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UPDATE Friends & Neighbors

THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010

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2A — THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010

‘Special needs child’ brings joy to family By Jim Smothers

Special Projects editor

Only about 70 cases of Rhizomelic Chondrodysplasia Punctata (RCDP) have ever been documented, anywhere. It’s a rare genetic disorder, a form of dwarfism, with no cure, that is most often fatal. And it’s the diagnosis for a little boy in Sylacauga whose family celebrated his second birthday in November. Gregg and Tracey Thomas and their 6-yearold son, Taylor, have showered little Jackson with all the love and attention they can muster, and they are grateful for all the love and support that has been shown to the family over the past two years. “We’re almost ashamed now of how we thought life would be with a special needs child,” Tracey said. It has meant dramatic changes in their lives. Tracey resigned from a job she loved — being assistant director at the Comer Library — to stay at home to care for Jackson. And she wouldn’t have it any other way. “Being home with him is a joy,” she said. “We just could not have known how much joy and how much love he’s brought.” She also said Jackson has “far exceeded” all that his doctors thought he would be able to do. When his father comes home and speaks, Jackson responds by smiling and turning his head. He laughs, and responds to noises and sounds. He turns his head from side to side to indicate “no.” And he can almost say “Mama”, but it comes out more like “omma.” He has had two surgeries to remove cataracts and he now wears contact lenses, which Tracey puts in and takes out each day. Jackson has many issues, like hydrocephalus, low muscle tone resulting in little use of his arms, and hearing loss. He also has a heart condition that requires extra medicine each day. Last year Tracey met a family from Illinois with a 14-year-old son with RCDP. His body was still like that of an infant, he was still being bottle-fed,

The Thomases, Gregg, Tracey, Jackson and Taylor, pose for a photo at Panama City Beach last summer.

and he no longer spoke, even though he had used some words when he was about 3 years old. The Thomases became close friends with Wae and Mary Ellis from Centre who also had a son, Ian, with RCDP. Their son was born five weeks before Jackson, and Tracey had heard about them and had been praying for them even before Jackson was born. Ian died in October. “Knowing them, we felt we weren’t alone in the struggle,” Tracey said. “Mary and I talked on the phone every morning, sharing symptoms and progress. We still talk several times a week, and Mary is still very much in the fight for a cure.” They started a 501(c)3 foundation last year, RhizoKids, to help raise money for research. One of the things they found they could do was to help build a database of blood work as a starting point for researchers. They have sent $15,000 to the Kennedy Krieger Institute at Johns Hopkins to help establish the database. Tracey said the blood work was only about $500 to $1,000 per child, but it was something that most insurance would not cover,

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and family budgets were typically stretched already to cover basic living expenses and daily childcare needs. “Researchers need a common data set to begin looking for a cure,” she said. “We sold a lot of T-shirts, and we still have some if anybody else wants one.” RhizoKids is also organizing a seminar in Centre this summer to bring together affected families and some of the medical world’s best experts on the disease — which will be beneficial to both. When the Thomases and Ellises met with one of those experts, Dr. Nancy Braverman, they asked her how many children with RCDP she had “hands-on” experience with: four. “We think we need to have this every couple of years so that families can have a chance to sit down, one-on-one, with them,” Tracey said. Networking with each other is also important for the families, to talk about symptoms, treatment and progress. They have also learned that researchers in The Netherlands are trying an experimental drug, and they would like to learn

Jackson is all smiles in his sunglasses.

more about what the drug does and about the possibility of being able to get it in the United States. The Thomases took a family vacation to Panama City Beach last summer, where they made memories to last a lifetime. Jackson didn’t care much for the salt water, but he enjoyed the gulf breeze and the sounds at a water park. He also attracted the attention of some ladies who snapped a family picture for the Thomases, and some girls who noticed Jackson was different and came to ask about him. He is now on their prayer lists.

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Jackson’s brother, Taylor, is in the first grade now, and Tracey thinks having a special little brother has been good for him. “This is going to make him a wonderful man,” she said. “Nobody can stimulate Jackson, make him smile, like his brother can. I prayed the whole time I was pregnant that there would be a bond between these two, and there is. Taylor realizes everyone has dignity and deserves respect. It’s taught him that kids at school sometimes laugh at things that are not funny.” She was also proud of Taylor last year, when

they were out Christmas shopping, that he took the initiative to interact with a deaf-blind child. Taylor saw that the boy was different, and the Thomases asked if Taylor could meet him. Tracey said the boy’s caretaker showed Taylor how to communicate with him, how to touch his face and accept a touch, and the joy of the deaf-blind child at meeting someone new showed all over his face. Jackson recently went through a tough time, one Tracey dismisses as a “bump in the road.” A lung collapsed, fluid accumulated, and his heart was under a severe strain. Doctors intervened and added another medicine to his daily regimen, but the problem – a small hole in his heart – is only being treated, not healed. “When God picked our family to give us this child, I think He knew we had such a good support group, family, extended family, friends, CaringBridge support —not just us. “He knew there were so many other people who would love this child. People have just been so kind,” Tracey said. “We are so proud to be his parents (and big brother, Taylor!) and we are so happy that God chose us to be a part of Jackson’s beautiful life.” Gregg Thomas said, “I’m just proud of both of our boys. Jackson has touched more people in his two years than I have in my whole life, and he can’t talk, but he has a powerful message. And over the past couple of years Taylor has had to sacrifice a lot with us having to give so much time to Jackson’s care, but he always smiles and loves helping us with his little brother. Being daddy to these boys is a blessing because they both have such special gifts to share with everyone.” If interested in purchasing one of the RhizoKids T-shirts, contact Tracey at traceycthomas@yahoo. com. Follow a journal about Jackson’s progress at http://www.caringbridge. org/visit/jacksonthomas To make a tax-deductible donation to the foundation, the address is: RhizoKids, PO Box 796, Centre, AL 35960.


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THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010 — 3A


A living, learning program at the Helen Keller School

By JONATHAN GRASS Home staff writer

These days, when 5year-old Bayleigh Akins wants to get from one side of a room to another, she picks herself up and makes her way across without a second thought. While this is something that sounds commonplace to many, for Bayleigh it’s a true accomplishment, one she’s worked hard to achieve. She is a student of the Awakenings program at the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind. Awakenings is a living and learning program housed on the Helen Keller School campus for children with multiple disabilities. The students in Awakenings don’t meet the minimum standards for admission to the Helen Keller School but show the promise of education and improvement. The children, who require constant supervision and cannot feed or clean themselves, receive specialized schooling and physical therapy to work toward being as independent as possible as they get older. For some, this could mean simply being able to hold a cup straight or speaking new words. However, the help with their learning developments can go a long way in helping them live their lives to their fullest potential, which they may not otherwise get to do. “We focus on indepen-

dent living. We help them do everyday needs,” said master teacher Jennifer Oldenburg. This year marks the 10th anniversary for Awakenings, and its administrators see it as something that has always been necessary. Oldenburg described the role of Awakenings as helping the children “be able to grow up to be a part of the community with as little assistance as possible.” Students that graduate from the program often return home. In some cases, they qualify for enrollment at the Helen Keller School upon completion. The current students’ ages range from 5 to 17. Awakenings is designed to keep students through 21. With only seven students in the program, therapists are able to give each child the more individual attention required. As the students have various physical and mental deficiencies, each one must be attended to consistently rather than as a group. “Each one is different,” said physical therapist Melanie Haigood. “We need a higher staff ratio because none of the kids can walk by themselves,” Oldenburg said. Awakenings is as much for learning as it is for independent living. The program follows the Alabama Extended Standards for special education and the children are tested at their grade levels. There is also a strong

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

Master teacher Jennifer Oldenburg works on the smartboard with Bayleigh Akins.

focus on augmentative communication, as the students have speech impairments. One of Awakenings most valued elements is its work with the Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrians Program. The students visit the horse arena twice a week to receive therapy in the form of horseback riding. Under the care of professionals, the students work with the horses to better handle physical disabilities and grow more independent. “The program’s for kids that feel trapped,” Oldenburg said. The movement of the horses helps improve the children’s motor skills, everything from sitting up better to walking or mov-



ing a wheelchair. “It’s an opportunity for them to experience movement,” Haigood said.

She gave an example that some of the children have a lot of tightness in their legs that restricts

movement. The riding motions help the muscles

See Program, Page 4A

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4A — THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010

Smothers found new hometown in Talladega AIB teacher finds similarities between home country of Finland and Alabama

By LAURA NATION-ATCHISON Home Lifestyles editor

It’s a chilly January morning, and her students are gathered in a circle around a sugar maple tree on campus. Their attention is focused between the presenter form the U.S. Forest Service speaking to them, their teacher and the dripping tree standing in front of them. The lesson involves the tree, and how it provides the stuff maple syrup is made of. But there are a lot more lessons going on, a signature of Sinikka Smothers’ approach to teaching.

A 19-year veteran at Alabama School for the Blind in Talladega, Smothers’ students stand to learn much more than the basics of making maple syrup this morning. Smothers’ smile is contagious as she sights a woodpecker fluttering to a nearby limb for a meal. “Look,” she calls out. “The woodpecker is coming in for a meal.” Though some of the students are unable to see any evidence of the visiting bird, they know it’s there, their teacher’s eyes are telling them. Some who have certain levels of vision turn to catch a view of the visitor Smothers explains that

the tree is not only a vehicle for food for people, its role is much larger. She’s brought in Lesley Hodge from the U.S. Forest Service to tell the students even more. First, there’s a lesson in economics as the forester asks the youngsters if they knew that making maple syrup is one of the state of Vermont’s largest export products. “It brings in about $20 million a year to the state’s economy,” Hodge says. Then she goes on to tell why the sugar maple isn’t such a producer in the children’s home state, touching on the biological and environmental aspects of the role of sugar

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

Sinikka Smothers has taught students at ASB for 19 years. She is a native of Finland, having come to the United States to attend Jacksonville State University after graduating from high school.

maples. “It’s like the way we like to live in certain places, the tree does, too,” she said. “These trees like the

Sinnika Smothers said her home in Finland was similar to the home she’s made in Alabama, in terms of the rural setting and small town atmosphere.


amenities of a regular home. It also contains special equipment to help move the children who have trouble, such as lifts and a sensory area for blind children. There are computers, teaching aid and physical therapy equipment all under the same roof where

From Page 3A

relax and stretches the legs. For example, when Bayliegh first entered the program, she couldn’t walk evenly, restricting her movements. Riding has helped her get around much more efficiently Oldenburg said this is natural because students who aren’t used to walking can feel safer while on a horse. This comfort also leads to emotional progress. The students learn to express themselves better and advance in small ways that make a big difference in independence. Bayleigh herself has become much more vocal over the past year and has learned not to interfere with her glasses and hearing aid as much. Children who are too hyper or hard to control become more attentive while riding. Just as importantly, riding a horse inspires confidence. Stormy Sanders,

they eat and sleep to provide maximum comfort and familiarity. The house was provided by an anonymous donor from Birmingham. It arrived at the campus in three sections. Construction was completed in 2005.

APRIL 2010 Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

One of Awakenings most valued elements is its work with the Marianna Greene Henry Special Equestrians Program. Bayleigh Akins is shown getting help from physical therapist Melanie Haigood.

17, has made enormous progress from working with the horses over several years. She’s become quite social with the people at the arena, which is not easy for a girl with cerebral palsy. “The results are so much faster here and the kids don’t even think they’re

doing therapy. They’re having so much fun,” MGH Arena coordinator Tim Greene said. Although they enjoy it, the riding is strictly there for therapy rather than recreation. “There’s nothing we do in the arena that doesn’t relate back to therapy,”

said occupational therapist Ellen Davis. “We’re here to support their educational role.” The students live where they learn in a house at the Helen Keller School. There they receive 24-hour observation. The house has all the


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cold, and the places trees if the sugar maple’s prelike to live varies, just like ferred environment were with animals.” to disappear. She points out the fact There’s another piece to that there aren’t any polar the lesson, too. The forestbears living in Alabama, er reminds students that and asks the group if they plants — and trees — supknow why. ply oxygen that need it for “Because it’s not that survival on the planet. cold here,” one student In just a few minutes offers. time, Smothers’ students The concept carries have been given many over into the lesson about concepts to consider, a the sugar maple. trademark of Smothers’ “These trees like the way of teaching. cold,” Hodge tells the She likes to use a handsgroup. “That’s why we on approach to teaching, don’t have many and why illustrating to her students maple syrup isn’t one of the whats and whys of our large crops.” information firsthand. She points out that Smothers is in her 19th people do make syrup in year teaching at AIB, and Alabama, though, but it’s doesn’t appear ready to through a completely dif- stop. ferent process, using sugar She just recently comcane to grind into what Alabamians call sorghum pleted her Ed. D in education through the University syrup. of Alabama and previously During the lesson, she completed her teaching throws in a little anthro- certification and master’s pology, too, telling the degree there as well. students that the Native It was earning her Americans were likely the bachelor’s degree that first to discover the tree’s brought Smothers more offering as food. than 3,500 miles away And then there’s the from her native country of learning aspect of global Finland, landing her as an warming to touch on, too, International House stuasking the students to consider what would happen See Smothers, Page 5A

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friends & neighbors

THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010 — 5A


The Smothers have two children, Mary and Michael. The family is pictured with their family pet, Maggie.

Smothers From Page 4A

dent at Jacksonville State University in 1976 at age 18. A friend in Finland told Smothers about the organization’s educational opportunities for college students, and Smothers pursued the program. She was accepted, and took off for America and college with thoughts of pursuing a career in social work. She and her family viewed the chance to study as an opportunity. Smothers said the organization offered her an outstanding full scholarship. “We were very excited about it,” she said. She knew some English at the time, and also saw the chance to study in America as a way to polish her language skills in addition to getting her bachelor’s degree. She nor her immediate family had visited the United States, but the family had cousins living overseas, Smothers said. One cousin lived in Florida, and another in Canada, she said. It turned out that the scholarship opportunity put Smothers in a position that would become one for a lifetime. Since coming to the United States for college, she has not returned to live in her home country. It was during her second year of college at Jacksonville State that she met her future husband, Jim, a native of the Gadsden area. He was involved with the International House program, too, and that’s

how the two met. They were married her third year of college, the year her husband graduated. The Smothers started out in Birmingham together, then Smothers’ husband joined the staff at The Daily Home in Talladega as a photographer. Since then, the Smothers have been Talladega residents, both working in the community and raising their two children in Talladega. Smothers talks more about the similarities between her home country and childhood years than the differences between that and living in Alabama. “I always just felt at home here,” she said. After completing her college requirements, Smothers said AIB was the first learning institution to offer her a position. “I fell in love with my job here,” she said. “I found my niche.” Smothers said AIB is a “great community to work in,” and she felt she connected with her role there from the beginning. Becoming a specialized teacher for blind students meant learning how to make her lessons meaningful for the visually impaired, she said. She earned her certification in teaching the visually impaired for elementary and middle school levels. “Everything you want to teach, you have to find a way to make it tactile, you have to make it hands on,” she said. The teacher becomes the students’ eyes, and

knows they have to help the students “feel it, even if it’s a molecule you’re teaching about.” Leaving her home country was a change her family embraced, Smothers said. “It’s a very mobile society, and you go where you need to, where your job takes you,” she said. “I think the society in Finland takes moving easily. It’s an opportunity to succeed. You go where you find a job.” Smothers remembers her mother being excited about her move to America. “She saw it as a place to visit,” Smothers said. “And since I moved here, she’s probably spent about four years of her life here.” Smothers said her mother shares her own appreciation of the way of life in Alabama, the food and the climate, as well. Her own hometown in Finland isn’t a whole lot different from the new hometown she found in Talladega, Smothers said. “The population is about the same and so is the rural quality,” she said. “I just felt at home, it wasn’t a major cultural transition.” Last March, Smothers took another step in her journey to America. She officially became an American citizen, traveling to the Department of Homeland Security in Atlanta for the interview and one to one test. “The time had come for me to do that,” she said. “And I felt very American. I think you realize how much people really have in common by traveling.”








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Sinnika Smothers met her husband, Jim, while she was a student at Jacksonville State University. The Smothers are pictured during a visit to Helsinki in Mrs. Smothers’ native country, Finland.

6A — THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010

friends & neighbors

Coaching a ‘great ride’ for Ricky Armstrong By HEATHER BAGGETT

Home sports editor

There are not many sports offered in high school athletic programs that Ricky Armstrong hasn’t coached. When the Jacksonville native retired from public school teaching in 2006 he had coached baseball, basketball, football, golf and tennis at Talladega High School.

David Atchison/The Daily Home

Longtime resident Betty Heise is a member of the Pell City Kiwanis Club.

Heise has always given back to the community By DAVID ATCHISON Home staff writer

Betty Heise has probably helped bring more people to Pell City than just about anyone, and she’s well known throughout the community. And why wouldn’t people know her? She assisted many residents who now live in Pell City with finding that perfect home. “It sort of tickles me now,” Heise said. “A lot of people who bought lake houses for the weekends ended up moving here.” For more than 25 years, Heise worked as a Realtor in Pell City. “I never sold a home to anyone,” said the 82year-old woman, who

only recently retired from the real estate business. “I showed them homes and tried to help them. I treated them like I would like to be treated.” Whatever Heise was doing as a Realtor, she must have been doing it right. Heise was the first Realtor to become a Million Dollar Seller in Pell City, and she was honored one year as Realtor of the Year. She retired about three years ago, at the age of 79. “I do miss it,” Heise said. How many houses did Heise sell during her quarter of a century in the real estate business?

“I don’t have any idea,” she said. “Some people keep up with that, but I never did.” It was sort of happenstance that Heise ended up living in Pell City. She was born and raised in Birmingham, but moved away from the South shortly after she married her late husband, James. She met James in Birmingham, where he was stationed with the U.S. Navy. “He was discharged right after we got married,” Heise said. The couple moved to Millstadt, Ill., about 20 miles from where James, See Heise, Page 7A

EARLY DAYS Armstrong grew up with a love of sports, playing peewee football and baseball, with America’s favorite pastime being his favorite sport as well. When Armstrong got to high school in Jacksonville, his height became a challenge. “When I was a junior in high school, 1971-72, I was about 5-foot-5, 5-foot6 and probably weighed about 120 pounds,” Armstrong said. “I loved sports. I had played peewee football and played baseball. When I got up there in high school I was too little to play basketball at that size.” But that lack of size ended up starting him on his coaching journey. “The head basketball coach at Jacksonville at that time was Van Deerman, who is in the Alabama High School Sports Hall of Fame,” Armstrong said. “I helped him a little bit by doing, I guess you could say, manager-type jobs. He came to me one day and said, ‘We don’t have anybody to do seventhand eighth-grade basketball, would you take it?’ I

Ricky Armstrong

thought it was an honor for somebody to ask a high school student to take it, so I told him I would. I wasn’t ever there by myself; I always had the ninth-grade coach on one end of the court and I was on the other end. “I took it when I was a junior in high school and then again when I was a senior. That first year we were — and I know he was probably rethinking his process — at Christmas we were 1 and 6 and we finished 7 and 7. He used to call me and laugh at me at some of the things we were doing. We had some good coaches around us. We went 7-7 that first year and the next year we went 12-1 and won the county championship. It just kind of got in my blood then.” Even though Armstrong enjoyed coaching he wasn’t planning on making it a career. After graduating from Jacksonville High, Armstrong went to Auburn University planning to pursue a degree in athletic training. He stayed at Auburn for a

year, but then transferred to Jacksonville State University, still planning to go into athletic training. “I was studying physical therapy and thought I’ll parlay this into my career because it was in athletics and I loved athletics,” he said. “It won’t be coaching, but it will be in the athletic field. “The problem was, at that time the only school in Alabama that offered athletic training was UAB; you had to have a physical therapy degree and they were the only ones that offered that. They only took 22 applicants a year. The year I applied there were 220-something. I had to have another field, so I went into physical education.” While still in college, Armstrong coached a summer baseball team and found success. “The first year we won the championship and went on to the state tournament and finished third in the state that year,” Armstrong said. “When you get successful at something you get that taste for it and you want to keep doing it. The high school baseball coach saw what we had done and he came to me the next year and asked, ‘Would you help with the high school team,’ and then from there I became an assistant on the high school football team while I was still in college.” STARTING HIS CAREER After graduating from JSU, Armstrong took

See Coach, Page 7A

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From Page 6A

his first coaching job at Randolph County High in Wedowee. “My former high school coach, Jimmy Champion, who was up here at Munford, he had taken the job a year earlier at Randolph County High School in Wedowee,” Armstrong said. “So I interviewed with him and he hired me as the junior high coach. That was my first coaching job.” While at Randolph County, Armstrong helped start the baseball program, as well as coaching football. “We didn’t have anything at Wedowee,” Armstrong said. “We started the baseball program in ’79. We knew we had good athletes because they had won in football and basketball and we just built us a new field. We didn’t have a fence in right field so we carried a ball out there and put it in the weeds and if anybody ever hit a ball out there everybody knew where it was. That was our advantage.” Armstrong moved from Randolph County to Saks High School in Calhoun County in 1985, where he once again coached baseball. “I knew that their baseball program was outstanding,” Armstrong said of Saks. “He (Ray Hammett) offered me the chance to be defensive coordinator and to coach the baseball team. Again, it was a lucky move. We weren’t very good in football or basketball, but baseball happened to be the right sport at the time. “We won 69 baseball games in three years. We went 69-23 over that three-year span. I inherited great kids and a monkey could have coached ‘em. Their daddies had brought them up playing ball and coached ‘em so well that basically it was just keeping them in the right place and motivating them was the main thing.” After three years at Saks, Armstrong came to Talladega. “I spent two years as an assistant coach here in football, ‘87 and ‘88,” he said. “I also did junior high basketball and had the golf team. Then coach (Vester) Newcomb abruptly left two days before practice started in August of ‘89. Principal, Mr. Charles Curly, offered me the job. I would be here for 19 more years. “Again, I stepped in


From Page 6A

who was an electrician, had grown up. She said her late husband had many health problems, stemming from an automobile accident that sent him to the hospital for two years and on disability. It was a visit to Pell City for a family picnic that snared the couple. Her sister, who in 1979 lived in Florida, had visited the lake and thought it was a great place for a family picnic. “There wasn’t hardly any houses back then,” she said. Her husband surprised her with her new Pell City residence within a year of that visit. “We moved just around the corner from where we had the picnic,” Heise said, adding that her husband enjoyed life in the small town setting. “My husband didn’t like to be jammed up in a big city … I don’t miss the cold and ice.” Before she moved to Pell City, Heise worked for 10 years at a hospital as a physical therapy aide. Heise could not find employment in the medical field, so she entered real estate school in Birmingham and eventually obtained her license. “I loved it,” she said of her job as a Realtor. “I really did like it. I devoted all my time to it.”

at the right time. We had tremendous athletes on defense anyway. I pretty much knew who the defense was going to be. They had had eight straight losing seasons up to ‘89. We were fortunate enough to go 64, so they took the interim tag off and I stayed on as the head football coach for two more years, ‘90 and ‘91. We were not near as successful. We were 11-19 overall in my three years.”

ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID There is an ultimate goal in high school sports. No matter what sport, teams want to make it to the state championship. Not only make it to the championship, but win it. During his public school coaching career Armstrong took several teams to the state championship, but always came up short. While at Talladega he had a tennis player who dominated competition and made it to the finals of the state tournament. “We had a foreign exchange student,” Armstrong said. “Again, how lucky can you get? We hadn’t really had a very good tennis program and we inherit this kid from Germany who I felt like was just about a pro. He won every match. “We went all the way to the state championship and we get to the finals and we match up with another German. We’ve got the singles 5A boys championship and it’s two Germans playing each other. We lose again. Always the bridesmaid.”

ated football games with the East Alabama Officials Association. And he’s still keeping the scorebook for Talladega High’s basketball team. The Jacksonville native who has made Talladega his home is now back to coaching recreation sports. He coached his son’s Little League teams and has now “come full circle” by coaching his grandson. “This past year I coached T-ball. I’ve got a grandson living with me and he started T-ball this time and my daughter came in and she said, ‘I signed you up to coach,’” Armstrong said. Fun is how Armstrong would describe his years of coaching. “It’s been a great ride,” he said. “It’s like getting paid to play.”

Ricky Armstrong (center with basketball) stands with his seniors, Cody Gilliland (50), Colby Cheatwood (22), Drew Haywood (30) and Motell Foster (15), on Senior Night at Hope Academy in January.

A century and a half of history

NEW VENTURE After coaching tennis at Talladega, Armstrong retired and was offered a teaching position at Hope Academy, a private school on the campus of the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega. While there wasn’t supposed to be coaching involved, Armstrong wasn’t there long before those plans changed. The school decided to start an athletic department and offer girls and boys basketball. Armstrong took the boys program and started teaching ninth- and tenth-graders the game of basketball. After going winless the first year, the Eagles have won more games each year since. Hope Academy finished its fourth season in January and lost just three games.

Meri Beth Keith, Phillip Underwood, Karen Allen, Boyd McGehee, Susan Parker and Theresa Davis get an early start celebrating Talladega Insurance Agency’s 150th birthday. Talladega Insurance is celebrating more than a century and a half of business in Central Alabama. And with the addition of Boyd McGehee to the staff at Talladega Insurance Agency in January 2004, four generations of his family have had a hand in the business. Boyd was recently named the Young Agent of the Year by the Alabama Independent Insurance Agents Association. Owner Bill McGehee, Boyd’s father, said his grandfather, Turner Jones, bought Talladega Insurance Company in the 1920s and changed the name to the Talladega Insurance Agency. His father, William B. McGehee Jr. (Bill McGehee is actually William McGehee III and Boyd is a fourth) took on the business in 1952. Though his family has a long history with the business, Talladega Insurance is actually much older — the oldest of its kind in Alabama — dating back to 1858. And even though the agency celebrated its 150th birthday last year, the business is probably even older than that. “I do not know when it was started. All we have is the check dated December 1858,” Bill said. The check, which hangs framed on the wall inside Talladega Insurance, is No. 203, so the business pre-dates the check by at least a couple of years. “They did not write a lot of checks in those days, so it probably goes back a couple of years more,” he said. And with that rich history in mind, Bill readily acknowledges how much his predecessors contributed to the operation’s success today, especially their focus on working with customers and building relationships with the insurance companies that the agency represents. “What my father and my grandfather did has made my job easier. They had an established business and an established reputation, not only

STAYING BUSY In addition to coaching, Armstrong has offici-

She said you must devote a lot of time to the real estate business to be successful at it. “A lot of people work out of their homes. I couldn’t,” Heise said. “I went to work every day at 8 a.m. I worked seven days a week, sometimes 12 hours a day.” During her busy schedule as a Realtor, Heise also found time to give back to the community. She was one of the first women to become a Kiwanis Club member, which was at one time exclusively a men’s civic club. “Guin Robinson (Pell City’s former mayor) got me to join,” Heise said, adding that she has been a member of the Pell City Kiwanis for about 20 years. The Pell City Kiwanis Club does many service projects for the community, such as building a beautiful pavilion in Lakeside Park. Heise also heads up the Pell City Kiwanis Teacher of the Month Committee, and she is always in front of the Kmart store every Christmas, ringing a bell to help raise money for the Salvation Army. And even though Heise, a mother of one grown daughter and grandmother of two children, has retired, she remains busy with her volunteer work, international travels and ballroom dancing.

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

Talladega Insurance Agency

Bill McGehee and his son, Boyd, sit below pictures of his grandfather, Turner Jones, and father, William McGehee, that hang in Talladega Insurance. With the addition of Boyd McGehee, four generations of their family have operated the business in Talladega. here, but throughout the state,” he said. Now, with the help of a dedicated staff, Bill, Boyd and Phillip Underwood — the insurance counselors who handle the sales for the company — Talladega Insurance has been able to expand its operations, doing business in 10 states nationwide. Karen Allen has handled personal lines of insurance since 1981, and Susan Parker has handled commercial lines since 1985. Theresa Davis has handled commercial lines and claims and bonds since 1999. Meri Beth Keith, who also handles commercial lines, joined Talladega Insurance in 2007. Stan Hartdegen is in charge of accounting. Because of its talented and diverse staff, its history and its roll as an agency for a number of different insurance companies, Talladega Insurance Agency is looking to continue to grow

and provide quality service for its customers. “We can meet any insurance need, from the private individual to large corporations,” Bill said. “And because we represent multiple insurance companies, our customers can get several quotes and can choose the options that best suit their needs.” As he continues to build on the success first started by company founder James G.L. Huey in the 1800s and built upon by his own family over the last century, Bill says Talladega Insurance Agency has the history and the reputation that have earned the trust of its clients, insurers and the communities it serves. That’s a tradition Talladega Insurance Agency will carry on for years to come.


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THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010 — 7A

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8A — THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010

Jones proud to say he’s from Riverside

By GARY HANNER Home staff writer

Jones has hundreds of memories growing up in Riverside but said his fondest memories are the times he spent with his grandfather, whom he called “Big Daddy.” “It was always fun being with him because he raised three daughters and no boys,” Jones said. “He enjoyed us grandsons. With Jeff and I being the oldest, we got to spend a lot of time with him. It was always fun being with the mayor because people treated him well and he treated them the same.” Jones said the great-

Top left: Former Riverside Mayor Bill Coleman loved taking his grandsons to Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium to watch the Atlanta Braves. This picture was taken in 1981 and, from the left, are grandsons Jeff Jones, 12; Rory Cochran, 8; Chad Cochran, 6; and Chris Jones, 11. Nine years later, Coleman returned to Fulton County Stadium to watch Chris Jones and the Auburn Tigers beat Indiana in the Peach Bowl.

Top right: After his football playing days at Auburn, Chris Jones played one more game — a charity game to benefit the Riverside Volunteer Fire Department in 2003. After the game, he holds his son, Andrew.

Gary Hanner/The Daily Home

Riverside’s Chris Jones opened up Safe Harbor R.V. Camp in 1995.

est times was when Big Daddy would carry him and the rest of the family to all the Auburn home football games or go catch an Atlanta Braves baseball game. “He would come in from work and say, ‘Load up, we’re going to Atlanta tonight to catch the Braves game,’” Jones said. “He was a farmer and he loved his cows. He was no stranger to hard work. I learned a lot about life lessons messing with him and that farm. Big Daddy loved to castrate his bulls and we did it the old-fashion way. He would point to the one he wanted and it was my job to jump in there and get them down. I was probably 10 or 11 years old when I started wrestling cows that but it was where I learned a lot of my football skills.” Jones played Little League baseball and played

organized football starting in the third grade. His very first coach was Boot Rich, who just last month was inducted into the St. Clair County Sports Hall of Fame. Rich was his coach for two years. He continued to play football through junior high school at Duran and then at Pell City High School. Jones was a member of the Panther varsity team for two years and played for legendary coach Lyle Darnell. Pell City was 8-3 that first year Jones was on the Panther squad (1985) and then his senior year in 1986, the Panthers went to the semi-finals and finished 11-3. “Coach Darnell is a Hall of Fame coach and very intense,” Jones said. “He was a disciplinarian and did not put up with anything. We respected

him and feared him. He was a winner. He was old school and it just an honor to play football for him.” Jones did not get a scholarship to play college football but he went to Auburn University to study business management.

The Sylacauga native has worked with the School System for nearly a decade and has been coordinator of the Parent Involvement Team for the past five years. Elston said her involvement with the schools began even before that.


remember me?’ They say, ‘Oh, you’re Mrs. Elston.’ They are as tall as I am now.” Elston said she enjoyed the work she did with kids, providing “a little extra help.” Then, the current superintendent called her one day offering her a new job.

“I had been in school there at Auburn for a couple of years and every time I come home, Big Daddy would hound me,” Jones said. “He wanted to know why I had not tried out for football yet because he knew I wanted to play. I felt I had some playing left in me but nobody ever gave me a chance. I wasn’t a high profile player so there were no colleges interested in me. Big Daddy always told me if I thought small, I’d be small but if I thought big, I’d be big.” When he did decide to

Elston ‘asset to School System’ By MATT QUILLEN Home staff writer

A child’s education involves the decisions and interactions of administrators, parents, teachers and the students themselves. And it is Karen Elston’s job to coordinate all of those people together, to ensure everyone stays connected. Tina Conn, the parent of an Indian Valley student, said Elston’s work is an important part of the education process. “We don’t know what we would do without her,” Conn said. “She is an asset to this School System.”

Elston’s two children, Meagan, 24, and Matt, 21, went through Sylacauga city schools. She said she stayed involved with anything she could at her children’s schools. “I didn’t work when my children were younger,” she said. “I was at Indian Valley every day. People thought that I worked


Elston started her career with the school as a tutor working with at-risk children. She described the satisfaction of seeing the ones she worked with years ago moving up through the system. “I wanted to help the little babies, the kindergarteners,” she said. “Some never had any day care, stayed at home with their grandparents, never had anything. I would pull kids out and work one-on-one with them. Now the ones I see at the high school and at Nichols-Lawson, I have just seen them blossom. I say to them, ‘Do you

“One wonderful summer day, Mrs. Riggins called me and said, ‘There is a position I would like you to take if you’re interested,’” Elston said. “It was the Parent Involvement job. She said that I had been involved with my See Elston, Page 9A

Brian Schoenhals/The Daily Home

Karen Elston has been coordinator of the Sylacauga City Schools Parent Involvement Team for five years.

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His very first college action was in 1989 against Southern Mississippi and a quarterback named Brett Favre. “I was named “Player of the Week” for the kickoff team in that first game,”

Coleman died in 2004 at the age of 85. Jones’ grandmother, Frances Coleman, is 91 and still lives in Riverside at the Coleman home place. Today, Jones and his family live in Leeds. He and his wife, Camille, have been married 16 years. They have two children, daughter, Caroline, 11, and son, Andrew, 8. Both are students at Briarwood Christian School. “No matter where I go, Riverside will always be home to me,” Jones said.

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walk on at Auburn, Jones kept it a secret from family and friends for a long time. He finally told Big Daddy that he had walked on but no one was paying him any attention. “He told me if I wanted to get the attention of coaches and players, just find the biggest player on the Auburn team and go up and just bust him right in the mouth,” Jones said. “That’s what I did. I started hunting the big boys down and hitting them in the chin real hard. A couple of fistfights later, I was starting on the kickoff team.”

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To say that Riverside’s Chris Jones learned a lot from his grandfather, W.A. “Bill” Coleman, would be an understatement. “He was my role model — someone I could look up to,” Jones said. “The main school he believed in was the school of hard knocks.” Jones was born in 1969 and lived in Riverside growing up. He has a brother, Jeff, who was a year older. The son of Chip and Beth Jones, he spent a lot of time with his grandfather, who happened to be the mayor of Riverside for 24 years. “I was always proud to say I was from Riverside,” Jones said. “My granddaddy loved Riverside. A lot of people say Riverside would not be here today had he not had the foresight to get the roads through here and the bridge built that goes to Lincoln. All of this land here has been in our family since they handed out land grants a long time ago. Jones said his grandfather taught him a lot about life, and it’s those life lessons that have helped him be the successful businessman he is today. Jones said growing up in Riverside during the 1970s was a different day and age than now. “We did not have cable TV,” Jones recalled. “All of us kids played outside until it got dark and then we’d play for another 30 minutes. Mother would bring us in and we always had a good meal on the table.”

he said. “On the first two kickoffs, I made both tackles and the second tackle was right in front of Coach Pat Dye and it caused a fumble.” Jones played for Auburn three years from 19891991. He said his football career lasted longer than he thought it would. “I only dreamed of playing for Auburn,” he said. “I never thought I would actually get to do it. And Big Daddy got to see all of my games. It was a big treat for him to roll into Auburn and buy a program from a little kid and look inside and see his grandson from Riverside on the roster.” Jones earned a degree in business management. Coleman gave him land to start a business on. “Big Daddy accumulated a lot during his lifetime,” Jones said. “The Lord blessed him with a lot of resources and he gave all his children land and told them to go do something with it.” Jones started Safe Harbor R.V. Park in 1995. He said his plans are to develop the land one day when the time is right. Currently, he has 25 acres there. Safe Harbor has 32 campsites they lease out temporarily to overnight traffic and 50 campsites where people live year round. “Economically, it is an inexpensive way to live,” Jones said. “Big Daddy always told me Riverside was going to be big one day. It was the perfect location and the day will come when this place will be real valuable. One day, we will probably changes uses of the place. It’s growing up all around us. Eventually, Riverside will be more commercialized.”

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THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010 —9A

Carter knows the ins and outs of her hometown By BRANDON FINCHER Home staff writer

If you are looking for someone who knows the ins and outs of Munford and the surrounding area, it would be hard to find a better source than Angel Carter. Carter’s roots run deep in both the town and in the town’s educational community. Her grandfather’s name, Joe Holcombe, is on the school’s football stadium thanks to his longtime service as football coach and assistant principal at Munford. “I went to high school here and graduated here. I was a cheerleader, and I played ball. My children graduated from here, so there are lots of roots,” Carter said. Now she gets to be the one in charge of Munford students’ educational

experience as principal of Munford Middle School. And the educational experience in Munford’s schools is widely considered one of the area’s best. “We’ve got the best kids in the county. These are my neighbors’ children. I went to school with many of their parents or grandparents, but I feel these are my kids,” Carter said. “I have a great staff that makes my job much easier. It’s not hard when you’ve got these people. We have very good people, very good teachers here.” Carter married her high school sweetheart, Gary, owner of Munford’s Carter’s Hardware, and they have three children, Dovie, who lives in Munford; Tony, who lives in Virginia Beach, Va.; and Katie, who lives in Atlanta. She also has two grandchildren. She said it has been a blessing for

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

Angel Carter is a talented artist and painted this lion, which can be seen in the hallways of the middle school.

both her and her family to have been able to grow up in Munford. “Munford is a small town, and everyone knows everybody. That’s probably

the best thing about it, and it could be the worst thing about it,” Carter joked. But she added that it is such a loving community and pointed out an exam-

ple about the response among local citizens when the school developed a leak on a recent Sunday. “Most everybody really cares about their neighbor

and about their community. We were talking about the leak, and I can’t tell you how many people we

She has also been able to share her knowledge from being a single mother to others that are going through similar situations.

Elston said she hopes the School System will continue to work at getting more parents involved. She said it was important to make a good first impression to keep the parents actively engaged.

want someone to be nice to you so you will come back.”

the child, to see their parent come. You have to do that, to be the advocate for your child.” Elston said the many experiences of her job have been “very rewarding” as well.

Elston From Page 8A

children for 15, 16 years. She said, ‘I think you will be great.’” As coordinator, Elston has scheduled monthly meetings for the team to discuss issues and listen to speakers. She also helps schedule meetings at individual schools, including the annual Family Involvement Meetings,

and provides information to parents about everything going on at the school. She said she has received positive feedback from people. Elston has made it her focus to go out into the community, going to Headstart and other daycares and also meeting with parents outside of regular meetings to help keep them informed.

“It gives me the opportunity to reach a lot of single parents,” she said. “I can understand some of their issues. So it gives me the opportunity to share some of my experiences being a single parent.”

“You have to make parents feel like they are welcome in the schools,” she said. “We need that. It’s like customer service; you

Elston said she has seen first-hand the excitement a child feels when their parents are involved. “When a child sees their mother or father, their faces just light up,” she said. “They will tell me, ‘My momma is coming today.’ That is so rewarding for

See Carter, Page 10A

“I think it was meant for me to have this position,” she said. “I tell people all the time, ‘I love my job.’”

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10A — THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010


From Page 9A

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

Childersburg Mayor B.J. Meeks hopes his city continues to thrive, even though the city has entered tough economic times. He plans to keep working with the city to see the success of plans he has set in motion.

Meeks now has politics in his blood By MEREDITH McCAY Home staff writer

Before beginning his career as Childersburg’s mayor, B. J. Meeks was a local mill worker with a passion for coaching youth sports. Meeks worked at Kimberly Clark, which eventually became the AbitibiBowater paper mill, in Coosa Pines just outside of Childersburg for 35 years before taking an early retirement package in 2000. His family consists of his wife, Dolores Maddox, and their two daughters, Wendy and Michelle. Both daughters are married. One is a teacher while the other is a State Farm agent. Meeks is also proud of his 10-yearold “precious grandbaby daughter.” But even before he settled down to be a family man and mill worker, Meeks served in the United States Marine Corps. He said his days of boot camp on Parris Island, S.C., and serving in the Marine Corps not only made him “an old jarhead,” but prepared him for a lot of things in life. Meeks coached various youth sports for 35 years, ranging from football to basketball to baseball. In fact, he said coaching was what got him involved in local politics. “I initially got into politics probably for the wrong reason,” Meeks said. “I was interested in the progress of the Parks and Recreation Department and heard that someone on the board was not running for re-election that year. Once I got onto the board, however, I realized it was a lot more than just serving on the board. There were meetings to attend and work to be done.” After that, there seemed to be no turning back for Meeks. He ran for City Council and won in 1980. He then ran for mayor and won in 1984, 1988 and 1992. While Meeks was defeated in the 1996 race, he returned in 2000 — the same year he retired from the paper mill — to begin a second run as mayor. “I was approached about running for mayor, qualified and ran and I guess it sort of got into my blood,” Meeks said. “You don’t really make the decision to do something like this until the deadline comes and you have to make the decision. Then you have to say whether you will seek it again or not.” Unfortunately, as Meeks has devoted himself to being a long-term mayor for Childersburg, he has also had to give up coaching any sports. He said when he began his career as mayor, it was a

part-time job and he could still do things like coach and continue his regular job. But now that Meeks has retired and deals with the serious issues associated with a nationwide recession, the mayor’s job has become a full-time position for him.

council, but he also serves on the executive branch by making decisions on the spot about things the council has given him the authority to negotiate. Budgets can be tricky, according to Meeks. He said the trick he has figured out is to review the budget after each quarter to make sure the city is spending and earning as planned, and make the proper adjustments if it isn’t. “It’s easy to draft a budget,” Meeks said. “But it is hard to live with that budget for the next 12 months. Half the revenue goes to salary and benefits alone. We can manage things better if we can make adjustments as we go.”

“That is the one thing I miss,” Meeks said. “I even coached a Little League baseball team at one time. I always loved sports; I just wasn’t a real good athlete myself. Of course, now kids come home to Childersburg to visit, or even kids we played while I coached, and they remember me. Some former players even pride themselves on remembering my phone number.” Now Meeks must concentrate on budgets, qualifying as an Alabama Community of Excellence and developing the city’s industrial park instead of helping local kids improve their athletic skills. He said in a city like Childersburg, the mayor not only serves on the legislative branch of the government by voting on issues that come before the

While working on the council as a member and the mayor, Meeks is also proud to say that he has helped develop the paramedic program the city utilizes today. By 1984, the city had developed the earliest version of the program to provide free paramedic services to its citizens. It has developed over the years to include Childersburg pro-

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viding its own ambulance service. Meeks said watching that grow and develop along with working with the library board and trying to develop a senior citizens facility have been some of the most rewarding projects of his political career. The ACE program is what Meeks refers to as a tool to help Childersburg make future plans and set realistic goals. One of those goals was the downtown revitalization of Childersburg, which Meeks said was slow but well worth the process. Another is developing an industrial park to be proud of that will provide a large number of jobs. “The industrial park is also a slow process,” Meeks said. “We have so much permitting to get through from ADEM to the railroad. But the day we can open that entrance road up will be very exciting. There are not a lot of businesses investing right now. We have the block company, steel fabrication and Nippon established there to name a few. But we need someone to come along and create 300 jobs

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to really help. We are getting some hits right now. That will make this city so much more attractive. And the land is city-owned, so they don’t have a lot of land owners to deal with.” Part of Meeks’ concern stems from the area being so dependent on the paper mill for so long, and the paper industry’s recent decline. The high price of paper compared to electronics has made it a less attractive industry to many customers, costing Childersburg residents jobs and revenue. But Meeks is not giving up hope that Childersburg will continue to thrive. He knows the city has entered tough times, but doesn’t view it as a crisis situation yet. He plans to keep working with the city to see the success of plans he has set in motion. “You never know what you may have to do next week with this job,” Meeks said. “But once I get involved in something I seem to have a lot of longevity with it. I guess part of that is from being around Garland Justice for so many years. I respected and looked up to him.”

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had up here mopping water or stopping by to see if something was wrong when they noticed people were at the school on a Sunday afternoon. I think that makes a big difference,” she said. Carter is not only the beneficiary of community support, but she also supplies her community with support. She is a member of the Recreation Board and Quarterback Club and helps in various other capacities, when asked. She also has a few hobbies when she occasionally gets some time to herself. “I paint a little bit. As a matter of fact, the big lion across from the concession stand I painted. I enjoy the arts and crafts stuff,” Carter said. “I also like cooking with my grandkids. We cook a lot.” As someone with perspective about Munford, she can tell you Munford has seen a great deal of change over the decades. “Everything has changed, or maybe it’s just the way you look at things that change. We have a lot more people who have moved in here. I say all the time that I wish we had the houses to support the people that would like to live in Munford or close to Munford,” Carter said. The schools have also seen change. Carter attended the old rockwalled Munford High for all 12 years of her primary and secondary education and taught there until the new schools opened. “It’s a huge difference between that building and this building,” Carter said. “Even with the minor little problems we have, I don’t ever complain because I remember what it was like there.” She also enjoyed seeing Munford’s transformation from a small community into an incorporated town. “We had lots of people who worked toward that goal. We’ve got a great City Council and mayor who get paid little to nothing,” Carter said. Carter describes herself as a late bloomer. She moved away from Munford but returned to her hometown and pursued her desire to be an educator in her mid-30s. She has not looked back since.

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THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010 — 11A

Mayor says Lincoln lucky to have Duncan By ELSIE HODNETT Home staff writer

She began working with the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department a year ago, and the program has grown by leaps and bounds. “You can have a job, or you can have a career,” Parks and Recreation

Department director Roben Duncan said. “A job is something you do whether you like it or not, but a career is something you love to do. I have a career here in Lincoln.” Duncan, who worked with the Sylacauga Parks and Recreation Department for 17 years before coming to Lincoln,

said she used her experience to implement a number of new programs and events in Lincoln. Duncan was program director at Sylacauga for 13 years, and aquatics manager for four years before that. She was athletic program coordinator in Lincoln for about seven

months, before taking over as director in September 2009. “We are trying to give Lincoln a Parks and Recreation Department that hosts events, in addition to all the various sports activities,” she said. “We want something for people of all ages and activity levels.”

Duncan said one new event in 2009 was the Taste of Lincoln. “Our first Taste of Lincoln was a huge success,” she said. Duncan said numerous local restaurants and hundreds of residents attended the event. The restaurants provided sample portions of the foods they serve for

residents to try. “I’ve had people already calling to find out when we are doing the Taste of Lincoln again,” she said. “They really enjoyed the event and want to attend it again this year.” Duncan said another popular event was Trunk See Dancan, Page 12A

PRAYER is the Way Bemiston United Christ Deliverance Lincoln Talladega Creek Christian Center Baptist Church Methodist Church Baptist Church P.O. Box 1166 21 Chestnut St.

300 Wells Ave. Talladega (256) 362-0643 Rev. Glen Horn Sunday School 10:00 am Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 am Sunday Evening Worship 5:00 pm Wednesday Bible Study 5:00 pm

First United Methodist Church 400 East Street S. Talladega (256) 362-2891

Clare Purcell United Methodist Church Corner of Nimitz & Allen St. Talladega

Blue Eye Baptist Church

112 Church St. Lincoln (205) 763-2322

Parkway Assembly of God 700 West Parkway Talladega (256) 831-8279

34810 AL Hwy. 21 N. Talladega (256) 362-1975 (256) 362-3928

Sunday Worship 10:30 am Kids Rock 10:30 am Hour of Prayer - Tuesday 6 pm Bible Study - Wednesday 7 pm Pastors: Bobby J. & Barbara D. Embry

Munford Baptist Church

321 First Ave. N. Right off Hwy. 21 Munford (256) 358-4536

Central Baptist Church

P.O. Box 1085 126 Spring St. N., Talladega (256) 362-4836 Sunday School - 9:45-10:45 a.m. Morning Worship - 11:00 a.m. Youth Ensemble - 5:00 p.m. Discipleship Training - 5:00 p.m. Evening Worship - 6:00 p.m. Wednesday AWANA - 6:30 p.m. Prayer Meeting - 6:30 p.m. Adult Choir Practice - 7:15 p.m.

Sycamore First Baptist Baptist Church Church 10 Broadway Ave. S. Sylacauga (256) 245-6301

Rev. Tim Childers, Pastor Dr. Larry Morrison, Education & Administrator Rev. Kenny Norris, Student Minister

Odena Baptist Church 115 Odena Rd. N.

Sylacauga (256) 249-3850

Sunday Services 8:10 am - 9:25 am 9:35 am - 10:50 am 11:00 am - 12:15 pm & 6:00 pm Sunday School 8:10 am & 9:35 am Wednesday Service 7:00 pm THERE IS A PLACE FOR YOU! His Word Will Stand

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Tinney Street Church of Christ 324 Tinney Street Talladega (256) 761-1283

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Sylacauga (256) 245-6421

First Baptist Church PO Box 356 200 8th Ave. SW Childersburg (256) 378-6058

Cropwell (205) 525-5161

Harvest Center Church of God 3209 8th Ave. N. Pell City (205) 338-2853

Coosa Valley Baptist Church Hwy. 231 South Cropwell, AL

5329 Renfroe Road Talladega (256) 268-2200

74400 Hwy 77 Lincoln (205) 763-9668

Mount Olive Baptist Church

Marble City Baptist Church

21 Mount Olive Circle Talladega (256) 362-0953

First Assembly Of God

Fairmont Grace Baptist Church

Hepzibah Baptist Church

24343 AL Hwy. 21 Talladega

First United Methodist Church 105 E. Spring St. Sylacauga (256)249-0362

214 Maine Street Talladega (256) 362-3703 Rev. Wesley Johnson Sunday School 9:30 am Sunday Morning Worship 10:45 am Sunday Evening Worship 6:00 pm Wednesday Service 6:30 pm

Plainview Hope Baptist Church Baptist Church

560 Gantts Junction Rd. Oak Grove (256) 249-2461

Eden Westside Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church Baptist Church 4609 Martin St. S.

223 Wolf Creek Rd. N. Pell City (205) 338-7711 PASTOR: JACKY CONNELL

Mt. Ida Baptist Church

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Mignon United First Church Presbyterian Church Methodist 410 10 Street

100 Norton Ave. Sylacauga (256) 249-0391

Lincoln (205) 763-7351

2013 Talladega Hwy. Sylacauga (256) 245-7382

Fire of Pentecost United Pentecostal Church 5605 Old Slyacauga Highway Sylacauga (256) 245-3232 Pastor, Rev. Tim S. Taylor Service Times: Sunday School at 10 a.m. Worship at 11 a.m. Sunday Night at 6 p.m. Youth Services on Friday Night at 7 p.m. Prayer is 30 minutes before each service

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Harvest Ironaton Assembly of God Baptist Church 81 Old Shocco Road

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West End Church of God

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St. Peter’s Episcopal Church

208 North Street E. Talladega (256) 362-2505 Sunday Holy Communion 8:00 am and 10:30 am Wednesday Night Dinner 6:00 pm Wednesday Christian Education Classes 6:30 pm Mon.-Fri. Morning Prayer 7:00 am Fr. Ray Waldon

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Pastor Gary Plummer Sunday School 10:00 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship 11:00 a.m. Sunday Night Worship 5:00 p.m. Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting 6:30 p.m.

1101 Cherry St. Talladega (256) 362-7390 Rev. Tommy Strickland Worship Pastor Rev. Mark King Student Pastor Bible Study 9:00 a.m. Sunday Worship Celebration 10:15 a.m. & 6:00 p.m. Wednesday Discipleship classes 6:30 p.m. “ A Place to Belong”

Cherry Street Church of God

700 Cherry Street Talladega (256) 362-5021 Pastor Franklin Walters Sunday School 9:45 a.m. Sunday Morning Worship 10:45 a.m. Sunday Night Worship 6:00 p.m. Wednesday Night Worship 7:00 p.m.

Knollwood PTggfi\__X ?eXXj\__ Presbyterian Church ;Tcg\fg <[heV[ 1277 Knollwood Ln. Sylacauga (256) 249-2648

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New Life The Good Shepherd Assembly of God Missions Inc. 150 16th St. So. Pell City (205) 884-5600

Mt. Zion Freewill Baptist Church 915 Martin St. N. Pell City (205) 338-3708

4615 Cogswell Ave. Pell City (205) 338-2827 Sunday School 9:45am Sunday Service 10:45am Wednesday Night 7:00pm Senior Pastor Ken Jones Youth Pastor Wes Jones

2309 2nd Ave. N. Pell City (205) 338-9444 Sunday School 9:00a & 10:15a Traditional Worship 9:00 a Contemporary Worship 10:15a

VICTORY Seddon CENTER Baptist Church CHRISTIAN 154 Victory Drive/ I-20 exit 156

First Baptist Church

Acmar St. Simon Peter United Methodist Episcopal Church

980 Robinson St. Springville, AL (205) 467-7979

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12A — THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010

Duncan From Page 11A

or Treat and the Haunted Trail Ride and Fun Day at Lincoln Park. The events featured booths with carnival games, face painting, inflatables, concession items, and more, in addition to the haunted trail ride and plenty of candy for attending children. “We had a lot of positive feedback from parents whose children enjoyed the games and events,” she said. Duncan said the Trunk or Treat and Haunted Trail Ride and Fun Day offer local children fun and safe Halloween activities. “We also held a Senior Citizen Day that featured bingo, entertainment, door prizes, and more,” she said. “The day was so popular that we made it a quarterly event.” Duncan said Friday dances for local teens were also a hit, as well as the first communitywide Easter Egg Hunt. “Parks and recreation is a lot of work, but is very rewarding,” she said. “It is not a 9-to-5 job, it is a

24/7 job. The programs are not Monday through Friday, but happen on Saturday and Sunday, too. You work hard until one thing is done, then you start on the next thing. There is no down time in parks and rec.” Duncan said the Park and Recreation Department’s success is not just because of her leadership. “The community support has made this a success,” she said. “I had the experience and the knowledge, but it was the community being open to new things and willing to do everything needed from AZ that made these events happen.” Mayor Lew Watson said the Parks and Recreation Department has come a long way under Duncan’s leadership. “Roben and her staff do a fantastic job of bringing new and exciting programs and events to our residents,” he said. “We really appreciate all her hard work and feel we are very lucky to have her here in Lincoln.”

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

Duncan has been with the Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department for about a year, and has implemented many new recreation events.

Award winning program planning new events for 2010 By ELSIE HODNETT Home staff writer

Lincoln Park recently received two awards from the Alabama Recreation and Park Association. “We have a great park, and are pleased and excited that our park and our programs received two awards,” Parks and Recreation Department director Roben Duncan said. Lincoln Park received the 2009 Innovative Program/Special Event of the Year for populations under 15,000, and the 2009 Agency of the Year for populations 15,000 and under awards. Duncan said Lincoln Park won the 2009 Innovative Program/ Special Event of the Year for its Spring Program. “We began with our Spring Sports Parade, which led into opening day for the 2009 softball and baseball season,” she said. “The week-long

‘We have a great park, and are pleased and excited that our park and our programs received two awards.’

—Roben Duncan

event included face painting, inflatables, the communitywide Easter Egg Hunt, and more.” Duncan said the Spring Program was just one of many new events the Parks and Recreation Department hosted in 2009. Other 2009 events included day camps, Taste of Lincoln, Trunk or Treat, the Haunted Trail Ride, the Christmas Parade, and more. “The community has really stepped up,” she said. “Our residents have done everything needed to make these events successful from volunteering to serve on committees and helping out with events to making financial donations.”

Duncan said the Parks and Recreation Department plans to continue with its successful programs, as well as adding new programs, events, and sports opportunities at Lincoln Park. “We are working to get an archery range with 3-D targets,” she said. “There are only four archery ranges in the state that are through the (Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources) Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. We are hoping to be the fifth range.” Duncan said some of the archery range would be walk-through, where individuals could shoot at multiple 3-D targets.

Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

Lincoln Parks and Recreation Department athletic director Grady Chambers, Parks and Recreation Department director Roben Duncan, Mayor Lew Watson, and Parks and Recreation Department director maintenance director Shannon Doss, from the left, hold the two Lincoln Park awards.

There would also be a stationary practice target range. “We are hoping to get started with that very soon, hopefully in April or May,” she said. Duncan said the archery range could be completed in 2010, depending on the amount of clearing needed at the chosen archery site at Lincoln Park. “We are also working on an air gun range,” she said. Duncan said the air gun range would feature air compression guns that fire pellets. Bob Crisp/The Daily Home

Parks and Recreation Department maintenance director Shannon Doss, left, and director Roben Duncan hold the 2009 Innovative Program/ Special Event of the Year for populations under 15,000, and the 2009 Agency of the Year for populations 15,000 and under awards.

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“It is a low cost to start up, and we are likely looking at 2011 for the air gun range, depending on the economy and funding,” she said. Duncan said she is


also working on a golfing grant. “We want to offer golfing classes that teach putting and golfing etiquette,” she said. “The grant would help supply some equipment needs and instructors.” Duncan said she hopes to begin offering golfing classes in June. “And we are hopefully looking at having a driving range within the next two years,” she said. Duncan said she is also working to bring the Masters Games to Lincoln. “The Masters Games are for people ages 55-plus and include everything from horseshoes and basketball to dominoes and rook,” she said. “There are both active and stationary games for seniors of all

activity levels.” Duncan said she hopes to host a citywide Masters Games in March or April. “We are also working on a Motorcycle Safety Course, and a lot of different baseball and softball tournaments,” she said. “And we are partnering with Lincoln High School for coaching and player clinics and camps.” Duncan said the partnership with Lincoln High School will help teach the players and coaches etiquette, rules, skill level, and more. “It will help keep everyone involved in fun activities, both parks and recreation and school sports,” she said. “Keeping people active is what you want to do, both physically and mentally.”

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THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010 —13A

4 decades of teaching at TC only part of Bray’s legacy By CHRIS NORWOOD

Home staff writer

Which brings him back to teaching and academics. In 1972 or 1973, Bray took his students to the Tuskegee Institute to a meeting of the Black Mayors Association. He led another field trip to Birmingham in the 1970s to observe a protest. He is also an advocate for the use of drama in education. Bray, along with Larry Chappell, authored a paper called “Civic Theater for Civic Education,” which was awarded the Psi Sigma Alpha Award at the 2003 association meeting. “It’s a prestigious award,” he said. “The idea comes out of the claim that theater is uniquely valuable in understanding and engaging in politics, in trying to transform and teach politics. We’ve been writing a book about that for some time.” Bray is the author of other papers, including one on the philosopher Michel Foucault, which was published in anthology of criticism on female Caribbean authors living in Canada. Bray and his co-author were awarded a grant to lecture on the article in Mississippi. He has held various positions in the Political Science Association in both states, and acted as editor for the Alabama association’s trade publication. “I think,” Bray said, “that many of the things I have contributed, I was able to do in part because of my relationship with Jeanne Morrison, who died in 2002. She was a psychology and humanities professor, and my companion for 17 years.” At the end of his interview, Bray said, “I am reminded that I am blind, and getting blinder. I have been teaching a special project on the politics of blindness, working with some students with connections to (the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind). There is physical and political blindness. Physical blindness is simply having a disease, like retinitis pigmentosa, which is what I have. We dis-

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cuss the way blind people are sometimes treated, discriminated against or not recognized as fully functional, thriving human beings. For the discussion of political blindness, we go to Sophocles “Oedipus Tyranus,” or “Oedipus Rex” as most people call it. Oedipus’ failure to recognize the situation around him is the epitome of political blindness. And it’s very important at the end of the play where he actually physically blinds himself. Dr. Chappell and I would call that classical theater, but it’s also experimental theater. It’s a performance exercise.”

Bellview Apartments


Up to that point, Talladega’s officials were all elected at large, which meant minorities were generally underrepresented. “There was a perceived need to redraw the district lines, and I was hired to make sure the city met the requirements of the Voting Rights Act. As a political person, I was concerned with the need for more black officials. Since the 1970s, there had only been one, even though by the 1980s, more than 40 percent of the population was black. That struck me inadequate representation of the sort that needs to be corrected. When it came time to draw the lines, I believed that two majority black districts would be far better than just one.” Drawing a minimum of two districts with 60 percent or more black population was not easy with the computer models available at the time. “The technology was not as evolved as it is now, so it was a challenging task. I got a colleague, Preston Rowe,

speaker there myself. I have also been part of the speakers bureau for the Alabama Humanities Foundation, where I have discussed everything from the politics of the death penalty to Socrates and ‘The Brothers Karamazov.’” Pausing, Bray said, “I may or may not remember all of the important things over a 40 year career. But what’s really important is civic education. I sat in classes with fifth- and sixth-graders, which is something with practical value. In 1987, I chaired the committee that planned the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the Constitution with various activities on the courthouse lawn.


Dr. Bernard Bray arrived at Talladega College in 1971, where he has been teaching political science, public administration and philosophy ever since. The fruits of almost four decades of teaching and academic work represent only a part of his overall legacy, however. His contributions to Talladega go much deeper than that. Bray graduated from Indiana University in 1955 and taught in public schools for a year before joining the Army. He spent 22 months at Fort Riley, Kan., simultaneously earning his masters degree at Kansas University. He spent the next six years working on his doctorate in Bradley, Ill., when, as he put it, “I decided to go abroad to Alabama. I interviewed for the position at Talladega College and got the job.” He earned his doctorate a few years later. “I have come to enjoy living here very much,” he said, “but my way of living means that I have to deal with some tensions. And sometimes I create those tensions myself.” Almost from the time of his arrival, Bray was involved in “various marches and protests” stemming from his involvement in social justice causes. “From 1978 to 1980, I was the chair of the American Civil Liberties Union in Alabama, and had the privilege of being carried out of Anniston City Hall by the police. There was a garbage workers strike going on at the time, and I had gone there as an observer. Demonstrators supporting the strike were gathered outside city hall, which had been ordered closed. Since it was a regular business day, I decided it really needed to be open, so I tried to get in. I pulled on the door and the police pulled on the other side. One officer grabbed my shoulders, the other grabbed my legs, and they carried me right out. The demonstrators started chanting ‘get that picture, get that picture,’ and someone did. Someone from the Anniston Star did get the picture, which is still in the ACLU archives. After that, they set me down very gently.” Bray has been involved in various causes around the state over the years, serving as an advisor to the Talladega County Democratic Party under Phil Smith and working with Horace Patterson’s unsuccessful bid for state Senate in 1976. But arguably his most important achievement came in the late 1980s, when he was retained by the city of Talladega to draw up wards for city council and board of education seats.

a psychology professor and better technician than me, to use a computer and census date to help come up with the lines. But those lines have been changed a few times since then, so please don’t blame them on me now.” He performed a similar task for the Talladega County Commission and the probate judge, he said. Bray said he has always strived to relate the various aspects of teaching, scholarship and citizenship. “I’ve tended to avoid the standard civic organizations. I never joined the Kiwanis Club or the Lions Club. I’ve leaned more toward organizing programs and teaching civics. … When I came to the college, they offered two courses in political science. I designed 11 new courses in political science and, in the 1980s, took a leadership role in creating the public administration program. I got a grant from the Lilly Foundation for that. And I’ve made myself available to people who believe their civil rights have been violated, and at times have gotten my students involved in gathering facts. I had a student named Wright in 1974 who was involved with the Wilmington 10, which a lot of people believed was a political prosecution. I wrote about that. At one point, I spent about half of my working hours at the Judicial Building, studying death penalty cases particularly. As part of that, I have also written about race and the death penalty in Alabama. I have been able to combine scholarship and activism.” Through the years, in addition to his work with the ACLU, he has worked with the NAACP and served as an advisor to CORE (Citizens Organized to Resist Eradication), the group formed by Dixie Bonner after it was disclosed a tainted well in a black Talladega neighborhood had secretly been put back online. Since 2002, he has also held the title of scholar in residence at the Alabama Free Thought Association. “The Alabama Free Thought Association is dedicated to critical thinking in matters of religion,” Bray said. “They’re dedicated to making the separation of church and state a reality in our lives. As a scholar, my job is to develop educational topics on politics, religion, civil liberties and other issues. Some people seem to believe the group has something to do with devil worship, which it most certainly does not, but some members are, in fact, atheists. But the group contributes to cultural and civic life in significant ways. Some people are surprised that intellectually oriented people will come from all over for discussions and activities. I’ve been a guest

friends & neighbors

14A — THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010

Janice Johnson says she was born at Citizens Hospital. She worked as an employee before she retired. She now works as a volunteer.

Edna Wynn has served as a volunteer with Citizens for nearly 10 years, after retiring from the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind.


says she enjoys working with the elderly. “You can see sometimes when people come in the door, you ask them, ‘May I help you?’” she said. “And you can tell they really don’t want anybody to know they need help. “I enjoy doing that. One day, I think we’re all going to be there. And I think God will take care of us.” Janice Johnson was an employee at Citizens Baptist for more than 30 years, as a unit secretary and in central sterile supply. After recovering from an illness that forced her into retirement, she found she still wanted to serve. “I was born here (at Citizens),” she said. “And I always thought I’d be here until I die. “When I got better, I missed being here. And it doesn’t take much to help

Katherine “Kitsy” Seger has been volunteering at Citizens Baptist Medical Center for 10 years.

Volunteers give personal touch in patient care Home staff writer

For Edna Wynn, serving as a volunteer at Citizens Baptist Medical Center in Talladega is about more than simply filling up hours in the day. It’s about enriching the lives of the hospital’s patients, and, by extension, building up the reputation of the hospital and its home city. “Talladega is home to me,” she said. “I’m proud of my community, and this is our hospital. “I want to make our hospital the top in everything we do, and whatever I can do to make it stand out, I want to have a part in that.” It’s a popular sentiment among every hospital volunteer. The three major hospitals in East Central Alabama — Citizens in Talladega, Coosa Valley

Medical Center in Sylacauga and St. Vincent’s St. Clair in Pell City — all rely on volunteers to help with the personal touch in patient care. “We could probably have a hospital without volunteers,” said Roxanne Ramsey, who oversees the volunteers at the hospital. “But if you’re asking me do they bring value? They bring value with everything they do, whether it’s spending time with the patients and their families, raising funds. “They’re just so giving of themselves, and they make our community better. They have pride in their hospital and their community.” Each volunteer feels a different calling. For example, Katharina (“people call me Kitsy”) Seger at Citizens, who has been volunteering for 10 years,

people; it helps us, too.” Wynn retired from the Alabama Institute for Deaf and Blind, and finds some joy in helping that community as part of her volunteer work. “AIDB is where my heart is,” she said. “To be able to continue caring for people from there, it makes my day. “We have a very good staff here, but they can always use an extra hand. It thrills me to be able to

go over and assist people. You help people, and they always go away happy.” The service of people like Wynn, Johnson and Seger is hardly unique — in Sylacauga and Pell City, longtime volunteers like 95-year-old Linda Konrath are familiar faces to greet patients and staff alike. “I enjoy people, and being around people,” Konrath said earlier this year. “I go out in the

morning and walk around and visit people. “I have been a volunteer here for 32 years, and I have no plans to stop.” Seger says it “gives you a warm feeling” to be part of the team in Talladega. “Everybody on the staff here is friendly,” she said. “You go out and see people from the hospital, and all of them say ‘hello’ and talk to you. It’s nice to go to a place where people say ‘hello.’”



•Small animal medicine & surgery •We now offer Laser surgery & therapy •Boarding & grooming available

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Located in Cropwell (next to Union State Bank)

2308 Mays Dr. (205) 338-3556 Emergency Call (205) 338-3556


Talladega County Exchange


(Talladega Co-Op)

Hwy. 21 N. • 256-362-2716

We Carry A Complete Line Of Pet Care Supplies. See us first for all your pet care needs.

Brian Schoenhals/The Daily Home

Pictured are four of Citizens Baptist’s volunteers, from the left, Janice Johnson, Edna Wynn, Phoebe Thompson and Katharina Seger.

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THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010 — 15A


The Talladega County EMA wants you to be prepared for any emergency situation. In case of an emergency you may need some essential items on hand. Use the checklist below to help you and your family prepare for most emergency situations. Review the “clip and save” section of this page. We encourage you to gather the family and prepare a disaster plan (it’s as simple as discussing what to do in an emergency and making sure everyone knows the plan), and build an emergency preparedness kit with the supplies your family may need to care for themselves after disaster strikes. If you are a resident of Talladega County and haven't received a shelter in place kit, or emergency alert radio, we still have a limited quantity available. Call us for distribution dates and times. We currently have several videos available to help you be prepared for emergencies. These are available to you free by calling our office. Know the basics on where your family will seek safety in all hazard emergencies such as severe weather which includes: tornados, hurricanes, lightning, thunderstorms, flooding and winter weather.

Talladega County Emergency Management Agency, 26715 AL. Hwy. 21 South, Talladega, AL

Know how not to spread the germs and isolate family members infected in a pandemic such as the flu. Call our office for more information on the pandemic flu. You should have a plan in any of these situations. Prepare yourself and your family, neighbors and friends.

! r e b m e Rem


If you have not received your free CSEPP 2010 Calendar which contains important emergency preparedness information you can call us at 256-761-2125 to get one mailed to you.


In previous years many citizens were unprepared for hurricanes and other emergencies and arrived at shelters with only the clothes on their backs. Experts in emergency preparedness advise having enough food, water, medical and other supplies to last three days away from home. Here is a list of supplies and steps that public and private agencies recommend:


Check off supplies when added to your kit:

Keep items in airtight plastic bags, and put your entire disastersupplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers, such as an unused trash can, camping backpack or duffel bag. Rethink your needs often and update your kit as your family needs change.



An easy-to-carry bag with an ID tag for each member of the family for use for an evacuation. Include the following:

■ Two pairs of disposable gloves ■ Sterile dressings ■ Gauze bandage ■ Cleansing agent/soap and antibiotic towelettes ■ Antibiotic ointment ■ Burn ointment ■ Thermometer ■ Adhesive bandages in a variety of sizes ■ Adhesive tape, 2-inch width ■ Eye-wash solution ■ Cold pack ■ Scissors ■ Cotton swabs ■ Tweezers ■ Over-the counter medicines such as aspirin or other pain reliever, laxative, anti-diarrhea medication, antacid ■ Daily prescription medications, such as insulin, heart medicine or asthma inhaler ■ Prescribed medical supplies such as glucose monitoring equipment or bloodpressure monitors

■ Water, food and manual can opener ■ Flashlight and batteries ■ Battery-operated radio ■ Personal medications and prescriptions ■ Extra keys to your house and vehicle ■ Walking shoes, warm clothes, a hat and rain gear ■ Extra prescription eyeglasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items ■ Toilet paper, plastic bags, and other hygiene supplies ■ Dust mask ■ Pocket knife, compass ■ Paper, pens and tape for leaving messages ■ Cash in small denominations ■ Copies of insurance and identification cards ■ A recent picture of your family members and pets ■ In your child’s bag include a favorite toy, game or book, as well as his or her emergency card with reunification location and contact info


Keep originals of legal documents in an off-site-safe-deposit box: ■ Birth certificates, adoption papers ■ Marriage certificate ■ Social Security cards ■ Military discharge ■ Health insurance ID cards ■ Life insurance policies ■ Property insurance policies ■ Auto registration/ownership papers ■ Auto insurance policies

❑ Paper, pencils ❑ Large plastic bags for waste and sanitation ❑ Diapers and other items for babies and children ❑ Special-need items for family members with mobility problems, such as an extra cane or manual wheelchair in case there is no power for recharging an extra wheelchair ❑ Tent ❑ Matches in a waterproof container ❑ Pet supplies ❑ Plastic storage containers ❑ Signal flare ❑ Needles and thread

❑ Warm clothes, a hat and rain gear ❑ A local map ❑ Extra prescription eyeglasses, hearing aid or other vital personal items ❑ Plastic sheeting, duct tape and utility knife for covering broken windows ❑ Tools including pliers and a shut-off wrench to turn off utilities if necessary ❑ Blanket or sleeping bag ❑ Extra keys to your house and vehicle ❑ A copy of important documents and phone numbers ❑ Paper towels, aluminum foil ❑ Fire extinguisher

❑ Food and water ❑ Manual can opener ❑ Utensils ❑ First-aid kit ❑ Flashlight ❑ Battery-operated radio ❑ Batteries ❑ Cash in small denominations and coins ❑ Unscented liquid household bleach for water purification ❑ Personal hygiene items including toilet paper, feminine supplies and soap ❑ Sturdy shoes ❑ Heavy gloves

■ Naturalization documents ■ Power of attorney ■ Will ■ Passport ■ Real estate deeds of trust ■ Previous year tax returns ■ Contact info of your attorney ■ Inventory of valuables with photographs



Store enough emergency food to feed your family for at least three days: ➤ Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits and vegetables ➤ Canned juices, milk and soup ➤ High-energy foods such as peanut butter, jelly, crackers, granola bars and trail mix ➤ Comfort foods, such as hard candy, sweetened cereals, candy bars and cookies ➤ Dried foods (select carefully) as some have a high salt content) ➤ Instant meals that don’t require cooking or water ➤ Vitamins ➤ Protein bars, fruit bars or nuts


➤ Store 1 gallon of water per person and pet per day. ➤ Seal water containers tightly in a clean food-grade plastic container, label them with a date, and store in a cool, dark place. ➤ Rotate water supplies every six months. (Water can develop bacteria or algae from microscopic cracks in the container.) ➤ Keep a small bottle of unscented liquid bleach to purify water. (Add eight drops of bleach to each gallon of water. Shake or stir. Let stand 30 minutes.)

➤ Get a pet carrier or a crate for each household pet. It should be large enough to allow your pet to stand up and turn around inside. ➤ Have a leash and a muzzle on hand to help control your dog. ➤ Have newspapers, plastic bags, cleansers, kitty litter and disinfectants available to handle pet wastes. ➤ Have sufficient amounts of pet food, water and special medications on hand. ➤ Be sure your pet’s rabies and other vaccinations are current. Your pet’s collar should have a license tag. Gather your pet’s ID records and medical info into a waterproof package. Include a recent photo of you and the pet with a detailed written description and copy of the current vaccination certificate. ➤ Ask local animal shelters if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets in a disaster.

MAINTAINING CONTACT ➤ Determine the best two escape routes from your home. ➤ Plan where to meet if your home becomes unsafe. Choose two places, one just outside your home and one outside your neighborhood. ➤ Designate a contact person far enough away to not be affected by the same emergency. Instruct family members to call this person and tell them where they are. ➤ If you have a cellphone, include an emergency contact in your phonebook. Put the letters ICE for “in case of emergency” before a person’s name to let rescuers know whom to contact.

Paid for by Talladega County EMA through FEMA/CSEPP Funds


16A — THE DAILY HOME, Talladega and St. Clair counties, Ala., Sunday, February 14, 2010

A friendly face, a helping hand, that’s your hometown Piggly Wiggly store.

There may be bigger stores around, but the value that comes from trusting people you know is our greatest asset. From our top quality meats and produce to our low prices to our helpful staff, we aim to make your grocery shopping experience a positive one. And Piggly Wiggly’s service doesn’t stop there. It’s service to community – investing in it and believing in it through support of schools, creating jobs and contributing to worthy causes throughout the area – is its trademark. It’s the hometown folks you know and trust. Down home, down the street. It’s Piggly Wiggly.

Down Home, Down The Street

TALLADEGA • 320 W. BATTLE ST. • OFFICE 362-7949, DELI 362-7956 HOURS: MONDAY-SATURDAY, 6 A.M.-10 P.M.; SUNDAY 7 A.M.-9 P.M.



TALLADEGA • 308 N. EAST ST. • OFFICE 362-2258


CHILDERSBURG • 1068 1ST ST. •. OFFICE 378-5795


GOODWATER • 470 S. MAIN ST. • OFFICE 839-1322

We accept u



Money Orders Available At All Locations • Food Stamps and WIC Accepted


Update: Friends and Neighbors  

Update: Friends and Neighbors