June Spotlight

Alabama Living Magazine
Connecting rural areas to the grid

Broadband bill passes Alabama House and Senate

The Alabama Legislature gave full approval to SB215, also known as the broadband expansion bill, which will help bring high-speed broadband internet services to Alabama’s underserved areas.
The bill establishes a grant program and creates the Alabama Digital Expansion Authority, which will plan and oversee the expansion of broadband. It could issue bonds of up to $250 million to finance eligible projects; the state currently funds $20 million per year to a broadband grant program.
High-speed internet isn’t available in large swaths of the state. The pandemic revealed just how much Alabamians need access for education, work and telehealth. The legislation was supported by the Alabama Rural Broadband Coalition, of which the Alabama Rural Electric Association is a member. AREA publishes Alabama Living magazine. (Information from Alabama Daily News)


Support Sweet Grown Alabama farmers markets

A trip to the farmers market is an easy way to buy a variety of locally grown vegetables and fruits and meet the farmers who grow your produce. Make plans to support Sweet Grown Alabama farmers markets this spring and summer at 25 locations statewide. 
Sweet Grown Alabama is a non-profit organization that enhances marketing opportunities for farmers by connecting retailers and consumers to Alabama-grown foods and other agricultural products.
Visit SweetGrownAlabama.org to find all sorts of resources, including a harvest calendar for fruits and vegetables; farmer spotlights; and recipes supplied by Sweet Grown Alabama members. The site also lists the names, addresses and contact information for its Alabama growers and producers.


‘The Miracle Worker’ celebrates 60th season at Ivy Green

The beloved play “The Miracle Worker,” which tells the early childhood story of Helen Keller, will be produced on the grounds of Ivy Green in Tuscumbia on Friday and Saturday evenings, June 11 through July 17.
The play by William Gibson tells the story of Keller, who was left blind and deaf after an illness as an infant. An intelligent child, Keller was frustrated with her inability to communicate with her family. Her parents found help with teacher Anne Sullivan, who arrived in Tuscumbia in 1887. She was able to reach Helen as no one else could.
The original water pump where Helen learned her first word, “water,” is still on the grounds of Ivy Green, where Keller grew up. Seeing her story come to life, literally in Helen’s own backyard, is an experience like none other.
Gates will open at 7 each evening, with the show beginning at 8 p.m. Concessions will be available during intermission. Prices are $15 for reserved seating and $10 general admission. Reservations are recommended and can be made by calling the Helen Keller Birthplace at 256-383-4066. For more information, visit HelenKellerBirthplace.org.


Whereville, Alabama

Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! The winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by June 7 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the July issue.
Submit by email: whereville@alabamaliving.coop, or by mail: Whereville, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124.
Do you like finding interesting or unusual landmarks? Contribute your own photo for an upcoming issue! Remember, all readers whose photos are chosen also win $25!

May’s answer: This full-scale replica of the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is the centerpiece of the Liberty Bell Garden at the American Village in Montevallo. It was made for the 250th anniversary of the original and was cast by Skylight Studios Inc. of Massachusetts from a mold made from the original bell. (Photo by Lenore Vickrey of Alabama Living) The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Bill Byrd of Wiregrass EC.

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Award-winning Alabama Living is the official statewide publication of the electric cooperatives in Alabama and the largest magazine of its type in the state, reaching some 400,000 electric cooperative consumers.

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