March for Jesus urges people to unite, live in unity


Pictured are some of the participants in this year’s “March for Jesus” as they proceed to the First Baptist Church. Approximately 500 people participated in this year’s march.

An estimated 500 people attended the 21st annual “March for Jesus” walk and rally held in downtown Fayette on Saturday, May 19. Marchers arrived early for the event and at 9 a.m., the march began at the Depot Museum and concluded at the parking lot adjacent to the First Baptist Church on Temple Avenue. When the marchers reached the parking lot, balloons with Bible verses attached were released in a segment of the event that is known as the “Balloon Bless.”

Cattlemen Association rodeo a success


This is one of the many brave cowboys who took a turn at riding one of the ferocious bulls at the rodeo. On Saturday night, the bulls pitched a shutout, as all of the riders made a quick exit off their rides.

The Fayette County Cattlemen Association held its annual PCA Rodeo in Fayette on May 18-19. The rodeo was held at the Fayette County Multi-Purpose Complex Center.

Fayette resident dies in accident


Fayette Fire Chief Tony Ellis is shown at the scene of the accident.

A Fayette resident died Friday, May 18 when the vehicle that he was driving struck the front of a building located in the Fayette Housing Authority. Chester Wilson, age 55 of Fayette, was driving a 1997 Mercury Mountaineer when witnesses say the vehicle veered toward the apartment building and crashed into the brick divider between two of the apartments. Emergency personnel was immediately called and upon arrival, found that Wilson was unresponsive.

 

Fayette County Commission discusses road concerns during meeting


Commission Chairman Shane Hughes is shown at the May 14 meeting.

Fayette County Engineer Luke Porter again discussed his equipment needs and concerns with the Fayette County Commission during its May 15 meeting. Porter reviewed his priorities for equipment needs for the county road crew. He said that a 1/2 ton truck is needed for the superintendent, a one ton truck for the pipe/ditching crew, a mini-excavator, chip spreader, distributor truck, asphalt spreader, grader, tractor, and Bush-Hog. He said the total estimated cost for all of this equipment is approximately $945,000

 

Fayette BOE approves personnel changes and contracts during meeting


Shown are the Fayette Board of Education members at the May 15 meeting. From left: Tom Hubbert, Sam Sullivan, Keith Madison, Tim Fields, John Stowe and Waldon Tucker.

The Fayette County Board of Education approved the non-renewal of nine teachers in the system during its May 15 meeting. All board members were present for the meeting. Prior to the start of the business session of the meeting, Superintendent Jim Burkhalter recognized the Valedictorians and Salutatorians at each of the area schools. Anna Corkerin and Maggie Herren of Berry High School, and Anna Kate Pinkerton and Luke Avery of Fayette County High School were present for the recognition.

Glen Allen holds May meeting

Dennis Stripling, the newly elected Executive Director of the West Alabama Regional Commission, addressed the Glen Allen Town Council during its regular meeting on Tuesday, May 1. Following standard opening procedures for the meeting, Mayor Allen J. Dunavant introduced and welcomed Stripling. Stripling stated that although he had only been Executive Director of the Regional Commission for a short time, he had expressed to the board of directors his personal desire to visit with all municipalities and governing bodies within the seven counties which make up the Regional Commission.

Local library offers summer reading fun

Fayette County Memorial Library is proud to present the 2018 Summer Reading Program, “Libraries Rock!” from June 1 to July 20. The Summer Reading Program is comprised of the Summer Reading Challenge and a variety of events and programs offered throughout the summer. The Summer Reading Challenge asks patrons ages three to adult to pledge a number of books they believe they can read during the summer. If they meet their goals, they will receive a reading award and prize, and their names will be entered into a drawing for one of three grand prizes.

Bevill cancels town hall meetings

Bevill State Community College is announcing the cancellation of the remaining town hall meetings to be held on the Hamilton Campus on Thursday, May 17, the Jasper Campus on Monday, May 21, and the Fayette Campus on Thursday, May 24.  After listening to the concerns of our communities and industry, Dr. Kim Ennis, president of Bevill State, is in communication with leadership at the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) regarding the college re-evaluating program closures across the campuses.

March for Jesus seeks unity for community and nation


Shown is a portion of the participants in last year’s March for Jesus in Fayette.

Fayette County’s 21st “March for Jesus” celebration and prayer rally will be held Saturday, May 19, beginning at the Fayette Depot Museum and concluding at the First Baptist Church on Temple Avenue. The event has been held in Fayette each year since 1997, with the exception of 2003. March for Jesus is an annual interdenominational, global event that started in England in the 1980s before spreading to other countries. The first known march in the United States was held in Austin, Texas in 1989 and has been observed nationwide since 1992.

2018 Fiddle Fest is a success

Tyler Andal won first place and Ivy Phillips placed second in the adult fiddle category. This Tennessee duo played in many of the events during the festival.

The 2018 Southeast Fiddle Championship and West Alabama Fiddle Fest appeared to be a huge success, based on the number of participants and the attendance of the two-day event. Committee member Glenn Taylor said that it appears the festival has found a new home.
“This has been a wonderful weekend,” he said. “Good venue, good attendance, wonderful support. We couldn’t be more pleased.”

 

City Council approves rezoning, alcohol license


Shown are some of the attendees at the May 8 Fayette City Council meeting and public hearing.

The Fayette City Council approved the rezoning of property and an alcohol license during its May 8 meeting. The rezoning is for property that was the former residence of Jake Garrison and is located north of the Fayette medical Center on Highway 43 North. The property is being changed from a R-1 residential to a B-2 business district. A public hearing for the property change was scheduled and properly advertised for this meeting. No one spoke in opposition to the rezoning.

 

Berry joins litigation concerning opioid crisis


Berry Town Clerk Marie McClusky and Berry Mayor Jimmy Madison are shown at the council meeting held on May 7.

The Berry Town Council unanimously agreed to join a growing number of city and county governments throughout the country in seeking damages concerning the opioid crisis during its May 7 meeting. Mayor Jimmy Madison said that three law firms had approached the council concerning the litigation, which seeks to recover monetary damages against the manufacturers and distributors of opioids.

Cattlemen’s Association hosts 12th annual rodeo

The Fayette Cattlemen’s Association will host its 12th annual PCA sanctioned Rodeo on Friday, May 18 and Saturday, May 19 at the Fayette Multi-Purpose Complex. The rodeos will begin each night at 7:30 p.m. The rodeo will include bull and bronco riding, calf roping, steer wrestling and barrel racing. There will be several events just for kids also, including gold rush, chicken chase, greased pig and the calf scramble, in addition to pony rides.

 

Murder investigation underway in Fayette County


Shown helping secure the scene at a double homicide in northern Fayette County on May 1 are, from left: deputies Eric Dubielak and Chad Aldridge of the Fayette County Sheriff Office with Officer Randall Kelley of the Berry Police Department.

A murder investigation is currently underway in Fayette County after two male victims were found deceased at a residence off of County Road 63 near the Walker County line. According to Andy Hamlin, chief assistant district attorney for the 24th judicial circuit, a 911 call was received from a female caller at approximately 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, May 1. Hamlin, who was working the crime scene later that morning, said that they were handling the matter as a death investigation, with multiple agencies cooperating in the effort.

 

West Alabama Fiddle Fest returns to Fayette this weekend

The West Alabama Fiddle Fest and Southeast Fiddle Championship will be returning to Fayette this weekend for the second time and Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce President Daniel White said he hopes the event has found a home.
“Last year, the event was held at the Fayette Civic Center,”” White said. “Judge William Oswalt asked about moving the event downtown in front of the Courthouse and we feel this will be a better venue for the competitors and spectators.”

 

Fayette Co. Commission holds work session


Commissioners John Underwood and Billy Rodgers are shown at the Fayette County Commission’s May 1 work session.

The Fayette County Commission held a work session on Tuesday, May 1 to discuss the needs of the road crew department. Commissioner Barry Corkren and Commissioner James Knight were absent from the work session. Before the discussion began concerning road equipment needs, Commission Chairman Shane Hughes said that he was appointing commissioner Joe Acker to oversee the development of the newly acquired property known as Courthouse Annex #2.

 

Berry finishes softball season with 19 wins


Brooke Blanton is shown delivering a pitch for the Berry Lady Wildcats during a game this season.

The Berry Lady Wildcats’ softball team traveled to South Lamar last week for the area tournament, winning one game and losing two to finish 19-15-1 for the season. Berry opened its play in the tournament by facing Holy Spirit, winning a thrilling eight-inning game over the Lady Saints by a score of 8-7. Brooke Blanton pitched the complete eight innings for Berry, striking out four opposing batters. She also had a terrific game at the plate for the Lady Wildcats with three hits in four at-bats, including a triple.

 

Hubbertville wins 10 games as it continues rebuilding


Hubbertville Head Coach Chasidy Tucker and assistant Jesi McMillan watch as Emma Nichols pitches.

The Hubbertville Lady Lions traveled to South Lamar for its area tournament and won its first game before losing the next two to exit the tournament. Hubbertville opened the tournament with a 14-2 win over Pickens County. Emma Nichols pitched a complete five-inning game to capture the victory.

 

Berry Heritage Festival


Scott and Charlene Shepherd of Berry are shown enjoying a relaxing Ferris Wheel ride at the Berry Heritage Festival with their two-year old granddaughter, Sadie Howton.

The Berry Heritage Festival was held on April 27-28 and featured rides, vendors, an antique car show, music , square dancing and other entertainment for the citizens to enjoy.

Council renews Air Evac contract, applies for manufacturing grant


Shown at the Fayette City Council meeting on April 24 are, from left: Fayette Mayor Ray Nelson; Mark McClanahan and Christie McClanahan, owners of Fayette Fabrication; and Bobby Avant, Alabama Communities of Excellence coordinator.

The Fayette City Council approved the renewal of the city’s agreement with Air Evac to provide services for the citizens of the City of Fayette and city employees during the council’s April 24 meeting. LaTere Jones, membership sales manager with Air Evac, told the council that the type of agreement that Fayette has for its citizens would not be offered to new customers after June 1. He said that if Fayette continues to renew its agreement with Air Evac, the city would be “grandfathered-in” and that the price of the agreement would remain the same.

 

Fayette County Commission hears road equipment concerns

Pictured is the site prep work that is occurring next to the courthouse annex building for the new jail.

Luke Porter, county engineer, addressed the Fayette County Commission about road equipment needs during a work session prior to the beginning of the regular meeting of the commission on April 23. Porter said that his department needs several service trucks, dump trucks and also needs to upgrade the graders and Bush-Hogs in the department. He said that most of the equipment has not been upgraded or replaced in several years.

 

Continuing the tradition of Crimsonette High


Shown from left are: Anna Greene, Julia Nolen, Lindsey Yerby and Jalyn Musgrove. Greene, Yerby and Musgrove are returning veterans for the Crimsonettes, while Nolen is a graduating senior at FCHS.

Tryouts for the University of Alabama Crimsonettes were held on Saturday, April 28 and four former Fayette County High School majorettes will be on the 2018-19 squad.  Through the years, Fayette County High School has produced more Crimsonettes than any other high school, earning the school the well-deserved nickname, “Crimsonette High.”

 

Bevill State to hold town hall meetings

Bevill State Community College has announced town hall meetings on each of its four main campuses in May to address the public concerning the state of the college. Dr. Kim Ennis, president of Bevill State Community College, will conduct the meetings, which are open to the public. At each meeting, the public will be allowed to speak and ask questions concerning the college.