Why do you ❤️ Florence, AL?

Mayor Betterton's Weekly Update

February 11, 2021


Leading up to Valentine's Day, help us count the reasons to LOVE Florence by including the hashtag #ILoveFlorenceAL on social media videos and pictures.

I Love Florence (1)
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Black History Month Celebration

Black History Book Donation

FLORENCE, Ala. — The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library received a special donation Friday morning in honor of Black History Month. Florence native Pam Bailey donated several books covering various topics on Black history in America. Bailey now lives in Georgia and shipped the books to Councilwoman Kaytrina Simmons to donate on her behalf. Bailey said her late mother loved to read and part of the reason for her donation was to honor her. She said she also wants to give young people the chance to learn more about Black history they may not know. “Books provide details about our Black history that are not necessarily being taught in the schools right now, and that’s something that I would love to get into the public libraries and also to get into our school systems so that kids can learn that Black history.” The books donated are “Just Mercy: A True Story of the Fight for Justice” by Bryan Stevenson, “Vintage Hughes” by Langston Hughes, as well as a collection published by the Equal Justice Initiative: “Reconstruction in America: Racial Violence after the Civil War, 1865-1876,” “Slavery in America: The Montgomery Slave Trade,” “Lynching in America: Confronting the Legacy of Racial Terror,” and “Segregation in America.”

Jeremy Jackson, WHNT

Black History Month @Florence High School

FHS Black History Program 2021
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Project Help is a utility assistance program through the Help Center located at 621 S Court Street, Florence. The partnership provides an easy way for concerned citizens to help provide warmth and light to those in need. Many people of Lauderdale County will face dark days this year without help. Small donations paired with community support could greatly improve their situation. Florence Mayor Betterton emphasized, “I am proud of our partnership and the Help Center and for their dedication to helping our community.”

Citizens can help provide utility assistance for the elderly, disabled, and those who have a fixed income or no income at all, by adding a small donation to their monthly utility bill. Florence Utilities serves only as the collection service for this fund. Every dollar given to Project Help will go through The Help Center to those in need. No contributions collected will be used to pay workers or subsidize any other expenses.

How can I help?

Customers can automatically draft monthly donations by signing the authorization card that will be in their next utility bill or online. The amount designated to Project Help as indicated on the card will be added to the resident's utility bill until it is removed at the request of the account holder. Donations can be made directly to the Help Center at P.O Box 1713, Florence, AL 35630.

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Donate to The Pantry

The University of North Alabama pantry is supported through the kindness of community and campus donations. To provide support for the Pantry, please see the options to donate here.

The mission of The Pantry is to support the basic needs of the UNA community and raise awareness about the growing issue of food insecurity across campus.

Pantry Primary Contact: Bethany Green, bloliver@una.edu
Office of Student Engagement in GUC 163

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UNA Culinary Arts Management Program Named in Honor of Jeff Eubanks

On Friday, February 5, 2021, The University of North Alabama officially named the the Culinary Arts Management Program in the School of the Arts for 1996 UNA graduate Jeff Eubanks. Picture shows Council Member Michelle Eubanks (District 6) and UNA President Kenneth Kitts unveiling the commemorative plaque.


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Are You Ready To Start Again?


Come join us at the river for a month of inspiration! RESET AT THE RIVER will have inspirational speakers, exercise instructors and extension agents sharing information about RECONNECTING with others, REINVESTING in self and community, REFRESHING food choices and RESTORING spirit, mind and body. Get out of the house, put on a mask, spread out at our river and be inspired! Be ready to move and RESET!!!

· Meet the 20 minutes a day/5 days a week exercise challenge!

· Spend four weeks gathering with your community at the river for 30 minutes on weekdays!

· Engage in activities on the RESET AT THE RIVER Activity Sheet! Let’s Go!

When: February 15 – March 13

Time: Every day at Noon

Location: the Tennessee River at McFarland Park

Rain location: The YMCA of the Shoals Gymnasium

Questions? Call Cathy Turner at the YMCA at 256-246-9622

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Coming Soon:

Dollar Tree

3330 Cloverdale Road


A new Dollar Tree store is under construction on Cloverdale Road across from Jack’s. Dollar Tree carries everything you need for every occasion. The best part is that every single item is only $1 (or less).

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Many (maybe most) people carry certain sensory experiences from childhood far into their adult lives. For example, they might remember the aroma of Grandma's Thanksgiving Day kitchen or the fragrance of the orchard abloom in springtime at the family farm or the pungent mix of odors at the North Alabama State Fair when it was located at the Fairground on Chisholm Road. Well, the same can actually be true of certain shopping experiences. Citizens of a certain age in Florence who shopped at Culpepper's Bakery on the southeast corner of Court and Tuscaloosa Streets remember the delicious aroma of freshly-baked doughnuts, apple fritters and other delicacies. The Sears-Roebuck Store on East Tennessee Street (that entire block is vacant today) had its own fragrance and maintained it even when it became the corporate headquarters of Martin Industries. And those who remember shopping in the beautiful Art Deco building on Court Street that housed Rogers Department Store also remember its elegant aroma. So, yes, the story of a city certainly includes the fragrances, good and-not-so good, associated with it.

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

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

4:00 p.m. Work Session

5:00 p.m. Council Meeting

City Auditorium

103 South Pine Street

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A little laugh 😎 ...

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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 rmansell@florenceal.org or call Rachel Koonce with questions at 256-760-6494.
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Background Photo By: Johnny Raper