12 months ago

Alabama Power helps make Arbor Week perfect for tree planting

With spring nipping at winter’s heels and Southern days growing longer, it’s the perfect time to plant trees.

Arbor Week in Alabama comes after some cities received up to 8 inches of rain, meaning that soil is soft and well-primed for seedlings, said Doug Sheffield, utility arborist supervisor at Alabama Power’s Eastern Division Office in Anniston.

Hundreds of residents are planting seedlings provided by Alabama Power and forestry and conservation groups in honor of Arbor Week, celebrated in Alabama during the last full week of February.

More than 150 people lined up on Feb. 22 at Jacksonville Square to meet Sheffield and his team of arborists, who handed out several kinds of trees, including native species such as dogwoods.

“As foresters and arborists, we love trees and are committed to maintaining a healthy environment,” said Sheffield, whose team of experts gave away saplings for three hours. “We do a lot of educational efforts, giving people advice on planting certain types of trees in the right places.”

While giving away more than 3,000 trees at Jacksonville Square, the team shared how to create a sustainable urban environment through tree planting. The project helped Jacksonville maintain its “Tree City” designation.

“We’re trying to get the message out about planning the right tree in the right place,” said Sheffield, who has worked at Alabama Power for 15 years. “People see this little tree and don’t consider how much it will spread across their yard, or whether it will drop acorns everywhere, as a fall hazard.

“Trees will be self-sustaining if they’re put in the right place,” he said. “Right now is a good time for planting because after the rain, it’s better for the tree.” Trees gain needed nutrients from wet soil and spread their roots more easily.

While many homeowners consider trees as being an upgrade that may increase the value of their property, It’s important to think about what you expect from a tree, Sheffield said.

For instance, consider whether you want to provide shade for your home; hide heat pumps or air conditioners; or to create privacy. Residents who desire a “windscreen” to help shield the home from the elements would do best to select evergreen trees, Sheffield said.

Contributing to communities with education, sound advice and trees

Starting in mid-February, company foresters and arborists held tree giveaways throughout the state. In Alabama Power’s Western Division, Utility Arborist Supervisor Jeffrey Poston and his team distributed 5,000 seedlings in Jasper on Feb. 15 and in Tuscaloosa on Feb. 16.

Utility Arborist Ethan James, a member of the Autauga Forestry and Wildlife Stewardship Council, helped give away more than 1,000 trees at Pratt Park in Prattville, and another 400 trees to residents at the city of Clanton Courthouse Feb. 19. Utility Arborist Phillip Lambert gave trees to Southeast Division residents on Feb. 29, and Josh Smalley distributed trees to Montgomery residents on Feb. 16.

“Alabama Power donates trees every year, and this is my fifth year to do it,” James said. “We do several tree giveaways across Southern and Southeast divisions, from Clanton to Eufaula.

“This is a good way to give back to our communities,” James added. “A lot of people think we only cutback trees, but we do so much more. We tell them to consider planting the trees a safe distance from utility rights-of-way. It helps the homeowner in the long run.”

On Saturday, Feb. 23, Vegetation Manager Scott Roddy shared valuable tree-planting information at the Chelsea Community Center, handing out Alabama Power’s “Right Tree Right Place” brochures. Roddy, a member of the Chelsea Tree Commission, advised residents about best practices for planting native trees.

Shon Walters and his team of arborists will be at Aldridge Gardens on Saturday morning, March 2, to discuss tree-planting strategies with Hoover residents.

“We want to give back to the community by providing planting tips to help ensure they have a successful planting,” said Walters, utility arborist supervisor, Power Delivery Distribution – Birmingham.

In Mobile, Eric Garrett and his three-member team of arborists will greet the public at the annual Creek Fest at Tricentennial Park on May 11. During the four-hour celebration, the team will give away 500 azalea bushes, answering questions and giving advice about how to care for the plants.

“This will be a day of outreach to educate the public,” said Garrett, utility arborist supervisor in Saraland. “We want to interact with folks and help our customers.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

23 mins ago

Montgomery launches ‘Feed the Meter for the Homeless’ project

Under the leadership of Mayor Steven L. Reed, new specialized parking meters were installed last week in downtown Montgomery to provide a quick, convenient way to support locals affected by homelessness.

Reed announced the meters were on the way during a recent city council meeting. Called the “Feed the Meter for the Homeless” project, the City’s new initiative is made possible through a partnership with the Mid-Alabama Coalition for the Homeless (MACH).

The special parking meters are green and offer residents a way to donate directly to support MACH and central Alabama agencies working with those experiencing homelessness in Alabama’s capital city. Donations will be accepted in the forms of coins or cash at each specialized meter and by card through the ParkMobile app (zone 36999) or online payment.


“The Feed the Meter for the Homeless initiative connects compassion with convenience by allowing Montgomery residents and visitors to support our neighbors affected by homelessness and its devastating ramifications,” Reed said in a statement. “Each donation is a hand-up to help those in need and an investment in building a better future for Montgomery and the River Region.”

For more information on Feed the Meter for the Homeless MGM, please click here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

59 mins ago

Cathy Randall now serving on board of The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham

Dr. Cathy J. Randall, chairman of the board of Pettus Randall Holdings, LLC, is now serving as a board member for The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham.

The Women’s Fund made the announcement in a recent release, detailing that Randall term’s officially began on January 1. A Birmingham native and Tuscaloosa resident, she is a longtime, prominent civic and corporate leader, as well as the legendary former director of the University Honors Programs at the University of Alabama.

Tracey Morant Adams, board chair for The Women’s Fund, said in a statement, “The Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham strives to elevate and amplify women’s voices, and we are incredibly fortunate to welcome Dr. Randall to our board as she is a well-established voice in the state.”


“Cathy’s passion for community service and her experience in building a better Alabama will be a tremendous asset for the organization,” Adams added.

Randall’s service to the state includes being immediate past chairman of the Alabama Academy of Honor and former president of the boards of directors of the American Village, the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame and the David Mathews Center of Civic Life, as well as former director of Alabama Girls State.

Additionally, she currently serves on the board of Alabama Power Company and is a former board member of Mercedes Benz USI. Randall was the co-chair of Governor Kay Ivey’s inaugural committee and was named as a Woman of Impact by Yellowhammer Multimedia in 2018.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 hours ago

Sessions responds to ‘desperate and afraid’ Byrne and Tuberville — ‘Sad to see them both descend to such a sleazy low point’

With Alabama’s U.S. Senate Republican primary headed into the home stretch, the field’s three front-runners are beginning to mix it up among one another.

The first significant shot came from U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), who on Saturday went up on air with an ad attacking both his leading opponents: former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville. Tuberville has thrown a few barbs as well while on the stump, including one at Sessions that accused him of having “turned on” President Donald Trump.

In a statement given to Yellowhammer News, Sessions condemned the tone of both Byrne and Tuberville, noting their positions in recent polling and describing their tacks as “sleazy.”


“It is unfortunate that both Tommy Tuberville and Bradley Byrne have abandoned any pretense of running a positive campaign. But it is not surprising: both candidates are trailing in the polls, and when politicians like Tuberville and Byrne are losing, they become desperate and afraid,” Sessions stated. “Both Tuberville and Byrne have quit on themselves and their campaigns. Neither can connect with voters on the merits of their ideas. It is sad to see them both descend to such a sleazy low point.”

Sessions warned there would be a response if this activity persisted.

“If their baseless, desperate attacks continue, they will be forcefully answered,” he continued.

The former U.S. Senator maintained that Alabamians in this primary will be focused on substantive issues.

“The key issue for Alabamians is who will most effectively and forcefully fight for their conservative values and interests, such as ending illegal immigration, protecting our jobs from unfair foreign competition, defending religious freedom, and further advancing our strong Trump economy.”

Alabama Republican voters on March 3 will cast a ballot for their preference to represent them on the general election ballot in November.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly and host of Huntsville’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN.

15 hours ago

Leaders, educators and students gather for Alabama’s 2nd Annual HBCU Summit

Alabama’s 2nd Annual Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Summit celebrated the state’s 14 HBCUs and the value they bring to higher education across our state and country. Saturday’s event, moderated by Alabama U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, was held at Miles College in Fairfield.


The event kicked off with a panel discussion titled “Women in the Lead: How Six Alabama HBCU Presidents Are Raising the Bar.” The session included comments from:

“Extraordinary panel of women in leadership positions,” Jones said afterwards. “I think they provide unique insights to this. Just an amazing group of women that come from varied backgrounds — they came from academics, but also from business, so it’s a unique perspective that is what is going on with HBCUs but also with higher education in general.”

The panelists touched on a number of topics, including ways to help more high school students and nontraditional students get enrolled, making the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) simpler to fill out, partnering with businesses to offer degrees and curriculum the businesses need and working together to elevate the communities they serve.

“That’s what we pride ourselves on is that the benefit of being an HBCU is that … you may not have these large classrooms like you have (elsewhere), but you have teachers that know your name, teachers that care,” Archie said. “We’re going to give you that pep talk when you need that pep talk and we’re going to help you achieve.”

It is that level of concern for students that stood out to Jones.

“These female leaders are so dynamic and so passionate about what they do,” Jones said. “They care so much about their students and their communities. They really represent the best of all HBCUs. HBCUs are the fabric of the communities and I think you saw that reflected here today.”

The summit also featured a career fair and an afternoon panel discussion titled “Student Voices: How Alabama HBCU Student-Leaders Are Lifting Up Their Campuses.” The panel, moderated by Jones, featured students from Miles College, Alabama A&M University, Shelton State Community College, Talladega College and Trenholm State Community College.

“Trying to educate and train the workforce of the 21st century is going to be a challenge,” Jones said. “We’re changing technologically, we’re changing demographically, we’re online — everything is moving in a different direction. Education has got to keep up with that, but also so do businesses. They’ve also got to start reaching out and develop those partnerships to not only train, but to mentor. I think you heard that today.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

15 hours ago

VIDEO: Trust in government was lost long ago, Jeff Sessions leads GOP field while Jones trails all, Birmingham’s battle over monuments and more on Alabama Politics This Week

Radio talk show host Dale Jackson and Alabama Democratic Executive Committee member Lisa Handback take you through this week’s biggest political stories, including:

— Is President Donald Trump causing mistrust in government or is he exploiting that lack of trust?

— With new polls out, does Jeff Sessions have the GOP race locked up and does Doug Jones even have a chance?

— Is Birmingham’s mayor boosting his profile while continuing the fight over a Confederate monument?


Jackson and Handback are joined by Secretary of State John Merrill to discuss the latest report by the Southern Poverty Law Center that claims Alabama is suppressing voters and Merrill’s willingness to take on more responsibility at the Secretary of State’s office.

Jackson closes the show with a “parting shot” at the waste of millions of dollars Alabama municipalities spend on “public notices” because of a series of outdated laws requiring publication of voter rolls and public notices in local newspapers.

Alabama Politics This Week – 2/16/20

VIDEO: Trust in government was lost long ago, Jeff Sessions leads GOP fields while Jones trails all, Birmingham's battle over monuments has no real purpose and more on Alabama Politics This Week

Posted by Yellowhammer News on Friday, February 14, 2020

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN.