Harbin hits for cycle, leads Winfield to county crown


The Winfield Lady Pirates won the Marion County Softball Tournament with back-to-back wins over Marion County by scores of 11-0 and 15-0. Shown for Winfield are (front row, from left) Sara Beth Cotton, Alana Ballard, Andrea Harbin, C’era Beck, (back row, same order) Aaron Rao, assistant coaches Alexa Box and Mandi Ballard, Brantley Cagle, Anna Lynn, Katherine Box, Tralee Couch, Kady-Grace Eads, Anna Kate Crumpton, Caroline Bostick, Hallie Glasgow, Macy Cummings, head coach Zac Wakefield and assistant coach Derek Trimm.

GUIN - The Winfield Lady Pirates won the Marion County Softball Tournament after defeating Marion County 15-0 behind Andrea Harbin’s four-hit performance in the if-necessary game on Monday, April 15.
The tournament resumed play after being postponed due to an extended lightning delay on Saturday, April 6.
Winfield scored five runs in the first inning before adding three in the second frame.
The Lady Pirates captured the 15-run victory after scoring seven runs in the fourth to earn the county crown.

 

Pyron named overall Bryant-Jordan winner


Marion County High School senior Braden Pyron speaks at the Bryant-Jordan Scholarship banquet on Monday, April 8.

BIRMINGHAM - Marion County High School senior Braden Pyron was named the overall winner of the Bryant-Jordan Student-Athlete Scholarship on Monday, April 8.
The scholarship has two categories with one being achievement and the other recognizing student-athletes.
Pyron was recognized as the winner of the student-athlete category for Class 1A and overall throughout all seven classifications.
“It’s an honor to be recognized, especially coming from a small school,” Pyron said of winning the award.

 

No. 2 Pirates coast to second round


Winfield’s Jackson Elkins (25) celebrates after scoring on his hit to the outfield in the first game of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 3A State Baseball Playoffs. Elkins collected three RBIs on the hit.

WINFIELD - Winfield downed Weaver 19-6 in the Pirates’ second game of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s Class 3A state playoffs on Saturday, April 20.
The Pirates are ranked No. 2 in the final Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 3A poll.
Winfield’s Ben Parrish earned the win in 4 1/3 innings and allowed seven hits and five earned runs with four strikeouts.
Jackson Elkins pitched 1 2/3 innings and allowed one hit with no earned runs. He struck out two.

 

Fifth-ranked Lady Pirates down 7A’s No. 2 Spain Park

WINFIELD - Winfield downed Lamar County 6-3 in Class 3A, Area 10 action on Tuesday, April 16.
The Lady Pirates are the fifth-ranked team in the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s Class 3A poll.
Alana Ballard pitched a complete game and allowed 11 hits, two walks and three earned runs while striking out one.
Andrea Harbin collected two doubles, one single, one RBI, one walk and three runs scored.
Tralee Couch added two singles, two stolen bases and two runs scored.

EF-1 tornado confirmed in Shottsville

Shottsville community - Officials have determined that a low-grade EF-1 tornado touched town in northwest Marion County, causing moderate damage.
Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director Jimmy Mills told the Journal Record that on Saturday night, April 13, a tornado traveled approximately eight miles on the ground through the Shottsville Community, with the majority of the damage concentrated around County Road 13,  specifically between County Road 56 and Grant Road.

Council changes meeting times, will hold work sessions


Guin City Attorney Jerry Hester (left) shows a map to the Guin City Council concerning a plot of land in the Hidden Pines subdivision during the council’s Monday, April 15, meeting.

GUIN-  The Guin City Council voted to change the start time of its meetings from 5 p.m to 5:30 p.m. to allow for a work session before the start of its first meeting of the month. The council meets each first and third Monday of the month in the Guin City Hall council chambers. The council will now hold a 30-minute work session starting at 5 p.m. before the first meeting of each month.
The change was voted on after councilman Jerry Gann voiced his concerns about city financial statements.

Neighbor Day set for April 26-27

HAMILTON -  Hackleburg’s Annual Neighbor Day will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 26 and 27, in Hackleburg.
The festival will begin on Friday, April 26, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and will continue on Saturday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The event will feature music, arts, and crafts and several vendors throughout the weekend.
Musical artists Joseph Baldwin, Crossing Dixie, Kreek, Handshake Promise, Josh Armstrong, 1st Born Sons and Austin Lewis are set to perform at the weekend event.

 

Spectrum buys out WATVC

HAMILTON -  Fayette-based West Alabama TV Cable has been bought out by Stamford, Conn.-based Charter Communications.
The Hamilton City Council unanimously approved a franchise agreement with Spectrum at its meeting on Monday, April 15.
Spectrum is the telecommunications brand for Charter  Communications, which services more than 28 million customers across 41 states.

 

Hackleburg Alumni Banquet set for May 4

HACKLEBURG - The 75th Hackleburg Alumni Banquet will be held on Saturday, May 4, at 7 p.m. in the Hackleburg High School gymnasium.
Doors will open at 6 p.m. and the banquet will begin at 7. A meal will be served and awards presented.
Tickets for the banquet will be $12 and will be sold at the door.
Honored this year will be the classes of 1969 and 1994.

 

City officials want to enforce littering fines

HAMILTON - The concensus among city officials is that littering tickets should be enforced if issued.
The Hamilton City Council met in a work session on Friday, April 12, where they discussed the issue, which Hamilton Mayor Bob Page said is getting worse, not better, despite the council urging residents to comply with the city’s no-littering ordinance.
Those attending the work session were council members Gene Sanderson, Wade Sullins and Bobby Joe Irvin.

Aggies sweep county golf meet


The Hamilton Aggies’ boys and girlsgolf teams won the Marion County Golf Tournament at Pikeville Country Club on Tuesday, April 9. Shown for the Aggies are (from left) overall boys winner Blayne Armstrong, Kalei Mason, Kaiden Williford, overal girls winner Briley Ballard, Noah Boyette, Mia Hollingsworth and Samuel Sutton.

HAMILTON - The Hamilton boys and girls golf teams won the Marion County Golf Tournament at Pikeville Country Club on Tuesday, April 9.
The boys squad saw Blayne Armstrong finish in the top spot with a low score of 75.
Other members of the boys squad are Samuel Sutton, Noah Boyette and Kaiden Williford.
The girls team is made up of Briley Ballard, Mia Hollingsworth and Kalei Mason. The squad saw Ballard finish as the over low medalist for girls with a 89.

We don’t make the news--we just print it

We received several phone calls this past week concerning our coverage of the Guin City Council meeting in the Wednesday, April 10, edition (Meeting ends early amid shouting, finger-pointing).
Those who fielded the calls were told they didn’t like how this story was handled, the harsh manner in which it was presented. In fact, our staff was told we actually reported too much.
Well, we didn’t like it, either.
Covering meetings when tempers are flaring and conversations and discussions are frayed are not enjoyable for our reporters.

Know how to save a life

Thanks to training and quick action in Winfield on March 30, a choking death was prevented. Devin Smith, a pharmacist, performed the Heimlich maneuver on Todd Fetter after food became lodged in Fetter’s windpipe.
According to the National Safety Council, an average of 5,000 people die each year from choking. Many of those deaths could have been prevented with the right knowledge and training, the kind of knowledge and training that both men possessed.  

Former Gu-Win mayor, wife die in plane crash

BLUE SPRINGS, MISS. -  Three are dead after a plane crashed in Union County, Miss., over the weekend.
Union County Sheriff Jimmy Edwards identified the deceased as co-pilot Tommy Hue Nix, his wife, Merline Roberts, and co-pilot Jarrod Holloway.
The Guin City Hall office confirmed that Tommy and Merline Nix resided in the Fayette County portion of Guin. Holloway was a resident of Booneville, Miss., according to Edwards.

 

Lightning strike on church baffles pastor


Pastor Paul Gray is shown outside the Zion Missionary Baptist Church on Monday, April 8, a day after lightning destroyed the church’s steeple.

WINFIELD- Zion Missionary Baptist Church Pastor Paul Gray is still trying to process the chain of events that occurred on Sunday, April 7.
Before lightning struck his church at around 1:45 a.m. that morning, Paul Gray was the interim pastor. Hours later, after a vote by church members, he became the pastor.
“We had already planned the vote for April 7 two or three months ago,” Gray said. “I don’t know whether that was a bad omen or not,” Gray said on Monday, one day after the vote and the lightning strike.

Small plane crashes 35 minutes after take off


A small airplane which departed from the Marion County-Rankin Fite Airport on Friday, March 29, crashed after attempting to land at Monroe County Airport in Aberdeen, Miss. The plane received substantial damage. Both the pilot and passenger suffered minor injuries.

MONROE COUNTY, MISS. - Both a pilot and passenger sustained minor injuries after their small plane crashed after departing from Hamilton.
According to a National Transportation Safety Board Aviation accident report, on Friday, March 29, a Piper PA28 airplane departed from the Marion County-Rankin Fite Airport in Hamilton on a personal flight at approximately 5:15 p.m.

‘We Love Hamilton’ city cleanup set

HAMILTON - The Eighth Annual “We Love Hamilton Clean Up Day” has been scheduled to take place on Saturday morning, April 27, with volunteers first being fed a free pancake breakfast.
Last year, more than 75 bags of litter—using 60-gallon bags—were picked up by more than 90 participants.
All cleanup volunteers will meet at the Hamilton United Methodist Church, where the Hamilton Lions Club will be serving food and registration will be held in the fellowship hall.

 

Guin to hold annual cleanup day

GUIN- The annual Guin spring cleanup day will be held on Saturday, April 27, and Guin councilman Bobby Bellew is hoping to have a larger turnout than he’s seen in recent years.
“The most we’ve ever had is 55 or 60 participants and so it’s my goal this year to really top that number so we can have a larger impact on the community,” Bellew said.
Bellew said he is excited about the number of citizens, schools groups, civic groups, church groups, community leaders and local business that have already committed to participate in the annual cleanup day.

City seeking grants to prep for Love’s

HAMILTON - Grant monies are being sought in the City of Hamilton’s effort to prepare for an incoming Love’s Travel Stop & Country Store, which was announced in January.
The Hamilton City Council unanimously agreed at its Monday, April 1, meeting to file applications  seeking $300,000 in grant monies through a Community Development Block Grant and Appalachian Regional Commission grant.
The council also pledged $256,593 to cover the remaining costs of the project, which is projected to be more than $555,000.

 

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.