City, county schools form partnership

Students talk to a rescue helicopter crew as part of the Emergency Fire Management program.

WINFIELD — Winfield City Schools are partnering with Marion County Schools to allow students from Brilliant and Marion County high schools to attend career tech classes on Winfield’s campus.
Students will travel to the high school for two periods during the day, and then travel back to their school. These classes are currently meeting at the high school, but will be moved to the new facility located in the old SITEL building once it is fully completed and approved for use.

RV crash causes highway blockage near Brilliant

Pictured is the damaged RV, spread across both lanes of Highway 47 in Brilliant.

BRILLIANT — A single vehicle crash caused an RV to spread across both lanes of Highway 47 in Brilliant on Saturday, Aug. 26.
According to Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Terrell, the RV was traveling from Memphis before the accident took place.
“The RV was traveling from Memphis to somewhere down on the coast. They had a blow out and ran off the interstate,” said Terrell.
Terrell stated the vehicle came to rest across the entirety of Highway 47 in Brilliant.

Former Winfield teacher charged with rape

Alexis Rodriguez, former Winfield teacher, has been arrested for rape in the second degree.

WINFIELD — Former Winfield City Schools teacher Alexis Rodriguez, 29, has been arrested and charged with committing a sexual act as a school employee and rape in the second degree. He was arrested on Tuesday, Aug. 15, in Winfield.
Rodriguez resigned from his position at Winfield Middle School on July 19.
Winfield Police Department Investigator Lieutenant Justin Cottingham provided the Journal Record with a release, detailing the reason for Rodriguez's arrest.

Owens new band director for Aggies

Brandon Owens is the new Hamilton High band director.

HAMILTON — The Hamilton Aggie Marching Band has a new leader this year as band director Brandon Owens has taken over following the departure of former director Jack Rudisell.
Rudisell has taken a position at Shades Valley High School.
Owens, who began his work with the Aggie Band on July 17, comes from Harvest.


Commission makes much needed hire

Holly Duckworth

HAMILTON  — The Marion County Commission has hired an accounts payable clerk in what was a desperately needed move following the departure of former County Administrator Kalyn Moore.
This took place during a special called meeting on Monday, July 31, in Hamilton.
“In the past few months, the commission, along with Kalyn Moore, discussed the operations of the administrative office and how it could be made to be more efficient,” said County Administrator Scott Hunt.

Probate judge announces new law for notaries public

Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick looks over the new act regarding the upcoming change in the law of notaries public.

HAMILTON — Signature witnessing for the execution of legal documents is still as important today as it was decades ago, especially for deeds, law purposes and a myriad of other uses. Notaries public, who witness such signatures and affix a raised seal or stamp upon it, have new guidelines to follow effective Friday, Sept. 1.

2023 Football Season Scores

This page will update with Marion County schools' football scores throughout the 2023 football season.

Brilliant High School:
8/25/2023, vs. Waterloo, 64-0, W
9/1/2023, vs. Pickens County, 6 -34, L
9/8/2023, at Marion County, 12-44, L
9/22/2023, vs. Sumiton Christian (Homecoming), 45-6, W
9/29/2023, at Phillips
10/6/2023, vs. Hubbertville
10/13/2023, at Lynn
10/20/2023, at Holy Spirit Catholic
10/27/2023, vs. Berry
11/3/2023, at South Lamar

Future uncertain for Blue Moon Drive-in

The future is uncertain for the Blue Moon Drive-In located in Gu-Win. Multiple factors may close the drive-in.

GU-WIN — The Blue Moon Drive-In Theater is shutting down its week-to-week normal operations, and the theater’s future beyond that has yet to be determined, according to owner Chris Curtis.
Curtis and his dad took over the theater and opened it as the Blue Moon in 1996. Curtis said he took over for the most part in 2002, and his dad passed away in 2019.
Curtis and his father were no strangers to drive-in’s. Curtis said his family owned several while he was growing up, such as the Amory Drive-In in Mississippi.

Hamilton PD increases patrols for area schools

Pictured from left are officers Chris Norris, Tyler Norton and Garrett Weeks. They stand on a road near Hamilton High School.

HAMILTON — Students in Marion County are back in the swing of things as school is back in session.
While many parents and students are adjusting into the daily routine once again, many in Hamilton have also likely noticed an increase in police presence on roads, especially in Hamilton.
Hamilton Police Chief Jordan Carter has increased the amount of safety patrol near schools in Hamilton.
He, along with his staff, are making efforts to have an increased presence on streets near schools after many have been speeding through the areas.

Bevill begins major upgrades with $3M

HAMILTON — Bevill State Community College in Hamilton is set to get a massive renovation project underway as they have received over $3 million to update facilities at the Hamilton campus.
This comes as part of $19 million, allocated by the Alabama Legislature,  for facility renovations and development as well as the purchase of needed program equipment at BSCC.
The Hamilton campus used funds to renovate the roof of the business center facility as well as renovate the cosmetology and welding program facilities.


Hamilton approves $90K police purchase

HAMILTON — The Hamilton City Council approved spending over $90,000 on new police vehicles for the Hamilton Police Department.
During a meeting held at Hamilton City Hall on Monday, Aug. 7, Hamilton Police Chief Jordan Carter addressed the council concerning the vehicles needed for the department.
“We have had these police vehicles ordered for several months now,” said Carter.
The Hamilton police chief explained that each vehicle costs $34,984.76.

Hamilton councilwoman sworn in at city hall Aug. 7

Council Member Sherry Armstrong, second from left, is being sworn in by Judge Mark Hammitte, far left. Also shown is Armstrong’s husband, Hollis Armstrong, and her grandson, Blayne Armstrong.

HAMILTON — New Hamilton City Councilwoman Sherry Armstrong was sworn in during a ceremony on Monday, Aug. 7, at Hamilton City Hall.
The swearing in ceremony took place prior to Hamilton’s city council meeting and was officiated by Judge Mark Hammitte.
“I’m excited, and I appreciate the opportunity to be able to serve the people in our city,” said Armstrong following her swearing in.
“I don’t know how to thank you all. I will try my best to do the best that I can for our (city).”

Hamilton Park and Recreation opens fall registration for NFL flag, soccer and volleyball

Hamilton Park and Recreation is having fall registration for NFL flag, soccer and football.
The price for NFL flag is $50 for 8U, 10U and 12U co-ed teams.
The price for soccer is $40 for 6U, 9U and 12U co-ed teams.
The price for volleyball is $40 for third and fourth grade or fifth and sixth grade.
NFL flag and soccer games will be held on separate nights for any wanting to participate in both.
For more information, call 205-921-4371 or visit

Public invited to share 1974 tornado stories

HAMILTON — Tornado Talk, a website dedicated to tornado history, in partnership with the Journal Record, is offering a chance for the public to share their knowledge and stories concerning the 1974 Super Outbreak of tornadoes, for the approaching 50th anniversary. On Thursday, Aug. 10, representatives from Tornado Talk will be at the Journal Record office in Hamilton, at approximately 1:30 p.m., for research purposes and to record the stories from the public of the tragic events of that day.

Plans unveiled for new Winfield athletic complex

The plans, drawn up by Lathan Architects, shows an idea of what the new athletic complex might look like. The existing softball field is on the bottom right. The existing multipurpose facility is on the top left. The new facility would feature a turf football field, track, bowling lanes (labeled new gymnasium addition), parking and a new softball concession stand.

WINFIELD — The Winfield City Board of Education has unveiled plans for a new athletic facility that would bring multiple sports to one location.
The new facility would include a turf football field, surrounded by a running track, inside of a new stadium. The plans show the new stadium directly beside the existing multipurpose athletic facility on the high school campus.
The new plans also feature an add-on to the multipurpose facility which would give Winfield boys’, girls’ and co-ed bowling teams a set of lanes to practice and compete on.

Weekend storms strike Marion County

Pictured is a fallen tree in Hackleburg.

MARION COUNTY — Marion County was hit with storms this weekend on Saturday and Sunday in another string of summer storms that don’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
According to Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Terrell, storms caused damage throughout the county with downed tree limbs and power lines affecting all areas.
“This is basically the same pattern we’ve had all summer. It’s been a pretty stormy summer,” said Terrell.
Terrell stated Marion County 9-1-1 was flooded with calls from all over reporting damage.

Two inmates struck and killed by vehicle on 278


WHITEHOUSE — Two Alabama Department of Corrections inmates working with the Alabama Department of Transportation were struck and killed by a vehicle on Wednesday, Aug. 2, on U.S. Highway 278 near the Whitehouse community.
The victims of the single-vehicle accident were Ronnie Steven Cornelius, 30, and Colt Eugene Morris, 40.
“ADOC would like to express its deepest condolences to the families of these two men who were killed in this tragic accident,” said ADOC Corrections Commissioner John Hamm.

Vickery retires as DHR director

HAMILTON — Marion County Department of Human Resources Director Kier Vickery has retired from her position after over 12 years heading up DHR in the county.
Vickery, who began her journey in the DHR as a social worker in 1993, has served the community for 30 years in various roles.
Vickery served as a social worker, a JOBS case manager, a senior social work supervisor, an interim director for Pickens County and the director of Marion County DHR.

Winfield officials and residents still frustrated over stop light

Stop lights in Winfield were only supposed to be temporary, yet are still in use after nearly two years.

WINFIELD — City officials expressed frustration over the lack of progress being made on the traffic lights at the main intersection in downtown Winfield after a tornado destroyed the previous lights on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021.
That was nearly two years ago.
Now, a set of temporary lights still hang diagonally across the intersection. The awkward angle, combined with a lack of left-turn signals and a dangerous blind hill, have created a dangerous situation that has left citizens and city officials alike frustrated over the delay in repairs.