50 years ago this week

• Northport officials worked out an arrangement for fire protection for persons living on the fringe areas of the city. The City Council voted last night to advise residents living outside the city limits of Northport, but within the police jurisdiction, to file a statement requesting fire protection and an agreement to pay a $100 fee for fire protection service if it should ever be needed.

• A report by the Tuscaloosa County Grand Jury urged improvement of conditions at the county jail and county shop. The Grand Jury urged early completion of the third floor of the county jail.

• Gov. Albert Brewer sent National Guard troops into Aliceville after a group of blacks he described as “young militants” damaged the predominantly black Kirksey High School and created “threats of the safety of lives and property in the city.”

• Pickens County Probate Judge R.H. Kirksey was the 1969 winner of the Pickens County leadership award. Judge Kirksey was cited for his work in over-all community improvement over the past 18 years.

• The new USS Tuscaloosa, a new design, tank landing ship (LST) was launched. The former USS Tuscaloosa, an old warship that became a favorite hideaway for President Franklin Roosevelt, was decommissioned in 1946 and sold for scrap in 1959. Its bell and some of its guns were then property of the city.

• New offset printing presses and computerized photographic typesetting machinery were purchased by The Tuscaloosa News for use by April, 1970, a near total replacement of production equipment.

• Morris Sokol was named the state’s outstanding retail furniture dealer at a meeting of the State Furniture Association of Alabama.

25 years ago this week

• Three new Susan B. Anthony dollar-coin postal machines were in operation at three Tuscaloosa postal facilities. The machines gave the dollar coins as change for paper money inserted for postal products.

• The Heritage Commission of Tuscaloosa County had to decide whether to issue a permit to tear down a 137-year-old house in Alaca Place after the Tuscaloosa City Council voted unanimously to condemn the Harrison-Laseter house at 1602 Alaca Place.

• Requests for Mercedes-Benz job applications surged past 60,000 meaning the automaker would get to pick employees from a labor pool four-fifths the size of Tuscaloosa’s entire labor force.

• Tuscaloosa Police Chief Ken Swindle was named as president of the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police.

• University of Alabama head coach Gene Stallings said that the immediate future of quarterback Freddie Kitchens “is still up in the air,” but indicated that he was thinking of withholding Kitchens from competition this season.

10 years ago this week

• Jim Wells retired as Alabama’s head baseball coach after 15 seasons with the team; former assistant coach Mitch Gaspard would replace him.

• Chase Goodbread was hired as the new University of Alabama football beat writer for The Tuscaloosa News.

• Rookie right tackle Andre Smith broke his left foot during practice only two days after he ended his holdout with the Cincinnati Bengals. The first-round pick out of the University of Alabama suffered this setback to his chances of winning the starting job this season.

• Wide receiver Julio Jones and running back Mark Ingram, two of the top offensive players on the fifth-ranked University of Alabama football team were cleared by the NCAA to play in the Crimson Tide’s season opener against Virginia Tech. Public anticipation of a ruling had grown since news of an investigation into a chartered fishing trip involving the student-athletes broke the previous week.

• Stillman College was awarded full accreditation by the Commission on Collegiate Nursing Education for its nursing program which was starting its third year. Previously, the college had a nursing program but dropped it in the 1940s because of the resistance and red tape the historically black college received from state regulators, among other reasons.

• Ted Sexton announced that he had resigned from his job with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security where he served as chief liaison between the federal department and state and local law enforcement agencies. Sexton would resume his duties as sheriff of Tuscaloosa County.

• Justin Smith became the first white member of Stillman College’s Blue Pride Marching Band.

• The Alabama Crimson Tide defeated Virginia Tech in its season opener, 34-24.

• A petition drive started in an attempt to save the U.S. Post Office in Alberta’s Leland Shopping Center.

Five years ago this week

• With a 5-2 vote, the Tuscaloosa City Council approved the rezoning and planned unit development requests for a 9.4-acre 72-unit townhouse development on Rice Mine Road Northeast.

• The University of Alabama engineering department revealed a new site for its Microfabrication Facility, which would be used for research to improve technology by increasing the memory capacity of computer hard drives.

• The Tuscaloosa County Commission approved the condemnation of seven properties in Holt, paving the way for the official start of the $11.6 million Holt sanitary sewer project.

• Stillman College welcomed it largest freshman class of students with the 2014 freshman class including 350 students.

• Deaths this week included Frank Calloway, a local folk artist and longtime resident of Bryce Hospital believed to be 118 years old.

• The Salvation Army of Tuscaloosa broke ground on the new Center of Hope homeless shelter. The old shelter was destroyed in the April 27, 2011, tornado.

• The Alabama Crimson Tide football team shut out Florida Atlantic 41-0 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in a game that ended early because of lightning.

• Seven people would be inducted into the Tuscaloosa County Civic Hall of Fame. The inductees were Davis S. “Buddy” Burton Jr., Charles M. Durham, Carolyn B. Fritz, Lee Allen Hallman, Dr. John Woodruff Robinson, Randy C. Skagen and Charles R. Sittason.

• Cyclist Dwight Lammon finished his 2,027-mile bike ride for Habitat for Humanity at Capital Park; Lammon’s journey began in Canada, near Raymond, Mont.

One year ago this week

• The No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide football team crushed the Louisville Cardinals in a 51-14 win in the season opener in Orlando.

• Sophomore quarterback Tua Taovailoa would start for Alabama in the upcoming game against Arkansas. Jalen Hurts would still be used whenever coach Nick Saban felt the junior could benefit the team.09

• Fans could look forward to lower food prices at Bryant-Denny Stadium concession stands. Bottled water would cost $3 and pretzels, hot dogs and soft drinks will each cost $4. The previous season, those prices were $1 to $2 higher.

• The German-speaking ministry that met at First Presbyterian Church celebrated its 10th anniversary. The German-speaking ministry began in 2008 and was held every first Sunday of the month, and the ministry also had Christmas Eve services and cultural events.


Compiled by retired News librarian Betty Slowe.