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Look Back ... to coaches announcing departures


A simple few paragraphs on the front page of 100 years ago described the observance of Armistice Day in Anniston, in which two Quintard Avenue landmarks which still stand today played an important role. Of course, at that time, they were in the park-like median of a beautiful residential street.

Nov. 11, 1947, in The Star: The sixth Anniston victim of a rat bite in the past 90 days has reported the incident to Calhoun County Health Office authorities. That’s an alarming frequency, yet it’s unusual that rats would attack humans unless they’re molested, said Dr. George O’Connell. (The victim in this case, Thomas J. Clark of 1220 Ferron Ave., was asleep when he was bitten.) Dr. O’Connell speculated that the rats of late must be extremely hungry, owing to the effort that the city has expended in the last two years toward a program of rat-proofing. This has cut off a good portion of the rodents’ food supply, making them bolder and more dangerous in their quest for something to eat. “Until Anniston is 100 percent rat-proofed, the danger to the public can only increase,” Dr. O’Connell declared.

Nov. 11, 1997, in The Star: Jacksonville State University lost a half-century of coaching experience in less than 15 minutes last night when basketball coach Bill Jones and baseball coach Rudy Abbott announced their retirements. They’ll both step down at the end of the upcoming seasons, the highly regarded sports leaders told a stunned audience gathered for the school’s athletic banquet. Yet, they say, the announcement of their retirements on the same night was totally coincidental. Also this date: Anniston’s new two-way streets caused some confusion and wrong turns yesterday, their first weekday of their new designation, but there were no accidents. The streets, 10th and 11th, had been one-way in the downtown area ever since 1970, the goal at that time being to create a smoother flow of traffic in a car-crowded city. Noticing the difference in a positive way was Sam Stewart Jr., who said he saw more traffic in front of his store on 11th Street.