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Andalusia AL News Commentary and Reading Recommendations

  Sunday, February 13, 2005

Born on the first of September

An Andalusia man ripped off several homeowners in the gulf coast region whose houses had been damaged by hurricane Ivan. He took 50 percent money up front for roof repair, then did very little work before disappearing.

"He was soliciting roofing business, starting in November," Okaloosa County Sheriff's Department Spokesman Rick Hord commented this Tuesday.
"He (Garvin) would demand 50 percent payment up front," added Hord, noting that the amount usually averaged several thousand dollars for roofing repairs Garvin told residents he would perform.

I don't want to give his whole name here, in case he turns his life around. What's the chance though that he will never exploit others' misfortune again for his own gain? I dunno.
He is two years old than yours truly and really should know by now that crime doesn't pay.

06:28 AM   

  Friday, February 11, 2005

The origin of the song Amazing Grace... Touching article about the song's author and the love for his wife

I really enjoyed this article, even though it took me several paragraphs to realize that this was not about a contemporary couple, but the author of the song Amazing Grace.
I realized it was not set in modern times when "John" gave up his cruel business shipping slaves.

Survival looked hopeless. John was attempting to steer the ship, trying to hold it on course.
His thoughts turned to Christ, and he cried out, "Lord, have mercy on us!" (...) The wretched man was saved and began seeking the Lord in prayer and reading the Scriptures. Mary saw the change in her childhood friend, and the two were married and spent the next forty years together. He wrote that their love "equaled all that the writers of romance have imagined."(...)

Today, we can read a two-volume collection of John's letters to Mary. He said, "I am led to think of the goodness of God, who has made you mine, and given me a heart to value you. Thus my love to you, and my gratitude to him, cannot be separated...All other love, that is not connected with a dependence on God, must be precarious."
John Newton never ceased to replica breitling watches be amazed at God's work in his life. He began writing hymns for Sunday night services at his church. We still sing his words, "Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now am found, Was blind but now I see."

Very interesting. Make sure to rolex oyster perpetual check out the whole article about John Newton.
How nice of the Andalusia Star News to add a bit of history to their daily reporting. God knows that inspiring stories like that are more uplifting hublot replica watches than most stuff you find in the news these days.

06:05 AM   

  Thursday, February 10, 2005

History of US Highway 84 in Southwest Alabama, and proposed changes

The Clarke County Democrat features an interesting article about Hwy 84 across SW Alabama, with a map of proposed changes for four-laning.

- Mississippi line to west side of Tombigbee River, 22.5 miles. Work on this section was done in 1954, 1959, 1964 and 1965.(...)

- From beginning of four-lane to intersection of Alabama 295 (Old Highway 43) in Grove Hill, 2.704 miles. Completed in 2002. (This is the new bypass. The work was started while Grove Hill resident Jimmy Butts was director of the Alabama Department of Transportation.)
- Intersection of Alabama 295 to east city limits of Grove Hill, .965 miles. Completed in 1947 and 1966. (This is the only portion of the route that was four-laned for years.)
- East Grove Hill city limits to Clarke/Monroe County line near Gosport, 14.945 miles. Work completed in 1947.
- Clarke/Monroe County line east to west end of Alabama River Bridge near Claiborne, 3.5 miles. Work done in 1947, 1974 and 1985.(...)

Alabama Department of Transportation Director Joe McInnes has said there are no immediate plans to four lane the route. Study funding has been provided for the highway from Evergreen to Monroeville. Work to improve the highway continues east of Andalusia.

Make sure to check out the full article for interesting information on this essential lifeline through our area.
Feel free to leave comments below with your opinions pro and con about 4-laning parts of Hwy 84.

08:22 AM   

  Thursday, February 10, 2005

The trials and tribulations of dieting in Alabama

A nice article about people trying to stick to their New Year's resolutions, to lose some weight.

Chilton County, or the South in general, is not the easiest place in the world to be on a diet.
There are so many good southern recipes that are so tempting, and I am surrounded by so many people who know how to cook them well.

Ain't that the truth.

06:54 AM   

  Friday, January 28, 2005

Personal account of a heart attack

A Bainbridge Sportswriter suffers a heart attack in Andalusia and writes about his experience of medical treatment in Andalusia and Dothan.

I was there for the start of the day, but by about 8:30 a.m., I was having chest pains that werenवe to acid reflux, however much I wanted them to be. That was the high point of the day, as everything else was downhill.
I was rushed to the ER, and for a small town, it wasn't a bad one. They worked on me, at least the nurses did. The males worked, but asked what we were having at the show. They were quite interested in the hunting and fishing equipment that we were bringing to town. (...)
I had three shots of morphine, a few of those tablets that go under your tongue and was loaded in an EMS vehicle (...) for the ride to Dothan.
The doctor I had was about an ax-handle-and-a-half wide across the shoulders and an outdoorsman. (...) [T]hey hacked my chest open and looked at it. Took pictures also.

A very important (and funny) article that everyone should read. It's soo important to get yourself to a hospital asap when you're having chest pains! (Women should also be aware that they might have atypical symptoms of a heart attack and might not have the typical chest pains.)
I'm really glad that the reporter had the courage (and humor) to write this. It might save someone's life.

08:31 AM   

  Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Overcrowding of local jails

WTVY News reports on the overcrowding of local jails. One big reason is the proliferation of illegal drug labs across the southeast.

[M. H.] says she hasn't been able to sleep since her son's arrest last month. 31-year-old [J. H.] was jailed for failure to pay child support and he's "behind bars" at the Covington County Jail.
The ten year old facility was designed to house a maximum of 140 inmates, currently there's close to 200 and prisoners are sleeping on floors.

I think that we should extend some compassion to all fellow human beings, even those who made a mistake (and can't afford bail).

08:41 AM   

  Thursday, January 20, 2005

Mobile home with view of lake... of toilet paper and feces

WSFA reported on this story of a mobile home park where wastewater is bubbling up due to a broken sewer pipe.

What makes the smell even worse is the fact the entire mobile home park is on the same system, meaning every time there's a toilet-flush, the waste rises to top in front of Gunter's home. Gunter says he had no choice but to uncap the line at his place because if he didn't, the mess would have backed up in his home just like it did last August when the problem first started.
"When we came in one day, we saw the sewage backed up in our bath tub and it spilled onto the floor," Gunter says.
Two phone messages to the mobile park's owner so far have gone unanswered, but he did reportedly tell residents he will start repairing the line on Monday.

I do wonder about these instances. Often I hear about people who live in mobile home parks where the park owners are reluctant to invest anything in upkeep and repairs.
Many people are being taken advantage of because compared to apartments, there is not much competition, and turnover rate is lower. But even if the rent for mobile homes is low, there should still be enough money to make sure the plumbing, appliances etc. are in good shape, and residents can maintain a good standard of living.

08:24 AM   

  Friday, October 22, 2004

Important column about the dangers of meth

According to the article, the 22rd Judicial Drug Task Force in Covington County, makes more meth busts than any other circuit in Alabama. In fact, the local DTF makes more meth-related arrests than Okaloosa County, Fla., a county with six times the population of Covington!

In a long interview with area DTF Commander Paul Dean late this week, he explained to me some of the dangers of meth. The dangerous drug -- basically a mix of pseudo ephedrine, Drano, other household cleaning supplies, baking soda and additional ingredients -- literally eats away your liver, your kidneys, your heart, your lungs, and finally, your brain. The DTF commander has seen autopsies of deceased, longtime meth addicts whose brains were missing tissue larger than the size of a softball.(...)
A teenager, under pressure from his peers, could smoke a "rock" of crack because he wants to impress his friends. If he's from a wealthy family or has the money, he might sniff a line of the purer, more expensive form. (...) I've heard addicts say that, once you get that initial high, your body craves the feeling and it seems to become a physical and psychological need.

Surprisingly, the closest rehab facility is located in Enterprise.
The writer of the article makes the very good suggestion that there should be a "structured, local counseling center where a person could sit down and talk about his problem without shame or fear."
Drugs of any kind can cause lives to spin rapidly out of control, and there should be a destination for anyone who needs help, including (and especially) those who can't afford to pay for therapy.

07:55 AM   

  Friday, October 1, 2004

The lastest in the ongoing saga of water negotiations between Alabama, Georgia and Florida

Did Georgia pull a fast one on Alabama and Florida? This editorial argues that an agreement between Georgia and the Corps of Engineers was entered in bad faith, with willful exclusion of other affected areas.

Remarkably, amid ongoing negotiations among the states, Georgia officials bypassed Alabama and Florida and entered into an agreement with the Corps of Engineers to take up to 50 percent more water from Lake Lanier, northeast of Atlanta. This water use, as much as 210 million gallons a day, would have a major impact on the flow of the Chattahoochee. That's a concern along Alabama's eastern border and a huge concern for Florida because the river is part of the system that feeds into Apalachicola Bay, a major ecological and economic resource for that state.

It seems that in the eyes of many officials, Atlanta's water needs come first... everyone else second. The issue at stake holds enormous importance for all three states. It greatly affects Apalachicola bay, Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa river basin and more. Stay tuned for future developments. Can Alabama, Florida, and South Georgia stand their ground?

08:42 AM   

  Friday, October 1, 2004

Interesting website of Auburn University: Development Strategies for a Rural Alabama

This website deals with the current situation of rural Alabama, points out strategies for economic improvement, and warns of a "The Crisis in Rural Alabama." Very much worth a read.
Ironically, it takes several minutes to download over a high-speed connection, and requires Acrobat reader. So, few rural residents will be able to read it. Which is sad because it's a great document and features many great photos of rural Alabama as well.

Rural communities throughout the South have struggled for decades ᮤ still struggle 䯠provide jobs, good schools, quality health care, adequate infrastructure, and an improved quality of life. Some states and communities have done a better job of addressing these issues than others. We highlight a few of these stories.
The typical small farmer now derives a majority of his income off the farm. Even larger farms usually have at least one family member with a job own䯠provide access to medical and other benefits. The slow death of family farming has had devastating effects on Alabamaವral communities. With the loss of farm income, rural communities witnessed the exodus of the grain dealers, gins, restaurants, insurance companies, feed stores, chemical companies, banks and other businesses that were the backbone of their local economies. Gone also were tax revenues that funded rural schools, hospitals, highways, libraries, and all the other facets of life needed for a healthy community.

Some of the many examples in the document include Andalusia's Henderson Sewing Machine company, and Eufaula's successful strategic plan which includes preserving its environmental resources and reviving its farmer's market.
Some of the recommendations in the article are: Create an Alabama Rural Development Council - Create a position/office in state government that focuses exclusively on rural development. - Implement a regional economic and community development strategy and program. - Support the Alabama Communities of Excellence (ACE) Program - Upgrade the rural technology infrastructure - Support Interstate highway expansions in rural Alabama - and more.

08:19 AM   

  Thursday, June 3, 2004

Andalusia to host Babe Ruth tournament again

Hopefully, the weather will be picture-perfect again this year.

Tim Bryan, president of Andalusia Babe Ruth, announced Andalusia has been selected to host the 2004 Babe Ruth Southeast Regional for 14-year-olds at a press conference Thursday.
Bryan, who will serve as the tournament director, thanked the individuals who made the 2003 regional a success and asked for their help again this summer. He said the event is another opportunity for the entire community to once again show its Southern hospitality.
(...) Andalusia Mayor Earl Johnson was also on hand at the press conference and addressed those in attendance.
"I appreciate the fact that Andalusia is hosting this tournament," Johnson said. "It is exciting for us to be involved.

It's a great opportunity. Will Andalusia hit another 'home run' for the city?

08:01 AM   

  Thursday, June 3, 2004

About the storms that struck southwest Alabama on Wednesday morning

Thunderstorms can be trule awe-inspiring - and devastating. The article describes in details some of the damage done by wind gusts of up to 75 mph and heavy rain.

Wind gusts of up to 74 mph caused a semi-submersible drilling rig to break away from its dry dock about 9:15 a.m., and drift 400 yards across the Pascagoula River, according to authorities.
The rig floated toward the Oregon II, a 170-foot government research vessel moored at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration in Pascagoula, said NOAA Cmdr. Todd Stiles. (...)
In Satsuma, Linda Sullivan began cleaning her 4-year-old brick home on Third Street after about 1 to 2 inches of water seeped in Tuesday evening. City workers put sandbags around the doors, but water entered through the walls, too.
It was a solid sheet of water (outside) everywhere you looked, Sullivan said. We had frogs in the house last night. One jumped up on the sofa. I was screaming. My husband was trying to get it with a broom.

Sullivan looked at the bright side of life, pointing out that her house will 'never have been cleaner' after the $2,500 work by a cleaning company.

08:06 AM   

  Wednesday, June 2, 2004

Young woman on her way to become American Idol contestant

Best of luck to her. Alabama is going strong in TV talent contests with the successes of Reuben Studdard and Brad Cotter.

Melissa took the stage Sunday in the state capitol and went on to win the Montgomery Idol contest, defeating 94 other contestants.
It is her first step to becoming a contestant on the wildly popular reality show American Idol, but it is far from being her first step toward her dream of being a professional singer. She took that step long ago.
(...) She said her parents -- Greg McCord of Opp and Lynne McCord of Andalusia, seemed a little concerned that she may postpone her law degree if the "Idol" audition goes well, but she knows she has their support.

Remember the name: Melissa McCord. And start warming up your telephones (and AT&T pagers) now!

09:25 AM   

  Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Alabama Attorney General files brief supporting death penalty for teens

An important and interesting issue...

Alabama Attorney General Troy King has filed a brief asking the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn a Missouri Supreme Court ruling that prohibits the execution of 16- and 17-year-olds.
The attorney general, in a news release about the brief Tuesday, said that some teenagers are just as capable of masterminding a heinous murder as adult killers.
(...) There are 73 men on death row in 12 states for murders they committed when they were 16 or 17. Fourteen of them are in Alabama.

Alabama's brief is supported by Delaware, Oklahoma, Utah, Virginia, and Texas.

08:30 AM   

  Monday, April 19, 2004

About the pro and cons of political campaign advertising signs

Nice article about the political signs that can be seen everywhere right now: along sidewalks, on the side of the highway, in front yards, etc.

We have heard more than one person express concern about the placement of these signs. Some object on philosophical grounds -- isn't that sign a little too close to a polling place?
(...) Some object on safety grounds -- it's hard enough to see past shrubs, mailboxes and parked cars without adding a grove of political comments on colored cardboard to further block the view of oncoming traffic.
(...) We respect and honor those who make the commitment to run, but politicians should campaign as they intend to serve -- following the rules, with the public welfare in mind at all times.

Good point. I'll be glad when the November winds finally blow all political posters and signs out of there...

06:31 AM   

  Friday, April 16, 2004

Another great project for Andalusia in the works

Ground broken for new Veteran's Memorial Park

"This memorial, once it's built, it's going to define the people of Covington County as appreciative, caring and honoring the veterans from this area who served," said Kenneth Johnson, chairman of the ad hoc committee in charge of the park and the veterans' monument. "This is going to make a statement."
Johnson said construction has already begun on the project.
"They're already working on the obelisk," he said. "Our goal is Veteran's Day. November 11 will be the formal dedication."
(...) Cornerstones for the monument are also available. Made of dark granite, they are 8x8 inches and can be inscribed with up to 8 lines each. Corporations, civic groups, organizations or businesses or individuals can purchase them for $1,500. Forms to order the bricks or cornerstones were sent out through the City of Andalusia utility bills recently.

It's great to see things coming together this way. Andalusia is catching up to other counties in many ways. Almost all counties around have impressive, very visible veterans ' monuments, and now Andalusia will have one, too.

09:17 AM   

  Thursday, April 8, 2004

Covington County Sheriff's Deputy killed in collision

Tragic. Another deadly accident on Hwy 84.

"I don't believe there's an officer in this county who slept last night," said Mark Anderson of the Coffee County Sheriff's Department. Anderson saw the start of Lassiter's law enforcement career and worked with him on more than one occasion. "You know, you put on your vest, you expect to get short at, you expect to get into fights, you deal with meth labs - dying like this just isn't right," said Anderson.

Lassiter died in the line of duty.

08:09 AM   

  Sunday, March 28, 2004

Great Essay about the state of rural Alabama

This is a very informative and thought-provoking article from the Birmingham News, about a subject that is practically always overlooked during discussions of the 'bigger picture'.

for this discussion we'll consider as urban the 22 Alabama counties classified as Metropolitan Statistical Areas, and the remaining 45 rural. These 45 counties are home to 1.3 million of our 4.4 million residents.
(...) The Alabama Department of Industrial Relations says we lost 56,500 manufacturing jobs from 1990 to 2002.
(...) Where were these jobs? Buildings that once housed sewing plants are as common in rural Alabama as kudzu.
(...) People like Jerry Boothe, the mayor of Opp, where Opp & Micolas Mills closed last summer after decades of operation, leaving 600-plus people unemployed. With his budget $250,000 in the red, the mayor is trying to figure out what to do.

Boothe, half-jokingly, points out that Opp even lost the McDonald's. He said he had thought about writing to Dear Abby.
The article goes on to describe how Georgia had made more efforts in economic development of rural counties. The OneGeorgia Authority has more than 20 million dollars at their disposal.
We've seen it on our travels, too. The small towns in South Georgia tend to be more lively than their Alabama counterparts. If you travel Highway 84 from Valdosta westward, you experience hustling and bustling little towns like Quitman, Thomasville, Cairo, and Bainbridge, with antique shopping and sightseeing. Once you get into Alabama, it gets more drab. Cities like Andalusia, Opp, and Ozark don't present themselves as well as they could. Brewton is the light at the other end of the tunne.
Creating local opportunities is about making the most of what you have. Fortunately, it seems that towns like Andalusia are starting now to revitalize their downtowns now.

09:10 AM   

  Monday, March 22, 2004

Dog deer hunters versus property owners

The dog-deer hunting lobby is going strong, but there is really no grounds for the hunters to hunt on private land. It is an inconvenience, even if gun shots are not aimed at houses and fences are not being damaged.

The landowners presented a resolution to the commission that would call for a referendum on the November ballot, allowing voters in the county to decide on the issue. According to Rodgers, the resolution does not call for a complete ban on dog deer hunting in the county, but would impose restrictions, such as limiting it to 1,500 acres or more. This would apply to private lands, since dog deer hunting is no longer allowed on public lands here.
(...) Rodgers spoke again, saying that he and his wife had been subjected to verbal abuse by dog deer hunters who were blocking the road. He said the hunters often came across his land "to get their deer or their dogs."

Proponents of dog deer hunting claimed that negative incidences were few and that not all hunters should be blamed for the misbehavior of a few. One pointed out that stores selling dog food would suffer.
As someone who is scared of the sounds of gunshots: it's very clear to me that the dog hunters have (literally) no grounds here. The current situation is based on years long gone, when the area was much more sparsely populated, and people didn't have the kind of monster trucks everybody is driving now.

09:47 AM   

  Friday, March 19, 2004

Beautification progress in Andalusia

I can't tell y'all how happy I am about this. When my husband and me took pictures of Andalusia last year (the ones you can see in the gallery) we found ourselves uttering 'it's a shame' every few minutes. Andalusia seemed desolate and completely neglected, when its potential beauty could be seen right underneath the surface. Now, finally things are being done about it.

Starting with the Court Square, old and uneven sidewalks have been replaced with brick, lightposts have been added, and the overall appearance improved, as far as most people are concerned. That project has extended down East Three Notch, but it isn't stopping there.
(...) House Speaker Seth Hammett and State Senator Jimmy Holley announced yesterday that Andalusia has been approved for a $160,000 grant for the downtown sidewalk project. Funding comes from federal funds and is administered through the Alabama Department of Transportation.

Read about all the upcoming improvements in the article. This is really exciting. I wish I could say that someone in higher places took a look at the online gallery and realized something had to be done. (Probably not.) But, once everything is finished, we will take new pictures and move the current gallery into an archive - 'Andalusia, The Way It Was.'

09:32 AM   

  Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Author seeks payment for books seized for questionable content

That blows my socks off, leaves me speechless...

An author who promotes relations and marriabe between men and girls as young as 12 is threatening (...) to sue Covington County unless it pays him for books and CDs seized last year.
(...) George Hoey Morris of Eclectic is seeking $10,900 for the loss of more than 1,000 books titled "" and 800 copies of "Young Models," a companion compact disc.
The self-published book tells men how to travel to foreign countries and

Hey wait. I think I'll go right now and write a book about planting fart cushions in goverment places, with audio companion disk.
I probably won't sell a single copy, but don't worry, I've got it all figured out. Officials will seize it and then I'll sue them to get the $20,000 list price of the whole kit and kaboodle.

09:55 AM   

  Monday, March 15, 2004

Water outage caused by computer problem

Sheesh. Now our toilets are powered by computers, too?

A power outage and computer glitch led to problems for Andalusia water customers Saturday morning, when the system temporarily faltered.
"We had a computer to go out on us," said Jimmy Wilson, the city's water and sewer superintendent, who said the outage may have been due to the recent move, transferring the system's computer from the old office to the new. "We really don't know what caused it."
Wilson said the brown water residents may have experienced Saturday is nothing to worry about.

The first sign of the 'Rise of the Machines'?
They're hitting us where it hurts most. Where is Arnold Schwarzenegger when you need him?

09:25 AM   

  Friday, March 12, 2004

Ownership change for Paris Packaging

Interesting to the local employees of Paris Packaging, their families and friends.

Paris Packaging has a new owner. And that's not necessarily bad news for the 42 employees at the Andalusia facility.
According to a statement from Bill Carver, president of Paris Packaging, the company was acquired by 21st Century Group, LLC, a private investment fund located in Dallas. Carver said the acquisition was an exciting opportunity for Paris Packaging, and its employees.
(...) Steve Dendy, plant manager of the Andalusia facility, said the acquisition of the company by 21st Century wouldn't impact the local plant significantly.
(...) "Currently we produce folding cartons for companies such as Popeyes and Church's," Dendy said. "This could provide the opportunity for us to branch out to other businesses that utilize folding cartons."

One can't help but get a bit nervous when a company is changing hands. But it looks like this is a change combined with improvement, if new opportunities open up.
The 21st Century Group is backed by one of the largest investment firms in the country, so they know what they're doing.

06:28 AM   

  Sunday, March 7, 2004

Great animals can be found at shelters

The Daily Home Online of Talladega, Pell City, and Sylacauga features a great article this week, about the work of an animal control officer.

Brown is animal control officer for St. Clair County. For nearly four years, Brown has traveled the rural roads of St. Clair County picking up stray animals and delivering them to the local shelter.
(...) He said the warmer the weather gets, the busier he gets picking up stray animals.
(...) Seventy to 75 percent of the stray animals I pick up are on dead-end roads," he said.
People drive by and dump a dog or litter of puppies in isolated areas of the county instead of taking them to the animal shelter.

Tim Brown points out that all area shelters have outside pens so people can leave their unwanted pets there, anytime during the day or night. He also points out that few people know that you can get full-blooded dogs, horses and other great animals at the shelter. I know, we got our own cat from a shelter and it's the sweetest cat you've ever seen - except it meows a bit too much, especially early in the morning!
The advantage getting your family pet from a shelter is, the people working there are very familiar with the animals and can tell you the disposition of the animal.

09:13 AM   

  Saturday, February 21, 2004

Church Street School to turn into regional arts center?

Great news for Andalusia.

The dream of turning Church Street School into a regional cultural arts center took one more step toward reality Friday, when a group of citizens met at City Hall to begin the process of creating an organization that would oversee the center's renovation and operation.
"This is taking Andalusia and Covington County to another level when it comes to the arts," said Mayor Earl Johnson.

I have to disagree with the 'another level' statement though. It sounds like Andalusia is already on some level when it comes to arts. Fact is, compared to many other historic Southern towns, it's near the bottom-basement.
But hopefully, this will change now.

07:05 AM   

  Monday, February 2, 2004

Entertaining historical information about Groundhog Day

The Valdosta Daily Times features an interesting article about Groundhog Day and Punxsutawney Phil, "Seer of Seers, Sage of Sages, Prognosticator of Prognosticators, and Weather Prophet Extraordinary."

At some point, during the settlement of the Punxsutawney region, the groundhog became associated with Candlemas Day, because the groundhog would surely see its shadow on a fair and bright day meaning, by Candlemas standards, six more weeks of winter weather. The earliest reference to Groundhog Day was written Feb. 4, 1841, according to Stormfax, when a Pennsylvania storekeeper recorded in his diary: "Last Tuesday, the 2nd, was Candlemas Day, the day on which, according to the Germans, the groundhog peeps out of his winter quarters and if he sees his shadow he pops back for another six weeks nap, but if the day be cloudy he remains out, as the weather is moderate."

What a lovely tradition. I'm originally from Germany, but I never heard of Candlemas Day, though. And when it comes to "Groundhog Day," Germans only know it from the Bill Murray movie.
By the way, a lot of other American traditions making their way over to Germany. In recent years, typical American celebrations like Valentine's Day, Halloween, and others have become more popular in Germany, mostly due to Hollywood's influence.

09:35 AM   

  Thursday, January 29, 2004

Roadwork progressing on schedule

The face of the landscape is changing. What will it look like in ten years?

state construction work for a strip of Highway 84, which stretches from Andalusia to Coffee County, may be four-laned in a year's time, according to Bill Wofford, district engineer for the Alabama Department of Transportation.
"The four-laning between Andalusia and Enterprise is underway," Wofford said.
(...) The only section that hasn't been let to contract for paving work is the Babbie-Opp stretch, which will cover approximately three miles.
"Paving contracts will be let later this year or early next year," he said.
Wofford said the contracts will be awarded to the lowest bidder.
It will cost $3.5 million, and is about 90 percent complete, added Wofford.

The project is funded 80 percent by federal funds, 20 percent by state funds.

08:18 AM   

  Thursday, January 29, 2004

Arrest in Meth lab case in Coffee County

Meth is an infection disease. The average meth cook annually teaches others how to make meth.

Five people have been arrested in connection with a mobile meth lab in Coffee County.
Twenty-four-year-old Beau Nobles, 25-year-old Candy Carnley and 26-year-old Hannah Stanley have each been charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Authorities also arrested Timothy Grayson of Opp, who they say had a meth lab in the backseat of his pick-up truck.
Another Opp resident, Marshall Gwaltney, was also charged.
Working on a tip, the Coffee County drug task force had put the truck under surveillance.
Anyone with information on other meth labs in coffee county is asked to call the drug task force at 334- 894-5535, extension 229.

I've also seen meth cooking mentioned in weblogs by people who (otherwise) seemed smart enough. What losers. WTVY also mentioned another very interesting fact: Methamphetamine use doubled among high school seniors between 1990 and 1996.

09:08 AM   

  Thursday, January 22, 2004

About recent livestock killings

This one should not be difficult to solve. Malicious killing of livestock is a Class-C felony.

A total of nine horses worth more than $200,000 have been shot or have turned up missing in Covington County since last September, and state agriculture detectives and local detectives met Thursday night with those horse owners whose livestock were victims of shootings or possible theft.
Of the six horses that were shot, five died and one survived; three others remain missing, according to Tim Forehand, a state agriculture investigator.
(...) "My son goes to Opp High School, and he has started listening (for possible leads)," Butch Mathis, whose colt was shot and killed Dec. 1, said.
Mathis, who was on the brink of tears, added the colt, unbroken, would have been worth $2,000 by its second year.
One woman has had a horse shot and killed, followed by more grief.
"We had a mare that went missing last night," Shirley McNeil, who had another horse killed by a shotgun blast in September, said. "The fence was cut in two places, and there were footprints all over the area. A vehicle was also parked close to the fence."
McNeil also had two other horses missing. She raises Tennessee Walking Horses, and she said the total value of all four horses was about $100,000.
"I don't know if those (missing) were stolen or if they died somewhere," she said with frustration in her voice. "It was my father's dream (for us) to raise walking horses."

Let's keep our fingers crossed they catch those b---ards soon.

07:15 AM   

  Friday, January 16, 2004

ATV driver Gone Wild!

Looking for a bit too much excitement...

The Red Level Police Department spent almost an hour Thursday night chasing down an alleged reckless driver.
On Thursday, Jan. 15 at approximately 5:52 p.m., Officer Jeff Daniels of the RLPD attempted to stop the driver of a four-wheel all-terrain vehicle at the intersection of South Pines Road and Covington County Road 82 - the Gantt/Red Level Highway.
"The driver of the four-wheeler, Noah Elmore, attempted to elude Officer Daniels," Red Level Police Chief David Anderson said. "Elmore failed to yield to the blue lights (of Officer Daniels' patrol car) and was all over the road, driving erratically. He turned onto Sellers Pond Road, a dirt road, and Officer Daniels lost him in a clay pit."

'Alleged' reckless driver?
Hopefully we see this on the Fox Channel some time soon to get the whole story and video.

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