Oxford Access Magazine Vol.5-4

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Oxford

ACCESS

FALL 2021

AUTO CUSTOM CARPETS

CITY WELCOMES THE LARGEST MANUFACTURER OF CAR REPLACEMENT CARPETS Page 60

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PLAY BALL: CHOCCOLOCCO MONSTERS IN THE PARK . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . PAGE 86 “This is a historic day in Oxford. On behalf of our city council and myself, we are so proud to be the first Alabama location for Sunbelt Baseball League’s newest team, the Choccolocco Monsters,” says Oxford mayor Alton Craft. “Choccolocco Park continues to host many championship events, and this is additional proof to show the growth happening in Oxford. The excitement here today is only a glimpse of what lies ahead for our great city, and we are honored to be taking this step with Ignite Sports and the Sunbelt Baseball League.”

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4 MESSAGE FROM THE MAYOR 6 FREEDOM FESTIVAL 13 MESSAGE FROM THE OXFORD POLICE CHIEF 16 MOVE MORE ALABAMA: CYCLING 19 COMMUNITY CENTERS AND PARKS 21 MESSAGE FROM THE OXFORD FIRE DEPARTMENT 26 OXFORD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER 2021-2022 SEASON 42 MESSAGE FROM OPAC 46 SENIOR CENTER RE-OPENING 51 OXFORD PUBLIC WORKS UPDATE 52 SPOTLIGHT: DON HUDSON 60 SPOTLIGHT: AUTO CUSTOM CARPETS 66 WELCOME NEW BUSINESSES 77 HISTORIC MAIN STREET UPDATE 79 MESSAGE FROM THE OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY 86 PLAY BALL: CHOCCOLOCCO MONSTERS IN THE PARK 88 CHOCCOLOCCO CREEK WATERSHED 92 SPOTLIGHT: WYNIKA HENDRIX 98 EMA UPDATE 100 FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS 2021 102 WHY I TEACH: LEAH BETTS 106 OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS UPDATE 112 A BRIEF HISTORY: OXFORD

2021 VOL 5. ISSUE 4

CONTENTS

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.

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Message from the

Oxford Mayor Dear citizens: What a great summer we have had in Oxford, and I am so proud to be the mayor of our great city. Our seasonal events have been record-breaking, and we have made a lasting impression on many of our guests from out of town; I am sure that we will continue to break records throughout the years. Firstly, I am excited to announce that the Oxford Performing Arts Center is back open. After over a year of hiatus, our staff has added some great shows for the 2021-22 season. You can find out more about these shows in this edition of Access or at oxfordpac.org. More shows will be added, so be on the lookout for more news. The month of May was a record-breaking month for the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department. We had conference championships, state championships, and even a national championship event at Choccolocco Park. Attendance records were set at many of these events, and I heard our guests talking about how hospitable our staff and residents were both at Choccolocco Park and around town. Some of our guests have even called me to brag on you, the citizen, for helping them find places around the city or even jump-starting their vehicles. The friendliness and hospitality that you show our guests is one of the main reasons we are awarded and can keep many of these elite tournaments, and the city council and I could not be prouder to be your elected leaders. In other news, the East Metro Area Crime Center is continuing to be involved in the safety and well-being of our citizens–not only in our area but nationwide. I am proud that our police department, fire department, and health services are emergency response and crime prevention leaders. Speaking of safety, I would like to remind you that we have had an increase in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks, so please remember to practice sanitary habits like washing your hands regularly and social distancing. Our departments and our COVID-19 Response Team are still hard at work to keep our city facilities clean, so we are doing our part to keep Oxford strong. In closing, I am not only honored to be your mayor but a citizen of Oxford as well. We are currently preparing for our third annual Festival of Lights Christmas show at Choccolocco Park. We are excited to add more activities to the show and around the city during the Fall season. We are growing, so please bear with us as we start new road projects, especially the Leon Smith Parkway/Oxford Exchange/Choccolocco Park interchanges. We have much to be proud of, and I hope you will join us this Christmas season as we continue to make Oxford the crossroads of the future. Kindest regards, Mayor Alton Craft

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Alton Craft Mayor

Phil Gardner Council

Mike Henderson Council

Charlotte Hubbard Council

Chris Spurlin Council

Steven Waits Council

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FREEDOM FESTIVAL CITY OF OXFORD

The 2021 Oxford Freedom Festival was filled with fun and entertaining activities for all ages! From our inaugural car show to the fireworks spectacular, the city welcomed thousands of people from near and far to Oxford Lake to celebrate our nation’s independence. A special thanks to the Oxford Arts Council, the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department, and Oxford Police Department, Fire Department, and Health Services for ensuring that we have many safe, fun, family friendly activities for our residents and guests. In these photos, you will see that all had a fun time, and we are already preparing for more exciting events coming to our Freedom Festival next year!

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Oxford Police Department

Message

600 Stanley Merrill Drive, Oxford, AL 36203

from the

Oxford Police Chief

As we continue through the summer months, the Oxford Police Department has remained busy. With increased traffic and people enjoying their vacations, we tend to see an increase in call volumes. Still, our officers and support staff have done an excellent job providing services. In addition, our agency has begun to implement new projects and expand on existing resources. We have developed the Human Trafficking and Crimes Against Children Task Force through the department’s East Metro Area Crime Center. The task force investigates some of the most horrible crimes and has already made several arrests. We established the task force as we realized the need for a concentrated effort throughout the country and subsequently in our area. This is not something we take lightly, and we will utilize every resource to combat these issues. An additional project we have expanded upon is our department’s Aviation Support Unit (ASU). This unit consists of two aircraft and six personnel. Recently, the department took delivery of our newest aircraft, an MD 530F. This aircraft is equipped with thermal imaging capabilities and allows us to support our officers and other government entities adequately. With its technology and the operational structure of the unit, the ASU may now provide services previously unseen in our area. As always, I ask that you all understand that the men and women of our department sacrifice daily to ensure your safety. I also ask that you continue to support the members of the Oxford Police Department. The city of Oxford is like none other in this regard, and we are grateful to have a community like ours. Respectfully, Chief Bill Partridge

INVESTIGATIONS 256-835-6136 • ANIMAL CONTROL 256-591-4103 • GENERAL (NON-EMERGENCY) 256-831-3121

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MOVE MORE ALABAMA BY CYCLING BY TAMMY HALL

Cycling is a low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages with significant health benefits for everybody. Riding a bicycle is easy on weight-bearing joints like your hips, knees, and feet. Individuals recovering from an injury looking to begin adding activity back into their routine may turn to cycling rather than running or lifting weights to avoid added stress to the injury. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends children ages six and older get at least one hour of physical activity each day. The CDC also says adults should get at least 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week. Cycling is an excellent option because it can improve heart and lung health, build muscle, and burn fat. If your day does not allow for 30 minutes of physical activity all at one time, it is possible to break up your exercise into smaller chunks throughout the day. Make small goals and then work to improve upon them. The best exercise is the one you will do. Any physical activity can help protect you from diseases such as obesity, cardiovascular disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes, and arthritis. Mental health conditions such as depression, stress, and anxiety may benefit from regular bike riding. Physical activity like cycling releases endorphins which may help boost your mood. The benefits of cycling are tremendous and could also serve as a family activity. Getting the whole family on their bikes and going for a ride around the neighborhood or finding a local trail will not only increase valuable family time but also help meet your physical activity recommendations. For more information about physical activity, visit www.LiveWellAlabama.com, search Live Well Alabama on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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COMMUNITY CENTERS & PARKS The City of Oxford values the well-being of our visitors, staff, and community. We continually assess current conditions regarding COVID-19 and engage with federal, state, and local public health officials when making decisions. Please call 256-831-2660 for the most up-to-date schedule.

BANNISTER PARK Located off Friendship Road Oxford, Alabama 36203 BYNUM COMMUNITY CENTER 200 Victory Dr, Eastaboga, AL 36260 (256) 241-2716 CHEAHA CLUBHOUSE 910 Boozer Drive, Oxford, AL 36203 256-831-2660 CHOCCOLOCCO PARK 954 Leon Smith Parkway, Oxford, AL 36203 (256) 342-0174 OXFORD CIVIC CENTER AND OXFORD LAKE 401 McCullars Lane, Oxford, AL 36203 (256) 831-2660 FRIENDSHIP COMMUNITY CENTER 2930 Friendship Rd, Oxford, AL 36203 (256) 831-2679 LIBERTY PARK 401 McCullars Lane Oxford, Alabama 36203 256-831-2660 SENIOR CITIZEN CENTER 424 Main Street, Oxford, AL 36203 (256) 831-5900 SIMMONS PARK Corner of Main Street and Oak Street Oxford, AL 36203

C I T Y

O F

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CITY OF OXFORD | FIRE DEPARTMENT

Message from the Oxford Fire Department

I hope everyone has had a delightful summer. The week of the July 4th celebration was a tremendous success. Planning has already started for next year’s festival to make it bigger and better than ever. As we close down summer and move into fall, please remember to check your heating equipment. Now is the time to get them ready for the cool air of fall and the colder temperatures of winter. September 11th, 2021, will be the 20th anniversary of our country’s deadly and cowardly attacks. I invite each of you to join us for a 9/11 Memorial Service at Liberty Park (behind the civic center) at 11:00 am to remember the lives that were lost. We must NEVER forget that our FREEDOM isn’t free. It cost a lot of people their lives to make this the greatest country in history. October is Fire Prevention Month, and October 3-9, 2021 is Fire Prevention Week. I encourage you always to have working smoke detectors in your house. You should change the batteries in your smoke detectors twice a year. Also, if you do not have smoke detectors and can not afford them, call us at Fire Station #1, 256-831-3208, and we will give you some smoke detectors and even come and install them. Fall is for FOOTBALL. I encourage you to get out and support the Yellow Jacket band, cheerleaders, and football team. The new turf on the field looks fantastic. As always, be safe and do not hesitate to call if you need our assistance. Chief Gary Sparks

Oxford Fire Department

FIRE CHIEF • ASSISTANT FIRE CHIEF • FIRE MARSHAL • 256-278-3290

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WORLD CHANGERS Since 1990, World Changers has existed to provide meaningful missions experiences for student ministries throughout North America. The organization has served the Oxford and Anniston area for 15-20 years, spending a week each summer in our communities. This year we had volunteers from Florida, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Carolina, Kentucky, and Virginia serving our residents. Our 2022 project will be July 18-23. Homeowners within the city limits of Oxford can pick up an application in mid-January 2022 at the City Clerk’s Office at Oxford City Hall. Website: world-changers.net

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW

256-241-3322

OXFORDPAC.ORG

2021

NOVEMBER 14 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

STRAIGHT NO CHASER — 7:00 pm —

2022

FEBRUARY 25 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

CELTIC WOMEN — 7:30 pm —

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2022

APRIL 23 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

DON FELDER — 7:30 pm —

2022

Final Date to be Announced PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM REGIONAL MEDICAL CENTER

BOZ SCAGGS — TBA —

TO BE ANNOUNCED We are almost ready to announce this last artist for the series. We think you will love this major touring artist. Stay tuned for more details.

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW

2021

DECEMBER 5 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM NOBLEBANK & TRUST

MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET — 7:00 pm —

2022

MARCH 10 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM NOBLEBANK & TRUST

SOUTH PACIFIC — 7:00 pm —

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OXFORDPAC.ORG


2022

MARCH 31 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM NOBLEBANK & TRUST

HAIRSPRAY — 7:00 pm —

2022

APRIL 12 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM NOBLEBANK & TRUST

SUMMER:

THE DONNA SUMMER MUSICAL — 7:30 pm —

2022

APRIL 19 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM NOBLEBANK & TRUST

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS — 7:00 pm —

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW

256-241-3322

2021

OCTOBER 15 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM WEBB CONCRETE & BUILDING MATERIALS

LARRY, STEVE, & RUDY:

THE GATLIN BROTHERS — 7:30 pm —

2021

NOVEMBER 7 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM WEBB CONCRETE & BUILDING MATERIALS

TRACY LAWRENCE — 7:00 pm —

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2021

DECEMBER 3 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM WEBB CONCRETE & BUILDING MATERIALS

PARMALEE — 7:30 pm —

TO BE ANNOUNCED We are almost ready to announce this artist for the series. We think you will love this major touring artist. Stay tuned for more details.

TO BE ANNOUNCED We are almost ready to announce this artist for the series. We think you will love this major touring artist. Stay tuned for more details.

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW

256-241-3322

2021

OCTOBER 3 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM SHARON & VESTER MARTIN

THE HIT MEN — 7:00 pm —

2021

OCTOBER 21 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM SHARON & VESTER MARTIN

FOREVER MOTOWN — 7:00 pm —

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2022

JANUARY 15 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM SHARON & VESTER MARTIN

WE’VE ONLY JUST BEGUN THE CARPENTERS REMEMBERED — 7:30 pm —

2022

JANUARY 30 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM SHARON & VESTER MARTIN

THE GREATEST PIANO MEN — 7:00 pm —

2022

MARCH 25 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM SHARON & VESTER MARTIN

GET THE LED OUT — 7:30 pm —

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW

2021

SEPTEMBER 28 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM GREG & CHERYL POTTS

CATAPULT — 6:00 pm —

2021

OCTOBER 22 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM GREG & CHERYL POTTS

LIGHTWIRE’S TORTOISE & THE HARE — 6:00 pm —

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OXFORDPAC.ORG


2022

JANUARY 29 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM GREG & CHERYL POTTS

ERTH’S DINOSAUR ZOO LIVE! — 6:00 pm —

2022

MARCH 1 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM GREG & CHERYL POTTS

THE QUEEN’S CARTOONIST — 6:00 pm —

2022

MARCH 20 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM GREG & CHERYL POTTS

PADDINGTON GETS IN A JAM — 6:00 pm —

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW

256-241-3322

2021

SEPTEMBER 26 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE BERNARDI FAMILY

AN EVENING WITH DAVID PHELPS & CHLOE AGNEW — 7:00 pm —

2021

DECEMBER 31 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE BERNARDI FAMILY

A NEW YEAR’S EVE CELEBRATION — 7:30 pm — 36

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OXFORDPAC.ORG


2022

FEBRUARY 20 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE BERNARDI FAMILY

ROMANTIC MEMORIES:

THE MUSIC OF MANTOVANI — 7:00 pm —

2022

APRIL 10 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE BERNARDI FAMILY

THE SOUNDS OF STAGE & SCREEN — 7:00 pm —

2022

MAY 22 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM THE BERNARDI FAMILY

REMEMBRANCES — 7:00 pm — OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | 2021

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TICKETS ON SALE NOW

256-241-3322

2021

OCTOBER 5 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA

ENSEMBLE SCHUMANN — 7:00 pm —

2021

NOVEMBER 9 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA

CANTUS — 7:00 pm —

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2022

FEBRUARY 1 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA

BRIDGET KIBBEY — 7:00 pm —

2022

FEBRUARY 27 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA

VERONA QUARTET — 7:00 pm —

2022

MARCH 15 PRESENTED WITH SUPPORT FROM COMMUNITY FOUNDATION OF NORTHEAST ALABAMA

DOMINIC CHELI — 7:00 pm —

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Kentucky Headhunters

Colt Ford

That Golden Girls Show

Scotty McCreery

August 27, 2021

September 16, 2021

October 28, 2021

November 18, 2021

Brass Transit

The Beach Boys

Rudolph

Menopause

November 21, 2021

December 10, 2021

December 14, 2021

February 4, 2022

Black Violin

Vienna Boys Choir

Cameron Carpenter

Mnozil Brass

February 10, 2022

February 12, 2022

March 6, 2022

March 28, 2022

SEASON EXTRAS TICKETS ON SALE NOW OXFORDPAC.ORG

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The Righteous Brothers

Madagascar

April 24, 2022

May 26, 2022

oxfordal.gov

256-241-3322


1 0 0 C H O C C O LO C C O S T R E E T, OX F O R D , A L A B A M A

Purchase tickets 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 4:00 p.m. Purchase at the door beginning 90 minutes prior to most ticketed events.

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Dear Patrons, Throughout the past year’s challenges, we have been reminded of how vital live arts and entertainment experiences are to our lives. Before we were forced to close our doors temporarily, our community enjoyed live entertainment several times a month and, for myself and many others, OPAC felt like a home away from home—a place where you could leave your troubles at the door and truly enjoy yourself for an evening. I know I speak for the entire staff when I say that opening our doors back up is a great honor, and we cannot wait for the new experiences this season will bring. Over the past year, our staff has had the opportunity to continue serving our community in unique and exciting ways. Last summer, we began a series of outdoor community events which allowed for the then-required social distancing. We presented over a dozen movies on our giant, forty-eight-foot screen in different parks in our city during the inaugural Oxford Outdoors Movie Series. Hundreds of families had the opportunity to gather outside and enjoy great movies under the stars at no cost. In the fall of 2020, we worked with several community partners to serve in an exceptionally unique capacity. The Oxford High School Yellow Jackets football team was scheduled to play Thompson High School, but with a severely limited capacity. We deployed our giant screen onto one of the soccer fields at Choccolocco Park and invited Yellow Jackets fans to come out and support the team. Hundreds of students and families joined us for our live stream of the game and cheered on the team just as heartily as the fans in the actual stadium. While sports programming isn’t usually a part of what we offer, it allowed us to give back to a city and community that has been deeply supportive of OPAC. Last fall, along with other key partners, we presented the first-ever Halloweek, a week-long, family-friendly Fall festival. Last winter, we had the chance to work with the Festival of Lights team to assist with ticketing, marketing, and even light programming for the annual drive-through Christmas light event. Unlike many venues around the country, we had the great fortune to retain most of our staff through the pandemic. This was primarily due to the unwavering support offered by our patrons, donors, members, sponsors, and other stakeholders. Our team is immensely grateful

OXFORD PERFORMING ARTS CENTER • 100 CHOCCOLOCCO STREET, OXFORD, AL 36203

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for their support as well as tremendous support from our Oxford community. We have used this long intermission to improve the guest experience for your return. During our 2019–2020 Season Reveal, we announced the development of the Alabama Children’s Museum. I am thrilled to report that progress on the planning of this regional attraction is ongoing and picking up steam. Since we announced the project, our team has undertaken many hundreds of hours of research and made site visits to over twenty children’s museums. During the site visits, we had the opportunity to learn best practices and operating principles from some of the best children’s museums in the nation. With a project of this magnitude, the planning process is an extensive one. We work to ensure the Alabama Children’s Museum is both incredible for visitors and sustainable for the long term. We believe this new complex will be a life-changing asset for our community and region. We recently completed a comprehensive site study and remain committed to placing the museum in a location that allows for excellent visibility and a site that allows for growth. This fall, we anticipate being able to share much more about this project. Stay tuned for more information on how you can play a leading role in making this dream a reality. In sharing these updates, I am incredibly proud of the hard work done by our staff, volunteers, and board members. While the past year’s events could not have been predicted, we are emerging from the pandemic stronger than ever. By announcing a full slate of shows for the 2021–2022 season, our commitment to reopening strongly is not in doubt. During the reveal, we announced an abundance of incredible performances for your enjoyment. We believe that we have offerings for everyone. We also encourage you to explore offerings and series in genres that you may be less familiar with. We will present a diverse set of performers throughout the next season and would love for you to experience as many as possible. Thank you for your continued support; we cannot wait to serve you during another great season at The Oxford Performing Arts Center. Thank you, and welcome back to OPAC! John Longshore Executive Director Oxford Performing Arts Center

PHONE 256-241-3322 • ONLINE OXFORDPAC.ORG

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SENIOR CENTER RE-OPENING

What a beautiful transformation! Our newly renovated senior citizens center in downtown Oxford is now open to old and new participants after being shut down for about sixteen months due to COVID-19. The center was shut down for participants last year to dine in for lunch and socialize, but the center employees were still busy feeding the homebound in the City of Oxford. Hal West, Senior Center Manager, had the vision to transform and renovate the entire building while it was shut down. He wanted it to be bright, cheerful and welcoming. I definitely agreed and tried to help with decisions as they arose in the last year. All of our employees at the center had input on the decisions as well. Our dream came alive with the help of the city of Oxford’s funding and extra funding from the East Alabama Planning and Development Commission. So many exciting upgrades have been completed! Everything began with the outside of the building being painted last summer. Then the ball got rolling with the interior upgrades, including new signage in every room, new flooring, new paint, new tables and chairs, and decorations everywhere. On July 20, 2021, there was a grand re-opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony where the seniors of our great city were welcomed back. We also showed off our “new” center and its renovations. We want to thank our participants and every organization and person that played a part in this beautiful transformation. Our center is officially open to the public. We are looking forward to familiar faces and new participants as well. Please drop by and play a game of cards or be our guest for lunch one day. If you are interested in becoming a permanent participant in the program, Hal would love to speak with you about it. Welcome back, SENIORS! We love you all and look forward to serving you in the upcoming days.

Melba Feazell and Ethel Longston

BY PAMELA GHEE HARRIS OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | 2021

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Walter Feazell, Doris Ford, Charles Funderburg and Kathryn Funderburg

East Alabama Regional Planning and Development Commission on Senior Nutrition Michael Morrison talks to June Reaves at the senior center re-opening celebration.

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UPDATE OXFORD PUBLIC WORKS 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! Construction activity in the city is in full swing. As many have probably noticed, the Alabama Department of Transportation has resurfaced Highway 78 through a large part of our city. They also constructed several new turning lanes and eliminated a few median crossovers to improve traffic flow. As a new school year begins, I would like to bring your attention to a few particular improvements directly related to school traffic. The intersection of Caffey Drive and 78 now has turning lanes on Caffey Drive and upgraded traffic signals to help alleviate some congestion during school traffic hours. Also, a right turn lane was constructed at the intersections of Stewart Street and Luttrell Street to help with traffic related to Oxford High School. The plans to improve traffic flow along Leon Smith Parkway from the I-20 interchange southward to Choccolocco Park continue to progress. Bids have been received, and construction is set to begin this fall. Please be advised that all current traffic will continue to flow as it is today during construction. While we understand everyone’s time and schedules are important, unfortunately, there will undoubtedly be traffic congestion and delays to be expected due to construction activities. We thank you in advance for your patience and understanding as we proceed with this extremely complex project. The final plans for turning lane additions and widening the intersection at Barry Street and Highway 78 are complete. We are currently in Rights-of-Way negotiations with a few adjacent property owners and hope to have that project progress soon. With warm weather upon us and people out working in their yards, I would like to shed some light on an issue that we are encountering. As most of you know, our department runs a weekly curbside pickup service for grass clippings, leaves, and

tree/shrub trimmings. This service is not intended to be a full tree pickup service, and we have an ever-growing problem with entire trees being placed along the roadside for pickup. There are several reasons that we are prohibited from this. The main reason is that it is against our city ordinance. This ordinance may be accessed at www.oxfordal.gov under the Chapter 36 link of the municipal code section. Another reason is that the rubbish that we pick up is placed in our open-air incinerator and it simply cannot handle large tree trunks and stumps. Most large trees are too difficult and dangerous to be cut by homeowners, resulting in the hiring of a tree removal entity. As a word of advice to the homeowner, we want to make sure that you know that the removing entity must dispose of the tree. We are more than happy to provide our curbside service. We want to make everyone aware of this issue so we can continue to maintain this service most effectively.

Sincerely, Rusty V. Gann, P.E. Public Works Director/City Engineer

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DON HUDSON INDUCTED INTO THE ALABAMA SPORTS OFFICIALS HALL OF FAME

Don Hudson was born and raised in Oxford, AL, and graduated from Oxford High School in 1968. He was recently honored by being inducted as a member of the third class of the Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame. Hudson’s 40-year career in officiating included work at both the high school and college levels. For the Alabama High School Athletic Association, he called games in basketball, football, baseball, and softball. He has called state championship contests in football, basketball, and baseball and served in administrative positions for all four sports. Hudson has also officiated men’s and women’s basketball as a collegiate official, including the Women’s Division I and Division II NCAA tournaments. He officiated the Women’s NCAA Division I National Invitational Tournament Finals and numerous Division I and Division II conference tournaments, including the Southeastern Conference, where he was an official for 15 years. Hudson has also held several administrative positions, including Assignor, Instructor, Association Officer, and Director. He currently serves as basketball East Central District Director for the Alabama High School Athletic Association. One colleague said, “Throughout Don’s career, he has constantly recruited and taught young men and women on how to officiate and how to become a better official.” Coach Chucky Miller, from Talladega High School, recalling his games officiated by Hudson, said: “Don Hudson was engaged in all games he officiated with me. He has hustle, knowledge, command of the game, and a willingness to make the game better for all persons involved.”

Don Hudson throws out the first pitch at the Alabama Dixie Youth Baseball Rookie State Tournament held at Choccolocco Park in June

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In addition to impacting the lives of athletes and families throughout the state, Hudson is a beloved resident and leader in Oxford. Hudson is the Director of Oxford Parks and Recreation and has been a sphere of positive influence in our community for over 50 years. We are grateful for Hudson and the foundation of success he built for the City of Oxford and our Parks and Recreation Department. We invite you to join us in congratulating Hudson on his induction into the third class of the Alabama Sports Officials Hall of Fame and hope you enjoy getting to know him better in the Q&A that follows: What first interested you in officiating? In 1972, I was hired by Mr. Glen Hawkins as the athletic director for the City of Anniston Parks and Recreation Department. At the time, Mr. Hawkins was over the high school officials, and he was always asking me when I was going to start picking up games to call. He knew I was an ex-ball player and comfortable with all the aspects of athletics. Eventually, I gave in and loved every minute of it. When did you start officiating, and what sport did you begin with? I started officiating in 1980, and I went all in. That year I called high school football, basketball, and baseball. Everyone knows fans aren’t always the brightest spot when it comes to being a sport’s official. When they would talk trash, how would you handle it? Well, you just have to tune all of that out. You can’t pay attention to the crowd. You are there to do a job, and once you are there, that’s your mindset, and you stay there. What advice would you give to someone just getting started in officiating? The most important thing is to have a good rapport with the coaches, players, and team captains. You’ll get most calls right, but you’ll miss some too. Your attitude and personality go a long way no matter which side of the call you are on. What are your thoughts on being inducted into the ASOF Hall of Fame? Oh, I am extremely proud but even more humbled. The people who made these final selections have spent most of their careers as officials themselves. To be selected by a group of your peers is something special. I am truly honored.

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Choccolocco Park hosted the 2021 NJCAA Softball DII National Championship in May. Sixteen teams from all over the U.S.A. played at the park.

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The city of Oxford was thrilled to bring the 2021 AHSAA State Softball Championships to Choccolocco Park. The fans agreed and set a new attendance record for the games.

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INDUSTRY SPOTLIGHT

CITY OF OXFORD WELCOMES AUTO CUSTOM CARPETS

BY LORIE DENTON OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | 2021

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Auto Custom Carpets, the largest manufacturer of car replacement carpets globally, officially cut the ribbon celebrating their new Oxford address in July. The Hagar Hinge building on Highway 78 East sat unoccupied for many years, and the city of Oxford is thrilled to officially welcome Auto Custom Carpets into their newly renovated and remodeled home, where more than 180 people will come to work every day. Brad Williams, Vice President of Operations, welcomed a large crowd of elected officials, community leaders, friends, and family. He immediately spoke about how both the city of Oxford and the Calhoun County Economic Development Council treated ACC throughout the entire process. “You made us feel welcome, you made us feel like we were a company you wanted to have here, and you made us feel like we were a company worth fighting for,” he said. Days before the ribbon-cutting, he ran into Councilwoman Charlotte Hubbard, whose words left a mark. Hubbard told him, “We are still so thankful and proud that you all trusted in us enough as a city to bring Auto Custom Carpets to Oxford.” Williams explained that words like that aren’t spoken very often these days and expressed just how much they meant to the company. Brad spoke about the leadership of ACC owner Ken Howell throughout this process. “It takes someone very special to make this kind of investment in a company, but if you know Ken, you know he is not your typical owner. Ken has led us down this path and believed in this journey. This building represents several things. It will allow us to be more efficient, it will allow us to be a better vendor to our customers, and it will allow us to continue to dominate the automotive market in which we serve. At the highest level, the investment we have made will allow us to ensure the long-term success of our company. To predict the future is to build it, and I think that’s what we’ve done,” says Williams. Mayor Alton Craft explained how important it is to keep businesses in our community. “Auto Custom Carpets was landlocked in their previous location, and without a joint effort between our city and the Calhoun County EDC, these jobs and these people were going to have to leave the state. Those are not just jobs. Each job represents a family, and we wanted to ensure that those families and these people didn’t have to leave the lives they’ve worked so hard to build in their communities. I’ve known Ken and Jenny for a very long time now, and they are very special people, as you know. Any project that they are a part of, I want to be part of it too.”

Ken Howell, President and Owner of Auto Custom Carpets

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Don Hopper, Executive Director for the Calhoun County Economic Development Council, explained that the EDC Board of Directors supported this effort from the beginning because they recognize how important it is to have a company that invests in their community–like Ken Howell’s does here in Calhoun County. Hopper told the group that this building sat here unoccupied for many years and most likely would’ve sat here for many more if Auto Custom Carpets’ leadership did not have the vision and willingness necessary to take a risk. “The building had some issues that needed to be resolved, but they worked with the Department of Environmental Management to take care of all of them,” Hopper says. “We are really proud to be a friend to ACC. They had around 150 employees when we started this project, and they have around 180 now. They’ve already exceeded the number of jobs they committed to. While these jobs add to the quality of life here for all of us in Calhoun County, think of their impact on these newly hired individuals. These 40 new jobs created represent families. Somebody can provide better for their families; somebody can provide a better Christmas for their family because of the investment Auto Custom Carpets has made here in the city of Oxford. We are glad for the partnership, but we are most grateful for the friendship we have with this company.” A very emotional Ken Howell, President and Owner of Auto Custom Carpets took the podium to conclude the ceremony. “I want to thank all of my friends and family for supporting this effort. I started work in 1965 in Oxford at Sparks’ Grocery, and after working 50 years in Anniston, I am so grateful to have this opportunity to be back in Oxford. I am proud of putting this building back into a productive manufacturing facility, and I look forward to having each of our production phases fully operational here very soon. I was part of a group that bought this company in 1995, and I signed my name to a huge mountain of debt. The debt didn’t bother me, but knowing I was responsible for 212 families because, at that time, we still owned a plant in Georgia where we made our own carpet gave me a lot of sleepless nights. I’m just so thankful for the people who are on this journey with me.” As a city, these are the type of businesses we always are so proud to have in our community. Men like Ken Howell and his team at Auto Custom Carpets are always willing to put in the hard work to make the city of Oxford a better place today than yesterday. Auto Custom Carpets, welcome to Oxford! We are so glad you are here!

Don Hopper, Executive Director for the Calhoun County Economic Development Council Alton Craft, Mayor of Oxford Larry Deason, President Emeritus F&M Bank Anniston, Chairman CCEDC

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Our leadership is eager to continue growing our business community and treats each project as a unique opportunity. With a supportive local government, a skilled workforce, excellent municipal services, and great location, it is easy to understand why businesses choose Oxford. As one of the most popular retail hubs of northeast Alabama, we continue to grow with I-20 Exit 188 and Exit 185 rapidly becoming a vital aspect of the city of Oxford. Retail is not the only thing you will find in Oxford; Oxford is quickly expanding into large industries with many big companies looking to expand or break ground. If you are interested in bringing your business to Oxford, contact city officials to arrange a site visit. See firsthand why everyone is talking about Oxford, Alabama.

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HUBBARD'S OUT BACK 16 Choccolocco Street 256-403-0258 Southern dining in a historic setting Lunch: Tuesday - Sunday: 11 AM-2 PM Dinner: Wednesday & Thursday: 5 PM-9 PM; Friday & Saturday: 5 PM-9PM

STOREEASE 120 Industrial Drive 256-530-7334 Climate controlled self-storage units

MILLER FUNERAL HOME 50 Hamric Drive East 256-831-4611 Locally owned and operated funeral home specializing in burial, aquamation, and cremation services.

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SIGN GYPSIES OXFORD 256-399-9494 signgypsiesoxford@gmail.com Yard greeting service serving Anniston, Delta, Eastaboga, Heflin, Lineville, Munford, and Oxford, Alabama!

OXFORD GAMING CENTER 181 Plaza Lane 256-298-0765 Hobby shop: Magic the gathering, Pokemon, comic books, board games, and gaming accessories

CHICK-FIL-A 201 Oxford Exchange Blvd. Monday - Thursday: 6 AM-9 PM Friday - Saturday: 6 AM-10 PM Fast food restaurant chain whose specialty is chicken sandwiches.

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STEPPING STONES TO SUCCESS COUNSELING & CONSULTING 320 Snow Street Suite C , Oxford, AL, 36203 (256) 343-4080 SSSCounseling.com Providing individual, school-based and teletherapy counseling services at two locations

SERVETECH Appliance Repair Service (855) 657-3783 ServeTech Appliance is a licensed and bonded appliance repair company with a mindset and mission to put service first. We service all major brands of home appliances. We come to you!

BAREFOOT MERCANTILE & CO. 1206 Hwy Drive, Oxford, AL 36203 (256) 454-3880 Barefoot Mercantile & Co. is your one-stop shop for all your home decor needs, unique finds and DIY workshops.

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OXFORD SENIOR CENTER 424 Main Street 256-831-5900 Seniors from Oxford attend the center daily to play cards, dominoes, various types of puzzles, and trivia games. Lunch meals are provided through a state-wide program through the East Alabama Planning and Development Commission. Meals are $1.00 per day-donations only. Complimentary breakfast is served on Friday mornings, sponsored by area businesses.

LEGACY BOTTLING GROUP P.O. Box 7236 175 Sherman Drive 1-888-625-2730 Legacy distributes quality products at an affordable price. Bottled using state-of-the-art equipment and processes, all of our waters meet or exceed all FDA, EPA, and other governmental standards and regulations. We are highly regulated and inspected annually by NSF, FDA, and numerous other inspection organizations. Our water is a healthy alternative to sodas, juices, and other sugary beverages...and it tastes GREAT!

The Oxford Business League’s purpose and mission is to promote the growth, prosperity, and partnership among all businesses within the city of Oxford. The Oxford Business League is responsible for recruiting new businesses, assisting openings, ribbon cuttings, and groundbreakings, promoting available properties for business expansion, coordinating with city of Oxford Marketing Department, and catalyzing future partnerships among independent and franchise businesses.

CONTACT Hunter Gentry 256-241-6667 P.O. Box 3383 Oxford, AL 36203

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UPDATE HISTORIC MAIN STREET OXFORD The months are quickly passing, and fall is approaching. Historic Main Street Oxford is planning and coordinating various activities for families and individuals later this year. We are actively looking to have more involvement from the community. If you wish to volunteer with Historic Main Street Oxford and assist with a committee, please visit our website and fill out a volunteer application. There are opportunities to get involved with planning our Market on Main, Food Truck Friday on Main, Trick-or-Treat on Main, Farm to Fork on Main, and Christmas on Main events. Best Regards, Hunter C. Gentry, Director Historic Main Street Oxford 256-403-8052 hunter.gentry@oxfordal.gov

SEPTEMBER 2021 • Food Truck Friday on Main - Friday, September 10, 11:00am - 2:00pm & 4:00-7:00pm OCTOBER 2021 • Oxfordfest - Saturday, October 2, 8:00am - 4:00pm • Food Truck Friday on Main - Friday, October 8, 11:00am - 2:00pm & 4:00-7:00pm • HALLOWEEK - Monday, October 25 - 30 • Trick-or-Treat on Main - Saturday, October 30, 4:00pm - 7:00pm NOVEMBER 2021 • Shop Small Saturdays on Main - Saturday, November 6, 13, 20, and 27 • Food Truck Friday on Main - Friday, November 12, 11:00am - 2:00pm & 4:00-7:00pm • Farm to Fork on Main (Fundraiser Dinner) - More information coming soon! • 5K Between Oxford & Anniston - More details coming soon! • Black Friday on Main - Friday, November 26 • Canned Food & Toy Drive - More information is coming soon! DECEMBER 2021 • Christmas on Main - Saturday, December 4 • Food Truck Friday on Main- Friday, December 10, 11:00am - 2:00pm & 4:00-7:00pm MAIN STREET MEMBERS Chris Bobo-Keller Williams Realty, Cotton Antiques, Hubbard’s Off Main, HOUSE Counseling, Mark Lee Insurance Agency, Oxford Cleaners, Parnell Insurance Agency, Pastime Peanuts, Ra-Lin & Associates, Rice, Rice, & Yates, P.C., Sarah Cavender Metalworks, Southern Girl Coffee Co., The Terrortorium, and The Vine Chiropractic

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UPDATE OXFORD LIBRARY The Summer Reading Program was amazing this year, and we enjoyed reading with everyone who participated. We painted together, crafted together, learned together, enjoyed movies together, and most importantly, we read over 100,000 minutes together. We can’t wait to do it all again next year! The fun doesn’t stop with the summer, though. We look forward to seeing each of you through the school year, too! Join us for some of these really fun events: • Hobbit Week is September 20-24; join us for some cool LOTR fun! • Fall Break will have some fun take-home crafts, movies, and our popular pour painting class. • OPL will kick off the week-long, city-wide Halloweek fun with a performance from the Foothills Production Company of Mouse on the Move on Saturday, October 23. We will also have an exciting indoor trick-or-treating experience on Thursday of Halloweek (October 28). This 10:00 event will take the place of our regularly scheduled story times. • Adults will create something beautiful out of book pages for Book Art on the second Tuesday of each month. • Quilters meet every Wednesday at 10:00am • Knitters meet every Thursday at 10:00am • Are you a Friends TV show fan? Show off your knowledge in a fun Friends trivia game on August 13th and 14th. • We dance, sing, count, and read with our littlest patrons at Story Time on Thursdays at 9:00, 10:00, 11:00, and 2:30. Don’t forget to register at www.oxfordpl.org/storytime!

MONDAY - FRIDAY 9 TO 5 • SATURDAY 9 TO 1 • SUNDAY 1 TO 5 • (256) 831-1750 • 110 East 6th Street, Oxford OXFORD ACCESS MAGAZINE | 2021

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OXFORD PUBLIC LIBRARY

We always have plenty of resources available to help you in all of your upcoming endeavors. Here are just a few things that can help you (and all of them are free!): • We have books to check out that are on your school reading lists. • E-books and E-audiobooks are available for all ages and for any type of device. • Paper books and CD Audiobooks are available to check out in the library building. • Homework Alabama offers live tutoring to help with schoolwork problems, and it offers career help for adults, too! • Alabama Virtual Library offers huge amounts of resources to find accurate information on virtually any topic. Also, they have added some new resources too! • Knowledge City offers over 18,000 courses for you to learn new skills in computers, business, finance, safety, and compliance. They will even provide you with a certificate of completion! • Learning Express Library offers test and career prep for help you achieve your personal and career goals. Teachers, we have resources specifically geared for you, too! Visit www.oxfordpl.org/ teachers for a collection of great resources to help you educate the students you love so much. We love them, too, and we want them (and you) to be successful! Many careers see a shift in the workforce as people look to find a job that suits their family’s needs. We can help you shoot for the sky! Go to www.oxfordpl.org/career to find a resume builder and other resources to help you better your chances for your dream job. The 20th anniversary of September 11, 2001, is this year. In its honor, OPL will be hosting an exhibition in partnership with the 9/11 Memorial and Museum that will recount the events of that tragic day through personal stories of those who witnessed the attacks. The exhibit, both online and in the library building, will also present the history of 9/11, its origins, and its ongoing implications. It explores the consequences of terrorism on individual lives and communities at the local, national, and international levels, and encourages critical thinking about the legacies of 9/11. Visit www.oxfordpl.org/September11 for more information. We look forward to serving our community in lots of different ways this fall. Happy reading! Amy E. Henderson Library Director

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PLAY BALL CHOCCOLOCCO MONSTERS IN THE PARK The city of Oxford, along with the Sunbelt Baseball League and Ignite Sports, are proud to unveil a new summer collegiate wood bat team playing on Signature Field at Choccolocco Park, the Choccolocco Monsters! The Monsters will be taking part in the Sunbelt Baseball League for the 2022 season that will run from June-August that summer. The Sunbelt League was established in 2005 and is partially funded by Major League Baseball to allow prospective players in college to extend their seasons with more games and gain valuable experience in their development, all while providing family-friendly entertainment to the area all summer long. Currently, the Sunbelt Baseball League is made up of nine teams (including the Monsters), mainly centered out of Metro-Atlanta. The Alpharetta Aviators are the current league champions after defeating the Columbus Chatt-a-Hoots in the championship series last weekend. The Monsters are already on social media, with the handle Bama Monsters on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to follow the pages to stay up-to-date on everything the new team is doing ahead of their inaugural season. Season tickets for the Monsters 2022 season are already on sale at monsters.isportstix.com. Full season ticket prices run from $100-$220 for a full 14-game+ season in the SBL. The team offices can be contacted for more information at 256-770-9062.

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We are very proud as a league to be adding the Choccolocco Monsters to our ranks. We are looking forward to a very successful partnership between the league, the city, and Ignite Sports to have another quality ball club in the Sunbelt,” says SBL Commissioner Todd Pratt. “Adding a team like this creates more excitement for our fans, the players we hope to recruit to play and of course for the people of Oxford to have a team to call their own. This is another great step forward as we continue to grow as a league to give back to the great game of baseball.

We’re honored to bring SBL baseball to eastern Alabama,” newly appointed team president Scott Brand said. “It’s a beautiful stadium and field here in Oxford and we can’t wait to make it a fun place to bring the family and come watch a ball game. It’s a great product the SBL has, and players are going to want to play in a great facility like this one.

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CHOCCOLOCCO CREEK WATERSHED

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The Choccolocco Creek Watershed group is currently working on several new projects, including a nature center, Native American replica village, arboretum, and educational demonstration farm. With the recent purchase of 118 acres, the Choccolocco Creek Watershed group explores funding opportunities to facilitate design plans for the green space area. The Choccolocco Creek Watershed group, and Alta Planning & Design, are creating a master plan that will incorporate interpretive trails designed to highlight the area’s unique ecology and foster a love of nature and environmental stewardship. Implementation of this plan will strengthen our conservation mission by connecting participants of all ages to the landscape through education programs that will expose visitors and residents to native habitats and historical aspects of the regional area. The educational demonstration farm will visually demonstrate the installation of environmentally sound farming practices for soil and water conservation. The open space areas will incorporate pollinator gardens (hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees), turf identification stations, and community garden boxes.

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The comprehensive nature trail system will provide access to the planned nature center, Native American replica village, and demonstration farm located within the watershed area and give connectivity to popular attractions, including Oxford Lake Park, Choccolocco Park, and Choccolocco Kayak. Facilities will be designed with a focus on the natural surroundings and incorporate sustainable construction. This holistic plan will offer families beneficial outdoor recreational activities while also bringing revenue into the community (e.g. Lodging, dining, visitor fees). This is a unique opportunity to preserve and protect the ecology of the landscape while balancing interactive learning with wild spaces. Visitor fees will be reinvested into services and programs to improve experiences and assist with maintenance costs. Our goal is to provide safe, meaningful experiences for park users. Our outdoor areas are an invaluable resource, and they remain one of the best ways to de-stress, especially during these times of social distancing. For more information on our projects or how to become a part of our conservation efforts please contact our office. Choccolocco Creek Watershed, 428 Main Street, Oxford, AL 36203, or 1413 Hillyer Robinson Industrial Parkway, Anniston, AL. 256-835-7821, Ext 3. www.choccoloccocreek.org

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SPOTLIGHT WYNIKA HENDRIX Wynika Hendrix is an insurance agent with Country Financial, and while insurance is what she does, it isn’t who she is.

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Wynika Hendrix was raised in Anniston and is a proud graduate of Anniston High School. Her mission is to enrich the lives of the communities we live in, and she believes the best way to accomplish this is together. On July 31, 2021, Wynika hosted her second annual Back to School Drive-thru Backpack Giveaway, and is gearing up for her second annual toy drive in December. In 2020, she set a goal to distribute 30 backpacks to children in the surrounding area before school started. However, through her efforts on social media and community donations, she put together 75 bags. Last summer, the in-person Back to School Backpack Giveaway was held at Zinn Park in Anniston and included free lunch and ice cream. Her vision was bigger for 2021. She set a goal of 150 bags and was extremely grateful to give out over 300 backpacks filled with school supplies to local children. Pick up was advertised on social media and offered a drive-thru experience at her Country Financial office located on Hillyer Robinson Parkway in Oxford. In addition to the backpacks, a free lunch, a Zaxby’s kid’s meal coupon, ice cream, and visits from Disney princesses and Paw Patrol were included. She noted that the event would not have been as successful without the help provided by the Oxford Police Department, the Oxford Fire Department, and the City of Oxford. The backpack project went so well in 2020 that she felt led to organize a toy drive the following Christmas. Wynika accepted unopened toy drop-offs at her office in the weeks leading up to Christmas and again offered a drive-thru experience at her Oxford location. Wynika’s goal for 2020 was to provide 100 new toys to children in the community, but through the many generous drop-off donations, the program provided more than 300. As the children came to pick up a toy, the families could see Santa, representatives from the Oxford Police Department, and Officer McGruff. Wynika is already thinking bigger and better for this Christmas. Her goal is to be able to give away 500 new toys this holiday season. If you are interested in participating in this year’s toy drive, contact her at 256-454-3036.

I DON’T BELIEVE I WAS PUT ON THIS EARTH TO IMPRESS ANYONE, BUT RATHER TO IMPACT EVERYONE.

— WYNIKA HENDRIX

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Her vision was bigger for 2021. She set a goal of 150 bags and was extremely grateful to give out over 300 backpacks filled with school supplies to local children.

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UPDATE CALHOUN COUNTY EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY

September is National Preparedness Month, and we here at the Calhoun County Emergency Management Agency encourage everyone during this time of the year to get emergency plans in place to help keep you and your family safe in times of crisis. Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go if you and your family need to evacuate. HOW CAN YOU BE PREPARED FOR DISASTERS? 1. STAY INFORMED–Make sure you have three ways of receiving emergency alerts. These could be a weather radio, Calhoun County’s free alert system, mobile phone apps, and social media notifications. 2. HAVE A PLAN–Your family may not be together when a disaster strikes, so have a plan in place now so everyone knows where to go and how to communicate. 3. TAKE ACTION–After a disaster occurs, you may need to survive on your own for a few days. Building an emergency kit in advance will help make sure you have everything you need. Visit www.calhounema.org/home-preparedness for a comprehensive list. Calhoun County is no stranger to disasters. Within the past ten years, this county has experienced three significant tornadoes and multiple winter weather, wind, and flood events. Disasters happen, and your preparation for them can help save the lives of you and your family.

To stay up-to-date follow us on: Facebook - @CalhounCountyEMA Instagram - @BeReadyCalhoun Twitter - @BeReadyCalhoun

SIGN UP FOR CALHOUN COUNTY’S FREE EVERBRIDGE ALERT SYSTEM AT

www.calhounema.org/alerts

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- Get location-specific alerts - Decide what type of alerts received - Decide how to receive the alerts


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FESTIVAL OF LIGHTS It is almost that time of year again! Christmas is right around the corner and we can not wait for you to see the Christmas light extravaganza at Festival of Lights. The Festival of Lights drive through light show is one of a kind! And do not forget about the synthetic ice-skating rink, inflatables, food trucks, and shopping located in Santa’s Village. The Festival of Lights is full for all ages. Tickets go on sale in October.

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WHY I TEACH

OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS TEACHER SPOTLIGHT: LEAH BETTS

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 LEAH BETTS, WHO WAS AWARDED AND RECOGNIZED AS "EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH" BY THE OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS EDUCATION FOUNDATION.

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Betts moved to Oxford when she was in the 4th grade. Prior to that, she attended school in Indiana, Golden Springs, and Bynum. Upon graduating high school in 2003, Betts enrolled at Jacksonville State University, where she received a degree in secondary education focusing on history. Betts is married to her husband, Brandon, and they have three children together– Adalyn, Cannon, and Iva. Betts is in her fifth year of teaching at Oxford Middle School and currently teaches 7th-grade civics and geography. Betts is also on the Foundations and CIP teams, and she is a JUNA sponsor. Before her teaching career, Betts was the Materials Manager at the Surgery Center in Oxford. We invite you to join us in congratulating Mrs. Betts with the employee of the Month recognition and hope you enjoy getting to know her better in the Q&A that follows.

Where are you from? I am currently living in Southside. We plan to move to Oxford. What made you want to become a teacher? My students are my community’s future. I wholeheartedly believe social studies helps students prepare to be successful participants in our community. They learn to think critically, debate in a healthy way, and build confidence. What is the most satisfying thing about teaching? I teach middle school. It amazes me how much growth occurs during a single year. At some point in the year, I walk around my classroom in awe of the students’ discussions on various topics. They end up being able to agree or disagree with peers, which some adults cannot do.

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OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS EDUCATION FOUNDATION partnering with Oxford City Schools and our community to enhance learning experiences for all students.

THANK YOU BECAUSE OF THE GENEROUS COMMUNITY SUPPORT OCSEF HAS BEEN ABLE TO INVEST OVER $540,000 IN THE FOLLOWING AREAS: Advanced Placement Testing Archery Team Fine Arts Program Green Power Team National Championship Rings Outdoor Classroom Piano Lab Robotics Football State Championship Rings STEM Student Instructional Support

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Teacher Instructional Support

JUDY MUNCHER

Technology

256-282-9158

VEX Robotics Kits

Judymuncherocsef@gmail.com

DIRECTORS KEN HOWELL, PRES. BRAD WILLIAMS, V.P. JANE HAMRIC BATEY, SEC. TIM WILSON, TRES. WAYNE CALDWELL MELISSA CRAVEN PATRICIA JACK JACKI LOWRY ADAM MANISCALCO JIMMY NEWMAN DEBBIE NOTHDURFT SHANNON PAGE

ANNUAL EVENTS BREAKFAST WITH SANTA DANCING THROUGH THE DECADES EDIBLE EVENING FOR EDUCATION LEVELS OF GIVING Diamond $10,000 Platinum $5,000 Gold $2,000 Silver $1,000 Bronze $500

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Teacher Spotlight

What do you look forward to most at the beginning of each year? A new year is a new slate. Students and teachers are refreshed and get to start over. It is an opportunity to set a positive mindset. How do you want former students to remember you? In my classroom, I have a quote from Gandhi that reads, “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” We reference that quote throughout the year, and I stress to my students that they are our future. I hope they always remember that I believe in them and know that I trust they can be responsible community members. What methods do you use each day to bring out the best in students? I teach students how to have good speaking and listening skills. They develop what they feel makes a good listener or speaker at the first of the year. I remind them throughout the year. By the end of the year, my students can hold conversations that leave me proud. What are your thoughts on receiving the teacher of the month award? I am extremely grateful. I love working for Oxford City Schools. When you love where you work, you are invested, and the district’s success is important. What extracurricular activities/groups are you part of? This is my fifth year as a Junior United Nations Assembly (JUNA) sponsor. JUNA models the United Nations, where students choose a country, study its culture, language, and issues. The students choose a problem plaguing the country and write a resolution to solve the dilemma. When you see former students who are now older, what's one thing they typically say they remember about your classroom? I am always telling them, “If they aren’t here to defend themselves, you shouldn’t talk about them.” I care and respect all my students, and I don’t allow others to disrespect others. I am fair and love them all equally. Do you have any hobbies? I love to read. I love historical novels, but I also try every summer to read at least one book that my students might like. When I suggest books, I like to know what I am suggesting.

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CHAMP It Up Oxford! Setting Students Up for Success AMY COPELAND, PRINCIPAL, DEARMANVILLE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

Throughout the last four years, DeArmanville Elementary’s teachers and staff made a goal to create a positive learning environment for their students and, in turn, transformed their school's culture. DeArmanville Elementary, an Oxford City School, has received many unique opportunities to provide students with the best education. The opportunity to participate in the Foundations grant provided by the Alabama State Department of Education in conjunction with Safe and Civil Schools became a game-changer for the school. Four years ago, the assistant superintendent, Chris Cox, approached the DES Principal, Amy Copeland, to see if she would be interested in a grant that would promote positive behavior for students. Ms. Copeland expressed interest in the program as her prior knowledge and experience with positive behavior support in the classroom were favorable. The opportunity to learn how to set expectations and systematically provide structure was intriguing. The program focuses on proactive approaches to assist teachers and students with school-wide behavior management and create a “Structure for Success.” The process of training and implementing Foundations and CHAMPS has required a strong commitment by a leadership team of teachers. This leadership team traveled to Pelham six days a year for three years to be trained by national coaches from Safe and Civil Schools. During those training sessions, strategies for promoting positive behaviors by setting up expectations of staff and students were presented by national coaches. The team was given time to plan how to turn the training around to the entire staff at the school. When new procedures are presented to the staff, the staff gets to vote as part of the process. A majority vote is required to implement new strategies. During the first year of implementation, DeArmanville Elementary’s regional coach, Mrs. Gayle Jones, alongside a national coach from Safe and Civil Schools, would visit the school to implement strategies. During the first year of visits, the Foundations leadership team and all of the teachers at DeArmanville Elementary impressed the coaches with the way that they had worked on building stronger relationships with the students and staff, how they embraced using the strategies that had been learned, and how they had put those strategies in place in common areas at the school.

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OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS

The coaches decided to let DeArmanville host a site visit where another school could visit to see this process during the first year of the grant. This had never occurred before. Since then, DeArmanville formed a partnership with the University of Montevallo. Each fall and spring, the pre-service teachers at Montevallo have a site visit to DeArmanville to learn more about setting up positive classroom management strategies. DeArmanville has hosted many site visits in person and, for the last year, virtually. School districts, individual schools, and the University of Montevallo pre-service teachers have all participated. The school team was honored to be invited by the Alabama State Department of Education to present at the MEGA Conference in July 2021. The DES team of teachers shared the journey of how this grant was a game-changer for the school. The DES team of teachers shared their journey of Foundations and CHAMPS along with practical tips and strategies on how to increase positive interactions, build relationships, improve classroom management, and ways to implement school-wide incentives. Many educators from across the state heard about this process. The team was asked for additional resources and to host further site visits by the participants. The DES team was supported by Dr. Jeff Goodwin, Oxford City Schools Superintendent, and additional OCS board office administrators. So what’s next for DeArmanville Elementary School? The school will continue working with the staff and students to sustain what has been learned through the Foundations and CHAMPS program. There will always be a need to continue training, building and strengthening relationships with students and staff, adapting student and staff expectations as the school changes, and training new staff members based on the Foundations and CHAMPS program. DeArmanville will continue to host site visits for other schools, school districts, and pre-service teachers, as requested. Currently, all six schools in the Oxford City School district are now participating in this grant. Oxford City Schools is committed to setting students up for success!

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OXFORD CITY SCHOOLS SUMMER LEARNING PROGRAM 2021 Oxford City Schools Summer Camp was a great learning success! Our K-4 schools served a combined total of 341 students (grades K-3) at centrally located Oxford Elementary School. The students were provided with skill-specific reading and math instruction from highly qualified classroom teachers and interventionists for four weeks Monday through Thursday, 8:00 am-2:30 pm. Students were provided bus transportation, breakfast, and lunch. Our students also had the opportunity to enjoy physical education, art, technology, media center, and maker space activities. The City of Oxford Parks and Recreation Department and Oxford City Schools partnered to provide free day camp for students on Fridays to round out the week. We are thankful for the support from our city, which was invaluable for this summer learning experience. Go Big O!

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Oxford in the early 1870s taken at Spring Street looking west. Photo Courtesy of Oxford Public Library

Excerpt from Images of America: Oxford By Hunter C. Gentry & Amy E. Henderson

The Muscogee Creek Nation has called the Choccolocco Valley home for 12,000 years. In 1540, Hernando DeSoto crossed the region on behalf of Spain in search of riches. France claimed the lands in 1699 after successfully establishing settlements at Mobile, New Orleans, and Biloxi. Even though France controlled the area that would later become Oxford, it was still inhabited by the Creek Nation. England gained possession of the lands after the signing of the Treaty of Paris at the end of the Seven Years War. In 1789, the entire northern portion of Alabama was owned by Georgia. The lands were given to the federal government in 1802 as part of the Mississippi Territory. Alabama was admitted to the Union on December 14, 1819. Benton County was incorporated on December 18, 1832, and included present-day Calhoun, Cleburne, and portions of Cherokee and Talladega Counties. At the time of incorporation, the only incorporated towns in Benton County were Jacksonville and White Plains. During the early 1830s, the Snow and Simmons families were two of the first European descent families to settle among the Creek natives of the area. Snow owned the land south of present-day Choccolocco Street, and Simmons held the land north. An early legend recalls that the area south was called “Skace Grease,” and the area north was called “Lick Skillet.” Local folklore states that a traveler was passing through and needed a place for rest and food. As he was visiting a local, he was directed to “lick the skillet” because they were “skace of grease.” The boundary line separating the lands was a creek that flows parallel to Spring and Snow Streets.

Copies of Images of America: Oxford will be available in late August 2021 from Historic Main Street Oxford, Oxford Public Library, and Oxford Performing Arts Center.

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