Senior Spotlight: Eguel Belk turns 103

Eguel Belk turns 103.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Hamilton resident Eguel Belk celebrated her 103rd birthday this past week, with her party being held on her birthday on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the North Mississippi Medical Center-Hamilton Nursing Home.
Belk, born in 1920 and a longtime resident of Hamilton, was raised on a farm in the Bexar community and attended the Ada Hannah School. Her parents were Carl Elliott and Eva (Wesh) Elliott.
“We just went to church and worked on the farm,” said Belk. “I’d help my daddy plow out on the farm.”

Winfield schools graded in top 10

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — Winfield City Schools received a top 10 score from the Alabama State Department of Education’s 2022 A-F report card with a total district score of 92.
Report card scores are based on six areas: academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, college and career readiness, graduation rate and progress of English proficiency.

Hamilton removes 1st Avenue red light

An electronic sign displays “Do Not Enter” and “One Way” as striping is completed on the new one way street.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Hamilton residents may have noticed lots of work being done near the Marion County Courthouse. Crews were busy Monday morning taking down the street light right before Hamilton’s main intersection and installing a blinking yellow light in its place.
For 30 days, Hamilton will not be using the old traffic light located at 1st Avenue and Military Street South.
On Monday, Aug. 15, the Hamilton City Council made the decision to cover the lights and make 1st Avenue Southeast a one way road.

Pickleball courts approved for $38k

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Hamilton pickleball enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that the City of Hamilton approved the construction of two new pickleball courts near the Hamilton tennis courts near the recreation center during the Jan. 17, meeting.
The project has an estimated cost of $38,908.
Pickleball, similar to tennis, is an indoor or outdoor racket/paddle sport where two or four players hit a perforated hollow polymer ball over a 36-inch-high net using solid-faced paddles.

Agencies lend neighborly hand during shootout

Jefferey Lee Adair

By Chad Fell and Louis Mellini
DOUBLE SPRINGS — Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies aided law enforcement and first responders during the stand off shootout situation that took place in Double Springs on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Jefferey Lee Adair, 48, of 301 Old Union Road, Haleyville, surrendered to law enforcement at approximately 10 p.m.

Williams sees pay scale as good start

Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams has 35 employees in his department.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Departments within Marion County got their wishes granted when the Marion County Commission approved the new pay scale.
A pay scale in Marion County has been long awaited by many, but likely none more than Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams.
Williams, who has been sheriff for over 20 years, has the largest of any department in Marion County with 35 employees.

New businesses bring relief to Hackleburg residents

Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn and Councilwoman Pam Pickens stand outside of the newly opened Family Dollar and Dollar Tree store in Hackleburg.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HACKLEBURG — Hackleburg’s new Family Tree and Dollar Tree stores have now officially opened on Friday, Jan. 6, at 115 North Clay Street.
Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn stated plans for the new stores, which sit in the same facility on the property, began in Dec. of 2021.
“It was kind of unique that we really didn’t have to do anything to recruit them here. It was more of just letting them know that we’re excited for such a great company to want to come here, and we’re willing to do anything we can to help them out,“ said Colburn.

County implements long awaited pay scale

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Marion County’s pay scale saga has officially come to an end after commissioners unanimously voted to implement a pay scale for all 87 county employees on Monday, Jan. 9, in Hamilton.
The short and quickly taken unanimous vote to implement the new pay scale was nothing in comparison to the months of debate over the best way to keep county employees on a regular raise schedule that encouraged long-time service as a county employee.

 

Drainage improvements in Hackleburg

Hackleburg is set to receive just under a quarter of a million for road work and drainage improvements.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HACKLEBURG — The Town of Hackleburg has been awarded $225,000 as a part of the $40 million in state transportation funding that was awarded to cities and counties for various road and bridge projects.

Turning lane to be added in Brilliant

A turning lane is planned to be added here on State Highway 129 in Brilliant.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
BRILLIANT — Brilliant received just shy of $2 million in ATRIP-II funds to install turn lanes on State Highway 129 in front of the Stone Canyon Homes plant.
The turn lanes are intended to make the entrance to the plant safer, since it is located in a curve of the road, and several accidents have occurred there.

Northwest Regional Health to open new ER

The new emergency room at Northwest Regional Health is currently under construction and is scheduled to open in June.

By P.J. Gossett
General manager
WINFIELD — A new state of the art emergency room is currently under construction at Northwest Regional Health. This new emergency room will have a capacity of 10 beds and will be approximately 9,300 square feet in area, which is 6,300 square feet more than the current one.  

SUV travels through house

The above photo is courtesy of the Winfield Police Department.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — Emergency personnel responded to a house on Woodvale Avenue in Winfield on New Year’s Day after a Toyota SUV was accidentally left in gear and rolled down a steep driveway, through the wall of a house across the street.
Police said no one was in the car, but there was one person in the house who narrowly escaped injury.
Police said the occupant of the house was about to sit on his couch but changed his mind and sat on his recliner right before the vehicle came through the wall where the couch was.

World War II vet passes

Cecil Rye

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON —Hamilton resident and World War II veteran Marvin Cecil Rye passed away last week on Tuesday, Jan. 3, at the age of 98.
Rye, who was born in Detroit on Oct. 30, 1924, was one of the 13 children born to John and Millie Rye.
“It was wonderful,” Rye said about growing up with 12 brothers and sisters during an interview with the Journal Record in 2021. “We disagreed some, but we got along.”

 

Human remains discovered

Pictured is the area in which the remains were discovered in Hamilton off of Bexar Avenue West, east of Thompson’s Menswear and on the north side of the road.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Human remains were found on the west side of Hamilton this weekend after a resident was outdoors with their dog.
According to Hamilton Police Sergeant Scotty Chandler, the resident was chasing her escaped dog when the remains were discovered near the 600 block of Bexar Avenue West in Hamilton.

County commissioner wants school playgrounds safer

District 5 Commissioner Larry Akers stands on the playground at Brilliant Elementary, showing the area needing to be leveled.

By P.J. Gossett
General manager
HAMILTON — Recess is still an important part of the elementary school day by providing a short break from schoolwork. To keep the children as safe as possible, improvements are looking to be made at the playgrounds of both Brilliant and Guin elementary schools. Attention to ways of improvement was brought to the attention of District 5 County Commissioner Larry Akers, and he approached the Marion County Board of Education at their last meeting on Thursday, Dec. 15, to see how the two could work together to achieve the improvements.

Methodist Church disaffiliating

Shown is Winfield First United Methodist Church, located at 835 Bankhead Highway in Winfield. The church has voted to disaffiliate from the United Methodist Church over the issue of homosexuality. The church hasn’t formally changed its stance against the act, but the fact that it is being debated so fiercely has many members concerned.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — Winfield First Methodist Church and Bexar Methodist Church are both disaffiliating with the United Methodist Church over the issue of homosexuality.
The United Methodist Church at large has  been debating what the denomination’s stance on the act should be.
Many conservative members are concerned the stance could change in favor of what they believe is a sin, while those on the more liberal side think the denomination’s stance should change to be more inclusive of the LGBT community.

Christmas Fires

Byrd Fire Department assists with two structure fires early Christmas morning.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
DETROIT — While many were wrapped up in their blankets during the intense cold weather on Christmas Eve, the Byrd Fire Department was hard at work responding to a structure fire that took place on Sunday, Dec. 24, on State Highway 19.
On the morning of Christmas Eve, the Byrd Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department was dispatched by Marion County E-911 to a reported structure fire.
When the department arrived, the Marion County Sheriff’s Department stated the house was fully engulfed in flames.