Opportunity

The Daily did a week-long series in late February about local leaders in the community — not necessarily “official” leaders, but people who make a difference in the lives of others. It was refreshing to write about people in the community and get a glimpse of different lives, goals and values.

Here are my stories: 

Glover focuses on child safety

Whitfield sees chance to guide youths, teachers

Mullican helps inspire students

Scott Mayo’s goals include enduring sense of community

Knox’s investment in community shows

Alabama

I feel like I am building a little file of stories that are specific to Alabama issues. That is likely a narrow view of issues in Alabama, but it’s one of the reasons I’ve come to love working here. 

In Sunday’s paper, I wrote about plans to renovate the Lawrence County Courthouse in Moulton, a site that held Union soldiers capitive during the Civil War and was the site of Alabama’s last tarring and feathering trial in 1981.

Last fall, I wrote about one man’s wish to see the county go wet so his restaurant can profit, as well as a fungus that damaged residents’ turnip greens

There was a time that I said I would never live in Alabama, because I thought I understood everything about everything … Now that I live here, I am finally getting to appreciate what I think is a rich, complex history, and I’m glad I’ve had the opportunity to see it first person.

Recent stories

I wrote several stories in January chronicling the exit of a county worker who wrote checks to her company that were not approved by the county. 

Galbreath worked for the county on a contract basis for a year while the county worked to get its finances straight and hire a permanent administrative worker. 

Galbreath ultimately quit a few days after commissioners questioned the checks. The county did not accept her resignation after confirming the money in question was not authorized, and fired her. 

Here are the stories: 

Checks to Galbreath’s firm raise questions

Galbreath defends her actions, quits

Lawrence Commission fires Galbreath, hires Llewellyn

Galbreath faces state scrutiny

Llewellyn endorsed checks to Galbreath

Clips, Sept. 30 - Oct. 6

At The Decatur Daily, hyperlocal is our niche. Here are three stories I enjoyed getting to write this week. 

Martin honored at Hatton homecoming — Alison Martin suffered brain injuries in April after a wreck with an 18-wheeler that killed her sister. While Alison re-learns how to walk and speak, the story is about the community’s immense support for Alison after naming her to homecoming court.

Real fiddlers’ festival is backstage — I was so excited to get the chance to cover the Tennessee Valley Old Time Fiddlers’ Convention this weekend. I love being around live music and musicians, but the mutual admiration among performers I witnessed this weekend was a unique experience. 

Reading on the farm: East Lawrence blends reading and agriculture —The scene from East Lawrence Middle’s Read for the Record, where students dressed the part to learn about the industries that take place in their own backyard. 

Clips, September 16-22

Nine months of working at the Daily, and journalism is still a great teacher. I was waiting for an interview last week and was struck by how this field continues to show me how much I don’t know — subjects like unions or the tangled history of a small, rural community, or the small and obvious questions I forgot to ask but mistakenly assumed I knew. 

Here is what I did last week, dealing with county budgets and International Paper effects: 

No issues after start of unpaid lunch break

Moulton council proposes step raises

Officials: LawCo considered ripe for growth despite loss of mill

International Paper moves talks to October

Former Delphi workers recall times of uncertainty

LawCo budget cuts unclear

bookpickings:

Letters to a Young Poet
Rainer Maria Rilke
“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

bookpickings:

Letters to a Young Poet

Rainer Maria Rilke

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”

This week I had a couple of significant stories on my Lawrence County news beat: 

Residents file class-action lawsuit against Moulton, Aug. 27

Lawrence extending hours at courthouse, Aug. 28

There are books of the same chemical composition as dynamite. The only difference is that a piece of dynamite explodes once, whereas a book explodes a thousand times.

The Last Word in 55 Novels:

Again

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

Aitches

Road to Wigan Pier

Bloom

Watership Down

Bombs

Homage to Catalonia

Both

End of the Affair

Brother

1984

Combustion

The Loved One

Days

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Distance

Frankenstein

Distance

Lord of the Flies

Earth

One Hundred Years of Solitude

Earth

Wuthering Heights

Ended

Crime and Punishment

Exercation

The Stranger

Feet

Great Wall of China

Gun

Johnny Got His Gun

Guys

Of Mice and Men

Ha!

The Tin Drum

Happy

A Moveable Feast

Hate

The Stranger

Him

Continental Op

Honor

Madame Bovary

Hotel

Age of Innosence

In

Maltese Falcon

It

Brokeback Mountain

Know

A Tale of Two Cities

Life

A Good Man is Hard to Find

Life

Auto-Da-Fe

Lived

Moll Flanders

Mediterranean

A Room with a View

Moby Dick

Orphan

Morning

To Kill a Mockingbird

Multiply

God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater

Off

Catch-22

Past

Great Gatsby

Place

The Sound and the Fury

Play

The House at Pooh Corner

Played

The Recognitions

Poo-tee-weet?

Slaughterhouse Five

Ravine

Under the Volcano

Restored

Claudius the God

Room

Bell Jar

Seen

Speak, Memory

Shining

Of Human Bondage

Smiled

The Good Earth

So

The Sun Also Rises

Them

The Long Goodbye

Them

Charlotte’s Web

There

Cat’s Cradle

This

Little Women

Time

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Union

Emma

Way

Paradise Lost

Which

Animal Farm

Yours

Breakfast of Champions

Best housewarming gift ever. Thanks @michaelpalm13!! cc: @jessespector

Best housewarming gift ever. Thanks @michaelpalm13!! cc: @jessespector