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The 5th Annual "Hush Puppy" Silent Auction to benefit the Humane Society of West Alabama will be

held on Saturday, May 30 from 5 to 8pm at Green Bar, located in downtown Tuscaloosa next to Wilhagan's Sports Grille in Temerson Square. Tickets are $15.00 per person and will be available at the door.

If you’ve ever wanted to help the local Humane Society, this event is the perfect way to do just that. Plus? It’s really fun. Last year’s Hush Puppy crowd had an absolute blast.

This exciting event will feature a "Yappy Hour" cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, entertainment by Brandon Woolley (with a guest appearance by Dr. Tim Hammond), and a fabulous selection of items available in the silent auction, which will end at 7:30 pm. The fundraiser also features a "buy it now" table with a variety of items one can purchase without bidding and immediately take when leave.  Cash or checks only, credit cards not accepted. 

The Humane Society of West Alabama, founded in 1971, is a no-kill, all-volunteer, non-profit organization, and receives no funding from local, state, or federal agencies. They depend on donations and fundraisers to continue their mission of caring for and finding homes for unwanted animals. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer or foster family, adopting a pet, or getting more information, please contact the Humane Society of West Alabama at 554-0011 or go to their website at

Third graders at Tuscaloosa Academy recently presented “A Walk to the Wall of Fame.” Each student chose a famous person who impacted the America in a large way to study. The students then dressed up and presented monologues to parents, teachers and friends. Some examples of historic figures that students chose included Ben Franklin, Bill Gates, and Albert Einstein.

Front row (L to R): Emma Kronauer, Jonathan Gebrehiwet, Paul Schaefer, Harley McNeal, Tyler McNeal and Boots Plott

Middle row (L to R): Silas Stohler, Sol DeBoise, Spence Burchfield, Jonathan Koontz, Aiden Kelley and Edgar Huffaker

Back row (L to R): Geoffrey Love, Preston Lancaster, Jalyn Copeland, Lilli Eckert, Ashley Humann, Collin Holt and Noah Doenges

Photo: Chelsea McKenna

A Memorial Day service to honor military veterans is planned for Monday, May 25 at the Tuscaloosa Veterans Memorial Park. The hour-long program, which begins at 9 a.m., is free and open to the public.


The guest speaker at the Tuscaloosa Memorial Day service is nationally recognized author, consultant and trainer John O’Malley, who served in the United States Marine Corps from 1961 to 1965. O’Malley has published a dozen books, including Men of Men: Stories of Courage, about Medal of Honor recipients with ties to Alabama.


Major Jeff Brown, chairman of the Veterans Memorial Park Association, says O’Malley is a Vietnam War veteran and recipient of the Hoover Chamber of Commerce Freedom Award.


“We’re thrilled to have Mr. O’Malley as our Memorial Day speaker. John will present a professional, inspirational message that will pay tribute to our brave veterans.”

The Memorial Day service will also include the unveiling of a monument to Sgt. Ross Franklin Gray, a World War II Congressional Medal of Honor recipient from Bibb County who distinguished himself by showing extraordinary heroism in the Battle of Iwo Jima.


As a platoon sergeant, Gray launched a one-man attack, under heavy small arms fire and a grenade barrage, until he had destroyed six enemy positions. By doing so, he disarmed an entire mine field before returning to his platoon. Although he remained unscratched through 12 trips back and forth to destroy the mines behind enemy lines, Sgt. Gray was killed six days later, on February 27, 1945, by an enemy shell that inflicted fatal wounds in his legs. For his personal valor, daring tactics and tenacious perseverance, he was posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor by President Harry Truman.


The program will also feature the Presentation of Colors by the Paul W. Bryant High School USMC JROTC Color Guard, the Pledge of Allegiance, the National Anthem and Armed Forces Medley and Gun Volley salute, and “Taps” by the Tuscaloosa County American Legion Honor Guard.


After the ceremony guests are encouraged to tour the Park’s military exhibits and visit the Honor Roll of Veterans monument. The Memorial Day Ceremony is sponsored by the Veterans Memorial Park Association and the Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority (PARA).


For more information, visit


Photo: Veterans Memorial Park Association

David Fonseca, a junior at Holy Spirit Catholic High School in Tuscaloosa, has scored in the top 2.5 percent among Hispanic and Latino students who have taken the recent PSAT/NMSQT. David is invited to participate in the National Hispanic Recognition Program based on his score.

Sprayberry Education Center held the annual awards day ceremony on Thursday, May 14, 2014. The following awards were presented: Teacher of The Year – Traci Hollyhand (Preschool Teacher), Para Educator of the Year – Jonette Boone (Autism), Support Employee of the Year – Diann Kearley – Nurse and Chris Jacobs “Can Do” Award – Tyler Williams, Multiple Needs student.

The Chris Jacobs award is presented each year in memory of Chris Jacobs, who was a Sprayberry student, who exemplified a real “can do” spirit, overcoming many obstacles while inspiring others to do the same. Chris was the son of Audrey and Linda Jacobs.

Pictured are: Traci Hollyhand, Jonette Boone, Tuscaloosa County Schools Superintendent Dr. Elizabeth Swinford, Diann Kearley, Principal Neal Guy and Sprayberry student Tyler Williams (front).

Photo: Carla Allen

By Christopher Chase Edmunds


With Hangout Festival 2015 coming to a close, it’s time to take a look at which acts stood out – which ones drew people’s attention even when there were two other bands playing at the same time. These are the bands that made the sunburn and pure exhaustion worth every second.


#6 – The Suffers

The Suffers, Hangout Festival 2015.


The Houston soul/funk outfit rocked an 11:30 am set that made waking up and arriving early worthwhile. The Suffers used their big sound, complete with a full horn section and plenty of percussion, to draw everyone’s attention to the small BMI Stage. Everyone – and I mean everyone – was grooving to new music with an old school feel.


#5 – Lake Street Dive

If you love when bands cover your favorite songs, and you just so happen to appreciate the upright bass, Lake Street Dive is the band for you. The four-member group treated everyone at the Palladia Stage to jazzy renditions of the classics. The band is currently best known for YouTube videos of their soulful covers of songs like “I Want You Back” and “Rich Girl,” but with other soul and jazz groups like the Alabama Shakes and St. Paul and the Broken Bones on the rise, look for Lake Street Dive to make a splash soon.


#4 – Skrillex/Jack Ü

Sonny John Moore does not disappoint. The producer better known as Skrillex (and one half of the new duo Jack Ü) is a Hangout veteran, and both of his performances this year were top-notch. The Jack Ü show had the Boom Boom Tent rocking, drawing more people as they were leaving an average Foo Fighters concert. When Skrillex took the Surf Stage the next day, he dropped a new remix of “Red Lips,” which die-hard fans have been waiting for ever since pieces of it were leaked about a month prior to the festival.


#3 – Phantogram

This electronic rock duo pushed the limits of the audio equipment of the Palladia Stage, as well as the patience of the security staff. The group deployed large inflatables into the crowd, starting a frenzy that featured the band’s roadies sprinting on stage to keep inflatable hamburgers from damaging guitars and microphones. Lead singer Sarah Barthel could be seen smiling throughout the entire performance, in between relentless headbanging sessions. This group got a lot of attention for their song “When I’m Small,” mainly because it was used in several TV shows and commercials recently. Look for Phantogram to continue wreaking havoc in both the electronic and rock realms for the foreseeable future.


#2 – Paramore

Paramore, Hangout Festival 2015.


There are very few, if any, performers that can say they rocked the beach as hard as Paramore. Lead singer Hayley Williams was electrifying to say the least. The band’s irresistibly catchy pop punk/emo rock had a packed beach crowd jumping, kicking and yelling their favorite angsty lines at the top of their lungs. The band played plenty of songs from their most popular album, Riot!, but Williams politely asked permission to play new material also. Let’s just hope for a Paramore comeback to contrast all the feel-good pop music.


#1 – Zac Brown Band

There’s a reason why Zac Brown Band was scheduled as the Saturday headliner. Not only does the group put on an awesome live show, but their music screams beach party. The massive crowd enjoyed the usual ZBB suspects, including “Chicken Fried,” “Colder Weather” and “Homegrown.” The best parts of the performance, however, were the incredible covers of “Enter Sandman,” “Kashmir,” “The Devil Went Down to Georgia,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Die-hard ZBB fans knew this was coming, but to those of us who were dragged to the show by our friends, this was an incredibly nice surprise. Simply put, each member of ZBB could be a superstar on their own, but instead, they join forces to put on some of the best live shows for the current generations.


Photos: Christopher Chase Edmunds

The 2015 Leadership Academy was sponsored by the Office of the President, the Honors College and the Capstone Council at The University of Alabama. The University received hundreds of nominees of high school students before selecting 124 teens for its annual Leadership Academy in April. The Capitol School was proud to nominate Melanie Mew as the school's representative for 2015. She is the daughter of Dr. Wendell and Mrs. Norma Mew of Northport.  

Photo: Barbara Rountree

By: Chloe Ballard


Are you on a budget and looking for affordable things to do in your town? Here are some suggestions for things to do in the larger cities across Alabama.




Railroad Park


Railroad Park has been hailed as “Birmingham’s Living Room” as it provides a historically rich area for recreation in the middle of the city. Railroad Park connects Birmingham’s downtown area with UAB’s campus and the Southern park of Birmingham. There are 19 acres of green space and it is a great place to enjoy a picnic, play a sport with friends, jog, and more.




Huntsville Museum of Art


Did you know that after 5 P.M., entrance is only $5? What a great way to save money and enjoy one of the city’s finest establishments. The museum offers viewings of world-class art exhibits, but also classes and workshops for those who want a more hands-on experience. The museum is perfect for those wanting to find something to do for date night or with the entire family.




Hyundai Motor Manufacturing Alabama (HMMA) plant tours


Come see how Hyundai vehicles are made from: welding, painting, and assembly. And you can do it for FREE! For reservations, please visit their website.




Dauphin Island:


Swim in the Gulf of Mexico and explore the boardwalks in the Audubon Bird Sanctuary. As well, visit Indian Shell Mound Park. For more information, visit





Fifth graders at Verner Elementary learned about life in early America during a recent "Colonial Day." Students rolled hoops, wrote with quill and ink, made a wooden Jacob's ladder toy, participated in a mock trial, sewed, and danced to eighteenth century music. Students from Northridge High School helped during this celebration of history by playing a colonial ballad and showing the younger students how to play string instruments. This is the second year Verner students have had hands-on learning through "Colonial Day," thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of West Alabama.


Photos: Kathy Perkins

By Tori Linville


Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day was created as a national way to honor fallen service members. Over two dozen cities take credit for creating the national holiday, according to the Memorial Day website. While Waterloo, New York, officially got the credit, every state finds its own way to celebrate. Check out some of the activities we’ve found for this Memorial Day, May 25.


Memorial Day Tribute – Gulf Shores/Fort Morgan


The Memorial Day Tribute in Gulf Shores will host special guided tours throughout Fort Morgan on Saturday, May 23. Historical interpreters will guide the tour dressed in period uniforms of the U.S. Army. Information about artillery and garrison life will also be featured.


Admission for adults will be $7. Senior admission will be $5 and child admission will be $4. For more information, visit


SEC Baseball Championship – Hoover


The championship game falls on May 24 at 3:30 p.m. Memorial Day weekend will already be in full swing by the time the champions are given their trophies. So why not pop over to the Hoover Met and relax while watching America’s favorite past time?


Tournament tickets for all nine sessions are only $120, while tickets for six sessions are only $66. If staying indoors for hot dogs and Cracker Jack popcorn is more up your alley, the championship game will be available on ESPN 2.


To see more information about the tournament and game dates, visit


Alabama Jubilee – Decatur


Decatur will host its annual Alabama Jubilee Hot Air Balloon Classic on May 24 and 25 at Point Mallard Park. Events including an arts and crafts show, The Southland Flywheelers Antique Tractor show, the Lexi Lee Walk Silent Auction and more will be held during the two day event. Each day will begin at 6 a.m. with a pilot briefing for the key grab race, followed by the race from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.


Sixty balloons from around the U.S. will be featured, and the evening Balloon Glow event can’t be missed. The event is free, with the only fees being a $1-2 charge for shuttle bus services for remote parking lots.


To find event rules and more information, visit


Fallen Heroes Memorial Day Dedication – Mobile


Mobile will hold a Fallen Heroes Memorial Dedication at Battleship Memorial Park on May 25. Former Marine Infantry Officer and Iraq veteran Nathan Cox built the Alabama’s first memorial to honor fallen service members who lost their lives in the War on Terror in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the event’s website. The memorial will be on permanent display as a reminder of the loss.


The park has memorials honoring Lower Alabama Vietnam Veterans, a War Dog memorial, The Alabama Telephone Pioneers Living Memorial, a Korean War Memorial and more. Jan. 9 marked the park’s 50th year since its opening.


For more information, visit


Biscuits Baseball – Montgomery


Nothing says Memorial Day like more baseball. The Montgomery Biscuits will take on the Tennessee Smokies for a Memorial Day showdown at 12:05 p.m. on May 25 at Riverwalk Stadium.


Tickets for lawn, box and super box seats are $9, $11 and $13, respectively. To find out more on how to get your local baseball fix, visit


For more history about Memorial Day, and even access Memorial Day resources such as speeches, essays and articles, visit

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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