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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Thirty years ago this week, the front page of “The Coosa County News” on December 3, 1992, highlighted election results, a groundbreaking ceremony, an award-winning forestry project, news from the local Volunteer Firefighters Association, and volunteers making holiday preparations in downtown Rockford.
Regarding election results, it was reported that the county had a rather low voter turnout with less than 17% of the registered voters in Coosa County going to the polls for the primary elections that week for State Senate District 11. District wide, that election saw Dell Hill taking the Republican nomination, with Clarence Haynes and Steve Sprayberry going on to a run-off primary election on the Democratic ticket for December 29.
Locally, that edition also highlighted the groundbreaking for a new 5,000 square foot office complex in Rockford, with the primary occupant of the facility being Central Alabama Home Health Services. Local officials at the time who participated in breaking the ground for the site included Probate Judge Jasper Fielding; Rockford Councilmember Doris Culver; County commissioners Wallace Whitley, Robert Armour and Bobby Davis; Rockford Councilmember Faye McClenney; and Rockford Properties President Terry Mitchell.
In other local news, it was reported that the Coosa County Volunteer Firefighters Association had elected Dale Burns with Kellyton VFD as association president, Tommy Peters with Ray VFD as vice president and Blake Kelly with Rockford VFD as secretary/treasurer.
That edition three decades ago also mentioned members with the Rockford Civic Pride Committee spending the weekend decorating numerous “flower buckets” on Main Street in preparation for the Christmas parade scheduled for that Friday evening. Committee members noted for helping with the decoration efforts were Glenda Cardwell, Shirley Ogle, Allen Rambo, Bobby White, and Terry Ogle.
That newspaper also featured Coosa County’s Phillip Neighbors for being selected the 1992 Alabama 4-H Forestry Project champion. With that title came an expense-paid trip to the National 4-H Club Congress in Chicago.
A junior at Central High School at the time, it was stated that Neighbors’ career goal was to become a civil engineer. In addition to making it onto the county’s 4-H forestry judging team, Neighbors had planted 5,000 trees over the last six years at that time, thinned timber on 14 acres and helped plant dogwood trees around his school.
That week’s edition also reported on Dr. John M. James of Goodwater being appointed to the active medical staff of Russell Medical Center. In addition to residing in Goodwater, James also had his private family practice located there.
At the time, in addition to being appointed to the staff of Russell, James also continued his private practice at the Goodwater Medical Clinic.
Additionally, that edition briefly highlighted that heavy rains the day before Thanksgiving raised the level of Hatchet Creek, partially covering the picnic area on County Road 29.
In sports news, it was reported that Goodwater beat Rockford 39-32 in the basketball season opener, and West Coosa School defeated Fayetteville 28-21 in their season opener.
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.