Robertson Bank gives surprise gift to four DCS employees

Robertson Banking Company’s Katie Windham and Allen Bishop were on hand at Demopolis City Schools’ Institute Friday to present a $100 to a staff member of each of the four DCS campuses.

Demopolis High football parking to benefit other sports

Demopolis High School has found a way to supplement its non-revenue sports through the football program. The institution will charge $5 per car for parking this season with those funds being utilized to assist smaller athletics programs.

“We didn’t want people to show up at the game and then be shocked and surprised that we’re charging for parking,” Demopolis Principal Blaine Hathcock said. “It’s something that we see in the vast majority of places that we go. People are charging for parking. All of that is not going to football. We wanted to include a lot of our non-revenue sports like tennis, golf, soccer, volleyball, track. There’s a lot of non-revenue sports and we wanted to give them an opportunity to be profitable on Friday nights.”

In addition to the $5 parking charge, game tickets are set at $7 each week and a $50 season pass is available that includes a “chair back” seat in the stadium. Membership in the Demopolis Quarterback Club includes prepaid parking.

“The biggest impetus for doing that is for a couple of reasons, obviously to maximize as much as we can financially out of Friday night, but also to have a way to include our non-revenue sports to help them to become more profitable,” Hathcock said. “We have a significant amount of sports that are completely non-revenue and don’t charge any admission.”

The Demopolis football program opens its season Friday, Aug. 25 at Thomasville before holding its first home game Friday, Sept. 1 against Greensboro.

Band Boosters, QB Club hosting Cow Patty Bingo fundraiser

The Demopolis Quarterback Club and the Demopolis Band Boosters are pairing for a first-time event designed as both a fundraiser and a community meet-and-greet. Meet the Tigers Night is set for Friday, Aug. 18 beginning at 5 p.m. on the side lawn of Demopolis High School.

Billed as “fun for the whole family”, the event is set to feature concessions and bounce houses for kids while participants wait for the centerpiece attraction to be completed.

At the core of the event is Cow Patty Bingo, a fundraiser in which individuals who have purchased a ticket eagerly await for a cow to defecate in one of 225 sectioned squares.

Participants can purchase a ticket for $100. If the cow relieves itself in the square that corresponds to a given ticket, the individual holding the ticket wins one of four prizes.

The first “plop” is worth $250. The second “plop” is worth $500. The third “plop” is worth $1,000. The fourth “plop” is worth $5,000.

Only 225 tickets will be sold. Those seeking more information are encouraged to call 654-0831 or 287-1006.

River City Blue preview Thursday

The 2018 edition of the River City Blue, Demopolis High School’s marching band, will host a Preview Night on Thursday, Aug. 10 at 6 p.m. at the band practice field in the parking lot next to the stadium. The band has prepared a Motown themed show for the 2017 season. 

Demopolis Elite, UWA teams holding Soccer Fest Sunday

The University of West Alabama men’s and women’s soccer programs are teaming with Demopolis Elite for a special event. The entities will pair for Soccer Fest and a training session Sunday from 3-5 p.m. at the Demopolis Sports-Plex.

The event is open to children ages five and up and is free of charge.

Marengo County 4-H S.A.F.E. shooting sports programs begin new year

School is back in session and the new 4-H year is in full swing!  Youth ages 9-18 have several opportunities to participate in 4-H Shooting Sports in Marengo County.  We offer 4-H Clubs in the areas of Rifle (BB and Air Rifle) and Archery.  Certified instructors lead the clubs, and equipment is available for use. There is no cost for the clubs. 4-H Youth will learn basic firearm safety as well as life-skills such as teamwork, patience and personal discipline.  At the end of the season, club members will have the opportunity to compete with other 4-H youth from across the state. Clubs will meet at the Marengo County Extension Office in Linden, AL.  The address is 2400 East Coats Avenue. For more information, call Beth Yates at 334-750-4964.

Opportunities include…

4-H Basic Rifle Class– Mondays in September from 5:00 pm-6:30 pm. This class will cover the basics of rifle safety and marksmanship.  Call 334-295-5959 to sign your 4-H youth up for this class and find out more details.

4-H BB Rifle Club– First Monday night of the month from 5:00 pm until 7:00 pm when school is in session. (October-March)

4-H Air Rifle Club– Thursday nights from 6:00 pm-7:30 pm when school is in session (October-March)

4-H Archery Club– Tuesdays in January after school from 3:30 until 5:00.

Deer management workshop set for Aug. 18

An “Intense Deer Management Workshop” for Blackbelt area landowners is planned for Friday, Aug. 18, at the Blackbelt Regional Research and Extension Center in Marion Junction,

Registration will begin at 9 a.m., and the program will start at 9:20 a.m.

Program topics will include: Understanding the relationship between deer, deer populations and habitat, how invasive plants kill good habitat and what to do about them; habitat management to provide what deer need year round; the management of food plots, including what, when and where to plant; how to conduct camera surveys and interpret data, and the effectiveness of predation and predator management.

A registration fee of $20 is required in advance. Seating is limited, and lunch and breaks are provided.  To properly plan for lunch, please call and RSVP before the deadline of 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 16.

This program qualifies for Continuing Education Credits, (5) PLM hours, SAF and CFE, 3 hours CAT (1), and one hour of CAT (2) credits.

McCampbell talks redistricting with Demopolis Rotary

Armed with maps, Alabama Rep. A.J. McCampbell explained to Demopolis Rotarians Wednesday, July 26 how the latest redistricting in Alabama could further water down the city’s representation in Montgomery if it is accepted.

McCampbell, representative for District 71, is part of a lawsuit brought against a highly gerrymandered drawing of districts in the state that would go into effect for the 2018 election. The decision is in the hands of the three-judge panel of the 11th Judicial Circuit.

The judges can accept the Republican version, choose a plan submitted by the Black Caucus or even come up with their own.

Currently McCampbell represents portions of six counties in west Alabama, stretching from Choctaw to Tuscaloosa. Under the Republican leadership plan, he would have all of Sumter County, a small part of Marengo, a portion of Green County and a larger section of Tuscaloosa, including some 4-5,000 residents in the southwestern part of the city of Tuscaloosa.

McCampbell, a Democrat, now represents a district with 71 percent African-American voters, he said. The new plan would lower the number to 57 percent; however, 42 percent of all the voters in the district would be in Tuscaloosa, which is up to 90 percent Republican.

“That’s going to be a concern” for him in the election next year. The district could lose a representative to an urban area.

The city of Demopolis is split in two both in the current district set-up and in the Republican plan. “It’s all about keeping a safe district for Republicans,” he told Rotarians.

Voters also must be aware that they will not be able to cross party lines to vote in the primary and run-off elections, he continued. Even though the state doesn’t require a voter to declare a party affiliation, the legislature has passed a bill prohibiting a voter from choosing one party in the primary and another in the run-off.

In many Alabama counties, the majority of local races are among Democrats, while the state offices are Republican. Voters will have to choose whether to vote for local candidates or state ones in the primary.

McCampbell said he introduced a bill in the last session that would place all candidates on the same primary ballot, saving cash-strapped Alabama the expense of a run-off election.

“It didn’t get anywhere because the Republican Party buried it,” he said.

He plans to reintroduce it again this year but doesn’t hold out much hope.

McCampbell touched briefly on two other topics at the meeting. He said the proposed prison bill “died a real interesting death.”

A federal judge has made a ruling about the mental health issues in Alabama prisons, which the state will have to face. “It’s going to cost a lot of money.”

As for the proposed gas tax, “It died a slow death on the House floor” after passing the Senate, he said. It was “a rugged fight” with special interests lined up to lobby their positions.

The gas tax may come back in the regular session, but it is unlikely to be voted on in an election year when no politician wants to raise taxes.

DCS board makes last-minute moves before 17-18 school year

In a flurry of votes Wednesday morning, the Demopolis City Board of Education approved personnel changes and several contracts before the new school year begins.

Conditional employment approval was granted to:

  • Kelly Easter, U.S. Jones Elementary.
  • Rodney Lewis, JROTC NCO at Demopolis High School.
  • Javalynn Williams, Demopolis Middle School.
  • Timothy “Cain” Sutton, DMS.
  • Traci Spiller, Central Office administrative assistant.

The board accepted resignations from Nicole Jensen at DMS and Nicole Greene at USJ.

Substitute teachers approved were Tamyla James, Carrie Williams and Sherri Peterson.

Miscellaneous personnel changes included:

  • Michael McClain, Family Medical Leave.
  • George Mullens, substitute in the USJ lunchroom for McClain.
  • Carrie Williams as a long-term sub at DHS.
  • Andrea Turberville from adjunct teacher to part-time teacher at DHS.
  • Jesse Bell, DMS assistant football coaching supplement: $1,189, and DMS head basketball coaching supplement, $1,901, was approved on a 4-1 vote with Jim Stanford voting no.

Remington Keene received a one-year contract as an adjunct teacher at DHS to teach three Spanish classes per day. The board renewed Susan Clark’s one-year contract for speech services and that of Genesis Rehabilitation to provide physical and occupational therapy.

In other action, the board approved:

  • An agreement with the website management company “edlio” to provide services for the school system. Supt. Kyle Kallhoff explained the current website is much better than several years ago, but there is a push to have it more user friendly for teachers. The initial start-up cost will be higher, but the annual cost will be about $500 less than the company now being used.
  • An agreement with WSLY-FM radio to provide live coverage of the DHS football games.
  • A contract with Centerplate of the University of Alabama and the DHS Band to allow band members to work the concession stands at UA home football games as a fundraiser.
  • Advertising for a 12-month bookkeeper position at DMS.
  • A finance agreement with John Deere and DHS to make two annual payments on a new Gator, a general utility vehicle. Board member Olen Kerby said the vehicle that is being replaced should have lasted longer. He asked that someone be put in charge of the new vehicle’s maintenance.

Kalhoff said budget hearings will be scheduled between now and the deadline for approval on Sept. 15. The next regularly scheduled board meeting is Monday, Aug. 21, at 5:15 p.mn.

2017 HWY 80 Songwriters Fest (gallery)