Photo of the Day

Marengo Academy recently recognized spring athletes at its spring sports banquet. Named as varsity baseball allstars were (from left, front) Jacob Beck, Cody Cobb, Dalton Daniels, (back) David Dunn, Brad Collins, Austen Day, Weldon Aydelott. (WAW | Collin Sheffield)

Photo of the Day

Marengo Academy recently recognized spring athletes at its spring sports banquet. Varsity baseball awards included (from left) David Dunn – Captain Award, Robert Tutt – Captain Award, Brad Collins – Captain Award, Austen Day – Captain Award and Christian Leadership Award, Weldon Aydelott – Academic Award and Captain Award. MVP was awarded to the entire varsity baseball team. (WAW | Collin Sheffield)

York PD offers reward for info leading to arrest

Tears and Laughter: Get yourself ready girls, it’s time to let your inner redneck shine 

Prepare yourselves ladies, auditions will be held August 5 at the Elks Lodge in Huntsville for a new reality show, “Redneck Housewives of Alabama.” Seldom have I been more excited or overqualified.

The casting call is open to women over 21 who are housewives in Alabama. It is acceptable to have a part time job or “somewhat” of a career.

It is in your favor, it seems, if your social circle includes other housewives who enjoy gossiping, backstabbing, and overreacting. Who go to church twice a week and know how to cuss well. It also helps apparently if you are full-on crazy, openly dysfunctional, and drink too much both publicly and privately.

Not that the show will be all fun and games and thrift shops. According to the website,, “if you or your friends are battling with suicide, divorce, broken relationships, bankruptcy, infidelity, family feuding, alcoholism, deadbeat dads, and foreclosures and you are a true southerner then this may be the show for you.

I don’t want to be picky, but redneck women prefer the word Southerner to always be capitalized. It just allows a wink of respect toward the Southland and looks better on paper. Besides, it’s not unusual for the average redneck housewife to be juggling a handful of issues on that list at any given time and nobody will ever know anything about any of it. She’ll just keep right on bouncing the baby and planning a beach trip without ever skipping a beat because that’s what strong Southern women do.

Women interested in applying for the show should make a video and upload it to Youtube. Include the link to your video in the online application, along with your resume, photo, and a paragraph explaining what makes you more of a redneck than your neighbor lady with all the cats, or the woman down the road that is fond of raising chickens and making her own beer.

In the video, you should look the way you want to appear during filming. Wear the clothes, make-up, and hairstyle that you would wear if you were to be chosen to be a part of the show. Clothing needs to be “appropriate,” so you will want to make sure and have the proper balance between eye liner and cleavage.

As for serious competitors, I would suggest taking it a step further. If you own your own bass boat, hunt hogs on a regular basis, carry a pistol in your purse, or have a coon hound as a house dog, don’t be shy about it.

Cast members will be paid and the pay will vary based upon roles. Filming is scheduled to begin in September and will run through October, falling right in the heart of college football season.

The Huntsville based producer of the series, Helen Evans LLC, has not yet secured a network deal for the show, but hopes one will follow once the series is filmed.

Many television viewers have questioned what show, if any, could fill the vacancy left in prime time ratings since the exit of Bill O’Reilly from Fox News. I think we may have just found the answer.

Amanda Walker is a blogger and contributor with, The Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Wilcox Progressive Era. Contact her at or at

Tears and Laughter: What your mom wants this Mother’s Day 

This is the week for mothers. Those of us still fortunate enough to have our mothers will search for just the right gift to show her how much we love and appreciate her.

We will try and find perfectly worded cards that tell her how very much she means to us. We will send fresh cut flowers, make calls, and visit.

Those without their mothers anymore will spend the week missing them while wishing they could shop for a gift. They would say the words the card would say, and take the time to personally deliver the flowers.

But this year don’t knock yourself out trying to find the illusive perfect Mother’s Day gift. Your mom wouldn’t want you to worry over it, and besides, it is true what they say. Whatever you give her will make her happy. It doesn’t even have to be a gift. All you have to do to make your mom happy is be you.

Let your mother see you enjoying your life. Follow your passions, find your purpose. Go seek your destiny. That is what she wants. Because she knows life is fleeting and temporary, yet so full of mystery, wonder, and meaning.

My first two daughters were delivered at Druid City Hospital in Tuscaloosa. My son and third daughter were born at Baptist South in Montgomery. With each I remember thinking this physical life could offer no greater gift or happiness. Women share the stories between themselves for a lifetime, these memories of meeting new little lives entering the world.  Motherhood is a heartstring that connects us.

It’s like a baptism in a sense. When a woman emerges from a hospital with a newborn in her arms she is not the same person she was before. She is equipped with a new strength no one can see, and she will hurt you over that baby.

This protective motherly love does not end when they make it out of the crib either. If you doubt this, go to any little league game in the state and watch the mamas. We defend our children, be they right or wrong, as long as we have breath within us.

I guess that’s just how God made mothers. It is the weakness that balances the strength. If they hurt, we hurt. If they experience loss, we experience loss. Our joy is contingent upon theirs.

I first realized I wanted to be a mother when the absence of a child felt like a ghost around me. It was as if a space had appeared in my life that needed to be filled.

Being a mother can be spiritually healing. It restored my faith in many ways. Prior, I might have confessed that I believed, but my heart had questions. The love I felt for my children changed that uncertainty in me.

Other mothers might describe their experiences differently, but most would likely agree that God would not allow such a powerful bond to exist in this life that doesn’t expand and continue on into the next.

And that is the gift.

You were the gift.

To your mother…you still are.

Amanda Walker is a blogger and contributor with, The Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Wilcox Progressive Era. Contact her at or at

Drowning claims life of man on Tombigbee River

A boating incident Tuesday, May 9, claimed the life of a Lisman man in Sumter County, Ala.

Joseph Vaughn Boykin, 68, drowned while fishing from a boat on the Tombigbee River near Cooks Bend.

Boykin, who was not using a personal flotation device (PFD) was recovered from the water by Sumter County Rescue Squad May 10 at approximately 7 a.m. Boykin was pronounced dead on the scene. Cooks Bend is located along the Tombigbee River near the community of Panola in Sumter County.

Nothing further is available as Troopers from ALEA’s Marine Patrol Division continue to investigate.

UWA’s Jones spends week as visiting professor in Rennes, France

Dr. Amy Jones, a digital communications professor from UWA, visited France recently to teach MBA and finance students courses in fundraising and event planning similar. IGR-IAE Rennes is one of UWA’s educational partner universities.

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—A University of West Alabama professor recently traveled to France to spend time in the classroom with graduate students at IGR-IAE Rennes, one of UWA’s educational partner universities. Dr. Amy Jones led classes with students from 18 countries during the week-long visit.

Jones is an associate professor of digital communications at UWA and serves as director of integrated marketing communications (IMC) within UWA’s College of Liberal Arts.

IGR-IAE Rennes is the graduate school of management branch of Université de Rennes, and the oldest French graduate school of management. The school offers 40 programs in the fields of management, including marketing, finance, human resources, accounting, MBA, and management.

Jones taught conferences to MBA and finance students. Specifically, she taught courses in event planning and fundraising. She taught the courses in English to students from France, Tunisia, Brazil, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, China, Colombia, Lebanon, Italy, Mongolia, Poland, Georgia, India, Japan, United States, Nigeria, Taiwan, and Peru.

Finance courses may seem like a stretch for a communications professor, but Jones said that the skills and concepts covered in the material lead to successful careers in many different areas.

“The courses were similar to the content that UWA students cover in their IMC Capstone class,” Jones explained. Senior IMC majors at UWA complete their program with a course that includes a capstone project that demonstrates their learned skills in journalism, marketing, social sciences, and more. The capstone project also involves graphic design, marketing, advertising, web design, social media marketing and broadcast combined to generate fundraising initiatives and overall event planning.

According to Jones, UWA’s IMC graduates find work relatively easy with the skills they build through the program.

“Our IMC alumni work in advertising and public relations agencies, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, professional sports teams, television stations, magazines, newspapers, several levels of government, and quite a few more specialized areas,” Jones said.

“This is an engaging degree program that develops graduates with convergent journalism skills, a keen ability to know and reach desired audiences, and the knowledge to research the effectiveness of media messages,” Jones explained. “Our ultimate goal is to prepare IMC students for success in the digital media age with a well-rounded, integrated education.”

For more information on UWA’s Integrated Marketing Communications degree programs, contact Dr. Amy Jones or 205-652-3558.

To learn more about UWA’s educational partnerships and study abroad opportunities at partner universities, contact Dr. Mark Davis at or 205-652-3570.

Synergy 01 holding 16U/18U softball tryout in Demopolis

Synergy Fastpitch of Tuscaloosa will be holding an open tryout in Demopolis at the Sports-Plex on May 21 on fFeld 7 at 2 p.m. The tryout will be for the 16U/18U age bracket.

“We have openings for full time players as well as pickup players,” Eugene Flowers, organizer of the tryout, said. “We will be playing a full summer schedule with tournaments primarily in Alabama.”
Synergy has a history of advancing players to the next level with coaches dedicated to player advancement. Any questions can be directed to the Synergy Facebook page, Synergy 01 or

Shelton State’s CMA program thriving in Demopolis

Shelton State Community College’s Clinical Medical Assistant program continues to provide opportunities for students interested in exciting, challenging, and rewarding careers in healthcare.

This program trains students to assist physicians by performing functions related to the clinical responsibilities of a medical office. It includes classroom lecture, hands-on lab experiences, and a clinical externship opportunity at a local healthcare provider. Upon successful completion of the program, students are eligible to sit for the National Healthcare Association Certified Clinical Medical Assistant national examination.

Recently, all enrolled students at the Demopolis Center for Higher Education completed the program and passed their certification examination.

Amber Walker, a Demopolis resident, was one of these eight students. Walker, 27, looked at the program as an opportunity.

“During my time in the program, I was pregnant and knew I wanted to do something to be able to get a good job,” said Walker. “Our teacher was great, and she made sure we knew what was needed. I enjoyed it.”

Walker plans to utilize the phlebotomy portion of her training as she pursues a career in nursing.

“We are delighted by the 100% completion and certification rate of our most recent Clinical Medical Assistant program,” said Nicole DuBose, Director of Training for Business and Industry.

“These students worked exceptionally hard, and I look forward to hearing from them regarding their future employment and successes.”

For more information about the Clinical Medical Assistant Program, contact Margie Falls at 205.391.2434 or

Demopolis Arrest Reports: May 5, 2017

April 15 – Vincent D. Moore, 25, Possession of Marijuana, DUI (Combined Substance), Gino’s parking lot

April 15 – Susan Smith, 38, Discharging Firearm in City, Phil Harper Drive

April 15 – Teresa C. Averette, 52, DUI (Combined Substance), Contempt of Court, Walnut

April 16 – Daniel L. Gregory, 29, Possession of Marijuana, Hwy 80 West

April 16 – Timothy N. Stewart, 25, Possession of Drug Paraphernalia, Possession of Marijuana, Edgewood Dr.

April 17 – Javiya McGrew, 19, Possession of Marijuana II, Possession of a Concealed Weapon w/o Permit, Parr’s Chevron

April 18 – Kim L. Lauderdale, 52, Appears in Public Under Influence, Floyd Street

April 19 – Shaundrika Benison, 24, Assault III, Hilltop Circle

April 19 – Dominick T. Smith, 30, Contempt of Court, Rainbow Circle

April 19 – Aretha F. Johnson, 41, Harassment, Hilltop Circle

April 19 – Christopher M. Overstreet, 31, Contempt of Court, Hwy 80 East

April 19 – Rachel King, 59, Negotiating Worthless Instrument, DPD

April 19 – Ryan K. Bohannon, 28, Alias Writ of Arrest, Buddy Griffith Drive

April 19 – Joey C. Stokes, 58, DUI, Hwy 43 South

April 20 – Charles D. Ravizee, 53, Contempt of Court, DPD

April 21 – Kameisha M. Madison, 20, Alias Writ of Arrest (three counts), East Washington Street

April 22 – Jacob A. Criswell, 21, Alias Writ of Arrest, MCDC

April 22 – Kim L. Lauderdale, Appears in Public Place under Influence, Third Ave.

April 23 – Mauricio Martinez, 28, Domestic Violence III, Hwy 43 North

April 24 – Doris L. Morgan, 53, Theft of Property IV, Drug Paraphernalia – 2nd Offense, Methamphetamine – Possession, US Hwy 80 W

April 26 – Timothy D. Jones Jr., 21, Violation of City Noise Ordinance, Pettus & Hilltop Circle

April 28 – Jonathan J. Caceres, 35, Hallucinogen – Possession, Drug Paraphernalia – 1st Offense, Marijuana – Possession, Hwy 80 West

April 30 – Valshawn D. Allen, 28, DUI, S. Front Street & Jackson Street

April 30 – Ashley N. Doss, 28, Auto Theft, Irondale Police Dept.

May 1 – Joe L. Davis, 32, Menacing – Intimidation Only, DPD

May 1 – Janet Benison, 47, Possession of Marijuana, West Pettus

May 1 – Renana Norfleet, 47, Resisting Arrest, Failure to Obey a Police Officer, Disorderly Conduct/Disturbing Peace, Parr’s Chevron 80 & Jefferson

May 1 – Kelsey Perkins, 19, Disorderly Conduct/Disturbing Peace, Parr’s Chevron

May 2 – Justin T. Portis, 21, Alias Writ of Arrest, Thomasville

May 2 – Sherman L. Bennett, 39, Possession of Marijuana II, Barbiturate – Possession, East Pettus

May 2 – Brandon Gilbert, 29, Possession of Marijuana, Possession of a Concealed Weapon w/o Permit, Cedar Street

May 3 – Christopher Collins Jr., 19, Failure to Obey Law Enforcement, Fitzgerald Clinic

May 3 – Jennifer S. A. McClinton, 47, Theft of Property IV, Walmart

May 3 – Henry Tate, 30, Domestic Violence III (two counts), Marengo County Jail

May 4 – Michael D. Parnell, 49, Contempt of Court, DPD

May 5 – Victor G. Calvin, 30, Possession of Marijuana II, Black’s Drive