9-8-17 Marengo Academy vs. Southern Academy Football (gallery)

Missed opportunities doom Longhorns

9-8-2017 — Greensboro, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s William Drake breaks free for a 28-yard touchdown reception during the Longhorns’ game against the Southern Academy Cougars.

GREENSBORO – Missed opportunities were a contributing factor as the Marengo Academy Longhorns dropped their first class 1A region game to the Southern Academy Cougars by the score of 24-6. Cougar miscues and a flashes of a strong Longhorn defense kept the Cougars with their backs against the walls on several drives, but the Longhorns were unable to capitalize deep in Cougar territory.

After trading three-and-outs on their first possessions, a high snap over the punter’s head put the Longhorns in striking range at the Cougar 28-yard line. However, negative yardage plays, including an 11-yard sack of quarterback Gavin Thompson, resulted in a punt that was downed at the Cougar’s 13-yard line. The Longhorn defense held and the offense took over that the Cougar 35-yard line after a short punt. The Horns got a first down at the Cougar 24-yard line as the first quarter ended with neither team putting points on the board.

9-8-2017 — Greensboro, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Taylor Woodall brings down a Cougar runner during the Longhorns’ game against Southern Academy.

Continuing their drive in the second quarter, the Longhorns came up a few inches short on a fourth down conversion try and turned the ball over on downs at the Cougars 15-yard line. Consecutive sacks by the Longhorns moved the Cougars back to their own 9-yard line, where they were forced to punt.

After a couple good runs, including Gavin Thompson’s run to the Cougar 30-yard line, the Longhorns found themselves facing a fourth down. William Drake took a middle screen from Thompson and raced 28 yards to the end zone. The PAT attempt failed, but the Longhorns had claimed their first lead of the season at 6-0 with 5:31 to go in the second quarter.

The Cougars quickly struck back on a 34-yard run on their ensuing possession. The Cougars’ PAT attempt failed and the game was tied at 6-6 with 3:49 to go in the second quarter.

The Longhorns went three-and-out on their following possession and were forced to punt. Likewise, the Cougars couldn’t move the ball and were forced to punt. A fumbled snap would put the Longhorns in good shape at the Cougar 30 with only 23 seconds to go in the half. However, the Cougars would pick off a Thompson swing pass and return it 65 yards for a touchdown with no time left on the first half clock. The two-point conversion was successful and the Longhorns found themselves down 14-6 at the half.

9-8-2017 — Greensboro, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Casey Cramer (22) hangs on as Dalton Daniels (54) and Carson Crawford (34) close in for a tackle during the Longhorns’ game against the Southern Academy Cougars.

After trading several possessions in the third quarter, one of which included a Cougar fumble that was recovered by Dalton Daniels, the Cougars picked up a safety with 11:52 to go in the fourth quarter to give themselves a 10 point advantage at 16-6.

On a later drive, Hunter Parker sacked the Cougar quarterback, causing a fumble which was recovered by the Longhorns at their own 41-yard line. Thompson then hit Trey Etheridge with a pass to the Cougar 44-yard line. However, a few plays later, a Thompson pass fell incomplete on a fourth down try and the Longhorns turned the ball over on downs.

The Cougars then drove for another touchdown and a successful two-point conversion, giving them a 24-6 lead over the Longhorns with 6:02 to go in the game.

The Longhorns would give it one final effort and made it to the Cougar 18-yard line before negative yardage plays would push them back to the 37, where the Cougars would take over on downs. The Cougars would drive to the Longhorns 20, but would run the clock out, leaving the final score at 24-6 in favor of the Cougars.

Offensively, Thompson led the Longhorns with 22 yards on 17 carries. Drake added 9 yards on 13 carries. Thompson completed 4 of 16 passes for 81 yards and one touchdown.

Parker led the defensive effort with 15 tackles and a sack. Drake added nine tackles and Etheridge added eight.

Marengo Academy (0-3, 0-1) will take on North River Christian next week in Linden for homecoming.

9-8-2017 — Greensboro, Ala. — Marengo Academy’s Hunter Parker (24) secures a pass between two defenders during the Longhorns’ game against the Southern Academy Cougars.

Whitis discusses catfish industry with Demopolis Rotary

Greg Whitis, aquatic specialist with the Alabama Fish Farming Center in Greensboro, spoke to the Demopolis Rotary Club on Wednesday. (Photo by Jan McDonald)

Greg Whitis, aquatic specialist with the Alabama Fish Farming Center in Greensboro, spoke to the Demopolis Rotary Club on Wednesday. (Photo by Jan McDonald)

Greg Whitis had a lot to say about catfish farming in west Alabama, but his most striking comments concerned the importation of catfish from Vietnam.

Whitis, aquatic specialist with the Alabama Fish Farming Center in Greensboro, spoke to the Demopolis Rotary Club Wednesday on the current status of the catfish industry in Alabama.

The cheaper, thicker fish from Southeast Asia started flooding U.S. markets in the mid-1990s, Whitis told Rotarians, and had an immediate impact on catfish farming locally. Before the imports of basa or swai catfish began, Alabama had 24,000 acres dedicated to catfish. Today it has dropped to 18,500.

Hale County is the number one producer of catfish in the state, and Alabama is second in the country next to Mississippi, he continued.

The danger of eating imported fish has come to light in recent years, thanks to more media attention to the problem, Whitis said. Showing photos to illustrate his point, Whitis said imported fish often are grown in waters that are contaminated with sewage.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium and Seafood Watch recommend U.S. Farm Raised catfish and avoiding those imported from Vietnam, he continued.

He said later this year full time inspectors will be placed in processing plants, and boxes of catfish will be stamped “USDA Approved.” No federal regulation is in place requiring stores to tell where the fish were raised. It is a state-by-state decision.

Limiting the import of Vietnamese catfish is being held up in Congress where Sen. John McCain is a staunch opponent, Whitis continued.

The catfish industry faces other challenges besides imports, he said. Because the business has high risk and low potential, fewer new farmers are entering the field. The initial investment of up to $800,000 also can be a roadblock to new producers.

He said several new technologies have been introduced to help make fish farming more efficient. Auburn University Fisheries has demonstrated that intensive aeration can triple fish production. Whitis gave a nod to Alabama Power when he said that cheap electrical rates in the state have helped keep down the costs of running the aerators.

Two methods of concentrating fish fingerlings in small areas also have proved promising, he added.

Whitis said the Fish Farming Center opened in 1982 when AU offered its services to farmers so they didn’t have to travel across the state for help. The center costs $300,000 a year to operate, including the salaries of the two biologists and research biologist on staff.

The center isn’t limited to catfish farming operations, he said. Later this month a local farm will harvest its first crop of rainbow trout.

Washburn, McIntyre to wed

IMG_2388Mr. Richard Washburn and the late Lisa Washburn of Greensboro announce the engagement of their daughter, Allison Leigh Washburn, to Dustin Gray McIntyre, son of Mr. and Mrs. Timothy McIntyre of Dixon’s Mills.

Allison is the granddaughter of Barbara Abernathy and the late Thomas Abernathy of Greensboro and Marie Young and the late Julian Washburn, Sr. of Greensboro.

Dustin is the grandson of Harold and Doris Agee of Thomasville and Faye McIntyre and the late Cecil McIntyre of Dixon’s Mills.

The future bride graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Nursing. She is currently employed as a Registered Nurse at West Alabama Pediatrics.

The future groom received a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Alabama. He is currently employed by Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi.

The wedding will be at 3 p.m. on October 17, 2015 at Greensboro Baptist Church. All family and friends are invited to attend.

The couple will reside in Grand Bay, Alabama.

Scott Hale

Scott Hale, age 73, of Sprott, died June 23, 2015. Services will be 2 p.m. Thursday, June 25, 2015 at The Lake Payne Church of God. Burial will follow in the church cemetery with Kirk Funeral Homes Marion Chapel directing. The family will receive friends one hour prior to services at the church.

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

Christine Barnette Calhoun

Christine Barnette Calhoun, age 74, passed away Tuesday June 23, 2015 after a long struggle with lung cancer. She was admitted to Hospice of West Alabama’s inpatient facility the morning before her passing.

Visitation will be Thursday evening, June 25, 2015, from 5 until 7 pm at Kirk Funeral Home in Greensboro. The funeral will be at 11 am on Friday, June 26, 2015, at Pleasant Valley UMC. Burial will follow in the church cemetery.

Christine was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Ferrell Mayfield Calhoun; parents, William and Mary Emma Barnette; brothers, William Jr., Joyce, Jack, and Stanley; sisters, Sylvia Miller and Ann Bamberg Williams.

Survivors include her two daughters, Penny Gibson (Jack) and Layne Hoggle (Tom); granddaughter, Sara Grace Gibson; brother, Spears Barnette (Carol); and sister, Jean Wright.

Honorary pallbearers are: Wayne & Dot Hoggle family, customers of North Perry Grocery, Mt. Hermon charge and Pleasant Valley Church members, nurses & staff of HC Home Health, Oncology Associates of West AL, Dr. Susan Bostick, Hospice of West Alabama, Black Warrior EMC, University of Alabama Law Library, Judson College and her many nieces and nephews.

Christine owned & operated North Perry Grocery for 32 years. She served on Black Warrior EMC Board of Directors for 33 years.

Christine loved Pleasant Valley UMC. She enjoyed family, friends, cooking, serving others, and trips to the beach. She was blessed with wonderful friends and neighbors.

In lieu of flowers, Christine requested donations to Pleasant Valley UMC, 814 Ironville Rd, Marion, AL 36756.

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

Gordon Johnson

Gordon Oneal Johnson 91, of Greensboro passed away June 19, 2015, at Hale County Hospital. Services will be held 3 p.m. Tuesday June 23, 2015, from Kirk Funeral Homes Greensboro Chapel with Kirk Funeral Homes directing. Burial will follow in Oakwood Cemetery. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service.

Mr. Johnson was born Jan. 20, 1924, in Hale County to William and Frances Johnson.

Mr. Johnson was preceded by his wife, Hazel Lane Johnson; daughter, Sherrell Johnson Pickle; son, Waymon Johnson; grandsons, Chris Pickle and William ” Little Bill” Pickle; sister, Mary Frances Thompson; brothers, Glenn Johnson and Vernon Johnson.

Mr. Johnson is survived by his wife of 18 years , Laura Tubbs Johnson ; sons, Larry (Karen) Johnson of Moundville and Donnie (Sheila) Johnson of Greensboro; step-son, Bill (Phylis) Tubbs of Clanton; step-daughters, Leisa (Robert) Aderholt of Haleyville and Cindy (Chris) Tolbert of Alpharetta,Ga.; brothers, Joel (Robbie) Johnson of Dothan and Jon Allen (Mary) Johnson of Birmingham; grandchildren, Kristi (Bo) Renfroe, Quinton Pickle, Brandi (Randy) Lee, Tanya (“Larry Wayne” Bubba) Barks, Kasey (Darrell) Hughey and Scotty (Leah) Johnson; 10 great-grandchildren step-grandchildren, Tyler Tolbert, Scott Tolbert, Nathan (Lesley) Tubbs, Stephen (Allison) Tubbs, Rachel Tubbs, Zachary Aderholt, Joshua Aderholt; 3 step great-grandchildren.

Active pallbearers will be Bill Tubbs, Stephen Tubbs, Scotty Johnson, Joshua Aderholt, Chris Tolbert, Robert Aderholt, “Larry Wayne” Bubba Barks and Zachary Aderholt.

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

Dorsey named Pillar of West Alabama

dorsey“God sent John.”

That’s the short answer for how Dr. John Dorsey came to Greensboro, said Michael Lynch, his friend and now managing director and manager of external relations for Project Horseshoe Farms.

In the nine years Dorsey has been in west Alabama, he has made his mark. Those accomplishments will be recognized June 19 when he will be one of seven recipients of the Community Foundation of West Alabama’s Pillars of West Alabama for 2014.

The award, begun 10 years ago, recognized people who have made significant contributions to the community.

Praises for Dorsey’s work come from those who volunteer for him.

“He is a man of humility and compassion,” said Frances Roberts, board member and volunteer. A gifted teacher and psychiatrist, Dorsey, 41, is “a role model for others because of his compassion.”

Many in Demopolis know Dorsey as the director of behavioral health services at Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital. He is being recognized, however, for founding the nonprofit Project Horseshoe Farms in Greensboro, which, among other activities, provides residency care for women with mental illness.

“I’ve always been really interested in taking care of people with more severe mental illness,” Dorsey said. While working in California, he saw the challenges people with mental illness face.

In Greensboro he had a chance “to put together good psychiatric care with good support for people to help them have a good quality of life and live successfully in their community.”

Horseshoe Farms started in 2007 as an after-school program for at-risk students in Greensboro Elementary. The project has grown to 60 students in grades 4-8 and 30 in elementary school. The residency program began two years later in a turn-of-the-century Victorian country house Dorsey bought and restored.

Dorsey saw through his work “the lack of really sufficient structures for people to make the transition out of the hospital and also to avoid ending up in the hospital or in an institutional setting.”

His goal is to “help them to live the most independent life they can.”

Opened in 2009, Horseshoe Farms can accommodate six women at a time, but many have already graduated back to their families or independent living, he said. There is always a waiting list.

Along with Horseshoe Farms and the after-school project, Dorsey started a clubhouse in downtown Greensboro with scheduled morning programs for seniors. Roberts said about 50 adults from all over the area congregate in the clubhouse for fellowship and education

Coordinating all of the programs sponsored by Horseshoe Farms is more than one man can handle. Lynch is one of the few employees. Dorsey has recruited a strong group of volunteers for tutoring and mentoring. His work with the project is on a volunteer basis.

Dorsey also developed a Fellowship program drawing on students in the “gap” year between the end of college and the start of graduate programs, usually medical school. He recruited the first Fellowship students who came in August 2009. Now former Fellows recruit others.

This year he has seven Fellows who work with both residents and at the clubhouse. He expects nine next year. Most are from the southeast, particularly Alabama, but have come from all over the country. Many of the Fellows who have gone on to medical school have chosen a rural track.

“We want to really try to focus on creating an opportunity for people from Alabama because part of the purpose of the program is help to develop community leaders” in the state, Dorsey said.

Dorsey wrote the syllabus the Fellows use in their studies which serves as the basis for their weekly discussions, said Roberts. A major focus is on citizenship, community and nonprofit organizations.

Funding is “always a challenge,” Dorsey said. To help keep Horseshoe Farms operational, it applies to foundations for grants, and churches and individuals have stepped up. It accepts no state or federal funds.

Always evolving, Horseshoe Farms now has a partnership with medical students at the University of Alabama to do rotations and to have law students from UA provide legal services.

Horseshoe Farms recently acquired the old downtown hotel in Greensboro, and Lynch has taken the lead in restoring the building. While plans aren’t firm about its use, said Dorsey, the hotel could provide expanded space to provide programs for people with dementia, house medical students on rural rotation, and eventually serve as a medical education hub in rural west Alabama.

After completing his residency in psychiatry in California, Dorsey accepted a post with Bryce Hospital. It fell through as he was en route to Tuscaloosa.

Struggling and lost and not knowing anybody, through a series of people he met Dorsey ended up in Greensboro.

“It’s such a rich place to be, the entire Black Belt is. It has a strong sense of community, a strong sense of people wanting to help one another out,” Dorsey said.

“I really love being in a small town,” Dorsey said. “I love the personal relationships, I love to be able to feel like I’m making an impact and contributing to the community.”

Rotary Club funding major literacy project in Dixon’s Mills, Greensboro

Rotary clubs around the world have joined with Rotary District 6880 of south Alabama to fund a literacy project in Greensboro and Dixon’s Mills.

The $34,505 Rotary International Global Grant will fund “Self Organized Learning Environments” (SOLE) to benefit more than 200 students in under-served rural areas. The sites will enable to create children teach themselves with adult guidance. It is designed to benefit both grammar school students and out-of-school youth as well as engaging seniors to take part as mentors.

The matching grant was made possible through donations of clubs in the Alabama district and from Rotary districts in India and South Korea.

The grant project is a partnership of Rotary, the Hale Empowerment and Revitalization Organization (HERO) and the Marengo County Schools system.

Each location will have at least four computer stations for four to six students to use together to solve problems and explore answers to questions posed by volunteer mentors. Each site also will be provided with a 60-inch monitor for Skype sessions.

In Greensboro the SOLE kiosks will be designed and built by out-of-school youth. HERO will maintain the kiosks in Greensboro. The Marengo school system will supervise and maintain the location at Marengo High School.

Pam Dorr, executive director of HERO, and William Martin, IT specialist and technical coordinator for Marengo County schools, will supervise the purchase of equipment and building materials for their respective sites and recruiting volunteers to work with the youth,

Purchase of equipment and construction of the kiosks is expected to begin within the next month. Training of the volunteers should be completed before the opening of school in the fall.

The idea for SOLE originated with Dr. Sugata Mitra, professor of educational technology. As an experiment, he placed a computer in a wall in a slum area of an Indian city and observed how children interacted. Within days the children had taught themselves how to operate the device and use it to search for answers. Mitra’s work was the basis for the movie “Slumdog Millionaire.”

“Rotarians in South Alabama have been building friendships with Rotarians in Korea and India for many years,” said Bob Callahan of Fairhope, District Governor for District 6880.

“We have collaborated with our friends on many projects, on scholarships and cultural exchanges,” he continued. “Our friends in India and Korea have, through these experiences, recognized that we also have communities in need of assistance and offered this year to assist with funding a project in Alabama. We are grateful to our friends for their generosity and the love they have for Alabama and our people.”

Congresswoman Sewell to host Town Hall Meeting in Greensboro

GREENSBORO, AL – On Thursday, Feb. 20, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) will host a “Congress in Your Community” town hall meeting in Greensboro to provide an opportunity for residents of the 7th Congressional District to share their views and concerns and hear updates on the latest in Congress. The visit is part of Rep. Sewell’s annual “Congress in Your Community” tour through the 14 counties of the district. During the week of Feb. 17, Congresswoman Sewell will host town hall meetings in the following cities; Selma, Montgomery, Birmingham, Center Point, Greensboro, White Hall and Uniontown.

“I look forward to this year’s “Congress in Your Community” tour through the district. Connecting with and listening to my constituents helps me to better serve them in Congress. This is my annual tour of all 14 counties in the district,” Rep. Sewell said.  “These town halls afford me the opportunity to address the concerns of my constituents and update them on legislative initiatives in Congress. I received invaluable feedback during the 2013 town hall tour and I am certain that this year’s tour through the district will continue to help me to better serve the needs of those I’m honored to represent.”

The event will take place at the Project Horseshoe Farm Community Clubhouse at 1310 Main Street in Greensboro from 2 p.m. until 3 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20.