BTCOA opening keynote draws emotional response


Sonia Martin of Kids to Love is shown presenting the opening keynote address during the 27th Annual Breaking the Cycle of Abuse conference at Bevill State Community College-Hamilton on Friday, April 5

HAMILTON -  Sonia Martin, with Kids to Love, an organization dedicated to finding foster children permanent homes, opened the 27th Annual Breaking the Cycle of Abuse (BTCOA) conference with a keynote address on Friday, April 5, at Bevill State Community College-Hamilton.
Martin presented her keynote address discussing Behavior 101, in which she covered lying, cheating, stealing, manipulation, need for control, violence, aggression and hoarding.

Alabama ties for cheapest gas in nation

Despite forthcoming gas tax increases, one official is confident that Alabama gas prices will remain in the Top 10 for cheapest gas prices in the country.
In an interview with the Journal Record, American Automobile Association (AAA) spokesman Clay Ingram noted that Alabama is currently tied with Mississippi and Arkansas for the cheapest gas prices in the nation, with gas costing an average of $2.44 per gallon for the month of April.
The national average for gas jumped a nickle in the week of April 8 to $2.74 a gallon—eight cents more than this time last year.

 

Hamilton named No. 1 Alabama relocation destination

The City of Hamilton is living up to its official slogan: “Small Town Living at its Best.”
Relocation website and blog Move Buddha ranked Hamilton as the most popular Alabama town to relocate to in 2019.
“Large cities like Montgomery and Birmingham may have a lot of allure, but they also come with a fairly hefty cost of living,” wrote Move Buddha media specialist Tyler Wood. “People are beginning to see the benefits of living in smaller and mid-sized cities.”

Camp launches Lift U for college-age students

HAMILTON - Ahead of its 55th summer camping season, Maywood Christian Camp has announced a new program aimed at college-aged students.
In a March Facebook post, the camp announced that it was launching Lift University, a four-day camping experience for young adults designed to challenge, renew and empower them.
The inaugural Lift U will take place Sunday night through Thursday morning, Aug. 4-8, and be an additional 10th week of camp for Maywood.

Meeting ends early amid shouting, finger-pointing


Guin Mayor Max Maddox points to councilman Roger Agnew during a discussion at the Monday, April 1, Guin City Council meeting.

GUIN - What began as a discussion regarding fire hydrants ended in a shouting match, finger pointing and the abrupt end to the Guin City Council’s Monday, April 1, meeting.
The uproar arose after mayor Max Maddox took up the third item on the meeting’s agenda--the repair of fire hydrants.
The city has been compiling a list of hydrants around the town that need repairs.
Maddox said that he had made contact with a hydrant repairman in Tuscaloosa.

 

Quick action by pharmacist saves chiropractor’s life


 Pharmacist Devin Smith (left) is recognized by Winfield Mayor Randy Price for his life-saving actions at the Tuesday, April 2, Winfield City Council meeting.

WINFIELD- An otherwise routine lunch became a struggle for life when a piece of food got lodged in a chiropractor’s throat at the Pizza Bar in Winfield on Friday, March 30.
Chiropractor Todd Fetter was enjoying the ham and cheese sandwich, a well-known item on the restaurant’s menu, when he began choking.
“I couldn’t talk and I couldn’t breathe. There was no air exchange one way or the other. I was in trouble,” Fetter said.

 

Johnson suggests investing in new equipment


Hamilton Street Superintendent Mike Johnson spoke with the Hamilton City Council during a work session on Thursday, March 28, about improving the city’s street repair operations.

HAMILTON - New road repair equipment could improve Hamilton’s city-road management, according to Hamilton Street Superintendent Mike Johnson.
Johnson met with the Hamilton City Council at a work session on Thursday, March 28, and was asked to give an overview of the status of Hamilton’s city-owned streets.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page told the council that he and Johnson took time recently to drive city streets and tour the Hamilton Street Department shop.

 

Council votes to increase penalties on late garbage payments

WINFIELD -  In an effort to rein in the late payment of garbage bills, the Winfield City council passed a resolution that increases the monetary penalty on a late payment.
“Mayor, we’re having some issues with people not paying their garbage bills in a timely manner,” Winfield City Attorney Todd Atkinson said, introducing the resolution at the council’s Tuesday, April 2, meeting.

Costs too weighty for Fite Law Office


The Fite Law Office pictured at its current location on 10th Avenue Southwest in Hamilton.

HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council has respectfully declined an offer for a piece of Marion County history.
The council, citing the large costs involved, voted 0-6 against accepting a donation of the small, Fite Law Office, which sits nearby on the opposite side of 10th Avenue Southwest from Hamilton City Hall.
The Fite Law Office was the workplace of Earnest Baxter Fite, father of the late Rankin Fite, who later became a legendary speaker of the Alabama House of Representatives.

No fishing at duck pond


Ducks are shown enjoying a spring morning at the Bedford Industrial Park duck pond in Hamilton.

HAMILTON - Fishermen have been encouraged to abide by restrictions at a public pond.
Hamilton Councilwoman Tami Lewis Williams made a public announcement at a Hamilton City Council meeting on Monday, April 1, reminding anglers that fishing at the Bedford Industrial Park duck pond is not allowed.
The councilwoman said that she has received complaints about people fishing there, which has apparently resulted in some of the ducks being injured.

 

Hall presents HES playground project

Hamilton Elementary School Principal Lynda Hall explained her school’s ongoing playground renovation project during the Marion County Board of Education’s meeting on Friday, March 22.

HAMILTON - The Hamilton Elementary School (HES) Playground Renovation Project received official approval at the most recent Marion County Board of Education meeting.
The county education board members met on Friday, March 22, at the Marion County Central Office for the board’s monthly meeting.
HES Principal Lynda Hall and HES Booster Club member Melissa Hughey were present at the meeting to formally brief the board on the project.

 

Marion County No. 28 in state for health

Smoking, obesity and inactivity red-flag health issues for Marion County residents.
In a recent report, Marion County ranked No. 28 out of Alabama’s 67 counties when considering health behaviors, local clinical care, socio-economical factors and environment.
The national county findings were released on Monday, March 18, and are a part of a nationwide report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute.
Neighboring counties’  rankings were as follows:

 

Personnel ‘do a lot with a little’

HAMILTON - County education officials and employees have received praise for the consistent success of the  Marion County Schools System despite the fact it ranks among the lowest in the state for discretionary funds.
Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West distributed the statewide analysis reports to members of the board of education at their meeting on Friday, March 22, at the Marion County Schools Central Office in Hamilton.
West told the board that the system moved up one place in FY 2018, placing it at 131st out of 138.

EPA publishes right-to-know toxic release report

HAMILTON - Marion County released 443,379 pounds of production-related waste into the air, land and water in 2017, according to an analysis published in March by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in its The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI).
The release inventory tracks the management of certain toxic chemicals that may pose a threat to human health and the environment. Certain industrial facilities in the U.S. must report annually how much of each chemical is released on- and off-site.

Marion Co. ranked 2nd for financial health

One financial firm has ranked Marion County as one of the 10 most financially healthy counties in the state for the second year in a row.
In a report released in March, SmartAsset, a New York-based financial technology company, named Marion County and four of its adjacent counties among Alabama’s top counties for financial health.
Marion County was listed as the second-most financially healthy county in Alabama.
Lamar County was named number one, Winston County number three, Franklin County number five and Fayette County number nine.

 

Anytime Fitness holding supply drive through April

HAMILTON -  Anytime Fitness in Winfield and Hamilton will be collecting donations of paper products for the safe houses in Marion County  overseen by Safeplace and the Marion County Domestic Violence Task Force until the end of the month of April.
Paper product donations include:
• Paper Towels
• Toilet Tissue
• Feminine Products
• Kleenex
Every donation given puts individuals into a drawing for a free month of gym membership at Anytime Fitness.

 

E-cycle event set for April 13

HAMILTON -  The Marion County Commission has announced that it will be holding an electronics recycling event on Saturday, April 13, from 8 a.m. to noon at the CDL testing site on Dr. Pyle Drive in Hamilton.
During the event, individuals are welcome to bring old electronic devices to be recycled.
Items that can be recycled include:
• Copiers;
• Fax machines;
• Printers (desktop or floor size);
• Computers;
• Telephone equipment;
• Power backups;
• Servers;
• Small appliances;
• Televisions; and

Relay for Life set for April 27

HAMILTON -  The Marion County Relay for Life will be held on Saturday, April 27, at Bevill State Community College-Hamilton.
After taking place for over a quarter of a century, citizens will again gather from across Marion County to celebrate and remember those who have battled cancer.
Relay for Life is a fundraising event in which individuals will take turns walking on a track or path in honor of those who have battled cancer as well as those who have acted as caregivers.

Winfield wins Bill Collins Classic

Winfield’s Anna Kate Crumpton (47) swings at a pitch against Marion County on Tuesday, March 5. Crumpton hit two home runs in the Bill Collins Classic in the Lady Pirates’ two contests against Northside.

CARBON HILL - Winfield toppled Cordova 7-3 in the finals of the Bill Collins Classic held at Carbon Hill High School on Saturday, March 23.
Cordova led 1-0 through the first three innings after scoring in the first frame. The Lady Devils added to their lead in the fourth with another run.
Winfield responded with four runs in the bottom of the fourth inning to take a 4-2 lead into the fifth.
After holding Cordova scoreless in the fifth, Winfield added three runs to its lead to take a 7-2 advantage.

Pirates take down three 6A schools

Winfield’s Ben Parrish (15) throws across the diamond to first base to record an out during the Marion County Baseball Tournament on Thursday, March 7. Also shown is Marion County High School head coach William Box.

GULF SHORES - Class 3A Winfield downed Class 6A Minor 11-10 in the Gulf Coast Classic II in Gulf Shores.
Winfield is ranked No. 4 in the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 3A poll.
The Pirates’ Jack Williamson claimed the victory in a relief appearance. He pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed two hits and one earned run while striking out three.
Brock Hollingsworth collected two hits and two RBIs. Jackson Elkins added two hits and a RBI.

 

Bevill receives $4,900 grant from Alabama Power

(From left) Director of Students Jill Preuninger, BSCC President Kim Ennis and Alabama Power Business Office Manager Melinda Weaver are shown holding the Alabama Power Good Roots grant given to Bevill State Community College on Friday, March 1, at Bevill’s Hamilton Campus.

HAMILTON -  Bevill State Community College (BSCC) has received a $4,900 grant from Alabama Power through their Good Roots campaign at Bevill‘s Hamilton campus on Friday, March  1.
These funds will be used to plant trees and fund various landscaping projects on each of the five campuses.
Bevill’s Hamilton campus received $1,000 from the grant and used the money to purchase seven Crepe Myrtles.
Dr. Kim Ennis, president of BSCC, expressed her thanks to Alabama Power for supporting the campuses with the grant.

 

First Fridays series kicks off April 5

HAMILTON - This Friday, April 5, the Hamilton Area of Chamber of Commerce will be kicking off the first of three “First Friday” downtown shopping events.
The event will take place from 6-9 p.m. with local and satellite vendors setting up booths lining the city square and downtown businesses extending their usual hours to host shoppers.
Food will be available for purchase during First Fridays at Leonelli’s First Avenue Grill, Coffee Buzz and potentially other food trucks.