Ms. Becky Miguel Francisco

Ms. Becky Miguel Francisco, 18 of Centre, passed away Thursday, September 22, 2016 at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham. Ms. Francisco was a native of Cherokee County, was a student at Cherokee County High School and was a member of Grace Point Church Of God.

Funeral services were held Sunday, September 25, 2016 at Perry Funeral Home Chapel, with Rev. Ricky Pollard, Rev. Shane Swafford, and Rev. Albert Alameda officiating. Burial followed in Pine Grove Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the funeral home. Perry Funeral Home Directing. www.perryfuneral.net.

Survivors include parents, Miguel Juan Francisco and Magdelena Mateo Juan; brothers, Ricardo Francisco, Alejandro Mateo both of Centre; sisters, Reyna, Yazmin Francisco, both of Centre; grandparents, Maria Pedro Miguel Francisco, Matias Antonio Eulalia, Maria Pedro Miguel and Juan Francisco all from Guatemala.

City to take up Riverside plans

The fifth — and potentially final — change to an agreement between Ledbetter Properties and the city of Rome regarding development of an 80-acre tract on Riverside Parkway is up for debate tonight.

The Rome City Commission is slated to decide on Ledbetter’s scaled-down shopping center proposal at its meeting set for 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, 601 Broad St.

Members of the Coosa River Basin Initiative have tracked Ledbetter’s plans for the city-owned property near Burwell Creek since 2007. CRBI spokesman Joe Cook has praised the company’s willingness to compromise, but board member Terrell Shaw said this month that any development in the wetlands is unacceptable to the organization.

The city’s Redevelopment Committee, which includes three of the nine sitting commissioners, has unanimously backed the proposal. If approved tonight, Robert H. Ledbetter Jr. said his company wants to close on the purchase before the end of the year.

Under the new proposal, just under 8 acres would be reserved for a shopping center similar to Ledbetter’s Riverwalk across the street. Nearly 72 acres would be put into a conservation easement, with plans for a trail that would connect Ridge Ferry Park through the Burwell Creek area to Jackson Hill.

The purchase price for the acreage remains unchanged at $600,000 in the proposed agreement.

Also on the City Commission’s agenda tonight is a public hearing on a request to annex a home at 4 Kirkwood St. in the Riverside subdivision. The parcel would remain zoned as High Density Traditional Residential.

Commissioners also are slated to hear during caucus about the upcoming Hospitality House fund­raiser Walk A Mile In Her Shoes and the North Rome community’s push to move the recycling center from Watters Street.

The caucus, which starts at 5 p.m., and the regular meeting are both open to the public.

Between the two sessions the commissioners have a closed session scheduled. The agenda does not state the nature of the item up for discussion, but topics are limited by state law to certain personnel items, property purchases and potential or pending litigation.

 

GUEST EDITORIAL: On recent bombing explosions in New York City and New Jersey

The weapons of choice in last weekend’s New York City bombing tell us a lot about the motivation of the bomber — and no one in Boston needs to hear the president of the United States or FBI officials dance around that question.

The bomb that went off in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, injuring 29, was filled with shrapnel, small bearings or metal BBs. It was designed to do grave damage — much like the ones that took three lives and changed the lives of some 260 people here on Marathon Day in 2013. A second pressure-cooker bomb was found before it could be detonated. Five more unexploded devices were found in an Elizabeth, New Jersey, train station.

This was terrorism pure and simple — even if it did take New York’s perfectly pathetic mayor another 24 hours to get those words out.

Ahmad Khan Rahami, 28, shot and captured by New Jersey police, was identified by investigators as the “main guy” behind the explosion in New York City and an earlier pipe bomb explosion in New Jersey that targeted a charity road race, benefiting Marines and their families.

Rahami was a naturalized citizen, born in Afghanistan, and harboring what might have been a rather large chip on his shoulder. His parents had filed suit several years ago alleging their fast-food chicken restaurant was targeted by police, not because neighbors had complained it was a late-night nuisance but — because they are Muslim.

It doesn’t take much these days for those who harbor their own set of grievances to turn them into action. Meanwhile radical jihadis provide a wealth of information via the internet on how to make bombs, and at the same time they stoke hatreds which have already taken root.

Public officials, even President Obama, were a little faster to label a stabbing rampage at a Minnesota mall a “potential act of terrorism.” Maybe it was because the now dead suspect was yelling the name of Allah as he did the deed and asking potential victims if they were Muslim.

Other than that, the president had one of his better No Drama Obama performances, admonishing the press to “refrain from getting out ahead of the investigation” even as Rahami was under arrest in New Jersey.

New York and New Jersey were saved from a far worse fate by alert citizens and great police work — and yes, perhaps by the grace of a higher power. But all that happened not because of but in spite of political leaders who don’t lead and can’t inspire.

 

Sand Rock secures sixth Cherokee County Volleyball Tournament title

SAND ROCK – The Cherokee County Volleyball Tournament has always been a measuring stick for the Sand Rock Lady Wildcats.

There have been years where Lisa Bates’ teams have dominated, but there have also been times when they’ve struggled – particularly mentally – resulting in an early exit.

On Saturday at home, the Lady Wildcats proved up to their latest challenge, sweeping through their competition on their way to their sixth county title.

Sand Rock (22-6) began its day earning a 27-25, 25-18 victory over Spring Garden, then defeated Cherokee County for the fifth time this season (25-8, 23-25, 15-8), setting up a championship showdown with the Cedar Bluff Lady Tigers.

Sand Rock finished off its latest county championship with a 25-20, 25-14 victory against the Lady Tigers (17-11).

“Today was completely mental, and that’s what we’ve been working on the past few days,” Bates said. “I’m proud we mentally dug deep and pulled through today. We had some times where we had to fight through some things. I’m proud we could do that, just mentally tough it out to win today.”

August Gilliland collected 28 kills, 32 digs and three aces on the day for the Lady Wildcats. Savannah Blackwell posted 23 kills and 28 digs. Paige Norris contributed 44 digs. Erin Langley added 34 assists, 18 digs and four aces. Kynleigh Chesnut came away with 12 kills. Haylie Pruitt had 11 kills and four blocks, and senior Audrey Richardson finished with 34 assists.

Bates was particularly proud for Richardson, the team’s lone senior.

“I’m glad we could do that for her because it really means a lot to her,” Bates said. “She’s just a good young lady who doesn’t get a lot of credit for what she does. You won’t find a harder worker. She’s really leading this team and helping this team keep good chemistry and that’s one thing about this team. They really do a lot of things together. They work together. They like each other. We don’t have big hitters and we don’t have outstanding superstars, but we just work well together.”

Cedar Bluff’s path to Saturday’s championship match was a little tougher. The Lady Tigers dropped their first match of the day against Cherokee County 25-13, 27-25 to fall into the loser’s bracket.

Cedar Bluff defeated Gaylesville (25-14, 25-15) and Spring Garden (15-25, 25-18, 15-10) to set up a rematch with the Lady Warriors. The Lady Tigers overcame their earlier loss with a 25-22, 21-25, 15-12 victory to earn their spot in the championship match against Sand Rock.

“I was proud of the way they fought through it,” Cedar Bluff first-year coach Deidra Davis said. “They showed a lot of fight, a lot of guts to be able to come back through something like that. We had to come through and beat Centre, the team that put us in the loser’s bracket. I’m proud of the way they played in that match, to overcome the loss this morning and fight back through it.”

In their first match against Cherokee County, Colbi Whitlock tallied five digs, three kills and an ace. Brooklyn Willbanks added seven digs and three aces. Julianne Wilson managed three kills and a block. Kiana Dobbins delivered five digs and a kill. Hannah Cosby contributed five digs. Matison Bedwell had three assists. Laura Ann Hughes finished with two assists and an ace.

Against Gaylesville, Ashley Goodwin, Whitlock and Willbanks all posted three kills. Willbanks also added nine digs and four aces. Whitlock also had nine digs. Hughes collected nine assists, nine digs and three aces. Haley Chandler finished with four aces and a kill.

In the win over Spring Garden, Whitlock earned six kills and three aces. Cosby contributed five digs, three kills and two aces. Willbanks posted 16 digs and three aces. Dobbins and Bedwell had nine and five digs respectively. Wilson came away with three kills. Hughes finished with seven assists.

In the rematch with Cherokee County, Dobbins led the way with 11 kills and seven digs. Whitlock added seven kills, six digs and two aces. Bedwell posted 11 digs, two kills and an ace. Cosby came away with 10 digs and two blocks. Willbanks contributed six digs and an ace. Wilson had three blocks and Hughes finished with 17 assists and an ace.

In the championship match against Sand Rock, Dobbins and Whitlock both had five kills. Dobbins also added seven digs. Cosby contributed five digs and a pair of kills. Bedwell came away with seven digs and an ace. Hughes finished with eight assists.

“Even though we didn’t win (the championship match), we were able to take a lot of positives away from today,” Davis said. “Coming back through the loser’s bracket like we did, we showed a lot of effort, came together as a team and responded. It’s something we can continue to build on. We hope to keep climbing up the mountain and get to where we want to be at the end of the season.”

A complete roundup of Saturday’s tournament can be found in this Wednesday’s edition of The Cherokee County Herald.

Sand Rock earns sixth Cherokee County Volleyball Tournament title

SAND ROCK – The Cherokee County Volleyball Tournament has always been a measuring stick for the Sand Rock Lady Wildcats.

There have been years where Lisa Bates’ teams have dominated, but there have also been times when they’ve struggled – particularly mentally – resulting in an early exit.

On Saturday at home, the Lady Wildcats proved up to their latest challenge, sweeping through their competition on their way to their sixth county title.

Sand Rock (22-6) began its day earning a 27-25, 25-18 victory over Spring Garden, then defeated Cherokee County for the fifth time this season (25-8, 23-25, 15-8), setting up a championship showdown with the Cedar Bluff Lady Tigers.

Sand Rock finished off its latest county championship with a 25-20, 25-14 victory against the Lady Tigers (17-11).

“Today was completely mental, and that’s what we’ve been working on the past few days,” Bates said. “I’m proud we mentally dug deep and pulled through today. We had some times where we had to fight through some things. I’m proud we could do that, just mentally tough it out to win today.”

August Gilliland collected 28 kills, 32 digs and three aces on the day for the Lady Wildcats. Savannah Blackwell posted 23 kills and 28 digs. Paige Norris contributed 44 digs. Erin Langley added 34 assists, 18 digs and four aces. Kynleigh Chesnut came away with 12 kills. Haylie Pruitt had 11 kills and four blocks, and Audrey Richardson finished with 34 assists.

Bates was particularly proud for Richardson, the team’s lone senior.

“I’m glad we could do that for her because it really means a lot to her,” Bates said. “She’s just a good young lady who doesn’t get a lot of credit for what she does. You won’t find a harder worker. She’s really leading this team and helping this team keep good chemistry and that’s one thing about this team. They really do a lot of things together. They work together. They like each other. We don’t have big hitters and we don’t have outstanding superstars, but we just work well together.”

Cedar Bluff’s path to Saturday’s championship match was a little tougher. The Lady Tigers dropped their first match of the day against Cherokee County 25-13, 27-25 to fall into the loser’s bracket.

Cedar Bluff defeated Gaylesville (25-14, 25-15) and Spring Garden (15-25, 25-18, 15-10) to set up a rematch with the Lady Warriors. The Lady Tigers overcame their earlier loss with a 25-22, 21-25, 15-12 victory to earn their spot in the championship match against Sand Rock.

“I was proud of the way they fought through it,” Cedar Bluff first-year coach Deidra Davis said. “They showed a lot of fight, a lot of guts to be able to come back through something like that. We had to come through and beat Centre, the team that put us in the loser’s bracket. I’m proud of the way they played in that match, to overcome the loss this morning and fight back through it.”

In their first match against Cherokee County, Colbi Whitlock tallied five digs, three kills and an ace. Brooklyn Willbanks added seven digs and three aces. Julianne Wilson managed three kills and a block. Kiana Dobbins delivered five digs and a kill. Hannah Cosby contributed five digs. Matison Bedwell had three assists. Laura Ann Hughes finished with two assists and an ace.

Against Gaylesville, Ashley Goodwin, Whitlock and Willbanks all posted three kills. Willbanks also added nine digs and four aces. Whitlock also had nine digs. Hughes collected nine assists, nine digs and three aces. Haley Chandler finished with four aces and a kill.

In the win over Spring Garden, Whitlock earned six kills and three aces. Cosby contributed five digs, three kills and two aces. Willbanks posted 16 digs and three aces. Dobbins and Bedwell had nine and five digs respectively. Wilson came away with three kills. Hughes finished with seven assists.

In the rematch with Cherokee County, Dobbins led the way with 11 kills and seven digs. Whitlock added seven kills, six digs and two aces. Bedwell posted 11 digs, two kills and an ace. Cosby came away with 10 digs and two blocks. Willbanks contributed six digs and an ace. Wilson had three blocks and Hughes finished with 17 assists and an ace.

In the championship match against Sand Rock, Dobbins and Whitlock both had five kills. Dobbins also added seven digs. Cosby contributed five digs and a pair of kills. Bedwell came away with seven digs and an ace. Hughes finished with eight assists.

“Even though we didn’t win (the championship match), we were able to take a lot of positives away from today,” Davis said. “Coming back through the loser’s bracket like we did, we showed a lot of effort, came together as a team and responded. It’s something we can continue to build on. We hope to keep climbing up the mountain and get to where we want to be at the end of the season.”

A complete roundup of Saturday’s tournament can be found in this Wednesday’s edition of The Cherokee County Herald.

Cardboard boat race brings out children’s ingenuity

Twelve-year-old Griffin Girard has been making objects out of cardboard since he was five, but Saturday was the first time he tried floating a cardboard boat in water.

He was one of five who entered the Rolater Regatta Cardboard Boat Race, which benefits the Alton Holman Heritage Arts Inc., on Saturday.

The boats could only be held together with a small amount of duct tape or glue.

Griffin’s boat, sporting a windshield, spoiler and motor made out of cardboard, looked like a regular speedboat. He named it the S.S. Boaty McBoat Face.

“If it turned out to be a fail, I’d rather go down in this water than at home,” Griffin said.

However, his boat didn’t fail. In fact, he won first place in the middle school division.

A student at Berry Middle School, Griffin said the most complex cardboard creation he has made was a working skeeball machine.

Logan Faslun, 7, was a last-minute entry.

His boat wasn’t painted, but it kept out of the water well enough for him to win first place in the elementary school division.

When the registration attendant asked him what he wanted to name his boat, he said the “Shipwreck.”

“I named it Shipwreck because it’s probably going to wreck,” Logan said, adding he wasn’t worried about sinking because his life jacket would probably make him float.

However, he made it across the lake in less than a minute, a recorded time fast enough to win.

Two younger children tried to paddle their way across Rolater Lake in the S.S. Chicken Little, but it capsized after traveling roughly 8 feet on the lake.

Larry Wilkins, father of Chicken Little’s co-captains Hosanna Grace Wilkins, 5, and Caden Tanner’s pastor at the Way of the Cross Church, said the youth program at the church helped paint and build the boat.

“We just kind of folded it up and threw it together,” Wilkins said, adding they were curious how long it would stay afloat.

Their answer came as the boat capsized about 20 seconds into the race.

Hosanna said she enjoyed painting the S.S. Chicken Little and she couldn’t wait for the race.

Annie Morrow, the director of AHHAS, said a second boat race will be held in the future and she hopes for more participants.

 

Most Dangerous Animals in Canada

Whether you’re an avid outdoorsman or just like to enjoy nature from time to time, you’re aware of the sense of inner peace it can give you to separate yourself from society, if only for a moment. However, when in Rome, you must do as the Romans do. Likewise, you must understand the nature of nature when you’re in the wilderness.

Animals and other creatures here have a primary goal: to stay alive. When they see potential threats, there are a number of defense mechanisms they can employ. That’s why it’s important for you to be aware of some of Canada’s most dangerous animals and understand how they behave.

  1. Bears

Grizzly BearBears are not uncommon in the country, and, for the most part, they don’t attack. However, attacks on humans have been on the rise since the 1960’s. These animals are large in size and far stronger and faster than even the most notable athletes. Therefore, if you find yourself face-to-face with one, it’s important to know what to do.

If you’re unarmed and have no means of protection, the best thing to do is play dead. Bears are not known to have a taste for human meat, and attacks are usually the manifestations of territorial or fear reactions. However, if you come equipped with bear spray, you can give yourself the upper hand. These products incapacitate the animal long enough for you to seek safety, and finding the best bear spray has never been easier with the help of the Internet.

  1. Mountain Lions

Mountain LionAnother creature that can quickly turn a fun day outdoors into a terrifying situation is the mountain lion. They aren’t your standard cat. In fact, according to Defenders of Wildlife, they can leap as high as 15 feet and as far as 40 feet. While they are typically solitary in nature, they are also highly territorial.

If you find yourself in the presence of a mountain lion, there are some tips you should follow to protect you and your companions including:

  • Make loud noises to frighten the animal
  • Try to make yourself appear larger by doing thing such as putting your arms up over your head.
  • If possible, get on the shoulders of one of your companions to present a larger appearance.
  1. Wild Dogs

Wild dogAnother common and potentially dangerous animal well-known to the Canadian landscape is the wild dog. They come in many shapes and sizes. From coyotes and wolves to foxes and more, it’s not uncommon to come across one as you enjoy the outdoors.

Should you find yourself in the presence of a wild dog, understand that they interpret direct eye contact as a sign of aggression. This can trigger them to attack. Rather, you should attempt to take a subordinate approach. Tilt your head downward, and, unlike with cats, lower yourself to show your submission. This will often cause the animal to lose interest in pursuing combat. For more information on how to survive a dog attack, Secrets of Survival offers lots of valuable information.

Knowledge is Key

knowledge is keyIgnorance can cause a number of small problems in your life. However, when you are blissfully unaware of how to react during an animal encounter in the wilderness, it could quickly turn into a matter of life and death. These tips and information can help you better understand your surroundings and make the most of a safe and exciting outdoor adventure.