Mayor Betterton's Weekly Update

September 16, 2021

Message from Homeless Care Council Executive Director Bonnie Wallace!

Hello, Community!

As the new Executive Director for HCCNWAL, I'd like to introduce myself to you. My name is Bonnie Wallace. I am a native of the entire eastern region of the US but consider Birmingham my hometown. I graduated from Birmingham-Southern College in 1992 with degrees in Secondary Education & English. My passion for helping others was borne at BS-C as "service learning" as an integral part of our education. Continue reading...

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Mayor Betterton had the honor of speaking at the "State of The Shoals: Local Government" Lunch & Learn

Thank you to the Shoals Chamber of Commerce for hosting a successful educational event and for all you do for the Shoals community. The event was held at Jack's Place Bistro where the four Shoals mayors led a discussion on the state of our local government! Mayor Betterton spoke briefly about the River Heritage Trail, Star Play, and the new municipal building and parking decks.

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Thank you, Salvation Army, for all you do for our community & for loving our first responders!

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Archaeologists Discover Trove of Artifacts at Site of 19th-Century Alabama Tavern

During the Civil War, both the Union and Confederate armies used the building as a hospital and command center Read full article...
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In A Landscape: Artist Curtis Shannon at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts

Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts will exhibit Curtis Shannon’s photographic assemblage prints from September 16th through October 14th. The opening reception will take place on Thursday, September 16th from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. in the Kennedy-Douglass Annex galleries.

The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is free and open to the public Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and on Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The art center is located at 217 E. Tuscaloosa St. Florence, AL. Call 256-760-6379 for more information on exhibits, programs, and membership. The Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts website can be viewed at:

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Congratulations to all of the Tedx Wilson Park Speakers!

The amazing talent and willingness to share their lives brought a TEDx event that was educational, emotional, and inspiring. Follow TEDx Wilson Park to view the TEDx blog, previous videos, and to stay tuned for the 2022 event.
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This week, Arc of the Shoals joined "The Club" at Deibert Park for a great fishing day! Mark your calendar for October 19, 2021 for the next event!

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For many years, the architecturally elaborate Jefferson Hotel (top photograph) sat on the corner of Short Court and West Tennessee Streets in downtown Florence. (A City-owned parking lot is there now.) There was no separate building in town to house the operations of the City in those days, so the offices of City government were located in a front portion of the ground floor in the Jefferson. The Fire Department also operated on the ground floor, but at the rear of the building. After this grand structure was razed, a local family, the Negleys, constructed a new hotel in the same spot (bottom photograph). There are residents in town today who remember eating meals in the large dining room of the Negley, as it was open to both the public and the hotel guests. Meals were served family style, with diners sitting at long tables and passing bowls of food from person to person. Plans are in the works at the moment to build a new City Hall at the exact location where the Jefferson Hotel was situated. When that happens, it means that City Hall will be in its original spot – another of the “life comes full circle” stories!

--Billy Warren, City Historian

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Check out the list of upcoming events...


The Florence Indian Mound Museum, in partnership with the Tennessee Valley Authority, is sponsoring a virtual speaker series as a part of an effort to raise awareness about looting in the Shoals area. The September presentation will feature representatives from the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma and the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians who will be talking about the theft and desecration of Native American cultural items and landscapes. The presentation can be viewed at the following link on Friday, September 17th at 12 pm:

Norbert Putnam - Pre-Concert Lecture

Recording industry legend Norbert Putnam will be our guest lecturer for Yesterday: A Tribute to the Beatles! Join the SSO for the FREE Pre-Concert Lecture at 4:00pm in the UNA Music Building Choir Room on the 1st Floor.

Putnam (Bassist) and other members of the Muscle Shoals Rhythm Section joined the Righteous Brothers and opened for the Beatles in New York City on February 11th, 1964. Putnam went on to become good friends with Beatle, George Harrison. Putnam developed into a hit record producer working with Elvis Presley, Joan Baez, Jimmy Buffet, and more.

Purchase your tickets for September 19th at 5:00pm by clicking the link:

Shoals Nonprofit Center: Hands on Shoals volunteer management training

Hands on Shoals is a free volunteer management platform that allows organizations and other community entities to recruit and retain volunteers, track and manage hours, and share needs with the community in real-time. Learn more about the benefits of using this resource, how to add your organization and volunteer opportunities, and much more! This training will be led by our hosts at HandsOn Connect and recorded for your convenience.

Thursday, September 23rd at 12pm.

Zoom Meeting: Register here.

*This particular training is specific for nonprofits. We will be hosting volunteer training for community members at a later date.


This month the Florence Arts and Museums Speaker Series will highlight author Peggy Allen Towns who will deliver her presentation, Scottsboro Unmasked, based upon her book by the same name. Townes presentation will begin at 2 pm on Sunday, September 26th, at the Florence Indian Mound Museum. The speaker series is a monthly program meant to inspire conversations about the history and culture of North Alabama, with a focus on how the past shapes the present.

You’re Invited!

The Shoals Chamber is honored to host Governor Kay Ivey in The Shoals for a public address to our community! On Thursday, September 30, Governor Ivey will join us at the Shoals Theater in Florence for our annual legislative event - Evening for Progress. Tickets for the event are available for $30 on our website!

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A little laugh...

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

Tuesday, September 21, 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.