By Rebekah Martin
Abby Henderson, a Southview Primary School student, was recognized at last week’s city council meeting. In the spirit of Christmas, Henderson provided every student at Southview with a gift. “I gave everyone in my school two pencils, a cup, a Tootsie Roll and a toy,” the second grader said. Henderson received a City of Opelika challenge coin and a ‘Certificate of Character’ proclamation that read: “In recognition of your outstanding character, generosity and big heart. Your willingness to love others and make sure your fellow students had a fantastic holiday season did not go unnoticed. For raising the funds to provide some 400 students each a present is wonderful, but most importantly is the character you showed in doing so. You stand out among your peers, way to go. We’re going to keep an eye on you, because it’s folks like you who are going to make our future bright in Opelika.”
Mayor Gary Fuller also recognized Jacob Hancock and Edna Ward for their work on a book about the history of the Opelika Police Department. The 260-page book, entitled Keeping the Peace: A Tribute to the Police Department, is expected to be printed and for sale at the Lewis Cooper, Jr. Memorial Library by mid-February.
Finally, Sgt. Alfred White, who was chosen by his peers as the Opelika Police Department Officer of the Quarter, was also honored at last week’s meeting. White, a 13 -year veteran of the OPD, worked to solve a decade-old cold case that resulted in the conviction of Arthaniel Staton in the 2006 murder of Melanie Lovelace. Fuller said White worked tirelessly to solve this case and Staton’s conviction would have been impossible had it not been for White’s dedication to duty and relentless pursuit of justice.
In other business, the council also:
-awarded a bid to CAM Builders, LLC for the new fire department headquarters to be built next to city hall in the amount of $2,875, 248. According to city administrator Joey Motley, construction on the 10-month project will begin soon.
-awarded a contract to AECOM Technical Services, Inc. for the development of a shared-use bicycle path to downtown Opelika in the amount of $27,528.
-awarded special appropriations to Christian Care Ministries, Employers Child Care Alliance, American Red Cross, Opelika Main Street and East Alabama Services for the Elderly.