Newspaper Archive of
The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
April 15, 2015     The Florala News
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April 15, 2015

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~: f / ~f~i~. ;'"/"t~ g .-.~.~ '" -~ ~" ESTABLISHED ! 900 Location Of One Hundred Forty-Four Consecutive Annual Masonic Celebrations ONE HUNDRED FOURTEENTH YEAR WEDNESDAY NUMBER 6" 8 PAGES PRINTED ON ! 00% RECYCLED PAPER APRIL ! 5, 20 ! 5 50 PER ISSUE (S^LES tax INCLUDEO) by Lisa Windham 14.7% was the magic number at the Florala Utilities Board meet- ing on Monday. Utili- ties Superintendent Chris Jackson reported a 14.7% monthly wa- ter loss for the sys- tem, which is below the 15% required by the Alabama Depart- ment of Environmental Management (ADEM). When Jackson was hired as superinten- dent the water loss was at 63% and he made it his goal to reduce that number. Jackson praised the diligence of the utilities board employees who actively seek out prob- lem: areas and repair them as quickly as pos- sible. Two major leaks have been repaired on 4th Street and 7th Ave- nue, which contributed to the water loss. Board Member Robert Wil- liamson told Jackson, "I appreciate the excellent job." Jackson requested employee raises for Mi- chael Walsh who has completed his master evaluation certification for gas and for Ed Hick- man who has obtained his gas certification. Following discussion, the request was tabled until next month. In other business the board: Approved a request Florala resident Ed- die Pickron was injured ina one vehicle accident last Tuesday evening on the McPhail Farm Road. Pickron lost control of his Chevrolet pickup causing the vehicle roll. He was transported to a loCal hospital where he was treated for his inju- from Covington County Commissioner Harold Elmore to allow me- tered water use for the purpose of filling ra- diators on county road equipment at the city yard with the stipula- tion that it would be closely monitored. ,Agreed to allow Chairman Ronney Rob- bins to sign documents allowing DMD Engi- neers to administer the CDBG grant. Approved revised minutes from the March 9 meeting Approved accounts payable Set the next meet- ing date for May 11 at 11 a.m. ries. The accident is still under investigation by the Florala Police De- partment. NEW gymnasium design. Florala High School is a small in the residents of Florala." rural school established in 1962, lo- The gymnasium is in need of sig- cated in the heart of Florala, with an ~ nificant structural repair. The origi- enrollment of 215 students, with over nal hardwood floor needs to be com- 73% receiving free and reduced lunch pletely striped, repaired, repainted, in grades 7-12. and refinished. The original back- FHS is a member of the Alabama High School Ath- letic Association and par- ticipates in football, basket- ball, volleyball, baseball, softball and track at the varsity, junior varsity, and junior high school levels. There are many talented and motivated students roaming -the halls that fo~ the first time have partici- pated in organized athletic programs. To witness the development of their confidence and skills is truly rewarding; however, it is saddening that the facilities and equipment available for them is in desperate need of repair. A fundrais- ing drive is underway at the web- site Go Fund Me.corn (Florala High School Gym Renovation). The gymnasium was built in 1962, and it still houses the original floor- ing. It is the central location for all indoor athletic competitions, commu- nity events, school pep rallies, charity events, school assemblies, and gradu- ation. The historical significance and community pride of the gymnasium provides our small community with a place of welcoming unity. The refurbishment of the FHS gymnasium will create a safe facility upgrade for not only student athletes, but also the general student popula- tion and community, as well. Coach Troy Stewart stated, "Please help us maintain and boost community pride board suspension systems, locker rooms, sports equipment, and some of the bleacher seats need to be re- placed and repaired as well. Recent minor renovations have been com- pleted by volunteer coaching staff from out-of-pocket funds and profits accumulated through fundraising ef- forts; however, because of the age of the gym, more work is inevitable. With the' average median house- hold income in Florala being $23,922, which is over $17,000 less than the state average, the wonderful people of Florala do not have the monetary means to assist in this much needed project. "Thank you for taking the time to consider FHS for a much needed donation. We will gladly accept any assistance that can be provided in pursuing our efforts to refurbish the FHS gymnasium, which brings so much joy to our community," con- cluded Stewart. mm Florala High School senior Bailea Rickett has signed a scholar- ship to play softball at Enterprise State Ju- nior College. She is the first signee in history the softball program at FHS. Softball Coach Pat Maddox stated, "It has been my privilege and pleasure to have coached Bailea Rickett the past several years. Bailea is one of those players that rarely come along. Her willing- ness to do whatever the team needs. 'And that is not common to find in a player anymore. Whether pitching, play- ing short stop or center field, she never com- plains. She accepts her task with a smile on her face and gets the job done." "Bailea has had an outstanding career at Florala High School and has raised the bar for those who follow her and I'm sure she will be right there when she can to cheer them on," concluded Maddox. Rickett's career stats: batting average .754, triples 12, doubles 24, homeruns 4, stolen bases 236, and strike- outs 396. Last year she set a state record of ~9 stolen bases. "I have had the privi- lege of being involved in Bailea's atheletic en- deavors over the past two years not only has her volleyball coach, but as her assistant softball coach. It has been an The Florala News 1155 Fifth Street Florala, AL 36442 IIIUl!l],UIIItl! tl!UIIII, honor coaching a young lady with such a desire to be the best that she can be. That desire and dedication to dominate everY sport she plays is evident throughher commitments and sac- rifices that have helped her become the elite athlete she is today. 'It is throug~ her en- thusiasm for continuous improvement that she is able to take corrections, learnJfrom them and use them as opportuni- ties for improvement on a daily basis. She truly has a teachable spirit, which is something ev- ery coach desires in an athlete. "Above all Bailea is a team first player. Team- work is a rare quality that is not found it is in- stilled in everyone. She is that player that will never give up on her teammates or let them down. She understands that a great team is made up of individuals playing equal roles and wholeheartedly commit- ting themselves to the team as a whole. This understanding is what has landed Bailea the team captain role dur- see RICKETT page 8 RICKETT SIGNS WITH ESJCC - (back) Florala High School Softball Coach Pat Maddox, Travel Ball Coach Roger Hammonds, Tasha Smith, room; (front) ESCC Head Coach King Jones and Bailea Rickett.