Aggies head coach retires

Aggies Head Coach Barry Peoples is retiring this year.

HAMILTON — After just over 18 years as a coach and teacher at Hamilton High School, Barry Peoples is stepping down from his position and heading to Amory, Miss.
Peoples, along with his wife Susan, will be leaving Hamilton after several years of serving at Hamilton High School and Marion County High School during his time living in the county.
Peoples recalled his time spent coaching at Hamilton, taking charge of both Hamilton’s football and basketball teams during his tenure.

Hamilton councilman arrested third time in term

Hamilton Councilman Matthew Sims is arrested for the third time during his term as council member. The latest arrest is for missing a court appearance.

HAMILTON — Hamilton Councilman Matthew Sims has had yet another arrest during his term on the Hamilton council. This latest arrest was on Monday, May 1.
Sims was arrested in December of 2021 for possession of a controlled substance, just a year and a couple of months after the start of his term on the Hamilton City Council.
Sims was due to appear in court for the matter on March 14 of this year, but did not do so.

Carter named Hamilton chief

Jordan Carter is named Hamilton police chief.

HAMILTON — Current Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy and former Hamilton Police Officer Jordan Carter will be the new Hamilton Police Chief after the retirement of Chief Ronny Vickery.
Vickery, who announced his retirement last month, will work alongside Carter from June 1 until he officially retires on June 30.
Vickery, who hired Carter at the Hamilton PD, stated he is confident of Carter’s ability to lead the department.

Freedom Theatre produces Lion King Jr.

WINFIELD — On Wednesday, May 10, for the first time in front of an audience, a cast and crew of over 50 will perform, Disney's The Lion King Jr. The production will be the 50th for Self Express Productions of Winfield and features kids from Hamilton, Fayette, Guin, Brilliant, Winfield and other surrounding areas. For director and choreographer Casey Kauffman, it has been a whirlwind six weeks of rehearsals that began with the largest auditions the theatre has held.

Department of transportation bids projects

TUSCALOOSA – The Alabama Department of Transportation bid two projects on state-maintained routes in Marion County during the April 28 bid opening.
Rogers Group, Inc. will resurface, install guardrail and place new traffic striping on Highway 129 from the junction of U.S. Highway 278 northeast of Brilliant to a point approximately half a mile south of the junction of County Road 48. The 4.9 mile project was bid at $1.79 million and is expected to last approximately three months.

Schools respond to threat misinformation

A Guin police vehicle is parked outside of Guin Elementary School on Thursday, April 27, while schools within Marion County were on a “soft lockdown,” due to misinformation on social media regarding threats made to Phil Campbell High School the previous day.

MARION COUNTY — Marion County schools took safety precautions last Thursday, April 27, after social media response to a threat made on social media towards a school in another county.
Earlier last week, threats were made against Phil Campbell High School in Franklin County.  
According to Marion County Schools Superintendent Ann West, even though Phil Campbell is not in Marion County, someone created a post on the social media app Snapchat to say that children should not be in school that day because of the threats to Phil Campbell.

Stampede headed toward Hamilton

HAMILTON — The second annual Marion County Stampede will take place this weekend from May 5-6, with a rodeo and downtown Cowboy Day festival.
This year’s rodeo follows the successful and award-winning inaugural event last year, which won several awards including the best new rodeo of the year award.
The rodeo will begin on Friday night and gates will open at 5, with mutton busting for children six and under at 6:30, and the rest of the rodeo after that at around 7:30 until about 9:30-10:30 that night, according to event coordinator Matt MacCracken.

WIC income guidelines increase

Alabama’s income guidelines for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (better known as WIC) have increased and additional people may qualify. If you are a woman who is pregnant, has had a baby within the past six months or are currently breastfeeding; or if you are the parent or guardian of a child up to age 5, you are encouraged to contact your local county health department or WIC agency to apply.

Hamilton taking bids on old vehicles

HAMILTON — The City of Hamilton is now accepting bids for several surplus equipment items, as discussed during the Hamilton City Council meeting that took place last Monday, April 17, at Hamilton City Hall.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page announced that seven different items will be up for bid, five of which are vehicles.
The items include a Heil 20 yard garbage bed; an 8 yard dump truck bed; a 1981 GMC; a 1985 Chevrolet pickup truck; a 1987 Ford F-800; a 1990 Chevrolet CK20; and a 1997 Dodge pickup.

Guin hires Spencer as new police chief

Daryl Spencer is the new police chief for Guin.

GUIN — The City of Guin has chosen Daryl Spencer as the next chief of police.
Spencer previously worked for the Guin Police Department, as well as the Marion County Sheriff’s Department.
Spencer was appointed by Guin Mayor Phil Segraves, and officially started on Monday, April 10.
Guin has been in the process of looking for a new chief and new officers for a while now, after the resignations or retirements of several officers and the previous chief, Doug Webb.

Marion County High ups its security

Marion County High School Principal Dustin Silas stands in front of the recently completed security entrance to the school.

GUIN — The safety of students is a priority for school officials in this age of threats and shootings. With help from a private donation, Marion County High School has installed a barrier in the form of a wall at its entrance, stopping visitors and directing them to the office before being admitted into the school.
The donation was $10,000 to MCHS, and an additional $10,000 was given to Guin Elementary School as well.

Hamilton High has first ever fishing team

The first fishing team at Hamilton High School has already participated in two tournaments. Back row from left are Jase Taylor, Jackson Emerson and Sawyer Peterson. Front row from left are Shelton Seaman, Trenten Palmer, Raden Jones, Cole McCarty and Jaxson Evans.

HAMILTON — Hamilton High School is now reeling and casting. With a rich history behind the school and decades of statistics on football, basketball, baseball, track and many other sports, fishing is now making a name for itself.
Calling themselves the Aggie Anglers, this 2022-2023 school year is the first one to have a fishing team for the school. Students approached Ally Taylor, the agriscience teacher, in wanting to make the new sport a reality.

Winfield students raising money for trip

Family, Career and Community Leaders of America members from Winfield City High School competed in the FCCLA Students Taking Action with Recognition events in March. Three groups that competed were state finalists at the state leadership conference held in Montgomery.
Jaci Cook and MaKenzie Nix competed in nutrition and wellness, and their “Make Health a Habit” event won them a gold medal and an alternate position at nationals.

Board opens door on armed faculty

WINFIELD — The Winfield City Board of Education opened the possibility of arming faculty at Winfield City Schools during its regular meeting on Tuesday, April 11, in light of the recent tragedy in Nashville, Tenn., and the phone threat to Winfield schools on Valentine’s Day.
Chief of Police Brett Burleson and Winfield SWAT Commander Justin Cottingham spoke to the board to inform them of possible options for the board to consider.

Major changes made to proposed legislation

HAMILTON — Major changes have been made to Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams’ proposed legislation this past Monday during a Marion County Commission meeting on April 10.
Speaking to the Marion County Commission on Monday, March 20, Williams announced three separate proposed bills that aim to improve pay for the sheriff and employees as well as change qualifications for those who run for the office of sheriff throughout the State of Alabama.
Initially, Williams proposed the sheriff’s salary be set at $81,000 per year.

Hamilton creates school foundation

HAMILTON — All three Hamilton schools are set to get a major financial boost as the City of Hamilton has established the Hamilton Aggie School Foundation.
Typically, the City of Hamilton would fund Hamilton Elementary, Middle and High schools using alcohol tax monies at a total of $135,000 per year.
Now, with the new foundation in operation, the City of Hamilton will have $300,000 to disperse to schools for various projects that schools may need completed.

Hamilton’s police chief set to retire

Ron Vickery will retire in June as the police chief of Hamilton.

HAMILTON — The City of Hamilton is on the search for a new police chief after longtime law enforcer Ronny Vickery announced his retirement scheduled for the end of June.
Vickery has served as the Hamilton Police Chief for the past 10 years.
“With regrets, we’re going to be losing Ronny. I hate to see (him) go. He’s been a great chief for the City of Hamilton for a number of years now,” said Mayor Bob Page.