Opelika Observer 01-29-2020

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Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020

Vol. 12, No. 17

Opelika, Alabama

Hosted by the Opelika Chamber of Commerce

February 7 11:30 a.m.

“By local people, for local people.”

Davis, Mann & Co. open for business By Sara Wilson For the Opelika Observer Neon lights can be seen through the glass windows of Davis, Mann & Co., a newly opened upscale hair salon in downtown Opelika. Co-owners Claire Davis and Ashley Mann had a clear vision of what they wanted in a new salon, and these neon lights helped add to that unique and girly feel that they hoped to accomplish. “We want our salon, and everything about the feel of it, to reflect the clients we serve, but in a relaxing and intimate setting,” Mann said. Davis, who has been cutting hair for eight years, and Mann, who has been cutting hair for 14, met while working together at a salon. After eight years working together, they decided to take ownership of their business and open their own salon called “Plume.” When their rent went up there, they wanted to open a new location that could accommodate a larger client base as well as more stylists. When it came time to choose a location for their new salon, downtown Opelika was the obvious choice. Mann, who is originally from Opelika, said that the thriving atmosphere matched what she and Davis wanted for their

Children’s Policy Council of Lee County releases suicide protocol for area youth, teens By Morgan Bryce Editor

See Salon, page A3

Photo by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

In response to increasing inci-

dents of suicide and discussion around mental health, the Children’s Policy See Protocol, page A3

New Asian fusion, sushi Russell Jones named as Opelika’s restaurant ‘Takoyaki’ new deputy city clerk, treasurer coming to Opelika in March Special to the Opelika Observer

By Natalie Anderson Staff Reporter

The city of Opelika and the Opelika City Council are excited to announce Russell Jones as Opelika’s new deputy city clerk/treasurer. In his position, Jones will be in charge of providing administrative, organizational and complex clerical support to the City Clerk/Treasurer’s Office. This position is responsible for performing administrative and clerical tasks of responsibility. The current city clerk, Robert Shuman, started with the

Takoyaki, a restaurant that will feature a full sushi bar and hibachi dining options, is projected to open in March in the former home of Pyro’s Pizza at 2025 Interstate Drive in the Tiger Town Shopping Center. With a location in McCalla, Alabama, the family-owned franchise was more than impressed with Opelika as their next site to expand and provide exceptional See Takoyaki, page A3

Jones See Jones, page A3

Photo by Natalie Anderson/Opelika Observer


OPINION.....................................A4 SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY..............A7 RELIGION..............................A13 CALENDAR..................................A14

COMICS.....................................A16 SPORTS..................................B1 POLITICS...................................B7 PUBLIC NOTICES..........................B13

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A2 Jan. 29, 2020

Dr. Farrell Seymore of Opelika High School spoke at ‘Business over Breakfast’ event on Thursday By Sara Wilson For the Opelika Observer The focus of this year’s “Business over Breakfast: Education Edition” event Thursday at the Saugahatchee Country Club was the growing success of Opelika City Schools. Pam Powers-Smith, president of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, welcomed guests before chamber board member Chuck Beams led the audience in an invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance. Carlton Hunley IV,

Photo by Sara Wilson/For the Opelika Observer chamber board chair, recognized the sponsors of this year’s event with Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick-

GMC being the presenting sponsor. The 2020 gold sponsors included Baxter International, First South

sciences, education and training, culinary arts, information technology and video production. Seymore said that through these programs they are trying to be responsive to what businesses and the community needs. “We have a need for teachers in our community, and not just K-12, but also Pre-K and daycare. The education and training program help train our young people to work with other young people in the future,” Seymore said.

opportunity for that child to grow and learn and be the best student they can be, but ultimately the best young adult and then citizen,” Seymore said. One way that the high school does this is by offering a range of programs and curriculum. They offer a full course of classes in math, history, social science and science as well as three foreign language classes. OHS also offers a variety of career and technical programs. These programs include business education, engineering, health

Farm Credit, MAX, the Opelika-Auburn News and S & S Termite Pest Control, LLC. Hunley also introduced the guest speaker, Dr. Farrell Seymore, who serves as the principal of Opelika High School. Seymore began by presenting an overview of the high school. OHS is a full-functioning high school that offers many opportunities to its 1,250 students. “We get all kinds of different needs, experiences and backgrounds, and our goal is to present the best

See Breakfast, page A6

Mayor Gary Fuller’s annual address Opelika High School’s Erik Speakman to be held Feb. 7 at Bottling Plant will be the featured speaker at the Women’s Business Council on Jan. 29 Special to the Opelika Observer

Opelika’s Mayor Gary Fuller will be the guest speaker at the Annual Mayoral Address luncheon hosted by The Opelika Chamber of Commerce on Feb. 7. The event will be held from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. at The Bottling Plant Event Center on North Railroad Avenue. The presenting sponsors are Point Broadband and ESG.

Mayor Fuller, who is in his fourth term as mayor, will give a yearend review of this very progressive city of ours to all attendees. “The City of Opelika had a great FY 2019. And, with the plans we have in place, it looks like we’ll be building on the best, while staying focused on the future,” Fuller said. Citizens in Opelika can look in all directions and see new businesses going up

– restaurants, shops, industries—and with growth comes challenges. Come and hear what those challenges may be and what great opportunities they bring as well. This is a lunch meeting that one won’t want to miss. The cost is $35 for chamber members and $45 for potential members. Register online at www.opelikachamber. com.

coaching football for decades. He worked under Terry Bowden for three years after college and one spring with Tommy Tuberville. He then became the defensive coordinator and assistant head coach for Opelika High School for 18 years. He has been the Bulldogs’ head coach since 2018. With an extensive knowledge in football, he will be coaching the Women Business meeting through football. Speakman will go through drills, plays and explain the game of

Special to the Opelika Observer Erik Speakman, head coach of Opelika High School’s varsity football team, will be the featured speaker at the upcoming Women’s Business Council (WBC) Sports Presentation Series on Jan. 29. This Opelika Chamber of Commerce event will be held at the high school’s indoor practice facility from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Speakman has been

football to those present. Come dressed to play. This hopefully will shed light on a subject many women may or may not know much about. This event help one understand more about the topic and be able to have engaging discussions with family, friends and co-workers. Lunch with be provided by the OHS culinary program. Visit www. opelikachamber.com to register or call 334745-4861. The school is located at 1700 LaFayette Parkway.

Subscribe to the Opelika Observer Today! Name: Address: City:

Lee County Strong is a magazine being published by the Opelika Observer. This special publication is dedicated to honoring the victims and survivors of the March 3, 2019 tornadoes that claimed 23 lives. We are taking pre-orders now and anticipate a March 1, 2020 release date. To order your copy, complete the order form below and send it to the Observer at 216 S. 8th Street, Opelika, AL 36801. Online ordering is also available on the Observerʼs website, www.opelikaobserver.com. Proceeds from this publication will be used to help the recovery efforts in Beauregard and Smiths Station. Name:__________________________________ Address:_________________________________ ______________________________________ _____Pickup in office - $6.53 (includes tax) _____Mail delivery - $10 (includes tax, shipping & handling) _____Check ______Credit Card ______Exp. _____CCV CC #________________________________



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Return to: Opelika Observer, 216 S. 8th St. / Opelika, AL 36801 Please do not send cash through the mail.

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Publisher: Michelle Key Editor: Morgan Bryce Marketing: Doug Horn and Woody Ross Photojournalist: Robert Noles Phone: 334.749.8003 editor@opelikaobserver.com Sports Writers: Rick Lanier and Michelle@opelikaobserver.com D. Mark Mitchell


w w w. o p e l i k a o b s e r v e r . c o m 216 S. 8th Street, Opelika, AL 36801 Copyright 2009. All right reserved. Opelika Observer is published weekly by Opelika Observer, 216 S 8th St. Opelika, AL 36801. Periodicals postage is paid at Opelika, AL. USPS #025104 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Opelika Observer, 216 S. 8th Street, Opelika, AL 36801

CORRECTIONS The Opelika Observer will correct any errors, omissions or inaccuracies deemed to be substantive. Corrections may be requested by contacting the Editor at (334) 749-8003.

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A3 Jan. 29, 2020

Opelika Observer welcomes new reporter Natalie Anderson By Sara Wilson For the Opelika Observer The Opelika Observer’s newest addition is Staff Reporter Natalie Anderson. She graduated from the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, Florida, with a degree in communications and a focus

on public relations. Originally from Destin, she is new to the Auburn-Opelika area. “I have always been an Auburn fan as well as a fan of the area. I am hoping to go to graduate school at Auburn University,” Anderson said. Anderson wants to get a graduate degree in either adult educa-

Protocol, from A1 Council of Lee County recently released a suicide prevention protocol for the community to diagnose and react to signs of suicidal thoughts or tendencies among area youth and teens. According to information provided by the Children’s Policy Councils of Alabama website, the system was voted to be implemented in counties statewide in 1999 “after the Alabama legislature revised a previous 1975 law that “mandated local juvenile judges to form local juvenile justice coordinating councils” and that those councils consist of “(several) categories of mandated members of the councils while giving each council the responsibility for selecting an additional seven at-large members.” The Lee County Children’s Policy Council is headed up by Family Court Judge Mike Fellows, with Chief Probation Office Darryl Johnson serving as chair. The Children’s Policy Council formulated a Mental Health/Substance Abuse sub-committee with a goal to address these concerns in the community. The sub-committee is headed by Jean Spicer, East Alabama Mental Health, and Amy Tatum, Lee County Youth Development Center are committee co-chairs. “We felt like this was an issue that many here in

Takoyaki, from A1 international cuisine to customers. Sang Yasa, who will serve as the restaurant’s manager,

Salon, from A1 salon. “There was nowhere that drew us in quite like downtown. We love the character and the style is our style,” Davis said. While the atmosphere of the salon is important to Davis and Mann, the relationships they form with their clients takes precedence over anything else. “Our clients pride themselves on having a relational appointment. Yes, we get the pleasure of doing their hair and beauty needs, but because we are able to create an intimate atmosphere, we make deeper connections with people that then


our community were talking about. We’ve had too many instances of suicide here in our county in the past few years, and the result is families and friends who are heartbroken. Our hope is that through this protocol and training, the community will be more informed and our youth will be more safe” Spicer said. The group is working to distribute the information to agencies who work with youth and place it in key public areas where it can be an asset to the community at-large. Statistics provided by the Alabama Foundation for Suicide Prevention and Alabama Department of Public Health from as recently as 2017 indicate that suicide is prevalent statewide, particularly among males: - Suicide is the secondleading cause of death for people ages 10 to 34 in Alabama - Alabama’s suicide rate of 17.1 deaths per 100,000 is higher than the US average of 14.5 - Firearms accounted for 51% of suicide attempts nationally, with a 69% rate in Alabama. Following is a copy of the council’s recently issued protocol in its entirety, written verbatim: If there is an immediate health of safety threat, call 911. If there is a present threat of suicide without an immediate safety risk, do the following: 1) Notify a parent or guardian immediately. 2) Do not leave the youth

described Opelika as a “small town composed of a good community.” With sushi serving as the backbone of Takoyaki’s menu, diners can expect an incredible variety of delicious Asian fusion,

tion with the hopes of becoming a professor or a master’s in public relations with the hopes of working at a marketing firm. In her free time, Anderson likes to go to concerts, with her two favorites being Queen and Harry Styles. She also enjoys photography and shopping at T.J.

alone. 3) Safely remove any means that might be used for self-harm. 4) Be open and direct. Do not express shock or judgment. Do not promise to keep it a secret. 5) Send them to the closest emergency room. Call ahead to inform ER staff. Provide information re: mental health treatment, current medications and substance abuse 6) Make sure the ER staff is aware of the warning signs noted below. If the child is not presently threatening selfharm, but reports suicidal thoughts: ● direct parent/guardian to contact a counselor. If the child is involved with a counselor, the parent/ guardian should inform the counselor of the child’s suicidal thoughts. ● the parent/guardian may contact East Alabama Mental Health at 334-7422877 or 1-800-815-0630. ○ during business hours (8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday) EAMHC Outreach will connect to Family and Children’s Services who may arrange for an assessment or may send the child directly to the ER. If hospitalization is indicated, the FCS therapist/supervisor will serve as liaison with East Alabama Medical Center’s Psychiatric Unit regarding admission. If hospitalization isn’t indicated, the therapist will work with the youth and family to develop a safety plan. ○ After 4:30 p.m. on weekdays, weekends and

hibachi and sushi options. There will also be menu items representing Indonesian cuisine and signature dishes including Bento Boxes, Poke Bowls and War Eagle Rolls, all part of Yasa and his

promotes loyalty throughout the years,” Mann said. Davis agreed, saying that she wants the stylists at Davis Mann and Co. to be known as a good, wholesome group. At Davis Mann & Co., clients can expect a warm welcome. An assistant, who works with Davis and Mann, welcomes clients in and helps them get comfortable before the stylist begins work. “It’s a well-oiled machine. A client comes in, they are greeted, taken care of, serviced, and then the next client is there,” Mann said. Davis Mann & Co. provides three high-end hair product lines. They offer Bumble and Bumble, R + Co. and IGK. Each of these

holidays, the EAMHC answering service will contact the Emergency Services On-Call therapist. The Emergency Services therapist will assess for hospitalization. If hospitalization is indicated, the On-Call therapist will serve as liaison with EAMC’s Psychiatric Unit regarding admission. If hospitalization isn’t indicated, the therapist will work with the youth/family to develop a safety plan and will refer for follow up at FCS. ● Other resources: clergy/ministers, private counselors, local psychiatrists, AU Psychological Services and AU Marriage and Family Therapy Center may also be able to assist. Be prepared to provide: information regarding the situation, along with name, address, date of birth, insurance information, mental health treatment history, current medications and previous or current substance abuse. Warning signs of suicide include: • Thinking about, talking about or writing about wanting to harm oneself • Recent attempt to harm or kill self • Statements about wishing to be dead or wanting to go to sleep and not wake up • Researching ways to commit suicide • Dramatic mood or behavior changes • Taking unusual risks, behaving recklessly • Feelings of hopelessness or unbearable pain • Feeling trapped

team’s goal “(to bring) an international dining experience right here (in Opelika) for everyone to enjoy without having to travel.” At last Tuesday’s Opelika City Council meeting, the restaurant

brands offer a variety of hair styling items such as shampoo, conditioner and dry shampoo. Their salon is the only one within a 40-mile radius that offers Bumble and Bumble products. Along with these products, they offer a variety of services. The hair stylists provide services such as color, cut, design and styling. The two estheticians at the salon offer services in waxing, lashes, spray tans and facials. On Feb. 3, there will be a ribbon cutting at 4 p.m. to celebrate the salon’s recent opening. An open house will follow. To book an appointment, call 334-213-9625 or visit www.davismannandco.com.

• Feeling of being a burden • Sleeping too much or too little. • Any of the above combined with drug or alcohol abuse should heighten one’s concern. Spicer added that another valuable resource is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which can be reached by calling 1-800-273-8255 (TALK). It is free, confidential and available 24/7. “We hope that this protocol helps families or individuals struggling with mental health issues know where to get help, how to discern if this is an immediate risk to this person’s safety, and how to locate resources to assist,” Spicer said. On Feb. 7, the Children’s Policy Council, in cooperation with Auburn University, is hosting QPR, a suicide prevention training session at Auburn United Methodist Church. The session will be led by Markie Pasternak, who serves as the coordinator of outreach and peer education at Auburn University’s Health Promotion and Wellness. Those interested in attending can sign up via https://www. villagecreed.com/listing/ xg0okpY73zFJQm. Groups or organizations who would like to host events like this in the future are requested to contact Dawn Pierce at 334-559-0146. To learn more about the Children’s Policy Council program, visit children. alabama.gov/cpc.

was granted approval for an on-premise beer and wine license. In addition to beer and wine, Yasa added that Takoyaki will have a deep and varied cocktail menu. Yasa said Takoya-

Jones, from A1 City of Opelika in 1988 as the administrative department head and then became the city clerk/ treasurer in 1996. When he retires on March 1, Jones will take on the role as city clerk. “It has been my honor to serve four different mayors, three different city council presidents, many city council members and all the citizens of Opelika. I am confident that Russell Jones will carry on the tradition of the Office of City Clerk and will do a great job as Opelika’s new city clerk/

Maxx. Another way that she likes to spend her time is through traveling, with London being her favorite location to date. A huge sports fan, Anderson loves to watch the Atlanta Braves play. Within the next five years, she hopes to call Atlanta home.

ki’s projected hours of operations will be 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. For more information on Takoyaki and updates on its opening, visit www.takoyakirestaurant.com.

treasurer,” Shuman said. Jones has worked for the city since 2013. Prior to accepting this position, Jones worked in the City of Opelika Accounting Department. “I am extremely honored and humbled to be chosen as the next City Clerk/Treasurer for the City of Opelika. I understand the importance of this position and hope that my knowledge and experience will provide great benefit to the city of Opelika. Again, I feel blessed to represent the city of Opelika in this position,” Jones said. For more information, contact Community Relations Officer Leigh Krehling at 334-705-5136.

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A4 Jan. 29, 2020

The Memoir


t came in the mail. A small package. A cardboard parcel no bigger than a VHS tape. I weighed it in my hands. Definitely not a VHS tape. For one thing, it’s too heavy. For another, nobody even uses tapes anymore. Not long ago, families had to rent VCRs from the supermarket if they wanted to watch video cassettes. Unless of course they were rich. In which case they went out and bought their own supermarkets. Our supermarket movie rental selection was pathetic. The only two videotapes available were the complete first season of the “Lawrence Welk Show,” and “Porky’s Revenge!” Anyway, I’m sitting on my porch steps and opening the package with a pocket knife. I have an idea of what is inside, but I don’t want to jump to conclusions. The first thing I see is a printed name. Four letters. Sean. The Gaelic spelling of my first name has long been mispronounced by P.E. teachers and telemarketers alike. It’s unclear why my mother chose this name. She either named me after my

By Sean Dietrich Scotch-Irish ancestors, or she named me after 007. My money’s on 007. She loved Sean Connery as James Bond. When we purchased our first VCR, my mother would would rent Bond movies from the local library all the time and watch them when she ironed clothes. She and I were big regulars at the library. I got my first library card when I was in kindergarten and I can still remember signing my name on the back of that card. I signed: SEJMN. Which was close enough for 007. After my father passed, I practically lived at libraries. The elderly librarians were my friends. These were blue-haired ladies who were old enough to have singledigit Social Security numbers. But I loved them. I read truckloads of cheap paperback books. Not high literature, but low-brow books that I should be embarrassed

about. Books about cowboys, espionage, suspense, and toilet humor. I wasn’t reading because I was a bookworm. I read because books were an escape hatch from reality. I was shy, I was awkward, I was chubby. School teachers always had a hard time figuring me out. Some liked me. A few didn’t. One early teacher discovered that I paid better attention whenever I was drawing. She always kept a blue-lined tablet in my desk and encouraged me to doodle when she taught lessons. And it worked, too. That year, I made the best grades of my career. But the good grades ended after her class. After that, most teachers generally saw me as a big pain in the ascot. I fell behind in my work a lot. One teacher in particular said I was “slow.” And in those days this word meant “stupid.” It’s funny how deeply one word can affect you. Ever since then, I considered myself a slow human being. There were four kids in our entire school who were slow. We were all See Dietrich, page A6

Meditative Notations


familiar phrase often surfaces in conversations, “I can’t, I wish I had the time,” someone remarks. While I’m sure at some point in the past I too have naively used this statement; in recent years I’ve grown to find it disconcerting when spoken back to me. This leads me to ponder the question, “Just who or what determines how a person spends one’s time?” And furthermore, I wonder, “what causes a person to believe that they can’t?” Can’t is a word better left unsaid, lest we begin to believe it. I recently came back from a trip. On my drive southward, somewhere between Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania, and Atlanta, I resolved to restructure my daily life. Reflecting over the years in which I’ve strived to keep a steady day-to-day routine and furthermore have risen to the challenge of making time and space for everything, as everything seems to increase, I admit the result hasn’t always been ideal. I prefer to look to the farm model and consider how I might work

smarter within the context of my life. Standing in an artist’s north light studio along the Brandywine River, I recognized the day light and meditated on thoughts of the farmer’s work and relevance to the artist, he who spent his days lassoing the light like none other. In turn, I realized that every moment of my day could be better orchestrated. It’s been weeks since that trip. I realize now, it was life changing. Without a second to waste, I immediately set into motion my resolution, revising and finding ways to improve use of the hours. To awake before the sun prompts an intelligent attitude towards time management. Cultivating a special place for each event throughout the day has been achieved through steadfast diligence and commitment. More is rendered therefore more is recorded. Every day promises a rewarding harvest. With each day we are given the same renewed number of hours. Observe those among us who live prolifically, and dedicate

By Sarah West a great deal of time to building an acquaintanceship with past figures who contributed their life’s work to posterity moreover, do all one can and more with get done. Work as the sun rises, and turn ‘round as the sun dips below the western horizon, look back over the hours and there will be more accomplishment than wishful reluctance. West serves the Opelika Observer as a contributing columnist, with written works of Cultural Arts relevance and prose. She is the founder of the Sarah West Gallery of Fine Art, a center for cultural arts, Smiths Station’s premier fine-arts destination. To learn more about her work and activism, visit www.thesarahwestgalleryoffineart.com.


Why must reading books be a chore? Make it fun, not futile


hy must reading books be a chore? Variety and a steady gait can make it fun, not futile. In 2017, one of my Christmas presents was the bestseller “Grant,” about the brilliant Union general and problematic 18th president Ulysses S. Grant. I haven’t read Ron Chernow’s book yet, as the 1,000 plus pages are daunting. For a change, I asked last year for a novel called “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens. “Crawdads” is a surprising national sensation. It has been on The New York Times bestseller list for over a year. It features a recluse named “Marsh Girl” and a twisting murder case on the North Carolina coast. A few days after receiving “Crawdads” I had a pitfall: A neighborhood dog ate my Christmas book. Thankfully, the dog did not eat the hardcover book. The canine did gnaw on the cover, making it

By Greg Markley not worth saving. So I will read that fiction book after I complete the current non-fiction one in my rotation. By late February it will be “Crawdads” for me. This is an example of how reality such as a hungry hound can hasten changes to one’s reading schedule. “I didn’t care for most of the books I was being asked to read in school,” recalls James Patterson, a top American novelist. “I started reading like crazy right after high school when I got a job in a mental hospital. I was working my way through college, and I did a lot of night shifts, and there was nothing to do. So I read like crazy, serious stuff, all the Classics.”

In 2019, I ended up reading 10 books. That was an unusually low amount for me per year. But I had family matters in 2019 that lead me to take four trips to New England, and book reading was often far from my mind. I continued though, to read a bunch of magazines and newspapers. As I am inclined to do, I mixed business and pleasure in my choices. I read autobiographies “Make Your Bed,” “Hillbilly Elegy,” and “Born a Crime,” the latter by Daily Show host Trevor Noah. I reread the novels “The Spy who Came in From the Cold” and “Love in the Time of Cholera,” after many years. Also, I read the fiction offering “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” In non-fiction, I read “When the Center Holds,” “The Briefing” and “The Point of It All,” by late essayist Charles Krauthammer. I acquitted myself as See Markley, page A6

Living the American Dream


hen the name came up on the screen, I almost deleted it. Ted Karlman. Who the heck is that? Looked like “spam” that my “spam catcher” didn’t catch. Someone wanting to help me lose weight, improve my love life, hook me up with a “hot girl” from Outer Insbuckstan, or help me get a bunch of money out of a bank in Nigeria (all they need is my bank account number so they can deposit the loot there). Click delete and it’s gone. But I didn’t click. Something about the name was familiar. Warily I opened it and instead of a link to a place I shouldn’t go there was a letter. And it began: Dear Professor Harvey H. Jackson, Today will be remembered as the day I received one of the best Christmas gifts ever. My name is Thaddeus Klarman, better known to you as Tadeusz Klarman. Yes, I am the Taddy you wrote about. Wham! Shazam! “Taddy!” A few weeks earlier I had published a Yuletide column, about a Polish refugee boy (Tadeusz “Taddy” Klarman). During the Cold War he and his Mother had

By Hardy Jackson

slipped through the Iron Curtin to freedom. With the help of sponsors in the States they lived in Grove Hill, my home town, for less than a year. I ended the piece on this note. “I don’t know what became of the Klarmans after they left, but I hope they lived out the American dream.” And here he was. Although Grove Hill was long ago and far away, Ted (as he was now known) remembers it as a place of “firsts” – where he first learned our language and customs, owned his first bicycle, had his first paper route, and such. So from time to time, he went on the computer and looked up Grove Hill. That is how he found my column. I learned this when I wrote him. He wrote back and told me that when he and his Mother left Grove Hill in the summer of 1952 they went to Detroit, so Mrs. Klarman could escape the hot weather and find “Polish people she could associate with.” In Detroit Ted went to school and his Mother got work caring for an elderly couple. They rented an apartment

and “life became more normal.” In 1956, at the age of 18, Ted joined the Marines and after leaving the service he became a Tool & Die Maker, got his U.S. citizenship and landed a job with Chrysler where he worked until retiring. Life had its ups and downs, but now things were up. Married to a “very good Christian woman” and happily settled near Holly, Michigan, north of Detroit, he and his wife attend a non-denominational church nearby where they are “leaders in divorce care ministries” and head a senior citizen’s group called “Young at Heart.” And, he added, “after all these years in Michigan, I am still not a Yankee.” (A little time in Alabama can do that to some folks.) “There is more to say,” Ted concluded, “but I don’t want to write a mini-novel.” Well, maybe he should. Maybe, with all the controversy surrounding immigration today, someone who came here looking for a home and found one should tell the story to help us remember how immigrants became Americans – tell of how they learned the language and the customs without laws telling them they had to, tell of the workethic they brought See Jackson, page A6

pelika O Observer Opelika’s Steak ‘n Shake restaurant closes its doors last week


Jan. 29, 2020

By Morgan Bryce Editor

Photos by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

Last week, the Tiger Town Steak 'n Shake location closed its doors, causing rumors to swirl online about what would be its replacement. The restaurant officially opened its doors in fall 2013 at Tiger Town, but the burgerand-fries chain has struggled as of late and is attempting to reverse those trends by moving toward "a franchise-based business model" according to multiple national reports. While there has been no

official confirmation as to what business or restaurant will fill the now-empty building at 2096 Interstate Drive, a leading candidate is Panda Express. Opelika resident John Brooks commented on a post from the official Panda Express Facebook page, inquiring about these rumors and if there was any validity to them. A company representative replied "It's true! We'll be opening in May." Social media was soon flooded with commentary, particularly in a post on the

Opelika Bulletin Board's Facebook page. Larry James Cook posted, "Like we don't have any awesome Chinese/Thai/Korean/Asian fusion places here already? Why do we need Taco Bell Chinese (style)?" Others, like Regina O'Guynn and Mallory Bush, are excited about this development, writing "Sooooooooo EXCITED" and "This is the best news I've heard all week." Follow the Observer for confirmation on the building's next tenant and updates on this story.

Dominican Republic native Hal Marmolejos The Auburn Marriott was recent speaker Opelika Rotary meeting Opelika Resort and

Spa at Grand National named company’s best in recent survey

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer Hal Marmolejos, guest speaker at a recent Opelika Rotary Club meeting, shared his story about growing up in the Dominican Republic near Haiti. His father was a pastor that assisted others on how to vote. In doing so, he was targeted by the government and escaped the country and landed in south Florida. He was separated from his family for three years before the family was able to obtain visas and get to Florida. Marmolejos went on to serve with the US Air Force and ultimately worked with drones. He decided to pursue a career in medicine and took the MCAT exam, and is currently enrolled with Auburn University’s Via College of Medicine. He plans to become an anesthesiologist and serve in that role with the US Air Force. Photo left to right. Robert Williams, Marmolejos and Shey Knight (Opelika Rotary President).

Special to the Opelika Observer

Pam Powers-Smith with Opelika Chamber of Commerce spoke at recent Opelika Kiwanis meeting Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer Pam PowersSmith, president the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, was a guest speaker at a recent Opelika Kiwanis Club meeting, sharing about the many services the organization offers its members. Pictured are Todd Rauch, PowersSmith and Club President Rickey Elliott.

Glynn Smith Motors supports ‘Relay For Life’ with donation Photo by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer Glynn Smith Motors made a donation to support Lee County’s Relay For Life, helping the community fight cancer. “We are honored to sponsor a great organization like the American Cancer Society and support the many free services they provide in our community,” said Glynn Smith General Manager Jonathan “Moose” Mapps. Relay volunteers are working to raise money to support efforts by the American Cancer Society locally and research at the national level. Community support is vital, and community volunteers can register a team and help. Lee County’s Relay for Life event is April 17 at Courthouse Square in downtown Opelika, beginning at 6 p.m. The next relay meeting is Feb. 22 at 5:30 p.m. at the EAMC Education Center, located at 2027 Pepperell Parkway. Pictured from left are Debra and Randy Causey. Relay co-chairs, Glynn Smith Sales Manager Jared Hudson, ACS community development manager Kalyn Frederick and Relay volunteer Ann Nahikian.

The Auburn Marriott Opelika Resort and Spa at Grand National was named Marriott’s best spa in North America for 2019, according to data recently released by Marriott International. The Spa at Grand National was not the only Alabama spa to receive rave reviews, however. While the resort spas in Palm Beach, Las Vegas, Grand Cayman, Hawaii, St. Kitts, Cancun, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami and Costa Rica are highly rated, Alabama is home to some of Marriott’s best spas throughout its various brands. For Marriott spas, the Marriott Shoals Hotel & Spa finished fourth out of 71 in 2019, just three spots behind the Spa at Grand National. In Marriott’s Autograph Collection, the spa at the Grand Hotel Golf Resort & Spa ranked second in North America out of 37 locations. Within Renaissance Hotels, Alabama’s three spas

scored very well for customer satisfaction, finishing in 9th, 10th and 11th place, respectively. “All six of our spas across Alabama are known for offering exceptional experiences in spectacular settings,” said Tony Davis, president of PCH Hotels & Resorts. “From custom massages and facials to body and nail treatments, the RTJ Spa Trail features exceptional hospitality and innovative treatments for our guests. They leave our spas relaxed, rested and rejuvenated.” These six spas are part of the hotels/ resorts owned by the Retirement Systems of Alabama and associated with the Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail. The spa rankings are determined by guest surveys conducted independently by an outside research firm for Marriott International. For more information, visit www.marriott.com. The venue is located at 3700 Robert Trent Jones Trail.

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Individual mandate is gone, the new deal with Form W-4


he 2017 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act repealed the penalty for not having medical insurance all year (the “individual mandate”), but it did not go into effect until 2019. That means there is no tax penalty to be paid this year if you were not covered! The 2018 penalty was $695 per adult and $347.50 per child on your tax return, or 2% of your annual income (whichever was greater). That penalty has been zeroed out, so non-covered taxpayers have reason to celebrate this year as they will no longer have to pay that additional tax. The individual mandate technically still exists, but lack of a penalty likely means most people will ignore it. Filling out a new W-4 One of my favorite services to clients is delivering a nice tax refund, followed immediately by an increase in take-home pay through withholding adjustments. That is typically accomplished through analyzing the taxpayer’s withholding tax, and filling out a new Form W-4 (“Employee Withholding Certificate”) to deliver to their employer. Last fall, the IRS put a twist on the legacy W-4 that has been in place for more than 30 years. If you have started a new job, want to update

Breakfast, from A2 Seymore then focused on the data and trends OHS has seen during the last few years. “Advanced Placement courses are college level courses that are offered at the high school level,” Seymore said. The numbers of those enrolled have grown tremendously over the past

Jackson, from A4 with them (I still marvel at Taddy delivering papers he could hardly read) and tell how they became American citizens without forgetting what they once were. Taddy, Ted came to this country hoping for

your tax withholdings or just do a withholding checkup, you have probably noticed the new form. While your existing tax withholdings are grandfathered in, any changes to your withholdings or starting a new job will now require an entirely new form to be filled out and turned in to your employer. The IRS updated the form to help reduce its complexity, and it has entirely eliminated the scheme of selecting personal allowances. Now, taxpayers simply fill out their personal information such as name and address, along with their filing status (single/married filing separately, married filing jointly, or head of household), the number of jobs held, and dependents. The form is designed to more accurately calculate taxpayer withholdings, which may lead to lower refunds at tax time. You have the opportunity to withhold more or less through withholding adjustments and can use an earnings worksheet to calculate tax-

payer/spouse withholdings to help determine what each individual should have withheld through their job. Generally, you should have more tax withheld if you hold multiple jobs, have a working spouse or earn extra income from other sources such as investments, rental real estate and self-employment. You may choose to have less tax withheld if you are eligible for credits or deductions like student loan interest, college tuition or child care. If you’re not sure where you stand, grab a recent paystub and visit the IRS’ tax withholding calculator, available free online through the IRS Web site. It has been reprogrammed using the new form, and is more user-friendly than the prior version. The site will even fill out a new W-4 for you. The form was tailored for the 2017 tax reform, which has many provisions currently set to expire after 2025. More changes are likely to come, so it’s always a good idea to do a paycheck review at least annually. Justin Smith is a licensed certified public accountant in Opelika, specializing in individual and small business tax and accounting. He can be contacted at 334400-9234 or Justin@ JSmithCPA.net. His web site is www.jsmithcpa. net.

eight years. In 2019, 257 students were enrolled in AP classes, the highest level of enrollment OHS has seen. OHS partners with Southern Union State Community College to allow students to participate in dual-enrollment courses. Some of these courses are offered at the high school while others are offered solely at SUSCC. The school also has a dualenrollment agreement with the University of Alabama.

Three emissaries from Opelika High School joined Seymore at the end of his presentation. These emissaries, student ambassadors for the school, spoke on how Opelika City Schools have prepared them for the next step in their lives. Powers-Smith, along with a Metro City Bank representative, concluded the event by awarding Full Moon BBQ with the Small Business of the Quarter Award.

better than what he left behind. He sought a place to fit in and found it; he adopted America and America adopted him; he served his country, worked hard, weathered problems at home and on the job and, in the end, found peace and happiness in retirement. Reading his letter brought back to me the

hope I expressed in that first column, the hope that wherever Taddy went, he would “live out the American dream.” All things considered, I think he did. Harvey H. (“Hardy”) Jackson is professor emeritus of history at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at hjackson@ cableone.net.

Justin Smith

Markley, from A4 more than a quarter of U.S. adults (27%) say they did not read a book in whole or in part in 2019. That means not one printed book, nada electronic book and not even a book in audio form, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey. I stressed in this space before that viewing, listening to, or best of all, reading from a variety of viewpoints and ideologies will make you a better citizen and an effective advocate for your side. To that end, I subscribe to two traditional conservative publications: National Review and Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition. On the Left side, I read The New York Times, especially because of its long-form journalism—the stories are not USA Today miniatures but often many pages long, allowing for more facts and analysis. The small, 4-page High-

Dietrich, from A4 in a special class called “remedial class.” Nobody knew what remedial meant; even the word sounded like a rare form of medieval torture. Either way, we slowish kids knew we were the village idiots. Thus, Mrs. Shields would knock on our classroom door at 8:30 a.m. every weekday, and a few of us would rise and happily accompany her to the remedial class. I have read before that lambs go happily to the butcher. Each time we left the grade school classroom, I would hear snickering from other students. It wasn’t fullon laughter. Just soft chuckling. In remedial class there was Jon, who was taller than anyone in school; his mother packed his lunchbox with two sandwiches instead of one. And Allie, who was Native American, the sweetest soul you’d ever meet. And me. We would sit in a

tower Lowdowner spotlights campaign finance scandals and corruption among the privileged class. Living relatively close to Atlanta, Birmingham etc., Lee Countians get many chances to attend book signings. (When the two new bookstores get settled in, we can expect more signings.) In 2008, I went with a friend to The Carter Center to get the former president’s latest book signed, “A Remarkable Mother.” It was a splendid day for me because I was an archives intern there and took advantage of a tour of his private office at the center. He was on his way back from the Middle East so was not present to host the three interns who went. Miss Lillian, as she was affectionately called, spent eight years as the dorm mother for students of a particularly unruly fraternity. It was Kappa Alpha, and they were students at Auburn University. I had hoped to see more than the four pages that mentioned Auburn, but

with a small 208-page book, cuts definitely had to be executed. At the book signing, here was this 83-year old man, who has just made the long trip back from the Middle East. The ex-president whisked away so many books past him, signing them all, that I was stunned. He greeted us with a strong “War Eagle.” As I presaged in the introduction, I plan to read “Where the Crawdads Sing” in February. One of the merits of this book is a survey confirmed that respondents who read “Crawdads” come from across the political spectrum, with 55% identifying as progressive, 30% as conservative and 15% as centrists. “Crawdads” appeals to a wide spectrum of American readers. And apparently dogs love it, too. Markley has lived in Lee County for 18 of the last 23 years. An award-winning journalist, he has master’s degrees in education and history. He has taught as an adjunct in Georgia and Alabama.

little backroom while Mrs. Shields talked to us like we were hard of hearing. I know she wasn’t trying to act ugly toward us, but sometimes that makes it even worse. So, when I got the chance to drop out of school in the seventh grade after my father died, I did. I regret that now. But now maybe you understand why. Still, I never quit reading. In fact I read more often than I should have. I read more library books than some of my friends. I became so fast at reading that I was zipping through several books per week. There are swatches of my adolescence when I was rarely seen without a book. There’s a photograph of me standing with my mother and sister in Disney World. I am holding the book “Sphere,” by Michael Crichton. What a dork. But literature saved me. And even though my life story reads like a roll of used toilet paper, two years ago I started writing my story down. I’m too young to write a

decent memoir. I have too much to learn about life still. But I did it anyway. The publisher sent me an early copy. I got to hold it. A book about the size of a VHS tape. “By Sean Dietrich.” It is a moment I’ll never forget. And do you know what I hope more than anything? I hope that somewhere in the world, perhaps in a dark and dingy remedial classroom, some kid who feels like a complete screw-up is reading this very sentence right now. I hope he realizes that even though some might say he’s slow and not as smart as the others, these people are flat wrong. Because to me, he’s 007. Dietrich is a columnist, and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, the Tallahassee Democrat, Southern Magazine, Yellowhammer News, the Bitter Southerner, the Mobile Press Register and he has authored seven books.

Opelika E vents, Society, & Food

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: • Feb. 1 - J.W. Darden Foundation’s ‘Black Tie Legacy Gala’ • Feb. 3 - East Alabama Arts Association hosting Drum Tao at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts • Feb 8 - Haddie’s Home Dessert Tasing • Feb 14. - OTC’s Murder Mystery Dinner Theater

Empty Bowls event to be held Saturday at Opelika Recreation Department Ann Cipperly’s




very night people of all ages go to bed hungry in Lee County. On Feb. 1, everyone in the community can help provide food to those in need by attending the 2020 Empty Bowls event at the Opelika Recreation Center on Denson Drive between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. For just $10, a lovely handcrafted bowl can be purchased and will include a ticket for a free bowl of delicious soup and bread provided by local restaurants and local cooks. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Food Bank of

East Alabama. Businesses contributing soup, chicken or bread include I Love Juice Bar, In the Kitchen with Chef Jim, Bow & Arrow, Zazu Gastropub, Cafe 123, Chicken Salad Chick, Niffer’s on the Tracks, Southern Hospitality/ Martha Hicks Catering, Jim Bob’s Chicken Fingers and Panera Bread. In addition, many of the local potters are contributing soup. The singing group AU Cappella will present musical entertainment. There will also be a raffle and silent auction, featuring a variety

of items, including a four-course gourmet wine dinner in a historic home. Potters will be giving demonstrations of bowls being made, and there will be activities for children. While the Rocky Brook Potters in Opelika and Dean Road Recreation Center Ceramics Studio in Auburn alternate hosting the event every other year, potters from both groups create bowls for each event. When Opelika potters held the event two years ago, they raised $18,000 for the food bank. This year, the goal is to sell

Photo by Ann Cipperly The 2020 Empty Bowls event will be held Saturday, Feb. 1, from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Opelika Recreation Center on Denson Drive in Opelika. A beautiful handcrafted pottery bowl can be purchased for $10. Soup, water and bread will be served. A silent auction will be held, and raffle tickets will be sold. All proceeds will go to the Food Bank of East Alabama. Looking over a table of the bowls are Sherie Spain, left, director of the pottery department at the Opelika Recreation Center and founder of the local event, and Kitty Greene, publicity chair for the Empty Bowls project.

2,000 bowls to raise $20,000. The 7th annual fund raiser began when Sherie Spain, director of the pottery department at the Opelika Recreation Center, read about the Empty Bowls project that started in 1990 as a class project in Michigan. The class made ceramic bowls to sell and served soup for a food drive. The idea

caught on, and other Empty Bowls events began being held across the country. “I contacted the Food Bank,” says Sherie, “and they liked the idea. I thought it would be good to get both pottery communities working together.” Kitty Greene is the publicity chair for the Empty Bowls project. “I have always been

interested in how to do pottery,” says Kitty, “so I took a few courses from Sherie. It has been a way for me to get involved in the community. I wanted to do something to help, and to me the Food Bank is really special.” Pre-sales have been going on since November. Anyone who bought See Recipes, page A11

Empty Bowls releases Opelika Theatre Company schedule of events hosting murder mystery dinner for Valentine’s Day By Morgan Bryce Editor

Photo special to the Opelika Observer AU Capella will provide live entertainment during the Empty Bowls event on Feb. 1. Special to the Opelika Observer Empty Bowls, an international initiative to fight hunger, will be back in Opelika on Feb. 1 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Denson Drive Recreation Center. Since 2014, the event has rotated back and forth between the Opelika Pottery Studio and the Auburn Ceramics Studio, raising money for the Food Bank of East Alabama. Local potters have been creating hundreds of bowls to be sold at the event. Guests may purchase an event ticket for $10, which includes a handcrafted bowl, a simple meal of soup and bread and a raffle ticket for numer-

ous prizes. Pottery demos are scheduled throughout the day, and entertainment

will be provided by AU Capella. There

Members of the Opelika Theatre Company will take audiences back to the Roaring Twenties with a Valentine’s Day show titled “Haunting of the Southside Speakeasy.” According to a description listed on the See Relay, page A10

See Bowls, page A8


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A8 Jan. 29, 2020

BigHouse Foundation’s first ‘Glitz, Glam and Gowns’ event to be held on Feb. 8 in Opelika Special to the Opelika Observer The BigHouse Foundation is hosting a shopping event for any teen girls in a foster or adoptive family in the state of Alabama who want to participate in a free formal shopping experience. BigHouse is excited to host their Glitz, Glam and Gowns event in Opelika on Feb. 8. The event is open to any teen girls in foster or adoptive home, as well as adopted teenage girls and biological chil-

Bowls, from A7 will also be a silent auction featuring pottery and a food and dining experience for 6 people. All of the bowls are handcrafted and come in numerous shapes, sizes and colors. Because the bowls are handmade each one is entirely unique. Many of the bowls are made by potters with years of experience. “Their bowls are gorgeous,” said Kitty Greene, Empty Bowls publicity chair. “We have potters with pottery in presidents’ houses. They’re that good.” Because the potters donate the clay, the glazes and their time, 100% of the proceeds from this event goes to the Food Bank of East Alabama. Last time the event was held in Opelika, $18,000 was raised. This year they have raised their goal to $20,000. The local food bank is able to turn each donated dollar into seven meals, so the money raised through this event goes a long way to provide nourishment to people in the Opelika and Auburn communities. According to www. feedingamerica.org, many households that experience food insecurity do not qualify for federal nutrition

dren of foster parents. There will be hundreds of dresses for girls to choose from, as well as accessories and shoes. Join BigHouse from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 8 at Gabrielle’s Formals and Event Space, which is located at 1220 Fox Run Ave. #106 in Opelika. Shopper pre-registration is required. For more information on how to register for this event or how to donate dresses, shoes or accessories email at bighouse@ourbighouse.org.

programs and need to rely on their local food banks and other hunger relief organizations for support. Households with children are more likely to experience food insecurity. Currently, more than 11 million children live in foodinsecure households. According to Sherrie Spain, Opelika pottery director, the bowls are meant to be kept as a reminder of those who don’t have a full bowl. “There are so many empty bowls, and ours are never empty,” Spain said. “It’s important to have that reminder.” In addition to the Rocky Brook Potters, I Love Juice Bar, In the Kitchen with Chef Jim, Bow & Arrow, Zazu Gastropub, Cafe 123, Chicken Salad Chick, Niffer’s on the

Dining and dancing on the menu for Valentines Day with Opelika Parks and Recreation this year Special to the Opelika Observer Opelika Parks and Recreation is bringing you three days of love and music this February with three nights of dances. The Young at Heart Dance, the Mother Son Blue Jean Ball and the Daddy Daughter Dance are the perfect opportunity to get off the couch and enjoy a special night out with loved ones. The Young at Heart Dance The Valentine’s Day festivities kick off on Feb. 11 with the Young at Heart Dance. This dance for adults ages 55 and older will take place at the Opelika SportsPlex Adult Activity Center from 5:30 to 9 p.m. In celebration of living in 2020, the Young at Heart Dance is bringing the Roaring Twenties back to life with a period-themed dance. Fedoras, cabbie hats, suspenders, ornate headbands, felt hats, long strands of

pearls, tassels and sequins will be in abundance as music and a party atmosphere ensues. The night of dancing will be preceded by dinner at 5:30 p.m. Photo booths will be available for pictures throughout the night. All guests will receive a corsage or boutonniere upon arrival. “There’s nowhere else in town that allows a couple to dress up, have a nice meal and enjoy entertainment for $25,” said Valeri White, adult activity director. “It’s such a good deal, and I want everyone to know that it’s open to the public and they can come.” Admission to the Young at Heart Dance is $15 for singles and $25 for couples. Pre-registration is required. Mother Son Blue Jean Ball The Mother Son Blue Jean Ball will bring two nights of dining and dancing on Feb. 14 and 15. This sports-themed dance

for moms and sons of all ages will take place at Covington Recreation Center from 6 to 8:30 p.m. According to Pam Driver, Covington Center supervisor, this year they are focusing on encouraging interaction between the moms and their sons. In lieu of having professional photos, they are setting up sports-themed selfie stations with volunteers present to help take photos. There will be a craft station where kids can decorate frames for their photos from the dance. All guests of the Mother Son Blue Jean Ball will receive a corsage or boutonniere. There will be fun activities including dance competitions, games and door prizes. Tickets also include a seated dinner that allows all of the moms and kids to share a meal together. Admission to the Mother Son Blue Jean Ball is $30 per couple and $10 for each additional son as long

as they are registered by Feb. 10. On Feb. 11, the cost increases to $50 per couple and $10 for each additional son. Tickets are not sold at the door and pre-registration is required. Driver encourages those interested in this dance to register early because there are a limited number of tickets for each night of this dance and they sell out fairly quickly. Daddy Daughter Dance While mom and her boys are getting down at the Mother Son Dance, Dad can take his special girl(s) to the Daddy Daughter Dance on Feb. 14 and 15 at the Opelika SportsPlex. This dance kicks off at 6 p.m. and ends with a balloon drop at 8 p.m. Girls up to age 13 are invited to attend with their dad. All dads will receive a boutonniere upon their arrival and all girls will receive a flower wristlet. Coat check will be available See OPR, page A9

Tracks, Southern Hospitality/Martha Hicks Catering, Jim Bob’s Chicken Fingers and Panera Bread will be providing the meal of soup and bread. Advance tickets are available at Denson Drive Recreation Center Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets will also be sold at the door of the event. Those who purchase their tickets and bowls in advance do not need to bring their bowl back with them to the event in order to enjoy their soup. For more information, call Spain at the Denson Recreation Center at 334-7055558 or see the Empty Bowls Facebook group. The center is located at 1102 Denson Drive in Opelika

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A9 Jan. 29, 2020

Photos by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

OPR, from A8 for coats, purses, umbrellas and other items. A seated dinner catered by Veggies to Go will be available throughout the night as well. “We really try to go above and beyond to make this an easy and special date night for the dads and their girls,” said Laura Leigh Chesser, public

relations coordinator. “We want to take care of all the details so dad can forget the logistics and focus on having fun.” Guests of the Daddy Daughter Dance can expect to see the SportsPlex bathed in color during this dance because this year’s theme is Rainbows and Unicorns. There will be special photo booth areas for dad to snap pictures on his phone, but there will also be

more formal photo stations for professional photos. Professional photo packages are available for an extra fee and cash, check, credit and debit are accepted. Admission to the Daddy Daughter Dance is $30 per couple and $10 for each additional daughter as long as you are registered by Feb. 9. On Feb.10 the cost increases to $50 per couple and $10 for each additional daugh-

ter. Tickets are not sold at the door and pre-registration is required. Registration for the Young at Heart Dance and the Daddy Daughter Dance is taken in person at the Opelika SportsPlex. Registration for the Mother Son Blue Jean Ball is taken in-person at Covington Recreation Center. For more information on these dances, call 334-705-5560 or email LChesser@opelika-al. gov.

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pelika Observer O Siberian State Symphony Orchestra has to cancel show in Opelika A10

Jan. 29, 2020

Special to the Opelika Observer In the world of performing arts and international touring, things don’t always work out as planned. That’s the case with the Siberian State Symphony Orchestra, originally scheduled to perform at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts on Jan. 29. As noted below in the announcement from the tour’s management in New York, the orchestra has encountered issues with visa approval that necessitated canceling significant portions of its US tour. East Alabama Arts Association representatives will keep patrons posted as they work toward securing a replacement event, and they ask for understanding and patience during this challenging process, with thanks in advance.

Siberian State Symphony Orchestra

OTC, from A7 event flyer, the audience will “encounter the paranormal revisiting of an unsolved crime” during the show and be tasked with discovering the truth of what happened, all the while enjoying “laughs, good food and good fun.”

Because of the show’s theme, guests and couples attending are encouraged to wear 20s-themed costumes. Prizes will be awarded to those best dressed. Backwater BBQ of Salem will be catering food for the show. The current menu includes roast beef au jus or orange-glazed chicken breast as entrees; baked potato, mixed vegetables,

garden salad and dinner roll will serve as sides, two desserts and alternative dish options for vegetarians. Reservations are required to attend this event and can be made by ordering tickets at www.squareup. com/store/OpelikaTheatreCo or by calling OTC Artistic Director Marty Moore at 334663-2593. Couples who register before

Feb. 9 will receive the “early-bird” price of $95. After Feb. 9, the cost will be $100 for couples and $50 for single tickets. For more information, like and follow the organization’s Facebook page or visit www.opelikatheatrecompany.com. The show will be held at the Southside Cente for the Performing Arts, which is located at 1103 Glenn St.

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pelika O Observer Cipperly, from A7 a bowl in advance can bring their ticket and attend the event for no additional cost. Everyone who buys a ticket receives a bowl they keep as a reminder of the

Recipes Butternut Squash Soup Kitty Greene Lightly toasted pumpkin seeds, drizzles of balsamic vinegar, or sprinklings of paprika or cracked black pepper make appealing accompaniments to this soup. 4 Tbsp. (½ stick) unsalted butter 1 large shallot, minced (about ¼ cup) 3 lbs. butternut squash (about 1 large squash), cut in half lengthwise, each half cut in half widthwise; seeds and fibers scraped out and reserved 6 cups water Kosher salt ½ cup heavy cream 1 tsp. dark brown sugar Pinch grated nutmeg Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add shallot and cook stirring frequently, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add seeds and fibers from the squash and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter turns a saffron color, about 4 minutes. Add water and 1 tsp. salt to the pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low, place squash, cut side down, in a steamer basket, and lower the basket into the pot. Cover and steam until the squash is completely tender, about 30 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and use tongs to transfer the squash to a rimmed baking sheet. When cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scrape the flesh from the skin. Reserve the squash flesh in a bowl and discard the skin. Strain the steaming liquid through a fine-mesh strainer into a second bowl; discard the solids in the strainer. (You should have 2 ½ to 3 cups liquid). Rinse and dry the pot. Working in batches and filling the blender jar only halfway for each batch, puree the squash, adding enough reserved steaming liquid to obtain a smooth consistency. Transfer the puree to the clean pot and stir in the remaining steaming liquid the cream, and brown sugar. Warm the soup over medium-low heat until hot, about 3 minutes. Stir in the nutmeg, season with salt to taste, and serve. (The soup can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 2 days. Warm over low heat until hot; do not boil.) Serves 4 to 6. Tomato Soup Lila Stone Olive oil

A11 Jan. 29, 2020

less fortunate in the community and to remember, “no child deserves an empty bowl.” “The Empty Bowls event gives us the opportunity to select a lovely, hand-made bowl that serves a soup meal,” says Martha Henk, executive director of the East Alabama Food

Bank, “but this small bowl represents much more than simply my own meal. By acquiring food through local donations and the national food bank network, every dollar given to the Food Bank enables us to distribute the equivalent of seven meals to people in need.

“I love the strong concept of an empty bowl. The bowl from an Empty Bowls event sits on my desk at work. I see it every day. It serves as a concrete reminder that there are empty bowls in our community and that there is something specific I can do to fill another person’s bowl.

“In Lee County alone, more than 27,000 of our neighbors are food-insecure and lack a reliable source of food,” Henk added. “The Food Bank and network of partnering agencies serve an average of 30,240 people each month.” Mark your calendar for the 2020 Empty Bowls

event this Saturday, beginning at 10 a.m. at the Opelika Recreation Center on Denson Drive. Select a bowl, enjoy soup and entertainment while helping to feed those in need in our community. Cipperly can be reached at recipes@cipperly.com.

Garlic Onion Tomatoes Basil Oregano Thyme Water Optional: homemade vegetable broth Salt and pepper Optional: Heavy cream/Greek yogurt/ evaporated milk In olive oil, sauté garlic and onions for about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent. Shake in basil, oregano, thyme, salt and pepper. Toss in 2-3 containers cherry tomatoes, grape tomatoes, or a bunch of regular chopped up tomatoes on the vine. Fresh tomatoes are the tastiest and sweetest. Add 2-3 cups of water and vegetable broth (for more added flavor). Cook it all down on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes until the tomatoes are softened. If you have a hand blender, blend it all together until it becomes a soup consistency. If you don’t have a hand blender, transfer to a blender and blend until soup consistency. Then pour back into the pot and let it simmer for another 5 minutes or so, adding the optional heavy cream, Greek yogurt, or evaporated milk to taste. Enjoy with grilled cheese!

1 bay leaf 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley 1¾ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper ¼ tsp. dried basil 1/8 tsp. celery seed 1/8 tsp. garlic powder 4 medium carrots – chopped 1 small onion – chopped 1 cup uncooked fine egg noodles Combine chicken, water, bay leaf, parsley, salt, pepper, basil, celery seed and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat, and simmer 1 ½ hours or until the chicken is tender. Remove the chicken from the broth and discard bay leaf. Remove skin and de-bone chicken; dice the meat and set it aside. Add carrot and onion to the broth; cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add chicken and noodles; cook an additional 15 minutes.

1 cup finely chopped carrot 7-8 oz. portabella mushrooms, chopped 1 Tbsp. minced garlic 6 oz. butter, divided 32 oz. beef broth (can be fat free), divided 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 1 tsp. paprika 2 tsp. black pepper Cook ground beef and drain. Melt 3 Tbsp. butter in large skillet; then add all the veggies and garlic and cook until tender. Melt remaining 3 Tbsp. of butter in a second pan and add flour. On low heat, stir until combined and slightly browned; then add 6-8 oz. of the beef broth and stir until smooth to create a roux. Add roux to veggies in skillet with remaining beef broth and simmer on medium until sauce starts to thicken. Add cooked beef, seasonings, veggie mix and Velveeta into a slow cooker. Cook on low for 1 ½ hours and stir until complete blended. Once done, you can top the soup with sour cream, shredded cheese and jalapenos.

Reduce heat to very low and add the half and half or milk, salt and pepper. Cook until heated to serving temperature. Divide the cheese evenly among warmed bowls and ladle in soup. Garnish with green onions and serve at once.

Garnish with tortilla or corn chips, grated cheese, sour cream, avocado (chopped) and/or green onions (chopped).

Crack Chicken Chili Martha Patterson 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed 1 (11 or 15 oz.) can corn, drained 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained and rinsed 1 (10 oz.) can diced tomatoes and green chilies (Rotel), not drained 1 (15 oz.) can petite diced tomatoes, not drained 2 cups chicken broth 1 pkg. cooked, chopped bacon 1 (1 oz.) packet ranch seasoning/salad dressing mix 1 tsp. minced garlic 1 Tbsp. chili powder 1 tsp. minced onions 1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup shredded Mexican blend cheese Mix all ingredients into slow cooker, except for the shredded cheese. Cook on low for 3 hours. When ready to serve, add the shredded cheese and stir. Chicken Noodle Soup Misty Ward 1 broiler fryer chicken (3-4 lbs.) 8-10 cups water

Black Bean Soup Amy Kaiser 1 Tbsp. olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 2 carrots, chopped 8 cloves garlic, minced Hot sauce (your choice), to taste 1 Tbsp. ground cumin 1 pinch black pepper 4 cups vegetable broth (homemade is best) 1 lb. bag of dried black beans, rinsed and cooked in water for 2-2 ½ hours (makes about 6 cups) 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes 15 oz. pkg. frozen whole kernel corn Heat oil in a large pot over medium heat. Sauté onion, celery, carrots and garlic for 5 minutes. Season with chosen hot sauce, cumin, and black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Stir in vegetable broth, half of the beans, and corn. Bring to a boil. In the meantime, in a blender, process remaining beans and the tomatoes until smooth. Stir into boiling soup mixture, reduce to medium, and simmer for 15 minutes. Cheeseburger Soup Martha Patterson 1 – 1 ½ lbs. lean ground beef 1 pkg. bacon 8 oz. Velveeta cheese 1 cup finely chopped onion 1 cup finely chopped celery

Caldo de Queso con Papas (a classic Northern Mexican dish) Jill Medina-Elizalde 2 Tbsp. unsalted butter or safflower oil 4 small new potatoes, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes 1 white onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 large, ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped 4 cups beef stock or veggie stock 2 Anaheim chilies, mashed, peeled, seeded, and deveined, then chopped, or 2 canned mild green chilies, drained and chopped 1 cup of half and half, or milk, slightly warmed Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste ¼ lb. white cheddar or Monterey jack cheese, shredded 4 green spring onions, including tender green tops, finely diced Using a large heavy pot over medium heat, melt butter or warm oil. Stir in potatoes and onion and sauté until they begin to soften, 6 to 8 minutes. Do not allow to brown. Add the garlic and sauté for another minute or so. Raise heat to medium high and add tomatoes. Cook, stirring until quite thick, about 5 minutes. Pour in the stock and chilies. Simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are soft but not breaking apart, about 4 minutes.

Beef Vegetable Soup Misty Ward 1 lb. beef stew meat ½ cup chopped onions 1 cup sliced carrots 1 medium can chopped tomatoes 8 oz. can tomato sauce 6 cups water 1 Tbsp. salt ¼ tsp. basil ¼ tsp. thyme ¼ tsp. pepper 1 bay leaf 2 tsp. beef bouillon 1 bag frozen mixed vegetables Cut meat to desired size pieces. Add all ingredients except frozen vegetables into large pot. Simmer several hours. Toward end of cooking time, add frozen vegetables. Cook one hour longer without lid. Alternative: Once meat is fully cooked, can be cooked all day in crock-pot on low heat. Taco Soup Ada 1 lb. ground beef, browned 1 onion, chopped 1 pkg. taco seasoning 1 tsp. sugar 1 tsp. dry ranch dressing mix 4 cans (15 oz. each) chopped tomatoes 1 can (8 oz.) tomato sauce 1 can kidney beans (drained) 1 can black beans (drained) 1 ½ cans shoe peg corn 1 can Rotel tomatoes and chilies Mix all ingredients and cook until done.

Chili Soup Misty Ward 1½ lbs. ground beef 1 cup chopped onions ¼ tsp. garlic salt 3 Tbsp. chili powder 2 Tbsp. vinegar 1 can beef broth 2 cans tomato soup 1 soup can of water 1 can kidney beans (undrained) Brown beef and onions; add garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 30 minutes. Cauliflower Cheese Soup Misty Ward 1¾ cups chicken broth ½ cup finely shredded carrots ¼ cup finely chopped celery ¼ cup finely chopped onion 2 cups cauliflower florets 1¾ cups milk ¼ cup all-purpose flour Pepper to taste 1 cup shredded cheese In a medium saucepan combine broth, carrots, celery, onion and cauliflower. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Combine milk, flour and pepper. Stir into broth mix. Cook and stir over low heat until thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 minute more. Add cheese and stir until the cheese is melted. Cabbage Soup Ada 2 lbs. ground beef 2 cans (28 oz. each) stewed tomatoes 1 medium head of cabbage , chopped 2 onions, chopped 6 celery ribs, chopped Salt and pepper to taste Brown the ground beef. Add the other ingredients and cook until tender.

Food Ratings Wasabi Japanese 1103 Columbus Parkway Opelika Score: 100

Niffer’s at the Tracks 917 S. Railroad Ave. Opelika Score: 99

AU Smokehouse Lupton Dorm Auburn University Score: 100

Chipotle Mexican Grill 2125 Interstate Drive Opelika Score: 98

Another Broken Egg Cafe 2311 Bent Creek Road Auburn Score: 99

Wing Town 13 Samford Ave. Opelika Score: 98

Zazu Gastropub 301 N. 8th St. Opelika Score: 99

Durango Mexican Restaurant 1107 Columbus Parkway Opelika Score: 97

pelika O Observer

A12 Jan. 29, 2020

OBITUARIES John W. “Poppie” Sluder John W. "Poppie" Sluder of Opelika, Alabama was born to the late Fannie Harper Sluder and E.E. Sluder in Gainsville, Texas on December 27, 1920 and passed away at Bill Nichols VA Home in Alexander City, Alabama on January 22, 2020. He was 99 Patricia Kenney Patricia Kenney, 73, of Salem passed away January 21, 2020 at Columbus Regional Hospital. She was born May 3, 1946 in Clio, Alabama. Funeral services were held Friday, January 24th, at 2:00pm, with visitation from 12:00pm until 2:00pm prior to the service at JeffcoatTrant Funeral Home and Crematory. Burial followed in Garden Hills Cemetery. She was the manager of Denny’s Restaurant in Opelika for 23 years. Mrs. Kenney was preceded in death by her husband Michael T. Kenney and her mother

years old. He served in the United States Air Force during WWII. After the war, he obtained his pilot's license and took great joy in transporting ministers of the Gospel to assist them in their mission work. He was also a proud board member of Christ for the Nations Institute. "Poppie" retired to

Opelika to be closer to family. He enjoyed retirement on his tree farm where he loved bush hogging, gardening, and working outdoors. His favorite pastime of all was being with his family, friends, and church. When asked what he wanted for his 99th birthday, he replied, "I just want to be in the middle of a big

Josephine Hall. She is survived by her children: Patrick (Terrie) Dykes, Bennie (Vicky) Dykes, Roy (Kimberly) Dykes; siblings: John Charles (Kathy) Hall, Catherine (Chris) Jeffers; grandchildren: Candy Mackey, Brandon Dykes, Ayla Howard, Joe Dykes, Tabitha Dykes, Timothy Dykes, Joshua Dykes, Angel Dykes; greatgrandchildren: Gage Baker, Jonathon Mackey, Joani Mai Smith, Bentley Dykes, Minnie Mackey, Kynleigh Dykes, Braylen Dykes, Bryce Leal, Kylie Jane Jenkins, and Jaxon Dykes. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home and Crematory directed.

lotta love!" He was a beloved member of Fountain Gate Church where his love of Lord was evident in all that he said and did. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. He was preceded in death by his wife of 66 years, Guynettia Lois Sluder, and son, Lynn Sluder. He is survived by

Louise Hodge Mrs. Louise Hodge, 80, of Opelika, passed away January 23rd at Bethany House. Visitation was 5:00pm until 7:00pm, Friday, January 24th at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home and Crematory. Funeral services were held 11:00am, Saturday, January 25th at JeffcoatTrant Funeral Home and Crematory, with burial following in Garden Hills Cemetery. She was raised in Chambers County but spent

his children, Dale Sluder and John Sluder; daughter, Dana Sluder; sister, Wanda Kidd; grandchildren, Holli Bertrand (Mark), Vince Sluder (Kay), Kevin Sluder (Brandi), Jeff Sluder (Erin), Lindsey Knapp (Steven), Taylor Knapp (David); 17 great grandchildren, 6 greatgreat grandchildren, as well as numerous

the past 60 years in Lee County. Mrs. Hodge was a faithful member of Lakeview Baptist Church. She retired from the State of Alabama. Mrs. Hodge is survived by her husband Boyd Hodge; children: Kriston Phillips, Lamar Hodge; brother: James (Sandra) Royster; grandchildren: Jeremy (Amber) Phillips, Alison (Stewart) Rice; great grandchildren: Abigail, Isabella, and Gwen Phillips. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home and Crematory directed.

nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family members. Visitation was held Monday, January 27, 2020 at Fountain Gate Church from 10 a.m. until the funeral hour at 10:45 a.m. CST with Dr. Dan Lane officiating. Interment followed at Fort Mitchell National Cemetery at 1 p.m. CST.

Candy Maynard Candy Maynard, of Waverly, AL passed away at her home on January 24, 2020 at the age of 69. Candy was born in Fairfield to the late Mack and Neda Turner. She was preceded in death by her husband of 44 years Reid Maynard; Brother, Dennis Turner; and Sisters, MaryJane Turner and Shelly Turner. She was also preceded by her beloved horse, Nifty Ray. She is survived

by her nieces; Paige Langley and Suzanne Otwell; Nephews, Mike Otwell and John Turner, Brother, Jimmy Turner, Sister, Patsy Otwell, Great nephew Colt Murphy and adopted family; Shata Pace, Stacy Johns, Audrey Smith and Chad Broadhead; and numerous close friends. She attended church at Oak Bowery UMC as well as Living Waters Ministry and was a mentor to many people over the years.

To have your loved one’s obituary published in the Opelika Observer, email us at: editor@opelikaobserver.com or call 334-749-8003


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eter is writing to Jewish disciples living away from their homeland. They are Jews living among Gentiles so there’s some pushback from that, but more to the point, they are followers of Jesus of Nazareth, so they are at odds with most people within their marginalized community—their neighbors, friends and family. It’s a difficult situation that isn’t going away—what does Peter say to them? He doesn’t deny any of the hard truths they are confronted by. He does remind them of who they are and what they should focus on. He wants his brothers and sisters who are experiencing rejection

Healthy Holiness

to know they have been “chosen” by God (v. 2)! And although things seem despairing, they have been born again to “a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (v. 3) and are “shielded by God’s power” (v. 5). All of that would be welcome news for these people who, though they had not seen Jesus, loved Him, believed in Him and were “filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy” (v. 8). But Peter doesn’t linger there. Almost immediately he doubles down with a call to radical living. The “easy” way to ease their problems would be to just adopt the lifestyle of the world around

By Bruce Green Teaching Minister at 10th Street Church of Christ in Opelika

them—tone things down a little, blend in rather than stand out. It would have been easy, but it wouldn’t be true to the Christ who had died for them. Peter calls them to live holy lives—not the toxic holiness of the Pharisees that sought to display to everyone how great they were (Matthew 23:1-7); but the holiness of Jesus that points people to how

Calendar of Church Events • The previously announced event “True Girl: Pajama Party Tour” on Jan. 31 at First Baptist in Opelika was listed in error. This event is being held on Jan. 30 in Montgomery not at FBCO. We regret publishing the incorrect information. • Jan. 29 - Auburn United Methodist Church’s Veterans Ministry will host a luncheon on Jan. 29 beginning at 11:30 a.m. in

Jan. 29, 2020

the church’s fellowship hall. The church is located at 137 S. Gay St. • Feb. 8 - Dr. Brennan Breed, an expert in Old Testament history, will speak at First Presbyterian Church in Auburn’s morning services on Feb. 8. • Feb. 21 - Lakeview Baptist Church will be hosting the “Near His Heart” dinner on Feb. 21 from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. This event is for children

with special needs and their families. For more information, call 334-8877094. The church is located at 1600 E. Glenn Ave. • Feb. 21-22 - Church of the Highlands will host its annual marriage conference at its Auburn campus on Feb. 21 and 22. Couples interested in attending can sign up via www. churchofthehighlands. com. The church is located at 2001 E. Samford Ave.

great God is (Matthew 5:13). This is a healthy holiness that all disciples are called to practice (Hebrews 12:14). To pursue this is to engage in the effort to incarnate the very character of God in our attitudes and actions (1 Peter 1:15-16). This is what we were created for! The life of holiness is fueled by a profound reverence toward God (v. 17). And while all of us will fall short in our attempt to imitate God (1 John 1:7-10), that’s not the point. God is glorified in our efforts (1 Corinthians 10:31) and the world is pointed in His direction (Matthew 5:13). Right living is its own reward! In the

hereafter to be sure, but in the present as well. It brings glory to our Father and aren’t we pleased to know that like a telescope, something as small as we are can magnify something as big as God? Then there are the benefits of a good conscience, self-respect and the joy that comes in seeking God’s kingdom above all else. Pursuing holiness is pursuing wholeness. Being around people who are seeking God’s reign in their lives inspires and encourages us. Holiness is healthy! Green has written a book on the model pray called Praying in the Reign. It is available through 21st Century Christian.

Verse of the Week “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Matthew 5:9

First Presbyterian Church to host ‘Breakfast for Books’ event on Feb. 1 Enjoy a delicious breakfast for a good cause during the Auburn-Opelika Emblem Club’s annual “Breakfast for Books” event Feb. 1 from 7 to 11 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church to benefit the work of Jean Dean RIF and the

Alabama Kiwanis Club. Located at 1105 Fitzpatrick Ave., Jean Dean RIF is a signature service project and extension of the state Kiwanis Club, dedicated to providing “quality, ageappropriate books into the hands and homes of at-risk young children before they start kindergarten.” “A person who has no

books in their home really has no hope of learning to read … it’s an important addition to a child’s life so that they can take advantage of a public education, then do well in school and do well in life,” said Executive Director Cathy Gafford in a 2019 interview with the Observer. Menu options include

the group’s beloved pancakes, sausage and an individual’s choice of coffee, juice or milk to drink. The event will also feature a bake sale and meet and greet with a local author. Tickets are $5 each, and can be purchased by calling 334-750-9974 or emailing jeandeanrif@ gmail.com. There will be

tickets available on-site the day of the event. Delivery options are available for those who order 10 plates or more and carry outs are welcome. For more information, like and follow their Facebook page or visit www.jeandeanrif.org. The church is located at 900 2nd Ave.

ANGLICAN Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd 2312 Center Drive Unit D #758-6749 ASSEMBLY OF GOD Bridge Church 1000 Lee Road 263, Cusseta #742-0144 AME Mount Zion AME Church West Point Hwy #749-3916 St. Luke AME Church 1308 Auburn St. #749-1690 St. Paul AME Church 713 Powledge Ave. #745-6279 Thompson Chapel AME Zion 187 Columbus Pkwy #749-8676 BAPTIST Abundant Life Baptist Church 1220 Fox Run Ave. Suite B #7064421464 Airview Baptist Church 2301 Airport Rd. #444-5148 Antioch Baptist Church 605 W. East Morton Ave #742-0696 Bethesda Baptist Church 201 S. 4th St. #745-7528 Bethel Baptist Church Hwy. 29 Sasser Rd #745-4865 Central Baptist Church 1611 2nd Ave. #745-2482 Community Baptist Church 154 N. 16th St. #745-6552 Cornerstone Missionary Baptist 500 N. Railroad Ave. #742-2008 Eastview Baptist Church 1208 Spring Dr #749-9595 Farmville Baptist Church 3607 Alabama Hwy N. #887-7361 First Baptist Church of Opelika

314 S. 9th St. #745-6143 First Baptist Church 301 S. 8th St. #745-5715 First Baptist Church Impact 709 Avenue E #741-0624 First Freewill Baptist Church 103 19th St. #703-3333 Friendship Missionary Baptist 432 Maple Avenue #742-0105 Greater Peace Baptist Church 650 Jeter Ave. #749-9487 Heritage Baptist Church 1103 Glenn St. #363-8943 High Hope Baptist Church 227 Lee Road 673 Liberty Baptist Church 2701 West Point Pkwy #749-9632 Love Freewill Baptist Church 1113 Frederick Ave. #745-2905 Ridge Grove Missionary Baptist Church 1098 Lee Road 155 #334-745-3600 Northside Baptist Church 3001 Lafayette Hwy #745-5340 Pepperell Baptist Church 2702 2nd Ave. #745-3108 Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Uniroyal Rd #749-2773 Providence Baptist Church 2807 Lee Rd 166 #745-0807 Purpose Baptist Church 3211 Waverly Pkwy #704-0302 St. James Baptist Church 1335 Auburn St. #745-3224 Union Grove Missionary Baptist 908 Huguley Rd #741-7770 BUDDHIST Buddha Heart Village 3170 Sandhill Rd. #821-7238

CATHOLIC St. Mary’s Catholic Church 1000 4th Ave. #749-8359 CHURCH OF CHRIST Church of Christ 2215 Marvyn Pkwy #742-9721 10th Street Church of Christ 500 N. 10th St. #745-5181 Southside Church of Christ 405 Carver Ave. #745-6015 Church of Christ 2660 Cunningham Drive CHURCH OF GOD Airview Church of God 3015 Old Opelika Rd #749-9112 Church of God 114 17th Place #7496432 Tabernacle Church of God 3 Oak Court #745-7979 CHURCH OF NAZARENE Opelika Church of Nazarene 1500 Bruce Ave. #749-1302 EPISCOPAL Emmanuel Episcopal Church 800 1st Ave. #745-2054 HOLINESS Eastside Emmanuel Holiness Church 86 Lee Road 186 Opelika, Ala. 36804 JEWISH Beth Shalom Congregation 134 S. Cary Dr. #826-1050 LATTERDAY SAINTS Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints 510 Groce St. #742-9981 METHODIST First United Methodist Church of Opelika 702 Avenue A #745-7604 Hopewell United Methodist 1993 Lee Rd 136 #745-0460 Pierce Chapel United Methodist

8685 AL Hwy. 51 #749-4469 Pepperell United Methodist 200 26th St. #745-9334 Trinity United Methodist Church 800 Second Ave. #745-2632 Wesley Memorial United Methodist 2506 Marvyn Pkwy #745-2841 PENTECOSTAL Full Gospel Pentecostal Church Hwy. 29, PO Box 1691 #741-8675 Gateway Community Church 2715 Frederick Rd #745-6926 PRESBYTERIAN First Presbyterian Church of Opelika 900 2nd Ave. #745-3421 Trinity Presbyterian Church 1010 India Rd #745-4889 SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST Outreach Seventh-Day Adventist 1808 S. Long St. #749-3151 NON-DENOMINATIONAL Apostolic Holiness Church 610 Canton St. #749-6759 Auburn Opelika Korean Church 1800 Rocky Brook Rd #749-5386 Beauregard Full Gospel Revival 2089 Lee Road 42 #745-0455 Christ Church International 1311 2nd Ave. #745-0832 Church of the Harvest 2520 Society Hill Rd #745-2247 Church at Opelika 1901 Waverly Pkwy #705-0505 East Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses 1250 McCoy St. #737-1488 Emmanuel Temple of Deliverance 207 S. Railroad Ave. #745-6430 Faith Alliance Church 3211 Waverly Pkwy #749-9516 Faith Christian Center 600 S. 8th St. Faith Church 3920 Marvyn Pkwy #707-3922 Family Life Christian Center

601 S. 7th St. #741-7013 Father’s House Christian Fellowship 214 Morris Ave. #749-1070 Fellowship Bible Church 2202 Hamilton Rd #749-1445 Ferguson Chapel Church 310 S. 4th St. #745-2913 First Assembly of God Church 510 Simmons St. #749-3722 Garden of Gethsemane Fellowship 915 Old Columbus Rd #745-2686 Grace Heritage Church Opelika #559-0846 Holy Deliverance Church 831 S. Railroad #749-5682 Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses 1250 McCoy St. #737-1488 Living Way Ministries 1100 Old Columbus Rd #749-6241 Move of God Fellowship Church 1119 Old Columbus Rd #741-1006 Connect Church 2900 Waverly Pkwy #749-3916 New Life Christian Center 2051 West Point Pkwy #741-7373 New Life Independent Church 10 Meadowview Estates Trailer 741-9001 Opelika’s First Seventh Day 2011 Columbus Pkwy #737-3222 Power of Praise, Inc. Church 3811 Marvyn Pkwy #745-6136 Shady Grove Christian Church West Point Hwy #745-7770

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pelika Observer O

A14 Jan. 29, 2020

Tickets now on sale for Storybook Farms’s 11th annual ‘Kentucky Derby Day’ that will be held May 2

Community Calendar: Events around town

• Jan. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Women’s Business Council Sport Series - Football • Feb. 3 - Davis, Mann and Co. Ribbon Cutting Ceremony • Feb. 7 - Mayor Gary Fuller’s Mayoral Address, presented by ESG and Point Broadband • Feb. 12 - Member Appreciation Lunch Ongoing: • Village Friends/Village Values is a nonprofit organization that supports seniors who prefer to stay in their own homes as they grow older. For info or to schedule a presentation to your group, call 334-209-4641. For the website, Google “village friends village values.” • The Martha Wayles Jefferson DAR chapter is appealing for sweaters, jackets, trousers, shirts and socks, women’s clothing, soft soap in individual containers, shaving supplies, disposable razors, denture cleanser, toothpaste and toothbrushes, DVDs, games, books and magazines to take to veterans at the CAVHCS in Tuskegee. The Martha Wayles Jefferson DAR Chapter regularly visits veterans living in assisted living, the homeless domiciliary and psych (trauma) ward in Tuskegee. Donations are tax deductible and will be much appreciated. Pick up is provided. Please call Linda Shabo at 887-6659 or at 256307-1449. Mondays: • The Lee County Voters League meets the first Mondays of the month at

6 p.m. at Bethesda Baptist Church located at 201 S. 4th St. Opelika • The John Powell American Legion Post 18 and Auxiliary meets the third Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at 910 West Point Parkway in Opelika. • The Opelika Community Band practices from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Auburn High School band room. Everyone is welcome, amateurs and professionals alike. • The Touched by Suicide Support Group meets the first Monday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the East Alabama Medical Center Health Resource Center, 2027 Pepperell Parkway. For more information, contact Deborah Owen, EAMC’s director of Psychiatric Services at deborahowen@eamc.org. • The fourth Monday of each month, a community grief support group meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the EAMC Health Resource Center. No reservations are necessary; everyone is welcome. For more information, call 826-1899 or 5020216. • T.O.P.S (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly), a weight loss support

group, meets every Monday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Covington Recreation Center, 213 Carver Ave., Opelika. For more info contact Mary Johnson, 749-1584. • The Lee County Commission meets the second and last Mondays of each month at the courthouse beginning at 5 p.m. • The Commercial Horticulture Extension Team organizes webinars to provide quick updates for producers on various topics of interest. Whether you are interested in the proper way to plant fruit trees or have questions in turf management, these webinars cover a wide range of subjects. Webinars are streamed live via Panopto on the last Monday of every month starting in January and ending in November. During the presentation, participants can send questions via email. The webinars also are recorded and stored in the archive on the Beginning Farmer website. Webinar topics include: trap cropping for reducing squash insect pests, cowpea curculio updates, nutsedge control, introduction to potting mixes in ornamental

Downtown is more than just nightlife By Ken Ward Special to the Opelika Observer While many think of downtown’s night offerings, there are countless things to experience downtown during a normal weekday! I wanted to discuss this week the many things available to do downtown during your next daytime adventure. Our shopping options are numerous and include things

for everyone’s tastes; clothing, furniture, hardware, fine art, jewelry and records are just the start of what downtown has to offer. Most people don’t realize the impact shopping local has on our city, state and nation. With over 99% of all US business being small, we must do our part to support our community neighbors. In addition to the great shopping opportunities downtown, we also have many great

restaurants serving not only dinner but lunch as well. Whether you are looking for a quick bite during your lunch break or a spot to bring that important work client, downtown is your spot. So this week remember, when it comes to finding your next daytime adventure-choose downtown. Ward is the executive director of Opelika Main Street, a non profit dedicated to growing downtown Opelika.

container production, dealing with drought in commercial horticulture crops and many more. To view the full schedule, please visit www. aces.edu/anr/beginningfarms/webinars.php. Please send questions during the presentations to Ann Chambliss, thameae@auburn.edu. For questions regarding the webinar series or for providing suggestions, please email Dr. Ayanava Majumdar at bugdoctor@auburn.edu. Tuesdays: • Ballroom Dance Classes at the Opelika SportsPlex from 7 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday. Instructor is Cody Wayne Foote. For more info, call Diane at 749-6320. • The East Alabama Old Car Club meets every first Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Monarch Estates Clubhouse, located at 1550 East University Drive, Auburn. A program of interest to the old car enthusiast is presented. Car ownership is not required. • The Opelika City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. Meetings are preceded by non-voting work sessions that typically begin between 6 and 6:45 p.m. • Every second Tuesday, a country, gospel and bluegrass music jam session is held at Pierce Chapel United Methodist Church in Beauregard. The event is free and open to the public. Those who play an instrument should bring it and plan to join in. The jam session is held from 6 to 8 p.m. 8685 Alabama Highway 51. • A Grief Support Group meets at Oak Bowery United Methodist Church Tuesdays at 2

p.m. and 6 p.m. for anyone dealing with the pain of loss and feeling the need for support on their journey as they attempt to bring order and wholeness back into their life. Attendance and participation is strictly voluntary for any and all sessions. There are no fees or charges involved. The church is located on U.S. Highway 431 – eight miles north from Southern Union State Community College and Opelika High School. For more information, contact Bill Parker at 459-0214 or 706-518-9122. • The Auburn Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol meets every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Auburn University Regional Airport. The Civil Air Patrol is a nonprofit organization that is Congressionally chartered to be the civilian auxiliary of the Air Force and focuses on three missions: aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services. For more information visit www.auburncap.org or find the organization on Facebook. • East Alabama Gem & Mineral Society meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 5:45 p.m. Meetings are held at the Covington Rec. Center, located at 213 Carver Ave. in Opelika. Wednesdays: • The second Wednesday of each month, a Community Grief Support Group meets from 10 to 11 a.m. at the EAMC Health Resource Center. No reservations are necessary. For more info call 826-1899 or 502-0216. • The John Powell American Legion Post 18 and Auxiliary hosts

Bingo every Wednesday at 6 p.m. • Every Wednesday is Wine Down Wednesday at the Bottling Plant Event Center from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays: • American Legion Auxiliary Unit 152 meets the first Thursday of every month at 11 a.m. at Niffer’s Place, 917 S. Railroad Ave. in Opelika. • The Teal Magnolias Gynecological Cancer Support Group meets the second Thursday of every third month at 6 p.m. at EAMC Health Resource Center, 2027 Pepperell Parkway. For more information on the Teal Magnolias, email tealmagnoliasAL@yahoo.com or find them on Facebook. • Opelika-Auburn Newcomers’ Club provides a variety of programs for the betterment of the Auburn/ Opelika community to assist women transitioning into the area or to help women adjust to recent lifestyle changes. The club meets on the third Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. for a luncheon at various local restaurants. Please call or email Cheri Paradice at 850-212-5364. or cheri. paradice@gmail.com for more information or luncheon location of the month. • T.O.U.C.H. Cancer Support Group meets the third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at EAMC’s Health Resource Center. This is a support group for people living with any type of cancer or their families and friends. Call 334528-1076 for more information. Email editor@opelikaobserver.com to place your community events.

Upcoming Events • Jan. 29 - The Sound Wall hosting David Jacobs-Strain and Bob Beach • Jan. 31 - John McCutcheon at Sundilla • Feb. 1 - Eighth annual ‘Polar Plunge’ benefitting the Special Olympics of Lee County • Feb. 1 - Tre Burt to perform at The Standard Deluxe. Visit www.standarddeluxe.com for more information or to purchase tickets. • Feb. 3 - East Alabama Arts Association hosting Drum Tao at

the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts • Feb. 14 - Grab your partner(s), friends, sister brother, or whoever and help us celebrate love and join Unity Wellness Center this Valentine’s Day for free HIV testing, treats, giveaways and raffle prizes. Raffle drawings will be at 11a.m. and 3 p.m. Let us help you ‘Love Responsibly’ this year and learn your HIV status in as little as a minute, pick

up some free condoms and arm yourself with the correct information about HIV. Don’t feel at risk for HIV? Learning the correct information about HIV can help you dispel your own stigma and potentially help someone else who may need it. HIV impacts everyone and we all play a role in ending the unnecessary stigma that surrounds this diagnosis and ultimately, ending the epidemic. Call 334-749-3593 with any questions.

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A15 Jan. 29, 2020

Alabama film on human trafficking ‘Hidden Gem’ receives numerous awards across the U.S. Special to the Opelika Observer

The short film “Hidden Gem” was inspired by actual events on human trafficking and filmed entirely in Alabama with local talent and crew by Fowler Davis Entertainment and Red Sky Studios. January is Human Trafficking Awareness Month and Hidden Gem Films has partnered with law enforcement, governmental agencies, nonprofits, churches, businesses, healthcare organizations and other advocates across the U.S. to spread awareness and education about the epidemic of human trafficking. Barbara Fowler, one of the film’s producers, has become a strong advocate in the anti-human trafficking movement and is co-convener of the Community Engagement and Awareness Committee with the Child Trafficking Solutions Project through the Children’s Policy Council of Jefferson County and the TraffickingFree Zone initiative

in partnership with the U.S. Insitute Against Human Trafficking. Fowler explained that the TraffickingFree Zone program is a county-wide initiative focused on reducing the demand – the number of buyers – for sex-trafficked victims. The TraffickingFree Zone program is implemented in collaboration with community leaders, law enforcement, businesses, schools, healthcare organizations, churches and the media. The focus of the program is on arresting and prosecuting sex buyers instead of the victims who are being sold, educating people on sex trafficking and implementing numerous other demand reduction techniques including technology and research components. When these sectors are activated and working in unison for a one-year period, the TraffickingFree Zone community can expect to see a significant decline in demand. “The power to be educated can transform how we think

about human trafficking and move us all to act against this horrific crime in humanity and give a voice to the victims and survivors, ultimately creating a world free from sexual exploitation,” Fowler said. “The signs are all around us, but we need to be educated and know what to look for and be aware of. Our desire is for people to watch our film, become more educated, and leave changed feeling a call of action.” “Hidden Gem depicts what could be a common intersection of any of us with a victim of human trafficking and demonstrates that awareness of something being wrong can lead to action which can possibly save a life. We too often devalue awareness as not DOING enough, but awareness empowers us and encourages action, so we encourage anyone that if you SEE SOMETHING – SAY SOMETHING,” said Film Producer Jeff Davis. Hidden Gem was first screened at the

See It End It Film Festival in Los Angeles in March 2019. “Your film is a powerful statement that at various places in our lives, we may intersect with someone that needs our help, and if we are willing to make a phone call, take some small action, we can have a huge impact on that person’s life and beyond. Hidden Gem is a priceless message in an age of live and let die,” said Patrick Erlandson, director of the See It End It Film Festival. Since that time, Hidden Gem has been screened at many events and in numerous film festivals this past year from Los Angeles, San Pedro, and La Jolla, California, Bend, Oregon, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Nashville, Sidewalk in Birmingham and across the State of Alabama, Orlando and most recently in Washington, D.C. at the Flicks4Change Film Festival, “the festival that turns films into philanthropy.” Andrew Steele, acclaimed actor and director of the Flick-

s4Change Film Festival, said that “Hidden Gem was chosen as one of 16 films as an Official Selection out of 160 films worldwide. From the hundreds of socially conscious film submissions, Hidden Gem, was voted by our audience in Washington D.C. the ‘Flick 4 Change’ for being the ‘Film Most Likely to Inspire Social Change.’ In the four years of running Flicks4Change, I have yet to see a film make such a profound impact on an audience like Hidden Gem did. The number of people who watch Hidden Gem will directly relate to the number of human trafficking incidences reported and thus victims freed. Every man, woman and child should watch Hidden Gem!” “Hidden Gem is an effective tool that we will be using in our training that enables Alabama to continue raising awareness about human trafficking across the state. I applaud this film and its producers for providing an additional means for Alabama

to continue our fight against these horrific crimes. We are honored that Hidden Gem will be shown at the Alabama Human Trafficking Summit in Montgomery on January 30-3t at The Renaissance Montgomery Hotel,” said Pat McCay, chair of the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force and End It Alabama. For more information about Hidden Gem Films, please visit https://www.hiddengemfilms.com. If you would like to have a screening of Hidden Gem and educational training about human trafficking at your organization, church or community event, contact Fowler at barbara@ fowlerdavis.com. If one needs help or to report suspected human trafficking to Federal law enforcement, please call the Dept. of Homeland Security Blue Campaign at 1-866-3472423. To get help from the National Human Trafficking Hotline, call 1-888373-7888 or text HELP or INFO to BeFree (233733).

A16 Jan. 29, 2020

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“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Opelika Schools ports &S Inside • opelika schools • lee county schools • community sports

School Board Meeting Schedule • Jan. 28 - Opelika City School Board Meeting - 300 Simmons St. • Feb. 11 - Lee County School Board Meeting - 2410 Society Hill Road

Opelika Middle School’s Patricia Skelton attends national Holocaust history seminar Special to the Opelika Observer

On the Mark By D. Mark Mitchell

Opelika basketball teams on hot streak


he Opelika High Boys basketball team won three straight including two Area games last week. OHS defeated Beauregard 75-67 and two area rivals - Benjamin Russell 64-59 and Russell County 63-58. The Bulldogs avenged an early season loss at Beauregard, with a 75-67 win in Mainstreet Gym inside OHS. Brandon Howard led the Bulldogs with 18 points, Grady Bynum scored 12 and Ja Carr added 11. The Bulldogs needed wins over Benjamin Russell and Russell County in order to force a tie for the area Title. OHS pulled it off, beating Benjamin Russell 64-59 and Russell County 63-58. Three OHS players scored double digits in the win over the Wildcats, with Carr leading the way with 15 points and Howard and Tae Hardnett scoring 12 and 10 points, respectively. Howard scored 16 points, while Marien Warner and Carr scored 12 points each in a 63-58 win over Russell County. The two wins caused a tie for the area regular season title, between Russell County

and Opelika. The basketball team tied for the area regular season championship with Russell County. Opelika Coach John Wadsworth called heads - unfortunately, the coin landed on tails costing the Bulldogs from hosting the area tournament and trip to the state-sub regional round. Opelika will travel to Seale next Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to play Benjamin Russell in the area tournament. The winner plays Russell County Thursday for the area tournament championship. LADY BULLDOGS BASKETBALL The OHS Lady Bulldog Basketball team (23-5) swept the four area regular season games to capture another title and will host the area tournament. The girls thumped Benjamin Russell 5627 and Russell County 66-29 last week in the Mainstreet Gym. Ladajah Hughley scored 13 points and Kaitlyn Bryant added 10 points in the win over the Wildcats. Claire Worth scored a game-high 21points in See Sports, page B5

The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous (JFR) selected 22 middle and high school teachers and Holocaust center staff from six states to participate in its 2020 Advanced Seminar from Jan. 18 to 21 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, an intensive three-day academic program that explored a number topics addressing the history of the Holocaust. One of those chosen was Opelika Middle

Skelton School teacher Patricia Skelton. For the first time ever, because of the rising wave of

antisemitic incidents throughout the country, the annual seminar extended its program by one day

which was devoted entirely to training teachers to combat the growing wave of hate from within their classrooms. In addition to Alabama, participants came from other states including Delaware, Florida, Georgia, New Jersey and Texas. The seminar is an intensive graduatelevel program in which a select group of educators who are already well versed in Holocaust history are given the opportunity to study more focused See Skelton, page B5

Opelika City Schools announce ‘Teachers of the Year’ at monthly school board meeting

Photo by Natalie Anderson/Opelika Observer Pictured above are the Opelika City School’s Teachers of the Year. One teacher from every school is selected by their peers and then one is selcted as the Elementary School Teacher of the Year and one as the Secondary School Teacher of the Year. This year’s winners are pictured left to right: Cara Burnett-Opelika Middle School, Amy Blackburn-Southview Primary, Kelly Cain-Morris Avenue Intermediate, Mandi Edwards-OCS Secondary Teacher of the Year-Opelika High School, Danielle Rosener-OCS Elementary Teacher of the Year-Northside Intermediate, Sydney Hinkle-West Forest Intermediate, Lauren Lee-Carver Primary, and Mary Fleming-Jeter Primary

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B2 Jan. 29, 2020

Seniors on Opelika High School’s boys, girls basketball teams recognized during last week’s contests v. Russell County

Photo by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer Senior members of Opelika High School’s 2019-2020 basketball teams were recognized during their final regular season home contests against Russell County last week. Pictured from left to right are: LaMarius Hughley, Ananda Hughley, Jamius Mitchell, Evita Debrow, Cam Marshall, Claire Worth, Marien Warner, Jasmine Stokes and Don Phillips II.

Project Uplift recognizes longtime volunteers, Auburn University seniors Special to the Opelika Observer Abigail and Maddy are seniors at Auburn University who became involved with Project Uplift in 2017, becoming mentors to Zariayah and Dravion. Abigail is from Tulsa, Oklahoma, and she is majoring in biomedical science; Maddy is from Huntsville, Alabama, and she is majoring in exercise science. Abigail and Maddy hang out with Zariayah and Dra at least once a week, for about 2.5 to 3 hours each time. Some of their favorite things to do with their big sisters are going to the park, Chewacla, visiting the Lee County Humane Society, getting games

from the Project Uplift office to play and baking. The big sisters also help them with their academics. They have helped Dra with his sight words and reading and helped Zariayah with her math. This experience with Project Uplift has been most beneficial to Zariayah and Dra, as well as Abigail and Maddy. “This experience has meant so much to me. Seeing Dra and Zariayah grow through the past years has been an amazing experience,” Maddy said. “They have definitely changed my life for the better.” “I have learned to be flexible because Dra and Zariayah do not always want to do what we have planned, so we have to

come up with creative games and crafts to help them have fun. I have learned to be patient and humble, as well,” Maddy added. The families have seen amazing changes with their behavior and attitude. Dra’s family has seen changes in his attitude and motivation towards school. Last year, he won a poster competition for drug awareness week. His grades have improved greatly, and he has been paying more attention in class. Zariayah’s family has seen changes in her attitude, as well, and now, she has gotten better at playing with others. About Project Uplift For more information, visit www.auburn.edu/ projectuplift.

Located in Historic Downtown Opelika


Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer

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B3 Jan. 29, 2020

Winter Lessons on Patience

Beth Pinyerd


love the different seasons in Lee County! Our area definitely points out the differences in beautiful pronounced ways. In autumn, we see the beautiful change of leaves and landscape. Spring blossoms beautiful Azaleas, flowers and aromas. Summer brings forth a lush of green foliage all around. Winter provides light frost sometimes snow, icicles and cold winds in the grasp of Jack


y good little boy Shep began first grade this school year. Time for him to leave the full-time farm life behind and meet school head on. Shep is Mr. Enthusiasm and has loved every minute of this new childhood adventure. He loves his friends, devours PE, believes school lunch is the best food ever and I can only imagine his excellence on the playground. His teacher is a perfect piece of pie to my momma heart and he hangs on every bit of knowledge she feeds into him. There is just one little thing he can’t quite grab on to: reading. Shep has dreamed of being able to read for years, like other kids dream of riding tractors. He longs for it, ponders it and his sweet heart can’t quite understand why it’s not as simple as it should be. And honestly, it tears at my heart too. Among all the skills for children to learn, reading is probably the

Frost. As classrooms of children bundle up and take winter field trips, they observe some trees, plants, seeds and shrubs have gone into a dormant stage. This is a “looking” lesson so I instruct the children not to tear open the buds in order to get them to grow. Young children will ask why these plants go dormant. I explain to the children that the plants have to wait for warmer days before coming to life again.

Just this simple winter lesson can set up a lesson for the classroom teacher or parent to explain the importance of being patient for good things to happen. Being an early childhood teacher there are many tasks and processes going on among young students that require patience. Parents of young children understand these needs as well. When I am teaching early childhood classes, I can identify their struggle to wait their turn. Addressing their frustrations, discouragement and emotions and letting them know that you do understand helps to lessen feelings of discouragement. As a teacher, I try to explain to my young students why they may have to wait especially during snack time and lunch when I am opening up juice boxes or lunch boxes. Because I have several students to

help, they laugh when I tell them “I am not an octopus and don’t have eight arms to help everyone all at one time!” This is the way I explain to them that they need to wait. I try to teach the lesson of patience this way. Too, when talking to another student or adult, explain to a young child that you are in the middle of a conversation and they will need to wait. Even toddlers, twos, threes and fours understand this concept. In the early childhood classroom, patience is practiced daily. When young students wait their turn to interact in learning centers, answer questions during lessons, line up to go outside or go to the lunchroom, patient skills are practiced. Too, in taking time to rest between lessons or activities in the early childhood classroom, waiting and patience can be timed by the clock. They

love to look at the hands of the clock as time ticks away to end their waiting time. As parents and teachers, we have to praise children when they are showing patient behavior. Children are encouraged by praise. Too, children are good observers of behavior. As adults when we model patience they want to imitate us. As parents and teachers we also have to remember to be patient with children as they finish tasks. Remember Ground Hog’s Day is this coming Feb. 2. If the day is overcast and the Groundhog does not see his shadow there will be an early spring! If the Groundhog sees his shadow (the day is bright and sunny) there will be six more weeks of winter weather so we adults as well as children will need to practice patience as we wait

New eyes for Shep

greatest, and one we often take for granted. Reading is knowledge and wisdom and power in our own hands that feeds into the rest of our lives, in every way possible. So, when my chubby faced, happy boy stares at me in frustration and confusion upon reading, I feel crushed. Helpless. Sad. It leaves me wondering, what on earth is going on in his little head? I was an exceptional reader in school. I always got an A+ on my tests and I raised my hand at every occasion to read aloud in class. I was a confident reader, a joyful reader. I find it only natural for me to want the same for my little boy. Braxton caught on very quickly at the beginning of first grade and never missed a beat. Sissy’s skills kicked in about Christmas time her first grade year and has been nonstop ever since. And we all know we are not to compare one kid to the next, but we do. I think about it.

By Bradley Robertson Shep is grand and impressive in so many ways. He built a doghouse by himself this weekend. He cuts my parents’ grass and weed eats for them too. He made his own grilled cheese sandwich yesterday. He builds fires for us at night in our fireplace. But this reading, this simple skill, is a mountain for this boy. So, I begin with consistency and encouragement, which honestly only goes so far when frustration kicks in. Next, we play games and make charts, in hopes the reading doesn’t seem so out of reach. Candy is involved and other rewards, but even weeks

later, we are still in the same boat. Has he improved; I wonder? Or still in the same place? My mind quickly goes to reading disabilities. Could he have dyslexia? Is he delayed because he played his whole early childhood instead of reading sooner? Have I not practiced enough with him? Where did I go wrong? All these ideas run through my head. I’m an everyday mom wanting the best for my everyday boy. I finally opted in for an eye exam. If he were to need glasses, that would be an easy fix. Or, if this were not the case, we could move on to investigate other areas. Like all Shep’s other life endeavors, he could not wait to go. He counted down the days and was happy as a lark when it finally arrived. He was ever so brave and listened well to every instruction asked of him. I sat still and quiet, observing for what seemed like hours. It didn’t take long for

the obvious to surface causing a knot in my stomach. Boy could not see. Letters were not clear. Light was askew. Frustration was inevitable. Shep however, was all smiles. He knew, in that moment, he was going to be able to read. What once seemed unattainable in his little mind, he now knew could be something real. Last week, we picked up Shep’s new blue glasses during his lunch hour at school. I knelt to him upon putting them on. He stared at my face like he hadn’t seen me in days. His cheeky grin was not removed from my eyes. “You look so clear.” My eyes welled and I choked back tears. All I wanted him to see was my joy and delight in his little face. He looked beyond me into the office. “Things look bigger. I can see them better.” I held his hand and I slowly allowed him to take in all his surroundings, his grin never leaving his face.

upon spring! Pinyerd has taught young children in the early childhood classroom for 34 years as well as outreaching to the elderly in intergenerational settings. She has taught and outreached in the schools in Opelika and Baldwin County. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education as well as a bachelor’s degree in family and child development both from Auburn University. Her husband is the late Carl Pinyerd and she has one son, Gus Pinyerd who has taught her so much about learning. Classroom Observer is here to serve the community in sharing the wonderful teaching programs in our local public schools, private schools, and homeschools. The column is provided to enrich the education of our children, youth, and families. Classroom Observer welcomes educational news, school news, pictures, and events by e-mailing her at donnapinyerd@charter.net.

We walked outside together, and gazing out into blue skies, trees and city life Shep said. “I can see the whole world.” I will never forget this. Seeing a whole new world, through the eyes of my boy. Shep taught me a beautiful lesson that day. We all need new eyes to see. We all need to be stopped in our tracks at the awe and beauty of this world. We have so much and sometimes we see only what we want to see. We forget to open our eyes and our minds to people, to possibility, to the simple beauty of sky and trees and flowers. I pray, readers, you will open your eyes this week. Gaze upon what’s in front of you with new vision and new wisdom. The beauty will be there for you to behold. Robertson is a local mother, wife and creative. She’s an Auburn University graduate, loves good food and getting outside with her family. Bradley enjoys feature writing, as well as southern culture and lifestyle writing.

Ribbon-cutting ceremony for AuburnOpelika Skate Park held last week

Photos by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

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B4 Jan. 29, 2020

Registration open ‘John Edgar Excellence in for 4-H Space Camp Mathematics’ inaugural scholarship awarded to Trequan Walton Special to the Opelika Observer By Brittney Kimber

Three, two, one….. blast off! Alabama 4-H members, get ready to head to space camp. Alabama 4-H is partnering with the U.S. Space and Rocket Center to host the 4-H Pathfinder program at Space Camp. The camp is March 20 through 22 in Huntsville and open to 4-H youth across the state and country. “I am incredibly excited about this opportunity for our young people,” said Tony Cook, Alabama Extension 4-H specialist. “It is going to be a great experience for young people in 4-H to learn about space and to also potentially network with other 4-H members from around the country.” About Camp 4-H Pathfinder

participants will learn about space exploration through hands-on learning experiences. Campers will build a model rocket, train like an astronaut, complete a simulated space mission and much more. The camp fee is $299, which includes lodging, meals, materials, program costs, a T-shirt and also a full schedule of space camp activities. Visit the 4-H Pathfinder website for camp details and registration information. About 4-H Science and Technology The 4-H Pathfinder program at Space Camp is only one aspect of Alabama 4-H’s science and technology programming. Computer science, rocketry, robotics and more are other popular programs among young people in 4-H. Last year, more than 12,000 youth participated in the National

Youth Science Day activity. Additionally, 6,500 youth explored the world using Google Expedition Virtual Reality kits. More than 5,800 were engaged in rocketry activities, and another 2,400 young people engaged in coding with Chromebook computers and computational thinking through CS Unplugged Activities (computer science activities without devices or the internet). In these types of engagement, young people in 4-H are practicing problem solving, critical thinking, communication and innovation to improve computer literacy and develop twenty-first century skills to become more college and career ready. Visit the Alabama 4-H website for more information about science and technology programs.

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer The Southern Union Foundation is pleased to announce that Trequan Walton is the inaugural recipient of the John Edgar Excellence in Mathematics Scholarship. Awarded to a student each year who is majoring in a STEM related field, the scholarship was established by the Southern Union math department in honor of former SU Math Faculty member John Edgar. Pictured are Walton and Edgar.

Boykin Community Center to feature ASU archivist on civil rights in Alabama at OLLI ‘Brown Bag Lunch and Learn’ Special to the Opelika Observer Howard O. Robinson II, Alabama State University archivist, will present “Civil Rights in Alabama” at OLLI’s Bicentennial “Brown Bag Lunch & Lecture Series” on Feb. 5 at the Boykin Community Center. In addition to his duties as ASU Archivist,

Robinson also teaches in the university’s History and Political Science Department. He specializes in African-American history and has written on the student protest movement of the 1960s. Dr. Robinson also works closely with the National Center for the Study of Civil Rights and African-American Culture. He has taught

at Armstrong Atlantic State University, and he has worked with the Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum, both located in Savannah, Georgia. The Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Auburn University (OLLI at Auburn) hosts its Alabama Bicentennial Brown Bag Lunch & Lecture Series from

11:45 am to 2 p.m. at the Boykin Community Center, located at 400 Boykin St. in Auburn. The bring-your-ownlunch begins at 11:45 a.m., and complimentary coffee, tea and water will be provided. The program begins at 12:15 p.m. The series is cosponsored by the Caroline Marshall Draughon Center for the

Arts and Humanities and City of Auburn’s Boykin Community Center. The program is open to the public at no charge. OLLI at Auburn is a program of the Office of the Vice President for University Outreach at Auburn University. OLLI administrative offices and select classes are located at the historic Sunny Slope property,

located at 1031 S. College St. in Auburn. For more information regarding this event or to learn about becoming a member, volunteer faculty member, volunteer service assistant or sponsor, contact Shawnee McKee, OLLI Administrative Support at 334-844-3146, olli@ auburn.edu, or visit www.olliatauburn.org.

ASCTE announces its admission application for the 2020-2021 school year; open to students from across Alabama Special to the Opelika Observer The Alabama School of Technology and Engineering(ASCTE) announces that it has released its admission application for the 2020-2021 school year. ASCTE is the new state magnet high

school, created by the state legislature and signed into law by Governor Kay Ivey in April 2018. It will be the state’s third public, tuition-free magnet school, joining the Alabama School of Fine Arts in Birmingham and the Alabama School of Mathematics and Sci-

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ence in Mobile. ASCTE is seeking students from every school system in the state. Matt Massey, ASCTE President, says, "Our school will serve grades 9-12 and offer internships, co-op opportunities, and field experience with industries and governmental agencies

in Huntsville that relate to cyber and engineering. We already have industries and government agencies eager to support the students who will be coming to our school." The school will open in an interim facility at Oakwood University on August 5, 2020. AS-


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B5 Jan. 29, 2020

OHTS troupe staged three shows of ‘Black Comedy’ last weekend

Photos by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

McKenzie Gay named ‘Miss Southern Union 2020’ Special to the Opelika Observer

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer Pictured (left to right) are Emma Huddleston, Kaylie Murphree, Kallie Hester, Grayson Harris, Kaylee Dobbs, McKenzie Gay, Nakayiah Hall, Miss SU 2019 Jasilynn Kelly, SU President Todd Shackett, Claire Ward and Laney Skipper.

Sports from B1 the win over Russell County. Ananda Hughley and Haley Sanders added 16 and 15 points, respectively. WRESTLING Opelika High Wrestling team battled Russell County and Shaw in Seale last Thursday afternoon. The Bulldogs received wins from (Joey Baker 120 pounds), (Keon Brazier 138 pounds), Ari Brogdon and Tre’mir Rogers. Heavyweight Julian Favors favors pinned his opponent to wrap up the win over Shaw 46-17. OHS beat Russell County 40-36. Winning matches for the Bulldogs were Jackson Shoemaker (120 pounds), T’harra Brunson, Cameron Willett, Brazier, Christopher Willet, Landon Willis and James Dawson. OMS ATHLETIC SUPPLEMENTS During the last two weeks, I wrote about the cost of salaries and supplements to operate Opelika City

Schools Athletics. This week we will look at the cost for athletics at Opelika Middle school. *The Athletic Director receives $8,000 *Football Head of Operations receives $6,000 *Head Football Coach receives $4,600 * Six Assistant Football Coaches receive $3,745 each *Two Football Assistants receive $2,800 each *Five Football Volunteer Coaches receive $2,800 each *Football Strength and Conditioning Coordinator receives $450 *Dance Pom Head Coach $3745.00 / One Assistant at $2675.00 *Head Cheerleader Coach receives $3,745 while one Assistant receives $2,675 *Head Girls Basketball Coach receives $2,675 while one Girls Assistant receives $1,200 *Two Head Boys Basketball coaches receive $2,675 each while one Assistant receives $1,200 *Boys Head Soc-

cer Coach receives $2,675 while one Volunteer Assistant receives $900 *Head Boys and Girls Cross Country Coach receives $2,675 *Baseball Head Coach receives $2675.00, one Assistant receives $1,200/ and one Volunteer receives $900 *Wrestling Head Coach receives $2,675, one Assistant receives $1,200 and one volunteer receives $900 * Boys Head Track Coach receives $2,675 *Girls Head Track Coach $2,675 *Assistant Track Coach receives $1,200, two Assistants receive $900 and three Volunteer Assistants receive $900 *Head Softball Coach receives $2,675, one assistant receives $1,200 and one assistant receives $900 *Head Volleyball Coach receives $2,675 and one Assistant receives $1,200 *Field Supervisor receives $2,000 *Videographer receives $1,400.00,

McKenzie Gay of Woodland was crowned Miss Southern Union 2020 during the college’s annual pageant held Jan. 16. Gay will now go on to compete in the Miss Alabama Pageant which will be held in Birmingham in June. This year, nine young women competed for the title of Miss Southern Union. Contestants were judged in private interview, talent, eveningwear and on-stage

Concession Coordinator $1400.00/ Concession Assistant $900.00/ *Fundraising Coordinator $650.00/ TWO Building Manager at $450.00 each/ Equipment Manager $450.00 / Technical $450.00 The total amount of these salaries and supplements equal $125,190.00. OHS FOOTBALL BANQUET The OHS football team held their banquet earlier this month. The 2019 Team Captains voted by players were: James Dawson, Jaylen Sinson, Omar Holloway and Miles Magee. GPA AWARDS-3.6 or above - Marshall Meyers, Kory McCoy, Marien Warner, Nate Evans, Steven Harvey, Brody Davis, Ethan Cone, Marcus Tyson and James Dawson. The Mike Spain Character Award went to Tyson. D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.

question. In addition to each of the judged categories, contestants are required to select a platform, choosing a topic in which they are currently involved or about which they feel strongly, such as a form of community service. Grayson Harris of Prattville was named the winner of the talent competition. Nakayiah Hall of Childersburg was named as first runner-up and Kaylee Dobbs of Eufaula was named second-runner up to Miss Southern Union. Also compet-

Skelton, from B1 topics relating to the Holocaust, through lectures from renowned Holocaust scholars including Ira Forman of Georgetown University, Stefan Hördler of the Institute for Economic and Social History in Germany, Günther Jikeli of Indiana University, Robert Jan van Pelt of the University of Waterloo and Simone Schweber of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The program is open to Alfred Lerner Fellows, educators who have already attended the JFR Summer Institute for Teachers which is held at Columbia University. “These educators have already shown a tremendous commitment to teaching the Holocaust in their schools, and with the rising wave of antisemitic incidents and attacks, our hope is that this conference has also provided them with the necessary tools to combat hatred and antiSemitism from their classrooms,” said JFR Executive Vice President Stanlee Stahl. “By

ing in the pageant were Claire Ward of Ranburne, Kallie Hester of Auburn, Emma Huddleston of Wedowee, Kaylie Murphree of Tampa, and Laney Skipper of Taylor. The Miss Southern Union Pageant is an official preliminary of the Miss Alabama/ Miss America Pageant. For more information or to schedule an appearance by Miss Southern Union, contact Shondae Brown, director of the Miss Southern Union pageant, at 256-395-2211.

attending this intensive, graduate level program, they have gained an even greater understanding of the history of the Holocaust, which will increase their effectiveness in the classroom and enable them to mentor other educators who teach the subject.” The seminar is made possible by a grant from the Conference on Jewish Material Claims Against Germany. This year’s event also included a trip to the Auschwitz exhibit at the Museum of Jewish Heritage in Manhattan led by Robert Jan Van Pelt, the exhibition’s chief curator. About the JFR: Since its founding, the JFR has provided more than $40 million to aged and needy rescuers – helping to repay a debt of gratitude on behalf of the Jewish people to these noble men and women. Its Holocaust teacher education program has become a standard for teaching the history of the Holocaust and educating teachers and students about the significance of the righteous gentiles as moral and ethical exemplars. For more information, visit https://jfr.org/.

B6 Jan. 22, 2019

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Opelika High School’s varsity basketball teams sweep Russell County; boys win 63-58, girls win 66-29

Photos by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

Opelika, L ee County & A labama Politics Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2020

Inside the Statehouse Opelika City Council authorizes a contract

1st District seat open, great three-man race with engineering to develop remediation to replace Byrne, Senate race in full gear design, plan for Rocky Brook Road and dam Seniority still prehe first district


Congressional race is probably the best race in the state in this year’s March 3 Primary. The winner of the March 31 GOP Primary runoff will go to Congress. The famous 1st District is a Republican congressional seat and has been since Jack Edwards won the seat in the Southern Goldwater landslide in 1964. The bulk of the district population is in the two Gulf Coast counties of Baldwin and Mobile. It being the only gulf coast district in the state, they do have some local issues like red snapper fishing and their infamous Bay 10 bridge and Bayway project. However, for the most part, the candidates are focusing on national issues like international affairs, gun control, health care, the environment, immigration and abortion. As is apropos for Republican Congressional candidates, they are all trying to tie themselves to Donald Trump. There are three clear frontrunners: Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl, State Rep. Chris Pringle and former State Sen. Bill Hightower, all from Mobile. Carl has been a Mobile County Commissioner since 2012. Pringle is a state legislator from

By Steve Flowers Mobile. Hightower served one term in the Alabama State Senate, then made an unsuccessful bid for governor in 2018. The three seem to be knotted in a close three-man race. It will be interesting to see which of the three make the two-man March 31 primary. The seat is open because Byrne is running for the U.S. Senate. Byrne had to choose to either continue in his seat or go for the brass ring. Bryne is a very viable candidate in the Senate race. However, former Sen. Jeff Sessions is favored to lead the March 3 Primary and runoff and then take back his U.S. Senate seat in the November General Election. Sessions will settle in for a six-year term, probably his final. He is 73 years old and will be 74 when he takes office next January. Therefore, he will be a 74-year-old freshman senator. That is not the optimum age to become a U.S. Senator again. Seniority is everything in Washington.

vails dominantly. It is absolutely king. Sessions does not portray the national image and stature that our Senior Sen. Richard Shelby enjoys, much less the power, prestige and ability to bring home the bacon to the Heart of Dixie. Indeed, during their 20 years of service together as our tandem in the Senate, Shelby has overshadowed Sessions not only in seniority but in power and accomplishments. Actually, Sessions does not mind playing second fiddle to Shelby. He prefers it. During his 20 years in the Senate, he enjoyed playing the role of being the ultimate conservative ideologue. He was and will once again become one of the most conservative members of the Senate and will spend his time on social issues like immigration, abortion or other rightwing noneconomic issues. Sessions will be the darling of Fox News and will ask for his seat back on the Judiciary Committee, which does absolutely nothing for Alabama. Sessions does not really want to be effective. He is the ultimate ideologue. Fortunately for Alabama we have Richard Shelby, who does want to take care of Alabama and is the ultimate

See Flowers, page B11

By Michelle Key Publisher The Opelika City Council met last Tuesday night and voted to approve a proposal from CDG Engineers & Associates, Inc. for the remediation of Rocky Brook Road and dam. Professional engineering services are needed for, among other things: a hydraulic study of the impoundment system, geotechnical services and remediation design and plan prepara-

tion. This action was deemed necessary by the engineering department due to a portion of the dam at Lake Forest Estates Subdivision which unexpectedly failed in December causing a section of Rocky Brook Road to sink into a hole in the roadway. In other business, the council: • approved a request from ARCH Investments LLC, D.B.A. 280 Marathon for a wine and beer off premise license • approved a request

from Prime Food Mart LLC D.B.A. 4th Street Station for a wine and beer off premise license. • approved a request from Takoyaki LLC D.B.A. Takoyaki for a restaurant retail liquor & on premise beer license. • approved a bid for Siemens single-phase voltage regulators with SEL control panel from Siemens Industry, Inc., for Opelika Power Services • approved a resoSee Council, page B15

Lee County Commission approves pay raise for county employees By Michelle Key Publisher The Lee County Commission voted to approve a 4% pay raise for county employees during Monday night’s commission meeting. The county just recently completed a review of their job classification and pay plans and the commission also voted to accept the proposed changes to these items. According to County Administrator Roger Rendleman, the existing pay and classification was put into place in October 2007. The new classification plan and pay schedules will go into effect on Feb. 1. The commission


also received a presentation on the Lee County Remembrance Project by Ashley Brown and Olivia Nichols. Brown and Nichols are graduate students at Auburn University and are working with the Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Museum in Montgomery and hope to erect a historical marker in Opelika acknowledging the four people that were lynched within Lee County in the late 1800s and early 1900s. The group has also collected soil from the actual lynching sites within Lee County and will be placed into two sets of jars, with the victims’ names printed on the jars. One set

of jars will be placed in the EJI Museum in Montgomery and at the Museum of East Alabama in downtown Opelika. There will be a ceremonial event on March 17 at 6 p.m. at Greater Peace Baptist Church in Opelika. Columbus, Georgia City Councilman John House attended the meeting Monday and spoke to the commission on the Interstate 14 project that is being proposed to be developed in Lee County. House discussed a draft of a resolution supporting the interstate project. In other business, the commission took the following actions: See Commission, page B15

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B9 Jan. 29, 2020

Lee County officials issue reminder on absentee voting deadline Special to the Opelika Observer Following are updates to Alabama law regarding absentee voting registration and procedures, provided by Lee County Circuit Clerk Mary Roberson. 1. Alabama Act 2019507 became effective Aug. 1, 2019, establishing new requirements for voters casting absentee ballots. A copy of the voter’s valid photo identification must now be submitted along with the absentee ballot application. This will ensure that only eligible voters receive ballots for the election in which they are qualified to vote. Absentee Election Managers are no longer required to publish the list of absentee voters, their addresses and their polling places in the county courthouse. This law introduces two new instances for voters to submit an absentee ballot: if a voter is the caregiver to an immediate family member or if a voter has been incarcerated but has not been convicted of a disqualifying felony. Further, Act 2019-507 provides that a voter may apply for an emergency absentee ballot while serving as the caregiver to someone who requires medical treatment or if an immediate family member has passed away within five days of an election. Alabama Act 2019359 became effective Sept. 1, 2019, allowing

a permanently disabled voter to apply for a disabled voter absentee ballot. The application is required to be signed by the primary physician of the disabled voter and notarized. After it is verified that a voter’s disability prevents his or her attendance at the polls, the voter will be placed on a permanent absentee voter list and will automatically be mailed disabled voter absentee ballots before each election within that calendar year. The voter’s application for an absentee ballot is good through the end of the calendar year in which the application is filed. If an election continues into the following year, the application is valid for the entire election cycle. All updates are reflected in the information provided by the Alabama Secretary of State’s website, www. sos.alabama.gov 2. The newly formatted absentee applications can be printed by going online to www.alabamavotes.gov and are also available by contacting Mary Roberson with the Absentee Elections Office at 334-737-3490 or sending mail to 205 S. 10th St. P.O. Box 1616 Opelika, AL 36804. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday excluding state holidays. United States Armed Forces members, including spouses, should contact their commanding Officer for an application or may go online: www.

alabamavotes.gov to be issued a party ballot in the Primary, elections voters must specify on the application if they want a Democrat or Republican ballot. If no party is designated, an Amendment Only ballot will be issued. These elections only require one application, but you must select to receive a ballot for both primary and primary runoff elections on the application, or you will need to submit a separate application for both elections. 3. Qualified voters can apply for an absentee ballot that can be cast by mail, commercial carrier or in person at the absentee election manager’s office, if he or she makes application in writing not fewer than five days prior to the election and meets one of the requirements listed in the application. Separate applications for absentee ballots are required for elections which are more than 42 days apart, except as to individuals voting pursuant to the Federal Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act, 42 U.S.C. 1973ff. Completed absentee applications must provide the Alabama residence where the voter is registered to vote, even if the ballot is to be mailed to another address where the applicant voter regularly receives mail. If one has have moved and has not updated their polling place, they should contact the local Board

of Registrars and update their address prior to applying for an absentee ballot. Any completed application must be returned by the voter in person or be sent by mail or commercial carrier. No one, not even a family member, can return another person’s application. Each application must be mailed separately. Multiple applications cannot be mailed in the same envelope, even if the voters live at the same address. Any registered elector who requires emergency treatment of a licensed physician within five days of an election may apply for an emergency absentee ballot for the election and may vote by returning the absentee ballot no later than noon on the day the election is held. The attendant physician shall describe and certify the circumstances as constituting an emergency on a special form designed by the Secretary of State and provided by his or her office to local absentee election managers. The special form shall be attached to the application. Any registered voter whose name appears on the poll list of qualified voters may vote by an emergency absentee ballot if he or she is required by his or her employer under unforeseen circumstances to be out of the county on an emergency business trip on election day. The voter shall apply for

an emergency absentee ballot at the office of the absentee election manager no later than the close of the business day one day prior to the election. The applicant shall complete and file an application form for emergency absentee voters. The form shall contain an affidavit which the applicant shall sign or swear acknowledging that he or she was not aware of the out-of-county business requirement prior to five days before the election. The absentee election manager may not give any person access to completed and filed applications for absentee ballots. This information is not a matter of public record. It should be considered privileged information just the same as voter registration applications. The absentee election manager shall forward absentee ballots by US Mail to the applicant’s residence address or upon written request of the voter, to the address where the voter regularly receives mail or by handing the ballot to the voter in person or, in the case of medical emergency voting, to his or her designee in person. Voters must complete all the information on the affidavit of the absentee voter envelope. If the voter’s affidavit is not signed (or marked), and if the affidavit is not witnessed by two witnesses 18 years of age or older or notarized by a notary

public or other officer authorized to acknowledge oaths prior to being delivered or mailed to the absentee election manager, the ballot will not be counted. Feb. 14, 2020 - last day to hand deliver voter registration to Board of Registrars for the March 3 primary election Feb. 17, 2020 President’s Day Holiday (office closed) Feb. 27, 2020 - Last day that voters may apply for a regular absentee ballot for the primary election. March 2, 2020 - Last day voters can return in person, his or her regular absentee ballot. No one, not even a family member, can return another person’s ballot, (except a medical emergency voter named designee). Also, mailed ballots must be postmarked by the United State Postal Service no later than this date. March 3, 2020 (Election Day) -Mailed ballots must be received in mail no later than noon this date. -Voted medical emergency ballots delivered by the voter’s designee, must be received no later than noon today. March 26, 2020 Last day to apply for an absentee ballot for the primary runoff election. March 31, 2020 Primary runoff election day For more information about absentee voting, lee.alacourt.gov or alabamavotes.gov.

Sec. of State John Merrill issues a statement on voter registration Special to the Opelika Observer “This year, Alabamians will have the opportunity to vote in several extremely important elections that will determine their representation at the local, state, and federal level. Voting is fundamental to our representative democracy, which is why the civic participation of all eligible Alabamians is critical to our success as a state. In order for this to happen, however, we need all eligible U.S. citizens that are residents of the State of Alabama to be registered to vote and to have a government-issued photo ID. Alabamians can

Merrill register to vote by visiting their local board of registrars, on our website AlabamaVotes.gov, or on the mobile app Vote for Alabama. For the March 3 Primary Election, the last day to hand-deliver a voter registration form to the board of registrars is Feb. 14, the last day to postmark a voter reg-

istration form is Feb. 15, and the last day to register to vote electronically is by midnight on Feb. 17. Eligible Alabamians can obtain a free voter photo ID by visiting their local board of registrars, my office, or attending one of our mobile photo ID units in their area. The list of counties we will soon be visiting can be found on our website AlabamaVotes.gov. I encourage the residents of Lee County and surrounding areas to take the time to register to vote and get a photo ID so all who are interested will be able to participate in the electoral process!”


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2020 Board of Directors


Aaron Friend, President Karen Turner, Vice President Tina Cook, Treasurer Audrey Marshall, Secretary Chris Clark Cathey Donald Miles Hill Troy Johnson John Jones Dr. Joree Jones Judy Jones Matt Jones Drake Martin Dan Mason

Habitat Home #67 Dedication: This home was sponsored by EAMC, ACI, Lee County Association of REALTORS, Dr. John and Roberta Hand and the Teresa Burns Estate.

Habitat Home #68 Dedication: This Zero Energy Ready Home was designed and built in partnership with Auburn University Architecture, Building Science and Rural Studio to a FORTIFIED GOLD Standard.

Auburn University Panhellenic raised more than $50,000 in donations from their annual Greek Sing fundraiser to sponsor another Habitat Home. Each year students sponsor and build a home.

Thank you Publix Super Market Charities for this $10,000 Home Sponsorship. Each year Publix helps sponsor a home.

Wells Fargo District Manager Craig Busby. local banker Courtney Osborne and Sammantha Plummer present a $10,000 check to sponsor Habitat Home #69 in Auburn.

Chrstmas Cook Walk Fundraiser: Thank you to the WeHelp Churches, volunteers and all of the community that participated. Together we raised more than $12,000 on cookie sales for Habitat Homes.

Habitat Around the Heart - Together we raised $60,000. Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Lee County Associations of REALTORS. Visit our website to see the many sponsors for this event. Join us again this year for great food, fellowship and an exciting auction. Details coming Fall 2020.

2020 Ground Breakings: Join these sponsors as we plan and build 3 more homes on Foster Street in Auburn: Wells Fargo, AU Panhellenic, WeHelp Churches, Rotary, Dr. and Mrs. Hand, AU Building Science, State Farm, Alabama Power, Publix, Lee County Association of REALTORS, St. Michael’s Catholic Church, Auburn United Methodist Church and the City of Auburn.

Thank You Dr. & Mrs. John Hand, Mr. & Mrs. David Housel, Mr. & Mrs. Boles Pegues and Mr. & Mrs. Joel Phillips and Auburn Rotary for their consistent support.

Please consider Auburn Opelika Habitat for Humanity in your giving plan for 2020. Your donation will be tax deductible and we will provide you with a donation receipt. Your giving will help us build three more homes in Auburn this year. We recently completed two homes in Opelika.

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B11 Jan. 29, 2020

Goodwill to provide free tax preparation services for the community through April 15 Special to the Opelika Observer Goodwill is preparing to help the community during tax season by offering free tax preparation services through Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), an IRS-sponsored tax program. For 10 years, Goodwill has provided free tax prep services for the community through a partnership with the IRS. Through that partnership, Goodwill recruits and trains volunteers to prepare current year tax returns, prior year tax returns and amendments for households that earn less than

Flowers, from B7 caretaker for the state. He carried Sessions for 20 years and will continue to play big brother to our junior U.S. Senator. It remains to be seen whether Shelby can pull enough strings to get Sessions’ 20 years of seniority returned. We will not know that until the Senate organizes in 2021. Even though Sessions will be 74 in January 2021, his chief rivals for the GOP nomination, Tommy Tuberville and Bradley Byrne will be 66 and 65, respectively – not exactly spring chickens. Those are not the perfect ages to enter the U.S. Senate. By the same token, if

be prepared. Their taxes will then be prepared within one to two weeks, and once completed, the taxpayer will return to their original tax prep location to pick up a hard copy of their return and sign the consent to e-file. Returns are then processed in 10 to 15 business days. With this new service, taxpayers will be able to save time and continue on with their daily schedule without having to wait and meet with a tax preparer. Goodwill is offering their free tax prep services at four locations this tax season. Traditional walk-in services and drop-

$56,000 annually. Goodwill began filing tax returns Jan. 21 and will run through the end of tax season on April 15. Current year tax returns will be prepared during tax season, while prior year tax returns and amendments will be completed by appointment after April 15. Goodwill is also offering a new way to get your taxes done for free this tax season as they implement a more convenient way for individuals to come get their taxes done. With a new drop-off service, taxpayers visit one of the available tax prep locations and scan their tax documents to

by some remarkable miracle upset Doug Jones wins this year’s race, he would not be the perfect effective senator for Alabama as a 65-year-old Democrat. Thank goodness for the Heart of Dixie we have Richard Shelby as our Senior U.S. Senator. When you have the chairman of the U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee, you really do not need a second Senator. Seniority is everything in Washington. See you next week. Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at www.steveflowers. us.

off services will be available at the Midtown Career Center in Columbus off of Macon Road. Drop-off services will also be available at the Goodwill career centers in Opelika, Phenix City and Thomas Crossroads (Newnan). Individuals interested in stopping by Goodwill for free tax prep should bring the following: • Social security cards for yourself and all dependents • All income documents • All tax documents • Photo ID • Health insurance for 1095 A/B/C • Form 1098 • Childcare expenses

• 2018 tax returns • Bank account information Individuals who are interested in Goodwill’s free tax prep services can visit www.goodwillsr.org/ vita or contact their nearest Goodwill career center for more information. About Goodwill Southern Rivers: Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers (GoodwillSR) is one of 157 independent, communitybased Goodwill nonprofits across the United States and Canada. Headquartered in Columbus, Georgia, GoodwillSR serves 50 counties throughout East

Alabama and West Georgia. We provide employment readiness training, computer access, educational assistance, skills workshops and more to spur job placement and economic stability in the communities they serve. They can provide these and other programs thanks to the continued donations of giving patrons. They use the revenue generated in GoodwillSR stores to fund the majority of their community services. For more information about Goodwill Industries of the Southern Rivers, visit www.goodwillsr. org.

We would like to thank the following businesses for sponsoring one or more of our newspaper boxes and racks around Lee County

• Better Bodies Massage Institute • Interim HomeCare • Opelika Theatre Company • Three Keys Properties, LLC

To have your company’s logo placed on a box email us at editor@opelikaobserver.com

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B12 Jan. 29, 2020

Veterans Affairs regional office to host a ‘Veterans Experience Action Center’ on Feb. 5 Special to the Opelika Observer The United States Department of Veterans Affairs, Montgomery VA Regional Office will host a Veterans Experience Action Center (VEAC) from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 5. The VEAC is for veterans, families, survivors and caregiv-

ers who have questions concerning their VA claims, appeals and healthcare. There will be Veterans Service Officers, Veterans Health Administrators and Veterans Benefits Administrators to assist with claims and healthcare concerns. Veterans who have a current VA claim, would like to file a new claim, have issues with VA

healthcare; would like to apply for entrance into the VA healthcare system, or just have questions regarding VA benefits are encouraged to attend. The VEAC is free of charge to participating veterans. The event will take place at The Multiplex at Cramton Bowl which is located at 220 Hall St. in Montgomery.

LEE COUNTY VOTERS LEAGUE Invitation to the public The Lee County Voters League will host an open house on Feb. 3 at 6 p.m. to kick off their 2020 membership recruitment drive. There will be "A History of the Voter's League" presentation honouring George Bandy Sr., and refreshments will be served. The March 2 meeting will address voter's education and a ‘Call for Action’ with Ms. Kynesha Brown giving a presentation on the process of record expungement to restore voting rights. Meetings are held at Bethesda Baptist Church located at 201 S. 4th St. in Opelika.

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B13 Jan. 29, 2020

PUBLIC NOTICES INVITATION TO BID 20005 Sealed bids for the construction of the New Fire Training Facility shall be received at the Opelika City Hall Conference Room, 204 South Seventh Street, Opelika, Alabama, until 2:00 p.m., local time on Monday, February 17, 2020, and then publicly opened and read aloud. Only bids from competent general contractors will be considered. The successful bidder must be a properly licensed general contractor. The attention of all bidders is called to the provisions of State law governing “General Contractors” as set forth in the Ala. Code §348-1, et. seq. (1975) and rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Bidders must be licensed by the Licensing Board for General Contractors when bids are submitted. All bidders must submit with their proposal, contractor’s license number and a copy of the license. State law Ala. Code §34-8-8(b) requires all bids to be rejected which do not contain the contractor’s current license number. Evidence of this license shall be documented on the outside of the sealed bid. All bidders shall possess all other licenses and/or permits required by applicable law, rule or regulation for the performance of the work. A mandatory pre-bid conference is scheduled for 2:00 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2020 prospective bidders. The pre-bid conference will be located inside the City of Opelika Planning Commission Chambers, 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama. Bid documents may be obtained from the Office of the City Public Works Director located at 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama at no charge. The bidder’s proposal must be submitted on the complete original proposal furnished to him by the City of Opelika. All information in the proposal must be completed by the bidder for the proposal to be accepted. A Bid Bond in the amount of five (5) percent of the bid amount made payable to the City of Opelika must accompany each bid. Performance and Payment Bonds for the full contract sum will be required of the successful bidder. The right is reserved by the Owner to reject all Bids and to waive irregularities. Envelopes containing bids must be sealed, marked, addressed as follows, and delivered to: Lillie Finley, Purchasing-Revenue Manager, City of Opelika, 204 South 7th Street, P.O. Box 390, Opelika, Alabama, 368030390. Attn: New Fire Training Facility LILLIE FINLEY- PURCHASING REVENUE MANAGER CITY OF OPELIKA 204 SOUTH SEVENTH STREET (36801) POST OFFICE BOX 390 (36803-0390) OPELIKA, ALABAMA PH: (334) 705-5120 Legal Run 01/08/20, 01/15/20, 01/22/20, 01/29/20

NOTICE TO CREDITORS ESTATE OF DAVID W. DEAN, Deceased PROBATE COURT LEE COUNTY NOTICE TO CREDITORS Take Notice that LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION of said deceased having been granted to Carol S. Dean on the 6th day of January, 2020, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama. Notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by law or the same will be barred. Carol S. Dean Legal Run 01/15/2020, 01/22/2020 & 01/29/2020


CASE NO.: DR-2019900270.00 To: Angela Lee Caswell IN THE FAMILY COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA; FAMILY DIVISION DR-2019-9000270.00 IN RE: BRIAN T. CASWELL NOTICE OF PETITION FILED AND SERVICE BY PUBLICATION Notice to: Angela Lee Caswell ANGELA LEE CASWELL must answer the Complaint for Divorce in the Family Court of Lee County, Alabama, on August 15, 2019, by the Honorable Zachary D. Alsobrook for the Petitioner Brian T. Caswell within fourteen (14) days from the last date of Publication of this notice or a final judgment may be rendered in Case Number DR-2019-900270.00 in the Family Court of Lee County, Alabama. Answer must be filed at: Lee County Justice Center, 2311 Gateway Drive, Opelika, Alabama 36801. ATTORNEY: Honorable Zachary D. Alsobrook 114 North 9th Street Opelika, AL 36801 (334) 737.3718 Legal Run 01/22/2020, 01/29/2020, 02/05/2020 & 02/12/2020

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF J. MILES THOMAS, DECEASED. IN THE PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA Letters Testamentary on the estate of said decedent having been granted to the undersigned on the 10th day of January, 2020, by the Hon. Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by law or the same will be barred. KENNETH J. THOMAS Personal Representative Robert H. Pettey Samford & Denson, LLP P.O. Box 2345 Opelika, AL 36803-2345 (334) 745-3504 Legal Run 01/22/2020, 01/29/2020 & 02/05/2020

NOTICE TO CREDITORS ESTATE OF ROBERT GUY WHATLEY, III a/k/a ROBERT GUY WHATLEY, DECEASED PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA NOTICE TO CREDITORS Take Notice that LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION decesed having been granted to Jacob L. Whatley on the 4th day of December 2019, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge ofthe Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama. Notice is hereby given that all persrons having claims against said estate are here by required to present the same within time allowed by law or the same will be barred. Jacob L. Whatley Legal Run 01/22/2020, 01/29/2020 & 02/05/2020

NOTICE OF ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE SALE To be held on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Best 4 Less at 2509 Lafayette Parkway, Opelika, AL 36801. WBAAM3341YFP75955 2000 BMW 323 1G6KD54YX5U235826 2005 CADILLAC DEVILLE JNKCA31A3YT102596 2000 INFINITY 130 Legal Run 01/22/2020 & 01/29/2020

Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell personal property described below belonging to those individuals list below at the location indicated. Extra Space Storage 1242 North Dean Road. Auburn AL, 36830 on 2/12/2020 1:30 PM Jarrett Casaday Unit# 95 1771 Greenwood Road Tallassee, AL,36078 household items Dominique Scott Unit# 334 3127 Woodglynn Dr. Baton Rouge, LA,70814 Couch, boxes, miscellaneous household, and clothing

Robert Taylor Shelton Unit# 608 4108 Woodsbury Ct Mobile, AL,36609 2 bedroom apt, dryer, couch Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction. Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property. Legal Run 01/22/2020 & 01/29/2020

Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell personal property described below belonging to those individuals list below at the location indicated. Extra Space Storage, 1412 Opelika Road, Auburn AL 36830 on 2/12/2020 2:00 PM Corey Ogletree Unit# O174 387 Webster Rd Lot 83 Auburn, AL,36830 queen bed sectional couch Brandon Payne Unit# 208 551 Harper Ave Auburn, AL,36830 Household furniture and boxes Mark Brumbeloe Unit# 255 194 Winterset Ln Notasulga, AL,36866 Books and boxes Mark Brumbeloe Unit# 256 194 Winterset Ln Notasulga, AL,36866 Books and boxes Larry Harper Unit# 261 4100 Walnut St Lot 89 Opelika, AL,36804 Boxes/bags/furniture etc. Alicia Nixon Unit# U368 15102 Jennings Ln Bowie, MD,20721 Boxes, small items Clara Kirby Unit# 269 601 Ogletree Rd Auburn, AL,36830 Household furniture and boxes Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction. Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property. Legal Run 01/22/2020 & 01/29/2020

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF HOUSTON COUNTY STATE OF GEORGIA CASE NO.: 2019-V120923-L DONA HODGE, Plaintiff VS. REGINALDO VALERIANO AND KASSIE THORPE, Defendants, NOTICE OF SUMMONSSERVICE BY PUBLICAITON TO: REGINALDO VALERIANO, Defendant named above: You are hereby notified that the above-styled action seeking custody was filed against you in said Court on September 11, 2019, and that by reason of an order for service of summons by publication entered by the court on December 13. 2019 you are hereby commanded and required to file with the clerk of said court and serve upon Attorney Clarence Williams, III, whose address is 1200 Green Street, Warren Robbins, Georgia, 31093, an answer to the complaint within sixty (60) days of the date of the order for service by publication. If you fail to do so, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. WITNESS the Honorable Clerk of Court, this 10th day of January, 2020. Carolyn V. Sullivan Clerk/Deputy Clerk Superior Court of Houston County WILLIAMS LAW GROUP 1200 Green Street Warner Robins, Georgia 31093 (478) 922-9110/telephone (478) 922-9171/facsimile Legal Run 01/15/2020, 01/22, 01/29 & 02/05/2020


FOR FINAL SETTLEMENT TAKE NOTICE, that Stephen Lamar Jenkins, Executor of the Estate of Elaine M. Livingston, deceased, has filed with this Court his petition for Final Setttlement of said estate which is being administered in this Court pursuant to previous Orders of the Court. Hearing is hereby set for Final Settlement of said estate before this Court at 9:00 o’clock A.M. on Febraury 14, 2020 in Courtroom No. 3 of the Lee County Justice Center, 2311 Gateway Drive, Opelika, Alabama. DONE this 10th day of January, 2020 /s/ HON. JACOB A WALKER III - CIRCUIT JUDGE Legal Run 01/15/2020, 01/22/2020 & 01/29/2020

STATE OF ALABAMA CASE NO. 2020-011 LEE COUNTY PROBATE COURT ESTATE OF BARBARA ELLEN WOODS STROZIER, DECEASED NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE Letters Testamentary of said Barbara Ellen Woods Strozier, deceased, having been granted to John Steven Strozier, this 10 th day of January 2020, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by the law or the same will be barred. John Steven Strozier, Personal Representative Jeffery A. Hilyer Attorney at Law 334-745-2564 P.O. Box 30 Opelika, Alabama 368030030. Legal Run 01/15, 01/22 & 01/29/2020

NOTICE TO CREDITORS ESTATE OF EUGENE BROWN Deceased PROBATE COURT LEE COUNTY - CASE NO. 2020-017 NOTICE TO CREDITORS Take Notice that LETTERS TESTAMENTARY of the Estate of EUGENE BROWN deceased having been granted to Susan Lee, on the 17th day of January, 2020, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama. Notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by law or the same will be barred. Susan Lee Legal Run 01/29/20, 02/05/20 & 02/12/2020

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF JOHN C. EDGAR, JR., DECEASED IN THE PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA CASE No. 2020- 022 NOTICE TO CREDITORS TAKE NOTICE that Letters Testamentary of said deceased having been granted to John B. Edgar, on the 23rd day of January, 2020, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama Notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within the time allowed by law or the same will be barred. John B. Edgar, Executor Legal Run 01/29/20, 02/05/20 & 02/12/2020

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA Case No.: CV-2019-900427 VanDenBerg Custom Carpentry, LLC, Plaintiff, v. A Parcel of Real Property described as: Lot 26, Shelton Woods Subdivision, according to and as shown by that certain map or plat of record in Town Plat Book 6, at Page 118, in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Lee County, Alabama, Defendant. NOTICE OF ACTION To: All Defendants herein, whose whereabouts are unknown and which cannot be

ascertained after the exercise of reasonable diligence. You are hereby notified that on the 22 nd day of July, 2019, a complaint to quiet title was filed in the Circuit Court of Lee County, Alabama, and the following are the names of all parties to the action: Van Den Berg Custom Carpentry, LLC, as Plaintiff; A parcel of real property, as Defendant, said real property being described as: Lot 26, Shelton Woods Subdivision, according to and as shown by that certain map or plat of record in Town Plat Book 6, at Page 118, in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Lee County, Alabama. All persons having an interest in said lands or any portion thereof, claiming any title thereto or any encumbrance or lien thereon, are hereby directed to plead, answer, or otherwise respond to the Complaint on or before the expiration of 30 days after the last publication of this notice, or thereafter suffer judgment by default to be rendered against them, it being intended that this notice shall be used to perfect service against all parties who cannot be personally served with a copy of the Complaint. Done this the 22nd day of January, 2020. _/s/ Mary Roberson Circuit Court Clerk, Lee County J. Brandon Rice Attorney for Plaintiff Rice & Parr 830 Avenue A, Suite A Opelika, Alabama 36801 Legal Run 01/29/20, 02/05/20, 02/12/20, & 02/19/2020

IN THE CIRCUIT COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA Case No.: CV-2019900619.00 Hardwood, LLC, Plaintiff, v. A Parcel of Real Property, And DOROTHY WILLIAMS EWING and/or the Unknown Heirs of DOROTHY WILLIAMS EWING, Defendants. NOTICE OF ACTION To: All Defendants herein, whose whereabouts are unknown and which cannot be ascertained after the exercise of reasonable diligence. You are hereby notified that on the 16 th day of October, 2019, a complaint to quiet title was filed in the Circuit Court of Lee County, Alabama, and the following are the names of all parties to the action: Hardwood, LLC, as Plaintiff; Dorothy Williams Ewing, as Defendant, whose heirs, executors and/or administrators are unknown and cannot be ascertained after the exercise of due diligence, and which are believed to have claimed some right, title, interest or claim in and to the property described as follows: Commence at the Northwest corner of Section 35, Township 18 North, Range 29 East, and run North 86 degrees 57 minutes East for 655.45 feet; thence South 03 degrees 09 minutes East for 1301.82 feet to the Southern margin of McBride Road; thence 101.42 feet Southwesterly along a curve the radius of which is 1874.49 feet; thence South 03 degrees 37 minutes West for 79.38 feet; thence South 14 degrees 58 minutes East for 123.41 feet; thence South 16 degrees 25 minutes West for 86.86 feet; thence South 03 degrees 24 minutes West for 161.06 feet to the point of beginning; from said point of beginning run North 53 degrees 10 minutes East for 174.24 feet thence South 36 degrees 50 minutes East for 175.0 feet; thence South 53 degrees 10 minutes West for 174.24 feet; thence North 36 degrees 50 minutes East for 175.0 feet; to the point of Beginning. Compromising of 0.70 acres, more or less. All persons having an interest in said lands or any portion thereof, claiming any title thereto or any encumbrance or lien thereon, are hereby directed to plead, answer, or otherwise respond to the Complaint on or before the expiration of 30 days after the last publication of this notice, or thereafter suffer

judgment by default to be rendered against them, it being intended that this notice shall be used to perfect

service against all parties who cannot be personally served with a copy of the Complaint. Done this the 22nd day of January, 2020. /s/ Mary Roberson Circuit Court Clerk, Lee County J. Brandon Rice Attorney for Plaintiff Rice & Parr 830 Avenue A, Suite A Opelika, Alabama 36801 Legal Run 01/29/20, 02/05/20, 02/12/20, & 02/19/2020

IN THE PROBATE COURT FOR LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA IN RE: The Estate of Marcia S. Smith, Deceased NOTICE TO CREDITORS TAKE NOTICE that Letters of Administration have been granted to Denver Smith, as Administrator of the Estate of Marcia S. Smith deceased, on the 17th day of June, 2019, by the Hon. Bill English. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that all persons having claims against the said Estate are hereby required to present the same within the time allowed by law or the same will be barred. James E. Hall, Attorney for Administrator Legal Run 01/15/2020, 01/22/2020 & 01/29/2020

IN THE PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA IN RE: The Estate of CHARLES EUGENE PARKER SR., Deceased Case no. 2019-C-085 NOTICE OF CREDITORS TAKE NOTICE that Letters of Administration having been granted to LORI KERN, as Administrator of the Estate of CHARLES EUGENE PARKER, SR., deceased on the 22nd day of January, 2020, by the Honorable BILL ENGLISH Judge of Probate. NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that all persons having claims against said Estate of hereby required to present the same within the time allowed by law or the same will be barred. HON. BILL ENGLISH JUDGE OF PROBATE LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA /s/ LORI KERN Administrator of the Estate of CHARLES EUGENE PARKER, SR., deceased. Legal Run 01/29, 02/05 & 02/12 IN THE PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF: JAMES A. SCOTT, Deceased. Case No.:2020-024 Take Notice that LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION of said deceased having been granted to WILLIAM F. SCOTT on the 24th day of January 2020 by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama. Notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby requried to present the same within the time allowed by law or the same will be barred. William F. Scott Legal Run 01/29/2020, 02/05/2020 & 02/12/2020

NOTICE TO CREDITORS ESTATE OF KENTAVIOUS ROBINSON, Deceased PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY NOTICE TO CREDITORS Take Notice that LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION of said deceased having been granted to Monica Gaffney on the 25th day of February, 2019, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama. Notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by law or the same will be barred. Monica Gaffney Legal Run 01/29/2020, 02/05/2020 & 02/12/2020

B14 Jan. 29, 2020

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B15 Jan. 29, 2020

Opelika officials oppose construction of proposed granite quarry north of city limits; warn that water quality might be affected by its presence By Opelika Observer Staff The public notice published that starts in the third column of this article was brought to the attention of the Observer by a concerned citizen who felt like the people of Opelika needed to know that the company named in the notice has applied for air and water permits for a proposed granite quarry. The notice was published on the ADEM website. www.adem.state.al.us. “The site is on County Road 168 just

off US Highway 431 north of Opelika. It’s not in Opelika city limits but our citizens and residents would be greatly impacted in a negative way if this is allowed. It is less than two miles from Saugahatchee Lake, which is the primary source for drinking water in our community. There are many residential neighborhoods that will be affected including National Village, Marriott Resort & Spa and the Grand National Golf Course,” said Mayor Gary Fuller in a statement. “ADEM is only

concerned about Air & Water. There are many other issues… noise, vibration, heavy trucks passing three of our public schools (Morris Avenue, Opelika High and Jeter Primary) as well as Southern Union Community College.” Public notice Alabama department of environmental management Notice of application for: National pollutant discharge elimination system (npdes) permit and air permit And request for comments Lee County

Creekwood Resources, LLC, 2701 Mall Drive, Suite 7-102, Forence, AL 35630, has applied for air and water permits for a proposed granite quarry, known as Creekwood Resources, to be located 0.6 Miles from the intersection of Lee County Road 168 and US Highway 431, South of Lee County Road 168, Opelika, AL 36801. Creekwood Resources, LLC has applied for issuance of a national pollutant discharge elimination system (npdes) permit, npdes permit

number al0084018, for proposed discharges of treated drainage from a wet and dry preparation granite quarry and associated areas to groundwater, unnamed tributaries to sougahatchee creek (sougahatchee lake), and an unnamed tributary to sougahatchee creek, classified as fish and wildlife in the tallapoosa river basin. The department has tentatively determined that the proposed actions described in this notice are consistent with the water quality rules including the department’s anti-

degradation rules. Creekwood Resources, LLC, Inc. has also applied for an air permit, facility no. 206-0050, which would authorize the construction and operation of a granite crushing, screening, and conveying operation. Emissions of particulate matter would be minimized by the use of wet suppression. The department has determined that the equipment/operations proposed by the company should be able to meet state and federal air pollution See Quarry, page B16

Commission, from B7 • voted to approve a plat for the Yarbrough-Crook Subdivision • voted to set a public hearing regarding an application to vacate a portion of the Lee Road 179 Right-of-way. The public hearing will be set for the March 9 during the regularly scheduled county commission meeting • voted to approve the minutes of the Jan. 13, 2020 commission meeting • voted to ratify and approved current invoices and claims • voted to announce two vacancies on the Cemetery Preservation Commission • voted to approve a bid for uniform dry cleaning for the sheriff’s office • approved the renewal of the building inspection agreement with Smiths Station • approved a resolution that would allow the county commission to renew its participation in the Alabama Liability

Council, from B7 lution for expense reports from various departments • authorized the designation of city personal property surplus and authorized the disposal of said property • approved a street closure request for a downtown bike race on Feb. 16 • approved a resolution to deny rezoning of property located at 1203 Crawford Road based on the determination that the proposed rezoning will constitute an illegal spot zoning which would be in violation of Alabama law • approved the appointment of Russell

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer Self-Insurance Fund, Inc., for the calendar years 2021 through 2023 and to execute the participation agreement accordingly. Adopting this resolution and participation agreement allows the county to receive a longevity bonus which will be in an amount equal to 10% of the 2020 premium contribution. • Wendy Swann also addressed the commission and encouraged them to nominate volunteers for the Complete Count Committee which is being put together to assist with the 2020 Census and the efforts

Jones as the new city clerk/treasurer effective March 1 and temporary deputy city clerk effective last week • approved a contract with Sain Associates, Inc., for the development of a bicycle and pedestrian plan for the city of Opelika • approved an ordinance to amend the Cannon Gate planned unit development master plan, which will convert 6.4 acres of open space to private ownership. • approved an ordinance to amend the Zoning Ordinance and Map to rezone 3.2 acres located on the westerly right-ofway of Dickson Street Dickson Street from an R-3 Low Density Residential District

to reach those hardto-count areas within Lee County. The Lee County Commission meets on the second and last Monday nights of the month. Meetings start at 5 p.m. and are held in the commission chambers which are located on the second floor of the Lee County Courthouse Annex. These meetings are open to the public. Individuals can sign up to address the commission without being on the agenda during the public comment time. Comments are limited to three minutes per speaker.

to I-1 Institutional District • approved an ordinance to amend the text of the zoning ordinance of the city of Opelika and specifically to amend sections 9.5(15), 9.5(18), 9.5(19), 9.10(7), 9.10(9), 9.12(2), 9.12(3). The Opelika City Council meets the first and third Tuesday nights of every month with meetings starting promptly at 7 p.m. Work sessions are held before the council meetings starting between 6 and 6:50 p.m. The work sessions and the council meetings are open to the public and all are invited to attend. Meetings are held at City Hall, which is located at 204 S. 7th St.



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pelika O Observer

B16 Jan. 29, 2020

City of Smiths Station hosts annual ‘MLK Clean-Up Day’ last Saturday

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer

Photos by Morgan Bryce/Opelika Observer Smiths Station residents and students participated in the annual “MLK Clean-Up Day” was held last Saturday. While unofficial results were unavailable at press time, the normal collection rate averages 3,000 pounds (1.5 tons) each year. “This event is a way for us to honor a great man and leader as well as beautify city’s roadways. It’s something we look forward to each year,” said Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland. Following the event, the crowd of more than 100 volunteers came back to the Smiths Station Government Center for a catered lunch and fellowship.

Quarry, from B15 control requirements. The following are links to the proposed permits and the department’s permitting determinations and analyses: Proposed air permit Proposed npdes permit Russell a. Kelly, Chief Permits and services division - Adem 1400 Coliseum blvd. [Mailing address: po box 301463 361301463] Montgomery, alabama 36110-2400 (334) 271-7714 Airmail@adem.Alabama.Gov H2omail@adem. Alabama.Gov Persons wishing to comment may do so, in writing, to the depart-

ment's named contact above within 30 days following the publication date of this notice. In order to affect final decisions, comments must offer technically substantial information that is applicable to the proposed applications or permits. All comments must be received in the adem main office in montgomery no later than 5:00 p.M. On the last day of the comment period. A written request for a public hearing may also be filed within that 30-day period and must state the nature of the issues proposed to be raised in the hearing. The director shall hold a public hearing whenever it is found, on the basis of hearing requests, that there exists a significant degree of relevant

public interest in the permit applications or draft permits. After consideration of all written comments, review of any public hearing record, and consideration of the requirements of the alabama air pollution control act, the federal clean air act, the alabama pollution control act, the federal clean water act, and all other applicable regulations, the department will make a final determination. The department will develop a response to comments, which will become part of the public record and will be posted to the department’s efile system. Notice will be sent to any person requesting notice of the final action. The administrative record for this ac-

tion, along with other information on file, will be available in efile. Select media area “air” or “water,” enter the facility number shown above as the permit number, select document type “permitting”, and press search. The most recent documents will be listed at the top by default. The document type may also be left blank, which will list all available air or water files for this facility. The department maintains a list of interested individuals who are emailed legal notices regarding proposed permits. If you wish to receive such notices, please sign up here by entering your email address on the left side of the page and clicking the submit button. This notice is hereby

given this 21st day of January, 2020, by authorization of the alabama department of environmental management. Lance R. Lefleur, Director Nondiscrimination statement: the department does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national

origin, sex, religion, age or disability in the administration of its programs A meeting for stakeholders in this project, including city and school officials, will be held Jan. 31 at City Hall at 9:30 a.m. Residents who live this near development are encouraged to attend.

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