Every morning, George Pate wakes up around 6:30 a.m., gets in his car and drives to the powder-blue restaurant that sits next to Hopewell Baptist on University Boulevard. By the time he arrives at the restaurant, it’s been open for nearly two hours. Some people arrived before the doors were unlocked and have already left. Some are still there, sipping coffee and chatting. Upon entering the building, Pate makes his way to the only round table in the front of the house. Even though the table is a


Laurie Beth Kesterson wasn’t even supposed to be on the road when her Ram Promaster cargo van was T-boned at an intersection on Veteran’s Memorial Parkway. On a normal Friday night, Kesterson – who owns Belle Meadow Farm with her husband Andrew – would have been preparing for the farmers market held at the Tuscaloosa River Market the next morning. But this wasn’t a normal Friday night. Due to concerns over COVID-19, the city of Tuscaloosa decided to temporarily shut down the Saturday morning market. They notified Kesterson earlier that day, but it was already too late.

Ode to Oasis: Where Cottondale locals find their refuge

The Oasis Bar and Grill in Cottondale is nothing like the Oasis that is depicted in movies or books. Instead of a lagoon ensconced by a ring of soaring palm trees, it is a squat, dusty building that could be either black or gray, depending on the time of day and how much you’ve already had to drink inside. The only greenery is an old, striped awning above the entrance and the neon sign that lights up at night. On the inside, the decor is simple. Black metal chairs sit at wooden tables, each one


A controversial Alabama bill receiving fervent backlash from animal rights activist groups appears to be stalled in the Senate. Senate Bill 196 (SB 196), otherwise known as the Working Animal Protection and Animal Enterprise Freedom Act, was introduced mid-February and was immediately met with opposition from a variety of animal rights groups who were concerned with several aspects of the legislation. The bill is sponsored by State Sen. Jack Williams, R-Mobile. • Gives exclusive jurisdiction ov

Cemented in history: Hudson immortalzed with jersey retirement

In the weeks leading up to his departure, Wendell Hudson heard his mother, Mildred, hum and sing as she went about the house cooking or cleaning. The sound of his mother making little melodies wasn’t unfamiliar to Hudson. It was something she had done often. But she had never sung or hummed quite so much, and to Wendell, that was one of the small signs that she wasn’t comfortable with what was about to happen.

Fight like hell: Mackenzie Brannan competes for her brother

When Mackenzie Brannan dismounts the uneven bars, she transforms into a blur of crimson, white and sparkles. If you look closely enough, however, a hint of green can now be discerned from Alabama’s traditional colors. Once Brannan lands and thrusts her arms upward, freezing in time for a split second, the source of the contrasting color becomes clear: a lime green ribbon attached to her ponytail. Although the

GAMEDAY: Christian Miller a perfectionist on and off the field

Long before Christian Miller was chasing down quarterbacks in the backfield, he was hunting a different kind of prey in the backyard of his childhood home in Columbia, South Carolina. Using a BB gun, Miller took aim at squirrels. He practiced and practiced until he was a deadly accurate shot. Then, in an effort to better utilize the squirrels he was shooting with an increasing amount of success, Miller went about learning how to skin the small animals. “I had watched the videos and stuff tryi

Alabama's Saivion Smith ready to return to Death Valley

The last time Saivion Smith ran onto the field in Tiger Stadium, he was greeted with raucous cheering. That won’t be the case Saturday night. Instead of suiting up in white, purple and gold within the lavish Jeff Boss locker room, Smith will slide on a crimson and white jersey in a smaller locker room somewhere in the southwest corner of the stadium. When he trots out of the tunnel, he’ll be showered in a chorus of boos from the fans that once applauded him. This wasn’t how it was supposed to