Roll call shows 3,210 students present

Marion County Schools’ enrollment numbers have decreased again this year.
During a budget hearing on Tuesday, Sept. 15, Marion County Schools Chief Financial Officer Clint Green told the Marion County Board of Education that overall enrollment at the system is down to 3,210 for the 2020-2021 school year.
This is down 227 total students from six years ago when 3,437 students were attending Marion County Schools in 2014-2015.

Primary absentee ballots now available

Voter’s may now apply for vote absentee ballots for the Nov. 3 Presidential Election.
Absentee ballot application processing began on Monday, Sept. 14,  on the second floor of the Marion County Courthouse, according to Marion County Circuit Clerk Denise Mixon, who serves as the county’s absentee election manager.
Absentee applications are also being processed online at
Per changes made this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, any qualified voter can vote absentee by mail or in person, according to Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.


Bevill State receives accreditation for next decade

HAMILTON -  Bevill State Community College (BSCC) President Dr. Kim Ennis received notification from Dr. Michael Hoefer, vice president of the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACSCOC), that BSCC  accreditation standards had been reaffirmed for the next 10 years.
SACSCOC is a regional accrediting body of degree-granting higher education institutions in the Southern states. Its mission is to assure the educational quality and improve the effectiveness of its member institutions.

Watha withdraws Baby Street rezone plan after public opposition

HAMILTON - A Hamilton businessman has withdrawn a rezoning application after local residents spoke out against his plans to build an apartment building.
The Hamilton City Council hosted a public hearing prior to a regular session on Tuesday, Sept. 7, to hear comments concerning a proposal by local businessman Watha Williams, who was seeking to build a multi-apartment dwelling on a half-acre lot on Baby Street, which is formally known as 2nd Ave. SW.

Developer planning subdivision of 16-17 units

HACKLEBURG - A developer is planning a small neighborhood project in Hackleburg to accommodate 16-17 manufactured homes.
Hackleburg Town Attorney Tony Glenn discussed the development with the Hackleburg Town Council members during a meeting on Monday, Aug. 10.
Glenn told council members that he had been communicating with the developer and he has requested that the city extend its sewer system approximately 300 feet to service the property.
Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn explained that the extension will only cost the town about $250 for materials.

Tucker, ROSS offer free recovery to county residents

HAMILTON -  Chuck Tucker, representative of Birmingham-based  Recovery Organization of Support Specialists (ROSS), offered his services to any in Marion County during a presentation at the Marion County Commission regular meeting held on Monday, Aug. 10, at the Marion County Commission office in Hamilton.
Tucker stated that he is an individual in long-term recovery and stated that he has not used mood-altering substances since 2008.
Tucker stated that ROSS is being offered to any individual in the State of Alabama at no cost to the person in need.

Thomas gearing up to enter the ring

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -  A local boxer will be traveling to the Sunshine State in hopes of securing a title belt.
Trevon Daquan Thomas, 19, Guin, will be traveling to southeast Florida on Aug. 28-30 to complete in the 2020 Sugar Bert Boxing National Qualifier - World Boxing Council  (WBC) Green Belt Challenge at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.

Governor awards grant to improve safety on highways

MONTGOMERY - Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded an $800,000 grant to increase the presence of state troopers on Alabama’s highways and improve highway safety.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA) will use the Selective Traffic Enforcement Program funds for year-round patrols to enforce traffic speeds and take dangerous drivers off of the roads.
“My desire is that all drivers on Alabama roads obey our traffic laws and arrive at their destination safely,” Ivey said.

Reed receives Person of the Year Award

HAMILTON - Northwest Alabama Gas District (NWAGD) General Manager Heath Reed received the Alabama Natural Gas Association’s Person of the Year award during a meeting held on Monday, August 3, at the NWAGD office in Hamilton.
Each year, the Alabama Natural Gas Association (ANGA) considers members of the ANGA to receive the Gas Person of the Year Award.
Reed was awarded  in reflection of this year’s theme for the ANGA, “Energy through people”.

HVAC projects at Brilliant, MCHS forced to back-burner

Air conditioning projects at Brilliant School and Marion County High School (MCHS) will be postponed due to inflated pricing.
The projects only received bids from one company. That company offered to do the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC)  work at Brilliant School for $683,000 and at MCHS for $699,000.
Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West told the Marion County Board of Education during a meeting on Thursday, July 30, that the bids were much higher than expected.

Remembering Coach Ray

HACKLEBURG - Long-time Hackleburg High School administrator  and coach Max Ray, 84, passed away on Friday, July 17.
 Ray, one of 16 children, was the son of  Mr. and Mrs. P.J. Ray.  He was an outstanding student-athlete, participating in football, basketball and baseball while attending Hackleburg High School.
He attended college at Mississippi State University. Following his graduation in 1963, Ray returned to Hackleburg where he taught history and  was named head football coach.

Town issued clean audit report

HACKLEBURG - An audit report for the Town of Hackleburg for Fiscal Year 2019 revealed no errors or discrepancies.
Northport accountant Don Wallace met with the Hackleburg Town Council on Monday, June 22.
“During the audit, I did not identify any deficiencies in internal control that I considered to be material weaknesses,” Wallace said.

Not-so-hot summer for Gu-Win Drive-In

GU-WIN - With movie theaters worldwide feeling the impact of coronavirus shutdowns, drive-in theaters have been seen as the place where individuals can enjoy a show while still operating under the social distancing guidelines.
But, according to Blue Moon Drive -In owner Chris Curtis, business for drive-in theaters is not as booming as some have been led to believe.
“From the beginning of things starting to open back up to now, business has been terrible,” said Curtis.

First day of school begins in 36 days

HAMILTON - Marion County School students are expected to return to school on schedule.
Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West says schools are set to open the 2020-2021 school year on Tuesday, Aug. 11, just 36 days from now.
The start date was approved by Marion County Board of Education members in February, prior to the large-scale U.S. outbreak of COVID-19.
“As we all know, any plans we make these days are subject to change,” West said.