Governor Bentley on Tuesday held his annual State of the State address launching his 2016 legislative agenda and strategic plan through 2019, when Alabama will celebrate its 200th birthday.

The strategic plan has a special focus on Alabama’s most rural and under-served areas, including some in West Alabama.

Alabama’s Primary Election is next month, and if you still need to register to vote, you can do that online now. Earlier this week, Secretary of State John Merrill announced the implementation of Electronic Voter Registration in the state.

Voters now have the ability to register via the Secretary of State’s website, alabamavotes.gov. Once their online registration has been completed, a paperless form is submitted electronically to the Boards of Registrars in their home county.

With the possibility of snow in the forecast for Friday into Saturday, the City of Tuscaloosa is getting the word out for those who may need a warm, safe place to stay.

Anyone who needs shelter can approach any law enforcement or fire and rescue officer for help, or they can call the Tuscaloosa Police Department dispatch at (205) 349-2121.

“Also, City of Tuscaloosa resources are on stand-by and ready to react should that be needed,” said City Hall Communications Coordinator Deidre Stalnaker in a media release on Thursday.

Residents gathered by the hundreds and braved frigid temperatures to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday, Jan. 18. Many took time out on MLK Day to participate in a unity march and rally that began on the University of Alabama campus and ended at Tuscaloosa City Hall.

Mayors from four of Alabama’s five largest cities, including Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, completed a two-day retreat today in Clarke County recently, the latest in a series of meetings in which they share ideas and best practices from their respective administrations.

Other participants included Mayor Tommy Battle of Huntsville, Mayor Sandy Stimpson of Mobile and Mayor Todd Strange of Montgomery. Mayor William Bell of Birmingham did not attend the summit due to a scheduling conflict.

The summit focused on the issues of economic development, education and legislative proposals expected to be debated during the upcoming session of the Alabama State Legislature, which convenes Feb. 2 in Montgomery.

Mayor Maddox noted that the mayors collectively represent about half of the state’s total population.

“We come from different places and we all have very different backgrounds, but we’re able to come together on behalf of our constituents,” Maddox said. “There’s a lot for our legislators to learn from that example. One thing we all know is that you can’t solve new problems with old solutions.”

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walter Maddox and East Lansing, Michigan Mayor Mark Meadows have made a friendly wager for the Cotton Bowl championship game.

The two mayors have agreed that if the Crimson Tide win, Meadows will fly a University of Alabama flag over East Lansing City Hall for one day and wear crimson and white to the following City Council meeting. Meadows will also donate $50 to the Tuscaloosa Pre-K Initiative.

If the Michigan State University Spartans win, Maddox will fly a MSU flag over Tuscaloosa City Hall for one day and wear green and white tie to the following City Council meeting. Maddox will also donate $50 to the East Lansing Education Foundation.

The City of Tuscaloosa will host a free Christmas tree recycling event starting Dec. 26 through Sunday, Jan. 10.

During this free drop-off event, citizens and businesses can drop off live Christmas trees, live wreaths and live garlands in the designated area at the Curry Environmental Services facility located at 3440 Kauloosa Ave.

In the past 10 years, as part of our strategic focus to improve Tuscaloosa’s quality of life, we have been dedicated to hosting events that are fun and family-friendly and provide a unique experience. Holidays on the River, whose main feature is ice skating, would certainly be one such endeavor that has created an exciting experience for thousands of people since 2012.  

  

This year, we will be hosting HOTR at the Tuscaloosa Amphitheater. The Amp provides space for a larger ice rink, improves concessions and restrooms and creates better seating for viewing. On so many levels, the Amphitheater allows more operational freedom that will greatly enhance the entire experience.  

Shelton State Community College will be able to establish a new program to train and certify workers for jobs needed by area auto industry employers, thanks to a nearly $400 thousand grant from the State of Alabama.

Gov. Robert Bentley last week announced a $368,266 Appalachian Regional Commission grant to help west Alabama workers qualify for careers in the automotive manufacturing industry.

The Tuscaloosa City Council was set to meet on Tuesday, Dec. 22. To view the entire agenda, click here.

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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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