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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
March 4, 2015     The Florala News
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March 4, 2015

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I . ! ESTABLISHED i 900 Location Of One Hundred Forty-Four Consecutive Annual Masonic Celebrations ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH YEAR WEDNESDAY NUMBER 52" 8 PAGES PRINTED ON ! 00% RECYCLED PAPER MARCH 4, 20 ] 5 50 PER ISSUE (SALES TAX lNCLUDEDI ...... . ................ . .......................................... . ....... ~ ~ ..... ~ ...... ~ .... . .................. ~.~ ..... ~ ~ ~ .~.~ ~.~ .~.~...~ IT'S THIS TIME of year that I think of Donald Dean and his nursery which Larry and I enjoyed so much back in the day. It was located out on the Samson highway and what fun it was to ramble through all those flowers and shrubs. We bought most everything in our yard in way of flowers and shrubs from Dean's Nursery. THE CAMELLIAS are getting really pret- ty. I :cut a bouquet of camellias this morn- ing. it is beautiful! Also, back in the day, you:could ramble along the Walton County and find most any kind Of flow- er :or shrub you could think of. That, too, was an enjoyable half day: No more! I don't know if the powers that be won't allow it or the folks have just gotten lazy. CAN'T WAIT TO VISIT the beach house and see what our son and grandson, Gary and Benjamin Woodham, have gotten done. They were going to do some work on the deck, shore up the dunes, and paint the house. Those boys do work that we couldn't afford to have done and we sure do appreci- ate it. OUR CHURCH, First United Method- ist, has begun a Bible study on Wednesday nights. We would love to have those of you who don't' have services at your church to join us. If you don't have a home church, why not make ours yours too. The more, the merrier! WE DIDN'T EVER get around to buying flowers that the cold wouldn't kill for pots at the front entrance of our home. I told Larry to plant collards in them. They thrive in cold, frosty weather. Having them has been far better than empty pots. We have dozens of collards in the garden at the old home- place on North 6th Street. Let us know if you would like to have some. We will meet you there, if you are uncomfortable visiting someone's patch other than your own. ONE THING I want to do when it warms up a bit is visit Natural Bridge and see if the cliff is still there where, in my more youthful days, we would jump off the cliff into a nice deep pool. We also enjoyed walk- ing down the stream looking for interesting rocks and other pools in which to swim. We never did find one as nice as the one at Nat- ural Bridge. ANOTHER PLACE I would like to visit is a stream and pool in the vicinity of Ha- coda. When we had new members join the church, back then, we would baptize them in the nearest creek which happened to be Hacoda. Had we used Pea River for bap- see ROSE page 2 The Florala News 1155 Fifth Street Florala, AL 36442 Be i The Covington County District Attorney's office began a "round up" last week to find individuals who owe restitution, outstanding fines or worth- less checks. The DA's office has teamed up with law enforcement agencies to locate these individu- als and collect the money they owe. District Attor- ney Walt Merrell said the round up will continue through the months of March and April and "you better start payin', because we are not playin'." Collection of restitution owed to victims is the primary focus of this round up (as opposed to put- ting people in jail), therefore contact has been made with dozens of people face to face; 30 people by way of social media; and several on the phone or through email by the DA's office. A significant number of those people have responded by mak- ing payment arrangements. Amounts owed range from $100 or less to more than $100,000. For comparison purposes, in February 2014, restitution collections totaled $30,664 96. In Feb- ruary 2015, at the conclusion of the first month of the Round Up, restitution collections totaled $46,678.30. In February 2014, Worthless Check Unit col- lections totaled $29,198.98. In February 2015, at the conclusion of the first month, Worthless Check Unit collections totaled $56,524.69. Individuals who think they may have outstand- ing warrants, fines or worthless checks should call the DA's office at 222-2513 or contact them via Fa- cebook at the Covington County District Attorney Office page. The Florala Fire Department and Lockhart Fire Department responded to a structure fire on Fifth Avenue last Tuesday evening. The fire was extinguished quickly after arrival. The fire is under investigation by the Florala Police Department and Alabama Fire Marshal's Office. This week is Nation- al Consumer Protection Week and in accordance such, Alabama Attor- ney General Luther Strange announces the top ten consumer com- plaints as reported to his office by Alabam- ians during 2014. "Alabamians need to be aware of seams that could cost them thou- sands of dollars or rob them of their identity," said Attorney General Strange. "The Ala- bama Attorney Gener- al's Office maintains a consumer protection hotline to take reports of fraudulent activity and to provide informa- tion and tools to equip individuals to protect themselves. "My office has com- piled a list of the top ten categories of con- sumer complaints re- ceived from Alabam- ians over the last year. Not surprisingly, most consumer complaints came from internet-re- lated activity, including emails and online offers intended to steal one's identity, credit card or bank account informa- tion. Closely following were aggressive debt collectors and loan and mortgage telemarket- ers." The Alabama At- torney General's Of- fice of Consumer Pro- tection received more than 4,300 consumer complaints during 2014 with the majority grouped into the follow- ing ten categories: 1. Online Seams 2. Debt Collection 3. Loans/Mortgages 4. Auto (Used) 5. Home Repair 6. Retail Purchases 7. Mail Order/ Magazines 8. Satellite/Cable/ISP Service Disputes 9. Auto Repair 10. Landlord/ Tenant Disputes Interestingly, the top three consumer com- plaints of 2013 were Loans/Mortgages, Debt Collection, and Online seams. "Alabama consum- ers should always be on alert to consumer seams and fraud and if they have questions about a suspicious offer or transaction they are encouraged to contact the Attorney General's Office of Consumer Protection," said Attor- ney General Strange. 'SNhen appropriate my office also can mediate disputes between con- sumers and business- es." The Attorney Gener- al's Office of Consumer Protection cannot serve as an individual's pri- vate attorney or pro- vide consumers with le- gal advice. However, in many instances, the At- torney General's Office has been successful in mediating complaints to the mutual satisfac- tion and benefit of.the consumer and the busi- ness. If circumstances warrant, the Attorney General may initiate legal action, either civil or criminal, to repre- sent the interests of the State of Alabama and to enforce the various laws designed to protect consumers from con art- ists and unscrupulous practices by business= es. When such action is taken, the Attorney General is authorized to seek restitution for the affected consumers, as well as injunctive re- lief, civil penalties and criminal penalties. To report suspect- ed consumer fraud, Alabamians can call the Attorney Gen- erars Consumer Pro- tection Hotline at 1-800-392-5658. You can also visit the Attor- ney General's web site at and click on "Consum- er Protection:" To file an on-line complaint, use the link: www.ago. sumer-Protection-File- a-Complaint. National Consum- er Protection Week (NCPW) is a coordi- nated campaign of state Attorneys General, the Federal Trade Com- mission and other gov- ernment agencies that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their con- sumer rights and make better-informed deci- sions. More information can be found at the NCPW website: http://www. P