By: Yvonne Dempsey
It is time once again to honor the fallen while challenging the living!

Join us on September 9, 2017 for the 3rd annual 9/11 Heroes Run! Our run is just part of the bigger effort to unite communities internationally with one goal – to never forget the sacrifices of the heroes of September 11th and in the wars since: veterans, first responders, civilians, and military forces.

A large portion of the funds raised through the 9/11 Heroes Run are invested back into the race communities to support local veterans, first responders, troops and military families. The remaining proceeds support the Travis Manion Foundation; from the previous two races over $4,500 was donated back to the Veterans Museum for various programs.

Many have asked “Where does the rest of the money go, and what does the Travis Manion Foundation do with it?” From the Travis Manion Foundation website, here is where “the rest of the money goes!” The mission of the Travis Manion Foundation is to “empower veterans and families of fallen heroes to develop character in future generations. In 2007, 1stLt Travis Manion (USMC) was killed in Iraq while saving his wounded teammates. Today, Travis’ legacy lives on in the words he spoke before leaving for his final deployment, ‘If Not Me, Then Who…’ Guided by this mantra, veterans continue their service, develop strong relationships with their communities, and thrive in their post-military lives. As a result, communities prosper and the character of our nation’s heroes live on in the next generation.”

As reported, over 90% of the proceeds donated back to the foundation goes to Program Services including Veteran Transition Workshops, which aid service members in leveraging their strengths, passions, and skills to thrive personally and professionally in their post-military lives. It also supports the “Character Does Matter Program” presented by Johnson & Johnson, which engages veterans and families of fallen heroes to inspire young adults to live with character, develop their leadership skills, and activate them to serve their communities in honor of fallen heroes. To date, over 200,000 young adults have been inspired to live with character and serve their community; over 60,000 veterans and survivors have been supported by the program. There are now more than 55 annual 9/11 Heroes Runs at different locations across the country and the world, and over 4,000 volunteers have been activated to support these programs!

Our run, which begins and ends at the Alabama Veterans Museum, will start at 7:00 a.m. Amber Godwin Loggins (sister of our fallen hero Lance Corporal Adam Loggins) will speak at the opening ceremony. Please help us get the word out about the race. For more information, contact the museum or Whitney Hollingsworth at 256-651-7507. For information about pricing and signup deadlines or to register visit http://www.travismanion.org/?post_type=tmf_911run_race&p=5479#.

A pancake breakfast will be held at the museum on August 19, 2017 from 8:00- 10:00 a.m. to help raise money to support the race. Pancakes, sausage, juice and coffee for the low price of just $5.00! Come on out and support both of these events. The museum is located at 100 W. Pryor St. in Athens, AL.
By: Yvonne Dempsey
Limestone Veterans Burial Detail member and Alabama Veterans Museum volunteer

By: Lynne Hart – Executive Coordinator – Keep Athens Limestone Beautiful
August 1 was an important day for Leigh and me. It was a day set aside to say “Thank you” to all of the wonderful businesses, government entities, and individuals that support KALB in ways large and small. On Tuesday, August 1, we held our 2017 Appreciation Breakfast. It gave me great pleasure to stand in front of our many guests and tell them just exactly how I feel about them. They are precious.

Mayor Marks, Mark Yarbrough, Danny Crawford, Wayne Harper, Frank Travis, and Chris Seibert represented the City of Athens, Limestone County Commission, and the Alabama House of Representatives. We are so grateful for the financial and moral support that we receive from each of them. THANK YOU!

Several guests were there representing local businesses that have sponsored events, made donations, or provided in-kind materials or services. We were happy to see Lowe’s, Staples, Century 21, Athens Now, Clem Tire, HealthSource Athens, The SK Salon, and the News Courier represented. Several individuals invited were unable to attend for various reason and were truly missed. Our river cleanups, tree seedling giveaways, Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO, Clean and Green Fiddlers, and all of our fundraisers would have been impossible without the support provided by so many wonderful local businesses. THANK YOU!

KALB reaches out to other organizations and churches as well. We appreciate First Presbyterian Church for allowing us to use the Revival Building for our breakfast. We were able to say “Thank you” to Pastor Tony Johnson from Friendship Church for the use of the entire Friendship facility for our Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO. Melanie Newton – Main Street Athens, Betty Ruth – RSVP (and a Beautification Board Member), Deb Kohlhase – Habitat for Humanity, and Denise Taylor – Huntsville Green Team were also present to be loved on by KALB staff and board members. We truly enjoy being in a place where organizations work together to make this community great. The good of the community comes before any personal glory. THANK YOU!

Last, but not least, Leigh and I thank the wonderful men and women who have taken on the role of board member. We agree that our organization is blessed with the best board members. They are dedicated, hard-working, and so much fun!

THANK YOU just doesn’t express what is in our hearts. Every single person who volunteers with KALB, participates in fundraisers, or supports KALB financially is an important member of our family. Every business that sponsors events, provides in-kind products or services, or publicizes our activities has a value to this organization that we fully recognized.

We were happy to love on everyone who joined us for breakfast. To those who could not, we sure wish we could have told you in person just how much you mean to us.

THANK YOU just is not big enough…
By: Lynne Hart

The Athens Lions Club will again bring a piece of America to life this summer with the opening of their annual Kiddie Carnival June 29th. A mixture of joy, excitement and anticipation will fill the air as veteran and new riders wait their turn to ride one of the 10 rides for toddlers and young children. One such ride is the small vintage train that circles on its own track, riders scream and raise their arms as it goes through the dark train shed. Other kids and families wait in line for delicious favorites including funnel cakes, popcorn and hamburgers. Concessions also include corn dogs, chicken sandwiches, cold drinks, snow cones and dippin dots.

The Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival has provided generations of fun for kids and their parents, grandparents and friends. Located at the same site since 1957; it’s a summer pastime for many who now bring their kids out to enjoy the Kiddie Carnival. The Kiddie Carnival will open June 29th, with an opening ceremony at 6:00pm and rides opening around 6:30pm. Each ride requires just one 50 cent ticket. Families from surrounding communities are learning about this summer treasure of fun for their young kids.

As families enter the Kiddie Carnival, to their right old vintage rocket ships circle as the motor hums, kids giggle and watch the crowd as they zoom around. Just as the riders settle into the flight a Lion member changes the control so the rockets rise up a few feet, circle for a while in “orbit” and then drop back down. Other rides include small and large swings, a parachute ride that takes riders up as it circles and then come back down and a small scale roller coaster. The scrambler ride circles on its platform as kids spin in their seat, heading toward the crowd and then back to the center. Enjoyed by toddlers are the old fashion pedal cars that go around and the carousel with horses, as their parents stand beside them on the ride. For the more adventurous riders there is a small ferris wheel that takes the riders up above the crowd where they look over the sights and sounds of another fun night at the Kiddie Carnival.

The Kiddie Carnival is operated by Athens Lions Club members and other countless volunteers. Assistance to operate the Kiddie Carnival is provided by spouses of club members, the Leo Club, local high school sororities and other civic groups and businesses as well as individual volunteers.

Athens Lions President Tim Carter stated “It is a wonderful experience each summer to be able to witness all the kids having such a grand time at the carnival and knowing that at the same time we are raising funds that go to help some of our less fortunate families with expenses for correcting their visual problems.”

A part of the funds from last year’s Kiddie Carnival were recently used to fund scholarships for 5 local high school seniors who volunteered at the carnival and met other criteria. Lions International key focus area is sight. The Athens Lions Club supports this by helping those in the Athens who qualify with sight exams or glasses, as well as collecting used eyeglasses to be recycled. In the past year they have supported Alabama Lions Sight Conservation Association, Camp ASCCA and Camp Seale Harris, a camp for youth with diabetes and local causes.

The club, through manpower or funding, has provided assistance to Limestone Career Technical School Leo Club; Learn to read council, Hospice of Limestone County, Superhero Fun Day, Athens Grease Festival and the Athens Storytelling Festival. The big train has been taken to numerous civic events including riding in the Athens Christmas parade and providing rides at the Limestone Sherriff’s Special Needs Rodeo. It is the generous support of the Kiddie Carnival that allows these programs and community support by the Athens Lions Club.

The Kiddie Carnival is located across from Athens Middle School at 309 E Forrest Street. It is open every Thursday, Friday & Saturday night June 29th-August 5th from 6:30pm-9:30pm. Additional information about the Kiddie Carnival can be found at http://e-clubhouse.org/sites/athensal/ or their Facebook page: Athens Lions Club Kiddie Carnival.

Summer camps can be beneficial, enriching and fun. Choosing the right camp for your child can be difficult. The school year is more than half over and in just a little while kids will be out for the summer. When you are looking for something to do this summer, think of the Center for Lifelong Learning.

Why choose the Center for Lifelong Learning? Our camps are planned for fun first and include an academic component to keep the learning going during the summer. We offer a wide variety of programs for boys and girls, ages 8-12. In most cases, everything is included in the price of the camp, so there are no additional fees. Another reason to choose camps at the Center is the ratio of camper to teacher. We hire experienced teachers who work with just 10 campers at a time in most camps.

Archery Camp will be back for those campers interested in sports. This year we will be offering three new camps for the sports enthusiast – Fishing, Golf, and Soccer Camps. Last year the Archery Camp had a waiting list, so we recommend you register early for these camps.

From Cows to Cotton, Stop Motion Animation, and Smart Photography will be back for another year. The From Cows to Cotton camp will be touring new farms and focusing on different kinds of farmers. This camp filled last year too, so register early. Stop Motion Animation and Smart Photography will also be adding new components.

There are several new camps this year. There is a creative writing camp that will teach campers how to develop stories, and they will take home the collection of short stories from the camp. We will offer a Cooking School, co-sponsored by Food Fite, which will teach kids kitchen skills and let them cook a meal to take home for dinner. There is a camp that features Hip Hop moves and one that will feature sewing techniques. There are even science camps for the future scientists in your family. There are art camps in the works, too.

Most camps will be scheduled Monday through Thursday. Fridays will be reserved for Field Trip Fridays. Those campers who enroll in Field Trip Fridays will take short trips to local sites like the Huntsville Botanical Gardens.

Information about all of the camps and trips offered through the Center for Lifelong Learning will be available to the public on March 15. We will begin loading the website – www.athens.edu/cll – with details about the camps beginning March 1. You can look for information about camps on our Facebook page – Center for Lifelong Learning at Athens State University.

We also provide programming for adults. We are taking registration for our 2nd Annual Women’s Leadership Symposium on Wednesday, April 5, 2017, beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Dynetics Solutions Complex in Huntsville. This year’s theme for the symposium is: “Leadership: It’s All In The Game.” Our featured keynote speaker is Mrs. Barbara Dooley – first lady of Georgia football, morning talk show host, author, and breast cancer survivor. Other speakers include Tina Tuggle, Director of Community Relations for the NFL’s Tennessee Titans; and Brooke and Audrie Hamann, two of Athens State’s own students who recently won the American Collegiate Rowing Association National Championship in May 2016. There will be three break-out session at the workshop: (1) Recruiting for a Winning Season; (2) Building a Championship Team; and (3) Retiring Your Number: How to Financially and Emotionally Prepare for Retirement.

Registration is available until March 1 at the sale price of $85. Regular tickets will be on sale for $95 beginning March 2. Please register by contacting the CLL at (256) 233-8260. More information is available on our website – www.athens.edu/cll.
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

On March 10th and 11th, the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the annual Home and Garden Show, to be held once again in the Limestone County Event Center on Pryor Street. This expo has grown every year, draws attendees from all over the Tennessee Valley, and is the perfect way to prepare for spring.

More than 50 exhibitors come together to make the event happen, and the price for admission is two dollars. This year the Presenting Sponsor is Robin Rents; the Gold Sponsors are Persell Lumber and Top Job Roofing; Silver Sponsors are Alabama Foundation Specialists and Redstone Federal Credit Union; and the Bronze Sponsors are Collins Supply, Distinctive Landscaping, Inline Lighting, Jimmy Smith Buick/GMA, and Valley Mowing.

I spoke with Jennifer Williamson, Director of the Greater Limestone County Chamber of Commerce, and there are several things about this year’s show that she finds particularly exciting. “First of all, Miss Alabama is coming, and that’s a first.” She went down the rest of her list with enthusiasm, which includes everything from learning how to distress furniture to attracting butterflies to your garden. “Keep Athens Limestone Beautiful just found out that they will have 800 tree seedlings to give away. There will be crape myrtle, shumard oak, redbud, bald cypress, blackgum and riverbirch,” she said. These will be available on a first come, first served basis, and just know that the crape myrtles especially sell out quickly.

One of the distinctive features of this year’s show is the number of hands-on demonstrations. For example, the Limestone County Extension Service is presenting a workshop entitled, “Screening the Noise, Neighbors and the Not-So-Pretty.” While I was fairly familiar with plants that provide privacy, I had never known that there are actual hedges that can help with soundproofing. That demonstration is going to be on Saturday at 10 am. The Extension Service is also going to teach us about container gardening, and will give away a beautifully planted container as a raffle prize.

The Huntsville Botanical Gardens, home of the largest seasonal butterfly house in the nation, will be presenting the Gardening to Attract Butterflies demonstration on Saturday morning at noon. Speaking of Huntsville, the HSV International Airport will be giving away a $500 travel voucher to be used on any airline of your choice that has a gate there. There will be door prizes and other giveaways sponsored by the vendors, and lots of activities for the kids.

Keep Athens Limestone Beautiful’s mascot, Sparky, will be providing photo ops with the kids, and KALB’s Director, Lynne Hart, told me that “Sparky will have goodies to give to the children.” Sparky will be appearing two times on Saturday: from 10:00 to 10:30 a.m. and from 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. There will also be a kid’s planting activity, also held twice on Saturday, from 10:30 til noon and 1:30 till 3 p.m.

Representatives from every aspect of home improvement will be present, from HVAC to roofs to windows to siding to plumbing to financing to more. For your garden, there will be people from a big-box store as well as a large local nursery. For your home’s interior, you can find help with custom picture framing, lighting, furniture selection, remodeling and radon detection. And, if all the choices before you make you feel stressed, there will be professional massage therapists to help with that.
Last year, more than 2,000 people attended because there is something for everyone at a price that can’t be beat. The Annual Limestone County Chamber of Commerce Home and Garden Show is one of my favorite ways to wait for spring to finally spring.

The Limestone County Chamber of Commerce Annual Home and Garden Show
Friday, March 10th from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday, March 11th from 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
Limestone County Event Center, 114 West Pryor Street, Athens, AL 35611

For more information, visit www.tourathens.com or you can find the event on Facebook by visiting the event page Limestone County Home and Garden Show. You can also call the Chamber at 256-232-2600.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

2017 will be the year that KALB celebrates our 40th anniversary. Our organization, originally known as Athens-Limestone Clean Community, was established in 1977 as an affiliate of Keep America Beautiful, with a concern for litter education and abatement.

Our organization has certainly evolved since that time, adding recycling and beautification to our efforts. But the original purpose of this organization has not changed. We are still working to educate our community on the dangers of litter and instilling community pride so that the littering will stop.

It is a difficult challenge because KALB cannot do this by ourselves. Our mission is to empower citizens of Athens and Limestone County to take greater responsibility for enhancing their community environment. This is not a one-man job. It requires government leadership and participation by businesses and individuals throughout Athens and Limestone County.

As I was looking through historical data reflecting on the history of KALB, I came across an article written for a Clean Community newsletter in 1982, author unknown. It spoke loudly and clearly as to the role of KALB and the role of the community in keeping our city and county roadsides, rivers, and parks clean and beautiful. Here are some excerpts from that article.

“What do you perceive as the role of the Clean Community Commission in Athens and Limestone County? Because of some comments heard recently, the Commission feels there are many mistaken ideas about the role of the Clean Community Commission (now known as the KALB Commission).

Commission (sic) members are not supposed to meet every Saturday morning on Hwy. 31 to pick up the median so everyone can ride by and wave and tell us ‘Hey, you are doing a great job – how about picking up the off-ramp from 31 to 72!’ Our job is not to call people with uncut lots and demand that they have them cut. Our job is not to demand that businesses ‘clean up their act’ in order to get a pat on the back from Sparky. Our job is not to purchase flowers and shrubs to plant all over town for your enjoyment. Our job is not to organize mass cleanups once a year to clean up Athens-Limestone County ‘once and for all.’ Our job is not to spend every day at the recycling center sorting cans, newspapers and office papers.

So, what is Clean Community? What do they do? Why do we need a paid coordinator if they don’t do anything?”

The article continues to share information about the Commission, which currently consists of 18 of some of the best volunteers Limestone County has to offer. The Commission’s task is to develop programs that offer YOU the opportunity to help improve YOUR community by learning more about the sources of litter and the many ways it affects us, how recycling makes a difference, and why beautification efforts can increase property values and decrease crime.

Working toward a clean community is an education process. KALB constantly tackles that in classroom across the county, at events such as our Elk River Cleanup, Earth Day & Outdoor EXPO, and litter-free Fiddlers Convention. KALB’s Facebook page, our website, and articles such as those in Athens Now contribute to this education process. Becoming a litter-free community will happen when enough people make lifestyle changes that will make a difference.

As stated in the 1982 article, “Clean Community is YOU doing YOUR part wherever you live and work to make sure the sources of litter dry up. It is only when each and every citizen does his part that Clean Community will be successful. We need your ideas and volunteer hours, so call us. The Clean Community System is YOUR volunteer program for a litter-free community.”

Please do your part each and every day. Learn why litter is harmful so you can make personal changes and teach others not to litter. Recycle all you can. Add your spot of beauty to the community by planting flowers and keeping your property clean.
I have been in Athens since 1999. I have seen Clean Community evolve into Keep Athens-Limestone Beautiful with added programs, classroom presentation, and educational community events. I have seen change take place and KALB didn’t do it. We only provided the tools for YOU to make it happen.
By: Lynne Hart

Have you ever wondered what role our Tourism Office and Visitor Center have in Limestone County? The primary purpose of the ALCTA is to invite people to Athens and Limestone County to visit our attractions, enjoy our restaurants and shops, learn about our history, and take in the beauty of our county.

They are also known as “temporary tax payers” because in order to do these things, they spend money in our retail businesses and purchase gas and food, all of which includes sales taxes.
In Limestone County’s five towns, the tourism industry brings historians, naturalists, hikers, bikers, equestrians, kayak enthusiasts, fishermen, Civil War historians, artisans, storytellers, musicians, sporting events, horse shows, rodeos, seminars, meetings, conferences, class, church & family reunions, and many, many jobs!

We also develop tourism through the promotion of permanent attractions such as the Alabama Veterans’ Museum and Belle Chevre Creamery tours. This year, we had outstanding attendance at our many tours of our Historic Districts, Cemetery Stroll, and Antebellum homes. Our largest tour was from India. The group was made up of students learning about the U. S. and our education programs. They toured Athens State University and received greeting from Mayor Marks and the President of ASU, Dr. Robert Glenn. The University’s Archivist, Mrs. Sarah Love, toured the group throughout the campus of ASU and invited them to consider ASU for their collage of higher education.

The Alabama Travel and Tourism Department sent 9 Music Travel Writers to Athens for the 50th Anniversary of our Old Time Fiddlers Convention. These nine travel writers each stayed two nights in our local hotels, dined in our locally owned restaurants, and also shopped in our downtown businesses. We not only received great publicity from the articles they wrote, but the sales tax money from every place they enjoyed.

Also, the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers Convention also brings in approximately 15,000 people to Limestone County. Most come in early in the week for the 2-day competition and take the time to visit our attractions, trails, and places like Russell Stover and Preston’s Western Ware.

Another area you may not think about as a tourism activity is the Limestone County Archives. People of all generations are searching for their ancestors. They come to Athens because they are looking into their family genealogy. As our families spread across the United States, discovering and preserving those precious times of yesteryear can take several days, and many make it their primary goal of their vacation time.

Athens also can boast about its very own drive-in theater positioned alongside our walk-in theater. This drive-in is one of only nine in the state of Alabama still operating. Though many others have closed, we still enjoy reminiscing about our youth while attending our outdoor drive-in theater, which brings people to Limestone County for their opportunity to experience the family fun.

Tourists come into Limestone County communities to Elkmont for the Songwriters’ Night, and to hear the performers at the Red Caboose. The free Summer Concert Series we know as “Singing on the Square” from April to August, hosted by the Tourism Office, is always well attended. Entertainment facilities such as Yesterday’s Events feature nationally recognized singers and impressionists like Kevin Adams and the music group, “The Flashbacks” which brings in 90% of out of town guests for each performance. You see, music is in the fabric of Limestone County.

Our Athens Storytelling Festival, a week-long celebration of our tales, liars, and lies bring people from over 25 states to hear the best storytellers in the South. Our Amateur night also brings in not only local residents to try their hand at stretching a few yarns, but people from neighboring counties to see how good they can tell a big-ole-whopper!

We encourage our guests to attend our educational and historical activities such as our free guided historical walks held each Saturday in April, and programs like Earth Day, High Cotton’s Art Camps, as well as the Athens Main Street Farmer’s Markets held throughout the summer. The Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association / Athens Visitors’ Center is located in the historic Athens Utilities Building, built in 1906. Big Spring Memorial Park sits just behind our location, with beautiful, relaxing fountains and various species of ducks. Athens-Limestone County is rich in history, culture and music, but our eye is fixed on the future and new growth opportunities for our town. We invite you to visit with us.

ALCTA is open Monday-Friday, 8:00AM – 4:30PM, and in the summer on Saturdays from 8:00AM to 12:00PM. Come by for a tour of our historic building. Look through the rack of brochures, information leaflets, and post cards. We are always pleased to tell you more about Limestone County.
By: Teresa Todd, President, Athens-Limestone County Tourism Association

Mayor Ronnie Marks, Limestone County Commissioner Mark Yarborough, and I met at the “not new, but definitely improved” Limestone County Courthouse, which is due to open back up for business by the first of the year. Having grown up in a remodel that lasted more than 20 years, I can appreciate what it means to have “wrangled this thing to the ground and tied up all four of its legs.” I can say with a full heart it is going to have been worth the wait. The Courthouse is the embodiment of understated elegance, within and without.

Any remodel is going to have its own set of nightmares, and the Courthouse is no exception. There were structural deficiencies that didn’t show up in the old blueprints, 18 inch thick walls to deal with, antiquated wiring and plumbing, marble topped steps that could no longer be used but were ultimately rescued, and the need to increase the building’s structural soundness and resistance to natural disasters. There was also the need to get the IT capabilities of the Courthouse up to speed for all the technological needs of the 21st century.

Commissioner Yarborough sat on the afore-mentioned marble topped steps and said, “It’s been a labor of frustration, love, and aggravation. Some people love it, some hate it. They’ve worked on it for 20 years,” he said with a relieved sigh, and added, “we’ve had it for two, and the only thing left is to put up the blinds, put all the furniture in place, and hang up the art.” He laughed when he talked about his own sense of color and decoration, and wanted to make sure that people knew that the reason the interior is going to look so good is because of the hard work of Judge Jimmy Woodruff, Trish Black, and Liz Anderson.

There are several things I learned as a result of this tour. Did you know that the original base for the Confederate statue sank with the Titanic on its way over here to Athens? Did you know that the Courthouse has gone through several remodels, including in 1939 during FDR’s administration? Did you know that the Courthouse also used to house the jail? I looked at the spot that used to keep all of Limestone’s miscreants behind bars as well as what used to be the sheriff’s office and thought, “My, how times have changed.” A decision has been made to hang the brass plate that commemorates Judge Horton’s landmark decision regarding the Scottsboro Boys case on the outside of that courtroom, rather than where it was on the interior north wall. The reason is that more people will be able to see it, irrespective of what is going on inside the courtroom.

Mark told us more. “We are now connected to the Blue Line,” he said, which is the software system that is linked to Montgomery that gives instant access to all the records that pertain to any judicial case. Also, the outside street lights have outlets in them now, which will make our many outdoor festivals and events that much easier to power up.

On a decorative note, there are some high-tech additions that blend in well with the goal of maintaining the building’s historical significance. The Rotary Club, Spirit of Athens, and Tourism went together and chipped in money for an outdoor lighting system which subtly lights up the columns at night time. While it has the ability to show all kinds of colors, it will largely be used to commemorate holidays as well as the colors of local schools who may have just won a championship. There is also an art display system that will make it possible to change out art seasonally with very little labor. Security throughout the building has been increased, and at some point, Mark hopes that eventually there will be funds to open the original west side staircase access with all the necessary upgraded security measures, but that’s not in the budget yet.

I watched as the Mayor and the Commissioner talked about bringing this project to a close. It has not been easy for either of them. “We have restored and preserved our Courthouse, and not everyone has been able to do that, including Huntsville. We’ve not always agreed on everything,” said Mayor Ronnie, and Mark nodded when he finished our time by saying, “but working together just makes sense.”

And then it was time for Ronnie and Mark to roll.
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

Every single Saturday, Sunday and holiday, our plant manager, Ruby McCartney, and assistant manager, Keri Chalmers, come to work to dump the collection bins in front of the Recycling Center on Lucas Ferry Rd. These dedicated employees work 6 or 7 day weeks nearly all year long.

This year we would like to give these employees a full holiday weekend to enjoy their families. In order for us to give this gift to them, your help is needed.

On Friday, December 23rd, all of the drop-off bins in front of the recycling center will be removed. There will be no recycling drop off from noon that Friday through 7:00 a.m. on Monday, December 26th.

It is amazing how many people drop off their recycling on Christmas Day! Maybe they are on their way to Grandma’s for Christmas dinner and the center is on the way. Maybe some people just like to get rid of the clutter as quickly as possible.

This year we are asking everyone to hold on to their recycling until Monday, December 26th. We want our employees to enjoy an uninterrupted Christmas weekend. They work awfully hard all year long and we’d like you to help us give them this gift of time.

The Fourth R
We talk about the three Rs all the time. You know them: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. When we visit classrooms, we often share with them the fourth R – RESPECT.
When we have a job to do, it is so important to do it well. A good job reflects well on us; however, the other part of the equation is consideration of the person who must handle our work next. That might be someone painting a wall we’ve primed, adding the next part on an assembly line, or editing an article we’ve written. It might also be the person who handles the recycling we’ve dropped off at the center. We are respecting the next person who must handle our work by doing the very best we can with our part of a process.

Please remember that all our materials are sorted by hand. In order to receive the best prices for materials, they have to be as free of contaminants as possible. We are always amazed at some of the things we find mixed in with the recycling. I’ll just leave it to your imagination!

Here are a few things each of us can do to help streamline the work being done at the recycling center, saving time and expense. I know that I am probably preaching to the choir here. If you read these articles, you already care. Here they are to be shared as needed:

• Remove all Styrofoam, ribbons, bows, peanuts and other items before recycling boxes. These items are not recyclable and must be removed by hand.
• Flatten boxes. This saves room in collection containers and reduces the need for them to be emptied – especially on the weekends.
• Rinse milk jugs before recycling. Soured milk does not make for pleasant working conditions, especially during warm weather.
• Separate recyclables from your garbage.
• Follow the signs that indicate things we DO NOT accept, such as household hazardous waste, tires, and paint. Tires can be taken to one of the four Limestone County Garages for recycling.

A gift you can give all through the year is to just keep recycling! It is good for the environment, good for our community, and it keeps your neighbors employed. Every effort you make is greatly appreciated!
By: Lynne Hart

12-2-2016-9-31-17-amExercise may help! Research has shown that certain levels of physical activity can positively affect mental health – stress, depression, anxiety.

People with higher levels of fitness are capable of handling stress more effectively than those who are less fit. Cardiovascular exercise is the activity that benefits stress reduction the most. Cardiovascular exercise (often referred to as cardio) is any exercise that raises your heart rate. This usually involves using the large muscles in your body – walking, running, biking, skating, etc.

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The antidepressant action is one of the most commonly accepted psychological benefits of exercise. Studies have shown that exercise can reduce stress more effectively than antidepressant drugs. Both cardiovascular and resistance exercise seem to be equally effective. Both a one-time exercise session and long term programs have positive results. However, greater improvement is seen after several weeks of regular exercise. Both men and women show the positive effect of exercise on depression.

12-2-2016-9-31-33-amResearch also shows a reduction of anxiety with exercise. Even short bursts (5 minutes) of cardiovascular exercise stimulate anti-anxiety effects. Again, regular training offers the greatest benefits. .

So to reduce your Holiday Stress, reduce your Holiday Blues, and burn the extra holiday calories – exercise! If you need a little help getting started, join some activity programs that are available or consult with a personal trainer.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.

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