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Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020

Vol. 12, No. 15

Opelika, Alabama

February 14, 2020

“By local people, for local people.”

‘The American Dream’ opened for business in downtown Smiths Station last week By Morgan Bryce Editor Presley and Sabrina Copeland’s dreams of opening their own restaurant were realized last week, hosting a ribbon-cutting ceremony with officials from the city of Smiths Station and East Alabama Chamber of Commerce. Located in the former home of Mike and Ed’s BBQ at 2245 Lee Road 430, the American Dream will continue offering classic Southern-style barbecue. However, Presley said the menu will be more expansive, with items like their famous “Dawg Pile” chili dog, jumbo chicken wings and signature peanut butter pie. “The menu will change based on customer feedback and what they want. But, we also want to give

Photo special to the Opelika Observer

Numerous ‘MLK Jr. Day’ events planned in Lee County, East Alabama By Morgan Bryce Editor Photo by Toni Stauffer/Citizen of East Alabama

them quality food as well,” Presley said. “We want to keep the menu simple but have just enough options and variety to keep the stuff made in our kitchen.” Sabrina added that “most of their dishes and sauces will be made from scratch

daily ... prepared with love and the highest quality ingredients.” The Copelands first met each other in 2011 while working at Carrabba’s in Columbus. Presley, fresh out of the Army at the time, was

Lee County resident to showcase Alabama travels in museum display exhibit on March 5 and 6 Special to the Opelika Observer Lee County resident Lois Carter will be showcasing her journeys across the state in a special exhibit at the Clarion Inn in Auburn called “Alabama: Then and Now.” Students will dive into STEM-focused exhibits that include hands-on activities with technology, viewing ordinary objects magnified, books and models of sea creatures and the animal kingdom. They will learn about the historic Voting Rights Act in Alabama and cast mock votes.

originally from southern California, moving to Columbus because of his stationing at Fort Benning. Sabrina, born and raised in Saratoga Springs, New York, moved to CoSee Dream, page A3

There are a number of events planned in Lee County and East Alabama later this month for those wanting to commemorate the life and legacy of civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

One of the larger, out-of-town events is a meeting on Jan. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. called “Stepping into Power: Young People’s Town Hall” that will be held at the Capri Theatre in Montgomery. This will be a nonpartisan, town hall-type event, and attendees will See MLK, page A3

‘Rock 'N Roll Pinball’ to bring old-school entertainment to downtown Opelika beginning in March By Morgan Bryce and Ernie Rains Opelika Observer

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer

There will also be feature video highlights from the Tuskegee Airmen Museum, Dothan Peanut Festival, Auburn City Fest and more.

Youth and adults will enjoy solving puzzles, brainteasers and the sights and sounds of countries See Exhibit, page A5


OPINION.....................................A4 SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY..............A9 RELIGION..............................A13 CALENDAR..................................A14

Rock ‘N Roll Pinball, owned and operated by Montgomery resident Ernie Rains, will open in the current home of All Aboard next to Southern Crossing at 815 S. Railroad Ave. With an original goal of 20 available pinball machines at opening, Rains said he has already exceeded that total with 29, a mixture of modern and vintage tables. Musical acts, movies, and television shows comprise most of the game titles, including Aerosmith,

COMICS.....................................A16 SPORTS..................................B1 POLITICS...................................B7 PUBLIC NOTICES..........................B11

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer

Baywatch, Elvis, Star Trek and Stranger Things. Other entertainment will include seven widescreen televisions and two video multi-game consoles. The arcade will

also feature comfortable seating and two “kegerators” for domestic and craft beers which will be positioned behind a custom bar constructed by

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See Pinball, page A3

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January is ‘Human Trafficking Awareness Month’ By Morgan Bryce Editor All municipalities within Lee County have adopted resolutions naming January as “Human Trafficking Awareness Month” thanks to statewide efforts by the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force to address this growing issue. Research provided by the organization shows that I-20 which runs between Atlanta and Birmingham as the most active route for sex traffickers in the United States, thus earning it the nickname the “Sex Trafficking Superhighway.” The U.S. Institute Against Human Trafficking reported that $110 million was generated last year by the commercial sex industry in Birmingham alone. As I-20’s reputation grows, statistics and evidence show that sex traffickers are altering their routes, taking them right through Lee and Chambers counties and placing local children and adults in their path. A local group of seven women have come together to form a nonprofit organization called “Stop Human Exploitation” (S.H.E.) to combat the problem with a goal of completely eradicating human trafficking from East Alabama. ‘An answered prayer’ Kathryn Guthrie, a spokesperson for the

group, said the idea for S.H.E. came after crossing paths with longtime friend Dr. Veronica Chesnut at a conference at the Auburn Church of the Higlands campus in 2018. “I serve as the Alabama team leader for REDEEM, which is the anti-sex trafficking ministry that is part Take the City in Columbus,” Guthrie said. “I’ve known (Chesnut) for 20 years or more and when we ran into each other and I told her what I was doing, she told me that it was an answered prayer.” They, along with fellow core members Pam Brinson and Leigh Hardy, came together to form the nonprofit last summer. ‘It’s everywhere’ lists human trafficking as the No. 3 crime globally, and Guthrie said predators lack no means of luring and exploiting others in this technologically driven age. S.H.E. members encourage parents or guardians to carefully monitor all their children’s phone activity. Apps like Snapchat and Tiktok and social media platforms are both prime avenues where predators lurk. Adults, particularly women, should exercise caution on dating sites and posting updates on social media. For dates or social outings, they should consider adopting a “buddy system,” keep a vigilant eye on their beverages and

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer

food and always be mindful of their surroundings. “It’s almost like people don’t want to believe or have shame that trafficking is taking place here in our area, but it’s happening everywhere,” Guthrie said. “Just look at the recent cases in Alabama involving ‘Cupcake’ McKinney, Paighton Houston and Aniah Blanchard ... Aniah’s case was right on our back doorstep.” Addressing the issue The group has already held several events to raise awareness in the AuburnOpelika area, including

cious cycle where many find themselves. One of the group’s next phases is to push for speaking engagements at local churches, schools and civic organizations. Chesnut emphasized that talks can be tailored to the audience’s needs. “I got a call from someone in Muscogee County the other day, which is great. We may focus on Lee and Chambers (counties) but we are willing to go anywhere to help inform and educate people,” Chesnut said. In the future, they are looking to open a safe house similar to one operated by Chattahooche Valley Ministries in Co-

the Lee County area. This will be done in concert with ALEA officials and the Alabama Fusion Center,” McEachern said in a statement. “Officers will receive training in how to identify signs of potential trafficking and what to look out for. Training classes for such have been provided in the past with more to follow. Ultimately, the goal is to rid such activity in Opelika and Lee County entirely.” Redeem, S.H.E.’s arm of outreach, will also go to where known local trafficking is taking place and engage with the buyers and women involved, whom they provide with information and resources on how to escape the vi-

seminars in October and November with Teresa Collier and Katherine Stewart ALEA week at Greater Peace Baptist Church led by Teresa Collier who is an intelligence analyst with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. Guthrie said that they are in conversations with Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller and Opelika Police Chief John McEachern to partner with state task forces in the fight against commercial sexual exploitation and trafficking. “The Opelika Police Department, as well as the Auburn Police Department and Lee County Sheriff’s Department, will continue to address the issues of sex and human Trafficking in

See Awareness, page A3

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‘21st annual MLK Jr. Observance Day Program’ to be held Jan. 20 Special to the Opelika Observer The Dream Day Foundation, in partnership with McDonald’s of Auburn, Opelika, Shorter and Tuskegee; Harris Funeral Home, Inc.; Kroger Co. and Opelika City Council is proud to announce the “21st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day Program” on Jan. 20.

Starting at 11 a.m., the event will be held at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts on Opelika High School’s campus. This year’s theme is “Nonviolence is Love,” and will pay tribute to young people in Auburn, Opelika, Lee County and other surrounding areas who have lost their lives because of acts of violence.

The 2020 recipient of the Dream Achiever Award will be revealed along with the name(s) of the foundation’s scholarship winners. If weather permits, they are planning a peace march from Greater Peace Baptist Church to OPAC beginning with a 9:30 a.m. line-up and start time of 10 a.m. Individuals, organizations and churches are invited to

bring their banners and participate. Shuttles will be provided again this year for seniors. Attendance is free, but donations of money or food items will be accepted. Doors will open at 10 a.m. for the public. For more information, call the foundation’s Executive Director Marion Sankey at 334663-6638. The venue is located at 1700 Lafayette Parkway.

Alabama Human Trafficking Awareness Day held last Friday Special to the Opelika Observer

The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force sponsored “Alabama Human Trafficking Awareness Day” last Friday. The task force partnered with the Alabama League of Municipalities by asking city and town mayor across the state to sign proclamations during the month of January in observance of National Human Trafficking Awareness Month. Radio, television and printed media coverage across the state will help educate citizens about human traf-

Dream, from A1 lumbus to be with her sister and experience life outside of her home state. Starting as friends, the two eventually fell in love and started a family. Presley continued working at Carabba’s until last year, leaving as kitchen manager to pursue his dreams in Smiths Station. The space became available last fall after Mike

Awareness, from A2 lumbus and help lobby for Alabama lawmakers

ficking in Alabama; raise awareness about human trafficking; outline victim identifiers and explain how to report potential human trafficking situations. This coordinated effort is the sixth annual Alabama Human Trafficking Awareness Day and will be presented annually to spread awareness of human trafficking across the state. Human Trafficking Awareness Day precedes the Alabama Human Trafficking Summit to be held on Jan. 31 in Montgomery. The daylong training is open to the

public. The purpose and agenda of the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force include the following: 1. To combat all aspects of human trafficking, including sex trafficking and labor trafficking. 2. To pursue a comprehensive response to crimes of human trafficking. 3. To coordinate strategies to provide necessary services for victims of human trafficking. 4. To focus prevention efforts to end the demand for human trafficking and create awareness through

education and community initiatives. 5. To develop legislation to prevent, intervene and treat human trafficking. The Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force was established in 2014 and meets quarterly at the Alabama State House. Meetings are open to the public. For more information about the Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force, visit, like their Facebook page www. or follow them on Twitter @enditalabama.

and Ed’s abruptly closed in mid-September. After talks with the building owner, they secured the property on Dec. 1, immediately starting the process of revamping the space. American Dream had a soft opening on the night of the city of Smiths Station’s Christmas tree-lighting ceremony Dec. 12. Since then, the Copelands have opened the restaurant five to six days a week, but with minimal hours and no additional staff as they work to find their footing

before their planned Jan. 25 grand opening. “We love being here in Smiths Station. The way the community here welcomes the military is huge, plus its Southern feel,” Sabrina said. “We’re very excited to continue meeting people and becoming more a part of the community.” Plans that will soon be realized are an online order app, delivery service (barbecue and Italianbased menus) and hosting large-scale events on the

property like car shows. Final hours of operation have not been set, but Sabrina will keep them posted on the restaurant’s Facebook page. With enough customer demand, they will look to expand and serve three meals daily beyond their regular lunch and dinner options offered now. For more information or to view a menu, call 334-384-9667 or like and follow their Facebook page “The American Dream.”

to pass legislation mandating human exploitation training for educators. The group is actively seeking volunteers to help flesh out S.H.E.’s

purpose and efforts moving forward. Following is contact information for those who need more information or want to inquire about volunteer opportunities:

334-707-4096 (Brinson); 334-202-9562 (Chesnut); 334-3191183 (Guthrie); 334704-4451 (Hardy) and 404-597-7306 (Debbie Morris).

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Pinball, from A1 Opelika carpenter Chris Griffith. An avid pinball player, Rains said he purchased his first pinball machine in 2018, a Beatlesthemed machine. He and personal friend Neal Roddy quickly realized the modern pinball table or “pin” is more challenging and fun. “Although there’s still fun in the vintage pins, the modern ones offer more depth of play,” Rains said. After an “eye-opening” trip to North Carolina’s Asheville Pinball Museum last year, Rains networked through Pinside. com to connect with local pinball enthusiasts. Conversations soon swirled around the possibility of opening a pinball shop based on a “Rock ‘N Roll” theme. Auburn-Opelika area residents Stephen Gentry, a pinball acquisition expert and tournaments/ leagues director, and Scott Mount, a repair specialist, complete his team.

MLK, from A1 have the opportunity to hear from activists, educators, lawmakers and organizers. Opelika native and District 83 Rep. Jeremy Gray will serve as one of the panelists for this event. In Opelika, Gray will be hosting a Service Day on Jan. 18 with members of the local 100 Black Men of America chapter and Auburn University’s Black Graduate and Professional Student Association at his nonprofit initiative called the Curtis House. On Jan. 20, the Dream Day Foundation will hold its 21st annual MLK Jr. Day celebration at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts located within Opelika High School. That day’s festivities will begin with a march (weather permitting) from Greater Peace Baptist Church to the venue. This year’s theme is “Nonviolence is Love,” and organizers said that the program will “pay

“This endeavor would fail without them,” Rains said. “The hardest part of this effort, by far, was finding a location. Many sites and owners were looked into,” Rains added. “Every time I thought we were locked in to a good location, something would come up preventing it.” He said that a “series of fortunate events” has them opening the arcade “near the most popular night spots in downtown Opelika.” Recently retired from the Alabama Department of Transportation and having never previously operated his own business, Rains said he has spent the last eight months “exploring, learning and making good decisions” to prepare for his life’s next chapter. “Success for me will be if it becomes a hangout (spot or destination),” Rains said. Hours of operations will be noon to 11 p.m. and later on weekends. For more information call 334-324-1406, join their Facebook group “Rock ‘N Roll Pinball” or visit www.rocknrollpinball. com. tribute to young people in Auburn, Opelika, Lee County and other surrounding areas who have lost their lives because of acts of violence.” The Samford Court Community Fellowship will hold its fourth annual “MLK Dream Dinner Award” at Golden Corral, starting at 3 p.m. The theme will be “Power in the Dream,” taken from Acts 1:8. Rev. John and Sister Alberta Pink of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church will be the guest speakers. Later that day from noon to 3 p.m., the local 100 Black Men of America chapter will be hosting a volleyball tournament for boys and girls in the 7th through 12th grades at the Greater Peace Family Life Center gym, located at 650 Jeter Ave. The event will include a blood drive, free food and health screenings for those in attendance. On Jan. 25, the city of Smiths Station will hold its annual “MLK Jr. Clean-Up Day,” starting at 9 a.m. and lasting until noon.

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am in a rundown breakfast cafe. The kind with torn vinyl seats and Formica countertops. The TV above the bar plays news headlines. One of the TV’s talking heads shouts, “HOW ARE WE GONNA SAVE THIS WORLD?” At exactly this moment my waitress appears. She places a plate of hot biscuits before me. She turns off the television and says, “This is how you save the world. Biscuits.” She laughs at her own remark and walks away. And I am left looking at steaming biscuits, wondering if this woman isn’t correct. Biscuits are one of those mysterious things that bring out the best in mankind. Think about it. Have you ever seen anyone rob a bank or hotwire a car while simultaneously eating a biscuit? No. But you’ve probably seen plenty of career criminals eating Miracle Whip. Thus, we can conclude that Miracle Whip is of the devil. Also, low-fat cottage cheese. But biscuits? They are downright holy. There are too many varieties to name, but here are a few: Rolled biscuits, fried biscuits, beaten biscuits, drop biscuits, angel biscuits,


By Sean Dietrich shortcakes, widowmakers, heartstoppers, eye-poppers, Alabama sin cookies, Mississippi mantrappers, Georgia homewreckers, Texas tummy-tuckers, Louisiana lard pellets, buttermilk biscuits, sourdough biscuits, Dutch-oven biscuits, and of course, the immortal cathead biscuit. When I first started writing in earnest, my work was published in a tiny regional newspaper. The editor asked for a professional byline—which is a mini biography. But I had no byline since I had never written anything more than a classified ad about a 1986 Ford. So the editor tried to come up with a few words on my behalf. She asked, “What’re some of your major achievements?” Achievements? I thought long and hard. “Well, I can swallow my tongue.” “No, that’s not what I... Wait. Really?” “Wanna see?” “Yes. Actually, I would like to see that.” So I did it. She stared

into my open mouth then made a note onto her legal pad while mumbling, “Can… Swallow... Own… Tongue.” We spent an hour trying to discover some of my other hidden talents only to find that I didn’t have any. I tried everything including my Kermit the Frog impression, my uncle’s Irish limericks and I even made a failed attempt at performing the jump-over-yourown-leg dance move. Finally, she came up with a byline. And in a moment that can only be called serendipitous, she formed a sentence that would stick with me for a long time. “Sean Dietrich is a biscuit connoisseur.” Little did I know that her words would sort of follow me throughout my life. A few years ago, for example, I made a speech at a swanky party with many fancy people in the audience. The emcee was a former reality TV celebrity who wore sunglasses indoors, even backstage where he was often bumping into things. The emcee introduced me as a “biscuit connoisseur.” Everybody laughed at this because they thought it was a joke. But, this is no joke. See Dietrich, page A6

Don’t forget the meaning... In 1986, I covered the first King Holiday parade, in Atlanta; now I see people forgetting the holiday’s’ meaning s the Opelika community gears up to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I aim to remind you of two people who were essential to the civil rights leader getting a national holiday in his honor. As a young soldier-journalist in Atlanta, I covered the first MLK birthday celebrations in January 1986. I will elaborate on this later. But first, I issue a reminder: members of the Opelika community should try their best to attend the “21st Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Observance Day Program” on Monday, Jan. 20. This event will be held at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts on OHS’s campus. The 2020 theme, “Nonviolence is Love” pays tribute to young people in Opelika, Auburn and Lee County and surrounding areas who


By Greg Markley have lost their lives because of acts of violence. The first person who had a grand role in advancing the idea of a national holiday for King was his widow, Coretta Scott King. A friend of mine said in the 1980s that he saw Mrs. King at the Atlanta airport three times in three years. Not only did she travel a lot, but she was not afraid of contacting politicians at any level to push her ideas. As President Reagan said when he signed the bill for the holiday: “Since Dr. King’s death, his father, Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr., and his wife, Coretta King, have eloquently and forcefully car-

ried on his work.” She carried MLK’s mantle until she died in 2006. A Marion, Alabama native, Mrs. King was inducted into the Alabama Women’s Hall of Fame. Presidents Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush attended her funeral with Carter giving a funeral oration. (President Ford and his wife Betty were absent as he was ill.) Although many national politicians and activists spurred on the move for a King holiday, a giant lift came from superstar singer Stevie Wonder. Wonder wrote a hit song, “Happy Birthday” about King, which jump-started the efforts for the first holiday for a private citizen in U.S. history. An activist as well as a singer, Wonder raised money for the proposed holiday at his concerts. Wonder also made public appearances and See Markley, page A6

A tribute to the dentist When I was young and just a bad little kid, My momma noticed funny things I did. Like shooting puppies with a BB gun. She said, “My boy, I think some day You’ll find a way to make your natural tendencies pay. You’ll be a dentist. - “You’ll be a dentist.” Little Shop of Horrors entists often get a bad rap. I can say this now.


’ve always been a logophile. Words fascinate me… the origin of a word, the way its meaning has changed over time, even the way a word may sound completely different depending on who’s saying it. As a kid, I pestered my mother to death on a daily basis with questions that weighed heavily on my heart, such as: “Who was the first person to say the word kangaroo?” or “Whose idea was it to include silent letters in some words?” and my favorite “When I grow up, can I be a professional talker?” She must have had the patience of Job. I frustrated even myself with the absolute desire to know all there was to know about all the words in all the world. The summer before I turned 13, I was introduced to the word “serendipity.” And I fell in love with it… the way it rolled off my tongue and danced in my mind. It sounds like its meaning – as if the letters

In my youth, I could not. The dentist I went to in my youth, was, well, sadistic. He was also a distant cousin. Today, I believe he was our dentist because he gave us a discount. I also believe that to recoup the money he lost treating us, he cut corners in various ways – like not giving me Novocain before drilling and filling. A visit to him was, well, painful.

By Hardy Jackson

His crowning (no pun intended) achievement was the in-house root canal he performed on me when I was in college. I had a fraternity party to go to the following weekend, but after packing the tooth with some-

thing that was supposed to kill all the bad stuff (memory supported by a lack of dental knowledge comes into play here) my dentist-cousin assured me that it was safe to attend the event, which was to be held in Birmingham, 150 miles away. He lied. The tooth abscessed and as I cursed dentistry and dentists a fraternity brother drove me across town to his dentist who opened the office (it was Saturday night), shot me

full of Novocain and with my friend acting as his dental assistant – at one point he stuck the suctionthingie to my tongue and nearly pulled it out – the dentist saved my life, or at least I felt he did. At that point my whole opinion of dentists changed, and over the years I sat in the chair of many a talented tooth master. But it was not what a dentist did to/for me that confirmed my high regard of the profession and

those who practice it. It was what one did for my son. When a lad, my boy was, to put it mildly, rambunctious. At the tender age of five, he was at the height of his rambunctiousosity (it ain’t a word, but it will do till I think of another). One day, playing “George of the Jungle,” he attempted to leap from one part of the sofa to another, lost his balance, and came crashing down, mouth

thing extra given as a bonus. It is a surprise that brings unexpected joy. It is not deserved. It is a gift. And that’s exactly what Bil Hitchcock is – a gift. He writes about what it means to be southern and what it means to be human. He is a lover of Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird, and his respect and deep emotion for his dad and for the loveliness in the world is a tangible gift. A lagniappe. I do love that word. Since my Little House On The Prairie days, my taste in literature has broadened. There’s not much I won’t read. (Westerns have just never been my thing.) And so my vocabulary has increased exponentially. Give me a word, and I can give you ten words to replace it…. which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Just ask my best friend. I think, at times, I must exhaust him just like I did my poor mother. He is patient, though, and always

interested in what I have to say. His language is a bit different from mine. As much as I thrive on poetic words and deep conversation, he speaks in humor and in thoughtful actions. Don’t get me wrong – he very often says things that make me swoon. But when he speaks words of love, they often sound like this: “Be careful. The roads are wet.” “Take this plate of food for your lunch tomorrow.” “Don’t worry. Everything is going to be better than alright.” “How’s your headache?” “Don’t leave yet. Watch one more episode of Vikings with me.” “If you’re happy, I’m happy.” And those words are pure poetry. Better even than Agatha Christie herself could compose! Wendy Hodge is an Opelika native, an empty nester and lover of all things Opelika. She is currently awaiting release of her first novel with Harper Collins Publishing Company.

See Jackson, page A6

Love Words fell into place by chance and made something perfect. I first heard it on television. An old black and white movie was playing on a Saturday evening, and a glamorous woman with startlingly long false eyelashes and a cigarette dangling from her lips whispered in a throaty voice, “Fancy meeting you here in this bar. It’s serendipity, pure and simple.” The cigarette wobbled as she spoke, and I thought it was the most talented piece of oration I’d ever witnessed. To be able to speak such impressive words AND smoke at the same time… now that’s what being a grown up professional talker was all about! I have my mother to thank for my word obsession. From the time I was born, she read to me every day. When I was five, she started reading the Little House on the Prairie series to me, a chapter at bedtime. Before we got halfway

By Wendy Hodge

through, we were taking turns reading a chapter aloud to each other. The staff at the city library grew to know me very well. Every two weeks, I went in with my stack of books to return and left with a new stack of books, my little girl arms straining to hold them all. I took care of my library card as if it were my Top Secret access ID to the Pentagon. The summer I was 12, that same summer I learned the word serendipity, I discovered Agatha Christie. I read “Murder On The Orient Express,” and I was hooked. In love again, actually. The head librarian even made a historical exception for me one hot day in August and allowed me to check out more than the

usual limit of ten books at a time. I strutted out of there like I owned the place. And I read every one of those books in that two weeks. In fact, before the summer was over, I’d read every one of her 31 novels, several short story collections, and her autobiography. I’ve read some of her stories many times over since then, and when a remake of ‘Murder On The Orient Express’ came out a couple of years ago, I saw it at the theater. Three times. My friend, Bil Hitchcock, who is a writer – an actual professional talker – is my literary hero. His words are like music. We know each other only through social media. We are what he calls BFWHNM… Best Friends Who Have Never Met. And yet, he has been such a gift in my life. Not long after we were “introduced” by mutual friends through Facebook, Bil gave me a new word. Lagniappe, pronounced Lan-Yap. It means some-

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Serenity Community Counseling, LLC opens at the Skyway Professional Center last week By Morgan Bryce Editor After spending the last 17-plus years as a grief counselor in the AuburnOpelika area, Jenny Filush-Glaze has transitioned to her own private practice called Serenity Community Counseling LLC. Located within the Skyway Professional Center Business Park, Filush-Glaze’s new venture officially opened last Monday. Filush-Glaze’s list of services is broad - she wants to help people of all ages and creeds through a gamut of issues, ranging from anxiety and depression to divorce and selfesteem issues. “Deciding to do this was not an easy choice, because grief and bereavement is something I’ve been doing forever. But, this will help

me be able to reach more people,” Filush-Glaze said. Originally from Macon, Georgia, Filush-Glaze chose to attend Auburn University to realize her childhood dream of becoming a counselor, finishing in 1997 with her undergraduate and master’s degrees. Starting as a mental health counselor with East Alabama Medical Center, she would hold that position for the next eight years. In 2003, she joined EAMC’s Hospice Advantage (now known as Compassus) and Bethany House as a grief counselor and worked in that position until Dec. 20 last year. Filush-Glaze also shares her expertise and insight through daily blog posts and weekly columns published in the OpelikaAuburn News and Valley Times News. She has two published books to her

Photo by Morgan Bryce/Opelika Observer

credit, both of which are available for purchase on Amazon. After the March 3, 2019 tornadoes, FilushGlaze contracted with Lee

County Schools to provide counseling for families and students affected by the storms. She goes and visits families across the county each Friday to help guide

them through their grief and pain. Serenity’s hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For more information or to

schedule an appointment or consultation, call 334742-9102 or send email to The office is located at 3320 Skyway Drive, Suite 802.

Women in Business: Friends First LaBella Associates welcomes By Bradley Robertson For the Opelika Observer

One of the greatest gifts we are given in this earthly life is friendship. Friends love us and hug us through all that comes our way. Friends listen. Friends laugh. Friends cry when our hearts break, and friends celebrate in the grandest of ways when the time is right. Friends just keep going along with us, always present, always hopeful. So what happens when two friends, with separate gifts and talents, join forces for a creative endeavor? Let’s see… travel, success, wine, laughter and most importantly, time with their families; their most valued piece of their working puzzle. Anna Claire Collier and Whitney Lee began their business partnership in January 2019. One year into their work, they are making a beautiful impact on women all over the Southeast and beyond. They are a traveling duo of heirloom photography and marketing expertise. They take their studio on the road and into the homes of hundreds of

families to capture the soft essence of a child. Photographer, Collier has been awed by the heirloom style of portraiture since she was a young girl. “When I was 12, I remember seeing these beautiful heirloom photos at my friend’s house. Her mother had an heirloom composite done of each child at the same age. When I saw them, I knew that when I had kids, I wanted to have them in my home too,” Collier said. Many years later when she had children, Collier couldn’t find the same style of work. This prompted her to begin practicing with her own camera to capture that perfect heirloom look. “It was beautiful work and it was classic. I tried to do them on my children and eventually just figured it out. I would put it away for a time and then come back to it. I began to practice with studio lighting, and everything kept going back to the heirloom style.” Friends and family around Collier began to take notice of her work and so a newfound creative passion began. Around the same time,

a friend jumped into the picture, encouraging her to keep going and to post her work consistently to social media. Whitney Lee had recently helped with a political campaign and realized her own personal enjoyment and craft in marketing. Both ladies saw the potential for growth through the classic style and artistry of heirloom photography. From here, they decided to go all in and give the endeavor the attention it deserved. “You hear people say, ‘Find your niche and do it well,’ and here I am,” Collier said. “It totally snuck up on us. It feels like we just woke up and it’s here, but it’s definitely taken a lot of time and effort.” “Don’t let us fool you,” Lee said, “it is not work. We work really hard, but we have the most fun. It’s very genuine.” Both ladies laugh, and the joy and pleasure between to the two is seamless. Perhaps it’s both women having been raised in Louisiana. Or maybe it’s the simplicity of believing in one another, both reaching for the same

Letter to the editor: Thanks Opelika for your assistance


ear Editor,

On Friday, December 20, 2019 we were traveling from McDonough, Georgia to Baker, Florida. When we were in Opelika our truck caught fire and if it wasn’t for

the people there, the fire department and the police department we wouldn’t be here now. I want to thank everyone who was there for everything that they did for us. We were able to continue on to Baker, Florida

to have a blessed and beautiful Christmas with our family. Thank you to all that helped us that day. Sincerely, Marjorie Kalman McDonough, Georgia

goal of honest work and a lifestyle that fits into their family. “Our main goal for this is to have a healthy work-life balance,” Collier said. “To be moms and to provide an income source, but for it to be flexible enough that we can enjoy our children. We get to travel, do the work and be done and be home.” “Because we have the right motives behind it with being present with our families, this venture has really been blessed. It’s empowering for women to see that you can do both. And you can find ways to be a mom and work and do something you love. And at the end of the day placing emphasis on the family. That’s the most important work overall,” Collier added. “We’re just living life and making decisions accordingly,” Lee said. “It’s been awesome.” With Collier holding the expertise in photography and studio lighting, Lee lights the way, reaching out to new clients all over the Southeast and beyond. Lee’s ease and enjoyment in conversation and meeting new people has

See Women , page A7

Exhibit, from A1 and cultures from the past to the present. Also in the Alabama display, Carter will honor veterans and commemorate her neighbors in Beauregard and surrounding areas and how they are rebuilding. The exhibit will be open to area schools from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 1 to 4:30 p.m. for the public. Cost of admission is $5 for students and $7 for the public. For more information or to set up a tour, call or text Carter at 334-444-0970. The inn is located at 1577 S. College St.

Eric Sanderson, PE, to lead Alabama expansion

Sanderson Special to the Opelika Observer LaBella Associates expands into Alabama this week by hiring Eric Sanderson, PE as regional manager and growing the firm’s presence in the state. LaBella has been serving private and public solid waste clients in Alabama for 15 years and has partnered with the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) to provide waste facility operator training courses through its Joyce Training Program since 2010. Sanderson brings 27 years of environmental engineering experience to LaBella, having previously worked for ADEM in the air, water and land divisions. Most recently, he served as chief of the Solid Waste Branch of the Land Division for the last seven years. Additionally, Sanderson was instrumental in the development of Alabama’s Coal Combustion Residuals (CCR) Rules. Sanderson’s experience also includes managing solid waste, recycling and scrap tire programs, overseeing permit development and coordinating tasks with the public and other government organizations at federal, state and local levels. As industrial sec-

tion chief of the Industrial Municipal Branch of the Water Division, he managed a team charged with ensuring that the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) and State Indirect Discharge (SID) programs’ requirements were met. “I chose to continue my career at LaBella Associates based on the firm’s strong reputation as a whole, but the people at LaBella were the driving force,” Sanderson said. “I continue to be impressed with their technical knowledge of the environmental regulations and processes at ADEM, as well as their ability to develop and maintain positive relationships and trust.” “We are very excited to have Eric join the LaBella team,” said Director of Waste and Recycling Jenny Johnson. “In addition to providing us with a physical presence in Alabama, Eric brings LaBella the opportunity to grow not only our solid waste services, but also our environmental and other A/E services. We look forward to strengthening our relationships in Alabama, and we’re optimistic about the opportunities there in 2020 See Sanderson, page A7

pelika O Opinion

A6 Jan. 15, 2020

Your child should invest in a Roth IRA By Justin Smith For the Opelika Observer

Parents desire to leave their children better off than they were themselves. That simple wish has long been part of the American dream. Most of us will spend many years and decades building wealth, with the hope of having enough remaining at the end of our lives to leave to the next generation. However, there is a simpler way to build your kids’ wealth – a Roth IRA. Many people think of an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) as an investment vehicle to be opened once they have finished their formal education, secured fulltime employment and possibly obtained a mortgage or a car payment. I think the exact opposite should be true – children should begin investing for their retirement as early as possible in their lives. A Roth IRA has no minimum age and grows taxfree. Children have many decades, perhaps even half a century, to invest and build wealth. For example, a one-time contribution of $5,000 invested at an average 12% return in a decent mutual fund will grow to approximately $1.96 million over 50 years. Put in an additional $10 per month to make that $2.3 million. A more conservative investment return of 10% will grow to about $725,000 during the same length of time, or about $900,000 with the $10 monthly contribution. Although a Roth IRA

Jackson, from A4 first, on the one part of the furniture that was not heavily padded. When he came up two or three of his front teeth were missing that another hung by a thread. Blood was everywhere. My wife called me at work. Now usually my helpmate is far more competent than I at handling a crisis, but having heeded the commandment to be fruitful and multiply, we had a babe-in-arms at the time so she had her hands full, so to speak. I rushed over and took the bloody, bawling boy to his T-ball coach, who was also his dentist. (One of the advantages of small-town living is that you come in contact with people in many guises, so

has no age limitation, the child must have earned income. Summer work or after-school jobs are a possibility, but there are other ways of earning income. For instance, your child may cut grass or baby-sit. Alternatively, you may be self-employed and hire your child to perform work for your company. The bottom line is that if your child earns income, they are on the way to funding their Roth IRA. Here is the basic process: 1. The child earns income from employment (including working for you) or self-employment. 2. The child receives a W2 or 1099-MISC. 3. The child files a tax return if required (especially in the case of selfemployment or receiving income reported on a 1099-MISC). If the child is selfemployed, their only federal tax liability may be self-employment tax if the earned income is below the federal standard deduction ($12,400). If the child receives a W2, payroll tax has already been withheld. Since children are often in the 0% income tax bracket, they often pay no income tax

on their earnings. Since there is no income tax on Roth IRA distribution in retirement, this is a terrific way to build wealth nearly tax-free. As a parent, you can gift your child the necessary funds to cover their taxes. You may also choose to match your child’s IRA contributions or gift them outright, so long as the contribution does not exceed their earned income. The mechanics of this investment vehicle are simple and straightforward. The child can even be a minor – the parent just needs to open a custodial account with their preferred investment advisor or company. I think this is a better strategy than savings bonds or putting money in a savings account that earns practically nothing. While it is certainly important that you save for your own retirement, it can be a great way to start the next generation on their way to financial freedom as well. If you have children, now is the time to help them prepare responsibly for their financial future. Speaking of being responsible, consider reading Smart Money, Smart Kids by Dave Ramsey. Justin Smith is a licensed certified public accountant in Opelika, specializing in individual and small business tax and accounting. He can be contacted at 334-4009234 or His website is

finding a dentist through the recreation department is not out of the ordinary.) The good doctor rushed the boy past waiting patients who, seeing the blood and hearing his whimpering, made no protest over our breaking in line. Calmly, he assured my boy that he was not going to die, then, with fears quieted, examined the situation, removed the remaining front tooth and told his patient (and his anxious father) that since they were “baby teeth” there was no permanent damage done. Instead, he would be the first among his friends to lose his teeth – a mark of maturity at his age. He also (looking at me) observed that when all the teeth were collected the “tooth fairy” would have to take out a loan to cover the cost. Sure enough, in the fullness of time the

“permanent” teeth came in and today, thanks to yet another dentist – the one who braces and straightens – my son’s toothy smile brightens my day. So, consider this column my tribute to dentistry and those who practice it. I recently saw on a dentist’s “patient questionnaire” a list of “how do you feel about being here” responses. Included in the choices was “I’d just like to get up and run away.” I suspect some people, scarred for life by a sadist like my dentist-cousin, did not see the humor in that choice, but I did. So, let’s pay tribute to the person who puts their hands in your mouth. And remember to brush after every meal. Harvey H. (“Hardy”) Jackson is a professor emeritus of history at Jacksonville State University. He can be reached at

Justin Smith

Markley, from A4 statements in favor of it. Still, as Erin Blackmore explains on the History Channel website, getting the holiday done was not easy. “Opponents suggested that the idea King—a black minister who was vilified during his life and gunned down when he was just 39 years old—deserved a holiday was nothing short of incendiary,” wrote Blackmore on The History Channel website. “It wasn’t until 2000 that every state in the Union finally observed Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.” When I was at the inaugural 1986 MLK birthday celebration in Atlanta, there was an aspect of this appropriate new holiday that I feared might happen. And, 34 years later, I regret to see that it is happening on a large scale. The following is not meant as criticism to any particular group or ethnicity or race. Dr. King was against blanket criticisms, and so am I.

Dietrich, from A4 During my childhood, I ate so many biscuits that my nickname was “Biscuit.” I was a chubby child. In fact, my mother firmly believes that I could have passed for Honey Boo Boo’s twin brother. I didn’t care for the nickname because when you’re a kid, these things affect your confidence. There were boys on our baseball team with cool nicknames like “Kev,” “Rock” or “Chief.” But every time the third-base coach yelled, “Run Biscuit!” it left a mark. Even so, there was no denying it. My mother spoiled me with homemade biscuits. She prepared them from scratch most mornings, flouring the countertops, stamping the dough with an upside-down coffee mug. The humble American biscuit has been one of the few constants in my life. In fact, biscuits were even present on the

I was worried as a 29-year-old journalist writing about events such as this annual birthday event would become “just another holiday” as many others have. For example, I usually attend some Memorial Day event or another to honor those who gave their lives for my country and me. As a veteran, I may have a stronger motive to get up earlier that day than others. Still, I see these events getting smaller and smaller in attendance. In 1998, I covered the giant Birmingham Veterans’ Day dinner at Boutwell Auditorium and the parade. I returned twice since, and the crowds for the events are diminishing each time. Lesson: People may fall into the rut of getting an extra day off, without a minute spent on a man killed at age 39 trying to improve life in America. Luckily, governments to include those in Opelika, Auburn and Lee County do a wonderful job with such events. Also in our area, schools, public and private do a fine job of teaching about

King and celebrating his birthday. So enjoy the events this year celebrating King’s birth 91years ago. Think about King’s non-violent approach and about how he was killed because he sought progress and tolerance. Politicians over the years have approved holidays hoping the holidays would be honored, not just considered a day for going to a lake or catching up on sleep. I don’t mean to hector readers regarding celebrating holidays. Go ahead and have fun on those days. Still, and especially this week in Martin Luther King, Jr’s case, let’s spend time appreciating his contributions. As Stevie Wonder sang in “Happy Birthday”: “There ought to be a time, That we can set aside, To show just how much we love you.” Greg Markley has lived in Lee County for 18 of the last 23 years. An awardwinning journalist, he has master’s degrees in education and history. He has taught as an adjunct in Georgia and Alabama.

evening I met my wife. I’ll never forget it. The church held its weekly fried chicken supper. Before you entered the buffet line, an elderly lady with a beehive hairdo would stop you. She would be holding a goldfish bowl full of dollar bills. She’d say, “There’s a suggested donation of five dollars for supper tonight.” Emphasis on “suggested.” Then she’d rattle her bowl and stare at you with coldblooded reptilian eyes. “I don’t have five dollars,” I’d say. “All I have is two bucks.” She’d yank the money from my hand and scowl. “I’m watching you, Dietrich.” But anyway, our church buffets were legendary. They consisted primarily of three dishes: 1. Green vegetables that had been cooked so long they were no longer vegetables, and come to think of it, they weren’t even green. 2. Fried chicken thighs the size of Danny Devito. 3. Catheads. When Beehive would catch me stealing up-

wards of five biscuits, her lips would curl over her yellow teeth and she would emit a low growl reminding me that she was a woman who could quarter chicken carcasses with her bare hands. I met my future wife that night. When our eyes first locked I knew there was something about this girl. And when she sopped her plate counterclockwise with a biscuit I knew I had found the woman I would grow old with. So I don’t know much, but I believe my waitress is onto something. No, biscuits might not save this world right away. But they certainly aren’t a bad place to start. Take it from a connoisseur. Who can swallow his own tongue. Sean Dietrich is a columnist, and novelist, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Southern Living, the Tallahassee Democrat, Southern Magazine, Yellowhammer News, the Bitter Southerner, the Mobile Press Register and he has authored seven books.

pelika O Observer

A7 Jan. 15, 2020

Local Girl Scouts pickup cases of cookies at Lambert Transfer and Storage as ‘Cookie Season’ gets underway

Women, from A5 played a very large role in helping the business to grow. They are a true partnership. Thriving off the other’s abilities to better hone in on the project at hand, taking that perfect shot of a busy and movable child. “We are going to get a good result every time because we come prepared,” Collier said. “We know what we’re aiming for. We got this down. We also know, you can’t make a good picture with a fake smile. No matter how good the lighting.” “The variable is always the children,” Lee added, “and we just learn to adjust accordingly. (Anna Claire) has the lighting taken care of, that’s done. Where we have to adjust is with our personal skills.” The art that these women produce is distinct and timeless. Furthermore, the

Sanderson, from A5 and beyond.” About LaBella LaBella Associates is a multi-discipline design firm home to more than 850 professionals. LaBella gained more than 35 years of Waste and Recycling expertise with the 2017 acquisition of Joyce Engineering. Their team

service that they provide to mothers everywhere, to capture the trueness of their child in a single portrait, is perfection. Two beautiful women have woven their talents together, reaching out to mothers in need, capturing a stillness in time of their child. When asked their favorite part of the job, both, without thought, went back to the joy and happiness of the client. “I get anxious before the shoot while setting up,” Collier said, “but it happens every time, the shoot is over, the kids are playing and mom is happy and we got the shot and it’s done. Getting that positive feedback is so encouraging. That’s the best part. I know we did it.” “Rekindling friendships,” Lee said. “I love meeting all the people. It’s fun building a network and having a part of people’s lives and longevity. It’s cool how different all the people are that we are traveling to shoot their

children. But they are all streaming down for the same product. It’s synonymous. It’s very fulfilling.” These savvy business ladies have an eye for fun and adventure. They have been to Washington D.C., Texas, their home state of Louisiana and are booking this winter in Manhattan, New York City and spring in Seaside, Florida. People can teach each other many things, but to pay close attention to our passions and gifts and then put them into the world for others to enjoy, that is true faith. “It’s so enjoyable, that’s how I know I’m doing the right thing,” Collier said. “It’s a testament to women to stick to what you want in your work and stay to your uniqueness and gifts…not conform to the outside world. It’s a journey and experience. We love it and we’re doing it.” To find out more about Born and Raised Studio, follow them on Instagram or visit

has specialized in serving the solid waste industry for both public and private clients in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama. Services include solid waste engineering, environmental consulting, planning, permitting and operational consulting and training. The firm will continue to grow in Alabama through a full service offering, including architecture and engineering for facili-

ties and buildings, PFAS treatment and remediation, and design and permitting of solar farms on landfills. Headquartered in Rochester, NY, LaBella recently ranked #145 on the Engineering News-Record’s Top 500 Global Design Firms and became a Certified Great Place to Work. For more information on services in Alabama, contact Kristie Hooper,

Photos by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer Shipments of Girl Scouts cookies arrived at Lambert Transfer and Storage in Opelika last week. Pictured are volunteers unloading the supply and preparing for the rush of “Cookie Season.”

pelika O Opinion

A8 Jan. 15, 2020

Tractor Supply to kick off Lanett grand opening with four-day event

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer

Special to the Opelika Observer Tractor Supply Compa-

ny will celebrate its grand opening in Lanett with a community celebration featuring entertainment,

giveaways and special events Jan. 16 to 19. Customers will receive a 10% discount on all purchases

made at the store on top of already great prices. During the main event on Jan. 18, visitors will have the opportunity to participate in giveaways and community events. Additionally, the store will give away gift cards and Tractor Supply hats while supplies last. “At Tractor Supply we understand the value of community, which is why we made it a priority to build a team with deep roots in Lanett,” said Daphane Arrington, manager of the Lanett Tractor Supply store. “Our team members live the same lifestyle as our customers, and we’re excited to supply them with the tools,

information and resources they need to live life on their own terms.” The Lanett Tractor Supply will provide a one-stop shop for the community, serving farmers, livestock and pet owners, ranchers, parttime and hobby farmers, gardeners, homeowners, tradesmen and others. Tractor Supply customers will be able to choose from a wide range of products including workwear and boots, equine and pet supplies, tractor and trailer parts and accessories, lawn and garden supplies, sprinkler and irrigation parts, power tools, fencing, welding and pump supplies, riding mowers and more. The store will carry top brands, such as Purina, Carhartt, Blue Buffalo and Hobart, as well as products exclusive to Tractor Supply. The Lanett store will also include a pet wash station where custom-

ers will have access to professional grade wash bays, grooming tables and tools. In addition to supplying dependable products for farm, ranch and rural customers, the Lanett Tractor Supply will regularly host events with community partners including local animal shelters, area 4-H clubs and FFA chapters and more. Customers can also sign up for Tractor Supply’s new Neighbor’s Club loyalty program, which will make them eligible to receive member-only offers, birthday offers, personal purchase summaries and receipt-free returns. Located at 811 S. Gilmer Ave., the store's regular business hours will be 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. For more information, visit www.tractorsupply. com. For additional information on the Neighbor's Club program, visit

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Opelika E vents, Society, & Food

CALENDAR OF EVENTS: • Jan. 17 - ‘Established’ at The Bottling Plant Event Center • Jan. 18 - BacktheBadge Lee County’s ‘Winter Wonderland’ event • Jan. 25 - Jason Ringenberg at The Standard Deluxe • Feb. 1 - J.W. Darden Foundation’s ‘Black Tie Legacy Gala’ • Feb 8 - Haddie’s Home Dessert Tasing

Serve hearty, comforting food to enliven chilly January days Ann Cipperly’s




fter the rush of the holiday season, January settles into a slower, quieter time. At our house, the teapot is going most of the day. It is a good time to try a new tea and catch up on reading. After so much rich food over the holidays, hearty, comforting entrees with a salad are more appealing. A roast or chicken in the crock-pot or oven simmering all afternoon fills the house with a tantalizing aroma. Pasta dishes are hearty and easy to double to freeze one for another day. Janice Berardi’s

Baked Ziti makes a comforting dish with Italian sausage or ground beef in tomato sauce. Janice prepares a white sauce to combine with the pasta, and pours it in the bottom of the dish. The meat sauce is spooned over the pasta and then topped with mozzarella cheese for a tasty dish. She also makes a Crock-Pot Chicken and Mushroom Alfredo and serves the creamy mixture over fettuccine noodles. Parmesan cheese can be sprinkled over the top. Lee Sadler also does a creamy pasta dish that

can be prepared with chicken or shrimp. It has Photo by Ann Cipperly a spicy taste with Rotel, Shrimp and grits is a popular restaurant dish that is easy to prepare at home. Treat your family to bell pepper and garlic Alabama Shrimp and Grits or another hearty, comforting dish this week from some of the area’s best seasoning the sauce. cooks. When you make Ann Gore’s Lasagna, you will the grits made ahead prepared with an easy need two 9x13-inch pans for Leigh Whatley’s and reheat to serve with mix sauce that has the Easy Mac and Cheese. since the recipe makes the shrimp in a flavorSimply cook the rigatoni same flavors. two. She puts one in the ful sauce. Try Alabama Taco Casserole and or macaroni, add the freezer to enjoy another Shrimp and Grits, which Easy Enchiladas are cheese and cream, then time. It is nice to have is a favorite at our house. hearty dishes that can bake. She also makes an a pan of lasagna in the As you plan menus be prepared quickly that easy Chicken Pot Pie. freezer ready in case you for the week, select from your family will relish. You can boil chicken need to take a dish to the following recipes for Since shrimp is availbreasts or pick up a someone or to have ready creating hearty, comfortable in grocery stores, rotisserie chicken at the on days when you don’t ing dishes to serve your treat your family to a grocery. feel like cooking dinner. family. special dish with shrimp. If your family enjoys For days when you Ann can be reached at Shrimp and grits is a Chicken Divan Casseneed something hearty popular restaurant dish role, but you don’t want but easy for dinner, keep that is easy to prepare to use cream soup, try the ingredients on hand at home. You can have Laura Cooper’s recipe See Recipes, page A11

East Alabama Arts Association to host acclaimed Asian percussionist group on Feb. 3

Celtic-American supergroup ‘RUNA’ returning to Sundilla Feb. 7 for group’s 10th anniversary Special to the Opelika Observer

Special to the Opelika Observer Drum TAO will perform at the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 3, with a showtime set for 7:30 p.m. The internationally acclaimed percussion artists of TAO bring to North America their newest production, “Drum TAO,” with modern, high-energy performances showcasing the ancient art of Japanese drumming. Worldwide audiences have been transfixed with TAO’s highly physical, large-scale drumming, contemporary costumes, precise choreography and innovative visuals. Expect the walls and floor of OPAC to be vibrating from the effect of the large-scale Japanese drums on stage, so concertgoers will be able to enjoy this energetic and unforgettable production as though they are sitting

Photo special to the Opelika Observer

in their favorite massage chair. Tickets can be purchased via, ranging

from $20 to $123 in cost. For more information, call 334-749-8105. The venue is located at 1700 Lafayette Parkway.

Celebrating its 10year anniversary as a band, Celtic-American Roots music “supergroup” RUNA will return to Sundilla on Feb. 7. RUNA continues to push the boundaries of Irish folk music into the Americana and roots music formats. InterweavSee RUNA, page A10

Photo special to the Opelika Observer

Monday-Saturday 11 AM - 8 PM

pelika Observer O

A10 Jan. 15, 2020

Nationally touring ‘Country Cool Comedy’ trio to perform at Bottling Plant on Feb. 14 Special to the Opelika Observer Trish Suhr, Leanne Morgan and Karen Mills of the “Country Cool Comedy” trio will bring loads of laughter to downtown Opelika’s Bottling Plant Event Center on Feb. 14. Advance tickets, which cost $25, can be purchased by calling the venue at 334-705-5466 or via Day-of tickets will cost $30 plus tax. Reserved tables for four

or eight individuals are also available for $150 and $300, respectively. Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the show will begin at 7 p.m. According to a description on the comedy trio’s website, “Country Cool Comedy is a laugh out loud comedy show that leaves you wanting more.” Suhr is best known for her “Bless Your Heart” clip that has amassed more than 15 million views. She is a spokesperson for several companies, is

the host of her own television show “The Yard Sale Diva” and has made numerous television appearances on national programs like Good Morning America and The Ricki Lake Show. Morgan, a Tennessee native, started her comedy career telling jokes at jewelry shows she held at people’s homes. Later performing in small theaters and venues around the Southeast, she quickly grew in popularity. She has made numerous tele-

RUNA, from A9 ing the haunting melodies and exuberant tunes of Ireland and Scotland with the lush harmonies and intoxicating rhythms of jazz, bluegrass, flamenco and blues, they offer a thrilling and redefining take on traditional music. This group is truly

vision appearances and her comedy can be heard on Sirius/ XM channels. Mills, a former basketball star, is multitalented. She has performed alongside Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill at the Grand Ole Opry and has her own Dry Bar Comedy special called “Pink Pants” that has more than 15 million views. Her comedic view of battling cancer landed her an

an international coalition, with members from Canada, the States, and Old Eire itself— each of them contributing the strains of their indigenous disciplines, in a glorious, flouncing mishmash of cultures and cadences. The RUNA approach, though, emphasizes their disparate interests from sources like The Chieftans, Nickel

opportunity to lead a TED talk called

“Cancer is a Laughing Matter.” The venue is located at 614 N. Railroad Ave. in Opelika.

Creek, U2 and Amos Lee— a flavorful blend of bluegrass, flamenco, blues and jazz. Their strive for excellence and creativity blazes a trail for the future of folk music, earning them the reputation as one of the most innovative Irish folk groups of this generation. Auburn Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, located at 450 E. Thach Ave., will host

this concert. Free coffee, tea, water and food will be available for all, and attendees are invited to bring whatever food or beverage they prefer. Showtime is set for 7:30 p.m. Advance tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Spicer’s Music, Ross House Coffee and online at Day-of tickets will cost $20.

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pelika O Observer Recipes Alabama Shrimp and Creamy Grits 3 slices or more bacon 1 lb. medium-sized shrimp, peeled and deveined ¼ tsp. black pepper 1/8 tsp. salt ¼ cup all-purpose flour ½ cup chopped green onions 2 garlic cloves, minced ½ cup chicken broth 2 Tbsp. lemon juice ¼ tsp. hot sauce, optional Cook bacon in large skillet until crisp; remove and drain on paper towels; set aside. Pour 1 Tbsp. bacon grease back into skillet or use 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil. Cook green onions in oil for 2 minutes. Sprinkle salt and pepper on shrimp; toss in flour. Add shrimp and garlic and sauté 2 minutes or until shrimp begin to turn pink, adding more oil if needed. Stir in chicken broth and lemon juice. Cook 2 more minutes, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Remove from heat. Do not overcook shrimp. Sprinkle crumbled bacon over top. Serve over grits. Creamy Grits 3 cups chicken stock 1 cup milk (or chicken stock or water) 1 cup stone ground grits 1 tsp. salt 4 Tbsp. butter ¼ cup heavy cream to taste, optional Combine first four ingredients and bring to a boil. Simmer about 20 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; add butter and cream. Can cover and keep warm in oven until ready to serve. Baked Ziti Janice Berardi 16 oz. box ziti pasta ½ medium onion, chopped 1 Tbsp. olive oil 2 garlic cloves, minced 1 lb. ground beef or Italian sausage 26 oz. jar tomato and basil pasta sauce ¾ tsp. salt, divided 3 Tbsp. butter 1 Tbsp. all-purpose flour 3 cups milk 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese ½ tsp. pepper 8 oz. pkg. shredded mozzarella cheese Cook pasta in large pot according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, sauté chopped onion in hot olive in a large skillet over medium-high heat 5 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute. Add beef and cook, stirring until beef crumbles and is no longer pink. Drain. Stir in pasta sauce and ½ tsp. salt. Set aside. Melt butter in a heavy saucepan over

low heat; whisk in flour until smooth. Cook, whisking constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk; cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until mixture is thickened and bubbly. Stir in Parmesan cheese, remaining ¼ tsp. salt and pepper. Pour sauce over pasta in large pot, stirring until pasta is covered. Pour pasta mixture into a lightly greased 9 by 13-inch baking pan. Top evenly with beef mixture. Top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 to 25 minutes or until cheese is melted. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Easy Beef Enchiladas Janet Bartlett Janet and her husband Randy were the original owners of Cock of the Walk restaurant in Opelika. 1 lb. ground beef 1 can refried beans 1 can enchilada sauce (hot) 1 can enchilada sauce (mild) 8 oz. sour cream 8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese 10-12 tortillas (flour or corn) Brown beef and drain well. Mix beans and ½ of each can of sauce. Add beef. Simmer until hot. Put mixture in tortillas and roll. Place into a Pam coated casserole dish. Top with sour cream, cheese and remaining enchilada sauces. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Chicken Pot Pie Leigh Whatley Ready-made piecrust of choice Filling: 1 stick butter 1/2 cup flour 4 cups chicken broth 1/2 tsp. chopped thyme, optional ½ cup chopped onion 4 chicken breasts, cooked and chopped (or rotisserie chicken, chopped) Vegetables of choice (peas, carrots, potatoes or mushrooms) Small amount of melted butter for topping crust Melt butter; stir in flour. Add chicken broth, thyme and onion. Stir in chicken and desired vegetables. Pour into pan and top with piecrust. Drizzle melted butter over crust and bake at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden brown. Easy Mac and Cheese Leigh Whatley 8 oz. grated Monterey jack cheese 8 oz. grated sharp

cheddar cheese 4 oz. Parmesan 1 qt. cream 1 box rigatoni pasta, cooked Mix all ingredients together. Bake at 350 degrees 30 minutes or until bubbly. Crock-Pot Chicken and Mushroom Alfredo Janice Berardi Can add green peas or chopped red pepper, if desired. 4 bone-in chicken breast halves (12 to 14 oz. each), skin removed 2 Tbsp. canola oil 1 can condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted 1 can cream of mushroom soup, undiluted 1 cup chicken broth 1 small onion, chopped 6 oz. jar sliced mushrooms, drained ¼ tsp. garlic salt ¼ tsp. pepper 8 oz. fettuccine noodles 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened and cubed Shredded Parmesan cheese, optional In a large skillet, brown chicken in oil in batches. Transfer to a 4 or 5-quart slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine soups, broth, onion, mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper; pour over chicken. Cover and cook on low 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender. Cook fettuccine according to package directions; drain. Remove chicken from slow cooker and keep warm. Turn off slow cooker and stir in cream cheese until melted. Serve over fettuccine. Serve with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Taco Casserole Hattie Lett 1 lb. ground beef or venison 1 clove garlic, minced 1 onion, chopped Salt and pepper to taste 16 oz. can refried fat free refried beans 4 oz. can sliced black olives, drained 4 oz. can diced green chilies, not drained 16 oz. jar taco sauce 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese Brown meat with chopped onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Coat 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray. Layer refried beans and then cooked meat in dish. Next, layer green chilies, half of sliced olives, taco sauce and cheese. Garnish with remaining olives. Bake at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes.

Creamy Shrimp or Chicken Pasta Lee Sadler 1 stick butter ¼ cup onions, chopped ¼ cup bell pepper, chopped (optional) ¼ cup celery, chopped ¼ tsp. minced garlic 1/3 cup flour Salt and pepper to taste 1 chicken bouillon cube 1 can mild Rotel, drained 2 cups heavy whipping cream 1 tsp. or more Creole seasonings 1 to 1½ lbs. shrimp or chicken (can omit both for plain pasta) Angel hair pasta or fettuccine Sauté onions, pepper, celery and garlic in butter until transparent. Add salt, pepper and flour; stir until smooth. Add bouillon cube, Rotel, cream and Creole seasonings. Cook on medium heat about 10 minutes until thick. Add shrimp and cook about five minutes until pink or add cooked chicken. Serve over angel hair pasta or fettuccine. Can substitute celery flakes for celery and garlic salt for garlic. Crock-Pot Chicken Becky Stillwell 8 boneless chicken breasts 1 cup white wine or chicken broth 8 oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened 1 can cream of mushroom soup 1 can sliced mushrooms ½ stick butter 1 pkg. zesty Italian dressing mix Combine all ingredients in crock-pot. Cook on high for 30 minutes, then turn to low and cook 8 hours or longer. Serve over egg noodles, bow tie pasta or rice. Chicken Divan Casserole Laura Cooper 2 whole chicken breasts, skinned Fresh rosemary sprig ½ tsp. salt ¼ tsp. pepper 2 Tbsp. butter or margarine ¼ cup all-purpose flour 1 cup milk 1 egg yolk, beaten 1 cup sour cream ½ cup mayonnaise ½ tsp. grated lemon rind 2 Tbsp. lemon juice ½ tsp. salt ¼ to ½ tsp. curry powder Two 10-oz. pkgs. frozen broccoli spears, thawed and rained 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese Paprika Place chicken breasts, rosemary, ½ tsp. salt and pepper in large saucepan; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes

A11 Jan. 15, 2020 or until chicken is tender. Drain, reserving ½ cup broth. Discard rosemary. Let chicken cool slightly. Bone and chop chicken; set aside. Melt butter in heavy saucepan over low heat; add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually add milk and reserved broth; cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Stir ¼ hot mixture into egg yolk; add to remaining hot mixture, stirring constantly. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and next 5 ingredients. Layer half each of broccoli, chicken and sauce in greased 2-quart casserole. Repeat layers. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 to 35 minutes. Sprinkle with paprika. Makes six servings. Lasagna Ann Gore This makes plenty of sauce and can be made in two 9 x 13-inch pans, putting one in freezer to be baked for future use. ½ cup olive oil 1 onion, diced 4 garlic cloves, minced Pinch kosher salt and black pepper 1½ lbs. ground pork 2 lbs. ground beef 1 cup red wine 28 oz. can petitediced tomatoes with juice 2 bay leaves 1 lb. oven ready lasagna noodles (Skinner) 2 lbs. cottage cheese or whole milk ricotta cheese ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves ¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley ½ tsp. dried oregano 2 large eggs ½ cup grated Parmesan, plus more for final topping 1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, grated In large Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat; add onion, garlic and a pinch of salt and sweat them until they are translucent,

about 2 minutes. Add meats with another heavy pinch of salt. Cook until the meat is browned, about 10 minutes, and drain any fat from pot at this point. Stir in red wine, tomatoes and their juice and bay leaves. Scrape bottom of pot with a wooden spoon, making sure to get all browned bits into sauce. Season sauce with salt, to taste, and simmer for 2 hours over medium heat. Remove bay leaves and let cool. Skim any remaining fat that rises to the surface. In medium bowl, mix together cottage cheese or ricotta, parsley, basil, oregano, eggs and Parmesan with a pinch of salt. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on bottom of sprayed lasagna pan. Arrange a layer of noodles followed by a layer of sauce and then some of the cottage cheese or ricotta mixture. Top with layer of mozzarella, smoothing it with a spatula to the edges. Repeat process until pan is full. Finish with a final layer of noodles, sauce, mozzarella and Parmesan. Cover lasagna with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. Uncover and bake for 30 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let rest 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Crock-Pot Beef Stew 4 Tbsp. flour, divided 1 Tbsp. sugar 1 tsp. pepper Three 5.5 oz. cans tomato juice 2 lbs. beef stew meat 1 lb. sliced mushrooms 4-5 carrots, sliced 3-4 celery stalks, chopped 1 onion, chopped 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 Tbsp. hot water Combine 2 Tbsp. flour, sugar, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in tomato juice until smooth. Combine beef and next five ingredients in a crock-pot; add tomato juice mixture. Cover and cook on high for 5 ½ hours or until beef is tender.

Food Ratings Wing Town 1907 S. College St. Auburn Score: 100

Subway 1550 Opelika Road Auburn Score: 99

Ross House Coffee 150 N. Ross St. Auburn Score: 100

Good Ol’ Boys Restaurant 1843 Sandhill Road, Auburn Score: 99

Chicken Salad Chick 1345 Opelika Road Auburn Score: 100 El Taco Veloz and Mexican Grill 1107 Fitzpatrick Ave. Opelika Score: 99

Krispy Kreme 1600 Opelika Road Auburn Score: 96 Mrs. Story’s Dairy Bar 1900 Pepperell Parkway Opelika Score: 95

pelika O Observer

A12 Jan. 15, 2020

OBITUARIES Jimmy Ledbetter Jimmy Ledbetter, age 79, formerly of Opelika, Alabama, passed away on Jan. 9, 2020. He was born in Brewton, Alabama, and graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in 1959. He has a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Troy University where he graduated cum laude. He was a longtime member of Providence Baptist Church in Be-

Mrs. Sandra Joy Montgomery Mrs. Sandra Joy Montgomery, 76, of Opelika, passed away Jan. 5 at EAMC. Funeral services were at 2 p.m. on Jan. 8, at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home with Reverend David Floyd officiating. Visitation began at 1 p.m. prior to the service. Burial was in Garden Hills Cemetery following the service. Mrs. Montgomery is survived by her husband of 59 years

Rhett E. Riley Rhett E. Riley, formerly vice president for finance at Auburn University and a longtime lay leader at Lakeview Baptist Church, passed away on Jan. 2, 2020 in East Alabama Medical Center. He died from complications associated with acute myeloid leukemia. Riley was born on Feb. 21, 1933 and was raised in the Covington County community of Carolina. He graduated from Pleasant Home High School and initially attended Copiah-Lincoln Junior College in southern Mississippi on a basketball scholarship. He later transferred to Auburn, where he earned a degree in accounting. Before finishing

auregard, and in recent years, he joined Trinity United Methodist Church in Opelika. Jimmy was a lifelong entrepreneur. He was self-employed his entire life and succeeded in all his endeavors. He owned and operated a convenience store in Beauregard, built and maintained mobile home parks, provided affordable housing to a multitude of Lee County residents, and owned and operated Lime Kiln Motors.

Noel Montgomery; children: Steve Montgomery, Ted Montgomery, Sherri Montgomery, Richey Montgomery; grandchildren: Casey, Craig, Lindsey, Jonathan, Josh, Brianne, Chase, Hunter, Christina, Brooke; and numerous great grandchildren. Mrs. Montgomery was a lifelong resident of Opelika. She was a devoted homemaker that was a loving wife, mother, and Nana to her family. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directed.

college he also served in the United States Army. After graduation, he worked for Western Union Telegraph Company in Atlanta, before moving to Auburn University in 1963 to become an internal auditor. There he worked his way up through the ranks, eventually becoming the university’s chief financial officer in 1973. He retired from that position in 1990, but continued to work as a financial advisor for the Auburn University Foundation. At Auburn he was also an ex officio member of the university’s athletic committee, which gave him the privilege of traveling with the official party to Auburn’s bowl games, which over the years included

He was a gentleman farmer who raised cows and pigs and then converted his land into a pine tree farm. Jimmy was preceded in death by his parents Lester and Flora Ledbetter, his son Marshall Todd Hood Sr., his grandson Marshall Todd Hood Jr., and his brother L.E. Ledbetter. He is survived by his wife Patsy Sue Ledbetter, his son Michael Hood Ledbetter, grandchildren John Hood, Jacob Ledbetter

and his husband Sakil Chundydyal, Mitch Ledbetter, Brooke Ledbetter, a multitude of nephews, nieces and cousins. Visitation was held Jan. 13, 2020 in the Parlor at FrederickDean Funeral Home from 5 to 7 p.m. A funeral service was held at Trinity United Methodist Church on Jan. 14 at 2 p.m. with interment immediately following at Garden Hills Cemetery.

Phyllis L. Dudley

structor for Redken and Paul Mitchell product application. She attended many cosmetology platforms under Joe Fant in Birmingham. She then continued her work in cosmetology in the Auburn-Opelika area for more than 30 years. The immediate family held a private Memorial Service to honor her. In lieu of flowers the family asks to make a donation in her name to your favorite charity. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directed.

Phyllis L. Dudley passed away Dec. 31, 2019 at her home. She was preceded in death by her father Bill Latham. Phyllis is survived by her parents: Gordon and Lora Hill; daughter: Rachel (Jeff) Senn; granddaughters: Aliyah, Alexa Broach; sisters: Elaine Latham, Lisa (Howard) Harmon; brother: Chuck (Sandy) Hill; many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Professionally, she worked as an in-

trips to the Sun, Citrus, Liberty, Cotton and Sugar Bowls. The main focus of Riley’s energies off the job was his church, where he held a variety of lay positions, including several terms as head deacon. His faith was central to all he did. He was a longtime member of the East Alabama Medical Center’s Board of Directors; of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Board; the Board of Trustees of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky; and also the Board of Directors of The Alabama

Baptist. Riley is survived by his wife of 64 years, the former Jeanette McWhorter of Clayton, and their three children: Russell Riley of Somerset, Virginia; Jeffrey Riley of New Orleans, Louisiana; and Peggy Akin of Montgomery. His immediate survivors also include six grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Services were held on Jan. 6 at 2 p.m. at Lakeview Baptist Church with visitation beginning at 1 p.m. prior to the service. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directed.

Catherine Harper Landers Catherine Harper Landers, 21 months old, went to live with Jesus on Jan. 3, 2020 in Opelika, Alabama. She was born on March 16, 2018 to Clayton and Maggie Elrod Landers in Opelika, Alabama. Harper is survived by her parents; brothers: Laird, Nathan and Cade; paternal grandparents: Bill and Laura Landers of Roanoke, Alabama; maternal grandparents: Johnny and Kathy Kuykendall Elrod of Dillon, South Carolina; great grand-

Reid Maynard Reid Maynard of Waverly, Alabama passed away at his home on Jan. 3, 2020 at the age of 65. Reid was born in Dalton, Georgia to the late Doris and Herman Maynard. He is also preceded in death by his beloved horse, Nifty Rey. He is survived by his wife of 44 years, Candace Maynard; nieces, Paige Langley, Suzanne Otwell, Robin Smiley, and

mother: Liz Kuykendall of Opelika, Alabama; uncle: Jackson Elrod of Dillon, South Carolina; aunt: Jenna Treadwell (Blake) of Roanoke, Alabama; cousins: Acton and Ian; as well as a host of additional family members. Visitation was held from 6 to 8 p.m. , Jan. 7 at JeffcoatTrant Funeral Home. A graveside service was at 11 a.m., Jan. 8 at Garden Hills Cemetery, with a celebration of life service starting at 2 p.m. at the Church of the Highlands in Auburn, Alabama. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directed.

Katie Maynard; nephews, Mike Otwell, John Turner, and John Maynard; brother, Herman Maynard Jr.; sister, Pam Smiley; adopted family, Shata Pace, Stacy Johns, and Chad Broadhead; and numerous close friends. He attended church at Oak Bowery UMC, was an AQHA professional horseman, and was a mentor to many people over the years. See Obituaries, page A13

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eter wrote to disciples who were being harassed because they had chosen to follow Jesus (4:16). There’s nothing to suggest their lives were at stake, but things were definitely more difficult because of their allegiance to Christ. Rejection from anyone, but especially loved ones, would leave them feeling confused, broken and unsure. They needed some very basic reassurance in regard to the direction their life was headed in. It’s no surprise then that Peter spends substantial time affirming their core identity. They are exiles, chosen, sanctified, recipients of great mercy, shielded by God’s power, and much, much more. In v. 8, he zeroes in on their relationship to Jesus.

An identity for all times Peter wants them to know that despite the ridicule of family, neighbors or co-workers, they were receiving “the salvation of your souls” (v. 9). A salvation that the prophets bore witness to (v. 10ff). There’s something special about all of this in that Peter, no stranger to hard times himself, speaks encouragement to these followers of Jesus who were going through their own tough times. If anyone knew what it was like to be put on the spot for being a follower of Christ, he did. He understood what the pressure was like. He even knew what is was to fold in the face of it. No one was better qualified to speak to people in the situation the believers were in than Peter. His words are well

By Bruce Green Teaching Minister at 10th Street Church of Christ in Opelika

chosen and just what they needed to hear. It is likely that these Jewish disciples were taking heat from their synagogue friends and family in regard to their embrace of Jesus as the Messiah. You can imagine conversations where objections would be aired, “But you never even met Jesus—you’re just taking someone’s word about Him.” Others might be even more blunt— “You don’t know Him!” The

Calendar of Church Events

man who himself had proclaimed, “I don’t know the man,” would understand the pain of such an accusation. He assures them that even though they had not seen Jesus as he had, they loved Him and believed Him as he did. There’s no suggestion that their faith and love are in any way, shape or form less than his. He speaks of “the genuineness of your faith” (v. 7). Proverbs tell us, “The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the words of the wise bring healing” (12:18). Peter’s words do just that for these disciples who are struggling to find their footing in trying times. In addition to this faith and love for Jesus, they had “inexpressible and glorious joy” (v. 8). That’s what happens when you believe

in and love Jesus—you have joy beyond words. It is glorious because it is the very joy of Jesus. He told His apostles, “I have told you this so that My joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” This tells us something important about joy. It is not possessed only on those rare, serendipitous moments when everything comes together for a few hours, it belongs to those who belong to Jesus—even when you’re up to your neck in hard times. When it comes to our identity, it’s not who we are that is ultimately important but whose we are! That’s an identity for all times. Bruce has written an entry level book on Revelation called The Thrill of Hope. It is available through Amazon.

Verse of the Week

• Jan. 17 - Auburn United Methodist Church will host Elder Eric and Lady Angela Rowe of Word of Faith Apostolic Church in Opelika as part of the Active Tour on Jan. 17 and 18. For more information to make reservations, call 334-826-8800. The church is located at 137 S. Gay St. • Jan. 18 - St. Ellis Full Gospel Church in Opelika will host the 2020 “I Want to

Be Free Women’s Conference: No Runing Back” on Jan. 18. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 334-298-4319. The church is located at 5267 U.S. Highway 280. • Jan. 21 - New Jerusalem Missionary Baptist Church will hold a prophetic conference from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The public is invited to attend. • Jan. 31 - First Baptist

Church of Opelika will host the “True Girl: Pajama Party Tour” on Jan. 31. Designed for quality time for mothers and 7 to 12-year-old daughters, this event will feature an evening full of Bible teaching, games, music and worship. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 334-745-5715 or visit www. The church is located at 301 S. 8th St. in downtown Opelika.

Obituaries, from A12

1, 1951, in West Point, Georgia, to Oris Lee and Mattie Lee Burt. Linda is survived by her husband, Norman Lee Hugh Flournoy; daughter: Kristie Leann Flournoy; grandchildren: Cody Flournoy, Kyle Beard; and brother: James Burt. She enjoyed spending her evenings

watching hummingbirds by the lake, going camping, fishing, car shows, boat rides and spending time with her beloved Husband, Daughter, Grandchildren, and many friends! Linda loved nursing and taking care of someone else’s needs! She started at age 12 volunteering as “Candy Stripping” at East

Alabama Medical Center. Then she proceeded to accomplish to get her LPN and then became an RN at Columbus Regional Hospital and worked at several other medical centers across the state of Alabama and Georgia. A visitation service was held from 5 to 7 p.m. Jan. 7, 2020, at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral

Home and Crematory. The funeral service was held at 10 a.m. Jan. 8, 2020 with Reverend Steve York officiating. In Lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to the family to help with funeral expenses. All are greatly appreciated. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home directed.

314 S. 9th St. #745-6143 First Baptist Church 301 S. 8th St. #745-5715 First Baptist Church Impact 709 Avenue E #741-0624 First Freewill Baptist Church 103 19th St. #703-3333 Friendship Missionary Baptist 432 Maple Avenue #742-0105 Greater Peace Baptist Church 650 Jeter Ave. #749-9487 Heritage Baptist Church 1103 Glenn St. #363-8943 High Hope Baptist Church 227 Lee Road 673 Liberty Baptist Church 2701 West Point Pkwy #749-9632 Love Freewill Baptist Church 1113 Frederick Ave. #745-2905 Ridge Grove Missionary Baptist Church 1098 Lee Road 155 #334-745-3600 Northside Baptist Church 3001 Lafayette Hwy #745-5340 Pepperell Baptist Church 2702 2nd Ave. #745-3108 Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Uniroyal Rd #749-2773 Providence Baptist Church 2807 Lee Rd 166 #745-0807 Purpose Baptist Church 3211 Waverly Pkwy #704-0302 St. James Baptist Church 1335 Auburn St. #745-3224 Union Grove Missionary Baptist 908 Huguley Rd #741-7770 BUDDHIST Buddha Heart Village 3170 Sandhill Rd. #821-7238

CATHOLIC St. Mary’s Catholic Church 1000 4th Ave. #749-8359 CHURCH OF CHRIST Church of Christ 2215 Marvyn Pkwy #742-9721 10th Street Church of Christ 500 N. 10th St. #745-5181 Southside Church of Christ 405 Carver Ave. #745-6015 Church of Christ 2660 Cunningham Drive CHURCH OF GOD Airview Church of God 3015 Old Opelika Rd #749-9112 Church of God 114 17th Place #7496432 Tabernacle Church of God 3 Oak Court #745-7979 CHURCH OF NAZARENE Opelika Church of Nazarene 1500 Bruce Ave. #749-1302 EPISCOPAL Emmanuel Episcopal Church 800 1st Ave. #745-2054 HOLINESS Eastside Emmanuel Holiness Church 86 Lee Road 186 Opelika, Ala. 36804 JEWISH Beth Shalom Congregation 134 S. Cary Dr. #826-1050 LATTERDAY SAINTS Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints 510 Groce St. #742-9981 METHODIST First United Methodist Church of Opelika 702 Avenue A #745-7604 Hopewell United Methodist 1993 Lee Rd 136 #745-0460 Pierce Chapel United Methodist

8685 AL Hwy. 51 #749-4469 Pepperell United Methodist 200 26th St. #745-9334 Trinity United Methodist Church 800 Second Ave. #745-2632 Wesley Memorial United Methodist 2506 Marvyn Pkwy #745-2841 PENTECOSTAL Full Gospel Pentecostal Church Hwy. 29, PO Box 1691 #741-8675 Gateway Community Church 2715 Frederick Rd #745-6926 PRESBYTERIAN First Presbyterian Church of Opelika 900 2nd Ave. #745-3421 Trinity Presbyterian Church 1010 India Rd #745-4889 SEVENTH DAY ADVENTIST Outreach Seventh-Day Adventist 1808 S. Long St. #749-3151 NON-DENOMINATIONAL Apostolic Holiness Church 610 Canton St. #749-6759 Auburn Opelika Korean Church 1800 Rocky Brook Rd #749-5386 Beauregard Full Gospel Revival 2089 Lee Road 42 #745-0455 Christ Church International 1311 2nd Ave. #745-0832 Church of the Harvest 2520 Society Hill Rd #745-2247 Church at Opelika 1901 Waverly Pkwy #705-0505 East Congregation of Jehovah Witnesses 1250 McCoy St. #737-1488 Emmanuel Temple of Deliverance 207 S. Railroad Ave. #745-6430 Faith Alliance Church 3211 Waverly Pkwy #749-9516 Faith Christian Center 600 S. 8th St. Faith Church 3920 Marvyn Pkwy #707-3922 Family Life Christian Center

601 S. 7th St. #741-7013 Father’s House Christian Fellowship 214 Morris Ave. #749-1070 Fellowship Bible Church 2202 Hamilton Rd #749-1445 Ferguson Chapel Church 310 S. 4th St. #745-2913 First Assembly of God Church 510 Simmons St. #749-3722 Garden of Gethsemane Fellowship 915 Old Columbus Rd #745-2686 Grace Heritage Church Opelika #559-0846 Holy Deliverance Church 831 S. Railroad #749-5682 Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses 1250 McCoy St. #737-1488 Living Way Ministries 1100 Old Columbus Rd #749-6241 Move of God Fellowship Church 1119 Old Columbus Rd #741-1006 Connect Church 2900 Waverly Pkwy #749-3916 New Life Christian Center 2051 West Point Pkwy #741-7373 New Life Independent Church 10 Meadowview Estates Trailer 741-9001 Opelika’s First Seventh Day 2011 Columbus Pkwy #737-3222 Power of Praise, Inc. Church 3811 Marvyn Pkwy #745-6136 Shady Grove Christian Church West Point Hwy #745-7770

Mrs. Linda Jo Burt Flournoy Mrs. Linda Jo Burt Flournoy, age 68, of Valley, Ala, passed away Friday evening, Jan. 3, 2020, at her residence. She was born May

Catch ‘On the Mark’ with D. Mark Mitchell and Jeff Sasser weekday mornings from 7-9 a.m.

Jan. 15, 2020

ANGLICAN Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd 2312 Center Drive Unit D #758-6749 ASSEMBLY OF GOD Bridge Church 1000 Lee Road 263, Cusseta #742-0144 AME Mount Zion AME Church West Point Hwy #749-3916 St. Luke AME Church 1308 Auburn St. #749-1690 St. Paul AME Church 713 Powledge Ave. #745-6279 Thompson Chapel AME Zion 187 Columbus Pkwy #749-8676 BAPTIST Abundant Life Baptist Church 1220 Fox Run Ave. Suite B #7064421464 Airview Baptist Church 2301 Airport Rd. #444-5148 Antioch Baptist Church 605 W. East Morton Ave #742-0696 Bethesda Baptist Church 201 S. 4th St. #745-7528 Bethel Baptist Church Hwy. 29 Sasser Rd #745-4865 Central Baptist Church 1611 2nd Ave. #745-2482 Community Baptist Church 154 N. 16th St. #745-6552 Cornerstone Missionary Baptist 500 N. Railroad Ave. #742-2008 Eastview Baptist Church 1208 Spring Dr #749-9595 Farmville Baptist Church 3607 Alabama Hwy N. #887-7361 First Baptist Church of Opelika

“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.” James 4:17

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pelika Observer O

A14 Jan. 15, 2020

Junior League EMPOWER Women’s Leadership Breakfast Focuses on Service and Excellence Special to the Opelika Observer The Junior League of Lee County hosted more than 80 members of the public at the EMPOWER Women’s Leadership Breakfast on Jan. 7 at the Auburn University Hotel and Dixon Confer-

ence Center. Five women were honored with Distinguished Woman of Service Awards for their serviceable contributions to Lee County. This year’s inspiring guest speaker was Auburn University women’s basketball head coach Terri Williams-Flournoy, aka

“Coach Flo.” The honorees who received Distinguished Woman of Service Awards include Tina Evans, family engagement supervisor for the Alabama Council on Human Relations, Inc.; Elsie Lott, community market coordinator, Food Bank

of East Alabama; Kim Hudson, attorney and co-Founder, Hudson Family Foundation; Sidney James Nakhjavan, executive director, Cary Center and Women’s Philanthropy Board and Dena Little, founder and executive Director, Storybook Farm.

“We couldn’t have asked for a better way to kick off the new year and decade with an event to inspire women in our community to pursue their passions and make a lasting impact on others,” said Noemi Oeding, vice president of fundraising for the

Junior League of Lee County. “The women who were honored at the event and our speaker, Coach Flo, are incredible examples of leadership, service and excellence. We are thankful for their participation as well as the enthusiasm shared by See Empower, page A15

Community Calendar: Events around town

• Jan. 16 at 4 p.m.- AR Workshop Auburn • Jan. 23 at 7:30 a.m. - Business Over Breakfast • Jan. 29 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. - Women’s Business Council Sport Series - Football • Feb. 7 - Mayor Gary Fuller’s Mayoral Address, presented by ESG and Point Broadband Ongoing: • Village Friends/Village Values is a nonprofit organization that supports seniors who prefer to stay in their own homes as they grow older. For info or to schedule a presentation to your group, call 334-209-4641. For the website, Google “village friends village values.” • The Martha Wayles Jefferson DAR chapter is appealing for sweaters, jackets, trousers, shirts and socks, women’s clothing, soft soap in individual containers, shaving supplies, disposable razors, denture cleanser, toothpaste and toothbrushes, DVDs, games, books and magazines to take to veterans at the CAVHCS in Tuskegee. The Martha Wayles Jefferson DAR Chapter regularly visits veterans living in assisted living, the homeless domiciliary and psych (trauma) ward in Tuskegee. Donations are tax deductible and will be much appreciated. Pick up is provided. Please call Linda Shabo at 887-6659 or at 256307-1449. Mondays: • The Lee County Voters League meets the first Mondays of the month at

6 p.m. at Bethesda Baptist Church located at 201 S. 4th St. Opelika • The John Powell American Legion Post 18 and Auxiliary meets the third Monday of every month at 7 p.m. at 910 West Point Parkway in Opelika. • The Opelika Community Band practices from 6:30 to 8 p.m. in the Auburn High School band room. Everyone is welcome, amateurs and professionals alike. • The Touched by Suicide Support Group meets the first Monday of every month at 5:30 p.m. at the East Alabama Medical Center Health Resource Center, 2027 Pepperell Parkway. For more information, contact Deborah Owen, EAMC’s director of Psychiatric Services at • The fourth Monday of each month, a community grief support group meets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the EAMC Health Resource Center. No reservations are necessary; everyone is welcome. For more information, call 826-1899 or 5020216. • T.O.P.S (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly), a weight loss support

group, meets every Monday from 5:30 to 7 p.m. at the Covington Recreation Center, 213 Carver Ave., Opelika. For more info contact Mary Johnson, 749-1584. • The Lee County Commission meets the second and last Mondays of each month at the courthouse beginning at 5 p.m. • The Commercial Horticulture Extension Team organizes webinars to provide quick updates for producers on various topics of interest. Whether you are interested in the proper way to plant fruit trees or have questions in turf management, these webinars cover a wide range of subjects. Webinars are streamed live via Panopto on the last Monday of every month starting in January and ending in November. During the presentation, participants can send questions via email. The webinars also are recorded and stored in the archive on the Beginning Farmer website. Webinar topics include: trap cropping for reducing squash insect pests, cowpea curculio updates, nutsedge control, introduction to potting mixes in ornamental

Genealogical Society of East Alabama hosting quarterly meeting Special to the Opelika Observer Delos Hughes and Emily Sparrow will present a program centered on J.A. Cullars and the impact of his work during a quarterly meeting of the Genealogical Society of East Alabama on Jan. 18. Hughes and Sparrow are co-authors of the recently released “No Place Like Home, An Architectural Study of Auburn, Alabama” as well as “Lost Auburn” along with Ralph B. Draughon and Ann Pearson. They will discuss their new

book and Hughes will focus on the work of early contractor Joseph Alpha Cullars. Sparrow will include an outline of the Cullars family genealogy. “The Cullars legacy is remembered today largely by the houses that J.A. Cullers built,” Hughes said, who is a historian of the Cullars family. “But his status as a builder was early established by his institutional work including work on Samford Hall and Langdon Hall on the Auburn University’s campus. The Cullars Rotation adjacent to the Jules Collins Smith

Museum was established in the late 1800s on land owned by the Cullars family. The Cullars Rotation is the South’s oldest continuous soil fertility experiment.” The historic Cullars home on South College Street in Auburn was recently demolished for future development. It was built in the late 1800s. The program, which runs from 11 a.m. to noon, is free and the public is invited to attend. The museum is located at 121 S. 9th St. in downtown Opelika.

container production, dealing with drought in commercial horticulture crops and many more. To view the full schedule, please visit www. Please send questions during the presentations to Ann Chambliss, For questions regarding the webinar series or for providing suggestions, please email Dr. Ayanava Majumdar at Tuesdays: • Ballroom Dance Classes at the Opelika SportsPlex from 7 to 8 p.m. every Tuesday. Instructor is Cody Wayne Foote. For more info, call Diane at 749-6320. • The East Alabama Old Car Club meets every first Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Monarch Estates Clubhouse, located at 1550 East University Drive, Auburn. A program of interest to the old car enthusiast is presented. Car ownership is not required. • The Opelika City Council meets the first and third Tuesdays of each month at 7 p.m. Meetings are preceded by non-voting work sessions that typically begin between 6 and 6:45 p.m. • Every second Tuesday, a country, gospel and bluegrass music jam session is held at Pierce Chapel United Methodist Church in Beauregard. The event is free and open to the public. Those who play an instrument should bring it and plan to join in. The jam session is held from 6 to 8 p.m. 8685 Alabama Highway 51. • A Grief Support Group meets at Oak Bowery United Methodist Church Tuesdays at 2

p.m. and 6 p.m. for anyone dealing with the pain of loss and feeling the need for support on their journey as they attempt to bring order and wholeness back into their life. Attendance and participation is strictly voluntary for any and all sessions. There are no fees or charges involved. The church is located on U.S. Highway 431 – eight miles north from Southern Union State Community College and Opelika High School. For more information, contact Bill Parker at 459-0214 or 706-518-9122. • The Auburn Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol meets every Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Auburn University Regional Airport. The Civil Air Patrol is a nonprofit organization that is Congressionally chartered to be the civilian auxiliary of the Air Force and focuses on three missions: aerospace education, cadet programs and emergency services. For more information visit or find the organization on Facebook. • East Alabama Gem & Mineral Society meets the fourth Tuesday of every month at 5:45 p.m. Meetings are held at the Covington Rec. Center, located at 213 Carver Ave. in Opelika. Wednesdays: • The second Wednesday of each month, a Community Grief Support Group meets from 10 to 11 a.m. at the EAMC Health Resource Center. No reservations are necessary. For more info call 826-1899 or 502-0216. • The John Powell American Legion Post 18 and Auxiliary hosts

Bingo every Wednesday at 6 p.m. • Every Wednesday is Wine Down Wednesday at the Bottling Plant Event Center from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursdays: • American Legion Auxiliary Unit 152 meets the first Thursday of every month at 11 a.m. at Niffer’s Place, 917 S. Railroad Ave. in Opelika. • The Teal Magnolias Gynecological Cancer Support Group meets the second Thursday of every third month at 6 p.m. at EAMC Health Resource Center, 2027 Pepperell Parkway. For more information on the Teal Magnolias, email or find them on Facebook. • Opelika-Auburn Newcomers’ Club provides a variety of programs for the betterment of the Auburn/ Opelika community to assist women transitioning into the area or to help women adjust to recent lifestyle changes. The club meets on the third Thursday of each month at 11:30 a.m. for a luncheon at various local restaurants. Please call or email Cheri Paradice at 850-212-5364. or cheri. for more information or luncheon location of the month. • T.O.U.C.H. Cancer Support Group meets the third Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at EAMC’s Health Resource Center. This is a support group for people living with any type of cancer or their families and friends. Call 334528-1076 for more information. Email to place your community events.

Upcoming Events • Jan. 20 - The Samford Court Community Fellowship will hold its fourth annual “MLK Dream Dinner Award” at Golden Corral, starting at 3 p.m. The theme will be “Power in the Dream,” taken from Acts 1:8. Rev. John and Sister Alberta Pink of Mt. Sinai Missionary Baptist Church will be the guest speakers. • Jan. 21 - The January meeting of NAMI East Alabama, the local affiliate of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), will take place at 7 p.m. on Jan.

21, 2020 at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce which is located at 714 East Glenn Ave. in Auburn. NAMI supports families dealing with mental illness through mutual support, education and advocacy. There will be a time for sharing. The public is invited. • Jan. 21 - “The Eyes have It” Low Vision support group meets on Jan. 21 from 2 to 3p.m. at the EAMC Resource Center on Pepperell Parkway. Leisa Askew will be speaking and providing valuable in-

formation on resources available for Seniors. Contact Shiquita Fulton vision Rehabilitation therapist at 334-705-2024 or 334803-3730. • Jan. 25 - AUBURN Chili Fest at the Greystone Mansion • Jan. 29 - The Siberian State Symphony Orchestra, presented by the East Alabama Arts Association • Jan. 31 - John McCutcheon at Sundilla • Feb. 1 - Eighth annual ‘Polar Plunge’ benefitting the Special Olympics of Lee County

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The Sound Wall and Sundilla Concert Series & Radio Hour present Dan Navarro on Jan. 15 Special to the Opelika Observer Sundilla and The Sound Wall are teaming up once again, this time to bring Dan Navarro to the area. This show will take place at The Sound Wall, located at 605 Ave. B in downtown Opelika. The show is set to begin at 7 p.m.. This is a bring your own beverage event. Anyone who has seen Navarro in concert knows what a special occasion it is, and understands why he was chosen to be a headliner at the first

Empower, from A14 those in attendance.” Proceeds from this event will be used to further Junior League of Lee County’s mission to serve school age girls and young women in our community by empowering them to build confidence and offering resources to help

Opelika Songwriters Festival last year. And those who haven't seen Navarro perform have in one way or another. His voicework frequently appears on shows like "Family Guy" and "American Dad," or in movies such as "Rio" and "Happy Feet." (The list is amazingly long, and available on his website.) Longtime fans of the genre will know him as half of the ultrasuccessful duo “Lowen & Navarro,” which ceased recording and touring only after Eric Lowen's untimely passing due to the complications of ALS. And if

you listened to radio in the 80s, or have watched certain movies or commercials since then, you know his song "We Belong," which was Pat Benetar's biggest hit and earned Navarro a Grammy nomination and a lifetime of residuals. Though he has written or co-written songs for the likes of Jackson Browne, Dionne Warwick, The Temptations, Keb' Mo' and others, there is no question that Navarro shines brightest when he is on the stage, not behind the scenes. Navarro has continued his career as a solo art-

them overcome their challenges. Sponsors of the event included R&R Landscaping, Auburn Network (Wings 94.3, ESPN 106.7, WAWI 98.7, WLEE 96.3) and GE Aviation. The Junior League’s next event is the Mad Hatter’s Tea and silent auction on April 19. More details will be announced in the coming weeks. About the Junior League of Lee County

The Junior League of Lee County, Inc. is an organization of women committed to promoting voluntarism, developing the potential of women and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers. Its purpose is exclusively educational and charitable. Visit for more information.

Rebecca Rice Cell: 334-703-0801

ist, but the accolades have not diminished; a recent review said "Dan's solo performances are marked by the same hallmarks as his work with Lowen & Navarro - songs of rich insight and experience, delivered straight-up, with honesty, grace and heart, in his moving and expressive baritone voice." Tickets are $20 and can be purchased via links at The Sound Wall's website and their Facebook page. For more information, including videos, visit


Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer

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“Life is worth living as long as there’s a laugh in it.” ― Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Opelika Schools ports &S Inside • opelika schools • lee county schools • community sports

On the Mark By D. Mark Mitchell

OHS track team finds success at recent meet


he OHS Indoor Track Team participated in the “Ice Breakers Invitational” at Birmingham’s CrossPlex Athletic Facility. The indoor meet drew more than 50 high schools from classes 7 and 6A: OHS Girls Results: 60-meter dash: India Dowell (31st) and Indiana Holloway (57th) 400-meter dash: Holloway (13th), Raven Johnson (33rd), Jasmine Murphy (41st) and Nylah Ausborn (45th) 800 meter: Breckin Gould (19th), Paola Torres Morales (39th) and Nylah Ausborn (43rd) 1600 meter: Breckin Gould (20th) and Morales (41st) 60-meter hurdles: Nyia Walton (29th) Triple Jump: Ansley Jackson (12th) Shot Put: Brianna Barnett (5th), Trinity Love (9th) and Trinity Rooks (24th) OHS Boys Results: 60-meter dash: Dalen Tolbert (9th), Watts (15th) and Omar Holloway (32nd) 400-meter dash: Dalen Tolbert (9th), Watts (22nd) and Omar Holloway (32nd) 800 meters: Kyrian Moss (44th), Charles Brewer (47th), Daylen Mills (56th) and Jalin

Aikens (75th) 1,600 meters: Charles Brewer (24th) and Daylen Mills (84th) 60 meters: Watts (6th) High Jump: Watts (6th) Long Jump:LeDamien (1st), Watts (5th ), Omar Holloway (9th), Marcus Tyson (41st) and Ansley Jackson (19th) Triple Jump:LeDamien Rowell (5th) Pole Vault: Terrian Battle (17th) and Steven Harvey (18th) Shot Put: JaKaia Stephens (16th), LaJaden Tolbert (23rd), Montea Hutchinson (42nd) and William Garner (45th) The indoor team will participate in the “Last Chance Meet” Jan. 31 in Birmingham. BASKETBALL The OHS Lady Bulldog Basketball team (17-5) won two area games last week. The two wins means Opelika is one area win away from wrapping up their eighth- straight area regular season championship and hosting the area tournament. Opelika started the week in Seale, beating Russell County 68-51 behind four players scoring double digits. Ananda Hughley led the team with 20 points followed by Haley Sanders (17), Claire Worth (12) and See Sports, page B2

School Board Meeting Schedule • Jan. 14 - Lee County School Board Meeting - 2410 Society Hill Road • Jan. 28 - Opelika City School Board Meeting - 300 Simmons St.

Trinity Christian School’s varsity boys basketball team opens 2020 on hot streak Submitted by Jason Scott For the Opelika Observer

Last Monday, Trinity Christian School lost a tight home contest against the Central Christian Crusaders 72-68. Jaxxon Scott led the Eagles with 24 points and 21 rebounds. Clay Odom made Trinity’s only 3-pointer of the night and finished with 15 total points, while Jackson Washburn contributed 13 points and eight rebounds. On Thursday, Trin-

ity played another home contest against The Campus from Peachtree City, this time finishing in the win column with a 49-34 victory. Foul trouble doomed The Campus in the third quarter, enabling the Eagles to pull away and seal the win. Scott finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds while Washburn nearly capped a doubledouble performance, notching 10 points and nine rebounds. Last Friday, the Eagles capped the

week with their thirdconsecutive home game of the week with a 63-22 blowout of Campus Academy, including a 37-12

halftime lead. Scott had another big night, scoring 20 points, 9 rebounds and 4 steals. Lane Starling See TCS, page B2

Eighth annual ‘Auburn Polar Plunge’ benefitting Lee County Special Olympics to be held Feb. 1 Special to the Opelika Observer The eighth annual “Auburn Polar Plunge” to support the Lee County Special Olympics will be held Feb. 1 at Samford Pool, beginning at 9 a.m. The goal of the Auburn Polar Plunge is to raise financial support for the brave athletes of the Lee County Special Olympics. In 2019, more than $10,000 was raised for Special Olympic athletes. The goal in 2020 is to surpass last year’s pledges. Once a participant registers, the goal is to get as many people as

Photo by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

possible to “sponsor” the plunge. There will be prizes for people who raise the most money, as well as prizes for the winners of the

costume contest. All participants are encouraged to dress in costume, jump in and join in for a fun frigid day in support of a very worthy

cause. To register, visit orgs/ CityofAuburn? orglink=camps-registration.

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Opelika Middle School students with special needs to perform at AMEA Conference in Montgomery on Jan. 16 Special to the Opelika Observer

with special needs at Opelika Middle

School who meet weekly to play music

Opelika Middle School has a newly formed ensemble of special needs drummers call the “OMS Revolution.” They have been invited to perform at the Alabama Music Educators Association Conference (AMEA) in Montgomery this week as a part of the Alabama Special Needs All-Star Ensemble. The “Revolution” is a group of 20 students

on drums designed by Remo for students

Photo by Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

with special needs. “This is a great outlet for these kids to be outside of the regular classroom to have fun and enjoy playing the drums,” said Mike McGlynn, percussion director for OMS and OHS. “We are very excited to have been asked to perform with other students with special needs from across the state at the AMEA Conference.” OMS Special Needs Instructor Leigh Moore agreed. “This is a wonder-

ful opportunity for our students and we are extremely proud of them,” Moore said. The students began practicing on the drums in August and began learning the music for the performance in October. They will perform on Jan. 16 at 10:30 a.m. at the Montgomery Performing Arts Center. For more information on happenings within the Opelika City Schools system, visit

Southern Union State Community College’s Dance Department making national impact Special to the Opelika Observer From Hollywood to Broadway; from Radio City to Disney; from professional ballet companies to the local dance studio, the impact of the dance department of Southern Union State Community College is undeniable. When the curtain rises on the national

Sports from B1 Kaitlyn Bryant (10). The Lady Bulldogs travelled to Alexander City Friday night, beating the Wildcats 50-32. Worth and Hughley scored 15 and 12 points respectively in the win. Coach John Wadsworth and his boys team split area games on the road last week, losing at Russell County 52-40 and beating Benjamin Russell 50-48. Opelika’s Rashad Frye scored a game-high 12 points against the Warriors while teammate Brandon Howard added 7 points.

tour of Hamilton, SUSCC alumnus Desmond Nunn will be onstage. When people tune in to watch Ellen DeGeneres, SU alumnus Stephen “tWitch” Boss is smiling at them. As students arrive at college dance programs or private dance studios across the Southeast, former SU dancers are there to greet and inSee SUSCC, page B3 The boys bounced back in Alexander City, beating the Wildcats 50-48 behind a Ja Carr three pointer at the buzzer. Carr led the Dawgs with 13 points, followed by Brandon Howard’s 12 points and Jamius Mitchell’s 8 points. The two teams hosted Central Tuesday night but the results were not available at press time. OHS travels to LaFayette Thursday, with JV boys starting at 4:30 p.m. followed by the varsity boys and girls. OCS COACHING SALARIES/SUPPLEMENTS We all know it costs money to run an athletic department in middle and high school. Coach-

Photos submitted to the Opelika Observer

es work long hours and some are not paid minimum wage if you add the hours work and divide the amount paid. The Opelika City School System spends more than $450,000 on coaching salaries, supplements and volunteers. The amount includes athletics at OMS and OHS, but not include teaching salaries or other salaries. Opelika City Schools CFO Chris Harrison recently sent the cost of each sport for the 2019-20 school year. During the next several weeks, I will go over salaries and supplements allowed in each sport, male and female. Opelika Middle School spends $125,190 while Opelika High

Located in Historic Downtown Opelika


School spends $327,384 on coaches including athletic directors. Obviously, OHS football is the most expensive sport for OCS, with 25 supplements for the 9th grade team, junior varsity and varsity. Golf is one of the least expensive with a $3,200 supplement. I will expand in next week’s edition of “On the Mark.” WRESTLING Opelika’s wrestling team participated in the 6A AHSAA Region 3 Dual Tournaments in Pell City. Region 3 consists of Benjamin Russell, Oxford, Pell City, Russell County and Opelika. In a duals Tournaments wrestle each other, similar to a round robin.

The Dawgs finished 1-3 as a team, beating RCHS. Individually, Opelika’s top performers were James Dawson 3-0 with 3 pins and Ben Daughtry finished 4-0 with 3 pins. T’Hara Brunson went 2-2 with 2 pins and Jackson Shoemaker finished 1-1. Daughtry and Dawson were recognized as 6A Area All-Region in their weight class. Opelika host Central Thursday in the Mainstreet Gym on the OHS Campus starting at 5:30 p.m. D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice-president of the A-O Sports Council.

TCS, from B1 soared with 16 points, eight steals and eight assists. Daniel Adams was big under the rim, grabbing seven rebounds. Currently, the Eagles are 5-1 overall, 4-0 in region play. Their next home game will be Jan. 16 against The Oaks. Their home games are played at the Covington Recreation Center, located at 213 Carver Ave.

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Peace is met by caring and sharing

Beth Pinyerd


an. 15 is Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday. We reflect upon his life as one stressing sharing and caring for each other. For two and three-year-old children, we realize that it is very hard for them to share because their identity is locked into what they have, such as a truck, doll, or teddy bear. At age 4, children begin to understand

what sharing is. Children ages 6,7 and 8 begin to understand and apply the importance of sharing and cooperating. While teaching children about caring for others, we as teachers and parents have to apply this to their friends and family in order for them to understand. One winter craft that children love to do is to make snowflakes out

of circles, squares and rectangles of paper. One folds the paper in half then fold it into a cone. One can cut different notches and designs with the paper. When one unfolds the paper, children and adults are fascinated by the unique designs. The snowflakes can be decorated as the children desire. Personally, I love to use glitter so they can shine! This simple project can prompt a simple lesson or family “sit and chat” of how we are all different and unique. Young children love to engage in activities which celebrate the differences in friends, family and all people. On the snowflake, write how we can be nice to each other and help each other in order to keep peace in our families and classrooms. They

might just draw a simple smile on their snowflake or draw a helping hand to show that they care for others. In the classroom, these can be put on the bulletin board or stretched across the room. At home, snowflakes of kindness can be put on the refrigerator, mirror or wherever family members can see it. Compliment the children when they are playing nicely, helping each other with chores, or otherwise cooperating. At home and at school, we can discuss that a hero is a person whom many people admire and want to be like. Explain to the children that Dr. King was a hero because he was brave in encouraging all people to get along no matter what skin color, culture or background.

Ask the children if they have ever had a dream. Let them tell you about their dream. Explain to them that Dr. King had a dream that all people everywhere would get along and that we would have peace. Having children draw their dreams of how we can help others is a good sharing lesson. As a teacher, I have done this craft lesson with cloud and rainbow shapes being drawn on by young hands. Again, hanging these up around the classroom or in the home reminds us of the goal and dream we strive toward for world peace. Pinyerd has taught young children in the early childhood classroom for 34 years as well as outreaching to the elderly in intergenerational settings. She has taught and

outreached in the schools in Opelika and Baldwin County. She holds a master’s degree in early childhood education as well as a bachelor’s degree in family and child development, both from Auburn University. Her husband is the late Carl Pinyerd and she has one son, Gus Pinyerd, who has taught her so much about learning. Classroom Observer is here to serve the community in sharing the wonderful teaching programs in our local public schools, private schools, and homeschools. The column is provided to enrich the education of our children, youth and families. Classroom Observer welcomes educational news, school news, pictures, and events by e-mailing her at

Starr family to commission Alabama Sports Hall Of Fame Steve Skipper for artwork honors Paul Finebaum with honoring Bart Starr 2020 Mel Allen Media Award Special to the Opelika Observer

Cherry Starr and the Starr Family have commissioned artist Steve Skipper to create work honoring the late Bart Starr. Starr died on May 26, 2019, after leading a tremendous life that included a legendary football career, and more importantly, a selfless commitment to his community. "We were so pleased when Steve approached us about creating a piece of art to honor Bart’s life,” Cherry said. “Because Bart admired Steve’s character even more than his immense talent, we are thrilled and honored to work with him. Steve’s vision for this special project will be sure

to convey Bart’s devotion to humanity and his unselfish spirit, traits that have inspired so many individuals." The first AfricanAmerican to complete artwork sanctioned by NASCAR, the University of Alabama, PGA and PBR, with unveilings at the MGM Grand and Monte Carlo of Las Vegas and Chelsea Piers of New York City, Steve Skipper has worked with many legendary figures including Ambassador Andrew J. Young, NFL legends Ozzie Newsome, Ken Stabler, Doug Williams and University of Alabama legendary Coach Nick Saban. The special Starr paintings will be available exclusively

SUSCC, from B2 struct them. These are just a few examples of the successful students whom the Southern Union dance department has produced. Under the direction of Sonja McCord Fincher, who is in her 24th year as head of the department, the program consistently boasts transfers to four-year colleges such as Chapman, The University of Alabama and Troy University, to name a few. Former dance students praise Fincher for her leadership and drive

through his studio, Anointed Homes Art. “With the plethora of choices of able and willing artists internationally at their disposal, I find myself in an abundantly grateful state to the great family of the iconic Bart Starr,” Skipper said. “Their choosing me to visually bring permanence to his legacy in the form of Fine Art is a blessing cherished now, relished in company and eternally a cause for me to look into the eyes of my Creator and Instructor with gratitude beyond imagination.” For more information about the prints please visit or contact Anointed Homes Art at 205253-6360.

to make not only the department as a whole, but the individual, a success. “Sonja always believes in her students; inspiring us to go beyond our comfort zones; challenging us, pushing us to become better version of ourselves,” said Ja’Morris Rivers, a member of the SU Dance Department from 2001 to 2003 who is currently a ballet and jazz instructor at the University of Alabama. Casey Simmons, who was an SU Dancer from 2004 to 2007 and then went on to dance at the University of Alabama, perform on the Royal Caribbean Cruise line, and now is a local

Special to the Opelika Observer The Board of Directors of the State of Alabama Sports Hall of Fame is proud to announce that Paul Finebaum will be recognized as the 2020 Mel Allen Media Award recipient at the 52nd Annual Induction Banquet and Ceremony on May 2, 2020. The Mel Allen Media Award was created to honor media members in the State of Alabama who have made a lifetime contribution to sports through their work as a media member. The award is named after the 1974 ASHOF Inductee Mel Allen, of Birmingham, who was known as the “Voice of the New York Yankees” for two decades. Paul Finebaum is a longtime sports talk radio host known by many as a lead-

teacher and choreographer, echoed that sentiment. “Sonja and the Southern Union Dance Department together are the crown jewel of the college, but also the best-kept secret of SU. What the public sees and enjoys is simply a taste of the dimensions of the program offered to its students. Her eye for spotting talent and ability to make students see it in themselves is unmatched. Any dancer who spends multiple semesters in Sonja’s classes is leaving with personalized coaching in every discipline dance offers.” Alumni of the department celebrate the

ing sports authority in the South. He joined ESPN in August 2013 as host of the The Paul Finebaum Show. In addition to hosting The Paul Finebaum Show, he serves as a weekly analyst on SEC Nation, the traveling pregame show for the SEC Network. He also appears on a variety of other ESPN shows and outlets, including SportsCenter, College Football Live, College GameDay and in ESPN The Magazine. Prior to joining ESPN, Finebaum served as host of the Paul Finebaum Radio Network (20012012). Finebaum arrived in Birmingham in 1980 and became an awardwinning columnist and investigative reporter for the Birmingham Post-Herald and later the Mobile Press-Register. From 2011 to 2012, Finebaum wrote a college football column for Sports Illustrated. In

impact that Fincher made on their dance careers by giving back to the program to ensure its continued success. On any given day, you will find alumni of the department in the studio teaching a class to current students. Or, if they can’t get to the SU studio, alumni offer other opportunities for study. Last summer, three SU dancers attended a summer intensive at Sanspointe, a Birmingham-based contemporary dance company, where SU alumna Anna Walker Foshee is the artistic director. Fincher said that attending Sanspointe gave students a collaborative

learning experience, a catalyst to experiencing the art of dance. “It is a good experience for students to see where our alumni end up and know that they can accomplish their dreams as well,” Fincher said. The theme of giving back and making an impact on the community is ongoing. This fall SU Dancers went into 10 schools in five counties in east Alabama and west Georgia to expose elementary students to dance through an outreach program to enhance the study of the arts in elementary schools. The dancers also host “Chance to Dance”

January 2012, Bleacher Report named Finebaum one of the “25 Most Influential People” in college football. Finebaum is a 1978 graduate of the University of Tennessee and resides in Charlotte with his wife. Finebaum joins a distinguished list of others who have been honored by the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame as Mel Allen Media Award recipients. They are: John Pruett (2014), George Smith (2014), Tom Roberts (2015), Ron Ingram (2017) and Cecil Hurt (2019). The 52nd Induction Banquet and Ceremony will be held in the Birmingham Ballroom, at the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel, on Saturday, May 2, 2020. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame Museum at 205-323-6665.

each fall as a fundraiser for Children’s Miracle Network. “It’s really about encouraging our students to contribute positively to society and to be the best version of themselves that they can,” Fincher said. The dance program is only one of the acclaimed fine arts offerings at Southern Union. Scholarships are available via an audition process in dance, music, theater and technical production. Auditions are scheduled for March 9 and 10. For more information on Southern Union’s dance department, contact Fincher by email at sfincher@

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Megan Schofill earns invite to Augusta National Women’s Amateur By Greg Ostendorf Special to the Opelika Observer For the second-straight year, the Auburn women’s golf program will have a player in the field at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur. Freshman Megan Schofill accepted her invitation this past week to play in this year’s event, which will take place the week before the Masters Tournament April 1 to 4. Schofill was among those who watched last year’s inaugural tournament where Auburn junior Kaleigh Telfer played and fin-

ished tied for 12th overall. “It definitely means a lot because last year just seeing all the pictures and watching it on TV, you could tell it was going to be a big event for years to come,” Schofill said. “That was my goal after watching that – to get invited. It’s really awesome to be invited for this year’s event.” Like last year, the field is made up of the best 72 women amateurs from all over the world. The first 36 holes will be played Wednesday and Thursday at the Champions Retreat Golf Club in Augusta, and then the top-30 competitors will advance to Saturday’s final round at Augusta National

Golf Club. All 72 players in the field will also play a practice round at Augusta National on Friday. The event was established to inspire greater interest and participation in the women’s game by creating a new, exciting and rewarding pathway for these players to fulfill their dreams. “It would be my goal to have at least one player play in this every year until I retire and then beyond,” said Auburn head coach Melissa Luellen. “It’s just See Golf, page B5

Photo by Greg Ostendorf /

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Lee County students graduate during fall/winter terms

Clemson Georgia Southwestern State University University

- James Kicklighter Garrett of Auburn graduated from Clemson University with a master’s degree of science in forest resources. Garrett was among more than 1,700 students who received degrees at the Dec. 19 ceremony at Littlejohn Coliseum.

Daijon MacKlien of Auburn graduated from Georgia Southwestern State University during the fall 2019 commencement ceremony held on Dec. 13 in Convocation Hall of the Student Success Center. MacKlien earned a bachelor’s

degree of science in psychology and was one of 436 graduates. The commencement speaker for the undergraduate ceremony was Georgia State Senator Freddie Powell Sims. GSW's Dean of the College of Business and

Computing Dr. Liz Wilson served as commencement speaker for the graduate ceremony. About Georgia Southwestern State University Georgia Southwestern State University, located in Americus, Georgia, is a public, four-

year unit of the University System of Georgia with more than 3,000 students. Georgia Southwestern offers outstanding professional programs of study as well as degrees in the arts, humanities, sciences and graduate programs

in business, computer science, education, English and nursing. Founded in 1906, Georgia Southwestern is recognized as one of the best value small colleges in the nation. Visit www.gsw. edu for more information.

Troy University Troy University is pleased to recognize students who completed the requirements for graduation during the Fall Semester and Term 2 of the 2019/2020 academic year. The fall semester includes graduates from the Troy campus. Term 2 graduates include students at Troy's campuses in Dothan, Phenix City and Montgomery along with teaching sites outside of Alabama and online. Local students who graduated include:

- Rami Burkes of Smiths Station - Jordan Carlisle of Phenix City - Felix Cruzaponte of Phenix City - Bianca Davidson of Opelika - Christi Gregory of Smiths Station - Ella Howard of Auburn - Stella Lindsey of Phenix City - Ja'Taurean Moore of Salem - Jordan Rasmus of Phenix City - Tammy Taylor of Phenix City

- Tieryan Vanerem of Auburn - Abdul Abney of Phenix City - Carley Adams of Smiths Station - Keri Barrow of Salem - Abbey Fitzgerald of Auburn - Dwayne Guice of Auburn - Jordan Jones of Phenix City - Antonio Mancuso of Auburn - Briana Martinez of Smiths Station - Foregerald Nash of Phenix City

- Rachael Peters of Smiths Station - Brittany Reed of Opelika - Rachel Smith of Smith Station - Courtnie Tate of Auburn - Sarah Weber of Phenix City - Scarlett Yarbrough of Opelika - Chandler Cook of Opelika - Taylor Corbett of Phenix City - Racheal Evans of Salem - Sydney Hester of Auburn

- MacKenzie Kimbrow of Auburn - Logan Ledbetter of Auburn - Ansley Mays of Auburn - Courtney Miller of Phenix City - Akilah Shealey of Phenix City - Taylor Watson of Opelika - Taylor White of Opelika - Ashton Williams of Phenix City About Troy University Troy University is a public, historic and

international university with 22,500 students and 154,000 alumni. Students choose Troy for its quality academic programs, reasonable costs and availability of financial aid, outstanding faculty, and flexible in-class and online class offerings. Students on the Troy campus enjoy a traditional college experience, while adult students are the centers of attention at campuses in Dothan, Montgomery and Phenix City as well as at locations around the world and online.

Beauregard High School’s wrestling team wins region 5A region title, will host first playoff round, quarterfinals in coming weeks

Special to the Opelika Observer Pack a lunch and join us for the Lee County Literacy Coalition’s Health Literacy Lunch & Learn on Jan. 29. Light snacks and beverages will be provided. The event will last from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the East Alabama Medical Center Education Center, which is located at 2027 Pepperell Parkway. Workshops are available at no-cost and are open to the public. To register, call 334-705-0001 or send email to

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer Beauregard won the Region 2 1-5A Dual Championship. They will host the Jan. 17 first round as well as quarterfinals. Wrestling Starts at 5:30 p.m. admission will be $6. Winners will advance to the semifinals on Jan. 21.

Golf, from B4 such an honor and just such a reward for hard work and great play. “For Megan to be a freshman, she just has the mindset of wanting to win. This was a goal of hers and whenever you accomplish a goal, it feels really good. So now she’ll reset her goals. I know that she’s looking forward to a great spring, and part of that spring is

the Augusta National tournament.” Schofill made quite a splash as a freshman this past fall with two top-10 finishes in four tournaments, including a second-place finish at the Magnolia Invitational where she shot three straights rounds under par and finished at 8-under. In total, six of her first 10 rounds at the college level were under par. Coming into the spring season, Schofill is currently ranked No. 79 nationally by Golf-

week. “Obviously I want to play better than I did in the fall, and there’s always room for improvement,” Schofill said. “It’s just the little things really. To play smarter overall and coming to practice with the right mindset because that’s where it all matters.” Schofill will join her Auburn teammates next month when the Tigers travel to California to compete in the Northrop Grumman Regional Challenge Feb. 9 to 11.

Character Word of the Month

Integrity • n. Integrity, adherence to moral and ethical priniciples; soundness of moral character; honesty

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Tickets available now! 334.844.TIXS (8497) GOGUECENTER.AUBURN.EDU

Opelika, L ee County & A labama Politics Wednesday, Jan. 15, 2020

Inside the Statehouse Attorney Benjamin Parr appointed Methodists have dominated as Opelika’s Assistant Municipal high offices in Alabama history Prosecutor by city council last week


ven though there are more Baptists than Methodists in Alabama, historically Methodists have held more of the prominent political posts in the Heart of Dixie. If one looks closely at these leaders’ lives, a good many of our leaders have been sons of Methodist ministers. The most famous Methodist minister in the state during the last 50 years has been the Rev. John Ed Mathison of Montgomery. He has been the confidant and counselor to a great many of Alabama’s leaders, as well as being the greatest inspirational and dynamic speaker of our time. John Ed founded and pastored the Frazer United Methodist church in Montgomery. He shepherded his flock in the Capitol City for 36 years. His younger brother is a similarly remarkable man. The Rev. George Mathison served numerous churches in Alabama. However, he is best known for being the minister of the First Methodist Church of Auburn, where he was their beloved pastor for 26 years. His flock referred to him as Brother George. John Ed and George were born to be Methodist ministers. Their father was a renowned Methodist minister. They were both athletes in college. John Ed and George

By Steve Flowers are both outstanding tennis players. The First Methodist Church of Dothan is where many of the leaders of the Wiregrass have attended during the years. Dr. Mike Watson has been a leader in the Methodist church throughout his illustrious career. He recently retired as a bishop of the Methodist church. He and his wife Margaret grew up in the First Methodist Church of Dothan. Two Alabama attorney generals, Bill Baxley and Richmond Flowers, came from First Methodist in Dothan. Congressional candidate and businessman Jeff Coleman is also an active member of this church. Our legendary United States Senator and Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice, Howell Heflin, was the son of a Methodist minister. Heflin was a master storyteller and, having grown up in the Methodist Church, was an active layman in the church. He loved to eat. He would say, “The sacred bird of the Methodist was fried chicken.” The

Methodist practice of moving their preachers around caused Heflin to be born outside of Alabama. Heflin would say, “My father was over in Georgia doing missionary work among the heathen.” Alabama’s most prominent and prolific political icon, George Wallace, was a Methodist. Our legendary United States Sens. Lister Hill and John Sparkman were both Methodists. State Rep. Steve Clouse has been a member of First Methodist in Ozark his entire life. State Rep. Bill Poole and Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox are members of the First Methodist Church of Tuscaloosa. Huntsville mayor Tommy Battle is a Methodist, and his grandfather was a Methodist minister. Sen. Jeff Sessions is a lifelong, devout Methodist. He even went to the Montgomery Methodist-founded college Huntington. BCA President Katie Britt and her husband Wesley attend the First Methodist Church of Montgomery. Current Chief Justice Tom Parker and his wife, Dottie, attend Frazer United Methodist of Montgomery, the Church made famous by John Ed Mathison. Congressman Robert Aderholt and his wife, Caroline, met at

See Flowers, page B9

By Michelle Key Publisher The Opelika City Council voted to approve the appointment of Benjamin H. Parr as the new assistant municipal prosecutor for the city of Opelika during last week’s city council meeting. In other business, the council: • held a public hearings and later voted to approve a weed abatement assessment for 1701 N. Uniroyal Road

Parr • held a public hearing on amendments to the Cannon Gate planned unit development master plan • held a public hearing on admend-

ments to the zoning ordinance & map for Dickson Street from R-3 to I-1 • held a public hearing and voted to amend Text Zoning Ordinance Section 9 Sign Regulations • approved expense reports from various departments • approved to designate city personal property surplus and authorize disposal • approved the purchase of Cisco HardSee Council, page B9

Lee County Commission approves ‘Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday, 4% pay raise for coroner By Michelle Key Publisher The Lee County Commission issued a resolution providing for the county’s participation in a “Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday” which is slated for Feb. 21 through Feb. 23. The sales tax holiday exempts certain items designated for severe weather preparedness purposes from state and county sales tax when purchased during the “holdiay” period. Examples of items of value of $60 or less per item are as follows: • AAA-cell batteries AA-cell batteries C-cell batteries D-cell batteries 6-volt batteries 9-volt batteries


• Cellular phone battery • Cellular phone charger • Portable self-powered or battery-powered radio, twoway radio, weatherband radio or NOAA weather radio • Portable self-powered light source, including batterypowered flashlights, lanterns, or emergency glow sticks • Tarpaulin • Plastic sheeting • Plastic drop cloths • Other flexible, waterproof sheeting • Ground anchor system, such as bungee cords or rope, or tiedown kit • Duct tape • Plywood, window film or other materials specifically designed to protect window coverings • Non-electric food storage cooler or water storage

container • Non-electric can opener • Artificial ice • Blue ice • Ice packs • Reusable ice • Self-contained first aid kit • Fire extinguisher • Smoke detector • Carbon monoxide detector • Gas or Diesel fuel tank or container - a single purchase with a sales price of $1000 or less • Any portable generator and power cords – used to provide light or communications or preserve food in the event of a power outage. In other business, the commission: See LCC, page B9

Indoor shooting range is open to the public


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Bradley Byrne first candidate to visit all 67 Alabama counties Special to the Opelika Observer Bradley Byrne's campaign announced today that Bradley is the first United States Senate candidate to visit all 67 counties since announcing his candidacy. "Our campaign will not be outworked, and we are out there every day earning votes one person and one community at a time. From the Wiregrass to the Tennessee Valley, I'm hearing from voters who want a fighter

Byrne to represent them in Washington. We are in a battle against the radical Left for the future of our country, and I'm the only candidate in this race with a proven record

LCC, from B7 •

Commissioner Richard LaGrand Recognized Loachapoka High School for receiving a Safe School Award from Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall • Lee County Emergen-

Flowers, from B7 the Methodist college of Birmingham Southern College and were married in the Methodist church, but are now Anglicans. The Baptists have been taking their rightful place at the head of the table in recent years. Our Governor Kay Ivey is a Baptist. She attends First Baptist Church of Montgomery. The legendary pastor there, Jay Wolfe, has been the confidant and pastor to a good many of our recent state leaders. PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh and her husband, Jeff, are also active members of First Baptist Church of Montgomery. She teaches Sunday

of fighting for our Alabama values," Byrne said. Since launching his bid for senate, Bryne's campaign has announced: - financial contributions from all 67 counties - 200+ Grassroots Leadership Team with individuals from all 67 counties - First U.S. Senate Candidate to visit all 67 counties You can follow Bryne’s visits on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Byrne, a Mobile

native, announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in February. Bryne is a Christian conservative reformer who has pledged to take the fight for Alabama's values to the United States Senate. Bryne’s conservative record is second to none. From cleaning up corruption at Alabama’s two-year college system to voting with President Trump 97% of the time to advance his “America First” agenda, Bryne is fighting for Alabama.

cy Management Agency’s Public Information Officer Rita Smith recongized Austin Jones for his recent graduation from Auburn University. Jones earned his bachelor’s degree in communications • voted to approve the minutes of the Dec. 9, 2019 commission meeting • voted to ratify and approve claims and procurement card transactions

from December • heard from Lee County resident Bryan Lumpkin regarding individuals using tannerite for recreational purposes and causing a nuisance in the Beulah community • tabled a motion to approve the plat for the Yarbrough-Crook Subdivision • tabled a motion to set a date for a public hearing

School, and Jeff is a deacon. Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth is a Baptist and has been a youth leader in his church. Secretary of State John Merrill is an active member of Calvary Baptist Church of Tuscaloosa. State Senator Greg Reed of Jasper is a Baptist. Greg has been a lifelong member of First Baptist Jasper. Alabama Farmers Federation President Jimmy Parnell is a deacon of his church, Hillcrest Baptist of Maplesville, where his family has attended for generations. We have a couple of state leaders who are Presbyterians. The two most prominent are our Senior United States Sen. Richard Shelby, and state Treasurer John McMillan. We have two token Episcopalians: Mobile/

Baldwin Congressman Bradley Bryne and the Congressman who preceded him, Jo Bonner, who is currently Governor Ivey’s chief of staff. In bygone days, if one wanted to be elected to anything in North Alabama, you had to be a member of the Church of Christ. The only member of that church today who is a prominent state political leader is State Sen. Jabo Waggoner, Jr., who represents an over-the-mountain Birmingham silk-stocking district. See you next week. Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at www.

B9 Jan. 15, 2020

Council, from B7 ware • approved two refund requests for overpayment of Occupational License Fees • set public hearing date to fix cost and assessment of demolition at 207 Ave. A • set public hearing date to fix cost and assessment of demolition at 3307 Arnold Ave. • approved a proposal from NRC for arborist services • approved an agreement with ESG Engineering pertaining to upgrades to the Eastside Waster Water Treatment Plant • approved Amendment 1 to agreement with Constantine Engineering pertaining to improvements to the Westside Waste Water Treatment Plant • approved the reap-

on the vacation of a rightof-way of approximately .7 miles on Lee Road 179 • approved an agreement for structural bridge design/Lee Road 217 • County Adminstrator Roger Rendleman presented the proposed Pay and Classification Plan along with policy revisions associated with proposed pay plan for the commissioners to review

pointment of municipal court officals • voted to approved an ordinance to amend the Wyndham planned unit development Master Plan • introduced for first reading an ordinance to amend the Cannon Gate planned unit development master plan • introduced for first reading an ordinance to amend zoning ordinance and map for Dickson Street from R-3 to I-1 and • introduced for 1first reading an ordinance to amend the Zoning Ordinance Section 9 Sign Regulations The Opelika City Council meets on the first and third Tuesday nights of every month with meetings starting at 7 p.m. Work sessions are held before the meetings and start between 6 and 6:50 p.m. The meetings are held at City Hall, located at 204 S. 7th St. in downtown Opelika. The public is invited to attend.

and consider - these items will be voted on during the next meeting • approved a request from Coroner Bill Harris to reallocate funds in order to increase the Deputy Coroners’ salaries and approved a 4% salary increase of the coroner’s salary • received an update on the Mid-South Resource, Conservation & Develop-

ment Council from Commissioner Sheila Eckman The commission meets the second and last Monday nights of every month unless otherwise published. The next meeting is scheduled for Jan. 27 at 5 p.m. Meetings are held in the commission chamber on the second floor of the courthouse annex. Please use the 10th Street entry.

We would like to thank the following businesses for sponsoring one or more of our newspaper boxes and racks around Lee County

• Better Bodies Massage Institute • Interim HomeCare • Opelika Theatre Company • Three Keys Properties, LLC To have your company’s logo placed on a box email us at

ALASCAN CLASSIFIEDS SERVICES BEST SATELLITE TV with 2 Year price Guarantee! $59.99/mo. with 190 Channels and 3 months free premium movie channels! Free next day installation! Call 1-855943-1314 WANT YOUR ad to be seen in 120 newspapers statewide? Place your ad in our Classified Network for just $210 per week! Make one call to this newspaper (a participating ALASCAN member) or call 1-800-264-7043 to find out how easy it is to advertise statewide!

INSTRUCTION ONLINE PHARMACY Technician Training New Students Only. Call & Press 1. Financial Aid Available for those who qualify. 100% Online Courses. Call 1-844-3592283 INSURANCE AUTO INSURANCE Starting at $49/month! Call for your Free rate comparison to see how much you can save! Call: 1-855-4087970 GET A-RATED Dental Insurance starting at around

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ping! 100% guaranteed. Call Now: 1-855-382-4115 OXYGEN - ANYTIME. Anywhere. No tanks to refill. No deliveries. The All-New Inogen One G4 is only 2.8 pounds! FAA approved! FREE info kit: 1-844-322-9935 FINANCIAL SERVICES DONATE YOUR Car to Charity. Receive maximum value of write off for your taxes. Running or not! All conditions accepted. Free pickup. Call for details. 1-844-810-1257

BUSINESS OPPORTUNITY BECOME a published Author! We edit, print and distribute your work internationally. We do the work. You reap the Rewards! Call for a Free Author’s Submission Kit: 1-888-283-4780 FARM CLASSIFIEDS GOT LAND? Our Hunters will pay Top Dollar to hunt your land. Call for a Freeinformation packet & quote 1-866-309-1507. www.BaseCampLeasing. com AUTOMOTIVE

VEHICLE TITLE Problems? We have a solution! Call Jason Steward Enterprises, We’re Alabama’s #1 Vehicle Title Problem Experts! Free telephone consultation. North AL 1-256-850-0527, Central AL 1-205-2675735, South AL 1-251342-8538 FOR SALE BATHROOM RENOVATIONS. Easy, One Day updates! We specialize in safe bathing. Grab bars, no slip flooring & seated showers. Call for free in-home consultation: 1-877-730-3876.

Habitat Home #67 Dedication: This home was sponsored by EAMC, ACI, Lee County Association of REALTORS, Dr. John and Roberta Hand and the Teresa Burns Estate.

Habitat Home #68 Dedication: This Zero Energy Ready Home was designed and built in partnership with Auburn University Architecture, Building Science and Rural Studio to a FORTIFIED GOLD Standard.

Auburn University Panhellenic raised more than $50,000 in donations from their annual Greek Sing fundraiser to sponsor another Habitat Home. Each year students sponsor and build a home.

Thank you Publix Super Market Charities for this $10,000 Home Sponsorship. Each year Publix helps sponsor a home.

Wells Fargo District Manager Craig Busby. local banker Courtney Osborne and Sammantha Plummer present a $10,000 check to sponsor Habitat Home #69 in Auburn.

Habitat Around the Heart - Together we raised $60,000. Thank you to our presenting sponsor, Lee County Associations of REALTORS. Visit our website to see the many sponsors for this event. Join us again this year for great food, fellowship and an exciting auction. Details coming Fall 2020.

Chrstmas Cook Walk Fundraiser: Thank you to the WeHelp Churches, volunteers and all of the community that participated. Together we raised more than $12,000 on cookie sales for Habitat Homes. Thank You Dr. & Mrs. John Hand, Mr. & Mrs. David Housel, Mr. & Mrs. Boles Pegues and Mr. & Mrs. Joel Phillips and Auburn Rotary for their consistent support.

Please consider Auburn Opelika Habitat for Humanity in your giving plan for 2020. Your donation will be tax deductible and we will provide you with a donation receipt. Your giving will help us build three more homes in Auburn this year. We recently completed two homes in Opelika.

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PUBLIC NOTICES IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF NORA LEE JONES, DECEASED, IN THE PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA CASE NO.: 2019-B-238 Letters Testamentary on the estate of said decedent having been granted to the undersigned on the 20 th day of December, 2019, by the Hon. Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by law or the same will be barred. JOSEPH JONES Personal Representative Robert H. Pettey Samford & Denson, LLP P.O. Box 2345 Opelika, AL 36803-2345 (334) 745-3504 Legal Run 01/01, 01/08 & 01/15/2020

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF MARY ROSE CHANDLER, DECEASED. IN THE PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA Case No.: 2019-C-116 Letters of Administration of said deceased having been granted to the undersigned on the 19th day of December, 2019, by the Hon. Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by law or the same will be barred. JONATHAN O’NEAL CHANDLER Administrator Robert H. Pettey Samford & Denson, LLP P.O. Box 2345 Opelika, AL 36803-2345 Legal Run 01/01, 01/08 & 01/15/2020

STATE OF ALABAMA CASE NO. 2020-001 LEE COUNTY PROBATE COURT ESTATE OF BETTY J. HOLLEY, DECEASED NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE Letters Testamentary of said Betty J. Holley, deceased, having been granted to Barbara H. McLain, this 3rd day of January 2020, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by the law or the same will be barred. Barbara H. McLain, Personal Representative Jeffery A. Hilyer Attorney at Law P.O. Box 30 Opelika, Alabama 368030030 334-745-2564 Legal Run 01/08/20, 01/15/20, 01/22/20

STATE OF ALABAMA CASE NO. 2020-002 LEE COUNTY PROBATE COURT ESTATE OF MATTIE LOU AKIN, DECEASED NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE Letters Testamentary of said Mattie Lou Akin, deceased, having been granted to James E. Akin, Jr., this 3rd day of January 2020, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by the law or the same will be barred.

Jeffery A. Hilyer Attorney at Law P.O. Box 30 Opelika, Alabama 368030030 334-745-2564 Legal Run 01/08/20, 01/15/20, 01/22/20

IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF MARGARET HUDSON TILL, DECEASED CASE No. 2019. C-127 IN THE PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA NOTICE TO CREDITORS TAKE NOTICE that Letters Testamentary of said deceased having been granted to Eva Till Robertson, on the 31st day of December 2019, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama. Notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within the time allowed by law or the same will be barred. Eva Till Robertson, Executrix Legal Run 01/08/20, 01/15/20, 01/22/20

MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE SALE Default having been made in the payment of the indebtedness secured by that certain mortgage executed by Kristen Sharpe, a single woman, originally in favor of Auburn Apartments, LLC, on the 25th day of June, 2018, said mortgage recorded in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Lee County, Alabama in Mortgages Book 4399 Page 947; the undersigned Auburn Apartments, LLC as Mortgagee under and by virtue of the power of sale contained in said mortgage, will sell at public outcry to the highest bidder for cash, in front of the main entrance of the Courthouse at Opelika, Lee County, Alabama, on February 24, 2020, during the legal hours of sale, all of its right, title, and interest in and to the following described real estate, situated in Lee County, Alabama, to wit: Lot 5, L.C. PARKER SUBDIVISION, according to and as shown by that certain map or plat thereof of record in Town Plat Book 23, at Page 109, in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Lee County, Alabama. Property street address for information purposes: 95 Lee Road 166, Opelika, AL 36804. THIS PROPERTY WILL BE SOLD ON AN “AS IS, WHERE IS” BASIS, WITHOUT WARRANTY OR RECOURSE, EXPRESSED OR IMPLIED, AS TO TITLE, USE AND/OR ENJOYMENT AND WILL BE SOLD SUBJECT TO THE RIGHT OF REDEMPTION OF ALL PARTIES ENTITLED THERETO. Alabama law gives some persons who have an interest in property the right to redeem the property under certain circumstances. Programs may also exist that help persons avoid or delay the foreclosure process. An attorney should be consulted to help you understand these rights and programs as a part of the foreclosure process. This sale is made for the purpose of paying the indebtedness secured by said mortgage, as well as the expenses of foreclosure. The successful bidder must tender a non-refundable deposit of Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00) in certified funds made payable to Huff Smith Law, LLC, at the time and place of the sale. The balance of the purchase price must be paid in certified funds by noon of the next business day at the Law Office of Huff Smith Law, LLC at the address indicated below. Huff Smith Law, LLC

reserves the right to award the bid to the next highest bidder should the highest bidder fail to timely tender the total amount due. The Mortgagee reserves the right to bid for and purchase the real estate and to credit its purchase price against the expenses of sale and the indebtedness secured by the real estate. This sale is subject to postponement or cancellation. Auburn Apartments, LLC, Mortgagee Brett A. Smith, Esq. HUFF SMITH LAW, LLC 687 North Dean Road, Suite 200 Auburn, AL 36830 Attorney for Mortgagee Legal Run 01/08/20, 01/15/20, 01/22/20

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT ESTATE OF SUSANNAH (SUE) DOROTHY YOUNG GODWIN COURT OF PROBATE Letters Testamentary of said deceased having been granted to the undersigned on the 27th day of December, 2019, by the Hon. Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, notice is hereby given that all persons having claimgs against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by law or the same will be barred. Witness my hand, and dated this the 27th day of December, 2019. ALLEN D. GODWIN Legal Run 01/08/20, 01/15/20, 01/22/20

INVITATION TO BID 20005 Sealed bids for the construction of the New Fire Training Facility shall be received at the Opelika City Hall Conference Room, 204 South Seventh Street, Opelika, Alabama, until 2:00 p.m., local time on Monday, February 17, 2020, and then publicly opened and read aloud. Only bids from competent general contractors will be considered. The successful bidder must be a properly licensed general contractor. The attention of all bidders is called to the provisions of State law governing “General Contractors” as set forth in the Ala. Code §34-8-1, et. seq. (1975) and rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Bidders must be licensed by the Licensing Board for General Contractors when bids are submitted. All bidders must submit with their proposal, contractor’s license number and a copy of the license. State law Ala. Code §34-8-8(b) requires all bids to be rejected which do not contain the contractor’s current license number. Evidence of this license shall be documented on the outside of the sealed bid. All bidders shall possess all other licenses and/or permits required by applicable law, rule or regulation for the performance of the work. A mandatory pre-bid conference is scheduled for 2:00 pm Wednesday, January 22, 2020 prospective bidders. The pre-bid conference will be located inside the City of Opelika Planning Commission Chambers, 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama. Bid documents may be obtained from the Office of the City Public Works Director located at 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama at no charge. The bidder’s proposal must be submitted on the complete original proposal furnished to him by the City of Opelika. All information in the proposal must be completed by the bidder for the proposal to be accepted. A Bid Bond in the amount of five (5) percent of the bid amount made payable to the City of Opelika must accompany each bid. Performance and Payment Bonds

for the full contract sum will be required of the successful bidder. The right is reserved by the Owner to reject all Bids and to waive irregularities. Envelopes containing bids must be sealed, marked, addressed as follows, and delivered to: Lillie Finley, Purchasing-Revenue Manager, City of Opelika, 204 South 7th Street, P.O. Box 390, Opelika, Alabama, 368030390. Attn: New Fire Training Facility LILLIE FINLEY- PURCHASING REVENUE MANAGER CITY OF OPELIKA 204 SOUTH SEVENTH STREET (36801) POST OFFICE BOX 390 (36803-0390) OPELIKA, ALABAMA PH: (334) 705-5120 Legal Run 01/08/20, 01/15/20, 01/22/20, 01/29/20

INVITATION TO BID 20008 Sealed bids for the construction of the Rocky Brook Culvert R placement shall be received at the Opelika City Hall Conference Room, 204 South Seventh Street, Opelika, Alabama, until 2:00 p.m., local time on January 28, 2020, and then publicly opened and read aloud. All interested parties are invited to attend. Only bids from competent general contractors will be considered. At the time of contract award, the successful bidder must be a properly licensed general contractor. The attention of all bidders is called to the provisions of State law governing “General Contractors” as set forth in the Ala. Code §34-8-1, et.seq. (1975) and rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Bidders must be licensed by the Licensing Board for General Contractors when bids are submitted. Bidders are required to have a State of Alabama General Contractor’s License with a specialty of “Highways and Streets, Clearing and Grubbing, Earthwork, Erosion, Site Work, Grading or Municipal and Utility”. All bidders must submit with their proposal, contractor’s license number and a copy of the license. State law Ala. Code §34-8-8(b) requires all bids to be rejected which do not contain the contractor’s current license number. Evidence of this license shall be documented on the outside of the sealed bid. All bidders shall possess all other licenses and/or permits required by applicable law, rule or regulation for the performance of the work. Drawings and Specifications may be examined at the Office of the City Engineer located at 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama, and phone number: 334-705-5450. Bid documents may be obtained from the Office of the City Engineer at no charge as an electronic file if the bidder supplies a storage drive or as an email attachment or electronic drop box. The bidder’s proposal must be submitted on the complete original proposal furnished to him/her by the City of Opelika. All information in the proposal must be completed by the bidder for the proposal to be accepted. A Bid Bond in the amount of five (5) percent of the bid amount made payable to the City of Opelika must accompany each bid. Performance and Payment Bonds for the full contract sum will be required of the successful bidder. The right is reserved by the Owner to reject all Bids and to waive irregularities. Envelopes containing bids must be sealed, marked, addressed as follows, and delivered to: Lillie Finley, Purchasing-Revenue Manager, City of Opelika, 204 South 7th Street, P.O. Box 390, Opelika, Alabama, 36803-0390. Attn: Rocky Brook Culvert Replacement LILLIE FINLEY- PUR-

CHASING REVENUE MANAGER CITY OF OPELIKA 204 SOUTH SEVENTH STREET (36801) POST OFFICE BOX 390 (36803-0390) OPELIKA, ALABAMA PH: (334) 705-5120 Legal Run 01/15/2020 & 01/22/2020

INVITATION TO BID 20009 Sealed bids for the construction of the Columbus Parkway/Intellivest Stormwater Conveyance shall be received at the Opelika City Hall Conference Room, 204 South Seventh Street, Opelika, Alabama, until 2:00 p.m., local time on Tuesday January 28, 2020, and then publicly opened and read aloud. All interested parties are invited to attend. Only bids from competent general contractors will be considered. At the time of contract award, the successful bidder must be a properly licensed general contractor. The attention of all bidders is called to the provisions of State law governing “General Contractors” as set forth in the Ala. Code §34-8-1, et.seq. (1975) and rules and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto. Bidders must be licensed by the Licensing Board for General Contractors when bids are submitted. Bidders are required to have a State of Alabama General Contractor’s License with a specialty of “Highways and Streets, Clearing and Grubbing, Earthwork, Erosion, Site Work, Grading or Municipal and Utility”. All bidders must submit with their proposal, contractor’s license number and a copy of the license. State law Ala. Code §34-8-8(b) requires all bids to be rejected which do not contain the contractor’s current license number. Evidence of this license shall be documented on the outside of the sealed bid. All bidders shall possess all other licenses and/or permits required by applicable law, rule or regulation for the performance of the work. Drawings and Specifications may be examined at the Office of the City Engineer located at 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama, and phone number: 334-705-5450. Bid documents may be obtained from the Office of the City Engineer at no charge as an electronic file if the bidder supplies a storage drive or as an email attachment or electronic drop box. The bidder’s proposal must be submitted on the complete original proposal furnished to him/her by the City of Opelika. All information in the proposal must be completed by the bidder for the proposal to be accepted. A Bid Bond in the amount of five (5) percent of the bid amount made payable to the City of Opelika must accompany each bid. Performance and Payment Bonds for the full contract sum will be required of the successful bidder. The right is reserved by the Owner to reject all Bids and to waive irregularities. Envelopes containing bids must be sealed, marked, addressed as follows, and delivered to: Lillie Finley, Purchasing-Revenue Manager, City of Opelika, 204 South 7th Street, P.O. Box 390, Opelika, Alabama, 36803-0390. Attn: Columbus Parkway/Intellivest Stormwater Conveyance LILLIE FINLEY- PURCHASING REVENUE MANAGER CITY OF OPELIKA 204 SOUTH SEVENTH STREET (36801) POST OFFICE BOX 390 (36803-0390) OPELIKA, ALABAMA PH: (334) 705-5120 Legal Run 01/15/2020 & 01/22/2020


Sealed bids for the construction of the City-Wide Striping Project shall be received at the Opelika City Hall Conference Room, 204 South Seventh Street, Opelika, Alabama, until 2:00 p.m., local time on Tuesday, January 28, 2020, and then publicly opened and read aloud. All interested parties are invited to attend. Only bids from competent general contractors will be considered. At the time of contract award, the successful bidder must be a properly licensed general contractor. No bid will be accepted from anyone except a qualified Contractor licensed by the State Licensing Board for General Contractors. Principal items of work include but are not limited to: placement of thermoplastic striping, thermoplastic markings, thermoplastic legends, and pavement markers. The Opelika Engineering Department will make every effort to have work located, prioritized, schedule, and grouped in order to optimize the mobilization of the contractor. Work shall begin within 10 days of each “Notice to Proceed”. The total contract length shall not exceed 360 calendar days. Drawings and Specifications may be examined at the Office of the City Engineer located at 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama. Phone number: 334-705-5450 Bid documents may be obtained from the Office of the City Engineer at no charge as an electronic file if the bidder supplies a storage drive or as an email attachment or electronic drop box. The bidder’s proposal must be submitted on the complete original proposal furnished to him/her by the City of Opelika. All information in the proposal must be completed by the bidder for the proposal to be accepted. A Bid Bond in the amount of five (5) percent of the bid amount made payable to the City of Opelika must accompany each bid. Performance and Payment Bonds for the full contract sum will be required of the successful bidder. The right is reserved by the Owner to reject all Bids and to waive irregularities. Envelopes containing bids must be sealed, marked, addressed as follows, and delivered to: Lillie Finley, Purchasing-Revenue Manager, City of Opelika, 204 South 7th Street, P.O. Box 390, Opelika, Alabama, 36803-0390. Attn: City-Wide Striping Project LILLIE FINLEY- PURCHASING REVENUE MANAGER CITY OF OPELIKA 204 SOUTH SEVENTH STREET (36801) POST OFFICE BOX 390 (36803-0390) OPELIKA, ALABAMA PH: (334) 705-5120 Legal Run 01/15/2020 & 01/22/2020

NOTICE TO CREDITORS ESTATE OF DAVID W. DEAN, Deceased PROBATE COURT LEE COUNTY NOTICE TO CREDITORS Take Notice that LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION of said deceased having been granted to Carol S. Dean on the 6th day of January, 2020, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, Alabama. Notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by law or the same will be barred. Carol S. Dean Legal Run 01/15/2020, 01/22/2020 & 01/29/2020

See Notices, page B13

pelika O Observer

B12 Jan. 15, 2020

Like crossword puzzles? Sudoku? Play online at

This week’s Scramblers Answers: 1. Series 2. Stigna 3. Period 4. Gentle- Today’s Word: DESSERT

Even Exchange Answers 1. Stripe, Strike 2. Glove, Globe 3. Austin, Dustin 4. Clover, Clever 5. Greek, Green

6. Sample, Simple 7. Nifty, Fifty 8. Marina, Marine 9. Youth, Mouth 10. Parka, Parks

pelika Observer O Notices, from B11 NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the City Council of the City of Opelika will hold a Public Hearing on Tuesday, February 18, 2020, at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers of the Municipal Building, 204 S. 7th Street, Opelika, Lee County, Alabama. PURPOSE The purpose of said Public Hearing will be to consider the adoption of an ordinance to amend Ordinance Number 124-91 (entitled “Zoning Ordinance of the City of Opelika”) adopted on September 17, 1991. At said Public Hearing all who desire to be heard shall have the opportunity to speak for or in opposition to the adoption of the following ordinance: ORDINANCE NO. ______ AN ORDINANCE TO AMEND THE ZONING ORDINANCE AND ZONING MAP OF THE CITY OF OPELIKA BE IT ORDAINED by the City Council (the “Council”) of the City of Opelika, Alabama (the “City”) as follows: Section 1. FINDINGS. The Council has determined and hereby finds and declares that the following facts are true and correct: (a) Kyle S. Drake, Jr., heretofore submitted to the City a development plan for a planned unit development (“PUD”) entitled Drakes Landing PUD on approximately 150 acres. (b) The proposed development is located in a R-1 District (Rural District) and is located on the eastern side of South Uniroyal Road at 2015 South Uniroyal Road. (c) The proposed Development Plan provides for 190 singlefamily residential lots and approximately 57 acres of undeveloped open space. The minimum lot size is 15,000 square feet. The Development is accessed from South Uniroyal Road. The access street is a boulevard

type with a wider entrance and two lanes separated by a median. (d) The Planning Commission heretofore conducted a public hearing of the proposed development and referred to the City Council its recommendation to approve the proposed development. (e) It is advisable and in the interest of the City and the public interest that the proposed property described in Section 3 below should be developed as a unified residential development. Section 2. APPROVAL OF THE DEVELOPMENT PLAN. The Development Plan as submitted for review is hereby approved and affirmed as required by Section 8.18(N) of the Zoning Ordinance of the City, subject to compliance with the following requirements, conditions and modifications: (a) The Developer shall install underground utilities. (b) The Developer shall install sidewalks on at least one side of all streets. (c) The Developer shall relocate the street stub-out shown at the north property line to align with the proposed street shown on the Master Plan. The street stub-out provides an alternative future access point. (d) The Developer shall provide a 25-foot natural undisturbed buffer or a six-foot high opaque fence along the near lot line lots that abut the north, south and west perimeter property lines. Section 3. DESIGNATION OF A PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT. The official Zoning Map is hereby amended and the zoning classification for the following parcel of land shall be changed from a R-1 District (Rural District) to a Planned Unit Development (PUD) on the official zoning map of the City. Parcel B of Kyle S. Drake, Jr., Subdivision according to and as shown by map or plat of said subdivision of record in Plat Book 13, at Page 84, in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Lee County, Alabama. The above property is located at 2015 South Uniroyal Road. Section 4. RETENTION OF

COPIES OF DEVELOPMENT PLAN. Copies of the Development Plan shall be maintained in the office of the City Clerk, City Planner, City Engineer and Building Official and shall be open for public inspection. Section 5. REPEALER. Any ordinance or part thereof in conflict with provisions of this Ordinance be and the same are hereby repealed. Section 6. EFFECTIVE DATE. This Ordinance shall become effective upon its adoption, approval and publication as required by law. Section 7. PUBLICATION. This Ordinance shall be published one (1) time in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Opelika, Lee County, Alabama. All interested persons are invited to attend the public hearing and be heard. Written comments concerning the above matter may be mailed to the City Clerk at P.O. Box 390, Opelika, AL 36803 at any time prior to the public hearing and may be further submitted to the City Council at the meeting and the public hearing. Please contact Kevin Rice, the City’s ADA Coordinator, at 334-705-2083 at least two (2) working days prior to the meeting if you require special accommodations due to any disability. WITNESS my hand this the 15th day of January, 2020. /s/ R. G. Shuman CITY CLERK OF THE CITY OF OPELIKA, ALABAMA Legal Run 01/15/2020

IN THE SUPERIOR COURT OF HOUSTON COUNTY STATE OF GEORGIA CASE NO.: 2019-V-120923-L DONA HODGE, Plaintiff VS. REGINALDO VALERIANO AND KASSIE THORPE, Defendants, NOTICE OF SUMMONSSERVICE BY PUBLICAITON TO: REGINALDO VALERIANO, Defendant named above: You are hereby notified that the above-styled action seeking custody was filed against you in said Court on September 11,

2019, and that by reason of an order for service of summons by publication entered by the court on December 13. 2019 you are hereby commanded and required to file with the clerk of said court and serve upon Attorney Clarence Williams, III, whose address is 1200 Green Street, Warren Robbins, Georgia, 31093, an answer to the complaint within sixty (60) days of the date of the order for service by publication. If you fail to do so, judgment by default will be taken against you for the relief demanded in the complaint. WITNESS the Honorable Clerk of Court, this 10th day of January, 2020. Carolyn V. Sullivan Clerk/Deputy Clerk Superior Court of Houston County WILLIAMS LAW GROUP 1200 Green Street Warner Robins, Georgia 31093 (478) 922-9110/telephone (478) 922-9171/facsimile Legal Run 01/15/2020, 01/22, 01/29 & 02/05/2020

CITY OF OPELIKA NOTICE OF PLANNING COMMISSION MEETING AND PUBLIC HEARINGS TO: RESIDENTS AND PROPERTY OWNERS OF THE CITY OF OPELIKA AND ALL OTHER INTERESTED CITIZENS NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Planning Commission of the City of Opelika, Alabama will hold a regular meeting and will be conducting public hearings on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 3:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers in the Public Works Administrative Building located at 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama. A Planning Commission work session begins at 2:40 PM. The purpose of the public hearings is to receive public comment on the following: 1. A public hearing on a request by D. Nathan McBride, authorized representative for Weyerhaeuser Company, property owner, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Plum Creek Lee Road 151 Division Lot 2 subdivision 2 lots accessed from Lee

B13 Jan. 15, 2020 Road 151. 2. A request by Jay Knight, authorized representative of Builders Professional Group, LLC, property owners, for final plat approval of The Village at Waterford Phase 3 subdivision consisting of 78 lots accessed from Arlee Lane and Brittany Lane (This item tabled at the December 17 th Planning Commission meeting.). 3. A public hearing on a request by Dan LeBeau, authorized representative of Doug Horn Rentals, LLC, property owner, for conditional use approval for a rental equipment business with outside storage of rental and new equipment at 302 Fox Run Avenue. 4. A public hearing on a request by Brett Basquin of Foresite Group, LLC, authorized representative for Century Park Apartments, LLC, property owners, for conditional use approval for a townhouse development-51 units, at 1901 Century Boulevard. All interested persons are invited to attend the meeting/ public hearings and be heard. Written comments concerning the above matters may be mailed to the Planning Director at 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama 36801 at any time prior to the meeting/public hearings and may be further submitted to the Planning Commission at the meeting/ public hearings. The Planning Commission reserves the right to modify or alter any of the proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and to make its recommendations accordingly to the City Council. Please contact Kevin Rice, the City’s ADA Coordinator, at 334-705-5132 at least two (2) working days prior to the meeting if you require special accommodations due to a disability. PLANNING DIRECTOR Legal Run 01/15/2020


CHARLES, Plaintiff, V. JENKINS STEPHEN LAMAR, LIVINGSTON WALTER JOSEPH, Defendants NOTICE OF HEARING FOR FINAL SETTLEMENT TAKE NOTICE, that Stephen Lamar Jenkins, Executor of the Estate of Elaine M. Livingston, deceased, has filed with this Court his petition for Final Setttlement of said estate which is being administered in this Court pursuant to previous Orders of the Court. Hearing is hereby set for Final Settlement of said estate before this Court at 9:00 o’clock A.M. on Febraury 14, 2020 in Courtroom No. 3 of the Lee County Justice Center, 2311 Gateway Drive, Opelika, Alabama. DONE this 10th day of January, 2020 /s/ HON. JACOB A WALKER III CIRCUIT JUDGE Legal Run 01/15/2020, 01/22/2020 & 01/29/2020

STATE OF ALABAMA CASE NO. 2020-011 LEE COUNTY PROBATE COURT ESTATE OF BARBARA ELLEN WOODS STROZIER, DECEASED NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE Letters Testamentary of said Barbara Ellen Woods Strozier, deceased, having been granted to John Steven Strozier, this 10 th day of January 2020, by the Honorable Bill English, Judge of the Probate Court of Lee County, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within time allowed by the law or the same will be barred. John Steven Strozier, Personal Representative Jeffery A. Hilyer Attorney at Law 334-745-2564 P.O. Box 30 Opelika, Alabama 368030030. Legal Run 01/15, 01/22 & 01/29/2020

pelika O Observer

B14 Jan. 15, 2020

Opelika’s Jimmy Wright; Phenix City residents visit with Rep. Mike Rogers last week while in Washington D.C.

Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer Jimmy Wright, owner of Wright’s Market in Opelika, visited with Rep. Mike Rogers in his Washington office last week. Wright was in D.C. for business with the National Grocers Association.

Photo special to the Opelika Observer Raven (left) and Felecia (right) of Phenix City visited Congressman Rogers in his office in Washington, D.C. last Wednesday.

ClearWater Solutions team leading system improvements Special to the Opelika Observer The Beulah Utilities District is poised to launch a $5.5 million expansion and improvement project that will add two water tanks and upgrade six water mains to stabilize and increase the water pressure for customers and firefighters. Lee County Commissioner Robert Ham said that when it is complete in approximately two years, the expansion and improvements will be the culmination of a five-year process to appoint new directors to the board, change the district’s management from East Alabama Water, Sewer and Fire Protection to ClearWater Solutions Inc. and give residents of northeast Lee County a higher level of water, fire and firstresponder services. He said that as District 4’s commissioner, he had heard complaints in 2013 from customers of the district who were concerned with the proposed direction of the water and fire systems, and he began to search for solutions because “it was the right thing to do.” Ham credited ClearWater Solutions and Beulah Utilities Board Chairman Lamar Sims, current members James Majors,

Linda Holt, David Jackson and Andrew Bryan and previous board members Dan Roberts and Shane Franks for providing the leadership and expertise to make the transition smooth and effective. Changes were made in the areas of legal representation, certified public accountants, auditors and engineering. Chairman Sims said the board is “very much a working board” and that he values the “tremendous knowledge and input” of the ClearWater Solutions staff. “They have resources we could never have had,” Ham said. “And the knowl-

edge and expertise we needed.” Headquartered in Auburn, ClearWater is a leading provider of water and wastewater treatment services to governments, municipalities, private individuals and water districts in the Southeast. Ham said the partnership with ClearWater Solutions as the operations manager has brought significant improvement to the overall distribution system while saving thousands of dollars in management fees and water costs through a dramatic reduction in water loss and customer complaints. Sims concurred,

adding that the relationship with ClearWater Solutions had been a good move and included a local district office site to handle billing, collections and the necessary field work to reduced water loss. Among Beulah Utilities District’s accomplishments since 2014 are: -reductions in system water loss by immediate attention to leaks and system pressures, resulting in an annual savings of approximately $40,000. -a lower ISO rating (from 6 to a 4), which will provide customers with significant savings on fire insurance premiums (po-

tentially hundreds of dollars per year, based on a home’s value). -An increase in the value of assets. Due to the improvements and business management decisions made by the board, CWS regional manager Houston Black stated that the assets of the district have increased in value by more than $1 million. -favorable financial ratings. As the district has been heavily financed by bond sales, the successful management of the assets, policies and procedures by the board have maintained the long-standing A+ rating and favorable finance rates. Black, who is ClearWater’s regional manager for East/North Alabama, said the Beulah District provides water and fire and rescue services to nearly 3,500 customers. After partnering with ClearWater, the district purchased leak detection equipment,

launched an incentive program for the public to report leaks and installed pressurereducing valves with which it could divide the water system into two separate hydraulic zones. That project stabilized the system’s previously erratic water pressures, therefore reducing the number of leaks and water loss. Black said the upcoming project will include installation of a 500,000-gallon elevated water tank near Lake Harding and a 300,000-gallon tank on Lee Road 266. “We estimate about two years to complete it from start to finish,” Black said. ClearWater’s project manager for Beulah Utilities District is James “Mack” Waites. The office manager is Sabrina Chapman, and Amy Williams is the accounts payable clerk. Field staff members are Clay Berry and Bryan Meadows.

Tomb N' Groom Crew, LLC ✓ We repair and maintain cemeteries ✓ We manage cemetery restoration projects ✓ We safely clean markers & monuments

Located in Opelika, AL Serving east Alabama & west Georgia 334-744-9809 Photo submitted to the Opelika Observer

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Opelika Observer 01-15-2020 E-edition  

The Opelika Observer is a locally-owned and operated newspaper that is dedicated to serving our community.

Opelika Observer 01-15-2020 E-edition  

The Opelika Observer is a locally-owned and operated newspaper that is dedicated to serving our community.