The Vagabond: Historic tax credits available for area businesses

By Danny Crownover The Vagabond recently did some historical research on some downtown Gadsden buildings and noted that many businesses in that area have not taken advantage of available tax credits for our designated historic downtowns of Gadsden, Alabama City and Attalla. Are you taking full tax advantage of your historic location? It is unbelievable
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Remembering our veterans for this Thanksgiving season

By State Rep. Craig Ford Every Thanksgiving, I like to write an editorial about the things that I am thankful for. I’ve written about how thankful I am for my family and for public servants like Alabama’s educators. But this year, I want to say how thankful I am for our country’s veterans. We just celebrated
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The Vagabond: An early incident with Alabama City Holy Rollers

By Danny Crownover Author’s note: This article is of preserving history as it was written in the 1920s and not meant to offend anyone. “Back in 1910, the Holiness people, or Holy Rollers as they are sometimes termed were operating a most remarkable series of meetings on Kyle Avenue, which was the main road into
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Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell

Chicken and Dressing Casserole and Shoe Peg and Geen Bean Casserole Thanksgiving is nearly here and I just have to share these two recipes. I already have two pans of dressing in the freezer and I beginning to start baking pies. I have also made homemade cranberry sauce this year. Do you remember when life
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Pious Bob - A Closer Walk

By Robert Halsey Pine “…The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed…the kingdom of God is among you.” (Luke 17:20-37 NRSV). How do you argue whether or not God exists? You don’t have to. You seek, feel and experience God or you don’t. On occasion I’ll tune in to a television
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Inspiration from God’s Word - Who is Zachariah?

By Toni Ford Zechariah, the next to last book in the Old Testament, is often overlooked and not read by many people. He was considered one of the twelve Minor Prophets and spoke about the restoration of the people of Israel. Zechariah also prophesied about the restoration that will take place to come, a new
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Adventures at the Senior Center: I gotta beef!

By Vicki Scott This might seem like a soapbox that I might be getting on, but I’ve “gotta beef” and I feel the need to share something. Our meal program here at George Wallace Senior Center in Glencoe is NOT a charity! We are here to help short or long-term if needed but we are
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Pious Bob - Would you like me to gift wrap that for you?

“…I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…” (Luke 22:14-23 NRSV). These are the words of a man who knows fully what is about to happen to Him. A person who is committed to His Father’s will. A person with a huge gift to give on His way out. A
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Pious Bob - Understanding Outcomes

By Robert Halsey Pine Isn’t it great to celebrate the Lord’s blessings? It’s been going on for a long time: “You have turned my mourning into dancing; you have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy…” (Psalm 30 NRSV). We must continuously thank the Lord. The psalmist helps us remember that God’s anger
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Pious Bob - Out and About with God

By Robert Halsey Pine Jesus has an unusual way of commissioning us: “See, I am sending you out like sheep into the midst of wolves; so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.” (Matthew 10:7-16 NRSV). Herein lays our challenge. As with the disciples, He is sending us “out like sheep into the midst
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Inspiration from God’s Word - No doubt, you can always trust God

By Toni Ford When one reads the minor prophet books in the Old Testament, they will quickly observe a recurring pattern in their prophecies to Israel and the Jews. First comes the warning to repent of their sins. Next is the judgement that will come upon the Jews and their land if they do not
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Pious Bob - Aggressive Sheepishness

By Robert Halsey Pine Jesus is so much for us. He joys in giving us hope: “Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.” (Luke 15:1-10 NRSV). Jesus’ parable of the one and the ninety-nine is a
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Pious Bob - A Prayer for All Reasons

By Robert Halsey Pine Jesus reports to His Father:                        “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to
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Sports teach lessons that you might not learn in classrooms

By State Rep. Craig Ford We all know that education and jobs go hand-in-hand. If you want to get a good job, you have to have a good education. And having good schools is an important part of recruiting jobs and industry to a community. Education gets a lot of attention in Alabama. You hear a
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Pious Bob - Signing on for the Whole Journey

By Robert Halsey Pine As Jesus was challenged, so must we: “…Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” (Luke 9:51-62 NRSV). Jesus keeps reminding us that if we follow Him, we must be prepared for full-time work. On His way to
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Pious Bob-The Inside Story On Us

St. Paul tells us, there’s no wasting away with Jesus: “We know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus, and will bring us with you into his presence. Yes, everything is for your sake, so that grace, as it extends to more and more people, may increase thanksgiving,
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Should Dr. Sentance be fired?

The State Board of Education recently met to discuss terminating State Superintendent Dr. Michael Sentance’s contract. Politics has surrounded Dr. Sentance’s time in Alabama, starting even before he was hired. And if the board decides to fire him, his supporters will claim that politics was the driving factor. Dr. Sentance was the preferred choice of
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Agri-business center a great addition to mega sports complex

By Rep. Craig Ford Tourism and hospitality is a $13 billion dollar a year industry in the state of Alabama. That number comes from the Alabama Department of Tourism, and was included in a press release Gov. Kay Ivey put out last month. But tourism and hospitality don’t just come from our beautiful beaches and
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People of Etowah - B. Craig Lipscomb

Name: B. Craig Lipscomb, Architect. Where were you born and raised? “My family for many generations has lived in Gadsden, Alabama. Prior to my birth, my parents moved to Leeds, Alabama, where I was born. Shortly thereafter, we moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where we lived until I was eight, at which time we moved
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Pious Bob - Dealing with the Law and Our Sin

By Robert Halsey Pine Paul fought the law and the law won: “What then should we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet, if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not
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Pious Bob - Giving Up Our Burden

By Robert Halsey Pine David’s struggles outlined in the Psalms can be lessons for us today: “My heart is in anguish within me, the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me. And I say, “O that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away
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A crisis coming to Alabama that you’re not hearing much about

Our state government is no stranger to crises. We’ve had multiple budget crises, Medicaid crises and, most recently, a crisis related to our prison system. But there is another growing crisis that hasn’t gotten the media attention these other issues have. It’s a crisis that could have a devastating impact on Alabama’s families, our economy
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Pious Bob - Overturning our Ignorance

St. Paul continues to help us merger the old with the new in Christ Jesus: “But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction,
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Pious Bob - Accepting Our Inheritance

By Robert Halsey Pine Can Peter possibly know what he’s saying? “Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you
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Pious Bob - Recognizing the Child Within Us

By Robert Halsey Pine This is Christ praying to God in the presence of His disciples: “Father, the hour has come, glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you; since you have given him authority over all people, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him…I have made your name
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New school year starting, but it should be starting later

By Rep. Craig Ford Remember when school didn’t start until after Labor Day? In a matter of days, students all across Alabama will start a new school year, and it’s only the second week of August. Instead of spending the last few weeks of August working summer jobs or going on family vacations, teachers and
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Pondering life with Pious Bob - Fathers Have a Lot in Common

By Robert Halsey Pine What would we do without St. Paul to guide us in our life in Christ?          “Take care, brothers and sisters, that none of you may have an evil, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God. But exhort one another every day, as long as it is
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If Etowah County Commission won’t step up for Mega Sports Complex, legislative delegation should

By Rep. Craig Ford Every day I run into people who tell me how much they want Etowah County to have its own sports complex. And in almost every single one of these conversations, I always get asked, “But Craig, do you really think we will ever actually get it done?” I do believe we
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Pondering life with Pious Bob - Submitting to Discipline

By Robert Halsey Pine St. Paul reminds us how our trials have a way of actually building us up: “Endure trials for the sake of discipline. God is treating you as children; for what child is there whom a parent does not discipline?…..Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it
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Pondering life with Pious Bob - The Life of Mist and Dust

James reminds us where our true direction comes from: “Come now, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to such and such a town and spend a year there, doing business and making money.’ Yet you do not even know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist
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Pondering life with Pious Bob - Seeking the Spotlight

Paul gets his orders from the top: “I will rescue you from your people and from the Gentiles–to whom I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place
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Craig Ford - Can't Never Could

One doesn’t need a Ph.D in soothsaying to know that the honeymoon between state superintendent Mike Sentance and some members of the state school board has ended. Though Sentance has been chastised time after time by board members for not sharing information, he basically ignores them. Which is the reason that board meetings and work sessions now last four to
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People of Etowah - Andrew H. Roberts

Name: Andrew H. Roberts Where were you born and raised? “I was born in Jasper, Alabama. My father worked with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company so we lived in many different places (e.g. Brazil and Ohio) when I was very young.  My family moved to Gadsden when I was five years old.” What is your
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Pious Bob - Can I Afford to Wait?

David sets us up to be concerned if God is delighted with us: “Our steps are made firm by the LORD, when he delights in our way; though we stumble, we shall not fall headlong, for the LORD holds us by the hand. Depart from evil, and do good; so you shall abide forever. For
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Pondering Life with Pious Bob - Seeking the Freedom of Faith

St. Paul reminds us in his letter to the Galatians how to live in our complicated world: “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book of the law.’ Now
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Pondering life with Pious Bob - It Looks Good On Paper

By Robert Halsey Pine Jude wants us to jump in over our heads: “But you, beloved, build yourselves up on your most holy faith; pray in the Holy Spirit; keep yourselves in the love of God; look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life. And have mercy on
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Pondering life with Pious Bob - Putting First Things First and Loving It

By Robert Halsey Pine David had much to correct in his life and continually discussed his plans with the Lord:        “Oh, how I love your law! It is my meditation all day long. Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is always with me. I have more understanding than
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Craig Ford - State legislature must pass lottery in special session

The Alabama Legislature is quickly running out of excuses for failing to let the people vote on a state lottery. Last summer, Gov. Robert Bentley called a special session specifically for the purpose of passing a lottery. After passing out of the state Senate, the lottery went to the House, where it passed on its
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Pondering life with Pious Bob - The Strength and Protection in Patience

By Robert Halsey Pine Come on Peter, really? He says: “Rid yourselves, therefore, of all malice, and all guile, insincerity, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure, spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow into salvation–if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.” (1 Peter 2:1-10 NRSV).
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The Vagabond - Remembering The Great War: Alabama and WWI

By Danny Crownover The Etowah Historical Society currently is hosting a traveling exhibit commemorating the centennial anniversary of Alabama’s involvement in World War I. “Remembering the Great War: Alabama and World War I” tells the story of the war from the perspectives of Alabamians whose lives were shaped by the conflict. The free exhibit runs
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Pious Bob - Thank Goodness for His Slowness

In 2 Peter we hear about the Lord’s treatment of a day in our lives: “But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness,
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It’s not about right wing and left wing; it’s about right and wrong

It would be easy to think nothing good has happened lately in the world of Alabama politics, and that Montgomery is so mired in corruption and bickering that nothing ever gets done. After all, the legislative session that just ended began with one governor and ended with a different one; tensions over legislative redistricting and
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Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell - May 26, 2017

Crack Green Beans, Jane’s Baked Beans and Mary’s Hamburger Soup After sharing with all of you some of my two grandmother’s recipes, I hope you will do the same for your children and grandchildren. As much as my mother and I were in the kitchen together, I still find myself wanting to ask her advice concerning different
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Pondering life with Pious Bob... Singing to the Lord with David

Marching for the Heavenly John dreams the impossible dream: “These are united in yielding their power and authority to the beast; they will make war on the Lamb, and the Lamb will conquer them, for he is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those with him are called and chosen and faithful.” (Revelation
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The Vagabond - Tales of Gadsden First Baptist Church

The First Baptist Church of Gadsden was first a wooden structure built at the northwest corner of Broad and Fifth streets. When erected, the church was said by many members to be “out in the woods and inaccessible.” At that time, the little village of Gadsden was centered around the blocks bounded by First, Fourth,
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Pious Bob - Same Story, Different Idols

St. Paul communicates a warning in having things in life in two ways: “You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons. You cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or are we provoking the Lord to jealousy? Are we stronger than he?” (1 Corinthians
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Craig Ford - My hope for Alabama and the Democratic Party

For the last six years, it has been my privilege to serve as Minority Leader in the Alabama House of Representatives. On Wednesday, Feb. 15, I will step down and a new leader will be elected. While I will continue to serve in the state legislature and represent the great people of Etowah County, I
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Pious Bob - Touch His Cloak

“Jesus turned about in the crowd and said, ‘Who touched my clothes? Daughter, your faith has made you well; go in peace, and be healed of your disease.’” (Mark 5:21 – 43 NRSV). Healing is an interesting phenomenon. In our Christian communities there are a variety of understandings about healing. Some say that we should
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The Vagabond - Etowah County crime in the 1800s: Part one

Think Etowah County crime is bad now? Turn back to the 1800s 1876 Terrible Tragedy – On Saturday evening last one of the saddest took place between John C. Latham and Benjamin F. Hodges, resulting in the shooting of Latham by Hodges in the bowels and from which he died at 3 o’clock Sunday morning. 
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The Vagabond - Downtown Gadsden in the old days

In 1884, store displays were quite different from today. While walking down Broad Street the other day, The Vagabond got to thinking of the difference in window displays by the stores of the good old days and the present time. As a matter of fact, there were no window displays in those days. Everything was
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Craig Ford - VictoryLand re-opening a victory for democracy

I have always believed that gambling is an issue that should be decided by the voters. And I will never understand why, in the middle of the biggest economic recession our country has seen since the Great Depression, our state leaders chose to put hundreds of people out of work and shut down legally operating
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Pious Bob-Wasting Away As We’re Building Up

We hear St. Paul’s take on life in an uplifting way, even as we age: “So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure,
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Craig Ford--Stop wasting tax dollars on unwinnable lawsuits

Our state government has money problems. It’s the reason we keep calling the state legislature back into special legislative sessions year after year to fix problems that should have been fixed during the regular legislative sessions. It’s the reason we have racked up almost a billion dollars in debt. It’s the reason we keep hearing
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Craig Ford--State legislature again fails to let the people vote

After nearly two decades of waiting, it seemed like the people of Alabama were finally going to get the chance to vote on a lottery. On July 27, Gov. Robert Bentley announced, “We need your help solving our funding crisis. I’m giving you the opportunity to vote on a statewide lottery.” And the governor deserves
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Craig Ford - Debt is the real reason for special session

The Alabama Legislature returned to Montgomery this week for what may end up being only the first of more special legislative sessions. The governor said that the purpose for this legislative session was to vote on a lottery to fund Medicaid and other general fund proposals. While the lottery is being debated in the state
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Craig Ford - It will take more than a lottery

In less than two weeks, the state legislature will return to Montgomery to take up a lottery bill that no one has seen. Gov. Robert Bentley, who has prided himself on using “the element of surprise” when it comes to calling special legislative sessions, has still not released any details or even had any conversations
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The Vagabond: Etowah County's role in the Civil War - Part 2

Perhaps the most fatal decision of the Civil War was made in Gadsden in October of 1864, when the Army of Tennessee, commanded by the dashing Gen. John Bell Hood, encamped here for two days. Recently driven out of Atlanta, Hood zigzagged his army up through northwest Georgia and northeast Alabama in an effort to
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Craig Ford - Lottery must be used for Education Fund

Over the last year or so, the lottery has been getting more and more attention and support from state legislators. The lottery is extremely popular, getting over 60 percent favorable support in all the public opinion polls that I’ve seen. The debate these days isn’t so much over whether we should have a lottery, but
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Pious Bob - Willing to Love

St. Paul reminds us that following Christ is a journey: “Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.” (1 Corinthians 13:1-13). Paul says that because we do not know
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Craig Ford - Gov. Bentley dooms special session before it begins

Members of the Alabama Legislature were treated to a bit of déjà vu this week when we found out through the newspaper – and not directly from Gov. Robert Bentley – that the governor is planning to call the legislature back into a special legislative session within the next month or two. Last summer, Gov.
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Pious Bob - Moving Beyond Our Past to His Future

Paul understood his calling very quickly and very humbly: “For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain.” (1 Corinthians 15:1-11). We
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Pious Bob - The Arrogance of Dust

St. Paul makes life so simple, but yet so hard: “…For I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty…I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:4-13). Can we believe this? “I can
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Craig Ford -House Speaker shouldn't be chosen behind closed doors

When former Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard was convicted on 12 felony counts of corruption, he was immediately removed from office. Now, the state House of Representatives must elect a new speaker. The state constitution requires legislators to hold a public vote to elect the next speaker, but the reality is that, unless there
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The Vagabond - Etowah County’s role during the Civil War: Part 1

This week The Vagabond starts a series about the Civil War written by historian Betty Sue McElroy several years ago as a presentation to the Etowah Historical Society. The Vagabond talked to Betty Sue this week about her article. It was agreed that it would be worth repeating to the readers. Our Backyard, Gadsden, Ala.,
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Pious Bob - A Cure for Stubbornness and Stiffness

Nehemiah said: “And you warned them in order to turn them back to your law. Yet they acted presumptuously and did not obey your commandments, but sinned against your ordinances, by the observance of which a person shall live. They turned a stubborn shoulder and stiffened their neck and would not obey. Many years you
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The Vagabond: Nichols and the Dwight Manufacturing Company

Recently at the Jerry B. Jones Library in the Elliott Community Center in Alabama City, a photo of Charlotte Peabody Kimball Nichols, mother of Howard Gardner Nichols, was found. Charlotte was born on April 24, 1839, in Bradford, Mass., and died on Aug. 4, 1908, in Newton, Mass. In 1870 she married John Howard Nichols.
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Pious Bob: The Jesus Saving Bank

Jesus instructs us about being prepared: “Later the other bridesmaids came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ But he replied, ‘Truly I tell you, I do not know you.’ Keep awake therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour.” (Matthew 25:1-13). The parable of the bridesmaids and their lamps as told by
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Craig Ford: Pride, not people, that Gov. Bentley knows

One of the most famous scriptures in the Bible says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall.” That scripture kept running through my mind this past week as Gov. Robert Bentley repeatedly claimed that he knows the people of Alabama “better than anyone” and that they are not interested in impeaching him. That
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Pious Bob: Breastplates, Helmets and Bright Shining Days

St. Paul commissions the spiritual battle gear for the faithful in saying: “But since we belong to the day, let us be sober, and put on the breastplate of faith and love, and for a helmet the hope of salvation. For God has destined us not for wrath but for obtaining salvation through our Lord
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The Vagabond: History of Gadsden city officials, Part III

This week the Vagabond continues with naming all the known mayors and officials of Gadsden through 1968. 1920 Mayor Clyde Stevenson Mayor: Clyde Stevenson President of Council: W.P. Archer Aldermen: Edwin W. Pickard and R.D. Stanfield, First Ward; I.S. Johnson and Berry Malone, Second Ward; I.M. Bensinger and B. Caldwell, Third Ward; R.W. Camp and Carl Whorton,
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Craig Ford - Breaking the pattern of corruption in Alabama politics

We’ve all heard the famous saying, “power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” It’s really more than just a saying; it’s a lesson from history that Alabama leaders have continued to repeat over and over again. The conviction of House Speaker Mike Hubbard, the suspension and pending hearing of Chief Justice Roy More and the
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The Vagabond - History of Gadsden city officials, Part II

This week The Vagabond continues with naming all the known mayors and officials of Gadsden. 1899 Mayor L.L. Herzberg Mayor: L.L. Herzberg. Aldermen: J.R. Hughes, First Ward; J.H. Holcomb; Louis M. Smith; Otto Agricola; W.H. Sutton. 1901 Mayor E. Blackwood Mayor: E. Blackwood. Aldermen: Robert L. Miller, First Ward); C.H. Ritch, Second Ward (resigned Oct., 1901, W.L.
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Pious Bob - Fruit-Bearing Sheep

Many times Jesus communicates a truth to us through a parable. In the Gospel of Matthew we hear: “And if he finds it, truly I tell you, he rejoices over it more than over the ninety-nine that never went astray. So it is not the will of your Father in heaven that one of these
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Craig Ford - Six Years Later And Still No Jobs

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. That also happens to be a pretty good description of our state leadership for the last six years. For six years, Alabama’s leaders have talked about “jobs, jobs, jobs” and bragged about how they’ve made
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The Vagabond - History of Gadsden city officials

Robert Kyle, First Mayor – 1867. Officials as of June 9, 1876: Mayor: J. H. Disque; Aldermen: J. S. Paden, W. C. Liddell, W. T. Golightly, Jesse Mayne and W. N. Meeks; Town Marshall: M. M. Hughes; and City Clerk: D. B. Hicks. Officials as of 1877 (Fiscal yr. March 1 to Feb. 28): Mayor:
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Pious Bob - He is the Resurrection and the Life

Resurrection is a hard thing to grasp for most of us. St. Paul had a tough time convincing people in his time. Resurrection is the cornerstone of our Christian Faith. Paul told the Corinthians: “Now I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn
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Larry Lee - Coincidence or Conspiracy in State Education?

Conspiracy is a strong word. Very, very strong. But coincidence seems way too meek and mild in this case. Especially when you consider that out-of-state billionaires are sending money to Alabama to buy seats in the state legislature. Somehow, “meek” and “billionaire” just don’t seem to belong in the same sentence. As one takes a
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Craig Ford - Do we honor our veterans?

As you celebrated Memorial Day this week, how did you take time to honor our veterans and, specifically, those who did not come back home alive? Our country officially recognizes two days out of the year, set aside in remembrance of those who have served our country. Veterans Day, celebrated in November, is in honor
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Pious Bob - Reflecting Heaven on Earth

While the Book of The Revelation to John can be awkward for many readers of the Bible, it can help us connect with the mystery of our Lord and God through metaphorical teachings. Just like in the words of the song, “A Mighty Fortress is Our God,” the description “fortress” is a metaphor communicating God’s
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The Vagabond - Gadsden's Old Commissioner Government

The Vagabond recently came across a rare document from the early 1930’s that is now at the Etowah Historical Society. Since the beginnings of the little town of Gadsden, there was different form of city government, what The Vagabond calls the pioneer form of governing, in which the mayor and other municipal officers was paid
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Craig Ford - Another missed opportunity to vote on lottery

Another legislative session has come and gone, and the Republican leadership in Montgomery has still not allowed the lottery or casino legislation to come up for a vote. Every year, the Republican leadership tells us that it needs more money to fund the budget, but it refuses to consider the most popular revenue-raising tool we
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Pious Bob - Trying Not To Be a Basket Case

In the Gospel according to Matthew, we hear Jesus commanding us to be in ministry with Him: “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:11-16). God is counting on us, but as soon as He
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Craig Ford - Expanding Pre-K is a step in the right direction

 These days, it’s easy to think nothing good ever comes out of our government, especially here in Alabama. But for all the bad you hear, there are a lot of great things going on in our state and in our public schools. A perfect example is Alabama’s pre-k program, which has just been named the
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Pious Bob - Seeking the Freedom of Faith

 St. Paul did a lot of convincing in the communities he ministered to. It’s hard for some to merge the old with the new without hanging on to the old. Here Paul says to the Galatians: “For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed
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Craig Ford - Alabama leadership has become a reverse Robin Hood

State leaders in Montgomery have become Robin Hoods - just not the kind that everyone remembers hearing about as a child. Instead of taking from the rich to help the poor, we’ve started taking from the poor to give to criminals. Alabama’s leadership has become nothing more than Robin Hood in reverse.

State leaders needs to refocus. Trying to

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The Vagabond - Sales of Gadsden first lots - Boomtown & Depressions

  Gadsden has had a few booms that helped to build the city to its present prosperous stage, although some of them appeared to have caused some damage when they collapsed.

When the town was laid off into city lots, there was a boom in real estate, which was rather interesting, at least.

One year after the first steamboat on

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Pious Bob - What kind of condition is your condition in?

St. Paul gave us some good advice in his letter to the Corinthians. He helps us today in removing the stumbling blocks in our seeking the Lord: “You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of human masters. In whatever condition you were called, brothers and sisters, there remain with God.” (1 Corinthians 7:10-24 NRSV).

God calls

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Statement from Rep. Craig Ford

  “Another session has come and gone without a vote on a state lottery. The legislature passed a teacher pay raise, only to have that raise taken away when the state’s PEEHIP Board hiked up their insurance rates. And we couldn’t find the money to fund Medicaid, but the governor did everything he could to put the taxpayers in an

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Pious Bob - Seeking Righteousness in Faith

  St. Paul fires out at us over the law of his time versus the relief Christ gives us in His suffering for us in saying: 

“For all who rely on the works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all the things written in the book

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The Vagabond - Gadsden almost became a ghost town… three times!

Back in February of 1868, Gadsden suffered its most disastrous fire up at that time when what was called the Masonic Lodge block was entirely destroyed, along with some of the main stores of the little town. The Masonic Lodge Block was on Broad Street between Third and Fifth streets.

The blaze was discovered at 12

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Craig Ford - Throwing money at prisons won’t solve problem

This week, the state House of Representatives will be taking up the massive prison bond legislation that Gov. Robert Bentley and state leaders have made the centerpiece of their legislative agenda.

There’s no doubt that our prison system has serious problems and, in cases like Tutwiler women’s prison, some are so old and in such bad shape that they

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The Vagabond - Local farmers became owners of “dead man”

  One of the funniest things to happen in Gadsden during the so-called “Gay Nineties” (1890’s) was the purchase of a “dead man” by four of the leading farmers of Etowah County.

The local farmers were taken in by one of the slickest swindles of the day, but could not do anything but grin and bear it.

Right in the

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Pious Bob - Reliving Resurrection

The resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is the anchor of our Christianity. Jesus wanted to be sure that His resurrection was real and not a hoax, so he planted some seeds. He did this after His human death: “But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my

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Craig Ford - The case for impeachment

I’m not a lawyer, but I believe it’s important for those of us calling for the governor’s impeachment to make our case to the public and the state legislature.

The first point being that the governor doesn’t have to break the law to be impeached. Impeachment is about whether he is fit to continue in office, regardless of whether

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Pious Bob - The Strategy of Refuge

  David moved from doing things his way to doing things God’s way. He says in Psalm 5: “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, so that those who love your name may exult in you. For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover them with

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The Vagabond - Smallest building in Gadsden

It is very unlikely that few if any Gadsden residents can locate where the smallest brick business house on Broad Street or, for that matter the smallest building in the city was located. 

Yet, it is right in the center of the downtown district.

The building was a one-story structure wedged in by what is today’s Gadsden Museum of Arts,

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Craig Ford - State leaders have lost benefit of the doubt

  Being in leadership comes with a lot of responsibilities. One of those responsibilities is the image of the place you represent. Gov. Robert Bentley and our state leaders are the image of Alabama. Now, thanks to them, we have a serious image problem.

In government, we have Democrats and Republicans. There are partisan issues, and that’s a good thing.

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Craig Ford - Sinner or Saint?

  This has been a disheartening week for the State of Alabama. The news of Gov. Robert Bentley’s relationship with Rebekah Caldwell Mason has embarrassed our state on a national level and become a distraction for the state legislature at a time when legislators need to be focused on solving the state’s problems.

Nobody rejoices in seeing another person’s downfall,

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The Vagabond - Power project at Noccalula Falls

  When there was much discussion of hydroelectric power over the country in the 1900’s, Gadsden was talking about the Coosa River as a potential asset in that direction, but there were other plans before the public. 

In this area there was much talk of harnessing Noccalula Falls for power, first by the old water wheel method and later by

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Pious Bob - The Joy of Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

 St. Paul speaks to the Thessalonians about crediting God for His Words: “We also constantly give thanks to God for this, that when you received the word of God that you heard from us, you accepted it not as a human word but as what it really is, God’s Word, which is also at work in you believers.” (1 Thessalonians

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