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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Thirty years ago today there was an exciting announcement shared in “The Coosa County News,” with it being reported that a bank would be opening in Rockford.
In that edition three decades ago, it was announced that then Rockford Mayor Patricia Wingard was holding a public meeting with representatives from First Bank of Wadley. The meeting was scheduled for the evening of August 20 at Rockford Baptist Church to discuss the bank representatives’ plans to open a bank in Rockford.
Thirty years later, First Bank remains open in Rockford along U.S. Highway 231, and another branch has since been opened in Goodwater along Alabama Highway 9.
The August 12, 1992, edition also reported that the Goodwater City Council had decided to abolish its municipal court and transfer the jurisdiction of it to the district court of Coosa County, with the transfer being effective November 3, 1992.
It was also reported that the council had discussed the matter for more than three months because of the “lack of revenue and increased cost of operations.”
During that time the council also certified the election of five council members who ran unopposed for the municipal election. Those council members were June Pody Mann, Calvin Owens, John “Buddy” McElrath, Paul A. “Tony” Bohannon, and Linda S. Coggins.
That newspaper 30 years ago today also reported on the formation of a county-wide emergency medical service, or EMS, being underway following a meeting held the previous week. The meeting was initially called to discuss the current shortage of emergency services in the county, and those noted as prompting the meeting were the governor’s office of rural health and the East Alabama Emergency Medical Services.
At that time it was reported that Coosa County had two services in operation in the county, with Goodwater and Weogufka both having ambulances. It was noted that the Rockford ambulance had been out of operation for more than two years because of mechanical and operational problems.
One result from that meeting was a commitment to have the Rockford ambulance repaired and back in service within two weeks.
Additionally, at that time a temporary board was appointed to establish the board as a non-profit organization, handle licensing of the new service and to select a permanent board. Members of the temporary board were Rockford Mayor Wingard, then Rockford attorney John Kelly Johnson, then Probate Judge Jasper Fielding, Ralph Wooley of Weogufka, Dale Burns of Kellyton, Joanetta Maxell of the Ray community, Les Sellers of the Coosa County Industrial Board, and Rockford businessman Bill Crew.
In other local news, the August 12, 1992, edition also covered a flag retirement ceremony held by Boy Scout Troop 65 to properly dispose of the Town of Rockford’s American flag. Scoutmaster Douglass McConnell II oversaw and assisted with the ceremony with troop members Rodney Ivey, Josh Wilson, John Goff, Robert Walker, Darryl Cardwell, and Timothy Walker participating.
Additionally, the newspaper highlighted that the Coosa County High School Class of 1952 had recently reunited at the lake home of Robert Counts to reminisce and enjoy each other’s company.
Class members and one teacher who attended the get-together were Edith Bush, Elizabeth Gilliland McGrady, Carol Nabors Hammond, Earline Speer Phillips, Verbie Sallas Blankenship, Avonelle Logan Glenn, Tommy Rodgers, Robert Counts, Morris Wingard, Bobby Shelton, Steve Embry, Donald Smith, and Lewis Scarbrough.
Other local coverage in that edition of “The Coosa County News” 30 years ago included ongoing Goodwater beautification efforts, a potluck dinner and evening of games as a fundraiser for the Richville Volunteer Fire Department, Rockford PTA scheduling the annual Octoberfest, the Forbus family holding a reunion in Kellyton, members of Coosa County 4-H earning national honors, and members of the Rockford Men’s Club spending time improving the Rockford Elementary School playground.
See other highlights of 30 years of “The Coosa County News” periodically in future editions throughout the year as we continue to celebrate three decades of dedicated local news coverage.