Parties agree to dismiss open records lawsuit

In a surprising-but-positive turn of events, the Bevill State Community College (BSCC)-Hamilton Campus Legislative Task Force for Education, BSCC President Dr. Kim Ennis and Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Chancellor Jimmy Baker filed a joint consent motion to dismiss the task force’s open records lawsuit in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Friday, Sept. 6.

Town handing over deed to Bozemans

HACKLEBURG -  Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn now has the authority to sign over the deed to the Hackleburg Market to brothers Phillip and Chris Bozeman of Bozeman Family Grocery after the town council voted in favor of Colburn’s proposal 4-1.
The vote was made during a special-called meeting on Thursday, Sept. 12, in Hackleburg.
Council members Darrin Wiginton, Don Barnwell, Colburn and Eugene Marbutt voted in favor of Colburn’s proposal, while councilman Kevin Barnwell voted against it. Councilwoman Tabby Lolley was absent during the meeting.

Manufactured Home Installation course launches this month

HAMILTON -  Bevill State Community College (BSCC) has announced the launch of a new Manufactured Home Installation Training class on the Hamilton Campus.
The inaugural class begins on Tuesday, Sept. 24, and will meet two nights a week for 10 weeks.
Participants will receive a certificate of completion from BSCC and be prepared to work with certified home installers, and/or to take the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission Certified Installer Exam.

Marion Co. has poverty rate of 19.3%

Recently published data show Marion County’s poverty higher than the state average.
Alabama Possible, a statewide nonprofit organization that seeks to remove prosperity barriers, published a report in July showing that Marion County’s poverty rate is 19.3%—higher than the statewide average of 16.9% and noticeably higher than the national average of 13.4%.
The federal poverty threshold ranges from $12,488 for one person to $25,094 for a family of four. Marion County’s median household income is $38,049.

 

No citizenship question on 2020 Census essentially assures Alabama losing a congressional seat

The upcoming 2020 Census is extremely critical in Alabama and the rest of the states in the nation, as well. The Census affects the number of seats a state has in the U.S. Congress and ultimately the number of Electoral College Votes you have for president. Also, very importantly, the amount of federal funds the state receives will be effected.

Community mourns loss of two teens killed in wreck


Members from numerous West Alabama communities sing “Amazing Grace” during a prayer circle on Sunday, Sept. 1, in Winfield. About 200 people attended the prayer circle to mourn the loss of Tallon Burleson and Steven King.

WINFIELD - Two teenagers killed in an automobile accident are being mourned by friends and loved ones across Marion, Fayette and Lamar counties.
Tallon Burleson, Winfield, and Steven King, Vernon, both 19, died after the 2004 Jeep Wrangler they were travelling in left the roadway and struck a utility pole at 8:07 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30.

City hits homer on bond refinancing

HAMILTON - The choice to re-enter the bond market in hopes of lowering interest rates has resulted in an out-of-the-park homer for the Hamilton City Council.
When it voted to refinance the 2014 bond issue in July, it was estimated the city would save about $400,000. Instead, financial officers were able to secure savings of more than $645,000, earning commendation from the city’s bond counsel, Rod Kanter.

Byrne says technical education critical

HAMILTON - An Alabama 2020 U.S. Senate candidate and former Alabama Community College System   (ACCS) chancellor says his experience leading the state’s two-year colleges gives him an edge.
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, who currently represents Alabama’s 1st Congressional District,  met with Marion County agricultural and health care leaders in Hamilton on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at OH! Bryan’s Family Steak House.
The 1st Congressional District includes the counties of Baldwin, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington, as well as a portion of Clarke County.

 

Burleson recognized for 24 years of public service

MONTGOMERY -  Marion County Commissioner Bobby Burleson has been presented with the Tenure in Office Award by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) for his 24 years of service to county government and the state of Alabama.
“It’s a great honor to complete 24 years and Lord willing, I’ll be able to complete four more,” said Burleson.
“I appreciate the people for having the trust and faith in me to do a good job for them. I’m still very interested in completing this (current) term and facing whatever the future holds.”

New operations building in planning stages

HAMILTON - A Hamilton-based loan company is in the planning stages of a new operations facility.
CIS Home Loans President Paula Reeves told the Journal Record that land currently being cleared behind  the company’s new administrative office building location, the former Fite Davis Atkinson Guyton & Burt law office building.
CIS (officially CIS Financial Services, which does business as CIS Home Loans) has been operating in Hamilton for 28 years and added its new location in July along with 9.2 acres.

1,688 baptized during Summer Ramp conferences

HAMILTON -  The Ramp completed the last of its three summer conferences on Saturday, Aug. 17, bringing around 3,073 visitors to Hamilton to attend the conferences.
Summer Ramp conferences were held on June 27-29, July 25-27 and Aug. 16 and 17 at The Ramp in Hamilton, bringing visitors from around the country and even abroad from international locations.

During each of the three conferences, attendees have the opportunity to attend a baptism at Williams Creek in Hamilton on the Saturday of each of the three months during the events.

 

One-vehicle accident claims life of Winfield woman

Brilliant -  A single vehicle crash has claimed the life of a Winfield woman.  
At approximately 6:50 am on Saturday, Aug. 31, a 2001 Ford Taurus driven by Betty Jean Walker Sousy, 79, Winfield, was traveling north on Alabama State Route 233, approximately three miles east of Brilliant.  
The vehicle left the roadway to the right and struck a tree.  
According to State Trooper Cpl. Mark Stone of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Hamilton Post, the driver, the only occupant, was transported to UAB Hospital in Birmingham where she later died.  

Council hears from principals, tables discussion on water board members


Marion County High School Principal Dustin Silas distributes information sheets to Guin City Council members at the Tuesday, Sept. 3, meeting.

GUIN - Marion County High School Principal Dustin Silas and Guin Elementary School Principal Joshua Weatherly appeared before the Guin City Council to present their respective school reports on city tax money during the council’s Tuesday, Sept. 3 meeting.
Silas reported that the high school balance is $11,288.15 and Weatherly reported a current balance of $17,863.44.

Hayes questions deed acceptance

WINFIELD - In an item of old business at the Thursday, Sept. 5, Winfield City Council meeting, councilman Jimmy Hayes questioned whether the city should accept the deed presented to the city by Northwest Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Bob Henger without voting on it first.

Carbon Hill men charged with armed robbery in Winfield

WINFIELD - Two Carbon Hill men are behind bars after being charged for the Aug. 23 armed robbery of Moore’s B&B in Winfield.
Curtis Cook, 37, and Taurus White, 23, are both being held in the Marion County Jail in Hamilton on bonds of $120,000 each.
Sgt. Brad Burroughs of the Winfield Police Department said an individual with a hoodie pulled tight around his face entered the store at approximately 12:58 a.m. and brandished a handgun to the female cashier.

Drug flyover results in two arrests

HAMILTON - A Hamilton couple is being charged with first-degree manufacturing following an aerial drug search.
Eric Owens, 56, and Helen Hazelwood, 54, were arrested on Aug. 7 for growing two to three marijuana plants on their property in north Hamilton.
Both individuals were released the same day on bonds of $15,000 each.
The flyovers are conducted by helicopter by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Aviation Division and assisted by both the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama National Guard.

 

Clay Dyer remembers his early fishing start in Marion County


Clay Dyer (right) and his grandfather, Pride Gann, are pictured here in 2014, a few months before Gann passed away.

HAMILTON - Last month, well-known Hamilton native son Clay Dyer was inducted into the “Legends of the Outdoors” Hall of Fame.  
The "Legends of the Outdoors" was established to recognize those outdoor sportsmen and sportswomen who, through countless hours of hard work and devotion to the outdoors, in both hunting and fishing, have played an integral part in setting the standards and guidelines for the rest of the outdoor world to follow.

Church camp draws 2,700 to Hamilton

HAMILTON - Maywood Christian Camp has completed its 55th camping season, launching a new college program and seeing about 2,700 campers throughout the summer months.
Maywood is a Church of Christ-associated camp located on 83 acres of land three miles east of Hamilton on County Highway 42.
This summer also was the inaugural year for a new college camping program called “Lift U,” which was implemented and saw attendees from more than 10 colleges.

Thornell provides Northwest Alabama EDA update


Kenneth Cochran is shown speaking to David Thornell, president and chief executive officer of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance, during the Marion County Commission meeting.

HAMILTON -  David Thornell, president and chief executive officer of the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance (Northwest Alabama EDA), addressed the Marion County Commission to provide an update on potential business and answer questions from commissioners during a regular meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at the commission office in Hamilton.

Driver loses arm in I-22 wreck


A live fish transport truck crossed the median travelling east-bound on I-22, causing a collision with an 18-wheeler that resulted in a fire involving the fish truck and the fish transport driver losing his left

HAMILTON -  The driver of a live fish transport truck crossed the median going east-bound on I-22 and collided with an 18-wheeler, a collision that caused a fire and resulted in the fish truck driver losing his left arm.
Matt McCracken with Hamilton Fire and Rescue arrived at the two 18-wheeler collision near exit 11 on I-22 at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, in Hamilton.
“On arrival we found that a live fish transport truck had crossed the median and struck an 18-wheeler hauling shingles,” said McCracken.

Cook says track top priority in capital plan

WINFIELD - A number of system projects are being specifically highlighted during Winfield City Schools’ 2019-2020 school year.
The Winfield City Board of Education approved the system’s 2019-2020 school year capital plan during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Winfield Superintendent of Education Chris Cook presented the plan, saying that resurfacing the track was the system’s number-one priority.

Estes gives update on education work in Legislature


House District 17 Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, speaks to the Winfield City Board of Education during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

WINFIELD - Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, attended the Winfield City Board of Education’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13, where he was asked to give a legislative update.
The representative obliged, noting he was attending the meeting just to listen and visit with friends.
“We’re not letting you get off that easy,” said board member James Garner with a laugh.
Estes said the 2019 legislative session was very productive and passed a $7.1 billion education budget.

 

Pirates defense holds off Lions late rally


Winfield quarterback Joseph Estes (19) leaps over a Haleyville defender to pick up extra yards in the Pirates’ 19-13 victory over the Lions.

HALEYVILLE - Winfield’s defense withstood a fourth-quarter rally and picked up a late touchdown run by Joseph Cox to seal a 19-13 season-opening win over the Haleyville Lions on Friday, Aug. 23, in Haleyville.
Leading 13-0 going into the fourth quarter, the Winfield Pirates’ defense found themselves on their heels as Haleyville scored on a four-yard run, and after a failed two-point conversion, Haleyville would tally on a 55-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 13-13 with 8:04 left in the game.