Page 1

Oxford

ACCESS

SPRING 2019

OXFORD'S ADVANTAGE

WHEN COLLABORATION LEADS TO WORLD-CLASS OPPORTUNITIES

Page 14

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

1


2

oxfordalabama.org


OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

1


CONTENTS

SPRING 2019

4 MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR 8 SPOTLIGHT: BILL LAWLEY 14 OXFORD WEST INDUSTRIAL PARK 21 MESSAGE FROM THE OXFORD POLICE CHIEF 22 RESOLUTION RUN 28 SPOTLIGHT: BROCK GARDNER 30 LOCAL CRAVINGS 37 MESSAGE FROM THE OXFORD FIRE CHIEF 40 ONE-ON-ONE WITH MICHAEL BARTON 46 MESSAGE FROM THE OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY 50 STEPHANIE BAIN: STORYTELLER 56 BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: OXFORD CLEANERS 60 OPAC’S 2018 - 2019 SEASON 68 LIVING ON THE EDGE 71 PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 74 FROM BOILING SPRINGS TO OCONEE 79 CIDER RIDGE GOLF CLUB UPDATE 81 CALENDAR OF CITY EVENTS 83 OXFORD BUSINESS LEAGUE UPDATE 84 WELCOME TO OXFORD: NEW BUSINESSES 86 WHY I TEACH: DAVID MCDANIEL 92 OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS UPDATE 98 HOMETOWN PROJECTS

Community conversations are important and we encourage residents to engage directly with city staff - this is your city and your mayor and council are here for you. Don't hesitate to reach out and let us know how we can help. Big or small, we’re happy and honored to listen. City of Oxford Mayor Alton Craft Oxford City Council Phil Gardner Mike Henderson Charlotte Hubbard Chris Spurlin Steven Waits If you are a citizen living within the Oxford city limits and are not receiving an Oxford Access magazine and would like to receive them, let us know! We want all of our citizens to be able to have access to the Access! You can pick-up a free copy at the Oxford Public Library, Oxford Civic Center, Bynum Community Center, Friendship Community Center, and Oxford City Hall. OXFORD ACCESS P. O. BOX 3383 OXFORD, AL 36203 WWW.OXFORDACCESS.COM

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for highlights of community news, city events, and special moments as they happen in our beautiful city.

2

oxfordalabama.org


22

30

86

40

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

3


Message from the

Oxford Mayor Dear citizens, On behalf of the city council and myself, I would like to say that we are off to a great start in 2019. 2018 brought us more success than Oxford has ever had, and I am confident that 2019 will break last year’s records by a wide margin. With everything going on in our city and with our city officials and employees working tirelessly to provide for the needs of our residents and visitors, I am constantly reminded that none of this success would be possible without you, the citizen. Whether you volunteer at Choccolocco Park or the Oxford Performing Arts Center during one of our many events at either facility, or whether you shop and dine in our Historic Downtown District, The Quintard Mall, or The Oxford Exchange or Commons, you are the driving force behind Oxford’s continued success, and the city council and I are proud to have you living here. With that being said, I am proud of Oxford for many things we have done and are continuing to do. We are working every day to make your lives better, and I would like to talk about some of the things I am proud of that have happened and are happening in Oxford.

4

oxfordalabama.org

I AM PROUD OF OUR POLICE DEPARTMENT In 2018 alone, our overall crime rate is down 28% compared to previous years. Our police chief, Bill Partridge, and the divisions under his command are making Oxford one of the safest places to live in the southeast. I AM PROUD OF OUR FIRE DEPARTMENT Our fire department is one of the strongest and most-visible departments in Oxford. We have kept up with the growth of our city, and we now offer fire training programs to our high school students that are interested in becoming fire fighters, and we have been able to go from neighborhood-to-neighborhood to make sure every house in Oxford has working smoke detectors. I AM PROUD OF OUR SCHOOLS Oxford City Schools are leaders in Alabama in education. When I go to school functions and look in the classrooms and at some presentations and forums that the students hold, I am always amazed at everything that they are learning and innovating in the classroom.


I AM PROUD OF OUR RECREATIONAL EVENTS AND OPPORTUNITIES In 2018 alone, over 2.5 million people visited Choccolocco Park, and over 1 million people visited the Oxford Civic Center. Many exciting things are happening and are about to happen at our recreation facilities, so be on the lookout. Our footprint is continuing to expand not only across the country, but across the continent, and we will continue to break attendance records and continue to break new ground in recreation.

I AM PROUD OF OUR EXPANSION INTO THE PERFORMING ARTS Oxford Performing Arts Center continues to be a beacon for the arts in Alabama. With new shows being added daily, we have created a new space for Oxford to lead others. With renovated seating options and stage expansion, visitors from all over the country come to our events at OPAC, and I am sure that we will continue to be pace-setters for arts in the state.

I AM PROUD OF REGIONAL COOPERATION WITH AREA CITIES Oxford is the leader in Alabama when it comes to communicating and assisting other departments and our municipal neighbors. Right after the March tornado that destroyed many buildings in Jacksonville and at Jacksonville State University, our police and fire departments were the first on the scene; they ran emergency operations for our northern sister city in the days following the disaster. Oxford’s Public Works and Street Department were also there that night and the weeks after assisting with cleanup and salvage. I also commissioned our marketing team to lend aide to our regional neighbor. They leapt into action, and coordinated the press releases, press conferences, and became an excellent filter for information coming to and from the City of Jacksonville and the university.

I AM PROUD OF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE 2018 was a big year for our Public Works Department. Our engineers and street superintendents put together a long-range paving plan that will improve roads in Oxford over the next eight years. We have already started our first phase of these infrastructure improvements with safety improvements and widening at the Cheaha Drive and County Line Road intersection and flooding mitigation in Downtown Oxford and in the Bynum neighborhoods. $500,000 has already been used in 2019, and we are getting ready to start some work that is on major thoroughfares, and we will be updating you through our social media pages so you can be aware of construction.

I AM PROUD OF OUR FINANCIAL STABILITY Our reserve increased from $68 million to $75 million from the beginning of the 2018 fiscal year to the end of the 2018 fiscal year. Moody’s Investors Service lists our bond rating as AA2, which is the highest rating a city of our size can attain, and Standard and Poor’s lists our rating as AA, which is again the highest rating for a city of our size. To explain, a bond rating is similar to a credit score for the average citizen; the better our bond rating, the better the interest rate, so the prime rates we have in our bonds currently are saving the city millions of dollars over several years. I am proud that Oxford has been financially responsible for the last 40 years, and I am certain that we will continue to check and balance our budget.

I AM PROUD OF OUR BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT We have 625 storefronts in Oxford at this time, and with so much revitalization coming to our city, we are expected to add to that number in the coming months. Historic Downtown Oxford renovations are expected to be completed in the coming months, and it will give our old town center a much-needed improvement in appearance. Along with downtown renovations, the Quintard Mall is undergoing a

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

5


6

oxfordalabama.org


massive renovation project that will introduce citizens and guests to a new, enhanced shopping experience. We have also started the Oxford Business League, and we have begun having regular workshops and meetings to help our local business owners network and learn how to improve their existing businesses.

I AM PROUD OF COMMUNICATION WITH OUR CITIZENS Our 311 non-emergency helpline has been a tremendous boon to our citizens and guests. The most common call is about garbage pick-up, but we also have regular calls from people that thank us for what we are doing. On top of that, we also call the ones that call us to check up on their requests. During the March tornado, our two operators, Sandra Hancock and Christie Renfroe, worked to keep the Public Works Department aware of fallen trees and power lines. I am glad that citizens are putting the 311 service to use, and I hope it will continue to grow.

I AM PROUD OF EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES THAT ARE PROVIDED BY OXFORD We offer many learning opportunities in Oxford, from fire safety to sports camps, but the Oxford Public Library has many different ways for our citizens to brush up on their knowledge. In 2018 alone, we had over 42,000 computer searches, over 92,000 website views, over 60,000 books circulated, and almost 15,000 DVDs and audio books that were checked out at OPL. The library offers help to citizens from adult literacy to voter registration, so

I am proud to have our director, Amy Henderson, and her staff available for many of our needs.

I AM PROUD OF OUR CONTINUED EFFORT TO MAKE OXFORD THE SAFEST PLACE TO LIVE We have the finest emergency departments in the state. With the East Metropolitan Area Crime Center scheduled to open soon, and our police department working with neighboring law enforcement offices and state and federal law enforcement, we will continue to be on the cutting edge of recognizing and stopping crime in Oxford, with the main goal being crime prevention across our city and the area. In conclusion, it gives me great joy to announce that the state of our city is strong. A record-breaking 2018 has adequately prepared us for a record-breaking 2019, and I am proud that you have entrusted our city leaders, workers, and me to lead the City of Oxford to new advancements in our technology, our infrastructure, our activities, and our services. The truth is, without you, the citizen, none of this would be possible, so we cannot thank you enough for making sure that Oxford is the best it can be; it is a main attraction along Interstate 20. We have become that beacon on the hill, and I am proud to have you here, to keep that light shining on our city. May God continue to bless us, and may He continue to bless Oxford. Sincerely, Mayor Alton Craft

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

7


SPOTLIGHT

BILL LAWLEY CITY OF OXFORD FLEET SUPERINTENDENT

Tell us a little about yourself!

I have lived in Calhoun County my whole life. I am the youngest of six siblings, and I am a graduate of Anniston High School. After high school, I attended Harry M. Ayers Technical School for two years. In February of 1992, I married my wonderful wife, Kathy. Somewhere around 1995 or 96, I attended JSU for about four years. After working at a few different places, I began employment at the City of Oxford in September of 1989. Now, here I am, almost 30 years later, enjoying my job and the people I work together with. Do you have any hobbies?

It seems like my hobbies vary from year to year. Gardening and canning are two of my favorites. In January and February, I tap maple trees and make maple syrup. How long have you been the Fleet Superintendent?

I became Fleet Superintendent in June of 2000. My previous boss (Henry M. Parker) retired in May, and two weeks later, Mayor Smith appointed me superintendent. What made you interested in working at the City Garage?

That’s an interesting little story. I was working at a private shop in Ashland when my dad saw an advertisement in the newspaper. The ad stated that the City of Oxford was giving a civil service test for a mechanic position. My father, very

8

oxfordalabama.org

persistently, kept after me about registering to take the test. Finally, to appease my dad, I signed up. I would never have thought myself; a 19-yearold “know it all,” would be where I am today due to the nagging of my dad. What is your favorite part of your job?

Building or constructing something out of nothing must be one of my favorite parts about my job. To take something like a piece of equipment or a vehicle and strip it down and build it back up into something else–it just gives you that feeling of accomplishment. What are some challenging parts of your job?

Even though building something out of nothing is one of my favorite parts about my job, it can also be one of the most challenging. To take something and make it into something else or even starting from scratch isn’t always an easy thing to do. You can run into problems that you don’t see coming. What does the City Garage do?

Wow! Now that’s a question that could take some time. I guess it all starts with the regular maintenance on all the city’s vehicles and equipment such as changing the oil, checking the tires, brakes, and lights. Another thing we do is the installation of emergency lights and equipment, which can be time-consuming. Then, there are times when another department asks us if we can build something. It doesn’t happen that often, but


OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

9


10

oxfordalabama.org


BILL LAWLEY | CITY OF OXFORD FLEET SUPERINTENDENT

at some point, someone will ask if we can make a particular thing (usually showing me a picture of the object) or they explain what it is they need and how they’d like it to function. At that point, if it’s something we can make happen, we design and create it. I have a great and talented bunch of people here. I may push their limits at times, but I believe they can make anything. And so far, they’ve succeeded. I can’t remember a time we didn’t at least try building what was requested. Also, three years ago, we started a replacement program for our vehicles. We’re pleased to say it has been successful! How has technology changed your job?

Technology today is continuously changing and improving. Vehicles have many computers, and those computers have to communicate with each other for the vehicles to perform correctly. Our mechanics take classes every year to stay on top of new technology. Imagine yourself working on all these computers at once; you would soon realize that it takes a lot of intelligence and problem-solving abilities to get the job done. It’s not always the cleanest of jobs, but without us doing our job, it would be difficult for people to get around. What does a work day look like for you?

When I arrive to work in the morning, I check my email and get ready for all the questions for the day. We come in at 6:00 a.m.; if everything is good to go with the Public Works Department and the school buses, we have a little time to try and catch up on other things. Usually by 7:30-8:00 all other departments start coming by or calling about their vehicles or equipment. The Fleet assistant superintendent handles the dayto-day things, such as the servicing and repairs of vehicles, and I manage the rest. We have several little projects going on all the time, so I get out and check on how those are coming along. I still get involved in the day-to-day stuff occasionally to stay up to date with everything going on.

What is the “coolest” part of your job?

Having access to fire trucks, heavy equipment like a bulldozer, police cars, and ambulances–what you found cool as a child–that’s pretty neat. Think about it; what a little kid dreams of playing with, I get to work with every day. Is there a specific piece of equipment you like using the most?

Oddly enough, it would have to be the welder. When I came to work at the City, I had never welded in my life. The guy that trained me (Daniel Wade) taught me how to weld. I am by no means an expert, but there’s nothing like laying a pretty bead of weld. What has been your most memorable moment at the City Garage?

Moving into our new shop was a memorable moment. For many years, we were in a six-bay garage. It worked well in the past, but we outgrew the space. Now we work in what, essentially, is a 14-bay shop. Even now, I’ve seen days when it has been full. What goes into preparing a City of Oxford vehicle?

A lot of time! At least with most vehicles. Nearly all vehicles will get lights installed. Others have radios, and some have specialty equipment. And then, there are a few that simply get a tag and maybe door decals. How many vehicles are in Oxford’s fleet?

At present, we have 390 vehicles and pieces of equipment not including weed eaters, blowers, and push mowers, that we maintain. What are some unique projects you have worked on?

A current, ongoing project includes constructing a portable kayak building. Since you can’t build a permanent structure in a floodway, we are building the structure on an eighty-foot mobile home

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

11


12

oxfordalabama.org


BILL LAWLEY | CITY OF OXFORD FLEET SUPERINTENDENT

frame that has been cut down to forty foot and turned around–the back is now the front. Also, this frame has four hydraulic cylinders on each side for quick removal of the building in case of flooding. The frame also has a duel control for the hydraulics and quick connect lines in front to be hooked up to a tractor-trailer truck. The tractor-trailer truck has also been fitted with a special hitch, which we had to order from Australia. This allows the truck to back up to the trailer, allowing the airbag suspension on the rear of the truck to lower. From there, you can continue backing up until the hitch of the truck is aligned to the hitch on the trailer frame. Once the two are lined up, you refill the air suspension, and the trailer is ready to move.

What are some tips you can give our citizens when it comes to purchasing a new or used vehicle?

Talk about school buses:

Favorite place to visit?

School buses are a little different than other vehicles as far as being able to work on them or inspect them. All buses are required to be inspected each month, and the person doing the inspection must be state certified. On the other side of it, school buses fall into the same category as the rest of our vehicles. When we work on our vehicles, we not only have the driver’s life in our hands but also many others’. With school buses, it’s our children, with ambulances, it’s our loved ones or friends, with the Public Works Department, it’s not only our employees but also the people driving by, and with the Police and Fire Departments, it’s everyone on the same road. Its just one of those things you try not to overthink, but always keeping in mind that there’s a lot of people depending on us to do our job right.

Always beware of a flood vehicle. Get a vehicle report. Don’t take someone’s word that it is a good vehicle. Take the time to check it out. At the very least, take it to a dealership and ask them to take a look. They may charge you, but it will be cheaper than getting stuck with a lemon. Do you have any fun personal projects?

Most of my projects are home related. I’m always willing to try it myself before hiring it out. I’ve remodeled two kitchens, three bathrooms, and built two pretty good-sized decks. When I take the time, I do have a 65 Mustang I work on.

Every year since 2005, we take a family vacation down to Dauphin Island. For the entire week, I get to go fishing. I Love it! If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be and why?

I guess it would have to be Ireland. To my understanding, that is where the Lawley family is originally from.

I have a great and talented bunch of people here. I may push their limits at times, but I believe they can make anything. And so far, they’ve succeeded. I can’t remember a time we didn’t at least try building what was requested. — Bill Lawley

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

13


OXFORD WEST INDUSTRIAL PARK

BY LORIE DENTON

14

oxfordalabama.org


The Calhoun County Economic Development Council is proud to unveil our newest industrial park constructed to bring new jobs to Oxford and Calhoun County. Designated an Alabama AdvantageSite by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the 130-acre park sits in between Interstate 20 and U.S. 78 on John Wills Ave. Engineering designs were first proposed and reviewed in 2016 and ground was broken in early 2017. The plans for the sign and entrance to the park were designed with the entrance to Oxford’s Choccolocco Park in mind. A ribbon cutting was held at Oxford West Industrial Park late in 2018 where the crowd on-hand heard from Calhoun County Economic Development Council’s Board Chairman and Executive Director, the Mayor of Oxford, and representatives from EDPA, and the Alabama Department of Commerce. continue on next page

Oxford West is one of only 59 AdvantageSites throughout the state, as well as the second AdvantageSite the EDC has developed in Calhoun County. OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

15


OXFORD WEST INDUSTRIAL PARK

Oxford West is one of only 59 AdvantageSites throughout the state, as well as the second AdvantageSite the EDC has developed in Calhoun County. Managed by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, the AdvantageSite program requires a teamwork approach between the private sector and state and local governments geared toward having prepared products and materials ready for industrial prospects. The program documents all aspects of the site, from geotechnical and environmental conditions to infrastructure and accessibility. Since its inception in 2008, 33 projects have located to AdvantageSites across the state, investing more than $1.4 billion and creating over 6,000 new jobs. Oxford mayor Alton Craft said that he expects the certification will work for Oxford, too. “30 years ago, when Mayor Leon Smith and I started together, you could bring developers out and show them pastures and trees, and they would say, ‘I see your vision,’” Craft explained, “but it’s not that simple anymore.” Ernie Cowart, Vice President of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, explains that companies are allowing less time for site selection and project construction. “They demand more information up-front, and if your site lacks that, it can knock you out of consideration. They’re demanding a lot more information. This makes sure that information has already been documented and is readily available.” Mayor Craft spoke highly of the partnership between the EDC and the City of Oxford, thanking the EDC for their commitment to building Oxford West Industrial Park. “Anytime you can get an industrial site like this and have the ability to recruit; it puts us up one more on everybody else,” Craft said. Leaders are excited about the site’s ability to draw industry, resulting in the creation of new job opportunities for our residents. “We’re excited to make it a world-class industrial park,” Don Hopper, Executive Director of the Calhoun County EDC said. A major selling point is its location between Birmingham and Atlanta. “It’s those kinds of operations that need to be close to those markets that tend to look in this area,” Hopper explains. “Obviously, the automotive industry, as well as the aerospace industry, is large here in the state and Calhoun County.” The

16

oxfordalabama.org

EDC is working closely with the City of Oxford, the Alabama Department of Commerce, EDPA, Alabama Power, and Spire (formerly Alagasco) to market Oxford West. It takes cooperation and good working relationships with everyone involved. “The Alabama Department of Commerce’s job is to sell Alabama, and our job is to sell Calhoun County,” said Hopper.

“Anytime you can get an industrial site like this and have the ability to recruit; it puts us up one more on everybody else.” — MAYOR ALTON CRAFT

THE EDC

The Calhoun County Economic Development Council is an organization that was created in 1982 through an act of the Alabama State Legislature for the purpose of promoting industry, trade, and economic development within Calhoun County. The EDC recruits new industry to Calhoun County and also supports the needs of our existing industries to expand and create new jobs. Don Hopper, an Oxford resident, has served as the Executive Director since 2002. During his tenure, the EDC has been successful in recruiting a number of new industries to the area, such as Bridgewater Interiors, Kobay Enstel, and Kronospan, as well as assisting numerous existing industries expansions. Just in the last five years, Calhoun County manufacturing industries have seen growth with over $980 million in new investments and more than 2,550 new jobs created. In 2018 alone, the EDC worked to secure 350 new jobs with more than $130 million in capital investment with our industries. The Board of Directors for the EDC is appointed by elected officials and sets the policy for the Board. The day-to-day operations are carried out by a staff of four. In addition to Hopper, Lucas Gockel, also an Oxford resident, serves as the EDC’s Director of Research and Special Projects. Mary Katherine Ginn has been with the EDC since its inception and serves as our administrative assistant. Lorie Denton serves as our Director of Business Development and is a life-long Oxford resident and 1997 graduate of Oxford High School.


INDUSTRY TOURS FOR EDUCATORS

In maintaining our mission to recruit new industries and assist growth within our existing industries, the EDC is committed to ensuring Calhoun County will continue to provide a highly skilled workforce. We are proud of the success continuing to be seen through the Economic Development Council’s creation of industry tours for all educators within Calhoun County. Since July of 2017, the EDC has taken over 350 educators into more than 15 of our local industries. We are confident this is a tangible way to communicate the abundance of career opportunities to our future workforce through their schools. Most educators spend the majority of their lives in a classroom, making it extremely difficult to communicate with their students what opportunities await them inside our local industries. We are certain whatever we can provide our educators communicates direct success to their students–Calhoun County’s future workforce. The EDC believes there is a true value in allowing educators and industrial managers a venue to begin forming relationships between one another that are crucial for economic growth in Calhoun County. These efforts have shown us that this was an unmet need, and we see many partnerships already formed between local schools and manufacturing industries. Oxford City Schools continues to be a huge supporter of this mission. Ashley Bunn, a guidance counselor at Oxford Middle School, has seen great success through relationships made through these tours. She consistently has industries come and speak to students about the vast career opportunities we have here locally. The EDC has taken over 40 of Oxford’s principals, assistant principals, guidance counselors, and educators on these tours. Our goal is for all educators pre-k through 12th grade to participate in these tours.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

17


THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER MAY 2, 2019

LOVE ONE ANOTHER N AT I O N A L DAYO F P R AY E R . O R G

18

oxfordalabama.org

#LOVE1ANOTHER


We are your spring fun headquarters where a friendly smile will greet you at the door and our salespeople will help you find any item and answer any question!

Shop OXFORD LUMBER for all your building & remodeling supplies (256) 831-0540 | 1400 Barry St, Oxford AL | info@oxfordlumber.com | www.oxfordlumber.com OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

19


20

oxfordalabama.org


Oxford Police Department

600 Stanley Merrill Drive, Oxford, AL 36203

In the upcoming months, the Oxford Police Department will again undergo a progressive change. Holding true to our philosophies of advancement, we will open the East Metro Area Crime Center, an intelligence gathering center used to more quickly and efficiently apprehend/deter criminal activity in our region. With the implementation of the new facility, law enforcement personnel throughout our region and beyond may gather and distribute criminal intel to law enforcement agencies and their officers. The capabilities are much more than that, however. Being managed by the Oxford Police Department, the facility will be staffed by members of our agency and those from surrounding areas. Essentially, we are providing a single investigative resource to mitigate crime in East-Central Alabama effectively. Be awaiting more updates on the EMACC during the next issues of the Oxford Access Magazine. As this issue covers into May of 2019, I believe it’s important to congratulate Oxford High School’s upcoming graduates. These young men and women will soon experience great things, and we wish them well during their journey. If you’re one of those forthcoming graduates and are reading this, please understand, though, the potential dangers you will face. Though graduation is an exciting time, please be smart. Be smart during the process and events that follow. Never drink and drive; ensure your friends don’t do the same; always call your parents or a trusted adult if you need help. In short, be responsible. If you’re going to experience all of life, you must first make it to that point. And again, congratulations! In closing, I want to thank the citizens of Oxford for their continued support. Without it, your police department would not run as effectively as it does. If you have any concerns or questions, please feel free to contact my office at any time.

Bill Partridge Chief of Police

Message from the

Police Chief

INVESTIGATIONS 256-835-6136 • ANIMAL CONTROL 256-591-4103 • GENERAL (NON-EMERGENCY) 256-831-3121 OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

21


Resolution run

22

oxfordalabama.org


The City of Oxford hosted its very first Resolution Run at Choccolocco Park in January. The 5k was tailored for people of all ages and abilities, whether walking or running. With over 110 participants and a large crowd of families and friends cheering them on, the atmosphere was wonderful. The theme of the event was “New Year, New Me” and a great way to kickstart one’s New Year’s resolution. Jack Deal, Choccolocco Park Director, said, “We were very pleased with the support we received before, during, and after the Resolution Run. It is great seeing how Oxford residents and area businesses participate in and get involved with the events the City puts on. It was amazing being part of the event, and we are already looking forward to next year’s run!”

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

23


We would like to thank all of the sponsors who made the race and giveaways possible: Alabama Power Eastman K98 97.9 WVOK B&S Sporting Goods Beshears Automotive Beshears Tractor & Equipment Changes Salon Friendship Automotive Gas & Electric Parts La Quinta Lickin’ Good Donuts Los Mexicanos Restaurante Margaronas Cantina Millers Funeral Home Oxford EMS Pirkle’s Lawn Irrigation Sequel Electric Supply Skinner’s Body Shop Sunny King Honda The Main Olive The Press Cafe Top Gun Baseball Tree Solutions 32° Yogurt Bar Chick-fil-A Cider Ridge Golf Club Dick’s Sporting Goods Hubbard’s Off Main Margaronas Cantina Oxford Performing Arts Center Panera Bread Pine Hill Country Club Sam’s Club Smallcakes Struts The Main Olive Word Alive Church Xtreme Car Wash Zaxby’s

24

oxfordalabama.org


The Resolution Run was only the second 5K I have ever done. It was a lot of fun with lots of fun people! We talked with many people along the walk around the beautiful lake at Choccolocco Park. I can’t wait to do several other runs that are coming up! -Christie R.

I haven’t done many 5k's in my life but the Resolution Run was probably my favorite. It was a cold day, but the sun was reflecting off the beautiful lake to make it perfect. It is so nice to have a place like Choccolocco Park to enjoy things like this. I can’t wait to do many more. -Amy L.

” OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

25


26

oxfordalabama.org


Thank you for voting Miller Funeral Home for 9 years in a row!

#

1

Anniston Star Reader’s Choice Award

Family Owned and Operated 6 Licensed Funeral Directors Largest Facility in Calhoun County Voted #1 in Technology

PERSONAL, CARING AND COMPASSIONATE SERVICE

Thank you for voting Miller Florist & Gifts #1 for 9 years in a row! Family owned and operated since 1984 Custom designs and one-of-a-kind arrangements Delivery always available

MILLER

MILLER MONUMENT AND LASER COMPANY 34 Hamric Drive East Oxford, AL. 36203

MILLER FUNERAL HOME 50 Hamric Drive East Oxford, AL. 36203

MILLER FLORIST AND GIFTS 38 Hamric Drive East Oxford, AL. 36203

256-835-3001

256-831-4611

256-835-0911

DOGWOOD TRAIL MEMORIAL GARDENS

ASK ABOUT MILLER EVENT CENTER

www.millerfuneralhomeoxford.com

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

27


28

oxfordalabama.org


SPOTLIGHT

BROCK GARDNER SUPERVISOR/CARETAKER AT THE OXFORD CEMETERY

Where are you from? I was born and raised in Oxford. I have lived here my whole life. Do you have any hobbies? My hobbies are fishing and hunting. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be? If I could go anywhere on vacation, it would be back to Alaska. Bible Verse or quote you live by? Philippians 4:13. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. How long have you been in your job position? This is my eighth year at this job position and my 17th year as a City of Oxford employee. Did you have another City job before this one? I started working for the City of Oxford as a summer helper. What made you interested in working at the cemetery? When I started working as a summer helper, the cemetery was supervised by the late Tuffy Franklin. When he decided to retire, I put in for the job. I enjoy being outside, cutting grass and helping others. What is your favorite part of your job? My favorite part of the job is being outside.

What are some challenging parts of your job? The most challenging part is helping the families make the right decisions in their time of need. This is a very emotional time for families. What are some of the responsibilities your department handles? We maintain the whole cemetery; cutting grass, weed eating around every headstone, adding dirt to graves, laying sod, and overseeing every burial. We also cut grass along the roads leading to the cemetery, downtown Oxford, and the Oxford Public Library. What has been your most memorable moment working for the city? My most memorable moments were being able to work for my dad, the late Larry Gardner, and seeing him every day. What are some tips you can give our citizens when it comes to the cemetery? The vases on the markers have drain holes, but sometimes the drain holes get clogged and will hold water. During the winter, the water will freeze and can break the vases. So, I encourage families to check on the water in the vases during their visits. Are there any misconceptions about the cemetery you would like to bring light to? Dogwood Trails is not part of the Oxford Cemetery. Miller Funeral Home owns Dogwood Trails.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

29


LOCAL CRAVINGS THE MAIN OLIVE

T

here is something undeniably charming about The Main Olive. The exposed brick wall and silver tin ceiling draw you into the store where your eyes wander about the dark bottles of various heights and silver canisters on top wooden shelves. Glass jars filled with savory spreads carry names like “Raspberry Salsa” and “Monkey Butter.” They share shelf space with bags of BBQ rubs and bottles of local honey. It’s a delight for your eyes and taste buds. Jordan and Morgan Acton have a passion for food and have spent years traveling the southeast exploring farmers’ markets and gourmet food venues. “We both love to cook and love to talk about food,” Jordan says. In 2016 they combined that knowledge and a desire to do something entrepreneurial into opening their own business. Jordan shared, “We thought, let’s give it a go in downtown Oxford and do something we both really enjoy.” That joy became The Main Olive–a gourmet food store where you can enjoy complex flavors of infused olives oils–and Jordan will happily tell you why their oils are the freshest available. “People don’t realize light breaks down olive oil. When it’s sitting in a plastic container on a grocery store shelf, it starts to break down. The quality is extremely diminished even before you get it home. But here at The Main Olive, our oils are shipped to us in closed dark containers. We display our oils in stainless steel containers called fustis. The oils are protected from light, and it extends the shelf life, so our customers end up with a really fresh olive oil,” she said.

30

oxfordalabama.org


OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

31


32

oxfordalabama.org


“We have about 60 varieties of extra virgin olive oils, fused and infused olive oils, and dark and white balsamic vinegar,” Jordan explained. “Since we opened, we have tripled our jarred goods. That would be our unique salsas, jams, and jellies. We try to cater to the unique.” When asked about her top seller, she was quick to answer, “The best-selling item in the entire store is our Tuscan Herb Olive Oil. It is infused with garlic, oregano, and sundried tomatoes. It’s hugely popular. We sell it four-to-one over any other flavor.” Every single day, customers can taste any of the olive oils and vinegar. On Saturdays, the store offers customers to sample their salsa and jellies. Jordan is happy to share tips and recipes with customers. You can hear the passion in her voice as she talks about her own baking. “I make blood-orange brownies with our blood-orange olive oil,” Jordan shares. “I love balsamic fudges and olive oil cakes. In the summertime, we have olive oil ice cream. It’s delicious!” With more people discovering the shop, Jordan takes advantage of each opportunity to talk to new customers. Answering questions, suggesting a flavor, and listening to concerns of shoppers is key to their growing success. “I discovered we kind-of live in a fig-crazy town. We sell a lot of fig balsamic vinegar. Fig jam is one of our top sellers. ‘FROG’ Jam made from fig, raspberry, orange, and ginger is our most popular jam. We have customers that pick up a jar just for the funny name but then come back in a few days and say they loved it, the kids loved it, and they buy six to seven jars for all their friends.” Competing as a small business in the world of online sales and corporate grocery stores can keep you up at night. Jordan used the expression of “growing pains” to describe the struggles of the past three years. “We go through up months and down months. I have a slow week followed by a really, really great day. The business has been fortunate to always come out on top but going through the growing pains while we build our customer base is tough,” she explained. Personal attention is the realm where Jordan and Morgan really shine. Combining their love for food and knowledge of olive oil into a presentation they share with others has been an avenue to gain customers. They have traveled to homes, libraries, and museums with samples to share. They enjoy hosting olive oil tastings and speaking about what constitutes an extra-virgin oil, the history of balsamic vinegar, and the aging process. You cannot stage the enthusiasm that comes from Jordan as she takes you around the shop. She is happy with their progress and hopeful about the future. “We are looking to expand into craft beers and wine. We want to hold cooking classes here in the store,” she says. “Some people can find the olive oils and vinegar intimidating, but they are simple to use.”

I’ve been coming since they opened. I try to get something new every time I come in.

I do a lot of gifts of the BBQ sauces and jellies. They are great, and everyone loves them. — local customer

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

33


34

oxfordalabama.org


The Main Olive 101 with Jordan Q: Why is olive oil considered a healthy oil?

Q: Dark Balsamic vs. White Balsamic?

A: Polyphenols are what makes olive oil good for you.

A: Dark Balsamic is made from red grapes, and White

Polyphenols help fight against diseases like heart

Balsamic is made from green grapes. The grape musk

disease, high blood pressure, and cholesterol. But as

is aged in barrels, and where you want a really fresh

you cook it, they break down. You have more health

olive oil, you want an older balsamic vinegar. Our

benefits if you use it cold.

balsamics are aged 18 years but we also have a special balsamic that is aged 25 years.

Q: Tell me about the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) you offer in the store?

Q: What are your Specialty Oils?

A: The company we go through hand-pick all the

A: We carry Walnut Oil, Japanese Roasted Sesame,

olives. They have a large crew that goes through and

and Black Truffle Oil

pull all the good olives off the trees. The oil is produced by pressing whole olives, and that first oil is

Q: You talk a lot about making marinades and salad

extra virgin. That’s what we have in our store.

dressings. Do you have a favorite? A: We have so many, I can’t pick just one.

The supply of extra virgin oils changes seasonally.

For a savory marinade, we recommend Black

Different hemispheres harvest at different times, so

Cherry Balsamic and Herbes de Provence Olive Oil in

we always try to get the freshest available. Every four

a 50/50 mix. It’s great on pork and chicken. We have

months or so, our EVOO changes in their country of

an Espresso Balsamic that is a little more unique. It is

origin. It could be California, Italy, or Chile.

excellent as a steak marinade. It is also excellent on ice cream. For a citrusy salad dressing, we blend the

We always carry a selection of three extra virgin oils:

Persian Lime Olive Oil and Fig Balsamic. The world

mild, medium, and robust.

will tell you 2/3 oil to 1/3 vinegar, but I like to flip that ratio. Another good one is the Pineapple Balsamic

Q: How should you keep your oils at home?

and the Blood Orange Olive Oil. A great summertime

A: We dispense our oils and vinegar into dark bottles

dressing! My husband likes the Dark Chocolate

and encourage customers to keep them in the pantry.

Balsamic and the Chipotle Olive Oil for a sweet-spicy

It likes to be room-temperature and in the dark. How

salad dressing. We have sold a lot of that

you take care of your olive oil determines how long

combination.

the flavors will last. Q: Tell us the “must-try” items at The Main Olive. Q: Fused vs. Infused olive oil?

A: Customer favorites in each category are the

A: Most of our flavored oils come from Spain.

Tuscan Herb Olive Oil, Fig Balsamic, Frog Jam, and

Infused—the flavors are added after the olives

Bacon Salsa.

are crushed. Fused—the herbs and flavors are added while the olives are crushed.

THE MAIN OLIVE | 508 MAIN STREET, OXFORD 36203 | 256-454-1107 10 TO 5 WEDNESDAY – FRIDAY. 10 TO 2 SATURDAY MORGAN & JORDAN ACTON | GIFT BASKETS | WE SHIP LOCALLY AND OUT-OF-STATE

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

35


OXFORD HIGH SCHOOL FIRE SCIENCE PROGRAM: BACK ROW LEFT TO RIGHT: LOPEZ, DAVIS, CURRY, JONES FRONT ROW LEFT TO RIGHT: BORCHARD, DULANEY, SMITH, WATTS

36

oxfordalabama.org


CITY OF OXFORD | FIRE DEPARTMENT

Message from the

Oxford Fire Chief I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. I love this time of year–the grass is turning green, and trees, flowers, and other vegetation will soon be in full bloom. It is time for baseball, and if you have not had the pleasure of coming to Choccolocco Park to watch our Oxford Yellow Jacket Baseball Team, I encourage you to do so. It is a great venue to watch America’s pastime. Spring also brings us to TORNADO SEASON. March 19, 2018 was a day that we won’t forget–as we’ll always remember the April 27, 2011 tornado event. The devastation from these two tornadoes will be felt for years to come. In this issue, you can read a story on Michael Barton, who is the new Calhoun County EMA Director. Director Barton has some great tips for you to prepare for severe weather. Remember, the City of Oxford has two storm shelters, one located at Fire Station #5 in DeArmanville and the other located at the Oxford EMS Station in Bynum. In the event of severe weather, the City of Oxford Emergency Operations Center will be staffed and in constant contact with both Calhoun and Talladega County EMAs. Oxford Fire was busy in the first quarter of 2019 trying to complete our business inspections by the end of March. There are many reasons to inspect businesses annually, some of which include: 1. Inspections are required by ISO which rates Fire Departments and sets insurance rates. 2. Identify hazards that may cause a fire. It is our goal to prevent any fire from happening. When a business suffers a fire, it affects its owner(s), employees, customers, and the city as a whole. 3. Safety of our citizens and guests who choose to do business in our city. I wish each of you a great spring season, and please remember to give the Oxford Fire Department a call if we can help you! Chief Gary Sparks

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

37


38

oxfordalabama.org


OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

39


40

oxfordalabama.org


ONE-ON-ONE

MICHAEL BARTON DIRECTOR OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT FOR CALHOUN COUNTY

Recently, the Oxford Access staff had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Michael Barton, Calhoun County’s new Director of Emergency Management. Barton was born and raised in Etowah County. He attended Jacksonville State University and graduated with a degree in Emergency Management in 2005. After graduating from JSU, Barton landed a job with the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office where he worked for nearly 14 years. At the Sheriff’s Office, he had various roles and positions including Deputy Sheriff, Investigator, Special Investigator assigned to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Assistant Chief, and Chief Deputy Sheriff of the county. Along with his experience in law enforcement, Barton also has some firefighting training from being a volunteer firefighter. He went to fire college and received several certifications through them which has helped him over the years to not only look at emergency management from a law enforcement perspective but at an all-hazards approach. According to Barton, the extra training is paying off now that he is in an emergency management position. In emergency management, one has to look at all sides of a hazard–not just the fire or law enforcement side, so any extra training is valuable knowledge.

WHAT FIRST GAINED YOUR INTEREST IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT?

While in high school, soon approaching graduation, I felt a calling to make a positive difference in the lives of others. I wasn't sure what that meant, or in what direction God was guiding me to go. However, while I was in the midst of the college application process, I saw where Jacksonville State University offered an emergency management program. That excited me and gave me a way to be involved in things in the community. Back in the year 2000, my community where I lived and grew up was hit by an EF 4 tornado. I consider that the beginning of my public safety career; I just wanted to help and responded as a community member. The following week, I signed up to be a volunteer firefighter at the fire department. I had another experience that heavily influenced me as well. The church that I always went to was on route to a mission trip when the van they traveled in wrecked. The vehicle flipped several times, killing two people and injuring several others. Those people were my friends. My best friend's parents lost their lives that day. My now brother-in-law was in the van and was ejected from the vehicle. Seeing people in a time of hurt and crisis like that made me feel called to bring something positive to a bad situation. I think public safety is a good way to do that. There’s not really a time when we’re called that someone is having a good day. They call us when it’s a bad day. Being able to interject some positive things into that and assist with that crisis in a way that helps them get on with their lives, and bring some normalcy back to the community, is what I believe it’s all about.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

41


WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THERE IS A NATURAL DISASTER AND WHAT DO YOU IMMEDIATELY FOCUS ON?

A lot of things happen when there is a natural disaster. From the emergency management side of it, we focus our efforts on the response part by supporting our public safety partners that are out there on the front lines; our firefighters, police officers, public works personnel, deputy sheriffs and others–the people out there performing rescue and recovery operations in the immediate aftermath of the event. But, quickly, we have to anticipate and look ahead, too. People are going to need food, clothes, a place to stay, and they need essential health and hygiene items. As emergency managers, we have to get those things in motion as well. Then, weeks into that, we have to start looking at overall community recovery– we must make sure we are taking the appropriate steps to start the recovery process. It is important to get out of response mode and start bringing the community back together–whether that be on an emotional or physical level. It is our job to help put things back together so we can return to what a new normal would be. Additionally, when disaster hits, we must determine what is most critical, and what has affected most people. What are the things that are going to take the longest to get into place and get moving? You have to be able to predict some of that. We use a number of checklists and a number of trigger points that help us through the process. A lot of that happens through experience and then goes back to relationships and knowing people and what they have to offer. An example of a trigger point would be when we staff the Emergency Operation Center. When the National Weather Service issues a tornado watch, it tells us that we must move up to level four staffing. Our staff comes in, we notify our volunteers and put them on standby. When we advance from a tornado watch to a tornado warning, we move to level three and bring additional staff. If there is actual damage caused by the weather event, we advance to level two, etc. Trigger points are generalized but

42

oxfordalabama.org

let us know when it is time to take things up to the next level.

CAN YOU TALK ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF COLLABORATION WITH OTHER RESPONSE AGENCIES?

I think relationships are key to everything emergency managers do. Actually, this year we have established three priorities for the emergency management agency and our top priority is relationship building and maintenance. Strong relationships with other agencies steer everything else: our communication, collaboration, coordination, and so forth. Emergency Management agencies are the central point of coordination for disasters. If someone calls us with a need, we try to match up the appropriate resource or go out and find resource needed to help them. We don’t necessarily come in and take over. We leave that up to the fire and police chiefs. They are in command. Our job is to come in and support them and execute the mission as best as possible. Building relationships before disaster strikes is critical. You can’t wait to meet somebody until an event has happened. You must know them and how to best work together.

Building relationships before disaster strikes is critical. You can’t wait to meet somebody until an event has happened. You must know them and how to best work together. WHAT OTHER AGENCIES DO YOU WORK WITH?

We interface with virtually all agencies in Calhoun County. Obviously, we work with the different fire services and law enforcement agencies, but also with other organizations such as the school systems and their emergency managers and non-profits like United Way. United Way provides manpower to the our Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) when a disaster hits. During a disaster,


ONE-ON-ONE WITH MICHAEL BARTON

there is no way my paid full-time employees, or the fire, police, EMS, public works personnel, etc., can respond to everyone's needs because "regular" duties and events will continue to happen. A disaster affects a large group of people, but life still goes on like normal for those not affected. As a result, we rely on a lot of volunteers and United Way helps supply those. We also work closely with 211, call for help. They provide a way to distribute information about available resources to the public, and they are a great platform for two-way communication. We also work with other non-profit organizations and businesses and continue to look for good private partnerships and businesses that have similar missions to ours–assisting and giving back to the community. We want to partner with anybody who wants to partner with us to make our community better.

WHAT IS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT?

There are a lot of challenges out there because there are a lot of problems. Again, people don’t call us unless it’s a bad day. I would say while communication and relationship building are some of the most important things we do, it can also be one of the most challenging because you’ve got all the different people from different organizations going in all different directions. Everyone has their own missions that they are focused on and that’s what they’ve got to execute. From an emergency management standpoint, we have to know those individuals and work with those people. Sometimes, however, it’s hard to catch up with those people and bring them together under one roof. Especially in times of a crisis, emotions are high, things are frustrating, things are unknown, and that’s fearful to people. Put all of that together and it is definitely a challenge!

IS ONE DISASTER HARDER TO DEFEND THAN ANOTHER?

In Northeast Alabama, tornadoes are probably what most people think of as our biggest threat.

Tornadoes inflict a lot of destruction in a very short amount of time. It is challenging to prepare for because when it hits, it impacts the community on a level that is hard to recover from.

HOW CAN INDIVIDUALS OR FAMILIES BETTER PREPARE FOR DISASTERS?

No matter the size or scope of a disaster, it is important that all families, all people, have an emergency plan. A disaster could be something as "simple" as a car wreck, yet very disruptive and disastrous to a person or family. Having a plan in place, knowing who to call, where to look for help, and an idea of what one could do to improve the situation could help them through the life-changing event. Another example could be a house fire. How will one get out safely? Does the family have a reunification point assigned? And even beyond that, if they are displaced from their home, where would they go? Who would they stay with? While there are community resources out there, have they looked at other family members or friends that can help them? What about clothing and resources that can get them by for a few days? Those are examples of things that happen in everyday life that don’t necessarily impact an entire community, but they can impact individual families tremendously. It is important to be prepared for those things. We encourage people to have a “go-bag” a bag with extra clothes, food, water, just those things that could get you by for 12-24 hours. If you are affected by any kind of disaster at home or school or work, or even on the community level, at least you’ve got some things to get you by, so you don’t have to depend on anybody else. Anything can go in those kits. Your imagination is the only limit. For severe weather preparedness in our homes, it is important to identify a safe place. Typically, that would be a place that is in the center of the home and away from any external walls and windows. One should have this place already identified to avoid hesitating or wasting time as disaster strikes. Personally, I have put bike helmets on my own children

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

43


while under a tornado warning to protect them from dangerous flying debris. Could a mattress help in deflecting debris? Anything that you could put in the place that is going to protect you from debris, wind, temperature, or anything else from that event is important to think about before it happens–have a plan, check it out, make sure it works, and implement it.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY FOR PEOPLE TO GET EMERGENCY NOTIFICATIONS?

We really encourage people to have three different ways of receiving emergency alerts. First, we encourage everyone living in Calhoun County to subscribe to Nixel. Nixel is a text alert service. You can text CalhounEMA to 888-777 to receive free emergency text alerts. A second, low-tech option of receiving emergency notifications includes weather radios. They are fairly inexpensive to put in one's home, business, or classroom. Since the majority of people have personal cell phones these days, there are several third-party apps that provide various types of alerts. Calhoun County has outdoor weather sirens strategically placed throughout the county. It is very important to remember that the sirens are for outdoor use. When we are inside a building, or any structure, we may not hear them. The outdoor sirens are not made for one to be able to hear it inside a house, so it is crucial to have other reliable means of receiving emergency information. Another thing to think about includes communicating with friends and family. Technology can fail, and smartphones may lose its service or internet connection. If you have elderly family members, or relatives and friends with inconsistent or limited connectivity, call and check on them. Call and let them know what is going on. Communication in families and communities goes a long way. Also, being aware of your surroundings is very important in getting those early notifications. You don’t want to wait until a tornado warning is activated to take action. That’s why they put out tornado watches–saying that the conditions are likely, that it

44

oxfordalabama.org

is possible, within a certain amount of time, that a tornado or severe weather could occur. If you're not in a good, sturdy structure, go find one. What is a safer place you could go to? Is it a family member’s house? Is it a certified tornado safe room nearby in your community? Calhoun County is blessed with eight tornado saferooms throughout the county, and we are currently in the process of a grant program which is going to add several more to the county. There are two storm shelters in Oxford. One is located in the Bynum area near the Oxford EMS building (2011 Bynum Blvd) and the other is located in the DeArmanville area besides Oxford Fire Department Station #5 (52 DeArmanville Road).

WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE THING TO REMEMBER WHEN COMMUNICATING WITH THE PUBLIC?

Being clear, stating what your main purpose is, and repeating your message multiple times are key components in communicating with the public. It is also important to utilize as many communication methods and platforms as possible in order to reach as many people as possible. One must communicate the message using the means that people best obtain information, whether that be through face-to-face interactions at public safety events, social media, print publications, websites, etc.

WHAT DOES A REGULAR DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

It is hard to say what a regular day looks like because every day is different. That is one of the things I really like about emergency management. It can be a day that is very boring where we are just reviewing emergency operations plans, reading through them, and making sure everything is squared away. Or it can be on the total opposite end–an event could have happened, and we are going all out with opening the emergency operations center. Or it can be anything in between. You have so many different sides: budgeting, relationship building, organizing, volunteer managing, etc.


ONE-ON-ONE WITH MICHAEL BARTON

WHAT ARE SOME OF THE LONG-RANGE OBJECTIVES THE CALHOUN COUNTY EMA HAS SET OUT AND HOW WILL YOU ACHIEVE THEM?

For 2019 we are looking at relationships, resources, and resiliency. Through our public education and partnership building, we are making sure we have good working relationships in place to be able to do the job that we need to do. Resources is our next objective. We must know who can provide different resources and when and how those resources are available. The resources aren't just those available in the county, but also state and nationwide. Resiliency is when it all comes together. We have to make sure our plans, training, relationships, and resources all work together. That is our focus for 2019. I think those three things would be stable focus points every year. But in terms of large projects, we are looking at our notification systems over the next few years. Are we truly using every way possible to communicate with people and get our notifications out? While our siren system is robust in this county, it is old. There are a lot of needs to be tended, and some are very expensive. We will continue to look at whether there are more tech-savvy ways to communicate. Another thing we really thought about after the March tornado includes the placement of resources around the county–the types of things we have in place to support the different agencies. An example of such would be technology kits. Let’s say the Oxford Fire Department is damaged during a natural disaster–they still need to be able to operate without internet connectivity, computers, phones, and so forth. Calhoun County EMA has resources that can be deployed and set up in pods to help get the fire department fully operational. If those technology kits are housed and stored in the same facility, we are out of luck if that structure is involved in the disaster. We do not want to put all of our eggs in the same basket and will be looking at ways to strategically place those resources around the county.

HOW CAN PEOPLE INTERESTED IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FIELD?

We would be happy to spend some time with anyone looking into making emergency management their career–educating them more one-on-one about what emergency management entails. In order to get involved and test the water, I suggest becoming a volunteer. We have a lot of volunteer opportunities through our VOAD program, local emergency planning committee, logistics support team, radio communications group, and more. There are lots of opportunities there. Calhoun County EMA also has a great resource in Jacksonville State University and their Department of Emergency Management. They have experts there that have seen things across the country and world. I recommend taking an entry-level class to learn more about the field. Those are good ways to get an overall understanding of the topic.

IS EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT BECOMING A MORE POPULAR FIELD OF STUDY?

I don’t have any data supporting such, but it may seem like it is gaining popularity. You have private sectors that recognize that they need emergency managers within their organizations. You have different levels of emergency management. You have the federal level, state level, and county level. Below the county level, you have the community and organization level. For instance, school systems, hospitals, and industries often have their own emergency managers. Their jobs are to look at the preparedness plans and make sure their response and recovery are intact for their organizations. There are a lot of opportunities in emergency management, and by having Jacksonville State’s emergency management program here, it has heightened the awareness for emergency management in this region, as have the disasters that we have faced.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

45


UPDATE OXFORD LIBRARY YOUR LIBRARY IS A PLACE TO HAVE FUN! Regardless of your age (or any other demographic about you), the library has events and programs that are designed with you in mind. OPL is pleased to announce that we have an excellent problem: Our StoryTime program for preschoolers has grown to the point that we can no longer safely house the precious children we love so much in the StoryTime room. This growth is due to the programming partnership between our new Children’s Librarian, Miss Beth, and our Assistant Director, Mrs. Jeanna. The children (and the parents) simply love StoryTime! They also love the StoryTime room, so we want to keep it there instead of moving StoryTime into the much larger Community Room that we use for larger events. What’s the solution? Break StoryTime up into three separate StoryTime adventures! Each of the programs will have age-appropriate activities, songs, finger plays, or crafts. • Itty Bitty StoryTime – Thursdays @ 9:00 – Birth to 24 months • Preschool StoryTime – Thursdays @ 10:00 • Preschool StoryTime – Thursdays @ 12:00 For kids a little older, Miss Beth has some special events planned. Building Blocks with a Purpose has become a favorite program with our elementary-aged kids. They come on Mondays at 3:30 to build and play with Legos and other types of bricks or blocks. Kids work together to create a team build with a goal in mind. It has been a lot of fun, and the kids have creatively solved some interesting problems and used their imagination. Elementary ages are also invited to come into the library for these events: • Elementary Age StoryTime —1st Saturday of each month @ 10:00 Elementary age kids come and read a story with Miss Beth! Activities will also be planned. • Weird Science — 2nd Friday and Saturday of each month @ 11:00 Join Miss Beth as she experiments in science. • Unplugged — 3rd Saturday of each month @ 10:00 The family that plays together stays together. Come play board games, Pictionary, charades, etc., at OPL. • Sensory Time — 4th Saturday of each month @ 10:00 Have fun while exploring your senses with fun activities. TEENAGERS HAVE A SPECIAL PLACE IN THE LIBRARY, AS WELL. The library has begun a Teen Advisory Board (TAB); interested students may find information and an application at oxfordpl.org/tab. The TAB will influence what programs/activities the library hosts for teens, as well as what books OPL purchases. The TAB offers benefits to the students personally as well; volunteer hours worked can be logged on college or job applications, which is always a positive mark in your favor. You also get to work as a team with other teens and OPL’s staff. What could be better than that? YOUR LIBRARY IS ALSO A PLACE TO DISPEL MISINFORMATION. It seems that “Fake News” is everywhere lately, or at least that term is thrown around frequently. It begs a great question, though: How do you know if the news you are hearing, the meme you just shared on Facebook, or the article you just read is sharing accurate information? How do you prevent yourself from becoming one of those people who share viral information without verifying the facts it contains? There is, unfortunately, not one simple way to know. The library is here to help, though! Librarians are providers of resources, and this case is no exception. Please visit oxfordpl.org/factcheckers to see free resources that allow you to check your facts; the site also includes tips and tools to help you. OPL has even developed a class in its computer class schedule called Fake News that teaches you how to listen to red flags that should be popping up in your head. Once a red flag is alerted, you should follow up to do your homework to learn if the information is correct.

BY AMY HENDERSON 46

oxfordalabama.org


C I T Y O F OX F O R D P U B L I C L I B R A R Y

COMPUTERS ARE ALL AROUND US; the library can help you become more familiar with the computer and its services. Whether it’s a desktop, a laptop, a public access computer, a tablet, or a tiny computer you keep in your pocket (smartphone), OPL can help. Tuesdays are computer class days, and we have classes for varying levels of knowledge. • For beginner computer users, join us on Tuesdays at 10:00 to learn hands-on basic computer skills. Learn basics from how to use a mouse, confusing terminology, to how to search the internet. These classes restart monthly, and build on each other to learn skills. Please feel free to repeat a month’s lessons if needed. • For computer users with basic skills, enhance those skills by joining us at 2:00 on Tuesdays to learn about specific subjects. These classes stand alone, so you may choose any class that would benefit you. • For those that need to use a computer but don’t have one at home, please use the library’s public access computers. They are free to use, and they have access to the internet and helpful programs such as the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint), Ancestry, and, in the children’s section, ABCMouse. • If you have a smartphone or tablet that you haven’t learned how to use yet, OPL has a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) class available any time the library is open – seven days a week! OPL staff will help you with basic usage of your device, as well as installation and troubleshooting of software that will allow you to check out and download free e-books.

e-books, e-audiobooks, videos, and e-magazines is available to check out and download with your library card. These titles all check out for two weeks, just like a paper book does; they are easy to download and use without an internet connection.

There is a special session of BYOD just for our folks in the Coldwater area. Come to the Bynum Community Center on the last Wednesday of every month at 11:00, and bring your tablet/phone/device. OPL will come to you to help you learn how to use it.

• Knowledge City – Knowledge City offers over 12,000 online courses that will help build core competencies, computer skills, and education. A certificate of completion will be awarded at the end of every course. These courses feature many options of study in the fields of computer skills, safety, business, compliance, and finance courses. • Chilton Library – For more than 100 years, Chilton has set the standard for automotive enthusiasts and professionals. This database offers manuals for makes and models. • Merck Manuals – The most powerful medicine in the world is knowledge, but the wrong information can be hazardous to your health. Use this resource to cut through the clutter to find out accurate information about prescriptions and diagnoses. This will allow you to be an active participant in your health.

Speaking of using computers and tablets, don’t forget to check out OPL’s online services. There are services that allow you to fact check stories that you hear, as mentioned earlier, but there are so many other resources that are available, you are really missing out if you are not taking advantage of them. Here are a few of the resources available (just go to oxfordpl.org/online-resources): • E-Books CAMELLIANET – A collection of over 40,000

BIG TIMBER MEDIA – Blastoff Readers are a HUGE favorite with young readers at OPL. Believe it or not, these beautifully illustrated hardcover books are the most checked out in the library because they are remarkable for beginning or struggling readers. Now they are available as e-books. You may read them in your browser on your device or you may download to your device to be read anytime off line. Other fun series are also available. CAPSTONE – Capstone Interactive Books are extraordinary tools for young readers. They read aloud to the learning reader, but that isn’t all. As the words are read aloud, the text on the page that is being read highlights along with the narration so that the reader can make a visual association with the word as it’s being read. Choose from different subjects, genres, and levels to find just the right book. These are perfect for emerging or struggling readers! ABDO DIGITAL – make reading fun with interactive elements, special effects, and narration. Interactive eBooks feature read-along technology that is perfect for individual reading practice at the computer or the entire classroom via digital whiteboards. Ideal for emerging or struggling readers.

MONDAY - FRIDAY 9 TO 5 • SATURDAY 9 TO 1 • SUNDAY 1 TO 5 • (256) 831-1750 • 110 East 6th Street, Oxford

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

47


48

oxfordalabama.org


C I T Y O F OX F O R D P U B L I C L I B R A R Y

• Ancestry.com – If you have been curious about your ancestry, this amazing resource allows you to find out more about who came before you. As long as you use Ancestry.com within the library’s brick walls, you can use it for free. YOUR LIBRARY IS A PLACE FOR A LITTLE GROWN-UP FUN AND HUMOR, TOO! OPL offers many classes/clubs/programs/activities for adults. Don’t forget to check out our Tuesdays at 10:00 programming! • Bunco —1st Tuesday of each month @ 10:00 Bunco is a fun dice game that will keep you rolling. • Book Art — 2nd Tuesday of each month @ 10:00 Make beautiful art from recycled books. • Card Sharks — 3rd Tuesday of each month @ 10:00. Come socialize while playing cards. • Dominoes — 4th Tuesday of each month @ 10:00 This classic game is enjoyable. OPL’s other adult activities are fun, too. Check out classes on how to knit, crochet, and quilt. The ladies in those three classes are delightful, civic-minded, and very knowledgeable in these handcrafts. They make projects for those in our community who need them, as well as projects in the group or for their own families. The knitters and crocheters have made Knitted Knockers for breast cancer survivors, and chemo caps for cancer patients (both for children and for adults). The quilters have made quilts to be used in local ambulances, too. These and many other projects make me proud to know each of these ladies. Check out these other events for adults as well: • Friday Flicks— Fridays @ 10:00 Feel free to bring snacks, and enjoy a movie. Check out the schedule at oxfordpl.org/free-Fridayflicks • Book Club— Third Monday of each month @ 3:00 Discuss a book with others who have each read it. Discuss what you liked (or didn’t like) about the book.

YOUR LIBRARY IS A PLACE TO GO DURING THE SUMMER! When school lets out, the library begins its Summer Reading Program, which will have something special for patrons to do every day. This year’s theme is A Universe of Stories, so we will be exploring space with special activities, programs, and books. The program will include activities for children of all ages—even through adulthood. For school kids, those that read during the summer typically perform better during the school year. Even being exposed to programs or activities that encourage the love of reading books can be helpful in the long run. Those that struggle with reading need not stress; OPL has lots of books and other tools to help, and reading at whatever level is enjoyable to you is appropriate for our program. Adults can have fun in our program, too. There is a special leg of the program that is designed for adults that encourages reading outside of what each patron would normally read. Prizes will be awarded throughout the program with grand prizes at the ending party. Check out oxfordpl.org/srp for more information and to register. Registration begins May 1, 2019. THE LIBRARY IS A PLACE FOR MANY THINGS, all of which are designed with you in mind. I look forward to seeing you in the library to take advantage of the library’s services. See you soon!

— Amy E. Henderson

MONDAY - FRIDAY 9 TO 5 • SATURDAY 9 TO 1 • SUNDAY 1 TO 5 • (256) 831-1750 • 110 East 6th Street, Oxford

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

49


STEPHANIE BAIN STORYTELLER

T

he Oxford Access staff recently had the pleasure of meeting Stephanie Bain, a 1999 Oxford High School class Valedictorian, history teacher, screenwriter, and published author. In 2018, Stephanie launched her book, The Girl I Left Behind, an action love story (historical fiction) set in North Alabama during the Civil War. Stephanie, daughter of Phil and Charlene Bain, grew up in Oxford, home of the Oxford High School Yellow Jackets of whom she has been a fan since she was old enough to walk in her saddle oxfords and her homemade, black-and-gold cheerleader outfit. Today, her wardrobe has expanded to include business casual when she is teaching History and Political Science; jeans, T-shirt, and closed-toed shoes when she’s on a film shoot; and writer garb that can double as pajamas and still be okay to wear to the grocery store. She has an MA in History from the University of Alabama, graduate work in Political Science from Jacksonville State University, and an MFA in Screenwriting from Regent University. What she has learned is that no matter what she’s wearing or what she’s doing, what is required of her is to do justly, love with mercy, and walk humbly with God. When did you first decide you would write The Girl I Left Behind? I had written the original story, which looks nothing like the published story, as a screenplay for my MFA portfolio in 2011. In 2013, a friend suggested I enter The Girl I Left Behind in a particular writing contest. They didn’t accept screenplays, so I rewrote it as a novel and submitted it. Of course, the manuscript wasn’t ready, and I realized I had a lot of rewriting to do to get the story in its best form. During all the rewrites I learned a lot about the characters and discovered new plot points and continued researching and rewriting. How did you decide what the book would be about? I had done some research on women soldiers when I was in the MA program in history at the University of Alabama. When I went to film school, I wanted to write a fictional story about a girl living in north Alabama during the Civil War. What are you trying to achieve with your book? My intent is to tell a good story, but in doing so, I hope to spark readers’ interest in the subject matter, historical setting, and other themes and topics in the book that they can research for themselves. That’s why I provide a bibliography at the end of the book and on my website. It’s not a history book, but it was fiction that got me interested in history, so I hope I’ve written a fictional story with a lot of truth in it that readers can look into for themselves.

50

oxfordalabama.org


OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

51


How long was the process of writing the book? It took two years to research, write, and rewrite the original screenplay and another five years to finish the novel. But I didn’t work on it full time, and whenever I revised the work, it was a major overhaul just about every time, so that really slowed things down. Why spend years of your life writing it? For me, it was a way to gather up all these things that I had experienced either in real life or in fictional stories and combine them in a way that would be enjoyable and informative to readers. I also wanted to take the time to make sure I presented the story in its best form. What makes it worth it? People enjoy the book, but also the hope that God might use some phrase or piece of dialogue in the book to help someone begin working through an emotional wound or assist them in dealing with difficult family situations, etc. What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book? I had already done a lot of the research for the academic paper I wrote at the University of Alabama, so that took a couple of months, but it wasn’t something I did full time. A lot of what went into the book was bits and pieces of stories I loved growing up, so in a way, it’s been a lifelong research project. Also, I research as I go. Sometimes I run into a situation in the story that requires more research. Research for the second book has been less time-consuming. What’s the strangest thing you have ever had to research online for your book? Nineteenth-century, Victorian-era cuss words, many of which aren’t considered cuss words today. Can you explain the process of getting your book published? Once I completed all the rewrites, I took the manuscript to Randy Young of Sleepytown Press, who also happened to be my sixth-grade teacher. Randy is a local book publisher and artist, and he did a great job with the formatting and designing the interior of the book and handling all the communication with the printing company. The cover was designed by Mark

52

oxfordalabama.org

Mijares, who has worked with me on several film projects. In both cases, I was really happy with how the book turned out. How do you select the names of your characters? When I’m reading or listening to stories, or I hear a name on TV or at church, I take notes on names that strike me as odd, comedic, or interesting, so some of the names came from that pool. For others, I researched common 19th-century names. For Alexandra, I searched a while for a name that suited her character. Ramsey’s original surname was Riggins until one of my professors “got it wrong” and called him Ramsey, and I liked that name better when I heard it. Some of them just popped into my head, and I didn’t realize the significance of the name until later. For example, with Alexandra’s last name, Corbin, I had no reason for picking that name, and I only recently found out that the Hebrew word Qorban means “sacrifice,” and it works for the story and Alexandra’s character. Do you have any particular favorite characters in the book? I love all my characters, but Lieutenant St. Clair is a particular favorite because of his absolute and at times amusing devotion to chivalry and honor. No matter how unchivalrous his environment may be, he is determined not to be swayed by it. He was a lot of fun to write. What is an interesting fun fact about your book? I use a lot of references to other historical events in the book. The characters talk about the Alamo and the War of 1812. I also incorporate a number of books that nineteenth-century Americans would have read such as Pride and Prejudice and Parson Weems’ biography of Swamp Fox. How did your love for writing begin? I wouldn’t say that I love to write, at least not for its own sake. I love to read. I love creating stories and characters and outlining and writing screenplays, but the reason I chose to format The Girl I Left Behind as a novel was because I wanted to get the story to readers via an affordable medium, not necessarily be-


STORYTELLER STEPHANIE BAIN

cause I love the writing process. I’m more of a visual storyteller than a wordsmith which is why I originally wrote The Girl I Left Behind as a screenplay with the intention of releasing the story as a film. However, even though writing a novel was my second choice, I’m really happy that it turned out that way. It took writing the novel first to get the full story and for me to discover things about the characters I wouldn’t have figured out had I stuck with the screenplay format. How has your environment and upbringing colored your writing? In the South, storytelling is an important part of the culture, like most cultures, so that affected me. I also grew up going to football games and loved it so much that I wanted to play football. But Oxford didn’t have a girls’ football team, so that’s one of the things in my life that helped me in developing Alexandra’s character—a girl who wants to do something that is not “for girls.” As for the kind of stories I like, I grew up watching John Wayne movies and Disney movies from the 1950s/60s about the Alamo and Swamp Fox, both of whom are referenced in the book. I grew up in a Christian environment where I learned to cherish Bible stories, all that history of God’s interaction with His people. That influenced how I look to see what God is doing around me and what situations I can write for characters in my stories where they get to know God through times of blessing as well as adversity–which is a less pleasant form of blessing, but still a blessing. What has influenced you the most as a writer? Music, actually. I get some of my best scene ideas listening to music, especially movie soundtracks. Also, I tend to view things first as an intellectual so music helps me connect with my artistic side so that I can write with emotion, not just my head knowledge. Where did your love for history begin? I grew up watching movies set in other time periods (westerns, fairytales, etc.) and I loved being able to experience another “world” and see on screen the stories I learned in school about the Alamo, the Wild West, the Civil War, the American Revolution, etc.

What is the most difficult part of writing? Discipline, procrastination, and perfectionism. Do you believe in writer’s block? I believe every person has circumstances, ways of thinking, emotional wounds, etc. that can hinder them from fulfilling their creative purpose. For myself, what hinders me the most is I have a hard time seeing myself as a writer. I don’t have what I had always thought of as the typical writer story. I wasn’t born with a desire to write. I love sharing stories and ideas, but I don’t enjoy writing for the sake of writing. Writing is a means to end. It’s something I have to do to get what’s in my head into a format that someone else can experience. I’m also a person who has a lot of interests, so I’ve always struggled with settling on one thing or one craft or one profession and defining myself by it. So for me, it’s not so much writer’s block as writer’s distraction. Does writing energize or exhaust you? I love creating stories and characters and dialogue and figuring out plot points, but I sometimes find the actual writing process tedious especially for a novel as opposed to a screenplay. What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become a writer? First, understand where your desire and ability to write comes from. Our ability to create, whether it’s music, art, writing, etc. is a gift from the Creator. This is something that gives me confidence when I go through periods of doubt. It is also something that gives me a kick in the pants when I go through periods of laziness. Second, make sure you have an answer to the following questions: why you want to write, what you want to write, and to whom you want to write. We have a responsibility to use whatever gifts we have in a way that is honoring to the Creator and to the rest of creation, particularly our fellow humans. If your motivation is to make money, there are many, many, many more reliable ways to make money. If you want to write westerns, study the formulas and mechanics of the genre so you will know what is required of you to write a good western. If you want to write to a particular audience,

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

53


APRIL 2ND AT 10:00

Charles Gaines with Gaines, Gaines & Rasco will be here to discuss wills, trust, power of attorneys and how to prepare for those. He will also have a Q&A so you can be clear on these important financial decisions.

AT OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY FINE FREE PERIOD APRIL 1ST THROUGH APRIL 13TH

Any items currently late and turned in during that time will have the fines waived.

SHRED IT—APRIL 1ST—APRIL 7TH

Bring your documents that need to be shredded and place them in a secure, locked box vault located near the front desk to be shredded and disposed of safely. 54

oxfordalabama.org

APRIL 3RD AT 10:00

Melissa Craven with BB&T bank will be here to discuss identity theft and how to keep your identity safe.

APRIL 4TH AT 10:00

We will have three TED talks on helping our kids make financial decisions. Cameron Herold—Let’s raise kids to be entrepreneurs Adora Svitak—What adults can learn from kids Ellin Rogin—Surprising ways to teach your kids to be smart with money


STORYTELLER STEPHANIE BAIN

young people for instance, find out what questions they are asking, and see if you have something to say that will benefit them. What was an early experience where you learned that language had power? My mom tells a story about when she was in second grade, this much bigger kid liked to pick on her and hit her on the head with his book satchel. So one day during summer little league baseball, she saw him walking by at a game where some of the other second graders were playing. To get back at him, she called him a “stupid idiot,” thinking that would put an end to his bullying. Of course, it didn’t quite work out the way she intended. The bully reared back to hit her, but her older, female cousin who was with her got in the way, so he ended up hitting the cousin instead. The cousin kicked him between the legs. Fully enraged, the bully was about to pummel them both when one of my mom’s classmates who was playing in the game, saw what was happening, left the dugout, and jumped on the bully’s back. The classmate, who happened to be the coach’s son and the best player on the team, got kicked out of the game and their team lost. The final consequence of mom’s justifiable but inadvisable use of language was that mom was banned from the ballfields for the rest of the summer. What’s next for you? I am currently working on the second book in the series and a collection of short stories. I just finished my last recording session for the audiobook which will be available in March. I studied the research on why authors are not supposed to do their own audiobooks, and most of the reasons had to do with poor recording quality, overly dramatic narration, and bad accents. So I hired a professional audio engineer with an excellent track record. As for giving a voice to the 70 characters in the book, I already had their accents and speech patterns in my head and spoke them out-loud when I wrote their dialogue, and I’ve been writing and imitating dialogue and various Southern accents since I was a kid.

The Girl I Left Behind In the midst of upheaval and confusion, the people of Marlbridge, Alabama, knew one thing for certain: the enemy was coming, and there wasn’t a thing they could do about it. Their beloved sheriff, who might have saved them from calamity, was dead, and Elias Kelson, the closest thing they had to a savior, was just as likely to welcome the invaders as to run them out of town. “No tears,” Alexandra Corbin swore to herself as she stood in front of the mirror, took hold of her long, thick, honey-colored hair, and cut it off just below her ear. The cropped tresses slapped against her cheek as she slipped into her brother’s Rebel uniform and strapped his Colt to her hip. The enemy had come for her and her people, and she meant to stop him. Rebel cavalry officer Cana Ramsey stood on the edge of town, paying no mind to the blood and sweat dripping into his eye. He had sworn an oath to never again set foot in Marlbridge. Breaking that oath would cost him his life, and he knew it. But God help him, he couldn’t let Alexandra Corbin hang. To purchase a copy or request Stephanie for a speaking engagement, go to stephaniebain.com. Books are also available on Amazon and can be ordered from any bookstore.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

55


BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

OXFORD CLEANERS The Oxford Cleaners is our city’s oldest established business still owned by its original family, the Bentleys. The building at 520 Main Street was constructed on the former site of the Oxford Hotel. The building was formally owned by the McGraw Family, relatives to the Bentleys. The building has served many capacities including a furniture, hardware, and grocery store. Recently, they received the 2018 Reader’s Choice Award, an award presented by The Anniston Star, selected by readers. The Oxford Cleaners also completed facade renovations earlier this year. The improvements included removing the lean-to porch, new paint, new windows, and restoration of the original half-rounded transom windows all while keeping it complementary to the historical integrity of the building.

Business Name

Manager

Oxford Cleaners

Linda Brooks

Established

General Operating Hours

September 3, 1946

Monday – Friday, 7 AM – 5 PM Saturday, 8 AM – 4 PM

Business Address

520 Main Street, Oxford, AL 36203

Services Provided

Business Phone Number

256-831-0721

Dry cleaning of comforters, drapes, wedding dresses; laundered dress shirts and pressing; alterations by Gail Fuller.

Business Owner

Number of employees?

John Bentley

Three

HISTORIC MAIN STREET OXFORD Historic Downtown, the heart of the City of Oxford, is currently undergoing a streetscape project, transforming the area into a more inviting, pedestrian-friendly destination. The project is an ongoing investment in the revitalization and preservation of our city’s oldest area. The project entails new sidewalks lined with brick pavers, underground utilities, landscaping, and lighting that restores the historic aesthetic to the character and charm of Oxford’s quaint downtown.

56

oxfordalabama.org


When Howard Bentley returned from his service in the Navy during WWII, he and his family opened the Oxford Cleaners on September 3, 1946. Initially, Howard was in partnership with his parents and brother-in-law and eventually became the sole proprietor. Howard and his wife, Katherine, were the parents of seven children, and the cleaners quickly became a family business. All of the children worked in the business at some point as well as some of the grandchildren. Howard loved Oxford and felt this business was a way to serve his community. The cleaners provided a pick-up and delivery service for many years that went as far as the Silver Run community near Munford. Howard was always on call. Many times, customers would call early on Sunday mornings needing their clothes for church. As always, he provided services to those who needed their clothes immediately. This would often happen in cases of weddings and funerals.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

57


June 2019 | Main Street Market | Historic Downtown Oxford In 2010, a certified farmer’s market was started in the streets of downtown Oxford. It was called “Downtown After Sundown” and soon became a big hit on Thursday afternoons. In 2015, it became part of the Main Street Program and renamed Main Street Market. Today, it continues to thrive as a Maker’s Market and Farmer’s Market in the late spring till early fall with events and music, but always having a focus on locally grown fresh produce.

Details on times, themes, and new vendor applications can be found at MainStreetOxford.org or by calling Hunter Gentry at 256-241-6667.

Historic Main Street Oxford | 256-241-6667 | P.O. Box 3383 | Oxford, AL 36203 | hgentry@mainstreetoxford.org 58

oxfordalabama.org


OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

59


TICKETS ON SALE NOW

256-241-3322

OXFORDPAC.ORG

Buy online at OXFORDPAC.org with no convenience fees! Charge by phone by calling 256-241-3322 Purchase at the OPAC Box Office in advance: Tuesday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Purchase at the door beginning 90 minutes prior to most ticketed events.

100 CHOCCOLOCCO STREET, OXFORD, ALABAMA 60

oxfordalabama.org


2019

MARCH 24 $35 | $49 | $65 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM NOBLEBANK & TRUST

Chicago, The Musical

2019

APRIL 4 $35 | $45 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM NOBLEBANK & TRUST

Cinderella, The Musical

2019

MAY 4 $35 | $345 | $59 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM NOBLEBANK & TRUST

STOMP! OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

61


TICKETS ON SALE NOW

256-241-3322

OXFORDPAC.ORG

2019

APRIL 12 THE FOUR TOPS $25 | $35 | $45 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

100 CHOCCOLOCCO STREET, OXFORD, ALABAMA 62

oxfordalabama.org


TICKETS ON SALE NOW

APRIL 6

256-241-3322

OXFORDPAC.ORG

2019

$29 | $45 | $55 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM WEBB CONCRETE & BUILDING MATERIALS

Trace Adkins

Buy online at OXFORDPAC.org with no convenience fees! Charge by phone by calling 256-241-3322 Purchase at the OPAC Box Office in advance: Tuesday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Purchase at the door beginning 90 minutes prior to most ticketed events.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

63


TICKETS ON SALE NOW

256-241-3322

OXFORDPAC.ORG

At OPAC, it’s all about your experience! Our patrons love our shows, but our hospitality is where we really shine! World-class hospitality with attention to detail that surpasses any other live entertainment venue in the region. Friendly smiles and warm greetings are just the start of a philosophy that follows the golden rule where we treat each guest just how we would like to be treated.

Buy online at OXFORDPAC.org with no convenience fees! Charge by phone by calling 256-241-3322 Purchase at the OPAC Box Office in advance: Tuesday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Purchase at the door beginning 90 minutes prior to most ticketed events.

100 CHOCCOLOCCO STREET, OXFORD, ALABAMA 64

oxfordalabama.org


2019

MARCH 28 $35 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA

Natalie Clein

2019

APRIL 11 $35 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA

The Attaca Quartet OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

65


TICKETS ON SALE NOW

256-241-3322

OXFORDPAC.ORG

2019

APRIL 26

Classic Albums Live: QUEEN - A Night at the Opera

$19 | $25 | $29 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM EDWARD JONES OF OXFORD ANNISTON

100 CHOCCOLOCCO STREET, OXFORD, ALABAMA 66

oxfordalabama.org


Season Extras

Alabama Ballet’s Sleeping Beauty

Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood Live

The Illusionist

March 16

April 20, 2019

May 6, 2019

The Glenn Miller Orchestra | May 7, 2019

Don McLean | June 28, 2019

Buy online at OXFORDPAC.org with no convenience fees! Charge by phone by calling 256-241-3322 Purchase at the OPAC Box Office in advance: Tuesday – Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Purchase at the door beginning 90 minutes prior to most ticketed events.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

67


However broad might be the interpretation, this painting was assembled in my mind over a long stretch of time–decades. It is intended as a tribute to singular beauty: the seemingly impossible beauty

E

verything about the polar bear, from behavior to anatomy, is an adaptation to the Arctic environment. The teardrop-shaped body is a functionally efficient profile, beginning with the small, tapered head and long muzzle…a streamlined silhouette. Even with the massive posterior quarters, the body is sculpted to face an unrelenting wind or to plow through Arctic waters in its frequent marathon swimming forays (hence the specific name, maritimus) in search of seals–its staple food. The long nose is not just an adaptation to penetrate and to warm the Arctic air. It contains an arsenal of neurons to detect and transmit the miniscule molecules of scent from prey, whether alive or long-dead and from great distances. In the desolate icescape, a dead seal is worth enormous time and effort, with its bounty of precious fat and protein. The bear’s huge dinner-plate size paws are designed to support a half-ton animal across deep snow or thin ice. Because of its shape, we often think of the polar bear as being much smaller than its distant cousin, the brown (or grizzly) bear. Yet, a polar bear standing on hind legs to test the breeze or get a better look over the horizon rises to a height of ten feet. Standing under a basketball rim provides us with a scale, but that comparison lacks feeling. I once helped transport a taxidermist’s specimen to a museum. The bear stood towering above us in the darkened storage area. When the lights came on, and I realized that he was standing only a couple of feet behind me, it took several minutes for my “chill bumps” to disappear.

LARRY K. MARTIN /CRYSTAL D. HANCOCK 2018

68

oxfordalabama.org

100 CHOCCOLOCCO STREET, SUITE 200


THE POLAR BEAR (URSUS MARITIMUS)

LIVING ON THE VERY EDGE

of a gigantic hypercarnivore surviving in the midst of relentless, unimaginable hardships–an elegant, virtually solitary creature in one of the loneliest and most demanding habitats on earth.

Color can be deceptive, and an artist is presented with a wide variety of “whites” when attempting to capture the essence of a polar bear. Part of the challenge is similar to that of painting birds; that is, translating the vibrant, refracted iridescent hues into any bright colors feebly afforded by pigmented paints. This bear is not white as a result of white pigmentation in the fur. The long guard hairs are clear and hollow, with reflected light providing the “white” appearance (incidentally, the concealed skin is black, believe it or not, to best absorb the precious warmth of sunlight as it filters through the transparent fur.) After years of focus on painting tropical subjects (from Africa, in particular), I found a need to develop a subject from a different part of the world. From a few 35 mm photo slides that I had taken some 25 years ago at the Birmingham Zoo, I re-discovered a memorable specimen named Charmichael, an aged polar bear, who died shortly after I was there. The faint, tiny bear images from the Birmingham Zoo vaguely fit my imaginary composition. This painting is a tip of the hat (which I never wear) to an old, brief acquaintance, Charmichael, who faced his advancing years with a certain dignity and elegance–an inspiration to any artist. This painting also gave me an opportunity to paint variations in the blue hues of sky, water, shadows, and the transparent and opaque ice. The yellows were, again, varied in the snow, ice, and the bear. A very horizontal format accents the limitless space facing the polar bear every day of its life.

© 2019 ALL IMAGES AND TEXT COPYRIGHT BY DR. LARRY K. MARTIN.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

69


70

oxfordalabama.org


C I T Y O F OX F O R D P U B L I C WO R K S D E PA R T M E N T

PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE Dear Citizen, I hope this letter finds you well. It’s an honor to come to you again with a quarterly update on public works projects in our great city. In this issue, we would like to focus on two main topics in our department: our Pavement Management Plan and our Curbside Pickup Service. The first item that we are incredibly excited about is our PAVEMENT MANAGEMENT PLAN. Several months ago, the City of Oxford partnered with a consulting engineering firm to assist in developing this plan. The purpose of this study was to provide a detailed long-term pavement preservation plan based on observed existing pavement conditions. Every city-maintained street was inspected for defects, integrity, and quality of construction. Each street was assigned a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) score from 0-100, and there were nearly 2,000 samples inspected. A PCI score of 70 or above is considered a roadway in good condition. We will concentrate our efforts on the roads that fall below the 70 PCI threshold. Of the over 200 miles of city-maintained roadways in Oxford City Limits, approximately 37% of our roadways do not meet the 70 PCI mark. The average PCI score for all roads was 72.1. The goal of the pavement preservation plan is to make the best use of taxpayer funds when planning pavement maintenance projects. By using this plan, we expect to raise our pavement scores to the point where all streets meet the 70 PCI threshold, and we are then able to perform more preventative maintenance than rehabilitation. Pavement maintenance on roadways is indeed more cost effective than pavement rehabilitation. The average costs of preventative maintenance are $2-$4 per square yard to maintain a 70 PCI. Comparatively, rehabilitation costs range from $16-$50 per square yard based on the severity of distress as illustrated in the chart. To accomplish this goal, we have developed an eight-year long-range plan. The asphalt pavement provides an asset value of approximately $117 million to our city, so it is vital that we protect and improve our roadways and infrastructure.

continue on next page

RUSTY V. GANN, P.E., DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS, CITY ENGINEER (256) 835-6124 | 42 Public Works Drive, Oxford, Alabama OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

71


Our LEAF VACUUM CURBSIDE SERVICE will soon come to an end for the season. Our Leaf Vac Trucks run from November through April 1. Beginning April 1, 2019, all leaves and grass clippings must be bagged in order to be picked up by our weekly curbside service. Please do not place any of your curbside pickup items in the gutter of the street. Rain washes these items into our storm sewers disrupting the drain systems. Please place them behind the curb if possible. Thanks for your cooperation! Other household items will also be collected unless they are on the list of prohibited items SEE LIST BELOW. As always, please continue to separate your piles into the following categories: • Loose Leaves (November through April 1) • Bagged vegetative items (leaves and lawn clippings) • Limb and brush trimmings (cut to 6’ maximum lengths) • Household items (excluding items listed) These items must be separated, as they are collected by different trucks due to our landfill license requirements. They are also disposed of in different locations. To ensure your curbside items are picked up on time, please place them on the right of way the evening before your scheduled route day. If you are new to the area, we welcome you to our beautiful city. You may contact our office at 256-835-6124 to learn what day your items should be picked up each week. You may also dial 311, which is Oxford’s City Service Helpline. Their hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 8:00am to 4:30pm. You may also visit www.oxfordalabama.org to file a request online. — Sincerely, Rusty V. Gann, P.E. Public Works Director/City Engineer

City of Oxford Department of Public Works Curbside Pickup Ordinance NON-PICK-UP ITEMS • • • • • • • • • • • • 72

New construction/ Remodel debris Car batteries/ Car parts Household garbage, food, etc. Chemicals or containers Liquids Paint cans Tires Trees cut by a tree service Light bulbs Treated lumber Tree stumps Tree trunks

oxfordalabama.org

Please make arrangements to dispose of any non-pick-up items to one of these other locations. The Calhoun County Landfill is located at 3625 Morrisville Road, Anniston, AL (256-236-2411) or Three Corners Regional Landfill is located at 2205 County Road 6, Piedmont, AL (256-447-1881). All above is to comply with ADEM’s permit issued to the City of Oxford. If you have any question, please contact the Department of Public Works at 256-835-6124 Monday-Friday, 6am-2:30pm.


OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

73


74

oxfordalabama.org


FROM BOILING SPRINGS TO OCONEE: A BRIEF HISTORY OF THE CEMETERY PART II OF II

L

ocal folklore speculates that after the Civil War, the church and property was given over to freedmen and their families for worship and burial. It is known today that an overwhelming majority of the graves marked and unmarked in the cemetery are those of African-American descents that resided in the community.

AMY CAVER HAWKINS SMITH, daughter of Jacob and Darcus Caver, was born on October 10, between 1865 and 1878 in Calhoun County, Alabama and died on August 20, 1948, in Anniston, Alabama. She is buried at Oconee Cemetery in Oxford, Calhoun, Alabama. On September 23, 1880, she married Pink Hawkins in Calhoun County, Alabama. Pink, son of Polly Hawkins, was born about 1860 in Alabama and died sometime around 1900. Their known children are Effie Hawkins, Truman Hawkins, Mary Jennie Hawkins, Addie Lee Hawkins, and two infant children. Amy remarried to Joseph Smith sometime around 1904. Joseph was born between 1849 and 1855 in Alabama and died sometime between 1940 and 1948. Their known children are Odessa Smith, Nellie Smith, and an infant child. Sources: Ancestry.com, Public Library-Anniston Calhoun County, & The Anniston Star

MILLER DRAPER was born between 1858 and 1861 in Alabama and died July 5, 1925, in Anniston, Alabama. An excerpt from his obituary reads, “Last summer he took one of two of his friends to the cemetery at Oconee church near Boiling Springs and showed them the grave where his mother is buried, and requested when he died, to be buried beside her.� Sources: Ancestry.com & The Anniston Star

BY HUNTER C. GENTRY

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

75


76

oxfordalabama.org


“HER AGE WAS UNKNOWN, BUT IT WAS REPORTED SHE WOULD ON OCCASION RELATE INCIDENTS FROM CIVIL WAR TIMES.” — OBITUARY FOR FANNIE MCGEE

WASHINGTON “WASH” CAVER, son of Calvin and Martha Caver, was born between 1856 and 1858 in the Boiling Springs community, and died September 26, 1922, in Calhoun County. Wash married Eliza J. DeArman on May 1, 1887, in Calhoun County, Alabama. Eliza, daughter of Robert and Louisa DeArman, was born about 1865 and died sometime after 1920. Their known children are Elder Caver, Lawson Caver, Susan “Susie” Caver, Colonel R. Caver, Lilly Eugenia Caver, J.C. Caver, and Charlie C. Caver. An article published in The Anniston Star shortly before his death states that he “remembers distinctly the days when Oxford was known as Lick Skillet and when Snow Creek was called Lick Skillet branch, the new name being derived from the late Dudley Snow.” Sources: Ancestry.com & The Anniston Star

JACK MCGEE was born sometime between March 1853 and 1857 in Alabama and died April 16, 1921. According to a census record, Jack married Fannie about 1892. The maiden name of Fannie is unknown. Fannie resided on the Mellon Apple Orchard property with her family. Fannie died on May 6, 1947, and was buried in the Oconee Cemetery along with Jack, and their daughter MARY JANE MCGEE. According to Fannie’s obituary, “Her age was unknown, but it is reported she would on occasion relate incidents from Civil War times.” It is now known through census records that Fannie was born sometime between the years of 1865 and 1872. Sources: Ancestry.com, & The Anniston Star

GEORGIA PYLES ELLISON, daughter of George and Alice Pyles was born between 1897 and 1902 in Alabama and died on April 19, 1949, in Hobson City, Alabama. She married John Ellison. They had only one known child, John Ellison, Jr. about 1915. Georgia was employed at the Oxford Lake Swimming Pool for about 30 years. Sources: Ancestry.com, & The Anniston Star

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

77


78

oxfordalabama.org


UPDATE CIDER RIDGE Greetings from all of the staff at Cider Ridge! We hope everyone’s spring is off to a great start. I have to say that this time of year is always the best for everyone at the golf course. We all look forward to the Masters Tournament in Augusta more than any other event of the year. I honestly don’t know many golf fans out there that would disagree with that; and if you’ve never seen it, do yourself a favor this year and tune in. This year’s tournament will be April 11-14th, and the television broadcast team always does a phenomenal job revisiting the history of what is arguably the greatest annual event in the golfing world. Spring is also the perfect time to start warming up from the winter break and getting ready to hit the course. If you’ve taken a long layoff, or are just starting the game, springtime always makes a great setting to spend an afternoon enjoying the golf course or spending some time at the driving range. Beginning in March, the Cider Ridge golf staff will be offering several options for anyone looking to improve their golf game or to pick up the game. We will be offering beginner group classes through the Get Golf Ready program, and for anyone that prefers individual lessons, we are happy to help there as well. We will also have junior lesson programming getting ready for the summer. For more information and scheduling, please call the golf shop at 256.831.7222 or visit ciderridgegolf.com. Please remember that during the springtime, the golf course is often hosting tournaments and outings. If you would like to play, it’s best to call ahead and check our schedule for that day. You may very well be able to come out and play, but calling ahead to check for tee time availability is always advised. Lastly, we would like to take a minute and welcome Larry Arnold to the team at Cider Ridge. Larry has recently joined the staff as the Golf Course Superintendent. Originally from Nashville, TN, he has been working in turfgrass management since 1991 and has lived in Birmingham since 2006, when he began his tenure as the Superintendent at Highland Park Golf Course. We are all excited to have Larry join our team and are looking forward to all he has in store for Cider Ridge. Lee Shurden, PGA Director of Golf/Club Manager Cider Ridge Golf Club

CIDER RIDGE GOLF CLUB • 200 APPLE BLOSSOM WAY, OXFORD, AL 36203 LEE SHURDEN, PGA, DIRECTOR OF GOLF/CLUB MANAGER • LEE.SHURDEN@HONOURSGOLF.COM OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

79


OXFORD P.A.R.D.

Easter Egg Hunt at the

Friendship Community Center Co-Sponsored by

Life Church Cricket Wireless McDonald’s Rosa Reed

Easter Egg Hunt is for ages 0-12 only Age groups will be separated Prize eggs in each age group Each child should bring their own basket

SATURDAY APRIL 20 at 9:00

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CALL OXFORD P.A.R.D. 80

oxfordalabama.org

am Sharp!

256-831-2660


Calendar BYNUM COMMUNITY CENTER CRAY-FIT (Dance exercise) Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 5:30pm – 6:30pm SENIOR AEROBICS Tuesday and Thursday 3:15pm – 4:15pm DANCE 1st Saturday of the month 6:30pm – 9:30pm SQUARE DANCE 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month 6:30pm – 9:00pm FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITY CENTER YOGA Monday and Thursday 6:00pm - 7:00pm YOSHUKAI KARATE Monday and Wednesday 6:30pm - 8:00pm SENIOR VOLLEYBALL Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am - 11:00am BLUEGRASS Tuesday 3:30pm - 7:30pm ART CLASS Monday 10:30am - 12:30pm 4 week sessions OXFORD CIVIC CENTER SENIOR DANCES 7:00pm – 10:00pm Admission $5- includes meal and entertainment. More info call: 256-831-2660 April 5 – SunDance Band May 17 – Duo Sonix June 21 – Ryan Robertson

C I T Y

O F

O X F O R D

OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY Spring Break Events for Children: Monday, March 25 - Movie Tuesday, March 26 - Weird Science Wednesday, March 27 - Crafts SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER The Senior Citizen Center has various events going on daily. Lunch meals are provided through a state-wide program through East Alabama Planning and Development Commission. Meals are $1.00 per day-donations only. FRIDAYS Free breakfast is served on Friday morning, sponsored by area businesses. MONTHLY Monthly, there is a dinner outing for the seniors with Oxford providing transportation. WEEKLY: Wednesday: Grocery Shopping at 9:00am Thursday: Senior Citizen Center Sing at 9:30am Friday: Biscuits and Bus Ride at 9:00am

(256) 831-1750 • 110 East 6th Street, Oxford OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

81


82

oxfordalabama.org


UPDATE OXFORD BUSINESS LEAGUE In March 2018, the City of Oxford launched its newest program, the Oxford Business League. The Oxford Business League’s mission and purpose are to promote the growth, property, and partnership among all businesses within Oxford. The Oxford Business League’s responsibilities include hosting dynamic and professional development workshops annually, communicating between the City of Oxford businesses, recruiting new businesses, assisting with openings, ribbon cuttings, and groundbreakings, promoting available properties for business expansion, coordinating with the City of Oxford Marketing Department, and catalyzing future partnerships among independent and franchise businesses. WORKSHOPS Topic: CUSTOMER SERVICE DEVELOPMENT When: Friday, April 5, 2019 Where: Oxford Civic Center Time: 8 AM – 10 AM & 1 PM – 2:30 PM Topic: When: Where: Time:

BUSINESS FUNDING SOURCES Friday, June 7, 2019 Oxford Civic Center 8 AM – 10 AM

Topic: When: Where: Time:

BUSINESS BUDGET PLANNING Friday, August 9, 2019 Oxford Civic Center 8 AM – 10 AM

We Welcome New Business The Oxford Business League will act as the liaison between the businesses and city, recruit new businesses, promote available properties for expansion, and enhance partnerships for existing and new businesses.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

83


WELCOME TO OXFORD

|

NEW BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Five Below Hot Stuff. Cool Prices. 50 Commons Way, Oxford, AL 36203 (256) 832-4033 Teen-oriented retail chain for a large assortment of games, snacks, jewelry, room decor and more. It’s the coolest & trendiest stuff out there, at a price that cannot be beat

Hair by Ealissa 1225 Snow Street, Suite 2 Oxford, AL 36203 (256) 403-0817 Beauty, Hair Salon, Cut and Color

84

oxfordalabama.org


WELCOME TO OXFORD

|

NEW BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT

Pastime Peanuts 128 Snow Street Oxford, AL 36203 (256) 294-1797 We pride ourselves in providing excellent customer service and high quality peanuts. We offer fresh roasted peanuts, cajun roasted peanuts, and salt roasted peanuts. We carry candies, fudge, popcorn, and other seasonal comfort snacks.

Reaves Insurance Agency 1208 Highway Drive, Oxford, AL 36203 256-831-4154 Auto, Home, Mobile Home, Motorcycle

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

85


WHY I TEACH

Oxford City School System Teacher Spotlight — David McDaniel

THE CITY OF OXFORD IS PROUD TO HAVE SOME OF THE BEST EDUCATORS AND HIGHEST RATED SCHOOL SYSTEMS IN THE STATE. RECENTLY, WE HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO GET TO KNOW DANIEL MCDANIEL, WHO WAS AWARDED AND RECOGNIZED BY THE OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS EDUCATION FOUNDATION AS “EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH” IN DECEMBER 2018. McDaniel grew up in Vernon, Alabama and graduated from Lamar County High School. He is married to his wife, Aletha, who works at ABS Business Systems in Oxford. David and Aletha have a six-year-old granddaughter who lives with them and attends Oxford Elementary School. McDaniel went to Jacksonville State University where he majored in Instrumental Music, and he currently works as the Director of Bands in the Oxford City Schools system. According to McDaniel, he comes from a tight-knit family. His mom and dad were not musicians or athletes but did not discourage their children from being involved in extracurricular activities. All of his brothers and sisters were involved in sports, band, and choir. Church attendance was essential to their family, and the siblings would get together to sing and play their instruments. Later, McDaniel had opportunities to perform with various honor bands, audition for college scholarships, and even travel with an All-American Intercollegiate concert band on a performing tour of Europe. We invite you to join us in congratulating Ms. McDaniel with the Employee of the Month recognition and hope you enjoy getting to know him better in the Q&A that follows: What are your responsibilities at Oxford High School? I am the Director of Bands of the Oxford City Schools. We have a fantastic team of band directors including Jon Underwood at C.E. Hanna and Bryan Bradbury at Oxford Middle School. Chrissie Lott is our Auxiliary Coordinator for the OHS Sound of Champions auxiliary sections. My daily duties include helping out at either C.E. Hanna or Oxford Middle School in the morning and teaching the Oxford High School band classes in the afternoon. How long have you been part of the Oxford City School System? I began my seventh year with the Oxford City School System on March 4. What made you want to become a teacher? I fell in love with music when I was very young, even before I joined the school band and high school choir. Both my high school band and choir directors really made me want to be a

86

oxfordalabama.org


OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

87


88

oxfordalabama.org


Oxford City School System Teacher Spotlight — David McDaniel

music teacher. They were so knowledgeable and talented and made music tangible for me. I originally wanted to be a choir teacher but was so inspired by my JSU music professors and the JSU Marching Southerners that I changed my major to instrumental music. When I was introduced to drum and bugle corps, my whole life changed. I was involved in the Drum Corps activity as a performer and on various corps’ instructional staffs for a few years. I still go to the DCI World Championships each year to keep up with the newest trends in the marching arts. What is the most satisfying thing about teaching? I love making music with students. I am delighted when students take music written on paper then perform with depth and maturity. Also highly satisfying is when the students start attaining leadership skills. These responsible students then step into roles such as winds and percussion section leaders, auxiliaries section leaders, or drum majors. I have ultimate satisfaction when I see students carry the life skills they gained during their time in the band program into their adult lives and live happily and successfully. What do you look forward to the most at the beginning of each year? High school band is pretty much a year-round activity. During the fall, of course, there is marching band. I have always loved putting together marching shows. It is extremely rewarding to take a concept and hammer out show details, props, and costumes with the other directors, auxiliary coordinator, and choreographers and to see the students bring everything to life. Winter time means concert band where you have the time and opportunity to teach the nuts and bolts of music. I look forward to concert season because we focus on the student and their individual efforts, auditioning for various honor bands and senior scholarships. Each year, the Oxford Middle School Honors Band and the Oxford High School Symphonic Winds participate in the State Music Performance Assessments which serve as our “report card” across the state to measure how well we sit down to read and perform music. One group of people I look forward to working with each year is our Oxford Band Parents Organization. Our parents, led by president Blake Davenport, vice-president Jana Cornelius, and secretary Kim Wade, work together to raise money for the OCS bands. We are very blessed to have a supportive Board of Education who provides what is needed for our classrooms. Our band parent group helps stretch those dollars to give our students anything extra they may need. Our boosters are a fun group, and it is always good to have parents around during practices and performances. Band is truly a collaborative activity. What’s the most challenging part of being a teacher? As with any educational subject, I feel the most challenging part of being a teacher would be staying pertinent to the subject matter. Oxford City School gives its faculty plenty of in-service time. I’ve seen first-hand our Connections area of the Media Center where teachers work to plan together. That place is a hub of activity! Just visiting up there makes me want to step up my game. The Oxford City School music teachers get a chance to meet together a couple of times during the school year to support each other and talk through our yearly calendars. The directors are fortunate to attend the annual Alabama Music Educators Association conference, and we would love to start attending the Midwest Band and Orchestra clinics each year to stay up to date on methods and techniques for teaching instrumental music in our schools.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

89


90

oxfordalabama.org


Oxford City School System Teacher Spotlight — David McDaniel

How do you want former students to remember you? I want students to look back on their experiences in band and see that they were a part of something special–that these band classes pushed them to do their very best. What methods do you use in your classroom to bring out the best in students? Very simply, we play music–we play A LOT of music! There is also an expectation that each time they walk into the band room or onto the practice field that they will all improve as a band. Constant growth is both my obligation as band director and the students’ obligation as performers. We all owe this to their parents, to Oxford High School, and the Oxford community. What are your thoughts on receiving the teacher of the month award? Anything awarded to me is very humbling because I work with the talented teachers that I mentioned above. Additionally, I work down the hall from OHS Choir Director, Mrs. Holly Luke, who is a gifted teacher and musician. Recently, I had the opportunity to join other OHS faculty on instructional rounds, and I found so many positive things going on in those classrooms! The students were engaged, and teachers were very positive and created a great learning atmosphere in their classrooms. What extracurricular activities/groups are you part of? The OHS Yellow Jacket Marching Band “The Sound of Champions” (winds, percussion, Majorettes, Color Guard, Golden Girls); The “Old Gold” Jazz Band. When you see former students who are now older, what’s one thing they typically say they remember about your classroom? Oddly enough, former students tell me they most appreciate the discipline that it takes to do band. They often comment about how much fun they had, but no one has ever complained about the long bus rides or the hot, thirsty, and monotonous marching band practices. Today’s social media is a good way to connect with former students. Now, for example, I get marriage and birth announcements from former students as well as private messages about their personal lives and families. One story of many is that I was awakened one night by a call from a former student. He was on his way to Parris Island with other recruits on a travel break and called to let me know that his decision to join the Marines stemmed solely from the confidence band instilled into him. What do you like to do when not teaching? I am a member of Parker Memorial Baptist Church and play in their orchestra.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

91


OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS

UPDATE OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS

92

oxfordalabama.org


BOOTSTRAP ALGEBRA Our K-12 Math goals are to develop mathematical thinkers who solve realworld problems. Even though the procedural practice is still part of our mathematics classes, we have added several new components to our math curriculum. We are using math to solve problems. There are relatively few jobs today that require adults to just work on endless number of math problems. Students need to become computational thinkers. Additionally, computers and technology appear to be where most of our skilled jobs are today. We have been emphasizing computer science more and more. We have been looking for real-world experiences for our student to think mathematically; our computer science educational consultant, Jeremy Shorr, recommends Bootstrap training. We were fortunate to partner with Ohio professionals where Ohio has a significant emphasis on computer science for all to develop more high paying jobs.

When I was asked by Mr. Harmon to attend “Bootstrap Algebra,” I immediately googled it and discovered it was an innovative approach to teaching Algebra through the world of coding. I would consider myself a veteran math teacher, but had no experience in computer science before attending this workshop– minus a keyboarding class in high school and an introduction to computer science in college many years ago. When we arrived in Cleveland and drove to the software firm where the training was held, I was in awe. We were at the headquarters of Hyland Software, a firm that develops programs to help corporations in management. We got to our training room and were met by Bootstrap Algebra trainers Ed Campos and Jen Poole. During the three-day training, we took a student role to be able to put ourselves in their shoes. We learned how coding and Algebra are intertwined throughout the implementation of the program. We had to have “productive struggles” to understand how students would react when they came across hurdles of their own.

— Tyler Houston, OHS Algebra Teacher

I’ll admit that I was apprehensive about the Bootstrap Algebra training upon first hearing about it from Mr. Harmon and Mrs. Goodwin. From my minimal exposure to computer science through basic college courses in Python and C++, I knew that learning how to code could be as challenging as learning a new language. Having struggled myself in computer science classes, I was a bit skeptical about how accessible the Bootstrap Algebra program would be for our students. I’m happy to say I was proven wrong when we were introduced to the Bootstrap curriculum and Racket, the programming language it employs. This course is a hybrid of pre-written code and student-written code, so students not only get to actually write code (goodbye, drag and drop!), but can also look at and edit long and complicated programs, which is great for differentiation and extension for more advanced students. The object of the course is simple: create a 2D video game using Racket code. However, this simplicity provides boundless opportunities for students to get creative and be in control of each step of the game design and planning process. My students got so excited when planning their games because they had the freedom to choose the game characters and setting, so they could center their game around something that interests them.

” ”

— Brittany Stephens, OHS Algebra Teacher

Bootstrap Algebra gives students an opportunity to apply algebra concepts and see their real-world relevance in real time. Why just mention that game designers and computer scientists use algebra when we can SHOW them? — Khristie Goodwin

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

93


OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS

JUNA The Junior United Nations Assembly (JUNA) of Alabama is a student-run model United Nations Assembly for students in grades six, seven, and eight. JUNA increases awareness of global issues, demonstrates how the United Nations works, and emphasizes the importance of diplomacy and problem solving among nations, peoples, and cultures all while promoting skills in public speaking, critical thinking, teamwork, and leadership. Guided by their teacher sponsor, students work together with their team to research a nation

of their choice, identify a problem or issue, and write a resolution that proposes a solution. At the assembly, delegates, dressed in their native dress, discuss, question, and vote just as they would in the real United Nations. The students who represent Oxford Middle School and C. E. Hanna School at JUNA each year show eagerness and empathy in attempting to solve problems for their nation. The problem-solving and leadership skills that they learn at JUNA are skills they will use for a lifetime.

OHS STUDENTS PLACE AT ALABAMA STATE SUPERINTENDENT’S VISUAL ARTS EXHIBITION On Thursday, February 14, two OHS students received awards in Montgomery for photographs entered by their Photography teacher, Mrs. Berri Hale. Alejandra Rojas-Hernandez placed first among 9th and 10th graders, and David Hurst, Jr. placed second among 11th and 12th graders from around the state. Both students traveled to Montgomery with Mrs. Hale and their parents. They attended the State Board of Education meeting where they were recognized with more than 60 students from around the state. They later participated in a luncheon, where Dr. Eric Mackey, State of Alabama Department of Education Superintendent and Dr. Cynthia McCarty, our State of Alabama Board of Education member, presented our students with their award certificates and the resolution that was entered into the minutes of the Board of Education meeting. Alejandra Rojas-Hernandez is 15 years old and in the 10th grade at OHS. She is a member of the OHS Girls’ Soccer team. Her parents are Adela Rojas-Hernandez and Juan Chalata. She plans to pursue Engineering in the future. Alejandra’s photo was entitled “String of Dewy Pearls.”

94

oxfordalabama.org

David Hurst, Jr. (DJ) is 18 years old and in the 12th grade. He is a member of the Jacket News team at OHS. He works at Buster Miles Automotive and attends Sacred Heart of Jesus Catholic Church, where he is an active member of the Senior High Youth Group. His parents are David and Angie Hurst. His brother, Zachary Hurst, is a 6th grader at C.E. Hanna. Upon graduation in May, he plans to pursue a degree in Communications in the Visual Arts and a minor in Marketing. David’s photo was entitled “Glowing Sunset.” Mrs. Hale is a Special Education teacher and the Photography teacher at OHS. We are beyond proud of the work she does with her Photography students and encouraging their creativity and individuality. Congratulations to Alejandra and David on your awards. Congratulations to Mrs. Hale on a job well-done with the Photography class!


Alejandra Rojas-Hernandez “String of Dewy Pearls”

David Hurst, Jr. (DJ) “Glowing Sunset”

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

95


96

oxfordalabama.org


OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS

CROSS COUNTRY TEAM The Oxford Cross Country team just concluded their 2018 season with eight members traveling to compete at the state meet. This season, much like every season, had its struggles but this team was determined to finish strong. Of the 22 person team, 14 set individual personal records throughout the season. They claimed five “Top 5” finishes as well as 18 individual “Top 20” finishes. These athletes have motivation, determination, and discipline at practice, races, as well as in the classroom. They fight very hard every step they take and do everything to their best ability. This team had a hugely successful year. We will graduate six seniors this year, but we have a lot of talent returning on this young team.

BOYS Reed Robinson Dylan Hulsey Josue Alvarez Tyde Lacher Wesley Robinson Justin Dempsey Martin Collier Alex Reyes Noah Caldwell Isaac Williams Austin Gregory George Cole

GIRLS Mia Munoz Katie Keur Tori Williams Kaelyn Albright Chelsea Haynes Caroline Rogers Madison Scott Audrey Robison Cara Gauldin Emily Mellon

STATE LIST Reed Robinson Dylan Hulsey Josue Alvarez Katie Keur Mia Munoz Tori Williams Kaelyn Albright Chelsea Haynes

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

97


THINK LIKE AN ARTIST

HOMETOWN PROJECTS

IN

art class at C.E. Hanna, fifth and sixth-grade students have been working on various art projects to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the State of Alabama. Students have looked at both wildlife and buildings in our hometown and discussed how life has changed over the years, whether that be parks, neighborhoods, or industry/retail development. Our sixth-grade students did a virtual walk down Main Street on their MacBook computers and looked at buildings. I shared much of the information about the history of our downtown buildings and allowed the students to select a structure to reproduce and to represent the change they found most interesting. Many students noted how buildings have changed during the renovations of our town. I shared a folder of photos from Oxford in the 1800s-1950s with images of the Ferris wheel at Oxford Lake, the old swimming pools, and boathouses. Students researched Native American artifacts found in our area, as well as urban legends of the Choccolocco Monster and Blue Pond. These hometown projects represent the work of both fifth and sixth grades. C.E. Hanna’s sixth graders mixed media by using color pencils for their buildings and watercolor for landscape backgrounds. The fifth-grade students created works using only color or lead pencils. Architectural renderings taught the students to look at fractional parts of the paper, shapes found in the buildings, and how to make them into three-dimensional forms. Students learned color theory and how to blend colors, as well as planning an artist statement where they described their work and techniques they learned while creating their masterpiece.

Dodson Memorial Presbyterian Church created by Carisma28 in Grade 6 at C. E. Hanna Elementary School

“ 98

oxfordalabama.org

This has been one of the most fulfilling projects of my 40 years of teaching. I taught Alabama history for 12 years as a fourth-grade teacher, and as a life-long resident of Oxford, I am so happy to help my students learn more about the city I grew up in. BY ANITA AMBRISTER


The First United Methodist Church created by Anna18825 in Grade 6 at C. E. Hanna Elementary School Artist Statement: The First United Methodist Church, now known as the ‘’friendly church,’’ is located in Oxford, Alabama. It was established in 1840. Later, in 1872, the church was rebuilt but interrupted during finalization, so they decided to stop building this church until later in the 1900s. If you want to find this building, it is located at 212 Snow Street. When I was beginning to draw this church, I had to first look at the shadows of the building to see where they needed to go. Then, I sketched an outline of the building with a purple colored pencil. Next, I proceeded to color in the building lightly with a brown colored pencil. Then, when I finished coloring the drawing lightly, I went around the edges of windows, and the corners of the building

and made shadows by mixing brown and purple. When I was satisfied with the shadows, I went back with the brown and colored the drawing a little darker making the light and dark spots on the building show. I used purple for the shadows because purple is known to be the densest color, and can replace black because black doesn’t blend very well with the other colors. It’s so dark and consumes the other colors. When I was finished coloring my building, I painted the background with watercolors. By lightly tapping green, yellow, and blue, I created a tree, and by redoing the same process, I created grass and more trees. To create the sky, I took my paintbrush, and I outlined where I wanted clouds to be, then I colored the sky in with a circular motion (do not paint a sky in a straight line, because it will appear streaky, and unrealistic.) Then, after I had the background painted, I went over the building with a colored pencil and darkened up and created shadows on the building, but also made sure everything was smooth and not scratchy.

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

99


Coldwater Creek Covered Bridge created by Katelyn9540

First Baptist Church created by Takena

Oxford Performing Arts Center created by Nezli1

Coldwater Creek Covered Bridge created by Miguel5706

Stinson Howard Building created by Rayven163

Antique Store created by Alexa8593

100

oxfordalabama.org


The Oxford Public Library created by Kye230 in Grade 6 at C. E. Hanna Elementary School

Enzor & Maniscalco created by Emerson2458 in Grade 6 at C. E. Hanna Elementary School

Artist Statement: The first Oxford Public Library was where the Boy Scout house is today. It was dedicated in November 1947. The second Oxford Public Library is on 213 Choccolocco street. It was dedicated on June 24, 1979, with 5,000 square feet. The librarians were helpful to anyone in need of assistance. The students from the high school could come read, study, and work on school projects. The computers in this building were bought through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

Artist Statement: My family chose this for my project because this is my uncle’s building and they thought it would be cool for me to do a project on it. The Maniscalco building is located on 506 Main Street in Downtown Oxford. This building has been a General Store and Stinson’s Rug House and News Stand. One detail I noticed about this building is that it is a very antique-looking building.

The current library, dedicated May 24, 2008, with approximately 25,000 square feet, houses multi-use computers, free wi-fi, and three study rooms. After the current building was built, Jerry Marks, a local artist, was commissioned to paint several scenes for the library. All patrons in the library can enjoy those four paintings along with another one donated by him just recently. When I planned, I tried to focus on the middle of the structure. I learned a lot about drawing buildings because I did not normally ever draw buildings. I drew in and filled all the space in the picture. I cleaned up everything in my space and followed directions. It took about four weeks to finish this. As a patron, student, and citizen of Oxford I am thankful for the Mayor, and council for supporting our library so that we as citizens have a place we are proud of and appreciate.

When I first started my project, I planned for it to look like the building a lot, but no paintings can look exactly like the actual picture. First, I sketched the outside with a purple colored pencil, then I glazed over it with some watercolors, and then I went back over the paint with colored pencils. For my techniques, I listened to Mrs. Ambrister’s advice and went back over the paint and colored pencils as she taught us Icing on the Cake. My drawing is somewhat detailed and is pretty straight on the paper. I cleaned up after myself every day and took good care of the art supplies Mrs. Ambrister let us use. I have evidence from my mom that she thought it would be cool for me to do my uncle’s building; I emailed her and asked if she thought it would be a good idea and she said, “Emerson, I was thinking you should do your art project on Uncle Adam’s office in downtown Oxford. It’s a beautiful building, and it’s very historic. I think it would be a fun project to work on and then show him when you are finished. You will probably enjoy doing it, too. I hope you like that idea.”

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

101


Song Sparrow created by Ximena796 in Grade 5 at C. E. Hanna Elementary School Artist Statement: The Song Sparrow is a bird that can be found at Choccolocco Park. This bird eats insects and seeds from flowering plants. The Song Sparrow lives besides streams, brushy, and woodland edges of the park. To make the drawing, my art teacher told me to look at the bird as if there are two eggs and a triangle. Therefore, I did the head and body in the shape of an egg and had to put them together. A triangle shape tail was also added. The side of the colored pencils was used with black and brown colors to shade in my bird. I made little specks of lines on the stomach to make the pattern of the fur.

Scarlet Tanager created by Genesis3072 in Grade 5 at C. E. Hanna Elementary School Artist Statement: I drew the bird’s body and the bird’s head into an egg shape form and connected them both. I shaded in the bird by holding the color pencil sideways. For the wings/feathers, I darkened it so it would stand out of the background. I used multiple colors. For the small little branches, I used yellow, brown, and purple because branches have multiple colors. I blended the greens from dark green to light yellow. This bird is called a Scarlet Tanager, and it lives in the Eastern United States. Blackberries, whortleberries, mulberries, pokeweed, citrus, and bananas are some of the fruits they eat. The most common foods that Scarlet Tanagers eat are bees and wasps.

Eastern Blue Bird created by Briselia2 in Grade 5 at C. E. Hanna Elementary School Artist Statement: To make the bird shape, I did an oval shape softly and for the head, I did a circle also softly. To make the branches, I colored it soft, and I made small dark lines so it can look like the texture of a branch. The eastern bluebird lives in North America and can be found in North America and also at Choccolocco Park. Their habitats are frequently burned pine savannas, beaver ponds, mature but open woods, and forest openings.

102

oxfordalabama.org


After studying eco-systems in their science classrooms, our fifth-grade art students were asked to research and draw one of the birds that frequent Choccolocco Park.

Swamp Sparrow Daniel32823 in Grade 5 at C. E. Hanna Elementary School Artist Statement: I drew the bird’s body using a egg shape and added the tail and the head. I held my pencil sideways when I was filling in. I outlined the bird with purple. Swamp Sparrows can be found near the ground in damp vegetation or in shallow waters. They are found in small numbers. They can be found all year around. Individuals are usually migratory.

Belted Kingfisher created by Candence2416

Downy Woodpecker created by Deidre94

Red Wing Blackbird created by Kimberly6257

Northern Flicker created by Fidel184

OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

103


CHOCCOLOCCO PARK SPORTS COMPLEX

954 LEON SMITH PARKWAY, OXFORD, AL 36203

(256) 342-0174

A GRAND SLAM

15 MARCH 3 MAY 2019

HIGH SCHOOL BASEBALL SPRING BREAK TOURNAMENT

104

oxfordalabama.org

2019

GULF SOUTH CONFERENCE BASEBALL TOURNAMENT

8 MAY 2019

OHIO VALLEY CONFERENCE SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT

9 MAY 2019

AHSAA EAST CENTRAL REGIONAL SOFTBALL TOURNAMENT


Ox

e place to go ford library is th

mer!

during the sum

When sc ho the libra ol lets out, ry begin s th Summe r Readin e g Program , which will have so thing sp me ecial to do every da y.

Oxford Public Library | 256-831-1750 Check out oxfordpl.org/srp OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | SPRING 2019

105


106

oxfordalabama.org

Profile for City of Oxford

Oxford Access Magazine Vol.3-4  

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded