Municipal qualifying starts July 7

If 2020 hasn’t been interesting enough already, preparations for municipal elections are underway.
Local talk in Marion County is already turning to who will--or won’t--run in local municipal elections in 2020. As happens every four years, all positions for mayor, as well as all city or town council seats, are up for election across Marion County.
According to election materials provided by the Alabama League of Municipalities, this year’s municipal election date has been set for Tuesday, Aug. 25.

Public hearing announced for Mitchell Loop

Marion County Commission Chairman Keith Nichols (center), Commissioner Dale Holt (left) and Commissioner Kenneth Cochran (right) are shown during the Marion County Commission meeting on Monday, June 13, at the commission office in Hamilton.

HAMILTON -  The Marion County Commission passed a resolution to hold a public hearing at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, August 10, concerning the closing of Mitchell Loop off of County Road 53 in Hackleburg.
This occurred during a brief Marion County Commission meeting on Monday, June 13, at the Marion County Commission Office in Hamilton.
District 3 Commissioner Dale Holt stated that residents near the road have complained of unwanted activity going on and would like the road permanently closed.

Local search and rescue team to begin training

(Front, from left) Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith, Texas EquuSearch-Winfield President Hilda Smith, Winfield Mayor Randy Price, Walker County Investigator Mike Cole and (back) Texas EquuSearch Midwest Chapter Director Dave Rader are all pictured in front of the Winfield Hampton Inn on Thursday, June 11.

WINFIELD -  Texas Equusearch, who announced a new chapter in Winfield in February, will soon begin training volunteers as announced during a meeting on Thursday, June 11, at the Hampton Inn in Winfield.
Chapter President Hilda Smith held the meeting along with Midwest Chapter Director David Rader and Twila Sisco and Walker County Sheriff Nick Smith and Investigator Mike Cole.
In attendance were several members of the Winfield community including Commissioner Tim “Ears” Estes and Winfield Mayor Randy Price.

The show will go on

HACKLEBURG - Officials have decided to move ahead with Hackleburg’s annual firework celebration.
The display will take place on Saturday, July 4, beginning around 9 p.m. in downtown Hackleburg. Officials are recommending viewers to practice social distancing while they enjoy the display.
The Hackleburg Town Council discussed plans for the event during a meeting on Monday, June 8.
“We have to follow the CDC (Center for Disease Control) guidelines and we will be encouraging residents to wear masks and maintain six-foot distances,” Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn said.

County moves forward with major road projects

Rebuild Alabama project signs were placed on County Road 14 in Winfield following the unanimous vote to start the major road project.

HAMILTON - The Marion County Commission unanimously voted to award the bid for the planing, resurfacing and traffic striping of County Road 14 in Winfield to S.T. Bunn Construction Company during a regular meeting on Monday, June 8, at the commission office in Hamilton.
Marion County Engineer Mike Shaw was in attendance during the meeting to recommend bid approvals for various projects and discussed the state of various roads in the county.

Hackleburg leading the pack

Marion County is currently trailing behind the statewide Census response rate.
As of Wednesday, June 10, 57.2% of Marion County residents have self-reported to the 2020 Census while 58.8% of Alabamians have responded.
Bear Creek - 60.4%
Brilliant - 53.7%
Guin - 51.6%
Gu-Win - 53%
Hackleburg - 62.3%
Hamilton - 61.3%
Twin - 57.3%
Winfield - 61.7%
Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG) Regional Director Beau Cooper is encouraged that Marion County is not far behind its 2010 self-response rate of 59.8%.

Are you registered to vote?

Don’t be caught unprepared for the Republican Primary runoff election on Thursday, July 14.
Voters have until Monday, June 29, to register to participate in this year’s primary election.
Two Republican races will be on the July 14 runoff ticket: the Alabama Senate race between Jeff Sessions and Tommy Tuberville and the race for Court of Criminal Appeals Judge, Place 2 between Beth Kellum and Will Smith.
The winner of the senate runoff will face incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D).


Summer conferences canceled

HAMILTON - Summer conferences which attract thousands of out-of-town guests to Marion County will not take place this year.

The Ramp publicly announced the cancelations by email on Monday, June 15, noting challenges presented by COVID-19. The Hamilton-based ministry normally hosts two summer youth conferences and a children’s conference each year.

City ordering new garbage truck

HAMILTON - Substantial changes are ahead for Hamilton’s garbage detail.
City officials have given the OK to place an order for a new garbage truck. The new unit will feature a robotic lift arm that will be used to grab trash receptacles from the side of the road and empty them into the truck’s compactor.
The change will require all residents to have compatible trash cans. Most pick-up schedules will likely be affected as well.

Camps struggle under COVID health orders

Local camps have had a unique challenge while attempting to plan programs this summer.
Regulations and guidelines issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have left camp administrators with limited options for hosting campers.
Maywood Christian Camp in Hamilton has had to cancel the first four weeks of its camping season. Trinity Camp in Guin has made the difficult decision to cancel camp altogether.

freedomFIBER gathering local leaders

HAMILTON -  freedomFIBER is gathering local superintendents and government leadership today, Wednesday, June 10, at 9 a.m., to discuss ways to reach students who live without internet access.
Trey Cunningham, freedomFIBER Marketing and Public Relations coordinator informed the Journal Record that more than 9 million children nationwide lack internet access at home.
“When you bring the numbers down to Northwest Alabama the size might lessen, but the percentage increases,” said Cunningham.

‘We believe we might see another surge’

WINSTON COUNTY - In a press conferences Thursday morning, May 28, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and U.S. Senator Doug Jones discussed the increase in COVID-19 cases in Alabama over the last week, an increase that cannot be attributed to an increase in testing, but might have to do more with Alabamians’ personal behavior.
Jones hosted the virtual press conference on his Facebook page, opening the meeting by discussing how the U.S. now has over 100,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, a grim milestone.