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Alabama snapshots: Gone fishin’

Submit Your Images! August Theme: “First day of school” Deadline for August: June 30. Submit photos online: or send color photos with a self-addressed stamped envelope to: Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, AL 36124. Rules: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Photos may also be […]

Social security: How the retirement rules work for you

Retirement doesn’t have the same meaning for everyone. Some people plan to retire and never work again. Some people plan for second careers in occupations that wouldn’t have adequately supported their families, but they do the work for pure enjoyment. Some people, whether by design or desire, choose to work part-time or seasonally to supplement […]

Rural health: Drones offer exciting promise in rural Alabama

Rapidly emerging new technologies offer a reason for excitement in caring for the health of Alabama’s rural areas.  Alabama faces a great challenge to provide adequate and quality health care for one of the country’s most unhealthy populations.  The use of drones (also called unmanned aircraft systems UAS) is one such promising technology that we […]

Restoring the roar on Lake Guntersville

By John N. Felsher After more than 30 years of absence, boat races will return to the largest lake in Alabama when the Guntersville Lake Hydrofest comes to the northeastern part of the state on June 22-24. “Lake Guntersville has a long history of boat racing with many world records set on these waters,” says […]

Making visitors feel welcome in ‘Sweet Home Alabama’

“Welcome to Alabama!” If you’ve walked through the doors of one of Alabama’s eight State Welcome Centers, those words no doubt would have greeted you. “We don’t know if they’re from Alabama,” says Trisa Collier, center administrator, but every employee makes sure each visitor is welcomed warmly and enthusiastically. “Some will say, ‘I’m from Alabama,’ […]

Selling Alabama to international travelers

By Minnie Lamberth Andy Facer was born and raised in the United Kingdom and lives in Cambridgeshire, yet he works full-time to promote trips to Alabama. He’s the state’s tourism representative for the UK and Ireland travel market. Alabama has a lot of benefits to sell, Facer notes. “The Alabama people are some of the […]

New U.S. Civil Rights Trail links 14 states, over 100 landmarks

Visitors can literally walk in the footsteps of Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, Medgar Evers, John Lewis and other African-American activists, thanks to the U.S. Civil Rights Trail that launched earlier this year on King’s birthday. Southern tourism departments have curated a list of more than 100 museums, churches, courthouses and other landmarks pivotal […]

Mr. Tourism

Lee Sentell has served as director of the Alabama Tourism Department since January 2003, and is the longest serving director in its history. His tourism career has spanned more than 30 years. After serving as city editor of The Decatur Daily, he became the first director of the Decatur Tourism Bureau. He was director of […]

WTD: The Copper Kettle is everyone’s cup of tea

Story and photos by Emmett Burnett Laid back, framed in shady oaks, beside an easy-on-the-eyes emerald green park is not what one expects on a road named “Chicago Street.” The Copper Kettle Tea Bar is here, too, and also unexpected – an unexpected delight. At first glance, the little house appears to be a small […]

Electric utility linemen to be honored on June 4

Lineman Appreciation Day has a special meaning for Tracy Riddle. Riddle’s father, Ricky Sybert, worked for Joe Wheeler EMC from about 1968 until 1992. “He loved his job and he loved his co-workers,” Riddle recalls. “I can remember him being on ‘trouble’ and getting a trouble call at night, or when it was storming. Even […]

Gardening hacks: Ways to make gardening easy, economical and eco-friendly

Gardening hacks — or creative ways to save time and money in the garden — can be fun and often effective shortcuts for many gardening chores. If used correctly, garden hacks can also help us create more eco-friendly gardens, especially if we concentrate on the three Rs of sustainability: recycling, reusing and repurposing. Recycle Many […]

Set to trap a catfish

When this Brantley, Alabama native wants a fish fry, he grabs one of his fish traps and heads to the river. Story and photo by Ben Norman Several years ago, Eugene Hendrick decided he would try his hand at fishing with wire fish baskets.  But he had very little luck. “One day I was checking my […]

Hardy Jackson’s Alabama: Food for thought

We Southerners love our food. But now, according to recent studies, it seems that the cuisine for which the South is famous is leading Southerners to an early grave. Not long ago it was reported that anyone who wants diabetes should move South and start eating. According to a 2017 study, the highest adult obesity […]

Reaching out: Army veteran teaches long-range, precision shooting

“You’re going to shoot this rifle at a target a thousand yards away today and hit it,” proclaims James Eagleman, the director of training at the Barbour Creek Shooting Academy just outside Eufaula. More used to shooting shotguns at ranges less than 40 yards, I looked out the window of the shooting house incredulously. I […]

Can solar work for my home?

By Pat Keegan and Brad Thiessan Q: I’m hearing a lot about solar power as an efficient option for homes today. Can you tell me some of the basics about solar energy and whether it’s something I should pursue? A: Solar can provide energy for your home in three ways: Passive solar is a way to capture […]

Recipes to treasure

BY Jennifer Kornegay  | Food/Photography by Brooke Echols Handing down favorite recipes is a worthwhile pursuit that’s about sharing something more than good food. When we talk about family heirlooms, we’re often referring to jewelry, fine china or maybe granddad’s coin collection. But an heirloom, as Merriam-Webster defines it, is anything that is “something of special […]

Meet the electric John Deere

Green and yellow are arguably the second-most American set of colors, behind red, white and blue, of course. This rings true particularly for those who operate John Deere machinery on a daily basis, as the growth of our nation is supremely dependent on the country’s agriculture industry, including the good folks who support it. Technology […]

Disease- carrying ticks widespread across Alabama

By David Rainer (Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)  As a turkey hunter, I am keenly aware of the threat posed by sneaking through the Alabama woods. And I’m not talking about the danger of encountering a member of the serpent family. I’m talking about something much, much smaller but possibly just as harmful. […]

Earn points for free or discounted travel

By Marilyn Jones One of the best ways to earn free or reduced-price travel is by saving points. Hotels, airlines, credit cards, internet advertisement websites and other businesses offer memberships entitling you to earn points. But there are tricks to growing those points.  Stay loyal to one or two airlines and hotel brands if they […]