Mayor Andy Betterton

March 25 , 2021

Welcome, Florence Fire & Rescue Recruits

Congratulations to the seven new Fire & Rescue Firefighter Recruits who have completed their 4-week orientation period and have begun Recruit School. We wish them great success. Thanks to each of you for choosing to devote your working life to making your community a safer place to live!
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Florence Police Department Promotions

The City of Florence Civil Service Board met and considered a group of highly qualified candidates for the position of Captain, Lieutenant (Lt), and Sergeant (Sgt) within the Florence Police Department.

Please join us in congratulating newly promoted Capt Wes Gargis, Lt Jason Fort, Sgt Andrew Graves, and Sgt Justin Hill. We appreciate each of you for your dedicated service.

Captain Wes Gargis

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Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Assistance may be available if you’re behind on energy bills through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Find out more at
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Thank you to all of our Florence Spring Cleanup Volunteers!

Big things are happening in Florence! Thanks to a few hours of work from our resident volunteers, Florence is getting a spring cleaning! You may have noticed that the litter that has piled up over the winter is steadily going away. A big thank you to all who have participated in the cleanup! We've even had anonymous litter-getters all over town. What great examples you are!

During March and April, residents can take part in the Great American Cleanup by picking up litter. To collect your cleanup supplies, call 256-760-6495 or register by clicking the 'Volunteer Now' link below:

2021 Florence Clean up
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Congratulations to all of the Winners of the Artistic Rendering of Youth Exhibit!

Artistic Renderings of Youth 2021 will be on display March 1-March 31 at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts. The University of North Alabama School of Arts also recognizes exceptional talent by awarding $500 scholarships to three students from Division 3.

Best of Show & UNA Scholarship – Taryn Kimbrough, Colbert Heights High School

1st Place & UNA Scholarship – Raymon Nance, Florence High School

Jerry Foster Avante Garde Award & UNA Scholarship – Jenna Swanson, Florence High School

Congratulations to all of the WINNERS! Click here to view the list.

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Easter Bake Sale Benefiting Chloe’s Fund

Florence, AL…It's almost Easter, and Chloe's Fund Volunteers are working very hard to keep the fund up and running so that animals in need can be helped (often in emergencies). Our volunteers spend hours baking and making homemade crafts to support Chloe's Fund. These homemade treats are available from 10 am-2 pm on Saturday, April 3, at the Florence-Lauderdale Animal Services (FLAS) Building, located at 3240 Roberson Road in Florence. To pre-order, you can check out the menu on the FLAS web page. All proceeds from these sales benefit Chloe's Fund. With your continued help, Chloe's Fund can save the lives of hundreds of animals!

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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 Shoals Archaeological Stewardship Virtual Speaker Series will feature a different presentation each month from March through October. The first presentation will be Dr. Lisa Davis, who will present her work on paleoflood records in the Tennessee River valley. The presentation can be viewed at the following link on Friday, March 26th at 12 pm.

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Opening Soon!

The Roundabout Grille at Sweetwater

1420 Huntsville Rd.

Find the Roundabout Grille On Facebook.

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What do a shanty and a cellar have in common? Well, in the 1950's and early 1960's, both were restaurants in downtown Florence. Sammie Barksdale was a well-known restaurateur at the time, owning both the Shanty and Sammie's Cellar. The Shanty, which was located on the corner of College and Court Streets (now a parking lot), was aptly named because it did, indeed, look like a shanty in which people of very limited income might live. Sammie's Cellar, on the other hand, was located in the basement of the building at 116 East Mobile Street (now Mobile Plaza). Diners entered by a flight of steps in the alley on the west side of the building. Unlike the Shanty, the decor of Sammie's Cellar was rather elegant, with a pleasant color scheme and subdued lighting. Anderson's Newsstand was located on the ground floor of the same building. So, how did the menus at the two restaurants compare? They were equally varied and equally delicious. Note the attached advertisement from a local newspaper in 1959. The menus are identical, and the price of a meal was quite manageable. Right?

--Billy Warren, City Historian

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

Tuesday, April 6, 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 funny

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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.
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