Archives for November 2016

Dora Ruth Duke

Dora Ruth Duke, age 89, of Thomasville, AL died November 30, 2016 at Grove Hill Memorial Hospital. She was born March 7, 1927 in Citronelle, AL. to Boyd and ElDora Turner. She was retired from Vanity Fair and was a member of First Baptist Church Fulton.

She is survived by two daughters, Patsy Megginson and Diann Foreman; two brothers, Frank Turner and Bernie Turner; a sister, Annette Ward; four grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren

She was preceded in death by her husband, Roy Duke, a grandson, Matt Foreman, and a great granddaughter, Hannah Foreman

Visitation will be held at First Baptist Church Fulton on Friday, December 2, 2016 from 10:00 am until the 11:00 am service time with Rev. Keith Johnson officiating. Burial will be in the Liberty 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.

Rainfall not enough to ease fire woes statewide

Although rainfall amounts varied across the counties of the state Monday night, it is expected to give only short-term relief to the wildfires burning recently in Alabama. According to Interim State Forester Gary Cole of the Alabama Forestry Commission (AFC), there was not enough rain Monday night to lift the statewide ‘No Burn’ Order. However, additional rain Tuesday and Wednesday may allow the situation to be re-assessed later this week.

“The precipitation we received should temporarily help us with the wildfire situation and hopefully more rain is on the way,” stated Cole. “This reprieve will allow firefighters some much needed rest, as well as an opportunity to perform equipment repairs and maintenance.”

Meanwhile, Monday was a historic day in the number of active wildfires burning in Alabama for one day: 108 fires destroyed 2,742 acres across the state. Cole continued, “Most of us veteran firefighters here don’t remember that many fires in one day. Not only was the number of wildfires higher, but they were also larger in size.”

“I cannot thank the men and women with the Alabama Forestry Commission enough for their dedication, tireless efforts and countless hours spent battling fires across the state,” Governor Robert Bentley said. “Because of their efforts, wildfires in Alabama have been prevented from doing extensive damage. Their commitment to protecting life, property and wildlife does not go unnoticed.”

Of Monday’s wildfires, at least eight exceeded 100 acres in size, including a 400-acre fire in Marengo County, a 357-acre fire in Russell County, and one for 235 acres in Jefferson County. There were seven fires in Wilcox County alone, burning over 700 acres. In the last 30 days, a total of 1,074 wildfires have consumed over 15,000 acres of land in Alabama. Since Oct. 1, AFC wildland firefighters, with the assistance of volunteer fire departments, have battled 2,213 wildfires burning approximately 28,787 acres across the state.

The statewide Drought Emergency ‘No Burn’ Order remains in effect which was declared by Governor Robert Bentley on Nov. 7. This regulation, prohibiting all outdoor or open burning, makes it illegal for any person to set fire to any forest, grass, woods, wildlands or marshes; build a campfire or bonfire; or burn trash or debris. If convicted, the penalty for violating the No Burn Order is up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500.00. To report persons burning in violation of this law, contact your local law enforcement. For more information on the current wildfire situation in the state, visit Alabama Forestry Commission’s website at www.forestry.alabama.gov.

Patsy Nell Burge

Patsy Nell Burge, age 77, a homemaker of Putnam, AL died November 29, 2016 at DCH Regional Medical Center. She was born March 14, 1939 in Lasca, AL to Jesse Creagh and Lola Mae Little. She was a member of Putnam Baptist Church.

She is survived by: three daughters, Aurelia (Byron) Vines of Tallassee, AL; Pam (Donny) Givens of Putnam, AL; and Tricia (Danny McCant) Cohen of Milton, FL; son, Christopher (Janie) Burge, Sr. of Eclectic, AL; two sisters, Aurelia Nichols of Linden, AL; and Lois Boykin of Fairhope, AL; brother, Jesse Little of Half Acre, AL; six grandchildren and six great grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Levester Lowell Burge.

Visitation will be held at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home on Saturday, December 3, 2016 from 10:00 am until the 11:00 am service time with Rev. Chad Ward officiating. Burial will be in the Putnam Cemetery in Putnam, 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.

Tears and Laughter: Alabama people 

Since the election, and after our Jeff Sessions was offered the position of Attorney General, it has become increasingly clear that some portions of the nation aren’t all that crazy about the state of Alabama.

This attitude toward Alabama is not new. I was in a meeting of local artists, craftsmen, and writers from the Black Belt a couple of years back. One extremely talented man had just returned from New York City after basically giving up on getting a meaningful position in the field of art he was pursuing. He felt the number one hurdle keeping him from success was being from Alabama.

He had been born and raised here, and best I could tell without asking questions, it seemed he willingly and enthusiastically fled the state during his early adulthood. And granted, not too many people can be born and raised here without the roots eventually showing.

Oh you can try. You can learn to hide the accent. Make sure not to say y’all or pronounce the “er” at the end of words as “ah.” And you can also dress in such a way that no one would ever know.

And I think he had done just that during his time in New York City. Did it well. Did it so well he no longer blended in here, yet if he had not told us we would have all been left to wonder. But he was open. He shared his disappointment and regret. He felt he had missed out on several opportunities due to the truth his resume revealed about him being from the great state of Alabama.

He said Alabama has a bad reputation and people of here are thought to be a certain way. If not assumed to racist, then we are assumed redneck or backwards, or uneducated, or double relatives to our cousins, or a blend of it all. Country. Poor. Unrefined.

But the people of Alabama who have lived here generation after generation take a little exception with all of the negativity associated with us and our state. We are, as the kids today might say…offended. But only somewhat, because if you are from Alabama you are also pre-programmed not to care too much about what anybody thinks or says – especially anybody north of the Tennessee line.

They don’t call Alabama beautiful for nothing. We are rare in our terrain, having both mountains and beaches. We also have Huntsville and Fairhope. We have Mobile and Montgomery. But mostly, we have small towns connected by two-lane state highways and country county road. We are proud people working to make lives worth living for our families. We stitch into those lives love and goodwill for friends and neighbors and even strangers.

I’ve often said the best thing you can hope for if you have car trouble in some remote part of Alabama, is for a redneck to stop. They know how to fix most things and carry tools in their trucks. They may end up inviting you and your entire family over for supper and to watch the next football game, but they aren’t mean bullies. They are just equipped for self-defense.

All I can figure is that anybody who has bad things to say about Alabama…hasn’t visited long enough to know us.

Amanda Walker is a columnist with The West Alabama Watchman, Al.com, The Thomasville Times, and The Wilcox Progressive Era. For more information, visit her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist.

Tangle resigning from Demopolis High

Demopolis High School principal Chris Tangle (left) announced his resignation Monday effective Dec. 31.

Demopolis High School principal Chris Tangle (left) announced his resignation Monday effective Dec. 31.

Demopolis High School Principal Chris Tangle announced Monday that he is resigning at the end of the semester in pursuit of opportunities in the private sector. The move comes just 16 months after the Demopolis City Schools Board of Education hired Tangle for the post.

“I’m just thankful for the opportunity to end my career in Demopolis,” Tangle, who has more than 22 years in education, said. “I started in Demopolis. I end in Demopolis.”

“He has been a great principal,” Demopolis Superintendent Kyle Kalhoff said of Tangle. “Discipline in that school was questionable and he has straightened that out. He has done everything I’ve asked him to do. He has been an easy high school principal to work with.”

The resignation leaves the board in search of its fifth high school principal in less than 10 years. With Tangle’s resignation taking effect Dec. 31, Kalhoff indicted the board will look for an interim to fill the role for the duration of the academic year.

“The board is aware of it. They just haven’t acted on it. I’ll present it to them at our regular meeting Dec. 5,” Kalhoff explained. “I’ve got to posit it for 14 days because it is a supervisory position. We’re going to find an interim to finish the school year.”

The posting for the interim principal went live earlier Monday and the school system aims to make a hire Dec. 12. Kalhoff noted that the candidate pool for sitting principals is far deeper in the spring months and would leave the school system in the best possible position to find a long-term fit at Demopolis High School.

“I’m going to search high and low to find us the best principal for our high school we can,” Kalhoff said. “Our vision is to be in the Top 10 percent of school systems in the state in every category. If we have to find another principal, then I’m going to make sure I can find one that can lead us to that.”

COTR starts this week in Demopolis

Christmas on the River (COTR) 2016 will get underway this week in Demopolis, beginning with the lighting of the Love Light Tree and announcement of this year’s special child at Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital Wednesday at 5 p.m. For a full schedule of events, see below:

Wednesday, Nov. 30

5 p.m.

Lighting of the Love Light Tree and announcement of COTR Special Child – Bryan Whitfield Memorial Hospital

Thursday, Dec. 1

5:30 p.m.

Lighting of Public Square and Crowning of St. Nick – Public Square, Downtown Demopolis

Friday, Dec. 2

5:30 – 8 p.m.

Christmas in the Canebrake – Bluff Hall, Lyon Hall, Gaineswood (Admission is $5 per home)

5 p.m. – 1 a.m.

Alabama State Championship BBQ Cook-off – George Franks Ball Field ($5 admission)

Saturday, Dec. 3

7:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Fair in the Square – Public Square, Downtown Demopolis

8 a.m.

Registration for Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk – Rooster Hall

9 a.m.

Jingle Bell 5k Run/Walk – Rooster Hall

10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Christmas in the Canebrake – Bluff Hall

10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Christmas in the Canebrake – Gaineswood

11:30 a.m.

Christmas Parade – Downtown Demopolis

11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Judging for BBQ cook-off – George Franks Ball Field

2 p.m.

BBQ Cook-off winners announced – George Franks Ball Field

2 p.m.

‘It’s a Wonderful Life—A Live Radio Play’ – Old School Theater on Main Avenue

6 p.m.

Nautical Parade and fireworks display – Demopolis City Landing

6 – 8:30 p.m.

COTR Gala – Demopolis Civic Center

9 p.m. – midnight

COTR Dance – Demopolis Civic Center (Registration/entrance fee charged)

Michael Carl Hill

Michael Carl Hill, age 55, an electrical maintenance worker of Linden, AL died November 27, 2016 at Perry County Nursing Home. He was born November 28, 1960 to James Carl Hill and Kathleen Lynette Hill.

He is survived by his son, Michael Cody Hill; daughter, Krista Hill (Michael Justin) Tucker; brother, Todd Bryan (Lynn) Hill; step mother, Rita Hill; step brother, Chris (Deanna) Norris; step sister, Tina Norris (Ralph) Flemming; grandchild, Harlow Reece Tucker; uncle, Aubrey Dixon; and his children’s mother, Lisa Hill

Graveside funeral services will be held at Octagon Cemetery on Monday, November 28, 2016 at 2:00 pm with Rev. Pike Smith and Rev. Daniel Gandy officiating.

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

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

Mildred Gaytha Haskew Champion

Mildred Gaytha Haskew Champion age 81 of Thomasville, AL died November 27, 2016 at her home. She was born January 13, 1935 in Dickinson, AL to James Cyrus and Lela Bell Haskew. She was a retired accountant and a member of Thomasville Baptist Church.

She is survived by her husband, Claudie Gerald Champion, two sons, Claudie Gerald Champion, Jr. and Jeffrey Thomas Champion, brother Jimmy Haskew, and four grandchildren.

Visitation will be held at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home on Thursday, December 1, 2016 from 1:00 pm until the 2:00 pm service time with Rev. Ty Parten officiating. Burial will be at Choctaw Corner 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.

Brenda Joyce Dunham Glass

Brenda Joyce Dunham Glass age 73, of Linden, AL, passed away November 27, 2016 at home after a lengthy illness. She was born October 19, 1943, in Jasper, AL. to Grant and Hilma Dunham. She was a longtime member of the Linden Church of Christ and was retired from the Marengo County Soil Conservation Service after nearly 30 years of service. Her hobbies included spending time with family and friends, cooking and gardening.

She is survived by one son, Robert Earl (Tina) Glass of Gallion, AL, and a daughter Anita Glass (Bill) Ward of Sweet Water, AL. Four grandchildren, Brittany Glass (Justin) Phillips, Brooks Glass, Brantley Ward, and Tillman Ward. One great-grandson Cayden Phillips. A sister Gwen Dunham Hagan of Birmingham, AL and a host of nieces and nephews.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bobby Earl Glass, daughter Deborah Ann Glass, parents Grant and Hilma Dunham, and brother, Ronald Dunham.

Funeral services will be held at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home in Linden, AL. on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. with visitation at 1:00 p.m. Interment will be held at the Linden Memorial Park immediately following funeral service. Jeremy Smith will officiate. Memorial donations may be made to the Linden Church of Christ, P. O. Box 480314, Linden, AL.

Active pallbearers will be Brooks Glass, Brantley Ward, Tillman Ward, Darren Glass, Chuck Glass, Mark Sasser and Steve Hudson.
Honorary pallbearers are the members of the Linden Church of Christ, extended family of Bobby Earl Glass, and Comfort Care Hospice.

Special expressions of thanks go to Debbie Tucker Williams of Half Acre and Comfort Care Hospice for the excellent care that was provided during her lengthy illness.

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

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

Maplesville tops Linden to advance to Super 7

11-25-16 -- Linden, Ala. -- Terence Dunlap (28) is met in the backfield by Linden's Isaiah Scott (1), Charles Blackmon Jr. (6), and Devontae Poole (4) in Friday night's game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

11-25-16 — Linden, Ala. — Terence Dunlap (28) is met in the backfield by Linden’s Isaiah Scott (1), Charles Blackmon Jr. (6), and Devontae Poole (4) in Friday night’s game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

LINDEN — Maplesville (14-0) is headed to its fourth consecutive Class 1A state championship game after prevailing 36-14 over Linden in the Class 1A semifinals Friday night.

“We talked about before the game that we needed to play with heart. They always talk about Sweet Water, Linden, Brantley, Maplesville being in the Top 4. It’s hard to beat those guys,” Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert said. “Well, you know, we had to play them consecutively. I don’t know if one of those four has ever had to play the other three consecutively. It was going to take some heart to do it and I saw heart.”

Maplesville turned to Nathaniel Watson in key situations Friday night.

11-25-16 -- Linden, Ala. -- Terence Dunlap (28) and Jakavian McKenzie (5) work to bring down Dequan Charleston (7) in Friday night's game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

11-25-16 — Linden, Ala. — Terence Dunlap (28) and Jakavian McKenzie (5) work to bring down Dequan Charleston (7) in Friday night’s game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

“I thought that he was the difference in the game overall,” Linden coach Andro Williams said of Watson.

Watson took snaps out of the wildcat formation to move the chains and torched the Linden secondary through the air when lined up wide. With his team down 7-2, Watson returned a safety punt 68 yards to the Linden 2 to set up a Terence Dunlap 2-yard touchdown with 6:30 to go in the first quarter.

“He’s a good football player. He’s a big difference,” Maplesville coach Brent Hubbert said of Watson.

Maplesville went down the left sideline to Watson in the second quarter for a 46-yard gain that set up a second Dunlap touchdown run from two yards out to move the lead to 16-7.

With the second quarter clock winding down, Linden got itself back in the game with a defensive play. Graderius Brown pressured the Maplesville quarterback into an errant throw that found its way into the waiting arms of Isaiah Scott, who returned the interception 42 yards for a touchdown to cut the deficit to 16-14. Linden would get no closer.

Watson hauled in a pass from Thomas Schoener for a 66-yard touchdown on a play that saw him run over a pair of Linden defenders en route to the end zone. He later scored on a 42-yard touchdown run.

“I saw the end zone. I was trying to get to the end zone. I had the grace of God right behind me. I was trying to make it to the end zone,” Watson said. “I’ve got to give it to the Linden defense. They gave us a run for our money. I thank my quarterback and the O-line for holding them up and everything.”

Dunlap capped the scoring with a 12-yard touchdown run with 6:22 to go in the contest.

11-25-16 -- Linden, Ala. -- Linden's Deauris Jones (44) celebrates after the Patriots recovered a pooch kick to open Friday night's game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

11-25-16 — Linden, Ala. — Linden’s Deauris Jones (44) celebrates after the Patriots recovered a pooch kick to open Friday night’s game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Linden opened the game by recovering a fumble on a short kickoff. The Patriots quickly moved the ball down field to set up a 10-yard touchdown run by Dequan Charleston to go up 7-0. After Maplesville downed a punt at the Linden 2, the Patriots went backwards. The Linden ball carrier slipped in the end zone on second down, resulting in the safety that turned the tide in favor of the Red Devils.

“I could have probably tried to just punch it up out of there and punt it. We got the penalty and we got the safety down there,” Williams said of the sequence.

11-25-16 -- Linden, Ala. -- Dequan Charleston (7) sheds the grip of Kevin Mims (24) in Friday night's game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

11-25-16 — Linden, Ala. — Dequan Charleston (7) sheds the grip of Kevin Mims (24) in Friday night’s game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Linden also saw early drives stall with untimely penalties, ending the night with eight infractions for 80 yards.

“We stalled a drive down here with a penalty. Two big penalties early stalled some drives that kept us from taking it down and punching it in,” Williams said. “I thought there were a couple of penalties that kind of stopped some drives for us early on. I thought that was a big factor early on that could’ve made the outcome be a bit different. That’s just part of it.”

11-25-16 -- Linden, Ala. -- DeAntonio Williams (40) looks for running room behind the block of Tyler Price (72) in Friday night's game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

11-25-16 — Linden, Ala. — DeAntonio Williams (40) looks for running room behind the block of Tyler Price (72) in Friday night’s game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Linden (13-1) finishes the season with 764 points, breaking the state record for most points in a single season. The previous mark of 761 was held by the 2004 Demopolis High School Tigers.

“I don’t think it’s about the stats or whatever. This team has accomplished a lot outside of the football realm,” Williams said. “I think I’ve seen some guys grow up before my eyes. These guys have been around for a while. They’ve worked. They’ve shown themselves approved by their work ethic. They’re going to be successful in life.”

11-25-16 -- Linden, Ala. -- Linden's Isaiah Scott (1) tussels with Maplesville's Nathaniel Watson (13) in Friday night's game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

11-25-16 — Linden, Ala. — Linden’s Isaiah Scott (1) tussles with Maplesville’s Nathaniel Watson (13) in Friday night’s game in Linden. Linden fell to Maplesville by a final score of 36-14. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)