MONTGOMERY - The Alabama State Senate voted 25-6 in favor of a near-complete ban on abortions.
The Senate approved the measurelate Tuesday night, May 15 and Gov. Kay Ivey signed the bill into law the next day, Wednesday, May 16.
The ban bill only allows exceptions to avoid serious health risk to an unborn child’s mother, ectopic pregnancy and if the unborn child has a lethal anomaly.
Both of Marion County’s senators—-District 4 Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, and District 6 Sen. Larry Stutts, R-Tuscumbia—voted in favor of the legislation.
MONTGOMERY - A bill allowing medical marijuana has been passed by the Alabama Senate.
The bill passed quickly on Thursday morning, May 9, less than 24 hours after District 6 Sen. Larry Stutts, R-Tuscumbia, successfully delayed a vote by debating bill sponsor Sen. Tim Melson, R-Florence, until time expired on Wednesday night, May 8.
Stutts said that he and Melson went back and forth for about two hours before the session was dismissed for the day.
When a vote was called immediately the next morning, Stutts said no one had time to do anything.
HAMILTON - The Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the 16th Annual Shrimp Boil on Tuesday, June 11, from 5-7 p.m. at the Hamilton Fire Department.
Local musical group Crossing Dixie will be providing entertainment.
“We encourage everyone to come out for a fun-filled evening with friends listening to some entertainment,” said chamber president Lacy Williams.
Pre-sale tickets are $10.00 each and on the day of the event, tickets are $12 each. To-go plates will be available.
HAMILTON - Hamilton High School graduate Katie Humphries, who in the fall of 2018 wrote an article entitled “Grandfathered In: Grandparent Intervention in Mississippi Adoption Proceedings,” has had her article published by the Mississippi Law Journal.
HACKLEBURG - Tyler McKeller with the sewer treatment plant addressed the Hackleburg Town Council about issues that he has seen at the wastewater treatment plant during a regular session meeting on Monday, May 13, at Hackleburg Town Hall.
“Over the past year, we’ve noticed what appears to be septic waste coming into (Hackleburg’s) system,” said McKeller.
According to McKeller, Hackleburg sewage operates on a closed system, leaving no opportunity for individuals to access and dump into sewers through manholes.
HAMILTON - Hamilton High School senior Mariah Wilson received the WBRC FOX6 News Rising Star Scholarship worth $5,000 on Thursday, May 2, at the University of Alabama Alumni house in Birmingham.
Wilson is the first-ever Hamilton High student to receive this scholarship from the organization.
Several schools in the state each get one nomination for a student to be chosen for the scholarship program and students are nominated by their guidance counselors.
BRILLIANT - Brilliant will be holding it annual CoalFest on Friday and Saturday, May 24 and 25.
The festival will feature arts and crafts, clogging, kids rides, a coal exhibit, horseshoe, games, food and music.
Artists such as Kozmic Mama, Dixie Mafia, Mitch Mann, Tim Cannon, Austin Lewis, Cypress Creek, Crow Bridge and Tosha Hill and Loose Foot and the Magic Makers will be performing at the event.
The festival will also feature the 10th Annual CoalFest Motorcycle Show and Ride on Saturday, May 25.
WHITEHOUSE COMMUNITY - Marion County farmer Joey Barnett knows he won’t make a million dollars, but he is optimistic about his hemp growing prospects.
“I am excited about it. I’m not really looking to make a lot of money the first two or three years because I know that’s not going to happen,” Barnett said.
Barnett was one of 152 applicants accepted into a pilot program to grow or produce industrial hemp in Alabama.
BRILLIANT - Before joining 4-H in 2011, Abraham Humphrey was a shy Brilliant Elementary School student who just wanted to be left alone. Now, eight years later, Humphrey is winning state awards in public speaking competitions.
HAMILTON - The Tennessee Department of Health reported to the Alabama Department of Public Health that an individual with a confirmed case of the measles traveled through Alabama on April 11, making two stops during the infectious period.
Measles is a serious viral respiratory illness that lives in the nose and throat of those infected.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health, a single case of the measles will infect up to 95% of unvaccinated people who are exposed.
HAMILTON - A proposal is off the table for possible legislative action to annex the Harper’s Junction convenience store property into the Hamilton City Limits.
More than 40 residents of the Shiloh Community gathered to oppose the proposal during a public hearing held at Hamilton City Hall on Monday, May 6, by the Hamilton City Council and House District Rep. Tracy Estes.
Harper’s Junction is located near the intersection of State Highway 187 and U.S. Highway 43, a little more than a mile north of Hamilton’s incorporated limits.
HAMILTON - Needed to meet its fundraising goal by the end of May Hamilton Elementary School (HES) has only a matter of weeks to reach its goal in order to obtain new playground equipment and finish its construction by the beginning of the 2019-2020 school year.
“We need our community’s help!” stressed Paula Wood, president of the HES Booster Club. “We have raised almost $60,000 of our $100,000 goal.”
The funds raised for HES will fund the purchase of new playground equipment that will replace the broken, unusable equipment now on the playground.
WINFIELD - A Winfield man was charged with four counts of dissemination of child pornography after an investigation by the Joint Electronic Crimes Task Force, the State Bureau of Investigation and the Winfield Police Department.
HAMILTON - The Marion County School System took its “first journey” through district accreditation during the month of April.
Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann west said that several outside examiners inspected Marion County Schools for an entire week.
The results of their review will be reported in June. It will mark the first time in system history for Marion County Schools to receive a review.
Montgomery - A fantasy sports bill has cleared the Alabama House of Representatives.
If passed by the Senate and signed by Gov. Kay Ivey, the bill would make it legal for online fantasy sports leagues, such as FanDuel and DraftKings, to be available for Alabama residents.
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kyle South, R-Fayette, passed the House 74-22 and now heads to the state Senate. Marion County’s representative, Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, voted “no” on the issue in what he called a “final-hour” decision due to moral objections.
In the upcoming days, our elected officials will be tackling various issues—many of them significant, such as a lottery, abortion, ethics laws, prison reform and our state budgets.
Our elected officials need insight to how their constituents stand on the issues that are before them. We believe we should be involved in telling them what we believe, what we value and what is in the best interest for our state and the counties and municipalities we live in.
Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame was released on Thursday, April 25, and I, like millions of others across the world, was very excited to see the conclusion and culmination of over 11 years (22 films) of Marvel Studios’ now titled “Infinity Saga.”
Our Senior U.S. Senator, Richard Shelby, turns 85 this week. In March he reached another milestone--he surpassed Sen. John Sparkman as the longest-serving U.S. Senator in Alabama history. Shelby has been our senator for 32-plus years.
HAMILTON - A former Hamilton and Guin policeman is behind bars after an anonymous tip led to his arrest on various drug charges last week.
TWIN - A mechanic was killed in a hit-and-run incident on Tuesday, April 30, while repairing a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of Interstate 22 in Marion County.
According to Alabama State Trooper-Hamilton Post Cpl. Mark Stone, at approximately 5 a.m., repairman Morris H. Welch Jr., 56, Empire, was killed when a 2019 Freightliner struck him while he was working on a vehicle near I-22’s mile marker 25.
Welch was an employee of M&M Tire and Mechanical Services in Graysville.
BIRMINGHAM - A Winfield pharmacist was one of 10 people charged in a far-reaching, $200 million prescription drug fraud scheme, United States Attorney Jay E. Town announced on Monday, May 6, in Birmingham.
James A. Mays, III, 43, Winfield, was charged on 20 counts including identity theft, spending the proceeds of healthcare fraud and mail fraud.
A total of 103 indictments were handed down to the 10 employees of a Haleyville-based pharmacy, Northside Pharmacy doing business as Global Compounding Pharmacy.
HAMILTON - The annual candlelight vigil for fallen officers in Marion County will be held on Monday, May 13, at the Marion County Courthouse in Hamilton.
This will also include the monument dedication for fallen officers in Marion County dedicated by Randy Jackson.
It will begin at 7:30 p.m. with a prayer from Dr. Kenny Hatcher, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Guin, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance by Hamilton Cub Scout Pack 56.