Tag: vigil

JSU remembers Justin Tinker

Justin Tinker (right) in his Facebook profile picture (Justin Tinker/Facebook).

Brannon CahelaStaff Writer

Students gathered to mourn the loss of graduating senior Justin Tinker on Monday evening at the TMB auditorium. Tinker was struck by a vehicle on Highway 204 near campus on Tuesday, February 6.

Initiated by Active Minds Club President Paris Coleman, the Active Minds Club, ACE tutoring services and the SGA came together to plan a candlelight vigil to honor the memory of Tinker. Among those in attendance were his family, friends and professors.

Tinker, a chemistry student, planned to attend graduate school at Auburn University. He shared his knowledge with other students as a tutor with ACE.

Tinker was very intelligent and had a great knack for music and art. He was a talented drawer and was able to pick up any instrument and be able to play it within minutes. To know him was to love him, family and friends said. He was very kind-hearted and generous to anyone he met, and had a great love for all animals.

“At JSU we are more than just college students, we are a community and we are a family,” said SGA Vice President of Student Activities Kasey Gamble. “JSU is a super close-knit school, and it is important for us to acknowledge when we lose a member of our family and help one another in any way we can.”

Among those who spoke at the candlelight vigil held for Tinker were: Active Minds Club President and 2017 Homecoming King Paris Coleman; Dr. Donna Perygin, Tinker’s research advisor; Quinton Thornton, personal friend and science education major; Dr. Laura Weinkauf, Tinker’s physics and astronomy professor; Dr. Nixon Mwebi, Tinker’s chemistry professor; Bro. Joey Hanner, Pastor at Union 3 Baptist Church of Gadsden, and Tinker’s younger brother Tristan.

Those that spoke had nothing but kind words to say about Tinker. He was beloved and respected by those who knew him. Those that shared their memories of Tinker at the vigil portrayed him as an incredibly intelligent, hard-working, humble and resilient young man who showed great love and kindness to those he came into contact with every day.

Justin Band.jpg
Justin Tinker (left) poses with other members of the Gaston High School marching band in August 2012. Tinker marched saxophone in the band and graduated from Gaston in 2013 (Tabitha Angela Rinault/Facebook).

It is often difficult to understand the loss of someone so young and with such potential. Students seeking help during this time may call (256) 782-5475 to schedule a free important with the JSU Counseling Services.

Tinker was scheduled to graduate this spring, and his diploma will be presented to his family at the spring commencement ceremony.

Those in attendance asked Justin Tinker and his family be kept in the thoughts and prayers of the JSU community.

Montgomery mourns loss of Taco Bell

Taco Bell 2.jpg
Ashley Nicole and her angel singers perform a Taco
 Bell song. Dozens gathered in Montgomery in the
Arby’s parking lot for a candlelight vigil for the Taco
Bell next door, which caught fire Wednesday. The
whole thing began as as a Facebook event joke posted
by Katie James that drew the attention of thousands (photo via the Montgomery Advertiser).

Alissa CamplinArts & Entertainment Editor

It started as a joke on the internet.

It ended with dripping wax and songs about Baja Freezes.

A 24-hour Taco Bell caught fire in the early hours of Wednesday, Jan. 17. No one was injured and authorities have not determined the cause of the initial spark.

The closure of Taco Bell deeply affected current and former Montgomery residents, as evidenced by the candlelight vigil to mourn the great loss that went viral this week. More than a hundred people came to honor the mecca of delicious and cheap food.

“It just gave people something to talk about other than all the negativity that’s going on right now,” organizer Katie James said of the unconventional event.

The crowd, full of teens and adults alike, brought Taco Bell products and candles. The group was forced to go into the Arby’s parking lot after the Taco Bell lot was closed down.

A local comedian, Ashley Nicole Portis, performed a reprise of a Taco Bell parody video she released last year. Portis said that Taco Bell was an important instrument to

earning her degree from Alabama State University.

“I’ve had a lot of memories created at Taco Bell,” she said. “I was a theater major and we had long, long rehearsal nights. It was extremely taxing, and you don’t always have time to eat. You miss the cafeteria, it closes early. In Montgomery, everything else closes early.”

As the crowd began to tire out, some headed into the Arby’s for a late dinner. But that restaurant closes at midnight, as does a nearby McDonalds. With the loss of the Taco Bell, Montgomery’s late night options have dwindled to a precious few.

Shaw Gibbins posted on the event’s page on Facebook with this lovely poem of remembrance:

“When McDonalds failed me, you lifted me up. When Sonic was closed, you filled my cup. When Arby’s went dark, you made me smile. Your quesadillas sustained me mile after mile.”