By: Ali Elizabeth Turner
On Thursday, February 8, the Athens Boys and Girls Club is going to be celebrating its 25th annual dinner at 6:30 p.m. at the Beasley Center, and you are invited. So, what’s this shindig all about? For 80 years, the Boys and Girls Club has had a helpful presence in North Alabama, beginning in Huntsville and Decatur. Planning for the Athens start-up began in 1993, so that’s when some of the founders–Glenn and Martha Blackwell and Susan Parker– consider the Club to have been conceived, and the Athens chartered Boys and Girls Club opened up in May of 1994. Glenn had been a part of the Decatur Club as a child, and he knew from firsthand experience the difference it had made in shaping him for success as an adult.

Suzanne Rainey Thompson heard Susan Parker speak, and she knew she wanted to be a part of the ground-floor effort to establish a charter. She was there at the old Athens Elementary School gym to help sign up those first 100 kids, and to this day remembers every one of them. She also was in charge of arts that first summer, a most important part of a kid’s development that is all too often ignored these days. At the time, Suzanne was just completing her degree in education from Athens State University, and this became her career instead. In order to become an officially recognized club, the national organization requires 100 members to start, and the Athens club got chartered in time to offer summertime services to kids who were out of school.

Suzanne has worn many hats during her time with the club. From 1994-1998, she was the Education Director for the Athens Club. She was Unit Director of Boys and Girls Club Athens-Limestone County from 1998-2000, and Executive Director beginning in 2000. During that time, clubs opened in Ardmore as well as Tanner, and now they are all merged with the Huntsville Clubs and have been renamed Boys and Girls Club of North Alabama (BGCNAL). Suzanne is now the vice-president of the re-organized group, and she is quick to say that she loves her new position, but sorely misses working face-to-face with the kids.

I asked Suzanne to tell me about some of the kids from the early days, and she said wistfully, “There has been great success, and some heartbreak. April Houston Collins was a young single mom as a teen, and went on to get her bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees, become a lawyer for HUD, married a Birmingham man who is a school principal, has four kids, and has started her own successful law firm,” she said. “Wow!” I replied.

“Then there is Marcus Stanley,” said Suzanne. “He’s deployed, he is a true artist, he is Mass Communications Specialist for the United States Navy, and his wife is one of the charter members as well,” she added. “Greg Hacker is currently serving as First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army, and British Malone is serving ABH3 in the U.S. Navy. I am so very grateful and thankful for their service, and it makes me very proud for their leadership and commitment.” The heartbreak, it turns out, came about in the form of a promising young man getting shot to death in a restaurant, along with some others. “It still hurts,” she told me.

Other successes have been David Williams, who is a barber here in Athens, and Stephen Harris, who is in real estate. They collaborated on producing some rap music which was sold to a label. “All in all over the years I would guess we have helped around 2500 kids,” said Suzanne. They have ranged in age from 5-18.

I asked Suzanne why I should choose the Boys and Girls Club as a place to send a child, and she replied, “We have a proven track record for helping kids, and we provide fun with a purpose. Kids learn leadership skills, the arts, sports, and we offer all kinds of hands-on learning. We have our own facility, which is important, and are a safe place for kids to be after school. We work to truly change lives, help them grow, and we have a vision for the future. Kids have needs today that weren’t the case when we first started,” she said. For this year’s fund-raising dinner, the focus is on getting a fulltime STEM lab as well as teacher-director, she said. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math, and that is an area where kids all across the nation need a boost.

Other financial needs include the fact that the school calendar is changing, and kids are going to need to have access to BGCNAL until August 30 when they go back for fall term. If investing in the future of our children through the Boys and Girls Club is something you want to be a part of, then please consider sponsoring a table for $325, or get individual tickets for $25 each by calling Minnie Leonard at 256-232-4298. You can also go to for more information. Dress for the event is business casual. See you on February 8!
By: Ali Elizabeth Turner

By: Michelle Williamson Limestone County Community Relations Coordinator
In 1919, the citizens of Limestone County welcomed the completion of their Limestone County Courthouse. This historic beauty located in the heart of downtown Athens quickly became the “house of our people.” In March of 1976, once again, the citizens came together to welcome the renovations to the Courthouse that included, just to name a few, the installation of the building’s first elevator, a central heating and air conditioning system, and a second courtroom. The strong and resilient symbol that the Courthouse has displayed throughout the years derives from our people who have walked the hallways inside this beautiful building.

On February 6, 2018, Limestone County will celebrate its 200th birthday. On Wednesday, January 10, 2018, the citizens of the county were presented with an early bicentennial gift that will change our future. This gift was the announcement of the $1.6 billion Toyota-Mazda plant to be built in the county that will initially bring 4,000 new jobs to the area. “This is a multi-generational gift for our community,” stated Limestone County Commission Chairman Mark Yarbrough. “It comes as no surprise that a large part of the decision making came down to our people.”

As the citizens of the county celebrate the old by blowing out the candles for their Bicentennial, they will also celebrate the new opportunities that have been given to them. While agriculture has been prominent in the county for hundreds of years, the County welcomes the addition of our industrial family.

The Limestone County Commission and the Limestone County Bicentennial Committee would like to invite the public to a Bicentennial Celebration on Tuesday, February 6, 2018, 5-8 p.m., at the Limestone County Event Center. This celebration will include a free concert by area musicians, historic scenes of Limestone County, special exhibits, contents of a 1993 time capsule that was discovered during the recent renovation of the Limestone County Courthouse, and much more.
By: Michelle Williamson
Limestone County Community Relations Coordinator

By: Paul Foreman
“Guns are only dangerous when handled by dangerous people.”

Some of you may have seen the YouTube video of the police officer giving a Gun Safety demonstration to a class of students. The officer is dressed like he is a member of a “Special Response Team” or SWAT. Usually, these officers are specially trained for very high risk situations and are also highly trained in gun safety, as I am sure this officer was.

BUT… he gets way to COMFORTABLE, COMPLACENT and CARELESS with his gun which he probably “thought” he had already unloaded.

There he is standing in front of a room full of students talking about of all things, GUN SAFETY.

He actually makes the statement, “I am the only one in this room, professional enough that I know of, who carries a Glock 40.” The gun is pointed up at the ceiling, but then he lowers the gun toward the floor and points it right at his upper leg. Then we hear the loud “BANG!” He has just shot himself. This incident could have been even worse, but, thank goodness, the officer is the only person injured. He clumsily explains that an “accident” like this could happen to anyone and that no one should ever play with guns. I have given hundreds of demonstrations of gun safety, but, thank goodness, NOT like the one in the video.

It’s imperative that we follow safety rules thoroughly, all the time. Yes, if you are wondering if you read that right, this man shot himself in the leg in front of a room full of students…while giving a gun-safety lecture. I don’t know what was going on in this gentleman’s mind when he passed the muzzle over his leg and pressed the trigger, but I do know that his actions demonstrate why we must follow gun safety rules all the time, always. Even better, use a red or blue plastic “TRAINING” gun, especially when demonstrating gun safety to a group of people.

Comfortable: The word comfortable can be helpful up to a point. It’s fantastic when someone can manipulate a firearm with the ease of skill, experience, and training. And it’s great when someone knows and understands firearms enough that he or she feels normal and secure. But the “comfortable” attitude we need to be aware of (and concerned with) is when the respect for firearms is gone or when the healthy fear of guns is no longer there. In my opinion, we should never be too comfortable around guns. When we are comfortable, we often get relaxed, and when we get too relaxed, we can become lazy. This poor guy was just way too comfortable with his gun.

I am sure he had probably spent years handing that gun and others, and that is the problem. He was so used to handling his gun that he became way too comfortable with it. A gun becomes DANGEROUS, only when used by someone who fails to always be aware of the gun and its potential for becoming dangerous when handled improperly. It’s great to be confident and familiar with your gun, but not comfortable.

Complacent: This, I believe occurs when people, such as police officers, think they know so much about guns (because they’ve worked with them for so long) that they don’t really feel they need to think about it very much anymore, or at all. This is a dangerous pride that can swell and spread, quickly smothering safety and caution. And for this reason, complacency needs to be addressed and extinguished as quickly as possible.

Careless: You would think that most people would probably consider “CARELESS” the worst sin of them all, since it’s a complete lack of concern that results in people doing really dumb stuff without even thinking to avoid harm or error. Perhaps some of these DEADLY SINS of gun handling may seem more extreme and dangerous than others, but they are all equally as intolerable. Safety should always be everyone’s priority, no matter your background, your training, the type of firearms you own, or the way you carry your gun.

1.Always keep the gun pointed in a safe direction.
2.Always keep your finger off the trigger until ready to shoot.
3.Always keep the gun unloaded until ready to use.
(The exception to rule #3 would be if you use the gun for self-defense.)
By: Paul Foreman

By: John Boyle D.C.
The adult human body is made up of about 37 trillion cells. WOW, that’s a lot of cells! In fact, if you lined up all the cells in a human body end-to-end, you could actually circle the earth more than 2 times.

Cells communicate by sending and receiving signals. Signals may come from the environment, or they may come from other cells. In order to trigger a response, these signals must be transmitted across the cell membrane. Sometimes the signal itself can cross the membrane. Other times the signal works by interacting with receptor proteins that contact both the outside and inside of the cell. In this case, only cells that have the correct receptors on their surfaces will respond to the signal.

According to an article on by Dr. Peter Proctor, “redox signaling is the concept that electron-transfer processes play a key messenger role in biological systems.” This “redox signal” determines damage extent. Our cells are constantly under attack from bacteria, pollution, pesticides, chemicals, and even aging. Cells must be able to send a signal to communicate. Problems get worse when cellular communication goes wrong and the result is disease. In fact, most diseases involve at least one breakdown in cell communication.

For example, let’s look at diabetes. According to the University of Utah’s Health Sciences Department, “The food that you eat is broken down into sugar, which enters the blood stream. Normally, cells in the pancreas release a signal, called insulin, that tells your liver, muscle and fat cells to store this sugar for later use. In type I diabetes, the pancreatic cells that produce insulin are lost. Consequently, the insulin signal is also lost. As a result, sugar accumulates to toxic levels in the blood. Without treatment, diabetes can lead to kidney failure, blindness and heart disease in later life. Type I and type II diabetes have very similar symptoms, but they have different causes. While people who have type I diabetes are unable to produce the insulin signal, those with type II diabetes do produce insulin. However, the cells of type II diabetics have lost the ability to respond to insulin. The end result is the same: blood sugar levels become dangerously high.” (

When communication is restored, the problems can be solved and health improves. It is actually quite simple. Redox signaling is universal to every function and system in your body and naturally created within every cell. As we age, our cells make fewer and fewer of these molecules, and the body’s ability to combat everyday ailments decreases.

To meet this challenge, a number of physicians and researchers have been collaborating to see if there is a viable way to assist the body in restoring its own cellular communication system. More than sixteen years ago, a group of medical professionals, engineers, and researchers discovered a proprietary method for creating Redox Signaling molecules native to the human body, and have recently made it available to consumers. Hazel Green Chiropractic Clinic has added ASEA and RENU 28 to its line of services and products that we believe will improve the quality of life and health for our patients, in combination with chiropractic treatment.

We have found these products to be invaluable in strengthening our immune systems, fighting disease, and the effects of aging. It’s even proving to be remarkable for naturally enhancing stamina and decreasing recovery time for athletes of all types.

ASEA and RENU 28 are now available through Dr. John Boyle at Hazel Green Chiropractic. If you are interested in receiving more information on how regular chiropractic care in combination with ASEA and RENEW 28 can take your health and quality of life to the next level, contact us at or simply text your email address to 256-503-2276.
By: Dr. John Boyle, D. C.

By: Lisa Philippart
As a counselor, I make an attempt to be familiar with many forms of therapies. The more tools I have in my toolbox, the better chance I have of matching helpful techniques to the individual. So, today I would like to introduce you to an amazing healing technique that is easy to learn and can have profound effects. EFT, or Emotional Freedom Techniques, is based on the belief that the cause of all negative emotions is a disruption in the body’s energy system. EFT works by tapping with the fingertips on various body locations. The tapping works to balance energy points, which become disrupted when the client thinks about or experiences an emotionally disturbing event. The memory stays the same, but the charge is gone. The proponents of EFT believe that a negative emotion is caused by a distressing memory creating a disruption in the body’s energy system, which then produces a negative emotion.

EFT is sometimes referred to as EEFT because it is a meridian energy therapy, like acupuncture. But instead of needles, we stimulate the major energy points by tapping on them. Tapping then sends kinetic energy through the energy system, clearing blockages, and allowing energy to flow again, removing negative emotions. To begin, take a rating of the intensity of your distress on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being extreme distress. Now let’s take a look at the process in 5 stages:

1.The Set Up: In this stage, you will either rub the lymphatic drainage point or tap the “karate chop point,” while saying your set-up phrase out loud three times. The set-up phrase is a description of your issue in this format – “Even though (problem), I deeply and completely accept myself.”

2.The Sequence: While holding the problem in mind, you’ll tap 7 times in succession on each of the meridian points, and at each point, you’ll repeat a shortened reminder phrase of the problem.

3.The Gamut Point:
The gamut point is located on the back of the hand between the knuckle of the ring and little finger. Tapping continuously on this point engages the two hemispheres of the brain and sets your system to working on the problem.

4.The Sequence (again)

5.Adjustment Rounds: If you do not achieve complete relief in a single round, you can repeat the process, adjusting as follows – “Even though I still have some of this (problem) I deeply and completely accept myself.”

At the end of the process, scale the problem again. Has its intensity reduced? For EFT to be effective, you have to learn the correct location of the tapping points. Rather than describe them here, I recommend doing a search for EFT tapping points’ diagrams. Try to keep in mind that your issues are like puzzles. A problem may have many different aspects attached to it. So in some cases, collapsing just a few of these pieces can resolve the entire problem, by discovering the core issue.

The information on EFT is extensive, but I hope I have piqued your interest to further explore this technique on your own.
By: Lisa Philippart
Licensed Professional Counselor

Frozen – Horse Whispering

By: Deb Kitchenmaster
UFFDA! Uffda is a Norwegian slang word expressing surprise. (Note: I did not learn this word from President Trump). What a surprise!–the drop in temperature, and having our fields covered in white–and it’s not cotton. I want to talk to you about the needs of your horse in these cold temps.

To ease the transition into winter, horses should be properly de-wormed (i.e. based on fecal analysis and in good body condition). Check out, and you will see on the right hand side of the page, “Natural Solutions” for people, pets, and horses. When you click on it, it will take you to Dr. Dan Moore, DVM. Under “Horses” you will see WORM CHECK EXAM for $12.00. All the information is there explaining how much fecal matter to collect and the address of the lab to send it to. This clinic has been wonderful to work with. The results will be emailed to you. At this point you will know if your horse needs to be wormed or not. Dr. Dan has WORM CHECK, an all natural herbal paste formula that can be used on any horse, any age. I want to encourage you not to de-worm a horse if the horse doesn’t need it, but be sure to de-worm when necessary. When we get into the mind-set of worming every 3 to 4 months as a routine or habit, we could be missing one important factor — the individual horse itself.

Horses, given the opportunity to acclimate to cold temperatures, often prefer and are better off being outdoors. Winter feed (hay and grain) contain less that 15% moisture, compared to pasture grazing which is between 60% and 80% moisture; therefore, water consumption is vital. A thousand pound horse requires a minimum of 10 to 12 gallons of water each day. During winter months water should be kept between 45? to 65? F. Adult horses should consume one to two ounces of salt per day. Consider feeding loose salt instead of block salt, as horses may not want to lick cold salt blocks during winter months. A couple of complications from inadequate water consumption during cold weather are (a) decreased feed intake, and (b) impaction colic. Horses will consume less feed if not drinking enough water, and less energy creates challenges for horses in cold temperatures. Energy needs for a horse at maintenance increase about 1% for each degree below 18? F. If the temperature is 0? F, a 1000 pound idle, adult horse would need approximately 2 additional pounds of forage daily. It is in the horse’s best interest to provide extra forage rather than increase grain. More heat is produced from the microbial fermentation of forage. Fecal contents must maintain adequate moisture levels in order to be healthy. A horse will not develop impaction in one day, but will after several days or weeks of inadequate water consumption.

Your horse’s hooves generally grow more slowly in the winter. However, your horse should be trimmed every 6 to 12 weeks. Our farrier comes every 8 weeks for our horses, and was just here. Two horses needed all four hooves trimmed, one did not need any trimming at all, and the other two horses needed only their front hooves trimmed. The trimming or the shoeing depends on each horse and the amount of hoof they grow. You are blessed when you have a farrier that will serve each horse at their point of need, and I am so grateful our horses have the farrier we have to care for them. Just like a chiropractor can either help you or hurt you, so it is with the farrier you have for your horse.

Wrapping this up in a warm insulated blanket…during winter months…

  • De-worm your horse based on fecal analysis
  • Provide plenty of clean warmed water (45? to 65? F)
  • Feed additional hay during extreme cold
  • Feed loose salt every day
  • Hoof care every six to twelve weeks

May the crunching sound your horse makes as he enjoys the forage you have placed before him warm your heart, fingers and toes.

By: Jackie Warner
“The Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday celebrates the life and legacy of a man who brought hope and healing to America. We commemorate as well the timeless values he taught us through his example — the values of courage, truth, justice, compassion, dignity, humility and service that so radiantly defined Dr. King’s character and empowered his leadership.” – Coretta Scott King

Martin Luther King Jr. was born in Atlanta, Georgia, on January 15, 1929. He was a pivotal advocate for African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. On April 4, 1968, King was shot and killed while in Memphis, Tennessee. We remember his words of wisdom and teachings for our human race’s development and growth:

1.“Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Sermons from his book Strength to Love, 1963
2.“The true neighbor will risk his position, his prestige and even his life for the welfare of others.” Strength to Love, 1963
3.“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.” “Letter from Birmingham Jail,” 1963
4.“Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.” Strength to Love, 1963
5.“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.” Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, 1964
6.“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Strength to Love, 1963
7.“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” “I Have a Dream” speech, 1963
8.“Hatred paralyzes life; love releases it. Hatred confuses life; love harmonizes it. Hatred darkens life; love illuminates it.” Strength to Love, 1963
9.“True peace is not merely the absence of tension: it is the presence of justice.” “Letter from Birmingham City Jail,” 1963

10. “Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.” “Letter
from Birmingham City Jail,” 1963

Until Next Time, Be Sincere, Kind and Intentional
Jackie Warner, Community Outreach Specialist
Check out upcoming events: Website:

By: Wanda Campbell
It is the 21st Century and we are transitioning from the great Industrial Age to the Age of Knowledge (Nine Shift: Work, Life, and Education in the 21st Century, by William Draves and Julie Coates). Today many are carrying the internet in their pockets and conducting every aspect of their lives on the smart phone. About nine million have had their identity stolen or business networks hacked.

A few weeks ago (Oct 13, 2017) the headline on WHNT-TV “Cyber Security is a booming business and people are needed to fill positions” was posted by Aaron Cantrell. In that posting, Cantrell quoted Carey Pool, ISSA North Alabama Chapter President saying, “There’s a huge gap in the current industry for people who understand computers, how to secure them, how to configure them.” PeopleSec CEO Joshua Crumbaugh said that he thinks everyone should go through a cybersecurity class so they can be better educated on the matter.

At the Center for Lifelong Learning, we will be offering two classes on cybersecurity this semester. The first is an introductory class so that managers and the general public can learn the basics of threats, vulnerabilities, and attacks. Threats and Vulnerabilities in Cyberspace is offered Friday, April 20, from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the CyberProtex Training Center in Madison. For more information about this class, call us at 256-233-8262 or go on the website for more information.

The second class covers the essentials of understanding best practices in network security and risk management. This comprehensive exam preparation course will prepare the participant to take the Security+ exam. This is a foundational course and six months to one year of experience is recommended. CompTIA Security + 5-day Exam Prep Boot Camp will be offered Monday, March 5-Friday, March 9, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the CyberProtex Training Center in Madison.

The learning starts early in this Age of Knowledge. “A study by scientists at the University of Washington’s Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shows that a series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies’ brain processing of both music and new speech sounds.” (News release from University of Washington by Molly McElroy, April 15, 2016.)

Molly McElroy quoted lead author of the study Christina Zhao, a post-doctoral researcher at I-Labs, as saying, “Our study is the first in young babies to suggest that experiencing a rhythmic pattern in music can also improve the ability to detect and make predictions about rhythmic patterns in speech.”

The article also quoted co-author Patricia Kuhl as saying, “Infants experience a complex world in which sounds, lights, and sensations vary constantly. The baby’s job is to recognize the patterns of activity and predict what’s going to happen next. Pattern perception is an important cognitive skill, and improving that ability early may have long-lasting effects on learning.”

If you are looking for a program to encourage learning in your babies or toddlers, the Center will be offering MusikGarten classes starting March 7. Family Music for Babies and Toddlers is scheduled for eight weeks on Wednesdays, March 7-April 4. Class is scheduled from 9:00 a.m.-9:30 a.m. at the Center. Suncatchers for 3-5 years olds is scheduled Wednesday, March 7-April 4 from 10:00 a.m.-10:45 a.m. Call us at 256-233-8262 or check out all of our classes on the website –
By: Wanda Campbell
Center for Lifelong Learning – 121 South Marion Street, Athens, AL 35611 – 256-233-8262

By: Janet Hunt
Flexibility exercises are stretching exercises for the purpose of increasing your range of motion around a joint.

Before stretching, a warm-up should be performed at a low intensity for 5-10 minutes. This increases the temperature of the muscles and decreases the risk of injury. Flexibility training is best performed when the body is very warm. Many people will do stretching exercises following cardiovascular endurance training; and most fitness classes finish with a short stretching session. Classes focused on flexibility only, may be held in a warmer environment.

Flexibility exercises can increase the range of motion throughout a joint. Increased range of motion can improve mobility in sporting events, balance, and everyday activities. Proper range of motion assists in correct posture by lengthening tight muscles that pull areas of the body away from correct positions. For example, we spend so much time at our computers, reading, driving, etc. that many of us have tight chest muscles which pull our shoulders and head forward leaving us with a hunched shoulder look which affects our breathing, as well as causes pain in our upper back, arms, and to our fingers. Stretching can also calm our mind, provide a mental break, and give our bodies a chance to recharge.

When stretching or performing flexibility exercises, strive for symmetry. Focus on having equal flexibility side to side. Flexibility that is not equal on both sides may be a risk factor for injury. When stretching, focus on major muscle groups such as calves, thighs, hips, lower back, neck and shoulders, and any other muscles you routinely use. Never bounce. Stretch in a smooth movement; and hold your stretch for about 30 seconds while breathing normally. While stretching, you may feel tension, but not pain.

Stretch regularly at least 2 or 3 times a week on a regular basis. If you want more, bring movement into stretching with tai chi or yoga.
For more information on stretching or flexibility classes, talk to a personal trainer or check the schedule at your local gym. If you choose to take flexibility classes or yoga, remember to work at your own pace, and do only what is comfortable for you. Flexibility classes and yoga are like other fitness classes, they have different levels so you may need to try a couple of classes to find the best fit for you.
By: Janet Hunt
Janet Hunt is a Certified Personal Trainer and can be reached at 256-614-3530 to schedule an appointment.