Archives for January 2015

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Dr. Jerry Luther

Jerry Robert Luther M.D., 83 of Faunsdale, Al, passed away at his residence on Jan. 29, 2015. He was born April 1, 1931, in Nashville, Tn., to Elijah Turner and Margaret McCall Luther. He was preceded by his parents, Elijah Turner and Margaret McCall Luther; sister, Margaret June Luther. He is survived by his wife, Jan Porter Luther ; sons, John Norman Luther (Glenda) and Steven Kennedy Luther (Elizabeth Anne) both of Birmingham ; brothers, Dr. Norman Luther (Joy) of Melbourne, Fl. and Edward Turner Luther of Kentucky ; grandson, George Webb Luther of Birmingham; nieces and nephews. Dr. Luther attended George Peabody College (Vanderbilt) and Medical School at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine in Memphis. His internship was at the U.S. Army Brooke Army Hospital, Fort Sam Houston, San Antonio, TX. He had his residency at Baptist Medical Center in Birmingham. He served his country during the Korean conflict and the Vietnam War. After working with the Birmingham Radiological Group, Dr. Luther moved to Demopolis in 1976 and headed the department of Radiology at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital until his retirement in 2012. He gave a sense of love, peace and hope to all he came in contact with. Graveside services will be 10:30 a.m. Sat. Jan. 31, 2015 at St. Michaels with Rev. George McKee officiating and Kirk Funeral Homes Demopolis Chapel directing. Honorary pallbearers will be the Radiology Department at BWWMH.

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

Photo of the Day: January 31, 2015

potd - church sign

Sound advice from Christian Chapel Baptist Church.

Tripp hangs 28 to help Tigers down Linden, snap nine-game skid

Charles Tripp-9251Charles Tripp had a career night in every sense Friday, leading the Demopolis Tigers to a 73-51 rout of rival Linden.

“Charles is my senior. He’s one of my leaders. He has been building up to this area tournament. He has been playing his best basketball of late,” Demopolis coach Rodney Jackson said.

Tripp flashed his full array of offensive skills throughout the course of the game, opening the contest on a personal 7-0 run en route to a 13-point first quarter. Tripp connected on three shots from deep and a nifty back-to-the-basket turnaround baseline jumper over a Linden defender. However, it was a third quarter moment that placed the exclamation point on Tripp’s night. The senior manned the right wing, took a pass from Demetrius Smith, hit a hard drop step down the baseline and finished with authority at the rim, slamming home a two-handed jam that animated the home crowd.

“It’s very rare, but he always had it in him,” Jackson said of the magnitude of improvement Tripp has displayed since his junior season. “We felt like he had a good shot. He has great ball skills. The issue with Charles was confidence. It’s not soaring, but it’s getting better. When it’s soaring, he’ll be unstoppable.”

In addition to his game and career high 28 points, Tripp also led all players in rebounds and was second in assists Friday night, hauling in 14 boards and dishing out five dimes.

The effort highlighted a crisp performance from the Demopolis team, which outrebounded the Patriots 46-19 in the contest and shared the basketball more efficiently to the tune of a 26-5 assists disparity.

“That’s been one of our biggest problems, rebounding. We’ve been working on it in practice and it showed up in the game. I felt like we were the more aggressive team tonight,” Jackson said. “We’ve been talking about playing together, sharing the ball, passing up a good shot for a great shot.”

The Tigers carried a 20-9 lead through the first quarter and scarcely looked back on the way to a 37-24 halftime lead.

The win snaps a nine-game losing streak for the Tigers, giving them their first win since a 51-47 road win over Thomasville Jan. 2.

“I thought we played well tonight. I thought we executed. The game plan going in was to try to limit turnovers, take quality shots, play quality defense and don’t foul,” Jackson said. “Right now, whether it was Linden or whoever, we’ll take it. I thought our guys played well.”

Josh Moore added 11 points and eight rebounds for the Tigers while Xavier Jowers had 11 points and nine boards. Smith finished with eight points and four assists.

Freshman Nelson Haskin impressed in his brief time off the bench, scoring six points and grabbing four rebounds.

D.J. Charleston led the Patriots with 21 points and five rebounds. Dequan Charleston added 11 points for the Pats while Steve Edwards had nine.

Demopolis heads into the Class 5A, Area 6 tournament as the No. 4 seed next week and readies to face top-seeded Dallas County in the opening round. Despite the 9-16 record, Jackson feels good about his team.

“I told my assistant coach that even some games we lost, I felt like we played great ball,” Jackson said. “We knew we were in a tough area. We knew we had to battle. It has built us up to now, going into this area tournament. Everybody’s record is 0-0.”

Lady Tigers score 20th win of season

The Demopolis Lady Tigers (20-6) snagged their 20th win of the season Friday night, downing rival Linden 46-29.

“It’s big for this program. That’s means we’re getting back to the elite way we play,” Demopolis coach Tony Pittman said. “It’s something that is always a goal, to win 20 games. All that is preparation for the area tournament and things to come.”

Demopolis led Linden 22-8 after one quarter of play and spent much of the rest of the game relying heavily on younger players.

The defensive effort of Demopolis frequently proved too suffocating for the Lady Patriots, who were held scoreless in the second quarter until Tomysha Boykin hit a turnaround jumper with 1:56 left in the period.

“That’s the thing that we’re preaching right now. We’re really focusing on, great defense, being able to move our feet, being in great position and limiting teams to one shot. You can see that even in our young people tonight,” Pittman said.

The win came despite the absence of 6-1 senior Caleb Washington, who missed the contest due to an injury.

“Caleb being a big on the post, she does a great job. But when she’s out, we can speed the game up a little bit and do some different things,” Pittman said. “We’re going to miss her, but I still feel very confident that we can pick right up and march on with (Ebony Moore) and (Darnesha Harris) in that position.”

Shakesaney Bell led the Lady Tigers with 13 points, proving the only player to score in double digits for Demopolis.

“She did a great job. She’s very aggressive going to the basket. If she gets a couple of layups, it opens up her outside shooting,” Pittman said. “To be a ninth grader and to have that type of production for us is going to be big going down the stretch.”

Imiya Agee led Linden with 11 points while Boykin had nine.

The Lady Tigers are set to wrap up the regular season Monday at Selma before hosting the Class 5A, Area 6 tournament next week.

“Defense, getting better on defense. Execution on offense and just being consistent in everything we do,” Pittman said “Anytime you run up against a good basketball team like Selma and the teams to come, it’s going to be the teams that do the small things the best.”

BWWMH names Evans CEO/Administrator

Arthur D. EvansArt Evans is officially the CEO and Administrator of Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital according to a press release from the BWWMH board of directors sent Friday afternoon.

“I am extremely thankful to the Board for their confidence and support of me over the years and in the unanimity in approving me as CEO/Administrator,” Evans said via a prepared statement. “The mission and vision of this organization remain unchanged and our commitment to the community we serve and the need to be connected to the community is even stronger. I am excited about this opportunity and meeting the challenges we face head on. We need the full support of the community in meeting its healthcare needs.”

The release from the BWWMH board appears in its entirety as follows:

The Board of Directors of The Tombigbee Healthcare Authority announces the unanimous decision to appoint Ret. Col. Arthur Evans as Chief Executive Officer/Administrator of Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

Evans came to work at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital in 1979. No other candidate has the experience of watching our hospital evolve as medicine, technology and financial policies have undergone drastic changes. In the last four months he has made incredible progress implementing the changes necessary to continue the hospital’s care and commitment to our community.”

Evans is a member of the Alabama Hospital Association and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. He has served as Chairman of the Healthcare Workers Compensation Fund (HWCF) since 2008, representing hospitals from across the state.

Locally, he is past president of the Demopolis Area Chamber of Commerce, past president of the Demopolis Rotary Club, past president of Demopolis Youth Baseball and currently the Alabama Babe Ruth District 10 Chairman, covering 10 West Central Alabama counties.

Evans and his family are well known for their contributions to our community. He has been a Deacon at First Baptist Church of Demopolis for many years and is married to the former Kaye Franks, who is the daughter of Gladys and George Franks.

They have two sons, Scott and Taylor, one grandson, Rosston, two granddaughters, Ivy and Saylor, and a new granddaughter expected in March.

Evans’ Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting came from the University of Alabama in 1974. He is a retired Army Reserve Colonel with 30 years of service.

Demopolis Arrest Reports: Jan. 29, 2015

Jan. 27 – Brandi S. Aaron, 22, for Theft of Property III – Walmart

Jan. 29 – Porsche N. Timberlake, 25, for Possession of Marijuana I and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – DPD

Jan. 29 – William E. Wallace, 35, for Possession of Marijuana I and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia – DPD

Jan. 29 – Kevis L. Flowers, 35, for Giving False Identification to Law Enforcement – Tractor Supply

Jan. 29 – Tylous L. James, 39, for Theft of Property III – Tractor Supply

Jan. 29 – Cornelius J. Huson, 34, for Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia – First Offense – Highway 80 East

Jan. 29 – Michael J. Collins, 41, for Possession of Marijuana and Drug Paraphernalia – First Offense – Highway 80 East

Jan. 29 – Alfred T. Sullivan, 38, for Marijuana-Possession and Drug Paraphernalia – First Offense – Highway 80 East

Tears and Laughter: Car seats bringing back memories

It wasn’t until the day was over and I had parked that I noticed they were with me. They were empty.

They made me turn around and do a double-take. It had been so long since two child safety seats were strapped into the backseat of my car.

Two of them.

In my backseat.


One for a toddler, one for an infant.

For years, that was my normal. I didn’t know what an empty backseat looked like. And, I didn’t want it any other way.

I must have really been just crazy about them because I kept them a part of my life by choice for almost 13 years, as were diaper bags and strollers and all of the contents that come along with them.

If you would like to try this arrangement for yourself, it’s easy. All you have to do is have four babies over a nin- year span and that should do it for you.

I very much enjoyed the kids when they were little. Everyone does. I still enjoy them of course, but they are little for such a short, fleeting time.

I didn’t realize it so much then, but I have since told people that the happiest days of my life were when I was a new mother and the girls were small and shared a room with two twin beds.

I would stand at the foot of their beds in the morning and watch them sleep.

Mothers do that.

Some dads do too if time allows them.

The matter of time is why I probably remember my first two sleeping peacefully more than I remember their younger brother and sister. By their arrival, life was busy. There was hardly time to think.

And somewhere in the day to day constant doing of life, just as subtly as the one safety seat had multiplied into two…the two slipped back to one and before long it was no longer necessary either.

Which left me with a wide-open backseat.

I remember noticing it one day in my rearview mirror after I had parked the car. I turned around to look at it. It looked new and foreign after not seeing it that way for all those years. It seemed vacant.

And in accepting that the phase of life involving little kids in safety seats were behind me, I wasn’t expecting to ever see them again. It wasn’t anything I had even thought about them. Until I noticed they were back.

This time around it is different. They are not permanent fixtures. I take them in and out as needed. But I might have been wrong about my happiest days being when my kids were little. I didn’t know to think ahead to grandchildren then.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Al. Watchman,, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era –

Demopolis DECA students readying for state conference

DECA club members at Demopolis High School are registering for the Alabama Career Development Conference (CDC) to be held Feb. 19-20 in Birmingham.

Sponsor Connie Davis said students who place in the top three of their events will travel to the international competition in Orlando, Fla., in April.

“We have already received recognition this year from both state and national DECA,” said Davis.

Two students, Cortney Smith and Abbey Latham, won the competition in t-shirt design for Alabama DECA. Every DECA member who attends the CDC in February will be wearing the shirt.

In addition, the DHS “DECA is Haunted by Domestic Violence” public relations project was recognized by national DECA as an award-winning project.

The local club has seven seniors who will receive recognition from national DECA as Emerging Leaders.

Other activities that DHS club worked on this year include “We Are Family,” a community service project with the residents of Woodhaven Nursing Home; Tour of Homes learn and earn project, and the Teddy Bear Drive community service project.

“DECA is a student-led organization, and our students are leaders,” said Davis. “Chapter officers create a plan of work each year based on what student members say they want to accomplish.”

David said students “become more civic conscious and socially aware while learning how to communicate and work as a team.”

Delta Regional Authority holding pitch competition in Linden

Anyone with a unique business idea is invited to take part The Delta Challenge, a series of entrepreneurship pitch competitions being held in the Black Belt and Delta Regional Authority.

Budding business men and women can show off their ideas at one of five locations, including once scheduled Linden at the Marengo County Business Center on March 2.

The pitch competitions will identify up to 16 Entrepreneurship Network Fellows who will travel to the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week March 20-27. There they will present their ideas to investors, connect with fellow entrepreneurs, industry experts and mentors and take part in workshops.

The Delta Challenge is part of a newly established program called the DRA Entrepreneurship Network. The goal of the network is to identify, connect, nurture and grow entrepreneurs by addressing lack of capital, training and best practices through a connection with support organizations, investors and educators.

The new program seeks to strengthen the entrepreneurial system of the DRA region and broaden the area’s cultural understanding of entrepreneurship, said Chris Masingill, DRA Federal co-chairman.

As part of the network’s development, DRA also is accepting applications from individuals and non-profit organizations that can provide support and education to entrepreneurs.

Applications for both the Delta Challenge and the Entrepreneurship Support Organization are due on Feb. 15 and can be found at A webinar will be held to outline application guidelines and answer questions on Feb. 3. To register, go to