Looking Back: United Fund topped its fundraiser goal

Published 12:02 am Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Some people just can’t get a break and in 1999.

Twenty years ago, a man, Bruce Smith, who lost his home to a fire at the hand of arsonists in Atmore, also lost his truck to a fire and his business was burglarized. Talk about bad luck. He offered a reward for anyone who could identify those who were responsible for the crime and the conviction of the person who did it.

The United Fund topped its goal raising more than $100,000. This has been a successful fundraiser for many years. It is mostly used for local charities and people like to know where their money goes that they donate.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Law enforcement was investigating a rape that occurred near Huxford. A 14-year-old girl was kidnapped while waiting for a school bus in Mobile County. A white male took the girl and then drove north and the driver exited the interstate at exit 21. The kidnapper then drove onto a dirt road where she was raped. At some point she was able to get away from her attacker and called for help. The kidnapper then left her where she was able to escape by running across a field. Law enforcement are investigating the case.

A bad case of animal cruelty was being investigated. Two horses and several smaller animals were found to be in horrible shape. One of the horses was near death from starvation. An earlier visit from officials tipped off the people who had the animals and some food was put out for them, but not enough. The one horse that was so bad off could not get to his share of the food and was near death. The animals were all removed to somewhere else.

There was an article in The Atmore Advance about Captain Andrew Stabler, a tugboat captain, who helped in the wake of a train wreck near Mobile. The tugboat and its crew responded to a train derailment in the bayou that killed 47 Amtrak passengers while 17 were rescued. The captain said there wasn’t time to think about it at the time and it was only later that he realized what a catastrophe had occurred and their part in it. They first thought that the scene of the derailment was a fire until they got closer. The tugboat captain said it was a sight he would never forget.

The Bank of Brewton was acknowledged as being the oldest bank in Alabama. The doors opened in 1889 and had been successfully in operation since that time. (By the way, it is still in operation in 2019.)

John Daniel Rowell pleaded guilty on drug charges. He was to be sentenced in April.

Escambia County High School held a womanless beauty contest with several lovely young “ladies” vying for the title.

Northview High School’s head coach, Gene Ellison, announced his resignation just two months after leading the school to the top 10 rating.