By Karah Wilson karah@southerntorch.com RAINSVILLE, Ala.— To celebrate Black History Month, Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) was visited by Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders (D-Selma).  Sanders spoke to a roomful of college students about the types of adversity he has witnessed and faced in his life and career. Sanders graduated from Harvard Law School and established a law firm. He became the first African American state senator in the Alabama Black Belt. He was the top of his high school and college class. He was awarded several awards and scholarships, including one that took him to Africa for a year. 

Sand Mountain Pottery

By: Karah Wilson RAINSVILLE, Ala.— Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) invites you to attend an exhibit, lecture, and discussion of Sand Mountain Pottery on Feb. 11, 2016, in the Archives and Special Collections Room (Room 206) on the 2nd floor of the Cecil B. Word Learning Resources Center on the NACC campus. The event will begin with refreshments, followed by an exhibit viewing period from 3:15 p.m. until 4 p.m. Mr. Joey Brackner, Director of the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture and host of the Alabama Public Television documentary program Journey Proud, along with Mr. Ron Countryman of Birmingham and Mr.

By Staff Reports RAINSVILLE, Ala.— Highlighting the critical importance of improving student success in America’s community colleges, the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program named Northeast Alabama Community College as one of the nation’s top 150 community colleges eligible to compete for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence and $1 million dollars in prize funds, as well as Siemens Technical Scholars Program Student Scholarships. The Prize, awarded every two years, is the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges and recognizes institutions for exceptional student outcomes in four areas: student learning, certificate and degree

By Dwayne Adams dwayne@southerntorch.com RAINSVILLE, Ala.— The Loomis Bros. Circus brought tons of excitement and family fun to the Northeast Alabama Agri-Business Center Tuesday and Wednesday, where they thrilled audiences with elephants, White Siberian tigers, and internationally renowned circus performers, bringing the wonder and amazement of the American circus to DeKalb County. Southern Torch’s own Marla Jones and Diego Reynoso made quite an entrance during the event, riding in on an elephant as Guest Ringmasters for the Southern Torch. Thanks for supporting the circus!

Upcoming events

Feb. 6 – Royal & Toulouse with Soul Karnival: Royal & Toulouse will perform with Fort Payne band Soul Karnival at Vintage 1889 in Fort Payne. Event begins at 7 p.m. For more information, contact Vintage 1889 at 256-845–3380. Feb. 7 – Kamama Chrysalis: Come in and enjoy cider and cookies and meet the new Kamama Partner’s. Fontana Stinson will be the new Chef and will manage the café. She will be introducing her new menu and have some tastings. Clare Donohue will be the new Gallery Manager. She will be raffling off a few items. Come on in, bring

Always be helpful

By Diego Reynoso diego@southerntorch.com This week I had treatment. I had missed a week of treatment because the side effects were  bothering me. The burning sensation in my hands was unbearable and I could not get them to close, well they could but man did it hurt bad.  Also the skin was shedding so bad that it would leave like an open wound. I’ve tried everything under the sun to help. Lotions, cream, ointments and home remedies. I have heard from everyone some form of idea to help. I appreciate everyone’s advice and tips. Nothing goes unnoticed believe me. I

By Staff Reports RAINSVILLE, Ala.— The Loomis Bros. Circus will be performing at the Northeast Alabama Agi-Business Center in Rainsville this week on Tuesday, Feb. 2 and Wednesday, Feb. 3 with 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. showtimes each day. Circus Ringmaster Justin Loomis said this year’s performance features updated sound and lighting along with a fresh cast of international circus stars – both human and animal – performing traditional acts and thrilling feats. “Each ninety minute performance showcases the beauty, wonder, and amazement that is the American circus. You’ll witness the thrilling Los Tandazos performing way above the arena floor on

By Angie Reynoso angie@southerntorch.com RAINSVILLE, Ala.— Southern Torch is awarding dinner and a movie for two!  Post a photo of yourself and your Valentine on our facebook page from Feb.1, 2016 – Feb.7, 2017 for your chance to win a romantic dinner for two at Wildflower Cafe and two tickets for a movie of your choice at Fort Payne Cinemas. The photo with the most likes and comments will be the lucky winner and will be announced Feb. 8, 2016. A brief article and your photo will be in our Feb. 12, 2016 issue. Don’t be shy and send in

By Staff Reports RAINSVILLE, Ala.— A spokesman for Loomis Bros. Circus said their company is proud to continue to include elephants in their performances, despite a trend in recent years from other circuses of making the decision to eliminate the animals from their acts altogether. Scott attributes this trend to negative propaganda and a lack of education on the subject. “Our goal at Loomis Bros. Circus has always been to present a traditional circus experience, and we believe featuring elephants in our show is an important part of providing that experience,” Director of Business, Media, and Talent Relations for Loomis

By Karah Wilson karah@southerntorch.com RAINSVILLE, Ala.— Last month D.L. Stiefel was named Rainsville’s 2015 Person of the Year, an award bestowed on a deserving citizen each year by the Rainsville Chamber of Commerce. Stiefel was honored for his accomplishments on Jan. 21 during the 49th Annual Rainsville Chamber of Commerce banquet. Stiefel’s wife, Carolyn, nominated Stiefel for this award and introduced him to the crowd. “He is a positive influence on all who know him,” Carolyn said. Stiefel moved to Rainsville with his parents in the early 1950’s as a child. He entered the U.S. Air Force in 1966 rather

POLITICS

By Joseph M. Morgan joseph@southerntorch.com MONTGOMERY, Ala.— The Alabama Senate Republican Caucus recently announced their legislative priorities for the 2016

By Tyler Pruett tyler@southerntorch.com Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses on Monday, upsetting predicted GOP winner Donald Trump

FORT PAYNE, Ala.—At the Fort Payne City Council meeting Tuesday night, the DeKalb County Republican Party (DCRP) was denied a

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz won the Iowa caucuses on Monday, upsetting predicted GOP winner Donald Trump who

By Tyler Pruett tyler@southerntorch.com Feb. 1 marks the first electoral event for the 2016 Presidential Elections. Voters in the Hawkeye

By Joseph M. Morgan joseph@southerntorch.com Voting is a right that many in our nation take for granted. We are blessed

By Joseph M. Morgan joseph@southerntorch.com MONTGOMERY, Ala.— Alabama Sen. Phil Williams released a scathing statement this week to an article

By Joseph M. Morgan joseph@southerntorch.com DEKALB CO, Ala.—Alabama will hold its primary election on March 1, 2016 to determine which

By Karah Wilson karah@southerntorch.com BIRMINGHAM, Ala.— Democratic presidential candidate and U.S Senator from Vermont, Bernie Sanders, made a stop to

COMMUNITY

By Karah Wilson karah@southerntorch.com RAINSVILLE, Ala.— To celebrate Black History Month, Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) was visited by Alabama State Senator Hank Sanders (D-Selma).  Sanders spoke to a roomful of college students about the types of adversity he has witnessed and faced in his life and career. Sanders graduated from Harvard Law School and established a law firm. He became the first African American state senator in the Alabama Black Belt. He was the top of his high school and college class. He was awarded several awards and scholarships, including one that took him to Africa for a year. 

Sand Mountain Pottery

By: Karah Wilson RAINSVILLE, Ala.— Northeast Alabama Community College (NACC) invites you to attend an exhibit, lecture, and discussion of Sand Mountain Pottery on Feb. 11, 2016, in the Archives and Special Collections Room (Room 206) on the 2nd floor of the Cecil B. Word Learning Resources Center on the NACC campus. The event will begin with refreshments, followed by an exhibit viewing period from 3:15 p.m. until 4 p.m. Mr. Joey Brackner, Director of the Alabama Center for Traditional Culture and host of the Alabama Public Television documentary program Journey Proud, along with Mr. Ron Countryman of Birmingham and Mr.

FAITH

One Pool, Two Dips

By Dr. John E. Morgan Pastor–Collinsville Baptist Church Thanksgiving.  Gulf Shores. My family alternated years celebrating  Thanksgiving in north Alabama one year and in south Alabama where one of my sisters lives the next year. She had us go out to Gulf Shores several times when she hosted.  My sisters and their families.  Rent some condos.  Have fun.  Lots of kids with us.  Great times.  Great family times. Except.  Except that the temperature in Gulf Shores could be cool.  And the ocean had already gotten much cooler than that comfortable warm summer water.  That meant that some of the adults

By Megan Blansit Founder of The Beautiful Movement – a youth ministry for high school girls. For more information, visit The Beautiful Movement’s Facebook page, where I post the time, place, and activity for each month I think  sometimes as Christians we are guilty of only making our requests known to God and then being done with our communication (or prayer) until the next time we “need something.” BUT, I wonder if we are missing out on hearing God speak? Perhaps God would like to say “Hello” from the other side (Adele pun intended.) Are our schedules too chaotic to

SPORTS

By Marla Jones, Sports Editor marla@southerntorch.com Plainview 74-Geraldine 69 RAINSVILLE, Ala.— Anticipation filled the coliseum as the Class 3A, No. 3 Geraldine Bulldogs faced the No. 9 Plainview Bears for the Dekalb County Basketball Tournament championship game Thursday night, January 25, 2016. You could hardly hear the teams being announced over the standing-room only fan section.  Inclement weather had postponed this game for nearly a week and anticipation for this game was at an all time high. Geraldine and Plainview were both ranked in the top 10 for this year. Plainview had defeated Geraldine last year in the final second

By Marla Jones, Sports Editor marla@southerntorch.com Dobbins was a 1954 graduate and All-State basketball player at DeKalb County High School. He coached basketball for 29 years and amassed a career record of 511-311, with two years at Southside and 27 years at Collinsville. He led Collinsville to the state championship in 1975 and was the state Coach of the Year that season. He had 10 players go on to play college basketball and seven went into coaching. The Collinsville gymnasium is named in his honor.

OPINION

Always be helpful

By Diego Reynoso diego@southerntorch.com This week I had treatment. I had missed a week of treatment because the side effects were  bothering me. The burning sensation in my hands was unbearable and I could not get them to close, well they could but man did it hurt bad.  Also the skin was shedding so bad that it would leave like an open wound. I’ve tried everything under the sun to help. Lotions, cream, ointments and home remedies. I have heard from everyone some form of idea to help. I appreciate everyone’s advice and tips. Nothing goes unnoticed believe me. I

By Tyler Pruett tyler@southerntorch.com While the situation for women and children in Afghanistan has improved since the U.S.-led coalition toppled the Taliban in 2001, the region remains one of the worst places on earth to live as a woman or a child. Before U.S. intervention while under Taliban rule, women were publicly flogged for simple things such as leaving their home without a male escort or learning to read and write. After the coalition installed a new government, these repressive laws were abolished and conditions improved greatly during the early occupation. Afghanistan even saw women elected to public office for