Cunningham to be honored on Sunday

Winfield’s Olan Cunningham poses for a photo during his playing days at Auburn University.

WINFIELD - In recognition of his decades of service to his community, Olan Cunningham will be honored by friends and community leaders in Winfield.
The retired State Farm insurance agent will be toasted at a public event scheduled for Sunday, Sept. 30, beginning at 1:30 p.m. at the Winfield Community Center. The recognition is open to the public with no admission charge.

Annual golf tournament set for Oct. 5

HAMILTON - For the 11th year running, Marion County golfers can take up their clubs and head to the Pikeville Country Club for a good cause: Ending domestic violence.
The Marion County Domestic Violence Task Force will be hosting its 11th annual golf tournament on Friday, Oct. 5, and all of the proceeds will go toward the emergency housing shelter that Safeplace, Inc., will open in the county in early 2019.

The Miracle Worker production opens tomorrow

WINFIELD - Only two special performances of  “The Miracle Worker,” the story of Helen Keller and her teacher, Annie Sullivan, will be performed by Self Express Productions at the Pastime Theatre. Viewers can attend the play on Thursday, Sept. 27, at 7 p.m. and Sunday, Sept. 30, at 2 p.m.
The production, which is co-produced by the Pastime Theatre, is an official Alabama 200th Bicentennial Event, designed to celebrate the 200th birthday of the state, as well as commemorate Alabama native Helen Keller.

School principals give reports

HACKLEBURG - The Hackleburg Town Council met on Monday, Sept, 10, to discuss hiring a new police officer, Sonny James Post 165 and to hear the two local school principals present financial information. During a discussion of the town’s financial statement, town clerk Carla Rector notified the council that the town has received $153,000 from The money came from surplus heavy machinery the town put up for auction. Rector said the money will be used to completely pay for four new Ford Explorer police cruisers the town is making payments on.

Welcome to Mule Day! Gov. Ivey to serve as Grand Marshal in parade

WINFIELD - The annual Mule Day celebration in Winfield is only days away.
The festival is scheduled for this weekend (Sept. 21-23) with the Friday portion now highlighted by Mule Night Madness, as local merchants will remain open until midnight offering special sales to local residents and visitors.
While the main focus is still on the Saturday festivities and the annual parade, there is so much for visitors now to enjoy the evening before.

Boutain pleads guilty for murdering Utah student, will serve life sentence

Austin Boutain (center) looks on during a court hearing Wednesday, Sept. 12, in Salt Lake City, Utah. Boutain, an ex-convict charged with gunning down a University of Utah student from China, using a stolen gun from a previous killing, pleaded guilty to murder and kidnapping charges. Boutain entered the pleas in an agreement with prosecutors that allows him to avoid a possible death penalty. He was sentenced to life without parole. (Rick Bowmer/AP Photo)

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - A former Marion County resident has been sentenced to life in prison without parole for shooting and killing a University of Utah student.
Austin Jeffery Boutain, 24, formerly of Guin, pled guilty to aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder and aggravated kidnapping on Wednesday, Sept. 12, in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Where did God come from?

This question was recently asked by one of the middle school students in my Sunday School class. It had been asked of me several years ago by another student, whose query was quickly followed by, “Yeah! I want to know that, too.”
The answer I gave on that first date was, “Ask your father…he’s the pastor.”
“I did,” said Emma Lue. “He said to ask you.”
“Could we talk about this next Sunday?” I asked, playing for time to investigate this mystery, so I, too, would know."


The 1986 Governor’s Race

Since this is a gubernatorial election year, allow me to share an epic Governor’s Race with you.
The 1986 Governor’s Race will be remembered as one of Alabama’s most amazing political stories. In 1978 Fob James sent the Three B’s--Brewer, Beasley and Baxley--packing.
Brewer and Beasley had been permanently exiled to Buck’s Pocket, the mythical destination for defeated Alabama gubernatorial candidates.

Tesney proposes a new business

Derek Tesney of Guin approached the Guin City Council at its Tuesday, Sept. 4, meeting to propose a business idea for the city.

GUIN - Derek Tesney of Guin approached the Guin City Council at its Tuesday, Sept. 4, meeting and proposed a business idea for the city.   
“What I’d like to propose is that I’d like to open up a carwash/lounge with a facility at the back where you could sit back in the back while you’re getting your car washed and play a game of pool or drink a beer,” Tesney said.

Local schools given $135k

The Hamilton City Council awarded checks to its three local schools on Tuesday, Sept. 4. Hamilton City Clerk Angela Owen (left) is shown presenting checks to Hamilton Elementary School Principal Lynda Hall (center) and Hamilton Middle School Assistant Principal Benja Jackson.

HAMILTON - Hamilton’s three school—elementary, middle and high school—have been written checks totaling $135,000 to enhance education.
The Hamilton City Council presented checks to Hamilton Elementary School Principal Lynda Hall, Hamilton Middle School Assistant Principal Benja Jackson and Hamilton High School Principal Steven Deavours at its meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
Councilwoman Tami Lewis Williams noted that Hamilton teachers will be budgeted $21,000 (roughly $200 per teacher) and $38,000 is being given to each school.

Food service health scores August 2018

HAMILTON - The Marion County Health Department released the following health inspection scores for 26 restaurants conducted through the month of August.
(Priority violations, whose application directly contributes to the elimination, prevention or reduction of hazards associated with foodborne illness or injury, are listed following the restaurant name when applicable. Core violations are not listed.):
• Taco Bell #029165, Hamilton - 97;
• That Seafood Place, Hamilton - 97;
• Subway Hamilton - 96: Damaged bread pan;

I-22 wreck claims life of Winfield man

HAMILTON - A single-vehicle crash on Interstate 22 has claimed the life of a Winfield man.
Early Monday morning, Sept. 10, at approximately 12:10 a.m., Kenneth Lowery, 55, was killed when the 2008 Chevrolet pickup he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree.
The crash occurred one mile west of Hamilton on Interstate 22. Lowery was pronounced dead at the scene.
Nothing further is available as Alabama State Troopers continue to investigate.

King’s Closet open Sept. 22

Church members (from left) Marsha Wilson, Beth Green, Leslie Martin, Jane Mays and Rebecca Sorrells are shown in the King’s Closet ministry room at Hamilton First Baptist Church. The free program allows families with K-12 students to experience the joy and confidence of wearing new clothes.

HAMILTON - Hamilton First Baptist Church’s King’s Closet ministry will be open on Saturday, Sept. 22, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. giving families with K-12 students the opportunity to pick of up new and very-gently used clothes at no cost.
Those wishing to participate in the program should enter the church through the front doors of the church across from Hamilton High School’s main entrance.

System heading in good direction, survey says; 332 participate

WINFIELD- According to a recent study done on behalf of the Winfield Board of Education,  55 percent of stakeholders believe that the school system is headed in a good direction.
The study also suggests that the majority of constituents are indifferent as to whether or not the Winfield Board of Education should hire its new superintendent from outside or within the system.

Red Raiders, Pirates continue unbeaten streaks

Marion County schools saw mixed results in Week 3’s slate of games.
Marion County and Winfield each came away with key region victories to remain unbeaten in 2018
Brilliant suffered its second-consecutive region loss. Hackleburg is still searching for its first win of the year while Hamilton encountered its first setback.
This week continues region contests for county schools before returning to non-region contests next week.
Last week saw me go 3-1 in my prep picks which put my record at 14-2 this year.

Red Raiders remain perfect; Brilliant suffers second region loss

Marion County’s Tyler Thomas (11) reaches out to grab Brilliant quarterback Kade Bryant (11) as he fumbles the ball. Thomas was able to recover the fumble and race to the end zone for a 15-yard scoop-and-score to extend the Red Raiders’ lead to 49-6 just four minutes into the third quarter.

GUIN - Marion County defeated longtime county rival Brilliant 49-14 at Don Jones Field at Bill Rayburn Stadium on Friday, Sept. 14.
These two schools are each others’ longest running rivalry with 86 matchups between them. Marion County holds the advantage with a 44-37-5 record.
The victory improved the Red Raiders to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in Class 1A, Region 6 while the loss dropped the Tigers to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in Region 6 action.


Pirates put big dent in Ironmen

Winfield’s Jacob Dyar (35) and Josh Estes (20) combine to stop the Holt runner. The Pirates’ defense shut out the Ironmen in the first half en route to a 42-0 lead.

HOLT - The Winfield Pirates scored early and often en route to a 42-7 region win over the Holt Ironmen on Friday, Sep. 14, in Holt.
The win improved the Pirates to 4-0 on the season and 2-0 in Class 3A, Region 4 play.
Jackson Elkins threw four touchdown passes to lead the Pirates offense to a 42-0 halftime lead.


6 turnovers doom Aggies in region loss

Hamilton quarterback Jay Brown (4) races into the open field against Dora on Friday, Sept. 14.

HAMILTON - Coach Rodney Stidham’s Hamilton Aggies suffered their first loss of the season to the Dora Bulldogs on Friday night, Sept. 14, after turning the pigskin over six times courtesy of four fumbles and two interceptions.
Aggie fans saw the game head in the opposite direction to what they were expecting as Dora exited Sargent Stadium with a 37-12 victory in Hamilton’s 2018 home-opener.
Hamilton’s record is now 2-1 overall and 1-1 in Class 5A, Region 7 competition.


Panthers suffer fourth-straight loss

Hackleburg’s Kaleb Moore (5) stiff-arms the Waterloo defender as he looks to pick up extra yards. Moore tossed three touchdown passes and rushed for two more scores in the Panthers’ 47-34 loss to the Cougars.

HACKLEBURG - Hackleburg’s home-opener did not end how the Panthers hoped with the squad losing to Waterloo 47-34 on Friday, Sept. 14.
The game marked the first loss for Hackleburg against Waterloo in 19 matchups. The loss dropped the Panthers to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in Class 1A, Region 8 while Waterloo improved to 3-1 overall and 2-0 in Region 8.
Hackleburg received the opening kickoff but was unable to get anything going and went three-and-out before punting to Waterloo.


Reaves named 2018 coach of the year

Winfield track and field coach Steve Reaves (left) received the Boy Track and Field Coach of the Year in Alabama for the second time since 2016. Shown presenting the award is Winfield Athletic Director Randy Thomley.

WINFIELD - Steve Reaves enters his 22nd year as the Winfield track and field coach with some new hardware to maintain.
Coming off the school’s third outdoor track and field state championship in four years, Reaves was named the Boys Track and Field Coach of the Year in Alabama for the second time since 2016.
Reaves noted that winning the award was “humbling” but that it “belongs to the kids, the young athletes that go and compete,” the 39-year Winfield teacher added. “It also belongs to the assistant coaches, Evan Shipp and Jake Seals.

Lady Raiders earn three wins, suffers four losses to larger schools

Marion County senior Amber West (16) chases down the ball during the finals of the Northwest Alabama Conference Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 8. More photos, including a team photo, will be in the Wednesday, Sept. 26, edition of the Journal Record.

FAYETTE - Marion County lost in straight sets to Class 4A Fayette County by scores of 25-15 and 25-16 on Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The Lady Raiders’ Madison Norris finished with four kills, two digs, one service ace and a block.
Caitlyn Jones added six assists, one service ace and a kill. Sara Roberts had two kills and a block.


Winfield rises to No. 6 in Class 3A; Hamilton, Marion Co. receive votes

MONTGOMERY - Winfield remains the only school in Marion County ranked inside the Top 10 of their respective class.
The Class 3A squad rose from ninth-place to No. 6 after defeating previously sixth-ranked Gordo, who dropped to No. 9, 18-14 on Friday, Sept. 7.
While the Pirates remain the only team from the county in the Top 10, both Hamilton and Marion County received votes as potential Top 10 schools.


Jackson mentioned in spotlight

MONTGOMERY - Hamilton running back Jathan Jackson was recognized in the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Prep Spotlight for Week 2.
The junior back collected 304 rushing yards and three scores on 34 carries in Hamilton’s 48-42 victory over West Point.
The win gave the Aggies their first Class 5A victory since realignment and also marked the team’s first Region 7 win on the season.


Gov. names 5 local schools ‘Bicentennial Schools’

Architect Andrea Harbison and Hamilton Elementary School Principal Lynda Hall share preliminary plans for the school’s coming Alabama Heritage Garden with HES students and booster club members. Pictured are (from left): Leida Kay Bartlett, Gretchen Surman, Aja Thomas, HES Booster Melissa Hughey, Hall, Molly Sandlin, Harbison and HES Booster Paula Wood.

MONTGOMERY - Gov. Kay Ivey announced 200 state schools as official Bicentennial Schools, including Hamilton Elementary School, Phillips Elementary School, Winfield Elementary School, Winfield Middle School and Winfield City High School.
Launched by Ivey in December 2017, the Alabama Bicentennial Schools Initiative encourages all public, private, and homeschool students and teachers to participate in the celebration of Alabama’s 200th anniversary of statehood in 2019.

City votes to hire new part-time library assistant

Winfield Public Library Director Regina Sperry recommended to the council that Tess Rayburn, a junior at Winfield City High School, be hired to a part-time position at the library at the council’s Thursday, Sept. 6 meeting.

WINFIELD - During the Thursday, Sept. 6, Winfield City Council meeting, the director of the Winfield Public Library, Regina Sperry, recommended to the council that Tess Raburn, a junior at Winfield City High School,  be hired to a part-time position at the library.
“She can come and work in the afternoon and with special programs and help us on Saturdays,” Sperry said. Sperry said Rayburn has previously volunteered at the library. The council voted in favor of Sperry’s recommendation.

Marion County Commission hears budget request

Brenda Real, the district administrative coordinator for the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District, distributes copies of the program’s 2018 budget to members of the Marion County Commission at its Monday, Sept. 10, meeting.

HAMILTON - Brenda Real, the district administrative coordinator for the Marion County Soil and Water Conservation District approached the Marion County Commission at its Monday, Sept. 10, meeting to request a funding increase of $4,330. The commission currently awards the soil and water district $5,670 per year. “We would like that to be increased to $10,000 because, along with helping the agricultural industry in Marion County, we also do educational activities,” Real said, as she handed out copies of the program’s yearly budget to the commission.

Board updates superintendent qualifications

WINFIELD - During  a special-called meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 21, the Winfield Board of Education updated its qualifications for the superintendent position and approved an expected salary range for the position of between $120,000 and $130,000.
In the previous meeting, board president James Garner told the board that the language of the superintendent qualifications needed to be updated in order to meet legal requirements. The called meeting was to approve these changes before the posting of the superintendent position.

Discovering, recovering heritage n Youth, adult volunteers clean up three historic cemeteries

Burleson Church of Christ Preacher Todd Clippard points into brush towards a cemetery hidden by overgrowth. A second picture of the same area displays a number of graves now reclaimed from the brush.

HAMILTON - A group of student volunteers from Missouri recently cleaned up three historic Marion County cemeteries, reclaiming the sites from overgrowth and weeds.
The local preacher who headed up the service project is hoping that the students’ service will inspire other local organizations to adopt and care for the local treasures.
On July 23 and 24, Burleson Church of Christ Preacher Todd Clippard led a team of five adults and 11 young men from Arnold, Mo., in a cleanup project of three historic Marion County cemeteries which had overgrown.


Students recognized for statewide achievement

The Winfield Middle School students whose kudzu germination project was chosen to be performed on the International Space Station, presented their project at the National Air and Science Museum of the Smithsonian Institute. Pictured are (from left) student researchers Will May, Cole Kirkpatrick, Seth Birdsong, Banks Roebuck and Izzy Steward.

WINFIELD - The group of Winfield Middle School students that became the first group in the state to be selected to send a science project into space to be performed on the International Space Station, was recognized by the middle school on Friday, Aug. 24.
The team included students Will May, Cole Kirkpatrick, Seth Birdsong, Banks Roebuck and Izzy Stewart. Together, the group formulated an experiment that would test the effects of gravity on the germination of kudzu seeds.

Ballard finalist for Presidential Award

Hamilton Middle School fifth-grade science teacher Esther Ballard works with her students to build a sundial in the school’s courtyard on Aug. 24. Ballard is one of three teachers in the state to be nominated for the 2018 Presidential Award for Math and Science.

HAMILTON - Hamilton Middle School fifth-grade science teacher Esther Ballard is one of three Alabama teachers to receive the 2018 Presidential Award for Excellence in Math and Science.
With the award, Ballard is now automatically in the running to win the national award, which carries a cash-prize of $10,000 and a trip to Washington, D.C., to meet the president.
In an interview with the Journal Record outside her classroom on a recent school day, Ballard said she is happy to have been nominated, but the students, not awards, are her main focus.


Veterans clinic opens in Hamilton

Registered nurse Lisa Koontz speaks with veteran LO Boyett inside the new Veterans Administration clinic in Hamilton on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

HAMILTON - Marion County is now home to a permanent Veterans Administration (VA) store-front clinic and is currently seeing clients. The clinic opened on Aug. 15 and is located in front of the North Mississippi Medical Center in Hamilton.
Before the clinic opened, local veterans had to either drive to Tuscaloosa or use a mobile unit that travels to various towns in West Alabama. The mobile unit stills travels from Tuscaloosa to Fayette and Livingston.


Hamilton man arrested for mailing drugs in Tremont, Miss.

HAMILTON - A Hamilton man was arrested in Tremont, Miss., after allegedly receiving packages of controlled substances through the U.S. Mail in Tremont, Miss.
According to the Itawamba County Sheriff’s Office in Fulton, Miss., Andrew Drake McCarley, 20, Hamilton, was arrested on Aug. 21 by agents of the North Mississippi Narcotics Unit.
McCarley is being charged with possession of a cocaine enhanced by a firearm. His bond was set at $10,000.

Florence man arrested on drug trafficking charges

BEAR CREEK - A Florence man was arrested in Bear Creek and is now facing drug trafficking charges.
Carlton Whiteside, 27, Florence, was arrested on Sept. 5 by the Bear Creek Police Department
Bear Creek officer Austin Lewis told the Journal Record that he pulled Whiteside’s vehicle over at approximately 8:55 a.m. on a routine traffic stop for a switched tag. He made the stop on County Road 62 near Consolidated Forest Products.

Water shortage during Labor Day weekend

Hamilton Water Superintendent Rodney Williams gave a public address at a Hamilton City Council meeting held on Tuesday, Sept. 5, concerning a unforeseeable string of events which resulted in some of Hamilton’s being left with little-to-no water during Labor Day weekend, Aug. 31-Sept. 3.

HAMILTON - Hamilton residents experienced issues with their water service during Labor Day weekend.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page made a public address at the Hamilton City Council meeting held on Tuesday, Sept. 4, that due to a “perfect storm” of events with the Hamilton Water Department’s water purification system, many residents began to experience little-to-no water pressure at their homes and businesses.
Some businesses had to close for a day, while others were not unable to serve beverages.