West wins GOP superintendent’s race

HAMILTON - Ann West has secured the Marion County Superintendent of Education seat, according to voting results from the Tuesday, March 3, primary election.
The results were publicly posted by Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick as they arrived at the Marion County Courthouse in Hamilton beginning around 7:30 p.m. Officials were on- site through 11 p.m. recording results.
Results remain unofficial until provisional ballots are accounted for, which usually takes a week. Vick said there have only been two provisional ballots filed this year.

 

Whooping cough outbreak confirmed

WINFIELD -  Parents of the Winfield City School system were informed through a letter from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) of an outbreak of pertussis, most commonly referred to as “whooping cough.”
According to the letter, pertussis begins with symptoms like the common cold such as runny nose, mild sore throat, minimal or no fever and a mild, dry cough. Additional symptoms may include vomiting and exhaustion.
The ADPH warns students and parents to avoid direct contact with a symptomatic individual.

Revenue, probate offices hit by cyber attack

HAMILTON - Hackers have compromised a server used by both the Marion County Revenue Commissioner’s Officer and the Marion County Probate Judge’s Office, suspending some services and access to electronic records.
Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick told the Journal Record ransomware attacked the server on Monday, March 2, the day before the primary election (March 3).
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

City will back DA’s abuse plan


Mayor Randy Price (center) and the Winfield City Council unanimously voted to pay $2,500 into 25th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Slatton’s plan to hire a female investigator to help victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and crimes against children. Also shown are councilman Rusty Barnes (left) and city clerk Angie Oliver.

WINFIELD -  The Winfield City Council unanimously voted to financially support 25th Judicial Circuit Court District Attorney Scott Slatton’s new plan to support victims of abuse in the county for $2,500.
Slatton stated that the council would be able to pay a yearly rate of this amount as long as it is willing, noting there will be no obligation to pay a reoccurring amount if the city doesn’t wish to after the first year.

Employees paid $189,000 in overtime last year

HAMILTON - Last year, the City of Hamilton paid out just shy of $190,000 in overtime pay to city employees.
Councilman Gene Sanderson brought up the matter during a Hamilton City Council work session on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
“Why do we have $65,000 in overtime in the police department?” Sanderson asked. “I don’t understand how it could be run up that much. We could hire two more police officers full-time.”

With Worley out, Cobb continues as party chair

MONTGOMERY - Susan Cobb will keep her position as Marion County Democratic Party chairwoman as a result of a judge’s order on a higher-arching issue.
Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Greg Griffin dismissed a lawsuit on Feb. 27 filed by ousted Alabama Democratic Party Chair Nancy Worley to prevent the newly-elected chair, Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, from taking control.
Griffin dismissed the lawsuit, saying it was not the court’s place to interfere with the party dispute, meaning Worley is no longer in power.

Joy Global fined $50,000 for emissions

Winfield - The Alabama Department of Economic Management is imposing a $50,000 fine on Joy Global Conveyors for “serious” hazardous emission violations that were reported last year.

Joy Global Conveyors currently owns and operates a facility located in Winfield, the former home of Continental Conveyor and Equipment Company. The company was acquired by Kamatsu Mining in 2016.
The company produces conveyor belts and other such equipment designed to transport coal and other natural elements across land or from underground up to the surface.

 

Officials considering new city manager position


Guin Mayor Max Maddox is shown during the regular meeting held on Monday, March 2, at Guin City Hall. The council discussed the possibility of creating a city manager position to handle the daily operations in the city.

GUIN - Much debate ensued concerning the proposed hiring of a city manager for Guin to handle the day-to-day operations in the city.
Guin Councilman Bobby Bellew proposed the idea during a regular meeting on Monday, March 2, at Guin City Hall.
“I think, for day-to-day operations, (having a city manager) would open the opportunity to take some of the work and allow the mayor to go and approve and go do some other things for the city,” said Bellew.