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Before I go into anything else, I want to take a minute to remember Mrs. Jo (Scarbrough). Last week’s edition of “The Coosa County News” had many mentions of her passing, but the tribute from Christa Jennings was just marvelous.
Those two shared a very special relationship, even though they were two very different personalities and people. It shows how common ground can be found between everyone, if they accept each other for who they are and find a way to meet in the middle. The main difference I saw between them was Christa’s quiet and private demeanor vs. Mrs. Jo’s outgoing, talkative nature.
My husband, Larry, loved going into the newspaper office to talk to both of them. He loved to pick on Christa – especially if the numbers were wrong in an article she wrote. He loved to sit and talk to Mrs. Jo about the history of Coosa County when he was first finding out about his family ties here. She would tell him stories and connect some of the family lines for him. He bought most of the books available from the Coosa County Historical Society and got involved with that group because of Mrs. Jo. She will be greatly missed. My sympathies to Lewis and Denise – and Christa.
This brings me to the importance of “The Coosa County News” to our area. Being a relative “newcomer” to Coosa County (24 years!), I don’t know the origins of the newspaper, but I do know it is the ONLY place to find news that is important to US! You might get tidbits from the other area newspapers, but they concentrate on THEIR areas. Where else are you going to find out what is or is not going on in Coosa County?
Christa does a great job of bringing us the information from our County Commission meetings, Town Hall meetings, our school system, and other activities that are going on. I can’t count the number of times I have talked about an event I went to or something else that “should” be public knowledge to have someone say “I wish I’d known about that!” My response has always been, “Don’t you read the newspaper?” and they say “Well, no.” So, how do people in Coosa County expect to know what is going on if they don’t take advantage of the ONE thing that is geared DIRECTLY to Coosa County?
Since you are reading this column, I must “assume” you are someone who understands this and how important it is. We have Rosie, Ruby and Sheila to keep us informed on what is going on in their areas of the county. Unfortunately, Shirley Cunard in Hanover no longer reports from there, and we don’t have news coming from Goodwater, Weogufka, or even Rockford itself. One day maybe the paper can grow to have all of that included.
We also have great columns from others in the county. Pastors Christopher Todd and Sam Kaufman bring us messages for our souls, Probate Judge Richard Dean helps us with useful information, and our Accordia Health gives us tips to stay healthy. Rodger Williamson, John Rittmann, Lloyd Caperton, and “Buzzy” have joined me to give opinions and outlooks from several vantage points.
I DO see more advertisements for local businesses, and that is what it takes to pay to print the paper. And I saw in last week’s paper that the Coosa County Chamber of Commerce had an ad with their members shown. These are people who are investing in Coosa County, and we need to be investing with them if at all possible. Keep our tax dollars HERE instead of supporting the school systems in the surrounding counties. AND – we have a Piggly Wiggly in Goodwater and several Dollar Generals scattered around now so we DO have options for local shopping in most of the county. Sorry, West Side – maybe we will get to you one day.
Please urge your friends and family to subscribe to “The Coosa County News.” It is now available both in print and online. If you have something interesting coming up, call Christa and let her know about it – OR write it up and send it to her. She is only one person working to keep our local paper filled with information so she can certainly use our help.
We need more articles from the mayors in the county letting us know what upgrades, changes and improvements are being made. The same can be said of the county commissioners. This is OUR paper, and we need to help keep it in operation as a local source of information.
I addressed the issue of more transparency and public notice at the last County Commission meeting, and I’m hoping Christa will be sharing that in her article. If not, I’ll get it in next week. We need to work together to get information out to all of our citizens so we will have informed taxpayers, voters and people interested in public service. Coosa County has more natural resources than most counties could dream of, but we have to add the infrastructure and support to help them thrive.
Well, this went in an entirely different direction from where I thought I was going, but I usually just sit down and start typing. Every week is an adventure when I get to share my OPINION on things that matter to me.
Remember the evening County Commission meeting is this coming Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. – plan to be there!