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Saved by a coin

School and football were on the minds of many as the Fall of 2001 rolled around.

Fifteen years ago the Escambia County School Board was hit hard by a decrease of budget money. There was a lot of scrambling to try to figure out how to manage the upcoming year.

Things probably haven’t changed that much. Everyone is still worried about the funds for school and funds for all sorts of others things.

In football, the T.R. Miller Tigers beat the Atmore Blue Devils with a score of 42-20 while the W.S. Neal Eagles beat Hillcrest at Evergreen with a score of 14-7.

The Tiger-Cub Buddy Program, a mentoring program begun at the Brewton Elementary School was up and running for another year. In the program, students from high school traveled to the elementary school to tutor elementary school students. It seemed to be a very successful program for all involved.

The Brewton Fire Department fought a house fire on St. Joseph Street. No one was hurt, but there was a lot of damage from the fire.

Escambia County deputy, Grady Rolin, and his dog “Zar” had just completed a ten week program to certify the two in the Drug Detection and Patrol unit.

Escambia County deputies arrested an alleged “predator” at a motel in Atmore for trying to use the Internet to entice a child along with several other charges. There was a later story about this recognizing the fact that the Internet must be carefully monitored and is a clear danger to the children and teens of today.

That is still a problem. We have all heard the horror tales of children and teens being enticed away from their homes by modern day “social media” that has taken on a life of its own. I am of the belief that play is far more important than being stuck on a pad or telephone all of the time. I realize I am an old person, but playing outside was a big part of my childhood. I remember fondly the fun I and my friends had. Thank goodness we never had to worry about the modern day traps for children.

In another arrest, Brewton Police nabbed two people and charged them with forgery for cashing checks worth more than $31,000.

David Lanier was named the state’s Most Outstanding Teacher.

Fifteen years ago I was doing a feature called Profile for The Brewton Standard. There was one that I remember fondly. I interviewed Lawrence Smith and wrote the story of how he survived a battle during World War II. It seems that he was carrying his wallet that contained a Cracker Jack coin. An enemy soldier shot Smith and that coin took the force of the bullet. It saved his life and Smith still had the coin as late as 2001.

You can still buy a box of Cracker Jack in the stores today, and they still contain a “prize,” but they are nothing like the prizes that one used to get. I never got a coin but I have gotten plenty of plastic and paper prizes; nothing like a coin that could deflect a bullet and save my life.