August 7, 2019

Walker County tax map image of the McLemore (AKA Canyon Ridge) wastewater treatment plant the Dade water board is considering giving away.  

How much is a sewer worth?

That's the question The Dade Planet has been striving to get answered since, at a meeting on July 8 called specially for the purpose of "Discussion and possible action on Sale of Property," the governing board of the Dade Water Authority appeared determined to giv...

July 1, 2019

A Trenton electroplating company that uses the carcinogen chromium-6 was written up for  "secondary violations" after the Georgia Environmental Protective Division (EPD) inspected it on May 23, but it was given a pass on the primary offense it was accused of--leaking contaminants into the local groundwater.

At least, it was not cited for leaking contaminants into the local groundwater. But an addendum to the official report mad...

May 22, 2019

Back in September 2016, when The Planet, if not the world, was new, this newspaper did a long investigative piece headed, "Is Dade Being Poisoned Through Its Drinking Water? More Than You Ever Wanted to Know about Chromium-6."

(Photo of C&S Plating from Dade Tax Assessor's Site)

In those days, concern about the carcinogenic effects of hexavalent chromium, or chromium-6, haunted local internet discourse. A CNN news show had feat...

March 1, 2017

The B&G Jiffway, the modern, spanking-new convenience store at I-24 and Hwy. 299 where Bea Haygood and Glenda Scott wanted to sell beer in 1981.  (Photo courtesy of Lawton Haygood.) 

This series is about how alcoholic beverages came to be sold in Dade County. It is a story that began a long time ago and even now continues to unfold.

In part 1, we looked at how newly-elected Sole Commissioner Larry Moore took offic...

February 24, 2017

On May 20, 1981, a tiny "filler copy" article on an inside page of The Dade County Sentinel--in those days, a well-written, newsy little paper edited by the late Myrna McMahan-- reported that Georgia had collected $48,968,870 in beer taxes in 1980, and that the 336 cities and 129 counties in Georgia that licensed beer sales had received $53,139,840.19 of that.

It was an easy article to miss, but it caught the eye of a Henry Ne...

September 28, 2016


Dade Water Authority head Doug Anderton shows a chart of contaminants local water is tested and treated for. Chromium-6 is not among them. It is what's called in the industry an unregulated contaminant -- though Anderton thinks that may ultimately change.

Reports of a carcinogen called chromium-6 showing up in Dade County drinking water have been making the local Facebook rounds recently and some Planet readers have asked: Is...

August 30, 2016

This is the fifth and final in an ongoing series on local electric companies, compiled in 2015 and published now for the first time in The Dade Planet.


Onstage, a woman is talking about the Second Coming.

“It’s gonna be better when Jesus comes back,” she says.  “He’s gonna rule and reign and things will be right.” Backed up by a gospel band behind her, she launches into song.​

She sings to a full house...

August 24, 2016

This is the fourth in an ongoing series on electric companies, compiled in 2015 and published now for the first time in The Planet.

As discussed in the previous article in this series, the Fort Payne Improvement Authority (FPIA) and co-ops Sand Mountain Electric and Marshall-DeKalb Electric (SMEC and MDEC),  are the three electric companies in DeKalb. Further afield, besides the 23 co-ops in Alabama, there are 36 municipal elec...

August 17, 2016

This is the third in a series on electricity, compiled in 2015 but never published before now in The Dade Planet.

To understand how there came to be three independent electric companies within one not particularly large northeastern Alabama county, you have to go back a ways.“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the earth” –

Well, maybe not that far. Just this far, to quote anothe...

August 10, 2016

Part 2 in the series about electricity compiled in 2015 and published now in The Planet for the first time. 

Here is the first question asked of Mike Simpson, chief executive officer of Sand Mountain Electric Cooperative (SMEC), and the only local power company CEO who consented to a face-to-face interview for this series:  “If you’re nonprofit, how come your rates are so much higher than the for-profit providers, which be...

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