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THE SOUTHERN TORCH / FRIDAY, MARCH 30, 2018 / VOL. 4, NO. 13 / $1.00


Arrest in FPHS Threat

By Staff Reports

FORT PAYNE, Ala. — In unison with the Federal Bureau of Investigations, the Lee County (Florida) Sheriff’s Office arrested 19-year-old Anthony Kessler on Tuesday. According to a warrant, issued out of DeKalb County in Northeast Alabama,

Kessler made terrorist threats to conduct a shooting at a Fort Payne, Alabama school. Anthony Kessler, 19 of Lehigh Acres, Florida. (Lee County Sheriff’s Office) “We take every threat seriously,” said Eric W. Sporre, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Tampa Division. “The FBI Tampa Field Office continues to

Anthony Brett Kessler (19 of LeHigh Acres, Florida) was arrested for making a terroristic threat to conduct a shooting at Fort Payne High School. (Lee County Sheriff’s Office)

work with our local, state and federal law

enforcement partners in assessing any and all threats. As always, we will work with our law enforcement partners to gather, share and act upon threat information as it comes to our attention.” On Tuesday, March 27, our deputies located Kessler, a Lehigh Acres



County Champs: Fyffe Red Devils

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10th 'Race to Embrace'

Cole Lyles slides into third in Tuesday night's 12-0 victory over the Geraldine Bulldogs to win the DeKalb County Baseball Championship! For the complete story, check out our Sports section! (Marla Jones | Southern Torch)

Valley Head sales tax hike

(Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett Managing Editor

Photos from last year's Race to Embrace! (Tyler Pruett | Southern Torch)

By Tyler Pruett Managing Editor FORT PAYNE, Ala. — In a little over two weeks, the Fort Payne Optimist Club will be holding their 10th Annual 'Race to Embrace' at Fort Payne High School Wildcat Stadium. The annual event is held for children and adults with special needs across

DeKalb County. The event will kickoff the morning of Friday, April 13th and organizations, students, and businesses from across the county and area will be pitching in to make it a day to remember. Participants in the event come from Fort Payne City Schools, DeKalb County Schools, Haymon Homes, and the

DeKalb County ARC. Brian Baine, who serves as Club President of the Fort Payne Optimist Club, began Race to Embrace 10 years ago. He explained what gave them the idea to start one of DeKalb County's favorite charity events: "There was talk about bringing the Special Olympics back to DeKalb

County, and we had the Special Olympic folks up from Montgomery that came and talked to the Optimist Club. There was a lot of red tape that you would have to go through to do the Special Olympics. Then, all the participants had to have physicals and


“When we lost Shaw Industries, that was a huge loss, because of the TVA Power Money we received,” said Bray. “At it’s peak, (the TVA funding) was something over $125,000 a year. In Valley Head, we don’t have a lot of businesses, and looking at other towns in the county they have raised their sales

VALLEY HEAD, Ala. — On Sunday, April 1st, a 1 percent sales and use tax increase will go into effect for the Town of Valley Head. The Town Council passed the ordinance at the February meeting. Valley Head Mayor Lamar Bray discussed the need for the increase:


Board Buys New Buses

Greeson kicks off campaign for Circuit Clerk By Staff Reports


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FORT PAYNE, Ala. — Republican candidate Todd Greeson kicked off his campaign for DeKalb County Circuit Clerk March 8th 2018 at the Coal and Iron Building in Fort Payne. The event Showcased Greeson’s experience and qualifications for Circuit Clerk and was well attended by members of the community. “We want our circuit court system to be effective and efficient and we want to find ways to do more with the resources we have to best serve the people of DeKalb,” said Greeson. Greeson outlined a plan to work together with

(Todd Greeson for DeKalb County Circuit Clerk)

the judiciary, law enforcement and circuit clerk staff to build relationships that were positive, productive, and professional. “I believe that we have an opportunity to provide a high level of service, reduce red tape, and speed up our courts. We all want our circuit clerk’s office to be responsive to the needs

of our community and we want to trust that it will be in good hands,” noted Greeson. Greeson touted his extensive experience as a major advantage. He has a strong history of service to the community as a 16 year State Representative, Workforce Development Associate at NACC, and Assistant Director at the Alabama EMA. During his time in the House, Greeson had a proven track record of success, passing a signature bill to criminalize Domestic Violence, serving on the House Judiciary


(DeKalb County Alabama Schools)

By Marla Jones Reporter DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — The DeKalb County Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on last Thursday, March 22, 2018. The Board heard several presentations regarding the new buses and property tax renewals. Transportation Supervisor Keith Atchley updated the Board on new cameras to increase safety

surveillance, digital mobile radios, and GPS on all new buses in the county. The Board approved the purchase of eleven 72 passenger buses at a cost of $77,707.00 and one 54 passenger, handicapaccessible bus at $95,251.95. According to District 4 Board Member Matt Sharp, the County has 120 bus routes that run daily. The state will pay ten percent of the cost of a new

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SALES TAX from Page 1 tax, and if we wanted to get some projects done, and we do, we have to look at a source of revenue.” Mayor Lamar Bray explained that while he doesn’t like to earmark town funds towards one specific thing, the additional funding will help with road paving and repair. “I don’t like the term ‘earmarked’ because you never know when a sewer pump might go out, and ours did a while back. You have to kind of have a rainy day fund for things , but what we are hoping to do with this additional revenue is to pave at least one street a year. If we don’t need those funds for something else, that’s what we are looking at doing,” explained Bray. Bray related that the town will generate an additional $50,000.00 in revenue per year, estimated based on sales tax collected in previous years. “No one likes to raise taxes, but with the shortfall of losing Shaw Industries, it became necessary to move forward. We hope to show our citizens that we are spending their tax dollars wisely, and they will see the improvements being made in their town,” concluded Bray. On March 15, the Alabama Department of Revenue sent out a letter to all, “persons, firms, and corporations making sales at retail and/or purchasing tangible personal property for use, storage, or other consumption in the Town of Valley Head, Alabama, and it’s police jurisdiction.”

The letter outlined the new tax rates: On February 5, 2018, the governing body of the Town of Valley Head adopted Ordinance No. 2018-0205 levying a sales and use tax effective April 1, 2018. The tax levied by this ordinance is an amendment to the sales and use tax levied by Ordinance No. 2010-6-15. New Sales & Use Tax Rates: General Rate: 4% Admissions to places of amusement and entertainment: 4% Retail selling price of food for human consumption sold through vending machines: 4% Net difference paid for machines, machinery, and equipment used in planting, cultivating, and harvesting farm products: 3% Machines, parts, and attachments for machines used in manufacturing tangible personal property: 3% Net difference paid for all automotive vehicles, truck trailers, semitrailers, and house trailers: 3% Withdrawal fee for automotive vehicle dealers only: $10.00 If sales are made and delivered to consumers, or purchases made for use, storage, or other consumption, outside the corporate limits of the Town of Valley Head, but within the police jurisdiction, the rates of sales and use tax are one-half the rates shown above.

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FPHS from Page 1 resident, at a restaurant on Palm Beach Boulevard in Fort Myers. Working with both the Fort Payne Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Anthony Brett Kessler (W/M DOB 10/05/1998) was arrested by Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies as an out-of-state fugitive from justice. “We have been, and continue to be, committed to ensuring a safe environment for our children and for our residents,” asserted Undersheriff Carmine Marceno. “In addition to our own security

operations, we are committed to work closely with any and all federal and state agencies in need of our assistance.” Fort Payne Police Chief Randy Bynum said, "this arrest would not have been possible without the Fort Payne Police Department Detectives, Gadsden FBI Special Agent Frank Langdon, and Supervisory Resident Agent in Charge of the FBI Gadsden office, Stan Ruffin. The cooperation that Gadsden FBI gave us in bringing Mr. Kessler to justice cannot be measured." "This is a cooperation between agencies is going above and beyond for the safety of Fort Payne school students," concluded Bynum.


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bus each year and there are currently twenty extra buses available for extracurricular routes and for use during maintenance. Superintendent Jason Barnett spoke on the renewal of the education property tax that the Commission will put on the ballot in June. Dr. Barnett also presented the 2018-2019 DeKalb County

RadioVizions welcomes Stuart Douglas

(Submitted Photo)

By Staff Reports Stuart Douglas, a singer songwriter, is making his long awaited return to the stage May 3rd at the Coal & Iron Building in Fort Payne with RadioVizions. The show has already sold out nearly 2 months in advance. If this doesn’t show Douglas his fans have missed him, nothing will. Douglas has years of performance experience and a unique playing style that is both effortless and engaging. His returning presence to the local scene is much anticipated. Douglas shines at rock and roll and at playing acoustic performances. He has toured all over the U.S. with multiple bands and released four studio albums. This includes the critically acclaimed “Eden Slips Away” which was named as one of the top 20 best independent albums. Douglas is currently at work on his fifth studio album. His music is best described as catchy with inviting hooks and twists, with hints of dark undertones. The songs tell stories of unrequited love, life, and the beauty of falling in love. You feel every emotion that Douglas feels as it is so well portrayed through his profound lyrics and vocals. He has a way of writing that gives you vivid imagery and it will make you fall in love and share his pain and joy with the portrait he paints for you. Douglas is a well-rounded individual and aside from making music he is involved in the community as a board member with the low cost spay/neuter program Daisy Spay. He is also an avid supporter of rescue organizations for dogs and even does volunteer therapy work with his own dog, Sophie. Which leads us to believe that Douglas has a heart as good as his guitar playing. Look for more shows in the future and check him out on Facebook at

Schools calendar for approval (calendar can be found on our website). During the meeting, the board also: Approved bids for fiber insulation Approved retirement for Sid Parker, a Geraldine High School bus driver; Marilyn Monroe, Geraldine High School secretary; and Belinda Tillery, secondary math teacher at Collinsville High School. Approved a resignation for Monica Goodwin, paraprofessional at Fyffe Special Service Center Approved Michael Freeman for volunteer coach of Plainview High

School softball Approved contracts for Whitney Tinker, homebound; SunDown Services, janitorial services; April Hart, Felicia Mayfield, Tara Pickers, and Bris Torres, all migrant enrichment teachers; Isaac Dismuke, conversational English/Spanish; Donna Poe, CNP worker; Jayce Erwin, computer tech; and Angie Gattis, clerical worker in technology Approved leave of absences to Amy Robertson, Amber White, Sandra Hubbard, Erin Brown, Jimmy Shelton, Meagan Ramage, Kimberly Crider, Samuel McKinney, Linda Thacker, and Nicole

Green Approved transfers for Erica Harper from Asst. Secretary to High School Secretary at Geraldine and Rebecca Griffin from Itinerant Diagnostician to Psychometrist at the Annex Approved placements to Michaela White to Secondary English Language Arts Teacher at Crossville High School and Megan Gilbert to Secondary Math Teacher at Collinsville High School The next DeKalb County Board of Education meeting will be on April 19, 2018 at 5pm, with a work session beginning at 4pm.


Last year's Race to Embrace saw 275 to 300 participants come out to Wildcat Stadium, and organizers are expecting the turnout to be just as big this year. Activities will include (but not limited to) bean-bag toss, basketball, soccer, bubbles, hula-hoops, dunking booths, and face painting. GameTime of Fort Payne will also be bringing out some of their mobile play equipment for the event. Organizers ask that those wanting to volunteer submit their names, t-shirt

sizes, and contact information by Friday, March 23. Volunteers need to be at the stadium at 8:30 am, with the event starting at 9 am. The students of Fort Payne High School will be let out of class to cheer the participants on as they enter the stadium. Marla and Marshall of Torch Talk will be on the scene that morning to film their weekly show, and Southern Torch will be helping volunteer. Stay tuned for more on this great event!

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not all the special needs kids in the area can participate in it," said Baine. "We wanted something that could be all-inclusive; something that all the kids could participate in. So, after talking about it, we decided to do an event day, modeled after the Special Olympics. Every participant gets a trophy and a medal at the end of the day, and everyone gets a T-shirt," he explained. With this being the big 10 year anniversary, participants will receive a tye-dyed t-shirt and several other things will be added to make this year one to remember.

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COMMUNITY Lookout Mountain Homemakers report on March Meeting

(Lookout Mountain Homemakers Club)

Contributed by Gwen Mitchell DEKALB COUNTY, Ala. — The Lookout Mountain Homemakers Club met on March 13, 2018 with 21 members in attendance. Vice President Theda Wills presided over the meeting. Sandra Vines led the pledge to the American flag, Christine Ashley gave the treasury report, and Stephanie Graham gave the devotional and blessed the meal. Hostesses Arbadella Ankermiller, Christine Ashley, Debbie Daniel, and Sandra Vines served a delicious meal. Vice President Wills reported: •The dinner prepared for the volunteer firemen was a success. •The Homemakers also fed 94 at Bread of Life on Tuesday, March 6. •Ten members served at the Children’s Advocacy Center benefit and several others attended the play in February. •Nine members attended the Collinsville Christian Ladies Retreat on Saturday, February 24. •Thirteen members

(and one visitor) attended the County Awards Day on February 14. The club won “Club of the Year.” The Homemakers also received first place on Environment, Health, Scrapbook, Homemaking Skills, Citizenship, and Outreach. They took second place in Family Life and Marketing. All in all, the club had 7,014 volunteer hours. •The club made desserts for the Dogtown Volunteer Fire Department’s Annual BBQ fundraiser •The club sponsored a Red Cross Blood Drive on Friday, March 23 at Ruhama School Gym •The Spring Bake Sale was on Saturday, March 31 at Akins Furniture from 9am to noon. It was a great time to get a delicious dessert for Easter dinner. •Wills reminded everyone that the Race to Embrace will be held on April 13 at the Fort Payne High School football field. Several members will be volunteering. Member Christine Ashley did a tutorial on how to fill out a volunteer hours sheet. She explained

that these forms are what determines how the club is performing and are very important at Awards Day. She further explained the difference in projects, programs, activities, and how they are counted. They have club, county, and state projects/programs. All of these, along with the activities attended, count towards the Awards Day Luncheon. She also laid out the new rules concering Cultural Arts and asked members to consider entering items in the fair, which will help the club receive points. The activities for January and February were the Children’s Advocacy Play and Big Time Cafe. In March, some of the members attended the Christian Ladies’ Retreat, Big Time Cafe, and Fireman’s BBQ Dinner. Door prizes were won by Sandra Arthur. The meeting was adjourned. For more information about the Lookout Mountain Homemakers’ Club, you may contact club president Phyllis Reagan at (256) 845-2603.

Memories of Mayberry

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UPCOMING EVENTS Every Tuesday, Parents of Addicted Loved Ones - A new support group for Parents of Addicted Loved Ones is starting in Fort Payne at Word of Life Ministry located at 3610 Gault Ave North. The meeting will be held every Tuesday from 6pm to 7:30pm. Any adult family member over 18 is welcome to attend these PAL meetings, however, for insurance reasons, no one under the age of 18 may attend and child care will not be provided. For more information, visit palgroup. org.

After March 17, the registration fee will be raised to $25. Race day registration begins at 7am. Chip timing provided by Pinpoint Timing Services. Door prizes will be given before the awards ceremony. All proceeds will go to help fund mission projects. For an entry form or additional information, please contact Debra Pitts at (256) 996-5972 or Kim Pitts at (256) 996-7415. You may also email your questions or ask for a registration form by emailing

Every Wednesday, Breakthrough Church free meal - Come and enjoy a free meal and hear the Word of God on Wednesday nights starting January 3 at 5:30pm. If you need a ride, please contact: Lynn Haas at (256) 605-7854 or Connie Holdem at (256) 605-1776.

April 8, Salem Methodist Singing Geraldine’s Salem Methodist Church will be hosting a singing on Sunday, April 8 at 6pm with The Baileys of Sand Rock as the special guests.

April 5, Southern Torch Judicial Candidate Forum - Be sure to tune in on April 5 for our Judicial Candidate Forum featuring the Republican candidates for Circuit Judge (9th Circuit): Andrew Hairston, Scott Lloyd, and Jeff McCurdy! It will be held at the JSU Canyon Center. Doors will open at 5:30pm and the forum will begin at 6pm. Times are subject to change. There will be limited seating, so feel encouraged to join the conversation on our live Facebook feed!

All are welcome!

April 12, Southern Torch DeKalb Republican Candidate Forum - Join us at the City of Fort Payne Auditorium at 6pm on April 12 for a forum with all DeKalb County Republican Primary candidates in the following races: School Board (by Place), County Commission, Circuit Clerk, and DeKalb County Sheriff! We will also be broadcasting this forum LIVE! April 21, Third Saturday Sunset Cruise-In - The first Third Saturday of the year will be on April 21 in the Main Street District of Fort Payne! This event will include food, live music, antique cars, and much more! Make plans to join them from 5pm to 9pm and the cost is free!

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April 7, Send Me 5K - Fyffe First Baptist Church will host the fourth annual “Send Me” 5K run/walk on Saturday, April 7, at 8am. Chip timing will be used. Early registration fee is $20 and participants will be guaranteed a t-shirt.

e r o dm

By Staff Reports VALLEY HEAD, Ala. — The annual Memories of Mayberry Festival will take place in Valley Head on Saturday, June 2 at 9am! Join this small town in recreating the atmosphere of our favorite classic television show! Enjoy antics from Barney Fife, Floyd the Barber and other Mayberry characters in a real life Mayberry! Join them for live music, cruise-in, vendors, games and good food! All proceeds will go to benefit the Valley Head Fire Department. Come out for a day of fun!


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(Contributed Photos) Staff: Eloise Smith, Business Manager

Southern Torch (USPS Periodicals #19790) is published each Friday by Southern Torch, Inc. 203 Main Street E, Rainsville AL, 35986. POSTMASTER:

Tyler Pruett, Managing Editor Marla Jones, Sports Editor



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in Oak Lawn Memorial Park.

Linda Rhoden - 66 of Henagar, passed away on Sunday, March 25 at Huntsville Hospital. Her wish was to be cremated and have no formal services.


Kathleen “Kathy” Calloway - 82 of Bryant, passed away on Sunday, March 25 at Dade Health and Rehab. The family received friends from 2pm to 8pm ET on Monday, March 26 and from 10am until service time on Tuesday, March 27. Funeral services were held on Tuesday, March 27 at 1pm ET at Corner Stone Funeral Chapel with Bros. Shirley Byrum and Larry Walker officiating. Burial followed

Lola Mae Puckett - 83 of Geraldine, passed away on Wednesday, March 21 at her residence. Funeral services were held on Saturday, March 24 at 4pm at Geraldine Funeral Home Chapel with Bros. Billy Floyd and Carey Sims officiating. Burial followed in Liberty Cemetery in Painter. Barry Reed - 58 of Helen, Ga., passed away on Wednesday, March 21 at Diversicare Nursing Home in Boaz. There will be a private memorial service at a later date. Carole L. Holland - 86


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of Albertville, passed away on Friday, March 23 at Marshall Medical Center South. Visitation was held on Tuesday, March 27 from 2pm to 4pm at Geraldine Funeral Home.

Moses, James Grindstaff, and Shaunathan Bell officiating. Burial followed in Walnut Grove Cemetery.

Warner Davis - 8 days of Fort Payne, passed away on Saturday, March 24 at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital. A graveside service was held on Tuesday, March 27 at 2pm at Pine Grove Cemetery with Rev. Freddy Waldrop officiating.

Evelyn Harrison - 82 of Rainsville, passed away on Friday, March 23 at Marshall Medical Center South. Visitation was held on Sunday, March 25 from 11am until 2pm at the funeral home. Funeral services were held on Sunday, March 25 at 2pm at Rainsville Funeral Home Chapel with Revs. Randy Wilson and Hugh Burdette officiating. Burial followed in Town Creek Cemetery.



H.A. Wilborn - 87 of Fort Payne, passed away on Friday, March 23 at his residence. Visitation was held on Sunday, March 25 from 2pm to 8pm and Monday, March 26 from 10am until 2pm at the funeral home. Funeral services are set for Monday, March 26 at 2pm at Rainsville Funeral Home Chapel with Bros. Kenneth

Hollis Gentry - 67 of Fort Payne, passed away on Saturday, March 24. The family received friends on Tuesday, March 27 from 5pm to 8pm and on Wednesday, March 28 from 11am until the hour of service. Funeral services were held on Wednesday, March 28 from 1pm at the Wilson Funeral Home Chapel. Burial followed in Glenwood Cemetery.


WILSON Kathy Beaver - 65 of Centre, passed away on March 23. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Hugh Earnest - 85 of Fort Payne, passed away on Friday, March 23. The family received friends from 6pm to 8pm on Saturday, March 24 and from 11am until 2pm on Sunday, March 25 at the funeral home. Funeral services were held on Sunday, March 25 at 2pm at WT Wilson Funeral Chapel with Bros. Brian Harris and Dale Haynes officiating. Burial followed in Pine Grove Cemetery. Danny Ewing - 64 of

Section, passed away on Saturday, March 24. The family received friends from 5pm to 8pm on Tuesday, March 27 at One Faith in All Church of Rainsville. Funeral services were held at 1pm on Wednesday, March 28 at the church. Burial followed in Poplar Springs Cemetery in Albertville. Amaryllis Fletcher - 80 of Fyffe, passed away on Tuesday, March 27. The family received friends from 6pm to 9pm on Thursday, March 29 and from 8am until 1pm on Friday, March 30 at the funeral home. Funeral services were held on Friday, March 30 at 1pm at WT Wilson Funeral Chapel. Burial followed in Corinth Cemetery.




FAITH Evaluate Your Easter Faith Movie Review: I Can Only Imagine

By Cates Noles

Pastor at Rainsville Community Church

Easter Sunday is a wonderful time of celebration and remembrance for the people of the Christian faith. Almost everyone we know, especially those of us from this area in Northeast Alabama have memories of Easter Sundays filled with worship, egg hunts at church, and at the homes of relatives or friends. I think I’m safe in saying that nearly all of us could find some very interesting pictures from those days gone by. You know, the days we all enjoyed of dressing up in our finest, only to be sure and change before we got dirty and were in trouble, or to find ourselves already in trouble because we didn’t change soon enough. Later in life however, Easter Sunday changes for most folks. For some it seems to become less significant, and for others it seems to take on a more important meaning. In this article, I would like to ask you to seriously

(Kevin Downes Productions | Mission Pictures International | Lionsgate) Pastor Cates Noles with his wife, Beverly.

think about and evaluate your “Easter faith”, or the faith it takes for you to believe and enjoy Easter Sunday, spiritually speaking. If for you it is not as important as before, maybe this year Easter changes and your belief will be renewed. Maybe this year you can have the faith to have more than just the knowledge of a story you’ve read in a Sunday school lesson or heard a pastor speak about. Hopefully his year’s Easter faith will help you to know that Christ does live and when your body dies, that you, like

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Christ will rise again. It’s the faith that Jesus spoke with in John chapter 11:23 as he told Martha, “Your brother will rise again.” It’s faith that connects this day with your memories from years past and can make this Easter Sunday the most important day of your future. Job 14:14 KJV - If a man die, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change come. I want to encourage everyone to put forth your best effort this Resurrection Day and find your “Easter faith”. To have in your possession the same thing Jesus had in his, the Resurrection and the Life!

By Amy Thrash Reporter The true story behind the most played Christian radio single of all time had me looking for an opportunity to see a good, heartfelt movie, but I walked out with a face full of tears and so much more understanding about the song, I Can Only Imagine by MercyMe. I Can Only Imagine tells the inspiring and until now, unknown life story of Bart Millard, the lead singer of MercyMe and author of the biggest Christian song of all time. The film follows Millard as he creates the song that brings hope and forgiveness to the forefront

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of the rocky relationship with his father. It’s a beautiful, unapologetic faith-based drama that’s just about the miraculous power of forgiveness and love. With an absent mother and abusive father on his heels, Millard looked to please his father in any way. Despite referring to the man as a “monster,” Bart did attempt to please his father by joining his high school’s football team in the hopes that it would make his dad proud of him. He eventually had a terrible injury that kept him from playing again, so Millard turned to music. It was here that he found a real passion, all while his father bashed him by saying, “dreams don’t pay the bills.” Millard eventually starts the band we now know as MercyMe, based on a saying that was a favorite of his grandmother’s. The band didn’t take off immediately, but Bart went home to confront his father only to find that the man he

had left behind was no longer there. He became the father that he always wanted. Despite what had happened in his childhood, he forgave the man who had caused him a lifetime of pain. His dad responded with, “I told you not to follow your dreams, but that’s because mine never came true.” Bart’s painful but redeemed relationship with his father quickly becomes the inspiration for writing the title song about what it will be like to be with Jesus in Heaven. The song was written in just a few short minutes, but in reality, the lyrics were forged over a lifetime. I cried so much in this movie, but it was definitely a good cry. It inspires me to forgive others and to ask for forgiveness from those that I’ve wronged. I know that anything can be accomplished with God’s help. This is a must-see for all Christians, especially as we draw so close to Easter. It’s such a blessing!

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Mo Brooks scores win for Alabama with Bipartisan ALSTAR Act

By Staff Reports WASHINGTON, DC – This morning, the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology unanimously approved H.R. 5345, the American Leadership in Space Technology and Advanced Rocketry Act of 2018 (ALSTAR). As Vice Chairman of the Space Subcommittee and lead sponsor of ALSTAR, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) issued the following statement: “The Tennessee Valley has a rich history of supporting the space industry and NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, which is why I’m proud to have introduced the American Leadership in Space Technology and Advanced Rocketry Act (ALSTAR Act). This bill will ensure the long-term stability of the rocket propulsion industry through better coordination and collaboration between all relevant stakeholders. With Marshall leading the charge to explore and develop new rocket propulsion technology in conjunction with its partners, NASA can inspire the next generation to look to the stars and aspire to do the impossible.” H.R. 5345, the American Leadership in Space Technology and Advanced Rocketry Act (ALSTAR Act), designates Marshall Space Flight Center as NASA’s lead center for rocket propulsion and establishes it as essential to sustaining and promoting U.S. leadership in rocket propulsion and supporting the development of next generation rocket propulsion capabilities. The bill text can be found here. As of this release, ALSTAR’s co-sponsors include Committee Chairman Lamar Smith (TX-21) and Congressman Ed Perlmutter (CO-07).

By Steve Flowers AL Political Columnist Every constitutional statewide office is up for election this year. Just like the governor’s office you can serve two consecutive four-year terms and then you are through. Kay Ivey would have been term limited as Lt. Governor. She could not have run again for that post even though she ascended to governor last year. Young Boozer has served his two four-year term limit as Treasurer. Young has chosen to not run again for anything. John McMillan has exhausted his eight-years as Agriculture Commissioner. He is running for State Treasurer and is favored to win that post. John Merrill can run for another four-year term as Secretary of State, which is what he is doing. The same is true for State Auditor, Jim Zeigler. The Attorney General’s office was vacated by Luther Strange when then Governor, Robert Bentley,


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Committee and sponsoring legislation that made Alabama a safer place to live. “The circuit clerk’s responsibilities are considerable and require a serious candidate with the credentials to handle the scope of the job. These experiences have prepared me to be acapable Circuit Clerk,”

said Greeson. Greeson is a life-long resident of DeKalb County and is the son of Bill and Virginia Greeson of Ider. He is a graduate of Ider High School and holds a B.S. in Political Science and a B.B.A. in Management from Athens State University, and a M.A. in public administration from Troy University. He has been an active member of the Alabama Republican Party and was the first

Republican State Representative elected in District 24. Greeson is married to his wife Dana of 19 years and they have two sons, Garrett and Daniel. The family are members of the Mountain View Baptist Church.

Inside the Statehouse appointed him to Jeff Sessions’ Senate Seat. With the vacancy in the Attorney General’s office, Bentley plucked an obscure former District Attorney named Steve Marshall to serve the remainder of Luther Strange’s term. Marshall is seeking election to a full term. However, he is not expected to fare well in a very competitive race for this coveted post. Marshall’s only claim to fame is that he was appointed to the post by Robert Bentley and that is not a very good calling card. A Republican is favored 60-to-40 in this Attorney General contest. Former Attorney General, Troy King, is the favorite to win the GOP Primary and ultimately a four-year term. Name identification is a precious commodity in these secondary statewide offices. King’s name ID surpasses the rest of the field. Alice Martin could give Troy King a run for his money. She is a veteran well qualified prosecutor who

was the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Alabama for the better part of a decade. Being from North Alabama gives her some invaluable name identification in her hometown of Florence, but more importantly in Birmingham. Chess Bedsole, who is a Birmingham attorney, has roots in Mobile and was an integral part of the Trump campaign, could be a player. He will have to spend a good bit of personal money to get into the mix. The winner of the GOP Primary will be favored. However, they will probably be met by a well-known Democratic name in November. Joseph Siegelman is running for AG as a Democrat. Young Siegelman, who is only 30, will be favored to win the Democratic nomination over another Birmingham Attorney, Chris Christie. The office of Lt. Governor is currently vacant. This post does very little except wait for the

Governor to die or be removed from office. Therefore, we have not been devastated by the vacancy. If the Attorney General’s race is dependent upon name identification, the Lt. Governor’s post is doubly reliant on this precious commodity. There are three good people seeking the GOP mantle. PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh, Mobile State Senator Rusty Glover, and Sand Mountain State Representative Will Ainsworth. Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh is the prohibitive favorite in this race. She is sitting in the catbird’s seat and could win without a runoff. She has run and been elected several times statewide. She has also been head of the State Republican Party and has built a statewide organization. Her statewide name identification dwarfs her two opponents. Will Ainsworth is said to have personal money that he is willing to invest. If he

does, he could challenge Twinkle. Ainsworth has received the Farm Bureau endorsement, which is a coup. Anyone who has ever met State Senator Rusty Glover likes him. If he could meet every voter in the state, most would vote for him. However, that would be hard for him to do. The race for Agriculture Commissioner will be a quiet contest. Veteran State Senator Gerald Dial, who has represented East Alabama well for four decades is the favorite. He is facing Lowndesboro Mayor and lifetime farmer, Rick Pate,

who garnered the Farm Bureau endorsement. Tracey Crane is a former FBI agent from Jefferson County. He may benefit from being first on the ballot, which is an advantage in down ballot races where none of the candidates are known. John Merrill will easily win reelection as Secretary of State. He is probably the best retail politician in the state and maybe the most popular. Jim Ziegler is running for a second four-year term as State Auditor. He makes it interesting around the Capitol. It will be a fun year.











DeKalb County Champions!



Congratulations to the Fyffe Red Devils!

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Congratulations to the Fyffe Red Devils! Pd. Pol. Adv. by Pam Bailey Simpson 600 County Rd. 544 Grove Oak, AL




Red Devils win DeKalb All-County Basketball Championship

Seniors Jeffery Armstrong and Olivia Graham, both of Plainview, were named the All-DeKalb County Basketball Most Valuable Players. (Marla Jones | Southern Torch) Seth Benefield claims the win from the mound in the DeKalb County Baseball Championship and rightfully earns his position as this week's Southern Torch Standout! (Marla Jones | Southern Torch)

By Marla Jones Sports Editor SYLVANIA, Ala. — The Fyffe Red Devils (16-2) defeated the Geraldine Bulldogs (8-6), 12-0 to win the DeKalb County Baseball Tournament on Tuesday, March 27, 2018. Fyffe defeated Collinsville 7-4, to earn their place in the final game. Geraldine defeated Crossville, 6-3 to claim their spot in the final showdown. The ballgame was scoreless until Fyffe’s, Parker Godwin tripled to bring home Eli Benefield and Brant Rowell in the third. Parker Godwin

scored on a bunt made by Justin Stiefel. Ike Rowell singled and Seth Benefield and Justin Stiefel sailed across the home plate for the Red Devils. The Red Devils continued their attack when Cole Lyles singled and Body Dalton and Rowell scored on error by Geraldine’s center fielder. At the bottom of the third, the Red Devils had the 8-0 lead over the Bulldogs. Brant Rowell singled at bat. Seth Benefield came up to the bat and drove Rowell in. A single by Justin Stiefel and a bunt by Brody Dalton, brought Benefield across the plate, A balk by Geraldine’s freshman pitcher Brodie

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Stone, scored Stiefel. Cole Lyles singled and drove home Dalton to seal the Red Devil victory. Senior Seth Benefield earned the win from the mound. He pitched all five innings of the Championship game. He gave up four hits and struck out eight. He walked one intentionally. “We played with really good effort and energy both games. I thought that all our pitchers threw it well and we played pretty clean in the field most of the day. We had some really quality at bats and timely hitting� said Fyffe Head Baseball Coach Brad Thomas. “Both teams we played have really good teams and are well coached. I’m really proud of our team and especially our Seniors. We have came really close a couple of times and come up short. I’m proud for them to be able to finish.�


This week's Southern Torch Standout is Seth Benefield of Fyffe! Seth is a senior and has pitched five innings in the DeKalb County Baseball Championship. He gave up four hits, struck out eight, and walked one intentionally to win 12-0 against the Geraldine Bulldogs! Congratulations Seth!

Sand Mountain Super Six By Marla Jones Sports Editor SAND MOUNTAIN, Ala. — Recently the Sand Mountain Super 6 Basketball Team nominees were released. Players from Plainview, Pisgah, North

Sand Mountain and Section were recognized as being the best on Sand Mountain.


Olivia Graham, Plainview Annie Hughes, Pisgah Tori Reed, NSM Taylor Stone, NSM Kat Thompson, Plainview

Kaylee Vaught, Pisgah



MVP - Jeffery Armstrong, Plainview Chase Adams, Fyffe Grant Atchley, Sylvania Blake Bouldin, Crossville Clay Cooper, Planview Bailey Dukes, Plainview Parker Godwin, Fyffe Brody Henderson, Geraldine Isaac Jones, Collinsville Kaleb Jones, Collinsville Jerrod Higgins, Sylvania Caden Millican, Plainview Koby Tinker, Plainview Cade Willingham, Plainview Thomas Willoughby, Geraldine Bo York, Ider


MVP - Olivia Graham, Plainview Bailee Carter, Valley Head Gracie Flynn, Ider Trinity Garner, Collinsville Carlee Hale, Geraldine Josie Hughes, Crossville Hadley Hamilton, Collinsville Kallie Kilgo, Collinsville Kennedie Lee, Sylvania Madison Myers, Fyffe Brittany Rivera, Collinsville Jessie Roberts, Geraldine Kat Thompson, Plainview Tobi Trotter, Plainview Maggie Woodall, Fyffe Marie Woodall, Fyffe

Jeffery Armstrong, Plainview Dylan Davis, Section Caden Millican, Plainview Austin Reed, Section Gavin Rider, Pisgah Cade Willingham, Plainview





We would like to congratulate the Plainview Bears on their State Championship Victory last week! Join us and these great advertisers in honoring these fine young men for their great accomplishment and season!





SOUTHERN TORCH Judicial Candidate Forum April 5 at 6pm, doors at 5:30pm

JSU Canyon Center with candidates

Andrew Hairston Scott Lloyd Jeff McCurdy


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The Southern Torch, Vol. 4, Issue 13  
The Southern Torch, Vol. 4, Issue 13