For the fourth-straight year, the Marengo Academy softball team won an AISA state championship. The team will try to make that five-in-a-row this spring.
For the fourth-straight year, the Marengo Academy softball team won an AISA state championship. The team will try to make that five-in-a-row this spring.

Archived Story

2013 Year in Review

Published 9:46am Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The following are the top stories from 2013 as we look back on the year.

JANUARY

Hall, Freeman take oaths

Marengo County Probate Jude Laurie S. Hall and Circuit Clerk Kenny Freeman were sworn in Jan. 3 by Circuit Judge Eddie Hardaway.

Hall said she was excited to serve Marengo County for the next six years.

Freeman, a lifelong resident of Marengo County, said he was ready to get to work as well.

FEBRUARY

Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame inducts five members

On Feb. 11, five new members were elected to the Marengo County Sports Hall of Fame:

•Holly Hill Beckham, who played tennis at Demopolis High School and Mississippi State University.

•Yann Cowart, who played football, baseball and basketball at Marengo Academy, walked on at Auburn and started all four years there, most notably as a captain on the 1986 Sugar Bowl team.

•Theophalus “Theo” Ratliff played basketball at Demopolis High School before going on to play at the University of Wyoming and later the NBA. Over the course of his 16-year career he scored 5,809 points, had 4,596 rebounds, and 1,968 blocked shots.

•Fred Shoenrock coached football at Demopolis High School from 1974-1987. His overall record was 109-48, with a regional record of 58-9.

•Brooks Jackson “Big Jack” Thomas played football for the Linden Red Devils, before turning down Auburn and Alabama to play at Mississippi State. He played in the NFL for the St. Louis Cardinals.

Two men die in fires

A man was killed on Feb. 12 just south of Sweet Water. According to authorities, Billy Russell Norwood Sr., 71, was unable to escape from his burning home on Nicholsville Road.

A house fire on West Pettus Street in February claimed the life of a 65-year-old Demopolis man. It was one of two fatal house fires that month.
A house fire on West Pettus Street in February claimed the life of a 65-year-old Demopolis man. It was one of two fatal house fires that month.

The Alabama State Fire Marshal’s Office believed the fire was caused by electrical wiring.

Investigators also determined that the blaze that killed Robert “Robin” Clifton, 65, was an accident. The fire on West Pettus Street, in Demopolis, was caused by combustible materials being left too close to the heater.

Hardy Sworn In, councilman given oath of office by probate judge

Nathan Hardy was sworn into his seat on the Demopolis City council prior to Thursday night’s meeting.

Nathan Hardy was sworn in as a Demopolis City Councilman in February following the resignation of Mitchell Congress for health concerns.
Nathan Hardy was sworn in as a Demopolis City Councilman in February following the resignation of Mitchell Congress for health concerns.

Hardy was sworn in by Marengo County Probate Judge Laurie S. Hall.

He replaces Mitchell Congress, who resigned in January because of health concerns.

Celebrating 20 years, City Schools Foundation marks platinum anniversary

2013 marks the 20th Anniversary of the Demopolis City Schools Foundation being deemed a non-profit, in July 1993.

In February 2013, Tracy Stewart, second grade teacher at Westside, spoke in front of a filled conference room at the Demopolis Board of Education.

Over the course of her 19-year career, she has received nearly $10,000 in classroom grants from the Demopolis City Schools Foundation. Her message to the Board was simply, “Thank You.”

The inception of the idea occurred in 1992, when a $750,000 shortfall appeared with the building of the current High School on Highway 80.

After reaching their goal, Lloyd and Webb took it a step further and partnered with Alabama Power, as well as many local businesses including Robertson Bank, who gave a $100,000 commitment to the foundation.

Over the course of the last 20 years the Foundation has provided over $900,000 in grants and funding.

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