Winfield officials and residents still frustrated over stop light

Stop lights in Winfield were only supposed to be temporary, yet are still in use after nearly two years.

WINFIELD — City officials expressed frustration over the lack of progress being made on the traffic lights at the main intersection in downtown Winfield after a tornado destroyed the previous lights on Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2021.
That was nearly two years ago.
Now, a set of temporary lights still hang diagonally across the intersection. The awkward angle, combined with a lack of left-turn signals and a dangerous blind hill, have created a dangerous situation that has left citizens and city officials alike frustrated over the delay in repairs.

‘We’ve been done unfair’ - Winfield to challenge reporting law, committee handling

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WINFIELD — The City of Winfield is challenging the constitutionality of the state reporting law involving the collection of sales tax revenue from areas that are outside of city limits but within police jurisdictions.
The city unexpectedly found itself in violation of this law earlier this year, and by law, the city now must either stop providing services in those areas or abolish the jurisdiction all together.  

County residents eligible for 3M settlement

Pictured is the 3M facility located in Guin.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
Residents of Guin, Twin, Hamilton, Winfield, or any other residents of Marion County who have been affected by harmful chemicals such as PFAS may be entitled to compensation as part of the multi-billion-dollar settlement between 3M and numerous lawsuits from across the country involving the harmful effects of these forever chemicals.
Over the last few years, 3M has faced two lawsuits from within Marion County, and a multitude from without.

Literacy act in effect for the school year

Belinda McRae

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
MARION COUNTY — Alabama schools are preparing for new rules that will see third graders who fail the reading portion of the Alabama Comprehensive Assessment Program test held back a grade.
In 2019, the Alabama Literacy Act was established to improve the reading proficiency of public school kindergarten through third grade students and to ensure those students are able to read at or above grade level by the end of the third grade.

Reese wins Winfield run-off

Pictured is Larry Reese Sr.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — Larry Reese Sr. will fill the vacant city council seat after winning the run-off election held on Tuesday, July 11, between Reese and Kenneth Crumpton.
The run-off was held after no candidate received at least 51% of the vote in the first election on Tuesday, June 13.
A total of 268 votes were cast in person and through absentee and provisional ballots during the initial election.

Hamilton-Sullins house upgrades nearly complete

Pictured is the historic Hamilton-Sullins home located next tot the Marion County Commission in Hamilton.

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — Hamilton’s historic Hamilton-Sullins home, located right next to the Marion County Commission, is nearing its final days of renovations.
After beginning repairs and renovations approximately 10 years ago, the home, which has been undergoing heavy work in the past several days, is nearly ready to be used by the city.
Hamilton Mayor Bob Page discussed the significance of the home, which ties to the origins of the City of Hamilton.

Changes at courthouse: Entrance gets face lift

Construction crews work on the front of the Marion County Courthouse building.courthouse

HAMILTON — The Marion County Courthouse entrance has had quite the upgrade following some major construction in the past few weeks.
Marion County Emergency Management Agency Director Eric Terrell stated the courthouse has enclosed some of its front area in glass while also adding another handicap accessible ramp on the right side of the entrance.
“The whole front porch will be (enclosed) with glass and automatic doors. That will allow us to move all security checkpoints into that area, and the glass doors will be ADA compliant,” said Terrell.

Scott Hunt appointed county administrator

Scott Hunt

HAMILTON — Marion County Attorney Scott Hunt has been named as Marion County Administrator Kalyn Moore’s replacement following the announcement of her resignation just a few weeks ago.
Hunt’s official title will be Marion County’s chief administrative officer, as announced during a regular Marion County Commission meeting on Monday, July 10, in Hamilton.
Hunt will begin his work on July 24, following the resignation of Moore.

Carter tackles Hamilton drug problem

Hamilton’s new police chief is Jordan Carter.

HAMILTON — Hamilton Police Chief Jordan Carter has officially taken over the department this month.
Carter, along with Hamilton Police Officer  Tyler Norton, spoke with the Journal Record concerning the state of Hamilton’s illegal drug problem.
Illegal drugs, especially opioids, have plagued Hamilton and other communities in Marion County for the past several years.
According to Carter, 19 drug related arrests were made in May.

Students will eat for free

MARION COUNTY — Students in the Winfield city and Marion County school systems will eat for free this upcoming school year through the Community Eligibility Program.
CEP was created under the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act, which was intended to allocate federal funds to help feed students in lower-income areas of the country.
CEP allows for schools in areas with high poverty rates to offer free meals to all students, without any students having to apply to receive the free meals.

Marion County Farmers Market has new hours

The Marion County Farmers Market in Hamilton has new hours of operation: Tuesdays and Thursdays, 4-6 p.m. and Saturdays, 7-11 a.m. They are located at 2151 Bexar Avenue West in the old fire department. Their number is 205-712-4866.
Please call the above number between 4-4:30 p.m. for more information about vendors at the market. If no venders are present at the market by 4:30 p.m., the market will not open. For those who would like to become a vendor, obtain a Growers Permit by stopping at the Marion County Extension Office.

Friendship Festival coming to Bear Creek July 8

BEAR CREEK  — Independence Day festivities will not end July 4, in Bear Creek, as the Friendship Festival promises to bring patriotism at its best Saturday, July 8.
Organizers decided to have this year’s Friendship Festival on the Saturday after July 4, to not conflict with Hackleburg’s Neighbor Day Festival, which was held Saturday, July 1.

Hamilton Police apprehend suspect in woods

Terry Gann

By Louis Mellini
Staff writer
HAMILTON — The Hamilton Police Department responded to a call concerning an alleged assault which ended in a search through a wooded area north of Hamilton near the city limits on Wednesday, June 21.
According to new Hamilton Police Chief Jordan Carter, officers responded to a call, but when they arrived, there was not a victim to be found.
“When we got there, we didn’t have a victim. The victim of that crime left the scene, and, apparently, she didn’t have any minutes on her phone,” said Carter.

New roof coming for Pastime

The Pastime Theatre in Winfield will have a new roof soon, as the current one was damaged in a tornado a year and a half ago.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — The Pastime Theatre in downtown Winfield will be getting a new roof after the city council accepted a bid of just over $67,000 from Mid America Roofing during its regular meeting on Tuesday, June 6.
The current roof, which was installed in the early 2000s as the building was being renovated, was damaged by the F1 tornado that hit downtown Winfield on Dec. 29, 2021.
While the roof wasn’t destroyed or removed completely, the tornado lifted the roof slightly, which has led to several issues since then.

Northwest Regional Health unveils new ER

Hospital personnel and the community at large were at Northwest Regional Health in Winfield on Friday, June 16, for the opening and tour of the new emergency room, shown above.

By Luke Brantley
Staff writer
WINFIELD — Northwest Regional Health held a grand opening for its new emergency room facility on Friday, June 16.
Representatives from the city, such as Mayor Randy Price and a few members of the city council, State Representative Tracy Estes and a representative from U.S. Representative Robert Aderholt’s office were all present at the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Car stolen after home invasion

Four suspects tried to leave the scene of a home invasion and robbery in this vehicle but crashed it instead. They then returned to the invasion scene and stole the victim’s vehicle for a getaway.

HAMILTON — A Hamilton resident was the victim of a home invasion last week on Tuesday, June 13, at his home on Bexar Gin Road.
According to Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams, the invasion took place at approximately 9:35 p.m. and involved a white female, Lauren Nicole Brown of Blount County, and three unidentified black males, believed to be from Birmingham.
Williams stated the victim and Brown had been in contact for a few weeks before the crime took place after meeting each other through a dating app.

Runoff to be held for open council seat in Winfield

Kenneth Crumpton, left, and Larry Reese Sr., right, will have a runoff for the vacant council seat in Winfield.

WINFIELD — The results for Winfield’s city council election are in, and none of the candidates received at least 51 percent of the vote, which means a runoff election will be held on July 11 between candidates Kenneth Crumpton and Larry Reese Sr.
The election was held on Tuesday, June 13, at the Winfield Community Center. A total of 268 votes were cast in person and through absentee and provisional ballots.

$2.5 million grant awaits final approval

(Editor’s note: This story ran in last week’s paper with an incorrect headline and information within the story. The article stated the Marion County Public Water Authority had already received a $2.5 million grant. However, the grant still has to go through a Congressional approval process, and therefore, the water authority does not have the grant yet nor does not know if the grant will come through. The story in its corrected form is here. The Journal Record apologizes for the mistake.)

Hamilton holds track groundbreaking

From left, Marion County Schools Superintendent Ann West, Hamilton City Councilman Scott Robertson, Councilman Wade Williams, Councilman Scott Tyra, Councilman Ross Reed, Heath Avery, State Representative Tracy Estes, Marion County School Board of Education Member Mark Dearen, Board Member Joyce Fowler and Hamilton Mayor Bob Page take part in the groundbreaking at the new Hamilton track and field site.

HAMILTON — The City of Hamilton held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Hamilton Track and Field Facility, set to open 200 days after the June 19, construction start date.
In attendance during the event were many officials from all over Marion County, including Marion County Board of Education members, Marion County Superintendent Ann West, the Hamilton City Council and State Representative Tracy Estes.
Heath Avery of Avery Landscape and Associates was also in attendance during the groundbreaking.