Lanett seniors receive weather radios through grant funding

Published 11:30 am Wednesday, June 21, 2023

LANETT — Lanett residents active in the city’s senior center program will soon get free weather radios thanks to a $5,000 grant from the Coosa Valley Resource Conservation & Development Council (RC&D). Seniors from Chambers, Randolph and Clay counties will benefit from this program. The goal for this program is to go statewide eventually.

Mayor Jamie Heard, State Rep. Debbie Wood, Alabama Department of Senior Services (ADSS) Board Chairman Ray Edwards and Lanett Senior Center Manager Sandra Thornton paid visits to four Lanett seniors Tuesday morning to personally deliver three of the radios.

The first visit was to the home of Doris Fears, who lives on North 15th Avenue, a short distance from the senior center.

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“She’s such a sweet lady and a strong Christian,” Mayor Heard said.

“I really need this,” Fears said of her new radio. “We’ve had some bad weather lately, and people my age need to know it’s on the way.”

The radios are very easy to use. All the senior needs to do is plug it into an electrical outlet.

It comes on anytime there’s a weather alert.

Fears expressed her gratitude for receiving a weather radio by leading a group prayer with each person present holding hands and giving thanks to the Lord.

“If you have any problems with the radio,” the mayor told her, “just call us at city hall, and we will see that it works right for you.”

The next stop was at the home of Henry and Laura Osborne, who live in the Horseshoe Bend cul de sac on the city’s south side.

Mr. Osborne is 91 years of age and still drives and works his flower garden daily. His geraniums and impatiens are looking great.

Osborne is a retired educator and served as a councilman for years.

He was the city’s mayor and later a county commissioner before retiring from public office.

The day’s final stop was at the home of Maudie Taylor, who lives in the West Shawmut neighborhood. She’s 95 and, like Henry Osborne, is still very active. She still drives a car and works her backyard garden every day she can.

Taylor moved to Lanett in 1960 when Jamie Heard was two years old.

“He was like one of my own,” she said, making the point that she watched him do well in school, graduate from college and come back home to be a classroom teacher and, later on, an administrator.

She watched him serve on the city council and now as mayor.

Taylor has the matronly touch, raising her children, grandchildren, and church children.

“I appreciate what each one of you is doing for our community,” she told them. “Keep up the good work. I am so grateful to be getting this weather radio today. I am thankful you are doing this for many other seniors, too.”

Edwards is pleased with what’s been done over the past two years in this weather radio program.