Marengo talent to be tested tonight

Published 12:00 am Monday, August 8, 2005

DEMOPOLIS-Tonight all the months of planning and hard work by the organizers of this year’s Marengo County Idol contest will pay off. At 5 p.m. the event will kick off at Demopolis high School with plenty of entertainment as well as some big names in the area.

The event is mostly for fun, but it does present a big opportunity for the contestant that comes out on top.

Like last year, this year’s Marengo County Idol will be given the opportunity to receive national exposure for their talents. The grand prize will be sponsorship to participate in the closest audition for American Idol. The sponsorship will consist of travel and lodging for four nights. Meals will be the responsibility of the contestant and chaperone. The winner will also receive a trophy from the Gold Mine.

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Throughout the contest there will be special entertainment by Margie Walker, the 2004 winner of the Marengo County Idol contest, the “Teens Growing Up dancers (TGU) and Ronnie Richardson, a local Elvis Impersonator.

This years contestants will include Toni Ward, Melissa Cooke, Kim Richardson, Emi Wilkinson, Emily Flowers, Erin Phillips, Erica Simmons and Toshaski Collins.

This years contest will also have a special treat with two celebrity judges scheduled to attend. WAKA TV 8 morning and noon anchor and reporter Ashley Paige and David Baxley, a morning and noon meteorologist will both serve on the panel to determine this year’s Marengo Idol.

Paige joined CBS 8 in the fall of 2003 and currently anchors for CBS 8 This Morning and CBS 8 News at Noon. Ashley graduated from The University of Alabama where she was a “Bama Belle” football recruit and a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority. She was a reporter for two years at WDEF in Chattanooga (CBS) and interned at Birmingham stations ABC 33/40, Fox 6 as well as WRBL in Columbus, Ga.

Outside of work Paige’s passion is performing. She has performed on several television shows as well as events throughout the Southeast.

Baxley joined the First Alert Weather Team in Dec. 2004.He has previously worked as a meteorologist at television stations in Birmingham, Tuscaloosa and Wichita Falls, Texas. He also worked as a newscast producer in Birmingham and Huntsville. David, who grew up in Childersburg, graduated as Valedictorian from his hometown high school. He earned his degree in Geoscience with an emphasis on broadcast meteorology from Mississippi State University in 1999. He is now completing graduate studies in journalism from the University of Mississippi. Baxley is a member of the National Weather Association and the American Meteorological Society.

O.T. Thomas and Leslye Essex will also serve on the panel.

The event was originally slated to take place at Demopolis Middle School, but was moved because of air conditioning issues. The event will now be held in the auditorium of Demopolis High School.

Tickets will be $8 in advance and $10 at the door. Tickets are available at Reggie’s Boutique and Pizza Hut. For further information prior to the show please call Wayne Kirk, at 289-2423, J.B. Warren, at 289-2092, Virginia Norman, at 289-9310, Aggie Perry, at 289-5603 or Martha Shirley at 205-652-3615.