Alabama Department of Corrections Administrative Employee Tests Positive for COVID-19

MONTGOMERY – The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) has been notified that an administrative employee tested positive for COVID-19. This is the first confirmed case within the ADOC. Due to HIPAA restrictions and security concerns, the ADOC will not release the name of the individual or the facility at which they work. As of this release, there are no positive COVID-19 cases reported within the inmate population.

COVID-19 Pandemic

(Editor’s note: The coronavirus outbreak is developing every day, and at the time of this publication, many details are likely to have changed. To stay up-to-date, please visit the Journal Record’s website, myjrpaper.org. SBJ)

JR closing Winfield office

The Journal Record office in Winfield is closing.
Marion County’s newspaper office in Hamilton will remain open, but simply due to the costs involved with staying in business, according to Journal Record Publisher Horace Moore and General Manager Jesse Lamar, the closing of the Winfield office is something they regretfully must do.

Personal information secure, Hunt says

HAMILTON - Personal information and data are believed to be secure following a cyber attack that hit the Marion County Courthouse in Hamilton on Monday, March 2.
On the day before the Tuesday, March 3, primary election, a server housing data for Marion County’s probate and revenue commission offices was infected by ransomware, shutting down operations at both offices for the rest of the week.
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

Bill being filed to consolidate polling places

HAMILTON - A local bill being filed with the Alabama Legislature would consolidate eight voter boxes into three.
The bill was discussed during the Marion County Commission’s meeting on Monday, March 9, when Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick gave notice to the commission on behalf of the Secretary of State’s Office that there is push to assure handicap accessible polling places.
She explained that the issue is a primary concern for the U.S. Department of Justice in 2020.

Young songwriter strikes a chord with ‘Alabama Weather’

HAMILTON - Hot, freezing, rain or shine—all in the same week, or for that matter, all on the same day. Yup, Alabama weather has a way of keeping you guessing.
Living through this reality during the first few months of 2020 were enough to inspire Hamilton’s Anna Kate Warner, 18, to pen an original song, “Alabama Weather,” that is quickly getting attention.
The lyrics to Anna Kate’s song can be found on page 3B.
Anna Kate, a senior at Hamilton High School and the daughter of Chris and Deana Warner, was born and raised in music.

DA’s office negotiates 75 guilty pleas

Hamilton - During late February and early March pre-trial hearings in 25th Judicial Circuit Court, Marion County District Attorney Scott Slatton’s office accepted 75 guilty pleas.
During the hearings, which took place Feb. 25-27 and March 9 in Hamilton, The DA’s office also recommended 16 cases be dismissed and reached agreements on 10 additional cases for them to be placed on the inactive docket in order for defendants to complete certain requirements before official dismissal.

 

2020 Census has begun

MARION COUNTY - Gov. Kay Ivey has formally signaled the open of Census 2020 participation statewide.
For the first time in history, the Census is now available online at my2020Census.gov.
Additionally, invitation letters have been mailed and will continue to arrive in mailboxes across the state through Friday, March 20.
Individuals can participate in the 10-question Census online, by phone or through traditional paper form.

 

Nearly 4,000 Enjoy Jerry Brown Arts Festival


Artist Norman Morgan is shown creating jewelry pieces during the 18th Annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival on Sunday, March 8, at the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative’s warehouse in Hamilton.

HAMILTON -  Approximately 3,750 people from across the country and the globe packed out the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative’s warehouse in Hamilton for the 18th Annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival (JBAF) on March 6 and 7.
According to JBAF Public Relations Chairman Marla Minter, the event hosted attendees from Alabama, California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont and Virginia. This year, there were even visitors from across the globe from Australia and Wales.

Winfield board honors McGaha, Brasher


Winfield Superintendent of Education Chris Cook is shown holding a plaque honoring the late Ray McGaha for his years of service to the Winfield City School system. During the meeting, the board also honored former superintendent Dale Brasher.

WINFIELD - Winfield Middle School will honor former superintendent of education Dale Brasher and the late Ray McGaha for their years of service  to the Winfield City School System.
During a meeting held on Tuesday, March 10, the Winfield Board of Education unanimously approved superintendent Chris Cook’s proposal to rename the Winfield Middle School gymnasium as the Dale Brasher Gymnasium and will place gold placards on seats in the football, baseball and softball fields to honor the memory of McGaha.

Henger steps down as NWMC CEO

WINFIELD - Northwest Medical Center-Winfield Chief Executive Officer Robert Henger has stepped down from the position after returning to the hospital in July 2019.
Former CEO Michael Windham has returned to the hospital to replace the resigning Henger.
According to Henger, Windham worked for the hospital as CEO for approximately four years before leaving due to conflicts with the hospital’s previous owner.

West wins GOP superintendent’s race

HAMILTON - Ann West has secured the Marion County Superintendent of Education seat, according to voting results from the Tuesday, March 3, primary election.
The results were publicly posted by Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick as they arrived at the Marion County Courthouse in Hamilton beginning around 7:30 p.m. Officials were on- site through 11 p.m. recording results.
Results remain unofficial until provisional ballots are accounted for, which usually takes a week. Vick said there have only been two provisional ballots filed this year.

 

Whooping cough outbreak confirmed

WINFIELD -  Parents of the Winfield City School system were informed through a letter from the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) of an outbreak of pertussis, most commonly referred to as “whooping cough.”
According to the letter, pertussis begins with symptoms like the common cold such as runny nose, mild sore throat, minimal or no fever and a mild, dry cough. Additional symptoms may include vomiting and exhaustion.
The ADPH warns students and parents to avoid direct contact with a symptomatic individual.

Revenue, probate offices hit by cyber attack

HAMILTON - Hackers have compromised a server used by both the Marion County Revenue Commissioner’s Officer and the Marion County Probate Judge’s Office, suspending some services and access to electronic records.
Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick told the Journal Record ransomware attacked the server on Monday, March 2, the day before the primary election (March 3).
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

City will back DA’s abuse plan


Mayor Randy Price (center) and the Winfield City Council unanimously voted to pay $2,500 into 25th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Slatton’s plan to hire a female investigator to help victims of sexual abuse, domestic violence and crimes against children. Also shown are councilman Rusty Barnes (left) and city clerk Angie Oliver.

WINFIELD -  The Winfield City Council unanimously voted to financially support 25th Judicial Circuit Court District Attorney Scott Slatton’s new plan to support victims of abuse in the county for $2,500.
Slatton stated that the council would be able to pay a yearly rate of this amount as long as it is willing, noting there will be no obligation to pay a reoccurring amount if the city doesn’t wish to after the first year.

Employees paid $189,000 in overtime last year

HAMILTON - Last year, the City of Hamilton paid out just shy of $190,000 in overtime pay to city employees.
Councilman Gene Sanderson brought up the matter during a Hamilton City Council work session on Wednesday, Feb. 26.
“Why do we have $65,000 in overtime in the police department?” Sanderson asked. “I don’t understand how it could be run up that much. We could hire two more police officers full-time.”

With Worley out, Cobb continues as party chair

MONTGOMERY - Susan Cobb will keep her position as Marion County Democratic Party chairwoman as a result of a judge’s order on a higher-arching issue.
Montgomery Circuit Court Judge Greg Griffin dismissed a lawsuit on Feb. 27 filed by ousted Alabama Democratic Party Chair Nancy Worley to prevent the newly-elected chair, Rep. Chris England, D-Tuscaloosa, from taking control.
Griffin dismissed the lawsuit, saying it was not the court’s place to interfere with the party dispute, meaning Worley is no longer in power.