Finding the funds

Sheffield resident Wendy Snitzer wanted to see improvements made to the 10th Avenue Park and so she went to the mayor, who told her the city didn’t have the means to refurbish the area.

Snitzer didn’t let that deter her. She asked for permission to make the improvements herself and Mayor Ian Sandford’s response was “have at it.”

So she did. Snitzer sought donations and sponsorships for the small park. Through those donations, Snitzer said she will be able to add a “regulation size” 42 foot by 72 foot, striped, concrete slab for basketball as well as a second basketball goal. She said Sanford agreed to add additional electrical services and a security light at the park.

We love when residents take responsibility for improving areas of the city.

Grand opening

Congratulations to Muscle Shoals for opening its Might Baseball League field at Gattman Park.

This is an adaptive recreation field, a specially designed ball field for special needs children and adults, began in 2011, but the city had been operating an adaptive recreation program since 2003, the mayor said.

Funding for the project came from the city, a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs and generous donations through the Jackie Powell Foundation, which was set up specifically for this project.

The ballfield has a rubberized surface that’s more suitable for wheelchairs. There is a green surface for grass and brown for the base paths. The facility has lights, a scoreboard, two covered bleacher sections, handicapped accessible dugouts and will be used for league play beginning in 2020.

Parks and Recreation Department Director Rusty Wheeles said a spring adaptive Mighty League Baseball program will kickoff in the Spring of 2020.

We look forward to that.


G.W. Trenholm Primary School and Kilby Laboratory School in Florence are two of 21 schools statewide to be selected as Bicentennial Schools of Excellence, each getting a cash price of $5,000.

G.W. Trenholm Principal Veronica Bayles said her school rallied behind the idea of building partnerships with groups such as the Alabama Institute for Deaf Blind (AIBD) in Tuscumbia.

“We’re located right here at the birthplace of Helen Keller, so it just made sense to pursue this part of our history, focusing on visual and hearing impairment as we have these elements in our society, as well as in our school,” Bayles said in a story last week.

The Trenholm students learned, through sensory perception activities, a better understanding of the struggles facing those with visual and hearing impairments.

Kilby Principal Eric Kirkman said the school has not determined how it will spend its $5,000 cash prize.

What he expects to happen is the money will be used to offset the cost of field trips taken by students to help broaden their knowledge of the state and its history.

In addition to the $5,000, schools of excellence received a commemorative banner and a special sculpture made from Alabama marble titled “The Dawning” by renowned Alabama native sculptor Craigger Browne.

Schools of Excellence are invited to participate in commemoration ceremonies Dec. 14 in Montgomery in culmination of Alabama’s bicentennial.

Congratulations to both schools


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