Page 1

The Anniston Star Sunday, January 1, 2012 Page 1C n

n

Stephen Gross

Images the year in photos: the stories of 2011

As the year draws

POLICE OFFICER’S FUNERAL

to a close, The Anniston Star’s photographers have chosen their best images of 2011. Chief photographer Trent Penny, Stephen Gross and Bill Wilson have among them more than 80 years of service at The Star. The following pages contain their scenes of heartache and wonder, devastation and rebirth, solemnity and humor.

The funeral of slain Anniston police office Justin Sollohub was a sad event. I felt very self-conscious taking photos of such a somber service, but the family gave me free rein to cover as I saw fit. Sometimes at an event like this, you feel like you’re invading the privacy of the family, even with having their blessings. I was being as tactful and non-invasive as possible during the service. I tried to capture the family’s reaction without being in the way or taking away from the service. This was one of the few assignments that I’ve covered in my 34-year career where I cried. — Stephen Gross, Star staff photographer

MORE MEMORABLE PHOTOS

On the left is Trent Penny’s photo showcasing the intensity of the Alabama-Auburn rivalry at the 76th Iron Bowl at Jordan-Hare Stadium. On the right, Bill Wilson captures a quiet moment as Justin Sollohub’s girlfriend of two years, Brooklyn Wesley, reflects.


Page 2C Sunday, January 1, 2012

IMAGES

The Anniston Star

Trent Penny

Soldiers salute as Oxford resident Aaron Causey returns home, walking with prosthetics after losing his legs during the war in Afghanistan.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

Trent Penny

Maygan McKenzie and her daughter build a snowman.

Bill Wilson

First responder Jason King trains at the CDP at McClellan.

Bill Wilson

Payton Thornton leads his kindergarten class down the hall.

Stephen Gross

Walter Farr donates a case of arrowheads to Cheaha.


The Anniston Star

IMAGES

Sunday, January 1, 2012 Page 3C

Stephen Gross

Saks pitcher Taylor West throws to a batter.

Trent Penny

A Piedmont running back takes a hard hit.

Stephen Gross

A Cleburne County cheerleader screams after an interception.

VICTORY AND DEFEAT

Stephen Gross

Ragland pitcher Sommar Wright eyes a batter.

Bill Wilson

Auburn coach Gene Chizik preps his team before their game against Clemson.

Bill Wilson

Janel Holcomb wins the women’s pro race as she crosses the finish line at the Sunny King Criterium.


Page 4C Sunday, January 1, 2012

IMAGES

Stephen Gross

Anniston Councilman John Spain bonds out on an assault charge.

The Anniston Star

Stephen Gross

Auburn kicks to win against Oregon at the BCS Championship.

Bill Wilson

A candlelight vigil is held on the square in Jacksonville for Wellborn Elementary School teacher Kevin Thompson.

THE NEWS OF THE YEAR

Trent Penny

An Anniston firefighter battles a house fire on Belmont Road.

Bill Wilson

The Veterans Memorial Parkway opens at Iron Mountain Road.

Bill Wilson

Original Freedom Rider Hank Thomas reflects about Anniston.

Trent Penny

The April 27 tornado cuts through the Webster’s Chapel and Pleasant Valley communities, devastating hundreds of families.


The Anniston Star

IMAGES

Sunday, January 1, 2012 Page 5C

Trent Penny

A crop duster flies over a cotton field along Alabama Highway 55 near Andalusia in Covington County in South Alabama.

PHOTOGRAPHER’S CHOICE I shot this photo in a community outside of Piedmont called Gnatville. It was the morning of April 28, and I was out and about looking to document the tragic tornado outbreak that had just happened the day before. When I rounded a curve in the road, I saw this black dog just sitting in the middle of a pile of rubble — what no doubt was the home of a family, his family, the day before. No people were around, and this dog seemed to still be guarding his territory. As I left that place and continued to drive through what had been turned into a war zone by Mother Nature, I had that dog and his family on my mind. I kept wondering if his owners would come back for him, or if he would go hungry. I decided to go back the next day and carry some food and water for the dog. I walked around for about 20 minutes, whistling for the dog, but he never showed up. I just hope his owners came back for him. — Trent Penny

Trent Penny

Aaron Causey, followed by his brothers, arrives in Oxford.

Trent Penny

Heather Watson shields a candle in a vigil for Zach Howard.

Trent Penny

Sophia Laminack cools off at Freedom Park at Oxford Lake.


Page 6C Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012 Page 7C

Trent Penny

Racers compete in the Weaver BMX Redline Cup at Weaver Park.

Bill Wilson

Auburn running back Michael Dyer walks over to cheering fans after winning against Florida Atlantic.

THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION

Trent Penny

JSU’s Ebonie Curry splashes in the sand at a long jump track meet.

Stephen Gross

JSU’s Kelci Johnston slides to safety.

Stephen Gross

Ragland wins the ASHAA 1A state softball championship.

Bill Wilson

Oxford’s Eric Lee celebrates his 6A 135 lb. state title win at the Von Braun Civic Center.

Bill Wilson

Cyclists speed down the road in the dark at the Sunny King Criterium men’s pro race.

Trent Penny

Jacksonville High School’s Lady Golden Eagles volleyball team sets a new school record for most consecutive wins.

Trent Penny

Alabama running back Eddie Lacy jumps over Mississippi State defensive back Wade Bonner for a big yardage gain.


Page 6C Sunday, January 1, 2012

Sunday, January 1, 2012 Page 7C

Trent Penny

Racers compete in the Weaver BMX Redline Cup at Weaver Park.

Bill Wilson

Auburn running back Michael Dyer walks over to cheering fans after winning against Florida Atlantic.

THE SPIRIT OF COMPETITION

Trent Penny

JSU’s Ebonie Curry splashes in the sand at a long jump track meet.

Stephen Gross

JSU’s Kelci Johnston slides to safety.

Stephen Gross

Ragland wins the ASHAA 1A state softball championship.

Bill Wilson

Oxford’s Eric Lee celebrates his 6A 135 lb. state title win at the Von Braun Civic Center.

Bill Wilson

Cyclists speed down the road in the dark at the Sunny King Criterium men’s pro race.

Trent Penny

Jacksonville High School’s Lady Golden Eagles volleyball team sets a new school record for most consecutive wins.

Trent Penny

Alabama running back Eddie Lacy jumps over Mississippi State defensive back Wade Bonner for a big yardage gain.


Page 8C Sunday, January 1, 2012

IMAGES

The Anniston Star

Stephen Gross

Receding waters from the Coosa River cause a pontoon boat to come to rest atop a pier at River Bay Mobile Home Park in Lincoln.

PHOTOGRAPHER’S CHOICE JSU players celebrate their season-opening win over OVC rival Tennessee Martin. JSU won by 1 point in the last minute of the game. As usual with JSU, the game went down to the wire. When the clock expired, the players and coaches celebrated wildly. I was shooting several players hugging and screaming with their fans. I turned and saw two players running toward each other. I threw up my camera with the BIG lens and got off one frame. It was perfect, and summed up the Gamecocks’ feelings on the wild finish. — Stephen Gross

Stephen Gross

Sgt. Victor Timmons holds his son at a departure ceremony.

Stephen Gross

An Anniston fireman changes his air pack at a burning home.

Stephen Gross

A car is abandoned on flooded West 21st Street in Anniston.


The Anniston Star

IMAGES

Sunday, January 1, 2012 Page 9C

Trent Penny

A field of cotton looks like snow along U.S. Highway 78.

Bill Wilson

An old house in Anniston looks ominous with hovering clouds.

Bill Wilson

Two people fish at sunset at Lake Guntersville.

SETTING THE SCENE

Bill Wilson

Colorful foliage lines the road along Bains Gap Road in McClellan.

Stephen Gross

Fourth of July fireworks light up the sky at McClellan.

Trent Penny

The sun sets over Blue Mountain Beach at the Gulf of Mexico.

Trent Penny

David Welch and Joey Bullock have fun on their four-wheelers along Main Street in downtown Piedmont.


Page 10C Sunday, January 1, 2012

IMAGES

The Anniston Star

Stephen Gross

Sgt. Kerry Kitchens tosses his 30-month-old son, Jacob, into the air before the departure ceremony of the 1312th at Pelham Range.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS

Trent Penny

Sarah Cavender stretches during a yoga class at the YMCA.

Stephen Gross

Angelia and Paul Burrell laugh as they mimic ‘American Gothic.’

Bill Wilson

O’Mare Weaver prays before eating lunch at the Soup Bowl.

Stephen Gross

Oxford band director Chris Pennington emphasizes a note.

Trent Penny

Confined to a wheelchair, Weaver’s Derrick Morris still marches.


The Anniston Star

IMAGES

Sunday, January 1, 2012 Page 11C

Bill Wilson

Jackie Vice sits in the remains of his house, which was destroyed in the April 27 tornado. He plans to rebuild his house.

PHOTOGRAPHER’S CHOICE I had come across a huge natural garden of ferns in Talladega National Forest along the loop trail at Coleman Lake late in the afternoon. I liked the way the sun cast long shadows and how the light looked so golden. — Bill Wilson

Bill Wilson

A statue lies on the ground along the Old Gadsden Highway.

Bill Wilson

Masson Cannon participates in a vigil for Kevin Thompson.

Bill WIlson

Fall trees and foliage line a misty road at McClellan.


Page 12C Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Anniston Star

IMAGES

Trent Penny

FACE TO FACE This photo shows Piedmont head football coach Steve Smith irate over the official’s call against his team in their game against the Saks Wildcats. In all my years of covering football, I have never seen a football coach get that mad on the sidelines during a high school game. I decided to post the photo on Facebook, and that single picture has generated more comments than any other I have ever posted. The coach’s argument must have worked to fire up his team, because the Bulldogs came back to win the game and clinch the regional championship on their way to an undefeated regular season and a No. 1 rank in Class 3A. — Trent Penny, Star chief photographer Bill Wilson

POLICE OFFICER’S FUNERAL

MORE ONLINE:

During the visitation day for Justin Sollohub at the Harvest Church of God in Golden Springs, I arrived early to find a vantage point that would be different and at the same time be out of the family’s way. I did not know Justin personally but did get to meet his family after the shooting that took his life so early in his career. I entered the church and saw the huge American flag on the balcony and decided to go upstairs to see if the shot would work. The various police officers had already gotten in line for the procession. I had enough time to try out different lenses to see which one would create the best image and settled on a 20mm wide angle. The elements of the photograph then came together as Justin’s casket arrived and his family was walking behind as they entered the church. I would be lying if I said my eyes were dry at that moment, as it was a powerful scene to take in. — Bill Wilson, Star staff photographer

To view a slideshow of all these photos and more, click on the Photos of the Year story at www.annistonstar.com. Or visit the site and click the multimedia link at the top of the page, then scroll down to Slideshows.

ORDER PRINTS: See something you like? Make it your own. To buy, click the photo reprint link in the Photos of the Year story at www. annistonstar.com.

Stephen Gross

Mayor Gene Robinson shows in the courtroom how he was allegedly choked by City Councilman John Spain during a council meeting.

Images 2011  

The Anniston Star's Images 2011 section.