May Fest now known as Spring Fest in Guin

Famous country artist John Berry will headline Spring Fest in Guin May 20.

By P.J. Gossett
General Manager
GUIN — Widely known as May Fest, the Town of Guin is changing things a little this year. The event is now called Spring Fest and will be held later in the month on Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, at the town square in Guin.
While the name and date have been changed, it still promises to be fun-filled family days. The event will begin Friday evening at 6 p.m. with country music star John Berry headlining the show.

Water park set for June opening

The Guin Water Park, located on County Highway 16, is set to re-open in mid-June according to park director Tyler Markham.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
GUIN — According to Guin Park Director Tyler Markham, the Guin Water Park is set to open in mid-June after repairs are completed.
 “We are going to do our best to have it open by the middle of June,” Markham said. “There are some structural repairs, just from time, that we’re having to replace and repair. That’s what will be the delay in opening it.”

EMA launches new major alert system

Eric Terrell is the Marion County EMA director.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
MARION COUNTY — The Marion County Emergency Management Agency has officially launched its new telephone-based mass notification system county wide on Wednesday, May 4.
The EMA began taking sign ups for the new program EMA Director Eric Terrell has been pushing for since his arrival in the position a little over two years ago.

Inaugural Marion County Stampede a massive success

Hamilton held its first ever Marion County Stampede rodeo event this past weekend, drawing crowds from Marion County and surrounding areas to watch cowboys and cowgirls compete in various events.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — The Marion county Stampede on I-22 and Hamilton’s first Cowboy Day were huge successes this weekend, drawing big crowds from all over and outside of Marion County to enjoy Hamilton’s first inaugural rodeo event.
The event took place on Friday night, May 6 and Saturday night, May 7, at the field near the Tombigbee Electrical Co-op property with a special Cowboy Day held on Saturday morning in downtown Hamilton before the second day of the rodeo.

Plein Air Artists event huge success

Artist Martha Fulghum (left) is pictured with Absolutely Alabama and WBRC Fox 6’s Fred Hunter after painting his portrait at Trace Barnett’s farm in Brilliant.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Artists and local business owners have been raving about the Alabama Plein Air Artists event that took place during the week of April 18 in Marion County.
Artists with the Alabama Plein Air Artists organization visited Marion County to paint scenes in front of businesses in Hamilton and other areas in Marion County.

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.