Jacksonville kicked off the Christmas season Monday night with its annual Ceremony of Lights at the Community Center. Usually, this event is held on the square, but this year the threat of rain prevented that. The ceremony marks the official lighting of the Square.

Mayor Johnny Smith was the keynote speaker at Wednesday’s Kiwanis Club meeting at the Community Center. After being introduced by the president, Jim Wilson. Smith reminded everyone to be conservative in their water usage.

The Jacksonville State football team received the No. 3 National Seed in the NCAA Division I Football Playoffs and will host either Samford or Youngstown State on Dec. 3 at 1 p.m.

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and First United Methodist Church are inviting everyone in Jacksonville to join them for a festive community dinner between 11:30 a.m-1:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 24, at St. Luke’s parish hall, corner of Church Avenue and Drayton Street, according to co-chairs Dawn Bowden and Jim Lloyd.

On Sun., Nov. 20, members of First Baptist Church on Vann St. will celebrate their 150th anniversary with special speakers, music, and a luncheon. The church was founded in 1866 when black members worshipped in the basement of First Baptist Church of Jacksonville, a white congregation. Sandra Sudduth and her husband, Tom, are chairs of the anniversary celebration.

Jacksonville’s rising country music star Riley Green is to perform at The Back 40 Bash on Harold Boozer Road in Pleasant Valley at 4 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the gate. Parking is $10. The Muscadine Bloodline group, Tyler Reeve, and others will also perform.

Joe Maloney has practiced law at the historic Ten Oaks house on Pelham Road in Jacksonville for the past 17 years. Now he has three additional lawyers who have joined his practice.

Now that teachers, students and staff are settled in at the new Kitty Stone Elementary School, the administration has decided it’s time to have an open house so the community can see the new facility.

Jean and Steve Ellison want everyone to bring out a chair and a blanket on Friday night, the last Third Friday of the season on the Jacksonville Square. The Ellisons, owners of The Music Box, are leaders in organizing Fright Night, the city’s Halloween celebration. The event is from 6-9 p.m.

Daniel O’Donnell was in elementary school when he started dreaming of becoming a member of the Southerners, Jacksonville State University’s band. His sister Shea was only five years old when she began dressing as a JSU fan. She has a photograph to prove it.

When Elsie Wheeler was a young mother, she once tried to keep up with her children who had a new motorcycle. She climbed on, did as they said, and found herself lying on top of the vehicle on the ground.

For the first time in Jacksonville State University’s history, two brothers are on the cheerleading squad simultaneously. Jacksonville residents Derek and Brett Langston have enjoyed cheering together, but their paths in becoming cheerleaders differ.

Voters gained a mostly new Jacksonville City Council Tuesday.

Residents elected Jimmy Harrell, Tony Taylor and Coty Galloway to the council in runoff elections held Tuesday. Voters had six candidates to choose from for the three open seats.

Craig Bodiford’s father is a pastor, who has preached many funerals during his career. That’s why Craig, from a young age, attended numerous funerals over the years. He saw the grief and heartbreak families suffered. It touched him, he said.

Members of the Jacksonville Alabama Community Group and the group behind the JCS-Parents Page are sponsoring a run-off candidate forum for the upcoming election. The event is at 6 p.m. on Wed., Sept. 28. The six remaining candidates are to speak and answer questions from the public at the Jacksonville Community Center. The seats are to be decided at an Oct. 4 election.

Todd Borders has served at a number of churches and said when he left each one, he left with many happy memories. Sunday was his first day as pastor at Eagle Point Church in Jacksonville.