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Alabaster Library events focus on math, science – Shelby County Reporter

Alabaster Library events focus on math, science - Shelby County Reporter

Alabaster Library events focus on math, science

Published 8:52 pm Monday, September 5, 2022

By SCOTT MIMS / Special to the Reporter 

ALABASTER—The Albert L. Scott Library in Alabaster has many science and math-focused events throughout the month of September, starting with a class on laser cutting basics Sept. 13 beginning at 4 p.m.

The laser cutting course includes an introduction to CorelDRAW software as well as operation of the laser cutter in the library’s Makerspace.

Library Director Kim Roberts said the events are a continuation of a themed series made possible by a state library grant called Re-imagining School Readiness.

“We are trying to focus heavily on math and science and incorporate that into our children’s programming,” Roberts said. “Hopefully over the next season during fall we’re really going to try to ramp up our STEM programming.”

The 4-H Science Club for Kids will meet Sept. 15 at 4 p.m. in the Nan Abbott Room where Julie Yocum will lead the group, which includes ages 9-18.

A Snapseed photo editing course will take place Sept. 18 at 2 p.m. with guest instructor Ted Vodde. Vodde discovered Snapseed several years ago and has since edited more than 20,000 photos using the program and has won photography awards using photos taken with an iPhone and edited on Snapseed.

Participants in the photo editing course are asked to have Snapseed already downloaded onto their phone or tablet prior to the course. Snapseed is a free app available in the app store.

A class on Microsoft Excel 2019 will follow on Sept. 20 at 4 p.m. in the Nan Abbott Room. This class is designed for those who are new to Excel. The class covers basic spreadsheet navigation, formatting and basic formulas.

Roberts said space is limited for computer courses, so attendees are not guaranteed a laptop. For this reason, personal devices are welcome.

Adults will learn stress-free tips to prepare their children for school in an adults-only seminar on Sept. 24 at 10:30 a.m. This event is for those with children ages 8 and under and will incorporate library resources that can help in this area.

Finally, teens and tweens will have the opportunity to create circuit art on Sept. 29 at 4 p.m. in the Nan Abbott Room. Participants ages 11-18 will discover how to combine electronics and art to create their own masterpiece. Jan Mattingly “The Science Lady” will teach this course.

Roberts also teased an upcoming event on Oct. 8, the Tiny Woods Festival held by the Friends of the Albert L. Scott Library. Vendors will set up in the wooded area outside the library, and there will be carnival games, food trucks and much more beginning at 9 a.m.

To view more library events or register for upcoming events, visit the Albert L. Scott Library page on

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BRINGING DREAMS TO LIFE | Wheat and Honey Events helps couples produce their perfect wedding day – VC Reporter | Times Media Group

BRINGING DREAMS TO LIFE | Wheat and Honey Events helps couples produce their perfect wedding day - VC Reporter | Times Media Group

Photo shown above by Innis Casey Photography

by Nancy D. Lackey Shaffer

The wedding day is meant to be one of the most beautiful, memorable and special events in a person’s life. A lovely location, flowers, delicious food and the betrothed couple bedecked in their nuptial finery are all necessary elements for this most splendid of occasions. But a wedding holds so much more on its tulle-and-lace-draped shoulders. This is a place where the personality, culture and values of the couple take center stage, and no two celebrations are alike.

To truly create the wedding of someone’s dreams requires an extraordinarily personal touch. Such careful craftsmanship is the raison d’etre of Wheat and Honey Events.

“We like to be available to our brides and grooms from the time they hire us until the end of their wedding,” explains owner Annette Kirkhuff. “A lot of people say I’m like a Mama Bear — I care about their weddings as much as their parents do.”

Bringing a vision to life

Wedding coordinators come in all flavors (and price points), of course. There are those who will help you on the big day, directing florists and caterers, getting guests seated and prompting the walk down the aisle. There are those who will work with the couple for a month or so beforehand, helping to organize and finalize the details. But Kirkhuff prefers to work with her couples for a year or more, to make sure every aspect is handled without a hitch.

Elegance en plein air, perfect for an outdoor wedding. Photo by Caroline Yoon

“I’m not a fan of the ‘coordinator for a month or a day’ model,” she says. “We spend a lot of time together. I need to understand their vision and their ideas.”

Wheat and Honey is based in Simi Valley, but puts on weddings (and other events) all over Southern California. Often, Kirkhuff comes on board once the couple has set a date and booked the venue — although she’s also been the one to help them find their location, too. Regardless of which comes first, Wheat and Honey is involved throughout the entire planning process.

“We work with the bride and groom from the beginning to the end,” Kirkhuff confirms.

Communication is key — to get a sense for what the couple is imagining, but also to get to know them. What do they like and dislike? What are their challenges? What kind of budget do they have, and what are their top priorities? Kirkhuff is fully available to offer advice, support and expertise to hammer out all the details.

With an excellent eye for design, Kirkhuff will execute the look and feel of a wedding that reflects what the couple envisions, whether that’s a sophisticated black-tie affair or a rustically elegant outdoor soiree. But first and foremost, she sees the design process as a group endeavor.

“We like to collaborate with our brides and grooms to make their wedding personal and collaborate on design,” she says. “When they walk away, they can feel like it’s *their* wedding.”

But Kirkhuff’s skills go way beyond the look of the event. She’s fully prepared to guide her clients through every step of the wedding planning process. Where and how to spend their budget, finding the right vendors (from rentals and caterers to photographers and florists to hair and makeup people), where flexibility might be required. 

“We get an idea for a budget and a vision and prioritize vendors — what’s most important? We don’t want any surprises on the day of . . . .[Couples] spend a lot of money on these weddings. They need to be executed the way you talk about.”

Personal touch with years of experience

Kirkhuff grew up in North Hollywood, and came to Ventura County in 2008, working for Command Performance Catering. As the sales and event manager, she flawlessly executed around 150 events a year. A photographer friend, who had seen Kirkhuff in action, noted that she had more to offer than just catering skills. Eventually, she decided to take a risk and branch out on her own.

Annette Kirkhuff, founder of Wheat and Honey Events. Photo submitted

In 2016, she opened Wheat and Honey Events with her daughter, Katie, who had run a small company called A Day to Remember. (Katie now lives in Texas and operates Wheat and Honey Events in the Dallas area.) With years of experience under her belt and a solid reputation for professionalism and customer service, she quickly established Wheat and Honey as a leader in the industry, putting on dozens of wedding, corporate and nonprofit events every year. For 2022, the company has been nominated in no less than three categories — Best Overall Vendor, Best Event Design and Best Wedding Planner — by California Wedding Day magazine.

Kirkhuff’s knowledge of all things related to events no doubt plays a role in Wheat and Honey’s success. But it’s her personal touch and genuine love for what she does that has couples clamoring for her services when they’re ready to tie the knot.

“It isn’t just a job for us,” says Kirkhuff. “I spend a year with the bride and groom and we say goodbye at the end of their wedding. We miss them! Developing the relationships with vendors as well as families is one of the things I love most about this business.”

Planning during a pandemic

“When the pandemic hit, it affected our business . . . along with every other business in the world,” says Kirkhuff. 

The weddings may have been put on hold, but she was still there for her couples, who needed her more than ever. 

“We worked with clients to move their wedding dates into 2021. Some we’d been working with for over 30 months! We all work together in this industry to make this as smooth as possible for our clients.”

Kirkhuff kept busy with some style shoots and mirco-weddings, but never stopped letting her clients know that they were valued and still had her support. Again, that personal touch for which Wheat and Honey Events is known was a balm to many couples nervous about COVID, their weddings and everything else.

When vaccines became available, weddings were back on the books in 2021, and it hasn’t slowed down since. According to Kirkhuff, clients are pleased that things have opened up even more in 2022, with mask mandates dropped, for example. But there are still conversations to be had in the wake of the coronavirus

“We talk a little bit about if COVID hits again,” she explains. “We have clauses in our contracts to protect our clients, too. And of course, we are fully compliant with all health and safety regulations.”

Hospitality heart

A few things Kirkhuff emphasizes again and again about the wedding process: Communication is incredibly important, and the vision of the wedding couple is paramount. Kirkhuff also feels very strongly that the betrothed should be able to *enjoy* their big day . . . not feel stressed out about it. From start to finish, Wheat and Honey Events will guide, advise and support clients through every aspect. As Kirkhuff states on the company’s website: “We at Wheat and Honey Events . . . allow you to be a guest at your own event.” 

“A wedding coordinator and planner needs to have a hospitality heart,” Kirkhuff insists. “Couples should see happy faces from all the vendors and guests to make sure their day is a loving day. And they need to know that it’s all organized — so they can relax.”

Wheat and Honey Events,, 805-624-9350,



hed// Trends for 2022

Annette Kirkhuff of Wheat and Honey Events is quick to say that every wedding is as unique as the people getting married, and trends can be hard to determine. But there are a few things that seem to have become popular the last few years.


dek// White on White

“White is really big . . . People are doing a lot of white weddings, with white colors and white florals, or mixing white with soft florals.”

She attributes some of this to the prevalence of Pinterest and Instagram, both of which are “huge in our business.” A bride sees a photo of something she likes, and tries to emulate that. And on these platforms, “white has been big these last two years.”


dek// Colored suiting

Interestingly enough, she is seeing more color showing up in menswear, and a move away from high formality.

“I’ve seen a lot of tuxes with color . . . and more casual weddings with cocktail attire rather than black tie.”


dek// Sleeves in style

For wedding dresses, Kirkhuff says, “Trending right now are sleeves. A lot of brides are able to have sleeves that are detachable — so that they can take them off for the reception, for example.”


dek// Breaking with tradition

As relationships and conventions have changed, so have wedding couples and parties. Weddings for same-sex or nonbinary couples are on the rise, and attendants run the gamut.

“A couple of my weddings have had flower boys and men rather than flower girls. I’ve also seen bridesmen and groomswomen.”


dek// Live musicians with DJs

“I’m finding a lot of brides and grooms bring in a live DJ — maybe a drummer or another musician playing while the DJ is spinning.”


dek// Food for thought on food trucks

Food trucks have grown in popularity, particularly for outdoor and more casual weddings, but Kirkhuff cautions against jumping too quickly on this particular bandwagon.

“Food trucks don’t work for traditional weddings,” she says. “They don’t have people serving the guests and taking care of them. Sometimes the bride and groom don’t feel like food is their priority, and that’s fine . . . However, it’s important to have really good service no matter what you’re eating.”

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G-C schools to host Special Olympics events in May – The Daily Reporter – Greenfield Indiana

G-C schools to host Special Olympics events in May - The Daily Reporter - Greenfield Indiana

GREENFIELD — Greenfield-Central Schools are spreading the word about hosting two Special Olympics events in mid-May for students with disabilities, in hopes that the public may want to attend.

The Special Olympics/Unified Champion Schools (SO/UCS) program for students in kindergarten through eighth grade will take place at Greenfield-Central High School on May 16. A separate Special Olympics for preschoolers will take place at J.B. Stephens Elementary School on May 18.

Robin LeClaire, director of student services, said the corporation is inviting the public to get involved by attending or volunteering at the event.

“We couldn’t host it last year due to COVID, but the last year we did do one a lot of people were saying they wished they had known about it because they would have liked to have attended or been involved,” she said.

This will be the second time Greenfield-Central has hosted the Special Olympics program, with the first being in 2019.

LeClaire said the special event features an opening ceremony and awards ceremony, just like the worldwide Olympics.

Students from the general education population are also invited to help out with the event that is centered around students with disabilities.

“It’s amazing to watch our kids come together and learn about differences and acceptance,” said Rachel Ross-Kroemer, Greenfield-Central’s assistant director of special education.

“This is a program where students with and without disabilities participate in activities together throughout the year to promote inclusion awareness in their schools and communities … Our schools have been busy planning whole school engagement activities that focus on student leadership and encourages awareness, respect, acceptance and inclusion of those with disabilities,” she said.

Each of the school district’s participating schools lead fundraising events to raise money for Special Olympics Indiana throughout the school year, which culminates with the Unified Sports event — known as Game Days — in May.

Ross-Kroemer said the Mt. Vernon school district is the pioneer of hosting Special Olympics events in Hancock County, but that Greenfield-Central is making strides.

Hosting the Special Olympics is a huge accomplishment for Greenfield-Central schools, she said, which have been working to increase opportunities for kids with disabilities since withdrawing seven years ago from a cooperative that took care of that initiative.

“We’re super proud of the inclusive practices and inclusive culture we have been growing in our district, not just through this program, but through the type of classrooms and programming we’ve offered for kids with disabilities in general,” said Ross-Kroemer.

“We also pair special education teachers with general education teachers as our building leaders, and that’s been a phenomenal change for us because it really always has been about having all of our kids represented here,” she said.

As for the Special Olympics games, “When you see the pure joy on these kids’ faces as they participate in these activities that they’ve practiced for all year, it is so moving,” said Ross-Kroemer, adding that the best part is the feeling of inclusion the participants get by working alongside their peers without disabilities.

“Just the symbol of acceptance that you see during these Game Day events is awesome to see,” she said.

Ross-Kroemer credits the local educators, sponsors and law enforcement officials who make the day possible.

“Officers from the Greenfield and Hancock County departments will meet our busses and escort them to the school then escort the torch holders onto the field. It makes the day even more special to have them there,” she said.

This year’s Game Day for students in kindergarten through eighth grade takes place at the Greenfield-Central High School football field, from 9:15-11:15 a.m. Monday, May 16.

Game Day for preschoolers takes place indoors at J.B. Stephens Elementary School from 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, May 18. Admission is free at both events.

For more information, contact Ross-Kroemer at [email protected] or 317-462-4491, ext. 41203.

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Thrift Shop to hold donation events on Sundays | Mercer Island Reporter

Thrift Shop to hold donation events on Sundays | Mercer Island Reporter

Thrift Shop to hold donation events on Sundays

Due to staffing constraints and volunteer workload, the Thrift Shop will now hold one donation event a week, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sundays through March 13 at the Mercer Island Community and Event Center at 8236 SE 24th St. They will also accept all large and breakable items.

Donation bins across the Island will continue to be collected and are available 24/7. Residents are asked to not leave items outside of the bins. People can bring fragile items or those that don’t fit in a bin to the donation events on Sundays.

For more information, visit

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That’s Amore: Valentine’s Day events, music, food and more – Reporter Newspapers & Atlanta Intown

That's Amore: Valentine's Day events, music, food and more - Reporter Newspapers & Atlanta Intown

Looking for something to do with your dearly beloved over Valentine’s Day weekend? We’ve got suggestions.

Orchid Daze

Orchid Daze at Atlanta Botanical Garden

Artist Kristine Mays’ life-sized, three-dimensional sculptures will be set among the blooming orchids in the warm, vibrant tropical landscape of the Fuqua Orchid Center Feb. 12 through April 10. The figures will rise from carpets of golden Dancing Lady orchids as delicate moth orchids hover in the background and long strands of exuberant Vandas encircle them. Get tickets and details at

Cupid’s Undie Run

On Feb. 12, hundreds of people in Atlanta will brave the weather in just their undies during Cupid’s Undie Run, the nation’s largest pantless party and run for charity. The event raises awareness of neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder that causes tumors to grow on nerves throughout the body, and fundraises for NF research through the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF).More information regarding the event can be found at this link.

‘Romeo & Juliet’

‘Romeo & Juliet’ at RoleCall Theater

Nothing says I love you like drinking poison! Featuring seven actors and their trademark fast-paced, energetic style, the RoleCall Shakespeare cast is performing the famous tragedy now through Feb. 26. Tickets are available here.

Buckhead Village’s Valentine’s Day Block Party 

Guests are invited to celebrate on Feb. 12 from noon to 4 p.m. with live music from Lilac Wine, treats from Saint Germain Bakery, and a complimentary stem from Pinker Times.

Mad Hatter’s (Gin &) Tea Party

For something a bit more curious,  this 90-minute immersive experience at Underground Atlanta takes you down the rabbit hole to the world of “Alice in Wonderland.” Featuring three carefully curated cocktails created by expert mixologists, these libations help to enhance Lewis Carroll’s classic story as it comes to life around you. Go ask Alice or visit

Heartbeat ATL

Heartbeat ATL

This immersive art installation at Centennial Yards, lights up 20 acres with vibrant bands of LEDs, including pulsating red hearts, is happening now through March 4. Projected nightly from 7-11 p.m. throughout the space on artwork and nearby bridges and buildings, the experience created by Dash Studio is free and open to the public. Visitors can access and interact with the artwork on their mobile devices by clicking on QR Codes posted along streets and bridges surrounding Mercedes -Benz Stadium or State Farm Arena or by going to

The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra

Andre Bocelli and the ASO will perform together at State Farm Arena on Feb. 10. Then On Feb. 10, 12, and 13, Dmitry Sinkovsky will demonstrates his skill by conducting the orchestra while playing Vivaldi’s Violin Concerto, Il favorito, and then using his countertenor to duet with soprano Georgia Jarman. On Feb. 14, Drew and Ellie Holcomb bring the “You and Me Tour” to Symphony Hall. Get tickets and details at

Joe Gransden.

Joe Gransden Valentines Quintet

A swinging, yet intimate, evening of Sinatra-style music led by trumpeter and vocalist Joe Gransden on Feb. 12 at Napoleon’s in Decatur. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and the shows at 8:30. Seating is limited. Get tickets here.

Bellyard Hotel

The West Midtown hotel is offering a couples getaway package for the weekend, which includes breakfast for two, a bottle of champagne, flowers, and late checkout. Make your reservations at

ATL Collective ‘Love Deluxe’

Some of Atlanta’s favorite musicians will gather to perform Sade’s classic album “Love Deluxe” in its entirety plus other hits on Feb. 14 at 7 p.m. at City Winery at Ponce City Market. For tickets and info, visit


Dinner Recommendations

A romantic Valentine’s Day dinner is always a winner and many of Atlanta’s restaurants will be serving up special menus and cocktails for the day, including a five or six-course tasting menu at O-ku, a special four-course prix fixe dinner at The Betty, free bubble tea with the purchase of pho at Vietvana in Ponce City Market, The Blind Cupid pop-up bar in Buckhead, and four-course prix fixe dinner at 5Church in Midtown. You can find more Valentine’s Day suggestions at Open Table.