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Smiths Station City Council votes to make all parks and athletic facilities tobacco-free at Nov. 12 meeting

All parks and athletic facilities within the Smiths Station city limits will be tobacco-free after an ordinance passed by the Smiths Station City Council during their meeting last Tuesday.

Those guilty of violating the ordinance will be asked to dispose or refrain from using their tobacco products on first offense. Continued violation will result in being asked to leave the park or facility.

“Before, there was smoking and tobacco use allowed in designated areas, which has resulted in problems and is the reason behind drawing up and passing this ordinance. I hate that is has come to this, but it has gotten out of control,” said Mayor F.L. “Bubba” Copeland.

“This is something I’ve been looking at more and more over the past six months,” added Smiths Station Parks and Recreation Director Jason Stewart. “It had become increasingly hard for the youth leagues to police the smoking at the park themselves, with people smoking or vaping in such close vicinity to the children. This ordinance was brought forth because the kids in our community deserve better from all of us. I’ve personally witnessed and had many discussions with visitors to our park these past few months that are smoking in areas that kids must pass through nightly to get to their respective fields, not even counting the citizens who are using the walking trail for exercise and walking right into a cloud of smoke. I don’t want to ever alienate anyone, but this was the best course of action we feel. Our park houses so many of our youth sports, and I think in the end our citizens will appreciate that we continue to put those children first”

The council also heard and approved a request for a special-use permit for modifications to Verizon equipment on an existing cell-phone tower at 31 Grace Road from David Andrews of the Center for Municipal Services.

“They will remove six antennas from their part of the tower, two from each sector, and replace them with new ones. This will be a capacity upgrade,” Andrews said.

In other business, the council:

-approved minutes from the Oct. 22 meeting
-approved a rescheduling of the Dec. 24 regular meeting to Dec. 23
-held a first reading for changes to the city’s business license ordinance. The council will be able to vote on this ordinance at their next meeting on Nov. 24.

The Smiths Station City Council meet on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month, with a work session beginning at 5:30 p.m. E.S.T. and regular meeting at 6 p.m. E.S.T. Their meetings are held in the council chambers of the Smiths Station Government Center which is located at 2336 Lee Road 430. For more information, visit smithsstational.gov or call 334-297-8771.

City of Smiths Station creates Smiths Station High School Football Hall of Fame

Members of the Smiths Station Football Hall of Fame Committee enjoyed the grand reveal yesterday of a new exhibit at the Smiths Station Government Center that will celebrate great players, coaches and volunteers in Panther gridiron history. In the near future, the glass display case will contain trophies and jerseys from members of great Smiths Station teams from the past. The exhibit is available for viewing from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Eastern time.

October Business of the Month – JR’s Steakhouse Downtown

October Business of the Month – JR’s Steakhouse Downtown

Patrons can expect delicious fresh-cut meats and handmade meals served with a smile six days a week at JR’s Steakhouse Downtown, the City of Smiths Station’s Business of the Month.

The business is owned and operated by Angela Tucker, who has been affiliated with the JR’s brand since its founding in the late 1990s. In 2002, she helped open the restaurant’s second storefront in downtown Phenix City.

After operating in several different locations around the area, Tucker settled her business into its present location at 9571 Lee Road 246 in 2012.

“People here in Smiths Station have been very supportive of us (the last seven years), and I really couldn’t ask for a better clientele,” Tucker said.

Different from many establishments is their commitment to quality, fresh-cut meat. Daily, a butcher comes into the store to cut the different types of meat that will be served that day.

Along with their daily lunch specials and wide variety of appetizers and classic Southern sides are menu standards like New York strips, T-bones, pork chops and American pond-fed catfish, meals that draw customers from across the area.

“We have people from as far as LaGrange, Hamilton, downtown Columbus come to eat here. But a lot of our support comes from our local Smiths Station customer base,” Tucker said.

Another important aspect of the business is the strong bond that Tucker shares with both her customers and employees.

Whenever a need arises, she said she will sit down with people in need and talk or share her faith during challenging situations.

“I love interacting with people. There have been times I’ve feel led to pray for people, which I’ve done in the restaurant before,” Tucker said. “We’ll all be crying before I leave a table sometimes … God has really given me the confidence to stand up and be bold.”

JR’s is a family affair for Tucker and her family, as her daughter Brittany helps serve lunch during the week and other daughter Nikki owns and operates a JR’s location in Fort Mitchell.

The Smiths Station location’s hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays. They are always closed on Sundays.

Motorola Talkabout T480

Early weather warning can save lives and keep you safe

We have sought out Lee County residents, who escaped serious injury on March 3rd, to see if we can enhance their weather preparedness. Having a plan and alerting them, with enough time to be safe before severe weather strikes.

Mayor Bubba Copeland and Commissioner Robert Ham both helped us organize 15 residents of Smiths Station and 15 residents at or near ground zero in Beauregard to bring us in that space that had too many residents left with only minutes to seek shelter or were lost without communication. Now our residents have a plan, and we were able to help out with weather preparedness.

Full story on WRBL

business of the month

Business of the Month – Red Chandelier Boutique

Business of the Month – Red Chandelier Boutique

Find the latest trends and styles in clothing at the recently opened Red Chandelier Boutique, the City of Smiths Station’s Business of the Month.

Opened April 13 by Smiths Station native Christy Blythe, the boutique is slowly but surely building a loyal clientele.

Combining her passion for boutique shopping and years of experience as a librarian at East Smiths Station Elementary, Blythe said she is now living out her life dream in owning and operating her own business.

“Smiths Station really needed a cool place like this, and when he started building his storage business (Storage Station) with some retail spaces here, it seemed like the right time to do it. Plus, pairing my love of clothes shopping with my skills of helping people find what they need, it was the perfect opportunity for me,” Blythe said.

Located in the central portion of the store is the boutique’s namesake, helping facilitate an atmosphere and shopping experience that leaves customers feeling “beautiful and gorgeous,” according to Blythe.

“We have trendy, stylish things that a high school or college-age girl could wear to school or a special function. But then it spans all the way to the working woman because I have pieces that aren’t just crop tops … they have sleeves and they appropriate for where they work,” Blythe said. “I’ve been a boutique shopper for a long, long time so I already had a vision for what items I believed should be in the store. I don’t stock anything in the store that I wouldn’t wear myself … and with our overhead being lower, I can offer more affordable pieces for people.”

A joint grand-opening celebration with representatives from the City of Smiths Station is slated for later this month.

Blythe added that she recently launched online shopping for her website, www.shoptheredchandelierboutique.com.

Red Chandelier’s current hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. For more information, call 334-408-4884 or like and follow the boutique’s social media pages. The business is located at 110 Lee Road 562 Suite B.

mend charity

Charity MEND established to assist Lee County residents

MEND was established to assist with the long-term needs of all Lee County residents affected by the March 3rd disaster. Please contact them at 334-528-6363; www.eamc.org/mend

“Recovery is not only about the restoration of structures, systems and services – although they are critical. A successful recovery is also about individuals and families being able to rebound from their losses, and sustain their physical, social and economic well-being.”

-National Disaster Recovery Framework

cell tower down

FEMA Disaster Assistance

Lee County residents affected by the March 3rd tornado may visit a Mobile Registration Intake Center to register for disaster assistance.

Centers are open Monday-Sunday from 7am-7pm CST.

Disaster Survivor Assistance teams at these centers can help you:
Register for disaster assistance, update your records and information with FEMA, and make referrals to local, state, and voluntary agency partners.

During this process, specialists will ask for some personal information including:
Social security number, annual income and bank information, and names of occupants of the impacted property.

Locations for the Mobile Centers can be found by clicking here.

 **ALL RESIDENTS NEEDING ASSISTANCE MUST REGISTER WITH FEMA BY CALLING 1-800-621-FEMA.**Additional information can be found by visiting DisasterAssistance.gov , visiting the Lee County EMA site or by clicking this link.

Smiths Station Continues to Make Great Strides in Storm Recovery

Friday, debris clearing and removal crews in Smiths Station continued to work in their assigned groups. An incredible 700 volunteers worked with members of Alabama Forestry Commission’s Type 3 Incident Management team to provide assistance to area property owners.