Mayor Charles Shaw presents Dr. Runas Powers Jr. with the proclamation naming Nov. 15 as Dr. Runas Powers Jr. Day. | Kenneth Boone

Archived Story

Nov. 15 proclaimed for Dr. Powers

Published 12:22pm Thursday, November 8, 2012

In one of his first acts as mayor, Charles Shaw has proclaimed Nov. 15 as Dr. Runas Powers Jr. Day.

Powers, a Jackson’s Gap native, became Russell Hospital’s first African-American physician in 1978 and has worked as a physician in the city for 34 years.

Shaw highlighted other accomplishments of Powers within the proclamation read at Monday night’s city council meeting, noting that Powers is a 1957 graduate of Laurel High School and a 1966 graduate of Meharry Medical College and completed multiple residencies and fellowships across the country.

Shaw said Powers also served as a U.S. Navy lieutenant and medical officer during the Vietnam War from 1967 to 1969, in which he earned a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart.

Powers was also named Man of the Year in 1990 by the Alexander City Chamber of Commerce.

Shaw said he felt it was important to honor Powers as he has recently announced his retirement from Russell Medical Center.

“He’s just an outstanding citizen and an outstanding doctor,” Shaw said. “He’s been a great mentor to not only the black community but also the white community by showing his Christian faith and what he represents. He’s been my doctor for some 25 years, and he’s a great doctor and a great friend. I’m saddened he’s retiring, but he’s got to move on with another chapter in his life.”

Community members in attendance gave Powers a standing ovation when Shaw presented Powers with the proclamation.

Council members also voted for the following:

- authorized Finance Director Steve Hays to do banking for the city

- affirmed the local matching share of funds in the amount of $51,440 for the T.C. Russell Airport project to complete the north parallel taxiway extension

- authorized Shaw to execute an agreement for construction engineering and inspection services with Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood totaling $286,800 for the ATRIP project

- authorized Shaw to enter into a $48,050 contract with CSLSouth for long-term flow monitoring services for the sewer rehabilitation project

- waived business licenses for the holiday market at Alexander City Methodist Church

- approved a permit request for the annual hometown Christmas parade for Monday, Dec. 3 at 6 p.m.