Archives for July 2015

Dolly Parton Imagination Library to be available in Marengo County

Registration is now available in Marengo County for children interested in the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. A kickoff event for the initiative will take place Thursday, Aug. 6 from 10:30 a.m until noon at the Marengo County Library. Representatives from the initiative will also be reading a book to the reading groups in attendance.

Following the kickoff at MPL, the group will set up at the Demopolis Public Library from 1:30 p.m. until 3 p.m.

“We are really excited to officially kick off Dolly Parton’s program in Marengo County,” Kathryn Pearson of the United Way of West Alabama said. “Reading to children not only strengthens their reading, writing and comprehension abilities, it also enhances their imagination and creativity.”

Photo of the Day


The home of Jack and Patsy Cooley on Indian Hill Road was one of the homes awarded Best Blooming Home by Demopolis in Bloom for the month of July.

(Photo by Michael Clements)

BWWMH, CVS reach pact on 340-B program

Hospital CEO Art Evans, former board chair Annye Braxton, former board member Tom Perry, and current board chair Jay Shows.

Hospital CEO Art Evans, former board chair Annye Braxton, former board member Tom Perry, and current board chair Jay Shows.

CVS has signed a contract with Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital to take part in a 340-B program which is expected to greatly benefit both the pharmacy and the hospital.

BWWMH already has a contract with Walmart and is in talks with both Boone Pharmacy and F&F Drugs.

CEO Art Evans said 340-B is a federal program that allows primarily rural hospitals to purchase drugs at reduced rates, below those of any pharmacy or major retailer.

The program also allows discounts for any prescriptions written for specified patients by hospital physicians.

Using the 340-B is a “major incentive and major source of revenue for rural hospitals,” Evans said.

The agreement with CVS goes into effect Oct. 1.

As of July 1 the hospital began using Press Ganey to conduct its patient satisfaction surveys and educate areas of the hospital on how to improve services for its clients.

Patient satisfaction rates have increased over last year, Evans said, but are not where the hospital wants them to be. Already $80,000 is being withheld from the federal government until scores improve, he said.

The new firm will mail surveys instead of telephone calls that the previous company used.

Marsha Pugh has been hired as the new human resources director for the hospital, and Dr. Marcia Pugh was named director of nursing.

With their appointments, Evans said the hospital has eliminated two positions and two of its five divisions. The remaining divisions are patient care services, fiscal services and clinical and environmental services.

The hospital has a scholarship agreement with Josh Moore, son of Pat and Terre Moore, who began Osteopathic Medical School in Dothan this week. Under the agreement Moore will return to Marengo County to practice when he graduates.

Evans said the hospital is working with another local student who plans to go into medicine.

The board made the following reappointments:

Courtesy staff — Dr. Bryan King, orthopedics

Consulting Staff – Drs. Shailajha Chidella, nephrology; Darrell Prestridge, ophthalmology; Gary Leung, radiology; John Mantle, cardiology, and David Downs, radiology

Locum Tenens – Drs. Sharon Lawrence and Katie Gates, emergency medicine

Board chairman Jay Shows welcomed new board member Michael Patterson. He also praised members of the City Council and Mayor Mike Grayson for honesty and cooperation in the recent negotiations over Patterson’s appointment and thanked members of the board for their help and encouragement.

At the beginning of the meeting, the board recognized two former members with plaques and resolutions thanking them for “outstanding leadership and management” and making them Fellows of the Board of Directors.

Honored were former board chair Annye Braxton and Tom Perry. Also honored for their service, but not attending were Wood Holley and Webb Tutt.

Demopolis Arrest Reports: July 28, 2015

July 25 – Anna M. Foy, 23, for Contributing to the Delinquency, dependency, or need of supervision of children – Highway 80 East

July 25 – Jessie Collins, 60, for Drug Paraphernalia-First Offense – Webb Circle

July 25 – Jonathan W. Ford, 33, for Alias Warrant – Elks Food Mart

July 25 – Britney Lewis, 28, for Alias Warrant – MCDC

July 26 – Matthew L. Crocker, 34, for Disorderly Conduct/Disturbing the Peace – Parr’s Chevron

July 26 – Jason L. Monroe Jr., 18, for Possession of Marijuana II – Parr’s Chevron

July 27 – Deeric R. Gray, 25, for Theft of Property I and Attempting to Elude a Police Officer – Greene County AL Hwy 11

July 28 – Brian D. Sams, 33, for Burglary III and Theft of Property III – DPD

DHS Cross Country holding car, dog wash


The Demopolis Cross Country Team will hold a carwash and dog wash Satuday, Aug. 1 at Malone’s Texaco from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The cost is $10. This is the second year for the Demopolis High School Cross Country squad. Last year, eight students made it to state from the squad. Please stop by on Saturday with your car, your dog(s) or both.


Library brings art to local young people

The Demopolis Public Library hosted four art classes in July for 64 children and teens. Local artists Kirk Brooker and Sierra Goldman taught the classes.

The classes were sponsored by grants through the Black Belt Community Foundation, the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation, and the Friends of the Demopolis Public Library for a project called “Read, Think, Create!”. The goal of the project is to impact children by exposing them to enriching experiences through art and literature.

The first class taught by Kirk Brooker featured the book It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Taylor Started to Draw. Bill Taylor was an Alabama artist that used his memories to create his art. Brooker guided the class through the process of taking a memory and painting it on canvas. He explained the techniques that Taylor used in his work and helped the students use these techniques. The second class featured the book The Iridescence of Birds: A Book about Henri Matisse.

Sierra Goldman, from the Art Place in Demopolis, taught two classes featuring the book Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats. She guided the students step by step through the process of creating art like Ezra Jack Keats did in his book. The painting featured a street scene with the dog Willie from the book.

The library is hoping to offer more art classes for children throughout the year. For more information or to check out the books featured in the classes, visit the Demopolis Public Library or call 334.289.1595.

Margaret B. Megginson

Margaret B. Megginson age 71 of Camden, AL died July 29, 2015 at UAB Hospital. She was born June 20, 1944 in Fulton, AL. She was a former textile manager.

She is survived by three sons, Steven Brent Megginson, Anthony Mark Megginson, and Timothy Eric Megginson, daughter, Teresa Megginson Ingram, fifteen grandchildren and ten great grandchildren.

Visitation will be held at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home on Friday, July 31, 2015 from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at Midway Baptist Church on Saturday, August 1, 2015 at 10:00 AM with Rev. Lister Hill officiating. Burial will be in the Midway Baptist Church Cemetery in Thomasville AL.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

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

Kathryn Friday retiring from Extension office

Kathryn FridayKathryn Friday retires this week, but no one who knows her believes she will remain quietly at home for long.

It’s Friday who taught at Marengo Academy for 28 years, five of them as headmaster, and four of those as mayor of Linden at the same time, two very high stress jobs.

Friday took two years off to rest and recuperate. She then applied “on a whim” for the job as coordinator of the Marengo County Extension Service.

Without a background in home economics or agriculture, Friday was surprised when she was offered the job. Her hiring reflected the changes going on in Extension. Now the focus has expanded to community and economic development.

She was the first person hired as a county coordinator who wasn’t already with the service. ”They were trying something different. If you’re going to fit the needs of the people you have to move with the times.”

Now, after 10 years and four months on the job, she is retiring with a long list of projects and programs that have been started under her watch and with national and regional accolades.

“It was the best decision I’ve ever made professionally,” she said.

Friday readily admits that when she took the job she knew about 10 percent of the scope of Extension services. “I had no idea how much they do for the people of Alabama,” she said.

“Because I was new and had different ideas I automatically thought outside the box. I didn’t know what the box was.”

Working for economic development became one of the most important aspects of her job. She has worked closely with the Economic Community Development Institute at Auburn University in trying to educate Extension about economic development and the service’s role in it.

Her cooperation with Brenda Tuck, the director of the Economic Development Authority of Marengo County, led to the proudest achievement of Friday’s career with the Extension service – the facility that the county’s Extension shares with the EDA and the partnership that developed between the two.

When the former National Guard Armory closed, Friday and Tuck were convinced that the building could be used to the county’s advantage. The result was the Marengo County Business Development Center.

“This idea came together after one week,” said Friday.

With the support of the county commission and numerous grants that Tuck wrote approaching a half million dollars, their vision became reality.

Their efforts were applauded two months ago when Friday received the first place award for the project from the National Association of Community Development Extension Professionals.

It was the perfect example of teamwork, she said, and a positive image for the county.

The center can draw on all the resources of Auburn University to help businesses start, grow and develop, Friday continued.

“Economic development is a process, not an event,” she continued. Projects may take years to come to fruition. “When you’re in a small rural area, you’ve got to put resources together.”

The center also became the first facility in the state to sport the new Cooperative Extension logo.

Extension in Marengo County offers many other services such as its leadership programs both locally and with the state. Friday said leaders from the county take part in the Alabama Community Leadership Network, exchanging ideas and holding workshops.

Included in leadership training is the YouthLEAD program that has proven a success. It isn’t just for the student who is a leader but for the student who wants to be one, said Friday.

Other programs now offered by the Extension office are some that traditionally have been a part of the service: horticulture and home grounds, agronomy for farmers, livestock care for all ages and forestry and wildlife. Family and child development has expanded to include marriage and care-giving.

Friday said 4-H is growing rapidly in the county thanks to decisions made by a team set up to oversee the program. The number of students enrolled last year doubled, and even more are expected to join this fall.

Nutrition Education Program (NEP) is set up for applicants and recipients of Food Stamps, but it includes healthy eating events for third graders and food safety. Extension offers ServeSafe training. That saves local restaurants the time and expense of sending their employees elsewhere for training.

Started this year is a shooting program – both BB guns and archery – made possible because of the facilities in the former armory building.

Other programs include financial management, which will be presented in schools this fall, and a sexual abstinence program given to sixth graders with parental permission.

As a cheerleader for Extension, Friday said a lot of what her office does is to arrange training sessions. “The more who come the better,” she said. “We try to buy everything we can in Marengo County.”

Friday isn’t sure what she and her husband Joe will be doing after she finally clears out her office. Travel is possible since they both enjoy it, and, of course, taking time to see grandchildren in Birmingham and Baton Rouge.

“I have one of the most supportive husbands in the world, or I couldn’t have done all these things,” Friday added.

She expects to continue working with leadership programs and on the committee that is planning events to mark the 200th anniversary of Marengo County in 2018.

Being a Master Gardener, Friday will continue to write her weekly column that runs in local newspapers.

The Fridays have lived in Linden for 45 years. “I love this area. We haven’t even thought about moving,” she said. “Marengo County is a good place to live because people get along.”

Wilford Eugene Smyly

Wilford Eugene Smyly age 89 of Pine Hill, AL died July 28, 2015 at Camden Nursing Facility. He was born April 11, 1926 in Magnolia, AL. Mr. Smyly was a retired construction company building inspector. He was a member of Magnolia Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and a US Navy veteran.

He is survived by his son, Gene (Deborah) Smyly of Mayer, AZ; daughter, Debra Rickman of Gonzaleas, TX; daughter, Gladys (Leon) Dobbs of Pine Hill, AL; daughter, Sue (David) Hayes of Eugene, OR; and son, Rex (Heather) Smyly of Prescott, AZ; sister, Eloise Harbin of Magnolia; twenty grandchildren and 24 great grandchildren.

Visitation will be held at Magnolia Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints on Friday, July 31, 2015 from 10:00 AM until the 11:00 AM service time with President Rocky Newton officiating. Burial will be in the Magnolia Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints Cemetery in Magnolia, AL.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

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

Maggie Grey Smith

Maggie Grey Smith age 91 of Thomasville, AL died July 28, 2015 in Nicholsville, AL. She was born December 16, 1923 in Lasca, AL. Mrs. Smith was a former rural mail carrier and homemaker. She was a member of Creels Chapel United Methodist Church. She was also a member of the Thomasville Hospital Auxillary, the Thomasville Worth While Club, and the Red Hat Ladies.

She is survived by her son, Harold Smith of Robertsdale, AL; seven daughters, Willene LeMaster of Pensacola, FL; Maxine Johnston, of Pensacola, FL; Ann Ball of Georgetown, TX; Jean Coggin of Pensacola, FL; Joyce Loftin of Sweet Water, AL; Linda Thomas of Hattiesburg, MS; and Patsy Berryman of Athens, GA; sister, Nell Smith of Thomasville, AL; twenty grandchildren, thirty two great grandchildren, and twenty seven great-great grandchildren.

Visitation will be held at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home on Thursday, July 30, 2015 from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM. Funeral services will be held at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home on Friday, July 31, 2015 at 2:00 PM with Rev. Sam F. Lowery and Rev. Shannon LeMaster-Smith officiating. Burial will be in the Forest Springs Cemetery in Morvin AL.

Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to the United Methodist Church Children’s Home or Creels Chapel United Methodist Church.

Arrangements by O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Thomasville, AL.

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