HAMILTON - “I don’t know anything about phone calls,” said Marion County District 2 Commissioner Kenneth Cochran when speaking with the Journal Record about the gas tax reallocation.
TWIN - Some places become known for good things and some places become known for great things. Through the Habitat for Humanity of Northwest Alabama, Marion County is becoming known for kindness and hospitality.
This year, the local Habitat chapter is celebrating it’s 20th home-build and college students from across the nation have been trekking to Twin since February to experience the hospitality and to also make the dream of owning a home a reality for a Winfield family.
According to newly-released data from 2006-2012, Marion County recorded the second-highest opioid prescription rate in Alabama with an average of 108 pills prescribed per resident.
Marion County comes second only to neighboring Walker County, which saw an average of 140 pills prescribed per person.
From 2006-2012, Marion County was supplied 23.1 million prescription pain pills. Walker County was supplied 66.4 million.
MONTGOMERY - Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has awarded a $378,605 grant to assist a non-profit organization that helps children in Marion and Walker counties who are victims of abuse or who have witnessed violence.
The Walker County Children’s Advocacy Center will use the grant funds to continue providing forensic interviews, therapy and advocacy to victims of sexual or physical abuse and their families at no cost.
“Victims of these horrible crimes should have access to help specifically tailored to fit their needs,” said Ivey.
HAMILTON - The Marion County Commission unanimously voted to fund the Marion-Winston Community Action Agency (MWCAA) with around $12,000 to pay for rent and mortgage assistance and to supplement its food program during a regular meeting on Monday, July 15, in Hamilton.
According to Jeff Fleming head of the MWCAA, this funding is known as the Phase 36 funding plan.
“I appreciate the commission for the support,” said Fleming.
HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council voted to begin plans to refinance the city’s 2014 bond issue payments at its Monday, July 1 meeting.
The new payment plan would be adjusted to take advantage lower interest rates compared to when the bond account was opened in 2014.
The 2014 bond issue, which totalled $11,320,547.82, was used for several projects; such as purchasing new fire trucks, building the Hamilton Splash Pad, and purchasing the current city hall building.
HAMILTON - Hamilton residents are organizing a back-to-school cleanup bash to help kick off classes going back in session.
Volunteers will meet at the Hamilton High School football field parking lot on Saturday, Aug. 10, at 7 a.m. to organize into groups and begin work.
Marion County Schools held their first day back in school on Wednesday, Aug. 7.
Event organizer Tyler Knight requested volunteers bring hedge trimmers, weed eaters, pressure washers, rakes and gloves.
Despite tensions with Iran, Hurricane Barry and the summer travel season, gas prices in Alabama have remained low.
According to Clay Ingram, a spokesperson for the American Automobile Association (AAA) in Birmingham, low global demand for gas— combined with large amounts of domestic production—have insulated prices at the pump.
Ingram told the Journal Record at the time of the interview (Wednesday, July 17) gas prices in Alabama were averaging $2.43 statewide. This is 10 cents more than one month ago ($2.30), but 12 cents less than one year ago ($2.55).
WINFIELD - Two homeowners and two other suspects are accused of intentionally burning a Habitat for Humanity-funded home for an insurance payout.
The Alabama Fire Marshal’s Office announced on social media on Tuesday, July 9, that homeowners Jonathan Casey Morgan, 32, and Sydni Roshele Morgan, 32, both of Winfield, were arrested following indictments handed down by the Marion County Grand Jury on June 11 for the burning of the Morgan’s home in February 2018.
GUIN - One-hundred years ago, a group of people began holding church services in a barn along Purgatory Creek south of Guin.
What they started continues to this day as the Real Chapel Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, a church that is now located just up the hill from that same spot.
“This church is full of history and I am proud to be a member of Real Chapel,” said chairman of stewards Michael McCollum during the church’s 100th anniversary celebration on Sunday, June 30.
MONTGOMERY - Bevill State Community College’s (BSCC) will receive the largest performance-based funding increase among the state’s 23 community colleges.
The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Board of Trustees approved a $320.6-million operation and maintenance budget at its board meeting on Wednesday, July 10, in Montgomery—a $19.3 million boost from the previous year.
HAMILTON - There were 322 students enrolled at Bevill State Community College (BSCC)-Hamilton Campus during the summer months.
According to a report published by BSCC on Monday, July 1, on its website, there were 2,471 enrolled in BSCC systemwide during the 2019 Summer Semester, producing 17,119 credit hours for the college.
This includes 467 dual enrollment (high school) students who registered.
BSCC enrollment counts students online and on its campuses in Hamilton, Fayette, Jasper, Carrollton and Sumiton.
GUIN - The discount merchandise store Fred’s announced that it will be closing the Guin store along with 129 other stores across the nation, including 11 other stores across Alabama.
Liquidation sales have already begun at the stores to be closed.
"While it is never easy to make decisions that impact our valued employees and customers, this initiative represents another necessary step in our continued efforts to stabilize our business by simplifying our store portfolio and product assortment," Fred's Chief Executive Officer Joseph Anto said in a statement.
MARION COUNTY - Alabama’s annual Back-to-School Sales Tax Holiday is coming up on Friday through Sunday, July 19 through the 21.
Shoppers will be able to purchase clothing, school supplies, books and computers without having to pay state and local sales tax on items under a certain cost.
Items exempt from sales tax include:
• Clothing items that cost no more than $100 each (this excludes items like sports gear and jewelry)
HACKLEBURG - The Hackleburg Town Council approved and signed a local ordinance that will allow the town to punish those who illegally dump into the Hackleburg sewage system during a regular meeting on Monday, July 8, in Hackleburg.
During a regular meeting in May, Tyler McKeller with the sewer treatment plant told the council that there was suspected illegal tapping and dumping into the sewage system in the town.
HAMILTON - Marion County Commissioners Kenneth Cochran, Tim Estes and Bobby Burleson, along with 25th Judicial Circuit Court Judge Daryl Burt met with Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams and PH&J Principal Architects Patrick T. Addison and Renis Jones to discuss the ongoing Marion County Jail project on Thursday, June 27, at the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.
Jones began the meeting by expressing his belief that Marion County is in great need of a new jail building, as the current jail does not meet the needs of the county.
HAMILTON - The Hamilton City Council discussed the possibility of a new jail facility for the county during its Wednesday, July 10 work session.
The county commission is ready to move forward with plans for a new jail facility, which would likely include a court complex.
“What judicial system?” asked councilwoman Tammy Lewis Williams. “Are we talking about moving the court from the courthouse?”
“That’s what’s in discussion,” said city attorney Scott Hunt. “That’s not a firm decision, so it’s not ironclad.”
HAMILTON - The Marion County Commission unanimously approved two grant applications for the 25th Judicial Circuit District Attorney’s office and the Drug Task Force during the regular meeting on Monday, July 8, in Hamilton.
The grant for the District Attorney’s office will go toward the salary and operating expenses for the assistant D.A. who handles domestic violence cases.
The grant for the drug task force will be used for payroll and various equipment and administrative costs.
HAMILTON - Brad Whisnant, Bevill State Community College-Hamilton HVAC instructor, is this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Award.
Whisnant has been at the college since 2007, where he began as a maintenance worker.
He received an Assossicate’s degree from BSCC in Dec. 1998, and a Bachelor’s of education from Athens State in 2016.
HAYLEYVILLE - Two newspapers owned by Haleyville-based Mid-South Newspapers— the Northwest Alabamian and the Journal Record—were recognized as being the most improved publications statewide.
(Mid-South Newspapers also owns the Fayette County newspaper, the Times-Record, and the Pickens County Herald in Carrollton.)
The Alabama Press Association (APA) held its summer convention on Saturday, June 29, at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach, where the winners of the 2019 APA Media Awards (AMA) contest were announced.