Renovating an entire town

Published 9:38 am Thursday, January 16, 2020

Dawn Burleigh, General Manager

Just the thought of renovating a house is daunting enough so kudos to HGTV for looking for a small community to give a makeover.

What is more inspiring is those within our small community who see this as a potential to make Orange even better, such as Chris Kovatch.

Kovatch, with Brad Childs, is instrumental in kicking off The Orange Grove project in Orange County.

Kovatch, President of the Orange Lions Club, Greater Orange Area Chamber Ambassador, columnist for The Orange Leader, volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, and family of six children, was named Citizen of the Year at the annual Chamber Banquet in December.

And now he, along with Orange Council member Terrie Salter are working on plans for a meeting to work on the submission requirements for being considered for the makeover.

According to a press release issued in January, on their HGTV show Home Town, Erin and Ben Napier have completely transformed their home base of Laurel, Mississippi, one house at a time. Now, the design-savvy duo is taking their talents to a new neck of the woods — and this time, it could be yours.

HGTV announced on Wednesday that it will be launching a new show called Home Town Takeover in 2021 that will star Erin, 34, and Ben, 36, and apply that same makeover magic to another lucky locale. The six-episode event series will follow the couple as they take on the renovation of an entire town, from single-family homes to public parks and everything in between.

Through Tuesday, February 4, the network is accepting nominations for a town that deserves a life-changing overhaul. Fans can go to to try and sell HGTV on why their small town should be featured on Home Town Takeover by sharing photos, videos and stories.

Submissions should be for towns with a population of 40,000 or fewer, and feature a video tour of the areas of town that need the most TLC, whether it be diners, community centers, main streets or homes.

Orange meets the requirement of 40,000 or less.
Orange, where all things are possible.


Making a difference

In the last edition of The Orange Leader, another Jeers picture was published concerning some trash dumped at Burton Ave. and 16th Street in Orange.

“Please know that Officials are aware and that this location has been brought to the City Manager’s attention,” Council member Terrie Salter said in a Facebook post. “Please have patience and allow proper authorities to address this complaint.”

While it is being addressed by city officials, the fight to combat the litter throughout the area is also being addressed, again.

Keep Orange County Beautiful and the Trashy Ladies has repeatedly requested assistance in the battle of the litter.

According to Salter, Keep Orange County Beautiful, City of Orange and residents have partnered to combat litter. From 8 a.m. – 10 a.m. on Saturday, January 25 volunteers will meet at St. Mary’s School parking lot to pick up litter on Bob Hall Road.

“We are asking for volunteers eager to help us make a difference come join us,” Salter posted.

To submit a picture for Cheers and Jeers, email it to Please put Cheers and Jeers in the subject line. In the body of the email, state if it is a Cheer or Jeer, why and your name. Your name can be held, upon request.


Dawn Burleigh is general manager and editor of The Orange Leader. She can be reached at