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A lot has happened lately in our Senate district

By: Roger Bedford

Last April when the devastating tornados ripped through our Senate District they destroyed the entire school at Hackleburg and the high school in Phil Campbell. I’m pleased to report to you that both schools are now in the process of being rebuilt.

The contracts are being led on the school in Hackleburg. In Phil Campbell this week we were finally able to celebrate the demolition of the tornado-damaged building.

As funny as it may seem, the building was so old we had to do a study on it before they would allow us to destroy it. This past week Representative Johnny Mack Morrow along with the Franklin County Superintendent of Education Gary Williams watched over and participated in beginning of the demolition of the damaged building.

I look forward to our school children having state of the art school facilities in both Hackleburg and Phil Campbell in the near future. This will also help create construction jobs in our area, which should help stimulate the local economy even more.

I am pleased to announce an ADECA grant in the amount of $116,491 has been awarded to Childcare Education Resources, Inc. This program will train childcare providers and parents about the causes and implications of obesity among children. Childcare Education Resources, Inc., is a non-profit organization with experience in training childcare providers throughout North Alabama.

The organization will work with approximately 16 providers in a five-county area. Childcare managers and staff will be trained on strategies for obesity preventions. Staff will assist providers in policy updates that will promote healthier lifestyles among children. The organization will provide parents with materials and workshops to help them understand children’s diet and exercise needs.

Obesity and diabetes are becoming increasingly prevalent nationwide and especially in Alabama. Our children spend more time in childcare and obtain a large share of their calorie intake during their childcare hours.

During this project period, children will have access to healthier meals, snacks and beverages and greater opportunities for developmentally appropriate physical activity throughout the day.

Training and parent education will also encourage healthy habits for children, parents and daycare providers in the long term, even after the program is completed. This project will target Winston, Franklin, Marion, Colbert and Lauderdale Counties.

I certainly had a good time at the Vina Fest this past weekend. I enjoyed seeing Major D.W Franklin and so many of our local neighbors and friends.

The big money draw is always a fun time and my ticket at least made it to the final 100 before I was drawn out. Congratulations go to the winners.

We will have several new road projects being let in the coming month. You may rest assured that I will continue to work hard that we bring our tax dollars home for better and safer roads.

I hope all of you took advantage of the tax-free holiday. It is hard to believe that summer is almost over and school is about to start. Please be sure to shop locally whenever possible. Those tax revenue dollars turn over into our local economy by not only helping to keep jobs but to support our local schools as well.

Let me thank you for all the cards, letters, e-mails and phone calls, which I’ve received these past few weeks concerning my wonderful wife Maudie’s battle with cancer. She has been very brave and I’m so proud of her. Her breast surgery at UAB went well and we will be looking at a regimen of chemo and radiation treatments in the coming weeks and months.

Please continue to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we are both big believers in the power of prayer because we know our God is still in the healing business.

I am pleased to announce that the following grants were recently awarded in our Senate District: $520 to Red Bay Police Department for their Taser Gun purchase program, $2000 to the City of Red Bay for the Founders Day Festival, $1,000 to the Sara Dinsmore Center, $1,000 to Red Bay High School as well as Vina High School for the Red Bay Newspaper in Education Program for 2012-2013, $1,000 to the Russellville Volleyball Program, $1,500 to the Russellville Park and Rec 8 and Under, 10 and Under and 12 and Under All-Star teams, $1,500 to Tharptown High School Art Department for desk purchases, $500 to the Town of Vina Youth League Baseball Program, $1,000 to the Vina High School Band Program, $950 to the Red Bay High School new gym camera system, and $4,500 to Russellville Elementary School for Live to Learn Student Planners.

As always if I can be of any assistance to you do not hesitate to give me a call.


Roger Bedford is a state senator for Franklin County.