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Joy House asking for funds to expand ministry to teen boys

Joy House founder Steve Lowe on the front porch of the boys home. The Christian ministry hopes to have this home completed by July so they can expand to serve more families.


“The reason I want to get this finished is I’m tired of turning boys away. For a year and a half, I’ve talked to a lot of families we couldn’t help as we just didn’t have space,” said Steve Lowe on the mostly finished boys’ home at the Joy House campus.

Lowe, the founder and executive director of the ministry/ school for teens, said the Joy House lacks $65,000 to complete the boys’ home, which will also house the school facilities for both boys and girls at the campus off Cove Road, near Bent Tree Drive.

The Joy House currently operates with a girls’ home that can house eight teens with temporary classrooms and offices for the ministry in the basement of that structure. Currently, four boys are housed at a smaller house that was on the campus property when the Joy House bought it.

The new building would allow the Christian ministry to double their capacity from four to eight boys.

Horses go to school

Students at Wildwood Christian Academy, near Steve Tate Road, were surprised to spot four horses grazing on their soccer field Tuesday.

The herd had escaped from a nearby farm and couldn't resist the grassy field.

The owner of the horses was away, but a friend of the owner and Wildwood parent, Lisa Rudolph, wrangled them back home. She bribed them with carrots to get the leads on and with a helper from the farm walked them back across Steve Tate to their usual pasture. The sheriff car followed them with the blue lights on for added safety. 

Disease ends life of Good Sam’s Dr. Wilber


By Angela Reinhardt

staff writer

“Joe was someone who projected the most extraordinary warmth, and he was able to do that within the context and timeframe of a short medical interview, and that’s something to be envied,” said Dr. John Spitznagel, one of the physicians who helped found Pickens’ free clinic with Dr. Wilber nearly a decade ago.

“We are all grieving,” Dr. Spitznagel added, “I can certainly tell you that.”

Just one week after Good Samaritan Health & Wellness Center hosted a tribute for their founding physicians, the beloved Dr. Joe Wilber lost his battle with Lou Gehrig’s disease, passing away Sunday, April 3.

People who knew Dr. Wilber speak of his unwavering compassion and kindness and his unique ability to connect with patients, family, friends and strangers.

They speak of his dedication to public health and his desire to help those not receiving proper medical care, and they marvel at his calm demeanor and warm presence.

“It was easy living with him because he brought those same qualities home,” said Pat, Dr. Wilber’s wife of nearly 60 years. “He never lost his cool, and he was a wonderful example for our children. One of our sons said last night, ‘You know, he never told us what to do. He taught us by example.’ I never realized that,” she said laughing. “I guess I was the one who told them what to do.”

Other stories in our April 7th print edition

Troop 20 closes busy year with Pinewood Derby – Finishing a great year for Scouting, scouts from the Troop 20 including Tiger Pack, Wolf Pack and Webelos met at the Broyles Center in Big Canoe, Page 5A.

City of Jasper may require animal licensing -- At their regular meeting on Monday, April 4, the Jasper City Council voted first reading approval of an updated animal control ordinance that, if passed, will require city residents to license their pets for a fee, among other changes. Page 1A

Marble Festival will lose its marble for 2011 – The organizers have picked a theme are lining up booths and activities for the yearly event. Find out more about what’s planned and information on getting involved. Page 12A.

A mother’s heartbreaking end-of-life decision -- part of month long series at Senior Center

“It was a death sentence.It was terminal. Inoperable.”

–Ellen Holty of her child’s illness


Ellen Holty has gone through the unthinkable. She buried her three-year-old son.

Holty told her story last week at the county senior center as part of the ongoing series taking an in-depth look at end-of-life decisions organized through Affinis Hospice.

A decade ago, Holty, now a Big Canoe resident, had three children––the youngest just 18 months––when her middle child, a son named Pablo, began falling often. So often, she said, that he had what seemed like a permanent welt on his forehead. Following a series of doctors’ visits, her son was diagnosed with a 5-centimeter tumor on his brain stem.

“It was a death sentence. It was terminal. Inoperable,” Holty told the group of 20 attending the series last Wednesday at the senior center on Stegall Drive.

Doctors told her Pablo had six months to live if they opted for radiation treatments, three months without them. With treatment, however, the family would be forced to relocate to a different city, and Pablo would spend many of his remaining days in a hospital.