The City of Tuscaloosa has launched a completely redesigned website. The new site went online on Wednesday, Oct. 25. According to city officials, the website is much more than a visual overhaul. It focuses on users and what they need – not on how City Hall is departmentally organized.

I have recently been introduced to an app called "Nextdoor." It’s a private social network for your own neighborhood. A bit intrusive I thought at first, but then I jumped right in. I can pretty much see the dynamics of every family around me – which I guess means they can see me. 

More than 4,400 eighth graders will get a hands-on look at high-paying jobs in West Alabama this week, as Worlds of Work, a one-of-a-kind career expo will be held October 12 and 13 at Shelton State Community College’s Martin Campus. High school students are also invited to attend WOW Varsity with their parents, allowing them to explore career opportunities.

2017: 365 days, gone again. Embrace it! Start again with a fresh, clean calendar and blank days to fill. This year, fill them with things that matter and stretch your horizons. 

Instead of internal resolutions, I am here to encourage you to get outside your box with a little help from technology. 

When the April 27, 2011, tornado ripped through Tuscaloosa, the city vowed to build back stronger, safer and smarter. The newest example of that resolve is The Gateway: Alberta’s Innovation and Discovery Center, which opens its doors to the public this week.

By Shane Dorrill

 “Students, put away your pencils and notebooks so we can start class.”

Those are not the typical words one would expect to hear from a teacher, but through the use of technology those are the sentiments of educators at Paul W. Bryant High School.

“It is critical that our students be prepared to be 21st century learners and leaders,” said Dr. Linda Harper, principal.

By Maddy Ard


The Tuscaloosa Public Library will soon provide a new service allowing visitors to lease wireless, portable internet devices.


The library’s board of trustees recently finalized the details of a contract with Verizon Wireless to provide library-goers with the option to check out hotspot devices. This new service will cost the library approximately $9,600 annually. Kevin Smith, the Tuscaloosa Public Library’s IT Director, said the board of trustees chose Verizon as the vendor of this service because of Verizon’s high speed 3G and 4G LTE services.


“These hotspots will give Tuscaloosa residents the option to take the internet wherever they want it,” Smith said. “It also provides internet access to any individual who many not be able to afford home internet services.”

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By Laurie Mundy Perrigin


How did people get around before smartphones? I know we did, but for the life of me right now I can’t remember how I managed. I know I got lost. A lot. I hopped a lot of “express” trains in NYC, I missed multiple stops in D.C. and I somehow managed to take the wrong line in Boston (really? I mean there are only like FOUR choices).


In planning our first trip to London and Paris, I’ve run across some pretty useful little apps that help keep me organized and lower my anxiety levels tremendously. I’ve tried maybe 15 apps over the past four months, and only a handful are truly great enough to warrant a mention here. My hope is that some of you will find these useful as you plan your dream vacations as well. Some of these are paid apps – but none cost me more than $5. And even better, some are free.




This one is my gem. Thanks to a travel-savvy friend, I snagged this (FREE) app quite a while ago, and I couldn’t be happier. TripIt let me design our travel itinerary in a snap. I created the trip, and gave my email address. TripIt automatically grabbed my flight confirmations, hotel reservations and our train reservations. All the information is there – confirm numbers, phone numbers and even maps to the hotels/train stations/airports. Boom!


Google Translate

Despite the fact that I studied French for two years in high school, my skills currently stink. I’ve been studying up, but I’m so nervous I’ll get flustered and forget what I’m trying to say. That’s where Google Translate (which was FREE) comes in: Just type in or say what you want to say in English and Google Translate automatically repeats the words in French for me. It works with a variety of different languages. While I’d love to rely on my basic French skills, if I fail, I have Google Translate as my emergency phone-a-friend.


London Tube and Metro Paris Subway


I’m lumping these two apps together because they do the same thing: Provide extensive transportation maps on London’s Tube and the Paris Metro, with color coding and simple, easy to understand directions. Both allow me to save trips for access when I don’t have a data connection. The Metro Paris Subway app also helps me find nearby taxi stands and Laduree (we will talk about my obsession with Laduree at a later date). Need a cup of coffee? Oh look, the Nespresso place is 58 m away!


London Tube offers detailed subway maps and other bonuses as well. For $1 (well okay .99 but that annoys me), I was able to add the London Bus routes as well. I can easily switch back and forth – I enter one desired destination and this app shows me Tube and bus routes, allowing the choice. Neat, huh?


Honorable Mentions to Great Apps I think I’m Also Going to Love


XE Currency App: Need to convert Euros to U.S. dollars in a flash? This is your app. It’s super easy.

Rick Steves Audio Europe: You can download so many great audio tours for sights all over Europe to listen to offline as you tour around. Very useful. And free!

Today Tix: This app lets me find discount tickets for shows in London’s West End (it also works in NYC for you Broadway fans). It also alerts me if a show I REALLY want to see has released tickets at the last minute. Fingers crossed kids, this woman needs to see Benedict Cumberbatch in Hamlet.



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Druid City Living (DCL) is Tuscaloosa, Alabama's premier community newspaper, covering the great people, places and activities of the area.


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