17th Annual JBAF this weekend

Art lovers and artists mingle at the 2018 Jerry Brown Arts Festival at the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative facility.

HAMILTON - This weekend marks the Jerry Brown Arts Festival’s (JBAF) 17th annual event.
Once again under the large City of Hamilton water tower, the JBAF will be taking place at the Tombigbee Electric Cooperative’s facility at 3196 County Highway 55 in Hamilton.
The free event will take place on Saturday, March 2, from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday, March 3, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

 

Courthouse guard accidentally fires two shots into wall

HAMILTON - A private security guard has been terminated after accidently discharging two rounds from a handgun while on duty at the Marion County Courthouse.
Marion County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Jeff Davis said the incident occurred on Friday, Feb. 22, at approximately 3:30 p.m. in the front security room of the courthouse.

No one was injured during the shooting and there was minimal damage.

 

Census 2020 participation vital for recruiting

HAMILTON - State officials are urging local leaders to drive home the need for Census participation.
While there are many uses for Census data, Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs Director Kenneth Boswell recently advised local leaders during a regional economic summit that many businesses and industries use the population report to make decisions on where to locate.

Aderholt honored with Champion Award

(From left) Current board chairman Al Elbert, 2018 board chairman Harry Unger, and Phillip Harrod, board chairman from 2014 to 2018, were all honored for their service to the Northwest EDA during the Eighth Annual State of the Region meeting at the Vernon City Complex on Thursday, Jan. 31.

VERNON - The Northwest Alabama Economic Development Alliance (EDA) honored Congressman Robert Aderholt, John Riley of Bolzoni Auramo and current and former board chairmen as the EDA held its eighth annual state of the region meeting at the Vernon City Complex on Thursday, January 31.

Census bureau looking to hire in Northwest Alabama

HAMILTON - The United States Census Bureau is in the midst of a massive recruiting effort and they may have a job for you. The census bureau is currently looking to hire 20 million workers ahead of the 2020 Census.
Every 10 years, since 1790, the bureau has attempted to count every man, woman, and child living in the United States and its territories.

First steps toward a new jail

Marion County sheriff Kevin Williams (standing) speaks to members of the commission on Monday, Feb. 4 during a special called meeting. Pictured are (seated, from left) Dale Holt, Bob Burleson, Kenneth Cochran and Keith Nichols. Not pictured is Tim “Ears” Estes.

HAMILTON - Over the past few weeks, a parade of architects, designers and consultants hoping to win a contract to build a new jail in Marion County have presented themselves to Marion County Sheriff Kevin Williams and the Marion County Commission.
Representatives from such architectural and design firms as Goodwyn, Mills and Cawood, PH&J Architects, Volkert, Inc. and Hamilton architect Andrea Harbison have all made presentations to the commission.

County, city school officials take a stand against AAA

The Marion County Board of Education and Winfield Board of Education have joined school districts across the state in calling for the repeal of the controversial Alabama Accountability Act (AAA).
Marion County school board members unanimously adopted a resolution at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12, calling for lawmakers to repeal the act in the upcoming 2019 session, which begins on Tuesday, March 5.
The Winfield Board of Education also approved a resolution recommending Legislators repeal the AAA at its Wednesday, Feb. 13, meeting.

 

County offices see new, returning faces

(Editor’s note: This is Part 2 of 2 stories for the swearing in of county officials. See our last paper on Wednesday, Feb. 13, for Part 1.)
County officers elected during the 2018 election cycle have all taken their turn in raising their right hand and have sworn to serve the people.
The new and returning officers all officially assumed their positions on Tuesday, Jan. 15, not including the elected Marion County Board of Education members, who took their seats in December.

 

Bussler JBAF’s 2019 featured artist

The Northwest Alabama Arts Council has announced that Christine Bussler, an artist from Fayetteville, Tenn., has been selected as the featured artist for this year’s JBAF. Her artwork will be featured on the 2019 commemorative T-shirt. Bussler, who is a self-taught painter, is returning to the JBAF for the fifth time.

HAMILTON - Commemorative T-shirts for the 17th Annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival (JBAF) are now on sale.
The annual JBAF is set for Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3, in south Hamilton at the spacious Tombigbee Electric Cooperative facility. Admission is, as always, free and hours are Saturday from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. The event is sponsored by the Hamilton-based Northwest Alabama Arts Council.

Superintendents, Estes not in favor of charter schools’ use of public monies

Both public school systems in Marion County have gone on the record recommending the repeal of the Alabama Accountability Act (AAA).
With the Marion County School System approving its resolution on Wednesday, Jan. 23, and the Winfield City School System following with the same on Wednesday, Feb. 13, leaders of the two school systems left no doubt where they stand. Nor did newly-elected District 17 State Rep. Tracy Estes.

 

Vick hires same staff

HAMILTON - Marion County has split ways with Monroe County in south Alabama and is no longer one of two counties in Alabama using a fee model to operate its probate judge’s office.
Special legislation passed in 2017 has now taken effect in January 2019, ordering the Marion County Commission to furnish the local probate judge and office staff with paychecks and benefit packages through the county’s General Fund.

Preparations in full swing for JBAF

HAMILTON - Gears are beginning to turn in preparation for the 17th Annual Jerry Brown Arts Festival which will be taking place on Saturday and Sunday, March 2 and 3.
In its normal fashion, the Hamilton City Council voted to waive the city’s business license requirement for vendors at the festival this year at its meeting on Monday, Feb. 4. The artist will still be required to pay city and state sales taxes.
Northwest Alabama Arts Council President Tony Williams approached the council during the meeting, noting that the event is a hallmark for the city.

Officers awarded medal of valor

Sgt. Marcus Carroll (left) and Officer Jimmy Galbreath (right) were awarded the Medal of Valor for their actions after an automobile wreck on Dec. 4, 2018. They are pictured here with Winfield police chief Brett Burleson on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

WINFIELD - Two members of the Winfield Police Department were awarded the Medal of Valor for saving a wreck victim’s life last December.
Sgt. Marcus Carroll and Officer Jimmy Galbreath both entered a burning vehicle to free the unconscious driver from the wreckage.

‘Happy to have found Hamilton’

Love’s Travel Stop & Country Store Real Estate Project Manager William Gleason appeared before the Hamilton City Council during its Monday, Jan. 22, meeting to discuss a new truck stop which will be built on Interstate 22’s Exit 14.

HAMILTON - Love’s loves Hamilton.
In the wake of the announcement of a new Love’s Travel Stop & Country Store to be built in Hamilton, Love’s real estate project manager, William Gleason of Oklahoma City, Okla., appeared at the Hamilton City  Council’s meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 22.

According to Hamilton Mayor Bob Page, Love’s is planning to purchase 20 acres on River Road Drive, right off of Interstate 22’s Exit 14, for a large truck stop.

 

Partnership results in 50 automotive scholarships

MONTGOMERY - Fifty automotive scholarships are up for grabs.
Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Chancellor Jimmy Baker announced on Thursday, Jan. 31, that  the ACCS and the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) have partnered together and are giving away 50 scholarships to students who want to pursue a career in the automotive industry. The deadline to apply is Thursday, Feb. 28.

TripAdvisor rates Hampton Inn Winfield best in state

Number one in the state
The Hampton Inn in Winfield has been rated the number one hotel in the state of Alabama by TripAdvisor in 2018.

WINFIELD -  The Hampton Inn in Winfield has been ranked as the number one hotel in the state of Alabama in 2018 by TripAdvisor.  The award is given based on guest scores received through TripAdvisor.com.  
The hotel opened in February, 2011 and, for six out of the last seven years, has received Hampton Inn’s Lighthouse award for being in the top 5 percent of all hotels in the company. Hampton Inn in Winfield has  also received a Certificate of Excellence award from TripAdvisor every year since the location opened in 2011.  

Count of homeless taken in Marion, Winston counties

HAMILTON - The Marion-Winston Community Action Agency (MWCAA) conducted a Point-in-Time (PIT) count  on Thursday, Jan. 31, 2019.
The PIT count determines the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons on a single night in January and helps the two counties receive funding towards resources and support for the homeless in the area.