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Home > Tuscaloosa Business News

Tuscaloosa Business News - 2015-06

We have news items here related to Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
Tuscaloosa County system will allow non-mesh and non-clear student bags for new school year - The Tuscaloosa County Board of Education approved a new 2015-2016 Student and Parent Information Guide this week, and it includes a change to the student backpack policy.
Students no longer have to bring mesh or clear backpacks to school under the new policy.
But clear and mesh backpacks are still recommended, said Superintendent Elizabeth Swinford. "Preferred, but not required. It's mainly because kids are bringing other items. They have to carry other gear for PE (physical education) classes or athletics, and those (bags) are not mesh or clear. So, it defeats the purpose."
Swinford said the clear and mesh backpack requirement was a safety measure so school personnel could see what's inside. But she's not sure that it was very effective.
"I don't know how much we've actually been able to enforce this policy with diligence to it," she said. "I don't know that the mesh backpacks have brought about what we expected them to bring about."
Clear and mesh backpacks are not the county school system's main safety precaution. Their other safety measures are the ones that Swinford said she has more confidence in.
"We have a couple of things in place that will help us with safety and security," she said. "We have taken care of enforcing the doors, keeping out any outsiders. We have a wonderful partnership with the sheriff's office, and they bring the dogs in to detect drugs. We do the practice drills with the metal detectors. We have some things in place to help us."
Reach Jamon Smith at jamon.smith@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0204.
June 30th, 2015
Three hurt in Gulf Shores parasailing accident - GULF SHORES | Authorities in coastal Alabama say three people have been injured in a parasailing accident.
Gulf Shores Police spokeswoman Abby Rhodes told
Al.com the line securing the parasailers to a boat broke Tuesday afternoon. Rhodes says one of the injured parasailers has been treated and released from a local hospital and two others are hospitalized with non-life threatening injuries.
Rhodes said the U.S. Coast Guard is investigating.
June 30th, 2015
Tuscaloosa County school employees required to notify supervisor of criminal offenses - Employees at Tuscaloosa County schools are required to notify their supervisor and the senior director of human resources if they are arrested and charged with a criminal offense, according to a new policy.
The Tuscaloosa County Board of Education on Monday approved Superintendent Elizabeth Swinford's recommendation to create the policy.
"The policy starts immediately, as in July 1," Swinford said Tuesday.
Swinford said she created the policy because school officials need to know what's going on with their employees.
"Recently, something happened, and that employee called immediately to notify us," she said earlier this month. "That's really what kind of alerted me to this. He did that because he is a professional, but I realized that there is no policy that (requires) him to report that to us."
The policy states that employees could be fired if they fail to promptly notify their supervisors and the senior director of human resources of their arrest.
The policy defines proper notification as reporting the date and location of the arrest, the name of the arresting agency, the number assigned to the arrest report, the laws or ordinances allegedly violated, the location and duration of the initial incarceration, if any, and the amount and type of bail required for the employee's release.
The policy does not include citations for traffic violations, but if an employee is driving a vehicle owned by the county school system, the traffic violation must be reported.
If a criminal prosecution is initiated, employees must also provide their supervisors and the senior director of human resources a copy of the indictment, bill of information or affidavit within 24 hours of the arrest or service of summons.
Employes must also give written notice to the senior director of human resources within five calendar days of any scheduled court hearing or trial connected to the arrest.
Reach Jamon Smith at jamon.smith@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0204.
June 30th, 2015
Tuscaloosa City Council action from June 30 - Adopted Zoning Amendment No. 1324 to amend the text of the Zoning Ordinance pertaining to Chapter 24, Article I, Section 245, Definitions. (Tabled May 26) (Introduced April 28)
Tabled for four weeks a decision to amend Section 1797 of the Code of Tuscaloosa. (Tabled June 2)
Authorized the mayor to negotiate an economic development agreement with RV Hotel Owner LLC regarding the proposed development and construction of an upscale boutique Indigo Brand Hotel on Greensboro Avenue. (Tabled June 16)
Adopted Zoning Amendment No. 1322 to amend the text of the Zoning Ordinance under Article XVII, Downtown/Riverfront (D/R) Overlay District pertaining to permitted, conditional and prohibited uses, Section 24229(a). (Tabled June 23) (Introduced May 26)
Consented to refinancing of property for Sylvia Belcher mortgaged through the HOME FirstTime Homebuyer Program and subordination of the city's loan on said property; total: $5,000.
Authorized utility account credits; total: $4,527.47.
Declared property surplus and authorized its disposal.
Authorized execution of Requisition Nos. 5961 for payment from the Series 2014A Warrant Issue to Dominion Construction, McGiffert & Associates and Cain Steel & Supply; total: $498,413.55.
Authorized execution of Requisition No. 548549 for payment from the Series 2007A Warrant Issue to Southern Civil and Cabaniss Engineering; total: $42,534.75.
Approved request and agreement for water service to 2701 University Blvd. fire line; total: $18,579.65.
Granted permit for Capital Park Antiques to construct water lines for 2701 University Blvd. fire line.
Authorized payment to Alabama Municipal Insurance Corp. to Tuskaloosa Hospitality, Stephen Hysaw, Shemeca McGhee and University of Alabama; total: $7,442.56.
Authorized change order No. 1 at the request of Southern Civil Contracting for Oakdale Drainage Improvements; total: $0; time extension: 30 days.
Authorized change order No. 2 at the request of Hall-Taylor Construction for large meter shop renovation and covered parking; deductive total: $449.73.
Set July 14 as the date for public hearing to consider the appeal of Cadence Bank, 2020 University Blvd., to Section 24232 of the Code of Tuscaloosa.
Approved ABC application of Cost Plus World Market for an off-premises retail beer and an off-premises retail table wine licenses at Cost Plus World Market; 1320 McFarland Blvd., Bldg. 300, Ste. 320, 35404.
Approved ABC application of Black Warrior Brewing Co. LLC for an alcohol manufacturer license at Black Warrior Brewing Company, 2216 University Blvd., 35401.
Approved ABC application of Robinson Tuscaloosa LLC for an off-premises retail beer and an off-premises retail table wine licenses at Tuscaloosa Burger, 1014 Seventh Ave., 35401.
Adopted Zoning Amendment No. 1327 to rezone 13.7 acres south of Jack Warner Parkway and along the north shore of Lake Tamaha (The Retreat) from RMF1 to BN. (Introduced June 2)
Adopted Zoning Amendment No. 1328 to rezone 1.5 acres at 5712 Rice Mine Road NE from R1 to BNS. (Introduced June 2)
Authorized the purchase of equipment/supplies/services from TNT Outfitters LLC; total: $7,845.
Authorized a rebate to developers of the Townes of North River Phase 8 for installation of water mains; total: $15,941.75.
Amended the resolution authoring the Office of the Mayor Disaster Recovery Division to amend and advertise amendment to the 2013 CDBGDR Action Plan of the City of Tuscaloosa.
Authorized the mayor to execute a funding agreement with Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa under the 200612 HOME funds for the development of affordable housing; total: $606,090.02.
Authorized the mayor to execute a funding agreement with the Tuscaloosa Housing Authority for tenant-based rental assistance (TBRA); total: $165,000.
Authorized the Office of Federal Programs to advertise the 2015 City of Tuscaloosa Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice.
Authorized the mayor to execute a funding agreement with Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa under the 2011 and 2013 HOME funds for the development of affordable housing; total: $180,421.
Authorized the mayor to execute a funding agreement with Habitat for Humanity of Tuscaloosa for the 2014 HOME CHDO Administration funds; total: $16,961.
Authorized the mayor to add additional funding to an authorized contract with Community Service Programs of West Alabama for the development of affordable housing; total increase: $100,000.
Authorized the approval of a small business revitalization loan application for Kicker Road Self Storage LLC; total: $20,000.
Authorized the Finance Director to draw drafts for the Prince Avenue Improvements Project easement acquisitions; total: $7.902.
Authorized selection of the Bank of Tuscaloosa for an unsecured line of credit.
Authorized the finance director to open an account with the Bank of Tuscaloosa.
Authorized the finance director to make changes to the checking account with Capstone Bank for the River Market EBT.
Selected McGiffert and Associates LLC as engineer for the University Boulevard Storm Sewer and Sanitary Sewer Project.
Selected CFM Group LLC as the engineer for the Flood Hazard Area Revisions to Cribbs Mill Creek and Cribbs Mill Creek Tributary No. 5 Project.
Authorized the mayor to execute a rightofway permit to University Stations LLC.
Tentatively awarded public works contract to One Path Systems LLC for the City WalkForest Lake SectionFiber/Cabling Infrastructure System and Termination Hardware; total: $171,445.
Authorized the finance director to draw a draft for payment regarding the patient-centered outcomes research fee pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act; total: $300.
Authorized an agreement with the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority and Gatehouse Media Holdings Inc. for a July 4th special event.
Authorized the mayor to execute ALDOT agreement for repairs to streets and drainage structures.
Tentatively awarded a public works contract to John Plott Co. Inc. for Lift Station 21 interceptor lower portion improvements; total: $2,556,134.57.
Tentatively awarded a public works contract to L&D Moore Contracting LLC for sidewalks at Hargrove Road project; total: $169,955.
Tentatively awarded a public works contract to Ryan Shirley Inc. for Rice Mine Road 2014 improvements project; total: $577,192
Tentatively awarded a public works contract to ST Bunn Construction Co. Inc. for HIllard Drive Road repair project; total: $257,918.
Tentatively awarded a public works contract to Mark Johnson Construction LLC for Ed Love sluice gate repairs project; total: $37,000.
Authorized the mayor to execute an agreement between the city of Tuscaloosa and the Alabama Department of Transportation regarding the re-designation of municipal connecting link.
Authorized the payment of bills; total: $23,741.58.
June 30th, 2015
Tuscaloosa City Council approves $3.6 million in contracts for road, sewer work - The City Council awarded almost $3.6 million in construction contracts Tuesday for a variety of infrastructure projects.
The most expensive was awarded to Tuscaloosa-based John Plott Co. Inc. for improvements to the sewer network near Lift Station 21, located off 29th Street near the Cherrystone neighborhood.
The $2.556 million contract will be for re-routing an existing sewer line that runs through Cherrystone and replace it with about 4,800 to 5,000 feet of new, larger line that will extend around the neighborhood's perimeter, said city Wastewater Engineer Daniel Price.
Work is expected to begin within the next month and the contract gives 180 days to complete the work.
Ryan Shirley Inc. of Northport won the bid to improve two of Rice Mine Roads intersections.
The $577,192 contract will be for installing a dedicated right turn lane from Rice Mine Road onto New Watermelon Road and adding a second left turn lane from Rice Mine Road onto the Bryant Bridge.
City Traffic Engineer Selvin Greene said utility relocation work for these projects already is underway and construction of the actual lanes is expected to start by mid-July.
Greene said the work at the New Watermelon Road intersection should be finished by Aug. 13 and the Bryant Bridge turn lanes should be done by mid-September.
S.T. Bunn Construction Co. Inc. of Tuscaloosa was the low bidder for a contract to improve Dr. Edward Hillard Drive.
Considered an emergency by city officials last month, the contract calls for improving all three lanes of Hillard Drive with a particular focus on the southern end where it connects to 15th Street.
The $257,918 in work also will include the installation of a right-turn lane from Hillard Drive onto 15th Street next to the new Little Caesar's pizza restaurant now under construction.
Expected to start this month, the work is expected to last about 30 days.
A $169,955 contract was awarded to low bidder L&D Moore Contracting LLC of Tuscaloosa for sidewalk construction on Hargrove Road near its connection with Hackberry Lane.
The 500-550 feet of sidewalk will go in front The Mount townhouse development now under construction.
Jason Cocker, project engineer for McGiffert and Associates, said the sidewalk construction should begin within the next two weeks and be finished within 30 days.
Mark Johnson Construction LLC of Tuscaloosa was the low bidder on a $37,000 contract to repair the sluice gates at the city's Ed E. Love Water Treatment Plant located near Jack Warner Parkway's intersection with Helen Keller Boulevard.
Reach Jason Morton at jason.morton@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0200.
June 30th, 2015
Former Miss Alabama Resha Riggins to perform with symphony - Former Miss Alabama Resha Riggins will perform with the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater on Saturday during the fifth annual Celebration on the River.
The orchestra will play a selection of patriotic music, followed by a fireworks display. Admission will be free.
The Fourth of July celebration will include a daylong series of free events starting with the Tuscaloosa Farmers Market from 7 a.m. until noon, the Malibu Cup waterski tournament from 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. on the Black Warrior River and the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority's kids zone at 5 p.m. across from the amphitheater featuring inflatable games, a climbing wall, face painting, laser tag and more.
For information, go to www. tuscaloosaamphitheater.com.
June 30th, 2015
SPORTING LIFE: Former Alabama golfer Deason's dream a reality - “I remember saying when I was younger and in my mid-twenties and I was playing against guys who were in their 40's,” Chip Deason recalled, “'I'm not going to be that guy. I'm not going to be that guy who is 40 years old and still chasing it.' And here I am. It's what I know. It's what I do. It's part of me, and I can make a living at it.”
Golf has been the field of dreams for the Centreville native, dreams he has made reality. The former University of Alabama golfer who once set the school record with a blistering 64 at the 1997 SEC Championships at Auburn's Grand National is still hitting them straight, still making his living as a professional golfer as he chases his 41st birthday in October.
He's been playing fulltime since January of 1999. Golf has not only led him to a career he enjoys, it led him to his wife, Summer, who he met in 2006 while he was playing on the Web.com tour. They are parents to son Walker, who turns five this month, and daughter Spencer, who will turn two this month. They make their home in Evans, Ga., just a short putt away from the hallowed golf grounds of Augusta National.
“It's crazy there during Masters week. We actually went to Disney World this year to get away from it.”
Deason comes from a program rich in golf history. Long before Alabama produced its back-to-back NCAA team championships in 2013 and 2014, its golfers were making headlines. In its first season in 1952, Bobby Hill won the conference championship. Jerry Pate's historic run as the 1974 U.S. Amateur champion came while he was playing for Alabama. Deason himself competed in the U.S. Amateur twice, in 1993 and 1996.
“What's neat about Alabama golf is that it's a fraternity,” said Deason, who has played with the same Big Al head cover on his clubs for twenty years. “It doesn't matter when you played. There's a bond. If I'm playing in a tournament with another Alabama golfer, I almost always end up hanging out with him.”
That fraternity helped Deason when he first started out, in particular two fellow West Alabamians who were playing professionally, Tuscaloosa natives Jeff Street and PGA Tour golfer Dicky Pride.
“They really took me under their wings,” said Deason, a key component on four UA teams that advanced to postseason play. “Alabama golf has a great history. We were always ranked in the Top 25 when I was playing. We never got to what we're seeing now. What Jay (Seawell) has done is unbelievable. But the teams and players who came before also did some big things. I can still be playing in a tournament and be in a situation where I'll think about the things Coach (Dick) Spybey taught me, how he would have told me to play it.”
Deason played in 23 tournaments last year and another eight or nine Monday qualifiers for the PGA and Web.com tours. It's a pace he continues. In fact, this week he's in West Virginia attempting to qualify for the PGA Tour's Greenbrier Classic. He's played in several PGA tour events over the years, most recently the 2013 Fed Ex St. Jude's Classic. He won two Hooters Tour championships, including a 28-under finish at the 2009 Com South Classic. He's played on the Web.com Tour, Gateway Tour, DP Tour, NGA Tour Pro Golf Tour and the Hooters Tour which is now the Swingthought Tour.
In two weeks, he'll return to Grand National to play in the qualifier for the PGA Barbasol Championship.
“There are two courses there,” said Deason who was All-District and All-SEC in 1996 and 1997 and produced Alabama's low stroke average for three consecutive seasons, in 1995, 1996 and 1997. “We played a different course for the SEC Championships than the one they're using for The Tour. It's been a while since I played there, but I'm looking forward to going back. Anytime you get a chance to come back home and play in Alabama, it's awesome.”
Deason's golf start came in Centreville where the 1993 Bibb County High School graduate used to tag along with his father, the late Dr. Bobby Deason, on the course at Cahaba Falls Country Club. They lived just a few doors down, though Dr. Deason devised a way for his son to get extra practice time in their backyard, fashioning a green by cutting the grass low and putting up a hole and flag. Dr. Deason also started his son on a tradition he continues, collecting quarters from 1963 or earlier to use as ball markers. The quarters are incentives to shoot a score that matches the year.
“I love going back home,” said Deason, the 1991 and 1992 Alabama State Junior champion who returns to Centreville to visit his mother, Faye Deason, as often as possible. “It's fun to go back and play at the club with all the guys there, to get away from the grind and just hang out with friends and play golf.
“Centreville is a really special place, and it's really amazing when you think of the athletes from that area who made it to the next level. There's Ben Jones, who plays for the Houston Texans, Matt Downs, who played for the Giants and the Astros, and Zac Stacy, who's played for the St. Louis Rams and New York Jets. And then you have Sammie Hill, who's from close by, West Blocton, who's playing for the Tennessee Titans. For such a small town to have so many guys who go on to the next level is pretty neat.”
As is the career Deason has carved for himself, one that he doesn't see stopping anytime soon.
“I miss my family like crazy when I'm gone, that's the downside. But I can't imagine doing anything else for a living.”
June 30th, 2015
Fire guts buildings in downtown York - A massive, fast-moving fire claimed about half of York’s downtown historic business district Tuesday.
Firefighters spent around 12 hours fighting the flames in the small Sumter County city. Four businesses were destroyed, including Miss Sissy’s Diner, Trackside Cafe, a women’s clothing store and a tax preparation business.
The buildings were near the train tracks along Alabama Highway 17, also called Main Street. It’s an area that city leaders have focused on redeveloping for the last several years, Mayor Gena Doggett Robbins said.
“We’ve all been working together for the past three years to build our downtown historic district up and the economic development of our Main Street,” she said. “This tragedy will not sway us in any way from our mission to make our city the best it can be.”
The buildings were close to 100 years old, Robbins said.
“We’re a community of 2,300 people and 90 percent of us grew up seeing these buildings since we were small children,” she said.
Dozens of volunteer firefighters from York and eight surrounding departments responded to the fire, which started at Miss Sissy’s Diner shortly after 2 a.m.
The proximity of the buildings and the tar-covered flat roofs helped the flames spread quickly, Robbins said.
Chief Brian Harris, who serves as the city’s police chief, fire chief and public safety director, was the second person on the scene.
“There was no visible vandalism. I’m assuming it was bad wiring or something similar,” he said.
The windows and doors of the two-story building where the fire started were intact, Harris said, but heavy smoke was pouring from the roof. Firefighters immediately went into defensive mode, he said, by attempting to fight the fire while containing it to as small an area as possible.
“I really appreciate all of the fire departments that responded and assisted with this,” Harris said. “Without them, the fire couldn’t have been contained. It wouldn’t have been possible.”
Harris said he will request that the Alabama Fire Marshal conduct an investigation to determine the cause of the fire. Doggett said that city leaders intend to explore as many possible options for assistance in rebuilding.
“Our city and the community of people who live here are strong,” she said. “We’re just going to dust off and start over again.”
Reach Stephanie Taylor at stephanie.taylor@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0210.
June 30th, 2015
Alabama prisons considered most overcrowded in the country - MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — At Elmore Correctional Center prison north of Montgomery, rows of bunk beds fill a large room that was designed to hold about half of the 196 inmates who currently live there. The beds are so close together an angry inmate could reach out and punch another man without ever touching the floor.
Huge fans spin noisily on a hot June afternoon, but the air is stifling inside the huge dormitory. Across a dusty yard, hundreds of inmates file through a cafeteria line before eating at metal tables. As they finish, the inmates line up to be frisked for eating utensils or other possible weapons by corrections officers.
Alabama prisons are considered the most overcrowded in the country, holding nearly twice the number of inmates they were built to house. State lawmakers, trying to stave off feared federal intervention, approved a reform package this spring that includes a bond issue for additional prison space and a new law making sweeping changes to sentencing and probation standards.
"Our overcrowding was leading to more abuses, poorer conditions and walking us down a road to federal intervention," said Republican Sen. Cam Ward who led a reform task force that developed the plan.
State prisons in January housed 25,102 inmates in facilities designed to hold 13,318, putting the system at 188 percent capacity. The crowding level has contributed to risky conditions for those on both sides of the prison bars.
"Crowded, a little bit more hostile than it used to be. People seem to think that it used to be badder than it is now, but it's not necessarily. It's a lot worse now," said Robert Marbury, an inmate at Elmore prison for 28 years on convictions for rape, robbery, burglary and theft.
The two bills are designed to bring prison populations down to 137 percent capacity in the next five years, a crowding level that federal courts have found acceptable when crowding lawsuits have been brought in other states. The changes seek to gradually reduce crowding by steering low-level offenders away from prison with the creation of a new Class D felony category and to reduce recidivism with making changes to probation and supervision, including hiring additional probation officers who now handle caseloads of 200 inmates each.
The reform effort won Alabama — a state that once used hitching posts and chain gangs — praise from a group often at odds with the prison policy decisions of Alabama lawmakers, the American Civil Liberties Union said.
But first lawmakers have to fund it.
The price tag in the first year for the reforms is $12 million, Ward said. That is a small amount by state budget standards, but it is money that the state does not have yet.
"I'm very concerned that the legislators . . . pass a budget that will not only support prison reform, which they obviously voted for, but that will be good for all of Alabama. So I think the legislators need to do their job and pass a budget," said Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama.
Ward said he is, "very confident we will come up with the $12 million needed to fund this reform effort in its first year."
Gov. Robert Bentley vetoed a budget that would have cut $200 million from state agencies after lawmakers couldn't agree on how to patch a revenue hole. Lawmakers will meet in a special session this summer to try again to pass a budget.
The chairman of the Senate budget committee said prisons will be a funding priority if lawmakers find additional funds. However, Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said the funding is doubtful if lawmakers can't agree on new revenue.
Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles Assistant Director Eddie Cook said officers now have caseloads of 190 to 200 each.
Cook said it would be impossible for officers to "accurately and safely" supervise that many offenders.
He said the agency hoped to hire many of the 100 additional officers proposed by the reforms in the next fiscal year. "If we don't get funding, we will be like most state agencies, we will be laying off employees," Cook said.
Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn told lawmakers that a nearly 5 percent funding cut to state prisons would force the closure of two prisons and move nearly 2,000 inmates to other facilities, driving capacity over 220 percent.
"You might as well be rolling out a red carpet to the federal courts to intervene in our system if you allow our system to go to 226 percent capacity," Ward said.
Associated Press writer Jay Reeves contributed to this report.
June 30th, 2015
See tweets of Alabama's takeover of the SEC Network - <div class="storify"><iframe src="//storify.com/TnewsBob/sec-network-takeover/embed?border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true">[<a href="//storify.com/TnewsBob/sec-network-takeover" target="_blank">View the story "SEC Network Takeover - Alabama" on Storify]
June 30th, 2015
Avery Johnson wants to add one more big recruit for signing class - University of Alabama head basketball coach Avery Johnson added a Top-100 wing player to the Crimson Tide roster last week, but said on Monday's SEC Basketball Coaches' summer teleconference that he was not through recruiting for the 2015-16 season.
“We're not through,” Johnson said. “(There's) going to be one more addition. Obvious you are always on the lookout for a big guy but we're going to add another wing. Hopefully we'll have that done by the start of the second semester of summer school. We're trying to get a fifth-year guy, someone that has some experience.”
Alabama will have four newcomers eligible for next season and two transfers, Nick King and Avery Johnson Jr., sitting out.
Johnson spoke enthusiastically about Kobie Eubanks, a 6-foot-5 wing who signed with the Crimson Tide last week.
“We were just thrilled that we were able to salvage our 2015 recruiting class with Kobie. He's a big physical 6-5 wing who can score the ball, really physical at taking the ball to the basket.
“He's coming in primed and ready to play because a lot of the guys that he expected to play against are already in college. He's hungry and thirsty.”
Several SEC coaches, as well as new commissioner Greg Sankey, were asked about the national debate over the display of the Confederate flag on state government buildings around the South.
“I issued a statement last week supporting the calls that have been made to remove the Confederate battle flag from (the) prominent displays that have been noted,” Sankey said. “We've seen some progress on that front, obviously, in the state of Alabama.
“It's an important conversation because our athletics programs provide a key rallying point for ... our region and we want to make sure that they are a welcoming circumstance as much as that's possible when you're a visiting team in our arenas and stadiums.”
Auburn coach Bruce Pearl said that, “the Confederate flag means a lot in a very positive way to a lot of folks in the South,” but added, “in other circles, it is not a positive symbol in our country...I think it's important we recognize that and in public places be sensitive to that and take the flag down.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari, whose team annually sees the most early exits for the NBA Draft, was asked about the current proposal to allow players to return to school if they declare for the NBA Draft but do not hire an agent.
“That was all tied to what we did to get the NBA to have a combine,” Calipari said. “We on the NABC (National Association of Basketball Coaches) board met with the NBA to say, “let's have a combine where you control it, you invite the players, you work them out, you do your thing with them and then if you recommend (that) they go back to school and they choose not to, that's fine. If they're not invited, it kind of sends a clear message. But for that to work, we have to let the kids come back to school if they're not invited to the combine or if they go to the combine and know they need to go back to school. So I think it's all good stuff.
“I think we're finally moving in a direction where it favors the kids and that's what we should be doing.”
Reach Cecil Hurt at cecil@tidesports.com or 295-722-0225.
June 30th, 2015
Tuscaloosa not issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples - Two Tuscaloosa County women were denied a marriage license at the county courthouse, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling last week that paved the way for gay marriages nationwide.
The Tuscaloosa County Office of Probate, under orders from Probate Judge Hardy McCollum, is maintaining a 21-day delay on the issuance of marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The delay, McCollum said last week, was to allow for any petitions to be submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court for a rehearing of the June 26 landmark decision to allow homosexual couples the right to marry.
The policy was challenged by University of Alabama professors Jennifer Kenney and Hali Felt, who also were denied a license last week, just hours after the Supreme Court's decision was announced.
"It was humiliating, actually," Felt said, "and I'm not a person to use that term lightly."
She said the denial led to an emotional weekend for the two and hampered their celebration of the court's ruling.
On Monday, Kenney, 41, and Felt, 32, were allowed to submit an application for the marriage license only. Probate court officials said that, barring any changes in McCollum's current policy, it would not be processed until July 17.
Heterosexual couples, though, are still allowed to submit an application and obtain a marriage license immediately, officials said.
"It's very important that we push to not only have a public record," Kenney said, "but I want the world to know that I love this woman, and I want to spend the rest of my life with her, and I think there should be a public record of that.
"We want there to be a piece of paper so that when people look back — if we choose to have children, when our families come back and they look at Tuscaloosa and want to do a genealogy — we want them to see that these two were married here in Tuscaloosa County."
The two were told Monday morning by Lisa Whitehead, chief clerk for the Tuscaloosa County Office of Probate, that the 21-day waiting period remained in effect. When Kenney asked to speak with McCollum directly, she was told that he was out of town at a conference and would not be back until next week.
"Today, we know there's been a lot of talk across the country for people getting ready for same-sex marriages. I don't understand why he's not here," Kenney said. "He's an elected official. This is very frustrating for someone who lives in Tuscaloosa County."
The exchange between Kenney and Whitehead was civil, though Kenney did make her frustrations known.
"Now that it's finally legal nationally, it's really important to us," Kenney said. "It feels like a huge slap in the face because we are committed and would like to enjoy all the rights and responsibilities that marriage entails, and we're not able to do that."
Across West Alabama
Bibb County Probate Judge Jerry C. Pow said his office would not be issuing marriage licenses or performing ceremonies.
"At this point in time, we're out of the marriage business," he said.
The three-term probate judge said his decision was based on rulings by the Alabama Supreme Court. Also, Pow said he had not yet seen the memo from the Association of County Commissions of Alabama recommending that probate judges begin following the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court beginning at 10 a.m. Monday.
When asked what, if anything, would compel him to alter the current policy, Pow did not have a clear answer.
"This thing is changing on a minute-by-minute basis," Pow said.
Marengo County is taking a similar approach to that in Tuscaloosa County.
Paula McDaniel, chief clerk of the Marengo County Office of Probate, said same-sex and heterosexual couples could only submit a marriage license application right now. Actual licenses, however, were not being issued.
McDaniel said she did not know how long that policy would remain.
"It could change today. It could change tomorrow. It could change in 30 minutes — I don't know," she said.
Officials in Lamar, Fayette, Pickens and Hale counties said they would be issuing marriage licenses to any couple — heterosexual or same-sex — that has the proper documentation.
Whether couples also can receive marriage ceremonies by the probate judges in these counties, however, is not as clear.
The chief clerk for Fayette County Probate Judge William Oswalt said his office never makes appointments for him to officiate a marriage. If he's available, then he may perform them, she said.
Oswalt was not available for comment. He had left the office by noon Monday.
Lamar County Probate Judge Johnny Rogers, now in his third term, said marriage ceremonies ended in his office in February because a recent bout with throat cancer left it difficult for him to talk.
As for the licenses, though, he said they were being issued to any couple asking for one.
"The only thing I know to do is to issue the license," he said.
In Hale County, first-term Probate Judge Arthur Crawford said he would perform traditional marriage ceremonies, but he is unwilling to do the same for homosexual couples.
"I will not be performing any same-sex marriage ceremonies," he said. "I cannot perform marriage ceremonies for same-sex couples. It's religious for me, and it's biblical.
"On that decision, I have to stand."
And Pickens County Probate Judge John Paluzzi said he would no longer be performing ceremonies for anyone.
"I'm going to miss that," Paluzzi said. "I averaged about one marriage a day since I've been there."
Paluzzi, now in his third term, said the number of ceremonies he typically performed totaled so high because of the county's proximity to Mississippi, which has more stringent rules on marriages than Alabama.
He declined to elaborate on his decision to halt the ceremonies effective immediately.
Officials in Greene, Perry and Sumter counties could not be reached Monday for comment.
Reach Jason Morton at jason.morton@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0200.
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June 30th, 2015
Alabama One files suit, says state abused authority in regulating credit union - Alabama One Credit Union and its chief executive officer filed a federal lawsuit on Monday alleging state officials abused their authority, and that the regulatory scrutiny the Tuscaloosa-based credit union has faced during the past two years was driven by personal rather than public interests.
"There are some serious allegations in this complaint. This complaint involves some very powerful people," said Alabama One Credit Union CEO John Dee Carruth. "We feel like there is some wrongdoing that has been perpetuated against Alabama One. For the past 18 months, we have been dealing with regulatory scrutiny that is unparalleled in the industry."
The civil lawsuit was filed on Monday in U.S. District Court in Tuscaloosa. The lawsuit names as defendants David Byrne, chief legal adviser for Gov. Robert Bentley; state Sen. Gerald Allen, Sarah Moore, administrator of the Alabama Credit Union Administration; attorney Jay Smyth III; attorney Albert G. Lewis III; Lewis, Smyth, Winter and Ford LLC law firm; attorney Bobby Cockrell, Doug Key, who served as interim manager and CEO of Alabama One Credit Union; and former Alabama Credit Union Administration Administrator Larry Morgan.
Alabama One Credit Union is requesting a trial by jury and wants compensatory and punitive damages and attorney fees. The 16-count complaint includes allegations the constitutional rights of the plaintiffs were violated by state officials, interference with a contractual/business relationship, emotional distress, defamation, trespass and breach of fiduciary duty.
The lawsuit alleges a scheme by the defendants abusing the power of the Alabama Credit Union Administration has put the credit union on the brink of conservatorship. The independent state agency, which regulates state-chartered credit unions, issued a cease-and-desist order earlier this year demanding that Alabama One Credit Union make major changes in its management, training of its directors and lending practices, including its business loans.
In the 80-page complaint filed on Monday, the plaintiffs alleged Smyth used personal and professional connections to influence state employees in an attempt to use regulatory pressure to force the credit union to settle lawsuits brought against it by plaintiffs represented by the attorney and his firm. The complaint alleges the lawsuits were filed to take advantage of the pressure the credit union was under because of the regulator inquiries about loans to Tuscaloosa County businessman Danny Ray Butler.
Smyth and his firm represent several credit union members in civil suits filed over allegations officials in the credit union conspired with Butler to defraud them. Butler, who is serving a federal prison sentence for check kiting and defrauding lenders, had almost $25 million in loans from the credit union at one time. Butler has since filed for bankruptcy.
Carruth and the credit union allege Smyth, Byrne, Allen and others met in 2013 and 2014 in Montgomery to discuss the state's actions regarding the credit union during a series of meetings. The complaint alleges Bentley was present for at least one of the meetings.
"We believe based on the fact we have seen conduct that exceeded regulatory and government authority of the officials," said attorney Jeven Sloan, who is representing Carruth and the credit union in the lawsuit.
Smyth, speaking on behalf of his firm, issued a three-page statement in response on Monday night, calling the claims baseless and accusing the credit union of a history of using lawsuits in an attempt to intimidate those who have voiced complaints about mismanagement.
"The credit union's allegations are not only factually baseless, they are patently silly on their face. They sound like something out of the Mad Hatter's tea party instead of this Texas law firm of Loewinsohn Flegle Deary, LLP that has apparently been hired to represent Alabama One and Mr. Carruth," Smyth wrote.
Any risk of being placed in conservatorship the credit union faces is the result of the management team's conduct, Smyth replied, not the defendants named in the complaint.
Bryne, Moore, Bentley and Allen could not be reached for comment on Monday.
The complaint is the latest in a series of court battles this spring for the credit union.
Earlier this month, a credit member filed a civil suit in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court seeking the removal of its leadership.
The credit union was also in court this spring challenging the implementation of the cease-and-desist order and Moore's authority to issue it.
The credit union has roughly 60,000 members and more than $600 million in assets.
June 30th, 2015
Mississippi writer Deborah Johnson wins Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction - A Columbus, Miss.-based writer has earned the 2015 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for her book “The Secret of Magic.”
The annual prize is awarded to a book-length work of fiction that best illuminates the role of lawyers in society and their power to bring about change. The prize is authorized by Lee and co-sponsored by the University of Alabama School of Law and the ABA Journal.
“I am thrilled and I thank the University of Alabama, the ABA Journal and the judges so very much for this wonderful honor,” Deborah Johnson said in a news release.
The prize was launched in 2010 to honor Lee, a former UA law student, and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the publication of her Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “To Kill A Mockingbird.”
Johnson’s book was chosen by a panel of judges that included Wayne Flynt, author and Alabama historian, Mary McDonagh Murphy, independent film and television writer and producer, and Michele Norris, NPR host and special correspondent.
Members of the panel said “The Secret of Magic” embodies the spirit of “To Kill a Mockingbird.”
“Unforgettable characters, suspense that builds straight to the last pages and straight plain prose, all the necessary ingredients to win a prize named for Harper Lee. Deborah Johnson does a lovely job,” Murphy said in a news release.
Johnson’s book will be honored during a Sept. 3 ceremony at the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the National Book Festival.
Johnson is also the author of “The Air Between Us,” which received the Mississippi Library Association Award for fiction, and is now working on her next novel.
Johnson is the first woman and first African-American author to win the Harper Lee prize.
June 30th, 2015
Woman, 2 children found shot to death in McCalla, near Birmingham - BESSEMER | Authorities were searching for a Birmingham-area man Monday night after his wife and two children were found dead inside a home in McCalla — about 20 miles southwest of Birmingham.
Jefferson County sheriff’s investigators were called to a home Sunday evening and found the bodies of Doris Hutcheson, 49, Kimberly Hutcheson, 14, and Peyton Hutcheson, 12, Sgt. Jack Self said. The woman and two children had each been shot.
The victims’ relatives hadn’t heard from the family over the weekend and deputies had to force entry to the home when they arrived on the scene, authorities said. The children’s father, Steve Hutcheson, is not considered a suspect but is being sought by police Self said.
“We have a lot of concern for the husband, his safety, where he is and what he could possibly tell us,” Jefferson County sheriff’s Lt. David Agee told Al.com. “We need to find him. He’s a missing piece.”
Nothing about the case indicates that a suspect may be at large, Jefferson County Assistant Sheriff Mike Logan said.
Warrants had been granted to allow investigators to search three vehicles parked in the family’s driveway and any electronics found inside the home, Chief Deputy District Attorney Bill Veitch said.
No arrests had been made in the shootings as of Monday evening.
June 30th, 2015
Attorney accused of money laundering while furnishing University of Alabama sorority house - BIRMINGHAM | Federal prosecutors say a South Carolina attorney is accused in a bank fraud and money laundering scheme involving the furnishing of a new University of Alabama sorority house.
Prosecutors said in a statement that 38-year-old Jennifer Elizabeth Meehan was arrested Monday by federal authorities. Meehan was indicted last week on eight counts including charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering. She is scheduled for arraignment on July 9 in Birmingham.
Prosecutors say Meehan volunteered with Gamma Phi Beta’s UA chapter and was responsible for furnishing the new 40,000-square-foot, three story sorority house being constructed on Paul W. Bryant Drive.
Between 2013 and earlier this spring, prosecutors say Meehan, a former sorority member and president of the housing corporation board of the UA chapter of the sorority, is accused of submitting roughly $95,000 in false invoices for kitchen furnishings to Greek Resource Services, which handles accounting and finances for Greek organizations at the university. Prosecutors say Meehan is also accused of opening a bank account under a fraudulent business name and submitting about $375,000 in fraudulent invoices for furniture to Greek Resource Services. Prosecutors allege about $175,000 of the funds were transferred from the account of the dummy business into Meehan’s personal accounts. Meehan did not have an attorney listed in federal court records on Monday.
June 30th, 2015
Alabama tries to stave off federal prison intervention - MONTGOMERY | At Elmore Correctional Center prison north of Montgomery, rows of bunk beds fill a large room that was designed to hold about half of the 196 inmates who currently live there. The beds are so close together an angry inmate could reach out and punch another man without ever touching the floor.
Huge fans spin noisily on a hot June afternoon, but the air is stifling inside the huge dormitory. Across a dusty yard, hundreds of inmates file through a cafeteria line before eating at metal tables. As they finish, the inmates line up to be frisked for eating utensils or other possible weapons by corrections officers.
Alabama prisons are considered the most overcrowded in the country, holding nearly twice the number of inmates they were built to house. State lawmakers, trying to stave off feared federal intervention, approved a reform package this spring that includes a bond issue for additional prison space and a new law making sweeping changes to sentencing and probation standards.
“Our overcrowding was leading to more abuses, poorer conditions and walking us down a road to federal intervention,” said Republican Sen. Cam Ward who led a reform task force that developed the plan.
State prisons in January housed 25,102 inmates in facilities designed to hold 13,318, putting the system at 188 percent capacity. The crowding level has contributed to risky conditions for those on both sides of the prison bars.
“Crowded, a little bit more hostile than it used to be. People seem to think that it used to be badder than it is now, but it’s not necessarily. It’s a lot worse now,” said Robert Marbury, an inmate at Elmore prison for 28 years on convictions for rape, robbery, burglary and theft.
The two bills are designed to bring prison populations down to 137 percent capacity in the next five years, a crowding level that federal courts have found acceptable when crowding lawsuits have been brought in other states. The changes seek to gradually reduce crowding by steering low-level offenders away from prison with the creation of a new Class D felony category and to reduce recidivism with making changes to probation and supervision, including hiring additional probation officers who now handle caseloads of 200 inmates each.
The reform effort won Alabama — a state that once used hitching posts and chain gangs — praise from a group often at odds with the prison policy decisions of Alabama lawmakers, the American Civil Liberties Union said.
But first lawmakers have to fund it.
The price tag in the first year for the reforms is $12 million, Ward said. That is a small amount by state budget standards, but it is money that the state does not have yet.
“I’m very concerned that the legislators . . . pass a budget that will not only support prison reform, which they obviously voted for, but that will be good for all of Alabama. So I think the legislators need to do their job and pass a budget,” said Susan Watson, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Alabama.
Ward said he is, “very confident we will come up with the $12 million needed to fund this reform effort in its first year.”
Gov. Robert Bentley vetoed a budget that would have cut $200 million from state agencies after lawmakers couldn’t agree on how to patch a revenue hole. Lawmakers will meet in a special session this summer to try again to pass a budget.
The chairman of the Senate budget committee said prisons will be a funding priority if lawmakers find additional funds. However, Sen. Arthur Orr, R-Decatur, said the funding is doubtful if lawmakers can’t agree on new revenue.
Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles Assistant Director Eddie Cook said officers now have caseloads of 190 to 200 each.
Cook said it would be impossible for officers to “accurately and safely” supervise that many offenders.
He said the agency hoped to hire many of the 100 additional officers proposed by the reforms in the next fiscal year. “If we don’t get funding, we will be like most state agencies, we will be laying off employees,” Cook said.
Corrections Commissioner Jeff Dunn told lawmakers that a nearly 5 percent funding cut to state prisons would force the closure of two prisons and move nearly 2,000 inmates to other facilities, driving capacity over 220 percent.
“You might as well be rolling out a red carpet to the federal courts to intervene in our system if you allow our system to go to 226 percent capacity,” Ward said.
Associated Press writer Jay Reeves contributed to this report.
June 30th, 2015
Second victim dies after house fire - A young woman died Thursday night after a fire at her home on 34th Avenue.
Yasmane Marshall, 20, died at UAB Hospital at 10 p.m. Thursday, said Fire Marshal Gene Holcomb, spokesman for the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service.
Marshall’s mother Ruby Howard, 49, died at the hospital that morning. Investigators are still working to determine how the fire started.
June 30th, 2015
Single-vehicle crash kills Aliceville man - A 19-year-old from Aliceville died Sunday in a one-vehicle crash, according to state troopers.
Victor Earl Windham died when the 2006 Dodge Dakota he was driving left the roadway and overturned.
Troopers said Windham, who was not wearing a seat belt, was partially ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash occurred at 6:40 p.m. Sunday on Bradford Road, four miles west of Aliceville.
Troopers are continuing to investigate.
June 30th, 2015
Art House film series continues tonight - The Bama Art House summer film series continues tonight with a screening of “Welcome to Me,” starring Kristen Wiig.
The movie will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Bama Theatre, 600 Greensboro Ave.
The film is about a woman who wins the lottery and buys her own talk show.
The comedy-drama is rated “R.”
The summer series is sponsored by the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa.
Tickets cost $8 or $7 for seniors and students and $6 for Arts Council members.
Visit www.bamatheatre.org/bamaarthouse to view a preview of this week’s film.
June 30th, 2015
Tuscaloosa County High School tennis courts reach phase 1, ceremony to be held - A groundbreaking ceremony for the first phase of the future tennis court complex at Tuscaloosa County High School will be Tuesday at 10 a.m. at the school, located at 12500 Wildcat Drive.
The Tuscaloosa County Commission and the Tuscaloosa County School System have been working to get the complex since 2013. The County Commission is providing $80,000 in community development funds to go along with the school board’s commitment of $90,000 to build the complex.
“To me, this is a positive step forward for both County High’s athletic programs and for the Northport community to have new courts available,” said County Commissioner Stan Acker, who represents the area. “I am glad to have been a part of this project that brought the County Commission and the Tuscaloosa County school board together for a joint project.”
Phase 1 of the project is to build two courts.
Acker said the long-term goal is to have six tennis courts, which will allow for tournament play.
The high school’s tennis team now has to travel to Northridge High, Kentuck Park or the University of Alabama to play because the school has no tennis courts of its own.
Acker said although the complex is being built primarily for the team, but it will be open to the public, too.
“The tennis courts at the school really serve a dual role,” he said. “They are primarily for the school team use, of course, but after hours and during the summer, they will be available for use by the general public.”
June 30th, 2015
Tuscaloosa County Education Board approves an $11 million loan to fund three projects - The Tuscaloosa County Board of Education on Monday approved the acceptance of an $8-million construction loan from Regions Bank to fund three projects.
The projects will:
-Complete the site selection work for the new Holt High School, which includes acquiring properties, selecting an architect and paying for all costs of the school’s design;
-Complete renovations at Lloyd Wood Middle School, transforming it into the Lloyd Wood Education Center, which will house the Sprayberry Education Center, Grad Academy and the Virtual Learning Center;
-Complete renovations at the old Brookwood High School so that it can be used to house a new library, pre-kindergarten classes and a hospitality career tech academy that will include culinary arts and lodging.
“The amount (the board approved allowing the system to secure for the projects) is $11 million, but we don’t want to go over that amount because we already have some other loans,” said Superintendent Elizabeth Swinford. “But $8 million will get us pretty far along on what we need to do in those schools. We’re doing some of the work that we’re not going to need a contractor to do.”
Swinford said the $8 million loan, along with a donation and 1-cent sales tax money, will fully fund the $5.5 million Lloyd Wood Education Center renovations and the $850,000 Brookwood High renovations. The money left over will be used for construction contingencies and to help pay for site selection work for the new Holt High.
The board also approved at Monday’s meeting allowing Ward Scott Architecture to move forward with all necessary requirements to acquire all properties at the Westervelt Investment Realty Inc. property, which the board tentatively selected as the site to build the new Holt High in early June.
The Westervelt Investment Realty Inc. property is south of Jack Warner Parkway, west of 36th Avenue E. and east of the Lake Tamaha student housing development and the proposed route of the Eastern Bypass.
Ward Scott has to find out the actual cost of the property and the board still has to negotiate deals to purchase the 17 private properties surrounding the 31-acre Westervelt lot. They also must work out an agreement with the Tuscaloosa City Council about using the property, since it falls within the city limits.
If all 17 private properties are acquired, the school board will have a total of 52 acres to build the $34-million school.
Reach Jamon Smith at jamon.smith@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0204.
June 30th, 2015
Sgt. Dale Phillips retires after 27 years in law enforcement - Dale Phillips wanted to work in law enforcement for as long as he can remember.
“It’s all I ever wanted to do, I never considered anything else,” he said.
A few weeks after he turned 22, the required age at the time, Phillips started work at the University of Alabama Police Department. He spent the last 17 years working for the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office until retiring this week.
“I can honestly say that I worked my whole career doing what I wanted to do.”
Phillips, 49, was commander of the Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit during 2013 and 2014 after working for years in the division as a supervisor and investigator.
“When Dale first transferred into homicide as a sergeant, and I was commander of the unit, I told him that I would rather have to hold him back than to push him. I needed someone who was going to work the cases hard and not somebody who I’d always have to look over their shoulder,” said Chief Loyd Baker. “He didn’t disappoint. He was one of the most tenacious investigators I’ve ever seen. He was a great asset to me as my sergeant and later became a phenomenal commander when I left the unit.”
Phillips was honored at a retirement reception held Monday afternoon at the Tuscaloosa County Courthouse annex.
Lt. Kip Hart, homicide unit assistant commander, has known Phillips for 25 years.
“I’ve been able to work with him and for him over the last six years,” he said Monday. “I’ve grown as a person and a police officer by knowing him. We’ve had a lot of success together working homicides. His experience, knowledge and friendship will be missed.”
As the commander, Phillips went to most of the calls his investigators were called to. Not because they needed to be told how to do their jobs, he said, but to assure them they were making the right decisions in what can be extremely high-pressure circumstances.
“You can’t lead from behind a desk or from home,” he said. “You have to be there with them. Christmas Day,
2 in the morning, you have to be there. This is a hard job with a lot of demands. It’s tough working overtime when your kids are playing ball, when the family’s having a cookout or opening Christmas gifts. But I’ve always felt that working homicide was my calling.”
Phillips’ first days of maintaining law and order were as a safety patrol officer at Walker Elementary School. His mother Dot worked as a captain with the Bryce Police Department, which influenced his decision to go into the field. He worked in many roles during his 27-year career, and the last few months he served as the head of the Sheriff’s Office’s Criminal Investigations Division.
Phillips’ last case is the one that will follow him into retirement. He was assigned to the Kate Ragsdale case shortly before becoming commander, and has spent a portion of every day working on it since. Ragsdale, 73, was found dead at her home in The Highlands on Feb. 24, 2013. Her killer hasn’t been found.
“I think of her every day,” he said. “Even though I’m retiring I still plan to assist on this case and help them out with what I know. I have my theories and I plan to stay involved.”
While working homicides and violent crimes can be grim work, Phillips said he felt grateful when he was able to tell a victim’s family member that he had solved a case.
“Nothing is going to make it better, but when you can sit down and look at that family and tell them ‘We got him’ it can give them some sense of closure,” he said. “Those were the best moments.”
Phillips said that now just felt like the right time to retire.
“I’ve had a very long and successful career. I’m very proud of what I accomplished,” he said. “I never wanted to be someone whose job had passed them by, and it hasn’t at this point.”
For now, he said he plans to relax, play golf and fish. He spends a lot of his time working as the District 3 director for Dixie Youth baseball, which he began volunteering for when his sons, now 21 and 25, were young.
He said that he may work again and is considering a run for public office.
“I’ve got some things in the works and am weighing my options,” he said. “I’m not going to sit on the sidelines. I’m not through.”
Reach Stephanie Taylor
at stephanie.taylor@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0210.
June 30th, 2015
Investigators say suspected burlgar shot to death - Investigators believe a man shot dead early Monday was trying to break into a second-story apartment.
A resident of The Links shot and killed a man on his balcony around 2 a.m. Monday, said Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit commander Capt. Gary Hood.
A second suspect was injured after falling or jumping from the balcony. He was being treated for injuries at DCH Regional Medical Center.
The victim died in the parking lot of the complex off Alabama Highway 69 South. The investigation is ongoing, Hood said.
June 29th, 2015
Second woman dies after fire - A young woman died Thursday night after a fire at her home on 34th Avenue.
Yasmane Marshall, 20, died at UAB Hospital at 10 p.m. Thursday, said Fire Marshal Gene Holcomb, spokesman for the Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue Service.
Marshall's mother Ruby Howard, 49, died at the hospital that morning. Investigators are still working to determine how the fire started.
June 29th, 2015
Aliceville teen dies in crash - A 19-year-old from Aliceville died Sunday in a one-vehicle crash, according to state troopers.
Victor Earl Windham died when the 2006 Dodge Dakota he was driving left the roadway and overturned.
Troopers say Windham, who was not wearing a seat belt, was partially ejected. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash occurred at 6:40 p.m. Sunday on Bradford Road, four miles west of Aliceville.
Troopers are continuing to investigate.
June 29th, 2015
Small-budget, faith-based film set, shot in Tuscaloosa - They knew each other. They played on the same football team at American Christian Academy. They weren’t friends, but they weren’t enemies.
Years later, Matt Leddo and John Major Davis are both friends and enemies.
Leddo and Davis have come together to perform another sport, mixed martial arts fighting, as they film the upcoming movie “The Fight Within,” a faith-based action and romance movie set in Tuscaloosa.
The movie is a faith-based feature film that follows a young MMA fighter through a developing love relationship and his eventual choice to follow a faith that provides the power he needs to overcome his brutal past, survive his current situation and create a new identity for his future.
Davis plays the protagonist, Logan Chandler, an MMA fighter who backs away from the fighting scene after his father dies.
Leddo plays the antagonist, Hayden Dressler, who has become the gym’s MMA champion. Hayden has lost only once, and that was to Logan. He is persistent in getting Logan to fight him again.
Leddo and Davis plan to fight in their own movie scenes and have been training at Headhunters Gym in Tuscaloosa for the past eight months. During that time, they have become friends while learning to play enemies.
“I maybe spoke two sentences to him during my high school career,” Davis said. “I consider him one of my really good friends now.”
Leddo said the two have told that story many times on set, which is being filmed in multiple locations across Tuscaloosa County including Headhunters Gym, Billy’s Sports Grill and Shelton State Community College until July 24.
The major fight scene will be filmed in Columbus, Miss.
Scriptwriter Jim Davis, who is also a Tuscaloosa native, said the actors training to fight their own scenes is unique to this film.
He said during his research while writing the script, he reached out to professional MMA fighters and asked their opinion of Hollywood films.
The response was that they didn’t see realistic moves and techniques — a combination of grappling, striking, kicking and punching — in those movies because professionals fighting the scene wouldn’t be believable actors, and it takes too much time and money to train the actors.
Jim Davis said Leddo and John Major Davis trained up to six hours a day for eight months and continue to train at least two hours a day while filming.
Leddo said he and John Major Davis have an agreement to give each fight all they’ve got.
In one scene, he said John Major Davis had to kick him in the chest. Leddo said he told John Major Davis not to take it easy on him. It took about 15 takes, which left Leddo pretty banged up, he said.
“It’s all choreographed stuff, but we want to make it as realistic as possible,” Leddo said. “We’re going to slam each other as hard as we can. We’ve both gotten black eyes. It’s not fake fighting, for sure.”
Jim Davis said he chose MMA fighting because it was the perfect way to illustrate physically what the story is about emotionally.
“When you think about the struggle we have internally, as you train to be a fighter, you have that same kind of struggle externally,” he said.
The real fight of whether or not God is real is within, he said.
That struggle is portrayed within the story line and the character of Logan, who is confused about God.
Logan meets and falls in love with Emma, a young woman who lives the ultimate Christian lifestyle. As his relationship with her grows, so does his belief in God.
“That’s really what our story’s about — a young man who is trying to find his own identity and the many trials and problems he encounters along that journey,” Jim Davis said. “It is a story of hope, courage, love and faith.”
He said he hopes the audience walks away being able to answer the questions: Where do you base your faith, and what drives your choices?
New Life Cinema, an Alabama-based production company is producing the small-budget film of less than $1 million.
The film will be released nationally later this year or early 2016.
Jim Davis said he was inspired to write the movie after seeing faith-based films being produced but not being entertaining enough to draw a non-faith-based audience.
“It’s got fighting, so a lot of guys are going to like that, and it’s got the romantic side for the women,” Leddo said. “It’s got something for everybody.”
Angel Coker can be reached at angel.coker@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0230.
June 29th, 2015
Teens use hair color to express themselves - DOTHAN | Summer often brings out sun-soaked blond streaks in hair, although sometimes with a little help from lemon juice or products like Sun-In.
But red, purple and blue?
Some local teens use their summer break away from school — and policies that prohibit distracting hair colors — to experiment with their hair whether they’re trying a trendy Ombré or dip dye look or just a few temporary streaks that will wash out.
“Most of them are wanting to experiment and be a little bit more creative with their hair color and not just the same old, same old blond highlights and brown lowlights,” said Jessica Thompson, a hair stylist at Hairport salon in Dothan. “They’re teenagers, and they can get away with it, and their bosses won’t make them have normal hair. I think it just gives them a little chance to be a
little more eccentric.”
Thompson recently added red to the long brown locks of 13-year-old Macey Neal, who had brought a red petal from home as a guide for Thompson. Macey, whose new hair color was a gift after she begged her parents to allow her to do it, wasn’t getting an all-over dye job. Instead, Thompson was coloring only the bottom half of Macey’s hair so the red would only show through on the ends and even more so with certain hairstyles.
The 13-year-old originally wanted blue — a request denied by her parents.
“I like red, but I didn’t want a fluorescent red — I wanted a darker red,” Macey said. “It took me forever to find the right red.”
Whether her school will allow her to keep the red, since it is a natural hair color, remains to be seen, but Macey is prepared to go back to her natural color or even cut her hair once school starts back.
“It’s hair; it will grow back,” she said. “If you’re looking for a certain change, and you want something new, it’s not that big of a deal to just dye your hair because you can cut it off, you can re-dye it.”
Hannah Moates, 16, colors her own hair during the summer using a store-bought color kit. Last summer, she dyed her blond hair blue. This summer, she went with dark purple. The purple blends with her natural blond and is mostly underneath the top half of her hair. The color, she said, will fade by the time fall arrives.
“It’s my favorite color, and I just thought it would look pretty,” Hannah said. “Whenever I pick the color. I always think about the clothes I wear and what my hair color is. And you have to think about your skin tone, too, like what’s going to clash with it or look good with it.”
Red is a popular color choice among teens as are turquoise, purple and pink, Thompson said.
“It’s just their own little creative outlet,” Thompson said.
And it’s not just teens seeking unusual hair colors.
Douglas Lehr, another stylist at Hairport, actually gets more clients in their 20s. Last year, he said, the trend was toward bright, tropical colors. This year, clients want soft blues, lilacs, pinks and even silver.
“Right now it’s all about the pastel colors,” he said.
Like many trends, celebrities have a lot of influence. Kelly Osbourne has had lilac and silver hair, and singer Katy Perry is often seen with bold streaks of color.
“Fashion has changed,” Lehr said. “Stuff like that would have been like rebel stuff once upon a time, but it’s way more prevalent nowadays.”
And the main reason many teens and young women are willing to experiment with their hair is because it’s something they can easily change, Lehr said.
But Lehr and Thompson said those considering a bolder hair color should understand the maintenance required.
“It does require maintenance — good take-home products to help maintain the hair, being mindful not to go in the sun because it bleaches it out and tends to mute the color more than you want it to,” Lehr said. “You want to get good trims because if you do bleach it out, it does tend to get a little frazzled and fragile.”
And if you’re opting for an at-home color job, Thompson said YouTube has some great tutorials.
“The biggest trick is finding the right hair color,” she said. “Just because it looks like that on the box does not mean that’s what your hair is going to look like. I would suggest subtle changes rather than big changes.”
June 29th, 2015
Avery Johnson inducted into Louisiana Hall of Fame - NATCHITOCHES, La. | Alabama men's basketball head coach Avery Johnson was one of 11 new members to be officially inducted into the Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Dinner on Saturday evening in front of a sold-out venue at the Natchitoches Events Center.
Johnson was joined by former NFL players Kevin Faulk and Jake Delhomme, along with coaching legends Pat Collins, Yvette Girouard and Otis Washington among other greats who were chosen for the 2015 Louisiana Sports Hall of Fame Induction Class.
Johnson, who was named the Crimson Tide's 20th head coach in program history on April 8, is a native of New Orleans who was a standout performer at St. Augustine High School. After spending two years at the junior college level, Johnson played his final two collegiate seasons at Southern University, leading the NCAA in assists both years. He was named the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Player of the Year and the Most Valuable Player of the SWAC Tournament as both a junior and senior.
He still owns several NCAA Division I records, including most assists in a single game (22 — shared with two other players), most games with 20 or more assists (4), the highest single-season assists average (13.3) and the highest career assists average (12.0). As a senior in 1988, he averaged 11.4 points and 13.3 assists per game, making him the first men's Division I player to average double figures in points and assists in the same season.
Despite his numerous amateur accolades, Johnson was not selected in the 1988 NBA Draft. He started his professional career playing with the Palm Beach Stingrays of the United States Basketball League before signing as a free agent with the Seattle Supersonics on August 2, 1988. Johnson went on to play point guard for six teams in the NBA for 16 seasons, averaging 8.4 points and 5.5 assists in 1,054 regular-season contests. He led the NCAA in assists twice at Southern (10.7 per game in 1986-87, 13.3 in 1987-88) while his career 8.97 average set a new national record. His top NBA scoring season came in 1994-95 with San Antonio when he posted a 13.4 average, and a year later was third in assists in the league at 9.6 per game behind John Stockton and Jason Kidd.
Known as “The Little General” for his on-court leadership and diminutive stature, Johnson helped guide the San Antonio Spurs to an NBA Championship in 1999. On March, 28 2003, as a member of the Dallas Mavericks, Johnson became the 75th player in league history to play 1,000 career games. At 5-11, he joined Calvin Murphy (Houston Rockets) as the only other player under six feet in height to reach that milestone.
He is still the Spurs' all-time leader in assists (4,474) and ranks 28th in NBA history in the same category. In recognition for his contributions to the Spurs organization, Johnson's No.6 jersey was retired in December, 2007.
Johnson also has had a successful coaching career at the NBA level, owning a 254-186 (.577) career coaching record after spending four seasons with the Dallas Mavericks and two-plus seasons with the Brooklyn Nets. During his time in Dallas, Johnson led the Mavericks to the postseason in each of his three-plus seasons as head coach. He led the Mavericks to a record of 194-70 (.735) and set an NBA record for reaching the 50-win plateau (62 games) and the 150-win plateau (191 games) the fastest of any head coach in league history. In 2005-06, Johnson led the Mavericks to their first appearance in the NBA Finals en route to earning NBA Coach of the Year honors.
The following season (2006-07), Johnson guided Dallas to an NBA-best 67 wins. In his final season in Dallas (2007-08), Johnson led his club to its third consecutive season of 50-plus wins, finishing with a record of 51-31. Making the playoffs in four consecutive seasons, Johnson holds a career postseason record of 23-24 (.489). Johnson began the 2004-05 season as an assistant coach with Dallas after retiring as a player on October 28, 2004.
June 29th, 2015
University of Alabama astronomy event offers chance to see Venus, Jupiter - Depending on the weather, stargazers will get a chance to view the planets Venus and Jupiter during a free event at the University of Alabama’s observatory on Tuesday.
“This will be the closest conjunction of Jupiter and Venus we’ve been able to see since 1999,” said William Keel, UA professor of physics and astronomy.
Celestial bodies appear near each other in the sky when they are in conjunction. Though the planets will appear to be close from an earthly viewpoint, they are actually 516 million miles apart, Keel said.
Visitors are invited atop Gallalee Hall on the UA campus from 8 to 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. The visitors will get to use UA’s 16-inch, research-grade telescope for the viewing.
The planets, appearing as bright stars, are visible with the naked eye low in the western sky about 90 minutes after sunset, Keel said.
“These will be the two brightest things in the sky at that point,” Keel said.
Gallalee Hall, at the corner of University Boulevard and Sixth Avenue, is less than a block from Denny Chimes.
The event is dependent upon the weather. The National Weather Service forecasts cloudy skies and a chance of rain on Tuesday night.
There is no backup date if the weather forces the event’s cancellation. Updates on the schedule for viewings are available online at astronomy.ua.edu/Public.html or by calling 205-348-5050. Large groups are asked to call 205-348-5050 in advance if they plan to attend.
June 28th, 2015
Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs to host open house Tuesday - The Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center will host an open house Tuesday to provide information about different programs it offers.
The event will be from 4-6:30 p.m. in the sports atrium of Building 137 on the far right side of the VA campus, 3701 Loop Road.
The open house is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs national “Summer of Service” initiative, an effort to grow the number of individuals and organizations serving veterans.
Tuscaloosa VA spokesman Damon Stevenson said the open house will help “educate and inform veterans, families and the general public about the VA. The other part is to increase volunteerism, and the third part is to educate about employment opportunities for the Veterans Affairs,” he said.
The VA welcomes members of other organizations that support veterans to attend the event and learn more about the VA’s services, Stevenson said.
Representatives from administrative offices, including human resources, enrollment and eligibility, and volunteer services will be on hand to provide information.
Staff members from all clinical departments including mental health, geriatrics, extended care and primary care will be there to answer questions.
Information also will be provided on special services like homeless programs, women veterans programs and patient education.
Tours of of specific areas at the VA also will be given.
“We feel it’s important to educate and inform not only our veterans and their families but also the general public about all of the services we have available for our veterans,” Stevenson said.
June 28th, 2015
City among finalists for grant payoff - The city of Tuscaloosa is shifting its focus as it moves to the second phase of a competition to get federal disaster resilience funds.
In the first phase, which occurred earlier this year, the focus was on concepts of resiliency. Now it will be on actual projects that will accomplish that resiliency.
Tuscaloosa is the only Alabama community competing in the second phase of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition.
The state, Birmingham and Jefferson County also were eligible to compete but did not make it to the second round, officials said.
There are more than 40 finalists, including states and communities. Projects selected for funding will get grants from $1 million to $500 million from an almost $1 billion pool of federal money.
The competition is designed to help states and local communities recover from disasters while improving their ability to withstand future ones through strategic community investments.
In the second and final phase, each finalist will propose a detailed project that advances its comprehensive resilience plans.
“Now we get to do the fun part,” said Robin Edgeworth, director of the city’s Office of Recovery Operations. “We’re just excited to be in Phase II.”
Of this, HUD is reserving $181 million for areas in New York and New Jersey affected by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The remainder will be doled out following a two-phase application process.
Formed under the federal Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013, the law included Community Development Block Grant funds for disaster recovery that were approved for presidentially-declared major disasters in 2011, 2012 and 2013.
During Phase I, the focus of the applications was on unmet needs related to but not limited to the original disaster. For Tuscaloosa, it is’s the tornado of April 27, 2011, as well as vulnerabilities to future extreme weather events, threats, hazards or other shocks.
The initial applications required information from community meetings and other sources as a way to frame the area’s recovery needs while also identifying relevant risks and vulnerabilities.
In order to qualify, the application had to show a logical link or connection to the original disaster and propose ways to benefit the most affected and distressed areas that resulted.
Phase II will also include public meetings to gather ideas on what projects should be tackled in order to more fully recover from the storm while moving beyond threats and risks.
Reach Jason Morton at jason.morton@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0200.
June 28th, 2015
Climbing high to slide - Kids and teenagers climbing up the middle of the pyramid-like Spacenet on the new 38-foot tube slide at Snow Hinton Park looked like flies caught in a spider web.
But 16-year-old Alexis Cammon had a different climbing strategy.
Like a spider crawling across its web, Cammon pushed and pulled on the steel cables wrapped in red rope, climbing her way to the top from the outside.
“I've been on here more than 10 times, I know,” Cammon said. “It's really fun.”
Construction of the largest playground slide in the Southeast was completed last week.
Director of the Tuscaloosa Park and Recreation Authority Gary Minor said a grand opening will take place in a couple weeks after a small cement wall is built to surround the playground area to hold the 1-foot thick fall material in place.
That last finishing touch has not kept people off the slide.
“Every time I go by and look, making the rounds a couple times a day, there's people all over it,” Minor said. “I'm sure at this point there's already been thousands of people on it.”
Minor said Tuscaloosa needed a unique piece of playground equipment like the slide to attract people above the age of 6 and get them active.
He said Tuscaloosa didn't have enough attractions for young teenagers that requires physical fitness.
“We've got a lot of playgrounds around town for kids 6 and under, but this is for everybody,” he said. “Adults should not be scared to use it.”
One mom who watched as her four kids scampered up the netting said she likes that the slide requires physical activity but was concerned about safety.
“It encourages exercise, and I love that because it's a lot better than playing on the phone,” Angie Porter said. “(But) there's nothing to keep them from falling.”
Minor said the slide was engineered by playground professionals and peer reviewed. He said the ropes, which rise at an angle and crisscross horizontally, are about three feet apart and designed to catch someone if they fall.
“People can get hurt on any play ground, but we wouldn't put out a playground that wasn't engineered to be safe,” he said.
Tristen Smiley, 8, who climbed the nets and slid down the slide 14 times, said the ropes were stable.
He said his favorite part was the climb.
“The slide and the ropes are very challenging,” Tristen said. “I'm glad this (slide) is in Tuscaloosa.”
June 28th, 2015
Big bang events highlight July - Now that June’s almost done bustin’ out all over, July brings in its big bang, topped by all-free
Independence Day celebrations, cooled by new waterski tournament and paddleboard race events, rolling on through movies, theater and visual arts exhibits, a hits-only visit from Rod Stewart, and closing with a return to the Bama Theatre’s Summer Shindig of local and regional music.
Here’s what’s happening:
Art Night: Kentuck’s July TEMP Gallery exhibit, “Farm-O-Rama” by Laurie Popp, will open with a reception concurrent with Art Night, 5-8 p.m. Kentuck is at 503 Main Ave., Northport.
The One Hand Dan Band, playing cigar box guitars made by local woodworker Bart Lynn, will perform in the courtyard.
Jojo’s Food Truck, pop-up shops of Lynn’s musical instruments, HipPies homemade pies, Tea Town Alabama and others will be in the courtyard.
The gallery shop will be open, as will the studios of Kentuck artists Ann Betak and Steve Davis. The Clay Co-op will have exhibits in the courtyard by featured artists. See www.kentuck.org.
Friday-Saturday (July 3-4)
Waterskiing tournament: The first Malibu Cup international waterski tournament and exhibition, free to the public, will be held Friday at Lymanland (a man-made lake in Duncanville, south of Tuscaloosa) and Saturday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on the Black Warrior River, with good viewing from the River Market.
The Malibu Cup slalom and course are part of the pro circuit. Athletes from 28 countries will compete for cash prizes and ranking points, in men’s and women’s slalom, ski shows and exhibitions including wakeboarding, side-by-side tricks and a jet pack event.
A $30,000 prize will be divided between the top male and female winners. See www.visittuscaloosa.com.
Fifth Annual Celebration on the River: City-sponsored festival includes fireworks, pops concert by the Tuscaloosa Symphony Orchestra at the Amphitheater, kids’ activities and more; all free for 2015.
Kids’ zone inflatable games, wall-climbing, face-painting, laser tag and more begin at 5 p.m. Amphitheater gates open at 6:30 p.m., with the TSO pops concert beginning at 8. Former Miss Alabama Resha Riggins will join the symphony for three songs. Fireworks will
follow the concert. See www.
“Independence Day”: Free showing of the 1996 alien-fighting movie, Midtown Village green at dusk. See www.midtownvillagetuscaloosa.com.
“White God”: 7:30 p.m., Bama Theatre, as part of the Bama Art House independent-art-foreign film series. Thirteen-year-old Lili fights to protect her dog, Hagen. She is devastated when her father eventually sets Hagen free on the streets. Still innocently believing love can conquer any difficulty, Lili sets out to find her dog and save him. See www.bamatheatre.org/bamaart
First Friday: Moved to second Friday for July, due to Independence Day and waterski-tournament activities.
Exhibits featuring free opening receptions include “Lately: Recent Acquisitions from the Paul R. Jones Collection of American Art,” Paul R. Jones Gallery, 5:30-7:30 p.m.; LaShonda Robinson’s “Transformations: Designs of a Decade,” at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center’s Arts Council Gallery, and “Heather and Josh Whidden: Always Here To Your There,” in the UA Gallery at the Dinah. See www.tuscarts.org/artnight.
A Night of Comedy: 8 p.m., Bama Theatre. Hosted by Kountry Wayne. Tickets only available online, www.lastcallfortickets.com, for $30 and $50.
JULY 10-19
“Fiddler on the Roof”: Theatre Tuscaloosa’s summer musical, with performances at 7:30 p.m. July 10-11 and 16-18, 2 p.m. matinees July 12, 15, 18-19; Bean-Brown Theatre, Shelton State Community College. Tickets $22 general, $18 for seniors and military; $7 for Shelton State students. See www.theatretusc.com.
NPC Clash at the Capstone: West Alabama’s long-running bodybuilding, fitness and figure competition, Bama Theatre. Pre-judging for competitors begins at 9 a.m., with doors open at 8 a.m. The night’s show begins at 6 p.m., with doors opening at 5 p.m. See www.npcclashatthecapstone.com.
“The Lego Movie”: Free showing of the 2014 animated comedy, postponed from a June rain-out, Midtown Village green at dusk. See www.mid
“Iris”: 7:30 p.m., Bama Theatre, as part of the Bama Art House independent-art-foreign film series. A documentary about fashion icon Iris Apfel from legendary documentary filmmaker Albert Maysles. See www.bama
Henri’s Notions: 7:30-9:30 p.m., $15, Bama Theatre. Acoustic Night at the Bama features the long-running Irish-American folk band from Tuscaloosa. All money from the cover goes to the musicians. See www.bamatheatre.org.
Rod Stewart: 7:30 p.m., Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. Tickets, $59.50, $89.50 and $148, through www.ticketmaster.com, the amphitheater box office at 2710 Jack Warner Parkway NE, or by calling 800-745-3000.
Legendary rocker-crooner-popster brings his 2015 “The Hits” tour to town. Recent setlists show Stewart covering songs from throughout his career, going back to the Faces, and including many of his top-sellers.
Black Warrior Paddle Board Race: 10 a.m., Tuscaloosa Riverwalk Condominiums. First SUP race on the Black Warrior, with cash prizes for the six-mile-long course, in men’s and women’s divisions. See www.paddleguru.com/races/BlackWarriorSUPChampionship.
“Results”: 7:30 p.m., Bama Theatre, as part of the Bama Art House independent-art-foreign film series. A 2015 comedy starring Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders and Kevin Corrigan, about the mismatched lives of co-working personal trainers whose lives are upended by the intervention of a wealthy client. See www.bamatheatre.org/bamaarthouse.
13th Annual Hot Hundred: Bike events, beginning at 7 a.m., at the UA outdoor pool complex. See www.bikehothundred.wordpress.com/
JULY 31-AUG. 1
Summer Shindig III: Local and regional music and musicians at the Bama Theatre. Featuring Blaine Duncan, Looksy, Doc Dailey, The Bear July 31; Amy McCarley, The Parkers, Walter Parks and The Mulligan Bros Aug. 1. $10 per night, or $15 weekend pass. See www.tuscarts.org.
June 28th, 2015
University of Alabama full President's list and Dean's list for spring 2015 - University of Alabama President's list for the Spring semester includes:
Adamsville: James S. Shaffer.
Addison: Jayla A. Robinson.
Alabaster: Marky Elizabeth Bingham, Joshua A. Blackwell, Bevin E. Clark, Riley Andrew Cockerill, Laura H. Fulmer, Jamie E. Hillman, Erin D. Hutter, Rachel E. Irvin, Caris Pope Mitchell, Stephen A. Powers.
Albertville: Taylor Leigh Bethune, Caleb J. Brown, Sydney P. Cochran, Michael J. Reeves, Anna K. Woodham, Annmarie Shields.
Alexander City: Tanner Edward Cutts, Alexandra A. Hudson, Richard D. Hudson, Jennifer M. Lamberth.
Aliceville: Luci D. Lewis, Tessa Lee Cockrell.
Altoona: Bryan F. Harris.
Andalusia: Devon Leigh Corbitt, Margaret R. Jones, Zoza G. Spears.
Anniston: Miranda G. Chauncey, Timothy S. Clay, Carly H. Dethrage, Hayden P. Howell, Russell Troy Pilkington, Lauren T. Rothwell.
Arab: William B. Collins, Laura R. Green, Breanna G. Haymon, Brittany Alex Morgan, Sarah E. Onks, Alexander Braxton Tankersley, Wesley F, Taylor, Alicia R, Traylor.
Ardmore: Lydia J. Eubanks.
Ashford: Diane E. Dickard.
Ashland: Shannah L. Mathews.
Ashville: Alexander K. Hale.
Athens: Robert John Atras, Anna L. Black, Andrew S. Branton, Christina M. Brewer, Danielle F. Cassady, Bailee S. Clounch, Anna Leigh Fikes, Caitlin Nicole Gullatt, Ally K. Pritchett, Mallory K. Rich.
Attalla: Shellby C. Benefield, Jacob A. Roden.
Auburn: Elizabeth A. Alley, Kevyn Makarla Armstrong-Wright, Blair L. Ely, Caroline Alyssa Harrison, Young Won Kim, Lauren Paige Moses, Patrick R. Railey, Savannah J. Stanley, Olivia M. Ward.
Beaverton: Kenzie Brown Jackson.
Berry: Maranda Lynsey Watkins.
Bessemer: Brittney N. Alexander, Matthew E. Amick, Kelsey M. Brown, Nathan D. Bryant, Olivia Erin Catoe, Lance A. Chesser, Whitney E. Wilson, Malina Grace McAfee.
Birmingham: Margaret A. Holland, Sarah Evelyn Foster, Karmen Elise Gaines, Brittany T. Blackman, Carla T. Burroughs, Joshua Foster, Alexandra S. Andrews, Mary Elizabeth Brazeal, Donald J. Demetz III, Jeffrey G. Rogers, Peter B. Simpson, Burkely P. Smith, Lauren Ashley Williams, James W. Bosley, Caitlin E. Totty, Nicholas B. Bolus, Alison Chapman Creighton, Andrew B. Deatkine, Ogden Shropshire Deaton Jr., John Alan Gambril, Matthew Chandler Gambril, Alexis Leonora Holt Kentros, Sarah Frances McClees, William Simms Moor, Elizabeth Overton Moore, Anne Sloan Pell, Elizabeth C. Perkinson, Pauline C. Piggott, Ansley Taylor Platt, Katherine F. Register, Kathryn L. Reynolds, Hunter Duncan Ross, John Banks Sewell IV, Margaret Elizabeth Smith, Julia B Stewart, Joseph Lafayette Weed, Hunter Scott King, Sara S. Beacham, Dorothy M. Beck, Hannah Nicole Cory, Rachel W. Dodson, Ryan Alexander Feagin, Caroline R. Garrison, Mary K. Hann, Alexander M. Harrelson, Eric B. Johns, William P. Kitchens, Katherine E. Michaels, Elise F. Nesbitt, Ashley Roy, Anna G. Wallace, Taylor L. Dean, Richard Doss Cleveland III, Jonathan R. Lee, Rosario Margoth Moore, Franklin Streater Williams, Catherine M. Armstrong, Matthew J. Byrd, Henry E. Callaway, Margaret K. Callaway, Hinton C. Daily, John F. Debuys IV, Lee Howard Dressler, Mary Carolyn Garcia, Tyler E. Gester, Cecil Wayne Ingram IV, Elizabeth Anderson Letzer, Ana P. Naumescu, Collier Morris Ogilvie, Mary Virginia Pauline Ricketts, Alexa McKenzie Ruttenberg, Samuel M. Tortorici Jr., Katherine A. Tucker, Mae Rose Tyson, Mary Harmon B. Tyson, Lela E. Welden, Matthew C. Anderson, Virginia Elizabeth Brasher, Catherine Francesca Harris, Mary C. Hunter, Linnet W .Kabachia, Meagan Ollie, Sophia M. Ritchey, Alexandra Rogers, Mary K. Estes, Jasmine Monique Hawkins, Brittney L. McCormick, Mark Brian Ortiz, Karissa A. Annis, Kathryn Ann Baker, Katherine J. Battle, Robert D Bietighofer, Kathryn G. Bisignani, Lauren E. Bowers, Davis James Bragg, Katherine L. Bunn, Courtney Meghan Caputo, Lacey A. Cencula, Miguel Angel Chavez, Chih-ting Chen, Allison H. Clendenon, Hannah K. Coblentz, Jonathan Andrew Copeland, Maxwell J. Crawford, Jordan Alexandra David, Wade B. Davis, Mary Katherine A. Dichiara, Clare C. Dowell, Katherine E. Duffey, Elizabeth A. Dunn, Christopher C. Edmunds, Corbin M. Ellard, Michael J. Finnegan, Lindsey E. Fowler, Meghan H. Freeman, Amy C. Gibbs, Daniel C. Gilliland, James S. Gilmore, Jordan T. Godfrey, Leah Margaret Guarisco, Kathryn Gunderson, Carrye L. Hodges, Leanne Marie Holliman, Haley A. Hubbard, Alexandra N. Hval, Alexandra L. Kamman, Charles Andrew King III, Savannah G Lee, Logan E. Little, Sara Douglas Lowrey, Bentley K. Maddox, Hastings Lucille Marks, Melissa C. Mathews, Jerry Jr.. W McDonald Jr., Mary Haley McGarity, Quinn G. Meineke, Rebecca Nesbitt, Kathryn Nicole Novak, Lauren Elizabeth Parks, Emma Frances Roberson, Hannah Claire Robillard, Sarah A. Rourke, Mary M. Rumbley, Haley R Sayers, Jonathan G Stapleton, Angela H Szasz, Megan Leigh Ten Berge, Shanley B. Treleaven, Mackenzie Katherine Tucker, Brittany Mary Van Sandt, Lauren N .Wall, Jozie Shea Wisham, Jacob T. Wolkow, Nicole Wolkow, Nicholas Yam, Kaitlyn Christine Zeek, Kaori C. Amarilla, Ashton D. Belew, Emilee J. Benos, Matthew W. Farris, Emily J. Higgins, Erin Nicole Kahn, Emmanuel T. Morgan, Benjamin B. Palmer, Kelsey R. Russell, George Hanna Salem II, Richard Taylor Stec, Marie L. Tucker, Ellen Jessica Wilson, Virginia L. Wilson, Brian B. Cook, Rebecca Sara Denson, Elissa M. Gargiulo, Heather L. Garnett, Austin D. Hardman, Katie E. Jenkins, Ryan M. Keelin, Dongyoub Lee, Molly S. Rehmert, Kelly L. Stewart, Kathryn Jean Trent, Morgan Beth York, Emily K. Young, Michael C. Landers, Kelsie M. Schweer, Alexis K. Williams, Virginia Fleming, Kalie A. Danielczyk, Ashley M. Dismukes.
Blountsville: Joseph E. Blocker, Jodi C. Coon, Shae E. South.
Boaz: Lenze Rena Alexander, Brady C. Keel, Megan Nicole Smith.
Brantley: Ryan T. Warrick.
Bremen: Sydney P. Garmon,Brewton: Alexandria Noel Adams, Hannah R. Darby, Ashley Stacey Daugherty, Lillian M. Edwards, Katherine Lynn Greco.
Brilliant: Whitley C. Berryhill.
Brookwood: Zachary D. Burrage, Krystal Rena Dozier, Zachary A. Hughes, Crystal N. Ransom.
Brownsboro: Mallory R. Butler, Carlie B. Chapman, Austin W. Howard, Ryan C. Seeley.
Buhl: Hunter C. Vaughn.
Butler: Ashleigh Margaret Christopher.
Calera: Stephani G. Payne, Andrew S. Whitfield, Hunter L. Winslett.
Carrollton: Kacie Paige Hattaway, Katherine Lammers.
Catherine: Rikisha Bridges.
Centre: Jessica Ruth Perkins.
Centreville: Elizabeth Kaylan Davis, Bradley D. Hicks.
Chatom: Mckenzie E. Donald.
Chelsea: Melissa Brooke Grisham, Lauren A. Prince, Allysa Dayne Schott.
Choccolocco: Hilary E. Faulkner.
Clanton: Linlee H. Karn, Macee L. Thomas.
Clayton: Abbey M. Lewis.
Cleveland: Hannah C. Kirkley, Tori L. Swindle.
Coden: Robert G. Nelson II.
Coker: Mary E. Fair, Hunter L. Sartain, Hillary R. Stephens, Mollie Elizabeth Wallace.
Columbiana: Jordan E. Hall, Branson T. Horn
Cottondale: Callie M. Blocker, Bailey D. Bush, Jacqueline C. Lunceford, William S. Montz, Kristen Lee Turner.
Crane Hill: Ashley Elizabeth Austin.
Crossville: Christopher B. Bankston, Peyton J. Knop
Cullman: Samuel Keith Barnes, Sarah K. Brown, Kallie E. Flynn, Victoria A. Hagedorn, Nathan J. Hardyman, Leah G. Pappas, Lauren A. Parker, Kristen E. Sparks, Jackson H. Spradlin, Siarra L. Swalve.
Dadeville: Victoria V. Truitt.
Daleville: Jessica D. Borre.
Daphne: J. Haas Byrd, Adam Bailey Cabaniss, Jordan Elizabeth Doucet, Ben Marshall Flores, Allison C. Landry, Delainy L. Lee, Adele E. Mantiply, Ethan Patrick McVay, Blake W. Nelson, Kevin Jeremy Nelson, Rachael E. Nix, Amanda Kirksey Speer.
Deatsville: Sara K. Culverhouse.
Decatur: Holly Ann Adams, Caroline A. Bishop, Alexandria B. Cordell, Susan R. Davidson, Caroline R. Hughes, Jay Alec Reichmann, Justin R. Rippen, Madison M. Rush, Juliana Grace Lee.
Demopolis: Jacob L. Roemen, David Leon Taylor Jr.
Dora: Sarah E. Kimbrell.
Dothan: Rachel L. Beverly, Carson S. Cleveland, Melia B. Cotter, Mason Q. Crutchfield, Caroline Elizabeth Faulk, Madison Grace Fendley, Alexander Christopher Fries, Jarred T. Griffin, Gabrielle N. Jensen, Audrey K. Jones, Madison Marie Longchamp, Savannah J. Martin, Caroline E. Meadows, William H. Scott, Sarah Elisabeth Stewart.
Double Springs: Kryssi E. Daniels.
Duncanville: Allison M. Carr, Gabrielle N. Jordan, Karen Moltz, Laura Y. Shojae, Heather A. Trawick.
Dunnavant: Coleman J. Pearson.
Echola: Emily R. Calhoun.
Eclectic: Hayden A. Willis.
Elkmont: Gregory S. Hacker.
Enterprise: Joshua T. Hamm, Jaron P. Kelley, Matthew C. Maynard, Daniel J. Parks, Robert Noah Prestridge, Caitlin Mary Schrader, Steven T. Simmons, Bradley D. Turner, Kendall B. Ward.
Ethelsville: Maria E. Manning.
Eufaula: Robert D. Hannah, Asa J. Harris
Eutaw: George Aycock.
Eva: Joshua M. Chatham
Fackler: Michaela N. Matthews.
Fairhope: Andrew G. Anderson, Lauren Emily Bowling, Tabitha E. Brock, Elizabeth Jane Davis, Emily L. Estep, Brennan Anne Fitzgerald, Mary Bradley Flynn, Jordan D. Fuhrman, Madeline F. Griffin, Courtney LaRue Harrell, Melissa G. Johnson, Chase H. Mccarter, Christian Walker McClure, Meredith H. Pitts, Allen Hill Robinson Jr., Nicholas D. Schmitt, Kristen Brittany Talbert, Rushing O. Watson, Leah M. Wilkes, Joseph D. Wirtes, Ann E. Yonge.
Falkville: Abby Ysabelle Andre, Mersadies Berlynn Orr.
Fayette: Emily Barnes, Stephen G. Fulmer Jr.
Fitzpatrick: Kendra S. Jackson, Emily C. Ellis.
Florence: Alexander G. Adams, Sarah Brianne Edmonds, Grace E. Garrett, Donald C. Holt, Timothy J. Holt, Ebone J. King, Cooper Martin Melvin, Megan Elizabeth Neill, Rachael M. Nowack, Julianna C. Waynick, Patton L. Webb, Collin E. White, Max Daniel Wright, Trey H. Richardson, Caitlin S. Wall, Savannah R. Wilson.
Foley: Elizabeth Hope Chandler, Anna N. Gagnon, Alexander R. Muth, Colby Blake Wilson.
Fort Deposit: Jessica L. Langford, Jessica M Morgan,
Fort Payne: Donavan W. Dalton, Caitlyn M. Walker.
Gadsden: Whitney Jordan Dellinger, Ryan D. Dowdy, James H, Kelley, Sara Katherine McCord, Austin T. Mitchell, Christopher B. Reynolds, Stephen Peter Rowe, Emily Ann Zhou.
Gainesville: Sylvia D. Turner
Gardendale: Kaycee A. Carter, Orion James Recke, David M. Wood.
Glencoe: Caleb Bicknell.
Gordo: Kelsey Ayn Dyer, Claire C. Harper, Sara F. Howell, Carrie E. Kerr.
Grant: Mckayla L. Edmonds, Samantha Alison Thomas.
Greenville: Deanna K. Bowen, Erica Mcnaughton.
Guin: Daniel J. Chism, Daniel C. Dean.
Gulf Shores: Christine Marie Glanding, Kimberly Lynn Glanding, Peyton K. Winstead, Kerri C. Oconnor.
Guntersville: Nicholas B. Fox, Thomas Wells Harvey, Elizabeth Grace Hembree.
Gurley: Jordan R. Cissell, Anne King Lord.
Hampton Cove: Kevin J. Matis, Katelyn E. Moss, Lauren M. Parker.
Hanceville: John T. Junkin.
Harpersville: Savannah Fe Senicz.
Hartford: Spencer S. Ham, Zachary F. Justice.
Hartselle: Jacob Thomas Briscoe, Justin Aaron Dunaway, Sarah G. Ellis, Elizabeth Sloan Godsey, Carly E. Greenhill, Jared B. Johnson, Chance G. Partlow, Grayson Blair Sittason, Megan E. Smith, Jessica D. Wallace.
Harvest: Daryl R. Babe, Cassidy Morgan Elliott, Jessica P. Ellis, Isabella Elaine Johnson, Bernard R. Quinn, Jacob V. Reed, Rachel C. Robinson.
Hayden: Jessa K. Hudson, Hannah Claire Niblett, Jordan N. Thigpen, Andrew C. Van Order.
Hazel Green: Taylor Nicole Campbell, Taylor Jennings Cooper, Anthony D. Gargulinski, James P. Grubbs, Cheralyn J. Moore.
Headland: Claire E. Bradshaw.
Helena: Rahni Jeneane Argo-Bryant, Ellen Anne Bentley, Molly Katherine Bogan, Jessica A. Mays, Courtney N. Rawden.
Holly Pond: Jesse Dalton Sullivan.
Homewood: Frances J. Kyle, Andrew Alan McWhorter, Conner G. Peterson, David E. Walker, Courtney A. Windham.
Hoover: Bryan D. Anderson, William Robert Blackburn, Madeline C. Brandon, Katelyn Victoria Brown, Matthew Taylor Bryant, Emily E. Carter, Mackenzie Christine Clark, Brooks Elizabeth Cochran, William M. Crain, Archie B. Creech Jr., Emma P. Davis, John E .Denton, Tyler M. Duffey, Shannon B. Egan, Margaret Ames Filippini, William J. Freeman, John-Cole Garwick, Charli Gaston, Tanner S. Glass, Kristen N. Gorman, Taylor Rhea Holmes, Chandler A. Horton, Andrea M. Hurst, Barrett K. Ingram, Stephen Michael Johns, Henry L. King Jr., Jordan Anthony LaPorta, Madison Marie Largin, John Chancellor Lott, Caroline E. Marsh, Tara A. Massouleh, William A. McCallum, Matthew S. McCay, Rachel E. Midkiff, Jasmine P. Morris-Bolden, Courtney R. Newton, Bailey C. Pereira, Abigail B. Phillips, John M. Phillips II, Jessica L. Prestel, Emma C. Puchta, Lauren G. Riley, Kamila B. Ritchie, Emily C. Roberts, Edward J. Selleck III, Shelby N. Sessions, Kristen N. Spence, Caroline S. Steele, Cameron A. Tipton, Ryan J. Van Voorhis, Laura A. Ward, Jacob M. West, Monica G. Whisenant, Peyton Lee Williams, Sterling Matthew Thompson.
Hueytown: Rachel A. Mccombs, Scotti B. Praytor.
Huntsville : Eric Ryan Midenberg, Amanda E. Akridge, William E. Alexander, Morgan R. Armstrong, Jordan M. Bacon, Stacey A. Bates, Brandon M. Bennett, Tiana S. Calvert, Michael M. Clark, Peyton E. Cook, William B. Copeland, Leah A. Crawford, Chloe Frances Crozier, Rachael Elaine Daughtry, Lindsay E. Douglas, Evan A. Eichstaedt, Benjamin D. Estremera, Reed David Farnsworth, Morgan L. Fowler, Katie L. Frees, Abigail Elizabeth Gandy, Michael R. Goetsch, Mary A. Gordon, Elizabeth M. Haley, Charles Andrew Hartsell, Jennifer Lynn Hengel, Clayton Daniel Hightower, Derek J. Hooper, Lauren M. Hose, Cadence B. Jolly, Elle Reed Kaplan, Natalie A. Knox, Emily R. Lapidus, Leah N. Lawrence, Nicholas T. Luna, Rachel Madison Mannahan, Mia C. Matt, Sidney R. McElroy, Axee Victoria Mullins, George B. Parker, Kelsey S. Proudfoot, Elizabeth G. Roberts, Kaehler J. Roth, Rebecca A. Russell, Robert Andrew Schrimsher, Steven A. Scrip, Ann B. Siniard, Maggie M. Sisco, Natalie E. Smith, Jordan Marie Spivak, Jordan L. Stone, Monica J. Underwood, Travis A. Upton, Nathan J. Vardaman, Michael S. Walters, James D. Wells, Sarah M. Williams, James Denson Wilson III, Lauren Marie Wiseman, Payton Maxine Ambrose, Chandler G. Shields.
Indian Springs: Lindsey K. Webb.
Irondale: Caleb B. Dixon.
Irvington: Leah K. Horn.
Jackson: Tyler M. Beck, Zoie Elizabeth Jones, Kelly Nicole Rikard.
Jacksonville: Jon B. Buzan, Kyle Weber Furlow, Tammy Leeann Painter, Katie B. Palmer.
Jasper: Madison L. Elmore, Alyssa Judith Knight, Caroline L. Laird, Morgan M. Miller, Adam E. Richey, Nathan E. Sanders, Lacey B. Wood, Katie Lauren Self.
Joppa: Tyler S. Hanes, Madison Rae Hicks.
Killen: Devan A. Henson, Alexander L. King, Laura E. Thomas.
LaPine: Taylor Denise Lawhon.
Leeds: Chasity M. Carr, Jesse A. Turner, Meagan Young.
Leighton: Johnson D. Pounders.
Letohatchee: Kayla Cook, Kristen L. Ellis.
Lexington: Hunter J. Killen.
Lineville: Megan B. Daniel.
Livingston: Jasmine Louise Williamson.
Loxley: Alexis L. Bertolla, Charles A. Pickett.
Luverne: Aspen Stough.
Madison: Jason Tyler Arterburn, Arianna K. Barley, Elizabeth A. Breland, Selea C. Burns, Marcos F. Canabal, Elizabeth Jane Carlton, Karlie Carter, Julie J. Cunningham, Samuel C. Dennis, Taylor E. Durant, Carly J. Fennell, Craig D. Fulda, Brennan Sarah Glynn, Mallory J. Hadaway, Kristen Marie Hop, Kayla Beth B. Houghton, Matthew S. Johnson, David J. Kidd, Madison L. Kilpatrick, Kayla O. Krueger, Jennifer N. Lee, Kelsi Arrinel Long, Cassidy M. Machnica, Ciara Louise Naomi Malaugh, Allyson R. Mancuso, Abby E. Martin, Lindsey Taylor Martin, Krystin Renee Mason, Rebecca L. Mast, Mary E. Mcbryde, Mary O. Miller, Bryan R. Mortimer, Elizabeth Susan Nickey, Maria Louise O'Keefe, Shannon M. Ormsbee, Megan Danielle O'Rourke, JuHyun Park, Lauren E. Parker, Bethany Ann Rasely, Jared T. Rhyne, Joshua Alexander Snoddy, Samantha Diane Soliz, Zachary M. Stander, William H. Stephens, Marcus Anthony Swain, Emily N. Thurston, Andrew James Towers, Kelsey A. White, Heather Ashley Willingham, Adam K. Woelke, Allison G. Woodruff, Catherine A. King.
Marion: Bailey J. Barton.
Maxwell AFB: Kathleen Ann Marcell.
Maylene: Brett C. Dunn, Alex M. Henderson, Melanie S. Lofthus, Luke A. Mckinney, Sydney Dawn Schaefer.
McCalla: Robert Austin Adkins, Jamie N. Bowman, Alden E. Claros, Morgan Brianna Lancaster, Matthew Dale Morgan, Matthew H. Yerby.
Meridianville: John Hunter Bates, Logan Hunter Griffin, Cassidy Diane Lamm, Matthew S. Mccullough.
Millbrook: Lauren Alyssa Davis, Christina L. Holmes, Jessica S. Inman.
Millry: Juliana M. Dyess.
Mobile: Laura E. Acker, Annkay Adkins Alexander, Abigail C. Carter, Mary K. Casteel, Brenna I. Christensen, Lindsay Anne Coker, Thomas Clayton Coleman, Brieyanna Solitayr Cotten, Maranda R. Dearing, Mary Rose M. Demouy, Lacey Khadijah Dent, William S. Edwards, Kathryn Cori Gaston, Samuel Ross Grady, Elise L. Granger, Lindsay E. Grosz, Mary L. Hannahan, Mary Danner Harmon, Andrew G. Harvey, Dexter C. Harvey, Matthew J. Heubach, Jonathan Raymond Hirsch, Kierra L. Howell, Katherine B. Jeffries, Kierstyn N. Johnson, Kaitlyn Marie Johnston, William S. Kearley, Frederick W. Killion IV, Tyler Mundi King, Jeffrey M. Kintz, Nicole Lee Lartigue, Christopher H. Lasecki, Michael C. Madden Jr., Ashley B. Matchett, Tyler E. Mattox, Millie W. Mcaleer, Tanner H. McGill, Michael B. Mcmaken, Maggie Cheyenne Miller, Katie L. Mosley, Obie J. Moultrie Jr., Rachel E. Neal, Meredith C. Nelson, Christopher L. Nixon, Hillary Burgess Odom, Ashley H. Olensky, Ernest J. Philon III, Alexandria Victoria Rothschild, John D. Roveda Jr., Kevin D. Sanders, Katherine M. Steadman, Michael Patrick Steadman, Katherine C. Volkman, Judson W. Wells Jr., Mary S. Wells, Joycelyn M. Wharton, James Conrad Wiley Jr., Ronald G. Young, Catherine Marie Roveda, Jakayla Y. Taylor, Macy J. Vickers.
Monroeville: Emily M. Ard, Matthew K. Rowell.
Montevallo: Marina E. Davis, Katherine Foster Howard, Brody A. Miller.
Montgomery: Hendrick Holley Adams, Charity A. Alexander, Cassidy Sloan Alwan, Sarah B. Banning, Patrick Donald Boatner, Sydney K. Brasfield, Borden G. Cater, Chloe Noelle Crane, Barton C. Crum, Kelsey J. Curtis, Aaron J. Driskell, Sarah Katherine Fitzpatrick, Georgia H. Floyd, Andrew Thomas Foley, Stephanie M. Fox, Zachary Tyler Gentle, Brent A. Green, Branden Andrew Greenberg, Julie D. Howorth, Hyo Jung Kim, Madison R. King, Amber Skye Ledford, Marshall Collier Lee, David P. Mallett, Richard L. Mullikin, Rebecca Caroline Murdoch, Ryan C. Norris, Jeffrey Scott Reaves, Kristin Carolyn Stakely, Bolling P. Starke IV, Andrew P. Word, Faith C. Barringer.
Montrose: Samuel Ambrose Parker, Gilbert G. Walton.
Moody: William J. Mccrary.
Morris: Haylie A. Mccleney, Robert A. Parrish.
Moulton: Zachary J. Dutton, Kristin A. Eddy.
Moundville: Kelsey L. Bruce, Taylor B. Green, Gwenda J. Austin.
Mountain Brook: Julia Hutson Adams, Thomas Stewart Agricola, Robert P. Cope, Virginia G. Jordan, Frances Caroline Lee, Richard Burnett Hard Lewis, Ann Douglas Logan, Abbie P. Rodgers, Katherine M. Seeger, Margaret Lillian Selesky, Laura Marie Tovar, Jesse Stringer Vogtle III, Mary Glenn Waldrop, Hallie E. West, Andrew S. Parker.
Mount Olive: Janna M. Motte, Hayley R. Wilson.
Muscle Shoals: Patrick G. Barnes, Ashley H. Brown, Ellis Reed Crabtree, Maria C. Oswalt, Stacie D. Puckett, Reid Martin Ruggles, Jason C. Weeks, Lucas Robert Yordy.
New Brockton: Garrett C. Roberts.
New Market: Ivey G. Appel, Adrienne M. Cumming, Bonnie E. Denman, Emma C. Harchanko, Alexandria J. Smith.
Newton: Cecilia K.King, Eric P. Powers.
Newville: Audrey Leigh Watford.
Northport: Joseph Andrew Bowden, Sean M. Campbell, Rochelle Lynn Chandler, Lindsey Ann Collins, Arron Elizabeth DePorter, Elyse Ann DePorter, Alexander James Drozd, Hannah N. Dunn, LizAnne Dacy Espy, Misty Lancaster Estes, Amber L. Falls, Noah A. Ferguson, William Benjamin Flowers III, Anna Grace Freeman, Giuliano L. Godorecci, Madeline H. Green, Catherine Nichole Hamner, Adrienne Nicole Hayes, Maury C. Holliman, Spikey W. Howard, Gennifer Arwen Hutchison, Maude Jacques, Amanda M. Jones, Richard A. Krout, Mary Kaitlyn Kuykendall, Kia Erin Lackey, Evan Alex Lowe, Perrin T. Lowrey, Austin McQueen, Ryan R. Mottesheard, Miller Grace Nelson, Derek A. O'Quinn, Miranda Taylor Phillips, Courtney W. Plott, Katie Louise Plott, Damon Alexander Pruet, Richard O. Reed, Meagan Samantha Reif, Erika Ray Rogers, Katrina Scott, Hunter L. Sims, Dylan Thomas Stapp, Abby Lauren Taylor, Seth Alexander Thomas, Jared B. Tubbs, Lauren A. Baughman, Lauren A. Bobo.
Odenville: Maizonne J. Fields, Kaitlyn Noel Jackson, Joshua G. Pulliam.
Ohatchee: Jaylaan K. Parker.
Oneonta: Daniel K. Smith, Mcrae A. Smith, Jason M. Tibbs.
Opelika: Jackson M. Gunter, Kristyn E. Short.
Opp: Magen M. Foley, Jeffrey Landon Hughes, Sydney Allison Jones, Victoria Marie Norris.
Orange Beach: Rose E. Legault, Trenton W. Rankin, Anna Elizabeth Ryan.
Owens Cross Roads: Grace L. Alexander, Alexander R. Dombrowsky, Margaret C. Smallwood, Cameron Tyler Harris, Mary K. O'Bradovich.
Oxford: Lawrence Chandler McCracken, Adam G. Sanders, Xinyao Zhang.
Pelham: James F. Byers, Bethany Rachel Carter, James Ralph Cranford III, Ilya M. Gutman, Erica L. Hallman, Daniel Logan, Ashley Brook Midgette, Lita M. Waggoner, Sarah Jane Workman.
Pell City: Cassie Lee Callahan, Allison R. Harrell.
Phenix City: Jonathon B. Danford, Helen Lee Gresham, Katelynn L. Harp, Brittany J. Harper, Madison N. Hatchett, Lindsey A. Page, Aisha Seymone Rogers, Brooke L. Rogers, Madison Kelsey Wood.
Phil Campbell: Sarah K. Hilliard.
Piedmont: Katie E. Clark, Kayla M. Gowens.
Pike Road: Hudson N. Kelley, Lauren Nicole Keiffer.
Pine Hill: Kathryn E. Cook,Pinson: Natalie Annette Davis, Spencer A. Fonte, William C. Hoffman Jr., James M. Kemp Jr., Jordan A. Still.
Pleasant Grove: Teighlor Michelle Caver, Morgan J. Smith, Katherine A. Brazelton.
Prattville: Kathryn Elizabeth Argo, Anna Bailey Davis, Emily K. Duke, James L. Ha, Zachary Matthew Hagan, Kasey N. Hedgecock, John B. Hilley Jr., Elaina M. Hunerwadel, Sarah C. Mahan, Jennifer L. Mcclelland, Hillary L. McDaniel, Ahsha Sherrina McQuain, Sara E. Meadows, Sherilyn N. Minnigh, William Ellis O'Connor, Lindsey C. Parker, Tinsley A. Phillips, Lindsey Dianne Tillman, William Grayson Webster.
Quinton: Haylie C. Wilges.
Rainbow City: Brant J. Biddle, Daniel C. Bishop, Dalton G. Hopper, Reagan M. King.
Ranburne: Michelle Elizabeth Baughn.
Red Bay: Marco Bostick.
Reform: Haley R. Mcdaniel.
Remlap: Summer Nicole Baker, Kyle J Hornbuckle.
Riverside: Samuel B. Parsons.
Roanoke: Jessica Marie Shafer, Chelsea M. Spratlin.
Robertsdale: Sarah Michaela Forland, Alexis N. Vaughn.
Rockford: Kendall H. Bullard.
Rogersville: Miriam Ashleigh Biffle, Mallory B. Brown.
Russellville: Jordan E. Lindsey, Joseph L. Louallen, Andrew B. Malone.
Saraland: Blayne L. Henning.
Satsuma: Chelan Christine Blow, Jacob L. Noble, Emily M. Raines.
Scottsboro: Laura M. Coby, Kaci B. Davis, Ciara M. Herberholz.
Selma: Catherine A. Armstrong, John Robert Canada, Amy E. Chandler, April Clark, Adam E. King, Kinjal U. Patel, Rachael L. Sherrer, Katy Skelton, Jessica D. Spears.
Sheffield: Cole W. Baker, Aaron J. Howard, Ashleigh Elizabeth Ruggles.
Silverhill: Brandon Hughes Laird.
Slocomb: Anna Grace Newton.
Somerville: Sydney B. Lang, Matthew Dylan McCaghren
Southside: Hannah E. Keeling.
Spanish Fort: Tia C. Bailey, Talia M. Broadus, Maggie Elizabeth Cooper, Katherine Virginia Dowd, Caroline N. Hudson, William A. Menas II, Regina Danielle Miller, Matthews M. O'Connor, James Hamilton Parkes, John Thomas Wilson.
Springville: Carmen L. Connell, Angela M. Nichols.
Stapleton: Katie Elizabeth Alexander.
Sterrett: Madeline J. Stewart.
Sulligent: Amber L. Abbott.
Summerdale: David James Barnes.
Sylacauga: Matthew J. Andrews, Jordan R. Hall, Hanna L. Merrell, Hayden J. Stewart, Leigh M. Terry.
Talladega: Kadie R. Aldridge, Dallas Jade Barber, Katherine A. Burney, George L. Mcmillan, Allison Murray Montgomery, Hunter A. Richey, Elizabeth Turner.
Tallassee: Tristen L. Patterson.
Tarrant: Natalie E. Landers.
Theodore: Sarah Amanda Harden.
Thomasville: Austin T. Dement, Kristen L. Slade.
Titus: Nicholas Lyn Knight.
Toney: Tyler W. Goode, Holly N. Gwin, Zoe D. Renner.
Town Creek: Jake D. Kerby.
Toxey: Lauren E. Bonner.
Trinity: Anna C. Woodall, Alex R. Woods,Troy: Emily Ann Melton, Gibson C. Smilie, Logan M. Tarbox.
Trussville: Victoria G. Bruton, Mackenzie A. Bullock, Rebekah A. Denard, Taylor Kaitlyn Dunn, Carson J. Foster, Brittnee L. Gory, Jenna G. Gray, Trenton Kyle Hollis, Katelyn M. Jones, Jessica L. Nelson, Matthew C. Pate, Sarah G. Pate, Elisabeth N. Richards, Mason C. Rollins, Morgan E. Roper, Taylor Leigh Smith, Hope B. Todd, Mary J. Wills, Hannah Merriam Zahedi, Mary A. Cooper.
Tuscaloosa: Hassan Abdullah A. Al Habib, Amanda Rene Allen, Xinyu Ao, Lindsey N Atkins, Jordan L. Babb, Alexandra Margaret-Marie Bakane, Brooke Jaclyn Bartlett, Mirza Cameran Beg, Madison Taylor Bentley, Bradley J. Boswell, Marcus H. Brakefield, Nathaniel Evans Broadhurst, Kimberly Anne Brothers, Rachel Erin Brown, Timothy N. Brown, Ali Muayed Buabbas, Gerald Lee Busby, Kaylynn Christigail Cain, Courtney M. Campbell, Ryan Christopher Campbell, William Tyler Carter, Matthew D. Casey, Miranda L. Casey, Miranda K. Cawyer, Siddhartha Neil Chakraborti, Callie A. Chambers, Bethany Kay Chapman, Elizabeth Rose Corning, Jessica L. Crownover, Morgan Ann Crumpton, Caitlin B. Curtis, Lauren Elizabeth Curtner-Smith, David Kelly Daines, Henry Ashford Debell, John D. Diaz, Meredith M. Diaz, Amelia L. Dionne, Taylor M. Dixon, Stetson W. Dubberly, Jeff D. Echevarrias, Avery Morgan Elkins, Donielle Marie Eslick, Thomas Julian Falcon, Katharina Charlotte Barbara Fox, Kayley K. French, Amy E. Gerald, Maria Olegovna Gerasikova, Annekathrin Giesen, Taylor Alan Goodall, Paige M. Gross, Haden F. Hallman, Willis Evan Harkey, Christian R. Harless, Laura Elizabeth Harris, Madison B. Harris, Hannah Grace Hastings, Abigail Ruth Hayes, Meagan Alexis Hayes, Kayla D. Head, Alex R. Heatherly, Jonathan T. Hess, Marcus N. Hill, Bridgetta Hines, Chloe A. Hogue, Merideth M. Holmes, Courtney A. Hoven, AnaStacia Howell, Arielle J. Hurst, Maria Helene Huryn, Christina Sun-a Hwang, Thomas C. Hydrick, Maegan E. Ingram, Ian Connor Jennings, Brittany M. Johnson, Alexandra L. Kamburis, Brock P. Kiel, Sarah Jihye Kim, Caitlin Suzanne Kristof, Thomas C. Lacy, Lindsey A. Lafave, Leah A. Larabee, Abigail Mariah Larson, Jennifer Lauren Lee, Kalyn Iman Lee, Amie K. Lemley, Sarah E. Lewis, Caleb A. Lovelady, Taylor R. Lozefski, Benjamin M Lucy, Cara Lynn Lunceford, Martha A. Lushington, Annsley Odell Mace, Miranda L. Mackey, Savana Madison, Sarah Elizabeth Malmen, Julia R. Martin, Marianne L. Martin, Rachel D. Martin, Sarah E. Martin, Katherine Rae Mauldin, Mary Caroline May, Christa R. McCrorie, Harrison Drake McDonald, William L. McLeod, Kathryn O. McMahon, Brenna Lynne McPherson, Eric Stephen McVay, Alexandra G. Merrill, Max S. Mittenthal, Christopher R. Mock, Adel A. A. H. R. Mohammed, Kelsey Joy Moore, Caroline Banks Morrison, Kristen A. Morrison, Alysia R. Nailor, Alexandra Jacqueline Nelson, Mychael B. OBrien, Kathleen A. Oliver, Briana J. O'Neal, Reagan Evelyn Palmer, Jesse W. Parker, Katie E. Parks, Analisa Rutledge Patrick, Ricky Ricardo Perez, Anna L. Phelps, Jessica J. Procter, Corey L. Puckett, Mary D. Recio, Thomas James Rehmert, Katelyn R. Reichardt, Ashley Lynn Remmey, Carlo Antonio Rezzonico, Kayla Janae Robinson, Pavel Romanov, Tomeika R. Rouse, Nicholas D. Roy, Danielle Marie Russo, Erik A. Schatz, Henry Joseph Schneider IV, Mallory Anne Schneider, Norma Schoonhoven, Kadileigh D. Seibert, Nicholas Eugene Sella Jr., Blake H. Sellers, Sara K. Shattuck, Hannah Alyce Sheffield, Courtney Elizabeth Shows, Haley Brooke Siddall, Kayla M. Sisco, Alexandra M. Smith, Stephanie Nicole Smith, Emily M. Snider, Abby Gayle Snyder, Jonathan C. Sorrell, Katherine Joy Sox, Lauri Katherine Springer, Ashton Elizabeth Standeffer, Monica Standohar, Rachel L. Stewart, Katrina Marie Struthwolf, Evan Cheney Talton, Kalyn J. Tew, Amelia Bennett Updegraff, Merilyn Uudmae, Lyndsey B. Vaughan, Olivia G. Vaughn, Stewart Thomas Veltman III, Haley Walker, Reagan N. Wallace, Xiangyi Wang, Jerrica B. Watkins, Seth A. White, Robert P. Wicks, Alicia Marie Wierzbicki, Ethan M. Wiggins, Jackson G. Wilburn, Emily L. Williamson, Matthew Daniel Wilson, Cho Rong Won, Kiera Dionne Wynn, Samuel Chun Yang, Spencer R. Yeamans, Nicholas Chad Youngblood, Shuwen Yue, Liena Zaidan Abdu Zaidan, Larisa A. Zarzhitskaya, Yige Zhang, Zhouzhe Zhang, Yihan Zhao, Brooke Alexandra Seawell, Abigail Ilene Tecza, Amanda C. Turner, Elizabeth Uptain.
Tuscumbia: Bailey E. Holway.
Union Grove: Jordan Stephen Shelton.
Union Springs: Lewis C. May.
Valley Grande: Hannah M. Davis, Autumn Louise Williams, Logan S. Cole.
Vestavia: Catherine Ann Angelo, Kaley Marie Hays, Anthony Andrew Holubik III, Daniel H. Selman, Danielle K. Swing.
Vestavia Hills: Cole T. Adams, Kaitlin C. Benos, Peyton P. Blaylock, Brehany S. Brown, Daniel D. Brown, Sarah Gabel Burdette, Rachel Elise Childers, Sara J. Davies, Brandon F. Duan, Sally Kathleen Harris, Alexandra G. Hatchett, Heather A. Henson, Holli K. Henson, Charlotte M. Holt, Caitlin Morgan Hudson, Maria K. Inman, Joseph H. James, Natalie Marie Kidd, Scott M. Kline, Elizabeth L. Mask, Christian Andrew Mays, Christopher Kombod McCullers, Kelly C. Mccullers, Madison Elizabeth Miller, Michael C. Morton, Jordan L. Nail, Eric C. Nuss, Christopher T. Orr, James R. Orr, Mary Kathryn Phillips, Haley A. Sherman, Christopher S. Smith, Ryan D. Smith, Adam Eliezer Tessler, Jane Thornton, John Walker Tootle, Ross I. Wilson, Jicai Zhang, Maggie B. Hamric, Jane Davis Whitaker, Sarah Elizabeth Williams.
Vinemont: Kaylie A. Hill, William Drew Parker, Hannah E. Yerby.
Ward: James S. Johnston.
Warrior: Madison N. Jolley, Benjamin C. Klein.
Waverly: Brenna A. Zartman, Megan A. Zartman, Geoffrey R. Goeters.
Wedowee: Jalen D. Drummond, Morgan Elizabeth McGue.
West Blocton: Savannah Grace Logan.
Wetumpka: Megan R. Bryant, Annabelle Marie Chansler, Brittany Nicole Gunnells, Heather Brooke Key, Rachel Nicole Stearns, Florence E. Trotter.
Winfield: Olivia Atkinson, Makayla D Estes, Alexander L. Green, Makenzie Rae Mann, Jacob K. Trull.
Woodstock: Karie J. Deerman, Kolton Russell Weems.
Bentonville: Erica Ivette Kugler, Elliott Elizabeth Miller.
Fayetteville: Mark D. Hollenbeck.
Fort Smith: Anna E. Bragg, Matthew T. Shultz.
Gravette: Brian A. Smithers,.
Little Rock: Mark Howell Guffin Jr., Kelsey D. Kauffman, Rachel A. Silaski, Samuel James Greenwood, Eryn M. Tracy.
Marion: Easton R. Davis.
Cave Creek: Marisa Jo La Rue.
Glendale: Lauren E McEwan.
Peoria: Kyle L. Barrett.
Scottsdale: Allyson K. Mitchell, John W. Walker.
Sierra Vista: Ashley Anne Ross.
Tucson: Anna Christine Douglas, Catharine Ann Wickman.
Anaheim: Sierra BriAnn Wilson.
Cameron Park: Stephanie L. Klotz.
Canyon Country: Emelie Eva Victoria Larsson-Dally.
Carlsbad: David Randolph Cooper, Henry Poole.
Carmichael: Justine Marie Hostler.
Corona: Julianna Rene Pfadt.
Coto de Caza: Lauren Marie Milani.
Culver City: Emma Angel Castro.
Danville: Ashley M. Sanchez, Ryan Joseph Vincent.
Dove Canyon: Shannon Catherine Donahue.
El Centro: Matthew Alan Edwards.
El Segundo: Graham Blake Parker.
Encinitas: Alyssa Nicole Bergman.
Fremont: Molly F. Cory.
Goleta: Joshua Wayne Cox.
Granite Bay: Hannah Brooke LeBaron.
Laguna Hills: Marica Misa Mackey.
Los Angeles: Hazina Malaika Cain Houston, Sophia Nicol Veje.
Manhattan Beach: Alexa Lynn Later, Kellie Ann Wesser.
Moraga: Lauren Marie Gaskin, Laura Elizabeth Hurd.
Newbury Park: Quincy Rose Maria Bloem.
Perris: Tianna Jeanne Usher.
Pls Vrds Pnsl: Paige Alexandra Fitzpatrick.
Rancho Cucamonga: Kaitlyn R. Clark.
Rancho Palos Verdes : Kelsey Alizabeth Farman.
Rancho Santa Fe: Molly Reese Millar.
Sacramento: Elena Terese Fricke, Hunter Chastain Smith, Heather Renae Wilson.
San Diego: Michael J. Carton, Morgan Taylor Couch, Jordan Sebastian Jacobson, Josh Sabourin.
San Jose: Rebecca R. Alcorta.
San Marino: Paul Krimmel.
San Ramon: Sarah Julia Augustinsky, Brooke A. Grauss.
Santa Barbara: Allison Jaqueline Abbott.
Santa Monica: Katherine Claire Story.
Santee: Jennifer Madison Penix.
South Pasadena: Alison Elizabeth Farrar.
Tarzana: Brian P. Gross.
Trabuco Canyon: Amy Linda Cobos.
Tustin: Hande Tan.
Westlake Village: Emma Christina Farrow, Christopher Paul Popovich.
Windsor: Kelly E. Feith.
Yorba Linda: Kayla Nicole Cadiz.
Arvada: Adrian L. Do, Connor Patrick McCarty.
Aurora: Daniel Rohan Phadke.
Berthoud: Keeli Lanae Mallory.
Centennial: Joshua William Couch.
Colorado Springs: Vidya Sree Dandu, Laura L. Mckibben, Michaela Alyse Thurston.
Conifer: Clayton Matthew Wagenhals.
Englewood: Elizabeth Blaize Jackson, Joshua Robert Walker.
Firestone: Arika C. Hoscheit.
Fort Collins: Adam Nicholas Bonertz, Liam James Finnegan, Mary C. Muffly, Laura Katherine Steiner.
Highlands Ranch: Kaitlyn Savannah Newell.
Lakewood: Taylor S. Benjamin.
Littleton: Eryn E. Hall, Samantha Grace Tilson.
Longmont: Emma B. Heichelheim.
Parker: Eric William Schulz.
Cheshire: Sally-Ann K. DeLucia.
Colchester: Victoria S. Bernier.
Greenwich: MacKenzie Anne Freder.
Guilford: Alexandra Deborah Jean Harris.
Hartford: Tree Joseph Mabry.
Old Greenwich: Caroline Seton Southwick.
Old Lyme: Caitlin Elizabeth O'Neil.
Shelton: Emily Ann Gaetano.
Simsbury: Kelsey Bolin.
Somers: Madeline Claire Folsom.
Stamford: Victoria Anne LaBella.
Tolland: Henry Mason Downes.
West Haven: Jian Gao.
Bridgeville: Emily Golden Passwaters.
Lewes: Mallory Louise McDonald.
Alachua: Connor Hampton Davis.
Apollo Beach: Julia A. Fagoh.
Boca Raton: Tara Elizabeth Martin, Elizabeth Peyton Ray, Stephanie Helena Stadler, Jenna Rae Toler.
Bonita Springs: Kathryn Jean Allen.
Boynton Beach: Meghan Pearl Hanley.
Bradenton: Lydia Denise Ranallo, Rachel Stanell.
Cape Coral: Emily Dean Edwards.
Coral Gables: Elizabeth Pierce Harley,.
Coral Springs: Valentina L. Apa, Madison T. Santana.
Crestview: Paige Leigh Cromer.
Delray Beach: Damon S. Stanley, Lauren Taylor Whitman.
Destin: Alison F. Adams.
Fernandina Beach: Claire A. Manderfield.
Fleming Island: Danielle Piper Davis, Alexandra L. Nicola.
Gainesville: Elizabeth J. McElwain.
Gulf Breeze: Jessica Rose Fromularo, Annemarie C. Schultz, Andrew W. Dobry Jr., Kathryn Elizabeth Gough.
Hobe Sound: Scott Michael Leary.
Jacksonville: Sarah F. Davis, Meagan E. Heisler, Sarah Ann Lee, Thomas Bender Middlekauff, Kaitlyn A. Tackett, Brooke Elizabeth Woodall.
Jay: Tessa L. Hendricks.
Jupiter: John T. Ferretti Jr.
Key Largo: Samantha Ashley McPeak.
Lake Mary: Erin L. Nisi, Laura E. Packard.
Lake Worth: Debra Jane Gerrits.
Lakeland: Derek Adam Andersen.
Land O Lakes: Zahnay Paisley Gates.
Longwood: Margaret Reed Gillespie.
Lutz: Emily D. Austin, Lauren Ashley Nodal.
Lynn Haven: Emily Grace Pickle.
Mary Esther: Jessica Nicole Zielinski.
McDavid: Taylor N. Byrd.
Merritt Island: Michael Robert Dunn.
Miami: Angely Milagros Martinez.
Middleburg: Alexander Acton Tidwell.
Milton: Christine S. Gomez.
Naples: Kyle P. Boncelet, Destiny Shae Howell, Dylan R. Kalvin, Haley N. Lemire, Hannah Renee Weiss.
Niceville: Marisa Nicole Hancock, Kevin Alexander Pabst, Amber Phillips, Haley Raquel Smith.
Ocala: Caviness Grier Drake.
Ocoee: Colin M Kruger.
Orange Park: Allison Leigh Cassada.
Orlando: Connor W. Ferrentino, Terrence Buckley Lonam, Dakota Elizabeth Park-Ozee, Carlos Joaquin Ramos.
Oviedo: Noelle Lynn Owen.
Palm Beach Gardens: Colby Robert Scialla.
Palm Harbor: Kayla Brooke Fratus.
Panama City: Angela D. Albertson, Savannah Lee Stewart.
Panama City Beach: Alexandra Blue Chagnon, Zachary W. Griffin.
Parkland: Katherine Anne Sagel, Matthew Perry Steinberg, Grant Michael Wills.
Pensacola: Lauren Katharina Grell, Carter A. Haferkamp, Hunter Scott Haferkamp, Anna Rachel Van Der Like, Sean M. Vinson, Matthew L. Warren, Christian Elie Zeitouni.
Pompano Beach: Gabrielle Graboski.
Ponte Vedra Beach: Alexander Rust Burch.
Ruskin: Daniel Carl Norman.
Sanibel: Jacqueline Haley Cloutier.
Shalimar: Hunter G. Bethea, Malcolm Alexander Foley.
Tallahassee: Ronnie J. Harrison Jr., Caroline C. Mcclenny, Courtney Leigh Ricciardi.
Tampa: Jonathan Marcus Ayers, Zachary Marcus Ayers, Margaret Lynne Guice, Austin David Johnson, Lindsey M. Reeder, Amanda Taylor Rude, Haley M. Walczak.
Wellington: Kiersten G. Crouse.
Weston: Avery J. Brown, Mackenzie E. Demeo, Ryan Harris Weiner.
Windermere: Megan McKensie Birkes, Melody K. Schmidt.
Winter Garden: Kaitlin E. Breslin.
Winter Haven: Mabry E. Craddock.
Winter Park: Michael Charles Ikegami.
Acworth: Alison Claire Bell, Emily A. Chiaravalloti, John D. Faulkner, Anthony Joseph Fiacco, Emily A. Fox, Ingrid L. Goedde-Bennett, Kathryn J. Marquis, Mary Frances Novak, Kristin E. Schmidt, Laura D. Testino.
Albany: Ethan Lawrence Bruck.
Alpharetta: Sarah Caroline Abboud, Lindsay Mimi Albano, William J. Baggett, Madeline Faith Cagle, Allison Michelle Cohen, Sarah Catherine Corn, Rosemary Kathleen Eileen Erb, Morgan Elizabeth Fahey, Natalie Anne Fitzgibbons, Taylor B. Gill, Aryn Monroe Greene, Zachary Daniel Kladis, Laura McKenzie Mall, Leann Nicole Martin, Savannah Nicole Martin, Rodger Michael Moore, Ellis Morgan Pullen, Elizabeth A. Rucci, Marisa Jill Schiff, Jake M. Sixour, Jamie Michelle Tesh.
Atlanta: James R. Abbott, Anne Lloyd Bean, William A. Bolton, Colby A. Chesney, Briah Annae Golder, Sydney Hanna Goldstein, Risa N. Hayet, Danielle Rebecca Heidt, Kaitlin M. Huff, Dalyan Sayer Kilic, Jordan Lawerance Klinger, Shelby Nicole Sarah Lam, Paige Marie Lauer, Alexandra Mannings, John Peale Martin II, John Timothy Morrison, Brantley Burns Taylor, Ann Katherine Vitti, Ashley Christina Walter, Kevin Bruce Wedge, Abby L. Daws.
Augusta: Elijah Samuel Coleman, Ty'Sheka Ne'Cole Lambert.
Ball Ground: Cara N. Perrin.
Blakely: Emily T. Giannars.
Bogart: Heather Dickens.
Bonaire: Leigh Ann Copeland.
Braselton: John Thomas Dollar.
Buford: Anna K. Allen, Nichole Briana Dennis.
Canton: Sydney P. Donohue, Sarah Kay Monahan, Nicholle Kelby Nixon, Alison Jeanne Shuman, Savannah A. Smith.
Carrollton: Robert D. Dortch.
Cartersville : Mallory P. Fleming.
Chatsworth: Addison Lea Matter.
Colbert: Stephanie Brooke Heinlein.
College Park: Courtenay DeJournelle Brooks.
Columbus: Nicholas N. Jefferson, Terrance J. Lewis, Taylor N. Ragan, Akeisha Danielle Young, Shanikia Nicole Young.
Covington: Kathryn E. Barksdale, Demi K. Hammond.
Cumming: Staci L. Ethridge, Katherine M. Garmon, Stephney M. Leffler, Emily E. Wilson.
Dalton: Mallory Joy McIntosh.
Douglasville: Denisha S. Durham, Morgan Brittany Holtzclaw, Nicole M. Mckim, Travis W. Ritchie, Taylor N. Shelnutt.
Duluth: Ansley Elizabeth Griffith, Yi Wu.
Dunwoody: Elizabeth H. Michaels, Adrienne Dodd Morse, Jack Thomas Pelt, Sarah E. Robertson, Justin Blake Silver.
Fayetteville: Hannah Katherine Chapman, Kaitlyn N. Chapman, Ashley L. Dahl, Aubrey E. Edkins, Emileigh J. Forrester.
Flowery Branch: Emily Elizabeth Williams.
Gainesville: Kaitlin Taylor Burchett, Tyler Douglas McKay, Laura Jean Taylor Parker.
Gray: Tyler Amanda Cannon.
Griffin: Robert Henry Peek.
Johns Creek: Rachel E. Baer, Asha A. Fuller, Nicole Victoria Lane, Kelly Jean Lewis, Matthew G. Macia.
Kennesaw: Nina T. Brante, Luke E. Haynes, Nichole A. Hegstetter, Amy Claire Killingsworth, Rachel A. Moore, Caroline C. Surratt, Anastasiya Anne Titarenko.
Kingsland: Dana Thomas Paul Sweeney.
Lawrenceville: Erik Ritchie Evenson, Allexa K. Gardner, Neil Urvesh Shah, Daniel R. Smith.
Lilburn: Taylor B. Sexton.
Lookout Mountain: Samuel P. Greene.
Mableton: Kevin Thomas Whitney.
Marietta: Lili Anne Carneglia, Hannah J. Carter, Emily G. Clack, Nichole Camille Corbett, Carson Nicole Dietrich, Geoffrey Allen Drum, Danielle Annber Dutra, Kelly E. Ebert, Alexis Nicole Ferruccio, Gianna Marie Gagliardi, Cayla Elizabeth Harris, Kaleigh D. Kessler, Natalie Janine Kilic, Abigail Noel Lutzenkirchen, Hannah Marie Riley, Rachel Kimberly Rodzik, Alec Jay Rush, Emily Abigail Scott, Vivian R. Spearman.
Martinez: Jessica Joyce Hauger.
McDonough: Emma G. Welch.
Midland: Melinda Victoria Mann, Brice Gaither Morpeth.
Milton: Alexa L. Dato, Danielle Esposito, Victoria Anne Miers.
Monroe: Shambreka S. Ross.
Murrayville: Rachel Marie Parker.
Newnan: Madison Rose Bodiford, Maya N. Crawford.
Oakwood: Jamie Elizabeth Suckow.
Powder Springs: Ashley Lauren Henson, Addison Marie Iszler, Amy M. Koenig.
Rincon: Ashlee A. Griffith.
Rocky Face: Holly Aliyah Kinsey.
Rome: Josie Grace Perry, Madison Rae Tucker.
Rossville: Cara S. Walker.
Roswell: Katherine Elizabeth June, Kylie A. Odriscoll, Zachary Bowman Witherspoon.
Rutledge: Reagan Taylor Collins.
Saint Marys: Benjamin J. Mercier.
Savannah: Sarah M. Hall, Therese Ellen Long, Stephen T. Thomason.
Smyrna: Hannah I. Gilman, John Andrew Lundeen, Mary Chandler Ryberg.
Snellville: Jacqueline R. Harris, Katherine Elizabeth Read.
Sparta: William Owen Bass III.
Stockbridge: Nicholas O. Denson.
Stone Mountain: Amanda K. Bennett.
Suwanee: Sarah E. Curtin, Alexander Hunt Jenkins, Emily C. Nance, Rebecca N. Powell, Shannon E. Sweatt.
Temple: Lauren Casey Voyles.
Thomaston: Elizabeth Madison Williams.
Thomasville: Randolph Augustus Malone V, William Carter Reed, Hunter H. Avera,Tunnel Hill: Sally S. Bell.
Warner Robins: Caitlyn Nicole Chastain.
Woodbury: Holley Faith Gibbs.
Woodstock: Maggi Taylor Adams, Jada Symone Culver, Caroline Elizabeth Grosch, Chelsea S. Morgan, Kaitlin E. Neese, Lauren Elizabeth Searcy.
Woodville: Keyerra J. Monfort.
Haiku: Kieran Ravi Bhattacharya.
Kailua: Naomi Rose Perry.
Waianae: Chelsey Jean Roettger.
Ankeny: Jeffrey B. Clement.
Cedar Rapids: Lauren Elizabeth Williams.
Johnston: Hayden J. Woods.
Sioux City: Kourtney A. Kellen.
Boise: Ashley Sierra Kenney.
Alton: Joseph Aaron Bodenbach, Shaun Patrick Hogan.
Arlington Heights: Dana K. Murray, Hannah E. Pope.
Aurora: Olivia Louise Nagy, Michelle L. Plese, Jessica Shieh, Adam J. Trotter, Kelly Nicole Zaprzal.
Belleville: Hannah Elisabeth Geurink.
Bloomingdale: Andrew J. Gentner.
Bloomington: Isabelle Zoe Cimala.
Bolingbrook: Lillian Jane Brister, Christopher C. Mayhugh.
Buffalo Grove: Laura Elaine Elsesser.
Cary: Shannon Elizabeth Corr, Terrin V. Waack.
Champaign: Caroline R. Dodds.
Chana: Riley Stowe Kraus.
Channahon: Justin Q. Miner.
Chicago: Carly M. Ausman.
Crest Hill: Kathryn Orion Shay.
Crystal Lake: Joshua David Larson.
Des Plaines: Manoj Vadakayil Sunny.
Downers Grove: Brianne L. Cronenwett, John F. Ebersold, Amanda Hall Gafron, Gretchen L. Landego.
Edwardsville: Tess N. Severin.
Elburn: Mary T. Fahey.
Geneva: Victoria E. Conlon.
Glen Carbon: Hayden Norman Hessler.
Glenview: Keeley L. Nolan, Gabriella Oppenheimer.
Godfrey: Emily Rose Repking.
Golf: Stephanie A. Ziegler.
Hanover Park: James Timothy Vegrzyn.
Herrin: Brianna E. Bartelsmeyer, Craig Jackson Bartelsmeyer.
Huntley: Samantha Stephanie Czarnota, Laura Emily Pilat.
Inverness: Garrett L. Groot.
LaGrange: Megan Ann Ryan.
Lake in the Hills: Kollin Wayne Rott.
Lakewood: Olivia Rose Barkocy.
Lexington: Charles Albrecht Wright.
Lisle: Jenna L. Parker.
Lombard: Bailey Amanda Reese.
Mahomet: Nicole Rose Renshaw.
Manhattan: Lisa Marie Rose Meister.
Mokena: Angela Michelle Ray.
Monticello: Scott Thomas Milford Huisinga.
Naperville: Frances R. Blount, Morgan R. Flatt, Tyler J. Kory, Jackson A. Morris, Madison K. Mullinax, Caylee A. Oconnor, Courtney M. Rentas, Madison A. Salsinger, Jordan Nicholas Sandy, Melissa A. Smith, Austin Ronay White, Jason Fox Zhan, Jillian J. Murphy.
Normal: Benedict A. Leake, Taylor Jo Pauken.
Northbrook: Peter Theodosios Arvanitis.
O'Fallon: Erin Kellie Cain, Michelle B. Weyhaupt.
Orland Park: Sahiti Madireddy.
Palatine: Michael J. Betti, Larissa M. Magera, Megan Kathryn Perkins, Marley Waskin.
Pittsfield: Jeremy Carl Mallinckrodt.
Plainfield: Matthew Connor Ahearn, Collin Worth Dickinson, Jean-Claude G. Godin, Megan M. Matthews.
Prospect Heights: Brian J. Carman.
Rock Island: Devin F. Radloff.
Rockford: Elizabeth C. Tollefson.
Roselle: Rosemarie Antoinette Cianfarani.
Schaumburg: Kanitta C. Kulprathipanja.
Smithton: Victoria Jean Costello.
Springfield: Kelly E. McMahon, Kirsten Emily Williams, Kelly Michelle Rooney.
St. Charles: Kayla Arlene Balousek, Katherine Hope Bedrich, Autumn L. Conn.
Tinley Park: Rachel Ann Kinsella.
Vernon Hills: Michael Thomas Koczwara, Parker G. Wilgus.
Villa Park: Logan Joseph Lundgren.
Wheaton: Catharine E. Pierce, Madeline M. Trainor.
Winfield: Quintan Michael Slott.
Woodridge: Natalie Marie Murison.
Avon: Michael L. Goldhammer.
Bloomington: Kayla L. Carpenter.
Bristol: Mitchell Lee Dykstra
Carmel: Alison Marie Barratt, Katherine Lynn Cheesman, Elizabeth M. Russell, Emily A. Stebbins, Lauren Marie Van Buren.
Chesterton: Lindsay Alana Gorman, Sean Ryan Miller, Brandon M. Roeske.
Elkhart: Pete Allen Dietl.
Fishers: Alisha R. Goad, Grace A. Reed.
Greenfield: Erin Kathleen Siefker.
Hebron: Blaize M. Borovich.
Indianapolis: Cameron Scheele Smock.
Newburgh: Kari Lynn Besing.
Noblesville: Tyler L. Brake.
Westfield: Amanda Tara Hanson, Laura K. Lepere, Jaclyn A. Schillinger.
Zionsville: Mitchell M. McMillen, Allison Renee Miller, Samuel T. Pinegar.
Fairway: Ellen M. St. Clair.
Howard: Aaron A. Miller.
Leawood: Jack S Goldsborough, Margaret Emily Naylor, Paige Delaine Sims, Ryan Scott Corley.
Overland Park: Emma K. Bjornson, Natalie Ann Pare, Andrea Rock.
Stilwell: Kaitlin Rose Berry.
White City: Mary Elizabeth Alsobrooks.
Wichita: Taryn Elizabeth Spencer.
Anchorage: Emily T. Crow.
Boaz: Peter David Schmidt.
Bowling Green: Arnela Zukic.
Calvert City: Alexandra J. Owen.
Crestview Hills: Douglas Maxwell LeNeave.
Elizabethtown: Sarah Elizabeth Puckett.
Fort Thomas: Madison Catherine Farley.
Frankfort: Justin Martin Thompson.
Goshen: David Michael Glenn.
Hebron: Ashley N. Bowdy, Halle E. Noel.
Hopkinsville: Deborah Michelle O'Quinn.
Lexington: Elizabeth Addison Arnold, Jordan Taylor Artrip, Andy S. Cloyd, Blair M. Mercer, Jacqueline Kay Robins, Samantha Nancy Thomas.
Louisville: Andrew James Bonacci, Taylor J. Cianfoni, Emily B. Ducas, Callie A. Kidwell, Joseph M. Kitchen, Emily G. Stewart, Sara Kathryn Tuell.
Owensboro: Bayli Q. Boling.
Paducah: Grace B. Silverstein, Callie E. Smith.
Pewee Valley: Emily M. Brewer.
Prospect: Amber J. Ausley, Brighton R. Farrar, Ryan J. Kozak, Catherine L. Mutchler.
Ryland Heights: Samantha Rae Powell.
Somerset: Elizabeth F. Ousley.
Union: Amber Marie Deja, Mackenzie L. Senvisky.
Versailles: Matthew Wood Fister.
Winchester: William C. Griffith.
Baton Rouge: Daniel Brendan Aguillard Jr., Lauren C. Crawford, Victoria G. Hedrick, Makaley F. Heughan, Emily A. Risher, Kaitlyn E Rothkamm, Molly Margaret Moran.
Covington: Gabrielle Lee Bopp, John Tyler Morgan.
Destrehan: Rustem Bilyalov, Sarah J. Guertin, Andrew Joseph Poulos.
Gray: Sarah C. Cagle.
Harahan: Taylor V. Bensel, Rachel Leigh Solino.
Harvey: Jennifer Nicole Landry.
Kenner: Jonathan Robert Hess.
Lafayette: Celeste Euphemie Woock.
Madisonville: Gabriella E Regard, Macey Lynn Shirah.
Mandeville: Nicholas Joseph Caluda, Sean Alan Cuff, John Christopher Deeble, Emmett James Hummel IV, Justin William Magrath, Patrick W. Mitchell, Loren Dorothy Schouest.
Metairie: Mallory C. Chanove, Seth S. Chauhan, Alexandra A. Garon, Katharine Clarie Garvey, Alexander Patrick Priola Hebert, John M. Lacey, Philip G. Legrand, Matthew Paul Mercatante, Benjamin Michael Nettleton, Morgan L. Passman, Taylor Ann Price, Reagan Lynn Sandoz, Sean Edward Stephens, Sydney Rae Sudderth, Christine Mary Talley.
Monroe: Brigitte E. Barnes, Mary Elizabeth Cunningham, Chase Morgan Wilson.
Natchitoches: Phillip W. Harris.
New Orleans: Grant Phillip Becker, Jordan S. Conway, Margaret Mary Dowling, Caroline Louise Entwisle, Margaret K. Giler, Jennifer Shirley Miguel, Timothy Joseph Mooney II, Charles Henry Pratt, Paige Alexandra Trauth, Rebecca E. Williams.
Plaquemine: Alexandra Nicole Gautreaux.
Prairieville: Rachael N. Giles.
Robert: Maggie Renee Rocker.
Shreveport: Ruth A. Bishop, Jaime Layton Hughes.
Slidell: Juan S. Carrasquilla, Tatiana A. Carrasquilla, Nicole Irene Kernahan.
West Monroe: Katherine E. Counts.
Andover: Addison Kennedy.
Arlington: Clare C. Morris.
East Bridgewater: Elaine P. Hanby.
Easton: Rachyl C. Mosley.
Hopkinton: Abigail Grace Clinton.
Hopkinton: Alexandria Danielle Petrosinelli.
Melrose: Megan Elizabeth Winslow.
Newton: Miller Michell McCarthy-Tuohy.
Tewksbury: Michael J. Casey.
Baltimore: Mary Cassel Springer, Amy Lee Williams.
Bel Air: Roth Michael Esposito, Ryan Anthony Pellegrino.
Bethesda: Katiana Marie Cokinos, Gregory Lawton Koch Milanovich.
Catonsville: Anna Maria Peragine, Natalie Louise Valentine.
Columbia: Emily C. Lemmon.
Ellicott City: Brooke Marie Buehler.
Fallston: Grant William Burton.
Forest Hill: Kaitlin Elizabeth McLhinney, Michael D. Ritz Jr.
Germantown: Maria E. Zwick.
Glen Arm: John Joseph Fazzini Jr., Matthew Clark Fazzini.
Halethorpe: Catherine Michaela Lamont.
Huntingtown: Bridget Elise Graner.
La Plata: Paula Ashley Radcliff.
Laurel: Shelby Tyler Hamm.
Laytonsville: Karen E. Mooney.
North East: Julia Renee Travagline.
Olney: Amanda L. Chiogioji, Jeremy Aaron Kurnot.
Owings Mills: Jonathan Harry Attman, Rachel Jordan Troxell.
Potomac: Daniel Edward Ayre, Kelsey A. Brown.
Randallstown: Matthew Ryan Roche.
Silver Spring: Catherine Cronin Silk.
Sykesville: Thomas J. Parks.
Timonium: Danielle Catherine Bell.
Cumberland: Emily Taylor Heath.
Falmouth: Grant Michael Carrier.
Algonac: Emily G. Turner.
Alto: Jacqueline P. Andreano.
Armada: Michael N. Scaglione, Steven R. Scaglione.
Auburn Hills: Kelly Rose Duerr.
Bloomfield Hills: Jacqueline J. Mee.
Brighton: Mitchell D. Griest.
Byron Center: Gage Michael Selvius.
Canton: Justin T. Heck.
Clarkston: Sam D. Bellestri.
Fenton: Amanda J. West
Grand Rapids: Kip Thomas Callahan, Victoria Kaye Kreuzer.
Grandville: Grace Elizabeth Foltz.
Greenville: Alexander S. Day.
Grosse Pointe Shores: Salvatore Ciaravino.
Grosse Pointe Woods: Brooke M. Ford.
Holland: Kyle James VanDeRiet.
Holly: Ciara ReAnn Cooley.
Hudsonville: Bailey A. Johnson.
Kalamazoo: Maggie A. Rickstad.
Linden: Natalie Margaret Steiert.
Macomb: Cole J. Evans, Tyler James Koch, Lucas Nathaniel Nelson, David Michael Receniello.
Midland: Jonathan David Orbeck.
Muskegon: Anika M. Abiade.
Newport: Bethany M. Corne.
Novi: Matthew P. Confer.
Oakland: Grey Quinitn Buxton Sr.
Orion: Neil Robert Donetti.
Plymouth: Elizabeth Lynn Good.
Saline: Madeleine A. Cole, Delphanie Wu, Patrick Michael Zetterholm.
Shelby Township: Stephanie Elizabeth Grates.
Shelby Twp.: Megan Elizabeth Cole.
Tecumseh: Matthew T. Haeussler.
Troy: Kyle William Leonard, Morgan D. Purvis.
Washington Twp: Emily L. Langford.
Waterford: Alise Renee Wenner.
West Bloomfield: Stephanie Marie Mackenzie.
Ypsilanti: Matthew Joseph Studer.
Lino Lakes: Devon E. Henschel.
Plymouth: Emily Amanda Jacobson.
Woodbury: Robert Bruce Bohjanen.
Ballwin: Madeline Ann Distler, Sarah M. Hanes, Alexandra D. Knott, Anna Catherine Lehman, Alec Michael Maglione, Elizabeth F. Swartz.
Blue Springs: Jackson T. Green, Jordan Elizabeth Williams.
Cape Girardeau: Lessley Carlson Dennington, Harlie VanCleve Waldon.
Chesterfield: Courtney L. Anderson, Danielle Djikanovic, Madison L. Drury.
Columbia: Whitney Ann Cravens, Benjamin Tyler McGowan, Jacob Arthur Winton.
Des Peres: Samantha Lynn Dyroff, Abbey Marie Tadros.
Eureka: Courtney A. Green, Chelsea T. Harris, Audrey Isobel Herrington, Brennen L. Lummus, Jack A. Lyons.
Fenton: Tristan M. Mcginnis, Nicole Marie Quinlivan.
Florissant: Ghaida Awwad, Kevin P. Mcpartland.
Glencoe: Amanda J. Oldenburg.
Grover: Robert Clayton Link.
Jefferson City: Allison Lyn Mollenkamp.
Joplin: Victoria Lynn Baker, Derek A. Carter.
Kansas City: Forrest Charles Walker.
Lake Saint Louis: Maxton Edward Thoman.
Lees Summit: Andrea K. Bright, Riley M. Manning, Brelahn Josephine Wyatt.
OFallon: Caitlin M. Strohm, Jordan Kristine Kurdi.
Parkville: Sarah Alexandria Hardin,Saint Joseph: Matthew J. Hall.
Saint Peters: Andrew John Halaney, Claire Elise Henderson.
Silex: Shayla M. Steiner.
St. Louis: Maxwell J. Hirbe.
St. Joseph: Rebecca Katheryn Bridgman.
St. Louis: Cara Marie Greenley, Dorothy Corris Griesedieck, Megan Kathleen Kelly, Lisa Mcsweeney, Elise Katherine Ott, Martin J. Schwarze, Alexander L. Shaver, Gregory A. Triplett, Megan Michelle Wingbermuehle, Daniel Mulholland Wren.
Warreton: Megan S. Costello.
Wentzville: Anna Mae Lang.
Wildwood: Taylor Lee Hall, Jakob Robert Jackson, Molly Sarah Kearns, Matthew A. Tucker, Jenna Rose Witkowski.
Bailey: Joshua G. Campbell.
Belden: Casey Jo Marshall.
Biloxi: Genevieve Clare LaRose Miller.
Brandon: Joseph P. Creel, Sarah Albright Culpepper, Kirby G. Parker.
Byhalia: Jacob E. Dunlap, Lindsey A. Herin.
Canton: Hilary M. Jones, Chase A. Lanke, Jared Neil Powell.
Carriere: Stephanie R. Carnathan.
Clinton: Russell M. Macoon.
Collins: Jeffrey Scott Collins.
Columbus: Katy Whitten Davidson, Allison Studdard.
Diberville: James Nguyen Hong.
Flora: Mary Frances Weeks.
Greenville: Amira R. Abbas.
Hattiesburg: Jonathan S. Burks, Stephen Cowart McClain, Summer V. Morrissette, Sarah G. Osborne, Daniel R. Patterson.
Indianola: Mary N. Robertson.
Jackson: Blair Elizabeth Bush, Robert A. Cragon.
Kiln: Abigail D. Arcement.
Laurel: Shelby Elise Gatewood, Emily Elizabeth Higginbotham.
Long Beach: Katheryn E. Adam.
Madison: Hala Joe Abisamra, Miranda C. Barrett, Jacob A. Blanchard, Meredith A. Blanchard, Hailey G. Brohaugh, Maggie Elizabeth Holmes, Sam W. Michaelsen, Ashley K. Pace, Caitlyn M. Stewart, Thomas J. Wiygul Jr.
Meridian: Haley Rena Su Bailey, Mackenzie L. Ross.
Mount Olive: Justin Andrew Mishlan.
Pascagoula: Nicole D. Noblitt.
Purvis: Richard C. Lawson, Laura Faith Prehn.
Ridgeland: Sarah G. Golden, Audrey Anna Rabalais.
Starkville: Savanna J. Trinkle.
Tupelo: Katherine E Gilbert.
Waynesboro: Holly G. Ford, Nathan R. Ford.
North Carolina
Albemarle: Emily Caroline Barbee.
Apex: Jeremy Scott Reynolds, Alayna J. Watson.
arden: Kathleen Elizabeth Bentley.
Belmont: David T. Gronstal.
Boone: Whitney L. Dunnigan.
Burlington: Megan Michelle Butler, Nathan J. Butler.
Carrboro: Marlow Monnig Durbin, Marc Robert Schwartz.
Chapel Hill: Rylee Jo Perentis.
Chapel Hill Ln: Elle Walker Gilbert.
Charlotte: Tyler M. Clem, Kayce Lee Conway, Kourtney Lynn Conway, Meghan V. Dorn, Caroline Margaret Hall Henley, Trent A. Kepley, Caitlin Ann McDermott, Casey Wilson McGuirt, Jacob M. Mchugh, Elizabeth Ashley Richardson, Madison Claire Wauchope, Anna Scott Lovejoy, Rachel Elizabethann Tomchin.
Clemmons: Sean M. Donahue, William Kyle Leopard.
Davidson: Alexander Nicholas Heldman.
Duck: Sarah E. Vercauteren.
Fuquay-Varina: Sarah Anne Howard.
Goldsboro: Jessica N. Rollins.
Greenville: Connor Maxwell Meyers, Tucker Thomas Meyers.
Hendersonville: Marilee Meriweather Walker.
Hickory : Nathan Scott Surbaugh.
Holly Springs: Lauren T. Longobardo.
Kinston: Madison Sage Sullivan.
Matthews: Gabrielle Lauren Blum.
New Bern: Caroline Baxter Tolson.
Pfafftown: Tyler J. Thompson.
Raleigh: Rebecca Jeanne Dobner, Emily G. Facchine, Hannah G. Jefferson, Jason Matthew Nance.
Salisbury: Kathryn Lynn Cater.
Southern Shores: Kaitlyn Renee Godsey.
Thomasville: Lydia Elaine Efird.
Wake Forest: Karli Brianne Guyther.
Waxhaw: Ashleigh R. Fetter.
Wilmington: Maureen Ashley Penn.
Winterville: Brittany N. Jamison.
Kimball: Alexandra N. Petko.
Mead: Olivia Jolene Johnson.
Papillion: Marshall N. Anderson.
Pleasanton: Shaw S. Klein.
New Hampshire
Amherst: Jackson Jules Brayman.
Brookline: Nicholas R. Garside.
Concord: Cameron Douglas Wornick.
Derry: Alex Louis Davis.
Dunbarton: Elizabeth Leanna Kelly.
Hollis: Mollie Elizabeth Gillis.
Londonderry: Omer Klaen, Defeng Qian.
New Boston: Megan Marie White.
Newmarket: Michael Joseph Keefe.
New Jersey
Allendale: Zachary A. Kachele.
Basking Ridge: Kathryn Leah Gacos, Michael Christopher Cervino.
Cherry Hill: Jessica Elizabeth Matczak.
Cranbury: Aaron Richard Fenton.
Elmwood Park: Michael Salvatore Vuoncino.
Farmingdale: Emily Jeanne Bott.
Forked River: Morgan Alyssa Wohlers.
Kendall Park: Jessica Rose Rosen.
Long Valley: Zaid A. Subhi.
Lumberton: Connor Dugan.
Matawan: Jenna Nicole Harrison.
Medford: Marc Hunter Sano.
Mullica Hill: Michelle Kathleen Coviello, Melissa Pidgeon.
North Haledon: Samuel Torres Jr.
Northvale: Annalise Jane Winans.
Oradell: Catherine Ann Antonelli.
Paulsboro: Christin Angela Lamastra.
Ridgewood: Emily Paige Cerrina.
Rutherford: Alyssa Marie Tulp.
Sea Girt: Christine Elizabeth Loughran, Victoria Deborah Loughran.
West Creek: Allyson Rong-Hua Liu.
Wood Ridge: Joseph Michael Pronti.
New Mexico
Gallup: Annemarie Elizabeth Lisko.
Las Cruces: Laura Elise Steiner.
Las Vegas: Berkeley N. Hall.
New York
Baldwin: Casey Meehan Barberio.
Bellmore: Jared Ross Halstrom.
Big Flats: Elizabeth Hope Caloway.
Bohemia: Jordan M. Scorzelli.
Bronx: Jon M. Colon.
Brooklyn: Christopher Carl De Sciora.
Canton: Benjamin B. Koser.
Delmar: Nicholas Christopher Gosstola.
Dix Hills: Valerie Morgan Tepper.
East Norwich: Sarah M. Shoemaker.
Gansevoort: Allison G. Cirenza
Ithaca: John Powers Bangs.
Jericho: Siyu Wu.
Lancaster: Corey Michael Luksch.
Massapequa Park: Eric W. Burke.
Medford: Ryan James Murphy.
Miller Place: Julia Burke.
Morrisonville: Ethan M. Hart.
Muttontown: Ashlin Conroy.
Nesconset: Meghan Brianne Healy.
New York: Samuel Douglas Camoes Costa.
North Massapequa: Marissa Danielle Terracciano.
North Salem: Sean Patrick Devey.
Oswego: Mitchell T. Rabalais.
Plattsburgh: Brian Carpenter Goodell.
Seaford: Alec Thomas Twibell.
Smithtown: Lucas J. Lyons.
Somers: Brendan James Clair.
Sound Beach: Amanda Robin Di Sunno.
South Salem: Nicole C. Morales.
Stormville: Danielle Christine Venturo.
Webster: Paige Elisabeth McRae.
Yorktown Heights: Vanessa Marie Alpert, Kristen Marie Corrigan.
Avon: Jacquelyn A. Misencik.
Avon Lake: Rachel L. Sodee.
Batavia: Mikayla A. Moles.
Brunswick: Andy John Hamley, Thomas Kris Ludwig.
Cincinnati: Haley Frances Baker, Elyssa Tracy Berry, Megan M. Coddington, Megan Joan Friedmann, Lorine E Fries, Ryan A. Holter, Matthew F. Ittenbach, Rachel Marie Kohls, Stephen Andrew Lair, Andrew Richard Rice, Emily Christine Wick, John Kenneth York.
Cleves: Anna C. Lynd.
Columbus: Kelsey O' Bryan Harris.
Dayton: Taylor N. Creech, Levi E. Miller, Joseph Douglas Neff, Rachel Elizabeth Neff, Joseph A. Sprauer.
Dublin: Thomas Robert Scott, Stephanie Leigh Watson.
Findlay: Alexander J. Bishop.
Harrison: Chelsea Grace McElroy.
Lima: Garrett P. Diltz, Zachary R. Diltz.
Loveland: Elisabeth Ann Schnicke, Katelyn Beatrice Schwaegerle, Erin .R Wallach.
Marysville: Lydia Jane Browne, Jonathan Aaron Merklin.
Mason: Erica V. Boden, Jessica G. Hastings, Caroline K. Heywood, Jennifer L. Nelson.
Medina: Madison J. Anzelc.
Morrow: Kellis Christian Kincaid.
New Albany: Jack Madison Archer.
Oxford: James Vincent Koch.
Perrysburg: Caleb S. Andrews.
Salem: Lauren Marie Guest.
Shaker Heights: Julie Marie-Pierre Gyurgyik.
Toledo: Samantha R. Armola.
Twinsburg: Megan E. Craig.
Westerville: Jacklyn Grace Farrow, Emily C. Schmitter, Edward Arnold Woods III.
Westlake: Taylor S. Fisher, Caitlin McManamon Smith.
Edmond: Taylor K. Caleb.
Lawton: Mitchell Neill LeFebvre, Alexis Nicole Schutz.
Aloha: James W. Ferris.
Portland: Rose G. Garber.
Salem: Jessica Julie Stewart.
Allison Park: Jordan A. Busshaus.
Chambersburg: Andrew Michael Stadler.
Churchville: Alexander V. Wolf.
Collegeville: Nicholas Andrew Alexander, Evan Hoffman McIntyre.
Downingtown: Amanda Elizabeth Boornazian, Sara Emily Guiley.
Dresher: Jason P. Britchkow.
Freedom: Andrew Theodore Broniszewski.
Indiana: Kelly Anne Greene.
Jamison: Blair M. Butler.
Jefferson Hills: Meghan Taylor Poljak.
Lancaster: Anne Margaret Dunn.
Landenberg: Caroline G. Mirah.
Lansdale: Daniel Michael Dougherty, Maggie Lida Zhang.
Limerick: Christina Marie Ferrari.
Mechanicsburg: Alexandra S. Blocher, Sungkyun Kim.
Media: Noah B. Gilford.
Philadelphia: Carley A. Schwab.
Pittsburgh: Megan M. Moreland, Samuel D. Tan, Andrew Patrick Tomiczek.
Quakertown: Mark T. Repsher.
Robesonia: Samantha J. Kostaras.
Royersford: Jared R. Hammerton, Danielle J. Rheaume.
Upper Black Eddy: John Patrick Rogers.
Warren Center: Lauren K. Beers.
West Grove: Ri 29967
June 27th, 2015
SCHOOL NEWS: June 28 - Haley Thompson, Holy Spirit Catholic School class of 2015, was recently awarded through the Mercedes-Benz International Scholarship Program. The $2,000 scholarship is awarded to five high school seniors by Mercedes–Benz International each year. Haley will be attending the University of Alabama Honors College Program in the fall and plans to major in elementary education. She is the daughter of Jeff and Cherry Thompson of Tuscaloosa.
North River Christian Academy held its awards chapel on May 13.
Elementary awards:
Principal’s award for all-A’s: Jalin Alexander, Chloe Beck, Abigail Bruce, Audrey Burkhalter, Gracie Corbin, Maura Dent, Lawson Estes, Kayleigh Garner, Austin Harmon, Hayden Hensel, Gus Kilgore, Zoe Kirby, Avery Peterson, Dylan Pompey, Brandon Smith, Kylie Smith, Xander Smith, Sage Sutton, Vandin Thorton, Isabella Vice, B.J. Walker, Kathleen Watkins, Ella Wiseman and Drake Wood.
A/B Honor Roll: Trinity Adams, Destiny Adedayo, Alyssa Alexander, Rhyan Black, Nathan Brand, Bella Brown, Lexie Brown, Aidan Crocker, Sara Cross, Logan Cunningham, Kaleb Gaines, Bailey Gant, Hunter Guerra, Justin Guerra, Brylin High, Anthony Johnson, John David Jones, Jack Kilgore, Madison Long, Na’Fayzia Mobley, Alair Pineda, Scott Rhinehart, Lydia Richardson, Joey Rogers, Bayleigh Rushing, Era Kate Sutton, Sage Sutton, Mary Mykel Weaver.
Helper of the Year Award: Hayden Hensel, Sage Sutton, Zoey Winston.
Service Award: Treasure Banks, Nathan Brand, Kaylin Butler, Jordan Chambers, Brinkley Elmore, Abbey Hastings, Brylin High, Haley Jones, Lakweili Rice, Bayleigh Rushing, Kylie Smith, Era Kate Sutton, Allie Wallace.
Citizenship Award: Peyton G. Bailey Aaron, Destiny Adedayo, John Barnes, Brayley Boler, Brenden Boler, Logan Cunningham, Bailey Gant, Kayleigh Garner, Zoe Kirby, John David Jones, Na’Fayzia Mobley, Chandler Nelson, John Petty, Alair Pineda, Dylan Pompey, Lydia Richardson, Eden Weaver, Emily Grace Whinery.
Perfect Attendance: Walker Fagin.
MVP in P.E.: Kaylin Butler, Jordan Chambers, Maura Dent, Austin Harmon, Na’Fayzia Mobley, Avery Peterson, John Petty, Alair Pineda, Lakweili Rice, Rebekah Seale, Kylie Smith, Vandin Thorton, Eden Weaver, Mary Mykel Weaver.
Most improved in P.E.: John Barnes, Audrey Burkhalter, Logan Cunningham, Brylin High, Haley Jones, John David Jones, Chandler Nelson, Scott Rhinehart, Lydia Richardson, Morgan Scott, Zaria Stallworth, Era Kate Sutton, Kathleen Watkins, Emily Grace Whinery.
Most Observant: Dewy Wright.
Most Perseverant: Trinity Adams.
Biggest Reader: Zoey Carpenter.
Language Arts: Peyton G. Bailey Aaron, Brayley Boler, Bella Brown, Aidan Lewis, Drake Wood.
Bible: Chloe Beck, Nathan Brand, Aidan Crocker, Drake Wood.
Reading: Abigail Bruce, Aidan Crocker, Zoe Kirby, Isabella Bruce, Drake Wood.
Math: Abigail Bruce, Zoe Kirby, Aidan Lewis, Vandin Thorton, Isabella Vice.
Handwriting: Kayleigh Garner, Zoe Kirby, Vandin Thorton, Isabella Vice, Drake Wood.
Highest Reading Level: Kaleb Gaines, Joey Rogers.
Highest Average in Bible: Maura Dent, Justin Guerra, Austin Harmon, Gracie Kilgore, Gus Kilgore, Xander Smith, Kathleen Watkins, Ella Wiseman.
Highest Average in Handwriting: Dylan Pompey, Lydia Richardson, Bayleigh Rushing, Brandon Smith.
Highest Average in History: Rhyan Black, Gracie Corbin, Maura Dent, Na’Fayzia Mobley, B.J. Walker.
Highest Average in Language: Lexie Brown, Maura Dent, Hunter Guerra, Justin Guerra, Austin Harmon, Kathleen Watkins.
Highest Average in Math: Destiny Adedayo, Logan Cunningham, Hunter Guerra, Avery Peterson, Brandon Smith, Kathleen Watkins.
Highest Average in Reading: Lexie Brown, Audrey Burkhalter, Gracie Corbin, Maura Dent, Kathleen Watkins.
Highest Average in Science: Audrey Burkhalter, Logan Cunningham, Justin Guerra, Austin Harmon, Xander Smith, Kathleen Watkins, Ella Wiseman.
Highest Average in Social Studies: Brandon Smith.
Highest Average in Spelling: Rhyan Black, Lexie Brown, Gracie Corbin, Maura Dent, Alair Pineda, Joey Rogers.
Highest Overall Average: Abigail Bruce, Audrey Burkhalter, Maura Dent, Austin Harmon, Zoe Kirby, Era Kate Sutton, Isabella Vice, Kathleen Watkins, Drake Wood.
Most Improved in Bible: Bailey Gant, Dakota Hall, Na’Fayzia Mobley, Alair Pineda, Vandin Thorton.
Most Improved in Classroom Participation: Jayden Rivers.
Most Improved in Handwriting: Nathan Brand, Aidan Lewis, Landon Reed.
Most Improved in History: Audrey Burkhalter, Abbey Hastings, Zaria Stallworth.
Most Improved in Language Arts: Alyssa Alexander.
Most Improved in Language: David Cobia, Chelsea Grant, Emily Norris, Zoey Winston.
Most Improved in Math: John Barnes, Bella Brown, Javaris Grove, John David Jones, Landon Reed, Scott Rhinehart, Morgan Scott, Rebekah Seale, Grayson Stryson, Emily Grace Whinery.
Most Improved in Phonics: Zoey Carpenter.
Most Improved in Reading: Brayley Boler, Savannah Crosby, Brinkley Elmore, Justin Guerra, Katelyn Jones, Chandler Nelson, Emily Norris, Tyler Reed, Zaria Stallworth, Braxton Wallace, Mary Mykel Weaver.
Most Improved in Science: Kaleb Gaines, Anthony Johnson, Alair Pineda, Scott Rhinehart.
Most Improved in Social Studies: Braxton Wallace.
Most Improved in Spelling: David Cobia, Walker Fagin, Anthony Johnson, Danielle Morrow, Elizabeth Seale, Sage Sutton, Grayson Stryson, Braxton Wallace, Dewy Wright.
Middle/High School awards:
Highest Average in Pre-Algebra: Emily Wallace.
Highest Average in Algebra I: Madison Zilke.
Highest Average in Advanced Algebra I: Emma Ryan.
Highest Average in Advanced Algebra II: Joseph Seale.
Highest Average in Anatomy: Joseph Seale.
Highest Average in Biology: Katelyn Burkhalter.
Highest Average in Chemistry: Madison Whinery.
Highest Average in English: Casey Burch, Emma Ryan,
Joseph Seale, Emily Wallace, Madison Whinery.
Highest Average in 7th-12th English: Emily Wallace.
Highest Average in Geometry: Whit Mize.
Highest Average in History: Casey Burch, Kendarius Crispin, Kolby Hite, Emily Wallace.
Highest Average in Math: Hayden Calhoun.
Highest Average in Science: Casey Burch, Emily Wallace.
Highest Average in Spanish I: Taylor Reed.
Highest Average in Spanish II: Joseph Seale.
Highest Average in World History: Katelyn Burkhalter, Emma Ryan.
Most Improved in Algebra I: Kaitlin Hedderly.
Most Improved in Anatomy: Johnathan Sullivan.
Most Improved in Biology: Landon McCollough.
Most Improved in Chemistry: Kaisha Archibald.
Most Improved in History: Madalynn Stephens.
Most Improved in Science: Joe Gee, Devin Mitchell.
Most Improved in World History: Madison Zilke.
The varsity cheerleading squad at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Tuscaloosa attended the Universal Cheerleading Association’s cheerleading, mascot and dance camp held at the indoor football practice facility at the University of Alabama the week of June 16. The team earned two first-place trophies for spirit cheer and overall small varsity squad, a second place trophy for the sideline cheer competition and a fifth place trophy for dance at the final showcase, in addition to three blue ribbons and five superior ribbons earned throughout the week. Sydney Colburn, Holy Spirit rising 10th grade student, was chosen for the All-American team. Squad members include Emily Mitchell, Olivia Wyatt, Julia Davis, Tatianna Zambrano, Eva Farrish, Peyton Goodbread, Sydney Lake, Sydney Colburn, Luvey Anne Patrick and Sailey Nichols.
The Northside Middle School Cheerleaders attended the Universal Cheerleading Association Camp2 at University of Alabama June 16-19. Northside Middle School competed in the middle division of middle school cheerleaders. The squad earned first place in overall pom-pon routine, fourth in sideline performance, third in sideline cheer, second place in extreme routine and fourth in A-Day sideline cheer. The squad also earned the spirit stick and three superior ribbons. Northside Middle, along with numerous other squads, was invited to perform during the Capital One Bowl halftime show. The squad includes Alexa Mathis, Caleigh Traweek, Allie Fordham Renna Stripling, Campbell Colburn, Mckenzie Kreider, Madison Pugh, Jenna Smelley, Madison Powell, Jamie Bakondy, Larson Oswalt and Kristen Harbin.
June 27th, 2015
Council eyes penalties, policies for repeat false alarm offenders - During the first 24 days of June, Tuscaloosa police officers were summoned to 748 burglar or robbery alarms.
Of those, 652 — almost 9 out of 10 — were false, according to data generated by the Police Department.
For now, there is no penalty, fine or other deterrent to owners of property where police are regularly summoned yet find no crime or evidence of a crime once they arrive.
In attempt to curb this trend and the drain on police resources it causes, the Tuscaloosa City Council is moving toward a policy that could end up with property owners being taken to court.
And, in extreme examples, repeat violators could end up with police not responding to their alarm calls at all, based on the latest version of a proposed ordinance meant to address the false alarm issue.
According to Senior Associate City Attorney Jimbo Woodson, who presented a proposed ordinance to the council’s public safety committee on Tuesday, owners of property that generate two false alarms within a 12-month period will be given warnings.
A third false alarm in that span will trigger a required training program on how to prevent false alarms. This “false alarm prevention school” must be completed within 60 days or else the police could stop responding to any future alarm calls.
A fourth and fifth false alarm within a year will result in a citation and summons to municipal court, where a penalty or fine could be assessed.
And six or more false alarms will mean police will no longer respond, although how long the non-response period will last remains undefined, Woodson said.
The committee took no action on the ordinance, instead deciding to wait another month to gather input from alarm companies and the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama.
The chamber is the advocate for businesses, which generate most of the false alarms.
But the issue is not exclusive a commercial one.
At least nine Tuscaloosa City schools generated more than one false alarm during from June 1-24. Central High School had the most with six false alarms. A tenth school, Eastwood Middle on Buttermilk Road, generated just one false alarm.
City facilities are offenders, too.
The city’s Water and Sewer Department offices generated three false alarms — one on June 13 and two more the next day — and the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater summoned police for unnecessary reasons four times: June 4, 6, 16 and 18.
But no building, publicly owned or otherwise, generated more false alarms in the first 24 days of June than Sharks Fish and Chicken on 15th Street.
In that span, police were called 12 times, including everyday from June 4-9 and twice on June 17, according to the department’s data.
That was news to Jalal Bessiouni, manager of the 15th Street location since April.
“We’re definitely not aware of it,” Bessiouni said. “That’s something we need to find out, but we’re not aware of these issues.”
Bessiouni said he’s seen officers respond to alarms, both legitimate and false, at another business he used to own.
But in the three months he’s been at Sharks, Bessiouni said he’s seen no officer respond to any kind of alarm.
“It may be something that we are not aware of,” he said.
Tuscaloosa developer Stan Pate, who now owns McFarland Mall at the corner of Skyland and McFarland boulevards, said he is aware that sometimes the mall generates false alarms for police.
This month, police have been called to eight false alarms at the mall. Pate said the property’s security system had developed a faulty sensor, but he wasn’t making any apologies for it.
He said most of the properties he owns is “oversecured” and said he does that because of the amount of theft his company regularly deals with.
“It’s people breaking into buildings at night and stealing the copper,” Pate said. “That problem has not gone away.”
Pate said he considers the proposed ordinance before the City Council as reckless and irresponsible and contends that any policy of non-response to a burglary or robbery alarm opens the city up to lawsuits.
“It’s setting up a disaster,” Pate said. “Just because someone’s cried wolf one too many times doesn’t mean you don’t take it seriously. How do you know when they’re false and when they’re real?
“Whoever has come up with that is not a thinker.”
Pate suggested a fine or monetary penalty for repeat violators, much like Tuscaloosa Police Officer Joey K. Turner suggested when he first brought this issue before the council’s public safety committee last month.
Turner said that false alarms had averaged 3,268 lost work hours — that’s more than $588,000 — between 2005 and 2013.
He presented Police Department data showing that 93 percent of the burglary alarms and 96.5 percent of the robbery alarm calls that officers responded to in that eight-year span were false.
Of the 80,023 burglary alarm calls, an average of almost 9,300 per year were false, according to Turner’s data.
And for the 4,193 robbery alarm calls, an annual average of 505 were unwarranted.
Turner suggest fines for repeat offenders and a permit policy to ensure officers had up-to-date contact information whenever they respond to an alarm call.
“That is significant,” Turner said at the time. “And the overwhelming, vast majority of this is businesses. It’s very few residences.”
The June data supports Turner’s claim, although there are private homes on the list — some of which generated multiple alarms in that span — as well as churches and non-profit groups.
But businesses are the primary offenders.
Pate said businesses should not be threatened with an unresponsive police force.
“I want every alarm call to my properties to be false,” Pate said, “and I hope people can understand that,” he said. “And as a citizen, I would hope 100 percent of them are false.”
Reach Jason Morton at jason.morton@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0200.
June 27th, 2015
Nike Factory Store will have grand opening - Nike's first Factory Store in Tuscaloosa will have its grand opening Thursday at Midtown Village.
Former University of Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper will be on hand for the 9:45 a.m. ribbon cutting. Cooper was drafted by the Oakland Raiders in the recent National Football League draft.
The Tuscaloosa Factory Store will offer a wide selection of running, training, and sportswear products, as well as localized pieces only available in the store and tailored to the UA community, Nike said in a release.
The store will also feature Nike.com Assist, a service that enables consumers to purchase from nike.com, together with in-store products, in a single, mobile transaction with no shipping cost to their home.
June 27th, 2015
Part of Snows Mill Avenue to be closed Tues. - Snows Mill Avenue between Rice Mine Road and Watermelon Road will be close to traffic on Tuesday from 6 a.m.-
6 p.m. so workers can replace a drainage pipe.
June 27th, 2015
Streets will be swept in some areas this week - Streets will be swept in the following general areas of Tuscaloosa this week: 15th Street to Hargrove, Greensboro Avenue to Hackberry Lane, 16th Street through 19th Street, Avalon Place, Pinehurst, Guildswood, Dearing Place, Alaca Place, Parkview Drive, Bonita Terrace, Meadow Lawn, 11th Court, 12th Avenue, The Downs, Hillcrest, Harrison Street, Old Mills Street, Brooksdale Drive, Lakepoint Drive, Monte Vista Drive, Lakeside Cove, Spring Hill Drive, Norwood Lane, Palisades Drive, 33rd Court East, Rainbow Drive, Diamond Ridge Lane, Joshua Circle, 30th Avenue through 33rd Avenue East, Alpine Place, 48th Place East, 26th Avenue East, 28th Avenue East, Juanita Drive, Crescent Gardens Drive, The Knoll, Durrett Grove, Arcadia Drive, 12th Place East, Sixth Street NE, Green Grove, Sunset Drive NE, Beech Hills, 21st Street East, Mayfair Lane, Lewis Lane, Clairmont Road, Patton Avenue, Cherokee Hills, Woodland Terrace, Tall Pine Circle, Willow Ridge Lane, 35th Street East, 35th Street NE, 37th Street NE, 16th Avenue through 19th Avenue NE, Gaineswood Lane, Brandon Parkway, Hodge Circle, Edward Circle, The Towns of North River, Lesley Drive, Point Clear Road, Greystone, Crown Pointe, Newport Drive.
Residents in these areas are asked not to park on the street.
June 27th, 2015
Deontay Wilder looking to future - As he made his way around the ring, stopping briefly at all four sides, looking and connecting with the crowd inside Bartow Arena earlier this month, Deontay Wilder daydreamed into the future, to days that lie ahead and more heavyweight title defenses in his home state.
The crowd looking back at him, though, saw only the present. It’s been more than a decade since the heavyweight division looked as appealing as it does at present with Wilder, the World Boxing Council heavyweight champion, Alexander Povetkin and Tyson Fury all seeking to rule heavyweight boxing.
Then there’s Wladimir Klitschko, who’s held a stranglehold on the division as the heavyweight champion for so long that some believe that he’s suffocated it.
Over the next 24 months, there exists an exciting potential for Wilder and for the sport of boxing that Wilder could face two or even all of the above, with the goal of unifying the heavyweight division under one champion. That’s the dream, but to do so he’ll have to keep successfully defending his WBC belt while taking aim to meet Klitschko and take his belts.
“It’s a promising time,” boxing historian and Showtime television analyst Steve Farhood said. “Part of the reason for promise is because the division’s been down for so long. We’re sort of grasping at anything we can grab ahold of, and fortunately for the division and for the sport Deontay turned out to be legitimate.
“With Klitschko winding down, there’s clearly going to be room for someone to emerge. Wilder would be the favorite to do that. The British gold medalist Anthony Joshua would certainly be up there, and Tyson Fury is an exciting fighter as well.”
Wilder turns 30 in October, and with a unification bout at least a year or more away, the 39-year-old Klitschko needs to keep winning and push aside any idea of retirement for that fight to become a reality. Wilder needs to keep winning too.
In the foreseeable future, Wilder will likely voluntarily defend his belt again in September before he must enter negotiations for his mandatory defense against No. 1 contender Povetkin, a fight that is likely to occur at the beginning of 2016 (in May, Povetkin knocked out Mike Perez in the first round to become the mandatory No. 1 challenger).
After that will come another likely voluntary defense. WBC rules state that Wilder must defend the belt once a year to the No. 1 contender, but Wilder and his camp have a philosophy of fighting much more often than that.
“I didn’t get in this game to fight once a year,” Wilder said. “People have been wanting an American heavyweight champion for a long time, and I gave that to them. I’m going to give them a lot more, too.
“People say I’ve been a breath of fresh air to the heavyweight division. But I want to capture the world. That’s why I’m working hard. I want all the belts. I’m greedy like that.”
Jay Deas, Wilder’s co-manager, said the plan is to fight more frequently than any heavyweight champion in recent memory.
“Deontay wants to be an active champion,” Deas said. “We want to fight every four months or so, which is unheard of in the heavyweight division. We’re trying to change the game. We could wait for the quote-unquote huge fight and fight every one and a half years, fight Povetkin and then a year and a half later fight Tyson Fury then a year and a half later fight Klitschko. We’re not going to do that.
“We want to fight every four months. So while we’re actively seeking the big fights, we’re going to keep fighting in the meantime.”
Sept. 26 is the date currently circled for Wilder’s next fight. Fight locations being discussed are Biloxi, Miss., Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Brooklyn, N.Y., and Montreal, Canada. The opponent for that voluntary defense must come from an opponent ranked in the top 15 of the WBC rankings.
If Wilder successfully defends, his camp will enter negotiations with Povetkin. While it seems simple enough, negotiations can be a drawn out process.
The parties have 30 days to work out a deal once negotiations begin. If they come to an agreement, a fight is scheduled. If they fail to reach an agreement, a bidding process begins in which promoters will bid for the rights to stage the fight. The fight is awarded to the highest bider. The bid not only contains the purse for both fighters, it also includes where the fight is to be held.
For example, Russian promoters bid more than $23 million to host the fight in Russia for Povetkin’s 2013 fight with Klitschko, which Klitschko won in an unanimous decision.
After the fight has been awarded, it must take place within 90 days.
Povetkin’s promoter, Andrei Ryabinsky, recently told the Russian website Sportbox that it’s possible for a Wilder-Povetkin fight to take place in the U.S.
“We have already achieved such a level (in Russia) that we can fight abroad,” Ryabinsky said. “It would be interesting (to have the fight in the U.S.). We are serious about this fight with Wilder, but I cannot tell you right now if it’s going to be Povetkin’s next fight.”
As for a potential unification title fight between Wilder and Klitschko, if both keep winning, that fight probably wouldn’t happen until probably 2017.
It’s a fight all sides, and boxing fans in general, want to see.
Klitschko, currently engaged in negotiations with Fury to fight in either September or October, told Sky Sports on the day before Wilder’s defense against Eric Molina that he covets a fight with Wilder.
“Obviously he is one of my main target opponents since he is holding the title I’ve never had before. I definitely want to unify all the belts, but it’s not a must. If that’s not going to work, I’ll still be heavyweight champion of the world. It’s not a must, but it would be nice to unify that belt that Deontay Wilder holds.”
World Boxing Council President Mauricio Sulaiman expects a unification to eventually take place, but he doesn’t see it in the immediate future.
“It’s definitely one of the biggest fights that can be made in boxing, but Kllitschko has many responsibilities for three of the titles that he has,” Sulaiman told ESPN Deportes. “Right now he has a mandatory due against Tyson Fury. If he wins he will surely have another mandatory, but we’ll see. I don’t see that fight until 2017.
“The heavyweights have lost the brilliance that they’ve had for many years, but Wilder may be the champion that people have been waiting for. He is an extraordinary champion and certainly can face and beat Klitschko to fill the void that has been open for years.”
Given Wilder’s ultra confidence, he’d fight Klitschko any time and any place. But there is a time and place for every fight. Farhood said there’s no doubt the sport needs the fight, but it has the be the right time.
“There’s no rush. By heavyweight standards Deontay’s a young man,” Farhood said. “It’s one of those fights that would be silly to make right now. Given the competitiveness of Wilder of course he wants to tomorrow, I understand that. But that’s why fighters have managers and promoters, to determine the best time for a fight.
“Deontay is still emerging as a star, there’s no doubt about that. He can benefit from further exposure on Showtime, he can benefit from further exposure on free TV. There are a lot of pieces that are beginning to build for Deontay.”
Reach Aaron Suttles at aaron.suttles@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0229.
June 27th, 2015
Mo'ne Davis, Monarchs pass through Alabama on tour - SELMA | One by one, members of the Anderson Monarchs Philadelphia Baseball Club filed into the jail exhibit at the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute in Selma.
Sam Walker, a historian and museum tour guide, closed the door behind them. The players crowded together in the small cell fit to hold one to two people, and listened intently while Walker told stories of his childhood back in 1965. He was among the young students in Selma that were arrested for protesting and shoved into the tiny cells, 15-20 people at a time.
It was one of the many sobering experiences the Monarchs have faced during their 23-day, 21-city Civil Rights Barnstorming Tour. Playing baseball is just a small part of what the Monarchs are doing during their more than 4,000 mile journey across the country.
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“It was tight and hot and didn't seem fair at all,” Monarchs player Jahli Hendricks said. “One small bathroom. One little bucket of water and a bed for one person with 20 people in there. It wasn't a good feeling.”
Since December, Monarchs coach Steve Bandura has met with his players every Friday to study the Civil Rights Movement. They have read books and watched documentaries, and on June 17 they boarded a 1947 Flxible Clipper bus in tribute to the Negro League Baseball teams to experience the history first-hand. There are no electronics allowed on the bus, complete with its original interior, green seats and no air conditioning. Instead, players write in journals and play card games to pass the time.
The Monarchs took a similar trek as 10 and 11 year olds back in 2012, which resulted in a trip to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.
“They learned about all this history, and it is one thing to see it on TV and to read about it, but it's a whole other thing to get out there and touch it, and that is what this is about,” Bandura said. “Touching history and meeting people that were involved in the movement, and seeing where these events took place, and standing where these events took place. Selma, walking the bridge, it's been incredible. It's really been incredible.”
The team made three stops in Alabama, including Birmingham, Montgomery and Selma.
Monarchs pitcher Mo'ne Davis, who pitched a shut out in the Little League World Series last summer and graced the cover of Sports Illustrated, turned 14 years old the day the team visited Birmingham. Davis said their stop at the 16th Street Baptist Church, where four young girls were killed during a bombing back in 1963, is an experience that she never will forget.
“Just being 14, you never know what someone's future could be like. They could possibly change the world,” Davis said. “It was pretty sad just sitting there listening, and I felt really bad for all those families that lost loved ones.”
The Monarchs also visited Kelly Ingram Park and the Civil Rights Institute, and played a Negro League tribute game against Willie Mays RBI at Rickwood Field.
In Montgomery, the Monarchs visited the Civil Rights Memorial at Southern Poverty Law Center and Rosa Parks Library Museum at Troy University and concluded with a trip to Selma, where they walked the Edmund Pettus Bridge, reflected on “Bloody Sunday” and toured the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute.
“This is it. This is where so many of those events took place,” Bandura said. “The 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, those girls were the same age as Mo, and now we are going to Mississippi, and Emmett Till was a 14 year old city kid, just like them. It is very powerful.”
The Monarchs visited Jackson, Miss., on Saturday, and travel to Little Rock, Ark., today.
“The experience has been really great because we've got to go places where Dr. Martin Luther King has been and so many historic sites such as the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing,” Monarchs player Tamir Brooks said. “Going to Birmingham, where the bombing site was, being 14 myself and thinking about it, you never know when you could lose your life, so you always want to enjoy it.”

Reach Joey Chandler at joey.chandler@tuscaloosanews.com or at 205-722-0223.
June 27th, 2015
University of Alabama's Summer Enrichment Workshop offers plethora of courses for kids - A popular reality TV show challenges contestants to survive 21 days in a remote wilderness without any resources, except for one item they get to select beforehand.
After taking a survival class at the University of Alabama College of Education's Summer Enrichment Workshop for gifted students this month, Jamal McKnight, a 14-year-old rising freshman at Tuscaloosa County High School, said he thinks he could survive on the show for about five days. Though he's confident about what he learned, he said anything beyond five days would be stretching it.
"It was real fun," Jamal said. "I recommend that anyone who comes here next summer take the survival class. I learned how to make a fire with a water bottle with water in it. You use the reflection of the sun and the water has to be clear. You have to fold a piece of paper in four pieces and concentrate the light on the black ink written on the paper because black absorbs heat.
"It lights up and you wave it around and it usually lights on fire. When holding it, it can get frustrating after a while."
The survival class was one of a plethora of courses that the 200 students who participated in the three-week workshop at Matthews Elementary School could take. Other classes included ornithology — the study of birds — robotics, patterns, Lego mania, writing creative comedy, exploring the world through a microscope, becoming a junior chemist and more.
Local students in kindergarten through eighth grade got to choose two courses that they took for three weeks from 8 a.m. to noon Monday through Friday. The workshop began June 8 and ended Friday with a day for parents to see some of what their children had learned. The workshop cost an average of about $200, but many students received full scholarships.
Jane Newman, director of the Summer Enrichment Workshop and an assistant professor at UA's College of Education, said the college has been conducting the workshop for 38 years. Its purpose is twofold.
"It serves as an enrichment program for the gifted kids in Tuscaloosa city and county," she said. "It also serves as an internship for our teachers who are getting master's degrees in gifted education as well as our undergrad students in our multiple abilities program.
"The goal for the kids is to let them experience an interest area. It's been an opportunity for them to get more in depth content knowledge, and we really focus on thinking skills — decision-making, planning, forecasting, communications and creativity. We know that even though these are adult work skills, young kids can learn them."
For graduate students in the gifted and talented master's program at UA, the workshop gives them a chance to put into action what they've learned and get critiqued.
"So we train the teachers and the teachers train the students," Newman said. "The master's teachers develop the units and I teach them in my classes how to develop state-of-the-art units that are integrated, problem-based learning. Most of the teachers who come to get their master's have been teaching in general education for many years. Most of them are experienced. They want to get certified in gifted because they've never taught gifted."
Ginger Norris, an experienced K-12 teacher who is pursuing a master's degree in gifted and talented education at UA, said she learned a lot in the ornithology class she taught during the workshop.
"I taught students about habitat and we tried to make birds nest, but that didn't really work out," Norris said. "We looked at feathers of turkeys and other items. We had an artist come in and give an art class on making birds. We took the students out back and they learned how to use binoculars the right way.
"We improved our habitat out back. We went out to the school yard and came to the conclusion that we needed a water source so we provided water out back, we provided a bird house and added about three bird feeders. We made bird houses and bird feeders out of all recycled material. The bird feeder was made of used water bottles and a pencil. ... People came out and brought five live raptors. They brought a Mississippi kite, a great horned owl, a red-tailed hawk, a screech owl and a barn owl."
Reach Jamon Smith at jamon.smith@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0204.
June 27th, 2015
2 Rotary Clubs in Tuscaloosa among 3 awarded $30K grant to help schools in India - Two Rotary Clubs in Tuscaloosa and third club in India were awarded a $30,225 grant that will be used to help impoverished schools in India.
The Tuscaloosa Morning Rotary Club, the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa and Rotary Club District 3250 in India will use the money grant to build bathrooms and deep bore wells at 18 all-girl schools in an economically depressed area of Dhanbad, India.
"In the U.S., we take basic things like water for granted," said Charlotte Bowers, a member of the Morning Rotary Club and cochair of the project. "In many parts of the world, access to clean water and toilets can be the determining factor in whether children, and especially girls, are able to get an education, and without an education the cycle of poverty continues."
David Pass, a member of the Rotary Club of Tuscaloosa and cochair of the project, said the clubs chose the project because they wanted to work on something big that would make a difference and because they believe the project is sustainable.
"They go to the bathroom in a hole in the ground or sometimes on the streets," Pass said. "The reason we picked this project is Rotary in India is partnering with the government to put clean water and latrines in schools. It's a national initiative and Rotary wanted to help. We wanted a project that was international in scope. We didn't want some small campfire in the wilderness, but something that was part of the larger picture.
"We can make a huge difference just by providing something as simple as clean water and a place to go to the bathroom. There are parts of India that are very well developed, but this particular area is very much in poverty. If you can't take care of your food, water, shelter and hygiene, you're more than likely not going to get an education."
The grant came about when both Tuscaloosa Rotary clubs jointly raised $7,000 for the project and Rotary Club District 3250 in India raised $1,000. The money was matched by Rotary District 6860, which covers much of Alabama, and then that amount was matched by the Rotary International Foundation.
The Rotary clubs in India will oversee the work, as well as provide the students with hygiene training and ensure the project's sustainability.
"We're going to put one latrine in each school," Pass said. "We have an memorandum of understanding that they have to keep up these latrines after we're done. Once the project's done, we're hoping to send a delegation from our club to see it.
Bowers said the schools will have three years to complete the project.
"A project like this could not happen if it weren't for a organization like Rotary," Pass said. "No one else could do this."
Rotary International describes itself as a worldwide organization of business and professional leaders that provides humanitarian service and encourages high ethical standards in all vocations.
Reach Jamon Smith at jamon.smith@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0204.
June 27th, 2015
Traffic stop results in seizure of 26 pounds of marijuana by West Alabama authorities - Authorities seized 26 pounds of marijuana in a traffic stop Friday afternoon.
The bust followed a two-month investigation conducted by the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force and the Hale County Sheriff’s Office, said Tuscaloosa Police spokesman Sgt. Brent Blankley.
Edwin Vawters, 69, of Ypsilanti, Mich., and Charles Kentrell Williams, 29, of Moundville were both charged with trafficking marijuana. Several Viagra pills were also confiscated.
Vawters was being held Friday at the Tuscaloosa County Jail with bond set at $1 million. Williams’ bond was set at $500,000.
Blankley said the marijuana is valued at $78,000.
June 27th, 2015
2 charged with drug trafficking after investigation in Duncanville - Two people were charged with trafficking methamphetamine after an investigation in Duncanville.
West Alabama Narcotics Task Force agents and Tuscaloosa County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the 9500 block of U.S. Highway 82 East in Duncanville on a drug complaint on Wednesday, said Sgt. Alex Miles, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman.
The agents and deputies noticed chemical smells associated with methamphetamine manufacturing. Investigators found 90 grams of methamphetamine oil, marijuana, drug paraphernalia and components used to make methamphetamine, Miles said.
Matthew Stephen Klicker, 33, of Duncanville, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, first-degree manufacturing methamphetamine, first-degree possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $110,000.
Ruthie Lee Kelley, 23, of Moundville, was charged with trafficking methamphetamine, first-degree manufacturing methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia. Bond was set at $105,000.
June 27th, 2015
U.S. women's soccer advances to World Cup semifinals - OTTAWA, Ontario | Carli Lloyd scored on a header in the 51st minute, and the United States beat China 1-0 Friday night to reach a semifinal against Germany at the Women’s World Cup.
Hope Solo had her fourth straight shutout for the second-ranked United States, which has reached the final four of all seven Women’s World Cups but has not won since beating China on penalty kicks for the 1999 title at the Rose Bowl. Seeking their third world championship, the Americans have not allowed a goal in 423 minutes since this year’s tournament opener against Australia.
The U.S. plays top-ranked Germany, the 2003 and ’07 champion, on Tuesday in Montreal.
Despite missing midfielders Megan Rapinoe and Lauren Holiday, who were suspended for yellow card accumulation, the U.S. managed a more attacking attitude and extended its unbeaten streak against China to 25 matches dating to 2003.
“I think it was a highly energized performance,” U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. “I thought we took care of the ball well, still created a lot of opportunities. So, yeah, we’re really pleased.”
Morgan Brian replaced Holiday in the middle of field, with Tobin Heath and Kelley O’Hara — making her first start since March — the flanks. Amy Rodriguez started up top with Alex Morgan, injecting more pace, while Abby Wambach did not enter until the 86th minute.
Wearing the captain’s armband, Lloyd got the breakthrough with her 65th goal in 200 international appearances. Julie Johnston lofted a long ball into the penalty area and Lloyd met it with her head 10 yards from the goal line and bounced the ball off the artificial turf and past goalkeeper Fei Wang. That brought cheers from the overwhelmingly pro-American crowd of 24,141 at Lansdowne Stadium.
Before that, the best American chance was by Johnston in the 26th minute that was cleared in front of an open net by defender Li Dongna. Johnston also had a header off a corner kick in the 31st minute that popped over the crossbar.
Brian had a chance to double the lead in the 73rd, but her long strike hit a post, and Lloyd missed high on the rebound.
The U.S. had a 17-6 advantage in shots and its offense was less stagnant than in the round-of-16 win over Colombia. The American face a considerable challenge in Germany, which lost to Japan in overtime in the 2011 quarterfinals.
Germany advanced earlier by beating France 5-4 on penalty kicks after a 1-1 tie. The United States has an 18-4-7 overall record against the Germans, including a 3-2 advantage in World Cup matches.
In today’s quarterfinals, host Canada faces England and Australia plays defending champion Japan.
June 26th, 2015
Supreme Court affirms same-sex marriage - WASHINGTON | The Supreme Court declared Friday that same-sex couples have a right to marry anywhere in the United States.
Gay and lesbian couples already can marry in 36 states and the District of Columbia. The court’s 5-4 ruling means the remaining 14 states, in the South and Midwest, will have to stop enforcing their bans on same-sex marriage.
The outcome is the culmination of two decades of Supreme Court litigation over marriage, and gay rights generally.
Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote the majority opinion, just as he did in the court’s previous three major gay rights cases dating back to 1996. It came on the anniversary of two of those earlier decisions.
“No union is more profound than marriage,” Kennedy wrote, joined by the court’s four more liberal justices.
The ruling will not take effect immediately because the court gives the losing side roughly three weeks to ask for reconsideration. But some state officials and county clerks might decide there is little risk in issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The cases before the court involved laws from Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee that define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. Those states have not allowed same-sex couples to marry within their borders and they also have refused to recognize valid marriages from elsewhere.
Just two years ago, the Supreme Court struck down part of the federal anti-gay marriage law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples.
The decision in United States v. Windsor did not address the validity of state marriage bans, but courts across the country, with few exceptions, said its logic compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.
The number of states allowing same-sex marriage has grown rapidly. As recently as October, just over one-third of the states permitted same-sex marriage.
There are an estimated 390,000 married same-sex couples in the United States, according to UCLA’s Williams Institute, which tracks the demographics of gay and lesbian Americans. Another 70,000 couples living in states that do not currently permit them to wed would get married in the next three years, the institute says. Roughly 1 million same-sex couples, married and unmarried, live together in the United States, the institute says.
The Obama administration backed the right of same-sex couples to marry. The Justice Department’s decision to stop defending the federal anti-marriage law in 2011 was an important moment for gay rights and President Barack Obama declared his support for same-sex marriage in 2012.
June 26th, 2015
2015 class of the Pillars of West Alabama honored at reception - Members of the 2015 class of the Pillars of West Alabama were honored Thursday night during a reception at Indian Hills Country Club.
The honorees were chosen by the board of directors of the Community Foundation of West Alabama from a list of community members they felt best exemplify the definition of a pillar of the community.
Members of the the 2015 class are:
- Herbie "Chip" Burkes Jr. of Burkes Mechanical in Brent.
- Bryan Ross Chandler, a financial adviser employed by JMF Capstone Wealth Management in Tuscaloosa.
- Elizabeth Cleino, who has a nursing career spanning more than 65 years.
- Mary Jolley, a longtime University of Alabama administrator and advocate.
- The Rev. Willie Clyde Jones, longtime pastor of Bailey Tabernacle CME church in Tuscaloosa.
- Robert Kuhn, Capstone Bank CEO.
- Everett Cameron "Buddy" Powell, the late local business leader who owned Buddy's Food Mart stores and Kuykendall & Powell Oil Co.
- Mark Sullivan, Bank of Tuscaloosa CEO.
This is the 12th year that the foundation has presented the Pillars awards.
June 26th, 2015
Police chase results in drug seizure; one suspect remains at large - Tuscaloosa authorities are searching for a man who they say abandoned his Lexus full of drugs and cash after a police pursuit Wednesday.
Agents with the West Alabama Narcotics Task Force received a complaint that a man was selling drugs from his vehicle in the 3100 block of Taylor Circle, said Sgt. Brent Blankley, a Tuscaloosa police spokesman.
The officers learned that Darryl Lamar Fulgham, 30, was driving the car, and Antwaun Sharrod Williams, 35, was a passenger.
Fulgham sped away as officers approached his car. They pursued him to the Texaco station on Culver Road, where Williams jumped from the vehicle and ran. He was eventually captured and taken to jail.
Another group of agents continued to pursue Fulgham back to Taylor Circle, where he jumped from the car and escaped while leaving the engine running. Agents searched the car and found 30.8 grams of MDMA, a type of methamphetamine, a half gram of crack cocaine, one 10-milligram Hydrocodone pill, three 10 milligram Oxycodone pills and $1,000 cash.
Williams was charged with trafficking MDMA, and three counts of possession of a controlled substance. Agents have warrants to charge Fulgham with trafficking MDMA, possession of a controlled substance, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia and attempt to elude law enforcement.
Officers ask that anyone who can help locate Fulgham call CrimeStoppers at 205-752-STOP (7867).
June 26th, 2015
Bike ride to raise money for UA scholarships - Bicyclists are invited to join Highway 2 Hale, a fundraising initiative of the American Advertising Federation Tuscaloosa, on Saturday.
The ride will begin 7 a.m.
at Moundville Archeological Park.
Participants can choose from four routes: a 25-mile ride, a 38-mile loop through Akron, a 69-mile loop through Greensboro and the Talladega National Forest and a 100-plus mile ride that makes a large figure eight covering most of Hale County.
Registration is $40 and $25 for students, 21 years old and younger.
Proceeds from the ride will help fund scholarships in broadcasting, marketing and advertising at the University of Alabama.
For more information, visit www.aaftuscaloosa.com or the American Advertising Federation Tuscaloosa Facebook page.
June 26th, 2015
Popsicles in the Park to be held Saturday - Family and Children Education Services will host a Popsicles in the Park event from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at Rosedale Park, 3230 Eight St.
The event provides an opportunity for children to learn lessons about empathy toward others,
social life skills and how to not be a bully.
Kids, ages 4 to 11 years old, will attend a 20-minute lesson, then they can enjoy activities and free ice pops from Steel City Pops.
More Popsicles in the Park are scheduled:
- July 18 at Munny Sokol Park South.
- July 25 at Palmore Park.
All events will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
June 26th, 2015
Judge: State can't close one casino while allowing others to operate - BIRMINGHAM | The state can’t shut down a Macon County casino while letting similar businesses operate elsewhere, a judge ruled Thursday in dismissing the attorney general’s attempt to seize more than 1,600 gaming machines and about $260,000 seized in a raid two years ago.
While not ruling on the legality of electronic bingo machines at VictoryLand, Circuit Judge William Shashy said the state’s action against the business violated the principle of equal protection under the law.
Shashy, in a six-page decision, dismissed the state’s attempt to keep 1,615 of the slot-like machines and more than $260,000 seized in a 2013 raid. He said the state can’t keep VictoryLand closed while allowing two bingo operations in Greene County and a third in Houston County to remain open.
The state seems to be “cherrypicking which facilities should remain open or closed,” the judge wrote, noting that tribal casinos also operate in Alabama.
“Allowing unequal treatment places the court in an untenable position,” wrote Shashy, who presides in Montgomery County but heard the Macon County case at the request of the Supreme Court. “The court cannot condone or perpetuate unequal treatment.”
Attorney General Luther Strange, who could appeal the ruling, said his office was reviewing the decision.
“I am surprised at the court order because it fails to address the key question posed by both parties which is whether the VictoryLand gambling machines are illegal,” Strange said in a statement.
But VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor indicated he plans to get back in business at the complex, which includes a casino, hotel and greyhound track about 20 miles east of Montgomery in one of Alabama’s poorest areas.
“The decision paves the way for electronic bingo to resume at VictoryLand and for the people of Macon County to once again go back to work and provide for their families,” McGregor said in a statement.
The ruling followed a trial Shashy held last year on the legality of gambling machines at VictoryLand, which was once Alabama’s largest casino.
Macon County voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment allowing bingo in 2003. VictoryLand’s lawyers say the amendment provided for all types of bingo, including that played on machines.
The state argued during the trial that the machines do not meet the Alabama Supreme Court’s description of bingo, which includes numbers being announced, players marking their cards, and a player claiming a win.
June 26th, 2015
Confederate symbols remain at Capitol despite flag removals - MONTGOMERY | Even after Gov. Robert Bentley ordered four rebel flags removed on Wednesday from a Confederate monument on Alabama’s Capitol grounds, more subtle symbols remain in and around the building.
The battle flag of the Confederacy still appears in the portrait of former Gov. George Wallace, who ordered the flag to be hoisted over the Capitol dome during the civil rights era.
Outside, engraved by the bottom of the main Capitol steps, is the Alabama coat of arms. A shield on the symbol shows the Confederate battle flag along with the flags of Great Britain, France, Spain and the United States — the four nations that have held sovereignty over Alabama.
The coat of arms appears elsewhere inside the building, such as on state trooper uniforms and on an elevator on the first floor.
Until Wednesday, two larger symbols were visible inside the Capitol. The Confederate flag was taken out of the historic House chamber on the second floor of the Capitol, after House Speaker Mike Hubbard asked the House clerk to remove it.
Another was removed from the historic Senate chamber, where the Confederate States of America were first formed and Confederate President Jefferson Davis was elected.
Alabama Secretary of the Senate Pat Harris said he removed the flag from the historic Senate chamber because “it was the right thing to do.”
“It’s been misused, misappropriated and it’s just a symbol that offends people and didn’t need to be in there anymore,” Harris said.
Harris said that if a Confederate flag were to remain in the room, it should be the original national flag of the Confederacy that was adopted when the states broke away. The battle flag, he said, came later.
Outside of the Capitol, Charles Evans, who was visiting Montgomery from his home in Florida, said he was surprised in a “hugely positive” way that Bentley ordered the flags to be removed. He praised the governor for his quick action.
“It’s pretty amazing for him to open his mouth one day and say to take them down,” he said.
Scott Kluksdahl, who was traveling with Evans, agreed.
“I think it’s really a progressive move for the Southern states,” he said.
Down the street at the First White House of the Confederacy where Jefferson Davis once lived, Mitchell Reed and Rose Day observed remnants of the first and only Confederate president’s life.
Dressed in a black vests covered with Confederate flag patches, the Florida couple took in the artifacts, which included old Confederate flags dating back to the Civil War.
“To me, it’s taken a freedom away from Southern Americans who fought for the right to free speech,” Reed said. “And by them taking the flag away, what are they doing? They’re taking history away from us. And that’s what the flag represents is history.”
June 26th, 2015
Students splash and learn during a four-week program that teaches swimming skills - The children in the Swim to the Top program left the gym at the Benjamin Barnes Branch YMCA on Thursday with a T-shirt and a beach towel, practical gifts meant to recognize the skills they have learned during the first month of their summer breaks.
During a luncheon at the YMCA gym to recognize the students’ achievement, University of Alabama graduate students Ben Schwamberger told the children that the skills they learned during Swim to the Top were building blocks.
“You don’t want to simply stop. You want to continue working on it,” he said.
About 125 children, from 4 years old to 14, participated in the morning camp, which began June 1. The camp, which divided the children by age group, emphasized swimming, fitness, nutrition and academics. UA graduate and undergraduate students helped teach the students.
The four-week program was designed to save lives and improve the health of children. The program is a collaboration between the Benjamin Barnes Branch of the YMCA, the Tuscaloosa Park and Recreation Authority, and the UA’s Division of Community Affairs.
Officials with UA, the YMCA, PARA, and the city of Tuscaloosa helped recognize the campers on Thursday.
Swimming enriches life and is a life-saving skill, said Mark Harrison, aquatics director for PARA, during the luncheon.
During the swimming component, the children were organized by ability levels as beginners intermediate, and advanced swimmers.
“Hopefully, for our third year, we will be getting a lot more people in the advanced levels,” Harrison said.
Noting the participation during the first two years, Harrison said the organizers hope to continue the program in future summers.
For the fitness component, UA students developed an age-appropriate curriculum that used games and activities to highlight the benefits of weekly exercise, said Jermaine Mitchell, a post-doctoral fellow in UA’s Center for Community Based Partnerships. A nutrition component also stressed the different food groups and healthy eating.
The academic component offered a curriculum to help students building on what they learned during the school year and community awareness, said Douglas Craddock Jr., a doctoral student in the Center for Community Based Partnerships. The academics emphasized reading and math to help students maintain the skills over the summer break. The community-oriented curriculum covered topics such as bullying and focused on students’ self-awareness of what is going on in their community, Craddock said.
The idea for Swim to the Top began with a UA graduate student and a discussion at a conference about drowning statistics and what could be done to prevent the deaths, said Samory Pruitt, UA’s vice president for Community Affairs.
UA student Zach Wahl-Alexander came up with the idea and reached out to other students, Pruitt said. The students began to build on the idea adding the other components.
The projects such as Swim to the Top offer the UA graduate and undergraduate students an opportunity to gain valuable practical experience and research material, Pruitt said.
Reach Ed Enoch at ed.enoch@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0209.
June 25th, 2015
Deontay Wilder signs children's book - Malachi Thompson, 8, plays baseball, basketball and football, but his mom said he doesn’t show much interest in any one sport.
His mother, Kalandria Thompson, said she hopes reading the new children’s book based on World Boxing Council heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder’s hard work ethic will help her son set a goal and stick to it.
“My son, especially being that he is in sports and is coming of age, my biggest concern for him is that he sticks with whatever he wants to do,” Thompson said. “I think (the book) should show him some bit of diligence (and) show him the outcome of sticking to your dreams.”
As Malachi turned the pages of “Deontay the Future World Champ” Thursday night, he said he noticed that the young Wilder portrayed in the book was training hard to reach his goal. Malachi said the book, which is about setting goals, sticking to them, exercising, eating healthy and avoiding peer pressure, will help him reach his goals because he will “keep reading it.”
More than 100 kids and parents gathered at the Weaver Bolden branch of the Tuscaloosa Public Library Thursday night to hear from Wilder and have their books signed, an event that was part of the library’s summer reading program known as “Every Hero has a Story.”
The first 200 kids ages 12 and under were given a free copy of the book purchased by the library with help from Nick’s Kids Foundation, Harrison Construction, Fosters Veterinary Clinic and Friends of the Library.
Books were also for sale for $20. The proceeds from the sale went to 9-year-old Titus Wilkerson, who was attacked by a pit bull while walking home from school in April.
“We know we can’t help with a $2 million medical bill,” said Wilder’s co-manager Jay Deas. “When it comes to things like getting his family to Birmingham, hotels, food, time off work, all those kinds of things, those are things we can realistically help with through the sale of the book.”
Wilder said when he heard Titus’ story, he wanted to help in some way because he has a love for kids.
Wilder said that also is the reason he agreed to create the book with author Tony Bowers and illustrator Dan Monroe.
“My passion is for kids,” Wilder said. “I do believe it starts when kids are young to install in them the principle of being a hard worker.”
And that is what the book is about.
Wilder said the book tells a story about how other kids played on the playground and went for ice cream while he was focused on training to become the heavyweight champion.
He told kids in the crowd Thursday night to “get the book, read the book, study the book and abide by the book, because this is the blueprint of becoming successful, of being somebody great in life.”
“What I want them to take away from this book is how to develop being a hard worker,” he said. “The hardest thing about being a human is that we tend to give up so easily... and never accomplish nothing. In this book, I want the kids to learn that you have to be different from others and you’ve got to apply pressure to goals and reaching your goals.”
Nine-year-old Emily Scroggins said following Wilder’s career has inspired her to reach her goal of becoming an engineer.
“(The book) has taught me to work hard, and if you do that you will get your dreams,” Emily said. “I will use this book in my future. I think it will help me be a better person.”
The book can be purchased on the Barnes & Noble website.
June 25th, 2015
Assault victim in critical condition - A Tuscaloosa man was charged with assaulting a 66-year-old man, who was in critical condition Thursday morning.
Joe Colvin, 48, was charged with second-degree assault after witnesses reported seeing him assault the man in the 500 block of 40th Street, said Capt. Gary Hood, Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit commander.
Colvin remained in the Tuscaloosa County Jail Thursday with bond set at $15,000.
June 25th, 2015
Deandrea Thomas charged with rape, sodomy and second-degree kidnapping - Two women reported to police Wednesday that a man raped and sodomized them at gunpoint before kidnapping them Wednesday afternoon.
The women, 23 and 27, said that they did not know the man who entered their room at LaQuinta Inn at 10:30 a.m., said Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit commander Capt. Gary Hood.
They said that the man assaulted them before forcing them to leave the hotel and ride with him to a home in west Tuscaloosa, he said. Investigators found evidence to charge Deandrea Thomas, 25, with two counts of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and two counts of second-degree kidnapping. He was being held in the Tuscaloosa County Jail Friday with bond set at $240,000.
The victims did not have any visible injuries, Hood said. They were treated and released from DCH Regional Medical Center.
June 25th, 2015
Supreme Court upholds health care law - The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans.
The justices said in a 6-3 ruling that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law.
The outcome is the second major victory for Obama in politically charged Supreme Court tests of his most significant domestic achievement. It came the same day the court gave the administration an unexpected victory by preserving a key tool the administration uses to fight housing bias.
Chief Justice John Roberts again voted with his liberal colleagues in support of the law. Roberts also was the key vote to uphold the law in 2012. Justice Anthony Kennedy, a dissenter in 2012, was part of the majority on Thursday.
“Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them,” Roberts wrote in the majority opinion.
In a dissent he summarized from the bench, Justice Antonin Scalia said, “We should start calling this law SCOTUScare.” Using the acronym for the Supreme Court, Scalia said his colleagues have twice stepped in to save the law from what Scalia considered worthy challenges.
Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas joined the dissent, as they did in 2012.
Nationally, 10.2 million people have signed up for health insurance under the Obama health overhaul. That includes the 8.7 million people who are receiving an average subsidy of $272 a month to help pay their insurance premiums.
Of those receiving subsidies, 6.4 million people were at risk of losing that aid because they live in states that did not set up their own health insurance exchanges.
The challenge devised by die-hard opponents of the law, often derided by critics as “Obamacare,” relied on four words — established by the state — in the more than 900-page law.
The law’s opponents argued that the vast majority of people who now get help paying for their insurance premiums are ineligible for their federal tax credits. That is because roughly three dozen states opted against creating their own health insurance marketplaces, or exchanges, and instead rely on the federal healthcare.gov to help people find coverage if they don’t get insurance through their jobs or the government.
In the challengers’ view, the phrase “established by the state” demonstrated that subsidies were to be available only available to people in states that set up their own exchanges. Those words cannot refer to exchanges established by the Health and Human Services Department, which oversees healthcare.gov, the opponents argued.
The administration, congressional Democrats and 22 states responded that it would make no sense to construct the law the way its opponents suggested. The idea behind the law’s structure was to decrease the number of uninsured. The law prevents insurers from denying coverage because of “pre-existing” health conditions. It requires almost everyone to be insured and provides financial help to consumers who otherwise would spend too much of their paycheck on their premiums.
The point of the last piece, the subsidies, is to keep enough people in the pool of insured to avoid triggering a so-called death spiral of declining enrollment, a growing proportion of less healthy people and premium increases by insurers.
Several portions of the law indicate that consumers can claim tax credits no matter where they live. No member of Congress said that subsidies would be limited, and several states said in a separate brief to the court that they had no inkling they had to set up their own exchange for their residents to get tax credits.
The 2012 case took place in the midst of Obama’s re-election campaign, when he touted the largest expansion of the social safety net since the advent of Medicare nearly a half-century earlier. But at the time, the benefits of the Affordable Care Act were mostly in the future. Many of its provisions had yet to take effect.
In 2015, the landscape has changed, although the partisan and ideological divisions remain for a law that passed Congress in 2010 with no Republican votes.
The case is King v. Burwell, 14-114.
June 25th, 2015
House fire injures two critically - Fire fighters with Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue responded to the scene of a house fire at 830 34th Ave. in Tuscaloosa at 4:39 A.M. Two of the three residents were airlifted to UAB Hospital in critical condition.
June 25th, 2015
University of Alabama may display Civil War cannonballs - Cannonballs uncovered on the University of Alabama campus last week could become part of the university museums' collection once they are rendered safe.
UA spokesperson Chris Bryant said the 10 Civil War-era cannonballs had been removed from campus and are in the process of being defused.
Once defused, the cannonballs are to be returned to the university for restoration, said Matt Gage, director of UA's Office of Archeological Research, adding the projectiles could be returned to the university as soon as next week.
The university expects to add them to its museum collection and possibly display them in the future, Bryant said.
On Friday, explosive ordnance disposal technicians removed the cannonballs that were uncovered by workers making repairs to sidewalks. The university would not confirm the precise location of the discovery based on concerns curiosity seekers would attempt to explore the site further, Bryant said. The university has swept the area and, at this time, it believes there are no more cannonballs at the site, Bryant said.
Much of UA's original antebellum campus, which was home to Confederate cadets during the Civil War, was burned by Union forces led by Brig. Gen. John T. Croxton in April 1865 during the last days of the war.
The university owned at least three cannons, manufactured by a local foundry in Tuscaloosa, by 1865, according to art history associate professor emeritus Robert Mellown. All three cannons were seized by the Union forces when they advanced on the campus.
The cannonballs were unearthed near the site of earthworks built to help defend the campus, said Mellown, who has written about the Civil War history of Tuscaloosa and the campus. Though Mellown has never found a reference to a gun emplacement at the site, the location of the shells would have been an ideal spot for a cannon, he said.
The fortifications were never used as the cadets hastily retreated from advancing Union forces, Mellown said, speculating the cache of ammunition was likely forgotten in the chaos and eventually covered by debris during the razing of the campus.
Harold Selesky, an associate professor of history with expertise in military history, said it is difficult to know for certain why or how the cannonballs were buried. Selesky offered a couple of possible scenarios if the burying of the munitions was intentional. The cache might have been simply dumped to dispose of it or fill in a hole. It is also possible that it was part of several caches hidden in anticipation of further armed resistance by Southern fighters but then forgotten.
Friday's discovery did not prompt an evacuation, but some university employees in buildings near the site were allowed to leave work early on Friday afternoon, according to the university.
Reach Ed Enoch at ed.enoch@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0209.
June 25th, 2015
Man who fatally shot Northport roommate in 2013 gets 25 years - Juan Ramirez felt isolated, was depressed and had been drinking the night he shot and killed his roommate in 2013, according to his attorney.
Ramirez, 29, was one of five men who lived at a home in Northport who worked at nearby Westminster Farms tending horses and maintaining the farm. He had been drinking and talking to his mother the night of Sept. 12, 2013, when he heard his roommates and co-workers laughing in the den, attorney Archer Rose wrote in court documents.
"Standing in his room, fueled with alcohol, sadness and sudden anger, it was at this point that Mr. Ramirez made the worst decision of his life," he wrote.
Ramirez thought his roommates were making fun of him, investigators said at the time, and fired a 20-gauge shotgun filled with birdshot at Felipe Millan Flores, 24. Flores died from the injuries.
"If I could find a way to give him back his life, I would do it," Ramirez told Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court Judge Jim Roberts through an interpreter Wednesday. "I would give the happiness back to his family."
Ramirez pleaded guilty to murder in March. Roberts sentenced him Wednesday to serve 25 years in prison.
Ramirez will be deported to Mexico when he completes his sentence.
June 25th, 2015
Free "Live at the Plaza" concert series in Tuscaloosa wraps up Friday - "Live at the Plaza," a monthlong series of free Friday night concerts at Government Plaza in downtown Tuscaloosa, will conclude this week with a performance by the band Sweet Kicks.
Patrons will be allowed to bring coolers of beer or bottles of wine to the show. Sweet Kicks is a trio consisting of longtime friends and Tuscaloosa musicians Kenny Smitherman, Pattie Townsend and Brenda Belvin, playing popular music from the '60s through today.
Government Plaza is off Sixth Street downtown.
June 25th, 2015
Tuscaloosa sheriff told to fine roadside vendors after complaints - The Tuscaloosa County Commission on Wednesday took action that will apply to all roadside vendors in response to complaints about a tire seller hindering traffic on Alabama Highway 69 South.
The commission asked the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff's Office to fine any vendor who occupies a right of way in the county's jurisdiction.
Bobby Miller, who represents the District 3, said at Wednesday's commission meeting that he has received multiple calls about the tire vendor parking a large enclosed trailer on the side of the road at the intersection of Highway 69 South, Old Greensboro Road and South Rosser Road.
The trailer blocks the view of oncoming traffic, he said.
"You'd be surprised at the people that call me and tell me they're having problems getting in and out down there," Miller said. "It's just a dangerous situation."
Patrick Branch, the county's solid waste administrator, said the vendor has been asked four or five times to move.
"He moves, and then he comes back the very next day," Branch said.
Branch said the vendor has a business license, but it is not fair for him to operate in that location. He said the vendor needs to operate on private property.
"If we allow him to be on the county and state right of way, then everybody can be on the county and state right of way," he said.
Although the county has received many complaints, Branch said many people also like the vendor's low tire prices.
But the vendor will have to move or be fined, as will any other vendors who choose to operate their business on a county right of way.
June 25th, 2015
Man gets 20-year prison sentence for Tuscaloosa killing - Two families spent an emotional afternoon in court Wednesday — one pleading for justice, the other for mercy.
In the end, Laranden Perry, 20, was sentenced to serve 20 years in prison for killing Rico Barnes, 27, in January 2013. Perry pleaded guilty last month to manslaughter and sought probation.
"This is a very sad situation that shows why we've got to get children to quit killing each other in our streets," Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court Judge Jim Roberts said before denying the probation request. "It's a loss of life on both sides."
Perry shot Barnes in the 3200 block of Eighth Street on Jan. 31, 2013. He turned himself in to police later that day at a relative's home. Perry shot Barnes once and then shot him again once he had fallen to the ground, said Tuscaloosa County Deputy District Attorney Logan Flowers.
Barnes' father Stephen Spraddling spoke about how the loss of his only son has affected his family.
"It has been the hardest two years I've ever dealt with," he said. "He has driven by the house and scared my daughters. He has followed my daughters. He has terrorized my whole family."
Perry's friends and family members asked the judge to give him a second chance, saying that he has expressed guilt and pain in the aftermath of the killing.
"He is a good child," said his mother Sheila Perry. "I am sorry. I wish this had never happened and I wish I could bring him back."
Perry and Barnes were friends who had a falling out before shooting. Perry had seen Barnes as an older brother, his attorney said, and the two spent time together playing basketball and video games.
"I never meant for that to happen," Perry said. "It was just an accident. I'm not a murderer. I'm not a manslaughterer. I'm just a human being like everyone else."
Barnes' family members asked the judge to impose the maximum 20-year sentence. Perry initially told investigators that Barnes had robbed him at gunpoint about a month before, but that he had never reported it to police. Barnes' family disputed that claim.
"I know in my heart that my brother would not take anything from anybody," said Raven Spraddling, the youngest of Barnes' younger sisters. "My brother meant the most to me. When I heard that my brother was killed, it destroyed me."
Middle sister Laquishia Spraddling said that the last two years have been the most difficult in her life.
"Family days are not the same anymore. He was an outstanding person. I'll never see his face, his smile again because of this," she said. "It's so hard to see your mama cry and know that there is nothing you can do about it."
Perry will be eligible for parole. Defense attorney Eric Snow said that Perry had stayed out of trouble while out on bond and was about to enter a management training program at the shoe store where he was working. He intended to move from Tuscaloosa and start over somewhere else if he was granted probation, Snow said.
"This court is a firm believer in second chances, but also a firm believer that punishment is required," Judge Roberts said at the conclusion of the hearing.
June 25th, 2015
Tuscaloosa County Commission OKs $65,000 for Northside Park additions - Northside Park in Samantha is only a green space surrounded by a walking trail, but soon it will receive additions.
The Tuscaloosa County Commission on Wednesday approved transferring $65,000 in discretionary funds to the Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority. The money will be used for a pavilion, picnic tables, benches and outdoor exercise equipment at the park.
If enough money is left over, PARA Director Gary Minor said PARA plans to add a backstop for pick-up games.
The park already receives a lot of traffic, Minor said.
"There's a nice population of people out in Northside. They don't have a lot. There's some playgrounds behind the schools they can enjoy, but there's no green space," he said. "There were already people walking in the streets around the schools, so now they have a place they can walk without having to worry about traffic."
The park's first phase included the walking trail, planted grass and a parking lot. It was completed about a year and a half ago using community development funds.
The Tuscaloosa County Board of Education leased the six to eight acres of land on Northside Road between Northside Middle School and Walker Elementary School to PARA for 99 years.
District I Commissioner Stan Acker said the land was an overgrown area that was too small for building a school.
"It's a nice piece of property that was really unsuitable for anything else, and it's the center of the community," Acker said.
He said the park's second phase was designed to increase community involvement and community health by providing a space where people can get active and hold events like birthday parties, picnics and family reunions.
Minor said Phase 2 is expected to be completed within the next six months.
In the future, PARA wants to connect a larger walking path around the property and add restrooms and a playground, Minor said.
The commission also approved $13,215 of discretionary funding for a septic tank installation and engineering services for a drinking fountain in Miners Community Park in Abernant.
District II Commissioner Jerry Tingle said the park has been under construction for almost four years and should be completed by late summer.
He said the people in the area needed a park because "they haven't had anything like a park there since Abernant School was located in that community."
The almost three-acre park, located on Loop Road, will offer an outside basketball court, a play unit, swings, an arbor and a pavilion with picnic tables.
Tingle said the park still needs a merry-go-round, which has been ordered, a dome jungle gym, curbing in the parking lot and the septic tank and drinking fountain before it can be completed.
June 25th, 2015
Regions Bank Tuscaloosa turns 150 - Regions Bank Tuscaloosa celebrated its 150th anniversary on Wednesday, marking the event with a celebration at its main Tuscaloosa office on Ninth Street.
Regions traces its Tuscaloosa roots to 1865 when James Harris Fitts founded the bank as J.H. Fitts and Co., according to the company's history.
Over the next century and a half, the bank changed its name several times. It became City National Bank in 1902 after it received its federal bank charter. In 1973, it merged with First Alabama Bancshares, the state's first multi-bank holding company. Two years later, City National changed its name to First Alabama Bank of Tuscaloosa.
In 1994, First Alabama changed its name to Regions Bank, reflecting its movement into other states.
"We are proud of our legacy in Tuscaloosa and thankful for the opportunities we've had over the years. Our level of success would not have been possible without the support of this community," said a statement from Dan Blakely, city president of Regions Bank Tuscaloosa.
"We are not done. As an organization, we continue to look for ways to make life better in the communities we serve. Locally, our associates volunteer their time and resources to several charitable and civic organizations, many of which we've supported for decades. This is in addition to the corporate contributions that we make.
"Sometimes it is difficult to quantify what this total contribution looks like, so I asked Jackie Wuska from the United Way for a little help. She told me that Regions Bank has been a supporter of the United Way since the beginning 68 years ago when it was known as the Community Chest of Tuscaloosa. Since then, Regions Bank has contributed more than $3 million dollars to the United Way. And in just the past 10 years, Regions Bank and its associates in Tuscaloosa have donated more than $1.3 million.
"These funds are used to help children and youth achieve their potential, to help families become financially stable and independent, to improve the community's health, and to respond to emergency and disaster needs," he said.
"I am proud of this bank and its history. I am proud to be a part of this team, in this community, at this time in our history. And I am excited about what the future holds for Regions and for Tuscaloosa."
When Fitts started the bank 150 years ago, it initially had about $50,000 in deposits. Today Regions Bank has around $165 million in deposits in Tuscaloosa County.
Its parent holding company, Birmingham-based Regions Financial Corp., has $122 billion in assets, about 1,650 banking offices and 2,000 ATMs and customers in 16 states in the South and Midwest. It also is the largest publicly traded stock company based in Alabama and is the 25th largest banking company in the country.
June 25th, 2015
West Alabama Super 9 baseball - 29934
June 25th, 2015
Google to build data center in Alabama - Google announced plans Wednesday to build a $600 million data center in northeast Alabama’s Jackson County, creating up to 100 jobs at a state-of-the-art facility designed for efficiency and powered by renewable energy, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
The data center will act as a hub for Internet traffic, operating in a network that keeps the Google search engine and company products such as Gmail and YouTube up and running for global users 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The project was announced this afternoon at a press conference at the Widows Creek Power Plant on the banks of the Tennessee River in Jackson County, where the data center will be constructed.
“Google is one of the world’s most innovative companies that just about every Alabamian interacts with daily,” Gov. Robert Bentley said. “Google’s decision to expand its data center network to Alabama is the start of a long-lasting state partnership that will provide a significant boost to our state’s high-tech sector, provide good jobs for our citizens and position the state for additional growth in this important industry.
“I appreciate Google’s significant investment in Alabama, and I am pleased to welcome them to sweet home Alabama,” he said.
June 24th, 2015
Confederate flags taken down at state Capitol - Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley on Wednesday ordered Confederate flags taken down from the grounds of the state Capitol.
It's the latest move to banish the divisive banner from state capitals, store shelves and monuments.
The Republican governor issued the order Wednesday morning, one week after police say a white man killed nine black church members in Charleston, South Carolina in a racially motived attack. Since the mass shooting, there has been a groundswell of calls to remove the flag.
For the past two decades, Alabama has displayed four Confederate flags around a large monument to Confederate soldiers outside the Alabama Capitol. On Wednesday, they had all come down.
Bentley spokeswoman Jennifer Ardis tells The Associated Press that Bentley did not want the presence of the Confederate symbols to be “a distraction.” She said there was no law prohibiting the removal of the flags by executive order.
June 24th, 2015
View photos of the West Alabama Super Nine softball team - View photos of the West Alabama Super Nine softball team
June 24th, 2015
Lake Lurleen's ownership discussed at closed meeting - Members of the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama's governing board heard a report from Northport officials on Tuesday about the city's proposal to assume operation of Lake Lurleen State Park, land that would revert to the chamber's control if the state ceased operating it as a park.
City officials presented their plan for operating the park during a midday meeting that was closed to the public at the chamber's offices in Tuscaloosa.
The city's plan was first publicly discussed by the Northport council in May as a way to avoid the closure of the park.
The city's plan would call for a mix of capital improvements such as utility upgrades and repairs to existing facilities, as well as new amenities meant to improve the park's ability to generate revenue. Northport Mayor Bobby Herndon estimated the proposal would mean the city would spend roughly $4 million-$5 million for capital improvements at the park.
In May, City Administrator Scott Collins said Northport had funds for about $1 million of the work, but would likely have to borrow the rest for the remaining capital improvements. Collins could not be reached after the meeting on Tuesday for further comment.
The park, with a staff of approximately six, has an operating budget of about $510,000 and currently runs a $50,000-$100,000 deficit annually.
The city's administration believes it has the ability to take over operation of the park and make improvements, Herndon said.
"It's not a problem," Herndon said, of taking on the new expenses.
Herndon and Councilman Steve Acker, who attended the meeting on Tuesday, both said they believed the majority of the council was supportive of the idea.
Lake Lurleen in Coker was among 15 sites earmarked for possible closure by the Alabama Department of Conservation earlier this spring as a result of an austere state operating budget proposed in the Legislature. The deed held by the state indicates ownership of the 1,625-acre park site reverts to the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama in the event it ceases to be a state park. The predecessor of the chamber deeded the property to the state for use as a park in the 1950s.
State park officials say the parks are no longer in immediate danger of closing, but the chamber is still considering proposals for local operation of the park.
"Even though we don't see that happening, we do believe there is an opportunity for local control," said Jim Page, the chamber's president and chief executive officer.
The chamber is still researching options without a specific timeline on making a decision, Page said.
"Nothing is a done deal by any stretch of the imagination," he said.
The chamber's board of directors formed a subcommittee about a month ago to study options. The subcommittee in consultation with the executive committee will make a recommendation that will be considered by the full board of directors, Page said.
"We want to make a decision sooner rather than later, however, we are not going to rush to a decision. We will make a decision when we feel like we have gotten the information that is needed," Page said.
Any plan by Northport would still require approval by its City Council, Herndon said. If the opportunity does arise for the city to take over operation of the park, Herndon said he hopes the chamber considers the option.
The 2015 regular session of the Alabama Legislature failed to produce an operating budget for the state. Lawmakers now are expected to meet in a special session to take up the budget. The Legislature passed a General Fund budget that cut $200 million from state agencies, but Gov. Robert Bentley vetoed the budget sent to him.
Though the park is unlikely to close, the state budget is likely to remain lean and unable to support capital improvements at Lake Lurleen, Page said. The local partners and the state continue to explore the possibility of local operation as a way to improve the park, he said. State officials are open to the idea of new partnerships as long as Lake Lurleen remains a park.
"Frankly we don't see them making a substantial investment going forward," Page said.
The meeting did not cover possible state and local partnerships to jointly operate the park, though it would be part of the chamber's research, Page said.
Though no other local agencies have made presentations similar to Northport's, Page said the chamber has discussed the idea of Lake Lurleen under local operation with the county's Parks and Recreation Authority.
Reach Ed Enoch at ed.enoch@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0209.
June 24th, 2015
$750,000 bond set for man charged in girl's rape - A Woodstock man is being held on $750,000 bond after admitting that he had sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old from Tennessee.
Corbin Smith, 31, was charged Friday with second-degree rape.
His bond was set on Tuesday. He is also charged with failing to comply with probation terms of a previous drug conviction and possession of marijuana.
He was denied bond for the probation violation and has a $3,000 bond set for the marijuana charge, according to the Bibb County Jail.
Authorities in Tennessee issued an Endangered Child Alert for the girl on Friday, stating that she may be with a 31-year-old man from Alabama. The alert was canceled when she was found at Smith’s home in Bibb County.
According to court documents, Smith told police that he engaged in intercourse with the girl.
She was examined by doctors at Children’s of Alabama hospital in Birmingham and returned to her mother’s custody, according to the documents.
June 24th, 2015
Council approves infrastructure work for part of CityWalk and near Norfolk Southern Railway - City officials approved almost $500,000 in infrastructure work on Tuesday for sewer and technological upgrades.
A $297,389 contract was awarded to John Plott Company Inc. for improvements affiliated with the overall $1.75 million Rosewood sewer project near 13th Street East and the Norfolk Southern Railway.
Wendy McBride of the Office of the City Engineer said the work will relocate and increase the size of the area’s sewer line to provide additional capacity. Construction is expected to start in mid-July and last for about 60 days.
Another $171,445 contract was awarded to OnePath Systems LLC for the installation of the fiber optic technology network for the CityWalk’s University Place to Forest Lake areas.
McBride said this fiber will provide the connectivity for public wireless Internet access, video signs and the security cameras that will be installed in a future project.
The work is expected to last 120 days and start in sometime in August.
June 24th, 2015
Students interact with animals at The Tuscaloosa Barnyard - Students stopped by The Tuscaloosa Barnyard on Tuesday and participated in activities such as petting the animals and painting with chicks. Camps are held at The Barnyard throughout the summer and children from day cares and other summer camps visit, too. There are close to 150 different animals on the 15-acre property.
The Barnyard is open to the public on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Kami Combs has operated The Barnyard for seven years.
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June 24th, 2015
Rain could cool things off in Tuscaloosa later this week - Tuscaloosa remains under a heat advisory until 9 p.m. today, but rain could bring cooler weather later in the week, according to the National Weather Service.
The temperature rose to 97 degrees Tuesday, with the heat index soaring to 103 in the Tuscaloosa area. The heat should continue today and Thursday, but Friday and Saturday will bring a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms.
The high temperatures Friday and Saturday are predicted to be in the mid- to upper 80s.
June 24th, 2015
Montgomery lawmaker calls for removal of Confederate flag from Capitol grounds - MONTGOMERY | A Montgomery lawmaker on Tuesday said Alabama should remove Confederate flags that fly outside the Alabama Capitol next to a towering monument to Confederate soldiers.
Rep. Alvin Holmes, D-Montgomery, said he will file a legislative resolution in the next legislative session to remove Confederate flags from the Capitol grounds.
"I think most people realize it's divisive," Holmes said. "It has no place on a public building."
A spokeswoman for Gov. Robert Bentley said the governor did not have a comment at this time on whether the Confederate flags should remain on the Capitol grounds. Nor did he say whether he thought the state should stop issuing a vanity license plate for the Sons of Confederate Veterans that includes the battle flag.
The Alabama Legislature is expected to meet later this summer for a special session on the budget.
Four Confederate flags — the first three official flags of the Confederacy and the square-shaped Confederate battle flag — fly at each corner of an 88-foot-tall Alabama Confederate Monument beside the Alabama Capitol.
Calls to remove Confederate symbols that dot the Old South reignited after the massacre of nine people at a black church in South Carolina last week. The white suspect, Dylann Storm Roof, posed in photos displaying Confederate flags and burning or desecrating U.S. flags.
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday that the flag should be removed from the Statehouse grounds. South Carolina, like Alabama, once flew the Confederate flag atop its Capitol but moved it to a nearby Confederate monument in 2000 during a compromise with black lawmakers.
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe said he wanted the state to stop issuing the Confederate vanity license plates.
In Alabama, former Gov. George C. Wallace ordered the Confederate flag hoisted over the Capitol dome in 1963 during a fight with the federal government over ending school segregation.
Holmes led a fight in the 1990s to remove the rebel banner from the dome. A judge ruled against the state, which appealed. Then-Gov. Jim Folsom in 1993 made a decision that the Confederate flag, which was taken down in 1992 during dome renovations, would not be put back atop the Capitol when those renovations were complete.
"It was really a simple decision. We are no longer part of the Confederate government. I made the decision to remove it and get it behind us," Folsom said.
Folsom said the decision was made to put the flags beside the Confederate monument to display them in "proper historical context."
Gary Carlyle, commander of the Alabama chapter of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, said the flags represent Southern history. "Our prayers and concerns are about nine great citizens who got killed in South Carolina by an evil person."
The Confederate Monument, which was erected in 1898, includes quotes paying tributes to Confederate soldiers including a poem excerpt calling them, "the knightliest of the knightly race." Holmes said the monument is not as offensive as the flags, which he said have become a symbol of racism and hate.
June 24th, 2015
Tuscaloosa City Council action from June 23 - Authorized request for street lighting system modifications.
Authorized execution of Requisition Nos. 54-58 for payment from the Series 2014A Warrant Issue; total: $285,060.45.
Authorized payment to Nationwide as subrogee for Randall Averette in settlement of claim; total: $404.29.
Authorized payment to Enterprise Rent-a-Car in settlement of claim; total: $245.
Authorized payment to Reginald Beal in settlement of claim; total: $531.30.
Approved request and agreement for water service to Munny Sokol Park Improvements water main extension; total: $41,979.60.
Granted permit for Tuscaloosa County Park and Recreation Authority to construct water lines for Munny Sokol Park Improvements water main extension.
Authorized an adjustment and refund of excess deposit to Dominion Construction Co., for installation of water mains and services for River Chase No. 11, Section 4; total: $14,925.58.
Approved request and agreement for water service to 1920 Sixth Street fire line; total: $24,735.28.
Granted permit for University Stations, LLC to construct water lines for 1920 6th Street fire line.
Authorized payment to Cynthia Fulgham in settlement of claim; total: $348.80.
Tabled for one week a decision to adopt Zoning Amendment No. 1322 to amend the text of the Zoning Ordinance under Article XVII, Downtown/Riverfront (D/R) Overlay District pertaining to permitted, conditional and prohibited uses, Section 24-229(a). (Introduced May 26.)
Rescinded previous resolution awarding competitive bid no. 1011-061714-1 for the purchase of T-shirts and sweatshirts and authorized issuance of a new invitation to bid.
Authorized the Office of the Mayor Disaster Recovery Division to amend and advertise amendment to the 2013 CDBG-DR Action Plan of the City of Tuscaloosa.
Rejected a public works bid: College Park Sewer Rehabilitation Project.
Authorized payment for acquisition of a drainage easement across portions of Lots 7 and 8 Forest Lake Subdivision No. 2 regarding the Whitfield Creek Drainage Improvements Project; total: $8,000.
Authorized the finance director to issue draft to the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA); total: $6,353.94.
Tentatively awarded a public works contract to K & A Builders Inc. for the City Hall Data Center Relocation Project; total: $244,000.
Tentatively awarded a public works contract to RCI Contractors & Engineers, Inc. for the City Hall Signage Replacement Project; total: $45,000.
Authorized the finance director to draw a draft for the Transportation Museum insurance premium; total: $1,658.
Authorized the Office of Federal Programs to make budget and program changes and to advertise those changes to the 2014 Action Plans of the City’s Five-Year Consolidated Plan for Community Planning & Development Programs for program years 2010-2014.
Rejected a public works bid for Road Striping Project 2015.
Tentatively awarded a public works contract for Rosewood Sanitary Sewer Improvements Project Phase II to John Plott Company Inc.; total: $297,389.
Authorized the mayor to execute a special municipal agency funding contract with Westside Community Action Council Inc. for the HOPE Initiative Summer Jobs Program; total: $50,000.
Authorized the finance director to draw a draft made payable to Comcast for relocation of underground and overhead utilities along Alberta Parkway Phase 1B; total: $33,450.
Authorized change order No. 4 for Fire Station No. 4 at the request of Mills & Farmer Inc; total: $311.45.
Authorized change order No. 5 for Fire Station No. 4 at the request of Mills & Farmer Inc; total: $829.50.
Authorized the mayor to execute a grant application for the fiscal year 2015 Hazardous Materials Emergency Preparedness Grant; total: $10,200.
Authorized the finance director to draw a draft related to Airport Improvement Grant No. 2010; total: $18,884.
Authorized the mayor to request additional funding in regard to Airport Improvement Grant No. 2012; total: $18,359.
Adopted the 11th amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 General Fund Budget.
Adopted the 4th amendment to the Fiscal Year 2015 Water and Sewer Fund Budget.
Amended Exhibits “A” and “B” of Section 19-42 of the Code of Tuscaloosa.
Approved the 2nd amendment to the Development Plan of Riverfront Village and a new Development Plan for Lot 1 of Riverfront Village.
Voted to withdraw the introduction of Zoning Amendment No. 1320 to amend the text of the Zoning Ordinance pertaining to Chapter 24, Section 24-118 pertaining to temporary portable storage containers.
Introduced Zoning Amendment No. 1329 to rezone approximately 0.17 acres located at 1418 University Boulevard from BNU-Buffer to RMF-2U Buffer.
Introduced Zoning Amendment No. 1330 to rezone approximately 0.24 acres located at 1401 and 1407 10th Avenue from R-4U and BGO to BNU.
Voted to withdraw an item setting July 21 as the date for public hearing to consider adoption of Zoning Amendment No. 1320.
Set July 21 as the date for public hearing to consider adoption of Zoning Amendment No. 1329.
Set July 21 as the date for public hearing to consider adoption of Zoning Amendment No. 1330.
Authorized the payment of bills; total: $3,328.28.
June 24th, 2015
Three local barbecue restaurants to be honored in hall of fame - Archibald’s Bar-B-Q in Northport, Dreamland Bar-B-Que in Tuscaloosa and Atkins Barbecue in Eutaw will be included in the newly created Alabama Barbecue Hall of Fame.
The hall of fame will honor 29 barbecue restaurants in Alabama that have been open for at least 50 years.
Archibald’s opened in 1962, Dreamland opened in 1958 and Atkins opened in 1947.
Restaurants will receive a plaque at a June 29 luncheon at the Golden Rule Bar-B-Q restaurant in Irondale. Golden Rule opened in 1891 and is one of the oldest restaurant in Alabama.
The hall of fame was developed by the Alabama Department of Tourism as part of its “Year of Alabama Barbecue” promotion highlighting the state’s barbecue heritage.
June 24th, 2015
Local artist Lorrie Lane to discuss exhibit of her work - A local artist will give a free painting demonstration at noon today during the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa’s Art Talk at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, 620 Greensboro Ave.
Lorrie Lane will also discuss “Manufactured Optimism,” an exhibit of her paintings that is on display in the Arts Council gallery.
The exhibit includes large-scale portraits with a zodiac theme, as well as floral still life and landscape paintings.
Patrons are encouraged to bring lunch.
For more information about the artist, visit www.lorrielane.com and Lorrie Lane Studio on Facebook.
June 24th, 2015
Tuscaloosa City Council approves plans for boutique hotel - The Tuscaloosa City Council gave unanimous approval to the final design plans for a boutique hotel to be built along the banks of the Black Warrior River.
The new Hotel Indigo is expected to have 91 rooms in a five-story building. The hotel would be built at the end of Greensboro Avenue on the northwest corner of Riverfront Village, a $42 million multiuse development with student apartments that was completed last year.
Additional features of the hotel, which is expected to cost between $17 million and $20 million, include a 3,000-square-foot ground floor restaurant, a rooftop lounge with an outdoor veranda and a first-floor market for both the general public and hotel guests.
Still pending before the council is a $1.7 million economic incentive package being sought by the developer, Chance Partners of Atlanta.
This issue was tabled for two weeks during the June 16 City Council meeting at the request of Chance Partners in order to clear up some legal technicalities.
It's expected to be revisited next week.
If completed, Hotel Indigo will be the third hotel to be constructed in downtown Tuscaloosa in the past three years.
In 2012, the council gave approval for the $27 million Embassy Suites hotel that opened in February on the northwest corner of Greensboro Avenue and University Boulevard.
And in 2013, the council approved the development of the $13 million, 113-room Home2 Suites by Hilton, which opened in April in the 2600 block of University Boulevard just west of Lurleen Wallace Boulevard South.
Developers told the council the model for a Hotel Indigo places it in the upper-midscale to midscale hotel category, but projects under the Hotel Indigo brand are built with individual characteristics and designed to comply with Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) standards for energy efficiency water conservation.
Hotel Indigo would be the third building in Tuscaloosa with that distinction. The Tuscaloosa Federal Building and Courthouse on University Boulevard and the Bank of Tuscaloosa building on Jack Warner Parkway are the others.
The development also will rely on local material suppliers as much as possible as well as local artists and designers for decorations, such as murals and public space displays.
Additionally, the project is expected to bring 190 full-time jobs during its 12-to-14-month construction phase and another 44 permanent, full-time jobs once the hotel opens.
Each of the 57 existing Hotel Indigos — 37 of which are in the U.S. — has its own “Neighborhood Story,” a unique set of characteristics that are influenced by the area in which it is built.
For Tuscaloosa's hotel, that theme will be “Reconnecting With the River.” Consultants were hired to look into the history of the site and its surrounding five block radius.
Its findings are expected to be represented by the inclusion of such elements as Pure Process Ice Cream, a Tuscaloosa-based ice cream manufacturer and shop that operated along the Black Warrior River from 1926 to the mid-1990s, and an entryway that would evoke a riverboat paddle wheel.
Reach Jason Morton at jason.morton@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0200.
June 24th, 2015
Taking center stage: Youths learn about theater at Shelton State summer camp - Muffled voices rose and fell with the notes of a song behind a classroom door in the fine arts division at Shelton State Community College.
Kids were learning how to sing.
Across the hall, Olivia LeCompte’s voice changed from tones of happiness to sadness to anger to disgust as she played a game called Emotional Quadrants where she verbally sparred with another participant in a divorce-court scene.
She was learning improvisation.
Singing, improvisation, acting, dance, auditioning, stage makeup and costuming are some of the classes kids are taking at Theatre Camp 2015, a program offered by the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre in conjunction with Theatre Tuscaloosa.
The cost is $262, which includes all classes and a camp T-shirt.
Each morning includes four classes for the five different age groups during the two-week summer program.
Camp participants will perform a showcase at the end of the program on Friday at the Bean-Brown Theatre.
Drew Baker, the artistic coordinator of Theatre Tuscaloosa, said the kids take different classes based on their age group -— just completed kindergarten through 11th grade — and they need no theater experience to participate.
Kids learn all they need to know in class.
“All the things they’re learning are great for theater, but let’s face it, it goes right over into their school activities. Then they can get up in front of the class and make a report, and they have the confidence to do that,” Baker said. “I firmly believe theater skills play right into your everyday life.”
LeCompte, a sophomore at Hillcrest High School and a camp participant, said she has gained confidence over the last four summers she has participated at the camp, and the skills she has learned helps with school as well.
“It certainly translates into other aspects of my life,” LeCompte said.
Baker said participating in the camp gives students confidence, helps them build friendships and provides experience for those who want to pursue a career in theater.
Autumn Fuller, a senior at Tuscaloosa County High School, camp counselor and former participant, said she plans to pursue a career in musical theater.
Fuller has been involved with the Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre since she was 7 years old, first acting in a production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
She has performed in multiple Theatre Tuscaloosa productions and will perform in the upcoming “Fiddler on the Roof,” which will be held at the Bean-Brown Theatre at Shelton State from July 10-19.
Fuller said the camp taught her how to audition for shows and helped her become comfortable on stage, which will help her if she decides to become an actress.
As a camp counselor for the past four years, she said she is learning how to help others do the same, which will be useful if she chooses the path of directing.
Baker said counselors like Fuller set examples for participants and guide them through the camp.
“I can’t even count on my two hands the number of things (this camp) does for them,” Baker said.
This year marks the 15th year Tuscaloosa Children’s Theatre has operated the camp and the fifth year Theatre Tuscaloosa has been involved.
Camp participants learn with groups of 18 people per age group. The small number allows for more one-on-one with instructors in a theatrical environment.
Those interested in attending the camp should follow the Theatre Tuscaloosa Facebook page for next summer’s registration period.
“This is a great camp. There’s a reason I come back every year,” LeCompte said.
June 24th, 2015
Super 9 softball all-star selections - <a href="/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Dato=20150623&Kategori=FRONTPAGE&Lopenr=623009996&Ref=PH" title="Super 9 softball" target="_self">
June 24th, 2015
Board denies parole to killer who shot man in 1998 - The Alabama Board of Pardons and Paroles refused to grant parole to a man serving a 30-year life sentence for murder.
Ladon Smith shot and killed Melvin Joe Hayward, 19, at Downing Place Apartments during an argument in 1998.
Smith shot Hayward twice in the side and again in the back of the head.
He was captured in Scranton, Pa., in 2000 and convicted of murder in Tuscaloosa County Circuit Court the next year.
Smith, now 40, was sentenced to 30 years in prison.
Tuscaloosa County District Attorney Lyn Head, Deputy District Attorney Mark Caraway, Tuscaloosa Police Chief Steve Anderson and Lt. Kenny Ray Jenkins attended the hearing in Montgomery Tuesday to protest Smith's release.
“We are so fortunate to have a parole board that is interested in protecting our communities from individuals like this defendant after they have been convicted and sentenced for such a violent act,” said Head, who prosecuted the case in 2001. “My prayers continue to be with the Hayward family as they continue to grieve for the loss of this young man.”
Anderson investigated the case when he was assigned to the homicide unit. During a court hearing, he noticed scarring to Smith's fingers, as if he had done something to alter his fingerprints. Other details, including the fact that the Social Security number Smith was using belonged to a 7-year-old boy in New York, helped Anderson identify Smith, whose last name was actually Burns, as a suspect in a 1995 homicide in New York.
Smith is scheduled to be released in 2030. He is being held at the Bibb County Correctional Facility.
Stephanie Taylor can be reached at stephanie.taylor@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0210.
June 24th, 2015
Author to donate book sales to help two brothers with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy - Jennifer Rubino Champion said the only talents God gave her are the ability to paint and write.
So those are what she uses to help people.
Champion said that from July 1 to Dec. 1, she is going to donate all proceeds from her book “I See God!” to the family of Jonathan Burgin, 14, and his brother, Ivan, 12, who both have Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy causes progressive muscle degeneration, weakness and death shortly after the teen years.
Earlier this month, the Burgin brothers’ family opened an account at Alabama One Credit Union under name “The Chestnut Boys” for donations that will be used toward the purchase of a used $30,000 van with a wheelchair lift. The van would be used by their mother, Jacqueline Burgin, to transport her sons and Jonathan’s power wheelchair. She said her sons want to be able to go to the grocery store, the mall and to sightsee without it being a major ordeal.
Right now, the brothers are mostly homebound because their condition severely limits their mobility and it’s difficult to take them in a vehicle that’s not wheelchair accessible.
“They go to falling when they walk,” said Maggie Johnson, the boys’ aunt. “They really don’t have any playtime. When they play, they fall, and you have to help them up. After a period of time, their muscles get weak. The same way that it happened to the 14-year-old, it’s now happening to the younger one.
“They have no activity. They have no control of their muscles and limbs or how they walk or stand. They have to stay at home and sit in the room and play games. It’s like they have no life like other children.”
Champion, who is executive director of the Find HOPE Here Project, said when she heard about the Burgin brothers, she wanted to help.
“I have five children, and I teach children in Sunday school,” Champion said. “I love children, and I have boys who are close in age to them. I thought about my own children who like to ride their bikes, to run and to play.
“When I read that these little boys couldn’t do that, I wanted to help. I talked to their mom, and she said they want to do these things, but it was hard for them to get out.
“I feel like God gives us talents and gifts that we’re supposed to use to help other people. If I had the $30,000 for the van I would give it to her. So rather than the proceeds going to me for my book, it goes to her.”
“I See God!” is an illustrated children’s book that tells the biblical account of creation through Champion’s paintings and writing.
The book came out in February and costs $9.15 at barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com, booksamillion.com and Champion’s website at www.hopeisnotlost.net.
“On my website people can buy them in bulk at a discount,” she said. “All the money from all the book sales from all avenues will go straight to this cause. On my website I’ll also have something showing our progress towards the goal.”
Champion said she would also like to conduct book signings from July to December to help raise money for the Burgin brothers, but she needs find locations first.
If any local business would like to host a book signing, email Champion at info@hopeisnotlost.net.
June 24th, 2015
Tuscaloosa in finals of resilience competition - The city of Tuscaloosa has been selected to compete in the second phase of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development’s National Disaster Resilience Competition.
More than 40 states and communities will compete in the final phase of the competition, HUD Secretary Julian Castro said in a news release.
The competition is designed to help states and local communities recover from past disasters while improving their ability to withstand future extreme events through strategic community investments.
In the second phase, each finalist will propose projects that advance their community’s comprehensive resilience plans, as envisioned in Phase 1. Selected projects will be funded from a total pool of nearly $1 billion.
The maximum grant award available at the end of the second phase will be $500 million and the minimum will be $1 million.
June 23rd, 2015
Bama Art House film series continues - The Bama Art House summer film series continues tonight with a screening of “The Clouds of Sils Maria.”
The film will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Bama Theatre, 600 Greensboro Ave.
The film is about a veteran actress who comes face-to-face with an uncomfortable reflection of herself when she agrees to take part in a revival of the play that launched her career 20 years earlier.
The film is rated “R.”
The summer series is sponsored by the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa.
Tickets cost $8, $7 for seniors and students and $6 for Arts Council members. Discount punch-card tickets will be available at the door before the screenings and will be good for other Bama Art House films.
Visit www.bamatheatre.org/bamaarthouse to view a preview of this week’s film.
June 23rd, 2015
Ninth Street to be closed for water main extension - Ninth Street at Gene Stallings Avenue will be closed from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. today, according to the Tuscaloosa Department of Transportation.
The closure is needed for a water main extension.
June 23rd, 2015
City school board to consider new cellphone plan - In April, Tuscaloosa County NAACP President Jerry Carter approached the Tuscaloosa City Board of Education asking it to ban students from using cellphones in school.
His request was prompted by a student using her cellphone to secretly record his 12-year-old granddaughter use the bathroom at the middle school she attends. The student then uploaded the video to the Internet, sharing it with classmates whose laughter followed Carter's granddaughter as she ran out of her classroom.
In response to the incident — and several others involving cellphones — city school officials created a task force to review the student code of conduct's cellphone/personal technology device policy. That task force comprised Carter, parents, community members, school administrators, central office administrators, teachers and high school students.
What they discovered is that the policy is strong and doesn't need much modification, according to a board report.
The current student code of conduct policy on cellphone usage states that students can use cellphones "on school property at after-school related functions and at school-related functions, provided that during school hours and on a school bus the (personal technology device) remains off and put away. With the approval of the superintendent, a principal may permit students to possess and use PTDs during the school day for educational purposes."
Though the policy was considered to be fine as is, the task force found that it was not being consistently enforced in schools, according to the board report.
To make it clear how to properly use cellphones during the school day, the task force came up with a new program called Digital Citizenship, which will be added to the student code of conduct if the board approves it in July.
Digital Citizenship is a concept that will show students and teachers how to responsibly use their cellphones in school and how to use them to prepare them to be part of a society where technology is prevalent.
According to the proposed policy, all students will receive Digital Citizenship expectations as part of their student code of conduct orientation.
Carter said he's willing to give the plan a try.
"What I was aiming for, obviously, was a ban," he said. "But since that's not going to happen, because in this day and age, cellphones are such a part of our day-to-day life, they felt that the most realistic thing was to add this Digital Citizenship.
"I still feel that the schools should be providing resources so that cellphones don't have to be used (as an educational tool) period. But this is the end result of the battle I was fighting. The Digital Citizenship program will educate faculty, students and everyone. I'm willing to give it a chance, but if it just doesn't work and I continue to hear complaints or problems behind these cellphones, we'll have to come back to the table."
The proposed changes to the cellphone policy in the student code of conduct will be voted on by the school board in July.
Reach Jamon Smith at jamon.smith@tuscaloosa news.com or 205-722-0204.
June 23rd, 2015
Revered internal medicine doctor Lydia Stefanescu dies at age 66 - Lydia Stefanescu faced a tough obstacle in the early 1980s at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she sought to become certified to practice internal medicine.
The field was then seen as one for men only, said her husband, Dr. Gary Newsom.
But her determination won out and in 1984 she became one of the first women in Alabama to be certified to practice internal medicine.
“She broke through a titanium ceiling by doing that,” Newsom said Monday.
Stefanescu, who died of natural causes June 18 at the age of 66, went on to practice medicine for more than 30 years in Tuscaloosa, at a private office and at DCH Regional Medical Center. She also served as an adjunct professor and counselor at the University of Alabama’s College of Community Health Sciences.
Overcoming obstacles to achieve her goals was a pattern throughout her life, Newsom said.
She was born July 29, 1948, in Bucharest, Romania, and grew up under communist rule. Stefanescu’s mother was a cardiologist and her father was a biologist.
“She lived under a dictatorship, but she dreamed of coming to America,” Newsom said. “She escaped from communism, using her courage to make that dream come true.”
After she and her first husband, Doru Stefanescu, made numerous requests to travel outside Romania, their request was approved in 1980 with one condition: They had to leave behind their young daughter, Alina.
Stefanescu, pregnant with the couple’s second child, decided to take the trip on the pretext of attending a professional convention in Switzerland. Instead, they made their way to the United States and defected in Madison, Wis. They came to Tuscaloosa when Doru Stefanescu landed a job teaching engineering at the University of Alabama.
With the help of Alabama’s senators, Howell Heflin and Richard Shelby, and Richard Nunley, an immigration specialist at UA, the Stefanescus were reunited with Alina about a year later.
Stefanescu began practicing internal medicine in Tuscaloosa in 1984. In 1989, she became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
In 1996, she earned the DAR Americanism Medal, presented by the Chief Tuskaloosa Chapter of the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
“She’s just a total package,” said Carol Gatewood, chapter regent, during the August 1996 medal presentation. “She’s a caring person and a caring physician.”
Stefanescu was deeply involved in the Tuscaloosa community, volunteering with the Good Samaritan Clinic for indigent patients. She also was active in the Zonta Club, a worldwide group of executives in business and the professions that work together to advance the status of women.
She is survived by her husband, Gary Newsom; her daughters, Alina and Carla; and her sister, Sanda Gancevici.
A celebration of Stefanescu’s life will be held at 4 p.m. June 27 at Robertson’s Barn, 15337 Smokey Lane, in Fosters.
Instead of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Lydia Stefanescu Foundation. Email lydiasfoundation@gmail.com for more information.
June 23rd, 2015
Suspect sought in alleged Forest Lake car theft and assault - Investigators believe a Tuscaloosa man is on the run after allegedly assaulting a woman and stealing a car in the Forest Lake neighborhood last month.
Stanley O’Neal Caine, 46, is wanted for first-degree burglary and first-degree theft in connection with events reported to police on May 23.
A woman, 27, told officers that a man entered her residence in the 1700 block of Fifth Avenue at 9:30 a.m. that day and attacked her.
“The attack was interrupted by a neighbor who heard her screaming,” said Lt. Kip Hart, Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit assistant commander. Investigators believe that he stole a car parked a few blocks away and fled. The vehicle was recovered in Atlanta on June 9.
Investigators developed Caine as a suspect based on statements and evidence recovered at the woman’s home, Hart said.
“It is believed he is on the run,” he said.
Hart asked anyone with information about Caine’s location to contact the homicide unit at 205-464-8640 or CrimeStoppers at 205-752-STOP (7867).
Reach Stephanie Taylor at stephanie.taylor@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0210.
June 23rd, 2015
Boston butt fundraiser sponsored by Sprayberry Education Center and Heart of Tuscaloosa - A Boston butt fundraiser will be held for the Fourth of July, sponsored by the Sprayberry Education Center and Heart of Tuscaloosa, a nonprofit that focuses on people with disabilities.
The deadline to order is June 27. Cost is $35.
The Boston butts will be hickory smoked by Firehouse BBQ and will be sealed in plastic, fully cooked and ready to eat.
To order, email Emmy Stockman at Emmy.stockman@hotmail.com or call 423-240-2688. Pickup will be from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. July 3 at the Sprayberry Education Cafeteria, 1324 Rice Mine Road, Northport.
There will be no refunds.
June 23rd, 2015
Second suspect charged in shooting at party - A second person has been charged in relation to a shooting at a party earlier this month.
DeAnthony Sanders, 21, was charged with attempted murder Friday. He and suspect Carl James McClendon III, 32, are accused in the attempted murder of a victim who was shot at a party on Maxwell Circle on June 13.
Sanders, of Aliceville, remained in the Tuscaloosa County Jail on Monday with bond set at $60,000.
McClendon, also of Aliceville, was released June 15 on $60,000 bond.
June 23rd, 2015
Police identify driver in dump truck crash - Tuscaloosa police released the name of a dump truck driver who died driving on Jack Warner Parkway on Saturday morning.
Thomas Francis Randall, 43, of Hanceville was driving the truck that went through a fence at Nucor Steel and landed in a containment pond.
It is unclear whether he died from the accident or by another cause.
An autopsy will determine the cause of death, said Sgt. Brent Blankley, a TPD spokesman.
June 23rd, 2015
Cassie Reilly-Boccia writes book about Alabama softball's 2012 national title - Cassie Reilly-Boccia had a story to tell.
She had gotten to tell it at various coaching clinics and when she spoke to youth groups, but the former player who was a senior on the University of Alabama's 2012 national championship softball team wanted more.
On a drive from her home in New York to Knoxville, Tenn., in the spring of 2013 to see the Crimson Tide play in the super regional round of the NCAA Tournament, she decided to write about it.
“I was kind of recapping just how special that 2012 team was and how many things went well,” she said. “I wanted to tell them more, and I wished I could tell more people about it.”
Some 18 months later, late in 2014, she had completed her book: “Finished It: A Team's Journey to Winning It All.”
The book, which she published through iUniverse, is available on Amazon.com and through its website, https://finisheditthebook.wordpress.com. It has sold more than 1,800 copies.
Reilly-Boccia invested her own money in the project.
“It was within my budget of what I wanted to do, enough that I was comfortable that even if I didn't make it back it would be worth it to me,” she said. “I made it back in the first six weeks, which was very unexpected.
“It was very cool to see how many people shared in the story. I thought maybe Alabama softball fans would enjoy it, and maybe the team and their families.”
The book tells the tale of the final day of her career: from the moment she woke up on June 6, 2012 — the day Alabama defeated Oklahoma, 5-4, in the final game of the title series at the Women's College World Series — through the celebration afterward.
It also reflects, in flashbacks, on lessons Reilly-Boccia learned over the course of her collegiate career.
She relates, for example, about her first team meeting as a freshman when head coach Patrick Murphy told the newcomers, “The sooner you realize it's not all about you, the better off you're going to be.”
The book, which has a foreword by Reilly-Boccia's former teammate, Kayla Braud, is scattered with exercises in team-building and life-coach advice, like this from assistant coach Alyson Habetz: “You don't treat people with respect because of who they are, you treat them with respect because of who you are.”
It covers everything from when Murphy and Habetz left, briefly, for LSU after the previous season to how the team dealt with rain delays during the game that decided the national championship.
Reilly-Boccia, who now works as director of research and development, strength and conditioning coach and softball development coach (along with former teammate Ryan Iamurri) at Athletes Warehouse in Pleasantville, N.Y., relished the experience of writing the book.
“I remember when I first started doing it I was excited for the process of writing,” she said, “excited for the journey. I knew I'd learn so much more about what that season was for us.
“I learned time management and I learned a lot about my teammates, too. So many times I'd call alumni and people on the team and freshmen and ask their perspective on it. I just started writing down story after story, anything I could remember. I had no idea how I'd organize it.”
She read it so many times during the editing process that she got “almost to the point where I didn't even like it because I'd ready it so many times.”
She didn't read it again until four months after it was published.
“I'm happy with the way it turned out,” she said. “I'm happy that it's finally out there for people to learn from, hopefully.”
In addition to selling it online, Reilly-Boccia sold personally autographed copies at a weekend UA homestand this spring. She might arrange something similar next year at the World Series.
Reilly-Boccia feels she reached her goals: “When I first started, I put down reasons I was writing this book and the No. 1 reason was my teammates, and No. 2 was if one girl could learn something and take away something from the book it would be worth it to me to write it.”
As for writing another book, she's not so sure.
“I remember looking at my mom, joking how I am never writing a book ever again,” she said. “But who knows? If I have a story that I think is worth sharing, maybe I will.”
June 23rd, 2015
12-year-old discovers dinosaur vertebra in Greene County - Middle school student Aiden Taylor was excited to start his summer at a dusty camp in the heat of rural Greene County hunting for dinosaur bones.
"I was just hoping to find anything. I wished to find dinosaur bones or some mosasaur bones," said the 12-year-old from Bay Minette.
Finally, the boy, whose fascination with dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals began as a young child, was on an expedition. He was part of a group of middle school students participating in the annual summer field program put on by the University of Alabama Museum of Natural History.
Aiden's first expedition became the latest entry in the story of a rare set of fossils in the state slowly emerging from the chalk deposits near Eutaw. Taylor discovered a vertebra from an elasmosaur, Cretaceous-Period, long-necked leviathans that prowled a sea whose shoreline traced along Alabama's Black Belt region approximately 80 million years ago.
In 2013, another camper discovered the first fossils from the large marine reptile — the inspiration for the Loch Ness Monster myth — at the small quarry in rural Greene County, a site frequented by the annual summer field program.
"I found it on the first day we were hunting fossils," Aiden said. "Half of it was sticking out of the ground, so I yelled to everybody, ‘Hey I think I found something.' "
Noah Traylor, the teen who discovered the first piece of backbone and was serving as a volunteer aid this year for the middle school camp, helped Aiden chip out the fossil.
The most recent vertebra was found near the 2013 find. Dana Ehret, curator of paleontology for the University of Alabama Museums, believes the vertebrae are from the same animal.
Ehret and others had returned to the site since 2013, but the vertebra went undiscovered until the camp earlier this month.
"In paleontology, it's not completely unheard of to have this kind of thing," he said of finding fossils from the same animal years apart.
The university takes campers out to the site every other year or so. The chalk is slow to erode, so the researchers give the sites time for nature "to take its course," Ehret said.
"It's a big area, it's a big animal," he said.
The skeleton discovered by the campers is one of three elasmosaurs found in the last 150 years of collecting in the state.
The marine reptiles are believed to have grown as large as 45 feet long. They could have anywhere from 30-75 vertebrae. While the researchers know the family, they won't be able to identify the genus or species without a skull or pelvic bone, Ehret said. The vertebrae don't offer enough details by themselves.
The campers and researchers also collected other fossils from the site, including fish and sharks' teeth.
"We are trying to figure out, 80 million years ago, what did this spot look like," Ehret said.
So far, UA researchers have recovered 15 vertebrae from the elasmosaur, as well as a mix of smaller fragments, such as flipper bones.
Ehret believes the fossils are part of an incomplete set of remains likely from an animal that died and was scavenged on the Cretaceous seabed. Circular stains the color of iron oxide on the chalk-coated fossil are signs of oysters that encrusted the backbone.
Elasmosaurs are a rare find in the Black Belt's fossil bed, which includes the remains of Cretaceous fish, turtles, sharks and whales that inhabited the shallow marine environment that used to cover West Alabama. Elasmosaurs typically inhabited deeper water than the environment that stretched across West Alabama.
"They are rare — we are happy to find all fossils — but the rare stuff is what excites us the most," Ehret said.
Reach Ed Enoch at ed.enoch@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0209.
June 22nd, 2015
Details release in murder-suicide - A man released from prison five years ago after serving a sentence for murder killed a woman and himself at a home in west Tuscaloosa on Friday.
Roger Creer, 48, and Rosa Busby, 60, were found dead at their home on Greenview Drive on Friday evening.
Investigators believe that Creer shot Busby before taking his own life.
“There appears that some type of domestic incident took place just prior to the shooting,” said Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide unit assistant commander Lt. Kip Hart. “It also appears that Creer shot Busby then shot himself. Investigators are still processing evidence, conducting interviews, and waiting on autopsy results.”
Busby served 19 years of a 20-year sentence for killing a woman in Clarke County, according to court records.

Reach Stephanie Taylor at stephanie.taylor@tuscaloosanews.com or 205-722-0210
June 22nd, 2015
Cause of death undetermined in chase - Authorities have yet to determine the cause of death of a man who wrecked his vehicle and was shot with a Taser during a police pursuit early Saturday morning.
Law enforcement officers from Jefferson County used a Taser on Zamiel Kivon Crawford after he rammed his SUV into a patrol car and struck a concrete median. He later died at DCH Regional Medical Center.
Officials said he was armed and uncooperative after the crash.
The Tuscaloosa County Metro Homicide Unit is conducting a death investigation.
Crawford, 21, led Leeds police and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies on a pursuit that ended when he rammed a deputy's vehicle on Interstate 20/59 in Tuscaloosa County, according to a release from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.
The chase began in Leeds, when officers attempted to apprehend Crawford, a suspect in several robberies who had a felony warrant for armed robbery. Speeds reached between 75 and 80 miles per hour.
Jefferson County deputies joined the pursuit, which ended when Crawford used his Chevrolet Tahoe to ram a deputy vehicle near the 96 mile marker, according to the release.
“The Tahoe careened off of the patrol unit and swerved back left and struck the concrete center median wall,” Chief Deputy Randy Christian wrote in the release. “The pursuit then slowed to 20 miles per hour. The suspect vehicle collided yet another time with the patrol unit, spun out and came to rest against a median wall.”
Officers demanded that Crawford show his hands as they approached his wrecked vehicle, he said.
“The driver’s side door had to be pried open to get the offender out. Once the driver’s side door came open, personnel observed a Glock 22, .40 caliber handgun in the offender’s lap. The offender would not cooperate, was Tased once, removed from the vehicle and the fully loaded weapon was secured.”
Paramedics called to the scene took Crawford to DCH Regional Medical Center, where he later died. An autopsy will determine his cause of death.
June 22nd, 2015
Forest Manor residents attend "Magic Moments" prom (WITH VIDEO) - Forest Manor residents attended the "Magic Moments" prom on Friday.
Jane and Steve Richardson, ballroom dancers at Farley's Ballroom, danced for the residents of the nursing home and long-term care facility.
Since 2009, every three years the staff at Forest Manor put together a prom for the residents
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June 22nd, 2015
Jordan Spieth wins a stunner at Chambers Bay for US Open title - UNIVERSITY PLACE, Wash. | Another major for Jordan Spieth. Another stunning loss for Dustin Johnson.
Chambers Bay delivered heart-stopping drama Sunday in the U.S. Open when Spieth birdied his final hole to become only the sixth player to win the Masters and the U.S. Open in the same year. The real shock was not that he won, but how he won.
Moments earlier, Spieth could only watch as Johnson had a 12-foot eagle putt for the victory. Johnson ran the putt just over 3 feet past the cup, and his short birdie attempt to force a Monday playoff rolled past the lip.
“I'm in shock,” Spieth said, who now goes to St. Andrews next month in his pursuit of golf's holy grail — the calendar Grand Slam.
For all the criticism of Chambers Bay, this was theater at its finest.
Spieth looked like he had this wrapped up when he rolled in a 25-foot birdie putt on the 16th hole, turning toward Puget Sound before he pumped his fist. With Branden Grace hitting a tee shot onto the railroad tracks to make double bogey, Spieth had a three-shot lead.
And then it was gone.
He took double bogey on the 17th hole. Louis Oosthuizen made one last birdie — six of his last seven holes for a 67 — to post at 4-under 276. Johnson, who had a two-shot lead at the turn until missing so many putts on the back nine, was forgotten.
Spieth, a wire-to-wire winner at Augusta National, showed he can be clutch. He drilled a 3-wood off the back slope to 15 feet and two-putted for his birdie and a 69 to finish at 5-under 275. Johnson, in the final group behind him, made a 4-foot birdie on the 17th and needed a birdie to force a playoff.
He blasted his drive so far that he only had 5-iron to the par-5 18th, and that rolled up to 15 feet left of the hole. Make it and win. Two putts for a playoff.
He made par.
It was the fourth heartache for Johnson in the majors, and this was the worst.
Spieth was waiting to use the bathroom when Johnson came out. It was an awkward pat on the back. There wasn't much to say.
Jason Day, who collapsed on Friday with vertigo only to rally for a share of the 54-hole lead, fell back with missed putt and was never in the hunt on the back nine. He closed with a 74 to finish five shots behind.
June 22nd, 2015
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