News

Gadsden native lives homeless

Patton Chambers poses for a picture in the Auburn library where he sleeps Sunday through Thursday nights.Patton Chambers poses for a picture in the Auburn library where he sleeps Sunday through Thursday nights.

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Last year, Patton Chambers was a pretty normal college student. He worked fast food and attended classes while living in a cheap, but not very nice apartment. 

After his roommate graduated and moved out, Chambers decided that he didn’t want to look for a new roommate or apartment. So with three semesters of school left before he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Physical Education, he decided to try living only off of campus resources, basically homeless.

“It was time for a change in my life,” said Chambers. “Also, I’m into experiments, so I wanted to see if I was capable of doing it.”

Although Chambers made plans to live this way for the remainder of his college career, he wasn’t sure he would make it past the first semester.

“Once you start doing it, you realize it really isn’t that bad,” said Chambers. “It becomes normal just like everything else in life.”

The first night Chambers spent living homeless he spent the night in his tent in a wooded area on campus. The next night he scoped out some abandoned apartments and slept in one of the cleaner hallways.

On the third night after his homeless life began, he found a new sleeping arrangement, Auburn University’s Ralph Brown Draughon library. The building is open 24 hours, five days a week. The other two nights a week, Chambers sleeps in a tent by the track.

“Once Sunday night gets there, I know I have five straight days of sleeping in the library, and that’s a dang good feeling,” said Chambers. “I think, great, the next five nights I have a great place to sleep.”

To keep his belongings safe, Chambers rented multiple lockers at the student recreation center, where he also showers and works out. He also hides or leaves some of his belongings around campus. He has had no problems with his items getting stolen.

“No one ever touches your stuff,” said Chambers. “Like, I had a book in a room in the library where I slept, and it stayed there for about two weeks. Nobody touched it.”

For food, Chambers has a rice cooker, which he uses to cook two or three cheap meals a day. His diet consists of oatmeal for breakfast and rice and beans for lunch and dinner, which he sometimes eats mid-afternoon to combine the two meals.

“I think I have a pretty good diet,” said Chambers.

He buys the food from a damaged goods store and spends less than $20 a week feeding himself. He uses his bicycle as transportation, and frequently rides to the thrift store to scout for deals. 

As a result of his lifestyle, he has a lot more free time, which he uses to get more of a college experience. He joined several extra-curricular activities including the University Program Council, which works to bring speakers and comedians to the school, and some school media on Eagle Eye TV. He also refereed intramural sports, as well as playing several intramural sports. 

Chambers enjoys his life, but has different plans after he leaves college. He plans to intern and work overseas in China or South Korea. He does however say that his lifestyle is a positive experience.

“If I had children, I would encourage them to do exactly what I do, although I wouldn’t force it on them,” said Chambers. “I highly recommend it, but if I was a female I would probably have a different point of view on it and probably wouldn’t do it.”

Chambers blogs about his experience with photos on his Tumblr account at patton1990s.tumblr.com. He has been featured in the Auburn school paper the Plainsmen, as well as in numerous online articles.

Attalla McDonald’s hosts Christmas cheer

Teresa Parker, Manager of the Attalla McDonald’s in the Birmingham Co-op, hosted some Christmas cheer Tuesday night, December 9, with a visit from Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus and gifts for the children in attendance.

Max Cooper and Jim Black, owner of the Attalla McDonald’s, along with Jim’s wife Cathy, decided they wanted to kick-off the Christmas season early at McDonald’s

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Southside High student Mckenzie Prickett teaches Glencoe Elementary Students about water filtration.Southside High student Mckenzie Prickett teaches Glencoe Elementary Students about water filtration.

GSCC hosts annual Water Festival

The 14th annual Etowah County Water Festival was held Friday, December 12 on the Wallace Drive Campus of Gadsden State Community College from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. An estimated 1,400 fourth-graders from Etowah County schools were estimated to attend the fun and innovative event.

The festival, designed to educate students and their families about all aspects of groundwater, was co-sponsored

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<p>The Gadsden Public Library and Gadsden State Community College will present the 10th Annual Holiday Movie Spectacular at Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center beginning Monday, December 22 at 10 a.m.  </p><p>The first movie will be the 2000 version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” starring Jim Carrey followed by “The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen shown at 2:00 p.m. The</p>

The Gadsden Public Library and Gadsden State Community College will present the 10th Annual Holiday Movie Spectacular at Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center beginning Monday, December 22 at 10 a.m.  

The first movie will be the 2000 version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” starring Jim Carrey followed by “The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen shown at 2:00 p.m. The

Wallace Hall hosts Holiday Movie Spectacular

The Gadsden Public Library and Gadsden State Community College will present the 10th Annual Holiday Movie Spectacular at Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center beginning Monday, December 22 at 10 a.m.  

The first movie will be the 2000 version of “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” starring Jim Carrey followed by “The Santa Clause” starring Tim Allen shown at 2:00 p.m. The

Read more »
 

Gadsden City announces best teachers

Gadsden City Schools recently released its 2013-2014 Teachers of the Year.

Gadsden City elementary schools’ award winners include: Patricia Gruver of Eura Brown Elementary, Angie Ramey of Walnut Park Elementary, Katie Holland of Mitchell Elementary, Janis Reaves of Adams Elementary, Jaqueline McElderry of Floyd Elementary, Kristin Greer of Striplin Elementary, Keri Sutherlin Buchmann of Donehoo Elementary and Patrice Maxwell of Thompson

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Dr. William Bradford trims toenails during a routine foot exam.Dr. William Bradford trims toenails during a routine foot exam.

Quality of Life welcomes its first podiatrist

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

For the first time, Quality of Life is offering podiatry services. The health services has recently hired Dr. William Bradford.

While Dr.Bradford was serving six years in the Army, he learned more about podiatry, and became interested in the field because it has “a little bit of everything on a specific part of the body.”

He attended medical school

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American Family Care opening in Gadsden

American Family Care (AFC), the second largest privately owned operator of urgent care and accessible primary care facilities in the country, is expanding its signature brand of quality health care with a new center opening on December 22nd in Gadsden. The Open House and Ribbon Cutting is scheduled for January 15th at 11 am.

With more people than ever with health

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Seraaj to host foster children’s Christmas

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

On Monday, Dec. 15, Seraaj Family Homes will host a Christmas celebration for the children in their foster program in Oxford. 

“The holidays can be difficult for the kids since they aren’t at home, especially the new ones. But every year, they are so happy that night,” said Cecelia Borden. 

The event will feature a Christmas dinner and presents

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Local eatery featured in Alabama tourism book

The Alabama Tourism Department recently released a new book and travel guide titled “Alabama Barbeque: Delicious Road Trips,” which features a section about Pruett’s Bar-B-Q in Gadsden. 

Former Southern Living travel editor Annette Thompson writes about 75 barbeque joints across the state and former Southern Living photographer Art Meripol complements the stories with mouthwatering photos.

Well-known for their ribs and Sweet Potato

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Local Big Brothers Big Sisters accredited

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Alabama is a recipient of the Standards for Excellence Institute’s Seal of Excellence for successfully completing its rigorous accreditation program. Big Brothers Big Sisters voluntarily opened itself up to scrutiny by a “jury of its peers.” 

The peer review team examined Big Brothers Big Sisters for compliance with the Standards for Excellence: An Ethics and

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Bentley appoints locals to boards

On Tuesday, December 2, Governor Robert Bentley appointed former Alabama Bureau of Investigation Captain Joe Nabors to Place One District Court Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial Circuit of  Alabama beginning January 1, 2015. This appointment will complete the unexpired term of Judge Bill Russell. 

Nabors said, “This is a great honor and I am excited about the opportunity to serve. I

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Rock & Roll Christmas returns for seventh year

The Etowah Youth Orchestras will rock in the holiday season again this year with the EYO’s Rock & Roll Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 20.  The 7 p.m. performance will be held at the Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center on the campus of Gadsden State Community College, and is sponsored by The Exchange Bank of Alabama and Greater Gadsden Tourism.

This

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Little Faces Doll shop was one of only 50 selected to have a Lee Middleton Doll Nursery. Some of these stores have shut down, but Little Faces still offers the nursery and adoption experience.Little Faces Doll shop was one of only 50 selected to have a Lee Middleton Doll Nursery. Some of these stores have shut down, but Little Faces still offers the nursery and adoption experience.

Doll shop celebrates 25 years in Gadsden

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

A local store and tourist attraction, Little Faces Doll Shop, has been providing quality dolls to its customers for over 25 years.

The store has been open since 1989. This is the 26th Christmas they have been open.

The store has numerous types of dolls, but especially focuses in carrying Lee Middleton dolls. The vinyl dolls with synthetic hair

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Singer Bret Michaels to perform at Center Stage

Bret Michael Sychak is better known by his stage name, Bret Michaels. Michaels will be performing at Center Stage in Rainbow City on December 12.

The show begins at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets range from $20 for general admission to $50 for the first 20 rows of the concert venue.

Michaels first rose to fame as the lead vocalist

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Hardin Center to host Snacks with Santa

You don’t have to wait for Christmas Eve to enjoy cookies and milk with Santa Claus.

Join us for the fifth annual “Snacks With Santa” Saturday, December 13, 2014 from 10 a.m. to noon. 

The event is free and sponsored by Downtown Gadsden Inc.  

In addition to Santa, the Sugar Plum Fairies of the Downtown Gadsden Dance Conservatory as well as other

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Amber Lanier Nagle, author of Project Keepsake, poses with her keepsakes. She’ll be at the Gadsden Public Library on Thursday, December 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.Amber Lanier Nagle, author of Project Keepsake, poses with her keepsakes. She’ll be at the Gadsden Public Library on Thursday, December 11, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Author Amber Nagle to speak at GPL

Amber Lanier Nagle believes that everyone has a keepsake, and every keepsake has a story to tell. It’s the premise of her book, Project Keepsake.

Nagle will be appearing at the Gadsden Public Library on Thursday, December 11 at 5 p.m. to talk about her book, keepsakes, and the art of storytelling. The event is sponsored by the Friends of the

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ECBOE annouces Teachers and Support Staff of the Year

The Etowah County Board of Education recently announced its 2014-2015 Teachers of the Year. 

The winning teachers include: Carlisle Elementary School, Margaret Sholar; Duck Springs Elementary School, Lisa Harris; Gaston Elementary School, Amanda Duckett; Gaston High School, Gena Nix; Glencoe Elementary School, Leah Smith; Glencoe Middle School, James Stephens; Glencoe High School, Wendy Tinker; Highland Elementary School, Wanda Gilliland; Hokes Bluff

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Captains from the University of Alabama and Auburn University football teams meet at midfield for the coin flip prior to the 2014 Iron Bowl on Nov. 29 in Tuscaloosa. Captains from the University of Alabama and Auburn University football teams meet at midfield for the coin flip prior to the 2014 Iron Bowl on Nov. 29 in Tuscaloosa.

2014 Iron Bowl was one for the ages

By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent

The 2014 version of the annual blood feud between the University of Alabama and Auburn University is in the record books. Records were set, legends were made and firsts were seen during Alabama’s 55-44 come-from-behind victory on Nov. 29 in Tuscaloosa.

The previous high score in the Iron Bowl came in 1969, a 49-26 Auburn victory.

Auburn quarterback Nick

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Helen Ligon smiles during her 100th birthday celebration with friends and family on Sunday, Nov. 23 at Cherry Creek Retirement Village in Attalla. She turned 100 the next day. Helen Ligon smiles during her 100th birthday celebration with friends and family on Sunday, Nov. 23 at Cherry Creek Retirement Village in Attalla. She turned 100 the next day.

Two locals celebrate memorable birthdays

 By Sarrah Peters

News Editor

Two Etowah County residents celebrated birthdays last week, but they weren’t your average birthdays. 

Helen Ligon turned 100 on Monday, Nov. 24, and J.T Wallace turned 102 the same week.

While growing up, Ligon walked to and from the one-room school in “rain, snow or shine.” The building did not even

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Consumers prepare for Black Friday sales

 Jacqueline Chandler

Messenger Correspondent


It’s that time of year again when thousands of consumers take to the streets looking for bargains on their holiday purchases. Black Friday was considered the single most profitable shopping day of the year, however now sales begin early and end later, making this an even more profitable time for retail giants. 

The extension of sales also

Read more »
 

Consumers prepare for Black Friday sales

 Jacqueline Chandler

Messenger Correspondent

It’s that time of year again when thousands of consumers take to the streets looking for bargains on their holiday purchases. Black Friday was considered the single most profitable shopping day of the year, however now sales begin early and end later, making this an even more profitable time for retail giants. 

The extension of sales also

Read more »
 

 
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