Everyone is excited about the loosening of the COVID-19 restrictions this week. Area salons, gyms and other close-contact service providers are opening or getting ready to open. Our restaurants now have the ability to open, all of which much still observe social distancing and sanitation guidelines. All retail is now allowed to open with 50% occupancy rates. Churches are working on their plans as to how to keep people safe while allowing members back on their church campuses and still follow the social distancing guidelines. Many businesses, restaurants and churches are opting to take it slow and easy in their re-openings.

This weekend, Leeds and Moody were busting at the seams with cars and people all over town. The weather has been beautiful and everyone is ready to get out and about after so many weeks of staying at home. People are ready to shop and spend some money which should be good for our local retailers. As I came out of a local store, I heard some beautiful violin music and looked to my right and there was a family of three with the husband playing music for tips. Seeing these three smiling faces and great attitudes inspiring people with the music, it reminded me that we as Americans are resourceful and willing to do whatever we can to support our families.

City of Leeds meetings are now officially open to the public beginning with the Planning and Zoning meeting today, May 14 at 5:00 p.m. and the City Council meeting at 6:00 p.m on May 18. Both meetings are at the new location at 1410 9th rStreet. City Hall and Inspections are still closed to the public. City Hall is undergoing construction work and will provide curbside service until that work is completed. Tennis courts, all city parks and city public buildings, except for City Hall, opened last week. Playgrounds are still closed by specific order of the state. The recycling center is open with special guidelines. Patrons do not come inside the building and can unload outside the door. The center operator will take over from there. The City Court office opened last week and is currently awaiting guidance from the Supreme Court on when actual court will resume. If you need to come into the court office to speak to someone other than just paying at the window, mask and gloves are required. Social distancing guidelines with all city departments continue. The library is still closed with plans for Phase 1 of the library’s graduated reopening plan will begin soon.

City of Moody will reopen on May 18 and normal office hours will resume from 7:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays. The main front entrance will be open, social distancing guidelines remain in place and a mask is required inside city hall. Council meetings will resume on May 26. Court will resume the second Thursday in June. Library will open on Monday with drive-up service. Tennis courts will open this week with the walking track and dog park already open to the public. Moody Area Chamber of Commerce luncheons will resume in June with proper social distancing in place.

Moody Civic Center will also reopen on Monday, May 18. Membership was frozen for the 62 days the center was closed and each membership will officially begin again on Monday. The walk track, weight room and racquetball courts will be open for members only with limitations. No day fees during Phase 1 opening. Weight Room will open with capacity limitations with some equipment not available due to social distancing. Racquetball courts are limited to one person at a time and will need to bring own equipment. Limited group fitness classes will open with limitations in accordance with social distancing guidelines for members and/or $5 class fee. Both basketball gyms and all other classes will remain closed during Phase 1. All must wash hands at their designated hand washing station upon arrival. Locker room showers, lockers and water fountains will be closed. The complete list of guidelines will be available on their website and Facebook page at moodyciviccenter.com.

As mentioned last week, both Leeds and Moody have cancelled their spring sports leagues.

The Miss Leeds Area & Outstanding Teen Pageant for 2020 has been cancelled due to COVID-19 social distancing guidelines still in effect. We are excited to announce that our current Miss Leeds Area, Charity Bowden, & Miss Leeds Area's Outstanding Teen, Emma Terry, will serve another year. Please mark your calendars for June 6-12, 2021 for the next Miss Leeds Area & Outstanding Teen Pageant.

The LadyBUGS fashion show committee met last week by Zoom to discuss their annual fashion show and scholarship awards. This group has decided to cancel the fashion show for 2020.  Covid-19 has thrown everyone into a world of uncertainty as far as events, etc.   Those who have purchased tickets will have the opportunity to donate to their scholarship fund or be refunded.  If you purchased a ticket for the 2020 Fashion Show, please contact the person you purchased from, if they have not already contacted you.   LadyBUGS truly appreciates the community support for their Scholarship Fundraiser each year and hope to hold it again in 2021.  That being said, this Leeds/Moody Professional Women’s Organization hopes to be able to award at least one scholarship for a Moody High School and Leeds High School senior young lady this year from their existing funds. The fashion show is their main fundraiser each year and through this, they are normally able to award four $1k scholarships each year.

Here are a few reminders: Complete your 2020 Census reporting as soon as possible at www.2020census.gov. Remember to shop local whenever you can. If you are uncertain about whether any retailers, salons, gyms or other businesses are open or not, please call them direct or check their social media pages and websites for information. Last, just because COVID-19 guidelines are loosening, please continue to practice social distancing, proper handwashing and stay home if you’re sick.

Thought for the Week: Keep looking up…that’s the secret of life. ~Charlie Brown

I thoroughly enjoy sharing information, news and calendar items with you each week and I thank you for reading my column. Please send any news to me at leedsmoodynews@gmail.com and have a great week!

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