Tuscaloosa’s Habitat for Humanity always needs volunteers, but the need is particularly great over the summer. Despite the soaring temperatures, work must continue to build the homes. That is where area businesses can help, according to Habitat Director Ellen Potts, who says there is a critical need for volunteers.

“We take people of any skill level or no skill level. Businesses who send their employees to work with us are a huge part of our success,” Potts said. “We have all the tools needed and skilled construction supervisors who train volunteers for the tasks at hand. We can take individual volunteers or groups up to 25 on a site per day.”

The City of Tuscaloosa Environmental Services Department is recognizing Garbage Man Appreciation Day throughout this week through June 17.

A special day of recognition, held annually on June 17 as part of a national campaign, will highlight the importance of waste management professionals while showing gratitude for these hard-working men and women in the City of Tuscaloosa.

Head Start/Early Head Start, a division of Community Service Programs of West Alabama (CSP), Inc. follows the national requirement of reserving and serving 10 percent of its enrollment to include children with disabilities; including but not limited to physical, hearing, visual, emotional, speech and health impairments. 

Head Start staff work with local school districts and community agencies to make sure that the special needs of all children are met. Within 45 days of enrollment into the program, each child will complete developmental, speech and language, hearing and vision screenings. 

Advantage Realty Group Neptune Cup: June 13-19, NorthRiver Yacht Club. This men’s singles and doubles tennis event is played on weekdays from 5:30 p.m. – until and on Saturday, June 18 from 8:30 a.m. –until. Sunday play is only if necessary. Cost: $50 (plus $4.25 tennis link fee). For more information, call (205) 343-4558.  

Candelight Vigil for Orlando: June 13, 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Gorgas Library steps, University of Alabama campus. This vigil, organized by UA student organizations, is open to everyone in the community. For more information, click here.

Bama Art House Films Presents “The Meddler”: June 14, 7:30 p.m. Tickets: $8 general, $7 for students and seniors, $6 for Arts Council members. Box office opens at 6:30 p.m. For more information, call (205) 758-5195 or visit bamatheatre.org.

Bikes, Burgers & Brews: June 15, 6:30 to 9 p.m. Trek Store Tuscaloosa, Midtown Village. This family-friendly fun ride is for all ages, skill levels and types of bikes. It’s a flat, two-mile neighborhood loop that ends at Bob’s Victory Grille. Helmets are required, and rear and front lights are recommended. For more information, visit Trek Bicycle Store Tuscaloosa on Facebook.

In the wake of the tragic events at the Pulse Orlando nightclub early on Sunday morning, students at the University of Alabama organized a candlelight vigil on the steps of the Gorgas Library on campus on Monday evening from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. Another vigil by Druid City Pride was held at Government Plaza beginning at 7 p.m.

The Chicago White Sox have announced that Tuscaloosa native Tim Anderson has been promoted to the White Sox’ active roster. The Hillcrest High School alum wear number 12 in his Major League Baseball debut.

This summer is jam packed with fun, entertaining things to do – many of them in downtown Tuscaloosa. Now, merchants in Temerson Square are holding their own party. Dubbed “Second Saturday,” this celebration is essentially an entertainment district – with restaurants and clubs holding sidewalk parties and offering “drinks to go.” It’s a big block party, and it sounds like a whole lot of fun.

Lean On: Alabama, a new statewide non-profit, celebrated its official launch on Thursday, June 2 with more than 75 supporters in attendance.

Lean On: Alabama is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that brings women together to form intergenerational partnerships by building an innovative statewide platform which promotes collaboration, development, and investment in each other and the community.
 
The vision for the organization came from founder and president Mary Lee Caldwell.

The Neptune Cup Men’s Tennis Tournament starts next week at NorthRiver Yacht Club’s tennis center. The tournament, sponsored by The Advantage Realty Group, Inc., is now in its sixth year.

Director of Tennis Gary Henderson says the Neptune Cup is NorthRiver’s most anticipated tennis tournament of the year.

Every year, area golfers take part in The First Tee Benefit Scramble. And each year, the program is able to grow as a result. This year’s First Tee of Tuscaloosa Benefit Scramble will be held this Saturday, June 11, at Ol’ Colony Golf Complex, and organizers are hoping for yet another strong turnout.

The First Tee chapter of Tuscaloosa is based at Ol’ Colony. The organization teaches children the game of golf, but director Mike Shivetts says it’s about much more.

Two students from the University of Alabama recently completed a 340-mile paddling trip from Tuscaloosa to Mobile, to raise awareness for river conservation efforts in Alabama. Chris Cochrane of Gadsden and Collin Williams of Nashville traveled down the Black Warrior River and the Tombigbee River for 15 days.

Cochrane, a recent graduate of environmental science, and Williams, a marine science student, wanted to highlight the importance of freshwater conservation to Alabama’s ecosystem, which contains 38 percent of North America’s fish species and more species of freshwater fish, crayfish, mussels, turtles, and snails than any other state in the U.S.

The City of Tuscaloosa was recently awarded $314,457 in grant funds from the Southern Rail Commission’s State of Alabama Delegation for a new multimodal station in Alberta’s tornado recovery zone.

The funds will be used to construct a new train station at the former Leland Shopping Center. At nearly 3,000 square feet, the station could become the new home of Amtrak in Tuscaloosa. The City, which will contribute additional funding to the project, is said to be close to completing negotiations with Amtrak and the owners of the property.

Summer is always a great time to catch up on fun things and for me that usually means movies and concerts galore. One of my favorite local traditions is taking in films each week at the Bama Theatre downtown during the Summer Film Series. I wait anxiously for announcements about which films will be shown. Guess what? I have the lineup for you right here, and it’s stellar. Hats off to the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa for bringing these new and unique indie films to T-Town. I'm not saying I don't make time to catch the latest blockbuster elsewhere - just saying I LOVE INDIE and I need a fix...this is the best way to get that fix. And who doesn't love settling into those Bama Theatre seats to catch a movie, am I right?

The Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest returns for its second year to town this Friday and Saturday, June 10 and 11 at Tuscaloosa's Government Plaza. The festival, presented by the Community Foundation of West Alabama, will award a total of $7,500 in prizes for the top five winners in its 14 divisions. Admission is free. 

“It’s great entertainment,” said Glenn Taylor, executive director of the Community Foundation. “These kind of events draw bluegrass and old-time fiddle musicians from all over the Southeast, and many come to play and don’t actually compete. They just come to hook up with other musicians and play together.”  

College football is becoming more of a lucrative, high-stakes juggernaut on a yearly basis due to increasing revenues brought about by television contracts, apparel deals and the still-new playoff system among other factors. And with the increased exposure of the sport due to the Internet and particularly social media, expectations and pressures for major programs to win, and to win on a Nick Saban-type level are greater than ever.

And this does not usually mean good news for the college coaching fraternity, as it simply is not good enough to win nine or 10 games anymore. Only a certain handful of elite coaches, including Saban, Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Oklahoma's Bob Stoops, can be considered totally safe at the current time despite the pressure cooker environments that even they are subjected to on a daily basis.

Each school day, nearly one million children in the United States walk through the doors of a local Head Start Center and begin working, playing and learning toward school readiness for kindergarten and life.  Families play a critical role in helping children prepare for both school readiness and a lifetime of academic success. Head Start and Early Head Start programs partner with families in this endeavor.

Summer is in full swing now here in T-Town, and also in full swing? Things to do. All the things! From Tuscaloosa Restaurant Week (benefiting the West Alabama Food Bank) to the Black Warrior River Fiddle Festival this weekend to the First Tee of Tuscaloosa’s Annual Benefit Scramble on Saturday, this week affords plenty of great opportunities to get out and enjoy our fair city. Have fun!

As always, if you’d like to have your event added to our online weekly calendar, just email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Tuscaloosa Restaurant Week: June 6-12, various locations in Tuscaloosa and Northport. The West Alabama Food Bank has teamed up with sponsoring restaurants to offer “Hunger Bites!” pre-fixed menus and specials. Dine out while taking a bite out of hunger. For more information, visit tuscaloosarestaurantweek.com  

Tuscaloosa County UA Alumni Crimson and White Wine Tasting: June 7, 6-8 p.m. Spirits Wine Cellar at The Shops of Lake Tuscaloosa. This event is free to members; non-members can join at the event. Proceeds go towards the Tuscaloosa County Chapter Scholarship Fund. For more information, visit alumni.ua.edu. 

Those of you who are savvy shoppers have no doubt noticed: Strawberries can be had in almost every store (and at the Farmer's Markets) for low, LOW prices, and often in bulk. With such a bounty, what is one to do? Create a sweet desert that will thrill the taste buds of everyone in your family, of course! This is my recipe for strawberry vanilla Bundt cake, and it's usually a big hit. Enjoy using those great berries and as always, bon appétit!

Today's farmers market had a great crowd that enjoyed many local and regional vendors, plus a fantastic preview of the Black Warrior River Fiddle Fest from some of the performers.  And as you'll see in the gallery, the pups were plentiful and having a great time too.

If you missed it that's ok, there are markets every Saturday from 7am-12pm and a new market on Tuesdays.

American Legion Post 34 Commander Nicolas Britto presented the American Legion Scholastic Medal to Bryant High School to Marine Corps JROTC Cadet Staff Sergeant Raykenia Bowers during the recent 2016 annual awards ceremony held at Bryant High School in Tuscaloosa.

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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