Chamber member firms have come together to raise nearly $40,000 to provide students the opportunity to participate in the Tuscaloosa City Schools’ Summer Enrichment Program. The high-engagement summer enrichment program will be held during June and targets a major issue – students losing progress in key areas during the summer months.

Druid City Living always wants to recognize our great local businesses. To the new businesses - welcome to town! Remember: Shop local.

Darlene Tucker will have been teaching for 10 years in 2018, and she’s already paved her way with a long list of accomplishments. After graduating from the University of Alabama in 2008, Tucker went on to receive her Masters and Doctoral degrees, and has taught at Duncanville Middle School since 2011.

“Teaching, I believe, is a choice for the dedicated. It takes a certain type of person to survive this area of life,” Tucker said. “Most of the teachers who are in this profession are in it because of the passion they have for the profession and for the gratification it brings in helping students succeed academically, not because of the benefits or financial gains.”

Straight line winds tore through the 20th annual BBQ & Blues event one hour before the doors were set to open, forcing The DCH Foundation to cancel an event that was many months in the making.

Because the need to help Lewis & Faye Manderson Cancer Center patients in needs is so great, The DCH Foundation launched an online eBay store on Monday with over 70 items listed, according to Casey Johnson, director of development of The DCH Foundation. With this online auction, The DCH Foundation hopes to provide the same amount of monetary support as if the event happened on Saturday night.

Going to the beach without a book is like forgetting your sunscreen. It just doesn’t happen. Another summer is right around the corner, and for those who have a quick trip to the salty shores ahead, deciding on what book to binge probably isn't at the top of the to-do list. In the throes of packing, any old book will do – until you’re stuck on the sand with one of your grandmother’s dreadful Harlequins. 

Luckily, with the help of Ernest & Hadley’s own Easty Lambert-Brown, there’s no need to fear – or think, really – about how you’ll pass the time soaking up the sun during your much-needed beach visit. Check out the beach reads Easty recommends:

The 2016-17 Forerunners class held a graduation ceremony May 17 at the John R. Drish House. High school students from around Tuscaloosa County participate in the leadership program, which is sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce of West Alabama. The keynote address for the event was given by Max Karrh, vice president of Bryant Bank, and graduates were recognized by Karen Thompson, the executive director of Temporary Emergency Services.

Hillcrest High School student Jacob Fitzpatrick recently received a special honor. The Army Junior ROTC Cadet was presented with the Scottish Rite Certificate of Appreciation by retired Alabama National Guard Master Sergeant Ron Anders during Hillcrest’s awards ceremony.

Cadet Fitzpatrick was recognized for scholastic excellence and demonstrated Americanism in supporting the United States as a member of the Army Junior ROTC program. Anders is Past Grand Master of the Alabama Grand Lodge.

This week’s Druid City Living calendar is again packed with events and happenings in our area, so be sure and get out and enjoy when you can. Happy Almost Memorial Day, everyone. It’s time to kick off summer in Tuscaloosa and Northport – where it’s certainly hot, but never ever dull.

And remember: 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.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

This little baby is Chewy, aka Chewbacca, an 8-month-old female Chihuahua/Dachshund mix. Chewy is this week’s Humane Society of West Alabama Pet of the Week. She has a light tan, smooth coat, the ears like a Chihuahua, and the longer body like a Dachshund, thus a ChiWeenie! Chewy is small, weighing only 13 pounds, and will only get to about 15 pounds when full grown. 

You’ve seen her. She’s the mom at the grocery store that is the epitome of everything you are presently trying to accomplish. She’s athletic, and her workout shoes look well-worn (yes, her thigh gap proves it), but they look perfectly presentable to wear in the grocery store. Her shopping cart is filled with healthy(ish) foods, compared to your array of Tuna Helper and DiGiorno Pizza. And what really catches your eye the most: her child is with her. Sitting quietly in the buggy. With no hassle. With no crying. And, as your preschooler pulls you by the arm to the tiny toy section scrunched between the paper towels and magazines on aisle 10, you wonder how she did it.  

If you feel the heat of the summer bearing down on you and you need a little escape – but you don’t have time to take a beach trip, why not take a short break by taking in a movie? I’ve said before that one of my favorite things in the world is to escape into a cool (yay!) dark theater to check out a movie. ANY movie. I love them all. I especially love indie films, and if you’re the same, I’d highly recommend enjoying the films each week at the Bama Theatre downtown during the Summer Art House film series. Hats off to the Arts Council of Tuscaloosa for bringing these new and unique indie films to T-Town!

What began with $20 for cookies and juice has become one of the Tuscaloosa area’s premier events: The DCH Foundation’s Annual BBQ and Blues fundraiser. This year’s BBQ and Blues is set for this Saturday, May 20, at 6 p.m. at the Tuscaloosa Regional Airport. Proceeds benefit the DCH Help and Hope Patient Assistance Fund. 

On Saturday, May 20, Lake Lurleen will be filled with the sounds of area children running, swimming and biking throughout the state park as part of the fifth-annual Tuscaloosa Kids' Triathlon. 

About 50 miles northeast of Tuscaloosa lies Jones Valley in Jefferson County. In Alabama’s early days it was one of the most isolated parts of the state and wild animals such as bears, wolves, and mountain lions still roamed. Hemmed in by rugged mountain ridges and lacking river access, the valley was sparsely populated. But in the last half of the 19th century, a tidal wave of change swept all before it. Where there once had been brilliant night skies, the hillsides and heavens were bathed in an unearthly red and orange glow, and the air hung heavy with fumes and acrid smoke. To some, it was as if the very gates of the underworld had flung open.

The Leadership Tuscaloosa Class of 2017 held a graduating ceremony on Wednesday, May 10, closing nine months of leadership training. The ceremony featured keynote speaker Chancellor Ray Hayes of the University of Alabama System. 

The program also featured remarks by Cooper Shattuck, Chair of this year’s Leadership Tuscaloosa class and a graduate of the Leadership Tuscaloosa program. 

This week’s Druid City Living calendar is again jam-packed with events and happenings in our area, so be sure and get out and enjoy when you can. Enjoy the John Legend concert on Tuesday and hear some awesome live music at Live at the Plaza on Friday evening. And don’t forget the Tuscaloosa Kids Triathlon – go cheer for the kids at Lake Lurleen!

And remember: 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.. We’re happy to add anything you’d like to announce.

The West/Central Alabama Chapter of the Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) has given University of Alabama College of Communication and Information Sciences Dean Dr. Mark Nelson with a special honor. Nelson was given a certificate of appreciation in recognition of his extraordinary support of those serving in the military.

Happy May, everyone. This month, I’m hopping on a current foodie trend: “fancy toast.” These days, fancy toast seems to be all the rage in coffee shops and eateries, and although it is nice to go and splurge on these treats occasionally, it’s also nice to be able to make them in the comfort of your own home – at a fraction of the cost.

I’ve got two suggestions here. Dream Toast is a great option for anyone in the house with a sweet tooth. And Sunday Toast is a great, healthy option for weekends, or any day of the week, really. The key with fancy toast is not just the way the toast is dressed up – it’s the toast itself. Be sure to choose a thick, hearty bread to turn regular toast into a full-on delicious meal. 

By Walter Maddox

On Monday, May 22, I will be sworn in for my fourth term as mayor. I am deeply honored by this opportunity, and feel very fortunate to serve my hometown. 

On May 23, I plan on presenting an ambitious agenda to the City Council for their consideration. We have made a tremendous amount of progress, but there is more to be done. 

Every house has a story. Every home, a voice. Every day, I am in contact with families with the urge to move – sometimes up in size, sometimes to something cozier, less time consuming. 

Some people are drawn to the history of a place. Others are in search of something brand new. But over time, even those new homes become worn and weathered by voices and footsteps carved by those who inhabited them. 

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