Craig Ford - Can the legislature solve the budget crisis?

It’s been a joke on the internet for who knows how long - somebody takes a picture of a stop sign missing a letter or the University of Minnesota’s logo painted on the 45-yard line instead of at midfield, and there’s a caption that reads, “You had one job to do.”

The Alabama Legislature also only has one job

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The Vagabond -The Smiths of Hokes Bluff - A rich local heritage continues

The Vagabond recently spoke with John Smith of Hokes Bluff. John works for Byers Engineering Company as a quality control inspector of telecommunications contractors who design jobs for AT&T. He had studied Environmental Science at Auburn University. John comes from great heritage going back to the Civil War. His great-great-great grandfather, Joshua T. Smith, was
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Pious Bob- Willing to accept His gift

Sometimes we need to get down to the bare bones of our professed religion. In James 1:17-18, 21-27, we are challenged: “If any think they are religious, and do not bridle their tongues but deceive their hearts, their religion is worthless. Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows

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The Vagabond: Robert Cannon Garrett, escort of Emma Sansom

Last week The Vagabond talked about William Alfred Williams, who supposedly escorted Emma Sansom back to her house after showing General Forrest where the ford was at Black Creek in Gadsden. It has been debatable about whether this happened or not, and even has been questioned if Williams was part of Forrest’s unit. As far as The Vagabond can

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Craig Ford - Combining state’s budgets will only make crisis worse

It’s no secret that the state of Alabama is in a budget crisis. It’s a crisis that we’ve known for three years was coming, but our state leaders waited until the elections were over before they publicly acknowledged it or offered any solutions. There have been several solutions proposed, from more taxes to expanding gambling. However, the most recent

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Pious Bob- Striving to be Effective and Fruitful

There is much pressure on each one of us to be what the world wants us to be. It is so easy to cave in to the world and miss being who we really are. Seeking who we really are is not an easy task for us. We need to rely on the Word of God in the Bible

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What would Jesus do? - Craig Ford

We are often reminded that this nation was founded on Christian principles, and certainly a majority of the representatives in the Alabama legislature are Christians. 

So when the General Fund budget, which finances all government services and agencies outside of education, came up for a vote last week, I couldn’t help but think about that popular phrase from the

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The Vagabond- Sergeant William Alfred Williams Escort of Emma Sansom

The Etowah Historical Society is conducting valuable research work in connection with local history and persons who helped make it, and already the research has brought to light some interesting things that otherwise been forgotten.

The society recently learned something of the history of the young Confederate Army sergeant who was detailed by General Nathan Bedford Forrest to give

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Pious Bob- Understanding His Promise of Closeness

Many have asked the question, ‘Why does God let bad things happen to good people.” Our life on earth is by its nature sometimes pretty dangerous. Just leaving the house and driving to work or shopping can be dangerous as we operate our vehicles in wild and crazy traffic. 

The many illnesses and diseases that we can experience in

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The Vagabond- How did Etowah County get named? And why its first name HAD to be changed

Why did our early fathers decided to create a new county from several others? Why was the area later name Etowah, and what most important thing affected them to call it by that name? 

The Vagabond doubts one can easily find the answer under Internet sear-ches, as it took several years to come up with the answers. The Vagabond

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Who’s leading the Alabama House of Representatives?

Every organization needs leaders. An army needs a general. A team needs a coach. A company needs a president or CEO.

The Alabama House of Representatives also needs leadership, especially when we are facing a crisis like the one we are facing now. But over the last few weeks, it has become obvious that the wheels are coming off

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Preparing for the Kingdom

  Are we prepared to surrender things in our lives in order to obtain a relationship with Christ? It is our path in seeking a relationship that will guide us and support us going forward as we strive to do the Lord’s work in this world. In this we become a part of Christ and reflect His every call.  

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Republicans are trading in job slogans for taxes

  After five years of passing millions of dollars in tax cuts for big businesses and billion-dollar, out-of-state corporations that, in some cases, pay zero state income taxes, Republicans in the state House of Representatives are about to raise taxes on working men and women.

Only six months after campaigning on a pledge to create more jobs and never raise

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Hunting for gold in Southside in the 1890’s

  There have been many efforts to mine gold in Eto-wah and adjoining counties, mostly with small profit, although in some instances a few nuggets of real gold were found.  There have been several stories about Indians pointing out where gold could be found and about the various kinds of mining carried on by white men who believed the Indian

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State legislature thinks brown shrimp are more important than people

 When I first saw the list of bills we would be debating in the state House of Representatives, I thought it was a joke. The first bill up for debate was a bill to make brown shrimp the official state crustacean.

This is your state legislature’s priorities, folks. Not peoples’ lives or jobs, and certainly not being responsible

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Is Seeing Really Believing?

 In this, our natural life, we have difficulty believing that God is really at our side delivering His Grace. If we don’t receive a concrete sign that God is working in our lives, we don’t always trust in Him.

We hear in John 4:46-54 in part: “Then Jesus said to him, ‘Unless you see signs and wonders you

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Robert L. Adams Sr.: Early Telephone Pioneer in Gadsden

 Last week The Vagabond talked about R.A. Mitchell and Robert L. Adams Sr., who were involved in Gadsden’s first car accident on Lookout Mountain.

This week there’s more on Robert Adams, who was a son of a pioneer Alabama family and one of the early developers of the state’s telephone service. He lived to be 87 and was

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Maybe Democrats won the 2014 elections after all

  Late Saturday night, Inside Alabama Politics reported that Republicans in the Alabama Legislature will introduce their own gambling bill this week, which will include a lottery and authorization for a possible compact with the Poarch Creek Indians.

On the one hand, I’m glad to see Republicans embracing the Democratic Party’s legislative agenda. A lottery has been a part of

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Christian Community

There are times in our lives when we can experience God’s “unconditional love.” There are times when all the resistance created by social and economic pressures is swept away. And there are times when hatred, jealousy, anger ambition, judgment, fear and insecurity are leveled.

The December, 1988, evening of the memorial service for my mother and the days before

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First automobile accident in Gadsden

  The first automobile accident in Gadsden was believed to have been around August of 1903. The mishap was nearly fatal for R.L. Adams and R.A. Mitchell, two of the most prominent men of the city.

A resident of Atlanta, Adams came here to become manager of the joint offices of the Western Union Telegraph Company and the Southern Bell

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Borrowing Jacob’s Ladder

  The Bible has many stories of people having close encounters with the Lord during many different kinds of situations in their lives. As we try to relate to God in our lives in the present era, there are many revelation stories not too far away from us in time. Looking back to the book of Genesis, we learn that

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Birth of steel industry in Gadsden Part II

  The Vagabond recently pulled out a speech prepared and presented in the 1980’s by The Vagabond’s father, Dr. Kenneth A. Crownover, who was a combustion engineer and energy coordinator for the Southern District of Republic Steel Corporation and gave speeches to Gadsden area clubs as a member of the Republic Steel Corporation Speakers Bureau.

Dr. Crownover continues:

“The project

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Accountability Act? Or Bob Riley Bailout?

By State Rep. Craig Ford

The day the Accountability Act was signed into law, legislative leaders said it would need to be revised. Three months later, Republican leaders offered their first “fix” bill, which expanded the tax credits for corporate donors.

Now, Republican legislators are pushing another “fix” bill that, once again, raises the cap. But

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A big step forward for the lottery and a bipartisan solution to budget crisis

  It isn’t often these days that you see Democrats and Republicans agreeing on major policies. But that’s exactly what began to happen last week.

It is no secret that our General Fund budget is in desperate shape. The proposed budget cuts that were released the other week would gut our government to the point that it could shut down,

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Birth and development of the steel industry in Gadsden

  The Vagabond recently pulled out a speech prepared and presented by the Vagabond’s father, Dr. Kenneth A. Crownover, who was a combustion engineer and energy coordinator for the Southern District of Republic Steel Corporation and gave speeches to Gadsden area clubs as a member of the Republic Steel Corporation Speakers Bureau.

Dr. Crownover writes:

“Republic Steel Corporation at Gadsden,

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Loving God in Christ through the Spirit

  The Holy Trinity can be as confusing as we want to make it. God did a really good job in making our connecting with Him, in and through His Holy threesome, a relationship changing event. As we find in the first chapter of John, the Word was with God from the beginning and He sent Him to us in

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A disturbing trend in the Alabama legislature

  My wife Gwen is an incredible woman. I see it every day of my life. Not just in how hard she works or in the way she supports me, but in the most important job any of us could ever have: being a parent. Gwen always goes above and beyond for our family, as do many other mothers, wives

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Joe Noojin well-known local piano player: Part 4 and final

  Over the last few weeks, The Vagabond talked about the late Joe Noojin, an Etowah County native who had been a musician for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and finally wrote his biography. In reading Joe’s biography, one cannot help but chuckle or downright start to laugh! He continuously makes fun about his short height

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What will grow out of our ground?

  As we observe the activities of man in this world, we see a variety of outcomes in man’s actions for the world and against the world. There are those who care for their fellow man and those who think nothing of killing their fellow man for their own purposes. Life has no meaning to some and life is most

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Our Road Choices

  In Matthew’s Gospel, Chapter 7, Jesus continues His Sermon on the Mount and we hear about road and destination choices in life. He makes us aware of our choice of the easy road in life in saying, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road is easy that leads to destruction, and there are

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Joe Noojin, well-known local piano player, Part 3

  Last week, The Vagabond talked about the late Joe Noojin, a Gadsden native who had been a musician for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and he finally wrote his biography. In reading Joe’s biography, one cannot help but chuckle or downright start to laugh! He continuously makes fun about his shortness (at 5’-6”) and is

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Joe Noojin, well-known local piano player, Part 3

  Last week, The Vagabond talked about the late Joe Noojin, a Gadsden native who had been a musician for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and he finally wrote his biography. In reading Joe’s biography, one cannot help but chuckle or downright start to laugh! He continuously makes fun about his shortness (at 5’-6”) and is

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Congressman Aderholt needs to earn his award

  Gadsden’s representative in the U.S. House of Representatives, Congressman Robert Aderholt, was recently chosen as the National Association of Development Organizations’ Legislator of the Year. In the article announcing the award, Congressman Aderholt said he was honored to receive an award from an organization dedicated to growing communities.

The irony in all this is mind blowing! Just weeks after

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Understanding Resurrection

  As Easter approaches we experience the human Jesus dying on the cross and becoming the Christ we all worship. He came as God’s Word and confirmed for us what God has always been like through His Love and Grace. The life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, establishes a connection that we sometimes don’t know

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Joe Noojin, well-known local piano player, Part II

  Last week, The Vagabond talked about the late Joe Noojin, a Gadsden native who had been a musician for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and he finally wrote his biography. In reading Joe’s biography, one cannot help but chuckle or downright start to laugh! He continuously makes fun about his shortness (at 5’-6”) and is

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Democrat's lottery or Republicans' taxes?

This week is the state legislature’s spring break, and we are now almost a third of the way through the legislative session. And as last week came to an end, legislative leaders were quick to congratulate themselves on passing their legislative agenda.

I’m sure the taxpayers will be relieved Republicans were able to pass their “Alabama First” agenda. I

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Why charter schools are a bad for Alabama

  Other than the $700 million hole in the state’s General Fund budget, no issue has been more talked about than the charter school bill.

Republicans in the Alabama legislature have made charter schools a part of their legislative agenda, and a priority in this legislative session (which is ironic, given these same Republican legislators campaigned on stopping President Obama’s agenda,

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Joe Noojin, well-known local piano player

  The next few weeks will be devoted to stories about the famous and well-known Joe Noojin, a man I’ve heard about all my life.

Several years ago, The Vagabond finally caught up with Joe, who has been a piano player for the Kings of Swing for many years. He is pretty famous across the U.S., and The Vagabond finally

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Saving Help Is Here

  The Bible is full of cries from God’s children to be saved in their lives. In Psalm 69:1-3 we hear, “Save me, O God; for the waters are come in unto my soul. I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing. I am come into deep waters, where the floods overflow me. I am weary of my

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An ironic time for history to repeat itself

  It amazes me to think how far we’ve come over the last 50 years, and yet how far it seems we still have to go.

All eyes were on Selma during the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday, and rightfully so. The march that took place all those years ago brought national attention to the evil that is discrimination, and

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From the Narrows to Devil’s Staircase to Popeye

  In 1540 Hernando De Soto and his entourage were the first Europeans to enter the Coosa Valley. The tribes they encountered during their travels were more like large organized kingdoms than small villages. De Soto utilized the natives’ food, resources and women to sustain his party as it traveled across the state of Alabama. 

Displeased with the above marauder,

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The Waiting Game

  In Psalm 62:5-8 we hear, “My soul, wait silently for God alone, For my expectation is from Him.

He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved.

In God is my salvation and my glory; The rock of my strength, And my refuge, is in God.

Trust in Him at all

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Our Holy Responsibility

  “Will the Circle Be Unbroken?” is a popular Christian hymn written in 1907 by Ada R. Habershon with music by Charles H. Gabriel. The first verse and chorus go like this: 

“There are loved ones in the glory, whose dear forms you often miss. When you close your earthly story, will you join them in their bliss?    

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Serious problems require serious policy solutions

  It is no secret that our state government is in serious financial trouble. The hole in the state’s General Fund budget is estimated to be at least $250 million. But while everyone acknowledges the problem, what has been most surprising is how so many of those in leadership have failed to offer any solutions.

The exception has been Gov.

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Delta Kappa Gamma Society Alpha Iota Chapter of Etowah and Cherokee County

  The Vagabond quite often sees a lot of folks who in the past have made contributions and are rarely recognized for their achievements. 

Members of the Alpha Iota Chapter of Etowah and Cherokee County are an example. There are many names listed here that many folks may recognize from the past.

It all got started by the Delta Kappa

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Making progress on I-759 will take the whole team

Many times in my life, I’ve seen that teamwork really does work. Whether it’s in sports, business or government, every member of the team gets together and comes to an agreement - a little give from some people and a little take from others. For teamwork to really work, however, everyone involved, including the leaders, must be willing to

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Hazel Oliver’s Umbrella Stand & Cook Brothers Pottery

Around seven years ago at the Etowah Historical Society, there was a big thunderstorm that soaked everyone for the May meeting. This placed Hazel Oliver in the mood to find the society a “historic” umbrella stand.

Hazel went home and looked around. She decided that since her old churn had served well as her home’s umbrella stand, it would

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Blessed by the same old quality suit

I have never been all that particular about my clothes. I want to look presentable, but I usually don’t go out and purchase the highest quality clothing. My wife tells me that I have no taste. I would rather have lots of inexpensive clothing that wears out fast than a few good items that will last me awhile. 

I

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Ministry vs. Fear

In the Book of Acts 18:1-11 we hear, “Do not be afraid, but speak and do not be silent; for I am with you...”  Paul was opposed and reviled in the synagogue in Corinth. He then went out to proclaim Jesus to the Gentiles in the surrounding area. The Lord spoke to Paul in a vision one night saying,

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Learning from history

I’ve always admired U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Even though he never earned a college degree, I believe he had more wisdom than most of our Ivy-League educated leaders.

Truman once said, “There is nothing new in the world except the history you do not know.” That is a profound statement. It is also very true and very relevant

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Rare are Pre-Civil War document found

  The Vagabond recently discovered a rare resolution among other papers found at the Etowah Historical Society. The resolution is dated 1860 and led to events that were the start of what became the War Between the States. The story begins here...

Tensions had been buil-ding for years in Alabama. When Abraham Lincoln was elected to the presidency

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God's choices in creation

I’ve often wondered what God was thinking when He created the Universe. Was He bored with things and decided to occupy His time in a better way? Was He like an artist and just started painting on His canvas? Maybe whatever came into His mind He would start creating as one thing led to another. Was He getting lonely

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Armistead not entitled to his own facts

  Alabama Republican Party Chairman, Bill Armistead recently took to al.com to discuss his thoughts on the state budget. It left me scratching my head, as he kept putting words like “budget crisis” and “shortfall” in quotes like he doesn’t believe we have a budget crisis. Gov. Robert Bentley himself has predicted a minimum $265 million shortfall in the general

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Grow with the one you know

There’s a saying in the insurance business: “Grow with those we know.” It means when you are out looking for new business, always think of your existing customers first. I think this is a good concept that we need to apply to job creation here in Alabama.

Many of our state’s leaders have been touting a declining unemployment rate,

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The 1877 Tallman map of Etowah County

  Several years ago, Etowah County Tax Assessor Jerry Jones was given an original copy of Etowah’s County first map, the 1877 Tallman’s Map. Earnest Lee, an early surveyor, gave this map to Jerry. Earnest received this map from his father, Fitzhuh Lee (born1866, died1946). Fitzhuh was the Etowah County Surveyor many years ago.

Note of interest: Fitzhuh’s daughter name

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Our dogs under our table

Most of us have at least one pet of some kind. We have them for a variety of reasons: It gives us a sense of comfort having them around. They help keep all kinds of creatures from taking over our homes. They please our children. They are a form of security for our home. They are like having children

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A legacy to live by

“I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here, 1967

The legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is one I have spent years trying to not only fully understand, but also to live up to. I am amazed by how powerful

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The folk songs of Gadsden’s Miss Callie Craven

The Vagabond recently came across the notes and work of Bryon Arnold, who gathered a collection of folk songs. He writes:

Gadsden Miss Callie Craven was the first singer I visited in making this collection during the 1940’s. My original appointment with her had to be postponed a day, for she had one of her heart attacks on account

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Open Door Opportunities

  Have you ever thought that a “wide door” may have opened for you, but the threat of human obstacles caused you to withdraw rather than fight the good fight for a good cause? It is easy to let jealous, negative, self-serving, mean, angry and evil-minded people slow us down, intimidate us and stop us from completing good works. 

For

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Our Wilderness Time

We are encouraged in our Christian Faith to seek God through Christ and the Holy Spirit in all things. Unfortunately, this is a mission that we are incapable of fulfilling. Try as we will, our daily interferences in life can pull us away from our mission. 

We can’t just get it right 100% of the time. Does that mean

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The importance of working together

  “You can’t work across party lines when there aren’t many of them. So I’m going to work across Republican Party lines because there are a lot of divisions in the Republican Party.” - Gov. Robert Bentley

I was very disappointed when I read this quote from the governor earlier this week. Partisanship is a part of politics. And it’s

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How Jerry Jones first became interested in genealogy and history - Part VI

Through the years many people have asked The Vagabond about how the late Jerry Jones, a former Etowah County Tax Assessor, first became interested in genealogy and history. Jerry’s ancestor Edmond Jones had survived an Indian massacre in what is now Rainbow City, Ala., and Jerry was trying to find out what Indian was involved and why. We continue

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The Etowah County Centennial Time Capsule: Will you be around when it opens in 2068?

The Vagabond had a visitor this past week who brought a lot of information on the 1968 Etowah County Centennial and the capsule that was buried at the courthouse. We will take catch up next week on more of Jerry Jones.

Back around June 26, 1968, the Etowah County Centennial celebration got underway on the courthouse lawn with the

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Still haven’t quite figured out how to help students

One of the things that makes our government work is the self-reporting of financial information. This self-reporting, and in some cases, outside auditing, allows the people of Alabama to know exactly where their money is going. And each year, at the end of the year, the Alabama Department of Revenue puts out these reports for all to see.

The

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The Light Brigade

In the Book of The Revelation to John 21:22-27 we hear, “I saw no temple in the city, its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb...Its gates will

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The hope of a new year

There’s no doubt that 2015 will be a difficult year, as our state is facing many difficult challenges. From plugging a massive hole in the budget to reforming our prisons, the legislature has its work cut out for it this spring.

Considering how daunting these challenges will be, it would be easy to be pessimistic about what will be coming. We’ve

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The Neighborhood Scoop by Dr. Cynthia L. Toles

As Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!” 

This was the expression found all over the face of Shelia Billingsley as she walked into her surprise retirement party on Dec. 19.  At around 6 p.m. family, friends and co-workers gathered to help Shelia celebrate her retirement. 

When Billy retired from the Gadsden City School System, Shelia

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The Vagabond - The 1784 Indian Massacre in Rainbow City Part 4

  The Chickasaw Indian Nation was located in Northwest Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Jerry felt he needed to check to see what Indians were located in what had become Etowah County. Of course, the Cherokee Nation was the best known, and he had some knowledge of that.

The Creek Indians claimed a part of this area. Jerry also learned that

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The most wonderful time of the year

Christmastime has always been one of my favorite holidays. It’s a time of giving to others and a time for visiting with family, some of whom we haven’t seen in a year or more. Most importantly, for me as a Christian, Christmas time is a time to honor and praise our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

This time of

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Holding the One Who Saves Us - The Gift of Faith

At Christmastide, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, do we have a sense of being rescued? It is hard to think of rescue when for many of us it is a time of receiving and giving gift upon gift. The material smothers any awareness of rescue. The only rescue that we might contemplate is the rescue from an

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The 1784 Indian Massacre in Rainbow City Part two

Through the years, many people have asked The Vagabond about how the late Jerry Jones, former Etowah County Tax Assessor, first became interested in genealogy and history. We continue the story from last week...

Jerry Jones will never for-get the story of the massacres. When he was grown, Jerry began a search for anything that might add to the events that

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Should Montgomery be the new Washington?

If there was ever any doubt about how politicians in Alabama feel about the federal government, just look at some of their campaign ads. During this past election, Alabama politicians spent millions of dollars on ads about how they would stand up to Washington and “fight Obama”. The phrase “federal overreach” is about as common now as hearing “Sweet Home

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The Neighborhood Scoop by Dr. Cynthia L. Toles

Oh how the neighborhood was bustling with excitement and activities! 

On Friday, Dec. 12, the Gadsden Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority held its 14th Annual Peppermint-Scholarship Ball. The 101-year old sorority was founded on Jan. 13, 1913, on the campus of Howard University by 22 young ladies whose legacy lives on as a sisterhood of college

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The 1784 Indian Massacre in Rainbow City Part one

Through the years, many people have asked The Vagabond about how the late Jerry Jones, who was the former Etowah County Tax Assessor, first became interested in genealogy and history.

When Jerry was eight years, old he went with his family to Old Harmony Cemetery in what is now Rainbow City. The purpose of the visit was to clean the graves

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The Neighborhood Scoop by Dr. Cynthia L. Toles

The neighborhood scoop is buzzing with activities of Christmas themes for 2014.

The annual Mt. Zion Baptist Church Ladies Christmas was held on Nov. 29 at the Northeast Etowah Community Center in North Gadsden. The tables were decked with Christmas trees, angels, holly and beautiful shining lights. A festive program was presented by the ladies, with Sister Tammy B. Woods serving

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Good ideas are bigger than political parties

Without question, the biggest issue facing our state legislature this spring will be funding our state budgets, and specifically addressing the crisis in the General Fund budget. While the Education Trust Fund is expected to be in decent shape, Gov. Robert Bentley has projected a potential shortfall of anywhere between $250 million and $700 million in the General Fund budget.

Several

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Exploit of the Murphree sisters

Bobby Buggs has been posting a lot of old photos on Welcome to Gadsden Facebook page at facebook.com/groups/Gadsden), The Vagabond will include one of his photos this week.

Last week The Vagabond mentioned that Laura Dunning Elliott was hunting for the names of the two ladies that played a part of the capture of Union soldiers. The names were found and

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Ford to sponsor lottery bill, resolution to negotiate compact with Poarch Creek

When our state legislature returns to Montgomery, legislators will have to take on a major problem: funding our state budgets.

There are no easy solutions to our budget problems. But there are simple solutions that can generate millions of dollars for our budgets and put us on a path to fiscal stability without raising income or property taxes, or other taxes

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The water pipe wars and another Etowah County General Forrest incident

  Congratulations to Catherine Threadrell Nichols for the 2014 Greatest Achievement Award from the Etowah Historical Society for her research into the Water Pipe Wars of Etowah County. The following is her work.

Over the last 20 or so years I have asked as many people as I could about the alleged water pipe war. Was it just a rumor

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Protecting democracy, our American birthright

There are many things about this country that make us great - our economy, our military and our people, to name a few. But perhaps our greatest accomplishment has been democracy. Democracy is our most precious and cherished blessing, and it is the foundation of our freedom.

Before America, kings with absolute power ruled nations. While there are still

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In Search of the Living Water

In the Gospel of John 7:37-52, Jesus tells us in part, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’” 

St. John’s explanation of these words of Jesus is, “Now he said this about the

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Washington sent representative to this area

The Vagabond received a letter earlier this week from Eddie Lanham of Georgia. He writes:

“Don Wells with Mountain Stewards in Jasper, Ga., and I are writing a document and route mapping the 1790 Treaty of New York. We have run into a mapping issue from Rome, Ga., to the Hillibee area of current Alabama. We think that Col. Willett, who

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Alabama Democrats ready to build a better Alabama

Last week, a journalist wrote an article claiming that the Alabama Democrats are making “phony” attempts to “whitewash diversity” in an attempt to keep white voters from leaving the party and taking their money with them. We’ll ignore the ridiculous assumption that Black Democrats don’t donate and that Black leadership can’t fundraise. We’ll even look past the Republican Party’s lack

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“And your young men shall see visions…” Part IX

Over the past few weeks The Vagabond has been discussing a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden. It tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....

Recreations and Sports

The Gadsden Country Club was incorporated Aug. 26, 1919. It is located three miles south of town on the Birmingham highway. The property

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“Thank you” doesn’t always cover it

This week we had the pleasure of celebrating our nation’s true heroes - our veterans. This is always one of the most important holidays of the year in my mind. Not because I am a veteran, but because I believe it is important that we take time to appreciate and understand the sacrifice members of the military (and their families)

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It’s time to work together

Now that the 2014 election is over and the people of Alabama have spoken, it is time for state legislators to work together and honor our commitments to the people of Alabama to create jobs and provide every child in Alabama with a quality education.

We have been chosen by our constituents to serve the people. That means remembering that, first

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“And your young men shall see visions…” Part VIII

As in the past few weeks, The Vagabond has been discussing about a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A Little Book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....

“In Memoriam, William Luther Sibert, One Of Gadsden’s Illustrious Sons, Born October 12, 1860; Died October 16, 1935.       

“The career of General Sibert encompassed the

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“And your young men shall see visions…” Part VII

As in the past few weeks, The Vagabond has been discussing a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....

The Public Library

“The Thursday Study Club realized many years ago, with Sir Francis Bacon, that “Reading maketh the full man.” Little did the club

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There’s a lot at stake on Nov. 4

Elections are about choices - specifically, choices between different visions. And in the elections for our state legislature on Nov. 4, there couldn’t be more at stake.

But what’s been interesting to watch is how so many sitting legislators have gone to such extreme lengths to run away from their record of the past four years.

How many times this year have

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“And your young men shall see visions…” Part VII

Sometimes back The Vagabond came across a pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women's Club called A Little Book About Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. For the last few weeks we have been reporting on this old pamphlet. It continues....

Schools

“The common school is the greatest discovery ever made by man.”

“In the home of Gabriel Hughes

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Being sincere with the voters

In two weeks, voters across our state will head to the polls and decide who will be leading Alabama for the next four years. As voters are evaluating the candidates, I think it is important that we carefully look at the candidates’ background and how the candidates have presented themselves in their campaigns.

Last week, I questioned why my opponent, Doug

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“And your young men shall see visions…” Part Six

This week we are back on the pamphlet written by the Gadsden Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden, which tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. It continues....

“On August 23, 1855, a small group of Baptists under the leadership of Rev. J.J.D. Renfroe, met and organized the First Baptist Church. Phillip Archer helped write the Articles

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The Neighborhood Scoop by Dr. Cynthia L. Toles

The New Canaan Baptist Church celebrated its 17th  anniversary on Sunday, Oct. 5 at 3 p.m. New Canaan Baptist is known as “A Little Church with a Big Heart.” 

The program included a 50-plus mens choir from Birmingham called the Men of Praise.  These men did an awesome job of singing songs of praise. 

Pastor Larry G. Weathers of the Antioch Missionary

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Where I Stand

As a state representative, there are a lot of causes I am proud to make a stand for. My two biggest priorities, and what I have devoted the majority of my time to, have been job creation and education.

But I have also been proud to take a stand for our second amendment rights, and proud to say that I have

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The Vagabond - Woodliff family in Gadsden

This week the Vagabond will take a break from the little pamphlet written by the Woman Club called A Little Book about Gadsden.

This week, there are 42 descendants of A.L. Wood-liffe who are in town for a reunion, coming from Oklahoma, Texas, Ohio, Tennessee, Georgia, Pennsylvania and Alabama. The group is planning to visit to the Etowah Historical Society and

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Why we need more women in leadership

It’s no secret that women are a little more than half of our population. In fact, out of the more than 2.7 million registered voters in Alabama, just over 56 percent are women.

And yet, women only hold a few elected offices in our state government. In the state legislature, only 14 percent of senators and representatives are women. In the

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“And your young men shall see visions…” Part V

The Vagabond recently came across a pamphlet written by the Women’s Club called A little book about Gadsden. It tells about the early periods of the Gadsden area. For the last few weeks we have been reporting on this old pamphlet. It continues....

“The Agricola Furnace Company was organized in 1925. It manufactures warm air furnaces of cast iron and steel

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The importance of voting

Now that the campaign season is entering the final five weeks, there will be a huge increase in the TV ads, mail pieces and other campaign activity - all meant to persuade voters to vote one way or another. It’s the homestretch, and things are going to be ramping up.

However you may choose to vote, the most important thing you

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Southern Cooking with Andy Bedwell

Andy’s Taco Soup and Alabama Cornbread

It is only natural for me to love to make soup. My mother’s family was known for their soups. During my mother’s garden years, she would freeze quarts and quarts of homemade soup. When my sister was a student at Jacksonville State, she would carry mother’s soup back on Sunday for her roommates. They loved
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We need real solutions for the budget crisis

There are many things I believe a person in leadership should be - responsive to constituents, strong in core values, possess the ability to make tough decisions and most importantly, function as a good steward of the taxpayers’ money. And being a good steward of taxpayers’ money means finding real solutions to the budget problems of our state, not simply

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