News from the Tennessee Valley Living Today

Cathy D. Wahl

Decatur businesses are using nickel "roscoe" machines...

From the archives of THE DECATUR DAILY:

75 Years Ago

March 3-9, 1930

Decatur businesses are using nickel "roscoe" machines to help pay their overhead expenses. Police Committee Chairman C.D. Patterson pointed out that people who patronize the machines are those who can ill afford to waste money. But other City Council members said the machines are licenses as vending machines, paying off in mints, gum or other merchandise, as well as an occasional valuable chip.

Fred Durham, Ruth Green and Edward Cocke won an oratorical contest at Hazlewood High School.

50 Years Ago

March 6-12, 1955

Southern Airways filed a request with the Civil Aeronautics Board to give airline service to Decatur, Memphis, Atlanta, Jackson, Tenn., Nashville and alternate points of Anniston or Gadsden. President Frank Hulse said the application is to provide service here for two round trips each day from Decatur to Nashville and from Decatur to Gadsden to Atlanta.

Priceville High School captured the state Class A basketball title from defending champion Corner 43-41. The lead changed 10 times during the game. John Thompson, Priceville center, inspired the tournament's most valuable player, Rex Frederick of Corner, to four fouls. Jimmy Bennett was high scorer for Priceville with 13. Winton had 12.

Judy Rowland, Linda Holt, Pat Haney, Janice Sellers and Reecie Rice, Girl Scouts of Troop 20, demonstrated homemaking skills during Girl Scout Week. Troop 27 presented an Easter fashion show. Jan Lacy, Andy Hill, Eloise Holt, Douglas Ann Thrasher, Anne Edwards, Jean Lorenza, Beth Belew, Becky Minor and Mary Propst are a few of the models. Troop 23 members Suegene Elkins, Jan Gober, Bobbie Mae Banks, Mary Helen Hurst, Sue Carrell, Lynne Fisher and Judy Sanderson demonstrated first aid skills. Brownie Troop 1 members Sandra Wade, Martha Patton, Nikki Chenault, Cindy Abernathy, Virginia Glenn, Sherry McClendon and Susan Lee Fite explored a map for International Friendship Day. Troop 2 intermediate scouts Betty Cox, Thalia Bolton, Sylvia Chapman, Dian Wells and Pamela Browning learned textile painting.

Decatur High School seniors are practicing constantly for their "Scrambles" on Friday. Gerry Sivley is directing the chorus line. Leo Wright is directing musical numbers featuring Virginia Hudson, Thomas Barnett, George Godwin and Betty Dillashaw.

Despite a crowd in opposition, the Decatur City Council rezoned an area in Southeast Decatur to allow a shopping center in a residential district. The area is a tract of land east of 16th Avenue and mostly south of 11th Street Southeast. The $1 million center should have a grocery store, department store, bank, drugstore, dress shop, bakery, five and ten cent store, barber and beauty shop and laundry.

Joshua Jones of Dogwood Flat won top prize in a spelling bee for Limestone County's Negro schools. Other school champions were Irene King, Oscar Rogers, Louise Griffith, Almeta Vance, William James Harris, Herman Coleman, Fannie Garth, L.V. Bailey, Martha Sanford, Walter Pryor, Lawrence Washington, Bettye Caudle, H.C. Davis, Marcella Trotter, Bettie Maberry, Charlotte Lucas, Carrie Stewart, Annie Stanley, Sandra Yarbrough, William Harris, Edna Pryor, Martha Short and Madge Nicols.

25 Years Ago

March 2-8, 1980

Gusty north winds turned the Tennessee Valley into an icebox Saturday, with ice-coated streets and transmission lines.

Three unexpected shutdowns of a reactor at Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant cost the Tennessee Valley Authority $2.84 million. The FBI is investigating shutdowns that occurred in February and the suspensions of eight Browns Ferry employees that followed Thursday.

The Athens Golden Eagles saw their hopes of a 4A state basketball championship dashed as they lost to Shades Valley 50-36.

10 Years Ago

March 5-11, 1995

Decatur High School's Lady Raiders won their fourth state championship in six seasons, cruising past Daphne High 71-47. But it was their first championship without Yolanda Watkins and Shondra Fuller, who both eventually signed with The University of Alabama. Decatur's Gretchen Carter, Lekeshia "Peaches" Smith, Inezza Mosley and Final Four Most Valuable Player Von Kirk led the championship under Coach Mike Smith. And most of the players will return. Melba Lewis is the only senior this year.

Decatur's Susan Hamilton, who owns a modeling agency here, will move to Los Angeles to take a position with Walt Disney.

Roland Martin, 54, host of "Fishing with Roland Martin" on The Nashville Network, was unhurt when the Ranger bass boat he and a partner were fishing out of sank in four feet of water about two miles downstream from Decatur Boat Harbor.

Decatur General Hospital opened the city's first parking deck.

— Compiled by

Cathy D. Wahl

THE DECATUR DAILY welcomes the loan of any photos depicting people, places and events from Lawrence, Limestone and Morgan counties for each Sunday's "Valley of Years Past" column.

Photos will be returned.

Contact the Living Today department at 353-4612, or Cathy D. Wahl at 350-6983 or

Cathy D. Wahl Cathy D. Wahl
DAILY Staff Writer

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