Friday, August 26, 2016

Weekend in Helena

Friday Night Lights
Helena High School will have their first official football game as a 6A team against the Mountain Brook Spartans. The Spartans have an explosive offense and won their last game 56-10. So we hit the ground running. Kick-Off is at 7pm at Mountain Brook.
Sign from previous grant winner
Grant Award
Mayor Hall shared that Alabama Power notified Helena Park and Rec. Director Bill Miller that The Gateway Grant Program, an Alabama Power Foundation initiative for community signage, has awarded the City of Helena's Park & Rec. Department $2,000 to purchase materials for a way finding sign at the Sports Complex. Plans are to erect an additional sign nearer to the entrance of the parking lot of the the Community Center with the funding. Thanks to Alabama Power for the grant!

Saturday Glow Run
It will be the Annual 5K fun run, walk, crawl in support of the Band Program at Helena High School.You can find out more at .The High is located at1310 Hillsboro Parkway Helena, AL 35080

Yard Sales
The Yard Sales listed on the City of Helena website
Permitted Yard Sales for the weekend of 8/26/2016 through 8/28/2016.
1. 3011 Laurel Lakes Cv. (Laurel Lakes) Sat 8/27/2016
2. 211 Quail Ridge Rd (Quail Ridge) Sat 8/27/2016
3. 6016 Woodvale Rd (Woodvale) Sat 8/27/2016

Coal Yard Shrimp Boil
This Saturday the Coal Yard is having a Shrimp Boil all day long. "Starting when we open at 11 am and going until the kitchen closes at 10 pm, we are kicking off the start of football season with awesome food, music, and drink specials all day long. Come out for our shrimp boil with corn and potatoes, a cup of gumbo, or grab both! We will have a Bloody Mary bar during the day and beer specials all day long. Wear your college football team colors and get 10% off your ticket. We will have live music from noon until 3 pm and then the SBG's that night at 7 pm. Come hangout with us"!

Papa Saias Music
Papa Saias has music scheduled for the weekend. On Friday night they have Erath from 7-11 and Eric Hollis Saturday from 7-11.

Helena Market Days
This Saturday from 8am-Noon is the last Helena Farmer Market of this year. It also may be the last one ever since we have several volunteer retirements and no replacement volunteers. So come out, enjoy it, and thank you to all the staff who have volunteered to serve for so many years.

We are excited to have Sonya Hey Jackson from Newk's at 9am giving everyone a Chef demonstration. We will also have Katie Searcy performing live and the non-profit spotlight will be on Hatching Hope.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Memorial comes to Helena

 15th Anniversary 9-11 in Helena
Helena is very lucky to have some one of a kind pieces from the 9-11 site. For the upcoming 15th Anniversary of 9-11, Terry Brasseole of the Helena Health Club has set up a memorial with the  original signature benner from the site and never seen before photos of the aftermath. The display will be on the wall at Helena Health.

Terry said he hopes the small memorial he has created will help the younger generation remember what happened. The Helena Health Club is located 4766 Co Rd 52, Helena, AL and you do not have to be a member to come in and see the memorial which is next to the stationary bikes.

Terry shared that the large banner was one of many spread  Chapel of St. Paul that survived the fall of the twin towers. The church served as a headquarters to help the rescue workers.

Terry Brasseole and his sister, who will be mad at me because I forgot her name.
 Terry was shocked after seeing the events unfold on TV during 9-11 and he volunteered. There was a huge waiting list but he was chosen and invited to New York and spent his time serving the rescuers.

 He met a photographer while serving and several of the photos he is displaying have never been sen by the general public. The photos also included letters on the wall. When I came to see the display, I met several police officers who were also hearing the stories that Terry shared.

The one that stood out to me was a man who was searching the rumble and found a boot and called for help. Afterwards he spoke to the rescue workers who helped and they said that the firefighter was searching for his son who was also a fire fighter. He searched for days and at the exact moment he found the boot of his son and finally recovered the body.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Helena Schools Ranked

Helena High by
Helena School Ranked
Helena has a new honor. It was ranked in the Top 15 Alabama Suburbs with the Best Public Schools. Here is the full list and the link

Top 15 suburbs with best public schools:

1. Mountain Brook, Jefferson County

2. Homewood, Jefferson County

3. Hoover, Jefferson/Shelby County

4. Vestavia Hills, Jefferson County

5. Trussville, Jefferson County

6. Jasper, Walker County

7. Brook Highland, Shelby County

8. Indian Springs Village, Shelby County

9. Pelham, Shelby County

10. Chelsea, Shelby County

11. Columbiana, Shelby County

12. Meadowbrook, Shelby County

13. Montevallo, Shelby County

14. Calera, Shelby County

15. Helena, Shelby County

Helena Election Results

Helena City Council
The City Elections were held yesterday and there will be two big changes to the Helena City Council. Alice and Laura will be brand new to the Council. Alice Lobell replaces Council President Cris Nelson and Laura Joseph will replace Leslie Bartlett.

I will miss Cris and Leslie but I look forward to working with Alice and Laura for the next 4 years. In this election, only around 10% of the register voters turned up, which is odd because Helena usually has an above average voter turnout. You can compare theses results to our survey last week which is located HERE. Here are the election counts:

City Council Place No. 3
Alice Lobell – 688
Cris Nelson – 650

City Council Place No. 4
Laura Joseph – 936
Tangee C. Edwards – 387

Here is an article where I got the photo:

New Rescue Vehicle 
The Helena Fire Department now has a  new command/rescue vehicle. It was purchased with a 185k federal grant obtained by Congressman Gary Palmer.

Guns in Your Car

I saw in the news where the Alabama Senate passed a law that allows you to carry your loaded gun in your car without a permit FULL ARTICLE. So asked Pete Folmar, the Helena Police Chief, to explain what is the best way to tell the police that you are packing heat when you are pulled over. Here is his reponse from my facebook message

"It is always best to inform the officer that you have a firearm and where in the vehicle it is located. The officer may wish to remove the firearm from the vehicle for the duration of the stop or they may not. It is up to the officer and the situation. If they do, then don't be offended. The officers don't usually have any idea who they are dealing with and its just a safety thing. Remember all the officer wants to to do his/her job and go home safely. Once you have informed the officer of the presence of a firearm and its location, do not reach for it. If he/she wants to see it they will either remove it or ask you to do so. Other than that, just do as the officer says and the stop will be completed in a very few minutes".

I will also add that if you are every pulled over at night. Be sure to turn on your dome light and place you hands somewhere visible like the steering wheel.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Helena City Council Agenda

Helena High School Band 2016-2017
Regular Meeting Agenda
August 22, 2016

PRE-COUNCIL:  Work Session Agenda                                              5:00 pm                                                        
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. Police Department Request for additional full time dispatcher position

CITY COUNCIL MEETING: Agenda                                                                                                  6:00pm
  1. Call To Order.
  2. Prayer.
  3. Pledge of Allegiance.
  4. Council Roll Call.
  1. Presentation of Minutes from Council meeting and Pre-Council meeting, August 8, 2016.
  2. Revenue Report - Bill payment.
  3. City Operations, Department, and Mayoral Report: Mayor Mark Hall
  • Police, Fire, Library, Streets, Sanitation, Utilities.
  1. Resolution – 08222016 – Police Department Request for Additional Full Time Dispatcher Position
  2. Resolution – 08222016a – Approve funding for turn lane improvements at HIS.
  3. Proclamation – September GYN Cancer Awareness Month
  4. Council Comments
  5. Adjourn

Next City Council Meeting Date:  Monday, September 12, 2016 @ 5:00 P.M. Pre-Council followed by Regular Meeting 6:00pm.

Tavi Juarez

Tavi Juarez of Helena is making a name for herself in New York with her Content Creation. I am good friends with her parents who are still living in Helena. Not only has she starred in multiple youtube videos but she has created a few hilarious ones. Here is a recent video by here sponsored by a tequila company. I am having trouble embedding it but you can click to get to it. It was in honor of National Peach Month.   I wish I was sponsored by a tequila company...

Helena Kiwanis Help

Callie Waldrop shared the  Helena Kiwanis' relief efforts for Louisiana organized on short notice. The First truck wasn't enough, so they orginzed a seconf one. ten Kiwanians and a Boy Scout from sponsored Troop 2 accepted donations of water and food and loaded two trucks. Watch for update news later. Thanks to everyone who helped. Thanks Camille Maier for pictures.

Helena Podcast 081

Helena Minute #82 played on 99.9 APH Radio
This is the one minute Helena Podcast site for the APH Radio and Itunes link.

Here is the short news for Helena Alabama:

For more Helena news see my blog or facebook page at:

Friday, August 19, 2016

Weekend Events

 Helena Weekend
We have a great weekend including the Helena High Football game against Ramsey on Friday night

Beads will take over the Helena Sports Complex for Saturday and Sunday. Come see the largest Bead Show in Alabama being hosted in Helena. Kick off at 10am on Saturday which will included singers, acts, and belly dancers

Helena Market Days
At the Helena Amphitheater from 8am-Noon on Saturday we will have the Helena Farmer Market. This is the next to last event and we will have Sherrie Pippin doing cobbler at 9am and music all day from Stick and Strum.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Helena Market Days

This Saturday we are excited to have Sherrie Pippin from Lazy Boy BBQ who will give a demonstration with peach cobbler. We will also have music by Sticks and Strum and special no profit of Usborne Books who is planning to donate to the Helena Library

In the aftermath of disaster, we know there's nothing quite like the love of a pet, to bring back a glimmer of hope for the future. With the tragic flooding now taking place throughout Louisiana, we have the opportunity to look beyond our state borders and help our neighbors—and their pets—near and far!
jazzy j designs is proud to partner with Hatching Hope, a non-profit organization which provide collars and other essentials to help apartment community families whose pets are also affected by disasters. For every Hatching Hope collar purchased, a collar will also be DONATED to a pet in need.
Your purchase and donation will not only provide a collar, it will also fund a Pet Care Kit, which includes a water and food bowl, leash, and food. Purchase your Hatching Hope collars at

Stats of Helena

Age of Helena
Awhile back we did a blog post where it showed that school attending residents made up almost half of the population 45%ish. I wanted to see if was still true today. Here are he most recent statistics. Including college age, it is much lower at 39% but it shows how the population in Helena has changed.

The Economic is still the same. We significantly different statistics than the rest of the State and Nation.I didn't see how they calculate poverty. I would love for us to bring the poverty and unemployment rate down to 0%. I don't see we could impact the Non Citizen. I suppose that takes into account foreign exchange students and people with work visas.

Our crime rate are amazingly lower than the nation with Assault and Lacrceny. But these stats are a little misleading since we do not have 100,000 residents and they are using that in their calculation. We have around 17-18,000 residents. So did they multiple our crime by almost 5-6% to make it fit in the 100k ratio? I ask that because it shows 5.6 murders and 5.6 Robbery. They last murder I remember in was a domestic murder/suicide but there is no way we are having 5 murders a year or I would have seen it on the police log.

Finally Education and Gender
Last but not least the education and population by gender

New Helena Belles

Helena Belles
At the Helena Belles 2016 Garden Party the 58 Helena Belles were introduced to the community with keynote from Miss Alabama Hayley Barber

"After the presentation of the belles, the girls shared a special moment on the dance floor at the reception as a father­daughter dance was held before refreshments were served. Here are the members of the 2016­17 Helena Belles listed by class:
Freshmen: Madison Chapman, Sarah Liz Collins, Caroline Cook, Molly Dillahunty, Olivia Dufour,
Maddie­Kae Jones, Payton Medeiros, Caitlin Pannell, Cameron Pannell, Samantha Robinson, Gia Sarris,
Michaela Singer, Georgette Taylor and Ana Watters.
Sophomores: Anna Lea Atkinson, Avery Barnett, Riley Bright, Madeline Brooks, Meredith Byrd, Lola
Decroes, Mary Margaret Getts, Mary Gilmore, Maddie Hollon, Elisabeth Hulbert, Laine Ingram, Morgan
Jacobs, Anna Kate Lolley, Anna Grace McDonald, Reilly Montgomery, Emily Stevenson, Emeline
Thornton, Joellen Ward, Melanie Watson and Caylie Yarborough.
Juniors: Caroline Anderson, Barrett Bowling, Emily Englezos, Katie Graham, Allie Lott, Hannah Lea
Jones, Abigail Moore, Emily Otis, Haley Rogers, Mackenzie Rosener, Marianna Stamba and Katie
Seniors: Taylor Anderson, Faith Carson, Madison Franklin, Savannah Key, Ashlyn Maxwell, Khushee
Modi, Tiara Pennington, Kylie Pritchard, Baylee Quick, Angel Sarris, Taylor Nicole Sharbel and Victoria

Dixie Chik Cooks in Helena

Dixie Chik Cooks in Helena
Nick Patterson from Birmingham Weld magazine featured Helena's national known Food Blogger Shea Goldstein who run the Dixie Chik Cooks blog. Nick's article talks about her recent apparent at the Helena market Days (which occur every Saturday during the Summer).

"Dixie Chik Cooks: A Southern Belle Who’s Thinking Of What’s For Dinner While Eating Lunch, features Goldstein’s own delicious-looking creations, photographed beautifully enough for any southern lifestyle magazine. One look at her Teriyaki Chicken Lettuce Wraps or Watermelon Jalapeno Bruschetta is enough to make you forget about whatever it is you just ate".

You can read the full article about her including an interview here:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Reader's Election Survey

Ok, It is less than a week away from the Helena Elections. I shared, with Blog readers, a survey about the city elections. I asked all of you, included the Facebook and Twitter followers, "Who do you think will win Helena Elections on August 23rd"?

Helena Elections
Some notes about Helena City Elections: Helena's City Council is an "At Large ", which means you can vote for any of the candidates in whichever place. By the same token, you can run for any of the Places (no matter where you live in Helena). In City Elections, the candidates do not have to declare political party, so the ballot will not show if they Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Green, etc. Finally, there are no Write ins so you will need to make a choice. On August 23rd, the election will be 7am-7pm at the Helena Sports Complex (MAP).

Please remember that this is not a scientific survey but just the opinion of Helena readers and the results will probably be different next week. We had 415 people take the survey and I kinda expect 1,500 to show up and vote.  I also did a facebook share of the survey to only people who were 18-99 and lived in Helena, AL.  Here are the results and some thoughts on it.

Lobell vs Nelson
This poll changed leads several times. Cris lead early then Alice so it is appropriate that when it ended it was a tie. Both Alice and Cris have strong name recognition. Alice is well known for her work as a teacher and Cris is well know for her work as the incumbent. There are a small number of undecided voters, so maybe most readers have made up their mind already. I think the winner will be whoever can get the most of the supporters to show up next week at the election.

Edwards vs Joseph
Place #4 on the City Council was occupied by Leslie Bartlett, who decided that she would not seek another term. So there is no incumbent, Laura and Tangee declared to run for the same place. The big thing that stood out to me, in this survey,  is that the Undecided vote was so large. I think that is because not many people know the two candidates. They both have facebook pages so if you are undecided you can check them out.

A personal note:  Laura Joseph was the only candidate who asked me to join her campaign so I have been so I have been a fan and supporter. I was happy to hear she was making the leap into serving in Politics. I even gave her an endorsement to use. I did not let that interfere in the survey and stayed neutral in case you were worried. I know Tangee as well and she is wonderful person but I know Laura Joseph would be the best person for the position.\

(Update) Here are the facebook links for the candidates:
Place #3
Alice Lobell
Cris Nelson Helena City Council
Place #4
Tangee Edwards
Laura Joseph

Ok, You can submit an absentee ballot until Thursday (I believe) with the City Clerk at City Hall but after that you have to wait until  Tuesday August 23rd 7am-7pm at the Sports complex. Your ballot will look something like this:

Belles in Helena

Helena Belles Garden Party
The Helena Belles had their annual Garden Party and the special guest speaker was Miss Alabama Hayley Barber!!  The program is for young ladies in Helena and they also serve as the city ambassadors. If you would like to learn more or have a daughter who would like to join. Here is their page:
Mayor Mark Hall welcomes Miss Alabama to Helena

Huskies' Friday Night Lights

Ready For Some Football?
This Friday (8/19/16) at 7pm . Helena will have a Non-Conference game against the Ramsay Rams at Husky Stadium in Helena. You can read the prediction that the news paper has for it HERE.

Here is the complete schedule below:

8/19 7:00p
Ramsay (Birmingham, AL)
Location: Helena High School

7:00pm at Mountain Brook (Birmingham, AL)
Location: Mountain Brook High School

7:00pm at Chilton County (Clanton, AL)
Location: Chilton County High School

7:00pm at Chilton County (Clanton, AL)
Location: Chilton County High School

7:00pm Pelham (Pelham, AL)
Location: Helena High School
Rivalry Game!

7:00pm Homewood (Homewood, AL)
Location: Helena High School

7:00pm at Vestavia Hills (Vestavia Hills, AL)
Location: Vestavia Hills High School

7:00pm Opelika (Opelika, AL)
Location: Helena High School

7:00pm Wetumpka (Wetumpka, AL)
Location: Helena High School

7:00pm at Benjamin Russell (Alexander City, AL)
Location: Benjamin Russell High School

7:00pm at Chelsea (Chelsea, AL)
Location: Chelsea High School

7:00pm Pell City (Pell City, AL)
Location: Helena High School


Helena is again lucky to host Bead Biz's Beadapalooza which is the largest bead celebrate in Alabama. There will be classes all weekend as well as a ton of vendors. The first 50 customers will receive gift bags. It is free to go and check it out. They will have entertainment all weekend with tribal belly dancers at 9:30am Saturday morning. Josh Wheeler Acoustic music all weekend. And Line Dancing on Sunday afternoon to watch or join in. It will be at the Helena Sports Complex. See above for more information.