By Stephanie Johns
A request to demolish one of the last two historically African-American buildings in Madison was tabled until the March meeting of the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).
While the 200 W. Washington St. building may look like one large building from the outside, in actuality it is two buildings. The Mapp-Gilmore Funeral Home used to be located in one side of the structure.
The HPC will ask City Manager David Nunn to hire a structural specialist to give an opinion as to whether or not the old building can be saved.
According to the Morgan County Board of Tax Assessors website, the structure is 6,552 square feet with brick exterior walls as well as open wood joists and a pine floor.
According to Laura Butler, president of the Morgan County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and a prior tenant of one portion of the building, the building was “African-built, African-owned.”
She said the NAACP had an office in that building from the 1970s through April 2012.
“It shouldn’t be torn down because that is historic,” she said. “You always can renovate a building; it may cost.”
Butler said the building was at one time home to a barber shop, a beauty shop, Franklin’s Restaurant, Franklin’s Pool Hall, a café and a dance hall.
Ethel Franklin said that her mother, Dellie Franklin, had “Home Cook Restaurant” in that building. After that there was “Fish Delight.”
Franklin voiced her opposition to demolishing the building.
“It is a historic building and I don’t think it should be torn down,” she said. “Restore it: let it stay the same on the outside and correspond with other buildings.”
By Kathryn Schiliro
Long-time Morgan County Elementary School Principal Jean Triplett has decided to retire at the end of this school year.
“I just felt it was the right time to retire,” Triplett wrote in an e-mail correspondence. “I have felt I was getting to that point a couple of years ago, but I never felt a complete peace about it until this year. I was always told that you would know when the time was right, and I guess that is true.”
Triplett has been in education for 35 years. She started teaching fourth and fifth grades in Gordon County, Ga. straight out of college before moving to Tampa, Fla., where she was married. The couple elected to move back to Morgan County after Triplett became pregnant.
Upon her return, she started at Morgan County High School (MCHS) in January 1982 as the DCT coordinator, with plans to get a position at the elementary level the next fall. However, Triplett found herself at MCHS until 1990, when MCES opened.
Triplett then became assistant principal of MCES, working with then-principal Martha Brodrick for six years before becoming principal herself.
BOE hears school calendar proposals
By Stephanie Johns
Members of the Morgan County Board of Health heard about low immunization numbers from Dr. Claude Burnett, district health director, during their recent quarterly meeting.
After seeing a peak of approximately 3,400 patients in 2009, the Morgan County Health Department has experienced a steady drop, down to about 2,300 patients in 2012.
Burnett noted those numbers “dropped off dramatically” but said that a similar pattern may be seen when comparing Morgan County to other counties in the district.
The immunization program experienced the largest drop in patients: from more than 2,000 patients in 2009 down to a little more than 1,000 patients in 2012.
Burnett said the health department used to immunize about 80 percent of the babies in the county. Since 1995, though, that number has “plunged” because doctors have started doing a lot more shots in their offices.
As to flu shots, Burnett said that now that groceries and pharmacies offer these shots the health department numbers have not rebounded in spite of a “fair amount of flu” in 2012.
He said he does not think they will see those numbers recover.
Board member Bruce Gilbert asked if the health department offers a shingles shot.
Burnett said the shot is beneficial.
“It cuts the risk in half to get the shingles shot,” he said.
Leah Ainslie, family nurse practitioner and county nurse manager at Morgan County Health Department, said the one-time shot costs about $180 per person.
She noted that patients are more likely to pay their insurance co-payment at their regular physician’s office and get a checkup in addition as opposed to paying the fee at the health department.
More than 150 people came to Madison last weekend to attend the Madison-Morgan Wedding Association’s (MMWA) Bridal Show & Venue Tour. The Bridal Show, the organization’s first, was held on Saturday at The Hall at the Madison-Morgan Cultural Center and featured 30 vendor booths from local and regional businesses, from photographers, caterers, florists and tent rental businesses to spas, wedding destinations and more. The winners of the “Best Booth,” based on attendee votes, were Hallie Jane’s, first place, and the Rutledge booth shared by LilyBeth’s, The Caboose and Yesterday’s Cafe, second place. According to organizers, some 125 people attended the Bridal Show & Venue Tour on Saturday and another 25 people attended the Venue Tour on Sunday. Kristen Ashley (left) shows off her wares at the show. photo by d. yost
Printed in the February 14, 2013 edition
By Stephanie Johns
Andy Copeland, father of Aimee Copeland, said that his daughter is doing “remarkably well” less than a year after suffering from necrotizing fasciitis from Aeromonas hydrophila, a bacteria found in fresh water.
Copeland will speak to the Madison Kiwanis group on Feb. 28. He said his talk will focus on how the community reached out and embraced the family, including mom Donna and sister Paige, at its most desperate hour.
On May 1 of last year, a zip line Aimee was on broke and dropped her into the water below. Rocks cut her left calf and allowed the bacteria to enter deep into the wound.
By May 17 Aimee had had her left leg, right foot and most of both hands amputated. She would later lose the remaining portions of each hand as well.
Copeland began a website with a blog – http://aimeecopeland.com – to offer a timeline and share details of the ordeal as it unfolded. He literally wrote the blog from the waiting room, he said.
“It’s straight from the horse’s mouth,” he said, adding that it reveals the “metamorphosis” he and his family went through.
Visitors to the site will have the chance to read about Aimee, her accident, and current and future needs she has. There are pictures showing her with family, friends and at college.
Also, they may read Copeland’s thoughts from the first “fateful” phone call notifying him of the accident to his last post on Christmas Eve 2012.
In that last post, Copeland said the family does not view what happened to Aimee as a “tragedy” but rather “a demonstration of the power of love.”
“The way we see it, God’s love permeated not only the cities and communities around us, but it engulfed the entire world,” he wrote.