The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

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State and Nation

May 25, 2013

Tornado upon them, quick choices decided fate


They had walked for a while before Leslie was able to raise someone on her cellphone to come pick them up.

That evening, Addison talked animatedly for two hours about what had gone on at school. Then, suddenly, she broke down in tears. She cried for more than an hour.

When the family returned to their home on Tuesday, there wasn't a wall standing. Leslie Paul had gone to rescue Addison, but the little blond girl may have ended up saving her.

Digging through the rubble for something that might help comfort Addison, they found one of her favorite dolls — a Raggedy Ann.

Scott and Leslie Paul shared a birthday Friday — he turned 30, she 27. They celebrated at the Oklahoma City hotel provided by their insurance company.

Addison's little sister is due in June 10. The Pauls plan to name her Faith.


It was correctional officer Scott Evenson's first day back to work after a lengthy illness, and he was tired after his overnight shift. Returning home around 9:15 a.m. Monday, he fixed 2-year-old Macie a bowl of Cheerios, munched on a bagel and then slipped off to bed.

He and Kimberly, eight months pregnant with their second child, were renting her grandparents' old home on South Broadway, not far from I-35 and the massive Warren Theater. They'd been in the house about two years, and had come to love it there.

The man across the street worked at Sara Lee, and would come by with gifts of fresh-baked bread; another neighbor was generous with his tools. The brick cottage was just a three-bedroom starter home, but the young couple — he's 26, she 27 — one day hoped to have the money to buy it.

While Scott slept, Kimberly strapped Macie into the car to run some errands, despite the ominous warnings on the radio. She drove to the post office to mail her student loan payments, then went to drop off her Netflix movies.

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