Friday, January 20, 2017


*Basketball @ Home; 4 pm

*MG, MB - old gym
*JVG, JVB, VG, VB - new gym
*Rebecca Inman, Softball First Team All-State, will be honored between varsity games.
Council on Aging staff will present introductory session for “Matter of Balance” exercise class, dominoes, billiards, TV, joker and other games, 8:30 a.m.

Majestic Chapel, at 21315 Hays Mill Road, Elkmont, is holding a revival Jan. 18-21. Tobey Lacewell of Huntland, Tennessee, is featured Jan. 18-19, and Ryan Wilburn of Danville and the Heartfelt Trio singers are featured Jan. 20-21. The public is invited. More information: Pastor Mike Webster 256-431-8038

*Hound Dog Half Marathon @ 8 am 

Youth Basketball Games  

*Limestone County Tournament

*Baseball Work Day @ high school field; 10:30 am 

Majestic Chapel, at 21315 Hays Mill Road, Elkmont, is holding a revival Jan. 18-21. Tobey Lacewell of Huntland, Tennessee, is featured Jan. 18-19, and Ryan Wilburn of Danville and the Heartfelt Trio singers are featured Jan. 20-21. The public is invited. More information: Pastor Mike Webster 256-431-8038 
*Count Your Blessings, One By One


It sounds like having a school district representative of our own may be bearing fruits.  Earlier this year, hope for a new elementary school looked dim. If you missed that article, here is the link, THE FIRST SHALL BE THE LAST. It will fill you in what was the status in August. Since then Ronald Christ Jr., first representative of the newly established Elkmont district has been sworn in. It may have already been in the works but much needed improvements to the football and baseball fields have now been approved.  Other capital projects on the agenda are renovations to bathrooms and other minor school improvements to be completed this summer. School officials discussed last year the possibility of building a new stadium at Elkmont, estimating the cost at $3 million to $5 million but we are thrilled that any improvements will be made.

Now there is news of the possibility of a new elementary school to be built at Elkmont Rural Village on Alabama 127. Do we dare hope that after twenty years of promises, something might actually be built?

In an Decatur article published this week, Major Construction Planned for Elkmont, Limestone County School District Superintendent Tom Sisk was quoted as saying ...  “Hopefully, in a year or so, we’ll be having a more candid conversation about the new Elkmont Elementary School.” Candid means honest, not optimistic or hopeful. Might it be true? Don't get your hopes up. Only time will tell. There is an old saying about wishes....


January 18, 2017
In this MegaVote for Alabama's 5th Congressional District:
Recent Congressional Votes
  • Senate: Fiscal 2017 Budget Resolution-Klobuchar Amendment Concerning Drug Importation
  • Senate: Fiscal 2017 Budget Resolution
  • Senate: Gen. James Mattis Secretary of Defense Waiver
  • House: Private Market Investors
  • House: Regulatory Accountability
  • House: SEC Cost-Benefit Analyses
  • House: CFTC Reauthorization
  • House: Fiscal 2017 Budget Resolution
  • House: Gen. James Mattis Secretary of Defense Waiver
Upcoming Congressional Bills
  • Senate: GAO Access and Oversight

Editor's Note: The House is out of session until Jan. 20 when they will meet for a pro forma session.

Recent Senate Votes
Fiscal 2017 Budget Resolution-Klobuchar Amendment Concerning Drug Importation - Vote Rejected (46-52, 2 Not Voting)

The amendment would establish a deficit-neutral reserve fund relating to lower prescription drug prices for Americans by importing drugs from Canada.

Sen. Richard Shelby voted NO
Sen. Jeff Sessions voted Not Voting

Fiscal 2017 Budget Resolution - Vote Agreed to (51-48, 1 Not Voting)

The concurrent resolution would trigger the budget reconciliation process and enable the subsequent consideration of reconciliation legislation to repeal major portions of the 2010 health law. The measure would provide instructions to two Senate and two House committees to cut a minimum of $1 billion each during the next 10 years as part of budget reconciliation.

Sen. Richard Shelby voted YES
Sen. Jeff Sessions voted YES

Gen. James Mattis Secretary of Defense Waiver - Vote Passed (81-17, 2 Not Voting)

The bill would provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces.

Sen. Richard Shelby voted YES
Sen. Jeff Sessions voted YES

Recent House Votes
Private Market Investors - Vote Passed (344-73, 17 Not Voting)

The bill would expand the circumstances under which events where businesses offer unregistered securities in the private market would not be considered "general solicitations" that otherwise require the issuer to verify that the individuals attending the events are accredited investors.

Rep. Mo Brooks voted YES

Regulatory Accountability - Vote Passed (238-183, 13 Not Voting)

The bill would modify the federal rule-making process with a focus on reducing the possible economic costs of federal regulations, allowing more legal challenges to rules and increasing transparency. Among its provisions, it would require agencies to estimate the cost of proposed regulations and consider lower-cost alternatives, creating additional steps that agencies must follow when proposing "major" or "high impact" rules, including an opportunity for the public to challenge agency justifications and findings. It also automatically would postpone the implementation of new federal rules costing $1 billion or more until all legal challenges are resolved, and it effectively would overturn two Supreme Court decisions that require courts to give substantial deference to an agency's interpretation of a rule or underlying law.

Rep. Mo Brooks voted YES

SEC Cost-Benefit Analyses - Vote Passed (243-184, 7 Not Voting)

The bill would require the Securities and Exchange Commission to conduct cost-benefit analyses of new regulatory proposals and existing rules, and to modify or rescind those found to have a negative impact.

Rep. Mo Brooks voted YES

CFTC Reauthorization - Vote Passed (239-182, 13 Not Voting)

The bill would reauthorize operations of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission through fiscal 2021 and amend the 2010 financial regulatory overhaul law to modify and clarify how the CFTC is to regulate derivatives and swaps. Among its provisions, it would ease certain regulatory requirements to ensure that some "end users" of derivatives are not regulated as swaps dealers, require the CFTC to conduct cost-benefit analyses of its proposed rules and allow for the development of rules regarding the interaction of U.S. swaps rules to international requirements.

Rep. Mo Brooks voted YES

Fiscal 2017 Budget Resolution - Vote Passed (227-198, 10 Not Voting)

The concurrent resolution would trigger the budget reconciliation process and enable the subsequent consideration of reconciliation legislation to repeal major portions of the 2010 health law. The measure would provide instructions to two Senate and two House committees to cut a minimum of $1 billion each during the next 10 years as part of budget reconciliation.

Rep. Mo Brooks voted YES

Gen. James Mattis Secretary of Defense Waiver - Vote Passed (268-151, 1 Present, 14 Not Voting)

The bill that would provide for an exception to a limitation against appointment of persons as secretary of Defense within seven years of relief from active duty as a regular commissioned officer of the Armed Forces.

Rep. Mo Brooks voted YES


A southern minister was completing a temperance sermon. With great statement he said, "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river." With even greater emphasis he said, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river!" And then finally, he said, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river!"

Sermon complete, he then sat down. The song leader stood very cautiously and announced with a smile, "For our closing song, let us sing Hymn #365: 'Shall We Gather at the River.'"

Thursday, January 19, 2017


I am so excited and honored to be competing in the Miss UNA pageant this upcoming week. 

Each contestant has a platform of her choice to promote and bring awareness through within the community. My platform is “Together We Rise – An innovation in Foster Care”. Foster children have a special place in my heart. People would be shocked at how many children are in the foster care system just in our own communities. 

What is even more heartbreaking is some literally grow up in the system and at a certain age are faced with encountering the real world when they have not been given the chance to have someone to help them and guide them in the way I, and so many others, have been blessed to receive. This is why I am so passionate about my platform. Everyone deserves a mentor. Someone to look up to. Someone to love them. 

One of my missions this past month was to sponsor as many foster and homeless children as I could for the holidays. With help from donations and wonderful hospitality of others, I was able to personally sponsor two foster children in Limestone county and help multiple others in Lauderdale county through the “Stuff A Bus” toy drive. 

I donated, distributed, and even was able to deliver gifts to the families through Stuff A Bus. It was by far the most heartwarming and humbling experience I have encountered thus far. 

Another portion of the competition is talent. For my talent, I will be performing a clogging routine to the song “Wings” by Little Mix. Like the chorus of this song states, “Spread your wings my little butterfly”, I hope my story and actions motivate someone else to venture out and “spread their wings”. 

As many of you have already seen, each contestant also designs a ring with the help of Creative Jewelers in Florence. Creative Jewelers sponsors the pageant and in return gives a special gift to the winner with the most likes on her picture with her ring design, which is posted on their facebook page. Not only does the person with the most likes get a prize, but the new Miss UNA 2017 receives her custom design ring for FREE compliments of Creative Jewelers! 

Aside from the jewelry, pampering, and scholarships the Miss UNA pageant brings, the best reward of all has to be the experience. I have been able to learn new things and challenge myself in ways I would have never been able to before. 

So many doors have been opened and new people to call my friends, but seeing all the wonderful support back home brings a tear to my eye. Thank you from the bottom of my heart! Love you all! Go Red Devils and Roar Lions!

*When you get there "like" her ring design photo to help her win the ring contest.

Join us Saturday January 21st at 7:00p.m. at Norton Auditorium for the 43rd Miss UNA Scholarship Pageant Sponsored by SGA and Creative Jewelers. Tickets are on-sale now at! $12 Online, and $15 at the door. Students may redeem a complimentary ticket from the Office of Student Engagement from January 9th until January 20th. 

The Miss UNA Scholarship Pageant is an official preliminary for the Miss Alabama/Miss America Pageant. The Miss UNA Scholarship pageant has been a UNA tradition for over 40 years. 
Each young woman is encouraged and mentored to develop skills that will enrich her personal and professional life beyond her university experience. Miss University of North Alabama spends her year in service to the university and Shoals Area community promoting the platform of her choice, makes official appearances as a university representative, and represents the university at the Miss Alabama Scholarship Pageant.


We are excited here in Elkmont as we spruce up our yard and tidy up the porch to welcome visitors to one of our popular annual events next week. Just received word from Coach Pugh that Elkmont is going to be packed for the Hound Dog Half.  Over 400 runners are pre-registered for the race as of January 5.   

*Packet pickup is Friday Jan 20 from 4-7 pm at the Elkmont Town Hall (18890 Upper Fort Hampton Rd, Elkmont, AL 35620) or race morning from 6:00 am to 7:45 am.
On February 18 (race was moved from January 21) our town will grow by at least 400 people. The Hound Dog 1/2 is bringing a lot of out of town people to our home. We want to show them our hospitality. We would love to have the community come out and support the runners or volunteer to help in the race. The race begins at 8 am downtown. If you would like to volunteer or just come out to show your support we will all be downtown at the Town Hall at 7 am. Hope to see you there!

The race route will start up upper Fort Hampton, turns left on Pettusville Road to Stateline Road, then Veto from the Tennessee state line back to the trail. The homestretch is the five miles back to town.   

This will slow traffic down in the downtown area for some time; consider detouring around Elkmont until 11 am. Parking is very limited and will be at the churches and any where you can find a place.  If you live in Elkmont, it may be so much easier to walk.

Hill Spirit Hint: This is unofficial but...  High School and Elkmont Park parking lots may be your best bet to find a place for your car for the event.  It is a tenth of a mile up the hill from downtown.  

Horseback riders: 
You would enjoy your ride more if you start at the Athens end of the trail.  There probably will not be any parking for your trailers in downtown Elkmont.  The Athens trailhead will be your best bet.  The race will be using the trail north of Elkmont. After 11 am, race runners will be off the trail. 

There is still more to do so spend the day with us.  We have several wonderful shops that are well worth a look. Be sure to stop by and visit PaperTrail Antiques, Sugar Bucket and Aardvark Tees. Downtown Elkmont also has the nationally known Belle Chevre Creamery  and Cheese Tasting Shop.  Take a tour and try out their goat cheese or grab a bit to eat at the shop.

Chicken stew is provided for all the runners at the end by our own Whitney Hollingsworth's business, Runnrgirl.

Gin House is located about 1 mile to the west of the downtown area.  It specializes in BBQ and country cookin'. 

Hey all you animal lovers! We will be having Friends of Rescue and Friends of Athens-Limestone Animal Shelter Volunteer Team at the race on Saturday morning with dogs and cats that are available for adoption! Stop by and see them!


Need to be on same page when it comes to kids. On Sundays, I sit on the same pew with my small nephew. When he needs to go to the rest room, he says out loud, "I need to pee, I need to pee" until someone takes him out. After a few week of this, my wife came up with the idea of telling him not to say "pee" out loud, instead say "whisper" instead of "pee". And how did that work out you ask? Not so good because my wife didn't inform me of the word change. So last Sunday, he was sitting beside me when he stood up in the pew, looked at me and loudly said "I got to whisper, I got to whisper." To which I turned my head and said, "Here do it in MY EAR."

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Three students from Limestone County Career Technical Center are being praised by school district officials and industry officials after earning industry certification usually sought by college seniors. Two of the students were from Elkmont High School, Coleman Cook, a senior

and Riley Cook, a sophomore. 

The brothers were recently awarded the Certified LabVIEW Associate Developer title by National Instruments.

This certification, which is given to programmers proficient in programming language specific to engineering programs, has only been granted to nine high school students in the nation. Casey Wigginton, test proctor and tech school instructor, said “It's very exciting. I'm optimistic about more people getting certified.”

Wigginton explained EFI, who owns Electricfil in Elkmont, came to him and asked if he'd consider proctoring the exam and allowing his students to train for the test because the company has difficulty finding enough certified employees. Coleman Cook is now a paid intern with EFI and spends three days a week working at the company on LabView programs.
Limestone County Schools Superintendent Tom Sisk said he's proud of the boys' academic success, because it further shows Limestone's tech school is a place for students to be challenged and earn skills that will take them far after graduation.

“They're taking a test they wouldn't normally take until they're a senior in college,” he said. “I am extremely proud of this accomplishment.”

For more from the Athens News Courier article, Career Tech Students Earn Certification

Monday, January 16, 2017


The Limestone County Board of Education has awarded the construction contract on Boss Hill Stadium and Blake Jones field to Consolidated Construction of Huntsville, AL.   

The question I am hearing the most is “When will they start?”  The bid documents did not give a beginning of construction date, only stating construction should be finished by July 30, 2017.  It also states the work on Blake Jones field cannot start until after May 15th due to the upcoming baseball season.  After the contracts have been signed, there will be a pre-construction meeting at which time a date to begin will be set.

click on picture to enlarge

What is going to occur?  All new lights and light poles on Boss Hill stadium will be installed.  The construction will also concentrate on the east (home) side of the stadium.  The field will remain where it is, but the home side fence will move back for a larger out of bounds area.   

The visitor/middle school dressing room will be demolished along with the press box and all home side bleachers.  The existing concrete pad will be removed as well.  A 20’x27’ addition will be added to the east end of the existing field house.  A new set of bleachers will be added beginning around the 5 yard line on the north end and extending to the 25 yard line on the south end.  

The new grand stand will include 11 rows of bleachers, a reserved section with 100 stadium seats, stairs with handrails, a large press box, and ramps and spaces for wheelchair accessibility.   

On the southeast corner of the field, there will be a new 2500 square foot building containing a new concession stand, men’s and women’s restrooms, and a new middle school/visitor/baseball dressing room. This new facility will be situated in a manner where baseball can use the dressing room, bathrooms and concession stand.  

The backstop on Blake Jones field will be removed from dugout to dugout and replaced with netting above a brick 30” tall wall. There will be new concrete poured over the existing concrete bleachers with aluminum bleachers added.  There will also be a new press box exclusively for baseball.  We will be adding a lot of concrete with ramps to make the field level wheelchair accessible.

This is a brief overview of an extensive project estimated to approach $1.7 million.   I appreciate people’s interest and I welcome emails at

Ronald Christ,
Elkmont District Limestone County School Board Member


James Shelby Clem, 81, died Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017. He was born Oct. 31, 1935. Visitation for Mr. Clem was on Sunday, January 15, from 1 to 2 p.m. with a service at 2 p.m. at Ridout’s Brown-Service Funeral Home Chapel. Gary Patton and Tim Sutton officiated. Burial was private.

He is survived by his wife of 55 years, Marguerite Clemons Clem; two daughters, Anne Clem Whitaker of Raleigh, North Carolina (Trampas Whitaker) and Dr. Christi Clem Smith (Dr. Jeremy Smith) of Birmingham, and his son, Steve Clem, who is deceased. He has three brothers, Doris, Harold and Bobby Clem. He is survived by eight grandchildren, Mason and Chad Whitaker; Connor, Colby and Ella Smith; and Caroline, Allie and Sam Clem.
He attended school at Elkmont High School and graduated in 1953. He was drafted into the U.S. Army in 1959 and served honorably, but his tour was extended in 1961 during the Cuban Missile Crisis. He attended Calhoun College through the GI Bill. He was a Christian, who was baptized into the church in 1980. He was a longtime member of the Somerville Road Church of Christ. He loved Nascar racing and Auburn football games. He was employed by Flowers Baking Co. and retired after a successful career of 39 years.
James loved his hometown and was cherished by his family and friends. He was a devoted husband, loving father, and caring grandfather. He exemplified the meaning of unconditional love to all those around him but especially to his family. He had an abundance of things to take pride in, but he was most proud of his children and grandchildren. 

For many years, he worked all day on his route, only to jump in the shower and head out to see his children in sporting events, cheer competitions, talent shows, and church activities…anything his children were involved in, he was there to support them. He was patient and he was proud of them. He loved them all whole heartedly and unconditionally. He wore many hats, but the one that brought him the most joy was being a Poppa. He always had a piece of candy, a toy, and usually some cash to hand out to his grandchildren. Every child should be so lucky as to have him as their Poppa.
He enhanced the lives of everyone he came in contact with. He took pride in every aspect of his life, whether it be as a friend, mentor, or grandfather. He worked hard for everything he ever had - not because he desired success or worldly things, but because he wanted his children and grandchildren to have an easier life than he had. He was the type of man that every man should strive to be. He will be remembered by his family and community as an honest, hardworking, humble man of the Lord.