Identify and place this Alabama landmark and you could win $25! Winner is chosen at random from all correct entries. Multiple entries from the same person will be disqualified. Send your answer by May 7 with your name, address and the name of your rural electric cooperative. The winner and answer will be announced in the June issue.
Submit by email: firstname.lastname@example.org, 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!
April’s answer: This concrete cross on Monte Sano Mountain is 74 feet tall and 35 feet wide and can be seen from most of downtown Huntsville. In 1963, the Huntsville Ministerial Association raised the 38-ton gleaming white cross to reflect the determination to mark Huntsville as a city devoted to Jesus. (Information from al.com). (Photo contributed by Janice Sims of Pea River EC.) The randomly drawn correct guess winner is Pamela Maten of Black Warrior EMC.
Dirt Pass Trail Crew program supports state parks trails
The trails in Alabama State Parks have seen a steady growth in use, serving as a family-friendly gateway to the outdoors. Volunteer clubs support the maintenance of the trails, providing labor, expertise and skills, but not every park has a support club, and not everyone can volunteer either time or labor.
The new Dirt Pass Trail Crew program allows users to make a $35 annual membership donation to help create the best trail system in the Southeast. Your money goes directly to fund this program, which supports organized trail workdays, a full-time trail crew, professional support for volunteer groups, surveying the needs of trail users, new trail building equipment and overall trail improvement.
This is strictly a donation program; users can enjoy the trails regardless of membership. But it does allow those who enjoy the trails an opportunity to be part of their continued improvement.
Donations may be made only online at alapark.com/trails/dirt-pass-trail-crew-program. A membership wristband and trail gift will be mailed to you.
Help available to assist with rent, utility bills
Alabamians who have experienced financial hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be able to receive help to pay their rent and utility bills through the state’s emergency rental assistance program. Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) Alabama is funded entirely by a $263 million congressional grant under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the “Act”).
Administered by the Alabama Housing Finance Authority, ERA Alabama can help renters with the following costs going back as far as March 13, 2020:
• Past due, current and up to 3 months of expected rent costs;
• Past due, current or up to 3 months of expected utility and home energy expenses;
• After the initial 3 months of forward assistance, you can apply for 3 additional months of assistance if funds are still available.
Separate from ERA Alabama, the Act also funds separate rental assistance programs serving residents of Baldwin, Madison, Mobile, Montgomery, Tuscaloosa, and Jefferson counties, and the cities of Huntsville and Birmingham. Residents in those local areas must apply there, not with ERA Alabama. However, if the local program in your area is not yet operating, ERA Alabama might accept your application. Call (833) 620-2434 for details.
There are specific eligibility requirements for the program. Full details are available on the ERA Alabama website, ahfa.com/era, or by calling the customer service center at (833) 620-2434.
Women restaurateurs are cooking up special things in Alabama
The restaurant business has typically been male dominated, at least as far as ownership goes. But in the past decade or two, many women have started to make a splash on the Alabama food scene. From a story by the Alabama News Center, here are five places owned or co-owned by women you might want to try:
Yo’ Mama’s, 2328 2nd Ave. North, Birmingham, co-owners (and mom and daughter) Denise and Crystal Peterson
Drexel & Honeybee’s, 109 Lee St., Brewton, co-owner Lisa Thomas-McMillan (featured in Alabama Living in December 2018)
Michael’s Restaurant, 1525 1st Ave. South, Birmingham, owner Bernadine Birdsong
Toybox Bistro, 511 Jordan Lane Northwest, Huntsville, co-owner Michelle Tamon
KBC, 151 N. Foster St., Dothan, owner Kelsey Barnard Clark (featured in Alabama Living in December 2016)