Anniston police released this photo of a pellet gun that they say a local man pointed at officers Tuesday.
Anniston police released this photo of a pellet gun that they say a local man pointed at officers Tuesday.
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Spring Garden's Grant Benefield plays shortstop and pitches for the Panthers' baseball team. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Spring Garden's Grant Benefield plays shortstop and pitches for the Panthers' baseball team. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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One on one with ... Spring Garden's Grant Benefield
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Apr 23, 2014 | 230 views |  0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Spring Garden's Grant Benefield plays shortstop and pitches for the Panthers' baseball team. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
Spring Garden's Grant Benefield plays shortstop and pitches for the Panthers' baseball team. (Photo by Trent Penny/The Anniston Star)
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Grant Benefield moved to Spring Garden from Hokes Bluff in seventh grade, and he has loved it ever since. “It’s a different transition and there isn’t as much that you can get to in a short time span, but it’s really a beautiful place,” the Spring Garden High senior said. “Everybody knows each other and everyone is really nice.” Benefield has played on the varsity baseball team for his dad, Tony Benefield, for five seasons, primarily at pitcher and shortstop. He’ll play a big role in the Panthers’ Class 1A second-round playoff meeting with rival Cedar Bluff on Friday. “It’s an amazing rivalry to be a part of. I believe every team should have a rivalry like this,” he said. “It’s still baseball, but there’s something different about it. There’s an intensity that everybody brings. Everyone steps it up and it’s the best thing for both teams.” Benefield has also excelled in the classroom, earning his way to Class of 2014 valedictorian. The academic excellence has earned Benefield a full scholarship to Jacksonville State. He said he is “still deciding” whether to walk on the baseball team. He plans to major in computer science. Away from school and baseball, Benefield is laid back and enjoys spending time with his family. He said they don’t do too much out of the ordinary, but that’s how he enjoys spending his time. Recently, Benefield withstood the rain at the beginning of practice with Anniston Star prep sports writer Brandon Miller to field 10 questions: Question: How’d you get into baseball? Answer: I got into baseball when I was 4 or 5. It was always my dad’s favorite sport, his dad’s favorite sport, and they were always big into it. He signed me up in a tee ball league, and I’ve played it ever since. Q: What’s it like to play for your dad? A: It’s interesting. You definitely get a different perspective. You get a lot of in-depth time with your coach. I know it’s something he really loves, and it’s something that any dad would dream of doing. He really enjoys it, and, for me, sometimes it’s hard because you’ll feel scrutinized more than the other guys, but you know it’s because wants your to excel. Q: What’s the best thing about this year’s Spring Garden baseball team? A: Chemistry. We don’t have any single outstanding players. We’re not any world beaters or anything like that, but we have such good team chemistry and are always there for each other’s backs. We’re always picking each other up and always pull together. Q: What’s something that not many people know about you? A: I guess that I was home-schooled from when I was in kindergarten through third grade. That was a unique experience in itself. When you move into public school everyone has already been there and are acclimated to it, but it’s a totally new thing for you. Q: Do you have any pregame traditions? A: On most gamedays, I walk out to the creek (behind the left field fence) and I’ll have a small prayer time before games. It helps me gather myself. I’ll get a small, little prayer then go back in and go through the regular routine with the team. Q: Who’s been the biggest inspiration in your life? A: Probably my dad. He’s always been a huge driving force and not just for baseball, but in every aspect of my life. I really pride myself in academics and he’s always drove me to do my best in whatever I do. Q: If there was a movie made about your life, who would play you? A: I suppose maybe Ben Stiller. Everyone thinks I’m pretty comical, throughout the day I keep everyone entertained and I never really take a whole lot seriously. I suppose any comedy or comic actor would fit. Q: What’s your favorite subject in school? A: It’s funny because through ninth, 10th and 11th grade I hated math, but this year we got into the more advanced maths, like calculus, and I really feel comfortable doing it and really enjoy doing it. I feel like I’m using a lot of my knowledge to solve complex problems and I really enjoy the complex maths. Q: Is there a player that you try to emulate on the field? A: Being a pitcher, I kind of like to say I have similar mechanics to (the San Francisco Giants') Tim Hudson. He’s a smaller guy, like myself, and there are different mechanics between the taller and smaller pitchers. I can’t really try to emulate the taller guys because I don’t have the same body type as they do. Watching (Hudson) pitch, he’s not about high velocity -- he’s about precision, doing things right and filling his position. I like his demeanor. Q: Do you have a secret talent? A: I’m actually, I guess, somewhat novice at the guitar. I played it up until I was 11, but I kind of put it down because I was really hard to continue going to practice with baseball, school and everything. Every now and then I’ll dust it off and go and play again.
HOT BLAST: Where to find the outhouses
Apr 23, 2014 | 245 views |  0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Take a look at the accompanying map. Anybody have any guesses why southwest Alabama has such a shortage of indoor plumbing? 

From The Washington Post:

As it turns out, a lot of people. According to the latest American Community Survey, nearly 630,000 occupied households lack complete plumbing facilities, which means that they are without one or more of the following: a toilet, a tub or shower, or running water. The Census Bureau says that the average household contains 2.6 individuals, which means that today, in 2014, in the wealthiest nation on Earth, upwards of 1.6 million people are living without full indoor plumbing.

More from the Census Bureau:

As recently as 1950, a quarter of America's homes had no flush toilet, with some States topping 50 percent!

In 1940, over a third of the homes had no flush toilet, with some States over 70 percent! Of the 13 million units reporting no flush toilet in 1940, 11.8 million had an outside toilet or privy, another one million had no toilet or privy, while the small remainder had something called a nonflush toilet in structure.

Mississippi provides an excellent portrait of this change in America's housing over the decades. About 80 percent of its homes had no flush toilet in 1940; by 1990 a mere 4 percent lacked a public sewer, septic tank, or cesspool.

 
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