Council discusses employment ordeal

The Winfield City Council discussed a shortage in city employees at its Tuesday, Aug. 7, meeting. According to mayor Randy Price (center), finding qualified individuals for open positions was a difficult feat. Also pictured are councilman Rusty Barnes (left) and city clerk Angie Oliver

WINFIELD - The Winfield City Council discussed an apparent city employee shortage that has been affecting multiple municipal departments, concluding that qualified personnel were difficult to find for the city’s open jobs at its Tuesday, Aug. 7, meeting.
Winfield Mayor Randy Price began discussing the issue after police chief Brett Burleson told the council that filling vacancies in the police department had been difficult.


APT airs segment on local task force

Alabama Public Television Capital Journal Host Don Dailey is shown during a broadcast on Friday, Aug. 3, during which he featured a segment on the local Bevill State Community College Legislative Advisory Task Force.

HAMILTON - The Bevill State Community College (BSCC) Legislative Advisory Task Force was recently featured  on Alabama Public Television (APT).
In a minute-and-a-half-long segment, which aired on Friday night, Aug. 3, and Sunday afternoon, Aug. 5, APT’s Capital Journal aired interview footage with Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, and Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West.
Morrow and West met with Capital Journal Host Don Dailey in Montgomery  on Wednesday, July 18, to tape interviews for the segment.


BSCC welcomes new dean of finance

Bevill State Community College welcomed new dean of finance Linda Jones on Monday, July 30. Jones (pictured) was a student at BSCC and said she is pleased to be returning to her first college

Bevill State Community College welcomed a new dean of finance in  former BSCC student Linda Jones.
According to a press release sent out by BSCC, Jones brings 16 years of experience in accounting roles to the position.
BSCC President Dr. Kim Ennis said she expects that Jones will have a significant, positive impact as BSCC continues to try to cut costs and balance the budget.

State grant will help expand Tiffin

WINFIELD - Gov. Kay Ivey awarded a $300,000 Community Development Block Grant to the City of Winfield on Monday, Aug. 6, to extend the sewer lines in the industrial park located off of Exit 30 on Interstate 22.
Along with a $70,265 match from the city, the funds and the extended sewer lines will allow Tiffin Motorhomes to build a service center, which will create 65 local jobs.
Ivey said she was thrilled to be creating new jobs, especially in rural Marion County.
“Bringing new jobs to Alabama is at the forefront of my administration,” Ivey said.

Petition highlights ‘rusty water’

Guin city councilman Jerry Gann displays a petition at the Aug. 6 council meeting signed by 12 citizens of Guin. The citizens are concerned about rusty water that has been flowing through the Guin water system that provides water to about 1,400 customers.

GUIN - The City of Guin’s Aug. 7 council meeting took on the air of a courtroom drama when councilman Jerry Gann questioned Frank Pugh, chairman of the Guin Water and Sewer Board, about rusty water flowing through the Guin water pipes.
Gann presented a petition along with photographs that Gann says showed rusty water flowing from the faucet of a Guin water customer.

City to begin buying new LED Christmas lights

HAMILTON - The City of Hamilton is looking to revamp its Christmas decor.
At a meeting held on Aug. 6, the Hamilton City Council agreed to purchase 25 new four-foot snowflake LED Christmas lights from Dixie Decorations in Montevallo at a cost of $8,940.
The council began discussions about new lights in March when Hamilton Street Superintendent Mike Johnson proposed that the city start the process of replacing the lights.


Private training session starts superintendent search

WINFIELD - Questions remain as the Winfield Board of Education embarks on the process of finding a new superintendent of education after the sudden resignation of former Superintendent of Education Dr. Keith Davis on Tuesday, July 17.
The board hosted Sally Smith, executive director of the Montgomery-based Alabama Association of School Boards, who provided a board training on criteria to consider when searching for a new superintendent on Monday, July 23, six days after Davis’ controversial resignation.


Family wants out of town limits, council not in favor

Brilliant residents asked the town council to de-annex their properties, allowing them out of the town limits at the Wednesday, July 25, council meeting. Pictured across from the council are (seated, from left) Keith Wilds, Sheryl and Nathan Wilds, Jason and Angela Wilds and their two sons Boake and Brock.

BRILLIANT - In a slightly-heated town council meeting on Wednesday, July 25, Brilliant resident Jason Wilds said he, his parents and his brother  want their three properties de-annexed from the town limits after waiting more than six years to be hooked up to the town’s water system.
Town council members seemed reluctant to de-annex those properties from the town limits and Brilliant Mayor Perry Franks asked attorney Bill Atkinson to attend the meeting to discuss legal ramifications surrounding the issue.


Comedic concert scheduled after bicentennial picnic

“Three on a String” will take the stage at the Pastime Theatre in Winfield on Saturday, Aug. 18, for a comedic musical routine.

WINFIELD - The Winfield Main Street Program and the Pastime Theatre partnered together to bring “Three on a String,” a traveling, four-member group of musicians and entertainers, to perform at the Pastime Theatre on Saturday, Aug. 18.
The concert will take place at 2 p.m., after the Marion County Bicentennial Picnic, which will be hosted at the Winfield City Hall from 11 - 1 p.m.


JR announces holiday deadlines

HAMILTON - Journal Record Managing Editor Les Walters recently announced that due to the Labor Day holiday, early deadlines will be in effect for the Wednesday, Sept. 5,  edition of the newspaper.
Journal Record offices in Winfield and Hamilton will be closed on Monday, Sept. 3, in observance of Labor Day.
“We realize these deadlines may be an inconvenience for some of our contributors, but they are necessary to produce our newspaper in a timely manner,’’ said Walters.

July food ratings

HAMILTON - The Marion County Health Department released the following scores for eight restaurant inspections  through the month of July:

• J&V Ole Smokehouse, Hamilton - 86;
• McDonald’s Winfield - 89;
• Marion Regional Medical Center, Hamilton - 90;
• Sonic Drive-In, Hamilton - 93;
• Hardee’s, Hamilton - 94;
• The Stop Market, Hamilton - 94;
• Hamilton Marathon Inc. - 94; and
• Midnight Bakery, Hamilton - 94.


West named county superintendent

An emotional Ann West (left) thanks Marion County Board of Education members Beverly Burleson (third from right), Belinda McRae (seated) and Joyce Fowler for voting to appoint her as the new Marion County School System superintendent of education.

HAMILTON - In a unanimous 4-0 vote, Ann West was named superintendent of the Marion County School System during a special-called Marion County Board of Education (MCBOE) meeting on July 31.
“I am honored and humbled to be given the opportunity to be the leader of our school system,” West said after the meeting. “We have a great school system and I want to continue working with our schools, our teachers, and our students to make it the best it can be,” she said.


Big 95.5 radio station wants to move into old Hackleburg Town Hall

Tommy “Hutty” Hutcheson is seen here at the Hackleburg Town Council meeting on Monday, July 23.

HACKLEBURG - Big 95.5 radio station owner Tommy “Hutty” Hutcheson spoke to the Hackleburg town council on July 23 about allowing him to move his radio operations into the old Hackleburg town hall building.
The building, built in 1992, was damaged during the 2011 tornado but was repaired and currently houses a gymnasium and serves as a polling location. Hutcheson made a request to move his operations into the unused office space in the building.

Main Street to open new museum

Winfield’s Main Street program told the city council on Tuesday, July 17, that it intends to purchase the old Citizens Bank building to open a museum. Main Street Treasurer and Pastime Theatre Chairperson Mary Hyche is pictured presenting the idea to the council.

WINFIELD - The Main Street program plans to purchase the old Citizens Bank building near the Pastime Theatre to house a museum.
Pastime Theatre Board Chairperson and Main Street Program Treasurer Mary Hyche asked the Winfield City Council if the city would assume ownership of the building when the program purchases it.


Property manager has committed to renovate

Pot holes are shown scattered across the old Town and Country Shopping Center's parking lot near downtown Hamilton.

• Avery’s landscaping hired for project; manager says two ‘anchor’ retailors on their way

HAMILTON - The manager of a dilapidated shopping center near downtown Hamilton has reportedly committed to repairing the property and renovating the facilities.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page told the Hamilton City Council during a work session on Wednesday, Aug. 1, that he has spoken with  Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center manager Louise Jennings of Real Estate Southeast in Prattville, who has promised to make improvements on the site.


Opinion: We’ll believe it when we see it

The property managers of the dilapidated Town and Country Shopping Center on Highway 278 East, just beyond the intersection of highways 43 and 278, have reportedly committed to cleaning up the property in preparation for brand-name “anchor” stores. We’ll believe it when we see it.
We each councilman Gene Sanderson’s comments during a Hamilton City Council work session on Wednesday, Aug. 1: “They’ve said this before and two years later, still nothing.”


Opinion: Kids these days...

Mandye Green

If you've ever spent much time around children, you know that if you need an honest opinion, you go to them first. I worked in a daycare before I moved to Hamilton and I served in the kids ministry at my church for a few years after that and those experiences taught me a lot.

Finances given ‘good opinion’

Certified Public Accountant Aimee Gilliland presented the Hamilton City Council with its first respective financial audit since it became overseers of the municipality’s finances on Monday, July 16.

HAMILTON - Hamilton Mayor Bob Page and the Hamilton City Council received their first audit report respective to their time as overseers of the city’s finances.
The city was given a “good opinion” concerning its financial status of Fiscal Year 2017.


College hosts 40 local stakeholders

Alabama Community College System Vice Chancellor Workforce and Economic Development Jeff Lynn (left) speaks with Bevill State Community College President Dr. Kim Ennis (center) and Interim Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West during the college’s Workforce Summit on Tuesday, July 24, at the Hamilton Campus. More than 40 local industry officials met during the summit to discuss how the college could help solve and meet workforce needs. (Writer’s note: West was named superintendent by the board on Tuesday, July 31.)

HAMILTON - More than 40 local business and industry stakeholders met with Bevill State Community College (BSCC) officials during a workforce summit.
The gathering was held on Tuesday, July 24, in the Bevill Center at the BSCC-Hamilton Campus.

Long-time Winfield restaurant severely damaged after fire

The fire that caused major damage, including structural damage, to Catfish Haven was concentrated in the rear of the restaurant, where an add-on, wooden building stood

WINFIELD - Catfish Haven, which has served local residents for 23 years, suffered significant damage from a fire on Sunday, July 29. Firefighters believe the firewas caused by electrical issues.
Local owner Linda Postell reported that the restaurant did not have insurance at the time of the incident.


Hamilton junior crowned ‘Outstanding Teen’

Hamilton High School junior Hannah Gentz, 16, was crowned Miss Northeast Alabama’s Outstanding Teen on Sunday, July 15, at Southside High School, securing her third title as “Outstanding Teen.” Gentz (center) is shown with Amy Cummings (left) and Jarrod Landers, both co-directors of the Miss Northeast Alabama's Outstanding Teen Pageant.

HAMILTON - Hamilton High School junior Hannah Gentz has won another title and a chance to compete in the Miss Alabama's Outstanding Teen scholarship pageant in March.