Mayor Betterton's Weekly Update

September 30, 2021

Thank You, Keep The Shoals Beautiful, Keep The TN River Beautiful & MSNHA, for Keeping Our River Clean!

On Saturday, volunteers from groups across the Shoals participated in Tennessee River Litter Tournament working together to clean up both sides of our beautiful river. The educational and active cleanup was a huge success with 84 volunteers collecting 160 bags of litter from the Tennessee River at Riverfront and McFarland Parks. A HUGE THANK YOU to all of the volunteers, sponsors, and partners!

CASH Prize Raffle and MVP Winners:

MVP Awards: Nikki Dozier (Sheffield Key Club), and Heather Anderson (New Beginnings)

Constellium Recycle Award Winners: Thomas Anderson and Kaylee & Emily Johnson.

The GRAND $500 PRIZE Winner, Betty McCutcheon!

TRLT 2021
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Paw-loween, Saturday, October 30, 10 am - Noon

Mark your calendar for the 2nd Annual Paw-loween Event. City of Florence and University of North Alabama Departments along with organizations and businesses will line Court Street with trunks and booths for trick or treaters. If your business or organization would like to set up a booth, please click here to register.
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Groundbreaking Ceremony for Rotary STAR Play Area at McFarland Park

The groundbreaking ceremony for Rotary STAR Play, a Sensory, Tactile, and Adaptive Recreation Park, is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Friday, October 1, at McFarland Park under O’Neal Bridge.
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Florence Arts and Museums is proud to host architect and artist Valerie S. Goodwin on October 7th. Valerie was commissioned to create a textile art map for the slavery and cotton exhibit at Pope’s Tavern with a grant from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and support from the Kennedy-Douglass Volunteers.

Valerie will discuss her process of creating the textile art map at the Kennedy Douglass Center for the Arts at 5:30pm on October 7. After the discussion, participants will walk one block to the exhibit building at Pope’s Tavern for the unveiling of the piece and the opening of the slavery and cotton exhibit at 6:30pm. There will be a small reception in the yard at Pope’s Tavern featuring food by Soul Wingery and Records. For more information...

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Pumpkin Drop, Friday, October 1

Please join us for First Fridays next week for the Pumpkin Drop at 7 p.m. on Court Street! Thank you, Rick's Produce for providing the pumpkins for this year's festivities!
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The Florence Arts and Museums Speaker Series is a monthly program meant to inspire thoughtful conversations about the history and culture of North Alabama, with a focus on how the past shapes the present. Each program will be held at the Florence Indian Mound Museum at 2pm. For more information...

October 31: Jordan Collier, “The Civil War in the Shoals and North Alabama.”
November 28: Nita Flanagan, “The impact of the Trail of Tears on Tribal Identity for the Cherokee”
December 19: Kurt Vetters, “Confederate Winter and Freedom Spring.”
January 30: Scott Shaw, “Cave Archaeology”
February 27: Hannah Garmon, “Historic Preservation in Alabama.”
March 27: Anita Cobb, “The Black History – Eastside of Florence During the Mid 1900’s
April 24: Marie Taylor, “The Cherokee Missionary School on Chickamauga Creek: Exploring the History of Indigenous Missions in the Tennessee River Valley.”
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Most local people probably know about Florence Female Synodical College which existed between 1847 and 1890 on Seminary Street where the Post Office is located today, but less well-known is Florence University for Women which opened in 1891 and was destroyed by fire in 1911. This fine school operated in a magnificent building (pictured) at the westernmost end of Seymore Street in north Florence. Only the water tank shown in the attached picture remains today as testament that it once shared the space with the grand building. (This tank is rightfully listed on the National Register of Historic Places.) The 1909 yearbook, entitled Varsity, from this proud university was dedicated to the citizens of Florence with these glowing words: “Fair, kind and beautiful Florence, whose hospitality has made it so pleasant for stranger and visiting girls, whose sincere cordiality has welcomed us to your midst, whose lavish generosity has extended to us many courtesies, whose liberality has made the publication of this small volume possible, we, the students and faculty of Florence University for Women, sincerely and gratefully beg to dedicate this small volume to you.” It comes as no surprise that local citizens were so welcoming to the young women and the staff members at the university.

--Billy Warren, City Historian

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Check out the list of upcoming events...

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A little laugh...

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The Mayor and Council members will hold the next council meeting on

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

4:00 p.m. Work Session

5:00 p.m. Council Meeting

City Auditorium

103 South Pine Street

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How to Submit Your Event, News, or Announcement:

  • Public and community events or announcements can be submitted by attaching an email, Word document, PDF, or JPG file suitable for viewing on the web. Include graphics in JPG or PNG if possible.
  • Along with your information, include your name, phone number, event name, location, date and time, and a brief description.
  • IMPORTANT: Please submit your information no later than Tuesday of each week (preferably sooner). Submissions after the deadline will be added to the next week's publication. The newsletter is posted on Thursday afternoon.
  • Send your information to or call Rachel Koonce with questions at 256-760-6494.