Local student wins educational trips

Westbrook Christian School student Chase Smidt was one of the top performers in the 24th Annual Coosa Valley Electric Cooperative Youth Tour Challenge held Jan. 28. 

Fifteen students from the various area high schools in the CVEC service area participated in this year’s competition. The students had already competed against their classmates by writing an essay about rural electrical

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Downtown Gadsden to host Party with a Purpose

On Sunday, February 15 at 4 p.m., Downtown Gadsden Inc. will host the 3rd Annual Party with a Purpose at the Pitman.  

The event will raise money to go towards continued renovations of one of downtown Gadsden’s historical landmarks, The Pitman Theater. Since the first year of this event renovations have been ongoing.  Last year, with the help

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Woman’s Club holds January meeting

The Woman’s Club of Gadsden met on Jan. 27 at the Club House.

President Martha Elrod welcomed the members and guests to the meeting and introduced new member Marie Heygood. 

Pat Saye gave the devotional. Martha also thanked January luncheon committee chairman Donna Wright and her committee for the beautiful decorations and the delicious lunch which was catered by

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GRMC to host annual Go Red event

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor


For the 11th year, Gadsden Regional Medical Center will host its annual Go Red event. It will take place at Gadsden Convention Hall on February 10 at 6 p.m. The event raises awareness about heart health, as well as money for the American Heart Association.

Fox 6 news anchor, Janice Rogers will be hosting the event.

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Downtown Gadsden to host sweet and spicy weekend

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor


On Friday, February 6, the merchants of Downtown Gadsden will be hosting a Chocolate Stroll.  Since it’s the week before Valentine’s Day, stores are going to stay open until 7 p.m. and will be offering special sales and serving chocolate delights. 

The merchants have also put together the “Ultimate Valentine’s Day Basket.”  To register, go to

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Dinosaurs coming to Gadsden

There’s something big  coming to historic downtown Gadsden this February or should we say pre-historic downtown Gadsden? The Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts is pleased to announce Dinosaurs Alive! opening February 8.

Everyone is invited to attend the grand opening reception on February 8 at 1 p.m.  There will be pre-historic punch and triceratops treats as well

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GRMC honors employees of the year

Gadsden Regional honored three of its own recently by naming a trio of employees as Employee of the Year and Clinical and Non-Clinical Managers of the Year.

The Imaging Department’s Tommy Batson was named Employee of the Year. Batson, who is the hospital’s PACS administrator, was named Employee of the Month in October 2013. 

His nomination for Employee of

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Tourism Board announces new Veteran’s Day parade

At their most recent board meeting, the Etowah County Tourism Board voted to work with the Gadsden/Etowah Patriot’s Association to restore the Veteran’s Day parade on November 4, 2015.

“The Patriot’s Association approached us about partnering with them to help with communication, publicity and promotion, and overall administration/production of the parade,” said Hugh Stump III, executive director for the

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Gadsden hosts MLK Day events

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor


The City of Gadsden played host to two  events honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

On Friday, Broad Street was the location of a small “Unity in the Community” parade. The parade was organized by CJC Services Corporation. This is the first year the parade has been organized, but CJC Services plans to organize another Martin

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Gadsden sets date for smoking ban to begin

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor


At the Gadsden City Council meeting on January 20, council members once again discussed the smoking ordinance that was passed by the previous council. When it was passed last year, the starting date was set to begin January 1, but the date was pushed back. 

At the meeting, a new start date was proposed and passed.

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Parker selected for leadership initiative

Etowah County Commissioner Carolyn Parker has joined a select group of second-term commissioners in a brand new statewide program designed to grow new county leaders in the State of Alabama.

Parker and colleagues from 15 other counties began an 18-month program directed by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama specifically focusing on practical and service-oriented skills that will

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GSCC hosts VUB Recruitment Day

Veterans Upward Bound (VUB) staff will be available Tuesday, January 27 from 8 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Gadsden State-Cherokee to meet with veterans who are interested in receiving services to increase their success in college enrollment and graduation. Veterans Upward Bound is a TRiO program funded completely by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education. 

This pre-college

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RSVP to offer tax assistance

The IRS understands that many low income or senior citizen taxpayers cannot afford to pay a tax preparer, so it created the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) and Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) programs. Under these programs, low to moderate income and/or senior citizen taxpayers may obtain free tax assistance and e-filing.

To offer these programs in our

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Love Kitchen set to come to Etowah County

 By Sarrah Peters

News Editor


On Friday, January 30, Little Caesars will help feed the hungry in Etowah County with its Love Kitchen. One of the two kitchen-equipped trucks will set its wheels at the Way of the Cross Soup Kitchen at 101 North 24th Street in Alabama City, where it will feed about 375 people in need.

“They travel all

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Etowah Youth Orchestra to perform at governor’s party

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor


The Etowah Youth Orchestra has been invited to perform at Governor Robert Bentley’s Inauguration party on Monday, January 19. 

The orchestra, composed of about 250 students ranging from 4th graders to 12th graders, is set to perform a 45 minute set at noon in Montgomery at the Cramton Bowl Multiplex. The party will begin after the

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Local church to host concert and food drive

 By Sarrah Peters

News Editor


A community concert and food drive will be held on January 25 at 3 p.m at First United Methodist Church of Gadsden, located at 115 South 5th Street.

The concert is open to the community and free with the donation of non-perishable and canned food items. The “Champions Against Hunger” Food Drive will benefit the Etowah

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The Downtown Dance Conservatory prepares to debut new dance

  The Downtown Dance Artists are preparing to debut a brand new contemporary dance work in the coming weeks. Titled “For Frida Kahlo”, the piece is inspired by the iconic visual artist of the same namesake. Much of Kahlo’s work was inspired from a tragic trolley accident in her youth which caused her to be in physical and emotional pain

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Farm City poster contest winners announced

  Etowah County Farmer’s Federation and Eto-wah County Soil and Water Conservation District held their annual Farm City Poster contest recently.  

The contest is open to all kindergarten through sixth grade students in Etowah. The theme was “Agriculture:  365 Sunrises and 7 Billion Mouths to Feed”.  

First place winner in the K-3 division was Ellie Clevenger, second grade

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Hardin Center celebrates 25 years

By Sarrah Peters

News Editor


The Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts in downtown Gadsden celebrated its 25th anniversary on January 6 with an event celebrating its past and future.

The event reviewed its history with a review of the Hardin Center’s past with Judge Jamie Sledge who was board chairman of the center in 1990 when the center opened

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EMA opens warming stations

Extremely cold weather is forecast to affect Etowah County this week. Temperatures dropped below freezing Wednesday night, and were not predicted to rise above freezing again until Friday. Wind chills dropped to near the single digits both nights.

Local jurisdictions and agencies opened warming centers to provide relief to local citizens. The following locations opened: Salvation Army - 114

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Gadsden loses an influential woman

Gadsden has lost a pillar of the community. Juanita Moman, 90, passed away on December 22, 2014.

Moman’s Eyecare, at 40 years old, has the distinction of being the oldest retail business on Broad Street. Juanita Moman opened in 1975 on Broad Street, as Moman’s Optical Dispensary. Being owned and operated by a woman marked Moman’s as a unique

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Quality of Life receives USDA rural grant

Quality of Life Health Services, Inc. was selected for a $ 396,543 grant under the 2014 Distance Learning and Telemedicine Grant Program administered by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Utilities Service.

Telemedicine connects an individual patient to a health care provider via a video feed. The provider, with the assistance of a camera and electronic devices,

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GSCC to host holiday health fair

The 17th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Initiative Health Fair sponsored by Gadsden State Community College is scheduled for Monday, January 19. The event will be held in the auditorium of the East Broad Campus administration building from 8 a.m. until 12 p.m.  Approximately 20 vendors and health agencies will be participating. Members of the Lambda Eta Omega Chapter

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JSU students help Gadsden seniors

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Since 1997, Jacksonville State University social work students have been assisting McGuffey Healthcare and Rehab First with planning activities for the residents.

The upper level practice group case management class teaches students how to utilize available resources and plan activities with appropriate themes. With low budgets, the students must be creative. They frequently acquire services that are on

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Etowah attractions featured on Absolutely Alabama

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Two Etowah County attractions were featured in the Christmas specials of Absolutely Alabama with Fred Hunter on Fox 6. 

In the first Christmas special hosted out of Dothan’s Landmark Park, there was a story about Don Turner of Allis Chalmers Tractors in Hokes Bluff. Turner makes Allis Chalmers pedal tractors. Although it sounds like a fun toy, these

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Applications being accepted for Farm of Distinction contest

Outstanding Alabama farms have until Jan. 30 to apply for more than $12,000 in cash and prizes as part of the Alabama Farm of Distinction contest. The contest recognizes sustainable farm businesses that exhibit sound management, environmental stewardship and innovation according to Alabama Farm City Committee  Chairman Jeff Helms.  “Alabama’s Farm of Distinction is the
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City council creates new Gadsden Land Bank Authority

By Brett Johnson/Messenger Correspondant The Gadsden City Council on Tuesday authorized the incorporation of the Gadsden Land Bank Authority to make it easier for the city to acquire tax-delinquent and nuisance properties.  “Essentially what happens is now this Gadsden Land Bank Authority takes the place of the State of Alabama in terms of ownership,” said
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Red Cross to provide energy assistance with Project Share

The Etowah/Cherokee Chapter of the American Red Cross will begin accepting appointments on January 8th, 2015 for Project SHARE, the energy assistance program for low-income elderly or disable individuals.  Residents of Etowah County can call to request an appointment by calling the Red Cross office at 256-547-8667 on Thursdays between 8:30 a.m.-3 p.m. As the
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Neely Henry Lake Association Announces Meeting

The Neely Henry Lake Association’s first meeting of 2015 will be held Thursday, Jan 8 at 7 p.m. at the Rainbow City Community Center located at 3702 Rainbow Drive, adjacent to Rainbow City Hall.  The Neely Henry Lake Association meets the first Thursday of every other month to discuss issues of interest and importance to
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Etowah Middle holds annual SOAR celebration

Etowah Middle School held its annual SOAR (Seeing Our Actions Rewarded) celebration on Friday, Dec. 19 with $2,500 in gifts and prizes given away to students. Students who maintained an 80 or higher SOAR (conduct) average were able to attend the event. 

Students played games and competed with teachers for a variety of prizes. Toward the end of the event, students’

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Nativity scene back on display at RBC Hall

By Chris McCarthy/Publisher/Editor


Hundreds of people gathered on the grounds of Rainbow City Hall on Dec. 19 in support of the municipality’s decision to restore a Christmas nativity scene on display. 

Earlier in the week, city officials took down the display in response to a letter from the Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation that said in part that the display

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Representative Ford sworn in for Fifth Term

By Brett Johnson/Messenger Correspondent


State Representative Craig Ford was sworn in Monday for his fifth term representing District 28 in the Alabama House of Representatives. Etowah County Probate Judge Bobby Junkins administered the oath of office at Gadsden City Hall.

“One thing I want to tell you is we have to work together,” said Ford after thanking those in attendance.

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New dollar store opens

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor There is a new business in town. Dee’s Dollar Plus opened its doors on December 15.  William Mitchell, the owner, and his family have live in Ohatchee, but they like Attalla. “They’re real good people here in Attalla,” said Mitchell. Mitchell said that he always dreamed of opening a little store.
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Panda Express to open soon

A new restaurant is coming to town. Panda Express is set to open on December 27. 

Panda Express is a national food chain that serves popular Chinese food favorites fast.

Some of the chain’s popular dishes include honey walnut shrimp and orange chicken. The chain also offers basic Chinese staples like fried rice, egg rolls, spring rolls, potstickers and

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Animal Health Care collecting Humane Society donations

Just because Christmas is over, doesn’t mean that the Christmas spirit of giving should be over.  It is the perfect time to help those in need, like the animals of the Humane Society.

Until the end of the year, Animal Health Care will be accepting donations of items for the Humane Society Pet Rescue and Adoption Center. 

The wish

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GSCC ranked a top military school

Military Advanced Education (MAE) has awarded Gadsden State Community College the designation of a Top School in its  2015 MAE Guide to  Colleges & Universities, measuring best practices in military and veteran education. The Guide was released in the December issue of MAE, and is available online at www.mae-kmi.com.

The Guide presents results of a questionnaire of the military-supportive

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GSCC works to brighten holidays

Faculty, staff, and students at Gadsden State Community College have worked to brighten the holiday season for many in the community through various charitable efforts.  The Christmas Charity Showcase, which is held every November in conjunction with the Miss Gadsden State Community College Pageant, was the biggest fundraiser coordinated by the College.  More than $5,000 was raised during the

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Gadsden native lives homeless

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

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

After his roommate graduated and moved out, Chambers decided that he didn’t want to look for a new roommate or apartment. So with three semesters of school left before he received

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Attalla McDonald’s hosts Christmas cheer

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

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

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GSCC hosts annual Water Festival

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

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

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Wallace Hall hosts Holiday Movie Spectacular

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

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

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Gadsden City announces best teachers

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

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

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Quality of Life welcomes its first podiatrist

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

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

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

He attended medical school

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American Family Care opening in Gadsden

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

With more people than ever with health

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Seraaj to host foster children’s Christmas

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

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

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

The event will feature a Christmas dinner and presents

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Local eatery featured in Alabama tourism book

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

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

Well-known for their ribs and Sweet Potato

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Local Big Brothers Big Sisters accredited

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

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

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Bentley appoints locals to boards

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

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

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Rock & Roll Christmas returns for seventh year

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

This

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Doll shop celebrates 25 years in Gadsden

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

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

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

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

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Singer Bret Michaels to perform at Center Stage

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

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

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

Michaels first rose to fame as the lead vocalist

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Hardin Center to host Snacks with Santa

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

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

The event is free and sponsored by Downtown Gadsden Inc.  

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

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Author Amber Nagle to speak at GPL

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

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

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ECBOE annouces Teachers and Support Staff of the Year

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

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

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2014 Iron Bowl was one for the ages

By Mike Goodson/Sports Correspondent

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

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

Auburn quarterback Nick

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Two locals celebrate memorable birthdays

 By Sarrah Peters News Editor Two Etowah County residents celebrated birthdays last week, but they weren’t your average birthdays.  Helen Ligon turned 100 on Monday, Nov. 24, and J.T Wallace turned 102 the same week. While growing up, Ligon walked to and from the one-room school in “rain, snow or shine.” The building did not
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Consumers prepare for Black Friday sales

 Jacqueline Chandler

Messenger Correspondent


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

The extension of sales also

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Consumers prepare for Black Friday sales

 Jacqueline Chandler

Messenger Correspondent

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

The extension of sales also

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Coosa River has new flow schedule

River flows have been returned to a 20-mile section of the Coosa River as part of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) hydro re-licensing process on the river.

A flow schedule was developed and implemented by engineers and biologists at Alabama Power, along with state and federal biologists, as a result of FERC license renewal negotiations with Alabama Power

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The Woman’s Club to host Holiday Tour of Homes

The Woman’s Club of Gadsden’s 48th annual Holiday Tour of Homes is scheduled for 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.  December 7.

Several homes across Etowah County are on this year’s tour, which reaches from Hokes Bluff to Country Club to downtown Gadsden. The tour also includes stops at the Gadsden Museum of Art, the Gunn Ballenger House and the

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Riverview to offer new asthma treatment

Riverview Regional Medical Center continues its push to expand advanced medical offerings to its patients, as the facility completed Etowah County’s first bronchial thermoplasty (BT) on Nov. 20.  Created for adults with severe asthma who continue to have asthma-related symptoms despite standard medications, the procedure was performed by Dr. K.J. Shah, a Pulmonologist at Riverview
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Etowah County to host Small Business Saturday

At the Gadsden City Council meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 25, Mayor Sherman Guyton proclaimed Nov. 29 as Small Business Saturday. The shop small event will begin at 8 a.m.

Small Business Saturday is similar to Black Friday, but with local shops offering discounts. 

In conjunction with the National Shop Small campaign, Etowah County is teaming up for the largest

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Hokes Bluff Lions Club to sell trees

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Every year the Hokes Bluff Lions Club sells Christmas trees at the 901 West Meighan Boulevard empty lot in Gadsden. This year will be no exception.  The sale begins the day after Thanksgiving. 

The club prides itself on delivering quality trees that are trimmed and drilled with a vertical drill. The stands allow buyers to simply place the

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TV-24 to host Christmas musical

By Jacqueline Chandler/News Correspondent

TV24 and the Oxford Performing Arts Center are joining up to host Celebrating Christmas, a musical special held on Nov. 21 at the Oxford Performing Arts Center.

The jam-packed two-hour show will feature over 200 performers, including headliners The Diamonds. While the original performers are no longer a part of the group, the act remains true to the

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Etowah County School District placed on national honor roll

Etowah County School District is one of 547 school districts in the U.S. and Canada being honored by the College Board with placement on the Fifth Annual AP District Honor Roll for increasing access to AP work while simultaneously maintaining or increasing the percentage of students earning scores of 3 or higher on AP exams. 2014 is a milestone year

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Let it Snow exhibit opens

Imagination Place Children’s Museum at the Mary G. Hardin Center for Cultural Arts opened Let It Snow on Nov. 15. 

The interactive, hands-on exhibit kicked-off its third year in the children’s exhibit hall on the main floor of the Hardin Center. 

Let It Snow is an indoor winter wonderland complete with a snowball pit, a snowslide, sock-footed ice skating rink, a snow

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Nomad’s Land purchases building

Nomad’s Land, a not for profit organization, has recently expanded. 

In June 2010, the Hansons’ Jesus Loves You and the Armisteads’  Nomad’s Supply joined together to begin building Nomad’s Land. 

Both families had each been separately traveling and dreaming of creating a place for the nomadic subculture that would offer them hospitality and foster spiritual growth. 

The families began to work together to

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Southern States launches food drive

The fourth annual Southern States Holiday Food Drive began Nov. 10. As in past years, Southern States Cooperative partnered with local food banks in cities and communities throughout the southeast to help feed disadvantaged families and individuals during the holiday season.

“The job of feeding our rapidly growing world population has never been more critical,” said Southern States President and CEO

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The Choice Bus Visits Etowah County Schools

Thanks to a partnership between State Farm and The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation, nearly 500 students boarded The Choice Bus. 

Rainbow and Etowah middle school students received a firsthand look at what education can bring – at least $1 million over a person’s lifetime if they graduate from college. The half-prison cell, half-classroom converted school bus, which visually portrays two different

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Glencoe Library honors local veterans

The Glencoe Public Library recently honored our local Glencoe Veterans.

Debbie Bradford started the program, welcoming all. She also introduced all of the librarians and invited everyone to come and visit our library.

Harold Batie led the Pledge of Allegiance and told us that this year is the two hundredth anniversary of “The National Anthem.” He told the history of the song,

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Future Publix hosts groundbreaking

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

The groundbreaking for the future Publix in Rainbow City was held Monday at 10:30 a.m. The groundbreaking event was hosted by The Gadsden/Etowah County Chamber and MAB American Management, LLC.

Plans for the new Publix, which will be located on the corner of Highway 77 and West Grand Avenue, have been in progress since 2010. 

“It’s been a long

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Ford retained as House Minority Leader

The Alabama House Democratic Caucus met on Nov. 6 for its organizational meeting to elect caucus leadership for the next four years.

The caucus retained Representative Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) as Minority Leader and elected Representative Darrio Melton (D-Selma) as Caucus Chair. 

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve another term as House Minority Leader,” Ford said. “House Democrats are ready

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Local Medal of Honor recipient honored on U.S. stamp

By Chris McCarthy/ Publisher/Editor

A local hero was recognized posthumously earlier this week in a Veterans Day ceremony at the City of Gadsden’s main post office branch on Chestnut Street.

U.S. Army Colonel and late Gadsden resident Ola Lee Mize, a Medal of Honor recipient who passed away in March, was included in a U.S. Postal Service stamp featuring the 145 Medal

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Hokes Bluff Lions Club honors veterans

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

The Modern Woodmen Veteran’s Day Event was held at the Hokes Bluff Lion’s Club on Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Rick Vaughn spoke at the event about the issues facing veterans today. 

He spoke about the 25,000 veterans that have post-traumatic stress disorder after they return from war. 

“I don’t know if you believe in ghosts, but veterans with PTSD are haunted,”

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Attalla Senior Center honors veterans

By Jacqueline Chandler/News Correspondent

Attalla Senior Center members celebrated their veterans on Monday (Nov. 10).

Veterans displayed their commendations and medals for the congregate to view, shared stories and enjoyed a brotherhood formed years ago. 

Most of the veterans present were in their 80’s but the oldest, Tom Collins, is 92 years old. 

Collins, who served in World War II, displayed his Purple Heart,

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TV-24 to co-host Christmas musical

By Jacqueline Chandler/News Correspondent


TV24 and the Oxford Performing Arts Center are joining up to host Celebrating Christmas, a musical special held on Nov. 21 at the Oxford Performing Arts Center.

The jam-packed two-hour show will feature over 200 performers, including headliners The Diamonds. While the original performers are no longer a part of the group, the act remains true

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Ford retained as House Minority Leader

The Alabama House Democratic Caucus met on Nov. 6 for its organizational meeting to elect caucus leadership for the next four years.

The caucus retained Representative Craig Ford (D-Gadsden) as Minority Leader and elected Representative Darrio Melton (D-Selma) as Caucus Chair. 

“I am honored to have the opportunity to serve another term as House Minority Leader,” Ford said. “House

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Primary Healthcare to acquire Riverview

Riverview Regional Medical Center announced today (Nov. 7) an agreement for the sale of substantially all of the assets of the 281-bed hospital and its related outpatient services to a subsidiary of Prime Healthcare Services, LLC. The purchase agreement includes a commitment from Prime to continue the employment of all employees who satisfy Prime’s employment
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Ford and Nordgren re-elected

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

State Representative of District 28 Craig Ford was re-elected on Nov. 4 over his opponent Doug Sherrod.

Ford received a clear majority in most of the poll boxes. 

Ford received the news at a gathering with his supporters located at the Printup building in Downtown Gadsden. 

Nervous, but hopeful Director of Constituent Services Brett Johnson tallied up the votes and

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Five siblings reunited after fifty-seven years

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Fifty-seven years ago, five children were put up for adoption in South Carolina. Various members of one family adopted Doris Thompson, Art Pollard, Wayne Pollard and Andy Pollard, but one child was separated from the others.

Thomas Veach went to live in Minnesota, while most of the others were raised near Gadsden. One lived in Atlanta with family. 

With

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Statum and Head win elections

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

District 1 Etowah County Commissioner Joey Statum won his re-election by over a thousand votes, unofficially.

Republican Statum was up against Democrat Jeff Ingram for the seat.

Statum received approximately 60 percent of the votes. 

Statum takes his re-election as a sign that he is doing something right. 

During his last term, Statum has worked with the other commissioners to balance

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Southern States announces scholarships

For more than 11 years, Southern States Cooperative has partnered with John Deere Financial to provide competitive financing programs for Southern States customers. In 2013, the two companies established a scholarship fund available to rising college sophomores pursuing an associate’s degree focused on agriculture. Applications for the 2015 academic year will be accepted from Nov. 3, 2014 through Feb. 13,

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Southside Baptist opens new playground

Southside Baptist Church members joined last Sunday in a ribbon cutting and dedication for a new playground at Southside Baptist

The new fenced playground gives children a safe place to play, with room for future expansion.

It was about 10 years ago when some of the church’s membership began work to start a four and five-year-old preschool to serve families in the

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Bras for the Cause fundraiser a success

By Jacqueline Chandler/Messenger Correspondent

A reception for the Never Surrender/Bras for the Cause campaign for breast cancer awareness was held Oct. 30, at Advanced Imaging in Gadsden. Free mammograms, door prizes, and refreshments were available to members of the community.

Several large donations were presented to Never Surrender, including a $6,000 check from Chick-fil-A. Boobilicious Marble Run raised $3,701, Ultra Care Inc.

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Gadsden State Community College hires new music director

When you walk into the classroom wing of Wallace Hall at 11 a.m. during the week, the music emanating from the band room will delight you and most likely cause your feet to move with the beat.  There is a strong resemblance to New Orleans jazz that is currently filling the hall and inspiring the students.  The man responsible for

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Gadsden rolls out the red carpet

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

The Pitman Theater in downtown Gadsden will host a red carpet event on Nov. 15 for a movie called The Borrowed Christmas.

The red carpet event starts at 6:30 p.m. and the show will begin at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12. Tickets can be purchased at the Senior Activity Center, Downtown

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Two locals release novel to empower women

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Friends and Gadsden residents Carla Wynn Hall and Jennifer McCormick Williams decided to follow their dream of writing, and accomplished their dreams by supporting fellow women through social media. 

Hall and Williams met under strange circumstances. Williams was meeting a person to buy an iPhone that was listed online. She asked Hall if she was the seller. She

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EDS enters robotics 2014 competition

Episcopal Day School (EDS) is a college preparatory school located in Gadsden.  Students in the 5th - 12th grades compete in a robotics competition known as BEST (Boosting, Engineering, Science and Technology).  BEST is a competition for middle and high school robotics teams that educates students in engineering, science and technology.  

By participating in this project-based STEM program, students learn

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Hokes Bluff receives visits from politicians

By Cole Frederick/Correspondent 

In the last month, Hokes Bluff High School has been the host of a candidate’s forum for several political candidates, including Governor Robert Bentley, who visited the school on Monday, Oct. 21. Bentley visited classes, engaged the students in discussions about distance learning, politics and class activities.  

Candidates began visiting Hokes Bluff three weeks ago addressing the students

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Veterans to be honored in Hall

The Gadsden-Etowah Patriots Association (GEPA) is holding a luncheon Wednesday, Nov. 5 to induct 11 veterans into the 2014 Patriots Hall of Honor.

The event takes place at Convention Hall from 11:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. Doors open at 11 a.m. 

Sponsors include The City of Gadsden, Greater Gadsden Area Tourism Board and the Etowah County Commission. 

Tickets are $10 a person and

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Local girls attend engineering seminar

Female students with high potential in Gadsden City middle schools had a fun time learning how to make simple burglar alarms

Alabama Power kicked off the iCan program for this school year. 

Gadsden Middle, Emma Sansom Middle and Litchfield Middle schools participated in the program.

The students will participate in three projects during the school year. 

The first exercise, this week, was based on

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Two local athletes to be nationally honored

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Richard Hagedorn and Bobby “House” Driskill can often be found in the back room at Gold’s gym training for powerlifting competitions. They go to train three of four days a week, while working different muscles.

The two have been training together since 1994, when they met. They have participated in many competitions together. Now, their practice and hard

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Local legend Rip Reagan passes away

By Kay Smith-Foster

Gadsden State Community College extends its sincerest condolences to family and friends of Billy E. “Rip” Reagan. He began his tenure at Gadsden State in 1986 and worked as a full-time band director and music instructor from 1986 until his retirement in 1996. Reagan remained part-time band director at Gadsden State until February 2014.

“Our Gadsden State family is

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Attalla Parks and Rec to host Trunk or Treat on Halloween

By Jacqueline Chandler/Messenger Correspondent

The City of Attalla Parks and Recreation Department will host its second annual Trunk or Treat Friday, Oct. 31, from 5 -7p.m. at the Carnes Community Center gymnasium. The first year the event drew over 400 youths from surrounding communities. This number is expected to rise this year.

Vendors from local businesses will set up tables free of

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GSCC to launch project into space

October 27 will be a monumental date that many Gadsden State students will remember forever.  The project that several instructors and three teams of engineering students have poured their heart, time and energy into will launch to the International Space Station (ISS) via an Orbital 3 rocket.  

“Electronic engineering technology instructor, Audrey Webb, has been the anchor for all of

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Gadsden declares Extra Mile Day

Mayors across the United States are recognizing a growing movement that is dedicated to encouraging individuals and organizations to “go the extra mile” in service and volunteerism. On November 1, 500 mayors are expected to declare “Extra Mile Day.”

Gadsden and Mayor Sherman Guyton join the list.

Extra Mile Day celebrates individuals and organizations that have chosen to create positive change in

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Local author appears on reality show

By Mike Goodson/Messenger Correspondent

Growing up in Gadsden during the 1950s and 1960s, television was a very important part of everyday life. In the days of watching the old black and white Zenith television with its two stations and having to turn the antenna to get clear reception television entertainment has come a long way. Today satellite reception and cablevision has

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GSCC to host Annual Charity Showcase

Gadsden State Community College will host the 20th Annual Charity Showcase Thursday, November 6 and the 14th Annual Miss Gadsden State Community College Pageant Friday, November 7 at the Wallace Hall Fine Arts Center in Gadsden.

The Charity Showcase and Silent Auction has become a holiday tradition thanks to the wonderful community support and participation.  

Previously more than $70,000 has been

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Kate Falcon speaks about The Voice audition

By Sarrah Peters/News Editor

Kate Falcon cannot remember a time she didn’t love to sing.

“I grew up singing in the back of my parents’ car on the way to preschool,” said Falcon.

She didn’t realize she wanted to make it a career until she was 11 and entered a contest to open for Travis Tritt.

“As soon as I got off stage, I

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Noccalula Falls kicks off Halloween season with a bash

By Jacqueline Chandler/Messenger Correspondent

Noccalula Falls Park hosted the 4th Annual Halloween Super Bash on Oct. 11 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Numerous inflatables, games, ghost golf, train rides, and of course, plenty of trick or treating, were available throughout the park.

Food vendors on site included Jack’s, Tropical Sno, Frios Pops, Lookout Mountain Kettle Corn and Papa John’s, providing options for

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