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Hele H elena Ciitttyy New elen Newwss Serving the City of Helena and surrounding area

Fall 2013

Meet Howler the Husky, Helena Schools’ terrific new team mascot!

WALMART NEIGHBORHOOD MARKET OPENING NOV 6 Helena families will soon have another choice for groceries

HELENA MIDDLE COACH NAMED TEACHER OF THE YEAR Meredith George earns statewide title as HMS Track & Field Coach

CITY AWARDS GARBAGE CONTRACT TO NATIONAL WASTE COMPANY New Garbage and Recycling service with BFI to start December 1, 2013 /


Fall is here and that brings a variety of fun activities such as Youth League, Middle School and High School sports! Please help me support all our fall youth sports activities as they continue to have a great season. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the city council for the hard work and dedication that has taken place over the last year since we took office. We have all worked diligently to insure your tax dollars and city services have been delivered in an efficient and professional manner. I am happy to report that the council has passed a balanced budget on

time for the upcoming fiscal year. Highlights of this year’s budget includes a 3% cost of living raise for all full time employees. They have not seen a raise since 2007. The budget also contains funding to be allocated for continuing improvement projects at our city youth baseball and softball fields, as well as the renovation of the city tennis courts located at Joe Tucker Park. Funds will also be allocated to start the intersection improvement project at the 261/17/91/52 intersection. (ALDOT has already appropriated funds to cover 80% of that project). Muchneeded equipment replacements include funding for replacement of several high-mileage and aged police vehicles. This will increase

safety for the patrol officers and lower maintenance costs as well. I am very excited about the council’s approval of privatizing our garbage services which adds recycling services as well. This will help decrease the city’s expenses and liabilities associated with running this service and decrease landfill usage, which is good for our environment. We remain optimistic and hopeful that the city economy will continue its upward trend so that the budgeted income meets or exceeds our goals. Speaking of economic gains, we expect the local economic picture to begin a climb with the addition of Walmart Neighborhood Market that is set to open November 6. This new choice, along with a strong continued presence at the existing Publix Supermarket, will certainly enhance our growth and feed the local economy well. I will continue to pursue other retail additions in the coming year to compliment our local needs and provide more conveniences for our residents and the visitors that shop in Helena. Please continue to support all the businesses in Helena as they do their best to

support our city. And on a final note, as you may know, the City of Helena was recently selected to participate in the Alabama Communities of Excellence Program (ACE). This is a process through which Helena citizens, business leaders and city officials work together to create a community “report card” detailing community assets and recommending strategies for our city’s future growth. There will be a Community Assessment Meeting during which we will be asking for input on issues such as public service, education, healthcare, business and industry, and quality of life. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday, October 17, 9a.m.-11:45a.m., at the Helena Community Center located at our Sports Complex off Hwy 261. Please feel free to attend. Until next time, thank you for choosing to live and work in Helena. Have a great fall season and may God Bless you all! Best Wishes,

Mark Mark R. Hall Mayor

Mayor Mark Hall and City Council President Cris Nelson at the Shelby Chamber Luncheon.

Above: Shelly Bailey, Laurel Morse, Kyla Grant, Henry Russell and Mayor Hall at the new Helena School of Art. Below: Mayor Hall at the opening of Sassy Sisters Boutique.

2 Fall 2013 /

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Michelle Ellis nominated for Educator of the Year award On October 25, the Governor’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities will come together with Birmingham Rehabilitation Professionals to hold its annual Employer / Employee Luncheon at the Vestavia Hills Country Club. This luncheon, held in October for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, honors nominees for Educator of the Year. Michelle Ellis of HMS is one of those nominees. Some may remember Michelle from the summer edition of the newsletter, where we discussed her musical

background—but she is also a Special Ed Paraprofessional at HMS. Michelle has been around people with special needs all her life. “I have a 41-year-old brother, Jimbo Thornton, who is non-verbal autistic,” she explained. She decided she wanted to work with students like Jimbo, so she attended school at UAB and Samford. She has been working as a paraprofessional in area schools for around 10 years now. After working at Allen Cott School for a year, she moved to Homewood Middle School

for half a year and PHS for three years. Now, she works at Helena Middle School, where she has been since the school opened in 2008. “I am blessed to be able to work at HMS,” said Michelle. But HMS Principal Scott Knight thinks they are blessed to have her—he filled out the forms to help her receive the nomination. “As a Special Ed. Instructional Aide here, she has done an amazing job,” he said.

Congratulations on this nomination, Michelle, and we applaud you for all the valuable work you’ve done.

Five years, a practice, two babies and a wedding later... Cahaba Dental Arts celebrates 5 years in Helena Dentist and working mom Jayme Mashayekh has put her heart and soul into her work at Cahaba Dental Arts, providing top of the line dental services to Helena residents for five years. Jayme graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Alabama with a Bachelors of Science in Biology in 2003. For the next few years, while she worked on her Doctorate of Dental Medicine at UAB, she and husband Hamid moved to Helena and fell in love with the city. “Helena has this tight-knit family community that we really like,” Jayme said. After graduating, she worked

4 Fall 2013 /

at Cumberland Dental in Tuscaloosa until she was ready to start up her own practice-and it was a no-brainer to open it in Helena. “It’s an exciting community with lots of young families, and that’s part of why I decided to have my practice here,” Jayme explained. “Now, with the new high school, there’s even more excitement around the City of Helena.” The first five years for Cahaba Dental Arts have been somewhat hectic, with idling contractors, phone number and address changes, staff changes, and two children also occupying the couple’s time. “We spent the first year setting up the practice, the second year having baby No. 1 and juggling temporary dentists filling in during my maternity leave. Then we had baby No. 2 and more maternity leave in 2012,”

Jayme trailed off, laughing. “Hopefully we’re done and adjusted to our new normal,” Hamid agreed. “Life is getting settled down now that our son Grayson is 3 and daughter Rylie is 1.” Babies have not been the only thing the team has celebrated in the last five years. In September, Caitlyn Flesher, now Caitlyn Berry, was married. Caitlyn has been with Cahaba Dental Arts for four years now. Jayme trained her to be an assistant, then sent her through the hygienist program to get her license. She now works the front desk, too, and after being with the practice for so long, she can answer just about any question you have. As Jayme’s practice has expanded, the dental work, paperwork, and management of everything got to be too much for her to handle alone. The idea came up for Hamid to take over the business side of the practice, to handle marketing, payroll, HR and IT tasks, among other duties. So, after a lot of prayer, the answer was clear. Hamid left his job at Regions

as an IT manager to join the practice. Although the work is new to Hamid, who has 12 years of software development experience, he has been more than eager on the job. “Now that I handle the business aspect of the practice, Jayme gets to focus on doing what she really likes, which is dentistry,” he said. And the expansion of their business is by no means slowing down. “We’re outgrowing our space, so we’re potentially looking at expansion opportunities as close to the current practice as possible,” said Jayme. Also, they are looking to hire a fourth position soon to add to their existing staff, which includes Caitlyn Berry, Terah Milan and Ashley McDonald. “What we’ve learned since opening Cahaba Dental Arts is to always be flexible, know your schedule will never stay the same, and never be afraid to change the way you do things,” Jayme said. She then glanced at Hamid and laughed, “Oh, and have a good IT guy.” Congratulations to Dr. Jayme, Hamid and their terrific staff!



Right-Left: Heath Brown, Matthew Noel, Chris Mason, April Mason and Kim Brashier

Jackie Droxler’s boot camp workout teaches controlled moves and emphasizes the core. Endurance is also emphasized in the first weeks. “It takes your ligaments and your tendons 4-6 weeks to catch up with your muscles.” “One of the hardest concepts to take in,” Droxler says,“is that you want to be as strong at the end of your workout as you are in the beginning.” Each session includes passive stretching, upper body movements, core work, lower body movements and ends

with stretching. Cardio movements, such as jumping jacks and running in place, are also mixed in. Droxler’s Bootcamp meets Tuesday and Thursday nights at 7pm with a new monthly series of classes to begin October 1, November 5, and December 3. Electrical contractor Chris Mason said, ”I’ve always lifted weights, but my wife April challenged me to join the Bootcamp about three months ago.

We had a little bet going in the beginning about who could last the longest. She didn’t think I would stick with it. Now, about three months in, I can see a difference, especially in my stamina. It’s also a way to spend time together!” SNAP’s other Bootcamp is taught by Merri Gwin, who noted that “Even though the class meets at 5:30 am, I am impressed by the participation, commitment and perseverance of our group.” Gwin’s August and September Bootcamps incorporated pushups, line drills, lunges, up-downs, crunches, mountain climbers, dips, and planks. “These ladies could do it all!” “As much as I hated waking up before dawn, I’m so very glad I did it. I needed to take my workout and fitness to the next level, and

bootcamp with Merri did it. I look and feel better, not to mention faster and stronger. Hard work pays off!” said participant Lacey Leger. The class incorporates fitness drills designed to enhance agility, speed, power and strength. The majority of the class is held in the gym, but may also venture partially outside, weather permitting.

“I’m especially excited about the October session and how awesome it will be to run those laps in the cool fall weather!” “I realize people are nervous about a bootcamp class,” stressed Gwin,“ but want to say I have always been the type of instructor that wants to motivate NOT intimidate. I want each student to experience personal success and self accomplishment.” Contact SNAP for Gwin’s Bootcamp schedule, as it varies class to class.


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HES Back-to-School Picnic Families enjoyed the HES Welcome Back to School Picnic with entertainment by musician Roger Day. Early rains gave way to allow the event to continue on outdoors, with parents manning the grills, siblings dispensing the drinks and fun, frolic and play among new and returning HES students.

Helena Boys Basketball

7th grade boys – 4:30 / 7th & 8th grade girls -5:45 / 8th grade boys – 7:00 Nov. 4th – 6th Thurs, Nov. 7th Tues, Nov. 12th Thurs, Nov. 14th Tues, Nov. 19th Thurs, Nov. 21st Tues, Nov. 25th Tues, Dec. 3rd Weds, Dec. 4th Thurs, Dec. 5th Tues, Dec. 10th Thurs, Dec. 12th Tues, Dec. 17th Thurs, Dec. 19th Dec. 27th – 28th Tues, Jan. 7th Thurs, Jan. 9th

@ Hewitt Trussville (Pre-season Tournament) Bye Date! Columbiana @ Helena - 8th grade only Calera @ Helena John Carroll @ Helena Briarwood @ Helena Helena @ Chelsea Helena @ Riverchase Helena @ Leeds (Boys teams only) McAdory @ Helena Helena @ Columbiana – 8th grade only Helena @ Calera Helena @ John Carroll Helena @ Briarwood @ Bottenfield (Holiday Tournament) Chelsea @ Helena Riverchase @ Helena

The 8th grade boys’ tournament is Jan. 13-18, 2014, at John Carroll 7th grade boys’ tournament is at Briarwood (1 day tournament TBA) 6 Fall 2013 /

HMS Wrestling Nov. 16. Nov. 19 Nov. 26 Dec. 3 Dec. 5 Dec. 6-7 Dec. 12 Dec. 13-14 Dec. 17 Dec. 19 Dec. 20 Jan. 7 Jan. 10-11 Jan. 14 Jan. 17

Hewitt Duals At Clay/ Simmons Thanksgiving Classic Hewitt/Chelsea At Simmons St. Nick Tournament Chelsea/ McAdory Homewood Duals Homewood/Bumpus At Liberty Park/ OMMS Shelby County Scuffle Homewood/Clay Bumpus invitational At Oak Mountain/ Clay Metro South Duals

Location Weigh in Hewitt MS TBA Clay Chalkville MS 4:30 Thompson HS TBA Helena MS 4:30 Simmons MS 4:30 Helena MS TBA Helena MS 4:30 Homewood MS TBA Helena MS Liberty Park MS 4:30 Helena MS TBA Homewood MS 4:30 Bumpus MS TBA Oak Mountain MS 4:30 TBA TBA

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My name is Benjamin Akers. I am 10 years old and I go to Helena Intermediate School (HIS). My favorite things to do are ride my bike and play video games with my dad (like Star Wars Battlefront one and two). I also love Legos, and watching the Big Bang Theory. My favorite foods are croutons, pizza, Mexican food, and K.F.C., and my favorite drinks are Dr.Pepper, Diet Coke, and Pepsi. Now that my braces are off, I can eat all the croutons I want!

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New Sector, Hillsboro Ridge, Reveal event Sunday, October 20, 2-5 pm Billy Silver, Director, USS Real Estate, announced the opening of the third phase of the Appleford Community located in Hillsboro off CR 52W in Helena. This phase consists of 45 home sites. Most all have amazing views that extend for

miles. “The views are some of the most breathtaking in Shelby County,” said recently named Realtor of the Year, Brian Sparks, project manager. The homes, which will be built by Newcastle Homes, are new designs and will take full advantage of the incredible views this terrain

enables. The interiors will feature three, four and five bedrooms with a high level of finishing touches evident throughout the homes. The exteriors will fit into the craftsman style that has been so popular in Hillsboro. For more information, call the sales gallery at 205.663.7889 or visit Please join us for this very special “Reveal” on October 20, 2013, from 2 to 5 pm. If you are looking to build a home in the not-too-distant future, you will be impressed with what you see presented at Hillsboro Ridge.

HMS Football Update

The HMS Husky football teams have been playing hard this season. Early on, the 7th grade Huskies beat the Briarwood Lions in a revenge game winning 7-0 in a defensive nail-biter. The 8th grade Huskies travelled to Millbrook to battle the oversized Mustangs and pulled out a victory in a hard-hitting, smash mouth game, winning 18-8. Quarterback Lawson Peoples scored a touchdown after a successful drive to the goal line. JJ Boykin caught a pass and ran it in for a touchdown, break-

ing tackles along the way. Trevor “Taco” Bell caught a deep pass in the endzone to seal the deal for a Husky victory. The Husky defense kept the Mustangs rattled with multiple tackles for loss and sacks against the Millbrook quarterback. Big hitters were Matthew Raley, Scott Yunke and Seth Jolley to name a few. The big men down front worked hard opening up holes for running backs and threw great blocks springing big runs. The 8th grade Huskies move to an overall record of 5-1 at press time with a 40-0 win over John Carroll. The Huskies play at Ned Bearden Stadium at Pelham High School. Be sure to catch the middle school version of the “Iron Bowl” Thursday, October 17, as the Huskies take on the

Riverchase Panthers. Kickoff is 5:30 pm. Admission is just $5 for adults, $3 for students. Husky gear will be sold at the game and the Spirit Shop before school. Come be part of the “Dawg Pound” and cheer your Husky football teams on to VICTORY! Go Huskies!

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In 2003, Peter H. Reynolds published a picture book called The Dot that encourages children to “make your mark and see where it takes you.” This year, for the 10th anniversary of the book’s publishing, HIS students joined children from all over the world to celebrate Dot Day on Thursday, September 12. “We want to have a big schoolwide event every 9 weeks,” said HIS Principal Kathy Paiml. “So Dot Day seemed like the perfect first event.” The entire school got involved with the celebration, starting with reading and discussing the

10 Fall 2013 / CityOfHelena

book. Children guessed how many “dots” were in a jar of candy in the library. In art, students decorated dots and hung them on the walls. Fifth graders added onto a dot to turn it into a bigger picture. In PE, students played a cooperative “dot game” with hula hoops. Many students,

teachers and staff members wore clothing with dots— in fabric patterns, or dots they put there

themselves— and some even decorated their own t-shirts. Where will your mark take you?


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From the Archives — Cahaba Bridge Train Wreck Local Historian Ken Penhale recently cleaned the grave markers of five persons buried in the Harmony Cemetery that were victims of the 1896 Cahaba Bridge Train Wreck. H. M. Hanbury, the conductor of that No. 40 train from the Birmingham Mineral Railroad, brought his family along for a beautiful ride. “The great bridge over the Cahaba was the scenic marker of the trip. Twelve hundred feet long, the bridge provided a

breathtaking view of the rockyshoaled Cahaba 110 feet below,” writes Martin Everse, another historian who worked with Ken to write the history of Helena in the Images of America book, Helena Alabama. Conductor Hanbury was trapped in the wreckage and assumed to have watched helplessly as his wife, Ora, and children, Ione and Guy, perished

amid the flames. The three Hanbury family members are honored with a single marker inscripted with their names. This marker stands just behind the Jane Holmes library. Near the Hanbury marker are two more markers, one identifying the grave of Sarah Gleadall, and next to her is a marker honoring her son that reads: “In memory of little Thomas Gleadall, who was killed with his mother in the Cahawba (sic) wreck and his remains never found.” Penhale is currently accepting donations to help fund the repair of the Gleadall markers.

Interestingly enough, this story made the pages of another book. Read Kim Johnson’s account below, taken from her book Haunted Shelby County, Alabama.

Ghost Train of Helena

On December 27th 1896 at 6:30 a.m., over thirty people, mostly miners and their families, boarded locomotive number 40 of the Birmingham Mineral Railroad. They had just spent the Christmas holiday with relatives and were returning to their homes in the small mining towns that were spread throughout Shelby County. Ora Hanbury and her children Guy and Ione, along with Sarah Gleadall and her son Thomas, all of Helena, were looking forward to going 12 Fall 2013 /

home and watched the beautiful wintery landscape out their windows while staying warm by the stoves that kept the cars cozy. An hour into their journey, they neared Blocton and the tall trestle that crossed the Cahaba River. As the train crossed the bridge, the engineer realized something was terribly wrong and tried to reverse but it was too late. The entire bridge collapsed and the train fell 110 feet into the shallow waters below. The stoves that provided comfortable conditions inside the cars now set the train wreckage ablaze. Those that did not die in the initial impact were burned alive. A father, pinned between two seats, watched in horror as his wife and two children succumb to the flames. Two men managed to escape the wreckage with only slight injuries and ran four miles to nearest place for help. By the time rescue crews arrived several hours later, there was nothing left of the cars above the water. Twenty-two people

in all perished that day. The L & N Railroad was quick to blame the wreck on sabotage and for years the newspapers reported that three men had removed a portion of the rail on the bridge in order to wreck the train and rob its passengers. When L & N’s chief industrial engineer reported to company officials that the wreck was due to faulty construction by The Keystone Bridge Company, lawyers advised that the report should be kept a secret and so it did for more than 100 years. Sadly, the Hanbury and Gleadall families all died in the accident and are now buried in Helena’s Harmony cemetery. Some believe though that they are responsible for the ghostly image of a train that can be seen traveling down Helena’s Elvira Road. Helena resident Josh Cooley tells the story of meeting the ghost train one night when he and his friends took a trip out to Elvira Road to see why the older kids had made such a big deal of the location’s creepiness. He was certain they just wanted to scare away underclassmen and have a party. Josh recalls:

“I was playing spooky music... and we were all laughing and being stupid, but then the air suddenly changed and we all felt it. Laughing became forced and soon dried up. Then we saw movement to the left of the car, and all witnessed a strange, translucent ghost train traveling soundlessly through the woods. I can’t say for sure about my friends, but I know I was 100% sober, and all 3 of us saw it as clearly as if it were being projected onto a screen of trees or fog.” Maybe the ghost train is finally taking the Hanburys and Ms. Gleadall back home to enjoy the rest of the holiday season of 1896. Undoubtedly the loved ones they left behind so many years ago longed to see locomotive 40 coming down the tracks as if the terrible news had been a mistake. If you are fortunate enough to see the ghost train in person, perhaps you will also see the soft glow of the stoves and the families huddled around keeping warm or catch a glimpse of children playing with their new Christmas toys as it silently passes by.

BEST HAUNTED HOUSE IN Birmingham. An eyewitness account from Warehouse 31

If you love Halloween and the Haunted Houses that come along with it, be sure you make plans to visit Warehouse 31! Housed in the old Marvin’s Hardware building at 3050 Lee Street in Pelham, the state’s newest haunted house is placed perfectly for a night of scary fun just minutes away from home. While waiting at the Monster’s Midway, we witnessed the crazy acts of Carnevil Circus, which performs there Friday and Saturday nights. We cringed as a man named RoK walked on and ate broken glass, laid on a bed of nails and did unimaginable things with a staple gun. We watched in awe at the performance of Lilly Lace, the dancing fire-eater. A group of zombified hip-hop dancers put on several high-energy performances to remixed Halloween songs, too. Once we had paid and our group was called in, we headed to the 3-D Clown Nightmare first. The small group they put us in served to heighten the experience. It was a brilliantly decorated maze of hallways, flashing lights and funhouse mirrors and we were never able to see the clowns coming! Wearing 3D glasses, the special effects were amazing, and the frights came

unexpectedly—out of nowhere! After escaping from the clowns, we headed excitedly to Rigamortis. Strobe lights and dizzying hallways lead into a maze of rooms, each depicting a very different mindnumbing scene. The intricate props, smoke, lighting, actors and, unlike other haunted houses in the area, SMELLS, completely immersed us in the story of each room. It seemed as if the characters wandering through Rigamortis were pulled right out of classic horror films, scurrying like spiders along the floor and several of them tried to pull us back in with them! (But not to worry, they are not allowed to touch you nor you them.) As Helena residents, we are always interested in ghost stories from our hometown. We were pleasantly surprised when we realized Warehouse 31 managed to pull in elements from the Helena ghost story on the page to your left. You’ll have to check it out for yourself to see what I mean! All in all, it was a truly immersing experience that came together for a night none of us will soon forget. Be sure to take your family and friends to experience the best haunted house experience in central Alabama before they close Nov. 2!

Scares Galore Around every twisted turn.

enjoy your “last meal at the Monsters midway

try to find your way out——or fill an open grave!

More than just the murals jump out and grab you...

for hours and ticket information, visit

Many words of thanks for Mary Perko Mary Perko, as one of the original volunteers who helped bring the Helena Farmers Market (HMD) to fruition, took on the task of coordinating chef demonstrations. She built lasting relationships with many chefs from prominent area restaurants, and these chefs have come year after year to prepare signature dishes for HMD patrons to sample. For all her hard work, she was honored with a Certificate of Excellence from the city, presented by Mayor Mark Hall at the October 7 council meeting. Fellow volunteers and friends applauded her efforts and signed the Memory Skillet also presented to her. The skillet reads, “Mary had a little market, with tables white as snow. And everywhere that Mary went, the chefs were sure to go!” Sadly, Mary has announced she will be moving. As she departs Helena for her new home in Greensboro, N.C., we thank Mary for her enthusiasm with regards to good food in all forms and for sharing her green thumb and superior baking skills. Here is what a few Helena VIPs had to say about Mary: Mary is one of the driving forces behind the success of the Helena Market Days farmers market and we hope that she decides to take a long summer vacation in

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Helena for years to come, because we know she is going to miss the 6:00 a.m. duty call and sweltering in the July/August Alabama heat! HMD would not be what it is today without Mary Perko and I personally appreciate her devotion to this project. —Cris Nelson, City Council President Next to the market manager’s job, Mary’s has been the most difficult in terms of the coordination, communication and preparation that goes into each and every chef appearance. She has done a marvelous job, particularly in dealing with a group of people who work highly irregular schedules. Somehow she has charmed these culinary artists into showing up and putting on spectacular demonstrations for our early-morning audience. We will be hard pressed to replace her with someone who can build the same rapport. —Bob Van Loan, HMD volunteer Mary’s tireless commitment to voluntarily promoting all things Helena has been inspiring. She’ll be greatly missed. —Sue Lemieux, Chef at Fox Valley restaurant Tell everyone we have scraped together the $5.00 needed to pay off the kidnapper (aka Mary’s

husband) and now she won’t have to go. We only wish that could be so! Our farmers market would not be where it is today if it hadn’t been for Mary’s diligent fortitude in handling the chefs. It was her skill and persona that enabled us to have the high quality chefs that got us voted “Best Shelby County Farmer’s Market” the past two years. Without her, we will be like the dust swirling around and around in a never-ending circle—particles never to be whole again; alas, that’s another story. — Ron Holly, HMD manager/director Early in my days writing for Helena City News, one of the first selections for the Residential Beautification Award was Mary and Dana Perko’s yard in Falliston. I could tell that someone who appreciated plants of all kinds lived there and was using them in a pleasing way. That first encounter turned into shared trips to Petals From the Past and Plant Odyssey, places previously unknown to me. Mary is a foodie, no doubt, and would bring me her

wonderful bread made from King Arthur Flour (my Daily Bread still life, seen above, was created to celebrate it) and share her handpicked, homemade blackberry preserves. We have woven together many tasty memories over the years. —Laura Brookhart, market volunteer & photographer She made the shoppers and chefs feel welcome. We will miss her greatly, but she will be with us in spirit, reminding us to do an excellent job. —Joy Garriott Mary always says to me, “It’s not what you’re cooking, it’s what you’re cooking with”. But really, I always think, “It’s who you’re cooking with.” Thanks for the fun, Mary! —Jim Wathen, Jimsco, regular market attendee / photo assistant







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Improvements all around Helena

If you visited Joe Tucker Park recently, you might have noticed its newly freshened appearance. The lake has been cleaned; moss and growth from around the peripheral and bank area were cleared out. “We know that this will make for a better fishing experience,” noted Helena Parks and Rec Asst. Director Bill Miller. “Folks were losing their catch in the weeds as they reeled them in.” “This also cleaned up the debris that were constantly accumulating in the high grass. The creek that feeds Joe Tucker flows from the Fox Valley direc-

tion and each heavy rain swept through those neighborhoods gathering trash along the way.” “This clean up will not interfere with any of the current regular wildlife,” he noted. The tennis courts in the park are being completely renovated (See above photo). The courts will be re-leveled, resurfaced and new fencing erected. New fencing for Penhale Park, Joe Tucker ball fields and the Civic Complex ball fields is also on the agenda. Some portions will be repaired rather than replaced due to budget constraints. “Mayor Hall and the current

administration have done a good job finding funding for the projects that we need to do and the city is trying to get the most for the monies available.” Bill continued to meet with Keith Jackson of All-Steel Fence after the Sept. 16 council meeting of to fine-tune the details at each park location. “We are moving forward and hope to have all questions answered before the next council session.” “Whether we can afford to spend the extra dollars for the black vinyl higher-grade fencing has been under discussion,” he said. “The ballpark and playground at Joe Tucker need the most attention; these areas have been in desperate need of improvement for years.” “We will renovate and recondition the playing surfaces of all the baseball fields. That’s very exciting! Even the fields at the City Complex are 11 years old, so it’s time and will make a huge improvement to all the ball fields.”

Recently seen fishing the newly cleaned Joe Tucker Lake were Fieldstone residents Tim Hess and his son Reid. Tim says they enjoy fishing here often and usually catch bass and bream, most of which they throw back.

Important News from City Council President Cris Nelson New garbage contract with BFI The Helena City Council is excited about the opportunity to privatize our garbage service with the contract award to BFI effective December 1. This has been a project that the Mayor and all council members agreed we needed to investigate when we took office last November. What we discovered is that while we have kept rates the same for the citizens, the costs of running our own garbage service have continued to increase with operational costs. If we were to stay in the “garbage business,” the costs were going to increase significantly with continued increases in the normal costs plus the need to purchase new trucks, compliance with staffing, and the Affordable Health Care 16 Fall 2013 /

Act. These increases were going to have to be passed on to the citizens. Through the bid process we were able to contract with BFI to offer you the same weekly garbage service and additional bi-weekly recycling services for $12.99 per month. BFI will also provide each homeowner with two 95 gallon wheeled containers, one for garbage and one for recycling at no extra charge. This will be a small increase of $2.49 for those who have paid just for the garbage service in the past, but will be a savings of $5.16 for those that have also contracted for the recycle service separately. We feel that our rate increase would have been at least this much for

just garbage service so we are excited about the additional recycle services being able to be offered. Additionally, debris pick up is the same. The city will be able to retain ALL of our full time employees that have worked in sanitation and assign them to other departments. BFI will also have a job fair for the temporary employees should they want the option to be considered for employment with their company. The service will begin December 1st and all citizens should receive additional information in November.

This is just one of many projects we have been working on to improve the services offered to our residents. The Mayor and Council feel confident that you will be pleased with the change of this service and welcome your feedback. Cris Nelson City Council President

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Helena United Methodist Church receives new pastor Reverend Mary Bendall Starting June 15, Reverend Mary Bendall took over as the new pastor at Helena United Methodist Church, having been placed there by the North Alabama Conference Bishop of the United Methodist Church. For those who are unaware, pastors in the United Methodist Church are assigned to individual congregations on a year-by-year basis. That makes it all the more remarkable that Mary spent the last 10 years teaching her ministry in one place: the First United Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa. As associate pastor there, she became a valuable asset to the church, helping grow the church and connect with the local community. She discovered the calling to pastoral ministry in the church community starting when she was very young. While growing up, Mary attended

church regularly with her family at Trinity United Methodist Church in Huntsville, where she came to appreciate the people and support system surrounding her in church. It was these childhood experiences of church that called her to ministry. She completed her undergrad at Birmingham-Southern College, followed with a Masters in Divinity from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, which she earned in 2000. She started her ministry in Tuscaloosa in 2003, where, according to Will Willimon, Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry at Duke Divinity School, “she led a remarkable ministry at Tuscaloosa First.” Now, along with working at HUMC, she is a doctoral candidate at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, and an ordained elder in the UMC North Alabama

Conference. Mary has many goals for HUMC, but they all come down to a few key ideas: “We want to see Helena United Methodist continue to grow as a church, with our outreach programs, and to help the church be as faithful as it can be.” She explained she and other church leaders want to be as effective as possible in accomplishing the church’s mission, which is: ‘To make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.’  HUMC has three worship services each Sunday morning: a traditional worship service with a choir at 8:30am, a blended service at 11am, and a third service with a praise team held

at the same time, called 11:02, which is the contemporary service- complete with a praise and worship band. Mary extends a warm invitation to the Helena community as the ministry at HUMC strengthens, saying, “We invite anyone to come worship with us, anyone at all.”

2 LT Matt Blount Memorial Golf Tournament October 24 at Ballantrae While 2LT Matt Blount was serving his country in the US Army, he was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. Children ages 10-20 are typically diagnosed with this disease, however, at age 28, Matt was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma. Here is his story in the words of his wife, Melinda… “Matt and I met in June 2007 and started dating the next January. We married in June 2009. In September of that year, we found out we were expecting. In October, we found out Matt had cancer.” “Matt and I were both devastated, but we knew God would lead us through these tough times as we were both fighters. He fought the sarcoma with a rigorous treatment plan over the next several months, which ended just two months before our daughter was born. The plan was then to give his body rest before he went in for a

bone marrow transplant.” “Matt had his transplant in August 2010. He would not be himself until the following year. Matt continued to fight against the sarcoma while doing his best to be a soldier in the Army Reserves and tell his story of how God gave him strength to fight and be there for his family (Philippians 4:13).” “In July 2011, Matt started to feel weak again. He was diagnosed with leukemia this time and hospitalized in August to fight it. By September, however, his Ewing Sarcoma resurfaced. Matt’s two-year battle proved his mettle—he had the character of a true warrior.” “Matt passed away March 10, 2012, after fighting a battle with cancer he thought he had won. Unfortunately, with a rare cancer such as Ewing Sarcoma, people often have to keep fighting the fight. Matt was one of those who continued to fight until the

bitter end.” “There are about 50,000 people living with sarcoma today and 10-12,000 patients diagnosed every year who are greatly under-served. More attention and support must be brought to bear for those fighting this battle.” “For many sarcomas, the survival rate is only about 50 percent. Sarcomas often show simpler changes in the DNA than other cancers. For that reason, they could be considered perfect test cases for other cancers. The hope is that by finding a cure for a rare sarcoma, it could lead to a breakthrough in one of the more prominent cancers affecting so many.” “Working with friends and family through fundraisers and awareness campaigns, we will be able to educate others about this disease and help the Sarcoma Foundation of America (SFA) find a cure.”

Soldiering for a Sarcoma Cure is dedicated to building awareness of Sarcoma through events such as Motorcycle Rides, Golf Tournaments and Dinners. This year’s Motorcycle Ride had 30 bikers and raised over $3,000 for SFA. Our upcoming Golf Tournament, Swinging for a Cure, is set for Thursday, October 24, at Ballantrae Golf Club. Registration is at 10 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1 p.m. Format is a 4-man scramble. Entrance fee is $95 per person or $380 per team. The fees are tax deductible and lunch will be served. Pre-register at:

Thank you to our sponsors: Village Tavern, 97.7 The Peach, HD Digital, Helena and Pelham City News, Muse Salon, Help, Inc. 18 Fall 2013 /

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*This bar graph combines sold transactions (residential properties) of all office locations and independent offices of each multi-office or franchise organization, which listings were sold by such organization itself, or with the aid of a cooperating broker, according to the publications of the Local Board or Multiple Listing Service in the geographic area (zip code 35080) and time period indicated.** **Note: this representation is based in whole or in part on data supplied by the Birmingham Area Multiple Listing Service for the period January 1, 2012, to December 31, 2012. Neither the Board or its MLS guarantees or is in any way responsible for its accuracy. Data maintained by the Board or its MLS may not reflect all real estate activity in the market.


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Author Rick Shelton teaches HIS students about writing Author and writing consultant Rick Shelton spent September 23-25 doing what he does best: leading a writing workshop with the students of HIS to teach them about narrative writing. His book Write Where You Are has been praised by schools around the south as a great tool for teaching writing, and he spends much of his time each year holding workshops that teach many of the same principles. The biggest advantage to the workshop is that he consistently described his ideas in the best way possible for children: with humor. At HIS, he made many of his points through storytelling and jokes,

using exaggerated voices, faces and much wild gesturing that often had the kids in stitches. His “curriculum” at HIS included simplifying the basics of story writing for children to more easily understand. He told the children, before you begin writing a story, you should answer the questions “Where are we going?” and “How do we get there?” From there, he talked about how many students keep too much “unnecessary stuff” in their writing. He told a story about a nighttime baseball game, but began it in the morning, when the player was waking up and getting dressed. This helped

Savanna James Thomson

“With the heart of an Afrikaner and the grace of a Southern belle, Savanna James entered our world and in love with her we fell.” James and Kelly Thomson of Helena welcomed their daughter, Savanna James, into the world September 5, 2013, at 8:23 A.M. She weighed 7 pounds and measured 20 inches. 20 Fall 2013 /

illustrate that while a story does need a beginning, it doesn’t need a lot— only “just before” the climax, which he calls The Big Moment. He was very excited when one student called it, “What we’ve been waiting for.” His workshop enforced the idea that a story needs to only include plot, details and dialogue that point toward the Big Moment. “Taking the idea of ‘beginning, middle, end’ and putting it into their words—‘before, during, after’ the Big Moment–just puts it in

perspective for some kids,” he said. And to simplify the concept of having a character, setting and plot, Rick told the students a story merely needs to have “Somebody somewhere doing something.” As the students continue their work on narrative writing this semester, they will not soon forget the lessons and stories they learned with Rick. “The kids were great all three days,” said Rick. “It was just so much fun working with them.”

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Saturday, November 16, 2013 9am-5am Sponsorships available from $50.00 to $1500.00 More than 50 merchants from Alabama and surrounding states will participate in the premier shopping event. Shoppers will enjoy a wide variety of unique Christmas themed items. Merchants are offering clothing, food, collectibles, decorations and much more. Prepare to be amazed as you browse through Candy Cane Lane, Mistletoe Drive or Jungle Bell Parkway. A Southern Christmas Bazaar is presented solely for the purpose of raising funds to benefit the projects of the Alabaster-Pelham Rotary Club. Beneficiary projects will be focused on health, wellness and nutrition in Shelby County. Rotarian volunteers have put together what is destined to be THE event in Shelby County for fun, shopping, decorating and celebrating.


UPCOMING EVENTS AND ACTIVITIES: Story Time Every Tuesday & Thursday at 11:00 AM Oct. 14 Book Club meeting at 10 am. Book-lovers are encouraged to join this fun, interesting club. This month’s selection is Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.


JANE B. HOLMES PUBLIC LIBRARY 230 Tucker Road, Helena, AL 35080

Oct. 19 Join us for FREE coffee and doughnuts beginning at 10 am! Who knows how long they will last, so try to stop by and enjoy refreshments, and access to all sorts of FREE information such as books, high-speed internet, movies, music and much more at your library! Oct. 28 Ultimate Couponing at 6 pm with Angela Treadway of the Cooperative Extension Service. This event is part of the Smart Investing at Your Library series! Join us as Angela teaches tips and tricks to saving money with coupons.

HOURS: Mon. 10-7, Tues. 10-6, Wed. 10-6, Thurs. 10-7, Fri. 10-5, Sat. 10-2, Sun. Closed. Good day to everyone. The library celebrated a Big 26th Birthday on September 5, 2013! We hosted events all day, including a special Storytime and a BIG Book Sale in the newly painted meeting room! Everyone had a great time, and it was a big success in large part to our friends and volunteers. Special thanks to everyone who assisted with publicity. The Book Sale netted almost $480—the largest sum raised in years! Patron donations totaled $233 in addition to many books, movies, and various supplies. People often ask if the library takes donations. The answer is YES! The library gladly accepts: Books, movies, and music in good condition – keep in mind that items may be added to the library collection, given to another library or organization, or sold on our book sale cart. The library also accepts items such as: cleaning supplies, tissues, paper towels, bathroom tissue, office supplies and tape. The library is delighted to welcome volunteers and The Friends of the Library is in need of additional members. Please call 664-8308 for additional details. The fall is a GREAT time to visit your library. We receive new materials often, and as the days get shorter, it is a great time to curl up with a good book! With gas prices on the rise and holiday spending around the corner, do not forget the library is a great place to save money. Our DVD collection is updated often, and the movies checked out are FREE if returned on time. The library has some great things on the horizon for the fall. Please review our calender of upcoming events and activities to see what appeals to you. The Jane B. Holmes Public Library is constantly adding programs and events. To get the latest, most up-to-date information visit the City of Helena’s web site at and click on the Public Library bar on the left. Whew! Well that is all for now. Visit the library and see what we have to offer, and don’t forget to bring your library card. Hope to see you soon, Library Director Daniel Dearing

NEW MOVIES AND TV SHOWS AVAILABLE NOW: Grimm–Season 2; Bates Motel–Season 1; Arrow–Season 1; World War Z; The Bling Ring; Big Bang Theory–Season 6; Star Trek: Into Darkness; Empire State; Now You See Me; The Great Gatsby; The Vampire Diaries–The Complete Fourth Season; The Walking Dead– Complete Third Season; Epic; Once Upon a Time–Season 2 NEW MUSIC – Call 664-8308 or visit to reserve these now! Fuse–Keith Urban; Feels Like Home–Sheryl Crow; The Electric Lady –Janelle Monae; From Here to Now to You–Jack Johnson; Paradise Valley–John Mayer; A Place Called Loveland – Raheem Devaughn; Songs from St. Somewhere–Jimmy Buffet

You can take the library director out of the library, but you can’t take the library out of the library director! (Even when he’s supposed to be strategizing to battle the Harlem Wizards.) Looks like councilwoman Leigh Hulsey has her hands full with Dan and everybody’s favorite blogger, councilman Hal “Hewey” Woodman.

Howler the Husky represents Helena sports!

With the new school system comes a new mascot for Helena Schools, so all Helena students and around 500 residents cast ballots on November 27 last year to decide between the Hawks and the Huskies as a mascot for Helena’s fledgling school system. Howler the Husky, shown on the front cover, was chosen to represent the schools’ sports teams, and the new colors are black, silver, and bright blue. With new colors come new uniforms for the sports teams and cheerleaders, and with a new mascot comes.... a costume!  HMS cheer sponsor Michelle Saindon was initially put in charge of finding the husky costume. The first few she found were relatively inexpensive (for mascot costumes), but she

felt they did not represent Helena. When she found the perfect one, it had a higher price tag. “Even though it was expensive, I knew we needed that one,” said Michelle. So she talked to several local businesses who agreed to sponsor the mascot costume, and she was thrilled, saying, “Helena is a great community for things like this.” The sponsors are Francene Drexler of Remax First Choice, Karen Miller of Allstate, Amy Montgomery of Salon Turquoise, Matt Bishop of The Depot, Mike and Crystal Jones of Event Management Group, Justin Smitherman of Alabama Law Services, the Nail Depot, and The Donut Chef. Quickly, Michelle realized that sponsoring the HMS cheerleaders did not leave her much time to work with the mascot as well, so 7th grade science teacher Lindsey Minton was recruited to be the mascot

sponsor. “Apparently, when you jump around acting like an idiot at the pep rally, they put you in charge of the mascot,” Lindsey laughed. “At a pep rally, the band was playing, the cheerleaders were cheering, but the students in the bleachers were reading books or doing homework. I thought, ‘that’s just not right!’ So I started running around, yelling and trying to get the kids all pumped up. I guess that’s why they put me in charge of the mascot.”  Once the mascot costume was ordered, they held tryouts. Anyone who wanted to try out had to write an essay explaining why they wanted to be the mascot, and then come and actually try out- do some moves they might do as the husky. Seven students wrote letters, and five actually tried out. Of those, three made the cut: 7th

grader Kyle Beckham and 8th graders Will Elliot and Julian Sanchez. Kyle is wearing the suit on the cover, with Will wearing the body and Julian holding the head in the picture below. The three boys take turns inside the costume at home game pep rallies and during basketball games. “It gets really hot in the suit, so we cycle them out of it. That way everyone gets a chance, too,” Lindsey said. “They all have a lot of fun, they’re glad for the chance to represent HMS.”

Helena Kiwanis Club installs new officers New Helena Kiwanis Club officers were installed at the September 24 meeting. “It is one thing to be told about Kiwanis; it is another to have the experience of being

involved,” Coke Clark told the assembled group. “We welcome everyone interested to attend one of our meetings.” For more information, visit

Above: Claudia Deason and Gene Maier presented outgoing president Barry Ellis with plaque. Pictured left are (L-R) Molly Clark, Camille Maier, Treasurer; Gene Maier, past District Governor; Jarrod Gibson, 2013-14 President; Barry Ellis, past President, Dan Dearing, President Elect; Claudia Deason, and Colquitt Clark. Not pictured, Mary Cooper, Secretary.

24 Fall 2013 /

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Elizabeth Roland celebrates 11 years in Helena Attorney Elizabeth Roland opened her Helena law office in 2002. Having relocated to Helena, her practice was then a satellite to her main office located on Clairmont Avenue. “I came to love this town and its people so much, I decided to make this my permanent location,” Elizabeth recalls. “2013 is the celebration of our 11th year serving the people of this area.” She has a general practice, and some may even call her a family lawyer. “We can help with anything that involves your family—wills, estates, divorce, custody, child support—plus real estate closings or car accidents,” she said. Elizabeth is married to David Lewis, and together they have four children and twelve grandchildren. She enjoys gardening and attends Hunter

Street Baptist Church. She is a member of the Helena Business Association and has been an active member of the area Rotary club for 22 years, serving as Rotary president in 2012. Rotary continues its mission to eradicate polio throughout the world and also to establish water wells in Africa. On a more local basis, the Rotary also sponsors scholarships for Pelham and Thompson High students, and a Teacher of the Month is honored and presented with $250. Elizabeth is a member of the Shelby Women’s League, a new organization made up of women who work or live in Shelby County. They are sponsors of BackPack Buddies, Shelby Humane Society and Safehouse. She is also active in Manna Ministries, a food ministry. On Elizabeth’s front counter is

her ‘Egg Basket’ that she takes everywhere with her. “Each $150 collected buys eggs for 50-100 families,” she shared. In appreciation of the Helena community and its support of her practice over these past 11 years, Elizabeth would like to make a quarterly donation to Helena schools for each new Helena resident that utilizes her services throughout this next year. When you choose Elizabeth Roland for your consultation and law needs,

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TO ADVERTISE, CALL the Publisher at 746.1188 / / Fall 2013



Exercise Classes, Helena Senior Citizens Center, 10 A.M. Police Explorers at Explorer Training Facility, 4-7 P.M. Fire Explorers at Station 2, 5 P.M. Kiwanis Club at Helena Senior Citizens Center, 7 A.M. Story Time at Jane B. Holmes Public Library, 11 A.M. Exercise Classes, Helena Senior Citizens Center, 10 A.M. Story Time at Jane B. Holmes Public Library, 11 A.M.

October 17th 18th 19th -

HMS-RMS Middle School Iron Bowl, Ned Bearden Stadium, 5:30 pm Planning & Zoning Commission, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00 pm HIS Child Nutrition Program Staff Appreciation Day HAA Ididarun Packet Pickup, Cahaba Lily Park, 4:00-6:00 pm Football game, PHS vs. Chelsea, Ned Bearden Stadium, 7:00 pm Helena Athletic Association Ididarun, Cababa Lily Park, Packet Pickup 7:00 am, 5K 8:00 am, 1 Mile Fun Run 9:00 am - Aaron’s Staff (FREE) Respite Care-special needs 0-21, must reserve - Helena Clean Up Day 8:00-11:00 am (bring gardening tools) 21st - Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00 pm 22nd - HES Boosterthon Kickoff Rallies, Cafeteria, 1:35 pm & 2:20 pm 25th - HIS Bus Driver Appreciation Day - PHS-Spain Park, Ned Bearden Stadium, 7:00 pm 31st - Halloween – Drive Carefully and Watch for Trick-or-Treaters


1st - HES Boosterthon High Five Fun Run (by grade): 2nd 8:00-9:00 am; 1st 9:00-10:00 am; 5K 10:00-11:00 am 3rd - Daylight Savings Time Ends, Fall Back One Hour 4th - Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00 pm 5th - Helena Business Association Meeting, 8:00 am at The Donut Chef 6th - Emergency Siren Test, 10:00 am 11th - Veterans Day – Municipal Offices, Library & Schools Closed NO Garbage Collection: Mon./Tues. garbage routes collected Tues., Nov. 12 16th - Aaron’s Staff (FREE) Respite Care-special needs 0-21, must reserve 18th - Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00 pm 21st - Helena Planning & Zoning, Helena Municipal Building, 6 pm 26th - HES PTO Spirit Day, Pay $1 to Support Your Team 27th - Thanksgiving Garbage Schedule: Wed./Thurs. routes collected today - Shelby County Schools Closed for Thanksgiving Nov. 27-29 28th - Thanksgiving – Municipal Offices & Library Closed Nov. 28-29 29th - Thanksgiving Garbage Schedule: Friday’s route will be collected as usual

December 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 16th 17th


HES Santa Shop Dec. 2-6 PHS Alabama High School Graduation Exam Dec. 2-6 Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00 pm Helena Business Association Meeting, 8:00 am, for meeting site visit or their Facebook page Emergency Siren Test, 10:00 am HES Breakfast with Santa (Last Names A-M), Cafeteria, 7:00-8:00 am HES Breakfast with Santa (Last Names N-Z), Cafeteria, 7:00-8:00 am Helena’s Annual Christmas Parade, visit for info Helena City Council, Helena Municipal Building, 6:00 pm Visit with Santa, Jane B. Holmes Library, 6:00 pm

26 Fall 2013 / CityOfHelena

Real men rock puppies! “Jeff Rozycki owner of Gamin’ Ride of Helena is a REAL MAN!” says Sonya Zorn of Two by Two Rescue. “On an average day Jeff looks cool, but when he rocks homeless puppies to sleep, he looks REAL cool.” The Rozycki family is a foster home for Two by Two Rescue. They provide love and basic training for puppies until they get a fur-ever home. In the last

five years, they have nurtured several dozen puppies. Two by Two Rescue provides food and veterinarian expenses, while foster homes take care of safety and love. If you are interested in making a difference in your community, contact Two by Two Rescue at and be sure to “Like us” on our Facebook page.

Helena Intermediate presented check for Special Education Program by District 15 Representative Allen Farley Representative Allen Farley, of District 15, presented a $750 check to Helena Intermediate School. Kathy Paiml, Principal, and Melanie King, Special Education Program Specialist accepted the check which will be used to enhance the school’s special education program. 

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Homecoming Queen: Holley Gray - Helena

12th grade Rep: Allison El-Feraly - Helena

12th grade Rep: Anna Webber - Helena

12th grade Rep: Madison Garcia- Helena

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28 Fall 2013 /



HELENA HIGH SCHOOL “Band-Its” Celebrity All-Stars

Thanks to everyone who came out to see the Wizards and the Band-Its: you helped raise nearly $5,700 for the future Helena High School Band!!

Cam Ward speaks about bullying at HMS

Conflict and bullying were recent important topics studied and discussed in the Gifted Resource Class at Helena Middle School. Cindy Warner, Public Relations Supervisor for all district schools, says these topics merit discussion by students, parents and staff/faculty. “GRS students researched the applicable laws in different states and concluded that Alabama’s legislation could be bettered,” Cindy said. “Each wrote a letter to Senator Cam Ward asking him to help them make changes in the law against bullying.” Alabama’s most recent legislation to address bullying was

introduced by Cam Ward and Kurt Wallace about two years ago. This states the alleged perpetrator and the victims should be notified. It also contains a provision that states that if the bullying is a continued pattern, a repeat offender can be removed from the school. Senator Ward came to HMS on September 13 to speak to the students. ”I want to hear your questions and your ideas because that’s how we can really make a difference,” he said. “Unfortunately, bullying has always been around. You cannot pass a law or make a rule to stop bullying. All you can do is make the circumstances better so there is more awareness on the part of parents, our youth and the community outside of the schools.” “There are things we can all do together, whether it be legislation or raising individual awareness. If we can stop or slow it, we have an obligation to do that.” “Rudeness or teasing is not necessarily bullying. There are harassment rules in the workplace that address this. Bullying

is a pattern that goes on over a long period of time,” he said. Students present noted that students with disabilities may be abused verbally, but not be able to defend themselves. “Physical bullying is easier to prevent than verbal; when you see it, tell your teacher. Or in other situations, tell an adult— don’t shrug it off,” Senator Ward continued. “What was your dream at our age and were you ever bullied?” asked student Lauren Self. The senator replied he was

bullied in elementary school because he wore glasses and braces, but by high school and university, he was active in the student council and realized some of his ambition to be involved in political action. “By you students taking an interest in this issue,” he said, “it’s a big step toward cutting down on bullying.”

TO ADVERTISE, CALL the Publisher at 746.1188 / / Fall 2013


Lauren York Riley a lady on an alternative career path

Lauren Riley loves studying an object, figuring it out and using her hands to create something new from it. That’s how her passion came to be welding. Her first introduction to engineering came at a Girl’s Construction camp in 2009 that she was encouraged by her mother to attend. There, she was able to try electrical welding and drafting. In 2010, she found opportunities to further her interest with

ACIPCO’s Engineering Explorers and Foundry in a Box. “With the ACIPCO Engi-

neering Explorers, I got to learn about different types of engineering careers,” Lauren said. As a volunteer with the American Foundry Society’s (AFS) Foundry in a Box, she further gained an understanding of the foundry industry, which encourages elementary through college students to pursue a technical education. Lauren was indeed hooked and is currently the only female in her welding class at the Shelby County College and Career Center. “Studying the properties of metals interests me; I love the technical side of welding —the heat and fire element of combining two metals into a permanent bond,” said Lauren. At the Shelby County Fair, Lauren’s class won first place for an armadillo constructed out of horseshoes. Other entries were a sculpture of a Man welding while sitting on an iBeam and a Ferris wheel. Lauren’s passion for the industry and early dedication to her craft has already begun to open doors for her. She’s been asked to give speeches in high school classrooms across

HBA Upcoming Events The Helena Business Association has been busy planning some upcoming events for this fall and early 2014. Stay tuned to our website at or our Facebook page for complete details as they develop. We are starting a new event 30 Fall 2013 /

called “First Friday” that will begin on Friday, November 1st and will be from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. There will be merchants set up along Main Street in Old Town for you to visit and shop the tents and stores. More to come as this develops! Also, we are developing a small business learning series

Shelby County, and at 15, she was accepted into the NASA Inspire Engineering program. Lauren was also twice chosen as an ambassador for the University of Alabama’s Early College Program. In January, Gov. Robert Bentley mentioned her specifically when discussing his vision for workforce accomplishments in Alabama. She plans to attend the University of Alabama next year and major in metallurgical engineering. “I feel she is the perfect poster child for Women in Skilled Trades. She is smart, beautiful and doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty,” shared her mother, April Grubbs Olive. “It’s a fact that 51% of manufacturing companies now report a shortage of skilled workers such as machinists, craft workers, technicians, electricians and engineers.”* “With the baby boomer generation retiring soon, we need more students willing to go into skilled trades. I want to share the word to other parents who may not know about these where we will bring in some of the area’s best talent in areas of marketing, finance, technology to name a few. This will expose business owners to something old and something new as we share amongst ourselves best practices for running your business in today’s volatile economy. We invite you to come to our

opportunities.” This semester, Lauren is practicing and learning techniques of Stick welding SMAW (Shielded Metal Arc Welding or MMW); previously she worked in GMAW (Gas Metal Arc Welding of MIG). Certification is received after passing a test. Addressing what has been challenging for her, she said,

“Some of the welding positions are really awkward; last year I spent a lot of time getting in tune with my body and training it to hold a steady position while working and only your arms can move.” Lauren says, “As a welder, you may have to work in freezing or scorching hot temperatures, low altitudes, perhaps even under water. 99.9% of welders are male. As a female, I have to be able to be tough, have fun getting dirty, work hard and do it right.”

meetings on the first Tuesday of each month at the Donut Chef at 8:00 a.m. to learn more about this and many other opportunities available to our Helena businesses.

HMS Coach Meredith George wins ASAHPERD Teacher of the Year title Another wonderful local teacher is putting Helena on the map. The Alabama State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, and Dance (ASAHPERD) recently named HMS physical education teacher Meredith George as Middle School Teacher of the Year. Meredith has no idea who nominated her, but she is thankful. She will be presented the award at the annual ASAHPERD Luncheon on November 19. As Teacher of the Year, Meredith qualifies as a candidate for the national award, and she says she will pursue that as well. “It’s an opportunity I don’t want to pass up,” she said. Born and raised in Boaz, this city is where Meredith began her sports career in track and field. She still holds the state ASHAA record for the high jump, 5’6½”, which she achieved during her

senior year at Boaz High School in 1998. She then attended UAB, where she received her bachelor and masters degrees in PE. “I always played sports growing up, and I wanted to continue playing as I went through school, so I ended up becoming a PE teacher,” she laughed. Meredith then taught PE at both Riverchase and Bottenfield middle schools before making her way to HMS when it opened in 2008. While she coached HMS volleyball in the past, she now coaches the cross country and track teams, the former of which meets on Saturdays. “So yes, I’m at HMS 6 days a week, 12-13 hours a day,” she laughed. “But I love it here.” On top of teaching PE, cross country and track to HMS students, Meredith is also a student herself-- and on track

to receive her doctorate from the University of Alabama in December. “I want to eventually be a professor,” she said, explaining that eventually teaching at Montevallo or UAB would be her preference so she doesn’t have to move. “Whatever happens will happen, I’m not going to worry too much about that.” According to the Shelby County Schools news website, HMS Principal Scott Knight said, “We are so pleased that Coach George is receiving the ASAHPERD State Teacher of the Year Award. She is a tremendous asset to our school. Her students and colleagues know just how deserving she is of this type of recognition. We couldn’t be more proud of her.” When asked about what makes the program at HMS stand out, Meredith gave credit

to the others who teach with her. “I have two amazing coworkers; they are really supportive and great to work with,” she said. Her co-PE teachers are football and golf Coach Ryan Brewer and baseball Coach Bobby Cummings. “They’re my brothers. And the kids at HMS are great, the administration is great, and it’s just a great place to work. I love it here,” she said.

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L-R: Front row- McKay Wilkins, Tristin Sharp (Captain), Katie Thomas, Presley Sherer (Co-Captain), Meredith Rye, Sarah Anderson, Michalyn Worthy. Back row- Alex Crowe, Courtney Zajic, Jessica Barr, Gabe Pritchett, Faith Nolen.

Pantherettes at Summer UDA Dance Camp The Pelham High School Pantherettes attended the UDA Dance Camp this summer at Auburn University on June 26-29, which was a real treat for Pantherettes Sponsor Jenni Russell, who attended Auburn. The team won a Superior Trophy, UDA Leadership Award, 2013 Gatorade Teamwork Award, and Spirit Sticks at the Dance Camp. Congratulations to our All-American Winners; Tristin

Sharp, Katie Thomas, McKay Wilkins, Presley Sherer, Sarah Anderson, and Michalyn Worthy. Congratulations also to our Seniors; Tristin Sharp, Katie Thomas, and McKay Wilkins, for being invited to perform in the 2013 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City! Congratulations, ladies, for representing your school so well! We’ll keep an eye out for you during the parade!

Taylor Jordan Watts Marries Matthew Brady Riley Taylor Jordan Watts, daughter of John and Kristi Watts, married Matthew Brady Riley, son of Misty Riley and the late James Riley. The couple’s summer sunset wedding was held at the outdoor church, The Church of the Living Waters on Lake Martin, with Father Ingalls officiating. The reception was held at the bride’s family lake house in Still Waters. The couple honeymooned in New Orleans and reside in Helena. 32 Fall 2013 /

local A.M.E.


New Bethel A.M.E. Church Highway 261 • 201-5531 Pastor Rev. Wilma Merriweather Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Morning Worship 11:00 a.m.


CrossBridge Community Church Starkey Street (off Hwy 261) • 621-2695 Pastors Harris Cook & Bruce Squires • Sunday Worship 10:00 a.m. Wednesday Prayer Service 6:30 p.m. First Baptist Church Helena 815 Highway 52 E • 663-7879 Senior Pastor Greg Walker • Sunday Bible Study 9:30 a.m. Sunday Worship 10:30 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. Gospel Light Baptist Church 5781 Roy Drive • 685-0772 Pastor Steve Kilpatrick • Sunday Bible Study 10:00 a.m. Sunday Worship 11:00 a.m. Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church Highway 261 • 663-5257 Pastor Rev. Edwin D. Dinkins • Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Morning Worship 11:00 a.m. New Elam Baptist Church Cunningham Drive Pastor Rev. Lester Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Morning Worship 11:00 a.m. Riverside Baptist Church 1919 Highway 52 West • 426-1910 Pastor J.J. Stanbridge • e-mail: Sunday Worship 9:00 a.m. Sunday Bible Study 10:30 a.m. Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church 6700 Highway 13 • 424-4539 Pastor Rev. Randy Keef Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Morning Worship 11:00 a.m. CHRISTIAN-DISCIPLES OF CHRIST Grace Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) 869 Highway 52 • 426-1233 Pastor Tommy Morgan • Sunday School 9:00 a.m. Sunday Worship 10:00 a.m. CHURCH OF CHRIST Church of Christ at Helena 2499 Highway 58 • 620-4575 Evgs Curtis Flatt & Bryan Moody • Sunday School 9:30 a.m. Morning Worship 10:30 a.m.


Lamb of God Charismatic Episcopal 5140 County Road 17, 378-8022 Pastor Rev. Glenn E. Davis • Sun. Worship/Children’s Church 10:00 a.m.


Helena United Methodist Church 2035 County Road 58 • 663-0111 Pastor Rev Mary Bendall • Worship 8:30 & 11:00 a.m. Modern Worship Sunday 7:19 p.m. The Church at Cahaba Bend 3721 Highway 52 West • 621-8060 Pastor Rev Lori Carden • Sunday School 9:15 a.m. Contemporary Worship 10:30 a.m.

Now offering facial cosmetic procedures including Botox, Juvederm and Latisse in our Alabaster and Hoover offices. We offer In-office Mammo, DEXA and ultrasound (including 4D). Kara M. Conti, MD Shelby OB/Gyn 408 1st Street North Suite 200 Alabaster, AL 35007 (205) 664-9995


Trinity Church of the Nazarene Laurel Woods Dr. & Hwy 58 • 664-4659 Pastor Rev. David Shirer • Sunday School 9:00 a.m. Morning Worship 10:00 a.m.


Cornerstone Church 2694 Highway 58 • 663-9332 Pastor Rev. Tim Trimble Sunday School 9:30 a.m. Morning Worship 10:30 a.m. New Vision Christian Church 2383 Highway 95 • 664-4333 Pastor Van C. Houser, Sr. • Sun. Corporate Prayer 9:00 a.m. Sunday Worship 10:15 a.m. Voice of Faith International Ministries 1560 Cunningham Drive • 663-7396 Pastor Rev. Franklin L. Kirksey Sunday Worship 7:00 a.m. & 10:00 a.m. Thursday Bible Teaching 10:00 a.m.


Christ Community Church Meets at Helena Intermediate • 621-6248 Pastor Phil Chambers • Sunday Worship 10:00 a.m. Helena Cumberland Presbyterian 3396 Helena Road • 663-2174 Pastor Rev. Tommy Johnson • Sunday School 9:00 a.m. Morning Worship 10:00 a.m.

Our area churches offer many services and programs year-round. Please visit the church’s websites for more information on upcoming events. Attend the Church of Your Choice This Sunday!

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Helena Historic Committee hosts book signing at museum The Helena Historic Preservation Committee hosted a book signing at the Kenneth R. Penhale City of Helena Museum Saturday, September 28 for the University of Montevallo’s Professor of History Dr. James S. Day. His book, Diamonds in the Rough, reconstructs the historical moment that defined the Ca-

haba Coal Field, a mineral-rich area that stretches across sixtyseven miles and four counties of central Alabama. At the event, residents talked with Dr. Day about his book, ate snacks and snapped pictures with the author and some of the Helena Belles. Resident Ramona Rice won a drawing for an archive photo of Old Towne Helena.



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• •


Changing of the guard at Family Eye Care of Helena In January of 2004, I opened Family Eye Care of Helena to provide eye care for the residents of Helena and the surrounding areas. Since then Family Eye Care of Helena has grown because of your loyalty and support. Following optometry school, I completed a residency program at the Muskogee Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Oklahoma. During that time, I found great

satisfaction in being able to serve our veterans who have given so very much for us and our country. I was recently offered a position as Staff Optometrist at the Bessemer VA. I have accepted the position. I am leaving Family Eye Care of Helena in the very capable hands of Dr. Jamie Reid. I have no doubt that she will take excellent care of you and your families. Kathy and Lindy will

Jamie Cason Reid, OD is pleased to announce that she will be taking over the practice at Family Eye Care of Helena for Dr. Paul Schifanella. Jamie is married to Clay Reid, and the pair have three children: five-year-old Nathan and twin two-year-olds Will and Wes. “Yes, we have twin boys,” she laughed. She and her family are very excited that she will now be closer to home while practicing optometry. Jamie obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama. While attending college, she worked for

an optometrist and learned how much good optometrists can do for their patients. She then went on to complete her Doctorate of Optometry and Residency in Family Practice Optometry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). She has been practicing optometry and teaching at UAB School of Optometry for the past eight years, and is fully trained to provide care for all your vision and ocular disease needs. Jamie says, “I look forward to meeting you and your family! It’s great to be here in Helena.” Welcome to the neighborhood, Dr. Jamie!

continue to assist in your eye care with Dr. Reid. Thank you for trusting me with your eye care over the past nine years. It has truly been an honor and a privilege to have been your eye doctor. I am very glad I can leave your care to a doctor as

accomplished and kind as Dr. Reid. Sincerely, Paul Schifanella, O.D.

And we’d like to introduce PHS graduate Jamie Cason Reid, O.D.

Friends of Helena Library extends an open invitation to everyone

Friends of the Helena Library meets bi-monthly and wants to encourage everyone who might be interested in participating and growing our local library to attend a meeting. Their mission

is to support the overall goals of the library with volunteer effort, financial assistance, and furthering the development of patronage and appreciation. Current members are Betty

Cowan, Courtney Kendrick, Sherry Quan, Jeanette Turner, Hal Woodman and council liaison, Leslie Bartlett. The library recently held a most successful book sale in honor of the 26th birthday of the present building, garnering $480.00 from the sale of used books. Bud’s Best Cookies in Hoover provided treats for the occasion. Another $233.00 was added in patron donations plus contributions of books, movies, music, and cleaning office supplies. A selection of books was also donated to the library at the Columbiana jail after the sale.

Volunteers recently painted the meeting room and Ace Hardware in Helena was very helpful in helping us get the right paint at a good price, said Director Dan Dearing. Some of the books on the shelves in the sunnier sections have been damaged over time, so as of September, all the library windows have been tinted, which will further help preserve the books. Meeting dates are posted on the city web site. Friends of the Library pictured here (L-R) Jeanette Turner, Courtney Kendrick, Director Dan Dearing, Betty Cowan and Sherry Quan.

TO ADVERTISE, CALL the Publisher at 746.1188 / / Fall 2013


Lauri Williams, DMD, PC Charles Bordenca, DMD Check us out on

219 North First St. Alabaster, AL 35007 Phone 205.664.2130 After Hours 205.941.0631

Come see us on the hill behind Publix for all your automotive maintenance and repairs.

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Behind the Publix Shopping Center at HWY 31 & Valleydale Rd.

PLUMBING REPAIR SERVICES Commercial and Residential

Call 664-3300 for 24 Hour Service • Sewer & Drain Cleaning • Faucet & Toilet Repairs • Water Heater Repairs & Replacements • Major & Minor Sewer Line Repairs • Sewer Line Camera Inspection • Backflow Preventer Inspection & Certification

XYZ (eXtra Years of Zest) Club weekly activities held at the Helena Senior Citizens Center

Located at 222 Tucker Road, behind city hall and next to the library

Senior Exercise Classes are held at the Helena Senior Citizen Building every Monday and Thursday at 10:00 a.m. Activities include chair aerobics, bending, stretching, and other low impact exercises focusing on flexibility and stability. Come join in for some healthy fun and fellowship!

Keith Beard


Located at :

Guitar Gallery in Pelham or Christ Church United Methodist off Caldwell Mill

Serving the Southeast Since 1963 135 Belcher Drive • Pelham, AL 35124 • 664-3300 36 Fall 2013 /


PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR ACTIVE DUTY MILITARY PERSONNEL… We’re the Home of the Free Because of the Brave!

SGT Jon M. Aaron

4/14 K CO (DET B), UNIT 43671, FPO AP 96426-3671; Al Anbar, Iraq; Karen Dickinson’s son

LCPL Jared M. Fitzgerald

USMC; 9th Communication Battalion; Camp Pendleton; CA 92055 Rosemarie Butler’s son and Jeff’s stepson, Justin and Tyler’s brother

SGT Steven M Bennett

Petty Officer 3rd Class Justin D. Gilbert

USA; Paratrooper/Rigger; Fort Benning, GA; Clara & Ken Lorino’s son

APO3 David R. Black

USCG, Machinery Technician; Key West, FL; Leslie’s husband, Annette & Dan Duffy’s son-in-law

SFC Eric Bond

ARNG; 20th Special Forces; Iraq; April’s husband

SRA Mitch Braswell

USA; Ranger; Scofield BKS, HI; John Gray’s son, Lauren & Ryan Gray’s brother

PVT Vincent Brown

USAF Fort Gordon - Augusta, GA Rod & Susan Hubbard’s son

USN; USS Stennett; Bremmerton Wa.; Perry Black’s son

SSG Jay Gortney

USA; 82nd ABD, 1-504 PIR; Baghdad, Iraq; Paul Zimmerman’s cousin

SGT Brooks Gray

USAF; 16th EMS, 16th Special Op. Wing; Afghanistan; Mike & Judi Braswell’s son

AMN Brad Hubbard

USMC; Chesapeake, VA; Leonetta Prevo’s son

Christopher Dylan Burrell

ARNG; 1/167th Inf. Bn Co. B, Operation Enduring Freedom; Afghanistan

SGT Paul Bushnell

USMC; Expeditionary Unit deployed from 29 Palms, CA; Bill & Julie English’s son, Sarah’s husband

SGT Dallas C Caviness

USA; 172 Inf. Brigade; Germany; Rebecca’s husband, Norah’s father, Rhonda’s son & Devin’s brother

SPC Michael Hubbard

USA; Camp Liberty, Iraq; Ruth Meadows grandson, Kimberly’s husband, Bonnie Hubbard’s brother

SPC Eric Hunley

ARNG; 1/167 Inf. Bn Co. B, Operation Enduring Freedom; Afghanistan; Mike & Barbara Hunley’s son; late Chris Hunley’s brother

CPL Michael Jeffries

ARNG; 1/167 Inf. Bn Co. B, Operation Enduring Freedom; Afghanistan; Amy’s husband, Colin & Gavin’s father

2nd Lt. William B. Cofer

USN; NAS Jacksonville, FL; Joe & Tammy Williams’ son, Rev. Clifton & Mattie Taylor’s grandson

SPC Ashley Bruce Squires

USA; 3rd Inf. Div., 1-30 Inf.; Ft. Stewart, GA; Jesi Mason Squires’s father, Bruce & Tammy son, Aubrey & Austin’s brother

CPL Rodney Stephens

ARNG; 152nd Military Police Task Force 382nd, Iraq; Andrea & AnnaBelle’s father

2LT John M Traylor, Jr

USMC; VMMT 204 Flightline, MCAS; New River, NC; Keith & Sherill Vansant’s son

Petty Officer 3rd Class Erik B. McKenzie

USAR; Afghanistan; Kathie’s husband, Maggie’s dad, Bette Ward’s son, Michelle (Lin) Saville’s brother

2nd Lt. Jacob Allen Meins

USN; USS Nimitz; Randy & Peggy Walton’s son, Annalee’s brother

MSG Jacqueline M. Moore

USA; 3-1 Cav. Regt. Delta Troop; Ft Benning, GA; Becky Click’s son, Alex Walton & Sydney Mollica’s brother, Amber’s husband

SSGT Christopher S. Murphy

USN; USS Lake Erie, Pearl Harbor, HI; Devinne Brooks’ husband

USA; Sniper Unit of 1-64 Inf; Kandahar, Afghanistan; Beth Eades’ son, Caitlyn’s husband

Petty Officer 1st Class Austin C. Daniel

AEAN Benjamin Lee Doaks

SPC Patrick D. Sharp

USA; 82nd ABD; Al Asad, Iraq; Shawn Sharp’s son

SPC Jacob S. Lenoir

USA; Fort Rucker, AL.; Tom Lefebvre’s son

LT James Brooks Dickey

SPC Dwight A Rosse Jr.

USA; 1-32 Cav 1st Bct, Fort Campbell, KY; Dwight & Michelle Rosse’s son, Britney & Carlton’s brother

USMC; 3-23 Inf; Baton Rouge, LA; Mark & Karole Traylor’s son

LCPL Roberto M Conde

USN; The Alexander at Ghent, 1600 Granby St Apt 455, Norfolk, VA 23510; Charlie & Janie Brooks & Janet & Dennis Dickey’s son

Major David Russell Rigg

ALARNG; National Guard Bureau Headquarters; The Pentagon Shirley & Rusty Rigg’s son & Kim Rigg’s brother

CW3 Corey Lefebvre

USMC; Expeditionary Unit deployed from Camp Lejeune, NC; Robert & Aurette Conde’s son

USA; Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, HI; Carol Darrenkamp’s son, Jon & Stephen’s brother

SGT Peter J. “Pete” Reese

ARNG; 152nd MP Co.; Lauren’s husband; Kai, Sam, Dalton, Brook & Kaiti’s father

USAF; 552nd TRS; Tinker AFB, OK; Mark & Karole Traylor’s son

USN; Japan; Stanley & Sue Kang’s son, Sunny Kang’s brother

2nd Lt Eric C Darrenkamp

Chief Petty Officer Termaine J. Pruitt

USN; NAS Pensacola, FL; Termaine Jr, Trevorn, Chelicia & Tristin’s father, Janice & Austin Pruitt’s son

Lt. Commander David Kang

USA; Fort Benning, GA; Dorothy & Jim Cofer’s son, Deborah’s brother & Kristen Beam’s boyfriend

USN; Norfolk, VA; Mike & Claudia Daniel’s son, Justin, Tatum & Autumn’s brother

LT Commander Kimberly A. Oelschlager

USN; US Navy Hospital (Balboa)-Physician’s Asst., San Diego, CA; Ted & the late Sara Oelschlager’s daughter

USN; USS Curtis Wilber, Yokosuka, Japan; Bond & Lisa McKenzie’s son, Brooke’s brother, Megan’s husband USAF, Special Operations Command; Kathy Meins Martin’s son USA, 387th; Wichita, KS; Leroy E. Lucas’ wife, Cameshia, Shaun, Chibukia & Chris’ mom USMC; MWHS 3, San Diego, CA; Jack & Karen Murphy’s son, Alyssa’s husband

PFC Zachary S Traylor

SGT John Christian Vansant Major Maxwell B. Ward Adam Walton

PFC Zachary Walton

FC3 William J. Welch

E-mail Helena active duty military personnel’s name, address and where they’re stationed to If your loved one has returned, PLEASE let us know so that we can keep our prayer list current. Thank you!



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TO ADVERTISE, CALL the Publisher at 746.1188 / / Fall 2013


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Sassy Sisters — new boutique opens near Golden Rule Bar-B-Q

Sisters JoEllen Lovelady Ramsey and Kayren Lovelady Owens have a long history in Helena, and the pair will now make their mark together on the local retail circuit. Sassy Sisters Boutique, next to Golden Rule Bar-B-Q on Hwy 52, had its soft opening September 4, with the grand opening and ribbon cutting on September 18. “We carry ladies’ clothing in small, medium, large, and plus 38 Fall 2013 /

sizes!” said JoEllen. “We’re not only a boutique, but we have gifts, seasonal items, door décor and other items too. We have a little something for everyone.” “We want Sassy Sisters to work for the community,” said Kayren. “It’s filling a gap, a need in the local area. It’s convenient for people to shop here in town.” “The store has been a lifelong dream of mine,” explained JoEllen. “My husband, Chris,

pushed me to make this leap of faith. And it was a leap! I have no problems saying God has opened up door after door for us, and it has just fallen into place according to His plan.” True to its name, the store really has been a family affair. Some of JoEllen’s daughter Annalee’s work, under the name Stevielee, is for sale at the shop, and Kayren’s husband Ken Owens built the shop’s changing rooms. “I couldn’t have done this without my sister and number one carpenter, Ken,” JoEllen said. “All of the décor in the shop either belonged

to our family, was found in a thrift store, or Ken built it.” JoEllen is already grateful to Helena, saying, “The community has been so excited and supportive of this business coming to town.” Be sure to check out Sassy Sisters Boutique’s Facebook page for events like Sips and Shopping, sales to benefit the Helena Belles and their Holiday Open House later in the year. Good luck ladies!

Helena Tours Europe Over the summer, a group of public, private and home schooled students and their families from Helena toured London, Paris and Barcelona on an Education First tour led by HMS science teacher Ms. Festino and HMS English teacher Mrs. Watford. Ms. Festino led her first educational tour with EF to Costa Rica in 2011. “An educational tour is the best way for students to see the world. You get the best value for your money with safety being a number one priority,” she said. “I lead these tours because I love to travel, and I want all of my students to have the opportunity to explore the world, learn and appreciate other cultures, and become well rounded individuals. To actually see the places learned in books or seen in movies is amazing and awe inspiring. These

travelers have experiences that will last a lifetime.” In late May, the group left for their first destination: rainy London, where they learned how to maneuver around the city using the tube (subway). They toured many historic places, including The Strand, Trafalgar Square, Leicester Square, Covent Garden, Big Ben, the Houses of Parliament, Piccadilly Circus, St. Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, Bath, and Stonehenge. During free time, many opted to catch a showing of Wicked at the Apollo Victoria Theatre. The group was then whisked away on the Eurostar headed to Paris, where it felt like spring. After checking into the hotel, the group immediately hit the streets to explore. While there, the travelers continued their tour through history, sight-seeing places such as Place de la Concorde, Champs-

Elysees, the Arc de Triomphe, Les Invalides, the Eiffel Tower, Versailles, Notre Dame, the Louvre museum, and the Latin Quarter. During an entire day of free time, they soaked in the culture of France and enjoyed the beautiful weather. After an amazing adventure in the city of love, the group boarded small compartments on a night train to Barcelona, which was quite the adventure in itself! While in Barcelona, everyone basked in the sun at the beach and played in the cold Mediter-

ranean surf. They finished their historic tour with La Sagrada Familia, Montjuic Hill, Barrio Gotico, Barcelona Cathedral, Parque Guell, Las Ramblas, and enjoyed a Flamenco evening featuring Spanish dancers. Student Reagan Curtis said, “Mind the gap, Notre Dame Cathedral, and Bath were my favorites. It was a great experience.” Ms. Festino will lead her third EF educational tour in 2015-Grand Tour of Italy. Mrs. Watford is planning to lead a tour in 2016 to Germany.

Above, L-R: City Council President Cris Nelson; Mayor Mark Hall; council woman Leigh Hulsey; HHS Principal Jay Peoples; FOHS member Missy Brooks; Jeff Chapman and Board Member Teresa York

Jay Peoples at FOHS Meeting At a recent meeting for the Friends of Helena Schools, HHS principal Jay Peoples answered questions by saying, “Some key positions for HHS may be named but will not be effective until after this school year. Right out of the gate, we will need a counselor, a bookkeeper, and a head football coach. These positions will be crucial going forward. There will be some jobs posted as early as November, more by January 4.”

Missy Brooks of FOHS said, “There is the Helena Athletic Association, which is already on the move and the band association, but we fill in the gaps in fundraising in areas such as technology; making sure we have 21st century classrooms. That is what our organization is all about. Our goal is to provide for the kids in all areas, from athletics, to art, to academics. The PTO is there for the individual school; FOHS is there

for all Helena schools.” Sign up for more info on the Friends’ website: www. or email them at friendsofhelenaschools@

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1000 Appleton Circle — Residential Beautification Award

Tony and Sheila Birk are celebrating six years of growing into their home at 1000 Appleton Circle, now surrounded with a 360-degree lovingly groomed array and variety of plants. Their home, one of the first Hillsboro models, came with the standard plantings provided by the builder, which they cultivated and then added to, transplanting some shrubbery from their previous home in Navaho Hills. Lenten roses nestle beneath a river birch on the east side of the home, adjacent to oak leaf hydrangeas and white-fringed loropetalum.

“Sheila is responsible for choosing the colors and placement of the plants in our yard,” Tony, who works with ReMax First Choice in Pelham, explained. “When I prune, I use a hedgetrimmer; when Sheila trims, she makes one exacting snippet at a time.” “We had to really educate ourselves about plants that do well in moist areas and had to amend our red-clay soil; raising some plantings up to give them their best shot at survival.” A backyard cherry tree is now thriving after being relocated; the Birks don’t give up on plants, they give them a second chance in a new location. The couple also admit they have to work hard to stay on top of weeding. Sheila uses many pots interspersed throughout—ferns in baskets hang near the garage door; rectangular planters trail with ivy and colorful annuals. The front porch is made inviting with a large ficus tree, rattan

Could it be Dyslexia? Dyslexia is an unexpected difficultly with reading. Most dyslexics have an average to above average IQ. In fact, many are gifted, yet struggle with reading, writing or spelling, and sometimes math and speech. These children are bright, creative, out-of-the-box thinkers. They are often the ones to solve problems. One dyslexic student showed his creativity when faced with an assignment of writing a book report. Since he knew reading a book would take him hours longer than his classmates, he created an entire book in his head and then wrote the report. He received an A. Specialists say one in five students is dyslexic, yet tragically, few are identified. With identification, multisensory structured language interventions such as Orton-Gillingham, and appropri40 Fall 2013 /

ate accommodations, dyslexic learners can become engaged, high-performing students. Damaging myths surrounding dyslexia are that students who suffer with dyslexia possess diminished academic potential or that they are lazy. While many dyslexic children do require more time on tests or audio books, this in no way indicates a diminished potential. Just like you would never question a blind person’s need to read with their fingers (Braille) or call them lazy, one must not question a dyslexic’s need to read with their ears (audio books). A few warning signs: • Family history of reading problems • Difficulty learning the alphabet • Difficulty associating letters and sounds • Reading a word correctly on one page only to not recognize it on the next

seating and a pink-blooming cyclamen. With the help of two of their sons, Tony laid the stone patio on the western side and added a cedar fence to create a more private outdoor area that has now become an integral part of the yard. There reside Limelight hydrangeas, abelia, ruby loropetalum, a Japanese maple, yellow lantana and upright planters with spikey grasses,

colorful coleus and purpleheart vine that survived last winter. Upright cedars add architectural interest to strategic corners while the once eight-foot tall river birches have shot up above the roofline. A drive by the Birks’ yard, as autumn brings its inevitable changes, will provide a lovely example of a varied and textural landscape that will continue to please the eye.

• Disastrous spelling • Speech that is not fluent • Omitting parts of words when reading, such as conible instead of convertible • Difficulty remembering dates, phone numbers or addresses. Mayor Mark Hall proclaimed October 2013 as Dyslexia Awareness Month recently for Helena. Decoding Dyslexia Alabama, founded by Helena Parent Ramona Rice, will be bringing the documentary “The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia” to Helena. Teachers will receive a certificate of attendance for continuing education purposes. If your child struggles with reading, writing or spelling or you suspect dyslexia, please do not delay testing or wait for your child to fail. Alabama Scottish Rite Foundation provides free

evaluations for children. Some helpful links: • • • Alabama Scottish Rite Foundation: (205-947-2424) • International Dyslexia Assoc: • Yale Center for Dyslexia and Creativity: index.html • Bright Solutions for Dyslexia:

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Youth Wrestling - Sign up NOW!! Registration Dates: 10/13 & 10/20 from 2pm to 4pm at Warrior Wrestling Complex 2469 Hwy 31, Calera, AL 35040 Warrior Wrestling Club strives to sculpt your child into a well conditioned, confident athlete. Our experienced coaches teach wrestlers how to handle challenges—both on and off the mat. Life’s Lessons start at Warrior Wresting Club! • Improving self-confidence & the belief that anything is possible • Teaching students to respect themselves and others • Promoting excellence, and training athletes how to set goals • Building personal accountability • Developing integrity, discipline, and strong work ethic Our wrestling program is geared to grades K through 6th. Our doors are open anytime to new students that would like to join us during practice for a free trial. The wrestling season will begin in October and end in February. Information regarding sign up times and the practice schedule will be posted at:

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Ladies from local church feed kids and ask for your support with “Backpack Buddies” The ladies in HUMC’s Morning Glories group meet every six weeks in Cathy Clayton’s garage to bag food for local schoolchildren through a program called Backpack Buddies. Each bag they pack contains 2 each: 100% juice boxes, pudding cups, fruit cups, crackers, cereal or oatmeal, granola bars, poptop meals with protein, pasta (like mac and cheese), and 100% fruit snacks or raisins. The group takes the food in unmarked boxes to HES, where each Friday, counselor Maegan Vick gives them to 25 kids who might otherwise not have food to eat on the weekend. “You don’t know what challenges these kids face,” said member Debbie Rossi. “You really don’t,” agreed Patsy Thatenhurst. “We’re just feeding kids. We wish we could feed more.”

The last time the Morning Glories got together, they decided to pack 12 weeks’ worth of food for the children, twice as much as usual. “We won’t be doing double again,” laughed Liz Ewing. “We spent $1500 buying the food in bulk at Sam’s, and it took three SUVs packed full to get all the food here!” The Morning Glories, like other organizations who participate in the Backpack Buddies program, rely on donations of money and food to keep the program going. Foods are accepted only if they fit the criteria of the program, which calls for kid-friendly non-perishables. Monetary donations can be made by writing a check payable to HUMC and designating it to be used for Backpack Buddies. Working the assembly line along with Cathy, Debbie,

Patsy and Liz were Beverly Robinson, Frances Hinds, Cam Sabo, Gayle Green and Sandra Lynch. Patsy’s husband King and Liz’s husband Frank pitch in too, breaking down trash and carrying boxes of food. “We make our husbands do the heavy lifting,” laughed Liz. “And it’s a lot of fun to get together and pack food for the kids.” Beverly agreed, “And it’s a good ministry, it really is.” The Morning Glories first found out about Backpack Buddies from The Vineyard, a non-denominational church on Valleydale Road near Inverness, which helped them get in contact with a school in need.

HES isn’t the only school around with children that can benefit from this program. “Helena Intermediate is in need of a Backpack Buddy sponsoring group or company,” said Liz. Anyone interested in sponsoring a school can contact HUMC or The Vineyard for information on how to get started.


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Hair Station owner Gena Lowery helps promote Benefit Concerts for Helena resident Imran Rashid

Gena Lowery, owner of The Hair Station in Helena, held Rockin’ 4 Imran, a benefit for resident Imran Rashid, October 12 at the Helena Amphitheater. Imran is a lifelong musician, well known in the area as the lead singer for the Naked Eskimos. Rex Murphy joins Imran on vocals and lead guitar, Ted Torres sings and plays bass, and Kari Murphy gives the band its beat on the drums. The Naked

Eskimos have drummed up a loyal following at many local bars and restaurants, including Shelby’s, Main St. Tavern, Redzone Bar and Grill, The Back Nine Clubhouse & Grille, Iron Horse Café and Fuego Cantina. On the Eskimos’ Facebook page, the band jokes that Imran injured himself doing a “cool” stunt. However, the reality of his situation is much more sobering. After being diagnosed with a benign brain tumor in the spring, Imran had surgery at UAB to remove it in June. Due to post-surgery complications, he is still being held in ICU. Gena, pictured above in the photo with Imran from better days, has been working with Chase Pearson from Alabama After Dark to set up the Imran

Rashid Benefit Concert Series in an attempt to help offset some of the medical bills and lost wages for his family. “Imran is a personal friend of mine,” Gena said. “I am going to do everything I can to help my friend and his beautiful family.” Many bands and lovers of the local music scene who have been touched by Imran’s music and helped with benefits in the past have come out in full force to support him in his time of need. Rex, Ted and Kari donated funds raised at the Iron Horse Café on June 15 to their Eskimo brother. On August 24, bands Outshine at TP Millers and The Turn at Chestnut Station dedicated their shows to Imran. Shelby’s also hosted a benefit cocktail party for Imran called Cocktails &

Dreams on September 18. Rockin’ 4 Imran, right here in the musician’s hometown, featured an all star lineup, including Five O, Voodoo Jones Rocks, FACEDOWN, John & Gio, and the Matt Hill Band, among others. All proceeds from the benefit were given to the Rashid family. For those who were unable to make it to the benefit, donations can be made to The Imran Rashid Help Fund. Make checks payable to the Riverchase Church of Christ and send to the following address: 1868 Montgomery Highway, Birmingham, AL 35244. Imran is married to Jennifer Lyon Rashid. The couple has a daughter, Shireen, and two boys, Zain and Hunter.

TO ADVERTISE, CALL the Publisher at 746.1188 / / Fall 2013


Mural artist adds huskies to local school halls If you’ve had a child go through Helena schools, chances are very high that you’ve seen the work of Gale Hinton. This talented artist painted the murals that grace the halls of HES, HIS and HMS, and she is also grandmother to past Helena students Joey, Justin and Jake Hall. Although the murals were first painted (freehand!) by Gale in 2008, the artist recently made the trek back to the city for some additions. There are now huskies keeping watch from the walls of HIS and HES, in celebration of the Helena City Schools’ new mascot, Howler. Gale, who lives in Knoxville, Tennessee, majored in fine art at the University of Tennessee and Ringling School of Art & Design in Sarasota, Florida. Her painting took off in the ’90s when a nearby McDonald’s asked her to paint murals

It’s coming right along—Get ready for the 2014-2015 school year,


44 Fall 2013 /

in their playplace. Since then, she has painted in houses, schools, hospitals, businesses and churches all across the US, including restaurants like Carraba’s Italian Grill, and even Dollywood. We are very proud to have Gale’s beautiful murals in the schools around Helena, and greatly appreciate that she came to add our new husky mascot to her other works of art.

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Senator Cam Ward makes donation to HIS Helena Intermediate School’s Gifted Resource Class (GRC) teachers, Shelli Abernathy and Amanda Miller, did a lesson for their classes on being an advocate for causes that they believe in. They had students from HIS write letters to our state representatives to encourage them to vote for gifted education

in the state education budget. In response to these letters, Senator Cam Ward made a donation to the school’s GRC Program. Thanks to these Helena Intermediate GRC students who advocated for their school and to our Senator Cam Ward for supporting our schools and our student’s efforts.

More than 100 University of Montevallo students received their diplomas at summer commencement Aug. 2. The commencement speaker was Michael J. Grainger, a Birmingham native and member of UM’s Class of 1973. Following the address, Dr. John W. Stewart III, UM president, conferred degrees upon some 54 candidates for bachelor’s degrees, 47 candidates for master’s degrees and three candidates for the educational specialist degree. Name Melissa Marie Nixon Scott A. Thomasino Holly Michelle Wade

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On Your Mark, Get Set, Go… Helena Athletic Association’s IDIDARUN October 19 at HMS!

TIMES: 5K Run at 8 a.m.; 1 Mile Fun Run at 9 a.m. FEES: 5K run - $20 before October 19th, $25 on race day; 1 mile fun run $15 before October 19th, $20 on race day. PACKET PICK UP: Friday, October 18th, 4 p.m. 6 p.m. at Cahaba Lily Park, and Saturday, October 19th, 7 a.m. in the HMS parking lot. REGISTRATION: Registration forms available at HMS or register online at:

Send us your articles & pictures! Article and/or picture submissions should be directed to: Photos should be in color, high resolution (as close to 300 DPI as possible), and saved as JPEG files. For additional information, call 746-1188.

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

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Helena City News  

Fall Edition 2013

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