News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Feds, football, children make day off a must

Morgan County Superintendent of Education Don Murphy received several requests to change the school calendar because it required teachers to return from Christmas holidays on Monday.

They noted that Jan. 2 is a federal holiday, but school board President Tom Earwood said jokingly, "They just wanted off because Alabama and Auburn are playing (football in bowl games)."

He wasn't far from the truth, Bayne Hughes observes. One teacher wrote in an e-mail to Director of Secondary Education Carolyn Ellinger that she needs to be off because her husband wants to watch football, so he won't be able to control their two children.

The board made Jan. 2 an off day, but now Feb. 17 becomes a work day instead of a snow day.

Sour on sweet potatoes

The Rev. Mike Stonbraker of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church hates sweet potatoes.

Melanie Smith says he called them the devil's root, a ground fungus and poison, among other things, in a column. "I can't understand," he wrote, "how you can be so loving yet your taste buds be so dull as to endure such pain and agony as sweet potato casserole or sweet potato pie ..."

He even said they smell like his old sneakers.

Mike didn't end on a sour note, though. He put in a plug for the good old Idaho spud as "the other white meat."

False alarm

Decatur police went to investigate a possible dead body on Norris Mill Road, Seth Burkett reports.

No chalk outline or call to the coroner was necessary. It was a scarecrow lying in the middle of the road. Police removed it.

A gift for the mayor

"What happens when a fat guy sits sideways in a chair and says, 'Hey, hey, hey' instead of 'Ho, ho, ho?' " Hartselle Mayor Dwight Tankersley asked.

"He falls on the ground," a councilman responded.

Dwight, who jokes about gaining too much weight, ended up on the floor at a luncheon.

Deangelo McDaniel says that a couple of days later, city employees gave him a stronger chair wrapped with red ribbons.

Lost and found

Wednesday's column mentioned a 1967 Decatur High School class ring found in Florida, owner unknown. Here's another lost-ring story.

Todd Ondell lost his gold wedding band while helping pack 240 holiday baskets for the Downtown Rotary Club in La Crosse, Wis.

Jeff Rood of nearby La Crescent, Minn., found it in the bottom of a fruit basket, The Associated Press reports.

Jeff got it back to Todd, who made a donation to the club in honor of Jeff and the person who bought the fruit basket for his family.

"It's nice to know miracles still happen at Christmas," Jeff said.

Send stories for You Don't Say to or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444. Or write 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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