Category Archives: Explore Madison County

Huntsville makes Top 10 list of safest places to drive


Huntsville and Montgomery have been named two of the safest cities for driving a car by

Does this surprise you?

According to the list, the odds of getting into a collision in the city of Huntsville are 20.1 percent less than the national average, giving the city a No. 7 spot on the list.

The city of Montgomery is ranked No. 9 because motorists are 16.3 percent less likely to get into a crash in Alabama’s capitol city than the national average.

Here is Bankrate’s Top 10 list of safest cities to drive:

  1. Fort Collins, Co.
  2. Boise, Idaho
  3. Sioux Falls, S.D.
  4. Brownsville, Texas
  5. Madison, Wis.
  6. Reno, Nev.
  7. Huntsville
  8. Visalia, Calif.
  9. Montgomery
  10. Eugene, Ore.

2 Alabama cities make Top 10 list of safest places to drive a car. What do you think? |

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Huntsville among top 10 Most Promising U.S. Tech Hubs to watch in 2014 by


Downtown Huntsville. ( file photo)

Huntsville was the only city in Alabama to make‘s new Most Promising Tech Hubs of 2014 list.

Other U.S. cities featured on the list, which was released Monday, were Atlanta; Burlington, Vt.; Fort Collins, Colo.; Champaign/Urbana, Ill.; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Orlando, Fla.; Minneapolis/St. Paul; and Sioux Falls, S.D.

“One of the most important factors in naming our most amazing tech hubs is the presence, or at least the emergence, of a tech and startup culture,” said Dan Blacharski, editor-in-chief. “Without the culture, the meetups, and the fun places to go in the city, tech startups just won’t want to come.” editors also considered other factors, including the presence of incubators, accelerators and co-working spaces, city and community support and available infrastructure, such as high-speed Internet.

A article highlighting the top 10 cities lauded Huntsville’s Cumming Research Park, aerospace and military technology companies, and the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

“But it’s not all government and academia; Huntsville is rapidly emerging as one of the best places in the South for small, emerging tech businesses,” Blacharski said.

The piece also features quotes from BizTech Chief Executive Officer Gary Tauss and Huntsville entrepreneur and Small Business Meetup Group creator Brandon Kruse.

Click here to read the full article.

“For a great place to launch a startup, entrepreneurs need look no further than Huntsville,” Blacharski said. “The entrepreneurial scene, and vibrant incubators like Biztech – along with good old fashioned southern hospitality – has made Huntsville one of the greatest laboratories for tech startups in the country.”

Among some of Huntsville/Madison County’s other recent honors: the third best U.S. city for Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM) graduates by NerdWallet; a top high-tech U.S. hotspot by the Progressive Policy Instituteone of the top U.S. cities on the rise by NerdWallet; a high-ranking U.S. city for economic growth potential by Business Facilities Magazineone of the best cities for high-tech startups by Entrepreneur Magazine; and a great city for computer programmers by ValuePenguin.

Huntsville among top 10 Most Promising U.S. Tech Hubs to watch in 2014 by |

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Huntsville listed among 8 up-and-coming tech hubs in the U.S.


Is the Rocket City an aspiring Silicon Valley? An Austin-based company ranking America’s eight up-and-coming tech hubs seems to think so.

SpareFoot shined the spotlight on Huntsville in a blog post today highlighting the country’s top emerging tech cities.

In the listing, SpareFoot praised Huntsville for placing 14th last year on’s 25 best U.S. cities for technology startups list. The city was also lauded for having a “startup mover and shaker” like BizTech and “feather in its cap” like Cummings Research Park.

Huntsville companies Bragg Peak Systems, Correlated Magnetics Research, Curse and eTruckBiz were recognized as the city’s “tech stars.”

Other cities included in the listing were: Charleston, S.C.; Detroit; Kansas City, Mo.; Las Vegas; New Orleans; Orlando, Fla.; and Provo, Utah.

In October, Huntsville ranked No. 4 on the Progressive Policy Institute’s list of 25 high-tech U.S. hotspots. Huntsville was also recently the only Alabama city to make’s top 10 most promising tech hubs to watch in 2014 list.

Huntsville listed among 8 up-and-coming tech hubs in the U.S. by Austin-based startup |

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Huntsville breaks ground on 2 new schools named for NASA astronauts

(Bob Gathany/

(Bob Gathany/

Two new public schools named for NASA astronauts will soon begin to rise along Pulaski Pike in northwest Huntsville.

The city school system held a standing-room-only groundbreaking ceremony Friday for the $65 million Jemison High School as well as McNair Junior High, which will share the same campus.

Decatur-born astronaut Dr. Mae Jemison flew in from Chicago for the ceremony and challenged the schools’ future students to make a difference in their city, their state, their world. Jemison became the first black woman in space when she flew aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavor in September 1992.

Children are born with an “innate energy and drive,” she said, but it can be dampened by adults.

“Adults started telling you what you couldn’t do,” Jemison told a group of students from the four schools that will feed into the new campuses: Johnson High, Butler High, Davis Hills Middle and Ed White Middle. “We started lowering your expectations of this world that was around you. Ignore them.

“Know that you can achieve so many things.”

Huntsville City Schools Superintendent Dr. Casey Wardynski said architectural drawings for Jemison High and McNair Junior High are about 15 percent complete, meaning construction is still several months away. The plan is to open both schools in August 2016.

“This is the prologue in what will be many, many pages and many, many chapters of exceptional history which will be written by the students of Jemison High School,” said Wardynski.

McNair Junior High is named for Ronald McNair, the second African-American in space and one of seven astronauts killed in the January 1986 Space Shuttle Challenger explosion.

via We have lift-off: Huntsville breaks ground on 2 new schools named for NASA astronauts |

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The one, must-do thing in Alabama? U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville


You know those “if you have this much time in a city, here’s what you should do” lists? Well, Huffington Post has come up with a list of the “one thing” that must be done in each of the 50 states. For Alabama, that’s U.S. Space Camp at Huntsville’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

“Space Camp” is a place for “aspiring astronauts ages 9 to 99″ to come “for a chance to sleep in bunks, spin in the Multi-Axis Trainer, and handle a crisis on simulated intergalactic missions.”

More than 27,000 kids from 83 countries attended the week-long Space Camp in 2013 alone, Tim Hall, the center’s spokesman said.

The site makes the HuffPost list along with a drive along California’s coastal highway, visiting the Butter Cow at the Iowa State Fair, and sandboarding at Great Sand Dunes National Park in Colorado. Listening to the blues at The Lyric in Oxford, Miss., and spending the night on the floor of the Grand Canyon in Arizona also made the list.

HuffPost editors came up with list by talking among themselves and asking friends to come up with what they call “the ultimate American travel guide.” It’s not a comprehensive list, the site assures, just one that’s a good place to start for those who want to “travel back to your American roots.”

The folks at Huffington Post aren’t the only ones who think the Space & Rocket Center is a pretty cool place to go. The center was the most visited paid tourism destination with more than 584,000 visitors in 2013, according to Alabama’s Tourism Departmen

The one, must-do thing in Alabama? U.S. Space Camp in Huntsville |

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