Front Page News

City of Auburn – 2020 Citizen Survey hitting mailboxes in January

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AUBURN, Ala.- The first City of Auburn Citizen Survey was conducted more than 30 years ago to gauge how residents feel about City services, how the City operates and what the City should work on. The Citizen Survey has been a regular part of the City’s planning processes ever since, providing trend data that helps measure where certain areas have improved or where attention may be needed. All this feedback and data informs budget priorities and shapes policy decisions.

In the past, the survey was an annual initiative. Beginning with the 2018 survey, the survey is now sent out every other year to better align with the City’s two-year budget. The 2020 Citizen Survey will be mailed in January to a random selection of Auburn residents. To ensure the survey results are statistically valid, the survey is conducted according to best practices by ETC Institute, a leading firm in the citizen survey field. ETC Institute will follow up on these mailings by email to encourage participation.

If you are one of this year’s recipients, please take a few minutes to fill out the survey and return it in the included, postage-paid envelope, or complete the survey online at the link provided. To ensure statistical validity, online participants will be required to enter their address to verify that they are a part of the random sample counted in the study. If you’ve participated in the survey before, some questions will seem familiar, reflecting core questions that stand the test of time and provide valuable trend data. You will also see new questions designed to gather your thoughts on current initiatives. The feedback you give us is vital.

The survey is completely confidential. Data is only reported to the City by census block. The City will not receive any name or address information. To see past Annual Citizen Survey results, visit


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OPELIKA, Ala. – The City of Opelika, the Opelika Economic Development Department and the Opelika Industrial Development Authority are excited to announce the creation of the Opelika Innovation and Technology Park (OITP). The new park is located in an Opportunity Zone (OZ) at the gateway corridor to Opelika along U.S. Highway 280 West between Veterans Parkway and Waverly Parkway.

Opportunity Zones are an important component for industries wishing to move to an area. OZ sites offer industries cheaper build-to-suit leasing, stronger federal, state and local incentives, access growth capital and unique tax planning opportunities. In Alabama, Governor Kay Ivey has designated 158 Opportunity Zones across the state.

“Opelika has been incredibly proactive about harnessing the power of its Opportunity Zone. Its vision for building a place where innovation and technology can co-exist matches perfectly with the spirit of the Opportunity Zone incentive, which facilitates investment in both buildings and the companies that occupy them,” said Alexander Flachsbart, Found and CEO of Opportunity Alabama.

The new park sits on 105 total acres and is ideally located in Opelika with easy access to East Alabama Medical Center, Tiger Town, Historic Downtown Opelika, Southern Union State Community College and Auburn University. Great utility infrastructure already exists in the new Opelika Innovation and Technology Park from partners such as: Opelika Power Services, Opelika Utilities, Spire Gas and GIG Fiber from Point Broadband.

“The OITP will be a catalyst to help generate, attract and retain companies focused on the creation of new and innovative technologies. OITP will not only be a place for the creation of great jobs, but will be a place that will provide connectivity to drive growth in our city and throughout the region,” said Mayor Gary Fuller.

Opelika Economic Development is already working on a potential project for the OITP.

For more information, please contact John Sweatman, Economic Development Project Manager for the City of Opelika, at 334-705-5115.

Auburn City Schools Continues Finding Success

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A well documented reason that the local community continues to thrive is due to the success found throughout the Auburn City Schools system. Dan Chesser, Auburn City Schools Public Relations Specialist, joined Auburn/Opelika This Morning to provide an update on some of the current happenings around Auburn’s schools system.

Wrights Mill Road Elementary and Creekside Elementary were recognized by Attorney General Steve Marshall’s office because of the schools’ high marks in outstanding preparation of their safety plans and building a culture of school safety. Chesser said, “It was just affirmation that what we’re doing in the realm of safety is the right thing and we are always staying ahead of the curve.”

The construction of a new gymnasium at East Samford School is now under way. Chesser gave an update on the seventh grade school saying, “We’re looking at putting a new gymnasium on that campus and working with some of the other buildings to make it fit our needs for what we need their with our seventh grade population.”

In the interview with Chesser, he also gave information on the upcoming window for registration for the 2020-2021 academic year that will being in the coming weeks, as well as mentioning the 13 teachers that were awarded as teachers of the year. One teacher at each of the Auburn City Schools campuses were awarded with the honor.

An exclusive interview with representatives from Auburn City Schools happens on the third Friday of every month at 8:35 on Auburn/Opelika This Morning and you can hear Auburn High School Sports across the Auburn Network family of stations. Our lite favorites station, 96.3 WLEE, is the home of Auburn High Boys and Girls Basketball and will air every home Auburn Baseball game.

For more local interviews, tune into Auburn/Opelika This Morning every weekday from 6 to 9.

Documentary Featuring Area Principal At Opelika First Baptist This Sunday

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This Sunday evening, make plans to bring the entire family to watch the documentary film LOVE GOES PUBLIC at First Baptist Church of Opelika. Doors open at 5 pm with showtime at 6.

LOVE GOES PUBLIC is the true story of an unlikely principal’s contagious courage and outspoken faith that transformed failing schools in Macon County.

Ten years ago, Brenda Sullen was asked to rescue a public high school on the brink of chaos. Dropout rates were skyrocketing, there was crime in the hallways, and drugs and teenage pregnancy were creating a dead-end for students’ dreams.

With no experience and dwindling financial resources, Principal Sullen turned to the two strengths she knew best: her deep faith in Jesus and her tragedy-to-triumph life story.

The story of Booker T. Washington High School and Notasulga High School is the story of faithfulness by Principal Sullen and by thousands of students.

Tickets for Sunday evening’s movie are $8 for adults ($7 for ages 13 and under) and includes popcorn and a beverage. Following the movie, there will be a brief question and answer session with Principal sullen.

Click HERE for more information or to purchase tickets.

Mike Caldwell of Auburn Wins a Stihl Leaf Blower from University Ace to Wrap up the 12 Days of Christmas

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The NewsTalk WANI Twelve Days of Christmas is now complete…  

12 Days, 12 prizes and now, 12 winners! 

DAY # 12 is today and MIKE CALDWELL of Auburn wins Stihl Leaf Blower with Battery Packsfrom University Ace Hardware, next to the movie theaters in Auburn.       

Congratulations to Mike and our other winners during the 12 Days of Christmas. Click HERE to view a complete list of the winners.  

  Thanks to all who entered the 12 Days of Christmas contest and to our 12 awesome sponsors.

Merry Christmas from  NewsTalk WANI!     

Katie Morrison of Auburn Wins Our Day 11 Prize!

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The Twelve Days of Christmas winning is winding down!   

Today is DAY 11 and our winner is KATIE MORRISON of Auburn!Katie wins a Yeti CoolerfromFirst South Farm Credit in Opelika.    

Tomorrow is the FINAL DAY of our 12 Days of Christmas and the prize we’ll be giving away is a Stihl Leaf Blower with Battery Packsfrom University Ace Hardware.       

Don’t worry, there’s still time to enter to win this final prize. Just click HERE.     

It’s the 12 Days of Christmas….from NewsTalk WANI!