PD gets new Tahoe after older model totalled


A Hamilton Police Department Chevrolet Tahoe was wrecked on Aug. 23 during a response call. According to Hamilton Mayor Bob Page, the officer lost control of the vehicle while rounding a curve on County Road 11

HAMILTON - The Hamilton Police Department will purchase a new 2018 Chevrolet Tahoe police cruiser.
The council unanimously voted at its meeting held on Monday, Sept. 17, to purchase the new cruiser at a cost of $32,016 from Donohoo Chevrolet in Fort Payne.
The new vehicle will replace one of the police department’s cruisers which was totalled  during a response call on Aug. 23.

 

Summer conferences gather 2,374


The more than 2,300 attendees of the three Summer Ramp conferences in Hamilton contributed around $427,000 into the local economy, as they purchased food, lodging and travel necessities during their stay. The conference-goers are pictured worshipping and praying during services at The Ramp. (Courtesy of Ramp Media)

HAMILTON – The Ramp finished its last of three summer conferences on Saturday, Aug. 18, bringing 2,374 visitors to the area and giving the local economy an estimated $427,320 boost.
The Summer Ramp conferences were held on June 28 - 30, July 26 - 28 and Aug. 17 -18. Once again, local businesses—including hotels and motels from Hamilton, Guin and Winfield and restaurants—noticed the influx of visitors and the large increase of revenue.

 

More than 142 ATV injuries over two years

HAMILTON - The risks and danger associated with all-terrain vehicles (ATV) recently shocked Northwest Alabama with the tragic death of two children.
According to Alabama State Troopers, a boy, 8, and a girl, 4, were killed when the ATV they were riding overturned on Saturday, Aug. 25. They were both pronounced dead at the scene.
The crash occurred less than a mile from Marion County on Mill Creek Road, located off Alabama Highway 19.

Veterans Clinic holds ribbon cutting

Ribbon
 Tuscaloosa Veterans Administration (VA) Public Affairs Officer Damon Stevenson takes a picture during the the ribbon-cutting ceremony held at the new VA store-front clinic in Hamilton on Wednesday, Sept., 26. The clinic opening is part of the VA’s efforts to provide services to veterans located in rural communities, said John Merkle, director of the Tuscaloosa VA Medical Center.

Sims: ‘Eagle stands for something different’


Hamilton Troop 56 Scout Will Sims was awarded Scouting’s highest honor on Aug. 26 during his Eagle Scout Court of Honor which was held at the Whitehouse Church of Christ in the Whitehouse Community. Shown with Sims at his ceremony is his father, Troop 56 Scoutmaster John Sims, and his mother, Susie.

HAMILTON - A Hamilton High School senior has been awarded Scouting’s highest honor.
Will Sims, 18, Haleyville, Whitehouse Community, a senior at Hamilton High School, was awarded the Eagle Scout Rank at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor held on Sunday, Aug. 26,  at the Whitehouse Church of Christ.
Sims, son of John and Susie Sims, was recently awarded the Medal of Merit by the National Court of Honor of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) for his lifesaving actions in March 2017, when he discovered his brother, David, having a severe asthma attack.

 

Armbrester third in family to reach Eagle


Seth Armbrester (center), 18, Hamilton, is shown at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor on Aug. 12 at Hamilton United Methodist Church with his two brothers Aaron (left) and Adam, who are also Eagle Scouts.

HAMILTON - Seth Armbrester, 18, Hamilton, has been awarded the rank of Eagle Scout.
In earning the rank, Armbrester has completed an Eagle-Scout trifecta,  joining his two older brothers, Adam and Aaron, who have both obtained Scouting’s highest honor as well.
Armbrester, son of Hamilton United Methodist Church Pastor Jeff Armbrester and Lisa Armbrester, was presented his Eagle Scout pin, badge and medal at his Eagle Scout Court of Honor, which was held on Aug. 12 at the Methodist Church.

De-annexation debate continues


The Wilds family attended the Wednesday, Aug. 22, Brilliant Town Council meeting in order to request that the council de-annex their three properties from the town limits, due to not having access to the town’s water. In a crowded meeting room, the Wilds are pictured, along with council members, discussing the issue.

BRILLIANT - Brilliant resident Jason Wilds, along with his family, attended the Wednesday, Aug. 22, town council meeting to see if the council would de-annex their properties from the town limits.
The Wilds first brought up this request at the Wednesday, July 25, town council meeting, where Jason Wilds told the town council that, because Brilliant had not provided them access to town water, their properties should be de-annexed from the town limits.

The Ramp acquires neglected shopping center


A bird's-eye view of the old Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center, which was purchased by The Ramp on Tuesday, Sept. 18. (Courtesy of Ramp Media)

HAMILTON - Hamilton’s old Town and Country Plaza Shopping Center, which has been deemed an eyesore and on the verge of condemnation for a number of years, has been acquired.
According to The Ramp Chief Financial Officer Samuel Bentley, The Ramp acquired the seven-acre shopping center complex from developer Tony Struyk of San Diego, Calif., on Tuesday, Sept. 18.

Baker, Ennis address state of college in closed meetings

HAMILTON - Recordings of closed faculty meetings have shed light on a number of issues previously left publicly unaddressed  and unanswered by officials at Bevill State Community College (BSCC) and the Alabama Community College System (ACCS).
According to statements made during these meetings, the allegation by House District 18 Rep. Johnny Mack Morrow, D-Red Bay, that BSCC President Dr. Kim Ennis fabricated a study to justify closing three career technical programs at the BSCC Hamilton Campus is a misunderstanding.

Scott Johnson: Hamilton council shoots the messenger

The Hamilton City Council has decided that Retail Strategies should no longer represent the City of Hamilton.
The council voted 5-1 in against renewing its agreement with the Birmingham firm at its council meeting on Monday, Sept. 17.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page was the lone wolf to vote in favor of Strategies; councilors Tami Lewis Williams, Gene Sanderson, Bobby Joe Irvin, Kenneth Cochran and Herb Winsett all gave the firm a thumbs-down.

Pirates overcome slow start, defeat Bulldogs


Winfield quarterback Jackson Elkins (2) finds a seam to throw a pass to Pirate receiver Marshall McAteer (3) as lineman Luke McKinney (56) keeps a Lamar County defender at bay.

WINFIELD - The Winfield Pirates fell behind early 14-0 and fought back to go into halftime trailing only 21-20. The second half, however, was all about the Pirates, who scored 26 unanswered points to soundly defeat the Lamar County Bulldogs 46-21 on Thursday, Sep. 20, in Winfield.
The win improved the Pirates to 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in Class 3A, Region 4 play.

Panthers blow out Flame

FLORENCE - Hackleburg blew out Class 1A, Region 8 opponent the Shoals Christian Flame 52-8 to pick up the Panthers’ first win of the year on Friday, Sept. 21.
The Panthers improved to 1-4 overall and move into a tie with longtime rival Phillips of Bear Creek for fourth-place at 1-2 in the Region 8 standings. The loss dropped the Flame to 1-4 overall and 0-2 in Region 8 play.

 

NAC champions

Team
The Marion County Lady Raiders won the Northwest Alabama Conference Volleyball Tournament after defeating Brilliant on Saturday, Sept. 8. Marion County earned wins over Berry and Lynn on Thursday, Sept. 6, to advance to the championship game.

Lady Raiders win NAC crown

GUIN - Marion County defeated Brilliant in three sets to win the Northwest Alabama Conference Volleyball Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 8.
The Lady Tigers, who fought their way to the championship game after suffering a loss to Berry in the first match of the tournament, won the first set 25-22.
The Lady Raiders fought back to win the second and third set by scores of 25-19 and 15-10 to win the NAC crown.

 

Red Raiders lose heartbreaker to Tornadoes


Marion County’s Deuce Belk (6) follows blocks by Josh Rhudy (57), DJ Tidwell (76) and Brandon Espinoza (75) on a quarterback keeper.

REFORM - An unsuccessful extra-point attempt and a blocked field goal made all the difference in the world on Friday night, Sept. 21, as Marion County fell 7-6 to the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 1A’s ninth-ranked Pickens County.
The loss marked the first setback for Marion County this season as the Red Raiders dropped to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in Class 1A, Region 6. The Tornadoes improved to 3-1 overall and 3-0 in Region 6 play.

 

Aggies manhandled for second week in a row


Hamilton receiver Alex Reid (28) stiff-arms a Corner defender as he looks to gain extra yards.

CORNER - In a game almost identical to last week’s encounter with Dora, the Aggies gave a lackluster performance after trailing 20-0 at the end of the first half.
The Aggie faithful hoped to see their team get back into the game in the second half, but that resurgence never happened.
The homestanding Yellow Jackets continued their onslaught and rung up another 26 points en route to a 46-0 win.

 

Tigers mauled by Bears


Brilliant’s Kade Bryant (11) launches a pass around the outstretched arm of the Lynn defender

BRILLIANT - Brilliant suffered its first shutout of the season at the hands of Lynn in a 44-0 contest on Friday, Sept. 21.
The loss dropped the Tigers to 1-3 overall and 0-3 in Class 1A, Region 6. The victory improved Lynn’s overall record to 2-2 and its region record to 1-2 while snapping a two-game losing streak.
Head coach Brian Gunnels saw areas where his Tigers needs to improve, including competing for the entire game.

 

Prognostications: County’s longest running rivalry takes center stage

Non-region action moves to the forefront in this week’s slate of games.
After three weeks of playing region contests, county schools finally venture out to play some non-region opponents in some fun matchups.
The county’s longest-running rivalry happens at Estes Hudson Stadium this Friday night when the Hamilton Aggies visit the unbeaten Winfield Pirates for nothing more than bragging rights.

 

Mandye Green: Character, perseverance and hope

No one really likes to be in pain. And we don’t really think of pain as our friend...more like our enemy.
Like this morning, when I felt a sting and looked down to see an ant biting my foot...I wasn’t a fan.
In my time at Dr. Brent Boyett’s clinic, Hamilton, where he assists patients with recovery from opiate addiction (pain pills) and chronic pain, I heard Boyett tell a story many (many) times and it never left me.

Faye Harris: Tobacco Kills!

Cigarette smoking is the number-one risk factor for lung cancer (Time Health, Spring 2018).
Cancer and other smoking-related diseases kill about 40,000 Americans every year, accounting for 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S., with a worldwide yearly death count of 7 million.
In early August my husband, Glen, had his routine cardiology checkup with the conclusion by the nurse practitioner, “I’ll see you in about three months. Say, why don’t we have you go in for a pulmonary exam?”
So we went to have this done.

Time change causes heated argument


A 30-minute meeting time change sparked a heated argument, which quickly turned personal, among Winfield City Council members at the Monday, Sept. 17, council meeting

WINFIELD - Winfield City Council members Anthony Hallmark, Chris Ballard, Jimmy Hayes and Rusty Barnes clashed in a fierce argument over the council meeting time change that rescheduled future meetings to take place at 5:30 p.m. instead of 5:00.
At the previous meeting, the council voted to change the time for the Monday, Sept. 17, meeting to 5:30, along with future meetings, although some council members voiced that they were unaware they were agreeing to change the time of future meetings as well.

Steve Flowers: Supreme Court rules states can collect online sales tax

The State of Alabama’s fiscal year begins next week on Oct. 1. Our state’s finances are not the best in the world. However, they got a boost from the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year when the high tribunal ruled that states can collect sales tax on internet sales.
This was one of the most inequitable scenarios I have ever seen. If you went to the corner hardware store or Lowe’s or Walmart to buy a hammer and paint, you paid sales tax. However, if you bought these same items online, you did not. That is not fair to the store or the state.

Public hearings to be held for 3 street closings


The Hamilton City Council looks over building plans of Hamilton First Baptist Church to expand its facility. The church has requested that the city close a portion of 3rd Avenue South, which runs adjacent to their building. Four city councilors are members at the church and it remains unclear what action the council can ethically take.

HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council will host a public hearing during its Monday, Oct. 15, meeting to discuss the potential closure of three city streets.

Council votes 1-5 to quit Retail Strategies

HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council has decided not to renew its contract with its retail recruitment agency, Retail Strategies of Birmingham.
The council voted 1-5  against renewing its contract with the agency, choosing not to make its payment of $40,000 at its meeting held on Monday, Sept. 17, after only one year into a three-year partnership. The only one in favor of rejoining the Birmingham group was Hamilton Mayor Bob Page.

Roads to be repaired discussed

GUIN - To begin the Guin City council meeting on Monday, Sept. 17, mayor Max Maddox asked the council if they were interested in changing the city ordinance that prohibits a lounge from opening within 2,500 feet of a church. Councilmen Troy Hightower, Jerry Gann, and Phillip Garrison said that they were not interested in changing the ordinance. Councilmen Roger Agnew and Bobby Bellew were not present for the meeting.
Moving on to old business, Maddox presented a list of streets around Guin that he said he had viewed that needed repairs.

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 govdeals.com. 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.