Hackleburg officials boost patrolman pay by $2

HACKLEBURG - Wage competition is heating up in the region as Hackleburg is boosting its patrolman’s pay by $2-an-hour.
Town councilors in Hackleburg voted unanimously during a meeting on Monday, Jan. 25, to boost the pay scale to $16 for patrolmen at the recommendation of Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn who said other departments in the area are planning similar measures. The approved pay raise includes bumping the pay for the assistant chief and chief to $17 and $18, respectively.


New travel stop opens tomorrow

As one of the most highly-anticipated developments of the last two years, Hamilton’s new Love’s Travel Stop is set to begin operations tomorrow, Feb. 4.

The new location is seated right off of County Road 35 (Fulton Bridge) on River Road Drive, strategically positioned near Interstate 22’s Exit 14.

The $12 million, 20-acre facility has created about 50 local jobs and will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year, accompanied by an Arby’s sandwich restaurant and Speedco truck service center.

Dearen appointed as new member

Local State Farm Agent Mark Dearen has been appointed to the Marion County Board of Education.
The Marion County school officials met on Friday, Jan. 29, to appoint someone to serve in the District 3, Hamilton seat, replacing outgoing member Belinda McRae, who was elected last year to the State Board of Education.
The District 3 seat is already four years into the election cycle, meaning the position will be up for election in November 2022. However, qualification for the party primary elections will take place later this year.


What’s the future of Hamilton A&I?

As movement with Alabama’s prison system has begun to stir, the future for many of the state’s prison facilities seem uncertain, including that of the Hamilton Aged and Infirmed. [Scott Johnson/ STAFF]

Rep. Estes gathering leaders to weigh four options

HAMILTON - Shadows of concertina wire and armed guards regularly stretch across the drive-thru lane of the McDonald’s in Hamilton.
Those stopping through the restaurant for a quick meal often get a front-row seat to watch white-uniformed state prisoners playing basketball and gardening during recreation hours--an odd experience for passers-through, but nothing out of the ordinary for Marion County locals.

A new hope for a new Marion County Jail

HAMILTON -  The Marion County Commission welcomed Fayette-based architect Jim Berry, Technical Assistant Angela Berry, Senior Draftsman Roger Snyder and construction manager Andrew Jackson to discuss their plans for the Marion County Jail in Hamilton during a work session on Thursday, Dec. 10, at the Marion County Commission Office in Hamilton.
Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams was also in attendance during the meeting to discuss his needs for the new jail facility.

Tombigbee receives five-year tax pass

HAMILTON - FreedomFiber will get a local boost in its journey to expand high-speed broadband internet service to northwest Alabama.
During a meeting on Monday, Dec. 7, the Hamilton City Council voted unanimously to provide Tombigbee Communications with a five-year abatement on its local three-cent sales-and-use tax in order to assist the company in its large-scale broadband intuitive.

Board, city teaming up for new auditorium

WINFIELD - The Winfield City Schools Board of Education and The City of Winfield discussed plans to fund and build a new auditorium during a regular Board of Education meeting at Winfield Middle School on Tuesday, Dec. 8.
Winfield Mayor Randy Price and District 17 State Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, were in attendance to discuss the project with board members.
Price stated that the plan is to build a new auditorium and incorporate new administrative offices for  both the Winfield BOE and the employees for the City of Winfield.

Grant awarded to repair history-rich structure

Grant funds through the Alabama Historical Commission (AHC) are on their way to assist a local historical project.
State Rep. Tracy Estes said he has received news from the AHC that two of three grants he has assisted within his district have been approved for funding.
This includes a $15,000 grant to the City of Winfield to replace the roof on the former Christian Center of Concern building and another $15,000 grant to reroof an old school in Double Springs.

350 meals provided for Thanksgiving

A Hamilton drive distributed hundreds of meals on Thanksgiving day, Thursday, Nov. 26.
According to event coordinator Sandy Sandlin, with help from local volunteers, the local Hamilton United Methodist Church helped to distribute 350 meals to first responders, firefighters, policemen, paramedics, hospital and nursing home staff, the Hamilton Aged & Infirmed and the Hamilton- Work Release, a local mental health group home and Marion County Jail inmates.

“Pick’n and grin’n” on Christmas nights

For 30 years, every Christmas night in Hamilton would be filled with the twangs of bluegrass music.
The holiday tradition formed around the musical legacy of the Jackson family, which has produced a heritage of pickers, songwriters and, yes, buck dancers, too.
From their home near downtown Hamilton, Estes, 95, and Ercelle, 92, Jackson reminisced on Christmases past with their son, David.

Trott’n turkeys run up $6,100 for toy drive

Turkey Trot Race Director Dawn Guin presents a $6,100 check to Winfield Police Chief Bob Burleson for his department’s annual Christmas Toy Drive for children.

The Turkey Trot 5K, formerly Huffin & Puffin for Turkey & Stuffin, was born out of a need to help families in the Winfield area.  
Shane Hughes was instrumental in starting this endeavor.  In its early days, the toy fund relied on toy donations from the community.  Five years ago, donations had become fewer and fewer.  The idea was conceived to host a 5K race on Thanksgiving Day with 100% of the proceeds going to the toy fund.  

Fiery crash claims life of unknown driver

Authorities have yet to identify a driver who died in a single-vehicle wreck on Friday, Nov. 20, in Hamilton.
According to Alabama State Trooper Public Affairs Officer Gregory Corble, at approximately 11:50 a.m., the unknown driver left the roadway, struck a guard rail, hit a tree and then overturned.
Corble said the 2008 Cadillac Escalade he or she was driving then engulfed in flames. Identification of the body is pending confirmation from the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville and notification of next of kin.

‘They were godsends’

Winfield resident Ken Barnett had Winfield Elementary School Physical Education Coach George Hennicke and Track Coach Steve Reaves to thank for saving his life after collapsing at the school’s track complex on Nov. 19.
Barnett was on a run and crossed the parking lot at the elementary school and onto the track complex before collapsing to the ground.
“I got about a half mile into my run and I started feeling funny and breathing hard. I saw the track team and saw coach Reaves there,” said Barnett

Holiday shoppers show up to buy small

(From left) Sonya Stewart and Brad Stewart visit and shop at Farm Valley Company’s booth at the Hamilton Hometown’s downtown shopping event on Friday, Nov. 20. Also shown are Farm Valley Company owners Kalyn Moore and Carly Mellini.

HAMILTON - More than 1,000 people flocked to the Hamilton Hometown Christmas event this year, according to event officials.
The Hamilton Area Chamber of Commerce hosted its Fifth Annual Hometown Christmas downtown shopping event on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 20-21.

Board accepting letters of interest for open seat

Re-elected Marion County Board of Education (MCBOE) member Daryl Weatherly (right) is administered the oath of office by MCBOE attorney Scott Hunt (foreground). Also shown is board member Beverly Burleson.

HAMILTON - The Marion County Board of Education is seeking to fill an upcoming vacancy.
During the board’s meeting on Thursday, Nov. 19, members voted unanimously to accept letters of interest from those wishing to be considered for appointment to fill the District 3 seat currently occupied by longtime board member Belinda McRae.