By Rebekah Martin
Mayor Fuller presented recognition awards to a number of city employees at Tuesday’s council meeting. OPS lineman Corey Burke and Officer Alex Miranda of the Opelika Police Department were praised by Fuller, Burke for “going over and beyond for a customer in a recent power outage,” and Miranda for being chosen by his peers as the OPD Officer of the Quarter. Brady Pollock of the engineering department was also recognized for his work on the recently completed Oak Bowery Road bridge replacement project. Under Pollock’s leadership, the project, that spanned six months, was completed three weeks ahead of schedule and $200,000 under budget. Fuller also credited city engineer Scott Parker and project manager John Gwin for their input on the project.
Also being honored by the Mayor and council were the Opelika tumblers who recently competed in the national championships.
“We had athletes qualify for the national championships through their scores at the state and regional competitions. We sent two to Greensboro, North Carolina and seven to Fort Worth, Texas and we brought home one national champion,” said coach Valeri White. “We are very proud of our athletes. For several of them, it was their first season and to even qualify is quite an accomplishment. There were about 1,400 athletes in Forth Worth, and Opelika … I think we held our own.”
Mignon Andrews, Maya Billingslea, Bailey Brown, Alex Crowley, RiLeigh McBride, Aubrionia Reese and Mackenzie Wadsworth all qualified for 2015 USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic National Championships.
Ty Barnes finished sixth in the nation in tumbling and Cameron Thomas was the national trampoline champion. Thomas finished fourth in the nation in double mini trampoline and finished fifth in the nation in tumbling. Also present were the team coaches, Valeri White, Georgia White, Beth Mowery and Marco Gamble.
Fuller also recognized the newest class of inductees into the 20 under 40 program. According to the Opelika Chamber of Commerce website, the initiative is made up of “20 outstanding people under the age of 40 who live in Opelika, love Opelika and have a vested interest in shaping the direction of the city’s future.” The following people make up the 2015-2016 class.
Christopher Anthony – Auburn University, Emily Baas – The Roundhouse, Matthew Battles – Opelika Parks and Recreation, Vanessa Darden – SUSCC – Veterans’ Affairs Coordinator, Antonio Fanning – Auburn Police Department – Detective Division, Angela George – O Town Ice Cream, Kenneth Graves – Colorvision RTO Manager, Jonathan Ham – Barrett Simpson, Inc., Survey Manager, Meredith Henderson-Davis, – Kenny Chase Country Financial – Production Assistant, Stephanie Johnston – AL. Vocational Rehab Services – Business Relations Consult, Cynithia Landry Opelika City Schools – Special Education Coordinator, Brandon Morgan – SUSCC – Academic Advisor/Recruiter/Instructor , Denise Rogers, City of Opelika – Municipal Court, Senior Magistrate, Paul (“P.J.”) Simmons, Stifel Nicholas & Company – Financial Advisor, CRPC, Ashley Smith, City of Opelika Economic Development – Coordinator
In other business, the council:
-Approved a request from Opelika Main Street for a temporary road closure Aug. 28. North Railroad Avenue between Seventh and Eighth Streets will be closed for the entire day for an outdoor concert. Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors will be performing.
-Approved a request by the Opelika Chamber of Commerce to host the annual Opelika Christmas Parade Dec. 5. -Approved a request by Mandh LLC (BurgerFi) for a beer and wine on premise license.
-Approved a resolution vacating the western portion of the public alley between Clearmont Circle and Rocky Brook Road.