Always on the Line

Linemen serve combined 97 years at NAEC Richard Ballard and Eugene Talley had no idea nearly five decades ago what lay ahead of them when they came on board at NAEC. Now, having worked at the cooperative for a combined 97 years, including service as linemen, both say that the lessons they’ve learned and the…

Rollin’ on the River

Paint Rock Canoe offers weekend adventure Day after day, Amanda Vest sits in a windowless office. But every weekend from May until September, she and her husband, Lucas, bring their kayaks from Decatur to Paint Rock Canoe. “I work in finance, so I sit at a desk all day,” Vest says. “This is my exercise…

Senior Salute

Smith graduates with honors Dawson Smith, 18, is the son of North Alabama Electric Cooperative fiber technician Kirkland Smith Jr. and Jonell Brooks. He is the first student in the history of North Jackson High School to earn his associate degree from Northeast Alabama Community College while completing his high school studies. He has also…

Bringing the Outdoors In

Bart Nelson’s lifelong love of nature inspires his paintings Bart Nelson has enjoyed creating art ever since he could first hold a pencil. “I was always drawing and eventually began painting,” he says. The walls of his home are filled with his work — portraits of elk, turkey, and pastoral scenes, framed and displayed with…

Finding Hope

Local equine sanctuary offers solace to veterans and horses There’s just something about a horse. Kara Stephan couldn’t stop herself from getting involved when she got word about a horse that would soon be killed because of a fractured leg. She decided to rescue her, and she named her Hope. But, Stephan didn’t just find…

Repurposed

Man finds meaning breathing new life into old wood An old, fallen tree laying on the side of the road is often seen as just that — an old tree. But Jason Shrader sees the beauty in what the wood can be, and he strives to bring out its potential. Shrader doesn’t love the title…

Taking Flight

Grad student analyzes local waterfowl Brittany Hansey may be far from home, but she feels comfortable anywhere she gets to be outdoors. She dedicates her time and education to learning more about waterfowl, including their habits and migration patterns. As an Auburn University graduate student, she is working on a project with two primary objectives:…

Paradise Found

Couple finds purpose rescuing and rehabbing wildlife Shamballa Wildlife Rescue is tucked away from the world on a dirt road surrounded by woods. But to John and April Russ, Shamballa isn’t just a place. It’s a state of mind. The couple made their property in Woodville a peaceful sanctuary for rescued animals. They established Shamballa…

Love that Lasts

Local couples celebrate six decades of marriage The Matthewses Roy C. Matthews says the key to a long and happy marriage is always getting the last word, which is, “Yes, ma’am.” He and Aileen McCallie began dating when she was still a student at Stevenson High School. “It was a small school, but we knew…

Dedication to Community

Cumberland Mountain Road receives marker In the wake of the Great Depression, a road brought a glimmer of hope to Jackson County. The Cumberland Mountain Road provided access from the remote Cumberland Mountain to the Paint Rock and Tennessee River valleys, allowing commerce to begin again after many years of isolation for the region. Eighty-seven…