Town handing over deed to Bozemans

HACKLEBURG -  Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn now has the authority to sign over the deed to the Hackleburg Market to brothers Phillip and Chris Bozeman of Bozeman Family Grocery after the town council voted in favor of Colburn’s proposal 4-1.
The vote was made during a special-called meeting on Thursday, Sept. 12, in Hackleburg.
Council members Darrin Wiginton, Don Barnwell, Colburn and Eugene Marbutt voted in favor of Colburn’s proposal, while councilman Kevin Barnwell voted against it. Councilwoman Tabby Lolley was absent during the meeting.

Manufactured Home Installation course launches this month

HAMILTON -  Bevill State Community College (BSCC) has announced the launch of a new Manufactured Home Installation Training class on the Hamilton Campus.
The inaugural class begins on Tuesday, Sept. 24, and will meet two nights a week for 10 weeks.
Participants will receive a certificate of completion from BSCC and be prepared to work with certified home installers, and/or to take the Alabama Manufactured Housing Commission Certified Installer Exam.

Marion Co. has poverty rate of 19.3%

Recently published data show Marion County’s poverty higher than the state average.
Alabama Possible, a statewide nonprofit organization that seeks to remove prosperity barriers, published a report in July showing that Marion County’s poverty rate is 19.3%—higher than the statewide average of 16.9% and noticeably higher than the national average of 13.4%.
The federal poverty threshold ranges from $12,488 for one person to $25,094 for a family of four. Marion County’s median household income is $38,049.


No citizenship question on 2020 Census essentially assures Alabama losing a congressional seat

The upcoming 2020 Census is extremely critical in Alabama and the rest of the states in the nation, as well. The Census affects the number of seats a state has in the U.S. Congress and ultimately the number of Electoral College Votes you have for president. Also, very importantly, the amount of federal funds the state receives will be effected.

Community mourns loss of two teens killed in wreck

Members from numerous West Alabama communities sing “Amazing Grace” during a prayer circle on Sunday, Sept. 1, in Winfield. About 200 people attended the prayer circle to mourn the loss of Tallon Burleson and Steven King.

WINFIELD - Two teenagers killed in an automobile accident are being mourned by friends and loved ones across Marion, Fayette and Lamar counties.
Tallon Burleson, Winfield, and Steven King, Vernon, both 19, died after the 2004 Jeep Wrangler they were travelling in left the roadway and struck a utility pole at 8:07 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30.

City hits homer on bond refinancing

HAMILTON - The choice to re-enter the bond market in hopes of lowering interest rates has resulted in an out-of-the-park homer for the Hamilton City Council.
When it voted to refinance the 2014 bond issue in July, it was estimated the city would save about $400,000. Instead, financial officers were able to secure savings of more than $645,000, earning commendation from the city’s bond counsel, Rod Kanter.

Byrne says technical education critical

HAMILTON - An Alabama 2020 U.S. Senate candidate and former Alabama Community College System   (ACCS) chancellor says his experience leading the state’s two-year colleges gives him an edge.
U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne, who currently represents Alabama’s 1st Congressional District,  met with Marion County agricultural and health care leaders in Hamilton on Tuesday, Sept. 4, at OH! Bryan’s Family Steak House.
The 1st Congressional District includes the counties of Baldwin, Escambia, Mobile, Monroe and Washington, as well as a portion of Clarke County.


Burleson recognized for 24 years of public service

MONTGOMERY -  Marion County Commissioner Bobby Burleson has been presented with the Tenure in Office Award by the Association of County Commissions of Alabama (ACCA) for his 24 years of service to county government and the state of Alabama.
“It’s a great honor to complete 24 years and Lord willing, I’ll be able to complete four more,” said Burleson.
“I appreciate the people for having the trust and faith in me to do a good job for them. I’m still very interested in completing this (current) term and facing whatever the future holds.”

New operations building in planning stages

HAMILTON - A Hamilton-based loan company is in the planning stages of a new operations facility.
CIS Home Loans President Paula Reeves told the Journal Record that land currently being cleared behind  the company’s new administrative office building location, the former Fite Davis Atkinson Guyton & Burt law office building.
CIS (officially CIS Financial Services, which does business as CIS Home Loans) has been operating in Hamilton for 28 years and added its new location in July along with 9.2 acres.

1,688 baptized during Summer Ramp conferences

HAMILTON -  The Ramp completed the last of its three summer conferences on Saturday, Aug. 17, bringing around 3,073 visitors to Hamilton to attend the conferences.
Summer Ramp conferences were held on June 27-29, July 25-27 and Aug. 16 and 17 at The Ramp in Hamilton, bringing visitors from around the country and even abroad from international locations.

During each of the three conferences, attendees have the opportunity to attend a baptism at Williams Creek in Hamilton on the Saturday of each of the three months during the events.


One-vehicle accident claims life of Winfield woman

Brilliant -  A single vehicle crash has claimed the life of a Winfield woman.  
At approximately 6:50 am on Saturday, Aug. 31, a 2001 Ford Taurus driven by Betty Jean Walker Sousy, 79, Winfield, was traveling north on Alabama State Route 233, approximately three miles east of Brilliant.  
The vehicle left the roadway to the right and struck a tree.  
According to State Trooper Cpl. Mark Stone of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Hamilton Post, the driver, the only occupant, was transported to UAB Hospital in Birmingham where she later died.  

Council hears from principals, tables discussion on water board members

Marion County High School Principal Dustin Silas distributes information sheets to Guin City Council members at the Tuesday, Sept. 3, meeting.

GUIN - Marion County High School Principal Dustin Silas and Guin Elementary School Principal Joshua Weatherly appeared before the Guin City Council to present their respective school reports on city tax money during the council’s Tuesday, Sept. 3 meeting.
Silas reported that the high school balance is $11,288.15 and Weatherly reported a current balance of $17,863.44.

Hayes questions deed acceptance

WINFIELD - In an item of old business at the Thursday, Sept. 5, Winfield City Council meeting, councilman Jimmy Hayes questioned whether the city should accept the deed presented to the city by Northwest Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Bob Henger without voting on it first.

Carbon Hill men charged with armed robbery in Winfield

WINFIELD - Two Carbon Hill men are behind bars after being charged for the Aug. 23 armed robbery of Moore’s B&B in Winfield.
Curtis Cook, 37, and Taurus White, 23, are both being held in the Marion County Jail in Hamilton on bonds of $120,000 each.
Sgt. Brad Burroughs of the Winfield Police Department said an individual with a hoodie pulled tight around his face entered the store at approximately 12:58 a.m. and brandished a handgun to the female cashier.

Drug flyover results in two arrests

HAMILTON - A Hamilton couple is being charged with first-degree manufacturing following an aerial drug search.
Eric Owens, 56, and Helen Hazelwood, 54, were arrested on Aug. 7 for growing two to three marijuana plants on their property in north Hamilton.
Both individuals were released the same day on bonds of $15,000 each.
The flyovers are conducted by helicopter by the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s Aviation Division and assisted by both the Marion County Sheriff’s Office and Alabama National Guard.


Clay Dyer remembers his early fishing start in Marion County

Clay Dyer (right) and his grandfather, Pride Gann, are pictured here in 2014, a few months before Gann passed away.

HAMILTON - Last month, well-known Hamilton native son Clay Dyer was inducted into the “Legends of the Outdoors” Hall of Fame.  
The "Legends of the Outdoors" was established to recognize those outdoor sportsmen and sportswomen who, through countless hours of hard work and devotion to the outdoors, in both hunting and fishing, have played an integral part in setting the standards and guidelines for the rest of the outdoor world to follow.

Church camp draws 2,700 to Hamilton

HAMILTON - Maywood Christian Camp has completed its 55th camping season, launching a new college program and seeing about 2,700 campers throughout the summer months.
Maywood is a Church of Christ-associated camp located on 83 acres of land three miles east of Hamilton on County Highway 42.
This summer also was the inaugural year for a new college camping program called “Lift U,” which was implemented and saw attendees from more than 10 colleges.

Thornell provides Northwest Alabama EDA update

Kenneth Cochran is shown speaking to David Thornell, president and chief executive officer of Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance, during the Marion County Commission meeting.

HAMILTON -  David Thornell, president and chief executive officer of the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance (Northwest Alabama EDA), addressed the Marion County Commission to provide an update on potential business and answer questions from commissioners during a regular meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 28, at the commission office in Hamilton.

Driver loses arm in I-22 wreck

A live fish transport truck crossed the median travelling east-bound on I-22, causing a collision with an 18-wheeler that resulted in a fire involving the fish truck and the fish transport driver losing his left

HAMILTON -  The driver of a live fish transport truck crossed the median going east-bound on I-22 and collided with an 18-wheeler, a collision that caused a fire and resulted in the fish truck driver losing his left arm.
Matt McCracken with Hamilton Fire and Rescue arrived at the two 18-wheeler collision near exit 11 on I-22 at 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 28, in Hamilton.
“On arrival we found that a live fish transport truck had crossed the median and struck an 18-wheeler hauling shingles,” said McCracken.

Cook says track top priority in capital plan

WINFIELD - A number of system projects are being specifically highlighted during Winfield City Schools’ 2019-2020 school year.
The Winfield City Board of Education approved the system’s 2019-2020 school year capital plan during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13.
Winfield Superintendent of Education Chris Cook presented the plan, saying that resurfacing the track was the system’s number-one priority.

Estes gives update on education work in Legislature

House District 17 Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, speaks to the Winfield City Board of Education during its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

WINFIELD - Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, attended the Winfield City Board of Education’s monthly meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 13, where he was asked to give a legislative update.
The representative obliged, noting he was attending the meeting just to listen and visit with friends.
“We’re not letting you get off that easy,” said board member James Garner with a laugh.
Estes said the 2019 legislative session was very productive and passed a $7.1 billion education budget.


Pirates defense holds off Lions late rally

Winfield quarterback Joseph Estes (19) leaps over a Haleyville defender to pick up extra yards in the Pirates’ 19-13 victory over the Lions.

HALEYVILLE - Winfield’s defense withstood a fourth-quarter rally and picked up a late touchdown run by Joseph Cox to seal a 19-13 season-opening win over the Haleyville Lions on Friday, Aug. 23, in Haleyville.
Leading 13-0 going into the fourth quarter, the Winfield Pirates’ defense found themselves on their heels as Haleyville scored on a four-yard run, and after a failed two-point conversion, Haleyville would tally on a 55-yard touchdown pass to tie the game at 13-13 with 8:04 left in the game.

Red Raiders dominate for first win

Marion County quarterback Deuce Belk (2) stiff-arms a Vina defender. Belk amassed 200-plus rushing yards in the season-opening win.

GUIN - Marion County toppled Vina 41-12 behind a 288 rushing yards on Friday, Aug. 23.
"I thought we played hard," Red Raider head coach Kyle Williams said following the game. “We made several mistakes, but now we know what we need to work on.
"We had several guys make plays in different situations, so we are excited to se what the year has in store for us as a team."
Vina received the opening kickoff and the Red Raider defense forced a punt.

Panthers drop season-opener

Hackleburg’s Caden Jones (2) throws a pass to an open Daniel Cooper (1) on a screen pass.

HACKLEBURG - Hackleburg suffered a 44-16 loss to Class 2A Winston County on Friday, Aug. 23, at Ray Stadium in Hackleburg.
The Panthers trailed 14-8 at halftime before the Yellow Jackets outscored Hackleburg 30-8 in the second half.
The Yellow Jackets struck first with William Owens scoring from four yards out. A failed 2-point try gave Winston County a 6-0 advantage with 4:57 left in the first quarter.

Phillips loses home-opener to Decatur Heritage

Phillips’ Xavier Hanner (20) and Ezra Glauses (4) hold a jersey for the late Kiah Taylor during the coin toss. Taylor was a 16-year-old junior at Phillips High School. He died in a two-vehicle accident on Thursday, July 25.

BEAR CREEK - Phillips suffered a 48-7 loss to Decatur Heritage in the Bears' season-opener on Friday, Aug. 23.
"We were completely out-manned up front on both sides of the ball," head coach Adam Lawler said of his team's first game. "We need to be bigger and strong and that doesn't happen overnight.
"We are going to keep coaching and keep working because what we did Friday night is not acceptable."


Aggies fall short to Wildcats

Hamilton sophomore Tyree Wilson (20) slips through the Oakman defense as he picks up an Aggie first down. Wilson is the younger brother of Hamilton standout Rakeem Wilson, who is on the track and field team for Mississipi College in Clinton, Miss.

The Hamilton Aggies began their 2019 football season with a fall jamboree game against the Oakman Wildcats on Thursday, Aug. 22.
After winning the coin toss, the Aggies chose to receive the kick and began an unsuccessful drive which ended in a punt by Hamilton’s Jathan Jackson.
In the Wildcats’ first offensive possession, Lucas Bridges’ pass was intercepted by Hamilton’s Robert Johnson who returned the ball from the 45-yard-line to the 5 with 9:57 remaining in the first quarter.



Brenda Faye Abramson
Brenda Faye Abramson, 77, Florence, passed away on Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019, at her granddaughter's residence.
She was born in Alabama on Thursday, June 11, 1942, to the late James Benny Raburn and Bernice Morrow Raburn.

Marion County has a school attendance problem

Students in the Marion County School System have an attendance problem. The problem was revealed last week at the Marion County Board of education meeting as Patrick Sutton, a supervisor in the school system, gave a presentation on chronic absenteeism to kick-off September’s “School Attendance Month” (see story on page --).
During the presentation, Sutton revealed some disturbing numbers regarding school attendance in Marion County. An average of 24%--almost a quarter--of students in the Marion County School System missed 15 or more days of school during the 2018/19 school year.

The Summer of 1969

Steve Flowers

As we say goodbye to the summer of 2019, allow me to reminisce with you and indeed commemorate more than likely a summer exactly 50 years ago that was undoubtedly the most momentous summer in American history--the Summer of 1969.

School board puts emphasis on attendance in September

Marion County Board of Education supervisor Patrick Sutton speaks to the board about school attendance on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

HAMILTON - In order to increase attendance rates, the Marion County Board of Education (MCBOE) has declared the month of September as School Attendance Month. The declaration came during the board’s Tuesday, Aug. 20, meeting.
MCBOE Supervisor Patrick Sutton made the announcement before presenting some alarming statistics to the board and suggesting ways to curb truancy and chronic absenteeism in Marion County schools.  

Gas tax increasing 6¢ Sept. 1 

An upcoming gas tax increase may go virtually unnoticed due to gas prices gradually falling over the last month.
“With the prices going downward, we won’t notice it as much,” said Birmingham-based American Automobile Association (AAA) spokesperson Clay Ingram. “Having it this time of year is better than doing it in the spring when prices would already be increasing.”
Alabama’s gas will increase 6 cents beginning Sunday, Sept. 1, raising the state’s gas tax from 18 cents to 24 cents per gallon. Tax on diesel will increase from 19 cents to 25 cents per gallon.

Green celebrates 45 years as nurse

Gay Green is pictured here performing her duties at Sunset Manor Nursing Home in Guin on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

GUIN - “I’ve gotten so used to driving here, my car just automatically turns toward Guin to get here,” said Gay Green, who is marking 45 years as a nurse at Sunset Manor Nursing Home in Guin.
“I come down here so much from Pea Ridge. This is just my second home,” she said, her laughter echoing through the lobby of the nursing home that was built five years before she started working there.
Green, 66, has worked at Sunset Manor since June 1974 and is considered an asset among the staff, said the nursing home’s owner and administrator, Lance Junkin.

Weeks warns of gift card phone scams

TWIN - “Grandad, I’m up here in jail in Jasper.”
This is how a scam phone call began which was on its way to successfully cheating a Marion County couple out of $1,000.
Smithie Weeks, who is a councilwoman for the Town of Twin, says she wants to share her and her husband’s experience as she believes other seniors may be targeted.
On July 30, Weeks, 78, said she walked in to find her husband, James,  80, in mid-conversation over the phone with someone claiming to be their 21-year-old grandson, Caleb, who lives in Atlanta, Ga.


Henger gives update to Winfield council

Northwest Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Bob Henger speaks to the Winfield City Council during the council’s Tuesday, Aug 20, meeting in Winfield.

WINFIELD - Northwest Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Bob Henger appeared before the Winfield City Council at its Tuesday, Aug. 20, meeting to give an update on the hospital.
Henger, who came out of retirement two months ago to run the hospital, appeared before the council at the request of councilman Chris Ballard. Ballard has been requesting an appearance from the CEO for a few weeks. Henger was scheduled to appear at the Aug. 6 meeting but missed due to surgery.  

Gas tax to assist funding road projects

Hamilton resident Laura Crawford is shown voicing her concerns for the City of Hamilton during the regular meeting held on Monday, Aug. 19, at Hamilton City Hall.

HAMILTON -  The Hamilton City Council unanimously approved committing $36,248 from gas tax revenue to fund the 2019 transportation plan in which the City of Hamilton will stripe and realign streets within the city.
This resolution was approved on Monday, Aug. 19, during a regular meeting at Hamilton City Hall.
“This is committing funds that are projected to be collected as the City of Hamilton’s portion of the upcoming increased gas and fuel taxes for the Rebuild Alabama Act,” said Hamilton Mayor Bob Page.

Rural strategist confident with C3

Economic Development Association of Alabama Rural Development Strategist Brian Hilson spoke during the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance’s annual membership luncheon which was held at the Holiday Inn in Guin on Thursday, July 25.

GUIN - Economic development officials are optimistic concerning Marion County’s future.
Brian Hilson of Hoover,  who serves as a rural development strategist for the Economic Development Association of Alabama, reviewed the county’s economic state and potential during the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance (EDA)’s annual membership appreciation luncheon on Thursday, July 25, at the Holiday Inn in Guin.

Winfield cheerleaders

Winfield cheerleaders

The 2019 Winfield cheerleaders are (front row, from left) Ana Beth Hawkins, MaKenna Tucker, Memory Clark, Melody Harrison, Ella Chaffin, Jaken Terrell, (middle row, same order) Brooklyn Bozeman, Addie Birmingham, Bailey Dodd, Tatum Franks, Macy Cummings, Abi Webb, Halie Lowry, Isabella Newman, Anna-Grace Sims, Chloe Graham, (back row, same order) Katilyn Gilbert, Jacie Cook, Lexi Welch, Karley Sullins, Madison Wennberg, Olivia Webster, Preslee Loring, Isabella Taylor, Reid Hollingsworth and Makenzie Nix. In the Wednesday, Aug.

Threadgill looks back on 50 years in radio

WINFIELD - “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” said WKXM radio disc jockey Doug Threadgill as his eyes dart back and forth from the mixing console to a computer screen inside the cramped radio station east of Winfield.
Threadgill cues up a commercial to the fading notes of a song that was popular in the late 1960s.
“I’m probably one of the few people that spent their whole life doing the only thing they ever wanted to do.”
Threadgill’s hands are busy turning knobs, sliding faders and pressing buttons.


Baker charged with sexual abuse of infant

WINFIELD - A Hamilton man is being held on a $150,000 bond for charges of sexual abuse of an 11th-month-old child.
Daryl Baker, 30, is being charged for sexual abuse of a child less than 12 and remains in the Marion County Jail in Hamilton.
Winfield Police Department Lt. Dustin Hulsey said he responded to the Northwest Medical Center’s Emergency Room in Winfield on Sunday, Aug. 11, in response to a complaint by the infant’s grandparents.

Marriage laws change Aug. 29

HAMILTON - New marriage laws enacted this past Spring by the Legislature will become effective on Thursday, Aug. 29. However, a county official is saying there are still serious questions in the air that need answering.
Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick posted on Facebook on Tuesday, Aug. 13, saying with the change, there may be some complications for those currently considering or planning to acquire a marriage license.

Officials stand behind penalties

HAMILTON - The Hamilton recreation and senior center renovation project is now two-and-a-half-months past its original deadline.
The Hamilton City Council discussed the prolonged work at the E.T. Sims Neighborhood Facilities Building during a work session on Wednesday, Aug. 15, in the Hamilton City Hall Tea Room. The council did not meet in the council chambers due to air conditioning issues.

Senator fields town hall questions

HAMILTON - Democrat Sen. Doug Jones (D) hosted a town hall meeting in Hamilton on Monday night, Aug. 5.
Jones drew a moderate crowd of about 60 people from around the Marion County area to his meeting at the old city hall building in Hamilton (the current police department), where he gave a brief Congressional update and then opened the floor for questions, comments and concerns.
Jones openly encouraged both Democrats and Republicans and others to attend his meeting, saying any question was fair game.

‘End of Summer’ concert set for Aug. 24

WINFIELD - School is back in session and the lazy days of summer have ended.
The Pastime Theatre in Winfield wants to invite everyone to attend an “End of Summer” concert featuring two area acts.
“If we must say, ‘Goodbye,’ to summer, then let us say, ‘Goodbye,’ with a fantastic concert that is economically-priced, too,” said Pastime Theatre Board Chairwoman Mary Hyche.
The Winfield theater will be presenting the “End of Summer” concert on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m.


Jones touts bipartisan work during town hall

HAMILTON - Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) hosted a town hall meeting in Hamilton on Monday, Aug. 5.
The two-hour meeting took place at the old city hall building (Hamilton Police Department) and there were roughly 60 people in attendance.
Jones said the Senate is currently on recess until the week after Labor Day (Sept. 1). The U.S. House recessed one week prior.

Dixie Paving to pave three streets

GUIN -  The Guin City Council voted to contract with Dixie Paving in Haleyville to pave three streets at a cost of $50,000 during the Monday Aug. 5, council meeting.
The streets are 14th Avenue East, 10th Street and 15th Ave. E that connect Alabama State Highway 43/278 with County Road 44.
Guin Mayor Max Maddox said he had spoken with a few different street pavers and they all quoted him near the same amount for the job.