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By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Writer
Three decades ago this week, “The Coosa County News” was celebrating its first anniversary, having first been published on May 20, 1992.
While it may be hard to believe, now the newspaper is celebrating its thirty-first year, and many have enjoyed looking back at the newspaper’s 30 years of history.
The May 20, 1993, edition included many anniversary well wishes for the newspaper in celebration of its first anniversary. Those who took out ad space celebrating the newspaper’s first year of publication included Culberson’s Hardware, Electrical and Plumbing Supply in Goodwater; McConnell Forest Management of Rockford; A&M Clothing of Sylacauga; Phillip Goolsby’s Septic Tank Service of Rockford; Toodlums Kwik Stop in Hanover; Rockford Mayor Wayne Windsor and Town Clerk Alice McGrady; the Rockford Little League; Rockford Properties; Rockford Auto Parts; S Market in Rockford; Precision Auto Clinic in Stewartville; Williams & Son Feed-Seed and Hardware in Goodwater; and Coosa Discount Furniture in Kellyton.
While celebrating its first year of service, that edition also contained the local coverage readers had come to depend on by then. With graduations just around the corner, much like today that newspaper 30 years ago featured many school announcements and student recognition.
Among them, Tabitha Camp was featured for being one of the first to receive a Kimberly Clark Foundation scholarships, which was presented to her during a ceremony at the Coosa Pines facility. It was noted that Camp was one of only 100 students nationwide receiving the newly established scholarship.
That edition also highlighted 31 Central High School students who were honored during the annual CHS Academic Awards Banquet.
Jerie Browning was recognized for receiving the Principal’s Award, which was in acknowledgment of her “outstanding leadership” at the school and for “going the extra mile.” At the time Principal David Touart was noted as stating that she “exemplifies the best in our school.”
Additionally, 10 students were recognized for having the highest grade point averages for the period from ninth grade through the fifth semester of the senior year. Those were valedictorian Benjamin Thompson, salutatorian Tabitha Camp, Romy Moon, Jerie Browning, Syreeta Simmons, Julie Nelson, Alisha Hilyer, Jayna McDaniel, Rebecca Kelley, and Kristal Merrell.
Further, the 1992-1993 school year recipients who were honored for showing the most academic improvement and the subject in which they improved were Wendy Grimes in math, Jerry Groce in social studies, Cory Shurette in biology, Brad Baird in geometry, and Diana Hodnett in computer education.
That edition 30 years ago also reported on the Air Force investigating a low-level flyover by two F-4 aircraft. It was reported that Air Force officials from Maxwell Air Force Base visited Coosa County to investigate reports of two aircraft having approached the Rockford Horse Arena from the north the previous Saturday afternoon.
The flyover occurred while the Hissop Riding Club was holding a horse show. It was noted that the aircraft performed a barrel roll approximately 100-150 feet over the arena while riders were preparing for the first event.
Cassie McDaniel, 4 years old at that time, was thrown from her horse when it was spooked by the aircraft flying so low.
At that time it was also mentioned that, because of its low population, Coosa County is used regularly as a low-level training area.
Other local news highlighted in the May 20, 1993, edition included the Hatchett Creek Bass Club holding a fishing tournament on Lay Lake, with Cedar Creek landing used as the launching point.
Ultimately Randy Stroud and his daughter, Shelley, won the tournament with an overall high weight of 13.50 pounds of bass. Jeff Kromer won the big fish competition with a 3.90-pound bass.
That week’s edition also reported that four of five local bills had passed the state legislature. Those that passed included the establishment of a single index book in the Probate Office, repeal of the supernumerary sheriff act, discontinuation of funds for the county solicitor, and discontinuation of funds for the county solicitor’s secretary.
The fifth local bill, which was defeated, was the authorization to allow for the sale of 32-ounce beer containers.
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, honoring “The Coosa County News” first being published May 20, 1992.