Guin Elementary selected as 2019 ESEA Distinguished School

GUIN – One Marion County school has received its second national recognition in six months.
According to a press release on Thursday, Jan. 23, by the Alabama State Department of Education, Guin Elementary School (GES) has been named a recipient of the 2019 Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) National Title I Distinguished School Award for Exceptional Student Performance.

Sales tax down in December

HAMILTON – Sales tax for education revenues collected in Marion County was down during December.
According to the Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West, the education system collected $147,819.93—$8,198.81 less in sales tax last month compared to the previous year.
December 2018’s sales tax collection totaled $155,018.74.
For the first three months of the Fiscal Year 2020, $451,621 has been collected in sales tax. For the same period in 2018, sales tax had generated $445,764.38, meaning Fiscal Year 2020 is still outperforming FY 2019.

Winfield teacher charged with sending nude photo to student

WINFIELD - Former Winfield City High School teacher Carrie Jackson, 44, was arrested for distribution of obscene material to a student and was released on Thursday, Jan. 16, on a $3,000 bond. A school employee distributing obscene material to a student is a Class A misdemeanor, according to the 2016 Code of Alabama.
According to a press release from 25th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Scott Slatton, Jackson allegedly sent a nude photo to a current student at the high school.

Wyatt Spann passes

WINFIELD -  Winfield natives Christy and Greg Spann announced that their son, Michael Wyatt Spann, 4, passed away at 7:17 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 16, after a battle with Medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer.

Wyatt recently returned home from St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., and, according to a post from the Spann’s Facebook page, was given only a few weeks to live.
Wyatt returned home in an ambulance on Tuesday, Jan. 7, and was met by several members of the community who were lined up with signs in support of the Spann family.

Beaverton man killed in single-vehicle wreck

HAMILTON – A single vehicle crash has claimed the life of a Beaverton man.
According to State Trooper Cpl. Mark Stone, Mark Steven Downey, 63, was killed when his 1995 Dodge Ram pickup left the roadway and struck a tree.
The crash occurred early Friday morning, Jan. 17, at approximately 1:00 a.m. on County Road 35.
No further information was given as State Troopers continue to investigate.

Japanese carmaker looking at Hamilton

HAMILTON – Manufacturing companies are apparently considering building in Hamilton.
According to Hamilton Mayor Bob Page, an unnamed Japanese car manufacturer could be taking steps to potentially locate a plant on 20 acres of Hamilton’s I-22 Industrial Park in the Fulton Bridge Community.
Page announced the development during a Hamilton City Council work session on Wednesday, Jan. 15, saying he may have to call a special council meeting and put together an incentive package.

Overtime to be retroactively paid to county employees

HAMILTON  - The Marion County Commission unanimously voted to amend the employee handbook concerning overtime hours and retroactively pay employees who worked overtime during the Christmas holiday period on Dec. 23 and 26, 2019, during a regular meeting on Monday, Jan. 13, at the commission office in Hamilton.
According to commission chairman, Tim “Ears” Estes, the county’s employee handbook states that employees must work 40 hours before they receive overtime pay.  
This means that holidays would not contribute to hours worked for employees.

Gym use must be scheduled, supervised

HACKLEBURG – Officials have reiterated that public access to the Hackleburg recreation center’s gymnasium is limited to special requests for six months out of the year.
The Hackleburg Town Council discussed the issue during its meeting on Monday, Jan. 13, at the request of councilmember Darrin Wiginton.
“I just want to know what the schedule is on it,” Wiginton told the council, explaining he was wanting to see if there were times the gym could be accessed by the public.

Free county extension parenting classes begin Feb. 6

HAMILTON - The Marion County Extension Office will be hosting free parenting classes in Hamilton during the month of February.
“Principles of Parenting” classes will begin Thursday, Feb. 6, at 10 a.m. at the Marion County Extension Office located in the Courthouse Annex, at 372 7th Avenue Southwest in Hamilton, across from the E.T. Sims Neighbor Facilities Building.
The classes will be held on Tuesdays during the month of February from 9 - 11 a.m.


Council split over hiring street dept. help

HACKLEBURG – City officials will wait to hire more full-time help for the Hackleburg Street Department.
The Hackleburg Town Council voted 2-3 during its first meeting of the new year on Monday, Jan. 13, to post a full-time position with the local street department.
Council members Eugene Marbutt and Tabby Lolley voted in favor of posting the position, while mayor Darryl Colburn and councilors Don Barnwell and Darrin Wiginton voted no, blocking the measure. Councilmember Kevin Barnwell was absent during the meeting.