2024 Upcoming Holiday deadlines: MvT will be closed for the 4th of July Thursday, July 4 & Friday, July 5th. Early deadline for the July 11th edition will be Wed., July 3. MvT will be closed for Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2. MvT will be closed for Veterans Day, Monday, Nov. 11. Deadline for Thanksgiving is Friday, Nov. 22. MvT will be closed for Thanksgiving week and will reopen Monday, Dec. 2. Santa Letters deadline is Friday, Dec. 6. Deadline for the Christmas Edition (12-25) & New Year’s Edition (1-1) is Thursday, Dec. 19. We have to submit both papers early due to the printing company being closed for the holidays.

Hale County Animal Shelter Pets of the week

Where are our junk food junkies? Does the thought of Little Debbie snacks make you lick your chops? These two snack cakes are sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. Cosmic Brownie and Swiss Roll are the perfect summer treats. Some silly person, obviously on a diet and unable to handle the temptation, tossed these goodies out on a rural road. Cosmic and Swiss are Catahoula mixes. They are approximately 6 months old. They will be vaccinated and neutered prior to adoption. They should mature under 40lbs. Available for adoption. Laurie Nevin, Hale County Animal Shelter, 334-624-8120. Open Thursdays & Satrudays. Our hours are Thursday 11-2 Saturday 10-2.

Church & Community Events

Black Belt Road Trip Photo Contest launches for summer 2024
MONTGOMERY, Ala. (June 14, 2024) – The Alabama Black Belt Adventures Association (ALBBAA) is celebrating the summer vacation season with the inaugural Black Belt Road Trip Photo Contest. ALBBAA wants to see photos showcasing the many attractions and activities available throughout the region, including outdoor recreation like fishing, hiking and bird watching, visiting cultural or historic sites, or enjoying the Black Belt’s lively art and food scene. All photos entered in the 2024 Black Belt Road Trip Photo Contest must be taken in the Black Belt’s 23-county footprint and must include people. Selfies or family photos taken in front of an attraction’s sign are welcome. The contest will have a first-, second-, and third-place winner. First prize is a two-night stay for up to four people in one of the beautiful Lakepoint State Park cottages in Eufaula, subject to availability at the time of reservation, and the stay must be used within the next 12 months following the conclusion of the contest. ALBBAA will also provide $150 to the winner for travel expenses. The second-place finisher will receive a $75 gas card, and the third-place winner will receive a gift basket filled with ALBBAA-themed merchandise. The contest, which begins June 14 and runs through Aug. 15, follows guidelines similar to other ALBBAA photo contests, including To enter the contest, photos must be uploaded through the ALBBAA website. The winners of the contest are selected exclusively through online voting. Participants must fully complete the online form with the necessary information, including person (or persons) in the photo and the county where the photo was taken. Participants may submit multiple photos, but only one photo per activity or attraction (i.e. camping, hiking, canoeing, birding, dining, art class, festival, Rosa Parks Museum, etc.). All photos become the property of ALBBAA and may be used for promotional purposes. Visitors to the contest webpage are restricted to voting once per day, per e-mail, per IP address. In the case of any dispute, the decision of ALBBAA officials is final. Entries can be submitted and votes cast online on the ALBBAA website – https://alabamablackbeltadventures.org/news-more/shoot-the-black-belt/roadtrip-photo-contest/ The ALBBAA reserves the right to approve or disapprove of a submitted photo. Cause for disqualification of a photo can include, but is not limited to, the following: The photo content presents the subject in an unethical or disrespectful manner. The photo content is perceived to cast a negative perception of the Black Belt, especially if it reflects unfavorably on management of wildlife. A voting violation which imposes an unfair advantage to others.

Are You Smarter Than a Farmer?
June 25 at 11 a.m. at Alfa Environmental Training Center, UWA Campus, 316 Battram St., Livingston. Register by calling 205-652-9501. Facilitated by Ken Kelly, Regional Extension Agent in the area of Farm & Agribusiness Management.

School Events

U.S. Department of Education Launches Next Phase of FAFSA Support Strategy to Boost Completion Rate Among High School Students
The U.S. Department of Education (Department) today announced additional steps to support students and their families with the Better FAFSA. The Department is launching a multi-million-dollar program as part of the FAFSA Student Support Strategy to help school districts, state, nonprofits and other public and private organizations with efforts to boost FAFSA completion. Since the new 2024–25 FAFSA form became available on Dec. 30, more than 8.95 million forms have been successfully submitted. The FAFSA Student Support Strategy funds will help grow capacity for organizations to expand the availability of advisers, counselors, and coaches to support students and contributors through the FAFSA applications, including during extended hours through evenings, weekends, and the summer weeks. It will also facilitate FAFSA submission clinics, including through partnerships with schools and districts, and provide transportation support as needed. Additionally, these funds will provide communication supports to help organizations communicate with parents and students via text, phone calls, and videoconferences, in multiple languages as needed, to help them complete their forms. The FAFSA Student Support Strategy aims to continue increasing the number of high school students who complete a 2024-25 FAFSA and enroll in college, particularly first-time college students and students of color. This investment builds on the Department’s efforts to help students, families, and institutions through the 2024-25 FAFSA application cycle, in addition to the College Support Strategy, the FAFSA Fast Break campaign, and direct communication efforts with institutions and stakeholders via the FAFSA Fast News blog. Over the past few months, the Department has sent approximately 70 million emails to students encouraging them to complete the Better FAFSA form, as well as engaged with hundreds of superintendents and principals to help drive submission efforts, garnering over 200 commitments from companies, non-profits, and community organizations to help boost FAFSA submissions. Last week, the Department kicked-off a series of regional and local media engagement in media markets across the country to drive awareness and increase completion rates, targeting states with the largest high school senior FAFSA submission gaps. The program will provide up to $50 million for grantees and will be implemented by ECMC to support organizations with demonstrated experience expanding college access and enrollment. The funding will be prioritized for organizations currently working with schools and districts, and those that have deep ties with students and families which have the reach and capacity to help decrease barriers and increase FAFSA submissions. The Department continues to create and share resources for schools, students, families, and institutions of higher education to ensure they have the tools and information they need to receive and award financial aid. More information can be found at Ed.gov/better-FAFSA. This announcement comes as the Department has made significant progress to address known issues with the 2024-25 FAFSA form and transmitted the Institutional Student Information Records (ISIRs) from more than 8.95 million applications to schools, states, and designated scholarship organizations. Most four-year institutions are now sending student aid offers, including the vast majority of schools with upcoming admissions deadlines.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library
Success By 6 of United Way of West Alabama is proud to provide Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library books FREE to children ages birth to 5 years old in Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa counties. Once a month, your child will receive a new book by mail. You only need to do two things: register your child and pledge to read the books to him/her. Please, climb on board Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library! Since UWWA launched the Dolly Parton Imagination Library: 13,467 children have participated in the program in Greene, Hale, Marengo, Pickens, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa Counties. 10,427 children have “graduated” from the program. 443,856 books have been delivered to children in West Alabama. Sign up at https://imaginationlibrary.com/check-availability/

UA Preview: This Week at The University of Alabama

Eisenhower Global Scholar 
John Richardson, a May 2024 graduate of The University of Alabama, was one of four in the nation to be named an Eisenhower Global Scholar
Why This Matters: The program’s mission begins with identifying outstanding ascendant leaders who share Eisenhower’s belief in the powerful possibilities of a more peaceful, prosperous and just world. Its work transcends national boundaries, linking outstanding international leaders with their counterparts in the United States to enhance international understanding and provide rich opportunities for collaboration within the influential Eisenhower Fellows global network. 
Tuscaloosa Rural Pre-Medical Internship 
The UA College of Community Health Sciences recently welcomed the 2024 class of the Tuscaloosa Rural Pre-Medical Internship, a summer program for college students in pre-medical studies who are interested in rural primary care. 
Why This Matters: The seven-week program provides opportunities for interns to learn about the health needs of rural Alabama residents, particularly in the fields of family medicine, internal medicine and pediatrics. Participants also gain a better understanding of the day-to-day life of family medicine doctors. 
Miss Alabama 
Twelve UA students are among this year’s field of 40 contestants set to compete for the title of Miss Alabama 2024 June 24-29 at Samford University in Birmingham. 
Why This Matters: Each contestant has her own community service initiative, a cause she championed while reigning in her respective title. 
Four professors at UA received one of the National Science Foundation’s CAREER Awards, one of the most prestigious honors for early-career faculty. 
Why This Matters: The NSF CAREER Award recognizes scientists and engineers who show leadership at the intersection of education and research. The awards provide funding to support projects that advance science alongside national priorities and serve the community through education and outreach. 


Make Your Own Historical Letter with Wax Seals 
June 22; The Gorgas House Museum