November Spotlight

Alabama Living Magazine

‘Alabama Living’ writers take top awards.

Two of Alabama Living’s writers have won awards at the national level. 

Hardy Jackson

Hardy Jackson took  first place in the Column or Series category in the Statewide Editors Association annual Willie Awards for his November 2019 column, “The Box.” The column is a remembrance of Jackson’s father’s box of memorabilia gathered during his service in World War II. 

Jackson also took a second place for a series of his columns, published each month as “Hardy Jackson’s Alabama,” in the national Cooperative Communicators Association awards. The association’s members include not only communicators for electric cooperatives, but also dairy, agriculture, and other cooperative businesses. 

Emmett Burnett

Emmett Burnett, a freelance writer from Satsuma, won first place in the Entertaining Feature category of the Cooperative Communicators Association contest for his article, “Big boss bass or big fish tale?” published in August 2019. The story recounts the tale of Leroy Brown, a legendary largemouth bass that has his own statue in Eufaula. 

You can read both winning articles again on our website here and here.

Macon County wins 2020 Alabama Census Bowl

Sports fans – and Alabama has more than a few of those – love a good March Madness-style contest. To help increase participation in the 2020 Census, state officials created the Alabama Census Bowl competition, with tens of thousands of dollars up for grabs for schools.

Starting Sept. 2, 32 Alabama counties with low self-response Census rates began competing in a bracket-styled challenge, divided into east and west. Only the counties reaching the biggest increase in self-response rates advanced to the next week. 

Macon County claimed the state championship and was the east bracket winner with the biggest increase in Census self-response over the entire contest. The county just east of Montgomery won $65,000 in grants that will benefit its school systems.

The west bracket winner, Sumter County, won $45,000 for its school systems. The Final Four runners-up, winning $30,000 each, were Choctaw and Tallapoosa counties. The Elite Eight runners-up, winning $20,000 each, were Washington, Baldwin, Pike and Randolph counties.

Three new members for Alabama Academy of Honor selected

The Alabama Academy of Honor has chosen Jo Bonner, Maj. Gen. J. Gary Cooper and Bryan Stevenson as the new class for 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the academy’s annual induction ceremony has been postponed until 2021.

Bonner represented Alabama’s 1st Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for five terms, and served as Vice Chancellor for Economic Development at the University of Alabama System from 2013 to 2018. He is currently chief of staff to Gov. Kay Ivey.

Cooper is a decorated Vietnam veteran and the first Black officer in the Marine Corps to lead an infantry company into combat. He was elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 1974 and later served as commissioner of the Alabama Department of Human Resources.

Stevenson, a widely acclaimed public interest lawyer, is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, a human rights organization in Montgomery. He led the creation of the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which opened in 2018. 

Established in 1965, the Academy bestows honor and recognition upon living Alabamians for their outstanding accomplishments and service to the state and the nation. For more,  visit

Get in the Christmas spirit with events at Russell Lands

On Friday, Nov. 27 – known as Black Friday – Santa will arrive by carriage around 10 a.m. at Russell Crossroads, 19 Russell Farms Road in Alexander City. Also that day, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., start your holiday shopping at the Holiday Bazaar on the Town Green. 

Artisans and patrons from all over will enjoy this display of handmade goods. Artisans feature jewelry, soaps, paintings, pottery, woodwork, furniture and more. 

For more information, visit

Our Facebook followers love Brenda Gantt!

Brenda Gantt

We were proud to feature Covington EC member Brenda Gantt in our September issue, and Facebook fans loved it! Our story on Alabama Living’s Facebook page garnered more than 8,500 “likes” and more than 500 comments. Be sure to follow her Facebook and Instagram pages, both titled “Cooking with Brenda Gantt.”


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