At the end of each year, we compile a list of the best stories we did that year. In 2018, we had so many great articles that we had to break it into two parts! Here are stories #6-10 of our Top Stories of 2018!
STORY #6: Winner Winner Catfish Dinner (August 3) — After defeating more than 150 participants across the State of Alabama, Mentone’s Green Leaf Grill and its owner Jimmy Rogers took home the big prize this year of having the Best Catfish in Alabama. The Alabama Farmers Federation named Rogers as the best catfish cook in the whole state in order to celebrate National Catfish Month, which is recognized every August. The Green Leaf Grill took the top prize over St. Clair County’s The Ark, Heard’s BBQ & Soul Food in Maplesville, and Thomasville’s David’s Catfish House.
STORY #7: Remembering Dr. Ronnie Lewis (June 1) — DeKalb County lost a friend, a family doctor and good Christian man this year. Dr. Ronnie Lewis passed away on Tuesday, May 29. He served for many years as a church pianist and choir director. He loved convention-style singing and served as the President of the Alabama School of Gospel Music at Snead. Lewis was very humble and didn't like much recognition, but was honored with many accolades including Vice President of the Medical Association of the State of Alabama (MASA). We still miss Dr. Lewis and thank him for his many years as a physician, musician and friend.
STORY #8: #SiloSingingMom Goes Viral (October 5) — Life changed for Ider’s Jenny Wootten Man this year. After posting a video of her singing inside a grain silo, this DeKalb County mom went viral across Facebook, YouTube and even nabbed a mention on Fox News. Mann, our very own Ider sports reporter, posted the video of her singing God Bless America and How Great Thou Art this year and assumed that her only audience would be her ever-growing list of friends on Facebook, but millions of views later, the #SiloSingingMom is still blowing up the Internet. Mann is an avid singer in the County and her church, where she grew up singing. Our full Torch Talk with Jenny is still on our Facebook, check it out!
STORY #9: Local Ties to International Icon — A local business is holding on to a small piece of history extra tight this year as Hollywood icon Burt Reynolds passed away this September. Rainsville Church Pew was contracted in 1985 to seat Reynolds' private chapel on his 160-acre BR horse ranch in Jupiter, Fla. The 'Gunsmoke' and 'Smokey and the Bandit' star contacted the oldest industry in Rainsville after narrowing his search for the best church pews in the South. The Rainsville Church Pew, which celebrated its 60th birthday this year, has still hung onto a copy of the check adorned with Reynolds' signature.
STORY #10: Cornerstone Beta wins National Group Talent (June 22) —The Senior Beta team from Cornerstone Christian Academy came home from the national competition in Savannah, Ga. with an extra piece of luggage: a first place trophy for their big win in Group Talent! The group performed a Pirates of the Caribbean-themed show. Cornerstone has been attending Beta functions since 2016. Congratulations once again on this great achievement!