The Official Publication of the City of Alabaster
Alabaster Connection February 2014
Alabaster arts council Making a difference
Inside this issue... Local Author Captivates Students Arbor Day, February 22nd
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From the Mayor’s Desk... As you may recall, we hosted an open house at the new City Administration and Court facility at the end of December. I want to thank all who participated on the hospitality side and all the residents who came by for fellowship, refreshments, and a tour. We had many comments from residents about how proud they are of this new facility and that it was long overdue. It was a great way to celebrate the end of another successful year in our city. In January, we had the first of several meetings in the process of updating the city’s Comprehensive Plan. It was a Marty Handlon very interesting and productive meeting where the council Mayor, City of Alabaster and I shared our thoughts, concerns, and vision for the city. I look forward to more of these sessions and more progress towards our goals. Very soon, the THS News will start podcasting our council meetings. I want to thank Brooke Dennis, THS Broadcasting/Journalism teacher, for agreeing to this partnership and commitment. I believe this to be a win-win for all of us. It gives our Broadcasting students live exposure to the legislative/political process and provides benefits to our community. Now, I want to announce the development of our new Alabaster Teen Council! I am so excited about this new venture, the partnerships involved, and what it can mean for our local teenagers. We visited the high schools in January to talk about this new opportunity for students. I hope it will be embraced by our teenagers, and grow to be a vital part of their teen years. We have to start somewhere, when we want to make a difference--here is their chance. The Teen Council will consist of 12 members from Thompson, Kingwood, and Evangel high schools, and our local home school sector. The mission of this council is to provide Alabaster teenagers an opportunity to impact the community while learning about local government and to create active and informed citizens. The purpose of this council will be to develop lasting relationships between students and city leaders, create an informed group of students who are familiar with municipal issues, and empower teens to control what is planned for their peers. There is an application for interested teenagers, grades 9 through 11, available for download on our website. We will be taking applications from all those interested until February 28th, and we hope to have our first council members in place by April 1st. If you have any questions or need more information, please call my office at 6646831. Here is hoping for milder temperatures in what is usually the coldest month of our winters--Bundle up and hang on, we are on the home stretch! I am really looking forward to spring weather!
Official Publication of the City of Alabaster Alabaster Connection is published monthly and it is delivered to citizens of the City of Alabaster Editorial Board The Public Relations Committee of the Alabaster City Council Committee Chair Councilwoman Sophie Martin Councilman Rick Walters Councilwoman Stacy Rakestraw Editor Luke Camara, me2graphics, LLC Contributors Shana Camara Heather Leavell Asha Ashley
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ALABASTER TEEN COUNCIL APPLICATION
Apply today to be on the Alabaster Teen Council. Applications can be picked up at City Hall, your high school office, or online.
Non-Emergency City Numbers Police 24-Hours 663-7401 Alabaster Water Board 663-6155 Fire Department 664-6818
C O u n c i l C o mm e n t s
Scott Brakefield, Ward 6 City Council President
I love living in the South! One day it is 10 degrees and four days later it is in the upper 50’s. WOW! I trust that everyone survived the deep freeze last month. I am sure our local plumbers did not mind the extra business with all the frozen pipes. Hopefully we will return to some normal Southern winters that are not as cold. As we begin to head into spring I would like to take some time to recognize the efforts of our Parks and Rec staff. Basketball season is a very challenging time for our team at Parks and Rec. There is not a lot of gym space available within the City and they do their absolute best juggling the difficulties of practice time, games and limited space. Also, we are in the middle of baseball/softball/soccer registration. The spring season is by far our busiest time of the year and the registration process can be challenging. We moved to an online registration option a few years ago. That process has not met our expectations and we are looking to correct the issues that continue to arise. Your patience is greatly appreciated. Our parks will be full of kids playing sports with parents there to support them. I encourage you to take some time and look around you. We have some of the best parks around and they are maintained by an excellent Parks and Rec staff. My hope is that we always strive to provide numerous activities for our children to participate in. I also hope that we stay focused on maintaining, improving and growing the facilities we have for them to participate in. Thanks for all you do to make our City a better place. See you at a park this spring.
Sophie Martin, Ward 1
The recent heavy rains resulted in several potholes along Alabaster Boulevard. Thank you to the Public Works Department for addressing this issue quickly and repairing the potholes along this highly utilized roadway. The City of Alabaster is continuing to work with the City of Pelham to plan the more extensive repairing of Alabaster Boulevard. Notable progress is being made in this effort. As I’ve mentioned before, Alabaster has many streets in need 4 cityofalabaster.com
of repair, with some needing repair longer than others. The city is addressing these as quickly as possible since they are currently dealing with more needs than available resources. Thank you for your patience with this issue. Several residents are going “incognito” and taking the initiative to pick up litter along some of the main Alabaster roads. Thank you for caring and making a visible difference in our community. Recently, littering seems to be more apparent and visible in our city. Littering not only looks bad but it’s environmentally unhealthy. Research shows that people are more likely to litter in areas where others have already littered. Littering laws and enforcement can all help prevent litter, but ultimately we are all in this together. Littering solutions start with each one of us as individuals to do our part and help save our environment. Please don’t litter and if you see someone else littering, encourage them to stop. Take responsibility; take action; and keep Alabaster beautiful! Please contact me if you have any suggestions or ideas for Ward 1 or our city. Blessings, Sophie
Bob Hicks, Ward 2
2014 has started the normal way.... meetings, work sessions, planning ... and it appears that right out of the gate there is much to be done this year to keep moving forward. Road development and the attraction of more businesses to Alabaster top the list right now, but there are a myriad of “housekeeping” issues also on target. Please remember to go to the “Report a Concern” button on the city website to help us keep track of backed up storm drains, road problems, and so on. Everyone in Alabaster can help in improving the way we live just by keeping aware of their surroundings. Congratulations to the Thompson High School Cheerleaders who qualified to go to Nationals in Orlando, Florida. There is a tremendous amount of work and athleticism that goes into developing a routine that stands out above the rest. Thanks to their sponsors, our cheer squad stood head and shoulders above almost all of their competition. Kudos goes to the squad for a fantastic season. Just another way the Alabaster City Schools are starting to get recognition (and not just locally) as a great place to get an education. Try to take the time to see a basketball game, wrestling meet, debate, band competition, or other form of battle, since, as I have said for a long time, these are OUR students in OUR schools, and they deserve OUR support. It is indeed a great day to be a Warrior!! Finally, in a couple of weeks, it will be Valentine’s Day. Be sure to take some time out of your hectic schedule to let those you love know what they mean to you. The most important commandment God gave us is to love one another, so please take time to show that love to someone who might not have had the time to slow down long enough to realize your feelings. Grace and peace, Bob
Stacy Rakestraw, Ward 3
Spring is around the corner, so be thinking of how you want to “Clean up, Clean out and Haul off ” during our 2nd annual “Alabaster Clean Sweep” in APRIL. Put it on the calendar for your family, organization, business, or church group to volunteer and be involved in the beautification and care of your city. Thank you to the Alabaster Public Works department for putting up and taking down the Christmas lights through town. Just like the American Flags they put up for memorials or holidays, it is almost magical how everything appears and disappears – but it is not. It is just a lot of hard workers that we appreciate! Many are glad to see the new Krystal’s open recently. It has been a busy place. Seeing an empty building get a facelift, new landscaping, and a new business open its doors, is a very positive event for all of us. There are always questions about what retail stores or restaurants might possibly be coming to our city! We are continually working on economic development. As residents, email or call companies and let them know you would like for them to open a store or restaurant here. As always, contact me anytime.
Rick Walters, Ward 4
Last month we had the new Administration Building Open House. Those who attended seemed pleased with what they saw. The Old Mill site where it resides is a great addition to an area of town we hope sees revitalization. The building itself is a blend of old world style and modern convenience. As you pass through security in the main lobby where court and Council meetings are held, you quickly notice portraits of early city leaders. Your attention is then drawn towards the high ceiling with exposed wooden beams and HDTV monitors on the walls. There is plenty of parking, and the entire campus is well lit. I hope you will take time to come visit your facility; it is definitely something to be proud of. Last month a resident asked me about a subdivision entrance sign and if the city could/would repair it. It is not something the city can do, but we are working on a process for subdivisions without a Homeowner Association to be able to organize and address issues like this. I plan to have more information about this next month. With Valentine ’s Day right around the corner, please keep in mind that it is the second busiest day of the year for restaurants (Mother’s Day being #1). Make reservations when possible, and if you do not make one, you may want to consider eating a littler earlier or later than usual. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you – Keep in Touch!
Russell Bedsole, Ward 5
In the January edition of this very publication you may have noticed an article sharing some news about a very beautiful author from our city that just happens to be my wife, Dena. I am so proud of the work she has done in sharing her story and her efforts to raise money for pancreatic cancer research. As a selfish request, if you personally feel led to support her, pick up a copy of her book or join her Purple Stride team for the February 22nd run in Homewood. Dena’s book is titled A New View of an Old Horizon. If I may borrow this title and put a slightly different application to it: At a recent Saturday work session, your city council and mayor spent several hours dedicated to discussing a “new view of an old horizon.” We weren’t in deep discussion about her book, but rather in in-depth conversation about your city. Specifically, where do we see Alabaster in 10, 15, 20, or 30 years, and how are we going to get there? Change and growth are inevitable. Alabaster has become a city where many new families want to call home and new businesses want to open their doors. Without a long-term plan to guide us as we grow our city could potentially venture down the wrong path. In the coming months we will begin to reexamine, revise, and construct our long term plan. At the end of the process, we will have our new view of this grand ole horizon that we all call home. Give me your new views of our city. Email me or follow me on twitter@RussellBedsole
Tommy Ryals, Ward 7
We just reviewed our new housing starts for 2013. Alabaster issued 61 new home permits in 2013. That’s up a little from 57 in 2012, up from 29 in 2008 (our low point), less than the 306 permits issued in 2005, and MUCH less than the 798 issued in 1998. I’ve heard recent news reports on some growth numbers of comparable cities that may be growing a little faster than Alabaster. But, we don’t want 798 permits in a year at this point. In the 1998 time frame, Alabaster was known as the “fastest growing city in the fastest growing county.” However, the city had outgrown its ability to provide adequate city services to keep up with the rapid growth. Luckily, the shopping centers provided a significant increase in revenue to help the city catch up. You’ve heard us say before that we are interested in quality over quantity as we grow. As we annex and as the new housing market picks up, we need to always be mindful not to “out-kick our coverage” again and grow at a planned, controlled rate. We want to improve the quality of what’s built, maintain adequate roads, maintain exceptional city services and infrastructures, and keep our schools as our focus; we don’t just want an increase in numbers. Just sayin’... cityofalabaster.com 5
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Alabaster arts council Alabaster CityFest is the largest free festival of its kind in the State of Alabama.
Everyone loves Alabaster CityFest. It is the largest free event of its kind, in Alabama. But how does it happen? And why? Who does all the work? Adam Moseley, president of the Alabaster Arts Council is well qualified to answer these questions. “Well we started in 2007. Mainly, the Arts Council was a committee of folks with the council running it; but the folks [that] has been doing this from the beginning, morphed into the Arts Council. Kinda the same group that has been working it from the beginning,” he shared. And it is this dedicated group of unpaid volunteers who are the organizers of a world class event. CityFest originally was started in 2003 as the 50th anniversary of the incorporation of Alabaster. “It was so successful that we decided to stick with,” Moseley said. It soon became apparent that what was once fine being organized by the city was not going to work if it was to grow and prosper. “In 2007 we decided to incorporate as the Arts Council. We wanted to take it to the next level so we needed to become independent of the city,” remembered Moseley. And grow and prosper it did. It has become the largest family festival in Alabama - putting Alabaster on the map. This is due not only to the quality of the event but the size as well. The biggest draw, Moseley believes, is the family friendly atmosphere. “It is safe for families to come to. It is a very safe event. There is no alcohol; everything is selected with safety in mind. From the acts to the vendors and the activities,” exclaimed Moseley. Last year over 60,000 people came out to the one day event. An event like CityFest does not happen without people particularly volunteers. “There are over 30 members now on 6 cityofalabaster.com
the Arts Council,” shared Vic Smith, treasurer for the Arts Council. “Everybody,” he emphasized, “has a role and a job. We are putting on a half-million dollar event that takes twelve months of planning.” The officers of the Arts Council are: President Adam Moseley, First Vice President Henry Raymond, Second Vice President Emily Sykes, Treasurer Vic Smith, and Secretary Adele Nelson. On the day of CityFest there are over 300 volunteers who contribute to making it a success. It has been estimated that CityFest brings in over 1.7 million in economic impact. When asked why volunteers would give up days, and in some cases months, of time to make it happen, Smith offered a selfless answer. “It is a great way to give back to the community. All the volunteers love doing this,” he shared with a smile. All of this effort has a larger purpose as well. “It starts with CityFest: collecting vendor fees, signing up sponsors and such. We are then able to turn around and provide grants to all six city schools, and Kingwood Christian School, last year,” Moseley proudly stated. The last two years they have donated $14,928.00 in grants. These grants are the reason that the Arts Council works so hard all year long. “Our mission is to support the arts and arts education in Alabaster,” shared Moseley. “The arts,” explained Moseley, “is one of those electives that is easy to be passed over, and when funding is tight, those programs are pinched. It is very important for our students, our kids, to be able to be exposed to the arts, not just as a creative outlet. These are programs that help students develop cognitive and logical thinking.” He summed up the importance by adding, “It helps them to be well rounded.” Some of the grant money has been used over the years to buy art supplies, put on after school programs at the Kids First Awareness Center, and to purchase necessary upgrades. “One year we were able to fund the purchase of a new kiln at Thompson High School for the pottery class,” shared Emily Benson, vice president for the Arts
Council. Every year the Arts Council also hosts its annual Arts Social - typically held in the month prior to CityFest - where it awards the grant winners. According to the recipients it is these gifts above and beyond the normal funding that allows them the flexibility to go from a good program into a great one. “I think the grants are so important it because the arts are not being funded to the level that we need,” she shared. When Moseley reflected on the impact of the Arts Council, he could only think of what volunteerism says about the community. “When people give up their time to do something beyond themselves, it says a lot about Alabaster,” he satisfyingly said. If you are interested in becoming a vendor, sponsor, or member of the Arts Council, visit online at www.alabastercityfest.com. There are links to apply for grants as well.
Local Author Captivates Students
By ECCS Freshmen & Creative Writing Students: Lindsey Downs & Rankin Petersen “I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be taught by a published author,” says ECCS junior Maddie Trainor. Maddie, who aspires to be a novelist herself one day, continues, “Ms. Hoyle knows what it takes to succeed in the publishing industry today.” Maddie, along with other Evangel Classical Christian School students, takes a Creative Writing elective taught by K.B. Hoyle, the international, best-
Author and Teacher K. B. Hoyle
selling author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy series The Gateway Chronicles. Ms. Hoyle has been a beloved humanities teacher at ECCS for the past seven years, where she has not only made history come alive for students but also developed the Creative Writing curriculum and the school’s literary magazine, Limina. In addition to teaching and raising her three young sons, Ms. Hoyle is a prolific writer. Beginning in 2009, she self-published the first three books of The Gateway Chronicles, a serial fantasy in which six American teenagers
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find themselves fulfilling a prophecy in a magical realm. The Six first came out in 2009, followed by The Oracle in 2010, and The White Thread in 2011. Then, in late 2011, she was picked up by The Writer’s Coffee Shop Publishing House (TWCS), an independent publisher based out of Sydney, Australia. After signing with TWCS, Ms. Hoyle proceeded to re-release the first three books with the publishing house in early 2012. In October of 2012, The Enchanted — book four of The Gateway Chronicles — was released. After reading The Enchanted, Ms. Hoyle’s enthusiastic fans could hardly bear the thought of waiting an entire year for the next installment of the series. In May of 2013, Ms. Hoyle was a featured speaker at the Sydney Writer’s Festival in Sydney, Australia - one of the most prestigious writing festivals in the world - where she shared the stage with acclaimed, award-winning international authors. Finally, October 2013 arrived, and The Scroll was released. On the afternoon of October 17, 2013, ECCS hosted a release party in honor of Ms. Hoyle and the release of The Scroll, complete with trivia games, the Team Tellius fan club, homemade Gateway Chronicles cakes, and a Q & A session with the author. In the week after The Scroll’s release, both The Six and The Scroll reached Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers lists, with The Scroll at number thirty-six, a feat greatly celebrated not only by Ms. Hoyle, but also her fans. Her fans anxiously await the final installment of The Gateway Chronicles, The Bone Whistle, which is set to release on October 16, 2014. Also in 2014, TWCS will release Breeder, the first of her New Adult Dystopian Romance Trilogy. Ms. Hoyle has a repertoire of ideas for books beyond the three books that will comprise the Breeder Cycle, and no one is more excited to see what she will produce in the years to come than her ECCS students. How does this all benefit the Creative Writing class? Ms. Hoyle greatly empathizes with the stages of learning to write that her Creative Writing students are going through, having once been there herself. She not only helps her students understand the importance of structure and well-rounded characters, but she also teaches them how to create such plots and characters. She explains concepts such as ring composition, where the second half of a story mirrors the first half, and literary alchemy, where metallurgical symbolism is used to convey hidden meaning — both of which she used in the writing of The Gateway Chronicles. She challenges her students to use them in their own writing projects. She also encourages participation in writing challenges and competitions, including National Novel Writer’s Month, also known as NaNoWriMo, where writers are challenged to write 50,000 words in the month of November. ECCS Alumna Maggie Rapier is still benefiting from her years in Ms. Hoyle’s class. “My experience in Creative Writing was phenomenal! I learned so much about structure and different techniques from her,” she says, “and even now, as I am writing my first novel, I call on her expertise.”
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The Gateway Chronicles is written for a young adult audience, but it is enjoyed by readers of all ages. Ms. Hoyle always encourages her readers to dialogue with her about her books. K. B. Hoyle can be contacted via Facebook by searching “K. B. Hoyle,” via Twitter (@ kbhoyle_author), or via her website (kbhoyle.com). Her books can be purchased on Amazon, Barnes and Noble Online, Kindle, iTunes, Kobo, and Nook. Anybody who is looking for a fun fantasy adventure can enjoy the added benefit of supporting a local author by purchasing The Gateway Chronicles. The students of ECCS are so enthusiastic about these stories and excited to be a part of their teacher’s rising fame. They hope to see their school, and their community, benefited by her success in the years to come.
At 8 a.m. on February 22nd at Veterans Park in Alabaster, the city will be celebrating Arbor Day with its annual free tree giveaway event. “What we do,” according to Tim Hamm, Alabaster Parks and Recreation Director, “is we get about 140, five-gallon trees and we give them out.” This year they plan to have Crape Myrtles, Magnolias, and Maple trees to give away. Registration starts at 8 a.m. The first participants are permitted to pick out their tree at around 9 a.m. “It is a first come first serve type deal,” Hamm explains. This year he is also looking to add some smaller saplings as an additional option to the selection. The event is usually quite cold so they try to make the morning as hospitable as possible. “We will have some scouts helping out; we have hot coffee and other drinks available,” Hamm said. It is definitely an annual event that the community really enjoys. “Everybody seems to like it. They seem to be happy to get a tree and beautify our city,” he
Eric Hubbard and Molly Cline accepting their scholarship check.
happily states. It is events like this that Hamm believes benefit not just the look of our city but the feel as well. “It is a way that we give back to the community and I think it allows us, and everyone, to take ownership of the way our city looks. And that is important to us.” Arbor Day is celebrated in Alabama the last full week of February. The state tree is the Long Leaf Pine. For more information about Arbor Day visit www.ArborDay.org.
What would you do to win a $5,000 scholarship? Would you kick a football? Would you kick a field goal in front of thousands of viewers? Championship in the balance. Score, and achieve “superhero status.” Miss, and you may be facing excommunication by your beloved fans.
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Not everyone can kick a field goal. Just ask the iconic “Charlie Brown” from Charles M. Schulz’s Peanuts. But two Thompson High Alumni accomplished this great feat when they kicked their way into a scholarship. Molly Cline, now a senior at the University of Alabama, and Eric Hubbard, now a junior at the University of Alabama, received the Golden Flake Field of Dreams scholarship last November during the Alabama vs. Tennessee football game. Cline was a midfielder for the Warrior Women’s Soccer team, and Hubbard was a wide receiver for Thompson Football and a goalkeeper for the Warrior Men’s Soccer team. “So, they can certainly kick a ball, even an American football,” said Karen Hubbard, Eric’s mother. At each home game, each student has an opportunity to enter to win the scholarship. Names are placed into a drawing and selected haphazardly, rendering each student an equal opportunity to win. Names are drawn, two of which are familiar. Excitement builds and anticipation increases as the contenders make their way to the field. Thousands of viewers are tuned in, and a substantial scholarship is on the line. “They each lined up on the 5-yard line for a chance at a field goal, and both Eric and Molly made it!” said the proud mom. “They were in the running for the final kick to win the scholarship.” Karen comments as to how remarkable the odds were that the winners were from the same high school AND that they are friends. “Since Molly and Eric both made their field goals, the scholarship was split and each was awarded $2,500 to go toward tuition, books, equipment, etc.” Karen also mentioned how Molly was the only woman all season to “nail” a field goal, and Eric had to out-kick two other competitors for the win. The winnings will be used for their spring 2014 semester. What could you do with a $5,000 scholarship?
the most traumatic periods of his life. “He was one of my role models,” he shared, “and here I am fighting in Vietnam.” After being discharged, he came back to the only home he ever knew - Alabaster. “I came back in 1969, and I went straight back to college. I went,” he said, “for 15 years in a row before I quit.” He graduated from Alabama State University with an undergraduate degree and then from Samford University with Bobby Harris and his great a master’s in school administragrandson, Cayden. tion. He was also honored with a Doctorate from The Rushing School of Theology in Talladega County. But before any of that would take place, he would marry his sweetheart, Brenda, and also enter the ministry. “We are going on 45 years together,” he said with a smile. They had three sons, who between them have nine children. “We also have one great-grandchild; he is two,” Harris said. He continued and also shared what drove him all his years in the ministry. “I always viewed myself as a human rights activist and a champion for the poor. That is my passion - helping people,” he said while leaning in for emphasis. “I lived it out by preaching and using my church as a home-base to help people who
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Harris Celebrates 37 Years of Ministry
Bobby Harris has many titles. Teacher. Pastor. Doctor. Politician. Principal. But when you ask him what title he prefers to be called, he has a simple answer. “Just call me Bobby,” he says with a laugh. Harris was born in Alabaster in what was a company house his grandfather lived in, back in 1946. “He worked for Alabaster Lime, and I was born through a midwife,” he said. After spending his early life in Alabaster, he went off to college. “I went off in September to college and dropped out in January. I flunked college math,” he shared. That spring he got drafted by Uncle Sam, and after boot camp, was shipped off to Vietnam. He was in Vietnam during the Tet Offensive. He was also in Vietnam when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated. He called this time in his life one of
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“I always viewed myself as a human rights activist and a champion for the poor. That is my passion helping people.” -Bobby Harris are marginalized. Basically what Jesus did,” Harris said. Summing up this thought he added, “Jesus said, ‘I have come to set captives free, to give sight to the blind. Help to the poor and to declare the year of the Lord.’” Harris believes in this so much that he lives out that very vision. Harris recently celebrated his 37th anniversary at New Hope Baptist Church in Sylacauga. Dozens of members from Mount Olive Baptist Church in Alabaster traveled to Sylacauga for the celebration. This anniversary was especially meaningful because he did not know if he was going to make it. “I was diagnosed with cancer of the prostate,” he explained. After radical removal of the prostate, he recovered and carried on his duties as pastor. It was not always an easy 37 years. “It has been like a laboratory- it is a learning experience of trial and error,” he authoritatively said. He went on to explain that he was so young he almost cannot believe that he and the church survived. “I was 29. I
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was a boy. They had to grow, I had to grow, so we grew together. We had to learn to disagree and to agree with each other. All with a finger pointed towards the mark - and that is Christ,” he joyfully said, with his index finger pointed heavenward. One of his proudest achievements over the past 37 years was building a Family Life Center. “We are the only minority church in that city with a constructed family life center. That has been the greatest achievement in that ministry. It has allowed us to be alive, and to build lives from infancy to the grave,” he said. Even though his ministry is centered in Sylacauga, his home is, and always will be, in Alabaster. “I love Alabaster. I love the people of Alabaster. I love this city,” he emphatically stated. He added, “And when I die, I want to be buried in the soil of Alabaster.”
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February 3 Council, 7 p.m. 4 Water Board, 7 p.m. 5 Court Trials, 9 a.m. 10 Alabaster School Board, 6 p.m. 11 Housing & Abatement, 5 p.m. 12 Court Plea Dockets, 9 a.m. & 2 p.m. 17 Council, 7 p.m. 24 Board of Zoning Adjustments, 6:30 p.m. 25 Planning & Zoning, 7 p.m. All meetings are held at 1953 Municipal Way in the Council Chamber View full calendar, agendas and resolutions at www.cityofalabaster.com
Recycling COllection Schedule Red -February 9th-15th, 23rd-28th Blue - February 2nd-8th, 16th-22nd
The Alabaster Senior Center is located at 1097 7th Street S.W., Alabaster. If you would like more information concerning senior programs, please contact Alabaster Senior Center at 663-1307 or awalters@ cityofalabaster.com. Drumming Program February 4, 10:00 a.m. No experience necessary but the benefits are endless. The benefits of drumming: improve your mood, increase circulation, and improve focus, and creativity. No charge for this program. Using Smart Phones in 2014 February 4 , 12 p.m.- 1:30 p.m. With today’s smart phones transforming to computers in your pocket, many people are not aware of all the fun and informative things your smart phone can do for you. Allan Wilson, with Wilson Computer Support, will teach you how to get the most out of your smart phone. Topics that we will cover include, “How to use GPA navigation,” “Setting up and checking your email on your phone,” and “How to install applications safely on your phone.” Bring your smart phone and your questions. Stop by and sign up at the center.
Intro to Medicine Making February 12, 1:45 p.m. Have you ever wanted to make your own medicines or body care products? Or have you wondered what the difference between a salve and a tincture was? Come join Clinical Herbalist Cameron Strouss for an educational/demonstration based class on what types of medicines and products you can make at home and the applications of each. We look forward to seeing you there! NEW It’s a TANGLED WORLD February 18, 25, March 4, 11, 12:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m. Join Jan Rogers for basic classes in creating ZENTANGLE© inspired pen and ink drawings. There are NO MISTAKES! Give up your fears and produce interesting new designs from your practice. This art form allows you to draw and RELAX at the same time. It’s fun, and after four classes you will draw like a pro. You will complete your own pattern for a new (insulated) coffee mug and at least one Valentine’s card for a loved one. Cost is $12/person. Space is limited. AARP Smart Driver Class February 25, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. This is a 6 hour classroom refresher that can help the effects of aging on your driving and how you can adjust your driving. Cost is $15.00/ AARP member and $20.00/AARP nonmember. Bring your own lunch. Make checks payable to AARP. Tour of downtown Birmingham and Lunch A step-on guide will take us on a tour of downtown Birmingham. You will see many historical sites and enjoy lunch out in the community. We will be traveling on the 25 passenger bus. Cost is $5 to hold your spot. Bring $10-$12 for lunch. Space is limited. Call to make your reservations. Book Club Friday, February 28, 10:00 a.m. We will meet every 4th Friday to discuss the book and introduce a new book. Sign up at the Senior Center. NEW Watercolor Class Wednesdays from 1:00 p.m. -3:00 p.m. All painting levels are welcome. Come learn how to paint with watercolor. $25 for 4 classes each month and includes your paper. Must sign up. Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program Wednesdays, 10:00 a.m. Space is limited. Encouraged donation of $2/class. Zumba Gold I Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. A relatively high intensity, low-impact fitness class featuring Latin and World rhythms. Same party flavor as regular Zumba. It results in a great cardio workout that is fun! Cost is $2 per class.
NEW Zumba Gold II Wednesdays, 2:15 p.m. New to Zumba Gold? This is the perfect place to get started. Low intensity, low-impact dance/fitness class with an opportunity to breakdown and learn basic Latin and World rhythms. Same party flavor and fun as Zumba I. Cost is $2 per class Line dancing Thursdays 9:30 a.m. Intermediate class Thursdays 10:30 a.m. Beginner class. No experience necessary. Cost is $2 per class. You won’t want to miss all the other activities at the Senior Center... Timeless Treasures (singing),–Mondays, 10 a.m. Wii Bowling, Tuesdays, 12 p.m. Rook, Wednesdays, 9 a.m. Arthritis Foundation Exercise, Wednesdays, 10 a.m. Zumba Gold I (exercise) Wednesdays, 1:00 p.m. Zumba Gold II (exercise)Wednesdays, 2:15 p.m.-3:00 p.m. Beginner/Inter Line dancing, Thursdays, 9:30 a.m. Beginner Line Dancing, Thursdays, 10:30 a.m. Bridge, Thursdays, 12-3 p.m. Tempo exercise, Fridays, 10 a.m. Zumba Gold Toning, Fridays 1-2 p.m.
Library Book Group Thursday, February 20, 7:00 p.m. Join us in our discussion of Killing Kennedy by Bill O’Reilly. The host of The O’Reilly Factor recounts the brutal murder of John F. Kennedy and how gunshots on a Dallas afternoon not only killed a beloved president but also sent the nation into the cataclysmic division of the Vietnam War and its culture-changing aftermath. Meeting Room Job Search Workshops Will resume in mid April
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The Albert L. Scott Library is located at 100 9th Street N.W., Alabaster. Hours of operation are: Monday, Tuesday and Thursday - 9 a.m.-7:50 p.m. Wednesday - 10 a.m.-5:50 p.m. Friday - 9 a.m.-5:50 p.m. Saturday - 10 a.m.-4:50 p.m. Sunday - 1-4:50 p.m. If you would like more information concerning programs, please contact the Library at 664-6822. Be a Friend! You can contribute through paying membership dues, serving as an officer or actively supporting activities. You can volunteer for projects that require only a small portion of your time, and you can choose your own schedule. Our mission is to assist the library in serving our city; and our success depends on Friends. Applications available at the Library or on our page at www.cityofalabaster.com
Adult Computer Classes Due to popular demand, we are now offering three computer classes a month, through May. Call or come by the Albert L. Scott Library to sign up. 664-6822. Wednesday, February 5, 10:00 a.m. – Microsoft Word 2007 Pt. 1 Wednesday, February 12, 10:00 a.m. – Microsoft Word 2007 Pt. 2 Wednesday, February 19, 10:00 a.m. - Computer Basics
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Library events continued... Free AARP Tax Help for Seniors February through early April Available by appointment on Tuesdays and Thursdays in the Meeting Room. Call or come by the Albert L. Scott Library to sign up. 664-6822. Valentine’s Day Cookie Decorating Class February 3, 3:30 p.m. Join us for a cookie decorating class by the experts at K&J’s Elegant Pastries. Call or come by the Albert L. Scott Library to sign up. 664-6822. Crochet Crash Course Local author and designer, Diane Stone, will be teaching adults the basics of crochet. Students will also learn to read and follow a beginner crochet pattern. Students will need to bring a size G or H aluminum crochet hook the night of the first class. Monday, February 3, 6 p.m. Monday, February 10, 6 p.m. Monday, February 17, 6 p.m. Monday, February 24, 6 p.m. Program takes place in the Meeting Room. Limited number of seats available. Call or come by the Albert L. Scott Library to sign up. 664-6822.
February Fun Planned at the Library Story Times: Wednesdays, 10:15 a.m. Outreach Story Time at area day care centers. Wednesdays, 3:30 p.m. Tunes & Tales for all ages in the meeting room; Children six years old and younger must be with an adult Fridays, 10:30 a.m. Toddler Tales in the meeting room; Children must be with an adult. Lego® League February 4, 6:00 p.m.-6:45 p.m. Kids of all ages can play with Legos® of all sizes in the meeting room. Children six years old and younger must be with an adult. Valentine Craft & Reader’s Theater February 7, 4 p.m. Kids in kindergarten and higher can get ready for Valentine’s Day during this program featuring a craft and 14 cityofalabaster.com
reader’s theater. Sign up is required for this program that occurs in the Meeting Room. Children 6 years old and younger must be with an adult. Homeschool Happening: February Reader’s Theater Round up February 10, 11 a.m.-12 noon Students can take part in a reader’s theater round up to mark February’s themes including Presidents’ Day, Black History Month, and Valentine’s Day. No memorizing; just the fun of learning and acting. Kids in first grade and higher can sign up. Program is in the Meeting Room. American Girls Club February 14, 4:00 p.m. Girls 7 years old and older can sign up to learn about Addy’s world by enacting Friendship and Freedom, A Play about Addy. Come with or without a doll. Parents can be in the audience. Meets in the Meeting Room.
Parks and Rec
The Parks and Recreation Office is located inside the Depot at 100 Depot Street, Alabaster. Office hours are Mon.-Fri. from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. If you would like more information, call 205-664-6840 or visit www.alabasterparks.org. ARBOR DAY TREE GIVEAWAY February 22 140 free trees and seedlings will be given away at Veterans Park in the Maintenance Shop. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. Tree distribution will begin at 9 a.m. ADULT SOFTBALL REGISTRATION March 3-31 Registration for teams (not individuals) will begin on March 3rd and end on March 31st at the Depot. Spring SOCCER February 18, 6 p.m. Coaches Clinic at the Municipal Park on the 3 Acre Field. February 20 Fields open for practice. SPRING BASEBALL/SOFTBALL February 1 Baseball Observations at the Thompson High School Baseball Field located off of Thompson Road: •8:30 a.m. – Farm (Machine Pitch – age 7/8) •10:30 a.m. – T-Ball (age 5); Coach Pitch (age 6); Metro (age 13/14) •12:30 p.m. – Minor (age 9/10); Major (age 11/12) Children will need to bring cleats and gloves. February 2 Softball Observations at Warrior Park located off of Thompson Road: •1:00 p.m. – 6U (age 5/6) on Field A •1:00 p.m. – 8U (age 7/8) on Field B •2:00 p.m. – 10U (age 9/10) on Field A •2:00 p.m. – 12U (age 11/12) on Field B February 10-15 Uniform fittings at Buck Creek Field House. Time will be announced and will depend on team assignments.
February 23, 1 p.m.-4 p.m. THS Softball Camp for ages 5-14 at THS Softball Field located at 100 Warrior Drive. $25 for early registration/$30 for walk-ups. $10 extra for pitching. Contact: Michelle Holdbrooks at 205-965-8655. February 24 Fields open for practice. PAVILIONS FOR RENT Several of our City Parks offer pavilions for rental use. Contact Parks & Recreation for pavilion reservations to ensure your event happens at the location of your choice. Pavilions are reserved for use by permit only. There is a $40 rental fee and a $40 deposit due with your reservation.
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Alabaster School Update “This is the most, well-funded school district I have ever served in,” declared Dr. Vickers, superintendent of Alabaster City Schools. As of right now the system is projected to have between 1.6-1.7 months’ worth of expenditures in reserve. “The state requires a minimum of 1 month in reserves,” shared Dr. Vickers. The Alabaster City Schools receive money from three main sources: Ad Valorem Tax, more commonly called property tax, state foundation money, and sales tax. The sales tax comes from two sources: the county’s half a percent and the city’s one percent. Having a well-funded school system makes a world of difference, according to Dr. Vickers. “You can have a good school system with good revenue, but with the revenue we have, we have a chance to be on the pinnacle,” declares Dr. Vickers. “What we have,” he continued, “is the chance to build that high school. [We have] a chance to renovate the older facilities and still maintain a high standard of education.” Dr. Vickers knows that what separated the good from the great is the strength of the revenue streams. “When you look at revenue versus expenses at schools around the state, those that have strong revenue, as we have, are exceeding expectations,” he shared. Dr. Vickers and his central office staff are not new to large budgets and building programs. “Between me and our Chief School Financial Officer, Sarita Tapscott, we have worked on projects totaling over 120 million,” shared Dr. Vickers. In fact the whole central office staff is “one of our greatest strengths” according to Dr. Vickers. He added, “We are in outstanding financial shape. We want the word out that great things are coming. Our parents, students and employees deserve this.” Because of this strong financial base, the district is able to provide beyond normal services. “We want to be very involved with our athletic programs. They have done a fabulous job so far. To show our appreciation, each sports program will receive an additional $10,000 above and beyond its normal stipend,” exclaimed Dr. Vickers. These funds can be used by the coaches to upgrade equipment and purchase new material and additional supplies. “So if the football coach wants to get some new sleds for the players, he can do that,” he shared. Technological upgrades will also take place. “We are actively working on upgrading our tech to be able to accommodate portable devices. I’m tired of our students carrying around a large and heavy bag of book. The wave of the future is online and through these devices,” he authoritatively said.
Teachers of the Year (L to R) Katie Mantel, Amanda Willbanks, Melanie Bales, Shay Traywick, Karri Allen, and Kathy Matthew with their framed award certificates.
Student comfort will also benefit from the strong financial base. “We will be purchasing five replacement buses. I will not buy another bus unless it has AC on the bus. It is too hot in August, September, and April and May for our children to be stuck on those buses,” Dr. Vickers exclaimed. With the financial situation under control, Dr. Vickers’ next task is to continue to hear from the stakeholders. “I am starting my superintendent advisory council, made up of teachers from each school,” shared Dr. Vickers. “I am also forming a student leadership committee,” he added. Both of these boards, he believes, will allow him to hear directly from the stakeholders. For more information on your city schools visit www.alabasterschools.org
City Council Meeting Minutes (Abridged)
(Unabridged version of minutes and resolutions/ordinances can be found on city webpage at www.cityofalabaster.com)
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Monday, December 16, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. Absent: Russell Bedsole, Sophie Martin, Scott Brakefield Mayor Comments 1. Mayor Handlon indicated she would be finalizing the formation of an Alabaster teen council shortly after the first of year. 2. Mayor Handlon recognized Mr. James Smith, a boy scout awarded the national certificate of merit, via proclamation. 3. Mayor Handlon recognized the Kingwood JV volleyball team via proclamation Agenda Items 1. Ordinance 13-A02 Annexation request from 2001 1st Ave West Council Member Walters opened the public hearing on this matter allowing those present to speak for or against said ordinance after a brief introduction by Council Member Ryals. There were no comments for or against and public hearing closed. Motion Passed Unanimously 2. Resolution 121613 Appointment to the Alabaster Water Board
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Council Member Hicks made a motion to approve Resolution 121613, appointing Mr. Mike Allen to a six year term to the Alabaster water board. Council Member Ryals seconded. Motion Passed Unanimously 3. Resolution 121613-A Postage machine contract renewal with Pitney Bowes Council Member Hicks made a motion to approve Resolution 121613-A approving a 36 month agreement with Pitney Bowes for postage machine services and equipment. Council Member Rakestraw seconded. Motion Passed Unanimously 4. Resolution 121613-B CR80/SR119 Intersection funding agreement with ALDOT Council Member Ryals made a motion to approve Resolution 121613-B agreeing to funding terms to complete the intersection at CR80/SR119 for an approximate city match of $222,000. Council Member Hicks seconded. Motion Passed Unanimously 5. Resolution 121613-C Surplus equipment/materials within Environmental Services department Council Member Rakestraw made a motion to approve Resolution 121613-C. Council Member Hicks seconded. Motion Passed Unanimously 6. Resolution 121613-D Field Use Policy Council Member Rakestraw made a motion to approve Resolution 121613-D setting forth terms to rent certain parks facilities. Council Member Ryals seconded. Motion Passed Unanimously 7. Ordinance 14-001 Alabaster water board surplus items After introducing Ordinance 14-001, Council Member Ryals made a motion to set a public hearing for Ordinance 14-001 for the January 6, 2014 meeting. Council Member Hicks seconded. Motion Passed Unanimously 8. Ordinance 14-002 Court fines & offenses City attorney Jeff Brumlow explained to those present the purpose and intent of this Ordinance is to clean up language relative to certain fines, fees and charges. After introducing Ordinance 14-002, Council Member Ryals made a motion to set a public hearing for Ordinance 14-002 for the January 6th, 2014 meeting. Council Member Rakestraw seconded. Motion Passed Unanimously 9. Ordinance 14-003 Firearms 74-4 Repeal City attorney Jeff Brumlow explained to those present the purpose and intent of this Ordinance is to clean up language relative to a recently passed Act by the Alabama State Legislature relative to firearms. After introducing Ordinance 14-003, Council Member
Ryals made a motion to set a public hearing for Ordinance 14-003 for the January 6th, 2014 meeting. Council Member Rakestraw seconded. Motion Passed Unanimously Meeting adjourned at 7:38 pm.
Citizen Spotlight Sanchez Tanniehill
From a stroke at 6-weeks-old to two notable award nominations, Sanchez Tanniehill is no novice to conquering adversity. In 29 years, his story has been told numerous times and listeners are still being inspired by his life today. “At 6-weeks-old I had a stroke and the doctors told my parents, ‘He ain’t gonna make it’,” shared Tanniehill about the life-changing event that inspires him daily. “My mom told them, ‘You don’t know my Jesus!’” Tanniehill was raised in the church, and he recognized his vocal talents at an early age. Performing in middle school talent shows to recording two albums to contending for American Idol in 2005, Tanniehill is emerging as an icon for the Sanchez Tanniehill beloved blossoming City of Alabaster. Alabaster resident. On February 1st, Tanniehill will be nominated to receive two awards at the Alabama People’s Choice Award ceremony. “I was put in the hat by a radio personality, Ms. Dionne Whetstone, out of Montgomery and have been nominated for Gospel Artist of the Year and Inspiration Awards,” said Tanniehill, who is also expecting to perform during the ceremony. “Seeing people’s lives being changed through my music – through my story,” is the reason he pushes forward, toward his dreams. “I care nothing about the money, nothing about selling my CDs; it’s about the people.” One of his most memorable moments during a show involved a
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“When I leave this earth, I know that I have left a legacy.” -Sanchez Tanniehill 16-year-old with a remarkable story. “When my show was over he asked, ‘Can you pray with me’?” His face was filled with shock and awe as he fell back in his seat and clinched his chest as if he re-lived that great moment. “That got me!” he exclaimed. After a pause, he erupted with satisfactory laughter. “At the end of the day, I feel like it’s a job that God has given me.” Guest appearances at local radio shows and TV stations, the completion of his third album – the single, “God Did It,” released on February 4th – and the publication of his book are some of his current projects. He is planning to have his foundation to benefit kids that suffer from strokes and seizures up and running within the next few years. “When I leave this earth, I know that I have left a legacy,” Tanniehill said. “I want to plant something here (in Alabaster) and then WOOSH!” he gestured with his hands light-heartedly. “Go with the wind – wherever it takes me.” Special thanks to his family, City of Alabaster, New Vision Christian Church, and his team. For more information, visit: www.justmesanchez.com Would you like to nominate someone for a Citizen Spotlight? E-mail Mayor Handlon firstname.lastname@example.org or Council Member Sophie Martin email@example.com
Business Spotlight Jacob’s Corner
105 Plaza Circle, Alabaster, AL 35007 • 406-8000 “This was inspired by my son, Jacob,” said Bolaji Kukoyi, President of Dynamic Civil Solutions and owner of Jacob’s Corner. Jacob’s Corner was designed simply as a place to throw a party for 1-year-old Jacob but has become so much more. Kukoyi saw a need for a special event location in Alabaster. With all of his success, he surely has found that Alabaster was ready for such a facility. With its simple elegance, Jacob’s Corner is the picture-perfect location for any special occasion. According to Kukoyi there is no better place to host your event. “[It is] perfect for any event, whether you’re having a wedding ceremony, reception, celebrating an anniversary, getting a year older, having a corporate meeting, or just looking to get together with family and friends. This premier event destination is tucked away in the heart of Alabaster.” This is the perfect location for a children’s party as well. Jacob’s Corner has plenty of outdoor space to accommodate any needs for your theme. One family comfortably hosted a “carnival” birthday party. The cedar gazebo is the heart of the charming space. It is situated in the middle of a large gated lawn, perfect for seating or for a large tent for hosting receptions. Just past the gazebo is a full custom built
Bolaji Kukoyi at the grand opening of Jacob’s Corner event center surrounded by friends, family, and members of the Alabaster community.
outdoor kitchen “We have hosted weddings, parties, and corporate gatherings all with great success,” he shared. It is truly ideal for gettogethers of any sort. It is so much more than just a facility, it is where memories happen. Kukoyi recalled an event that left a lasting impression. A party decided that they wanted to have a night event. They had a DJ and dance floor set up. The catering and fun allowed them to dance well past midnight. What started as a place for his family to make memories, has become a place for all to make lasting memories. For more information, visit www.jacobscornerevents.com or see for yourself at 105-A Plaza Circle.
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Alabama Allergy & Asthma The Greater Shelby Chamber and the City of Alabaster hosted a ribbon cutting for the Alabama Allergy & Asthma Center located in the 1022 Building on 1st Street North. This office is an expansion of their vast network of physicians who specialized in treating Allergy and Asthma. Opening a new office in Alabaster is actually a homecoming for them as they had an office in the community prior to this location many years ago. To schedule an appointment call (205) 871-9661 or visit them online at www.alabamaallergy.com
Hunter Rigney and Davis Cox sign with shelton State (left)Hunter Rigney, a Thompson High School Senior, signed a letter of intent to play baseball with Shelton State Community College. Rigney will be a pitcher for the Buccaneers and will play alongside fellow Thompson Warrior Davis Cox, a shortstop. His stats from the 2013 season include: 33 – Inning Pitched, 4 Wins - 1 loss and 1 save, 23 Hits allowed, 18 runs, 16 earn runs, 23 Base on Balls, 29 strikeouts, 3.39 ERA (right) Davis Cox, a Thompson High School Senior, signed a letter of intent to play baseball with Shelton State Community College. Cox will be a shortstop for the Buccaneers and will play alongside fellow Thompson Warrior Hunter Rigney, a pitcher. His stats from the 2013 season include: Hitting: At Bats – 109, Hits – 27, 2B – 5, 3B-2, RBI’s-16, Runs-22, AVG .248 Davis was 9 for 11 in Spain Park playoff series with 2 Doubles with 2 RBI’s. Fielding: Total Chances – 135, Assists – 88, Put Outs – 36, Errors – 11, Double Plays – 10, Fielding Percentage .920
Downton Abbey Fans On Monday, January 6, dedicated Downton Abbey fans skipped a certain National Championship football game to test their knowledge of the British period drama. This was the first time the Downton Abbey Tea and Trivia program was offered at the Albert L. Scott Library, but it will not be the last. “We get tons of requests and interest for anything Downton Abbey related, so I came up with this idea of doing a trivia game,” said librarian Judith Wright. While enjoying tea and light refreshments, patrons battled it out to see who knew the most about the Granthams, the Crawleys, and the wide array of downstairs servants. The top winners were able to take home several Downton Abbey themed prizes; Sarah Williams, won first place. A door prize was also awarded. The library plans to offer this trivia game program again in the future and possibly other Downton Abbey inspired programs. “We had a great group come out, and they had a fabulous time! We will definitely be offering this program again, and the participants requested that we offer other Downton Abbey inspired programs,” shared Wright.
southern vintage market For over 30 years, Mary and Walter Lee worked with her mother in her estate sale business. Over the years they conducted hundreds of sales. This past July, the Lees went to the going-out-of-business auction of a store that had been opened for over 95 years. Of course they got carried away and bought many unique pieces. The last item to be auctioned was a 35’ architectural piece that went across the front wall; they had to have it. After winning the bid, they then had to decide what to do with it. So, they opened Southern Vintage Market. You will not miss the large piece as you enter the store. They are located at 8111 Hwy. 119 - 1 mile south of Publix. Wed-Sat 10-5.
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The 2013-2014 Kingwood Christian Junior Varsity Volleyball Team, were recently recognized by Mayor Handlon and the City Council for finishing the Alabama Independent School Association State Tournament undefeated, and the season with a perfect 24 - 0 record. Teammates Kathryn Boyd, Kirsten Boyd, A.C. Brooks, Trinity Hollis, Jordan Stephens, Natalie Watts and Rachel Wray have been coached by Anthony Boyd for the past three seasons. As part of the celebration Mayor Handlon proclaim December 16, 2013 as “Kingwood Christian Junior Varsity Team Day” in Alabaster, Alabama. Council member Bob Hicks reminded the young ladies that this achievement can never be taken from them and he admonished them to continue to push forward towards even higher goals.
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Officer Jenna Roberts is one of the newest additions to the Alabaster Police Department.
ment. “She is doing an excellence job for us so far,” declared Chief Rigney. “She interacts well with the citizens, and is a real joy to be around,” he added. When Officer Roberts is not patrolling the streets, she is out in nature. “I love the Mountains. I am very much outdoorsy. Just being able to go hiking at Oak Mountain State Park is great. I love to go hiking,” she explains. “I just got back from a trip to the Smokies. I have a husky, named Ekoh and we went hiking in the snow,” she said with a smile. She also loves to play golf and go camping; and currently is looking to join a softball team. ice Excelle rv
Jenna Roberts is cold. “I’m still not used to the weather,” she said with her hands jammed into her pockets. Jenna Roberts is one of the newest additions to the Alabaster Police Department. She came to the APD with seven years’ worth of experience from the St. Petersburg, Florida PD. “I started in September,” she said. Other than the weather she is fitting in fine. “As far as work, it has been an easy transition,” she shared. Continuing this thought she added, “From the initial interview to how welcoming the administration was to me and just meeting all the officers here. It is a brotherhood. They are very welcoming.” Officer Roberts started her career after working in retail for several years. “I needed a change of pace. I have always been drawn to the law enforcement field - either military or law enforcement. I decided law enforcement was the way to go,” she explained. Being a police officer, it turns out, has been a great choice. “Oh yeah, I love being a cop. I like the fact that you are out on the road you are not chained to an office - tied to a desk. It is very rewarding when you get to help people,” she exclaimed. As if to explain the freedom of the job and the uniqueness of it all, she said, “Never the same call. Even if it is the same call, it is not the same set of circumstances.” A typical patrol starts off with a briefing, and then she hits the streets. “We are a very proactive department. I start patrolling neighborhoods and checking on businesses,” she said. Having come from a department of over 600 officers, it is a change of pace working with less than a hundred fellow officers. But it is a rewarding change. “It is so different because it is smaller scale,” she explains. The biggest difference? “Everyone is always willing to help. No one has just let me fend for myself. They have just been so supportive. From my fellow officers up to the administration,” she states. She has also been amazed at the support from the community. “The community around here is so supportive of law enforcement. It has been very positive. I don’t think I have ever been thanked as many times as I have been in my time here,” she exclaimed. She added, “They are just so appreciative that you are doing your job to protect them,” she said with amazement. “It is a really good feeling knowing that they do appreciate me being here. Just with that you can see how welcoming they are. I love them. They are great. All of them,” she said with a laugh. Chief Rigney was thrilled when Officer Roberts applied for the position. “When I interviewed her,” he shared, “she came across as very likable. She also came with tremendous experience from her time in Florida.” Part of her experience was working with the street crime and the narcotics divisions with her former depart-
Celebrating 25 Years
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Shaping Tomorrow Today!
Open House Grammar School (Grades K-5) February 12 & 13, 7:45 a.m. â€“ 10:00 a.m. Grades 6-12 February 14, 7:45 a.m. â€“ 10:00 a.m. Join us for this tour and informational session to discover the difference of an excellent classical education formed upon a biblical worldview.
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