Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon Sign up for Mayor Mickey Haddock's Email Newsletter
For Email Newsletters you can trust

July 24, 2014


W.C. Handy Festival

July 18-27


Since 1982, the Music Preservation Society (MPS) has been honoring and celebrating the "Father of the Blues" with an annual ten day series of events held in the Northwestern part of Alabama. This year we proudly recognize our 33rd festival; last year we were honored with recognition by the Alabama Department of Tourism as one of the Top 10 events.


For more information please visit their website









This week, Ms. Lillian Deibert would have celebrated her 98th birthday. We remember her for the most generous gift she and her husband gave to the City of Florence-our beautiful Deibert Park located at the corner of Cox Creek Parkway and Darby Drive.

What a treasure!





UNPACK THE PRIDE is the kick-off event to Pride Week at the University of North Alabama. We invite faculty, staff, students, alumni, individuals, and organizations from UNA and the Shoals to help us welcome the Class of 2018 and our returning students as they arrive on-campus and move into the residence halls. Volunteers are encouraged to bring smiles, muscles, and PURPLE PRIDE to ensure this event serves as a great beginning to the year! Volunteers may register at and will be provided with a free t-shirt!












The Florence Historical Board and others have planned a CEMETERY CLEAN-UP DAY  at the John Coffee Cemetery on Saturday, July 26. Pick your two-hour work time from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. or from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The cemetery is adjacent to the new Wal-Mart Store on Cloverdale Road and Cox Creek Parkway. Volunteers are needed to help in the task of removing fallen limbs, trash, etc., cutting the small growth, and moving it to the street. Please come dressed in work clothing and bring work gloves.








Florence/Lauderdale Tourism will host an orientation and educational program about the Natchez Trace Parkway for front line employees in the tourism industry and interested locals on Friday, July 25, from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at the new Florence/Lauderdale Visitor Center located in McFarland Park.


Topics covered will be National Park Service history, Natchez Trace Parkway history and regulations, and site specific history for some of the most popular locations on the Parkway including Tom's Wall, Brices Cross Roads National Battlefield, and Tupelo National Battlefield. The current Parkway film, which features photography from Mark Meunch, will also be shown.


Participants are asked to make reservations since space is limited. Call the Florence/Lauderdale Tourism Office at 256-760-4141.






CALEA Assessment Visit Scheduled



Florence Police Department Seeks CALEA Accreditation


The Florence Police Department is scheduled for an on-site assessment as part of the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc. (CALEA) international program to achieve accreditation. As part of the on-site assessment program, administered by CALEA, agency employees and members of the community are invited to offer comments as a public information forum.


The accreditation process is designed for agencies to meet the requirements of the professional standards established by CALEA in four basic areas: Policy and Procedures; Administration; Operations; and Support Services.


A public forum is scheduled for Tuesday, July 29, 2014, from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., and will be held in the Florence City Council Chambers located inside Florence City Hall. Members of the community are invited to attend to better understand the CALEA program and to offer comments about your police department.


Individuals unable to attend the public information forum are invited to offer comments by calling 256-768-2738, from 1:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m., on Tuesday, 

July 29, 2014.


Written comments about the Florence Police Department's ability to comply with the standards for accreditation may be sent to the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies, Inc., at 13575 Heathcote Boulevard - Suite 320, Gainesville, Virginia 20155.


Media Contact: Captain Shannon Olive, 256-760-6576 or



"Failure Is Not An Option!"


The Florence Police SWAT Challenge is an event like no other. Your mission starts as you enter the gates and begin your mental preparation for your SWAT Operation. After you receive your SWAT Operator assignment and mission brief, you ready yourself for the first challenge-moving through a series of obstacles to get to your target location.


The obstacle course includes dressing out for your operation and moving yourself and your gear to your target. Once you negotiate the obstacle course, then it's time to take on the bad guys in your simulated assault course. This challenge increases your adrenaline and tests your physical and mental ability to identify your targets and neutralize your threats. But it doesn't end there...your final challenge takes you on a 1-mile fun run through mud, over walls, and through fire as you earn the right to call yourself elite! Along the way, real-life SWAT Operators will be by your side encouraging you to complete the task at hand and support you as you take the challenge! This event is about FUN; it is designed for all types of participants from novice runner to extreme mudder, but will allow you push yourself while having a great time!


Will you accept the Challenge?



Go to

Scroll down to

August 30 - Florence Police SWAT Challenge


You will be assigned a specific time to run your event. Events will begin at 7:00 a.m. When you arrive, go directly to the registration area and have a picture ID ready. Once you sign your waiver and receive your bag, you'll be taken to the mission brief and receive instructions before beginning your events. Parking is somewhat limited, so carpooling is encouraged.


You WILL get dirty. Long pants are encouraged, but not mandatory. Athletic shoes or boots (no open-toe shoes). There will be SWAT operators and safety officers on site and assigned to each group to ensure a safe and fun environment. There is an area to change clothes afterwards if you wish. An entry fee of $35 entitles you to a participant t-shirt and the experience of a lifetime. Be one of the 100!!



Check out this web site for the

Florence Foodies tasting series final visits of the year


Get your tickets:

Legends Steakhouse - August 11

Poplar South Deli & Grille - August 18


VFW Post 5140 Shoals Thrift Sale

Saturday, July 26

8:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Located at the post home at

127 South Royal Avenue




Tools, books, clothing, fishing rods,

bikes, and much, much more.


All proceeds go to support the

local VFW Post.







Join KIX96 & Q107  for its 10th Annual Florence Mall Jr. Idol FINAL Competition.  The winner will receive four hours of free recording studio time and demo CDs from FAME Recording Studios to help further their music career, as well as a professional photography session from Kaptions by Keeta.  Six finalists (the top 3 from each age category) will have a VIP experience on July 24 riding in a limousine to FAME Recording Studios and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame for private tours of both. Finals will take place Friday, July 25, at 6:00 p.m., in the Mall, as part of the W.C. Handy Music Festival activities.


Three contestants will be chosen to advance from each age bracket.  The auditions and the finals will be judged by both the audience and professional judges.  The audience will cast dollar votes for their favorite performers with all proceeds benefiting the Attention Homes of Northwest Alabama, Inc.  The event is presented by KIX96 and Q107, and sponsored by FAME Recording Studios, the Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Quad Cities Taxi & Limousine Service, Kaptions by Keeta Photography, The Shoe Dept. and Florence Mall.








  • Ribbon Cutting was held on Wednesday, July 23 - MISS PRISS - 879 Florence Boulevard - More information next week
  • Opening August 7 - SPECS DOWNTOWN, 109 North Court Street.  They are an eye care facility.Specs Downtown is now accepting appointment requests. 
  • Target Opening Date in August - DAIRY QUEEN, 570 South Court Street (formerly Backyard Burgers location)
  • Target Opening Date is August 8 - ASHLEY FURNITURE HOMESTORE, 1604 Florence Blvd at the former Belle Foods location
  • Opening Soon- COURT STREET MARKET, INDOOR FARMERS MARKET, 218 North Court Street.  They will be bringing local and organic farmers, ranchers, bakers, cheese shop, and variety of food artisans to Downtown Florence.  Owners:  Carmen and Kai-Uwe Erdmann
  • Target Opening Date in September - CHICK-FIL-A, 341 Cox Creek Parkway
  • Coming Soon - STARBUCKS COFFEE, 301 Cox Creek Parkway



KENNEDY-DOUGLASS CENTER FOR THE ARTS is located at 217 East Tuscaloosa Street, Florence, and is open, free of charge, Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Call 256-760-6379 for information on City museums and art events.




Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts in Florence presents MOSTLY BLUES, an exhibition of paintings, drawings, photographs, sculptures and mixed media pieces by area artists.  The works are in many styles, media, and techniques, but have a common thread - all have a musical theme or depict scenes from the W.C. Handy Music Festival.  The exhibit includes works by artists from Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale counties and will be open July 8 through August 8.  The exhibit will be open special hours on Saturday, July 26, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Well-known and established artists are included as well as new, up-and-coming artists. The exhibit was started in 1994 to honor W.C. Handy, the "Father of the Blues," and to celebrate the strong ties our area has to the music world.   Shown here is "NOLA Noise," an acrylic painting by Sarah B. Murray.





En tries and Winner in the Official 2014 W.C. Handy Music Festival Design Competition will be on display at Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts from July 8 through July 25. This year there were 30 entries in a variety of styles and media.   Three University of North Alabama students have created the design that will be used to market the 2014 W. C. Handy Music Festival. Although there was an array of compelling entries, it was art students Caroline Thomas, Jordan Gowan, and Zach Swiatocha who teamed up under the direction of UNA Professor Ron Davis to win this year's W. C. Handy Music Festival Design Competition.




Frances Osborn Robb will present a program, WORLD WAR II, THE HOME FRONT IN ALABAMA,at the Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts on Thursday, August 7, at 12:00 noon.  This presentation uses historic Alabama photographs to make wartime Alabama come to life.  Attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch and also any family items or stories from World War II they would like to share. Admission is free.


Just as Alabama emerged from the Great Depression, World War II produced new challenges.  From "V" for victory signs to barge construction on the Tennessee River, the camera was there as Alabama boosted food production, strengthened transportation, made more iron and steel, trained military and made their equipment.  Women moved into the work force, and blacks appeared in positive, upbeat roles.  On the home front, movies provided some temporary escapes from often stressful lives limited by rationing, hard work, and the absence of loved ones who were away in military service or war work.


Frances Osborn Robb is a museum and exhibition consultant who studies the ways that historic photography makes other eras come to life.  A graduate of Birmingham-Southern College, with graduate work at the University of North Carolina and Yale University, she has curated major exhibitions and led countless workshops on dating and identifying the individuals in family photographs.  Her book, Shot in Alabama: a History of Photography in a Deep South State, 1839-1941, is due out in 2015.





The City Council adopted a new pet license ordinance for certain dogs and cats.  The ordinance became effective May 1, 2014.

(See Ordinance Here)



The Florence/Lauderdale Animal Shelter has DOGS AND CATS available for ADOPTION OR FOSTER.  The Shelter is open from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. weekdays.  Weekend hours are Saturday, open to the public and volunteers,

from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.,

and Sunday, closed to the public, but open to volunteers

from 9:00 a.m. to 12 Noon.

Volunteers are always welcome!



All Florence Gas & Water Customers

On May 15, 2014, contractors for the City of Florence began a project to install an Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system for gas and water customers.  The pro ject duration is approximately 24 months.  There will be minimal or no disruptions of your service during this process.


It is our desire to provide you as accurate meter readings and measurement as possible.  If you have any questions, please contact 256-760-6490 or visit for more information about this important project.  






450 Country Club Drive

(Savannah Highway/Hwy. 20)

Florence - 256-760-6420

***The Club is a drug free, alcohol free facility***


MASTERS GAMES PRACTICE will be each Monday and Friday mornings, 9:30 - 10:30 a.m., at The Club.  On Thursday, 12:00 to 2:00 p.m., Shuffleboard and Baseball Free Throw practice will be at Broadway Recreation Center. 


THE NUTRITION PROGRAM is a NACOLG/State program which serves lunch each Monday-Friday, at 11:00 a.m., at The Club.  Suggested donation $1.  This program is based on age and not need.  Limited seating (40) available on first come basis.  Must be seated by 10:30 a.m.  Feel free to come check it out.  The only requirements are:  1) must be 60 years of age 2) must sign in and be seated by 10:30 a.m.


BOOMER'S & SENIOR'S SATURDAY NIGHT DANCE & GAMES at The Club, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m., each week except holiday weekends.  The doors will open at 6:00 p.m.  $5 per person.  Singles & couples are welcome.  18+ years old.  Music spanning the decades will be performed by The Browns.  For those who may not be dancers but like to play games and enjoy music, here is your opportunity to come listen to some great music while playing your favorite games:  Rook, Rummy, Dominoes, Checkers or the games you bring with you.  Feel free to bring light refreshments.  For more information please call The Club at 256-760-6420, Monday-Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.


BOOMER'S & SENIOR'S DANCE, each TUESDAY NIGHT, continues to bring great people together to dance the night away.  Hours 6:30 to 9:00 p.m.  Singles and couples are welcome.  18+ years old.  $5 per person.  Please join us for a great night of dancing fun with The Browns.


The Singing River Squares will be square dance angels to the BEGINNING SQUARE DANCE CLASS (10 weeks) starting Friday, September 5, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.  All ages welcome.   $5 each week.   Following the lessons, the Singing River Squares will have dance time from 7:30 - 9:00 p.m.  The Singing River Squares happily invite you to give it a try.  For more information call Fran at The Club, 256-760-6420.


JOINTS IN MOTION CHAIR EXERCISE CLASS for your activities of daily living.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 8:45 to 9:30 a.m.  No age limit-men, women, friends and family are welcome to join us at The Club.  No fee.  Class Leader:  Fran "fish" Davis.   Also, the Joints in Motion Class offers the opportunity for you to join them in prayer around the flagpole each Monday morning after class at 9:50 a.m. to pray for our community, city, nation, first responders, troops, and families and friends of The Club.


BINGO follows the Joints in Motion Class on Wednesdays at 9:30 a.m.


BOARD GAMES, ROOK, CARD GAMES, DOMINOES and fun with friends each afternoon at The Club.  12:30 -5:00 p.m.  No fee.  We bring light snacks to share.


FANTASTIC FRIDAY AT THE CLUB will be from 3:00 to 6:00 p.m., each THIRD FRIDAY of the month until October.  Our meals will be catered from three different restaurant facilities.  Pop's BBQ (St. Florian) will have fish or chicken.  Dick Howell's (Florence) serving BBQ or quartered chicken.  The Bonnet Café Elegant Country Cooking (Lexington) with Sunday type meals, menu will vary each time.  Please try to purchase tickets ahead of time.  You will enjoy the great food, music, games, dance opportunities, horseshoes, and have a fun time at the "FUN Raiser!"  All proceeds will go towards the local and state Master Games for persons 50 year and older.  Regularly scheduled square dancing will follow Fantastic Friday each time.


On FRIDAYS, the Seniors wear RED to show support for our service men and women.