2016: The Year in Review (Part 1 of 2)

Below is the first installment in a two-part series recapping the top news stories of 2016, organized by date the stories published in 280 Reporter. Look for the second installment next week.

JANUARY

Drug sting results in three trafficking arrests

A 37-year-old Pelham man, a 28-year-old Alabaster woman and a 29-year-old Hoover man are facing up to life in prison after they were arrested and charged with trafficking marijuana in Alabaster.

Idea House finds home in Mt Laurel

Mt Laurel has received yet another recognition from Southern Living magazine. In October 2015, the town was chosen as one of Southern Living magazine’s Inspired Communities.

Now, the national magazine has announced it has selected Mt Laurel as the site for its 50th anniversary Idea House.

St. Vincent’s One Nineteen completes first surgery in new facility

St. Vincent’s One Nineteen completed the first surgery in its new outpatient surgery center on Jan. 29. Not only was the surgery, a bone anchored hearing aid implant, a first in the new facility, it was also one of the first in Shelby County.

FEBRUARY

Inverness Mugshots opens March 1

Hoover is the next stop for Mugshots Grill and Bar. The restaurant franchise will open its newest location in Inverness.

Chelsea to mark 20th anniversary March 1

The history of a city can sometimes fade with the passage of time.

Decades, even centuries, start to separate the area’s forefathers from current generations of residents, and books replace people as the primary source of information about the city’s beginnings.

For Chelsea, however, this isn’t the case. The history of Chelsea’s birth isn’t limited to dusty books on a library shelf; most of the people who worked so hard to form what is now a thriving municipality are still around, and still contribute to Chelsea’s success story.

On March 1, Chelsea will mark its 20th anniversary as a city.

MARCH

Voters approve Sunday alcohol sales in county

Local restaurants and retailers will now be able to sell alcoholic beverages on Sunday afternoons after Shelby County voters approved the matter during the March 1 primary election.

Victim remembered as suspect seeks youthful status

Vincent’s Municipal Park was filled with the silent glow of candlelight on March 12 as friends and family members came together to remember an 18-year-old who was slain in Clay County in 2014.

The vigil came a few weeks before a judge is set to rule on a youthful offender request from the 21-yearold Vincent man who has been charged with killing 18-year-old Vincent resident Jolee Callan.

HCS approves final proposed rezoning plan

The Hoover City Board of Education unanimously approved at a special called meeting March 7 the final proposed rezoning plan for the Hoover City School System following public comments and remarks from board members lasting nearly two hours.

Crisis negotiators resolve Westover incident

A more than four-hour domestic violence incident that closed a road in Westover came to peaceful conclusion after the Shelby County Sheriff’s

Office Crisis Negotiation and Tactical units diffused a potentially volatile situation inside a residence on March 17.

APRIL

Chelsea Baptist Church celebrates grand opening

Fifty-seven people attended Chelsea Baptist Church’s grand opening and inaugural service March 27.

A mixture of adults and children came to the new church, located at the corner of Alabama 47 and Chesser Crane Road, to celebrate Easter and learn more about CBC and its leaders, Pastor Steve Kilpatrick and his wife, Debbie.

Local pastor dies after battling cancer

The Church of the Highlands community is mourning the loss of well-liked Greystone Campus Pastor Keith Lindsey. Lindsey passed away on April 7 after a lengthy battle with cancer.

Three schools named among best in state

Three high schools in Shelby County earned spots on U.S. News & World Report’s 2016 “Best High Schools” list for Alabama.

Spain Park High School came in at No. 8, followed by Oak Mountain High School at No. 11 and Chelsea High School at No. 24 on a list of high schools throughout the state.

MAY

School volunteer appointed to Hoover Board of Education

Hoover’s newly appointed Board of Education member Deanna Bamman is no stranger to the school system. The 12-year Hoover resident has volunteered at both the school and district levels, and is mother to two current Hoover City Schools students and one graduate.

Council presents annual checks to schools

The Chelsea City Council continued its longstanding financial commitment to local schools with the latest round of annual contributions, adding to the more than $2 million the city has donated to its schools over the last 16 years.

CHHS band director retiring after 38 years

Chelsea High School’s Band Director Dane Lawley directed his final band performance on Friday, May 13, after a distinguished career that spans almost four decades.

JUNE

Pine straw fire in Chelsea burns overnight

Chelsea firefighters were still monitoring and working to extinguish a pine straw fire at Swift Straw at the intersection of Shelby County 11 and Old U.S. 280, but all roads in the area had been re-opened as of May 26.

The blaze started at about 3 p.m. May 25 and continued to burn overnight, creating large amounts of thick smoke and necessitating temporary road closures in the area.

Spain Park High Class of 2016 graduates 390

As 390 graduation caps were tossed into the air, the Spain Park High School class of 2016 closed the book on 13 years of education and prepared to take the next step in their journeys.

Spain Park’s 390 graduating seniors received their diplomas in front of family, friends, teachers, Board of Education members and members of the Hoover City Council at Samford University’s Pete Hanna center on May 25.

Asbury UMC breaks ground for expansion

Hundreds of parishioners armed with shovels marked an important moment in Asbury United Methodist Church’s history, breaking ground for the church’s multimillion-dollar expansion on May 22.

Hoover student places third in Nat Geo Bee

A local student finished this year’s National Geographic Bee on May 25 as the third-place winner and recipient of a $10,000 college scholarship.

Twelve-year-old Kapil Nathan, a sixth-grader at Brock’s Gap Intermediate School in Hoover, was among 54 state and territory winners who competed in the preliminary rounds of the 28th annual National Geographic Bee on May 23.

First phase of Hoover sports complex begins

City officials broke ground June 14 at the Hoover Sports and Events Center site, signaling the start of the first phase of the roughly $76 million project.

Man fatally shot after vehicle pursuit

The passenger of a vehicle involved in a high-speed chase with Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputies June 22 is facing a felony charge.

Tracy O’Neal Jones, 23, of Birmingham has been charged with first-degree receiving stolen property after authorities identified him as the passenger of a stolen 2001 Lincoln Navigator that 21-year-old Isaiah Core III of Trussville was driving as the pair led law enforcement on a vehicle pursuit that ended in Core being fatally shot.

Church launches Chelsea Community Food Table outreach

A new community outreach project members and staff at Lesters Chapel United Methodist Church have launched is aimed at helping families replenish their pantries.

The Chelsea Community Food Table is held on the third Wednesday of each month from 2-4 p.m. in the education building at Lesters Chapel UMC, 7800 Chelsea Road in Columbiana.