Good morning, readers, this is what's happening in your county today:
Today: Mostly sunny, with a high near 60. Southwest wind 10 to 15 mph.
Tonight: Mostly clear, with a low around 28. North wind 5 to 10 mph.
News of note:
Learn to square dance: The Friendship Square Dance Club of Cullman will hold free lessons on square dancing from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tuesday nights beginning Jan. 7. Info: Rip Johnston at 256-347-7266; and Hulda Schaefers at 256-734-3566.
Child find: The Cullman County Special Education Program is seeking to locate children with disabilities ages birth through 21 years within the Cullman County School District. For ages birth through 3 years, contact Kristie Smith at 256-734-3253; for ages 3 through 21 years, contact Tiffanye D. Mitchell at 256-739-0486.
The system is also seeking to locate intellectually gifted and talented children, with the emphasis on second-grade students. Contact Special Education Coordinator Tiffanye D. Mitchell at 17600 Highway 31 N, Cullman 35058.
Cullman City Schools Foundation: Nominations for the Distinguished Alumni, Distinguished Service, and Promising Alumni awards are due Friday, Jan. 17, 2014. Nomination forms and a list of past recipients are available three ways. Contact Dawn Klinger at 256-590-3159 for a copy of the form sent by mail, visit the website at www.cullmancityschoolsfoundation.org/ or stop by the Central Office, 301 1st St. NE, Cullman 35055, to pick up a form.
Seniors’ Angel Tree: Southern Care Hospice has an Angel Tree with seniors’ requests for much-needed items, such as, personal care items, pajamas, clothes, etc. this holiday season. Those who’d like to adopt a senior, or to make a donation, contact Mandi Lake at 256-339-8474. Gifts should be delivered to the office at 417 Main St. NW, Hanceville 35077; or contact Ms. Lake to arrange for a pickup.
Need a Christmas meal? Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 112 2nd St. SE, Cullman 35056, will hold a Christmas meal for all those who are unable to afford one, from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 23, in the church’s Family Life Center gymnasium, located in the building behind Sacred Heart facing the Power Board office. No reservations are necessary.
Arley Christmas parade: The Smith Lake Civitans are sponsoring the Arley Christmas Parade at 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 21, in downtown Arley, lineup begins at 4:30 p.m. at the Dollar General, 6178 County Road 41, Arley 35541. Cocoa and cookies with Santa will follow at in the Meek Elementary Gym, 6615 County Road 41, Arley 35541. Also, photos with Santa will be provided by Arley First Baptist Church for all children at no charge. Arley Women’s Club and the Smith Lake Civitans will provide refreshments.
Winter Wonderland drive-through: Sportsman Lake Park’s 11th annual Winter Wonderland Christmas Light Display will be through Dec. 23, 2013 Wednesday and Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m.; 5 to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday, weather permitting. Admission is $5/vehicle; Santa will be here every night. Hot chocolate and candy canes will be served. Victorian horse and carriage rides are $4/person. For more information, contact the park office at 256-734-3052.
Phone calls from Santa: Cullman City Parks and Recreation Department will sponsor Phone Calls From Santa, with registration ongoing at the civic center, and children will receive calls from the jolly leader of the elves Dec. 23. Free, spaces limited. McGukin Civic Center 256-734-9157.
Health assessment survey: The Alabama Department of Public Health is seeking survey input from diverse organizations, agencies, businesses, programs, individuals, consumers and others in identifying appropriate and relevant health issues that they would like to have considered for inclusion in a statewide and local health assessment. Names of participants are not requested in the survey. The brief online survey can be responded to by visiting http://bit.ly/1cqyvEr. Please respond by Jan. 15, 2014.
“We need the assistance of interested groups and individuals from different backgrounds and parts of the state to respond to the survey,” Stacey Adams, team leader said. “By better understanding the health concerns and needs of the state, identifying partners that we can work with, and focusing our efforts, we can effectively improve the health status of Alabamians.”
The assessment that is being developed through this survey and other related activities will help identify and prioritize the health needs of the state, establish a measurable starting point for tracking progress, and serve as a foundation for a statewide health improvement plan.
In addition to other benefits, the health assessment will position the department to apply for accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). Accreditation will advance the quality and performance of the agency. It provides a means to identify performance improvement opportunities, improve management, develop leadership, and improve relationships with other community components.
PHAB is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the quality and performance of public health departments by providing a national framework of standards and a process to achieve voluntary accreditation. PHAB was created to serve as the national public health accrediting body. It is jointly funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.