Hamilton Elementary begins $4.2 million remodel

Hamilton Elementary School has begun renovation projects to keep students and faculty from exiting the school when going to the lunchroom, library, etc. While the entire $4.2 million will not cover everything, the school is doing remodeling in phases.

HAMILTON — Hamilton Elementary’s $4.2 million school enclosure and renovation project is underway after the school received Public School and College Authority monies.
According to Marion County Superintendent Ann West, construction will be done on the southwest wing of the building, renovating bathrooms and enclosing areas connecting classrooms using the $4.2 million.

Rocketry teams compete at nationals

PLAINS, VIRGINIA — Two high school rocketry teams from Marion County traveled to the Washington, D.C. area to compete in the final round of the American Rocketry Challenge in Great Meadow in The Plains, Va. on the weekend of Saturday, May 20.
Teams took their rockets and made two flights, and after the first, teams had to make adjustments on the spot to account for a lower maximum altitude the rocket was required to reach.

“Hymns for the Trying” name of new Dirty Clergy album

The Dirty Clergy, a vintage/indie rock group from Winfield, is on set of a video for one of the songs from their forthcoming album, “Hymns for the Trying.” Shown in back, from left, are Ky Carter on bass, Videographer R.J. Ortiz and Kyle Estes on drums. Brian Manasco is shown on guitar.

WINFIELD — Winfield’s nationally acclaimed band will soon have a new album ready for the listening. The Dirty Clergy, a vintage and indie rock group, has songs written for an album titled “Hymns for the Trying,” which is due out sometime this fall on Cornelius Chapel Records out of Birmingham. It will be the group’s fourth album to date.
The group’s leader and guitarist, Brian Manasco, mentioned 40 songs for the album have been written over the past two and a half years and that they have narrowed down the selection for an album.

Aggie band performs spring concert

The Hamilton Aggie Band performs at the spring concert held on Tuesday, May 16.

HAMILTON — The Hamilton Middle School and High School Band gave their annual spring concert last Tuesday, May 16.  
The program consisted of three groups: the sixth grade band, the seventh and eighth grade band and the high school band,  and they did not disappoint.
The evening was a tribute to great composers of concert band music, and the well-rehearsed ensembles gave their audience a night of entertainment and culture.  

Sean of the South to appear at Pastime Theatre

Sean Dietrich is a musician, columnist, novelist and podcast host, known for his commentary on life in the American South. His work has appeared in Newsweek, Southern Living, Reader's Digest, Garden and Gun, the Tallahassee Democrat, the Birmingham News, the Mobile Press Register and his column appears in newspapers throughout the U.S. He has authored 14 books, with the 15th due out in November, and is the creator of the Sean of the South podcast.  

Winfield police make their move

The old armory receives a fresh coat of paint along with the internal renovations. The canopy marks the police station entrance on the right side. The court entrance will be on the left. Some windows are still waiting to be installed.
WINFIELD — The Winfield City Police Department has now officially moved out of city hall and into the old National Guard armory building located at 700 Rock Ridge Road.

Individual Assistance denied after storms

Individual Assistance from storm-related damage requested by Governor Kay Ivey from FEMA has been denied.

Governor Kay Ivey’s request  for Individual Assistance following the storms that took place in March of this year have officially been denied by FEMA.
Following the major storms in March, FEMA announced federal emergency aid was made available to the state to supplement state, tribal and local recovery efforts in areas affected by severe storms, straight-line winds and tornadoes on March 24-27. This would not cover the second tornado that hit Marion County on the final weekend of March leading into April.

Hamilton cracks down on dog issue

Concerns for straying dogs are being raised by Hamilton citizens.

HAMILTON — Hamilton Mayor Bob Page has urged Hamilton dog owners to take greater care of their pets following an increase of dog attacks in the area.
Speaking to the Journal Record on Tuesday, May 9, Page stated the City of Hamilton will be cracking down on those not following pet ordinances following a string of problems caused by dogs in the community.
“People who are allowing their dogs to run loose and not keeping them in their yard are going to be sanctioned by a warning at first and then a possible citation,” said Page.

Aggies head coach retires

Aggies Head Coach Barry Peoples is retiring this year.

HAMILTON — After just over 18 years as a coach and teacher at Hamilton High School, Barry Peoples is stepping down from his position and heading to Amory, Miss.
Peoples, along with his wife Susan, will be leaving Hamilton after several years of serving at Hamilton High School and Marion County High School during his time living in the county.
Peoples recalled his time spent coaching at Hamilton, taking charge of both Hamilton’s football and basketball teams during his tenure.

Hamilton councilman arrested third time in term

Hamilton Councilman Matthew Sims is arrested for the third time during his term as council member. The latest arrest is for missing a court appearance.

HAMILTON — Hamilton Councilman Matthew Sims has had yet another arrest during his term on the Hamilton council. This latest arrest was on Monday, May 1.
Sims was arrested in December of 2021 for possession of a controlled substance, just a year and a couple of months after the start of his term on the Hamilton City Council.
Sims was due to appear in court for the matter on March 14 of this year, but did not do so.

Carter named Hamilton chief

Jordan Carter is named Hamilton police chief.

HAMILTON — Current Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy and former Hamilton Police Officer Jordan Carter will be the new Hamilton Police Chief after the retirement of Chief Ronny Vickery.
Vickery, who announced his retirement last month, will work alongside Carter from June 1 until he officially retires on June 30.
Vickery, who hired Carter at the Hamilton PD, stated he is confident of Carter’s ability to lead the department.

Freedom Theatre produces Lion King Jr.

WINFIELD — On Wednesday, May 10, for the first time in front of an audience, a cast and crew of over 50 will perform, Disney's The Lion King Jr. The production will be the 50th for Self Express Productions of Winfield and features kids from Hamilton, Fayette, Guin, Brilliant, Winfield and other surrounding areas. For director and choreographer Casey Kauffman, it has been a whirlwind six weeks of rehearsals that began with the largest auditions the theatre has held.

Department of transportation bids projects

TUSCALOOSA – The Alabama Department of Transportation bid two projects on state-maintained routes in Marion County during the April 28 bid opening.
Rogers Group, Inc. will resurface, install guardrail and place new traffic striping on Highway 129 from the junction of U.S. Highway 278 northeast of Brilliant to a point approximately half a mile south of the junction of County Road 48. The 4.9 mile project was bid at $1.79 million and is expected to last approximately three months.

Schools respond to threat misinformation

A Guin police vehicle is parked outside of Guin Elementary School on Thursday, April 27, while schools within Marion County were on a “soft lockdown,” due to misinformation on social media regarding threats made to Phil Campbell High School the previous day.

MARION COUNTY — Marion County schools took safety precautions last Thursday, April 27, after social media response to a threat made on social media towards a school in another county.
Earlier last week, threats were made against Phil Campbell High School in Franklin County.  
According to Marion County Schools Superintendent Ann West, even though Phil Campbell is not in Marion County, someone created a post on the social media app Snapchat to say that children should not be in school that day because of the threats to Phil Campbell.

Stampede headed toward Hamilton

HAMILTON — The second annual Marion County Stampede will take place this weekend from May 5-6, with a rodeo and downtown Cowboy Day festival.
This year’s rodeo follows the successful and award-winning inaugural event last year, which won several awards including the best new rodeo of the year award.
The rodeo will begin on Friday night and gates will open at 5, with mutton busting for children six and under at 6:30, and the rest of the rodeo after that at around 7:30 until about 9:30-10:30 that night, according to event coordinator Matt MacCracken.