Frozen in place: Weather brings county to standstill

On Wednesday, Jan. 17, a water leak on Military Street South in Hamilton near the Dollar General store created a massive ice sculpture, still visible days later due to extremely low temperatures in the area.
MARION COUNTY — For the majority of the week of Jan. 15-19, most of Marion County was frozen in place and under an “impassable travel advisory” from the Marion County Engineer’s Office.

Fatality occurs Thursday on 49

HAMILTON — A single-vehicle crash that occurred at approximately 9:53 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, has claimed the life of a Hackleburg man. Frankie S. Swinney, 52, was fatally injured when the 2013 Ford Focus he was driving left the roadway, struck a utility pole guy-wire and a tree. Swinney was transported to North Mississippi Medical Center-Hamilton in Hamilton, where he succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced deceased. The crash, occurring on Marion County Highway 49 near Alabama Highway 253, is currently under investigation by state troopers.

Two arrested after police pursuit

HAMILTON — Two people have been arrested, with one being charged with a felony, after a high-speed pursuit on Interstate 22 Monday, Jan. 8.

Sheldon Poole, 29, of Memphis, Tenn., and Tylisha Holst, 25, also of Memphis, were arrested after a tire deflation device was deployed by the Hamilton Police Department, stopping the vehicle just west of Exit 7 on the interstate, which is near Weston.

Foster parent classes begin Jan. 23

HAMILTON — The Marion County Department of Human Resources will hold free foster parent classes beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 23, at the DHR offices in Bedford Industrial Park in Hamilton.

According to local child advocate, foster parent and founder of Kids for Life, Melissa Mathieson, there is a greater need for local foster parents than ever before, with a record number of children needing foster care.

Walkers visit Brilliant on trek through U.S.

The Walking America Couple, Torin and Paige Rouse, visit Brilliant on their way through Alabama. Their plan is to walk to all 48 states.
BRILLIANT — Some like walking for fun. Some like to walk on a track or to take a hike through the forest. Some like to walk to every state. That is what one couple is doing. Calling themselves Walking America Couple, and using this phrase for different social media accounts, their mission is to walk to every state in the continental United States. Their trek brought them to Marion County and Brilliant on Nov. 10, where they were welcomed at the fire department during the veterans and Thanksgiving meal.

Sheriff confirms jail fees, open to solutions to keep people out of jail

Sheriff Kevin Williams would rather persons avoid jail time by showing up for court and working out payment plans for their fees and fines, instead of facing arrest and even more costly fines.
HAMILTON — The Journal Record reached out to Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams concerning the recent ordinance passed in Bear Creek related to increased fines for persons with misdemeanor charges failing to show up for municipal court.

Bear Creek to fine court no-shows

Bear Creek Police Chief Eddie Collins discusses the new ordinance. By Chad Fell
BEAR CREEK — One of the many negative, lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic is people failing to show up for court, bringing financial hardships on municipalities, which wind up paying for jail accommodations when the people are arrested for missing their court dates.

Hamilton approves $146,327

Shown standing on the track and surveying the work on Jan. 2 (center) is construction superintendent Wendell Edgill of Avery Landscaping
HAMILTON — The Hamilton City Council’s Monday, Dec. 18, meeting was brief, with only two items of city business discussed.

Kids enjoy ‘shop with a cop’ event at Walmart

Joshua smiles at Hamilton Police Officer Heath Jackson as he selects a giant motorized monster truck as one of his special gift selections at ‘Shop with a Cop’ at the Hamilton Walmart Supercenter on Dec. 16.
HAMILTON — On Saturday, Dec. 16, the Hamilton Walmart Supercenter held its first “Shop with a Cop” event, where several children were able to shop for Christmas presents with members of the Hamilton Police Department.

Bear Creek launches Project Be Prepared

Showing the close proximity of the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks to Phillips schools in Bear Creek, are, from left, Bear Creek Police Chief Eddie Collins, Mayor Rob Taylor and High School Principal Dr. Al Temple. They are standing on the railroad tracks.
BEAR CREEK — The time to think about catastrophic events-- such as train derailments-- is before they occur.

Sheltering and detecting: Commission seeks bids on storm shelters and metal detectors

HAMILTON — The Marion County Commission met on Monday, Dec. 18, and voted on changes to the new jail, storm shelters and new metal detectors.
The commission voted to approve change orders for the Marion County Jail totaling $47,480.
“These items are necessary changes to certify the security features of electrical enhancements,” said commission chairman Keith Nichols.
The board also voted to approve another measure that would save the county about $45,000 through another change order involving the purchase of communications equipment.

The day the music died (again): B side

At its 50th anniversary in 2000, several of WERH’s employees gathered in front of the station for a photo. Shown are (from left) Mark Burleson, Doug Threadgill, Heather Miller McCarley, Troyce Williams, Sarah Lemon, Bryan K. Williams, Geraldine Miller, Edgar Clayton and Mr. James Fowler

By Kathryn “Chazz” Hirschfeld
Staff writer
Welcome back to the final segments of our shared memories of WERH’s Mr. James  Fowler, a beloved gentleman to many in our community. But everyone in our interviews last week and today have already said it much better. Ditto, my friends. I’ll come back once more for a brief sign off at the end.Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to share their stories with me and our readers.

The Baby becomes the Savior

Climax of the finale dance shows main characters in joyous celebration.

Christmas is a time of celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In its production of “Searching for Christmas,” The Ramp in Hamilton provided an opportunity to see Jesus (or Joshua) as a grown man, as well as a newborn. During several of the productions, an opportunity was given for the public to donate to Christmas for Kids. Funds from performances raised more than $9,500, with The Ramp adding another $2,500 to bring the total to more than $12,000.

Winfield schools ranked fifth in state

Winfield Elementary School principal Mallory Long (right, standing) and curriculum coordinator Kallie Woodley, far left, spoke to the board about the new benchmark score requirements for third graders to advance.
WINFIELD — The Winfield City School system was ranked in the top five in the state based on its most recent state department of education report card.

The day the music died (again): A side

Mr. Fowler is shown with his son, Jim.

By Kathryn “Chazz” Hirschfeld
Staff writer
Mr. James Fowler was a jolly old man, the opposite of a grumpy old man. I never saw him without a smile after he retired. And during the time I knew him while he managed Hamilton’s WERH Radio Station, he was most always smiling. In fact, I only saw Mr. Fowler one time in 10 years without a smile. That’s a pretty good record.