Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Today in History for Sept. 30, 2014

Sept. 30, 1541 – Spanish conquistador Hernando de Soto and his forces entered Tula territory in present-day western Arkansas and encountered fierce resistance.

Sept. 30, 1791 - The Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart opera “The Magic Flute” premiered at Freihaus-Theater auf der Wieden in Viena, Austria.

Sept. 30, 1862 – Major Pinckney D. Bowles of the Conecuh Guards was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel.

Sept. 30, 1864 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee counterattacked Union forces with several brigades moved from Petersburg, Va.

Sept. 30, 1864 - Union troops attacked Confederate defenses around Petersburg, Va. at the Battle of Poplar Springs Church (Peeble's Farm) with the intent to cut the last rail line into the city. The next day a second attempt was unsuccessful.

Sept. 30, 1865 - Alabama's Constitutional Convention of 1865 adjourned. Although the 99 delegates repealed Alabama's 1861 Ordinance of Secession and declared slavery illegal, they produced an essentially conservative document. Blacks were not given the right to vote, representation was based on the white population only, and the constitution was ratified without a vote by the people.

Sept. 30, 1865 – William A. Ashley represented Conecuh County at the Alabama Constitutional Convention of 1865.

Sept. 30, 1888 – The infamous “double event” of “Jack the Ripper” occurred as two more prostitutes - Liz Stride and Kate Eddowes - were murdered and carved up on the same night.

Sept. 30, 1893 – The George W. Foster Camp of United Confederate Veterans was organized in Monroe County, Ala.

Sept. 30, 1893 - Julia Tutwiler persuaded the Board of Trustees of the University of Alabama to try a qualified form of co-education. A faculty committee agreed to "admit young women of not less than 18 years of age, of good character and antecedents, who are able to stand the necessary examinations: for entrance to the sophomore class or higher." A required proviso was that "suitable homes and protection" be provided. In the fall of 1893, two women students entered the university.

Sept. 30, 1905 – Baseball pitcher John Thomas “Johnny” Allen was born in Lenoir, North Carolina.

Sept. 30, 1912 – W.B. James assumed the duties of Evergreen, Ala. postmaster, replacing G.C. Dean, who had been postmaster for the past six years.

Sept. 30, 1918 – During World War I, Army Pvt. David J. Fails of Excel, Ala. “died from disease.”

Sept. 30, 1924 – “In Cold Blood” author Truman Capote was born as Streckfus Persons in New Orleans, La.

Sept. 30, 1926 – Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Robin Roberts was born in Springfield, Illinois.

Sept. 30, 1927 – On the last day of the season against lefty Tom Zachary of the Washington Senators, George Herman "Babe" Ruth hit his 60th home run of the season, setting a record that would stand until 1961 when Roger Maris broke the record for most home runs in a single season.

Sept. 30, 1932 – Baseball pitching great John Joseph “Johnny” Podres was born in Witherbee, N.Y.

Sept. 30, 1934 – St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Dizzy Dean won his 30th game of the season in a 9-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds.

Sept. 30, 1939 – NBC broadcast the first televised American football game between the Waynesburg Yellow Jackets and the Fordham Rams. Fordham won, 34-7.

Sept. 30, 1945 - Aliceville Camp, a prisoner-of-war camp in Pickens County for members of German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel’s Africa Korps, was deactivated. The camp was activated in December 1942 and eventually held 5,000 prisoners. Other German war prisoners were held in Alabama at camps in Opelika, Fort McClellan, and Fort Rucker.

Sept. 30, 1947 - The World Series was televised for the first time. The sponsors only paid $65,000 for the entire series between the Brooklyn Dodgers and the New York Yankees.

Sept. 30, 1954 – NBA basketball player and J.F. Shields High School graduate John Drew was born in Vredenburgh, Ala.

Sept. 30, 1957 – On a Monday night in Frisco City, Ala., Frisco City High School beat Repton, 41-0. The game was originally scheduled to be played on Thurs., Sept. 26, but was postponed to Mon., Sept. 30, because of rain.

Sept. 30, 1961 – Evergreen, Alabama’s newly organized Civitan Club held its charter night. Officers included Ralph Crysell, president; Wayne Hutcheson, vice president; Murray Johnson, secretary and treasurer; Sammy Gaines, sergeant at arms; and Tulley Coleman, chaplain. The club’s board of directors included Earl Windham, Delma E. Bowers, W.C. Boswell, James Finley and Eugene Darby.

Sept. 30, 1971 - The Washington Senators played their last game in Washington, D.C. before moving to Arlington, Texas. They were forced to forfeit the game to the New York Yankees when fans stormed the field in an effort to take souvenirs.

Sept. 30, 1972 – Sparta Academy beat Wesleyan Academy of Citronelle, 6-0, at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen, Ala. Buddy Monroe returned a punt 70 yards for Sparta’s only touchdown.

Sept. 30, 1972 - Roberto Clemente of the Pittsburgh Pirates recorded his 3,000th and final career hit. During the ensuing off season, he was killed in a plane crash in Venezuela.

Sept. 30, 1973 - Hank Aaron finished the season one short of Babe Ruth's record of 714 home runs. He broke the record in the first month of the 1974 season.

Sept. 30, 1973 - The New York Yankees completed their 50th season at Yankee Stadium.

Sept. 30, 1984 - Mike Witt of the California Angels became only the 11th pitcher to throw a perfect game in major league baseball. He defeated the Texas Rangers, 1-0.

Sept. 30, 1984 - The Los Angeles Rams set an NFL record when they registered three safeties in a 33-12 victory over the New York Giants.

Sept. 30, 1992 - George Brett of the Kansas City Royals reached his 3,000th career hit during a game against the California Angels. He was the 18th player to reach the mark.

Sept. 30, 1995 - Albert Belle of the Cleveland Indians became the first player in history to hit 50 home runs and 50 doubles in the same season.

Sept. 30, 1999 - The San Francisco Giants played the Los Angeles Dodgers in the last baseball game to be played at Candlestick Park (3Com Park). The Dodgers won, 9-4, with 61,389 fans on hand.

Sept. 30, 2002 - Chris McAlister of the Baltimore Ravens returned a missed field goal 108 yards to set an NFL record.

Sept. 30, 2005 – The movie “Capote” was released in U.S. theaters. 

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Tues., Sept. 30, 2014

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.20 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.40 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 4.25 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.40 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 50.85 inches

NOTES: Today is the 273rd day of 2014 and the ninth day of Fall. There are 92 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

BUCKET LIST UPDATE No. 175: Watch “Once Upon a Time in the West” (1968)

I love a good Western, but I have to admit that there are a lot of classic Western movies that I’ve never seen, especially those that came out before 1980. Films that I would put in this category would include “Once Upon a Time in the West,” which came out in 1968.

I’ve heard about this movie for years, but had never seen it, which is why I put it on my “bucket list” a couple of years ago. On Saturday night, thanks to NetFlix, I watched this movie from start to finish and officially scratched it off my “bucket list.”

I put this movie on my “bucket list” after seeing it on several “best-of” lists. Last year, IGN ranked “Once Upon a Time in the West” No. 1 on its list of “Top 25 Westerns of All Time,” and AMC ranked it No. 20 on its list of “Greatest Westerns.”

In 1999, Entertainment Weekly ranked “Once Upon a Time in the West” No. 13 on a list called “Just Too Beloved to Ignore,” which was sort of an honorable mention list to its list of “100 Greatest Movies of All Time.” It was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2009.

For those of you unfamiliar with this great movie, it was directed by Sergio Leone and was released in theaters on Dec. 21, 1968. The cast included Charles Bronson, Henry Fonda, Jason Robards, Claudia Cardinale and Gabriele Ferzetti. By today’s standards, this movie is rated PG-13 and is about two hours and 45 minutes long.

The film is set in a fictional frontier town called Flagstone and involves a fight over land that looks to be at an important stop on a railroad that’s being constructed through the area. The original owner is gunned down by hired outlaws just before his new wife steps off the train from New Orleans. She arrives to find herself not only a wide, but alone against a gang of hired killers.

Her knight in shining armors turns out to be a quirky gunslinger who’s bent on revenge. Armed with a deadly pistol and his trademark harmonica, he sets about defending the widow, making sure she doesn’t get ripped off and keeping his eyes open for the man who killed his brother years ago. Before it’s all said and done, the widow makes it out OK, and the good guys come out on top.

I thought this movie was great, and I’d have no problem watching it again. Also, aside from the gunplay, it was relatively clean, especially compared to more modern movies. This was also my first real exposure to young Charles Bronson. I knew he had a tough guy reputation, but now I know why. If you’ve never seen this movie, I highly recommend it.

In the end, how many of you have seen “Once Upon a Time in the West”? What did you think about it? What other classic Western movies would you recommend? Let us know in the comments section below.

The Evergreen Courant's News Flashback for Sept. 29, 2014

Evergreen city officials in 1972.
OCT. 3, 2002

Evergreen weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.28 inches of rain on Sept. 24, 3.10 inches of rain on Sept. 25 and 1.10 inches of rain on Sept. 26. He also reported a high of 87 degrees on Sept. 23 and lows of 64 on Sept. 27 and Sept. 28.

“A big crowd was on hand for the ribbon cutting at the new office of Horton Insurance. The insurance company moved to their new location on Rural Street last Wednesday. Pictured at the ribbon cutting are Chamber Executive Director Eric Basinger, Chamber President Zebbie Nix, Horton Insurance Evergreen Office Manager Jim Ryan, Horton Insurance Co. owner Earl Horton, Horton employees Deborah Ealum and Tonya Tolin and Chamber board members Christy Bulger and Alesia Stuart.”

“The Conecuh County Board of Education voted three to two to take bids for the sale of the National Guard Armory that they purchased from the state. Superintendent Ronnie Brogden told the board members that he had several inquiries about purchasing the building from the board, and he wanted to know if they would like to take bids to sell the building.”

“Under old business the (Evergreen city) council brought back up the appointments to the Industrial Development Authority. The council unanimously appointed Bobby Watkins to the Industrial Development Board and Robert Bozeman to the Economic Development Authority Board.”

OCT. 1, 1987

Evergreen weather reporter Earl Windham reported no rain between Sept. 22 and Sept. 28. He reported a high of 88 on Sept. 28 and lows of 52 on Sept. 25 and Sept. 26.

“Mrs. Carolyn Pate Castleberry began her duties as Conecuh County Tax Collector today. She took the oath of office Friday. Gov. Guy Hunt appointed Mrs. Castleberry to fill the remainder of the term of office of Tax Collector Marvin Johnston who retired. The term expires Sept. 30, 1991.”

“Mrs. Willene Whatley, president and general chairman of the Evergreen Chamber of Commerce, holds a plaque from the Southeast Tourism Society that designates the Conecuh Heritage Festival as one of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast during October, November and December.”

“Thomas Watson Spence, 79, of Montgomery and a native of Conecuh County died Sat., Sept. 26, in a Montgomery hospital. Mr. Spence was a member of a prominent, pioneer family and a former superintendent of education of Macon County and a former sales representative for Scott-Forman Book Co.”

“A positive rabies report was made Tuesday on a coon found Sunday at Old Town. The coon was suspected to be rapid and the report confirmed this, according to Jim Bricken, DVM, County Rabies Inspector.”

OCT. 15, 1972

“It was announced this week by the Board of Education that Wayne Pope had been appointed as County Superintendent of Schools effective Oct. 1, 1972. This action was taken by the Board of Education in a meeting held Tuesday night, Sept. 26, 1972 and the appointment is to fill the unexpired term of Harvey G. Pate, who has submitted his regsignation, effective as of this date.”

“Everybody was happy Monday morning after the (Evergreen) mayor and council were sworn into office by Circuit Judge Robert E.L. Key. Seated are Tal Stuart III, youngest member of the council, Mayor Coy L. Harper, former Mayor Henry Sessions; standing, Councilmen Robert M. Glass, Knud Nielsen Jr., dean of the council, Clarence E. (Buddy) Evers, mayor pro tem, and Ronnie Mullen.”

“Navy Petty Officer Third Class Larry L. Andrews, son of Mr. Roland Andrews of Rt. D, Evergreen, has left his homeport at Alameda, Calif., for a Western Pacific deployment aboard the nuclear-powered aircraft carrier USS Enterprise.”

“City police department employees and others at City Hall had a surprise party for retiring Chief Tom Melton and presented him with a handsome gold wristwatch. Sgt. James Ellis was named Acting Chief. Shown as they formed up for their last shift change under Chief Melton are Mrs. Mildred McNeil, secretary, radio and teletype operator, Melton, Assistant Chief Tal Smith, Henry Hooks, Ellis, Albert Salter, James Powell, Jimmy Hawsey, Ronald Seales, Henry Vickery, Arthur Mason, radio operator and Larry Morrison.”

OCT. 3, 1957

“Bozeman In For Bozeman: This is the first issue of The Courant under new management in over 30 years. However, we hope it won’t be considered exactly ‘new’ management. After all, this new editor and publisher (R.G. ‘Bob’ Bozeman Jr.) grew up under the kind, yet firm, tutelage of (R.G.) Bozeman Sr. You’ll find no drastic changes in policy. The Courant will continue to be a family-type country weekly, and will also continue, we hope, to be widely read one.
“Also, dear readers, we want to assure you here and now that the popular column, ‘As A Man Thinketh’ will continue to appear on the front page of the paper. It may not, the columnist informs us, appear with the regularity it has in the past, but it will appear as often as The Man Thinketh and Writeth.
“And, as for Bozeman, the younger, let us mince no words. He is right proud to be back among the homefolks, and more than happy to be at the helm of the paper on which he cut his editorial teeth. You have been good and faithful to the elder. We ask for your continued support of the younger.
“We will be here week after week working always for what we believe the best interests of Evergreen and Conecuh County. Call on us when we can help. Stand with us when we are right. Bear with us when we are wrong.”

“Alma Martin, Post No. 50 of the American Legion will honor veterans of World War I and the Korean War at a special meeting Monday night, Oct. 21.”

OCT. 1, 1942

“Conecuh Gallows Irons Will Continue Death Mission: Several hundred pounds of iron fixtures, parts of the old gallows at the county jail, were released Tuesday by county officials to the local salvage committee to be placed in the scrap metal now being collected, and which will be used in the manufacture of war materials. So, it will continue its mission of death, but in a somewhat different role. Perhaps as a part of a tank, or airplane or maybe a shell or a gun.
“The old gallows has been in disuse for nigh on to 20 years. The last occasion it was used was on Jan. 22, 1926 when Murray Rankins, negro, convicted of assaulting a white woman, was hung. A.M. Barfield was sheriff at that time, and it was he who sprang the trap which sent Rankins to his death. Not many years after that, hanging as a means of putting criminals to death was outlawed and electrocution instead was provided by law. Condemned persons are now electrocuted at Kilby State Prison.”

“Arrives Safely Overseas: Lt. Laula Middleton has arrived safely overseas according to a cablegram which his family received Saturday. The message was sent Fri., Sept. 25. His family believes that he is in England or Ireland but there is no definite information to this effect.”

“There are approximately 600 Conecuh County boys now in the various branches of military service of this country…”

Today in History for Sept. 29, 2014

Jefferson Columbus Davis
Sept. 29, 1862 - In Louisville, Ky., Union General Jefferson Columbus Davis mortally wounded his commanding officer, General William Nelson. Nelson had slapped Davis during a quarrel in a hotel lobby. Davis chased Nelson upstairs and shot him. Davis was never court-martialed.

Sept. 29, 1864 - Union General Ulysses S. Grant attacked forces under Confederate General Robert E. Lee at the Battle of New Market Heights (Chaffin's Farm/Fort Harrison). The attempt failed.

Sept. 29, 1864 – J.W. Daniels of the Conecuh Guards was wounded at Fort Harrison in Richmond, Va. He returned to Conecuh County after the war. 

Sept. 29, 1864 - Confederate General John Bell Hood began tearing up the Western and Atlantic Railroad.

Sept. 29, 1888 – Dr. Samuel S. Gaillard was born in Perdue Hill. A third generation doctor, he was the first intern at Mobile Infirmary when it opened in 1910. He was a specialist in radiology and roentgenology and served in WWI and WWII. He attended West Point Military Academy, Louisville (Ky.) Medical School and graduated from the University of Alabama Medical School in 1910.

Sept. 29, 1895 – Joseph Banks “J.B.” Rhine, widely considered to be the "father of modern parapsychology," was born in Waterloo, Pa.

Sept. 29, 1896 – Confederate Gen. Nathan B. Forrest moved northward from the Sulphur Branch Trestle Fort in Limestone County, which he captured four days earlier, to destroy other bridges after sending prisoners southward to the Tennessee River.

Sept. 29, 1890 – Outlaw train robber Rube Burrow arrived at the home of John Barnes near Castleberry, four weeks after his eighth and final train robbery near Flomaton. After breakfast, Burrow departed, headed for Repton.

Sept. 29, 1942 – Conecuh County officials released several hundred pounds of iron fixtures that were parts of the old gallows at the Conecuh County Jail in Evergreen to the local salvage committee for use in the manufacture of war materials. The old gallows hadn’t been used since the county’s last legal execution on Jan. 22, 1926.

Sept. 29, 1951 - The first network football game was televised by CBS-TV in color. The game was between the University of California and the University of Pennsylvania.

Sept. 29, 1954 - Willie Mays, centerfielder for the New York Giants, made his amazing over-the-shoulder catch of a fly ball hit by Cleveland Indians first baseman Vic Wertz to rob Wertz of extra bases in Game 1 of the 1954 World Series. The catch has gone down as one of the greatest in the history of baseball.

Sept. 29, 1957 - The New York Giants played their last game at the Polo Grounds before moving to San Francisco, Calif.

Sept. 29, 1972 – Greenville beat Evergreen, 22-12, at Brooks Memorial Stadium in Evergreen.

Sept. 29, 1986 - The television program “Miscalculation,” teleplay by Alabama author Robert McDowell, is broadcast as part of the “Amazing Stories” series.

Sept. 29, 1987 – Conecuh County Rabies Inspector Jim Bricken, DVM, anounced that a raccoon found on Sept. 27, 1987 in the Old Town community was positive for rabies.

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Mon., Sept. 29, 2014

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.20 inches

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.20 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 4.05 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.20 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 50.65 inches

NOTES: Today is the 272nd day of 2014 and the eighth day of Fall. There are 93 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Sunday, September 28, 2014

50-year-old news highlights from The Monroe Journal from September 1964

Monroe Journal Publisher Bill Stewart.
The Monroe Journal newspaper in Monroeville published four editions 50 years ago during the month of September 1964. Those papers came out on Sept. 3, Sept. 10, Sept. 17 and Sept. 24. Bill Stewart was the newspaper’s publisher, Fred Nall was editor and Merrill Bankester was news editor. What follows are a few new highlights from each of those papers. Enjoy.

SEPT. 3, 1964

Robbery Suspect Pleads Guilty; One Out On Bond: Two Brewton Men Held For Repton Hold-up: One of the two men arrested in connection with the robbery of the Union Bank at Repton June 20 has pleaded guilty to robbery charges and the second man has been released under $20,000 bond.
Lawrence Earl Vonderau, 20, who has been charged with the actual hold-up when the bank was robbed of $16,386 by a gunman, pleaded guilty before Judge Daniel H. Thomas in Mobile Aug. 22. He will be sentenced later.
Junior Wesley Bernard, 30, charged with driving the car which the two men escaped in, was released on $20,000 bond and will file a plea before Judge Thomas later.
The two men were arrested in Brewton Aug. 14 by FBI agents following two months of investigation by the FBI, Escambia County Sheriff G.S. Bryne’s office and Conecuh Sheriff James Brock’s office.
At the time of their arrests, $2,350 of the stolen money was recovered by the FBI from Mr. Vonderau. According to the FBI, Mr. Vonderau is an unemployed service station attendant. Mr. Bernard is manager of a parts in Brewton.

Oral Polio Vaccine To Be Given Again In Monroe County: The feeding of the oral type polio vaccine will again be given in Monroe County, it was announced this week by Dr. E.F. Goldsmith, county health officer.
Dr. Goldsmith said the three doses of Sabin vaccine will be given to those who failed to get the vaccine during the three-month period, March, April and May, and also for those who did not get all three types.
The feedings will again be given over a three-month period, starting Sept. 14.

Schools To Open In County Friday: Parents and students were reminded this week by R.H. Vickery, county superintendent, of the opening of schools Friday (tomorrow).
The first full day of classes will be Tues., Sept. 8, Mr. Vickery said, and the final day, May 27.

New Police Chief At Frisco City: G.A. (Pete) Hawkins assumed the duties as new Chief of Police of Frisco City Aug. 10, replacing N.S. Coleman.

Whippets Player Out For Season: The Frisco City High School Whippets suffered a set back in their hopes for the coming football season with the loss of two-year letterman Larry DeWise.
Coach Leon Jackson said DeWise, the only returning letterman at the center position, suffered a brain concussion in practice last Monday afternoon.

First Game Set Sept. 12: After a dismal 1-8-1 season last year, Excel’s High School Panthers expect to be bigger and better when their first game rolls around Sept. 12.
Back this year will be 13 lettermen which includes eight in the line and five in the backfield.
Returning linemen are ends Charles Godwin (155) and Tommy Bell (142); tackles Randall Scruggs (198) and Talmage Hoods (170); guards Tommy Green (160), Charles Dawson (137) and Fonde Melton (138), and center Chubby Murray (188).
Backs returning will be quarterback Johnny Stokes (165), halfbacks Wayne Wright (175), Wayne Dawson (140) and Randy Anners (155) and fullback Kenneth Stokes (200).
Coach Ed Comer listed a number of prospects who will help. They include Stanley Wilson (125) and Tommy Jordan (140) at the halfback positions. Laden Wright (140) at end and tackles Danny Simpson (178) and Michael Turberville (145).
Others listed as hopefuls are Wayne Melton (122) at guard. Amos Stacey (135) end, Terry Stacey (155) fullback and centers Donald Turberville (127) and Dan Booth (130).
Lost from last season are eight starters: Bobo Godwin, fullback; Aaron White, center; Donald Moore, fullback and guard; Harry Lowery, end; Garland Petty, end; Mack Murphy, tackle; Bert Alderman, tackle; and O’Neil Turberville, quarterback.
Excel defeated rival Repton, 24-0, for their only win last year and tied Lyeffion, 6-6, in the opening game of the season. Other close games listed by Coach Comer were Leroy, 7-6, and Silas, 12-0. Other games lost by one or two touchdowns were Camden, 27-13; county and conference foe, Uriah, 28-12, and conference rival Grove Hill, 27-13. Frisco City defeated Excel, 12-0, Coffeeville, 39-19, and Monroeville, 42-19. In the loss to Monroeville, that was the first time in five years three touchdowns had been scored against the MCHS Tigers.

SEPT. 10, 1964

Progress Continues On New Airport: Progress on the Monroe County airport is continuing, reported Walter Agee, chairman of the Monroe County Airport Development Committee.
Mr. Agee said the airport, which will be located about four miles south of Monroeville, near Highway 84, is being cleared now of timber and stumps so that grading could begin soon.

Four County Teams To Open Season: All four county schools open their football seasons with defending county and Pine Belt champions Monroeville and J.U. Blacksher’s Bulldogs getting an early start.
The MCHS Tigers play the Bulldogs Thursday night in Uriah.
Frisco City opens Friday night against T.R. Miller of Brewton in Frisco City, and Excel plays at home Saturday night against Lyeffion.
Monroeville won the county and Pine Belt championship last year with an 8-1-1 record. Expected to give the Tigers their strongest competition for the crowns this year is the Whippets from Frisco City, which also finished with an 8-1-1 record last year. But the one loss was to Monroeville, 33-7, and the tie to conference foe Grove Hill, 13-13.
Excel hopes to better its record this year. Prospects look brighter with 13 returning lettermen. The Panthers finished 1-8-1 last season.

COMPLETES TRAINING: Private James C. Marshall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Conrad Marshall of 515 Jones Ave., Monroeville, completed recruit training Sept. 4 at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot, Parris Island, S.C.
He will report to Camp Lejeune, N.C. for combat infantry training following graduation.

DEADLY MENACES: Bobby Colquett, Monroe County High School Student, killed these two moccasins last Thursday at the Vanity Fair Park Lake. Bobby said he was fishing in the lake Thursday night when he saw the moccasins.

SEPT. 17, 1964

Log Truck Rams Moving Freight Train at Corduroy Crossing: A Beatrice colored man was killed instantly early Wednesday when the log truck he was driving collided with a freight train at Corduroy, near Beatrice.
According to the engineer of the train, the driver of the truck made no visible effort to stop or swerve to the side as the vehicle plowed into the side of the second unit of the duel diesel engine pulling a long line of freight cars. There were no skid marks on the highway.
The impact against the engine twisted one of the steel rails, causing the engine to drop to the cross ties and seven freight cars to derail and pile up.
The badly mangled body of the victim was pinned under a pile of wreckage and some time was required to remove it to an ambulance.
According to State Trooper Angus Whitley, who investigated the accident, the dead man was identified as Ollie Lewis Montgomery of Beatrice. The truck was owned by Peterman Lumber Co. of Peterman. The engineer was identified as Wilson Bishop Merrit Sr. of Pensacola, Fla. Riding in the engine cab with the engineer was C.C. King, flagman.

Man Found Dead In Motel Room: A salesman with a Mobile firm was found dead in his motel room in Monroeville Tuesday morning but no foul play was involved, according to authorities.
County Coroner Julius Johnson said Robert Finley Hill, about 56, of Prichard, died apparently from natural causes.
Mr. Johnson said the man had asked the motel attendants to call him Tuesday morning and when they couldn’t get an answer they went into his room and found Mr. Hill lying on the bed. They called Mr. Johnson who pronounced him dead.

Oscar W. McCrory Enters Pharmacy School In Georgia: Oscar W. McCrory (Billy) of Frisco City received an honorable discharge from the U.S. Air Force, Sept. 10, after serving over four years. Stationed at Orlando AFB, Fla., he was NCO in charge of the Pediatric Clinic.
Mr. McCrory, his wife, Dianne, and their two daughters will reside in Bremen, Ga., where Mr. McCrory will attend the School of Pharmacy at the University of Georgia.

Excel Racks Up 25-0 Win Over Lyeffion: The Excel Panthers rolled to an opening game, 25-0, victory over the Lyeffion Yellow Jackets at Excel Friday night.
The Panthers lost little time in scoring. They took the opening kickoff and marched 70 yards in 11 plays for their first score. Randy Anners climaxed the drive with a 30-yard scoring run.
Quarterback Johnny Stokes turned in the longest touchdown run of the night going 50 yards in the second quarter with the help of good downfield blocking by Excel linemen.
Wayne Wright, workhorse for the Panthers, broke loose for a 42-yard run before being hauled down on the Lyeffion four. With 1:42 remaining in the half, Anners circled left end for the final four yards and his second TD of the night. Stokes converted for the PAT.
Randall Scruggs closed out the Panthers scoring in the third period when he raced 22 yards for a touchdown with an intercepted pass.
Leading ground gainers for Excel were Wright who had 111 yards on 11 carries; Wayne Dawson, 80 yards on 10 carries; Stokes, 63 yards on five carries; Anners, 49 yards on six carries; Kenneth Stokes, 34 yards on six carries; Stanley Wilson, 23 yards on seven carries; and Terry Stacey, six yards on one carry.
Other Excel players who turned in good performances were Charles Godwin, Tommy Green, Fonde Melton, Charles Dawson, Talmage Hooks, Danny Simpson, Chubby Murray, Amos Stacey, Ladon Wright, Wayne Melton, Michael Turberville, Donald Turberville and Dan Booth.

Jackson Principal Named PB Head: Frank Barbaree, principal of Jackson High School, has been elected president of the Pine Belt Conference, an organization of 12 high schools in Clarke, Washington, Choctaw and Monroe counties.
He replaces Coach Gary D. Spruce of Thomasville.
Others officers are Coach Clayton E. (Jack) McMillan Jr. of Leroy, vice president; and Coach Billy Ricketts of Jackson, secretary-treasurer.
Two committees were named at a meeting held Sunday in Grove Hill.
On the committee responsible for placing nominations for All-Conference Awards are Coach Ed Bolling of Frisco City, Coach Wilbert Parnell of Millry, Coach Charles Solomon of Thomasville and Coach Oscar Braun Jr. of Coffeeville.
Board of control members are Principal Fred M. (Tick) Scoggins of Uriah, Coach Ed Godwin of Millry and Coach Rex Jackson of Grove Hill.

“Uriah Dumps MCHS Tigers 12-7 In Season’s Opener: J.U. Blacksher surprised the Monroeville Tigers with a 12-7 win in the season’s opener for both teams last Thursday night on the Bulldogs home field in Uriah.”

Joe Cardwell scored Blacksher’s first touchdown on a one-yard run, but the Bulldogs didn’t get the PAT. Ray Raybon scored Blacksher’s second touchdown on a four-yard run, and they didn’t get the ensuing PAT. MCHS’s touchdown came on a 16-yard run by Johnny Brannon, and Mike Segers added the extra point.
Other outstanding Blacksher players in that game included Billy Harris and Larry Harris. Other outstanding MCHS players in the game included Grantham, Randy McDonald, Melvin Middleton, Coy Tatum and Seth Watkins.

Ready For Finishing Touches: Read for the finishing touches is the new 1,850-seat stadium at Vanity Fair Park. Coach James Allen said the new seats will be ready for the opening of the MCHS Tigers first home game Friday night, Sept. 25. He also said there are a few more reserved seats left in the new stands. A new press box will be built at the top of the stadium with dressing rooms built underneath.

T.R. Miller Scores 19-0 Upset Over Frisco City: T.R. Miller of Brewton down Frisco City, 19-0, Saturday night in a mild upset, in Frisco City.
The victory was the first for Miller over the Whippets and also the first time they had scored since 1957.
Even though Miller picked up only one first down in the first half, they led at halftime, 6-0. Halfback Mike Sasser broke loose for a 40-yard gallop for the lone score. The PAT was blocked.
Gordon Brown led the Whippets on defense on tackles and assists, backed up by Jack Kelly and Larry Eddins.
On offense, Johnny King and Larry Jones led the Frisco City ball carriers.

SEPT. 24, 1964

M&R To Abandon Local Operations: The Interstate Commerce Commission has authorized the Manistee and Repton Railroad Co. to abandon its operations between Monroeville and Monroeton.
The federal agency also authorized the Louisville and Nashville Railroad Co. to take over operation of the M&R tracks between the two points.
The commission issued its ruling Sept. 14 and allows a period of one year in which to complete the transfer.

Frisco RR Seeks To Close Station: Application for the closing of the Fountain station by the Frisco Railway Co. will be made to the Alabama Public Service Commission, according to a notice posted by the company.
The Fountain station is for freight only and is on the Pensacola to Amory, Miss. line, which connects Birmingham and St. Louis.
Freight which would ordinarily be shipped or received at the Fountain station would be handled at the Mexia station if the petition is approved by the commission.

Corporation papers for the forming of a lime chalk mining company were filed in probate court last Friday.
Formed as the Claiborne Lime Co., Inc., the $70,000 corporation will produce agricultural lime.
The company expects to begin operation about the first of November with an initial employment of 10 persons.
The mining plant will be located about two miles southwest of Perdue Hill in a field of lime chalk which was termed very good by Mr. (William L.) Wells.

Whippets Even Record With Win Over Excel: The Frisco City Whippets evened its record at 1 and 1 Friday night with an 18-6 win over the Excel Panthers, whose record also stands at 1 and 1.
Excel received the opening kickoff but failed to net a first down and was forced to punt.
Putting the ball in play at their own 25 yard line, the Whippets appeared to have a drive going but the threat ended with an interception of a Boothe pass by linebacker Charles Godwin at the midfield stripe.
After running into a tough Frisco City defense again, the Panthers had to punt. Starting deep in their own territory, the Whippets started out on their first touchdown drive, climaxed by a two-yard plunge by fullback Larry Eddins. Mike Johns’ kick for the extra point failed when it went wide to the right of the goal posts.
After the kick off and a failure to gain a first down, Excel punted again to the Whippets who matched their previous drive for a touchdown.
Halfback Larry Jones put Frisco City ahead 12-0 with a six-yard jaunt into the end zone. The PAT try failed.
Excel picked up its first first down of the half shortly before the end of the first half of play.
The Whippets continued its touchdown desires in the third period of play, moving 55 yards for their final touchdown of the night.
Halfbacks Johnny King and Jones ate up most of the yardage in this drive with King getting the last yard on a lunge over the middle of the line. An attempted pass for the extra point failed and the Whippets had their 18 points for the night.
The remainder of the second half saw neither team able to put on a sustained drive until seven minutes remained in the game.
The Panthers grabbed a Frisco fumble and returned it to the Whippets 15 yard line before second team quarterback Jim Kelly caught the runner from behind.
Halfback Wayne Wright broke into the scoring for the Panthers going over from the two yard line. Quarterback John Stokes’ attempted PAT pass to right end Charles Godwin was broken up by Johnny King.
Frisco City took the kickoff and seemed to have another drive underway but time ran out to end the game before it could materialize.
Outstanding on defense for the Whippets were Bill Wiggins, Larry Eddins, Jack Kelly, Hubert Broughton and Mike Johns.

Tigers Drop Game To Fairhope: The Monroe County High School Tigers lost a squeaker at the hands of Fairhope, 10-7, on the Pirates’ home field in Fairhope Friday night. The winning tally came on a field goal with just 20 seconds remaining in the game.

(Monroe County’s only score came on a 19-yard run by quarterback Seth Watkins. Mike Segers kicked the extra point.)

Today in History for Sept. 28, 2014

Architect William Strickland.
Sept. 28, 1824 – During his tour of the United States, the Marquis de Lafayette visited Philadelphia and gave a speech at the State House (Independence Hall) under Philadelphian architect William Strickland's Triumphal Arches.

Sept. 28, 1863 - Union Generals Alexander M. McCook and Thomas Crittenden lose their commands and are ordered to Indianapolis, Indiana, to face court of inquiry charges following the Federal defeat at the Battle of Chickamauga.

Sept. 28, 1864 - Confederate forces under General Sterling Price forced Union defenders away from Fort Davidson at Pilot Knob, Missouri.

Sept. 28, 1868 - Confederate General Thomas Carmichael Hindman Jr. passed away at the age of 40 in Helena, Ark. after being shot multiple times by one or more unknown assailants.

Sept. 28, 1870 - Confederate General Robert E. Lee suffered a stroke. He died on October 12, 1870.

Sept. 28, 1886 – John W. Leslie was commissioned as Monroe County’s Circuit Court Clerk.

Sept. 28, 1892 - The first nighttime football game in the U.S. took place under electric lights. The game was between the Mansfield State Normal School and the Wyoming Seminary.

Sept. 28, 1894 – Monroe County tax collector W.J. Robinson died, and his son F.E. Robinson was appointed to fill his unexpired term.

Sept. 28, 1914 – The second series of “The Adventures of Kathlyn” was shown at the Arcade Theatre in Evergreen.

Sept. 28, 1919 - The New York Giants beat Philadelphia Phillies 6-1 in a day game that lasted 51 minutes. The time set a National League record.

Sept. 28, 1920 - Eight members of the Chicago White Sox were indicted in what was called the "Black Sox" scandal. They were accused of throwing the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

Sept. 28, 1926 – Country comedian Jerry Clower was born in Liberty, Miss.

Sept. 28, 1939 – The Monroe Journal reported that W.M. Mullins of Wetumpka had replaced Frank Sheffiled as manager of the Alabama Water Service Co. in Monroeville. Sheffiled had been manager for about a year prior to resigning.

Sept. 28, 1941 - The Boston Red Sox's Ted Williams played a double-header against the Philadelphia Athletics on the last day of the regular season and got six hits in eight trips to the plate, to boost his batting average to .406 and became the first player since Bill Terry in 1930 to hit .400.

Sept. 28, 1955 - The World Series was televised in color for the first time. The game was between the New York Yankees and the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Sept. 28, 1960 - At Boston’s Fenway Park, Red Sox star Ted Williams hit a home run in the last at-bat of his 21-year career. He finished his career with a total of 521 home runs.

Sept. 28, 1967 – Repton fullback Gary Boatwright scored five touchdowns and ran for 256 yards in a 49-0 win over Century, Fla.

Sept. 28, 1987 - The first episode of "Star Trek: The Next Generation," a two-hour pilot called “Encounter at Farpoint,” aired to 27 million viewers.

Sept. 28, 1995 - Randy Myers of the Chicago Cubs was charged by a 27-year-old man while standing in the outfield. Myers saw him coming, dropped his glove and knocked the man down with his forearm.

Sept. 28, 2001 - Courtney Love filed a claim against Geffen Records and two musicians from her late husband's band, Nirvana. The suit was aimed at invalidating a 1997 agreement over the group's body of work. Love claimed that she signed the deal while she was distressed.

Sept. 28, 2012 – The “Solomon Kane” movie, directed by Michael J. Bassett and starring James Purefoy, was released in the U.S.

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Sun., Sept. 28, 2014

Temp: 68.7 degrees F.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 83 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Mostly Cloudy skies; birds audible and visible; security lights still on in the distance.

Barometric pressure: 29.54 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.85 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 50.45 inches

NOTES: Today is the 271st day of 2014 and the seventh day of Fall. There are 94 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Did a young lady die of 'extreme fright' in a local cemetery in 1918?

George Buster Singleton
(For decades, local historian and paranormal investigator George “Buster” Singleton published a weekly newspaper column called “Somewhere in Time.” The column below, which was titled “Ghostly figure guards grave marker in cemetery,” was originally published in the Oct. 29, 1992 edition of The Monroe Journal in Monroeville, Ala.)

For many years, the old church sat back under the huge ancient oak trees. On moonlit nights, the shadows played back and forth as the huge limbs of the trees swayed in the night breezes.

Only once in a while would there be enough people to get together for services at the old church. Since there were no means to heat or light the old building, only during the most ideal weather did a few local people gather for the short services held on the first Sunday of each month. On an average, there were only about five or six worship services held in the small, one-room building in a year.

Only a short distance from the church building was the cemetery. Several tall grave markers on nights of the full moon cast their shadows at crazy angles across the smaller tombs as though trying to cover or hide those that weren’t as large or as noticeable as those that stood so boldly in the pale moonlight.

The cemetery dates back to the very early 1800s. Many tales were told and re-told about some of those who were buried there. There were tales about some of the deceased and about their cruelty to their farm animals and their farm workers.

Cruel old man

One tale was about a certain old farmer who would hire farm workers, and after these people had worked hard all day, he would scream and curse, refusing to pay them for their day’s work. He would tell them that their work had not been satisfactory; then he would order them off his property.

As a young boy who grew up in the area, I have seen the large tombstone of this old man many, many times. On the very top of the large grave marker is a small granite vase about the size of a small drinking glass.

Many tales were told about how no one dared go in the cemetery during the hours around midnight to remove this granite vase from the old man’s tomb. The story is that anyone who tries to carry the small vase from the cemetery is turned back by some unknown force before they reached the old iron gate that leads out of the cemetery.

In the early years of the old church, the members traveled to and from worship services by wagon or buggy or horseback. Shortly after the death of Mr. Sol, the old man mentioned earlier, it was almost impossible to have night services without the horses being frightened by a ghostly figure of a man that appeared out of the cemetery.

The horses would break away from their hitching posts and charge away into the darkness, sometimes causing damage to the wagons and buggies and scattering family belongings over the churchyard and nearby field. The story is that the church would appoint two men each night during worship services to sit outside and watch the horses and keep them quiet.

Many stories were told of a ghostly figure slowly appear from behind the large tombstone of Mr. Sol to make its way toward the area where the horses were tied to the hitching posts. Upon seeing this ghostly figure coming toward them, the animals would panic and race off into the night. If the ghostly figure of the old man was seen soon enough, the two men who had been posted outside would rush toward the ghostly figure and wave their arms. The ghost of the old man would then turn and go back to the huge grave marker that marked his final resting place; there he would disappear. The spirit of the old man would not appear again that night to frighten or bother the animals.

During late October, in the year 1918, the youth of the farming community had gotten together for a night of frolicking and to have a country candy pulling. As always, the challenge went out to those present. Was anyone there brave enough to go up to the cemetery and remove the small vase from the tombstone of Mr. Sol?

A young lady from another county, who was visiting her cousin in the community, accepted the challenge. Against the advice of her cousin, the group accompanied her to within a short distance of the old church and cemetery.

Large grave marker

No one in the group believed that she would go through with the challenge. But slowly she made her way up to the old cast-iron gate that led to the cemetery, while the others waited at the outer edge of the church yard. After hearing the old iron gate open, she could be seen in the pale moonlight, climbing up on the side of the large grave marker and taking down the small granite vase that sat on top.

As the shadows from the clouds overhead crept across the old church yard, the group that awaited a short distance from the old cemetery heard the old iron gate close shut. Knowing that their friend would soon appear, the group awaited in breathtaking quietness.

Only the flutter of the falling oak leaves broke the night silence. Minutes passed as all looked toward the old cemetery, hoping to see their friend coming across the church yard with the small granite vase. But no sign of their friend could be seen in the faint moonlight.

Then, one of the group pointed, toward the tall granite tombstone of Mr. Sol. From behind the large marker emerged a shadowy, ghostly figure of a man. The ghostly figure moved at a rapid pace toward the old iron gate at the front of the cemetery. As it reached the iron gate, the shadowy figure appeared to bend down and pick up something from the ground. Then it returned to the tall burial marker and disappeared behind it.

Fearing that something had happened to their friend, the group of young people rushed across the church yard toward the cemetery gate. As they reached it, there on the ground lay their friend; a small portion of her dress was caught in the latch of the iron gate. The young girl was dead. It appeared that when her dress caught in the latch, and she started to walk away, she must have thought someone was holding her; she apparently had died from extreme fright.

Two days later, a group of the menfolk within the community went to the old cemetery to try and solve the mystery that surrounded the young girl’s death. In the red clay near the old gate, they found the imprint of the small granite vase that sat atop the large grave marker. The young girl must have dropped the small, heavy vase when her dress became caught in the latch of the old gate.

A close examination of the granite vase that now rested atop the large tombstone revealed traces of the same red clay that was in abundance around the old cemetery gate and in the church yard. Who had returned the vase back to its place atop of the huge grave marker?

Those of the group who saw the ghostly figure hurry toward the old gate that fateful night say that the ghost of Mr. Sol, the cruel old man buried there, was re-claiming that which belonged to him. In death, as in life, he still wanted it all; all that was his, and all that wasn’t.

(Singleton, the author of the 1991 book “Of Foxfire and Phantom Soldiers,” passed away at the age of 79 on July 19, 2007. A longtime resident of Monroeville, he was born on Dec. 14, 1927 in Marengo County and served as the administrator of the Monroeville National Guard unit from 1964 to 1987. He is buried in Pineville Cemetery in Monroeville. The column above and all of Singleton’s other columns are available to the public through the microfilm records at the Monroe County Public Library in Monroeville. Singleton’s columns are presented here each week for research and scholarship purposes and as part of an effort to keep his work and memory alive.)

Today in History for Sept. 27, 2014

Grave of William Henry Hasty in Excel, Ala. 
Sept. 27, 1830 - The Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek was a signed between the Choctaw Indian tribe and the United States Government. This was the first removal treaty carried into effect under the Indian Removal Act. Under the treaty, the Choctaw Nation ceded to the United States all their land east of the Mississippi River, about 11 million acres, including parts of west Alabama in exchange for about 15 million acres in the Indian territory, present-day Oklahoma. Not all Choctaws moved west, however, and descendants living in Alabama are recognized by the state as the MOWA Band of Choctaw Indians, who have their tribal office at McIntosh.

Sept. 27, 1854 – James A. Hightower was commissioned as Monroe County’s Sheriff.

Sept. 27, 1864 - A guerilla band under William "Bloody Bill" Anderson massacred 22 unarmed Union troops at Centralia, Missouri. Afterward, 120 pursuing Union soldiers were killed.

Sept. 27, 1888 – The Central News Agency of London received the famous “Dear Boss” letter, which was a message allegedly written by the notorious serial killer, “Jack the Ripper.” It was the first time the "Jack the Ripper" name had been used to refer to the killer.

Sept. 27, 1906 - Following several days of heavy rains, a powerful hurricane wreaked havoc on the Gulf Coast, killing dozens in the Mobile area and causing millions of dollars in property damage. The editor of The Mobile Register called the hurricane "the greatest storm in the history of the city and by far the most damaging."

Sept. 27, 1919 – The first ever high school football game in the history of Monroe County was played when Monroe County High School’s team faced the “Town Boys” in Monroeville.

Sept. 27, 1923 - Lou Gehrig of the New York Yankees hit his first of 493 career home runs.

Sept. 27, 1926 – American Legion Post No. 61 was formed in Monroeville, Ala.

Sept. 27, 1930 - Hack Wilson of the Chicago Cubs hit two home runs to give him 56 for the year.

Sept. 27, 1935 – The first ever night football game in Monroe County history was played on this day at J.U. Blacksher High School at Uriah, the first school in the county to have a lighted field. Blacksher played Repton, but the final score is unknown. The game likely ended in a 0-0 tie.

Sept. 27, 1940 - William Henry Hasty, believed to have been Monroe County’s last surviving Confederate veteran, passed away. Born on Sept. 9, 1846, he served as 5th Sgt. with Co. F of the 36th Alabama Regiment and would go on to become a Methodist minister. He is buried in Excel Cemetery.

Sept. 27, 1941 – Alabama baseball great Virgil Trucks made his major league debut with the Detroit Tigers.

Sept. 27, 1949 – Baseball Hall of Famer Mike Schmidt was born in Dayton, Ohio.

Sept. 27, 1951 – The Evergreen Courant reported that Army Cpl. Johnny R. Stowers of Evergreen had joined the Army’s 1st Cavalry Division on the front lines in Korea.

Sept. 27, 1953 - The St. Louis Browns played their final game before moving to Baltimore to become the Orioles.

Sept. 27, 1963 – Frisco City quarterback Joe Kelly was named the Birmingham Post-Herald’s “Back of the Week” for his performance in a 21-12 win over Jackson.

Sept. 27, 1964 – The Houston Colt .45s played their final game at Colts Stadium. They lost 1-0 to Los Angeles in 12 innings.

Sept. 27, 1964 - The Warren Commission issued a report on the assassination of U.S. President John F. Kennedy in November of 1963. The report concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone.

Sept. 27, 1973 - Nolan Ryan of the California Angels struck out 16 batters for the Minnesota Twins. The feat established a modern day single season mark of 383 strikeouts in a season.

Sept. 27, 1996 - Barry Bonds of the San Francisco Giants became the second MLB player to record 40 home runs and 40 stolen bases in the same year.

Sept. 27, 1998 - Mark McGwire of the St. Louis Cardinals set a major league baseball record when he hit his 70th home run of the season. Sammy Sosa of the Chicago Cubs ended the season with 66 home runs. Both players surpassed Roger Maris' record of 61.

Sept. 27, 1998 - Greg Vaughn of the San Diego Padres hit his 50th home run of the season. It marked the first time that four players finished the regular season with 50 or more home runs.

Sept. 27, 1999 – In the last game was played at Tiger Stadium, the Detroit Tigers defeated the Kansas City Royals, 8-2.

Sept. 27, 2000 - Donovan McNabb of the Philadelphia Eagles signed a 12-year contract that involved a $20.5 million signing bonus. The deal made McNabb the highest paid NFL player in history.

Sept. 27, 2002 – Sparta Academy beat Escambia Academy, 35-25, at Stuart-McGehee Field in Evergreen. Brandon Burleson led Sparta with 103 yards and a touchdown.

Sept. 27, 2003 - Javier Lopez of the Atlanta Braves became the first catcher to hit 42 home runs in a season.

Sept. 27, 2009 - The Detroit Lions defeated the Washington Redskins to end a 19-game losing streak dating back to December, 2007.

Daily Weather Observations from SW Alabama for Sat., Sept. 27, 2014

Temp: 67.1 degrees F.

Rainfall (past 24 hours): 0.00 inches

Humidity: 86 percent (Humid)

Conditions: Overcast skies; birds audible and visible;dogs audible; security lights still on in the distance.

Barometric pressure: 29.58 inHg.

Week to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Month to Date Rainfall: 3.85 inches

Fall to Date Rainfall: 0.00 inches

Year to Date Rainfall: 50.45 inches

NOTES: Today is the 270th day of 2014 and the sixth day of Fall. There are 95 days left in the year.

Readings taken at 0700 hrs Central Standard Time (1300 GMT) daily, just west of the Monroe-Conecuh County line, near Excel, Alabama, USA, in the vicinity of Lat 31.42834°N Lon 87.30131°W. Elevation: 400 feet above sea level. CoCoRaHS Station No. AL-MN-4, Station Name: Excel 2.5 ESE. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Eight UFOs were reported in Alabama during month of August 2014

Two UFOs photographed on Aug. 10 near Mt. Cheaha.
It’s the last week of the month, so this week I’m giving you an update on UFO reports in Alabama from the previous month, courtesy of the Mutual UFO Network.

A search for UFO reports in Alabama between Aug. 1 and Aug. 31 on MUFON’s website, www.mufon.com, resulted in eight reports from within our state during that time.

The first incident occurred on Sun., Aug. 3, around 9:25 p.m. in Hanceville in Cullman County. The witness in this case was an amateur astronomer who was looking at the moon through a telescope when he noticed an unusual light near the upper portion of the moon. He watched the light grow brighter and then two more lights appeared on the lower right portion of the moon, where it was dark.

The witness said the lights were oblong-shaped, appeared to come out of a shaft or tube and pointed in different directions. The witness, who called the lights “very weird and unsettling,” said he’d seen a lot of things in the night sky before but had no explanation for these unusual lights.

The second incident occurred during the daylight hours on Mon., Aug. 4, in Fort Payne in DeKalb County. The witness in this case was taking pictures of the clouds overhead and when he downloaded his pictures he noticed something unusual. In three of the photos, you could see a round, black object that appeared to be hovering inside one of the clouds.

The third incident occurred during the day on Sun., Aug. 10, in Munford in Talladega County. The witness in this case was standing at the end of the Pulpit Rock Trail at Cheaha State Park and was taking pictures of the mountain slope topped by the Cheaha Mountain Restaurant. Suddenly and without warning, he saw two, “fuzzy-looking disks, flitting around in the sky” over the restaurant.

Both objects eventually “streaked away to the north at incredible velocity.” The objects were gray, made no noise and appeared to fly in a pattern as if searching for something. The witness said he was “amazed and stunned” to see such a thing.

The fourth incident occurred on Mon., Aug. 18, around 6:14 a.m. in Rainbow City in Etowah County. The witness in this case was looking east in the direction of Gadsden when he saw a “black, orb-like thing floating up towards the south.” At first he thought it was a balloon, but as he watched, it’s shape changed.

“It went from the orb shape to a flat shape,” the witness said. The object traveled slower than a plane, but was fast “like a helicopter searching for something.” The object then began to hover over something to the southeast, and after a few minutes, it flew north and began to hover once more. As a storm approached, the object was absorbed by the cloud cover and it completely disappeared after five to 10 minutes.

The fifth incident occurred later that same day, around 10:30 p.m., near Russellville in Franklin County. The witness in this case was driving south on U.S. Highway 43 when he saw a sudden series of green and blue flashes to the southeast. As the witness slowed down, he watched as the clouds began to glow “with lights that seemed to be scanning outward.”

As he continued to watch, he saw an object descend beneath the clouds, and the object radiated two beams of “circular, maybe slightly oval, lights in two parallel lines.” The witness said the “light show” continued for sometime before the object flew away to the southeast. Five or 10 minutes later, as the witness began to enter Russellville on Highway 43, the strange object reappeared in the sky, but disappeared a short time later.

The sixth incident occurred on Thurs., Aug. 21, around 8:30 p.m. in Florence in Lauderdale County. The witnesses in this case saw two separate lights that looked like stars, but moved rapidly across the sky and in different directions before fading from view. At first, the witnesses thought the objects were shooting stars, but ruled this out because they were visible for far too long and moved too far across the night sky in a short amount of time. The reporting witness said the sighting made him “nervous” and that the incident “was just eerie.”

The seventh incident occurred on Fri., Aug. 22, around 3:30 a.m. in Killen in Lauderdale County. The witness in this case was standing outside smoking when he looked to the south and saw a flash of light. The light started out about the size of a star, but as he watched it brightened and grew to “about the size of a dime fully extended at arm’s reach.” The light then shrank back to its original size, went black and disappeared.

Less than 10 seconds later, the star-sized light reappeared further to the east. He watched as it brightened and “lit up the sky, like a burst of light” before disappearing once more. The witness in this case also reported feeling nervous, scared and excited, and goose bumps broke out all over his body, he said.
The eighth incident occurred on Thurs., Aug. 28, around 8:45 p.m. in Homewood in Jefferson County. The witness in this case reported seeing a “solid, bright, white, circular-shaped object” move silently across the sky over a five-minute period. The witness watched as it flew down to the level of nearby power lines, and faded to black “as if it had a dimmer switch and slowly turned it down.”

Before closing out this week, I just want to put it out there again that I would be very interested to hear from anyone who have witnessed a UFO, especially in Conecuh County. I think a lot of other people would be interested in hearing your story too, and I’m willing to accept your report anonymously. You can contact me by e-mail at courantsports@earthlink.net or by phone at 578-1492.

Today in History for Sept. 26, 2014

Indian Springs Baptist Church historical marker.
Sept. 26, 1834 – Indian Springs Baptist Church petitionary letter presented to the Baptist Association meeting in Monroe County, Ala.

Sept. 26, 1861 – The Perry Walker Rangers, a Confederate cavalry unit, departed Monroeville under the command of T.H. Malden of Monroeville.

Sept. 26, 1863 – During the Civil War, a skirmish occurred at Hunt's Mill, near Larkinsville in Jackson County, Ala.

Sept. 26, 1864 - Confederate General Sterling Price invaded Missouri and attacked the Union garrison at Pilot Knob.

Sept. 26, 1864 - A guerilla band of 200 gathered under William "Bloody Bill" Anderson near the town of Centralia, Missouri. The next morning Anderson led 30 guerillas into the town and looted the community and terrorized residents.
Sept. 26, 1872 – The first Shriners Temple (called Mecca) was established in New York City.

Sept. 26, 1888 – Poet T.S. Eliot was born in St. Louis, Mo.

Sept. 26, 1905 – Holdings of the Bear Creek Mill Co. were sold to V.J. Herlong and the United Lumber Co.

Sept. 26, 1908 - Ed Eulbach of the Chicago Cubs became the first baseball player to pitch both games of a doubleheader and win both with shutouts.

Sept. 26, 1914 – The George W. Foster Camp No. 407, United Confederate Veterans, met in Monroeville to elect delegates for the upcoming state reunion in Mobile.

Sept. 26, 1919 - The St. Louis Browns defeated the New York Yankees 6-2 in a game that lasted 55 minutes. The game was the second game of a doubleheader.

Sept. 26, 1930 – H.P. Lovecraft completed “The Whisperer in Darkness,” which was originally published in the August 1931 issue of Weird Tales.

Sept. 26, 1934 - The RMS Queen Mary was launched. After the ocean liner was permanently docked in Long Beach, Calif., reports of ghosts and paranormal activity emerged. The most haunted section of the ship is said to be the engine room where a young sailor was crushed to death.

Sept. 26, 1957 – Future major league first baseman and Leroy native Kelvin Orlando Moore was born. He would go on to play three seasons for the Oakland A’s.

Sept. 26, 1957 – Lyeffion High School was scheduled to open their 1957 football season against Beatrice High School at Lyeffion, but that game was not played because the flu “laid low about half of the Eagle squad.”

Sept. 26, 1958 – Alabama baseball great Virgil Trucks, then a pitcher for the New York Yankees, appeared in his final major league baseball game.

Sept. 26, 1962 - Maury Wills of the Los Angeles Dodgers became the first player to steal 100 bases in a season. He ended the season with 104.

Sept. 26, 1969 – Air Force A1C Michael David Gunnels of Andalusia was killed in action in Vietnam.

Sept. 26, 1971 – Marine Sgt. Charles Wayne Turberville, 21, of Finchburg was killed while on duty at the American Embassy in Phnom Penhm, Cambodia during a Khmer Rouge terrorist attack. Born on July 17, 1950, he graduated from Monroe County High School, joined the Marines and became a member of the prestigious Marine Security Guard Battalion. He was buried at Bryant Cemetery at Finchburg.

Sept. 26, 1971 - Baltimore Orioles pitcher Jim Palmer wins his 20th game of the year, becoming the fourth Orioles pitcher to win 20 games in the 1971 season. This made the 1971 Orioles pitching staff the first since that of the 1920 Chicago White Sox to field four 20-game winners. The other 20-game winners were Dave McNally, Mike Cuellar and Pat Dobson.

Sept. 26, 1972 – Conecuh County Superitendent of Education Harvey G. Pate resigned and was replaed by Wayne Pope, who was appointed to fill Pate’s unexpired term by the Conecuh County Board of Education.

Sept. 26, 1981 - Nolan Ryan of the Houston Astros became the first player to pitch five no-hitters with a 5-0 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Sept. 26, 1987 – Conecuh County native Thomas Watson Spence, 79, of Montgomery passed away in a Montgomery hospital. He was a former Macon County Superintendent of Education and former sales representative for Scott-Forman Book Co.

Sept. 26, 1998 - Mark McGwire hit home runs 67 and 68 for the season.

Sept. 26, 1998 - Dennis Eckersly of the Boston Red Sox appeared in his 1,071st game.

Sept. 26, 2002 – Weather reporter Harry Ellis reported 1.18 inches of rain in Evergreen, Ala.