Chase ends in two-car wreck

HAMILTON -  A high-speed police chase led to a two-vehicle crash on Interstate 22 on Monday, April 13, that sent three individuals to the hospital.  
The crash occurred when a 2010 Dodge Challenger, driven by Aaron Hayes of Sebastian, Ark., was attempting to elude an Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) State Trooper.  
The Challenger collided with a 2009 Chevrolet pickup, driven by Frank Owens of Pine Bluff, Ark.

Gun, ammo sales increasing amidst coronavirus scare

Jim Willingham, owner of Bluegrass and Bullets in Hamilton, is shown displaying a SIG SAUER P365 pistol, which is one of his most popular products.

HAMILTON - Gun and ammo sales have increased over the past month--so has picking and plucking, says Jim Willingham, owner of Bluegrass and Bullets in Hamilton.
Gun stores across the state are remaining open during the COVID-19 lockdown as they are among the few businesses classified as “essential.”
Willingham says the firearm business has picked up as more and more residents are concerned about the impacts of COVID-19.

Nursing home employee dies of COVID-19

HAMILTON - Marion County has lost its first healthcare worker after she tested positive for coronavirus.
According to family-issued statements, Rose Harrison, 60, Guin, died peacefully Monday night, April 6, at the North Mississippi Medical Center in Tupelo, Miss. She was an employee at the Marion Regional Nursing Home and had worked in healthcare for around 30 years.
It appears that Harrison is the first nursing home worker in the state to die due to the virus.
Harrison is survived by her husband, Jimmy Harrison, three daughters and 10 grandchildren.

‘It’s been a struggle’

HAMILTON -  “Right now, we’re not taking hardly anyone in the jail,” said Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams when speaking about the effects of COVID-19 on the Marion County Jail and Sheriff’s Department.
“There’s been arrests that have been made, but if we can, we bond them out. I hate to do it, but we have to do what’s best to protect the people in the jail.”
Williams stated that, although they were trying to keep jail numbers low, they will still arrest and put violent offenders and those with more severe charges in jail.

Marion County has third-highest death rate in state

Marion County currently has the third-highest coronavirus mortality rate in the State of Alabama while neighboring counties have yet to report a single death.
According to data from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), out of 67 Alabama counties, Marion County currently has three reported deaths, resulting in a death rate of 10.1 per 100,000 people. According to 2019 Census data, the county has a population of 29,709.
According to the ADPH, the county is currently reporting 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19. There have been 159 local tests administered.

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.