Selma Sun Spotlight : News Update September 23rd week 2021

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The Black Belt Benefit Group got a two thousand dollar Love Our Byways grant from the National Scenic Byway Foundation. The money is being used for cleanup and beautification of the intersection of Broad Street and Water Avenue, which is part of the Selma To Montgomery March Byway. This includes improvements to the flower beds at the intersection, on the other side of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and along both Broad Street and Water avenue. Black Belt Benefit Group President Josh Wilkerson said this is a great way for the group to continue its mission safely in light of the COVID pandemic. Mayor James Perkins says this is a great example of what can happen when city hall and private citizen groups team up for the betterment of the city. The actual clean up event is Saturday.

Three new businesses had their official ribbon cutting this past week. Friday September 17 was the ribbon cutting for Broad Street Bookstore opened by David Tipmore at 22 Broad Street. It specializes in used books. Portia Fulford opened Queen City Kale at 1010 Water Avenue, where previously she had Oganpi Farms. She described her new venture as a restaurant that is intentionally slow and meant to be a relaxing place for diners to connect. She said she wants Queen City Kale to be a catalyst that helps bring more activity to the area. Monday September 20, Happy Nutrition 27 located at 211 Dallas Avenue, held their ribbon cutting. Happy Nutrition 27 is a health food store specializing in Herbalife food and supplements. Owner Lashun Langdon says there will be various exerciser classes offered in the future.

You may have noticed banners with pictures of various people hanging from light poles along Water Avenue. This is the Heart of Selma project and it is the brainchild of Selma native and photographer Jerry Siegel. The idea came to him when he did a similar project in Lake City, South Carolina. He wanted to do something for his hometown so he and Paul Barrett, who directed the previous project, partnered with the Black Belt Benefit Group to pick citizens whose continuing presence make Selma better. They asked community leaders who they thought should be included. 25 citizens were chosen and photographed. Three art experts reviewed the portraits and chose the top 12 that are being displayed in downtown Selma. The banners currently on display will be there at least a month, then others may be displayed.

Did you know that one of the most haunted places in the state of Alabama is right here in our own back yard? And although Old Cahawba is near the top of that list, this place is here in Selma. It’d the St James Hotel and Saturday September 25, a paranormal research group from Panama City Florida, the Midnight Girls and Boys, spent the night on a ghost hunt in the St James as part of The Worlds Largest Ghost Hunt. The Mother – Daughter team of Cindy Doty and Sara Williams who started the group 13 years ago say they picked the St James because they love history, they love the history of the hotel and this area and have even stayed at the St James. Legend has it that Outlaw Jesse James who stayed at the St James in the 1880s haunts his favorite rooms. The world’s largest ghost hunt is held each year at this time. Ghost hunters all over the world participate in hunts that weekend.

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