Don’t forget to check out our Saturday edition for our exclusive “Letters to Santa” section. Here’s what we’re working on for Saturday’s paper:



G’dale teen back home for holidays



By Adam Smith

The North Jefferson News




It’s been a long year of ups and downs for one Gardendale family.

On Dec. 22 of last year, Brandon Cato, a sophomore and athlete at Gardendale High School, broke his neck at a wrestling tournament. The injury, which left him unable to walk, has had a profound effect on Cato and his family.

On Friday, almost a year to the day of the accident, Cato came back to Gardendale with his mother after having spent the last two months at a Shriner’s Hospital in Philadelphia, Penn., receiving rehabilitation for his injury.



Charity program raises more than $26,000



By Melanie Patterson

The North Jefferson News




Checkout station No. 24 at Wal-Mart was a command post on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, with Mandi Adams as the commanding general.

Adams was there from 3:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. both days, directing and organizing Gardendale High School’s annual Christmas Visions project.

Gardendale’s student council members have been orchestrating Christmas Visions for at least 25 years, according to Adams, student council sponsor.

Student council members have been working for several weeks to collect donations for Christmas Visions.

It was looking scary for awhile. Last week, they had collected only $13,000, compared to the $33,000 donated for the program last year.

But donations poured in during the final week of collections, doubling the amount to $26,163.40.



G’dale parks employees have full winter plate



By Adam Smith

The North Jefferson News




While the fall and winter months generally bring a slow-down for most municipal park employees, the opposite can be said of Gardendale.

Work is scheduled to wrap up this week on two projects — a renovation of the Moncrief Kiddie Park and the completion of a pavilion at the city’s new splash pad at Celebration Park.

Stan Hogeland, superintendent of Gardendale’s Parks and Recreation Department, said the Kiddie Park renovations began in the late summer and included repainting and repairing aging playground equipment to give the park a fresh look.



Sports



In prep basketball: Gardendale's boys and girls slam Tarrant and Corner sweeps Fultondale. Prep wrestling: Hewitt-Trussvile wins the Fultondale Invitational and Corner splits in its first home wrestling match in two decades. And Robert Carter asks, "Why do we watch poker on television?"

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