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SSPORTS, PAGE B1 Dadeville softball posts second straight shutout

‘Look What You Did’ inside

LAKE magazine inside today

THE RECO CORD RD Serving the Dadeville & Lake Martin area since 1897


VOL. 121, NO. 10


Charges send local man back to prison Jacksons Gap man behind bars once again after picking up new drug charges, violating probation By MITCH SNEED Editor

A Jacksons Gap man with a lengthy arrest record was ordered back to prison after picking up new charges that violated the terms of his


probation. Circuit Court Judge Tom Young heard arguments in a motion to revoke the probation of 23-year-old William Chase Reeder last week. Reeder, who was out on probation after entering a plea deal for possession of a controlled

substance, was involved in a high-speed chase with Alexander City Police Department officers on Dec. 16, 2017. Reeder was taken into custody and a subsequent search led to charges of attempting to See PRISON • Page A5

Rabid raccoon found in Dadeville

Dadeville student talks school safety to school board By DONALD CAMPBELL Staff Writer

Officials ask pet owners to seek care for animals By MITCH SNEED Editor

A raccoon found in Dadeville in the West Lafayette/ Old Union Baptist Church area has tested positive for rabies and officials are trying to spread the word so that owners can protect their pets. Dr. John Caldwell with the Animal Care Center confirmed the findings last Thursday. “We’ve been able to locate the owners of some dogs and a cat and some of those were up to date on shots so we gave them a booster,â€? Dr. Caldwell said. “That was the animals we were able to find, but there are some other dogs in that same area that run loose at times. “That’s why we are trying to get See RABIES • Page A5

Submitted / The Record

Rodney O’Neal, native of Reeltown currently living in Tallassee, is the head coach of the Prime Time Athletics 49ers competitive cheerleading squad. PTA is located in Tallapoosa County and the squad consists 21 girls from Tallapoosa, Elmore and Macon counties ages 10 to 18.

NATIONAL impact Reeltown native leads cheer team in Tallapoosa County By JOHN DEAMER For The Record

odney O’Neal has wanted to cheer on a competitive level since age 6, but there was no opportunity for him to do so in his community. Now the Reeltown native and current Tallassee teacher has made sure this void doesn’t


exist for the next generation. Local girls now have the opportunity to pursue cheering on a competitive team thanks to the establishment of the 49ers of Prime Time Athletics (PTA) in Tallapoosa County. The program for the team was developed by See CHEER • Page A3

Dadeville tennis coach presents big plans to Dadeville Kiwanians By DONALD CAMPBELL Staff Writer

Dadeville High School band director and new tennis coach Ryan Gresko presented his plans for the school’s tennis team to the Dadeville Kiwanis Club last Thursday, and said he hopes to channel the same energy and enthusiasm he used to grow the Dadeville marching band and fine arts programs into making the tennis team a program the community



54 30 High


could be proud of. “I not only have a passion for band and drama, but I also have it for tennis,â€? Gresko said. “I still play regularly.â€? For the past several years, the Dadeville tennis team has had a new coach just about every year, which is part of the climate Gresko wants to change. Not only that, but he also wants to find ways to get more younger students interested in the sport, See KIWANIS • Page A3

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Student presentations were a key part of Monday night’s meeting of the Tallapoosa County Board of Education. The board heard a presentation on school safety ideas from a student at Dadeville High School and White recognized others for their achievements at a recent competition of science students. Dadeville High School jjunior Beth White, who aalso takes law enforcement cclasses at the Edward Bell Career Tech Center, gave a C ppresentation detailing some oof her research into school sshootings and ways to make schools in the Tallapoosa sc County system safer for C everyone. ev “There have been seven purposeful shootings at schools this year, and 172 since 2013,â€? White said. “Most are current or former students. Many of those who engaged in these actions were bullied. 78 percent of them either attempted suicide or had thoughts about it.â€? In order to make schools safer, she presented devices she found online, including the JustinKase, invented by a high school student in Wisconsin. The JustinKase is made of See SCHOOL • Page A3

State closes Edward Bell investigation By DONALD CAMPBELL Staff Writer

Donald Campbell / The Record

Dadeville High School Band Director and tennis coach Ryan Gresko talks with the Dadeville Kiwanis Club last Thursday, expressing how he wants to make the school’s tennis team something the community can be proud of.

The Tallapoosa County Board of Education announced at Monday night’s meeting that an investigation launched by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) into alleged discrimination against African-American students by shuttering Edward Bell High School in Camp Hill has been closed, with no further action needing to be See LAWSUIT • Page A5

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Dadeville Record

Library Notes The Friends of the Library will be meeting today in the lower level of the library. Please join them to hear about upcoming events and programs. You will start seeing changes in the Juvenile and Easy Reader sections starting this week. The Library received a LSTA (Library Services & Technology Act) Grant of $10,000 plus $2,500 match to purchase new books for young and early readers in the community. The staff has spent $10,000 to purchase over 1,100 books so far. Stop in to check out what’s new! Make sure you follow the Dadeville Public Library and Friends of the Dadeville Public Library on Facebook. This is a great way to keep up with upcoming programs and events.

New releases in adult fiction:

• The Third Victim by Phillip Margolin • The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard • As You Wish by Jude Deveraux

Have you made it to Story Time at the Library? Story Time is every Tuesday at 10 a.m. in the children’s section of the library. Bring your kids to help foster a love of reading and appreciation for the public library. Join Ms. Marilyn for a fun filled hour of reading, coloring, and learning. Library Notes are provided by Dadeville Public Library Director Abbi Mangarelli.

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Police Reports Dadeville Police Department March 6

• An Alexander City woman, age 44, was arrested on a warrant for assault third.

March 5

• A Jackson’s Gap man, age 45, was arrested on three warrants for failure to appear. • A report was filed for assault third that occurred on Highway 280. • A Dadeville man, age 42, was arrested for theft of property Second on Columbus Street. • A Dadeville woman, age 25, was arrested for theft of property Second on Columbus Street. • A report was filed for theft by deception fourth that occurred on East South Street. • A Dadeville man, age 22, was arrested for domestic violence third and making a terrorist threat.

for domestic violence harassment. • Travis Jones of New Hope Trail in Jacksons Gap was arrested on an outstanding warrant for failure to appear child support and an outstanding failure to appear bench report. • Daunte Potts of Potts Drive in Tallassee was arrested on an outstanding warrant for probation violation. • Roderick Toles of Pine Avenue South West in Birmingham was arrested on an outstanding warrant for probation violation.

possession of drug paraphernalia and unlawful possession of a firearm. • Jamicheal Alvin Leonard, 19, of Alexander City was arrested for possession of marijuana. • Possession of drug paraphernalia was reported on I Street. • Theft was reported on Oak Street. • Domestic violence was reported on North Central Avenue. • Menacing was reported on Washington Street. • Burglary and theft was reported on North Central Avenue. • Possession of marijuana was reported on Central Boulevard. • Possession of a controlled substance and possession of marijuana was reported on Highway 280.

• Unlawful breaking and entering and theft was reported in Alexander City. • Unlawful breaking and entering and theft was reported on Highway 280. • Theft was reported on Highway 280. • Domestic violence was reported in Alexander City. • Terrorist threat was reported on Court Square.

February 28

• Austin Scott Thornton, 24, of Alexander City was arrested for public intoxication. February 28 • William Christopher Hill, 39, of • A resident of Highway 63 Valley was arrested for failure to North in Goodwater filed a report appear. for domestic violence harassment. • Jimia Deshea Simmons, 21, of • Travis Jones of New Hope Goodwater was arrested for disorTrail in Jacksons Gap was arrestderly conduct. ed on outstanding warrant for • Domestic violence was reportfailure to appear child support and March 3 ed on Lakeview Circle. an outstanding failure to appear • LeCorthney Drelle Jackson, • Public intoxication was reportbench warrant. 33, of Jacksons Gap was arrested March 4 ed in Alexander City. • Dauntae Potts of Potts Drive for theft and domestic violence. • A Waverly man, age 49, was • Theft was reported on in Tallassee was arrested on an • Tony Ostelle Calhoun, 33, of arrested for receiving stolen propRobinson Road. outstanding warrant for probation Alexander City was arrested for erty fourth and five warrants for • Burglary was reported on violation. unlawful possession of a controlled failure to appear. • Roderick Toles of Pine Avenue substance and possession of drug Central Avenue. • A Dadeville man, age 41, was South West in Birmingham was • Theft was reported on paraphernalia. arrested on a warrant for failure to arrested on an outstanding warrant • Markevious Jamon Scroggins, Elkahatchee Road. appear. • Assault was reported in for probation violation. 21, of Tallassee was arrested for March 3 Alexander City. possession of a concealed weapFebruary 27 • A Dadeville woman, age 22, • Harassment was reported on on without a permit. • A resident of Locklear Drive was arrested for possession of • Stephen Antonio Huntly, 34, of 2nd Place. in Jacksons Gap filed a report for marijuana second on Highway • Firearms license required was Sylacauga was arrested for giving theft of property. 280. reported on Highway 280. false information to law enforce• A resident on Hillwood Path ment. March 2 in Dadeville filed a report for burFebruary 27 • Burglary and theft was report• A report was filed for burglary glary of a residence and theft of • Arthur Legrant Cox, 31, of ed on Gamble Place. third and theft of property fourth property. Goodwater was arrested for disor• Domestic violence was report- derly conduct. that occurred on Herren Street. • Robert Hall of Plantation Road ed on Montgomery Street. in Jacksons Gap was arrested • Joshua Ramirez Johnson, 24, • Assault was reported on Smith o f Kellyton was arrested for bail Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s on a probation violation warrant Street. for theft of property third and was jumping. Department • Harassment was reported on transported to the county jail. • Kadjah Rashay Davis, 23, of March 5 Mason Street. • Arthur Greenlee of Veterans Alexander City was arrested for • Brian Trammell of Houston • Possession of a controlled Memorial Parkway in Lanett was bail jumping. Street in Alexander City was substance and possession of drug arrested on a warrant for failure • Deanna Shontae Davis, 26, arrested on an outstanding warrant to appear child support and was paraphernalia was reported on of Alexander City was arrested for for grand jury indictment receivWashington Street. transported to the county jail. bail jumping. ing stolen property, possession • Harassment was reported on • A resident of Sunset Lane in • Susan Dean Tilley, 54, of of meth, possession of marijuana Tallapoosa Street. Dadeville filed a report for theft of Alexander City was arrested for second and drug paraphernalia. • Giving false identification to a vehicle. disorderly conduct. a law enforcement officer was March 4 • Patrick Brinson of Lenlock • Joseph Lewis Young, 52, of reported in Alexander City. • Bernard Russell of U.S. Drive in Anniston was arrested on Alexander City was arrested for Highway 280 in Alexander City two warrants for probation violaassault and reckless endangerMarch 2 was arrested on grand jury indicttion, probation revocation robbery ment. • Joshua Andrew Tapley, 30, of ments of possession of synthetic first and was transported to the • Domestic violence was reportAlexander City was arrested for marijuana and possession of drug county jail. ed on Highway 280. possession of a controlled subparaphernalia and transported to • Assault was reported on South stance. the county jail. Road. • Possession of a controlled Alexander City Police • A resident of Girls Ranch • Assault was reported on 11th substance was reported on 10th Department Road in Camp Hill filed a report for Avenue. Avenue. March 5 criminal mischief. • Criminal trespass was report• Theft was reported on Carver • Arthena Lakeithia Thomas, 25, Street. ed on Highway 280. March 3 of Alexander City was arrested for • Disorderly conduct was report• Domestic violence was report• Pretis Sanders of 3rd Street four counts of failure to appear. ed on 14th Avenue. ed on Town Creek Road. in Montgomery was arrested on a • Natalie Dawn Wyckoff, 39, of • Harassment was reported in • Criminal trespass was reportgrand jury indictment for theft of Alexander City was arrested for Alexander City. ed on South Road Court. property first and was transported financial abuse of the elderly. • Harassment was reported on • Domestic violence was reportto the county jail. • Damien Quintez Calhoun, 23, South Road. ed in Alexander City. • A resident of Churchill Road in • Burglary and theft was reportCamp Hill filed a report for theft of of Alexander City was arrested for February 26 possession of marijuana and drug ed in Alexander City property. • Jacorious Zaquan Burton, 19, paraphernalia. • A resident of Alabama of Alexander City was arrested for March 1 • Emma Paige Beck, 25, of Highway 120 filed a report for possession of marijuana. • Wendy Erlene Gortney, 48, of Titus was arrested for theft. domestic violence. • Doretha Varner Benton, 50, Alexander City was arrested for • Scotty Perez Marbury, 45, of of Alexander City was arrested for possession of a substance and March 2 Alexander City was arrested for aggravated cruelty to animals. driving under the influence of a • Courtney Drake of Senator possession of drug paraphernalia • Theft was reported on controlled substance. Claude Pepper Drive in Camp Hill and theft. Highway 280. • Justavian Tyrick Norris, 21, of was arrested on failure to appear • Possession of marijuana was • Possession of marijuana was Alexander City was arrested for order and attempt to elude and reported on Daywell Street. reported on Jones Road. bail jumping. was transported to the county jail. • Theft was reported on Cedar • Theft was reported on Court • Katrina Yvonne Russell, 26, of • James Phillips of 16th Street Creek Lane. Square. Goodwater was arrested for bail of Phenix City was arrested on • Leaving the scene of an acci• Harassing communications jumping. three outstanding warrants for dent was reported on Highway was reported on Elkahatchee • LaJarvis Dashun McKinney, probation violation, probation 280. 26, of Alexander City was arrested Road. revocation and failure to pay child • Theft was reported on • Domestic violence was reportfor failure of adult sex offender to support. Washington Street. ed on Elkahatchee Road. register with law enforcement. • Curteze Avery of County Road March 4 • Criminal mischief was reported • Arthur Deon Daniel, 40, of 62 in Lafayette was arrested on an • Paul Leono Brooks, 51, of on Cornerstone Drive. Alexander City was arrested for outstanding warrant for failure to Alexander City was arrested for • Failure to pay for gasoline was terrorist threat. appear child support. reported on Highway 280. • Scotty Joe Woodard, 41, of • Richard Gaither of Highway 63 failure to appear. • Shadowskia Oshea Edwards, • Harassment was reported on Kellyton was arrested for two North of Goodwater was arrested 40, of Alexander City was arrested counts of failure to appear. Semmes Street. on an outstanding warrant for for domestic violence and public • Fraudulent use of credit or • Harassment was reported on domestic violence third harassintoxication. debit card was reported on Watson Airport Drive. ment. • John Patrick Johnson, 31, of Place. • Possession of a controlled March 1 Alexander City was arrested for • Theft was reported on 10th substance was reported on • A resident of Highway 63 possession of a controlled subStreet West. Highway 280. North in Goodwater filed a report stance, possession of marijuana,

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My prett y Mam a got adop ted todayy.. ne.. Now, I¼m all alone ly too! mily fami a nd Å I g Hopin Love, Kosmo Visit the website for more information and to see all the pooches up for adoption. Please save the weight circles on the bags of dry dog and cat food and mail to Rescue K911. Moist and Meaty dog food also has weight circles. Drop them off or mail them to Rescue K911 P.O. Box 862 Auburn, AL 36831. They all help & add up fast. Thank you on behalf of the dogs and cats that will benefit from them. This ad is sponsored by Wayside Animal Hospital, Dr. Susan Martin, 256-329-9900. Spay/neuter assistance is available from RESCUE K9-1-1, Wayside Animal Hospital 256-329-9900 or Lake Martin Humane Society 256-234-5533.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Page A3

The Dadeville Record

Cheer O’Neal, director of PTA, a tumbling studio in Tallapoosa County that provides an opportunity for local children to be competitive with tumbling and cheering. O’Neal opened the studio in early 2016 and has been tumbling since he was in first grade. “The 49ers currently consist of 21 girls from Elmore, Macon and Tallapoosa counties ages 10 to 18,� O’Neal said. “We also have a mascot who is 5 years old.� O’Neal formed the team last October and has had them practicing on Sunday and Thursday nights for four hours a week. The competition season begins in November and stretches through to April. As the competition season draws nearer the team will double its practice scheduling to hone its skills as a cohesive unit. “We have been performing all over the community at special events as part of our preparation for competitive events against other teams,� O’Neal said. “It is extremely important for our team to perform at these type of community events because they need to know what it feels like to perform in front of people. It takes away the nervousness of performing in a competitive event before large crowds. We welcome these type of performances locally and look forward to doing many more before November.� O’Neal has enjoyed the response the

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team has received after performing a community event. “The performances are extremely uplifting,� O’Neal said. “People are amazed how these young girls perform. Some of our performers are already on a scale seen on the college level. The pride this team brings to the community through their performance is a positive result for everyone involved.� In November, the 49ers will begin their first competitive venture as a member of the Southern Region of the United States All-Star Federation of Cheering (USASF). The 49ers are in the Level 3 bracket of the competition. They join a region that includes teams from Birmingham, Montgomery, Dothan, Orange Beach and Atlanta. If the 49ers place in the top three of this region they will be awarded the opportunity to compete in future competitions. The national round will be held the second weekend in April in Orlando, Florida, to determine the best cheerleading team in the nation. “There are hundreds of cheering teams on our level,� O’Neal said. “I project our team will do extremely well. We’ve had some great exposure in front of different type crowds throughout the community and we’re coming together nicely as a team.� O’Neal was a member of the cheering team at Troy University for three years and understands the

importance of the 49ers program in the development of the athlete as a student. “I am working with a young lady in our program who is competing for a spot on a college team,� O’Neal said. “I am a school teacher so I know the importance of education in pursuing this path to cheer on a college level. I had the opportunity to see the country as a member of the Troy University cheering squad. To cheer on the college level you need the athletic skills and a strong academic record.� Girls coming from different school districts to compete on the 49er team has also created a bond between them that is a positive result in community building. “We’ve broken down the competitive walls that exist between the schools and communities,� O’Neal said. “Collectively we are bringing positive change to the larger community as a whole. We’re all in this together.� When O’Neal graduated from Troy with a degree in elementary education he had several offers to teach and coach away from his hometown. He instead was determined to give back to his community and make it stronger by sharing what he learned and experienced with talented youth who look up to him as a mentor. He also is a seventh-grade enrichment teacher at Southside Middle School in Tallassee. “I’ve been entrusted to develop the

talented girls of this region,� O’Neal said. “Getting the chance to give back to the community by working with them and sharing my expertise has been the most rewarding experience of my life. I’m excited about what we’ve started here and am looking to take this to the next level as soon as we can.� For information on having the 49ers perform at your school, business or charity event, contact O’Neal at 334415-9429. Prime Time Athletics can also be found on Facebook and Instagram.

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256.234.4281 • Alexander City Outlook • Dadeville Record • Wetumpka Herald • Eclectic Observer • Tallassee Tribune

School steel plates and connecting rods, which slides under a classroom door and makes it virtually impossible for someone outside the room to open the door. She also found information about a teacher panic button, which instantly alerts school administration and authorities. Along with these devices, White also recommended updated surveillance cameras that do not encounter lag issues, the Anonymous Alerts app, which allows students to report bullying or suspicious activity with no blow back, as well as making students’ voices heard without feeling scared to talk to administration and building stronger teacher/student relationships. “This was very informative,� board member Martin Johnson said. “Great job.� “You had a well-poised presentation,� board member Betty Carol Graham added. Superintendent Joe Windle said the central office had been looking at potentially purchasing some of these devices, while also commending White on her research and presentation. “We will discuss more on these ideas during our next work session,� Windle said. Several students from Horseshoe Bend were recognized for their participation and achievements during the recent Science Olympics Regional

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Tournament in Tuscaloosa at the University of Alabama. During the competition, groups from Horseshoe Bend competed in 15 events, placing in the top three in four of them, beating out schools like Prattville, Hewitt-Trussville, Clay-Chalkville and LAMP in the process. Alexia Kuenzel and Amber Gomez placed first in Herpetology, Nathan Wilson and Mackenzie Boone took second in Game On (participants had to program a game within a onehour time period), Bailey Skinner, Corbin Shivers and Caleb Story claimed third in Towers (using only balsa wood, the trio constructed a tower that was able to hold 23 pounds), and Savannah Brazzell and Maggie Wood finished third in Fermi Questions (for this exercise, participants had to calculate how many pizzas could fit in the state of Alabama). “Our kids are more than just a test score,� Windle said. Following this recognition, the board was asked for a motion to make the special recognition part of the official minutes of the board meeting. “I proudly make this motion,� Graham said. The board also entered executive session twice during the meeting. During the shorter session, the board discussed pending litigation, while holding an expulsion hearing for a

Dadeville High School student during the longer executive session. After returning from executive session, the board approved a recommendation from Windle that the student be expelled for a period of six months, and following that time, must apply to the board for admission into the Tallapoosa County Virtual Academy. The following items were also brought up during the meeting: • Minutes from the Feb. 12 meeting were approved. • A motion to pay the system’s February bills was passed. • The monthly financial report for February was approved. • The board approved a request from county officials to allow the use of the auditorium at the Edward Bell Career Tech Center as a polling place for local, state and national elections beginning with the June 5 primary. • The board approved several field trip requests, including four varsity softball tournaments for the Reeltown High School softball team, a number of meets for the Dadeville High School track team, a cheer camp at Camp ASCCA for the Dadeville High School cheerleaders, the Dadeville High School Key Club to attend the district Key Club Convention in Montgomery and history students in seventh, eighth and ninth grades at Dadeville High School to take

a special trip to Washington, D.C. in early May. • Windle and the board reviewed the most recent foundation money payment from the state government, the annual total of which makes up approximately 64 percent of the system’s budget • The board heard a report regarding the HIPPY (Home Instruction for Parents of Preschool Youngsters) education program. Due to the annual fees of $5,500, payment of salaries and instructional material and the fact that the system must regularly show growth in the program, the idea for starting a HIPPY program in the Tallapoosa County system was deferred for the time being. • After several complaints were filed against the system for alleged racial discrimination that surfaced in 2011 when the board voted to close Edward Bell High School, the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights began monitoring the system. Following the central office submitting several sets of documents to OCR and a subsequent investigation, the system was cleared earlier this year, and no further monitoring will be required. The next meeting of the Tallapoosa County Board of Education will be Monday, April 9 at 5 p.m. in the board room of the Tallapoosa County Board of Education building.

Kiwanis hopefully “recruiting� new players to join the team once they get to the high school level. “We have 15 boys on the team this year, and eight girls,� Gresko said. “I’m wanting to try and have a tennis camp this summer.� Like with many other high school sports, one of the most critical issues is finding adequate funding to support the tennis team. With tennis, there are no gate receipts to help bring in funds, so high school tennis programs have to be even more creative than sports like football and basketball in finding revenue streams. This year, Gresko said

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his players are soliciting sponsorships from the community. Each player has to raise at least $100, which gives the sponsor a sign that will be hung at the tennis courts next to the high school. In order to further illustrate how passionate he is in trying to take on the task of bringing a new day to Dadeville tennis, Gresko briefly talked about some of the things he did to grow the fine arts programs at Dadeville. “The marching band has grown from 18 members in grades 7-12 to around 85 now,� he said. “Also, we have a fulltime elementary music teacher. I have to give credit though to the school board

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and Mr. Hand for getting all this done. “We’ve done big things with the fine arts, and I want to do the same with tennis.� Along with growing the tennis team, Gresko said he has several items he wants to purchase, improving the courts and giving the program additional practice resources. “The courts are going to need resurfacing in a few years, there are some cracks starting to appear,� he said. “I also want to try and get a ball machine and windscreens. Without them, the wind can play havoc on games, not to mention practice on windy

days. “We could also use some lights at the courts.� In order to help the tennis team meets its financial goals, StillWaters golf pro and Kiwanis Club member Gabby Witherington offered to provide a $100 sponsorship, while other Kiwanians discussed finding ways they could raise money in order to help purchase some of the items Gresko mentioned wanting to obtain for the program. “The Kiwanis Club has donated for the past several years, and I want to thank you all for your support,� Gresko said.


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Steve Baker — Publisher Mitch Sneed — Editor

Page A4

Opinion Record The


Shelby stands tall The Alabama Republican Party sent out a press release Monday heralding the resolutions it passed at its annual meeting of Feb. 24. The release cited a resolution urging the Alabama State Legislature to pass legislation in the 2018 session that would ban all abortions of babies which have been diagnosed with Down Syndrome, a resolution to urge legislators to be as tough as possible on illegal immigrants, oppose any proposed ‘DACA’ bill which grants amnesty to so called dreamers, a resolution asking legislators to “pass legislation in the 2018 session to ban all abortions of babies beyond 20 weeks of fertilization, unless the mother’s life is at stake” and a resolution honoring the life of Rev. Billy Graham. All those moves are in keeping with the party’s platforms and their passage wasn’t a surprise. While the GOP was careful to outline the details of these resolutions, they didn’t include news on how it turned on one of its own. At the same meeting where the above resolutions were passed and where they threw Tallapoosa County Commission hopeful Frank Tapley off their primary ballot, the Alabama GOP attempted to censure Alabama Senator Richard Shelby, because he refused to support Roy Moore’s failed bid to join him in the U.S. Senate. A Moore victory in the election would have been a disaster and would have continued to make our state a laughing stock and the target for late night comedians’ punch lines. Shelby had the courage to stand tall against pressure from the state and national party leadership that pressured all Republicans including local parties to support and endorse Moore in his run against Doug Jones for Senate. It’s not like Shelby endorsed the Democrat Jones or Charles Manson. Shelby told the truth and said that Moore wasn’t fit to serve in the U.S. Senate. Shelby said that rather than voting for Moore that he would write in another qualified Republican. We saw that as the perfect answer. Why would anyone of character have supported Moore with all that he was accused of, let alone the fact had failed to obey his judicial oath of office and uphold the law that he was sworn to follow? Fortunately the effort to censure Shelby failed, but it’s a shame that even an attempt to discredit a man who has meant so much to Alabama was made. Shelby did what he thought was right and showed he was strong enough to ignore intense pressure. Isn’t that what we should want from our elected officials? We think so and praise Shelby for his courage, regardless of what some of his party’s leaders think.

THE RECORD Kenneth Boone Owner Steve Baker Publisher Mitch Sneed Editor Tippy Hunter Advertising Director David Kendrick Circulation Manager Angela Mullins Accounting

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The Dadeville Record is published every Thursday by Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc. Subscription rates are $25 per year in Tallapoosa County. Second-class postage paid at Dadeville, AL 36853; USPS-1411660 ISSN: 0739-9677. The address is 548 Cherokee Road, Alexander City, AL 35010. The telephone number is (256) 234-4281. The fax number is (256) 234-6550. Postmaster, please send address changes to P.O. Box 999; Alexander City, AL 35011.

She made my brown eyes blue T here are some things you just don’t want your significant other to know. I’ve known mine almost four and a half years. I consider myself an open book; however, there are some things I’d hoped would remain buried for eternity. I’d buried it myself. It hadn’t crossed my mind in decades. That all changed recently on a trip to mama’s house. When I was a kid, I loved Kiss. They were so cool. They had the awesome face paint and stage outfits, along with elaborate live performances, featuring fire breathing, bloodspitting, smoking guitars, shooting rockets, levitating drum kits, and pyrotechnics. Like I said, they were cool. They also had the infamous tongue. One year for Halloween, I dressed up as Gene Simmons. They made me want to “Rock and Roll all Night.” I was only 6 years old but still. I had several of their albums and often tried to draw them. I was mesmerized by all things Kiss. That all changed one night. I had a dream. I had an awful dream. I was never able to recall any details of the dream, but I woke up in tears, ripping my Kiss posters off the wall. I hated them. I didn’t listen to them again until 1995 when they appeared on MTV’s Unplugged series. They were awesome! Had mama told about my Kiss infatuation, I’d be writing on a different subject this week.


Instead, after seeing a performance of an unknown country singer on TV, she casually mentioned my adoration of the one and only Crystal Gayle. Time stood still. I acted as if I heard nothing. Tumbleweeds rolled across the living room. The crickets were even quiet. Then, without moving my head, I glanced over at Lucy, hoping and praying that her wandering mind had taken her to a land far, far way and she had missed this nugget of information. Could I be so lucky? Of course not. She was all over it. It started as a slow laugh with a dash of confusion that turned into a long, loud, belly-aching laugh with a splash of tears. In hindsight, I’m surprised Lucy wasn’t impressed. She’s a huge fan of Crystal’s older sister, Loretta Lynn. She even named her 1978 Ford truck “Loretta.” Here’s an interesting fact. The younger sister’s birthname is Brenda but was given her stage name by Loretta after she passed a Krystal hamburger joint. What if she’d passed a Wendy’s or a Jack’s? Lucy has always loved the Beatles, even as a child. My family tried to talk about

how many were against the Beatles when they first came to America due to their “long hair.” “You know who else had long hair?” Lucy rhetorically asked. “Crystal Gayle.” Comedy is all about timing. I had to give her credit. That was good. Mama tried to soften the blow by saying that my brother really liked Boxcar Willie. It just wasn’t the same. Boxcar Willie was cool. I had a thing for brunettes way back then. My dream girls were Lynda Carter, Jaclyn Smith, and Catherine Bach. Along with Crystal, they were my quartet of cuties. Other than her long, luxurious hair, I don’t think she stood out above all the rest. I never missed episodes of Wonder Woman, Charlie’s Angels or The Dukes of Hazzard. Crystal just happened to be a singer, and boy could she sing. I had one of her albums and used to look at the cover and listen to it often. Perhaps the music did give her a slight advantage. Music is powerful. She made my brown eyes blue. As always, it could have been worse. Thankfully, I never dressed up as Crystal Gayle for Halloween. Jody Fuller is a comic, speaker, writer and soldier with three tours of duty in Iraq. He is also a lifetime stutterer. He can be reached at For more information, please visit

MITCH SNEED EDITOR (256) 234-4281 X213

Thursday, March 8, 2018



The Record strives to report the news honestly, fairly and with integrity, to take a leadership role and act as a positive influence in our community, to promote business, to provide for the welfare of our employees, to strive for excellence in everything we do and above all, to treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves.

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We’d like to share your thoughts and opinions with the greater Lake Martin community. It’s free and it only takes a few moments of your time. We have two ways to get your opinion in print: letters to the editor and guest columns. The main difference is length. Letters to the editor are up to 250 words, while guest columns can be up to 500 words. Letters and columns may be sent to P.O. Box 999, Alexander City, AL 35011, faxed to (256) 234-6550 or e-mailed to Please include your name, address and phone number. Send us your thoughts today!

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Communication with elected officials is the key to good government. To let your most local representatives know how you feel about city matters, contact your council representative. To contact the city hall, please call 256-825-9242.

Loving people who are different M y wife and I saw the movie The Greatest Showman recently. We loved it. The story is loosely based on the life of Phineas Taylor Barnum, the founder of the Barnum and Bailey Circus the circus many of us grew up going to every year. When I say loosely based, I mean loosely based. There are a few elements of Barnum’s life that the movie presents. He did have a wife named Charity. He did have a Museum of Oddities that eventually morphed into the circus. And, he did introduce America to the Swedish opera singer Jenny Lind. But other than those things, the movie fictionalizes everything else. But that didn’t bother me. The compelling story they came up with was entertaining and taught a profound truth. The plot involves the ambitious Phineas looking for his purpose. He has big dreams, and he wants to live a big life. As a teenager, destitute and starving, he is helped by a disfigured anonymous woman. That act of kindness later inspires him to reach out to those who are physically ‘different’ to be in his circus. He recruits a little person he renames Tom Thumb to be a centerpiece of his show. He invites into the fold a seriously tall man, a hugely obese man, a bearded woman, Siamese

RAY WATERS Columnist

everyone has to be just like me or they are not good. How silly. My friends are all diverse, and some would be classified as ‘outside of the box’ or even weird. I love them and would never want them to trade their weirdness to try to be normal. I have found all of us, if we are honest, are a little weird. My wife would tell you I indeed am and I would say she is, too. The great truth teller Dr. Seuss gave us the truth when he wrote, “We are all a little weird and life is a little weird, and when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love.” It’s OK to be weird and not exactly like everyone else. PT Barnum nailed it when he said, “No one ever made a difference by being like everyone else.” See The Greatest Showman and open your heart up to those who are different. Remember different doesn’t mean bad. Embracing those who are not ‘normal’ will open you up like it did Barnum to a more flourishing life than you could ever imagine.

twins, the hairy boy, and the tattooed man. His show is introducing people to humans that are different. And the people come in droves. It is exciting to see Barnum pick these people who are distinctly different. They are isolated and lonely before they join the circus. That soon changes. They find their purpose and their sense of belonging in their new family. Barnum wants so badly to be embraced and loved by the rich of society. He struggles for social acceptance. When he thought he had a chance to be accepted by the wealthy, he tramples on the feelings of his odd new circus friends. It takes him a while to learn that the affluent society will never really embrace him. He also slowly realizes how precious this new family of odd people are to him. I loved the movie. I love people who are different. I realized a long time ago what author Christopher Barzak said first, “Normal is a setting on a Ray Waters is a minister, washing machine.” a motivational speaker and Normal is arbitrary and a regular columnist for subjective. It is me thinking Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc.

Betty Adams represents District 1. Her phone number is 256-8256211. Her address is 268 Adams Street, Dadeville.

Betty Adams Brownie Caldwell represents District 2. Her phone number is 256-825-4749. Her address is 480 East LaFayette St., Dadeville.

Brownie Caldwell

Teneeshia GoodmanJohnson represents District 3. Her phone number is 256-825-9749. Her address is 1191 Fulton Teneeshia Street, Dadeville. GoodmanRoy Mathis represents District 4. His phone number is 256-825-4369. His address is 181 Cedar Hill Drive, Dadeville.


Roy Mathis

H.A ‘Dick’ Harrelson represents District 5. His phone number is 256-307-3880. His address is 333 West Columbus Street., Dadeville.

H.A. ‘Dick’ Harrelson

Wayne Smith is mayor of Dadeville. His phone number is 256-8256820. His address is 156 Oliver Grove, Dadeville.

Wayne Smith

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Page A5

The Dadeville Record


continued from page A1

taken by the school system. In 2011, the group Citizens for Better Schools and Sustainable Communities sent a letter to Washington asking for an investigation into the Tallapoosa County School system for potential violations of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This letter claimed that the school closure was passed in order to try and re-segregate the county school system, keeping African-American students from Edward Bell from having the same opportunities as other students elsewhere in the system and refusing to hire African-Americans into teaching and administration positions. There were also claims of discrimination with regards to special needs and alternative education, with African-American students being referred to special needs classes, being written up for rule infractions and being recommended to the county alternative school at a higher rate than students of other ethnicities. Nancy Hatcher, the director of personnel for the Tallapoosa County School System, said that the letters from OCR regarding the investigations came within a few months of each other, and the county schools went to work submitting all the necessary documentation to the Department of Education. “They requested a huge amount of information from us, and we had to submit things to them every year,� Hatcher said. “We voluntarily complied with this. There was nothing we fought.� Among the plethora of documents the Tallapoosa County Schools sent to OCR to show the system was not being discriminatory in the classroom, there were descriptions of 504 (providing personalized lesson plans to students with disabilities) training offered to teachers, student enrollment for each school broken down by race, explanation of factors taken into consideration when taking disciplinary action against students, listings of each school’s disciplinary referrals, a list

of all students enrolled at the county alternative school and the length of time each was enrolled broken down by race, the reach of self-contained classrooms for students with special needs and the number of students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes broken down by race. “It was long and tedious, but it was not a problem coming up with all this evidence,� Hatcher said. With regards to closing Edward Bell being a way the Tallapoosa County Schools could re-segregate the system, Hatcher said OCR reviewed all documentation submitted by the central office and interviewed those registering the complaint. “OCR found insufficient evidence that the county school system closed Edward Bell for discriminatory reasons,� Hatcher said. “OCR also found insufficient evidence that the schools overlooked other less discriminatory options.� She added that, at the time Edward Bell was closed, it served a student body of only 180 students from kindergarten through 12th grade, and a consultant the board brought in showed the student population would drop to approximately 115 students by the 2019-2020 school year. As such, the board felt closing the school was a logical step to save funds for the system. The Tallapoosa County Schools offered to help resolve the issue, which OCR accepted. The system worked to provide various methods to resolve the issue, including providing compensatory education to Edward Bell students to address school course offerings, developing strategies to grow student participation in things like AP classes, encouraging them to attend college, and even offer these students assistance for enrolling in AP and dual enrollment classes. “This proved that we were doing what we said we were doing,� Hatcher said. “It reaffirms to us that we were doing what we needed to do for our students. It is a weight lifted off of us.�

ACT II announces auditions for upcoming Dadeville show STAFF REPORT TPI Staff

Alexander City Theatre II will hold auditions this weekend for a spring production of murder mystery comedies that will be performed at the Dadeville High School Auditorium April 27 through 29. Auditions and rehearsals for the show will be held at the Alexander City Theatre II Fine Arts Center at 264 Tallapoosa St., Alexander City. Featured will be two one-act plays: “A Murdered Mystery� by Karl Garner and “Dinner at 8, Dead by 9� by Michael Druce. “A Murdered Mystery� includes six speaking parts (three men and three women) and will be team directed by Patti Smith and Susan McCrispin. “Dinner at 8, Dead by 9� offers six roles for men and five roles for women and will be team directed by Skye Walker and Mac Tyson. “These are both lighthearted and funny scripts that will leave smiles on the faces

of audiences,� said ACT II President Betsy Iler, who will co-produce the production with Beverly Howard. Auditions will be held Saturday, March 10, and Sunday, March 11, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Tuesday, March 13, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. In addition to acting roles, the production will offer opportunities for anyone interested in production and backstage positions, Iler said. “The smaller scale of the one-act format provides a good opportunity to learn production skills, like costuming, set construction and decorating, props, publicity and more. We’re trying to take a team approach to these positions, so more people have opportunities to learn these skills without the pressure of doing a full length show,� she explained. For more information about the auditions, email Both plays are licensed through Pioneer Drama Service.

Officials say gas prices up, could keep rising The national average has decreased 8.3 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 21.0 cents per gallon higher than this day one year ago. Average retail gasoline prices in the “Oil aside, there are early indications Montgomery area including Tallapoosa that gasoline prices are about to strengthen and Coosa counties have risen 2.3 cents helped by a noticeable number of refineries per gallon in the past week, averaging out for maintenance and a stronger demand $2.25 per gallon Sunday, according to GasBuddy’s daily survey of 205 gas outlets outlook than we saw last year,� GasBuddy in the area. This compares with the national senior petroleum analyst Dan McTeague said. average that has increased 0.9 cents According to GasBuddy historical per gallon in the last week to $2.52 per gallon, according to gasoline price website data, gasoline prices on March 5 in the Montgomery area have ranged widely over the last five years, from $1.59 in 2016 to Including the change in gas prices in $3.57 in 2013. Montgomery during the past week, prices Statewide in Alabama, the average gas yesterday were 18.5 cents per gallon higher price on Sunday stood at $2.27 per gallon, than the same day one year ago and are up 2.2 cents per gallon from last week’s 12.1 cents per gallon lower than a month $2.25. ago. STAFF REPORT


continued from page A1

the word out to them so they can get their pets some attention as quickly as possible.� Caldwell said if your dogs or cats were loose in that area in the last three weeks, you should get them to a vet as soon as possible. “It’s apparent that the raccoon was positive for an extended period of time,� Caldwell said. “All the proper authorities have been notified and the proper steps are being taken with the ones that we have been able to pin down and get with the owners. It’s the others, the ones we don’t know about is what we are looking to get some help with.� If you take your pet to a vet, it would be helpful to have any heath records such as vaccinations and information on any other medical issues the pet may have. That will help the professionals take the right prevention steps.

Rabies is a potentially deadly virus that attacks the nervous system and can cause brain inflammation. Although survival is possible, the virus almost always kills its host. The virus grows in the muscle tissue before moving into the spinal cord and brain. Rabies is most commonly transported through physical contact. The virus travels through the spinal cord and brain in the later phases. Once it enters the saliva glands and produces foaming of the mouth, it is considered advanced and highly contagious. Large amounts of the virus are found in saliva and are transmitted when the infected mammal bites an uninfected mammal. If you have additional questions or concerns about this issue, you can contact the Animal Center at 256-825-6737.

Submitted / The Record

A rabid raccoon found in Dadeville has prompted a warning for pet owners to get their animals to a vet for care if there is any chance they may have been exposed.


continued from page A1

elude, possession of marijuana, possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia. On Jan. 18, a motion to revoke his probation was filed, meaning the 23-month sentence would be reinstated. But Reeder tried to make a case to be allowed to stay on probation until the new charges went to court, saying his issues with drugs was related to some mental issues and tough circumstances he had been dealing with. “I know I’ve had some issues, but I need mental help,� Reeder said. “I’m not a bad guy. I’m trying I really am. But since my dad died I’m struggling.

If I could get some help I know I can get past this.� Young heard his pleas, but also heard details of the night he was arrested. Testimony indicated when officers tried to initiate a traffic stop, the truck Reeder was driving ran at speeds in excess of 100 mph. After covering several miles on Barrett Road and Andrew Jackson, the truck bumped a police Tahoe before coming to a stop in a ditch. That’s when the drugs and paraphernalia were found in the vehicle, according to testimony. “I believe you need help and we can get you that,� Young told Reeder. “They have a program at Atmore where you can get

Life has a




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mental help — help for substance abuse and even vocational guidance. So that’s what we’ll do. The probation is revoked and I will put down there to get you in that program. I wish you the best, but you can get that help there if you need it.� Young gave Reeder credit for 154 days he had already served and

reminded him he will still have to stand trial on the new charges and face court costs. Reeder was led from the court, but a few minutes later was brought back by a deputy. “Your honor if the probation is revoked and I’m going to prison, I don’t think I need that program,� Reeder told Young.

Young disagreed. “Oh no, I believed you when you said you needed some assistance,� Young said. “So we already got you signed up and they

will get you down there, probably to Atmore as soon as possible so you can get started.� With that, Reeder was led out of court again.


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Page A6

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Dadeville Record

The Game Of Basketball


Basketball Word Find

Color It!

Hidden Words: Backboard, Basket, Basketball, Center, Court, Forward, Game, Goal, Guard, Naismith, Player, Point, Shoot, Team, Uniform, Winter

Basketball Crossword

How Many Words Can You Spell From The Word Basketball?


Backboard Maze

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Page A7

The Dadeville Record

In Community, We Share Dadeville Area Devotional Page


Rhodes Brothers Construction Genrearcatl or John Rhodes (256) 675-0217 TEMPLE MEDICAL CLINIC, P.C. t Con YOUR FAMILY CARE CENTER Key Construction CustBoumilder Chris Key ( 256) 749-0179 Medicine, Office Surgery, Pediatric and Industrial Home 859 Airport Drive • Alexander City, AL


256-329-7400 DR. GERALD HALLMARK Interim Pastor

WEDNESDAY SERVICES • Bible Study and Prayer JAMES MYNARD Meeting – 6 PM Minister of Music & Education • Mission Activities – 6 PM CURT MIZE Associate Pastor/Discipleship • Adult Choir Practice – 7 PM

SUNDAY SERVICES • Sunday School – 9 AM • Worship – 10 AM • Small Group – 4-6 PM • Adult Bible Study – 5:30 PM

Sprint to Christ in race called life

Christians are weighted down in I have been very bored their walk with Jesus. The weights the past two weeks with ADAM SPATES 200 Tallassee Street • Dadeville, AL are called sin. There are many no television to watch. The Interim Minister of Children 256.825.6232 types of sins, including the “things XXXIII Winter Olympics in Get all the facts before you buy, AL License #HI-1006 we know to do and just do not Pyeongchang, South Korea are with a certified home inspector. do them” and the sins of “things over. The ABC Wide World Schedule an we know not to do and do them of Sports always opened its appointment today! anyway.” programs showing photos of JACKIE We have to put our sinful ways athletes’ successes and failures KENNETH BLAIR, Certified Home Inspector 110 Calhoun Street, Suite 202 • Alexander City, AL and the late Jim McKay uttering WILBOURN behind us as we run our race each 256-794-5551 the words, “the thrill of victory Faith columnist day. We must look to Jesus who did not know sin but He finished and the agony of defeat.” The His race by enduring the cross. Olympics were much the same Part of the game plan in a Christian life is this year. The United States medal count 21130 Hwy. 431 | Wedowee, AL placed us in 4th place overall as our male to pace ourselves and not “run all the gas out of our tanks” as we “sprint” from one New & Used Boats • Yamaha Waverunners Yamaha and female athletes experienced victory thing to another in this race called life. We and defeat. Many participants pushed their Golf Carts • Full-Service Marina & Service Center bodies to the absolute limit in the contests. must always keep our eyes on the course • Wet Slips & Dry Storage set before us and not get off track. 256.357.2045 800.780.2045 The first ever team “free cross country” I wonder if the Apostle Paul ever gave gold went to United States. The elation thought of automobile drivers letting their was an unbelievable celebration full of eyes drift from the road as they text and joy. drive, losing focus. All the speed skating events were A Christian must be fully committed to exciting but the endurance races were giving up his or her life to live for Jesus. challenging. The more I watched these Not only should we read our Bible and events, the more I thought about my pray daily, but we have to be Christ-like in Christian walk. In the Book of Hebrews both our talk and in our walk. 12:1, the writer tells us to run with endurance the race set before us. We are 6993 Hwy. 49 South Jackie Wilbourn is a member of Bethel never told to sprint to the finish line. Dadeville, AL Baptist Church, a chaplain with the Scripture relates that we are to lay Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief Team aside every weight. The cross-country 256.307.1440 skiers would not have won their event and a regular faith columnist for The with heavy weights strapped to their legs. Record.


8:00 - 4:00 Monday - Friday James P. Temple, M.D. By Appointment (except emergencies) Timothy J. Corbin, M.D. Phone: (256) 234-4295 Vincent Law, M.D. After Hours: (256) 329-7100

THOMAS AUTO PARTS • Automotive Parts • Machine Shop Services • Paint & Body Supplies • Hydraulic Hose Assemblies


150 Green Street • Alexander City • 256.234.5023 157 E. South Street • Dadeville • 256.825.4155

SOCIAL SECURITY FAYE EDMONDSON Attorney at Law 135 N. Tallassee Street • Dadeville, AL

256-825-9559 No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.


Sunday School . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9:30 AM AM Sunday Morning Service . . . . . . . . . . 10:30 AM AM Wednesday Bible Study . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6:00 PM PM Rev. Dick Stark, Pastor Mr. J.D. Stark, Youth Pastor 256.234.6421 • 425 Franklin Street, Alexander City, AL



This devotional and directory made possible by these businesses who encourage all of us to attend worship services!

Church Directory

21837 Hwy. 280 | Camp Hill, AL




11003 County Rd. 34 Dadeville, AL

Mike L. Richardson Michael D. Richardson Licensed Residential Specialist Fixed & Floating Docks Clearing, Grading & Mulching

Office: 256-825-2532•Cell: 256-675-6652

A.M.E. Saint James A.M.E. Goodwater, 256-839-1007

Pleasant Home Baptist Clay County

Mountain Springs Baptist Off Hwy. 22, Daviston

Pleasant Grove Church of Christ 1819 Bay Pine Rd, Jackson’s Gap

St. John A.M.E. Off Hwy. 280 on Hwy. 9 Socopatoy, (256) 215-3532

Pleasant Valley Missionary Baptist 835 Valley Rd., Camp Hill 334-257-4442

Mt. Carmel Baptist 3610 Dudleyville Rd., Dadeville

ASSEMBLIES OF GOD Cedar Street Church of God 703 E. Boulevard, Alex City

Ridge Grove Missionary Baptist Alexander City, 256-234-6972

Mt. Zion Baptist Hwy. 63 South, Alex City 256-234-7748

Southview Church of Christ 2325 Dadeville Rd., Alex City 256-329-0212

Rocky Mt. Baptist New Site community

New Beginnings Baptist 1076 Coley Creek Rd.

Seleeta Baptist Booker St., Alex City 256-329-2685

New Concord Baptist Off hwy. 49, Dadeville, 256-825-5390

Shady Grove Baptist Jackson’s Gap Community

New Elkahatchee Baptist Elkahatchee Rd., Alex City 256-329-9942

Faith Assembly of God 590 Horseshoe Bend Rd., Dadeville 256-825-7741 River of Life Worship Center 407 Hillabee St., Alex City, 256-329-9593 INDEPENDENT BAPTIST Liberty Baptist 1365 Hillabee St., Alex City 256-329-8830 New Life Baptist County Road 14, Alex City, 256-329-2635 Victory Baptist 280 By-Pass, Alex City West End Baptist Off 280 West, 256-234-2130 BAPTIST – MISSIONARY Bethlehem Baptist New Site

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BAPTIST – SOUTHERN Bay Pine Baptist 1480 Bay Pine Rd. Jackson’s Gap, 256-825-4433 Bethany Baptist Church Bethany Road

New Hope Baptist Lake Martin, off Hwy. 63 256-329-2510

Dadeville Church of God 425 Horseshoe Bend Rd. (Hwy. 49 N.) Dadeville 256-825-8820

New Life Baptist Jackson’s Gap, 256-825-6190 / 256-329-2635

Marshall Street Church of God 428 Marshall Street, Alex City 256-234-3180

New Pine Grove Baptist Off Hwy. 22, Perryville

New Faith Tabernacle A.C.O.P. Church of God “J” Street

New Providence Baptist Pearson Chapel Rd., Alex City New Rocky Mount Baptist 670 Peckerwood Rd., Jackson’s Gap 256-794-3846

New Harvest Ministries Church of God Hwy 280 & Coosa 28 256-329-2331

Goodwater U.M. Main St., Goodwater, 256-839-6661 Haven United Methodist 354 Christian St., Alex City 256-329-8394 Hillabee Campground UMC 120 CC Road, Alex City Sunday School 10am Sunday Service 11am Kellyton U.M., Kellyton, 256-329-1681

New Site U.M. New Site, 256-234-7834 Pearson Chapel U.M. Pearson Chapel Rd., Alex City

Sardis United Medthodist Church 10367 Hwy 50 Dadeville, AL

Calvary Baptist 819 Main St., Dadeville, 256-825-5989

Old Union Baptist 1106 Davis Circle Jackson’s Gap 256-596-1873

Washington Street A.C.O.P. Church of God Washington Street

Sunnylevel United Methodist 3202 Hwy. 63N, Alex City 256-234-6877

Flint Hill Baptist Hwy. 280, Dadeville

Calvary Heights Baptist Elkahatchee, Rd., Alex City 256-234-7224

Orr Street Baptist 1000 “O” Street (Hwy. 63N) Alex City, 256-234-3171

Trinity United Methodist 280 By-pass, Alex City, 256-234-2455

Friendship Baptist Our Town Community, 256-329-5243

Camp Hill Baptist Downtown Camp Hill, 256-896-2811

Perryville Baptist Perryville, 256-234-3588

CHURCH OF GOD OF PROPHECY Church of God of Prophecy 303 Poplar Rd., Alex City, 256-234-6941

Hollins Springs Baptist Hwy. 280, Goodwater

Comer Memorial 941 E. Church St., Alex City 256-234-2236

Early Rose Baptist 201 E Street, Alexander City

Jackson’s Gap Baptist Church 21 East Church St. 256-825-6814 Liberty Church 1034 Liberty Church Rd. Willow Point Alex City Macedonia Baptist Macedonia Circle, Goodwater 256-839-5793 Marietta Baptist Goodwater Miracle Missionary Baptist 1687 “I” Street 256-215-9788, 256-215-9787 Mt. Calvary Baptist 329 King St., Alex City, 256-234-5631 Mt. Olive Baptist Hwy. 280 & Jct. 49, Goodwater Mt. Sinai Baptist Fish Pond Rd., Coosa County 256-329-2337 Mt. Zion Baptist Hwy. 22, New Site Mt. Zion East StillWaters Dr., 256-825-4991 Mt. Zion West Our Town Community, 256-234-7748

Beulah Baptist Smith Mt. Rd., Jackson’s Gap 256-825-9882

Daviston Baptist Daviston, 395-4327 Eagle Creek Baptist Hwy. 49, Dadeville, 256-825-6048 Fellowship Baptist Buttston Community Fellowship Primitive Baptist Church on Claybrook Drive, Alex City 256-839-5339 First Baptist Court Square, Alex City 256-234-6351 First Baptist Tallassee St., Dadeville, 256-825-6232

Pine Grove Baptist Camp Hill Ray Baptist Rockford Hwy., Alex City, 256-234-7609 River Road Baptist 148 Dean Rd., Alex City, 256-234-6971 Rocky Creek Baptist Samford Rd., Cowpens Community Rocky Mount Baptist Hwy. 22 E., Alex City, 256-329-2327 Rock Springs Baptist Jackson’s Gap, 256-839-6263

Kellyton Baptist Kellyton, 256-329-1512 Kendrick Baptist Church Nixburg

New Bethel Baptist Rock St., Dadeville, 256-825-7726

Lake Martin Baptist Hwy 34, Dadeville 256-825-7434 Lake Pointe Baptist 8352 Hwy. 50W, Dadeville Lebanon Baptist Mt. Carmel Rd., Dadeville, 256-234-7541

HOLINESS Alex City Emmanuel Holiness Hillabee St., Alex City

FULL GOSPEL Dadeville Foursquare Gospel Church Old 280 By-pass

Sunny Level Baptist Church Sunny Acres Subdivision Sewell Street

Jackson’s Gap Baptist Jackson’s Gap, 256-825-4951

EPISCOPAL Saint James Episcopal Church 121 South Central Ave., Alex City 256-234-4752

Sandy Creek Baptist Alex City

Hackneyville Baptist Hwy. 63 N., Hackneyville

Horseshoe Bend Baptist Hwy. 280, Dadeville

CHURCH OF THE NAZARENE Dadeville Church of the Nazarene Corner Hwy. 280 and 49, 256-825-8191

House of Restoration Holiness 519 Slaughter Ave., Camp Hill, 256-749-2373, 256-896-2904

Sixth Street Baptist Sixth St., Alex City, 256-234-2408

Hillabee Baptist Hillabee Rd., Alex City 256-234-6798

CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints 1515 Worthy Road, Alex City (Corner of Worthy Place and Dadeville Road)

Russell Farm Baptist Hwy. 63 beyond Our Town

Good News Baptist Church 10493 Hwy. 280, Jackson’s Gap 256-825-2555

New Elam Baptist Hwy. 9, Burtonville, 256-234-2037

Pine Grove Baptist Eagle Creek Rd., Dadeville

New Salem Road New Site Rd., New Site, 256-234-2932

Town Creek Baptist Camp Ground Rd., Alex City Wayside Baptist 21 Wayside Circle, Alex City 256-234-5564 Zion Hill Baptist Hwy. 79, near Horseshoe Bend CATHOLIC St. John the Apostle 454 N. Central Ave., Alex City 256-234-3631 CHURCH OF CHRIST Alex City Church of Christ 945 Tallapoosa St., Alex City 256-234-6494 Dadeville Church of Christ East LaFayette St., Dadeville Meadows St. Church of Christ 306 Meadows St., Alex City

Fellowship Revival Center Mission 316 6th Ave., Alex City 256-329-1510 weekends Kellyton Revival Center Co. Road 87 South Kellyton Liberty Life Christian Center 321 “S” Street, Alex City Passion Church 3340 Hwy. 63 N., Alex City 256-409-9590 The Family Worship Center 365 Scott Road, Alex City METHODIST – UNITED Alexander City Methodist 11th Ave. N., Alex City 256-329-1284 Bradford Methodist Hwy. 9, Goodwater Comer Memorial U.M. 427 East Church St., 256-329-3467 Duncan Memorial U.M. 3997 Hillabee Rd., Alex City 256-234-6708

Union United Methodist 4428 Hwy. 50, Dadeville 256-825-2241 METHODIST – INDEPENDENT Daviston Independent Methodist Daviston, 395-4207 PENTECOSTAL Pentecostals of Dadeville 115 West Columbus Street Dadeville, 256-596-3411 PRESBYTERIAN First Presbyterian 371 Jefferson St., Alex City 256-329-0524 First Presbyterian Okefuske, Dadeville, 256-825-4081 Robinson Memorial Presbyterian Robinson Rd., Alex City UNITED PENTECOSTAL Alex City Apostolic 3708 Robinson Rd., Alexander City, 256-329-1573 INDEPENDENT Faith Temple Franklin Street, Alex City, 256-234-6421 Family Worship Center 1676 Sewell Street 256-839-6895 First Congregational Christian 11th Ave. South, Alex City GAP Fellowship Ministries P.O. Box 1571, Alex City Jehovah-Jireh Ministries 252 Tallapoosa St., Alex City 256-215-4211 Leap of Faith Outreach Ministry 886 Terrance Drive, 256-234-7119



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Holloway Memorial Funeral Home “Let Our Family Serve Your Family” Mr. & Mrs. (334) 502- 8070 Nathanial Holloway

New Bethel Fellowship Church 5474 Rock Springs Road Jackson’s Gap 256-825-3367 The Baha’I Faith 740 Newell Street, Camp Hill 256-896-4007 The Word Bible Church 161 Main St., Alex City, 256-215-5646

MAY700REFRIGERATION CO. Walker Street Opelika, AL

256.234.2007 256.749.8804 Tapley Appliance Center

Mt. Godfrey New Site

The Church of God 13th Ave. N., Alex City 256-329-1696

Bethel Baptist Smith Mt. Rd., Jackson’s Gap 256-825-5070

792 Commerce Drive, Suite 103 • Alexander City

Liberty United Methodist Liberty Rd., Hackneyville

Old Providence Baptist Off Hwy. 63 N., near Hackneyville

Peace & Goodwill Baptist Cottage Grove Community Alexander City, 256-377-4634


Zion Hill Missionary Baptist 583 S. Broadnax St., Dadeville

Cedar Street Church of God 711 Martin Luther King Blvd. Alex City

Flint Hill U.M., Alex City 256-234-5047

Red Ridge United Methodist 8091 County Road 34, Dadeville 256-825-9820

Elam Baptist Robertson Rd. Alex City

HR Office Open 6:00AM - 4:30PM (256) 354-7151

Unity Baptist Robinson Rd., Alex City

Bread of Life A.C.O.P. Church of God Hwy. 280, Kellyton

First United Methodist Dadeville, 256-825-4404

Pentecostal Church of God 163 Franklin Street, Alex City 256-215-4055

Cross Key Baptist Hackneyville, 256-329-9716 Darian Missionary Baptist Church Pearson Chapel Rd., Alex City 256-329-3865

38669 Hwy. 77 South • Ashland

The Great Bethel Missionary 520 Christian St., Alex City 256-234-5513

CHURCH OF GOD Alex City No. 2 A.C.O.P. Church of God Local Street, Alex City

First United Methodist 310 Green St., Alex City 256-234-6322

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4350 Hwy. 280 W Alexander City, AL 35010 Tel: 256-234-2267

Page A8

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Dadeville Record

Lake property sales prices up in January sales. The 10-year peak for January waterfront sales was in 2017, when 18 lake It appears when it comes homes were sold, while the January trough hit in 2008, to sales of Lake Martin with one unit sold. waterfront properties that Forecast: January’s 13 2018 has started off on the same positive note that was waterfront sales were one unit or 7 percent below the the theme in 2017. Alabama Center for Real While the number of sales was down slightly, the Estate’s monthly forecast. ACRE forecasts a total of median sales price was up 346 waterfront sales on from a year ago and wellLake Martin in 2018, a above the December 2017 slight decrease from the 349 levels. lake homes that were sold In numbers from a during all of 2017. report from University of Demand: January Alabama’s Alabama Center for Real Estate and the Lake waterfront sales decreased Martin Area Association of 43.5 percent from the previous month. This trend Realtors, the Lake Martin is consistent with historical waterfront median sales data indicating that January price during January was sales on average (’13-’17) $415,000, an increase of 12.8 percent from one year decrease from December by 38.3 percent. Waterfront ago and an increase of 26.9 percent from the prior homes selling in January averaged 223 days on the month. market, representing a 22.3 “Pricing will fluctuate percent decrease from one from month to month year ago. Homes on Lake because of changing composition of actual sales Martin’s waterfront are currently selling 5.1 percent and the sample size of faster than the five-year data (closed transactions) average of 235 days on the being subject to seasonal market. buying patterns. ACRE Seeking balance: The recommends contacting a local real estate professional inventory for sale divided by the current monthly sales for additional market volume equals the number pricing information,” the of months of supply. report states. Other points made in the The market equilibrium (balance between supply report include: and demand on a nonSales: There were 13 seasonally adjusted basis) is waterfront properties sold approximately six months. on Lake Martin during During January there were January, a 27.8 percent decrease from one year ago, 13.5 months of waterfront housing supply, up from 6.5 when 18 lake homes were sold. Current sales totals are months last month and up from 11.7 months one year 14 percent above the fiveyear average of 11 January ago. In other words, at the STAFF REPORT Alabama Center For Real Estate

January sales pace it would take 13.5 months to absorb the current inventory for sale. Industry perspective: The recent headlines in the real estate world have revolved around rising interest rates. As of Jan. 31, the interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 4.38 percent. This is up from 4.18 percent on Jan. 10 and up from 4.08 percent on Dec. 6, 2017. The stock market has rebounded somewhat from its large selloff on Friday, Feb. 2, and Monday, Feb. 5, as investors adjust from an accommodating monetary policy to one with some inflation and higher interest rates. The recent market decline is a signal of a return to normalcy and higher debt costs. Rising

interest rates, however, do not cause housing activity to come to a halt, in the same way that rising rates do not cause businesses to go into hibernation. In the spring of 2006, the Federal Reserve stopped raising interest rates after raising rates 16 times over a threeyear period. The economy was performing well during this time (2004-2005) of rising interest rates. The Great Recession happened, interestingly enough, at a time when interest rate increases were halted. Home ownership rates increased to 64.2 percent during 2017 after falling to a post-1965 low of 62.9 percent in 2016. Not surprisingly, home ownership rates peaked during 2005 at approximately 69 percent.


River Bank’s Senior Vice President/Relationship Manager Abby Guy and Office Manager Jessica Locke welcomed the teens from the Richard A. “Buck” Shaw Teen Center for an afternoon on banking management on Friday, March 2 to help them with a new program at the teen center called Money Matters. Guy and Locke spent Friday afternoon teaching the teens how to write checks, fill out a bank register, how to deposit and withdraw funds and the difference between a credit card and debit card. “The teens got a new understanding of what it means to keep track of their own money,” Guy said. The information the teens gained from their bank tour will help them in the upcoming Money Matters activities, said Crystal Freeman with the Boys & Girls Club. The teenagers will experience the Money Matters course of six to eight weeks. This course is designed to teach them how to grocery shop, budget for a home, and/or a car for their future. The goal for this program is for each teenager to develop a business plan and blue print for their future financial lifestyle. “The teens from the Richard A. “Buck” Shaw teen Center would like to Thank Abby and Jessica for their time and a fun afternoon at the bank,” Freeman said. “We look forward to working with them again real soon.” For more information on the Teen Center you may call 256-234-4757 or visit the office at 1009 Cherokee Road in Alexander City.

The Lake Martin Waterfront Residential Monthly Report is developed in conjunction with the Lake Martin Area Association of Realtors to better serve area consumers.


6 9

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Serving Lake Martin & Alexander City for 35 Years



River Bank helps teach teens Money Matters

is also an abundance of 25- and 27-year-olds. All of these people are millennials, America’s largest and most educated generation. As more of this demographic block marches into their 30s, demand for ownership opportunities will rise. While there may be downturns that occasionally suspend these demographics, the next decade stands to emerge as a period of rapidly expanding home ownership and single-family homebuilding in America.”

Lake Martin Home Improvement Directory

United Way holding annual meeting tonight Did the Lake Martin Area United Way make its lofty goal of $550,000 during its 2018 “Team United” fundraising campaign? You can find out as the Lake Martin Area United Way will hold its 2018 Campaign Celebration and Annual Meeting this evening at 5:30 p.m. at Valley National Bank (formerly USAmeriBank) at 200 Aliant Parkway. The community is invited to come celebrate the giving spirit of our community, find out which businesses will receive awards for going above and beyond with their company campaigns to help the United Way, and find out how much the United Way has raised this year for our community, agencies and initiatives. Each of the 28 agencies will also have table displays for those in attendance to come and learn more about what each of them do and how their donations to United Way help them to help people in Tallapoosa and Coosa counties. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. with drinks and hors d’oeuvres, with the awards presentation to follow at 6 p.m. United Way wishes to thank Valley National Bank for sponsoring and hosting the event. For more information about the event, call the Lake Martin Area United Way office at 256-329-3600.

Millennial home ownership rates are also on the rise as their employment situations continue to improve. Millennials, in fact, have been recently credited with an improvement in suburban housing markets as not all are city dwellers. This rise in home ownership was highlighted recently at the annual TrendLines 2018 program in Washington, D.C., with an analysis of Census Bureau housing data presented by Sage Policy Group, Delta Associates and Transwestern. The following excerpt is from the closing paragraph from the home ownership report, and is encouraging news for residential real estate markets across the nation: “This year, the most common age in America will be 26 years old. There










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Thursday, March 8, 2018


Records don’t mean everything


ast week, I wrote about the unsportsmanlike conduct Jocelyne Larocque displayed after the Canadian women’s hockey team had to settle for silver at the Olympics. This week, however, I was touched by a move so completely opposite from Larocque’s I couldn’t help but bring it to your attention. On Sunday, an Iowa basketball player had the opportunity to solidify his name in the record books. Jordan Bohannon was about to break the school record for most consecutive free throws when he could’ve made his 35th straight against Northwestern. The game wasn’t even in the bag. The Hawkeyes led Northwestern, 73-65, but there was still 2:15 left in the game and plenty of time for the Wildcats to catch up. Instead of sinking his free throw and breaking the record, Bohannon clearly missed intentionally. The shot barely made it to the hoop and clanked off the front of the rim. Why would Bohannon do such a thing, you ask? Well, here’s the heartwarming part. Iowa’s current record of 34 straight free throws, which Bohannon tied, is also held by Chris Street, a former Hawkeye who was killed in a car accident in 1993. Street died on Jan. 19, three days after his final free throw for Iowa, and never got a chance to extend the record. “Obviously that’s not my record to have,” Bohannon said in an interview with the Big Ten Network. “That record deserves to stay in his name. I’ve been really close with his family these past couple years and just getting to know his story, honestly. It’s really got me emotional these past couple games because I know what I wanted to do.” Not only did Bohannon show such class on Sunday night, he also demonstrated sports are bigger than numbers, statistics and records. Sports are about teamwork and family, and playing for a school is sometimes bigger than yourself. Bohannon is a 20-year-old basketball player who wasn’t even born when Street passed away, but he was part of the Chris Street Forever Memorial Game the Hawkeyes hosted earlier this season on the 25th anniversary of Street’s death. But it doesn’t matter Bohannon and Street never crossed paths because they donned the same jerseys, and in sports, that’s supposed to mean something. In sports, it’s always so important to carry yourself with class, character and respect. As a side note, I got to be a part of the Benjamin Russell Senior Blitz earlier this week, where community leaders were asked to give mock job interviews to seniors in a fast-paced environment to give them some “real world” experience. It was a joy to see how impressive most of these seniors were — how well-prepared and well-dressed and well-spoken they seemed to be. I also want to give complements to a few of the student-athletes I had the privilege of interviewing. Isaiah Holloway, Taylor Latham, Chason Channell, Trey Gray and Jared Greene were all assigned to my tables, and I’ve gotta say — all five of those student-athletes are going to represent BRHS extremely well in whatever they chose to do after graduation. Being a student-athlete comes with a certain responsibility. Not only are you a role model for students younger than you, but you can also help future athletes in their recruiting process if you make a good impression on your college of choice. That responsibility, I’m certain, can be overwhelming for 16-, 17- and 18-year-old students, but everyone I interviewed at the Senior Blitz took it in stride. And that’s exactly what being a good athlete is all about. Lizi Arbogast is the sports editor of The Record.


Track and field begins, Page B2

Page B1

Record The

CONFIDENCE BUILDER Dadeville posts second straight shutout By LIZI ARBOGAST Sports Editor

Kicking off its Class 4A Area 5 schedule with a mercyrule victory can only help Dadeville’s softball team moving forward. The Tigers finished with just nine wins last season, and with a 20-0, three-inning defeat of Bullock County on Friday night, they’re now almost halfway to that total already. Dadeville (4-3) has won its last two games by a combined score of 30-0. “It’s huge for our confidence,” Tiger coach C.J. Ford said. “Momentum is so big in this game, and we’ve got a big week of games next week, so we’re hoping to ride this momentum into next week.” Dadeville faces the likes of Montgomery Catholic and Tallassee next week, as well as participating in the Wetumpka Invitational Tournament on Friday. But for now, the Tigers are riding high after racking up 14 hits and getting a perfect three-inning outing from Malorie Meadors. Early on, the Tigers were unstoppable Friday night. After retiring the side in order in the top of the first, Dadeville immediately got to work at the plate. Tiffany Rice drew a walk to lead off, and she was followed by singles from Isis Johnson and Pearl Huff and a double by Zoe Veres. Following

Lizi Arbogast / The Record

Dadeville’s Sidaesha Heard makes contact with a pitch against Bullock County on Friday night.

an error to put the Tigers ahead 4-0, they put together another string of hits to keep the momentum going. Makya Johnson, Jailee Kirkland and Sidaesha Heard all smacked consecutive singles. Before the inning’s end, Veres, Kirkland and Rice each added another hit apiece. In the bottom of the second inning, Makya Johnson hit a three-RBI double to set the final score. One of Dadeville’s biggest focuses was working on

its baserunning, and it did a phenomenal job taking advantage of Bullock County’s slow pitching. The Tigers totaled 14 stolen bases, including three apiece from Kirkland, Heard and Veres and two by Huff. “We are just a constant work in progress,” Ford said. “We focused on having good at-bats and just concentration in everything we do — baserunning, working on our leads. We’re just looking to be consistent and to improve every

day.” Although it was only three innings of work, Meadors had a perfect game, striking out six of the nine batters she faced. She threw 34 pitches, and 24 of them went for strikes. “I wanted her to throw strikes,” Ford said. “Right now we’ve been at 50-50 strikes to balls, and I would like to see that ratio go up to 60-40 or even 70-30 because we’re contact pitchers. We want to induce contact early, so that’s what we’re working on up there.”

TRIPLE THREAT Eric Shaw doesn’t have a ‘best’ sport

Editor’s Note: This story is part of the series Triple Threat, which will focus on athletes in the area who are starters in three sports. If you or someone you know fits this description, contact Lizi Arbogast at File / The Record

By LIZI ARBOGAST Sports Editor

Eric Shaw is such a standout in all three of his sports that it’s nearly impossible to pick his best. “I’d like to say track, but I’ve watched him in basketball and football games, and gosh, I don’t know,” Reeltown track and field coach Alana Garrard said. “I don’t think I could pick just one for him.” Rebel football coach and athletic director Matt Johnson said, “That is a tough question. I lean more toward football because that’s what I love. But he’s easily the best basketball player in the school and a two-time state champion in track.” Even Shaw himself couldn’t answer the question. “Man, I really don’t know,” he said with a laugh. Here’s the resume for the Reeltown star: • For the football team, he led all Rebel defensive backs with 52 tackles, including 41 solo tackles, and he had a pair of

Reeltown’s Eric Shaw is one of the best players for the football, basketball and track and field teams. He is only a sophomore

interceptions this season. • On the basketball court, he averaged a double-double with 20.9 points and 12.9 rebounds per game. • As just a freshman and in his first year running track, Shaw won gold medals in the Class 2A 110 hurdles and 300 hurdles. • On the offensive side of the football field, he had 18 catches for 205 yards and a team-leading five touchdown receptions. • Shaw also led the Rebel basketball squad with 70 blocks this season and added 20 assists and 19 steals. • He claimed second in the high jump at the state championships last year, too. And what’s craziest about that resume — Shaw is only a sophomore. “I look at it like everybody’s my age,” he said. “Age doesn’t have anything to do with it. I just go out and compete with you. You can be in college and I’ll be in seventh grade, and I still don’t back down.”

He got his competitive nature from his dad, who played basketball and football, and his mom, who “thinks she can beat you at everything; even if she knows she won’t beat you, she’ll try her hardest,” Shaw said. What makes him an elite athlete isn’t just his competitive nature, though, or his natural ability. It’s a combination of both those things, plus his coachability and his work ethic. “Any time you have an elite athlete, it has to be a combination,” Johnson said. “I’ve coached kids who may be hard working, but they’re not as talented, or I may have kids that are very talented but not as coachable. When you get that total combination, that’s when you get elite status.” Being able to learn was a big factor for Shaw on the basketball court this season, as he wanted to move from a forward into See SHAW • Page B2

Dadeville drops doubleheader vs. Russell County gave Russell County the victory as Jackson Huguley scored on an error for the walk-off win. Dadeville managed only one Coming off an 8-6 loss to hit the whole game with Slade Valley, Dadeville’s baseball McCullers notching a single. team suffered a sweep by Justin Meadows pitched the Russell County in a Saturday first 10 innings for the Tigers doubleheader. The Tigers did (1-7), scattering five hits and well enough in the first game, falling just 1-0 in 11 innings, but striking out six. He didn’t walk Russell County was unstoppable any. In Game 2, Dadeville’s bats in a 14-4 victory in Game 2. came alive a bit, as it had seven The opener was a pitcher’s hits in the six-inning affair, but duel, during which the teams errors were once again costly as combined for only seven hits, and ultimately an unearned run eight of Russell County’s runs STAFF REPORT TPI Staff

were unearned. Offensively, Sam Stephenson and Cameron Hall led the way with two hits apiece. Hall, Jeff Rice and Tal Bullard each had RBIs. Earler in the week, Dadeville had the tables turned on it in an 11-1 loss to Valley on Friday. The Tigers had already beaten the Rams once this season. Jeff Rice scored the only run of the game for Dadeville with a solo home run to leftfield in the top of the third. Tal Bullard, Sam Stepenson and Ab Abernathy each had singles.

On the mound, Valley easily figured out Zander McClendon, who gave up 13 hits in four innings. Although he walked two, he also struck out three.

Reeltown earns win over Jeff Davis

Hayden Solomon racked up four hits to lead Reeltown to a 9-6 victory over Jefferson Davis on Monday night. The Rebels also got two hits apiece from Ardarious Woods, Cody Thomas and Logan Hunt, who also got the win on the mound.

Page B2

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Dadeville Record

Track and field season begins compete for a state championship, but he’s also looking for improvement. Both Dadeville and Reeltown’s “Our goal is for each student to expectations for the track and field improve on his or her own time, seasons are soaring, as both return jump or distance,” Hand said. “Our gold medalists from last year. Both hurdles are really good, but we still began their seasons this past weekend need some help with the field. As with the Tigers heading to Oxford soon as we can get some mats, we’re and Reeltown participating in the also going to try pole vault. We’ve Smiths Station Relays. never done that before.” For the Tigers, Qua Tucker is back Long jump should also be a strong after collecting first-place finishes in event for the Tigers with Kyreke the Class 4A 100 and 200 dashes and Vines, Jalen Sullivan and Cameron the 300 hurdles. Tucker also earned Tai all competing. second in the 110 hurdles. In just its second year of existence, “I’m hoping at the end of this Reeltown’s track and field program is season he’ll have four more state blossoming, and coach Alana Garrard championships,” Dadeville coach said she’ll have either 41 or 42 Chris Hand said. competitors when seventh and eighth Some other standouts for the graders are added in. Tigers should be Jerry Pulliam, who “We’re filling in gaps from what brings back a lot of experience. He’ll we didn’t have last year,” she said. be competing in the 1,600, the 400, “We’re going to be able to build in the 4x400 and the 4x800. Jordan those missing gaps and add kids to Ford, Caleb Bice, Josh Hutherson events.” and Alex Ward all competed in cross The strongest returner is Eric country and will run for the track Shaw, who as a freshman won gold team as well. in the Class 2A 110 and 300 hurdles Skye Foster is the only female and was second in the high jump. competing for Dadeville this season, “I think everybody is going to be and is also balancing playing softball gunning for Eric this year,” Garrard as well. said. “But I expect him to be right Hand said the ultimate goal is to back on the podium again for the By LIZI ARBOGAST Sports Editor

File / The Record

Dadeville’s Isis Johnson smacked a grand slam in Monday night’s narrow loss to Montgomery Catholic.

Dadeville softball suffers near-miss for the final out. The two combined to allow just two hits in the shutout. They struck out seven and An early lead carried walked two. Montgomery Catholic to Reeltown (9-4-1) scored victory over Dadeville, all five of its runs in the 11-9, on Monday night. first three innings. Kayli The Knights went up 6-1 after two innings and 10-1 Hornsby led the way by going 3-for-4, including a midway through the fifth, double, and drove in two but an Isis Johnson grand slam and a big inning of the runs. Makenzie Baker had two hits, and Katyln Jaye Tigers (4-4) in the bottom and Kyndel Lee each had of the fifth made it a close RBI singles. game. The Rebels have now With two outs and a won four of their last five. runner on third, Dadeville made a two-out rally in the Reeltown finishes 3-2 fifth. Brittany Claybrook at Purple and Gold smacked a single to score Zoe Veres, and Claybrook tournament was joined on the bases Despite a loss in the by Makya Johnson, who first round of the Purple notched a single. Jailee and Gold Round Robin Kirkland reached on an Tournament, Reeltown’s error to load the bases, and softball team fought its a walk by Tiffany Rice cut way back and won three in Montgomery Catholic’s a row before losing to the deficit to 10-4. Then Isis host Tallassee in a close 8-6 Johnson took the plate contest. and smacked one over the To begin the tournament, centerfield fence, sending Reeltown was shut out four runs around to home by Beauregard, 2-0, on plate. Friday night, but the Rebels Dadeville scored once responded with a 13-6 more in the bottom of the victory over Park Crossing. seventh on a sacrifice fly They then defeated St. by Pearl Huff, but it was James, 6-0, and Opelika, too little, too late for the 18-3, on Saturday before Tigers. their loss to the Tigers. Last Wednesday, During the five games, Dadeville’s softball team the Rebels racked up got a two-hit shutout from 36 hits and were led by Timirian Tinsley to earn a Makenzie Baker, who had 10-0 victory over St. James six singles, two doubles in five innings. Tinsley and a triple to go along walked four but also struck with 10 RBIs and six runs out two in the completescored. Both Kayli Hornsby game shutout. and Morgan McGuire had Makya Johnson was the five hits and three RBIs, offensive star for Dadeville, while Katlyn Jaye notched as she smacked three four hits, including a home doubles and drove in a trio run, and plated three runs. of runs. Brittany Claybrook Kelsey Jaye and Marlee and Zoe Veres also had Knox contributed three doubles, while Tiffany singles apiece. Rice, Isis Johnson and Zoe In the circle, Ayriana Veres each contributed Stoneback did much of RBIs. the work, pitching 13 1/3 innings. She allowed Stoneback, Hornsby 10 hits and struck out combine for two-hitter 14, but she also walked Ariyana Stoneback had seven. Chloe Davidson another strong outing for spent four innings in the Reeltown in a 5-0 victory circle, allowing seven over Beulah. She was hits and only two earned backed up Kenzie Hornsby runs. Kenzie Hornsby also who came on in relief pitched two innings. STAFF REPORT TPI Staff

hurdles, and even the high jump this year.” The 4x100 team that captured third last year also returns three of its four runners. Cameron Faison, Shaw and Rasheed Wilson will all be back, and at this time, Keke Hughley has elected not to compete this season, so Trey O’Neal will be taking his spot in the relay. Some other big standouts for the Rebels will be Derrick Hammonds (javelin); Zantjuan Knight (middle distance); Xavier Mabson (triple jump); Nyla Hayden (throws); Eryn Wells (100 hurdles); Diyanna Newton (100 hurdles); Taniya Haynes (200 and 100 dash); middle distance runners Taylor Coffield and Raven Parker; and long distance runners Ronnetra Joseph and Gabby Williams. “With all the older kids I’ve got coming back, we have a strong foundation,” Garrard said. “The long distance may still be a weakness for us, but as we train and get better in shape, we’ll fill in those games too. I’m still adding people too. It’s crazy incredible watching these kids because they’re constantly coming to me, asking if it’s too late. I’m going to take them on for another week, but they’re going to have to work.”

Elmore County edges Reeltown, 4-3 good spot.” Reeltown wasn’t going down without a fight, though, as it got Elmore County’s the bases loaded in the baseball team celebrated top of the seventh and a couple of positives Coan scored on a passed with a 4-3 victory over ball. But Downey ended Reeltown on Saturday the game when a ball afternoon. Not only did was hit back to him the Panthers turn the on the mound and he tables on Reeltown, jumped up and grabbed which had just beaten it, making the throw to them 10-8 earlier in first in time. the week, they also “We still had a chance surpassed their win total right there at the end, but from a season ago. the pitcher just pitched Elmore County won a good game and made only three games all a great play there at the of last season; with its end, and that’s what it defeat of the Rebels, it’s came down to,” Jones now 4-2 on the year. said. “A lot of these kids “It was a good are young, so they’re rebound,” ECHS coach Lizi Arbogast / The Record still learning what we Michael Byrd said. Reeltown’s Reed Baker attempts the throw to catch an need to do. We just need “Austin (Downey) to be patient with them coming in and throwing Elmore County runner out on Saturday afternoon. and figure it out by the well gives us a good boost. They were one Cody Thomas led off pitches, but we were just end of the year. It’s a job, not a sprint. We of our two losses, and with a walk, and Logan hitting it right at them. that was actually our Hunt joined him on the Some days it’s like that.” have a lot of games left, and games like that are last game out. We were bases when he was hit by Unfortunately for good for us.” up two runs in the sixth a pitch. Nelson Whaley Reeltown, Elmore Downey finished over there and gave up reached on an error to County immediately the complete game, four runs to lose the load the bases with no had the answer, taking scattering only three game, so this is going outs. Elmore County advantage of some wild to be really big for us got the first out when pitching in the home half hits and not allowing an earned run. He struck moving forward.” Reeltown’s Kolby Coan of the fifth. Jonathan out four and walked only Reeltown (4-3) batted into a fielder’s Stiff and Edwards both two. absolutely had its choice, and Panther drew walks, before “He was the chances, as the Panthers catcher Chase Wilson Taylor Henderson hit difference,” Byrd said. struggled with six errors, tagged Thomas out at a single to rightfield to but the Rebels couldn’t home. drive in pair of runs and “He really controlled push across a run when their offense and really Hayden Solomon ultimately take the lead it mattered most. hit a hard ball which for good. Henderson had should’ve had a shutout Early on, Elmore was flubbed by ECHS’ grounded out both of his there. If we make some County scratched out a shortstop, giving previous times up to bat. routine plays, it could’ve run in each of the first courtesy runner Cody been a shutout for him.” “I just told the guys two innings, one on an Argo and Whaley time to to keep calm, keep Later in the day, RBI single from Kadin score. Elmore County was swinging the bats and Edwards and one on a “This team right here doing what we’re doing,” bogged down by sacrifice fly by Blake is pretty aggressive, and Byrd said. “We were Prattville Christian, Nichols. But Reeltown that aggression kind falling 10-0 in five going to find a way to finally found its way of wears people down innings. PCA allowed win this game. (Taylor) onto the scoreboard throughout the game,” only one hit in the game, was just aggressive. He in the top of the fifth Rebel coach Mike Jones got a fastball early in and it was secured by inning. said. “We were catching the count and put it in a Edwards. By LIZI ARBOGAST Sports Editor


continued from page B1

File / The Record

Reeltown’s Eric Shaw (6) is one of the top players on both the offensive and defensive side of the ball for the football team.

more of a guard position this year. “Once he puts his mind to something, he likes to get better at it,” Reeltown boys basketball coach Jonathan Gardner said. “At the end of last year, he told me he wanted to play some guard this year, and I told him he needed to work on his handles. He got a lot better with his dribbling, and that helped us when I needed to use him sometimes to bring the ball up the court.” Shaw has been playing football since he was a youngster and added basketball to his repertoire when he was in seventh grade. When Reeltown resurrected its track and field program, Shaw thought, “Why not?” “Growing up, everybody kept telling me I was so athletic, so I wanted to try as many

sports as I could to stay active year round,” Shaw said. “When they were talking about starting a track team, I wanted to try something new. I don’t play baseball, so at that time, I was just at the house, being lazy, so I wanted to try it. It also helps me keep in shape for other sports.” And unlike so many other young athletes who have a lot of potential to play at the next level, Shaw is enjoying his playing days in a Rebel jersey. “He’s passionate about being a high school athlete, which is huge with his stature,” Johnson said. “A lot of times, kids who know they have the opportunity to play at the next level don’t really enjoy playing in high school, but he loves what he does.”

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Dadeville Record

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The Dadeville Record

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Thursday, March 8, 2018

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The Dadeville Record

New Site Town Council hears gym updates hydrants around town, a generator at the pumping station, new lines and The New Site Town the ability to increase the Council heard the latest pressure in the Goldville updates during Monday community.â&#x20AC;? nightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s meeting as the town Further good news on continues to try and make the water system subject progress on the issues came in the form of a with renovating the old notification that the work gymnasium and upgrading on the water line on the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s water system. Lashley Road was virtually The town recently complete, other than one or received a notification from two small items left to be the Alabama Department tended to. of Environmental With the engineering Management that all the firm Gunn & Associates legal documents regarding finishing up the blueprints the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s grant for on the gym facility, upgrading the water system including an electrical were being prepared. layout, Blasingame said â&#x20AC;&#x153;We hope to be able the completed plans will to go over them and sign be sent out to the firms that them at the next council have expressed interest in meeting,â&#x20AC;? Mayor Phil installing fire alarms and Blasingame said. safety exit lights inside the In addition, there were building. Using this, the still two right-of-way companies will be able easements the town was to give the town a more working on getting from accurate cost estimate for landowners so work can the work so the town can begin, but the mayor said determine where to go he believes this will not be from there. a major hurdle to clear, and Near the end of the that work can begin within meeting, Councilman Billy the next 30 days. Daniel reminded the rest â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re excited to be of the council that they had close to starting this work,â&#x20AC;? been considering providing Blasingame said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll health insurance for town be getting 16 new fire employees and stressed By DONALD CAMPBELL Staff Writer


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being serious in trying to offer this benefit. In order to have the most up-to-date information possible, the town was requesting the two companies that had presented proposals in the recent past send in updated proposals. Blasingame said the council will continue to look at this and hopefully be able to offer this when formulating the fiscal year 2019 budget. The New Site Town Council also took action on the following items: â&#x20AC;˘ Minutes from the Feb. 20 meeting were approved. â&#x20AC;˘ Senior Activity Center Director Jan Kennedy reported the center had a successful Rook tournament, with 28 players taking part. She said local seniors are continuing to frequent

the center on Tuesdays and Thursdays for regular activities, and the center is also looking into potentially having a trip for the seniors in the near future. â&#x20AC;˘ The recently purchased park benches and trash can for the playground have been installed and are ready to be used. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The playground area is completed now,â&#x20AC;? Blasingame said. â&#x20AC;˘ The council voted not to participate in the class action lawsuit being filed against opioid manufacturers. Blasingame said the town had not incurred any legal expenditures from opioid issues, so there was no serious need for receiving a reimbursement of spent funds.

â&#x20AC;˘ After voting to disconnect the town weather sirens at the Feb. 20 meeting, the mayor reported that the sirens have officially been taken offline. â&#x20AC;˘ A chainsaw for the town maintenance department has been purchased and is now in the departmentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s possession. â&#x20AC;˘ Police Chief Philip Weddle and Officer Justin Farr reported things have been fairly quiet overall. Also during the police reports, the council voted to allow the department to participate in the 1033 Program/Alabama Surplus Property Division at an annual cost of $150. This program allows for police departments to obtain equipment deemed surplus by the United States

Department of Defense. â&#x20AC;˘ It was reported that the townâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s website had been updated with new information on city employees, as well as a brand new page about the Senior Activity Center and one containing a regularly updated town calendar, showing council meetings and events at the senior center. â&#x20AC;˘ With spring youth sports starting soon, the parks and rec department reported there was a good signup list for participants, and that all town facilities were in good shape and ready to go for the season. The next meeting of the New Site Town Council is Monday, March 19 beginning at 5 p.m. in the council room of New Site Town Hall.


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Page B6

Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Dadeville Record

Local students accepted into Jacksonville State University • Jaden Tuck of Alexander City • Lili Gonzales of Alexander City • Jerry Pulliam III of Dadeville • Jalen Sullivan of Camp Hill JACKSONVILLE— Jacksonville • Madison Harvel of Goodwater State University will be welcoming • Bianca Pugh of Alexander City more than 2,600 students into its 2018 • Cierra McDonald of Rockford freshman class. Several students who • Jasmine Carr of Alexander City made the list are from the Lake Martin area, including Alexander City, Jacksons • Elijah Stargill of Alexander City • Dejavious Hunter of Alexander City Gap, Daviston, Dadeville, Kellyton, • Emma Yarbrough of Dadeville Camp Hill, Goodwater and Rockford. • Franchester Presley of Camp Hill The students admitted include: For those wishing to join the JSU • Tay’la Stowes of Alexander City • Za’Nyia Whitaker of Alexander City family, there’s still time. Apply online at • Jared Glenn of Alexander City Jacksonville State University was • Timothy Haggerty of Jacksons Gap founded in 1883 as a state teachers • Alexia Clifton of Alexander City college. It has grown from humble • Hannah Adcock of Daviston • Hayley Marbury of Alexander City beginnings into the Alabama regional • Lauren Henderson of Jacksons Gap university with the highest percentage of accredited programs. • Justin Bice of Dadeville Located in the Appalachian foothills • Zakia Thomas of Alexander City midway between Birmingham and • Daniel Montgomery of Dadeville Atlanta, JSU offers more than 150 • Alexandria Queen of Kellyton courses of study, including over 40 • Andrea Morgan of Kellyton Special / Jacksonville State University online programs, at the undergraduate • Monea’ Brooks of Alexander City This is a view of the Jacksonville State University campus from the 12th floor observation deck and graduate level. To learn more, visit • Amaya Hatcher of Camp Hill of the Houston Cole Library. An extensive list shows a great number of students from the Lake, call 1-800-231-JAX1 or • Cade Worthy of Alexander City email • Tia Birmingham of Alexander City Martin Area have been accepted into JSU. STAFF REPORT TPI Staff

Spring is in the air, and so is pollen By DONALD CAMPBELL Staff Writer

Spring is a time of rebirth, as plants and many animals emerge from their winter hibernations to enjoy a new year. However, there are issues that come with this renewal of life, none perhaps more visible than pollen. “Everything is blooming right now, so we’re going to see more pollen in the air,” Shane Harris with the Tallapoosa County Extension Office said. “Pine trees are our no. 1 source of pollen, since it’s our most common plant.” Pine tree pollen is easily the most visible of all springtime pollens, spreading itself across cars and everything else it can with its distinctive pale yellow color. However, many other plants are also spreading their pollen through the air, grains that are not as easily visible to the human eye. All of these types of pollen work to move from one plant to another, causing seeds to germinate and lead to the birth of new plants, continuing the cycle of life. “Some things that are blooming right now are blooming on time, but some things are

Mitch Sneed / The Record

The pollen in the air from plants and trees can make even a black vehicle take on a yellow hue like it did on this Ford truck just before Monday’s rain started to fall. The pollen was so thick that someone wrote a message in the fine yellow dust.

Russell Medical Center said the ear, nose and throat office sees an uptick in allergy cases coming through the doors during the months of March and April, while also having an increase in the months of September and October. “Right now, it’s all the pollens that we’re seeing,” McLeod said. “We also see people in the fall when ragweed and goldenrod start to come out.” Despite what many people may think, McLeod said pine tree pollen is not as severe of an

blooming early,” Harris said. “It’s hard to predict these sort of things.” While daffodils are blooming on schedule, Harris said plants like azaleas are coming in early, with dogwoods starting to flower as much as a month early, usually blossoming around Easter weekend. While pollen is necessary for trees and flowers to be able to produce new plants, it can also produce problems for some people, namely allergies. Dr. Anthony McLeod at

allergy problem as other kinds of pollen are. “Pine tree pollen is the most visible, but it essentially falls straight to the ground and doesn’t hang in the air for very long,” he said. “It’s more of the finer types of pollen that cause problems, because they tend to hang in the air for longer periods of time.” During pollen allergy season, McLeod suggested those who are most severely affected by the pollen in the air limit their time outdoors if possible, keeping car and home windows closed, wearing a mask outside and taking over the counter medication if necessary. He also talked about some of the things his office can offer to those suffering from seasonal allergies. “If over the counter medicine isn’t working, come see us,” McLeod said. “We have steroid shots for those who may only have their allergies for a month or so. We have allergy shots for people who may deal with them for a longer period of time, and we can write prescriptions for allergy medications. “If problems continue to persist, we can also check for other nasal and sinus problems to alleviate any concerns.”

CommunityCalendar Today is

Today’s Birthdays

Maso Grubbs Jr., Barbara Jean Harris, Willie Livingston, Brandon Keel, Anthony Moten and Kathy Williams are celebrating their birthdays today.

March 8, 2018 Saturday, March 10

PANCAKE BREAKFAST: The Alexander City Kiwanis Club is hosting a pancake and Conecuh sausage breakfast March 10 from 6 to 10 a.m. at the Benjamin Russell High School cafeteria. Tickets are $6 and include all you can eat. Carry out is also available. FLEA MARKET: The Town of Camp Hill Flea Market will start back up March 10 and continue on the second Saturday of each month through Nov. 10. The hours of operation are 30 minutes after day break until 2 p.m. Spaces are for rent for $10 and are 20 feet by 20 feet. For more information contact James Woody at 256-7498270. SINGING: Family Worship Center at 1676 Sewell Street will be hosting “Singing with the Walkers” Saturday, March 10 at 6 p.m. The pastor of Family Worship Center is Tony Harris.

Tuesday, March 13

GREATER TUNA: Alexander City Arts is hosting “Greater Tuna,” Tuesday, March 13 at 7 p.m. at the BRHS Auditorium. It is a hilarious

comedy about Texas’ third smallest town where the Lion’s Club is too liberal and Patsy Cline never dies.

Wednesday, March 14

THE CASE FOR MIRACLES: River of Life Church will be a host site for the global simulcast of “The Case for Miracles,” Wednesday, March 14 at 7 p.m. The church will be serving a meal from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The church is located at 1715 Tallapoosa Street (Highway 22) in Alexander City about a half mile past Buck’s restaurant.

Thursday, March 15

DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEETING: The Tallapoosa County Democratic Party will be hosting 3rd Congressional District Candidates Mallory Hagan and Dr. Asia McClellan Winfrey Thursday, March 15 at 6 p.m. at the Bud Porch Center in Alexander City. The Tallapoosa County Democratic Party meets every third Thursday. For more information please call Interim County Party Chair Carol Gowan at 256794-7432.

March 14-16

CHURCH REVIVAL: GAP Fellowship Church at 721 Robinson Road is hosting spring revival services March 14-16 at 7 p.m. nightly. Pastor Betty Hoyett will speak Wednesday, Evangelist Shamika Thomas Thursday evening and Evangelist Joanne Shealey on Friday. Lou and Marilyn Benson are pastor of GAP Fellowship Church.

March 14-18

ANNUAL MINISTER’S COUNCIL: The New Covenant Ministries of the World is hosting its annual ministers council March 14-18 at the Liberty Life Christian Center at 243 S Street in Alexander City. There will be a daily prayer at 9 a.m., worship and praise at 11:45 a.m. daily and at 7 p.m. will be keynote speaker Pastor Dwight Hunt of Beth-El Church of God in Christ in Poughkeepsie, New York. The speaker on Sunday, March 18 is Chief Apostle W.T. Traylor, founder and CEO of New Covenant Ministries of the World.

March 16-17

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Today’s Events

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 March 16 and 17. Friday night there will be a Calcutta and steak dinner at the Alexander City Elks Lodge and the shoot will be Saturday at the Lower Wetumpka Shotgun Sports Club. If you would like to participate or sponsor a sign please contact Stacey Jeffcoat by calling 256-2344757 or emailing at staceyj1229@

Saturday, March 17

PANCAKE BREAKFAST: Comer Methodist Men’s Club is hosting a pancake breakfast Saturday, March 17 from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. It is eat in or carry-out and is $6 a plate. FISHING TOURNAMENT: The Benjamin Russell High School Cheerleaders fishing tournament will be March 17 at Wind Creek. EASTER EGG HUNT: Mt. Zion Church on Highway 63 South will be hosting an Easter egg hunt Saturday, March 17 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will begin with a lunch and an Easter presentation.

HOMES FOR SALE/ FOR RENT O Classes & Workshops Special Events O Exciting Travel O Activities focused on Health, Wellness & Socializing

has been made

Churches and non-profits can submit items to the calendar at editor@thedadevillerecord. com and

ANNUAL MEETING: The Lake Martin Area United Way is holding its annual meeting and 2018 Team United Campaign Celebration March

City of

Many a

small thing

There will be a prize egg for toddlers, grade school and middle school. TRADE DAY: Bibb Graves High School Alumni and Friends Monthly Trade Day in Millerville on Highway 9 between Ashland and Goodwater will be held on March 17 from 7 a.m. until 2 p.m. Refreshments are also available.

Thursday, March 22

KIWANIS STEAK DINNER: The Alexander City Kiwanis Club is hosting its annual Auction and Steak Dinner March 22 from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the Russell Medical Event Venue. Tickets are $50 and include drinks, dinner, live music, a silent and live auction. SENIORX: Deborah Jones SeniorRx Coordinator will be available March 22 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce to help seniors see if they are eligible for assistance with diabetic supplies, liquid supplements and medications. For more information Jones can be contacted at 1-800-361-1636 or 256-761-3575. This is sponsored by the Area Agency on Aging.

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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

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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

Lakeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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.

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

Last Month's Levels Weather Outlook for March March 2017 Forecast at Lake Martin Historically, the Lake Martin area experiences average high temperatures in the 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.

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

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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 wai 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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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







6 BR, 5.5 BA • $1,399,000

4 BR, 3 BA • $719,000

4 BR, 5 BA • $1,099,000

4 BR, 4 BA • $689,900


4 BR, 3.5 BA • $799,500

4 BR, 3.5 BA • $578,900


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

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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

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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 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.

Season-Long Events â&#x20AC;&#x2039; labama Wildlife Federation Creature A Feature

Every Monday and Wednesday, from 3:30 p.m. until 4 p.m., learn about Alabamaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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. The Alabama Nature Center is located at 3050 Lanark Rd. in Millbrook. To check holiday closings, visit



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

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 for more information.

Santuck Flea Market

The Santuck Flea Market is held the first Saturday of each month. The Santuck Flea Market is located at 7300 Central Plank Rd., Highway 9 in Wetumpka.

Real Island Supper

The Real Island community hosts a covered dish supper every third Friday of the month at the Real Island Volunteer Fire Department and Community Room, 1495 Real Island Rd., Equality. Everyone is welcome. Admission is $3 per adult; bring a covered dish to share. Some nights are themed, so call ahead to find out if costumes or certain types of food are in order. For information, contact Dianne Perrett at 256-329-8724.

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

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

A big catch put Presley and Dennis on the national track

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 Cedar shingles and natural stone adorn the lakefront side of the house.

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

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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

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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?

New economic study puts lake value in billions STORYâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;BY BETSY ILER & PHOTO BY CLIFF WILLIAMS GRAPHICS COURTESY OF RCLCO

MARCH 2018



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

MARCH 2018

staffed make an fire stainitiative LAKE IMPACT AREA VALUED AT OVER $4.7 BILLION tions to keep close to the area lake comclean? munities. It’s overIn whelmaddition, ing, but the study we all estimated have got that the to be lake involved means – govern$10.6 ment, million businessannues, civic ally to the clubs, county churches. governWe need ments, a lot of mostly in people to property be comtaxes. mitted to a clean Lamberth challenged officials at the RCLCO presenenvironment. It could make a big difference that won’t cost a lot of money. It could help with the growth of the tation to use the data to identify areas of concern and to work together to develop a forward thinking plan. lake.” “This is good information, and we all need to study Attracting businesses that would better serve the it, so we can be informed and make better decisions for needs of lake visitors and property owners could also the future,” Lamberth said. “The lake is going to grow, reduce the leakage, said Logan. whether we do anything or not. But it can grow bet“The No. 1 need is food,” he explained. “That means grocery options, as well as restaurants. No. 2 is personal ter and smarter if we all work together and develop a plan. I think with everything we do, we should consider services. Hair salons, nail care, healthcare options and how the lake plays into the economic development of any service-related business that supports daily living. Tallapoosa, Coosa and Elmore counties.” Those are what I see as the areas of greatest potential.” 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 wter around docks as well as in deep holes with stable temepratures

MARCH 2018



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Marshals picked up trips 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.







MARCH 2018

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


MARCH 2018


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

MARCH 2018

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

Eagle numbers soar at Lake Martin STORYâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;BY BETSY ILER & MITCH SNEED PHOTO BY KENNETH BOONE


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


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

by APC in the Alabama, Coosa, Tallapoosa re we prepared for the next major River Basin. drought? What can anyone do to lessWithin ADROP, there are three levels of en the impact of a terrible drought? responses that dictate the necessary action Have you ever seen your dock high and dry permitted to minimize the effects of drought on July 4th? on the entire ACT River Basin. With each A little known and seldom discussed level of drought intensity, more conservation benefit during the relicensing process of actions are implemented. Lake Martin Dam was that the Federal Water releases from dams are reduced as Energy Regulatory Commission required the an effort to conserve storage in APC lakes, implementation of a drought program for HOBO while those releases also support some level the Tallapoosa River. Called the Alabama BY JESSE CUNNINGHAM of downstream need. Also, APC must seek Drought Response Operating Proposal, the variances from USACE and FERC to templan was instituted as a result of 2007’s devporarily raise winter lake levels above normal levels as an astating drought in Alabama. effort to help ensure the lakes fill to summer levels. We have already seen benefits of the new ADROP proThe winter of 2016-2017 was an example of this action, gram. Last winter our lake level was temporarily raised 2 as our lake level was temporarily raised 2 feet at that time. feet above normal winter level because of drought condiCurrently, Lake Harris is temporarily being held 2 feet tions at the time. Simply monitoring the flow rates of the above normal because the area is experiencing drought rivers and reacting to drought conditions as they develop may lessen the impacts to lake levels, which hurt the econ- conditions. Since the ADROP program has been in effect, we have omies of all of us. not experienced a really bad drought period as we saw in How in the world did such a good thing come about? 2007, but every indication is that this program will offer all Well, as a result of the drought of 2007, which saw lake lake lovers some real protection against the terrible effects levels on Lake Martin drop to historic lows, Alabama of a long-lasting severe drought. Power, along with the assistance of state and federal No, ADROP will not make it rain, and it is not a plan to agencies, led an effort to develop a plan to address future keep lakes full, but it certainly will help protect the water droughts. Out of that effort, the ADROP program was we already have in our lakes. developed. The Lake Martin Home Owners and Boat Owners A good question to ask is, “How do we know there’s a Association would like to thank Alabama Power Company drought?” and the state and federal agencies that worked behind the Obviously, when there’s not enough rain we call it a scenes to make the drought, but much program a reality. We more sophisticated The Alabama drought of have already seen the information is avail2007 saw Lake Martin drop to historic lows effects of the efforts to able from 11 stream make ADROP work. flow gauges on the Lake Martin is far betCoosa River and ter prepared for the seven gauges on the next drought than it Tallapoosa River. has ever been. Thanks. When hydrologic The complete conditions, as indiADROP document is cated by stream flows available at lakemartinand rainfall amounts, In left worsen in the basin, column, click on AL the ADROP program Drought Program. is implemented and provides three levContact Jesse els of action that are Cunningham of Lake designed to reduce the Martin HOBO at 256impact of a drought 825-0919. in the lakes controlled

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 proBYâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;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

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

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MARCH 2018



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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

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

MARCH 2018

MARCH 2018




20 To Sylacauga

Ti L





9 Churches


Alexander City

Public Boat Ramps 7


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

Childrenâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;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 Catherineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Market 6. 256-215-7070 17 Russell Farms 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

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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

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

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MARCH 2018

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

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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

"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



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MARCH 2018


Look What You Did! Stories of success, promise and whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the horizon for the Lake Martin Region

2018 Progress Edition 2018 LOOK WHAT YOU DID!


Life is Better at The


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.


| 256.215.7011 |





FROM THE PUBLISHER This is the 43rd year now we at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., are bringing you an up-close-and-personal look at our community. I use the word personal because it is all about the people who make this community – and by that I mean everyone who relates to the Lake Martin and Tallapoosa County areas as home – the place that it is. And no matter where they have come from originally, all of these people have deep roots in Alabama – hometown roots, even if they grew up somewhere else. Who wouldn’t want to sink roots Steve Baker here? It’s the kind of place where local kids get an education from some of the best teachers in the country; where families with long ties to the area continue the traditions learned for past generations. We have healthcare options and access to state-of-the-art technology right here. We have access to a pristine lake just minutes away. This is also the kind of place where people celebrate their love of the place by restoring old homes and buildings, where history lives on. It is the kind of place that makes people with no previous ties to the area decide to settle down for what it has to offer – outdoor recreation that includes shopping, beautiful Lake Martin and more. It is the kind of town where friendships between statesmen and artists become a tangible, physical celebration of life in the South. It’s a place where shop owners know their customers by name; where friends are made for life; and everybody has a chance to get involved at the local level and make a positive change for the community. That’s what the parade of stories in this annual progress issue is about; it honors the work we’ve accomplished together and celebrates the many ways in which this community has moved forward in recent years. Our hometowns produce a lot of ordinary people who produce extraordinary stories, and at Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., we’re grateful for the privilege of bringing these stories of triumph to you. Some of you know some of these stories already. Some will be new to you. Some of you know other stories that are not told in this issue but are every bit as important and worthy of recognition as these. We invite you to share those stories on our Facebook pages and other social media as we celebrate the progress this community has made with the theme, Look What You Did! I hope you enjoy this edition of Parade.

- STAFF Chairman Kenneth Boone Publisher Steve Baker Managing Editor Betsy Iler Assistant Magazine Editor Amy Passaretti Art Director Audra Spears contributors

Mitch Sneed, Managing Editor Cliff Williams Lizi Arbogast Santana Wood Donald Campbell Advertising Tippy Hunter, Advertising Director Katie Wesson, Advertising Manager Rebecca Carlisle Erin Burton Marilyn Hawkins Kat Raiford Scott Hardy Composing Darlene Johnson Hallie Holloway

Steve Baker, Publisher







“The people here have been incredible ... everyone has really gone out of their way to make us feel welcomed.” ~ BES professional angler Brett Hite






Letter from Publisher................................................................4

Graydon for the Gold .............................................................. 44


Sabal Trail Pipeline Generates Value........................................ 48

John Thompson .....................................................................10

Lake Martin Hosts Bassmasters Elite Series ............................. 52

Russell Medical Opens Hybrid Healthcare Model .....................12

Lyman Ward Soars to New Heights .......................................... 61

Catherine Bates .....................................................................16

A Step Toward Blue Zones ....................................................... 65

New Businesses Open in Town ................................................18

Sidewalks and Signage Enhance Sportplex .............................. 66

Richard Wagoner ...................................................................23

A Candid Approach to Street Construction ................................ 68

Trip of a Lifetime ....................................................................24

Greener Pastures ....................................................................72

Community Day of Action........................................................28

Clean Water Awareness ...........................................................74

LMCH Delivers Donations........................................................30

Wellborn Industries Score Big ..................................................76

Old-Fashioned Fun..................................................................32

John Kendrick ........................................................................80

MainStreet Revives Vintage Signage .......................................38

County Activates New Warning System .................................... 82



Leap Toward Success ................................................85


Keebler Park Beautification .....................................86 Sharing Christmas Spirit .........................................88 Wind Creek Builds Adventure ..................................90 Local Company Impacts Treasured Landmarks...........92 Business Card Directory...........................................94 Our Advertisers .......................................................97

ON THE COVER: Lake Martin hosted this year’s Bassmaster Elite Series season opener at Wind Creek State Park with 110 professional anglers from around the country in attendance. Photo by Mitch Sneed

“I am excited about people coming into Alexander City, and I think we’re headed in a good direction. We want to keep people from moving away by providing convenience, and we want them to shop local.”


~ Beth McKenzie Haynie


TPI Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc. 548 Cherokee Road, Alexander City, AL 35010 256-234-4281


61 2018 LOOK WHAT YOU DID! 7

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John Thompson Standard Bearer for a Clean Lake Martin Community STORY BY BETSY ILER


t was 13 tons last year; 20 the year before; more than 74 tons and other programs that teach children to care for the environover the last 10. And standing behind this formidable pile of ment, and the winning drawing is featured on a T-shirt that trash, year after year, with a picker and a Renew Our Rivers Thompson hands out to each cleanup volunteer. trash bag in his hands is Lake Martin’s John Thompson. Convinced that the once-a-year Renew Our Rivers effort was Thompson recruited 2,024 volunteers to help with this effort. not enough, Thompson put together Rapid Response teams – It’s been his specialty. volunteers who clean up reported trash and dump sites between As Lake Martin Resource Association president for the last six the annual events. years, Thompson has channeled a passion for the environment “It’s a thankless job,” he said. “These guys and gals take their into community-wide action. His boats out to places where people spirited love for the environment ran have camped or had parties, or deep long before he took office, but places where people have discovered LMRA provided a platform from a dump site, and they clean it all up which to spearhead an ever-onward and haul away the trash. And they effort. get no recognition for it. They just do “For many years now, I have it because they love the lake, and they concentrated a great deal of time on hate to see it trashed up.” organizing and participating in litter When he learned that Prosperity cleanup events around Lake MarAgain Thru Health was sponsoring tin,” Thompson told Lake magazine occasional walks to promote healthy four years ago. “I am committed exercise, Thompson suggested to finding a better way to keep the combining the PATH outings with shoreline of Lake Martin, along trash cleanups on area roadsides. with the adjacent highways, cleared PATH Trash Walks are now held of unsightly litter. The community ~ John Thompson several times throughout the year and deserves better.” often are sponsored by businesses or In 2008, Thompson started coorindividuals that reward volunteers dinating Alabama Power Company’s annual Renew Our Rivers with breakfast or lunch on trash-walk days. cleanups at Lake Martin. He sent out public service announceIn 2015, when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission ments with his own email address as the contact, assembled sup- issued APC’s new Martin Dam project license, which included a plies and defined lake areas in which volunteers were assigned to requirement for an Adopt-a-Treasured-Mile program, the power work. He arranged for dumpsters to be available at drop-off sites company turned to Thompson for help with a plan. and obtained sponsorships to cover costs. Thompson worked with LMRA volunteers and APC repreThompson enlists the help of local art teachers who encoursentatives to identify islands and shoreline areas that were most age elementary school children to enter a T-shirt design contest in need of regular cleanups. The team divided the miles into every year. The artwork coincides with classroom curriculum manageable sections and posted a map on the LMRA website.

“I am committed to finding a better way to keep the shoreline of Lake Martin cleared of unsightly litter ... The community deserves better.”

Through an intensive public relations campaign, LMRA invited lake lovers to commit to keeping adopted sections clean year round. A year and a half later, all 27 of the designated islands and 40 percent of the 78 shoreline areas have been adopted. “That’s just great. Now, these areas will be kept up to make sure they stay clear of trash all the time,” Thompson said. “It’s time now that the big tonnage we have been collecting every year will start to go down,” he explained. “When we started this, we were finding areas that had never been cleaned up – I mean, never, since the dam was built almost a hundred years ago. We have gone into designated areas and done some very necessary deep cleaning, and we’ve almost covered the whole lake now. Cleanup now is just about routine. There are programs in place now that support that.” But that doesn’t mean Thompson will retire his passion. On the contrary, it means he has time to turn his attention to the lake’s outer areas – the roadsides that approach Lake Martin and the streets in communities that surround the lake. “Trash from the area around the lake washes into streams and the river, and it ends up in the lake. It would be better if we could keep it out of the run-off system altogether,” he said. So he’s gathered local leaders to identify areas that need regular attention. This team includes city officials, business leaders, non-profit organizations, media representatives and others who are hatching a plan for year-round cleanups. “This is going to take the whole community to get involved – scouts, church groups, civic clubs, neighborhoods. We’re going to use rewards to encourage participation, and we’re going to educate people – through posters and banners and social media – to just be mindful about how household trash becomes litter Thompson (left) and a Renew our Rivers volunteer show off a cleanup trophy, a pile of tires retrieved from Lake Martin

and how to stop it,” Thompson said. “We’ll be rolling that program out soon.” With such a passionate focus on litter, it would be easy to assume Thompson has no time or energy for other civic pursuits, but that is not the case. As nighttime lake traffic has increased, Thompson heard concerns about the safety of boating after dark from LMRA members and worked with LMRA’s buoy team to raise funds for lighted buoys. To date, the campaign that launched last fall has raised $20,000 and increased the number of lighted buoys from 24 to 66. “That is substantially more than we thought we would have by this time. We’ll begin putting those out this spring,” he said. “Our goal is 200 lighted buoys. These new buoys are not in addition to the existing ones, but they are replacing the regular buoys in some locations with lighted buoys. Those are deployed and maintained by our buoy team, which has been well structured and has done a great job for a long time.” But Thompson is not content with the mere success for today. His next big project is to extend the longevity of LMRA’s cleanup and water safety programs. “I looked around the table one day and saw aging directors who have worked hard and done well, but it’s time to bring in the younger generation,” he said. “We need young folks that love the lake to get involved to keep the organization viable and growing and doing. “If we don’t bring up the next generation, everything that we have done will fade away when we’re gone.” To join Thompson’s efforts, email him at

The new facility opened its doors last year with plenty of rooms (inset) for healthcare needs



lmost a decade after the seed was planted, Russell Medical last year opened a hybrid model facility that combines primary and urgent healthcare in one building. Part of the 12,000-square-foot facility houses office space for primary care physicians while the remaining space provides non-emergency urgent care treatment. The concept for the Total Healthcare/Urgent Care facility, which sits on a knoll at the back of the Russell Medical campus, began when local hospital officials met a Scottsboro doctor in 2008. “Dr. Bill Coleman had a passion for rural healthcare,” said Russell Medical CEO Jim Peace. “He wanted to bring primary care to this community.” The facility will be staffed with four physicians, doctors Robert Edwards, John Adams, Justin Vines and Tate Hinkle, with Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner Tammy Coker heading up the Urgent Care office. The facility is expected to help the community avoid a nationally projected shortage of primary care, Peace explained. Services tie into Russell Medical, and fall within the federal


and state guidelines for the hospital’s medical staff. Office space at the hospital’s adjacent professional building is fully occupied, so the Totalcare/Urgent Care project allows healthcare officials to address both present and future needs in one clinic setting. “We are very excited, but I want you all to know that this isn’t our building. This is your building,” Dr. Robert Edwards said at the facility’s grand opening. “It’s all about being open to you all, so you can have access to the care you need when you need it.” Urgent Care office hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on weekdays and 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends.


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Catherine Bates BRHS grad takes the Alabama Symphony stage STORY BY BETSY ILER


lexander City native Catherine Bates counts herself lucky to be on the Alabama Symphony Orchestra stage, but hard work and a long road also played parts in the success of this BRHS graduate. Bates, who started playing French horn at Alexander City Middle School, joined ASO for six concerts last year and has two more on her calendar this winter. She performed as assistant principal for the Explorer Series, Decatur Run-Off, Symphony 30, Sensory Friendly, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Brahms Symphony No. 1 concerts. She also played with the Black Jacket Symphony during the Led Zeppelin and Beatles concerts. Next month, she will play a Broadway show music concert and a Super Hero, Super Villain concert with ASO. “It actually started with a music scholarship to UAB,” Bates said. “My scholarship required that I take private lessons, and it turned out that my instructor is the principal with ASO. So last year, he needed an assistant for these concerts, and he asked me if I would like to do them.” It was an opportunity Bates had waited a long time to have. She started piano lessons when she was 7 years old. She kept up with her lessons and joined the band in middle school. “I really didn’t mean to pick the French horn,” she said. “I just got frustrated when we were trying out instru-


ments, and that’s what I ended up with. I did honor bands in school, and that was always just fun. It wasn’t until I got to college that it became more serious.” College, she said, prepared her for the strict regimen of playing with the symphony. “When you are playing with the symphony, you have to expect that you will make no mistakes, so you have to practice with that mentality,” she said. “I practiced probably close to four hours a day – at least. And I felt like I should have practiced more, but I was too exhausted. It’s a lot of physical and mental work. Your muscles get tired, and it’s mentally draining.” Bates took on the ASO performances during the last semester of her bachelor’s degree. In addition to finishing school, she was working in the UAB recruitment office and teaching French horn to beginner students in Birmingham schools two afternoons a week. “The Brahms concert was the biggest challenge. The other concerts were geared toward more casual audiences, but Brahms is pure classical music, and it’s for the mature listener. You can’t mess it up. Your job is to make it an experience for someone who probably is familiar with the music. That was a whole ‘nother set of pressure. It was quite stressful,” she said. “The most fun concert was Harry Potter. I grew up around Harry Potter. That was part of my childhood, and 2018 LOOK WHAT YOU DID!

getting to play that concert – I nerded out in every aspect. I loved it. I also got to watch the movie while studying the music. That was fun.” Bates had one month to learn the Harry Potter music, but only two weeks for some of the other events. “The Symphony has a music librarian who puts everything together for the musicians, so you start practicing when you get the materials from the librarian,” she explained. Now 22 years old, the daughter of Alexander City’s Denise and Larry Bates, will also play with the Columbus Symphony and hopes to audition for a contracted position in Columbus later this year. She graduated with her bachelor’s degree in December and now works full time with UAB’s Department of New Student Programs. Bates plans to attend graduate school at UAB and earn a master’s while she continues to take the ASO stage whenever assistant principal opportunities are presented. “Music is how I express myself,” she said. “It’s my artistic ability. I can’t sing or dance or paint pictures or write beautiful words, but I can get lost in music. It’s relaxing, but it also pushes me to be better. Music I love.” Thanks to a long road, hard work, a little bit of luck and a passion for what she does, Bates looks forward to every one of those future performances and holds dear what she’s done.



Expanding Our Footprint...

The physicians at Total Healthcare provide timely, efficient and total care for their patients in a comfortable and friendly environment. The brand new, state-ofthe-art facility is conveniently located on the Russell Medical campus. The medical team at Total Healthcare can take care of all your primary care needs. Call today at 256-329-7887 to schedule an appointment.

Pictured L-R: John Adams, M.D., Robert “Bob” Edwards, M.D., Tate Hinkle, M.D., Justin Vines, M.D

Russell Medical’s newest service, Russell Medical Urgent Care is now open. The Urgent Care is an expansion of treatment options available on the Russell Medical campus. The walk-in clinic treats injuries and illnesses requiring immediate care but not serious enough to require emergency room visits. Russell Medical Urgent Care is open seven days a week to accommodate non-emergency room emergencies.  For additional information, call 256-397-7727. Life’s a journey, we’re here for all of it.

Tammy Coker, CRNP

named to Becker’s 100 Great Community Hospitals, 2017 2018 LOOK WHAT YOU DID!


Owners Justin and Kira Woodall (facing page) opened Lake Martin Pizza Company in Alexander City

â&#x20AC;&#x153;Having a vibrant downtown where people can go shop, eat, entertain visitors and find services is critical to the future of our community.â&#x20AC;? ~ Ed Collari 18




lexander City has transformed since its founding more than a century ago and has developed into a destination where people want to live, work and play. The entrepreneurs in the area are highly credited for this success with their enthusiasm for the town and its potential. With a half dozen new businesses that opened this past year, the available entertainment and services drive residents to spend more time and money locally. From bars and restaurants to boutiques, personal care and financial services, popular amenities are popping up everywhere. Local native John Howell began crafting homemade, custom-built furniture and functional art long before he opened Madwind Craftsman & Co. early last year. As a fine craftsman, Howell moved back to Lake Martin some six years ago with an engineering degree from University of Alabama, and he and his wife Lacey bought a home on Madwind Creek – the inspiration for his company name. With a passion for the lake lifestyle, Howell honed his ironwork skills through Robinson Iron but wanted to branch out to create a client-engaged work atmosphere. This concept allows a customer to be part of the creative process for the one-of-a-kind furnishings and appointments he produces full time. Beth McKenzie Haynie shares her creative passion and flair for style at Alexander City’s Downtown Girl boutique on Main Street. Her downtown boutique is styled with feminine and chic décor with products that match the theme ranging from clothing and shoes to jewelry, accessories and more.

Haynie opened the store last March and already has an enthusiastic following of repeat customers who trust her opinion on items to purchase. Her stock is constantly rotating to keep the inventory fresh and unique. And though her product line may be difficult to find elsewhere, she keeps prices competitively affordable. “I am excited about people coming into Alexander City, and I think we’re headed in a good direction. We want to keep people from moving away by providing convenience, and we want them to shop local,” said Haynie. Down the road from Main Street, three local sisters decided to combine their shared love for all things confection and open a bakery in honor of their mother. Sweet Gaga’s was inspired by the treats Heather Johnson, Brittni McdonaldMoran and Hallie Mcdonald remember from special occasions



Beth McKenzie Haynie owns Downtown Girl on Main Street

Shay Dean Aesthetics offers a variety of skincare services

when growing up. Cakes at Sweet Gaga’s can be custom ordered for special occasions, while cakes, cupcakes, pies, cookies, brownies and much more are offered in the shop near Strand Park daily. French Quarter Bistro opened its door on Broad Street with a menu rooted in Cajun and creole-style food items, bringing a little taste of New Orleans to Alexander City. And just last month, Lake Martin Pizza Company opened its second location on Broad Street after months of local anticipation. Kira and Justin Woodall always intended to grow their Dadeville-based business, and Alexander City happened to be the perfect location. Serving handmade pizza and other Italian-based menu items for lunch and dinner in a modern craftsmanstyled atmosphere, the Broad Street location in Alexander City complements the original location at the intersection of highways 34 and 49 on the east side of Lake Martin. Another social addition to the downtown scene in-


cludes the opening of two lounges. Fermenter’s Market on the Green opened last April on Alabama Street with a selection of 35 craft beers on tap, more than 100 options in bottles, wine and liquor. With a handmade bar and plenty of gathering space for friends, the bar complements activities in Alexander City’s recently established designated arts and entertainment district. Native Mark Gilliland opened his cocktail bar, Ocie & Belle’s, on Main Street last summer. The name is a tribute to his grandparents, and Gilliland offers custom cocktails, a wide selection of bourbons and wine and beer. The rustic, yet cozy space is a great place to gather with friends. Ocie & Belle’s also serves three different types of grilled cheese and other simple food items. While customers used to have to drive to Auburn or Birmingham for aesthetic personal services, they can stay local now that Shay Dean opened her medical spa downton. Dean is a master cosmetologist and medical aesthetician who offers a plethora of skin care services in a calming, welcoming atmosphere. Dean’s training allows her to practice procedures with needles, including microneedling and hair restoration, and she is board certified in micropigmentation (cosmetic tattooing). She also showcases spa-type services – such as facials, chemical peels, body wraps, massage therapy – along with waxing, hair extensions, spray tanning, make up and lash application and more. Dean brings years of experience and a wide range of amenities to downtown Alexander City. “I wanted to be a part of downtown Alexander City because I see a lot of new businesses coming in, and I see the potential for this town to flourish. I wanted to be a part of that growth,” said the full-time resident of Lake Martin. In addition to incoming businesses, some local establishments have changed ownership in recent months, including Mistletoe Bough B&B and the renamed Makers Market on Main.


Sandra Mae Mellot said she felt an instant connection to the Mistletoe house on Hillabee Street when she saw an online post that it was for sale. Not being from the area, Mellot never imagined she’d own a bed-and-breakfast in a small Southern town; however, along with her husband Todd, she now lives in the home that was built on a lovely knoll in 1895. After a few renovations to personalize the space, Mellot enjoys renting her rooms for gatherings and events, as well as hosting weekend visitors. The charm and history behind the business draws enthusiastic customers from all over the area. Makers Market on Main, previously known as Alabama Makers Market, is now under the care and ownership of Barbara Thompson, who has worked in local retail for about half of the 12-plus years she’s lived in Alexander City. The boutique features quality handmade toys, clothes, art, food, furniture, pottery and more. Thompson’s Main Street location showcases local artists and craftsmen and features the works of more than 20 vendors. Gilbert Woodcrafts and Home Décor opened on Airport Drive – just off U.S. Highway 280 – in November. Lance and Melinda Gilbert feature handmade heirloom quality furniture and a variety of farmhouse and lake home decoration items in their storefront. Lance creates the furniture pieces, and Melinda

keeps stock of the other crafted items for sale. With so much entrepreneur activity in town, it’s no surprise that financial services also are growing. The business community welcomed a bank, a credit union and an investment house to the area in recent months. River Bank and Trust, a Montgomery area based bank, opened a full-service banking branch in a new building at the intersection of U.S. Highway 280 and Elkahatchee Road last spring. And on the opposite corner, Heritage South Credit Union opened in time for Christmas. And new this year in downtown, Alexander City native Lee Williams opened a branch office for Nowlin & Associates, a wealth management and financial advisory firm. President of the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce Ed Collari said, “Downtown for us is considered the heartbeat of our city, so recruiting new businesses there, especially ones with high-frequency traffic and that are destinational, is very important. “Our over-arching philosophy is to recruit young talent and young families, so having a vibrant downtown where people can go shop, eat, entertain visitors and find necessary services is critical to the future of our community.”

Ocie & Belle’s on Main Street features craft cocktails

More than 20 vendors are on display at Makers Market on Main



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Richard Wagoner A Main Stay of Downtown’s Heart STORY BY AMY PASSARETTI


steady, guiding hand for many years in Alexander City, Richard Wagoner’s love for and attention to the historic details of the downtown area have launched Main Street into the next business generation. Wagoner retired from public life at the end of last year, following a legacy of significant impact on the growth and beautification of the downtown area. Wagoner said his passion for civic engagement stems from his parents’ examples of community involvement. When his family moved to Alexander City in the 1940s, Wagoner’s parents were very involved in the community. “I learned by example that that is what you’re supposed to do. I also joined the Lions Club because you’re expected to get involved in a civic organization and represent the face of your company,” said Wagoner, a school principal for years. But it is his contributions to MainStreet and the revitalization of downtown for which Wagoner is most recognized. He was the executive director of MainStreet Alexander City for 12 years, initially became involved as a volunteer. He started the local farmers market and built relationships with local vendors who provide fresh produce to the community. “You see all walks of life at the farmers markets – communicating with no barriers. That’s small-town living,” Wagoner explained. Another tradition Wagoner coordinated is the downtown Christmas decorations.

Every year, he and volunteers test each string of lights before they are installed in the downtown area. Having been part of the school system for so long, Wagoner has a strong belief for involving children in community activities. “Being taught to be a part of the community is important, especially being in a small town. This helps children in life to greet people and make good first impressions. We’ve got to have a town that gives everyone a sense of purpose,” said Wagoner. “We greatly appreciate what the city does, and I’ve enjoyed working with them. I will continue to help where I can,” said Wagoner. It’s that relationship with the people in town that has fostered growth for his project ideas. From his beginning conversations with local townspeople about the role MainStreet should play in downtown to coordinating with the city to make improvements, Wagoner said he has simply been a catalyst for change. “It was a very board-driven organization. MainStreet has made a lot of progress, and it will continue to do so. Property value is increasing, and it’s the best it’s ever been in terms of low building vacancy. It takes people to envision the things we can get done,” said Wagoner. A significant impact from local contributions, including the Adelia McConnell Russell Charitable Foundation, has facilitated the attainment of many projects. The funds provided grants to designate downtown as a 2018 LOOK WHAT YOU DID!

historic district and as a result, more than 29 buildings have been renovated, had facade facelifts and fit the code for a uniform look. Having grown up near downtown, worked in a drug store there and delivered newspapers to the area as a child, Wagoner has a strong appreciation for the town’s center. “Downtown shops cater specifically to its people. MainStreet’s greatest focus was to beautify the area and take care of its infrastructure,” said Wagoner. Part of the ongoing project included renovations at Broad Street Plaza, along with the ongoing Revamp the Hamp undertaking. Hamp Lyon Stadium is an important part of Alexander City’s history. In multiple phases and dictated by private contributions, Wagoner and a group of town officials are working to make significant upgrades and renovations to provide a field for middle school teams, recreation teams and a centralized location for outdoor concerts and other town events. “This could be yet another aspect that draws people to the downtown area. That flow of people can be a catalyst for businesses and initiatives we’ve been implementing,” said Wagoner. While Wagoner has a vested interest in MainStreet’s success, he also plans to spend time with his family and four grandchildren, who will look at the town’s vintage charm, repainted store signs and vibrant business life and be able to say, “Our grandfather did that.”


Trip of a Lifetime Dadeville High School students visit New York City



n education, progress often focuses not only on what students did but also on how what they did will inspire and influence what they will do in the future. That’s why Dadeville High School Chorale Director Ashley Gresko arranged for 20-plus chorale, drama and band students to visit Broadway three months ago. The performing arts students got DHS music students, an up-close look directed by Ashley Gresko, at the big time visit New York City through backstage tours, watching Broadway shows and even attending a dance number workshop with a cast member from the Broadway hit, Aladdin. It was the trip of a lifetime, Gresko said. “It will encourage them to aspire for more,” she explained. “It raises the expectation of performance. “When we started the program just a few years ago, students said, ‘we are doing just like Broadway.’ Now, they know a lot more about what goes into producing a show. Hopefully, this trip opened their minds to what they can do.” The eight-day itinerary in the Big Apple included tickets to two Broadway productions, shopping at Saks 5th Av-


enue, tours of historic sites and meals at trendy restaurants – all at an affordable price. In addition to Aladdin, the students saw the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and toured backstage at the famous venue. “Some of the students have never really travelled,” Gresko said. “Many had not been north of Tennessee. We rolled into New York on a Saturday afternoon to fresh snow. The students enjoyed walking through Central Park throwing snowballs at each other.” Students also had the chance to see the National September 11 Memorial and Times Square, and they saw the skyline from the Hudson River. “I think this will be a reoccurring trip,” Gresko said. “We have some younger students that did not go that might want to when they get a little older. I think we will try to do it once every two to three years.” Designed primarily to enlighten and motivate members of the school’s chorale program, the trip to New York City did – and will do – so much more.



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Community Day of Action LMAUW volunteers clean, paint and improve school buildings throughout the counties STORY BY AMY PASSARETTI & PHOTOS COURTESY OF LAKE MARTIN AREA UNITED WAY


monsoon of torrential, nonstop rain did not prevent 200-plus volunteers in Tallapoosa and Coosa counties from taking action to better the community and beautify their schools. The Lake Martin Area United Way joined its fellow worldwide organizations last June in the annual community Day of Action, and despite the weather, the enthusiasm and energy remained high. “We had to make some serious adjustments on the fly based on the tasks we had planned to do because of the rain; however, everyone was so flexible and just went with it. We had a really good time, even covered in mud and soaking wet,” said Courtney Layfield, LMAUW’s director of marketing. On or around June 21 – the first day of summer and longest day of the year – volunteers across the world offer their

time to fill needs within their communities. Last year was LMAUW’s seventh year assisting the counties’ school systems with tasks that help offset finances for necessities, repairs and renovations around school grounds and buildings. “Since schools have such tight budgets and limited funds, this is a great way for us to give back and help the schools, so they can use their money for other things. It helps make the schools more pleasant for the children,” said Layfield, who took part in her first Day of Action last year. United Way board members, general community members, students, teachers and public figures all gathered to paint, clean, landscape and organize four schools throughout the area. Last year’s lucky recipients included Alexander City Middle School, Stephens Elementary, Horseshoe Bend School and Central Middle in Coosa County. “We rotate the schools each year to give each of them an

Volunteers at Horseshoe Bend completed more tasks than required



opportunity to receive our assistance, and principals and superintendents are so appreciative of the work we can do,” Layfield added. Many businesses even allowed their employees to take the day off to pitch in, and most of United Way’s agencies offered aid as well, said Layfield. While some of the initial tasks were postponed due to inclement weather, other volunteers ensured these assignments did not get ignored. A group of community members offered their time at a later date to complete the needed landscaping, power washing and outdoor painting. What inspired Layfield the most though, were the students that showed up to give back to their own schools. Aside from a number of general students, the Coosa Middle School softball team joined the effort, along with Horseshoe Bend’s majorettes. “It’s awesome to see that sense of pride and community. It’s so nice to instill this idea of giving back in our youth early on,” said Layfield. Sharon Fuller, executive director of LMAUW, said teachers are realizing that the annual Day of Action is also their opportunity to get work done in their individual classrooms. If a teacher is present on the Day of Action, and there are volunteers looking for something to do, that teacher can request cleaning, organization or painting. “I was amazed at how much we got done and how quickly people worked. It’s a good problem to have when people ask, ‘OK, what can we do now?’” said Layfield. While LMAUW has attempted other forms of outreach for previous Day of Action events, Layfield said, the community responds best to fulfilling the needs at the schools. “It’s all about what the community needs, and we don’t want to duplicate what others already do. We want to work on something that actually makes a difference and benefits the town,” said Layfield. A lot of companies donate supplies to the cause or offer financial support. Many tools can be reused each year, while other items, such as cleaning supplies, must be purchased each time and are typically left with the school as an added bonus. Schools purchase their own paint, as colors are specified, but United Way volunteers supply the brushes and labor. “We are incredibly fortunate to have sponsors and donations to help achieve these tasks,” Layfield said. Planning for the Day of Action typically begins a few months out. Around March, Layfield begins contacting the chosen schools for their wish lists of things they’d like done. United Way members then figure out what’s doable and ask the schools to prioritize items to best suit their most immediate needs, said Layfield. “We begin recruiting volunteers a few months out but are always surprised at the number that still show up on the day of. I am really pleased with last year’s outcome and am looking forward to this year,” Layfield said. The 2018 Day of Action is scheduled for Thursday, June 21. For information about this year’s benefitting schools or how to volunteer, contact Lake Martin Area United Way at 256-329-3600.

Volunteers assisted with painting walls of Stephens Elementary

Students participated in Day of Action throughout the four school locations



Matt Parker, Ashley Benton, Linda Goss, Brenda Robinson, Danny Robinson, Pat Bunn, Len Carter and Stacy DeLoach



school bus filled with more than 1,000 school supplies and volunteers with Lake Martin Community Hospital unloaded at the Dadeville Elementary School Open House the first week of August. LMCH conducted its inaugural School Supply Drive and, with the help of community donations, provided local children from pre-K to sixth grades the supplies they needed for the school year. In addition, LMCH Director of Marketing Ashley Benton presented DES Principal Chris Dark with a supplemental check for $500 in donations that were collected. “We hoped it would help cover anything else children need or for more families that speak up after the fact and require additional help. The school said they always have multiple students that come to school on the first day with nothing,” explained Benton. Everything from paper to folders, dry erase markers, writing utensils and more was collected within a mere three weeks and delivered to the school. “It was amazing that it came together so fast. Employees and community members really worked together for us to pull this off,” Benton said. Teachers were particularly appreciative of the donations, as they often have to purchase their own supplies throughout the year, said Benton, so this could be a huge help. The hospital’s cleaning supply vendors even agreed to donate boxes of cleaning supplies to the school. Benton said she was grateful for this added contribution and the fact that it could be supplied


in-house. This year, the School Supply Drive benefited DES, but Benton said LMCH plans to make this an annual event and will expand coverage Dadeville-wide or even Tallapoosa County-wide. “I will begin planning a lot earlier this year, and it will be an even more amazing fundraiser. Look at what we raised in just three weeks time; that’s insane,” said Benton. The LMCH employees coordinated with the local school bus company and arranged for Len Carter, transportation supervisor for Tallapoosa County schools, to pick up the supplies from the hospital and drop them off at the school. “We were able to see the families and kids receiving these items, and they actually got to see what we were doing,” said Benton. The supplies were organized by grade in large bins, which the teachers also kept for extra storage. The hallways of the school were lined with all the gear for everyone to see. LMCH also supports local Department of Human Resources children and provides donations of Christmas gifts, as well as annual holiday contributions to local food banks. “This past year was a record-breaking year for us. Lake Martin Community Hospital was able to provide an overwhelming amount of food to those in need. We were thrilled at the response from our employees and others who helped us to collect the items for both local DHR kids and the food bank,” said Benton. In January 2017, LMCH received the Business of the Year award by the Dadeville Area Chamber of Commerce in recognition of the hospital’s efforts to improve quality of life for local children.




Kids raced two at a time down Columbus Street by Dadeville High School

Old-Fashioned Fun 32


Children race in handmade vehicles at Dadeville’s inaugural soapbox derby STORY BY AMY PASSARETTI & DONALD CAMPBELL PHOTOS BY CLIFF WILLIAMS




peeding down the hill at nearly 25 miles per things. I pulled the ideas from my head, my memory, hour in homemade wooden cars, children in from seeing things from years ago,” said Ward. Tallapoosa County experienced a new take on Nearly 30 cars were built from any number of median old-fashioned version of fun – and it didn’t ums imaginable, all different shapes and sizes, and the involve technology. results were impressive. Ward said the concept is fairly Dadeville’s Marrell Ward created the inaugural Ducky simple, and cars are made mostly from wood, fiberglass, Ward Soap Box Derby late last summer to inspire wheels and metal parts. The only requirements were that children to feel accomplished and to bring families and all vehicles included brakes and hand-steering mechafriends together. nisms, usually using steel braided cable; in addition, each “Parents really enjoyed spending time with their chilrider was required to wear a DOT-approved helmet. dren. Everyone was really enthusiastic about it, and it’s Participants aged 6 to 15 years old raced two at a time a good family-oriented activity to do,” said Ward, who down Columbus Street next to the Dadeville football grew up participating in soapbox derbies in his homestadium. The average car sped down the hill at around town of Ocala, Florida. The event was named in memory of Ward’s Vehicles required brakes late son and welcomed all families. Those who and hand-steering, and wanted to participate but couldn’t afford the time riders must wear helmets or money to build their own cars had help. Ward built nine soapbox derby vehicles on his own, which were available for children to use. With his background in construction work and maintenance, Ward said, he was able to build one in about two or three days if he worked steadily. Russell Do it Center donated most of the materials for the construction of Ward’s vehicles, and he said some children have already signed up to use the same cars next time. “I enjoy piddling with stuff and working on

Organizer Marrel Ward ensured each participant received a ribbon



Cars raced in a variety of shapes and sizes

Chariot Ward won first place in her soapbox built to look like a kayak

19 to 24 miles per hour, with the speed recorded by radar for kids to observe as they crossed the finish line. “A lot of people don’t realize when you’re sitting that close to the ground you’re moving pretty fast. It might not seem that fast, but a small object that low – it’s moving,” said Ward. Ward is hoping the soapbox derby trend will spread. “Hopefully, surrounding cities will pick it up and get involved, and that way you’ll have something going that kids can do pretty regular,” Ward said. This event took place in conjunction with a nonprofit festival that included family-friendly activities, a variety of food, inflatables, music and other vendors, with a turnout of close to 2,000 people. Local businesses pitched in with sponsorships and donations for the event, which helped to keep pricing free or low, so everyone could be involved. “I want to try to keep it as cheap as possible for families. I want to not have a bunch of expenses tied to these things for parents who can’t afford to spend a lot

of money on weekends and on these events. This way all children can still participate,” Ward added. Now that children have their cars built and their enthusiasm high, Ward said, he wants to coordinate more races throughout the year and maybe charge an entry fee to help fund the bigger annual festival. “I was just extremely impressed with the people that got involved and still impressed with the way it’s going. The next one sure could be a large event. I really appreciate everyone’s participation and support,” Ward said.




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oday, visitors to Alexander City and residents alike stroll the downtown area and marvel at the restoration of five vintage ads on the brick facades of Main Street shops. The original artwork is more than 100 years old and once advertised the names and wares of leading businesses during Alexander City’s early years. Established as Youngsville in the 1800s, Alexander City and its downtown grew into a flourishing market hub when the railroad came to town. After a devastating fire burned all of downtown in 1902, the town was rebuilt, and thriving local businesses beckoned customers with billboard-sized signs on their exterior brick walls. Years later, when customers began to shun the old-fashioned city center shops in favor of strip-mall convenience on the outlying highway, many merchants installed new storefront facades to compete with the sleek new look of the competition. Vintage charm came back into style in recent years, and the aluminum false fronts – many of which were in disrepair – came down with the assistance of individual donations and a matching fund grant program from the Adelia McConnell Russell Foundation. Beneath those facades, barely visible and almost lost to time, weather damage and natural deterioration, was the original artwork. As one of its 2017 goals in the plan to revitalize downtown, MainStreet Alexander City commissioned the restoration of these ghost murals – including the Chero-Cola, Coca-Cola, Radney Brothers Furniture and Barton’s Wholesale and Retail signage. The vintage signage adds character and the charm of authentic history to the town. In addition to these ads displayed in the downtown historic district, other mural work was started in 2015





when the owner of the City Pawn Shop commissioned a mural to celebrate Alexander City’s JazzFest. Local artist Charles Forbus of Sign Source in Dadeville, along with some of his employees, was contracted to do the mural painting and the refurbishing of the painted signs. Forbus said he used old photographs and online resources as guides and was careful to use the exact original paint colors for historical accuracy. “Somebody asked me do I mind doing it,” Forbus said. “Mind? I love it. I’d rather be doing this any day than being stuck inside an office. It’s been fun bringing this thing back to life.”


The first completed mural was the Chero-Cola image on the alleyway behind City Hall, followed by Ross Barton’s Wholesale and Retail on the back of the Carlisle Drugs building. The Radney Brothers Furniture sign on the United Way building was then completed, and work wrapped up with the Coca-Cola murals on Wheeler Street and the United Way building. As MainStreet today guides the downtown area in an expansion of shops and services, the organization also highlights the town’s historic roots and vintage charm through this architectural design project.


The Chero-Cola Bottling Company began in 1924 with a single employee and a Model-T delivery truck. Originally located between the Alexander City Bank and the Russell Hotel on Jefferson Street, the business later moved to Alabama Street and changed its name to Nehi Bottling Company. This sign faces Alexander City Hall in an alley off Main Street on the building that was once Ross Barton’s Wholesale and Retail. In the mid 1920s, the Coca-Cola Bottling Company established a plant on Calhoun Street in Alexander City. As the operation flourished, it moved to its present location at the corner of Ridge Street and Cherokee Road. The first sign was recovered from the top side of what is now the United Way office building on Main Street. The other sign can be found on Wheeler Street. The old painted ad for Ross Barton’s Wholesale and Retail was given new life by Tim Rape and Ernie Luster of Sign Source. The wholesale store was a business that once occupied a space in downtown Alexander City. The sign can be spotted on the century-old Carlisle’s drugstore. Radney Brothers Furniture store was one of the tallest buildings in old Alexander City. Shelves were stocked with spinning wheels, crank telephones, pump organs, photograph templates and porcelain pitchers. The Radney Furniture sign can be seen on the United Way building.




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ake Martin’s own Alex Graydon received an X Games Gold Medal last year for his daring, innovative wakeboard tricks, resourcefulness of naturally occurring obstacles and handmade hurdles. His inspiring new wakeboard moves were featured in ESPN’s X Games Real Wake all-video contest. Competing against a selection of six professionals from around the world, Graydon won first place as Fan Favorite with 42 percent of the public vote. His 90-second video won over the audience, confirming his talent and style, and highlighting the beauty and recreational opportunities on Lake Martin. “I first picked up a wakeboard when I was 11, and immediately, I was hooked. My father, Rick Graydon, was more than happy to keep me on the water, and after a decade of riding on this lake, I became a professional wakeboarder,” said Graydon, who is originally from Montgomery but spent every summer on Lake Martin as a child. About 90 percent of the submitted video was shot on Lake Martin, with some scenes near Senoia, Georgia, and one at Gulf

Graydon grew up wakeboarding on Lake Martin and knows its intricacies well



GRAYDON FOR THE GOLD Lake Martin native conquers ESPN’s X Game all-video wakeboard contest STORY BY AMY PASSARETTI & PHOTOS BY KENNETH BOONE



Shores near Fort Morgan. “It was important to me that we film everything at or near my home. Being that this is where it all started for me, I wanted to shed some light on the beauty of this place and show how perfect it is for riding,” said Graydon. After spending so much time on the lake, Graydon said, he knows it like the back of his hand, and the lake is full of natural areas that were perfect for his unique moves. “When I got the call to be a part of the X Games, I already had mapped out spots on the lake and assessed the risks and logistics of making them possible. Some of the spots I was able to get the shot right away, but others took days on end,” Graydon said. The majority of the video was filmed near Kowaliga or within five minutes of that area. Graydon built kickers into trees and even used Kowaliga Bridge in his closing clip. The move included a flip under the bridge and a slide along one of the caps that connects the concrete piers, which he said had never been done before. “That definitely got the most attention from viewers,” said Graydon. There were no Graydon filmed almost his specific guidelines for entire video within a fivethe 90-second video, minute boat ride of Kowaliga but Graydon knew he wanted to integrate a variety of moves for diversity. His film contained scenes of wakeboarding behind a boat, behind a winch and cable riding through a cable system that he built on local enthusiast Ted Watt’s property last year. Graydon also skateboards, snowboards, surfs and wakeskates, and he said the inspiration for many of his tricks came from what’s been done in other sports. “We really wanted to think outside the box of what’s been done on a wakeboard. Wakeboarding has really been a later board sport, so I wanted to take ideas from other sports that have been around a little longer,” Graydon said.


He called in a lot of favors from a lot of friends to participate as well, from driving the wakeboarding boat or the chase boat to help with building obstacles and courses. Graydon added that Singleton Marine contributed the boats they used to film the whole video and have always been supportive of his projects. With only two months to shoot the video, Graydon and his videographer, Joey Arcisz, worked quickly and collaborated to finish the editing with just two days to spare before deadline. “It was a battle. It was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” said Graydon. Arcisz lives in Texas, which is where the two met on a project a couple years back, and he basically moved into Graydon’s Lake Martin home during this two-month period for the project. The pair filmed for a week at a time, taking breaks only when Graydon was too banged up to go on, or Arcisz required a much-needed break to go home to see his family. “We knew we could work together and not kill each other. He’s a great cinematographer, and I wanted to work with someone that had all the right gear and knew how to get the shot we wanted. We used a lot of different cameras,” said Graydon. Graydon typically spends six months of the year working and riding in Alabama, along with teaching lessons. He then takes six months to travel, surf, skate and shoot photos in other countries. The Fan Favorite contest was a winner-take-all battle in which fans watched each of the videos from the six contestants and their videographers and voted on their personal choices. “To even have been chosen for the X Games contest is unreal, but to get a gold medal? That’s something everyone whose ever done an action sport dreams of – to be in the X Games. I’ve won some local contests but nothing that compared to this,” said Graydon.


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Alexander City is home to the Sabal pipeline’s compressor station


n July 2017, natural gas started flowing through the 515-mile Sabal Trail Pipeline from Alexander City to Orlando, Florida. The pipeline delivers 1.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas daily and during its construction added some $33 million to the state’s economy, much of it spent right here where the local construction was based. During its construction phase, the pipeline brought jobs to Alexander City and supported retail as contractors shopped and dined here while living in the area from Labor Day 2016 until June 2017. “Sabal Trail’s team was committed to using local vendors and supplies where possible. Some companies benefiting from the work included large and small equipment sales and rentals, fuel, concrete, grading, steel welding, safety, office supplies, restaurants, hotels and other lodgings,” said Andrea Grover, spokesperson for the Sabal Trail Transmission. Other local contributions came in the form of community giving and grant programs, which were established to support the growth and vigor of the communities in which Sabal Trail operates. Scholarship programs were established at $50,000 each for Central Alabama Community College, Chattahoochee Valley Community College and Southern Union State Community College to promote jobs in energy, construction, engineering or other fields supporting energy infrastructure. “Pipelines create immediate jobs, but more importantly, they are the basic infrastructure communities need to recruit large manufacturers and the jobs they bring,” said Grover. The company also donated to many other community establishments in need, including startup funds for the Lake Martin Innovation Center and renovations at the Horseshoe Bend Library, as well as projects at Huguley Elementary, Storybook Farms and others. Food drives, holiday toy drives and sweat equity projects were annual efforts in conjunction with first responder collections, said Grover. Results from an economic impact study performed by Sabal Trail based on construction and operations concluded that 94 jobs were created in Alabama to maintain the work done by Sabal Trail after the pipeline construction was completed. “These are not necessarily 94 full-time Sabal Trails jobs, but they were jobs that were created in any industry needed to support Sabal Trail’s operations,” Grover explained. Five permanent full-time positions were created in Alexander City to maintain the compressor station and



the pipeline operations throughout Alabama’s other three impacted counties. This fundamental infrastructure will absorb $1.1 million in property taxes for Tallapoosa County annually, based on a 12-month period, aiding Alexander City’s 8 percent growth in tax collections last year, Grover said.


Sabal Trail Pipeline Generates Value

The city also received $52,000 from Sabal Trail for the reconstruction and paving of roads that were damaged by large equipment needed for pipeline construction. Planning for the large-scale pipeline venture began more than three years ago. From the clearing and grading phase to the pipe place-

ment and clean up, Sabal Trailâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extended visit brought exposure, awareness and financial benefits not only to Tallapoosa County, but also Alabama and the Southeast as a whole.



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Lake Martin hosts Bassmaster Elite Series 2018 opener Community wins high marks for hospitality



Bass boats line up for the Elite Series launch





rofessional angler Takahiro Omori may think he got the big win at the Bassmaster Elite Series kickoff event at Wind Creek State Park on Lake Martin this winter, but it was the area’s welcoming efforts that truly won the day. Omori caught 59 pounds 8 ounces of bass to win $100,000 at the BES season opener here in February. With bright smiles and helpful hands, lake area residents welcomed several thousand visitors for the four-day tournament to contribute to a local payoff that is estimated at more than $1 million, said Ed Collari, president of the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce, which hosted the event. In addition to the 110 anglers who registered to fish in the tournament, the area hosted 100 staffers from B.A.S.S., the tournament organizer, and a host of crews from ESPN, as well as families and fans of the professionals. “Just Bassmaster and ESPN had 180 room nights at Hampton Inn,” Collari said. “These guys spend about $40 a day eating out or getting food. Then there is the fuel. Their boats hold 60-68 gallons of gas, and they are filling up every day. They use a lot of gas. They are here for five to seven days around the tournament. Then most of these guys were here for about a week in December for practice.” Studies have indicated that the hosting areas for the BES tournaments usually realize more than $1 million in local revenues. “We loved seeing them here,” Good Ole Boys BBQ’s Alesha Hughley said. “We loved seeing the boats.” Hughley said the fishermen were friendly and talkative, sharing information about where they were from and things they did. “One guy said he had his own T.V. show,” Hughley said. But chatting was not the only thing the fishermen and those in

town were doing in town. “We were busy the whole week,” Hughley said. “It was a high volume week. We sold a lot of food.” Another local business that benefited was North Lake Crafted where sisters Stephan Tomlin and Robin Simms created handpressed water-inspired T-shirts, hats and other screen-printed items. The sisters set up at the expo held in conjunction with the tournament weigh-ins on Saturday and Sunday. “It was really good for us,” Tomlin said. “For a small vendor like us, it was great. We need more things like this.” Tomlin said they almost missed out on the expo. “We didn’t realize how big a deal it was,” Tomlin said. “Ed at the chamber helped us out, and we got started a little late with designs. We normally do lake designs, but we came up with some bass designs on shirts and hats and did well.” Shelia Browning manages the MAPCO Store on Highway 280, and she said the tournament traffic produced a spike in sales at the store. “They have been in here all week,” Browning said during the tournament. “They start early, some as early as 3 a.m. They fuel up and pick up things so they can hit the water at daybreak. They are great folks, and we’ve enjoyed having them shop with us.” Collari said some 10,000 spectators in total visited the park over the four-day tournament that featured 110 of the world’s best anglers. The competitors said that kind of turnout only added to the positive vibes they got from being at Lake Martin, Wind Creek and Alexander City. Professional angler Brett Hite of Phoenix, Arizona, arrived in town several days before the tournament and camped at Wind

Alexander City native John Howell (right) marshalled the tournament



Spectators cheer on their favorite anglers

Creek State Park. “The people here have just been incredible,” Hite said. “We are staying here at Wind Creek in the campground, and the staff and everyone has really gone out of their way to make us feel welcomed. You all are blessed to have a facility like this on such an incredible lake. “I mean, it’s so large, that you can do a lot of different things on the lake and fish a lot of different styles without everyone being on top of each other. It is just beautiful, and we have enjoyed being here. What an incredible place.” Grant, Alabama, competitor JorBig fish weigh-ins dan Lee talked up his Lake Martin were experience as well. recorded “It’s always great coming here,” by ESPN2 Lee said. “It’s just a beautiful place, and the people have been very good to us. I hope to be back here soon.” In addition to working the expo booths and keeping anglers, television crews and B.A.S.S. staff supplied with gasoline, places to sleep and food to eat, locals helped to monitor the tournament rules by acting as marshals for the anglers. Chosen by lottery, marshals were paired with tournament entrants and rode along as witnesses to ensure that the rules were observed.

“There’s a very good reason to do so because you’re out in the middle of a 44,000-acre lake,” said John Howell, of Jacksons Gap, who was a marshal both Thursday and Friday. “There’s a lot you can do to give yourself a competitive advantage, so we were there to make sure the fishermen are abiding by the rules essentially.” Another duty of the marshal is to keep the Basstrakk up to date. The Basstrakk is an app on Bassmaster. com where an unofficial leaderboard is kept. Every time the angler catches a fish, he either estimates or weighs the fish, and the marshal logs it into an app. “That’s really transformed the sport that you just don’t know what’s going on until they come in to a sport from you can actually watch on the computer or on the TV,” Howell said. “(The marshals) are multi-purpose. We make sure the sport is accurately played and make the interaction between the viewers and the anglers more personable.” And for most of the marshals, who are typically novice fishermen, it’s a great way to learn not only about how the pros are doing it, but also about Lake Martin.



Takahiro Omori caught the winning limit in Lake Martinâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s upriver section

The pros mingled while waiting in line backstage for weigh-in

Some 8,000-10,000 visitors joined the fun at the BES Expo



Alexander City Chamber’s Ed Collari (right) dressed warmly to marshal angler Caleb Sumrall

“I learned a lot about patience,” said K.D. Sizemore, an angler for Auburn University who marshaled the first two days. Howell added, “To me, the biggest benefit was learning techniques and a geographical understanding of what the fish are doing, particularly this time of year, on my lake, somewhere that I can go and I’m readily on all the time.” Collari also got the chance to be a marshal. “It was an experience,” Collari said. “It was my first time going across the lake at about 73 miles per hour with no seatbelt on in 35-degree weather. It was a great way to start the day. I was with Caleb Sumrall (Thursday), and it was his first time on the Elite Series too. He was just as nice as could be.” Wind Creek State Park put on its best for the event, as park personnel spent two months painting buildings, cleaning up brush and manicuring the grounds to get ready for the tournament. New signage was installed, and the park rolled out decorations at its entrance. Some 30 of the competitors stayed at Wind Creek’s campground, and park personnel estimated that 10,000 people passed through the park over the weekend. “Things went well,” Wind Creek’s Alex Mason said. “We had double the number of campers we normally have.” “We were worried about the weather, but it was a good turnout,” Tomlin said. “We thanked everyone we saw for coming here.” Collari said the positive comments were great news. Lake Martin and Alexander City were mentioned in stories and other media 3,261 times, according to a Google search, and more exposure is expected to follow. While actual dollars spent can’t be figured for the week of the tournament, it would be even harder to determine what effect the tournament could have down the road, but Collari said it can only be good. “We are lucky that it is the first stop for the tour this year,” Collari said. “We will be the first on ESPN, and with all the push B.A.S.S. had on social media, I see more people coming to visit the area. It all speaks well of our community. “The Central Alabama Community College fishing team, under 2018 LOOK WHAT YOU DID!


Some anglers brought their families, who watched the weigh-in with rapt attention

the direction of Brett Pritchard, turned out to help every day. You know, they are really familiar with what the anglers might need and could anticipate ways to help. And of course, the Bassmasters group does a really good job. They are phenomenal to work with.” Collari offered special praise to WCSP superintendent Bruce Adams and the staff at the state park. “Bruce Adams and his staff were probably the most instrumental in the local success of the tournament. Every time we have worked with them – and we do frequently – they are so accommodating, so helpful and so quick to respond to every question. The most common remark we heard from anglers was how wonderful the staff at Wind Creek was, how clean the park was and how accommodating they were. They go out of their way to help, and I’m not sure the community knows how much they do or really appreciates them. They get 242,000 visitors through their gates every year, and they are the face of our community to those visitors. I am very appreciative to have them in our backyard,” he said. “I have to give the mayor and city council a lot of credit. The fee to host the tournament was $85,000. That’s a substantial amount, and I am grateful they had the foresight to recognize what the tournament could bring to Alexander City,” he added. Collari said it was about a year ago that he received a request for proposal to host the tournament, and he was ecstatic for the opportunity. “I think the Elite Series folks had seen what was happening in other tournaments here, how they were increasing over the years. They caught wind of that and gave us the opportunity. Numerous communities bid on hosting this event, and for us to get it was big. It was a big win for the community as a whole.”

Lots of big fish were seen when anglers returned to the park each afternoon







Senior Hunter Chappell pulls the low-winged Piper Warrior out of the hangar

Lyman Ward Soars to New Heights



onprofit Lyman Ward Military Academy has taken a new approach to education through the creation of an aviation studies program. This 100-student military prep school in Camp Hill prides itself on teaching young men not just education, but also life skills, leadership and how to create a path for the future. With help from Commandant of Cadets Lt. Col. Joel Burdette; Sgt. Jake Norotsky (aka Sgt. Sky); and LWMA President Lt. Col. Jared Norrell, the creation of a unique career path opens new doors for students at the academy. “What we’re starting here and doing today is setting the tone for these students to live at a higher level of maturity. In a plane, you’re required to become a problem solver, and it gets your mind out of where you were and where you came from and pushes students to look toward the future,” said Norotsky, director of aviation studies. The 2017 fall semester was the pilot program for this curriculum, and enthusiasm for participation is growing throughout campus. The program is broken into two categories of study: manned and unmanned flight. The unmanned classes focus on drone flight, and a student’s ultimate goal is to obtain a Part 107 license from the Federal Aviation Administration to legally operate the technology commercially. Currently, 10 students have enrolled in the program and are learning to fly drones at an amateur level. “It’s more than just flying drones. Students will learn aerodynamics, economics and the uses of this technology, including photography, bridge building, observation and more,” said Norotsky.

The manned aviation course educates students on technique, terminology, method and theory of physically flying an aircraft. Each student on this path will graduate with a private pilot license after passing the required exams. Due to the expense associated with aviation – nearly $10,000 per student – and the trial setting of the program, there are only three students enrolled in the manned portion for now, but they will be the pacesetters for future scholars. “It’s amazing for a 17-year-old to be on that path and have the ability to fly solo with a potential career of this in their future. This program can really open students up to different aviation possibilities. We attract people looking to attain that next level in life,” said Norotsky, who is currently enrolled at Auburn University as a full-time aviation student. While there is technically no age limit to enroll in the course, requirements for acceptance are based on grade level, discipline and a student’s background from the school. Also, Norotsky said he encourages students to wait until they are 16 to apply, so there is not a wide gap of time between learning ground course studies and taking a test flight to achieve the license. A student must be 17 years old to obtain a private pilot’s license. “This additional experience teaches these boys to balance the beginning of a career field with their normal academics and other daily tasks. It’s the ultimate teaching aid,” Norotsky explained. Lyman Ward works closely with the Alexander City airport for in-flight lessons with Commander Regina Brown at Brown Aero Technologies or Instructor Eddie Daly two days a week for two hours at a time. The students practice flying with low-winged Piper Warriors, which tend to be slightly less stable and contain different characteristics than high-winged aircraft. Cadets Hunter Chappell, Jack Graham and Sam Roberto –



Jack Graham and Hunter Chappell were the first cadets to fly in the program

also known as Ranger 01, Ranger 02 and Ranger 03 – have embraced the opportunity of hands-on airtime and are beyond excited at this new opportunity. “I like the mental and physical challenge that this program brings. The first time you fly, you start out thinking, ‘I don’t know if I can do this,’ and when you start the engine it all just kind of comes to you. I was a little nervous, but mostly enthusiastic,” said Graham, who is enrolled in both manned and unmanned courses. Future pilots first embark on a discovery flight with an instructor to gauge interest in the program. “They get to listen with the headsets on and participate in the flight. It’s all sensory-oriented. The eyes, ears, hands and feet are involved, and it really whets their appetite to see if this is something they want to do. And as you can see – these guys are hooked,” said Burdette. Roberto is the newest member to be accepted to the program and said his interest for aviation has been lifelong, as his father is a pilot and travels often, which appeals to Roberto. Chappell is a senior cadet who will graduate in May and plans to use the Certified instructor Eddie Daly (right) walks through the inspection process with Roberto before flying

Sam Roberto prepares to take his very first flight as the newest student in the aviation program



program as a second career opportunity upon his retirement from Ground instructors are experienced aviation professionals that the military. spread their knowledge and provide an example of where students “This school really helps you find yourself if you don’t know could be down the road. what you want. I know I have teachers that care for me and where With the shortage of pilots across the nation, the likelihood of I go, and my GPA students to follow has gone way up. this training into We are truly leada career path and ing by example move into comand putting in mercial flying is inthe hard work,” creased. Norotsky said Chappell, said six students who only joined are currently LWMA for his enrolled for next senior year of high year’s curriculum school. at LWMA. The The aviahope is to keep ention classroom rollment to about is equipped with 10-15 for cussuitable décor; tomization of the Jake Norotsky, Sam Roberto, Hunter Chappell, Jack Graham and Joel Burdette with the snacks to keep learning experimemorial flag in the aviation classroom students’ energy ence through small up based on the classroom sizes, late-in-the-day said Norotsky. start time; and a memorial flag from a late helicopter mechanic “Programs like this help shatter the misconception of military that served in the military with Norotsky. academies. These are young men of character, and we’re building “This very flag has been to Iraq, Korea, Germany – anywhere spheres of influence. We hope to catapult these cadets into sucBlack Hawks have flown – so it’s fitting to bring it here. It helps cessful careers. They already know who they are, but we’re helping to understand the gravity of what we’re doing and encourages us them figure out what they want to be,” said Burdette. to move ahead by looking back,” Norotsky said. After an hour-long ground preparation, Roberto takes flight at the Alexander City Airport



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A Step Toward Blue Zones Nationwide organization assesses Alexander City as potential project community STORY BY BETSY ILER


hen PATH President Ella MacFiggen learned that Blue Zones Project was making a substantial difference in health and longevity for communities across the country, she took a dream to the Prosperity Again Thru Health board. Last year, that dream moved closer to reality when Blue Zones Project visited Alexander City to assess area practices and priorities. Nationally headlined as the science of living longer, Blue Zones Project prescribes strategic planning for healthful living initiatives that have helped townspeople in Project communities quit smoking, lose weight, develop regular exercise plans, reduce healthcare costs and increase worker productivity. Such communities attract residents who want to live longer, healthier lives; they also attract the businesses that support those healthful initiatives, MacFiggen said. “This can be a really great thing for Alexander City,” she said. “We would be the first Blue Zones Project community in

Alabama.” Last year, PATH raised $25,000 to bring Blue Zones Project to the area for a site visit. From Nov. 13 to 15, Project researchers met with government officials, business and civic leaders and area residents to evaluate the community’s commitment, motivation and readiness to implement a Blue Zones Project plan in Alexander City and the Lake Martin area. During its visit, the Project team established goals for the pending partnership, including a 5 percent decrease in Medicaid claims; a 10 percent increase in exercise programs; a 5 percent increase in fresh food consumption; and a 20 percent increase in volunteerism. The site visit report pointed out the area’s strengths, including a growing interest in healthy living options among the local population, and identified challenges and opportunities, such as a shortage of walkability options and involvement of faith-based communities. The published report also outlined steps that would need to be taken to demonstrate community readiness for designation as a Blue Zones Project community. To view the full report, visit



Sidewalks and signage enhance Sportplex


New sidewalks at the Sportplex provide safety for its many visitors




early a mile of brand new sidewalks, upgrades to the ball fields and the designation of a birding trail site now welcome visitors to the Charles E. Bailey Sportplex, which wears multiple hats in the local community and welcomes thousands of guests, from walkers and joggers to sports spectators, picnickers, music lovers and more. Alexander City Parks and Rec Director Sonny Wilson said the most common complaint he used to hear from area residents was that there were no sidewalks. As a safety concern, the walkways had been on Wilson’s wish list for years, but funding wasn’t available for the project. Through collaboration with Alexander City Mayor Jim Nabors, his wish finally came true in the form of 5,700 feet of concrete sidewalks that meander along Sportplex Boulevard and up to playing fields that now sport new grass, as well as upgraded fencing and restrooms. “We are so blessed to have a facility like the Sportplex, but it really was a safety issue,” said Wilson. “We not only have all the walkers, but with the games and festivals, we had no choice but to have people walking in the streets. In talking with Mayor Nabors, he said he had heard it too. People are now coming up and thanking me, and that really means a lot.” The city council agreed Bird trail signage provides to finance the project and park visitors details about Alexander City’s Henderson species found in the area and Coker was contracted for the job. The sidewalks are 5 feet wide with ample room for two walkers to pass one another, or for a wheelchair to come through. It’s also wide enough for maintenance vehicles, such as golf carts and ATVs. The paths don’t just follow the roadside; they take a path through the wooded areas where walkers can enjoy a mix of sun and shade, said Wilson. The lanes are almost a mile long from the entrance of the park at

Highway 22 to the entrance on Elkahatchee Road. “Sidewalks make a good park better, are an asset to residents and help make it more attractive to bring tournaments to the area,” said Nabors. Nearly two months before the sidewalks were completed, new bird trail signage was installed next to the parking lot between the gymnasium and the Imagination Station playground. “This signage gives visitors more information about the birds they might see while they’re walking. Having this sign includes Alexander City and the Sportplex in the birding trail system,” said Joanne Ninesling, project manager for the Alabama Birding Trails’ Piedmont Plateau Birding Trail division. Twenty different kinds of birds are listed on the new sign, showcasing the species that occupy this area, whether year-round or seasonally. The sign was funded by the Tallapoosa County Commissioners and adds Alexander City to the list of 34 locations in the Piedmont Plateau region. In addition to sporting events, the Sportplex hosts city-wide festivals and music events, including last year’s inaugural Blues in the Park concert, which was attended by more than 1,000 people who set up tents with food and coolers at the free concert in the park. This new event joins a long list of community events at the Sportplex – Oktoberfest, Christmas in the Park and the Kiwanis Club Fair. All of these events now will be safer for attendants with the addition of the sidewalks, Wilson said. And on the horizon, he added, there is an effort to construct a miracle field that would provide handicap athletic opportunities for those with special needs. “Many drive to Oxford or Sylacauga for these opportunities, but this would add Alexander City as a challenger league for area residents.”



A Candid Approach Jeffery Harte informs residents of changes during construction on Lee and Washington streets

All four lanes of Lee Street were repaired and repaved last year


uring the reconstruction of Alexander City’s Lee and Washington streets last year, Jeffery Harte took a novel approach to lighten the mood of local travelers. Gary Ingram Paving and Grading was contracted to rebuild Lee Street from U.S. Highway 280 to 5th Way and resurface Washington Street from 5th Way through town. As safety director, Harte was responsible for keeping drivers aware of the upcoming changes, and he did so with candid messages on electronic billboards. “Hello Alex City. Roadwork Begins Soon; on Lee St


& Wash St,” was the first attention-grabbing message in place before the work began. “We wanted to let people know we were getting ready to start the construction and give them the opportunity to think about alternate routes and being prepared for some changes in the area,” Harte said. “The idea was to get their attention, and I just thought, before the job got started, we could have a little fun.” Every few days, Harte changed up the message and added a little ~Jeffery Harte humor to drivers’ commutes with rhymes and light-hearted cautions. “I just wanted people to look, and they don’t look if it’s the same old thing. People ignore signs all the time,”

“The idea was to get their attention ... and I just thought, we could have a little fun.”


Jeffrey Harte posted encouraging messages before construction began

Safety Director Jeffery Harte used electronic billboards to capture drivers’ attentions


Harte said. “Any time you make that big of a change to the traffic patterns, you have to do it in stages to help people get used to it.” Construction began by removing striping and rerouting traffic on Lee Street. Ingram Paving demolished and reconstructed four lanes of the street, closing two at a time, so traffic continued to flow. Some pavement was not in bad shape and only had to be filled with a shallow base, while other places needed close to an 18-inch dig to properly repair the road. Washington Street was paved from city limits to the rail crossing near the Russell Corporation headquarters building. It also was painted in a new configuration with a dedicated turn lane, and both streets were finished with high-density thermoplastic road markings once paving was complete. The work was funded through the Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program. 2018 LOOK WHAT YOU DID!


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Greener Pastures Cleanup at Fruit of the Loom complex clears the way for progress

A grassy field awaits future development after (insets) demolition, debris removal and clearing of a 17-acre industrial site at Lee Street and Central Boulevard





green meadow at the corner of Lee Street and Central Boulevard could be the most prominent example of recent progress made in Alexander City. Due to landfill, permitting and Alabama Department of Environmental Management hiccups – as well as price and demand fluctuations for salvageable materials – the demolition and cleanup on the 17-acre plot that once housed a large portion of the former Russell Brands industrial complex stalled out. This time last year, the lot on one of the city’s most travelled thoroughfares was often likened to a war zone with characteristic bombed-out buildings and weedy overgrowth. Half demolished buildings stood with interiors exposed to the elements, and nearby residents complained of coyotes, rats and other vermin. Workers had all but abandoned the site, as a bureaucratic gridlock seemed to hold the area hostage. The eyesore left visitors with a sad impression of this fine city, and it proved a formidable obstacle to attracting new business and industry to the area. City Councilman Scott Hardy said the stalled-out cleanup had lingered for so long that some had almost given up hope. “We all agree that if we

want to put our best foot forward and attract people and recruit business, the state of that property has to be addressed,” Hardy said when he took office in the precinct last year. “But it’s almost like it has been like that for so long, that people who live here are used to it. But for a newcomer, imagine what they think. That’s why it is so important.” When Alexander City’s Mayor Jim Nabors and the new city council were installed last winter, cleanup at the site was priority one. They took action to overcome the slow-down and put in place incentives that moved the project along. The measures included ordinal amendments that gave the city power to levy consequences; and then, the city made a purchase offer for the property – one that tied time and condition limits to the exchange. The city agreed to purchase 17 acres for $250,000, including in the offer the stipulation that the property must be completely cleared and all debris removed prior to closing. “We gave them 250,000 reasons to get it done quickly,” Nabors said. Mayor Nabors said the plan offered a way to clear the lot quickly in spite of the intermediate issues. “I can’t tell you how many meetings and calls we’ve had on that property, from cleanup to the possible purchase. There is no immediate plan, but we would feel better if the city controlled that property so we could have a say about what happens there,” Mayor Nabors explained last August. Suddenly, equipment showed up on the site, and workmen daily made noticeable progress. The debris was moved into a basin inside the complex, where it will not hinder sightlines and visitors’ impressions while its complete disposable continues. By October, the lot that had stood as a barricade to progress had been cleared. With the demolition and cleanup finished on time, the sale was completed, and the property passed into the hands of the city. Most recently, utility lines at the site have been cleared, and the property has been declared ready for development. The former war zone is an open field that whispers – no, shouts in celebration – of good things to come.





iddle Tallapoosa Clean Water Partnership teamed up with local officials and organizations this year to launch two new programs aimed at keeping local water sources safer. The medication disposal and storm drain decoration programs offer visual cues as reminders to help protect water supplies. In 2013, the first drug take-back event was coordinated between the MTCWP, the Tallapoosa CounCACC students paint wildlife ty’s Sheriff’s office, on storm drains to educate Tallapoosa County those who see them Narcotics Force and the Alexander City Police Department. A great success that received positive feedback from residents, Drug Take-Back Days became a regular occurrence. “We’ve been doing this for a number of years, and the response is always good,” said Tallapoosa County Sheriff Jimmy Abbett. “It’s been a great tool to get these drugs disposed of properly.” Last year, permanent receptacles were installed at three locations in Alexander City for readily available proper disposal of expired, unwanted prescription medications. The program not only helps to prevent theft, said Abbett, but also it helps protect the water supply from contamination. The disposable boxes are located at Hometown Pharmacy in Alexander City, the Tallapoosa County Courthouse Annex and the Tallapoosa County Sheriff’s Office. The sheriff’s office location is open 24 hours, seven days a week. “We’ve had great success with this program. To continue seeing how many pounds of medication are dropped off at events proves the need is there,” said Sabrina Wood, MTCWP coordinator. When the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a study in 1999, they found that wastewater treatment plants were not always able to filter out flushed medications, as many of these are not water soluble and do not breakdown in the water treatment


process. So drugs ended up in natural water supplies and caused adverse effects in wildlife. “There’s no way to measure exact impact those medicines would have had and exactly how much this helps, but I hope this means awareness will continue to grow. Every pound we collect matters; really, every pill matters,” said Wood. Raising awareness about contamination of local water supplies was brought to the community’s attention in another form, as well. The MTCWP partnered with MainStreet Alexander City to install storm drain decal markers throughout downtown Alexander City as a reminder that only storm water should go through them. Other products, such as grease, oil and trash, could create environmental problems. “Only rain should be in the drain,” said Wood. “This project is designed to bring awareness to our storm drains and the fact that this water going through those drains flows untreated to creeks that eventually flow into Lake Martin.” Wood also implemented a drain-marking project at Central Alabama Community College with the hopes of reaching young adults with the message. CACC ambassadors decorated drains throughout campus, which Wood hoped would educate the students on how to help storm drains work more effectively. The first phase had students painting three drains with ducks, turtles and bass – all wildlife near the pond on the CACC campus. “Our hope is that as students and visitors walk around campus, they will notice the beautiful paintings and the important messages, such as ‘only rain in the drain,’ ‘keep it clean’ and ‘a clean pond starts here.’ Many people don’t realize that rainwater washes everything into these storm drains, including unwanted litter from parking lots,” said Wood. “We plan on painting other storm drains throughout the year. The more we complete, the more likely people are to realize its importance.”


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Wellborn Industries Scores Big Custom letters crafted for new Atlanta Falcons stadium STORY BY MITCH SNEED & BETSY ILER PHOTOS BY MITCH SNEED & COURTESY OF DAVID BELL


he television crew panned across it several times during the recent College Football Playoff National Championship Game between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Georgia Bulldogs at Mercedes Benz Stadium, the home of the Atlanta Falcons. And each time they showed it, they made Tallapoosa County proud because that ‘FALCONS’ sign – constructed of 6-foot tall letters – was made right here. Wellborn Industries in Jackson’s Gap fashioned the precision-cut flight style letters in its local workshop after Staging and Sroduction Executive David Bell approached Curtis Wellborn with the project. “It was really fun to see it all come together,” Wellborn said. “We always feel like we do some pretty interesting stuff, but on this, you could just see the excitement in everyone when it came time to work on them. They really

took a lot of pride in them, and I think it shows in how they turned out.” “We’ve done a lot of work with the Falcons and Atlanta United in the past, and with the opening of the new stadium, the team really wanted to go all out,” said Bell, who works with Atlanta-based Orchestrate Build. “Orchestrate is in Atlanta, but I have a place on Lake Martin. So I was aware of Wellborn already, and through a friend, I was able to get with them and tell them a little about what we were wanting to do. “They were excited about the opportunity, and being familiar with their work, I had no doubt that we would get incredible, quality work. They really turned out great and look good at the stadium.” When Curtis, Stacy and Jarod Wellborn were approached about the project, it didn’t take them long to

The Falcons letters at MercedesBenz Stadium in Atlanta were fashioned in Jacksons Gap



jump at the opportunity. were going to be seen by so many people in a new stadium, “I was like, ‘heck yeah,’” Jarod said. “You can look that is really something they got excited about,” she said. around here and see that we like doing the unusual and the Jarod said while the straight-line edge design of the Falcustom stuff. But to get a chance to cons lettering was fairly simple, the combine football, which is another massive GT logo for Georgia Tech, one of our loves, and our love of another part of the project, was a creating interesting things with challenge. The interlocking letwood, that was just a perfect opporters featured a ‘G’ that is oval with tunity for us.” sharp curves. It took quite some The work started with a statetime to figure out how to make that of-the art computer design that happen without leaving seams. was projected to make a pattern “That one was a real booger,” for each one of the super-sized Jarod said. “But we worked and letters. Then, the materials were worked with it using several differcarefully selected to make sure the ent layers and pieces and basically letters would be of the best qualbeat the wood into submission. It ity and would be durable, yet not really turned out well. I’m pretty too heavy, as they would need to proud of that one.” be moved for various occasions While there is no plan to abanaround the stadium. don traditional products for wooden The wood for the frames was logos, Jarod said he would love to precision cut, sanded and assemdo more creating of designs for colbled. Special high-density waferleges and professional teams. thin plywood was used to create “I’d love to do some stuff for the outside of the letters. A team of Auburn or Alabama or any of the Several coats of Falcons finishers then applied sealers and SEC or ACC teams,” Jarod said. “It red paint were applied to multiple coats of Falcons red paint was really a lot of fun. We’re even the custom letters and mounted the letters on bases to looking at different ways to do it make sure they would hold up in a and other materials we could use variety of conditions. to make them pop even more. I’m kind of looking forward Nearly everyone in the plant played a part in building to seeing them on display myself. It will be kind of nice to and finishing the letters, Stacy said. look at them and say, ‘we did that.’” “When it came time for them to go to a different department, you could almost see a gleam in their eyes. It’s something different and fun for sure, but knowing that they



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John Kendrick Local cotton farmer returns to his roots one last time STORY BY MITCH SNEED & AMY PASSARETTI PHOTOS BY MITCH SNEED


armer John Kendrick is traditional in nature, and get to it. So I told my wife Judy, and she said ‘well, lifestyle and work methods. Handpicking cotton go right ahead.’” on his 1.4-acre farm between Alexander City and Current cotton farming methods include automated Hackneyville, Kendrick enjoys the art of cotton farming tractors that break up the ground and plant the seeds, and the resulting product more than the moneymaking while mechanical cotton pickers do the harvesting. aspect of the industry. Kendrick decided to employ his old-school methods, While it had been more than three decades since which include a mule named Joe pulling a plow and his Kendrick last planted cotton, his pride and nostalgia own weathered hands hoeing the land and picking the motivated him last year to produce one last batch. After thick, white bolls from the plants. weeks of harvesting by hand, Kendrick brought his final “I know there ain’t many people who do it that way, crop collection to the gin at the end of the season. but I have been a doing it all my life,” Kendrick said. “To me, cotton is the most beautiful plant there is “I love to plow a mule. To lay the rows off and cultivate growing, and I never did get it out of my system. So it – that was all just me and Joe. I know there are faster I went on and done it, and I went to the gin one last ways, but I don’t think any other way would make cottime,” said Kendrick. ton any prettier than what you see right here.” For more than 50 years, Kendrick has been farming on hilly land off Highway 63 where his hand-built farmhouse sits as a reproduction of the one in which he grew up. Kendrick was raised in Chambers County, and his current house includes a wood cook stove, rock fireplace, cardboard insulation and a cane-backed rocker on the front porch – all replicated from his childhood memories. “I was raised up on a cotton farm, and I just turned 76 years old. So I said I want to plant cotton one more time,” KendKendrick hand-picked rick said. “My health probably nearly 1,200 pounds of won’t let me do it again, so I cotton from his farm figured why not just go ahead



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With a few occasional helping hands, Kendrick picked the majority of the cotton by himself and ended up with nearly 1,200 pounds. The resulting product is a better grade and less torn up than machine work, said Kendrick, but it takes a whole lot more time. “It’s a slow-go process,” he added. When he first transported some handpicked cotton to the gin in 1985, the workers were impressed by his ambition. Kendrick said they hadn’t seen handpicked cotton in almost 10 years. “That was 32 years ago, so I don’t know what they’ll say when I bring this one in. I just remember at that time, him taking cotton in to the office there at the gin and telling the folks in there, ‘Now, this is what cotton is supposed to look like.’” A bale of cotton is worth a little more than 70 cents a pound, and Kendrick’s 1,200 pounds could potentially produce any number of items, including 450 pairs of jeans; 510 bed sheets; 628,000 $100 bills; 1,400 bath towels; or 2,510 T-shirts, according to information from the Alabama Cotton Producers. “Oh no, I didn’t do this for the money,” Kendrick said. “I just wanted to see it grow one last time. Nobody who does this is going to get rich, especially this little dab I do. It’s just something that’s inside you that you can never get out.”

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Residents are signaled if there are any incoming devastating storms

County activates new warning system



he new alert system pushed out six tornado warnings and 17 severe thunderstorm warnings since it went online last April, said Tallapoosa County Emergency Management Agency Director Jason Moran. “People who were directly in the path of whatever was coming got these warnings on their cell phones if they had registered on our website or called us to sign up,” Moran said, “and it didn’t cost them anything.” The county EMA office introduced the mass notification system to help keep residents safe and informed with reliable notifications during emergencies and other events. By signing up online at www.tallaco. com, residents can receive the alerts via text message or call to a mobile phone, a landline telephone or an email address. “The warnings go out without human hands, and that saves time,” Moran explained. “We have no equipment in our office. The National Weather Service sends out the warning through the phone system, so as long as the phone system is working, the alert system will work every time.


There is no equipment to get hit by lightning; nobody has to come to the office and push a button. It is one of the most dependable ways for us to notify people.” Some 1,375 people have already signed up on the internet, and others have called the EMA office to register mobile devices to receive the notifications, he said. The county’s 12,000 landline telephone numbers were programmed into the system when it was implemented. “We had some adjustments to make when it first came in, but the feedback has been positive,” Moran said. Implementation of the warning system took a little over a year, but now that it is up and running, it’s working well and is a reliable option for receiving weather warnings. Users can set up their own accounts online and manage the alerts they get and how they get them. To sign up, go to, click the ‘Departments’ tab and select ‘EMA.’ Then, click on ‘Tallapoosa Alert.’ EMA Director Jason Moran


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A Leap Toward Success Kelly Adams pitches her business proposal to four industry judges

Innovation Center entrepreneurs present at local start-up competition STORY BY AMY PASSARETTI & PHOTO COURTESY OF ALEXANDER CITY CHAMBER OF COMMERCE


he Lake Martin Innovation Center opened its doors last year founded on persistent dedication and a strong belief in our community. The chamber’s new home doubles as a business incubator and houses new companies and start-ups, as well as provides space for startup businesses. Two of those entrepreneurial establishments that call this new building home competed in the Alabama Launchpad Auburn Regional Startup Competition. Beyond Home Care and JC Golf Info were among nearly a dozen companies that pitched for the opportunity to win $100,000 in funds for their businesses. Beyond Home Care, an in-home care service founded by Kelly Adams, was one of six teams to advance to the semifinal round. The next step will cut the field to four businesses before the final winner is named on April 4. Teams consisted of companies based in Chambers, Lee, Macon, Russell and Tallapoosa counties, and each had 10 minutes to pitch a proposal to four industry-professional judges. “It’s very validating,” Adams said. “It’s one thing for you to believe in your business and see the vision, but it’s entirely different for someone else to see it, especially with the caliber of judges at this event. The competitors were all so well prepared, and their concepts were so innovative and unique. Just to be among the finalists for the next round is an honor.” The first round included submission of an application, a three-minute video, financial projections, a résume and cus-

tomer testimonials. The second phase required a live 10-minute pitch followed by a 10-minute question-and-answer period from the judges. JC Golf Info is a joint venture between Innovation Centerbased WisePoint LLC and Dave Jennings, the men’s head golf coach at Central Alabama Community College. This soon-tobe-released social networking tool is designed to connect and educate those involved in junior college golf. Though JC Golf Info did not advance in the competition, WisePoint’s Jeff Kirk and his partners plan to learn from the opportunity and continue forward. “The LaunchPad competition was a great experience. We had just started the concept phase of JC Golf Info, so when we learned about the competition, this kicked up our planning. It forced us to solidify concepts quickly and verify all of our research. After hearing the judges’ feedback, we felt even more confident,” said Kirk, who added that the team intends to go live with the product at the end of the year. The Lake Martin Innovation Center is a partnership between the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce and USAmeriBank. The 17,000-square-foot facility, located at 175 Aliant Pkwy. just off U.S. Highway 280, is home to the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce and features office suites for new and/or growing small businesses, in addition to co-working memberships. To learn more, visit or call 256-234-3461 to schedule a visit.



Dadeville resident initiates beautification of Keebler Park STORYâ&#x20AC;&#x2C6;& PHOTO BY BETSY ILER

A bed of daffodils was placed near the hillside to hold back soil and filter rainwater run-off




he subtle changes are adding up, and with spring just around the corner, visitors to Dadeville’s Keebler Park will find it lovelier than it has been in several years. The effort to create a hands-on outdoor classroom on the acreage below the Creation Plantation playground includes city government, local schools, Lake Martin Resource Association volunteers, Master Gardeners and local businesses. The property was designated as a park 20 years ago but in recent years has been neglected. The redesign project was inspired by Dadeville resident Dianna Porter. A Master Gardener with a passion for the environment, Porter garnered support from local school officials and the Dadeville City Council before launching a revamp project that will take five to 10 years to complete. When it is finished, the upgrades will include a thriving rain garden, a fern glen, interpretive signage along the existing paved 1/2-mile walking loop, a designated classroom area, upgrades to the parking area and maybe even a fairy garden, just for fun, Porter said. While work began on the upgrades last fall, the park is drawing interest as warm temperatures, blue skies and early spring blooms attract visitors. New plantings at the rain garden are among the most noticeable changes. “We wanted to stop the drainage on the hillside at the park entrance,” Porter said. “A rain garden there was a great solution.” Some 30 local students attended a rain garden workshop in Auburn and returned with ideas about how to structure the garden and what to plant. A berm was built about halfway down the hillside to slow the flow of run-off, and plants were added. “We put in some rose companion, which looks a lot like lamb’s ear, but this is an heirloom variety. It came from a plant that an 82-yearold woman was given by her grandmother, so this plant has been growing in this area for almost a hundred years. We also put in two lantanas from this same woman’s garden. Those are about 50 years old,” she said. “We will be adding more plants to the rain garden, so if anyone has any ideas of native plants that they would like to see there, they can call me.” The garden area also includes black-eyed Susans, which were left to seed after blooming last summer and fall. “It’s always nice to leave the seed heads over the winter. The birds eat them, and the wind scatters the seeds around the garden, so you never know where they are going to come up again the next year. They float around the garden that way,” Porter explained. In addition, a bed of daffodils was put in near the bottom of the hillside to hold back the soil and filter rainwater run-off before it reaches the forest floor where plans are to install a fern glen. “We’ll add more daffodils next year in the same area, and the fern glen will be going in soon,” Porter said. “We’re also planning to overseed the rain garden area with wildflowers.” Students at Edward Bell Technology Center built posts for the new signage, and Porter said identification signs for the interpretive trail would be installed by the end of April. And along the 1/2-mile walking trail, trees have been limbed to open the canopy and allow better visibility. To call attention to the park’s on-going facelift and new purpose as an outdoor classroom, the city will host a celebration this spring. To speak with Porter about the garden, call her at 256-750-0075.





olidays are a time for giving back and spreading joy. One local family in particular embraced this philosophy whole-heartedly and ensured that all children who entered Koons III Convenience store were given a gift during the Christmas season. Harsh Shah’s extended family has a long tradition of charity work in India, and Shah wanted to incorporate those ideals into his own hometown here. “My family manages senior housing and handicap schools, so they are always doing something to give back. We wanted to start doing it here,” said Shah, who began this ritual when his family opened the store on Jefferson Street three years ago. Shah’s wife, Alicia, is equally as personally affected by this heartfelt gesture, as she recalls living off Salvation Army items when she was younger. “People were always giving us toys when we were younger, so this is my way of giving back,” said Alicia.

3-year-old Landon-Nihal (right) gave a Christmas present to every child that came in Koons III

Even their 3-year-old son is learning the importance of community work at a young age. Every child under the age of 15 that entered Koons was given a wrapped present by Landon-Nihal. “He already knows how to share. When he gets something, he starts to let others use it. When he gets candy, he eats some and shares the rest,” said Shah, explaining the ideals he has instilled in his son. The process of planning a list, purchasing gifts and wrapping each one individually takes weeks for the family, but the time is well spent. Last year, the family gifted 150 toys to children at a local church that did not have enough. “I can’t have a kid not get a present. We made sure to pick up more this year,” said Alicia. The Shahs also participate in a back-to-school project, distributing 50 to 60 backpacks filled with school supplies and donating bicycles for a community bike giveaway. “Anything we can do for the community is great,” said Shah.

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Wind Creek builds adventure 90




ind Creek State Park rolled out two new adventures last year to draw recreational visitors and offer a more exciting experience to the lake area. The largest stateowned campground in Alabama, WCSP already hosts thousands of visitors and hosts fishing tournaments all year long, but with the installation of a youth-focused archery range and a set of canopy zip line tours, park officials hope to increase day use at the park as well. The 50-target archery park was built with donations, funding from the Natural Resources’ Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries and a collaborative effort between the Tallapoosa County Extension office and WCSP. It makes Wind Creek the 13th facility in the Alabama State Parks system to offer the amenity. “What a pleasure it is to be a part of something like this. It really shows what we are all about. Whenever we can partner to bring a new recreational feature to a park it’s really an exciting thing, and this is one of the most impressive of all we have here in the state,” said Greg Lein, Alabama State Parks director. Shane Harris, TCE coordinator, saw the opportunity to expand services offered at the 4-H level, which educates children ages 9-18 about subjects ranging from traditional agriculture to robotics, natural resources and the arts. “We decided the need was there to put in an archery park and offer some of these programs. Wind Creek Superintendent Bruce Adams and others at the state level were open to the idea, so we got the ball rolling. We saw the opportunity to expand attractions at Wind Creek, and we didn’t have anything like this in our vicinity,” said Harris. Harris and other volunteers were trained in an archery program to offer instruction to children; although, the range is also open to adults. The course is set up with targets at 5-yard increments. “We’ve gotten some great feedback. A lot of people are really excited to see this happen. It’s something for the whole community to utilize, especially for those either working on their current skills or for future bow hunters to start practicing,” said Harris. The goal for the extension office is to offer archery clubs, programs and

maybe a team in the coming year. For those under 16 years old or over age 65, the archery facility is free to use. Any visitor between the ages of 16 and 64 must obtain a hunting license, Wildlife Management license or Wildlife Heritage license to use the range. Wind Creek has found another way to take advantage of its beautiful scenery and expansive lake views by offering canopy zip line tours. The one- to twohour Screaming Eagle Aerial Adventure Park features 10 zip lines and five skywalks, with heights ranging from 20 to 70 feet off the ground and spanning a distance of 250 to 600 feet. There was a soft opening in the fall to increase enthusiasm about this new attraction, and it will be open full-time starting this month. The cost for one person is $59, and reservations may be made online. One or two trained staff members will accompany each of the scheduled tours. As a subsidiary of Historic Banning Mills (a 501(c) (3) conservation center), the zip line feature is a combined effort with Alabama State Parks and American Adventure Park Systems. For a full list of rules, requirements and for more information, visit With these new features, WCSP has enhanced the recreational and entertainment value at the lake, making the area more attractive as a vacation spot, as well as a fun place to live, work and play.


Opportunities for 4-H ers expand now that the new archery park opened


Local company impacts treasured landmarks Robinson Iron restores the nation’s history STORY BY MITCH SNEED & AMY PASSARETTI PHOTO COURTESY OF ROBINSON IRON


The new Themis statue replicated by Roninson Iron is lowered into its rightful place in Texas


obinson Iron in Alexander City has been beautifying buildings and gardens since 1946 with its artistry in cast metal. The company does custom work all across the country and recently completed projects on three historic landmarks. Responsible for handling the metal work atop the Tennessee State Capitol cupola in Nashville, Robinson Iron employees revived metal accents on-site a hundred feet in the air. The Greek building was built in 1859 and is one of the oldest working capitol buildings in the country. The renovation cost $2.2 million dollars. Fountain Square Park is the focal point of Bowling Green, Kentucky, and its centerpiece is a large fountain called Hebe, the goddess of youth. The massive fountain was originally installed at the park in May 1881. Robinson Iron disassembled the fountain into four pieces that were loaded on a trailer and transported back to its home office in Alexander City to repair leakage problems and provide a general facelift to the piece. Most currently, a 117-year old Waco, Texas, landmark was reinstalled on its 168-foot perch. Robinson Iron recreated the 3-ton zinc statue of Themis, the Greek goddess of divine law, after it was badly damaged by high winds a few years ago. The statue was taken down last July and made the 13-hour trip to Alexander City, where an exact replica of the 20-foot statue was built – hail dents and all. In January, the completed project was transported back to the McLennan County Courthouse where a large crowd and a police escort met it, and the statue was raised to its rightful place at the top of the building. The original statue was only about 1/16th of an inch thick and was made up of aluminum pieces hammered to shape and soldered together. Robinson Iron crafted a stronger version built of cast aluminum and reinforced with stainless steel. This Alexander City business transforms bronze, iron, aluminum, copper and stainless steel into virtually any design and restores, replicates and does custom casting for any number of structures, many of which can be seen in homes and parks throughout the city it calls home.





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AD INDEX A1 Lock & Key.............................................94

Cherokee Qwik Stop..................................25

Koon’s Korner/Koon’s Catering..................75

Russell Lands on Lake Martin...................2-3

A&M Plumbing..........................................14

Children’s Harbor.......................................98

Kowaliga Whole Health.............................36

Russell Marine...........................................79

AAA General Contractors............................88

Chuck’s Marina..........................................22

Lake Martin Banquet Hall..........................94

Russell Medical..........................................17

Advanced Auto Parts..................................96

Dadeville Animal Clinic.............................70

Lake Martin EDA.........................................43

Sakura Bistro..............................................84

Advanced Heat & Air..................................84

Dadeville Area Chamber of Commerce..............8

Lake Martin Mini Mall...............................42

Satterfield, Inc...........................................27

Ahluring Angler.........................................75

Dadeville Insurance......................................... 94

Lake Martin Realty...................................100

Scotty Gordon, Farmers Insurance................88

Alabama Power............................................ 9

Fairytale Journeys......................................36

Lake Martin Resource Association.............14

Service Printing.............................................65

Alexander City Board of Education............79

Farmer’s & Merchants Bank......................... 8

Lakewinds Golf Course..............................96

Sherry Willis, RE/MAX Around the Lake..................94

Alexander City Chamber of Commerce.............. 71

Fifty Plus.....................................................64

Langley Funeral Home..............................37

Singleton Marine..........................................94

Alexander City Methodist Church.............22

First Baptist Church, Dadeville..................75

Luck of the Draw........................................14

SL Alabama.................................................89

Alexander City Fire Department................13

George Hardy, DMD...................................47

Lynch’s Lawn Care......................................65

Southern Star Farm....................................70

Alexander City Police Department............13

Gilbert Woodworks....................................95

Lynn’s Qwik Stop........................................25

StillWaters R.A............................................27

Alex City Guide Service..............................94

Gold Ole Boys BBQ...................................... 9


Super 8.......................................................95

Alex City Internal Medicine.......................84

Grace’s Flowers..........................................47

Mark King’s Furniture................................60

Tallapoosa County Board of Education............... 81

Alex City Marine.........................................43

Grave’s Fabricator.......................................95

Marsha Mason...........................................70

Tallapoosa River Electric Cooperative............... 78

Alex City Vet...............................................47

Harold Cochran, State Farm.......................94

Moore’s Hardware......................................22

Tapley Appliance............................................... 95

American Inn.............................................94

Heritage South Credit Union.....................99

Movie Rack.................................................25

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

Artic Air.......................................................59

Hillabee Towers..........................................94

Noel Boone................................................94

The Blue Hydrangea..................................95

Audrey Colvin.............................................94

Hill Petroleum............................................84

Ocie & Belle’s.............................................27

Thomas Auto Parts....................................... 8

Barbara’s Studio of Dance..........................94

Hillview Memorial.....................................75


Town of New Site.......................................43

Beyond Home Care....................................36

Holley’s Home Furnishings.......................78

Papa John’s Pizza.......................................25


Bice Motors................................................22

Holman Floor Company............................47

Patterson Truck Parts..................................43

Virgina Pettus, Aronov...............................27

Bill’s Electric...............................................13

Howlin Moon Pet Resort............................94

Playhouse Cinemas...................................25

Whisker’s Catfish........................................75

Bill Nichols State Veterans Home..............70

Huddle House............................................25

Radney Funeral Home...............................37

Who’s Diner...............................................25

Brown Nursing & Rehabilitation...............22

Hyde’s Kitchen...........................................94

Red Ridge United Methodist Chruch.............. 68

Wind Creek State Park...............................78

Buck’s Dairy Quik.......................................25

J&M Tank Lines..........................................31

Renaissance Electronics............................... 9

Wind Creek Zipline....................................93

C&T Electric.................................................47

Karen Channell, State Farm.......................36

Rhodes Brothers/Key Builders...................64

Central Alabama Community College..................5

Kelly Heating & Air.....................................13

River Bank & Trust......................................26

CertaPro Painters............................................... 27

Kent Norris D.M.D......................................64

Robinson Iron............................................96

City of Alexander City.................................15

Kona Ice......................................................25

Russell Do it Center...................................95



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March 8, 2018 Dadevile Record  
March 8, 2018 Dadevile Record