Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fort Payne Times Journal

Location: Fort Payne, Alabama

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Fort Payne Times Journal (Newspaper) - September 19, 2007, Fort Payne, Alabama TODAY: Sunny most of the day. High, 87; Low, 54. Details A2 September 19, 2007 TODAYS HEADLINES Lady Wildcats Win Fort Payne is above .500 for the first time this season. The Lady Wildcats pushed their winning percentage above the breakeven mark with a tri-match sweep on their home floor Monday. Fort Payne began the day with a victory over Scottsboro and ended it with a win over Albertville. � Inside Sports Stay In School "Inside Out," which debuts Friday, is getting the kind of reviews that movie producers love to quote in their ads. State Corrections Commissioner Richard Allen calls it "stunning." Alabama school Superintendent Joe Morton calls it "powerful." � PageA8 Country Gourmet Statisticians say the average American eats more than 80 pounds of chicken each year and more than half of all chicken entrees ordered in restaurants are for fried chicken. That doesn't surprise me since chicken fingers and hot wings have been added to most menus not to mention they are the featured items in some eateries. � Food MARKET The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained more than 330 points Tuesday. � PageA2 DEKALB COUNTY'S ONI JNE: WWW.TIMESJOURNAL.COM OLDEST NEWSPAPER Only 50 cents WEDNESDAY INSIDE Calendar................ A5 Classified................B4 Comics..................B2 DearAbby...............A2 Obituaries...............A3 Opinion................. A4 Sports....................A6 Stock Report.............A2 TV Guide................A2 Vol. 129, No. 186 To subscribe, call (2S6) 845- 2550 or l-800-34TlMES^^i,,r First Southern,, State mm^'S All We Bank You'll Evtr,Ne*a Serving Jackwn �nd DcKalb countlM lines 1910. MEMBER FDIO Raisins Rock Around the Clock INSIDE LIVING WHOWILLITBE? QB CONTROVERSYLOOMSATAUBURN INSIDE SPORTS Prewett Sold 54-year-old VI. Prewett and Son will be bought by Canada-based Gildan By Jared Felkins jfelkins@times-journal.com The family-owned V.I. Prewett and Son has been bought by North America's largest T-shirt maker. Gildan Activewear Inc. announced Tuesday it bought V.I. Prewett and Son Inc., the largest hosiery manufacturer in Fort Payne, for $125 million. Prewett currently has 1,302 permanent employees and 89 temporary employees. The agreement includes Gildan buying the Prewett business and its facilities in Fort Payne for $125 million with further payments of up to $10 million. The buyout is expected to be complete in October. According to Prewett President Bobby Cole, there are no immediate changes planned. "We, along with Gildan, will be formulating an integration plan for the two companies," Cole said. "Future business along with cost efficiencies will dictate long-term plans and at this time these decisions have not been made.!' Started by V.I. Prewett Sr. � See Prewett, A3 ^ �, '1 '. Times-Journal photo by Dusty Plunkett V.I. Prewett and Son was bought by Gildan Activewear Tuesday for $125 million. Prewett currently has 1,302 permanant employees and 89 temporary employees. Prewett known for its success Hosiery manufacturer is the largest single employer By Greg Purvis gpurvis@times-journal.com DeKalb County's largest single employer was sold Tuesday. With Tuesday's announcement, Canadian-based Gildan Activewear bought V.I. Prewett and Son, one of Fort Payne's oldest and largest industries. "Prewett is certainly an example of an American success story," said DeKalb County Economic Development Authority Director Jimmy Durham. "They have played a major role in the growth and success of Fort Payne." Durham said while the hosiery indus- Times- Journal file photo An expansion was completed in 2003 at Prewett on Gault Avenue North. currently in DeKalb County try has faced a number of trials over the past decade, sock mills continue to play an active role in the local economy. According to EDA figures, Prewett mills collectively employ about 1,350 people, making them DeKalb's largest employer. Of DeKalb's top 10 employers, three are hosiery-related businesses: Cooper Hosiery Mills, Inc. is the third largest employer with 900 employees and Renfro Corporation is the fifth largest employer with 550 employees. "There were a number of dire predictions about the death of the industry," � See Success, A3 Times-Journal file photo The late V.I. Prewett Jr. celebrated the company's 50th anniversary in 2003. Prewetts built the business � Hosiery company dates back to 1953 in a small garage Staff reports On May 18, 1953, V.I. Prewett Sr. and his son by the same name converted their garage at 204 1/2 12th Street into what would be the beginning of a lasting hosiery corporation. Prewett Sr. was the superintendent of manufacturing at a local hosiery mill. Prewett Jr. had recently graduated in engineering from Auburn University and was beginning a career with National Carbide in Columbia, Tenn. On one particular weekend when the whole family was at home together in Fort Payne, father and son made the decision to go into business. Prewett Sr. had been reconditioning some old knitting machines in his spare time and knew where they could get some inexpensive used � See History, A3 Tourism grows as DeKalb industry �Leaders gather to review success, plan growth By Greg Purvis gpurvis@times-journal.com As local and state officials take notice of a 17 percent increase in tourism in the last year, industry experts say the dollars will continue to roll in. "Tourism Rolls" was the name of forum at the Lake Guntersville State Park Beach Pavilion by the Alabama Mountain Lakes Tourism Association. The forum last week was designed to get local and state tourism officials working together toward the further development of the industry. According to AMLTA President Dana Lee Jennings, DeKalb County is a vital part of the � See Tourism, A2 Photo by Dusty Plunkett Little River National Preserve is one of DeKalb's attractions. Area beef farmers adapt to drought FARMERS WIRELESS. 261 2D Gaull Av�, Fl. Paynm 516,2100 l;�OO-997:a^10 A A4 Freedom Carpet Cleaning ff^A Residential <S Commercial r ^ Free Estimates 638-6900 � Grocery prices have been affected by less rainfall By Greg Purvis gpurvis@times-journal.com As rain and cooler temperatures soothe parched, drought-ravaged northeast Alabama, the casualties are counted up: both crops and livestock have contributed to catastrophic losses for area farmers, according to DeKalb County Extension Coordinator Danny Miller. "The sad part to this drought is that we just don't have enough forage to feed the animals," Miller said. "But our farmers have adapted very well. It's just unfortunate that so many cattle had to leave the county. We just did- Dallas Petty n't have the forage needed to keep them fed." When farmers find rows too tough to hoe, they turn to each other for assistance and camaraderie. The embodiment of neighbor helping neighbor through tough economic times � See Beef, A2