Creek casino helping put Atmore on map

Published 10:08 am Wednesday, January 7, 2009

By By Lowell McGill
The town of Atmore is being “spread all over the South”.
Well, that’s what three of my former flood adjuster friends are telling me.
This past week I spoke with those semi-retired adjusters. They tell me they have read in magazines and newspaper ads and seen on TV more ads announcing the opening of Wind Creek Casino &Hotel here this week. My friends, who live in Atlanta, Birmingham and Tallahassee, respectively, say they want to come down and see this resort. In fact, they are putting together an excursion with hopes of 8 to 10 adjusters attending. I told them about the exclusive restaurants and towering hotel. They were already aware of this because “we saw it in the ads and on TV,” they related.
I am sure my friends will not be the only groups who plan trips here because those luring Creek advertisements will bring in more and more casino fans. Now, you don’t have to be a gambler to go there. The hotel and restaurants will appeal to non gamblers as well. Conventions will also be lured here too.
So, once again we say hats off to the Creeks for their foresight and entrepreneurial efforts and for creating hundreds of jobs for local and area residents.
Now, here are some 2009 predictions.
In sports, I believe Auburn has made two good hires in their football program. They have brought in an energetic head coach in Gene Chizik and high scoring offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn. Even as I write, more coaches are being added to the staff. What I like is the fact they are relatively young and have driving ambitions to succeed. I believe the coaches will now be more compatible and will, in time, lead this team to a solid SEC contender. It may take them a couple of years, but I look for good success for the Tigers.
Nick Saban, by the way, will continue to lead the Crimson Tide to a national title. This could come as early as this year. But, probably 2010 will be his year. Some media pundits say Saban will leave for another team in two years. He may do this, but here is what I believe. He will either, indeed, move on before he turns 60 or he will remain and became another identifiable fixture at the Capstone. You must remember what happened to Steve Spurrier after he turned 60. His coaching has not even been close to that era when he had all those championships at Florida. So, Saban must act within two years if he does make a move. Or, he will remain and lay the groundwork for his becoming another Paul Bryant-like idol. At 57 years of age he only has a couple of years to play with. My guess is he stays. One Internet writer feels the same way. He wrote that the entire Saban family identified with the Alabama hills and mountains, which are much like his native West Virginia terrain. Saban once was quoted as “I liked LSU, but I sure wish there were some hills and mountains in Baton Rouge”. Well, he has those hills and mountains now in Tuscaloosa and surrounding areas.
In 2009 politics, it will be interesting to see how President Obama untangles the “Chicago connection”. I believe Obama is a good man but he will be caught up in a ‘catch 22” situation between the ultra far left and the more central constituents of the Democratic party. Which way he goes is anyone’s guess.
But the most interesting news will be the plight of Caroline Kennedy. The 51-year-old daughter of President John Kennedy made news last week as she completely stumbled with word usage in a TV interview. The probable pick to replace Hillary Clinton as New York’s senator was given a free ride by the main press when she totally made a fool of herself in that interview. I know you have heard that phrase “you know, you know.” Well she used it more than a dozen times in a three paragraph reply regarding her political intentions. Had this been Sarah Palin the national news media would have been all over this. In fact, Saturday Night Live would have feasted on it. Ironically, a New York Times writer was the source of her blunder.
In technical outlooks, one internet writer believes Direct TV and Dish Network will merge their two businesses in the future. He says Dish is losing too many subscribers to “stay afloat”. Even now Dish has failed to deliver on its promised 100 plus HD channels “by the end of 2008”. The Federal Communication will certainly have a problem if it comes down to only one super satellite network.
Speaking of TV the Associated Press reported Jan. 2 that the feds are running out of Digital-TV converter coupons. These coupons, which have a $40 value, are applied to buying the $50 converter. After Feb. 17 you will no longer be able to receive TV programs on rabbit ears or conventional rooftop antennas. TV reception will become digital on that date. And, an Internet report just yesterday indicated that many TV stations will not be “ready for digital” TV. This writer sees the February date being pushed back even further in 2009.
Look for more insurance companies to “drop” coverage on homes and businesses in the areas primarily south of I-10. Jeff Amy wrote in the Mobile Press Register Sunday “Allstate is in the midst of dropping wind coverage on more than 9,000 Mobile and Baldwin County policies, a process that will play out through September.”
I also look for a revision in the National Flood Insurance policy. I understand that the Legislature is considering raising the cost of monthly premiums, especially for those who have property near coastal areas. I keep pretty well up to date on NFIP activities as this is the field I have worked in for 30 years.
Well, these are just a few of my 2009 predictions. I may offer a couple more in the next few weeks.
Incidentally one of my adjuster friends told me he made two New Year’s resolutions. He said, first, I am going to stop eating those big juicy steaks, sausage biscuits, ice cream cones, cheese coated crackers, mashed potatoes, apple turnovers, chocolate bars and fried hamburgers.
Then, my second resolution, he told me, is not to pay any attention to my first resolution.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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