News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists
SUNDAY, JULY 3, 2005

Steve Stewart

Blackboard screech is turkey talk

Blackboards were a dusty part of education days gone by. Most newer classrooms feature white boards that use markers instead of chalk.

So there was no interest in saving the blackboards at Gordon-Bibb Elementary School before its demolition — at least not for the classroom.

As trackhoe operator Farris Grissom looked over the building he would demolish, he told Bayne Hughes that blackboard materials, which produce the earth's most annoying noise when fingernails are raked down them, make great turkey calls.

"I could get thousands of turkey calls out of all of the blackboards here," Farris said.

Beating the heat

If you want to shorten a business meeting, Paul Huggins suggests serving ice cream.

Wade Weaver, treasurer for the Decatur-Morgan County Convention and Visitors Bureau, sped through his financial report when the board met over lunch.

"My ice cream was melting," Wade explained before digging into his bowl of vanilla served over warm peach cobbler.

Looking ahead

Carrie Johnson, 23, of Hartselle, a teacher who directs fourth- and fifth-graders in the chorus club at Priceville Elementary School, views her career long range.

She told Ronnie Thomas she does not want to limit herself to "always staying in the classroom," and she'd like to pursue a doctorate.

She respects school administrators, but doesn't want to be one. She hopes to study the way students learn and to focus on teaching strategies that support the cognitive development of the child.

"In the school system, I would probably be in curriculum development or an educational psychologist," she said.

That would be sweet music for any school system.

A ride to the top

A limousine ride may have helped motivate an Athens team to win the National Softball Association state championship, Holly Hollman reports.

Marty Bruce, coach of the 10-and-under team, said he promised the girls he would rent a limo to take them to the end-of-the season swim party if they won the tournament.

They beat six teams to attain the title.

"I guess I'll be searching for a limo to rent," Marty said.

Your dollars at work

Decatur residents' power bills are helping the folks in dry counties, Martin Burkey observes.

The City Council is asking the Legislature to pass a bill allowing draft beer sales here. Decatur Utilities officials noted that the same Legislature favors dry counties in distributing money.

The Tennessee Valley Authority makes in-lieu-of-tax payments to each state in the TVA region, and each state distributes the money to counties. In Alabama, the state keeps 20 percent and distributes 75 percent to TVA-served counties.

The remaining 5 percent goes to counties not served by TVA whose local laws prohibit the sale of alcohol.

"There's some logic in that, but it escapes me," DU General Manager Kem Carr said. "If you don't have alcohol and you're not served by TVA, you like TVA."

DAILY Weekend Editor Steve Stewart compiles and edits You Don't Say. If you have an item of community interest, call Steve at 340-2444, e-mail him at, or write to You Don't Say, THE DECATUR DAILY, P.O. Box 2213, Decatur, AL 35609. DAILY staff members contribute many of the items you see here.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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