Few familiar faces nine years after the storm

Hackleburg’s NAPA Auto Parts store lays in a mangled pile of sheet metal and rubbage while the town’s old water tower stands defiantly in the distance. The Hackleburg water tower survived the April 27, 2011, EF-5 tornado as well as the April 12, 1943, EF-4 tornado. Both tornadoes leveled the town

HACKLEBURG - “It’s amazing how in nine years how many people have moved on to different things in their lives,” says Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn as he sits behind his desk at Hackleburg Town Hall.
Details of Wednesday, April 27, 2011, and the years of work that followed flowed effortlessly from Colburn’s memory during a discussion with town councilman Don Barnwell. There was no effort reproducing stories, either, for Barnwell.

Powell recaptured

HAMILTON - A man who escaped from the Hamilton Community Work Center has been recaptured.
According to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), Brandon Keith Powell, 38, who escaped from the Hamilton facility on April 1 was taken back into custody on April 19.
According to a ADOC report, Powell was recaptured in Lakeland, Fla.
Powell was in prison for third-degree burglary which he committed in Cherokee County. He was sentenced in August 2019.
Public relations officers with ADOC did not respond to requests for more information.

Census count being affected by COVID-19

MUSCLE SHOALS - The Town of Hackleburg is leading Marion County in Census responses, according to an update by the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG).
As of Monday, April 20, Hackleburg is the county frontrunner for the 2020 Census with 53.3% of residents self-reporting already.
Marion County’s total self-response rate is currently 49%, dragging behind the statewide average of 49.7% and the national average of 51%.

Pools being prepped for summer

Mayor Max Maddox is shown during the Guin City Council regular meeting held outside of Guin City Hall on Monday, April 20, in Guin

GUIN -  The Guin City Council voted 5-2 in favor of preparing the public pool to be opened up this  summer despite concerns surrounding COVID-19 during a regular meeting held outside of Guin City Hall on Monday, April 20.
Council members Jerry Gann and Roger Agnew voted against the motion to prepare the pool for opening due to concerns about whether or not the pool would be open in the summer.
Jerry Gann stated that he would like to wait two weeks and see if COVID-19 curfew would effect the opening of the pool, but ultimately decided to vote against.

Officials discuss opening city back up

HAMILTON - When will our economy reopen? That’s the million-dollar question across the nation right now. It’s the big question locally, too.
The Hamilton City Council met on Monday, April 20, with minimal attendance in order to adhere to social-distancing requirements  due to COVID-19. The council broadcasted its meeting by way of 49 County News, a local online news outlet.

Update on college registration

HAMILTON -  Advanced registration for the Bevill State Community College’s (BSCC) summer semester will take place April 27 through May 14, with registration on May 26, and classes beginning as regularly scheduled on May 28.
All classes will begin in an online, virtual or remote format, with plans for classes to resume on-campus later in the semester.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remain flexible and know that dates, events, and locations may change,” said BSCC President Dr. Kim Ennis.


Nichols takes chair

Marion County District 1 Commissioner Keith Nichols is shown taking his place in the chairman’s seat during his appointment on Monday, April 20, at the commission office in Hamilton

HAMILTON -  Marion County District 1 Commissioner Keith Nichols was appointed Marion County Commission Chairman during a regular meeting on Monday, April 20, at the commission office in Hamilton.
The Marion County Commissioners voted unanimously to rotate the chairman position, as they do every nine months.
“The first thing I need to do is thank Tim for the job he’s done for the last several months, he’s done a good job,” said Nichols.
“This is new to me--first time--I guess the best thing to do is just do it.”


NMMC patients can now see a doctor online

HAMILTON - Need to see an urgent care provider but do not want to risk your health?
Patients can now visit with a physician via a computer or on a smartphone.
The feature is being provided through the North Mississippi Health Services’ (NMHS) myConnection portal. NMHS operates North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC) facilities in Hamilton and Tupelo, Miss.
On NMHS’ webpage, it notes that virtual care is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a way to get care and advice from your trusted health care provider.


Graduation section to publish May 20

While coronavirus has changed so many aspects of our lives, there is one thing it is not changing--the Journal Record’s annual high school graduation special section.
Although no dates have been set for commencement exercises at any of our local schools due to the uncertainty over the virus, the Journal Record still  plans to run the photos and names of all students who will be graduating from Brilliant, Hackleburg, Hamilton, Marion County, Phillips and Winfield City high schools in a special section of the newspaper, which will hit newsstands on Wednesday, May 20.

Fred’s Pharmacy offering CBD to local healthcare employees

HAMILTON -  Fred’s Pharmacy a locally-owned community pharmacy, located at 797 Military Street South, Hamilton, in cooperation with Ananda Professional, the leading CBD brand trusted by community pharmacies, are pleased to announce a partnership that makes CBD available for just $10 to healthcare employees who are working during the COVID-19 pandemic.

County extends curfew order

Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Terrell is shown addressing Marion County during the press conference held on Thursday, April 16, at the Marion County Courthouse in Hamilton

HAMILTON -  Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick announced that the county has extended the curfew order to Thursday, April 30, as opposed to its original end date of April 17.
This was announced during a press conference held in front of the Marion County Courthouse on Thursday, April 16.

Festival schedule being shaken up by shutdown

HACKLEBURG - Spring is normally one of the most exhausting and demanding times for Hackleburg Town Clerk Carla Rector. But not this year.
Planning for the annual Neighbor Day Festival normally consumes the first two to three months of Rector’s year, as she books musicians and vendors and coordinates with town officials and community leaders to host the most successful Neighbor Day festival possible.

Halcomb spreading hope after coronavirus recovery

Jeff Halcomb (front, left) is pictured with his family (front, from left) granddaughter - Harper Taylor, wife Lisa Halcomb, (back row, from left) Chad, Erica and Elijah Herring; Jessie, Kody and Dawson Ortiz; Shelby and Jordan Humphres; and Trent and Amanda Taylor

Hamilton - A Marion County man has recovered after being hospitalized for COVID-19.
Jeff Halcomb, 55, is now at home after spending six days in the hospital being treated for coronavirus.
Halcomb lives in Hamilton with his wife, Lisa, a nursing instructor at Bevill State Community College’s Hamilton Campus.
The couple has four daughters--two who live in Hamilton, one in Phil Campbell and another in Russellville. They welcomed their fourth grandchild on Wednesday, April 15, the same day Halcomb was able to return home.


Nursing home cases of COVID-19 rising

Coronavirus cases and deaths are surfacing inside of some Marion County long-term care facilities.
As of presstime on Monday, April 20, there are 61 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Marion County with five reported deaths.
The county currently has one of the highest mortality rates in the state, with a rate of 16.8 deaths per 100,000 people. It also has one of the highest cases per capita, with 205 cases per 100,000 people.

Storm shelters still operational

HAMILTON -  Marion County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Eric Terrell stated that all community storm shelters are still fully operational during the COVID-19 curfew set by Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick on March 30.
After the storms that took place on the weekend of April 10, Terrell informed the Journal Record that storm shelters were fully operational and contained hand sanitizer and masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19.


County unemployment claims spike

MONTGOMERY - There were 271 Marion County residents who filed unemployment claims during the week ending April 11.
According to the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL), in just four weeks, at least 1,099 residents have lost their jobs as the coronavirus continues to affect the economy.
There were 77,515 claims filed statewide during the latest reporting period, bringing the total number of claims made since the state was placed under a state of emergency to 276,130. Nationwide, over 22 million workers have filed for unemployment during the four-week window.

Bevill offering online tutoring

HAMILTON - In an effort to provide students with continued education tutoring services this semester, online tutoring resources have become available to students attending all Bevill State Community College (BSCC) campuses.
According to BSCC President Dr. Kim Ennis, these tutors can communicate with students, review coursework, and provide assistance through the available resources on the online tutoring platform Canvas.

February Sales tax up $9,800

Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West presents education sales tax numbers during a meeting on Wednesday, March 18

Hamilton - Marion County’s one-cent education sales tax generated a record $144,815.89 for the month of February.
The collections were reported during the Marion County Board of Education’s meeting on Wednesday, March 18. The sales tax outpaced last February’s collections ($135,026.63) by $9,789.26.
The one-cent sales tax report reflects the total amount of sales countywide, meaning that $14,481,589 was generated in gross sales in Marion County last month. However, the education sales tax does not account for online sales made locally.