Summer conferences canceled

HAMILTON - Summer conferences which attract thousands of out-of-town guests to Marion County will not take place this year.

The Ramp publicly announced the cancelations by email on Monday, June 15, noting challenges presented by COVID-19. The Hamilton-based ministry normally hosts two summer youth conferences and a children’s conference each year.

City ordering new garbage truck

HAMILTON - Substantial changes are ahead for Hamilton’s garbage detail.
City officials have given the OK to place an order for a new garbage truck. The new unit will feature a robotic lift arm that will be used to grab trash receptacles from the side of the road and empty them into the truck’s compactor.
The change will require all residents to have compatible trash cans. Most pick-up schedules will likely be affected as well.

Camps struggle under COVID health orders

Local camps have had a unique challenge while attempting to plan programs this summer.
Regulations and guidelines issued in response to the COVID-19 pandemic have left camp administrators with limited options for hosting campers.
Maywood Christian Camp in Hamilton has had to cancel the first four weeks of its camping season. Trinity Camp in Guin has made the difficult decision to cancel camp altogether.

freedomFIBER gathering local leaders

HAMILTON -  freedomFIBER is gathering local superintendents and government leadership today, Wednesday, June 10, at 9 a.m., to discuss ways to reach students who live without internet access.
Trey Cunningham, freedomFIBER Marketing and Public Relations coordinator informed the Journal Record that more than 9 million children nationwide lack internet access at home.
“When you bring the numbers down to Northwest Alabama the size might lessen, but the percentage increases,” said Cunningham.

‘We believe we might see another surge’

WINSTON COUNTY - In a press conferences Thursday morning, May 28, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris and U.S. Senator Doug Jones discussed the increase in COVID-19 cases in Alabama over the last week, an increase that cannot be attributed to an increase in testing, but might have to do more with Alabamians’ personal behavior.
Jones hosted the virtual press conference on his Facebook page, opening the meeting by discussing how the U.S. now has over 100,000 deaths attributed to COVID-19, a grim milestone.

A&I employee tests positive for COVID-19

HAMILTON -  The Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) was informed via self-reporting that one staff member employed at Hamilton Aged and Infirmed prison has tested positive for COVID-19.   
Samantha Rose, Public Information Specialist with ADOC stated that the individual promptly self-quarantined under the direction of their healthcare provider.
According to Rose, ADOC’s Office of Health Services (OHS) has initiated an investigation to determine which, if any, ADOC inmates or employees may have had direct, prolonged exposure to this staff member.

Guin’s Ava Bellew wins districtwide photo contest

Wildflowers spring up in front of an old red barn in Guin. This photo captured by Ava Bellew, 11, of Guin, was chosen as the winner of a contest hosted by Congressman Robert Aderholt. Ava took the image on May 4 using a Nikon D500 camera.

GUIN - A photo captured by an 11-year-old Guin resident will hang in Congressman Robert Aderholt’s office in Washington, D.C.
Ava Bellew, 11, daughter of Bobby and Heather Bellew, submitted a photograph to Aderholt’s Picture of the District Contest in May.
Her photo was selected as the districtwide favorite by popular vote on social media. The image, titled “Spring in Alabama,” has also been uploaded as Aderholt’s cover image on Facebook and Twitter.

Wilds family de-annexed from Brilliant

Brilliant - A family will have roughly 80 acres of land de-annexed from the Town of Brilliant.
Six tracts of land belonging to the Wild’s family will be removed from Brilliant’s incorporated limits effective Aug. 1.
The land was de-annexed through a local act of the Alabama Legislature, Senate Bill 331, which was passed by the lawmakers on Friday, May 8. The bill was made into law on the last day of the 2020 Legislative Session (Monday, May 18).

Bills boost new county jail build

MONTGOMERY - The Marion County Commission is another step closer to a new Marion County Jail.
Marion County State Rep. Tracy Estes, R-Winfield, introduced local bills to the Alabama House of Representatives during the 2020 Legislative session, one of which may help the Marion County Commission in its plans to build a new jail facility.
One bill sees Marion County applying a new 7% lodging tax that Estes stated will see individuals visiting the county effected and not residents inside the county.

Twelve students achieve top marks on ACT

HAMILTON - Twelve Marion County School students finished the school year with a 30 or higher on the ACT.
Marion County Superintendent of Education Ann West says this is the largest group of seniors the system has ever had score so well.
The group was recognized during a Marion County Board  of Education meeting on Wednesday, May 20, at in the system’s central office bus shop.
The 12 county school students join six others from the Winfield City Schools System, giving Marion County a total of 18.


More concerns amid pool opening

GUIN -  With the City of Guin’s waterpark set to open on the weekend of May 30, the Guin City Council discussed concerns for the reopening of the park during a regular meeting over telephone on Monday, May 18.
Mayor Max Maddox and councilman Bobby Bellew both recommended that hand sanitizer be placed at the facility and that whoever is placed in charge over the facility after opening take care to enforce social distancing.