St. Vincent’s to present chamber program

Update from the chamber of commerce

Neeysa Biddle, interim CEO of St. Vincent’s Health Systems, and Sean Tinney, chief operating officer of St. Vincent Blount, will be the featured speakers at the upcoming coffee scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 24, at Twin Oaks. The program begins at 7:30 a.m. and will be sponsored by St. Vincent’s Blount. The executives of the St. Vincent’s Health Systems will discuss changes, improvements, and future plans for healthcare delivery services for our area.

The Birmingham Business Journal (Sept. 12, 2008) ranks the top 19 hospitals by number of beds in the Birmingham area, and the St. Vincent’s Healthcare System had four facilities in the listing for 2007. St. Vincent’s Birmingham was ranked sixth with 372 beds available for the period and 96,560 patient days. St. Vincent’s East ranked tenth with 282 beds and 72,585 patient days. St. Vincent’s St. Clair was seventeenth with 82 beds and 4392 patient days, and St. Vincent’s Blount ranked nineteenth with 40 beds and 5727 patient days.

Currently there are 121 hospitals in Alabama. As one of the 70 health ministries of Ascension Health, the largest Catholic and nonprofit health system in the nation, the call to action for St. Vincent’s Blount is to provide healthcare that works, is safe, and leaves no one behind for life.

As life expectancy increases, healthcare becomes a bigger and more important part of the economy. Medicine and medical practice are becoming more specialized and career opportunities are growing each year. There is a major shortage of nurses nationwide at present, and creative and flexible work schedules are an attractive benefit to encourage nurses to work at certain healthcare institutions.

Join us on Sept. 24 to learn about exciting future plans and added health services at St. Vincent’s Blount and the St. Vincent’s Health Systems.

Covered Bridge Festival

Now in its 25th year, the Covered Bridge Festival continues to offer many events and diverse activities. This year is no exception. We have a golf tournament, beauty pageants, pancake breakfast, arts and crafts, a 5K and fun run, car and motorcycle shows, river walk, food, entertainment, quilt show, and plenty of activities for kids.

The highlight of each Covered Bridge Festival is the arts and crafts show located in downtown Oneonta. This year’s will take place on Saturday, Oct. 25. Hundreds of vendors line the streets of downtown each year. An antique car show and motorcycle show have become festival staples as well. Live entertainment including the bluegrass gospel talent of Bama Blu Grace, Jordan Harrison, Robert Glass (Elvis), Three Generations, the musical talents of Chris Green and Tommy Prickett, and much more can be heard on the festival’s main stage from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

New to this year’s downtown festival is an expansion of the children’s area, which can be found behind First Avenue. Adjacent to the children’s area will be a child safety and protection festival sponsored by New York Life. Besides fun games and activities, you will find a child identification station behind Regions Bank where local law enforcement will provide fingerprinting and DNA child identification cards. Also, on a stage between Regions Bank and Creative Frame and Trophy, will be demonstrations on fire safety, stranger danger, bicycle safety, and hunting safety. A clown, sponsored by Jack’s, will be around to entertain the young ones, too.

Another addition is the doggy parade, presented as a fundraiser by the Miss Covered Bridge Pageant. It’s also on the second stage. Dress up your dog and join us as we crown the Covered Bridge Festival doggy queen and king. Pre-registration is required. Applications are available at the chamber office. Line up begins at 11:30 with the contest starting soon after.

This year’s festival will also feature three pageants, all to take place in the Eris Horton Auditorium at Oneonta High School. The Covered Bridge Festival, open to all girls one month through high school seniors, will take place Saturday, Sept. 27. The winner in the senior division will receive a one-year, non-transferable scholarship to Snead State Community College. Applications are available in the chamber office. The Miss Outstanding Teen Pageant, a preliminary for Miss Outstanding Teen Alabama, is at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 28. For more information and to apply, contact Jayne Posey at 205-559-4127. The Miss Covered Bridge Pageant, a preliminary to Miss Alabama, is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19. For more information and to apply, contact Jayne Posey. Visit the chamber website for more information on all the activities surrounding the 25th Annual Covered Bridge Festival activities:

Blountsville Harvest Festival

The annual Blountsville Harvest Festival will be held on Saturday, October 11, 2008, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Blountsville Business Association. For more information, you may contact Karen Parr, vendor coordinator, at 205-429-2988 or 256-347-3113; Marie Gray, parade coordinator, at 205-429-2535; Dennis Beavers, entertainment coordinator, at 205-429-5554; Dr. Donald Smith, parade coordinator and farm tractor show, at 205-429-3601; and Alan Gilliland, president of the Blountsville Business Association, at 205-559-4466.

You can expect great fun, entertainment, and food. Make plans for a great day.


Gas prices fluctuated once again due to Hurricane Ike and shortages were predicted on a shortterm basis. This is another reason to focus on local job creation and business development within the county and 12 municipalities.

At the last county commission meeting, Judge David Standridge and Commissioners Robert Bullard, David Cochran, Waymon Pitts, and Tom Ryan voted unanimously to grant Hydra Service, located on Highway 160 south of Hayden, tax abatements and incentives to create jobs. Hydra Service will grow from 60 to 70 employees.

By working together, we are making a very good community even better.