The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Lifestyle

March 4, 2013

Retired executive works to improve rural Alabama

(Continued)

"Interstate systems are being built all over the country, but we can't seem to finish something like U.S. 80 that was started so long ago," Hodo said. "The same thing applies to health care. It's as though rural Alabama has been forgotten."

The biggest question involving the proposed I-85 project is which route to take — north or south of Selma. The same problem happened in Uniontown over bypassing a historic house. That debate went on for about 20 years.

Interstate highways and completion of U.S. 80 haven't consumed much of Hodo's retirement time. He has other interests, too. His newest job is serving as chairman of the Nature Conservancy of Alabama.

Hodo has earned his share of awards during a long, productive career as an industrialist, but nothing can beat the pleasure of touring places that have been protected by his organization.

"Right now, we are working on canoe access points from Birmingham all the way to old Cahawba," he said Thursday as he drove toward Alabama's first capital, where he enjoyed a leisurely stroll along a walkway toward a slough that feeds into the Cahaba River and, eventually, the Alabama River.

Recent flooding has turned part of the area into a muddy mess, but the walk was worth it when Hodo reached an elevated viewing area where he could see birds circling high overhead.

The confluence of the two rivers is historic. It's the place where Alabama's first capital was created, where Union troops were housed at a Confederate prison camp, where changing times and Selma's emergence as Dallas County's leading city signaled the end of Cahawba as a viable community.

"What a fantastic sight," he said. "It's something everybody in Alabama ought to see at least once. This can be a perfect recreational site one day with camping, hiking, canoeing and other family-oriented things to do."

Text Only
Lifestyle
Photos


Poll

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee