Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Helena City News and new Traffic Light

Youth Tennis
The Helena USTA Youth Tennis League will be starting, Sept. 15th and will run for 6 consecutive Mondays at the Joe Tucker ParkTennis Courts. The courts will be reserved during these clinics. The times will be 6pm - 730pm. Dates: Sept. 15/22/29 & Oct. 6/13/20th


Helena Police Hiring
The Helena Police Department will be accepting applications for the position of Police Officer beginning today through Friday, September 26th, to fill current and future vacancies within the department. All applicants must be certified by APOSTC or another state standards commission and provide proof of certification, along with the final GPA from their Academy Training. Starting salary is $39,704, which includes a monthly uniform/equipment allowance. The City of Helena offers paid individual coverage Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance and participation in RSA retirement. Applications can be picked up at the Helena Police Department located at 816 Hwy. 52 East.


Helena City Council Meeting
The Helena City Council met for almost 4 hours Monday night. Here is a quick summary. You can get the official minutes from the City Clerk.

Helena Teen Council
The City Council reviewed the student applicants for Helena Teen Council. There was great talent on the list. The next step will be a meet and greet meeting for the new members.

Helena Market Days Farmers Market
The Farmer Market committee gave their report to the Council and presented its financials. The award winning market once again paid for itself .Net Income of $1,22.78,  which will go back into the account for next year.
Alabama Tax Tribunal
The State of Alabama adopted ACT 2014-146 to create an Alabama Tax Tribunal (ATT). It would "hear appeals on final assessments and denial of refunds on taxes collected" by cities and counties unless they are self administered.  If so, it allows those cities and counties to opt-out and divest the Tribunal's jurisdiction over them. Helena passed a resolution to opt out since we already have a process. I would think this would be good for cities and counties that are not self administered but we already do this.
Traffic Light Installation at Hillsboro/52
USX is funding a $314,760 installation of a traffic light at Hillsboro and 52 west. The bid was awarded to Stone and Son Electronic contractors. They will also be adding a left turn lane. You should see some construction start in around 14-30 days (only a estimate)

261 Left Turn: We also received an update on the planned left turn lane at 261/52/17. It's construction has been delayed by the State but is still moving forward. The traffic study showed that by creating a left turn lane, in front of Helena Tire,, would greatly reduce the wait time. Some good news, that intersection will also get a new led traffic light.

Budget Review Fiscal year 2014/2015
This took the bulk of the work session, the Council went line by line to find savings and create a new budget for Helena. We still have a little more to do like Fire and Police and we asked for more details from Parks. We should have another balanced budget soon. Basically our revenue and expense is around 6.7 million each,

Next City Council Meeting Date: Monday, October 6, 2014 3:30pm P.M. Pre-Council followed by Regular Meeting 6:00pm.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Reader's Choice Monday




Winner
Helena Chevron would like to congratulate Matt Guin of Helena. Matt won the drawing this week and got to take home the Coors Refresherator thanks to Birmingham Beverage and Helena Chevron. Helena Chevron would like to thank all of their customers for their continued support and be looking for more drawings soon. Pictured from left to right. Matt Guin, Jay Modi(Helena Chevron), Melvin Reeves(Birmingham Beverage).

Community Events
Lilly Clayton shared some upcoming events that will be happening with Helena Parks and Recreation

Community Center:
Saturday - September 20th Pelham Taekwondo Tournament will be going on the Community Center

Amphitheater:
Saturday -   September 20th- Sunday -     September 21st
"British Car Show" - will be going on at the Amphitheater
David Boger w/Birmingham Motoring Club

Volleyball Champs
Way to go to the Helena Volleyball team who won the first place trophy of Helena High School. Thank you to Abby Moore for sharing this photo. Way to Go!
Horse Show Winners
Suzanne Schnetzler shared that Rocking S Farm returned from the UPHA Horse Show in Cleveland, TN with :
6 first place
2 second places
2 third places
2 forth places
2 fifth places
Huge Win for the Helena based Horse ranch and Way to Go for all the young ladies!
Thunder Strikes!
Cindy O'Dell shared that the "14U Alabama Thunder softball team out of Helena placed 2nd overall in their first tournament Saturday". Way to Go!
Helena Library Birthday
Crystal Watford shared that the Helena Library's birthday is Thursday with a book sale Thursday-Saturday. Please come out and buy some great book and raise money for the library.

Shout Out
Beth Romanowski said her son "moved out of our home today and I survived with no tears"!!Way to Go Beth, it is hard seeing them grow up.
Coupon Club in Helena
Angela Daniel shared "There will be a coupon class held in Helena at the Mspark corporate office next Sunday the 21st. Info listed on ad attached".


City Council Tonight
September 15, 2014

PRE-COUNCIL: Work Session Agenda  3:30 p.m.
A discussion and review of City Council agenda items, projects, department, committee, and board liaison reports, and task assigned for City operations and business.


1. Helena Teen Council update
2. Helena Market Days Farmers Market 2014 Report
3. Municipal opt out Alabama Tax Tribunal
4. Results of Bid for Traffic Light Installation at Hillsboro and County Road 52
5. Budget Review Fiscal year 2014/2015


CITY COUNCIL MEETING: Agenda                                                                                                  6:00pm
1. Call To Order.
2. Prayer.
3. Pledge of Allegiance.
4. Council Roll Call.
5 Presentation of Minutes from Council meeting and Pre-Council meeting September 2, 2014.
6 Revenue Report - Bill payment.
7 City Operations, Department, and Mayoral Report: Mayor Mark Hall
Police, Fire, Library, Streets, Sanitation, Utilities.
8. Approve/Deny Ordinance 09152014 – Municipal Opt Out of Alabama Tax Tribunal
9. Results of Bid for Traffic Light Installation at Hillsboro and County Road 52
10. Council Comments
11. Adjourn
.
Next City Council Meeting Date:  Monday, October 6, 2014 @ 5:00 P.M. Pre-Council followed by Regular Meeting 6:00pm.


Friday, September 12, 2014

Helena Weekend

This is the draft . I will be publishing the final version later with more details so come back later this afternoon.


Helena Calendar
I have added more art events to the calendar. Since I have been on the Art Council, people have been asking if there are any art events...Sweet Mercy YES! They are happening all the time so I included several in the calendar but I know there are more. If you want to see Helena artist work then swing by the Ice and Coal Gallery. Also dont forget on Sunday, we will have a lecture on Helena History at 2pm at the Senior Center. Come out and support this new series of Helena History events by the Helena History Preservation Society.

Friday Sept 12th 2014
10am-1pm Helena Dam Painting Art Class
1pm-4:30pm Karlin’s LaLa Necklace class at Bead Biz
6:30pm-9:30pm Alabama Auburn  Painting at Helena School of Art
9pm deputy five performs
9pm Excalbur at rios

Saturday Sept 13th 2014
9am-3pm Fall Bazaar at Helena Cumberland Presbyterian Church
10am-4pm Canned Food Drive for the Foundry at the Helena Walmart
10am-1pm Helena Dam Painting Art Class
10am-1pm European Fan Earrings at Bead Biz
1:30-3:00 Oil Pastel class at Helena School of Art
1pm-4pm Wire Kumihimo Bracelet class at Bead Biz
1:30pm Beginner Wire Working 101 class at Bead Biz
6:30pm-9:30pm Bird on a Wire class at Helena School of Art 205-335-8565
7pm Helena vs Demopolis You can listen to the game on 99.9 APH phone app
9pm karaoke at rios

Sunday Sept 14 2014
10am-1pm Helena Dam Painting Art Class
2pm-3pm Helena History lecture by Dr. Jim Day at the Helena Senior Center*
2pm Wire Wrapped Pendant Class at Bead Biz
3:30pm Copper Component Cuff  at Bead Biz

* One of the things that people have asked for are more lecture series, so the Helena Historic Preservation committee has prepared one. There will also be light refreshments. Please come out and support it so we can have more!

Yard Sale
On one so far but I usually get a few more later
4711 Hollow Ln. Moving Sale on 9/13 from 7-11am. It will include furniture, kids clothing and items, home decor, tools, etc. Thanks!

Having a Garage Sale Saturday morning 9/15 starting at 7am on 1619 keeneland dr. Helena. Washer, clothes, stuff, etc.

Essential Touch: Open House
Tamaka shared Join us For our grand debut!
Featuring: Unique home d├ęcor, seasonal
Customized centerpieces, wreaths, accent and
Statement pieces, and more!!!
9506 Brookforest Circle (behind Walmart)
September 12, 2014 5-9 p.m.
September 13, 2014 12-4 p.m.
(205) 230-3862


More Dam Painting In Helena
Painting en plein air at the historic Buck Creek Dam in Helena Alabama
- Friday, September 12th-10am to 1pm (Partly Cloudy, 87 degrees)
- Saturday, September 13th-10am to 1pm (Sunny, 82 degrees)
- Sunday, September 14th-1pm to 4pm (Patchy clouds, 87 degrees)

Bring your art supplies for a creative morning of drawing and painting en plein air with artist Barry Graham. We will continue to address the importance of drawing, perspective, basic painting, and demonstrate water and splash techniques. Any media welcome. 25.00/3 hour session per day. Choose one day or multiple days. Beginner to moderate skill level. A small limited class is preferred. Reserve by sSeptember11th by responding to this link or by email at: bgpsalm92@tds.net

Local weather forecast mostly sunny all weekend with slight cooler temps. Join us!
Fall Craft Bazaar
Saturday from 9:00am - 3:00pm is the Fall Bazaar at Helena Cumberland Presbyterian Church located at 3396 Hwy 261, Helena AL. They always have a ton of vendors. For more info contact hcpcbazaar@yahoo.com.

Helena History Lecture
This Sunday at 2:00pm at the Helena Senior Center. Professor of History and author of Diamonds in the Rough, Dr. Jim Day from the University of Montevallo is scheduled to speak at the September 14 meeting of the Helena Historical Preservation Committee. The meeting will start with Dr. Day speaking on the Cahaba Coal Field. This meeting will be opened to the public. Please consider attending at 2pm on September 14 at the Senior Center. Light refreshments will be served. the Senior Center is behind Helena City Hall at  222 Tucker Rd Helena, AL

Helena School of Art
In case you are wondering about more classes at the Helena School of Art in Old Town. Here is the currently schedule for September. They are always adding more so check them out for the most update to date events or to schedule a Birthday there: Address: 774 2nd Street, Helena, Alabama 35080, 774 2nd St, Helena, AL 35080 Phone:(205) 914-4409

Serving Those who Service
Thanks to this gentlemen who delivered pizza and drinks to all the police and Fire departments in Helena Alabaster and Pelham from Buck Pizza in remembrance to 9-11 — with Eddie Keaton, David Keough, Jim Parks, Peggy Holly and Jack Gray. Way to Go

Coach Watt Parker and Phildon Dublin by Mark Almond on AL.com
Helena High Football
Jeff Sentell wrote a sports article about Helena High Football. on Alabama Media Group. He discuss the Huskies football games. He says that some turnovers helped us in the first game and that we should do well against Dallas County this friday even though the Helena Football considering they are a 3 month old team and even their field house is still being constructive. He seems to think that Helena will not do well against Demopolis, Chelsea, Pleasant Grove and Calera but I have faith in them. You can read the full article here: LINK

Also, I checked out Max Prep  and Helena's national rank has moved +1712 and their state rank has moved +58 points to make us #313 in Alabama. Not bad for a 3 month old team. Dallas County is ranked #294 so it looks like an evenly matched game. Last week Dallas lost to Jemison 30-21 which shows they can put some points on the board. You can keep up with all updates at : Helena Athletic Association.org

Helena High 2014 Football Schedule

Bead Biz
Bead Biz has been here year after year and is know as one of the top stores in Alabama. They also offer a ton of classes. I posted a few from this weekend but you can view them all and register online at Bead Biz Classes. They are located at: 3745 Helena Rd, Helena, AL 35080
(205) 621-2426


Volleyball
I just wanted to update the Varsity and Junior Varsity game schedule. I want to come out and give them some support soon.
Mine Disaster
Speaking of History Sonya Unnoppet sharing this Helena Disaster from 1926
Helena, AL Coal Mine Explosion, Jan 1926

Alabama Mining Explosions and Accidents 1926
Birth, Marriage & Death Records

27 KNOWN DEAD, 26 SURVIVE IN NEW MINE BLAST.

CAUSE OF ACCIDENT YET UNDETERMINED; GRAVE STORIES TOLD.

Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 29. -- (AP) -- Twenty-seven miners, eleven white and 16 negroes, were killed in an explosion late today at the Mossboro mine of the Premier Coal company near Helena. Fifty-three were in the mine at the time of the blast, 25 of them escaping uninjured.

Birmingham, Ala., Jan. 29. -- (AP) -- Sixty-three miners were trapped late today in Mossboro mine of the Premier Coal company near Helena, and it is feared 38 of that number are dead. Twenty-five men have been brought out alive. The known dead numbers ten, that many bodies having been recovered.
Mine Is Located In An Isolated Section.
The mine is in an isolated spot, difficult of access and cut off from wire communication. A relief train was en route to the scene from Birmingham carrying doctors, nurses andmine rescue crews. No local experienced nurses are available.
Twelve men alive were brought out in one group to be followed by another squad of 13 workers, reports reaching here said.
The cause of the accident is undetermined. Mining men familiar with the physical aspect of the property said they believed a pocket of gas had in some manner accumulated and exploded. The men were entombed just at quitting time.
News of the disaster spread rapidly by means of the "communication of the hills," and within 30 minutes wives and children and other relatives were about the pit waiting and calling for loved ones. A biting cold wind added to the misery of those awaiting word from their relatives.
Grave Fears Felt For All Men In The Pit.
The mine is on property belonging to the Tennessee Coal, Iron and Railway Company and is leased to the Premier Coal company. It is almost a new mine with a 1,000 foot slope.
A telephone report from the neighborhood said that grave fears had been expressed that all men in the pit were dead.
A large number of the miners lived in Helena. The road from that town to the mining camp, narrow and ill kept, was crowded with automobiles, wagons and pedestrians, all rushing to Mossboro. Four crews of expert workers were on their way to the mine tonight, including a unit of the United States mine bureau.
Miners brought out alive told grave stories of a sudden roar, a flash of fire -- of men screaming and dying at their side. One man told of seeing his brother killed in the same entry in which he was working while others told of friends with whom they had worked and played for years being horribly burned and killed in the flash of flames.

Modesto News-Herald California 1926-01-30

Listing of Fatalities and Injured in the Helena Mine Explosion taken from The Shelby County Reporter -- 1926-02-04
White:
JAMES ADAMS; ROBERT BALL; PAT BURKE; WILLIAM CARRICK; GLENN DUNCAN; HENRY GOLD; W. J. HARRISON; M. J. HOLLOWAY; DOYLE LAMBERT; JOE MAYNER; HENRY OAKES.
Negroes:
W. M. ODUM; HASSEY HARRIS; WILL JOHNSON; HENRY PETERSON; ENOCH WOODWON; W. H. SEGRESS.
Those still in the mine, but who are believed to be dead are:
Colored:
AMBERSON GRIGLEY; MORE COILLINS; ELI TREADWELL; WILLIE TEMPLE; CLIFF GIBSON; WILLIE FITTS; PRIMUS HENDERSIB; RODGER WILLIAMS; SAM HAWKINS.
Those who escaped:
Whites:
J. D. LOWERY; J. B. LOWERY, a son EDGAR LOWERY; ZACH CHAPMAN; LONNIE CHAPMAN; LLOYD ROBERTSON; B. D. GOLD; GEORGE ZIMMERMAN.
Negroes:
WILL SIMMONS; JESS CHESTNUT; STANLEY MADDOX; WALTER PEARCE; ARCHIE JACKSON; PERCY PEARCE; SCOTT SAULDERS; FLETCHER ANDERSON; WILL LAMBERT; MILLARD GARNER; G. G. GARNER.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Showcase, Cans, and Dam News

Ok, I am still out of town, but I should be flying home today. I will be glad to see you all again.
13th anniversary of 9-11
Remembering 9-11
Prayers for those who gave their lives, and prayers for our country.

Local Files Report against Candidate
Some wild news, Helena Local and talk show host, Matt Murphy filed a report with the police after an off air exchange and a  threat from Democratic gubernatorial candidate Parker Griffith. WIAT and AL.com

Showcase of Bands
Steve Norris shared this video of the bands at the Shelby County Alabama High School Showcase of Bands. Calera High School hosted the event on Sept. 9, 2014. Thank Steve!


Dam Hole
Great news, the Mayor shared that the the City crews have been able to patch the hole on the Helena dam that was impacting the waterfall. I cant wait to see it when I get back. Way to Go!

More Dam Painting In Helena
Helena artist Barry Graham, will be offering classes at the historic Buck Creek Dam in Helena Alabama this Weekend:
-Friday, September 12th-10am to 1pm (Sunny, 85 degrees)
-Saturday, September 13th-10am to 1pm (Sunny, 82 degrees)
-Sunday, September 14th-1pm to 4pm (Patchy clouds, 83 degrees)

Bring your art supplies for a creative morning of drawing and painting en plein air with artist Barry Graham. We will continue to address the importance of perspective, basic painting, and demonstrate water and splash techniques. Any media welcome. 25.00/3 hour session per day. Choose one day or multiple days. Beginner to moderate skill level. A small limited class is preferred. Reserve by September 11th by responding to this link or by email at: bgpsalm92@tds.net

Helena School of Art
Here is today's lineup for the Helena School of Art
Mommy & Me with Branda-10:15am-11:00am (Art for pre-school children and mummy's!)
Whose Line is it Anyway Junior with Jessica (Improv Acting for Middle School)-4:00pm-5:00pm
Theatrical Make-Up Design 3rd-5th grade with Jessica (creating character make-up in the style of theatre and Hollywood)-5:00pm-6:00pm
Teen painting with LeAnn (painting for teenagers)-6:00pm-8:00pm)
774 2nd St Helena, Alabama 35080
Phone (205) 914-4409
Email lovestoteachart@gmail.com
Cross Country
The HHS Huskies Cross Country Team competed in the Chickasaw Trails Invitational at Oakville Alabama Indian Mounds this morning. Our varsity boys team finished 20 out of 48 schools, our varsity girls team finished 30 out of 46 schools, and our JV boys team finished 12 out of 38 schools in the 5A-7A division, with both boys teams having the best scores in 5A and the girls team with the 2nd best score in 5A.(someone shared this with me but U cant find the original link...thanks whoever that was)



Canned Food Drive
Rev. Walker from First Baptist Church Helena shared that they will be collected canned food to benefit the Foundry. It's this Saturday from 10-4 at the Helena Walmart. Here is a video about it: http://vimeo.com/105395849

Softball League
Mary Chambliss, from Helena, shared this, "The Moody Miracle League will be having a Adult softball game on Oct.4th starting at 9:00 a.m. until, The cost is $20.00 per player or $150.00 per team of ten or more. We are in need of players and teams, If anyone would be interested in playing for a great cause, All proceeds will go back to the league so the special needs players can continue to do community outings when ball season is over. We are also having a Car show that day as well. its $10.00 to enter a vehicle please feel free to send me a message I will get you the information". Mary is on facebook if you want to check with her.

Airport Moment of Silence
While I was in Orlando Airport. They stopped everything and observed a moment of silence for 9-11. I took this photo before the ceremony began.

Husky Eyes

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Good Samaritan, Trains, Sponsors, and Fire

Picture of the Day from Barry Graham
MeltDown
The Helena Picture of the Day comes from local artist Barry Graham who offer classes in painting  the Waterfalls. Today, I didnt have a guest blogger today so I wrote this quickly.

Today, Zack Nichols shared, "we're doing a youth event at CCB on Wednesday night called the Meltdown. Its a night of snacks, games and dumb videos. Will go from 6:45 to 8pm".
Old Town Rail by blog.gerrydanielphotography.com
Train Issues
After the train has stopped twice in Helena, people are asking how they should report it. The number to dial is 1-800-232-0144. You can report train stoppings and other emergencies. See below:
Any issue or incident that risks the safety of any person should be reported immediately. Be prepared to tell us your name, location and what you observed.                                   1. Crossing Malfunction: Any gate or signal issues Blocked Track: Car or object on the tracks
2. Crossing Accident: Auto or train/auto accident at a crossing Environmental-Hazmat  3. Emergency: Theft/Vandalism: Report theft or vandalism on CSX property 4.Trespassing: Report trespassing on CSX property                                             5.Blocked Crossing: Currently Blocked: Train currently blocking a crossing                   6. Unsafe Employee Driving: Report unsafe driving by CSX employee
Theater Art Classes
Helena is a town that is rich in Art. From classes in painting, to stained Glass, Jewelry, and even chainmail, Now we have some new classes. Jessica  is going to be teaching at the Helena School of Art with classes in acting and improv as well as theater makeup. You can reach her at jessica021082@gmail.com.
Job Hiring
Bruce  shared that Helena United Methodist is looking for a part time maintenance person. If interested then their phone number is 663-0111


Good Samaritan on Four Wheels

Hello! My name is Lori Riggs, My family and I live in Helena and on Sunday, the day before Labor Day we were in the Buck Creek trying to float down to the river.  We had never done this before and were having a hard time.  The water level was a bit too low and we were having to stand up and walk over very slippery rocks. We thought that if we continued on, eventually it would become deep enough to be able to float.  At this point, it was 5:00pm and a gentleman on a four wheeler drove up near the creek and suggested that we probably would not make it to the river before dark.  We were pretty deep into the woods and there would have been no other civilization for miles.

 He was a bit reluctant to tell us his opinion but felt that he should.  He directed us where to get out of the creek and what path to follow back to where our car was parked. Then he left.  We were pretty deep in the woods.  We followed his advise although we somehow ended up in another direction taking us to the back side of Appleford. We came up in a cul de sac where another very sweet couple was just moving into their new home, asked us what was up.  I'm sure we looked pretty funny walking out of the woods with our bathing suits and floats!  We told them what had happened and they offered to drive us to our car back at the falls.

When we were dropped off at the car, there was the gentleman who had been on the four wheeler helping us an hour and a half earlier.  He was in his vehicle now, gave me a wave and drove off.  I believe he was concerned about whether we would make it back safely.  I am so grateful for the responsibility he felt for us and we just want to thank him and let him know how well we think of him.  Few people would do what he did and I believe he saved us from something I'm afraid could have been pretty bad.  I wonder if something could be posted to find him? Thank you, Lori Riggs

Husky Stadium Field Sponsorship Program
Do you want to make a latest impression. Be asponsor of the Helena Fields. Here's some news from the Helena Athletics Association:

Big Board/Fence Signs
– Bronze Sponsorship
Cost $500 per year – 4’ x 6’ landscape color graphics sign that will be placed on our “Big Board” (20 spots) sponsorship board located next to score board (limited to first 20 paid sponsors).  Any sponsorship after first 20 will be located on the fence at the North end of the stadium.

25 second clock
– Silver Sponsorship   SOLD OUT for 2014
Cost $1,000 per year – 4’ x 6’ portrait color graphics sign that will be located under one 25 second clock. Only 2 spots available.

Score Board Signs
– Gold Sponsorship
(3 year package) Cost $5,000 year 1, $4,000 year 2, $3,000 year 3 or $10,000 for all 3 years.  Premium Field signage with color graphic signs located on sides/under scoreboard.

Press Box Signs
– Platinum Sponsorship
Cost $8,000 per year per location Premium Facility Sponsorship with 4 locations available (2 front and 2 rear of press box).

All signs will remain up for one year.  Renewal notices will be sent in July of each year.  Thank you for supporting our Athletic programs at Helena High School and being an active part of the Husky Nation. Graphics or questions please contact Coach Parker at wparker@shelbyed.org or 205-541-8522 or one of the Helena Athletic Association Board Members.  Payment may be made by going online at www.helenaathleticassociation.org and click on the “advertise at the stadium” tab.
Business Name: ________________________________________
Contact Name: _________________________________________
Phone Number: ________________________________________
Contact Email: _________________________________________

Helena Fire History 
I was looking for info about some recent fires and ran across this article about the History of Helena's Fire Department on their website and thought I would share.

The Helena Fire Department was first organized in 1960 by a group of local residents. Kenneth Mullins, Roy Damron, George Anderson, and Johnny Deviner were some of the department’s first volunteers. The first Helena fire apparatus was a 1953 Ford 300 GPM pumper with a 1954 Mercury engine and was purchased from Harless Fire Equipment in Birmingham. The Helena Fire Department was organized by “committee” and operated without a Fire Chief until 1963. The fire station was located behind city hall on Helena Road.

On February 25th, 1963, Kenneth Mullins was appointed Fire Chief by the current Mayor and City Council. During this time period the department was staffed with approximately 10 volunteers, in 1974, a new fire station was constructed on Tucker Road and a new 1974 Ford 750 GPM pumper was purchased. Chief Mullins served as the city’s first Fire Chief until 1979, and was named Fire Chief Emeritus by the Mayor and Council in 1986.

Melton Dearing served as Fire Chief from 1979 until 1980 when the city hired its first paid Fire Chief. Chief Lonnie Thompson served approximately 6 months and returned back to his home department of Shelco. Chief Russell Sprouse served briefly in the fall of 1981. On May 25th, 1982, Gary Penhale was appointed Fire Chief. Chief Penhale ushered the department into a new era, EMS. Chief Penhale established the first ALS rescue unit and grew the department to more than 20 volunteers. The first paid firefighter was Hoyt Acton. The Helena fire department continued to grow under Chief Penhale’s leadership to include the purchase of three new fire apparatus and two used rescue units. Two new stations were constructed and 14 paid personnel were on staff prior to his retiring in 2004.

On May 16th, 2005, Captain Peter S. Valenti was appointed to Fire Chief. Chief Valenti continued to grow the department to include three stations, 18 full-time, and 7 part-time personnel. In 2007, the department purchased its first aerial apparatus, and soon took delivery of a new 2008 pumper. The department received substantial grant funding under Chief Valenti’s leadership and a considerable amount of equipment has been purchased.

On March 5, 2009, in an effort to have more personal time with his family, Chief Peter Valenti stepped down to the position of Deputy Chief/Fire Marshal and Deputy Chief John Wilder was promoted to the position of Chief. Currently Helena Fire Department has grown to 23 full-time employees and 12-14 volunteers.

The Helena Fire Department has grown considerably since its beginning in 1960. Our department prides itself in helping others and doing what needs to be done to make the City of Helena a safe and great place to live, and to serve and protect the citizens of Helena and their property. The Helena Fire Department is poised to respond and adapt to an ever changing community today and in the future.

Ok, That is it! Good Night Huskies!

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Special Guest Blogger Kathy Sciarrotta

Thanks to Kathy for creating a post for Tuesday because I am out of State for training.

Boosterthon - Rocking Run 2014
Helena Intermediate School set a goal of $40,000 this year for the Boosterthon Run. The community collected more than the goal. The schools final total in pledges was $46,288.76. The teachers helped raise more money by setting a class goal. Some teachers dressed up, had to sing silly songs, took a pie in the face all to challenge the children. The Boosterthon asked the children to call family all over the United States and see if we could get a pledge for all the states. If we did Mrs. Paiml and Mrs. Holcomb would have to sing the third grade states song. We were very close to reaching that goal as well. Helena Intermediate Schools Top Teachers were Mrs. Portwood (3rd), Crowe (4th) and Parker (5th). This week the children who collected $100.00 will get a piece of duck tape to Duck Tape the Principal Mrs. Kathy Paiml and Assistant Principal Mrs. Genet Holcomb together on stage for all to see. Looks like these HIS students really wanted to make this happen! We wanted to say Thanks to Boosterthon, our PTO, our HIS staff, our Students, our Families and Community for making this happen. Photos above: Mrs. Paiml dancing the Cupid Shuffel. Mrs. Portwood dressed up like a Rock Star. Mrs. Parker taking a pie to the face and Mrs. Holcomb starting the run off with the checkered flag.
Little Italy Pizza / Franchised
Did you know Little Italy Pizza is now Franchised and in the works of a second location?
Little Italy Pizza is located at the end of the True Value Plaza. They offer a lunch and dinner buffet. Items you can find on the buffet are salad, hot pasta side, cheese bread, pizza’s and desert pizza.  Mrs. Sharon who has worked there for many years is now in the process of purchasing the franchise for her self. Mrs. Sharon has been working with food for over 14 years. She is reaching her goal in life to own a restaurant. She has been working with our new high school and middle school to take care of the bands and football teams. They are staying open longer hours on our home game nights to give the young people a place to hang out close to home. Little Italy offers lunch buffet from 11:00am to 2:00pm daily and night time buffet from 5:00pm to 8:00pm. They also offer carry out and delivery any day before 8pm. Did you know they have Kid’s Night Every Tuesday & Thursday 5pm to 8pm. This means Kid’s under age 3 eat FREE!  Two / Kid’s under age 10 eat for just .99 cents each with the purchase of an adult buffet.  If you are on your way to practice and do not have time to cook just stop in and something is always ready. It is so nice to support your local business in Helena. This is now the second female owned restaurant business in Helena. Congrat’s Mrs. Sharon and Little Italy! Thank You, for supporting your schools and giving the community a place to tail gate

Helena Soccer
As a proud parent of a child that plays soccer I think Helena has come a long way. When we have games and other teams come to our city and through Old Town, they see we have a home style different than other Cities. We have our Old Town, Waterfall, the Depot and much more. I am proud to call this place home. When they come to our field it looks mostly like a baseball park and not sure if we are in the right place for our game. As a parent I would like to see more signs on the front of the Penhale Park proudly displaying the Huskies Soccer Team. Did you know we were invited to play in the Alabama State Games XXXII? Did you know our older team took home silver! Go Helena Huskies… This is an event that is held at the BJCC and broadcast on PBS do any of our other sports have that?

It saddens me this year as I see we have fewer teams, volunteer coaches, and supporters. In talking to other parents they are now leaving our city to play for other cities. This up sets me as I am proud of my city, my Old Town, my Waterfall / land mark and want all others to see what a great place this is. Past volunteer coaches and parents are not happy with only one field, not enough parents to help coach, short registration period after school registration and fee’s are paid, and too many kids on one team. Maybe we could provide a weekend boot camp to train coaches and have more seasoned coaches work with the older children. Helena Residents are paying more money to other cities to play, to purchase gas, to eat out on the run, and hang out after games…. That is money that we could use here in Helena.

I would like to see more local business support our home town with uniforms, sponsor the field and cost to keep it up. Not just for soccer but for our city. Maybe this is something our Parks and Recreation could work on. We could also look for grants to help in this area. This year we have four U7 teams, Two U9 teams, one all girls team U10, two U12 teams, and one U14 team. All of the teams have way too many kids and during the games half are sitting the bench. That’s no fun…. As children they want to run, play, and be a part of the team and proud to be a Husky. As a parent I want my child to be happy in their own back yard play with his friends and spend my money in my town. Soccer is a world wide sport. It teaches child to think on the fly. We have no planed plays. We play positions encourage team work, team sprit, and the main goal is to work hard get the ball down the field and score… It’s ok to do our best and be in constant motion with our teammates.  This is a sport most like life. We have our ups, our downs, we got it, they got it, and we got it again just like life. We all win some and loose some but its how we play the game to get a head. We are a small part of the Husky Family and potential to grow as the sport and its players are becoming more famous.

Family Impact
Jenny Taylor shared, "Looking forward to the seminar tonight. Anyone who's interested please feel free to join us! It's free, and there will be someone there to watch the kids - How could it get any better"? See details above on their banner.

Band Showcase
Jennifer Kunath-Bowling shared, "Come out to support the Helena High School Band and Visual Ensemble perform along with many other Shelby County Bands on Tuesday night.
2014 Shelby County Showcase of Bands
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
6:30 pm - Calera High School
--Showcase begins at 6:30.
--Helena performs at approximately 8:10.
--Mass Band performance is at about 8:45.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Guest Blogger: Alan Farmer


I would like to thank my friend Hal "Hewy No Sleep" Woodman for asking me to be a guest blogger this week. For years, Hal has reported to Helena residents on events and other happenings going on in our community. Many families rely on No Sleep In Helena for community announcements and news, and because of Hal's hard work, we are always up-to-date on what's happening in Helena.


In the summer of 1969, one week after we put our first man on the moon, I was born to a single mother in a trailer located where the Helena Post Office is now. I can remember Helena being nothing more than a "drive-through" town; The only reason why you came to Helena back then was to go to Bessemer or Cherokee Beach. Back then, Helena School was 1st through 12th grade, and each grade had only one teacher. We've come a long way since then.

Thanks to great leadership, our city has grown from 1,100 residents in 1969 to over 17,500 in 2014. Homes are now filled with families on land once owned by coal mining companies. We have improved and expanded our schools to include an Intermediate, Middle, and most recently, a New Helena High School. These are truly great times for our city.

As a Helena native, I am fascinated by the population growth, but specifically, the number of families that have moved to Helena from Northern and Mid-Western states. What brought them to Helena, Alabama from states like New York, Michigan, and Pittsburgh? How did these families hear about our little secret?

Well, I have personal experience with one of these so called "Yankees", my wife. I always kid her that she had to move south to find a good man, and she very wisely always agrees with that statement. But this got me thinking: What other families do we have in Helena that moved from far away? Well, over the next few days I plan on introducing a few families to you and sharing their stories, starting with my wife, J.J.:

What is your name? J.J. Farmer
Where did you move from? Michigan
When did you move to Helena? 2003
Why did you move? I was in the fashion industry as a buyer and I accepted a corporate position with Parisian.
Why did you choose Helena? For the schools, and I loved the small town feel that Helena offered, yet it is still close to the city.
What do you like most about Helena? The small town feel with all of the great people and the tight knit community.
What was your biggest surprise after you moved here? I realized college football is so much bigger in the SEC than in the Big 10.
How has your perception of the south changed since you moved here? Since moving to Alabama, I have realized that people in the south are more genuine, and treat others so much better.They are more willing to help other people and the hospitality is the best I have ever experienced.
If you had to move tomorrow, what would you miss the most? The Depot