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SAVE BIG THIS SEASON AT TWIN CITY! 1411 Glenn Blvd SW, Fort Payne, AL 35967


THE SOUTHERN TORCH / FRIDAY, DECEMBER 11, 2020 / VOL. 6, NO. 50 / $1.00







>> 3-Peat for Fyffe! >> Homeland Legend Celebrates State Win

>> Rainsville Crossing to See New Red Light System >> Inside The Statehouse

>> NACC to Offer Google IT Course in 2021 >> Upcoming Events in DeKalb


(Cheryl Boydston | Southern Torch) After falling behind 16-0 in the opening quarter, the Fyffe Red Devils rallied to capture their third consecutive state championship, but their first in Class 3A, last week at the University of Alabama's Bryant-Denny Stadium. Read our full story in the Sports section!

FP Moves Forward with Parade

By Marla Jones Managing Editor

marla@southerntorch.com FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Full Video on southerntorch.com) On Tuesday, the Fort Payne City Council held a special called meeting to discuss the possibility of canceling this weekend’s Christmas events, including the parade and Christmas in the Park. The City of Fort Payne released the following statement regarding the matter: “In a special called meeting, the Fort Payne

City Council decided to continue their Christmas Parade on December 11, 2020, at 6 p.m. as normal but to cancel Christmas in the Park. Mayor Brian Baine encourages everyone to follow CDC guidelines, wear masks and if you are showing symptoms please stay at home.� As the meeting began, Council President Walter

>> FP, P3

Lawsuit Filed After Inmate Attack

By Marla Jones Managing Editor

marla@southerntorch.com DeKALB COUNTY, Ala. — On March 1, the Rainsville Police Department (RPD) received calls regarding a man acting strangely in his front yard. The RPD, along with Rainsville Fire and Rescue responded to the residence to assess the man’s condition. After arrival on the scene, Anthony David Nute was charged with three misdemeanors: public intoxication, resisting arrest, and third-degree assault. Officers’ tased Nute prior to handcuffing him. Nute was then transported to the DeKalb County Corrections Center, which is operated by the DeKalb County Sheriff's

Anthony David Nute (pictured in blue) has filed a lawsuit stating his civil rights were violated after being beaten, tased, and kicked in the "search room" of the DeKalb County Jail earlier this year.

Office. Surveillance tapes provided to AL.com by Nute’s attorney, Griffin Sikes, show three employees of the Correction Center, Wrett Tyson, Adam Jackson, and Jon Brown, bringing Nute into a search room. While in the search room, Nute can be seen being hit, taken to the ground, and kicked. The video also







shows Nute being tased by stun guns. According to a lawsuit filed by Sikes, Nute suffered head trauma, abrasions, and bruises to his face, head, neck, shoulders, chest, pelvic area, back, arms, legs, and hands and feet. The lawsuit states that Nute’s cheekbone, eye socket, nose, nasal canal, and ribs were fractured and that

Nute will need reconstructive surgery. The following statement was made via Facebook by the Dekalb County Sheriff’s Office last weekend: “This incident in question occurred in March of this year. As is our policy, we do not comment on criminal cases until an arrest has been made. The incident is currently awaiting review by a grand jury. The employees involved were immediately terminated and the case was referred to an outside agency for investigation, as is standard practice for all criminal cases of this nature. We have done everything in our power to assure justice is appropriately served. This behavior goes against our

>> JAIL, P6

SYLVANIA PHARMACY YOUR FRIEND, YOUR DRUGSTORE! Visit our website at www.southerntorch.com for daily news updates and pick up your weekly print edition at news stands every Friday.




SAVE BIG THIS SEASON AT TWIN CITY! 1411 Glenn Blvd SW, Fort Payne, AL 35967





Kidnapping Reported in Hollywood

W b t r t honored to host the 2021 t Bassmaster Elite Series in C Scottsboro. We recognize and appreciate the w tremendous impact fishing c has on our economy, c tourism and quality of life, particularly a tournament t of the stature and exposuret of a Bassmaster Elite,� said b c Scottsboro Mayor Jim t McCamy. t B.A.S.S., which o encompasses the Bassmaster tournament t leagues, events, and media t platforms, is the worldwide authority on bass fishing and keeper of the culture of the sport, providing cutting edge content on bass fishing whenever, wherever and however bass fishing fans want to use it.

BassMasters Returning to Scottsboro By B.A. Little Reporter beverlyannette@southerntorch.com SCOTTSBORO, Ala. — The Bass Master Elite is scheduled for Lake Guntersville in Scottsboro May 20-23. After the shortest offseason break in the trail’s 16-year history, B.A.S.S. officials announced Thursday that the Bassmaster Elite Series will open its 2021 tournament slate Feb. 11-14 on the St. Johns River in Florida. The season-opener will begin just over three months after the final event of a 2020 schedule

that was reworked due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing a much later finish than usual. “We’re as excited about this schedule as any that we’ve ever put together for the Elite Series,� said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “It features a good mix of venues that have become fixtures for B.A.S.S. and a few we’ve been to before but haven’t visited in a while.� The 2021 stop at Lake Guntersville will mark the 26th time B.A.S.S. has visited the famed fishery, making it the second most popular destination in B.A.S.S. history behind only Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Texas. The “Big G� has earned

its place in sportfishing history, ranking No. 2 on Bassmaster Magazine’s list of Best Bass Lakes of the Decade. Lake Guntersville hosted two B.A.S.S. events in 2020 alone, including the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Classic presented by Huk, which was won by North Carolina pro Hany Sherry, “We are excited and

AMRV, RC&D Announce Grants

By Jackson Blaze Staff Duane E. Herron (pictured) was taken into custody last week and charged with kidnapping and unauthorized use of a vehicle. (Jackson County Sheriff's Office)

By B.A. Little Reporter beverlyannette@southerntorch.com HOLLYWOOD, Ala. — On Sunday night, the Hollywood Police Department (HPD) and the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office (JCSO) responded to the report of the possible kidnapping of a 3-year-old child on Highway 72 in Hollywood. According to the child’s mother, Duane E. Herron, age 45 of Elkhart, Ind., who had been staying at the mother’s residence, asked the mother to borrow her vehicle to take her 3-year-old child to the park in Scottsboro. After Herron and the child did not return after several hours, the mother called Herron several times and received varying stories as to where they were and

when they would return home. By 6 p.m., the mother contacted the JCSO to report an incident. A description of the vehicle, suspect, and the child were given out to law enforcement agencies. At approximately 9 p.m., the vehicle was located in Rogersville, Ala. at a gas station by Lauderdale County deputies. Herron was taken into custody and held at the JCSO where he was arrested and charged with Kidnapping in the 2nd degree and Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle. The child was returned to their mother safe and unharmed. The investigation is ongoing with JCSO’s Investigations Division. No bond has been set at this time.

DUTTON, Ala. — State Senator Steve Livingston (R), State Representative Tommy Hanes(R) along with members of the Alabama Mountains Rivers Valleys (AMRV) Resource Conservation & Development (RC&D) Council recently announced completed grants in Jackson county at the town of Dutton Fire Department. Five organizations receiving funds in 2020 include Jackson County EMA (two projects), Section High School, Town of Dutton Fire Department, and Woodville Volunteer Fire Department. The total amount funded by AMRV RC&D for 2020, in partnership with the Alabama legislature, to Jackson county area projects is approximately $34,000. The State of Alabama has funded RC&D for over 20 years through

state appropriations from the education trust fund and general fund budgets. RC&D is dedicated to protecting, enhancing, and developing the state’s natural and human resources. Sen. Livingston stated that first responders’ works do not go unnoticed and they need continued resources to help assist them serve the public. “I’ve been honored to partner with RC&D since I’ve begun serving in my Senate district,� said Livingston, “I wholeheartedly want to thank our local officials and first responders because we know what you go through serving the public can be difficult at times, so we’ll keep looking for resources to help assist your efforts.� Rep. Tommy Hanes thanked the local leaders and first responders in attendance for their unwavering commitment to making their community

better and the people that they serve. “I really appreciate everybody here and you don’t really get credited enough for what you do for the people of Jackson county,� said Hanes, “I wanted to thank you and how much we appreciate these grants going into the community.� Renona Seibert, AMRV RC&D Executive Director, thanked the grantees for being servants in their community. “We appreciate our legislators that represent us and what they do for RC&D,� said Seibert, “The local citizens also know the specific needs in each community and we are proud to work alongside each of you. The RC&D program was established by the Agriculture Act of 1962 to provide a program that empowers rural people to help themselves. RC&D areas include adjacent

counties that have substantial natural resources to use for economic improvement and community betterment. There are nine RC&D councils throughout the state. RC&D Councils in Alabama are non-profit, tax-exempt organizations within the state that are designated 501(c) (3) entities by the Internal Revenue Service. AMRV RC&D serves Cullman, Morgan, Lawrence, Limestone, Madison, Marshall, Dekalb, and Jackson counties. RC&D Councils are made up of citizens in an RC&D area who want a better life for themselves, their children, and future generations. RC&D Council representatives and alternates are volunteers who assist RC&D. For more information about the AMRV RC&D program please visit https://amrvrcd.org.


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FROM PAGE 1 Watson, “We’re here today because of some urgency that we may feel with the rise of COVID, [so] we’re trying to determine what the best decision is for our Christmas parade.� “That’s something that we want to do,� he continued. “I always consider the health of those people that we sit in this position for, what’s best for them is what I’m concerned about. From talking to our experts at the hospital and some of our testing facilities, I think we should discuss this.� Council President

Watson then called on Fort Payne City Attorney Rocky Watson to express his opinion. “I may be the one who stirred all of this up this morning‌this tremendous spike [in Jackson County] corresponds with their Christmas parade,â€? said City Attorney Watson. Jackson County currently has the number one positive rate for new COVID-19 infections in the United States, according to a report from The New York Times. “The rates are just unreal, for us to ignore that, in my opinion, while it may or may not create legal liability, it’s going to create some moral liability,â€? he continued. “This is not a

legal opinion, but this is an opinion of a citizen.� In a split 2-2 decision, the Council voted to move forward with the parade with Watson and Councilman Phillip Smith voting to pull the permit. Councilmembers Lynn Brewer and John Michael Smith voted to proceed with the parade. Councilman Johnny Eberhart was absent from the meeting. “Let’s close Walmart and Lowe’s under this scenario, what’s the difference?� asked Councilman John Michael Smith. “Are we going to shut down the whole world?� In a separate vote and at the request of Mayor

Brian Baine, the Council voted 3-1 to cancel the Christmas in the Park event. “I just encourage everyone that attends the parade to wear a mask and follow the CDC guidelines,� said Mayor Baine. “Be smart and use common sense, if you are sick or having symptoms, stay at home.� Since the Christmas parade will be moving forward, Southern Torch will bring you live coverage of the event to enjoy from the comfort of your own home for those who feel uneasy about entering a crowd. Coverage will begin at 6 p.m. on Friday, December 11.

NACC to Offer Google IT Course in 2021 By Southern Torch Staff POWELL, Ala. — The Google IT Support Professional Certificate program at Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) provides a fantastic opportunity for local residents to train for a new career or improve their IT skills. This program continues to catch the attention of local residents, as 95 students have enrolled in the five-part program since the program began in January this year. The course has been so successful that Northeast plans to include the Google IT Support Professional Certificate to the college’s list of Short-Term Certificates. This will provide students completing the course with a certificate from both NACC and Google. The college has received official approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools

Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC) to award students a Short-Term Certificate upon completing the requirements of the Google IT Support Professional course. “This certificate provides students with job-ready skills and can open the door to employment opportunities with Google, Walmart, Hulu, and more. There is an increasing demand for IT/ tech jobs in the U.S., and these jobs have a media salary of $56,000 according to Google,� said NACC President Dr. David Campbell. Another advantage of the course, students can


Position of Center Manager at the Rainsville Senior Center. Must be passionate about working with Older Adults & be able to lift 25 lbs. $9.13/hour. Part-time, Mon. - Fr., 7:30am – 12:30pm. Applications due 12/17/2020. Duties include, but are not limited to: Planning & Running Activities, increase/maintain participants & volunteers, daily paperwork, handling food delivered by our Food Vendor (no cooking involved), sometimes delivering Homebound Meals, & providing a clean, welcoming, and fun center for Seniors. Call 256-845-8590 or email emilym@DeKalbCountyAL.us.

choose to share their information directly with top employers after completing the certificate. “The certificate program requires students to complete five two-hour courses,� said course instructor Bryon Miller. “Credit hours earned through the Google IT Support Professional courses can also be counted toward a student’s pursuit of a Computer Information Science (CIS) degree,� added Miller. NACC is administering the certificate through the Coursera online learning platform, where students access self-paced courses with interactive assessments and videos. Miller serves as NACC’s on-site instructor for the course. The community’s response to NACC offering the certificate has been fantastic. The course has enticed students of all ages and backgrounds. Interim Dean of Instruction Chad Gorham explained the course demographic further, “We have had college graduates, high school students, individuals with jobs, and even individuals without jobs or underemployed contact us about the


Southern Torch (USPS Periodicals #19790) is published each Friday by Southern Torch, Inc. 203 Main Street E, Rainsville, Ala. 35986. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Southern Torch, P.O. Box 614, Rainsville, Ala. 35986-0614.

Eloise Smith, General Manager Marla Jones, Managing Editor/Sports Jenna Sue Payne, Media Sales Manager Joe Sims, Radio Operations Manager Zach Hester, Art Director/Reporter Amy Thrash, Account Executive B. Annette Little, Account Executive Teresa Smith, Traffic Director Dylan Smith, Jackson Blaze Managing Editor Lindsey Jones, Accounting Marshall Stiefel, Distribution Manager Tim Jones, Account Executive

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certificate. Some see this as a way of finding a new job, while others see an opportunity to advance their career. Others have indicated that they feel the training offered could help them to be more efficient with their own technology and home computer system.� “We are excited to continue this partnership with Google and Coursera and to be able to provide our community access to this program. The course content is great and provides interactive opportunities for students to practice what they are learning. We look forward to seeing others take advantage of this offering, “said Miller. NACC is among few colleges in the nation currently offering the Google IT Support Certificate. Completing the course and earning the certificate will give students an added credential when applying for jobs in information technology support.

EVENTS Submit your local upcoming events to zach@ southerntorch.com to be featured in an upcoming print edition of Southern Torch! December 12, Merrityme Artisan Market - On Saturday, December 11, Moon Lake Baptist Church and the Little River Arts Council will host the Merrityme Artisan Market from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Arlene Fowler Youth Center inside the church! All proceeds from this one-of-a-kind event benefit Moon Lake Elementary School. Free gift wrapping is available. Stop by, grab some gifts, and support local artists! December 11, Fort Payne Christmas Parade The City of Fort Payne invites you to the 48th Annual Fort Payne Christmas Parade with grand marshals, the Outfield Angels. The parade will begin at 18th Street North and end at 3rd Street South. The annual Christmas in the Park event has been cancelled due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. Southern Torch and FPTV will live stream the event. December 12, Fyffe Christmas Parade - The Town of Fyffe will host their annual Christmas parade at 12 p.m. on Saturday, December 12. December 12, Geraldine Christmas Parade - The Town of Geraldine will host their

annual Christmas parade at 2 p.m. on Saturday, December 12. December 12, Collinsville Christmas Parade - The Town of Collinsville will host their annual Christmas parade at 6 p.m. on Saturday, December 12. December 12, Crossville Christmas Parade - The Town of Crossville will host their annual Christmas parade at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 12. December 12, Section Christmas Parade - The Town of Section will host their annual Christmas parade at 1 p.m. on Saturday, December 12. December 12, Stevenson Christmas Parade - The Town of Stevenson will host their annual Christmas parade at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 12. December 12, DeSoto Adventure Hike - Set out on an adventure hike with DeSoto State Park staff to the bottom of one of Alabama's tallest waterfalls, DeSoto Falls! It is approximately 1.5 miles total but considered moderate to strenuous due to the mountainous terrain and elevation.







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Case No.: 2020-251






Letters Testamentary of said deceased having beeng ranted to William Steve Graben on the 19th day of November 2020, by the Honorable Ronnie Osborn, Probate Judge of DeKalb County, Alabama, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said Estate are hereby required to present same within the time allowed by law or the same will be barred.

Case No.: 2020-299

To be published: November 27, December 4, December 11


To be published: November 27, December 4, December 11



Case No.: 2020-2077

IN THE PROBATE COURT OF DEKALB COUNTY, ALABAMA Case No.: 2020-251 EXECUTOR'S NOTICE TO FILE CLAIMS IN THE MATTER OF THE ESTATE OF NELLIE RUTH SHANKLES, deceased Letters of Testamentary on the Estate of NELLIE RUTH SHANKLES, deceased, having been granted to the undersigned on the 18th day of November 2020, by the Judge of Probate of said County, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within the time allowed by law, or the same will be barred. To be published: November 27, December 4, December 11


226 Gault Ave. N • Fort Payne, AL 35967 Phone: 256-845-5680 Fax: 256-845-5165

IN THE MATTER OF THE ADOPTION PETITION OF ANGELA MARQUITA GREEN NOTICE OF ADOPTION PROCEEDINGS NOTICE TO: Alicia Megan Payne and any other interested party Please take notice that a Petition for Adoption of the minor child, C.W.R.R., in the above-styled matter has been filed in said Court by Angela Marquita Green, Petitioner, and that the 26th day of January 2021 at 11:00 o'clock a.m. has been set for hearing on the same at the DeKalb County Courthouse in Fort Payne, Alabama. Alicia Megan Payne and any other interested be advised that if you intend to contest this adoption, you must file a written response within thirty (30) days hereof with counsel for said Petitioner, and with the Clerk of the Probate Court or thereafter a judgment by default may be rendered. To be published: November 27, December 4, December 11, December 18



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PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE'S NOTICE TO FILE CLAIMS Letters Testamentary as Personal Representatives of the Will of Marian Dobbins, deceased, having been granted to the undersigned on the 30th of November, 2020 by the Honorable Ronnie Osborn, Judge of Probate of said County, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within the time allowed by law, or the same will be barred. To be published: December 4, December 11, and December 18

LEGALS IN THE PROBATE COURT OF DEKALB COUNTY, ALABAMA Case No.: 2020-306 IN RE: THE ESTATE OF JAMES E. ALLEN, deceased NOTICE OF APPOINTMENT TO BE PUBLISHED BY PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVE Letters Testamentary of said deceased having been granted to Jeff Allen, Personal Representative on the 2nd day of December, 2020, by the Honorable Ronnie Osborn, Judge of Probate of DeKalb County, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate are hereby required to present the same within allowed by law or the same will be barred. To be published: December 11, December 18, December 25



DeKalb Co. Offices Begin Closing Again

By Zach Hester Reporter


DeKALB COUNTY, Ala. — Concerns surrounding another wave of COVID-19 has once again shuddered public offices in DeKalb County, and across the entire county. On Monday, DeKalb County Commission President Ricky Harcrow announced the closure of the DeKalb County Activities Building, effective at 1 p.m. on December 7 until further notice. Additionally, the Rainsville annex of the DeKalb County Revenue

Commissioner’s office will be closed for the remainder of 2020. The Fort Payne office will remain open from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. for now. A dropbox will also be available outside of the Fort Payne office where documents can be left. “We will re-evaluate before January in regards to the Rainsville office for reopening after January 3,� said DeKalb


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Letters of Administration on the Estate of Imogene Elliott Bogle, deceased, having been granted to the undersigned on the 18th day of November, 2020, by the Honorable Ronnie Osborn, Judge of Probate of said County, notice is hereby given that all persons having claims against said estate, are hereby required to present the same within the time allowed by law, or the same will be barred.

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County Revenue Commissioner Tyler Wilks. “In an effort to lessen the spread [of COVID-19] and better serve you, we do take payments online and by E-check.� As of Tuesday, December 8, DeKalb County had 4,877 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 561 probable cases. 43 deaths have been reported in DeKalb County from the novel coronavirus with another three probable deaths linked to the virus. For up-to-date statistics, please visit alabamapublichealth. gov.

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Ivey Extends Mask Mandate

Rainsville Crossing to See New Red Light System By Zach Hester Reporter zach@southerntorch.com

(Hal Yeagar | Governor's Office)

By Zach Hester, Reporter • zach@southerntorch.com

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — At a press conference on Wednesday morning, Governor Kay Ivey (R-Ala.) announced the extension of the State of Alabama’s “Safer-at-Home� order, which includes a statewide mask mandate. The order was previously set to expire on Friday, December 11 at 5 p.m., but has been extended for another six weeks through January 22, 2021. However, Ivey reiterated that she has no plan to introduce another lockdown. All other elements of the previously established health order, which includes guidelines related to businesses, remain in effect with no changes. “These are some of our darkest days...unlike any time in recent memory,� said Ivey. “Please, please continue your masks, even if you’re the only one in your surroundings to do so...please be mindful of others and your activities [as we enter the Christmas season].� For more information and current COVID-19 case statistics, please visit alabamapublichealth.gov.


RAINSVILLE, Ala. — The Rainsville City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, December 7. In the meeting, Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt addressed the need for a new red light system at the crossing of Highways 75 and 35. “Our camera system is not working at all,� said Lingerfelt. “So everything about the red lights in Rainsville right now is all manual and they are running off a timer...so it takes forever to get through the red lights.� Lingerfelt reported that after a meeting with a representative from the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT), it was decided that the crossing will receive four

(4) new steel poles, new cables, wire, and cameras in a system that stands on its own, rather than relying on local electric companies. The project will total up to $47,000 with the City of Rainsville responsible for $16,492.97 of it. In other business, Councilmember Brandon Freeman addressed the upcoming signups for baseball and softball seasons at the Field of Dreams. Signups will be held on January 23 and January 30 for children ages 4-12. The cost is $40 per child and an additional $20 for each child in the same household. The Council took the following actions during the meeting: • Approved Resolution 12-07-2020 concerning network security • Approved a contract with John Stone for

Freedom Fest entertainment in the amount of $10,000 plus $650 for a hotel room and food • Purchased a laptop and printer for the City Court in the amount of $500 • Approved the purchase of a new roll-off truck from SourceWell in the amount of $167,627.97 and empowered Mayor Lingerfelt to do the financing • Rescinded a motion in the 11-16-2020 meeting to purchase two (2) new Chevrolet Tahoes for the Rainsville Police

Department • Voted to reimburse the Court Clerk Tammy Mason for online courses in the amount of $715 • Approved the placement of a street light at Nancy’s Lunchbox • Voted to purchase a chest compression machine to be reimbursed by the State of Alabama’s CARES Act Relief Fund in the amount of $14,993.37 • Formally hired Gerald Mount as a police officer retroactive to November 11, 2020 • Appointed Councilmembers Blevins, Freeman, and Rosson to form a committee to nominate individuals to several City of Rainsville boards The next meeting of the Rainsville City Council will be held on Monday, December 21 at 4:30 p.m. with a workshop beginning at 4 p.m.

INSIDE THE STATEHOUSE Trump Leaves Profound Legacy for Conservatives

By Steve Flowers Political Columnist MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Presidential historians and most astute national political observers and chroniclers have concluded that the most profound legacy a president can achieve is the appointment of United States Supreme Court Justices. Presidents serve four-year terms. Justices serve for a lifetime. The Supreme Court of the United States is the ultimate final word on law and public policy in the United States. After they are appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, they are impregnable to political whims or influence. They are sovereign and omnipotent. They are treated royally and usually serve on the high tribunal for over two decades or more. Therefore, whether

you like Donald J. Trump or not, he has a legacy. Most presidents are fortunate if they are able to name one justice to the court. Trump, over his four-year term, appointed and had confirmed three. If you are a conservative Republican, this feat by President Trump makes him one of the most bulwark conservative presidents in history. He has cemented his legacy forever and changed the judicial philosophy of the court for the next generation. Trump’s three appointments are not only well qualified, polished, distinguished, moderate conservatives, they are also young. Justice Neil Gorsuch is 53. He replaced Justice Anthony Kennedy who retired. Justice Brett Kavanaugh is 55. He replaced arch-conservative Justice Antonin Scalia. The most consequential appointment by President Trump is the appointment and confirmation of Justice

Amy Coney Barrett. She is only 48 and a solid conservative. Trump’s appointment of Judge Amy Barrett is truly historical. This appointment changed the entire ideology of the court to a solidly six-to-three conservative majority. Barrett’s appointment is the most pivotal block in Trump’s rebuilding of the Court. In the Gorsuch and Kavanaugh appointments, you replaced conservatives with conservatives. In Barrett, you are replacing a woman with a woman, but more importantly, you are replacing one of the most liberal justices in history with potentially one of the most conservative. In addition, at 48 Barrett will preside for the next three decades as will probably Gorsuch and Kavanaugh. Along with these three conservative justices to the Supreme Court, President Donald Trump has been able to appoint nearly 300 federal judges to the lower

Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at www.steveflowers.us.

federal courts throughout America. Trump could not have accomplished this generational change of the court without the advice and consent of a Republican majority United States Senate. The Republican conservative stamp is also indelibly planted on the federal courts in Alabama. Senator Richard Shelby, in congruence with the Trump administration, has completely reshaped Alabama’s federal judiciary with very young, extremely qualified, conservative judges.

Speaking of our United States Senators, our Senior Senator Richard Shelby was granted the omnipotent power to select all of our new, young, conservative judges throughout all of our districts – southern, middle and northern – not only because of his power, prestige, and seniority but also because he was our only Republican senator. Our Junior U.S. Senate Seat has been held by a national liberal Democrat Doug Jones for the past three years. During his tenure, he toed the Democratic Senate line and wore that hat as the pawn and clone of the Democratic leadership in the Senate. Chuck Schumer told Jones to vote against Judges Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Barrett only because they

were conservative Republican appointees. His refusal to even meet with Justice Amy Barrett showed a total lack of class and southern civility and gentlemanly manners. It was also revealed to me that he was angling to appease his liberal Democratic brethren in order to be Joe Biden’s Attorney General. Yes, folks, you heard me right. Do not be surprised if Doug Jones is not the next Attorney General of the United States in the Biden Administration. The bottom line is if you are a conservative American, Donald J. Trump has a profound legacy in presidential history with three conservative appointments to the United States Supreme Court. See you next week.

Joseph K. McNew, D.V.M • Linda Galbraith, D.V.M. • Jessica Jones, D.V.M.




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FROM PAGE 1 policies and the moral code of conduct we encourage at the DCSO. Like the public, we anxiously await justice in this crime.� Sheriff Nick Welden added: “This kind of action goes against everything we stand for, and we will not stand for it. That’s why immediate and appropriate action was taken. Our

office only stands for what’s right. We deal with the wrong when it comes along, whether it’s an employee or anyone else. There is no justification in breaking the law that we are sworn to uphold regardless of who it is. God Bless!� The full video from AL.com can be found at southerntorch.com, but viewer discretion is advised.

Over a Kilo of Meth Taken Off the Streets

Ider Discount Drugs 




By Southern Torch Staff FORT PAYNE, Ala. — From the Office of DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden: Last week, two were arrested on drug trafficking charges and more arrests are possible. Over a kilo of methamphetamine was discovered. On Wednesday, December 2, ALEA Region F

Task Force, along with DeKalb County Drug Unit, DeKalb County SRT and Homeland Security intercepted a package being delivered through the mail to a residence on County Road 337 in Geraldine. A KILO of methamphetamine was found inside the package. Rafael Osorio-Ramos (20 of Albertville) was arrested

and charged with Trafficking in Methamphetamine. Osorio-Ramos was booked in the DeKalb County Jail. Investigation is ongoing and more arrests are possible. On Thursday, December 3, DeKalb County Deputies conducted a traffic stop near Al Hwy 68 and County

Road 48 in Collinsville. During the search of the vehicle, deputies found nearly 60 grams of methamphetamine, along with marijuana and assorted drug paraphernalia. John Wesley Crow (46 of Collinsville) was charged with Trafficking in any Illegal Drug, Carrying Concealed Weapon, Unlawful Possession of Marijuana 2nd Degree and Unlawful Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. DeKalb County Sheriff Nick Welden said of the incident: “This is a prime example of how far people will go to get drugs into our communities. But this is also reassuring to the law-abiding citizens of our county on how far our Drug Task Force agents go to stop this poison to getting into the hands of our youth.� “God Bless!� Concluded Sheriff Welden.

DEATH NOTICES W.T. WILSON Lonnie David Padgett - 75 of Cullman, died on Wednesday, December 2. Services were held on Saturday, December 5 at W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel with burial in Green Haven Memorial Gardens. Jeffery Warren Lusk - 51 of Rainsville, died on Thursday, December 3. Services were held on Sunday, December 6 at W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel. Gisele Claire Rayburn - 81 of Scottsboro, died on Thursday, December 3. Services were held on Saturday, December 5 at W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel. Harold Dean Rogers - 82 of Grove Oak, died on Friday, December 4. Services were held on Sunday, December 6 at W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel with burial in Mt. Pleasant Cemetery. Ruthell Stevens 87 of Grove Oak, died on Friday, December 4. Services and burial were held on Monday, December 7 at Mt. Zion Cemetery. Earnest Lamar

Stiefel - 76 of Fort Payne, died on Saturday, December 5. Services and burial were held on Tuesday, December 8 at Mt. View Memory Gardens. Melissa Gail Burt - 52 of Rainsville, died on Saturday, December 5. Services were held on Monday, December 7 at W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel with burial in Trinity (Burnt Church) Cemetery. Bonnell “Buster� Hughes - 71 of Crossville, died on Sunday, December 6. Services and burial were held on Wednesday, December 9 at Freeman’s Chapel Cemetery. Della Mae Hester - 86 of Rainsville, died on Tuesday, December 8. Services were held on Thursday, December 10 at Liberty Baptist Church with burial in Beulah Cemetery.

KERBY Ronwyn H. Howell - 80 of Henagar, died on Saturday, December 5. Services were held on Monday, December 7 at Kerby Funeral Home Chapel with burial in Henagar Memorial Park.

Virginia Grace Rogers - 75 of Dutton, died on Saturday, December 5. Services were held on Tuesday, December 8 at Kerby Funeral Home Chapel with burial in Pleasant View Cemetery.

Novie Jane Burton - 84, died on Tuesday, December 8 at Huntsville Hospital. A private graveside service will be held per family request with Kerby Funeral Home directing. Burton is survived by her daughters Beverly (Danny) Murdock and Kim (Rex) Creswell; sisters Glenda Pope, Sherma Halpin, Mattie Morgan, Judy Butler, and Robin Rotagus; brother Randy Smith; grandchildren Chad (Holly) Murdock, Holly Farmer, Brad (Laura) Creswell, Kelly (Chris) Latta; and great-grandchildren: Reese, Brinn, Anna, Alli, Griffin, Hannah, Kennedy, Cade, Kain, Kai, and Warrick. She was preceded in death by her husband L.S. “Dude�

Burton; brother, Tony Smith; and parents Oscar and Corene Smith.

BURT Josephine Thompson Blalock 86 of Mentone, died on Tuesday, December 1. Services were held on Saturday, December 5 at Burt Chapel-Valley Head with burial in Bankhead Cemetery. Mamie Joe Brown - 81 of Ringgold, Ga., died on Wednesday, December 2. Private services and burial were held at Chattanooga National Cemetery. Larry Ray Kirby 64 of Fort Payne, died on Thursday, December 3. Services were held on Tuesday, December 8 at Fort Payne Church of Christ. Trevor Owen Smith - 29 of Valley Head, died on Sunday, December 6. Services were held on Thursday, December 10 at Burt ChapelValley Head with burial in Valley Head Cemetery.

CORNER STONE Jackie Gail Oliver Inman - 70 of Chattanooga, died on

Burt Funeral H omes    


Monday, November 30. Services and burial were held on Tuesday, December 8 at Chattanooga National Cemetery. Tommy Dean McCord - 71 of Flat Rock, died on Thursday, December 3. Services were held on Monday, December 7 at Corner Stone Funeral Chapel with burial in Oak Lawn Memorial Park. David Milford Holman - 91 of Bryant, died on Thursday, December 3. Private services will be held by the family. Eloise Long Phillips - 91 of Henagar, died on Friday, December 4. Services were held on Monday, December 7 at Corner Stone Funeral Chapel with burial in New Home Cemetery. Rayford Gerald Brown - 63 of Flat Rock, died on Sunday, December 6. Services and burial were held on Wednesday, December 9 at Flat Rock Methodist Church Cemetery. Nannie Jo Beaty Crabtree - 91 of Ider, died on Tuesday, December 8. Services

and burial were held on Thursday, December 10 at Fuller Cemetery.

RAINSVILLE Mark Plunkett - 61 of Fort Payne, died on Thursday, December 3. Services were held on Sunday, December 6 at Rainsville Funeral Home Chapel with burial in Walker’s Chapel Cemetery. Barry Don Mitchell - 68 of Rainsville, died on Monday, December 3. Services were held on Saturday, December 5 at Rainsville Funeral Home Chapel. Linda Westbrook Veal - 79 of Rainsville, died on Friday, December 4. Services were held on Sunday, December 6 at Rainsville Funeral Home Chapel. Weldon “Sonny� Burns - 73 of Rainsville, died on Saturday, December 5. Services were held on Wednesday, December 9 at Rainsville Funeral Home Chapel with burial in Town Creek Cemetery.




STate Champions #3 Hunter Gillian #4 Ike Rowell #6 Blayden Woodall #7 Hunter Machen #8 Evan Chandler #10 Will Edge #15 Justin Stiefel

#20 Will Stephens #30 Riley McBride #33 Simon Hicks #21 Eli Benefield #22 Brodie Hicks #37 Malachi Mize #25 Kaden Sharp #40 Owen Blackwell #43 Brody Dalton #26 Kyle Dukes #27 Caleb Mitchell #50 Brody Blackwell #54 Levi O’Connor #28 Ty Bell

Head Coach: Paul Benefield Assistant Coaches: Steve Edge, Jake Cambron, Heath Thrash, Luke Powell, Brian Mashburn, Rodney Coots, Brad Thomas, and Brad Martin.

#55 Chase Wooten #56 Jacob Mitchell #57 Jake Wooden #60 Cade Underwood #61 Samuel Woods #66 Jacob Butts #67 Parker Thompson

#70 Tucker Wilks #71 Yahir Balcazor #72 Kane Brown #73 Austin Mulligan #74 Levi Carroll #77 Elisha Stiefel #79 Caleb Lyles


Brylie Buttram, Madison Crowe, Emma Dalton, Marissa Gray, Alyssa Howell, Aubrey Jones, Emma Jones, Hayden Pettus, Ava Smith, Hannah Smith, Sadie Smith, Haylin Veal, Jovie Jones (JV), Wriglee Wooten (JV), Bella Dennis (JV), Jessie Sparks (JV).

And don't forget! This year, Head Football Coach Paul Benefield officially made history. After a victory over rival Sylvania this season, Benefield became just the fifth coach to win 300 games in the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA). Benefield has led the Red Devils to three Class 2A state championships, and a Class 3A state championship! Benefield’s first victory on the field came in 1992, while he was at Sylvania when he coached a 2-0 win over Ider. Congratulations to Coach Benefield for this great honor and we look forward to 300 more wins soon!


from W.T. Wilson Funeral Home STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS: 2014, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020







Hometown Legend Celebrates State Win

(Cheryl Boydston | Southern Torch)

By Josh Bean, AHSAA TUSCALOOSA – Fyffe High School’s state-best current football winning streak and championship hopes appeared in serious jeopardy Thursday late in the fourth quarter when Montgomery Catholic’s defensive stand stopped the Red Devils, trailing 16-13, on fourth down at the 1-yard line. But the Red Devils (15-0) didn’t panic. Fyffe, coached by Paul Benefield, had a goal-line stand of its own – forcing the Knights (12-3) to punt from their own end zone which resulted in a safety to close the gap to 16-15 and the Red Devils took the free-kick and drove 67 yards in just four plays to score the winning TD with just 1:03 to play to win 21-16. After falling behind 16-0 in the opening quarter and having a blocked field goal return for a touchdown wiped off the board after an instantreplay review, Fyffe rallied to capture its third straight state championship, but first in Class 3A, at Bryant-Denny Stadium. Fyffe’s Ike Rowell scored the game-winner on a 1-yard run with 1:03 remaining – his third touchdown en route to being winning the game’s MVP award – to cap a 67-yard drive that lasted just four plays. Catholic got one last chance but the Knights’ pass into the end zone on the final play fell incomplete. “I knew these guys have no quit in them,� Benefield said. “It’s a special group of kids.� Fyffe extended its winning streak to 45 straight games, and the

Ike Rowell of Fyffe received the Most Valuable Player (MVP) for the Class 3A championship game. (Cheryl Boydston | Southern Torch)

Red Devils have now won five state championships in the last seven seasons. The Red Devils haven’t lost since falling to Sulligent in the 2A quarterfinals in November 2017. Fyffe won 2A titles in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019 before moving up to 3A this season. Benefield, who was honored earlier this season with the Fyffe football stadium being named in his honor, earned his 300th career coaching victory earlier this season and capped it with another state title. “This is the sweetest one of all,â€? Benefield said. “It’s unbelievable. I don’t know what to say or how to put it. We’re not a come-from-behind type of team. ‌ It’s amazing. It’s an amazing group of kids to go out 45-and-0.â€? Catholic (12-3), coached by Aubrey Blackwell, sprinted to a 16-0 lead in the first quarter with Judd Osten kicking a 26-yard field goal after D.J. Carter’s65-yard kickoff return to start the game. Quarterback Caleb

McCeary hooked up with Myles Butler for two touchdown passes – a 13-yarder to cap a 10-play, 76-yard drive and then a 56-yarder on a screen pass on the first play of the next drive for a 16-0 lead with 41 seconds to go in the first quarter. The Knights missed the first extra point and made the second. Rowell, who rushed for 140 yards on 36 carries and completed 5-or-7 passes for 155 yards, got the Red Devils on the board with a 4-yard run with 2:33 to go in the first half to make it 16-6 after a blocked extra point. He appeared to cut into Catholic’s lead on the final play of the first half when he blocked a field goal and returned it 75 yards for an apparent touchdown. The play was overturned by instant replay following a challenge by Catholic’s Blackwell concerning expiration of the play clock expired. Upon review, the TD was nullified resulting in a delay of game penalty. Catholic then lined up for a final untimed play, but McCeary’s pass fell

incomplete and the Knights carried a 16-6 lead into halftime. After teams traded punts throughout the third quarter, Rowell scored on a 3-yard run in the opening minute of the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to 16-13. Catholic stopped Ike Rowell on a fourth-and-1 midway through the fourth quarter to maintain a 16-13 lead. After the safety, Fyffe took over at its own 33 with 2:59 to go after the ensuing free kick. Rowellcompleted passes of 34 and 27 yards – both to Brody Dalton – to move the ball inside the Knights’ 5,and the quarterback scored the game-winner with 1:03 to go, making it 21-16. “We don’t know how to give up,� Dalton said. Catholic drove to the Fyffe 34 and called timeout with two seconds to go, but McCeary’s pass on the final play bounced off a teammate in the end zone and fell incomplete. Rowell accounted for 295 of Fyffe’s 316 yards of total offense. He also returned five kickoffs of 104 yards. Dalton caught three passes for 76 yards. Justin Stiefel added two catches for 79 yards and also intercepted a pass and had four tackles on defense. Hunter Gillilan led the Fyffe defense with seven tackles. For Catholic, McCeary finished 14-of-24 passing for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Butler had six catches for 109 yards and two TD catches. T.J. Dudley led the defense with eight tackles, andJeremiah Cobb logged 19 carries for 87 yards.

By Marla Jones, Sports Editor marla@southerntorch.com TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Former Rainsville native and Plainview quarterback, Erik Kuykendall celebrated his second straight Class 7A State Championship at Thompson High School. Kuykendall, the son of Craig and Cindy Kuykendall, graduated from Plainview in 2007 and has been on the Thompson High School coaching staff as a Wide Receivers Coach since 2015. Kuykendall is joined by Tray Gilbert, a 2012 graduate of Geraldine High School, who currently serves as the statistician for the Thompson High School Warriors. He is the son of Jamie and Jennifer Gilbert. He is married to Jordan Gilbert and they are expecting their first child in March. Congratulations to Erik Kuykendall and Tray Gilbert! For the complete recap of the Championship game by AHSAA's Josh Bean, please visit southerntorch.com.

Fmr. Fyffe Coach Wins 6A Championship

By Marla Jones Sports Editor marla@southerntorch.com TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Fyffe native and former Red Devils coach Teddy Whitmire, who was an offensive lineman, defensive lineman, and linebacker for Fyffe, celebrated a Class 6A State Championship with Pinson Valley on Friday.

Whitmire, who still has ties to the Fyffe Red Devils, congratulated his alma mater on their own Class 3A State Championship title. "I can't even put into words how I feel about those young men at Fyffe," said Whitmire. "It's a bond that lasts forever. I love them." Pinson Valley defeated Spanish Fort for the championship.



Congratulations to the Fyffe Red Devils! pibonline.com Fyffe • Powell • Sylvania • Boaz • Scottsboro • Hokes Bluff • Douglas • Steele • Gurley





from Superintendent Dr. Jason Barnett and the DeKalb County Board of Education members: Randy Peppers, Robert Elliott, Chris Andrews, Carol Hiett, and Monty Darwin.





Emergency care.

Recognized nationally. Available locally.









Ashley Cole, M.D.* Board-Certified in Emergency Medicine • Emergency Department Medical Director

When you have an emergency, turn to the emergency department at DeKalb Regional Medical Center with confidence. • The 30-Minute Pledge means we will work diligently to have you initially seen by a medical professional within 30 minutes of your arrival. • As an American College of Cardiology Accredited Chest Pain Center, we have achieved a higher level of expertise when caring for patients who arrive with heart attack symptoms. • We have earned The Joint Commission’s Certificate of Distinction for Primary Stroke Centers. This means we provide the critical elements to achieve long-term success in improving outcomes for stroke patients. All this, plus specialists in Cardiology, General Surgery, Orthopedics and Neurology, means we are at our best when you need us most.

Current Average ER Wait Time DeKalbRegional.com 200 Medical Center Dr. SW • Fort Payne, AL 35968 If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911. Specialists are Employed and Independent Members of the Medical Staff at DeKalb Regional Medical Center. *Independent Member of the Medical Staff at DeKalb Regional Medical Center.

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The Southern Torch — Vol. 6, No. 50  

The Southern Torch — Vol. 6, No. 50