News

Seniors learn about law enforcement

by Sarrah Petersby Sarrah Peters

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

Last week the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office hosted the week-long 2015 Student Leadership Academy for 22 incoming high school seniors. The mini-academy is similar to what members of the department have to go through.

The students spent the week immersed in the sheriff’s office, living in campers behind the jail. 

The students arrived Sunday, June 14, and after some icebreakers, began learning about jail operations that afternoon. 

On Monday, the students traveled to Jacksonville State University to learn about crime scene investigation.  

On Tuesday, the students learned more about county government operations by spending time with the county commissioners before the council meeting. Then, the students accompanied officers on patrol, getting a first-hand look at work in the field. 

On Wednesday, I caught up with the officers and students as they did a station-based unit to learn more about special operations in law enforcement. The students learned about the motorcycle unit, the arson unit, the mounted unit, the K-9 officers and the aviation unit. 

The first unit was the motorcycle unit, where the kids learned the uses of motorcycles, and the precautions that must be taken to perform the motorcycle unit’s job safely from Sergeant Brian Smith.

During the arson unit, Richard Johnson from the Etowah County Arson Unit led the students through the steps of determining whether a fire is arson and the steps that must be taken to preserve the evidence.

“Arson is hard to prove,” Johnson told the kids. 

Because of the difficulty of building an arson case, arson task forces are not frequently invested in.

“We are the only arson task force, that I know of, in the state of Alabama,” said Johnson.

After the mounted unit, used frequently for crowd control, students got to take short rides on the horses. 

The aviation unit was the most exciting one, as the students learned briefly about the functions of aviation departments and safety procedures before getting to take a helicopter ride themselves. 

Afterwards, there was a demonstration about the uses of K-9 units. Will Farley and his dog Bosco demonstrated the drug searching capabilities of K-9 units. He explained how the dogs are trained, with the smell of the drugs put into Bosco’s toy. Bosco learned the smell, and now associates the smell with a toy.

From this event, the student’s went to the Drug Enforcement Unit and then went through a simulated scenario.

On Thursday, the last day of the academy, the students learned about maritime operations in law enforcement before a final exam and graduation from the program.

The students earned a 3-hour class credit from JSU upon completion of the program. Students were selected by principals and counselors to apply for the program. From there, the students had to write an essay and meet a physical requirement. 

Bailey Cook, a Gadsden City High School senior, was a participant in the program. She is interested in behavioral analysis. 

“I was very excited,” said Cook. “I was a little nervous because I was stepping outside of my comfort zone.”

Cook definitely did step outside her comfort zone with the helicopter ride, as she has a fear of heights.

“Becoming a better leader was my motive,” she said.

Southside to host 9th city fest

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

Southside City Fest returns on July 18 for its ninth year. Admission to the event is free. The festival starts at 2 p.m. on the Southside High School grounds and ends at 10 p.m. 

Last year the City of Southside estimated that over 8,000 people attended the music festival.

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by Kaitlin Flemingby Kaitlin Fleming

Local farmers' markets kick off

By Kaitlin Fleming

Staff Correspondent

Summer has just begun and so has the demand for fresh fruits and vegetables. 

Luckily local cities have started their farmers markets, which support fresh produce and local growers. What is better than a refreshing tomato sandwich or ripe watermelon in this heat? 

The cities of Attalla, Gadsden and Rainbow City

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Gadsden to host First Friday

Next Friday, July 3, is First Friday in Downtown Gadsden. You are invited to come join us downtown from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., stroll up and down the sidewalks and celebrate all that is great about Downtown Gadsden!  July is Independent Retailer month, so make it a point to visit the independently owned businesses.  You will be sure

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by Jeanne Valois/Roxy Roca PRby Jeanne Valois/Roxy Roca PR

Roxy Roca to entertain at Rock the River

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

The Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts will host Rock the River for the 2nd year on July 10. 

Gates will open at 6 p.m. with music beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets are $25 and are available at the Hardin Center desk in advance. The tickets will also be available at the gates. In

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Women’s Air Race Classic to pass through Gadsden

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

On June 22, over 50 all women flight teams from all over the United States will leave from Fredericksburg, Va. in the Women’s Air Race Classic. From there they will travel to nine other airports in  seven different states before stopping in Gadsden at the last stop before the race’s end in Fairhope,

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The Gadsden Regional Cancer Center staff pose for a picture during First Friday, where the center had a booth celebrating National Cancer Survivor Day. From left to right, Scotty Gibbs, April Garmon, Jerria Carter, Chad Montgomery, Clark Stewart, Ramie Anderson, Kelly Evers and Don Clemons.The Gadsden Regional Cancer Center staff pose for a picture during First Friday, where the center had a booth celebrating National Cancer Survivor Day. From left to right, Scotty Gibbs, April Garmon, Jerria Carter, Chad Montgomery, Clark Stewart, Ramie Anderson, Kelly Evers and Don Clemons.

Gadsden Regional supports cancer survivors

By Kaitlin Fleming

Staff Correspondent

First Friday on June 5 in downtown Gadsden was full of many fun events. One event was produced by the Gadsden Regional Cancer Center. This year GRMC decided to celebrate cancer survivors at First Friday. The event included lemonade and cookies, inspiration boards and a photo booth. Cancer Center Director Ramie Anderson said that over 650

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Attalla Mayor Larry Means poses for a picture with author Natalie Holland during a book signing Wednesday, June 10 at the Attalla Public Library. Holland survived breast cancer and turned her journey and quest for health into a book.Attalla Mayor Larry Means poses for a picture with author Natalie Holland during a book signing Wednesday, June 10 at the Attalla Public Library. Holland survived breast cancer and turned her journey and quest for health into a book.

Attalla Public Library hosts book signing

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

On Wednesday, June 10, Attalla Public Library hosted a special book signing. Natalie Holland, author of “Scarred but Smarter: A Cancer Memoir and Get Healthy Manisfesto,” graduated from Southside High School, before attending Auburn. While home from college for the summer, Holland had a summer job at the Attalla Public Library.

Holland returned from San Antonio,

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Rock The River returns for 2nd year

Gadsden’s riverfront will be rocking on Friday, July 10 for the Hardin Center’s second annual Rock the River.

Rock the River takes place at Coosa Landing, Gadsden’s large boat launch facility between the Memorial Bridge and the railroad trestle on the east side of the river. 

Last year’s event was forced indoors due to rain, but Deborah Hawkins,

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Gadsden to hold free and cheap summer events

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

Summer has arrived. Kids are out of school, and the weather is nice. Getting out and about is the best thing to do, but that can be hard on your wallet. Gadsden and the surrounding areas are hosting many free or cheap events to keep you and your family busy.

Of course there

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GRMC awards scholarships

Two local students have received college scholarships thanks to a program funded by the Gadsden Regional Medical Center volunteers.

2015 Gadsden City High School graduate Brandon Matthews was awarded a $1,000 scholarship to Snead State Community College, where he will begin classes in the fall.

While at Gadsden City, Matthews maintained a 3.96 grade point average, served as captain

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Habitat for Humanity to host Blitz Build

On Monday, June 8, Gadsden-Etowah Habitat for Humanity will participate in the Home Builders Blitz 2015. A home will be constructed at 2111 Calhoun Drive in E. Gadsden for the Alegria family of five. It will be completed by the end of the following week.

Home Builders Blitz is a partnership between Habitat for Humanity and the building industry

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by Kaitlin Flemingby Kaitlin Fleming

Highway 411 dedicated as Veterans Memorial Highway

By Kaitlin Fleming

Staff Correspondent 

The year of 2013 was a very busy one for Tammy Bean’s senior government class. What started as a challenge quickly became an obsession to 20 Westbrook Christian School seniors. Bean challenged her students to come up with a project that would make an impact in the community. Those students excelled all of her expectations. 

The

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by Sarrah Petersby Sarrah Peters

Local Beanie Babies headed to the Gulf

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

Shortly before Memorial Day weekend, Donna Patterson loaded up 50 boxes full of Ty Beanie Babies into a rented U-Haul trailer. In total, 5,472 Beanies made the trip to Foley on the Gulf of Mexico. Kelly Lankford, Donna’s daughter and a member of the Apollos Mystic Ladies Daphne Mardi Gras Association, purchased the Beanies from Little

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Gold Tigers plan 19th annual reunion

June 20 is the day to renew friendship 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 50th anniversary of

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Glencoe High to host reunion

Glencoe High School is hosting a combined class reunion on June 27, for the classes of 1966-1975. The reunion will be held at the Pitman Theatre in Gadsden. The meet and greet will begin at 5:30 p.m. Dinner will begin after the meet and greet. 

The cost to each attendee will be $20. The checks should be made payable

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Hardin Center to host Great Dinosaur Egg Hunt in honor of June 6 National Trails Day

June 6 is the American Hiking Society’s National Trails Day, and Gadsden Parks and Recreation and Imagination Place Children’s Museum in the Hardin Center for Cultural Arts are partnering to present “The Great Dinosaur Egg Hunt” on the Black Creek Trails at Noccalula Falls.  

The event is from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. and the staff of the

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Hardin Center plans summer activities

According to Tom Banks, Deputy Director of the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts, since opening on February 8 and through May 25, the Hardin Center’s Dinosaurs ALIVE! exhibit has had 21,264 visitors from 292 unique zip codes. 

“This is an increase over our 2014 total visitation to our exhibits of 18,909 and we are expecting a great

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Officials trained during annual convention

Councilmember Danny Wagnon of Glencoe joined more than 1,000 municipal officials, clerks, administrators and guests in Tuscaloosa on May 16 for the Annual Convention of the Alabama League of Municipalities. Municipal officials participating in the league’s Certified Municipal Officials (CMO) program received credit towards their certification for attending sessions during the convention. 

Officials convened May 16 for a special

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Etowah farmers go to Washington, D.C.

More than 100 Alabama Farmers Federation members traveled to the nation’s capital for the Washington Legislative Conference on May 19-22.

Alabama farmers stayed busy over the four-day conference, speaking with federal officials and congressmen about agricultural issues such Country of Origin Labeling (COOL), Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS), the farm bill and feral swine management. 

“I talked with Rep.

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Southside Elementary releases honor roll

Kindergarten

Alex Argo, Lainey Balenger, Tristan Bass, Jemma Battles, Molly Benefield, Brayden Bennett, Sam Berry, Mark Bragg, Rebekah Britt, Addison Brown,  John Buttram, Micah Carr, Wesley Carroll, Anna Cline, Case Clough, Mason Colvin, Madison Conaway, Erin Condy, Claire Cross, Gracie Davenport,  Alexis Duke, Audrey Eaton, Anna Edwards, Lily Epperson, Aiden Garrett, Autumn Garrett,  Jaidyn Gatlin, Yiannoula Gerontakis, Landon Graham,

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