YEAR IN REVIEW 2015: April
Former RHS student wins Mrs. Alabama America
A former Russellville High School student has been named Mrs. Alabama America, just four years after being crowned Miss Alabama USA. Madeline Mitchell Gwin won the Mrs. Alabama America competition March 28 at the Indian Springs Theatre in Birmingham.
“I really wanted to do this ever since I won the Miss Alabama competition in 2011,” Gwin said. “I wanted to win both competitions and represent the state.”
She said the Mrs. Alabama America competition was similar to the Miss Alabama USA that she won in 2011. “I will be doing some of the same things I did after I was crowned Miss Alabama such as touring around to different schools and coming to local events and talking to students and telling my story,” she said. “Only this time I am Mrs. Alabama—married and a mother and a lot of adventures under my belt.”
Gwin is a Russellville High School graduate and a graduate of the University of Alabama. She will be representing the state as Mrs. Alabama America.
Tharptown school turns 75
The 2014-2015 school year marked 75 years of excellence as an education institution for the Tharptown School building. Current and former administration, staff members, students, families and friends of Tharptown School were invited to join a birthday celebration and open house April 30 from 5-7 p.m.
The buildings on campus were open to tour the changes that have occurred over the years. Refreshments were served, and exhibits were set up in the gymnasium. Everyone was encouraged to bring old photos and items to share memories.
Chicken feed mill to be built in Spruce Pine
The Franklin County Development Authority, along with Mar-Jac Poultry, announced at the Phil Campbell campus of NWSCC April 10 the beginning construction of a $25 million feed mill in Spruce Pine.
FCDA Executive Director Mitch Mays said a lot of hard work and cooperation went into bringing the mill to Franklin County. Pete Martin, Vice President of Operations for Mar-Jac, said he had been in the chicken business for a long time and it was an honor to be in the state of Alabama. Martin said the economic impact on the county and the region as a whole would be around $1.2 billion. The facility is slated to be open in 2017.
Mar-Jac Poultry is a fully integrated poultry production company. Established in 1954, the Gainesville, Ga., company has supplied a variety of poultry products since beginning. In a move to integrate their poultry operations, the Mar-Jac processing facility was purchased in 1962 by a diversified group of poultry companies. A group of growers that provided birds to the Mar-Jac processing plant formed a marketing cooperative in 1962 and purchased it from the McKibbon brothers.
Local runners participate in Boston Marathon
Several Franklin County residents participated in the marathon run in Boston April 20.
To qualify for the marathon in Boston, runners have to run in a previous marathon under a required time according to age bracket.
The group arrived in Boston on April 18 and spent a few days leading up to the marathon getting settled in.
Participants included JD Snipes, Carol Bishop, Tanya Collum, Emily Borden, Angie Williams and Buddy Purdue.
Documentary puts spotlight on community
Four years ago was a tragic day in North Alabama. Andrew Reed, filmmaker, happened to be square in the middle of his hometown of Phil Campbell the day the storms came rolling through.
In March 2011 he had returned home to cover the Phil Campbell Convention and the events that it followed. Reed had no idea that the initial stages of his filming would capture the most devastating event the area has seen in a century. The events would lead to formation of the documentary, “I’m with Phil,” which became a relief effort for the town.
Reed began showing rough cuts of the film in the fall of 2012. The film went on to air on APT. Reed has planned on giving 70 percent of the proceeds the film earns back to the relief of the area.
For a better look at the film, visit www.imwithphil.com. A trailer can be found on YouTube.
“We’ve been turned down by a few festivals that say our movie gets a seven out of ten rating,” Reed said, “but they are only allowed to take a certain number of films. We’ve been picked up by nearly everything else. We have our fingers crossed waiting for a Netflix deal.”