Newspaper Archive of
The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
September 24, 1970     The Florala News
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September 24, 1970

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IMAGE SMALLTOWNP~PERS, INC. ALL CONTENT COPYRIGHTED. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. USE SUBJ~3~rJ)EIc~NSE AGREEMENT. REPRODUCTION, DISSEMINATION, STORAGE, DISTRIBUTION PROHIBITED. THE FLORALA NEWS - THURSDAY, Scribbles By Merle Woodham RECEIVED A NOTE from Florala's Tommy McNelll say- lng he was back in Auburn and in his words "trying to learn something in Graduate School this timel" He and his wife, the former Janlce Jones of Red Level, and their 2 children, Lynn and Nancy, will make their home at 106 Patio Apts., 420 N. Dean Road, Auburn, Alabama 36830. Tommy sent his check for a subscription to The Florala News anxious to keep up with what's happening back home. Wish you the best of luck from this corner, Tommy... THE SLUMP FLORALA is now experiencing and has ex- perienced in football for a num- ber of years is a direct re-' suit of the lack of a good ele- mentary football program at Florah City School and W. S. Harlan in I.ockhart. You know when Mr. Vaitis had boys attending City School he worked fervently with them as coach at Flerala City School. When this group ofboysbecame varsity players Florala won more games than they lost. Winning isn't everything but it does help. This junior team is certainly a step in the right direction but I want it carried a step further. But, I think there should be an elementary program for the 3rd grade and up. There is a group of the younger set (3rd grade through the 6th grade) that meet at different homes in the after- noon and play football until they are so wet with perspiration you could wring them out. They are literally dripping. Among them are Chuck Stevenson, Pat Willis, Johnny Rodwell, Terry Moseley, Mike Spicer, Jcey Evans, Ronny Scrogglns, and David Garner. I'm sure there are dozens of other suchgroups about town but this is the one that I have seen in action. While their interest is high, theyneed to be trained in the fundamen- tals of football. This group would come a lot nearer remembering patterns of play, etc. than boys much older. I AM DELIGHTED that Coach Barldey Poole of Florala City School, with the help of Coach Vernon Baggatt of FHS, Joe Vattis and George Lancaster of W. S. Harlan in I.x)ckhart, is now working with about 45 7th, 8th, and 9th grade junior foot. bailers from Lockhart and FCS. A schedule of their games was published in last week's paper. Check this schedule and plan now to support this Junior High team, They will be your foot- ball team of tomorrow. They~lost their opening game with Andalusia. But, they pro- vided fans with some enter- taining moments. After all, they have had very little prac- tice. They did all right for beginners. Ronnle Gamble looked real good punting that ball. Several of the varsity players and their coach were teasing Donnie Franklin about Ronnie rolling him for his Job. This, too, is good. We need competition for position among the players. If they know there is a possibility of their being rolled for their Job, it will prompt them to give their po- sition a little extra drive. Romanuel Gundrum, when he would push forward in the right direction, made good yardage. At one point during the gamebe was heading down the sideline, making pretty good time, when one of the Blacks from Anda- lusia Just ran and Jumped a-straddle of him withhisarms around his neck, rather than going for his knees and below. I saw that happen more than once. On another occasion, Romanuel, rather than letthose Andy Tigers tackle him,backed up, slinging them off, about 20 yards. This type action pro.. vialed a little extra entertain- ment, which is all right. They've got a lot to learn. Practice, the encouragement and backing of fans, will make for a better team. But he couldn't quite make it. Gary Anderson had a lot bet- ter luck this week completing passes. He completed several to Steve Henderson and to Mel- vin Matthews. Melvin caught a couple of beautieson our side, those low to the ground kind where they catch them and then do a somersault. Bob Harrison, who ~as doing the announcing, tagged him "Scooter", which was fitting for his performance Friday night. Florala fans thought the of- flciating was of the poorest kind. Larry is not bad to criticize the officiating but I think, with any encouragement, he would have helped whip 'em Friday night. Geneva got a lot of penalties, too, but there was two or three they should have got and didn't... Donnie Franklin, who was al- ready suffering from a shoulder injury, will be out three weeks or more, with a splintered bone in his log, sustained in Friday night's game. STATE TROOPER, Hubert Anderson, moving here from Luverne, is working overtime trying to organize a Pee Wee football team. Interested per- sons met with the Quarterback Club Tuesday night in an effort to get this program underway. Anderson was active with the Pee Wee foatballers in l.zlverne where they had four teams. He said they didn't play many games before they were drawing as big a crowd as did the Var- sity players. They held their games on Saturday nights and the program was well received. THE FLORALA WATER WORKS BOARD- This is another board guilty of hold- ing their purse strings tightly. This board was warned at least ten years ago that the City sewage disposal system was definitely a health hazard and had been condemned. We didn't stand alone, at the time. Lockhart, Andalusia, Opp, Samson, Elba and otbers were warned at the same time to do something about their sewage disposal system. Morn, The Florah News edi- tor and publisher, told me she read an article in The Bir- mingham News back in June saying that most of the cities that had been condemned had either done or were doing something about their sewage disposal problem excepting Florala, Lockhart, and possibly Samson but that she thought the report said Samson was working on a solution. Andalusia has had two sewage disposal plants in operation for a number of years. The City of Elba built a lagoon which Mum deems most successful This is what the Water Work Board in F10rala has talked about for 10 years but ar~ still lagging in their efforts to get the job done. I under- stand the land for the lagoon has been purchased but ff it ts the land through which the present sewage disposal ditch travels, it is a wilderness. Willow trees and a verythick undergrowth have grown up along side the ditch and the ditch itself is barely visible even on the highway going by Jim Walker's place, the Leonards', the Ralph Yarboroughs' and many others living along that roadway. I have a picture taken about three weeks ago when the bea- vers had built dams along the sewage disposal ditch and the raw sewage had backed up until it nearly reached the road that goes by the city dump. It was backed up along that road from the dump to the highway previously mentioned. Iunder- stand that Frank Harrison, chairman of the Water Works crew, has since waded up the ditch and knocked the dam out in two or three places. This sight would have made those of you with the strongest stomachs very, very sick. The water was so slimy that it looked THE FLORALA WILDCATS were losers again last week in a tough game with Geneva. Lar. ry thought the boys played a bet- ter game against OR). I will agree that the defense was probably better against Opp, particularly the last hail But I think the offense looked bet- ter this week. WHile Ray Huckabaa made some tremendous runs through the middle of the Geneva line and I thought sure, at one point, he was going to shake 'em all like glass and along the edges cakes of yeast-llke substances had formed. My first plans were not to make this public for I am ashamed that we, the citizens of Florala, have stood by for so long and let this type of health hazard exist in our town. But, when I heard that nothing more than knocking the beaver dams out in a place or two had been done, then I decided to goahead and make thefactspublic. May- be some of you can influence the Board members to let bids and hire a contractor to build the much needed lagoon. I've found that the Water Works Board has a ditch dig- ger that they hire out to indi- viduals for $18.50 an hour, ac- cording to Curt Savage, who recently rented it to dig out for gas tanks in front of the Jiffy-Mart. This ditch digger should be used to clear that ditch, temo porarlly, until other arrange- ments can be made to update our present condemned system. Merton Reeves tells me that the raw sewage from the City of Florala empties into Corner Creek, which goes through the heart of Hacoda, and from there empties into the Choctaw- hatchee River. And to thiv~ we have always thought we really had something when we got a mess of creek fish or fish out of the Choctawhatchee River. Water contaminated with raw sewage supposedly purifys itself after running over sand for a certain distance but I won't ever want anymore of the fish from those streams. A local citizen told members of the Florala Water Depart- ment that this had ceased to be a question of whether we could afford a lagoon. He said it was like tmilding a $60,000 home without a bathroom. BOTH ROADWAYS, THE ONLY ACCESS TO FLORALA H/GH SCHOOL~ have been found by representatives of thisnews- paper to be extremely haz- ardous. These conditions have existed now for a number of years and it now becomes necessary for something to be done about existing road hazards. The principal of Florala High School, Charles Stevenson, has spoken to both city and county officials concerning this mat.. ter. Three years ago, when he first asked for their coop- eration in fixing the roadways, each placed the duty and ob- ligation on the other. More recently, last week, in fact, Commissioner Ivey Powell told Mr. Stevenson that he would be glad to help in any way he could. I had spoken ~ Mayor Car- Ions Buffalow last week con- cerning the hazards and he said he thought the city now had a limited amount of funds that could be spent for this pur- pose, t~t that they would cer- tainly welcome help from the county and possibly the State, too, could lend a hand. Mayor Buffalow, let me urge you to contact Mr. T. Ivey and see what can be worked out, while he Is in the notion to assist in any way possible. Since it is a county sohool the city officials feel that the county should certainly share the responslbfllty of the up- keep of the roads. The county's argument has been that the school Is located within theclty limits, relieving them of any responsibility. Let's hope we don't have to get personal on that count... It is the opinion of this news paper that since the lives of 360 students, transported from rural areas, Lockhart, and the City of Florala, are at stake, the upkeep and improved con- ditions of these roads should be a combined effort of the County, City of Florala, and also the City of Leckhart. These hazardous conditions have been pictured and brought to the attention of the above mentioned elected officials for their consideration. Top photo is of the roadway leading directly to the front of the high school. At the right of the photo, is a 25 to 30 foot drop. As you can see, one would never know. The weeds have grown up and persons not familiar with the hazard would never know until they fell in it. The road Is much too narrow for anything other than a onb way street and is really too narrow for that. When you get traffic going in both directions and children walk- ing on either side of the road, you can imagine the resulting dangers. Note also that the drop is at the foot of a hill and a curve - no indication or warning of the drop ts visible. The h~ard pictured in the second photo is that of a much too narrow street, where sand has washed from dirt roads on either side and is piled as much as 3 feet deep, possibly more, on the edges of the road. As you progress up the hill to the school, you find loads of clay or extremely hard dirt, put there by the city, supposed- ly as a favor to residents of the houses along there whose driveways have deep washes, etc. Those resident there didn't appreciate the dirt enough even to spread it out so that it would be less of a hazard. As you can see, the actual high- way or paved part dwindles to nothing more than a "pigtrail". To further hamper bad driving conditions 100 gallon drums have been placed on the edge of the street for disposal of garbage. How smali-townish can you get? - to put gar- bage cans in front of you/home and expecially on a streettrav- eled by people from all our surrounding towns traveling to and from bail games. Many of those 360 students mentioned travel these access ways to the school as many as 8 or 10 times a day... They go to and from school; to and from lunch; to and from football practice, to and from basketball practice, to and from band practice, must we say more? Another hazard, which has al- ready been the cause of two or more accidents is an intersec- tion of roadways directly in front of the school with no in- dication as to what the driver should do. No STOP sign of any kind to be found so when an accident occurs, I don't see how a driver could be charged when there is no indication as to what one should do. I suppose a 4-WAY Stop woul~ be feasible in this case. Cer- tainly a STOP sign should be erected somewhere without de- lay before another accident oc- curs. Let's hope these problems are met with quick action be- fore we are dreadfully sorry. PRINCIPAL OF FCS, Erskine Ziglar, was quick to tell me last week that the $100,000 dol- lars in Federal money received at FCS, came to them "ear- marked" and could not be spent on anything other than academic improvements. Ziglar says sports are considered extra curricular activities and therefore have to be self-sup- porting. Maybe Federal funds can'tbe used but there must be a fund available somewhere in the City School system that could beun4 covered and used to match funds collected and donated by mer- chants and ~terested citizens who are willing to support such a program. I can remember when Ziglar was head master of the Flo- rala Wildcat Band, an extra- curricular activity, and under his leadership the band was given a portion of the gate re.. cept at bal]games and all the concessions. During that time, Ziglar would just about fight anyone for the Wildcat Band's share of monies available from whatever source. So, if we can ever get him on the side of sports, and I don't mean just in voice only, we ought to get the Pee Wee program off the ground and running... Frankly, I don't see why sports doesn't qualify to re- ceive its fair share under the aide programs. First of all, there are many young men who would drop out of school, were it not for their drive and deter- minatlon to participate in sports. Those who fit in that catagory, know they can notpar- ticipate in sports if they don't keep up their academic work. As a result, they work even harder at academics. There are probably more sports scholar- ships given each year than are given in academics. Look atthe boys who go on to college on sports scholarships who other- wise would not be able or Just wouldn't have the desire to go. I'm not kicking academic work. I just think the two should go hand in hand to make a well rounded schoolprogram. School would be a pretty dull place without sports ImXtictpa- tion. I think the maJority of the people would agree to that. Sports give the children some- thing to look forward to and keeps a lot of them out of trouble. If the present FCS members object to my ob- Jections, let them make their long range school POLLUTEO OR CONT,a~INATED WATERS OF SEWAGE DISPOSAL DITCH lic, if they have any. Since we .... no longer have PTA meetings ~.o keep those of us who are not members of the Board informed of school plans and improve- ments, they should make ar- rangements to publish reports periodically. I don't know about you, but Pm tired of being kept in the dark. They can make some of theirplanspublic o/put up with my wondering out loud... GARY LOWRY, a student at Pazton High School, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Herman Lowry, informed me when I was out that way the last of the week that the City of Florala flew the flag up-side-down last wed- nesday, a signal of distress. Are you a close observer? I'm not. l never noticed and didn't read their signal ~)f dis- tress. Wonder if anyone Checked with them at City Hall to make sure everything was alright. Photos Of Hazardous Road Conditions Leading To FHS MRS. CLARK BURIED NEAR COLUMBIA SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 20 Mrs. Reba ClarK, Columbia, Ala., formerly of Memphis, Tenn., died Friday morning in a Blakley, Ga. hospital following a short illness. She was a member of First Christian Church, Memphis, Tenn. Survivers include two sisters Mrs. Vester Gamble, Florala, Mrs. Willie Mac Whitaker, Headland; four brothers, U. C. Odom, Go/dan Odom, both of Columbia, Kenneth Odom, Dothan, and Mack Odom, Cedar Springs, Ge.; and severalnleces and nephews. Services were Sunday at 3:00 p.m. from Shiloh Baptist Church near Columbia with Rev. Horace Herndon and Rev. Barbar of- fictating. Burial was in the church cemetery with Hol- man Funeral Home of Headland directing. Pallbearers were nephews Jimmy Odom, John Odom, Rob- ert Earl Odom, A/d/ell Odom, Go/dan Odom, Jr. and John PybUs. Those attending from Florala were Mr. and Mrs. Walter Cam. ble, Mrs. Faye Eunlce and Mrs. Katherine Perry. Jr. Wildcats Play Thursday All the/games will begin at 7:00. Prices for junior games are: $1.00 for adults and 50~ for students. Listed below is a complote schedule: - COMING ran @ enln DATE OPPONENT PLACE Sept. 17 Andalusia Florala Sept. 24 EItm Florala Men's Oct. 5 Red Level Florala Oct. IS Opp Florala Oct. 22 Samson Florala Oct. 26 Red Level Red Level Nov. 5HertfordFlorala