Monday, April 21, 2014

Monday Reader's Post

Photo by Neal Wagner from SCR new article
Weekend Update
This past Easter weekend was marred when the Helena and Pelham police had to become engaged in a domestic dispute in the parking lot of Papa Saia's. The suspect was shot and transported. I posted this on Saturday night but if this is the first time for you then here is the full story: Shelby County Reporter

Helena Mayor Mark Hall had this to say, "Initial reports indicate Helena and Pelham Police officers, who responded to assist HPD, handled a dangerous situation swiftly and appropriately in the parking lot at Papa Saias tonight, resulting in only the armed suspect receiving injuries. I'm am thankful to our officers for putting their safety aside to protect law abiding and innocent citizens at any cost".
Good Bye to Bill
We loss, Bill Ginas, to a motorcycle accident this weekend. He had been a big volunteer to Helena events including the Buck Creek Festival where he served many years as the Band Chairperson. He was  great guy and he will be missed.
Shared by Suzanne Schnetzler
Horse Show
Congrats to the Rocking S Farm of Helena whose students attended their first horse show of 2014 in Cleveland, TN
Baseball Playoffs
Valerie Jones and Chad Brannon shared that the freshman are the champions of the Metro Tournament. They beat Hewitt for their big win.

Angela Payne shared that Pelham varsity baseball won 1st round playoffs moving on to 2nd round Friday night. Their opponent to be determined after tomorrow nights game of Thompson vs Spain Park
Level Up
Nicki shared that Logan Streb was awarded his Yellow Belt in Tae Kwon-do at Tiger Rock. Way to !

Shout Out For
Missy Narkates who survived a blood clot in her right lung. They discovered it on Good Friday and she was dismissed today, on Easter! So Happy for you Missy!

Helena High School News
The Helena High School band boosters shared results: Dance Team, Majorettes, and Color Guard
on their website here: Results PDF.

Also if you have a student who will be attended Helena High next year then Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. "you can meet new faculty members and to discuss program opportunities available at Helena High School next year including dual enrollment, health sciences, athletics, fine arts, and more". The meeting will be held at the Helena Middle School.
Shared by Joe Pitts
Helena Clean Up
Last but not least...The Helena Clean Up on Saturday was big hit. The two dumpsters were full by the first hour and the line to dump was at one point 30 cars long. I think everyone was ready for some Sprig cleaning and few were cleaning up after flood damage. Thank you to the Mayor for organizing this event. 

Sunday, April 20, 2014


Helena Police have released a statement:
Police officers were called to a domestic dispute in the Papa Saia's parking lot, Pelham police responded to assist. The suspect reportedly was armed with a handgun, Police responded appropriately and the  Suspect was shot and is being treated at UAB for a gunshot wound. No one else was in immediate danger or hurt.
Police will release findings later as investigation develops over the next few days.
There is no other reason for alarm in this area at this time.

From Kent Faulk of

HELENA, Alabama -- Helena and Pelham police are on the scene of a shooting in the parking lot of Papa Saia's Sports Grille in Old Town Helena.
Detective Sgt. Chris Rollan with the Helena Police Department said officers were told of a man brandishing a gun in the parking lot. 
"No one inside (the restaurant) was in any danger," Rollan said.
Officers verbally engaged the man. Shots were fired. The man was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
The incident began with a domestic disturbance between the man and another family member.
The investigation is being turned over to the Alabama Bureau of Investigation.
The incident happened about 8:30 p.m.
Additional information was not immediately available.
The restaurant is at 4300 Helena Road.
The parking lot was filled with cars and patrons stayed inside the restaurant immediately following the shooting.
More than a dozen cars from the two departments are on the scene.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Weekend in Helena

Helena Weekend Events
There are a lot of great and interesting events in Helena this weekend, but first let share a big honor that Helena has received.
Most Business Friendly
The Alabama Policy Institute has named Helena the 6th most business friendly cities in the State of Alabama. We beat up on giants like Birmingham and Mobile. "The list is based based on four key areas: economic vitality, business tax burden, community allure and transportation infrastructure. The categories cover factors including recent job growth, short- and long-term population growth, crime rates, per capita income, student performance and cost of living".

The Mayor shared that more great things are in store for Helena in the near future. Hopefully those plans will be finalized and the City will make some announcements. The whole top 10 list: " Prattville, Foley, Daphne, Cullman, Helena, Troy, Montgomery, Fairhope and Pell City". You can read the full article: Business Friendly in Alabama
Helena Weekend Calendar
This is Easter Weekend in Helena. I have always consider Easter the most holy of holidays. I know most people favor Christmas but Easter always had a higher meaning for me. Enjoy the weather, spend time with your family and come hang out in Helena.

Friday 18th
9:00pm Franklin Road debuts at Rio's Bar and Grill
10pm Deputy 5 performs at Papa Saia's

Saturday 19th
8am-Noon Helena "Clean Up and Clean Out" junk disposal day at Sport Complex (more details below)
11am Papa Saia's Crawfish Boil starts
1pm Jason Mayo performs at Papa Saia's
8pm Bobby Legg performs at Papa Saia's

Sunday 20th
Happy Easter
Here are some Easter church events that were shared with me earlier.

Phil Chambers: Join us this Sunday for Easter! Christ Community Church meets at 10am at Helena Intermediate School.

Mike Ensminger shared that there will be a Community wide Easter Sunrise service at the Helena Sports complex starting at 6:30 am, breakfast will follow at the Helena Cumberland Presbyterian Church. All are invited to come celebrate our Lord’s resurrection. Message will be brought by Mike Ensminger and music by New Vision church.

Diane Jackson shared that The Church at Cahaba Bend will offer a Good Friday Tenebrae service at 7 p.m. On Easter Sunday, we will have three services — at 7, 9, and 10:30 a.m. The 7 a.m. service is scheduled to take place in the new outdoor worship space. In case of rain, this service will be moved indoors to the sanctuary. The 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services will be held in the sanctuary.The new outdoor space, which will be consecrated on Easter Sunday.

Helena Yard Sales
Here are the Yard Sales that were shared with me. Let me know if I left something off

1305 Old Cahaba Trace in Old Cahaba.The yard sale is this Saturday from 8AM - 3PM

 963 Old Cahaba Drive Multifamily garage sale Sat, April 19th starts at 7am.. Furniture, cloths- women, men and kids, electronics, home decor, books, plus plenty more.

 119 Griffin Drive, right off Highway 17 towards Maylene.  Yard sale Saturday from 7-2. A ton of junior/ladies clothes, TV, DVD player, Wii items, shoes, purses, bags, shelving, and household items.

Free Junk Disposal Day
Helena residents get ready to clean out and clean up! The City of Helena will be hosting a one day "Clean Up & Clean Out" junk disposal day Saturday, April 19, 2014 from 8:00AM-Noon at the Helena Sports Complex. Large Roll off Dumpsters will provided by Republic Services for you to dispose of the things that will not go in your regular household garbage cans, free of charge.

No wet paint, CHEMICALS, ACIDS or LIQUIDS are allowed. Paint can be dried out and then the cans taken and dropped off. Technical Knock Out will also be there to take electronic devices that you need to dispose of. (There is a $7.00 charge for computer monitor disposal. They will not take TV’s.) All other electronics can be disposed of for free. So, anything that plugs in like a hair dryer, toaster oven or coffee pot can be brought down. So, take advantage of this opportunity and start your spring cleaning now! (Participation is limited to legal residents of Helena only)
Jim Weldon photo of the 2014 Helena Easter Hunt
Join the Helena Belles
If you have been to an event then you have seen the Beautiful Helena Belles who are the ambassadors for the City of Helena. They are taking applications this month. You can apply but all applications are due (postmarked) by April 23rd. Interviews will be at the Magnolia Manor in Helena on Monday, April 28th and Orientation will be Sunday, May 4th.  Applications can be found on

Scouting for Food
Dustin Strickland shared that Pack 532's Scouting for Food drive will begin on April 19th. "Our scouts will be putting bags on mailboxes with a note that we are collecting can goods for the Salvation Army. We will be picking up bags left curbside on the 26th between 2pm and 4pm. Email for more info
Missing Kitty
Melissa shared they have a Missing cat from Amberley Woods. "He could have gone into Penhale Park or through the woods towards Scurlock road. Gravy has on a tag and is chipped. This cat is my son's heart".
Southern Elegance
Southern Elegance in Old Town Helena is having a 30% off all Easter items. It is time to stock up for next year. They are also having a sale on other items as well. They are located  4040 Helena Road, Helena, Alabama 35080 and their page says they will be open Friday and Saturday 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

Found on Trail
Sonja found theses on the trail. Glasses and keys. Anyone missing them?

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Thursday in Helena

Maundy Thursday Service
Helena United Methodist on 2035 Hwy 58 will have a special Maundy Thursday service tonight at 6:30pm . It will be a memorable service with the choir and will be blessed by the performance of the "Last Words of Christ"
Library Love
Today in "I Love the Jane B. Holmes Public Library Day" so it must be the best day ever*:
"Visit the library on this day! They will have a Book Sale, with proceeds benefiting a Great Cause - The Jane B. Holmes Public Library! Also, FREE book bags this day! ALL DAY

Stop by to bring in any donations you may have, and look for treasures in our sale!

Also, bring in your card to see if you need an update or to pay any fines you may have. Most importantly, Check out some books, movies, music, magazines, or other material. These services are FREE!

The library appreciates your patronage and support.

If you are interested in joining a really fun group and meeting other people who love the library, consider attending the Friends of the Library Meeting this same day at 6:00 PM. Where? At the Library!

Finally, on Saturday 4/19/2014 from 10:00 until 2:00, the book sale will be buy one get one free! (The library is closed for the Good Friday Holiday on Friday, 4/18/2014.)

Qustions? Call the library (664-8308) and ask for Daniel Dearing, or anyone can help you"!
Destination Imagination
Sarah Hanley shared, "The Destination Imagination (D.I.) club is a STEM club of 7th and 8th graders at Helena Middle School. Seven teams from HMS traveled to Huntsville over the weekend for the State D.I. tournament. Four of these HMS teams won medals in team challenges which included Scientific, Improvisation, Building and Art. Pictured here is the "Magic 101" team who brought home 3rd place medals in their category. Congrats to all the teams--way to go"!
Helena goes to Washington
Congressman Spencer Bachus spoke to our 5th grade students in Washington, DC and posted a picture on his website!

Pam shared a petition supporting, "Addressing Dyslexia in Alabama Public Schools". It will be delivered to The Alabama State House, The Alabama State Senate, and Governor Robert Bentley

"Decoding Dyslexia Alabama is a grassroots movement by Alabama families to address the struggles we face in securing appropriate reading interventions for our children with dyslexia in Alabama public schools". If you want to sign then Petition Link
Jim Weldon's photo of families arriving for Easter Egg Hunt
Easter Thanks
Jason Powers of the Helena Parks and Recreation department of Helena wanted to share a special message with you:
"Special Thanks to all of the children and parents for a great day of fun at the Easter Egg Hunt on Saturday, April 12th at Helena Elementary School. We had a great turnout and lots of community support.

Thanks to all the event sponsors:
Oak Mountain Orthodontics
Bud's Best Cookies
Helena United Methodist Church
Helena Police Department
Helena Fire Department

See everyone next year"!
Helena Principals with Helena Mayor Hall
School Showcase Event
At a special Shelby County Event, the principals of Helena and the Helena Mayor Hall attended a special event to showcase our schools and to also see a new Shelby County School system logo and formal seal.
The rest of this is partial from the press release that Kathy Paiml: "The colors of the logo are the same as the American flag and point to the fact that the one of the district’s greatest strengths is found in the diversity of the communities and students it serves.

The image in the upper portion of the logo is an abstract representation of both an open book and a flame.  The open book signifies an unending quest for knowledge, while the flame is symbolic of the district’s goal to ignite a pursuit of life-long learning within each of its students.   The columns located in the lower portion of the logo represent the district’s long-standing tradition of excellence and mission to equip every student with a strong foundation for success in life and learning.

The school district also unveiled a new video, which stresses the new tagline “Prepared for the Journey”.  The new video highlights innovative programs and community partnerships with organizations such as, Taziki’s Mediterranean CafĂ©, Shelby Baptist Medical Center, and Lemak Sports Medicine, which are helping to prepare students for college and careers.  The video also features successful alumni such as 2005 Miss America, Dr. Deidre Downs Gunn; Gates Millennium Scholarship winner Nick Robertson; author Anna Kathryn Davis; and Governor Robert Bentley.   It can be viewed at the following link: The site can be viewed at
*Having a great City Council but I received an IRS audit letter  a rough week on the day job, and my wife thinks I have colon cancer so I guess everything evens out

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Helena Hump Day

Wednesday in Helena
It is a cold Wednesday in Helena but this Easter Weekend we should be in the upper 70s! Things are looking good in Helena. Also Welcome to Audra who just moved to Helena. She just shared that she is now a Helenite!
Book Winners
Kathy Paiml, principal of Helena Intermediate, shared that the HIS Battle of the Books Team won 1st place in the competition today! Way to Go!
Sunrise Service
Mike Ensminger shared that there will be a Community wide Easter Sunrise service at the Helena Sports complex starting at 6:30 am, breakfast will follow at the Helena Cumberland Presbyterian Church. All are invited to come celebrate our Lord’s resurrection. Message will be brought by Mike Ensminger and music by New Vision church.
Two Mules for Sister
Ben sent me an unusual request. His sister-in-law and her husband will be taking two of their mules from Louisiana to Tennessee this weekend to get them trained by Amish logging mule trainers.  They plan to stay in Helena on Friday night. He was looking for a place to board them and found a place nearby. So welcome to Ben's sister in law and her two mules to Helena!
Helenite's Response to Alvin
Alabama Representative Alvin Holmes has been make some statements that has been getting national attention. One statement during the abortion debate was challenged by a clinical social worker in Helena.Homes is quoted as saying, ""Ninety-nine percent of the white people who are sitting in here now, if their daughter got pregnant by a black man, they are going to make their daughter have an abortion".

Suzanne M. Peden of Helena's A Angel Adoptions was "heartbroken" by the remarks. In a article, she says that it is simply not true. "I have been working with pregnant women, babies, and adoptive families in the field of adoption for 29 years and my professional experience does not support his remarks". You can read her full response here: SOURCE
Helena High Football Schedule
The Helena Athletics Association posted  the Football schedule for the new Helena High School on there twitter feed. You can follow them at @HelenaAthAsso . Dont forget they are also selling personalized bricks for the stadium if you want to be part of Helena history.

Helena High Basketball
Basketball(Boys and Girls) Interest Meeting
Basketball Interest Meeting (Boys and Girls) will be on Monday, April 21 at 6:30pm at HMS.  The new coaches will be present to answer any questions about the tryout process. All players that have not filled out a Helena Athletic Interest form online should follow the link: Helena High Link

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Sidewinders, International, and Waters in Helena

Sidewinders Win
Shae Gibbs shared that after the Sidewinders are headed to the Championship Game! After the Sidewinders placed in a Hoover Tournament they will be representing us in  the Championship Game. A great bunch of boys. Way to Go!
Smm Unnoppetchara shared Cahaba Riverkeeper's "Renew Our Rivers Cleanup" from the Cahaba River recently.
HES around the World
Molly Davidson wrote an article about Helena Elementary students celebrate world cultures. Laura Sokol’s second grade class was the focus and their project called "Cinderella Around the World". The students study traditional dress and food of various cultures for a month. You can read more here: source
Helena Library
Don't forget that this whole week is a celebration of the Helena Library. The library will be giving out free books bags to people who check out 10 books (while supplies last). They will also have a book sale this Thursday at 6pm. Come celebrate Helena's Library. For more info: LINK
Dam Disappearance
There was an article about the disappearance of the Helena Dam. You can read with stories and Ken Penhale and Mayor Dundee. This flood was the biggest as long as I remember but Ken shares the worst flood. "Local historian Ken Penhale noted that this was not a record-setting flood, as on July 14, 1872, written documentation says, “Buck Creek rose at a point opposite the crossing of the Atlantic Birmingham & Atlantic (sic) Railroad to a height of 14-and-a-half feet above the ties.” - See more at: LINK

Negative Turned Positive
The Camp Fire’s 3rd Annual Kathleen P Bruhn Leadership Open golf tournament was rained out for the second Monday in a row. As a result, Camp Fire had 100 lunches that they didn’t want to go to waste. They contacted one of their local community partners, Urban Ministries, to see if they could use the lunches for their After School Care Program. They agreed, and delivery of the lunches to Urban Ministries is scheduled for this afternoon at 3:30 p.m. As an additional positive, the KPB Leadership Open was rescheduled at Shoal Creek on Monday, June 16th. If you want to help them contact Helena's Sarah Hendren, who is the Camp Fire Alabama Events Coordinator – Cell: (205) 410-3177 –

Cahaba Bend Sanctuary
Diane Jackson shared that The Church at Cahaba Bend will offer a Good Friday Tenebrae service at 7 p.m. On Easter Sunday, we will have three services — at 7, 9, and 10:30 a.m. The 7 a.m. service is scheduled to take place in the new outdoor worship space. In case of rain, this service will be moved indoors to the sanctuary. The 9 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. services will be held in the sanctuary.The new outdoor space, which will be consecrated on Easter Sunday.

 This new outdoor space was built entirely by the men of our church, who donated their own money for materials and all of the labor. Not one dime came from the church budget for this.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Volunteers, Charity and Imagination

Volunteers at the Amphitheater
Helena Volunteers
This weekend, in Helena volunteers, gave their time to help around the City. On Saturday, the Beautification volunteers created hanging baskets for Old Town Helena. Others helped run the City Easter Egg hunt. On Sunday, people came out between 9am-3pm and helped clean the Helena Amphitheater. Thank you to everyone who came out. Also thanks to the Mayor and City Employees who have been working all week after the flood. I think this is what makes our little town so special!

Weather: Be aware there is a chance of flash flooding Monday morning

Celebrate National Library Week
Check out 10 books on Monday, and get a chance for a prize!
Jim Weldon's Photo of 2014 Helena Easter Egg Hunt
Charity Golf
This years Helena Police Explorers Golf tournament, will be held at Bent Brook golf club, June 5. Sign in and practice are 7am with a shotgun start at 8am. Cost per player is $100.00. The cost includes, range balls, gift bag, lunch, and door prizes, with First place receiving $400.00. For a company, or individual sponsorship the cost is $100.00. If you are interested in playing or being a sponsor please contact Captain James Penhale by phone: 205-663-6499
State Imagination Champs
Sandy Brannon shared that the "Helena Middle School placed first in Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Huntsville. We are very proud of all their hard work and creativity"! Way to Go!