100 dead

One hundred deaths.
Marion County reached the milestone the first week of April, peeking over the hundred threshold to 101 deaths, but rescinded back to 100 by late last week.
According to the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH), there are some instances where deaths are reported and then removed after further review, as there may be duplicate records, deaths are found not to be attributable to the virus, or in rare instances a death may be reported and the person is not deceased.

COVID surge during beginning of year reached near-crisis levels


North Mississippi Health Services Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jeremy Blanchard speaks to the Hamilton City Council on April 5.

HAMILTON - Local health care administrators briefed city officials on how North Mississippi Health Services (NMHS) navigated the COVID-19 pandemic.
NMHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jeremy Blanchard was present at the Hamilton City Council’s Monday, April 5, meeting along with North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC)-Hamilton Administrator Robert Trimm to discuss the state of the local hospital.
The NMHS system is based in Tupelo, Miss., and consists of seven hospitals across northeast Mississippi and northwest Alabama, 43 clinics and about 7,000 employees.

Inmate vaccines begin in Hamilton

HAMILTON - Vaccine rollout has reached at-risk inmates housed in Marion County prison facilities.
The Alabama Department of Corrections began vaccinations for inmates at in the Hamilton Aged & Infirmed facility and the Hamilton Work Release Center on Monday, April 12.
Distribution is being prioritized for facilities which house the most vulnerable inmates. ADOC intends to inoculate entire facilities at one time rather than focus on particular age groups or demographics.

Hamilton forms anti-littering committee


The Hamilton City council made an impassioned vote during its city council meeting on Monday, April 5, taking an unconventional standing show of hands to express their support for a new anti-littering committee. Shown voting are (from left) councilman Wade Williams, Hamilton Mayor Bob Page and councilmen Matt Sims, Ross Reed and Scott Tyra. Not shown voting is councilman Scott Robertson

HAMILTON - Litterbugs beware.
In a united display, the Hamilton City Council voted to establish a “Take Pride in Hamilton” anti-littering campaign during its council meeting on Monday, April 5, marking the latest development in the city’s war on garbage.
Earlier this year, the city council began collecting lists of properties which are not being kept clean and have been used to dump.
The anti-littering committee is an initiative spearheaded by city councilman Scott Tyra, who introduced the idea during a work session last month.

Council makes decision on roads


Winfield Mayor Randy Price (right) is shown discussing roads with council member James Odom during a work-session meeting on Thursday, April 1, at Winfield City Hall.

WINFIELD - After missing out on the first round of Rebuild Alabama grant monies, the Winfield City Council was faced with the tough decision of which roads to pave during the Winfield City Council meeting held on Tuesday, April 6, at the Winfield City Hall.

Prior to the meeting, council members met during a work session meeting on Thursday, April 1, to determine which roads would be prioritized, but did not make an official vote on the matter until the regular meeting on Monday.

Courthouse keeping mask mandate

HAMILTON - The Marion County Courthouse officially ended its mask mandate at 5 p.m. on Friday, April 9, for all except the second and third of the building.
The courthouse, following the lead of the state mask mandate order made by Gov. Kay Ivey, was set to end the need for masks in the entire courthouse, but 25th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Daryl Burt has made the decision to extend the mask mandate until the end of Friday, May 14.

April is National Child Abuse prevention Month


Shown are (from left) Sarah Emerson, Deputy DA & Domestic Violence Resource Prosecutor; Gena Holloway, Certified Victims Service Officer; Jamie Gilmer, DA Administrator; Rachel Smith, Chief Deputy District Attorney.

April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and the 25th Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s Office is marking the event with displays outside of Marion and Winston counties’ courthouse buildings. The campaign has taken place every April since 1983 and is dedicated to raising awareness and preventing child abuse. District Attorney Scott Slatton and the 25th Judicial District Attorney’s office are participating in Child Abuse Prevention month by implementing Pinwheels for Prevention.

Sheriff’s department gets two new deputies

After losing three Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies back in February, Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams has been handed a boost after hiring two new Sheriff’s Deputies on Monday, March 23. Charles Andrew “Andy” Smith, who previously worked with the Guin Police Department, and Brennan Eastman, a former law enforcement officer in Lamar County and Sulligent, were both hired to the department on Williams’ recommendation. The Marion County Commission officially approved of Williams’ new hires during a regular meeting at the Marion County Commission office in Hamilton. In February

ONE YEAR LATER

Sunday, March 21, will mark one year since the first confirmed case of  SARS-CoV-2 was found in Marion County.
Hackleburg Mayor Daryl Colburn broke the news via social media on Saturday, March 21, 2020, that a resident in the town who traveled from another state recently had tested and confirmed.
“It’s crazy to think about,” Colburn said, “It doesn’t seem like a year ago.

SITEL building headed to auction


The SITEL building in Hamilton was vacated in November 2020.

HAMILTON - The former home of the call center SITEL seated in Hamilton’s Bedford Industrial Park will be sold by auction later this month.
SITEL vacated its Hamilton facility in late November and transitioned nearly all of its 400 employees to working from home.
Tulsa, Okla.-based Williams and Williams Real Estate Auctions is facilitating the auction on behalf of SITEL, which will take place on Tuesday, March 30, and will be available on-site or virtually.

Wisemiller named new Chief Exec.

GU-WIN - Tom Wisemiller of Marysville, Ohio, has been hired to take the helm at C3 of Northwest Alabama, Inc. the economic development alliance that represents Marion, Lamar & Fayette Counties.
David Thornell, President/CEO since C3’s inception in September 2010, announced his retirement in the fall of 2020 after 42 years in the economic development field. C3’s nationwide search for Thornell’s replacement spanned several months.

‘Never Give Up’


First-time author Myra Jones is shown seated with her book, “Never Give Up.”

HAMILTON -  Author Myra Jones has written her first book published on Dec. 23, 2020, titled “Never Give Up” as told to Jones by her uncle Drolan Chandler, who was a veteran and Prisoner of War (POW) during WWII who lived in Detroit.
Jones wrote the book after having several conversations with her uncle concerning his time during and after World War II.

The Arts are Alive at HMS and HHS!

IMAGE TAG HERE

Despite dealing with the challenges of COVID 19, the arts are thriving at Hamilton Middle School and Hamilton High School! Both schools are grantee schools that received Arts Education Initiative Grants from the Alabama State Department of Education.
The schools are in their second grantee cycle and have been awarded the grant again for the 2021-2022 school year. Both schools are currently offering Music, Visual Arts, Dance, Essentials of Acting, and Musical Theater.

USDA Extends Application Deadline for the Quality Loss Adjustment Program

MONTGOMERY - The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the deadline from March 5 to April 9 for agricultural producers to apply for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program because of recent winter storms and some clarifications to program rules. This program assists producers, including those here in Alabama who suffered crop quality losses due to qualifying 2018 and 2019 natural disasters.

Nineteen-gun burglary in Winfield

By LOUIS MELLINI | Staff Writer

WINFIELD - Approximately 19 weapons were stolen from a Winfield  residence on the night of Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020, and the Winfield Police Department is asking for individuals in the community to keep an eye out to return the stolen goods.

The guns and other items such as game cameras were secured in a Buffalo gun safe, which was also stolen during the burglary.


These stolen weapons included:

• 22 Caliber Heritage rough rider pistol - serial number 3HR157231