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.