2017: The Year in Review, Part 1

FROM STAFF REPORTS

Below is the first of two installments recapping the top news stories of 2017, organized by date the stories published in 280 Reporter. The second installment will publish next week.

JANUARY

Chelsea residents save a man’s life

Chelsea Mayor Tony Picklesimer publicly commended two Chelsea residents who saved an elderly man’s life at a regularly scheduled city council meeting on Tuesday, Jan 3.

Chelsea Fire and Rescue received a call about the unresponsive man at the Chelsea Community Center at about 10 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 26, 2016.

According to Lt. Don Williamson with Chelsea Fire and Rescue, first responders received word that the man was in cardiac arrest.

Alli Cochran said she and her mother, Mia Carter, were in the exercise room when the man collapsed. Carter left the room to find help, and Cochran began to administer CPR.

Compromise reached on Weldon building

The city of Chelsea authorized plans to dismantle and remove the Weldon building from its spot on Shelby County 47 at a regularly scheduled city council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 17.

Picklesimer said a new building, known as the Weldon Pavilion, would be built using materials salvaged from the old Weldon building.

According to Picklesimer, the building would be built at “the most beautiful point on the lake” near the Chelsea Sports Complex, and will serve as a place for residents to host parties, reunions and other events.

FEBRUARY

Shelby County’s Kendrick named DYW of Alabama

The 2017 Distinguished Young Woman of Alabama was named Saturday, Jan. 21, at the conclusion of the program, with Shelby County Representative Claire Kendrick receiving the title.

Kendrick also took home preliminary awards in the talent, fitness, interview and self-expression categories and was awarded scholarships totaling $11,000.

Apartment residents displaced by fire

A fire at Abbey at Inverness Apartments on the night of Monday, Feb. 6, forced residents of six units from their homes.

None of the residents were injured, and they had all evacuated their apartments in the 3900 building by the time firefighters responded to the scene.

Asbury UMC building new sanctuary

Construction was under way on an addition to Asbury United Methodist Church that will allow the church to hold the largest traditional Protestant worship services in the area.

The church has outgrown its current sanctuary, which seats about 600 worshippers, and is building a new sanctuary that will hold more than 1,100, church Administrator Mike Gibbs said.

The new facility, which is scheduled to be completed in March 2018, will include about 25,000 square feet of education space on the bottom level and about 25,000 square feet for a sanctuary and foyer on the second level, Gibbs said.

MARCH

Bluegrass music event moves to Spain Park

The sounds of guitars and banjos drifted through Spain Park High School on Saturday, March 4, as the facility hosted the Alabama Bluegrass Music Association’s 20th Annual Showcase of Bands.

The event featured performances throughout the day, impromptu jam sessions, food and more.

ABMA President David Boley said it was the first year for the event to be held somewhere other than the Bessemer Civic Center.

Spain Park offered a larger facility, better acoustics and a more convenient location, Boley said.

Town leases golf course

A golf course in Harpersville that has sat idle for almost a decade could have new life.

The town leased the 203-acre property formerly known as The Meadows to Cardwell Golf LLC, which began work to reclaim the course from weeds and trees and renovate a vandalized clubhouse.

The Meadows at Harpersville could be open, at least nine of its 18 holes, by fall 2018, according to Anthony Cardwell of Cardwell Golf LLC.

The course closed in 2008 after about eight years of business, and in 2012 the property was donated to the town as a conservation easement.

Hoover kicks off 50th anniversary celebration

The city of Hoover held a ceremony on Tuesday, March 7, at the Hoover-Randle Home and Gardens to kick off its 50th Anniversary celebration.

Hoover was officially incorporated as city on May 18, 1967.

Hoover consisted of 406 residents when the city was incorporated, and in 50 years has nearly 90,000 residents, making it the sixth largest city in Alabama.

Fundraiser held for student battling cancer

The Briarwood Christian School junior high faculty team defeated the students, 44-35, in an exhibition basketball game on Friday, March 24, but the real winner was a student and his family.

The game, an annual pre-spring break tradition, served as a fundraiser for eighth grade student Colin Reyes-Guerra, who was battling cancer.

The goal was to raise $1,000 to help with the family’s expenses through students purchasing tickets for $1 each and donations from parents and others in the community.

The fundraising effort shattered the goal, as more than $6,800 was presented at halftime of the basketball game.

HCS extends superintendent’s contract 2 years

The Hoover City Schools Board of Education extended Superintendent Kathy Murphy’s contract by two years and received an update about capital outlay projects at its March 13 meeting.

Murphy’s contract extension was approved unanimously.

“It will keep Dr. Murphy as superintendent of Hoover City Schools through June 2020,” Board President Stephen Presley said.

APRIL

Memorial held for fallen DEA agent

Dana Althouse-Yoder visited the scene of her brother’s murder for the first time as the 25th anniversary of the tragedy neared.

Althouse-Yoder, Drug Enforcement Administration agents and others held a memorial ceremony on March 27 for Special Agent George Douglas Althouse, who was killed on May 28, 1992, at the Chevron fuel station at 4685 U.S. 280, near Inverness.

Doug Althouse, 28, was shot and killed during an apparent robbery and carjack attempt at the station while working undercover as a DEA agent.

Chelsea sets up city court

The City of Chelsea passed two ordinances to adopt state offenses and traffic violations and to officially establish the Chelsea Municipal Court at a regularly scheduled council meeting on Tuesday, April 4.

“These are just steps two and three of 100. The biggest change is that, if a citizen gets a traffic citation or is charged with a misdemeanor or a city ordinance violation, they will be given a court date to come before the Chelsea Municipal Court. Previously, they would have gone to the Shelby County Circuit Court,” Mayor Tony Picklesimer said.

HCS pushes back rezoning

Hoover City Schools officials requested that implementation of the school system’s rezoning plan, which is under consideration by a federal judge, be delayed until the 2018-19 school year.

The rezoning was set to take effect when students start the new school year in fall 2017, but Superintendent Kathy Murphy wrote in a letter addressed to the school system that a final decision had not been received from U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala.

Greystone to host golf event through 2023

PGA TOUR Champions and Regions Bank announced a title sponsorship extension of the Regions Tradition through 2023.

The previous agreement ran through 2018, with the April 10 announcement extending an additional five years for one of the tour’s five major championships.

Greystone Golf & Country Club, which debuted as the tournament venue in 2016, will remain as host through the 2023 event.

Indian Springs dedicates two new buildings

A dedication ceremony for two buildings on campus and a memorial walkway was a highlight of Indian Springs School’s annual Alumni Weekend.

Dewey Wilbanks, class of 2017 and school mayor, welcomed those who attended the ceremony on Friday, April 21 at the school’s concert hall.

MAY

Hospital breaks ground on new cancer center

Grandview Medical Center hosted a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, April 26, at the site of a planned cancer center.

Grandview President and CEO Keith Granger welcomed about 100 people to the event and thanked those who have assisted the hospital.

NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler visits OMES

Role models come from all different facets of life, whether they be athletes, singers, actors, a family member or so on, but all role models have one thing in common, they do something that separates them from everyone else and gives young kids someone to look up to.

This was on full display when NASCAR driver Elliott Sadler visited Oak Mountain Elementary School on Tuesday, April 25, to read a book to the students as well as participate in other fun activities.

Chelsea sees most growth in county

Since 2010, the city of Chelsea’s population has increased by almost 21.2 percent. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates, Chelsea has seen the fastest population growth in Shelby County over the past seven years.

JUNE

College suspends operations

Southeastern Bible College suspended operations because of a lack of resources, it was announced June 1.

SEBC’s Board of Trustees voted to suspend operations, effective immediately, upon the recent completion of an evaluation of the institute’s financial resources, projected cash flows, strategic challenges and possible solutions to generate the funds needed to support operations, according to a release posted on SEBC.edu.

The evaluation concluded that the college, which has operated for 82 years, would not have sufficient resources to meet its obligations.

Trace Crossings to extend into Shelby Co.

The Trace Crossings development will extend into Shelby County after the Hoover City Council approved changes to the development plan at a contentious, four-hour meeting on Monday, June 5.

The changes will add 339 acres and 515 home sites to Trace Crossings, along with the annexation of 211 acres of unincorporated land mostly in Shelby County and adjacent to the Hoover Metropolitan Complex.

Mayor launches ‘Future Hoover’

Hoover Mayor Frank Brocato announced the development of a roadmap to carry the city forward.

Brocato, in a presentation to the Hoover City Council at its meeting on Monday, June 19, said “Future Hoover” will be a comprehensive plan addressing the city’s economic, transportation, education, public service and public safety needs.