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Alabama's Renaissance City

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Shoals Chamber of Commerce

TopMarch 27, 2014
Message from Mayor Haddock


Cast Your Vote: The G&G Southern Bracket

Southern towns go head-to-head in our version of March Madness



 We're now in competition with Bardstown, Kentucky



The battle for the best Southern town is on!  In the spirit of March Madness, a bracket has been set up featuring 32 great Southern towns going head-to-head for the championship. And your votes will determine which towns advance.(For the record, it has been kept to towns with populations under 150,000).


Click on this website and scroll down to the voting section and make your ROUND TWO selections. Thank you to everyone who voted in Round One. Nearly 700,000 votes were received. Now, it's time to move on to Round Two and the Sweet Sixteen. The bracket has been updated and voting will remain open until Thursday, March 27. Remember you can


Want to make a pitch for your favorite? Sound off on Twitter using the hashtag



Targeting Florence Utilities Customers


A new phone scam involving Florence Utilities customers has been targeting businesses in our service area.

Customers have reported receiving the phone calls from a City of Florence phone exchange number (256) 760-6300.


These pretend callers, using legit caller ID numbers, are posing as Florence Utilities employees and are asking for immediate payment and threatening to cut off electric service.  Four local restaurants have reported the bogus calls today.  Florence Utilities does not request immediate payment threatening service disconnection via phone calls, and advises customers to report calls to Florence Utilities Customer Service at 256-760-6512.

We ask our customers to be alert to these phone scams that demand immediate payment and threaten service disconnection.  If a Florence Utilities customer receives

a suspicious call requesting personal information or immediate payment, he should take the following steps:


  1. Do not give personal or payment information over the phone. 
  2. Contact Florence Utilities Customer Service at 256-760-6512 immediately to report the call. 


The Police Department is investigating this scam. 

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Our very own Kay Parker, founder of The Healing Place, was nominated for the National Champions of Care award, sponsored by Health Mart Pharmacies.  It is an award given to local heroes for making their communities healthier places to live.  Kay is a finalist. As a finalist, she has already won $1000 for The Healing Place, and she is competing against nine other individuals from across the country to win the grand prize of $30,000 for The Healing Place.


THE PUBLIC VOTES for the winner online

through Noon on March 30.


To vote, simply visit  Please help us spread the word about this remarkable woman and to highlight our amazing community. 

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The Easter Bunny is coming, the Easter Bunny is coming!! The Children's Center at ECM and Florence Mall present the arrival of the Easter Bunny on Friday, March 28, at 6:00 p.m.  Bunny will arrive in "style" with a "special" escort in front of the HoneyBaked Ham entrance to the Mall - you won't want to miss this!  Sponsored by the Shoals Radio Group and SSWA Recycling, there will be live broadcasts by your favorite on-air personalities from WLAY and Star 94, goodies for the children, and lots of fun!


The Easter Bunny will take up residence in Zales Court through Saturday, April 19. You can stop by and have your photo taken from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sundays.  Bring your family to Zales Court in Florence Mall, dressed in your Easter finest, and make a memory that will last forever!  Bunny hopes to see you soon!

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The Florence Historical Board and others have planned a second cemetery clean-up day at the John Coffee Cemetery on Saturday, March 29, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  The cemetery is adjacent to the new Wal-Mart Store on Cloverdale Road and Cox Creek Parkway.  Volunteers are needed to help in the task of removing fallen limbs, trash, etc., cutting the small growth, and moving it to the street.  Please come dressed in work clothing and bring work gloves.

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Local residents will have an opportunity to "Take a Walk on the Historic Side" by participating in the annual Walking Tours of Historic Florence April 5 through May 3.


Florence/Lauderdale Tourism hosts the walking tours as a way to promote our historic sites, neighborhoods and unique architecture.  A tour of a different historic location will be featured each Saturday and will be guided by local historians.  The tours begin at 10:00 a.m., are free to the public and will last approximately one to one and a half hours.


April 5 - Forks of Cypress Plantation Site & Cemetery

April 12 - North Court & Seminary Streets

April 19 - Historic University of North Alabama Campus

April 26 - Walnut Street Historic District

May 3 - Florence City Cemetery


For more information call:

Florence/Lauderdale Tourism at 256-740-4141


or visit

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March 29 is a holiday for all the hard-working small business owners out there! The day exists to celebrate their business achievements, and the positivity they bring to our local communities. We understand the hours of hard work they have put into helping their business exist, grow, and thrive, and on March 29, the City of Florence recognizes their achievements!  Celebrate National Mom and Pop Business Owners Day by showing your their stores!




Dolores Hydock and Bobby Horton


A Sweet Strangeness Thrills My Heart: the World

of Sallie Independence Foster, 1861-1887


Norton Auditorium

Tuesday, April 8

7:00 p.m.

Free Admission



On Tuesday, April 8, actress/storyteller Dolores Hydock and nationally known musician Bobby Horton will bring their show "A Sweet Strangeness Thrills My Heart: the World of Sallie Independence Foster, 1861-1887," to Norton Auditorium at 7 p.m. Admission to the performance-part of the Distinguished Events Series-is free, and no tickets are required.


Sallie Independence Foster was 12 years old and living in (what is now) Rogers Hall on campus when the Civil War began. Sallie kept a journal at the time, and kept on keeping a diary for 26 years. The story is based on Sallie's diaries, papers, and letters, and is interwoven with music of the time performed by music historian Horton.



Please don't miss this amazing show. For more information or to donate to the Distinguished Events Series, visit



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New   ONLINE Registration

Florence City Schools


Dear Parent / Guardian,


Florence City Schools is excited to announce an online student registration/data validatiosystefor the upcoming school year, powered by infosnap. The system is a secure and green process, which allows the district tverify all student demographic, emergency and medical informatiofoyour child(ren) prior to thstart of thnew schooyear.The systewill also alloyoto electronically sigthe annual permissioforms for school district policies.  In short, this onlinprocess replaces the hard copy student registration and permission forms thayou and your child(ren) complete each year.


Registration will begin March 31, 2014, and can be completed from home, office,

or any location where you have access to a internet enabled device.  You will visit to begin registration.  Our goal is to make registration convenient and simple for you and your family. 


Please visit for more information.





"Believe in the Blue" Campaign


The month of April is CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION MONTH. To bring awareness, the Florence Exchange Club is asking its members and all others to wear BLUE each MONDAY during the month of April.  Please join the Exchange in this public awareness campaign to promote strong healthy families through positive parenting.  



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"Bubbles of Love"

Friday, April 25 at Noon

Parental Alienation Awareness Day

Sponsored by Alabama Family Rights Association

April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month; a time to emphasize that our children are innocent and deserve the leadership of the adults (parents, leaders, community) around them to ensure their health, wellness and safety.  Parental Alienation Prevention Week / Awareness Day is April 13-19, 2014.  This is an important community campaign that links "Parental Alienation" with "Child Abuse" because after all, it is one form of mental child abuse that children suffer.


Show your support for children by taking 10 minutes out of your day

at noon on April 25th to blow bubbles for love.



Children should be encouraged to freely love each of their two parents

regardless of their parents' marital status

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Check out for more information

The Lauderdale County Extension Agency

is highlighting three events for the area.

Lauderdale County Extension Coordinator, 802 Veterans Drive, Florence, AL 35630, 256-766- 4846 (work).  See these at:,

Lauderdale County Facebook

Lauderdale County Extension, Pinterest



The Grapes of Wrath...


a 75th anniversary celebration of 

John Steinbeck's Classic American Novel


The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library, 350 North Wood Avenue, is featuring an exhibit and programming series during the month of April exploring the literary, historical, and cultural significance of this great novel.  Visit their website at for more details.  






CORRECTION - The owners of BEVIS AND LOVE LAW FIRM, is Jared Bevis and Bill Love (accidently listed Bill Long in last week's newsletter).  See them at





  • Ribbon Cutting, Saturday, March 29, Noon - AMERICA'S SWIMMING POOLS,  2626 Hough Road
  • Opening Soon - VALLEY CREDIT UNION, 304 South Pine Street 
  • Ribbon Cutting, Friday, April 25, Noon  - BRYANT COUNSELING, 118 East Mobile Street -- Suite 20
  • Opening in April - JIMMY JOHN'S, 101 North Court Street.  They serve gourmet sandwiches.  Franchise Owner:  Jerry Welch/General Manager:  Jeff Welch
  • Ribbon Cutting, May 2, Noon - STUDIO M, 112 North Court Street
  • Opening in June - CHARLOTTE RUSSE, Florence Mall.  They carry trendy clothes, shoes, denim, accessories and more
  • Opening Soon - SOUTHERN VAPE, 3677 Cloverdale Road.  They carry e-cigarettes and accessories.  Owner:  Christy Boyd
  • Opening Soon - MOMMA JEAN'S RESTAURANT at their third location, 3609 Cloverdale Road (formerly The Ranch House and Country Boys)
  • Opening Soon - TETELA MEXICAN RESTAURANT at 2908 Florence Boulevard (formerly Fat Boys Grille location) 

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Florence Falcons Football teams are using a unique way to raise money this year. On

April 5, bring this coupon and receive an additional $50.00 off on a new mattress set.  It doesn't hurt to look at the deals being offered, plus you will be helping support the Falcon Football program.




KENNEDY-DOUGLASS CENTER FOR THE ARTS is located at 217 East Tuscaloosa Street, Florence, and is open, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Call 256-760-6379 for information on City museums and art events.


Women as Poetic Art Subjects: Peter Max, Picasso, Itzchak Tarkay, Marc Chagall, Emile Bellet will be on exhibit at the Kennedy-Douglass Center from February 20 through March 27. The works are from the collection of Billy and Wanda Isom and include acrylic and watercolor paintings, serigraphs, lithographs and mixed media pieces.  Shown here is Itzchaz Tarkay


Billy Isom began collecting art 40 years ago.  Initially he was interested in early American lithographs, but soon began collecting 18th to 20th century bird art and Japanese woodblock prints.  Eventually, through what he calls serendipity and a true interest, he started adding works by well-known impressionistic and modern artists.  "Art collectors do collect," said Isom, "but remember that art can never truly be possessed, it just passes through your hands for a time."



Artistic Renderings of Youth


The Artistic Renderings of Youthexhibit openedMarch 4 and runs through April 11 at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts.  Celebrating its 23rd year in existence, this exhibit has developed into an outstanding showcase of youth art.  It is a juried exhibit of art work open to 7th through 12th grade students from Colbert, Franklin, 

and Lauderdale counties.


Shown here is the Best of 9th and 10th grade division by Stephanie White, a 10th grade student at Florence High School.


March is nationally recognized as Youth Art Month.  This exhibit provides an opportunity for the community to discover the young artistic talent in our area.  The competition is coordinated by a group of junior high and high school art teachers to give students a chance to exhibit their art work and receive recognition for their talent.  Last year over 350 pieces representing 14 different schools were accepted and exhibited.  Ribbons are awarded in three grade divisions.


Works by James D. Brantley will be on exhibit at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts from April 4 through May 8.  The exhibition will include works in oil, watercolor, graphite, pastel and egg tempera by this artist from Opelika, Alabama. Shown here is an oil painting called "Cades Cove."


"Although I have been to other countries," Brantley said, "and all across America, my favorite place to be is here in the South.  My paintings are of people, places and things that I have encountered on life's journey."


Brantley is a member of the American Watercolor Society, National Watercolor Society, Southern Watercolor Society, and the Watercolor Society of Alabama.  He has won numerous awards including the Award of Excellence in the 2013 Watercolor Society of Alabama 72nd Annual National Exhibition.  Brantley has been featured in
American Artist, The Art of Aquarelle and Best of Worldwide Water-Media and has written articles published in The Artist's Magazine and Inksmith.


The UNA Center for Professional Selling will host the

Sales Education Scholarship Golf Outing

Friday,April 25

at the

Blackberry Trail Golf Course

Florence, Alabama


Sponsorship opportunities and player registration

information available by contacting the

UNA Center for Professional Selling at 256-765-5240 or

via e-mail at

$400 per 4-person team or $100 per person


Registration deadline is Friday, April 4, 2014 


The City Council adopted a new pet license ordinance on November 5 for certain dogs and cats.  The ordinance will be enforced starting May 1, 2014.



The Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter has DOGS AND CATS available for ADOPTION OR FOSTER.  The Shelter is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.  Weekend hours are Saturday, open to the public and volunteers,

from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., and Sunday, closed to the public, but open to volunteers

from 9:00 a.m. to 12 Noon.  Volunteers are always welcome!


See them on Facebook at


and webpage at

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450 Country Club Drive

(Savannah Highway/Hwy. 20)

Florence - 256-760-6420

***The Club is a drug free, alcohol free facility***


The District 1 Master Games will be June 17, 18, and 19.  Hosted at The Club, Savannah Highway, and at the Billiards Room, Fairgrounds Road and Royal Avenue.  New participants are always welcome!  Requirement:  50+ years old.  Games include Sitting Frisbee Toss, Sitting Nerf Ball Toss, Softball Throw, Basketball Free Throw, Shuffleboard, Checkers, Dominoes Singles/Doubles, Billiards, Horseshoes, Swimming, Golf, Tennis, Table Tennis, Bowling, and a 5K walk/run.


MASTERS GAMES PRACTICE will be each Monday and Friday mornings, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m., at The Club.  On Thursday, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., Shuffleboard and Baseball Free Throw practice will be at Broadway Recreation Center. 


THE NUTRITION PROGRAM is a NACOLG/State program which serves lunch each Monday-Friday, at 11:00 a.m., at The Club.  Suggested donation $1.  This program is based on age and not need.  Limited seating (40) available on first come basis.  Must be seated by 10:30 a.m.  Feel free to come check it out.  The only requirements are:  1) must be 60 years of age 2) must sign in and be seated by 10:30 a.m.


BOOMER'S & SENIOR'S SATURDAY NIGHT DANCE & GAMES at The Club, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., each week except holiday weekends.  The doors will open at 6:00 p.m.  $5 per person.  Singles & couples are welcome.  18+ years old.  Music spanning the decades will be performed by The Browns.  For those who may not be dancers but like to play games and enjoy music, here is your opportunity to come listen to some great music while playing your favorite games:  Rook, Rummy, Dominoes, Checkers or the games you bring with you.  Feel free to bring light refreshments.  For more information please call The Club at 256-760-6420, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


BOOMER'S & SENIOR'S DANCE, each TUESDAY NIGHT, continues to bring great people together to dance the night away.  Hours 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.  Singles and couples are welcome.  18+ years old.  $5 per person.  Please join us for a great night of dancing fun with The Browns.


BEGINNING SQUARE DANCE LESSONS (10 weeks) starts Friday, March 28, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m.  Singles, Couples, Families welcome.  All ages.  $5 each week.  Our international Caller is Chuck Bermele.  There are no dancing skills required.  You will enhance your health and longevity with this well sought after dance opportunity.  Two left feet, OK.  NO partner, OK.  Dance with your friends, parents, co-workers.  For more information call Fran at The Club, 256-760-6420.


JOINTS IN MOTION CHAIR EXERCISE CLASS.  Come join the fun on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:45 to 9:30 a.m.  No age limit-men, women, friends and family are welcome to join us at The Club.  No fee.  Class Leader:  Fran "fish" Davis.


BINGO follows the Joints in Motion Class on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.


BOARD GAMES, ROOK, CARD GAMES, DOMINOES and fun with friends each afternoon at The Club.  12:30 -5:00 p.m.  No fee.  We bring light snacks to share.


FANTASTIC FRIDAY AT THE CLUB will be from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., each THIRD FRIDAY of the month until October.  Our meals will be catered from three different restaurant facilities.  Pop's BBQ (St. Florian) will have fish or chicken.  Dick Howell's (Florence) serving BBQ or quartered chicken.  The Bonnet Café Elegant Country Cooking (Lexington) with Sunday type meals, menu will vary each time.  Please try to purchase tickets ahead of time.  You will enjoy the great food, music, games, dance opportunities, horseshoes, and have a fun time at the "FUN Raiser!"  All proceeds will go towards the local and state Master Games for persons 50 year and older.  Regularly scheduled square dancing will follow Fantastic Friday each time.



Humana Penny Auction, 2:00-4:00 p.m.

Meal catered by The Bonnet Café, 3:00-5:00 p.m.

(Pre-buy your meal by Thursday, April 17 if possible)

 Music by the NuTones, 4:00-6:00 p.m.


On FRIDAYS, the Seniors wear RED to show support for our service men and women.


FYI: Coming soon - AARP Tax Aid Counselors will be available at The Club where you can have your tax returns prepared.  Times to be arranged. 


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The City of Florence Moves to

New Technology for Job Applications

Job seekers can now easily apply with a new online system


The City of Florence has launched a new software system to improve the hiring process for job seekers and hiring managers. Job seekers are able to quickly apply online for numerous positions currently open via the City's HR webpage. Interested candidates can apply for current vacancies or sign up for new openings that become available.


The City of Florence has partnered with NEOGOV, the nation's largest cloud software for HR in government and education. Using this technology, HR and department managers can access online records to expedite hiring and provide greater accountability when selecting new employees.  For more information call 740-6084 or visit the City's website at

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 The regular schedule for leaf vacuuming has concluded. The Street Department will be working from call-ins for a LIMITED amount of time (until April 11, 2014).  If you have loose leaves that need vacuuming, please call 256-760-6460 between 7:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. weekdays. After April 11, leaves will need to be bagged for pick up by regular curbside collection.

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Tree Limbs/Brush

Construction Material/Debris

Grass and Weeds


Debris not to be left on public street

It is the duty of every person who engages in the business of cutting, trimming or pruning trees for hire in the city, and every such person engaging in the business of landscaping within the city, whether the same be done on a contract basis, hourly basis or otherwise, to remove the limbs, trunks, cuttings, dirt, trash, litter or other debris from the premises and deposit the same at the City's landfill on Hwy. 20.  (Sec. 22-128. Persons engaged in the business of cutting and pruning trees or landscaping-Required to remove debris, Code of Florence, as amended)  It is unlawful for such persons to leave cutting, trimmings or any other debris on any part of the public streets and sidewalks. (Sec. 22-129. Same-Debris not to be left on public street, Code of Florence, as amended)



Removal of construction debris required

Every person engaging in the business of, or being hired for the purpose of construction, demolishing, remodeling, repairing, roofing, or altering any building or other structure within the city, shall, upon completion of the job or construction project, remove any debris, concrete, lumber, roofing material or any other waste material resulting from such activity, to the lawful disposal area - City landfill, Hwy. 20.  (Sec. 22-130. Debris from construction, demolition, alterations or repair-removal required, Code of Florence, as amended)



Overgrown Grass and Weeds

Just a reminder to keep lawns and lots free of tall grass and weeds.   Sec. 16-40. Weeds; nuisance, Code of Florence, as amended, states that grass and weeds are a violation if higher than twelve (12) inches.   Please do your part in keeping your property neat and trimmed.


If you have any questions, please contact the Building Department at 256-760-6325.

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Have a great weekend!

Mayor Mickey Haddock

City of Florence | 256.760.6300 | |
110 West College St.
PO Box 98
Florence, AL 35630