coach Burnett continued. “We have the best student section in the state!” added Coach Stan Shotts. After acknowledging former Panthers coach and new Pelham School Board President Rick Rhoades and his wife Ames, who were in attendance, Coach Burnett introduced all of the cheerleaders, coaches and support staff. The first award presented was the Jane Bishop Service Award, which is given each year to a hardworking individual who works

closely with the team. This year, for the first time, there were two recipients. “Sandy Brasher and Rosie Metcalf both emulate Jane’s spirit and her willingness to give,” said Coach Burnett. “We’re very lucky to have them working with us.” Then, each of the coaches were given a chance to praise their players and call them up to the front by name. Coaches joked that Devon Mines, a promising senior quarterback, has magic feet. Devon will represent Pelham in the upcoming Offense/Defense game. Coach Burnett also gave a nod to the many Panthers who were injured this season, saying the team couldn’t have played as well as they did if the injured players hadn’t pushed the team. Another notable senior is defensive lineman Braxton Hoyett, who recently represented Pelham

Athletic Award Winner Robert Hayes

Jane Bishop Service Award Winners Rosie Metcalf and Sandy Brasher

for the first time in the annual Alabama/ Mississippi All Star football game. He helped lead his team to Alabama’s ninth victory in a row. Congratulations to Braxton, who will continue his career at Mississippi State next season. The final award presented each year is the Academic Award, given to the senior player with the highest grade point average. This years’ winner, with a very impressive 4.11 GPA, is Robert Hayes, son of City Council President Rick Hayes and Joni and grandson of former mayor Bobby Hayes and Judy. Coach Kevin Elwell said the Panthers this year were a good mix of talent and experience. Since the team was made up with a mix

of seniors and sophomores last season, all the coaches are now calling on the returning players to step up into roles of leadership. It will certainly be a season to look forward to. In the meantime, check out the softball and baseball teams as their seasons start. Go Panthers!

Senior Defensive Lineman Braxton Hoyett

Pelham Panther Football’s 2nd Annual MATTRESS SALE FUNDRAISER! Saturday, February 1, from 10am - 5pm RESTORIC AND SOUTHERLAND MATTRESS SETS AT 30-60% OFF! Top quality mattresses with factory warranties! A wide range of sizes and price ranges! On Saturday, February 1 from Delivery and layaway is available! 10am to 5pm our Pelham Panther


24 / Winter 2014

Football team is hosting a one of a kind mattress sale fundraising event at PHS. This event has been VERY successful in school districts nationally and locally over the last eight years.  The mattresses are extremely high quality and have outstanding full replacement warranties. They are made in the USA!  One manufacturer just won the Consumer Digest Best Buy award for an eighth consecutive year. These mattresses have also been honored by winning the prestigious Women’s Choice Award.  Delivery is available, as is layaway. All styles and sizes are available for you to try out, including plush, firm,

* pillow-tops, memory foam, latex, and gel beds. These mattresses are deeply discounted at 30%-60% below retail store prices! 20 mattress sets will be on display, prices range from $249 to $2000. Prices go up from one set to another approximately $75…so we have something for everyone. You can also purchase a “mattress only” if you don’t need the box spring. If you are in the market for a mattress set, or if you know someone who might be, please help spread the word. You can save a lot of money on a mattress set and help support the kids in the football program. Please tell your friends about this event and help support The Panthers!

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Registration Fee: $75 (includes all 5 clinics, all range balls & clubs if needed) Saturday, April 5th – 9am - 10am Introduction to Golf & Putting Fundamentals Saturday, April 12th – 9am - 10am Chipping & Pitching Fundamentals Saturday, April 19th – 9am - 10am The Basics of The Full Swing

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Cahaba Valley Elks Dictionary Plus Program The Cahaba Valley Elks, the Pelham lodge of the Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks, visited the third grade students of Valley Intermediate on November 13 to present its annual Dictionary Plus program. The lodge has given out 2,800 dictionaries each year for 7 years to every third grader in Shelby County. But the Elks do more than just hand out these vital books to children-- they frame the event with a program promoting patriotism.

Elks presented and explained the history of eight historic American flags to the assembled 3rd graders, including the “Don’t Tread On Me” and POW/ MIA flags. They also discussed Veterans’ Day, explaining why they appreciate veterans and reading the poem “It is the Veteran.” They encouraged students to shake hands and thank any military personnel or veterans they see out in public. “We want them to know the significance of what we do as an organization,” Elk Sharon Gaydon explained. “We want them to have a constant

contact with patriotism.” Tom Davidson, Chairman of the Committee of the Elks, said that although the Pelham chapter is small, he feels they have one of the best programs in the state. “We like to make the children feel special.” The Elks also raise money for scholarships for local children, run annual essay contests on patriotism and host basketball and other competitions. Tom said a Shelby County participant made it to the national leg of the basketball competition last year, and Sharon said the same of a

local essay finalist. Each student received a dictionary, a pencil, a bookmark, and a document containing information about the US Flag, the Pledge of Allegiance and other patriotic information. “I learn something new every time the Elks visit,” VIS principal Dana Payne Martin said to the students after the presentation was over. “We are going to walk out a little bit prouder after learning more about our country today.”

Pelham Public Library Mon.-Thur. 9 AM-8 PM, Fri. 9 AM-5 PM, Sat. 10 AM-5 PM & Closed Sunday



Tai Chi Workshop Sat. Feb.1stMar. 8th 10:30-11:30 Tai chi is a great way to increase flexibility and strengthen muscles and tendons. It is also a great way to decrease stress and improve balance. Tai chi Instructor Charlie Fetcher will give a brief history of tai chi and help you learn the basic moves of this ancient discipline. Space is very limited, so register early! The fee will be only $20 for all six sessions payable upon registration. Ages 18-up. Call the library at 620-6418 for more information. Sessions will be the following Saturdays at 10:30 am: February 1, 8, 15, 22 March 1, 8

Purl Jam Knitters, Saturday February 8th, March 8th 1-3 pm

Zumba at the Library! On Saturdays from January 11th and running through February 8th, the Pelham Public Library will be offering an introduction to Zumba from 8:30 to 9:30 am. Zumba is a fitness program that involves both dance and aerobic elements that draws its choreography from hip-hop, soca, samba, salsa, merengue, mambo and martial arts. This class will run for a six week period every Saturday. The library suggests that participants wear comfortable, loose clothes along with gym shoes. Space is very limited, so register early! The $30 fee covers all six week sessions. Payment is required upon registration. Ages 18-up. Call the library at 620-6418 for more information. 26 / Winter 2014

Need more fiber in your diet? Join us for knitting at the Pelham Public Library! For beginners, we will show you the basics to get you started on your own scarf. Please bring size 8, 9 or 10 knitting needles and a skein of light to medium colored yarn. Experienced knitters, crocheters, and other fiber artists are encouraged to join us for some good conversation with people who appreciate your craft! Registration is required. Please contact the library with any questions at 620-6418. Page Turners Book Club, Mon. Jan. 27th and Feb 17th 6:30 pm The Page Turners Book Club usually meets at the Pelham Library for about an hour on the third Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. January’s date has been moved to the fourth Monday. The selection for January is The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank. The February book selection is The Crush by Sandra Brown. Registration is not required. Please call 620-6418 for more information. FREE COMPUTER CLASSES In an effort to assist those that cannot take advantage of the weekday classes at the library,

Pelham Public Library offers night computer classes. Classes are free and will remain small to ensure that students receive the most from their participation. Patrons are encouraged to register soon. Those interested may register in person or over the phone at 620-6418.

SPECIAL PROGRAMS/ EVENTS ~ CHILDREN’S Cuentos para Niños sponsored by iSpeak of Pelham, Tues. Jan. 21, 10:30am English and Spanish speakers alike are invited to a special bilingual storytime at the Pelham Public Library. Ms. Melissa Danen of Pelham’s iSpeak will be sharing stories and songs in Español while Ms. Mary Campbell of the Library shares in English. English speakers will be introduced to simple words and phrases in Spanish. Spanish speakers will enjoy stories in their native

language while also being exposed to English. This free storytime is for kids of all ages regardless of native language. This program is sponsored by iSpeak, LLC, a language company in Pelham. For more information about their offerings contact Kelley de Paz at ispeak@ or call 721-8876. Information can also be found on their website www.ispeakwell. com. For information about this storytime or the Pelham Library call 620-6418 or go to www.

ONGOING PROGRAMS/ EVENTS – CHILDREN’S Together Time (all ages): Wednesdays @ 9:15AM and 10:30AM Jan 22, 29 Feb 5, 12, 19, 26, and Mar 5 PJ Storytime (all ages): Thursdays @ 6:30PM Jan 23, 30, Feb 6, 13, 20, 27, and Mar 6

Library Director Barbara Roberts greets new Pelham School Board member Paul Howell.

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WHAT: The “Learn to Skate” program—sponsored by Alabama Hockey, City of Pelham, and Andrews Sports Medicine and Orthopaedic Center of Birmingham—will be held once a month through March at the Pelham Civic Complex & Ice Arena. Sessions are FREE for kids 13 and under from the community and surround metro area. WHERE: Pelham Civic Center & Ice Arena SATURDAY SESSIONS: January 18; February

22 and March 23, from 1:00 to 2:00pm. Register at the Civic Complex the day of the session.

INSTRUCTORS: Skating skills taught by Bama Hockey team members, professional instructors and supervised by physicians and trainers from Andrews Sports Medicine of Birmingham. / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 27

Mayor Waters speaks at annual Pelham Senior Center holiday luncheons At the Senior Center Thanksgiving luncheon November 21, Mayor Gary Waters gave a thorough assessment of the projects completed within his first year in office. “When a city’s population reaches 12,000, the mayor no longer sits with the voting body of the council and functions more as the CEO and advisor,” Waters said. “And by law, the mayor has no say over funding expenditures. This forces a collaboration between the mayor and the city council.” “I am way too honest to be a good politician,” he said, “but I will not sugar coat and I will not lie to you.” “Our three-legged structure is the working council, a working mayor and a working personnel board for the first time in a long time. The resulting system of checks and balances works for us and we have been able to do some remarkable things in a very short time.” “I am most pleased with the revised paying classification plan for all city employees–it is now a legal document.”

“We have lowered the sewer rates. A new municipal school system was passed unanimously by the council and I will support it. I’m concerned for our city; concerned about the debt load of the city. I personally think we are undercapitalized; however we can possibly learn from our neighboring cities and avoid some of the problematic issues.” “We are all committed to making the school and education process in Pelham as good as it can possibly be. A phone survey showed 47% of registered voters in a phone survey supported the new school system; 24% were opposed and 29% had no preference.” On Tuesdays, Mayor Waters goes out and works alongside city crews to stay “in touch.” “I’ve never seen a city that had enough money do everything it wants to do; it is my responsibility to err on the side of caution.” “Our project sheet shows we eliminated in-house foodservices at the Civic Complex and saved $600,000. This money is going back into the facility for improvements. We’ve saved $2 million with bond refinancing.” “We have several inquires by new businesses interested in coming to Pelham. A telecom company has moved into the old Stacks Furniture building. A micro brewery wants to open in Pelham.” “Retail Strategies LLC markets

all Pelham’s undeveloped property and vacant spaces. The Sunday liquor sales law is likely to come to a vote of the people. This passing could help us recoup money that goes to Jefferson County.” “ALDot will make an enhanced four-lane down Hwy 31 and the flyover at the railroad tracks into Helena is on the books as an initiative fully supported by Mayor Hall and Mayor Handlon.” “The widening of Hwy 261 is off the books; project not funded.” “Fifteen Pelham streets most in need of paving will be addressed.” “We were able to eliminate 37 vehicles from the municipal fleet. A limited number of vehicles are now assigned to employees. $100,000 has been raised from auctions of old vehicles. This saves us insurance and maintenance money.” “Storm shelters provided by federal funds were mandated for the wrong places, so we will continue the city policy to never turn anyone away from shelter in a public building during storms.” “Summer Classics is taking

over the Moore-Handley building. We also carved out 5 additional acres for retail spaces. The design layout here will not be strip-mall style.” “The Senior Center will expand the exercise and dance area and receive new hardwood floors; this is expected in the spring. If you try to fit too many people into a facility for comfort, people will cease to use it.” “Finally,” Mayor Waters concluded, “I am thankful for my wife; we just celebrated our 37-year anniversary. We have three healthy children and two grandchildren. We can’t overlook that we are blessed as a country, a county and as a city.” “I think we have become a nation of complainers, but we need to step back and realize we have it better than any other country in the history of the world.” The seniors also enjoyed the annual Christmas luncheon on December 19, with an overflow crowd filling the space. “We have at least 95 individuals here today,” Director Barbara Roberts beamed. Council members, school board members, and former mayor Bobby Hayes and his wife Judy were all guests at the luncheon.

Pelham in the 1880s If they survive, ephemeral materials can give us some remarkable information and insight into the past. The City Directory of Birmingham and Gazetteer of Surrounding Section for 1884-5 is a perfect example. This directory has a brief listing for Pelham that offers an interesting profile of our community more than 125 years ago. Three physicians, a grist mill owner, a music teacher, another teacher who was also a justice of the peace, and two Methodist ministers lived in Pelham. One of their neighbors, S.R. Oates, was postmaster and co-owner of a cotton gin. Pelham’s post office had opened in 1873, just a few years after the ‘whistle stop’ was established. As we would expect, a number of farmers also lived in the area. This group included

two of the doctors; at that time, practicing medicine in small towns and rural areas rarely produced a living income. Pelham was served by the L&N railroad “with postal facilities only,” which probably meant no passenger service was available. Two other publications of the period give us more information about Pelham and these people. The Memorial Record of Alabama published in 1893 has a substantial biography of W.S. Cross, a Shelby County native who had opened a small store in Pelham in 1881. By the early 1890s he had bought and sold property in Birmingham and had “some fine property in Pelham”. He is no doubt related to the many Crosses listed in the City Directory item about Pelham.

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We learn from the Alabama State Gazetteer and Business Directory for 1887-1888 that the population of Pelham was then about 250 people. Mail was received daily via the railroad, but William Oates was now the postmaster. C.C. O’Barr was a dentist and a shoemaker; A.W. Cost was the constable; W.P. Cost was blacksmith; M.J. O’Barr operated a hotel; and there was a lumber manufacturer. Three ministers served the city, one each: a Baptist, Methodist and Presbyterian. Four general stores offered goods to the citizenry, including one owned by the former postmaster. One was operated by James Cost and Son; and another belonged to W.S. Cross. Several of the people named in these publications are resting in Pelham City Cemetery. Dr. William B. Cross [d. 1884] is there, along with W.S. Cross

[d.1914], perhaps a son. Also interred are Dr. E.G. Denson [d. 1910], M.J. O’Barr [d.1902], William Oates [d.1901], and James Cost [d.1888]. No buildings from those years of Pelham’s development have survived. But we can find in these old publications and the cemetery enough to give us some sense of what a vibrant little place Pelham must have been in the 1880s. Thanks to A.J. Wright for his help with this article.

Photography classes take off at PHS This is Kim Hinds’ fifth year teaching art at PHS, and her third year heading up the photography program that she has had the great fortune to watch grow. Kim, (pictured below) originally from Demopolis, achieved her undergrad in Business and Art with a minor in Marketing at Montevallo, following up with the school’s 5th year program for art education. She began teaching introductory art classes at PHS after graduation, but, “I was so glad when the administration decided to add photography- that’s the kind of art I wanted to do.” The first year of photography was a lot of trial and error. The class had no darkroom, so the focus was on composition, different viewpoints, and shooting techniques. A field trip

to The Birmingham Zoo and Botanical Gardens that year has now become a yearly trip for all photography classes. The program has moved up from local field trips as well- on November 20, more than 150 advanced photo and art students traveled with all five art teachers to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. “It’s nice, because the administration calls us the art clan, or the crazy art people— they just let us do whatever we need to do,” explained Kim, which includes going on field trips. Along with her, the “art clan” consists of art teachers Kim Harrison, Jenny Argo, Koren Lee and Maggie Brasher. When they aren’t on art field trips, this group of teachers still plans and works together. “We’re always trying to make the PHS art program better,” Kim said. They were able to help the photography program this year when they asked to receive the darkroom photography equipment Oak Mountain High School would no longer be using. PHS is now the only school in Shelby county that still has a darkroom program for advanced photo students. Many of the students now use the digital cameras they own in class, so they can learn techniques on their own equipment. There are also laptops, loaded with the free program Pixlr, available for students to use during class to

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learn photo editing, which is an essential skill for photographers in this digital camera age. Along with class projects, Kim encourages her students to enter as many art competitions as they feel comfortable entering. “If you never submit anything, you’ll never win,” she tells them. Competitions force the students to pick their best work, edit their pieces, and sometimes put together a portfolio, which is all great practice for anyone who wants to enter the fine art world. Trey Evans and Shannon Lavender know how that hard work pays off- they both won awards in the Superintendent’s Art Show the first year of the photography class, which showed Kim that it was going to take off. She said, “It was crazy, we had just started the program and the students

already had so much talent!” The talent and excellence of PHS art students continues on, with Ashley Williams and Shane Dees being finalists in the Alabama Statewide High School Juried Art Exhibition for 2013. Recently, the advanced photo classes have been fine-tuning their darkroom prints, while the intro classes have been painting with light, using a long shutter speed for different ways on taking photographs. The students also did a bokeh depth-of-field project on Christmas lights during the holidays.




8601 Hwy 119 Alabaster, AL 35007



(205) 663-5677 Owners: Adam and Rikki Lowery / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 31


LOCAL Welcome

Dr. Bela Patel



Oak Mountain Independent Church

Saint Francis of Assisi

1475 Highway 35, 663-1927Pastor George Golden Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 A.M.

3545 Cahaba Valley Road, 988-4371 Father Neil Kaminski • Sunday Holy Eucharist 8:30, 10:45 A.M.

RiverPoint Church


375 Bearden Road, 621-0112 Pastor Bobby Lewis • Sunday Morning Worship 10:30 A.M.

Dr. Patel has joined our Primary Care Clinic in Pelham specializing in Internal Medicine, where she is committed to providing compassionate, personalized care. Same Day Appointments are available!


Crosscreek Baptist Church


First Baptist Church-Pelham

9013 Highway 261, 980-5577 Pastor Chris Hodges • Sunday Morning Worship 8:00, 9:30, 11:15 A.M.

Indian Springs First Baptist Church

192 Chandalar Place Drive, 655-1332 Pastor Earl V. Gardner Sunday Morning Worship 10:30 A.M.

Living Hope Baptist Church

2760 Pelham Parkway, 637-3473 Pastor Jerry McClain • Sunday Worship Service 10:30 A.M.

Oak Mountain Baptist Church

Meets at Shepherd’s Promise, 620-1725 Pastor Bob Kuehner • Sunday Celebration 10:00 A.M.

Oakland Baptist Church

1449 Court Place, 663-1937 Pastor Rick Bishop • Sunday Morning Worship 10:00 A.M.

Sun View Baptist Church

135 Corporate Way, 620-0720 Pastors David & Diane Rogers • Sunday Morning Worship 10:00 A.M.

419 Philippians Boulevard, 664-0491 Pastor Clay Parrish • Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 A.M. 1805 Highway 35, 663-3045 Brother Ken Phillips • Sunday Worship 10:30 A.M.



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Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

CrossWay Christian Fellowship

3375 Cahaba Valley Road, 988-3662 Pastor Charlie Dale • Sunday Morning Worship 10:30 A.M.

SAME DAY SERVICE… In by 10, out by 3!

MORMON 2720 Cahaba Valley Rd, 733-9038 •

2867 Pelham Parkway, 663-7492 Pastor Dr. Mike Shaw • Sunday Worship 8:00, 9:15, 10:45 A.M.


5154 Highway 11, 663-3309 Pastor Rev. Stephen Strange • Sunday Morning Worship 8:30, 10:30 A.M.

600 Crosscreek Trail, 663-4886 Sunday Worship 10:00 A.M. Meets at Shelby Co. YMCA, 966-3327 Pastor Fred Muse • Sunday Worship 10:00 A.M.

Call Today for an appointment

Lakeview Methodist of Pelham

244 Cahaba Valley Pkwy, 988-0031 Pastor Jonny White Prayer, Preaching & Praise 10:30 A.M. Meets at Valley Intermediate, 685-9447 Dr. Mark A. Boyd • Sunday Morning Service 11:00 A.M.


Church of Christ at Oak Mountain 2054 Oak Mtn State Park Rd, 663-6566 Bob Hutto, Evangelist • Sunday Morning Worship 10:00 A.M.

Pelham Church of Christ

3405 Pelham Parkway, 663-7735 Dick Sztanyo • Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 A.M.


Pelham Church of God

2100 Highway 52 East, 664-0120 Pastor Mitch Underwood Sunday Morning Worship 10:30 A.M.

Pelham Church of God of Prophecy 3362 Pelham Parkway, 620-9598 Pastor Krameon Martin Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 A.M.

Church of the Highlands-Riverchase

Hope World Outreach Ministry

Kingdom Christian Center

Life Christian Fellowship

Life Church

Master’s House Ministries

Oak Mountain Community Church

889 Oak Mtn State Park Rd, 663-7176 Pastor Gene Brown • Sunday Worship/Kid’s Church 10:30 A.M.

The Rock Church

3540 Pelham Parkway, 383-7545 Pastor Steven Van Gieson • Sunday Morning Worship 10:00 A.M.

Truth International Church

3157 Pelham Parkway, Bishop Robert Ivy Sr. Sunday Worship Service 10:30 A.M.


New Testament Christian Church

2976-D Pelham Parkway, 401-1629 Pastor E.J. Rodriguez • Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 A.M.

PRESBYTERIAN Korean Presbyterian Church

7814 Helena Road, 982-1990 Pastor Rev. Steven Son Sunday English Worship 11:00 A.M.

Attend the Church of Your Choice This Sunday!

CITY OF PELHAM PELHAM YOUTH BASEBALL/SOFTBALL 2014 REGISTRATION It will soon be time to register for Pelham Youth Baseball and Softball! Register at the Park and Rec Office January 18 from 9AM to noon, or call the park at 620-6426. All athletes must be registered before 1PM January 24. ELIGIBILITY League age is that age attained by a player prior to April 30 of the current year for baseball and prior to January 1 for softball. REGISTRATION FEES The fee for the first child is $160.00. This fee will decrease by $10.00 for each additional child in a family up to three children. Example: Three children register to play from the same family First Child--$160.00 Second Child--$150.00 Third Child--$140.00 The registration fee includes the uniform (2 jerseys and a hat baseball, 2 jerseys and a visor or clinic for softball), supplemental insurance, equipment replacement, umpires, and championship trophies. BIRTH CERTIFICATES Player’s date of birth must be certified by birth or baptismal certificate. Please include a copy of the child’s birth certificate with the registration form. If your child played during the 2013 season, a birth certificate is not required. PROSPECTIVE COACHES AND ASSISTANT COACHES Anyone interested in coaching or assisting a team may obtain a volunteer form at the Park and Recreation office. This form must be filled out and given back to Billy/Robert prior to noon January 18, 2014. Coaches will be notified of their acceptance to coach by 01-31-14. A background check will be run on all managers and coaches for the safety of our children.

How Does Your Child Learn?

By Melissa Johnson and Traci Crenshaw

Do you know who your child’s friends are? How about the last time they went to the doctor? What about their teacher’s name? If you know these things, why wouldn’t you want to know their learning style? Parents have a tendency to think when they were a kid, they sat in a classroom quietly while the teacher taught and they didn’t need other style of teaching, so why should my child? Whenever you compare your childhood experiences to your child’s, you are comparing apples and oranges and usually not doing either proper justice. They are not the same; the world is not the same

and today we know people learn differently. It is a blessing that every child is different. If everyone were alike, how would we ever grow or expand our own perceptions? However, it is not wise to expect every teacher to incorporate every learning style into their lectures or classrooms. Instead, if you know your child’s style, you can advocate it to the teacher or help your child at home. This information can be valuable to parents, teachers and those that choose to home school their children. There are many reasons why students don’t grasp a subject or theory in class the first time. One of those reasons could be that the teacher is not teaching according to your child’s learning style. But what is a learning style? According to, a learning style is “an individual’s unique approach to learning based

on strengths, weaknesses, and preferences.” In other words, every child has a different way of taking in information and processing it. This means that if you are trying to teach your child a concept and they do not understand it, it may have less to do with their ability level and more to do with the way you are sharing the information. There are seven commonly recognized learning styles, listed below. What do you believe your child prefers? 1. Visual: pictures, images, and spatial understanding; 2. Aural/Auditory: sound and music; 3. Verbal: both speech and writing; 4. Kinesthetic: utilizing your body, hands and sense of touch; 5. Logical: applying reasoning and systems; 6. Social: learning in groups or with other people; 7. Solitary: prefer to work

alone and use self-study. Fundamentals of Instruction states that “Most learning occurs through sight, but the combination of sight and hearing can account for about 88% of all perceptions.” Being aware of these different styles will help you to tailor your child’s educational experience. Many traditional classrooms cater to the verbal and visual learning styles, so if that is not your child’s dominant way of learning, they might become impatient and frustrated. Perhaps if they can use their kinesthetic style to build a model of the theory in action, it will be understood and retained better. Or, if they are a social learner, developing a well-structured study group could be a great idea. Confucius said, “I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.” Being versed in your child’s learning style can only benefit them. Here’s to seeing our children succeed in a whole new way! / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 33

Pantherettes Win Two In A Row! The Pantherettes have had a wonderful marching season with the award winning PHS Tower of Power Marching Band! The girls competed with the band at the Hoover Invitational Marching Band Competition and The Contest of Champions

at Jacksonville State University. The team won 1st Place Best in Class Dance Team at both competitions! Pantherette Captain and PHS Senior Tristin Sharp commented that she could not be more proud of her team. “We begin

working on our field show in the summer to learn choreography and to be prepared when Band Camp starts. We have a wonderful Band Program at Pelham High School and would like to say thank you to all the Sponsors who give so much of

their time to us! “ Now that football season has come to an end, the girls are hard at work practicing for the state competition. Good Luck Pantherettes! You have represented your school and towns very well!

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Come and Learn How to play the great sport of Ice Hockey We will teach the basic skills needed to ice skate including balance, agility, stopping, turning and progress into stick handling skills, shooting, passing and hockey concepts relative to beginning players. Schedule: 5 week program (45 minute ice sessions) Dates: Class dates are Wednesday January 22nd Wednesday January 29th Wednesday February 5th Wednesday February 12th and Wednesday February 19th. Times: All classes will take place at 5:45pm-6:30pm. Please refer to Pelham Civic Complex Ice Arena schedule as classes are subject to cancellation and or change Investment: The five week program investment is $75 and includes Helmet and Cage, Gloves, Sticks and Skates if needed. We encourage all children to bring any and all of their own equipment. A full service Hockey Pro Shop is also available on site. Registration: Registration is open at the skate school located at the Pelham Civic Complex (pro shop) and can also be completed by contacting Randy Murphy at 250.620.6448. Head Instructor: Randy Murphy Director of Hockey Pelham Civic

Super Skills Program A 5-Week Program for Pelham Youth Hockey The program will take place on Sunday, January 19. Time: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Head Instructor: Randy Murphy Registration: All registrants please contact Randy Murphy at or at 205.620.6448 Investment is $75.00 Pelham Hockey Development Academy The formation of the Pelham Hockey Development Academy (PHDA) will be to provide hockey players the ability to access the game easily and increase skill development in any and all areas of their game. The Academy is designed to offer players of all ages various

programming designed to enhance skill levels. MISSION: • To grow grassroots hockey and focus on promoting the sport within our community's youth. • To inform, educate, and communicate hockey information with players, parents, and coaches. • To provide affordable programs in the spirit of growth, development, and opportunities for ALL Hockey players. • To provide an enjoyable and safe hockey environment for all Hockey players. GOALS • Easy entry into the game of hockey through the Learn to Play Hockey and similar

Complex and Ice Arena. Basic Information: • No hockey experience necessary • Must be between 4 and 12 years old • Registration to be completed as early as possible prior to start date • On the first day of the session please arrive and check-in as early as possible • Check-in required prior to each session Program Highlights: • Runs throughout the year! You can join mid-session • Six practices (1 per week) per session (6-week session) • Introduction to hockey for ages approximately 4- to 12-year-olds • Forward skating, stops, starts, turns, and backward skating • Stick handling, passing, shooting for all levels of skating experience • Equipment provided: hockey helmet, skates, stick and gloves • Wear comfortable, warm clothing (sweats are great!) • Week 6 will be test week and all participants will receive report cards on next steps • All instructors are USA Hockey Level Certified Coaches For Further Information please contact Director of Hockey Randy Murphy at or at 256.348.7984.

programs. • Programs emphasizing skating and skill development along with fun. • PYHL will produce newsletters, host seminars and training camps, and provide programs that educate players on the joys of hockey. • Provide instruction and certification for all USA Hockey coaches and instructors. Program Highlights: This program is fashioned just like the USA Hockey ADM Clinics. This program is designed to enhance skills and development by forcing players to maneuver in small areas to hone skating ability and use of edges through sudden stops and starts, changing directions, tight

turns while forcing creativity, quick reactionary decisions, one on one battling skills and various puck possession and protection techniques. All stations will be composed of “Game like situations” quality habit forming attributes will be taught and expected to be followed. Players will be paired with players of like skill level and age to enhance the effectiveness of the program. Results to be expected: Players will increase skill development in skating, shooting, passing, positional play as well as an increased compete level in players, goal scoring and “finishing” technique, increased agility and quickness and overall hockey awareness and increased hockey sense. / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 35

Calendar of Events January 2014

Our staffare is ready Our professional professional staff ready to to help help you! you! Care • Hands On Care Hands-On • Patient-Centered Atmosphere • Post-Surgical Rehab for Extremities Patient-Centered Atmosphereand Spine • Back/Neck Pain • Headaches Post-Surgical Rehab for Extremities and Spine • Geriatric Sports Medicine • Work Injuries Back/Neck Pain, Headaches, Balance/Gait

WE ACCEPT ALL INSURANCES Work Injuries, Sports-Related injuries Ask Your Doctor to refer you close to home or work! We accept all insurances and we offer flexible payment options.

(205) 664-8404

205-664-8404 Extended Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Extended Hours: 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. 3569 Pelham Parkway (across from Staples) 3569 Pelham Parkway (Across from Staples) On the Web at

Wheeler Wrecker Service

18 - Youth Baseball/Softball Registration, Park & Rec. Office, 9:00 am-12:00 pm - PPD Polar Plunge-Special Olympics FR, Oak Mtn State Park, 10:00 am - Iron Cup: Bama Hockey-Auburn, Civic Complex, 7:30 pm - Respite Care (special needs 0-21), free, must reserve 19 - Iron Cup: Bama Hockey-Auburn, Civic Complex, 1:00 pm 20 - Martin L. King Jr Birthday–City Offices, Library & Co. Schools Closed, Garbage Collection WILL Run as Usual 21 - Business Council Meeting, Civic Complex, 11:00 am-1:00 pm - City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 7:00 pm, Work Session 6:00 pm 24 - Deadline to Register for Youth Baseball/Softball 1:00 pm - Bama Hockey-Ole Miss, Civic Complex, 8:00 pm 25 - Bama Hockey-Georgia, Civic Complex, 7:30 pm 31 - Bama Hockey-Central Florida, Civic Complex, 8:00 pm


1 - Bama Hockey-Central Florida, Civic Complex, 7:30 pm 3 - City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 7:00 pm, Work Session 6:00 pm 7 - SEC Hockey Tournament Feb. 7-9 Team/Times TBA, Civic Complex 14 - Valentine’s Day 15 - Respite Care (special needs 0-21), free, must reserve 17 - City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 7:00 pm, Work Session 6:00 pm


3 - City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 7:00 pm, Work Session 6:00 pm 9 - Daylight Savings Time Begins (Spring forward one hour) 15 - Respite Care (special needs 0-21), free, must reserve 17 - St. Patrick’s Day - City Council Meeting, Council Chambers, 7:00 pm, Work Session 6:00 pm 24 - Shelby Co. Schools Spring Break March 24-28

3180 Lee Street, Pelham


WE ARE PROUD TO SERVE PELHAM! We are on call 24 hours/7 days a week!

SHINE A LIGHT ON YOUR BUSINESS NOW! REACH 22,400 HOMES AND BUSINESSES. ADVERTISE IN THE PELHAM & HELENA CITY NEWS! Effectively market yourself to EVERY Home and Business in Pelham, Helena & Indian Springs.

Call Dave Smith at 746-1188

TO GET STARTED TODAY!!! 36 / Winter 2014

PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL Always Remember That We are the Home of the FREE Because of the Brave! Staff SGT Jeremy Barton

PO3 Bradley Jacob Hardin

SGT Clayton Wells Miller

US Army; 1st Armored Division; Iraq; Son of Fred & Mary Barton, brother of Christopher

US Navy; USS Ronald Reagan, San Diego, CA; Son of Rachel & Michael Jordan

US Marine Corps; HI; Grandson of Earl & Linda Wells Miller

1LT A.J. Blount

CPL Daniel T. Hedrick

US Marine Corps; 2004 PHS graduate; Son of Dana Payne Martin & David Payne, husband of Madison

US Army; Afghanistan; Husband of Christina, son of Barry & Terrie Blount, son-in-law of Jesse & Lori Hernandez

SRA Eric Lee Bowen

US Marine Corps ARFF; Air Station Miramar, CA; Husband of Brooke, father of Gracie & Cole

John Hensley

US Air Force; Charleston, SC; Son of Ed & Sonyia Bowen

US Army; Afghanistan; Nephew of Jim Phillips

1st SGT Flynn D. Broady, Jr. US Army; Iraq; Son of Ret. SGT Flynn & Marjorie Broady

2nd LT John H. Calhan II US Army National Guard; Ft. Benning, GA; Husband of Katie Burks Calhan

PFC Nicholas A Coleman US Marine Corps; Twenty-Nine Palms, CA; Son of Danny & Donna Coleman

David Douglass US Marine Corps; Montgomery, Ala.; Pelham firefighter; Son of Tom & Ann Douglass

PFC Geoffrey Eggleton US Army; 385th MP Battalion; Fort Stewart, GA; Son of Geoff Eggleton & Anita Wheatley

SPC Christopher G. Evanko US Army, Ft. Bliss, TX; 2007 PHS graduate; Son of Tracey & John Evanko, Jr.

CPL Jonathan D. Jarvis US Marine Corps; Combat Instructor, Parris Island, SC; Son of David & Linda Jarvis

MC2 Andrew “AJ” Johnson US Navy; Defense Media Activity, Ft. Meade, MD; 2002 PHS grad, Son of Trudy Johnson

CM1 (SDW) Jack D. Johnson US Navy; Deployed in Iraq; Husband of Stacy, father of Joshua & Janci

MP Sal Juarez US Army; Iraq; Son of Dr. Jesus & Blanca Juarez, husband of Kimberly, dad of Ethan & Gavin

NCO Corporal John Justin Kirchler US Marine Corps; Iraq; Son of Kim Kirchler

1st LT Randal C. Knight US Army; Afghanistan; Husband of Rebecca Binford Knight

Tyler Payne

Cameron Rich Army Rangers; Afghanistan; Son of Scott Rich, brother of Brittany, grandson of Ken & Linda

LCDR Robert Sawyer US Navy; OIC, Historic Ship Nautilus & Museum, Groton, CT; Son of Ken & Liz Sawyer

AMN Charles Stirling Snow US Air Force; Monterey, CA; Oak Mtn. High graduate; Son of Chuck & Ruth Snow

PFC Tiara Stovall US Army; Fort Hood, TX; Daughter of Stephen & Toni Thomas

Tre’ Christian Stovall US Army; Fort Riley, KS; Son of Stephen & Toni Thomas

PFC Kimberly Sweat US Army; Fort Lewis, WA.; Daughter of Mike Sweat, granddaughter of Shirley Grimes

SPC Justin Aaron Womack US Army, Fort Bragg, NC; Afghanistan; Son of Betsy & Anthony & Phillip Womack

SGT Jeffrey Malone

Captain Samuel Garrison

US Army National Guard; 167th Infantry; Afghanistan; 2007 PHS grad; Husband of Monica, father of Hunter

US Army; Fort Bragg, NC; Son of Lance & Marcia Garrison

2nd LT James R. Mann IV

PFC Robert Lee Hallman Afghanistan; 2009 PHS graduate; Son of Lee Ann Hallman & Don Hallman

US Army National Guard; Fort Lee, VA; Husband of Beth, proud father of Ashlee, Anna & Jay

SPC Christopher Martin

SrA Alexander D. Hand US Air Force; Keesler AFB, Biloxi, MS; Son of Doyle & Sally Hand

US Army; Medic; Ft. Riley, KS; Son of Tom & Julie Martin

If your loved one is from Pelham and serves on active duty, please e-mail us their name, rank, address and where they are stationed to: When they come back home, please update us via e-mail or call 746-1188, so we can remove them from our active duty prayer list. Visit us online any time at:

Local gymnasts win big Sixth grader Macy Hastings and fifth grade VIS student Cami Weaver (right), both members of the team at Pelham’s Legacy Gymnastics, represented Alabama at the National Gymnastics Judges Cup Meet, which took place on January 11 in Tacoma, Washington. At the qualifying meet, Macy won the all around award for her age group. Cami is a three time state champion on the beam.

Seventh grade RMS student Erika Johnson (far right) is another student at Legacy. This budding gymnast took 1st place in both the Beam and All-Around events at the 2013 Alabama Compulsory State Championships December 8. Erika also took 2nd place in the Bars event. Congratulations to all our talented gymnasts in Pelham. Keep up the good work! / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 37

Meet Charlotte and Milton Foley Charlotte and Milton Foley celebrated their 60th Wedding Anniversary this past August 29. Both are from Birmingham; they met in April 1953 through a church class picnic. By June, they were engaged, and Milton prepared to enter the army for basic training before departing for Korea. They were married in the chapel at Fort Jackson with some of Charlotte’s seven siblings in attendance. “Our friends told us, ‘Oh, you’ll never stay married,’” Charlotte recalls with a smile. After Korea, Milton worked in building material sales for seven years, but says, “although I was successful in the short term, I knew I was not suited for this.” Both Charlotte and Milton grew up in the Catholic faith and attended Blessed Sacrament Church and Cathedral of St. Paul, respectively. Milton was in the seminary seven years, “I was motivated in that way; and the next best thing

seemed to me to teach Medieval & Renaissance literature and Shakespeare at the University of Montevallo.” “These works are just full of spirituality— but I taught them in a nondenominational way.” He attended Birmingham Southern, then at age 30, earned a Masters degree and a PhD. He taught at UM from 1965-1995. After his retirement, the Foley’s eventually relocated to Pelham. “When Milton told me his plans to return to school, I went to work at the University of Alabama and then as a secretary at New York Life,” Charlotte said. “All along, I had a love for antiques and old fabrics and buttons. I fell in love with an 1832 cross-stitched linen sampler. My friend, who owned the shop, let me pay for it $1 a week, as I could not have afforded it otherwise.” While living in Montevallo, Charlotte learned of an estate sale and collection of turn-of-the-century and antique buttons in Mobile. She purchased the lot of 5,000 buttons for a nickel each. “I took them home and sorted them out, and to earn money to take my daughter and grandson to Ireland (on a tour led

by Milton), I began to make teddy bears using the antique buttons for the eyes and to attach the limbs.” This was around 1987. She also made bears from antique lace and old quilts. These were first sold in a Jemison antique store. She was commissioned to make some special bears, as well. “One was made for a woman from her deceased son’s blue jeans. Another for a woman from her late brother’s Naval uniform.” The bears were sold, also, at Mary Charles Dollhouse in Mountain Brook and in Atlanta via her son’s work connections. “After I had made 500 bears, I tore up the patterns!” She also made jewelry using French ribbon wire, antique buttons and other “re-used” vintage beads. Charlotte taught hooked rug making and quilting for the Museum of Art and a display of her display of rugs was shown in 1980. Her rugs, which use thrift shop fabrics, were included in the 1979 book, Rugs, published by Oxmoor House. Four years ago, Charlotte

teamed up with her granddaughter and sold embroidered linens on ebay in their business Chic de Cru. For their 50th anniversary, a large party was given by the couples’ three children. Over the years, the Foley’s have traveled many times to Ireland, Stratford-on-Avon and other parts of England. They traveled again to England and Wales in celebration of their 50 devoted years together. “Charlotte is a woman of great patience,” Milton said. “Milton has always been supportive of everything I have done,” she notes. In the photo, Charlotte wears an early present from Milton, an emerald ring, her birthstone and holds a needlepoint purse of her own making Congratulations to this special and loving couple!

Christmas Commercial Beautification Award—Pelham Towne Center

The Pelham Beautification Board gave the Commercial Christmas Lights Decoration Award for 2013 to Pelham Towne Center. The 74,008 38 / Winter 2014

square-foot retail shopping center is located at 365 Huntley Parkway. It was built in 2008 by Encore Enterprises, Inc. The anchor store is Publix

Super Market, with an APCO Employees Credit Union, Johnny Ray’s BBQ, Subway, Head Start, Top Nails, Tao Asian (a Chinese and Thai restaurant),

Grade Power Tutoring, Dr. Talley’s Chiropractor & Sports Medicine practice and finally, Enhance Dental rounding out the tenant list. Congratulations!

Power Express Award The Power Express Award again goes to the home of David and Barbara Phillips at 12 Red Fox Drive. “We love for people to come see our lights, especially the children,” said Barbara. Preparation begins about three months in advance, and the Phillips now have a team of six family ‘elf helpers.’ Their decorating tradition began about seven years ago— the first year, only the house was decorated. Each year they hit the “After Christmas” sales for new additions. This is the first year for Santa and his sleigh to appear on the roof. “My husband is the biggest kid of all,” Barbara

said. “He can’t stand for one bulb to be out. My daughter places everything, and David has installed over 30 outlets in the natural area and along the hedge line to illuminate everything.” Some evenings, Barbara and David walk out and chat with

families who “come out and thank us.” One Thursday night before Christmas, a young man and his dog had walked over from Mallard Point and inquired as to how long turning all the lights on takes. Barbara told him three

to four minutes, and he politely asked if he might wait and watch. He then spent a long time looking at the different areas. “That is why we do this,” Barbara and David agree, “that is what Christmas is all about.”

Neighborhood Beautification Award—Ballantrae Club Drive roundabout The Christmas lights on the roundabout in the heart of the Ballantrae neighborhoods received the Residential Neighborhood Christmas Decoration Award. The decorations, which can be seen on Ballantrae Parkway and Ballantrae Club Drive, featured giant presents, Christmas trees and Santa. The display was put together by Mobley Development, Inc., developers of the Ballantrae community.

Residential Beautification Award—241 Stoneykirk Lane

The home of Keith and Lori Tatum at 241 Stoneykirk Way is known as The Christmas House in their Ballentrae

neighborhood. “We love Christmas and we love Jesus Christ. This is our way of representing the true meaning of Christmas,” Keith said.

This is the third year that Keith has built the manger scene, each year improving the stability of the wooden frame a bit more, decorating it with fresh pine needles and illuminating it

in a tasteful way. His brother-in-law built the 13-foot lighted cross. The Tatums have two children, Isabella, 10, and Cash, 7, and the family attends the Church of the Highlands Riverchase campus. This feel-good and inviting scene will add a moment of peace to your holiday. The Tatums are happy for anyone to park and walk closer to view or take photos of their decorations. They plan to have them atop their hill once again in December 2014. / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 39




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RMS students go international RMS students were able to really connect with others on an international scale this year! The school is one of many participating with the Junior United Nations Assembly of Alabama, or JUNA, which is a predecessor to the high school program Model United Nations Assembly, or MUNA. The student delegates in these groups learn and help teach others about how the United Nations works, as well as the importance of diplomacy and problem solving among different nations, peoples, and cultures. The RMS classrooms of Hannah Rodgers and Beth Crawford worked with the student delegates whose country of focus for this year’s General Assembly is Paraguay. These students had the opportunity to connect via Skype with 40 / Winter 2014

students from the American School in Asunción in Paraguay. One student delegate said, “It gave us different perspectives of Asunción. It was beneficial because it shaped our ideas for our safe house.”  The RMS JUNA resolution for this year’s General Assembly in January proposes a provision of safe houses for homeless and abused children. “It was a good experience to talk to them. It did expand my knowledge of Paraguay children,” another student said. The JUNA delegates also sponsored a Candy Cane Gram sale to raise funds for the

victims of Typhoon Haiyan. The super typhoon, which hit the Philippine islands in late November, left tens of thousands of people dead or injured and did $14 billion worth of destruction. The Candy Cane Gram fundraiser at RMS raised $395.92. In addition, the RMS Student Council sponsored the RMS Iron Bowl, where students could collect the change from their couch cushions or their parents’ cars and put it in jars

representing Alabama and Auburn. This event generated $421.00. In total, RMS raised $816.92 for Philippine typhoon relief.  Proceeds from the Candy Cane Gram sale and Iron Bowl competition were sent to the American Red Cross Philippine typhoon relief fund. RMS teacher Hannah Rodgers said, “As a Filipino-American, this is near and dear to my heart.  Thank you RMS for your kindness and generosity!”



Pelham Seniors IN ACTION Pelham Senior Center • 620-6064 OPEN MONDAY-FRIDAY 10:00 AM-3:00 PM

The Pelham Senior Center is open to Shelby County residents, ages 55 and over, for fellowship, music, bingo, trips, fun, exercise, games and much more. To view full event calendar online, visit For more information, contact Director Regina Jimenez by e-mail at or call 620-6064.

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WEDNESDAYS Reveille Men’s Coffee Club 10:00; Bridge 10:00-1:00; Wii Bowling 11:00; Exercise 12:30-1:15; Rummikub 1:00-3:00 THURSDAYS Pelham New Pioneers 10:30-1:00; Rummikub 1:00-3:00 Jan. 16th-Bingo, Trip Jan. 23rd-Shelby Strummers Jan. 30th-Guest: Adam Miller, Story Teller Feb. 6th-Lynn Waters “Our Haunted House”, Covered Dish Feb. 13th-Karla Stamps “Under the spell of love” Feb. 20th-Bingo Feb. 27th-Mcwane Center “Amazing Animals” March 6th-Golden Voices, Covered Dish FRIDAYS

Tai Chi 10:30-11:30; Healthy Choices 11:30-12:30 Exercise 12:30-1:15; Games 1:00-3:00 Jan. 17th-Snowflake Dance, 7:00-9:00PM $5/person, Music by Wolfgang Jan. 31st Bookworms 1:15-1:45 Feb. 21st-Sweetheart Dance, 7:00-9:00PM $5/person Music by Ray Newman


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Do you have sleep apnea? Ask about our FREE screenings! / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 41


“A Pelham Family Holiday Tradition”

Tree Lighting Ceremony

Five senior Lady Panthers commit to play softball at the college level The PHS Lady Panthers have a lot to celebrate going into the 2014 season. Not only did they come out of last season with a 25-3 record, but Coach Amy Sullivan and seniors Caitlyn Sapp and Kristian Foster participated in the Alabama Softball All Star games as well. Both of those players, along with Becky Fox, Emily Spain and newcomer, Samantha Kusiak, all signed college letters of intent on Monday, November 25. Becky Fox, an 18-year-old star pitcher and daughter of Jeff and Tracy Fox, signed to attend UAB. She has lived with her grandparents, Kenn and Judy Fox, her entire life and credits them for helping her along the way. “My grandmother has pushed me so hard so I can make it to where I am right now—and not just in softball,” Becky said. She intends to study sports medicine or become a cardiologist at the renowned medical school, and expressed a desire to work with kids. That wasn’t the only thing that pulled her to UAB, though. “I like how the team at UAB is a family just like at Pelham. Once you’re a Blazer, you’re always a Blazer,” she explained. Becky began playing softball in the Pelham park league at age 7, and it seems like she’ll be playing for many years to come. Shortstop and middle infield player Caitlyn Sapp pledged to 44 / Winter 2014

Jacksonville State University. “Right when I walked on campus, I knew this was it. This is where God had led me to be,” she said. “I wanna play softball for four years and get my degree in nursing there.” Caitlyn has two sisters, the older Hannah and younger Sarah Grace, who both played softball too, but just for fun. Their parents, Murray and Pam Sapp, have coached Caitlyn since she started playing T-ball in Helena at age three. “My father has been my main influence and helped push me as a player and a person,” she said. Amy actually taught Caitlyn and Kristian at Helena Elementary from kindergarten to second grade. “I could tell at a very young age these two would still be playing softball 14 years later,” the coach shared. Pitcher Emily Spain has been playing softball more than a decade, too, starting with Pelham park ball at age five. After moving up to travel teams, like several of the other players, she began pitching varsity for PHS in 7th grade! It was her support network that pulled her through. “My dad, my family, my coaches and the other seniors here with me tonight mean so much to me. I wouldn’t have grown up the same without them,” Emily said. She will be attending Auburn to pursue a career as a pediatrician—she wants to work

with Doctors Without Borders. “I love the town. I kind of chose the school before I decided to continue softball—it’s a family thing,” she laughed. Her parents, Jack and Jackie Spain, and grandfather Flem Spain all went to school there. The future Tiger will be joining her sisters, Robin and Ellen, who are both currently attending the university, next fall. Kristian Foster, PHS 3rd baseman and daughter of Byron and Leigh, will become a University of South Alabama Jaguar in college. Her cousin Kerri, who played softball at UAB, helped teach Kristian and her older brother Nick softball and baseball respectively when they were young. The pair played in MacAdory, Helena and finally Pelham, and Nick continues to play in college as well. Kristian chose USA because of its medical school. She wants to be a physical therapist, because she has a lot of experience with the sports side of it, and she wants to help people. “I like the campus, I can relate to the coaches and players there, and it just seemed like a good fit,” she said. Samantha Kusiak may be a late addition to the team, only having joined PHS this year after leaving Thompson, but Amy is excited to have her aboard. “She’s a great leader and teammate, and has made her presence known in just three short months,” said Amy. Samantha’s parents,

Tammy and Jeff, are very grateful to Amy. “Coach Sullivan has been a great asset to furthering Sam’s softball career,” said Tammy. “But I dedicate my softball career to Tommy Barnhill,” said Samantha, explaining that her mentor and pitching coach passed away in 2011. The next step in her career will be pitching at Central Al. Comm. College, which Samantha said has a great softball team with a 9-year championship run and beautiful campus. She will be attending their education school so she can eventually teach 9th grade math. She has three siblings: Kayla, Adam and Zachary. “If these girls’ number one priority is to be good teammates, everything else will follow,” said Amy. “And that is their goal. We may sometimes lose at softball, but we win at everything else with these girls. I am blessed and lucky to coach them.” “This group of seniors has refreshed and rejuvenated me. They have truly been a joy to coach. I enjoy going out on the field with them every day. Their names will leave a legacy in Pelham softball,” said Amy. “Without their teammates, parents and supporters, we wouldn’t be able to so this,” she continues. “I thank each and every one of you for working so hard to make this program what it is year after year.” Well said, Coach! Good luck!

Two Panther baseball players also commit to play college ball The Lady Panthers aren’t the only Pelham team with players committing to play sports at the college level. On Monday, November 18, two Panther baseball players, Jack Pierce and Austin Moore, joined this list of talented college-bound scholar-athletes as well. As both boys were a part of the Pelham High School 2013 6A State Championship team, it’s no wonder that they’ve decided to continue their already terrific baseball careers in college.

Jack, PHS’s left-handed closer, committed to attend Jacksonville State University, while Austin, a second baseman, will attend the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Jack, son of Bill and Freida Pierce, selected Jacksonville St. because of its fantastic baseball program. His older brother Ty, who graduated from PHS in 2012, is an outfielder for the Gamecocks already. “That’s definitely a bonus,” laughed Jack, who looks forward to playing

baseball with Ty again. They also have a younger brother, Will, who attends PHS. Austin, son of Tammy and Lee Moore, was the starting second baseman for the state champs when as a junior. He

also chose his school for its baseball program--but also for the engineering program they offer at UAH. “Getting the opportunity to play baseball at a great engineering school,” he said. “It’s a perfect fit for me.”

Pelham teams ready for another great season of ball

Coach Amy Sullivan says the biggest challenge for the Lady Panthers this year will be keeping everyone healthy throughout the long season. Since Amy had a bout with pneumonia last year, it’s easy to see why she’s worried. Returning seniors Becky Fox, Emily Spain, Kristian Foster, Caitlyn Sapp, and Maddie Walker are the players to look out for in the upcoming season. “They have all been multiple year starters with plenty of experience and leadership,” Amy explained. “And all of the young players have worked extremely hard this off season and have dedicated themselves to getting better,” she continued. “They are all very coachable.” Amy says she is looking forward to facing all of their opponents this year. “Every game is an opportunity for us to improve and get better,” she said. We’re looking forward to seeing another year of successful softball from PHS!

“One main challenge is always our focus on playing the game,” said Coach Sean Anderson. “We have several kids this year that will be new to varsity baseball, and sometimes that can be a little overwhelming. Getting them to focus and ‘just play the game’ can be a big challenge.” Jack Pierce will be the Panther to watch on the mound this year. “He had a great year in 2013 and finished the season with a 2-hit shutout in the state finals. We are looking for good things from Jack,” said Sean. “Austin Moore, starting second baseman, will provide good senior leadership and solid defensive work at second,” continued Sean. The coach explained that he will come to expect a lot of leadership from his returning players, as the team will have a relatively young line-up this year. Hunter Stovall, who had a great 2013 both at bat on the plate as well as behind it, will be the returning catcher.

Sam Finnerty is another returning standout pitcher who also plays very well as both an infielder and outfielder. “We look for Sam to contribute in all three defensive positions plus at the plate this year,” Sean said. The coach will look to Alex Urban, a returning outfielder, to provide leadership in the Panthers’ young outfield. He will also look to Tyler Payne, a senior returning pitcher and infielder, to help with this leadership. “We also want him to log a good bit of mound time,” said Sean. “We have several young players this year. They aren't young by class, but by the amount of time spent on the varsity field,” Sean explained. Connor Radcliff should be a good arm for us on the mound, the coach said, explaining he already gained control of three pitches this summer and fall. Tyler Wilburn will pick up some of the pitching load, along with helping in the outfield.

“Justin Anderson will add defensive depth to the infield, and Tyler White to the outfield,” said Sean. “Justin and Tyler bring athleticism and speed to their positions.” Cole Whitman, a sophomore pitcher, should see a good number of innings this year. “Cole is a good young arm and showed a lot of promise this summer and fall,” Sean said. “We worked out a game with Hewitt-Trussville as part of a three-way with Briarwood Christian on March 8, and we are looking forward to seeing our good friends Jeff Mauldin and Jeff Schrupp,” said Sean. “We have the utmost respect for these coaches and will enjoy seeing them and competing against their program.” “We will also play Hoover this year along with Baker and Auburn who we faced in the playoffs this past year. All of these are tremendous programs and we are looking forward to the competition.” Go Panthers! / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 45

Ron Scott shines as Mother Ginger in Stevan Grebel’s The Nutcracker When councilman Ron Scott first donned the distinctive Mother Ginger wig during the October 7, 2013 city council meeting, he said, “I’m looking forward to wearing this with pride. And I will carry the standards of makeup high.” Now that another wonderful performance of Stevan Grebel’s The Nutcracker has come and gone, we can see just how well Ron held to his word. He truly stunned audi-

ences with the astonishing beauty he brought to the beloved role. This was not Ron’s first foray into The Nutcracker–his daughter danced in the popular ballet when she was younger. “I have participated in many a Nutcracker. I have paid my dues. I know about the performance and the hard work,” he said, and it showed. The Grebel’s Nutcracker performances this year took place on December 14 and 15 at PHS.

on Valentine’s Day

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THERE’S ALWAYS SOMETHING FUN PLUS GREAT FOOD & DRINKS AT RIO’S! Monday: Service Industry Salute (Happy Hour All Day) Tuesday: OPEN MIC Wednesday & Thursday: KARAOKE Friday & Saturday: CHECK FB FOR WEEKLY ENTERTAINMENT and then Party All Weekend Long!

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Feature is optional and subject to terms and conditions. Safe Driving Bonus® won’t apply after an accident. In CA, you could still lose the 20% Good Driver Discount. Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company: Northbrook, IL © 2010 Allstate Insurance Company


Helena & Hoover Locations

The Russ Arthur Senior Softball Association (RASSA) is seeking individuals who are at least 55-years-old to join us in playing senior softball in a well-established league. Three leagues are currently available: competitive players compete on Tuesday nights; recreational players meet on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Players enter the league as individuals and are drafted to play in the most suitable league. Weather permitting, the Tuesday/Thursday morning league will begin in March and the Tuesday evening league begins competing in April. Daytime leagues play at West Homewood Park and the Tuesday evening league games are played on the lower diamond at George Ward Park off Green Springs. If you or someone you know is interested in shaking the dust off the old mitt and joining us, please contact Ed Girard at For additional information about the league, visit / Winter 2014 / TO ADVERTISE, CALL 746-1188 47


Presort Std. U.S. Postage Paid Permit 15 Pelham, AL

CITY OF PELHAM 3162 Pelham Parkway • Pelham, AL 35124




OFFERING SECURE STORAGE FACILITIES WITH 13 CONVENIENT LOCATIONS IN AND AROUND THE BIRMINGHAM AREA TO SERVE YOU! We do everything we can to make your moving and storage easy by providing special truck rental rates, climate controlled units and a full line of moving and packing supplies.

Send us your articles & pictures! Article or picture submissions should be directed to:

Call or visit us at:

100 Metro Parkway Pelham, AL 35124


2792 Pelham Parkway Pelham, AL 35124






John A. McBrayer A T T O R N E Y



• Divorce • Estates & Wills • Personal Injuries • Family Mediator • DUI • Bankruptcy

For advertising information, call 746-1188 or Visit Us Online at Opinions expressed in the Pelham City News are often those of contributors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or the city, nor do they constitute an endorsement of products or services herein.


“ I’d like to be your family lawyer.”

“My experience as a judge, attorney and family mediator enables me to guide you through the legal complexities of today’s world with the utmost in professionalism and time-proven results.” Pictures should be in color, high resolution (as close to 300 dpi as possible), and saved as JPEG files. For additional information, call 746-1188.





Adjacent to Pelham Public Library • 3110 Cummins Street No representation is made that the quality of legal services to be performed are greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.

Lives with Chris, Tammy, Hailey, and Hilary Jones

Open 7 days!


We’re a Full Service Veterinary Office offering boarding, vaccinations, exams and every aspect of animal health care.

Brent Chandler, DVM • Brooke Jordan, DVM Shae Hicks, DVM MON , WED & FRI 7-7 • TUE & THU 7-6 • S AT 7-4 • SUN 4-6

2689 Pelham Parkway • 620-3636

Introducing former Pelham Panther

Dr. Jamie Reid! If you are in need of eye care, you can count on me. I look forward to serving the Pelham area!

GO PANTHERS!! Family Eye Care of Helena Jamie Cason Reid, O.D.

5358-A Hwy 17 South, Helena • 664-7577 • Fax: 664-7654

We’re online, too -WWW.PELHAMCITYNEWS.COM - Come for a visit!

Pelham City News  

Winter edition 2014