Sunday, Dec. 20, 1970

Exchange Club names first ‘Boy of Month’

Manuel Leon, Berry Academy senior who spent his boyhood in pre-Castro Cuba, has been named the first “Boy of the Month” by the Rome Exchange Club.

The “Boy of the Month” program is an effort to acknowledge the worthwhile achievements of today’s young people and will honor one boy each month on the basis of superior qualities of leadership, honor, scholarship, athletic ability and industry.

Eligibility is confined to junior and senior boys of the high schools in Floyd County which include Armuchee, Berry, Cave Spring, Coosa, Darlington, East Rome, Model, Pepperell and West Rome.

Manuel was born in Cuba and received his first three years of education in Havana. The revolution forced separation of his family and exile to the United States. He entered Berry Academy as a sophomore and has since then chalked up an impressive record despite the hardship of his earlier years.

He has served as president of his class and vice president of the Student Government Association his sophomore and junior years. He is president of the Student Government this year, as well as editor of the school newspaper. Having maintained a B average since coming to Berry, Manuel also has been active in athletics. He has been a member of the Letterman’s Club since his sophomore year, and for the past two years has served as president of the club. His letters won included baseball, basketball, track, tennis, cross-country and soccer. He is captain of the soccer and cross-country teams this year.

100 years ago as presented in the December 1920 editions of the Rome Tribune-Herald

Practically all formal plans have been perfected for the Christmas trees and Christmas exercises at the Lindale Baptist and Methodist churches under the auspices of the two Sunday schools. It has been planned to have both exercises and gift distributions of the two churches to occur at one time, and it is planned that every child member of these schools shall be presented with something from the Christmas tree that night.

The Lindale Masons, Knights of Pythias and Odd Fellows have contributed the sum of $25 for each of the trees, and besides the sum already made up by the Sunday schools, a substantial donation of fruits will be given by the management of the Lindale Mills. This will ensure plenty for all the children of Lindale.

Monday, Dec. 21, 1970

Many callers offer to house youngster

ATLANTA (AP) – “Maybe it’s the Christmas season,” said the woman police detective, “but we’ve received a lot of calls from people offering to take this child temporarily.”

The child, weighing less than six pounds, was abandoned in a telephone booth last week, less than 10 hours after she was born.

A woman who identified herself as the mother telephoned the police department to say she was leaving the baby.

“She just called our suicide prevention bureau and told us where the little baby would be,” said Mrs. Emily Thatcher, a detective who works in the department’s juvenile division. “She’s a beautiful little girl. Just beautiful. It’s sad.”

The child, wrapped in a towel and tucked inside a large straw handbag, was left with a note.

It said:

“Please help me find a home where I am wanted. My mother is not mentally capable of caring for me and my father does not know or suspect that I exist. Doesn’t somebody want me?”

Mrs. Thatcher said that published reports of the child’s discovery resulted in a deluge of telephone calls to the department.

“I think it is just human interest in another human who’s too small to care for herself,” said the detective, who has investigated dozens of such cases in Atlanta.

“A lot of people don’t know that things like this happen, even around Christmastime,” she said. “The news sort of startles them.”

Officials at Grady Hospital, where the baby was examined, said the child was in good condition.

Mrs. Thacker said the child apparently was born with the aid of medical help.

The baby, nicknamed Betty by the police, is now in the custody of juvenile authorities. Her fate, unless her mother intervenes or she is placed in a foster home, will ultimately be an orphanage.

Homicide Det. Phillip Lively, however, indicated Sunday he will talk with officials about adopting the baby.

“He can take all the shootings and stabbings,” said his wife, “but he’s got a soft spot for children.”

Police hold out a little hope of finding her mother.

Tuesday, Dec. 22, 1970

Battey posts first month without death

No death from tuberculosis was recorded at Battey State Hospital during November, the first death-free month in the history of the 24-year-old state institution.

According to Dr. Raymond Corpe, superintendent of the Rome facility, steady improvements in treatment techniques account for the dramatic drop, from a high of 124 patient deaths recorded at Battey in February of 1961. Dr. Corpe said that chemotherapy, the treatment of tuberculosis with specialized drugs – chiefly isoniazid – is the primary reason for the reduction of Battey’s census from 1,957 patients in January of 1953 to the institution’s current roll of 258 patients.

While tuberculosis has been drastically reduced as a man-killer, Dr. Corpe indicates that the disease stubbornly resists total eradication.

“It now appears that tuberculosis has reached a plateau in Georgia – as well as in other parts of the country,” said Dr. Corpe. “The number of people being hospitalized has stabilized and no longer seems to be decreasing.”

Battey State Hospital, which opened in June of 1946, is scheduled for conversion into a dual-purpose treatment facility, continuing to provide care for victims of tuberculosis while functioning simultaneously as a regional mental hospital for Georgia’s northwest counties. Dr. Corpe will also serve as superintendent of the new combined facility. Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 1971.

Thursday, Dec. 24, 1970

LaFayette’s Coker gets trophy as most valuable in cage meet

By golly, there’s still a place for the little man in basketball.

LaFayette’s Dale Coker proved that during the five-day Rome News-Tribune Holiday Festival tournament, which wound up Wednesday night with the Ramblers taking their second championship in four years.

Along the way the Ramblers knocked off Rockmart, Model, Cass and Pepperell. The last one was a 78-72 decision last night at Memorial gymnasium.

Coker was instrumental in all four of those wins, so much so that a panel of judges decided he was the most valuable player in the tournament. It was a near unanimous decision.

Certainly, Coker is not tall by basketball standards. He stands only 5-feet-10 and spends playmaker. He likes to work off a pick and fire away from just inside the key. Furthermore, he really enjoys a chance to shoot from the foul line.

Nine other outstanding players joined Coker on the all-tournament team, including teammate Keith Shropshire. Others are Preston Cain and Mike Brownlow of Pepperell, Harold Trapp of East Rome, Eddie Lynn of Cass, Ricky Studdard of Model, Mike Glenn of Coosa. Cleo Goodgame of Chattooga and Lanny Hamilton of Calhoun.

Even with a 10-player team, the selectors had a difficult time. Narrowly missing the all-tournament list were such boys as Raleigh Heath of LaFayette, Phil Baker of Pepperell, Lanny Ealey of Rockmart, Gary Bragg of Coosa, Mike Hogan of East Rome and Jeff Holt of Cass.

Coker is the quarterback of the LaFayette offense. He sets up the players and uses his quick hands to spot the open man inside. Of course, he has no fears about shooting and this helps to keep the defense off balance.

For four games, he scored 61 points for a 15.2 average. Included in those points are some mighty big baskets – a couple that sent Rockmart reeling in the first round and one that got his mates a tie with just seconds left in the semifinals.

Members of the all-tournament team were presented trophies. Also, another trophy went to Coker.

100 years ago as presented in the December 1920 editions of the Rome Tribune-Herald

Although the operation of a still in Walker County near Concord Church, at Villanow, was stopped last month, by Deputy U.S. Collector Williams and Deputy U.S. Marshal Ward Law, and three men, Bob Love, Dave Shehan and James Fitzpatrick, were arrested. A bigger and better still was ready for operation recently when two officers again visited the locality. This time they found Jim White, who after hearing before U.S. Commissioner Printup, furnished $1,000 bond and was released. The new still was located about 250 yards beyond the old one and, like the latter, was connected with the nearest water by a pipeline and the water was pumped to the still by a gasoline engine. Everything was in readiness for operation when the officers rudely interrupted the plans of the owners.


The Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia Railway freight and passenger depot at Menlo, Chattooga County, was burned to the ground. The origin of the fire is unknown, but is thought to be due to incendiaries, as no fire had been in the stove in the depot during the day and the agent had left the office at 4:00 in the afternoon. All the agents records were destroyed, as was everything in the depot, the fire having gained such headway when discovered that it was impossible to save anything.


Efforts of Rev. O’Brien, a Methodist minister from Zion, Ill., as an attorney failed to save from a fine Dr. George Billmeyer, a physician charged with smoking on a busy street in Zion. O’Brien contended that patrolman Perry was misled by congealed breath due to cold weather, but Bill Meyer took the stand and admitted he had been smoking and was fined $10 and costs.

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