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Pioneer Electric COOPERATIVE

Big bucks in Black Belt


VOL. 66 NO. 9 SEPTEMBER 2013



Angela Green

ALABAMA LIVING is delivered to some 420,000 Alabama families and businesses, which are members of 22 not-for-profit, consumer-owned, locally directed and taxpaying electric cooperatives. AREA cooperative member subscriptions are $3 a year; non-member subscriptions, $6. Alabama Living (USPS 029-920) is published monthly by the Alabama Rural Electric Association of Cooperatives. Periodicals postage paid at Montgomery, Alabama, and at additional mailing office. POSTMASTER send forms 3579 to: Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014 Montgomery, Alabama 36124-4014.

5 Avoid scams

Scammers are targeting utility customers across our service area demanding payment on past due accounts and requesting your personal information. Learn the steps you need to take to report the scam and how to avoid it.



14 SEC domination

Brad Bradford is back again with his predictions for the 2013 football season with the SEC a sure bet to be in the BCS Championship game.

Sportsmen come to Alabama’s Black Belt to hunt deer, turkey and other game or to fish, contributing millions of dollars to the economy. BY: MICHEAL HESTON

24 50 years ago

Visitors to Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church are able to view photos, displays and plaques commemorating the tragic events of September 15, 1963, a defining moment of the Civil Rights movement.


340 TechnaCenter Drive Montgomery, Alabama 36117-6031 1-800-410-2737 E-mail: NATIONAL ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVE:

National Country Market 611 South Congress Ave., Suite 504 Austin, Texas 78704 1-800-626-1181 USPS 029-920 • ISSN 1047-0311

DEPARTMENTS 9 10 26 28 32 33 34 40

Spotlight Power Pack Worth the Drive Alabama Gardens Alabama Outdoors Fish&Game Forecast Cook of the Month Consumer Wise

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living


Manager’s Comments

Contact Information:

The Cooperative Spirit Terry Moseley, Executive Vice President & General Manager

Business: 1-800-239-3092 (Monday-Friday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.)

Toll Free Outage “Hotline” 1-800-533-0323 (24 hours a day)

Board of Trustees Tommy Thompson • President John Henry •Vice President Melvia Carter • Secretary Carey Thompson • Glenn Branum Tom Duncan • Dave Lyon Melvin Dale • Linda Arnold

Web site:

Payment Options: By Mail: Pioneer Electric Cooperative PO. Box 370 Greenville, AL 36037 Bank Draft: Contact a customer service representative for details Credit Card: By phone or in person Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express Night Depository: Available at each office location Online: In Person: 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Greenville: 300 Herbert Street Selma: 4075 Ala. Highway 41 Authorized Payment Center: First Citizens Bank 40 Lafayette St. Hayneville

We have all experienced one of those long, hard days at work. Tuesday, July 23, 2013 was one of those days for Pioneer Electric. With nearly 6,000 of our members experiencing power outages, many of the men and women of Pioneer, who had already worked eight hours that day, went back to work that night. While the winds furiously blew, rain poured, and lightning cracked, our employees began the night-long battle to repair the damage caused by nature to Pioneer’s electric lines in order to restore your power. Yes, it is their job; they are paid to do it, and no, none of us enjoy surviving without electricity. However, as I assisted in the Engineering and Operations department and then, put on my hard hat to head out to the eastern part of Butler County, I sensed there was something missing in what I was experiencing. Yes, we had just suffered a severe storm; yes, we had just begun the repair efforts that would last throughout the night, but what seemed abnormal was the orderliness of Pioneer’s employee response to the disorder caused by the storm. Everyone, including those on the telephone, those preparing food and drinks for the linemen, and every available lineman set about restoring the power as if it were a normal day. There were NO complaints as our personnel were dispatched throughout the system to begin the repair process orderly and safely. In a world where many look for anything to complain about, our employees were in top-notch form, banding together in a spirit

Butler County Sheriff Kenny Harden discusses storm damage with Alabama News Network’s Catalina Trivino.

of true cooperation to get the power flowing again. I am thankful to be a part of your Pioneer Electric Cooperative team. Thanks, also, to the many County employees who helped our cause by clearing roadways and directing traffic across our service area. Another storm will come one day, and our power may be interrupted again. None of us have control over what day or what time that might happen. I am convinced that the men and women of Pioneer stand ready when the next storm occurs. Many thanks to all of you for being loyal, understanding members in times of stormy weather. If you see one of our employees in the grocery store, at the gas station, or at a ball game, you may want to pat them on the back and thank them, too. Have a great September! I'm looking forward to seeing you on October 12th at our annual meeting. A

Pioneer Electric Cooperative’s offices will be closed on Monday, September 2, 2013 in observance of Labor Day. If you experience an outage during this time, please call our outage reporting system at 1-800-533-0323. You can make a payment or check your balance online at, or through our automated account information system by calling 1-800-239-3092.

Have a safe and happy holiday! 4 SEPTEMBER 2013

Pioneer Electric Cooperative

Inside Pioneer: Reporting Your Power Outage Effectively Pioneer Electric Cooperative works hard to keep outages to a minimum, but there are times when Mother Nature can take a turn for the worse. Thunderstorms, high winds, tornadoes, flash floods and other natural catastrophes can not only knock out electrical service; they can also put life and property in peril. No matter how severe the storm, you can rest assured that Pioneer won't leave you in the dark during these trying times. We can always use your help to verify outages. The most efficient way to report an outage is through our 24-hour automated outagereporting system. This system works on caller ID technology, so it's important that we have current telephone numbers on file and

that you call from the location with the outage. If the system does not recognize the phone number, you can leave a detailed message about the outage location. If you have more than one meter on your account, you will need to follow the detailed instructions provided by the outage reporting system. In the message option of the menu, you may leave a detailed message that should include your name, your account number, the exact location of the outage and a telephone number where you may be reached if needed. If you know the cause of the outage, such as a car wreck or fallen tree, this information is also very helpful. Call Pioneer’s Outage line at 800-533-0323 any time your power is out and do not assume that others have reported the outage. Once you make your outage report, please do not report the outage again unless an emergency arises. Crews will be dispatched as soon as possible. A

Avoid Utility Scams Scams Targeting Pioneer Electric Members If you receive a call saying your power will be cut off if you don’t immediately pay your bill over the phone, take caution. That’s one of several scams utility customers across Alabama and the nation are reporting. Sometimes the scammers are asking you to make a payment through a third-party pay system or by obtaining a prepaid debit card. Unfortunately, scare-tactic scams such this one are fairly common. In addition to threatening to disconnect utility service, scammers may tell you that you have an unpaid credit card or traffic ticket and threaten legal action if you don’t immediately pay. If you get a call like that, hang up then call back the company in question using the phone number from your bill (not the one the scammer may have provided). In almost every case like this, fraud experts say you should always be the one to initiate a call where you need to give out personal information. Remember it’s your money, it’s your identity—ask questions and stay alert.

Alabama Living

Never give your credit card number or other personal information over the phone without verifying the call. Members should also contact Pioneer Electric to report the incident. By calling the co-op directly, you can talk to a service representative who will confirm your bill and let you know of any problems with your account. Co-ops will not call or email you for your account number or password, so keep your account information to yourself. Also, don’t assume that you can trust Caller ID to let you know where a caller is located. Because scammers may use Internet calling technology, the area code you see may not reflect where they really are. The number of telephone scams trying to obtain money and personal information from unsuspecting victims is increasing, according to the Better Business Bureau. Callers pose as representatives of utilities, Medicare, law offices, charities and even the BBB. In some reported cases, scammers have even shown up at homes, demanding payments. Never allow anyone claiming to be a utility service person into your home unless you have scheduled an appointment and the person has proper identification.

Contact police if you become concerned about your safety. Here are a few tips from the BBB: •

Confirm that you are speaking to a legitimate company representative. If you have any concerns, hang up and independently find the phone number for the company and call them back. Be wary of anyone demanding immediate payment or payment in forms that are difficult to trace, such as Western Union or MoneyGram. Never give your credit card, debit card, Social Security, ATM, checking or savings account numbers to anyone who comes to your home, calls or sends an e-mail requesting information. You should always be the one to initiate such transactions.

If you have any concerns about calls or visits from representatives of Pioneer, please call us at 1-800-239-3092 immediately. A


Working Together Matters Seeing My Coworkers in a Different “Light”

Pioneer’s Hunter Barrow and Heath Peavy discuss outages with Pioneer member Ed Taylor.

My co-workers and I have a really strange relationship -- mainly the linemen. When they see me coming with my camera, they all run and mutter things under their breath. I have to fuss to get them to pose for pictures. They never understand how important a camera is to my job, and of course sometimes I never understand how important their equipment is to them or how they actually do their jobs. On Tuesday, July 23, 2013 that all changed when severe thunderstorms wiped out nearly half of Pioneer’s system. I got a crash course in how Pioneer’s staff and local first responders all work together. Being in the elements of storm damage definitely changed how I view the strength and endurance of our linemen and staff, who work nonstop until every member’s power has been restored. I watched intently while our Engineering and Operations Coordinator, Rachael Disney and our Greenville Operations Supervisor Bill Campbell multi-tasked. They both took calls from our crews and members regarding fires that had started near power lines, notified emergency contacts and directed crews to various locations. They patiently answered my questions so I could address news agencies on our outage situations. I can look back

by: Angela Green

and laugh now, because I know both of their parental instincts played a major role in how they dealt with all the chaos. Our member service representatives, Debbie Smith and Janice Rogers walked over to the engineering department. Without discussion, they took over empty desks and manually entered outage reports that had been called in by our members. It was way past their normal work hours. When things calmed down, they showed me how to work the outage system. An extra hand never hurts. For a while, our General Manager, Terry Moseley was in the office making sure things were running smoothly. I actually thought he called it a night and went home when I didn’t see him anymore and folks seemed more relaxed. However, when we started to deliver food to our crews I found Mr. Moseley working side by side with our linemen. I guess he was having flashbacks of the days when he had to work in the field. There he was, trekking through the high grass and mud assisting the crews however he could. I was even shocked when Mr. Moseley sent me away. He told me to take the food I had for OUR crews to the Butler County crews working around the corner. They were removing trees that had fallen across the roads and had power lines down with them. In Moseley’s own words, “They deserve to eat and they’ll appreciate it. They’ll be here working late with us too,” he said. Let me add that Mr. Moseley stayed working with the lineman until the early morning hours. When I saw him the next day, I could tell he had missed sleep. Throughout the night, I went from location to location delivering hot meals. Keep in mind, it was dark. I don’t know the areas like our crews do. I was scared. When I finally found them, I had to wait for them to come out of the woods or from one of the side trenches filled with water. You have to

remember, not all of our lines are accessible by vehicles, so crews have to walk with all of their equipment to find and repair the source of outages. I laughed when I saw my co-workers; they were soaked from head to toe. But then, reality hit me when I started getting bit by bugs and soaked because of the rain. I felt awful for laughing. Lately, these are the conditions our linemen work in daily. In addition to being in the heat or stormy weather, they have to wear thick rubber gloves, rubber sleeves, flame-retardant clothing, boots, eye protection, hard hats and at times a harness to repair lines. It’s nothing to laugh about. I know I could not do their jobs in that capacity. Wayne Acreman, who manages our warehouse and Corey Griggs, our Automated Metering Technician don’t normally work in the field during outages. When I finally reached them near Damascus Church on Highway 10 it was well after 10:30 p.m. They were more concerned about me and my safety, so they sent me over to the church’s parking lot to wait until they finished up at that site. They had been working since the outages started earlier that afternoon and were simply happy to get drinks and food. I had never seen Wayne so happy to see me in the five years I’ve been working at Pioneer. They took a short break, ate and sent me on my way. It was the run-in with two of my favorite co-workers that really made me smile that night. Foreman Hunter Barrow and Lineman Heath Peavy were working along Highway 263. I say favorite very sarcastically when I talk about Barrow and Peavy. These are my big brothers at work. They make it hard for me sometimes, making sure I know what I’m talking about when it comes to communicating “engineering” stuff. When I pulled up, I could see Heath’s scowl a mile away. He was focused and waiting to hear word from Hunter on what their next move would be to getting a line back on. I was the last person he wanted

Pioneer Electric Cooperative

to see. At the same time, Ed Taylor, a Pioneer member pulled up wanting to know why everyone else on his street had power except his home. That was something I couldn’t answer, but I watched in amazement at how patient and understanding Heath was. He explained to Mr. Taylor how the lines were wired and what they were doing to get the power back on. I always say our linemen are wonderful spokespersons for the cooperative. They interact with our members daily. I was so proud to see them both reassuring our members that things were coming together. Mr. Taylor left satisfied with their explanation. Heath and Hunter reassured me that they knew exactly what they were talking about! For our linemen and the others in our engineering department, working to restore our system that night was work

as usual. No one complained about the elements, they were all focused on making sure everyone was safe and the power was restored. When a storm hits, our linemen are called to work. It doesn’t matter if it is raining, sleeting or snowing, they take the call no matter what time of day it is. I think sometimes we all forget that if it weren’t for our utility linemen, we wouldn’t get our power back on. I’ve heard complaints (and I’ve actually said some of these things out loud): “They didn’t get there quick enough, they didn’t work hard enough, they didn’t get to “me” first.” But, I’ve always known this wasn’t the case. Our linemen are human, they work long hours and restoring power is a process. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, utility line work is in the top ten of the most dangerous jobs in America. Around 30 - 50 workers in every 100, 000 are killed

on the job every year. Many others suffer non-fatal loss of limbs from electrical burns and mechanical trauma. That’s more than twice the fatality rate of police officers and firemen. As I write this, I’m reminded of just how good I have it. I get to sit in my office on days when temperatures reach the high 90s and when storms are so bad that I feel thunder shaking the walls of our building. As Mr. Moseley mentioned in his article, I’m thankful to be part of an organization that knows the importance of safety and teamwork. Our Linemen are part of a brotherhood who risk their lives every single day. I respect them, I thank them and I pray for their families for lending them to us everyday to help keep the lights on. Thank a lineman the next time you see them, they've earned it. A

Community Matters

Running for a Hero: The Kenny Seales Memorial 5K Walk/Run

The annual 5K event is held to celebrate the memory of Kenny Seales seen above.

Save the Date: Saturday, September 14th Sweet Home Baptist Church 60 County Road 53 McKenzie, AL 36456 Race Time: 7:30 a.m. Early Registration $20

Alabama Living

The way his family sees it, Kenny Seales is their hero. He fought a four year battle with cancer that ended on September 11, 2011. It was a time that his wife Pam said she was blessed to have the support of family, friends and caretakers and wanted to plan something to not only honor Kenny’s memory, but to give back to those who helped them most. After participating in several 5K events around the state, Pam and her daughters decided they should host their own event that led to the inaugural Kenny Seales Memorial 5K Walk/Run & Family Day. With the support of their church, Sweet Home Baptist Church, family and friends, last year’s event raised nearly $5,000 and brought out close to 500 participants. All of the proceeds from the 5K went to the Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge in Birmingham, Alabama, where Kenny stayed during much of his treatment. The facility provides housing free of charge to cancer patients and their families - reducing the financial burden to those having to receive treatment out of town. The family wanted to give back to the Lodge in order to help other cancer patients as they fight their own

battles with cancer. This year’s event is set to kick off in a few weeks and the Seales family wants your support. This is not only an event for runners/walkers but for the entire family. There will also be an on site fair with games, food and more than 20 vendors set up for those who want to get in a little shopping. Hand-painted signs, deer processing, bee education, wreaths, embroidery, jewelry, beauty supplies, and a cupcake booth are just a few of the shopping highlights. For information regarding registration as a participant, vendor, or sponsor, please contact Pam Seales at or call 334429-0676.

Participants lined up at last year’s race, more than $5,000 was raised and donated to the Hope Lodge in Birmingham. Courtesy: Lori Mercer Photography


Pioneer Electric Cooperative

ECONOMIC INSIGHTS A monthly update on economic development across south central Alabama, By Cleve Poole, VP of Economic Development & Legal Affairs

Assisting Existing Industry

Featured Property

We all get excited when we hear of new industry coming to town, but did you know that over 75% of all new jobs come from existing industry? It is important that local leaders and economic developers have a close relationship with existing business and industry – to keep them happy and make sure they stay where they are, and even expand locally! Existing businesses are also one of the best groups of salesmen for your community – they can tell prospective business and industry why the area is attractive and great place locate. There are several incentive packages available through the State of Alabama and locally for existing industry expansion, including • • • • • •

Pre-employment training Tax credits and abatements Work force development Site preparation Incentives for large capital investment Infrastructure improvements.

There are requirements including numbers of jobs, amount of investment and pay scales in order to qualify for some of these incentives. The IMPORTANT step is to apply for incentives BEFORE the business begins the expansion or capital expenditures – otherwise, it may be too late to qualify. If your industry is expanding, please contact your local economic developers for more details. In the right panel of this page, you can find an updated list of phone numbers to economic development offices located across Pioneer’s service area. A

The Bolling site tract (approx. 475 acres) but can be divided into smaller acreages or added to from owner’s surrounding property. Site is rail access feasible and fronts US Highway 31, Butler Co Rd 28 and Pugh Rd. Water and electric are already available. For more information on this property and others available: Contact Cleve Poole Contact Info: Office: (334) 382-4900 Email:

Pioneer In the News Gov. Robert Bentley is joined by first responders and utility providers to sign House Bill 373. The legislation establishes guidelines for qualified emergency workers to vote via absentee ballot in the event they are called away from their home areas immediately before an election. HB 373 was sponsored by Rep. Barry Moore, R-Enterprise and Sen. Bryan Taylor, R-Prattville. Photo courtesy Governor’s Office, Jamie Martin


Spot Light

InSeptember Events

SEPT. 28

Titus plans bluegrass festival

The Titus Bluegrass Festival will feature several bluegrass bands performing, arts and crafts as well as T-shirts and cookbooks for sale.


If you enjoy listening to bluegrass, old-time country and gospel music, and prefer a down-home, small town, family-orientated atmosphere, then mark Sept. 28 on your calendar for the Titus Bluegrass Festival at the Titus Community Center. There will be continuous music from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. with several bluegrass bands performing. The event will also feature arts and crafts booths. In addition, attendees can purchase lunch, buy event T-shirts and cookbooks. Call 334-478-7168 for more information, or visit the Titus Bluegrass Festival Facebook page.

Follow us on Pinterest at, where you can find yummy recipes, travel ideas, gardening tips and inspiring stories about Alabama and its people, places and things!

OCT. 11 AND 12

Tale-tellin’ festival returns for 35th year Expect plenty of homespun humor and toe-tapping music at the 2013 Alabama Tale-Tellin’ Festival Oct. 11 and 12 in Selma as Donald Davis and Bobby Norfolk share the spotlight with The Dill Pickers. The family event founded by the late Selma author Kathryn Tucker Windham headlines its 35th year with storytelling giants Davis and Norfolk, along with the Dill Pickers, a vocal stringband and theatrical group based in Birmingham. Sponsored by ArtsRevive, the festival opens at 5:30 both evenings with the Swappin’ Ground and food court at Carneal ArtsRevive, 3 Church St. Come early, tell your stories and have supper on the terrace overlooking the Alabama River. Music and stories vary each night, so plan to attend both Friday and Saturday. Admission is $15 per night for adults or $25 for both nights and $10 for students 12 and under or $15 for both nights. Tickets can be purchased in advance at Butler Truax Jewelers and The Lily Pad on Broad Street. Once again, the festival coincides with Riverfront Market Day, an arts and crafts festival on Water Avenue, on Saturday, Oct. 12. For more information, call 334-878-ARTS (2787), email or visit www.artsrevive. com and look for updates on the ArtsRevive Facebook page. Alabama Living

Donald Davis, a retired Methodist minister and a prolific author and teacher of storytelling workshops and courses, gets into a performance.

The Dill Pickers, above, will perform again at the Alabama Tale Tellin’ festival.


Power Pack

(We don’t need to) see you in September By Kylle’ McKinney Alabama Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

Summertime is over, and it’s time to face the fall. Hopefully, your family has enjoyed a nice vacation and you’ve had your share of fun in the sun. You may even reminisce about the popular song, “See You in September,” which was written by Sid Wayne and Sherman Edwards and made memorable by The Happenings in 1966. As children, teenagers, and young adults return to school, now is a good time for you to take a look at the books, too — whether that means starting your retirement planning, making sure your retirement plans are on track, or taking the plunge and applying for Social Security retirement benefits. But just because you have Social Security business and retirement matters to tend to does not mean you need to fight the traffic and trudge into a busy government office. We don’t need to see you (in person) in September. That’s because whether you’re working on your retirement planning or ready to retire, you can do everything from the comfort of your home or office computer at

If you’ve been to our website before, you’ll notice that the new homepage is even better. We’ve revised the homepage and made it clearer and easier to McKinney use. You’ll now find what you want, without the need to read through a lot of links. If you’re starting to think about a retirement that is in the far-off future, a good place to begin is with Social Security’s Benefits Planners at www. You can use the planners to help you understand your Social Security protection as you plan your financial future. In fact, you can learn about survivors and disability benefits as well as retirement benefits. No matter how new you may be to the working world, it’s never too early to begin planning for a sound financial future. For those of you with more years of work under your belt, get a more precise look at what your benefits will be with Social Security’s Retirement Estimator at The Estimator makes use of your reported wages from past years and

projects your current earnings into the future to give you an instant, personalized estimate of your future benefits. You can change the variables, such as date of retirement and future earnings estimates, to see what you can expect in different scenarios. If you’re ready to say goodbye to the daily grind of working and you’re ready to apply for Social Security retirement benefits, it’s exciting to know that you can apply from the comfort of your home or office in as little as 15 minutes. Once you complete the online application for benefits, in most cases, that’s all there is to it. No papers to sign or documents to provide. Give it a try when you’re ready to retire at You have better things to do in September than to come see us. Whether you’re just beginning your retirement plans, making sure your long-term plans are on track, or you’re ready to retire, we don’t need to see you in September. Take advantage of our new, easy-to-use website at Kylle’ McKinney, SSA Public Affairs specialist, can be reached in Montgomery at 866-593-0914, ext. 26265, or by e-mail at

Letters to the Editor

Where were you on that fateful day?

We’ve had a wonderful response so far from people who have read the story (Alabama Living, August 2013) about our Campus School students’ collaboration with the Center for the Study of the Black Belt to establish a garden sponsored by the Whole Kids Foundation. Your staff did an outstanding job in portraying the project in your publication, and we’re most appreciative of the opportunity to be included in what has become a very popular publication in our region. The publication is always so informative and even more enjoyable, and being a part of the education issue is a great honor for us. Betsy Compton Director of Public Relations The University of West Alabama

The 50th anniverwill publish a selecsary of the assastion of responses in sination of President our November issue. John F. Kennedy Send handwritten will be observed or typed responses Nov. 22, and we to us at contact@ John F. Kennedy want to hear your alabamaliving. memories of that day. When coop, or mail to Kennedy the president was killed Nov. Memories, Alabama Living, 22, 1963 in Dallas, many P.O. Box 244014, Montgomwill remember the day with ery, AL 36124. Include any clarity, especially how they photos of yourself from that learned the news. Let us time with your response. know what you were doing We will accept responses no and how you first heard of later than Sept. 30. We look the assassination, and we forward to hearing from you.


Copper theft law having positive effect By Jordan Pittman

It has been one full year since implementation of new copper law enhancements in Alabama, and already some areas are reporting a decline in the number of reported copper theft incidents. Before the law took effect Aug. 1, 2012, copper thieves were making a profit from selling stolen metals or wares that once belonged to electric cooperatives, small businesses and homes for years. Fortunately, Alabama officials heard the concerns voiced by our co-ops and other victims of copper theft. “The best way to slow copper theft crime is to create a way where they can’t sell it anymore,” says Sean Stickler, AREA’s vice president for public affairs. The law now requires scrap metal dealers to obtain from sellers a signed statement indicating the metal is not stolen, a valid ID, a home address and the license plate number of the vehicle delivering the metal, along with other stipulations designed to limit the chances of success for copper thieves. “We’ve seen this decrease in copper thefts from cell towers, from busting up a/c’s and or stripping wires from houses or off telephone poles.” says Sheriff Sam Cochran of Mobile County. “Our small businesses and churches in the rural area are no longer having their a/c’s stripped of copper which caused thousands of dollars in damages.”

In the first year of implementation, the law provided assurance and safety to business owners concerned over what would be taken in their next hit by copper thieves. Sheriff Cochran said in the wake of the new electronic reporting system, which took effect in January of 2013, “. . . We should continue to see a decline in thefts.” Fred McCallum, president of AT&T Alabama, said his company has seen “a dramatic reduction in copper theft incidents on our networks since the new copper theft law became effective.” As a result of the law, AT&T is now “providing advanced communications services to customers in a more timely and efficient manner,” he added. The bill not only made it tougher for copper thieves to buy and sell metal, but it also toughened the penalties if one is caught and prosecuted for trying to sell stolen metal. Thieves who are convicted can be charged with a felony if any damages caused result in imminent danger to the health and saftey of the public. Judges can also order restitution to include replacement and repair costs, along with the value of the metal. If you notice suspicious behavior involving possible metal theft, you can call the new Agriculture and Rural Crime Unit at 1-855-75-CRIME or simply call 911.

AREA gives Scofield, McCutcheon top legislative awards Two Alabama legislators were honored at the Alabama Rural Electric Association Summer Conference for their outstanding efforts in support of Alabama’s electric cooperatives. Sen. Clay Scofield of Marshall County was named 2013 State Senator of the Year. In 2012 he thwarted a local measure that would have placed an unfair burden on his local cooperatives by forcing them to collect a tax for volunteer fire departments. “There is no more difficult task in the Legislature than stopping local legislation,” said Sean Strickler, AREA Vice President for public affairs. “However, Senator Scofield understood how unfair the measure was and fought successfully to make sure our cooperatives were treated fairly.” Rep. Mac McCutcheon of Madison County was named 2013 State RepreAlabama Living

AREA President and CEO Fred Braswell presents the 2013 State Senator of the Year award to Sen. Clay Scofield, left. At right, Braswell presents the 2013 State Representative of the Year award to Rep. Mac McCutcheon.

sentative of the Year. McCutcheon has been a long-time friend of the Cooperatives in his many years of service in the Alabama Legislature. Over the past two years, he has been a floor sponsor for two bills designed to protect our utility workers. In 2012 he was the House sponsor for the Move Over Legislation

and in 2013 he was the floor sponsor of the Utility Worker Safety Legislation. “Mac is now one of the most powerful committee chairman in Alabama, chairing the House Rules Committee,” Strickler said, “but more importantly, an ardent supporter of rural Alabama and our cooperative principles.” SEPTEMBER 2013 11

Black Belt bucks bring big money to the state By John N. Felsher


he Black Belt, a swath of fertile, alluvial soils, extends across 23 counties of central Alabama between the Appalachian foothills and the coastal plain. About 160 years ago, people could have called it the “White Belt” because of endless acres of cotton growing in the rich black soil that gives the area its name. Farmers used the rivers that flow through the region and numerous artesian wells to water their cotton fields. Those rivers, including the Alabama, Tombigbee and Black Warrior, deposited highly fertile soils across those lands for millennia and now create incredible wildlife habitat. “The Black Belt is a unique part of the state,” says Chris Cook, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division deer studies project leader. “Historically, the Black Belt was a very good area for farming and has been known as an area that produces quality deer, especially the portions in west central Alabama. Classic Black Belt soils grow a lot of grasses and forbs. Along the fringes where it starts running back into the coastal plain, we see good quality, nutrient-rich soils that are very productive for agriculture and wildlife habitat.” That nutrient-rich dark, loamy soil that gives the region its name and led to the cotton boom also grows incredible habitat for such game birds and animals as whitetail deer, wild turkey, squirrels and rabbits. Parts of the Black Belt also hold good populations of dove, 12 SEPTEMBER 2013

quail and ducks. The rivers and lakes teem with largemouth bass, crappie, catfish and other fish. “The black belt soil is rich, dark soil that creates good habitat to support an abundance of wildlife,” says Pam Swanner, project director for Black Belt Adventures in Montgomery. “The Black Belt consistently produces some of the best hunting in Alabama. The area produces numerous whitetail deer with great weights and excellent antler growth. Deer is the most popular game animal, but the best turkey hunting in the state occurs in the Black Belt Region. Alabama has the largest population of eastern wild turkey per square mile of any state.” With the abundance of game found in the Black Belt, people might redub the area the Green Belt or the Gold Belt because excellent hunting opportunities in the region bring money into the state. Sportsmen coming into the Black Belt to hunt deer, turkey and other game species or to fish, contribute millions of dollars each year to the state economy. Big bucks in the state can bring in big bucks to the state. In Alabama, more than 707,000 hunters and fishermen spend about $5 million a day or about $1.7 billion per year. In the Black Belt Region alone, more than 456,000 sportsmen spend $3.22 million a day. Hunting and fishing create more than 30,500 jobs in Alabama, with more than 11,000 in the Black Belt Region.

they became wildlife management areas. The state replanted them in “The economic impact of hunting and fishing in the Black Belt native hardwoods. Both properties consist primarily of swampy flat Region is about $1 billion a year to the state,” Swanner says. “People bottomlands rich in hardwood trees. Deer thrive in such habitats. “A lot of lands in the Black Belt offer just as good or better deer who come to Alabama to hunt must buy licenses. In addition, they hunting opportunities as anywhere in the state,” Cook says. “David buy food, gasoline, supplies and souvenirs. They eat in restaurants. They might stay at one of the hunting lodges in the Black Belt or in K. Nelson and Lowndes WMAs both offer excellent hunting. Bara motel in town. In addition, many sportsmen bring their families bour WMA on the fringes of the Black Belt is another good deer hunting property. Barbour is one of our older WMAs and produces who enjoy other attractions the area has to offer.” Although the 23 Black Belt counties comprise about one-third of better than average quality deer.” In the transition zone between the Black Belt Region and the the state, the region contains more than 80 percent of the hunting lodges found in Alabama. About 56 percent of all Alabama sports- coastal plain in southeastern Alabama, Barbour WMA covers men hunt in the Black Belt each year. About 69 percent of all out- 28,199 acres of Barbour and Bullock counties near Clayton. The of-state sportsmen who come to hunt in Alabama visit the Black area consists mostly of mixed pine forests with some hardwoods Belt Region. About 80 percent of those non-resident sportsmen strands. Field and Stream magazine once named the property one spend at least one night in the Black Belt Region. In all, sportsmen of the top whitetail destinations in the nation. The state manages spend about 3.9 million days hunting in the Black Belt and another the area for trophy deer with antler restrictions on buck harvests. “With the antler restriction, we wanted more bucks to move into 3.3 million days fishing in the region each year, Swanner says. To keep those sportsmen coming into the state, Black Belt Ad- the 2.5-year old and older age class on Barbour WMA,” Cook says. ventures promotes the region as an outdoors destination. When “Because of the antler restriction, the age structure of the deer herd someone calls about planning a hunting or fishing adventure, the is better on Barbour than most WMAs. It has a good blend of numBBA staff help match up sportsmen with lodges that can accom- bers and big deer. In 2012, the area produced more deer exceeding modate their wishes or make suggestions about other places to visit. 200 pounds live weight than anyone can recall ever seeing. Along To better promote the region, the nonprofit marketing organiza- with that, the antler quality has also steadily improved.” tion enlisted the help of two prominent Black Belt natives, Jackie Bushman, founder of Buckmasters, and Ray Scott, founder of the Other game, recreation activities abound While many people come to the Black Belt Region to hunt deer Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society. These two legendary sportsmen help carry the message about the great hunting, fishing and facilities or turkeys, the area offers much more in outdoors recreation. Many sportsmen also visit the region to hunt squirfound here through various public and media rels, rabbits, quail, doves, ducks and other appearances across the country. game. In addition, many outdoors enthusiasts “Jackie Bushman and Ray Scott grew up also enjoy canoeing, horseback riding, bird hunting and fishing in the Black Belt,” Swanwatching, hiking and other activities. ner says. “They created two internationally “There are a lot of big private hunting lodgknown sporting organizations and have been es in the Black Belt Region,” Cook says. “The very supportive of this initiative from the beBlack Belt is well known for its deer hunting, ginning. Our main objective is to collectively but the area also has a lot of good turkey huntmarket the region as an outdoor destination, ing. Along the river drainages, people can find not promote any specific lodges. When people some good squirrel hunting. Some areas offer call to inquire about hunting opportunities, good rabbit hunting opportunities.” we try to determine their needs and send out The region also offers more than outdoors that information to various lodges that meet adventures. Rich in history, the region also their requirements. We promote more than just contains many places connected to the Civil the lodges. We also represent the public lands War and civil rights struggle. Visitors can also available in the Black Belt Region.” explore many historical homes or enjoy the While the lodges of the Black Belt Region diverse sports, musical and art legacy of the Alabama’s Black offer excellent hunting, not all sportsmen can region. afford to stay at such places or hire guides. The Belt Region “The Black Belt Region is a great resource Black Belt also offers some public lands for the for the state,” Swanner says. “We are beginning do-it-yourself sportsman. Two public areas in the Black Belt really stand out for deer hunting -- David K. Nelson Wildlife Manage- to see some success from our efforts in promoting the region. The ment Area and Lowndes WMA, Cook says. Near the confluence of cultural heritage of this region is as rich as the soil. We want people the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway and the Black Warrior River, to come to Alabama, spend their money and have a good time doDavid K. Nelson WMA covers 8,308 acres of mostly bottomland ing whatever they enjoy doing.” For more information on Black Belt Adventures, call 334-649hardwood habitat in Sumter, Hale, Marengo and Greene counties near Demopolis. Along the Alabama River, Lowndes covers 13,962 3788. To see a list of the lodges in the Black Belt Region and other things the region can offer the traveler, see www.alabamablackacres in Lowndes County near White Hall. Both owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Lowndes and For information on hunting in Alabama, see David K. Nelson WMAs were primarily agricultural lands before A

Economic impact tops $1 billion annually

Alabama Living


SEC 2013 Football Predictions: By Brad Bradford


n 1998, the BCS put together a formula and format, pitting the top two teams in the National Championship game played on a Monday night after the bowl season is complete. It might as well been referred to as “The SEC Invitational.” In those 15 years, an SEC team has been in the game nine times, starting with Tennessee that first year. NO SEC TEAM HAS EVER LOST the championship game! (Correction: LSU did lose in 2011, but lost to fellow SEC member Alabama). The SEC has now won the last seven in a row with Bama in a search for its 4th in the last 5 years. Since Auburn also won it in 2010, the state of Alabama should change from the “Yellowhammer State” to the “Crystal Ball State.” Last year, Alabama totally dominated Notre Dame in Miami and it could have been worse if Nick Saban had chosen. This is the last year for the BCS championship series as we know it. In the fall of 2014, there will be a new system that takes the “Final Four” teams in a two-game playoff (1 vs. 4 and 2 vs. 3 with the winners facing off ) for the championship. The SEC just had a Brer Rabbit moment. They just got thrown in the briar patch and got what they wanted all along. This new format gives the SEC the chance for even more domination. If, for a moment, anyone with half a brain thinks the SEC won’t have at least one and probably two teams in the playoff, I can set you up on a blind date with Manti Teo’s girlfriend. The new system should allow for the loser of the SEC championship game to remain in the top four where they belong. If this format had been in place in 2004, Auburn would have gotten its chance for the trophy. Instead, the Tigers will go in the history books as the only undefeated team from a BCS conference to get shut out of playing for it all. CAN ANYONE CHANGE THE SEC HIERARCHY THIS YEAR? There has never been a more dividing line in the East and West divisions than this year. Both sides have an overwhelming TOP 3 and BOTTOM 4. In the East, the top three are South Carolina, Florida and Georgia. None of the others have a cutdog chance of moving up. In the West, it has Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU at the top. If Auburn or Ole Miss has a couple of upsets, either could slide up in place of LSU because of the Bengal Tigers’ brutal schedule. 14 SEPTEMBER 2013

Bama’s new Colors are crimson, white… and crystal! Team-by-team schedule breakdown: ALABAMA: After opening up against Virginia Tech in Atlanta, the Tide has an open date before playing Texas A&M in College Station. This will be the game of the year in the conference. The Tide defense will not allow Johnny Football to scramble around and beat them this year. If Bama wins there, they will roll until the annual showdown with LSU in Tuscaloosa. Again, having an open date before this game will allow Nick and Kirby time to remind the Tide about the last time the Tigers played there. Drawing Kentucky from the East instead of South Carolina, Georgia or Florida is huge. Prediction: SEC WEST CHAMPIONS. 12-0. TEXAS A&M: After being the darlings of the nation last year, the Aggies are going to get everyone’s best shot this year. Everybody in the nation with a TV will be watching the showdown with the Tide on Sept. 14. Like Bama, A&M does not play South Carolina, Georgia or Florida. They also have an open date before playing at LSU in November. Prediction: 2nd in the WEST. 11-1.

LSU: The Tigers open in Dallas against a good TCU team. Bad news: They have to play Georgia (A) and Florida (H) from the East. Good news: their open dates fall before Alabama (A) and Texas A&M (H). Prediction: tied for third in the West with the seat warming up for Les Miles. 8-4. AUBURN: With wins against Mississippi State and Ole Miss, they could be the surprise team in the West and start rolling the wires at Toomer’s Corner. Gus Malzahn put together a first-class coaching staff of recruiters. Open dates fall before Ole Miss and before the Iron Bowl. Playing at LSU and Texas A&M will be brutal for a young team. Prediction: tied for third in the West (depending on the Ole Miss game). 8-4. OLE MISS: Everybody is jumping on the Rebels’ bandwagon after their going 7-6 last year and signing a top 10 recruiting class. As my friend Lee Corso says: “Not so fast.” The Rebels play at Texas and have to travel to Tuscaloosa. They don’t have to play the Big 3 from the East but playing back-to-back games at Auburn and Alabama is going to be tough. Prediction: tied for third in the West. 7-5. Alabama Living


MISSISSIPPI STATE: The Bulldogs open on the road against Okla-

homa State and later play South Carolina and Texas A&M on the road on consecutive weekends. The two key games for Dan Mullen to stay employed: Beat Auburn on the road and beat Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl. Prediction: 6th in the West and a new coach in Starkville. 6-6.

ARKANSAS: New coach Brett Bielema is trying to bring a power

running game to Fayetteville like he had at Wisconsin. The Hogs play South Carolina at home but have road games against Florida, Alabama and LSU. He will get it done in time. Prediction: 7th in the West. 5-7.

SOUTH CAROLINA: Steve Spurrier is entering his 9th year in Columbia with his best team yet and the top player in the league in defensive end Jadeveon Clowney. The early East favorite will be the winner of the Georgia game in Athens the second week of the season. They have the schedule advantage of avoiding the Big 3 from the West. Playing Clemson the week before the SEC championship game will be a challenge: Prediction: SEC EAST CHAMPIONS. 11-1. GEORGIA: The Dogs were 5 yards away from keeping Bama out

of the championship game last year. Opening the season on the road against Clemson and back home the next week against South Carolina is a make or break two weeks. They play LSU at home but the key game will be Florida in Jacksonville. Prediction: tied for second in the East. 10-2.

FLORIDA: Will Muschamp’s team has an early showdown at Miami and later travels to LSU in October. In November, they play Georgia (Jacksonville), Vandy at home then at South Carolina. As always, the Gators close the season against Florida State. Team will be better than its record. Prediction: tied for 2nd in the East. 9-3.

KENTUCKY: After opening on the road at Western Kentucky with its new coach Bobby “Motorcycleman” Petrino, the Wildcats play Louisville (H), Florida (H), South Carolina (A) then host Alabama in a five-week period. This is why they change coaches every four years. Prediction: 6th in the East. 3-9. MISSOURI: The Tigers October schedule: at Vandy, at Georgia, Florida at home, then South Carolina at home. They don’t play the West Big 3. Doesn’t matter. Prediction: 7th in the East and a coaching change. 4-8. HOW WILL THE SEC CHAMPIONSHIP GAME PLAY OUT? Alabama will lock up the West a week before South Carolina plays Florida for the East. Alabama plays a young Auburn team on Nov. 30. South Carolina plays a potential top 10 Clemson team on Nov. 30. Bama beats South Carolina 30-10. MVP: Amari Cooper, Alabama wide receiver. WHO WILL ALABAMA PLAY IN THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME? STANFORD? Will lose to either Oregon or UCLA. OHIO STATE? Went undefeated last year with zero pressure. Urban will get sick again thinking about facing Saban. OREGON? First year head coaches don’t make it this far. CLEMSON? Will be Clemson and have a crazy loss. FLORIDA STATE? Having to replace too many NFLers and coaches. LOUISVILLE? Could go undefeated and be left out because of a weak schedule. The answer: TEXAS A&M. The Aggies will run the table after losing to Alabama and finish 2nd in the final BCS rankings. Giving Nick Saban and Kirby Smart more than a month to prepare for Johnny Manziel again is just not fair. Alabama has been here before; A&M has not. Alabama will win its third straight 35-7. MVP: Heisman trophy winner, A.J. McCarron. To the SEC haters, be careful saying, “Wait ‘til next year.” In 2014, ALL four slots in the playoff could be SEC teams. A

VANDERBILT: The opening game against Ole Miss will set the tone

for the season. Road games against South Carolina, Texas A&M and Florida will make it tough for the Commodores to repeat their eight-win total from last year. An open date before Georgia at home is important. Prediction: 4th in the East. 7-5.

TENNESSEE: Playing back to back September road games against Oregon and Florida will be difficult for new coach Butch Jones. In October, the Vols host South Carolina then travel to Alabama the next week. Ouch! Prediction: 5th in the East. 5-7.

Brad Bradford is a 21-year veteran of the coaching business, six years as a high school assistant, four years as a head coach, three years at the University of Alabama and eight years as the running backs coach for Howard Schnellenberger at the University of Louisville. The author of the inspirational and humorous book, Hang in There like Hair in a Biscuit, he can be reached at and on Twitter @coachhardknocks. He is the president of Bradford Consulting Group and resides in Destin, Fla. Alabama, favored to win its 4th national championship in five years, opened against Michigan in 2012.


Alabama Living


[  \ Laura Dodd: Inspiring, entertaining and overcoming By John N. Felsher


any people stumble through life not knowing what they want to do, but Laura Dodd knew what she wanted to do at a very early age. “I’ve always enjoyed singing,” she says. “At the age of five, my mother took me to a production of the musical “Grease.” As I was watching them sing, I was enamored by everything the performers were doing. I turned to my mother and said, ‘I’m going to do that one day!’ From then on, I’ve had a love affair with music, acting and dancing. Even before that, when they brought me home from the hospital, my mother put me in a crib in my brother’s room. My brother, who was six years older, told my mother to move me out of his room because I was humming in my sleep.” Today, the 33-year-old crooner from Gadsden, Ala., entertains audiences all over with her blend of country, blues, bluegrass, jazz and gospel music. Now making her home in Nashville, Tenn., she spends considerable time every month on the road performing with her band, Southern Mercy, or giving inspirational speeches. She has sung at such venues as the Kennedy Center and Carnegie Hall. She even performed at the White House. Dodd has shared the stage with the likes of George Jones, Restless Heart, Travis Tritt, Jeff Cook of the band Alabama, Rascal Flatts, Patty Loveless and Bruce Hornsby. “I’m a gypsy by heart,” the songstress says. “I love to travel, see new places and meet new people. Just about every week, I go somewhere, either singing or speaking at an engagement. In 2004, I had the honor of singing at the White House for President George W. Bush. That was a wonderful experience. It was to help the Miracle League, children with disabilities who have their own baseball league.” In June 2012, Laura returned to Washington, D.C. to perform at the 100-year celebration of the Girl Scouts. She sang before an audience of more than 250,000 at the National Mall. More recently, she traveled to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. When in Mexico, local bands asked if she would perform with them. As usual, she did! “I was raised in the Church of Christ and we do a lot of a cappella singing,” Dodd says. “I love to sing a cappella and will sing anytime anyone asks. In Cabo, I sang with two Spanish-speaking bands. I don’t speak Spanish and they weren’t familiar with my kind of music. We never practiced together, but we had a lot of fun.” The travel and hard work paid off as the honors piled up. In 2003, her rendition of “Wow” reached number 54 on the Music Row Country Music Breakout chart. Her original song, “Spread My Wings,” charted out at number 7, garnering her the 2010 ICM New Artist of the Year title. After debuting her hit, “I Am Pretty” during the 2011 ICM Awards Show, she received three standing ovations. In October 2012, the National Coalition for Awareness and Prevention of Domestic Violence invited Laura to Fort Worth, Texas, to perform “I Am Pretty.” The organization will use her song for do18 SEPTEMBER 2013

[  \ mestic abuse awareness programs. With her medical condition, giving During the 2012 ICM Awards, “I birth would be much too risky for Am Pretty” was nominated for Song Laura. of the Year and Dodd was nominat“One leg is a little weaker than ed for Entertainer of the Year. She the other, so I walk with a little bit won the title 2012 ICM Female Voof a limp, but that just adds charcalist of the Year. acter,” Dodd says. “It’s been a tough “Inspirational country music is a road. I’ve had to rehabilitate myself genre about faith, family and counat least three times. I take steroid try,” Dodd says. “Those things are infusions every three months to very important to me. All my life, I Laura Dodd and her band, Southern Mercy, perform boost my immune system and pills have relied upon God and my fam- inspirational country music all over the nation. every night. I also exercise avidly PHOTO COURTESY OF LAURA DODD. ily.” and work out about two hours a Growing up in Alabama as part of a family that loved all types day with yoga, weight training and Pilates. The exercise helps of music, the country girl learned all she could about music, tremendously. I train like an athlete.” dance and performing. She trained in ballet and jazz. She studied The medical condition did not slow the singer down. If anymusical choreography, attended workshops and took private vocal thing, it only encouraged her to work harder to succeed despite lessons to perfect her craft. the difficulties. When not singing, she travels the country telling “I write music and studied music theory,” Laura says. “I play a her life story as an inspiration to others. little piano, but mostly stick to my vocal instruments. I’ve always “With anything in life, we have a choice,” Dodd says. “We have wanted to be a professional singer. My grandfather calls me ‘Laura a choice to either sit down and mope or get up and cope. I want Belle.’ He would always say, ‘Laura Belle, you’re going to be on the to look back over my career and say, ‘I did the right thing.’ I want Grand Ole Opry someday.’ I hope and pray that I make it that far.” to stay positive and motivated to help others. No matter what Influenced by such diverse talents as Patsy Cline, Stevie Nicks, happens in life, a person can still achieve goals.” Etta James and Bonnie Raitt, Laura advanced in her professional Besides her speaking and musical careers, Dodd expanded into education. After graduating from high school, she attended Gads- acting. In 2012, she acted and performed in the film, “Spirit of den State Community College to continue her study of music and Love.” In addition, Dodd wrote, composed, produced and sang pursue a vocal degree. the title song for the film. On Feb. “I went to Gadsden State Com- “I’m a gypsy by heart.” 16, 2013, the film premiered to a munity College because they offered sold-out crowd at the Texas Chrisa jazz band, singers and dancers,” Dodd says. “This was my first tian Film Festival in Houston. During the premiere, she sang the live introduction to playing with a live band. It was wonderful.” national anthem a cappella while a choir of deaf children signed In August 2012, Dodd married Joseph Downs IV, a certified the song. public accountant. Her husband travels with the singer as often “I want to go to the next level, whatever level that may be,” she as possible, but stays busy tending to the business of his clients. says. “My next goal is to do some acting. I was in “The Goal,” A relationship with one client in particular proved fortuitous. an independent film about a quadriplegic rugby player. I had a “We met at my beautician’s shop,” Dodd says. “She was a client couple scenes. I also have a song in the film. People can learn and of Joseph and also cut his hair. We saw each other for about eight enjoy from life experiences. That’s where I get my motivation and years before he finally asked me out. It’s tough to have a relation- inspiration to write.” ship in the music business, but my husband is very supportive Dodd should debut a new album later this year or early 2014. of me. He knew what he was getting into when he married me.” For more information or to Unfortunately, Laura will never attain one goal – motherhood. hear samples of her music, see When she was 12 years old, Dodd saw a doctor about corrective Fans and foot surgery. The doctor took a bone section from Laura’s hip and friends can also connect with used it to correct her foot. Laura on Facebook. To book During the procedure on her foot, the medical team also di- shows, call Paula Dodd, her agnosed Laura with CIDP -- Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinat- manager and mother, at 256ing Polyneuropathy. Sometimes called Lewis-Sumner Syndrome, 458-0329. A Laura holds her ICM New the disorder attacks the myelin sheath, or the fatty covering that Artist of the Year Award. insulates and protects nerve fibers. The autoimmune disease afPHOTO COURTESY OF LAURA DODD. fects nerve tissue, causing numbness, pain, tingling and weakness. Alabama Living


As the grand calliope is played below, the pipes above erupt with white steam and music.

The grand staircase.

American Queen cabin features twin beds and a sitting area.

The first indication something is approaching is a low hiss and rumble that causes you to stop what you are doing and listen intently to see if it ceases. Instead, it slowly builds in volume, getting so loud the noise becomes an intense guttural shriek echoing across the countryside. Then the sound stops abruptly, only to repeat seconds later in several short bursts.


ven if you had never before heard it in person, something is vaguely familiar. Then it registers. A steamboat is coming around the bend! That distinct whistle of a paddlewheel riverboat, absent for four years from the Mississippi, Ohio and the Tennessee rivers, returned to Alabama shores in 2012 as the 418-foot American Queen stopped at the ports of Decatur and Florence. The

same stops are scheduled for this year in September. Constructed in 1995 by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, the American Queen spent several years cruising mid-American rivers before being dry-docked due to financial problems in 2008. Then the Great American Steamboat Company rescued, restored and returned her to America’s inland waterways

in May 2012. Today the American Queen accommodates 436 passengers, stretches 418 feet, carries a crew of 170, and stops at 34 different ports along the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers. Decatur Mayor Dan Kyle says his city has a long river history. “We feel like the Queen is part of our heritage when she returns,” he says. “People come out and

By Jim Winnerman

Paddlewheel steamboat returns to Alabama waters


Alabama Living


Nightly entertainment in the Grand Saloon is always enjoyable.

have picnic lunches and just spend the day admiring the boat from shore. A lot of families bring their children, but there are a lot of kids out there with gray hair, too.” From Rhodes Ferry Park in Decatur where the Queen lands (steamboats “land” instead of dock,) she appears as a floating Alabama plantation home festooned with porches framed by an abundance of gingerbread trim. There are even porch swings on an outside deck amidst an ocean of white wooden rocking chairs in an area named “the Front Porch of America.” Although the boat is a sight to be admired from shore, passengers are anxious to explore each port. Following the boat on land are tour buses nicknamed “steam coaches” that shuttle the tourists around the towns wherever the boat stops. Carolyn Price of Decatur was one of the local step-on guides who pointed out the sights and presented a history of the town. “There were a surprisingly small group of people from the South on board, but they were really interested in our history and were very complimentary of Decatur,” she says. “Passengers’ homes were scattered from Hawaii to the east coast.” In Decatur the buses drove in a continuous loop around the town, stopping to drop off people to shop or see some of the town’s historic sights such as the 1833 State Bank Museum, where other guides were waiting to give tours. At the Bank Street Antique Mall, Gloria Arthur had a sign on the sidewalk to welcome the visitors. “All the merchants wish the American Queen would come back more often,” she says. “In addition to what people purchased and took with them, I shipped six boxes of merchandise to addresses in the Midwest and on the east coast.” Just as important for Arthur, her customers left as friends. “We had a great time. People just sat on my bench and we all talked. It was a real nice visit,” she says. When the passengers do return onboard to their cabins, they pass through hallways and salons of gleaming mahogany, stained-glass table lamps, wind22 SEPTEMBER 2013

A family admires the sight of the Queen.

The twin flutes lower when the Queen passes under the bridges on the Decatur riverfront.

ing staircases, huge elaborate chandeliers, fine antiques, brass fixtures (including at least one spittoon,) and floral wallpaper and carpets. All help recreate the opulent Victorian era when “steamboatin’” was regarded as the finest way to travel. However, hidden beneath the boat’s 1900 appearance are a myriad of modern amenities. The Grand Saloon Theater with several side balconies (modeled after Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C.,) offers nightly entertainment. Private verandas also are attached to many rooms, and a small swimming pool on the top deck is perfect for hot days. A grandiose restaurant features menus comparable to most blue-water cruise ships and there are several bars. An unlimited buffet of snacks and cold drinks is available 24⁄7 on the observation deck. Daily onboard activities begin about 9 in the morning and continue almost hourly until late into the night. But for many passengers the favorite pastime is sitting in a rocking chair in the front of the boat watching the river slowly appear bend by bend. Every evening there is some type of “steamboat era” entertainment. One night it may be showtunes from Broadway featuring songs about rivers, and the next night a show by a card magician who weaves the lore of riverboat gamblers into his act. The Juggernaut Jug Band performs onboard frequently and along with their music include a history of jug bands on riverboats, which originated about 1900. “One thing we know for certain and that

Cruise information The American Queen is scheduled to dock in Decatur on Sept. 19 and Florence on Sept. 23. Voyages aboard the American Queen range from three to ten nights with fares starting at $995 per person. For more information on all itineraries: 1 888 749 5280

we still practice today,” says bandleader Roscoe Goose, “is that the jug must be emptied before it can be played.” Mark Twain usually makes an appearance and discusses his life and ambition to be a “steamboatman” that originated as he watched the endless parade of boats steaming past his boyhood home of Hannibal, Miss. Food is an important part of any cruise, and the American Queen crew is particularly proud of the menus created by celebrity chef Regina Charboneau. Appetizers and entrees feature Southern cuisine and change daily. Sample selections include cornmeal encrusted gulf oysters, chicken sausage and okra gumbo, smoked tomato gazpacho, barbeque spice rubbed prime rib, and fresh salmon with a citrus honey glaze. “It was a sight to see on the river,” Price says recalling how the boat looked. “We invited friends over from Georgia to see the Queen, and we went down to Rhodes Ferry Park to wave her off and say goodbye, and listen to the calliope play.” Mayor Kyle says the sound of the calliope is just something that only “makes sense” when it comes from a riverboat. “The music travels up and down the river and wafts all over town,” he says. In fact, listening to the calliope as the boat departs is a highlight for many landbound spectators. Located aft on the top deck, the small piano-like instrument is played by a member of the Queen’s small onboard orchestra. The music is made as hot steam escapes through 38 brass whistles of various sizes oozing quick puffs of pure white steam with each note and emitting a characteristic shrill sound. Hearing and watching as “Anchors Aweigh” and “Old Man River” was played, and simultaneously seeing the majestic boat slowly moves away from Rhodes Ferry Park, the crowd on shore was mesmerized. As the tunes drifted through the air and the huge red paddlewheel churned up the river water, few people turned away until the American Queen was out of sight. A

Alabama Living


Sixteenth Street Baptist Church. Inset: Below the stained glass of Jesus Christ is a plaque that honors not only the four girls who died in the bombing, but two others who were murdered the same day in racially motivated violence.

Visit to Birmingham church helps visitors visualize events of 50 years ago

Story and photos by Marilyn Jones

Waiting for the tour to begin, visitors to 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham are able to view the photos, displays and plaques in the Memorial Nook. Everything reflects back to the events of September 1963, a dark and determined time in the history of Birmingham, Ala., and the Civil Rights Movement; a time when peaceful marchers were arrested, white men and women protested school integration, and a bomb took the lives of four little girls. A young mother reads the plaque bearing the girls’ names to her daughter: “Denise McNair, aged 11, and Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley and Carole Robertson, all aged 14.”

“Why, mommy?” the little girl, who looks to be about six years old, asks. The more than 30 men, women and children gathered to tour the church wonder, too, what kind of hatred could provoke men to place a bomb outside a church, knowing it was filled with parishioners attending Sunday School. A church and a city in turmoil Everyone is asked to gather in the sanctuary where church member Lamar Washington begins telling the group about the church, the bombing and Birmingham. “This congregation was organized by freed slaves in 1873,” Washington began. “It

was the first black church in Birmingham. A church was built at this location in 1880. This church was built between 1908 and 1911. “[During segregation] African Americans couldn’t go to city auditoriums, so this church, and other black churches in Birmingham, served as meeting places and social centers,” he continued. Offering several examples of what segregation meant, he said in 1963 there were no African American police officers or store clerks; they couldn’t use an elevator. “So if my grandmother needed to get to the fifth floor of a building downtown,” he said, “she had to walk up five flights.”

Left to right: The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing is remembered at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute; John Petts created a large stained glass window of a black crucified Christ, a gift from the people of Wales; Kelly Ingram Park; just below the church sign is a memorial to the four little girls killed when a bomb exploded.


Washington also painted another vivid picture of 1963, describing the carefully planned non-violent protests. On May 2 and 3, 5,000 marchers, many of them schoolchildren, gathered at the church and nearby Kelly Ingram Park to march to city hall. Their efforts were met with high pressure fire hoses and police dogs; many were put in jail. News coverage of the demonstration and the city’s reaction shocked the nation. Birmingham had a reputation as being one of the South’s most segregated cities. When blacks spoke out, they risked violence from white segregationists. From the late 1940s to the mid-1960s nearly 50 racially directed bombings led to the city’s nickname — Bombingham. On Sept. 5, two high schools and one elementary school were ordered to admit five black students. Ten days later, September 15 at 10:22 a.m., a bomb blew into the girl’s restroom, killing the four little girls and injuring more than 20 other members of the 16th Street Baptist Church congregation. The children’s murder brought international outrage that many credit with bringing about the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Before showing a short documentary film about the bombing, Washington tells of the outpourings of sympathy, concern and financial help the church received after the tragedy. “John Petts of Wales came to Birmingham to help repair the broken stained glass windows,” he said. Petts also created a large stained glass window of the image of a black crucified Christ; a gift from the people of Wales. The window is located in the rear center of the sanctuary at the balcony level. After the film, Washington invites those who haven’t seen the Memorial Nook to do so, and then quietly leaves the sanctuary allowing those gathered the opportunity to reflect on the events that took place in this church, this neighborhood, this city. Birmingham Civil Rights District A small area of Birmingham is known as the Civil Rights District: 16th Street Baptist

Church, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Kelly Ingram Park at the intersection of 6th Avenue North and 16th Street North, and, a short walk away, the Fourth Avenue Business District and Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame housed in the Carver Theatre. A visit to this area in the heart of the city helps visitors visualize what happened 50 years ago this year. The physical scars are now covered with beautiful landscaping, statues and memorials, but the underlying message of individual freedom is rooted in the soul of the city — a reminder to never forget. The Institute tour begins with a short film chronicling Birmingham’s beginnings; a planned city designed around the natural resources available for making steel — iron ore, coal and limestone. Established in 1871 at the proposed crossroads of major rail lines, Birmingham drew men and women in search of jobs in this new industrial city — black and white. When the film ends, visitors begin a walking journey through the city which, through its many exhibits, relates the Civil Rights Movement and significant events that took place leading up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, subsequent struggles and current world events pointing toward the need for human rights awareness worldwide. Through a second-story window, visitors have a panoramic view of Kelly Ingram Park; the site where, in May 1963, Birmingham police and firemen, under orders from Public Safety Commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor, confronted demonstrators, many of them children and high school students, first with mass arrests and then with police dogs and fire hoses. Images from those confrontations, broadcast nationwide, brought national and international attention to the struggle for racial equality. Two blocks away is the Fourth Avenue Business District where much of the city’s black businesses and entertainment venues were located. A highlight of a tour along these historic streets is a visit to Carver

Theatre, once a motion picture theater for blacks; it is now a live-performance theater and home of the Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame. Until September 30, the exhibit, “A Place of Our Own: The Fourth Avenue District, Civil Rights, and the Rise of Birmingham’s Black Middle Class,” is also being featured at Vulcan Park and Museum. When Birmingham was founded, black and white businesses existed side by side. As Jim Crow laws took effect in the early 1900s, a separate black business district emerged for local African-American entrepreneurs. The exhibit helps explain life in the Fourth Avenue District and recalls the successes of business, entertainment venues and cultural institutions. When you visit Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, 153 Sixth Ave. No.;; 205-251-9402. Tours are offered Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Saturday by appointment. Donations appreciated. Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, 520 16th St. No.;; 205-328-9696, ext. 203. Open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday 1 to 5 p.m.; Closed Monday and major holidays. Admission charged.

Sept. 15, 2013, 1 p.m. 50th Anniversary of the 16th Street Baptist Church Bombing A commemoration of one of the defining moments in the civil rights movement will take place at the church, with the Rev. Julius Scruggs speaking at 1 p.m. A community service followed by a candlelight vigil will be at 3 p.m. Activities are being coordinated by the church, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, SCLC and NAACP. Call the church, (205) 251-9402, for information. More information: Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau, 2200 Ninth Avenue North;; 800-458-8085.

Left to right: In the center of this Birmingham Civil Rights Institute exhibit are symbols of hate – a Ku Klux Klan robe, mask and conical hat, and burned cross; when the bomb exploded the face of Jesus was blown out of this stained glass window; a plaque honoring the four little girls is located at the spot the bomb was placed. Originally there was a staircase into the church at this location; after the tour, visitors linger in the sanctuary.

Alabama Living


Worth the Drive

Effina’s Get a taste of Tuscan cuisine by way of Jacksonville By Jennifer Kornegay


Fried artichoke hearts: you can’t eat just one.

Alabama Field Green salad has home-made dressing.

Scallops in tomato cream sauce are a must. Jennifer Kornegay is the author of a new children’s book, “The Alabama Adventures of Walter and Wimbly: Two Marmalade Cats on a Mission.” She travels to an out-of-the way restaurant destination in Alabama every month. She may be reached for comment at j_kornegay@charter. net.


Effina’s 501 Pelham Road N., Jacksonville 256-782-0008 Jacksonville

he tumbled, aged-looking bricks’ warm tones and the terra-cotta tile roof of Effina’s Tuscan Grill in Jacksonville certainly call to mind the Mediterranean villas dotting the verdant hills in Tuscany, the lovely heart of Italy. Inside, wood floors and wood tables, ironwork and rich colors on the walls continue the theme all the way up into the charming loft area at the top of a curved staircase. But the ideas of warmth and heart aren’t restricted to this casually upscale restaurant’s décor. Owner Steven Landers wants every guest in his establishment to feel the same sense of home and love that he enjoyed when visiting his grandmother Effie’s house; it was her cooking and his connection to her through her food that inspired him to open Effina’s in 2008 and give the restaurant her name. Begin your Effina’s experience with an order off the antipasti menu. You can’t go wrong with the fried ravioli, but the fried artichoke hearts are simply sublime. The tender, piquant center of this edible thistle are encased in a crisp golden-browned batter and go down fast and easy; it’s like popping potato chips in your mouth. You cannot eat just one. The Alabama Field Green salad is light and refreshing, with creamy feta, the bite of red onion slivers and crunchy, salty toasted pecans. All of the produce for the salads is fresh, much of it local, and the dressings are made in house. Italian standards like eggplant parmigiana, chicken piccata, pizzas and lasagna are good choices, but on the evenings the kitchen can get ahold of fresh scallops for the nightly special, it’s the dish to get. Watching the waiter approach with a plate of angel hair pasta topped with huge milky white scallops quivering in a tomato cream sauce can turn the mere-second wait between table touchdown and taste-bud satiation into a period that seems like hours. And then there’s the happy ending. At Effina’s, the dessert list is short but sweet, showing a commitment to do a few things and to do them very well. Out of the four choices, including the favorite traditional Italian treat tiramisu, the white chocolate bread pudding stands out, as much for its appetizing appearance as anything else. A generous square is surrounded by puffs of whipped cream and striped with syrupy strokes of dark chocolate. It has plenty of inner beauty too, though; the taste trumps the look in the end. It’s obvious that Effina’s focuses heavily on the quality, preparation and presentation of its food, but its service is a highlight too. Keeping in mind grandma Effie’s gracious manners, the staff seems to understand the importance of welcoming and truly “serving” each and every diner. So if you’ve ever closed your eyes and wished you had a sweet Italian grandmother who’d cook delicious dishes for you, Effina’s could be the place where your wishes (that one, at least) come true. A

Alabama Living


Power Plants

Alabama olives Baldwin County farmers plan commercial olive production By Katie Jackson


f you love olives and olive oil, you no longer have to look to Spain, Italy or even California for some truly fine olive products. They can be found right here in the South, and possibly just outside your own door. Olives are native to coastal areas of the Mediterranean and Middle East where abundant sunshine, temperate climates and well-drained soils offer ideal olive growing conditions. But the trees also do well in other parts of the world, including in the U.S. where olives are being grown on a commercial scale from California to, soon perhaps, Alabama. Commercial olive production was first tried in Alabama in the early 1800s when a group of French expatriates established the ill-fated Vine and Olive Colony in west Alabama. That colony failed, in part because west Alabama’s growing environment was not suited for olives, and for many years afterward it was assumed that olives were not a viable crop for our state. However, a renaissance in southern olive production is under way, led by the success of Georgia Olive Farms in Lakeland, Ga., which is producing high-quality, chef-endorsed olives and oils on a commercial scale. And now, thanks especially to the efforts of Baldwin County farmers Steve and Susan Quantz, Alabama may soon show its true olive potential. The Quantzes stumbled onto the idea of growing olives when they visited a friend in Elberta who had two mature olive trees laden with fruit. “We were looking for an Katie Jackson, who recently retired as chief editor for the Auburn University College of Agriculture and Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station is now a fulltime freelance writer and editor. Contact her at katielamarjackson@


agricultural product that could make economic sense on small acreage,” says Steve, and seeing those two trees spurred the couple into researching the idea of growing olives on their own eight-acre farm. That research led them to California’s olive-growing region where the Quantzes learned that their farm in Alabama had all the right ingredients for olive production. Soon thereafter they obtained and planted nearly 1,000 olive trees. Though their orchard is less than a year old, the Quantzes hope to be producing enough olives within the next five years to begin processing them and also to open their operation to the public for tours, tastings and educational programs touting the health benefits and production potential of olives. In fact, they are already hosting visitors, including a recent delegation of U.S. Department of Agriculture officials who Steve says had “lots of questions.” The Quantzes like lots of questions, though, because they want to see the Alabama olive industry grow. “We hope to demonstrate the viability of olives as a commercial crop for this region,” Steve says of their farm and their mission. Interest in small-scale home-use olives is actually already strong, as Jason Powell with Petals from the Past nursery in Jemison can confirm. Petals began selling olive trees about four years ago in response to consumer demand and because they found a knowledgeable Texas supplier who had a great option for Alabama production—the Arbequina olive. Arbequina, says Powell, is ideally suited to Alabama because it is cold hardy through zone 7, can handle the heat in the southern part of the state and is self-fruiting, so it does not require cross pollination from another olive variety to produce fruit. Customers are buying one or two to use in containers or in the landscape and some are even using them to establish small home orchards.

“These trees have attractive thin, bluegrey leaves and an airy open growth habit that allows you to train as a standard or multi-trunk tree,” Powell says. What’s more, they begin producing fruit within two years of planting, so they quickly become a great addition to a culinary garden. Want to know more about olives in Alabama? Go to www.petalsfromthepast. com for information on an upcoming olive program at Petals from the Past or contact them at or 205-646-0069. To learn more about commercial production of olives in Alabama, contact Steve Quantz at stevequantz@ A

September Gardening Tips d Begin preparing the garden for winter by cleaning dead plants and debris from garden beds and the landscape. d Take notes or draw a map of your beds and landscape, highlighting what worked and what failed in this year’s garden for use as you plan next year’s garden. d Add lawn and garden debris to the compost, along with any organic (nonmeat) kitchen waste. d Test your soil so you’ll know what amendments to add this fall and winter. d Plant fall and winter vegetables and root crops, such as cabbage, collards, celery, garlic and onions. d Continue to mow and irrigate lawn as needed. d Fertilize azaleas and camellias. d Plant winter grass seeds on bare areas. d Plant perennials and biennials and spring-flowering bulbs. d Divide perennials and thin or transplant irises and daylilies. d Clean bird feeders and birdbaths and keep them filled throughout the fall for resident and migratory birds.

Around Alabama ELBA


SHA NA NA SHA NA NA bring their rock & roll celebration to town in a dynamic, crowd-pleasing show that includes highlights of their four-decade journey from Woodstock, the movie ”Grease,” the Sha Na Na tv show and their worldwide concert touring. Join an interactive show in which the audience sings along, dances and participates in a “Greaser SEPTEMBER 2 • Deatsville, Lightwood Volunteer Fire Department BBQ. Lightwood VFD, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Plates will consist of either a half chicken or chopped pork, coleslaw, baked beans, bread and a dessert. BBQ plates: $8; Boston butts: $30. Tickets: Daphne Smith, 334-569-2264 5 • Dothan, Dothan Newcomers Club Coffee Social. Ricketts Hall at the Dothan Area Botanical Gardens, 9:30 a.m. The club was organized to help cultivate fellowship among women new to the Wiregrass area in the last three years or who have experienced a life-changing event in the last two years. Information: Charlotte Gibson, 334-790-2370 or 14 • McKenzie, The Kenny Seales Memorial 5K. Sweet Home Baptist Church, proceeds benefit Joe Lee Griffin Hope Lodge. Contact: Pam Seales, 334-4290676 or 14 • Arab, Arab Community Fair Arab City Park/Historic Village, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Great entertainment, eats, fun for all ages, and a walk through beautiful Arab Historic Village. Admission: Free. Information: Juanita Edmondson, 256-586-6397 or 17-21 • Boaz, 56th Annual Marshall County Fair. Boaz VFW Fairgrounds. Carnival rides, community and individual exhibits, statewide sheep and goat show, statewide heifer and steer show, chicken

Olympics.” This will be a fun time for all ages as you twist, stroll and hand jive to the classics as performed by the crowned princes of doo-wop and rock & roll. Presented by the Coffee County Arts Alliance at Elba High School, 7 pm. Contact information: 334.406.2787 and www.

show and auction and hog show.Admission: $4 (5 and under free); carnival rides armband $15 (Tues & Wed) & $20 (Thu-Sat). Information: Marvin Cocchi, 256-593-9470 or 21 • Waverly, 22nd Annual Waverly BBQ 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Live auction at 1 p.m. Family fun, children’s activities, barnyard bingo, gospel music, Celtic traditional dancers, petting zoo, auction and BBQ chicken and pork. Information: Becky Combs, 334-887-7288 26 • Selma, Annual Barbeque on the Green Sturdivant Museum, 7-9 p.m. Enjoy a southern barbeque and all the fixin’s on the back lawn of Sturdivant Hall. Musical entertainment provided. Admission: $25. Information: 334-872-5626 27 & 28 • Collinsville, Collinsville Quilt Walk The Quilt Walk is a walking tour of historic homes in town with 400 handmade quilts shown throughout the six locations. The quilts on display date from 19002013. In addition, there will be a rag doll exhibit featuring more than 50 Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls made by Alabama doll maker, Francheska Lanseros. Tickets: $10 (available at Collinsville Library) Contact: Jennifer Wilkins at the Library, 256524-2323

Lodge & Retreat. Fri: 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sat: 9 a.m.-7 p.m.; Sun: 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission charged. Contact: Eddie or Vivian Prince, 256-776-9411 or 28 • Prattville, 2nd Annual AUM/Army ROTC/Tukabatchee Area Council Mud Run. Camp Hobbs 9 a.m. 2021 Camp Tukabatchee Road. $30 per individual, $120 per Team Sponsorships are available for $250. Entry fee is non-refundable and non-transferable. The cap for the event is 500 participants. Payment is due by September 10 to ensure you receive a t-shirt. This is a rain or shine event! Race day registrations are available. Contact the council office at 800-97-SCOUT or visit 28-October 31 • LaFayette, “Homegrown” Pumpkin Patch. Jack-O-Lantern Lane at The Oaks. Admission: charged. Contact: Glenn Morgan, 334-864-0713. OCTOBER 5-12 • CULLMAN, Oktoberfest Cullman County Museum and Festhalle Market Platz Contact Julie Burks at 256-739-1258, toll free at 800-533-1258 or

27-29 • Estillfork, 13th Annual Ole Timey Craft & Bluegrass Festival. Paint Rock Valley

To place an event, mail to Events Calendar, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124; e-mail to events@alabamaliving. coop (Subject Line: Around Alabama) or visit www. Each submission must include a contact name and phone number. Deadline is two months prior to issue date. We regret that we cannot publish every event due to space limitations.

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Alabama Outdoors

Hunting regulations changing this fall By John N. Felsher

Many changes to hunting regulations will affect Alabama sportsmen this fall. For starters, deer hunters must abide by revised supplemental feeding regulations. Under the new rules, hunters can feed deer, as long as they put the food more than 100 yards from their stands and can’t see it because of a natural object like a row of trees or a terrain feature. Hunters cannot erect a wall of logs or place a hay bale between themselves and the feeder 101 yards away. “Baiting for deer and turkeys is still illegal in Alabama,” stresses Kevin Dodd, the Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division enforcement chief in Montgomery. “There will be a rebuttable presumption that any feed placed more than 100 yards from the hunter and not within the line of sight of the hunter is not an attraction for the hunter attempting to kill a deer. If a hunter knowingly hunts less than 100 yards from or within sight of feed or a feeder, that person could be cited for baiting. This is merely an attempt to clarify the area in which someone can feed animals and hunt without getting arrested. It’s still up to the local wildlife enforcement officer’s discretion if the person is baiting or 32 SEPTEMBER 2013

Bullock County deer. PHOTO BY SHUG ROWLAND

not based upon available corroborating evidence.” The new feeding regulation only applies to private lands since public land regulations prohibit any baiting or supplemental feeding. However, landowners can still plant food plots, such as clover or rye grass and hunt over growing crops. In southwestern Alabama, deer season

Successful sportsmen throughout the state, whether hunting on private or public land, must report all deer and turkey kills. dates will extend into February since whitetails often go into rut later in that part of the state. During the rut, or mating season, bucks lose some natural wariness and may move around more to look for receptive does. That makes them easier to hunt. “There’s some evidence that whitetail bucks go into rut later in the southwestern

part of the state,” Dodd explains. “We wanted to give sportsmen in that area better opportunities to hunt the rut, so we adjusted the season dates a bit, but it’s still the same overall number of days.” In the affected counties, the state will close the modern firearms deer season for 10 days in December and open the season for 10 days in February. In that area, modern firearms season runs from Nov. 23 through Dec. 1. It will reopen Dec. 12 and run through Feb. 10, 2014. Archery season will also open 10 days later, but will continue through the December gun season closure. Archery season runs from Oct. 25 to Feb. 10, 2014. Many public lands set different season dates or may impose more stringent regulations for hunting on that property. Therefore, check the laws for that specific property before hunting. Successful sportsmen throughout the state, whether hunting on private or public land, must report all deer and turkey kills. Each hunter must carry a harvest record, available with the purchase of a hunting license. Before any successful sportsman can move a deer or turkey, that person must

record the kill on the harvest record. Then, that person must report the kill to the state, via telephone or Internet within 24 hours. “This harvest data will help us keep track of when and where people are killing deer and turkeys so we can better manage the resource,” Dodd says. “That information will be available to the public, so sportsmen can see how many deer or turkeys were harvested in their county or favorite wildlife management area. The easiest way to report a kill is by downloading the free app to a smartphone and use it to file a report. It only takes a few minutes.” To report a deer or turkey harvest, see or call 800-888-7690. Waterfowlers will also see changes this year. With teal populations up significantly, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will allow hunters in many states including Alabama to bag more teal during the September season. Blue-winged teal migrate much earlier than other ducks, sometimes arriving on the Alabama coast by late August. Consequently, many states hold September seasons to increase the harvest of these birds. Teal season runs from Sept. 7-22. Sportsmen may bag up to six birds per day, up from the four-bird daily limit

in place for decades, in any combination of green-winged and blue-winged teal. The state also made it easier for sportsmen to complete hunter education training. Anyone born on or after Aug. 1, 1977, must complete a hunter education program before buying a license. The traditional hunter education course takes at least eight hours and ends with a written examination. Beginning on Sept. 1, the state will allow sportsmen to complete the hunter education requirements online without physically attending a class. “This is a big change, one many people wanted for years,” Dodd says. “With people as busy as they are, not everyone can get into a class. Also, they had to wait for the next class in their area. Now, they can take the course over the Internet at their leisure.” For more information on hunter education, call 334-242-3620. For a complete list of course dates, see https://huntered.dcnr. For more information about fish and game laws and seasons, consult the free 2013-2014 Alabama Hunting and Fishing Digest, available at most sporting goods stores, or see Sportsmen may also call their district wildlife enforcement office for clarification of game laws. A

John N. Felsher is a professional freelance writer and photographer who lives in Semmes, Ala. He’s written more than 1,700 articles for more than 117 magazines. He co-hosts a weekly outdoors radio show. Contact him through his website at www.

Alabama Living

Steven Felsher follows through after downing a teal. PHOTO BY JOHN N. FELSHER

Tables indicate peak fish and game feeding and migration times. Major periods can bracket the peak by an hour before and an hour after. Minor peaks, half-hour before and after. Adjusted for daylight savings time. a.m. p.m. Minor Major Minor Major

SEP. 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

07:52 08:52 09:52 11:07 ---01:22 03:07 04:22 05:07 05:52 ---

01:22 02:07 02:52 03:37 04:52 06:07 07:52 09:07 10:07 10:52 11:22 11:52 06:37 07:07

01:37 02:07 02:52 03:37 01:22 10:52 09:22 10:07 10:37 11:22 05:37 05:52 12:22 12:52

07:22 07:52 08:22 08:52 09:37 03:07 03:52 04:22 04:52 05:22 11:52 12:07 12:37 06:37

OCT. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31

07:52 08:22 09:07 09:52 11:07 ----02:37 03:52 04:52 11:22 --08:07 08:52 10:07 11:22 ---01:37 03:22 04:22 10:52 11:22 --07:52 08:22

01:07 01:37 02:07 02:52 03:22 04:22 05:22 06:52 08:22 09:07 10:07 10:52 05:37 06:22 07:07 01:07 01:52 02:37 03:22 04:22 05:37 07:07 08:22 09:22 10:22 05:22 05:52 06:37 07:07 12:52 01:22

01:22 01:37 02:07 02:22 02:52 01:07 -12:37 09:52 10:22 10:52 04:52 05:22 12:07 12:37 01:22 02:07 02:52 03:37 09:07 10:52 09:07 09:52 03:52 04:22 04:52 05:07 12:07 12:22 12:52 01:22

06:52 07:22 07:37 07:52 08:07 08:07 03:07 03:22 03:52 04:07 04:37 11:22 11:52 12:22 06:07 06:37 07:07 07:52 08:22 12:52 02:07 02:52 03:37 10:22 10:52 11:22 11:52 12:22 05:52 06:07 06:37


Alabama Recipes

Party Dips COOK OF THE MONTH Rene’ R. Mason, Dixie EC

Artichoke/Crab Dip 1 large bell pepper, chopped 1 tablespoon vegetable oil 2 14-ounce cans artichokes, drained and chopped 1 cup of mayonnaise ½ cup green onions, chopped ½ cup pimentos or red bell pepper, chopped 1 cup parmesan cheese

1½ tablespoons lemon juice 4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 3 pickled jalapeño peppers, seeded and minced 1 teaspoon celery salt 16 ounces crabmeat, drained 1⁄3 cup (or a little more) sliced almonds, toasted lightly

In heavy skillet cook bell pepper in oil. Add everything. Gently fold in crabmeat last. Put in buttered dish (2-quart) and top with sliced almonds. Bake 25-30 minutes at 375 until golden.


f I am eyeballing the food at a party, I tend to gravitate towards the dips. They are usually quick and easy to eat with chips, veggies or crackers. We have several different types to share with you in this issue, so please let me know how they turn out. We love hearing feedback from our cooks. We’d also love to post some photos of our cooks making their favorite recipes on our Facebook pages, so send us your photos via our newly redesigned website, www. While you’re visiting there, check out our expanded archives of past Alabama Living recipes going back all the way to the 1990s! And be sure to “like” Alabama Living on Facebook!

You could win $50! Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: November


September 15



November 15



October 15

Please send all submissions to: Recipe Editor, P.O. Box 244104, Montgomery, Al 36124. Or e-mail to: Be sure to include your address, phone number and the name of your electric cooperative.

34 SEPTEMBER 2013 Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen-tested by a professional cook or

registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.

Alabama Living


Apple Dip

Low Country Caviar

1 can sweetened condensed milk 1 cup butterscotch chips

2 teaspoons white vinegar ¼ teaspoon cinnamon

Melt chips in sweetened condensed milk, add vinegar and cinnamon. Serve warm with apple wedges. Pam VanAustin, Baldwin EMC

BLT DIP 1 cup mayonnaise 1 cup sour cream

1 package bacon bits and pieces 1 cup diced tomato

Mix well all ingredients and refrigerate overnight. Excellent with pita chips. Recipe is easily doubled.

3 16-ounce cans blackeyed peas, drained and rinsed 2 16-ounce cans whole kernel white corn, drained and rinsed 1 medium-sized green bell pepper, chopped coarsely ½ medium sized purple onion, chopped coarsely 2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilies

1 tablespoon minced garlic 1-½ cups Zesty Italian dressing 1 pound small or medium shrimp, thawed with shells removed ½ cup olive oil 1 large bag scoop type corn chips ½ cup sour cream Garnish: cilantro sprig

Combine the first seven ingredients in a large bowl. Cook shrimp in olive oil on low/medium heat until just done. Add shrimp to mixture and gently stir in. Refrigerate for several hours before serving. May top with the sour cream and garnish the sour cream with the cilantro. Serve with the chips and enjoy! Lila Wright, Dixie EC

Shirley Seay, Wiregrass EC

Spinach Dip

Warm Bacon Dip 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

½ cup bacon bits 1 spoonful of mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together. Place in oven safe serving dish.  Bake in oven at 325 for 30 minutes.  Serve warm with crackers or dip chips. Sue Robbins, Coosa Valley EC

Mexican Shrimp Dip 1½ pounds fresh steamed shrimp ¼ can of Clamato beer ½ cup Heinz ketchup 1 jalapeno pepper 1 serrano pepper

1 tablespoon minced garlic 1 bunch cilantro, chopped Avocados

1 round pumpernickel bread Dip Ingredients: 1 package chopped frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry 1 can slivered water chestnuts

3 green onions, chopped 1 package Knorr vegetable soup mix 1 cup sour cream 1 cup mayonnaise

Make a hollow circle in bread. Set aside. Mix the dip ingredients well. Chill dip until ready to serve. Place in scooped out section of bread. Kathy Pittman, Wiregrass EC

Peel shrimp and cut into small pieces. Cut up small pieces of both peppers and mix all ingredients together. Refrigerate overnight, then add chopped avocados before serving. I use three small avocados. Serve with chips or baked crackers Connie Hestily, Baldwin EMC 36 SEPTEMBER 2013

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Market Place Miscellaneous AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)638-4399 or (256)638-2352 KEEP POND WATER CLEAN AND FISH HEALTHY with our aeration systems and pond supplies. Windmill Electric and Fountain Aerators. Windpower (256)638-4399, (256)899-3850 FREE BOOKS / DVDS – SOON government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 –, (888)211-1715 USED PORTABLE SAWMILLS – BUY / Sell. Call Sawmill Exchange (800)4592148 or 713-sawmill. USA & Canada – FLOORING FOR YOUR HOME! 1ST Quality – NO Seconds: Hardwood, Laminate, Carpet, Luxury Vinyl Tile & Planks, Sheet Vinyl, Ceramic Tile – In Home Estimates and Professional Installation available – ProTrax Flooring (334)531-3020, protraxinfo. LUMBER FOR SALE: CIRCULAR SAW Red & White Oak, Hickory, Ash - $1.20 BFT; Heart Pine - $5.00 BFT – 5” Treated Round: One Side Flat Fence Post 8 FT Long $9.50 each - Loring White (334)782-3636 (Tallapoosa) NEW AND USED STAIR LIFT ELEVATORS – Car lifts, Scooters, Power Wheelchairs, Walk-in Tubs, Ceiling Lifts – Covers State of Alabama – 23 years (800)682-0658 18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – OTHER SIZES AVAILABLE - (706) 226-2739 DIVORCE MADE EASY – UNCONTESTED, LOST, IN PRISON OR Aliens. $149.95 - 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 FINANCIAL HELP LINES FOR AL FAMILIES BANKRUPTCY ADVICE FOR FREE (877)933-1139 MORTGAGE RELIEF HELP LINE (888) 216-4173 STUDENT LOAN RELIEF LINE (888)694-8235 DEBT RELIEF NON-PROFIT LINE (888) 779-4272 Numbers provided by A Public Benefit Organization METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1ST QUALITY, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change) - (706) 226-2739



Business Opportunities START YOUR OWN BUSINESS! MIA Bella’s Gourmet Scented Products. Try the Best! Candles / Gifts / Beauty. Wonderful income potential! Enter Free Candle Drawing - www. Dept. #745 EARN 55,000/YR PART TIME IN THE FARM EQUIPMENT and LIVESTOCK APPRAISAL BUSINESS. Ag background required – Classroom and Home Study courses available. (800)488-7570 or visit www. WANTED – FORKLIFT TRANSPORTED FROM ANDALUSIA TO BIRMINGHAM – Contact David (205)972-4416, PIANO TUNING PAYS – LEARN WITH American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793

Vacation Rentals PIGEON FORGE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, Ground Floor, Pool, Hottub, Patio – (256)601-7193, rusticwoodsgetawaypf/info HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – SLEEPS 2-6, 2.5 BATHS, FIREPLACE, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – (251)9482918,, email PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 BEDROOM, 2 bath house – Walking distance to parkway, light# 1 - $85.00 / night – (256)309-7873, (256)590-8758 GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – Wi-Fi, pet friendly, nonsmoking – $695/wk, (256)418-2131, AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS – Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL. Rent Direct from Christian Family Owners. Lowest Prices on the Beach –, (251)550-9421, (205)556-0368, (205)752-1231 GULF SHORES, GULF FRONT - 1 BR/1BA - Seacrest condo - King bed, hall bunks, free wifi - Owner rates. (256) 352-5721, GATLINBURG, TN CHALET - 3BR/3BA – BASKINS CREEK - Pool, 10 minute walk downtown, Aquarium, National Park – (334)289-0304

APPALACHIAN TRAIL – CABINS BY THE trail in the Georgia Mountains – 3000’ above sea level, snowy winters, cool summers, inexpensive rates – (800)2846866,

ORANGE BEACH CONDO, 3BR/3BA; 2,000 SQ.FT.; beautifully decorated; gorgeous waterfront view; boat slips available; great rates - Owner rented (251)604-5226

FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com

PIGEON FORGE - COZY CABINS FOR Rent by Owner (865) 712-7633, vrbo. com/483181

HOUSE IN PIGEON FORGE, TN – FULLY FURNISHED, SLEEPS 6-12, 3 baths, creek, no pets – (256)997-6771, PENSACOLA BEACH CONDO – GULF front – 7th floor balcony – 3BR / 2BA, sleeps 6, pool – (850)572-6295 or (850)968-2170 – www. ORANGE BEACH, AL CONDO – SLEEPS 4, GULF AND RIVER amenities – Great Rates – (228)3694680, GULF SHORES CONDO BEACHSIDE – 2 Bed, 2 Bath, 2 Pools, Wireless Internet, Non-Smoking, No Pets (256)287-0368, (205)613-3446 GULF SHORES CONDO – 1BR, sleeps 4, Gulf-front – (251)342-4393 MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 14 – www., (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.   GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN – AFFORDABLE PRIVATE BEACH & BAY Homes, 1-9 Bedrooms, Pet Friendly Available – (800)678-2306 – http:// GULF SHORES RENTAL– GREAT Rates! (256)490-4025, (256)523-5154 or GULF SHORES BEACH HOUSE – NICE 2 BEDROOM, GREAT VIEW – FALL SPECIAL $800/WK – (251)666-5476 GULF SHORES COTTAGE – WATERFRONT, 2 / 1, PET FRIENDLY – RATES AND CALENDAR ONLINE, (251)223-6114 GULF SHORES PLANTATION - GULF view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850 GULF SHORES CONDO – 2BR / 1.5BA, sleeps 6, pool, beach access – (334)790-9545 CABINS / PIGEON FORGE, TN – QUIET, CONVENIENT – (251)6493344, (251)649-4049, WWW.

CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, BROW view, hottub – For rent $100/night or Sale $219,000 – (706)767-0177 GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552 WWW.VACATIONSMITHLAKE.COM – NICE 3BR / 2BA HOUSE, DEEP water, covered dock - $100.00 / night – (256)352-5721, amariewisener@ DETROIT, AL – COTTON ROW COTTAGE – 2BR / 1BA in quiet scenic cotton valley get-a-way! 10 minutes West of Hwy 78 & 45 minutes from Tupelo, MS – Call June at (662)825-3244 PINE MOUNTAIN, GA – 3 OR 4 BR chalets overlooking a 12 acre lake – Tennis, swimming, fishing, basketball, game room, canoeing and restaurant or premises – Only 1 mile from Callaway Gardens – Call (800)535-7622 and ask for Chalets #72, #75 or #86 PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, air hockey, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)363-1973, www. GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE ON BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, GULF SHORES – FALL VACATIONS ARE BEST. Great gulf front condo, unbelievable views, newly remodeled, 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6. Walk to shops, restaurants, entertainment. Early Xmas shopping at Foley outlet malls. Rent 3 or more nights, get night free. View online: www.vrbo. com/400713, (850)492-4276 GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE – 2 and 3 BEDROOM LUXURY CABINS – Home theatre room, hot tub, gameroom – www., (251)363-8576 PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – OWNER RENTAL – 2BR / 2BA, wireless internet, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000,, www.

FT. WALTON CONDO – 1BR, SLEEPS 6, Gulf-side – (251)342-4393

GATLINBURG, TN – FOND memories start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway

Camping / Hunting / Fishing ANDALUSIA AREA RV CAMPGROUND FOR HUNTERS/ FISHERMEN - on Point ‘A’ Lake Nightly, weekly & monthly rates Reservations (334)388-0342, www. GULF SHORES CONDOS - 4.7 MILES from beach, starting prices $56,900, click on Colony Club – (251)948-8008 – Century21 Meyer Real Estate DOG LOVER’S DREAM HOME W/ large split, fenced, backyard, two acres total – Doggie door, ceramic tile all downstairs floor – Call (334)796-4903 LAND FOR SALE IN ELMORE COUNTY – 29.40 Acres – For details contact (334)207-6181

Musical Notes PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982 PIANOS TUNED, REPAIRED, refinished. Box 171, Coy, AL 36435. 334-337-4503

Education BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, 7558 West Thunderbird Road, Ste. 1 - #114, Peoria, Arizona 85381. FREE BIBLE CORRESPONDENCE COURSE – write to 23600 Alabama Highway 24, Trinity, AL, 35673

Fruits / Nuts / Berries GROW MUSCADINES AND BLACKBERRIES , half dollar size – We offer over 200 varieties of Fruit and Nut Trees plus Vines and Berry Plants .

Free color catalog. 1-800-733-0324. Ison’s Nursery, P.O. Box 190, Brooks, GA 30205 Since 1934

-Ads are $1.75 per word with a 10 word mini- How To Place a Line mum and are on a prepaid basis Ad in Marketplace -Telephone numbers, email addresses and Closing Deadlines websites are considered 1 word each (in our office): -Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to or call November 2013 (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing. Sept. 25 -We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards December 2013 Mail ad submission along with a check or money Oct. 25 order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. January 2014 Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Nov. 25 Classifieds.

Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. REGISTERED, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893

Travel CARIBBEAN CRUISES AT THE LOWEST PRICE – (256)974-0500 or (800)726-0954

Alabama Living


Send your questions to: James Dulley

Alabama Living 6906 Royalgreen Dr. Cincinnati, OH 45244

Consumer Wise

You can also reach Dulley online at:

Landscape for looks and efficiency Wise landscaping can lower utility bills and improve comfort in addition to dressing up your property By James Dulley


We are landscaping our new house. We like a wooded yard for shade and to enhance the energy efficiency of our home. Where should we plant trees, and which are best? What materials are good alternatives to grass for ground cover?


Wise landscaping can do more than just create an attractive yard. It can also lower your utility bills, summer and winter, and improve your family’s comfort year-round. Trees, being one of the key components of any residential landscaping design, can have the greatest effect on your utility bills. For one, the evaporation of moisture from the leaves on trees actually cools the air temperature around your home, akin to how perspiration cools your skin. By taking advantage of passive solar heating during winter, with the proper placement and selection of trees, you can use less electricity to heat your home. The primary goal of efficient landscaping with trees is to shade your home during summer, yet allow the sun to pass through during winter. Additional goals are, depending upon your climate, to allow cool evening breezes to flow around your house or to provide moisture for evaporative cooling of the air near your house. Before you start, check with a local landscaper to determine your temperature zone, which refers to the minimum winter temperature range. For warm climates in Zone 10, the range is 30 degrees to 40 degrees Fahrenheit. For cold climates in Zone 1, the range is -30 degrees to -40 degrees F. If you select species of trees that

James Dulley

is a nationally syndicated engineering consultant based in Cincinnati


thrive in a climate more than one or two zones outside your range, they may not do well and may require excessive care. In an average temperate climate, a typical efficient tree landscaping plan has deciduous trees to the south, southeast, and southwest. The leaves block the sun during summer, but when the leaves fall during winter, the sun shines through to heat your home. Leave a small gap to the southwest to allow cooler evening breezes to flow through. Plant dense evergreens along the north, northeast, and northwest sides, which block the cold winter winds. With shorter days and the sun lower in the sky during winter, not much solar heat comes from these directions. In hot, humid climates, shading during summer is most important. Taller trees should be planted closer to your home to block the sun, which is higher in the sky. Leaving a gap for breezes is not as important. There are alternatives to grass, such as ground cover plants and gravel. Both have their advantages and disadvantages for landscaping a house. The benefits of either depend on your climate, house, and yard. Even in the same neighborhood, what is good for one house may not be efficient for another.

Low-growing ground cover near your house can help to keep it cool during summer. The leaves block the sun’s heat from absorbing into the ground, and they give off moisture for natural cooling. Ground cover has a lesser impact on efficiency during winter. The cooling effect from ground cover is most effective in drier climates because there is more evaporation. In hot, humid climates, the additional moisture from plants near the house will further increase the relative humidity level. This is more of a problem if you rely on natural ventilation than when air-conditioning with the windows closed. Landscaping with gravel eliminates the need to water grass, but it can increase the air temperature around your house, particularly in the evening. The thermal mass of the gravel stores the afternoon sun’s heat, which helps in the winter. If you use gravel, make sure it’s shaded by deciduous trees during the summer. A good location for ground cover is between an asphalt or cement driveway or walkway and the sunny side of your house. Not only does the driveway get hot and hold the heat, but it re-radiates the heat up to your house. Planting taller ground cover between the driveway and your house walls can block some of this heat. A

Low-water-use ground cover plants and boulders are shaded by trees during the summer and help warm the home during winter. Inset: Typical efficient tree landscaping plan for a temperate climate with concerns for summer cooling plus winter heating. Notice the evergreen windbreak to the north and northwest sides. SOURCE: JAMES DULLEY

Market Place

Alabama Living





Alabama Living


Our Sources Say



he Fourth of July just passed. We all had a good day — off work, eating hot dogs, watching fireworks, celebrating our freedom. Of course, the Fourth should be more about celebrating our freedom. The National Anthem’s “...the land of the free and the home of the brave” clearly defines our country’s fundamental concept. We are all in favor of freedom, especially our own. But what does freedom really mean? The Declaration of Independence proclaims us to be “residents of a free and independent state.” Thomas Jefferson, lobbying for a Bill of Rights in his first inaugural address, called for “freedom of religion, freedom of the press and freedom of person.” The Bill of Rights protects many freedoms. We have the right to pray, be judged by our peers, not to testify against ourselves and say or write what we think. The Second Amendment provides the right to bear arms, but will it also afford the right to buy ammunition? We have the right not to be subjected to cruel and unusual punishment but always seem confused about what is cruel and unusual, depending upon who is being punished. President Franklin Roosevelt laid out four basic human freedoms: freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, freedom from want and freedom from fear. Of course, he also said, “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” I have read that many languages and cultures don’t have a word or even a concept for freedom. Those languages include Latin, Greek and many Asian languages. That doesn’t mean they are not free; they just don’t have the same central concept for it. As I consider freedom, it seems it is not only the foundation for our country but also the central issue for all our politics. Maybe that is where we lost our way. As time passes, our freedoms seem further constrained and narrowed by government. We have the right to work – or not to work, if that be the case. We have the freedom to be compensated for our work and the right to pay taxes — oops, the obligation. In some jurisdictions,

a large percentage of our freedom of compensation is offset by our government’s right to collect taxes. Taxes are a very necessary component of that equation. (For those of you who think I am complaining about the present administration, government has been constraining our freedoms for many years, and it has been largely bi-partisan.) We are familar with our right of free speech. We know it is mitigated by societal norms, like not screaming “fire” in a crowded theatre. But lately, government and political correctness has further eroded the right of free speech. A young man was recently charged (not yet convicted) with a felony for tweeting (a form of speech) that he was so mad he intended to go into a kindergarten, shoot the children and eat their still-warm hearts. While obviously insensitive, psychologically disturbing and possibly indicative of mental illness, is such speech a crime? A felony charge, considering the lack of specificity, the lack of targeting and the lack of action, seems overreaching. Maybe a pyschological profile would be more in order. As far as our freedom, it strikes me the government is both freedom’s greatest protector and greatest enemy. Politicians run government, and there appears to be no end to restrictions they impose on our freedom. There are more and more each year, like the size and mileage of our cars, how we invest our money, the types of light bulbs we use, and, potentially, the type of fuels we use. That is what politicians do and tell us it is good for us. Nietzsche, in assessing democracy, opined, “Liberal institutions straightway cease from being liberal the moment they are soundly established. Once this is attained no more grievous and thorough enemies of freedom exist than liberal institutions.” He was not speaking of political parties, but of government itself. Finally, Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, “For what avail the plow or sail, or land or life if freedom fail.” Freedom is the foundation of our society. It is our duty to protect it. I hope you have a good month. A

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative


Alabama Living


Cast your vote for the


Best of Alabama for a chance to win



Deadline to vote is Oct 15, 2013.

Please tell us your favorite in each of the categories that you’ve experienced: 1) Public garden

11) Non-franchise restaurant

___________________________________ 2) Currently performing Alabama Band

___________________________________ 12) Place to satisfy your sweet tooth

___________________________________ 3) Alabama writer

___________________________________ 13) Golf course

___________________________________ 4) State park

___________________________________ 14) Mountain destination

___________________________________ 5) Historical site

___________________________________ 15) Local performing arts site

___________________________________ 6) Alabama made product (brand name)

___________________________________ 16) Beach destination

___________________________________ 7) Kid friendly vacation destination

___________________________________ 17) Weekend getaway

___________________________________ 8) Antique/flea market

___________________________________ 18) Lake

___________________________________ 9) Annual festival

___________________________________ 19) Public fishing spot

___________________________________ 10) Trail (run/walk/bike)

___________________________________ 20) Best kept secret in Alabama (location or business)




Name: __________________________________________________


Address: ____________________________ City: _______________ St: _____ Zip: _________ Phone Number: ______________________ Co-op: ___________________________________

Please mail to: Alabama Living Survey • P.O. Box 244014 • Montgomery, AL 36124 No purchase necessary. Eligibility: Contest open to all persons age 18 and over, except employees and their immediate family members of Alabama Rural 46 SEPTEMBER 2013 Electric Association, and Alabama Electric Cooperatives; and their respective divisions, subsidiaries, affiliates, advertising, and promotion agencies.

Alabama Living


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