Marion County graded F for social distancing

One data company has given Marion County residents an F for social distancing.
Unacast, a New York-based data company, has published a dashboard using mobile data to gauge local, statewide and national foot traffic during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company also provides grades for each based upon how traffic has changed since the coronavirus was introduced to the United States in February.

Healthcare Worker Appreciation special will publish April 22

HAMILTON - The Journal Record will be publishing a special Healthcare Worker Appreciation section in next week’s paper.
“Join us in recognizing the efforts and accomplishments of our outstanding area healthcare professionals in our community by purchasing an ad with a note of thanks to all medical professionals or a special note to an individual healthcare worker who has made a difference in your life or the life of someone you know,” said Journal Record General Manager Jesse Lamar.

Former Disney actress films in Winfield

Tom O’Mary (left), Michaela Carrozzo (right) and her mother and set designer Jill Carrozzo (center) are pictured on set as they wrap up an episode of The American Heritage Hour.

WINFIELD - Former Disney and Nickelodeon actress and writer/director Michaela Carrozzo has wrapped filming in Winfield with her mother Jill Carrozzo, on a new television project at The American Heritage Hour television production studio located in Winfield.
Carrozzo, 25, is a California native who came to Marion County to work with Winfield-based artist and director/producer Tom O’Mary, who recently opened his art gallery and television production studio in downtown Winfield.

Slatton gathers support for abuse plan

GUIN -  Scott Slatton, 25th Judicial Circuit District Attorney, gained the approval of the Guin City Council for his plan to improve investigations at the District Attorney’s office for victims of sexual abuse and child abuse by hiring a new female investigator during the regular meeting held on Tuesday, April 7, over a telephone conference.
Within the past few months, Slatton has traveled and spoken to several municipalities in Marion County in order to propose his plan and gain funding from city/town councils and the Marion County Commission.

Unanimous vote approves 180k loan

HAMILTON -  Marion County District 2 Commissioner Kenneth Cochran was given unanimous approval to borrow $180,000 from PeoplesTrust Bank for the purchase of excavating equipment.
Marion County Administrator Kalyn Moore informed the commissioners that the loan will be paid over a 72-month period at $2,700 per month, with an interest rate of 2.42%.

Moore also stated that, although District 2 will acquire the loan funds, the entire county will be required to pay the debt if Cochran’s district is unable.


Ivey awards weatherization grants

MONTGOMERY -  Gov. Kay Ivey awarded a $217,595 grant to the Community Action Partnership of North Alabama which covers Marion, Winston, Walker, Cullman, Lawrence and Morgan Counties.
This comes as a part of 14 grants totaling $2.9 million to assist low-income and elderly residents with improvements to their homes to lower energy costs and improve home safety.
The grants support Alabama’s Weatherization Assistance Program which provides funds to keep homes warmer in the winter and cooler in summer and makes them more energy efficient.

Local sewers stitching up hundreds of masks

Sugar Bend Sewing seamstresses Mary Rye (left) and Doris Gardner show off face masks they have been donating to first responders, doctors and individuals.

In response to the COVID-19 outbreak hitting Marion County, local businesses have stepped up to the occasion to do what they can to help preserve much-needed personal protection equipment (PPE).
Sugar Bend Sewing in Hamilton has been operating for three years and, on any normal business day, would be working its niche--quilts, alterations and other projects.
But with non-essential businesses shutting down due to coronavirus, a normal business day for sewers Doris Gardner and Mary Rye now looks like sewing face masks covers.


Crucial two weeks for county

HAMILTON -  Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams stated that the two-week curfew period will be crucial to the county’s future during the Marion County Commission meeting on Monday, March 30, at the commission office in Hamilton.
“Our numbers are going to go up, I can guarantee you that. We may have our first death in the next 48 hours here in Marion County, that’s just how serious this is. It’s spreading pretty quickly,” said Williams

Marion County reporting three COVID-19 deaths

A sign posted at North Mississippi Medical Center in Hamilton restricting visitors at the facility.

Marion County has reported its first deaths due to COVID-19.
Marion County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Eric Terrell told the Journal Record that there have now been two deaths due to coronavirus. He said both have been in Hamilton. A third death has been reported but is still pending confirmation from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
Due to patient privacy laws, no other information on the patients is available.
According to the ADPH, there are now 19 cases countywide and 107 tests have been administered.


Schools launch blended learning

“Blended learning” from home kicked off for Marion County and Winfield City schools on Monday, April 6.
Gov. Kay Ivey announced late on Friday, March 27, that students would not be returning to schools, extending the state’s effort to stop the spread of COVID-19. Marion County and Winfield students have been out of classes since Monday, March 16.
Students will now be participating in distance learning from their homes for the remaining nine weeks of the school year, using either online resources or educational packets.