News

Foreign exchange student attends Southside

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

For years, Netherlands native Sofie Van Den Brand wanted to travel. Specifically she wanted to visit the United States, as the large size of the country intrigued her. Her mother thought it was a pipe dream, but supported her dreams. 

Lo and behold, Sofie worked hard to make her dream a reality, and became a foreign exchange student at Southside High School thanks to EF High School Exchange Year, an international education company that brings 3,000 students to the United States every year. 

While Sofie moving to another country for a year was scary for her and her mother, Sofie immediately felt at home with her new host family, Stephanie and Shane Brown and their son. 

“There was no awkward moment at all,”said Sofie.

“It was great,” said Stephanie. “She just became one of us.”

Part of the reason Sofie felt so at home was because of the family’s passion for music, which Sofie shares. She had played saxophone for seven years, and was excited to try out for Southside’s marching band. Marching bands do not exist in the Netherlands.

“No one plays football, so there isn’t really a reason for marching bands.” 

She also joined the symphonic band. In addition to her musical accomplishments, Sofie also received an award for all A’s for the school year.

The only adjustment that was difficult was the lack of public transport. Sofie was used to cycling to get around, and had to learn to rely on friends and her host family for transportation. She also had to adjust to the wildlife, as wasps are the most dangerous animals in the Netherlands, due to allergies.

Sofie’s year here was not without its struggles. Although she and her mother skyped weekly, she became homesick. The next day, she found out her father had passed away, so she went home. Three weeks later she returned, determined to finish what she started, especially since her father had once had the same dream of traveling to the United States.

Although Sofie is now heading back to the Netherlands, she has promised to return to the U.S. Her advice to other students who want to do something like this?

“Get out of your comfort zone,” said Sofie. “It’s your only chance. Just do it.”

Laureate Eta holds March, April meetings

The Laureate Eta Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi has had a busy couple of months.  The first meeting in March was held at the home of Jennifer Graves, who provided a wonderful meal and presented the program on Redwood trees. She stated that the Redwood tree grows mostly in California. She also stated that they could grow as tall

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Submitted PhotoSubmitted Photo

Teen gives blood at local drive

Teenagers are often criticized for being selfish and for not caring about others. Thankfully that criticism is not true for all teenagers, especially an Appalachian High School senior. 

Every spring First United Methodist Church in Rainbow City holds a blood drive in honor of Bailey Phillips, a senior at Gadsden City High School. 

This year, one of the donors

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GRMC receives achievement award

Gadsden Regional Medical has received the 2015 Get With The Guidelines-Stroke Gold-Plus Quality Achievement Award for implementing specific quality improvement measures outlined by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association for the treatment of stroke patients.

Get With The Guidelines Stroke helps hospital teams provide the most up-to-date, research-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and

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Submitted PhotoSubmitted Photo

Locals attend Proclamation Ceremony

Baisha Woody and Fabiola Frias Luna recently attended the Governor’s Proclamation Signing ceremony for Administrative Professionals Week. This event recognizes administrative professionals across the world for their hard work and dedication and was organized by members of the International Association of Administrative Professionals Alabama-Mississippi Division. Woody is the Office Careers instructor with the Gadsden State Community College Skills Training

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GSCC to host Camp Cardinal for summer

Gadsden State Community College has the solution for summer boredom with the annual Camp Cardinal Program.  Slated to begin May 26 in Gadsden, and June 1 in Anniston and Centre, Camp Cardinal provides grade school students with a unique experience filled with education and fun. 

Camps taught in Gadsden are open to children in grades K-8, Gadsden State-Cherokee offers

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GSCC announces new student email system

Starting with Full Summer and Summer II Semester, Gadsden State Community College will be changing its student email system to Microsoft Exchange. 

All students who are currently registered for classes have access to Office 365 (O365) applications and Microsoft Exchange email. 

New students will have their account information emailed to them. Existing students can login by using their Gadsden

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Hardin Center to hold summer art classes

The Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts will offer free youth art programs at the 6th Street Pavilion, located by the pool at Colley Homes on Thursdays in June and July.  The projects will be led by Hardin Center artist Katie Dayle and will be offered at three different times; from 10 to 11 a.m., from 1 to 2

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GSCC receives grant for health IT classes

Ask any career advisor what professions are extremely hot in today’s economy, and chances are jobs in healthcare and information technology will both be listed among the hottest.  A new certificate program at Gadsden State Community College combines the best of both industries.  In just two semesters, students can complete training for a career in Health Information Technology (HIT).

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The GMC holds meeting

The Gadsden Music Club (GMC) met recently at the Gadsden First United Methodist Church for a Sacred Music Program. Benny McNair, organist at the First United Methodist Church, performed “Fanfare” by John Cook and “Toccata” by Boellman as well as some other arrangements. 

President Carol Larkins gave a review of the book Musical Legacy of 100 Years for the

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GSCC to air graduation ceremony

Those who missed the spring commencement ceremony for Gadsden State Community College on May 7 now have the opportunity to watch it on TV24. The event was held at Gadsden State Cherokee in Centre.

For the first time ever, commencement was filmed and will broadcast eight times on TV24 beginning at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, May 21.

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Alpha Xi awards five students with scholarships

On May 11, 17 members and two guests met for the Alpha Xi May meeting of Alpha Delta Kappa at the Rainbow City Community Church. 

Alpha Delta Kappa is an international honorary organization of women educators dedicated to educational excellence, altruism and world understanding. 

President Theresa Cartee called the meeting to order and Sammye Hill gave the thought for

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by Lindsay Seagraves- Messenger Correspondentby Lindsay Seagraves- Messenger Correspondent

Bridal Edition 2015 - Local Joe’s thrives at Marina

By Lindsay Seagraves

Messenger Coreespondent 

There was a time when Little Bridge Marina in Rainbow City – situated on quaint but busy Lake Neely Henry and the Coosa River – boasted of cheery boaters and fishermen and served as the area’s primary one-stop boat shop for residents and visitors alike. Today, however, the marina not only boasts of boaters but

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by Gail Keeling-Smithby Gail Keeling-Smith

Bridal Edition 2015 - Alabama Gift Company offers perfect gifts for all occasions

By Gail Keeling-Smith

The Alabama Gift Company/High Cotton Style, known for specialty food, home décor, tabletop and gifts, has become a great one-stop shop for bridal, anniversary, birthday and housewarming registries. Customers love its new registry called a “Bliss List.” Owner Kathy Milam found that while a registry is a must have for those getting married, there were lots

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Bridal Edition 2015 - Rainbow Manor serves brides’ needs

Rainbow Manor Wedding Chapel in Rainbow City can take the work out of wedding planning for brides. If the chapel can’t provide it for you, owner Diane Steward said, she can recommend someone who can.

However, there’s not much Rainbow Manor cannot provide. Steward said they do catering, can direct your wedding, handle the rehearsal, take care of

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by Sarrah Petersby Sarrah Peters

Bridal Edition 2015 - Beans and Greens offers tasty southern cuisine

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

Beans and Greens has always served up the country classics that you know and love. The southern restaurant can also make any event special, even your big day, with Beans and Greens catering. Beans and Greens will cater parties, meetings and more. The restaurant even offers help putting together delicious holiday meals.

Not

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Bridal Editon 2015 - A Guide for the Bride from Merle Norman

Congratulations on your engagement!

You’re about to enjoy one of the most exciting and memorable experiences of your life. Let Merle Norman help with the beautiful details.

Make an appointment with a Beauty Consultant to establish a personalized skin care and makeup plan for radiant results on your big day and beyond. Members of your bridal party are also

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by Sarrah Petersby Sarrah Peters

Bridal Edition 2015 - Quality Shoppe celebrates 80 years

The Quality Shoppe is a family-owned business known for exceptional bridal gowns, elegant tuxedos, and outstanding service.

The Shoppe opened on the Square in historic downtown Jacksonville, Alabama, in 1935. They are celebrating their 80th anniversary this year! The ownership of the Quality Shoppe has changed hands only once, in 1979, when the current owners, the Johnson family, purchased

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By Sarrah PetersBy Sarrah Peters

Bridal Edition 2015 - The Bridal Garden makes wedding planning easy

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

It is no surprise that planning a wedding can be stressful. There is a lot to plan to make make sure the big day goes off without a hitch. There are rehearsal dinners and the receptions with flowers, food, cake and decorations. To help with the stress, The Bridal Garden takes care of just

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19th Annual Gold Tigers Reunion

June 20 is the day to renew friendships with fellow Gadsden High School Gold Tigers. Who are the Gold Tigers? We are the Gold Tigers, members of the Gold Tiger Association made up of Gadsden High School alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago. 

Last year’s reunion inducted the GHS Class of 1964 on its

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This antique Alabama Power Company sign features Reddy Kilowatt, a man made of electric bolts with a lightbulb nose.This antique Alabama Power Company sign features Reddy Kilowatt, a man made of electric bolts with a lightbulb nose.

Attalla lights historic Alabama Power sign

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor


On Friday, May 1, Alabama Power Company employees, Attalla officials and Etowah/Gadsden Chamber members and ambassadors gathered in downtown Attalla for a unique ribbon cutting. The ribbon cutting was held for an antique sign, now displayed and lit like it was originally designed. The antique Alabama Power Company sign features

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