Page 1

Connected November/December 2012

Published for customers of

Happy Holidays! Coach Haushalter

The man behind the legend


Technology bringing doctors and patients together

Drummer Boy

Eric McClendon marches with Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps

General Manager Comments

A word about being grateful


hroughout the year, there is one edition of this magazine where I never have a problem selecting a topic for my column. You guessed it: This is it. A friend who runs a local business put the following on their store’s sign just the other day: “Gratitude is the best attitude.” What a great principle to see this time of year. For many people, the holiday season, incorporating Thanksgiving and Christmas, tops their list of favorite seasons. For me, Thanksgiving has a slight edge and, believe me, I like Christmas a lot. It’s just that I’m overwhelmed by how many blessings I have and how grateful I need to be for each of them. Now, I need to be really clear about something. I’m truly glad to know where my next meal is coming from and to possess a few nice things. If I said that wasn’t important, you would probably write me off in a hurry. We all need food, clothing and shelter, and those who say otherwise “just aren’t right.” However, the older I get, the more I seem to value things I’m afraid that, at best, I didn’t appreciate enough and, at worst, I once took for granted. If I tried to give you a list, my editors would have to stop me way too soon. But I’ll give you one example. This past weekend we decorated our house for Christmas. It was a zoo. The conventional wisdom around the house is that this process drives me nuts. In fact, the “perception” is that I’m “never” home on the weekend we

decorate. However, remember that by trade I’m a CPA, certified public accountant. I keep good records, including of where I am. The fact is, despite the stress of having the house upside down and full of people, it is something I love to be home for and see firsthand. Watching your wife, children and their friends, and family come home to keep up a decades-long tradition because they want to is a true blessing in life. I recognize that many of you face adversity. I’m way too familiar with the economic condition of our region and I fully appreciate that real people constantly face real challenges. The simple fact is that we absolutely cannot control our circumstances. The only thing we can control is our reactions to what we face, and I submit to you that a proper and productive response always begins with a good attitude. So thanks again to my friend for reminding me recently that “Gratitude is the best attitude.”n

Board of Trustees Randy Wright, President Flat Rock Exchange Gary Smith, Vice President Fyffe Exchange Danny R. Richey, Secretary Geraldine Exchange Lynn Welden, Treasurer Bryant Exchange Kenneth Gilbert Pisgah Exchange Gregg Griffith Henagar Exchange Randy Tumlin Rainsville Exchange

Connected Vol. 16, No. 6

Fred Johnson

is Executive Vice President and GM of Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc.

It’s All Online! Connected magazine is available anytime, from anywhere. Search feature stories and recipes, then print or even email them to family and friends. Log in today and stay connected! Visit FARMERSTEL.COM and click on the Connected icon. 2 Connected - November/December 2012

is a member-owned corporation dedicated to providing communications technology to the people of Northeast Alabama. The company has more than 15,000 access lines, making it the state’s largest telecommunications cooperative.

November/December 2012

is a bimonthly magazine published by Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, © 2012. It is distributed without charge to all customers of FTC. Send address corrections to: Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. P.O. Box 217 144 McCurdy Ave. N. Rainsville, Alabama 35986 Telephone: 256-638-2144 Produced for FTC by: WordSouth Public Relations, Inc. On the Cover: Holiday Closing Schedule: Closed Dec. 24-25 for Christmas Closed Jan. 1 for New Year’s Day May you and your family have a joyfilled holiday season and a healthy, prosperous new year.

Are you living

“I can record all the holiday bowl games — and watch them from any room in the house.”


“We’re a competitive family... and we challenge play against families all over the world! ”

“Our broadband connection lets us create and share holiday memories with grandchildren miles away.”

“I just found a YouTube video of how to bake the perfect holiday casserole... so much better than a recipe!”

• High-Speed Broadband InterneT with speeds up to 6 MB** • 15 Minutes outgoing Calls NATIONWIDE overages will be billed at 25¢ per minute.

• Unlimited incoming calls





Add FTCtv

Per Month


119 95


Per Month

*Number approximate. Actual lineup may vary. **Speeds are approximate, not guaranteed. Some areas not yet capable of receiving this service. Some restrictions apply on use of FTC’s Unlimited Long Distance Service and Unlimited Incoming Calling. Please contact FTC for additional information.

Get 3 months f r e e!

when you purchase or add any new service from FTC!

For local sports and community events, check out our local channels:

Channel 6 & 7 on FTCtv!

Phone: 256-638-2144 | Online: Connected - November/December 2012 3


Support Group


ight is something we all take for granted — that is, until we or someone we know starts having trouble seeing clearly. Health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke, along with diseases such as glaucoma, cataracts and macular degeneration can all affect sight and sometimes even lead to blindness. When disease changes the life of you or your loved ones, there is comfort in community. One such community exists at the Geraldine Libary. Members of the vision support group that gather there on the first Wednesday of each month are all dealing with varying degrees of vision loss. “The support group is a wonderful resource,” says Renee Hathcox, a rehabilitation teacher with the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS). “I line up guest speakers who talk to the group about a variety of subjects. But most of all, people get to meet and become friends with others in their community who are going through similar circumstances. They learn from others how to deal with different situations and about the resources that are available to them.” One of those resources is Hathcox herself. Not only does she head up the support group, she also works with visually-impaired people across DeKalb, Cherokee, Marshall and Etowah counties in their homes, teaching them independent living skills. It is a free service offered through ADRS. “Until someone has difficulty seeing, they don’t realize how much is affected by vision loss,” explains Hathcox. “If you can’t see, how do you tell time? How do you know if you’re holding a one-dollar bill or a twenty? How do you know when to stop pouring liquid into a glass? These are just a few of the

4 Connected - November/December 2012

finding new ways to do old things

Renee Hathcox began leading the vision support group at Geraldine Library in May 2011. This picture was taken at that meeting. issues that a person with vision loss has to deal with.” These daily frustrations can lead to depression. A visually-impaired person can begin to feel like they are a burden to their friends and family. “If someone can learn to be more independent and be more self-reliant,” she says, “it builds them up and they feel better. The family feels better about the situation, too. They feel like they can leave them alone for a while and know they will be all right.” The first step toward getting help is having an assessment. Once that has been performed, Hathcox begins teaching independence with simple things like using special raised paint dots, called bump dots, on stoves and microwaves so the client can “feel” settings. There are special oven mitts that extend past the elbow to help them when using the oven and magnifiers that make it possible for some visually-impaired people to read. “All of the supplies I provide my clients are free and at no cost to them,” says Hathcox. Vision loss affects the young as well as the elderly. Some younger people with vision problems want to work.

Hathcox can refer them to a vocational counselor who can help prepare them for certain jobs in the workforce. “I’m also a licensed social worker and try to help find any resources that are available to them,” she says. Diane Maddox, director of the Geraldine Library, wants to get the word out about this support group. “We want to reach out and let people know about it,” she says. “We want to help our community. The support group is for anyone dealing with a vision problem. That includes their family members, caregivers and friends. Anyone can come.” Hathcox adds that it is never too early to start coming. “You don’t need to wait until vision is gone to get services,” she says. “It’s a way to connect with me. I’m the actual vision rehabilitation teacher who can open your case and start helping you live independently.” The group meets the first Wednesday of each month at 10 a.m. For more information about the support group, call the Geraldine Library at 256-6596663. To contact Renee Hathcox about vision rehabilitation services call 800671-6839. n

Phone Book p u d n u Ro

Let’s round up old phone books and earn money for local schools!

Each year, FTC sponsors a Directory Recycling Program that helps keep thousands of old phone books from making their way into landfills. Instead, they are recycled into products such as roofing material, packing material, insulation and even new phone books. What’s more, FTC pays participating schools 25 cents for each 2012 or older Northeast Alabama Regional Directory. (Other phone books are accepted, but only FTC directories earn cash for your school.) The schools can use this money toward anything they need. Everyone can pitch in to help. Gather old FTC directories from your home and business and give them to a student or take them to the school of your choice. Let’s make this the largest phone book roundup ever!

Hurry, the last day to turn in phone books to your school is March 1!

FTC proudly sponsors this recycling project that keeps tons of waste out of our landfills and helps schools earn money.

Cooperative Couples Conference Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative recently sponsored Scott and Susan Hall of Bryant to attend the 37th Annual Alabama Cooperative Couples Conference in Orange Beach, Ala. They were among several couples attending the three-day conference which gave participants the opportunity to learn how their local cooperatives can assist them in their everyday life. In addition to Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, other sponsors included AgFirst Farm Credit, Southern States Cooperative, Federal Land Bank Association, Rural Electric Cooperatives, Dairy Farmers of America, CoBank, Alabama Farmers Cooperatives, Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative and Tennessee Valley Authority. Connected - November/December 2012 5

Technology helps provide critical mental health services to local children By Mariann Martin


broadband Internet connection and teleconferencing equipment allow children in DeKalb County to get medical care they could not have received otherwise. “There is a desperate need for these services,” says Dr. Lloyda Williamson, an assistant professor at the University of Alabama and one of the psychiatrists who is involved with the telepsychiatry program. “I wish we could do more.” The program first began in rural parts of Alabama in 2007 after the College of Community Health Sciences at the University of Alabama received a grant to help increase access to mental health services. Additional grants have allowed the university to buy more equipment for telepsychiatry services and to train mental health professionals.

Dr. Lloyda Williamson (on TV screen) provides psychiatric evaluation for children and adolescents in DeKalb County via a broadband connection. Here she is meeting with Thomas Whitten of DeKalb Youth Service Center. 6 Connected - November/December 2012

The service was recently expanded to DeKalb County, where the university works with DeKalb Youth Service Center and local school systems to reach children across the county. Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative provides the broadband connection for the service. As more telecommunication companies provide broadband Internet service to rural counties, telemedicine has become an increasingly important aspect of delivering health care. “The field of medicine in general is learning how to use a broadband platform in a way that increases access to advanced health care for rural citizens," says Fred Johnson, general manager of FTC. "For example, a local physician can now share a detailed radiological image with a specialist at any health care institution in any city — almost instantaneously. That was not generally possible in a pre-broadband world.” The need for telepsychiatry is especially critical, Williamson says, since there is a shortage of mental health professionals across the country. In Alabama, 42 percent of the people live where there is a shortage of mental health professionals, according to federal estimates. In rural areas such as DeKalb County, numbers are even higher. Child and adolescent psychiatrists, who are specially trained to recognize and treat potential issues in children, are even more widely scattered across the state.


The telepsychiatry care now being provided in DeKalb County is not that different from an office visit in many ways, Williamson says. The connection is similar to a voice/ video call over a service such as Skype or FaceTime. Williamson can see everyone in the room, and they can see her. The young patient is usually accompanied by at least one parent or guardian. Thomas Whitten, with the DeKalb Youth Service Center, is in the room as well. Most children relax quickly and are able to communicate as well as they would if they were in the room with Williamson, she says. The conversation usually flows back and forth

easily even though they are hundreds of miles apart. The children she sees may have difficulty in school or be acting out at home for a variety of reasons. Since she began treating patients in DeKalb County, Williamson says she has seen a wide range of problems, including children who are recovering from the tornadoes that devastated the county in 2011. Some of them may be depressed, a diagnosis that would be difficult for someone to make without the proper training. “The children may not know what they are feeling or why they are reacting,” Williamson says. “We are trained to tease out those feelings.” At some point during the long-distance visit, Williamson speaks to the child alone. During that time, many of them will tell her things they do not feel comfortable expressing with their parents in the room. The largest difference in telepsychiatry is that Williamson serves as a consultant, not the actual physician, for the child. After a session, she writes up a recommendation and lists any medication she thinks may be needed. She can also recommend that the child receive additional counseling or therapy. That information is then passed along to the child’s doctor, often a primary care physician. Many primary care physicians who do not have psychiatric training may be reluctant to prescribe medication, she says. Having a recommendation from her helps them become more comfortable with prescribing medication for mental health issues. “It helps raise their comfort level,” she says.


If it were not for the telepsychiatry program in DeKalb County, many of the children would not receive adequate or immediate treatment. “There are a lot of consequences if issues are undiagnosed and untreated,” Williamson says. “The children may not progress in school.” Thomas Whitten of the DeKalb Youth Service Center has been an invaluable part of the program in DeKalb County, Williamson says. He

is often able to provide background and additional insight into the student and the family. While some of the children they see may be required to get treatment because they are involved with the criminal justice system, most of them are simply children who need help. “The vast majority are just regular kids who are seeing a regular doctor,” Whitten says. While they may be regular kids, many of them come from homes where there are barriers to getting the care they need. They may be in the custody of grandparents, who are older and not able to travel well. Many come from low-income homes, which means they likely do not have the money to travel to see a psychiatrist. The service also helps to raise awareness of mental health issues and treatment, both for families and for primary care physicians. “In many communities there is still a stigma attached to mental health treatment,” Williamson says. Not only does telepsychiatry provide services to children who might not have access to treatment otherwise, it is also efficient and economical, Williamson says. With the shortage of psychiatrists, there is not enough time to travel to rural areas and provide the care that is needed. It would also be much more expensive than the broadband service that now provides the connection to patients. This fits in perfectly with FTC’s mission. “We don’t want to just be a provider of a broadband connection," says FTC’s Fred Johnson. “We want to help people understand how to use that connection to their benefit, to improve their lives and bring enhanced services to our communities.” There is a desperate need for the telepsychiatry program to be expanded, Williamson says. Psychiatrists involved with the program spend four to eight hours a week providing telepsychiatry consultations, but there is enough need for one person to do it full time. “I enjoy it and wish I could do more,” she says. “My hope is that over time there will be other specialties involved in telemedicine to provide more services.”n Connected - November/December 2012 7

Coach Haushalter H

e’s older now, far removed from the days of leading a football team under the Friday night lights. The man, who could strike fear into the hearts of his players one minute then show them love when needed the next, has been retired from the game of coaching for more than 18 years now. He was a college quarterback, born and raised during the coal mining days up north. He played semi-pro ball, all the while coaching a high school team. And he could fight, when called upon. Like the time he knocked out a guy for not respecting his wife, Sarah, shortly after the couple had arrived in Fyffe — where his legend would grow in time. Today, Ronnie Haushalter is relegated to a recliner. He's had trouble with his back for a while, he says. His arthritis can, at times, be nearly unbearable. “It's getting worse,” he'll say, but not expecting any pity whatsoever. He's still a man's man, even if it takes him a while to rise from the recliner.  Born in McKees Rocks, Pa., Haushalter was the only boy among four children. He grew up tough around the coal mines, as youngsters did in those days. But he knew that was a life he didn't want after seeing his father give his life working in the mines. Haushalter received a football scholarship to the University of Denver, but 8 Connected - November/December 2012

the school dropped its program shortly after he arrived. He ended up at the University of Chattanooga (now known as UTC), where he played running back until a knee injury forced him to be a quarterback. “Back then, I thought quarterback was for sissies,” says Haushalter. “But it was that, or not play.” After he graduated, Haushalter was asked to stay as a student assistant and work toward a masters degree. “I told the coach I had taken orders all of my life,” says Haushalter. “I was ready to give orders.”


In 1960, Haushalter made his way to Valley Head, where he thought he was interviewing for an assistant coach job. “I spent a few days there, talking to a few people,” says Haushalter. “Finally someone asked me if I was going to take the job. I said I hadn't even talked to the head coach yet. They said, ‘You dummy, that's what we're hiring you for.’” At age 23, it started in a place he didn't know existed. Early on, there were times people thought he was one of the players. In that first year, though, he recorded one of his proudest wins when his Tigers played powerful Crossville, which was loaded with future college talent and a year

Scenes from Ronnie Haushalter’s coaching days.

away from a state championship. “They ran 40 kids out,” remembers Haushalter. “We had 12.” Valley Head won. “Paul Gilette was one of the best backs I ever had,” says Haushalter. “He broke a trap play for about 60 yards. I'll never forget that. I wish I could've had that group two more years.” Haushalter had good teams at Valley Head, including the 1967 team that advanced to the state championship game. That team was led by quarterback Charles Carden, who later signed with the University of Tennessee. “Carden was the best athlete I ever coached,” says Haushalter.


Haushalter left Valley Head after the 1968 season because he thought he wanted to be a college coach. He went to Jacksonville State University, where he served as offensive coordinator under head coach Charley Pell. “It was a terrible year,” says Haushalter. He realized, after that one season, he belonged in the high school ranks. “I had two kids, no job and a house payment,” says Haushalter. Then he got word that people in Fyffe wanted to talk to him. “The last place in the world I wanted to go was Fyffe,” says Haushalter. “I really didn't have a choice. I had to have a job.”


Haushalter also wanted a quarterback. “And there was a quarterback at Fyffe,” he says. “And nobody knew pass defense.” In 1970, behind quarterback Danny Ridgeway, Haushalter led Fyffe to a 10-0 regular season. “That was a good football team,” he says. “Roger Benefield was a good halfback.” The team finished 10-1, falling in the semifinals. “It had rained and the field was soaked,” says Haushalter. “It was hard to throw and that hurt us.” Ridgeway became his second quarterback to sign with a SEC school when he went to the University of Alabama. Haushalter's 1973 team also went 10-0 in the regular season, then lost in the playoffs, finishing 10-1 overall. In 1982, with a sophomore-laden team, the Red Devils finished 0-10. “It was a nightmare,” remembers Haushalter. “They would hang until the fourth quarter.” Those sophomores grew up and got better, winning an area championship the next season, then going 12-1 as seniors. “They whipped everybody pretty good until Courtland in the third round [of the state playoffs],” says Haushalter. Two years later, Haushalter experienced another one of his proudest wins, in the second round of the playoffs. In Town Creek, against powerful Hazelwood, Haushalter still remembers his team being heckled before the game. “You poor little white boys,” he remembers. In the rain, the Red Devils made a memorable goal-line stand midway through the fourth quarter to preserve a 12-12 tie. The Fyffe offense took over at its own 2-yard-line and rolled down the field. “They couldn’t tackle [running back] Tim Cochran,” says Haushalter. “He just wouldn’t be denied.” To supplement Cochran’s heroics, quarterback Donny Traylor connected a couple of times with Wesley Pope before John Simmons kicked the game-winning field goal. “The same people before the game were shaking our hands after the game,” says Haushalter. Haushalter's last memorable team was in 1992, when they finished 10-2. “As good of a team as we had,” says Haushalter. “Zak Bailey was a lot better quarterback than people gave him credit.” That season Haushalter recorded his 200th coaching win, upsetting Plainview. The win was the first over the Bears in six years and broke Plainview's 29-game regular season winning streak. “That was a big night,” says Haushalter.


On April 1, 1994, Haushalter suffered a major heart attack. He spent 18 days in the intensive care unit. He wasn't expected to live and, if so, expected to be brain-dead. Instead five months later, he coached his final team. “I planned on coaching five or six more years,” says Haushalter. “But I just couldn't do like before. I felt like I

Above: Golden Anniversary Rodney & Kelly (daughter) Broyles; Ronnie & Sarah Haushalter; son Phillip Haushalter; and grandsons Parker and Peyton Broyles. Right: Haushalter with his grandsons Parker (left) and Peyton Broyles. was cheating the kids.” It was tough early on, but slowly Haushalter moved on. He was named to the Alabama High School Hall of Fame in 1997, and was in the first class inducted into the DeKalb County Sports Hall of Fame a couple of years later. The street leading to the football stadium at Fyffe is appropriately named “Haushalter Way.” The school's fieldhouse also bares his name. Many of Haushalter's former players went on to coaching careers. His first quarterback, Jim Kirby, led Valley Head to the 1984 Class 1A state championship. Coincidentally, the Tigers' only loss that season was to Fyffe. Two of his former players, Paul Benefield at Fyffe and Paul Ellis at Fort Payne, have seen much success in recent years. “I've been watching football here since 1960,” says Haushalter. “And I think Paul Benefield is the best coach around. It would be all right with me if they take my name off the fieldhouse and name it Benefield.”


He and Sarah recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. A Fyffe man to the core, Haushalter now lives only a few miles from Plainview High School, where his two grandsons, Parker and Peyton Broyles, attend school. In the mornings, during football season, Haushalter could be found watching Parker's 7th-grade team practice. “They asked me to help them, but I told them I've forgotten all of that stuff,” he laughs. Haushalter insists he's Fyffe all the way. But.... “I'm a 7th-grade Plainview fan,” he admits. “When Parker plays, I'll be for Plainview. Blood is thicker than water.” n Connected - November/December 2012 9

Spirit of Atlanta by Diana LaChance

We tend to think of young artists and musicians as dreamers, not ambitious, career-minded achievers. But that’s not the case with Eric McClendon, who turned his passion for music into a college scholarship and the opportunity Eric McClendon, a junior at JSU, was selected as a member of the 2012 Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps.


junior majoring in art at Jacksonville State University (JSU), Eric began playing the piano when he was in kindergarten, later picking up percussion at Fyffe High School. “Piano and percussion are two very different things, and I just felt inclined to diversify,” he says. “I had more of a passion for percussion because I wanted to be able to march in the band.” His dedication paid off, and he soon succeeded in marching snare drum for Fyffe. Percussion also opened his eyes to the world of drum and bugle corps, like the Spirit of Atlanta (SoA), a nonprofit education organization for youth performing arts and member of the Drum Corps International (DCI) that was founded in 1976. “If you’re good enough, you can do it in high school,” says McClendon, who summoned the courage to audition for SoA in his senior year but ended up not making it. Nevertheless, the experience only strengthened his resolve, and one year later, failure turned to success when he auditioned for — and won — a music scholarship to JSU. And even though he didn’t make the snare drum line for the school’s marching band, the Marching Southerners, he says he was able to combine his knowledge of piano with the percussion aspect to play the marimba with the front ensemble. Two years later, with the skills he gained with the Marching Southerners, McClendon decided to audition again for

10 Connected - November/December 2012

to march with the highly competitive Spirit of Atlanta Drum & Bugle Corps. the SoA. “Auditioning is stressful, but I felt calmer about it this time since I was growing in my musical capability,” he says. “So when I got the opportunity again, I seized it.” Not only did he seize it, he succeeded in securing a position playing the timpani for the SoA. Now the challenge was raising enough money to be able to travel. Every summer, the SoA, which is made up of 150 brass, percussion and color guard members between ages 16 and 21, performs an 11-minute show at more than 30 competitions and exhibitions across the country. The culmination is the coveted Drum Corps International Finals, which was held this past year in Indianapolis. McClendon would have to raise his membership fee of almost $3,000 by soliciting sponsors. “It costs a lot of money and it’s hard to get that funding,” he says. “And I hate to feel like I’m burdening my parents.” That said, he knows they are proud of him. His father, Keith, is a long-time employee of FTC. “He is such a hard worker and is dedicated to being a good father and role model to me and my brother,” says McClendon. “I’m grateful to both of my parents and appreciate the fact that they have helped me fulfill my dreams.” Through contributions, McClendon was able to raise the required funds in time to begin practicing. “So much work went into it,” he says. “Starting in January and going until the summer, we had weekend camps, then we had ‘all-

Above: Members of SoA come together for an intense day-long practice of their routine before touring this past summer. The team begins practicing as early as January each year. Right: Eric played the timpani, or kettledrums, with the SoA. His team ranked 11th in the DCI World Championship Finals this August in Indianapolis. days’ at Riverside Military Academy in Georgia. We moved in and stayed for a couple of weeks to learn the show and to spend every day practicing.” After that, it was off to the first competition. “Each show is actually competition between corps from all across the nation, though not every corps is at every show,” explains McClendon. “At any one competition, there are maybe eight to ten world-class corps.” Also present are thousands of attendees. “Drum corps season is during the summer so everyone knows bands are touring. It’s a pretty big deal.” The hope is that, by the time of the first competition, all their training and practice will be second nature to the members. “The whole point of us beating our bodies down and practicing so much is so when the show comes you don’t think about it — you just do it.” This summer’s show theme was “Sin City,” which incorporated popular songs by everyone from Lady Gaga to Frank Sinatra. It proved popular enough for the SoA to make it all the way through to the DCI World Championship finals. “We placed 11th out of 12 corps,” says McClendon, adding that it was an impressive finish given the changes the SoA has gone through over the last few years. “It used to be based at Jacksonville and there were a lot of people around here that had marched, but when they moved to Atlanta, it was like a fresh start,” he explains. “But they’ve been play-

ing really well since they made the move, and the corps is becoming more mature.” Now that the summer of touring has ended and McClendon is back with the Marching Southerners, he’s not sure if he’ll audition again. “I can only do it until I’m 21, so it’s a once-in-a-lifetime type of thing,” he says. No matter what happens, McClendon can still take away some valuable lessons from his experience with SoA. “I not only have a sense of personal fulfillment, but as my career gets more serious, I really hope my years of band help show that I will work hard, which will enable me to get a better job,” he says. n Connected - November/December 2012 11

Need help paying for Telephone Service?

Is your annual household income at or below 135% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines for a household of its size or do you or someone in your household participate in any of the following lowincome government assistance programs? • Medicaid • Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) • Supplemental Security Income (SSI) • Section 8 Federal Public Housing Assistance (FPHA) • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) • National School Lunch Program’s Free Lunch Program

If so, you may qualify for a special program:

Rainsville Civitans and Rainsville Police Department invite you to help make a child’s Christmas wish come true! Just stop by the FTC office, Fred’s Dollar Store or Dollar General in Rainsville and take an angel from The Angel Tree. Angels are pink or blue according to gender and have the first name and age of a local child who is counting on you this Christmas. Simply purchase a gift and return it unwrapped with the angel tag attached. Or, visit any of these locations to give a monetary gift, and the Rainsville Christmas Charities will shop for you! Jo Jo’s Quick Mart Delta Express (two locations: next to Plainview School and at the crossing of Hwy. 35 & 75) Hilltop Pure Verizon In 2 Wireless Rainsville Express Fuel-Z (across from FTC)

Rainsville Christmas Charities

• • • • •

Jackson County Christmas Charities

If you are considering adopting a family for Christmas, Jackson County Christmas Charities will work with individuals and groups to facilitate adoptions. For more information please call 256-574-0412.

LifeLine Service This program assists qualified residential customers with their monthly local telephone service.

For more details about Lifeline Service, to apply for assistance, or for additional information about FTC’s local and optional calling, please call us at 256-638-2144, or stop by any of our business offices. To find out whether you qualify for Lifeline Assistance, customers must fill out standard forms, available at FTC’s office, as mandated by the Federal and/or State government. FTC is not responsible for determining who qualifies for these programs or who receives assistance. Customers must meet specific criteria in order to obtain assistance with their local telephone service, and qualifying is dependent upon government-established guidelines. To qualify for Lifeline credit, each customer must apply and provide proof that he/she, or a household member for whom he/she is financially responsible, participates in at least one of the programs listed above in Alabama or that the customer meets the income-based requirements. Additional eligibility requirements also apply.

12 Connected - November/December 2012

Statement of Non-Discrimination Farmers Telecommunications Cooperative, Inc. is the recipient of federal financial assistance from the Rural Utility Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and is subject to the provisions of Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975. In accordance with Federal law and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs). To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call 202-720-5964 (voice or TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer. The person responsible for coordinating this organization’s non-discrimination compliance efforts is J. Frederick Johnson, general manager. Any individual, or specific class of individuals, who feels that this organization has subjected them to discrimination, may obtain further information about the statutes and regulations listed above from and/or file a written complaint with this organization.

Lights, camera, action FRS grant provides video production equipment to area high schools


tudents throughout the area will soon be producing videos of events taking place at their schools, thanks to a $5,000 Rural Community Outreach Grant. The Foundation for Rural Services (FRS) awarded the grant earlier this year to Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC). FTC, a member and supporter of FRS, was instrumental in securing the grant, which will create new learning opportunities for students. Area schools had expressed an interest in broadcasting, but they lacked much of the video and editing equipment necessary to implement a video production program. In an effort to help, FTC began encouraging area schools to apply for an FRS grant to help purchase additional video equipment. With more equipment, the schools could create a meaningful media program which would give more students an opportunity to learn about video production and provide additional content for FTCtv’s local community channel. Several schools participated in the grant request. FRS awarded the maximum grant amount available to NACC, which purchased the equipment and will make it available to all area schools on a check-out basis. FTC is partnering with NACC to provide broadcast training. Area high

by Kerry Scott

schools will form video production teams, with an average of four students per team. The teams will attend a day of training on NACC’s campus where they will learn how to use the equipment, as well as basic shooting and editing tips. “We believe this broadcasting equipment will provide an invaluable learning tool for area schools,” says Fred Johnson, FTC general manager. The equipment, which includes video capture and editing tools, will be maintained at NACC for the express purpose of allowing local high schools to train in video production and editing. Each school can reserve and checkout the equipment as needed to video a variety of events, including ball games, class projects, plays, beauty pageants and more. “We want to train these teams to produce, direct, record and edit various school activities,” says Brandi Lyles, FTC’s manager of marketing and public relations. “It presents a great opportunity for students to learn new skills, while creating local content we can share with the community on our FTCtv local channel.” FRS offers grants to rural communities for programs or efforts that impact community development, business development, education or telecommunications. Priority is given to proposals that accomplish the following:

Levi Combs of Fyffe High School (behind camera) practices videoing with classmate Bailey Jackson. FTC’s Ashley Stanford shows him the capabilities of the Panasonic HD 3D Ready camcorder.

• foster collaboration among different community agencies and local government; • reflect a comprehensive approach to community development; • promote community participation and engagement; and • make rural communities a better place to live and work. n

Equipped to produce Thanks to the FRS grant, students will have access to professional video production equipment: • Canon Rebel T3i DSLR Camera, with 2 lenses and accessories • 15-inch Macbook Pro, including a case, Microsoft Office, Apple Care, Remote • Adobe Creative Suite 6 – production premium video editing software • Panasonic HC-X900M Camcorder3D Ready, Full HD, 32 GB • Manfrotto Photo/Movie Tripod w/ quick release plate • Pearstone Fluid Head Tripod and shoulder bag Connected - November/December 2012 13

FTC takes a proactive role in ConnectingALABAMA initiative Our lives have become increasingly dependent upon technology and the Internet. Almost daily, another part of our routine activities goes online, whether it is how we communicate with friends and family, how we shop or how we pay bills and conduct business. And this trend shows no signs of slowing anytime soon.


TC understands this, which is why the company is building a world-class broadband network in Northeast Alabama. But FTC is going a step further by participating in ConnectingALABAMA — an initiative headed by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) designed to promote the availability and adoption of broadband Internet access throughout the state. Many urban areas are well-positioned to take advantage of broadband technology, but due to a lack of business and educational resources, rural communities often need trustworthy and credible awareness campaigns to ensure they are taking full advantage of the opportunities broadband offers. “We are living in a broadband society,” says Fred Johnson, FTC’s executive vice president and general manager. “FTC is working to ensure our members are equipped with the tools they need to keep up and stay connected in this ever-changing world. Our members deserve access to a broadband network that will provide them with the services they demand today, as well as the opportunities that will develop in the future.” The Economic and Community Development Institute at Auburn University is partnering with ADECA to offer classes to educate residents, businesses and government about broadband. FTC is taking an active role by providing a location for the classes as well as computers and an Internet network connection. Classes will focus on online connectivity, career building, entrepreneurship and business development, community resources and education. Local classes will cover at least six of the following training modules: • Broadband 101: Internet and broadband basics, online safety and security


• eHome: manage your home, family finances and social connections • eCommunity: how broadband can strengthen face-toface interaction • eCommerce: expand your customer base, access new markets and sell products online • eGovernment: improve a community Website and make government more accessible • eGlobal: guidance for taking eCommerce on a global scale • eHealth: improve patient care and access resources to improve health • eLearning: online educational and training opportunities • eWorkforce: workforce development opportunities and resources (for workers and trainers) • ePublicSafety: online best practices to enhance public safety • Hispanic Business Basics: self-paced training for small businesses serving Hispanic population • Community Forums: opportunities for communities to come together and get more connected ConnectingALABAMA is funded by a grant of almost $1.2 million from ADECA. The grant is designed to promote engagement in the digital economy across all 67 Alabama counties. The program will provide training to an estimated 11,500 residents and offer about 115,000 training hours. “At FTC, we frequently use the pages of our magazine, Connected, to educate our members on the opportunities that broadband access creates,” Johnson says. “ConnectingALABAMA will allow us to partner with our state government to increase our emphasis on broadband education.”n

To learn more about ConnectingALABAMA, visit, or for more information about the training sessions visit community-engagement-assistance/boostingbroadband. Visit or like FTC on Facebook ( throughout the year for the latest in training opportunities.

14 Connected - November/December 2012


for the holidays

The kitchen is the heart of your home. It stands to reason then that some of the best gifts you can give this holiday season are those that you can make yourself. Not only will the neighbors, teachers and friends in your life enjoy eating these delicious holiday classics, they will appreciate the thoughtfulness that went into preparing them, too. As an added bonus, we have included suggestions for unique packaging ideas for your homemade holiday treats!

Cake Mix Cookies

1 box cake mix, any flavor 1 stick butter or margarine, melted 1 egg Preheat oven to 350º. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients at low speed until dry ingredients are moistened and dough is thoroughly mixed. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls 2” apart onto ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 9-12 minutes. Cool two minutes on cookie sheets, then remove to wire racks to cool. You can stir in chocolate chips, coated candy pieces, chopped nuts or oatmeal. You can frost the cookies or make sandwich cookies by spreading frosting between two cookies. Gift wrapping idea: Try decorating a recycled Pringles can with craft paper, ribbon or other trinkets you may have. Just remember to make the cookies small enough in diameter to stack inside the canister!

Peppermint Bark

1/2 pounds almond bark 1 24 round peppermints, crushed Line bottom of a baking pan with waxed paper. Put crushed peppermints in bottom, covering with melted white bark.

Cool and break into pieces. Gift wrapping idea: Let your kids help make “reindeer” gifts. A piece of material or a dish towel and a few craft items are all you need.

Banana Nut Bread

1/2 cups flour 2 1 teaspoon baking soda 3/4 teaspoon salt 3 eggs 1/2 cup oil 1 1/4 cups sugar 3 ripe bananas, mashed 1 cup chopped pecans Preheat oven to 325º. Grease 4 mini loaf pans. Beat sugar, oil and eggs until blended. Add bananas. Beat in dry ingredients just until blended. Stir in nuts. Pour batter evenly in mini pans. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool on wire racks. Wrap in plastic wrap. This recipe easily doubles and triples for larger batches. Gift wrapping idea: You don’t have to go all-out to create a lovely presentation. Coffee filters, a strand of ribbon and a label add a beautiful touch to your individually-wrapped loaves of bread.

Old-Fashioned Potato Candy

1 small potato, peeled and boiled 6 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar 1/2 cup peanut butter Drain boiled potato, place in large mixing bowl and beat with mixer until mashed. Add 4 cups sugar and mix well. Mix in remaining sugar gradually, scraping down sides as needed until a stiff dough is formed. Line counter with waxed paper dusted with confectioner’s sugar. Scrape out dough onto waxed paper and dust top with more confectioner’s sugar. Roll in a rectangular shape to a thickness of about a quarterinch. Spread dough with peanut butter and roll up lengthwise into a log. Roll log up in your waxed paper and cut in half. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, remove waxed paper and slice into 1/4 inch slices. Store leftovers in the refrigerator. Gift wrapping idea: Chinese take-out boxes can look elegant with simple grosgrain ribbon and painted pine cones.

Connected - November/December 2012 15

P.O. Box 217• 144 McCurdy Ave. N. Rainsville, Alabama 35986

Make plans to attend these area Christmas Parades

Crossville Dec. 8 • 4 p.m.

Dutton Dec. 8 • 11 a.m.

Ider Dec. 8 • 10 a.m.

Fort Payne Dec. 14 • 6 p.m.

Rainsville Dec. 8 • 4 p.m.

21 – 24 Christmas FreeDec.Admission in the Caverns Sequoyah Caverns provides a gorgeous backdrop for a live nativity complete with animals and a choir. Call 800-843-5098 for more information.

Fyffe Dec. 8 • 12 p.m.

Section Dec. 8 • 2 p.m.

Geraldine Dec. 8 • 2 p.m.

Merry Christmas!

Children’s Advocacy Center

Dinner Theater Real Husbands of HoneyDo County When a husband and wife remember a special event in two totally different ways, communication and expectations erupt into a hilarious tale of antics. Throw in a couple of escaped convicts and the laughs will make everyone want to take a trip to HoneyDo! Dates: February 7, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 16 Time: Dinner served at 6:30 p.m. Play begins at 7 p.m. Info: Call 256-997-9700 for ticket prices and availability.

November/December 2012 Connected  

November/December 2012 Connected