About our curator

Ruthie Whitman

Ruthie Whitman of Hamilton has curated the Black History Month stories and photos for the Journal Record for the last decade. We are grateful to her for the hard work, time and effort she puts into collecting the stories and coordinating the publications to run every week during the month of February. What you are reading today is courtesy of Ruthie Whitman and the author she reached out to for this special celebration and recognition of African Americans and the arts.

Hamilton continues support of animal aid organizations

From left, Hamilton Police Chief Jordan Carter speaks with Hoof or Paw Director Calen Weston, fundraising director and volunteer Felicia Aycock and volunteer and supporter Marla Minter after the Hamilton City Council voted to continue financially supporting Hoof or Paw and the Marion County Humane Society.
HAMILTON — Both the Marion County Humane Society and Hoof or Paw will continue to receive financial support from the City of Hamilton for their efforts with animal control within the city and surrounding areas.

Celebrating Black History Month: God is leading Gibbs family

This photo of Rocky Grove Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Clyde Walter McGaha (right) and his wife, Inez, was printed on the front of a pamphlet in celebration of their seventh anniversary at the church. More than a dozen other churches were invited to the ceremony, held on Oct. 15, 1972. Rev. M.D. West preached the sermon for the ceremony. He is the father of our Black History Month curator, Ruthie Whitman.

God is leading the Gibbs Family, and they don’t mind sharing the news. Gifts He is bestowing upon them include ministry and music and much more--including multi-generational blessings and talents.
Latoya Gibbs shared her family’s story with the Journal Record recently, noting her late grandfather, Pastor Clyde Walter McGaha, pastored the Rocky Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Hamilton for years, supported by his wife, Inez.
Her parents are Anthony and Barbara McGaha, and her other grandparents are Pastor Leroy and Annie Harris.

AirEvac contract renewed in Hamilton

The AirEvac Lifeteam 45 is based in Fayette. This photo was provided by AirEvac with the assistance of AirEvac Area Program Manager Larry Smith, originally of Guin.
HAMILTON — Among the matters conducted during the Hamilton City Council’s Monday, Feb. 5, meeting was the approval for the renewal of the city’s Municipal Site Plan membership with AirMedCare Network.

Free tree giveaway set for Feb. 20, 21

By Kathryn “Chazz” Hirschfeld
HAMILTON & WINFIELD — In honor of Arbor Week, Feb. 18-24, the Alabama Forestry Commission will once again be holding free tree giveaways in the cities of Hamilton and Winfield.
Hamilton’s free trees will be given away on Tuesday, Feb. 20, in front of the Hamilton City Hall from 9-11 a.m.
Winfield’s free trees will be given away on Wednesday, Feb. 21, in front of Winfield City Hall from 9-11 a.m.
All giveaways are while supplies last.

Multi-county chase ends in arrest

Police blocked in Goodwin’s vehicle, which didn’t have a license plate, after he crashed on a four-wheeler trail.
HAMILTON — Jerald Goodwin, 38, of Hamilton, was arrested and charged with felony attempting to elude on Friday morning, Feb. 9, after leading Hamilton, Hackleburg and Franklin County police on a lengthy pursuit.

SafePlace supply drive now underway for local needs

Beth Senkbeil of Safeplace (left) and Sarah Emerson of the Marion County Domestic Violence Task Force hold up a flyer promoting their annual supply drive, which benefits local domestic violence survivors and their children who are being housed in the county’s shelter. Businesses, persons and organizations can donate supplies through the month of February.
HAMILTON — Two representatives of the Marion County Domestic Violence Task Force spoke to the Hamilton City Council during its Monday, Feb. 5, meeting regarding their annual supply drive, now underway.

Hamilton water customers to receive 50% discount in March

Hamilton Mayor Bob Page
HAMILTON — Every residential and business water customer served by the City of Hamilton will receive a 50-percent discount on their March water bill. The Hamilton City Council approved the measure at its Monday, Feb. 5, meeting. Hamilton Mayor Bob Page noted the adjustment is being made to help compensate for the water outage that occurred during the recent ice storm.

Survey for tie-ins, wells being planned for alternate water

Members of the Marion County Water Authority Board, the Marion County Commission and other officials and members of the public are shown a few moments before the meeting began on Feb. 6.
HAMILTON — At least two alternate water supplies are currently being investigated by the Marion County Water Authority, with the Marion County Commission offering to fund a tie-in to Franklin County as one of the solutions.

The secret power of gospel music and its kinship to Black history

Dr. Martin Nalls is the head of school for the I3 Academy in Birmingham, a tuition-free, public charter school serving kindergarten through seventh-grade students.
BIRMINGHAM — I remember growing up in Marion County, Ala. My parents' home would be filled with the sounds of Shirley Caesar, the Winans, Vanessa Bell Armstrong and other gospel music greats. This was especially the case on Sunday morning as we prepared for church.

Notice of Election


Pursuant to and in accordance with the provisions of Title 17-9-5, Code of Alabama, 1975, and such other requirements, I, Paige Nichols Vick, Judge of Probate of Marion County, do hereby give notice that the Democratic and Republican Party Preferential Primary Elections will be conducted in the various precincts in Marion County on March 5, 2024 and the Primary Runoff Election, if needed, will be held April 16, 2024.  
The offices and amendments that will be voted on are as follows:

African Americans and the Arts

Dr. Lavern Terrell wrote about African Americans and the Arts to kickoff February’s Black History Month recognition for the Journal Record.
“For centuries, Western intellectuals denied or minimized the contributions of people of African descent to the arts as well as history, even as their artistry in many genres was mimicked and/or stolen,” according to the Association for the Study of African American Life and History, 2024.