Arts & Entertainment, City Life, Featured, Uncategorized, Upcoming Event
Bessemer Public Library
CONTACT: Omar Chapman (205) 428-7882

 Smithsonian traveling exhibition on display at The Bessemer Public Library
Water/Ways, brought South by the Alabama Humanities Alliance, illuminates how water shapes our lives
Bessemer, Al |October 8, 2021] — Water/Ways, a Smithsonian traveling exhibit, winds its way into town for an extended exhibition from October 18th through November 19th at the Bessemer Public Library. Bessemer is one of just five locations statewide to host Water/Ways, which will be permanently retired at the end of this tour.
The exhibit reveals how our waterways are critical to the past, present and future of our state. Alabama is home to 132,000 miles of rivers and streams, and 3.2 million acres of wetlands. These waterways connect us to nature, nurture our cities and culture, and can either unite or divide our people and communities.
“Being a host location for this Smithsonian Institution Exhibition is a great opportunity for the Bessemer Public Library as well as the City of Bessemer and Jefferson County. This opportunity will provide the library and its patron’s exposure to high quality museum exhibits right in their local library and will also increase the knowledge of the Water/Ways that supply our region. We are honored to host Water/Ways and thankful for the opportunity to provide this amazing experience to our community.” Omar Chapman, Administrative Assistant.
The Smithsonian exhibit will be complemented with plenty of local programming for audiences of all ages. Special events during the exhibit’s run include specialized youth programs such as Grab n’ Go Art Craft bags for families, Grab n’ Go Coloring Activities for kids and a water drive to assist our first responders. Guest speaker will be available on the dates listed below.
-October 21st, 10:00 am
Guest Speaker Freddie Freeman, City of Bessemer Storm Water Specialist

  • -October 28th , 11:00am & 3:00pm
  • Guest Speaker Dr. Bill Deutsch, Auburn University Aquatic Ecologist
  • -November 4th , 3:00pm
Guest Speaker Dr. Duncan Scott, Birmingham Southern College Biologist

  • -November 10th , 4:00pm
Guest Speaker Marcus Jackson, Jackson’s Bait Shop Owner
Brought to ’Bama by the Alabama Humanities Alliance
This Smithsonian exhibit comes South thanks to the Alabama Humanities Alliance. For 20 years, the Alabama Humanities Alliance has coordinated traveling exhibitions from the Smithsonian’s Museum Main Street. The program brings the Smithsonian directly to small-town America through traveling exhibitions, local research and more.
“What’s so powerful about Water/Ways is that it shows how water doesn’t just shape our landscape. It shapes our lives,” says Chuck Holmes, executive director of the Alabama Humanities Alliance. “This exhibit
is a chance for folks in communities statewide to see a Smithsonian-quality exhibit up close. It also offers us a chance to reflect on how our local waterways affect how we live, work, worship, create and play.”

For more information about Water/Ways, the public can visit or call for information at (205) 428-7882. The Bessemer Public Library is open Monday – Friday from 9:00am – 6:00pm

About Bessemer Public Library
The Bessemer Public Library, Staff, Board, and community envision a future in which: Everyone can enjoy an intellectual and culturally rich life. Our community celebrates and appreciates diversity. Our staff finds value in their contribution to the mission. Our facilities will be welcoming and comfortable spaces for all. Learn more at
About the Alabama Humanities Alliance
The Alabama Humanities Alliance is a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Our mission is to foster learning, understanding and appreciation of Alabama’s people, communities and cultures. The ultimate goal: To use the humanities to bring Alabamians together and make our state a better place to live. Learn more at


Featured, Uncategorized, Upcoming Event
The Bessemer Police Department’s Fall Festival returns this year to DeBardeleben Park.
The annual event will take place on Thursday, October 28, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The event is free and families in Bessemer are encouraged to bring out the kids for a city-sponsored celebration of Halloween.
The BPD has held the fall event almost every year, but the event was postponed in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. See the flyer for additional information and come join the fun and an evening with the men and women of the Bessemer Police Department.  See the flyer for additional information.


Featured, Uncategorized, Upcoming Event
The city of Bessemer will be celebrating the 5th Anniversary of the Bessemer Recreation Center and the public is invited to take part in the celebration. 
The celebration will take place on Thursday, October 14, starting at 3 p.m. The event is free to the public and will include food and entertainment. See the flyer for additional information.
The Bessemer Recreation Center, located at 100 14th Street South, opened in September 2016. The Recreation Center is the first in the city’s history at a cost of $15 million. The cost included construction of the Recreation Center and a renovation of Roosevelt Park.  
The Recreation Center’s membership has grown steadily over the past five years and now includes a membership of over 10,000.
The Recreation Center has hosted numerous events including programs for seniors and youth, youth and adult sports leagues, the city’s Farmers Market, and cultural celebrations.
For more information on the Recreation Center, contact the staff at 205-425-0655. 


Featured, Government
The city of Bessemer’s Municipal Court has announced a new location starting this week.
Court, which had been held at the Bessemer Civic Center due to COVID-19 restrictions, will return to the Bessemer City Municipal Courtroom at #23 15th Street North, starting on Wednesday, October 6, 2021 at 8 a.m.
The Court schedule is as follows:
  • Mondays (M-Z) Judge Roebuck. Starts at 4 p.m.
  • Tuesdays (A-Z) Domestic Violence Court. Judge Roebuck. 9 a.m.
  • Wednesdays (A-L) Judge Killings. 8 a.m.
Court-related questions may be directed to the Bessemer Municipal Court Clerks at tel: (205) 426-8602.

Featured, Uncategorized
The Bessemer City Council has approved a recommendation to rezone property along Murphys Lane for a new housing subdivision. 
A public hearing on the rezoning was held on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. The Council unanimously approved the request by Developer Randy Brooks to rezone the current vacant land off Murphy’s Lane, which had been zoned R-2 residential, to R-3-A residential. The proposed use of the property will be for the construction of 269 Patio/Garden style homes.
The city of Bessemer’s Planning and Zoning Commission had recommended the Council approve the rezoning during its meeting on June 15, 2021. No one spoke in opposition to the rezoning during the public hearing.

Featured, Uncategorized
The city of Bessemer’s Public Improvements Department is announcing some possible delays in Animal Control efforts for the next several weeks.
The delays are due to the Greater Birmingham Humane Society’s announcement earlier this week that it will go to Priority-One Pick-up and Impoundment Status for its facility, which services Bessemer and other communities in Jefferson County.
GBHS announced it will respond to high priority/emergency calls such as law enforcement calls and cases of animal cruelty but suspend non-emergency calls such as stray in-takes and non-emergency owner surrender while in this status. Non-essential shelter intake will also be limited.  The Priority One status will continue for a period of 30 days, according to GBHS officials.
Lawrence Hatter, Public Improvements Director for the city of Bessemer, said this status will limit some animal control services available to Bessemer residents for the foreseeable future. Hatter asked that residents be aware of the limit in service in Bessemer due to the impoundment interruptions.

Featured, Uncategorized
The city of Bessemer has two on-going programs designed to assist small businesses and residents recover from the impacts of COVID-19.

The city of Bessemer and the Birmingham Urban League are partnering to provide emergency rental and utility assistance to Bessemer residents impacted by COVID-19.
The project is being sponsored with funds from the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) special CARES Act allocation provided by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to the city.
Eligible households are able to receive up to $4500 for up to three months in emergency assistance under the program. Households must demonstrate that they have been impacted by COVID-19 through loss of employment or a reduction in income, among other eligibility requirements.
The program will be administered as long as funds are available. For more information, contact the Birmingham Urban League at 205-326-0162 or by visiting its website at Application packets can also be picked up at Bessemer City Hall during normal business hours.
The city of Bessemer’s Economic and Community Development Department is providing assistance to microenterprises/entrepreneurs in the city impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The assistance programs are funded by the Community Development Block Grant CARES Act, or CDBG-CV, allocation provided to the city by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The program is being conducted in collaboration with Create Birmingham.

The City of Bessemer Small Business/Micro-enterprise Recovery and Resiliency program will provide technical assistance to eligible microenterprises in Bessemer that have experienced the detrimental impacts of COVID-19 with an aim of preparing, preventing and responding to the pandemic. Qualified owners will take part in a business consulting/mentoring program aimed at helping to stabilize their businesses for sustainability in a COVID-19/post COVID-19 environment.

Microenterprises, defined as businesses with five or fewer employees, who complete the program will be eligible to receive financial grant assistance of up to $5,000. Grant assistance can be used to provide capital to meet commercial lease or utility payment requirements or to purchase supplies and equipment needed to operate in a COVID-19 environment. To be eligible, microenterprises must have had a current business license with the city on March 17, 2020 and must document how their business has been impacted by the pandemic. Businesses who have received PPP loans from the federal government are not eligible for financial assistance under the program, but may be eligible for technical assistance.

A Town Hall informational meeting is scheduled for Thursday, August 19, 2021 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Bessemer City Hall for interested businesses.

Featured, Public Safety, Uncategorized
The city of Bessemer’s two new ambulances have arrived.
Two new ambulances will soon go into service to assist with providing uninterrupted service to residents of Bessemer. The Bessemer City Council, at the request of Mayor Kenneth Gulley, approved the purchase of the new ambulances due to an ambulance shortage in Jefferson County. The new ambulances cost an estimated $250,000.
The ambulances will go into service whenever private ambulance service is hindered or unavailable in the city and will be manned by members of the Bessemer Fire Department.