Delegates weigh in on upcoming session

HAMILTON - The 2019 Legislative Session is quickly approaching. It will launch on Tuesday, March 5, and could potentially run through June 17.
Leading up to the session, the Journal Record has reached out to Marion County’s legislative delegation and has requested their views on several issues that may potentially be tackled by lawmakers in Montgomery this year.

 

Raises walked back after misstep

HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council is backpedalling after unintentionally approving raises for more employees than intended.
At a previous Jan. 22 council meeting, the Hamilton council unanimously passed pay raises for certified and non-certified Hamilton water and waste water employees.
But Hamilton Mayor Bob Page says that non-certified employees were never intended to be part of the equation.

 

Truck fire quickly extinguished

The Hamilton Fire Department responded to a tractor-trailer fire at 5 a.m. on I-22’s westbound Exit 7 on Friday, Feb. 22. Firefighters were able to save the load the truck was carrying and the driver was uninjured.

HAMILTON -  The Hamilton Fire Department was dispatched at 5 a.m.  to respond to a tractor-trailer fire at Interstate 22’s westbound Exit 7 on Friday, Feb. 22.

Spring enrollment down

HAMILTON - Spring 2019 enrollment for Bevill State Community College (BSCC) was lower systemwide compared to the previous semester, Fall 2018.
For Spring 2019, BSCC had a headcount of 3,317 students systemwide and had 29,418 registered credit hours, for an average of 8.87 hours per student.
Academic students numbered 1,604 systemwide and accounted for 13,673 of the system’s total credit hours. This means academic students averaged 10.21 hours.

 

Cheer, track team honored; Arno, Thornell give updates

Northwest Alabama Economic Alliance (NWEDA) President David Thornell distributes informational broshures to the council.

WINFIELD - The Winfield City Council held its Tuesday, Feb. 19, meeting in the Pastime Civic Center to honor the members of the Winfield City High School varsity cheer squad, cheer coach Sandra Seals and the WCHS track team.
Winfield Mayor Randy Price presented resolutions to Seals, the cheer squad and the track team for their recent accomplishments on the national and state level.

Sutton wins big at BBQ competition

HAMILTON - Samuel Sutton, 16, won 1st place at the National 4-H Poultry and Egg Conference Turkey Barbecue Competition in Louisville, Ky., on Friday, Nov 15.
Sutton, an 11th grade student at Hamilton High School, heard about the competition through his local 4-H Club, where he has been a member for five years, and competed in a competition at the Marion County level and finished in 1st place at the state level before competing in the turkey barbecue competition at the national level in November.

17th Annual JBAF this weekend

Art lovers and artists mingle at the 2018 Jerry Brown Arts Festival at the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative facility.

HAMILTON - This weekend marks the Jerry Brown Arts Festival’s (JBAF) 17th annual event.
Once again under the large City of Hamilton water tower, the JBAF will be taking place at the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative’s facility at 3196 County Highway 55 in Hamilton.
The free event will take place on Saturday, March 2, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

 

Courthouse guard accidentally fires two shots into wall

HAMILTON - A private security guard has been terminated after accidently discharging two rounds from a handgun while on duty at the Marion County Courthouse.
Marion County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jeff Davis said the incident occurred on Friday, Feb. 22, at approximately 3:30 p.m. in the front security room of the courthouse.

No one was injured during the shooting and there was minimal damage.

 

Census 2020 participation vital for recruiting

HAMILTON - State officials are urging local leaders to drive home the need for Census participation.
While there are many uses for Census data, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Director Kenneth Boswell recently advised local leaders during a regional economic summit that many businesses and industries use the population report to make decisions on where to locate.

Aderholt honored with Champion Award

(From left) Current board chairman Al Elbert, 2018 board chairman Harry Unger, and Phillip Harrod, board chairman from 2014 to 2018, were all honored for their service to the Northwest EDA during the Eighth Annual State of the Region meeting at the Vernon City Complex on Thursday, Jan. 31.

VERNON - The Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance (EDA) honored Congressman Robert Aderholt, John Riley of Bolzoni Auramo and current and former board chairmen as the EDA held its eighth annual state of the region meeting at the Vernon City Complex on Thursday, January 31.

Census bureau looking to hire in Northwest Alabama

HAMILTON - The United States Census Bureau is in the midst of a massive recruiting effort and they may have a job for you. The census bureau is currently looking to hire 20 million workers ahead of the 2020 Census.
Every 10 years, since 1790, the bureau has attempted to count every man, woman, and child living in the United States and its territories.

First steps toward a new jail

Marion County sheriff Kevin Williams (standing) speaks to members of the commission on Monday, Feb. 4 during a special called meeting. Pictured are (seated, from left) Dale Holt, Bob Burleson, Kenneth Cochran and Keith Nichols. Not pictured is Tim “Ears” Estes.

HAMILTON - Over the past few weeks, a parade of architects, designers and consultants hoping to win a contract to build a new jail in Marion County have presented themselves to Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams and the Marion County Commission.
Representatives from such architectural and design firms as Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, PH&J Architects, Volkert, Inc. and Hamilton architect Andrea Harbison have all made presentations to the commission.

County, city school officials take a stand against AAA

The Marion County Board of Education and Winfield Board of Education have joined school districts across the state in calling for the repeal of the controversial Alabama Accountability Act (AAA).
Marion County school board members unanimously adopted a resolution at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12, calling for lawmakers to repeal the act in the upcoming 2019 session, which begins on Tuesday, March 5.
The Winfield Board of Education also approved a resolution recommending Legislators repeal the AAA at its Wednesday, Feb. 13, meeting.

 

County offices see new, returning faces

(Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of 2 stories for the swearing in of county officials. See our last paper on Wednesday, Feb. 13, for Part 1.)
County officers elected during the 2018 election cycle have all taken their turn in raising their right hand and have sworn to serve the people.
The new and returning officers all officially assumed their positions on Tuesday, Jan. 15, not including the elected Marion County Board of Education members, who took their seats in December.

 

Bussler JBAF’s 2019 featured artist

The Northwest Alabama Arts Council has announced that Christine Bussler, an artist from Fayetteville, Tenn., has been selected as the featured artist for this year’s JBAF. Her artwork will be featured on the 2019 commemorative T-shirt. Bussler, who is a self-taught painter, is returning to the JBAF for the fifth time.

HAMILTON - Commemorative T-shirts for the 17th Annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival (JBAF) are now on sale.
The annual JBAF is set for Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3, in south Hamilton at the spacious Tombigbee Electric Cooperative facility. Admission is, as always, free and hours are Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Hamilton-based Northwest Alabama Arts Council.

Superintendents, Estes not in favor of charter schools’ use of public monies

Both public school systems in Marion County have gone on the record recommending the repeal of the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA).
With the Marion County School System approving its resolution on Wednesday, Jan. 23, and the Winfield City School System following with the same on Wednesday, Feb. 13, leaders of the two school systems left no doubt where they stand. Nor did newly-elected District 17 State Rep. Tracy Estes.

 

Vick hires same staff

HAMILTON - Marion County has split ways with Monroe County in south Alabama and is no longer one of two counties in Alabama using a fee model to operate its probate judge’s office.
Special legislation passed in 2017 has now taken effect in January 2019, ordering the Marion County Commission to furnish the local probate judge and office staff with paychecks and benefit packages through the county’s General Fund.