BC-South Member Exchange Digest,1st Ld-Writethru

News,Science and Technology


The Associated Press recommends the following stories of Southern interest for use over the weekend of Dec. 8-10.

For repeats of AP copy, please call the Service Desk at 800-838-4616. AP stories, along with the photos that accompany them, also can be obtained from


For Saturday use:


TUSCUMBIA, Ala. — One of the throngs of pictures that fill a room at the Tuscumbia Depot features a photo of a remarkable old train called the "Joe Wheeler." That photo carries a special place in the heart of Sara Voohries, whose husband, the late Jack Voohries, remains a Shoals legend for his radio career at stations such as WVNA and WLAY. "Jack sold newspapers on the Joe Wheeler," Sara Voohries said of her husband, who created and voiced beloved characters such as "Luther Appleby," truck driver "Clyde Perote" and sportscaster Irving Loblolly. "He was about 12 or 13 years old when he started selling papers. That piqued his interest in the railroad. By Bernie Delinski. TimesDaily.

For Sunday use:


MONTGOMERY, Ala. — In 1994, Montgomery's John Anzalone started a public opinion research firm with "one guy and a part-time secretary." This year, with offices in Montgomery, Washington and New York, Anzalone Liszt Research did polling and analysis of key battleground states for the Barack Obama presidential campaign — for the second time. Along with partner Jeff Listz, he's also helped dozens of congressmen, state officials, corporations and nonprofit groups nationwide reach their goals over the years. Meanwhile, Anzalone and his family have seen Montgomery develop around them. "It's a great place to live," he said, but the Michigan native has never wanted to rely on his adopted home state for work. By Brad Harper. Montgomery Advertiser.

For Monday use:


HOOVER, Ala. — Haley Higdon's life changed significantly this year when she lost four fingers due to a car crash in January, but a nonprofit foundation affiliated with Rotary is giving the 16-year-old Hoover girl a helping hand - literally. Higdon recently received a $112,000 myoelectric prosthetic hand that will enable her to do many of the things she did before. She's already learned how to pick up a cup and pick up a softball - a sport near and dear to her heart, and she's eager to learn how to do more. By Jon Anderson.


DOTHAN, Ala. — Jerry Henderson was an A-B student at the Alabama School for the Deaf when he started losing his sight. He was diagnosed with Usher syndrome, an inherited condition that causes hearing loss and a degenerative eye disorder called retinitis pigmentosa. The syndrome is responsible for the majority of deaf-blindness cases. Jerry's field of vision began narrowing when he was 12. It held him back in school, and he didn't get to graduate with the friends he started with. "I complained a little bit and I was restless and I couldn't see," he said through an interpreter. He "had to hold things close up" to see what they were. He attended the school from 1946 to 1960. After he left, he worked as a mop winder at New Hope Industries in Dothan. He worked there for 20 years, but had the determination to do more. By Jimmy Sailors. The Dothan Eagle.


For Saturday use:


LACOOCHEE, Fla. — When the old cowboy woke, he could smell the horses through his open window. Their manure smelled to him like the most fragrant perfume. His daughter helped him dress before breakfast. As a girl she didn't know her daddy had feet because they always were tucked in cowboy boots. Now his legs and feet looked tiny and weak. By Jeff Klinkenberg, Tampa Bay Times.

For Sunday use:


SARASOTA, Fla. — In a Booker High School classroom, Angelo Buenano learns how to speak Mandarin Chinese from an instructor who lives a thousand miles away in the Philippines. By Gabrielle Russon, Sarasota Herald-Tribune.

For Monday use:


DANIA BEACH, Fla. — The six-legged termites didn't look menacing as they crawled on a tree outside the Fishing Hall of Fame in Dania Beach. But each insect, barely the size of a grain of rice, can do more damage than any other wood-eating creature. By Maria Camila Bernal, The Miami Herald.


For Saturday use:


ATHENS, Ga. — Some people create man caves in their basement, but Roy Moseman's got a century-old general store, full of brightly colored packages a customer might have found in a general store circa 1900, give or take a few years. By Lee Shearer, The Athens Banner-Herald.

For Sunday use:


ATLANTA — Gary Monk, a retired pilot and Appalachian Trail enthusiast, was more than a bit surprised when the head of U.S. Forest Service in north Georgia asked him to join a panel with bikers, equestrians and off-roaders. By Bill Torpy, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

For Monday use:


VALDOSTA, Ga. — Kenny Sumner is a man of means. At 53, he has been living in the eaves under the Patterson overpass for four years. Using the support beams as a shelf, Sumner has collected a single-sized mattress, blankets and planks of plywood to form a lean-to, where he spends his nights, but he doesn't go hungry. By Jason Schaefer, The Valdosta Daily News.


For Sunday use:


HARRODSBURG, Ky. — Peanut butter may seem a novel thing to many people. However, Mercer County Senior High School junior Mac Guay knows that it can be so much more to a family in need. By Kendra Peek, Advocate Messenger.

For Monday use:


COVINGTON, Ky. — It does not look like much, this building near the railroad tracks and the massive old gas tanks in Northern Kentucky. But inside, ancient history is being revealed. Fossils hundreds of millions of years old emerge from shale and limestone and are born again in their bizarre beauty. By John Faherty, The Kentucky Enquirer.


For Saturday and Sunday use:


NEW ORLEANS — They weren't exactly expecting to coast through their senior year at Carver High School, but they weren't expecting two hours of homework each night either. Then there are the small things that came with the school's new administration -- that they can't keep their personal stuff in the locker room, and have to walk a straight line down the hallway to get from one classroom to another. By Andrew Vanacore, The Times-Picayune.


ALEXANDRIA, La. — It's a big job -- the quest for the person or group that can tell the city what can and should -- or shouldn't -- be done with Bringhurst Field. The goal is to bring the historic baseball stadium into the 21st century while maintaining its history, hopefully all within a budget of $3 million. The Town Talk.

For Monday use:


MONROE, La. — Like many homeless veterans in northeastern Louisiana, Victor Coleman lived each day wondering where his next meal would come from and where he'd lay his head to sleep. By Scott Rogers, The News-Star.


BATON ROUGE, La. — Joan Pennington has never been one to sit around twiddling her thumbs. She was the first female chemist at the E.I. DuPont de Nemours explosives plant in Birmingham, Ala. She worked for 28 years for Dow Chemical Co. in various research positions in Texas and Louisiana. During her years of work as a chemist, Pennington and her husband, Don, also a retired chemist, raised three children. In their spare time, they did parent volunteer work — Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, Sunday school teachers, Methodist Youth Fellowship counselors, room mother, Little League coach and team mother. When she retired from Dow in 1990 as a senior research manager, Joan Pennington had 50 people working for her. By Carol Anne Blitzer, The Advocate.


For Sunday use:


WILMINGTON, Del. — Bryonna Tunnell, 22, usually takes an HIV test every six months at her doctor's office, just to be safe. "It's better to know than not know," she said. So when Tunnell, a pharmacy technician at the Walgreen store at Ninth and North Market streets in Wilmington, heard she could get the test for free at the store Friday, she couldn't pass up the convenience. By Mike Chalmers, The News Journal of Wilmington.


FREDERICK, Md. — Col. Dallas Hack works to save lives on the battlefield, even though he is thousands of miles from any combat arena. A doctor by training, Hack directs the U.S. Army's Combat Casualty Care Research Program at Fort Detrick, putting him at the forefront of research into how to protect combatants and helping to save lives that could have been cut short by battlefield injuries. By Courtney Mabeus, The News-Post of Frederick.

For Monday use:


SALISBURY, Md. — Passersby on Salisbury's Downtown Plaza may not realize that a recording studio lies behind the large glass panes that showcase a clean room with a white couch and a shelf. By Vanessa Junkin, The Daily Times of Salisbury.


WESTMINSTER, Md. — Police are typically involved in the aftermath of a vehicle collision, though for some, the involvement can last for years. When it's a serious enough crash, members of the Maryland State Police Crash Team are usually on the scene. By Brett Lake, Carroll County Times.


For Sunday use:


COLUMBUS, Miss. — When attorney Rod Ray was defending a client accused of sexual battery, he gave an impassioned speech to members of the jury, asking them to take the facts of the case into account and not give in to public perception that when a man is accused of a sex crime, he is automatically guilty. By Sarah Fowler, The Commercial Dispatch.


LAKE CORMORANT, Miss. — Work is being done on a two tier tailwater irrigation system in the western part of DeSoto County. "I don't know what it takes to flip your wig, but this is a pretty impressive hole in the ground," said Scott Griffith. It's one that holds hopes for conserving an ebbing aquifer and easing runoff assaults on the Gulf Coast. By Henry Bailey, The Commercial Appeal.

For Monday use:


ABERDEEN, Miss. — Driving 90 mph down New York City's Roosevelt Parkway, FBI agent David Houston took stock of his young life. "This is crazy," he said to himself on the way from his New Jersey home to an extortion ring bust. "I've got to slow down." Forty years later, he's finally getting around to it. By Patsy R. Brumfield, Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal


GREENWOOD, Miss. — A national initiative will allow Greenwood Public Schools students to receive high school diplomas after 10th grade beginning next August. By Jeanie Riess, Greenwood Commonwealth.


For Saturday use:


HIGH POINT, N.C. — Wanna McAnally takes her seat at the chapel organ of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church - an organ donated to the church in her honor, by the way - and squints at an open hymnal before her. By Jimmy Tomlin, High Point Enterprise.

For Sunday use:


SHELBY, N.C. — John Rankin sat in an arm chair in the living room of his Main Street home. He twirled a cell phone on a table. It kept him busy as he talked about his tour during the Vietnam War. By Alicia Banks, he Shelby Star.

For Monday use:


BEAUFORT, N.C. — The house that Brien Taylor built is falling apart. A blue tarp that once covered part of the roof has long since blown away. Weeds sprout from shingles. Five broken-down lawn tractors litter the yard, along with an assortment of abandoned cars and trucks. Vines are starting to swallow the two boats at the rear of the property. By Greg Barnes, The Fayetteville Observer.


For Saturday use:


FLORENCE, S.C. — Shoppers in Florence are hearing a perennially present jingle echoing across parking lots of more than a dozen retail and grocery store locations — the rhythmic reverberation of the bells of Salvation Army workers. By Christopher McKagen, (Florence) Morning News.

For Sunday use:


SPARTANBURG, S.C. — Scot Ward is charting a course from South Carolina's Upstate mountains to the sparkling coast of the Atlantic Ocean, and he is recording his trip so others can repeat the journey. By Felicia Kitzmiller, (Spartanburg) Herald Journal.

For Monday use:


DENMARK, S.C. — He's probably known more for his 1,275 tennis singles and doubles matches and his career 64 percent winning percentage. But Bill Jolly says few people are aware that he drove a landing craft under enemy fire in both the European and the Pacific Theaters of World War II. By Richard Walker, The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg.


For Sunday use:


COLLIERVILLE, Tenn. — While searching through the plastic containers full of screws and bolts at McGinnis Hardware, John Ashworth stopped, picked up a 1 ½-inch metal flat washer and showed it to employees. By Matt Woo, The Commercial Appeal.

For Monday use:


BRISTOL, Va. — A vast collection of sheet music from Tennessee Ernie Ford's lengthy career is now being digitized and preserved by a group of Virginia Intermont College faculty and students. By David McGee, Bristol Herald Courier.


For Sunday use:


CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Pam Stucky measures her son's age by the number of years that have passed since her husband was killed. Phillip Stucky is 22. Now a student at the University of Virginia, he was 6 weeks old when a Naval Reserve officer with a blood-alcohol content of 0.23 percent swerved a vehicle across a double yellow line, plowing head-on into Dean Stucky's pickup truck. By K. Burnell Evans, The Daily Progress.


NEW CASTLE, Va. — Deep in the heart of rural Craig County, a crew of volunteers is transforming 18 acres of sprawling land into the county's first sports complex. By Annie McCallum, The Roanoke Times

For Monday use:


FREDERICKSBURG, Va. — Norman Sedgley gets up in the middle of the night to make the world a safer place. The 90-year-old arrives at the Massad Family Branch of the Rappahannock Area YMCA between 3:30 and 4 a.m. to get it ready for those who come after him. By Cathy Dyson, The Free Lance-Star.


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. — The children encircled a box, their faces obscured by a black netting that gave them the look of earth-stranded astronauts. By Gabriella Souza, The Virginian-Pilot.


For Sunday use:


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — What if today was the day you decided that you just couldn't take it anymore? What if today was the day you decided that you would just do yourself in — since the world would obviously be a better place without you? And what if, as you were staring into that abyss, you heard a story from someone who thought he couldn't go on either, but he did? By Jim Bissett, The Dominion Post.


SOPHIA, W.Va. — The Unique Antique and Mercantile on Main Street attracts those in quest of antiques, collectibles or a history lesson. "I love to talk to people," said proprietor Phyllis Rose, who is also known as the town historian. "I know everybody in the whole country." By Charlotte Ferrell Smith, Charleston Daily Mail.

For Monday use:


MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A group of West Virginia University students enjoy spending their Friday evenings playing New Orleans style jazz music in downtown Morgantown. The High Street Jazz Band is bringing Dixieland sounds to the streets of West Virginia. By Ben Adducchio, West Virginia Public Broadcasting.


CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Nothing can keep Reggie Cain from going to class. Not his long hours at The Redemption House, the shelter he recently opened to support recovering addicts. Not his time split between his six children and grandchildren. Not even chemotherapy treatments. Cain, 61, will graduate from West Virginia State University in December with a bachelor's degree in health sciences. He decided to go back to school in 2009, and since then, he has earned three associate degrees specializing in behavioral health and counseling in addition to the B.S. he'll receive. By MacKenzie Mays, The Charleston Gazette.

The AP

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