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.


Hearts and Hands Quilters Retreat held in Guin

GUIN - The first Hearts and Hands Quilters Retreat was held Friday, Jan. 17, through Sunday, Jan. 19, at the Holiday Inn in Guin.
 Attendees from Russellville, Hackleburg, Guin, Winfield, Prattville, Wetumpka, Killen, Graysville and Eclectic filled the 40 available spots for the retreat.
The hotel staff provided excellent service for the event, and the hotel restaurant provided fantastic food for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Delegates explained

When voters go to the polls on Tuesday, March 3, they are going to be confronted with—depending on the party ballot they choose—a list of decisions to make regarding persons who are not running for a political office, but another important political function.

Ivey declares State of Emergency

MONTGOMERY – Gov. Kay Ivey issued a State of Emergency (SOE) that became effective at noon on Tuesday, Feb. 18, to aid in Alabama’s recovery efforts following the recent flooding. The SOE includes all 67 counties.

Marion County EMA Director Eric Terrell stated that Marion County received over 7.5 inches of rain during storms in the week ending Feb. 14.
The governor has also activated the Alabama Emergency Management Agency State Emergency Operations Center, as well as impacted or potentially impacted Alabama Emergency Management Divisions.


Hunters tagged approximately 2,000 deer in Marion County

MONTGOMERY - Hunters have bid farewell to another deer season.
Deer bow and firearm hunting ended statewide on Monday, Feb. 10, marking a record year as more than 94,500 deer were tagged through Alabama’s harvest recording system, Game Check.

Hunters in Marion County reported harvesting nearly 2,000 deer during the 2019-2020 deer hunting season.


Hamilton schools revive a classic!

HAMILTON - “Oklahoma” will once again be performed in Hamilton in a partnership between the local schools and Bevill State Community College-Hamilton Campus.
This event will be open to the public on Monday, March 2, and Tuesday, March 3. Both performances will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Bevill Business and Community Center in Hamilton. Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students. Non-school age children can attend for free.

Cold weather, coronavirus driving gas prices down

Various factors are resulting in lower costs at the pump in Marion County.
Birmingham-based American Automobile Association (AAA) spokesperson Clay Ingram says he’s expect fuel prices to continue to decline until the spring.
The AAA statewide average gas price average was $2.15 per gallon on Thursday, Feb. 13. The nationwide average that day was $2.43.

Byrd: ‘He was as good a hand as I ever had’

HAMILTON -  Former District 2 Marion County Commissioner Eddie Byrd spoke to the Journal Record concerning county employee Exie Spears following Spears’ address concerning his relationship with current District 2 commissioner Kenneth Cochran at the commission’s regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 10, at the commission office in Hamilton.
“I’ve never had a problem with him (Spears). Kenneth has never liked Exie, I don’t know why,” stated Byrd.

Cochran: ‘I never recognized you as my foreman’

Marion County District 2 Foreman Exie Spears reads from a prepared statement before the Marion County Commission concerning the work relationship between Spears and District 2 Commissioner Kenneth Cochran.

HAMILTON - Marion County District 2 Foreman Exie Spears addressed the Marion County Commission concerning the work relationship between Spears and District 2 Commissioner Kenneth Cochran during a regular meeting on Monday, Feb. 10, at the commission office in Hamilton.
“For the last several years I have been an employee here, Kenneth Cochran was one of my employees and now he’s my commissioner,” Spears said in a prepared statement.

Expert says church security is about keeping people safe, ministering

Mark Wakefield, Alabama Baptist State Missionary, addressed 139 members of the Marion County community concerning church safety and security on Monday, Feb. 10, at Hamilton First Baptist Church.

HAMILTON - Alabama Baptist State Missionary Mark Wakefield addressed 139 members of the Marion County community concerning church safety and security on Monday, Feb. 10, at Hamilton First Baptist Church.
 Wakefield stated that he travels throughout the state, speaking to various churches concerning safety and security measures.
At the start of his address, Wakefield stressed the importance that people must see a job in church security as both an opportunity to keep people safe and also minister to visitors.

Counting kernels...

Guin natives Ben Burleson (left) and Jason Spiller are shown in front of their corn vending machine, Maize Kraize.

Guin - Less than an ounce was all that stood in the way of a dream held by Guin natives and lifelong friends Jason Spiller and Ben Burleson.
The two are founders and owners of an emerging company, Maize Kraize, that sells corn vending stations.
Four business owners and individuals have purchased the machines  between Marion and Franklin counties, which currently can be found at the Shell gas stations in Guin and Hamilton, the Pure gas station in Winfield and at the intersection of County Highway 77 and State Highway 24 in Russellville.