By Stan J. Griffin: February 19, 2016

Photo by Stan J. Griffin

It is nearly impossible to measure the impact that Nick and Terry Saban have had on the University of Alabama campus, as well as the Tuscaloosa community in general since their arrival in 2007.
This not includes the four national championships that Nick Saban has been able to collect since becoming the head coach of the Alabama football program, including the recent 2015 national title, but also academically, and the hundreds of lives that the couple have been able to benefit through charitable entities such as the Nick's Kids Foundation.

That foundation is certainly close to the heart of Alabama's widely-respected football coach as it was established by the couple in 1998, while he was still the football coach at Michigan State University. It was named for his father, the late Nick Saban, Sr.

The good work of that foundation, which has distributed millions of dollars to deserving organizations and causes, was on display once again Friday, February 19 in the Alberta City area of Tuscaloosa as the Sabans were on hand to present a check for $100,000 to Habitat for Humanity for a new house being constructed on Juanita Drive.

That house, being built for Anthony and Angel Taylor and their two children, is being called the 16th National Championship House, in conjunction with Alabama's 16 national championships in football.

The United Mine Workers of America members on Tuesday voted to ratify a collective bargaining agreement with Coal Acquisition, Inc., which is buying several coal properties from the bankrupt Walter Energy. This agreement not only provides continued employment for hundreds of Brookwood-area miners, it also could mean about 100 miners will be called back to work in the coming weeks and months.

In December, the Tuscaloosa City School Board approved the The Tuscaloosa City Schools will host a series of community meetings to inform parents about the implementation of the system's Integrated Curriculum, Facilities and Demographics Strategic Plan. The plan, which was passed in December, focuses on three areas: curriculum and instruction, investment in staff and capital projects.
 
Simultaneous community-wide meetings will be held at each of the system's three high schools Feb.18 at 6 p.m. The meetings, to be held in the auditoriums of Central, Northridge and Paul W. Bryant high schools, will outline the scope of the project for parents and how it will unfold in the months to follow.

Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox continues his restructuring plan at City Hall. On Friday, Maddox announced that two longtime City employees will assume new positions.

Mayor Maddox has appointed Brendan Moore as the executive director of urban development and Tera Tubbs as the executive director of infrastructure and public services. Both will begin work in their new jobs on Monday, Feb. 15.

“Tera and Brendan are proven leaders for the City of Tuscaloosa,” Maddox said. “With their energy and expertise, they will help guide us in becoming the most innovative and effectively-managed city in the United States.”

Tuscaloosa City and County residents and businesses can now drop off glass bottles and jars at eight newly placed glass drop-off containers. In addition, the city’s new glass pulverizer has been installed. Tuscaloosa is the first city in Alabama to recycle glass using a pulverizer.

Last summer, the City began collecting glass at a single drop-off point at the Environmental Services Department. Since that time, over 80,000 pounds of glass have been dropped off for recycling and the City completed the installation of a glass pulverizer.

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.

Both the Tuscaloosa City Schools and the Tuscaloosa County School System opted to dismiss early on Tuesday, Feb. 2, in the wake of a severe weather threat. Tuscaloosa high schools, Magnet Schools and the Alberta School of Performing Arts dismissed classes at 11:30 a.m.; all middle schools dismissed at noon and all elementary schools were dismissed at 12:30 p.m. In addition, all Tuscaloosa County Schools closed at 12:00 p.m. In addition, American Christian Academy dismissed at 12:30 p.m.

The Tuscaloosa County Emergency Management Agency urged everyone in town to be weather aware, as our area was in an “elevated risk” area for severe storms through Tuesday evening, Feb. 3. According to the National Weather Service, the biggest weather risks included high winds (15-25 miles per hour with higher gusts in the afternoon, with the possibility of damaging winds up to 60 miles per hour in the elevated risk area), heavy rain and, possibly, tornadoes.

Dr. Robert Witt will serve as the United Way of West Alabama’s (UWWA) 2016 Campaign Chairman. In this volunteer leadership role, Dr. Witt will join with the campaign cabinet and a broad network of United Way supporters in fund-raising efforts to meet the 2016 campaign goal that will provide crucial financial support to United Way’s 26 partner agencies in West Alabama.

 

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Witt leading our UWWA campaign this year,” said Jackie Wuska, President and CEO of UWWA. “His proven success in building support and partnerships to better our community will have a lasting impact on our nine-county region. We believe Dr. Witt’s leadership will result in both increased community participation and heightened awareness of the critical needs in West Alabama.”

 

Other new members named to the UWWA’s Board of Directors are: Susan Bell (University of Alabama), Lindsey Case, (Capstone Bank and UWWA Young Leaders Society President), Nicole Perrigin (NUCOR Steel) and Jay Wells (Alabama Power Company).

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.

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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