What’s been going on in Huntsville, Alabama? There’s always some local news that’s worth checking out, so let’s catch up with the latest news and developments in your town.

4th Best City for Career Opportunities

A recent survey by SmartAsset.com, which uses a variety of factors to rank US cities in various areas, puts Huntsville 4th in the list of ‘best cities for career opportunities’. The rankings take into account a list of factors – unemployment rate, change in employment, median income, housing costs, education and more – and Huntsville scores highly thanks to low housing costs, rapid income growth and employment prospects. If you want to move to a city where you stand the best chance of getting a job, Huntsville should be somewhere to look at.

Texaco Robbery Foiled by Staff

An attempted robbery by a woman wearing an elephant hat – you read that right – at a Texaco gas station in Huntsville was foiled by the quick actions of the manager, Monzir Hafiz. The woman, complete with ‘distinctive’ headgear, approached the clerk at the desk and the money in the register, just after midnight last Wednesday. Mr Hafiz moved closer to the woman and quickly grabbed the gun from her hands, at which point the woman – still wearing an elephant hat – ran from the store. The gun was handed to police who later identified the woman, although her name has not been released.

Aerojet Rocketdyne Opens Manufacturing Plant in Huntsville

Good news for employment prospects in Huntsville as Aerojet Rocketdyne – which already has plants in Alabama – has opened a new, 136,000 square foot manufacturing plant in Huntsville. The company is a leading player in the manufacture of ‘propulsion and energetics systems’ for the aerospace industry, supplying products for the U.S. Defense and Space programs, including NASA and other agencies.

The ribbon was cut by Governor Kay Ivey, who said:

“When a high-caliber company like Aerojet Rocketdyne locates a cutting-edge manufacturing facility in your state, it’s a powerful testament to the skill of your workforce and to the advantages you can offer to business. We’re thrilled to see this great company grow in Huntsville and make important contributions to the nation’s defense.”

Alabama is forging a strong foothold in the aerospace manufacturing sector, and Aerojet Rocketdyne recently donated $1million for the establishment of a Space Science Chair at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Huntsville Girl Erin Howard is National Spelling Bee Co-Champ

In an unprecedented move, the National Spelling Bee organisers had to concede defeat this year when they found themselves rapidly running out of words that would challenge the contenders! They declared that instead of running until their was just one competitor left, the competition would end after 20 rounds – at which point there were still 8 very bright, talented youngsters remaining.

Among them was 14-year old Huntsville girl, Erin Howard, who had almost stumbled earlier in the competition when she came across a word she didn’t know. We’ll let Erin explain:

“Gliocyte, I don’t believe I had ever seen before. But I knew what a glia was and that the Greek root ‘cyte’ meant ‘cell,’ so I was able to piece that together fairly easily. Glia is spelled G-L-I-A. So gliocyte, if you insert the Greek combining letter ‘o,’ then it’s G-L-I-O-C-Y-T-E.”

That shows the high standard of entrants in this year’s competition. Erin and her 7 co-winners will be awarded a $50,000 prize for their efforts, which took place live on national television.

Huntsville Welcomes Full Moon Bar-B-Que

Great news for Huntsville residents who like to eat out is the announcement that a Full Moon Bar-B-Que is set to open in the city. To be located at 1009, Memorial Parkway, the 6,200 square foot restaurant will be the chain’s 16th in Alabama, and adds a welcome touch of variety with its menu featuring everything from buffalo wings to chow-chow, plus a variety of chicken, salad and – of course – barbecue dishes. Customers can expect a full menu, a quick dining service, and further offers, plus a great meal in a friendly place every time.

Huntsville Public Transit Service Gets New Routes

Residents will be pleased with the news that the Public Transit Network in Huntsville is to be upgraded, following a comprehensive survey into its usage and efficiency. Phase 1 – the first of five phases – will concentrate on revising the fixed bus network, with a view to reducing necessary connections and implementing more direct routes. Buses will run later in the evenings, new routes will be implemented where needed, and underused routes will be revised. This will be implemented in July, 2019. Ongoing, phases 2 to 5 will aim to improve the frequency of available transport across the entire transit network, making Huntsville easier to traverse by public transport.

Huntsville’s Very Own ‘Lawnmower Man’ Completes His Mission

When Rodney Smith Jr, of Huntsville, set out on a mission to mow the lawn of a U.S. Veteran in every state of the USA, he meant what he said! On Thursday, 13th June, he arrived in the 50th state of Hawaii, and set about mowing his 50th lawn. Mr Smith set out on his journey to inspire others to help veterans, and gained a lot of national TV exposure, including a slot on Good Morning America. Rodney Smith is a community man if ever there was one, as back home he runs Raising Men Lawncare Service, a not for profit service that helps with lawn care for the elderly, single mothers and others, and he has also been active in helping the homeless at Christmas, arranging for them to receive gifts. We think Rodney Smith Jr a shining example of what makes Huntsville great!