Sylacauga Farmers Markets celebrates another Opening Day!

The 2024 Season of the Sylacauga Farmers Markey kicked off Friday morning (5/31) in Central Park, across from Blue Bell Creameries. The Market operates on Fridays from 7:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon until at least mid-August. Check out the slide show at the bottom to see what you’ll find!

Pete Baker’s 4-Mile Farms Produce is a long-time SFM vendor with fresh-picked produce from his farm in Bonair. But, you need to catch him early, as he generally sells a full truck in no time at all!

Charles & Margaret Courtney of Courtney Farms is another long-time SFM vendor with all sorts of farm-fresh produce. But, let’s be real… It’s those delicious peaches from their farm in Chilton County farm that is their greatest draw!

Teresa Vise is the host from T’s Produce. Her fresh-picked produce is highlighted from a long list of available fresh herbs & spices!

Alivia Hardy spends her time in the kitchen, produced baked goodies & candies for WillowBugs Baking!

SFM Manager Will Brooks says they’ll be adding more home-baked goods, plants, and produce in the coming weeks!

Old Town Liquors celebrates Grand Opening with a Ribbon-Cutting

Andy Patel has again invested in the Childersburg business community, opening Old Town Liquor (33588 US Highway 280). He also owns the Subway franchise location next door.

Conveniently located, brightly lit, with friendly, welcoming staff, and an incredible selection of “spirits” and so much more!

They’re open 9:30 to 9:30, Monday through Thursday; 9:30 to 10:00 on Friday & Saturday; and 12:00 noon to 9:30 on Sundays.

Stop by soon and welcome Andy Patel and his Assistant Manager, Avi Borade!

Pictured during the Grand Opening Ribbon-Cutting are (L-R) are; Travis Mizzell, Mel Bordon, Franklin Flanagan, Shaunta Williams, Rajeesh Patel (father), Ava Hamilton, Andy Patel, Jashoda Patel (mother), Mayor Ken Wesson, John Mark Freeman, Andrea Morris, Stacy Knight, Annie Lawler, Diane Kay.

Huntingdon College Announces New President

Huntingdon Board of Trustees Chairman Leura Garrett Canary ’78 announced to the College community today a transition of presidential leadership to take place this summer. This morning, the Huntingdon Board of Trustees unanimously elected Dr. Anthony Leigh to serve as the 15th President of Huntingdon College beginning July 1, 2024. Dr. Leigh currently serves as Huntingdon’s Senior Vice President for Student and Institutional Development and Dean of Students. Effective July 1, 2024, Huntingdon President J. Cameron West will assume the role of President Emeritus and Senior Advisor for United Methodist Polity.

In making the announcement of the appointment of Dr. Leigh to serve as President, Canary stated, “Dr. Anthony Leigh has demonstrated an unmatched passion and enthusiasm for serving Huntingdon students. He is a gifted administrator, and he clearly understands the internal operations of the College and effectively communicates the mission of the College to external constituencies. He is deeply respected and admired by students, faculty, staff, alumni, trustees, and across his vast network of contacts. For 15 years, he has been an integral part of the success of President West’s leadership, and we are confident that he is the leader Huntingdon needs to propel the College to its next chapter of excellence and to champion the Heart of Huntingdon campaign.”

“I am humbled and honored by the opportunity to serve as the 15th President of Huntingdon College,” stated Dr. Leigh. “I’ve had a front row seat to the transformational experience a Huntingdon education offers our students. Huntingdon changes lives. Thanks to our outstanding faculty and staff, Huntingdon graduates are prepared to be difference makers in the communities and in the career fields in which they serve. Some of the finest people I know are Huntingdon alumni, and the world is a better place because of the lives of service of Huntingdon women and men. The College enjoys a respected reputation across Alabama and beyond, and I look forward to celebrating and advancing the greatness of the Huntingdon experience around the region. Serving Huntingdon students fuels me, and I’m excited about working with our dedicated faculty and staff in this new role and leveraging the resources of our alumni and friends for the benefit of our exceptional student body.

“Today is a great day at Huntingdon College,” West commented. “The Board of Trustees has named a superbly gifted higher education leader to serve as the College’s 15th President. Dr. Anthony Leigh knows and loves Huntingdon College, has been a trusted colleague to me in crafting and operationalizing the College’s mission, and is a wise counselor in all matters internal and external in the life of this thriving institution of teaching and learning. Huntingdon College is enjoying a bright present and will enjoy a bright future with him at the presidential helm.

President Emeritus and Mrs. West will continue to reside in The Delchamps Residence on the Huntingdon campus until his employment with the College concludes on June 30, 2025.

174-year-old historic church burns in Coosa County

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler writes about Alabama people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths. He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].

Fire destroyed a 174-year-old church building in rural Coosa County Monday morning.

The historic Blue Springs Baptist Church, located on Coosa County Road 99 and built around 1850, burned to the ground, leaving nothing but the ash of over a century and a half of memories.

Monday morning, around 3 a.m., a call came in that the church building was fully involved.

Lay Lake Fire, Fayetteville Fire, Stewartville Fire and Marble Valley Volunteer Fire Department all responded, but it was much too late.

The church is in a rural part of central Alabama, near Marble Valley, Fayetteville, Sylacauga, Stewartville and the Pursell Farms Farmlinks golf facility.

Over its 174-year history, the church played a vital role in many lives. Dozens had come to know Christ. Dozens of baptisms have been performed. Dozens of weddings. Dozens of funeral services.

Now, there are no regular church services in the building, but special occasions are still held there, mostly by families who have been part of the church family since 1850.

No plans have been announced for restoring the church building. Since nothing is left to restore, it could only involve a brand-new building.

Photos of the church from YouTube: Blue Springs Baptist Church – Coosa County Alabama 1800’s #old #church #baptist #1800 #shorts (

Monday’s fire is the third time the church has been damaged since 2012. It was vandalized in 2012 and suffered a heavier vandalism attack in 2019.

The Alabama State Fire Marshall’s office asks that visits to the site be limited as their investigation is ongoing.

See the original story HERE

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‘Signing Day’ for high school students who earned jobs: Academy of Craft Training

See the original story HERE

Signing Day in Alabama is a big day in the media and for student-athletes and their families. It’s the day that announcements are made about high school seniors receiving scholarships to play at the next level. But that doesn’t automatically mean college.

Now, a Signing Day has started for seniors who have completed craft training and are being awarded real-world jobs.

Alabama high school students who have worked, qualified and earned job offers were announced on May 7.  A ceremony at Mobile’s Brookley Field included those students, their teachers, their new employers and education officials.

The program is named Academy of Craft Training.

When I was in high school, there was a popular class called “Shop.” Students learned useful skills, mostly for personal use in the home shop.

Now, the 2024 version of “shop” is unrecognizable to a former student of the old shop class.

The Academy of Craft Training prepares students for jobs in Alabama’s booming construction industry – quite a difference from my old shop class.

Trades now included in the craft academy are electrical, HVAC, interior and exterior finishes, welding, and plumbing and pipefitting. Other crafts will be added.

There is a running scoreboard on the academy website. Today, it read:

School participation, 75.

Students accepted annually, 750.

Internships to date, 450.

Total Man Hours, 100,000.

Those totals keep rising.

The Academy of Craft Training is an education/industry partnership between the commercial construction industry and the State of Alabama’s Kindergarten through 12th-grade Career and Technical Education System. Its mission is to recruit, educate, and guide high school students for employment opportunities in the construction industry. The goal is to help these students get the education and skills they need to be skilled workers in the industry.

Students have the opportunity to learn directly from construction industry professionals in a workplace-style environment, work as interns with local construction companies, and receive job offers upon graduation – the newly added ‘Signing Day.’  

The Academy of Craft Training expanded from its original Birmingham headquarters to now include a North Alabama campus in Decatur and a South Alabama campus in Mobile. Other locations may follow.

The academy recruits students from more than 75 Alabama school systems, with team members visiting campuses each autumn. During these visits, 10th and 11th graders can learn about ACT’s career-building opportunities. They may apply with a short essay.

Once interviews are complete, around 750 students are selected to participate each year.

On May 7, high school seniors who had completed the program were awarded job offers from employers in their respective industries.

The Academy of Craft Training gives new meaning to “on-the-job training.”

Jim ‘Zig’ Zeigler writes about Alabama’s people, places, events, groups and prominent deaths.  He is a former Alabama Public Service Commissioner and State Auditor. You can reach him for comments at [email protected].

Don’t miss out! Subscribe to the1819News newsletter and get our top stories every weekday morning.

Scenes from Weekend Events 5/3&4

Luxe Glamour Bar Ribbon-Cutting

Owner Brittany Williams welcomed aa great crowd to Luxe Glamour Bar at Suite 103 Coosa Pines Drive in Childersburg for her official Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony. Brittany personally specializes in las extensions, with plans to add plenty of glamour-related services going forward!

Stepping Up for Mental Health

2nd Annual Magnificent Seven May Day

A growing group of community volunteers, the Magnificent Seven hosted their 2nd Annual May Day event in Noble Park, celebrating children with fun & games!