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.


Missing cousins found in Brilliant

BRILLIANT -  The Marion County Sheriff’s Department, with the help of  Brilliant police and fire departments and the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) safely rescued two missing male juveniles, 10 years old and 4 years old, in Brilliant on Thursday, April 2.
Along with the law enforcement agencies, 10 volunteer fire departments from the area quickly responded along with the Marion County Emergency Management Agency and Marion County Emergency Medical Service’s ambulance service.

Service held at Blue Moon Drive-In

Due to social distancing mandates in Marion County, Winfield-based Faith Fellowship Church held its Sunday church service at The Blue Moon Drive-In Theater in Gu-Win on Sunday, March 29, gathering members of the church and visitors from the county.

GU-WIN -  Due to social distancing mandates in Marion County,  Winfield-based Faith Fellowship Church held its Sunday church service at The Blue Moon Drive-In Theater in Gu-Win on Sunday, March 29, gathering members of the church and visitors from the county.
Several cars pulled in to hear pastor Harry Saylor’s preaching while still being able to follow the directions of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on keeping six feet apart from each other.

Statistics yet to reflect impact of COVID-19

Marion County ranked 13th in the state for unemployment during February, recording a rate of 4%, according to the Alabama Department of Labor (ADOL).
The latest unemployment data for the state was released in the wake of the COVID-19 outbreak. The economic impact of the pandemic and state, local and municipal shut-down measures are expected to be reflected in March’s unemployment report, which is set to be released at the end of April.

Ivey stresses importance of participating to Census

MONTGOMERY -  Gov. Kay Ivey stressed the ongoing importance of the 2020 Census, which is currently underway and available for immediate online, phone or mail response.
“It is an unprecedented time in Alabama, however, we must remain committed to Census participation,” said Gov. Ivey.
“The COVID-19 pandemic shows the importance of state representation on a national level. If we lose a representative due to a low Census count, that would mean one less voice advocating for Alabama’s needs during critical times in the future.”


County orders 24-hour curfew, quarantine

In an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19, Marion County's commission and probate judge's offices have issued a 24-hour public safety curfew and countywide at-home quarantine.
The order comes in the wake of Gov. Kay Ivey ordering non-essential businesses to close to the public and schools to finish the 2019-2020 school year from home.
The curfew and quarantine went into effect Monday, March 30, at 5 p.m. and is scheduled through Friday, April 17, at 5 p.m.