Law Enforcement Increased for Holiday Season
[Montgomery, Ala.] The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) is increasing patrols to help protect the lives and promote the safety of motorists in Alabama this holiday season.
“ALEA is utilizing all available resources during this peak travel period. We want all motorists to arrive at their destination safely,” said Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier. During the holiday travel period, which begins at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Dec. 19, and ends at midnight Friday, Jan. 2, state law enforcement officers will work to create a highly visible enforcement presence intended to prevent crimes and violations on Alabama roadways and waterways that lead to deaths and injuries. The public should expect officers -- even in unmarked vehicles -- to make enforcement stops.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 33,561 people were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012, and 10,322 of those fatalities occurred in drunk-driving-related crashes. More than one in five crash fatalities that year occurred in a crash that involved a drunk driver with a BAC at or above .15, -- almost double the legal limit. Col. John Richardson of ALEA’s Department of Public Safety said, “If you are celebrating with alcohol this holiday season, do not drive. During the 2013 holiday travel period, alcohol was a factor in five of the 17 ALEA Trooper-investigated fatalities.”
In addition, ALEA Troopers will be available to assist motorists and can be reached by dialing *HP (*47) on their cell phone.
Christmas Fire Safety
Festive lighting, windowsill candles and ornamented Christmas trees are staples of the Christmas Season, but these decorative items also pose a fire risk if handled improperly. According to the National Fire Prevention Association, U.S. fire departments respond to an estimated annual average of 230 home structure fires that begin with Christmas trees. On average, one of every 40 reported home Christmas tree fires results in a death, compared to an average of one death per 142 total reported home fires. Extreme caution should be used to prevent a normally joyous times from becoming tragic.
In addition, holiday lights and other decorative lighting are involved in an estimated annual average of 160 home fires per year. These fires cause an average of 9 civilian deaths, 16 injuries, and $8.4 million in direct property damage per year.
“December is an exciting time where just about every home in the neighborhood is accented with decorations and seasonal lighting,” said Ed Paulk, Alabama State Fire Marshal. “Although decorations and Christmas trees certainly spread holiday cheer, it is important to follow basic safety steps so celebrations remain joyful.”
Here are a few Christmas time safety tips from the NFPA and your Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office:
· Choose decorations that are flame resistant or flame retardant.
· Keep lit candles away from decorations or anything that can burn. Fire Marshal Paulk advises against the use of candles altogether: “Remember, a candle represents an open flame which can easily ignite anything that can burn!” “Certainly, never use lit candles to decorate your tree,” Paulk advises.
· Use lights that have the label of an independent testing laboratory and check the packaging. Some lights are only for indoor use.
· Replace any string of lights with worn or broken cords or loose bulb connections. Connect no more strands than instructions recommend.
· Use clips, not nails, to hang lights so the cords do not get damaged.
· Keep decorations away from windows and doors.
For proper Christmas tree safety:
· Keep your tree well-watered. The drier your tree, the more dangerous it becomes.
· Replace any string of lights with worn or broken bulbs or loose bulb connections. Connect no more strands than instructions recommend.
· Never use lit candles to decorate the tree!
· Always turn off Christmas tree lights before leaving home or going to bed.
· Get rid of the tree when it is dry. Check for recycling opportunities in your area.
· Bring outdoor electrical lights inside after the holidays to prevent deterioration and hazards and to make them last longer.
Board of Education
The Haleyville City Board of Education met for the regularly scheduled December meeting Tuesday evening. All board members were present, and the following items were approved.
- Board expenditures for November 2014 in the amount of $1,308,807.66
- Wellness Policy on nutrition, physical activity, and amendments to the CNP Policy
- Substitute teacher list
- 2015 HHS Varsity and JV Football schedules
- Changes to the 2014-15 coaching assignments
- HCS Child Nutrition Program HACCP Plan
- Job description and posting for the Assistant Band Director
- Revisions to the 2014-15 HCS Student Code of Conduct
- Resolution in support of the three mill school district tax renewal
- Use of the HES Cafetorium to ARC for Easter Pageant March 21, 2015
- 2 fundraisers
- Hire of Lisa Cook and Lisa Emerson as Extended Day tutors at HES for 2014-15 school year
- Transfer of Pam Wilson from HMS to HES as lunchroom worker effective 01/05/2015
- Hire of Cheryl Letson as Special Education Teacher at HHS effective 01/05/2015
Roaring Lions Earn $6,000
Recently the Haleyville High School Roaring Lion Band participated in the Ford Drive One for Your School Event with John Carpenter Ford from Moulton. Thanks to many supporters in Haleyville and the surrounding community, the Roaring Lions were able to earn $6,000 which is the maximum amount for this fundraiser. John Carpenter and Jason Godsey from John Carpenter Ford were at Haleyville High School Monday to present the check to the Roaring Lion Band. Band Director Reggie Tolbert stated the money will be used to sustain the program over the next year and hopefully to purchase some new instruments. The band thanks each person who supported this fundraiser and made it a success.
Special thanks to John Carpenter Ford for always supporting Haleyville High School with this fundraiser. In the past four years since the program was introduced, approximately $38,000 has been earned for Haleyville High School with assistance from John Carpenter Ford.
Haleyville City Council Meeting
The Haleyville City Council met Monday evening for the regularly scheduled council meeting. Councilman Bud Wilson was absent. The following items were approved.
-council minutes from 12/1/14
-November general operational bills in the amount of $382,476.80
-approval of the Hazard Mitigation Plan for cases of natural disasters with no changes from the last approved version
-amendment of the employee holiday schedule (Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve are no longer holidays, but they were switched for the Friday after Christmas and the Friday after New Year's Day.)
-approval of project close out for the Highway 13 drainage project (Royce Benefield abstained from the vote.) the local match on this project ended at $441,030. Because the project was over 286 days, City Engineer Calvin Cassidy recommended imposing a $10,000 liquidated damages fee on this project for the increased costs associated with the overages.
The next scheduled city council meeting will be Monday, January 5, 2015.
Rotary Toys for Kids
Friday, the Haleyville Rotary Club distributed approximately 500 toys to 180 families in the Haleyville Area. This is the first year the Haleyville Toys for Kids program has been a Rotary Club project. The multi-week project included fundraisers, purchasing the toys and the distribution of the toys.
The Breakfast with Santa held recently is one fundraiser held annually for the project. Rotary Club members have worked many hours on the fundraisers, receiving and cataloging requests, purchasing toys and the actual distribution late Friday.
Many of the toy purchases were made possible with money donated by individuals and local businesses. Rotary Club President Ron Horton thanks everyone who donated their time or money to this worthwhile project, including many non-Rotary members.
Christmas by the Lake
Haleyville Fire Department’s annual Christmas by the Lake Celebration is now underway! The park will be open 5:30-8:30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 5:30-9:30 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. It will be open every night through December 25th. Santa will also be in his house at the North Pole each night until Christmas Eve. This is a free event open to the public, but donations for upkeep and improvements of the event are accepted for the Haleyville Fire Department.
Kindergarteners at Haleyville Elementary School are getting into the Christmas spirit, and each class has now decorated their door for the holiday. There’s not much words can say about this, so enjoy the sweetness of the photos! Special thanks to Shanda Barnett for the photos.