Let’s clean out the notebook ...
• Carbon Hill Main Street Committee is still being active. After last week’s Carbon Hill City Council meeting, District 1 Councilman McClain Burrough had a quick Main Street meeting where he told other Main Street board members about his idea for a “Blessing Box” at the community center. The box, which would be locally constructed, would sit on posts and have a plexiglass door on the box to open. Inside the box would be stocked canned goods, T-shirts, books, socks or other things that could be needed. The needy could take the items, while those who are better off could leave more goods to be taken. A number of other communities are already using such boxes.
Also, he discussed the idea of landscaping the outside of the community center, perhaps with shrubs and flowers, as an upcoming project. They also talked about raising funds and setting up accounts to take the funds.
•By the way, I was rather surprised to find out that the Carbon Hill area tornadoes will mark their 15th anniversary soon. Tornadoes came through the area on Nov. 10, 2002, according to an old Birmingham Post-Herald I found in my files.
•Also from Carbon Hill, at the Oct. 12 council meeting, Mayor Mark Chambers announced that the heating and cooling are now all repaired at the Blue Gym. He was planning to go to Montgomery this week to get ceiling tile for the facility’s foyer. Also, six toilets have been purchased for the bathrooms to replace ones that are not working correctly. He said discussions will be had with Coca-Cola concerning possible new ice machines and coolers. Councilman Brandon Tannehill also discussed the need for a new public address system, which the mayor asked him to check prices on.
District 3 Councilwoman April Herron also noted that the Bulldog image painted on the street was paid for by the Main Street Committee out of their pockets, not by the city. Anita Hill was also appointed to the industrial board.
•Oakman had a great Day’s Gap Festival this weekend. (We’re saying “Day’s” as the founder of the town was named Day. It has been sort of confusing.) Various factors didn’t allow me to stay long, but I walked over downtown and found many people were enjoying themselves. The turnout was very good and Mayor Cory Franks and other citizens there should be congratulated. The fact I hated to rush away after an hour or so is a good indication it offered a lot. I think they can build on this. We’re fortunate that we honestly have a number of successful festivals; I’ve been in some counties where you only had one, maybe two that did that well. We seem to be on a roll.
By the way, in case you were wondering, the stage area did have a huge sign with a black ribbon saying, FLY HIGH BIG GUY” and then “#JusticeForLyle.” That hash tag is not the more famous New Orleans case, where a college student was allegedly harassed by local police, resulting in a lawsuit — as well as that hash tag. This one is apparently referencing a murder case in recent years involving an Oakman victim. I’m told “Big Guy” was a nickname for the victim. Nice gesture; I will say it is very rare for a small town festival to give such a prominent display to such a situation.
•There must be some type of marriage fever going on around here. First, Jessica Keeton and Jacob Butler got married on Oct. 7 in a simple, sweet ceremony lasting maybe 20 minutes. They did a great job decorating the church, down to the hearts and confetti on the floor of the sanctuary. One little child in the wedding party was pulled in riding a toy wagon. After stuffing myself with an incredible buffet at the reception, I thought I was going to have to be hauled away as well. (Jacob is the manager of the Jack’s in Carbon Hill. As many times as I have ate there, I sort of felt I got rebate by coming to the reception. It was delightful, and I’m very happy for the couple.
Meanwhile, our advertising manager, Jacob Aaron, and his girlfriend, Christy Leigh Robertson, announced online they are now engaged. It couldn’t happen to a nicer guy, who has also been a good advertising manager for us.
•A Hoover man called us Tuesday as he was driving through, noting that Jasper police were wearing duty hats instead of ball caps. He said that was commendable, as wearing duty hats commands more respect than ball caps. The man said his grandfather was one of the first police chiefs in Leeds many years ago, and he always wore a duty cap.
•Jasper’s First Baptist Church had a good if busy week last week. Officially, 28 people wound up seeing the dentists in the mobile clinic that rolled up to the church last week from the North American Mission Board. Then evangelist Tony Nolan from Florida did a fantastic job Saturday night and Sunday morning, with quite a number of decisions made. Saturday was smaller crowd, as I imagine they were competing against college football, but I would say almost a third of the kids that night made a decision.
I’ll have a story on it later, but I do want to point out that a number of Jasper churches are planning its third Fallfest in downtown Jasper on Sunday, Oct. 29, from 3-6 p.m.
•I had to recall a moment from the past when the idea was pushed the other day to increase the length of the runway at Walker County Airport-Bevill Field from 5,000 feet to 7,000 feet to accommodate larger corporate planes and also military aircraft. I always thought that was a good thing — because Marion County’s airport was 7,000 feet at one time. Marion County actually cut back its airport from 7,000 feet to 5,500 feet, and I have always hated they did it. Marion County Engineer Mike Shaw told me federal regulations had to require the action due to runway protection zones.
I can recall Gov. Guy Hunt coming into Hamilton one day and said in his speech, “I arrived this morning at Hamilton International Airport.” At one time, military aircraft from Columbus, Miss., would regularly come into that airport, whose length I think was arranged by the powerful House Speaker Rankin Fite, as I recall. I think 7,000 feet would be a better length for any of these airports, including the one in Jasper, if everything can be worked out. Again, the county is seeking a study to determine the feasibility of the whole proposal, but I think officials are optimistic on this end.
•Just so the photographers know — and trust me, they love to ask — I have finally purchased a Neewer Speedlite 750II external bounce flash for the camera. It cost me only $56, but so far it is doing a fine job for me. (I even tried to purchase an Amazon Basic brand at an even cheaper cost, but I had to send it back both times.) In the same way, I bought $100 headphones to listen to taped interviews at work. It was supposed to be top of the line. It lasted all of eight months. I went to a local store and bought a $50 set of Sony headphones. I’m learning the hard way.
•Walker County Republican Party Chairman Steven Aderholt indicates he expects to have a starting time for qualifying candidates for the 2018 elections by the end of the week. All qualifying on all levels, federal, state and local, must end by 5 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 9.
The party primary is June 5, with the runoff on July 17 and the General Election on Nov. 6.
As donations for state offices have a blackout period starting with the Legislature, I should point out the Legislature starts Jan. 9, barely after the New Year’s celebrations. (One hangover begins just as another one ends ...)