Leeds was recognized at the City Council meeting this week in celebration of 29 years as Leeds Tree City USA. Katie Wiswall, the U&CF Partnership Coordinator for the Alabama Forestry Commission made the presentation to members of the Leeds Tree Commission. Members included Linda Miller, Susan Carswell, Eddie Cook and Lisa Herren.

The Arbor Day Foundation is the brainchild of Tree City USA which recognizes and rewards cities that support their urban forest. Tree City USA began in 1976 and communities from all 50 states have earned Tree City USA distinction and Leeds, Alabama is one of them. In addition to this recognition, the Leeds Tree Commission just received another Good Roots Grant from Alabama Power which they plan to use in the process to tag trees within the city that have died, have them cut and replaced. They are also looking forward to doing something downtown as the city completes the new parking lots. “We have been fortunate to get the Good Roots Grant for the last several years,” said Eddie Cook when commenting on the commission and its projects. For more information about Arbor Day Foundation, please visit www.arborday.org.

Mayor David Miller reported that Spire is replacing the entire gas line and infrastructure in the City of Leeds and the new line was being installed on the other side of the sidewalks anywhere possible. Resolutions passed at the council meeting included approval of the grant application with Alabama Historical Commission which would provide money to complete renovations at the depot. Previously, the deck and some walkways were replaced. This grant will enable the provision of seating outside and other updates. The authorization of a maintenance agreement with ALDOT was approved to install a much-needed red light at Hwy. 119 and President’s Street as well as handle improvements to the lanes at Exit 140 with enhancing turn lanes, traffic light and other lane improvements in addition to what Buc-ee’s is going to do. Mayor Miller said it was impressive to see the plan that Buc-ee’s presented that they will complete.

The last week of August is Be Kind to Humankind Week, which is recognized globally as an annual holiday. We should be kind to everyone daily, but this is the time to take it up a notch. Each day of this week is signified by a different way of being kind beginning with Sacrifice Our Wants for Others' Needs Sunday. Do something for someone that they can't do for themselves or visit someone that doesn't get visitors often. Next is Motorist Consideration Monday. Of course, follow the rules of the road, but in addition, let someone merge in and don't drive aggressively. Just show more patience and consideration rather than road rage. Touch A Heart Tuesday gives us an opportunity to show our love towards others, encouraging and uplifting them. Willing to Lend A Hand Wednesday is when you should offer your time, your help or whatever you have to give, to help out a fellow human. Then there is Thoughtful Thursday when we should be mindful of all those around us, their concerns and their needs. Be more aware of other people's feelings. Forgive Your Foe Friday is all about trying to find forgiveness in your heart for those who have harmed us in some way. Let it go and let yourself heal. Finally, there is Speak Kind Words Saturday, a day to influence and uplift the people around us by speaking nothing but positive words. Watch what you say and always be kind to others. If you aren't able to celebrate the whole week, pick a day and go for it. We all need to do our part to be kind to others.

Our local chamber of commerce organizations work hard for our local businesses, our cities and our communities. Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director,Sandra McGuire and Moody Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Andrea Mache both attended the state Chamber of Commerce Association of Alabama state meeting in Gulf Shores recently. They spent the week at the new state lodge, heard informative speakers, networked with other chamber professionals and gathered ideas to bring back to us.

The guest speaker for the Leeds Area Chamber of Commerce meeting this month was D’Undray Peterson with LiftFund in partnership with BancorpSouth Bank. LiftFund is a financial organization that loans money for businesses and new business start-ups when bank funding is not available. Their office is out of Bessemer and work in conjunction with local banks. I am mentioning this in my news article this week because a lot of people may not know that there are options available when they are looking for a loan to improve their cash flow or if they have a business idea that they would like to make a reality. LiftFund can be reached at 205-224-9014 or visit their website at www.LiftFund.com.

The Leeds Alabama Police Department, in partnership with the Leeds Chamber of Commerce, will host an Active Shooter Presentation at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 22 at Leeds First United Methodist Church Family Life Center. Police Chief Atkinson will present a program concerning active shooters to businesses, churches, and other interested parties. Lunch will be served. Cost to attend is $10. Make reservations by calling 205-699-5001.

Henri's Notions will be performing at the Leeds Theatre and Arts Center this Saturday, Aug. 24 at 7 p.m. From soft fingerpicked ballads to hard-driving jigs and reels, this group creates a musical mix of traditional Celtic and American music, as well as original compositions. Tickets are $15 and call 205-699-1892 or email leedsartscouncil@gmail.com for reservations.

The Moody City Council will meet at 6 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 26 at Moody City Hall.

The Moody Area Chamber of Commerce Corporate Liaison Group will meet at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 27 at El Cazador. If you are a chamber member and would like to join this group to give your business more exposure, please call 205-640-6262 to make your reservation.

A Time to Read Book Club will be hosted by the Leeds Jane Culbreth Library on Aug. 28 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. This book club for adults will discuss Flight Behavior by Barbara Kingsolver. Potluck-style snacks will be provided.

Plans are firming up for the next Leeds Downtown First Thursday Street Fest. Entertainers include Charity Bowden and Eric Watters. Mountain Brook Driving Club will be the focus of the car cruise-in and everyone with an antique car or bike is invited to cruise in. Food trucks and street vendors will be back for a great evening in downtown Leeds so mark your calendars now and come out Thursday, Sept. 5 from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.

Ann’s New Life Center in Leeds will host their annual fundraising banquet at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17 at St. Theresa Catholic Church. This is a free event and everyone is welcome, but reservations are required. Please call 205-702-6500 or leeds@annsnewlifecenter.com.

Job Opening(s): The City of Moody is currently accepting employment applications for a Full Time APOSTC Police Officer. Applications may be found at www.moodyalabama.gov. Deadline is Aug. 27 at 6 p.m.

Thought for the week: Be kind!

I truly appreciate each of you who read my column and I really love sharing news so please send your Leeds and Moody news to me at leedsmoodynews@gmail.com. See you next week!

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