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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Thirty years ago today, “The Coosa County News” reminded readers that its publication day would be changing to Thursday beginning the next week, briefly touched on local sports, had coverage of a Board of Education meeting, and announced that the Rockford branch of First Bank would soon be having its grand opening.
First Bank had announced that it would be opening its Rockford branch that Monday, November 2. This means that Wednesday will mark 30 years of the Rockford bank being in business.
The bank hired local individuals as employees to staff the bank, and they spent a month prior to the opening undergoing training at the Roanoke and Wadley branches. Those first bank employees were senior teller Donna Ellison and tellers Ginger Goolsby and Casey McClellan.
At that time it was reported that Rockford had been without a bank since SouthTrust’s “sudden departure” in May of that year. With the opening of First Bank’s Rockford branch, it was stated that Rockford would no longer be the only county seat in the state without a bank.
Regarding that Board of Education meeting 30 years ago, it was a sign of the times as then Superintendent Larry Hardman was presented a $27,700 check from the Coosa Action Network to fund the computer education program at Central High School. The funds were to pay the salary for a teacher unit that would provide keyboarding and typing training.
Also during that meeting Tommy Thornton, pastor of the Weogufka Church of God Family Worship Center, presented a proposal from the church for a “long-term lease” of the Stewartville campus of the West Coosa School.
It was reported that the school was temporarily closed that year because of “funding problems.” The church expressed that it wanted to provide child care and Christian counseling services to the community through utilizing the school campus, as well as provide a community center for local groups to use for events.
At that time 30 years ago, then Board Chair Bain Culver said that a long-term lease would not be considered since the board hoped to reopen the campus if funding permitted.
During that October 1992 meeting the board also reviewed bids received for a 1965 3/4-ton Chevrolet truck, with bids ranging from $351 to $450. The board accepted the high bid of $450 from Johnnie T. Johnson, and others who bid on the 27-year-old truck were James Futral, Phillip Goolsby and James Thornton.
It was also reported at that time that the school system ended the year spending $51,879.87 more than it received, making it the second year the system experienced deficit spending because of proration. The total deficit for those past two years at the time was reported to be $150,650.74.
That week’s edition also included a sample ballot for the following week’s general election, noting that some offices would run by district or beat and only appear in certain districts, beats, or boxes.
Outside of Coosa County, that week’s edition also reported that Marble City Baptist Church of Sylacauga was gearing up for hosting Singles Extravaganza on November 7, 1992. It was to be a one-day conference “dedicated to helping singles find success in the single lifestyle.”
Four nationally-known speakers were reported to be lined up as guest speakers for the conference. Those were meteorologist and Christian speaker James Spann speaking on “Faith and Success;” Dr. Louis Floyd III; an author in the field of human relations, family counseling and drug/alcohol abuse; discussing “Search for Significance;” Miss Alabama 1991 Wendy Neuendorf speaking with her “Be the Best You Can Be” campaign; and motivational humorist Dr. James Dorriety sharing his tales of life as the “Syrup Soppin’ Servant from Solcomb.”
While going forward it will no longer be “30 years ago today” because of the change in publication dates in November 1992, you can continue to 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.