School board puts emphasis on attendance in September


Marion County Board of Education supervisor Patrick Sutton speaks to the board about school attendance on Tuesday, Aug. 20.

HAMILTON - In order to increase attendance rates, the Marion County Board of Education (MCBOE) has declared the month of September as School Attendance Month. The declaration came during the board’s Tuesday, Aug. 20, meeting.
MCBOE Supervisor Patrick Sutton made the announcement before presenting some alarming statistics to the board and suggesting ways to curb truancy and chronic absenteeism in Marion County schools.  

Gas tax increasing 6¢ Sept. 1 

An upcoming gas tax increase may go virtually unnoticed due to gas prices gradually falling over the last month.
“With the prices going downward, we won’t notice it as much,” said Birmingham-based American Automobile Association (AAA) spokesperson Clay Ingram. “Having it this time of year is better than doing it in the spring when prices would already be increasing.”
Alabama’s gas will increase 6 cents beginning Sunday, Sept. 1, raising the state’s gas tax from 18 cents to 24 cents per gallon. Tax on diesel will increase from 19 cents to 25 cents per gallon.

Green celebrates 45 years as nurse


Gay Green is pictured here performing her duties at Sunset Manor Nursing Home in Guin on Wednesday, Aug. 7.

GUIN - “I’ve gotten so used to driving here, my car just automatically turns toward Guin to get here,” said Gay Green, who is marking 45 years as a nurse at Sunset Manor Nursing Home in Guin.
“I come down here so much from Pea Ridge. This is just my second home,” she said, her laughter echoing through the lobby of the nursing home that was built five years before she started working there.
Green, 66, has worked at Sunset Manor since June 1974 and is considered an asset among the staff, said the nursing home’s owner and administrator, Lance Junkin.

Weeks warns of gift card phone scams

TWIN - “Grandad, I’m up here in jail in Jasper.”
This is how a scam phone call began which was on its way to successfully cheating a Marion County couple out of $1,000.
Smithie Weeks, who is a councilwoman for the Town of Twin, says she wants to share her and her husband’s experience as she believes other seniors may be targeted.
On July 30, Weeks, 78, said she walked in to find her husband, James,  80, in mid-conversation over the phone with someone claiming to be their 21-year-old grandson, Caleb, who lives in Atlanta, Ga.

 

Henger gives update to Winfield council


Northwest Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Bob Henger speaks to the Winfield City Council during the council’s Tuesday, Aug 20, meeting in Winfield.

WINFIELD - Northwest Medical Center Chief Executive Officer Bob Henger appeared before the Winfield City Council at its Tuesday, Aug. 20, meeting to give an update on the hospital.
Henger, who came out of retirement two months ago to run the hospital, appeared before the council at the request of councilman Chris Ballard. Ballard has been requesting an appearance from the CEO for a few weeks. Henger was scheduled to appear at the Aug. 6 meeting but missed due to surgery.  

Gas tax to assist funding road projects


Hamilton resident Laura Crawford is shown voicing her concerns for the City of Hamilton during the regular meeting held on Monday, Aug. 19, at Hamilton City Hall.

HAMILTON -  The Hamilton City Council unanimously approved committing $36,248 from gas tax revenue to fund the 2019 transportation plan in which the City of Hamilton will stripe and realign streets within the city.
This resolution was approved on Monday, Aug. 19, during a regular meeting at Hamilton City Hall.
“This is committing funds that are projected to be collected as the City of Hamilton’s portion of the upcoming increased gas and fuel taxes for the Rebuild Alabama Act,” said Hamilton Mayor Bob Page.

Rural strategist confident with C3


Economic Development Association of Alabama Rural Development Strategist Brian Hilson spoke during the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance’s annual membership luncheon which was held at the Holiday Inn in Guin on Thursday, July 25.

GUIN - Economic development officials are optimistic concerning Marion County’s future.
Brian Hilson of Hoover,  who serves as a rural development strategist for the Economic Development Association of Alabama, reviewed the county’s economic state and potential during the Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance (EDA)’s annual membership appreciation luncheon on Thursday, July 25, at the Holiday Inn in Guin.

Winfield cheerleaders


Winfield cheerleaders

The 2019 Winfield cheerleaders are (front row, from left) Ana Beth Hawkins, MaKenna Tucker, Memory Clark, Melody Harrison, Ella Chaffin, Jaken Terrell, (middle row, same order) Brooklyn Bozeman, Addie Birmingham, Bailey Dodd, Tatum Franks, Macy Cummings, Abi Webb, Halie Lowry, Isabella Newman, Anna-Grace Sims, Chloe Graham, (back row, same order) Katilyn Gilbert, Jacie Cook, Lexi Welch, Karley Sullins, Madison Wennberg, Olivia Webster, Preslee Loring, Isabella Taylor, Reid Hollingsworth and Makenzie Nix. In the Wednesday, Aug.

Threadgill looks back on 50 years in radio

WINFIELD - “It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do,” said WKXM radio disc jockey Doug Threadgill as his eyes dart back and forth from the mixing console to a computer screen inside the cramped radio station east of Winfield.
Threadgill cues up a commercial to the fading notes of a song that was popular in the late 1960s.
“I’m probably one of the few people that spent their whole life doing the only thing they ever wanted to do.”
Threadgill’s hands are busy turning knobs, sliding faders and pressing buttons.

 

Baker charged with sexual abuse of infant

WINFIELD - A Hamilton man is being held on a $150,000 bond for charges of sexual abuse of an 11th-month-old child.
Daryl Baker, 30, is being charged for sexual abuse of a child less than 12 and remains in the Marion County Jail in Hamilton.
Winfield Police Department Lt. Dustin Hulsey said he responded to the Northwest Medical Center’s Emergency Room in Winfield on Sunday, Aug. 11, in response to a complaint by the infant’s grandparents.

Marriage laws change Aug. 29

HAMILTON - New marriage laws enacted this past Spring by the Legislature will become effective on Thursday, Aug. 29. However, a county official is saying there are still serious questions in the air that need answering.
Marion County Probate Judge Paige Vick posted on Facebook on Tuesday, Aug. 13, saying with the change, there may be some complications for those currently considering or planning to acquire a marriage license.

Officials stand behind penalties

HAMILTON - The Hamilton recreation and senior center renovation project is now two-and-a-half-months past its original deadline.
The Hamilton City Council discussed the prolonged work at the E.T. Sims Neighborhood Facilities Building during a work session on Wednesday, Aug. 15, in the Hamilton City Hall Tea Room. The council did not meet in the council chambers due to air conditioning issues.

Senator fields town hall questions

HAMILTON - Democrat Sen. Doug Jones (D) hosted a town hall meeting in Hamilton on Monday night, Aug. 5.
Jones drew a moderate crowd of about 60 people from around the Marion County area to his meeting at the old city hall building in Hamilton (the current police department), where he gave a brief Congressional update and then opened the floor for questions, comments and concerns.
Jones openly encouraged both Democrats and Republicans and others to attend his meeting, saying any question was fair game.

‘End of Summer’ concert set for Aug. 24

WINFIELD - School is back in session and the lazy days of summer have ended.
The Pastime Theatre in Winfield wants to invite everyone to attend an “End of Summer” concert featuring two area acts.
“If we must say, ‘Goodbye,’ to summer, then let us say, ‘Goodbye,’ with a fantastic concert that is economically-priced, too,” said Pastime Theatre Board Chairwoman Mary Hyche.
The Winfield theater will be presenting the “End of Summer” concert on Saturday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m.

 

Jones touts bipartisan work during town hall

HAMILTON - Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) hosted a town hall meeting in Hamilton on Monday, Aug. 5.
The two-hour meeting took place at the old city hall building (Hamilton Police Department) and there were roughly 60 people in attendance.
Jones said the Senate is currently on recess until the week after Labor Day (Sept. 1). The U.S. House recessed one week prior.

Dixie Paving to pave three streets

GUIN -  The Guin City Council voted to contract with Dixie Paving in Haleyville to pave three streets at a cost of $50,000 during the Monday Aug. 5, council meeting.
The streets are 14th Avenue East, 10th Street and 15th Ave. E that connect Alabama State Highway 43/278 with County Road 44.
Guin Mayor Max Maddox said he had spoken with a few different street pavers and they all quoted him near the same amount for the job.

Commission considering mobile drug testing

HAMILTON -  Brent Oliver, owner and chief executive officer of the Tuscumbia-based mobile drug testing company Valley Source Drug Test, appeared before the Marion County Commissioners to present his company as a drug testing option for the county during a work session on Thursday, Aug. 8, in Hamilton.
Valley Source Drug Test operates as a strictly mobile drug testing facility that travels to the site in which the county would need drug testing to take place.
The company offers urine, hair, saliva, DNA testing and background checks.

 

City discusses outsourcing cemetery lawn care

HAMILTON - Extensive lawn care work at the Hamilton Cemetery each month is estimated to cost the city roughly $1,000 a month during the summer.
City officials are wondering if a different approach could result in savings.
The Hamilton City Council discussed the topic during a work session on Wednesday, July 31, when it was introduced by councilman Wade Sullins.
“Instead of our people having to take out from their jobs and go over there and mow and weedeat, maybe put it out for bid and let someone else take care of it,” Sullins said.