‘We believe we might see another surge’

WINSTON COUNTY - In a press conferences Thursday morning, May 28, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and U.S. Senator Doug Jones discussed the increase in COVID-19 cases in Alabama over the last week, an increase that cannot be attributed to an increase in testing, but might have to do more with Alabamians’ personal behavior.
Jones hosted the virtual press conference on his Facebook page, opening the meeting by discussing how the U.S. now has over 100,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, a grim milestone.

A&I employee tests positive for COVID-19

HAMILTON -  The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) was informed via self-reporting that one staff member employed at Hamilton Aged and Infirmed prison has tested positive for COVID-19.   
Samantha Rose, Public Information Specialist with ADOC stated that the individual promptly self-quarantined under the direction of their healthcare provider.
According to Rose, ADOC’s Office of Health Services (OHS) has initiated an investigation to determine which, if any, ADOC inmates or employees may have had direct, prolonged exposure to this staff member.

Guin’s Ava Bellew wins districtwide photo contest


Wildflowers spring up in front of an old red barn in Guin. This photo captured by Ava Bellew, 11, of Guin, was chosen as the winner of a contest hosted by Congressman Robert Aderholt. Ava took the image on May 4 using a Nikon D500 camera.

GUIN - A photo captured by an 11-year-old Guin resident will hang in Congressman Robert Aderholt’s office in Washington, D.C.
Ava Bellew, 11, daughter of Bobby and Heather Bellew, submitted a photograph to Aderholt’s Picture of the District Contest in May.
Her photo was selected as the districtwide favorite by popular vote on social media. The image, titled “Spring in Alabama,” has also been uploaded as Aderholt’s cover image on Facebook and Twitter.

Wilds family de-annexed from Brilliant

Brilliant - A family will have roughly 80 acres of land de-annexed from the Town of Brilliant.
Six tracts of land belonging to the Wild’s family will be removed from Brilliant’s incorporated limits effective Aug. 1.
The land was de-annexed through a local act of the Alabama Legislature, Senate Bill 331, which was passed by the lawmakers on Friday, May 8. The bill was made into law on the last day of the 2020 Legislative Session (Monday, May 18).

Bills boost new county jail build

MONTGOMERY - The Marion County Commission is another step closer to a new Marion County Jail.
Marion County State Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, introduced local bills to the Alabama House of Representatives during the 2020 Legislative session, one of which may help the Marion County Commission in its plans to build a new jail facility.
One bill sees Marion County applying a new 7% lodging tax that Estes stated will see individuals visiting the county effected and not residents inside the county.

Twelve students achieve top marks on ACT

HAMILTON - Twelve Marion County School students finished the school year with a 30 or higher on the ACT.
Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West says this is the largest group of seniors the system has ever had score so well.
The group was recognized during a Marion County Board  of Education meeting on Wednesday, May 20, at in the system’s central office bus shop.
The 12 county school students join six others from the Winfield City Schools System, giving Marion County a total of 18.

 

More concerns amid pool opening

GUIN -  With the City of Guin’s waterpark set to open on the weekend of May 30, the Guin City Council discussed concerns for the reopening of the park during a regular meeting over telephone on Monday, May 18.
Mayor Max Maddox and councilman Bobby Bellew both recommended that hand sanitizer be placed at the facility and that whoever is placed in charge over the facility after opening take care to enforce social distancing.

Sanitation, street departments split


Hamilton Street Superintendent Mike Johnson discusses how the city will benefit from splitting its current street department into a street and sanitation department. Also shown is Hamilton Water Superintendent Rodney Williams.

HAMILTON - Street and sanitation operations will be divided into their own departments.
The Hamilton City Council voted unanimously to divide the city’s street department during a meeting on Monday, May 18.
The division came at the recommendation of former Hamilton Street Superintendent Mike Johnson,  who says the two departments will better serve the city with a separate supervisor managing street and sanitation work.

Northam becomes local foreign exchange coordinator

HAMILTON - International Cultural Exchange Services of Hurricane, W. Va., has announced Tammie Northam as a new local coordinator.
Northam will be working with families and schools in Hamilton and in the surrounding area. As the local coordinator, Northam is available to answer questions, give advice and provide general support to students and host families throughout the experience.

Safer at Home order amended further


Gov. Kay Ivey speaks during a press conference on Thursday, May 21, where she announced that State Health Office Dr. Scott Harris would be updating Alabama’s Safer at Home order.

MONTGOMERY -  Governor Kay Ivey issued an amended Safer at Home order on Thursday, May 21, to be applied statewide.
The order, which includes an expanded list of items to reopen, went into effect Friday, May 22, at 5 p.m. and will expire on Friday, July 3, at 5 p.m.
This order effects the opening of entertainment venues, athletics programs, educational facilities, daycare programs and various camping facilities.

 

Local hotel receives major award


(From left) Hilda Smith, Director of sales and events, and Shae Tidwell, Front Office Manager are pictured with the coveted Connie Award in the Hampton Inn by Hilton in Winfield.

WINFIELD -  The Hampton Inn hotel in Winfield received its corporation’s coveted Connie Award on Friday, April 24, after being named the #1 Hampton Inn hotel in Alabama and being ranked the #6 Hampton Inn hotel in the world.
According to Hotel General Manager Chad Clark, the award, named after Hilton founder, Conrad Hilton signifies the hotel as one of the top performing properties within the brand and is only presented to hotels that have excelled in service and growing customer loyalty.