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Bobby Ledbetter’s

Twin City Used Car Sales 1411 Glenn Blvd SW, Fort Payne, AL 35967




Greeson to run for Circuit Clerk



Trump Endorses Moore

Basketball Is Here Check out this week's Sports section for a FULL list of all Varsity Boys and Girls schedules for this upcoming season!

Early this morning, President Trump tweeted his full support for Roy Moore for U.S. Senate, and called Doug Jones a “Pelosi/Schumer Puppet. (Gage Skidmore, Flickr | Tyler Pruett, Southern Torch)


By Tyler Pruett Managing Editor

Students Give Back The Sylvania High School Transition Students have been doing community based volunteer work throughout the year. THIS WEEK IN POLITICS

VOTE ON DECEMBER 12 Alabama Political Consultant Steve Flowers breaks down the latest in the upcoming Senate race. Don't forget to vote next week!

Todd Greeson at the Valley Head Christmas Parade last Saturday. (Contributed Photo)

By Tyler Pruett Managing Editor IDER, Ala. – On Saturday, Ider native Todd Greeson announced his run for DeKalb County Circuit Clerk. The seat is currently occupied by Democrat incumbent Pam Simpson, and Melissa Ledbetter has previously announced a Republican campaign for the position. We talked to Greeson on Saturday about his decision to

run while he was getting ready for the Ider Christmas parade. “I had some citizens in the county approach me about making a run for it, on the Republican ticket,” said Greeson. “It wasn’t something I could decide overnight. I had to discuss it with my family. Because campaigns really effect more than just yourself, it effects your whole family.” “After a long discussion with several members of my family, we decided to make a bid for the nomination next year,” said Greeson.

Greeson was previously elected to represent State House District 24 at 27 years old, and served for 16 years, until launching an unsuccessful bid for State Senate in 2014. Greeson has since served as the Deputy Director of the Alabama Emergency Management Agency (EMA). We’ll have more on this story in the coming weeks. 2018 qualifying for the Republican party will be going on throughout the month of January.

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Early on Monday morning, President Donald Trump tweeted full support of U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore, and took a swipe at his Democratic opponent Doug Jones: Trump tweeted, “Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!” Moore tweeted back, “Go get 'em, Roy!" - President Trump. Just got off the phone with President Trump who offered his full support and said he needs a fighter to help him in the US Senate. I look forward to fighting alongside the President to #MAGA!” Over the weekend, Alabama citizens were invited via “Robocall”

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Council Approves Financing

FP discusses grant & board positions (Marla Jones | Southern Torch)

By Marla Jones Reporter


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Fort Payne Council President Brian Baine discusses the open board positions on the Fort Payne Improvement Authority (FPIA) Board. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett Managing Editor SATURDAY 12/9

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SUNDAY 12/10

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MONDAY 12/11

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51 • 30 FORT PAYNE, Ala. — (Full Video on our Website) Toward the end of Tuesday’s meeting of the Fort Payne City Council, the council approved Resolution 2017-45 Authorizing Application for a Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) Grant. The grant is part of an effort to redo the sidewalks in the downtown area, and is being handled by Tony Renta, who is under contract by the city to find grants for improvement projects, including the “Greenspace”

and North Fort Payne sewer projects. “We’ve got to do something about our sidewalks and the handicap accessibility downtown and if we don’t hurry up and do it, it’s going to take even longer,” said Councilwoman Lynn Brewer about the grant application. Councilman Wade Hill explained that ALDOT was planning on coming in sometime this year to start working on the handicap accessibility on the sidewalks, so they were very receptive to them applying to this grant, as the grant would take the place of state work. “I think if we don’t make

our town as good as we possibly can visually, we’re backing up,” said Wade Hill. Hill also explained that the project would not only include the sidewalks, but also, “other infrastructure,” and would include moving as much of the utilities as possible underground, as well as new street lights. Hill said that the project would also move the downtown water lines out from underneath the roads. While the city is applying for the grant, he said that this part of the work would be funded by the city’s water

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RAINSVILLE, Ala.—(Full video on our website) The Rainsville City Council met for their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, December 4, 2017. Several committee members addressed the Council regarding Christmas at the Crossroads to be held Saturday, December 9, 2017 before the Annual Rainsville Christmas Parade. Brad Bunch of Alfa made a donation to the Rainsville Police Department to finish striping the patrol cars. Items approved during the meeting: •The Council approved a Clerk’s Conference from December 6-8. •The Council approved for the Mayor to obtain temporary financing with First Southern State Bank for road paving (Dilbeck, George Wallace and Lofton Street). Council member Marshall Stiefel asked how much the

loan would be for and Council member Bejan Taheri stated the amount would be somewhere around $400,000. •The Council opened bids for the City of Rainsville pest control. The winning bid will be announced at next meeting after verification of insurance. •The Council approved for Chief Smith, along with two police officers to attend a Homicide Investigation Class, at a cost of $600. •Approved the purchase of 100 garbage cans, (6) 4 yd dumpsters and (4) 8 yd dumpsters at a cost of $6,930.00 •Approved appraising the 12’ easement behind Black’s Tire. Black’s Tires would like to purchase for a quick oil lube expansion. •Approved the purchase of an Employee Badge Printer for the Police Department at a cost of $1,600.00 •The next regularly scheduled meeting will be on December 18, 2017. Workshop beginning at 4:15 and regular council meeting at 5:00 p.m.

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Sheriff's Office warns Lydia's ACE Hardware officially opens of holiday scams

A ribbon cutting was held on Wednesday, December 6th at Lydia's ACE Hardware located at 698 Main Street (Alabama Hwy. 35) East in Rainsville. Pictured left to right, front row: Chris Jones, Mandi Cooper, Councilman Derek Rosson, Doris Hobbs, Tricia Clinton-Dunne, Mayor Rodger Lingerfelt, Lydia Gifford, Michael Rastall, Staff Rastall, Sam Wilson, Jillian McRorie, Sandy Goff, Emily Centers and Stephen Eberhart. Second row: Tim Eberhart, Linda Samples, Tommy Gifford, Barbara Gifford, Steve Harper, Connie Harper and Howard Harper. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

(File Photo)

By Staff Reports FORT PAYNE, Ala. — According to the DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office: The DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind everyone to be on the lookout this holiday season for scams. There has already been reports of a scam involving Publishers Clearing House calling stating that you have won an amount of money and that they would bring the money to your house, two individuals one male and one female showed up at one residence in a black car and stated that they needed $2000.00 of the winnings as a fee. The two individuals later was seen on surveillance at the victim’s bank trying to withdraw money out of the victims account. DeKalb County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Edmondson stated, “With the Holidays coming up the citizens of DeKalb County needs to be aware of scams. If they seem too good to be true they more than likely are. Do some checking into these calls or call our office at (256) 845-3801. We want everyone to be on alert of scams as they come in many forms especially around the Holidays.”

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FP Council, page 1 NACC to hold Annual Blake charged with department during the sidewalk project. The city would be applying for funding to cover as much of the project as possible, and will adjust once the award is made. “We need to apply for this, see how far it will go, what it will do, and do a field adjustment when we find out,” said Hill. The council approved the resolution to apply for the TAP grant. Before the grant resolution, the city council announced and discussed open board positions that must be filled to replace Kenneth Larson and John T. Davis on the Fort Payne Improvement Authority Board (FPIA), whose terms expire December 31st. The council decided to take applications until close-of-business December 15th for the board positions. Council President Brian Baine then reminded the audience that the annual Fort Payne Christmas Parade is this Friday, along with Christmas in the Park. Other items addressed at the meeting:

•The council approved an appropriation of funds to the High School to help with the “Wills Valley Shootout” Basketball tournament. This year, the council appropriated $2000.00 to help the school put on the tournament. This year the tournament will include 20 teams, so the council increased the amount from $1750.00 last year. •Re-appointed Andrew Hairston as Municipal Judge for the City of Fort Payne. The re-appointment is for a two year term. •Patrick Dunne, Sanitation Supervisor, discussed the need for a pick-up truck for the department. The department is without a pick-up truck, after the two works trucks the department used had broke down in the last two weeks. Dunne believed the department could make do with only purchasing one used truck. He asked for the consent of the council to purchase a good used truck when one is found for a reasonable price, or a new truck be bought for another department and a used truck handed down to sanitation.

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Christmas Holiday Gala Flat Rock break-in

By Staff Reports DUTTON, Ala. —The Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) Foundation Board is hosting its annual Holiday Gala on Thursday, December 14th at 6:00 p.m. in the William M. Beck and Fine Arts Building (gymnasium). This year we will be honoring special guests that have made major contributions to the college: Mrs. Doris Slater from Flat Rock, Mrs. Linda Chandler from Huntsville and Mr. Gene Hess and Mrs. Pamela Ashley from Dutton. “The Gala is a highlight of the year, not only for Northeast but for our area as well,” stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. “The Foundation Board, Ms. Heather Rice and staff do an outstanding job on it. It is a unique and exceptional

event that I would encourage everyone to attend.” The Gala will feature music from the NACC Jazz Ensemble, a short musical program from our very own NACC Chorus. NACC Foundation Board members invite all alumni and friends of the college to this event. All funds raised through this event support the mission of the college through scholarships for NACC students. The cost is $75 per person or you can purchase a Patron Table of 8 for $600. You can reserve your seat by contacting Heather Rice at 256.638.4418 or 256.228.6001, ext. 2301 or by emailing For additional college information, go to www. or download our free App from the App Store or Google Play Store.

Billy Edward Blake (41 of Fort Payne) has been charged with a burglary at Flat Rock School. (Jackson County Sheriff’s Office)

By Staff Reports FLAT ROCK, Ala. — According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office:On Monday December 4, 2017, The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office arrested Billy Edward Blake, age 41 of Fort Payne who was charged with Burglary 3rd degree and Theft of Property 3rd degree in connection with the October 1, 2017, break-in of the Flat Rock School. Blake was previously arrested in DeKalb County in connection with the burglary of the Henagar Junior High School. He was arrested on October 16 and charged with

Theft of Property (First Degree) and Burglary (Third Degree) and booked in the DeKalb County Jail. Henagar Junior High School was burglarized on September 29, and approximately $3300.00 was stolen that students from the Henagar Junior Beta Club had raised by selling barbecue for their trip to attend a state convention in Birmingham. The case was solved by a joint investigation between Henagar Police Chief Randell Smith and Valley Head Chief Nick Welden. Blake remains in the Jackson County Jail and Bond has not yet been set.




FP Robotics State Bound

Congratulations to Fort Payne Middle School robotics team! On Saturday, they competed in the Regional FLL (First Lego League) Competition and all three teams advanced to State!


Students Give Back

The Sylvania High School Transition Students have been doing community based volunteer work throughout the year. They have worked in three areas: The upper Sand Mountain, where they helped stock goods. They cleaned the Sylvania Baptist Church, and did laundry for the Sylvania High School basketball team. They are learning to build work ethic skills. The ability to provide the students with this opportunity were through fundraising and donations. Thanks for all of your hard work, it does not go unnoticed!

Dr. Barron addresses Rainsville Scouts UPCOMING EVENTS December 8, Christmas in the Park - The City of Fort Payne Parks and Recreation Department presents the 33rd annual Christmas in the Park on Friday, December 8 at 4pm. There will be free popcorn, hot chocolate and coffee, soft drunks, hot apple cider. Santa will be in the Park from 4pm to 6pm, and the parade will begin at 6pm!

Dr. Marvin Barron with the scouts of Troop #184. Barron founded the troop in 1962 and served as scoutmaster. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett Managing Editor

RAINSVILLE, Ala. — On Monday night, the scouts of Troop #184 got a special treat for their meeting. The founder of scouting in Rainsville, Dr. Marvin Barron addressed the troop. Barron even wore his original scoutmaster uniform from 1962. Current scoutmaster Josh Wigley introduced Barron: "This is Dr. Barron, he's a dentist here in town. He also was a scoutmaster in Rainsville, he helped form this troop, and helped get (Camp) Comer started." Dr. Marvin Barron began the first Boy Scout Troop in Rainsville, Troop #184. Barron began by explaining that when he moved to Rainsville around 60 years ago, he noticed that there was no local scout troop. A group of local boys were meeting, but there was no sponsor in order to form a formal troop. After Barron helped form the Rainsville Ruritan Club, which in turn agreed to sponsor the troop. Barron also explained the impact scouting had on his career and life. He told a story of one of the troop's first trips to the Great Smoky Mountain National

Park. Barron told the troop to, "always be prepared," and also reminded them that the area they were camping in was home to bears. He asked the troop to, "not leave anything around that's got food in it. Always be prepared. Hang it up in a tree where the bears can't get it." After the scouts returned from eating in Gatlinburg the bears, "got into all the food. Tore the sacks open and got in all the food, and from then on, the boys remembered the scout motto, "Always be Prepared." Barron also served in the military, where remembering the scout motto and scouting rules helped him to be a, "good soldier." While Barron was scout leader, he had to earn the merit badges with the other scouts, because he, "couldn't be a scout leader and not have any merit badges." Barron also explained that, "there was one badge that I couldn't get. The swimming badge. I didn't know how to swim." Barron explained that he didn't know how to swim due to there only being a small creek near his home growing up, and this was instrumental in him and several others building the public swimming pool in

Rainsville. Dr. Barron also related how he took a mission trip up the Amazon River to perform dentist work on the native population. He stayed, "three or four days taking out teeth from indigenous patients." While he removed many teeth from hundreds of natives, the last patient he treated had a unique dental issue. Due to, "always being prepared," Barron was ready for the situation. "The last patient he saw, he had a tooth with a curved root that had to be extracted. If I hadn't of had the proper instrument to do it with, if I hadn't, I would have broke that root off. That guy wouldn't have had the money to treat it, he would have gotten a swollen up face, and would have been in bad shape," said Barron. Barron also explained how himself and Troop #184 were instrumental in moving the Boy Scout Camp from Sylacauga to right here in DeKalb County, to Camp Comer near DeSoto Falls. Barron also unveiled a family portrait, with his wife, daughters, and son, all in their scouting uniforms. Mrs. Barron also formed the first Girl Scout Troop in Rainsville.

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December 9, Fyffe Christmas Parade - The Town of Fyffe will old their annual Christmas parade on December 9 at 12pm. December 9, Geraldine Christmas Parade - The Town of Geraldine will old their annual Christmas parade on December 9 at 2pm. December 9, Sylvania Christmas Parade - The Town of Sylvania will old their annual Christmas parade on December 9 at 2pm. December 9, Collinsville Christmas Parade - The Town of Collinsville will old their annual Christmas parade on December 9 at 2pm. December 9, Community Dinner - Breakthrough Church of God in Sylvania will be hosting a community dinner from 10:30am until

4:30pm, no charge! Come get your belly full and your spirit filled. December 9, Crossville Christmas Parade - The Town of Crossville will old their annual Christmas parade on December 9 at 5pm. December 9, Christmas at the Crossroads & Parade - Come enjoy a celebration at the annual Christmas at the Crossroads in Rainsville. This fun festive event is filled with refreshments, caroling & parade begins at 4pm and the cost is free. December 14, NACC

Holiday Gala - The Northeast Alabama Community College will begin at 6:30 in the William M. Beck Health & Fine Arts Building on the NACC Campus. The cost is $75 per person or you can purchase a patron table of 8 for $600. You can reserve your seat by calling (256) 638-4418.

December 15, Jacob Stiefel Live at Vintage 1889 - Come out and enjoy Jacob Stiefel "I'll Be Home for Christmas" at Vintage 1889 in Downtown Fort Payne for some food, fun and some good tunes! It starts at 8pm and is $10 admission.





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CORNER STONE Gail Dixson - 81 of Henagar, passed away on Friday, December 1, 2017 at UAB Medical Center. The family will receive friends on Sunday, December 3 from 2pm to 8pm and on Monday, December 4 from 10am until service time. Funeral services are set for Monday, December 4 at 1pm CT at Corner Stone Funeral Chapel with Bro. David Hairston officiating. Burial will follow in Unity Cemetery. John Julian Shearer - 79 of Dutton, passed away on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at his residence. Cremation services are entrusted to Corner Stone Crematory. Sandra Regina Hasty - 65 of Ringgold, GA, passed away on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at her residence. The family will receive friends from 11am until service time on Sunday, December 3. Funeral services are set for Sunday, December 3 at 2pm CT at Corner Stone Funeral Chapel with Bro. John Varnes officiating. Burial will follow in New Hope Cemetery. Icilean Anderson - 91 of Flat Rock, passed away on Saturday, December 2, 2017 at Dade Health and Rehab. The family will receive friends from 2pm to 8pm on Sunday, December 3 and from 11am

until service time on Monday, December 4. Funeral services are set for Monday, December 4 at 3pm CT at Corner Stone Funeral Chapel with Bros. Charles Smith and Dean Johnson officiating. Burial will follow in Overlook Cemetery.

KERBY Waylon Beavers - 72 of Pisgah, passed away on Tuesday, December 5, 2017 at his residence. The family will receive friends on Wednesday, December 6 from 5pm to 9pm and on Thursday, December 7 from 11am until 2pm. Funeral services are set for Thursday, December 7 at 2:30 pm at Kerby Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Ronald Roberts officiating. Burial will follow in Pisgah Baptist Church Cemetery.

KERBY Lois Medlock Martin - 95 of Rainsville, passed

away on Sunday, December 3, 2017. The family will receive friends on Tuesday, December 5 from 4pm to 8pm and on Wednesday, December 6 from 8am until 1pm. Funeral services are set for Wednesday, December 6 at 1pm at Rainsville Funeral Home Chapel with Bro. Gary Haymon officiating. Burial will follow in Green Haven Cemetery.

WT WILSON J.H. Brown Jr. - 70 of Albertville, passed away on Thursday, November 30, 2017. The family will receive friends on Sunday, December 3 from 12pm to 3pm at the funeral home. Funeral services are set for 3pm on Sunday, December 3 at WT Wilson Funeral Home Chapel. Burial will follow in Wesley’s Chapel Cemetery. John Richey Bartlett - 70 of Rainsville, passed

away on Friday, December 1, 2017. The family will receive friends on Saturday, December 2 from 6pm to 8pm at the funeral home. A graveside service is set for 2pm on December 3 at Robertson’s Chapel Cemetery. Ruth Clayton - 82 of Collinsville, passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2017. The family will receive friends from 10am until 11am on Wednesday, December 6 at Collinsville Baptist Church. Funeral services are set for 11am on Wednesday, December 6 at the church with Bros. John Morgan and Byron Smith officiating. Steven Lee Schmidt - 51 of Pisgah, passed away on Sunday, December 3, 2017. The family will receive friends from 4pm until 8pm on Tuesday, December 5 at the funeral home. Cremation will follow. Brenda Darlene Smith - 59 of Scottsboro, passed away on Tuesday, December 4, 2017. The family will receive friends from 5pm to 8pm on Tuesday, December 5 at the funeral home. Funeral services are set for 2pm on Wednesday, December 6 at the funeral home with Bros. Pete Hess and Joe Moore officiating. Burial will follow in Gant Cemetery.

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NACC IN THE NEWS NACC Sigma Kappa Delta meets former United States Poet Laureate Billy Collins

Pictured above (Front Row): Evan Tucker, Shelby Rogers, Michaela Young, Billy Collins, Gloria Aguilar, Christian Harper, and Jeff Hawes. (Back Row): Audrey Carroll, Olivia Smith, Jesse Hairston, Alex Vaughn, Karah Vaughn, Shauna Barrier, Joan Reeves, Mark Brooks, Melisha Holcomb, Jeremy Beasley, and Juan Contreras.

By Staff Reports POWELL, Ala. — On Wednesday, November 29, 2017, students and English faculty from Northeast Alabama Community College traveled to Huntsville, Alabama, to hear two-term Poet Laureate of the United States, Billy Collins. Collins, called "American's favorite poet," by the Wall Street Journal, was the keynote speaker for Calhoun Community College's seventeeth annual Writer's Conference. Students from NACC not

only loved hearing Collins' delightfully comical poetry but also enjoyed meeting the poet after his speech, in which he took time to autograph copies of his works. The students and faculty even managed to have their photo taken with the New York Times bestselling author. The Epsilon Alpha Chapter of Sigma Kappa Delta at Northeast Alabama Community College will host its own Writer's Conference, "Magnolias Meet the Mountains," March 16, 2018, celebrating twenty-five years of southern literature at

NACC. "Magnolias Meet the Mountains" will begin at 9am, followed by book signings by six of the most acclaimed southern writers and a reception at 4:30pm. For more information, please contact Joan Reeves, Chair of the English and Fine Arts Division at Northeast Alabama Community College (256-638-4418 or 256-228-6001, ext. 2231). For additional college information, go to www.nacc. edu or download our free app from the App Store or Google Play Store.


DeKalb BOE accepts early graduates

Board Member Mark Richards discusses the situation at the pickup line at Geraldine School. (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett Managing Editor RAINSVILLE, Ala. – (Full Video on our Website, along with resignations, retirements, and new hires) To begin the workshop, Carol Hiett, who is in charge of the maintenance the central office gave an update on the “SchoolDude,” software that the maintenance department had adopted. Hiett related that the program had the workers using iPads and is, “totally computerized.” “It was a big learning curve for our guys,” said Hiett. “Schools have accepted it very well and it’s a lot easier on us.” She said that since the introduction of the new program, 686 work orders have been completed, and the SchoolDude makes it easy because the principals can track the maintenance tasks as they are completed. Faculty can fill out the maintenance request electronically through the central office and watch the parts be ordered. Hiett also said the staff have enjoyed the improvement, and, “our maintenance staff are able to look at their devices and see their jobs.” “I think it’s been a good thing for our district as a whole,” said Superintendent Dr. Jason Barnett. “Everyone seems to

have really embraced it and really worked with it.” Before ending the workshop, Board Member Mark Richards brought to the board’s attention a problem at Geraldine Elementary School. Parents begin lining up in the pickup line at 1:15 pm to pick up their students on County Road 52, and it’s beginning to be a problem because the cars block the road. “I’ve met with the (Geraldine) mayor, council, and Ben Luther the County Engineer before Thanksgiving to try and come up with a remedy to try and get those folks off the road. We’ve got some property just before you turn in the road to go to the elementary, quite a bit I think, they’ve figured up 500 cars could fit there,” explained Richards. “I’ve asked Ben, and I’ll have to talk to the county commission too, and see if they might help with the construction part of it if we would pay for the materials. But we are going to have to do something; it’s dangerous, they go over a little creek, a bridge, and it’s becoming a problem. Just wanted to let ya’ll know we are working on that and we are going to get it handled,” said Richards. Regular Meeting: After the prayer, pledge of allegiance, and approving the minutes of the previous meeting, the board approved the early graduates for the school system.

More Joy

"They have worked dilligently through their academic plan, and shown themselves worthy to complete their high school academic track early. And go on to college, a career, or whatever they have planned. They had to present a packet, showing they have a plan for what they want to do," said Barnett. Approved Early Graduates: Isaiah Ford - Collinsville High School Claudia Medina - Collinsville High School Kelly Garrett - Sylvania High School Jorden Garcia - Sylvania High School Hannah Byrum - Sylvania High School Vida Ross - Sylvania High School Christian Townson - Sylvania High School Meghan Graham - Sylvania High School Courtney Ray - Sylvania High School Fermin Callejas - Geraldine High School Estefania Ruiz - Geraldine High School Dacia Hancock - Geraldine High School Lexi Camper - Geraldine High School Isabel Corona - Geraldine High School Nancy Balcazar - Geraldine High School Rilee Farmer - Plainview High School Cruz Carrasco - Plainview High School Kayla Killian - Plainview High School Jose Hernandez - Crossville High School Maria Pedro - Crossville High School William Watson - Crossville High School Dakota May - Crossville High School

The board then gave special recognition to Emory Mann for 45 years of service to the Board of Education. Mann is tied with Judy Ayers with most years of service to the board. The board approved his retirement later in the meeting. The board also approved the retirement of long-time Valley Head Principal Bill Monroe. The board takes a break for the month of December in lieu of the Christmas Holiday. The next meeting will be held on Thursday, January 25, 2018.

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POLITICS Inside the Statehouse

Contributed by Steve Flowers AL Political Columnist MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The final vote for the remaining three years of Jeff Sessions six-year term in the U.S. Senate will be next Tuesday. The race is between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore. Jeff Sessions is probably sorry he left his safe Senate seat of 20-years to be at the Justice Department in a tentative position with constant ridicule from an irrational, egomaniac as president. It would be highly unlikely that a Democrat could beat a Republican for a U.S. Senate Seat in the Heart of Dixie. We are one of the most reliably Republican states in America, especially when it comes to federal offices. However, this is a special election and not a normal election. That means you have to really want to go vote for either Jones or Moore in the middle of Christmas Season. Most folks particularly 25-45 year olds could not care less who is our Junior U.S. Senator. That group of folks is more interested in how they are going to make their mortgage payment, what they are going to have for supper, and whether their kid got to their soccer game. Therefore, the question is who has the most ardent, fervent, and dedicated followers. Without question, that is Roy Moore the “Ten Commandments Judge.” Polls have consistently shown that 30-percent of Alabamians will vote for Roy Moore come hell or high water and 70-percent will not vote for him under any circumstances. A poll is a picture of the entire electorate. The final poll and the only one that

counts is the one where they count the votes of the folks that showed up to vote on Election Day. That poll favors Roy Moore. His followers will show up to vote. They are dedicated to Moore and they are dedicated to voting. They are also older and older people vote with more propensity than younger voters. In addition, white voters vote at a higher percentage than black voters. Our state is essentially divided by racial lines. Most Democratic voters are black and most Republican voters are white. It’s that simple. Politics and political races are about numbers. As a boy, I would spend time with my old veteran Probate Judge. He had been Probate Judge of my county for 30-years, a State Senator, and Sheriff prior to his becoming King of the County. He would give me the very boring task of studying voting returns of boxes in the county. He would say the first lesson of politics is to learn how to count. In the first Republican primary there were 425,000 votes cast in the Senate race. On the other hand, there were 165,000 Democratic votes cast. Moore got over 200,000 votes in the GOP runoff against Luther Strange. Undoubtedly, Moore is a very polarizing figure. Like George Wallace, either you like him or you do not. More sophisticated, urbane voters in the state detest Moore and they will not vote for him. About the time of the Strange vs. Moore runoff contest, a friend of mine hosted a book signing party for me in his Mountain Brook home. There were about 50 upscale Jefferson County people at the event. Almost every one of them came up to me and told me that they were Republicans, but if Roy Moore is the GOP nominee, they will vote for Doug Jones.

Indeed, you can drive through upscale neighborhoods of Jefferson County, especially Mountain Brook, Vestavia and Homewood and you will see Doug Jones signs in practically every yard. You can see this same scenario in upscale enclaves of Huntsville, Mobile, and Montgomery. However, be reminded that George Wallace never carried Mountain Brook. The folks in the barbershops and beauty parlors in Opp, Oxford, and Rainbow City elect our governors and senators. Doug Jones is running an excellent campaign. He is a good candidate. However, he is very much out of the mainstream of the majority of Alabama voters, especially on social issues when it comes to guns, abortion, immigration, gay marriage, and transgenders in a weakened military. He is a real national Democrat and he does not shy away from his liberal positions. There is no difference between Doug Jones and Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton or Nancy Pelosi. He is proud of his stance. He could run for Senator of California and be in the mainstream and probably be elected. However, not in the Heart of Dixie. Doug Jones may get close, but close only counts in horseshoes. My guess is that the white voter who attends an evangelical mega church in Gardendale is more likely to vote on Tuesday than a black voter in North Birmingham. We will see. Turnout is the key. See you next week. Steve Flowers is Alabama’s leading political columnist. His weekly column appears in over 60 Alabama newspapers. He served 16 years in the state legislature. Steve may be reached at www.

Trump Endorses Moore, page 1

(Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch) to attend a rally with the President a short distance from Alabama in Pensacola, Florida. The rally will be held this Friday (December 8), only four days before the special election date here in Alabama. The event will begin at 7 pm in the Pensacola Bay Center. The Roy Moore campaign released a statement on the endorsement on Monday: “On Monday morning, after the President took to Twitter to announce his endorsement of Judge Roy Moore for the United States Senate, the President called Judge Moore from Air Force One and expressed

enthusiastic support for Judge Moore’s candidacy. President Trump called Judge Moore a “fighter” and expressed his eagerness to have Judge Moore fighting for his agenda in Washington. The President wrapped up the call with a “go get ’em, Roy!” “I am honored to receive the support and endorsement of President Donald Trump,” Judge Roy Moore said Monday morning. “President Trump knows that the future of his conservative agenda in Congress hinges on this election. I look forward to fighting alongside the President to strengthen our

military, secure our border, protect our gun rights, defend the sanctity of life, and confirm conservative judges to courts around this nation. We had a good conversation over the phone today and are working together towards conservative victory on December 12.” Early Monday morning, the President tweeted his endorsement of Judge Moore: “Democrats refusal to give even one vote for massive Tax Cuts is why we need Republican Roy Moore to win in Alabama. We need his vote on stopping crime, illegal immigration, Border Wall, Military, Pro Life, V.A., Judges 2nd Amendment and more. No to Jones, a Pelosi/Schumer Puppet!” Chairman Bill Armistead commented that, “Alabama voters overwhelmingly rejected Hillary Clinton last November and will overwhelmingly reject her protege, Doug Jones, next week. We are ready to support President Trump’s conservative, America First agenda, Drain the Swamp, and Make America Great Again.”

Sen. Livingston receives award from AARC

(From Left to Right) TARCOG Executive Director Nancy Robertson, Alabama Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R – Huntsville), Helen Carter, James O’Neal, Sen. Steve Livingston (R – Scottsboro), Philip Anderson, Nancy Griggs, and Ken Baldwin after the award was presented in Point Clear. (Contributed Photo)

By Staff Reports MONTGOMERY, Ala. – State Senator Steve Livingston, R- Scottsboro, was recently presented the 2017 Senate Leadership Award by the Alabama Association of Regional Councils (AARC) during its Annual Training Conference held at the Grand Hotel in Point Clear. The meeting is held each year to provide training and educational information sharing with state agencies, county governments, municipalities and staff on senior services, economic development and transportation related issues. Senator Livingston received the award for his unwavering support and advocacy to enhance access to transportation, senior services and broadband

throughout the state. Livingston, speaking to nearly 300 attendees at the conference, said he felt honored to receive the award and hoped that the many of the employees associated with the Regional Councils and private sector contractors across the State knew how important they are to Alabama citizens. “We’ve got a lot of challenges ahead and we are seeking your network to be successful,” said Livingston, “Together, we can face those challenges like infrastructure needs, transportation and having an up to date census so Alabama does not lose a coveted Congressional Seat in 2020.” Top of Alabama Regional Council of Government (TARCOG)Executive Director Nancy Robertson presented



the award and commended Senator Livingston for representing the North Alabama area with dignity and for his service to the State of Alabama. “Sen. Livingston has shown real leadership and has been very accessible to discuss issues important to our area in North Alabama,” said Robertson, “He’s a true statesman and wants to see our State be successful.” The Regional Councils have received state funding for the last 21 years from the State of Alabama, providing technical assistance to fund programs designed to make significant contributions to local communities. Some of these funds are also used as matching capital to create jobs through the Revolving Loan Fund, enhance community development, and provide senior services. The AARC is composed of 12 regional councils. A Regional Council is a public organization that directly serves local governments through local and/or state government laws. They function through communication, planning, policy making, coordination, advocacy and technical assistance to local governments and citizens in a region. To learn more about AARC and its programs please visit us at http://www.alarc. org.



Basketball Season is Here Southern Torch is pleased to share the schedules of both varsity teams for each school!


Collinsville Crossville Fort Payne Panthers Lions Wildcats

Fyffe Red Devils

Geraldine Bulldogs

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Collinsville Crossville Fort Payne Panthers Lions Wildcats

Fyffe Red Devils

Geraldine Bulldogs

Ider Hornets







the southern torch would like to join these great advertisers in wishing good luck to all area teams this basketball season!


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The Southern Torch, Vol. 3, No. 49  
The Southern Torch, Vol. 3, No. 49