City will purchase old Sitel facility

WINFIELD - The City of Winfield will purchase the old Sitel property for $375,000 after years of the company refusing to sell it.
The Winfield City Council voted 3-2 during its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 25, to make the purchase.
The purchase was recommended by Winfield Mayor Randy Price. Councilman Anthony Hallmark presented Price’s recommendation as a motion, councilman Rusty Barnes seconded it and councilor Tim Garrison added his support in the subsequent vote.
Councilmen Jimmy Hayes and Chris Ballard both voted against the motion.


Guin schools’ lunchroom kitchen floor collapses

HAMILTON - Lunchroom operations have abruptly shutdown for Guin schools as their cafeteria’s kitchen floor has collapsed.
The Marion County Board of Education held a special meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 26, to review the situation and declared the conditions at the elementary lunchroom to be an emergency.
The declaration empowers Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West to approve any emergency expenditures relating to the situation.

January sales tax is record $168.5k

HAMILTON - Marion County’s one-cent education sales tax generated a record-breaking collection for the month of January.
January’s tax report was presented to the Marion County Board of Education by Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West during its monthly meeting held on Thursday, Feb. 20.
West told the board that January’s sales taxes brought in a total of $168,566.54—an increase of $21,775.26 from January 2019. It is the highest collection for the month of January on record and the highest monthly total of Fiscal Year 2020.

Mr. and Miss Main Street Spring Pageant to be held April 5

WINFIELD -  The Winfield Main Street program will present the Mr. and Miss Main Street Spring Pageant at the Winfield Pastime Theatre on Sunday, April 5.
Registration will open at 1 p.m. on the day of the event and the pageant will begin at 2 p.m.
The entry fee for the pageant is $50 and boys and girls age 0-18 are encouraged to participate. Sunday dress, semi-formal and formal attire are acceptable.
Entry deadline is Monday, March 20, at 5 p.m. No entries will be accepted after that time.

Consignment sale not granted gym space

HACKLEBURG - The seasonal Re-Run Consignment sale will have to find a different venue this spring.
During its meeting on Monday, Feb. 10, the Hackleburg Town Council procedurally denied a request by local business owner Jessica Pruitt to occupy the Hackleburg Recreational Center Gymnasium for four weeks to conduct the sale.
The consignment sale was held in the gym in both the fall and spring of 2019.

Alabama’s economic boom should be heard, felt statewide

When I was growing up in Haleyville, I can remember people in July and August saying, “It’s hotter’n blue blazes outside.”
Well, you could certainly describe America and Alabama’s current economic boom as being “hotter’n blue blazes.” Alabama’s economy is scorching hot, with the lowest unemployment numbers in our state’s history. One county economic development director told me that “if you want a job, you can find one right now.”

2020 edition of JBAF promises to be as good as ever

HAMILTON - With a lineup that includes approximately 55 artists from five states, the 18th Annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival (JBAF) promises to be as good as its long-time fans of original art are most accustomed to.
The festival, presented by “The First Lady of Alabama Pottery,” Sandra Brown, and the Northwest Alabama Arts Council, will be held on Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8, and hosted by the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative.

Board adopts school calendar

HAMILTON - Marion County Schools has set its 2020-2021 School Year Calendar.
During a Marion County Board of Education meeting on Thursday, Feb. 20, the board voted unanimously to accept a calendar recommended by Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West.
West said she sent an example calendars out to everyone in the school’s communication system and used the feedback to determine her recommendation.

Boyett-led committee will not recommend cash ban

MONTGOMERY – An addiction committee formed through Marion County leadership will not recommend a ban on cash payments for buprenorphine, a drug used in addiction therapy.
District 6 Sen. Larry Stutts, R-Tuscumbia, who is one of two Marion County senators, sponsored the legislation that created the committee during last year’s legislative session.
Stutts, who is a physician himself, drafted the bill with the help of Hamilton addiction medicine specialist Dr. Brent Boyett. State Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, carried the bill in the House.


Move clocks ahead one hour Sunday

Clocks will change once more to Daylight Saving Time on Sunday, March 8.
Residents going to bed on Saturday, March 7, will need to set their clocks ahead one hour before going to bed, remembering the phrase, “Spring forward, fall back.’’
While the time officially changes at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 8, most residents choose to make the transition prior to bedtime on Saturday.

Second-graders meet ‘Libby’ Liberty

HAMILTON - Wearing green paper crowns and waving tiny American flags, Marion County second-grade students showed their enthusiasm during a school assembly on Tuesday, Feb. 4, to launch the system-wide Super Citizen and Hands On Learning Program, which is an immersive 10-week civics & character program.
During the launch event, more than 325 second graders from Marion County Schools cheered and counted down to the grand entrance of “Libby Liberty,” a Statue of Liberty character who brings American history to life with a live interactive performance.

Water rates increased

HAMILTON - Concluding a two-year debate on how to balance the Hamilton Water Department budget, the Hamilton City Council has passed a significant rate increase.
During a meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18, the council voted 4-1 to level out its volume billing scale on water and raise sewer rates to equal 100% of a customer’s water bill.
Customers billed at the minimum rate will continue to pay $20.38. Minimum billing is issued for accounts using less than 2,000 gallons of water.

Snapchat threat puts school on alert

HAMILTON - School officials and local police were on high alert on Thursday, Feb. 13, after a student allegedly posted threats against Hamilton High School on social media.
Preliminary information from an on-going investigation by the Hamilton Police Department suggests the threat was made on a female student’s account as a result of someone out-of-state gaining access to her Snapchat account.
Snapchat is a multimedia messaging smart phone app used to send video and picture messages.


Judge wants Cooper trial date set for June or August

Jimmy Dale Cooper (foreground) is escorted through the front doors of the Marion County Courthouse in Hamilton on Wednesday, Feb. 19, by Marion County Sheriff’s Department officials.

Hamilton - Twenty-fifth Judicial Circuit Court Judge Lee Carter is asking prosecutors and defense attorneys to be ready for Jimmy Cooper, 61, Hamilton, to be tried this summer.
The 25th Judicial Circuit Court held a trial status conference for Cooper on Wednesday morning, Feb. 19, to hear motions by defense attorneys Brian White of Decatur and Jack Stanton Glasscox of Tuscaloosa.