There is something remarkable in Cherokee County.
Whether you have been here a lifetime, returning home, or new to the community, you can feel the enthusiasm; and we, of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, are delighted to play a role in the excitement that progress and growth can bring. Personally, it is a pleasure to have, on a daily basis, the opportunity to serve alongside talented business professionals. I am privileged to have a generous portion of community leaders working diligently on the Chamber’s leadership team. We are endowed with excellent resources and applied knowledge for the advocacy of all our members— which in turn compliments our mission to bolster and support the efforts of those seeking growth and business opportunities.
It is my honor to work with a membership dedicated to moving Cherokee County and the region forward. With a clear understanding of the tasks at hand, they realize the power of innovative collaborations. As we engage in governmental affairs with focus on our best interest at home and beyond, we are also vigorously working to attract visitors, tourists and outside investment into our area.
We have much to offer. Along with lake living and water recreation, our majestic mountains are backdrops for productive agriculture and fertile fields. The small businesses that daily open their doors are an essential asset to the marketplace, vital to our economy and lifestyle. Smart shoppers are delighted to find much of what they need and want right here, at home.
We thank each chamber member for your support, for you are a valuable asset in the future and attraction of Cherokee County. If you’re not yet a member, now is the time to join us. You’ll find it remarkable!
Thereasa Hulgan Thereasa Hulgan Executive Director, TMP
Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce & Tourism 801 Cedar Bluff Road, Bldg A Centre, AL 35960 256-927-8455 cherokee-chamber.org Home of Beautiful Weiss Lake - Alabama’s Great Lake Chamber Members Support Chamber Members
CHEROKEE County Alabama
THANK YOU to these Cherokee County businesses who made the publication of this magazine possible.
Cherokee County Health and Rehabilitation Center
Gadsden State Community College
Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Regional Airport Flying High Over Cherokee County
Cherokee Medical Center
Foothills Tractor and Equipment
Town of Leesburg
Powering up Cherokee County
Taking Care to the Next Level
Vision Leadership of Dr. Martha Lavender
TABLE OF CONTENTS 24
Davis Catfish Farm
Revitalizing Weiss Lake
CAST for Kids
Places to See
Commercial Peanut Farming
42 Community 46
Services & Schools
Upcoming Fishing Tournaments
Hopewell Community Center
Revitalizing Downtown Centre
Chamber & Advertisers Directory
Celebrating 60 Years of Service
Cherokee County Realtor
Growing with Cherokee
Living Life at its Best
This publication was produced for the Cherokee County Alabama Chamber of Commerce & Tourism by Advertising Dynamics, Inc. P. O. Box 1345, Rome, GA 30162 706.290.0202 Reproduction, in whole or part, of this publication without expressed or written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited.
Powering Up Cherokee County
Alabama Power employees have been an integral part of the Cherokee County community since construction began on Weiss Dam in 1958. Most Alabama Power employees who work on Weiss Lake call Cherokee County home.
Weiss Lake was created in 1958 when Alabama Power constructed Weiss Dam to provide electricity to a wider region of Northeastern Alabama. AlabamaPower.com 4
Today, Alabama Power continues its community involvement and support of the area by not only operating a full complement of employees at the Weiss Dam, but also by maintaining a Shoreline Management Office that enhances community access to and enjoyment of Weiss Lake. Alabama Power employees follow their company motto that stresses safety, unquestionable trust, superior performance and total commitment. These values are practiced during the workday and at home. Not only does Alabama Power strive to be an active part of the community, it is a
good steward of the environment. In 2000, Weiss Lake Improvement Association (WLIA) was the first partner in a new Alabama Power program called “Renew the Coosa.” That program is now known as “Renew Our Rivers” (ROR) and has grown to cover Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Florida. To date, ROR has removed 15 million pounds of trash from the waterways and has had about 110,000 volunteers. The Shoreline Management team continues to work with ROR and works hand in hand with local officials, including the health department, to improve water quality. Alabama Power opened a full-time Shoreline Management Office in Centre in 2006. The office has grown to three fulltime employees and four surveillance contractors. The office is tasked with protecting Alabama Power’s property rights around Weiss Lake, and with helping the public and adjoining property owners
ALABAMA POWER maximize their enjoyment of the lake. In the past year, the Shoreline Management Office has issued 598 permits and has assisted several hundred other residences around the lake. All the employees work diligently to make Weiss Lake a premier destination for visitors and residents. The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce has determined that Weiss Lake is the major economic driver for the region. Alabama Power continues to partner with local and state organizations to promote the lake and develop area recreation opportunities. Shoreline Management partners with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to provide several public access sites around Weiss Lake. Alabama Power looks forward to continuing these partnerships and expanding its efforts to be a major part of the community and assist in the economic development of the area. The local Shoreline Management Office employees will continue to preserve the environmental, ecological, recreational and aesthetic aspects of Weiss Lake so that it can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Dennis Trammell Team Leader, Alabama Power
â€œEach day, the Weiss Lake Shoreline management team is tasked with working out solutions that meet
the needs of individuals, industries
and organizations while protecting Alabama Powerâ€™s property rights
and maintaining compliance with
its license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and its
Programmatic General Permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. This is accomplished through the permitting process, by providing
lake access at our recreational sites, educating the stakeholders and public, and promoting best management practices.â€?
to the Next Level
Cherokee County Health & Rehab Center believes in the power of exceptional nursing.
877 Cedar Bluff Road Centre, Alabama 256-927-5778 www.cchrc.net.
“Our nurses and support staff do everything they can to make our residents feel better and enjoy life in a safe and welcoming environment,” said Sherry Abernathy, Director of Nursing.
Nurses and therapists use advances in the medical field to improve the quality of life for our residents every day, said Sherry, who has worked at CCHRC for 14 years. She says, “Individualized care makes the difference in skilled nursing.”
Several residents need daily respiratory care, and therapist Terri Cooper administers treatment to those with breathing problems and monitors those who need oxygen. “I’m here for anyone who may have trouble breathing,” Terri said. 6
This year, Tiffany Eaton, a registered nurse, completed specialized training as a wound nurse, which helps residents who need an extra level of care. She also has implemented new medical strategies to help prevent wounds.
“Our nurses work with physicians to ensure that all residents receive prompt medical attention,” said Jennifer Cambron, the assistant director of nursing. “Those who need IV antibiotics or other IV therapy get treatment in their own rooms and suites.” X-rays, EKGs and other diagnostic tests are performed in-house, and all residents receive physician-guided care under the direction of Medical Director Dr. Byron Nelson and other attending physicians.
Cherokee Health & Rehab’s state-ofthe-art facility includes short-term rehab
at The Rehab Center, Cherokee Village Assisted Living, the Alzheimer’s Unit and long-term care.
Because great nursing care can make a dramatic difference in residents’ lives, CCHRC provides several nursing scholarships to those who show strong aptitude in the medical field and also enthusiasm and compassion for working with residents in a skilled nursing facility.
Jennifer, who started as a nursing assistant 17 years ago, completed her LPN and RN degrees on scholarships from CCHRC and was recently promoted to assistant director of nursing. “They have been so supportive all the way,” she said.
Sherry, who started work at Cherokee Health & Rehab as a certified nursing assistant, feels that working at a long-term care facility is rewarding and uplifting. “Here you form a bond, you get to know the resident, and they become your family,” she said.
As director of nursing, Sherry doesn’t spend as much one-on-one time with residents as she once did, “but everyone still comes to see me,” she said. “I have the candy bowl.”
The Alzheimer’s unit at CCHRC is considered one of the best in the state. From the 28-foot vaulted ceilings to the circular floor design, every detail was chosen to provide a safe and stimulating environment.
In The Rehab Center, nursing supervisor Lauren Loveless says the best thing about her job is seeing that residents make great progress. “Some come in who cannot move from their bed, and they leave walking out the door,” she said.
Rehab at The Rehab Center also includes speech and occupational therapy as well as physical rehabilitation. For those who need assistance but not full-time nursing care, Cherokee Village Assisted Living provides a safe and caring lifestyle. The Village also offers specialty care. Screened porches and rocking chairs give residents a place to visit and enjoy fresh air when the weather is nice.
Whatever your health care need, Cherokee Health & Rehab is a place you can call home.
Dr. Martha Lavender, president of Gadsden State Community College, has been a supporter of Gadsden State Cherokee from the ground up. In August 2008, the small instructional site moved to a multi-level complex that was constructed through partnerships between local townships, the County Commission, state and local leadership and the Alabama College System.
“It was an exciting initiative to demonstrate how public education and the community could build a new future through collaboration,” she said. “It was an opportunity to expand the footprint of Gadsden State.”
Lavender said she enjoyed addressing the needs of Cherokee County residents and students as well as collaborating with Gadsden State colleagues to build the program.
P.O. Box 227, Gadsden, AL 35902-0227 256-549-8224 gadsdenstate.edu
“Through my work at Gadsden State Cherokee, I found myself completely immersed in the success of the College and wanted to be involved in contributing to the success of every component of Gadsden State,” she said. “We continue to work collaboratively to grow enrollment, add new programs and address the needs already identified by our stakeholders. This initiative has become a demonstration model for how public education and communities can work together to make real change. We have seen the results of the nursing programs’ influence on the healthcare delivery system in the area.” Lavender retired in 2011 but left retirement behind to serve as interim president of the College in 2014. In October 2015, she earned the position permanently. Lavender’s goal is to continuously strive to keep the College relevant for students and the communities it serves.
“We achieve relevancy by offering quality educational programs that address workforce needs in the area,” she said. “It also means that we engage with the community to bring innovations in workforce development and recruitment of business and industry to our area. As a result, I expect to see increase enrollment, increased graduation rates, full 8
GADSDEN STATE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
DR. MARTHA LAVENDER Education: Graduated from Hokes Bluff High School; earned an associate degree in nursing from Gadsden State Community College; bachelor’s degree in nursing from Jacksonville State University; Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Doctorate of Philosophy in Maternal-Child Health Nursing from UAB.
Experience: Staff nurse and head nurse of the Newborn Nursery at Baptist Memorial Hospital (now Gadsden Regional Medical Center); perinatal outreach education coordinator, professor and dean at Lurleen B. Wallace College of Nursing and Health Sciences at JSU; consultant for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security; and dean of Health Sciences and president of Gadsden State.
employment for our graduates and strong community engagement.” She said staying relevant also means the College must constantly review and modify its program inventory.
“New program development in high demand areas will continue to be a hallmark of this College,” she said. “Our strategic plan calls for one or more new program idea each year.”
Lavender and other members of the administration, faculty and staff ensure that program offerings are on the cutting edge of the employment market while meeting industry demands and emerging trends.
“We have launched new programs in our career technical area and our non-credit programs in addition to seeking approval for an occupational therapy assistant program and digital sonography program,” she said. “We are currently developing a program for dental hygienist as well, and we have launched a short-term certificate program in computer science to meet the needs of the community.” To further Gadsden State’s workforce development efforts, the College has added a truck driving academy to the Skills Training Division, and the nursing assistant program is now more accessible to students who desire the credential. Gadsden State also operates a Jobs Readiness Program and is a site for the Alabama Technology Network, which
provides higher-level skills training to the existing workforce.
“These programs, along with our career technical programs, are highlighted when we meet with representatives from business and industry who are considering a location in the surrounding communities,” Lavender said. “Having a well prepared and competent workforce is the most important factor to new business. Gadsden State is the key to training that workforce at the local level.” At Gadsden State Cherokee, students can take an expanded list of courses to meet general studies requirements for the associate transfer degree.
“Gadsden State offers high quality, challenging and engaging educational programs that meet all the same rigorous requirements of senior institutions at almost half the cost,” she said. “Regardless of whether you choose a career technical field or continue your educational journey to a baccalaureate program or beyond, Gadsden State offers a strong foundation, a great transition from high school and allows students to realize their passion and their dreams. We do believe Gadsden State is the right choice.
“It has been a privilege to work with the talented faculty and staff, and most importantly, our students,” she said. “We truly change lives every day — one student at a time, one family at a time.”
• Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nursing – Chairperson of Development Committee • Barrie Center for Children Board of Directors – Vice Chair • Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama Board of Trustees – Chair • United Way Board of Directors – Education Chairperson • Love Your Neighbor – Education Advisory Chair • University of Alabama School of Nursing National Alumni Advisory Committee • Etowah Vision Committee • Hokes Bluff Library Foundation Board of Directors • Kiwanis Club of Gadsden
Honors: She was awarded the 2016 Heart of an Eagle Award from the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts and was inducted into the American Academy of Nursing and the Alabama Nursing Hall of Fame. Hometown: Hokes Bluff
Church: Hokes Bluff United Methodist Church
Family: Husband of 44 years, Tim Lavender; sons, Brett and Burt; grandsons, Cade and Nash
Over Cherokee County The history of the CCPC Regional Airport is a testament to the determination of visionaries who knew it would be tantamount to the growth of the area.
Father and son piloting team, Wendell and Michael Pruitt
The airport opened in 2006, becoming the ﬁrst federally funded Alabama airport since 1992. The growth of Alabama municipal airports had been stagnant for 15 years.
of six members and one chairman. The mayors and city councils would nominate two board members each, with the chairman chosen at large.
Early on, individuals from Piedmont and Centre had the same dream. Each city wanted to bring aviation trafﬁc and airport facilities to the area. The existing Centre airport was unable to expand due to land locks and construction encroachments. Piedmont was on tap for an airport, but lack of funding and suitable sites kept the project from moving forward.
James Beall, one of the authority’s founders, believed that aviation facilities are an economic catalyst to any area. “Having an airport is the key requirement for the recruitment of new industry.”
With the determination and insight of the leadership of the two cities and Cherokee County, the planning moved feasibility into place. In 2000, the Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Regional Airport Authority was incorporated, uniting the three groups. It was decided that each entity have two representatives that would serve on the board of the authority. Meeting monthly, the board would be comprised
The Alabama Department of Transportation was impressed with the new airport authority, stating that “They collectively were able to accomplish what would have been very difﬁcult for them individually.” The Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Regional Airport Authority had a realistic proposal together. The terrain of available land was ideal. Without encumbrances, the 300 plus acres of pilot-friendly farmland was purchased. Funding appropriated from federal, state and local sponsors brought
CPCCA Board of Directors, Left to Right: Kirk Day, Bill Baker, Donnie Free, Lee Hubbard, Andy Ellis, Dr. Brian Perry, Brent Morrison, and Tony Wilkie. Not Pictured: Bobby Allred, Terry Conaway, Jay Jordan. 10
the project from a dream to reality and a model of how a group can work together to achieve a project of this magnitude and importance. The airport features a 5,500 foot-long runway with the optimum length recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration for regional general aviation airports. Both Runway 7 and 25 have RAV GPS approaches with medium intensity edge lighting. Dual connecting taxiways were constructed at each runway with threshold functional turnarounds. An airport parking apron is accessible to Alabama Highway 9 via an entrance road, and the entire facility is encircled by the perimeter’s security fence.
Wendell Pruit takes advantage of CCPC’s fueling station.
Since completion, there has been much enhancement to the facility. Today, it is a Fixed-Base Operation (FBO) which means it can provide aeronautical services such as fueling, hangar occupation, tie-down, and parking. Other services may also be available with the FBO certiﬁcation such as aircraft rental, aircraft maintenance, ﬂight instruction and similar services. Along with the aesthetic appeal of its grounds, a new 10-bay T-hanger with bi-folding doors is complete and currently fully occupied. This addition was coupled with the completion of a fuel facility where pilots and owners ﬁnd aviation gas available 24/7, conveniently purchasable by credit card. Current board chair, Lee Hubbard, says that the airport was built on the forethought of others. “In making this airport reality when the authority came together, they did a tremendous service for our communities. It is our job to continue to be judicious, but open to smart opportunities.”
Most of the authority members are pilots themselves, some owning or sharing ownership in aircrafts. Lee has enjoyed ﬂying since childhood, as have others on the board. General Manager of the airport, Donnie Free, says that ﬂying and learning to ﬂy attracts people from all occupations and ages. He believes that aviation offers an appropriate discipline and a wonderful life lesson for young people. The Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Airport is accessible to all the southeastern United States in a day’s trip. It allows business and industry travelers quick access for meetings, conferences, and pleasure, not to mention family trips and fun getaways. Such availability makes short work of otherwise tedious schedules and delays. Centrally located, the airport is ready to serve companies and individual investors ready to expand into a welcoming environment. With a bird’s eye view, the entire area is well worth a visit where the Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Regional Airport stands ready to land an unbeatable lifestyle.
PIEDMONT CHEROKEE REGIONAL AIRPORT
Kirk Day 1971 - 2017
The Honorable Jeffery “Kirk” Day was a lifelong resident of Cherokee County and an active participant in government and civic organizations. In 2004 he was appointed by Alabama Governor Bob Riley to complete an expired term of Probate Judge in Cherokee County. He was elected to the position in 2012. He served as the chairman of the Cherokee County Commission, and sat on the board of CPCC Regional Airport until the time of his passing. A graduate of West Point, Judge Day based his leadership off of their values of “Duty, Honor and Country.” He believed that serving others was an honor and a sacred trust.
CPCC Regional Airport Authority P.O. Box 466 Centre, AL 35960 256-927-8008 11
Decades of Service It is exciting that so many of the professionals who work here are natives, returning to the area after residencies and college. Although they each have their own histories, one common thread unites their thinking. They like the service they can provide and are happy to live here. Some of the medical and administrative staff have been here for decades.
Brian Perry, MD Family Practice, Board Certiﬁed Dr. Perry is a Centre native, and has been in practice here since 1982. After attending medical school at UAB in 1979, he completed his residency in Family Practice in Huntsville. He is also certiﬁed by the FAA as a Senior Aviation Medical Examiner, performing FAA ﬂight physicals including Class 1 physicals. Dr. Perry is also a medical review ofﬁcer of the American Association of Medical Review Ofﬁcers, overseeing services in alcohol and drug testing for area businesses. He was voted by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America from 2001-2013, a national recognition received by only the top 5% of physicians in each specialty.
Bryon L. Nelson, MD Cherokee Health Clinic Internal Medicine, Cardiology An Alabama native, Dr. Nelson came to Cherokee Health Clinic in 1983. He graduated with honors from the University of Alabama School of Medicine in 1980, and performed his residency at Medical University of South Carolina. Board certiﬁed, Dr. Nelson also serves as the medical director of the Cherokee County Health and Rehab center in Centre, and believes that Cherokee Medical Center is a major asset to the area. “An important change we have experienced,” he says, “has been with the transition to electronic medical records, this speeds things along when timing is vital.” When a patient ﬁrst meets one of the Cherokee County Medical nurses, they are usually pleased to discover it is someone they know. Many of those on the nursing staff have received their medical training and degrees in highly respected Alabama colleges. In turn, many of our nurses were happy to return home, to enjoy the beneﬁts of living and working in the beautiful environment of Cherokee County, home, friends and family. Each nurse is qualiﬁed, certiﬁed and above all else is a caring professional, with your health and well-being always on the forefront.
Sheli Gilbreath, CRNP Nurse Practitioner Sheli is a native of Cherokee County, growing up in Sand Rock, Alabama. She received her degree from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. After becoming a registered nurse, Sheli completed her advanced training (which is a minimum of a master’s degree) in the diagnosis and management of common medical conditions and chronic illnesses. Her job is to collaborate with the physician while focusing on the condition of the patient. Among the many duties she performs, Sheli obtains medical histories, helps educate patients on self-care and treatment options, and monitors chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure. She conducts patient research and is often active in patient advocacy activities. “We see patients of all ages, with many types of illnesses and conditions. “I am glad to be here to help. I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”
Vickie Garmon, RN Registered Nurse
Becky Smith, RN Registered Nurse Becky Smith fulﬁlled her childhood dream of becoming a nurse when she joined CMC over 45 years ago. She began in the Medical Surgical department and after 10 years moved to the Emergency Room, where she has worked since 1983. She credits the longevity of her nursing career to the small town feel of their ER. “Here we get to treat a little bit of everything,” says Becky. “Over the years I have had the opportunity to care for many, many families of Cherokee County. Becoming a nurse and joining the staff of Cherokee Medical Center was the best thing that has ever happened to me.”
Ann Martin Financial Counselor Ann has seen much change and growth over the years. She has worked in essential departments such as admitting, accounts payable, Insurance, and as cashier. What she loves most about the hospital she says is that “we take excellent care of our patients. Being in a small town, we can give much more personal attention and service. The patients know how much we care about them.”
Vickie has had the opportunity to work in every medical department in the hospital over her career with Cherokee Medical Center. Through many changes in stafﬁng and leadership, Vickie has remained steadfast. “I have given many years of my life to working at our hospital, because I feel so fortunate to be able to care for ‘my people’ – the people of Cherokee County. It is my service to my community and the people who live here.” Vickie has been offered jobs at many nearby hospitals, but has rejected them all. “I have never considered any offers, as I know where I should be – here at CMC.”
Cathy Oliver Rehab Secretary
Jeff Grimes Facility Care
Cathy has been the secretary of the Rehabilitation department for 43 years. She shares; “Employees are like a family and patients are friends and family also – so we want to make sure they receive the best care possible. We care about what they are going through and the patients would be amazed at the impact they have on us as employees.”
Jeff maintains the hospital facilities and, “ﬁxes whatever needs to be ﬁxed.” He completes work orders that are turned in from various areas of the hospital and staff. The most important change he has witnessed in the last 25 years is the impact of technology. “The change is amazing. When I ﬁrst came here, we were dispatched by pagers, now everything come directly to our smart phones.” 15
Finding Home Selling Others on Cherokee
â€œI love people and seeing them happy is the most enjoyable part of my job.â€?
Helping Others Discover Cherokee County Laura StClair has found her purpose. In the mid-1990’s, she was searching for a career that would help contribute to the quality of life of her family after being a stay-at-home mother from 1987 through 1994. She was attracted to the real estate industry and felt it would be a good fit for her family. She was right; today she is the number one agent in both Listing and Sales at Weiss Lake Realty and Appraisals.
As she pursued her new career, she took the required classes and received the necessary licensing; her family was always there to encourage her. She says, “When taking the class, I was challenged, I studied hard and prayed hard. As I got further into it, God led me to make this change.” In 1994 she joined Weiss Lake Realty & Appraisals in downtown Centre. Today she serves as an Associate Broker and holds many advanced certificates at the agency. Laura is a Graduate of Realtor® Institute (GRI), an Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR), a Resort – Second home Property Specialist (RSPS), and a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS). When asked about her success she says, “My family has been very supportive, and that makes my job easier. I love people, and seeing them happy is the most enjoyable part of my job. A large portion of my business comes from repeat clients and referrals.” Her goal for the future is to keep selling and be the best she can be. She wants to be known as someone who is sincere, honest, and hardworking. Based on the relationships she builds with her clients, that will be easy. With changes in the industry over time (especially during the recession), Laura has continued to grow and has never lost her faith. Today she works with a variety of clients, many of which were locals that are returning to the area to raise their families. Also, the market for vacation homes has improved, so that can bring in an entirely different buyer.
One of the things she loves most about Cherokee County is that it has so much offer. “Not only do we have the lake, but we also have the mountains. And since there are four major cities within an 80-mile radius, you can find everything you would want within a two-hour drive, yet you get to enjoy small town living at a slower pace.”
Laura StClair Featured on HGTV’s “LAKEFRONT BARGAIN HUNT” Welcome Home to Weiss Lake, Alabama HGTV visited Cherokee County for season five of Lakefront Bargain Hunt. As the featured realtor on the show, Laura exhibited a wonderful example of southern hospitality and charm; proving that she is a valuable resource to all those searching for new property, businesses and homes in and around Cherokee County. Opening story lines from HGTV’s Lakefront Bargain Hunt: “After 20 years away, Sloan is returning to the lake he grew up on to purchase a home with his girlfriend, Krystal. Set in the foothills of the Appalachians, Weiss Lake offers a number of activities in and around the water and is the perfect place to shift to permanent lake life. With help from a local real estate agent, this couple hopes to find their first home together on the water of Weiss Lake for under $299,000.”
Laura grew up in Sand Rock and is married to Cherokee County native, Don StClair who works as a Paramedic with Redmond Medical Center EMS. He is also a licensed Real Estate agent with the same agency. They are the proud parents of one son, Joshua who enjoys music and electronics. In her free time, she is an active member of Tate’s Chapel Baptist Church where she serves as Sunday School facilitator of Women’s Study. Her family likes to spend time on the lake and traveling in their RV. She is also a member of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce.
Laura StClair Weiss Lake Realty & Appraisals Associate Broker, GRI. ABR Listing & Selling Weiss Lake
256-484-7777 www.LauraSellsWeissLake.com 17
Growing With Cherokee “I think it is important to go above and beyond expected service. Every time we sell a tractor, our family grows.” - David Seals, General Manager Foothills Tractor and Equipment
When David Seals graduated from college in 2013, he held a master’s degree in Wildlife Biology from Jacksonville State University. He had grown up in Piedmont, Alabama, and received a baseball scholarship to Huntingdon College in Montgomery where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Cell Biology and Chemistry. An enthusiastic outdoorsman, he had ﬁrst considered a career in wildlife research, but even before presenting his thesis on the “North American Black Bear Habitat and Population Assessment in Northeast Alabama,” he found himself writing a business plan for a new company in Cherokee County. It would be called Foothills Tractor & Equipment. The thought of a new tractor business connected to the events of the day. His father, Billy Seals, would offer experience and invaluable resources. As it was Billy who instilled a love for tractors and equipment in David from a young age, it was natural that father and son would form a good working partnership, and dad would become a silent partner for two years, until he retired from Caterpillar in 2015. They agreed the business could not be based solely on the price of the item, but instead they wanted their company to be about hospitality, sales satisfaction, and prompt service. 18
The economic downturn of 2008 had left many excellent properties and empty buildings vacant all over the country, and Cherokee had good properties for sale, also. David chose a convenient location for the highly touted tractor brand he would offer: Mahindra – a perfect ﬁt with an excellent track record. In 2010, the brand became the largest selling tractor of its kind in the world and continues to hold the title. The business ratio has climbed quickly. At startup, Foothills Tractor would have less than 3% of the market share. Now, Mahindra is closer to 49%. One out of every two tractors sold anywhere is a Mahindra, and Foothills Tractor now owns 40% of the market share, specializing in subcompact and compact utility tractors. “To be honest, I wasn’t prepared to be an entrepreneur. The only experience I had in sales was selling sunglasses in the mall during summer breaks,” he laughs. “My plate was full, and I had to teach myself and learn quickly. I owe everything to my parents and my college baseball coach who instilled in me that failure is not an option. Never has been, never will be.” Initially, without employees, David started each day early and ended late, working six days every week, grabbing a PB&J for lunch. He and his father would deliver a sale after hours, (which they still do) . Working with his customers, he developed positive client relationships with people he now calls friends. “I think it is important to go above and beyond expected service. Every time we sell a tractor, our family grows.”
FOOTHILLS TRACTOR & EQUIPMENT Foothills Tractor currently has eleven employees and displays at least 100 tractors ‘on the ground’ at all times. Their product offerings also include Toro, Echo, Spartan, Shindaiwa and Vermeer. Foothills Tractor has been well received in Cherokee County, and David says the community has been more than welcoming. David’s wife, the former Lynden Curry is a Centre native whose family has contributed to agricultural growth for generations. She has been employed by the Cherokee County board of education as a career coach for the system, helping youths prepare for successful college experiences. In addition to his business and growing family, David opened the second Foothills Tractor in Alexandria, between Gadsden and Oxford in February 2017. As the only tractor store available there, it is designed to meet the needs of underserved customers in the area, offering a full array of products.
256-927-4487 1226 East Main Street Centre, Alabama 35960 www.FoothillsTractor.com
The Town of
“Everywhere you turn something is happening. New businesses are popping up, and established ones are expanding. Living in Leesburg is life at its best.”
Mayor Brandy Pierce
Brandy Pierce was elected in 2016, after ﬁlling the term and seat of the late Mayor Ed Mackey, whose optimistic vision for the town spurred attraction and attention to Leesburg. Mayor Pierce shares and promotes that same optimism. “We are fortunate to have a council that is dedicated to progress, yet at the same time mindful of smart growth. Our Council, Cody Adams, Frankie Brewster, Wayne Bryam, Joe Sonaty and Diane Tillery have all given their time and talents toward making good things happen in Leesburg. The accomplishments that have been made in the last few years have been exciting. We are so pleased to have completed Leesburg Landing, and look forward to the additions that are coming. There’s no better place to enjoy the water than at our shoreline,” says Mayor Pierce. “Everywhere you turn something is happening. New businesses are popping up, and established ones are expanding. Living in Leesburg is life at its best. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring.” 20
In its early history, Leesburg wasn’t known as Leesburg. Mostly a postal stop and trading spot, it has existed as a community since the mid-1830s. The town had been known as Dublin and Hamptonville before the name settled to honor the prominent family of Charles Henslee, who served as the ﬁrst postmaster. Originally spelled Leesburgh, the ﬁrst school was established in 1870. Leesburg was incorporated in 1958. Today, it is the great surprise for most visiting tourists and newcomers traveling south. It reveals the ﬁrst unencumbered look of the expansive Weiss Lake, a glimpse of lake living, the joy of water recreation and a less hectic life pace.
Flyboarding on Weiss Lake
The scenery alone is astonishing. Leesburg is bordered by the famous Lookout Mountain chain to the northwest, with Weiss Lake and Coosa River to the south. It is dotted with gracious neighborhoods and lake homes and businesses on the main thoroughfare are comfortably nestled in between. Access to larger cities is hardly a thought. With close proximity to well-kept highways and major roads to Gadsden, Birmingham, Chattanooga, it is indeed fortunate to ﬁnd an area with the amenities and total access that Leesburg delivers. Leesburg is located in western Cherokee County, at the northwest corner of the state of Georgia, the northeast corner of Alabama, and along the Tennessee state line of Chattanooga. The town of Sand Rock is to the north, and Weiss Lake and Coosa River to the south. Weiss Dam, which forms the lake, touches just south of the town limits. U.S. Highway 411 runs roughly east to west through Leesburg. Leesburg is a half-hour drive to Gadsden, Alabama, and Chattanooga is only 1.5 hours away. Birmingham is an easy drive of only 80 miles.
The economy of Leesburg is fueled in part by established industries and manufacturers. KTH Products, the ﬁrst occupant in Leesburg Industrial Park, is a tier-1 automotive supplier for underbody structural parts, supplying automotive components to companies worldwide. With a facility occupying over 510,000 square feet of space, KTH Products of Leesburg is one of the major employers in Cherokee County. Other leading industries include Prince Minerals, specializing in porcelain and glass enamels across a wide spectrum of applications and Parkdale Industries, a leading manufacturer of cotton products in the U.S.
Employment at the last census says the top three employment percentages Leesburg’s manufacturing work force took 34%. Logistics, warehousing and utilities, 12.2%, followed by educational services, healthcare and social assistance, 11.9%. Construction, professional, retail, arts & entertainment, public administration and agriculture occupied the remaining. Leesburg has been designated as an AdvantageSite location, denoting it is shovel ready for companies and industries. Managed by the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama, it is a teamwork approach between the private sector, the state, local governments and the Cherokee County IDA geared toward having prepared product and materials ready for industrial prospects. This designation is vital in recruiting new industry to the area and provides potential investors with documentation of standard data related to ownership and control, environmental and geotechnical conditions, and infrastructure status. Sites must also meet size, zoning, and accessibility requirements. Mayor Pierce says, “The Town of Leesburg is excited to receive the AdvantageSite designation. This designation shows that our community is prepared and committed to future industrial growth.”
Leesburg Industrial Park 21
Tourism and Recreation
Living in a lake community can move at a pleasant pace, and you choose the pace you enjoy. Leesburg has many recreation opportunities. For example, the famed Cherokee Rock Village, with its series of rock outcrops, is habitually popular with climbers. It is located ﬁve miles north of Leesburg. Weiss Lake offers numerous recreational opportunities such as swimming, boating, camping, and ﬁshing. The Leesburg Landing area has many attractions and camping options, from the public boat ramp with ample parking, to primitive camping sites with ﬁre pits and an RV park which features twenty slots with full power, water, and sewer hook-ups. There are numerous walking trails and a 2-mile nature trail and a 1-mile paved walking path. It is advancements like these that entice the popular ﬁshing tournaments such as the Alabama Bass Trail to choose Weiss Lake. The Lokey Street Park, located in the heart of downtown, is equipped with pavilions, grills, walking track, and playground equipment. It is the perfect place for family and friends to gather.
Jerry Langford, Resident of Orange Beach, is right at home in Leesburg Landing RV Park.
The Leesburg Ball Park located off US Highway 411 South, the complex features three ball ﬁelds, walking track, volleyball court, a playground, and other amenities. During the spring the Cherokee County Youth Girls Softball League and neighboring communities enjoy use of these convenient park, along with neighboring communities who also have the opportunity. Throughout the spring and into the summer several local churches use the volleyball courts for their recreational leagues. With year long activities, the popular Leesburg Day event occurs the second Saturday in September, drawing thousands of locals, tourists, arts, crafts and food vendors. In Leesburg, there is always something new and exciting on the horizon. We welcome you to come visit. We think you’ll want to stay awhile. 22
Lokey Street Park
256-528-8890 215 Industrial Boulevard Leesburg, Alabama 35983 www.LeesburgAL.com
Visit us on FACEBOOK at COOSA CORNER
of Cherokee County April Connell
April Connell found her way into healthcare by following her mother into the field of nursing. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Jacksonville State in 2000 and completed her Masters of Science in Nursing from University of Alabama (Birmingham) in 2005.
Today she is a Nurse Practitioner at Cherokee Health Clinic where she works with her co-physician Dr. Ryan Rainer. Her concentration is Internal Medicine serving patients with chronic illnesses including Diabetes, COPD, heart issues and kidney disease. When discussing concerns, she has for patients, she says, “I love working with my patients. I feel I can impact both their care and results helping to improve their quality of life. Being a rural area, we do face challenges such as access to service. As part of my job is help them learn about options they have regarding their health.” Her presence in Cherokee County is important. She treats fifteen (15) to eighteen (18) patients each day. In her capacity she is licensed to write prescriptions, schedule home healthcare, and order Diabetic shoes. She also orders additional tests and referrals as needed. April grew up in Cherokee County and graduated from Cherokee County High School. She and her husband Trint have two daughters. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family at the lake and doing outside activities including kayaking and hiking. She is an active member of First Baptist Church of Centre.
Life does not always go as planned. After graduating from Piedmont High School, David Seals attended Huntington College where he graduated with a double major in Biology and Chemistry. He wanted to continue his education, so he pursued a Masters Degree in Wildlife Biology. Here is where the twist comes in, in 2013 while completing his thesis he had the opportunity to open his own business.
With guidance from his father, Billy, who had retired after working with Caterpillar for over 30 years, Foothills Tractor was opened in January 2013. The company specializes in sub-compact, compact, and utility tractors and equipment manufactured by Mahindra. David says, “I liked the idea of working for myself. Even with all the obstacles, like finishing my Masters, not to mention no sales experience, I wanted to face the challenge. Thanks to my parents, I was instilled with a strong work ethic. Also, I knew failure was not an option.” As his experience has grown so has the business.
They currently employ eleven and always have an excellent selection minimum of 100 tractors in stock. “While my father and I have worked extremely hard to grow our business, I would like to recognize the fact that we wouldn’t be where we are today without the hard work and dedication of our employees. They go above and beyond what is asked if them, and if not for them we wouldn’t be where we are today.” He opened a second location in Alexandria in 2017.
When talking about Cherokee County, he says, “The potential in Cherokee County is unlimited. The revitalization of Main Street in Centre, new businesses opening. The infrastructure is here to support that growth. The best part is how it continues to have that small-town feel even as it grows.” David is married to Cherokee County native, Lynden Curry. With deep roots in Cherokee County, they look forward raising their family right here.
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Davis Fish Farms was started in 1989 by Cherokee County resident Bill Davis. Today the growing company is headed by his sons Dain and Daniel. Initially, the farm began growing catﬁsh ﬁngerlings that were raised and sold to the food market. Today the company raises sport and recreation ﬁshing species which are sold to a variety of markets. They also guide clients in the maintenance of healthy lake and pond environments. The Davis' draw on over 23-years of ﬁsh and pond management, ensuring the investment made by their customers is successful. Dain says, “The types of ﬁsh you choose and the ratio of species are critical factors in ﬁnding the perfect balance underneath the surface of the water. Certain ﬁsh such as Largemouth bass, thrive in small ponds or lakes. They reproduce easily and are excellent controlling the population of other species. Smaller species like the Bluegill and Redear serve as a food source for the Largemouth bass. They are easily maintained and help control nuisance species such as pond snails.” Species available to stock ponds and lakes include Largemouth Bass, Coppernose Bluegill, Redear, Channel Catﬁsh, White Armur “Grass Carp,” Minnows, Threadﬁn Shad, Rainbow Trout, Tilapia, and Crappie. Current clients include private ponds like those found on farms and ranches. The ponds stocked range from 1-acre to 100-acres. Also, they service subdivisions, golf courses, RV parks and ﬁshing clubs. The company also counts several Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops as clients, stocking their sizeable in-door water environments. The current hatchery location at 385 County Road 411 in Piedmont occupies 40 acres and has 21 ponds. Each is specialized to support different species in particular stages of growth. The ponds range from ¼-acre to 2 acres. The property is creek feed and is in a 500-acre watershed to support the water levels of the ponds. The ﬁsh are collected using reel seines that are sized to remove only the size needed for each custom order. They are then placed in sizing tanks where prepared for shipment. The ﬁsh are delivered in custom trucks that have a holding tank that is aerated with pure oxygen the support them on their journey. They are licensed to deliver throughout the southeast region. Looking to the future, Daniel says, “We would love to expand even more in the future possibly adding some ornamental species like Koi. Since we currently are not involved in the food market, we are researching tilapia which is raised in greenhouses. Most of all we look forward to bringing in the third generation of Davis’ to learn the business.” 26
In addition to stocking in 2001, pond/lake management was added to their expanded list of services. Now, Davis Fish Farm and Pond Services can help you establish an environment where the ﬁsh will ﬂourish. They also provide ﬁsh habitat enhancement, lake management, Electroﬁshing survey, fertilization, pond and lake liming, automatic feeders, aeration, and water quality testing. For more information, visit their website, ﬁshandlake.com, or call them at 256-526-8453.
TheatreCentre was formed in the summer of 2004. The community theatre began with a performance of Broadway’s 1973 musical titled, Godspell, and have managed over 40 productions since.
The theatre is a volunteer driven community effort and welcomes anyone interested in helping with any of the multitude of jobs needed to complete each show. They hold auditions for each production and always need actors, singers, painters, and anyone able to help with lighting or sound, and stage crews.
TheatreCentre offers Season Patron tickets to those wishing to show their support for Cherokee County’s performing arts community. Patron tickets are available at different levels and prices and are for the current season that runs from June to June of the following year, and include three to four performances. Recently, TheatreCentre had the opportunity to purchase land across from Cherokee County High School on Northwood Drive. They plan to build a small theatre at this location in the future.
The Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce is a strong advocate of TheatreCentre. A theatre representative says, “Thank you to all the businesses and residents who have shown your support over the years. We hope to see more of you in the future!”
You are also encouraged to contact any one on the current Board of Directors which includes: Amy Bennett, Ginger Cobia, Gary Davis, Lana Evans, Charles Garrett, Melonie Garrett, Larry Guffey, Sue Guffey, Brenda Loveless, Joy Perry, Lanny Starr, Charlotte Taylor, and Kelly Turner. They can be found on Facebook-TheatreCentre CherokeeCo. For more information about TheatreCentre and to find out how you can become involved: Call 256.927.9516 or 256.557.3831. On Facebook find us at - TheatreCentre CherokeeCo. 29
I know all the best places... From the shorelines of Weiss Lake,
to the foothills of Lookout Mountain, to the forest, fields and streams,
Nikki Tucker, Broker 256-523-8286 RealtorNikki1@gmail.com
Iâ€™ll show you just the right spot to make your move into Cherokee County, Alabama.
With all Weiss Lake has to offer, as well as several nearby attractions such as waterfalls, rock climbing, and hiking, you will find that it is a terrific travel destination. Weiss Lake is an Alabama Power Company hydroelectric impoundment covering 30,200 acres in northeast Alabama on the Alabama – Georgia border. The lake is a significant economic influence in Cherokee County, ensuring that the locals treat it very well. Five free public access areas and many privately run marinas service Weiss Lake. Campgrounds, RV Parks, motels, condos, houses and rental cabins dot the shoreline of the lake.
Overseen and maintained by Alabama Power, the shoreline and lake are huge ecosystems that harbor thousands of species of fish and small wildlife. Keeping the economy, the people, the tourists and the ecosystem happy and in balance is no small job, but with everyone doing their part, Weiss Lake is flourishing. Businesses, marinas, piers and lodging facilities help maintain the beauty and overall health of Weiss Lake.
Cowan Creek Resort Cowan Creek Resort and cabins is locally and independently owned by Mark and Pamela Hardy. Previously known as Pruett’s Fish Camp, Cowan Creek is located on beautiful Weiss Lake. They offer fishermen, travelers and vacationers a comfortable and relaxing stay in rustic, but clean lakeside cabins. Get in touch with nature out on your cabin’s screened in porch and take in the breathtaking view of the lake and surrounding mountains. When you’re ready to hit the water, they offer boat, kayak and paddleboard rentals, a convenience store, a gift shop with bait and tackle, boat and recreational fuel as well as a boat ramp so that you can experience the outstanding fishing for bass, crappie, sunfish, and stripper. Book your cabin today! 256-475-3950
Bay Springs Country Inn and Marina Locally owned and operated by Terri Hyatt, Bay Springs offers everything and more than the “chain” hotels offer. From free WIFI to a swimming pool, R/V & camper sites with hookups, tent sites with a bathhouse, and a full-service dock with floating covered boat slips, Bay Springs has everything you need to “rough it” or to spend your stay in style. They offer a meeting and event building, “The Gathering Place” which seats about 50 guests, with a full kitchen and bathroom facilities. For outdoor gatherings, they offer “The Pavilion” that seats guests at six tables and features a grill for meal preparation. For the night, the weekend, or the entire week, the peaceful surroundings and family-friendly atmosphere will make you want to return time and time again! Whether taking a dip in the swimming pool, relaxing in the swing on the patio or next to the lake, or fishing on beautiful Weiss Lake, guests are sure to enjoy their time at Bay Springs Country Inn and Marina. 256-927-3618 31
REVI TALIZIN G WEIS S LAKE
Graves Three Rivers Landing Christened in 2017, Graves Three Rivers Landing is a public, non-profit, lake access featuring a large parking area and a newly built boat ramp. With easy access at the junction of Alabama Highway 9, and County Road 63, this lake access is convenient to most everywhere in Cherokee County.
For additional information and lodging suggestions please visit the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce website, www.Cherokee-Chamber.org
Catch A Special Thrill!
Catch A Special Thrill is a program provided by the C.A.S.T. for Kids Foundation which helps special needs children enjoy fishing and boating events throughout the country. On September 23, 2017, thirty local children and their families enjoyed a fun-filled day on beautiful Weiss Lake thanks to the organization and community volunteers.
â€œ It was a great day fishing and boating with these wonderful kids. We are thankful for C.A.S.T, the Cherokee Chamber of Commerce, and all the sponsors and captains that came out to show these beautiful babies an awesome time on Weiss Lake.â€?
SHOP. SPEND. ENJOY. Cherokee County Alabama Who are you supporting if you buy online or go to the big-box retailers? It could be someone across the country or someone across the globe. Why give them your hard earned money? Drive into town, and give it to someone who keeps your community alive! Local business keep their
prices competitive, and your money goes back to your community, rather than into the pocket of someone you don’t know. If every family spent 10% more of their income supporting locally owned businesses, it would put an average of 3 million dollars back into their local economy. Dekalb-Cherokee Natural Gas
1111 W Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-5925
1050 Chesnut Byp0ass Centre, AL 35960 256-927-2300
Alabama Mattress Outlet & Wall Beds of Alabama
1470 West Main Street Ste J Centre, AL 35960 256-927-8109
4435 County Road 1 Collinsville, AL 35961 256-523-3622
Foothills Tractor & Equipment 1226 East Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-4487
Antique’s of Centre
761 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-557-9965
1001 Chesnut Bypass Centre, AL 35960 256-927-7487
BJ’s Gun Shop & Pistol Range 996 Cedar Bluff Road Centre, AL 35960 256-927-4857
Harton Nursery & Grocery
2205 Alabama Highway 68 East Cedar Bluff, AL 35959 256-779-6680
Bobby Ledbetter Twin City Used Cars
1411 Glenn Blvd Fort Payne, AL 35967 866-906-8151
110 Piedmont Hwy Centre, AL 35960 256-927-5515
Brenda Fay’s Home Accents 151 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960 706-273-6023
1470 W Main Street Centre, AL 256-490-1389
103 Warrior Drive Centre, AL 35960 256-927-5985
Centre Fuel City & BBQ 125 East ByPass Centre, AL 35960 256-927-3006
Cherokee County Historical Museum
101 East Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-7835
Cherokee Farmers Coop
Cowan Creek Gift Shop
Hidden Treasures Antiques & Flea Market
Cherokee Glass Co, Inc
Danny’s Builders Supply
Hill Top Trophy
Chevrolet of Gadsden
Dean’s Drugs, Inc
Deep South Coffee Factory
1020 W Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-7835
552 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-7020 413 E Meighan Blvd Gadsden, AL 35902 706-581-2143
5770 Weiss Lake Blvd Leesburg, AL 35959 256-526-7800
5360 County Road 22 Centre, AL 35960 256-475-3950
1955 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-3635 699 Cedar Bluff Road Centre, AL 35960 256-927-5569 640 County Road 202 Centre, AL 35960 256-557-3775
SHOP THE S E LOCA L B US INE S S E S
1110 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-300-0458
82 County Road 334 Collinsville, AL 35961 256-630-1012 1125 Piedmont Hwy, Centre, AL 35960 256-706-0030 305 Industrial Blvd Leesburg, AL 35983 256-706-3954
(List Continued on Page 44) 37
PLACES to SEE
Whether you are a visitor or a resident, there are probably places in beautiful Cherokee County that you have yet to discover. We have been overly blessed here, with an abundance of spectacular parks, trails and waterways. Take a short trip to one of these amazing places and ‘play the tourist’ for a day!
LITTLE RIVER CANYON NATIONAL PRESERVE Little River is unique because it flows for most of its length atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama. Forested uplands, waterfalls, canyon rims and bluffs, pools, boulders, and sandstone cliffs offer settings for a 38
variety of recreational activities. Natural resources and cultural heritage come together to tell the story of the Preserve, a special place in the Southern Appalachians. Visit Canyon Mouth Park for great day facilities for families and groups, year round. Many people enjoy the beach and swimming in the cool waters. Several hiking trails are nearby. There is a pavilion, several grills and public restrooms. Bring your rod and fish upstream.
CHEROKEE ROCK VILLAGE Called “Sand Rock,” or “Little Rock City” by local residents, Cherokee Rock Village offers crags, caves, camping, climbing, unique tall rock formations, bird watching, Geocaches, equestrian and mountain biking trails and native plants.
LEESBURG LANDING The Leesburg Landing has many attractions from the lake, great camping areas with a lake view and nature walking trails throughout. Enjoy nature while you walk down a two mile nature trail or walk along our one mile paved walking track beginning at the red light and ending at the docks.
ALABAMA SCENIC RIVER TRAIL The Alabama Scenic River Trail has it all—from mountain streams to river delta to the salty waves of the Gulf of Mexico. Paddling and powerboat experiences and exploration abound along nearly 5000 miles of accessible waterways on over 43 waterways with over 40 outfitters and adventure services to serve and assist you.
Outdoor Attractions in Cherokee County
Amenities and campsites support everything from long-distance touring to organized paddle races, overnight trips or any kind of day trip you might imagine. It’s all waiting for the whitewater enthusiast, the naturalist and the family who just wants to play.
CORNWALL FURNACE Confederate military site and battlefield during the 1860’s Civil War, the furnace was burned by Yankees. The stack still stands as well as the canal, hand-dug by slaves, to power the Furnace.
YELLOW CREEK FALLS The picturesque waterfalls flow over natural rocks into Weiss Lake at the footers from the Tennessee, Alabama & Georgia Railway trestle. Yellow
Creek Falls, can be seen from Alabama Hwy 273 near Leesburg, is a favorite destination for boaters and kayakers
WEISS LAKE The lake consists of 30,200 acres, all coming from the Coosa River, Chattooga River and Little River, offering over 447 miles of shoreline, shallow flats , large coves, under-water drop offs and deep channels.
WEISS DAM Weiss Dam, creating the reservoir, was begun as the first of seven hydroelectric projects on the Coosa in 1958, and finished three years later. It’s a concrete and earthen gravity dam, 126 feet high, named after Fernand C. Weiss, a former chief engineer of Alabama Power.
TERRAPIN CREEK Over 50 feet wide with 14 miles of floatable water, Terrapin Creek is a Class l-ll recreational stream that provides an excellent family friendly canoeing and kayaking experience. For anglers, the creek is known for its spotted, largemouth and red eye bass. Fly-fishing is popular along the creek.
CHEROKEE COUNTY COUNTRY CLUB This semi-private, 18-hole golf course, along with a practice facility, offers a par 71 layout. The course measures just over 6,000 yards from the back tees. Enjoy a day on the green or swim in the club’s pool. To schedule a tee time at the Cherokee County Country Club, call the pro shop at 256.927.5070. 39
Gain New Ground in Cherokee County Celebrating a first in the agricultural history of Cherokee County, the harvesting of a successful peanut crop last fall introduced new possibilities in the farming community.
Nick McMichen proudly displays the bounty of his October peanut harvest to Jessica Proctor, 2017 Miss Alabama. 40
The peanut crop was a product of Nick McMichen and company, who planted in mid-May and harvested some 140 days later, in October 2017.
McMichen explained that the idea of peanut farming had been at the discussion table before. They have watched farms in nearby counties plant peanuts with excellent results for over ten years but a glut in the marketplace in recent years had stalled their participation, and they were not willing to jump into an insecure market.
However, there was an impressive turn when peanuts in general gained more attention in the world market. China seemed to have acquired an affinity for the peanut, discovering that peanuts were not only delicious but also an affordable food source rich in protein. McMichen says China will ‘take all the peanuts we can produce.’ Commonly, we think of peanuts growing in South Georgia, the Carolinas, Virginia, and to some extent in Texas. To consider peanut farming here in Alabama seems unusual, but new ground offers sound benefits. McMichen noted that the fresh ground is less worrisome for a disease. “It is a good reason we can get higher yields with much smaller inputs. Where you grow peanuts, you worry about white mold and having to use fungicides and the like. We didn’t require much of that at all. Our inputs are less expensive, even though we have to haul 350 miles one way to process. Peanuts are “scavengers,” and do not require a lot of fertility. They are also excellent in cotton rotation and help to clean the soil.
Nick McMichen produced the first peanut harvest on his farm in Cherokee County in October 2017
We don’t have to apply pesticides or very little herbicides. We just have to be selective as to where we are planting—peanuts require sandy soils, not heavy clays, and ground with no rocks. Through diligence, we can support 250 acres a year. Not everything went smoothly with this first peanut crop. “It was a difficult year, weather wise. Planting went as planned, but lack of sunshine hampered the harvest somewhat. October was rainy and cloudy. Not only do peanuts need to be dry, but also the soil, but even with our problems, we yielded 5,000 lbs. per acre,” explained McMichen.
Not considered just a rotation crop, peanuts will be joining the big four crop productions in the area—wheat, soy, corn and of course cotton.
With today’s technology, farms operate smoothly with fewer people, and such is true with Nick McMichen’s endeavors. Help in planting peanuts was mostly a family business with McMichen, his dad Randall, thirteen-year-old son Matt, Tyler Bruce and one additional helper to pitch in. Advice and consultation came from Eddie McGriff, Regional Extension Agent, who shared knowledge from 25 years in service to peanut farmers in Statesboro, Georgia. Available farmland stretches over 50 miles from Coosa, Georgia, to Etowah County. Some 1500 acres are in Cherokee County. One acquisition designated for peanut production next year is known as the Clemones Farm in Floyd County, Ga. Just outside Cherokee County, the farm holds the distinction of having the first mechanical cotton picker in the state of Georgia. A fitting place to welcome Cherokee County’s peanut expansion program.
Help in planting peanuts was mostly a family business with McMichen, his dad Randall, thirteenyear-old son Matt, Tyler Bruce and one additional helper to pitch in.
Natives of Cherokee County for generations, Nick and wife Frieda ( Jordan) live in the Bomar community at the original home site of her family—acquired by her greatgreat grandparents in 1842. The farming operation is headquartered in the Alexis community, property that belonged to his grandparents.
Nick McMichen continues the tradition of farming with a modern, business approach. With technology driven equipment, smart communications and market access, he can be assured that just like his cotton, his next crop of peanuts can reach any spot on the globe. That is American agriculture at its finest. 41
Getting to KNOW US
CEDAR BLUFF Located between Gadsden, Alabama and Rome, Georgia is the serene waterway oasis, Cedar Bluff. Just off of Alabama Highway 9, Cedar Bluff boasts breathtaking views of Weiss Lake. The town was founded in 1832 on the site of a former Indian village, and was originally called, “Jefferson.” Located only minutes from Little River Canyon, The Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, and plentiful shopping, this rustic community is a great vacation spot. Centrally located between Atlanta, Birmingham, Chattanooga and Huntsville, the town is steeped in southern pride and tradition. A welcoming community that features abundant fishing, camping and recreation, Cedar Bluff invites you to enjoy their small town hospitality year round. Several waterfront condominiums and developments offer you a scenic place to stay or live. Cedar Bluff ’s population of about 1,800 residents, enjoy the comfortable hometown atmosphere that centers around their outstanding schools and exciting sports programs. The community park and recreation center provide gathering places for parties, events and meetings. Low-crime rates and affordable cost of 42
living makes the town a desirable place to live.
CENTRE Ranking highly on a long list of great southern towns is Centre, Alabama. It is one that respects its history, seeks to continue to improve and works to prepare for future growth. The town sits geographically in the middle of Cherokee County, in a land that was once largely populated by Native Americans. Their legacy of abiding love and appreciation for the land and its rivers has been passed down and enriches the lives of the residents and visitors. The town was settled around 1840, where the Post Office was dubbed the town “Center.” The spelling was changed, in time, to Centre in honor of the family from England that originally settled the town. In the 1960’s, Weiss Lake was constructed, as well as the dam nearby. It became an excellent draw for new homeowners, businesses and tourists to relocate to the county seat of Centre. Recreational attractions became the norm, with new roads and highways, and lake living taking the spotlight. Even with all the attention, Centre has kept its charm.
Centre, the heart of Cherokee County, has become the home of schools, a community college, new businesses, art and entertainment. Currently downtown Centre is in the midst of a revitalization. May of the historic buildings are undergoing renovation and improvements are being made to the streetscape. On your visit you will find delightful retail shops and restaurants to help make your visit memorable. Don’t miss the Annual Fall Festival taking place during early October on Main Street in downtown Centre. Then take off in search of even more treasurers to discover in Centre.
GAYLESVILLE Tucked in the northeastern section of Cherokee County, you’ll find the beautiful town of Gaylesville. Hugging the peaceful Chattooga River, at the foundation of a run of small mountains and ridges that lead northeast to the great Appalachian chain, Gaylesville holds a special fascination for all who live or visit here. It’s a small ‘community’, with no ideas about becoming a ‘city’, but quite happy with its status of being one of the oldest
Communities in Cherokee County communities in Alabama, getting its official Post Office in 1836. Named for Cherokee Indian Chief “Gayle,” it proudly shows off its colors of great heritage. Many important events of the War Between the States took place here and grabs the attention of any history lover. The area is full of historic houses and scattered with bonafide southern mansions. Gaylesville offers insight into the early lives of the Cherokee Indians, and the settlers that came and began making contributions towards making the community. Today, Gaylesville serves as the heartbeat of a great County. Here you will find Little River Canyon and Falls, a beautiful National Park that is a popular destination for locals and tourists. Gaylesville is a delightful place to visit or find your own ‘southern mansion’ where you can sit in a rocking chair on the front porch and gaze out on the landscape of a special part of America.
LEESBURG Leesburg is an important industrial arm of Cherokee County, humming with thriving businesses. Major area employers call Leesburg home, such as KTH Leesburg Products LLC, which produces metal components for the automotive industry and employs 525 people. The Parkdale-Leesburg Plant was established in 1987, processing cotton and employing approximately 250 people. Another top employer is Prince Minerals which specializes in porcelain and glass enamels. The agreeable climate and accommodating workforce allow local businesses and companies such as retail, automotive, financial institutions, healthcare and personal services the opportunity to expand. The Parks and Recreation Department operates three parks, two of which include developed playgrounds. You’ll find lighted softball fields, walking tracks, and tennis courts. The Leesburg Landing has many attractions – from the lake, great camping areas
with a lake view and nature walking trails. The Leesburg Landing RV Park includes full power, water, and sewer hookups. Enjoy nature while you walk through a two-mile nature trail or walk along our one mile paved walking track. Leesburg Landing continues to grow. Through the guidance of the Alabama Department of Natural Resources and Conservation renovations include additional piers, larger boat ramps, and a larger parking lot.
SAND ROCK Sitting on top of Lookout Mountain is the pretty, hilltop community of Sand Rock. Compared to the surrounding area, Sand Rock is relatively young, incorporated in 1988. The community, however, has a rich history, dating back to the 1800s. Named by Grandfather Brindley, who, when looking at the huge sand rocks, crumbled a small piece between his fingers, and proclaimed, “Sand Rock.” The school, which started as a one-room schoolhouse for settler’s children, is now a modern multi-building complex – one of the county’s largest. Home construction has grown along the south and east of Lookout Mountain, with new long-time and new residents taking advantage of the views, mountain rocks, beautiful foliage, and the ever-popular Weiss Lake. Sand Rock residents take pride in their community — their schools, churches, recreational facilities and volunteer fire department. The community churches are very important to the residents and have a spirit of cooperation— sharing in community events, school events and worship services. Sand Rock, a community that has strong faith, support, concern for family and a strong work ethic. A frequent visitor and long-time observer stated it perfectly, “the people there are solid as a rock.” 43
Continued from Page 37 - Shop with these Local Businesses
The Willow Tree
1131 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-3114
Merle Norman Cosmetics 151 W Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-3213
100 East Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-7060
Observer Supply, Inc 224 South 3rd Street Gadsden, AL 35901 256-547-5481
Orbix Hot Glass, Inc
3869 County Road 275 Fort Payne, AL 35967 256-523-3188
Patti Ford Photography 309 Cedar Bluff Road Centre, AL 35960 256-927-6453
Pic N Sav
1470 West Main Street, Suite L Centre, AL 35960 256-927-5661
TMC Graphics & Signs Piggly Wiggly Cedar Bluff 3800 Hwy 9 Cedar Bluff, AL 35959 256-779-6824
Premier Buildings of Centre 2850 Gadsden Hwy Centre, AL 35960 256-504-8489
3845 AL Hwy 9 Cedar Bluff, AL 35959 256-779-8540
Ronnie Watkins Ford
101 George Wallace Drive Gadsden, AL 35903 256-543-9400
Snead Ag Supply & Services 1050 Chesnut Bypass Centre, AL 35960 256-927-2300
780 County Road 265 Centre, AL 35960 256-927-6967
Snead Tractor Co Inc
1507 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-5454
Tots 2 Teens
1470 West Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-557-3695
The Auto Super Center 501 Chesnut Bypass Centre, AL 35960 256-927-5550
University CDJR of Rome
2500 New Calhoun Hwy NE Rome, GA 30161 706-232-7793
The Garage Sale
469 Cedar Bluff Road Centre, AL 35960 256-927-6442
Webb Concrete & Building Materials 1414 East Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256-927-4778
The Medicine Shoppe
270 Industrial Boulevard Leesburg, AL 35983 256-526-6337
Weiss Lake Auction
977 Cedar Bluff Road Centre, AL 35960 256-927-8765
The Tractor Place
2105 E ByPass Centre, AL 35960 256-927-7550
Street Fair in Centre
Weiss Lake Regatta
Centre Christmas Parade
Downtown Wagon Train
• Avenue of Flags In memory of the deceased servicemen and women of Cherokee County, flags and crosses are placed by the Spirit of Cherokee in the median on U.S. Highway 411 between Centre and Leesburg on the following major holidays: Presidents Day (February), Memorial Day (May), Flag Day (June), Independence Day (July 4th), Labor Day (September), Patriot Day (September 11th) and Veterans Day (November) If you would like to purchase a flag in memory of your loved one, please call 256-927-8455.
• WEIS Radio Annual Spring Sing Gospel Concert held March in the GSCC Cherokee Arena. Doors open at 5:30 pm and the event starts at 6 pm.
• Lion’s Club Pancake Breakfast An Annual event held on the second Saturday of March beginning at 6 am at the Centre First United Methodist Church Worship and Education Center.
• Taste of Cherokee This event is held each year for area restaurants and delicatessens to provide samples of their special dishes and desserts. Entertainment is provided by local singers. Held at the Gadsden State Cherokee Arena and sponsored by The Spirit of Cherokee. Please call 256-927-8455 for ticket information.
• Veterans Celebration Saturday before Memorial Day from 10 am – 2 pm at Hopewell Community Center. There will be a program to recognize our veterans and entertainment
• World’s Longest Yard Sale— Highway 127 The event held each August travels through Etowah, Cherokee and Dekalb Counties along Lookout Mountain. Hundreds of thousands of folks join together each year for this fun-filled event, spanning 630 miles and five states. It has grown to be the biggest and best event of its kind in the world. You’ll find homeowners selling stuff they’ve accumulated throughout the years as well as professional dealers and vendors. You’re going to discover some neat places, interesting people, and quaint stops that you’ll probably want to visit again and again.
• Weiss Lake Regatta Rome sailing club holds the annual Weiss Lake Regatta starting from the Rome Sailing Club in Leesburg in August. Sail boats from Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee will join for the event on Weiss Lake.
• Field to Fork Hopewell Community Center will host in August the Field to Fork to recognize our local farmers. They are producing food crops that supply many of our daily food items. A program and entertainment and meal will be held at Hopewell Community Center on County Road 157 in Centre. For more
information contact 256-927-2296. Tickets for the meal can be purchased that day.
• Leesburg Day An annual event held the second Saturday in September at the Leesburg Town Park. The day consists of a parade, crafters, antique car and tractors, entertainment, games and inflatables for the kids, and lots of homemade foods, with fun day in the park. Contact 256-526-8890 for more information and to sign up to be a vendor.
• HWY 411 Yard Sale Yard sale is held the first weekend of October each year along AL State Hwy 411 from Leeds, AL to Newport, TN. Travels through Cherokee County in Leesburg and Centre.
• Centre Fall Festival On the first Saturday in October each year, Main Street is closed for several blocks and an exciting street party takes place. The event is kicked off with a Kids Fun Run, with a parade at 10:00 of antique cars and tractors, floats, and saddle clubs. Arts and crafts, antiques, jewelry, clothing, and plants are just a few of the items for sale at the many booths lining Main Street, where you’ll also find plenty of food and entertainment. Contact the City of Centre for information 256-927-5222.
• Trunk or Treat Held in the Cedar Bluff Park October 31st Held at Leesburg Landing October 31st
• Cherokee County Christmas Parade The County Christmas Parade is held on the Thursday night after Thanksgiving, on Main Street in Centre. The parade features over 100 entries of marching bands, antique cars, fire engines, police cars, floats made by local businesses, civic clubs and churches and Santa Claus. Sponsored by The Spirit of Cherokee. Call 256-927-8455 to reserve space in the parade for your band, float or marching group.
• Christmas Tour of Homes Weiss Lake Women’s Club sponsors this annual event 1st Sunday in December each year. Tickets are $5 each.
• Rock Run Christmas Parade Held each year on the 3rd Saturday of December on County Road 29, Centre, AL.
• Cedar Bluff Christmas Parade & Lighting of the Park The parade is held on Hwy 68 East in Cedar Bluff, AL, held on Monday night after the Cherokee County Christmas Parade. Street will close for the parade event.
• Chamber of Commerce Events Monthly Breakfast 2nd Thursday of each month Chamber Annual Meeting 2nd Thursday of April For more events information: www.cherokee-chamber.org.
Police & Fire
For all emergencies calls..............................................911 Sheriff Department.................................... 256.927.3365
Animal Control........................................... 256.557.2104 Board of Education..................................... 256.927.3362 Circuit Clerk................................................ 256.927.3340 Circuit Court............................................... 256.927.0500 Commission............................................... 256.927.3668 Criminal & District ..................................... 256.927.3637 District Attorney.......................................... 256.927.5577 District Court.............................................. 256.927.3682 E911 Office................................................. 256.927.3911 Extension Office......................................... 256.927.3250 Forestry Commission.................................. 256.927.3163 Highway Department................................. 256.927.5573 Humane Society......................................... 256.779.7159 Nutrition Program...................................... 256.927.8432 Probate Judge............................................ 256.927.3363 Public Library.............................................. 256.927.5838 Public Transportation.................................. 256.927.7472 Revenue Commission................................ 256.927.5527 Tag & License.............................................. 256.927.3654
US Post Offices
Cedar Bluff ................................................ 256.779.6568 Centre ........................................................ 256.927.5660
Gaylesville.................................................. 256.422.3161 Leesburg .................................................... 256.526.8076 Spring Garden............................................ 256.447.7227
Cedar Bluff Town Hall................................. 256.779.6121 Centre City Hall.......................................... 256.927.5222 Gaylesville Town Office............................... 256.422.3568 Leesburg Town Hall .................................. 256.526.8890 Sand Rock Town Hall.................................. 256.523.5898
Cherokee Medical Center........................... 256.927.5531 Health Department.................................... 256.927.3132 CED Mental Health Center......................... 256.927.3601 Department of Human Resources...................................... 256.927.1440 Family Resource Center.............................. 256.927.7890
Cherokee Herald........................................ 256.927.5037 The POST..................................................... 256.927.4476
WEIS Radio................................................. 256.927.5152
Cherokee Electric Coop.............................. 256.927.5524 Cherokee County Water & Sewer............................................ 256.927.8348 DC Natural Gas........................................... 256.927.5925 TDS Telephone............................................ 877.837.8372
SCHOOLS Cedar Bluff
Career & Technology Center
Cherokee County High
3655 Old Highway 9 Cedar Bluff, AL 35959 Phone: 256.779.6211 Grades: K-12 Students: 600+ 600 Bay Springs Road Centre, AL 35960 Phone: 256.927.5351 Grades: 8-12 Students: 600+
725 East Main Street Centre, AL 35960 Phone: 256.927.3302 Grades: K-4 Students: 600+
1920 East Main Street Centre, AL 35960 Phone: 256.927.5656 Grades: 5-8 Students: 500+ 910 Warrior Drive
Centre, AL 35960 Phone: 256.927.3625 Grades: 9-12 Students: 450+
760 Trojan Way Gaylesville, AL 35973 Phone: 256.422.3401 Grades: K-12 Students: 400+
1950 Sand Rock Avenue Sand Rock, AL 35983 Phone: 256.523 .3564 Grades: K-12 Students: 950+ 2430 County Road 29 Spring Garden, AL 36275 Phone: 256.447. 7045 Grades: K-12 Students: 600+
Cherokee County Schools Board Central Office 130 East Main Street Centre, AL 35960 256.927.3362
Low Loan Rates. Fee Free Checking.
1440 Chestnut Bypass Centre, AL 35960 256.927.7321 Membership open to all Cherokee County residents.
NMLS ID: 402558
Federally insured by NCUA Must meet membership and credit requirements.
at Weiss Lake
If you haven’t had the pleasure of ﬁshing on Weiss Lake, it should be on your “bucket list.” Occupying over 30,200 acres with 447 miles of shoreline, Weiss Lake is rated as one of Alabama’s Top Fisheries. It is known for the diverse population of species including both White and Black Crappie which has led to the lake being called the “Crappie Fishing Capital of the World.” Recently the bass population has come to the attention of ﬁsherman from throughout the region with both Largemouth and Striped species becoming prominent. The successful management of the environment, ﬁsh health, and population has not gone unnoticed. Annually, there are numerous tournaments hosted on the lake for amateur and professional anglers. Some of the featured tournaments scheduled for the upcoming year include: Alabama Bass Trail (ABT) which travels throughout the state will visit Weiss in May 2018. The single day competition requires pre-registration, and a mandatory meeting held the Friday before the event. For more information got to AlabamaBassTrail.org. American Bass Anglers (ABA) will hold the All-ABA 100% Plus Team Trail bass tournament in July 2018. This competition is open to all members of ABA. For entry requirements visit AmericanBassAnglers.com. Bass Pro Shops Crappie Masters will host a tournament in March 2018. This event provides an opportunity for amateurs, competitive anglers, and families to compete for great prizes. For more information on this event, please visit CrappieMasters.net. Crappie USA will hold a tournament in February 2018. The competition is family-oriented and cost-effective. It is open to amateur and semi-pro anglers. Visit CrappieUSA.org for more information. The Bass Federation (TBF) will hold a Junior/High School tournament on Weiss Lake in February 2018. All participating ﬁshermen will compete for the opportunity to attend the state tournament held in April. For more information visit BassFederation.com or the state site, AlBassFed.org. The lake is also proud to host High School Team Trails sponsored by The Bass Federation and Alabama High School Bass Fishing. You will also ﬁnd many clubs that ﬁsh weekly and monthly tournaments on Weiss Lake. They include Coosa River Team Trail, Coosa River Crappie Club, and Weiss Lake Anglers. Fishing limits & regulations for Weiss Lake can be found at www.outdooralabama.com/freshwater-fishing-license Fishing Licenses can be purchased online or locally at bait shops and marinas.
For more information on upcoming events visit the organization’s website or Cherokee-CountyChamber.org. 50
Community Center In 1914, a small group gathered in the McCord School to build a Church in the community of McCord’s Crossroads. Two years later, Dwight and Eula McCord gave the small corner of land to the Congregational Methodist Church so that the Church could become a reality, and the Hopewell Church was built on that spot. The Hopewell Church served the community well for more than 80 years. As time passed and many Churches began to appear throughout in the area, family ties and memberships slowly moved away. It seemed the little Hopewell Church would join the ranks of so many other vanishing churches of the rural south. In 2001, the doors were closed. A target for vandalism and decay, club members of McCord’s Crossroads Homemakers Club took an interest in the vacant Church and began seeking ways to save the structure. Much would have to be done, but first was to ascertain rightful ownership. Presenting their case to the Congregational Methodist Conference Board, the Church’s title was awarded to the McCord Crossroads Homemakers Club, the new owner of Hopewell Church. In 2014, the old building was relocated to the very heart of McCord’s Crossroads. With start-up grant monies, fund-raising activities and generous contributions, more than $90,000 have been raised to accomplish renovation and improvements. Along with the club’s wise stewardship, every effort was made to preserve the historical integrity of Hopewell Church.
In the spring of 2017, the McCord’s Crossroad Homemakers Club was honored for their work at the Hopewell Community Center with the annual Beautification Award presented by the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce.
(Continued from Page 53) Now continuing in service, the old Church will once again play an essential role in the lives of citizens and families throughout the area. Hopewell Church is now known as the Hopewell Community Center at McCord’s Crossroads. It stands ready for reunions, weddings, celebrations, and gatherings of many kinds.
McCord’s Crossroads Homemakers Club is an outstanding organization. It was through their eyes the community saw the potential for service that the 100-year-old Church could once again bring to the lives of our community.
The McCord’s Crossroad Homemakers Club was granted the ownership of the old Hopewell Methodist Church in 2014 by
the Congregational United Methodist Church. The club raised over $90,000 to turn the building into a community center. The first order of business was to relocate the building on the McCord’s Crossroad.
Most of us are always up for a beautiful day out on the lake. We load up our fishing gear, swim clothes and towels, sunscreen, a cooler of cold beverages and snacks, and head out to the water. EDUCATION CARD. Did you know that to operate a motorized water vehicle on any lake in Alabama, you need an Alabama Boating education card? Don’t panic— the education is available online and is relatively simple. AGE REQUIREMENT. You need an education card if you are 12 years old or older. However, there is no minimum age, and anyone out on the water would benefit significantly from the course. If you have a child under 12, they are not allowed by law, to operate your water vessels. Your PWC and boat insurance can be reduced by having the certification listed on your coverage. EDUCATIONAL COURSE. Residents and non-residents are both required to take the educational course to operate on Lake Weiss. You are not required to have the certification if you have a US Coast Guard Operator’s License if you have completed the ALEA Marine Police Division course, or you were 40 and over in April of 1994.
NIGHT BOATING. If you plan to do any boating at night, or after sunset and before sunrise, your vessel must have navigational lights. You can have your existing PFD and lighting equipment checked, free of charge, by the Coast Guard Auxiliary. When you are certified, they will issue you a CME (Courtesy Marine Examination) decal to verify that your boat and equipment are approved. CARRY YOUR CARD. After obtaining Alabama boater safety certification, you may operate a water vessel on Alabama waters for up to 45 days each calendar year. Not carrying your Boater Education Card while operating a vehicle on the water can result in a fine. Alabama law enforcement officers patrol our waterways to ensure your lake and water experiences are safe.
Become an educated, responsible boater by completing the Alabama Boating education course, and practice what you learn. We can all do our part to keep everyone safe and having a great time!
PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICES. Everyone in your vessel must have a PFD (Personal Floatation Device) readily available. If you have children under eight years old, they need to wear their PFD at all time in an on the water. If you purchase a PFD in the state of Alabama, check that they have been they are approved by the US Coast Guard.
Centre When you visit downtown Centre, you can’t help but notice the new energy. City Councilwoman Kay Davis is enthusiastic about the ‘new look’ making its way down Main Street. In conjunction with local Master Gardeners, the city is working to make the streetscape even more lovely and inviting. Planters feature seasonal ﬂowers and plants, complimenting the outdoor accouterments and colorful banners. Each block is themed to be interesting and creative. Davis said, “Of course we want more tourists, but we want people coming to Centre – not passing through Centre. When visitors discover downtown, we welcome them to see more, and to enjoy southern hospitality at its ﬁnest.” One of the most popular additions to the district is F.C. Weiss Pub and Eatery located at 181 West Main Street. Sean and Beverly Edwards purchased the building in May 2017. The interior was completely renovated, and the façade updated with new paint and signage. Now the space is home to a 42-seat restaurant. When asked about the resurgence of downtown Beverly says, “It is exciting to see all of the new businesses moving downtown. New events are being introduced like the night parade for Christmas to bring more people downtown.”
At the End of the Day...
Peoples Bank of Alabama is here to serve. We are honored to serve you here in Centre with multiple locations and ATMs throughout Central and North Alabama.
Visit our ATM on Highway 68 in Cedar Bluff. Open 24/7, even on holidays!
Centre 1285 Chesnut ByPass Centre, AL 35960 (256) 927-3265 www.PeoplesBankAl.com
a boat, you have to wait to be picked you up, and after a long day treading water, it can get the best of any athlete.
Avoid Vehicle Exhaust If you’re swimming around any motorized water vehicle, stay away from the motor exhaust. Carbon monoxide fumes can disable you in the water if you inhale the fumes that hover over the surface of the water. Carbon monoxide poisoning is extremely dangerous, as you usually don’t know anything is wrong—you just fall asleep. Stay on your dock until boats or other motorized vehicles are turned off and tied up, or until they move more than 500 ft. away from the dock.
Think Before You Jump Even the Best Swimmers Need a Life Jacket An under toe from under a rock or underwater cliff can pull even Olympic level swimmers under the water. A life jacket will keep you afloat, and worst case can pop you back up above the water if you are forced down for any reason. Often, if you are thrown out of
Blindly running and jumping into the water is fine for movies and TV, but not when it is you or your loved ones. Before you take that running leap, have someone check the water depth and search for debris. Make sure your footing is sure because slipping into the water does not always end well. Many docks have two levels and blindly jumping off the top dock can end badly if you don’t look before you leap.
Electricity and Water Don’t Mix Be vigilant— If the dock is lighted or a boat is nearby it is possible electricity could be in the water. Electrical shock drowning, also known as ESD is rare but can represent a severe risk. All electrical installations around your dock should be performed by a professional electrical contractor. Dock receptacles should comply with the National Electrical Code, which mandates a ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI). A GFCI measures a circuit’s current and senses any imbalance (such as a discharge into the water), which trips the GFCI and cuts off the power.
Never Swim Alone Use this as a general rule in all water situations, but especially when swimming in a lake. There can be many unseen hazards in unfamiliar waters. Even when with a group – in the fun and excitement of being in the lake – it’s easy to lose track of other swimmers. It’s troubling to realize your buddy is nowhere to be seen in a minute or two vs. five minutes later can be the difference between life and death.
With special thanks and sincere appreciation, we recognize our dedicated members and generous supporters of the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce: Cherokee County Commission Cherokee County Industrial Development Authority DC Gas Twin City Used Car Sales Cherokee Medical Center First Southern State Bank Cherokee Electric Cooperative The Southern Back Company Regions Bank Alabama Power City of Centre Town of Leesburg Town of Cedar Bluff Peoples Bank of Alabama Gadsden State Community College Town of Sand Rock Town of Gaylesville Alabama Publishing Group Advertising Dynamics, Inc.
2018 - 2019 STAKEHOLDERS
Directory of ADVERTISERS EDUCATION
Gadsden State Community College
Alabama Teacher’s Credit Union Ameriprise
Back Inside Cover
Fort McClellan Credit Union
Floyd Primary / Urgent Care
Isbell Medical Group, PC
Perry Medical Clinic, PC
Brenda Bartley Realty
Lake Homes Realty
Maximum One, Nikki Tucker
Weiss Lake Realty & Appraisals
Twin City Used Car Sales, Bobby Ledbetter 62 TOURISM AND RECREATION
Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Assoc.
City of Cedar Bluff
City of Centre
Cherokee County Commission
Cherokee Rock Village
Cherokee County Health and Rehabilitation Center....................6
Gadsden State Community College........................................................8
Save Weiss Lake Foundation
Centre-Piedmont-Cherokee County Airport Authority............10
Weiss Lake Improvement Assoc.
Cherokee Medical Center............................................................................12
Laura St. Clair, Realtor......................................................................................16
Foothills Tractor.................................................................................................. 18
Town of Leesburg............................................................................................ 20
UTILITY AND SERVICES
Cherokee Electric Cooperative
Weiss Lake Septic Pumpers