Year in Review, Part 2

Published 4:26 pm Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Below is the second and final installment in a series recapping the top news stories of 2016, organized by date the stories published in 280 Reporter. The first installment published last week.


Hundreds attend 2016 GBAC Aubie 5K

More than 200 people laced up their sneakers and braved temperatures in the 90s June 25 for the Greater Birmingham Auburn Club’s 2016 Aubie 5K and 1-Mile Fun Run in memory of Meredith Maddox at Veterans Park.

Fire damages apartment building

A late-night fire at an Inverness apartment complex July 6 damaged an 18-unit building and displaced residents.

Hoover councilman Brian Skelton dies

A longtime community leader and member of the Hoover City Council died July 2 following a stroke. Brian Lee Skelton Sr., 56, had served on the council for 17 years, most recently as president pro tem, and served as Hoover’s mayor for one year in 1999.

City amends animal control ordinance

Changes to the city of Chelsea’s animal control ordinance, including the addition of an animal control officer and the establishment of a shelter or pound, will take effect in five days, city leaders decided at a July 12 meeting.

Facility management deal approved

Hoover will contract with Sports Facilities Management to act as manager and operator of Hoover Metropolitan Stadium and the city’s planned indoor sport and event center. August

Sentence issued for 2013 Iron Bowl killing

A woman who killed a fellow Alabama fan after an Iron Bowl loss has been sentenced to 173 months in prison. Adrian Laroze Briskey, 31, of Fairfield was sentenced July 26 after pleading guilty to manslaughter in the shooting death of Michelle Lacette Shepherd at the Summerchase at Riverchase apartments on Nov. 30, 2013.

Harpersville will have new mayor without election

Harpersville will soon haveca new mayor—but no election. Mayor Theoangelo Perkins decided to not seek re-election for a fourth term in office, and Don Greene was the only candidate to qualify for mayor, meaning he will start in the position in November. Development could be revisited

Plans to develop property at the corner of Cahaba Valley Road and Greystone Way could be resumed. After a public hearing that saw no opposition, the Hoover City Council on Aug. 15 approved the rezoning of Lot 2, Greystone 3rd Sector, at the corner of Cahaba Valley Road and the south side of Greystone Way, from NZ (no zone) to C-2 (community business district).

Hoover elects new mayor, council members

Hoover’s municipal government will look very different in November. Residents on Aug. 23 elected a new mayor and three new members of the city council—with a fourth new member to be decided by a runoff Oct. 4. Frank Brocato will be the city’s new mayor after receiving 7,129 votes (51.8 percent) to 4,826 (35.1 percent) for incumbent Gary Ivey and 1,800 (13.1 percent) for Steve McClinton.

Chelsea City Council sees turnover

Chelsea residents showed up to vote for City Council and mayoral seats on Tuesday, Aug. 23. About 2,300 of them showed up to be exact. Although the mayoral seat has yet to be filled, with Tony Picklesimer and Dale Neuendorf in a runoff, most City Council seats have been determined.

Riggins to replace McLaughlin as Westover mayor

Larry Riggins will replace Mark McLaughlin as mayor of Westover following a decisive vote on Aug. 23. Riggins received 161 votes (or 63.1 percent) to 94 (36.9 percent) for McLaughlin, who has been mayor for 12 years.


Niven preparing for life after office

Life will look a bit different for Mayor Earl Niven in two months. Niven, 73, is nearing the end of his fifth consecutive term as Chelsea’s first and only mayor, a distinction he will carry with him as he packs up two decades of materials and memories in his office at City Hall.

Judge: Harpersville can re-open court

After about four years, Harpersville’s municipal court could soon re-open. Shelby County Circuit Judge William H. Bostick III, in an order dated Aug. 31, said Harpersville could reestablish its municipal court subject to several conditions.

Event offers food, support of education

The ninth Taste of Shelby County event was held Sept. 8 with some new attractions and one familiar staple: great food.

OMES mourns loss of beloved school teacher

The Oak Mountain Elementary School community is mourning the death of a teacher whose legacy will not soon be forgotten. Maggie Russell, a 39-year-old mother of two and third grade teacher, died unexpectedly on Sept. 7.

Winery holds annual Grape Stomp event

Standing barefoot in a barrel of cold grapes was only part of the fun at Morgan Creek Vineyards’ annual Grape Stomp event on Sept. 17.

Hoover BOE passes $168M budget for 2017

Hoover’s Board of Education approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2017 on Sept. 12 that calls for $167.7 million in revenues and $169.9 million in expenses.

Gasoline pipeline back in service after leak

After being out of service since Sept. 9, Colonial Pipeline has successfully restarted Line 1 the evening of Sept. 21, according to a recent update from the company.


Chelsea’s Bob Wanninger honored

The Chelsea City Council approved a resolution at a regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 20, to name the new community center road from County Road 337 to the new Chelsea Community center, “Wanninger Way,” in honor of Bob Wanninger. Wanninger was the first ever clerk in Chelsea, the architect for the two fire stations located in the city and the architect for the previously mentioned community center.

Tony Picklesimer elected in Chelsea runoff

Chelsea has finally elected its newest mayor, who will not only serve as the city’s first new mayor in 20 years, but will also make history as the second ever mayor to serve the city. That person will be Tony Picklesimer.

Residents give opinions on road proposal

Though in its earliest stages, a project to extend Cahaba Beach Road in North Shelby County is sure to eventually have a significant impact on the area. A public involvement meeting was held Oct. 13 at First Christian Church off Valleydale Road to explain the project and offer residents the opportunity to voice their opinions.

Harpersville mayor Perkins honored at event

Harpersville Mayor Theoangelo Perkins has made an impact on many during his life and time in office. Many of those attended an “Appreciation Day” program on Oct. 13 at Bama Budweiser in Harpersville.

Incoming mayor names new Hoover executive director

Allan Rice, currently the top official for the Alabama Fire College, will serve as Hoover’s next executive director, incoming mayor Frank Brocato said.

Man killed in incident with sheriff’s deputy

A 21-year-old man was shot and killed by a Shelby County Sheriff’s Office deputy on Oct. 22. The man, Nathaniel B. Dorough, allegedly charged at the deputy with a weapon and did not comply with an order to stop, according to an SCSO press release.


OMHS grad named Miss Auburn

Brooklyn Holt is living her dream at Auburn University. Holt, a Shelby County native and 2015 Oak Mountain High School graduate, was crowned Miss Auburn University 2017 on Oct. 8 in the culmination of a “Fabulous 50s” themed pageant at the Telfair B. Peet Theatre.

Drive-in movie theater re-opens

A new and improved drive-in movie theater has re-opened in Harpersville. Now called The Twilight 280 Drive-In, the theater first opened in 2006, closed in 2015 and officially reopened Oct. 8.

Shelby County in midst of historic drought

Water officials in Shelby County say drought conditions are not as bad as other parts of the state, but they still urge residents to conserve water when possible before conditions worsen.

Gas pipeline explosion kills one, injures five

Approximately 24 hours after a gas pipeline explosion occurred on River Road near the Helena city limits that resulted in a fatality, five individuals injured and a large fire that has since been contained, several of the involved agencies held a joint press conference at Helena City Hall on Nov. 1, to summarize the incident and discuss plans moving forward.

Student attends school virtually while battling cancer

Kathryn Marbutt listens along with classmates as her teacher reads from Chapter 6 of The Yellow House Mystery, a book in the Boxcar Children series. Marbutt participates in her class at Westminster School at Oak Mountain virtually—an ongoing battle with cancer prevents her from attending physically because classmates may carry germs that could be especially dangerous to someone with a weakened immune system.

Brush fire off U.S. 280 burns for several days

Firefighters spent several days battling a brush fire off U.S. 280 in Chelsea believed to have started on Nov. 5.

Hoover officials sworn in, approve name for facility

New Hoover municipal government officials took oaths of office on Nov. 7, and then approved a decision sure to be of interest to city residents. The mayor and City Council elected by residents in August approved to name the city’s under-construction sports and events facility The Finley Center.

Vets honored at Harpersville Day

The annual Harpersville Day on Nov. 12 offered a chance to honor veterans and provide residents with a fun way to spend the day.


County provides drought aid to Birmingham

Shelby County Water Services is providing an average of 3 million gallons of water per day to Birmingham Water Works during the ongoing drought.

Arrest made in local murder

Police say a North Shelby County 37-year-old mother of two was murdered by someone described as a long-time friend and business partner, who has been arrested.

Chelsea holds 17th annual Christmas parade

The city of Chelsea held their 17th annual Christmas Parade at 10 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17. Following the parade was the Chelsea Christmas Village on Chelsea Road near Winn-Dixie. At 12 p.m., the city hosted its first annual Chelsea Kids’ Christmas Party at the Chelsea Community Center.