Archives for November 2014

Photo of the Day: November 30, 2014

potd - holiday fishingEnjoying a little late season fishing.

Photo of the Day: November 29, 2014

potd - kids with dogsMia Ferrell and Daniel Thomas enjoyed spending time with Annie and Boomer over the Thanksgiving holiday.

Photo of the Day: November 28, 2014

pic - demopolis singers 1The Demopolis Singers, under the direction of Ed Rush, below, are rehearsing for their annual Christmas Concert, to be held Sunday, December 14 at 2 p.m. and Monday evening, December 15 at the Demopolis High School Fine Arts Auditorium. Admission is free, but donations will be accepted. (Photos submitted by Elaine Carr)

pic - demopolis singers - rush


Chamber crew adding to Christmas on the River

DACCOn Nov. 19, Michael Kennedy marked one-year as director of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce.

Last year, his was more of a watch-and-learn position as he experienced his first Christmas on the River, especially since the Monroe, La., native had recently moved to the city.

Mallie Quarles, the Chamber’s office manager, was just as new, although she started learning in October as all the COTR pageants took place.

His first year on the job has been one of “figuring out the previous organization and then moving (the Chamber) towards our organization,” Kennedy said.

The biggest challenge has been learning the “intimate details of Demopolis so when people call I can respond appropriately.” Over the year his knowledge of the city and its history has grown, and now he is better able to tell the story.

He and his wife, Hannah, daughter of Traci and Rob Pearson, had been dating for three years before their marriage this summer. He had made a number of trips passing through or visiting, but he didn’t “know before then there was a good-sized city” and everything that city had to offer.

As their first anniversary in the job approached, Kennedy and Quarles found the month before COTR “is the first month we’ve gotten into the things we didn’t know about,” said Kennedy.

“People would ask, ‘What about this?’ and I would go, ‘I’ve never heard about that,” he said. “Most people have been pretty patient and understanding”

Changes this year include “sponsorship packages for businesses, corporations and citizens that want to be a part of it.” The packages have added more value to each level of giving, and not just for monetary gifts, but for in-kind services as well. “People want to be recognized.”

The Chamber has made other “small little tweaks that will positively affect” the event, he continued.

New this year was opening the COTR float warehouse for people to see all the work that has gone on to create the floats. “If you get up next to it and you’re like, ‘that’s some detail that went into that’,” Kennedy said. He is impressed with the creativity and hard work from people in Demopolis to make COTR special.

Barbara Blevins and her beautification crew is preparing a new tree for the lighting of the Public Square, he added.

The night parade, under the chairmanship of Buffy Etheridge, will feature two new floats, this year, Kennedy added. The UWA golf team has pitched in by testing more than 1,000 bulbs to light up the “floats that really float.”

While there is little new construction for the day parade, a lot of work by a lot of volunteers has gone into sprucing up and preparing the floats for this year’s event. Jennifer Roemen, chairman, has lined up at least four bands, and the popular paper mache characters will be back to march along the route.

“Not having a lot of new additions has helped us stay in budget,” said Kennedy. “In places that we weren’t spending much we’ve been able to look toward the future and purchase items that will be good for us.”

All food and retail booths are sold out, but as of last week a few craft vendor spaces left. All the RV parking spaces have been reserved.

“Vendors probably are the most complicated” part of Quarles job in preparing for COTR, she said, while working with Ann Parsons on the pageants was the most enjoyable.

“I had a lot of fun doing it, but they kept me very busy,” she laughed.

The Demopolis native is getting a different view of Demopolis’ Christmas party for the world.

“I’ve always loved Christmas on the River,” she said. “I love Christmas.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

pic - thanksgivingThe West Alabama Watchman wishes its readers a safe, happy and blessed Thanksgiving.

Ceola McAlpine

Mrs. Ceola McAlpine of Forkland, Alabama entered into eternal rest November 25,2014 at UAB Hospital, Birmingham, Alabama. Funeral services for Ms. Ceola McAlpine will be held December 6,2014 at 11 a.m. at Ebenezer Baptist Church Forkland ,Alabama. Rev. Michael Barton, pastor; Rev. Thomas Gilmore will officiate. Interment will follow in the adjoining church cemetery. Larkin and Scott Funeral Directors entrusted with arrangements.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

Ricky Steadham

Richard Eugene “Ricky” Steadham age 55 of Thomasville, AL, died November 25, 2014 at Providence Hospital. He was born November 27, 1958 in Grove Hill, AL. He was a Fire Safety Inspector with International Paper Co. He was a member of the Liberty Baptist Church where he served as a deacon and was a member of the Fulton Volunteer Fire Department. He is survived by his wife; Martha Jo Steadham of Thomasville, AL; son, Richard Brandon (Vanessa) Steadham of Thomasville, AL; daughter, Amanda Steadham (Brad) Hare of Thomasville, AL; sister, Merita (Warren) Harrell of Thomasville, AL; brother, Harvey (Tammy) Steadham of Thomasville, AL; brother, Derry (Hope) Steadham of Grove Hill, AL; sister, Sandy (Danny) Bedwell of Fulton, AL; brother, Nick (Emily) Steadham of Grove Hill, AL; four grandchildren, Hunter Steadham, Tristan Steadham, Drake Hare, Kadence Hare. Visitation will be held at Liberty Baptist Church on Friday, November 28, 2014 from 6:00 pm to 8:30 pm. Funeral services will be held at Liberty Baptist Church on Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 11:00 am with Rev. William M. Faircloth, Jr., William M. Faircloth, III, and Rev. Don White officiating. Burial will be at Liberty Baptist Church Cemetery in Thomasville, AL. Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Angel Wings Ministries, 386 Thomas Drive, Monroeville, AL 35474. Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

All obituaries taken from the website of the corresponding funeral home unless otherwise noted.

Demopolis downs Benjamin Russell to win Cornerstone tourney

photo(20)BIRMINGHAM — Demopolis downed Class 6A Benjamin Russell 73-70 Wednesday afternoon to win the Cornerstone Thanksgiving Classic.

The Tigers won the game with a 25-18 run in the fourth quarter that was keyed by tremendous shooting at the free throw line.

photo(21)“In the fourth quarter, we just attacked more and we finished at the rim. I thought we were the more aggressive,” Demopolis coach Rodney Jackson said. “We ended up just attacking more and got fouled, went to the free throw line and we knocked them down.”

Demopolis hit 15 of 18 free throws in the fourth quarter to cap a game in which it shot 32-for-39 from the charity stripe.

“We have a few guys that go up there with confidence and they knock it down. I think it gets contagious and then everybody wants to knock them down,” Jackson said.

The Tigers led 14-9 after one quarter of play and carried a 29-26 lead into the locker room at half. Benjamin Russell used a 26-19 run to carry a 52-48 lead into the game’s fourth quarter.

“I think we were more focused. We did a lot of film study and we performed. Everybody played their role and they played hard,” Jackson said.

The win moves Demopolis to 3-1 on the season and culminates a three-game tournament stretch in which the Tigers connected on 59 of 77 free throw attempts.

“It is huge because now they’re starting to believe in the system. They’re starting to believe in each other. They’re starting to believe in themselves. When those three things come together, you’re going to have a pretty good team,” Jackson said. “To come back to Demopolis 3-1, that’s pretty awesome. That’s a great thing.”

Josh Moore led the Tigers with 25 points to go along with nine rebounds and four blocks. Moore buoyed his scoring effort with a 13-of-14 night at the free throw line. The former John Essex standout finished the tournament with 57 points in three games and took home All-Tournament and Most Valuable Player honors.

Demetrius Smith and Xavier Jowers each finished with 11 points. Charles Tripp had eight points to go along with nine rebounds and four blocks.

Tripp tallied 43 points over three games and earned All-Tournament honors

Georgia-Pacific donates $10,000 to DCSF

GP 2015 Gift

Last week Georgia-Pacific presented the Demopolis City Schools Foundation with $10,000 to kick-off the 2015 Membership Campaign. The funds will be used to support the work of the Foundation, including the Classroom Grants Program, which provides $50,000 to classroom teachers through a competitive grant process each year.

Amanda Barnes, Executive Director of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation, Chuck Krecklow, Georgia-Pacific, Sarah Chandler Hallmark, Foundation Board President.

Love Lights to illuminate Demopolis for 25th time

When the switch is flipped to light up the Love Lights tree on Dec. 3, it will continue a tradition started 25 years ago by the Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital Auxiliary to kick off Christmas on the River.

The brainchild of then-president Alice Boggs, the Love Lights program has raised thousands of dollars that the Auxiliary has used to purchase equipment and pay for services at the hospital.

Boggs said she got the idea from a hospital group in Birmingham when she happened to visit during their fundraiser, and she thought it would be a good fit for Demopolis.

At the first Love Lights ceremony Dec. 2, 1990, the tree was an evergreen placed in front of the hospital. For the past several years the tree, with its red and white lights, has been a familiar landmark during the Christmas season as it shines atop the hospital.

Love lights are purchased by those who want to honor or remember loved ones. The Auxiliary members sell them for $3 each or two for $5. White lights are for remembrance, and red, in honor. The lights are available from any member or from the volunteers in the hospital lobby.

To complement the lighted tree on the hospital, several trees in the lobby are adorned with white and red ornaments bearing the names of those being recognized. Stars denote veterans.

In 2005 the Auxiliary expanded the Christmas fund-raiser to include Corporate Wreaths. The green wreaths, decorated with gold ribbon and balls, line the main hallway of the hospital and recognize businesses and individuals who have donated $100 or more.

While the amount raised fluctuates each year, the two fundraisers together can net up to $7,000.

The Love Lights tree ceremony this year will begin at 5 p.m. Doing the honors of lighting the tree will be the COTR Special Child. Children’s choirs from First United Methodist Church and Christian Chapel will sing.

The Rev. Chris Spencer of St. Matthew Baptist will deliver the invocation, and the Rev. J.D. Barnes of Trinity Episcopal will close the event with the benediction.

After the ceremony, everyone will be invited inside the hospital for refreshments and to see the trees and Christmas wreaths decorating the lobby and hall.