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Thursday, November 27, 2014

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Happy Thanksgiving!

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I-22 Connector Delayed

Sam Poe

Photo Courtesy of al.com

Are you planning a trip to Birmingham soon? Maybe for some Black Friday shopping or a doctor’s appointment? 

 

Originally, the I-22 Connector to I-65 in Birmingham was slated to be completed October 15, 2014. If you have traveled to Birmingham recently, you know the connector is still nowhere close to finished. The new estimated timeframe for completion is the end of August 2015, and Archer Western will have to pay $2,000 per day for the approximately 320 day delay. That totals more than $640,000 in liquidated damages that will be returned to the State of Alabama on this project. 

 

Along with some weather delays after last year’s tough winter season, the Georgia-based Archer Western expressed concerns about portions of the final phase, but the Alabama Department of Transportation does not share those concerns. Engineers have reviewed the plans, and they assure the design has no issues and is completely safe. The major concern from the contractor seems to be the order of completion rather than the design itself. No major variations have been made to the original design, and the contractor has submitted a construction plan to ALDOT for review to complete this project. The original cost of the overall project was $168 million, but change orders totaling almost $5 million in additional funds have been requested. This is the largest single project ever undertaken by the ALDOT, and it began in 2010.   

 

Archer Western has been placed on the disqualified status list with the State of Alabama, making them ineligible to bid on any other projects until this connector is completed properly. 

Mainstreet Ministries Provides Thanksgiving Meals

Sam Poe

Mainstreet Ministries is an outreach organization in Winston County that provides food to the needy as well as other emergency supplies in the case of homes destroyed by fires and natural disasters. Currently, Mainstreet Ministries provides boxes of food to more than 1,000 people across Winston County each month, and the entire organization is run by volunteers and is funded by fundraisers, federal program assistance, and donations from individuals and businesses in the county.

This Thanksgiving, Mainstreet Ministries, in collaboration with churches and civic organizations across the county, provided approximately 390 turkeys to families in Winston County who were in need and unable to provide a Thanksgiving meal for their families. Along with the turkey, each family received a box of food to provide all of the typical fixings for a Thansgiving meal. Thanks to the generosity of Winston County citizens and the hard work and dedication of the volunteers, no family was turned away this Thanksgiving.

Mainstreet Ministries meets each Tuesday, except fifth Tuesdays. They also do not meet in November unless there is an emergency situation, as it gives volunteers time to recover from the Empty Bowls fundraiser and to prepare for the upcoming Thanksgiving giveaway. If you would like to volunteer with the organization or if you need assistance from Mainstreet Ministries, you are invited to attend the meetings. 

Thanksgiving Tips From the State Fire Marshal

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The kitchen is the heart of the home, especially at Thanksgiving.  Children love to be involved in holiday preparations, too making safety in the kitchen even more important.  On Thanksgiving Day, when there is a lot of activity and people in the home, The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office and the National Fire Protection Association ask you to keep in mind the following reminders.

·         Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stovetop so you can keep an eye on the food.

·         Stay in the home when cooking your turkey in the oven, as well, and check on it frequently.

·         Keep small children away from the stove.  The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.

·         Make sure children stay away from hot foods and liquids.  The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.

·         Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over toys, pocketbooks or bags.

·         Keep knives out of the reach of children.

·         Be sure electrical cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of children.

·         Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children.

·         Never leave children alone in a room with a lit candle.

·         Make sure your smoke alarms are working by testing them with the test button.

Burglary Suspect Behind Bars

Sam Poe

Brittney Nicole Hammersley Butler was arrested Monday for burglarizing a home. The burglary took place at the Caldwell residence on State Highway 241 North in Bear Creek on November 12, 2014. Bear Creek Police Chief Shane Whitten stated the home owners reported several personal items missing from the home including mounted deer and fish, fishing rods, a sofa, and a 16’ utility trailer. The owners also gave Chief Whitten a few names of people they felt might have been involved in the burglary.

Chief Whitten interviewed Hammersley at her residence on County Highway 62 in Haleyville on November 18, 2014. Hammersley denied any knowledge of the crime, and Whitten left the home. Within minutes, Hammersley contacted Whitten and admitted her role in the crime. She then took Whitten to a neighbor’s shop where some of the stolen items were being stored.

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Free Thanksgiving Meal

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There will be a free Thanksgiving meal Thursday evening from 3:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. The meal will be held at the American Legion Building behind the Lions Den on State Highway 13 North in Haleyville. The meal will be provided for anyone in need. You are welcome to eat there or carry out. For more more information, contact one of the following individuals. 

 

Nell Cole- (205)485-9105

Shelia Brimer- (205)269-6125

Brenda Wright- (205)494-2011

Belinda Kelly- (205)269-2176

Jennie Brimer- (205)269-8088

Calloway Guilty of Murder

Sam Poe

Varney Ray Calloway

 

Varney Ray Calloway was found guilty of murder last week following a four day trial. The murder of Jackie Ray Wright took place on County Road 40 in the Helican Community, just outside Arley, on December 12, 2012. It occurred the day after Wright caught Calloway having an affair with his wife.

On December 11, 2012, Wright went to Calloway’s home. There is a long driveway down to the residence, and Calloway and Mrs. Wright saw Wright on the property. Wright left, and his wife followed him trying to get him to pull over. Wright refused to pull over to talk to her. On the morning of December 12, 2012, Wright filed for a divorce.

That evening, he returned to County Road 40 and parked his truck off the side of the road about 400 feet away from Calloway’s driveway. He then walked down to the area of Calloway’s mobile home. Calloway claims he heard the dogs barking and went outside carrying a 30-30 rifle and a .44 caliber handgun to see why the dogs were barking. Wright was not armed.  Calloway stated he saw Wright and confronted him. Both Wright and Calloway walked about 750 feet back up the driveway to where it intersects with County Road 40. That was the first place Wright’s blood was shed.

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Shop Haleyville First

Sam Poe

Did you know that in 2012 there were 28 million small businesses in the United States making up 99.7% of U.S. employer firms and providing 64% of net new private sector jobs according to the United States Small Business Administration?  Alabama’s local governments support small, local businesses that create jobs, boost local economy, and preserve neighborhoods. Alabama’s local governments also understand the importance of small businesses to the welfare and future of their communities and its citizens.

Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri has signed a proclamation declaring this Saturday, November 29, 2014 as Small Business Saturday for the City of Haleyville. Shopping local makes a difference to your community. Shop Haleyville first!

Holiday Changes

Sam Poe

With another holiday upon us, many schedules will be altered this week to celebrate the holiday. All government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday. Banks will be closed Thursday, but most of those will open Friday for your Black Friday needs. Other private businesses will set their own hours, so check with them to find out the special hours they might have in place this week.

Garbage collection will also be altered in the area. In the City of Haleyville, Thursday’s route will be picked up Wednesday. Friday’s route will be collected the following Monday. In Winston County, Routes 16 and 19 will be collected Tuesday 11/25, Routes 17 and 18 will be collected Wednesday 11/26, and Route 20 will be collected Friday 11/28. 

Ground Broke For New Fire Station

Sam Poe

Construction crews broke ground on the new Haleyville Fire Station last week. The fire station is being built in the lot adjacent to the current CVS Shopping Center. Dymac Contracting Inc. from Lynn is the contractor on the first phase of the project that will include the site preparation, concrete foundation, and the main external structure components. When it is completed, the station will be made of metal and split face blocks. 

Christmas Calendar

Sam Poe

The Christmas season is almost here, and local towns are getting prepared. Here’s a list of all local Christmas parades and other community Christmas events. Events are listed according to alphabetical order of the city.  If you have a community event to add to the list, please email information to sampoe@3wh.us.

Addison: Christmas Parade- December 13 at 5:00; Lineup at Addison First Baptist Church at 4:00; For more information, call Addison Town Hall at (256)-747-2971.

Arley: No Christmas events are scheduled at this time.

Bear Creek: Christmas Parade-December 5 at 6:00; Lineup at Phillips High School at 5:30; For more information, contact Ava at the Bear Creek Town Hall. (205)486-4707

Brilliant: Christmas Parade-December 4 at 5:30; Lineup at Brilliant High School at 5:00

Double Springs: Christmas Parade-December 1 at 6:00; Lineup at Double Springs Elementary School at 5:15

Guin: Christmas Parade-December 8 at 6:00; Lineup at the armory at 5:00

Hackleburg: Christmas Parade-December 8 at 6:00; Lineup at the old Piggly Wiggly at 5:15

Haleyville: Christmas Parade-December 5 at 6:00; Lineup at Haleyville Fire Station 1 at 5:00; For more information, contact Natalie Boykin at the Haleyville Area Chamber of Commerce at (205)486-4611.

Hamilton: Christmas Parade-December 15 at 6:00; For more information, contact the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce at (205)921-7786.

Lynn: Christmas Parade-December 13 at 5:00; Lineup at 4:30 behind Lynn High School; Tree Lighting to follow at 6:00; For more information, contact Leah McGraw at (205)300-2928 or Spring McGraw at (205)269-2010.

Phil Campbell: Christmas Parade-December 11 at 6:00; Lineup at 5:30 at Phil Campbell High School

Winfield: Christmas Parade-December 1 at 6:00; Lineup at 4:30 at Winfield Middle School

Round 3

Sam Poe

The Haleyville Lions have had plenty of obstacles to tackle this season, but they battled through to find a very successful season. Although the Lions were defeated Friday in the third round of the playoffs, they did not go down without a fight. They also didn't do it without making history.

This year is only the second time in school history the Haleyville Lions have advanced to the third round of the AHSAA Playoffs. The first time was in 1986, and the Lions were defeated in that third round playoff game. In the modern-day playoff system, no Lions team has ever advanced to the fourth round of the playoffs. Haleyville receiver Dillon Posey also broke a school record for the most receiving yards in a season. Before the Round 3 game began, Posey had 1,454 yards, breaking Kiah Brown’s 1,268 record set in 2004. Posey’s record also sets him up as the fifth all-time among receivers in the rankings from the Alabama High School Athletic Association. The Haleyville Lions also broke another record in Round 3 as they set the new record for the most points scored in a single season with more than 500 on the season. 

Congratulations on a great season, Lions! We are very proud of you!

Breakfast of Champions

Sam Poe

Haleyville Elementary School hosted the “Breakfast of Champions” Friday morning for the Haleyville High School football team, cheerleaders, and band. HES students enjoyed spending time with the players and wanted to congratulate them on a great season and show support for Friday night’s playoff game.

Special thanks to the HES staff for providing photos of the event!

Sprinkler System Saves Business

Sam Poe

There was a structure fire at Simply Bunkbeds Thursday around 11 p.m. The fire started in the paint room of the business, but luckily the sprinkler system quickly extinguished the fire. The Haleyville Fire and Police Departments responded to the scene to ensure the fire was no longer endangering the business. There was some damage to the area where the fire occurred, but the structure of the business was not compromised. 

Hospitals Have New Owners

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Russellville, Haleyville and Winfield, Ala. (November 20, 2014) – Curae Health today announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire three northwest Alabama hospitals from LifePoint Hospitals. The hospitals, Russellville Hospital in Russellville, Lakeland Community Hospital in Haleyville, and Northwest Medical Center in Winfield, will be the first to join Curae Health, a not-for-profit health system specializing in positioning rural community hospitals for long-term success. 

As part of Curae Health, the hospitals will have a strategic affiliation with Huntsville Hospital Health System, which includes Alabama's largest community-owned and -governed, not-for-profit hospital serving patients throughout north Alabama and southern Tennessee. 

 “Curae Health was founded to strengthen rural hospitals and improve the healthcare available in rural communities,” said Curae Health CEO Steve Clapp. “I am excited to build our system with these three great Alabama hospitals. Together with Huntsville Hospital Health System, we have great opportunities to improve care across northwest Alabama.”

Through this partnership, Russellville Hospital, Lakeland Community Hospital and Northwest Medical Center will have access to enhanced physician recruiting, continuing education programs and other clinical and operational support through Huntsville Hospital Health System.

 “Being the first hospitals to join Curae Health is exciting,” said Cindy A. Nichols, MSN, RN, CEO of Lakeland Community Hospital. “As part of Curae Health, we have a unique opportunity to partner together and with other providers in this region to strengthen healthcare delivery, enhance the care we provide and more effectively address the needs of our patients and communities.”

Under the terms of the definitive agreement, Curae Health will maintain all services currently provided at Russellville Hospital, Lakeland Community Hospital and Northwest Medical Center, and all employees of the hospitals will be retained. 

“Russellville Hospital, Northwest Medical Center and Lakeland Community Hospital have been closely affiliated for many years,” said Christine Stewart, CEO of Russellville Hospital and Northwest Medical Center.  “By joining Curae Health, we are honored to continue our work of providing excellent health care services for our communities with a superior team of strong employees, physicians and communities.

The final closing of the acquisitions is expected by December 31, 2014.   

The acquisitions of Russellville Hospital, Lakeland Community Hospital and Northwest Medical Center by Curae Health will be seamless for patients.  All providers and contact information for the hospitals will remain the same.

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