Trotter joins police force

HAMILTON – Travis Trotter of Red Bay has been hired with the Hamilton Police Department.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page announced the hiring during a Hamilton City Council meeting on Monday, Dec. 16, noting Trotter already possesses an Alabama Peace Officers’ Standards and Training  (APOST) certificate.
Hamilton City Clerk Angela Owen told the council Trotter was currently employed with the Red Bay Police Department.
The council unanimously agreed to pay Trotter $16.38 per hour.

Cooper unopposed for 3rd term

HAMILTON - Incumbent Marion County Revenue Commissioner Barbara Cooper will run unopposed for the 2020 elections.
Qualifying for both Republican and Democratic candidates ended on Friday, Nov. 8, and Cooper remained the only candidate to register with a party. Independent candidates will not begin qualifying until after the March primary election on March 3, 2020.

Block grants funding two Marion Co. projects

MONTGOMERY - Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded $18.7 million in Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) for improvements in 58 Alabama communities.
From these grant funds, the Town of Hackleburg will receive $85,000 for street improvement projects, including widening and paving or sealing, and the Marion County Public Water Authority will receive $350,000 to provide public water service to the Bexar Church area.

Christmas for Kids desperate for donors as Christmas approaches

HAMILTON - For the week-period ending Friday, Dec. 13, a total of $26,635 has been donated toward this year’s Christmas for Kids campaign. Sandy Sandlin, coordinator of the campaign, says this year’s goal is $40,000 to help purchase holiday gifts for more than 400 children—with just a week left until Christmas, the charity lacks $13,365. All of the money will go toward buying clothing and shoes for children.

Space camp scholarships available

WINFIELD - Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, has announced middle school students in House District 17 may apply for one of two scholarships to attend space camp at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville.
Officially known as Space Academy for Leading Students in Alabama (SALSA), the annual event will be held from May 24-29, 2020, with a graduation ceremony scheduled for the final day of the week-long event. However, the application deadline to earn a scholarship to attend is scheduled for Jan. 31, 2020.

Low income energy assistance signup dates announced

HAMILTON - The Marion-Winston Counties Community Action Agency (MWCAA) will begin making appointments for financial assistance for utility bills for low-income residents.
The assistance will be provided through the federally-funded Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).
For residents 60 and older or disabled, MWCAA will begin taking calls on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at the Hamilton office.
Individuals may call the office at (205) 921-4224 Monday-Friday.


Marion Co., Winfield school board leaders advance in AASB Academy

MONTGOMERY – Local school board members from Marion County and Winfield school boards were among the honorees recognized at the Alabama Association of School Boards’ (AASB) annual awards luncheon on Friday, Dec. 6, at the Hyatt-Regency in Birmingham at The Wynfrey Hotel. The luncheon was held as part of AASB’s Annual Convention, which drew more than 500 school board members from across the state to Birmingham from Dec. 5-7. In all, 318 school board members statewide were recognized for advancing in the AASB School Board Member Academy, a school for school board members.

Estes wins AASB’s highest honor

BIRMINGHAM – State House Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, was recently presented with the Legislative Award, as chosen annually by officials with the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB). The first-term lawmaker was honored by the association at its annual convention on Friday, Dec. 6. The award is designed to recognize a member of the Alabama Legislature for outstanding leadership and advocacy on behalf of public education.

Hamilton woman killed in wreck

SULLIGENT - A Hamilton woman  died on Wednesday night, Dec. 11, after  her vehicle collided with an 18-wheeler.
Lorie Clark Hallman, 48, Hamilton, was killed after the Nissan Altima she was driving collided with a tractor trailer truck, according to Alabama State Trooper Cpl. Richard Itter of the Highway Patrol Division-Hamilton Post.
The crash occurred around 8:30 p.m. on State Highway 17, one mile north of Sulligent.
Hallman was pronounced dead at the scene.

Slatton presents Grand Jury jail report

Marion County District Attorney Scott Slatton is shown presenting the Grand Jury report concerning the Marion County Jail inspection during a regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 9, at the commission office in Hamilton

HAMILTON - Marion County district attorney Scott Slatton addressed the Marion County Commission concerning the Grand Jury visit to the Marion County Jail during a regular meeting on Monday, Dec. 9, at the commission office in Hamilton.
According to Slatton, the Grand Jury meets four times per year, and Alabama statute requires that the jury inspects the Marion County Jail annually.
Slatton stated that 16 citizens, representing all five Marion County Commission districts, visited the jail in order to report on the conditions of the facility.  

NWAGD announces Lamar County Gas acquisition

HAMILTON - Hamilton-based Northwest Alabama Gas District (NWAGD) announced the acquisition of the Vernon-based Lamar County Gas District during the company’s annual Christmas Party which was held at the barn at Coleman Farms in Brilliant on Friday, Dec. 6.
The transaction, which was approved unanimously by the NWAGD board of directors, will become effective on Jan. 1, 2020.
The acquisition will allow NWAGD to expand its natural gas service territory further into Lamar County as well as north Pickens County.

Cochran denied immunity based on self-defense

HAMILTON – A Hamilton man has been denied immunity for his involvement in the Christmas Day, Dec. 25, 2018, shooting that resulted in the death of Lorenzo Garcia.
Christopher Andrew Cochran, 30, Hamilton, allegedly shot and killed Garcia, 48, last Christmas during a child custody exchange at the Hamilton Police Department.
A court order filed Dec. 10 and released by Marion County Circuit Clerk Denise Mixon shows that 25th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Daryl Burt denied an immunity motion filed by Cochran based on self-defense.


USDA awards freedom FIBER $29.5M loan-grant

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Deputy Under Secretary for Rural Development Donald “DJ” LaVoy (center) answers questions following a ceremony held on Thursday, Dec. 5, at Tombigbee Electric Cooperative in Hamilton, where he announced Tombigbee’s freedom FIBER was receiving a $29.5 million 50/50 loan-grant from the USDA. Also shown are (from left) Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Director Kenneth Boswell, LaVoy, Tombigbee Electric Cooperative President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Foshee and Farmer’s Telecommunications Cooperative CEO Fred Johnson of Rainsville.

HAMILTON - Local broadband provider freedom FIBER, a subsidiary of Tombigee Electric Cooperative, has been awarded a $29.5 million loan-grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to expand rural high-speed internet in northwest Alabama.
U.S. and state officials announced the 50% loan-grant during a ceremony held at Tombigbee’s warehouse in Hamilton on Thursday, Dec. 5. Hundreds of officials, stakeholders and students from Marion and surrounding counties attended the event to hear the announcement.

Historical grant presented to Hamilton- Sullins

HAMILTON - The Alabama Historical Commission has awarded the City of Hamilton a $7,250 grant for repairs to its 19th-Century historical home of Capt. A.J. Hamilton, the Hamilton-Sullins House, located downtown.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page announced the news to the Journal Record during a phone interview on Monday, Nov. 25, saying he is excited that the city has been awarded the monies as historical grants are competitive.
The city applied for the same grant last year and was turned down.

Beaty sentenced to 30 years for murder of Fayette man

HAMILTON - Candice Cheyanne Beaty, 29, Winfield, has been convicted of first-degree robbery and felony murder in connection with the death of William Jerome Henry in April 2016.
According to court documents released by Marion County Circuit Clerk Denise Mixon, Beaty pled guilty to the charges in 25th Judicial Circuit Court on Nov. 12 and was ordered by Circuit Judge Lee Carter to serve a 30-year sentence in the custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) and to pay up to $750 in restitution.

‘An Aggie Christmas Bazaar’ slated for this weekend at BSCC

HAMILTON - “An Aggie Christmas Bazaar” will be presented by Hamilton Middle and High Schools and Bevill State Community College on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 14 and 15, in the BSCC-Hamilton Campus Conference Center.
The Saturday, Dec. 14, performance will begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 5:30 p.m.
The Sunday, Dec. 15, performance will start at 2 p.m., with doors opening at 1 p.m.
“An Aggie Christmas Bazaar” is a Christmas celebration featuring art, singing, dancing, holiday treats and photos with Santa Claus.

Charity nearly halfway to its goal of $40,000


HAMILTON - For the two-week-period ending Thursday, Dec. 5, $6,305 MORE has been donated toward this year’s Christmas for Kids campaign.
This brings the total 2019 campaign to $18,985.
Sandy Sandlin, coordinator of the campaign, says this year’s goal is $40,000 to help purchase holiday gifts for more than 400 children.
All of the money will go toward buying clothing and shoes for children.
Among those who have made the most recent donations are:
• $200 - U Need Us (Hamilton United Methodist Church Sunday School class);

A Christmas Carol to be presented this week

FAYETTE - Winfield-based Self Express Productions will be presenting the Romulus Linney stage adaptation of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol on Dec. 13-14 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 15 at 2 p.m. at the Fayette Civic Center in Fayette.
The show is being presented by Self Express Productions, in partnership with the Fayette Arts Council.
Self Express is a nonprofit theater company committed to arts, education and opportunities in northwest Alabama.

Garbage routes rescheduled for Christmas, New Year’s

Garbage routes rescheduled for Christmas, New Year’s
The following garbage pickup schedules have been announced in connection with the Christmas and New Year’s holidays on Dec. 24 and 25 and Jan. 1, 2020:
• Marion County Solid Waste will collect garbage on Monday, Dec. 23, Thursday, Dec. 26, Monday, Dec. 30, and Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020.
• The Town of Brilliant will be unaffected.

Sakura liquor license approved

HAMILTON - Sakura Asian Cuisine-Hamilton has been approved to serve liquor at its location at 121 Military Street South.
The Hamilton City Council voted unanimously during a public hearing held on Monday, Nov. 18, to approve the restaurant’s application.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page opened the public hearing during a regularly scheduled meeting that same night, opening the floor to anyone who has comments for or against the restaurant. No comments were made.

City will cover individual health insurance premiums

GUIN - City employees are receiving additional benefits just in time for the holiday season.
The Guin City Council voted unanimously at its Monday, Dec. 2, meeting to begin covering 100% of individual employee health insurance premiums.
As health insurance premiums for the city are increasing 5%, Guin Mayor Max Maddox and City Clerk Rebeca Markham presented the council with different health insurance options during a work session preceeding the official council meeting.

Cooper jury trial set for March 2020

HAMILTON -  A jury trial date has been scheduled for double-homicide suspect Jimmy Cooper, according to court documents.
A court order filed on Thursday, Nov. 21, by 25th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Lee Carter sets Cooper’s trial on Monday, March 9, 2020—more than four years following the Feb. 10, 2016, shootings that claimed the lives of two victims.
Arraignment was held for Cooper on Monday, Nov. 18, where he was formally read his indictment of two capital murder charges and first-degree kidnapping.

Aggie ornaments will hang in President’s Park

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Visitors viewing Alabama’s Christmas Tree at the 2019 National Christmas Tree display in the nation’s capital will enjoy ornaments made by Hamilton High School students.
Twenty-two visual arts students at Hamilton High School (HHS) have created 24 one-of-a-kind ornaments for Alabama’s tree display in President’s Park in Washington, D.C.

Help others this Christmas

HAMILTON - Among the many traditional sights and sounds of the Christmas season is a scene outside of stores of  an iconic red bucket with a cheerful person standing beside it ringing a bell.
Now,  Hamilton, Winfield and Haleyville have the opportunity to take part in this Christmas tradition.

Alabama Power warns of scams

Alabama Power has recently dealt with various scam complaints such as scammers calling and claiming to be representatives of Alabama Power or claiming that they are working with a public agency or government office looking to acquire credit card information from the individuals they call.
The company has responded by providing a list of tips to help individuals defend themselves against potential scams.
According to a release by Alabama Power:
• Alabama Power will never come to your door and demand an immediate payment.


Winfield, Phillips high school robotics teams claim awards at IQ challenge event

MUSCLE SHOALS - Winfield Middle School and Colbert Heights Elementary School led the group of winners at the 2019 Northwest Alabama SCORE VEX IQ Challenge on Saturday, Nov. 16,  in the Patriot Center gym on the Northwest-Shoals Community College-Shoals Campus (NW-SCC).
Winfield Middle School’s team, Bad Memory, and Colbert Heights Elementary’s team, Bionic Blue, won the competition’s Excellence Awards.

Burt unopposed in first election

HAMILTON - Circuit Court Judge Daryl Burt will run unopposed in his first election to become one of two circuit court judges for the 25th Judicial Circuit.
Burt was appointed by Gov. Kay Ivey in February 2018 to his current position as circuit judge of the Alabama’s 25th Judicial Circuit, which covers Marion and Winston counties. He was selected by the governor to finish out the last three years of former judge John Bentley’s term, who was elected in 2014 and retired after 15 years on the bench.

17th Annual Toy Run slated for Dec. 7

MARION COUNTY - The 17th Annual Eldridge Children’s Home Toy Run benefit ride will be held on Saturday, Dec. 7, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Individuals and motorcycle groups from Hamilton who wish to participate in the Toy Run should meet at the River Road Texaco in Hamilton at 10 a.m.
The store is located off of  Exit 14 on Interstate 22 and County Road 35, also known as River Road.
From the Winfield and Guin area, motorcycle riders are scheduled to meet at Jack’s or Webster’s Piggly Wiggly on U.S. Highway 43.


Henger: ‘We are making progress in every way possible’

Northwest Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Robert Henger is shown addressing the Winfield City Council during a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Winfield City Hall.

WINFIELD - Northwest Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Robert Henger addressed the Winfield City Council concerning the current state and progress of the Northwest Medical Center in Winfield during a regular meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at Winfield City Hall.
“We haven’t turned a corner yet, we don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel yet, but we are making progress in every way possible, I believe,” said Henger in the beginning of his address.

Alexander sworn in

Kathy Alexander is shown taking her oath as a Guin city council member during a regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 18, at Guin City Hall. Shown in the background is councilman Jerry Gann.

GUIN - Guin city councilwoman Kathy Alexander has officially returned to the position after swearing in during the regular meeting held on Monday, Nov. 18, at Guin City Hall.
Alexander’s appointment to the city council follows the death of former councilman Troy Hightower who served on the council for 25 years.
“Troy wanted to adjourn every meeting, Kathy, that may be your job now,” said Guin Mayor Max Maddox jokingly after Alexander’s swearing in.