News

Two local athletes to be nationally honored

Richard Hagedorn demonstrates a deadlift at Gold’s Gym in Rainbow City.Richard Hagedorn demonstrates a deadlift at Gold’s Gym in Rainbow City.

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Richard Hagedorn and Bobby “House” Driskill can often be found in the back room at Gold’s gym training for powerlifting competitions. They go to train three of four days a week, while working different muscles.

The two have been training together since 1994, when they met. They have participated in many competitions together. Now, their practice and hard work has earned them a spot in the Powerlifting Hall of Fame. 

They will be inducted into the Hall during the week of Nov. 14-21 at the WABDL (World Association of Benchers and Dead Lifters) World Championship in Las Vegas.

Hagedorn began lifting in prison in 1990, while serving a sentence for selling drugs to support his own habit.

“I had a lot of time on my hands,” said Hagedorn.

While in prison, he knew he had to change the path of drugs and alcohol he was going down. 

“In order to change my life, I needed something to replace all the negativity,” said Hagedorn.

Powerlifting provided the catalyst for change for Hagedorn, although he wasn’t originally good at the sport. 

“I use powerlifting as an alternative form of discipline,” said Hagedorn.

He kept powerlifting after his release, and met Driskill at a gym. Hagedorn encouraged Driskill to take up powerlifting as well. Driskill was a natural, with his large build.

“He’s as big as a house,” said Hagedorn, explaining Driskill’s nickname.

Since then the two have won the world title for their weight class many times. If they win at this year’s competition, Hagedorn will receive his 10th world title and Driskill will win his 12th. 

Hagedorn has also broken several world records. In the raw division, which means he wore no gear, 181 pound weight class at 64 years old, he received high scores with his 410 pound squat, his 510 pound deadlift and his 1125 pound total score. 

Hagedorn has not only helped himself stay out of trouble with powerlifting. He has also taken the time to help teach the sport to high school students. 

“It (powerlifting) is a program of attraction not promotion,” insists Hagedorn. 

When Gold’s Gym was built, the owner promised Hagedorn and other powerlifters a space to practice powerlifting, making it the go-to workout space for the champions. Hagedorn has influenced several other members to take up the sport.

A well-loved instuctor at GSCC, Billy “Rip” Reagan spent his life sharing his love of music with students and faculty.A well-loved instuctor at GSCC, Billy “Rip” Reagan spent his life sharing his love of music with students and faculty.

Local legend Rip Reagan passes away

By Kay Smith-Foster

Gadsden State Community College extends its sincerest condolences to family and friends of Billy E. “Rip” Reagan. He began his tenure at Gadsden State in 1986 and worked as a full-time band director and music instructor from 1986 until his retirement in 1996. Reagan remained part-time band director at Gadsden State until February 2014.

“Our Gadsden State family is

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Attalla Parks and Rec to host Trunk or Treat on Halloween

By Jacqueline Chandler/Messenger Correspondent

The City of Attalla Parks and Recreation Department will host its second annual Trunk or Treat Friday, Oct. 31, from 5 -7p.m. at the Carnes Community Center gymnasium. The first year the event drew over 400 youths from surrounding communities. This number is expected to rise this year.

Vendors from local businesses will set up tables free of

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GSCC students built this experiment to test immiscible fluid in a microgravity environment. It is being launched to the International Space Station for further testing.GSCC students built this experiment to test immiscible fluid in a microgravity environment. It is being launched to the International Space Station for further testing.

GSCC to launch project into space

October 27 will be a monumental date that many Gadsden State students will remember forever.  The project that several instructors and three teams of engineering students have poured their heart, time and energy into will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) via an Orbital 3 rocket.  

“Electronic engineering technology instructor, Audrey Webb, has been the anchor for all of

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Gadsden declares Extra Mile Day

Mayors across the United States are recognizing a growing movement that is dedicated to encouraging individuals and organizations to “go the extra mile” in service and volunteerism. On November 1, 500 mayors are expected to declare “Extra Mile Day.”

Gadsden and Mayor Sherman Guyton join the list.

Extra Mile Day celebrates individuals and organizations that have chosen to create positive change in

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Local author and Messenger correspondent Mike Goodson (right) poses for a photo with Pawn Stars star Rick Harrison. Goodson recently appeared on the popular reality show based in Las Vegas, Nev.Local author and Messenger correspondent Mike Goodson (right) poses for a photo with Pawn Stars star Rick Harrison. Goodson recently appeared on the popular reality show based in Las Vegas, Nev.

Local author appears on reality show

By Mike Goodson/Messenger Correspondent

Growing up in Gadsden during the 1950s and 1960s, television was a very important part of everyday life. In the days of watching the old black and white Zenith television with its two stations and having to turn the antenna to get clear reception television entertainment has come a long way. Today satellite reception and cablevision has

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GSCC to host Annual Charity Showcase

Gadsden State Community College will host the 20th Annual Charity Showcase Thursday, November 6 and the 14th Annual Miss Gadsden State Community College Pageant Friday, November 7 at the Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center in Gadsden.

The Charity Showcase and Silent Auction has become a holiday tradition thanks to the wonderful community support and participation.  

Previously more than $70,000 has been

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Kate Falcon relaxes on the set of The Voice.Kate Falcon relaxes on the set of The Voice.

Kate Falcon speaks about The Voice audition

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Kate Falcon cannot remember a time she didn’t love to sing.

“I grew up singing in the back of my parents’ car on the way to preschool,” said Falcon.

She didn’t realize she wanted to make it a career until she was 11 and entered a contest to open for Travis Tritt.

“As soon as I got off stage, I

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Families enjoy a train ride on Oct. 11 at Noccalula Falls Park’s 4th Annual Halloween Super Bash.Families enjoy a train ride on Oct. 11 at Noccalula Falls Park’s 4th Annual Halloween Super Bash.

Noccalula Falls kicks off Halloween season with a bash

By Jacqueline Chandler/Messenger Correspondent

Noccalula Falls Park hosted the 4th Annual Halloween Super Bash on Oct. 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Numerous inflatables, games, ghost golf, train rides, and of course, plenty of trick or treating, were available throughout the park.

Food vendors on site included Jack’s, Tropical Sno, Frios Pops, Lookout Mountain Kettle Corn and Papa John’s, providing options for

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George McSpadden, above, was a well-loved music instructor at GSCC since 1966. He also played the organ at every commencement ceremony since 1967.George McSpadden, above, was a well-loved music instructor at GSCC since 1966. He also played the organ at every commencement ceremony since 1967.

GSCC loses one of its own

Gadsden State Community College extends its sincerest condolences to family and friends of George McSpadden. He began his tenure at Gadsden State in 1966. He worked as a full-time music instructor from 1966 until his retirement in 1996. Since then he has remained as a part-time music instructor, advisor, and organist. 

Interim President Martha G. Lavender remarked, “Our Gadsden State family

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GCHS teaches breast cancer awareness

The FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America) Club at Gadsden City High School recently sponsored a breast cancer awareness program for junior and senior girls.

The goal of the program was to raise awareness about this dreaded disease that will affect one out of every eight persons in the country.

The importance of monthly self -exams and early detection were

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Lay Dam has rich history: part two

Between 1912 and 1928 the Alabama Power Company built four hydroelectric dams on the Coosa and Tallapoosa Rivers. At the time, and for some time to come, these dams were the largest, most complex, and most expensive construction projects in the history of the state. But they were much more than that. The dams were a turning point. When their

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Attalla Nursing Home holds Fall Festival

By Jacqueline Chandler/Messenger Correspondent

Saturday, Oct. 11, started out as a rainy day, but the sun came out just in time for the Attalla Nursing Home’s annual Fall Festival. 

The proceeds from the festival fund activities for residents at the facility. Arts and crafts projects, community outings such as movies, eating out and fishing trips, are a few of the events funded

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Christie Craig poses with the drawing winners and a member of her street team, which consists of fans who promote her books. From left: Melanie Spicer, winner of Craig’s newest book Reborn, Rebekah Armstrong  Vinyard, winner of the complete Shadow Falls series, Christie Craig and Nicholas Redden, street team member.Christie Craig poses with the drawing winners and a member of her street team, which consists of fans who promote her books. From left: Melanie Spicer, winner of Craig’s newest book Reborn, Rebekah Armstrong Vinyard, winner of the complete Shadow Falls series, Christie Craig and Nicholas Redden, street team member.

Best-selling author visits Gadsden Public Library

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

The Gadsden Public Library invited best-selling young adult novelist C.C. Hunter to speak about her Shadow Falls and Shadow Falls After Dark series on Oct. 11.

C.C. Hunter is actually a local author named Christie Craig, who graduated from Glencoe High.

When Christie Craig was a child, she didn’t read much and she definitely didn’t write much. Craig had

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Hannah Jarbo plays Dorothy in the CharACTers performance of The Wizard of Oz.Hannah Jarbo plays Dorothy in the CharACTers performance of The Wizard of Oz.

CharACTers presents The Wizard of Oz

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

CharACTers Theatrics and Gadsden State are presenting the play The Wizard of Oz. The play is sponsored by Regional Biomedical Laboratory. 

The show will be on Oct 10, 11, 17 and 18 at 7:30 p.m. There will also be Sunday matinees on Oct 12 and 19 at 2:30 p.m. The play will be at Wallace Hall Fine Arts

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Billingsley beats Stewart

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Billy Billingsley, Sr. won the District 5 runoff election on Tuesday, Oct. 7 against current City of Gadsden councilman Bill Stewart. Stewart has held the position for four terms. 

Billingsley won with 53.6 percent of the votes, which totaled 308 votes. Stewart received 266 votes. 

The election on Aug. 26 had both Billingsley and Stewart with 41 percent, with

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City of Attalla to host annual Heritage Day

By Jacqueline Chandler/Messenger Correspondent

The City of Attalla will be hosting its annual Heritage Day on Saturday, October 18th. It is a rain or shine event held in historic downtown with over 100 vendors participating. Heritage Day has been around for more than 25 years and is a family friendly event. Lisa Spears, co-director of the event, estimates that more than

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Gadsden hosts Sunset Sips

On October 21 from 5 p.m. - 7 p.m., Downtown Gadsden Inc. will once again close the Memorial Bridge for the Third Annual Sunset Sips fundraising event. The Memorial Bridge is the perfectly unique venue for a night full of fun with friends over the Coosa River watching the sunset. 

Hors d’oeuvres will be provided by the Fish Market, Back Forty

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Students to Stewards helps education

Twenty-five schools and nonprofit organizations across the state will receive conservation education grants through the Alabama Power Foundation’s “Students to Stewards” program.

The three grant winners in Etowah County are Ivalee Elementary School in Attalla, Keep Etowah Beautiful and Gadsden Cultural Arts Foundation.

The Students to Stewards grants, totaling more than $40,000, are being awarded in celebration of 15 years of Renew

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USDA releases new farming programs

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack recently unveiled highly anticipated new programs to help farmers better manage risk, ushering in one of the most significant reforms to U.S. farm programs in decades. 

Vilsack also announced that new tools are now available to help provide farmers the information they need to choose the new safety net program that is right

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USDA expands access to credit

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Krysta Harden today announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) will improve farm loans by expanding eligibility and increasing lending limits to help more beginning and family farmers. As part of this effort, USDA is raising the borrowing limit for the microloan program from $35,000 to $50,000; simplify the lending processes; updating required “farming experience” to

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