The Alabama House Delegation introduced a resolution congratulating the University of Alabama Crimson Tide for winning college football’s national championship.
Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-03) said, “I am thrilled for the University of Alabama and proud of the young men who played their hearts out on the field. This is a proud day for our state.”
In January, the town of Cedar Bluff continued discussions on whether to head back to the polls on the wet-dry issue. In previous years, as noted at some of the town council meetings, legal actions have taken place regarding the alcohol sales in Cedar Bluff. According to the council, with the passage of a resolution by the state legislature, the Town of Cedar Bluff will proceed with a petition to have the wet-dry issue on the ballot again.
The petition to get the issue to the voters again would require signatures of at least 30 percent of the Cedar Bluff voters who voted in the last general municipal election (August 2008). If this number is acquired, the wet-dry vote would appear on the ballot in June or November 2010.
Cherokee County High School Senior and Quarterback Coty Blanchard continued to make news in January when he was named as the recipient of the 2009 Alabama Sportswriters Association’s Mr. Football Award. Blanchard was presented with the award at the Annual Birmingham News Player of the Year awards banquet.
In 2009, Blanchard completed 200 of 289 passes for 2,916 yards, 35 touchdowns and four interceptions. He also rushed for 1,161 yards on 151 attempts with 20 touchdowns.
The new senior citizens’ center named for Dean Buttram Sr. was dedicated Monday, Jan. 25, during a ceremony that recalled the pharmacist’s many contributions to health care and to the people of Cherokee County.
Buttram, who died in July 2008 at the age of 82, served on the Cherokee County Heatlh Care Authority for 34 years and owned Dean’s Pharmacy for 33 years. After he sold the drug store, he continued to work there as a pharmacist until the age of 80.
The facility, located on Dean Buttram Sr. Avenue, (formerly Hospital Avenue), adjacent to Cherokee County Health and Rehabilitation Center, includes a meeting room, kitchen, exercise and game room and computer room, was a cooperative effort of the city of Centre, the county and the Health Care Authority. The center also has a “safe room” which is designated to withstand winds of 150 miles per hour.
“He was a great friend and a great leader in this county,” said Cherokee County Representative to the Alabama Legislature Richard Lindsey. “Sometimes we look around and wonder who is going to take on the task before us….Dean was the person who would take it on. He would do things for Cherokee County that no one else would do.”
Alabama Department of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries personnel were in town in January to release some 90,000 crappie into Weiss Lake as part of their annual re-stocking program.
Brad Reaves and John Davis with the Alabama Department of Fisheries, released the black crappie, approximately three to four inches in length, beginning with 9,000 at Bay Springs Marina, followed by releases at Leesburg Landing, Rooster’s Marina. Weiss Mart, J.R.’s Marina and Riverside Campground.
Two local spellers earned their way to the top in February. Corin Manning, a sixth grade student at Spring Garden School, was declared the 2010 Cherokee County Spelling Bee Champion after correctly spelling hysterical. The second place winner was Gregory Leach, an eighth grade student at Cedar Bluff School. Cedar Bluff School hosted the event.
Cherokee County and the rest of the state received its first major snowfall of the year in February, with some three to four inches blanketing the area.
This was a day when snow was recorded in 49 of 50 states with the exception being Hawaii, according to national news reports. The snow began falling around 9 a.m. and continued until 6 p.m.
Dr. Brian Perry, a local physician, was named as one of the Best Doctors in America for 2009-2010. This was the fifth time Dr. Perry earned this prestigious honor.
Compiled by Boston-based Doctors Inc., the Best Doctors in America database is the result of an exhaustive survey of more than 45,000 physicians in the United States.
Only those doctors recognized by 3 to 5 percent of their specialty can earn the honor of being named one of the Best Doctors in America.
The Cherokee County School System recognized its Alabama Teacher of the Year and Jacksonville State University Teacher Hall of Fame nominees for 2010 which included Jennifer Lockridge, a teacher at Centre Elementary School who was named Cherokee County nominee for Alabama Teacher of the Year in the Elementary Division; Leta Freeman, a teacher at Centre Middle School, Cherokee County nominee for Jacksonville State University Teacher Hall of Fame in the elementary division; Damon McDonald, a math teacher and coach at Spring Garden School, Cherokee County’s nominee for Jacksonville State University Teacher Hall of Fame in the secondary division and Lisa Manley, a teacher at Cedar Bluff School, Cherokee County’s nominee for Alabama Teacher of the Year in the secondary division.
Three area varsity basketball teams advanced to the Final Four in Birmingham in February. The Sand Rock Wildcats, Spring Garden Lady Panthers, and Piedmont Bulldogs all claimed Northeast Regional Tournament championships at Jacksonville State University’s Pete Mathews Coliseum.
The Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department and the Alabama Traffic Safety Office, in February, officially unveiled the “Yellow Dot” program to help first responders gain better access to medical information from citizens in the event of an automobile accident or other medical emergency.
In a press conference held in the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce headquarters on the campus of Gadsden State Community College-Cherokee, Sheriff Jeff Shaver explained that the Yellow Dot program provides detailed medical information that can be crucial following a crash. Participants in the program receive a “Yellow Dot” decal, “Yellow Dot” folder, emergency contact information, personal physicians’ information, medical conditions, recent surgeries, allergies and medications being used. A “Yellow Dot” decal on the driver’s side rear window of a vehicle alerts first responders to check in the glove compartment for the corresponding “Yellow Dot” folder.
The Alabama Governor’s Race for 2010 began heating up as Republican Candidate Bradley Byrne made a Cherokee County stop at Happy China in Centre. Byrne was appointed by Gov. Riley to served as chancellor of the Alabama Two-Year College System which in the past few years has been riddled with shady contracts, double dipping, family members appointing family members to certain posts and other problems. Byrne labeled his platform as the three Es, for Ethics, Education and Economic Development.
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby visited with Cherokee County citizens at Centre City Hall in February to hear their concerns and shed some light on such issues as health care, the growing national debt and other concerns.
On the local level, Attorney Jeremy Taylor, who worked in the Cherokee County District Attorney’s office, announced his candidacy for Cherokee County Circuit Judge in Place Three which was occupied by Kevin Grimes.
In March, District Attorney Mike O’Dell announced his candidacy for a third term as district attorney for Cherokee and Dekalb Counties. In 1996, O’Dell was appointed district attorney to replace retiring District Attorney Richard Igou. O’Dell ran for and won re-election in 1998 and 2004. Both times he ran unopposed.
Many family members, friends and loved ones said their good-byes to long-time businessman, farmer and community leader Woodrow Rains who passed away March 9.
Rains, a native of Cherokee County and veteran of World War II, was a retired farmer and was active in many civic and farming organizations. He served as county president and state director of Alabama Farmers Federation. He also served as a supervisor of the Cherokee County Soil and Water Conservation Service for 50 years.
He was an outstanding member of the Centre Lions Club for more than 50 years and was a member of the American Legion Post 62.
The Cherokee County Warrior 2009 Football Squad received what was due them in March 2010. Players were formelly presented with their championship rings in a ceremony held on Bobby Joe Johnson Field. They received their reward for a perfect 15-0 season capped with a 31-27 Class 4A state championship victory over Jackson in Tuscaloosa’s Bryant-Denney Stadium Dec. 4, 2009.
Cherokee County Commissioner Kimball Parker announced his plans to seek relection to the District Two post in March. Newcomer Greg Parker announced plans to seek the District Two Cherokee County Board of Education post.
Soon afterward, Mark Gossett announced his intentions to seek the District Two Board of Education post and Incumbent Carlton Teague announced plans to run for another term as District Four Cherokee County commissioner.
Piedmont Senior Chase Childers was the recipient of several awards at the 25th Annual Bryant-Jordan Scholarship Banquet held at the Birmingham Sheraton Hotel.
With a 4.0 grade point average, the Piedmont High School valedictorian and Birmingham Southern College prospect claimed the state’s Larry D. Striplin Scholar-Athlete Award, the Class 3A Scholar-Athlete Award and the Class 3A Region 5 Award. He was also awarded more than $10,500 in scholarship money.
Cedar Bluff High School’s Jim Nelson and Kai Wen, along with Cherokee County High School’s Susan Chesnut were also among the honorees. Nelson and Chesnut were named region scholar-athlete award winners. Wen was named a region achievement award winner.
Don Stowe, a member of the Cherokee County Board of Education, announced his intention to run for election to the District Two Cherokee County Commission post.
Broderick Smith announced his intention to run for Cherokee County coroner. Smith, a resident of Cherokee County for more than 40 years, has served on the Cherokee County Rescue Squad for more than 20 years and has more than 20 years of experience as a paramedic.
Cherokee County remembered another one of its long time community leaders, Tom Brock Jordan, who passed away in March at the age of 90. At that age, he was still active in church, business, the community and with his family.
An avid golfer for decades, he continued to managed to play a frequent round of his favorite game.
A native of Cherokee County, Jordan was one of two sons of Ethel Mae Brock Jordan and George Hoyt Jordan. According to daughter Becky McMichen, “Dad and his brother George Harold Jordan are the fourth generation of the family to operate the J.T. Jordan and Sons Gin (along U.S. Highway 411 in the Bomar Community.) That gin combined with the Lindsey Gin in Alexis to form the Cherokee County Gin and Cotton Company 10 years ago.”
Jordan was an avid fan of the University of Alabama football. He was a member of Centre First Baptist Church for more than 50 years.
Cherokee County Commission Chairman Melvyn Salter stated during the planning session of the April 12 commission meeting that Cherokee County had a 51 percent mail back rate for census forms. The statewide rate at the time was 62 percent.
According to Salter, “for every individual who is not counted, it will cost our county $30,000 over a 10-year period.”
Judge Kevin Grimes announced his candidacy for another term as Ninth Circuit Judge Place 3. Grimes served both Dekalb and Cherokee County in this position for two terms. Grimes presided in more than 9,300 cases during his terms as judge.
Incumbent Lynn Rochester announced her plans to run for another term on the Cherokee County Board of Education for Place One. Rochester, a retired teacher from Centre Middle School with 30 years of experience, served as chairperson on the board, as president of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Cherokee County Board of Directors and vice president of the Cherokee County Retired Educators Association.
The City of Centre received a glowing financial report from its auditor in April.
“I enjoyed working with every one of your staff,” said Forrest Frost with Kirkland and Company. “I just can’t say enough about the way you have controlled your budget.”
For fiscal 2008-2009, Frost said, the city budgeted $3 million in revenues which actually came in at $145,361 more than the city budgeted. “That is pretty close budgeting I would say,” said Frost.
Centre and Cherokee County, in April, mourned the death of Margaret Ann Jordan, civic leader and businesswoman, who passed away at the age of 81. Jordan was a native of Cherokee County and owner and operator of Jordan Dress Shop for many years and was a member of Centre First Baptist Church. She was a member of the BPW, Twilight Club, Centre Literary Club, Centre Music Club and Spirit of Cherokee. She was also active in the Cherokee County Chamber of Commerce and was a recipient of the Chamber Award.
The Cherokee County Commission, in April, agreed to apply for $1.8 million in Recovery Zone Bonds to develop Rock Village and also to improve county roads. These funds were made available through President Barack Obama’s Stimulus Package.
Local Democrats hosted Attorney General Candidate Michel Nicrosi, who described herself as ‘a prosecutor, not a politician.’
Nicrosi, a resident of Mobile, Ala., spent 16 years fighting crime and corruption as a federal prosecutor, four as chief of the criminal division of Alabama’s southern district.
Cherokee County citizens learned that the county had another appointee to the prestigious military academy, West Point. Thanks to the help of Third District Congressman Mike Rogers, Nathan Chesnut, a 2010 graduate of Sand Rock High School, received the appointment.
“We have the opportunity every year to nominate some folks to the various academies,” said Rogers during a local fundraising breakfast. “It is very competitive and this year it is more competitive than others. But fortunately, we had a young man from your area that really was an easy person to sell, Nathan Chesnut. We are very proud of him and we know he is going to do well.”
Following a four-day search, rescue crews recovered the body of a Georgia fisherman who went missing following a boating accident on Weiss Lake Tuesday evening, May 18. The man was identified as Jerry Marvin Coker, 68, whose body was found early Saturday morning, May 22, near a buoy where he was last seen, according to reports.
Cedar Bluff voters, during the June election, voted overwhelmingly to keep alcohol sales by a vote of 365-113.
Winners in the local races were Kevin Taylor who won the circuit judge’s post and Incumbent Kimball Parker who kept his seat as Cherokee County District Two Commissioner.
Organizers for the Cherokee County Relay for Life were elated in June when the 2010 event raised more than $62,000 with more funds still coming in. The event is held each year to raise funds for cancer research.
Athlete Coty Blanchard made the news again in early summer after receive an offer from The Baltimore Orioles to play baseball.
Jeff Noblin, chief executive officer, Cherokee Medical Center, announced his resignation, to become effective in July, to accept a position at a 107-bed hospital in Lawrenceburg, Tenn.
A 10-year-old girl was credited with saving her cousin’s life following an accident at Little River Falls. Cousins Alexia McGuire, 10 and Aubrey Hines, 5, were playing at Little River Falls near Fort Payne. Phyllis Bell, Aubrey’s grandmother, said that the girls were walking back to the car and crossing the creek to the parking area when both fell in.
She said that at least three women tried to grab the girls before they went over the waterfall, but were unsuccessful in their attempts.
She said that Alexis dragged Aubrey to the surface and swam to a large rock in the middle of the falls’ pool. Bell said that Alex shook Aubrey awake and kept blood out of her eyes while rescuers made their way to the girls.
Centre resident and first female mayor in the state of Alabama Lillian White passed away in June at the age of 96.
White served as mayor of Centre from Nov. 9, 1971 through Oct. 6, 1980 and also served eight years on the Centre City Council.
White, according to biographical information, was a registered nurse, training at Forrest General Hospital in Gadsden. She worked as a nurse for more than 44 years for her husband, the late Dr. Walden White.
MORE REMEMBERING 2010 in the Jan. 12 issue of the Cherokee County Herald.