Drive: The Roberson Coy Sullins story

Coy Sullins stands with a creation of his about 1940 in Florida.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer — With information from Rob Swinney and Marie Sullins Holmes
When it comes to car transmissions, many folks nowadays don’t know how to operate manual transmissions, or “stick-shifts.” Manual transmissions have mostly fallen out of favor after the rise in popularity of the automatic transmission.
One Marion County man might have had a significant role to play in this transmission transition.

Marion County Stampede wins awards

Hamilton Mayor Bob Page holds the two awards given to Marion County Stampede.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — The Marion County Stampede in Hamilton has been named the Best New Rodeo of the Year and the Best $1,500 Rodeo of Year for the event that took place in 2022.
The rodeo event, which was held in the spring of 2022, was a huge hit in Marion County, drawing crowds from even outside of Marion County lines.
The Professional Cowboy Association at the rodeo finals in Biloxi, Miss. announced the awards on Saturday, Feb. 4.

Marion County escapee captured in Haleyville

Ashley Pipkins

By Chad Fell
Courtesy of the Northwest Alabamian
HALEYVILLE — A man wanted on escape charges from Marion County was in the wrong place at the wrong time on Wednesday, Feb. 1, in Haleyville.
Arrested during a traffic stop on Highway 13 at 18th Street in Haleyville was Ashley Dewayne Pipkins, 46, of Haleyville, who has been charged with  trafficking methamphetamine (possessing 28 grams or greater) and possession of marijuana second degree, according to Haleyville Police Investigator Lt. Eddie Collins.


Human remains identified

Remains found on Jan. 7 have been identified as those of Justin Kyle Lovett.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON  — Human remains found in Hamilton in January have finally been identified as Justin Kyle Lovett, who was reported missing back in April of 2022.
Lovett’s remains were found on Jan. 7 in Hamilton.
According to Hamilton Police Sergeant Scotty Chandler, the remains were identified by the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences through dental records.
Chandler stated the Hamilton Police Department is in close contact with the family of Lovett.

Hunting and the Gospel at Maywood

Jalen Lewis, right, with his father Joshua

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Pine Hills and Oak Hollars Child Classic Wish Hunt took place for its 12th year at Maywood Christian Camp in Hamilton on Jan 5-8.
The wish hunt is offered annually to children who have illness and to those living in the local community as well.
Each year, three children are chosen to come along for the hunt, but this year, four children were taken to hunt squirrels and deer.

Man arrested at school event

By P.J. Gossett
General manager
BRILLIANT — A high school basketball game was momentarily halted on Tuesday, Jan. 24, when a belligerent spectator caused a scene and was subsequently taken into custody by Brilliant Chief of Police Eddie Bryant.
Stephen Smiley, of Brilliant, has been charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Hackleburg names Ring city councilman

IPictured are, front from left, Tenley Ring, Tyli Ring; back, from left, new Hackleburg Councilman Cody Ring and his wife Tiffany Ring.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HACKLEBURG —  The Town of Hackleburg has found its new councilman in newcomer Cody Ring.
After much deliberation, the Town of Hackleburg voted unanimously to put Ring on the council to replace the late Doc Hudson on Monday, Jan. 23, at Hackleburg Town Hall.
Ring, 37, is a Hackleburg resident and former member of the water board.
His wife, Tiffany, is a teacher at Hackleburg Elementary School where his two daughters, Tenley and Tyli attend.

Arrest made after crash investigation

Rusty Clark is arrested Monday for DUI and reckless endangerment in a crash which occurred in December.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD —Rusty Clark, 51, of Winfield, has been arrested and charged with driving under the influence and reckless endangerment after a car accident in December of last year.
According to police, tests showed that Clark’s alcohol blood level was above the legal limit at the time of the accident.  
Clark turned himself in on Monday morning, Jan. 30, and is currently being held in Marion County Jail as of press time Monday.

Senior Spotlight: Eguel Belk turns 103

Eguel Belk turns 103.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Hamilton resident Eguel Belk celebrated her 103rd birthday this past week, with her party being held on her birthday on Wednesday, Jan. 18, at the North Mississippi Medical Center-Hamilton Nursing Home.
Belk, born in 1920 and a longtime resident of Hamilton, was raised on a farm in the Bexar community and attended the Ada Hannah School. Her parents were Carl Elliott and Eva (Wesh) Elliott.
“We just went to church and worked on the farm,” said Belk. “I’d help my daddy plow out on the farm.”

Winfield schools graded in top 10

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — Winfield City Schools received a top 10 score from the Alabama State Department of Education’s 2022 A-F report card with a total district score of 92.
Report card scores are based on six areas: academic achievement, academic growth, chronic absenteeism, college and career readiness, graduation rate and progress of English proficiency.

Hamilton removes 1st Avenue red light

An electronic sign displays “Do Not Enter” and “One Way” as striping is completed on the new one way street.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Hamilton residents may have noticed lots of work being done near the Marion County Courthouse. Crews were busy Monday morning taking down the street light right before Hamilton’s main intersection and installing a blinking yellow light in its place.
For 30 days, Hamilton will not be using the old traffic light located at 1st Avenue and Military Street South.
On Monday, Aug. 15, the Hamilton City Council made the decision to cover the lights and make 1st Avenue Southeast a one way road.

Pickleball courts approved for $38k

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Hamilton pickleball enthusiasts will be delighted to hear that the City of Hamilton approved the construction of two new pickleball courts near the Hamilton tennis courts near the recreation center during the Jan. 17, meeting.
The project has an estimated cost of $38,908.
Pickleball, similar to tennis, is an indoor or outdoor racket/paddle sport where two or four players hit a perforated hollow polymer ball over a 36-inch-high net using solid-faced paddles.

Agencies lend neighborly hand during shootout

Jefferey Lee Adair

By Chad Fell and Louis Mellini
DOUBLE SPRINGS — Marion County Sheriff’s Deputies aided law enforcement and first responders during the stand off shootout situation that took place in Double Springs on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 17.
Jefferey Lee Adair, 48, of 301 Old Union Road, Haleyville, surrendered to law enforcement at approximately 10 p.m.

Williams sees pay scale as good start

Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams has 35 employees in his department.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Departments within Marion County got their wishes granted when the Marion County Commission approved the new pay scale.
A pay scale in Marion County has been long awaited by many, but likely none more than Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams.
Williams, who has been sheriff for over 20 years, has the largest of any department in Marion County with 35 employees.

New businesses bring relief to Hackleburg residents

Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn and Councilwoman Pam Pickens stand outside of the newly opened Family Dollar and Dollar Tree store in Hackleburg.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HACKLEBURG — Hackleburg’s new Family Tree and Dollar Tree stores have now officially opened on Friday, Jan. 6, at 115 North Clay Street.
Hackleburg Mayor Darryl Colburn stated plans for the new stores, which sit in the same facility on the property, began in Dec. of 2021.
“It was kind of unique that we really didn’t have to do anything to recruit them here. It was more of just letting them know that we’re excited for such a great company to want to come here, and we’re willing to do anything we can to help them out,“ said Colburn.

County implements long awaited pay scale

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Marion County’s pay scale saga has officially come to an end after commissioners unanimously voted to implement a pay scale for all 87 county employees on Monday, Jan. 9, in Hamilton.
The short and quickly taken unanimous vote to implement the new pay scale was nothing in comparison to the months of debate over the best way to keep county employees on a regular raise schedule that encouraged long-time service as a county employee.


Drainage improvements in Hackleburg

Hackleburg is set to receive just under a quarter of a million for road work and drainage improvements.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HACKLEBURG — The Town of Hackleburg has been awarded $225,000 as a part of the $40 million in state transportation funding that was awarded to cities and counties for various road and bridge projects.

Turning lane to be added in Brilliant

A turning lane is planned to be added here on State Highway 129 in Brilliant.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
BRILLIANT — Brilliant received just shy of $2 million in ATRIP-II funds to install turn lanes on State Highway 129 in front of the Stone Canyon Homes plant.
The turn lanes are intended to make the entrance to the plant safer, since it is located in a curve of the road, and several accidents have occurred there.