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LOOKING BACK: December 3, 2018 – News – Tuscaloosa News

50 years ago this week

• The Tuscaloosa Police Department under Chief William Marable awarded the department’s Merit Service Award to an Anniston police officer who worked as an undercover agent in making marijuana and LSD arrests in a crack down here.

• Construction of a new blasting agent processing plant at Coaling by the Austin Powder Co. was announced.

 •Two sailing enthusiasts were hoping to see a fleet on the new North River Reservoir. Dr. Everett Brett and Wayne Townsend were both constructing sailing vessels.

• The award-winning Ralph Community Club captured first place honors in the Central Alabama Rural Community Improvement Contest for the second straight year.

• Deaths this week included Chris Stollberg, one of the founders of Perry Creamery Co. in Tuscaloosa.

• The City Commission agreed to have city license inspector Bill Koeppel serve as relocation adviser for the former residents of the city-owned Kaulton quarters. The commission voted earlier this fall to demolish the substandard rental housing it owned on the old Kaul Lumber Company property. The Kaul demolition was one of the steps taken by the commission in its efforts to get its Workable Program for Urban Development approved by HUD. Until the program was approved, the city could receive no additional federal housing funds.

• Dr. Simril Bryant, minister of the First Presbyterian Church since Oct. 1, 1946, would ask his congregation to concur in his request for retirement in May.

• First Lt. Bennie Ross Guy, 22, was killed in Vietnam when 400 North Vietnamese attacked 150 probing U.S. air cavalrymen near the Cambodian border north of Saigon. Twenty-five of the American air cavalrymen were killed and 52 were wounded, the heaviest casualty toll suffered by the elite 1st Air Cavalry Division in a single battle this year.

• Cecil “Hootie” Ingram, a former backfield standout at both Tuscaloosa High and the University of Alabama, was interviewed to succeed John Bridges as head football coach at Baylor University. Ingram had been an assistant to Frank Broyles at Arkansas for the previous two seasons.

• The city of Centreville would complete its 10-year program for development in the city with its new City Hall, expected to be complete the following August.

• Billy Henderson resigned as head football coach and athletic director at Tuscaloosa High School, ending 24 years of association with the school’s athletic program as both a player and coach.

• Demolition was set for the University of Alabama’s old Thomas Field apartments on Tenth Street. Student couples lived in the 307-unit complex of converted Army barracks.

25 years ago this week

• Antonio Langham returned to the practice field with the Crimson Tide football team, but his status for the upcoming Southeastern Conference Championship Game was still uncertain. The senior cornerback was declared ineligible by the school when it was discovered he had signed a pact with Washington, D.C., attorney and sports agent Darryl Dennis. The following day, the National Collegiate Athletic Association denied the University of Alabama’s appeal to have Langham’s football eligibility restored.

• Ponchos were selling for more than game tickets at the soggy Southeastern Conference Championship Game in Birmingham that some dubbed the “Lackluster Bowl.” Florida beat Alabama in that game 28-13.

• Alabama would head to a Dec. 31 Gator Bowl berth against 10-2 North Carolina while Florida would represent the SEC in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1.

• A new admissions building and a new gero-psychiatric ward were under construction at Bryce Hospital.

• The peaceful Christmas parade exploded into a brief but violent street brawl on Greensboro Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets. The fight was between youths, but some spectators were knocked to the ground. The youths fled when an officer approached.

• Michael Freeman, associate professor of aerospace engineering at the University of Alabama, was the recipient of the National Faculty Advisor Award from the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

• University of Alabama football players David Palmer and Antonio Langham were named to the 1993 Associated Press All-America team.

10 years ago this week

• The Tuscaloosa City Council revoked the business license of a wrecking service after Tuscaloosa police found stolen vehicles at the business.

• The Tuscaloosa Veterans Affairs Medical Center received a Ford Taurus X-7 crossover vehicle, one of seven donated by Ford to VA centers across the nation. The vehicle would help with transportation of clients to the medical center.

• The project to widen U.S. Highway 82 to four lanes was impeded by the difficult terrain of Sipsey Swamp that added time and cost to the project. The planned completion date was summer of 2010.

Police Chief Steve Anderson presented plans to the Tuscaloosa City Council for a citizens police academy to educate the public about what police do, patterned after a similar program in South Florida.

• The Mercedes-Benz plant in Vance extended its December shutdown and added a two-week January closure as demand for its vehicles continued to decline.

• Perry County approved the second Monday in November as “Barack Obama Day.” The rural county overwhelming supported Obama in the previous month’s presidential election. The county’s roughly 40 workers would get a paid day off.

• L.C. Cole became the Stillman Tigers’ new head football coach, replacing Greg Thompson who coached the Tigers for three seasons. Thompson was dismissed after a 3-8 season.

• Tommy Tuberville stepped down after 10 seasons as coach of the Auburn Tigers. The Tigers finished this year a disappointing 5-7 and were shut out by Alabama in the regular-season finale. Tuberville declined several requests from the athletic director to reconsider.

• Six University of Alabama football players were named first-team All-America by the American Football Coaches Association. Junior offensive lineman Andre Smith, senior center Antoine Caldwell, junior defensive lineman Terrence Cody, senior free safety Rashad Johnson, running back Glen Coffee, and linebacker Rolando McClain were on the 25-member team. Nick Saban was named Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year and Crimson Tide rookie receiver Julio Jones took SEC Freshman of the Year honors.

• Deaths this week included civic leader and mall owner Bill McFarland, at 60.

• The Crimson Tide’s loss to the Florida Gators cost the team the SEC title, a chance at an unbeaten season and a crack at the BCS title as the top college football team in the land. The team lost 31-20. Alabama was headed for the Sugar Bowl to face 12-0 Utah on Jan 2.

• The Alabama Disabilities Advocacy Program demanded that the state close the W.D. Partlow Developmental Center for the following year, claiming abuse and neglect of residents.

Five years ago this week

• Ernest McNealey, president of Stillman College who had been on leave since early September, resigned.

• The West Alabama Gazette got a reprieve after publisher Peyton Bobo announced its closure after 37 years. The newspaper, published in Millport, was purchased by the owners of the Columbus (Miss.) Packet.

• Pickens County High School football team defeated Maplesville 38-18 in the Class 1A Championship Game to finish 15-0 and win the team’s first state title.

• Police were investigating what appeared to be a double murder-suicide in Carrollton. Well-known 82-year-old resident Dora Johnson; her daughter, Patricia Hudson, 63; and her 53-year old son, John Virgil Johnson, were found dead in the elder Johnson’s home.

• Red-light camera fines were rolling in to City Hall. The city had collected almost $32,805 in fines from its one active camera on 15th Street for the last three months.

• Third-ranked Auburn defeated No. 5 Missouri 59-42 to win the SEC title.

• The third-ranked University of Alabama was paired with No. 11 Oklahoma for the Jan. 2 Sugar Bowl game in New Orleans.

One year ago this week

• The Emergi-Care clinic was set to move to a new home at the former Salvation Army site on University Boulevard in Alberta. The clinic had been operating out of a temporary location off Skyland Boulevard since the April 27, 2011, tornado.

• The No. 4 Alabama Crimson Tide would play top-ranked Clemson for the College Football Playoff Semifinal in New Orleans.

• Boysen Alabama, USA, announced plans to effectively double its size bringing 70 additional jobs to Tuscaloosa. The plant builds automotive exhaust systems for Mercedes-Benz U.S. International.

• The Crimson Tide led the conference with eight first-team All-SEC picks. Junior wide receiver Calvin Ridley, sophomore offensive tackle Jonah Williams, junior right guard Ross Pierschbacher and senior center Bradley Bozeman represented the offense on the first-team list. Junior defensive tackle Da’Ron Payne, senior linebacker Rashaan Evans, junior defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick and junior safety Ronnie Harrison were selected for the defense.

• Tennessee hired Alabama defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt as its head coach. Pruitt would remain in Tuscaloosa to coach the Crimson Tide through the playoffs.

• Tuscaloosa was blanketed in 2 to 3 inches of snow, in the city’s earliest snowfall in 54 years.

Compiled by retired News librarian Betty Slowe.

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