Historical discovery

A group working to record historical information at Armistead Cemetery in Lauderdale County discovered a former slave burial site there.

These findings and newly recorded information on existing headstones will serve a variety of purposes for the public, according to George Makowski, history professor at UNA and director of its master’s program in public history.

“It does a lot of different things, and one is for the folks whose cemetery it is,” Makowski said. “It lets them know where people are, how the cemetery has been used in the past, and makes it easier for them to find a relative, especially if someone comes in from out of town.”

The cemetery, unlike many other historical cemeteries, is still open and the discovery of the unmarked graves also will help determine where future burial sites can and cannot be.

The group recorded the information on each headstone and took black-and-white documentary photos of each one that included a scale and informational placard stating the location and, in this case, a number.

Once the project is complete, the records will be kept at the public library, where they can be accessed in the local history and genealogy room, Makowski said.

Well done.

Be aware

Saturday is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day and One Place officials are trying to get the word out for this growing problem.

According to the National Council on Aging, 10 percent of Americans ages 60 and older have suffered some type of abuse, including physical, sexual, emotional, confinement, passive neglect and depriving them of needs such as medication, shelter and food.

And while 1 in 10 Americans ages 60 and older experience abuse, only 1 in 14 cases are reported to authorities, according to the council.

It’s disheartening to find that this type of abuse exists in our area, but Lauderdale County District Attorney Chris Connelly confirmed last week that it indeed does.

“Primarily, the cases we do are financial exploitation,” Connolly said. “It’s typically relative-related. A relative gets into their bank account and they’re left destitute.”

Hailey Killen, a social worker for the Adults Protective Services Unit of the Department of Human Resources, said social workers will wear awareness T-shirts on Friday since June 15 is a Saturday.

They also are selling them. Anyone interested in a shirt can call 256-765-4000. That also is the 24-hour line for reporting elder abuse.

This is a crime that should not happen.

Super swimmer

Congratulations to Dan Hendricks, who will be in Albuquerque, New Mexico, this weekend, where he’ll compete in the 50-meter breast stroke, freestyle and back stroke events at the Senior Olympics National Championship.

Hendricks, 71, says he has been swimming since 1958 when his neighborhood got a swimming pool and established a swim team. He will join about 20 other Alabama swimmers competing at the games.

It is his first time to compete at the national games, and Hendricks said he will be competing in the 70- to 74-year age group. A member of the YMCA in Florence, Hendricks swims at least three days a week and weight trains the other days.

While he ultimately hopes to win his races, he said first and foremost he wants to enjoy the privilege of competing.

“I want to swim a personal best in at least two of my events,” he said, adding that freestyle and breast stroke are his best strokes.

We wish him the best of luck.

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