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Look Back ... to criminal drama at Jacksonville church, 1996

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As friends and relatives mourned the violent deaths of 43 people from tornadoes in Clay and Talladega counties in 1932, authorities and agencies in Anniston were able to swing into action and render aid, as Page 1 coverage from March 25 tells us. The state death toll from this outbreak 89 years ago was about 300.

March 25, 1946, in The Star: The Choccolocco Council Boy Scout Officers Camp at Camp Zinn closed yesterday at noon with more than 200 troop officers attending the 3-day camp. From the Anniston District, these troops were represented: Troop 5, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, L. L. Hughes, Scoutmaster, and Mike Emigh, senior patrol leader; Troop 10, Oxford Baptist Church, Ed Langford, Scoutmaster, and Bobby Harris, senior patrol leader; Troop 3, Saks School, Leon Feazell, junior assistant Scoutmaster, and Robert Childs, senior patrol leader; Troop 104, Linen Thread Co., J. T. Barker, Scoutmaster, and James Reese, senior patrol leader; Troop 2, First Methodist Church, George Morris, Scoutmaster, and Edward McGuire, patrol leader; Troop 9, Noble Street School, Phillip Sanguinetti, Scoutmaster, and Jack Winfield, patrol leader; Troop 7, First Presbyterian Church, Jerry Feagin, Scoutmaster, and Jerry Good, senior patrol leader; Troop 14, Glen Addie Homes, Fred Mayne, Scoutmaster, and Herman Sprayberry, assistant patrol leader; Troop 108, Bynum Recreation Department, Capt. Haight, Scoutmaster, Lee Gaines, patrol leader; Troop 105, Grace Episcopal Church, Rev. W. S. Stoney, Scoutmaster, and John A. Cater, senior patrol leader; and Troop 15, South Anniston / Oxanna, A. P. “Cap” Ezell, Scoutmaster, and Thomas Yarbrough, patrol leader.

March 25, 1996, in The Star: Congregation members at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville were diving for cover after a church service yesterday, but it had nothing to do with the tornado drill taking place at the time. A man carrying a rifle and a handgun chased his ex-wife and her teen-aged daughter from their house toward the church, shooting at them along the way. Church members hid the mother and daughter behind a car while a 55-year-old Mississippi man headed for the church, apparently thinking they had fled inside. Church members wrestled him to the ground before he could fire a shot inside. The incident happened around noon and no one was hurt.