Mayor Betterton's Weekly Update

July 29, 2021

Graffiti Alley - Embracing the Character of Downtown Florence

The design committee of Downtown Florence Alliance hosted a ribbon cutting on Thursday, July 22nd at 9:15 pm to celebrate the completion of the placemaking project that added details to the alleyway between Seminary and Court Streets and Mobile and Tennessee Streets.

"Many people prize the creativity of this alley in Downtown Florence. We embraced the space by adding swag lights, signage and marking the location as "Graffiti Alley."

By embracing the creativity and expression that naturally occurs in this space, we will elevate the artistic expression and allow for even better art in the future," commented Stephanie Vess, DFA Director.

DFA Graffiti Alley
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Mayor Betterton had the honor of commending Oliver Cotton on his 100th birthday!

Oliver was born on a farm in Kentucky in 1921 and, as a 21-year-old, joined the United States Army. He served his country for twenty years and is a veteran of both World War II and the Korean War, where he worked in X-ray technology. When Oliver was approaching discharge from the military, he was offered a job at Huntsville Hospital. He later worked at Colonial Manor Hospital as director of X-ray. Since retirement, Oliver Cotton has enjoyed traveling and fishing. He is a charter member of the Humana Seniors Association, now known as LifeWise.

We congratulate him for his 100 years of life and his many accomplishments along the way. Our community appreciates his service to our country and the medical field.

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Thank you, Shoals Chamber, for an informative lunch and learn featuring the best journalists in the Shoals!

The panelists, Jeremy, Bernie, DeAndria, and Nicole, delivered their insights into sharing news with the Shoals community while enjoying lunch with business leaders. We are truly blessed to have such talented journalists representing Florence.

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WC Handy Festival Is Just Getting Started! Don't Miss the Many Entertaining Events Throughout the Week!

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Wednesday, Mayor Betterton and Florence Council Members Enjoyed a Sneak-Preview of Upcoming Motion Picture RESPECT!

The Muscle Shoals Music Association hosted a spectacular evening of entertainment including a screening of the upcoming motion picture RESPECT, starring Academy Award® winner Jennifer Hudson as the legendary Aretha Franklin.

Pictured: Council Member Michelle Eubanks, Council Member Kaytrina Simmons, Sandra Betterton, Martha Murphy, and Mayor Andy Betterton

Florence Families Had a Blast Jazzing it Up with Recyclables at the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library!

Thank you to Microwave Dave, Keep The Shoals Beautiful, and the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library for teaching about recycling while making a groove! Learn more about recycling at
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The term "archaeological dig" usually evokes a mental picture of a group of professional archaeologists carefully sifting through soil in some ancient cave. But digs can be done literally anywhere, depending on the preliminary hypothesis that has been formulated. Such was the case when, in 1997, an urban dig was done on the southeast corner of Wood Avenue and Tuscaloosa Street -- a section of the present location of the Florence-Lauderdale Public Library. The hypothesis was that the home of Ferdinand Sannoner, one of the three planners of Florence, had been located there. It was hoped that, through the ten-day dig, artifacts would be found that would reflect the period (1818-1858) when Mr. Sannoner lived in his house there. A professional archaeologist carefully led the dig, assisted by local teachers and others from the community; a detailed journal was kept every day. Were artifacts found? Yes! Shards of pottery, ladies' hat pins, a brass button from a Confederate Army uniform, bits of hand-chipped flint, square nails -- just to name a few. Was the homesite of Ferdinand Sannoner discovered? The hypothesis wasn't answered with complete certainty, but everyone involved declared it had been a fascinating experience!

--Billy Warren, City Historian

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Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts will be Showing an Exhibition of Works by Artist Cara Allen

August 8th-September 13th

You are invited to enjoy the art of Cara Allen at the 31-year-old artist’s first show since her 2019 move to Posey Mill, Alabama from Dallas, Texas. The opening reception is slated for Sunday, August 8th from 2 pm -4 pm. Allen’s abstract landscapes are rendered in yarn using an industrial tufting gun and are evidence of her continued exploration of technique as well as her ability to challenge traditional applications of yarn as an artistic medium.

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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, August 2, 2021

4:00 p.m. Work Session

5:00 p.m. Council Meeting

City Auditorium

103 South Pine Street

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  • Send your information to or call Rachel Koonce with questions at 256-760-6494.