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Hartselle chamber honors standout citizens
State rep. receives citizenship award

By Ronnie Thomas 340-2438

HARTSELLE — Two surprises have come to state Rep. Ronald Grantland in less than a month.

While he appreciates the efforts of his wife, Joan, for scheming the first one March 11, it is one he'd rather not say too much about. That was when about 15 friends popped in to shock him at his 60th birthday party.

On Thursday night, Grantland, a Democrat from Hartselle in his second term representing parts of Morgan and Cullman counties, added another civic honor when his hometown and the Hartselle Area Chamber of Commerce gave him the John J. Sparkman Citizenship Award.

The chamber also named Nancy Busby as the Dr. Thomas M. Guyton Humanitarian Award winner; Gilchrist Pharmacy and owners Fred Langston and Mike Preuitt as the E.R. Roberts Business and Civic Award winner; and Nancy Case as Ambassador of the Year. Ed Summers received the Chairman's Award for Excellence.

Grantland, a retired public health administrator with 34 years of experience in disease control and health administration, served one term on the Hartselle City Council before voters elected him representative in 1998. His peers recognized him during his first term as having the highest percentage of votes cast of any member.

The chamber also presented its 2007-08 officers at the annual banquet at the Sparkman Civic Center. They are Connie Drane, chairwoman; Russell Woodruff, past chairman; Anna Wilson, secretary; David Jones, treasurer; and Susan Hines, president.

New chamber directors are David Jones, Dona Bonnett, Dr. Brad Drake, Fred Smith, Matt Nail, Bill Camp, Bob Jaques and Jason Preuit.

Mayor Dwight Tankersley, Morgan County Economic Development Association President Jeremy Nails and retired Col. Mike McKean were guest speakers.

Tankersley talked about economic development and how important it is to the city. He said about 59 percent of the city's budget comes from business license and sales tax collections.

"With this figure, we definitely need to continue to work to make sure Hartselle grows," he said.

The mayor said Captain D's and O'Reilly Auto Parts plan to open on U.S. 31 by the end of the year.

A Walgreens will follow in November or December. The pharmacy will locate at Alabama 36 and U.S. 31.

Nails talked about Mallard Fox Creek Industrial Park's contributions to Morgan County and the need for a new industrial park.

He said EDA is proposing to construct the new park in Hartselle near Thompson Road and Interstate 65 between Falkville.

McKean, who resides in Danville, is helping local leaders recruit families as a result of Base Realignment Closure Commission recommendations.

By 2011, the U.S. government is moving almost 5,000 military-related jobs to the area.

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