September 2012 (continued)
In September, the Cherokee County Board of Education approved a $37. 4 million budget for fiscal year 2012-2013.
Projected revenues, totaling $37,486,973, included $22,657,377 from state revenues, $4,225,300 from federal revenues, $10,384,074 from local revenues and $220,222 from other sources.
As part of a ceremony commemorating the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorists bombing on American soil, Barbara Smith, a local citizen, spoke for thousands of American citizens as she recalled her experiences that day. Smith shared how she had a new appreciation for first responders following the horrible events of that day.
The town of Cedar Bluff in September received a $3,000 grant from the Coosa Valley Resource, Conservation and Development (RC&D) council for a promotional brochure and website upgrade. Mayor Ethel Sprouse saw the need for the town’s own brochure to help attract tourists, retirees and businesses.
On an early, crisp Fall September morning, many Sand Rock School students joined others across the nation for the See You at the Pole ceremony.
This tradition began in 1990 by three men and then the wide spread attention by the next year had more than 100,000 students involved and now it is a global day of prayer to pray for not only our nation but each other as well.
Local Republicans received another boost to the 2012 political season in September as they officially opened their new headquarters at 151 West Main St. inside the former Merle Norman location in Centre.
A good crowd gathered for the Grand Opening ceremony, which included refreshments and a tour of the new spacious facility.
In early October, the Cherokee County Commission approved an $18.6 million budget for fiscal 2012-2013, a decrease of $1.3 million (or 6.78 percent0 over last year’s budget of $20 million.
Cherokee County Administrator Tim Burgess explained that this year’ budget reflects decreases, including the pro rata courthouse expense including utilities, housing and maintenance.
The Cherokee County Board of Education began searching for a new principal for Centre Elementary School when members approved Dewayne Pierce as the new supervisor of testing and curriculum, 21st Century coordinator.
The board named Kelly Hopper, a fourth grade teacher at Centre Elementary School, as assistant principal and agreed to post both the principal position at CES and the fourth grade teacher position at CES.
On Saturday, Oct. 6, amid numerous Fall Festival and other activities, Cherokee County Democrats officially opened their headquarters for the upcoming political season on Main Street in Centre.
Local cotton farmers had a busy fall. In October, the Herald featured Herman Rochester and sons who worked night and day on their 4,000-plus acres in the Pollard’s Bend area of Cherokee County.
The Cherokee County Board of Education, in October, during a special called meeting appointed Dr. Trina Wood as acting superintendent for Cherokee County Schools following the previous resignation of Superintendent Brian Johnson just a few months before his term ended. Johnson, however, remained as a tenured employee of the school system,
The Sand Rock Livestock Arena, in October, was once again the sight for Farm City Days 2012, which is designed to acquaint students in grades K-3 in the Cherokee County School System with farm life and agriculture.
Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh, a candidate for president of the Alabama Public Service Commission, addressed the Ninth Annual Cherokee County Republican Party celebration held at Gadsden State Community College-Cherokee and urged citizens to “get off the sideline, get in the ball game and make a difference for the people of Alabama.”
Spring Creek Fire Department was the setting for a huge political rally in October, giving all candidates another chance to meet with prospective constituents, air their views and answer concerns of the public.
A grieving school and community gathered for a candlelight vigil in October in a remembrance ceremony following the untimely death of Cherokee County High School Coach Frederick Taylor.
The vigil was held in the Cherokee County High School Gymnasium. Taylor, according to reports, passed away Sunday morning, Oct. 28. A number of students, faculty members and community leaders gathered to share memories of “Coach T” as he was known.
After several hours of interviews with both local and out of state candidates, the Cherokee County Board of Education, during its Tuesday, Oct. 30 meeting, voted 3-1 to name Brian Johnson as principal of Centre Elementary School.
In a special-called meeting Thursday evening, Oct. 25, Johnson, former superintendent, Cherokee County Schools and current physical education teacher at Centre Elementary School, was one of eight candidates who interviewed for the position.
The local GOP took control in Cherokee County as Republicans won in five of six races in the November General Election. A total of 9,897 votes were cast.
On the national level, Cherokee County voters overwhelmingly chose Mitt Romney over Incumbent President Barack Obama by a vote of 7,494 to 2,126.
For Cherokee County Probate Judge, Republican Kirk Day defeated Democrat Sid Garrett by a vote of 5,134 to 4,561.
In Cherokee County Commission District One, Challenger Randy Jones (Republican) defeated Incumbent Wade Sprouse (Democrat) by a vote of 4,978 to 4,489.
In Cherokee County Commission District Three, Marcie Foster (Republican) defeated Lanny Starr (Democrat) by a vote of 5,063 to 4,470.
Republican Mitchell Guice defeated Democratic Challenger Brett Keasler in the race for superintendent of Cherokee County Schools by a vote of 5,663 to 3,857.
Democrat Suzanne Bishop was the winner in the Cherokee County Board of Education Place Three race, defeating Republican Opponent Linda Archer by a vote of 4,712 to 4,601.
In the Place Four Board of Education race, Republican Challenger Mark Green defeated Democrat Incumbent Dewandee Neyman by a vote of 6,315 to 3,260.
As for the statewide races, Cherokee County voters chose Republican Incumbent Mike Rogers over Challenger John Andrew Harris in the Third Congressional District.
For Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, Cherokee County voters chose Republican Roy Moore over Democrat Bob Vance by a vote of 6,365 to 3,221.
For President of the Alabama Public Service Commission Republican Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh was the winner over Democrat Lucy Baxley by a vote of 5,762 to 4,410.
After the Pledge of Allegiance to the American Flag, Cherokee County District Court Judge Sheri Carver administered the oath of office to the new mayor and council of Sand Rock during its November meeting.
Cherokee County Probate Judge Melvyn Salter, in November administered the oath of office to Cedar Bluff’s new mayor and new council members.
Judge Carver administered the oath of office to Centre Mayor Tony Wilkie and Council Members during the council’s first meeting in November.
The mayor and five council members of Leesburg began new terms with Cherokee Commission Chairman/Probate Judge Melvyn Salter administering the oath of office at Leesburg Town Hall.
The Cherokee County Commission began its Wednesday, Nov. 14 meeting by swearing in its two newest commission members. Judge Carver administered the oath of office.
The Cherokee County Board of Education officially began a new term of office during its Tuesday, Nov. 20 meeting. The board and acting superintendent officially welcomes new board Members Suzanne Bishop who was elected to Place Three and Dr. Mark Green who was elected to Place Four.
It was a shock to the community in late November when a body was discovered in one of the buildings on the campus of Gadsden State Community College-Cherokee.
On Friday, Nov. 30, local agents transported Vennie Leroy Keaton, 37, a suspect in the local homicide case, back to the Cherokee County Detention Center after he surrendered to police in Cookeville, Tenn.
Keaton, according to reports, was located in Cookeville and surrendered to police without incident. Keaton was listed as a suspect in the homicide investigation where the body of Melissa Leann Hudgins was found on the Cherokee Campus of Gadsden State Community College-Cherokee Wednesday morning, Nov. 28.
Initially, local agents held him on a charge of theft of property in the first degree.
Sheriff Jeff Shaver stated that a team of investigators from the Sheriff’s Office, Centre Police Department and the District Attorney’s Office were already in Tennessee assisting with the investigation before Keaton was captured.
The Cherokee County Herald (News Publishing Company) announced in December that the Cherokee County Herald building, 107 First Ave., West, had been sold and that it would relocate to 1460-E West Main Street in the Piggly Wiggly Shoppng Center.
Local Businessman David Crawford was the high bidder who purchased the building and property during an onsite auction held Wednesday, Nov. 28.
The Spirit of Cherokee was happy to report another successful event as Christmas Parade 2012 made its way down Main Street in Centre Saturday, Dec. 1. Local residents lined the streets for this year’s parade in sunshine, blue skies and above-average temperatures as compared to some of the cooler and grayer parades of the past.
This year’s parade, according to organizers, included more than 100 entries, including a variety of floats, antique cars, horses and other attractions.
The annual Cherokee County Love Lights program sponsored by the Cherokee Medical Center Auxiliary was held in December in the main entrance of the hospital to honor and memorialize those who have passed away.
Theresa Frye, president of the CMS Auxiliary, opened the program and noted that the monies raised go toward the hospital, Children’s Advocacy Center of Cherokee County and they also go toward three $1,000 scholarships to high school students entering the medical field.
The Cherokee County Commission, in December, adopted a resolution honoring retiring Probate Chief Clerk Debbie Bankson who was hired as a clerk in the Probate Office in July 1977 and was appointed Chief Clerk in October 1984. Cherokee County Commission Chairman/Probate Judge Melvyn Salter said in reading the resolution that Bankson was an exemplary employee. She has continued to receive training to keep abreast of the workings of the Probate Office. Salter also commended her for her years of community service.
It was a Christmas miracle for the community and for Centre First Methodist Church in December when a generous benefactor helped the church feed more than 130 needy families this holiday season.
The new Family Life Center of CFMC was abuzz with activity during one weekend as more than 200 volunteers sacked toys, grocery items, hosted inflatable games for children, organized pictures with Santa Claus and served a delicious meal to a line of people which circled the church.
According to the Rev. John Mullaney, pastor, Centre First Methodist Church, the seeds were already planted even before a secret donor gave $25,000 to the church and specified that these funds be used to touch lives this Christmas. Afterward, this same donor gave an additional $10,000 to the youth department at Centre First Methodist.
The event, Rev. Mullaney said, was appropriately titled Christmas Miracle Workshop and held in conjunction with the Nettie King Brown Clearinghouse, which has provided for needy families since the 1990s.