Year in Review: Recapping the biggest stories of 2018

Published 2:39 pm Friday, December 21, 2018


Below is the first of two installments recapping the top news stories of 2018, organized by date the stories published in 280 Reporter. Look for the second installment next week.


Second snowstorm hits Shelby County

Shelby County offices, school systems, local businesses and roads closed in response to a snowstorm that hit the area on Tuesday, Jan. 16. During the snowstorm, up to two inches of snow accumulated on the ground in Shelby County. This is the second time within the past two months that it has snowed.

“It is definitely unusual for us in the south to experience real winter weather,” meteorologist Meredith Wyatt said. “With this being the second time around, we were a lot more prepared.”

Hoover Chamber recognizes board members, retiring director

The Hoover Area Chamber of Commerce’s past, present and future were celebrated on Thursday, Jan. 18.

Bill Powell, the chamber’s executive director for the past 23 years, was honored at the same monthly luncheon that the President’s Awards were announced and the 2018 Board of Directors was recognized.

The President’s Awards were first on the agenda.

Benjamin Yim of OmniWon Agency was named Ambassador of the Quarter, Jay Clyce of Weber Mortgage was named Ambassador of the Year, Terry Shea of Wrapsody was named Board Member of the Year and Lynn Ray of Business Telephones Inc. was named Member of the Year.

Missing Chelsea woman found alive

The Pelham Police Department is seeking the public’s help in locating a Chelsea woman who recently went missing.

According to the PPD, 45-year-old Lisa Michelle Holman’s unoccupied vehicle was found wrecked on Shelby County 36, between Bent Creek Drive and Brasher Road, on the morning of Saturday, Feb. 10.

Jeff State campus celebrates 25th anniversary

Jefferson State Community College’s Shelby-Hoover Campus celebrated its 25th anniversary on Friday, Feb. 16, with a program that marked the campus’ past, present and future.

Jefferson State Interim President Keith Brown welcomed those in attendance and said such a celebration brings back memories of former President Judy Merritt and her efforts to expand the Shelby-Hoover Campus.

“I can’t think of the Shelby-Hoover Campus without thinking of Dr. Judy Merritt,” Brown said. “We continue to honor her memory with the work we’re doing here.”

Vincent marks 50th anniversary of first integrated class

The first integrated class at Vincent High School 50 years ago was recognized at a Black History Month assembly on Tuesday, Feb. 27, and a member of that class urged current students to strive for unity and love.

Principal Michele Edwards presented the annual Spirit of Vincent Middle High School Award to the school’s class of 1968, the first integrated class, on its 50th anniversary.

“We will keep this plaque and hang it in our halls to remind ourselves of the community bonds and relationships you stood for,” Edwards said.


Bystanders help officer subdue wanted man

Two bystanders helped a Hoover Police Department officer subdue a Huntsville man who was allegedly reaching for a handgun following a traffic stop.

At about 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 6, an officer conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle was it was pulling into the U.S. 280 Walmart parking lot.

“The driver was immediately uncooperative—exiting his vehicle and then re-entering and reaching for the center console,” according to a press release from Hoover Police Department. “A physical altercation ensued when the officer realized the suspect was reaching for a handgun. The struggle continued until two citizens came to the aid of the officer, helping him subdue the suspect.”

Asbury celebrates opening of new sanctuary

Asbury United Methodist Church invited the community to join in celebrating the opening of its new sanctuary with a weekend full of events.

The church hosted an Open House Weekend March 17-18 with a pancake breakfast, #AsburyEggstravaganza, tours of the new facility, worship services and food trucks.


Inverness dermatologist, husband save boy from drowning

An Inverness dermatologist and her husband, a retired Hoover firefighter, saved a four-year-old boy from drowning at a Georgia hotel.

Elizabeth and Keith Jacobsen of Inverness Dermatology and Laser, along with the practice’s officer manager Laurie Thompson, attended a dermatologist manager’s conference in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Jacobsen heard screams and realized a young boy had been pulled from the pool.

“He was completely lifeless—blue, no pulse, no breathing,” she said.

With people on the scene, including the boy’s mother, in a state of panic, Jacobsen took charge based on her previous training in CPR.

Jacobsen began chest compressions, and her husband, who has performed multiple resuscitations, arrived at the scene and gave rescue breaths.

After two cycles of compressions and breaths, Zachary Kohen began breathing.

Adapted toy car allows kindergartener more freedom

As the covering was pulled off a special surprise for Inverness Elementary School kindergarten student Bailey Harris, getting around the school was transformed from a test to a thrill.

Bailey was born with no arms and restricted use of his legs as a result of Roberts syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by limb abnormalities.

A specially adapted toy car presented to Bailey by University of Alabama engineering students on May 4 will allow him to move around the school independently and in style.

Roadside explosion kills one, cripples passing vehicles, shuts down 280

An explosion at a highway construction site in Harpersville on Wednesday, May 9, killed one person, damaged vehicles and a residence and forced the closure of U.S. 280.

The explosion occurred at about 7:05 a.m. near the intersection of U.S. 280 and Farmingdale Road, off the side of the eastbound lanes where a natural gas utility was installing lines, Harpersville Police Chief Jimmy Macon said.

Grandview celebrates opening of cancer center

A grand opening ceremony was held on Thursday, May 31, for Grandview Medical’s new Cancer Center.

“This is an exciting day for us and another milestone for the Grandview Health campus,” said Drew Mason, CEO of Grandview Medical Center. “Over the last 12 months, while construction was underway we were working behind the scenes to bring together the best technology and experts for treating cancer. Under the physician leadership of Cancer Center Director Jennifer De Los Santos, we will provide a comprehensive approach to cancer care.”


Chelsea celebrates historical museum opening

The Chelsea Historical Museum opened its doors to the public for the first time during a ribbon cutting ceremony and celebration on Sunday, June 10. The new museum is located at the Crane House on Weldon Drive, which previously housed the city’s public library.

Shelby County native Walker named Miss Alabama

Two-time first runner-up Callie Walker finally claimed the crown when she was named Miss Alabama at the conclusion of the annual pageant on June 9.

A Shelby County native and 2015 Oak Mountain High School graduate, Walker said she is excited to travel across the state promoting her platform of sustainability and to compete in the Miss America pageant in September.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Walker, 20, whose previous titles include Miss Alabama’s Outstanding Teen 2012.