Post Office to host food drive

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Saturday, May 12, local postal workers will join postal workers nationwide in the annual Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive. The drive will collect items for local food banks. To participate, all you have to do is leave non-perishible items at the mailbox. The Stamp Out Hunger Food Drive began in
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People of Etowah - Valerie Shannon

Name: Valerie Shannon Where were you born and raised? “I was born in Chattanooga, Tennessee. My parents, my brother and I lived in the valley right under Rock City in a town called Flintstone, Georgia. My parents moved to Centre, Alabama, when I was four years old when my father purchased a saw mill in
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Senior transportation program receives van

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor The Council on Aging’s senior transportation program received a new van in 2016, but a fire in UAB Hospital Kirklin Clinic’s parking lot destroyed the vehicle and temporarily shut down the program. The senior transportation program shuttles seniors to out-of-county doctors appointments. The fire broke out during during one of the
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Candidates address local issues at forum

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Candidates for state office spoke to locals at The Chamber’s Political Forum on Tuesday, April 17. Each candidate was alloted five minutesto speak to the crowd. The forum provided several questions for each can-didate to answer. Two United States House of Representatives, District 4 candidates addressed the crowd  first. Democratic candidate
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Tracy’s Oils offers oils and more

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Tracy Walker is the owner of Tracy’s Oils, which aims to provide quality, additive-free essential oils in a wide va-riety of scents. Walker mixes many of her own scents, creating unique essential oil mixes. The skin-safe oils can also be used as perfume or cologne. Walker, with help from her daughter,
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People of Etowah - Beth Cline

Name: Beth Cline Where were you born and raised? “I was born at the Holy Name of Jesus Hospital and have lived in Etowah County my entire life.” What is your occupation? “I have been a registered nurse in Etowah County since 2002. I have worked in both acute care, which is hospital -based, and
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United Way honors locals at annual meeting

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Tuesday, April 10, United Way of Etowah County held its annual meeting. The meeting serves as a way for the nonprofit to share the  organization’s accomplishments of the past year, honor local businesses and individuals for their contributions and highlight local issues in the community. Last year’s United Way board
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Kickin’ Addiction Recovery Walk to be held

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On April 21, the Kickin’ Addiction Recovery Walk will be held at Mort Glosser Amphitheater located at 90 Walnut Street in Gadsden. The walk will celebrate sobriety and offer resources for those seeking treatment for addiction and their families. The event is free to all to attend. Walk registration begins at
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People of Etowah - Suzanne Scharfenberg

Name: Suzanne McNair Scharfenberg Where were you born and raised? “I was born in Jacksonville, Fla., and raised all over the Southeast: Georgia, Florida, South Carolina and North Carolina. My father worked for Coca-Cola in Atlanta and each promotion meant a transfer. So, we moved a lot! But with four siblings it was always fun.
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Locals offer “Just a Taste” of healthy recipes

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Tuesday, April 3 a small group gathered in Gadsden Public Library’s Beautiful Rainbow Cafe for “Just a Taste,” a cooking class taught by local artists and authors Fran and Al Andrepont once a month. The couple demonstrate how to cook recipes from their cookbook, “From Our Kitchen: Heart Healthy Recipes.”
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Excellence in Education Awards honor local educators

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Monday, April 2, The Chamber of Gadsden/Etowah County held its first Excellence in Education Awards Luncheon at 210 on the Tracks. The event recognized teachers and programs in Etowah County that promote education in new and exciting ways. “I think you will all agree with me in saying that these
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Local trails to get changing station

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Wednesday, April 4, seven Gadsden State Community College carpentry students poured concrete for the new changing station at Noccalula Falls Black Creek Trail system. Accompanied by teacher Heath McDaniel, the students donated the labor for the project. The Gadsden Homebuilders Association, which spearheaded the project, donated the materials for the
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People of Etowah - Leslie Harper Worthington

Name: Leslie Harper Worthington Where were you born and raised? “I was born in Riverhead, New York, on Long Island because my father was stationed there in the U.S. Air Force. He grew up in Ohio, and his family was from Kentucky. My mother was from Sylacauga. They met in Texas. I grew up in
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Noccalula to host BBQ and archery competitions

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Noccalula Falls will host its 9th Annual Smoke on the Falls barbeque competition on April 13 and 14. The barbecue competition is sanctioned by the Kansas Barbeque Society. Admission will be free on Friday, April 8. Gates will be open from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. A sausage cook-off, sponsored by Jimmy
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First responder shares story of Southside storm

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Monday, March 19, Southside Officer Bryan Bell was sitting in his patrol car with his partner Colton Harden underneath the Southside Baptist awning to avoid the falling hail when he saw the approaching tornado. “I said there it is,” said Bell. “I think Colton said it was the first tornado
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People of Etowah - Sonquez Williams

Name: Sonquez Williams Where were you born and raised? “Phenix City.” What is your occupation? “Chief Executive Officer at Boys and Girls Clubs of Gadsden/Etowah County.” What made you decide to work in your field? “I was a “Club Kid” since the age of 6. I had many different ideas about what I wanted to
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Communities come together after storm

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor According to the National Weather Service, nine tornadoes touched down during the severe storms on Monday, March 19. Three of those tornadoes touched down in central Alabama. The first tornado hit Blount and St. Clair counties as a category EF-1, which caused tree damage. Downed trees damaged structures and power lines
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NASRO director speaks to local school officials

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Wednesday, March 21,  Etowah County, Attalla City and Gadsden City school administrators gathered at the Pitman Theatre to listen to Maurice “Mo” Canady, Executive Director of the National Association of School Resource Officers (NASRO), speak about the challenges of school safety. In a second session, Canady spoke to school resource
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People of Etowah - Amanda Jackson

Name: Amanda Jackson Where were you born and raised? “I was born in Talladega, but we moved to Gadsden when I was three.” What is your occupation? “I am the Director of the Gadsden Public Library.” What made you decide to work in your field? “It was really more of a happy accident. I have
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Students hypnotized at conference

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor CED Mental Health hosted a Youth Prevention Conference at Gadsden City High School on March 14. Students in ninth and tenth grades were bussed to GCHS from surrounding Etowah County schools. At the conference, motivational speaker and hypnotist Patrick Grady of Wahoo, Fla. spoke to the students. The theme for the
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Gadsden State holds International Festival

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Gadsden State held its annual International Festival on Friday, March 9 at 210 on the Tracks. To celebrate the GSCC international program’s 50th anniversary, the festi-val was larger than ever. As attendees entered the festival, a timeline detailed the GSCC international pro-gram’s 50-year history. The international pro-gam’s students manned booths, that
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State Rep. Ford’s bill passes state house

The Alabama House of Representatives earlier this week passed legislation introduced by Rep. Craig Ford (I-Gadsden) that would establish a more simplified, free and consolidated process for non-profit entities to apply for a special events license. “Under current law, it can take up to six months for a charitable organization such as the American Heart
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Attalla breaks ground on new fire station

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Last November, the City of Attalla purchased a new fire truck, and plans are now underway to build a new place to park it. On Tuesday, March 6, the City of Attalla broke ground on a new fire station located on the corner of Burke Avenue and Jones Street. The city
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Humane Society to host Paws for St. Paddy’s fundraiser

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On March 15, Gadsden Convention Hall wil be decked in green for the Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center’s annual Paws for St. Paddy’s fundraiser.The doors open at 5:30 p.m. Local Joe’s will cater the Paws for St. Paddy’s fundraiser. The event is BYOB. Attendees are encouraged to don festive
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Sheriff deputizes local student

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Thursday, March 1, the Etowah County Sheriff’s Department helped local Gaston High special needs student Austin Robertson celebrate his 19th birthday. A family friend of the Robertsons, Health Services Administrator for the Etowah County Detention Center Cassi Kellet, brought Austin to the attention of the sheriff’s office. Chad Robertson told
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People of Etowah - Todd Clough

Name: Todd Clough Where were you born and raised? “Etowah County.” What is your occupation? “I’m Vice President of Purchasing at The Sterling Co., the president and founder of Varsity Ministries and I serve at Whorton Bend Baptist Church preaching alongside Joey Jones.” What made you decide to work in your field? “In Varsity Ministries,
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Etowah High holds Career Tech Open House

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Tueasday, February 27, students enrolled in Etowah High School’s Career Tech programs showcased the skills that they have been learning in the different programs at a Career Tech Open House. Four of the Career Tech programs were demonstrated at the open house: Health Science, Childcare, Cosmetology and Agriscience. A fifth
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Alabama Power awards Power to Play grants

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Friday, February 23, Steve Hildebrant, Area Manager for the Eastern Division of Alabama Power Company, presented a check to West End High as part of the Alabama Power Foundation’s Power to Play grants. The Power to Play grant program aims to help schools increase participation in extracurricular activities because studies
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People of Etowah - Lucy Wallace Edwards

Name: Lucy Wallace Edwards Where were you born and raised? “Decatur.” What is your occupation?  “Financial Advisor for BBVA Compass Securities.” What made you decide to work in your field? “In college I had a professor who encouraged me to consider a career in investments. He said my personality and ability to communicate complex issues
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Sweet Tea Trio signs deal with Kid Rock

The rising country group Sweet Tea Trio has signed an exclusive management deal with rock-and-roll icon Kid Rock, also known as Robert Ritchie, and Vector Management founder Ken Levitan. The venture is a first for the Levitan and Ritchie, who worked together early in Kid Rock’s career.  Ritchie discovered the trio, made up of Alabama
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Library hosts black history month quilt lecture

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Thursday, February 15, the Gadsden Public Library hosted “Quilt Talk: Secret Slave Codes in Quilts” as part of its observance of Black History Month to celebrate the contributions that African-Americans have made to the nations history and culture. Founder and Executive Director of the Grace Heritage Foundation for Southern Hills
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FSCU’s Amy Jackson offers quality mortgage services

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor In June, Amy Jackson became the new Mortgage Services Director at Family Savings Credit Union. Jackson has been working in the mortgage industry since 1995 at the age of 19. She was in college and married and didn’t know the difference between a mortgage and a note when she first started.
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Gadsden breaks ground on new community center

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Tuesday, February 14, City of Gadsden officials broke ground on the new East Gadsden Community Center. The plans for the $5.5 million dollar center were approved late last year. The new facility is already underway, as winter weather caused the groundbreaking to be postponed. The new facility is being built
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Big Brothers and Sisters honored

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Every year Big Brothers Big Sisters of Northeast Alabama picks two Big Brother matches and two Big Sister matches for its Big of the Year. Of those, one of each match is slected to compete for the state of Alabama’s Big of the Year award. In 2016, both the Big Brother
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Downtown Café offering fresh food in Attalla

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor A new café opened its doors in downtown Attalla in January. The Downtown Café, located at 411 4th Street NW in Attalla, feels just like grandma’s kitchen complete with hometown photos of Attalla people and places lining the walls. The café is located in a former hardware store built in the
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People of Etowah - Tim Lett

Name: Tim Lett Where were you born and raised? “I was born here in Gadsden at GRMC, but long before it was called Gadsden Regional. My parents had lived in South Gadsden, but moved to Pell City. Mom didn’t want to change doctors, so they made the drive. Being a Preacher’s Kid, I can’t say
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Ford to Run for State Senate as Independent

State Rep. Craig Ford announced on Saturday, Feb. 10, that he is running as an Independent candidate for state Senate District 10m which includes all of Etowah and Cherokee counties and a portion of DeKalb County. Ford is a small business owner who also serves in the Alabama National Guard and previously served in the
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City of Gadsden honors Papa Cause

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Thursday, February 1, Papa Cause visited the Elliot Community Center to share his message with Gadsden citizens. Litchfield Middle School Band got the show started with an energetic performance. Heather Brothers New with the Gadsden-Etowah Chamber welcomed everyone to the event, and thanked Papa Cause and his creator John Solomon
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Larry Means talks to Gadsden Civitans Club

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Wednesday, February 7, City of Attalla Mayor Larry Means spoke to members of the Gadsden Civitans Club. Means discussed the ongoing projects to improve Attalla, as well as his work as chairman of the Eto-wah County Industrial Development Authority. When Means became mayor after working in the state senate for
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People of Etowah - Cindy McConnell

Name: Cindy McConnell Where were you born and raised? “I was born and raised right here in Etowah County. I grew up in Rainbow City and moved to Attalla when I got married.” What is your occupation?  “I am a RN and a teacher of Health Science at Etowah High School. I have been an
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Westbrook shows appreciation for law enforcement

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Friday, January 26, students and staff at Westbrook Christian School took time out of their day to welcome members of the Rainbow City Police Department to a Law Enforcement Appreciation Day assembly. Students opened the assembly by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag of the United States, the
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James Farmer speaks at Antiquarian Society meeting

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On January 26, the Antiquarian Society held a luncheon at the Gadsden Country Club with author James Farmer as the guest speaker. Before Farmer addressed the attendees, members enjoyed a lunch of Southern pot roast, roasted potatoes, green beans and baby carrots with Dutch apple pie for dessert. Farmer is a
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People of Etowah - Jonathon Horton

Name: Jonathon Horton Where were you born and raised? “I was born at the Holy Name of Jesus Hospital and was raised in Ivalee and Gallant communities.” What is your occupation? “I am the Chief of Police of Rainbow City and a part-time funeral director at Glencoe-Hokes Bluff Funeral Home.” What made you decide to
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Locals excited about new Chick in town

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor By 12 p.m. on January 23, a couple of people had settled onto the sidewalk outside of the new Chicken Salad Chick, located at 2012 Rainbow Drive in Gadsden in anticipation of the restaurant’s grand opening at 10:30 a.m. on January 24. As part of the opening the chicken salad restaurant
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Local receptionist retires at age 80

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Martha Brothers has been working at Gadsden Eye Associates for almost 27 years. She currently is Dr. Tony Catanzaro’s secretary. Now, at age 80, Brothers is retiring. “I praise God for allowing me to work at Gadsden Eye Associates for almost 27 wonderful years,” said Brothers. Brothers said that she has
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Altrusa Int. to host Antique Show

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor The 50th Annual Altrusa of Gadsden Antique Show and Sale will be held February 2, 3 and 4 at Gadsden Convention Hall. On Friday and Saturday,  February 2 and 3, the antique show will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. On Sunday, February 4 the show will be held
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Ford introduces local jobs bill

State Rep. Craig Ford of Gadsden has introduced legislation earlier this week to create jobs and kick start local road, bridge and economic development projects. Called “The Etowah County Jobs Act,” the legislation will re-allocate a portion of the one-cent sales tax that was passed by Ford’s father, the late Rep. Joe Ford, to pay
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People of Etowah - Jason Wilson

Name: Jason Wilson Where were you born and raised?     “I was born on Cansler Avenue in Gadsden, and  my family moved to Southside in 1989.” What is your occupation?    “Founder and CEO of Back Forty Beer Company.” What made you decide to work in your field? “I am an entrepreneur with a
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Gadsden celebrates King’s vision of unity

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Monday, January 15, Gadsden’s 32nd Celebration of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was held at Convention Hall. WMGJ radio station sponsored the free public event. The celebration featured a candle lighting ceremony to honor community members that were “foot soldiers who led us through some treacherous times,” according to WMGJ
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Etowah Probation Officers receive radios

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Tuesday, January 16, Judge David Kimberley presented Eto-wah County’s Probation officers with eight radios. The radios will allow probation officers enable to coordinate with other law enforcement officers if an emergency occurs at the judicial building, where the probation office is located. The radios will also offer the officers the
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City Council and Rep. Butler express opposing views about elected school board

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Tuesday, January 16, the Gadsden City Council pased a resolution opposing the proposed bill regarding the election of Gadsden City School Board members. Currently, Gadsden school board members are appointed by the Gadsden City Council, but State Representative Mack Butler of Rainbow City proposed a bill allowing Gadsden citizens to
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People of Etowah - Ashleigh Gaskin Langdale

Name: Ashleigh Gaskin Langdale What is your occupation? “I have recently joined Allenstein and Allenstein Law Firm as the Social Security Appeals Council Case Manager. I’m an independent contractor for the Greater Gadsden Area Tourism Board. I side hustle and contract with various organizations, individuals, non-profits and businesses by coordinating and directing, event planning, fundraising,
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Mcguffey’s provides meals for warming center

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Last week extremely cold weather blew through Etowah County and throughout the Southeast United States. Low temperatures hit 12 degrees Fahrenheit, with high temperatures barely rising above freezing. Some days, the wind chill made Etowah County feel like the temperature was in the single digits. In response to the freezing temperatures,
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New events planned for 5th Street Market venue

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor In June 2016, the Gadsden Farmer’s Market moved to a new location – the 5th Street Market. To create this venue space, the City of Gadsden remodeled an old warehouse on the corner of Fifth and Locust streets in downtown Gadsden. In 2017, the city began hosting Turnip Tuesdays in response
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People of Etowah - Robin Wilson

Name: Robin Wilson Where were you born and raised? “Born in Talladega County, lived in Calhoun County from ages 4-12, moved to Etowah County at age 12. It’s certainly home!” What is your occupation? “Well that has changed recently. I worked in Substance Abuse Prevention up until this past September, when I accepted a position
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Chamber aims to do more with less in 2018

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor The Gadsden/ Etowah Chamber is using the new year to reevaluate its many programs. “It’s a continuous process,” said Chamber President Heather New. “Each year we look at everything that we do at the end of the year and we determine ‘Was it effective?,’‘Is it being used?’ and ‘Is it something
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People of Etowah - Scott Waldrup

Name: Scott Waldrup Where were you born and raised? “I was born in Gadsden and raised in Rainbow City.” What is your occupation? “I am a practicing attorney concentrating on real estate and probate estates with the law firm of Knowles and Sullivan, adjunct professor at Gadsden State Community College and a genealogist.” What made
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Home for Christmas benefits The Love Center

On December 5, “Home for Christmas” a benefit for The Love Center was held at The Fifth Street Market in Gadsden. The event raised money, collected item donations and raised awareness for The Love Center. Love Center volunteers Ashleigh Gaskin Langdale, Morgan Lavender, Kristi Hess, Carolyn Richard, Teresa Bright, Erin Morgan and Lorie Holloway planned
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YMCA renovates facility, offers New Years deals

The YMCA of Coosa Valley is starting the new year with a fresh look. In October, the exercise facility started renovations. The YMCA has spent about $100,000 in structural renovations, according to YMCA Director LeRoy Falcon. New roofs have been placed over the fitness center, the administration area and the gymnasium. “We are most excited
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People of Etowah

Name: Heather Brothers New Where were you born and raised? “Altoona.” What is your occupation? “President, The Chamber of Gadsden and Etowah County.” What made you decide to work in your field? “My husband and I were spending a weekend at the lake when I first read about the president’s position opening at the Chamber
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Southern Cooking

Happy NewYear! My favorite football menu is the following: Cheese Dip to Die For 1 (8-ounce) cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup mayonnaise 1 bundle chopped green onions 1/2 cup bacon bits 2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded 12 Ritz crackers, crumbled Mix together cream cheese, mayonnaise, onions, half of the bacon bits and Monterey
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Attalla resident wins gold medal at Senior Games

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor In June of this year, the 2017 National Senior Games were held in Birmingham. It was the 30th anniversary of the games. Attalla resident Barry Putnam competed in the Games’ Men’s Doubles Table Tennis tournament and in an upset won the gold medal in the division. Putnam started playing table tennis,
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Gadsden named number 23 safest city in Alabama

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor SafeHome.org Communications Team recently announced that the City of Gadsden made its 2017 list of the Safest Cities in the United States and was ranked number 23 in Alabama. According to its website, “Safe Home is an organization dedicated to helping people create safer living environments for their families. Whether that’s
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People of Etowah - Johnny Baker

Name: Johnny Baker Where were you born and raised? “I was born here in Gadsden and lived most of my young life here and in Cullman. At the early age of 18, I joined the United States Marine Corps and stayed in the Marines for over 30 years, living throughout the world.” What is your
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Sports complex a step closer to construction

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Friday, December 8, The Etowah County Mega Sports Complex Authority met with representatives from Olympia Construction to review topographical and boundary maps of the proposed site of the complex. Authority Chair Ralph Burke and authority member Craig Ford met with Jana Cordell from Chambless-King Architects and Jeremy Bain and Jon
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Christmas Party offers students holiday cheer

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Thursday, December 14, a unique Christmas party was held at Gadsden Convention Hall. Special education students from Gadsden City Schools, Attalla City Schools and Etowah County Schools attended the 66th Annual Christmas Party for Exceptional Children. The Christmas party was originally scheduled to be held Friday, December 8, but could
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People of Etowah - Jon Costa

Name: Jon Costa Where were you born and raised?  “I was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1953 and lived in the Ninth Ward of the city growing up, but as an older teen my family moved to New Orleans East. As a young adult, I also lived and worked in that part of town.
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Sheriff awards Medals of Valors to deputies

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On May 26, a fire broke out in Unit 3 of the Etowah County Detention Center threatening the lives of the inmates. The fire was started by ICE detainees with the possible intent of escaping. However, thanks to the quick response of detention center deputies Christopher Thornton, Andy Reed, Hay,den Clements
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Lola’s on the River offers great food with a view

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Lola’s on the River, formerly known as Lola and Runts, has a new location. The restaurant has moved across the street into the former The Fish Market location at 1504 Suite B Rainbow Drive in Gadsden. With the new location, the restaurant aims to be the “premier waterfront restaurant” in Gadsden.
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Humane Society to host Reindeer Run and extend hours

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor The Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center is getting festive for the holiday season. The Humane Society is hosting the 7th Annual Reindeer Run on December 16. “It’s one of the few local races where we encourage you to run or walk with your pet,” said Humane Society Director Christi
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People of Etowah - Craig Scott

Name: Craig “Library Guy” Scott Where were you born and raised? “I’m a transplanted Yankee. I was born in Flint, Michigan, raised in Lansing, Michigan and moved to Gadsden in 2002.  However, when I was a junior in high school, my father (a federal veterinarian) was transferred from Michigan to Vermont. So, I graduated from
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Toys for Tots to provide holiday gifts

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor In a back room of the Catholic Center of Concern, 475 black trash bags full of toys line the walls in bags. Today (Dec.1), 190 families will visit the center in increments of 12 every 15 minutes to pick up toys from Marine Corps League Toys for Tots. A total of
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Wellington to host Redneck Christmas Parade

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On December 2, a different kind of Christmas parade will take place in the Wellington community in east Glencoe. About five years ago, Webster’s Chapel Methodist Church began holding the Redneck Christmas Parade. “We did it just for fun, and it was so much fun we just kept doing it,” said
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Area students participate in GEM workshop

Photo: Local high school students particiapte in an team-building exercise duting the recent Girls Employed in Manufacturing workshop at Gadsden State. (Sarrah Peters/Messenger) By Sarrah Peters/News Editor Twenty-eight female juniors and seniors from Etowah County schools participated in Girls Employed in Manufacturing (GEM) workshops on Nov. 15 at Gadsden State Community College’s Alabama Technology Network-Bevill
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Glencoe passes 2017-18 budget

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor The Glencoe City Council approved a $2.9 million-dollar general fund budget for fiscal year 2017-2018 on Monday, Nov. 13. After reviewing the budget with the council, finance chairman Danny Wagnon said that he projected a 9-percent increase in revenue due to the increase in sales tax. The budget includes salary increases
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People of Etowah: Shane Ellison

Where were you born and raised? Gadsden has always been home for me. What is your occupation?  City administration. For those that don’t know what that entails, come spend a day at city hall working in the mayor’s office with me. You’ll either love it or hate it, but you won’t be bored! What made
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Locals celebrate Veterans Day with events

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On November 10, Modern Woodmen held its annual Veterans Day Event at the Hokes Bluff Community Center. The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard kicked off the event with the presentation of the flag, followed by Erin Morgan leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance. Kim Johnson performed the “Star
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Way of the Cross seeks help to replace burglary losses

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor The Way of the Cross ministry was broken into twice in the last few weeks. The ministry reported that its PA system, children’s ministry boom boxes, computers and more were stolen. Way of the Cross Director Kenneth Brown said that the most devastating loss was the computer, which held 14 years
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People of Etowah - Steven Hildebrant

Name: Steven Hildebrant Where were you born and raised? “Born in Evansville, Indiana; my family moved to Jacksonville, Alabama in the 1970’s while I was in middle school.  I call Jacksonville my hometown.” What is your occupation? “I am an Area Manager for Alabama Power. I manage the business office operations for Alabama Power in Etowah,
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J. P. King Auction moves to Broad Street

On November 2, J.P. King Auction Company relocated to historically restored 414 Broad Street. Corporate offices will occupy the first floor, and the second floor has been repurposed for three luxury loft apartments. Craig King and his wife Cindy purchased the building and began restoration efforts in December of 2016. B. Craig Lipscomb was the
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Patriots Day luncheon honors local veterans

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor The Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association held a luncheon at Gadsden’s Convention Hall to induct local veterans into its Hall of Honor on Wednesday, November 8. The awards luncheon began with the Gadsden City High School’s JROTC posting the colors, followed by the National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance and an invocation. Gadsden Mayor
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People of Etowah - Donna Patterson

Name: Donna Patterson Where were you born and raised? “Etowah County; I’m a Rainbow City girl.” What is your occupation? “Retired sales associate and former sales manager. In 2015, I retired from the Gadsden/Etowah Chamber of Commerce as a membership sales associate.” What made you decide to work in your field? “I truly enjoy meeting people
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Local author to hold book signing

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Local author Barbara Eubanks will hold a signing for her new book, A New Beginning: God’s Second Chances at Churchill’s Antique Mall located at 430 Broad Street in downtown Gadsden on Nov. 3 at 6 p.m. The book signing will coincide with downtown Gadsden’s First Friday.   This is Eubanks’ fifth
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Cotton Belle Marketplace to hold holiday market

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Cotton Belle Marketplace will host Holiday Style on November 10 and 11 at Ferguson’s Wedding Venue and Courtyard at 401 5th Avenue NW in Attalla. On Friday, Nov. 10, there will be a VIP preview event from 5 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at Cotton
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People of Etowah - LeRoy Falcon

Name: LeRoy Falcon Where were you born and raised? “I was born in Greenville, South Carolina but grew up in Slidell, Louisiana.”  What is your occupation? “CEO/Executive Director YMCA of the Coosa Valley.”  What made you decide to work in your field? “I was headed towards a career in coaching when I was encouraged to check
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The Love Center to hold Birthday Celebration

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Thirty-five years ago, Charlsie Tarrance was inspired to provide shelter to “God’s most forgotten people.” Tarrance noticed the problem of homelessness in Etowah County and created The Love Center to provide clothing, food, furniture and shelter to those in need. The Love Center provides homeless single women, couples and families
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CommUnity Thanksgiving planning underway

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor The CommUnity Thanksgiving Celebration planning committee is already gearing up for its November 23 event. This is the 19th year the CommUnity Thanksgiving has been held. The event started at New Liberty Tabernacle of Praise in 1998. Every year the event has grown larger. Last year, about 5,000 people ate
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People of Etowah – Will Mackey

Name: Will Mackey Where were you born and raised?  “I was born and raised in Southside.” What is your occupation?  “I am the Program Manager at The Chamber Gadsden/Etowah County.” What made you decide to work in your field? “I actually took an internship with The Chamber during my last semester at Jacksonville State University.
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Sports Complex Authority announces location

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On October 18, the Etowah County Mega Sports Complex Authority announced a big step forward in the plans for the multi-purpose recreational facility. The authority announced the location for the primary complex on property off Steele Station Road near Lumbley Road with potential access to U.S. Highway 77. The authority has
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Rainbow City cuts ribbon on new animal shelter

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On October 18, Rainbow City held a ribbon cutting for its new animal shelter. Previously Rainbow City contracted its animal control services out to a local veterinarian, but the contract was set to end at the end of 2016. Faced with a hefty price increase, Rainbow City officials searched for another
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Local Patriot Hall of Fame inductee honored at city council

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor The Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association and the City of Gadsden honored Fred Sington, Jr. at the Gadsden’s City Council meeting on Tuesday, October 17. Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association’s special presentation was held to induct Sington into the 2017 Patriots Hall of Fame. Sington served in the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1953 to 1963.
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People of Etowah - Emma Hazlewood

Name: Emma Hazlewood Where were you born and raised? I was born in Florence, Alabama. However, my family moved a lot when I was younger. The majority of my younger years were spent in Hanover Park and Gifford/Rantoul, Illinois. We moved to Gadsden to finish out high school and though I’ve moved away since then,
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History comes alive at A Walk Through Time

Photo: Mike Beacham portrays Mike Foster, whose tale includes a sea monster in the Coosa River, during the 2016 A Walk Through Time event. (Messenger file photo) By Sarrah Peters/News Editor The 9th annual A Walk Through Time will take place on Sunday, October 22 from 2 to 5 p.m. in Forrest Cemetery located at
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Attalla to host 30th Heritage Day

Photo: 2016 Attalla Heritage Day attendees enjoy a train ride (Messenger file photo) By Sarrah Peters/News Editor The City of Attalla is hosting its annual Heritage Day Festival on Saturday, October 21 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. in historic downtown Attalla. The event will take place rain or shine. Admission is free. Heritage Day
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People of Etowah - Wendy Hood

Where were you born and raised? “I was born and raised in Etowah County. I graduated from Sardis High School and Gadsden State Community College.” What is your occupation? “I have been a registered nurse for 21 years. I currently work in Critical Care at Gadsden Regional Medical Center.” Tell us about your family and
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DGI to host Sunset Sips fundraiser

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor Downtown Gadsden, Inc. will hold Sunset Sips on October 17 from 5 to 7 p.m.on Memorial Bridge on Broad Street next to Gadsden City Hall. The bridge will be closed from 3 to 8 p.m. for the event. “It’s just a unique setting,” said Mary Wood of Downtown Gadsden, Inc. “It’s
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Pilot Club donates money to Project Lifesaver

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor The Pilot Club of Gadsden awarded a check for $1,000 to Brian Smith of the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office for Project Lifesaver at the club’s meeting on September 28. Project Lifesaver is a program that provides bracelets with trackers to individuals that are prone to be wander away from home and
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People of Etowah - Marilee Hickman

Name: Marilee Hickman Where were you born and raised? “I was born and raised in Gadsden.” What is your occupation? “I retired in August from Regions Bank after a 41 year career.” What made you decide to work in your field?  “Years ago, I was working in insurance and decided that I wanted to move
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Past and future collide at Virtual Realms

By Sarrah Peters, News Editor On Friday, September 22, Virtual Realms in downtown Gadsden held a ribbon cutting. Virtual Realms is a new business that offers virtual reality games to customers, but the potential of the technology has many other uses. Located at 208 South Second Street in a 75-year  old blues recording studio, Virtual Realms
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