HACKLEBURG - The Hackleburg Town Council used electronic communications --texting-- to avoid having a public meeting, which is a violation of the law known as the Alabama Open Meetings Act.
The revelation came to light on Monday, Aug. 27, at the Hackleburg Town Council meeting during a discussion regarding a proposed lease contract with a local radio station, Big 95.5.
TUSCUMBIA - According to District 18 State Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, between now and Nov. 26, 2018, “The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) publishes maps for each state that clearly shows the areas that do not have cell phone service. We have an opportunity to correct these maps by proving to the FCC that the maps are incorrect.”
We’ve often heard it said, “People drive through Marion County and don’t even know it.” While several factors may play into this, one blatant issue is that the majority of the county’s municipalities are limited to their exposure on the ALDOT’s Specific Service Signing on Interstate 22.
Frequent travelers understand that options presented to them on the highway signs play a large factor in where they stop. With a simple variance of rules, the State of Alabama, Marion County and our cities and towns could see our economy boosted with little-to-no effort at all.
ince this is a gubernatorial election year, let’s reminisce about an epic Alabama governor’s race.
The 1978 governor’s race is one of the classics in Alabama political lore.
I collect “sayings.” One I recently clipped from a catalog was, “A little grey hair is a small price to pay for all this wisdom.”
WINFIELD – The Winfield Healthcare Authority told the Winfield City Council that Northwest Medical Center was well on its way to getting on-track since it was purchased by the authority in May at the Tuesday, Aug. 21, council meeting.
Hospital chief executive officer Michael Arno said that the financial situation of the hospital is very positive after the nearly three months of operation under the new ownership.
HACKLEBURG - Sonny James American Legion Post 165, which serves the Hackleburg community, will host a Patriot’s Day Ceremony honoring the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack and those who have lost their lives since the war on terror began.
The event will also be used to recognize local first responders and will take place in the pavilion in Hackleburg located by the recreation center on Saturday, Sept. 8.
Marion County unemployment figures dropped significantly in the month of July to 4.3 percent, a figure closer to the low percentages residents have gotten used to seeing for the past year.
The state experienced an increase in employment rates, making July the third-consecutive month the state has broken employment records.
The June unemployment rate for Marion County was uncharacteristically high, considering the extreme gains in employment in the state over the past year, at 5.0 percent.
MONTGOMERY - Gov. Kay Ivey announced that eight communities in the state would be receiving grants to improve infrastructure on Thursday, July 19, mentioning that Brilliant would receive two grants totalling $200,000.
A $60,000 grant was awarded to the town to replace a section of sewer lines along Crook Street and make repairs at the wastewater treatment plant.
A second grant of $140,000 was awarded to drain, widen and resurface Webb Street from Brookside Road to Main Street.
HAMILTON - Local State Troopers stationed will be better equipped in dispatch services as full-time, 24-hour, seven days a week dispatch communications have been restored at the Quad-Cities Troopers Post in Sheffield.
Assistant Troop E Commander Lt. Jimmy Ward told the Journal Record that as of the beginning of August, police communication officers (PCOs) have again begun dispatching from the Quad Cities Post for the nine counties in Troop E’s district, which includes Marion, Colbert, Fayette, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Walker and Winston counties.
VINA - Marion County scored on the first live play of the 2018 season with an 80-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and never looked back en route to a 42-0 win over Vina on Friday night, Aug. 24.
The opening win puts Marion County at 1-0 on the so-very-young season while dropping Vina to 0-1 to start the year.
WINFIELD – The Winfield Pirates got off to slow start to begin the 2018 season against the Haleyville Lions, but the offense came out firing on all cylinders in the second half.
When the final was in the scoreboard lights at Estes Hudson Stadium in Winfield, the Pirates had scored 31 unanswered points en route to a 37-13 win over their Winston County rivals on Friday, Aug. 24.
LYNN - Brilliant lost 22-0 to Lynn in the varsity portion of the Friday, Aug. 24, jamboree in the second quarter after the Tigers’ junior varsity fell short 14-0 in the opening quarter.
Following the contest, second-year head coach Briant Gunnels saw both positives and areas where the team can improve.
“We played hard,” Gunnels said. “We had some bright spots and saw what we need to work on.
“That’s the good thing about a jamboree we have some kids getting used to new positions. We had three starters out, so some younger guys got some good reps in live situations.”
DOUBLE SPRINGS - The Mark Mitchell coaching era at Winston County High School kicked off with infectious excitement Friday, Aug. 24, as the home team flew to a 28-16 victory over the Hackleburg Panthers.
After his team’s loss, Hackleburg head coach Rod Hudson noted his squad had key areas that need improvement.
“We’ve to do a better job up front on offense and defense,” the 10-year Panther head coach said. “Our receivers are going to have to do a better job getting open and blocking on the perimeter.
WINFIELD - The Alabama Association of School Boards, which is assisting the Winfield Board of Education in its superintendent search, is soliciting input from parents, community members and school faculty as it pertains to what they would like to see in the Winfield City School System’s next superintendent.
Several community meetings will be held by the Alabama Association of School Boards at the Winfield Community Center in order to hear feedback from these stakeholders on Thursday, Sept. 6.
GUIN - The Monday, Aug. 20, Guin City Council meeting got off to a contentious start after councilman Roger Agnew asked to add a few items to the agenda. Councilman Bobby Bellew, serving as mayor pro-tem, presided over the meeting in the absence of mayor Max Maddox who was unable to attend the meeting due to a family medical situation.
GUIN - After the Monday, Aug. 20, Guin City Council meeting was adjourned, councilman Roger Agnew asked if the council could go into executive session. “Do you-all have time to talk for five minutes?” Agnew asked. “Can we go into an executive meeting?”
Agnew said he asked some workers at the city shop if they would take some cold mix to Sawmill Road and fill a few big potholes. Agnew lives on Sawmill Road. When no one was available to fill the holes, Agnew said he used his own tractor to take a bucket of cold mix to Sawmill Road to fill the holes.
HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council was split whether or not to give tax incentives to Jack’s Family Restaurants.
The council voted 3-3 at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 20, on whether the company could receive a 10-year, half-city sales tax abatement.
Those against giving Jack’s a tax abatement at all were councilors Gene Sanderson, Bobby Joe Irvin and Herb Winsett.
HAMILTON - Jack’s Family Restaurants has broken ground and has begun grading its new property on Military Street across from the Hamilton Walmart Supercenter.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page confirmed that Jack’s had gone ahead with its decision to locate in the city despite the fact that the Hamilton City Council failed to give the company a decision on a tax abatement at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 20.
Page said that the company purchased its business license with the city and the property from Hamilton resident Gerald Logan on Wednesday, Aug. 22.
HAMILTON - The City of Hamilton’s contract with Retail Strategies of Birmingham for retail recruitment services will undergo more discussion.
The Hamilton City Council discussed its agreement with the recruitment agency at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 20
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page desired to go ahead with another year on the contract, however, his feelings were not shared by others on the council.
HAMILTON - According to the City of Hamilton’s retail recruiting partner, nearly $50 million slips through the city limits due to unfilled retail opportunities.
The Hamilton City Council met with a four-man team from Retail Strategies of Birmingham on Wednesday, Aug. 15, during a work session to present the results of its first year working for the city.
Nearly all of Hamilton was left sideswiped on Thursday, Aug. 23, when news swept through town that Jack’s Family Restaurants had broken ground at its new location on Military Street.
The company had just appeared at a public hearing held during the Hamilton City Council meeting on Monday, Aug. 24, where it was seeking a 10-year tax incentive, worth roughly $330,000 to them. The company said that it was asking for help to recoup costs of having to remove and replace bad topsoil at the property.
Have you ever heard someone mimicking a strong Southern accent? I did it just the other day as my co-worker, news editor Scott Johnson, told me about his “fanger” instead of his finger.
MONTGOMERY - The Marion - Winston Community Action Agency received a $30,000 allocation to aid in providing food assistance to elderly low-income residents on Wednesday, July 25.
MWCAA Executive Director Jeff Fleming said that the allocation differs from a grant in that it is budgeted from the state’s general fund.
Fleming said that Marion and Winston counties are two of only four counties that still receive the allocation.
WINFIELD - The Winfield Board of Education voted to contract with the Alabama Association of School Boards to find a new superintendent of education for a price of $8,500 at a meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 14.
During the same meeting, the board voted not to pursue a renovation for the Winfield Elementary School Track at this time, citing concerns over funding.
During a work session that preceeded the regular board meeting, the board, along with interim superintendent of education Benji Parrish, discussed the option of partnering with the AASB for the search.
HAMILTON - Backing off of the closure of three Hamilton workforce development programs was not enough for a group of local community figures.
The group recently met in Montgomery with several agencies, asking for investigations to be launched into possible spending improprieties of state and federal funds on the part of Bevill State Community College (BSCC) and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).
WASHINGTON, D.C. - William “Ross” Reed, an 11th-grader at Hamilton High School, was selected to participate in the National Rifle Association’s (NRA) annual National Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.).
Y.E.S. is a seven-day, expense-paid educational experience in Washington, D.C., for outstanding rising high school juniors and seniors.
While in the nation’s capital, Reed learned the significance of the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights while developing an understanding of government and the importance of actively participating in it.
HAMILTON - The Marion County Commission is expected to begin repairs on County Road 42 before the end of August.
County commissioners went over final details on the repair project at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 13, agreeing to designate various equipment from the five districts to help remove old pavement.
The road is slated to be closed beginning Tuesday, Aug. 21, for about eight-10 weeks.
HAMILTON - The Marion County Commission has announced it will hold an e-cycling event on Saturday, Sept. 15, from 8 a.m. to noon at the county’s CDL testing site in Hamilton.
Everyone from the surrounding area is welcome to bring items, including residents from municipalities. Business and personal recycling is also welcomed.
Barney Shackelford, who is coordinating the effort on behalf of the county engineer’s office, noted past efforts have drawn people from surrounding counties, including Winston County.
So it continues.
When a Journal Record reporter called the Winfield Board of Education office to ask about a training meeting held between the board of education and the Alabama Association of School Boards (AASB) executive director, almost immediately the board secretary told the reporter that this was not required to be publicly posted--so it was a LEGAL meeting.
A task force of local community leaders travelled to Montgomery on Monday, Aug. 13, to present information to several state and federal agencies, asking that investigations be opened into possible improprieties of spending state and federal monies on behalf of Bevill State Community College (BSCC) and the Alabama Community College System.
Last week newspapers across the United States, at the request of the Boston Globe, began publishing editorials decrying President Trump’s assault on the free press. President Trump has called the media “the enemy of the people.”
The Globe called “for urgent action by those committed to free speech and the free press to stand against a White House and its allies who are bent on eroding a pillar of an informed democracy.”
“The first to speak in court sounds right—until the cross-examination begins.”
- Proverbs 18:17 (NLT)
This verse is very applicable for those who have recently taken to social media to try their case on the court of public opinion.
The convenient thing for Facebook vigilantes is that those they are accusing are rarely ever given a place to give a defense.
Recently, I wrote about Alfa’s influence in Alabama politics. In my Aug. 8 column, I said, the Alabama Farmers Federation still controls the Legislature. They used to play in the Governor’s Race.
HACKLEBURG- At the start of the Monday, Aug. 13, council meeting, Hackleburg Town Attorney Tony Glenn informed the council that the town would only have to go through the Alabama Secretary of State, and not the United States Department of Justice, to get a polling location moved.
The subject was discussed at the council’s July 23 meeting after Big 95.5 radio station owner Hutty Hutcheson told the council that he was interested in moving his radio station into the town’s old city hall building, which is Hackleburg’s current polling location.
HAMILTON - The Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce’s Fifth Annual Hot Summer Nights Cruise-In Series concludes this summer on the Bevill State Community College-Hamilton Campus this coming Saturday, Aug. 25, from 6-8:30 p.m. Admission is free.
The chamber hosted its first two events of the series on Saturday, June 30 and Saturday, July 28.
Chamber member Marla Minter told the Journal Record, “Having Bevill State host us has been a great asset to our cruise-in series."
HAMILTON - An increased number of traffic stops and citations may be in store for local motorists who drive impaired or refuse to obey traffic laws, especially over Labor Day, Sept. 3, weekend.
In a statewide move to deter traffic injuries and fatalities, Marion County residents can expect a larger presence of law enforcement on traffic safety patrol.
The heat that local residents have felt during the months of June and July was uncomfortable, but not record-breaking, and the dry weather in July did nothing to reduce the surplus of rainfall the area has received so far this year.
The highest temperature recorded for both months was 95 degrees, which was observed five separate days in June and three days in July.
As hot and humid as the weather has been, National Weather Service Observer Eddie Pearce told the Journal Record that these temperatures do not compare with record temperatures for the area.