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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Three decades ago this week, “The Coosa County News” shared a great deal of local county news, as well as an interesting situation surrounding a burglary.
The November 19, 1992, edition reported on the Board of Education hearing from a second group that was proposing leasing then temporarily closed Stewartville campus of the West Coosa School. That proposal was by Terry Mitchell and Gary Mitchell and entailed using the facility as a center for business development.
That edition also reported on a district court office opening in Goodwater, following the Goodwater Council voting in August of that year to abolish its municipal court. Following that action taken by the town, the district court assumed the responsibilities of the former Goodwater municipal court.
Additionally, it reported on a burglary broken up by a short church service, with Roger and Laurie Vines arriving home from church to find three uninvited guests at their house. It was reported that the church service had ended earlier than usual, which resulted in them getting home before the burglars had left.
Mr. Vines, armed with a sledge hammer, reportedly entered the house looking for the individuals after they saw a car in their driveway and someone peeking through a window. The three men fled, and Vines was reportedly able to hit the car with the sledge hammer as it passed by his gate.
In a true show of community and neighborhood spirit, Vines’ neighbor Ron Maulden and brother-in-law Eddie Byrd saw a suspicious person walking down the road and held him at gunpoint until deputies arrived to apprehend him.
After some other incidences, later that day one of Vines’ neighbors saw another burglar near his property. According to the report, he held the suspect until deputies could pick him up.
At the time of that report, the third man was still at large and being sought. All three men were reported to be from Childersburg.
That week’s edition also highlighted lunchroom workers at Rockford Elementary School preparing special cakes decorated in red, white and blue for Veterans Day for students to enjoy as a special treat. Workers who were involved included Dean Hilyer, Geane Woodfin, Pearl Leonard, Lou Guthery, and Orel Harris, as well as lunchroom manager Sheila Ward.
Thirty years ago, that newspaper also recognized students at West Coosa School who won a ghost story competition. The winning writers were Beth Thornton, Adam Grizzle, Jason Vickers, Jeremy Harmon, Jane Gooden, and Lacey Pressley. Ann Ezekiel was the teacher working with the students on the competition, which had more than 122 entrants.
That edition also highlighted a horseback trail ride tour of Hatchet Creek Valley on forestland owned by the McConnell and Willis families of Rockford. Thirty people attended the event, which included a 9-mile ride on trails and woods roads before stopping for lunch, then about a 7-mile afternoon ride with scenic stops along the banks of Hatchett Creek.
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.