23rd annual CoalFest set for May 24-25


Brilliant CoalFest T-shirts are in stock. Get yours now to wear to the festival or pick one up on Friday and Saturday, May 24-25 at the 23rd annual event. Shown displaying a few examples are (from left) town water clerk Ann Davis, town clerk Jessica Lee and town water clerk Brittany Reid. The t-shirts vary in cost according to size and color from $10 to $20. Besides those shown, other colors include black, gray and pink.
BRILLIANT - Many Marion Countains know that Brilliant’s CoalFest is one of the best festivals in the area.

Estes named Alabama Arts Alliance Legislator of the Year


Representative Tracy Estes is shown with his award for being named the Alabama Arts Alliance’s Legislator of the Year.
BIRMINGHAM – Rep. Tracy Estes (R-Winfield) has been honored by the Alabama Arts Alliance as the statewide organization’s Legislator of the Year, based on his dedication to arts education in schools and his love and devotion to the students served as a result.

Local winter guard group wins gold


Pictured with their gold medals for winning the 2024 Independent Regional A Championship are Ethos Independent Winter Guard members (front row, from left) Bailey Romine, 13; Kailyn Sullivan, 17; Keirstynne Smith, 15; and coach Kim Lolley, and (back row, from left) coach Eric Zills, Conner Zills, 15; Ryleigh Gallardo, 16; Sydney Spaulding, 15; Braydan Williams, 18; and coach and director Brandon Owens.
HAMILTON — The color guard group “Ethos Independent Winter Guard,” based in Hamilton, recently received a gold medal at the Southeastern Color Guard Circuit Championship on Saturday, April 6, in Bowling Green, Ky.

Guin’s Springfest to feature Petty car


One of NASCAR Grand National Championship Legend Richard Petty’s 1974 Dodge Chargers will be on display at the Springfest Car & Bike Show on Saturday, May 11. Festivities kick off Friday, May 10, at 6 p.m. with KGB Band, Cooter Brown Band and T. Graham Brown. (Photo courtesy of Mopar editor Rob Wolf
GUIN — One of the most famous NASCAR cars of all time will appear at Springfest this weekend in Guin on Saturday, May 11.

Break-in at school results in educational program


At the program educating Phillips High School students about vaping are, from left, Bear Creek Police Officer Noah Markham, School Resource Officer David Richards, Elaine Softley with the Alabama Cooperative Extension Service and Bear Creek Police Chief Eddie Collins.
BEAR CREEK — A recent break-in at Phillips Schools was one of the factors behind a recent educational program warning students of the dangers of vaping.

Marion County Stampede nears


Shown are two flag bearers during the Marion County Stampede in 2023.

The Third Annual Marion County Stampede takes place this weekend on Friday and Saturday, May 3-4, at the Hamilton Industrial Park. Gates open at 5 p.m. Muttin’ Bustin’ begins at 6:30 p.m. (register by 6:15) and the rodeo starts at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $20, with all proceeds to benefit the Hamilton Aggie Football Booster Club. Children three and under are admitted free. Professional rodeo riders from all over the country will appear at this fun family fundraising event. Merchandise and food vendors will be onsite.

High speed chases leave Bear Creek patrols in need


Bear Creek Police Chief Eddie Collins tells the town council additional measures of safety are needed.
BEAR CREEK — Bear Creek Town Council members weighed options for better officer safety at a Saturday morning, April 20, meeting, after high speed pursuits of two different suspect vehicles days apart left one Bear Creek Police vehicle totaled and another in the shop damaged.

Hamilton approves $600K for water backup


The Hamilton City Council votes unanimously on April 15 to accept a grant from ARC to help fund alternative water supplies for the city. Shown are (from left) councilors Scott Robertson, Wade Williams, mayor Bob Page and councilors Sherry Armstrong, W. Ross Reed and Scott Tyra.
HAMILTON — The City of Hamilton will put up $309,813 to match a $309,812 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to fund alternate water supplies. The total investment is $619,625, with the matching funds coming from the city’s American Rescue Plan/COVID monies.

Voters elect Sutton as Marion County superintendent


Patrick Sutton is elected Marion County Superintendent.
MARION COUNTY — Voters headed to the polls last Tuesday, April 16, and when the day was done, Patrick Sutton was declared the winner of the Marion County Board of Education superintendent race. He received 1,525, or 58.1 percent, of the votes compared to Josh Weatherly’s 1,100, or 41.9 percent, of the votes. This race was the only one on the ballot. Sutton will take office in January.

Reno 911: Escaped inmate recaptured within 24 hours


Chief Carter addresses DOC communication delay, Pictured is Ricky Brandon Reno
HAMILTON — The Hamilton Police Department, with assistance from the Hackleburg and Bear Creek police departments, as well as the Alabama Department of Corrections (DOC), arrested Rickey Brandon Reno after he escaped from work release on Tuesday morning, April 16.

Annual youth hunting event marks 13 years, 33 smiles


Participants in the 13th Annual Pine Hills & Oak Hollars Child Classic gather after their Saturday morning squirrel hunt where the kids killed 19 squirrels with the assistance of two hunting dogs. Shown are (standing, left side of truck) Andy Miller, Heath Atkins, Hunter Carter, Joshua Lewis, James Gillion, Noah Carter, Madden Ferrell, John Gillion, Jalen Lewis, Jackson Miller, Isaac Gillion, Shane Clanton, Karson Buckelew, Jake Robinson, Chris Robinson, Bobby Joe Childers, Scotty Harbor, Cody Davenport and Jordan Humphres, and (front row, squatting, from left) David Cochran, Jeff Carter and Rodney Buckelew.
HAMILTON — The 13th Annual Pine Hills & Oak Hollars Child Classic was held Jan. 4-7, with several youth able to experience the joy of hunting, along with other meaningful activities and events.