Pirate’s Den closed after midnight fire

By LOUIS MELLINI
Staff Writer

Winfield restaurant Pirate’s Den caught fire early Friday morning on May 21 and the restaurant has now closed its doors until further notice.
Winfield Fire Chief Allan Stovall stated that the Winfield Fire Department responded to a call about the fire at 12 a.m. and were at the scene within five minutes of the call.
  Stovall stated that they arrived with three fire engines, a ladder truck and two support vehicles.

 

What Do We Do Now?

I sat down at the table early in the morning with a cup of coffee ready to write. In my mind I already had a plan to write about the month of June and why I think it’s the best month of the year.
I glanced down at my phone to see how much time I had to write and instead of seeing the time, my eyes fell to the date stamped on the home screen of my phone. Immediately, I felt a sinking feeling in my stomach. May 28. I’m pretty sure my heart skipped a beat or two.

Alabama Legislative Session: What went wrong?

State Representative

Before discussing the numerous achievements in the most recent session of the Alabama Legislature, I am certain many in House District 17 would prefer to speak of what some might consider the failures.
In the minds of many across the three-county area, the two most visible and controversial issues yet to be addressed in the state would be the failure of any legislation involving gambling and the funding of construction of new prisons.

Session Ends: Gambling Left on the Table

The 2021 Legislative Session is in the books.  I would rate it a success. When you pass budgets that are balanced, any session is a success.  In fact, the only constitutional mandate given to the legislature is that they pass the two budgets.
 The amazing revelation that is almost difficult to comprehend is the fact that both the General Fund and the Educational Fund budgets were not only status quo but were flush with growth coming out of a year of the COVID pandemic.  State employees and teachers both received raises in the budgets.

 

Keeping Hamilton Beautiful

By Scott Johnson
General Manager

HAMILTON - Females ages 17-34 are statistically the largest demographic to litter, according to a non-profit litter prevention director.
“They want to keep their car clean,” said Denise Taylor, Keep Alabama Beautiful Executive Director, during a recent meeting with a group of Hamilton community volunteers.
Taylor said this information comes from studies on litter and it matches up with what she hears from students during educational events around the state.

 

GUILTY PLEA

Jimmy Cooper

By Scott Johnson
Managing Editor

Double Springs - Jimmy Dale Cooper has pleaded guilty to the murder of Donnie Miller and Linda Cole and has been sentenced to life in prison without the opportunity of parole.
The development abruptly closes the five-year-old case that only lasted three hours in its jury setting,  held at the Winston County Courthouse in Double Springs.

 

Winfield hospital awarded $2.5M

Gathering less than 24 hours prior to the official announcement of federal funding to renovate the entire Northwest Medical Center emergency department are (from left) Rep. Tracy Estes, Winfield Mayor Randy Price, hospital board attorney Bill Atkinson, hospital chief executive officer Michael Windham. RN Misty Pierce, who serves as emergency department director, and Dr. Martin Hajjar, who serves as department medical director. [State Rep. Tracy Estes]

WINFIELD – Congressman Robert Aderholt, R-Haleyville, and state Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, have announced the procurement of a $2.5 million federal grant to assist in the renovation of the emergency department at Northwest Medical Center in Winfield.
The announcement was made through the congressman’s office on Friday, May 21, with several news outlets across the state carrying the story regarding the deal. The federal grant will be partnered with a $1.5 million investment by Northwest Medical Center to complete the $4 million project.

 

Tilberg still in the game

[Louis Mellini/Staff]

By LOUIS MELLINI
Staff Writer

HAMILTON - Many individuals in both academics and athletics play a part in shaping the hearts and minds of young people throughout their early lives from teachers to coaches.
But, perhaps an overlooked profession that could have a positive and lasting impact on youth development is that of a sports official.
Norm Tilberg, 78, of the Byrd community, has been working side by side with kids in athletics for a large portion of his life, hoping to make a positive and lasting impact for their futures.

 

George Wallace Stories

A good many of you enjoyed the George Wallace story I shared with you a few weeks ago. Allow me to reminisce and share two more funny Wallace era stories.
I became acquainted with Governor Wallace when I was a young Page in the legislature.
I was elected to the legislature in 1982. Ironically, my district was comprised of my home county of Pike and also the portion of Barbour County that was Wallace’s home, including Clayton and Clio.

 

May is Foster Care Month

By Scott Johnson Managing Editor With May as National Foster Care Month, there has been a local push to promote the need for additional foster families. According to Marion County Department of Human Resources (DHR) Director Kier Vickery there are currently five foster families with 18 children in care. According to Vickery, it is normal for the county to maintain care for between 15 and 20 children. Vickery said that the lack of foster homes for at-risk children is a significant problem--one that is being experienced locally.

Grads, honors

Fulton, Miss. – Students were awarded associate of arts or science degrees during an online commencement ceremony May 13 and 14 at Itawamba Community College (ICC) in Fulton, Miss.
They include: Tristan Luke Glasgow, Guin - Associates of Arts.
Honor students were also announced:
Dean’s List scholars who have a grade point average between 3.5 and 3.79 include:
Hamilton - Reagan Humphries

Class of 2021 Graduates named

The following Marion County residents were announced as graduates of the University of West Alabama:
• Anna Lucas, Winfield, Master of Education - Special Education.
• Casey Fox,  Guin, Master of Education - Physical Education.
• Deborah Hankins, Educational Specialist, Early Childhood Education.
• Morgan McCarley, Hackleburg, Master of English.
• Christopher Williams, Hamilton, Master of Education, Physical Education.
• Mallory Tidwell, Eldridge, Education Specialist, Instructional Leadership.

Hamilton man dead in Lamar County collision

By Scott Johnson
Managing Editor

SULLIGENT – An elderly Hamilton man was killed in a two-vehicle collision on Tuesday, May 18.
According to Alabama State Trooper Public Affairs Officer Gregory Corble, Arthur Webb, 81, of Hamilton was killed when the 2007 Chevrolet Cobalt he was driving left the roadway and struck a tree off of Lamar County Road 35 seven miles north of Sulligent. Webb was pronounced dead at the scene.

 

City school system acquires Sitel building

By LOUIS MELLINI
Staff Writer

WINFIELD - Both the Winfield and Hamilton SITEL call center buildings will now have a new use after the Winfield City Council approved deeding the Winfield property to the Winfield City Schools System.
This took place during a regular meeting on Tuesday, May 18, at Winfield City Hall.
“It took about seven years to get back this building from SITEL and, now the third-biggest employer in Winfield (Winfield City Schools) has contacted me about purchasing it,” said Mayor Randy Price.

 

Hawkins, Spiller earn top marks

By Scott Johnson
Managing Editor

HAMILTON - Two students have been recognized for academic excellence for their performance on the ACT.
Taylor Hawkins of Marion County High School in Guin and Carson Spiller of Hamilton High School were both recognized by the Marion County Board of Education on Friday, May 21, and received plaques commemorating them both for achieving an ACT composite score of 30 or higher.
The Marion County Board of Education annually recognizes seniors in Marion County Schools who achieve scores at this level.

 

Winfield school board honors high scorers

By LOUIS MELLINI
Staff Writer

WINFIELD - The Winfield City Schools Board of Education gave special recognition to the nine students who scored a 30 or higher on their ACT tests during this school year.
This occurred during the regular Winfield BOE meeting held on Tuesday, May 10, at Winfield Middle School.
“Last year we had six seniors who scored 30 or higher on the ACT. This year, as you can see, we have more than six,” said Winfield City Schools Superintendent of Education Chris Cook.