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Mustangs sweep Eclectic tourney

Sports, Page 8 Wetumpka, AL 36092




VOL. 11, NO. 44

Commission to appoint board members

By COREY ARWOOD Staff Writer

The Elmore County Commission will meet Monday to decide on appointments to both the county Emergency Management Service and the Central Elmore Water and Sewer Authority and hear reports from Probate Judge John Enslen. County Commission Chairperson Troy Stubbs of District 3 said the current three

seats of administration at the Elmore County Emergency Medical Services had reached their term limits and would now be considered by the commission for reappointment. Stubbs said a seat on the Water and Sewer Authority Board became open as a result of Kenny Holt becoming a commissioner. Holt was elected commissioner in the March primary elections to the District 1 seat. “As an elected official he can no lon-

ger hold that seat,” said Stubbs. Having been sworn in last week, Stubbs said Holt by default could remain on the CEWSA board. The EMS board appointment candidates are Eric Jones, Lois Pribulick and Steve Dennis. Dennis currently serves as EMS chairperson and Jones as EMS secretary, however Jones is also the director of the Elmore County Emergency Agency. Stubbs said the positions were open to the public and the three candidates were


By DAVID GRANGER Interim Managing Editor



67 36 High



CONTACT US 334-567-7811 • Fax: 334-567-3284


The Herald to shift to one all-inclusive publication

Friends have different diplomas, takes on game Today is a day in Alabama when families are split, friends avoid one another and college football is king. It’s Iron Bowl Saturday. Today at 2:30 p.m. in Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denny Stadium, the No. 13 Auburn Tigers (8-3, 5-2 in SEC play) pay a visit to the undefeated and top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (11-0, 7-0 in SEC games). Alabama enters the annual rivalry tilt as a prohibitive 17.5-point favorite in a game nationally televised on CBS (WAKA, Channel 8 in Montgomery). Jay Collier of Wetumpka, a 42-year-old Auburn graduate, will be in the stands. It See IRON BOWL • Page 3

the only ones to express interest in the positions. He said there would be a number of board appointments and to contact Executive Assistant Kimberly Erb at the Elmore County Commission office or go to the county website www.elmoreco. org for more information. Probate Judge John Enslen is scheduled to address the commission about three items.


Mitch Sneed / The Herald

Empty rain gauges like this have become standard across the area as the last time it has rain a measurable amount was Sept. 18, but that appears that will change as rain is in the forecast for early next week.


Early-week rain chance could help, but no-burn order still in place By DAVID GRANGER Interim Managing Editor

The National Weather Service’s extended forecast for Wetumpka and surrounding area includes something people in this are have seen little of lately: a better than 50 percent chance of rain. As of Friday morning, the NWS forecast includes a 60 percent rain chance for Tuesday, Tuesday night and Wednesday. “This is definitely the best chance of rain we’ve seen in several months,” said Mark Rose, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service office in Birmingham. “We’ve got a fairly strong storm system coming through. We may see a few showers on Monday, but it looks like our best chances are on Tuesday and Wednesday when we may have a couple of waves coming through.” Rose said there is a possibility for significant amounts of rainfall in the area and northward. “The models are showing fairly decent rainfall amounts,” Rose said. “Close to an inch over the entire forecast area. The higher totals may be farther north, but (in the Wetumpka) area there could be about an inch over a two-day period.” Rose said forecasters are watching the mod-

els for the potential of severe weather, but aren’t ready to commit to that possibility yet. “There is the potential that exists for some stronger storms,” Rose said. “We don’t expect anything severe right now, but we will continue to watch the models.” Meanwhile, the state remains in the midst of a brutal drought for which the rain could provide much-needed relief. As of Friday morning, there were active wildfires in Butler, Jefferson, Lowndes and Marshall counties. There were 38 more wildfires termed “contained,” which had burned a total of more than 6,600 acres. Four of those wildfires – one each in Blount and Walker counties and two in DeKalb County – had burned more than 500 acres each. The largest had burned more than 1,300 acres in Walker County. Contained wildfires are still actively burning on the interior, but have a containment line around them. Luckily, Elmore County has remained relatively unscathed, with only two wildfires consuming a total of 10 acres in the last 30 days. As a result of the long period of dry conditions in the state, a statewide no-burn order remains in effect, in which all outdoor or open burning is prohibited. The drought emergency order was declared by Alabama See RAIN • Page 3

We are making some changes here at Tallapoosa Publishers to help streamline our efforts and offer an all-inclusive publication that better serves our readers in Wetumpka and all of Elmore County. Today’s edition of Elmore County Weekend will be the last Saturday edition offered by Tallapoosa Publishers. Beginning next week, the page count in the Wednesday Wetumpka Herald will be increased so that we can include more news and the features normally found in the weekend See EDITOR • Page 3

Granger named interim managing editor of The Herald STAFF REPORT TPI Staff

David Granger has been named interim managing editor of the Wetumpka Herald and the Tallapoosa Publishers publications in Elmore County. Granger Granger has been with Tallapoosa Publishers for about two years and has been covering news See HERALD • Page 3

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Page 2 • NOVEMBER 26-27, 2016

Obituaries Judge Thomas Poindexter Stowe STOWE, Jr., Judge Thomas Poindexter, a resident of Wetumpka passed away on Monday, November 21, 2016 at his home at the age of 73. Visitation will be held on Friday, November 25, 2016 at 9:30 am at Wetumpka Memorial Funeral Home in Wetumpka. A Memorial Service will follow at 11:00 am with the Reverend Steve Reneau officiating. On February 5, 1943, Thomas Poindexter Stowe, Jr. was born in Montgomery, Alabama. He grew up in Wetumpka and attended school there until graduating from Wetumpka High School. Following his high school graduation Tommy attended the University of Alabama where he received his undergraduate degree and a law degree. After graduating from law school, he worked several years as Administrative Assistant for Governor Albert Brewer before going into private practice in his home town of Wetumpka. For several years he diligently worked defending the rights of many people. In 1982, Tommy was appointed by the governor to the position of District Court/Juvenile Court Judge. Because he so longed for more time to spend with his wife and three daughters, he appreciatively accepted the position. For fourteen years Judge Stowe sat the bench in the Elmore County Courthouse. His friends and colleagues looked upon him with much respect. At times he was faced with heart-wrenching decisions. Judge Stowe loved the citizens, in particular the children, so much that he took his job quite seriously and worked with much passion to make Elmore County a safe place for all. His decisions were what he felt was the best form of justice and was best for the accused. Judge Stowe was a lifelong member of First Baptist Church of Wetumpka. He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years Susan Bishop Stowe. He is survived by three daughters: Melanie Laura Stowe McCarty (Phillip), Knoxville, TN; Lynnes Poindexter Stowe Justiss, Wetumpka, AL; Mary Carolyn Stowe Davis (Keith), Auburn, AL. His grandchildren are Laura Stowe McCarty, Sarah Catherine McCarty, Margaret Martin McCarty, George Oliver McCarty, Luke Powell Justiss, Caleb Andrew Justiss, Thomas Benjamin Justiss, and Mary Oliver Davis. He was the only child of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Poindexter Stowe, Sr. of Wetumpka. Tommy Stowe expressed to his wife, daughters, grandchildren, and those who came in contact with him throughout his life’s adventures, his love and happiness. As life continues for us we will treasure the memories of his unconditional love.


Hicks found guilty in Florida court Convicted mom’s boyfriend had abused child in truck STAFF REPORT TPI Staff

A Florida jury deliberated for approximately 90 minutes last week before finding a Wetumpka man guilty of beating and torturing a four-year-old boy, found unresponsive in the back of the man’s truck. Scott Thomas Hicks, 39, was found guilty of aggravated child abuse, child neglect causing great bodily harm, leaving a child unattended in a motor vehicle and a lesser charge of child neglect causing great bodily harm from an earlier trip into Bay County with the child. At trial, Hicks put the blame for the abuse on 29-year-old Hallee Anne McLeod, the child’s mother and Hicks’ girlfriend at the time, saying that he had watched her punish the child a few nights before his trip to Bay County and that punishment included McLeod punching the child in the groin. He said he did not realize the seriousness of the injuries. McLeod admitted to investigators that she had hit the child in the testicles and thrown him on the floor and pleaded guilty to aggravated child abuse in August in Elmore County. She was sentenced to the maximum of 20 years in prison.

The child was found beaten and unresponsive in September 2015 in Hicks’ truck parked outside Bay County Courthouse, where Hicks had gone to take care of two outstanding warrants for battery. According to emergency medical technicians, the child had “extreme” bruising in the groin area and bruises all over his body. As a result of the case, in February the Alabama Legislature – at the urging of 19th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Randall Houston – passed “Winston’s Law,” which elevated aggravated child abuse from a Class B felony punishable by two to 20 years in prison to a Class A felony, punishable by 10 to 99 years in prison or by life in any case involving a child younger than six years old. McLeod’s sentence was limited to 20 years because “Winston’s Law” is not retroactive. The mother in the infamous Winston’s Law child abuse case received the sentence from an Elmore County district judge who had strong words for the sobbing defendant that maintained the abuse came from Hicks. “I’m not just this monster that people have portrayed me to be I was not aware of all the abuse that was going on,” said McLeod, 29. The details of the alleged abuse

suffered by the then 4-year-old son of McLeod and Joey Crampton have circulated across the nation.. At McLeod’s sentencing District Judge Ben Fuller showed pictures of the physical injuries “Winston” suffered. The images were gruesome, and Fuller held them up in front of a choking tear-filled McLeod immediately after her impassioned plea for a reduction in her sentence. “I only want the best for Winston,” McLeod said, shaking between sobs. She said she could not change the past, “but I can make the future a lot better.” Throughout her pleas she said she had accepted her punishment, and occasionally asked for reductions to her 20-year sentence. Fuller seemed little swayed by this. “It is difficult just for me to maintain a judicial decorum about this,” Fuller said, who was nearly visibly angry. “…It rings very hollow to me madame. “(The) law doesn’t allow me to impose a life sentence, it allows me to impose a 20-year sentence and that is what I’m going to do.” Fuller then talked directly to Dot Faust, McLeod’s mother. “I am sincerely sorry,” he said as Faust shook.

Police Briefs and one orange/ white pipe used to smoke marijuana.

Nov. 21

• A report was made of criminal mischief, a third-degree misdemeanor, on the 300 block of River Crest Drive. The incident was said to have occurred between Nov. 20 at 7:30 a.m. and Nov. 21 at 7:25 a.m. The item listed as damaged was the passenger-side window of a white 2010 Ford Mustang valued at $200. • A report of domestic violence assault, a third-degree misdemeanor, was made on Highway 14, near the Marathon gas station. The incident was said to have occurred Nov. 21 at 2:55 p.m.

Nov. 18

• A report was made of fraudulent use of credit/debit card, a felony, at Max Federal Credit Union. The incident was said to have occurred between Nov. 12 at 5 p.m. and Nov. 13 at 8 a.m. The item listed as stolen was U. S. Currency taken from the victim’s bank account totaling $68.85.

Nov. 17

• A report of harassment, a misdemeanor, was made on the 100 block of Ann Parkway. The incident was said to have occurred Nov. 17 at 8:50 a.m. • A report was made of possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, at the corner of Old Montgomery Highway and Bell Loop. The incident was said to have occurred November 17 at 11:28 p.m. The items listed in possession were one metal pipe used to smoke marijuana

Nov. 16

• A report was made of theft of property, a second-degree felony, at Storage World. The item listed as stolen was a Taurus .38 Special. The incident was said to have occurred between May 1 and Oct. 5. • A report was made of fourth-degree theft of property at Wal-Mart. The incident was said to have occurred Nov. 16 between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. The item listed as stolen was a Samsung Galaxy S5. • A report was made of theft of property, a fourth-degree misdemeanor, at CVS Pharmacy. The incident was said to have occurred Nov. 16 between 2:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. There was an assortment of items stolen valued at $109.08.

Nov. 15

• A report was made of possession of marijuana, a misdemeanor, on the corner of Love Lane and S. Main Street. The item listed in possession was one clear cylindrical glass tube. The incident was reported to have happened Nov. 15 at 12:18 a.m. • A report was made of receipt of stolen property, a first-degree felony, on the corner of Love Lane and S. Main Street. The stolen item was listed as a green 1995 Chevrolet van. The incident was said to have occurred Nov. 15 at 12:18 a.m. • A report was made of possession of marijuana, a second-degree misdemeanor, as well as possession of drug paraphernalia, a misdemeanor, on the corner of West Bridge Street and East Bridge Street. The items said to be in possession were one bag containing marijuana and one block digital scale. The incident was said to have occurred Nov. 15 at 4:12 p.m.

Nov. 14

• A report was made of identity theft, a felony, on the 400 block of River Oaks Drive. The incident was said to have an unknown beginning and an end on Nov. 14 at 2:30 p.m. • A report of harassment, a misdemeanor, was made on the 300 block of King Cotton Court. The incident was reported to have taken place Nov. 14 at 4:50 p.m. • A report of three counts of forgery, a third-degree felony, and theft of property, also a third-degree felony, was made at Central Elmore Water and Sewer Association. The item listed as stolen U.S. Currency at an undisclosed amount. The incident was said to have occurred between Nov. 7 and Nov. 8. • A report was made of theft of property, a first-degree felony, in the parking lot of Wal-Mart. The items listed as stolen were U.S. Currency in the amount of $5,500, one CitiBank credit card, one PNC Bank debit card, one Lowe’s credit card, one American Express credit card, an iPhone 4S in an orange case, and one PNC Bank checkbook. The incident was said to have occurred Nov. 14 at 3:50 p.m.







NOVEMBER 26-27, 2016 • Page 3

Iron Bowl will be his 28th consecutive Iron Bowl. He has seen his beloved Auburn Tigers win 13 times and Alabama win 14. He hopes this is the year he gets to .500. Meanwhile, Wade Morgan, a 45-year-old graduate of the University of Alabama will watch the game at his Wallsboro home, but will root no less hard for his beloved Tide. Collier and Morgan are friends. But it’s not likely they will talk this afternoon. One of them might want to, but the other? Decidedly not. That’s the way it goes with the Iron Bowl. “My earliest memory of the Iron Bowl would have to be watching it in 1986,” Collier said. “Alabama was up 17-14 with around 30 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Lawyer Tillman ran a reverse play (for a touchdown) just inside the 10-yard line to lead Auburn to a 21-17 victory.” Naturally, Morgan’s first Iron Bowl memory is of a Tide win. “1981,” Morgan said. “I remember watching the game with whole family, Alabama and Auburn fans. (Legendary Alabama head coach Paul) Bear (Bryant) was going for win number 315. We normally didn’t watch games together but this one was special.” Fourth-ranked Alabama defeated unranked Auburn 28-17 in 1981. Just as naturally, when Collier and Morgan look back on their favorite Auburn-Alabama games over the years, those have differing outcomes, as well. “My favorite was the 1994 Iron Bowl at Legion Field in Birmingham,” Morgan said. “I was still a student at Alabama and attended the game. Both teams were undefeated headed into the game. The atmosphere at the game was electrifying. It was a hard fought game. Alabama ended up winning, 21-14.” “I would have to say I have two,” Collier said. “I was with my son at both games. He has been to every Iron Bowl since 2008 with me. And these are two we will never forget. Of course the 2010 Iron Bowl with Auburn ranked No. 2 and Alabama ranked #11. Auburn came back from a 24-0 deficit to win 28-27. Cam Newton being the quarterback makes it special for JB. He is a big Cam Newton fan. “The other obvious is the 2013 Iron Bowl, ‘Kick Six. Both fan bases will hear need-a-second-got-asecond or 1-second-left jokes for the rest of our lives. But Chris Davis running back a missed field goal 109 yards to win 34-28 over Alabama was insane. I have never seen Jordan Hare stadium like that. After the Miracle Catch the week before (versus Georgia) it made for a special two weeks of football.” One of Collier’s favorites, not surprisingly, is Morgan’s least favorite. “My least favorite would have to be the 2010 Iron Bowl at Bryant Denney Stadium in Tuscaloosa,” Morgan said. “We had a 24-0 lead and we ended up losing 28-27. I felt like we had a better team. I told a friend as we walked out of the stadium that we were the only team who could beat Auburn, and we just let

Rain Gov. Robert Bentley on Nov. 7, although burn restrictions have been in place since early October. This regulation makes it illegal for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes; build a campfire or bonfire; or burn trash or debris. If convicted, the penalty for violating the no-burn order is up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.00. ”The Forestry Commission is appreciative of the efforts of ALEA, local sheriff departments, along with the State Fire Marshal’s office, for working in conjunction with our agency not only to enforce the no-burn order, but with arson investigations as well,” Alabama State Forester Gary Cole said.

Commission One item scheduled is described as the “minimum quallifications for public office of the Probate Judge.” Another is a contract renewals for Probate Office items on the list. There is also an “archival project using 722 discretionary funds,” which Stubbs said related to archives of information for use by the public. He said it was another effort to modernize the office and make available the information that the probate office compiles over years. “Everything that is in there, there is an effort to try to make all of that information available to the public,” Stubbs said. He said the commission viewed it as a way for Enslen to explain to the public how the discretionary funds were used, and to what end. Also to be discussed at Monday’s meeting are the

Editor in Wetumpka and Elmore County exclusively for the last two months. “We are pleased to have someone with David’s experience as a journalist and knowledge of the Elmore County are available to lead our staff on an interim basis,” Tallapoosa Publishers Editor Mitch Sneed said. “He is a great writer who understands what a community newspaper should be. Also, David is a great editor who we have depended on for the last two years to help with the production of all of our newspapers. “We are confident that he will be responsive to the community and be someone who can respond quickly to ensure the best possible coverage of news in the area.” Granger, a native of Opp, is the son of school teachers and a 1978 graduate of Elmore County High School in Eclectic. After high school, he attended Auburn University and received his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1984. He has worked in newspapers with the Birmingham News and The Alabama Journal, primarily as a sports writer. He spent 10 years in communications with the Alabama Department of

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them off the hook.” Collier’s least favorite was former Auburn and current Cincinnati head coach Tommy Tuberville’s ugly swan song. “My least favorite was 2008 in Tuscaloosa,” Collier said. “It finally happened. Alabama beat Auburn for the first time in Iron Bowl history at home in Tuscaloosa. It was after a chaotic season for Auburn and head coach Tommy Tuberville. Auburn lost 36-0 and Tuberville coached his last day as an Auburn Tiger.” Collier said he enjoys looking back on Iron Bowls past, but that, despite what many say about tossing record books out of windows, the favorite usually wins. “It is always fun looking back over the years and seeing how close most of these games are,” Collier said. “The team that should win typically does, not too many surprises there. But a lot of the Iron Bowls final scores are closer than you would think they would turn out from way season had played thus far.” So how would Morgan and Collier explain the intensity of this in-state rivalry to someone who was not familiar with all of the elements that play into it? “It’s one of the kind of games that you’re relieved when it’s over,” Morgan said. “This is the only game I get a little nervous even when we’re the better team because the joy you get in winning that game doesn’t come close to the pain of losing.” “It is like no other sporting event,” said Collier. “It is a way of life for so many around here. I don’t let it affect me and get into it as much as I used to, but I know some who a win or loss changes their outlook on life for the time being. We shouldn’t make one game have such an impact on our lives, but for many Alabamians it does. It goes on 365 days a year. If it isn’t during the regular season it is all about who it getting the best recruits. Both fan bases have coaches speaking at events year round. With no professional sports programs in our state sports fans have to lean to college sports and man they sure do. It is the fiercest and most competitive rivalry in all sports.” Finally, what do the two friends see happening Saturday? “Ideally, we’d blow Auburn out by a score of 40-0,” Morgan said. “Realistically, I say we will win with a score of 24-10.” Collier was a bit more effusive, as underdogs sometimes are. “If I put on my orange and blue shades here is my prediction: It will be a low scoring game. It must be for Auburn to win,” Collier said. “Both teams have top five defenses. Auburn is having injury issues and inconsistent quarterback play. Who would have thought two years ago that Auburn would be struggling finding an offense and have one of the best defenses? I think it will be a grind-it-out, four-quarters game. Jeremy Johnson will get the start at quarterback and play a decent game. He will be turnover free

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Bentley has also appealed to the general public for assistance, announcing a $5,000 reward for anyone providing information that leads to the arrest and conviction of a person responsible for setting wildfires. The no-burn order will remain in effect until rescinded by Cole when conditions change to reduce the occurrence and frequency of wildfires. To report persons burning in violation of this law, contact your local law enforcement. For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state, visit Alabama Forestry Commission’s website at

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designation of county depositories for 2017 and a “petition to vacate” a portion of Bellingrath Road. Stubbs said the deposit account item referred to the list of banks approved for use by the county, which would be voted on by the commission. And the commission will hear from residents who live on Bellingrath Road who Stubbs said want a portion of the road closed to the public. He said the commission would learn more about the proposal, acknowledge the interest of the residents and set a date for a public hearing. Stubbs said no decisions would be made Monday regarding the road. The meeting is scheduled to begin with a work session at 5 p.m. in the Elmore County Courthouse Courtroom.

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Environmental Management and more than 15 in media relations at Auburn University. He and his wife, Lynn, have two adult sons and three grandsons. “Being here at The Herald is like being home for me,” Granger said. “Although, technically, I live in Coosa County, most of my family and my in-laws are all in Elmore. When I was in high school, all of the activities I participated in were in Elmore County. I have so many great memories of the people and the places and even the community newspapers from my younger days. I hope that I am able to recapture some of that through our work at The Herald.” In upcoming issues, information on how to submit news tips, calendar items and photos will be published. The idea is to make sure readers know that they can help shape the items that appear in the newspaper. The goal is to add more content from across the Elmore County area and readers can serve as the eyes and ears of the newspaper. To reach Granger, email him at david.granger@ or call 334-567-7811.

Corey Arwood / The Herald

Jay Collier, left, and Wade Morgan share a light moment on Friday before things get serious in the Iron Bowl this afternoon.

and end his Auburn career leading the Tigers to victory. Auburn will pull off the biggest upset in recent Iron Bowl history on a long 45-yard field goal as time expires to win 16-14. It will be Carlson’s 3rd field goal of the game. “Realistically, the team that is supposed to win typically wins the Iron Bowl. With that being said, Alabama has the better, stronger, healthier team at this point of the season. I look for a close first half. But as Auburn has trouble moving the ball in the game the defense will tire down. Then Alabama probably will pull away in the 4th quarter to win by 10. But I still think I like my first scenario better.”

Herald paper. “We feel like this change gives us the ability to put one newspaper that fully covers Elmore County in the hands of our readers each week,” said Tallapoosa Publishers President and CEO Steve Baker. “The Elmore County Weekend was only added to the lineup in recent years and, we found that with a separate nameplate, it was never really embraced by readers. “This change gets us back to the model that served the people of Elmore County well for decades and we hope they will enjoy the new features and renewed commitment to local news that we have planned.” As an added bonus, the Wednesday Wetumpka Herald will include the Eclectic Observer as a supplement to the paper

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with more news from across all of Elmore County. The new lineup will also include expanded classified and legal advertising, regularly scheduled special sections, advertising circulars and monthly insertion of our award-winning magazine – Elmore County Living. The staff will also work to ramp up coverage of breaking news online using the company’s social media platforms as well as our website: “Our readers and advertisers are important to us and we feel that this new lineup will help better serve them,” Baker said. “Should you have questions or suggestions, don’t hesitate to contact me at”

Steve Baker, Publisher David Granger, Interim Managing Editor Opinions expressed in guest columns and letters to the editor do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of the management of The Wetumpka Herald

Page 4 • NOVEMBER 26-27, 2016


“Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it.” --Thomas Jefferson


The Herald 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.

YOUR VIEW Want to share your opinion on a situation, topic, etc.? X WRITE:

Your View The Wetumpka Herald P.O. Box 99 Wetumpka, AL 36092


Include your name, address and phone number. Only your name and city will be printed. We reserve the right to edit or to refuse to publish any submission. You may submit one letter per month, limited to 300 words or less.

‘Different’ week brings renewed optimism I

t’s been a different kind of week here at The Herald. I won’t go deep into the reasons why, but here on Green Street we have a sense of renewed optimism. We hope that some of the changes that have recently come about will make you feel better about your newspaper. And we hope that, more than ever, you begin to think of The Herald as just that – your newspaper. Our plans are to make this newspaper reflect more the community that it serves. We hope to put a renewed emphasis on community, to do more to reflect and cultivate the wonderful quality of life that exists here. I have spent much of my life in Elmore County. I graduated from high school in Eclectic. My principal was the father of one of the members of the Wetumpka City Council. Back in the day, the mayor cut my hair! In fact, Mayor


Managing Editor

Willis, I’m in need of a trim! I have played ball on this city’s athletic fields and attended its churches. I’ve shopped its stores, eaten in its restaurants and call its residents my friends. Much of my family calls Elmore County home. And, in all but a strictly geographic sense, Elmore County is home for me, too. I live in the southern tip of Coosa County, but can throw a rock into Elmore without straining. I have lived in other places in this state – Auburn, Birmingham, Montgomery – and there are no better people than those in this county. They deserve to be treated well by their neighbors and their newspaper. After all, we, too,

are their neighbor. We come to see them – you – weekly and discuss what’s happening in the surrounding area. We invite them – you – to come to us whenever you want with your thoughts and opinions, either through guest editorials or letters to the editor. Soon, you will begin to see some changes in the content of your newspaper, new features that we hope will add to its appeal and to our mission to inform and reflect the county. We want to be more complete in our coverage of your schools, your government and your way of life. We want to tell the stories of those who best reflect the good that exists here. There will be times when we are necessarily tough. It is in our job description to be a watchdog for the citizenry and we take that portion of our job seriously, too. More than anything, we hope to be even-handed in our cov-

erage of all the news. We don’t want to be pollyannas, nor do we want to be overly pessimistic. Our hope is that a deserved positivity carries the day. Let’s face it. If you don’t read the paper, we cease to exist. In the end, it’s you who decide what we do to appeal. And our existence depends upon our appeal. If there are things that you like or dislike about your paper or things that you’d like to see that you aren’t seeing in it, please email me at david.granger@ to let me know. I will read and consider every email that I receive. On that, you have my word. It’s good to be home. I hope that I can help our staff play a small part in making your home a better place to live. See you next week! David Granger is interim managing editor for the Elmore County newspapers of Tallapoosa Publishers.

334-567-7811 • Fax 334-567-3284 email: THE WETUMPKA HERALD (681-260) is published twice weekly on Wednesday and Saturday by Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc., 548 Cherokee Road, Alexander City, AL 35010. Periodical postage paid at Wetumpka, Alabama. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Wetumpka Herald, P.O. Box 99, Wetumpka, AL 360920099. ISSN # 1536-688X. We reserve the right to refuse to print any advertisement, news story, photograph or any other material submitted to us for any reason or no reason at all. •Obituaries - $.25 per word per paper. Additional $15 charge for a photo per paper. (Herald, Weekend, Observer, Tribune). •Weddings/Engagements - $.25 per word per paper. $15 charge for a 2-column photo. •Birth Announcements - $.25 per word per paper. $15 charge for a photo. SUBSCRIPTION RATES (includes Wednesday & Saturday) One Year in Elmore, Tallapoosa or Coosa County: $50 One Year Elsewhere: $75 The publisher reserves the right to change subscription rates during the term of subscription at any time. To subscribe or if you miss your paper, call 256-234-4281. © 2016 Tallapoosa Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved and any reproduction of this issue is prohibited without the consent of the editor or publisher. ADMINISTRATION Steve Baker, publisher David Granger, interim managing editor NEWS Corey Arwood, staff writer Carmen Rodgers, staff writer Cory Diaz, sports editor . . . . . . . . Ext. 306 SALES Molly Brethauer, marketing consultant . . . . Ext. 313 Stacy Adams, marketing consultant . . . . . . . Ext. 305

A trip to Jordan for our troops


’m writing this column from 38,000 feet in the air somewhere over the Atlantic. I’m sitting in coach, so I feel like a T-Rex trying to write this thing. It’s not the most pleasant of writing conditions, but the show must go on, as did our show when we all of a sudden found ourselves a man down. The GIs of Comedy were booked to entertain troops at an undisclosed location in Jordan. We usually hit multiple countries and installations on our overseas tours, but this one was different. We had just one stop, so it was going to be a turn and burn. I met P.J. and Walter, the other two guys on the tour, at the airport in Atlanta. Walter texted me to ask how far out I was. I don’t think he realized I only lived 90 minutes from the airport. I think I’d just rolled out of bed when I texted him back. P.J. and Walter had been traveling all day. They were tired before I even got started.

JODY FULLER Guest Columnist

The itinerary had us traveling from Atlanta to Philadelphia to Paris to Amman. For me, that was around 24 hours of travel time. For P.J., it was around 36. Walter, well, Walter got stuck in Philadelphia due to a passport issue. It expires in February, but in order to enter Jordan, there must be at least six months remaining on the passport. We sure hated to lose him, but at the same time, we are glad the snafu happened in Philly rather than the other side of the world. When we landed in Jordan, we had to pay the equivalent of $60.00 for a visa. Those guys at immigration control are always a little sketchy and are never in a hurry. The fastest he moved throughout our encounter involved his finger and his nose, but

I’ll just stop right there. Speaking of picking, it was too late in the evening for U.S. personnel to pick us up, so we had to take a taxi to our hotel. The taxi drivers were on us like seagulls on a clumsy kid with crackers. If you’ve ever driven in that part of the world, then you know it is absolute chaos. If you have yet to experience the phenomenon, just think of the worst highspeed traffic you have ever seen and multiply it by infinity and you’ll be half way there. It’s not for the faint of heart, but the babies riding on the dashboards don’t seem to be fazed by it a bit. We were picked up the next morning at 11 by our people. They took us out for lunch, and I have to be honest. The lamb patty covered in caramelized onions and caulk may have been the worst thing I’ve ever put in my mouth. Fortunately, I filled up on bread and hummus. They took good care of us. The show itself went

amazingly well. P.J. and I did this same base two years ago, so we knew it would be a good time. The venue is just too cool. Instead of doing 35 minutes apiece had we had Walter, each of us did almost an hour before coming back up together for story time. By all accounts, it was a great show. There’s nothing more special than entertaining troops who are so far from home. It will never get old, and I will never take it for granted. I’m just a kid from Alabama who had a dream, but per the usual, I’m ready to get home. One day, maybe we’ll have all our troops home, too. Until then, we’ll keep on going over to see them. 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


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NOVEMBER 26-27, 2016 • PAGE 7

Christmas party helps county’s kids in need By DAVID GRANGER Interim Managing Editor

Jolly ol’ Santa Claus will come exactly three weeks early for some of the most appreciative children and parents in Elmore County. For at least a decade, the Wetumpka Police Department has been leading the organization of the Community Christmas Party for some of the area’s neediest children. The effort was begun by the late Cpl. Chris Deputy, a 13-year veteran of the department who died in 2010. The police department has continued Deputy’s project and the effort is currently headed up by the department’s Sgt. Ella Roberts. This year’s event will take place Saturday, Dec.

4, at the Wetumpka Civic Center from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. “It’s open to Elmore County,” said Emma Bass of Partnership for Children, which helps with the annual event. “We’re trying to reach our needy families. We’re trying to make sure that every child in the county has a good Christmas. “There are people that we know are in need that we make sure are aware. They come. We’re trying to take care of home first. We’re focusing on home.” Each year, the Wetumpka Police Department holds one or more toy drives to collect gifts for the children. The police department

WHS theater program to raise funds for competition By COREY ARWOOD Staff Writer

The Wetumpka High School Performing Arts program will hold a fundraiser at Wetumpka Depot Theater Sunday to help pay for the students travels to North Alabama where they will perform in a statewide theater competition. The young actresses actors and playwrights will perform individual scenes from a number of plays. Theater Director of Performing Arts Program Jeff Glass said a total of 25 students would be performing in the 2016 State Trumbauer Festival in Florence at the University of North Alabama. He said their trip was planned from Dec. 1-3, and the money raised Sunday would help with the students’ travel expenses. Glass said the donations could either be made to individual students at The Depot or to the group as whole where it will be divided equally among them. They secured their spots at the Trumbauer Festival from their scores at the district level in Opelika held earlier this month. Glass said the state competition had been held in Troy over previous years, which helped with the cost, however the three-day trip would be more expensive. On Sunday Glass said individual scenes from a selection of plays like “Hamilton” and “A Chorus Line,” songs from “Edges” and “Once Upon a Mattress,” along with a group musical piece from “Dreamgirls” plus a duet from “Sideshow” will be performed. He said the Trumbauer Festival is the largest high school festival in the southeast, with roughly 2,000 students performing. Glass said he serves as the vice chair of the secondary division and festival.

to help out.” Some have already helped. Some of the individuals and businesses who have donated either gifts or money with which to buy them are Lee’s Auto Repair, All State, Pat Lawson, Turner Tax, Wetumpka Lions Club, Lowe’s, Elmore County Finance and Madison Bounce and Rent. Coaches’ Corner is providing hot dogs and chips, Coca-Cola is providing drinks and Fresh Rain Church in Wetumpka will provide volunteers. “Gosh, I hope I don’t leave anyone out,” worried Bass.

also accepts donations from businesses and individuals interested in helping out. Among the types of gifts that are expected to be distributed among the children are electronics, bikes and other toys purchased with money that is donated. “This year has been a struggle,” said Sgt. Roberts. “We would appreciate anyone who can find it in their heart

YOU CAN HELP Help make Elmore County’s Community Christmas Party a success! Make a monetary or children’s gift donation by calling the Wetumpka Police Department or dropping your gift off at the station, located at 208 Marshall Street. Volunteers are also needed to help wrap gifts and to help with the decoration of the Civic Center on the morning of Dec. 4. Call Emma Bass at 334-782-5074 or Sgt. Ella Roberts at the Wetumpka Police Department to volunteer. ouboub oubouib

Roberts said another important partner in the event is First Baptist Church of Wetumpka. “The last couple of years, First Baptist Church has become really involved,” she said. “In fact, on Dec. 2, we’ll have a couple of officers take their police cruisers to the church and the kids will come in and drop their wrapped gifts into the car. In the past, they have provided more than 100 gifts.”

Last year’s event was extremely successful, according to Bass. “We had such a big crowd last year that we’re limited to 450 kids this year,” said Bass. “We had more than 500 last year, but the fire marshal has limited us to 450 this year. And we will have to ask the parents to stay outside. Well have volunteers from different churches in the area inside to help watch over the kids.

Area Calendar November 28

LifeSouth will be holding blood drives from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at River Region Family Medicine, 41 Cambridge Court, in Wetumpka and from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Winn Dixie, located in Wetumpka’s Toulouse Village Shopping Center. Everyone who qualifies is urged to donate blood.

November 30

LifeSouth will be holding blood drives from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at Elmore Community Hospital, 500 Hospital Drive, and from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Christ Life Church, 2601 Holtville Road, both in Wetumpka. Everyone who qualifies is urged to donate blood.

Thursday, Dec. 1-Saturday, Dec. 10

An Eclectic Christmas, The Falk Farm, 1733 Claud Road, Eclectic. Experience the true story of the first Christmas in the atmosphere of an outdoor walking trail. Be part of the live drama that is set during the Roman Empire. As decreed by Augustus Caesar, everyone must be counted in the census. As you make your way to Bethlehem, you will visit the field where shepherds received the angel’s message and news of the Messiah. Then visit the wise men as they journey in search of the New Born King. Reservations are now open! Shows are reserved in 15-minute increments. When registering, please have a primary and secondary choice for date and time. We remind you that this is an outdoor night-time walking tour. Admission is free, and donations are accepted and appreciated to help with expenses. If you make a reservation and are unable to make it, please contact An Eclectic Ministry and let us know to cancel your registration. Register online at http://www.

Dececember 1

LifeSouth will be holding a blood drive from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Elmore County Health Department, 6501 U.S. Highway 231, in Wetumpka. Everyone who qualifies is urged to donate blood.

December 1-3

Millbrook’s Spirit of Christmas 2016 begins on Thursday Dec. 1 with the annual tree lighting ceremony from 6 to 7 p.m. on the Village Green. There will be a live Nativity, choral entertainment and refreshments for sale. On Dec. 3 the Spirit of Christmas Parade begins at 2 p.m. Arts and crafts, food vendors and entertainment will also be present from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Santa and Mrs. Claus will be in the gazebo and available for pictures from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

December 3

Camp Stew and Indoor Yard Sale at Cedarwood Community Church, Hwy. 231 N Wallsboro, Wetumpka. Saturday Dec. 3 from 7 a.m. until noon. Stew is

$8.00 for large microwaveable container. All proceeds from stew and yard sale go to the building fund to help complete the church building and upkeep. For more information, call Laura Knight at 567-2457 or Jo Parker at 514-0242.

December 3

“A Fairy Tale Christmas,” Eclectic Christmas Parade and merchants’ open house. The merchant’s open house begins at 11 a.m. Visit Eclectic merchants for your Christmas shopping enjoyment and register to win prize drawings. The open house will continue until 4 p.m., when the Christmas parade begins. After the parade, the Christmas tree-lighting will take place at Panther Palace. At the treelighting, there will be holiday music and the announcement of parade and prizedrawing winners. You do not have to be present to win.

December 4

LifeSouth will be holding a blood drive from 1 p.m to 4 p.m. at Walmart, 4538 U.S. Highway 231, in Wetumpka. Everyone who qualifies is urged to donate blood.

December 6-15

Christmas on the Coosa returns to Wetumpka with events throughout the month of December. On Dec. 6 there will be a decorations contest. Entries for the contest must be received by Dec. 2 and decorations must be on or working on Dec. 6 at 6 p.m. The annual tree lighting ceremony will be held at Gold Star Park on Dec. 8 at 6 p.m. Prior to the ceremony kids will have an opportunity to get their picture made with Santa. On Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. will be Nativity/Luminary Night and the Downtown Open House. Christmas on the Coosa will be held Dec. 10 starting at 7:30 and 9 a.m. with the character breakfast followed by the car show running from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and arts and crafts vendors from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The street parade will begin at 2 p.m. and the Wakeboarding Santa Show will start at 6 p.m. Fireworks will follow at 6 p.m. On Dec. 15 at 7 p.m. The LeFevre Quartet and Wilburn & Wilburn will participate in a Christmas Concert at the Wetumpka Civic Center.

December 8

Wetumpka Christmas Tree Lighting, Gold Star Park. Santa Claus will be on hand to take photos with children beginning at 5 p.m. The Christmas tree-lighting begins at 6 p.m.

December 9

Christmas on the Coosa nativity/luminary night and downtown merchants’ open house, 6 p.m.

December 10

Christmas on the Coosa, featuring events all day. This year’s theme is “Christmas Around the World.” Activities include arts & crafts booths, a car show, street parade,

skiing Santa and a fireworks display. Day begins with arts& crafts at 10 a.m. and ends with Santa and fireworks at 6 p.m.

December 11

Hillside Baptist Church (405 Old Montgomery Highway, Wetumpka, AL) invites you to enjoy a traditional “home” celebration of Christmas at 11 a.m. The program will explain the Christmas Story through both dialogue and your favorite Christmas carols! For more information please contact the church at 567-9695.

December 13

Calvary Baptist Church Wetumpka will be offering Grief Share “Surviving the Holidays” from 6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. They will be meeting in the fellowship hall. Please contact the church office at 567-4729 or visit our website at www. for any questions concerning this matter.

January 10, February 4 and March 14

The Wetumpka Public Library, along with the Elmore County Museum, invites veterans and family members to sign up and participate in a free monthly reading discussion program on the experience of war, beginning September and ending in March. Discussions will be held in the Elmore County Museum from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on the following Tuesdays: January 10th, February 14th, and March 14th. All books and films will be provided for each participant in advance of each discussion. Recent veterans of the global war on terror are particularly encouraged to participate.

ONGOING EVENTS CHILD FIND: The Tallassee City School System is launching its annual campaign to assist children—birth to age 21—who have disabilities and may need special services. The campaign urges parents, service providers, and concerned citizens to contact Child Find, a program to locate, identify and evaluate children with disabilities or children who are believed to have disabilities. The Tallassee City School System wishes to notify you of the availability of special education services in our public schools. If you have questions regarding our programs, or if you wish to refer a student, please contact Lynell Carr at (334) 2835675 or Child Find (Alabama Department of Education) at 1-800-548-2547.” AMERICA THE BEAUTIFUL: A Photographic Celebration of Places, Faces and Activities is the new exhibit featuring Libby Christensen, John Jacobs, Wayne Atchison, Mit Fontaine, Kay Brummal, Sue Mehearg and Barbara Bryan. The gallery is opened from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday at the Kelly Fitzpatrick Memorial Gallery 408 South Main Street in Wetumpka. The exhibit will close on January 20, 2017.

PAGE 8 • NOVEMBER 26-27, 2016


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MUSTANGS SWEEP TOURNEY Byrd guides Mustangs to tourney championship By CORY DIAZ Sports Editor

Zech Byrd blocked five shots in the first five minutes of the opening quarter, setting the tone for Stanhope Elmore and altering LAMP’s offensive gamplan. With the 6-foot-7 senior forward in the middle, the Mustangs doubled down on defense to take down the Golden Tigers, 56-50, and win the Eclectic Holiday Hoop Fest Tournament title Tuesday at Elmore County High. Byrd finished with six blocks along with nine points en route to earning MVP honors. “It’s always good to have a 6-foot-7 kid in the middle of the floor that can get off the floor,” SEHS boys basketball coach Kelvin Stokes said. “He’s athletic, he can get off the floor and he’s not a slow leaper – he’s got good timing. I’m excited to have him as a senior, have him back. He’s coming out here giving it all he’s got. “We got to find a way to give him the ball more in the post. They doubled down on him a lot, but him doing what he’s doing, he’s the difference maker tonight, altering all those shots where they can’t see the goal.” Off Byrd’s early swat fest, Stanhope raced out to 12-0 lead. But LAMP responded, outscoring the Mustangs 22-6 in the second to take a 28-26 advantage into halftime, on a drive from Joshua Sippial with :04 before the break. The third quarter was the difference, as Stanhope dashed out of the locker room on a 14-0 run and contained the LAMP sharp-shooting arsenal of Sippial, senior Caleb Probst and freshman Justin Johnson to just six points all period. “Defense wins championships. On defense, you’ve got to bear down. They’ve got some great shooters,” Stokes said. “Those guys sit behind the three-point line. I think late in the game, we got them on conditioning a little bit. I think their legs got away from them and they started to miss

Cory Diaz / The Herald

Above, Stanhope Elmore point guard Jamal Williams (22) drives and puts up a shot against two LAMP defenders during the Eclectic Holiday Hoop Fest Tournament championship game Tuesday at Elmore County High.

shots. Early in the game, they were making them. “Making them play a little faster, making them not set their feet, I think it made them alter their shots a little bit. Real excited for our team and program, I think we’re heading in the right direction. Still haven’t put together four

quarters of basketball, but that comes with conditioning.” Alex McNeil and Jamal Williams paced SEHS in the title game with 14 points each, while Jahsan Upshaw added 12. The Mustangs (3-1) travel to Trinity Tuesday.

Lady Mustangs count on defense, win Eclectic Tourney

Cory Diaz / The Herald

Stanhope Elmore junior guard Dalayiah Crawford (32) drives around a Booker T. Washinton-Magnet defender during the Eclectic Holiday Hoop Fest Tournament girls championship game at Elmore County High Tuesday.

Leading by just five points with 1:59 left and with a sputtering offense, Stanhope Elmore relied on its defense to hang on to win the Eclectic Holiday Hoop Fest Tournament, 38-37, over Booker T. Washington-Magnet Tuesday. Despite the late-game offensive woes, the Lady Mustangs were able to fight off multiple turnovers and a technical foul picked up by junior forward Jayla Thomas with the team up 38-35 in the final ticks. Thomas sealed the victory with a steal at :00.6 remaining. “Every year is a new year,” SEHS girls basketball coach Kelvin Stokes said. “We lost a couple of girls from last year, not many, and got a lot of girls returning. This year, we’re still learning again. We play in spurts. I saw good things in spurts, and I saw things that I’m so glad it’s early so we can improve. It was a good, hard-fought win. We got it, that’s what I’m proud of, just the perseverance through how it goes in the game. “Excited for the future because when it counted they played hard and gave it all they had, and that’s what I ask for.” Defense kept the advantage for the Lady Mustangs for most of the game, as the Lady Yellow Jackets managed just three field goals in the first half and tallied just 20 points through three periods. NiKayla Harris collected three steals to pace SEHS and added eight points. Junior guard Dalayiah Crawford led Stanhope with 12 points and 17 rebounds. “Dalayiah is a workhorse. When she gets her rhythm, gets it going, gets it in sync, she’s going to be a very tough young lady to deal with throughout the year,” Stokes said of the returning starter from last season’s regional tournament team. “It’s real good to have her back. She’s just a junior. I’m looking forward to her getting better as the season goes along.” “My thing is she’s not greedy enough. I thought late, she would shy away from the ball a little bit. She can take over the game anytime she wants, and that comes from being so nice. She just wants to share the ball with her teammates. Sometimes I want her to be a little selfish. Down the stretch, she can make things happen for us, and that’s what I need her to do.” The Lady Mustangs (1-2) travel to Trinity Tuesday.


Wetumpka wrestling swept its first tri-match of the season, defeating Carver-Montgomery, 50-27, and Sidney Lanier, 66-18, at home Tuesday. State-qualifying pair senior heavyweight Trent Holley and sophomore Cole Blackwell, along with freshman James Stroh led the Indians. Holley and Blackwell won their one match by pin versus their Poet foe, with the Blackwell (120) pinning Kanahji Vason in three seconds. At 145, Stroh went 2-0 on the day, beating Lanier’s Michael Varner by fall and earning a decision over Quincy Ganious, 10-8. Sophomore Colton Adams (195) managed a fall over Elsylvesticondre Provo, of Carver, at the 1:04 mark, Wetumpka’s only other victory against Carver.

Freshman Tyler Anthony went 1-1 in the tri-match, losing to Carver’s Ronald Wigfall and picking up the victory over Deandre Jarrett, who was disqualified in the 132-pound dual. Kaleb Jones (138) earned a fall against Lanier’s Tervon Vickers and succumbed by pin to De’Andre Humphrey of the Wolverines. Kyler Adams (106), Mason Blackwell (152), Tracey Brooks (160), Logan Townson (170) and Cullen Powers (182) all were handed a loss in their only bouts of the night. Holtville goes 2-3 against strong competition: Junior Brady Richardson shined for Holtville as the Bulldogs started off strong Tuesday at the season-opening Jonathan Harris Duals at Moody High School. As a team, HHS went 2-3, beating Chelsea, 30-3, and Shades Valley, 48-30, and fell to Moody, 49-26, Oak Grove, 39-36 and Scottsboro, 59-17.

Richardson (145-pound) finished the Duals undefeated at 5-0, winning four of his five matches by fall. The Dawgs received impressive performances out of all of their seasoned wrestlers, including Cody Gibson, Peyton Johnson and Spencer Gordon, who combined for 11 victories. At 113, Gordon collected three pins. His lone loss came by a close, 8-6 decision against Oak Grove’s Shawn Winland. Johnson, a senior wrestling at 160, also had three pin wins, all coming in the first period, and outlasted Daniel Vazquez of Moody for a 9-5 decision. Fellow senior Gibson (152) amassed three falls by pin and defeated Moody’s Rashad Clark by 18-2 technical fall in the third period. Evan Headley (182) went 2-3 overall, rounding out the scoring in the Duals for Holtville.

Nov 26, 2016 Wetumpka Herald  
Nov 26, 2016 Wetumpka Herald