Death toll rises to six

Marion County’s death toll has risen to six, according to data published from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH).
The mortality rate for Marion County remains unproportionally high at 20.2 deaths per 100,000 people, placing it as the third-highest out of 67 counties in the state with.
The county’s total number of cases now sits at 83 as of Monday, May 4--an additional nine cases from the previous week--giving it a per capita rate of 279 cases per 100,000 people. Marion County is number 17th in the state for cases per capita.

Sandlin issues stimulus bonus to employees

Ross Reed thumbs through a stack of two-dollar bills

HAMILTON - Thomas Jeffersons are making the rounds in Marion County, providing a boost to the local economy and delivering a message to business owners.
Local business owners Cole and Jill Sandlin of Fred’s Pharmacy in Hamilton distributed a “local stimulus package” of $200 to each of their seven employees on Tuesday, April 28. The bonuses were paid completely in $2 bills.
The local stimulus package coincides with the arrival of federal stimulus checks for many Americans during the economic shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Glover hired full-time with police dept.

HACKLEBURG - Steve Glover has been hired as a full-time police officer at Hackleburg Police Department.
The Hackleburg Town Council voted unanimously to hire Glover during its meeting on Monday, April 27. He will be the town’s fourth full-time officer.
Councilwoman Tabby Lolley noted that about three years ago, the town had five full-time officers.
Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn believes four officers will be enough to carry the local department, as long as they continue to use part-time help.


COVID-19 Recovery Loan program established

Applications are being accepted for businesses in Marion County to receive loan funds from $10,000 to $20,000.
Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG) is making $160,000 available to local businesses through a newly-formed COVID-19 Recovery Loan program.
The same amount is being offered to other counties in NACOLG’s region--Lauderdale, Colbert, Franklin and Winston.
Applications can be obtained by contacting NACOLG Government Services Director Tiffany Boyd by calling (256) 389-0564 or by email at


Estes to host virtual conference to aid small business, local governments

In an effort to assist local businesses and governments rebound as the coronavirus slowly begins to subside, Rep. Tracy Estes (R-Winfield) will be hosting a virtual conference later this month to bring together those who can play a vital role in the process.
“Our sole purpose in coming forward with this idea is to seek ways we can assist our small business owners and government officials in battling their way back after this unexpected turn of events,’’ Estes said. “Our economy has been blindsided in ways none of us could have imagined only a few months ago.

Price talks road repair difficulties

WINFIELD -  Winfield Mayor Randy Price brought to light the difficulties the City of Winfield has recently had in repairing roads during a regular meeting on Tuesday, April 21, on the telecommunications application Zoom.
Price stated that recent storms have caused delays and difficulties of road repairs throughout the city.
He also stated that, due to stormy weather in the last few weeks, some businesses have experienced flooding in their buildings.

Gas prices drop below two dollars

MARION COUNTY - Marion County’s current average gas prices sit at $1.64 but may soon see a rise in price as the demand for gasoline is predicted to see an increase in the coming months.
According to American Automobile Association (AAA), the average gas price has dropped from $1.77 per gallon last month to $1.56 per gallon in the state of Alabama.

Few familiar faces nine years after the storm

Hackleburg’s NAPA Auto Parts store lays in a mangled pile of sheet metal and rubbage while the town’s old water tower stands defiantly in the distance. The Hackleburg water tower survived the April 27, 2011, EF-5 tornado as well as the April 12, 1943, EF-4 tornado. Both tornadoes leveled the town

HACKLEBURG - “It’s amazing how in nine years how many people have moved on to different things in their lives,” says Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn as he sits behind his desk at Hackleburg Town Hall.
Details of Wednesday, April 27, 2011, and the years of work that followed flowed effortlessly from Colburn’s memory during a discussion with town councilman Don Barnwell. There was no effort reproducing stories, either, for Barnwell.

Powell recaptured

HAMILTON - A man who escaped from the Hamilton Community Work Center has been recaptured.
According to the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC), Brandon Keith Powell, 38, who escaped from the Hamilton facility on April 1 was taken back into custody on April 19.
According to a ADOC report, Powell was recaptured in Lakeland, Fla.
Powell was in prison for third-degree burglary which he committed in Cherokee County. He was sentenced in August 2019.
Public relations officers with ADOC did not respond to requests for more information.

Census count being affected by COVID-19

MUSCLE SHOALS - The Town of Hackleburg is leading Marion County in Census responses, according to an update by the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments (NACOLG).
As of Monday, April 20, Hackleburg is the county frontrunner for the 2020 Census with 53.3% of residents self-reporting already.
Marion County’s total self-response rate is currently 49%, dragging behind the statewide average of 49.7% and the national average of 51%.

Pools being prepped for summer

Mayor Max Maddox is shown during the Guin City Council regular meeting held outside of Guin City Hall on Monday, April 20, in Guin

GUIN -  The Guin City Council voted 5-2 in favor of preparing the public pool to be opened up this  summer despite concerns surrounding COVID-19 during a regular meeting held outside of Guin City Hall on Monday, April 20.
Council members Jerry Gann and Roger Agnew voted against the motion to prepare the pool for opening due to concerns about whether or not the pool would be open in the summer.
Jerry Gann stated that he would like to wait two weeks and see if COVID-19 curfew would effect the opening of the pool, but ultimately decided to vote against.

Officials discuss opening city back up

HAMILTON - When will our economy reopen? That’s the million-dollar question across the nation right now. It’s the big question locally, too.
The Hamilton City Council met on Monday, April 20, with minimal attendance in order to adhere to social-distancing requirements  due to COVID-19. The council broadcasted its meeting by way of 49 County News, a local online news outlet.

Update on college registration

HAMILTON -  Advanced registration for the Bevill State Community College’s (BSCC) summer semester will take place April 27 through May 14, with registration on May 26, and classes beginning as regularly scheduled on May 28.
All classes will begin in an online, virtual or remote format, with plans for classes to resume on-campus later in the semester.
“Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must remain flexible and know that dates, events, and locations may change,” said BSCC President Dr. Kim Ennis.


Nichols takes chair

Marion County District 1 Commissioner Keith Nichols is shown taking his place in the chairman’s seat during his appointment on Monday, April 20, at the commission office in Hamilton

HAMILTON -  Marion County District 1 Commissioner Keith Nichols was appointed Marion County Commission Chairman during a regular meeting on Monday, April 20, at the commission office in Hamilton.
The Marion County Commissioners voted unanimously to rotate the chairman position, as they do every nine months.
“The first thing I need to do is thank Tim for the job he’s done for the last several months, he’s done a good job,” said Nichols.
“This is new to me--first time--I guess the best thing to do is just do it.”


NMMC patients can now see a doctor online

HAMILTON - Need to see an urgent care provider but do not want to risk your health?
Patients can now visit with a physician via a computer or on a smartphone.
The feature is being provided through the North Mississippi Health Services’ (NMHS) myConnection portal. NMHS operates North Mississippi Medical Center (NMMC) facilities in Hamilton and Tupelo, Miss.
On NMHS’ webpage, it notes that virtual care is recommended by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as a way to get care and advice from your trusted health care provider.


Graduation section to publish May 20

While coronavirus has changed so many aspects of our lives, there is one thing it is not changing--the Journal Record’s annual high school graduation special section.
Although no dates have been set for commencement exercises at any of our local schools due to the uncertainty over the virus, the Journal Record still  plans to run the photos and names of all students who will be graduating from Brilliant, Hackleburg, Hamilton, Marion County, Phillips and Winfield City high schools in a special section of the newspaper, which will hit newsstands on Wednesday, May 20.