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Wiregrass Electric Cooperative

Savings each month

Hot Air For Charity Tuscaloosa’s Sunrise

Scott Childers is a believer in the power of an energy efficient home

Firm legal ground

Balloon Race

Alabama’s Bass Trail

Ed Price has served as WEC’s attorney for 22 years

11 lakes create a fishing paradise

Safety first

WEC is focused on keeping employees – and the public – safe around electricity

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Two Exclusives from Alabama Living ORDER YOURS FOR THE HOLIDAYS!

Southern Occasions 19





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A beautiful pictorial history of Alabama’s churches ranging from small rural churches to towering urban cathedrals.




Churches Alabama of


Vol. 65 No.5 MAY 2012



Michael McWaters Co-Op Editor

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

Alabama Rural Electric Association

AREA President Fred Braswell Editor Darryl Gates Managing Editor Melissa Henninger

4 Make every day a good day

CEO Michael S. McWaters shares a Memorial Day message from Ray and Kelli Barfield of Ashford, whose son LCpl Jason N. Barfield lost his life last October while serving as a Marine in Afghanistan.

12 Children’s

Children’s of Alabama is the only medical center in the state dedicated to the care and treatment of children


Insulation, windows and other energy efficient measures keep Scott Childers’ family comfortable in their new home. (Page 7)

Creative Director Mark Stephenson Art Director Michael Cornelison Director, Marketing & Advertising Jay Clayton Recipe Editor Mary Tyler Spivey

14 Bass Trail

photo by Cherokee Spivey

Eleven waterways make up a first-inthe-nation state bass trail, making Alabama a ‘fishing destination’


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

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Spotlight 10 Power Pack 18 Worth the Drive 20 Alabama Gardens 22 Safe @ Home 23 Fish&Game Forecast 26 Cook of the Month 27 Strawberry Recipes 38 Alabama Snapshots 9

Printed in America from American materials

Alabama Living

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Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Board of Trustees

CEO’s Comments

Remembering our hero Michael S. McWaters

CEO of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative Donald Ray Wilks District 7 President

Kip Justice District 6 Vice President

Debra E. Baxley District 1 Secretary

Donna Parrish District 2

On the 28th of this month, we will celebrate Memorial Day. For some it means the beginning of summer vacation season. For many it is a day off from work. While it is intended to honor our fellow Americans who have lost their lives while serving in the country’s military, we all too often forget that. Until it hits home. Last October, Ray and Kelli Barfield of Ashford received news that forever changed their lives. While serving as a Marine in the Helmand Province of Afghanistan, their son Jason was killed in action. He was only 22. The Wiregrass region mourned with the

Barfield family. Our region, our nation, lost Lance Corporal Jason N. Barfield of the U.S. Marines. But the Barfield family lost their little boy, their son, their brother, their grandson, their cousin. What was terribly sad to all of us was absolutely devastating to them. And so as we get ready to celebrate Memorial Day 2012, we wanted to pause and remind ourselves of just how personal the holiday is for so many families across our country. Below is a message from Jason’s parents. May God bless and strengthen their family, even as we honor his memory and service to our nation. A

Make every day a good day Ray and Kelli Barfield, Parents of LCpl Jason N. Barfield

John Clark, Jr. District 3

Danny McNeil District 4

Tracy Reeder District 5

Greg McCullough District 8

Nolan Laird District 9

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Our son Jason was born with an infectious smile. He had a great love for life and could light up the room with that smile. He always looked for the good in others and brought us so many wonderful memories. Jason was a Marine serving our country in Afghanistan. When we received calls from him, we would thank God for protecting him for another week. He never let us know how bad things really were over there. Whenever we asked about his day he would always reply, “Every day is a good day.” That’s how he looked at life. On October 24, 2011, our son was killed while serving the country he loved. We still remember so clearly that Monday afternoon when the casualty officers pulled into our driveway with news that no parent or loved one should ever hear. We remember the outpouring of love that the entire Wiregrass area showed us in the days and weeks

that followed. We still have the cards and letters from people across the nation. People say there’s a year of “firsts” when you lose a loved one — your first Christmas without them, your first birthday without them. This Memorial Day and every one that follows will take on new meaning for us. We have a new understanding of what it means to sacrifice. As you and your family enjoy time together this Memorial Day, we hope you will honor the memory of those who have fallen by reaching out to those who are still here. If you see a soldier, tell them “thank you.” If you see them at a restaurant, pay for their meal if you can. Make a care package and ship it overseas with a card that simply says “thank you.” And finally, pray for our military and their families. It is such a small sacrifice for all they have done. A

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Your  Cooperative Contact Information

Students learn how government works from Youth Tour They say all politics is local, but sometimes you have to drive a couple of hours to really see it in action. As part of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative’s annual Montgomery Youth Tour, ten area students visited the state capital in March to learn about representative government and the electric utility industry. “It was educational and fun at the same time,” says student Steven Vaughn. The students met with local legislators, toured the capitol and heard from several speakers during their day. A highlight of this year’s youth tour was a surprise visit by presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, who met with the students while in Montgomery on a campaign stop. Other students used words like “awesome” and “cool” to describe the day. “This was a fantastic experience,” says Antany Hollinger. “Meeting new people and learning more about our state made this an awesome time. Thank you for all you have done for us!” Many other electric cooperatives in the state also send students to the event, which is coor-

dinated at the state level by the Alabama Rural Electric Association (AREA). “It’s great for them to see the lessons they learn in the classroom come alive at the capitol,” says Cary Hatcher, manager of member relations for WEC. “They’re not too far from being off in the world as adults, and the better they understand government and rural electric service the better citizens they will be.” Aside from the lesson in government, students also learned about the importance of rural cooperatives and their efforts. Speakers particularly focused on the difference between member-owned cooperatives like WEC and publicly traded power companies. WEC will select two of these students for its Washington Youth Tour. In June, WEC will sponsor them as they join over 1,600 other students for a tour of the nation’s capital. The trip includes visits to Capitol Hill, Arlington National Cemetery and the Lincoln Memorial. Students will also attend Rural Electric Youth Day to learn from public figures and other inspirational speakers. A

Business Phone: 1-800-239-4602 (24 hrs/day) Office: Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Toll Free Outage “Hotline” 1-888-4-MY-OUTAGE 1-888-469-6882 (24 hrs/day) website Find Wiregrass Electric Co-op on Twitter ( and on Facebook

Payment Options BY MAIL Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, Inc. Department 1340 P.O. Box 2153 Birmingham, AL 35287-1340 WEBSITE Payments may be made 24 hrs/day by Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and E-Check on our website at PHONE PAYMENTS Payments may be made any time by dialing 1-800-239-4602. NIGHT DEPOSITORY Available at each office location. IN PERSON Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. Hartford 509 N. State Hwy. 167 Hartford, AL 36344 Samson 13148 W. State Hwy. 52 Samson, AL 36477 Ashford 1066 Ashford Highway, Ashford, AL 36312 Dothan 6167 Fortner St. Dothan, AL 36305

Students from the Wiregrass Electric Cooperative service area who participated in the Mongtomery Youth Tour were, left to right: (front) Laine Dillard, Steven Vaughan, Shelby Gray, Oanh Nguyen, Marty Bowden, (back) Jean Elizabeth Miles, Antany Hollinger, Caroline Clark, Colton Cureton and Jamison Gay.

Alabama Living

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For questions regarding sanitation service, call Houston County Sanitation Department at 334-677-4705

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WEC’s legal eye

Price is the right attorney for the unique legal needs of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative

It was just over 35 years ago that Ed Price took a drive operative functions. For example, Price remembers a time from Dothan to Abbeville — a trip that changed his life and, when any electric cooperative’s annual meeting was a big very possibly, the fate of electric cooperatives throughout Ala- event in the community. “Today, most people aren’t going to bama. come spend an entire day at the co-op,” he says. “They have Having majored in business at Auburn University, and so many other things to do.” In order to accommodate busy earning his law degree from schedules while allowing as Cumberland School of Law many people as possible the at Samford University, Price opportunity to vote in busireturned to his hometown ness matters, WEC’s board of Dothan in 1974. He beof trustees and management gan practicing law in a firm developed a plan in 2007 to led by Hubert Farmer and introduce mail balloting. son Jim Farmer. The board and manageToward the end of 1976, ment called on Price to Hubert’s brother Carl Farmmake sure their plan met er invited the young Price all legal requirements. “That to visit Abbeville with him, was a giant step for the cowhere he and his wife Jean op world,” Price says. It had a law practice. Carl Ed Price serves as WEC’s attorney, one of only two positions filled by a took careful legal study and had worked as an attorney vote of the cooperative’s board of trustees (the other is CEO, a role the two years of preparation, for decades, and wanted to board hired Michael S. McWaters to fill in 2005). but members were given transition this new lawyer the opportunity to vote by into representing one of his large clients — Pea River Elec- mail for the first time in 2009. Today more members particitric Cooperative. pate in the annual meeting than ever before. In the years that followed, Price learned the fundamentals Technology has brought about many innovations that have of the cooperative way of doing business. Those early days helped members do business with their cooperative. But each were simple, he says, consisting mostly of minor lawsuits, change comes with a need to ensure its legality. “Technology legal advice and the occasional bylaw amendment. in the electric utility industry is moving so fast that it’s diffiThat changed in 1990, when Price became the attorney for cult to keep up with,” Price says. As the cooperative’s attorney, Wiregrass Electric Cooperative. Shortly after adding WEC Price is hired by the board and works directly with the board to his client list, Price became involved in a legal battle that and senior management. As such, he is charged with the job protected consumers and impacted the future of electric co- of making sure WEC is on firm legal standing when it rolls operatives across Alabama (see sidebar “Ed Price and the out new services and program for its members. certification of Alabama’s territorial legislation” on Page 34.) For example, the board and management of WEC determined in 2007 that installing smart meters throughout its A new legal environment service area would make the cooperative more efficient, save While Price has seen gradual transitions in his 35 years of money and give homeowners access to information to help working with electric cooperatives, the past five or six years them better manage their energy use. But before the first have brought significant changes to the industry. “Govern- meter was installed, Price was assigned the task of making ment regulations have created many legal issues for coopera- sure WEC was doing everything within the limits of the law. tives,” he says. “The landscape has changed dramatically.” Consumer habits have also forced changes in how the cosee price, page 34 6 May 2012

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Cooperative  News

Monthly savings make Scott Childers a believer in Scott Childers has an oversized chocolate bar hanging in his attic. Why? Because he has a point to make about energy efficiency. For the past eight years, Childers has owned and operated Southern Home Builders, constructing homes in the 1,500- to 4,000-square-feet range across the Wiregrass region. One of the things about his approach that sets Childers’ work apart is that blown cellulose is a standard feature of the homes he builds. “It’s a very good way to insulate,” Childers says of cellulose. “And it’s affordable, in the same price range as traditional fiberglass batting insulation.” However, Childers says the task of building an energy efficient home begins well before the point of adding insulation. For example modern framing techniques allow cellulose insulation to “get back behind the wall and avoid any gaps,” he explains. His crews even use cans of spray foam to seal the small gaps where the pressure-treated planks sit on the concrete of a home’s foundation. “There are little gaps, because of the irregularity of the wood,” he says. “If we can see sunlight through a gap, we seal it.”


When Childers built a home for himself and his family last year, he asked a lot of questions of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, adding his cooperative’s advice to the lessons he had learned through the years. Childers decided to take energy efficiency one step further and use foam insulation in his walls. “Foam is even better at sealing a house than cellulose,” he says. “But you step up into a different price range with foam.” The decision to spend more money up front came after Childers looked at

photos by Cherokee Spivey

Energy-efficient home construction

TOP: Scott Childers and his family enjoy their energy efficient home. RIGHT: The unmelted chocolate bar in the attic proves that proper insulation works.

the big picture. “The light bulb went off for me when I realized how much I was paying monthly,” he says. “I knew how much I’d be paying up front, but I never really focused on how much cheaper I’d be living monthly, and what difference that makes. “Because most of us live paycheck to paycheck,” Childers continues, “it’s that monthly income that we focus on.” The energy efficiency measures Childers employed in his home have certainly impacted his monthly cash flow. His new home measures 3,800-square-feet. With two adults and three children in the home, his family’s first four power bills from Wiregrass Electric Cooperative were, approximately, $150, $170, $120 and $120. Had he not been running a pool pump between

six and eight hours each day, these bills would have been considerably lower.


To test his theory that energy efficiency techniques really do make a difference, Childers borrowed an idea he saw in a construction industry magazine. He read an article about some see home builder, page 35

Alabama Living May 2012  7

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Your  Cooperative

Two-pronged approach to safety At Wiregrass Electric Cooperative, we are serious about safety for everyone — our employees and our members. “Our number one goal right now is safety,” says Nathan Worsham, WEC’s safety and compliance coordinator. “In our line of business we do a high-risk job. We deal with 7,620 volts every day.” Keeping our employees and members safe takes different approaches — but with everyone, knowledge is the key.

Educating and equipping employees

To protect employees, WEC goes to great lengths to ensure safety. This spring, Worsham has even worked with our vendors to invent or modify equipment that will help protect lineman from high-voltage lines. But one of the most important pieces of equipment our employees have is their safety manuals. “As long as you follow the guidelines of our safety manual and OSHA regulations, you make it a hazardous job not a dangerous job,” Worsham explains. “You’re trained on how to handle the situation. The whole point of safety is to make sure everybody goes home to their families at the end of the work day.”

The manual, which outlines procedures for doing important tasks safely and warns workers of potential hazards, has become a major focus at the cooperative. “We’re starting to review chapter by chapter,” Worsham says. “We take a test every month on sections of the manual we cover so that every employee will understand it from front to back.” That focus is paying off. In 2011, WEC employees did not lose any time to accidents. “We’re really proud of our employees for that,” says Worsham. Michael S. McWaters, WEC’s CEO, says that in addition to being thankful and proud that none of the employees were significantly injured, members should also be pleased about the way that affects the bottom line. “There are many reasons we don’t want anyone to get hurt,” he says. “The main reason, of course, is that we want our employees to end each work day whole and well, and to go home and be with their families. “But from a financial perspective,” McWaters adds, “more employees at work means more work is getting done. When we’re at full staff, our crews can

Ready to learn? It’s important for young people to understand the benefits — and the dangers — of electricity. WEC provides access to a Kids Corner website, where young people can learn about everything from energy conservation and efficiency to safety and the history of energy. The site includes a Fun Factory with coloring pages and games.

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Nathan Worsham is the safety and compliance coordinator for WEC. He is pictured with daughter Mallory Brooke.

work more effectively and we don’t have to worry about costs for overtime or missed deadlines. In the end, our members’ dollars are being better spent when our employees work safely.”

Members also need knowledge

The other half of our safety mission involves you, our members. While we work hard to keep electrical hazards away from people, we also want you to understand ways to keep you and your family safe. Watch for overhead lines when working with equipment or using firearms. Stay away from downed lines and always obey safety warnings on fences at substations. WEC also provides a free Safety City demonstration for schools and civic clubs, providing a strong visual lesson in how to stay safe around electricity. Often, the members and the employees can work together to keep both groups safe. Worsham says anyone who notices anything unusual, from a downed line or other damaged equipment, should call the WEC office immediately at 800-239-4602. A

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Spot Light

may 19

Hot Air Balloon Race will raise money for charity

In May

counties since Glenwood first came into being in the mid1800s. For more information, contact 334-335-3165 or 334335-3425.

The annual Sunrise Balloon Race will be May 19 in Tuscaloosa, with more than 30 balloons taking off during the morning ascent. There will also be a Saturday evening ascension (weather permitting), along with activities and food for the family. Proceeds from the event will benefit people with disabilities served by Resources for Independence. The race, which began in 1983, is held at Tuscaloosa Regional Airport. Admission is free. may 19

Glenwood Festival at the Well set for May The Annual Glenwood Festival at the Well will be May 19, and will feature activities for children, a beauty and beau pageant, local arts and crafts, carnival food vendors, and a non-stop lineup of South Alabama’s stage talent from early morning to late at night. The festival kicks off with a parade at 9 a.m. and winds down with a street dance beginning at 8 p.m., featuring the band County Line. Smoked barbecue with all the trimmings will be served up by the Glenwood Volunteer Fire Department. The town of Glenwood is centered around an artesian well, which has been a focal point near the confluence of Crenshaw, Pike and Coffee Alabama Living

may 18 -19

River Region prepares for Jubilee CityFest

Jubilee CityFest will be May 18 and 19 in downtown Montgomery at the Amphitheater and RiverWalk. Jubilee will again produce Bama’s Big Bang, Alabama’s largest pyro music spectacular, on Saturday. The fireworks spectacular will follow the music concert. The weekend will kick off with BrewFest and BBQ Cook-off on Friday. The Jubilee Run for Cancer will start at 7 a.m. on Saturday. KidsFest is scheduled from 1-5 p.m. Tickets are on sale at

For more Alabama Events, visit page 29. MAY 2012  9

Power Pack

Farm vacations get you back to nature By Karen Olson House It used to be kids grew up on a farm or were close to someone who owned one. They appreciated the seasons and understood what rain, or its lack, meant. They took pride in growing robust vegetables and caring for livestock and knew which part of the cow their cuts of meat came from. Nowadays, the only food some kids may ever see is at the grocery store, packaged on shelves and frozen in bins. The only pasture they may see is on TV, and their only animal a dog or cat. In fact, this is true for more and more adults today, who feel disengaged from nature in general and who express a wish for a more peaceful way of life. Enter the “farm stay”: a great way to get back in touch with nature, and you don’t have to “buy the farm” to visit one. In Europe, farm vacations are nothing new. For Americans, “farm stay” is a relatively young concept. Although solid national statistics about U.S. farm vacations are difficult to obtain, there is much anecdotal evidence that more Americans are interested in them and that the number of American farms that offer them are increasing, due partly to modern agritourism efforts to boost income and raise awareness about locally sourced food. Farm stays, which can include ranches and wineries, range from simple, countrystyle digs to elegant retreats. Each is unique to its site, its working operations and its owners. You might sleep in a farmhouse guest room, cabin, cottage, converted barn, or even a tent near a creek. Generally, guests should not expect high-thread counts and high teas—while farms can be very hospitable, they aren’t fancy hotels. Prices per night vary but generally start around $75 and up, with

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many stays priced to what a bed-and-breakfast stay would cost in the area ($100-$125 or so). Guests don’t have to do chores. But if they wish to, guests can help gather eggs and feed chickens, or milk cows and groom horses. (Sorry, but you probably can’t drive the tractor because of insurance rules.) As far as food, expect tasty vittles. Most “haycations” include breakfast and, depending on the farm, fresh organic eggs, thick jams, fruit just off the vine, sausage, and other treats. Some proprietors use the term “farm stays” loosely, and their “farm” is more like a vacation rental that happens to have chickens nearby. If you want a working operation, use a website listing portal such as, designed to connect guests with working farm and ranch stays across the U.S. Its Advanced Search lets you check boxes for “pets” and “children.” (Some farms welcome kids to stay free, while others don’t allow them at all.) A farm’s own website usually describes rooms, activities, and amenities. Hosts who allow chore participation usually mention it in their descriptions. If you are unsure as to whether or not a particular farm is right for you, call or email the host. Karen Olson House is a contributing editor for Carolina Country magazine, published monthly by the North Carolina Association of Electric Cooperatives for its members.

Ventilation cuts cooling costs Properly ventilating your home can reduce the need to air-condition By James Dulley

Did you know? Alabama’s first railroad, the Tuscumbia Railway, opened June 12, 1832. It ran two miles from Tuscumbia Landing at the Tennessee River to Tuscumbia. Alabama Department of Archives and History

Alabama Living

Air conditioning can account for a significant proportion of a family’s utility bills even in some so-called “cool” regions of the country. Not every region has below-zero temperatures during winter, but most areas easily reach above 90 degrees for many days during the summer. No matter how much heat you can block from your windows and doors and how effective the ventilation is in a house without air conditioning, an air-conditioned house with a reasonable humidity level will be more comfortable. With proper ventilation, I have to air-condition very little to stay reasonably comfortable during hot, humid Cincinnati summers. Direct and indirect heat coming in windows and doors does increase the temperature inside your house significantly. Even the most energy-efficient windows and doors have an insulation R-value much less than the typical house wall. There also are gaps around doors and windows which, even though sealed with weatherstripping and caulk, allow in some hot, humid outdoor air. Because you can’t stop all the energy gain at the windows and doors, you might as well make maximum use of ventilation through them. This ventilation can be cross-ventilation from window to window on the same floor or through-ventilation from a window to an upper vent. The air coming in will be warm and perhaps humid, but it will make you feel cooler as it flows over your skin. The wind blowing over your house creates higher pressure on the upwind side and lower pressure on the downwind side. Open your windows completely on the downwind side. Open them only halfway or less on the upwind side. This combination may reduce the total air flow somewhat, but it increases the speed of the air coming in. In the summer, the higher speed of the breeze over your skin creates a more cooling effect. If you have casement windows, crank them out at just a partial angle to catch more breezes. If security is not an issue, open your doors and allow air in through a screen door. To send inquiries to James Dulley, visit www.

MAY 2012  11

Special to Alabama Living: Helping Children Reach Their Potential

Children’s of Alabama The only medical center in Alabama dedicated to the care and treatment of children A century ago, Children’s founders had a vision: They wanted to establish in Birmingham “a charity hospital for children alone.” Today, at Children’s of Alabama, their dream is being realized on a scale they could never have foreseen. Since 1911, Children’s has grown from a community hospital to the only medical center in Alabama dedicated solely to the care and treatment of children. It is one of the 10 busiest pediatric hospitals in the nation, and is home to Alabama’s only pediatric trauma center and the largest pediatric burn center in the Southeast. It is nationally renowned for such services as the Alabama Center for Childhood Cancer and Blood Disorders, the Lowder Blood and Marrow Transplantation Program, its comprehensive neonatal surgical center and fast-growing pediatric rheumatology program. 12  MAY 2012

In 2011, patients made more than 634,000 outpatient and nearly 14,000 inpatient visits to Children’s. Children from every Alabama county, 42 additional other states and five foreign countries received care.

Children’s is one of the 10 busiest pediatric hospitals in the United States Children’s core mission is to provide the best care for every child who comes into one of its facilities, so that each may have the opportunity to meet his or her fullest potential. Evidence of the success in this endeavor is the ranking of 11 of its

divisions—pulmonology, neurology, neurosurgery, orthopedics, urology, neonatology, cancer, cardiology, gastroenterology, endocrinology and nephrology—among the best children’s hospital programs in the nation by US News & World Report. (The application for this honor was made in collaboration with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Children’s, a private, not-for-profit hospital, serves as the primary site for the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s pediatric medicine, surgery, research and residency programs.) Children’s strives to maintain and develop an environment in which skilled pediatric subspecialists and healthcare professionals have access to the technology they need to provide the latest and best services available to very ill children and their families.

Children’s has changed Birmingham’s skyline

In June of this year, Children’s will move in to a 750,000-square-foot expansion facility named the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children in honor of legendary Alabama entrepreneur Benjamin Russell (1876-1941). This facility was built to provide a state-of-the-art home that will enable us to serve our mission for decades to come. The Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children has already changed the Birmingham skyline, but it promises to change lives as well. Among the family-centered features will be the 16 state-of-the-art operating suites. The new facility will be home to the Children’s of Alabama Pediatric Transplant Program as well as an enhanced Pediatric Epilepsy Program. Later

The earliest Children’s hospital

this year, the Pediatric Cardiovascular Services program currently located at UAB will make the move to the new facility. In the Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, technology will continue to be paired with the skill, knowledge and expertise of the highest level of nursing care and the nationally ranked UAB surgeons and physicians. As it was in 1911, Children’s today remains a place of hope in the face of sickness, disease and life-threatening injuries. And the familiar children in the red ball remind us daily of our simple calling: To deliver healthcare as amazing as their potential. A More information is available at Alabama Living

MAY 2012  13


Alabama Bass Trail

Eleven waterways make up the first-in-the-nation ‘fishing destination’ By John N. Felsher


first of its type in the nation, the Alabama Bass Trail features 11 of the best fishing waters in the state, promoting them much like what the Robert Trent Jones Trail does for golf. On March 8, Gov. Robert Bentley announced the new tourism, conservation and education initiative to create a partnership between his office, the Alabama Tourism Department, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourist Association to increase fishing in Alabama. The designated waters include Lake Guntersville, Wheeler Lake, Pickwick Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Neely Henry Lake, Logan Martin Lake, Lay Lake, Lake Jordan, Lake Eufaula, the Alabama River and the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta. “To my knowledge, Alabama is the first state to organize such a fishing trail,” says Kay Donaldson, Alabama Bass Trail program director. “Our purpose is to promote Alabama as a

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fishing destination. With a mild climate, mineral rich reservoirs, affordable lodging and dining, as well as public access to boat ramps and marinas, Alabama is a year-round destination for anglers from across the country. “More than $700 million is spent on freshwater fishing in Alabama annually. We hope to increase that through increasing fishing tourism in Alabama.” The 11 waterways in the system will hold more than 150 fishing events this year alone, Donaldson says. In all, these lakes provide anglers with more than 315,500 acres of water, not including the 318-mile long Alabama River, the more than 250,000 acres of wetlands in the Mobile-Tensaw Delta or major tributaries feeding these lakes. The selected waters offer anglers every type of bass habitat found in Alabama from rocky mountain lakes to weedy reservoirs, to flowing rivers to tidal brackish marshes. “We’ve selected 11 of the top bass waters in the state,”

Alabama Living

MAY 2012  15

Alabama Bass Trail Lake Guntersville Wheeler Lake Pickwick Lake Lewis Smith Lake Neely Henry Lake Logan Martin Lake Lay Lake, Lake Jordan Lake Eufaula The Alabama River The Mobile-Tensaw River Delta

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Donaldson says. “All 11 lakes scattered throughout Alabama provide different habitat types, but they all offer opportunities to catch quality bass. For instance, Lake Guntersville is known for its grass habitat. Lakes on the Coosa chain are more rocky. In the delta, we have swamps and tidal marshes with influence from salt water.” The largest lake in Alabama, Lake Guntersville, covers 69,100 acres on the Tennessee River and drops to more than 60 feet deep in places. The lake can produce giant bass – including one 14.5-pounder – and numerous fish in the 10- to 12-pound range. The northern portion of the reservoir still resembles the original river channel, while the lower lake opens into a typical southern reservoir with several large creeks flowing through vast weed beds. “Without a doubt, Lake Guntersville is one of the premier bass lakes in the nation,” says Mike Iaconelli, a former Bassmaster Classic champion who won a major tournament there in 2006. “It’s an amazing numbers lake, but can also produce giant bass. I caught one

10-pounder in that lake, but I caught bunches of bass in the 6- to 8-pound range.” Besides promoting fishing, the Alabama Bass Trail will partner with the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association to teach high school and college students how to build and maintain fish habitat. In addition, the Trail will promote the preservation of natural resources and raise awareness of natural resources conservation. “We hope to expose bass fishing in Alabama to an entire new group of people, and get people more interested in preserving natural resources,” Donaldson says. “The Alabama Bass Trail and the Alabama Student Angler Bass Fishing Association have developed a service program that engages Alabama’s youth anglers. With the help of these young men and women in building artificial reefs, performing drops at designated GPS locations and cleaning up trash during the annual water draw down, we will ensure healthy aquatic habitats and ecological systems at the lakes.

“As part of the Alabama Bass Trail, we offer annual opportunities for communities and others to get involved with improving our public waterways.” Anglers can learn more about the Alabama Bass Trail online at The website contains fishing reports, tips from local guides, weather forecasts and other information. Anglers planning to fish these waters can read about all 11 lakes and rivers in the system and view maps that indicate launching spots and even point out some hot fishing honey holes. The website also gives information on hiring guides, fish species present, lodging or campground information and any-

thing else anyone needs to know about fishing these waters. “ is an angler’s one-stop shop for booking an Alabama fishing vacation,” Donaldson says. “Anglers can purchase fishing licenses, determine the driving distance between lakes and check the water levels provided by the power companies – all from the comfort of their homes. The website will be the vehicle for raising awareness and interest in bass fishing throughout Alabama.” For more information, call Donaldson at 1-855-934-7425 or send an email to A

Learn more about the Alabama Bass Trail at, or call 1-855-934-7425.

Follow Alabama Living contributor David Haynes and his ‘goldies’ on the Alabama Scenic River Trail By David Haynes

This is an open invitation for anyone with access to the Internet to follow my golden retrievers, Roscoe and Bailey, and me on our 631-mile trip from the mountains to the sea along the Alabama Scenic River Trail (ASRT) during May and June. The ASRT is the longest river trail of its kind within a single state and begins in the hills of northeast Alabama near Cedar Bluff where the Coosa River enters the state from Georgia. From there it follows the Coosa into the Alabama River, then traverses the Tensaw Delta and terminates at Fort Morgan in Mobile Bay.

Alabama Living

During the six-plus weeks it will take to paddle the trail in a cedar strip canoe, I’ll be posting frequent updates, photographs and videos of our experiences along the way on a website set up by the University of Alabama Press, who will publish a book next year about the trip. The website is located at http:// In addition to following our progress online, I’d also like to invite any paddlers to join us for any portion of the trip they may be able to do. We’ll appreciate the company! A

MAY 2012  17

Worth the Drive

Cheeseburger in Paradise The Pirate’s Cove Yacht Club serves a strong helping of local atmosphere By Jennifer Kornegay

Pirate’s Cove 6664 County Road 95 Elberta, AL 36530 251-987-1224


To help celebrate Alabama’s 2012 “Year of Food,” each month freelance writer Jennifer Kornegay will take you to an out-of-the-way restaurant worth the drive.

Jennifer Kornegay 18  MAY 2012


ong before Johnny Depp donned too much eyeliner and the persona of Captain Jack Sparrow in the mega-hit “Pirates of the Caribbean,” a humble little sailboat marina and restaurant claimed a thin stretch of white sand on Arnica Bay down on the coast in Josephine, and strung up the Jolly Roger flag. Pirate’s Cove Yacht Club opened more than 50 years ago, and with its skull and crossbones motif as well as signs reading “Abandon hope all ye who enter here,” this special place has been embracing and celebrating the freedom of the pirate life ever since. But don’t let the foreboding fool you. The scallywags and riff-raff at Pirate’s Cove are friendly and warmly welcome all who manage to navigate their way to it; most come by boat, but you can get there by car. Whatever your mode of transport, when you arrive, you’re greeted by a relaxed yet rambunctious scene. Rows of sailboats rest in slips, their tall, straight masts pointing skyward. A long pier juts into the bay on one side, and a wonderfully weathered shack-like structure is corralled with a wide deck that’s shielded from the sun by a tin roof. In the summer, powerboats beached on the

shoreline hide almost every inch of sand, while upwards of 20 dogs, some just visiting and others “Cove” residents, chase each other and their own tails. Crammed onto the picnic table benches on the deck is a diverse barefoot and flipflop-clad cross section of society, everyone from college students, families with kids, grizzled old salts, leather-clad bikers, locals and tourists. In fact, lunch at the Cove is like a sociology experiment, with people from all walks of life – including a few truly colorful characters – converging to enjoy the sun, fun, food and almostanything-goes attitude synonymous with an afternoon spent at Pirate’s Cove. They may be as different as night and day, but here, they have something in common: They’ve all journeyed to Pirate’s Cove for a cheeseburger, some fries and probably a bushwhacker. While the menu at Pirate’s Cove offers pretty standard lunch-counter favorites like corn dogs, chicken fingers and pizza, it’s the cheeseburger that is most-often ordered. It has even (maybe) been immortalized in song. Rumor has it that South Alabama native and famed singer-song-

Continued on Page 24

AP P D LI MA EA CAT Y DLI IO 18 N N , 2 E: 01 2

2012 Alabama Cooperative Youth Conference The conference will be held contact: n, io at rm fo in r o July 10-12, 2012, at the Alabama For application n or Chellie Phillips to rn ho T a 4-H Youth Development Center tive Laur bama Coopera la A f o s ir ha -C in Columbiana. Co ence Youth Confer Speakers including APPLY • Guest P.O. Box 449 0449 Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh 108 36 L A y, o Tr TODAY! • Outdoor Activities 0-556-2060 Chellie: 1-80 • Team Building Exercises ut chelliep@so 4-7732 • Leadership Skills 26 Laura: 1-800om .c er iv ar pe CALL OR E-MAIL FOR n@ laura.thornto APPLICATION INFORMATION VES at COOPERATI CENTER T OUNCIL OF ALABAMA C H YOUTH DEVELOPMEN ALABAMA 4- abama

Sponsored By

Columbiana, Al

Application must be received by May 18, 2012

Purpose of the conference

To give youth in attendance an opportunity to study and understand our economic system and the place of cooperatives in it; to provide for leadership development.

Who may attend?

Sixty outstanding boys and girls, preferably members of FCCLA, FFA or 4-H. They must have completed the ninth grade in high school but are not yet attending a postsecondary school. No person who has previously attended this conference is eligible. An approximately equal number of boys and girls will attend.

Who selects youth?

Applicants should be recommended by their county extension agent, agricultural education instructor, Family & Consumer Science instructor or co-op manager. Applicants will be reviewed by a committee of the Alabama Council of Cooperatives, whose decision on acceptance for attendance is final. All applicants may not be selected to attend. You will be notified in writing by June 15, 2012, if you are selected to attend.

What will they do?

Learn about cooperatives and other businesses by participating in the conference. Special sessions will emphasize leadership, citizenship and careers. Recreation will be an important part of the conference. Swimming, boating, basketball, table tennis, softball, indoor games and other types of recreation will be conducted.

Cost of the conference

The conference fee will be paid by one or more local sponsoring cooperatives. The only money you will need will be for vending machines.


The program — from arrival time on Tuesday until Thursday afternoon — will be a fastmoving, well-planned series of activities, both educational and recreational. Parents and cooperative leaders are welcomed and encouraged to visit the conference at any time during the week. However, lodging will not be available for visitors.

Alabama Living

MAY 2012  19

Power Plants

Brush Pile Art Simple mounds or teepees of brush can become ‘wildlife hotels’ By Katie Jackson

Garden Tips: May Prune climbing roses after their first flush of flowers. Plant summer annuals and perennials. Plant eggplant, pepper and tomato transplants. Sow seed for sweet corn, squash, okra and lima and snap beans. Seed new lawns and keep them watered to get them established. Keep newly planted shrubs and trees well watered, as well. Fertilize houseplants that are growing or blooming. Plant ornamental grasses. Plant fall-blooming perennials. Prune tender deciduous shrubs and vines. Prune spring-flowering shrubs and vines during or just after bloom. A

Katie Jackson is associate editor for the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station. Contact her at

20  MAY 2012


f there’s one thing I’m really good at it is collecting yard waste. If there is one thing I am terrible at it is disposing of yard waste. The result is that I tend to create impressive but haphazard brush piles in my yard that don’t exactly enhance the beauty of my landscape. I may have found a way, though, to collect yard waste and beautify my yard: brush pile art! That’s right, there are artists who create beautiful sculptures from downed trees and other yard waste. For example, artist Alastair Heseltine created an amazing sculpture of a fallen tree using wood from a fallen tree. (View it and other examples of artistic brush piles at While I’m not aspiring to that level of artistic accomplishment, there are lovely brush pile ideas for the less artistically gifted, ranging from towers or teepee shapes to simple mounds. And here’s the thing: These brush piles are not only attractive, they provide habitat (what one source calls a “wildlife hotel”) for worms, beneficial insects, birds, reptiles or amphibians and even small mammals. With the goal of doing a better job with my own brush piles, I found a wonderful brush pile to-do list at the Ecosystem Gardening website (www. The basics are pretty simple, but before you start, think about the shape of the pile – it could be a simple mound, a taller peak, a circle, square or any shape that the waste at hand and your own vision allows. Some folks begin with a base of cinder blocks or rocks to give a more permanent foundation to the pile and also provide additional habitat for

critters, though that is not required. Start with the largest pieces of wood at the bottom of the pile (do not use treated or painted lumber of any sort, just plain old yard waste) and keep layering progressively smaller limbs on top of one another until you have achieved the desired shape of loosely stacked debris. While the pile has its own aesthetic, though possibly austere, beauty, it can be dolled up by planting native (noninvasive!) creeping vines around the base. These will climb up and over the mound to soften its lines and even add color if you use flowering vines such as trumpet vine or native jasmine. Yes, the pile will decompose over time and begin to shrink, so keep adding more clippings and limbs to it and think of it as a perpetual work of art and good stewardship. Of course those who are averse to wild things in their yards or who have neighbors who don’t appreciate the art of a brush pile may have to dispose of yard waste through municipal collections. If that’s the case, remember to separate biodegradable yard waste from other trash when stacking it by the road. Each town or city may have unique requirements for waste collection so check with yours to find out the most eco-friendly disposal options. A

Alabama Living

MAY 2012  21

Safe @ Home

Put Down The Phone! Distracted driving causes most automobile crashes, and cell phone use isn’t the only reason By Michael Kelley and James Thomas

Michael Kelley and James Thomas are managers of Safety & Loss Control for the Alabama Rural Electric Association.

22  MAY 2012


riving is a skill that requires your full attention to safely control your vehicle and respond to events happening around you, and it involves constant and complex coordination between your mind and body. Events or things that prevent you from operating your car safely are distractions. There are three types of distractions and they include anything that takes your eyes off the road (visual), your mind off the road (cognitive) or hands off the steering wheel (manual). Driver distractions are the leading cause of most vehicle crashes and near-crashes. According to a study released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near-crashes involve some form of driver distraction. The distraction occurred within three seconds before the vehicle crash. According to the study, the principal actions that cause distracted driving and lead to vehicle crashes are cell phone use; reaching for an object inside the vehicle; looking at an object or event outside of the vehicle; reading; and applying makeup. Cell phone use has become so popular these days that many times we don’t realize when, where, and how often we are using them. Cell phone use while driving has increased so significantly within the last few years that at any typical daytime moment, as many as

10 percent of drivers are using either a hand-held or hands-free phone. Studies have shown that driving performance is lowered and the level of distraction is higher for drivers who are heavily engaged in cell phone conversations. Unfortunately, the use of a handsfree device does not lower distraction levels. The percentage of vehicle crashes and near-crashes attributed to dialing is nearly identical to the number associated with talking or listening. Make and finish your cell phone calls before you start your vehicle and drive. If your phone rings while you are driving, let your voicemail pick up the call. If you must answer your phone, pull over to a safe location and park before using your cell phone. If you are eating in your vehicle while driving, you are focusing on your food and not on your driving. You are not only chewing and swallowing; you are also unwrapping and re-wrapping food, reaching, spilling, wiping and cleaning yourself or your vehicle. You are safer when you stop to eat or drink. Allow yourself plenty of time to stop, rest from driving, and enjoy your meal. You should not add another task on top of what you already need to do to drive safely, such as reading a newspaper, a book or a map. Also, avoid personal grooming, such as shaving or applying makeup. a

Send your questions to: Home Rules Alabama Living 340 TechnaCenter Dr. Montgomery, AL 36117 334-215-2732

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

MAY 17 04:07 11:07 11:22 06:07 18 04:37 11:37 11:52 06:52 19 - - 05:07 07:22 12:07 20 - - 05:37 07:52 12:37 21 12:52 05:52 08:37 01:22 22 01:22 06:22 09:07 01:52 23 02:07 06:52 09:52 02:22 24 02:37 07:22 10:37 02:52 25 03:37 07:52 11:22 03:37 26 04:52 08:52 12:07 04:22 27 06:22 10:22 - - 05:22 28 07:37 12:52 12:37 06:22 29 08:37 01:22 02:37 07:52 30 02:07 09:22 09:07 04:07 31 02:52 10:07 10:07 05:07 JUN. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

03:37 04:07 - - - - 01:37 02:22 03:07 04:07 05:22 11:22 07:52 01:22 02:07 02:37 03:22 03:52 04:22 - - 12:52 01:22 01:52 02:37 03:22 04:22 10:37 - - - - 01:07 01:52 02:52

Alabama Living

10:52 11:37 04:52 05:37 06:22 07:07 07:52 08:52 09:52 06:52 12:52 08:52 09:37 10:07 10:52 11:22 11:52 05:07 05:37 06:07 06:52 07:22 08:07 09:07 05:22 06:37 07:52 08:52 09:52 10:37

11:07 06:07 11:52 06:52 07:52 12:22 08:37 01:07 09:22 01:52 10:07 02:37 10:52 03:07 11:22 03:52 12:07 04:37 - - 05:22 01:37 06:22 07:37 03:52 08:52 05:07 10:07 05:52 10:52 06:22 11:37 06:52 12:07 07:22 07:52 12:22 08:22 01:07 08:52 01:37 09:22 02:07 09:52 02:37 10:22 03:22 11:07 03:52 04:37 11:37 12:37 12:22 06:52 02:52 08:22 04:22 09:52 05:22 10:52 06:22 MAY 2012  23

Pirate’s cove Yacht Club is accessible by car or boat

24  MAY 2012

Continued from Page 18 writer Jimmy Buffet was inspired to write his popular tune “Cheeseburger in Paradise” after chowing down on this Cove specialty. Order yours at the little counter inside under the hundreds of sailing flags strung up overhead, then take your drink out to the deck and wait for your name to be called. On a busy summer Saturday, that wait may take a good while, so it is strongly suggested that you sit back and take in the cacophonic activity unfolding around you while enjoying a beverage (or two). If you need more than life’s rich pageant to distract you (and your rumbling tummy), you’ll often find live music of all varieties performed at Pirates Cove; it mingles nicely with the background noise of boat motors, kids’ laughter and dog barks. (Special events held annually like the Perdido Wood Boat Festival, portions of the Frank Brown International Songwriters Festival and the Cove Dog Olympics promise good times and even larger crowds than usual.) When your personal piece of hamburger heaven does arrive, fresh, hot and unassumingly wrapped in paper on a fancy red-plastic tray, one bite will convince you it was definitely worth the wait. It’s a thick, all-beef patty grilled to order and layered with all the requisite toppings: lettuce, tomato, mustard, onion and, of course,

plenty of cheese. The meat strikes just the right balance between protein and fat, meaning it’s juicy and flavorful but never too greasy. Just as the song says, it is certainly apropos to enjoy your Cove cheeseburger with “French-fried potatoes” and a “cold draft beer.” Or opt for crispy onion rings and a smooth, sweet and sometimes a bit strong bushwhacker, a creamy concoction of vanilla ice cream and crème de coconut blended with coffee liqueur and dark rum. Once the food is gone, your plastic cup is dry, and you crumble the now-empty paper in your hand, it is strongly suggested (again) that you sit back for a spell and bask in the after-glow. The satisfaction that follows a good meal in a great place is even stronger at Pirate’s Cove, thanks to the sunlight bouncing off rippling boat wakes on the water and the anticipation of a pleasant, unhurried boat (or car) ride home. Sound appealing? Then on your next visit to Alabama’s coastline, venture beyond the beaches and find your way to Pirate’s Cove for a memorable meal and even more memorable experience. If you’ve got a friend with a boat, tell ‘em you’ll buy them a burger if they’ll take you. Otherwise, put that smartphone to good use and drive over to the Cove. It’s only about 25 minutes from Orange Beach. In the end, it doesn’t matter how you get there. Just go. A

Alabama Living

MAY 2012  25

Alabama Recipes

Cook of the Month: Strawberries Fresh Fruit Salsa 1 cup strawberries, coarsely chopped 1 cup papaya, finely chopped 1 medium banana, finely diced 1 tablespoon honey 2 teaspoons raspberry vinegar Juice of 1 lime Dash of cayenne pepper In a saucepan over medium heat, mix together: honey, lime juice, vinegar and cayenne pepper. Heat and stir until honey is dissolved. Set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, gently toss together strawberries, papaya and banana with cooled honey mixture. Anna Clines, Sand Mountain EC

Strawberry plants usually peak in late May here in the Southern states, but since we had such a mild winter, and the Spring has been so warm already, that we may expect them to pop up a month earlier. Be on the lookout for pick-your-own berry patches all over the state. It can be a fun way to get the kids involved.Visit AL.htm for more information.

You could win $50! If your recipe is chosen as the cook-of-the-month recipe, we’ll send you a check for $50!

July August September

Upcoming recipe themes and deadlines are: Picnic Lunch Deadline: May 15 Budget Friendly Deadline: June 15 Microwave Meals Deadline: July 15

Please send all submissions to: Recipe Editor, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124. Or e-mail to: recipes@areapower. coop. Be sure to include your address, phone number and the name of your electric cooperative.

26  MAY 2012

Editor’s Note: Alabama Living’s recipes are submitted by our readers. They are not kitchen tested by a professional cook or registered dietician. If you have special dietary needs, please check with your doctor or nutritionist before preparing any recipe.

Fresh Strawberry Syrup

1 quart fresh ripe strawberries, hulled, washed and diced ½ cup sugar

¼ cup orange juice 1 teaspoon grated orange rind

Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan, stir well. Let stand 30 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring occasionally. Over medium heat, bring almost to a boil, lower heat to simmer and cook about 5 minutes. Cool. Cook’s note: Use syrup over ice cream, cake, puddings, pancakes, toast and biscuits. Refrigerate leftovers. Can be frozen. Warmed in microwave. Mary Lauderdale,Tallapoosa River EC

Easy Strawberry Cobbler

1 stick butter 1 cup self-rising flour 1 cup sugar 1 cup milk

1 24-ounce container frozen strawberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter in an 8x8inch baking dish. Mix the flour and sugar in a large bowl. Add the milk gradually, stirring constantly. Pour over the melted butter; do not stir. Spoon thawed strawberries over the top along with the juice. Bake for one hour. Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Courtney Aycock, Franklin EC

Strawberry Cake Roll

4 eggs, room temperature ⁄3 cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt ¾ cup sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract


2 cartons (8-ounces each) spreadable strawberry cream cheese 1 jar (7-ounces) marshmallow crème 3 cups sliced strawberries

Sift together flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes, gradually beat in granulated sugar. Beat in vanilla. Add dry ingredients, mix well. Spread batter into 15x10x1-inch jelly roll pan that has been sprayed with baking spray with flour. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until cake springs back when lightly touched. Cool 5 minutes. Turn cake onto a kitchen towel dusted with confectioners’ sugar. Roll up cake in the towel. Cool completely on a wire rack. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and marshmallow crème. Unroll cake, spread cream cheese mixture to within ½ inch of edges.Top with 2 ½ cups strawberries. Roll up again. Place seam side down on a platter. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Just before serving, garnish with remaining strawberries. Patricia Rhodes, Central Alabama EC

Alabama Living

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MAY 2012  27

Strawberry Layer Cake Cake: 1 box white or French Vanilla cake mix 3/4 cup strawberry preserves 1⁄8 teaspoon red food coloring Frosting: 4 ounces cream cheese, softened 2 teaspoons milk

Strawberry Bread

3 cups flour 2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon salt 1 teaspoon cinnamon

4 eggs, beaten 1 ¼ cup vegetable oil 2 10-ounce packages frozen strawberries, thawed and chopped

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large mixing bowl, make a well in the center of mixture. Combine remaining ingredients; add to dry ingredients, stirring until well combined. Spoon mixture into 2 greased and floured 9x5x3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350 degrees for one hour. Cool loaves in pans, about 10 minutes. Remove from pans and let cool completely on plates.

2 cups heavy cream, chilled 3/4 cup confectioner’s sugar Decoration: 12 medium to large strawberries, stems removed and halved 1/4 cup strawberry preserves

Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans. Preheat oven to temperature recommended on package. Prepare cake mix per package directions, decreasing water by 1⁄3 cup and adding preserves and food coloring. Divide batter evenly between pans. Bake until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. It will take 5 to 10 minutes less time than listed on package because the layers are thinner. Cool 10 minutes in pan on wire rack. Turn out onto wire rack to cool completely. Cream together cream cheese and milk until smooth. Gradually, add heavy cream and whip to soft peaks, scraping bowl as needed. Add confectioner’s sugar gradually, whipping to stiff peaks. Assemble and frost cake. Place strawberry halves evenly around base and outer edge of cake top with top of berry to bottom and outside respectively. Drizzle preserves, warmed slightly if necessary, over berries on top of cake. Serves 12. Pat Griffin,Wiregrass EC

Karen Turnquist, Cullman EC

3-Ingredient Strawberry Sherbet

1 16-ounce package frozen strawberries, sliced 2 liter bottle strawberry soda, chilled

1 14-ounce can sweetened condensed milk

Stir together all ingredients. Pour into freezer container of a 5-quart electric freezer. Freeze mixture according to manufacturer’s instructions. Carolyn Drinkard, Clarke-Washington EMC

28  MAY 2012

Around Alabama May 12 • Montgomery, Alabama All-Star Food Festival Description: Join chefs, farmers, breweries and musicians from across the state for the Alabama All-Star Food Festival celebrating the best in local cuisine. Enjoy tastings from featured restaurants using fresh, locally-sourced ingredients, meet your favorite Alabama chefs, listen to the state’s best homegrown musicians, catch a variety of on-stage

North May 12 • Fort Payne, BirdFest Celebrate the Opening of the Appalachian Highland Birding Trail. Little River Canyon Center 10:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 19 • Arley, Arley Day Festival, Parade and Car Show. Meek School Campus - 9 a.m. Contact Caren Back, 205-387-7175 or 19 • Estillfork, Honeysuckle Jam Paint Rock Valley Lodge, 4482 County Rd. 9 – 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. Admission Charged: Includes Catfish or BBQ Supper Contact Eddie or Vivian Prince at 256-776-9411 19 • Scottsboro , Catfish Festival at the Jackson County Park. Starts at 8 a.m. Admission is free Contact: Vickie L. Hastings at 256-259-1503 19 & 20 • Mentone, Rhododendron Festival Mentone Brow Park – 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Contact: 256-634-4444 20 • Cullman, Share Club Spring Tour of Homes 1 p.m -5 p.m. Tickets: $15 Contact 256-737-2565 or 24 • Guntersville, Lions Club Charity Golf Tournament at Gunter’s Landing Golf Course. Contact Jerry Booth at 256-677-9GLC or visit

25 & 26 • Brilliant, 12th Annual Coalfest Contact: Ann McGuire 205-465-2281 June 2 • Scottsboro, Skyline Day

Celebration. Cumberland Mountain Park – 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Bring a covered dish and lawn chair and enjoy free entertainment and catfish dinner. Contact: 256-587-3335 or visit 9 • Centre, Big E Cruzin’ for Charity, to benefit the Children’s Advocacy Center of Cherokee County. Babe Ruth Field 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.

Central May 5 • Weogufka, The Legendary Pineapple Skinners at the Weogufka Center Dinner and show $12 advance tickets, $15 at the door. Doors open at 5 p.m., dinner at 5:30 p.m. Contact: 334-578-1364 or 12 • Clanton, Bluegrass Jam Jamming along the Streets Noon until 8 p.m. If you have a band that would like to perform, contact 205-527-7578. June 2 • Roanoke, 4th Annual Summer on

Main Street Festival 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. Contact: Dorothy at 334-863-6612 or

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

demos from guest chefs, farmers and producers and take part in hands-on gardening and nutrition workshops. Alabama food, drink and music at its finest! Event is sponsored by the Renaissance Hotel & Spa, Hampstead Institute, City of Montgomery and Alabama Tourism Department. All proceeds benefit the Hampstead 8 & 9 • Marion, 17th Annual Marion Rodeo at the Marion Arena 6 p.m. Contact: 334-683-4004

South May 5 • Atmore, 39th Annual Mayfest. Tom Byrne Park - 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Contact: Atmore Area Chamber of Commerce, 251-368-3305 or visit 5-6 & 12-13 • Silverhill, Day Out With Thomas at Wales West 13670 Smiley St. outside Silverhill $18 per person for ages two and up. Contact: 888-569-5337or visit 19 • Glenwood, 19th Annual Festival at the Well. The Festival kicks off with a parade at 9 a.m. and winds down with a street dance at 8 p.m. Contacts: Wayne Gibson at 334-335-3165 28 • Gulf Shores, Memorial Day Celebration at Fort Morgan 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. Admission Charged Contact: Fort Morgan Museum 251-540-7127 or

Institute non-profit organization and help support education programs for students in the River Region. Tickets are $35 if purchased in advance; $45 at the gate. Half price for children ages 5-12; no charge for children under 5. Family packages are also available. For tickets and information, visit

1 & 2 • Camden, Possum Bend Wild Hog Round-Up & Cook Off 1300 Hwy. 10 West. Registration forms and information on the website. Contact: Park Harris at 334-682-4410 or 2 • Grove Hill, Country & Gospel Singing. 119 Main Street. 4:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. Admission: $5- kids under 12 free Contact: Donna P. Gates at 334-6364270 or 2 • Fairhope, Weeks Bay Foundation’s Bald Eagle Bash. Tonsmeire Weeks Bay Resource Center, 11525 U.S. Highway 98 Advance tickets $30, $35 at the gate. Contact: Marcia Miller at 251-990-5004 or 7 - 9 • Dothan, “The Pottery Factory.” A play by Bob Reich at The Dothan Cultural Arts Center, 909 S. St Andrews St. - 7 p.m. Admission is $15 16 • Brewton, Alabama Blueberry Festival Contact Judy Crane at 251-867-3224 or

June 1 & 2 • Georgiana, 33rd Annual Hank Williams Festival Admission Charged Contact: 334-376-2396 or visit

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Market Place Miscellaneous - 14 INTERIOR WOODS: CYPRESS, CEDAR, HEART PINE, POPLAR, ASH (251)847-2334 DIVORCE MADE EASY – Uncontested, lost spouse, in prison or aliens. $179.00 our total fee. Call 10am to 10pm. 26 years experience – (417)443-6511 METAL ROOFING $1.79/LINFT – FACTORY DIRECT! 1st quality, 40yr Warranty, Energy Star rated. (price subject to change)  706-383-8554 WALL BEDS OF ALABAMA / ALABAMA MATTRESS OUTLET – SHOWROOM Collinsville, AL – Custom Built / Factory Direct - (256)490-4025,, www. AERMOTOR WATER PUMPING WINDMILLS – windmill parts – decorative windmills – custom built windmill towers - call Windpower (256)638-4399 or (256)638-2352 18X21 CARPORT $695 INSTALLED – (706)383-8554 CUSTOM MACHINE QUILTING BY JOYCE – Bring me your quilt top or t-shirts. Various designs offered – (256)735-1543 KEEP POND WATER CLEAN AND FISH HEALTHY with our aeration systems and pond supplies. Windmill Electric and Fountain Aerators. Windpower (256)638-4399, (256)899-3850 PEACE IN YOUR HOME: Defeating Addiction and Restoring Sanity in Your Family. 64 page book by Dr. Mary Holley of Mothers Against Methamphetamine - $9.25 ppd to PO Box 8, Arab, AL 35016 or order at DAYLILY GARDEN OPENS MAY 1st @ CRENSHAW FARMS in Baldwin County - Take I-65 to Exit 31(Stockton/Hwy 225) go south 1/4 mile - Hundreds blooming each day - www., (251)577-1235 Also Yard Sale/Flea Market/Antique Store. FREE BOOKS / DVDs – Soon government will enforce the “Mark” of the beast as church and state unite! Let Bible reveal. The Bible Says, POB 99, Lenoir City, TN 37771 –, (888)211-1715 FOR SALE: CHURCH BUS – 2000 ELDORADO AERO ELIT - 26 passenger, 2 wheelchair stations with lift, Diesel, 7.3L Turbo, 80,000 miles, AC and Bathroom - Good condition, $35,000.00 – Call (334)899-5703

30  MAY 2012

SAWMILL EXCHANGE: North American’s largest source of used portable sawmills and commercial equipment for woodlot owners and sawmill operations. Over 800 listings. THE place to sell equipment. (800)459-2148, www. NEW AND USED STAIR LIFT ELEVATORS – Car lifts, Scooters, Power Wheelchairs – Walk-In Tubs - Covers State of Alabama – 23 years (800)682-0658

Business Opportunities START YOUR OWN BUSINESS! Mia Bella’s Gourmet Scented Products. Try the Best! Candles / Gifts / Beauty. Wonderful income potential! Enter Free Candle Drawing - www. ATTENTION BUSINESS PROFESSIONALS: Make Additional Income with Discount Drug Cards. Investment Required. wjonesmym@, www.williamjones. PIANO TUNING PAYS – Learn with American Tuning School home-study course – (800)497-9793

Vacation Rentals

KATHY’S ORANGE BEACH CONDO – 2BR/2BA, non-smoking. Best rates beachside! Family friendly – (205)253-4985, www.KathysCondo. GATLINBURG TOWNHOUSE on BASKINS CREEK! GREAT RATES! 4BR/3BA, short walk downtown attractions! (205)333-9585, GATLINBURG / PIGEON FORGE – 2 and 3 BEDROOM LUXURY CABINS – home theatre room, hot tub, game room – #178002, #359930, #965933 - (251)363-8576 PANAMA CITY BEACH CONDO – Owner rental – 2BR / 2BA, just remodeled inside and outside – (334)790-0000, jamesrny@graceba. net, GATLINBURG, TN – Fond memories start here in our chalet – Great vacation area for all seasons – Two queen beds, full kitchen, 1 bath, Jacuzzi, deck with grill – 3 Night Special - Call (866)316-3255, Look for us on FACEBOOK / billshideaway ALABAMA RIVER LOTS / MONROE COUNTY, AL – Lease / Rent – (334)469-5604

FT. MORGAN GULFSIDE – 2/2, air, cable and quiet – Owners (251)6752483 or cell (251)709-3824. LEAVE MESSAGE! DESTIN 2.5 BEDROOM, 2.5 BATH TOWNHOUSE - Across street from beach. Near Silver Sands Outlet mall. Private access to beach. Two pools, wireless internet, Great play area for children. Request Unit 2C – (800)8744144, (850)837-7810 1 BEDROOM CABIN NEAR PIGEON FORGE – $85.00 per night – Call (865)428-1497, ask for Kathy TWO GULF SHORES PLANATION CONDOS – Excellent beach views – Owner rented (251)223-9248 DISNEY – 15 MIN: 5BR / 3BA, private pool – www. – (251)504-5756 ORANGE BEACH, AL CONDO – Sleeps 4, gulf and river amenities – Great Rates – (228)369-4680 GULF SHORES 4 / 5 BEDROOM BEACH HOME – Direct Gulffront – Also for Sale – (678)409-6616, rob@ FT. WALTON BEACH HOUSE – 3BR / 2BA – Best buy at the Beach – (205)566-0892, mailady96@yahoo. com

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

HELEN GA CABIN FOR RENT – sleeps 2-6, 2.5 baths, fireplace, Jacuzzi, washer/dryer – www. - (251)9482918, email

GULF SHORES CONDO - 2BR/1BA Affordable Rates & Beachfront - Call (256-507-1901) or email brtlyn@

MENTONE, OVERNIGHT CABIN RENTAL – Hottub, King bed, Jacuzzi – (256)657-4335 – www.

CABIN IN MENTONE – 2/2, brow view, hottub – For rent $100/night or Sale $199,000 – (706)767-0177

PIGEON FORGE, TN – 3 bedroom, 1.5 bath house for rent $75.00 a night – Call Bonnie at (256)338-1957

GULF SHORES BEACHSIDE CONDO available April thru December – 2BR / 2BA, WiFi, No smoking / No pets – Call Owner (256)287-0368, Cell (205)613-3446

GATLINBURG – DOWNTOWN LUXURY CREEKSIDE CONDO – 2BR / 2BA, sleeps 6 – aubie12@centurytel. net, (256)599-5552

GULF SHORES / FT. MORGAN / NOT A CONDO! The original “Beach House” on Ft. Morgan peninsula – 2BR/1BA – Wi-Fi, Pet friendly, non-smoking – $695/wk, (256)418-2131, www.

MAGGIE VALLEY / WAYNESVILLE, NC – 2BR / 2BA, fireplace, deck, hottub, grill, Smokey Mountain view – Close to historic Waynesville shopping, Cataloochee Ski Resort – Ask for Mountain memories (800)648-1210

AFFORDABLE BEACHSIDE VACATION CONDOS – Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, AL. Rent Direct from Christian Family Owners. Lowest Prices on the Beach – (251)752-2366, (205)5560368, (205)752-1231

ALWAYS THE LOWEST PRICE $65.00 – Beautiful furnished mountain cabin near Dollywood, Sevierville, TN – (865)453-7715

HOUSE IN PIGEON FORGE, TN – fully furnished, sleeps 6-12, 3 baths, creek, no pets – (256)997-6771, – 3BR / 2BA home w/ 2 satelite TV’s, gaslog fireplace, central H&A, covered boat dock - $75.00 night – (256)3525721, email PIGEON FORGE, TN: $89 - $125, 2BR/2BA, hot tub, pool table, fireplace, swimming pool, creek – (251)3631973, AFFORDABLE COZY CABINS for your vacation in Pigeon Forge- (865)712-7633

GULF SHORES - 3BR / 2BA ON BEACH – W/D, 4 queen beds, sleeps 8 - VRBO#354680 Gulf Shores East – (251)979-3604 GULF SHORES AND DAYTONA BEACH CONDOS - Great vacation prices - non-smoking - Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at (256)599-4438 – www.

PENSACOLA BEACH CONDO – Gulf front – 7th floor balcony – 3BR / 2BA, sleeps 6, pool – (850)572-6295 or (850)968-2170

GULF SHORES, WEST BEACH - Gulf view, sleeps 6 -, (404)641-4939, (404)641-5314 GULF SHORES – CRYSTAL TOWER CONDO - 2 bedroom/ 2 bath, Great Ocean View - #145108 - Call Owner (205)429-4886, WEST BEACH – 3 GREAT CONDOS – Call (404)219-3189, (404)702-9824 or email www.GULFSHORES4RENT.COM

MENTONE, AL – LOOKOUT MOUNTAIN – billiard table, Jacuzzi, spacious home, sleeps 12 – www., (850)7665042, (850)661-0678.   ORANGE BEACH, WINDWARD POINTE – GULF FRONT CONDO – 3/2, Owner Rate – (251)626-6566, (251)689-8328 FORT MORGAN BEACH HOUSE - 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, HDTV, WiFi – www., www., (251)363-8576

GULF SHORES BEACH COTTAGE – Affordable, waterfront, pet friendly – http://www.vrbo. com/152418, (251)223-6114 SMOKIES - TOWNSEND, TN – 2BR/2BA, secluded log home, fully furnished. Toll free (866)448-6203, (228)832-0713 GULF SHORES PLANTATION - GULF FRONT - 2BR/2BA, remodeled, sleeps 6-8, Unit 1133 –, (800)826-1213

GULF SHORES CONDO ON THE BEACH! 2BR/2BA - Beautiful update at SANDPIPER - (502) 386-7130

GULF SHORES PLANTATION - Gulf view, beach side, 2 bedrooms / 2 baths, no smoking / no pets. Owner rates (205)339-3850

GULF SHORES RENTAL BY OWNER – Great Rates! (256)490-4025 or

SMOKIES – PIGEON FORGE, TN CABINS – (251)649-3344, (251)6494049,

GULF SHORES CONDO: $75 - $110 night – 1 BR / 1BA, sleeps 4, pet friendly, pool, beach access – (251)9487140, RENTAL BY OWNER – DESTIN, FL CONDO - Check out patsdestincondo. com - 2BR/2BA, across from beach with gated access - Call (334)244-6581 or email for more information WEARS VALLEY MOUNTAIN CABIN NEAR PIGEON FORGE – 2 / 2, fully furnished – Brochures available – (251)649-9818 GULF SHORES / FT MORGAN BEACH HOUSE - 3/3 . A short walk to the Gulf of Mexico - WINTER rental $900 A Month, plus half of utilities – Summer rental $850.00 a week, sleeps 6 adults – Call (251)540-7078. GATLINBURG CONDOS: BEAUTIFUL MOUNTAIN VIEWS - Three days and two nights - Total $175.00 – No other charges. Call Jennifer in Scottsboro at (256)599-4438 - Non-smoking – www. - Cabins also available. GULF SHORES BEACH HOUSE – Nice 2 bedroom, great view – Spring $800 / week, Summer $995 – (251)666-5476

Alabama Living

Camping / Hunting / Fishing ANDALUSIA AREA RV CAMPGROUND for fishing and swimming on Point ‘A’ Lake - Nightly, weekly and monthly rates - Reservations (334)388-0342, ,  VALLEY HEAD, AL LODGE – 5/2, fishing – Weekly, monthly rates available for summer – Cabins available also – www., (256)635-6420 CAMP IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS – Maggie Valley, NC –, (828)421-5295.

Real Estate Sales/Rentals

NORTH JACKSON COUNTY - 120 ACRES – Scenic views, heavily wooded property, house, barn, outbuildings – Ideal for hunters – (256)448-7983, Respond to LAKE GUNTERSVILLE – DEEDED RV LOT WITH PORT – 30ft x 40ft, FISHERMAN’S DREAM – MLS#832472 – (256)302-1510 Lot# 51 LAKE GUNTERSVILLE – 100’ seawall, 3+ acres, Carriage house / 3 car garage, boat house - $750,000 – (765)620-6617 LAMAR COUNTY: 103 ACRE FARM WITH TIMBER, house, detached building – (256)353-5371 BEAUTIFUL 2BR / 2BA WATERFRONT HOME – 20 minutes from Panama City Beach on Choctauhatchee River – 300sqft glassed in gazebo attached by breezeway – Boat house with electric boat lift – House elevated above flood plain – Home (850)231-4597, Cell (850)832-5906

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

Musical Notes PLAY GOSPEL SONGS BY EAR - 10 lessons $12.95. “LEARN GOSPEL MUSIC”. Chording, runs, fills - $12.95 Both $24. Davidsons, 6727AR Metcalf, Shawnee Missions, Kansas 66204 – (913)262-4982


WE PURCHASE SELLER FINANCED NOTES, Trust Deeds, Contracts for Deed, Commercial / Business Notes and more, Nationwide! Call (256)6381930 or (256)601-8146

BECOME AN ORDAINED MINISTER correspondence study. Founded in 1988. Free info. Ministers for Christ Outreach, PMB 767, 6630 West Cactus B-107, Glendale, Arizona 85304. http://

GULF SHORES CONDOS - 4.7 miles from beach, starting prices $49,900, click Colony Club – (251)948-8008


Critters CHIHUAHUA PUPPIES. Tiny, registered, guaranteed healthy, raised indoors in loving home, vet records and references. (256)796-2893 ADORABLE AKC YORKY PUPPIES – excellent blood lines – (334)3011120, (334)537-4242, bnorman@

How To Place a Line Ad in Marketplace Closing Deadlines (in our office): July 2012 – deadline – May 25 August 2012 – deadline – June 25 September 2012 – deadline – July 25 -Ads are $1.65 per word with a 10 word minimum and are on a prepaid basis -Telephone numbers, email addresses and websites are considered 1 word each -Ads will not be taken over the phone. You may email your ad to or call (800)410-2737 ask for Heather for pricing. -We accept checks, money orders and all major credit cards Mail ad submission along with a check or money order made payable to ALABAMA LIVING, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL 36124 – Attn: Classifieds.

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Market Place

32  MAY 2012

Alabama Living

MAY 2012  33


continued from page 6 Having Price’s years of legal experience and expertise on their team is a valuable asset for WEC’s leadership. “We seek Ed’s counsel in practically every aspect of our operation,” says Michael S. McWaters, WEC’s chief executive officer. “Administrative, financial, human resources… he is one of the most knowledgeable people I know when it comes to matters of cooperative law, and is an indispensable part of our team.” “As our attorney, Ed helps make sure we’re on firm legal footing before we launch any new program designed to make it easier to do business with us,” says Brad Kimbro, WEC’s director of member services. For example, before people could enjoy the convenience of applying for electric service online, Price was tasked with making sure all steps were taken to ensure an applicant’s electronic signature would be valid. “It’s comforting to our employees to know clearly what the rules are,” Kimbro says. “Because of Ed’s experience in cooperative law, they are confident when dealing with member issues. And we all know that if there’s a challenge, he is here to provide legal counsel.” While Price enjoys the challenge of specializing in cooperative law, it is the employees and board members who make his work so fulfilling. “In a cooperative, you have good people who want to do the right thing, and they work hard at it,” he says. “They don’t try to take advantage of anyone, they just want to do the right thing. “There have been cases at other utilities through the years where the bad side, the greedy side, of people has taken over,” Price adds. “You won’t find that at Wiregrass Electric. If they make a mistake, they say ‘we made a mistake, what do we do to make it right?’ That’s what makes representing cooperatives a pleasure.” Price makes his home in Dothan with wife Beth. They have three adult sons, Martin, Wheeler and Charles, and three grandchildren. A 34  May 2012

11-267-WEC 05-12.indd 34

Ed Price and the certification of Alabama’s territorial legislation In 1984, and again in 1985, the Alabama legislature passed laws designed to establish clear boundaries between the service areas of electric cooperatives, municipal electric departments and investor-owned power companies. Traditionally, electric cooperatives primarily served the rural areas. As cities expanded into those rural areas with subdivisions, gas stations and retail stores, many municipal electric departments and investor-owned companies wanted to expand their service lines to sell power to those new customers. This often resulted in a duplication of services that was inefficient, costly and at times a public safety issue. Such was the case in Southeast Alabama. As economic expansion brought businesses and residential developments into rural areas, disagreements arose over which power company would serve these contested areas. South Brannon Stand Road became the showdown that led to clarification statewide. It was 1990, and the Highland subdivision was being built. As the new attorney for the cooperative, Ed Price was in a meeting between Wiregrass Electric Cooperative and a municipal power system. WEC made it clear that the cooperative intended to provide power to the development because it was in its rural service area. The municipal system had other plans. Price remembers well the day he came upon South Brannon Stand Road on his way to work and saw dozens of utility vehicles and crew members. They were beginning construction of a line toward the new subdivision. As the legal counsel for WEC, Price immediately drew up documents in an effort to protect the cooperative and its members. The case went to the Alabama Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative. “That really was the basis of the certification of the territorial legislation,” Price says. “That was the key case. After that, everyone knew where the court was going.” Price is quick to point out that those contentious days are long buried in the past. “Today, Wiregrass Electric has a very good working relationship with surrounding utilities,” he says. “Everyone now knows where the boundaries are.” “That was the most important legislative issue that cooperatives faced in the past 35 years,” says Michael S. McWaters, CEO of WEC. “Ed’s legal work helped put an end to overbuilding and duplication of services. But more importantly it validated the mission of electric cooperatives and allowed utilities like Wiregrass Electric throughout the state to improve their customer mix by serving the population and businesses growing into their service areas.” The legislation has also saved consumers an untold amount of money, as there is no longer the danger of multiple utilities building poles and wires into the same area. “This is such a capital-intensive business, and the territorial laws allow utilities to avoid unnecessary capital investments,” says McWaters. “Having clearly defined service boundaries has protected consumers from waste and helped keep prices in check. “It’s truly a case were everyone wins,” McWaters adds. “And WEC and its lawyer Ed Price played a big roll in making that happen. We are certainly proud to have Ed as our attorney.” A

4/19/12 1:44 PM

Home builder, continued from page 7 home builders who put chocolate bunnies in the attic of a home they were building, illustrating that the attic temperature got no higher than around 80 degrees in the summer. They also slipped into a structure being built by another home builder and placed a chocolate bunny in that attic. The article said the experiment was a powerful success — one bunny stayed intact, while the bunny in the competitor’s attic melted under temperatures of up to 130 degrees. Since it was impossible to find a chocolate bunny in January, Childers secured a large Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bar inside his attic. He plans to use the bar as sweet evidence of the power of energy efficiency.

decisions in building a new home is to install electric heat pumps with the highest efficiency rating available. The extra cost will more than pay for itself. “For a long time, everyone looked at the expense of energy efficiency measures,” Childers says. Instead, those building a new home should look at what those extra costs will add to their monthly mortgage payment — especially in light of today’s low interest rates — and compare that to the savings they will see on their power bills. “You may add $100 to your mortgage payment,” Childers says, offering an example, “but if it’s saving you $300 month to month, you’re living a lot cheaper.”


Such efforts are certainly paying off for Childers in his personal home. “I’ve stayed in touch with Scott through the building process, and since he and his family moved in,” says Jessie Ingram, energy services manager for Wiregrass Electric Cooperative. “He called all along and asked my opinion about things he was thinking about doing, but he had the right idea from the very beginning — build a tight house and you’ll see a real difference on your power bill.”

Of course, energy efficiency is about more than insulation. Childers says purchasing quality windows with high efficiency ratings is important as well. He also suggests using CFL bulbs instead of traditional incandescent light bulbs throughout the home. Another popular approach, he says, is the use of tankless water heaters that are fired by propane or natural gas instead of electricity. Perhaps one of the most important


Ingram conducts energy audits for WEC members upon request, to determine what improvements they can make to reduce the amount of air entering and escaping their homes. As part of these audits, Ingram sometimes performs a blower door test, in which he uses a piece of equipment that seals around a door, connects to a blower and monitors air loss through a digital measurement panel. When Childers’ home was complete, Ingram brought his equipment and performed a blower door test. It was the tightest home he had ever tested. “Scott’s home is a great example of what energy efficiency can do for a homeowner,” Ingram says. “I’ve seen homes half this size with power bills twice this amount. Taking the time and expense to seal a house right during the construction phase will pay huge dividends for as long as you chose to live there. “We encourage anyone who’s looking to build to think about the long-term benefits of an energy efficient home,” Ingram adds. Individuals or home builders can contact Ingram at 800-2394602 or with any questions they may have about their construction plans.A

Levelize for a chance to win $100 Sign up for Levelized Billing or eBill by May 31 for a chance to win a $100 gift card from Wiregrass Electric! Why Levelized Billing? No surprises - your monthly bill will be the average of your past 12 months’ power bills.

To enroll in these convenient programs, visit and click the ‘Levelized Billing’ or ‘eBill’ link under the MY HOME menu.

Why eBill?

Enroll today and you could win a $100 gift card!

No more paper and no more hassle. Click to see your bill, pay it online right away, or sign up for automatic payment.

Alabama Living

11-267-WEC 05-12.indd 35

How to sign up...

Must have good credit history, and have been a member of Wiregrass Electric Cooperative for at least 12 months. Account must be paid in full on time each month to remain enrolled in the program.

May 2012  35

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Our Sources Say

A Marriage Of Convenience?

Gary Smith is President and CEO of PowerSouth Energy Cooperative

Alabama Living

The title of this month’s article, “A Marriage of Convenience,” probably does not give you a warm fuzzy feel. “A Marriage of Convenience” invokes thoughts of “gold diggers” – usually (but not always) young attractive women looking for older, wealthy gentlemen willing to support their lifestyle in return for a young, attractive partner. Perhaps the most publicized marriage of convenience was Anna Nicole Smith and J. Howard Marshall, an 89-year-old gentleman with a net worth of $1.6 billion. After dropping out of high school, Anna Nicole started a career as an exotic dancer and pursued a modeling and acting career. J. Howard Marshall became one of her biggest fans, and she married Mr. Marshall in 1994. At the time of the marriage, Anna Nicole was 26 years old, and Mr. Marshall was 63 years her senior. Theirs appeared to be a marriage of convenience. He obtained a young, beautiful companion, and she obtained a very wealthy gentleman. They reportedly never lived together, and she denied marrying Mr. Marshall for money. However, she contested his will when he died, which left her nothing from his estate. It is truly a sad ending to an unusual relationship. However, it is not the only relationship that ended poorly. Last week, in a biting press release, the Sierra Club split with Chesapeake Gas. Their relationship was another “Marriage of Convenience.” Chesapeake Gas has adopted an ultra-aggressive marketing policy against coal-fired electric generation, primarily to support the market for its product, natural gas. The Sierra Club is an environmental activist organization that has fought for a cleaner environment and has opposed most coal-fired generation projects. Together, Chesapeake Energy and the Sierra Club formulated a strategy to discount the value of

coal-fired generation. One of their most successful campaigns featured television commercials and T-shirts with children’s faces covered with coal dust proclaiming, “Coal is Dirty.” Last month the EPA published its carbon dioxide regulation limiting new coal-fired electric generation to 1,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per megawatt hour. No coal plant can meet that limitation without carbon capture and sequestration, which is neither proven nor tested. In doing so, EPA effectively killed new coal-fired electric generation. However, the day before EPA announced its new carbon dioxide regulations, the Sierra Club formally divorced Chesapeake Energy. Michael Brune, Sierra Club executive director, said in a USA Today interview, “Today’s natural gas industry is dirty, dangerous and putting American families at risk. It’s time for everyone to stop thinking of natural gas as a kinder, gentler energy source and renew our focus on reaching a clean energy future as soon as possible.” Mr. Brune also said, “The natural gas industry is exempt from federal health and environmental protections, and fracking operations continue unchecked and unregulated across the country.” And finally he said, “It is clear that as the country transitions from coal, it should leapfrog over natural gas to truly clean energy.” What Mr. Brune did not mention is that people and subsidies associated with Chesapeake Energy contributed $26 million to the Sierra Club last year and have contributed heavily in past years as well. Marriages of convenience rarely end well, and the Sierra Club and Chesapeake followed the script. However, it appears the Sierra Club got a better deal than Anna Nicole. My old friend and teammate, Danny “Bobo” Lazenby used to say, “People are funnier than anybody,” and they are. I hope you have a good month. A

MAY 2012  37

Alabama Snapshots








My old car


5 6

Submit Your Images! July Theme: “Sunday


Send color photos with a large self addressed stamped envelope to:

Photos, Alabama Living, P.O. Box 244014, Montgomery, AL, 36124. Rules: Alabama Living will pay $10 for photos that best match our theme of the month. Alabama Living is not responsible for lost or damaged photos. Deadline for: May 31 38  MAY 2012

1. 1978 VW Bug submitted by Walt and Pam Johnson, Foley 2. 1 9 3 1 M o d e l A C a b r i o l e t Convertible submitted by Jim Timbes, Seale 3. 1957 Chevy Bel Air submitted by Wayne Ivey, Opelika 4. “All Original” submitted by Dovie Lahmeyer, Lineville

5. “Antique Patrol Car” submitted by Melody Martin, Holly Pond 6. 1930 MG M Type submitted by James and Alice Hester, Russellville 7. 1931 Chevy submitted by Gail Gibian, Selma 8. 1967 Camaro and 1966 Nova submitted by Randy and Joquitta Posey, Cullman

Alabama Living Wiregrass May 2012  

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