|Today is Sunday, Dec. 25, 2014 .
There have been 2356 American deaths in Afghanistan.
I want to keep this site updated with the total so that we can keep all our soldiers in our thoughts and prayers.
There were 4486 American deaths in Iraq since the beginning of hostilities in March 2003.
Click here for the names.
|Michael Thorin, 1991 graduate honored as Hoover Firefighter of the Year
Michael Thorin joined the Hoover Fire Department as a part-time employee in June 2008 and quickly was made full-time in October of the same year. In November 2012, he was promoted to fire apparatus operator. He has served at Station No. 6 in Deer Valley, Station No. 5 in Bluff Park and Station No. 4 on Municipal Drive.
His contributions to the Fire Department have been many, Chief Chuck Wingate said. He served as a medic for the tactical response team, helped procure a Firehouse Subs Foundation grant to purchase emergency medical equipment for the tactical team and served as a valuable member of the department's technology team, helping establish the department's first website.
Thorin had to make a tough decision in the middle of 2014 after he began experiencing medical issues that affected his performance at work, Wingate said. The symptoms were quickly getting worse and affecting him daily, and he reported them because he feared he might be placing himself, his coworkers and Hoover residents in danger, Wingate said.
Extensive evaluations were done by physicians at the Birmingham VA Medical Center, and diagnoses so far indicate his problems are related to his military service in the Gulf War.
From 1990 to 2009, Thorin served as a stateside medic with the Army and Army National Guard. He also served as a combat medic in Afghanistan for six months in 2003 and performed security and reconnaissance operations in Iraq for 18 months starting in 2005. He received numerous awards, including three Army commendation medials, seven Army achievement medals, a combat action badge, an Afghanistan combat medal, Iraq campaign medal, Army service medal and Army overseas service medal.
Thorin retired from the Hoover Fire Department in August and remains under evaluation and treatment for his illnesses.
|State Wrestling Tournament: Dora’s Warren wins gold
Story from The Daily Mountain Eagle
HUNTSVILLE — Dora’s Chase Warren overcame a strong start by Leeds’ Torren Pollard to score a pinfall victory and win the AHSAA state championship final for the 138-pound division on Saturday at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. Pollard put together a 10-2 lead through the first round of the match on takedown scores, before Warren began to make strides of his own throughout the second round on reversals and takedowns of his own. At the 1:29 mark in the second round, Warren maneuvered Pollard into a pinning position until the match officials counted the pinfall. The championship victory was the first in the Dora senior’s career, who finished the season with a 61-4 record. “Winning the state title means everything to me, as I haven’t decided whether I’m going to wrestle in college or not — so this may have been my last chance to do something in this sport,” Warren said. “I’ve been wrestling since the eighth grade, but I never took it seriously until last year. I had to make up a lot of ground, so it made this championship run so much more important considering all the hard work I had to do to get here.” As a team, the Bulldogs finished fifth overall in the Class 1-5A standings with 94 points. Recio Winchester (113 lbs.), Austin Everett (132 lbs.) and Caleb Lauderdale (170 lbs.) all finished as state runner-ups after advancing to the championship final. The Sumiton Christian Eagles finished the tournament at the 18th spot with 43 team points. Tommy Woodall (120 lbs.), Joseph Thompson (126 lbs.) and Mat McGough (160 lbs.) all ended the tournament in sixth place in their respective weight classes. Corner’s Reed Murphy advanced to the consolation finals and earned the third-place spot in the 285 lbs. division.
Profile: Christa Waddle -Dora High School Junior
Interview with Emily Barton
1. What are you looking forward to most in the new year? Any New Year’s resolutions?
-I am looking forward to bettering myself and making memories with my boyfriend and friends. My New Year’s resolutions are to be less anxious and worrisome, be happy more, and lose a little weight.
2. What do you think about all the crime in the world? Do you think there is an explanation?
-There is a lot of crime in the world and people get away with it because they are in a position of power. I think people commit crimes for many reasons whether it be for money, gratification, anger, fear, or even because they think their life is worth more than others.
3. If you were to give someone the best advice in the world, what would it be?
-I know it sounds cheesy, but the best advice I could give anyone is to just be yourself and do what makes you happy. If there is something you do not like, get rid of it. Do not deal with toxic people. A lot of people try to act a certain way to please others, but I do not think anyone should. Make yourself happy and do not worry about your appearance or what others think of you.
4. What are you most excited for after graduation? Do you plan to go to college or start immediately into a career?
-I am excited to finally get my life started after graduation. Not that it has not already started; it just does not seem like it yet. I am excited to see my friends in their graduation gowns and reminisce with them. I plan to go to Full Sail University in Florida and take computer animation and game design.
5. What is a big topic in the news lately that has you interested? Please explain why.
-There are several big topics in the news right now that are interesting to me. From the frequent and unfortunate killings of African Americans, for no good reason, to the intolerance and hate towards the LGBT community. I believe the world needs a big wake up call to understand that the default of the world is not white, straight, cis-gendered, Christian men because it seems that is what the world is most catered to. That needs to change.
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