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:
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.
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.
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.
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
Every donation given puts individuals into a drawing for a free month of gym membership at Anytime Fitness.
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:
• Fax machines;
• Printers (desktop or floor size);
• Telephone equipment;
• Power backups;
• Small appliances;
• Televisions; and
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.
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.
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.
WINFIELD - An investigation into an armed robbery led to the arrest of a Hamilton man and a Winfield store clerk on theft of property charges, the Winfield Police Department reported last week.
BRILLIANT - The body of a Carbon Hill man missing since January was found by a land-owner clearing a four-wheeler path north of Brilliant on Sunday, March 24.
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.
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.
WINFIELD - Winfield Park and Recreation Department Director Gina Bryant announced that the Fifth Annual Park Fest will be held on Saturday, April 13, at the Ivan K. Hill Recreational Park in Winfield.
HAMILTON - Hamilton High School students conducted the Third Annual Health Occupations Students of America (HOSA) Prom Promise mock wreck on Wednesday, March 20, in which students performed a mock car wreck to provide a sobering reminder for students to make good decisions during the night of prom, Friday, March 22, at Hamilton High.
HACKLEBURG - The Hackleburg Town Council unanimously voted to donate $500 to the Hackleburg youth baseball team when the council met during a regular session on Monday, March 25, at the Hackleburg Town Hall.
Hackleburg youth baseball treasurer David Ray appeared before the council to request financial assistance for the team’s equipment. He mentioned that while the team had been making some money through concessions, it was not enough to meet their needs.
MONTGOMERY - Marion County’s unemployment rate was marked at 4.6 percent in February, according to Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington, six points lower than January’s rate of 5.1 percent.
Meanwhile, the State of Alabama’s unemployment rate continues to break records as it has now decreased to the lowest recorded rate on record, 3.7 percent—one point lower than January’s 3.8 percent, which also set the record.
WINFIELD - Great first impressions are hard to make, but the City of Winfield succeeded grandly last week when the Alabama Speaker of the House, Mac McCutcheon, came to town.
McCutcheon, along with District 17 Rep. Tracy Estes, met with local leaders at a Winfield Chamber of Commerce meeting to discuss issues affecting the town.
“I really enjoyed the event, McCutcheon said. “It was good to sit down and meet with local leaders as well as leaders in the business community.”
GUIN - Marion County defeated rival Hackleburg 19-9 in the Northwest Alabama Conference Baseball Tournament finals on Saturday, March 16.
The Red Raiders scored three runs in the bottom of the first. Hackleburg responded with a run in the top of the second before Marion County added seven runs in the bottom of the frame to hold a 10-1 advantage.
The Panthers scored two in the fourth and six in the fifth to trim Marion County’s lead to 10-9.
WINFIELD - Winfield hosted the 2019 Winfield Invitational Powerlifting Meet on Wednesday, March 20, at the Winfield City High School Indoor Athletic Facility.
Brilliant, Marion County and Lamar County participated in the meet, along with Winfield. No team winners were named, just individual winners by weight division.
The event started at 8 a.m. with each participant weighing in before the lifting began at 9:30 a.m.
VERNON - Winfield cruised to a 12-0 victory over Lamar County in Class 3A, Area 10 play on Tuesday, March 19.
The Lady Pirates’ Alana Ballard earned the win with four hits and one walk allowed in five innings. She struck out four.
Winfield’s offense had 13 hits, two walks and nine stolen bases with Sara Cotton getting hit by pitches twice.
MONTGOMERY - Winfield resident Gail Spann, the mother of Johnny Micheal “Mike” Spann, appeared on the floor of the Alabama State House on Thursday, March 21, to express her opposition to the early release of Taliban fighter John Walker Lindh.
Lindh was a prisoner at the Qali-I-Jangi fortress where Micheal Spann was killed on Nov. 21, 2001, after a prison uprising.
Spann was the first American killed in combat after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
GUIN - The Guin City Council voted to do away with cumulative voting as the method of electing council members at the council’s Monday, March 18, meeting.
Cumulative voting is a form of voting that allows each voter to cast multiple votes for one candidate. The method allows for a low population of racial minorities in a certain district the chance to gain representation on a governmental board or council.
MONTGOMERY - The state Senate has voted 23-7 to repeal Common Core Standards from public school curriculums.
Common Core, also known in Alabama as Alabama College- and Career-Ready Standards, is a set of academic standards for English and math adopted by 41 states.
Both Marion County senators, District 4 Sen. Garlan Gudger, R-Cullman, and District 6 Sen. Larry Stutts, R-Tuscumbia, voted in favor of the repeal, also known as Senate Bill 119.
HAMILTON - Rita Robertson Gilmore, 70, will be retiring after 51 years as a cosmetologist in Northwest Alabama.
“I’m looking forward to (retirement), I haven’t had a Saturday off in a long time. I’ve really enjoyed serving the people here, now it’s time to hang it all up,” said Gilmore.
She expressed that her favorite thing about working in cosmetology was the opportunity to better the self-esteem of her clients, one of which was Willa Dean Spratlin of Detroit, who has been a loyal client of Gilmore’s for over 50 years.
WINFIELD - The Winfield City Council moved to table a vote on a resolution that would cap the towing and storage fees for towing companies on the city’s rotation wrecker service at its March 19 meeting.
At the March 5, meeting the council voted to allow city attorney Todd Atkinson to draft the resolution that would cap the fees. The resolution would cap the towing fee at $150 and the storage fee at $35 per day.
HAMILTON - The Alabama Association of Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) council gathered for its quaterly meeting to provide the annual report for 2018 on Thursday, March 21, at Oh! Bryan’s Family Steakhouse in Hamilton.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page was present at the meeting, along with several other local officials from Marion County.
HAMILTON - The recently-passed 10-cent statewide gas tax increase will increase the City of Hamilton’s gas tax allocation for city streets by an estimated $60,000 dollars.
House District 17 Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, was in attendance during the Hamilton City Council’s meeting on Monday, March 18, and answered questions concerning the tax increase, named the Rebuild Alabama Act.