Author Archives: Al Blanton

Shall We Gather At The River

  She looked across the courtroom and stared into his lost eyes.   Karen first smiled at Robert on the trade school bus, but at the time she would have never imagined that thirty-seven years of marriage would be dashed away in an instant, and the grand finale to their lives together would end in such tragedy.   But on July 21, … READ MORE

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The Priest of Roundball

The scars on Phil Schumacher’s knees tell the story. This morning, Schumacher is seated on the first row of bleachers at Songer Gymnasium in a familiar pose, one reminiscent of his twenty-four years on the sidelines as head basketball coach of the Walker Vikings. Schumacher is clad in an IZOD knit, shorts, and sandals; years of intense competition have writ … READ MORE

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Walker College Foundation plans event for Walker College & BSCC-Walker College Campus alumni athletes

Jasper, AL – After a six-year break, Bevill State Community College (BSCC) athletics is back! On Thursday, November 2, Bevill will open the season versus Coastal Alabama in the Clem-Robertson Classic, held at Glen Clem Gym at 7:00 PM. Before the game, the Walker College Foundation will host a pre-game alumni gathering for former Walker College and Bevill State-Walker College … READ MORE

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AHMEN looking for donations for Clean Water Project at this year’s Foothills Festival

Americans use between 80 and 100 gallons of water per day. Whether taking a hot shower, flushing the toilet, or pouring a glass of water, most of us use our water and don’t even think about it. Yet there are still places in modern society without access to clean water. For the last several years, a group of missionaries from … READ MORE

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A Consistent Life

In this crazy world of ours, what lasts anymore? In a temporal world of quick fixes and instant gratification, of indulgence at our fingertips, where can we find the eternal? Perhaps the life of Etta Stephenson can provide a clue. Etta has been working at Kilgore-Green Funeral Home in Jasper, Alabama, for forty-five years—half her life. She began working there … READ MORE

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Get in Shape, Walker County!

Get your yoga pants ready, because a new workout craze has landed in Jasper. On a sun-sweltering afternoon, a group of fifteen women are cloistered inside an air-conditioned studio, moving from station-to-station, shuttling between cones, performing ballet-like sit-ups, hopping and spinning with medicine balls, and snapping a heavy rope as if it were the reigns of a bridle. This circusesque … READ MORE

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Amy Grant to Perform for Big Oak Ranch at Samford

Where is solace in the storm? For Maureen Willard, she found it in music. A 1989 graduate of Westminster Christian School, Maureen was a thriving teenager until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer her junior year in high school. Maureen already possessed a strong faith, but she faced this dreaded disease with dignity and a rare confidence in the power … READ MORE

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Parkland Hardware Offering Bathroom Remodeling, Ceramic Showers

Jasper, AL – Since 1962, Parkland Hardware has been sitting in the same spot, just off of Highway 78 in Jasper. From hammers to washers to sandpaper, Parkland was Jasper’s go-to place for home improvement. Eight years ago, Philip Ellis bought the business and continued to offer the same great products and service that Parkland had offered for over a … READ MORE

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Why It’s Time to Stop Trying to be Perfect

The world has become fake. Fake nails, fake tans, fake hardwood floors, fake personalities. Fake everything. Plastic has taken over our lives. Americans spend millions of dollars on things that are fake. In certain ways, our lives are faker than they are real, and as social media and virtual living continues to rule our lives, the faker we are going … READ MORE

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What I Learned from My Time with the Boy Scouts

My last Boy Scout camping trip occurred over twenty years ago somewhere deep in Alabama’s Bankhead National Forest. I don’t remember much from that trip, except three things. I remember riding in an old van as Bon Jovi’s song “Bad Medicine” belted through the speakers. I remember one of the boys swatting at a yellow jacket (with a tube of … READ MORE

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