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.

Texas Equusearch opens first Alabama chapter

Tim Miller, director and founder of Houston, Texas-based Texas Equusearch, is shown during the press conference announcing the opening of the search-and-rescue team’s first Alabama chapter on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Winfield Elementary School.

WINFIELD - Tim Miller, director and founder of Texas Equusearch, announced the foundation’s first Alabama chapter during a press conference on Saturday, Feb. 15, in the Winfield Elementary School auditorium.
Miller was joined by Texas Equusearch-Winfield Chapter President Hilda Smith, Winfield Police Chief Brett Burleson, Winfield Mayor Randy Price, Winfield Fire and Rescue Chief Alan Stovall, Beth Holloway, Angela Harris and District 17 State Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield.

Birdhouse Man is JBAF featured artist

Artist Ray Dutton is shown holding his favorite style of birdhouse to build, a Church Birdhouse. Dutton’s churches are also among his best-selling styles.

HAMILTON - For a dozen years, one of the most frequently spotted sights at the Jerry Brown Arts Festival (JBAF) has been smiling shoppers carrying around colorful and decorative birdhouses made by artist Ray Dutton of Moulton.
Dutton is being honored in 2020 as the featured artist for the 18th Annual JBAF, which is set for Saturday and Sunday, March 7 and 8, at Tombigbee Electric Cooperative’s warehouse in Hamilton.

Burleson, Price in support of Texas Equusearch


HAMILTON - Winfield Mayor Randy Price and Police Chief Brett Burleson expressed their support of Tim Miller and the new Texas Equusearch Winfield chapter during the press conference held on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Winfield Elementary School.
“When a man can stand up and say that Christ has led him to do something and you see it’s for a good reason and you see the results of what he’s doing, I’m always wanting to be a part of it,” said Price.

Cochran: ‘I just don’t understand’

HAMILTON - Marion County District 2 Commissioner Kenneth Cochran and District 2 employee David Ballard spoke to the Journal Record on Friday, Feb. 14, following Exie Spears’ prepared address to the Marion County Commission on Monday, Feb. 10.
During the meeting, Cochran stated that Spears was never officially voted to be appointed foreman by the commission.
At the time of the meeting, county administrator Kalyn Moore stated that she could not find any evidence of Spears’ official appointment as District 2 foreman.

Mild winter hits sales

HAMILTON - An increased customer base and low gas prices have helped insolate the Northwest Alabama Gas District (NWAGD) from low sales numbers during a temperate winter.
NWAGD is owned by six member municipalities and is operated by a board of directors consisting of the respective mayors. This includes Guin, Hamilton, Hackleburg, Haleyville, Sulligent and Winfield.
“Are we declaring this a mild winter?” asked Hamilton Mayor Bob Page.
NWAGD General Manager Heath Reed said it has been “extremely mild,” if not warm.