Stokes crowned 2017 Young Miss COTR (with gallery)

10-10-17 — Demopolis, Ala. — Kylie Elizabeth Stokes (right) reacts as she realizes that she will be Young Miss Christmas on the River 2017 as Adalyn Broox Lindsey’s (left) name is called as first alternate.

Young Miss Christmas on the River 2017 saw 33 contestants compete for the title at the Demopolis Civic Center. They paraded in true pageantry form to show their best style, poise and beauty as the judges chose a top 15. These young ladies presented their best and included Millie Hill, Emery Wideman, Susanna Bell, Elliegh Reid Dossett, Mary Carlton Parten, Madisen Sewell, Maddie Grace Teel, Sha’Keithia Murphy, Kyle Stokes, Olivia Tripp, Anna Kate Morrison, Adalyn Lindsey, Ari Freeman, Ali Basinger, and Bailey Madison Bolden.

After the top 15 contestants walked a second time, the judges narrowed the competition down to a top 5, who were judged on their ability to speak in public and think on their feet by answering the question, “What do you look for in a friend?” These third through fifth grade thought very hard to come up with the best answer to win the judges over. After the judges reflected on their decision, the new Young Miss COTR and her Royal Court were decided.

Placing fourth alternate was Mary Carlton Parten wearing a beautiful white tulle gown with silver and gold sequins. Susanna Bell was awarded third alternate in an off the shoulder elegant princess gown with lots of sparkle. Wearing a fabulous white formal gown with a silver beaded bodice and white rosettes on the skirt was second alternate, Emery Wideman. Adalyn Broox Lindsey earned first alternate wearing a gorgeous white satin gown embellished with crystals.

Crowned Young Miss Christmas on the River was Kylie Stokes in a perfect satin Christmas red gown detailed with crystals. Kylie is the daughter of Wayne and Heather Stokes and attends U.S. Jones. She was extremely shocked and overwhelmed at winning the title. Ms. Stokes is excited and looks forward to riding and waving in the COTR Day parade. She wants everyone to know how much fun it was to compete in this year’s pageant and hopes that everyone will sign up for next year and have as much fun as she did.

Come out and support the last of the COTR pagaents, Little Miss COTR, tonight at the Civic Center at 6pm.

Demopolis man pleads guilty to child pornography charges

United States Attorney Richard W. Moore of the Southern District of Alabama announces that James Derrick Robertson, age 53, of Demopolis, Alabama pled guilty to a violation of 18 USC Section 2252A(a)(2), Receipt of Child Pornography, which carries a penalty of at least five years up to 20 years and Obstruction of Justice in violation of 18 USC  Section1519, which carries a penalty of up to twenty years. Sentencing is set for December 20, 2017, before Judge Callie V. S. Granade.

This case was investigated by the Demopolis Police Department and the  Federal Bureau of Investigation.

A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Alabama at http://www.justice.gov/usao/als/

Homestead exemption for property owners at hand

Property owners over age 65 may qualify for an extra ad valorem tax discount on their homesteads, but they must register for it per Alabama law. To make it easier for residents to understand their required actions for claiming this exemption, Revenue Commissioner Sharon Barkley will be going to the Demopolis and Linden Senior Centers to talk about homestead exemptions.

On Tuesday, Sept. 26 at 11 a.m. Barkley will be in Demopolis at the West Alabama Senior Center and on Wednesday, Sept. 27 at 11:30 a.m. Barkley will be at the Meals for Elderly Building in Linden. Those who have never applied for the exemption before are encouraged to attend. Inquiries and concerns are directed to the Revenue Commissioner’s Office at 334-295-2214.

UWA’s College of Business and Technology reaffirmed by ACBSP

Dr. Wayne Bedford and Dr. Aliquippa Allen (center) represented UWA’s College of Business and Technology at the annual ACBSP conference in California.

LIVINGSTON, Ala.—The University of West Alabama’s College of Business andTechnology was recently awarded reaffirmation of its programs by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP). COBT leaders attended the organization’s annual conference in Anaheim, Calif., to be recognized by ACBSP’s baccalaureate/graduate degree board of commissioners.

Established in 1988, ACBSP is the only organization offering specialized business accreditation for all degree levels, from associate to baccalaureate to doctoral degree programs. ACBSP accreditation certifies that the teaching and learning processes offered through the College of Business and Technology at The University of West Alabama meet the rigorous educational standards established by ACBSP.

The business programs at UWA were first accredited by ACBSP in 1997. The University is required to go through the reaffirmation process every 10 years to maintain ACBSP accreditation.

“The University of West Alabama has shown their commitment to teaching excellence and to the process of quality improvement by participating in the accreditation process,” said ACBSP Chief Accreditation Officer Dr. Steve Parscale, who presented the Certificate of Reaffirmation of Accreditation at ACBSP Conference.

“This reaffirmation of accreditation is evidence that UWA and the College of Business and Technology are committed to maintaining the highest quality business education for their students for the next 10 years, just as they have done for two decades,” said Parscale.

According to UWA’s president, Dr. Ken Tucker, this reaffirmation is a reflection of the University’s commitment to providing top quality education and application-oriented experiences to students in the college, as well as the growing capacity across all of UWA’s colleges to make a positive impact on the region it serves.

“UWA’s mission includes improving the quality of life in the Black Belt through education and outreach,” Tucker said. “By preparing our students to be the best in their professional fields, equipping them with the knowledge and skills necessary to best serve business and industry, enhancing the overall quality of life in our service area, and continuing to establish partnerships that lead to job placement for our graduates, the College of Business and Technology at UWA is fulfilling that mission. On behalf of the entire administration, I commend the faculty and staff for their tireless efforts in achieving reaffirmation through this highly-esteemed accrediting body.”

“The faculty and staff in the College of Business and Technology are very proud of the business programs we offer and work very hard to ensure our graduates are well prepared for success in the business world. Whether pursuing the bachelor or master of business administration degree, students know that we are dedicated to giving them our very best,” said Dean of the College of Business and Technology, Dr. Wayne Bedford, now retired.

UWA provides opportunities for students to pursue a quality education through associate, baccalaureate, master’s, and education specialist degrees in liberal arts, natural sciences and mathematics, pre-professional programs, nursing, technology, business, and education. Importance is placed on providing opportunities within the curricula for the development of enhanced skills in critical thinking, communication, leadership, and computer literacy.

The University also seeks to provide students opportunities for growth beyond the classroom through a wide range of extracurricular activities, programs, and services and through the maintenance of an environment of cultural and intellectual diversity.

Through the total educational experience that it provides and through its encouragement of the free exchange of ideas among faculty, administration, and students, the University attempts to assist its students in developing the important qualities of independent thinking and respect for the ideas of others and in building firm foundations of personal integrity and character in order to realize their quests for a philosophy of life and for self-fulfillment.

 

Demopolis City Council hosting district meetings

The Mayor and your Council Member(s) invite you to a District Meeting.  The purpose of the meeting is to highlight items going on in the City of Demopolis and to answer questions you may have.  Please plan to take advantage of this opportunity.  We look forward to seeing you.

District 5       Westside Elementary Cafeteria         6p.m. Wednesday, September 27, 2017      

                          1720 Mauvilla Drive

District 1 & 2  Theo Ratliff Activity Center               6p.m. Monday, October 2, 2017                   

                            306 First Avenue

District 3 & 4  Old School                                           6p.m. Tuesday, October 3, 2017                   

                             601 South Main Avenue

Photo of the Day

Taylor Polk and Spence Overstreet, both members of the 2009 state championship team, are coaching at Charles Henderson in Troy. Polk is the special teams coordinator and the head JV baseball coach. Overstreet is an offensive line and defensive line coach and is the head JV soccer coach. (Submitted by Stephanie Polk)

Demopolis BOE holds first meeting of new academic year

Praising Demopolis City Schools for an “extremely smooth start,” School Supt. Kyle Kallhoff said it was the best he has experienced in his 20 years in education.

At the Board of Education meeting Monday, Kallhoff said the work on the buildings and the efforts by the teachers and administrators were reflected in the ease back into the school year for the system’s 2,300 students.

He showed the board a three-minute video of the first day of school at all four campuses.

The superintendent told board members the system is fully staffed with the exception of a nine-month custodian at Demopolis High School.

That said, the board still had work to do to complete the start-up for the 2017-2018 year, beginning with the need to advertise for a part-tiime LPN for Demopolis Middle School.

The 20-hour per week position is needed, Kallhoff said, because the health needs of the students have grown. The RN at the high school cannot divide her time among schools because of the increased number of students with diabetes at DHS.

Evelyn James, the CFO of the school system, said revenues are up by $883,000 over the same time in 2016, while expenses have decreased by $29,000. She said the system has 3.11 months of revenue in reserve. The state Board of Education requires a minimum of one month.

Her report was followed by the state auditor, Emily Tyler, reporting no problems found in the audit done for the 2015-2016 year.

To keep revenue flowing into the school system, the board approved a resolution presented by Kallhoff to petition the Marengo County Commission to consider a renewal of a three mill tax for District 2, which includes the city of Demopolis. The tax requires voter approval for renewal every 10 years. He asked members of the board to attend the Sept. 12 meeting of the Commission when he presents the request for the tax renewal.

First readings were held for two board policy changes, both required by the Alabama legislature. The first, the Jason Flatt Act, involves youth suicide awareness and prevention. It calls for employees to receive annual training to identify characteristics of students who may be considering suicide.

The Religious Liberties policy requires that there will be no discrimination of students or their parents for religious beliefs. A public hearing for both policies will be held Thursday, Sept. 7, beginning at 9:30 a.m.

Also approved by the board was a lease agreement with TEQlease for Impero Computer Monitoring Software. Kallhoff said the five-year lease, at $5,000 per year, would serve the school system in three ways:

First, it would allow the monitoring computers to restrict use to certain websites, preventing users from visiting inappropriate sites. Second would be a time-saving feature, allowing IT to install programs in multiple computers from one base unit instead of having to install programs individually.

The third feature allows those monitoring the use of school computers to flag any words or searches that could pose any dangers.

In other action the board approved:

  • The Equipment Financing Agreement with Government Capital Corporation for the Active Panel Promethian installation project.
  • Renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Demopolis Police Department for two School Resource Officers. The school system will pay half their salaries.
  • A hold harmless agreement with the DPD for the use of the DMS football field for National Night Out on Sept. 12.
  • Contract for Susan Hollinger to provide psychometrist services to administer testing for special education and gifted students.
  • Overnight and/or out-of-state trips for the DHS cross country team Sept. 16 and Sept. 30 to Meridian, Miss., and Nov. 10-11 to Moulton.

Personnel matters included:

  • Hiring Rebecca Hasty as bookkeeper at DMS.
  • Substitute hiring of Annie Collins and Betsy Stephens.
  • Head tennis coach changed from Sam Mosley to Dana Hill.
  • Maternity leave request for Whitney Mosley, USJ, to begin Feb. 18, 2018.
  • Maternity leave request for Kristi Stokes, USJ, to begin Jan. 3, 2018.
  • Family medical leave request for Tammi Western-Scott, DMS teacher.
  • Katrina Sprinkle as long-term substitute for Western-Scott.
  • Rodney Lewis as DMS assistant football coach for supplement of $1,189.
  • Norvie Womack as DMS athletic director for supplement of $1,400.
  • Name correction from Aug. 2 personnel report from Javalynn Williams to Javalynn Wilson Henderson.
  • In a special called meeting Wednesday, Aug. 2, the board accepted the resignation of Annette Gwin, the DHS culinary arts instructor. Gwin had been a teacher in the system for 16 years.

The superintendent set public hearings for the 2017-2018 budget For Sept. 7 at 10 a.m. and Sept. 11 at 4:30 p.m., followed by a called meeting at 5 p.m. to approve the budget.

He also invited board members to attend a ribbon-cutting ceremony Sept. 15 at 9 a.m. for the new Pre-K program at Westside Elementary School.

At the same time there will be dedication of wooden planter boxes. The brainchild of a UWA student, the boxes were constructed by Cemex employees. Three have been placed at all four campuses.

The next regularly scheduled board meeting will be Monday, Sept. 18, at 5:15 p.m.

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.

Pine Apple man killed in Wilcox crash

SELMA POST – A single-vehicle crash at 5:25 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5, claimed the life of a Pine Apple man. Wilson Ross Jr., 61, was killed when the 1999 Dodge Durango he was driving left the roadway and struck several trees. Ross, who was not using a seat belt, was ejected and pronounced dead at the scene. The crash occurred on Alabama 21 near the 83 mile marker, approximately two miles south of Snow Hill. Although circumstances surrounding the crash are still under investigation, alcohol is believed to be a factor. Nothing further is available as Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate.