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Being a grandmother requires patience. G E T T I N G A N A P P O I N T M E N T W I T H YO U R D O C T O R S H O U L D N ’ T. It takes a healthy grandma to keep up with the little ones. But you shouldn’t have to drive a country mile to see your doctor. Thankfully, at Russell Medical, we have world class physicians providing top notch care to grandmothers. Exceptional care just around the corner • 256.329.7149 •



idden away at Wind Creek Montgomery is a special place. It’s called Itta Bena, an exquisite dining experience with a taste of Beale Street on the side. From the 10 oz. bone-in pork chop to the 8 oz. filet, every dish at Itta Bena is gourmet southern cuisine. So come on up to the 3rd floor, discover our modern day speakeasy, and enjoy a FREE appetizer on us. But remember, it’s our little secret!

Present this coupon to your server for a:

FREE APPETIZER with an entrée purchase.

Limit one per person per table. Offer expires 4/30/18. May not be used in conjunction with any other offers.

1801 Eddie L. Tullis Rd., Montgomery, AL | | ©2018 Wind Creek Hospitality

MARCH 2018


Letter from the Editor


Nine years ago, stakeholders commissioned an RCLCO economic impact study that cited $3.4 billion as the appraised value of the property around the whole of Lake Martin. When representatives from RCLCO returned to update their findings in a new study last year, the property value had risen to $4.7 billion. And according to the research, that growth can be expected to continue. Lake Martin’s future growth may be inevitable, given its beauty, cleanliness and outstanding recreational opportunities, but it also can be directed, at least in part, RCLCO researchers noted. It just might be up to us – those who already live and work and play here – to guide that growth. Find out more about what the lake is worth and how we might realize more benefits from the lake economy in the article starting on page 26. To Takahiro Omori, Lake Martin is worth upwards of $100,000. That’s the size of the check he won when he caught 59 pounds 8 ounces of largemouth bass in last month’s Bassmaster Elite Series opening tournament here. The best of the very best professional anglers descended on Lake Martin for the four-day fishing contest Feb. 8-11. Though they were angling for the prize money, they also collected some great fish tales, which they share in this issue, beginning on page 32. Of course, we at Tallapoosa Publishers believe that Lake Martin is priceless. We recognize the lake as a memory maker for everyone who lives and works and plays here. After all, what price could be attached to watching a child catch that first fish? What dollar amount could be levied in exchange for sharing a glass of wine with friends as the setting sun colors the lake with fire? Even the cost of being able to follow the flight of an American bald eagle across a Lake Martin sky cannot be determined. Some 60 years ago, this majestic symbol of our country began to disappear from Lake Martin, but with the help of generations of wildlife biologists, legislators and caring citizens, the sight of an eagle soaring above the lake is once again commonplace. A recent Alabama Power Company survey identified nine eagles on Lake Martin earlier this year, but Department of Conservation and Natural Resources biologists added that there are others as well. Learn more about Lake Martin’s eagle population on page 52. And then, check out this month’s Lake Scene photos on page 10 to find the true value of Lake Martin.

Betsy Iler, Managing Editor



Managing Editor BETSY ILER

Assistant Magazine Editor AMY PASSARETTI

Marketing/Advertising Director TIPPY HUNTER




Circulation Manager DAVID KENDRICK

Creative Services AUDRA SPEARS





All content, including all stories and photos are copyright of:

256-234-4281 Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc. P.O. Box 999 Alexander City, AL 35011


MARCH 2018

On the Cover A renovated home in the Willow Point gated community makes the most of Lake Martin's spectacular views with lots of windows, porches and open decks where friends and family gather to make memories of great times spent together. Inside, homeowners relax in a spacious single level floor plan that fosters relaxation and appreciation of Lake Martin's scenic beauty. Photo by Kenneth Boone

We put the paint where it ain’t!

Your Home May be your Largest Investment

Protect it with Fresh Paint Lin Rogers 205-453-2294 Hunter Harris 205-910-8800

Lin Rogers 205-453-2294 Hunter Harris 205-910-8800

6400 Highway 63 South, Alexander City, AL 35010 (256) 203-8400 Check out our Facebook Page: Docks Unlimited

MARCH 2018


(334) 745-7966

Healthcare Provided in the Comfort of Your Own Home Skilled Nursing Care • IV Medication Medication Education • Disease Management Post Operative Care • Wound Management Physical, Occupational and Speech Therapy 6 LAKE PHH17_HalfPg_Magazine_8.2017_2.indd 1

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8/24/17 3:14 PM



26. WHAT IS LAKE MARTIN WORTH? Researchers put an economic impact value on the priceless experience of Lake Martin 32. FISH TALES AT THE BASSMASTER ELITE The pros angle for the best fishing stories from the opening series tournament on Lake Martin 38. PERFECT PEACE A Willow Point renovation focuses on relaxation at the lake 47. LAKE MARTIN 100 The 5th annual ultra run hits the trails at Russell Forest this month 48. A LITTLE GOES A LONG WAY Stillwater's Scott Little ranks high in motocross champion series races 52. EAGLE NUMBERS SOAR AT LAKE MARTIN Alabama Power Company surveyors spot a few of the lake's resident bald eagles




57. HOBO













- edition

48 Lake magazine also features an online, digital edition, available 24 hours a day, free of charge. This edition is perfect to share with friends and family and provides you complete access to stories, photos and advertisements from anywhere in the world with Internet access. View our digital edition today at

MARCH 2018



MARCH 2018

Lake’s Quick Guide to the Lake Lake Martin Area Real Estate Indicators Sales Month

Number of sales

Average selling price

Median selling price

Days on the market

Total houses for sale

Inventory/ sales ratio

13 9 12

$477,115 $494,556 $495,542

$415,000 $335,000 $300,000

223 211 194

191 291 339

6.35 12.43 19.37

January 2018 January 2015 January 2012

The above numbers are derived from raw sales data from the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors MLS.The sales noted above are for Lake Martin waterfront residential (single family and condominium) sales only. This information is provided courtesy Lake Martin Realty, LLC. (A Russell Lands, Inc. affiliated company.)

Plug Day! It's time to celebrate the annual rising of Lake Martin toward full pool. Plug Day for the lake is set for March 1 each year and is the day when Alabama Power puts the plug in Martin Dam so the lake can begin to refill to summer pool. The March 1 date is designated by the terms of Alabama Power's license to operate Martin Dam. Under this license, issued in December 2015, the lake level is scheduled to rise from 484 feet MSL to 491 feet MSL by the end of April. Typically, APC pulls the plug on Lake Martin Sept. 1, but with the implementation of the conditional fall extension last year, summer water levels remained as high as possible until Oct. 15. This year's fall extension shortened the winter lake level time compared to previous years. Alabama Power's new license for Martin Dam allowed for six extra weeks of summer on Lake Martin when conditions were met to hold the summer pool level until Oct. 15. Before too long, it will be time to summerize boats and lake homes and begin enjoying the rising water. Follow the rising lake levels each day on apcshorelines. com. Lake levels are subject to change, depending on conditions. Stay alert to changing conditions.

Last Month's Levels at Lake Martin Summer: 491MSL Winter: 481 MSL Highest: 485.60 Lowest: 484.14 Lake depth is measured in referece to mean sea level. For up-to-date water levels at the lake, visit the website

Lake elevations are subject to change. Individuals who recreate below Martin Dam and those with boats and waterrelated equipment on the lake should always stay alert to changing conditions.

Consider these factors for lakefront purchases Buying a lakefront property is different on many levels than buying a traditional home. n Current state of the home: The moisture in the air, weather patterns created by the lake and the rise and fall of lake levels can lead to degradation of property. Make sure to fully inspect the property and home before purchasing. n Home orientation: Consider the orientation to the sun and how it sets. If the house gets morning or afternoon sun, this could affect other decisions, such as sun protection. n Gather information about the lake: Find out as many details about the lake area, recreation offered, amenities nearby, rules of the lake, potential wildlife encounters and more. n Lake associations: Do some research about home owner's associations and other groups that affect lake life and handle influential decisions. n Vacation or primary residence?: The needs for each desired type of home will vary. n Make sure the view is adequate: Make sure the view of the lake home fits your needs, and ask if there is a potential for this to change based on future construction. Expansion possibilities? Septic system or public sewer? Zoning restrictions? Lakefront homes fit a particular lifestyle, and there are certain factors to keep in mind before jumping into a new purchase. *Information provided by Bill Gassett

Weather Outlook for March March 2017 Forecast

Historically, the Lake Martin area experiences average high temperatures in the high 60s with average lows in the low 40s and nearly 5 inches of precipitation in the month of March. The National Weather Service has predicted that both temperatures and rainfall will be normal this month.

Year to Date

Precipitation: 7.48 inches Avg. high temp.: 53.3 Avg. low temp.: 30.3 Average temp.: 41.8

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Our Normal March Precipitation: 5.49 inches Avg. high temp.: 67.6 Information from the Avg. low temp.: 41.2 National Weather Average temp.: 54.4 Service. LAKE 9

Lake Scene n People & Places

Email your photos to



3 4

READER SUBMISSIONS (1) Chris Harris and her granddaughter Morgan McClellan enjoy a day on Big Beach. (2) Randy McClendon captured this beautiful sunrise at Cedar Point the day before the eclipse. (3) This photo was taken by Rick Marks outside his lake home with some of the heaviest fog he's ever seen on Lake Martin. (4) Marine Police Major Bob Huffaker's son, Josh, and his grandsons, Jackson and Brody, catch a big fish when visiting Lake Martin near Niffer's on the Lake. (5) Millie watches as Connor Kelley jumps into the pool at their Emerald Shores home.

5 10 LAKE

MARCH 2018

Lake Scene n People & Places

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READER SUBMISSIONS (1) Kyle Thornton captured the beauty of Lake Martin's December snowfall at Russell Crossroads. (2) Tucker Contorno caught this 4-pound 6-ounce largemouth bass on Parker Creek in 3 feet of water. (3) Susan Campbell's lab, Ellie Mae, can't get enough swim time at Real Island. (4) Nine of Pattie Bowling's grandchildren and three adult children all wait in line to use a rope swing in the upper west lake. (5) The sun sets on another spectacular day at Lake Martin in this photo by Mili Lewis. (6) A 37-degree morning on Lake Martin creates a fog cover over the water.

6 MARCH 2018


Lake Scene n People & Places

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2 4



READER SUBMISSIONS (1) Jaxon Boles would rather be fishing on Lake Martin then watching football. (2) Jan Hodgson captured the beauty of the autumn leaves in Pitchford Hollow. (3) Weston Young shows of a 27-pound catfish he caught at Wind Creek State Park. (4) New Orleans girls Julie Campbell, Clare and Emily Zilich sport their Lake Martin tank tops on a boat ride at Real Island. (5) Rush Pendley and Kellan Heath are worn out after a Fourth of July on Lake Martin. (6) Melissa Weaver's view from Manoy Creek of Lake Martin's first snow fall of the season.


MARCH 2018

Donʼt Delay, Call Today!

Looking for the perfect Lake Martin Area home?

Contact us today.

73 PINE POINT, TRILLIUM 5 BR, 4.5 BA • $1,499,900

499 OLD STILL ROAD 4 BR, 3.5 BA • $795,000







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4 BR, 4 BA • $689,900


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office 256.329.LAKE (5253) • 5295 Highway 280, Alexander City, AL

MARCH 2018




The promotional rate of 1.99% APR is valid on new HSCU VISA platinum rewards credit cards for all activity (purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances) completed during the promotional period and that rate will remain in effect on that promotional period activity through the final billing cycle of May 2018, at which point the balances on that promotional period activity will convert to the standard card rate – see credit union for details. Promotional offer good from 11/1/2017 – 5/1/2018. APR = Annual Percentage Rate


MARCH 2018

Where is Lake? n People & Places


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READER SUBMISSIONS (1) The Arnberg family - Daniel Arnberg, Alana Yates, Steve Arnberg, Meredith Romano, Paula Arnberg and Sellers Tate - took Lake to Gros Piton in the St. Lucia West Indies. (2) Julia and Steve Thomas took Lake magazine to Piazza San Marco in Venice, Italy. (3) Haddi Beth Kirkendall took Lake along on a boat taxi ride at Orlando's Universal Studios. (4) Gary and Kathy Woodsmall and Dale and Chris Harris took Lake magazine on their trip to the Alamo. (5) Melissa Weaver's copy of Lake magazine stayed home to enjoy a rare snowstorm at Lake Martin. (6) Dr. Gerald Hallmark and a group from the Lake Martin area took Lake magazine on a Hallmark Holy Land Tour to Israel, along with Clayton Hallmark, and a group from Tennessee.

6 MARCH 2018


March 3 Trash Walk

Starting at 8:30 a.m., volunteers will meet at three different locations to receive road assignments and supplies for lake are cleanups. The locations include Dirt Road Gourment at 1171 Red Hill Rd., Eclectic, led by Reuben Thornton at 334-857-3521; Kowaliga VFD Station 1 at 1240 Prospect Rd., Eclectic, led by Jack Hitchcock at 914-227-6231; and Kowaliga VFD Station 2 at 4807 Mt. Hebron Rd., Eclectic, led by Jodie McGirt at 334-2021730. All three teams will finish around 11:30 a.m. and head back to Dirt Road Gourmet for a trash dump and hot dog cookout.

March 4 Lake Watch Annual Meeting

Members and guests are invited to the Lake Watch of Lake Martin Annual meeting at the StillWaters Home Owners Association Building from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Lunch will be served. Tickets are $10 per person. Guest speaker Dr. Bill Deutsch will discuss his book, Rivers of Alabama, and the Tallapoosa Basin. Eric Reutebuch will provide a water monitoring update. Register for cleanups at or send an email inquiry to

March 4 Paradise B&B Open House

March 10 Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast

Alexander City Kiwanis Club will host a pancake and Conecuh sausage breakfast from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. CALENDAR OF EVENTS at the BRHS cafeteria. Tickets are $6 and include WHAT’S HAPPENING ON LAKE MARTIN all you can eat. Carry out is also available. Proceeds will benefit local charities.

March 13 Greater Tuna

Alexander City Arts will present Greater Tuna at 7 p.m. at the Benjamin Russell High School auditorium. It’s a hilarious comedy about Texas’ third smallest town where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.

March 17 Trash Walk

Kids of all ages will scour the woods in Wind Creek State Park's Annual Easter Egg Hunt March 24

Meet Lake Martin hosts Dave and Kathy Loftus as they welcome visitors and guests to their new bed and breakfast inn at 98 Rainbow Rd., Dadeville, on the east bank of the lake. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served, and visitors will be invited to register for a chance to win a free onenight getaway at the inn. Drop in between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

March 9 The Harmonettes and Peggy Shores at Equality Performing Arts Center

The Harmonettes trio will perform with Peggy Shores at the piano at 7 p.m. Gayle Glenn Sellers, Peggy Glenn Shores and Kelley Whisnand will return to sing some favorite close harmony songs. Enjoy an evening of MacGuire Sisters’ pieces, other well-loved tunes and some Southern gospel favorites. Peggy Shores will per16 LAKE

form selections from different genres as she tickles the ivories. Come enjoy an evening of fun, food and fellowship at The Performing Arts Center in Equality on Hwy. 9. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and while there is no admission fee, donations are welcome. If desired, bring a favorite appetizer. Join in the Wearing of the Green during March fun at the EPAC. For information, contact Wayne Glenn at 334-320-6326.

Volunteers will meet at the entrance to the property located at 4294 Elkahatchee Rd., Alexander City. Those arriving by 8:30 a.m. will be treated to a light breakfast, and all volunteers should arrive by 9 a.m. to receive supplies and begin the walk to collect trash on local roadsides. The plan is to clean Elkahatchee Road from Highway 280 to Our Town on Highway 63. The cleanup will conclude at noon when volunteers will be treated to a cookout courtesy of Kenneth and Mary Lyman Boone at the Elkahatchee Road starting point. For more information, contact John Thompson at 334-3993289.

March 16-17 Sporting Clay Shoot

The 12th Annual Ronald Koon Sporting Clay Classic benefiting the Boys and Girls Club of the Lake Martin Area will be held at the Lower Wetumpka Shotgun Sports Club. There will be a Calcutta and steak dinner at the Alexander City Elks Lodge. If you would like to be a

MARCH 2018

participant or a sponsor, please contact Stacey Jeffcoat at 256-234-4757 or email her at staceyj1229@gmail. com.

March 17-18 Lake Martin 100

Big Green Egg

Golden Foundry Cast Iron Cooker

Voted the Best 100-Mile Race in North America and Best North American Ultra, the 5th annual Lake Martin endurance run at Russell Crossroads includes the options of 100-, 50- or 27-mile races through the hilly course at Russell Forest beginning at 6:45 a.m. March 17. Friday afternoon, racers will sign in to pick up racer packets and release forms and place drop bags at designated stations. There will be a pre-race dinner at Harbor Lodge dining room for $13, followed by the pre-race meeting. For more information, visit

March 24 Easter Egg Hunt at Wind Creek

Wind Creek State Park once again will host an Easter egg hunt at 10 a.m. Most eggs will hold small prizes and will be hidden for each age division (ages 0-2, 2-4, 5-8 and 9-12). The event will take place in the north picnic area access from the beach. Campers at the park may participate for free. Non-campers will be charged a nominal day-use fee.

March 29 Living Lord’s Supper

Red Ridge United Methodist Church will present a re-creation of the Lord's Supper inspired by Leonardo daVinci's world famous painting. Church members will recite soliloquies, written by the Rev. Ernest K. Emurian, as examples of how the 12 apostles might have expressed themselves. The service, which will begin at 6:30 p.m., will e followed by Holy Comunion. Red Ridge is located at 8091 County Road 34, corner of 49 and 34, Dadeville, 256-825-9820,

March 31 Full Moon Hike

Wind Creek State Park will lead a full moon hike at 7 p.m. The hike will begin at dark in the north picnic pavilion. Campers at the park may participate for free. Non-campers will be charged a nominal day-use fee.

April 7 Junque Jubilee

Beginning at 8 a.m. MainStreet Alexander City will host an upscale yard sale with everything from antiques to furniture, vintage pieces, arts and crafts, old cars and iron works. For information, call Bre Smith at 256-3299227.



MARCH 2018



F inancing Your Lake House Dreams • CONVENTIONAL • CONSTRUCTION • JUMBO • FHA AND VA

Season-Long Events ​Alabama Wildlife Federation Creature Feature

The Alabama Nature Center is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. To check holiday closings, visit

Every Monday and Wednesday, from 3:30 p.m. until 4 p.m., learn about Alabama’s woods, water and wildlife. Get up close and personal with some creatures you may find in your own backyard and some you may have never heard of. General admission applies and is $5 per person with a $20 maximum per family.

Library Storytime in Dadeville

Storytime for children ages 5 and younger is held at the Dadeville Public Library every Tuesday at 10 a.m.

Children’s Library in Alexander City

Mamie’s Place Children’s Library holds themed storytime every Wednesday at 10 a.m. and offers kidfriendly movies on the first Tuesday of each month at 10 a.m.

Gamers’ Club

Adelia M. Russell Library hosts kids ages 12 to 17 in the conference room on Fridays after school until 4:30 p.m. Bring handheld games or games from home (no games rated M allowed). Participants should be picked up by 4:30 p.m. For information, call 256-329-6796.

Electronics Recycling

The City of Alexander City Public Works Department hosts an electronics recycling event from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the second Thursday of each month. Items accepted include computers, computer mouse, keyboards, modems or routers, CD and DVD players, power supplies, PC mix systems, home or cell phones, printers or copiers, mainframe servers, audio/video adapters, laptop chargers, cable boxes, nickel cadmium or lithium ion batteries and flat screen monitors and televisions. CRT monitors and televisions are no longer accepted. Call the Alexander City Public Works Department at 256-409-2020.

256.215.FISH (3474)

2190 Cherokee Road , Alex City, AL

Certified Manitou & Landau Dealer

Matte Blackham 256-307-9652 NMLS #65084


Call us today about our Summer Specials! MARCH 2018

MARCH 2018


Lake Martin News CACC anglers headed to nationals

A pair of Central Alabama Community College anglers qualified for the national championships after competing in only one regional event. Despite getting off to a rough start during the tournament, Hunter Presley and Caleb Dennis placed 18th out of more than 200 boats at the Central Regional on the Toledo Bend Reservoir in Many, Louisiana. To qualify for nationals, a pair must finish in the top 25 at one of six regionals on the collegiate series. The duo collected a two-day, 10-fish total of 27 pounds and 13 ounces and did most of that fishing in the shallower waters using mostly rattle traps and cradles. “We stuck to our game plan and didn’t freak out,” Dennis said. “We stayed to it and stuck it out all day and ended up doing pretty good. We fished shallow basically the whole practice and whole tournament. Some of our fish actually came from less than a couple feet of water, so it was a lot shallower than most people were fishing.” The national championships will be held in Oklahoma in August. ~ Lizi Arbogast A big catch put Presley and Dennis on the national track

has to offer. With more than 430 bird species documented in Alabama, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. The Alabama Birding Trails is a partnership of the Alabama Birding Trails, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, University of Alabama Center of Economic Development and Birmingham Audobon. Learn more about the Alabama Birding Trails program at ~ Staff Report

Chiropractic office opens at Kowaliga

Lake Martin Chiropractic Health Center recently opened its doors on Kowaliga Road. Both the Alexander City Chamber of Commerece and the Tallassee Chamber of Commerce recently hosted ribbon cuttings to recognize Dr. Ryan Peaden and his wife Kimberly. The practice officially opened in the fall of 2017 when Peaden held a grand opening for the public to meet him and his staff. Peaden grew up in Tallassee, attended Auburn Lake visitors will have a new option for chiropractics this summer

Smith Mountain, Yates Lake added to birding trail

Two destinations on Lake Martin have recently been designated as Alabama Birding Trail locations. Due to the Cherokee Ridge Alpine Trail Association’s request, both Smith Mountain Historic Fire Tower and the Yates Forever Wild property are now part of the project highlighting the many birds found across Alabama to encourage economic development through a tourismbased model. These locations will be part of the 280 total designations throughout 65 counties in the state. These spots are considered optimal for bird watching, which helps visitors and residents enjoy the natural wildlife the area 20 LAKE

Cardinals are among the species that birding trail visitors might see

MARCH 2018

University Montgomery for undergraduate and continued his education at Palmer College of Chiropractic in Port Orange, Florida, graduating with a Doctorate of Chriopractic Medicine. The office is located on Highway 63, just south of Children’s Harbor. Their mission is to educate the community on the importance of a balanced nervous system, appropriate diet and active lifestyle, as well as a healthy spiritual and mental attitude. For more information, visit the Lake Martin Chriopractic Health Center Facebook page or call 334-458-2633. ~ Staff Report

Big Fish Bass Tournament

Millbrook’s annual Big Fish Bass Tournament will launch from Bonner’s Landing on Lake Jordan at 6 a.m. on Saturday, March 31. Sponsored by the City of Millbrook and the Millbrook Area Chamber of Commerce, the tournament pays on the three biggest fish at hourly weigh-ins with payouts of $300, $200 and $100. The biggest fish caught during the tournament will take a $1,000 prize. Only one fish will be weighed per hour per angler.

The overall biggest fish caught by an angler age 16 or under will win $300. Weigh-ins start at 7 a.m. and continue until 2 p.m. Register for the tournament by March 23 for a chance to win a Yeti cooler and other prizes. Entry fee is $60 per angler; each boat is limited to three anglers. Any fish shorter than 12 inches will not be weighed. Anglers must use artificial bait only. Only amateur anglers may enter. Register by mailing the registration form and a check for the entry fee to the Millbrook Area Chamber of Commerce office at 3453 Main St. Entrants also could drop off the form and check at the chamber office or register online at, on the events section of the MACC Facebook page or at Visit the chamber office for complete rules and details or call the chamber at 334-285-0085. ~ Staff Report

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One of the most beautiful fish in the waters of Lake Martin is the Longear Sunfish, which is bejeweled with electric blue spots and stripes and a bright orange belly. The top of this striking sunfish is usually brown or green while its belly and fins, especially where they connect to the body, are orange. Breeding males have exceptionally bright, metallic blue spots on their backs extending close to the belly, and their faces are striped with horizontal, broken blue lines. The Longear Sunfish mouth is small and downturned, and the top of the jaw doesn’t extend back to the eye position. This is a small sunfish, reaching 5-7 inches in length at maturity. The Alabama state record Longear was caught in the Yellow River in May of 1990 and weighed a whopping 8 ounces; however, the International Game Fish Association All-Tackle World Record was a truly gargantuan Longear from Elephant Butte Lake in New Mexico that pushed the scale all the way to 1 pound, 12 ounces. Longear Sunfish are native to North America and are found in most Alabama waterways. Their range extends from the Appalachian Mountains to the Midwest and from the Gulf of Mexico north to Canada. The Apalachicola River between Alabama and Georgia is the eastern border of their southern range. This species has also been found in some isolated areas outside of that range, including New Mexico (where the world record was caught), Florida and central Mexico. These small panfish live in many aquatic habitats, from large reservoirs like Lake Martin to small flowing streams, but they do not typically live in silty or murky water. In fact, populations have been reduced by human activities that cloud water, such as farming, building or industrial practices that increase erosion and add particulates in the water. Longears are daytime fish, becoming more active and feeding during the middle of the day, while laying low or hanging around shadowed cover in mornings, evenings and at night. They feed on aquatic insects near the surface, like midgeflies and gnat larvae, as well as tiny dragonflies that touch down on the water, crustaceans, fish eggs and young fish, including bass and sunfish. They will even eat small Longears. Longear Sunfish are aptly named – well sort of – in that they have a long “ear” or opecular flap at the rear of the gill covering, located approximately where an ear would be on a person’s face. It’s scientific name, Lepomis megalotis, means the same thing in Latin, literally “scaled operculum large ear.” That “long ear” is black with a pale red, yellow or white border. And in the case of Longear Sunfish, size does matter.


Biologists have done experiments that show female longears prefer males that have longer opercular flaps. Males with elongated flaps are also dominant over males with shorter flaps, chasing the lesser males. When scientists artificially lengthened a guy’s opercular flap, “the abnormally long-flapped males were dominant significantly more often than the ‘normal’ males,” according to a 2000 study by Goddard and Mathis. Longear Sunfish usually stake a claim to a certain stretch of water that can be 100-200 feet long. If you move a longear from its home water and release it, it will quickly swim back. During the late spring to summer breeding season, males will build a bed in gravel – or if that is not available – sand or a solid mud bottom. These are social fish, like most of the sunfish, and they build large colonies of beds very close together in shallow water. After a male has made his bed, he guards it from other males and waits for a female to swim into the colony. At that point, the male tries to attract a mate by spreading his fins, swimming toward his love interest and attempting to lead her directly to his nest. If she follows, the pair will circle the nest, swimming upright, and every minute or so, the female will turn on her side, releasing her eggs at the same time that the male releases sperm. After several times, the male will chase off the female, face the surface and use his tail to fan the nest for about an hour while chasing off any fish that get too close. The female that was chased off then visits other males in the colony and repeats the spawning process. Eggs, which can number between 140 to more than 2,800, hatch in about five days, and the male continues to guard his nest until after the young are hatched. Some less dominant Longear Sunfish called sneakers take a different approach to mating. Generally smaller and less colorful than the dominant males, sneakers dash into a nest during a couple’s spawning circles and release sperm. A third approach is taken by satellite males that hover near the surface above the colonies, acting like females; they slowly descend into spawning couples’ nests before also releasing sperm. During one 20-minute spawn, scientists observed a dominant male chasing away 15 would-be suitors. Wild Longear Sunfish live 4-6 years and become sexually active between ages 2-3. Like all sunfish, longears are sometimes called panfish, but because of this species’ small size, they are not generally kept by fishermen, instead winding up as dinner for larger fish like bass or wading birds. Some information for this article came from the University of Michigan’s website and Outdoor Alabama.

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Under Contract

Willow Glynn, Riverside Cottage $1,195,000 Move-in-ready RLH Construction & designed by Mitch Ginn, this design offers 4 bedrooms, 4.5 baths, 2 living areas and vaulted ceilings in the kitchen and owner’s suite. Enjoy the spectacular water views from both of the spacious covered porches. Russell Lands On Lake Martin 256.215.7011

South Ridge Estates, Y Knot Looking for the perfect homesite and lake houseplan? Take a look at this stunning design by Bill Farshee. Under construction by Classic Homes, this plan is a unique design that provides lake views from every room. The main living area is surrounded by covered lakeside porches. Two owner’s suites on main level and rec room, bunk loft and two guest suites on upper level. A detached two-car garage with guest suite above completes this plan. Russell Lands On Lake Martin 256.215.7011

South Ridge Harbor, Diamond View $1,750,000 The Diamond View is a stunning plan designed by Larry Furlong built by Classic Homes. This 3,668 sq. ft. has it all. Owner and guest suites are on main level with kitchen and dining overlooking the spacious living room & wrap-around porch. Lake level offers second living room, wet bar, two guest suites, lake-prep room, and additional storage. Russell Lands On Lake Martin 256.215.7011

Willow Glynn, The Abby $1,245,000 Just completed by RLH Construction. The Abby is a 3,219 sq. ft. plan designed by Chuck Frusterio. Owner’s suite and guest suites on main level with spacious livingdining-kitchen and large covered porch. Lake level offers two bedrooms, two bathrooms, generous lake-prep room, family room, wet bar, second laundry, and spacious covered patio for outdoor entertaining. Russell Lands On Lake Martin 256.215.7011

1031 Lakeshore Drive, Jacksons Gap • $379,000 Cozy, super cute, lake cabin styled for outdoor fun...sits on deepwater cove that opens to big water. 3BD/2.5BA, split plan w/ spacious master BD/BA, double granite vanity and lg. walk in closet. 2BD/ BA on opposite end. Open kit/din/LR. laminate flooring throughout, 3 sets of french doors on lakeside open to huge deck, perfect for entertaining. Lovely flagstone walkway to dock. Covered boatslip w/ lift and floating dock. Nice landscaping. Everything you need to begin making memories on Lake Martin!! RE/MAX Around the Lake Call Amanda Scroggins 256-749-6634

499 Old Still Road, Dadeville • $795,000 REDUCED!! LOVELY- 3-level Bermuda Bluff Cottage design house located in the gated community of The Preserve in Stoney Ridge. Features a 4BD/3.5BA w/wrap-around screened porch and lots of windows to maximize natural light. Custom built cabinetry throughout the home.Gorgeous pine flrs and tongue and groove ceilings. Open floor plan stone fireplace, sound system and central vac. IMMACULATE. RE/MAX Around the Lake Call Amanda Scroggins 256-749-6634

581 Willow Way West, Alexander City • $799,500 Comfortable waterfront living awaits in this spacious 4BR/3.5BA lake home behind the gates of Willow Point. This home has walls of windows overlooking the lake. It offers so much space w/formal LR/DR, enjoyable gathering area w/wet bar, spacious sunroom, den w/FP and vaulted ceiling, kitchen on main which features SS appliances, granite, new dishwasher, work island w/ ample cabinet & work space. Upstairs has master suite & BA w/ separate tub/shower & water closet. 2 Guest BR w/Jack & Jill BA. 4th BR/BA in basement is handicap accessible, summer kit, & laundry. RE/MAX Around the Lake Call Samantha Spurlin 256-786-0650

48 Sweet Bay, Eclectic • $1,099,000 This spacious, waterfront home has rustic elegance, charm and character, built by Kenny Hayes. Situated on 1.19 acres, the home features pine floors, walls and exposed beams. Lovely open greatroom/kitchen, floor to ceiling windows and stone fireplace. The kitchen has hickory cabinets, custom tile countertops, large work island w/vegetable sink, two side by side refrigerators, SS appliances, large walk-in pantry. The private guest wing has BRs opening to the lake and private BAs. Large master suite has wood tray ceiling, spacious BA w/double vanities, separate shower, jacuzzi tub and water closet. Decks the length of the house open to the custom designed gunite pool, hot tub and firepit. Expansive dock w/year round water, concrete boat ramp, boat slips. RE/MAX Around the Lake Call Amanda Scroggins 256-749-6634

MARCH 2018

279 Old Still Road, Dadeville • $578,900 Don't miss this brand new quality-built, Craftsman-style lake home! Located in The Preserve at Stoney Ridge, with all its wonderful amenities, this home boasts a main level with spacious open floor plan, vaulted 2-story ceiling and floor to ceiling stone FP. Kitchen features SS appliances, granite countertops and a great work island. Master suite located on main with 2BDs/BA upstairs. You'll love the detailing of shiplap walls, barn doors, hardwood floors, tiled and glass showers, lots of natural light and covered deck.The walk-out level features a 4th BD/BA, lg. FR w/summer kit. and bar and plenty of storage. Don't think you'll find any buy on Lake Martin quite like this one! RE/MAX Around the Lake Call Amanda Scroggins 256-749-6634


What is Lake

Even in winter, Lake Martin is an economic engine for the counties that surround it


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Martin worth?


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Retail spending growth and increased real estate values were the good news reported in a Lake Martin area economic impact study presented last month at the Central Alabama Community College Betty Carol Graham Technology Center. At the same time, the study also indicated a conservative leakage estimate of nearly $150 million. The study considered the appraised values of existing lake parcels, the impact to general fund in terms of property taxes, ad valorem taxes and other revenues. It also looked at the economic impact and jobs data for businesses on and near the lake, construction jobs generated by current and future development and spin-off employment supported by businesses near the lake. The final component of the study, retail spending in the lake area, did not include off-lake business districts like Alexander City, Dadeville, Eclectic and Wetumpka. That data tracked leakage, or money that people from the lake spent outside of the lake impact area to purchase items. Commissioned by Alexander City, Lake Martin Resource Association, Lake Martin Area Economic Development Alliance, Middle Tallapoosa Clean Water Partnership, Russell Lands and Coosa, Elmore and Tallapoosa counties, the study was compiled by RCLCO Real Estate Advisors, a firm that helps clients identify and achieve goals through strategic thinking and planning. The RCLCO study designated about 250 square miles as the lake impact area, which is roughly bordered by Alexander City, Dadeville, Walnut Hill, Martin Dam, Eclectic and Equality. RCLCO Managing Director Gregg Logan said the study included some overwhelming numbers. For example, he said, Lake Martin accounts for $4.7 billion in property values and $70.4 million in annual retail spending, as well as jobs for more than 1,000 people. Tallapoosa County represents $2.8 billion of the lake area property value amount, or about half of the county’s overall property value; 80 percent of $4.7 billion total is waterfront property. “When you look at these values, it’s remarkable


how much of each of the three counties’ overall value comes from property on Lake Martin,” Logan said. “In Tallapoosa County, about 49 percent of the total property value comes from lake property. In Coosa, where there is only a small part of the county that is considered to be in the lake impact area, lake property still makes up 27 percent of the county’s overall value.” In terms of retail spending, Lake Martin accounts for $70.4 million, $22 million of which is generated by the lake’s 13 marinas. Tallapoosa County also generates the majority of retail spending as a whole with $59.8 million annually spent in the lake area. In Tallapoosa County, a total of $12.4 million is spent on motor vehicles and boats; $16.2 million is spent at gas stations; $8.7 million at general merchandise stores; $5.7 million at restaurants and bars; $5.1 million at food and beverage stores; $2.2 million on healthcare; and $1.4 million on building supplies and garden equipment and supplies. The lake also generates $32 million annually in building material sales with new construction, according to the data presented. “That’s a tremendous amount of retail spending, and again that’s just the spending in that lake impact area and the spending by lake property owners,” Russell Lands On Lake Martin CEO Tom Lamberth explained. “As staggering as that number is, we are still seeing leakage – where people go outside of the area to purchase things – of $149 million each year. That shows with some creativity and more diverse retail offerings, we could be keeping a lot more of that money right here in our area. “The big takeaway from this report is that it represents opportunity.” Lamberth applauded the recently implemented Treasured Mile and Renew Our Rivers programs, which originate with Alabama Power Company and are coordinated by Lake Martin Resource Association, but said those efforts are not enough. “People come to the lake because it’s beautiful, and it’s clean, and the shoreline is clean. Once they get here, it’s clean, but getting to the lake, they have to go through some pretty trashy roads,” he said. “Can’t we

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make an staffed initiative fire staLAKE IMPACT AREA VALUED AT OVER $4.7 BILLION to keep tions the area close to clean? lake comIt’s overmunities. whelmIn ing, but addition, we all the study have got estimated to be that the involved lake – governmeans ment, $10.6 businessmillion es, civic annuclubs, ally to the churches. county We need governa lot of ments, people to mostly in be comproperty mitted to taxes. a clean environment. It could make a big difference that won’t Lamberth challenged officials at the RCLCO presencost a lot of money. It could help with the growth of the tation to use the data to identify areas of concern and to lake.” work together to develop a forward thinking plan. Attracting businesses that would better serve the “This is good information, and we all need to study needs of lake visitors and property owners could also it, so we can be informed and make better decisions for reduce the leakage, said Logan. the future,” Lamberth said. “The lake is going to grow, “The No. 1 need is food,” he explained. “That means whether we do anything or not. But it can grow betgrocery options, as well as restaurants. No. 2 is personal ter and smarter if we all work together and develop a services. Hair salons, nail care, healthcare options and plan. I think with everything we do, we should consider any service-related business that supports daily living. how the lake plays into the economic development of Those are what I see as the areas of greatest potential.” Tallapoosa, Coosa and Elmore counties.” Healthcare and service-related business options might include emergency medical and ambulance services and MARCH 2018




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MARCH 2018

Spot Tail


May Fly

Shell Cracker






Takahira Omori transfers a big bass for the final weigh-in to win the Elite tournament



MARCH 2018


While fishing the semifinal round of the Bassmaster Elite at Lake Martin presented by Econo Lodge, champion Takahiro Omori caught a bass that had two lures in its mouth. One was a chartreuse plug that Omori had lost on an underwater tree branch the day before, and the other was the red bait he fished with most of that day. In 287 events with B.A.S.S., Omori said, he’s never had anything like that happen before. But it was a charmed tournament for the Japanese-born angler turned Texas resident who ran away with the prize money at the Series opener last month. “That crankbait is just a once-in-a-lifetime story,” Omori said. “I think maybe what happened is that it got hung up, and the fish ate it before. Then it ate the other bait today. I have never had anything like that happen before and probably never will again.” Omori finished the tourney with a four-day total of 59 pounds 8 ounces, expanding a 4-pound 2-ounce lead on the third day of the tournament to a full 7 pounds at the final weigh-in on the fourth and final day. It was his seventh career victory with B.A.S.S. and his second B.A.S.S. win in three years in the state of Alabama after a triumph on Wheeler Lake in 2016.

“This time of year, I like to fish shallow – especially during the prespawn,” Omori said. “Usually when we schedule a tournament for early February, it’s in Florida, and the fish have already spawned. But schedule-wise, coming to this lake this time of year is very good for me.” Omori didn’t exactly have a wealth of options for putting together good limits during the four-day event. During a mostly subpar practice, he identified one small area in the upper east section of the lake where current was flowing behind a small island. “I caught two keepers and maybe one non-keeper in back-to-back casts there in practice,” Omori said. “I never had anything big, so I didn’t really know what I had there. I was taking a chance because if I had gone up that far and then not caught anything, I would have been in trouble.” The water on the outside of the island was so shallow that Omori had to trim up his outboard and churn mud off the bottom just to reach the right spot. Once he was in place, he dropped his Power-Pole shallowwater anchors and made repeated casts into the current with a 1.5 TO Craw Lucky Craft squarebill crankbait. “I think not many people go up that far,” he said.

Anglers found their limits in shallow water around docks as well as in deep holes with stable temperatures

MARCH 2018



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Marshals picked up tips from the professional anglers throughout the tournament

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“So, the fish are less pressured. There was also some current coming through there, which really helped.” Omori estimated that he caught 50 keepers off the spot during the course of the tournament. But on the final day, he managed only four and was forced to go looking elsewhere to fill out his limit. Fortunately, one of his four fish from the area weighed more than 4 pounds – his second biggest bass of the week – and his cushion over the rest of the field was enough to lift him to victory, even without a stellar final day. There were plenty more fishing tales told at the Lake Martin event, which was the first of nine tournaments in the Bassmaster Elite Series. South Carolina angler Andy Montgomery had an unusual run of marshals in his boat over the weekend. On Thursday he had a man who was a funeral home owner, and Friday his marshal was a coroner. “If I had come out here Saturday and the marshal would have told me they were a florist, I wasn’t going,” Montgomery said. Montgomery, a Clemson fan, said he started out his day finding out the name of the university his marshal went for – Auburn or Alabama. “I wanted to make sure I didn’t say something that might get me killed right off the bat,” Montgomery said. Kalamazoo pro Jonathon VanDam had an anxious week, as he and his wife Arika were expecting their first child at anytime. VanDam said the baby was actually due the day before the tournament on Lake Martin began, but he and his wife made the decision for him to fish in the first Bassmaster Elite tournament of the year and hope for the best. “We had a plan in place in case she went into labor while I was gone, but luckily, we didn’t have to use it,” VanDam said. “It has been one of the most stressful weeks I’ve been through, just out there trying to fish and halfway waiting for the phone to ring. We made it through the week, fished on Sunday and got a pretty nice paycheck.” VanDam made the cut, fished Saturday and Sunday and completed


Crowds gathered at Wind Creek State Park for the daily weigh-ins

Two boats share a slough during the BES opener


the tournament with 47 pounds, 9 ounces, which was good enough for ninth place and a $12,000 check. As soon as he was off stage, VanDam hit the road for the 790-mile journey home. Conventional wisdom says one big bass per day will give you a good shot at winning a tournament on Lake Martin. So, when Florida angler Cliff Prince caught a pair of giants on back-to-back casts on the first day of the tournament, he needed a quick breather to collect himself. One weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces, the other weighed 6-3, and together, they propelled Prince to a leading first-day weight of 19-13. “Back-to-back casts – it was unbelievable,” Prince said. “I had to sit down for a minute because I definitely wasn’t expecting it.” Like many of the competitors in the 110-angler field, Prince had very little experience on Lake Martin – and the three official practice days prior to the tournament weren’t exactly kind to him. But before 9 a.m. on the first launch day, he idled past a spot that he recognized as a potential big-fish haven. “I didn’t fish that spot in practice,” said Prince, who was tightlipped about exactly where and how he caught his fish. “But I knew I had gotten bit on another stretch like that. I figured if I caught a big one, it would be down that stretch – and I caught two.” Highlights from the tournament will be broadcast later this year on ESPN2.

MARCH 2018

The best memories are made at

The Ridge.

Russell Lands On Lake Martin is a breathtaking lake community with 25,000 acres of forest set among Lake Martin’s 40,000 plus acres of pristine water and nearly 900 miles of shoreline. The largest premier neighborhood at Russell Lands On Lake Martin is The Ridge—where ownership comes with an array of extras – The Ridge Club, a 10-acre recreation complex, miles of hiking and walking trails as well as nature and waterfront parks, and a state-of-the-art Ridge Marina -- all designed to connect you with family, friends, nature, and always, the lake.







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Percheed above the water, a lakeside deck sends an invitation to a shady retreat

Perfect Peace Willow Point renovation focuses on relaxation at the lake


MARCH 2018


Ceiling vaults and walls of windows bring the views inside the Willow Point home


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Islands divide the living spaces in the open concept main room

Making a lake house a home – rather than just a weekend place to visit – requires vision and heart, a willingness to blend lake elements with personally acquired accoutrements. That blend is exactly what Dwight and Sherry Henderson achieved when they decorated their new lake home in Willow Point. Dwight Henderson is not new to the gated community, but the couple’s most recent purchase in 2016 gave them approximately 5,500 square feet on one level, a perfect palette for Sherry to practice her passion for decorating and for Henderson to add custom features and favorite finds of Alabama art and travel. Since the home had been renovated a few years prior to the Hendersons’ purchase, they did not require major demolition or construction to create their own space. A longtime wine collector, Henderson’s favorite project involved converting a study into a wine room.

The room had access only from a back hallway, so they closed in the back wall and built a large cased opening for entrance to the room from the foyer, placing the special room at the home’s entrance. The back wall now features two large wine refrigerators as bookends of a floor-to-ceiling storage cabinet, designed by Henderson and built by Greg Hubbard with Montgomery Cabinet and Trim. The center of the cabinet includes a countertop bar, the surface of which is completely covered with dozens of square stone coasters commemorating the couple’s trips and travels. A baby grand piano, playing into the jazz theme of the room, Artwork throughout the allows an additional focal home complements the point. With beautiful colors, beauty of the lake grapes and wine labels seemingly infused into the canvas, artist Beau Redmond painted the art hanging over the bar area. A jazz band painting by S. Chambers brightens one corner, while iron sculptures of jazz musicians are in play from different areas of the room.

MARCH 2018


The home’s tasteful blend of new and old pieces range from a Maitland-Smith bed and Theodore Alexander nightstands to extraordinary finds from the couple’s travels. The master suite, as well as the three guest rooms, are comfortably afforded in soft creams, whites and blues, carrying the living area hues throughout the home. Bedrooms offer yet more space for their favorite Alabama art found throughout the home, including works by Nancy Cooper, Nan Cunningham, Gigi Hackford, Frances Lanier, Julie Lindsey, Eve Perry and Donna Chieves, who is based in Birmingham. The large living area is perfect for gatherings of family and friends, especially for Auburn University’s away games. A sofa, chairs and big screen television support one end with the dining area in the middle and the kitchen at the other end. All three areas are distinctly divided by three separate large islands. Living area focal points 42 LAKE

include a mirrored console from Mathison’s Interiors, and a unique lamp that was a fun find at the Fairhope Pharmacy in Fairhope, Alabama, and features entwined egrets on the base. In addition to the wall of windows framing an expansive view of Lake Martin, nature-themed and boat paintings by David Tate from the Fairhope Artist’s Gallery complement a 3-foot tall carved heron from Colorado that stands as a stately guard to the room. Bookcases flank the Mondrian stone fireplace and hold treasures from the Hendersons’ years as Auburn pharmacy school graduates. One bookcase displays antique mortars and pestles, old pharmaceutical textbooks and antique medicine bottles. Also included is a tremendous hand painted Auburn platter and footballs signed by Joe Montana and Bo Jackson. The hearth boasts three massive stones tied in size and texture to three soapstone bowls on the bar separating the

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Clockwise from upper left: Even the family dog loves the view from the deck; local scenes by local artists are some of the Hendersons' favorite pieces; creamy colors add a relaxing atmosphere to interior bedrooms.

MARCH 2018


Water bird works of art are a repeating theme in the home's decor

Pharmacy school graduates, the Hendersons collect mortars and pestles

The couple added wine storage to convert a guestroom


MARCH 2018

living area from the dining area. The stones, part of a collection from artist Russell Everett’s studio in Roanoke, Alabama, were found in Chambers and Tallapoosa counties in West Georgia and Alabama. For the dining area, the Hendersons designed and Greg Hubbard built a wall of cabinets with glass doors above and a countertop perfect for a display of family photos. The cabinet holds glassware, while a console with sliding doors doubles as storage for dishware and divides the kitchen and dining areas. A large lavender iris painting by Alexander City teacher and artist Debra Griffith adorns the top of the cabinet, bringing another natural element in from the outdoors. Henderson’s national healthcare software business, started in 1983 in Montgomery, allows travel for finds not found locally. An antique trug, originally used for bread making, accentuates the kitchen’s 8-foot square island, and a high-top bar and eating area provide more space for kitchen gathering and food prep. Henderson’s office off the kitchen was created by converting a bedroom and replacing hallway bunks with a bookcase and countertop workstation to hold the printer and other work-related equipment. Sherry’s reading chair by the window invites a relaxing afternoon here, and artwork in this area includes pieces by Donnavae Lindsey and Prattville’s Barbara Simpson. A hallway art gallery off the living area features paintings by Carol Barksdale and a commissioned work of Henderson’s backyard flower garden in Montgomery by Judy Felkey. Henderson has a large, colorful canvas map of Lake Martin and Russell Lands developments in the hallway as well. The Hendersons’ expeditions across America guided the plan for decorating a wall in another hall near the master suite and a guest room. Gifted by friends, a piece of driftwood titles the space “Sherry and Dwight’s Travel Wall,” where a U.S. map is dotted with pins marking the locations of their travels. They have included prints and pictures with varied frames of locations they have visited, which add color, depth and texture to the space. The lakeside deck running the length of the home expands the entertainment space. Two seating areas under the covered deck are available for meals or board games or just enjoying the view of the lake and dock. Guests have the choice of slipping into the swimming pool or riding a dock slide into the lake. Together, the Hendersons conceived a comfortable home, not only for family and friends but also for the two of them to relax and spend time together, cherishing the memories of travels, art and fun with no better opportunity for easy living than two rocking chairs on the deck, the perfect place to admire a Lake Martin sunset.

MARCH 2018




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MARCH 2018

Lake Martin 100 takes to the trails for 5th annual ultra run


More than Former racers at the Lake 150 racers from Martin 100 include Karl across the counMeltzer who holds the try signed up world record early for this for completing month’s 5th the most ultra runs Annual Lake Martin 100 event March 17-18 at Russell Forest, and more ultrarunners are expected to register for the race that last year was voted the best ultra run in North America. The event includes three long distance races: a 100mile, a 50-mile and a 27-mile trail run that attract more racers every year as word of the Lake Martin 100 experience spreads, said race organizer David Tosch of Birmingham. The ultrarunning powerhouse community RunUltra last July pronounced the Lake Martin event as the best 100-mile run in North America by popular vote, and Tosch said that recognition could top out this year’s registration numbers. “Our runners like the race enough to take the time to go vote for it. That’s saying something,” Tosch said. This year’s event will also include a pre-race dinner at Harbor Lodge on the Children’s Harbor campus. The dinner will precede this year’s mandatory pre-race meeting on March 16. Runners also will find more options

for lodging this year, as race organizers have reserved space at Children’s Harbor. The Lake Martin 100 is a rare jewel on the ultra run circuit, as the entire course is run on wooded trails and includes some 13,000 feet of elevation gain. The race is designed as a step-up event that allows racers to graduate from the 27- and 50-mile runs to the ultimate test of endurance on the 100-mile course. Even so, the Lake Martin 100 is no walk in the park, Tosch said. “The race will be hard. There are virtually no sections that could be called flat. All those beautiful hills become steeper and longer with each successive lap. Those gentle carriage paths become very long about mile 80, but if you are ready, you can do it,” he said. The race begins at 6:45 a.m. on Saturday, March 17, and ends mid-afternoon on Sunday. Spectators are welcome but are asked to yield right-of-way to racers throughout the weekend. For more information, visit

MARCH 2018



Motocross is more than just a sport for Stillwaters resident Scott Little – it’s a lifesaver and an outlet for giving back. Only four years ago, Little decided to pick up the sport after discovering his hidden passion for motorsports. Searching for something to challenge him mentally and physically, motocross was the perfect choice. “It’s the most demanding sport out there. It can be a challenge to stay positive sometimes, but it’s so mental. You have to push your body to go further when your brain gets in a rut. Push through that rut,” said Little, who at age 55, races in the Southern Hardcore Championship Series. Little ranked either second or third in each series over the last four years, and he placed second in the Faith Racers Vet Challenge at the Monster Mountain Motocross Park in Tallassee. A self-proclaimed ‘server,’ Little said he values the opportunity to share his message through Faith Racers Ministry. A trackside ministry founded in Florida, Faith Racers’ mission is to partner with God in encouraging, challenging and

Scott Little's new 2018 Suzuki RMZ-450 is customized to better fit his needs


empowering those inside the motocross community. With faith-based camps throughout the year for youngsters, with which Little assists, he also leads Sunday services with his motocross family. “Faith Racers gives me a reason to push through the hurt, pain and obstacles. The first thing I do when I get on my bike is lay my head down and pray. It has been instrumental in my success,” said Little, who concentrates his ministry on the central Alabama area for the organization. His ability to make immense progress since his late start to the sport is credited to a number of people who have been his support system. From Little’s first trainer, James Ragsdale, to Johnny Borders, the founder of Monster Mountain in Tallassee where Little races, his compassion and gratitude to all the racers he has encountered broadens his outlook on the sport. “James Ragsdale got me through the hard part. He has a huge heart, and we’ve been through challenges together. We’re like brothers. It’s like a big family out there,” said Little. That family gathers each week for practice at the War Eagle Motocross Park in Auburn, which is strictly a practice course. “Working here, I see the way everyone always helps each other out, especially if there’s a beginner or a new guy. We all work to teach them some stuff,” said John Andrews, a worker at the 1-mile War Eagle track. “It’s a friendly and safe track, but also competitive. It keeps you busy, so about five hard laps at race pace, and you’re worn out. It’s great for training,” said Little. Ragsdale has been riding since he was 3 years old and has competed in the Loretta Lynn amateur nationals. He teaches racers 4 years old and up, with Little as his current oldest student. “Scott was a new challenge, but I was so excited because he was so determined. We had a rough first day, but he’s got a lot of energy and passion. I am grateful for the opportunity to see what he’s become and to say I had a little part in making that happen; it’s warming,” said Ragsdale, who comes from a family of motocross sportsmen. Ragsdale is also a member of Faith Racers and ties motocross

MARCH 2018

At age 51, Little discovered his hidden passion for motocross


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War Eagle Motocross Park in Auburn is where Little and his motocross family practice each week and help one another learn new skills


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James Ragsdale (left) was Little's first trainer and helped him through the toughest times

His passion for life helps Little pay it forward through his work with Faith Racers

into ministry with the parallels of life’s challenges. “Motocross is challenging, and a lot of things in life are challenging. It’s about overcoming those challenges and having the faith to do that,” explained Ragsdale. Borders, who lost his son Chase years after a motocross injury left him a quadriplegic, is the perfect example of a rider overcoming life’s challenges. Having practiced motocross since 1969, Borders made a living with it until he was about 28 and has now come back to what he loves. When he built Monster Mountain in 1999 with Chase and longtime friend Gary Blackwell, Borders wanted to retain the natural terrain of the land. He hired champion racer Mark Barnett to test the track as they built it. Monster Mountain has more than 100 feet of elevation change and is much steeper than the War Eagle Motocross Park. After his injury, Chase spent most of his time at the Monster Mountain track. “When he passed we did a memorial race, and more than 1,000 people showed up from all over the country. I led the victory lap with 300 riders behind me. It was very meaningful,” said Borders. It’s these memorable moments that encourage Little to give back, especially to the children learning to ride. He and Price Martin, also known as Scoot, share a virtue of keeping the fun in the sport and reminding

children of the bigger picture. “One of the reasons I got involved is because when I was younger there were all these older kids I looked up to as good role models and positive influences both on and off the track. I wanted to encourage kids and do the same thing,” said Martin, a Class A competitor (the highest amateur skill level before professional). Little, with Ragsdale’s encouragement, began taking photos of the young students’ riding techniques as visual learning tools. It helped Ragsdale explain to Little what he was doing wrong, and Little carried the idea to his own teaching by creating a photography business, LittleMoto. Safety is a huge factor that Little and other Faith Racer leaders promote to the younger crowd, as well. Motocross can be a dangerous sport, so kids focus on safety tips and attain the proper gear fitted for each individual before even getting on a bike. The power and size of a bike is unique to an individual and has to fit the person’s skill level and abilities. Also, learning how to trust the bike to do its job is important for safety. “You have to be one with the bike and know how to maneuver it. Let the bike do what it’s supposed to do. There’s an art to it,” said Little, whose first bike was too overpowering for him, as it had belonged to professional racer Auston Albers. With his lighter and more agile new 2018 Suzuki RMZ-450 bike with the correct suspension set up more individualized for Little, it provides the confidence to encourage others. Injuries tend to come with the territory of this sport, and Little is no stranger to them. Although he’s encountered a few hiccups along the way, he’s determined to continue on this path in his service, sport and education. “It’s all in how you let things affect you. This is the start of a new era for me,” said Little.

MARCH 2018


An American bald eagle climbs into the clear blue sky above the lake



MARCH 2018


The data confirms what Lake Martin eagle watchers already knew: 40 years after the near decimation of the bald eagle population, sightings of our national bird are on the increase here. Six Alabama Power Company employees counted nine eagles here during this year’s annual January survey, which covered 500 miles of Lake Martin shoreline. Though the survey was conducted in compliance with the wildlife management program included in the power company’s license to operate Martin Dam, Alabama Power Company has voluntarily participated in the surveys for more than 27 years. “APC wants to be fully aware of the location of eagle nests before any construction project begins, so measures can be taken to prevent eagles from being accidentally disturbed,” biologist Chad Fitch explained. Six adult birds and three juveniles were identified at Lake Martin this year, along with one active nest, but visitors to the lake area have sighted at least three nesting sites here, and sightings of the majestic eagle are commonplace. Wind Creek’s Park Manager Bruce Adams said bald eagles recently have been sighted at the park marina, and a nest is known to exist in the back of the slough behind the park’s marina. Last summer, a pair was seen frequently along Elkahatchee Creek and near Bay Pines. Each year, the survey helps conservationists take stock of how well the eagles are doing. “Survey crew members bundled up with windbreaking float coats, thermal underwear, double gloves, double socks, ski masks and hand and foot warmers to stay warm while cruising the lakes in search of eagles,” Fitch said. The numbers across the state were strong, despite a very brutal early winter. Bald eagle surveys are conducted across America during January because it is peak nesting season for the national bird. Although the bald eagle is no longer listed as an endangered species, the federal Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act requires a 660foot protective buffer zone around an eagle nest tree during the October-May nesting season; a 330-foot buffer is required during non-nesting periods. Overall, the bald eagle population appears to be increasing statewide and on APC reservoirs. The number of juvenile eagles recorded this year was higher than in previous years, Fitch said,

which indicates that company lakes have suitable nesting habitat and a good food resource, which is mainly fish. Nongame wildlife biologist with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Carrie Threadgill said the sightings have become so common statewide that the department no longer keeps a record of them. "These surveys are a snapshot, not an exact count," Threadgill explained. "The observers follow the same route every year. For this particular survey, they take the survey from boats, and it's not as easy to see as many on the water as if they were doing an aerial survey." Threadgill said it's likely that Lake Martin actually supports a larger eagle population than the number surveyors spotted here. "As long as there is a good supply of fish, the lake could definitely support more eagles," she said. To identify a bald eagle in flight, first check out the wing positions. Eagles have flat, steady wings; whereas, the flight patterns are different for birds that often are mistaken for eagles. Turkey vultures tend to rock as they fly, and their wings are held at close to a 45-degree angle from the body. Osprey, on the other hand, fly with a bend in the wing. Next, look for the white tail feathers and hood that are the most prominent field marks of the bald eagle. The rest of the bird’s body is covered in brown feathers, except for the yellow beak and legs. Immature bald eagles have dark heads and tails, and their bodies may be mottled with white feathers. It takes about five years for an eagle to reach maturity and attain adult plumage, so if you see an immature eagle, it just might be one that was recently hatched right here on Lake Martin. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed bald eagles as endangered in the 1940s after they nearly disappeared, but under the protection of the Endangered Species Act and through concerted nesting programs in Alabama and elsewhere, the national bird now flourishes and was removed from the list in 2007. “They are still protected under the Migratory Birds Treaty Act and the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, but in Alabama, they are doing great,” Threadgill said.

MARCH 2018


Less trustworthy than lawyers and bankers? Realtors work harder than undeserved reputation


lawyer, a banker and a real estate agent tell you that AREC does many things to accomplish its mission and they have just walked into a bar. Which one of them serve its vision. Part of that is the enforcement of the many is probably lying? laws that pertain to real estate transactions in Alabama. According to a 2016 article by Huffington Post, only 21 AREC states, “The enforcement jurisdiction of the percent of people think that real estate agents are trustworthy. Alabama Real Estate Commission extends over persons This ranks my profession below lawyers and bankers. and companies who have an Alabama real estate license Ouch! and to those who practice real estate without being properly What does that say about those of us who make our living licensed. If a licensee is found guilty of violating license law, selling real estate? If we are viewed as less trustworthy than the Commission may impose a fine and/or reprimand the stereotypical whipping post professions, such as lawyers and licensee and may also suspend or revoke the license.” bankers, shouldn’t we admit that we have an image problem Consumers – that is, people who are not licensed real with our profession? estate agents – do have a way to influence integrity in the Or is that reputation deserved? real estate profession. In Alabama, they may lodge comLet me say clearly, I know many fine and plaints directly to AREC. honorable people that sell real estate. I have been Does it ever happen? in many deals, in the middle of several negotiaYou bet! tions, where agents have done way more than is According to AREC’s quarterly newsletter, required by the letter of the law. Money talks. from June to September 2017 there were 1,276 And ... well ... other stuff walks, as they say. complaints filed by licensees (agents), 599 Time and time again, I have seen agents complaints filed by the public and 49 comspend their time and money where they are not plaints filed by people that either remained required. More than that, I can point to countless anonymous or were on staff at the commission. occasions in which agents have displayed their Whenever a formal complaint is filed, hearts. By that, I mean that agents have shown AREC holds a hearing. It is pretty much like a LAKE PROPERTY the high level that they care for their clients and court case. It includes evidence, witnesses, the BY JOHN COLEY consumers – not just as potential paychecks but whole nine yards. It is a matter that is taken also as people. very seriously. Maybe I am all rainbows and unicorns here. Maybe my I think that is further evidence of the profession trying its opinions have been clouded by the fact that I think we at best to serve the public well. Lake Martin are a nice group of real estate agents. I think So if you are a consumer, you have a right to file a that almost every one of us here is a good-hearted person. complaint against a licensed agent if you believe he or she Still, the professional reputations exist. So when a person has violated the law. It is important to note that you are comes to our little lake community, they likely carry with not required to actually close on a transaction in order to them the stereotype that real estate agents are untrustworthy. have a complaint. Personally, I think that our profession would be much For example, one of the legal obligations of each licensee more highly regarded if consumers knew that there is a govis to provide brokerage services to all parties to the transacerning authority over real estate agents. I think they would tion honestly and in good faith. I am certainly no lawyer, be even more reassured to find out that there is an actual and to be most accurate, you would need to verify my next venue for consumer complaints about agents, brokers and statement; however, it’s my opinion that this means that if a real estate companies. licensed agent knowingly lies to you about a piece of propIn Alabama, the name of that agency is the Alabama Real erty, he or she has broken the law. Estate Commission. The website is I think It does not require that you have to buy that property in everyone ought to check it out. AREC states its mission is, order for him or her to have broken it. The moment the agent “To serve the public through the licensing and regulating of lies, the law has been broken, and you could file a complaint. real estate licensees,” and its vision is, “To ensure excellence I could give many examples of possible lies that agents in the real estate profession.” might tell to consumers. One told to a buyer might be, “I 54 LAKE

MARCH 2018

am about to list this property and start selling waterfront lots. Are you interested when I do?” (If the agent does not have the listing). Another might be, “I am the listing agent, so if you deal with me directly, I can get you a better deal since I know the seller.” A lie told to a potential seller might be, “That agent can’t list property in your neighborhood.” Again, I would like to stress, my experience has been that an overwhelming percentage of people in the real estate industry are good, hard-working people; however, if you, as a consumer, do run into a bad apple, there are some remedies. John Coley is a broker and owner of Lake Martin Voice Realty. Visit his blog at

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MARCH 2018

Plan in Place for Future Drought A

re we prepared for the next major by APC in the Alabama, Coosa, Tallapoosa drought? What can anyone do to lessRiver Basin. en the impact of a terrible drought? Within ADROP, there are three levels of Have you ever seen your dock high and dry responses that dictate the necessary action on July 4th? permitted to minimize the effects of drought A little known and seldom discussed on the entire ACT River Basin. With each benefit during the relicensing process of level of drought intensity, more conservation Lake Martin Dam was that the Federal actions are implemented. Energy Regulatory Commission required the Water releases from dams are reduced as implementation of a drought program for an effort to conserve storage in APC lakes, HOBO the Tallapoosa River. Called the Alabama while those releases also support some level BY JESSE CUNNINGHAM Drought Response Operating Proposal, the of downstream need. Also, APC must seek plan was instituted as a result of 2007’s devvariances from USACE and FERC to temastating drought in Alabama. porarily raise winter lake levels above normal levels as an We have already seen benefits of the new ADROP proeffort to help ensure the lakes fill to summer levels. gram. Last winter our lake level was temporarily raised 2 The winter of 2016-2017 was an example of this action, feet above normal winter level because of drought condias our lake level was temporarily raised 2 feet at that time. tions at the time. Simply monitoring the flow rates of the Currently, Lake Harris is temporarily being held 2 feet rivers and reacting to drought conditions as they develop above normal because the area is experiencing drought may lessen the impacts to lake levels, which hurt the econ- conditions. omies of all of us. Since the ADROP program has been in effect, we have How in the world did such a good thing come about? not experienced a really bad drought period as we saw in Well, as a result of the drought of 2007, which saw lake 2007, but every indication is that this program will offer all levels on Lake Martin drop to historic lows, Alabama lake lovers some real protection against the terrible effects Power, along with the assistance of state and federal of a long-lasting severe drought. agencies, led an effort to develop a plan to address future No, ADROP will not make it rain, and it is not a plan to droughts. Out of that effort, the ADROP program was keep lakes full, but it certainly will help protect the water developed. we already have in our lakes. A good question to ask is, “How do we know there’s a The Lake Martin Home Owners and Boat Owners drought?” Association would like to thank Alabama Power Company Obviously, when there’s not enough rain we call it a and the state and federal agencies that worked behind the drought, but much scenes to make the more sophisticated program a reality. We The Alabama drought of information is availhave already seen the 2007 saw Lake Martin drop to historic lows able from 11 stream effects of the efforts to flow gauges on the make ADROP work. Coosa River and Lake Martin is far betseven gauges on the ter prepared for the Tallapoosa River. next drought than it When hydrologic has ever been. Thanks. conditions, as indiThe complete cated by stream flows ADROP document is and rainfall amounts, available at lakemartinworsen in the basin, In left the ADROP program column, click on AL is implemented and Drought Program. provides three levels of action that are Contact Jesse designed to reduce the Cunningham of Lake impact of a drought Martin HOBO at 256in the lakes controlled 825-0919.

MARCH 2018


Total Body Lifestyle G

Be active: Regular physical activity will o Further with Food is the theme for help to maintain weight, decrease stress and National Nutrition month 2018. The keep the body running smoothly. foods you choose can make a difference when you start the day with a healthy Prepare and serve healthy snacks: These breakfast, make a meal for your family or fuel will help to maintain energy levels between before an athletic event. Preparing foods to go meals, especially if you include a lean protein further at home can make a positive impact too. in combination with vegetables or wholeAdopting healthier habits and reducing food grain. loss and waste is the National Nutrition month 2018 focus. National Nutrition month began in Get to know food labels: Make it a habit 1973 as a weeklong event. As nutrition became to check out what you are eating. more important in the eyes of the public, the campaign became a month-long event in 1980. HEALTHY LIVING Consult with a registered dietitian: If National Nutrition month is a campaign to proBY JULIE HUDSON you need help managing chronic disease or mote living a healthy lifestyle throughout the simply need assistance with weight loss or eating healthier, whole year. a registered dietitian could provide helpful information and The goal for the Go Further with Food campaign is strategies. to encourage all of us to incorporate the following food, nutrition and activity health tips into our lifestyles. Living Follow food safety guidelines: Practice regular handa total body lifestyle brings us into a wellness state of washing, cooking foods to the appropriate temperatures mind. and promptly refrigerating foods. Eat breakfast: Include lean protein, whole grains, fruit Drink more water: Staying well hydrated and vegetables. will make you feel better. This is especially important if you are active, live in a hot Make half of your plate fruit and climate or are an older adult. Quench vegetables: Choosing color, flavor and your thirst with water while avoidtexture to add vitamins, minerals and ing sugary drinks. fiber to your plate. Use half of your plate for fruit and vegetables and Get cooking: Set a reserve the other half for grains goal to prepare most and lean protein. meals at home. Home-cooked meals Watch your portion sizes: are cost effective, Use measuring cups to see and healthy. how accurate you are in your servings.


MARCH 2018

Dine out without ditching you goals: Stick to your goals when you eat out by choosing the healthier options that are baked, grilled, broiled or steamed. Plan ahead by looking at menus online before choosing a restaurant. Create family time: Set a regular time to eat as a family at least a few times a week. Make it a TV-and-cell-phonefree time to promote conversation. Involving the kids or grandchildren in meal or menu preparation will teach them about healthy options. Banish brown bag boredom: Try new healthy lunch ideas for work or school. Explore new foods and flavors: Choose new lean protein, grains, vegetables or fruit to add more nutrition and bring pleasure to eating. Eat seafood twice a week: Fish and shellfish have lots of nutrients, includingOomega-3 fats. Cut back on added sugar: Foods and drinks that have lots of added sugar provide a lot of empty calories and very little nutrition. Reading labels will help identify sugars that may have been added to the food.

Make an effort to reduce food waste: Plan ahead by looking at what you have on hand before stocking up at the store. Plan meals using leftovers. Managing food wisely can help preserve nutrients and decrease spending. Research has shown that up to 40 percent of the food supply in the United States is wasted, and much of what goes uneaten is healthier food, such as fruit, vegetables, seafood and dairy. Living a total body lifestyle enables us to embrace healthy ways of living to achieve permanent changes. Incorporating beneficial foods and new behaviors and fostering a sense of responsibility to improve quality of life is what it is all about. Stay away from short-term diets that make promises, and stick to a lifestyle that gives you the freedom to make food choices and build a healthy relationship with food. Total body lifestyle is balancing your diet with foods from all food groups, staying active with enjoyable movement and making your mental health a top priority by fostering a positive attitude. Leading a healthy lifestyle will give you a renewed sense of energy. Julie Hudson is a dietician at the Lake Martin Wellness Center in Dadeville.

Experiment with more plant-based meals: Vegetables, beans and lentils are great substitutes for meatless recipes.

Help tell our county's story CRATA is raising $50,000 to make Smith Mountain Park an educational center on the nature and history of Tallapoosa County

Contribution Form Name_____________________________________ Date_______ Address_______________________________________________ City_______________________ State_______ ZIP____________ Phone________________________________________________ Email_________________________________________________

Giving Levels

Tax deductible gifts to “CRATA-Smith Mountain Tower Restoration� are greatly appreciated! Please return this form and your gift to: Jimmy K. Lanier, CRATA, P.O. Box 240503, Eclectic, AL 36024 All donors will be recognized in print. All donors of $100 or more will be recognized on a permanent cast plaque. Anonymous gifts at all levels will be respected for confidentiality. Honorariums, memorials and appreciations will be acknowledged per donor direction.

Teachers' Helper Trail Blazers Vista Viewers Summit Toppers Visionaries Legacy Sponsors

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MARCH 2018



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Fennel Compound Butter for Oysters or Fish

CHEF’S TABLE BY ROB MCDANIEL Rob McDaniel, executive chef and general manager at SpringHouse Restaurant, earned a bachelor's degree in restaurant and hotel management from Auburn University and is a graduate of the New England Culinary Institute.

1 1 2 1 1

cup small diced onions cup small diced fennel cloves garlic minced cup chopped smoked bacon tablespoon toasted and ground fennel seed 2 quarts heavy cream 1 pound soft butter

MARCH 2018

In a medium heavy-bottomed pot, render bacon over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium; then, add garlic, fennel and onion. Cook until onion is translucent and fennel is soft. At this point, add the cream and ground fennel seed; then, reduce by half. Allow reduced cream mixture to cool completely. Place cooled cream mixture and soft butter into a mixer with a paddle attachment; blend cream and butter together until well incorporated and fluffy. Use immediately or roll into a log and freeze. Once frozen, you can simply slice coins of the compound butter to use when needed.


A few weeks ago, the nation’s best bass anglers came to town and met the challenge of catching bass on Lake Martin. The anglers of the Bassmaster Elite Series are considered the best of the best at finding and catching bass anywhere in the country, and Lake Martin was no exception. Drastic changes in weather and water conditions, especially on a clear water fishery like Lake Martin, made the event a BIG CATCHES real challenge and set great examples for all of us to learn from. BY GREG VINSON I was confident that I had a plan for anything Lake Martin and Mother Nature could dish out. Unfortunately, I had a poor event and was forced to sit on the sideline following the cut. As a competitor, it’s a tough pill to swallow when you fail to meet your own expectations for performance; however, I’m grateful that I had the unique opportunity to observe Lake Martin from both an Elite angler’s perspective and as a fan of fishing on Lake Martin. Anglers had success using a variety of methods and locations, but there were two dominant patterns that revealed themselves the week of the tournament. Takahiro Omori essentially won on one spot – something I never thought possible on Lake Martin and proving that the right presentation with the right conditions at the right time and in the right place can produce incredible results. Other anglers capitalized, as well, on the shallow fish that were activated by the heavy rains during the few days prior to the event. These fish were locked onto shallow cover because of the muddy water in the upper portions of the lake and in the backs of creeks and tributaries. Other prevailing patterns focused on the fish that had been driven especially deep by the few weeks of cold weather we had in January. Most of these fish were caught in the sections of the lake that retained a somewhat steady amount of water clarity. The water temperature in the deeper sections of the lake did not fluctuate as much from the warm rains, so there were groups of deep fish that were unaffected by the rain and warmer weather. In fact, some fish were caught as deep as 50 and 60 feet. These fish were probably unaware of any changes going on at the water surface. This is one of the exciting aspects of tournament fishing on Lake Martin. With roughly 800 miles of shoreline and countless submerged structure, there are always plenty of options. This is especially true during the late winter/early spring transition. There were fascinating aspects of the two primary patterns that prevailed during the February event. The one that jumped out to me the most was how both patterns capitalized on fish in low-to-zero visibility environments. Most of the fish caught in the cleaner portions of the lake were caught deeper than 20 feet. From my past history of water sampling on Lake Martin, I know that there’s usually only 1 percent or less of the light penetrating to these depths, meaning visibility is almost nil. Especially given the fact that the water, although still relatively clear on the lower end, was more stained than normal. Another dominant pattern played out in the dirtier water that was affected by the heavy rains. It’s no secret that dirtier water pulls fish shallow, but this can be an extremely chal62 LAKE

How the Elite was won lenging condition when the water is still below 50 degrees. Fortunately for the shallow water approach, the water was on a slight warming trend, igniting the bite despite the muddy water. These fish were caught in shallow water, but the areas were heavily stained to muddy and there was most likely less than 1/2-foot visibility in these areas. So both patterns, whether it was 2 feet deep or 60 feet deep, targeted fish that essentially could see very little to none at all. There’s much to learn still about what fish can and can’t see in various conditions. Colors are still important, but it’s certain the fish don’t see the same way we do. Some colors retain their visibility in the darkest conditions. Perhaps they absorb enough of that tiny amount of light to be recognized by the fish. Red is supposedly the first color to disappear with depth in the water, so why is it such a good muddy-water color? Probably for the same reason that black is a good color to fish with at night. We try to think like fish, but we most certainly do not see like fish. Other bright colors, like chartreuse or white, work well in low light conditions. That makes a little more sense. Speaking of sense, the fish have a special sense that I think most anglers have heard of but very few of us completely

MARCH 2018

Rainy weather and dull water conditions added challenging elements to the BES contest

Lateral Line Analysis

understand. Fish have a lateral line that they can use to understand where they are in their underwater environment and what’s going on around them. Scientists agree that the line of pores and sensory receptors along the fish’s body indentifies changes in water pressure around them. Anything moving through the water around the fish pushes or displaces water. Using their lateral line, fish can identify objects under water based on the signature they generate when they displace water. The importance of this sixth sense to fish is probably underrated because it’s difficult for us to relate to. In low visibility conditions, the fish have to use their lateral line to identify potential threats and prey under the water. This is why we can catch fish on a bait that otherwise would be invisible. Although color is important, the signature that our bait generates as it moves through the water is the more critical element in low visibility conditions. Since fish can hear, we might think sound would be the most critical when they can’t see as well. If that were the case, a loud, lipless crankbait would be the only option we would need because it’s extra loud; instead, more fish were caught on baits that had little to no rattling nature. There is

some value in the sound bait makes when bumping into the lake bottom. Square bill crankbaits were responsible for many of the fish caught in the dirtier water, and some of the best have little to no rattling properties. They do move a lot of water with their wide, steep-angled bills and chunky bodies, and the fish have very little trouble dialing them in when they want. Good crankbait anglers will tell you that their favorite baits run right and hunt along the bottom during the retrieve. I’m convinced that the best baits displace water in a pattern that resembles a fleeing crawfish or maybe even a baitfish in the muddy water. A fish has a split-second decision to make when a crankbait passes by. It acts on instincts, and if its instincts, driven by the messages relayed from its lateral line, say it’s edible, the fish acts on it. Allowing a potential prey item to pass means the fish just missed a meal, but if that item (in this case the bait), doesn’t send the right signature, it will get passed up. The scenario is similar in the case of the deep-water fish that were caught in the cleaner sections of the lake. The water was cleaner, but since the fish were so deep, they couldn’t have been able to see well. Yet the fish bit small baits in natural colors. These fish were used to feeding on small baitfish in deep water all winter. I imagine they got pretty good at lock-

MARCH 2018


ing in on small herring or shad passing by in the depths. Most likely, they depend on their lateral line to tell them when baitfish are approaching, and they’re ready when it’s time to intercept. These deep fish have most likely adapted to pick up on the subtle amount of water displaced by small minnow. Anything too large or too loud may seem unnatural. Looking back at the success of anglers that targeted the fish in the deep portions of the lake, it became apparent that a more subtle bait – like a small, soft plastic worm or swimbait – was the best option to trick those fish. Since a naturalcolored, small, soft plastic bait makes little to no noise and displaces very little water, it would seem the fish would have a difficult time dialing it in, unless of course they can use a sixth sense effectively. I’m convinced that, much like the shallow water patterns that prevailed, the small baits in deep water generate a signature that’s relayed as ‘food’ back to the fish’s brain by the lateral line. The point to take in from this reverts back to the more simple match-the-hatch philosophy that’s proven true in so many aspects of fishing. Yes, loud obnoxious baits catch fish at certain times when the fish are curious or territorial, but in most cases, we need to make sure that our bait and presentation mimic the prey that the fish are most likely feeding on. This includes sight, sound, taste, smell, feel and the sixth sense: water displacement identified by the lateral line. Greg Vinson is a full-time professional angler on the Bassmaster Elite Series and PPA Tours. He lives in Wetumpka and grew up fishing on Lake Martin.


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MARCH 2018

Bijou Cocktail The Bijou is a classic gin drink, named for the French word for “jewel.” This cocktail first appeared in Harry Johnson’s New and Improved Bartenders Manual in the year 1900.

Ingredients Background Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin is a small-batch gluten-free gin distilled in northern California and consists of juniper, cucumber, lemon, sage and lavender. Cocchi Vermouth di Torino is an Italian vermouth with vibrant notes of cocoa and citrus. Green Chartreuse, a French liqueur made by the Carthusian monks since 1737, is made from alcohol, sugar and 130 plants. Only two Chartreuse monks know the identity of the 130 plants and how to blend and distill this liqueur. Regan’s Orange Bitters No. 6 was developed by Gary Maven. This orange bitter has tasting notes of cinnamon and cloves.


BY MARK GILLILAND Mark Gilliland is the owner of Ocie & Belle's at 41 Main St., Alexander City.

1 ounce Uncle Val’s Botanical Gin 1 ounce Cocchi Vermouth di Torino 1 ounce Green Chartreuse 2 dashes Regan's Orange Bitters No. 6 1 lemon peel Directions Add all ingredients to a mixing glass and fill with ice. Stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist. MARCH 2018


Improve Your Game I

would assume that, like most golfthink that, with a small bit of awareness, ers, you internalize some sort of New we could improve hydration while on Years’ resolution for your golf game the links. Experts say that you should or your physical well-being. I use the drink half of your body weight (pounds) word ‘internalize’ because I feel that in ounces each day. They say that startmost rarely act on their intentions. Life ing in the morning with 25 percent of has a tendency to get in the way. your intake is a great way to provide Research has shown for instance, your body with the proper hydration it that in some restaurants, the sale of deserves after sleep. hamburgers and foods that are deemed During a night’s sleep, the body actuunhealthy drop in the months of January ally becomes dehydrated, so start the and February, while leaner, healthier day off right with a glass of water. If options see increased sales. Typically, you are playing a round of golf, try to PAR for the COURSE include about half of your daily water these trends only last for two months, BY MATT SHEPPARD with the crowd favorite double cheeseintake while on the course; and then, burger regaining the top spot over the mix in some of those frosty cold beers if healthier options. you like. Since most of us have great intentions for betterFood is fuel. Who doesn’t love a great hamburger ing ourselves in the New Year or season, let’s take a or hot dog at the turn? While playing a round of look at some simple improvements that could help golf, you burn calories, even if you are riding in the you improve your golf game this year. cart. To fuel your body better, try eating something If you have access to a practice range at your lean during the middle of the round, such as peanuts course, then obviously, hitting balls makes for a or a granola bar. These quick bites can help you satgreat warm-up. Most golfers run to the range, dump isfy your hunger cravings and actually improve your the balls and start whacking away. Some stretch, but energy level. Save that burger and fries for after the few actually warm up. round. A proper warm-up incorporates dynamic stretchLast but not least, I would like to encourage ing into the pre-game routine. The typical stretches everyone to focus more of their pre-round warm up you see most do on the driving range are simply and/or their practice on their short games. On averstretching the muscles, which is important, but not age, 50 percent of your strokes in any given round the best for preparing your body to swing a golf are going to either be on or around the green. Instead club. Dynamic stretches include movement and of pounding 10 drivers prior to heading to the first stretching that are proven to add explosiveness and tee, try to focus more on chipping, pitching and putboost overall sports performance. I encourage you to ting. Just a little bit of effort will go a long way. visit to learn more about a warm-up Here’s to better golf in 2018! plan that can help you play better golf. Ice cold beer and golf go hand in hand with a Matt Sheppard is a PGA professional at Willow large majority of weekend warriors on the golf Point Golf & Country Club. Call 256-329-0835 or course, and while I promise you I am not frowning email to contact him. upon the consumption of beer on the course, I do 66 LAKE

MARCH 2018

MARCH 2018







To Sylacauga


Alexander City

Public Boat Ramps 15

9 Churches



Flint Hill Church

Camps & Parks


Power lines U.S. Highways




County Roads Piney Woods Landing

Wind Creek State Park

Pleasant Grove Church



Alex City Boat Ramp

Mt. Zion Church

259 9


Russell Farms Baptist Church 63

12 20

D.A.R.E. Park Landing

Friendship Church New Hope Church

Liberty Church

Willow Point





Kowaliga Boat Landing






18 The Ridge


The Amp Ko w












Red Hill 63




16 11


Union Landing

Children’s Harbor



Camp Alamisco


1 10

Church in The Pines Camp Kiwanis

Paces Point Boat Ramp


MARCH 2018

Timbergut Landing

Horseshoe Bend National Park

Jaybird Landing

Lake Martin Alabama Marinas


11. Kowaliga Marina 334-857-2111 255 Kowaliga Marina Rd., Alex City, AL 35010 22. The Ridge Marina 256-397-1300 450 Ridge Marina Rd., Alex City, AL 35010 33. River North Marina 256-397-1500 250 River North Rd., Alex City, AL 35010


Jacksons Gap

42. Real Island Marina 334-857-2741 2700 Real Island Rd., Equality, AL 36026


53. Blue Creek Marina 256-825-8888 7280 Hwy 49 S., Dadeville, AL 36853

Bethel Church





4. Russell Do It Center (Alex City) 15 256-234-2567 1750 Alabama 22, Alex City, AL 35010 4. Russell Do It Center (Eclectic) 16 334-541-2132 1969 Kowaliga Rd., Eclectic, AL 36024 4. Russell Building Supply 17 256-825-4256 350 Fulton Street, Dadeville, AL 36853 18 4. The Stables at Russell Crossroads 256-794-1333 288 Stables Loop, Alex City, AL 35010 19 4. Dark Insurance 256-234-5026 410 Hillabee Street, Alex City, AL 35010

62. Parker Creek Marina 256-329-8550 486 Parker Creek Marina Rd., Equality, AL 36026

. McDaniels Storage Center 20 256-234-4583 1040 Highway 280, Alex City, AL 35010

72. Alex City Marine Sales and Service 256-215-3474 2190 Cherokee Rd., Alex City, AL 35010

21 . Kowaliga Whole Health Pet Care & Resort 334-857-1816 8610 Kowaliga Road, Eclectic, AL 36024

Restaurants Camp Hill

Smith Landing Pleasant Ridge Church

9 Catherine’s Market 6. 256-215-7070 17 Russell Farms Rd., Alex City, AL 35010

Advertise your business on our Lake Martin Region Map for as little as $25. Contact us at 256-234-4281 or for more information.

10 Kowaliga Restaurant 256-215-7035 295 Kowaliga Marina Rd., Alex City, AL 35010

Lake Martin Baptist Church 49 Church of the Living Waters

8 6. SpringHouse 256-215-7080 12 Benson Mill Rd., Alex City, AL 35010

11 Bezlo's Bar & Grill 334-639-0003 65 Main Street., Eclectic, AL 36024



Business & Shopping 12 Lake Martin Storm Shelters 256-794-8075 970 Hwy. 63 South, Alex City, AL 35010

Walnut Hill 50 50

13 Karen Channell State Farm Financial Services 256-234-3481 5030 Hwy. 280, Alex City, AL 35010 14 5. Lake Martin Mini Mall 334.857.3900 7995 Kowaliga Rd, Eclectic, AL 36024



MARCH 2018


Lake Magazine Distribution


Inspect Your Docks and Boats Now

Across Alabama families like to spend time at the lake or on the river without realizing they could be in danger. The deaths of two women in Lake Tuscaloosa last year are being called a case of electric shock drowning (ESD). It happened almost exactly one year after a 15-yearold girl died the same way on Smith Lake.

WHY ELECTRIC SHOCK DROWNING IS A HIDDEN DANGER: • No one really knows how many people die from ESD • Many deaths are simply called a drowning • Even low-level current can paralyze a swimmer who then drowns • The autopsy shows no sign of electrocution

$50 OFF

For everything in your home that carries current, water or air, you ANY ELECTRIC, PLUMBING know who to call. *


Call Dixie and it’s done

Alex City Marine American Inn Anytime Fitness Baymont Inn BB&T Big B Bar-B-Q Campus of CACC Carlos Mexican Grill Catherine’s Market Chamber Of Commerce Cherokee Quick stop Citgo Cloud Nine Collegiate Deli Comfort Inn Dark Insurance Darwin Dobbs Days Inn Discount Food Mart Emporium Wine Grace’s Flowers Hampton Inn Holley’s Home Furnishings Hometown Pharmacy Jackson Drugs Jake’s JR’s Sports Bar & Grill Koon’s Korner Koon’s Korner II Lake Martin Building Supply Lakewinds Golf Club Larry’s General Store Longleaf Antiques Mark King's Lake Martin Furniture Mistletoe Bough Bed & Breakfast Queen’s Attic Regions Bank Ridge - Clubhouse Ridge - Marina River North Marina Riverbend Store Russell Home Décor Russell Medical Center Russell Lands Russell Retail Store Satterfield, Inc Senior Nutrition~50+ Center Sho’ Nuff Restaurant Springhouse Restaurant T.C. Russell Airport Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc The Medicine Shoppe The Sure Shot USAmeribank Warren's Appliance Parts Willow Point Country Club Wind Creek - entrance Wind Creek - store Winn Dixie 280 BP 280 Exxon

MONTGOMERY 262.2946 AUBURN 821.0740 Promo 10566. Not valid with any other offers or on previous purchases. Some restrictions apply. See company representative for all details. *Offer has no cash value. Valid on products or services of $200 or more. Cannot be applied to service agreements. Expires 9/30/18. AL #15033.

Homeplate Restaurant Harbor Pointe Marina Lakay’s Flowers & Gifts Lake Martin Flowers & Gifts Lake Martin Community Hospital Lakeshore Discount Pharmacy Lakeside Marina Niffer's At The Lake Oskar's Cafe Payne Furniture Pearson’s Place Poplar Dawgs Public Library Pug's Place PNC Bank Renfroes Russell Building Supply Shell Station Sigger’s Stillwaters Country Club Store 34 USAmeribank

ECLECTIC Bezlo's Bar & Grill Children’s Harbor Cotton’s BBQ Eclectic Do-It Center Johnson’s Furniture Kowaliga Marina Lake Martin Dock Lake Martin Mini Mall Nail’s Convenience Store Peoples Bank

EQUALITY Equality Food Mart Real Island Marina Southern Star INVERNESS Winn-Dixie Airwalk Ultimate Trampoline Arena Tree Top Family Adventure

KELLYTON Five Star Plantation MOUNTAIN BROOK Whole Foods Market

RED HILL Citgo SYLACAUGA Good Ole Boys BBQ Piggly Wiggly


CHELSEA Winn-Dixie The Ditsy Daisy Boutique

Community Hospital Chamber of Commerce Tallassee Automotive The Tallassee Tribune







Bay Pine Marina Blue Creek Marina City Hall Chamber of Commerce Chuck's Marina Dadeville Wellness Center Foshee's Boat Doc

MARCH 2018

Lakeside Mercantile Walnut Hill Grocery

WETUMPKA The Wetumpka Herald A limited number of magazines are placed at these locations. To start your subscription, call Linda Ewing at 256234-4281.

Lake Martin Business and Service Directory Handrails • Guardrails Welded Fence • Custom Art Stairs • Gates Stainless Steel Cable Railing I-Beams • Steel Posts • Stairs On-Site Welding/Cutting Powder Coat • Sand Blasting


Our goal is to keep our clients as active as possible in their own homes to promote overall health and well being. With our personally tailored care plans, you will receive the individual care you need with the dignity and respect you deserve.

Homemaking... Personal Care... Companionship

Lake Martin innovation Center 175 aLiant Parkway • aLexander City, aL

334-332-3435 334-391-0759

(256) 414-6090


Residential | Commercial | Interior | Exterior

Professional! Trey Callegan


256-307-4061 Mike&Kris DobbsOwners1550OpelikaRoadSuite6Box294�| Auburn,AL36830 EachCertaProPainters ® businessis independently ownedandoperated. Each CertaPro Painters® business is independently owned and operated.


Area Manager Call TODAY for quick Pre-approval!

Complete Marine Upholstery! Floors ■ Carpets Bimini Tops ■ Custom Seats ■ Mooring Covers ■

A Division of Goldwater Bank, N.A.

248 Inverness Ctr Dr, Birmingham AL

Patrick Mason 334-283-6759


676 Dean Circle • Tallassee, AL

Call TODAY for quick Pre-approval NMLS #47862 Corporate NMLS #452955







Performance! OMPANY


Hardwood Floors Ceramic Tile Carpet & Vinyl Visit our showroom for samples and a free estimate!

1945 Hwy 280 • Alexander City


Harold Cochran 256.234.2700


Paige Patterson

Locally Owned for Over 45 Years



Relax. Enjoy. Lake Martin. Call to order your subscription 256-234-4281


MARCH 2018


Our Advertisers n To Join, Call 256.234.4281 A&M Plumbing....................................................... 18

First Baptist Church Alexander City.................. 8

Paige Patterson, Lake Martin Voice Realty...... 71

Alex City Guide Service..................................... 55

George Hardy D.M.D............................................. 8

Powersports of Montgomery............................ 56

Alex City Marine................................................... 18

Harris Carraige...................................................... 71

Prime Management................................................. 6

Amanda Scroggins, RE/MAX Around the Lake.........13

Heritage South Credit Union............................ 14

Renaissance Electronics......................................... 8

Beyond Home Care........................................................70

Hilltop Landscaping.............................................. 56

Russell Lands.......................................................... 37

Blue Creek Iron Works....................................... 71

Hinson Galleries.................................................... 46

Russell Medical........................................................ 2

Brown Nursing & Rehabilitation......................... 8

Holley’s Home Furnishings................................. 76

Satterfield................................................................ 17

C&T Eclectric........................................................ 55

Holman Floor......................................................... 71

Security Pest Control............................................ 8

Cahaba Glass............................................................ 6

HomeTown Lenders............................................. 18

Southern Star Alpaca Farm................................... 6

Candice Moore, RE/MAX Around the Lake.......64

J&M Tank Lines....................................................... 30

State Farm Insurance/ Harold Cochran.......... 71

CertaPro Painters................................................. 71

Jackson Thornton.................................................. 60

State Farm Insurance/ Karen Channell..........71

Coach Kraft Upholstery...................................... 71

Kowaliga Whole Health....................................... 71

Sunrise Dock.......................................................... 13

Crew Lending........................................................ 71

Lake Martin Dock................................................. 21

Tallassee Community Hospital........................... 64

Custom Docks....................................................... 30

Lake Martin Mini Mall.......................................... 46

Temple Medical Center......................................... 8

Damon Story, Cedar Point................................. 31

Lake Martin Painting............................................... 5

Walmart.................................................................. 71

DAVCO Development......................................... 71

Lake Martin Tractor and Outdoors.................. 55

Wedowee Marine................................................. 73

Deep Water Dock Services................................ 60

Mark King's Furniture.......................................... 67

Williams Plumbing Heating & Air........................ 8

Designs by Trish....................................................... 5

McGhee Furniture Warehouse.......................... 72

Wind Creek Casino............................................... 3

District Nineteen.................................................. 64

Moore Wealth Management............................... 75

Wind Creek Zip Line.......................................... 19

Dixie Electric......................................................... 70

Noel Boone............................................................ 69

WSC Distinctive Builders, LLC......................... 45

Docks Unlimited..................................................... 5

Oskars..................................................................... 55


894 Hillabee Street Alexander City, AL


MARCH 2018

MARCH 2018


Photo by Kenneth Boone

Parting Shot

"Every viewer is going to get a different thing. That's the thing about painting, photography, cinema." ~ David Lynch


MARCH 2018


Don’t Become a Victim of Identity Theft!

By Susan Clayton Moore, J.D., principal of Moore Wealth Management, Inc. Susan Moore of Moore Wealth Management, Inc. (MWM) in Alexander City, AL conducts a free workshop every year in March on techniques to prevent identity theft. The workshop is updated every year to include new types of identity theft that are occurring and new measures to counteract them. The March 2018 workshop will be on Tuesday, March 27 at 12 p.m. at the local office at 51 Clay Street. Please call 256.234.2761 for more information and reservations. Attendees to the workshop receive an action plan containing things to do to minimize the chances that they become victims of identity theft. Topics include methods to protect your credit rating, credit and debit cards, as well as banking and brokerage accounts. We review how criminals use scanners to collect information on cards used at ATMs, gas pumps and convenience stores. We cover how to protect your electronic exposure on the internet, your computer and cell phone, including passwords and logins, encryption, secure emails, computer

Every year the crooks keep getting smarter and more people become victims of identity theft. Millions of people lose billions of dollars to identity theft each year. The Equifax hack that afftected 143 million people dominated the headlines in 2017. Identity theft takes different forms including tax returns, government benefits like Social Security, medical insurance, credit cards, bank accounts, and other types of financial accounts. hacking and viruses, spyware and malware. One of the areas of identity theft that is growing the fastest is in the area of medical insurance fraud, fraudulent tax returns and Social Security benefits. We discuss how to monitor and protect these areas. Retirees are especially vulnerable in these areas, since their Social Security number is on their Medicare card. Finally, we go over common sense techniques to thwart some of the most common ways thieves get access to your identity. For example, you should never mail payments on your bills from your mail box at home. You should shred your boarding passes from airline flights because they contain sensitive information hidden in the bar codes on the passes. We conduct a variety of workshops and seminars at MWM. The mission statement of MWM is very simple: “and then some.” We attempt to do what is expected, what is required “and then some”. The Identity Theft workshop is part of our monthly “and MARCH 2018

then some” workshops. In addition, MWM conducts monthly current events market updates that attempt to explain what is going on in the financial world. If you would like to be on the mailing list or receive email notifications of upcoming seminars, please call 256.234.2761. Susan Clayton Moore, J.D. is a financial advisor and principal of Moore Wealth Management, Inc., with offices in Alexander City, Auburn and Montgomery, AL. Managing over $160 million in assets, she has been a financial planner for nearly 35 years. She is affiliated with LPL Financial, member FINRA/SIPC, the nation’s largest independent broker-dealer* and ranks in the top two percent of their financial advisors based on total production. Contact Susan at 256.234.2761. Email contact is susan@ *Based on total revenues, as reported in Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2017. Securities and Advisory services offered through LPL Financial, a registered investment advisor. Member FINRA/SIPC



Check out the new Laney slipcover by Available as a 3 cushion sofa or a bench seat sofa or as a sectional!

Sofa comes as a 92” or 84” slipcover. Matching chair and ottoman available as well as a slipcover swivel glider! Available in hundreds of different fabrics!

256.234.4141 Alexander City


334.279.3101 Montgomery

MARCH 2018

Lake Magazine March 2018  
Lake Magazine March 2018  

Check out the March issue of Lake magazine featuring Fish Tales from the Bassmaster Elite, Lake views from a Willow Point renovation, What i...