Many still not prepared for digital switch

Published 5:39 am Wednesday, June 3, 2009

By By Lowell McGill
This week we will take a look at some more news of people, places and events in 1973, but first I would like to address the digital television switch next week.
According to Internet sources, hundreds of thousands of people will be left without TV programs and in most cases the elderly will be most affected.
Those using rabbit ears or antennas will not have anything to watch after June 12 because Congress mandated all TV broadcasts must be with a digital signal. Recent polls indicate a great number of folks will not be prepared for this changeover. The government offered coupons worth $40 toward a purchase of the digital box. But surveys indicate thousands have not taken advantage of it. Those not using the coupon would have to pay $50 for the box. Right now the Federal Communication help line shows 55,000 calls a day from those who do not have cable, satellite or the converter box.
This also means your battery operated TV set will be outdated unless, you have a conversion box. Many use these sets when electric power goes out, usually during the hurricane season.
The Obama administration may be facing an apparent dilemma and some said this week that this upcoming deadline may be extended another three months. I really don’t know what will happen, but I do know that many will be without TV after next Friday.
There is also the problem of properly disposing of your old TV sets.
It will be interesting to see what happens next week. I think this will be one of the major news topics of the week.
Last week, I mentioned the possibility of Amtrak’s efforts to restore passenger rail service to our area. Supporters of this cause are urged to urge our Congressional representatives to join forces with Rep. Gene Taylor, Miss. and Rep Corrin Brown, Fla. on July 14 for a return of Amtrak trains on a route from New Orleans to Florida.
It would, indeed, be nice to see those passenger trains making stops here once again in Atmore.
Now for some nostalgic news from 1973. Land belonging to Kembrell Cunningham was recognized for being the 50th million acres of pine seedlings. A large billboard was erected along the highway depicting his seedlings. The recognization came from the American Tree Farm Association.
A&P grocery store advertised heavy grain beef steak at 69 cents a pound and Luziannne coffee at 98 cents for a one pound bag.
Mannor Slacks, a Bay Minette textile firm, advertised for workers. Over 100 were needed to fill job openings at the plant.
Alice Tuberville, Vicky Faircloth, Debbie Bolten and Woodrow Johnson, all local students, were employed by the city as summer recreation workers. They assisted in swimming, softball and tennis.
Mickey and Rita Salter, Atmore natives, were making it big in the entertainment field. They were featured singers on the ABC Wide World of Entertainment Show. Rita is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Sherrill and Mickey is the son of Mr. and Mrs. Bernie Salter.
Nancy Helton, Vice President for Business Development at United Bank, was chosen as board secretary for the Mobile Business Center. This organization offers business service and counseling to women and men in seven counties in southwest Alabama.
Barbara McKay was chosen as the Jefferson Davis Jr. College campus beauty. The daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wayne McKay, she was also a JD cheerleader.
Most of you who are on social security should have received your $250 stimulus bonus checks by now. My wife and I received ours last week and she already has it spent. If you didn’t get yours you should contact your social security office.
The slow down in sales of automobiles has given a favorable outlook for local tire dealerships. Americans will be holding on to their cars longer which will create a demand for tires. In fact the “little tire dealer” should expect a very bright future. That is why it is very beneficial to buy from a local dealer.
While some larger out of town tire firms may offer cheaper prices, they cannot offer that quick hometown personal service. How many times have you called your local tire dealer to come fix a flat? You don’t always find that type service available with the larger out of town firms. It just goes to show it’s always best to buy from local firms.
Lowell McGill is a historical columnist for The Atmore Advance. He can be reached at

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