Recreational snapper anglers get additional days

Fishing buddy Todd Kercher posted a video last weekend that many feel justifies the significant extension of the red snapper season for private recreational anglers in federal waters.

Todd took his family out in the Gulf of Mexico to catch a limit of snapper, two per person with a 16-inch minimum. What he captured on video was what many snapper anglers have been screaming for the past few years.

As Todd tells one family member that they have a limit in the boat, they start throwing the leftover bait into the water.

A red snapper feeding frenzy ensued with 10- to 15-pound red snapper attacking the bait with such fervor that they were coming completely out of the water, skying as Todd called it.

The reason Todd and his family were able to enjoy the phenomenal red snapper fishing was the result of a unified effort by a diverse group that included the affected anglers, Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, Alabama Congressmen, city councils and mayors in Gulf Coast communities and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR).

When NOAA Fisheries announced earlier this year that the private recreational sector would only get a three-day season, the above groups were disgusted to the point of anger.

A little more than a month ago, the groups began to come together to encourage the U.S. Department of Commerce, which oversees NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) and subsequently NOAA Fisheries, to reconsider the season in federal waters.

Those efforts paid off last week when NOAA Fisheries and the Gulf states reached an agreement that if the states forego snapper seasons in state waters out to the 9-mile boundary Mondays through Thursdays, the federal private recreational season would be extended from three days for an additional 39 days. The season is set for each Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Labor Day and includes July 3-4 and Labor Day. The charter-for-hire’s 49-day season, which runs through July 19, and the commercial sector’s IFQ (Individual Fishing Quota) system are not affected.

Chris Blankenship, who has gone from Alabama Marine Resources Director to DCNR Deputy Commissioner to Acting DCNR Commissioner this year, said the negotiations have been in progress for much longer than a month.

“We started trying to work with the new administration not long after (Commerce) Secretary (Wilbur) Ross was appointed,” Blankenship said. “That has been very beneficial. Congressman (Bradley) Byrne also lined up the help from other Gulf Coast Representatives, like Steve Scalise and Garrett Graves from Louisiana, Matt Gaetz from Florida and Steve Palazzo from Mississippi. They met with the Secretary’s staff to urge them to extend the red snapper days.

“Then Governor Ivey sent a letter to the White House and actually talked to President Trump about red snapper while she was in Washington for a meeting about infrastructure. Then we had resolutions from Orange Beach, Dauphin Island and the Baldwin County Commission, along with a letter from Senator (Luther) Strange. It was a very concerted effort to get this extra time.”

Blankenship believes the main reason the Commerce Department responded to the requests of such a diverse group was the unified message.

“We were all asking for the same thing,” he said. “We wanted weekends, the Fourth of July and Labor Day. All the resolutions and letters were very similar. I think having that good community effort and single message helped this to be a success.”

Orange Beach City Councilman Jeff Boyd echoed Blankenship’s assessment of the teamwork.

“I think this is the greatest indication that the average voice was heard,” Boyd said of the extension. “It was heard all the way to the White House and Department of Commerce across many states. It showed that a team effort can absolutely be successful.

“Congressman Byrne was just by here, and we were talking about the work done by Chris Blankenship, Governor Ivey, Senator Strange’s letter and Senator (Richard) Shelby in the budget hearings. With that, we were able to gain enough momentum and energy to make it happen. I think it was wonderful.”

Boyd’s constituency includes a great number of private recreational fishermen and one of the largest charter fleets on the Gulf Coast. He said some are extremely happy and some apprehensive.

“From the private rec guys, there’s nothing but ecstatic excitement,” Boyd said. “From the charter guys, they’re worried about what it might do to them next year.”

Boyd said Blankenship was a crucial coordinator to make the snapper season extension a reality.

“Chris can’t get enough kudos,” Boyd said. “He’s the quiet hero who brought other state commissioners to the table. It’s hard enough to get a family to agree on anything, much less four different commissioners from four other states with different agendas.”

Blankenship said negotiations for the extension included several options including Saturday and Sunday, plus the holidays, but the addition of Fridays to the season prevailed.

“In order to get Fridays, the five states had to agree that they would not open a season in the fall,” Blankenship said. “Alabama and Florida felt it was more important to get the 39 days and not have a fall season. Mississippi and Louisiana agreed to do the same thing. Texas catches a very small percentage, ½ of 1 percent, of the quota during their fall season. So we were able to work out the details for 39 days, primarily through the cooperation of Alabama and Florida, which account for the majority of the red snapper catch.

“We realize not everybody is happy about giving up some of the state days. But we surrendered 23 days in state waters, where we have hundreds of (artificial) reefs, to get 39 days in federal waters, where we have thousands and thousands of reefs. We thought that was a fair trade.”

Blankenship hopes this process will reset the way the Gulf states work with the Commerce Department and NOAA Fisheries.

“All the states felt like this was a new opportunity, not just for 2017 but the future, to work with Congress and the Department of Commerce to find long-term solutions,” he said.

Blankenship said Rep. Scalise, who is recovering from a serious gunshot wound in an assassination attempt last week, was at the forefront of the negotiations.

“We pray for his speedy recovery,” Blankenship said. “This is an important issue to him. We hope he will get back to work soon. We look forward to working with him, as the Majority Whip, to pass a long-term fix in Congress.”

Blankenship said without the data gathered through the Alabama Red Snapper Reporting System, known as Snapper Check, the argument for an extension would likely have not been considered by Commerce.

“To the Commerce Department’s credit, they gave states the benefit of the doubt,” he said. “They compared the data from Snapper Check and MRIP (Marine Recreational Information Program). They were open to looking at the data. They recognized the disparity in the data and decided the private recreational fishermen needed some relief. It was a bold move on their part and very appreciated by the recreational fishermen.”

One of those private recreational anglers is Marcus Kennedy of Mobile, who made it clear he felt the private rec guys were “getting the short end of the stick” in my column a little more than a month ago. When we talked last Friday, he had just returned from a quick trip into the Gulf to catch a limit of snapper.

“It looked like a normal weekend, which is good,” Kennedy said of the number of boats in the artificial reef zones. “When you’ve got the season spread out, you won’t have everybody trying to get out at the same time.

“I think this is the best we could have hoped for. We basically traded the remaining state days for 39 days in federal waters. I’ll take the federal season every time. That’s good for Alabama.”

Kennedy agrees that the Snapper Check data is far more accurate than the federal estimate.

“The state catch surveys have consistently been two to three times less than NOAA’s catch estimate,” he said. “Therefore, this season is more in line with what the actual catches are instead of the inflated numbers NOAA has been using. Everybody I fish with is glad we got the extension, but they know it’s not a long-term solution, and we’re probably going to have to go through the same fight next year.”

To be ready for further negotiations, Blankenship said it is crucial that Alabama anglers report all their catches through Snapper Check, which offers three ways to comply. The easiest way, by far, is to use the Outdoor Alabama app for smartphones. Online reporting is available at www.outdooralabama.com, and paper reporting slips are located at select boat ramps.

Major Scott Bannon, Acting Director of the Alabama Marine Resources Division, explains Snapper Check and its importance to red snapper management in the linked video here.

Kennedy said there is an abundance of large snapper, 25-plus-pounds, and plenty of 2- to 4-pound snapper on the reefs he’s fished lately. And he’s glad he doesn’t have to stay in state waters to fish for Alabama’s premier reef fish.

“It’s bad when you have to cram it all into one weekend, when the weather might be bad,” he said. “Now we can breathe a little easier and not be under the stress that you have to go. It’s supposed to be an enjoyable outing. You want to go when the weather is nice, not when the federal government says you have to go.”

David Rainer is public information manager and outdoor columnist for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. His column appears weekly in The West Alabama Watchman. 

MA’s Breckenridge participates in Boys State

Hutson Breckenridge, son of Dennis and Cindi Breckenridge of Linden, was selected by Marengo Academy to attend the 2017 Alabama Boys State held May 28 through June 3 on the campus of the University of Alabama.

He was a delegate at the Eightieth American Legion Alabama Boys State. Hutson was a credit to his community and to Marengo Academy. While attending Boys State, Hutson was elected to serve as County Commissioner. He developed a plan for the recruitment of an Economic Development Project for his Boys State County and was very involved in the County Government.

Shelton State Saturday offers look at local college programs

Shelton State Community College will host “Shelton State Saturday” on Saturday, June 24 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the Demopolis Higher Education Center. This free, drop-in event will highlight the College’s programs in a fun, relaxed atmosphere.

“We are excited about the continued expansion of Shelton State’s educational and training opportunities in Demopolis and Marengo County,” said Joye Jones, Dean of Instruction and Workforce Development. “We look forward to this event and to providing information and answering questions about educational planning and workforce training.”

In addition to program and workforce training information, assistance will be available for individuals needing assistance with enrollment, placement testing, and financial aid. The first 50 guests will receive door prizes, and all attendees will be entered to win a grand prize.

The Demopolis Higher Education Center is located at 186 Field of Dreams Drive in Demopolis, Alabama. For more information, visit sheltonstate.edu.

Tears and Laughter: Know what you love, and be willing to run to it

I have written before about teaching writing class and how one of the initial exercises is to have the students write a short, simple essay about their own self.

Five paragraphs.

It is supposed to be easy and serve as a transition into writing about others in second person, but there are always those who seem to draw a bank. They stare into space like they have been asked to describe a stranger.

This is sad to me. One of the many responsibilities we are charged with as parents – and teachers too to some extent – is to help our children to know who they are as individuals.

This is not the same as teaching them. You can’t teach them who they are the same way you can teach concepts. You might be able to teach them who you are, and in that you can influence what they accept or believe, but as for who they are as God naturally made them, it is something they have to discover and allow to develop.

It is why we introduce them to a myriad of books and activities. It is why we take them on trips and encourage them to play sports and take art classes, music classes, and dance.

It is why we let them have hamsters, take them to reptile farms, and start stamp collections we know they will never continue. We do it so they can learn what they like and equally important, what they don’t.

Knowing what they like helps them know what to choose, it helps them know what they want, what suits them, how they tick, how they learn, what they are attracted to and why it is the are drawn to it.

It is how they identify their strengths and weaknesses. Talents, skills, and boundaries. It is how they grow into their purpose, just through knowing who they are and what they like. And writing five paragraphs about it should not draw such a void.

And it is not just children. There are grown people who take six months to pick out a paint color or what dress to wear to the next low country boil because they don’t know what they like. They are too worried about what other people might think or what color their mother would have preferred rather than just walking straight in and saying this it, this is me.

I met a little girl this week who I don’t think is going to have any trouble with the personal essay one day. I say I met her. I never caught her name. She fluttered through our day like a butterfly.

I had taken my youngest daughter to the Tickled Pink Petting Zoo that was visiting Thomasville. She was waiting to hold a python. She is 13. She is shy and creative, smart, and intuitive. She has a heart for animals, all of them, and most small children.

She did not pull away when a little redheaded girl sporting a hot pink tutu ran up to her after recognizing her favorite characters on her shirt. She leaned in, pointing to each with one hand and calling them by name, while holding McKenzie’s long hair out of her way with the other.

She ran back to her mother as quickly as she had appeared, but she left me thinking maybe we should all try and be more like her. Know what you love, and when you see it, run to it.

Amanda Walker is a blogger and contributor with AL.com, The Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Wilcox Progressive Era. Contact her at walkerworld77@msn.com or athttps://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist

Demopolis Arrest Reports: June 16, 2017

May 5 – Juanita Boone, 27, Marijuana – Possession, Blacks Drive

May 7 – Daeshuan D. Lawson, 20, Possession of a Controlled Substance, Possession of Marijuana II, Drug Paraphernalia – 1st Offense, Marvin’s

May 9 – Maurice L. Lynch, 28, Unlawful Breaking and Entering a Vehicle, BWMH

May 11 – Diana Daniels, 48, Criminal Trespass III, Hilltop Circle

May 12 – Justin O. Smith, 24, Disorderly Conduct/Disturbing Peace, Domestic Violence III/Criminal Mischief, Rainbow Circle

May 12 – Brian Pham, 45, Contributing to the Delinquency of a Minor, South Main

May 14 – Maurice D. Maiden, 37, Appears in Public Place Under Influence, Hwy 80 East/South Finest

May 15 – Christopher L. Dixon, 31, Simple Assault – Family, Failure to Obey a Police Officer, East Washington St

May 15 – Alfred Oates, 47, Contempt of Court, A Street

May 18 – George Smith, 54, Marijuana – Possession, Third Ave

May 18 – Michele Hagood, 55, DUI, Hwy 80 West

May 19 – Tina M. Ramirez, 29, Appears in Public Place Under Influence, Strawberry Street

May 19 – Lornettice N. Williams, 49, Insufficient Funds Check, DPD

May 19 – Royce M. Mullen, 58, Menacing – Intimidation Only, East Washington

May 19 – Naporcshia James, 29, Contempt of Court, Alias Writ of Arrest, Sparks Road

May 19 – Deshiunna N. Johnson, 19, Assault III, Wolf Circle

May 19 – Ann K. Williams, 62, Theft of Property IV (two counts), East Washington St

May 23 – Victor G. Calvin, 30, Burglary III, 26th Street

May 25 – Joe E. Harris, 58, Criminal Trespassing III, Drug Paraphernalia – 2nd Offense, Parr’s Chevron

May 25 – Walter A. Walker, 30, Simple Assault – Family, Olive Drive

May 26 – Walter A. Walker, 30, Assault III (two counts), DPD

May 26 – Gregory G. Nevels II, 25, Possession of a Concealed Weapon w/o Permit, Possession of Marijuana I, East Jefferson St

May 26 – Henry L. Tucker, 47, Possession of a Controlled Substance, East Jefferson Rd

May 27 – Malik Rahman, 42, Theft of Property IV, Using False Identity to Obstruct Justice, Walmart

May 27 – Tremaine L. Richardson, 36, Public Lewdness, East Washington St

May 28 – Montes J. L. Ledezma, 24, DUI, Hwy 43 South

May 30 – Melissa A. Beverly, 24, Possession of a Forged Instrument III, DPD

May 30 – Hugh B. Brame, 22, Theft of Article from Auto, DPD

May 31 – Lakeith J. Moore, 37, Alias Writ of Arrest, Hwy 80 West

May 31 – Josephine James, 58, Contempt of Court, Maria Ave

May 31 – Antonio J. Jones, 36, Domestic Violence III, East Pettus

June 1 – Annet P. Harmon, 55, Contempt of Court, East Washington St

June 2 – Allison H. Busbee, 23, DUI, Bryan Whitfield Hospital

June 4 – Stanley Washington, 57, DUI, Third Ave

June 5 – Victor G. Calvin, 30, Violation of Domestic Violence Protection Order, DPD

June 6 – Becky E. Elliott, 43, Contempt of Court, Marengo County Detention Center

June 8 – Thomas L. Hudson, 41, Domestic Violence III, US Hwy 80 West

June 9 – Franklin G. Wedgeworth, 35, Unauthorized Use of Auto – No Force, Theft of Property II, Walnut Street

June 10 – Dalton M. Jowers, 19, Murder – Non-Family – Gun, Bryan Whitfield Hospital ER

June 12 – Nadiyah A. Pittman, 37, Contempt of Court, East Washington St

June 13 – Colby D. Lewis, 19, Harassment, East Washington St

June 14 – Kendrick Montgomery, 24, Failure to Obey a Police Officer, Parr’s Chevron

June 14 – William E. Wallace, 37, Marijuana – Possession, Drug Paraphernalia – 1st Offense, East Monroe St

June 14 – Erica E. Montgomery, 21, Domestic Violence II, Chevron

June 15 – Selena Fields, 26, Domestic Violence III – Assault III, Resisting Arrest, North Walnut

Tears and Laughter: The Purse Policy

If there’s anything I sometimes try to be…it’s agreeable. And currently, I’m trying.

It is a personal choice for a woman, the purse she carries. And a girl just knows her bag when she sees it. It is kind of like picking out a pet. There has to be a connection…a certain style or something that looks good being carried and yet still looks good riding shotgun beside us.

There are as many shapes and sizes of purses as there are women. I prefer mine to be, like my car and shoes, black. And maybe women who only want to carry lip gloss and a debit card can manage with the cutest of tiny purses. Something like you would take to a casino where all you need is an ID and a ticket. But usually, women of a certain age need a big-ass purse, and I am one of these people.

It is all very organized and necessary. I know because, as I mentioned, I am trying to be agreeable. I just dumped it all out on my bed and tried to edit it down to fit into something someone in middle school might carry. I stuffed it all in and it was so tight I couldn’t fit anything more in or search for what was already there.

I have bragged before about how Camden is blessed with four dollar stores. If you live here and raise a family here, you may order all of your clothes and shoes and exclusive bedding online and you can buy most everything else out of town when you are on your way home from the doctor or headed to buy lottery tickets, but you will still find yourself frequently shopping in the local dollar stores.

I’m sure the cashier felt obligated to tell regular customers about the new purse policy. She told me she was trying to tell everyone with “big bags” because she was about to hang a sign on the door banning them.

She apologized and seemed to search for an explanation before saying the store’s inventory had been audited and they were within $150 in losses away from every employee being fired.

I told her I understood her position. And I do. But the purse policy causes another set of circumstances for women. Just taking in a wallet causes a problem with break-ins being common. Leaving purses in cars is not recommended, if you intend to keep the purse and your back windshield.

A wallet is easy to grab, and more difficult to keep an eye on than a purse. You can’t sling it over your shoulder and have both hands free to shop with. You either juggle it, or leave it in your shopping cart and gamble with it being stolen when you look away.

It is not just a problem at this one store in Camden. It is a problem plaguing retailers nationwide.

Across the parking lot another store has been remodeled. A customer commented to a cashier there about how the new layout would make it easier to see down the aisles and maybe would deter shoplifters. The cashier quietly replied, “I don’t think there is anything that can stop that.”

Shoplifting overburdens police and weighs down courts. It costs communities the taxes lost, and it costs the store both in retail loss and security expenses, which inevitably costs customers more. And while I am trying to be agreeable, I can’t help but feel as if the thieves are winning.

Amanda Walker is a blogger and contributor with AL.com, The Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Wilcox Progressive Era. Contact her at walkerworld77@msn.com or athttps://www.facebook.com/AmandaWalker.Columnist

ASWA names Mr. Baseball/Mrs. Softball; Latham, Smith make Super 10

HOOVER – Decatur’s Tanner Burns and Westminster Christian’s Annie Willis were named Mr. Baseball and Miss Softball, respectively, by the Alabama Sports Writers Association on Sunday night at the group’s 46th annual convention at the Hyatt-Wynfrey in Hoover.

In addition, Mobile Christian’s Ethan Hearn was named the recipient of the ASWA’s Jimmy Smothers Courage Award. Named after the long-time sports editor of the Gadsden Times and guiding force in the ASWA, it recognizes his commitment to local and high school sports coverage, and honors a high school athlete who has overcome adversity and shown immense courage.

Burns, expected to be a high choice in the Major League Baseball player draft this week, was selected the ASWA’s Class 6A first-team shortstop and the 6A Player of the Year when the group’s prep committee met last week to select its all-state team. Burns was also the 6A hitter of the year in 2016 as a utility player, a first-team pitcher in 2015 and first-team designated hitter as a freshman.

In 37 games for the 32-5 Red Raiders, the senior hit .467 with 18 homers, 46 RBI, 49 hits and 56 runs. He walked 29 times and struck out just six times. As a right-handed pitcher, Burns went 10-1 with a 0.88 ERA and 116 strikeouts against 22 walks, while allowing eight earned runs in 64 innings. The Auburn signee helped Decatur to the quarterfinals – where the team was ranked 32nd in the nation before its loss to Cullman.

Willis was the Pitcher and Player of the Year in Class 4A in helping her team to a runner-up finish and a 51-4-1 record. With 543 strikeouts this year, she finished her pitching career with 1,975. This year, she went 43-3-1 and had an ERA of 0.40. She pitched five no-hitters, three perfect games and 21 shutouts. Willis allowed 44 walks, 90 hits and 15 earned runs in 259 2/3 innings.

The senior hit .464 this year with 12 homers, 64 RBI, 70 hits, scored 40 runs, walked 23 times and struck out just nine times. She was a first-team all-state pitcher as a junior and sophomore and was honorable mention as a freshman. The Troy signee helped the Wildcats to a high-water mark of 14th in the country.

Hearn was honored for his courage in the face of tremendous adversity. The sophomore returned from football practice on a Thursday night last November to find his mother dead of an apparent suicide. Though his teammates and coaches rushed to his house to comfort him that night, few expected him to make the trip to Oakman early the next morning for the team’s Class 3A quarterfinal playoff game. Not only did Hearn make the trip, he made 8.5 tackles in a Mobile Christian victory and eventually helped power the Leopards to the title game.

ASWA SUPER 10 VOTING
(First place votes in parentheses)

BASEBALL
Tanner Burns, Decatur                                 (9) 117
Bubba Thompson, McGill-Toolen              (2)   87
Jacob Heatherly, Cullman                                    80
Cody Greenhill, Russellville                                 66
Sam Praytor, Helena                                             57
Connor Jednat, UMS-Wright                               39
Taylor Hayes, Piedmont                                      37
Jonah Smith, Sweet Water                                  17
Brock Guffey, Hoover                                           13
Drew Williamson, T.R. Miller                              11

  1. BASEBALL WINNERS
    2017: Tanner Burns, Decatur
    2016: Owen Lovell, Cullman
    2015: Brax Garrett, Florence
    2014: Cody Reed, Ardmore
    2013: Keegan Thompson, Cullman
    2012: Mikey White, Spain Park
    2011: Daniel Koger, Huntsville
    2010: Daryl Norris, Fairhope
    2009: Luke Bole, Hartselle
    2008: Tyler Stovall, Hokes Bluff
    2007: John David Smelser, Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa
    2006: Del Howell, American Chr.
    2005: Colby Rasmus, Russell Co.
    2004: Patrick White, Daphne
    2003: Joey Doan, Baker
    2002: Allen Ponder, Lee-Scott Acad.
    2001: Eric West, Southside-Gadsden
    2000: Wade Miller, G.W. Long
    1999: Matthew Maniscalco, Oxford

SOFTBALL
Annie Willis, Westminster Chr.                  (8) 115
Jenna Ergle, Sumiton Chr.                           (3) 105
Kendall Beth Sides, Sumiton Chr.                      73
Mary Katherine Tedder, Spain Park                  70
Abbey Latham, Demopolis                                  56
Josie Page, Washington Co.                                49
Lacey Fincher, Faith Acad.                                   39
Zoie Emrick, Buckhorn                                         24
Alex Wilcox, Brantley                                            23
Amy Woodham, Slocomb                                    17

MISS SOFTBALL WINNERS
2017: Annie Willis, Westminster Chr.
2016: Ashlee Swindle, Curry
2015: Lacey Sumerlin, Baker
2014: Madi Moore, Winfield
2013: Kasey Cooper, Dothan
2012: Haylie McCleney, Mortimer Jordan
2011: Shelby Holley, Pisgah
2010: Leigh Streetman, Hueytown
2009: Hilary Phillips, Ider
2008: Lindsey Dunlap, Hueytown
2007: Whitney Larsen, Vestavia Hills
2006: Anna Thompson, Grissom
2005: Tara Donaldson, Baker
2004: Anna Thompson, Grissom
2003: Holly Currie, Pisgah

JIMMY SMOTHERS COURAGE AWARD WINNERS
2017: Ethan Hearn, Mobile Chr.
2016: Alex Wilcox, Brantley

 

Demopolis man charged with murder after Friday shooting

A local man faces murder charges after a shooting left one dead Friday. Demopolis Police Department officers responded to a shooting call at 171 Starmont Road in Gallion Friday. Upon arrival, officers located a female suffering from a gunshot wound. The victim, whose name is being withheld pending notification of her family, later died after having been transported by emergency personnel to Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital.

DPD officers later arrested Dalton Martin Jowers, 19, of Demopolis and charged him with murder in the case. Further details are unavailable at this time as the case remains under investigation.

Demopolis cheer sweeps UCA camp

Demopolis High School cheerleaders attended UCA cheer camp at Auburn University May 31 through June 3. The occasion marked the first time DHS has had a clean sweep of first place in all categories at the event. The Tiger cheer squad finished first in extreme routine, first in sideline cheer, first in timeout cheer and first in band dance. Some of the group’s main competition included St. James of Montgomery, Northridge of Tuscaloosa ,Opelika High School, and St. Patrick Catholic of Biloxi, Mississippi.

Demopolis High’s Ashley Carter, Sarah D. Culpepper, Ashleigh Ivory, Sally Mackey and Hannah Webb each made All-American cheerleader and were invited to cheer in London at the day parade.

UCA staff invited Carter, Culpepper and Webb to try out for the 2017-18 UCA staff team. The entire squad got invited to cheer at the Buffalo Wild Wing Citrus Bowl at Disney World Dec. 29, 2017 through Jan. 2, 2018. Team captains Culpepper and Webb were invited to cheer at The Varsity Spirit Spectacular pre-parade performance in Disney World Nov. 29 through Dec. 3.

Julia Singleton, the DHS Tiger mascot, received the leadership award from her peers at camp.

“This is what happens when you practice hard and have a drama free week at camp: a clean sweep. We look forward to an awesome football and basketball year of cheering with this group of girls,” Jennifer Lay Jones, who coaches the squad along with Ali Hathcock, said.

The 2017 Demopolis High School cheerleading squad consists of:

Sarah Duncan Culpepper – Senior Captain

Hannah Webb – Senior Captain

Ashleigh Ivory – Senior Assistant

Ashley Carter – Sr.

Savannah Horshok – Sr.

Maggie Bradley – Jr.

Sally Mackey – Jr.

Alex Abrams – So.

Leah Hinton – So.

Khya James – So.

Taylor Smith – So.

Arri Beason – Fr.

Kimberly Branch – Fr.

Brianna Doss – Fr.

Alysse Dunklin – Fr.

Abbie Hathcock – Fr.

Abby Quinney – Fr.

Charity Singleton – Fr.

Jakara Taylor – Fr.

Julia Singleton – Mascot

Tyler Ward – Mascot

Sumter duo arrested for burglary in Mississippi

Authorities in Lauderdale County, Mississippi arrested two local men for burglary charges this week. Keenan Law and Quindarius Jackson face charges of burglary after Mississippi investigators say they were caught in the act.

Chief Deputy Ward Calhoun of the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department indicated that a concerned citizen reported seeing a car slowly towing a lawn mower without a trailer. When deputies pulled the car over, they found that Law and Jackson had taken multiple items from a camp house in the area.

The Lauderdale County office worked alongside the Sumter County Sheriff’s Department late Tuesday to recover more stolen items found at a residence in the Morningstar community. Calhoun indicated that investigators believe the duo had been to the camp house multiple times throughout the day.

Jackson is also charged with possession of cocaine. His bond is set at $20,000. Law’s bond is $10,000.