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Look back ... to murky future for city bike race, 1998

vault 1930

It was front-page news in 1930 that the Anniston Country Club had elected new officers and that it would finally fill out its golf course to 18 holes.

Jan. 17, 1948: The date fell on a Saturday during a 12-year period (1940-52) when The Star didn’t publish on that day of the week.

Jan. 17, 1998, in The Star: The plug is being pulled again on a local TV news show, this one having been produced for a year as a joint venture between Time Warner Cable of Anniston and WDNG radio. “All we were trying to do was break even, but we just couldn’t do it,” said WDNG news director David Ford, on-camera anchor of the nightly half-hour news program. The problem: Advertisers just weren’t interested, or at least not in sufficient volume to support the effort. WDNG’s program was the second local cable access news show that attempted to fill the void left when WJSU-TV skipped town in September 1996. In October 1996, The Anniston Star attempted a 30-minute weekly newsmagazine called “Local Edition.” It lasted 15 weeks. Also this date: Prospects for this year’s downtown Anniston cycling race are poor with the withdrawal of the event’s primary backer and organizer, the Calhoun County Chamber of Commerce. The Criterium was the highest-profile event in what started out five years ago as a five-day sports festival. Last year’s race suffered the rotten luck of a heavy rainstorm the night before the ride, while prizes totaled only $4,400. The best cyclists didn’t compete. “People aren’t coming down to watch people ride bicycles,” said Jalee Smothers, who was a co-sponsor of last year’s downtown events. The 110-mile Cheaha Challenge will still take place May 3.