Let's clean out the notebook ...• Many of you know Davey Reed, who was once the football coach at Carbon Hill and currently lives in Jasper. I knew him as a Hackleburg native who was a leader in …
Let's clean out the notebook ...
• Many of you know Davey Reed, who was once the football coach at Carbon Hill and currently lives in Jasper. I knew him as a Hackleburg native who was a leader in that town, as he was an impressive guy even in his younger days.
I was happy to hear that Reed, who has also been a science teacher and a coach in other sports, has been named the new principal of Haleyville High School, as reported by the Northwest Alabamian on June 5. He has recently been serving as the assistant principal of McAdory Middle School in Jefferson County; he was in Carbon Hill from 1991 to 2003. He noted he was attracted to Haleyville as it was like Carbon Hill in that it was a "community-based school," while it was not that way in Jefferson County.
His wife, Elizabeth, is a 17-year veteran teacher at Cordova High Shool, and the couple has three children.
• By the way, I noted the same edition of the NWA reported about how recent Winston County High School graduate and school mascot (as in, he wears the costume) Chase Cummins signed a University of North Alabama scholarship to serve as a Lions mascot. We couldn't make the signing but we are hoping, with his and UNA's permission, to do a feature on him later this year after he gets settled in as the Lion. Sounds like a great opportunity.
• Everyone in Jasper is talking about the barefoot runner at the Tallulah Half Marathon and 5K; I took it he was in the 5K race. I took his photo as he passed by, and I was astounded how he was handling asphalt pavement in his bare feet. Most of these runners are from out of town, and I never did find out who he was or why he ran barefoot, as I got back to the office to post photos and got tied up with phone calls and other situations. But everyone I've talked to, including other runners, are astounded at the photos.
By the way, I think the race went off very well, and everyone was pleased at the weather. I will say they have to do more on traffic control as vehicles were able to get through - one all the way to the courthouse square going east on 19th Street, and that poor guy had to be backed up.
• Some have been worried how the new Love's in Hamilton will hurt Jasper. You can relax. According to the Journal Record, the real estate project manager told the Hamilton City Council recently that the company's aim is to give some relief to traffic at Love units in Jasper and Tupelo, Mississippi. I know the one here seems constantly maxed out, night and day.
• If anyone has time, I would go to Jasper First Baptist Church's website, jaspersfbc.org, and go to the video of the June 2 service to hear church member and veterinarian Sonny Springer give a Gideon talk that really turned into an emotional, riveting personal testimony, one of the best I've ever heard. The congregation even applauded him when he was done. It was very touching; you just have to hear it for yourselves.
• I was glad to be able to go to Jasper High School's graduation, and was honored that Thomas Ward invited me to attend. That was very touching to me, and I continue to be proud of this young man's accomplishments in the wake of the feature story I did earlier this year. He got to speak that night, and I know presidential candidates who should take tips from him; he could have signed up a third of the crowd for an exploratory committee, he impressed people so much.
I will say I was shocked at how the parking was overwhelmed for the gym ceremony; I had to go around the campus twice, and saw many cars parked on grass. When the ceremony was over, I held back in the bleachers, and saw every square inch of the floor taken; it looked like the Democratic or Republican National Convention. Outside of some acoustic needs in the far back (Ward had nooo problem with that), I thought it was a great ceremony. Principal Jonathan Allen seemed proud it clocked in at an hour, and considering the number of graduates he should be.
• Walker County E-911 is getting close to being able to take texts with new equipment. We hope to do a full story in late July or early August.
• I had to drop off and pick up James and Andrea Phillips at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport last week. My phone, by the way, sent me once through downtown and three times through the most economically depressed areas and isolated areas of Birmingham as a detour around the road work downtown. Going once through downtown, I was happy to go through the depressed and isolated areas. Downtown is a mess.
But I went early to the airport on Thursday night to pick them up, so I could get there in daylight and avoid any rain. I actually had an interesting night, looking at the Shuttlesworth memorial downstairs, looking at the Birmingham travel information and local Birmingham tabloids, sample items in Starbucks, as well as text with friends.
Iron City Ink, one of the tabloids, had a story about the Church at Southside, led by Keith Atkins that had trouble attracting the homeless. So they gave up their building lease and moved their services outdoors entirely, to the parking lot on First Avenue North and 25th Street Sundays at 10:30 a.m., serving a meal as well. Their services have been growing and now usually have up to 200 people. About 10,000 meals have been served over two years.
• Alabama Power tells us that if you were looking for an appliance clearance sale from the office closings in Carbon Hill and Dora, well, what is not sold will go to other locations. So I would not expect an extra bargain out of it.
• I am dreading the Carbon Hill City Council meeting on Monday. We are planning to live stream (or at least post a videotape delayed, if the connection doesn't work) the meeting. I imagine other TV stations will be there, too, and probably a good number of citizens. Even without the controversy, we have a financial report on the town to hear, which would be a big deal anyway. But since we have not heard of a resignation plan from the mayor, I imagine everyone will show up and it could be a circus. I could be wrong and the response may be more muted, but the expectation is that it could be a roomful at 6:30 p.m. Monday (which is another reason why we will livestream or do tape delay).
• As we have repeatedly brought up courthouse security here in Walker County, let me go back to a Marion County Courthouse report in the Journal Record in Hamilton, which noted 452 weapons were confiscated at the courthouse there, which has a screening process as you enter now through one entrance. In April and much of May, they got 379 knives, seven guns, 27 mace or pepper spray items, four tasers, nine sets of brass knuckles and 14 military can openers. (And we can imagine what is coming through the courthouse here in Jasper. )
• By the way, the Journal Record also noted that at the Hamilton City Council on May 29, Councilman Gene Sanderson wanted an ordinance to combat restaurant food trucks, requiring a permanent building. They have two Japanese hibachi food trucks in the city.
"It's not right for these people to come in and not build their own buildings," he said. "If you get that started you'll have that stuff with the foreigners all over this place," he said. That invoked a laugh from Councilman Bobby Joe Irvin. (I, by the way, am not laughing.) Somebody noted that would also take out Swamp John's. The city attorney was instructed to look into all the options.
• It was sad enough to hear comedy genius Tim Conway, who had dementia, died recently. Now People reports singer Steve Lawrence has announced he has Alzheimer's in the early stages. It is all sad and brings back too many personal memories. We are now looking at Sunday for presenting you a local Alzheimer's story that Rick Watson wrote for us. I would recommend you read that one, as it is devastating how one family was impacted.
• Anyone who can go to Smithsonian Magazine's website, smithsonianmag.com, should read the June cover story on the race to put a man on the book, taken from a new book, "One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon" by Charles Fishman. It is a fascinating story, as it turns out there was always public skepticism about the feasibility of going there; one called it a "moondoggle." Secret tapes show President Kennedy really didn't care about the space travel as much as he did beating the Russians there, and Congress would have started cutting the budget had Kennedy not been shot and President Johnson started pushing it.
But in the end, the program didn't really start off wide manned space travel as it did birth the computer age, as they figured a way to make essentially the smallest, fastest computer equipment of that time, paving the way for the personal computers.
(By the way, the story notes Playtex - as in the cross-your-heart bras - were picked to help with the space suits as they had experience in making flexible, form-fitting clothing. You can't make this up. )
Ed Howell is the Daily Mountain Eagle's news editor.