Winfield plans to purchase armory for police

The armory in Winfield stands vacant. The town plans to purchase the building to use as a new city police department.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — The City of Winfield is moving forward with plans to purchase the old national guard armory. The building, if purchased, will serve as a new police station, according to Mayor Randy Price.
“What we’d like to do is move our police department over there, because they are out of room,” Price said. “We’d move the whole police department and court system over there and make it a municipal building. We’d remodel it to where the police would have more room.”

Town of Twin opens community center

Officials gather at the new Twin Community Center and Safe Shelter during the opening house ceremony on April 24. Shown are members of the Town of Twin alongside Marion County Officials Sheriff Kevin Williams, Probate Judge Paige Vick and State Representative Tracy Estes.

TWIN — Concluding almost three years of persistent effort and teamwork, the Twin Town Council hosted a public open house to showcase a new community center and storm shelter.
The two-hour event was held on Sunday, April 24, with dozens of visitors from across Marion County in attendance to see the finished product. The facility was originally constructed to serve as the home of Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Alabama, which had since ceased operations leaving the almost new facility vacant.

Citgo robber gets away with cash

Katie Harrison was the victim of the Citgo robbery on April 15 in Hamilton. The suspect stole $747 in cash and held Harrison at gunpoint.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Hamilton resident Katie Harrison was caught in the middle of an armed robbery this past week at the Citgo gas station convenience store located on U.S. Highway 43 at the old Harper’s Junction.
The robbery took place at 5:30 p.m. on April 15 while Harrison, who is six weeks pregnant with her third child, was the only person working inside the convenience store.

Marion County Stampede nears

Matt McCracken addresses the Marion County Commission, asking for sponsorship for the upcoming Marion County Stampede in Hamilton.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — The inaugural Marion County Stampede is nearly here and event coordinator Matt McCracken is rallying support and sponsorship for the event that will take place in Hamilton.
McCracken addressed the Marion County Commission to ask for sponsorship during a regular meeting held on Monday, April 18, at the commission office in Hamilton.

Mural Master Missy Miles to update local mural in Guin

Missy Miles stands in front of a mural she created originally and will soon update.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
GUIN — Local artist Missy Miles will begin renovating the “Freedom Eagle” mural in downtown Guin this week. Miles originally painted the mural back in 2008, but over time, some of the colors and finer details have faded in the sun.
The mural is painted on the side of the Marion County Banking building overlooking Guin Memorial Park on the corner of U.S, Highway 43 and U.S. Highway 278.

Governor speaks in Hamilton

Governor Kay Ivey, left, meets with Hamilton native Willie Fikes.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Governor Kay Ivey made her well anticipated visit to Hamilton at the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative facility on Wednesday, April 20.
Ivey came to Hamilton and addressed the public in an event hosted by the Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce.

EMA director assembles first responders

Marion County EMA Director Eric Terrell speaks to first responders and officials in Marion County about emergency preparedness at the House of Plenty in Hamilton on Thursday, April 14.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON - Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Terrell assembled a large group of municipal officials and first responders to meet in a major emergency preparedness meeting held in downtown Hamilton at the House of Plenty on Thursday, April 14.
In attendence were municipal mayors and officials from all first reponder organizations in the county.

Missing person case in Hamilton

Justin Kyle Lovett

HAMILTON — The Hamilton Police Department is currently working a missing person case.
Resident Justin Kyle Lovett was last seen on Monday, April 11, at approximately 8 p.m.
Lovett is five feet, seven inches tall and weighs approximately 180 pounds and has brown hair.
Anyone with information on Lovett’s location is encouraged to contact the HPD at 205-921-7424.

McGuire Drugs burglarized

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
GUIN — Burglars broke into McGuire Drugs in Guin early in the morning on Thursday, April 14. According to owner Ralph Christopher, the burglars broke the glass in the front door around 1:30 and were gone within two minutes.
“They were in here for two minutes,” Christopher said. “I got a call and got down here at 2 a.m. The police were here, and there wasn’t anybody here. The police left, but I stayed here and slept in a chair until 8 a.m.”

First responders tackle massive fire on I-22

Byrd Fire Captain Taten Palmer attempts to extinguish flames reaching several feet above him.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — A tractor trailer fire occurred on Interstate 22 on Thursday, April 14.
At approximately 8:30 a.m., the Byrd and Shottsville volunteer fire departments were dispatched by Marion County E-9-1-1 to the report of a tractor trailer fire on I-22 near mile marker one.  
Upon arrival, firefighters were met with heavy traffic and a well involved tractor trailer fire in a road construction zone. 
Hamilton Fire Department was requested for an additional water tanker. 

New police chief up to the task

Kenny Hallmark returns as Hackleburg’s chief of police.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HACKLEBURG — Hackleburg Police Chief Kenny Hallmark is officially back after being appointed by Mayor Darryl Colburn a little over a month ago.
Hallmark stated that he has enjoyed his work so far and is ready to stabilize the police force in the town and get back to how things were before he left in 2018.

Winfield weighs in on county jail fees

An empty field west of the Marion County Department of Human Resources in the Bedford Industrial Park is the future site of the Marion County Jail.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — Winfield mayor Randy Price and police chief Brett Burleson expressed their concern over the Marion County Commission’s pressure to contribute to county jail funds during its regular meeting on Tuesday, March 15.

Governor Ivey coming to Hamilton

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Governor Kay Ivey is making her way to Hamilton on Wednesday, April 20, at 10 a.m. at the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative, located at 3196 County Highway 55.
The event is open to the public and all  residents are encouraged to attend the event.

County Engineer Mike Shaw retires

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
Marion County Engineer Mike Shaw, 62,  has retired after 23 years working to improve the county.
The empty position Shaw leaves behind will be filled be Hamilton native Chris Wilbanks who will start his work on Friday, April 1.
“I’m getting older, and I want to spend time with my family--my kids and my grandkids. I want to maybe do a little traveling,” said Shaw.
Shaw stated that he feels that he has done a good job alongside his workers and Marion County Commissioners.

Mule Day is back!

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — The Winfield Chamber of Commerce announced via Facebook post on Wednesday, March 23, that Mule Day is happening this year.
The annual event was called off the last two years in a row due to COVID-19 but is now scheduled for September 23-24 of this year.
Chamber of Commerce President Zac Hallmark said everything is set to move forward.

Heavy rain collapses County Highway 48

By Chad Fell
Courtesy of Northwest Alabamian
HALEYVILLE — A portion of Marion County Highway 48 collapsed Tuesday night, March 22.
Dale Holt, Marion County commissioner for District 3, reported that an old metal culvert in place since 1952 underneath County Highway 48 which connects highways 129 and 241 in the eastern portion of Marion County had deteriorated, causing a portion of the westbound lane of 48 to collapse.  The collapsed section of road is approximately 18 feet wide and 30-35 feet deep.

No city school system for Hamilton

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — The prospect of the Hamilton City School System is an idea no more after the Hamilton City Council reached an agreement with the Marion County Board of Eduacation on Monday, March 21.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page stated that the city is waiting for the agreement between the two parties to be completed, but an agreement was unanimously approved during Hamilton’s City Council meeting on March 21.

Lake comes home!

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Hamilton’s Lake Reed, younger brother of Hamilton City Councilman Ross Reed, made his return home on Thursday, March 17, drawing a big welcome from the Hamilton community.
Lake suffered a brain bleed in late January and has gained the support of those in the Hamilton and Marion County community.
Lake, 10, is the son of Mike and Michelle Reed and brother to Ross and Cole Reed.

Former Democratic party chairwoman turns herself in

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Former Marion County Democratic Party Chairwoman Susan Cobb turned herself in to the Marion County Sheriff’s department on Thursday, March 17, with charges of fraudulent use of a credit card. She was arrested and placed in the Marion County Jail in Hamilton.
Cobb’s charge dates back to an offense that occurred in October 2020.