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The Florala News
Florala , Alabama
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November 4, 2015     The Florala News
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November 4, 2015
 

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.. -:~ .-.: .~::~' .,~ 1900 Location Of One Hundred Forty-Five Consecutive Annual Masonic Celebrations ONE HUNDRED FIFTEENTH YEAR NUMBER 34- 8 PAGES PRINTED ON ! 00% RECYCLED PAPER WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 4, 20 ! 5 50 PER ISSUE (SALES TAX INCLUDED) by Jan Allred There is not much time left for those want- ing to qualify for election. According to William Blocker, Republican Party Chairman, nine peo- ple have qualified for the March 1st Republican Primary. Out of those nine, only two races have more than one candidate qualified: Covington County Board of Education place 3, Jeff Bailey qualified on Oct. 9; Covington County Board of Education place 4, Linda Powell qualified on Oct. 15; Covington County Commission Chairman, Greg White qualified on Oct. 5; Covington County Commission Chairman, Bill Godwin qualified on Oct. 9; District 1 Commissioner, Kenneth Northey qualified on Oct. 7; District 2 Commissioner, Joe Barton quali- fied on Oct. 26; District 3 Commissioner, Tony Holmes qual- ified on Oct. 15; District 4 Commissioner, Kylan Lewis quali- fied on Oct. 12; and District 4 Commissioner, Allen Lucas quali- fied on Oct. 16. Offices up for election are: Board of Education places 3 and 4. Fees are $100; All four commission seats. Fees are $450; Commission chairman. Fees are $600; District Attorney, district judge and circuit judge positions are also on the ballot and candi- dates are required to qualify with the state par- ty. Walt Merrell has qualified for district attor- ney. Registrationt for The Angel Tree will be held on Saturday, November 7 from 9 a.m. until noon at Simply Chic in Florala. The Angel Tree serves children from ages 3-13 who reside in the Floraled Lockhart communities. Angel tree sign up for children ages 0-12 living in the Paxton School area will be November 8 from 2-4 p.m. and November 9 from 5-7 p.m. at the Pax- ton Ag building on Highway 331. In addition to helping children in the Paxton area, names of elderly shut ins that might need some Christmas cheer are also being sought! Help identify these people by attending one of the sign ups. Donations can be mailed or dropped off to Paxton School - Paxton Key Club, 21893 U.S. Hwy. 331 North, Paxton FL 32538. The Angels will be ready for adoption on November 16 at the Paxton Post Office Christmas tree. Individuals must bring the following documents at time of registration: picture ID (for the parent registering the children, i.e. driver license, school ID or work photo ID), birth certificate for each child, Social Security card for each child or legal document with their social security number, proof of residence ((current utility bill or rent receipt that shows physical address, no post office ad- dresses are accepted), proof of government assistance (WIC, Medicaid, SSI, etc.) All documents must be presented at the time of registra- tion. Only parents or legal guardians are allowed to register: their children. No grandparents, aunts or other individuals unless they are legal guardians with docu- mentation of guard- ianship. The Angel Tree is a nonprofit annual pro- gram funded by the citizens of Florala/Lockhart to assist families in financial crisis who live in the Florala/Lockhart communities by providing toys and clothing for children between the ages 3-13. The Florala News 1155 Fifth Street Florala, AL 36442 WELLS FARGO DONATION Christian Service Center, a non-profit organization, was honored to be the recipient of a check in the amount of $1,000 from the Florala branch of Wells Fargo. Store Manager Anne Harnes said, "We appre- ciate the Christian Service Center and gratefully acknowledge the service they offer to our community." Each year during The Days of Giving a non-profit is chosen and a check is presented by every branch of Wells Fargo. Wel'ls Fargo is grateful to give back to the community. Shown are (front, l-r) Carol Green (Wells Fargo Opp Store Manager) Tiffany Hitchcock (Wells Fargo Midland City Store Manager), Isabell Spear, Sarah Stanley (Wells Fargo Florala Service Manager), Anne Haines (Wells Fargo Florala Store Manager), Cindy Phillips, Roger McLain (Covington County Baptist Association Moderator), Katie Cooper (Christian Service Center Coordinator); (back, l-r) David Redd (Wells Fargo Enterprise Store Manager), Jan Bennett, Al Bennett, Rose Haile, MicheUe Rhynes (Wells Fargo) Ozark Store Manager), and Sheila Anderson. mm by Jan Allred The Florala City Council held a special meeting last week to discuss the city's lack of a permanent advanced life support ambulance service in the city. Since the abrupt clos- ing of Florala EMS the city has been without a permanent ambulance service of any type in the city. Mayor Robert Wil- liamson said the need for an advanced ambu- lance service is impera- tive because Florala no longer has a hospital. He said it was fine for a basic ambulance ser- vice 'to operate within the city when the hos- pital was here because Florala EMS could have patients to the hospital within a matter of min- utes. Since the closure of the hospital William- son said the needs of the city have changed. It now takes at least thirty minutes, no mat- ter which hospital the patient is transported to, to get a patient to the hospital and that is if the ambulance is here in town. If there is not an ambulance here in the city then it is al- most an hour before the patient arrives at the hospital and sometimes patients don't have that time. If the city gets an ad- vanced ambulance ser- vice then patients can receive life saving drugs and treatment. The Florala Fire De- partment has two para- medics on staff but they can only perform basic life support. The council agreed they would partner with E911 in seeking advanced life support ambulance services to the city. According to Florala City Attorney Wesley Laird the coun- ty's E911 board reached out to the city after they learned the city sought bids for advanced life support ambulance ser- vices to the city. Laird echoed the sen- timents expressed at the last council meeting when they discussed the problem with obtaining an ALS ambulance ser- vice for the city because of the limited number of runs in Florala makes it very difficult for an ALS ambulance service to be based here perma- nently. Due to the small population and limited runs it is simply not feasible for an ALS am- bulance service to base in Florala. Laird said it's a situation that has to be subsidized with some sort of additional support to ensure there is service here when ~ .~=~ . ~ ~-~ ~@~:~ needed. According to Laird, there are ongoing dis- cussions about an ALS ambulance being placed in the city, with backup provided when that one is on a call. He said the city is being asked to provide a bay, utilities, and $1,000 a month for the 24/7 service. Opportunity EMS has been providing ser- vice to the city but the services was recently suspended by E911 af- ter the ambulance ser- vice failed to provide ALS service at a Code 3 call, which is some- thing required by all ambulance services dispatched by the com- mand center. Laird said the sil;u- ation with Opportu- nity EMS is totally out of the city's control. He also said the city's agreement would be with the E911 board for ambulance services and not a particular ambulance service. It could be a different am- bulance service on call at various times in the city but the city would have ALS ambulance services, which is what they council wants. Just because the council contracts with E911 for ALS ambu- lance service it doesn't prohibit a resident from calling another ambu- lance service voluntari- ly and without calling 911, said Laird. E911 only dispatches ambu- lances to calls received on 911. Opportunity EMS owner Haywood Nawlin was present at the last council meeting and the special meeting and said he would continue to cover Florala, despite the fact his service has been suspended from 911. However, those wanting to use Oppor- tunity EMS have that option they just have to dial them direct and not GHOULS AND GOBLINS of all kinds showed 911. ]]IUN!!I!]J]NN[N[NLI !! ]] HI up for Halloween activities last week. See photos Councilman Marvin , . page 8 Williford asked Laird if the 'city could receive a portion of the ad va- lorem tax allocated for emergency services since the city will be paying $1,000 a month for ambulance Service. Laird said that was something the city will continue to navigate and discuss. At present the monies are divided 18 ways and each en- tity gets approximately $36,000 per year. Laird did say he felt it would be more likely the ambulance service that serves the city would be entitled to the money over the city. E-911 BOARD SOLICITS BIDS The Covington Coun- ty E-911 Board voted last week to solicit bids for exclusive ambulance service for two territo- ries in the county. The first territory would cover Opp and Florala and everything south and east of High- way 55 and County Road 4. The second territory would cover Andalusia and everything north and west of Highway 55 and County Road 5. Florala agreed to supply a bay for an ad- vanced life support am- bulance, utilities and $1,000 per month to help a company offset costs of keeping a full time ALS service in Flo- rala. The board set the bid process to begin on November 1. Deadline for interested services to submit bids will be December 1 and the bid awarded by December 15. If the board accepts a bid then the new am- bulance contracts will go into effect on Janu- ary 1, 2016. E-911 Attorney Mark Ryan said those ambu- lance services wishing to bid for the contracts must be licensed with the State of Alabama and be in good stand- see BIDS page 2