June 2012 (continued)
The Annual NAACP Freedom Banquet was also held in June. The featured speaker was the Rev. R.G. Lyons, a native of Cherokee County, pastor of Community Church Without Walls of Birmingham. Rev. Lyons shared the church’s vision and mission as he addressed the 29th Annual Banquet held in the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce headquarters on the campus of Gadsden State Community College-Cherokee. Rev. Lyons is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Lyons of Centre.
The Big E Cruzin’ 4 Charity event held in the Centre City park earlier in the month resulted in a much needed $1,000 financial boost to the Cherokee County Chidren’s Advocacy Center. Lori Lumsden Harris, CAC director, said, “We are most grateful for the Big E Cruzin’ 4 Charity. It’s another example of how our community always rallies together to help us protect the children and provide services for abused children here in Cherokee County.”
It was kudos to the city’s youth at a June Centre City Council meeting when the council paid tribute to the local Cherokee County Career and Technology Center Robotics team and also three Girl’s Softball teams who advanced to state competition this past summer.
The council recognized the teams and coaches during its Tuesday, June 26 meeting. This past spring, the robotics team advanced to international competition in St. Louis after winning at the state level.
The Cherokee County Commission, during its Monday, June 25 meeting, agreed to allow Vaughn Heating and Cooling to install an air conditioning system at the Cherokee County Historical Museum for $49,000. The commission agreed to fund the project through its capital improvement fund.
In June, David Hartline was elected American Legion First Division Commander, which coveres all the American Legion posts north of Birmingham stretching across the northern state from Mississippi to Georgia. This was the first for a resident of Cherokee County.
Last year, Hartline was elected as 13th District Commander, which covers Cherokee County, Dekalb County, Jackson County and Marshall County.
Thousands of people of all ages braved temperatures which soared around 105 degrees for the Town of Cedar Bluff’s Annual Liberty Day Celebration held in Cedar Bluff Town Park.
Misty Mobbs, Cedar Bluff Town employee and coordinator of the festivities, said, “We had about 65 arts and craft vendors and about 100 food vendors. I believe the heat definitely did affect his year’s event. People started leaving about 2 p.m. and then started to come back about 5 p.m. after it cooled off some.”
In early July, Ken Daughtery announced as a write-in candidate for the Cherokee County Board of Education.
The municipal election races began heating up as well with Centre Incumbent Mayor Tony Wilkie announcing plans to seek re-election. Jay Howell, a retired Alabama Department of Public Safety employee and Centre native, announced plans to challenge Wilkie.
A public hearing was held in Cedar Bluff in July to ducsuss the cutting of the trees on the causeway between Cedar Bluff and Centre. The town hall was packed with people coming to express their opinions and concerns on this most delicate matter.
Jerry Culberson, along with others, spoke for cutting the trees because of some of the danger they cause obstructing peoples’ view and also because of erosion and the blocking of seeing the beautiful lake.
On the other hand, others such as Cindy Early spoke against cutting the trees because of their beauty and the significance of the trees ot the naming of the town….Cedar Bluff.
A North Carolina scarp metal company took a hidden treasure and put it to good use which was reported in July. Bish Enterprises in Siler City, N.C. bought an old fire truck with intentions of turning it into scrap metal. But when it came time to cut the vehicle apart, Bish owners John McSween and Joe Gunter had second thoughts.
Gunter’s wife, Joyce, a native of Alabama, grew up in the Tuscaloosa area and was aware of the tornado damage from April 27, 2011. They heard about Ellisville Volunteer Fire Department when they asked some local firefightersif they knew of any fire department that might be interested in this fire truck and Ellisville was able to take possession.
Local municipalities released the lists of those seeking office for the Aug. 28 municipal election.
The town of Cedar Bluff’s candidates for mayor included Incumbent Ethel Sprouse, Sam Ellis, Margaret Wallace, Martha Baker and Jack Bond.
District One Candidates were Incumbent Evan Smith and Billie Burkhalter.
Running unopposed in District Two was Tammy Crane.
District Three Candidates were Nathan Thacker and Jerry Sprayberry.
District Four Candidates were Incumbent Norman Burton and Paul McWhorter III.
Running unopposed in District Five was Incumbent Leatha Harp.
In the Centre race, Incumbent Tony Wilkie faced Challenger Jay Howell for mayor.
Incumbent Centre City Council Members seeking re-election included Glenn Chandler, Frankie Kelly, Harry Moon, Phillip Roberts and Bess Yarbrough.
Newcomers running for Centre City Council included Shelia Barrett, Jean Gossett, Marc Johnson, Ronnie Strawbridge, Cricket Swafford, Derek Wheeler and Agnes Wright.
In the Gaylesville race, Incumbent Elizabeth Stafford sought re-election as mayor.
Gaylesville Town Council candidates included Jean Watwood for Place One, Gay Simpson for Place Two, April Given for Place Three, Tommy Storey for Place Four and Tina Rowland for Place Five.
In Leesburg, Incumbent Mayor Edward Mackey faced Challengers Dianne Tillery and Tony Chandler.
Leesburg Town Council Candidates for 2012 included Brad Roberts, Tim Ransum and Frankie Brewster in Place One, Joe Sonaty and Leonard Joseph in Place Two, Brandy Pierce and Jerry Johns in Place Three, Wayne Byram in Place Four and William (Bill) Jones and Brandon Betterton in Place Five.
In Sand Rock, James R. Mackey ran for mayor. Town Council candidates included Julia Smith in Place One, Greg Oliver in Place Two, Gene Farmer in Place Three, George Mackey in Place Four and Steve McMeekin in Place Five.
The Cherokee County Commmission award FAS resurfacing contracts in July on Cherokee County Road 22 and Cherokee County Road 19 to McCartney Construction with a county match of $143,306.47 (District Three-$69,746.21 and District Four-$73,562.26 and authorized Cherokee County Commission Chairman/Probate Judge Melvyn Salter to sign the letter.
It was a welcome day for the Cherokee Historical Museum in July when workers began installing air conditioning for the first time in the building. From sweating in the summer to freezing during the winter in the upstairs archives, the museum was always at the whim of the weather outside.
Agnes Wright in July announced as a candidate for Centre City Council.
The Cherokee High School Marching Warrior Band began a new season in August under the leadership of a new director, Michael Brown, a graduate of Jacksonville State University.
Incumbent Bess Yarbrough announced her candidacy for re-election to the Centre City Council.
Once again, the World’s Longest Yard Sale was a huge success in this area. The World’s Longest Yard Sale, which runs a 650-mile route from Gadsden to the Lookout Mountain Parkway (County Road 176) runs all the way to Ohio.
This year’s sale was held Thursday, Aug. 2 through Sunday, Aug. 5.
The Cherokee County School System began the 2012-2013 School Year on an upbeat note after Superintendent Brian Johnson announced that Cherokee County Schools were officially awarded District Accreditation status.
A committee recommended district accreditation following several days of school visits, interviews and other information gathering sessions in the spring and stressed at that time that this was only a recommendation and that only an official recommendation (or denial0 would come later from the National Review Committee.
Three more candidates announced for municipal offices in August. Incumbent Norman Burton re-qualified for Cedar Bluff Town Council, Incumbent Phillip Roberts sought re-election to the Centre City Council and Darlene “Cricket” Swafford sought election to the Centre City Council.
The Cherokee County Commission met with Jim Hollins of the Alabama Department of Public Health in August. He introduced Christina Barkley as the solid waste officer of Cherokee County effective Aug. 1.
Two more candidates announced for municipal offices. Paul McWhorter announced plans to run for Cedar Bluff Town Council Place Four and Incumbent Harry Moon sought re-election to the Centre City Council.
The results were in following the Aug. 28 municipal elections.
In the Cedar Bluff races, there were five candidates in the race for the mayor’s position. Incumbent Ethel Sprouse received 111 votes and Martha Baker received 124. They faced each other again in the run-off election.
As for the other Cedar Bluff mayorial candidates, Jack Bond received 101 votes, Sam Ellis, 40 and Margaret Wallace, 13.
For Cedar Bluff Town Council Place One, Billie Burkhalter received 72 votes, Incumbent Evan Smith received 35 and Jimmy Wallace received 9.
Tammy Crane ran unopposed for Cedar Bluff Town Council Place Two.
In Cedar Bluff Town Council Place Three, Jerry Sprayberry received 44 votes and Nathan Thacker received 38.
In Cedar Bluff Town Council Place Four, Incumbent Norman Burton received 47 votes and Paul McWhorter received 40.
Leatha Harp ran unopposed for Cedar Bluff Town Council Place Five.
Citizens of Centre voted to keep Incumbent Tony Wilkie as mayor by a vote of 539-347 over Challenger Jay Howell.
In the Centre City Council races, citizens re-elected all incumbents including Frankie Kelly with 838 votes, Phillip Roberts with 789, Bess Yarbrough with 653, Harry Moon with 464 and Glenn Chandler with 383.
Newly-elected council members included Marck Johnson who received 816 votes and Derrick Wheeler who received 676 votes.
Other challengers included Shelia Barrett with 343 votes, Ronnie Strawbridge with 334, Darlene (Cricket) Swafford, 332; Agnes Wright, 277 and Jean Gossett, 128.
Gaylesville’s mayor and council were unopposed. So there was no election. Elizabeth Stafford continued service as mayor. Jean Watwood continue as Gaylesville Town Council Member Place One; Gay Simpson, Place Two; April Givens, Place Three; Tommy Storey, Place Four and Tina Rowland, Place Five.
Citizens re-elected Ed Mackey as mayor of Leesburg. Mackey received 179 votes while Diann Tillery received 68 and Tony Chandler received 65.
For Leesburg Town Council Place One, Frankie Brewster received 134 votes. Tim Ransum received 128 and Brad Roberts received 38.
For Leesburg Town Council Place Two, Joe Sonaty received 218 votes and Leonard Joseph received 85.
For Leesburg Town Council Place Three, Brandy Pierce was the winner receiving 212 votes to Jerry Johns’ 83.
Incumbent Wayne Byram ran unopposed for Leesburg Town Council Place Four.
For Leesburg Town Council Place Five, it was Brandon Betterton over Bill Jones by a vote fo 183-119.
Sand Rock’s mayor and council were unopposed so there was also no official election in Sand Rock.
James Rickey Mackey is now mayor of Sand Rock.
Julia Smith will serve as Sand Rock Town Council Member for Place One; Greg Oliver, Place Two; Gene Farmer, Place Threel; George “Bud” Mackey, Place Four and Steve McMeekin, Place Five.
While Tropical Storm Isaac churned up the Gulf, more local waters once again became a sea of sailboats as the Rome Sailing Club sponsored its Annual Weiss Lake Regatta the weekend of Aug. 25-26. Evan Smith, a member of the Rome Sailing Club, noted it was possible one of the biggest crowds they have had in years with participants from throughout the southeast, including the Atlanta and Lake Lanier areas.
The Cherokee County Commission, in March, adopted a resolution designating a portion of Cherokee County Road Number 43 “The J.E. (Erskine) Mitchell Memorial Highway” in honor of a local businessman who passed away earlier in the year for his many contributions to the community.
Another local legend was honored in August, the late Coach L.D. Bruce with the newly-renovated football field at Cedar Bluff High School dedicated in Coach Bruce’s memory.
“For me, it’s like a step back 50 years in my life,” said Michael “Lynn” Bruce, son and former football player of legendary coach L.D. Bruce. “The first thought I had was that I wished dad could get a 10-second glimpse of what we have here now. It is beautiful.”
NAMI (National Association for Mentally Ill) Centre recognized a local advocate in September for her tireless efforts on behalf of mentally ill patients. Sue Guffey, president, NAMI Centre, officially presented Jerry Delk a plaque after she was named Outstanding Advocate of the Year for 2012 during a state meeting held in August. Delk was unable to attend the meeting.
Delk, as many local citizens know, has been fighting for the rights of mentally ill patients since 1987 when her son was diagnosed with a mental illness and was placed in jail because there were no facilities available at the time.
“Jerry Delk is one of the most dedicated advocates that anyone could meet,” said Wanda Laird, executive director, NAMI of Alabama.
“She works tirelessly from her home with her telephone and fax machine to accomplish many tasks. Mrs. Delk not only promoted the use of telemedicine in rural areas but advocated for the guidelines for telemedicine services to be amended to remove the 50-mile service stipulation.”
Local first responders gathered with citizens of Cherokee County in September Tuesday, Sept. 11 to remember the men and women who lost their lives during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist bombing on American Soil.
The ceremony was held on the steps of the Cherokee County Courthouse as emergency responders from the Rescue Squad, EMS Ambulance Service, each of the local law enforcement agencies and the 13 volunteer fire departments made their way down Main Street for the 2012 911 Rembrance Ceremony.
Tragedy again struck the Cherokee County area in mid September when a Huntsville pilot, on his way to visit friends in the area, lost his life when his plane crashed on Weiss Lake in the Riverside Campground area of Cedar Bluff.
The pilot, according to the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, was identified as William P. Shaver, 66.
Initial reports indicated that the single engine plane was attempting to land in a cove, clipped power lines and went down in Weiss Lake. Rescue efforts were initially stalled because of the dangerouos situation created by the downed power lines, according to Cherokee County Sheriff Jeff Shaver.
COMING IN JAN. 23 EDITION OF THE HERALD. SEPTEMBER 2012 CONTINUED, and more highlights from 2012