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Wilcox publisher Hollis Curl dies

CAMDEN — Wilcox Progressive Era Publisher Hollis Curl, a prominent Alabama newspaperman who pushed to restore ferry service to remote Gees Bend, has died. He was 74.

Family members said Curl, who had been fighting cancer and in failing health in recent months, died at his home Tuesday.

Funeral arrangements were pending Wednesday with Dunklin and Daniels Funeral Home handling.

Curl was a former president of the Alabama Press Association and was in the inaugural class of Lifetime Achievement honorees in 2003.

He sought to restore the ferry service to isolated Gees Bend that had been ended in the 1960s, when black activists used it to cross the Alabama River and get to the county seat at Camden for protests.

Here’s what he wrote, “”The hull was taken out of service in the ’60s as a means of lessening racial tensions in Camden. That’s a historical fact. With all of that behind us, it’s time for officials black and white to step down and try to do something to benefit everybody for a change.”

The ferry service resumed in 2006.