News from the Tennessee Valley Columnists

Steve Stewart

Egg won't fry, but try cookie baking in car

Two Decatur Heritage Christian Academy seniors saw an article in The Daily where reporter Paul Huggins tried without success to fry eggs on pavement.

Brent Denson and Bo Godwin decided to try baking cookies in their cars during the over-100-degree weather.

Each took a pan of cookies. Brent placed his in the trunk of his car and Bo placed his on his dashboard to bake during class. They put the cookies in to bake about 9:30 a.m., and they were ready to eat at 2 p.m.

Lisa Denson, Brent’s mother, reported this event. She says it’s a good way to save on your electric bill.

A history of heat

Record-breaking heat, drought and threats to crops all made headlines during the summer — and not just in 2007.

The same sort of headlines appeared in The Daily in 1936.

In doing other research, Melanie Smith came across the reports in July and August of that year.

An editor back then even wrote that he couldn’t believe Texas was having floods.

Fire seen round the world

Pamela Milligan of Decatur got a surprise when daughter Becky called from the other side of the world to ask about the Aug. 1 Chick-fil-A restaurant fire in Decatur.

Becky is on the island of Guam in the Pacific. She said a picture captioned “Grilled chicken” appeared in Stars and Stripes, a daily newspaper published for the U.S. military, contractors and families.

Naming a penguin

Caitlin Crowley of Decatur named Iggie, the youngest macaroni penguin at Penguin’s Rock, which is part of the Tennessee Aquarium in Chattanooga.

Iggie is one of eight male penguins who, along with seven females, got their names from an Internet contest. Judges went through more than 8,200 entries, carefully matching the names with the amusing traits of individual birds.

Caitlin won a pass to the aquarium to see Iggie. You can see the birds anytime via live webcam at

Inspired by magic

After Danielle Komis Palmer’s July story ran in the Living Today section about Decatur’s retired magician Elmer “Newdini” Newman, Danielle received an e-mail.

Mark “Robbie the Ringmaster” Pettey in Naples, Fla., thanked her for the story.

“I saw him perform at Austinville Elementary when I was a student there in the 1960s,” wrote the 1977 Austin High School graduate.

“He was one of the early inspirations that led me to my current career of performing magic for children.”

World record for hugs?

College student Jordan Pearce, 18, hugged 765 people in the hot sun in less than an hour, hoping to top a Guinness World Record of 612.

“I feel like I’m on cloud nine,” Jordan said after the last hug in Provo, Utah.

She and her family applied to Guinness with detailed plans. A judge and a state senator counted the hugs, which required arms and hands wrapped around.

One man spilled a drink on Jordan. A little girl refused to let go of her blue sucker, and a little boy kicked and screamed, not wanting to hug a stranger, The Associated Press reported.

Send stories for You Don’t Say to, or call Weekend Editor Steve Stewart at 340-2444.

Steve Stewart Steve Stewart
DAILY Weekend Editor

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