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THE SOUTHERN TORCH / FRIDAY, AUGUST 5, 2016 / VOL. 2, NO. 32 / $1.00







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World's Longest Yard Sale underway in DeKalb

By Joseph M. Morgan

Editor and Publisher

DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — The World's Longest Yard Sale, also known as the 127 Yard Sale, runs directly through the heart of DeKalb County and is in

town this weekend. The 690-mile yard sale kicked off Thursday and runs through the weekend, wrapping up on Sunday. In its 29th year, the yard sale officially begins just down the road in Etowah County at the

foot of Tabor Road near Noccalula Falls in Gadsden. From there, it runs across Lookout Mountain Parkway where it enters DeKalb County. In DeKalb it runs through Dogtown, Fort Payne, and Mentone before crossing the border into the state of Georgia. After crossing the state line, the yard sale continues all the way to the state of Michigan for an eventual total of 690 miles. The sale officially starts on Thursday and runs through Sunday, but many vendors in DeKalb County begin setting up early Wednesday morning.




Barnett to host fall campaign kickoff rally in Rainsville next week


GOP select Mac McCutcheon as new Alabama House Speaker Alabama Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, was selected by his Republican colleagues today as their choice for Speaker of the House in the Alabama House of Representatives. "I'm humbled by the faith… Page 8 THIS WEEK IN FAITH

The Lights Went Out in Georgia, 1996 Atlanta Olympics It was a great family night in the middle of the celebration known as the Olympics. My wife and I and two of our sons, aged 15 and 17, had ridden Marta into downtown Atlanta at the height of the Games. The area was full of people coming and going to events. Tickets could be found for any event. We got one ticket to see the Dream Team play and a… Page 6 By Joseph M. Morgan Editor and Publisher

RAINSVILLE, Ala.—Dr. Jason Barnett, Republican

candidate for DeKalb County Schools Superintendent, announced that he will be hosting a fall campaign kick-off rally on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016, at 6


Visit our website at for daily news updates and pick up your weekly print edition at news stands every Thursday.




p.m. at the Tom Bevill Enrichment Center in Rainsville. “It’s exciting to be just days away from our fall kick-off rally,” Barnett said.

“We’re expecting a good crowd and I want to invite anyone who is interested to come out next Tuesday and


The Southern Torch – Southern Torch, Inc. News every Friday. For Subscriptions: Call (256) 638-4040 or email


Sylvania holds 2nd Annual Wingfest The Sylvania High School Quarterback Club will be hosting the 2nd annual Wingfest fundraiser on August 6, 2016 at the Sylvania High School Football Stadium beginning at 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Wingfest is a community-wide chicken wing competition and fundraiser to benefit the Sylvania Rams football team. Page 11





Friday–August 5, 2016


Publisher, Joseph M. Morgan Layout editor, Dwayne Adams

Page 1, Barnett to host rally join us for the rally.” Barnett said the purpose of the event is to officially kick off his fall campaign and bring together supporters, volunteers and any others interested in learning more about the campaign or his vision for improving DeKalb County Schools. “We were blessed with an incredibly loyal, hard-working group of volunteers during the primary and they are ready to redeploy and hit the ground running,” Barnett said. “This is an exciting time as we prepare for the general election.” Barnett said a number

of new volunteers have signed on to help out with the campaign and he hopes even more will show up at the fall campaign kick-off rally next week. “The kick-off is a way to reunite with and show our appreciation for the many volunteers and supporters who have been there since day one,” Barnett said. “It will also be a great opportunity to meet new people. I encourage anyone who has an interest in DeKalb County Schools or has questions for me or would like to hear more about where I stand on the issues to come out and join us.”

Barnett said the event is not only about kicking off the fall campaign, but about bringing a group of people with a common vision together and enjoying an evening of fellowship for the entire family. “We will have fun for the kids, food, fellowship, and some local entertainment; and I will share my vision for DeKalb County Schools,” Barnett said. “We ask for your support in the general election on November 8th, and we look forward to your presence at this event. We would love for you to invite a friend to join you as well.”

Greenleaf finalist in catfish competition

The Greenleaf Grill in Mentone has been selected as a finalist for the Bama’s Best Catfish Competition! The Greenleaf placed in the top four, with the overall winner being announced this month. Be sure to congratulate Rainsville native Jimmy Rogers, owner of the Greenleaf, and stop by to try his award-winning catfish. Another area restaurant, Pat’s Perfections in Centre, also made the top four!


Friday–August 5, 2016



To submit community news, contact: Tel. 256 638 4040

Unusual weather radar ring over Rainsville

A strange circular patterned appeared on the weather radar over Rainsville on Sunday with no clouds in the sky. (Photo credit: National Weather Service)

By Tyler Pruett Managing Editor

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — On Sunday, July 31, a series of

unusual radar signatures appeared over several areas of North Alabama and Tennessee on WHNT 19’s weather radar. The patterns were in a ring

shape, and disappeared shortly after popping up even though the skies were clear and no precipitation was in the area. The patterns appeared over Winchester (TN), West Decatur, Huntsville, and Rainsville. While military tests at Redstone Arsenal have been known to occasionally create strange radar signatures in the past, the cause of this anomaly was something completely different. The large rings were apparently caused by large group of birds common to Alabama and most of the Eastern United States. According to WHNT 19 meteorologist Christina Edwards, the rings were caused by

Purple martins are a migratory bird that nests in close proximity to humans. The birds live in large colonies that can cause a “cloud” on the radar when leaving roosts. (Photo credit:

STAFF Joseph M. Morgan, Editor and Publisher Marla Jones, Sports Editor Angie Reynoso, Office Manager Diego Reynoso, Operations Manager Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor Amy Thrash, Advertising Executive Dwayne Adams, Art Director

Southern Torch

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Purple Martins leaving their roosts in large numbers. The species typically live in colonies, and usually take up residence in crevices; either natural or man-made. Many people in rural areas hang hollowed-out gourds to create a habitat for the birds; believing that they help control the insect population. However, the birds find the best roosting environment in urban areas, where small crevices on buildings and overpasses make a perfect habitat. The martins generally leave their roost at the same time, creating a “cloud” on the radar over areas where there are large concentrations of the birds. According to Edwards, these patterns can sometimes reach 60 miles across. "In addition to birds, weather radars can also detect bats, bugs,

buildings, trees, and even trucks as they head down the highway. This is why you can see ‘green’ on a radar, even when no rain is available to produce a signal," Edwards wrote in her blog. Although there are currently enough Martins in the area to create a “cloud” on the weather radar, the small birds aren’t around during the winter. According to, Martins migrate all the way to the Amazon Basin in South America during the winter months, and move back to North America in the spring to breed. Martins have always had a close relationship with humans, and live in close proximity. Putting up gourds to create habitats for the birds predates the settlement of America, with Native Americans starting the practice.


Friday–August 5, 2016



Watson recalls racial tensions and the city’s support

By Tyler Pruett Managing Editor

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — After long-time Fort Payne City Councilman Walter Watson declined to seek reelection, the

city attorney, Rocky Watson, fondly recounted their years spent with Walter at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. Councilman Watson declined to run for reelection late last

month, after announcing his re-election bid on July 1. Walter Watson first won election in 1996. Watson was the first African-American city councilman elected in

Fort Payne history. While segregation had been abolished around thirty years prior to Watson being elected, racial tensions were still present in the city and in the area. “To have an AfricanAmerican elected to city council five times in a southern town with a three percent AfricanAmerican population is remarkable,” City Attorney Rocky Watson said. Councilman Watson recounted early in his career, when some very unwelcomed guests interrupted a council meeting. “Being AfricanAmerican and you came to this area and you heard about ‘the Klan.’” Watson explained, “you hear Klan and they said white people, and I wondered

which one of these guys [the city council] was going to be Klan. I didn’t know.” While Watson was attending to the city’s business one night, he was faced with the very threat he was warned about. “[Then one night] into work comes the Klan. They had a bag under their arm and one even had a prosthetic hand. I was freaking out, thinking ‘What are they going to do to me?’” Watson said. “Then I found out really quickly that these guys were not even close to associated with that group,” said Watson, “These guys are my brothers.” Councilman Watson currently serves as President of the DeKalb-Cherokee Gas District Board. In an interview with the Southern Torch, Watson explained why he chose to not seek re-election. "It was time for me to step down and give someone else a turn," Watson said. "I gave my word to a couple of candidates that if they ran this year that I would not run and give them an opportunity to serve and to learn." "There was no question about it for me," Watson said. "It was a matter of integrity and keeping my word." Although he’s not seeking re-election, Councilman Watson made it clear that his work is not yet done. “Guys, we still got some more stuff to do. I ain’t done yet. I ain’t gonna lame duck,” he said to the council with a grin.


Friday–August 5, 2016


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August 4, 2016 Carol Beddingfield, Executive Director I want to start this column by thanking one of Fort Payne’s finest citizens – Ed Westmoreland. As many know, Ed has saved a priceless piece of history of our city. His purchase of the Sawyer Building will mean that our future generations will have a hands on experience learning how a great family helped define our community. If you have not had the opportunity to step into the Sawyer Building recently, you will on Thursday, August 18th from 5-7 PM at the Chamber’s After Hours. Hospice of Marshall County will be our sponsor for the event. An explanation of the services of this non-profit will be shared. The public is invited to attend. Light refreshments and business networking will also be available. At some point in all our lives we will need the services of such programs as hospice. Death does not only affect the dying. Everyone faces their own grief journey. Hospice of Marshall County believes that those who learn to handle their grief in a positive way become stronger individuals and create a stronger community. The staff and volunteers not only provide peace and comfort to people with a terminal illness, but also invaluable support to those grieving the end of a loved one’s life. Although named for the county in which the program is located, Hospice of Marshall County is a regional non-profit that provides services to nine counties including DeKalb. The Shepherd’s Cove is a 10 bed inpatient facility. It is designed to complement the care offered through Hospice of Marshall County’s in home services. Care is provided in a spacious, welcoming, and homelike environment. Its purpose is to alleviate a symptom that cannot be managed in another setting. It is also a safe place for someone to rest at the end of live. It provides support to family members. Rhonda Osborne, CEO, has been the driving force for the growth and success of the program. Susan Sanders, Community Relations Director, is the face of Hospice. Both of these women are the energetic and driven individuals. They believe in the purpose of hospice. The mission statement of Hospice of Marshall County is reflected in all of its services. To provide, with a servant’s heart, exceptional, individualized care for those coping with end of life issues. Come learn more about the services of hospice while viewing a piece of Fort Payne’s history. For more information, call the Fort Payne Chamber of Commerce at 256-845-2741.


August 4, 2016 Tim Eberhart, Executive Director August holds many opportunities for you and I to get to know some of our small, locally-owned and operated businesses better. If we get to know them better, we will know where to shop locally for the products and services we need. If enough of us really get to know them, maybe some of them would grow into bigger businesses where greater selections would be found and more jobs would be available for our workforce. Chambers of commerce everywhere never stop reminding anyone and everyone who is listening to “shop local.” That’s because every time you and I shop locally we are supporting a business that can provide direct support for many of the things we want to see thrive in our own community. Nobody is going to support high school sports, for example, like a group of small, locally owned and operated businesses whose building is within a few miles of the stadium complex. Furthermore, the revenue generated by locally-owned and operated small businesses helps sustain the local government’s ability to provide the many services we expect and want to take for granted–the services we expect mayoral and city council candidates to improve when they get elected. We expect a great deal out of our local governments and those we elect to lead them. So, why would we deliberately make their job more challenging by spending a lot of money at a mall 80 or 90 miles away, or at an online store based two time zones away when we could have bought most of our new stuff locally? Just saying. Some opportunities to get to know some local businesses better will be this weekend. Think about it when you are shopping during the back-toschool tax-free weekend. Think about it when Farmers Telecommunications’ annual meeting and car show concludes and you are looking for a place to get lunch, or you need to shop on the way home. Our Summer Shopping Days is another opportunity. It’s going on now and will run through August 13-14. When you shop at any of the 22 participating businesses, you can register to win $250 in Chamber Bucks certificates. Visit our business guide at for Summer Shopping Days details and for some tools I hope you will find useful for planning your next shopping outing.


Friday–August 5, 2016


FAITH The Lights Went Out in Georgia 1996 Atlanta Olympics

By Dr. John E. Morgan Pastor–Collinsville Baptist Church

It was a great family night in the middle of the celebration known as the Olympics. My wife and I and two of our sons, aged 15 and 17, had ridden Marta into downtown Atlanta at the height of the Games. The area was full of people coming and going to events. Tickets could be found for any event. We got one ticket to see the Dream Team play and a couple of tickets for Volleyball. We were in the brand new Olympic Park, the triangle of land between the Omni, the Congress Center, the Georgia Dome and The Main Press Center where I was working during the Olympics. The crowd was excited. There was a shared

camaraderie in being at the Olympics. We were all proud that Atlanta and the South had pulled it off. The Olympics were an obvious success. A little Southern Pride had been well earned. And the park was the place to be. Kind of like a post game tailgate party after your team wins. We walked around the park looking at displays and at children playing in the fountains. At the north end of the park, music was coming from the bands and performers of the night. We wandered over to where Olympic pins were being traded. When our younger son came back from the basketball game, he was excited about seeing the Dream Team and sitting with Scottie Pippen’s brother during the game.

My wife and I left them in the park to have fun as I went to work. We walked over to the Press Center where I was able to get her into the very restricted building. Security was everywhere. Uniformed guards at all the entries, all the elevators and everywhere around the floor. You were never out of sight of security. After a while, I was called to the entry. Our sons were standing there. Someone in the crowd had broken a beer bottle. My younger son’s toe was cut open and was bleeding profusely. The manager let our sons in to get help from the medical staff on the second floor. The night of fun had been ruined by one person’s carelessness. That made me mad. The medics stopped the bleeding and bandaged the toe. Our sons’ night of fun was over. We could hear the music still blaring just across the street. It was after one in the morning. Time for my family to leave. We started down the hallway. And then the bomb exploded. Our building shook as the noise reached us. I knew what it was immediately. We turned into the large corner room. The walls were glass. We walked over and looked down into

the park. The explosion had been about fifty yards from where we now stood. We were looking down on the carnage as the crowd was still scattering. Medical teams and security teams were rushing to the spot. My first thought was that my sons would have been right there listening to the bands except for a broken bottle. Coincidence? Good luck? You can interpret it as you choose. My wife and I choose to believe it is providential that our children were safe. It is interesting that we can be angry about broken bottles in our lives. And then thankful for them. We are to trust God. Even when we do not understand. As we stared down at the Park, a man ran in the room and yelled at us to get away from the windows. Now! He was the chief of security in the building. He knew that bombers sometimes set off a second, stronger bomb to kill more people. We were surprised when we looked at TV to see coverage about the bomb. There wasn’t any. They didn’t know yet. Our building was locked down. Nobody in or out. Our family spent the night in the building. Thankful to be with each other. There was a press

conference about five. The locked doors meant we were short handed. My sons were drafted to help hand out head phones for reporters to get translations. The Conference was very brief. On the stage one of the officials looked into the television cameras and said, “First of all, the Games will go on. I repeat. The Games will go on.” The conference lasted about three minutes. We in the room knew that it was being seen all over the world. We had pride in putting it together in such difficult circumstances. The building was opened later in the morning. We made our way back up the streets to catch the train to where our car was parked. We had to make a block detour. A bomb disposal unit was investigating a paper bag on the sidewalk. It would have been ignored twelve hours earlier. We knew that the Games would go on. But we knew that something had changed. Twenty years later I am still overwhelmed by the thought of how close two of our boys were to being next to that bomb. We are thankful to have them. And thankful for shared memories of that terrible, wonderful night.

The Life-Changing Decision

By Lucas Pruett The past few Sunday’s I have been attending a new church in Atlanta called Influencer’s Church. It is a great environment. A couple of my co-workers attend there and I thought I would check it out. The pastor’s name is Ashley Evans and he is a powerful communicator of the Word. I have been drawn in immediately because he has been doing a sermon series called The Defeaning Silence and it is about how to hear from God and the believers struggles with hearing from God. I challenge you to go to their website and check those past three messages out. They are golden stuff! After my second visit, they gave me a book that the pastor had authored titled “No More Fear”. I decided to start reading a chapter a day moving forward. That has been an extremely fruitful decision to this point. The book dives into the basics of fear and the intimidating role it plays in our lives. I never realized how our fear paralyzes us daily and causes us to live short of

God’s plan for us. God is so amazing and is such a powerful father. He has this amazing life of abundance in store for us. However, we allow fear to keep us from completely experiencing that. The enemy sets up shop in our minds and uses his lies and manipulations to strike fear into us. Now that I have been made aware, I am able to see how heart breaking of a cycle this is. God will intersect with us and speak a big vision into our hearts and the enemy comes swiftly in with doubt and speaks big lies (that are completely powerless) and we retract back into our comfort zone and back into a life that is less that what God planned. This process just stinks. I pray that God opens your eyes to that this week. He intends for us live in abundance, adventure, and expectation of what he is going to do. He does not intend for us to live in worry, shame, and in this place of curioristy about his existence and involvement in our lives. One of my favorite quotes from the early chapters of No More Fear has really impacted my life. Evans says, “Make a decision today to stop letting fear rule your life. Start believing God’s promise that He wants to do abundantely more through you than you ever thought possible.” Let’s break that down for a minute. We have to make a decision to stop letting fear rule our lives.

It’s up to us. That is why I have titled this article what I have. This is a huge and life changing decision. We have to consciously look ourselves in the mirror and claim God’s victory over our thought lives. If we don’t, fear will continue to ravage our thoughts and actions. The opposite of living in fear is believing God’s promises. Our lives are that simple. We make things really complicated but the basic decision is either live in God’s promises and will, or live half measure due to fear. God’s promise to us is that He wants to do abundately more through us than we could ever think possible. In Ephesians 3:20, Paul prays, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine.” That is the God that has become our spiritual father. He is able to do immeasurably more than we could ever brainstorm, think tank, or imagine. However, fear tells us that God is small, not faithful, and isn’t even thinking about us in the first place. Nothing could be less true. No matter what place you are in your life right now, God, your father, has a huge plan for you that is eternally significant. I challenge you today to believe that! We talked last week about how your belief determines your behavior. This could be huge for your behavior. If you believed God at his word, that he wants to do abundatly more

through you today than you ever imagined, then your life could be transformed. Today, punch fear in the face. Then make the decision

that you will believe God’s promise! As always, if you have questions or comments then you can reach me at


Friday–August 5, 2016


POLITICS Councilman Dana Goggans drops out of race for Fort Payne City Council By Joseph M. Morgan Editor and Publisher

Councilman Dana Goggans

FORT PAYNE, Ala.— There was major breaking news in Fort Payne today regarding the upcoming race for city council. In a move many voters did not see coming, incumbent Fort Payne City Council President Dana Goggans has dropped out of the Aug.

23, 2016 race for Fort Payne City Council, a source close to the campaign confirmed to Southern Torch early on Tuesday. President of the Fort Payne City Council since 2012, the incumbent Goggans was one of the strongest candidates on the ballot and a shoe-in for re-election to the council. Southern Torch broke

the story around midday on Tuesday, and Councilman Goggans reached out shortly thereafter to help us and our readers better understand the motivation behind the unexpected move to suspend his campaign for re-election. Goggans said that over the past few days he had begun to realize that the sense of excitement he has always felt about serving on the council just wasn’t there anymore. He said instead of being excited, he has found himself thinking more and more about his children and all that he has missed out on over the past four years and how much more he would miss by serving another term on the council. “I struggled with it and more and more,” Goggans said, “and as time went on I just wasn’t excited about it anymore. I already had to decline when I was asked to coach my son in his last year of peewee football because of council business. Thinking about missing things like that again made me realize that being on the council again would be a really hard thing for me to do. I woke up yesterday and my wife and I talked about it, and I want to be there for the kids.” Goggans said he realized that if he was not excited and passionate about serving on the council again, moving forward with the campaign and committing to serve four more years would have been unfair to the people of Fort Payne. “I’ve got two 11-year-old twins and a

four-year-old and I just went through a grueling process of going through law school,” Goggans said. “I was spending a lot of time away. Every Saturday for nearly five years I was gone to school, and then studying every night, and studying for the bar and trying to serve on the council…. and it hit me yesterday that my heart’s just not in it. I had to be honest with myself and do what was best for me and best for my family—what’s best for Fort Payne. Staying in the race just for the sake of staying in would have been a disservice to the city, and first and foremost to my family.” Goggans said that there are several strong candidates running for city council and that he believes Fort Payne will ultimately be left in capable hands. “We’ve got a lot of good candidates out there,” Goggans said. “We’ve still got three good incumbents running. But I needed to step away. My wife and I talked it over a good bit yesterday and I mulled it over today. I talked to some folks and talked to some folks again today, and finally decided that was the thing I needed to do. I decided it was the right thing to do. And thats really all there is to it. At the end of the day, I just want to be there for my wife and for the kids.”


Friday–August 5, 2016



GOP select Mac McCutcheon as new Alabama House Speaker

Alabama House Republicans selected Rep. Mac McCutcheon as their new Speaker of the House in the Alabama House of Representatives

By Joseph M. Morgan

Editor and Publisher

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Rep. Mac McCutcheon, R-Monrovia, was selected by his Republican colleagues today as their choice for Speaker of the House in the Alabama House of Representatives. "I'm humbled by the faith and confidence that my fellow Republicans have placed in me, and, if elected as Speaker, I pledge to preside in a manner that treats all

members of both parties in a fair and honorable manner," McCutcheon said in a statement to the media. "Our state faces many challenges ranging from education to ethics to ensuring adequate funding for even the most basic government services, and finding needed solutions will require all of us to work together." McCutcheon is no stranger to power and influence thanks to his role as Chairman of the House Rules Committee.

The position is tasked with setting the House Legislative agenda, giving McCutcheon complete control of all legislation that moves through the House and the sole authority to decide which bills make it to the House floor and which bills never see the light of day. Republicans hold a 70-33 seat advantage over Democrats in the Alabama House of Representatives, so McCutcheon's confirmation as Alabama's new House Speaker is all but a done deal when the House convenes on Aug. 15 to begin a special session on Gov. Robert Bentley's lottery proposal. Once McCutcheon's new title as Speaker becomes official, he will fill the role left vacant by former Rep. Mike Hubbard who was convicted of 12 felony ethics violations on June 10, automatically removing him from office and stripping his title as Speaker. McCutcheon edged out a number of fellow House members vying for the position,

including Rep. Steve Clouse of Ozark, Rep. Lynn Greer of Rogersville, Rep. Mike Jones of Andalusia, Rep. Barry Moore of Enterprise and Rep. Phil Williams of Huntsville.

McCutcheon has served in the Alabama House of Representatives since 2006, representing District 25 including parts of Madison and Limestone Counties.


Friday–August 5, 2016


DEATH NOTICES 8/5/16 Wilson Funeral Home & Crematory Mr. Donnie Ray Hartman - Age 52 of Fort Payne passed away July 25, 2015 at Dekalb Regional Medical Center. Funeral services were held on July 28, 2016 at the Wilson Funeral Home Chapel. Mr. Hartman is survived by his life partner Lenore Fuentes; son, David Hawkins; daughters, Amanda Osby and Amber Hawkins; brother, Terry Hartman; sister, Sharon Dean; grandchildren, Connor and Kade Osby and special nephew DJ knopps. He was preceded in death by his daughter Amber Hartman. Mrs. Diane Keef - Age 53 of Fort Payne passed away July 26, 2016 at her home. Funeral services were held on July 29, 2016 at Walnut Grove Baptist Church. She is survived by her husband of 30 years, Clay Keef; son, Ryan Keef; daughter, Hannah Keef; mother, Helen Wooten; and sister Becky Dixon.

Burt Funeral Homes Miss Debra Dianne Smalley - July 14, 1957 - July 25, 2016. A Memorial Service was held on July 28, 2016 at Minvale Baptist Church in Fort Payne. She is survived by brother, Jimmy Defelice; and aunt Edith Myers-Kingsville.

Mrs. Dorothy Ashley Leveille - June 16, 1928 - July 25, 2016. She is survived by son, Greg Ashley (Cya); daughter, Sandra Maffett (Ed); grandchildren, John Ashley and Emmy Maffett; sisters, Bonnie Nelson (Lyle) and Dean Dunnington; several nieces and nephews. Mrs. Leveille was preceded in death by husband, Daniel Hoyt Ashley. Mrs. Sherry C. Powell - July 5, 1967 - July 28, 2016. Funeral services were held on July 31, 2016 at Burt Chapel- Valley Head. She is survived by her husband, Allen Powell; children, Jeffery Bain, Jacob Bain, Coty Powell, Corey Powell and Brooklyn Johnson (Aaron); sisters, Pam McGraw, Donna Crabtree, Teresa Money (Todd), Lisa Barker (Branch), Connie Robinson (Daniel), Vicki Burdick (Jake and Kellie McCary (Shawn); honorary sister, Sandy Rich’ grandchildren, Easton Bain, Jaydon Bain, Kimberly Powell and Allison Powell; and several nieces and nephews. Mrs. Powell was preceded in death by father, Clyde Crabtree; daughters, Kenya Sharee Bain and Father and mother-in-law, Carl and Ollie Powell. Mr. James Brealon Boman - March 17, 1955 - July 29, 2016. Funeral services were held on August 1, 2016 at Burt Chapel-Fort Payne. Mr. Boman is survived by daughter, Denise Boman; son, Jonathan Boman; grandchildren, Issac Boman, Emerald Eason and Chole Boman. He was preceded in death by parents, James and

Edna Boman.

W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel Mr. Donald Verlin Baldwin - Age 72 of Dawson passed away July 26, 2016. Funeral services were held on July 30, 2016 from W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel. Mr. Baldwin is survived by wife, Susan Harris Baldwin; daughters, Mandy (John) Smith and Brittany (Dakota) Parmer; son, Donald (Pamela) Baldwin, Anthony (Traci) Baldwin, Wayne Weaver; sisters, Louise Baldwin, Maudie Bolding, Sally Brown; brother, Paul Ray Baldwin; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by parents, Marshall and Mandy Baldwin; grandmother, Pamela Jewel Baldwin; sisters, Mary Weaver, Ruby Jones, Tommy Johnson, Lillie Cook; brothers, Robert Baldwin and Claudie Baldwin. Mr. J.R. Bannister - Age 65 of Rainsville passed away July 27, 2016. Funeral services were held on July 29, 2016 from W.T. Wilson Funeral Chapel. Mr. Bannister is survived by wife, Rebecca Carter Bannister; daughters, Laura B. Townson (Johnny) and Gina Hughes Akutagawa; son, Joseph E. Bannister (Sherrie); brother, Gene Bannister; grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by parents, Claude and Maudie Bannister; and sister, Mary Jo Massingill.

Crossville Memorial Chapel

Wayne Cagle; sisters, Gladys Hawkins, Agnes Baird, Lily Marie Williams and Teresa Rebecca Wiseman. Mrs. Barnes was preceded in death by husband, James Franklin Barnes, Sr., and David Jo Graves.

Mr. Michael Chad Bagwell - Age 37 of Dawson. Funeral services were held on July 29, 2016 at Crossville Memorial Chapel. He is survived by wife, Latisha Bagwell; stepchildren, Tray and Jade Gibbs; father, Ricky Bagwell; step-father, Ronald Gilbert, Grandmothers, Jimmie Sue Garrard, Mae Bagwell; brother, Chad (Anita) Gilbert, half-brother, Scott Bagwell; sister, Chasity Hyatt; nephews, Garrett Hyatt and Holden Gilbert and niece Jade Webb. Mr. Bagwell was preceded in death by mother, Susan Gilbert and grandfather, D.C. Bagwell.

Kerby Funeral Home Mrs. Peggy Joyce Stallings - Age 72 of Rossville, GA. passed away Friday, July 29, 2016 at Cornerstone Medical Center. Funeral services were held on August 2, 2016 at Kerby Funeral Home Chapel. She is survived by husband, Sammie Stallings; son, Homer Leon Luck, Tim Stallings; daughter, Pamela J. Guess (Tim); son, James Stallings; 11 grandchildren; 4 great-grandchildren; brothers, JP Hamilton, Dale Hamilton, Ronnie Hamilton’ sisters, Hazel Whitman, Alice Hamilton Young, Sara Ruth Hamilton and Sherrie Helen Hamilton.

Mrs. Dorothy Jean Barnes - Age 80 of Dawson. Funeral services were held on July 30, 2016 at Crossville Memorial Chapel. She is survived by children, Martha (Larry) Templeton, Frankie (Kristy) Barnes, James Winford (Sharon) Barnes and Terry (Kathy) Barnes. 9 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren; brothers, Issac Carl Cagle, William David Cagle and












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Friday–August 5, 2016


Inside the Huddle-A Sneak Peek at the Collinsville Panthers Coach Teddy HelmsSpecial Teams, Coach Mike McElrath-Running Backs, Coach Mark PattersonDefensive Backs, Coach Jeff Stanley and Coach Chris Conde-Offensive Line.

By Marla Jones Sports Editor

COLLINSVILLE, Ala.— I went “Inside the Huddle” with the Collinsville Panthers on the first official day of football practice with helmets. State laws say that a team has to wear helmets for two days of practice and then

they can don the pads. Several parents and fans alike were there to watch the Panthers in action. Excitement was in the air….football season is about to start. This will be the third year that Collinsville has been in Class 2A. In the first year, they went 4-6 and was one game from making the playoffs. In their second year, the team went 6-4 and made the playoffs. This year they are making progress and should be able to make it

deep into the playoffs. The team is very athletic and has experience at the skill positions. The line will be very young but has great potential. Depth will be an issue if they occur injuries. For this season, they will run the spread offense and 3-4 (multiple) defense. Coach Willingham stated that their “schedule was brutal but very exciting.” Following realignment, the Panthers will remain in Class 2A but will move to region six. Several rivals will be back on the Panther schedule. The Panthers will kick off their season against Crossville, for the first time since 2003. Crossville won the last competition 56-7. Collinsville and Crossville have met a total of 73 times on the field. This season the Panthers will once again face Sand Rock, whom they have not faced in several years. Westbrook has been added

back to the schedule and they will face a new opponent, the Asbury Rams. 2015 RECORD: Collinsville Varsity Football finished the 2015 season with a 6-5 record. The team was 3-3 in region play. They lost to Randolph County in the first round of the playoffs.

SCHEDULE: The Collinsville Panthers will kick off the 2016 season at home as they face the Crossville Lions on August 26, 2016. They will host the Ider Hornets on September 2, 2016. The Panthers will travel to Gaston on September 9, 2016. The Panthers return home as they face Asbury on September 16, 2016. The Panthers will have home field advantage as they take on Cedar Bluff on

September 23, 2016. Collinsville will travel to face Westbook Christian on September 30, 2016. The Panthers will host the Fyffe Red Devils on October 7, 2016. For the last three games of the regular season, Collinsville will be on the road: They travel to Sand Rock on October 14, 2016, Section on October 21, 2016 and will end the 2016 regular season with the Valley Head Tigers on October 27, 2016. The Collinsville Panthers have the determination and talent to succeed this year and should be able to go deep into the playoffs. Collinsville will definitely be a team to watch.

PREPARATION: The Collinsville Panthers practiced throughout the summer. Grades 7-12 practiced together. The practice is comprised of field exercises and inside workouts. PLAYERS: Collinsville has ten returning seniors. The team boasts seven returning defensive starters and four returning offensive starters. Collinsville has several newcomers to the field that will impact the team out significantly. COACHES: Coach Ernie Willingham will return for his ninth season as the Head Coach for the Collinsville Panthers. His coaching team consists of : Coach Riley EdwardsDefensive Coordinator/ Defensive Line, Coach Jon Tidmore-Quarterbacks/ Junior High, Coach Chuck Dutton-Linebackers, Coach Shane Stewart-Receivers,

FANS OF THE WEEK! The Southern Torch Fans of the Week are the staff of Collinsville Healthcare and Rehab. They would like to wish the Collinsville Panthers best of luck this season! Submit your photos to to be the next Southern Torch Fans of the Week.

SPOTLIGHT ON COACHES Marla Jones, Sports Editor

COLLINSVILLE, Ala.—The Southern Torch Coach of the Week is Coach James (Ernie) WIllingham, Head Coach of the Collinsville Panthers Varsity Football Team. Coach Ernie Willingham graduated from Collinsville High School. After college he was the head basketball coach at Appalachian from 1984-1991. He went to Albertville to coach basketball for 19911993 before returning to Appalachian for five years. In 1998, Willingham landed his first football job as head coach at Collinsville. While at Collinsville for five years, his team went 31-24. The Panthers reached the playoffs in four out of five seasons. In 2003, Willingham returned to Appalachian, to coach basketball and then took over to football program in 2004 for seven seasons. Coach Willingham moved back to his hometown in Collinsville in 2013. Coach Willingham will be entering his ninth season at Collinsville with a record of 48-39. He has led the team to six playoff appearances. The Collinsville Panthers have won two region championships under the leadership of Willingham. Collinsville can help Willingham achieve his 100th win as Head Coach with their first victory of the season. Southern Torch wishes Coach Willingham and his Collinsville Panthers the best of luck in their upcoming season.


Friday–August 5, 2016


Local Players This week in drag racing compete in California

Kevin Ellis of Rainsville standing the winners circle taking 1st place with his winning pro car camaro and Roger Wigley Friday night at Sand Mountain Dragway. The runner up for the night was Jeff Bryant of Fort Payne. Photo by Kristy Gallagher

Kenzie Traylor pitches for the Sparks Elite in the PGF National Tournament.

Annabelle Brown in action for the Fury 99 team in the PGF National Tournament.

By Marla Jones

is playing with the Sparks Elite travel team. Annabelle, a senior at Plainview High School is playing with the Fury 99. This tournament is one of the biggest softball tournaments in the country. To make it to this tournament is the highest achievement and the end to summer league softball. To play in this tournament, you must qualify. Both travel teams qualified to attend this tournament in Atlanta, Georgia. At press time, both teams were undefeated in bracket play. To watch live feed of the games, go to

Sports Editor

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calf.— Two players from the Plainview Varsity Lady Bears softball team are competing in the National Premier Girls Fastpitch Softball Tournament held in Huntington Beach, California this week. While most girls are getting ready for the start of the new school year, Kenzi Traylor and Annabelle Brown are competing with their travel team and will miss the first two days of the new school year. Kenzi, a ninth grader at Plainview

Sylvania holds 2nd Annual Wingfest

By Marla Jones

Sports Editor

SYLVANIA, Ala.—The Sylvania High School Quarterback Club will be hosting the 2nd annual Wingfest fundraiser on August 6, 2016 at the Sylvania High School Football Stadium beginning at 4 p.m. until 9 p.m. Wingfest is a community-wide chicken wing competition and fundraiser to benefit the Sylvania Rams football team. There is no registration fee for the competitors and the Quarterback Club will supply the wings. The competitors this year will be: Dekalb MD-Chad Williamson, Mountain Valley News, Jefferson’s (Fort Payne), Tophers Wings, Santa Fe, Zaxby’s (Scottsboro), Chattanooga Billiards Club, Eric Albright-Ollie’s Tavern,

Larry Ingle, Kyle Robinson, Steven Goff, Ike Ridgeway, Dixieland Restaurant, Roadside Q and Mark Young. The Wingfest contest is set up so that your ticket will get you one wing from each competitor. As you go to each competitor, you will get your ticket punched. After sampling all sixteen of the wings, you will give your punched ticket to your favorite. The competitor with the most punched tickets, will be named the People’s Choice winner. There will be awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in two different categories: Best Hot WIng and Most Unique Wing along with People’s Choice. The event will feature inflatables, games and a dunk tank. Entertainment and music will be provided by Chad Sizemore of Sylvania Baptist Church, Shonna Browder, Brandon Dupree and Leah Seawright. Tickets for the event are $10 and can be purchased from any football player or at Sylvania Pharmacy. Tickets are $15 the day of the event.

Inside the Huddle, Summer review

By Marla Jones Sports Editor

For the past nine weeks, I have had the honor to attend football practices at every school in the county. At each school, I was able to interact with the coaching staff and players. Some schools let me actually be an “honorary coach” for the day. I was able to call out exercises, time runners and even teach them a few of my own exercises. I have had so much fun getting to know the players and coaches for each school. I thought that I would share some of my favorite highlights from each school. The first team that I visited was the Plainview Bears. Coach Dustin Goodwin and his staff are top notch. I was allowed to show some of the seniors how to be “pretty ballerinas.” I am sure the players will be haunted

by the memories for years to come. The Fyffe Red Devils was my second stop. Coach Benefield let me be “Coach of the Day.” I got to step into a State Championship coaching position for a couple of hours. My bucket list is now complete and I can die a happy woman. Fort Payne Wildcats was my third stop. Coach Ellis let me lead the exercises and I even threw in some dance moves for the team. I was impressed in their freestyle skills. I covered the Valley Head Tigers on the fourth week of my adventure. Coach Knapp was great and so was his team. Coach Knapp was just starting at Valley Head so I didn't want to break out my dance moves just yet….didn't want to scare him away. The Geraldine Bulldogs was the fifth team I covered. Coach Brad Waldrop has known me all his life so nothing I could do would surprise him. I started to flip some tires with the team but I was wearing heels…. next time! I went to see the Ider Hornets on the sixth week of my football tour, Coach Tinker has some very well behaved guys who did not mind one bit for me to be, right in their

way, as they were lifting weights. On the seventh week of my Inside the Huddle review, I came back home to visit the Sylvania Rams. I have known Coach Putnam since he was a little guy and I really enjoyed my time there. Looking forward to going back to Sylvania this weekend for Wingfest. On the eighth week of this journey, I met the Crossville Lions and their new varsity coach, Coach Miles Holcomb. He is a great guy and I look forward to seeing this Crossville team succeed. On my last visit of the preseason, I met with Coach Ernie Willingham and his Collinsville Panthers. I enjoyed watching this team putting on their helmets on the first official day of football practice. I hate to see my adventure come to an end but in three weeks I will be on the field doing what I love, taking pictures and covering every team. Be sure to check out our Southern Torch Football Edition that will be in newsstands on August 19, 2016. As the season approaches, remember this is the guys time to shine. Our job is to be their biggest fans.

Catch of the Week! The Southern Torch Catch of the Week winners are Britney and Michael Wooden. They caught these bad boys while deep sea fishing off the coast of Florida. Submit your photos to to be our next Catch of the Week!


Friday–August 5, 2016


The Southern Torch, Vol. 2, No. 32  
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