UWA seeks input from community for charter school

LIVINGSTON—The University of West Alabama is seeking community input for the proposed University Charter School through four planned forums throughout Sumter County on the following dates:

March 14 – Livingston Community Center, Livingston, Ala. – 6 p.m.

March 16 – Coleman Center for the Arts, York, Ala. – 6 p.m.

March 21 – Epes Community Center, Epes, Ala. – 6 p.m.

March 23 – Emelle City Hall, Emelle, Ala. – 6:30 p.m.

Each forum is open to the public and the community is invited.

The forums will include a brief introduction, a presentation on the charter school, a question and answer session via comment cards, and a 10 minute open discussion. University Charter School application committee members will be on hand at each event.

For more information or learn more about the University Charter School, click here.

Robert Edward Williamson

Robert Edward Williamson age 73 of Sunny South, AL died March 11, 2017 at his home. He was born December 23, 1943 in Sunny South, AL to Tobe and Frances Williamson. He was a retired police officer with the Pine Hill Police Department and a member of Sunny South Baptist Church.

He is survived by his wife, Betty Ann Williamson; daughter, Lisa Williamson; two sons, Robert Lewis (Jullie) Williamson and Henry Curtis Williamson; brother, Toby (Marilyn) Williamson; three grandchildren, Heather (Daniel) Allday, Kaitlyn (Cameron) Dunegan, Tye Williamson; three great grandchildren, Abigail Allday, Jeremy Allday, and Easton Dunegan

He was preceded in death by his parents, Tobe and Frances Williamson, and three sisters, Annie Marshall Hendricks, Annie Laura Williamson, and Jimmie Elsie Williamson

Visitation will be held at Sunny South Baptist Church on Tuesday, March 14, 2017 from 11:00 am until the 12:00 noon service time with Rev. Denny Couturie officiating. Burial will be in the Sunny South Baptist Church Cemetery.

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

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

Henry Congress

Mr. Henry Congress, age 74 of Demopolis, Alabama entered into eternal rest March 9, 2017 at DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, AL. Funeral services for Mr. Henry Congress will be held Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Interment will follow in Scott Memorial Cemetery, Jefferson, Alabama. Visitation will be held Friday, March 17, 2017 from 1-5 p.m. at the funeral home chapel. The remains will repose at Kingdom Hall one hour prior to funeral services on Saturday. Larkin and Scott Mortuary, LLC entrusted with arrangements.

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

Disney’s Aladdin Jr. opens Thursday at DHS

Aladdin, played by Brian Tripp, reacts to Genie, played by Tyler Ward, in Monday’s dress rehearsal at DHS. Aladdin Jr. opens Thursday at 7 p.m. (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Prepare to be transported to the land of Agrabah this weekend as the Tiger Arts Guild (TAG) at Demopolis High School presents Disney’s Aladdin Jr.

“The beautiful colors and costumes, the uplifting music, we really just hope that patrons are able to come in and be transported to the world of Agrabah,” said director Jody Tartt. “The show is visually stunning, and ultimately my goal is for it to be an escape for those who come to see it.”

Tartt, who has led the theater program at DHS for 16 years, was quick to point out those who have helped make the show a success.

“My goal has always been to involve not only the entire arts department, but also other classes from campus, and this has been the perfect show for that,” Tartt said. “My theater classes of course play a role, but for this show we are also fortunate to have Madaline Jacobs directing the musical portion, and Charles Jones and his industrial maintenance students help us in assembling the set.”

From left, Genie (Tyler Ward), Aladdin (Brian Tripp), and Jasmine (Allison Polk). (WAW | Stewart Gwin)

Tartt also was able to once again partner with visual artist Garland Farwell, marking the 10th year the duo has collaborated on various projects

“Garland is always so gracious to give his time to this program and this school, and once again I have been blown away by his art and the intricacies in this set,” said Tartt.

For the set design, Tartt’s Theater Design class was tasked with researching Arabian architecture and art. A collage was then created and Farwell used that research, coupled with his real world experiences in the Middle East, to design the Aladdin set.

“The really cool part about working with Garland is that he brings his ideas, his designs, and our students tap into that. He directs them, gives them tips of the trade, and so what you see at the end of the day is a collaborative project between our students and Garland,” Tartt said. “Every time we collaborate on a project, his work far exceeds my expectations.”

More than 35 DHS students make up the cast and crew of Aladdin Jr., and for Tartt, that’s a good thing.

“I want to get as many students and teachers as possible involved,” she said.

Aladdin Jr. opens Thursday at the DHS Theater and runs through Saturday at 7 p.m. nightly. There will also be a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Admission is $8 for adults and $6 for students.

Nathaniel Dawson

Mr. Nathaniel Dawson entered into eternal rest March 8, 2017 in Montgomery, Alabama. Funeral services for Mr. Nathaniel Dawson will be held Saturday, March 18, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Cassimore A.M.E. Zion Church, Greensboro, Alabama. Public viewing will be held Friday, March 17, 2017 from 1-5 p.m. at the funeral home chapel. The remains will repose at the church one hour prior to services. Larkin and Scott Mortuary, LLC entrusted with arrangements.

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

Walter E. Davis

Mr. Walter E. Davis, age 74, the beloved husband of Mrs. Jacquelyn Davis of Linden, Alabama entered into eternal rest Monday, March 6, 2017 at DCH Regional Medical Center, Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Funeral arrangements for Mr. Walter E. Davis are incomplete and will be announced later by Larkin and Scott Funeral Directors of Demopolis, Alabama.

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

Lyman Jones

Lyman Jones, age 83, of Dixons Mills, AL passed away March 7, 2017 at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, surrounded by his wife, children, and grandchildren. He was born January 14, 1934, to Hattie Rhee (McClure) and Mims Wiley Jones of Shiloh.. He worked for many years as an electrician at Marathon Paper Mill in Pennington. He owned and operated Family Foods in Dixons Mills for more than thirty years. He was a member of Shiloh Baptist Church since the age of 12.

He was preceded in death by his daughter, Robin Melissa Jones and sister, Oneida Milstead. He is survived by his wife of 57 years, Kathryn Ogle Jones; sons, Richard R. Parden and Lyman Jones, Jr. (Butch); daughters, Sue P. Parten and husband Dwight, Renee Jones Smith and husband Eddie, Kim Jones Swartz and husband Chuck; grandsons, Heath Parten, Dylan Parten, and Joey Hawsey; granddaughters, Krystal Payne, Haley Kathryn Johnston, Kolby Byington, Kelsey Putley, Stephanie Kring, Ellen Carroll, and Amanda Wood; 13 great grandchildren; and brother, Joseph R. Jones.

Funeral services were held Friday, March 10 at Shiloh Baptist Church with Dr. Kenneth Fields officiating, assisted by Doug McClure. Burial was at Shiloh Cemetery.

Active Pallbearers were: Health Parten, Dylan Parten, Camden Payne, Brad Johnston, Chuck Swartz, and Joey Hawsey. Honorary Pallbearers were: Richard Hill, Eddie Hill, Milton Jones, James Edmonds, Henry Jones, Buddy Stephens, Troy Strickland, and Tommy Golden.

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

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

Kallhoff issues statement on non-resident tuition for Demopolis City Schools

A committee appointed in February has made a recommendation regarding tuition for non-resident students attending Demopolis City Schools according to a letter issued from DCS Superintendent Kyle Kallhoff Friday.

The seven member committee, who has requested to remain anonymous, is comprised of Kallhoff, a DCS Board of Education member, a city schools administrative representative, a Demopolis City Council member, and three parents of non-resident students.

“After meeting with the committee and analyzing the data, the financial numbers certainly indicate that there is a need for a reasonable annual tuition or fee for non-resident students,” Kallhoff said. “However, the timing is not right. With the push for charter schools in West Alabama and the questioning of the quality of public education from state leaders, we do not want to risk losing any of our students.”

Kallhoff first broached the subject of non-resident tuition in the board’s Feb. 20 meeting, as previously reported by The West Alabama Watchman.

In that meeting, Kallhoff announced his intentions to appoint a committee to begin exploring the possibility of charging a reasonable tuition for those students living outside of the 36732 ZIP code.

“We receive funding for all students through the state, but of course that does not cover all services we provide,” Kallhoff told The Watchman on Friday. “We use revenue generated by county and city taxes to cover those additional services such as speech classes, special education testing, as well as transportation and maintenance.”

Of the system’s approximately 2,300 students, Kallhoff said 38 percent, roughly 874 students, are considered out of district.

While the committee opted to not move on the issue immediately, Kallhoff said that a per-household rate of $300-$500 was discussed by the committee, rather than a per-student rate.

“While there is a demonstrated need there, we felt it best to not make any changes at this time,” said Kallhoff. “We want to continue to attract and maintain excellent students from around the entire area and ensure the high quality education we provide is not impacted.”

For Kallhoff’s letter in its entirety, click here.

Jeffrey Scott Jones

Jeffrey Scott Jones age, 58 of Linden, AL died March 3, 2017 at DCH Regional Medical Center. He was born October 2, 1958 in Tampa, FL. He was a counselor at Linden City Schools and pastor at Belmont Baptist Church for the past 35 years.

He is survived by his wife, Tina Ann Jones; two sons, Jeffrey Crocker Jones and William Scott Jones; two daughters, Jacquelyn Sarah Jones and Jenny Elizabeth Jones (Chase) Cunningham; mother, Jacquelyn Jones Baker; two brothers, James Stanford Jones, II; and John Theodore Jones; sister, Melinda Jeanne Fuller; and a grandchild, Noah Smyly

Visitation will be held at O’Bryant Chapel Funeral Home on Sunday, March 5, 2017 from 2 to 4 pm. Memorial services will be held at Linden High School on Monday, March 6, 2017 at 1:00 pm.

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

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

Roberta Edwards

Mrs. Roberta Edwards, age 87 of Demopolis, Alabama entered into eternal rest Friday, March 3, 2017 at her residence. Funeral services for Mrs. Roberta Edwards will be held Saturday, March 11, 2017 at 12 noon at Moscow Providence Baptist Church, Highway 80 West, Demopolis, Alabama; Rev. Timothy Paige, pastor. Interment will follow in the adjoining church cemetery. Public viewing will be held Friday, March 10, 2017 from 1-5 p.m. at the funeral home chapel. The remains will repose at the church one hour prior to funeral services. Larkin and Scott Mortuary, LLC entrusted with arrangements.

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