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pelika O Observer

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Vol. 10, No. 19

“By local people, for local people.”

Opelika, Alabama

For more Showchoir photos see B6

Gray qualifies to run for Ala. House District 83

Harris announces run for Ala. House District 83

Special to the Opelika Observer

Special to the Opelika Observer

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris runs for 6th term

Special to the Opelika Observer Opelika native Jeremy Gray, founder of the health/wellness company Elevate Your Grind and Jeter-based community center Curtis House, announced in a press release last week that he will run on the Democratic ticket for the open seat for Alabama House District 83. The seat, which covers parts of both Lee and Russell counties became available following the passing of longtime Rep. George Bandy last month. Citing his life experiences and entrepreneurial background, Gray said he believes he can bring a

Special to the Opelika Observer Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, a lifelong resident of Lee County, has filed qualifying papers and will seek his 6th consecutive term to serve the citizens of Lee County as Coroner. Harris has over 30 years’ experience serving in the Lee County Coroner’s Office with 19 of those as Coroner. The Lee County Coroner’s Office investiSee Coroner, page A3

See Gray, page A2

Robert Noles/ Opelika Observer Special to the Opelika Observer District 5 Lee County Commissioner John Andrew Harris announced that he will run on the Democratic ticket for the open seat in Alabama House District 83. The seat, which covers parts of both Lee and Russell counties, became available following the passing of longtime Rep. George “Tootsie” Bandy last month. An Opelika native, Harris said he has spent most of his life working as a public servant, a career that spans more than 30 See Harris, page B10

Open hearts and open doors at the Exodus Ranch

Photo by Shawn Kirkpatrick/Opelika Observer By Shawn Kirkpatrick Opelika Observer “If you and Joe will stand and stand firm you will see, know and understand that I am God. And I will bring all things to your door.” This is what Shelley Tufts, founder of Exodus Ranch, said she heard God say to her leading her to opening the doors of the Exodus Ranch. Tufts moved to Opelika in 2005. She said right away God started sending people across

her path that were hurting and needing help. “So we just started helping and meeting the needs in the community. When 2010 rolled around I realized we’d helped close to 30 kids.” As more and more children came along, Tufts said she started asking her pastor and Sunday school class to pray for her and her family. ”The Lord had given me a word to begin the ministry and the Exodus Ranch, and the Lord started opening doors. And the Exodus

Ranch became a nonprofit in 2012.” The name came from a 13-year-old girl who was living with the Tufts at the time. “One night she came into my room and she said I think I know what the name of the home should be. She said I think it should be the Exodus Ranch,” Tufts explained. “I said I love it, but can you tell me why you think it should be the Exodus Ranch. She said because Exodus is where the Lord led the children of Israel

out of slavery and into the Promise Land. And I think that is what he is going to do for every child that comes to the Exodus Ranch.” The Tufts have housed up to 14 children at a time. “The kids that come they are, or their family is in a situation. Whether it’s six weeks or the kid’s lifetime we will help. Six weeks would be, hey we’ve lost our job, our apartment, could you just help us take See Exodus, page A2

INDEX OPINION.................................A4 SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY........A12 SPORTS...................................B1

RELIGION.................................B3 COMMUNITY.............................B8 ENTERTAINMENT.....................B12

Special to the Opelika Observer

20 Under 40: Where are they now

Education is Farrell Seymore’s passion Shawn Kirkpatrick Opelika Observer Education is his passion and Opelika his home where he’s building a better future for his family and his students.

Dr. Farrell Seymore is not only the principal at Opelika High School, but was a member of the 20 Under 40 class of 2010. He was recruited by Lucinda Cannon who See Seymore, page A3

pelika O Observer

A2 February 14, 2018

Letter to the Editor

fresh perspective to his district if elected. “He exemplifies the responsible native son, the return home, the choice to make a difference. He represents the health of a changing community, the growth of small business, and a new opportunity to move from poverty to productivity and from promise to prosperity,” according to the press release. “The choice he offers is not politics as usual; in most ways it's not politics at all. It's different. It's now. And it's real change for people, it's real change for business.” Gray will run against three other candidates in the Democratic primary which will be held in June: Ward 1 Councilwoman Patsy Jones, District 5 Lee County Commissioner John Andrew Harris and former Russell County Commissioner Ronnie Reed. A meet-and-greet with Gray will be held Feb. 21 at Buffalo Wild Wings in Tiger Town from 5-7 p.m. Campaign contributions and donations will be accepted during the event.

Gray, from A1

out to my car and told me he would help me. He got me calmed down and so patiently instructed me on how to navigate the ice, get turned around in his driveway and make it safely back down the hill. I thank the Lord for His protection and for the kindness and concern displayed by Cody! May the Lord bless him for helping me and so many others that day!

The day after the recent snowfall I was attempting to drive on Sandhill Rd when my car started sliding on the ice. Since I am older and am not used to driving on icy roads, I was quite frightened and unsure of how to handle the situation. A young man named Cody Waller saw my plight and rushed

Judith Freeman

Tom Ingram honored Anderson elected to state pork committee for serving farmers

Special to the Opelika Observer Special to the Opelika Observer Lee County's Tom Ingram was recognized for serving the maximum nine years on the Alabama Farmers Federation State Cotton Committee during the 2018 Commodity Organizational Meeting in Montgomery Feb. 7. From left are Federation President Jimmy Parnell, Ingram and Federation Cotton Division Director Carla Hornady.

Lee County's Brian Anderson was elected to the Alabama Farmers Federation State Pork Committee at the 2018 Commodity Organizational Meeting in Montgomery Feb. 6. From left are Federation Pork Division Director Guy Hall and Anderson.

Exodus, from A1 care of our children. And then when they get a job and back on the road they come back to get their children.” The Exodus Ranch is a non-profit that functions on private donations and help from volunteers. The Tufts are hoping to begin construction on an extension to the back of the house for a learning room and extra bedrooms this year. The bedrooms will be used to house the girls and the boys will stay in the main house upstairs. Besides chores and homework, the children earn money by selling clothes at the Clothing Connection at the Vil-

Special to the Opelika Observer

Located in Historic Downtown Opelika


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February is National Heart Month, and East Alabama Medical Center is looking to help Opelika residents stay active through its ‘Walk with a Doc’ event Feb. 20. Beginning at 8 a.m., people are invited to join EAMC doctors and

pelika Observer


Phone: 334.749.8003 Fax: 334.749.8009

lage Thrift Store. “When the clothes don’t fit we go through them and see what we can keep and not keep. We price them, tag them and take them to the Clothing Connection and we get commission from sales,” said Tufts. “The kids help with all this and that’s the money they get for spending for Spring and Fall break, fun money.” On the fence outside Exodus Ranch there is a banner that reads, “Serving the Children that God brings to our Door.” That phrase sums up Tufts passion and desire to serve all people. “Above everything that I do, I want to let these kids know that I love them. Whether it is a day or 10 years just love them and let them see that people love them.” To donate or volunteer visit

other healthcare professionals on a 1-mile walk on the EAMC Outdoor Fitness Trail. Times for the walk are 8 a.m., 10 a.m., noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Walkers are encouraged to wear comfortable clothes and shoes, and bring along family members or friends if interested. For more information, call 334528-6806.

Editor: Michelle Key Associate Editor: Morgan Bryce Journalist: Shawn Kirkpatrick Marketing: Woody Ross, Doug Horn & Emily Key Photographer: Robert Noles

w w w. o p e l i k a o b s e r v e r . c o m 216 S. 8th Street, Opelika, AL 36801 Copyright 2009. All right reserved. Opelika Observer is published weekly by Opelika Observer, 216 S 8th St. Opelika, AL 36801. Periodicals postage is paid at Opelika, AL. USPS #025104 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Opelika Observer, 216 S. 8th Street, Opelika, AL 36801

CORRECTIONS The Opelika Observer will correct any errors, omissions or

Return to: Opelika Observer, 216 S. 8th St. / Opelika, AL 36801

inaccuracies deemed to be substantive. Corrections may be re-

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quested by contacting the Editor at (334) 749-8003.

pelika O Observer Seymore, from A1 thought he’d be a great candidate. “At the time I was the principal at Opelika Middle School. It provided a wonderful experience of an overall look at the entire city and its workings and how dependent we all are within the city. It was a fantastic experience.” Seymore said he learned how a certain board works, how revenue is collected, how police and fire departments work and the city schools and how it all ties together. “To me getting to look behind the curtain and see how it is all interconnected

Coroner, from A1

gates over 500 cases per year and has a staff of three- the Coroner and two deputy coroners. Harris has more than 1,000 hours of continuing education in the medical and death investigation fields and was the first coroner in the state to become certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators. He has been instrumental in getting legislation passed to increase the qualifications, education and training of coroners and deputy

was the beauty of this whole experience.” And from an educator’s point of view, Seymore said it was very helpful because he found out what the need was in the community and took it back to his business, education. “This is what our industry needs today and this is what they’re going to need 5 years or 10 years from now. So it helped me keep a culture pulse on the needs for our students to be more successful and equipped for the world.” Seymore said being in the 20 Under 40 program taught him the importance of building, recruiting and sustaining families in Opelika. “You have no choice but to become engaged and feel like you’re a

part. It’s more than just establishing connections it’s about understanding your community, as I saw it. And it’s the opportunity to grow leaders and hope they reinvest in our community and be here for a long time.” Seymore has been in the Opelika School System for 21 years, the last seven as Principal of Opelika High School. He said he feels incredibly blessed to work in the city’s school system. “I’ve chosen Opelika and it’s a very special place. My Mom and Dad visited here last weekend and they’re always, continually amazed at our wonderful sense of community the town has been able

coroners of the state. Harris curently serves as president of the Alabama Coroners Association and has served as president 15 of the last 17 years. He also serves as Chairman of the Alabama Coroners Training Commission, which regulates and approves all training of all coroners and deputy coroners in the state of Alabama. Harris is a board member of the Alabama Organ Center Advisory Board, State Fatality Management Group, Lee County Child Death Review Team, and Alabama Violent Death Reporting System board. As a member of

the State Mortuary Operations Response Team, Harris serves as the Lee County Team Leader and was responsible for securing over $200,000 in grant funds to purchase state assets stationed in Lee County for mass casualty response. In 2006, Harris retired as an EMS Supervisor from East Alabama Medical Center with more than 24 years of service as an Alabama licensed paramedic. Harris has been involved in several civic organizations over the last 40 years and attends Pepperell Methodist Church. He and his wife Christy will cel-

to establish. It’s about the people and all the things that provide the citizens, including my children. ” The take away from the year he spent in the 20 Under 40 program, Seymore said it’s all about everyone investing together in our city. “I remember the people in the program and to understand and appreciate that we all had a role to play and we all came from a different part of the community and to see that ultimately our goals were the same, we want it to be the best community possible. We all want to be better because we are Opelika, and this is my Opelika, and it’s wonderful to share the experience with other people.”

ebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary in June. They have four children: Drew (Claire) Weaver, Dylan (Rachele) Weaver, Mary Catemann Peters, and Will Harris. They are also grandparents to three grandchildren Andrew Peters, Margaret Weaver and Hut Weaver. “I ask not only for your vote but your support and prayers most importantly. If re-elected as Lee County Coroner I will continue to serve our area with compassion, professionalism, integrity and dedication.”

A3 February 14, 2018

Empty Bowls event raises money for East Alabama Food Bank

Photo by Michelle Key / Editor By Wendy Hodge Opelika Observer The Empty Bowls Project 2018 was held last Saturday at the Recreation Center on Denson Drive. The annual event raises funds to support the East Alabama Food Bank. Local potters and pottery students designed and crafted bowls for purchase. The bowls are meant to symbolize those in our community who often go without a meal. The Rec Center was filled to capacity with guests whose $10 purchase allowed them to choose one piece of pottery and to enjoy a hot bowl of soup. Local vendors, including

Niffers, Panera Bread, Chick-Fil- A, Jim Bob’s, Wright’s Market, and Lee County Gardeners, donated ingredients for the soup that was served. Raffle tickets were also available for purchase. Items up for grabs included various large pottery pieces, a cooking lesson with Jim Sikes, jewelry, and dinner for six in one of Opelika’s historic homes. Local Boy Scout Troop 354, whose members earned a pottery badge, were on hand to assist guests. According to event coordinator Kitty Greene, 85 percent of the fundraising goal for the food bank has been reached. A limited supply of bowls are still available.

Local business supports business of saving lives Special to the Opelika Observer Vance Memorial of Phenix City has graciously invested back into the community in order to promote the saving of lives. We recognized a very unique opportunity to assist our local first responders through an ingenious marketing initiative that could help save lives. The funeral home asks that you download the Vital ICE (In Case of Emergency) app, from either the Apple App Store or Google Play, for your smart phone and enter in their code: #0668. Vance Memorial is making this potentially lifesaving app available for FREE to download in the community as a way of showing their gratitude for allowing them to serve you. They ask that you please take just a few minutes to download the Vital ICE app and fill in the information so that you are prepared in case of

an emergency. This app is available to the entire community, regardless of age, so do not pass up this great life-saving opportunity. Questions about the app can be answered at In the event of an

emergency, a GPS can send your location to up to ten emergency contacts and will send a text message to them besides notifying first responders. First responders can use the Vital ICE app to retrieve the user’s information. This information

can then be easily taken on the ambulance to the hospital or sent directly to the hospital from the Vital ICE app, where ER staff can further access this critical information. Remember, time is of the essence when saving lives!

Know that the people protecting your home are licensed by the State of Alabama. Do have a home security system? Are you licensed in Alabama?

A4 February 14, 2018

pelika O Opinion

Third-float girl Mother’s Love S F sembly of this and Church irst came Fat Tuesof that – they left their day. Sunday learning behind Followed by Ash them and arrived ready to Wednesday. Then the Lentparty. en Season begins. Or so my host led me to What are you giving up believe. for Lent? But my host was wrong. I gave up Mardi Gras. Most of the girls packed Which was pretty easy to By Hardy Jackson parental warnings with do. their uniforms and got off the bus deTruth is, I have been giving up termined not to succumb to the temptaMardi Gras every year since back in tions of the city. the 60s, which was the last time I atAs for the others, the ones who came tended. set for succumbing, there were savvy I have been to a few Mardi Gras chaperones who knew which of their parties since then, but they don’t girls needed watching and watched count because there was no parade. them. Gotta have a parade or it ain’t real. Struck out again. I grew up on the edge of Mardi Despite a lack of romance, I had a Gras, in a South Alabama county too far north from Mobile for our schools good time doing what most folks do at to be closed like they did down on the Mardi Gras. I watched parades, caught throws, mixed and mingled – stuff I coast. could actually tell my Mama about. Besides, up in the puritanical precinct where I lived no one would dare But that was long ago. Today the Cawthorn is gone, victim close school for something as fun as of the wrecking ball that has gotten so Mardi Gras. many of our landmarks. Mardi Gras had to wait until I was With it has gone that tower of tempin college and had a roommate from Mobile who invited me down with the tation that lured small-town boys like promise of parades, parties and girls – me to the big city looking for decadence and finding disappointment. lots of girls. And in its place there is the third He knew where to find them, so he float. said. Right. He took me to some parties – not You see, a few years ago one of the the upscale, exclusive balls put on by women’s mystic societies had a probthe upscale, exclusive mystic societlem. Some of its younger members ies. He was not that well-connected. were displaying a tendency to get unHe got me into second level social gatherings, but even there my country respectably rowdy, as the society’s parade wound its way through the town. credentials were not enough to get While there were no complaints from more than a nod from girls who went onlookers, some of the society’s more to high schools named after saints. decorous, respectable members were After watching me strike out a counot pleased. ple of times my host announced that So rather than create a scandal by it was time for a trip to the Cawthorn banning the free spirits from parade Hotel. and society, it was decided to put the The Cawthorn was an ancient hoswhole lot of them on the third float – telry overlooking Bienville Square, which housed most of the high school where they could be watched and, if necessary, restrained. bands that were there to march in the I can see a trend here. parades. I can see the practice becoming And with the bands came majorwide-spread among the mystics. ettes, flag corps, and cheerleaders. It And when it does, boys like I once was like a candy store for the testoswas will descend on Mobile looking terone afflicted. for a “Third-Float Girl.” Or so my host led me to believe. Only to stand on the sidelines as the Now the girls were there – down parade passes them by. from the hinterlands, from towns like Harvey H. (“Hardy”) Jackson Monroeville, Greenville, Butler, and is Professor Emeritus of history at Thomasville. Jacksonville State University. He can Though back home they were good be reached at hjackson@cableone. girls -- Baptist of various shades and net. sentiments, Methodists, Holiness, As-

he was a seventeenBut she never year-old with love quit thinking about on her mind. Her the girl she’d given nice-looking boyfriend away. convinced her that he And she never quit would be around forever. wondering. That’s They would marry. They what all mothers do. would grow old together. By Sean Dietrich She wondered what It was the same song the girl looked like. and dance you’ve heard a What color her hair was. Was hundred times. she a good athlete? Did she have But promises changed when she posters on her bedroom walls? developed morning sickness. And when nobody was around, She broke the news to him on a she cried for a child she never school night. They were in the car knew. together. Forty years. That’s a long “I’m pregnant,” she said. He didn’t answer. He only stared time. Long enough to become someone else. Long enough for forward and grit his teeth. He a wound to scab. But not long called her a bad name. He told her enough to forget. he didn’t want any “damn baby.” She had a dream. It woke her It shattered her. It was her baby. from a heavy sleep. The dream She jumped out of the car and was a strange and serious one. walked home. They never spoke In the dream, she saw a beautiagain. ful blonde, tall, graceful. She That was a hard time. couldn’t make out the woman’s And her parents only made it features, but she knew who it harder. When she told them she was planning on keeping the baby, was. “My baby,” she said to the they erupted in a mushroom cloud. woman in the dream. “My Her mother wanted her to get the pregnancy “taken care of.” Her baby.” She thought about that for father didn’t care what she did as weeks. Weeks turned into years. long as she got rid of it. One day, she received a phone They forced her. And because call. The man’s first words were, seventeen-year-olds are supposed “Hi, I think you might be my to do what their parents tell them, wife’s biological mother.” she agreed. The next voice on the phone She had a girl. And for many years that was all she remembered. was a woman’s. They met in a crowded restaurant. There were She never saw the hair color, eye people everywhere. Families, color, or chubby fingers. children, and young couples. She only saw a newborn from a She arrived early for lunch. distance. Her parents didn’t want She inspected every face in the her to see the baby. When nurses place. Then, she saw a blonde took the infant away it wasn’t a woman. All forty-some years of pretty scene. saltwater fell from her eyes. No“My baby!” she yelled until her body said anything. They only voice gave out. “My baby, my embraced. Customers in the resbaby!” taurant gawked. A missing piece She bawled for years. A piece of her body fell back into place. of her body had been stolen. Her “Hi,” said the beautiful blonde. biggest part. She felt like her entire “My baby,” said the woman. person had been cut into sections My baby. and auctioned off to the highest Sean Dietrich is a columnist, bidder. and novelist, known for his comBut seventeen-year-olds eventually grow up. Even sad ones. And mentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in kids turn into adults. Southern Living, the Tallahassee She went to college. She Democrat, Southern Magazine, became a woman with a good Yellowhammer News, the Bitter career. Southerner, the Mobile Press She found a nice life, a man Register and he has authored who loved her, and in time she seven books. had more children. Two boys.

Inside the Statehouse


have written about the legendary capitol reporters who used to cover Goat Hill. There was Bob Ingram of the Montgomery Advertiser, Al Fox of the Birmingham News, Hugh Sparrow of the Birmingham News, Rex Thomas of the Associated Press, Don Martin of UPI and Clarke Stallworth of the Birmingham Post Herald. A young cub reporter named Jim Bennett joined the Post Herald in 1961 and later had a distinguished career in Public Service. None of these legends is any longer with us. Today’s capitol press corps also works hard, they stick with “just the facts” by conscientious research of their stories and leave out the speculations, “what-ifs”, opinion and political slants. The men and women I knew in the Montgomery press corps then and today, may have personal views, but they all were and are vigilant in their

in an evenwork as handed way. professional Online journalbloggers ists. They will do the defended the same but freedom of add twists the press and of innuendo, the right of By Steve Flowers supposed the public behind to know the facts and events of public the scenes reasons, and anonymous inferences. officials, their decisions Often the online ‘jourand actions that will impact education, taxes and nalists’ story will present a story but give contorted the economy. extraneous, often incenOver the last few diary, perspectives which years, an ongoing dehave no basis in reality. bate has emerged as to Some suggest this whether reporting on is done to enhance political news is still the number of online just the responsibility of “clicks”, make the story professional journalists and whether online blog- more salacious, attack gers can also be a trusted someone’s reputation source of news reporting. either directly or indiThe contemporary cap- rectly, make it cynical itol press corps, like their and infer insider deals and corruption – and you colleagues of a bygone will get your clicks. era, work hard to meet In many cases, stories their deadlines. These are published by jourprofessional reporters put in long hours by get- nalists only to be later “reinterpreted” by online ting evenhanded quotes, verify pertinent facts and bloggers with an editorial or political agenda. simply report an issue, Because of the cynicontroversy, or an event

cism and negativity that this new 24/7 online blogging creates, I have heard of many good men and women who would otherwise wish to give back to their communities by serving in public office essentially say – no thanks! They have spent a lifetime building up a good reputation in their communities and businesses. They cannot imagine where a pseudojournalist, who is trying to build their reputation by the number of online clicks they get, can get away with attacking someone’s reputation in such a careless way. We must make sure that individuals get the news and information they need to be informed, responsible citizens. Those sources can be from journalists, bloggers, and other digital platforms. Let’s be vigilant about the freedom of press whether it is old fashion, hard-nosed journalism or 24/7 blogging. How-

ever, let’s also clearly delineate whether it is political opinion and gotcha stories whose sole purpose is to tarnish reputations and add to further public alienation from politics and cynicism. Opinions are great and important to public discourse but see them for what they are – opinions of one – do not try to mask those as ‘facts’. Recently, the Alabama Political Reporter brought the documentary, “Atticus and the Architect”, to the Davis Theatre in Montgomery. A packed house watched the story of former governor, Don Siegelman’s persecution. The film left no doubt that Siegelman was prosecuted for political reasons. Siegelman spent close to ten years in prison, unduly. It is one of the saddest stories I have witnessed in my lifetime of following Alabama politics. The travesty has not gone unnoticed by young potential lead-

ers in the state. I have the opportunity to get to know some brilliant, young Alabamians in my University classes on Alabama and Southern politics. Many of them are political science and prelaw majors. I will inquire as to whether they are interested in pursuing a political career. Most will tell me that they would never seek political office, not even a judgeship. Invariably, they will point to the Siegelman prosecution as one of their reasons for not being a part of the political process. They realize that their lives could be ruined by political persecution. 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

pelika O Observer

A5 February 14, 2018

Time’s running out - get your Girl Scout cookies now Shawn Kirkpatrick Opelika Observer They’re delicious – chocolate over cool mint, lemonade, marshmallow, coconut, shortbread and toffee, the flavors of Girl Scout Cookies. “Sales are going good right now. We have girls every weekend at Lowes, Kroger, Wright’s Market, Piggly Wiggly and Walmart in Opelika,” said Julie Stanley, 7372 Troop Leader. “They’re $4 a box and sales end March 4.” New this year is the promotional, ‘Buy Five or

More.’ If someone buys five or more boxes of cookies their name is put into a drawing to win a year worth of cookies. Girl Scout cookies aren’t just scrumptious. The money that comes from purchases goes toward teaching the girls entrepreneurial and business practices for the future. “Each troop sets their own goals on what they do with their money. Our troop is going to go on a day trip somewhere. We have five places we are looking into,”

Stanley said. “Our troop uses part of the money for a community project. We do one a month. Plus uniforms and badges.” Stanley said each girl learns how to set a personal goal and sets the amount of boxes they want to sell and depending on their age, how to spend their money. “They also learn decision making, money management, people skills, and business ethics.” The highest achievement for a girl scout is the Gold Award. It is com-

parable to the Eagle Scout award. The young women pick their Gold Award projects from the worlds of STEM, education, agriculture, medicine, and more on a local, national, and global level. Stanley is asking if there are any local businesses that would like the Girls Scouts to set up in front of their store to sell cookies, please call. To buy cookies online go to the Girl Scouts of Southern Alabama at www. Next up for Girl Scouts of Southern

Special to the Opelika Observer Tori Skittle and Amy Garciaat from Girl Scout Troop 7372 set up for booth sales outside of the Opelika Lowe’s. Alabama is a visit to the State House on March first. Girls from Lee County and across the state

will meet with government leaders, observe lawmaking sessions and deliver cookies.

Still hitched By Morgan Bryce Associate Editor Beauregard residents Preston and Alma Hall attribute the success of their 60-year marriage to their deeply rooted faith in God. “It’s been a wonderful marriage. After we’d been married 9 or 10 years, and we got in church and we got saved, which was the best thing we ever did,” Alma said. “My advice to couples looking to get married is to get in church if they’re not in church. Get right with the Lord, and let Him work through all the details.” The couple’s love story began on a November evening in 1957, when Preston, who had recently returned from his Army deployment to Korea, accompanied Alma as her escort for a sparkfilled evening full of food, fun and dancing. “(Preston’s) brother

was married to my cousin. One night, they were going out, and asked if I would go with them … but told me I’d need an escort … and that was Preston,” Alma said. Both shared their memories of that evening. “I thought she was real pretty. She had pretty, real dark black hair and was real good looking,” Preston recalled. “I fell in love with him, and he quickly fell in love with me too,” Alma said. What followed was a whirlwind romance, as the couple wed three months later on Jan. 6, 1958, in a small, private ceremony conducted by a neighboring pastor. During the early years of their marriage, Preston owned and operated his own trucking business, and Alma served faithfully as a housewife. Preston switched from trucking to tires



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Special to the Opelika Observer after he started working for Uniroyal in 1971, where he would work for the next 21 years. After Preston retired, the couple relocated to Beauregard. In 2006, a gas leak caused a fire and explosion in their mobile home that nearly claimed their lives. A relative, Eugene Dixon, witnessed the situation, and pulled See Hitched, page B2

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pelika O Observer

Opelika City Council honors OCS Teachers of the Year award winners By Lawton Vallely For the Opelika Observer

The Opelika City Council started their regular Tuesday night meeting by honoring Opelika City School’s Teachers of the Year Award winners. The honorees included: Taveta Debrow of Carver Primary; Rebecca Lindsey of Jeter Primary; Samantha Knowles of Southview Primary; Elizabeth McFarling of Morris Avenue Intermediate; Tanya Brown of West Forest Intermediate and Betsy Gore of Opelika High School. Brooke Hipp, Northside Intermediate School, was named as the OCS’s Elementary Teacher of the Year and Amanda Vaughan, Opelika Middle School, was selected as the OCS’s Secondary Teacher of the Year. “The committee met and they had a really tough time in deciding on teachers of the year

because we have many great teachers and I think without exception every one of our teachers gives their best every day to all of our kids,” said OCS Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum and Instruction Jean Miller. “It’s a great place to work and our kids are very fortunate to have teachers of this caliber.” The Opelika City Council also approved a downtown bike race to be held on Feb. 25. The race, previously held in Opelika in 2016, is an officially sanctioned Southeastern Conference sporting event. According to Pam Powers-Smith, president of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, the bike path will consist of a circle around N. Railroad and 1st avenue and will allow cars to pass through the barricades if needed. Smith added that she and other city officials expect a higher level of attendance at this year’s race. In other business, the

Photo by Michelle Key/Editor council: -approved purchase of a new Digger Derrick truck for Opelika Power Services for $259,118 -approved purchase of a new aerial device for OPS for $219,535 -approved resurfacing of Auburn Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard for $306,480 -approved expense reports from various departments -approved the designation of city personal property surplus and authorized its disposal -approved the purchase of one 2018 Ford F150 for Opelika's Parks and Recreation Department for $23,707

When my business burned down, my employees depended on me. Auto-Owners and my independent agent got us up and running... fast. – Steve Schroder, Business Owner

-approved the purchase of one refuse dumper for Opelika Environmental Services at $15,882.38 -approved a resolution honoring the life State Representative George Bandy Sr. -amended text Zoning Ordinance, Section 2.2, 7.3, 7.6, 8.16, and 8.17. -denied Mr. Sunny’s Food and Gas Package Store’s request for AB Lounge retail Liquor Class 2 license -reappointed Wilbert Payne, Angela George, and Chris Anthony to the Business of Zoning and Appeals, with terms ending on Feb. 11, 2021.

A7 February 14, 2018

Lessons on beekeeping

Special to the Opelika Observer Damon Wallace with the Claybird Bee Educational Association spoke at a recent Opelika Kiwanis Club meeting. Wallace shared his expertise on beekeeping and his experience teaching beekeeping in Haiti. Pictured with Wallace is Joanne Camp, club member.

Alpha Kappa Alpha hosting Founder’s Day luncheon Special to the Opelika Observer

Three local chapters of Alpha Kappa Alpha - Beta Xi Omega (Tuskegee), Mu Sigma Omega (Opelika-Auburn), and Lambda Zeta Omega (Lanett) are hosting a Founder’s Day Luncheon in

honor of the sorority’s founding on the campus of Howard University in 1908. The members of the sorority will be celebrating the sorority’s 110th anniversary at Southern Union Community College on Feb. 17. The speaker will be Rev. Dr. Cynthia L. Hale.

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A8 February 14, 2018

Community Calendar: Events around town To view the full schedule please visit http://www.aces. edu/anr/beginningfarms/ webinars.php. 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

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, womens’ 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: • “Gimme A Break” support group for autism parents will be held from 9-11 a.m. at the EAMC Health Resource Center, 2027 Pepperell Parkway, Opelika. This is a monthly event on the first Monday of each month for parents to connect with

each other. • The John Powell American Legion Post 18 and Auxiliary meets the third Monday 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. • Smiths Station Military Chapter of Military Officers Association of America (MOAA) meets weekly at Mike & Ed’s at 5 p.m. For more information, call 2975581 or visit • The Lee County Voters League meets the first Monday of every month at St. James Missionary Baptist Church, located at 1335 Auburn St. in Opelika. • 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 334528-4197 or deboarhowen@ • The fourth Monday of each month a Community Grief Support Group meets from 5:30–6:30 p.m. at the EAMC Health Resource Center. No reservations are necessary; everyone is welcome. For more information

Dad’s League leadership training Feb. 24

call 826-1899 or 502-0216. • T.O.P.S (Taking Off Pounds Sensibly), a weight loss support group, meets every Monday night from 5:30-7 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 question 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 container production, dealing with drought in commercial horticulture crops, and many more

Tuesdays: • Ballroom Dance Classes at the Opelika Sportsplex from 7-8 p.m. every Tuesday. Instructor is Cody Wayne Foote. For more info call Diane at 749-6320. • A monthly educational program on topics for autism parents, caregivers and teachers will be held on the second Tuesday of each month at Trinity United Methodist Church, 800 2nd Ave., Opelika from 6-7:30 p.m. Childcare is provided but reservations need to be made by contacting Maria Gutierrez at mariag@ to make sure there are enough volunteers. • 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 about 6:30-6:45 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 6–8 p.m. 8685 AL 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 evening from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Auburn University Regional Airport. The Civil Air Patrol is a non-profit 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 www. or find the organization on Facebook. Wednesdays: • The second Wednesday of each month a Community Grief Support Group meets from 10-11 a.m. at the EAMC Health Resource Center. No reservations are necessary. For more info call 826-1899 or 502-0216. • Auburn-Opelika Chapter of Citizen’s Climate Lobby (CCL) meets every fourth Wednesday. CCL is a nonprofit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change. We consider a national carbon fee which would be distributed as a dividend to all U.S. households as the most important solution to climate change. Meetings are held at the Hubert and Grace Harris Center Meeting Room (425 Perry St., Auburn, AL 36830 --- directly across from the Auburn, AL U.S. Post Office), 7:00-8:30 PM. To learn more about CCL go to our website: • The John Powell American Legion Post 18 and Auxiliary hosts Bingo every Wednesday night at 6 p.m. • Every Wednesday is Wine Down Wednesday at the Bottling Plant Event Center from 5 - 8 p.m. Thursdays: • 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. • TNT – Teens N Transition is a monthly program for teens and young adults ages 14 and up. The group uses this time to learn social skills as well as connect with others on the autism spectrum. They have enjoyed

This meeting is for those that desire to help Dad’s League reach its potential to empower, motivate and connect fathers and father figures throughout this and surrounding communities. We need those who want to serve as: Facilitators – pairs who lead Locker Room sessions with typically 10-12 men discussing issues that hit dads the hardest Ambassadors – spokespeople for Dad’s League

who advocate for us in the community, help recruit, engage and strategize ways to make an impact in our community. At this meeting we will review: The Dad’s League Leadership Kit How to Facilitate How to Engage Dads Strategy Session Men and women both can participate. If you would like to be part of this please contact Antione Harvis – 334-749-8400 ext. 235 or

March 3 The 2018 Dyslexia Dash of East Alabama, hosted by the Alabama branch of the International Dyslexia Association, will be held March 3. Now in its fourth year, the goal of the event is to raise money to help support those with dyslexia and dyslexic characteristics by promoting activities that involve dyslexia awareness, dyslexia resources, and professional development. For more information or ticketing options, visit www.runsignup. com/Race/AL/Auburn/DyslexiaDashofEastAlabama. Upcoming Events - The Bottling Plant Event Center February 21 & 28 March 7, 14, 21, & 28 April 4, 11, 18, & 25 Battle for O-Town Comedy Competition Two winners from each show will compete in the finale (date TBA) for a $500 prize. Sign up now. To get your events listed in the Opelika Observer please email us at editor@ or call 334•749•8003.

City of Opelika business license deadline reminder Special to the Opelika Observer

Special to the Opelika Observer

cooking, bowling, laser tag, movies and game nights. This event is held the third Thursday of each month. Visit for more information. • 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 770-845-2277 for more information or luncheon location of the month. • The Bosom Buddies Breast Cancer Support Group meets at the Health Resource Center at 6 p.m. the first Thursday of each 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 334-528-1076 for more information. •American Legion Auxillary Unit 152 meets the first Thursday of every month at 11 a.m. at Niffer’s Place, 917 S. Railroad Ave. in Opelika.

The City of Opelika Revenue Department would like to remind business owners of the deadline for Business License renewals. All license renewals are due annually on January 1 and become delinquent as follows: • General Licenses: Delinquent after February 15 • Alcoholic Beverages:

Became delinquent after January 15 • Insurance Companies: Delinquent after March 1 The penalty for late payment of business licenses is 10 percent of the amount of tax due, plus an additional five percent for each additional 30-day period of delinquency. For more information, please call the City of Opelika Revenue Department at 334-705-5160.

Westside recycling center closing Apr. 1 Special to the Opelika Observer Due to recycling material being continually contaminated, the Westside Recycling Center on Grand National Parkway in Opelika will close effective Apr. 1. Citizens can sign up for curbside recycling at for only $10 per

month or bring recycling to one of the four recycling centers – Northside Center at 600 8th Avenue, Covington Center at 213 Carver Avenue, Floral Park Center at 600 Floral Street or Jeter Avenue Center at 675 Jeter Avenue. For more information, call Opelika Environmental Services at 334-705-5480.

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Join the Arbor Day Foundation in February and receive 10 free trees Spcial to the Opelika Observer Joining the Arbor Day Foundation is an ideal way to get in the mood for spring planting. Anyone who joins the Foundation in February 2018 will receive 10 free Norway spruce trees or 10 free redbud trees to plant when the weather turns warm. The free trees are part of the nonprofit Foundation’s Trees for America campaign. “These trees will help beautify your home for many years to come,” said Matt

Harris, chief executive of the Arbor Day Foundation. “The trees will also add to the proud heritage of your state’s existing Tree City USA communities.” The Tree City USA program has supported community forestry throughout the country for the past 40 years. The trees will be shipped postpaid at the right time for planting, between March 1 and May 31, with enclosed planting instructions. The 6- to 12-inch trees are guaranteed to grow, or they will be replaced free of charge.

Severe weather sales tax holiday scheduled for Feb. 23-25 Special to the Opelika Observer Alabama’s seventh annual Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday will be held Feb. 23 - 25. Alabamians are encouraged to stock up on a variety of supplies for protecting their homes or businesses during Alabama’s tornado and hurricane seasons. A provision in the Severe Weather Preparedness Sales Tax Holiday law allows counties and municipalities to join the state by removing their own local sales and use taxes from the same items during the same weekend (Reference: Act 2012-256). ADOR has compiled a list of all cities and counties participating in the 2018 Severe Weather Preparedness Tax Holiday. The city and county listing is available at https:// revenue.alabama. gov/wp-content/ uploads/2017/05/ SWHoliday_2018. pdf. The following list contains examples of items covered under the Severe Weather Preparedness holiday. Items that have a sales price of $60 or less per item: • Batteries: AAAcell batteries, AAcell batteries, C-cell batteries, D-cell batteries, 6-volt batteries, 9-volt batteries. (NOTE: coin batteries, automobile batteries, and boat batteries are not ex-

empt.) • Cellular phone battery • Cellular phone charger • Portable selfpowered or batterypowered radio, two-way radio, weather-band radio or NOAA weather radio • Portable selfpowered light source, including batterypowered flashlights, lanterns, or emergency glow sticks • Tarpaulin, plastic sheeting, plastic drop cloths, and other flexible, waterproof sheeting • Ground anchor system, such as bungee cords or rope, or tiedown kits • 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 Items that have a sales price of $1,000 or less: • Portable generators and power cords For more information about Alabama’s annual Sales Tax Holiday for Severe Weather Preparedness, visit sales-tax-holidays/.

Members also receive a subscription to the Foundation’s colorful bimonthly publication, Arbor Day, and The Tree Book, which contains information about planting and care. To become a member of the Foundation and receive the free trees, send a $10 contribution to:Ten Free Norway Spruce trees or Ten Free Eastern Redbud Trees, Arbor Day Foundation, 100 Arbor Avenue, Nebraska City, NE 68410, by February 28, 2018, or visit

A9 February 14, 2018

Ready, set … SPRING! By Suzanne Montgomery For the Opelika Observer With temperatures still dropping below freezing it’s hard to think that spring in this part of the south is just around the corner. Seems like we just finished with the Christmas holidays and now it’s time to unwrap our early spring planting guides and garden catalogs. So, for those of us die hard gardeners itching to get ahead of the hard spring curve, there are a number of tasks that need to take place this month to ensure you don’t find your garden to- do list

overwhelming in the months of April and May. In February I like to rake out my beds and get rid of the leaves on my grass which I have had naturally composting with the winter rains (and snow this year too!) and move them to the back compost pile to finish decomposing. Cleaning all beds harboring winter weeds is easy since the ground is supple from frequent rains and the leafy mulch. On sunny days, cleaning beds is a joy with the aroma of warming soil wafting up to my nostrils and bringing with it the promise of beautiful blooms to come.

Rose care is high on my list of plants to address. February any is time for trimming back your roses , especially the knockout roses, to about eighteen inches off the ground and then giving them their first application of fertilizer. My choice for fertilization and protection against Japanese beetles and fungus is a rose and flower food by Bayer. You can find it in any box store and I prefer the granular rather than the liquid for ease of application….no mixing required and I just let the next rain water it into the ground. I apply the product See Spring, page A10

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A10 February 14, 2018

Local photography studio gives Opelika native to star in back to autism community HBO movie, ‘Paterno’ By Morgan Bryce Associate Editor

Opelika native and actor Jock McKissic will star in a new HBO movie, ‘Paterno’, that is set to air this spring. According to filmmakers, ‘Paterno’ focuses on

everyday until I got it,” McKissic said. “I stood up and delivered it, and got a standing ovation. That was the moment I knew that I wanted to feel that kind of joy again, through acting.” Through his school years, McKissic bal-

‘Necessary Roughness’ television series, an experience he said that opened his eyes toward a career in acting. “Saskatchewan didn’t end up signing me, but I had a peace with my football career being over. I knew then that

the life of Pennsylvania State’s and college football’s all-time winningest coach Joe Paterno, portrayed by Academy and Emmy award-winning actor Al Pacino, in the aftermath of the Jerry Sandusky sexual abuse scandal in 2011. Playing the role of defensive team captain ‘Tyler’, McKissic said he believes the emotionallycharged film will present Paterno’s story in a way that challenges people’s existing perceptions of both the coach and his tarnished legacy. “From the side of the people who may think Joe Pa was wrong or deserved what he got, they’ll have some remorse for him, because his side of the story was never told. They’ll really see what happened, and be able to put themselves in his shoes,” McKissic said. Landing a role in what figures to be a highly watched and talked about film is a dream come true, according to McKissic. “To have the opportunity to have four scenes in such a big movie, this is definitely what I believe is a stepping stone for my career ... it’s definitely going to open up some doors for me,” McKissic said. McKissic’s pursuit of an acting career began when he was in the second grade, performing as Martin Luther King Jr. in a church play. “I was originally supposed to say two lines, but I told my teacher that I wanted to do the whole speech. My mom would practice with me

anced theatre and sports, but garnered the most attention for his stellar football career at Opelika. In his senior year, McKissic said he received scholarship offers from Alabama, Auburn, Mississippi State and Ole Miss, but eventually selected Clemson, citing it as having a “family atmosphere like Opelika.” Unable to balance the demands of a football player and theatre major, McKissic instead double majored in communications and sociology, taking courses that he said would play a vital role in his development as an actor. At Clemson, McKissic dominated. He received Freshman All-America honors, contributed to a perennial top-20 defense each season and finished with 68 tackles and 2.5 sacks during his college career from 2005-2008. Prior injuries kept McKissic from an NFL career, but he played briefly with a couple of Arena League teams before attempting to become a member of the Canadian Football League’s Saskatchewan Roughriders in 2012. “I was in Atlanta training for Saskatchewan, which was where I met this guy named Mark Ellis. He’s a sports director who’s been involved in films like ‘The Program’, ‘The Longest Yard’, ‘Water Boy’, ‘Remember the Titans’ ... pretty much any big sports movie you can name,” McKissic said. Ellis offered McKissic an opportunity to be a part of USA Network’s

it was time to make the transition to my second job of being an actor,” McKissic said. In 2013, McKissic enrolled in acting courses and began to immerse himself in the acting world, and has since worked with Adam Sandler and Shaquille O’Neal in ‘Blended’, bit scenes with Oprah Winfrey in ‘The Life of Henrietta Lacks’ and her television show ‘Greenleaf.’, commercials and recurring roles in television programs including ‘Saints and Sinners’, ’24: Legacy’ and ‘The Yard’. McKissic currently splits time between Atlanta and Los Angeles, but still travels home for occasional visits with family and friends. In addition to the Paterno release, McKissic hinted at some other big projects in 2018, including the production of his own feature film. Reflecting on his swift rise in the acting ranks, McKissic said he wants to use his platform and voice to remind children that anything is possible with a little hard work. “Being from here, the odds were against me in this industry. I just had enough courage, enough belief in God and enough crazy in myself to believe and work toward making this possible,” McKissic said. “I want all children everywhere, especially here in Opelika, to know that there’s nothing you can’t achieve, and I’m living proof of that.” Follow McKissic’s Twitter and Instagram page to keep up with his career.

Photo submitted by Jernigan Photography

Special to the Opelika Observer Jernigan Photography donated all session fees from their 2017 Easter promotion to the Lee County Autism Resource & Advocacy Non-profit (LCARA). Shown above at the presentation, left to right: Isaac Baum, Carey Walker Baum, Charlie Jernigan, Lennie Squiers and Eli

Spring, from A9

between three and four times each year and then enjoy the blooms well into the fall before frost takes them. Cleaning up perennial bed from the last of the seed pods and last years’ dead foliage prepares the beds for spring mulch whether pine straw, rocks or wood chips. It is easier to apply the mulch now before the spring and summer bulbs and perennials begin to show and could be damaged with the mulch application. Since I compost almost everything possible from leaves, grass clippings and kitchen waste in the rear of my yard, I have a very nice pile of rotted and very rich compost to work into my beds and add to any new shrub or tree planting. A plant is only as good as

Baum. Lee County Autism Resource & Advocacy (LCARA) is an all-volunteer non-profit offering resources, educational programs and support free of charge to families in Lee County and the surrounding areas who have a loved one on the autism spectrum. They are located at 601 South 7th St. in Opelika. Call 334740- 0716 for more

information. Jernigan Photography will be working with LCARA again with their 2018 Limited Edition Easter Portrait Special on Friday, March 30. Please call 334745- 2334 for more information. Jernigan Photography specializes in portraits and is an active member of the Special Kids Photography of America organization.

the soil in which it is planted! If you are planning on new trees and shrubs, whether it is one or an entire landscape re-do, late winter and into early spring is the best time for those projects while trees and shrubs are still dormant. Any potted or balled and burlap shrub can be planted in this part of the country at any time since we don’t need to worry about the ground freezing. Plants installed in late fall through early spring have a much better survival rate thanks to plenty of rain and cooler temperatures which encourages strong root development. Finally, I like to inventory my garden tools and clean up hand tools with a mixture of bleach and water to kill pathogens lurking around from last years’ pruning. Placing shovels in a five gallon bucket

with some coarse sand and old motor oil will help remove dirt and keep them functioning and looking better for years. Just dip and remove shovel several times after use and before putting tools away. It’s also a great time to check for broken handles, bent tines and tools just worn out and no longer ergonomically functional. Many new tools on the market today are designed with the more vintage gardener in mind and keep strain off older hands, wrists and backs. Check them out! This year’s garden catalogs are showing some great new hybrids in the horticulture world with bigger blooms, thicker stems and more resistance to disease. Next column will feature Hellebores, the early beauties of spring.

Your Future Matters to Us. Poarch is proud to be a partner in Alabama’s progress. We have a tradition of including others. Poarch provides more than 13,000 jobs to Alabamians, pays millions in state taxes each year, and makes charitable contributions reaching nearly $8 million annually. Strong communities can help build a better life for all. ALABAMA NATIVES. ALABAMA NEIGHBORS. 251.368.9136

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A11 February 14, 2018

James Bros. Bikes named ‘Small Business of the Quarter’ by Opelika Chamber of Commerce By Morgan Bryce Associate Editor The Opelika Chamber of Commerce named James Bros. Bikes as its ‘Small Business of the Quarter’ award winner last week during its Business over Breakfast event. Co-owner Danny James said he believes the recognition is a result of the company’s hard work toward making Opelika a cycling destination. “We definitely are honored that we were chosen as the ‘Business of the Quarter.’ I know our staff have worked real hard in trying to bring something new to downtown Opelika and we are just fortunate to be in a community that has worked so hard to make downtown a place that’s great

for folks to visit and shop,” Danny said. Danny and his wife Amanda originally started their business in downtown Opelika in 2005. After relocating to Auburn, Danny said that the city’s efforts to grow and develop a cycling culture were a major factor in their decision to return in April 2016. “I think one of our decisions in coming back was the effort by several community leaders to focus on bicycle safety and advocacy in Opelika, the establishment of the (Opelika Bicycle) Advisory Committee in the last two years and seeing the city’s focus on improving cycling infrastructure made it feel like a perfect time and a great fit for us to come back

and hopefully make a positive impact on that effort,” Danny said. For more infor-

mation, visit www. opelikachamber. com. The shop is located at 113 S. 9th Street.

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outhern S Hospitality

A12 February 14, 2018

Revive the tradition of Southern Sunday dinners

SH Ann Cipperly’s

Southern Hospitality

Recently, I have been thinking about growing up in Opelika. My happiest memories were on Sundays when my Mother would be in the kitchen preparing a wonderful dinner with fried chicken or beef roast, garden fresh vegetables, biscuits and a yummy dessert, which was quickly devoured by my brother, sister and myself. I realized that while I loved Mom’s Sunday dinner, I am most thankful for growing up in a Christian home. This came to mind as I was sitting in the CT scan waiting room at M.D. Anderson in Houston. I had been given a tall pre-test drink laced with additives to aid in the tests. I had an hour to sip the beverage before I was called to have a port inserted for the dyes used in the body scans. Don sat next to me wearing earphones, as he looked over the assorted music selections on his iPad. As the room filled up quickly, the nervous looks

were obvious on those arriving. A woman pushing her wheelchair sat down next to me. She was wearing a mask and a small paper cap to cover her bare head. I smiled and asked where she was from. ”Not far,” she nervously said, being from a nearby town. A lady sitting across from us, who had been watching us, came over. She had lived in Long Island, N.Y. I told her my husband had graduated from high school there, as I shook Don’s shoulder to get his attention. I am always looking at people and often will ask them where they live, especially those who look anxious. I think it helps to have someone to talk to and listen to their story. When no one was interested in talking and my mind wondered to the “if”, I pulled out my copy of Bible verses I had assembled. The paper is worn and the edges crumbled from being pulled from my purse so many times. These are the verses that always bring peace. I should be nervous, worried and anxious, but instead I feel blessed. I was blessed to have a Christian family who taught me early in life about Jesus. My earliest memory is standing on our porch \ telling my Dad that I wanted to go back to my grandparents’ house next door. In my mind, I can still see the old house lit up and hear the gospel songs. Since my

Recipes Marinated Eye of Round Roast 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup wine vinegar 1/2 cup lemon juice 1/2 cup Worcestershire sauce 2 Tbsp. lemon pepper, optional 1 eye of round roast Combine marinade ingredients in a 13 by

9 inch pan. Roll roast in sauce. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake roast in sauce for about one and one half hours for medium or 3 hours at 250 degrees. Let sit 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with sauce.

Easy Braised Pork Chops Pork chops Salt and pepper Sliced onion, optional Water In a large skillet, pour a small amount of oil. When hot, add pork chops without over crowding. Season chops with salt and pepper. When brown, turn over; add salt and pepper. When both sides are brown, place on a foiled lined cookie sheet with a rim (foil for easy cleanup).

Finish browning pork chops, may need to add a little more oil. When pork chops are all cooked, pour some of the grease off. Add about 1/2 to 2/3 cup hot water. Stir to loosen brown bits from pan. Boil for a few minutes to cook down. Pour over chops. Can add a slice of sweet or regular onion on top of each chop. Cover pan tightly with foil. Bake at 350 for about an hour. Be careful removing foil, as it is hot.

Easy Saucy Chicken To prepare ahead, pour sauce over chicken, cover and refrigerate until ready to bake. 1 whole chicken, cut up or 6 chicken breasts or thighs 1/2 cup soy sauce 1/2 cup catsup 1/4 cup honey 2 cloves garlic,

chopped Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine sauce ingredients. Place chicken in a shallow baking pan. Pour sauce over top. Baste with sauce from time to time while it cooks for 1 hour.

grandmother was crippled and could not attend church, my uncle and cousin, who were both ministers, took worship to her house. When I was 5 years old, my grandfather passed away. A room with a small porch was built onto our house for my grandmother to live with us. I would sit in her room for hours listening to Bible stories or gospel music. Jesus was a friend I talked to when I fed the chickens. Sometimes I would sneak leftover cornbread to feed my favorite chickens and baby chicks. I had given them all names and did not like it when one of the hens was on the menu for Sunday dinner. Our old frame house did not have central heat or air, so when the weather was warm, the doors and windows were always open. I could be found after church sitting in the swing on the porch, waiting for the delicious Sunday dinner. Once in a while I would open the screen door to check on the progress of the meal, forgetting I was not supposed to let the door slam. At times, I was called to help by setting the table, which would be decorated with Mom’s pretty flowers, if anything was in bloom. I don’t know how she managed to have a vegetable garden and grow flowers with everything else she did.

Photo by Ann Cipperly Sunday dinners are a great time to spend time with family. The Grilled or Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin is marinated overnight and quickly cooked the next day. Along with the pork, other easy entrees are featured to prepare ahead and quickly assemble after church on Sunday. Glasses would clink at the sound of being filled with ice and sweet tea. Mom placed the wonderful, homemade dishes on platters around the table, and Dad said grace. It seemed Sunday dinner lasted longer than any others. We would laugh at Dad’s stories of growing up on a farm in the piney woods somewhere outside Opelika. After Don and I married and had children, I continued the tradition of Sunday dinners after church. Sometimes I prepared the meal a day ahead or used a crockpot. Other days I quickly assembled easy recipes. All those sweet memories carried me through the long day of scans and the after-

Grilled or Oven Roasted Pork Tenderloin 2 pork tenderloins Marinade: 1/3 cup oil 1/3 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup brown sugar 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tsp. ground ginger 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar Measure marinade ingredients in a glass dish; stir and add pork, rolling to completely cover meat. Cover and marinate in refrigera-

tor overnight. Grill Method: Cook pork on grill for about 30 to 40 minutes or until desired doneness. Allow to rest 15 minutes before slicing. Oven Method: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drizzle oil in a skillet and brown pork. Pour marinade over meat or roast plain for 25 minutes or until desired doneness. Allow pork to rest 15 minutes before slicing. Recipe is easy to double or triple.

Creamy Parmesan Lemon Chicken 6 skinless, boneless chicken breasts or thighs 4 to 6 Tbsp. butter Salt and pepper to taste 2 Tbsp. sherry or cooking sherry, optional 2 Tbsp. grated lemon rind 2 Tbsp. lemon juice 1 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup or more Parmesan cheese Sauté chicken breasts in butter until light brown; salt and pepper to taste. Place

chicken in a baking dish. Add sherry, lemon juice and rind to butter in skillet. Cook over low heat, stirring for three to four minutes. Slowly blend heavy cream into sauce, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over chicken. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over chicken. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes (longer for thighs) or until cooked. Serve with rice or pasta.

Chicken in Honey Dijon Sauce Can prepare ahead and then bake. 1 chicken, cut-up or 6 chicken breasts ½ cup honey ½ cup Dijon mustard 1 Tbsp. curry powder 2 Tbsp. soy sauce

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place chicken in baking dish. Combine remaining ingredients; pour over chicken. Cover and bake 45 minutes, basting with sauce. Uncover and bake 15 minutes longer.

math of being sick. As I sat in my doctor’s waiting room the following morning, I knew, whatever the report, I have been blessed with a wonderful family, husband, children and grandchildren. The strength I had to walk into the doctor’s office was from being taught about Jesus that had brought comfort my entire life. The drive home was lighter than the trip to Houston. I praised God all the way for another good report to keep the miracle going, providing more time to linger over Sunday dinners with my family. Ann Cipperly can be contacted recipes@cipperly. com.

Sunday Brisket 1 brisket Sauce: 1 Tbsp. garlic powder 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. pepper ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce ¼ cup liquid smoke Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper on brisket; place in

large roasting pan. Add Worcestershire sauce and liquid smoke. Cover tightly. Bake for 5 hours at 250 degrees. Let rest about 15 minutes before slicing. *This was always a favorite entrée for the Jasmine Garden Club dinners.

Old Fashioned Gingerbread with Lemon Sauce 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour 1/2 cup sugar 1 cup dark molasses 3/4 cup hot water 1/2 cup shortening or vegetable oil 1 egg 1 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. ginger 1 tsp. cinnamon 1/4 tsp. salt Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour 13 by 9 inch pan. Measure all ingredients into large mixer bowl. Blend 1/2 minute on low speed, scraping bowl constantly.

Beat 3 minutes at medium speed, scraping bowl occasionally. Pour into pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Lemon Sauce: 1 cup sugar 1/2 cup butter 1/4 cup water 1 egg, well beaten 1 tsp. grated lemon peel 3 Tbsp. lemon juice Combine all ingredients in medium saucepan. Heat to boiling over medium heat, stirring constantly. Serve warm.

Parmesan Baked Pork Chops 1 cup Parmesan cheese 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs 1 tsp. pepper 1 tsp. garlic powder 4 boneless pork chops 1 Tbsp. olive oil Combine first 4 ingredients. Rub olive oil on pork chops and dip each one in the Parme-

san mixture to coat. Press mixture over pork chops until well covered. Spray baking pan with nonstick spray. Place pork chops in pan and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.

See Recipes, B7

Opelika Schools, ports ociety S &S

February 14, 2018




• Puzzles • Restaurant Health Scores • Religion page

Four Opelika seniors ink scholarships Feb. 7

On the Mark By D. Mark Mitchell

Opelika boys, girls win area championships The Opelika boys and girls basketball teams won the area tournament championship last week at Opelika High School’s Sports Arena. The 19-9 Lady Bulldogs defeated Benjamin Russell 61-35 in the area tournament finals. Coach Devin Booth’s team continues to play great defense and an up-tempo offense. Anita Payne and Abrea Green scored 10 points each to lead Opelika. Quala Walton added 7 points and 13 rebounds. Opelika advances to the sub-regional round of the AHSAA’s 6A state basketball playoffs Tuesday night against Pelham. The winner advances to the regionals in Montgomery. The results of Opelika v. Pelham were not available at press time. BOYS BASKETBALL The Opelika boys defeated Benjamin Russell 53-36 in the area tournament last week. Coach John Wadsworth created a difficult schedule for his team to help prepare them for lateseason challenges. Jorden Heard led the boys with 13 points, and Trey Boone and Taye Fields added 10

and 9 points, respectively. The Bulldogs hosted Pelham last night in the OHS Sports Arena, with the winner advancing to regionals in Montgomery Thursday. Results were not available at press time. WRESTLING Four Opelika wrestlers advanced to the AHSAA State Meet in Huntsville after qualifying in the sectionals last weekend. Below is a list of the qualifiers: Heavyweight James Dawson placed fourth in his division. The sophomore will make his second trip to the state championships. 145-lb. Desmond Shuman was sixth in his class, and earned his second trip to the state finals 170-lb. Benjamin Daughtry was 2-0 before a sickness prevented him from finishing. He qualified for state with a sixth-place finish. 195-lb. Cameron Reese finished seventh in sectionals to qualify for state. The four wrestlers, along with Coach Jim Davis, will travel to Huntsville today for the AHSAA See Sports, page B2

Jorden Heard named OHS 6A Area 6 MVP By Morgan Bryce Associate Editor

Robert Noles/Opelika Observer By Morgan Bryce Associate Editor Four Opelika High School seniors inked scholarships during college football’s ‘National Signing Day’ last Wednesday. Hundreds of people packed into the

school’s indoor practice facility to witness the ceremony, which was led by Coach Caleb Ross. Below is a list of information about the four signees: - Offensive tackle Deandre Butler waited until Signing

Robert Noles/Opelika Observer Quala Walton was named the 6A Area 6 MVP after scoring 7 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the Lady Bulldogs’ 61-35 win against Benjamin Russell last Wednesday.

Tori Skittle and Amy Garciaat from Girl Scout Troop 7372 set up for booth sales outside of the Opelika Lowe’s.

A division of



See Signing, page B2

Walton named Local students honored 6A Area 6 MVP with C.I.A. awards Feb. 8


Day to announce his decision. Butler, right guard and three-year starter for the Bulldogs, signed with Jacksonville State. Originally a University of Alabama at Birmingham commit,

Opelika senior Jorden Heard was named Area 6’s most valuable player after his clutch performance in the boys’ 53-36 win against Wetumpka last Wednesday. Heard led the Bulldogs with 13 points to help punch his team’s ticket to the sub-regional round Tuesday night against Pelham. Results were not available at press time.

749-8303 OPELIKA

Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

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B2 February 14, 2018

Sports, from B1

State Championships. Matches will begin at 8 a.m. Thursday at the Von Braun Civic Center. SPRING SPORTS Although it’s February, spring sports are beginning. Opelika baseball, softball, tennis, track, golf and soccer teams have been practicing in preparation for the upcoming season. The Opelika girls and boys soccer teams opened the season this week against Park

Crossing, but results were not available at press time. Both teams travel to Montgomery Saturday to participate in the ‘Capitol of Dreams’ tournament at the Emory Folmar YMCA Soccer Complex. The girls and boys tennis teams will travel to Columbus tomorrow to take on Columbus High. Opelika baseball opens its season Monday in Enterprise. The Bulldogs will play Enterprise in a doubleheader, with first pitch slated for noon. ON THE MARK Fans can keep up

with Opelika athletics Monday-Friday by listening to the ‘On the Mark’ radio program on WTLM 1520 AM and on the web at Click the On the Mark tab to hear interviews from coaches and others guests pertaining to local sports. You can follow me on Twitter handle, @ VOICEOFTHEDAWGS. D. Mark Mitchell is sports director for iHeart Media, Alabama Dixie Boys State Director and vice president of the A-O Sports Council.

Lee County students receive Good Citizen Awards from Martha Wayles Jefferson DAR Chapter

Special to the Opelika Observer

Lady Dawgs beat Ben. Russell to win 6A title

Left to right: Connor Fordham (Wadley High School), Sarah Hollis Smith T (Opelika High School) and Cassidy Walrath (Smiths Station High School), this year’s first- place winner. Special to the Opelika Observer The Martha Wayles Jefferson DAR Chapter awarded Good Citizen Awards to three area high school seniors at a reception held on Jan. 31 at the Auburn Chamber of Commerce. Shown left-to-right are Connor Fordham (Wadley High School), Sarah Hollis Smith T (Opelika High School) and Cassidy Walrath (Smith’s Station High School), this year’s first-place winner.

Hitched, from A5

Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

Preston out through the roof. Suffering from third-degree burns and major smoke inhalation, Preston refused to leave until he knew that Alma had been rescued. A helicopter flew the couple to the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s hospital for treatment. Both had sustained major injuries and complications that would keep them there for

Signing, from B1

Butler flipped, signing with the school because of how the Gamecock coaching staff handled his recruitment. “... just how the coaches recruited me and how much they made me a priority to them,” Butler said. This fall, Butler said he expects to compete for playing time at tackle and center, in addition to his natural position of guard. - Cornerback Justin Lewis announced his intention to sign with the University of Massachusetts in December, and he finalized that last Wednesday. After fielding offers from UMass, Kentucky Wesleyan and North Alabama, Lewis said he selected the Minutemen because of the school’s warm

The DAR Good Citizen Scholarship Contest is intended to encourage and reward the qualities of a good citizen. The student selected to represent their high school should show the qualities of dependability, service, leadership and patriotism and write an essay on a topic provided by the DAR Good Citizen Committee. This year’s topic was “How Has America Advanced the Cause of Freedom in the Rest of the World?” All three of this year’s

winners are college bound. Cassidy Walrath will be attending the University of Arkansas which offers a program in sign language interpreting; Sarah Hollis Smith T is enrolling at Auburn University where she will be preparing for a career in nursing. Connor Fordham will be entering a seminary where he plans to pursue ministerial studies and play football. He was recognized this year as an All-Star Linebacker.

months. “After a long recovery himself, my grandfather would be at her bedside, which took a couple of months. He would go sit by her even though she could not speak due to being on the vent," said Holly Long, the couple's granddaughter. "Their love for one another is like no other." Long added that family, friends, church members and complete strangers pitched in later to help build a new home for Preston and Alma after being released from the hospital.

Through all of life’s peaks and valleys, Alma acknowledges that her love for Preston only deepens with time. “We do have a great marriage. I know I love him more now than when I married him,” Alma said. Alma, nearly 88, and Preston, 85, are the parents of four children, grandparents of nine and great-grandparents of 11 with the next on the way. Both enjoy spending time together in prayer and reading the Bible, as well as attending First Holiness Church of Tallassee.

atmosphere.“When I went up there, they treated me like family. I felt like it was my home,” Lewis said. Lewis will join a secondary that finished 42nd out of 129 Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) teams in 2017, allowing 17 total touchdowns and an average of 207 yards passing per game. - Free safety/cornerback Jamias Presley waited until Wednesday to announce that he would join Butler as a Jacksonville State commit. Presley said he too enjoyed how he was recruited and signed with the school because of its strong tradition and rising prominence on the national college football landscape. “I felt comfortable there. And coming from Opelika, we have a winning program and Jacksonville State has a winning program ... I like the challenge,”

Presley said. “Being a top-level (program), I can get better as a person and an athlete. I figured that would be the best (place) for me.” Presley added that he has a good chance to contribute to the Gamecocks as a freshman this fall. - Defensive lineman Callahan Saggus finalized his commitment with the University of West Alabama. Saggus said he signed with the school because of its solid program and academics. “I felt that it was a place where I could get a good education, go for the degree I wanted and come in and be a part of a good team. They have a very good program down there.” The 6-foot-5 Saggus will compete for the noseguard spot on the Tigers’ defensive line this fall. He added that he will major in business management.



Family & Religion

February 14, 2018

He will be up all night


Hunley Group Lambert Transfer & Storage An Interstate Agent for North American Van Lines 1102 Fox Trail Opelika, AL 36803 745-5706

orry is a prayer to the wrong god. Jack Exum said that. I don’t know whether it was original to him or not but I know that it’s true. When we’re anxious and worried we are worshiping at the wrong altar. Paul told Timothy that “The Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and selfdiscipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). Anxiety usually happens when we give too much attention to our circumstances and not enough to God. It is Peter dwelling on the wind and the waves. It is the army

tion to their of Israel problem allowing (6:19ff). Goliath After to eclipse all, that’s God. It is certainly Martha the way it frittering by Bruce Green looked for away in the Teaching Minister at them and presence of 10th Street Church of the way Jesus. Christ in Opelika we usually The think about people Jesus addressed were not it today. If you don’t have enough, then the obsessing over trivial solution is simple—get issues—He was talking to those who likely more, right? If life consisted solelived close to subsisly of material things tence level. and we were exactly Their concerns like the animals, this were food, clothing would be true. and shelter (Matthew But the life our Fa6:25ff). ther designed for us They would be goes far beyond having tempted to see acquiring the ability to stock- a full stomach, clothes pile things as the solu- on our body and a roof

Church Calendar

• Liberty Baptist Church invites everyone to “Music Only” services every fifth Sunday night. Special groups and singers will be invited to participate and lead the worship. Liberty Baptist is located at 2701 West Point Parkway. • Every fifth Sunday evening, Lake Pointe Baptist Church, located at 8352 Highway 50 in Dadeville, hosts a gospel singing at 6:30 p.m. • The Auburn Music Club Singers practice on Tuesdays during the academic year from 9:30 to 11 a.m. in the music ministry room at Holy Trinity Episcopal Church on Church Drive off South Gay Street. New members are welcomed. For more information, contact director Phyllis Gauker at 334887-7261 or at • A community-wide program for people with memory loss will be held at Auburn

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

Please submit your church announcements to editor@! Content must be turned in by Friday at noon for Wednesday publication.

ANGLICAN Anglican Church of the Good Shepherd 1311 Second Ave. #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. #745-6670 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



1520 Second Ave. Opelika, AL 36801


24-Hour Service

United Methodist Church every Tuesday and Thursday, starting in May. Classes will last from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. For more information, contact program director Betsy Lethander by email at Betsy.Lethander@, or by phone at 334444-9632 for more information. • 9th Episcopal District AME Church, in coordination with the Interdenominational Theological Center School of Theology, will hold an eight-course certificate program for those who want to grow in their Biblical knowledge. Classes begin Feb. 2 in the Opelika-Auburn area. For more information or registration details, contact Rev. Gwendolyn Breaux at (334) 703- 4640 or Sis. Ida Davis at (334) 202-0560. Events can be emailed to the Observer at

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 #745-6377 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

over our head. We were made to image Him. Feeding, clothing and sheltering our bodies will always be important but it can never be ultimate. And while for us to have these things in abundance might be labeled by most as prosperity, to possess them apart from faith in our Father is in reality spiritual poverty. Jesus wanted His audience and us to understand that the central issue of life is this: do we trust our Father? After all, while we are to work to obtain what we need (2 Thessalonians 3:10), it’s idolatry to fail to see

God’s presence in the process. He is the One who provides us with the strength and the ability to work. It is from His hand that seed comes for food and material for shelter. His care is witnessed by the world around us (Matthew 6:26-30). Therefore, the central issues of life are not resolved through worry, but by faith in God. When worry comes calling, turn it over to God. He’s going to be up all night anyway. Bruce has written a book on the model prayer called Praying in the Reign. It is available through 21st Century Christian.

Verse of the Week “Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh,”

Genesis 2:22-24 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

Fresh Foods...And A Whole Lot More!

603 Pleasant Drive Opelika, AL 36801 749-1333 Mon- Sat 7am-8pm Sun 12pm-6pm

The Jeffcoat Trant Funeral Home Gospel Train Sunday mornings from 6-10 a.m.

pelika O Observer

B4 February 14, 2018

LEGALS 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, February 27, 2018 at 3:00 p.m. in the Commission Chambers in the Public Works Administrative Building located at 700 Fox Trail, Opelika, Alabama. The purpose of the public hearings is to receive public comment on the following: 1. A public hearing on a request by Blake Rice, authorized representative for Wayne Gentry Builders, Inc., property owner, for preliminary plat approval of the Silver Oak, Phase Two subdivision consisting of 30 lots accessed at Lee Road 266. 2. (a) A public hearing on a request by Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood, Inc., authorized representative for Retirement Systems of Alabama, property owner, for preliminary plat approval of the National Village Plat 6A subdivision consisting of 719

lots accessed at Robert Trent Jones Trail. (b) A public hearing on a request by Max Vaughn of Goodwyn, Mills, & Cawood, Inc., authorized representative for the Retirement Systems of Alabama, property owner, for Master Plan Revisions to the National Village PUD (Planned Unit Development) Master Plan from to construct a pocket neighborhood home development accessed from Robert Trent Jones Trail. 3. (a) An agenda item to consider a recommendation to the City Council on the request by Plainsman Development, Inc., property owner, to annex 160.69 acres into the City limits accessed at 700 block Ski Spray Point. (b) A public hearing to consider a recommendation to the City Council on the request by Plainsman Development, Inc., property owner, to zone 160.69 acres annexed into the City limits accessed from 700 block Ski Spray Point to a R-2 (low density residential) zoning district. (c) A public hearing on a request by Blake Rice, authorized representative for Plainsmen Development, Inc., property owner, for preliminary plat approval of the Foxchase on Emerald Lake, Phase IV subdivision consisting of 74 lots accessed

NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT ESTATE OF HATTIE L. WILLIAMS, DECEASED, COURT OF PROBATE Letters of Administration of said deceased having been granted to the undersigned on the 2nd day of February, 2018, by the Hon. 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 law or the same will be barred. Witness our hands, and dated this the 2nd day of February, 2018. Vickie Kirk Phyllis Lockhart Legal Run 02/07/18, 02/14/18 & 02/21/18

Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell personal property described below belonging to those individuals listed below at the location indicated: Extra Space Storage 1412 Opelika Rd. Auburn Al, 36830 on 02/28/2018 at 2:00 p.m. Roderick Strong Unit# A10 2605 w 82nd st inglewood,,CA,90305 fridge, printer clothes Kisha Calloway Unit# 240 1307 Randolph St Opelika,AL,36801 beds, couches,tv's, 3

at 700 block of Ski Spray Point. (Tabled at January 23 rd Planning Commission meeting) 4. A public hearing on a request by William R. Dean, property owner, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Trillium subdivision, Third Revision, consisting of 2 lots accessed at 606 India Road or the 2000 block Rocky Brook Road. 5. A public hearing on a request by James L. McCrory, authorized representative for Ronald Gene Ezell, property owner, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Ezell Hill subdivision consisting of 3 lots at 2300 Grand National Parkway. 6. A public hearing on a request by James L. McCrory, authorized representative for Lisa C. Ditchkoff, property owner, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Alta Vista, Resubdivision of Lots 22 to 29, Block 2 subdivision consisting of 2 lots at 822 North 10th Street. 7. A public hearing on a request by James L. McCrory, authorized representative for Nathan Hollingsworth & wife and Huey Strickland & wife, property owners, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Hollingsworth, First Revision subdivision consisting of 2 lots accessed at 8484 Lee Road 146. 8. A public hearing on a

request by Mike Maher, authorized representative for Mike Teel, property owner, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Teel, Murphy Tract subdivision consisting of 5 lots accessed at Lee Road 262. 9. A public hearing on a request by J. Lamar Phillips, authorized representative for First Presbyterian Church of Opelika, property owner, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Totten’s Map SD, Redivision of Lots 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B, & 4B, Block 30 subdivision consisting of one lots a cessed at 900 2 nd Avenue. 10. A public hearing on a request by Eric Rudd, authorized representative for Robert W. & Alma R. Young, property owner, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Robert W. Young SD, Resubdivsion of Parcel 1A1 subdivision consisting of 2 lots accessed at 5145 Hwy 29 North. 11. A public hearing on a request by Blake Rice, authorized representative for East Alabama Investments, LLC, property owners, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Redivision of Lot 4A & Part of Lot 1A & Lot 1B, Block 37 of Totten’s Official Real Estate Map subdivision consisting of 2 lots accessed at 309 Second Avenue. 12. A public hearing on a

request by Blake Rice, authorized representative for Fox Run Parkway Development, LLC, property owners, for preliminary and final plat approval of the Re-Subdivision of Tract “A” of the Fox Run Parkway Development, LLC subdivision consisting of 5 lots accessed at 1301 McCoy Street. 13. A public hearing on a request by Blake Rice, authorized representative for Fox Run Parkway Development, LLC, property owner, for conditional use approval for a Multi- family- Apartments development at McCoy Street & South Fox Rin Parkway 14. A public hearing on a request by Clay Cardone, property owner, for conditional use approval for a climate control self-storage mini-warehouse facility at 3008 Frederick Road. 15. A public hearing on a request by David Futral, property owner, for conditional use approval for an automobile maintenance use at 303 South Railroad Avenue. 16. A public hearing on a request by Dylan & Patricia Jackson, property owner, for conditional use approval for an automobile stereo & speaker installation services use at 207 North 3 rd Street. 17. A public hearing on a request by The Firing Pin,

bedroom house, Kerry Bark Unit# T351 560 N Perry St Apt 121 Auburn,AL,36832 Household items, Washer and dryer, Beds, Boxes Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction. Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property. Legal Run 02/07/18 & 02/14/18

MORTGAGE FORECLOSURE SALE Default having been made in the payment of the indebtedness secured by that certain Mortgage executed by Steven L. Russell to ServisFirst Bank on the 16th day of March, 2017, said Mortgage being recorded in the Office of the Judge of Probate of Lee County, Alabama, on the 14th day of April, 2017, in Book 4296, Page 456. The undersigned, ServisFirst Bank (“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 on the front steps of the Lee County Courthouse in Lee County Alabama, located at 215 S 9 th St., Opelika, Alabama, on the 28th day of February, 2018, during the legal hours of sale the following described real estate situated in Lee County, Alabama, to wit: Unit 20 of College Square, a condominium, according to that certain declaration dated October 16, 1989, recorded in Condominium Book 3-A, at Page 36 et seq., and according to the plat, plans and specifications recorded in Condominium Book 2, at Page 48, et seq., in the Probate Office of Lee County, Alabama. Subject to all zoning, easements, restrictions, restrictive covenants and reservations appearing of record. Said sale will also be made subject to any Federal Tax Liens, Ad Valorem Real Estate Taxes and/or Special Assessments of any nature, if any, which might adversely affect the title to the property. The property is being sold “as is, where is.” Said property is sold without warranty or recourse, expressed or implied as to title, use, enjoyment or condition. This sale is made for the purpose of paying the indebtedness secured by said real estate Mortgage, as well as the expense of foreclosure. ServisFirst Bank, Mortgagee By: JAMES G. HENDERSON Attorney for Mortgagee: James G. Henderson Pritchard, McCall & Jones, L.L.C. 1210 Financial Center 505 North 20th Street Birmingham, Alabama 35203-2605 Telephone: (205) 328-9190 Legal Run 1/31/18, 2/7/18 & 2/14/18

STATE OF ALABAMA CASE NO. 2018-A-053 LEE COUNTY PROBATE COURT ESTATE OF H.S. BENCE, DECEASED NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT OF PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE Letters Testamentary of said H.S. Bence, deceased, having been granted to Verlie W. Bence, this 5th day of February 2018, 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 the law or the same will be barred. Verlie W. Bence, Personal Representative Jeffery A. Hilyer Attorney at Law P.O. Box 30 Opelika, Alabama 368030030 334-745-2564 Legal Run 02/07/2018, 02/14/2017, 02/21/2017

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Extra Space Storage will hold a public auction to sell personal property described below belonging to those individuals listed below at the location indicated: Extra Space Storage 1242 N. Dean Rd. Auburn Al,36830 on 02/28/2018 at 1:30 p.m. Richard Fitch Unit#115 4100 Walnut Ave Lot 4 Opelika,AL,36801 Bed,chair,couch,dresser, boxes,clothes,totes,toys Purchases must be made with cash only and paid at the above referenced facility in order to complete the transaction. Extra Space Storage may refuse any bid and may rescind any purchase up until the winning bidder takes possession of the personal property. Legal Run 02/07/18 & 2/14/18

NOTICE OF ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE SALE To be held on Friday,, Mar 2, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Best 4 Less at 2509 Lafayette Parkway, Opelika, AL 36801. 4T1BG22K2XU474819, 1999 Toyota Camry Legal Run 02/07/18 & 2/14/18

LLC, property owner, for conditional use approval for an indoor firing range at 2195 First Avenue. 18. An agenda item for discussion only concerning a previous rezoning request from November 2017 for Ledge Nettles, 2700 block Society Hill Road, 16.6 acres, from R-1 to C-2. 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 Lisa McLeod, 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 2/14/2018

NOTICE TO CREDITORS ESTATE OF MALCOLM CLAYTON HUMPHRIES, Deceased, PROBATE COURT LEE COUNTY CASE NO.: 2018-A-036 Take notice that LETTERS TESTAMENTARY of the Estate of MALCOLM CLAYTON HUMPHRIES, deceased having been granted to M. Clayton Humphries, Jr., on the 26thday of January, 2018, 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. M. Clayton Humphries, Jr. Legal Run 02/07/18, 2/14/18, 2/21/18

NOTICE OF ABANDONED MOTOR VEHICLE SALE To be held on Thursday, Mar 8, 2018, at 10 a.m. at Best 4 Less at 2509 Lafayette Parkway, Opelika, AL 36801. 2GCEC19KXP1226231 -1993 Chevy GMT-400 2B4GP44G3WR579747 1998 Dodge Caravan 1N4AL11D55C266094 2005 Nissan Altima 1HGCG2252XA033049 - 1999 Honda Accord Legal Run 02/14/18 & 2/21/18

IN THE PROBATE COURT OF LEE COUNTY, ALABAMA IN RE: THE ESTATE OF MARTHA M CULLEY, DECEASED. CASE NO. 2018-A-054 TAKE NOTICE: Letters Testamentary of said deceased, having been granted to LISA CULLEY PATETE, on the 5th day of February, 2018 by the Hon. Bill English. 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. BY: Lisa Culley Patete Legal Run 2/14/2018, 2/21/2018 & 2/28/2018


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B5 February 14, 2018

Trampoline and tumbling team bring home awards Special to the Opelika Observer Opelika Parks & Rec Trampoline and Tumbling traveled to Knoxville, TN to compete at the Ozone Invitational on Jan. 13. They competed

against over 3,500 athletes and achieved numerous awards in all three events. For more information about the Ozone Meet or our Tumbling Program please call Beth Mowery at (334) 705-5557.

Special to the Opelika Observer Pictured left to right: Bailey Brown, Makiah Paschal, Danielle Scott, Aalaya Bell, Wilson Slocomb, Caden Ryan, Madison Williams, Abby Haga, Alex Crowley, Maya Billingslea. Not pictured: Ty Barnes, Mary Joy Moosman, Ivey Portis, Annie Tucker.

Opelika City Schools Superintendent presents ‘State of the Schools’ address at Chamber’s Business over Breakfast event By Kendyl Hollingsworth For the Opelika Observer

Finances, accreditation and Opelika City Schools’ career and technical education programs were the focus of this year’s ‘Business Over Breakfast: Education Edition’ event held at the Saugahatchee Country Club last Thursday. This year’s presenting sponsor of the event, recognized by Chamber of Commerce Board Chairman Shey Knight, was Glynn Smith Chevrolet Buick GMC of Opelika. Gold sponsors included Baxter International, Opelika Power Services, Opelika-Auburn News, S & S Termite Pest Control LLC, Max Credit Union and Huntingdon College. Pam Powers-Smith, president of the Opelika Chamber of Commerce, welcomed attendees before OCS board member Antione Harvis gave the invocation and led the

room in the Pledge of Allegiance. Knight introduced guest speaker Dr. Mark Neighbors, superintendent of OCS, who began his presentation by touching on the school system’s finances. He explained that approximately 80 percent of their funds go directly into the classroom, and he emphasized the importance of continued local support. “One of the things that’s important for us, that allows us to be successful on things that we do, is that local support,” Neighbors said. “So, while we’re appreciative that the state funds are starting to pick up, our local support is critically important to be able to provide [necessary materials].” According to Neighbors, OCS’ general fund budget is comprised of approximately 50 percent state funds, 40 percent local funds and 10 percent federal funds. OCS now has about 3,500 Google Chrome-

books for students to use while at school, and Neighbors said every school has a Google Expedition virtual reality kit that is used often. These virtual reality viewers allow teachers to give students a more immersive learning experience. “Children in some of our locations have very limited experiences, so we felt like this isn’t just cool and fun, but we’ve got kids who may have never left Lee County in Paris now [or] at the Grand Canyon (in virtual reality),” Neighbors said. OCS’ career and technical education programs are another major focus in OCS’ curriculum for high school students. These programs include concentrations in culinary arts, pre-engineering, agriscience, information technology, business education, health sciences, teaching and video production. Neighbors explained that OCS is looking to increase the rigor and

Special to the Opelika Observer expectations in each program, and they are working to update and acquire new equipment where possible. He also mentioned the importance of partnerships such as the agriscience program’s partnership with the water board. “One of the things that is very important for us is to partner with apprenticeships and coops and different things, and we’re trying to grow that,” Neighbors said. Neighbors mentioned that OCS has also started a dual enrollment program. He also said that OCS has seen an increase in students in AP courses, the number

of AP exams taken and their respective scores. Neighbors explained OCS’ accreditation and how schools are scored. The ACT Aspire, which is a two-day assessment designed to measure student readiness in grades three through 10, is used in all but one state. Schools are given an overall score, as well as three additional scores in teaching and learning, leadership and resource utilization. OCS scored above average across the board. “We do have high standards on expectations, but it’s very simple to me…your kids are first every day…but your teachers are a close

second,” Neighbors said. “They’re the ones that, when rubber hits the road, then you’ve got to take care of those folks, and then the rest of us are support.” Following Neighbors’ remarks, Powers-Smith encouraged any business owners to reach out if interested in helping or partnering with the career and technical education programs. “We do want these kids to learn what it’s like to be in the workforce,” Powers-Smith said. “Development is a big issue in this community…they’re training these kids to be able to hold down a great job when they’re 16 years old, 17 years old— that’s amazing, and we need to keep supporting that.” Derek Lee, director of Opelika Power Services, ended the meeting by recognizing the ‘Small Business of the Quarter Award’ winner James Bros. Bikes which has locations in Opelika and Auburn.

Boys and Girls Club honors ‘Youth of the Year’ at Champions for Kids Luncheon By Shawn Kirkpatrick Opelika Observer

Photo by Shawn Kirkpatrick/Opelika Observer

Top right, 17-year- ld Shanecia Little, a senior at Opelika High School. Top left, Booker T. Washington High School senior Naimah Hakeem, was named as the 2018 Lee County Youth of the Year award recipient representing the Auburn Boys and Girls Club unit. Bottom: community members enjoying lunch and honoring the award winners.

“A Place to Become” was the slogan for this year’s Greater Lee County Boys and Girls Club’s Champions for Kids Luncheon. Youth of the Year awards were given at the luncheon, as well as the Jane Walker Community Champion Award to Bill and Patsy Parker. The award is named after Jane C. Walker, a supporter of the Boys and Girls Club. The year-long fundraising campaign was also launched for the BGCA. The keynote speaker was Allison Black Cornelius, founder and president of Blackfish Strategies. Shanecia Little, a senior at Opelika High School, was awarded the Youth of the Year award for

the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Lee County’s PotterDaniel Unit. She explained what the club means to her. “Two months before my 17th birthday, I lost my mom due to domestic violence. Other teens my age would have either given up or quit school. I want to continue my education. After I graduate I want to go to Troy University and become a social worker and help kids that have gone through the same thing or something similar,” said Little. “The Boys and Girls Club has helped me be a leader in the community, at my school and at home. Without the Boys and Girls Club I don’t know where I would be.” Booker T. Washington High School senior Naimah

Hakeem was named as the 2018 Lee County Youth of the Year award recipient representing the Auburn Boys and Girls Club unit. She was awarded a $1,000 scholarship and will compete in Montgomery in March for more scholarships. Resource Development Director Betty Burns explained what the club’s needs are for the year. “What we are really looking for is to upgrade our technology for our computer lab. We want to make sure our system runs concurrently with what the school system is using. We want to give the kids the same opportunity that everyone has. A lot of them don’t have access to a computer and the internet at home.” Burns said general funding is also an is-

sue. “The more staff we have the better programs we have to serve the students. I know it’s a nonprofit so they don’t get paid an enormous amount of money. So we want to offer somewhat competitive wages. We want to hire quality youth development professionals, not warm bodies.” Board Chairperson Carolyn Reid summed up the focus of the day’s events – the boys and girls. “Our youth are fantastic. I never met one of these children who haven’t inspired me. This is the day to celebrate the Champions of Kids in our community,” said Reid. “The Boys and Girls Club is a place where they can grow into successful, productive citizens.” To donate visit

B6 February 14, 2018

Opelika boys defeat Wetumpka 53-36, claim area title

pelika O Observer Opelika’s Ovations prepares for exhibitation OHS hosted 2018 Southern Showcase Feb. 10

Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

Robert Noles/Opelika Observer

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pelika O Observer

WEEKLY Recipes, FOOD from A12 RATINGS McDonald’s 2057 Tiger Town Parkway Opelika Score: 97 Gohyong Gardens 816 Columbus Parkway Opelika Score: 97 Taco Bell 2400 Pepperell Parkway Opelika Score: 97 Zaxby’s Restaurant 2089 Frederick Road Opelika Score: 96 Asian Cuisine, Inc. 3750 Pepperell Parkway Opelika Score: 95 Auburn University Wellness Kitchen 370 S. Donahue Drive Auburn Score: 95 New Tokyo Hong Sheng 2524 Enterprise Drive Opelika Score: 95 Steak ‘N Shake 2096 Interstate Drive Opelika Score: 85 Wok ‘N Roll 1703 Columbus Parkway Opelika Score: 80

B7 February 14, 2018

Chicken Cacciatore Can prepare the day ahead and reheat. ½ cup self-rising flour Salt, pepper Buttermilk, optional

2 fryers, cut-up or chicken breasts or thighs Oil 2 Tbsp. butter 12 oz. mushrooms, sliced 1 large onion, chopped ½ cup sliced celery 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced Two 16-oz. cans diced tomatoes

8-oz. can tomato sauce 1 tsp. oregano Salt and pepper chicken; dip in buttermilk (can omit this step), then roll in flour. Brown in hot oil; place into a large oven proof baking dish. In another skillet, sauté mushrooms in butter; set aside. In same skillet, sauté

onion, celery and garlic in a small amount of butter or olive oil. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, oregano and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in mushrooms. Pour over chicken. Cover and bake in 350 oven for 30 minutes; remove cover and bake an additional 20 minutes. Serve with pasta.

Chicken Thighs with Balsamic Garlic Sauce 6 boneless, skinless chicken thighs 1 Tbsp. olive oil Salt and pepper to taste 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar 1 cup chicken broth 1 Tbsp. flour 1 Tbsp. butter,

softened Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large oven proof skillet over medium high heat. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Place chicken smooth side down in the pan and cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Turn chicken, cook a few minutes and place skillet

in oven. Cook for 40 minutes or until cooked. Place chicken on a platter to rest. Return skillet to stove top over medium high heat, adding more olive oil, if needed. Add minced garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minute, then add balsamic vinegar. Stir, scraping the browned bits

from the bottom of the pan for about 1 minute. Add chicken broth; bring to a boil. Mix butter and flour together to make a paste. Whisk flour into butter mixture; bring to a boil. Simmer until the sauce gets thick, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over chicken and serve.

Chicken Croquettes with Remoulade Sauce 2 Tbsp. butter or oil ½ medium-size red bell pepper, diced, optional 4 green onions, thinly sliced 1 garlic clove, pressed 3 cups chopped, cooked chicken 1 cup soft breadcrumbs 1 large egg, beaten 3 Tbsp. mayonnaise 1 Tbsp. Creole mustard or grainy Dijon

Chicken in Mustard Sauce 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts Salt and pepper Flour 1 Tbsp. butter

mustard 2 tsp. Creole seasoning, optional Vegetable oil Remoulade Sauce Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add bell pepper, green onions, and garlic; sauté 3 to 4 minutes until vegetables are tender. Combine bell pepper mixture, chicken, and next 5 ingredients. Shape mixture into patties. Sauté patties in hot oil over medium heat

1 Tbsp. oil ½ cup chicken broth 3 Tbsp. smooth or grainy Dijon mustard 3/4 cup heavy cream or half and half Chopped fresh pars-

3 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Serve with Remoulade Sauce. Makes 4 to 6 servings. Remoulade Sauce: 1 cup mayonnaise 3 green onions, sliced 2 Tbsp. Creole mustard or grainy Dijon mustard 2 garlic cloves, pressed 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley, optional Combine ingredients until well blended.

ley, optional Season chicken with salt and pepper; coat with flour. Place butter and oil in skillet over medium heat. When hot, add

Mom’s Chocolate Pound Cake 2 sticks butter, softened ½ cup shortening 3 cups sugar 5 eggs 3 cups all-purpose flour ½ tsp. baking powder 4 Tbsp. cocoa 1 cup milk 2 tsp. vanilla Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Cream butter and shortening; add sugar and eggs. Sift dry ingredients; add alternately with milk to creamed mixture. Stir in vanilla. Bake in a greased bundt pan for about 80 minutes or until tests done. Can bake in two loaf pans. Cool and frost. Frosting ¾ stick butter, softened 5 Tbsp. cocoa 6 Tbsp. milk 1 box powdered sugar Cream butter and cocoa; add sugar alternately with milk. Mix until blended and smooth.

Chicken with Marsala Sauce 6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs Salt and pepper ½ cup flour, optional 2 Tbsp. melted butter or canola oil 1 lb. sliced mushrooms, optional 1/3 cup dry Marsala wine, sherry or cooking sherry ½ or more cup chicken stock Grated Swiss, Mozzarella or Parmesan cheese Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Salt and pep-

chicken and cook until lightly brown but done. Remove to platter. Pour broth in skillet; simmer about 2 minutes. Add mustard

per chicken; dredge in flour and lightly brown in butter or oil. Remove to ovenproof dish. Sauté mushrooms in same skillet, adding more butter if necessary; sprinkle over chicken. In skillet add wine and let simmer; add chicken broth; bring to a boil and simmer a few minutes. Pour over chicken and mushrooms. Sprinkle cheese of choice over chicken. Bake for about 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is done. Serves 6.

and cream. Boil until sauce has thickened slightly. Salt if needed. Spoon sauce over chicken; garnish with parsley.

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pelika O Observer ‘The Lone Bellow’ to Chorale Board invites WWII veterans to attend concert visit Opelika Feb. 17 B8

February 14, 2018

Special to the Opelika Observer

By Kendyl Hollingsworth For the Opelika Observer Cottonseed Studios will present Americana band The Lone Bellow in an intimate show at the John Emerald Distillery in Opelika Feb. 17 at 7 p.m. This will be the band’s third time playing in Opelika since they first visited in 2014. Richard Patton, cofounder of Cottonseed Studios and the man in charge of the music, described the band’s first show in Opelika as “a big dance party in the street.” “The first time we had them, we just had an abandoned building on First Avenue—nothing was ready—and we just threw them in an old building, and it was a great experience,” Patton said. Patton also said this show will be a fun and unique experience since it will be smaller than some of their past shows. “They’re very infectious if you’ve never seen them live, incredibly high energy—in-

credibly engaging and connecting with the crowd,” Patton said. “If you’ve never seen them, never heard their music, you’ll walk away fans of The Lone Bellow. The Lone Bellow’s origin story is part of what captivated Patton. The band formed following a serious horseback accident involving lead singer Zach Williams’ wife that left her paralyzed. Expected never to recover, she surprised everyone by regaining her strength and recovering from her injuries. While waiting and hoping for her recovery, Williams began writing songs, and after moving to Brooklyn with his wife, he met the future members of The Lone Bellow. “They’re really amazingly great people… and (we’re) happy for their success,” Patton said. “Their music kind of transcends to anybody, whether you’ve heard them or not.” Patton also praised Nashville-based Becca Mancari, the show opener, for her breakout success. Mancari

is also no stranger to Opelika—she previously performed at Concourse/South in summer 2016. “We always like to encourage people, whether it’s with us or anywhere where there’s live music in your town, go support it when you can,” Patton said. Cottonseed Studios, which has pursued film and music projects since 2013, has also worked with popular indie bands such as Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors, Shovels and Rope, Delta Spirit and Humming House in the past. They are currently cultivating music for Red Clay Brewery’s anniversary party in April. Tickets for The Lone Bellow are $30 for general admission and $79 for a VIP Happy Hour with the band that includes a general admission ticket to the show. Tickets may be purchased online through the show’s event pages on Facebook and Eventbrite. The show will be at 706 North Railroad Avenue in Opelika.

The Choral Society of West Georgia announces ‘Victory Through Harmony Songs That Won The Way,’ a musical tribute honoring the 73rd anniversary of the end of World War II. The concert will take place on Feb. 24, at 6 p.m. in the Callaway Conference Center at West Georgia Technical College. Tickets are $45 each and include dinner by Kimble’s, two glasses of wine, the concert, taxes and service charge. Tickets can be purchased at Tournesol, the MarketPlace and Plum Southern in LaGrange and from any member of the chorale. Due to the dinner buffet all tickets must be purchased no later than Monday, Feb. 19. No tickets will be sold at the door. In addition to the Choral Society of West Georgia chorale, the concert will feature the Big Band sounds of the Auburn Knights Orchestra, professional storyteller Carol Cain as Rosie the Riveter and Andrew

Harry as guest accompanist and piano soloist. The Chorale Board has invited all World War II veterans and their wives to be the guests of the chorale at no charge for this fabulous concert and dinner. Veterans and others should phone the Choral Society at 706-882- 2734 for information. The concert will

feature the great popular songs of the 1940s performed by the Chorale and the Auburn Knights Orchestra. This includes “Sing, Sing, Sing”, “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy”, “The Joint Is Jumpin” and others. In addition, a dance floor will allow couples to dance the night away during dinner and while the Auburn Knights play.



THURSDAYS MARCH 1, 2018 - APRIL 19, 2018 6 - 8 P.M. EACH EVENING EXTENDING DEADLINE - A FEW SLOTS REMAINING. SIGN UP TODAY! Opelika citizens are invited. Eight weeks of hands on learning to educate the public on the various aspects of police work within the City of Opelika. The department will be taking up to 20 applicants. If you are interested, contact Captain Bobby Kilgore at and request an application. Please include “CPA” in subject line of email. You will then receive an application to fill out and send back to Captain Kilgore. Applications will be accepted until 5 p.m. on February 19. For more information, visit or call Captain Kilgore at 334.705.5231. 2018 Obs CPA ad

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B9 February 14, 2018

OBITUARIES Frank Vickery Frank Vickery, age 66, passed away peacefully in his home in Auburn, Alabama on February 5, 2018. Frank was preceded in death by his mother, Millie Smith and his brother, Larry Vickery. Frank is survived by his wife, Shelia Keel Vickery; his children Donna Johnson (DenLarry Walter Eblin Mr. Larry Walter Eblin passed away Saturday, February 3, 2018 in East Alabama Medical Center. He was born in Ohio on January 26, 1943 to parents, Walter and Eunice Eblin. Mr. Eblin was a longtime resident of Lee County. He was retired from Uniroyal Tire Company with 38 years of service and was an U.S. Army veteran. Mr. Eblin was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He is survived by his son, Billy (Christy) Eblin of Beauregard; daughter, Brenda Lorene Messer Brenda Lorene Messer, age 71, went to be with the Lord on Saturday, February 3rd, 2018. Brenda was born September 24, 1946 to Pink Jr. and Bertha Long. She was the first of four children. Brenda enjoyed a full and happy childhood in Lee County, Alabama. She attended Beauregard High School before Vera Dozier Swift Smith T Vera Dozier Swift Smith T of Opelika passed away on February 10, 2018. She was a devoted wife, mother and grandmother, and an avid supporter of the Opelika community. She held a deep and abiding love for her Lord Jesus Christ. Her many friends and family members mourn her passing, after an extended fight with cancer. Mrs. Smith T was born on December 4, 1935 in Columbus, Georgia, the child of Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Swift. She was one of four daughters. Mrs. Smith T graduated John Franklin Fincher John Franklin Fincher of Opelika, Alabama was born in Columbus, Georgia on May 3, 1940 and passed away at his home on February 9, 2018. He was 77 years old. He proudly served his country serving in the United States Army. He was preceded in death by his parents, LeRoy and Anne

nis), Lisa Vickery, Jessica Lassiter (Russ); and his grandchildren David Johnson, Adalyn Lassiter, Bentley Lassiter; his cousin, Chip McEwen (Kristie). Frank served the State of Alabama for 25 years with the Board of Pardons and Paroles. He then went on to serve the District Attorney of the 15th Judicial Court of Alabama, Ellen Deena Eblin of Beauregard; seven grandchildren: Will Eblin, Amber Polk, Christina McKerley, Crystal Hamby, Brandon Scott, Pebbles Rice, and B.J. Scott; 15 great-grandchildren; and sister, Kay Morris of Ohio. Visitation was Friday, February 9, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home with his funeral service beginning at 11:00 a.m. Pastor Terry English officiated. Burial in Garden Hills Cemetery followed the service. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed.

Brooks, for 12 years as the Director of Special Services. Frank served in the United States Army for 20 years. He was a Berlin Tanker 1971-1974 with the 40th Armour Division. During Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, Frank served as a military police officer in Iraq with the 214th Military Police Command out of Alexander City.

During Operation Noble Eagle/Iraqi Freedom, he with the 1156th MP CID Division and provided Protected Services for the Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Secretary of the Army. After retirement, Frank enjoyed, spending time with his family, volunteering at East Alabama Medical Center and Cornerstone Church.

Although a lifelong Alabama Fan, Frank became an Awuburn Softball season ticket holder shortly after moving to Auburn. Visitation was held Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at Cornerstone Church beginning at 5:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m. A funeral service was held 2:00 p.m. Thursday, February 8, 2018 at Cornerstone Church in

Auburn. Pastor Rusty Hutson officiated. Burial with military honors followed in Town Creek Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requested donations be made to Cornerstone Church in Memory of Frank Vickery. Cornerstone Church 2123 Hamilton Road, Auburn, Al 36830 www.cornerstonebuzz. org

sons, Mike Ray (Meredith) and Ben Ray; brothers, Keith Howell (Jeannie), Lou Howell (Bonnie); five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren. Memorial service was held at Trinity United Methodist Church Thursday, February 8, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. with Reverend Earl Ballard officiating. Interment followed at Garden Hills Cemetery.

Louie “Danny” Daniel Hood

(Blake) Burns; sister, Deborah (Steve) Gunn, along with loving in-laws, nieces, nephews, and a host of friends. Funeral services were held Feb. 12 at JeffcoatTrant Funeral Home in Opelika. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directing. www.jeffcoattrant. com.

Alma L. Newton Alma L. Newton was born to the late Grover and Sara Brown Howell on July 7, 1949 and passed away at EAMC on February 5, 2018. She was 68 years old. She was a long time member of Trinity United Methodist Church. She was preceded in death by her husband, Walter Edward Newton. She is survived by her daughter, Sara Bethany Allen (Michael);

Louie “Danny” Daniel Hood, 60, of Opelika passed away on Feb. 8, at home. Mr. Hood was born August 10, 1957 to Harold and Jimmie Hood. He was a hard-working, devoted and loving husband, father, son, brother, uncle, and friend. He was well respected and liked in the community. He is survived by his wife of 39 years Carolyn Hood; daughter, Jamie

finishing her education at Southern Union in Opelika, AL, where she studied to become a cosmetologist. In 1973, Brenda wed Benny Messer, a U.S. Marine, from Cottonwood, AL. They shared 45 years together raising three children, Steve Long, Tracy Messer Richmond, and Lori Messer Brown. Brenda and Benny have been residents of Dothan, AL since 1989.

Brenda was a member of both Society Hill Baptist Church in Opelika, AL and Bethlehem Assembly of God in Pansy, AL, where she enjoyed countless hours rejoicing with her family and friends. She found great comfort and joy in her worship of the Lord. Brenda was kind, loving, and always willing to give a helping hand or share benevolent words. Brenda had a

compassionate heart and delighted in spending time with her grandchildren and greatgrandchildren. Above all, she was a loving and dedicated grandmother and a “Nanny” to everyone. Brenda is survived in Dothan, AL, by her husband, Benny Messer; and three children, Steve (Melissa) Long, Tracy Richmond, and Lori (Patrick) Brown. She is also survived by

9 grandchildren and their spouses, and 4 great-grandchildren, who all loved her dearly. Brenda is also survived by several great nieces and nephews. She has two surviving siblings, Eddie and Toni Long and Tina and Eddy McKibben, and was preceded in death by her parents, Pink Jr. and Bertha Long; and her sister, Susan Long. The service for Brenda Messer were held

Wednesday, February 7th, in the chapel at Jeffcoat Trant Funeral Home in Opelika, AL. Visitation began at 10 a.m. and the service immediately followed at 11 a.m. Mark Carlock (Society Hill Baptist Church) and Myrice McNab officiated the service. Jeffcoat-Trant Funeral Home & Crematory directed. www.jeffcoattrant. com

from Columbus High School in 1953. She attended Mt. Vernon College in Washington, D.C. She returned to Columbus where she went to work, and in 1959, she married Winston Smith T, Jr. of Opelika, Alabama who preceded her in death on June 5, 2007. The couple was married for 48 years and had five children, all of whom survive her: Vera Smith T, Britton (I. Ripon Britton, Jr., Birmingham); Edith Smith T Walker (Hon. Jacob A. Walker III, Opelika); Alma Swift Smith T (Opelika); John Winston Smith T (Mandi N. Smith T, Birmingham); and Dozier Harris Smith T (Dr. Sara

S. Smith T, Opelika). She counted among her most treasured blessings her thirteen grandchildren who also survive her: Rip Britton, III (Jennifer); Mary Winston Walker; John Harris Britton; Winston Smith T; Scott Britton; Henry Smith T; Jack Smith T; Sara Hollis Smith T; Jacob Walker; Dozier Smith T; Lindsey Smith T; Vera Elizabeth Smith T; and Joanne Smith T. Mrs. Smith T devoted her life to her faith, her family, and her community. She was very active at First Presbyterian Church of Opelika, where she taught Sunday School, worked in the nursery, organized countless church

activities and was a member of the choir. She worked tirelessly in Prison Ministries. She served as president of the Presbyterian Women and was an enthusiastic supporter of world missions. She was a member of the National Society of the Colonial Dames. She was named Queen of the inaugural Mardi Gras in Columbus, Georgia, in 1959. She was also a devotee of music, a supporter of the fine arts, and a benefactor of the Opelika Center for the Performing Arts. She supported many other civic, educational and charitable causes in the Lee County area with both time and talent.

The humble and gracious manner in which she lived out her faith and conducted her affairs throughout her life set forth a compelling example of the Christian walk that touched the lives of so many and brought glory to our Father in heaven. Mrs. Smith T is survived by her two sisters (her twin sister Alma Swift Winn of Columbus and Mary Swift Berry of Atlanta), two sisters-in- law (Dr. Joanne Smith T of Opelika and Virginia Smith T Barnes of Clarksdale, Mississippi) and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom she loved dearly. Her elder sister, Barbara Swift Pound,

preceded her in death. A memorial service was held at First Presbyterian Church of Opelika at 2:00 p.m. CST on Tuesday, February 13, 2018, followed by visitation at the church fellowship hall. A graveside service for family was at 12:30 p.m. CST at Rosemere Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that any gifts be given to either First Presbyterian Church of Opelika (Building Fund), 900 2 nd Avenue, Opelika, Alabama 36801, or African Inland Mission for the benefit of Paul and Virginia Tanner, https://usgiving.

Robert William Young

70 years, Alma Sanders Young; sons, Roy O'Neal Young (Roselyn), Johnny Curtis Young (Katie); daughters, Mary Alice Carroll (Thomas), Alma Oleane Rudd (A.W.); 11 grandchildren; 20 great grandchildren; sister, Gladys Lenore YoungWhite; special sister-inlaw, Avis Young; Special brother-in-law, Virgil Sanders. Visitation was held Feb. 10, at Frederick-Dean Funeral Home

followed by the funeral service with Pastor Doug Click and Brother Charlie Bolt officiating. Interment followed at Shady Grove Community Cemetery. The family would like to give a special thanks to the caregivers: Renee Smith, La Shawndra Vickerstaff, and Earlene McClenton. Frederick-Dean Funeral Home directed.

Fincher; daughters, Vicky Fincher, Rhonda Fincher; brothers, David Fincher, Charles Fincher. He is survived by his wife, Loleta Fincher; daughters, Rita (Walter) Ford, Lisa (Steve) Murray, Helen (Jerry) Motley, Felicia McKendree, and Tracy Harwell (Lisa); 15 grandchildren, and 31 great grandchildren; sister, Shirley Watson, and

brother, Bobby Fincher (Sue), as well as a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and other family members. Visitation was held on Feb. 13, at Frederick-Dean Funeral Home with the funeral service at 3 p.m. with Dr. Rusty Sowell officiating Interment followed at Garden Hills Cemetery. Frederick-Dean Funeral Home directed.

Robert William Young of Opelika, Alabama was born to the late Robert and Lillie Kirk Young on June 1, 1926 and passed away at Bethany House on February 7, 2018. He was 91 years old. He was preceded in death by his sister, Thelma Young Garrett; brothers, Reid Young and Gene Young. He is survived by his wife of

See Obituaries, page B10

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UAB Harvest for Health study Alabama high school seniors may miss out on billions in seeking cancer survivors college aid; deadline approaches interested in gardening Special to the Opelika Observer Through a partnership with the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, the University of AlabamaBirmingham is performing a study to see if gardening can help cancer survivors have a better quality of life. ‘Harvest for Health’ is a National Cancer Institutefunded trial that will test whether a home vegetable garden improves the overall health and well-being of

Obituaries, from B9

Reverend George Carver “Tootie” Bandy, Sr.

Funeral services for George Bandy, 72, of Opelika, AL, were held at 12 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at Greater Peace Missionary Baptist Church, 650 Jeter Avenue, Opelika, Alabama and interment followed in Evergreen Cemetery in Opelika. Reverend Clifford E. Jones, Pastor and Officiating, Rev-

cancer survivors throughout Alabama. The trial is now recruiting cancer survivors in both Opelika and Lee County. All participants will receive gardening supplies, plants, and seeds. Master gardeners from the extension system will provide monthly mentoring. Participation in the program is free and homebased. For more information or to enroll, email or call 1-844-476-9478.

erend Dr. Steven Carson, Eulogist. Reverend Bandy, who passed away Tuesday, January 16, 2018 at the Navicent Health Medical Center in Macon, GA, was born February 7, 1945 in Lee County, Alabama. Public viewing was held on Jan 22, from 1 p.m. – 7 p.m. The family received family and friends from 6:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. at Harris Funeral Home. Reverend Bandy lay in repose at the church one hour prior to the service.

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Special to the Opelika Observer

The Mar. 1 priority deadline for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is approaching, and Alabama families are positioned to leave billions in money for college on the table if they do not complete the application in the coming weeks. One of the biggest reasons families don’t complete the FAFSA is that they don’t think

Survivors include: wife, Barbara Ann Smith Bandy of Opelika, Alabama; his children, Jennifer Mitchell of Opelika, Alabama, Eric Smith (Janice) of Tupelo, Mississippi and George Bandy, Jr. (Carmen) of Atlanta, Georgia; two brothers, Jack Bandy, Sr. (Jacqueline) of Camp Hill, Alabama, and Whithi “Ben” Bandy of Opelika, Alabama; four sisters, Mary Jo Bandy, Diane Holloway of Opelika, Alabama, Denise Freeman of Bessemer, Alabama and Phyllis Thomas

they will qualify for financial aid. However, 85 percent of families who complete the FAFSA do get help paying for college. Financial aid is limited, and that’s why everyone who plans to go to college in the fall should complete their FAFSA before the Mar. 1 priority deadline. By completing the FAFSA, students become eligible for grants, loans, and work-study jobs. Even students with merit or athletic schol-

of Alexander City, Alabama; brother-in-law, Paul Smith (Charity) of Opelika, Alabama; sisters-inlaw, Gloria Smith Jackson (William) of Opelika, Alabama and Helen Patrick of Chicago, Illinois; an uncle, Paul Gibson (Mary) of Opelika, Alabama; two special cousins, Horace Jackson of Chattanooga, Tennessee and Gloria Tucker of Queens, New York; 16 grandchildren; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.

arships may qualify for money to help pay for housing, books, meal plans, and transportation. Students and their families can learn more about the FAFSA by visiting Cash for College Alabama is a partnership of Alabama Possible, the Alabama State Department of Education, Bold Goals Coalition of Central Alabama, and the Alabama Media Group.

Harris, from A1

years. In 1986, Harris was elected city councilmen, making him one of the first AfricanAmericans elected to the position. Eight years later, Harris left the city council and joined the Lee County Commission, where he has remained since. With a campaign theme called ‘The Next Day’, Harris said he plans to continue the mission that Bandy started years ago within that district. Harris will face Opelika Ward 1 Councilwoman Patsy Jones, Opelika businessman Jeremy Gray and former Russell County Commissioner Ronnie Reed for the seat. The Democratic primaries, along with the Republicans, will be held in June. He attends St. Luke AME Church in Opelika and is the father of seven adult children.

We Shall Overcome: A tribute to George Bandy Sr. Special to the Opelika Observer “We shall overcome” are the words that I remember singing as I and many others walked around the streets of Opelika in the late 80’s in protest of the racial injustices that were taking place in our community. I was privileged to meet Rev. Bandy at a young age, as he was one of the few individuals around Opelika who was courageous enough

to stand up and lead this movement. After organizing local leaders, he was instrumental in filing a federal lawsuit to change the form of government in Opelika. This change allowed minority participation in city politics and ultimately resulted in Rev. Bandy being the first African American elected to the Opelika City Council. Rev. Bandy went on to serve the people of Opelika for several years prior to becoming a Lee County Commissioner and then a 23 year tenure

as Alabama House Representative for District 83 until his death. He received many accolades for his efforts and led several committees at the state and local level; however, he will mostly be remembered for the rapport that he had with the people that he represented and his willingness to stand up for the rights of others even in the face of adversity. Rev. Bandy had a personal connection with the community and often went far beyond the call of duty

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to assist the people that he represented. He knew early on that it would take more than simply showing up to legislative meetings in order to make changes in the community. He was a hands on leader and would often be seen advocating for others on their jobs or in other areas around town. Rev. Bandy was a wise man and a great mentor to those who came after him. He was always accessible and paved the way for minorities to have a seat at the table. I, along with many others, stand on the shoulders of Rev. Bandy as he was a trailblazer for justice and equality. Jeter Park was renamed George Bandy Park in honor of his great works and is currently undergoing upgrades. A formal ceremony will be held at George Bandy Park late spring/ early summer to celebrate his life and to present the park in its new form to the community. - Ward 2 Councilwoman Tiffany Gibson-Pitts

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A well-balanced person is one who finds both sides of an issue laughable. — Herbert Procknow

pelika O E ntertainment

Last week’s answers:

2-7 SCRAMBLER ANSWERS: 1), Trudge 2), Sharp 3), Ignore 4), Escape Solution: Garage

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Opelika Observer 2-14-2018 E-Edition  
Opelika Observer 2-14-2018 E-Edition