A FREE Publication Serving Conecuh County Since 2003
~~~~~~ Concert News ~~~~~
Chicago Playing In Mobile May
Tickets went on sale Friday, November
at 10:00 AM!
All seats reserved: $100, $80, $60 (plus additional fees)
Southern Pine Electric Co-op Send Linemen to Help Restoration Efforts after Hurricane Nate
Southern Pine Electric Co-op sent four linemen to assist Clarke-Washington EMC in Jackson, AL to help restore power after Hurricane Nate’s landfall.
Linemen who assisted Clarke-Washington are Heath Nelson, Tim Gray, David Saucer and Chase Jordan.
ALABAMA SCHOOL OF MATHEMATICS AND SCIENCE RECRUITING ACADEMICALLY TALENTED STUDENTS
MOBILE, ALABAMA – The Alabama School of Mathematics and Science is currently seeking applications for the 2018-19 school year.
ASMS is our state’s only fully public and residential high school for sophomores, juniors, and seniors seeking advanced studies in math, science, and the humanities.Newsweek, The Daily Beast, and The Washington Post have named ASMS among the nation’s most competitive schools. Tuition, room, and board are free.
Currently, 262 students from 48 Alabama counties study at ASMS.
“Every Alabama resident should be exceedingly proud of these young people,” said Dr. Monica Motley, ASMS president. “They’re joining a growing movement of ASMS leaders who are making an impact on our state and world—creating opportunities where others see obstacles.”
Since the school’s founding in 1989, more than 2,100 young people have graduated from the school, representing all 67 counties. Each graduate has been accepted to college.
In the last 17 years, ASMS graduates have earned $190 million in merit-based scholarships. Two out of three graduates are leading in STEM careers, and two in three have pursued graduate degrees.
“We’re looking forward to more young leaders from other counties to join our community,” said Motley. “I am continually impressed by the state's young people and their innate leadership abilities we hone at ASMS.”
Applications for the upcoming cohort are available online at www.asms.net. Students are evaluated based on academic success, ACT scores, maturity, essays, and recommendations teachers. The application deadline is February 14, 2018. Applying to ASMS is free.
For more information, please contact ASMS Admissions at email@example.com. Also, potential applicants and their families may attend ASMS Day.
ASMS Day is an event designed to showcase ASMS to prospective students and parents. The event will take place on Saturday, November 11 and Saturday, December 2. Parents and potential students are welcome to tour the campus and take part in classroom demonstrations.
ASMS student Ambassadors will lead your group to these various demonstrations and answer any questions you have.
To register for ASMS Day, visit www.asms.net.
Southern Pine Electric Co-op Send Linemen to Help Restoration Efforts after Hurricane
Southern Pine Electric Co-op has sent seven linemen to assist Okefenoke Electric Cooperative in Hilliard, Florida to help restore power after Hurricane Irma’s landfall.
Linemen who will be assisting Okefenoke Electric are Tracy Emmons, Kirk Carter, Ricky Quates, AJ Faircloth, Adam York, Norris Brooks and Grayson Peters.
Alabama Youth Dove Hunt Schedule Announced
The Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) announces that the state’s 17th Annual Youth Dove Hunts have been scheduled for 2017. The north zone hunts begin on September 9. The south zone hunts begin on September 16.
Although the hunts are free, registration is required. Online registration is scheduled to open August 28, 2017, at 8 a.m. For the complete hunt schedule, visit www.outdooralabama.com/youth-dove-hunts.
WFF is implementing a new registration process this year. Hunters submitting a registration for participation in a youth dove hunt must be a parent or an adult at least 21 years old and have a Conservation ID (CID). Additionally, once you receive a registration confirmation email and accept the hunt you wish to attend, you cannot register for a second hunt until the date of your registered hunt has passed.
As it becomes available, additional information describing the registration, notification and hunt acceptance process will be posted to www.outdooralabama.com/youth-dove-hunts.
Alabama’s Youth Dove Hunt
events are held in open fields and staffed by WFF personnel, which
encourages a safe, secure environment for both parents and participants. The
program also makes use of private lands and fields opened for use by
community members, which fosters good relationships between hunters and
License Purchase Method Modified for Some Military Personnel and Those with AL Non-Driver ID Cards
Non-resident military personnel stationed in Alabama and those with Alabama non-driver identification cards will see changes this year in the process of purchasing Alabama recreational hunting and fishing licenses. The changes became effective August 21, 2017.
Non-resident military personnel stationed in Alabama must apply for a hunting and/or fishing license at their local probate office, license commissioner, Marine Resources Division office, or Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division headquarters in Montgomery, Ala. A valid U.S. driver’s license, military ID card, and a copy of military orders assigning them to Alabama for 30 or more days will be required when applying. This also applies to spouses and dependents.
Those with Alabama non-driver identification cards must also apply for a hunting and/or fishing license at their local probate office, Marine Resources Division office, or Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries Division headquarters in Montgomery, Ala. Two additional proofs of residency are required when applying.
These changes were made to ensure the correct license types are being sold to applicants. It is a violation of Alabama law to willfully or knowingly make a false statement when purchasing an Alabama resident hunting or fishing license.
Hunters and anglers make conservation efforts in Alabama possible through the purchase of hunting and fishing licenses. Fish stocking, wildlife management, public hunting land, and marine fisheries management are just a few of the programs funded in part though license sales.
More information about the types of licenses available, hunting rules and regulations, and how to purchase a license can be found at www.outdooralabama.com/alabama-license-information.
The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit www.outdooralabama.com.
Southern Pine Sends Student Representatives To Tour Washington
The Washington D.C. National Rural Electric Youth Tour, sponsored by local electric cooperatives, the Alabama Rural Electric Association and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, is part of a grassroots program to educate high school juniors on the electric cooperative program and the cooperative ideas for which it stands. In June, approximately 58 students from Alabama traveled to Washington D.C., joining more than 1,500 students from across the nation. The youth tour experience is filled with fun activities, but its overall purpose is to increase students understanding of the value of rural electrification, help them become more familiar with the historical and political environment of our nation’s capital through visits to monuments, government buildings and cooperative organizations…and visit elected officials to increase the students’ knowledge of how the federal government works.
2017 Washington D.C. representatives for Southern Pine Electric Co-op are (Front L to R): Ashlyn Glick, Escambia Academy; Ashton Cobb, J.U. Blacksher High School; (Back L to R) Ally Jackson, W.S. Neal High School; Jasmin McCreary, Hillcrest High School; Todd Watson, T.R. Miller High School and Neelee Harrison, T.R. Miller High School
Eastern Indigo Release Adds 26 to Conecuh Forest
By DAVID RAINER
Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources
Jim Godwin crouched next to a patch of white sand in the Conecuh National Forest last week and gently released a dark, 6-foot-long serpent. The threatened eastern indigo snake didn’t hesitate to slither quickly into the intended target, a gopher tortoise burrow.
The head of the eastern indigo snake, with its tongue testing the muggy July air, made a brief appearance at the burrow’s entrance, but there was too much hubbub going on in the longleaf pine forest for it to pose for photos. No encore. Elvis has left the building.
The hubbub was created by efforts to reestablish a viable population of the snakes that once were abundant before the longleaf pines became a prime species for lumber production. More than two dozen people, including wildlife and forestry professionals as well as interested citizens and their children, joined the project leaders to release the snakes.
Godwin, of Auburn University’s Alabama Natural Heritage Program, has spearheaded the project for the past 11 years, and last week’s release of 26 eastern indigo snakes increased the number of released snakes significantly.
Through a grant from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources’ Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) Division, the program had previously released 107 eastern indigos into the wild, according to WFF Grant Coordinator Traci Wood.
“This project is an example of great accomplishments for the eastern indigo snakes and all the partners involved,” Wood said. “It’s a great effort toward the recovery plan to enhance and maintain a population in the historical range of the eastern indigo. This species was extirpated from the state and hadn’t been seen since the 1950s. It is considered an apex predator. It plays an important role in the ecosystem, specifically the longleaf pine ecosystem. I think this is an exceptional example of the reintroduction of an imperiled species.
“This project is not only about the propagation and release of these snakes in the forest; we are also monitoring these snakes. PIT (passive integrated transponder) tags were inserted into the snakes. We will have technicians walking areas where snakes were released to look at survival, abundance and demographics.”
Eastern indigo snakes are the longest reptiles native to the U.S. at more than 8 feet long. They prey on a variety of small mammals, amphibians, lizards and numerous species of venomous snakes. The venomous copperhead snake is a common meal for the indigo. Godwin said indigos will range far and wide during the warmer months and then seek refuge in the gopher tortoise burrows during the winter.
Wood said the WFF’s State Wildlife Action Plan identifies 366 species that are in the category of greatest conservation need.
“Alabama is one of the most diverse states in the nation, specifically Conecuh National Forest, in terms of amphibians and reptiles,” she said. “This area is the most biologically rich public land in the country.”
Wood said the long-term goal for the eastern indigo project is to release 300 snakes into the wild.
“It’s a long-term effort our agency is committed to with all our partners,” she said. “I want to thank Jim Godwin with Auburn University, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Zoo Atlanta and OCIC (Central Florida Zoo’s Orianne Center for Indigo Conservation) for all their work and dedication. And I want to thank the U.S. Forest Service for their exceptional management to give us this opportunity to release these snakes in quality habitat.”
Tim Mersmann, Conecuh District Ranger, said he hopes the release of eastern indigo snakes becomes an annual event.
“We are all about restoring longleaf pine forest ecosystems on the Conecuh,” Mersmann said. “It’s really what drives us. This open, fire-maintained forest is what we’re about. This type of forest ecosystem used to be the most common condition along the coastal plain and the Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast. Now it’s fairly rare. Many of the species associated with it are rare as well.
“We’re about restoring this condition as part of our natural heritage. And restoring the ecosystem means restoring the parts and pieces. One of the most exciting and striking pieces, no pun intended, is the eastern indigo. These snakes are very docile, but they are really a top predator in this type of ecosystem. So, to get them back after decades of being missing from this ecosystem is really exciting.”
Mersmann said that herpetologists have studied the 84,000-acre Conecuh National Forest and determined it has more species of amphibians and reptiles than any public land unit in the country.
“We’re really proud of that,” he said. “It’s a great haven for reptiles and amphibians, a great home for a snake-eating snake like the indigo. They’ve got a real smorgasbord to choose from. And it’s heaven for herpetologists as well.
“Beyond the herpetologists, this is part of our natural heritage. It’s part of the legacy we want to leave for the future. That is why we really enjoy having kids out here for the indigo snake release. That’s been part of the tradition.”
Godwin said last week’s release was the fifth major release in the project’s 11-year history.
“When we set out looking for a place to begin this project, Conecuh stood out as the only place in Alabama where we could successfully accomplish this task of reintroducing a population of indigo snakes back into Alabama,” Godwin said. “It had to do with this relatively intact landscape and good ecosystem management, and, as best as we know, the perpetuity of that management.
“This area is incredible for reptile and amphibian diversity. Another species in Conecuh that is rare is the gopher frog. One of the top breeding sites for gopher frogs is right here in Conecuh.”
Godwin said during the early days of the indigo project the snakes to be released were propagated from indigos that had been captured in the wild in Georgia. The indigos in last week’s release were bred in captivity at the Orianne Center at the Central Florida Zoo. Zoo Atlanta, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army’s Fort Stewart also provided indigos in the past.
“Rearing an indigo in captivity costs a lot,” Godwin said. “When you multiply that by 50 or 60, it’s a huge task. We’re very grateful the zoos have been able to step up. The Birmingham Zoo now also has an interest. As this project has moved along, it has continued to expand. We also welcome new partners to help support this.”
Godwin said monitoring the success of the reintroduction of the indigo population is a difficult proposition, but new technology promises to make it easier. During last week’s release, the youngsters in the group were given priority to release the snakes, hopefully fostering their interest in the species.
Goodwin said eastern indigos are next to impossible to find in the wild.
“If you don’t have a radio transmitter in an indigo snake, you don’t know where it’s going or what it’s doing,” he said.
Godwin did say one eastern indigo snake was spotted in Conecuh National Forest this year.
“This is a federally threatened species, and the person who saw it knew it was protected,” he said. “I wish we could have collected some information, but he did the right thing by leaving the snake alone. We know indigo snakes are surviving out here. We hope in the future, the children will grow up with an appreciation and a real care and concern for these snakes.”
Yes, You Still Have To Have A Permit
Several people have asked about pistol permits lately and seem confused about Bills in Alabama's Legislature that might change concealed carry laws.
The quick answer is yes, you still have to have a permit to carry a concealed firearm on your person and in your vehicle.
The Alabama Senate did approve Senate Bill 24 which would eliminate permit requirements for Alabama residents allowing them to carry a firearm concealed on their person and in their vehicles, however, that Bill has now moved to the Alabama House in the form of House Bill 414.
In the meanwhile, if you have a Pistol Permit or plan to apply for one, you should read this section of Alabama Code.
Pine Making Upgrades
By: Jim Allen
Johnson said Hurricane Ivan
caused extensive damage to Southern Pine's entire system and took 800
contractors, in addition to Southern Pine's existing workforce, two
weeks to bring the system back to full operation.
Rather than writing this article myself and bringing up the details of this murder through a rehash of court documents, I have chosen instead to link to this article from The Montgomery Advertiser.
I will not be including an article concerning this case in our July print edition in order to spare the family of Ms. Clarene Haskew more local public disclosure, however the people of Conecuh County have a right to know the latest information concerning this case.
Dead Man Identified In
15 October 15
The information contained here is from news sources and has not been confirmed by official sources.
According to the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, (ALEA), “Troopers responded to assist Conecuh Co Sheriff Randy Brock's Office in the apprehension of a suspect wanted for an assault that occurred earlier in the evening in Monroeville. Multiple attempts to persuade the suspect, who was believed to be armed, to surrender failed. At that point, the suspect exited the residence and fired multiple shots at law enforcement. In an effort to defend themselves, law enforcement officers from several agencies returned fire and subsequently killed the suspect. No law enforcement officers were injured.
“Secretary of Law Enforcement Spencer Collier, Col. John Richardson and SBI Director Gene Wiggins responded to the scene.
"SBI will thoroughly investigate both the officer involved shooting and the assault in Monroeville," Secretary Collier said. "I am very relieved that no officers were injured this evening."
“The State Bureau of Investigation responded to the scene and will conduct the investigation of the officer involved shooting and the assault that occurred in Monroeville.
“Investigation is ongoing and nothing further will be released at this point.”
According to news sources, the incident began in Monroeville Wednesday when the male suspect, identified as Leslie Portis Jr., 57, of Evergreen, allegedly shot his ex-girlfriend in the leg then fled the scene.
The girlfriend was reportedly in critical condition due to loss of blood, and was transported by helicopter to USA Medical Center.
Portis reportedly fled into Conecuh County using back roads then barricaded himself inside a residence along US 31 just south of Evergreen where he was confronted by law enforcement.
Evergreen Wood Products And BIOTAP Update
May 7, 2015
Owassa Man Wounded By Law Enforcement Following Domestic Dispute
Saturday, March 7th
By: Jim Allen
Special thanks to WSFA Channel 12 in Montgomery for picking up our article on the officer involved shooting in Owassa.