COMMUNITY NOTES may be submitted for non-profit, civic or church-related events and published free of charge.  Community Notes must be submitted in writing by 3pm Friday for consideration in the following week’s issue.   As space is available in the Courier Journal.  

• Email to; 

• Look for “Submit News” on our website  at

• Fax to 256-760-9618; 

• Mail to 219 W. Tennessee St, Florence, AL  35630; or

• Bring in person.

All properly submitted Community Notes which are dated will be posted weekly at  Visit our website for a complete list.  


The Florence-Lauderdale Public Library Travel Series for January 2020.  Each Sunday afternoon a different speaker shares stories and photos from a recent trip to a fascinating destination. Get Out of Town takes place on Sundays in January at 2pm. 

Sunday, January 26 - Get Out of Town: London with Dr. Cheryl Blake Price, Dr. Brenna Wardell, and UNA students

350 North Wood Ave. Florence    256-764-6564


LifeSouth Blood Drives for January

The Shoals Center, 307 Veterans Drive, Florence, 888-795-2707. The hours are: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, 9am-5pm; Tuesday and Thursday, 9am-7pm; Saturday, 9am-3pm; Sunday, 1-5pm.

Wednesday, January 22, 9am – 4pm, IHP, LLC, 1769 Lawrence Street E, Russellville

Thursday, January 23, 5:30am – 3:30pm, Tri-Cities Manufacturing, 801 Missouri Street, Tuscumbia

Friday, January 24, 10am – 4pm, Robbins LLC, 3415 Thompson Street, Muscle Shoals

Saturday, January 25, 11am – 6pm, Fashion Exchange, 2412 E 2nd Street, Muscle Shoals

Sunday, January 26, Noon – 7pm, Walmart, 2701 Cloverdale Road, Florence

Monday, January 27, 1–6pm, Long Lewis Ford, 2800 Woodward Ave, Muscle Shoals

Tuesday, January 28, 9am – 4pm, Heritage Christian University, 3625 Helton Drive, Florence

Wednesday, January 29, 7:30am – 4pm, Brooks High School, 4300 Highway 72, Killen

Thursday, January 30, 7am – 5pm, North Alabama Medical Center, 1701 Veterans Drive, Florence

Friday, January 31, Noon – 7pm, Walmart, 13675 Highway 43, Russellville


Tuscumbia Park & Rec will be taking baseball/softball registration from Now through February 17.   The cost is $50 per player and $25 for each additional player.  For more information, call 256-386-5655.


Shoals Habitat for Humanity ReStore 1120 N Royal Ave, at Seven Points in Florence. Or call us at 256-760-9515. Open Tuesday-Saturday from 9am-5pm. Shop. Donate. Volunteer.


The 5th Annual SPAN Throwback Bash 70’s/80’s/90’s Fundraiser is set for Saturday, January 25 from 7-10pm at Burrell-Slater school (next to W.C. Handy Museum) at 610 West College St. in Florence.

The Throwback Bash is an exciting evening of music, dancing, musical performances, and games.  DJ Lavale Cooper will play your favorite hits from all three decades! Come dressed in your favorite decade’s fashion and show us your best dance moves! Costume contests for best dressed!  Concessions will be available for purchase.  Admission is $10. 

Tickets can be purchased in advance on our Facebook page or at the door.

SPAN of Lauderdale County - Home | Facebook

SPAN of Lauderdale County, Florence, Alabama. 328 likes. SPAN is a nonresidential, coeducational program serving troubled youth and their families...

For additional information please call 256-246-2060.

SPAN is a non-residential, co-ed, comprehensive strategy for meeting the needs of at-risk youth and their families.  The nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization strives to prevent youth from continued involvement with the justice system by helping students to develop social, behavioral, and academic skills needed to become productive members of our community.


4th Saturday Breakfast at the Zip City Community Center- January 25, 10511 Hwy. 17, Florence. 6:30am-9:00am. Menu includes eggs, sausage, bacon, biscuits, gravies, grits, juice and coffee. Adults $6, children 10 and under $3.

Proceeds used for Center expenses. Everyone is welcome.


Florence Parks & Recreation Dept Registration for Youth Softball Program - NOW through February 23 for girls ages 5-12. You can register now on our website Registration fee is $35 per player. For more information contact David Dolan 256-760-6628. 


Florence Parks & Recreation Dept Registration for Youth Baseball Program - NOW through February 23 for ages 3-12. You can register now on our website Registration fee is $35 per player. For more information contact David Dolan 256-760-6628.


Paul Saik in Concert Sunday, January 26, 6:30pm at First United Methodist Church, 415 North Seminary St., Florence.

He has performed on Broadway. A versatile singer, he has performed with opera companies throughout the United States and around the world. He has appeared with various symphonies and has worked with the likes of Baz Luhrmann ("Moulin Rouge") in the New York Broadway scene. Now his passion is leading people in worship, and his music has touched many people as he has performed in numerous churches throughout the country. 

Come and join us for an evening of inspirational music.


Central Community Center Covered Dish Luncheon on Monday, January 27 at 11:30am. There will be entertainment.


The Shoals Democrats gathering takes place Monday, January 27 at IBEW Local 558, at 1803 E 17th St in Sheffield.  The speaker will be James Parker, of Attalla, AL.  He is a graduate of Jacksonville State University. He currently serves as the Treasurer for the Alabama Young Democrats and the Secretary for the Etowah County Young Democrats.  He also serves as the male representative on the State of Alabama Democratic Executive Committee for District 28 and has ran for the City Council in 2016.

The Meet & Greet is at 6pm.  Come meet local candidates and Mr. Parker.  The meeting with speaker is at 6:30pm.  Everyone is welcome.


Beginner Square Dance Lessons February 10, 6:30-8:30pm at The Club, 450 Country Club Drive, Florence. Fun-filled Monday Nights. 2 Free classes January 27 and February 3.

Casual dress, two left feet OK. Singles/couples, family activity, 6-106 years old with a desire to learn.

Info: 256-760-6642. Sponsored by Singing River Squares and Florence Parks and Recreation.


NAMI Shoals will be meeting for its monthly Educational Meeting on Tuesday, January 28 at 7pm at the NAMI Shoals office, 749 Thompson St., Suite A, Florence. 

The Speaker will be: Liz James, CEO of Riverbend Mental Health Center and Valerie Wesson, Clinical Director of Riverbend.

The public is invited.

Need directions or more information, call 256-765-2081.


Comfort Creatures of NE Mississippi will hold a quarterly meeting in the Lee County Library, 291 North Madison St., Tupelo, Wednesday, January 29 at 5:30pm.  The meeting is open to anyone who may wish to join like minded folks in utilizing their pets to bring joy and comfort to others. We visit nursing homes, hospitals, shelters and rehab facilities. We are an affiliate of Love On A Leash -

Does your pet have a special personality? Do they enjoy meeting all types of people? Is it a kind, loving animal who wants to be with humans? Come meet with us.

The meeting will be for humans only, sorry, no pets.

Explore our website - If you have questions, e-mail those questions to


Agricultural Update & Economic Outlook on Thursday, January 30, 6-9pm at Lauderdale County Extension Office, 802 Veterans Drive, Florence. Topics: Cotton, Soybeans, Corn, Livestock, Farm Bill.

For more information and to RSVP please contact the Lauderdale County Extension Office at 256-766-6223 or email

A lite meal will be served, please RSVP for food count.


The University of North Alabama Baseball program is excited to host its inaugural First Pitch Dinner on Saturday, February 1 at Cross Point Church of Christ, located at 1350 Cox Creek Parkway in Florence.  The dinner will be an opportunity for the public to join the UNA baseball team as it kicks off its second season in the ASUN conference and Division I.

Former UNA All-American and Major League baseball veteran Josh Willingham will be the guest speaker.

Fans can meet the UNA players and get information on the Lions' upcoming season as they compete against familiar names such as Alabama, Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Louisville - just to name a few.

Dinner and Fellowship begins at 5pm.  The program is at 6pm. 

Tickets are $40 per person or  a reserved table of 8 is $320.    Tickets may be ordered online


Diedra Ruff, The Alabama Blues Queen, and Band and Johnny Holland will be at The Roxy, Downtown Russellville on February 1. Doors open at 6pm, show at 7pm.

For more info call 256-443-1297.


The Shoals Symphony at UNA will conduct Preludes and Polovtsian Dances at 3pm February 2; Valentines, Vino and Vivaldi at 7pm February 14 (for 21 and older); A Midsummer Night’s Dream at 7pm on March 14;  Raiders of the Lost Ark in Concert at 7pm May 1;  and Joe Gray and the Moscow Mule at 3pm October 20, 2020. 

Tickets available by calling 256-710-1623 or email


Natchez Trace Genealogy Society February Quarterly Meeting: Sunday, February 2, Program at 2pm, Florence-Lauderdale Public Library Conference Room, 350 North Wood Avenue, Florence

"A House Divided: The Civil War Comes to Lauderdale County" by Lee Freeman.

Lee's 45 minute Power-Point program will examine the road to Civil War and the fracturing of the Democratic Party in 1860, then examine Lauderdale County's delegates to the 1861 secession convention in Montgomery, and their cooperationist, "wait-and-see" attitude and reluctance to secede, the 1860 presidential election in Florence-Lauderdale itself, as well as how various people and groups of people responded to the war and Alabama's secession: local Unionists; local freedmen and slaves; pro-Confederates; and the people who opted not to choose sides.


The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program will provide free, in-person tax preparation assistance in the Shoals area from February 3 -- April 15.  This service is provided by volunteers who are IRS-trained and IRS-certified every year. The program is open to taxpayers of all ages, and does not have income limits.

Centers of operation:

Florence Public Library on Mondays and Thursdays, 10:30am–4pm by appointment only, call 256-277-8595 

Broadway Recreation Center in Florence on Wednesdays,  9am–1:30pm by appointment only, call 256-483-2894

Helen Keller Library in Tuscumbia, Tuesdays and Fridays, 10am–4pm appointments preferred, call 256-386-7831

Russellville Department of Human Resources Building on Thursdays, 9am–3pm by appointment only, call 256-332-0252

Leighton Hopewell CP Church on Saturday, February 15 and March 21, 9am–3pm by appointment only, call 256-483-2894 

Please bring the following to your appointment: 

Photo identification (drivers license) 

Social Security cards (or ITIN documents) for you, your spouse, and /or dependents. 

Both spouses must be present if married couple is filing jointly. 

Birth dates for everyone on the return. Copies of last year’s tax returns (Fed & St)

All W-2, 1098 and 1099 forms, and a 1095 form if you purchased health insurance through the Marketplace

Any information for other income or deductions/credits

Proof of savings or checking account and routing numbers required for direct deposit of refund

If you own income-producing property, are in bankruptcy, or are self-employed with a loss, these situations are considered Out of Scope for our services.


UNA Tournées Film Festival 2020 - Join us at 6pm in the Wesleyan Hall auditorium (room 214) for the third annual UNA Tournées Film Festival. Beginning February 3 and concluding February 19, the festival includes six films in French (with English subtitles). Admission is FREE for all UNA students/faculty/staff and the Shoals community! There will be a reception on the opening and closing nights of the festival. As part of the opening reception, UNA Culinary Arts students will prepare authentic appetizers to go with the theme of the first movie, Tazzeka. The department of Foreign Languages will offer French-inspired appetizers for the closing reception.

This event is hosted by Dr. Stephanie Coker, Assistant Professor of French, and the UNA Dept. of Foreign Languages with the School of the Arts (Culinary Arts and Cinematic Arts) and the departments of English, History, Sociology & Family Studies, and the Mitchell-West Center for Social Inclusion.

For more information, contact: Dr. Stephanie Coker at


Shoals Elk Lodge 2860 Scholarship Program - Any high school senior who is a U.S. citizen may apply for the scholarship. Applications are available online. Applications will be judged on Scholarships, Leadership, and Financial need. For details and to access the application, visit

For more information visit the website or call Dr. Jean Love, Shoals Elks Lodge Scholarship Chair at 256-762-5043.


The Florence Camerata will resume rehearsals on February 6 from 7-9pm in the Choral Room at UNA.

Our new conductor is Rebecca Rockhill, and our new collaborative pianist is Karen Cantrell.  Singers from age 17 and older are invited to come and join us as we prepare for our Spring Concert on Thursday, April 14. 


The Burrell- Slater Athletic Hall of Fame  induction dinner for 2020 will be held on Friday , February 7 at 6:30pm  in the Burrell Slater Gym, 610 W. College Street, Florence.  Honorees are Sam Barnett, Dave Smith, and the basketball team of 1967. Special recognition is to be given to Samuel L. Brewer and Will Liner, Jr. for their pioneering efforts in preserving the Burrell legacy. Tickets are $20 and may be obtained from any committee member . The contact number is 256-710-9057.   


"Getting Well Together", a grief support group, will meet the 2nd Thursday of each month at 10am in the Family Life Center of Cliff Haven Church in Sheffield. This is a FREE support group for anyone who would like to attend. For more information, call 256-764-0873.


Social dancing takes place from 6:30-9pm Tuesdays at The Club, 450 Country Club Drive in Florence. Alcohol/smoke/drug free facility. For people 18 and older, $5. 256-760-6420


Book Talk & Book Signing with Peggy Allen Towns on February 8, 3pm at Sheffield Public Library. Program is free to the public.

Author Peggy Allen Towns will discuss her book, "Scottsboro Unmasked: Decatur's Story."  This powerful narrative examines the legal saga of the Scottsboro Boys, nine black youth who were falsely accused of assaulting two white women in 1931. The case produced two landmark U.S. Supreme Court rulings that continue to influence the judicial system. Towns will present new aspects of this well-known story by exploring events in Decatur, the site of the infamous re-trials, and how they affected the local community.

Sponsored by Friends of Sheffield Public Library.


February is Spay/Neuter month.  Northwest Alabama Spay And Neuter Assistance (NASANA) will be setting up tables on 3 different Saturdays in February to let people sign up for a discounted spay/neuter procedure, provide their proof of eligibility, and make the small copay.  The dates are: Tractor Supply in Russellville on February 8, Pet Depot in Florence on February 15, and the Pet Depot in Muscle Shoals on February 22. 

The first 10 people who come in each Saturday will be able to get one animal fixed for $10 and that includes the rabies vaccination.  Those with multiple animals or those who come in after the first 10 of the day will get the offer for only a $25 copay, and that also includes rabies vaccine.  This is a great deal because these needed procedures often cost over $100 elsewhere.

NASANA helped 423 animals get fixed in 2019.  That puts them at over 1600 spay/neuters since beginning the program in mid-2015.  Shelters and some other rescues are doing their part to find homes for as many animals as possible, but the only real answer to the excessive pet population is still spay/neuter.  

For more information, check the NASANA Facebook page.


The Volunteer Kickoff Party for the Shoals Walk to End Alzheimer’s will be Tuesday, February 11 from 5:30-6:30pm at Singin’ River Live on East College St. in Florence.    This will be a fun, informal gathering to show community members how they can volunteer and help fight this deadly disease. 

If you have questions, please call Susie Martin, the 2020 Shoals Alzheimer’s Walk chair, at 256-633-9430.


The Bay Tree Council for the Performing Arts announces the production “Till Beth Do Us Part” is February 13-16; “Cheating Cheaters” will be April 23-26; and “Leading Ladies” is June 18-21. Productions are at Weatherford Centre, 303 Fourth Ave. S.E., Red Bay


"Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women" by Elizabeth Kerri Mahon will be discussed at the February 19, 10am meeting of the Readers of the Lost Ark Book Club.   The club meets at Coldwater Books, 101 West Sixth Street in Tuscumbia.  For more information, email:


2020 TRIPS with The Club, Florence Parks & Recreation Department.

These trips are open to the public! $75 deposit gets you registered. You can make installment payments if you like. These trips are filling up fast. Call The Club, Fran Davis, 256-760-6642 for more information and to sign up. 

San Antonio, TX March 15-21, $699. Cruise on the San Antonio’s River Walk, visit the Alamo and IMAX theater, Tour LBJ Ranch, San Antonio missions, city tours, and more!

Mackinac Island, MI August 16-22, $719. Guided tour of Mackinaw city, cruise through Soo Locks, Kewadin Sault Casino, Horse and Carriage ride, Old Mackinac Lighthouse, and Michigan’s Little Bavaria.

Pigeon Forge, TN November 9-13, $575. Tour the Titanic Museum, Soul of Motown & America’s Hit Parade, Wonders of Magic, and Smith Morning Variety Show, and visit historic downtown Gatlinburg.


Meal - Never Forgotten - Bring a meal in memory of your loved ones. The meal will serve the homeless in our community while remembering your loved ones. Meals can be brought to 1601 Huntsville Rd, Florence, The Salvation Army. Call for more details. 256-764-4432.


Shoals Hospital is seeking senior adults with an interest in giving back to their community through volunteerism. The hospital, which is on Avalon Avenue in Muscle Shoals, has a thriving group of senior volunteers, who assist the facility by serving as ambassadors, directing patients to care areas and performing other roles.

If you or someone you know has an interest in serving as a volunteer at Shoals Hospital, the application may be completed online at, or in person during regular business hours. All other questions may be directed to the Volunteer Services Office at 256-386-1640.


The Nacolg Seniorx Medication Assistance Program Supplies Free And Low Cost Medications For Anyone In Alabama With A Disability Or A Chronic Illness Regardless Of Age That Requires Daily Medication.  Medicare Recipients May Also Be Eligible. 

For More Information Contact Nacolg Seniorx Today.  There Is No Charge For This Service. Paula Pardue at 256-389-0529  or 1-800-Ageline (1-800-243-5463)

This Program Is In Partnership With The State Of Alabama  And Alabama Department Of Senior Services


Hospice Volunteers Needed - Veterans, Students, Retirees, everyone with an hour a week to share with someone in your community.  Specific needs:  Male veteran to visit WWII vet, Florence area.  Hairdresser/Barber in all areas.   256-269-2100   Comfort Care Hospice, Sheffield.


Singing River Squares — Square dancing from 6:30-8:30pm Friday nights at The Club/Florence Senior Center, 450 Country Club Drive. Beginner square dance lessons offered. 256-760-4620


The Keller Hospice Promise Foundation assists patients and families with essential, non-hospice related expenses they are unable to afford themselves–such as rent and utility bills, emergency repairs, personal care items, and food assistance. The foundation also provides funding for patient's last wishes, burial assistance, and community projects like bereavement camps for children and educational outreach programs for end-of-life care.

When you make a donation to The Hospice Promise Foundation, 100% of your donation goes directly to patients and families in need because we are a 100% NON PROFIT FOUNDATION.

Donations can be sent to Barbie Johnson, Volunteer Coordinator, 1404 East Avalon Avenue, Suite C, Tuscumbia, AL 35674. Or contact the volunteer coordinator to answer any questions or pick up any donations: 256-314-1204 or email:


Volunteers Needed - Keller Hospice LHC of Tuscumbia is currently seeking volunteers to serve in Colbert, Lauderdale, and Lawrence. 

Areas of need: Patient Volunteer, Administrative Volunteer, Craft/Hobbies Volunteer, Community Outreach/Event Planning/Fundraising Volunteer. 

For more information contact: Keller Hospice LHC of Tuscumbia, 1404 East Avalon, Suite C, Tuscumbia. Phone 256-314-1204 or email


Did you know that there are 250 children who can’t live at home in our community each month?  These children can’t live at home because the very people who are supposed to protect and care  for them are not able to do so.  These are the children in foster care.   These are the children that need someone to stand up for them when it feels like no one cares.  These are the children that need a CASA Volunteer.  

Please consider becoming a Volunteer Advocate for local children who need a caring and committed adult to speak up for their best interest.  Call the Shoals CASA office at 256-765-0041 or check out the agency’s website for more information 


Want a job? Want a better job? Get your GED! Free GED Prep classes are located near you. The program is open entry with new students starting classes weekly. For more information, call the Northwest-Shoals Community College Adult Education Program at 256-331-5440 or 256-331-5438.


City of Florence  - Recycling Program:

Paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and jugs only (#1 & #2), aluminum cans, and steel cans are all recyclable. Residential curbside cart collection is provided within City of Florence limits. The Florence Recycle Center drop-off is available to everyone, 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Cardboard Boxes

Place large, broken-down cardboard boxes 3 feet away from your recycle and garbage carts. Remove all contents from each box before recycling as Styrofoam and plastic film are NOT recyclable.


Old TV’s are not collected with curbside trash. They can be dropped off at two locations:

--Florence Recycle Center:  1200 Terrace Street, Florence

--Florence Landfill:  29485 County Road 14, Florence

Wrapping Paper

All paper is recyclable if it will tear.  We encourage you to reuse ribbons and bows, but they are not recyclable.


Do you have a family member or a friend with a disability?

If so, sign up for our Disability Advocacy Network email list to show your support for a family member or friend through The Arc’s national movement.  

By signing up you will receive reliable updates about state and federal legislative decisions so you can take action as an informed advocate.

Your elected officials will listen to you on issues that are important to the I/DD community by making a call or sending an email!  Go to  to subscribe!


REAL Rehome Educate Adopt Love offers the following pet preventive care assistance for dogs and cats in Lauderdale, Colbert and Franklin Counties:

• Flea/Tick Control

• HW Testing

• HW Preventative

• Vaccine

Submit your Pet Wellness application from our Facebook page REAL Rehome Educate Adopt Love or website




Jo Anne Latham was a gospel music fan and performer most of her life. She has always said that instead of a traditional funeral, she would like to have a gospel singing instead, because she knew where she was going and wanted everyone rejoicing for it.  Latham’s memory and health have been declining in recent years, so while she can still remember, her daughter, Lori Graham, is setting up the celebration now.