Benton receives 17-year sentence for sodomy

Timothy Vess Benton

Timothy Vess Benton, 22, of Fayette accepted a plea deal last week in Fayette County Circuit Court, pleading guilty to two counts of second degree sodomy. According to 24th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Andy Hamlin, Benton received a sentence of 17 years in an Alabama Department of Corrections prison for each count, with the sentences to run concurrently. Benton was first arrested on May 4, 2017, and charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with forcible compulsion and two counts of first degree sexual abuse with forcible compulsion.

Council approves tree removal from property

Shown are Malcolm Mostiller (left) and Councilman Jason Cowart as they discuss a situation during the Nov. 26 meeting of the Fayette City Council.

During its Nov. 26 meeting, the Fayette City Council approved the removal of a leaning tree from a resident’s property after the council determined that the city’s actions may have contributed to the damage. Councilman Jerry Nichols was  absent from the meeting with all other council members present. Malcolm Mostiller appeared before the council to state his case that a pipe placed in a drainage ditch by the city caused a flooding problem on his property and also caused a tree to lean.

Commission holds work session, approves holiday schedule

Pictured at the Nov. 25 Fayette County Commission meeting, clockwise from left, are: County Engineer Chris Howell, Commissioners Billy Joe Rodgers, James Knight and Shane Hughes, Commission Chairman Mike Freeman, County Attorney Allen Grocholski, Commissioners Joe Acker, John Underwood and Barry Corkren.

The Fayette County Commission held its regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Nov. 25. All commissioners were present for the meeting. Prior to the start of the meeting, the commiccion held a brief work session to discuss the county’s adherence to the current FY2020 budget.
The commission noted during the work session that most departments were staying within their allotted budgets, but stressed the need to take a look at the budgets monthly to ensure that the budgets do not get out of control.


Youngster kills 17-point trophy-size deer

Shown is Audrey Clelland with 17-point deer she killed.

Audrey Clelland of Winfield shot this 17-point, double-main beam deer on Nov. 17 while hunting in Marion County. The 11-year old, sixth-grade student at Winfield Middle School has been hunting since she was eight years old, and has already become a seasoned hunter. In the three years that she has been hunting, she has killed five does and three bucks. Clelland killed the buck while firing only one shot from her 243 Mossburg Patriot Youth Rifle.


Fayette teams win one, lose one for week

Korey Burris (14) jumps high to score for the Fayette Tigers.

The Lady Tigers’ basketball team hosted Marion County on Nov. 25 and was defeated by the Lady Red Raiders by score of 46-34. This was Fayette’s first loss of the year. Fayette was led in scoring by Jada Savage and Holley Files with 10 points each. Meredith Collins had eight points, followed by Samantha Cox with four points and Iteria Walker with two points.


Berry’s girls play in Curry Thanksgiving Tournament

The Berry girls’ basketball team won its first game before losing its next two during the Curry Thanksgiving Tournament. The boys’ team did not play last week.
Berry opened the tournament on Nov. 22 with a game against Sumiton Christian and won by a score of 49-36. Brooke Hill led the Lady Wildcats in scoring with 17 points and five steals. Iannah Fields also scored in double figures with 15 points.


Accident causes lots of damage, minor injures

Shown is the overturned vehicle involved in an accident on Temple Ave. North.

A one-vehicle accident on Saturday, Nov. 23 caused only minor injuries, but resulted in several thousands of dollars in property damage when a 2009 Ford F-150, driven by Christopher Nicholas Blakely of Fayette, hit a utility pole, overturned, and continued into several new utility trailers.


Christmas at the Park celebrates 15th anniversary

One of the new displays for Christmas at the Park is this American Eagle.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of “Christmas at the Park” and according to organizers John and Doris Brasher, the light extravaganza is better than ever. Doris Brasher said many new lights and six new scenes were added to the numerous exhibits already on display at Guthrie Smith Park. The new scenes this year are: an animated dragonfly, an animated butterfly, a 14 by 16 foot American Eagle, a Grinch and “Whoville” display, a snowman with snow falling, and a boy getting present from underneath a tree.


Young golfer with local ties one of top junior golfers in U.S.

Shown is Jackson Van Paris, competing in a recent golf tournament.

Jackson Van Paris, grandson of Nicky and Lynn Whitehead of Fayette, has established himself as one of the best young golfers in the United States. Now, he has his sights set on excelling in world competition. Van Paris, a resident of Pinehurst, N.C., and a junior at Pinecrest High School, will be traveling to Melbourne, Australia in December as a member of a 12-player United States team that will compete against a 12-member international team for the 2019 Junior Presidents’ Cup. The events will be held at the Royal Melbourne Golf Club.


City Council opts to continue with opioid lawsuit

The Fayette City Council meets on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month at Fayette City Hall.

The Fayette City Council held its rescheduled regular council meeting on Monday, Nov. 18. The meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday, Nov. 12, but was rescheduled when a quorum of the members of the mayor-council body were not present. All members and Mayor Ray Nelson were present for the rescheduled meeting. Fayette Police Officer Will Warren, who recently completed his training at the law enforcement academy, was present also at the meeting and led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. flag.

Fayette hosts Farm-City Dinner

Pictured is David Thomas Aldridge, first place winner in the Farm-City poster contest for fourth through sixth grades. Not shown are second place winner Skylar Hubbert and third place winner Carson Sullivan.

The Fayette County Farmers Federation held its annual Farm-City Dinner on Nov. 21 at the Boy Scout building in Fayette. The dinner was a lead-in to Farm-City week, which is celebrated Nov. 22-28 this year to coincide with the Thanksgiving season. Don Mulvaney, professor of animal science at Auburn University, was the featured speaker for the dinner, and told the crowd about some of the challenges facing farmers today. Farmers are being asked to grow more and better agricultural products as both the numbers of farmers and available farm land is increasingly shrinking.


Fayette, Berry announce Christmas parade dates

The City of Fayette will hold its annual Christmas parade this year on Monday, Dec. 2, beginning at 6 p.m. Participants in the parade are asked to be at the vacant lot of the former Fayette Square Shopping Center at 5 p.m. to line-up for the parade. The parade will follow the usual parade route, traveling south on Temple Avenue and proceeding to Second Avenue heading north before disbanding back at the starting location.


Fayette boys, girls basketball off to great start

Darius Loyd (13) jumps high as he scores a basket over four Corner defenders.

Both the boys and girls basketball teams at Fayette County High School are off to a great start this season. The boys team lost its first game before winning its next two and the girls’ team is off to a 3-0 start. The girls’ basketball team began the season with a 48-29 victory over Oakman.
Jada Savage led the scoring for Fayette with 21 points, followed by Samantha Cox with 11 points. Iteria Walker had five points; Mackenzie Nelson, Meredith Collins and Holley Files had three points each; and Ariel Colburn rounded out the scoring with two points.


Berry loses one, wins one to begin season

Berry’s Johnathan Locke (20) is shown driving to the basket to score against the Bears.

The Berry girls’ basketball team traveled on Monday, Nov. 18 to play Sumiton Christian for the opening game of the 2019-20 season and lost a hard-fought game by the score of 41-31. Makayla Maybaum led the Lady Wildcats in scoring with 11 points and nine steals. Brooke Hill scored eight points for Berry and Allie Taylor added eight rebounds for the team.


BSCC receives Alabama Power grant

Shown from left: Dr. Kim Ennis, President of Bevill State Community College; Andrea Ellis, Alabama Power Manager for Reform/Aliceville/Fayette; Sherry Terry, Director of Student Services for the BSCC Fayette Campus.

The Bevill State Community College Fayette Campus recently received an Alabama Power Good Roots grant to go toward the purchase of trees for beautification of the campus. Shown from left: Dr. Kim Ennis, President of Bevill State Community College; Andrea Ellis, Alabama Power Manager for Reform/Aliceville/Fayette; Sherry Terry, Director of Student Services for the BSCC Fayette Campus.

FMS seeks to help others during holidays

The Fayette Middle School FBLA and FMS Student Council partnered to host a can food drive during the month of November.

The students at Fayette Middle School are trying to help others have a brighter holiday season this year. The Fayette Middle School FBLA and FMS Student Council partnered to host a can food drive during the month of November. All can food items are being donated to the Fayette Christian Center of Concern. Additionally, The Fayette Middle School Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) has chosen to adopt Fayette Medical Center Long-Term Care Facility as their community service project.

Fayette Christian Academy fields first sports team

Shown are players and coaches for Fayette Christian Academy’s first sports team, the junior high girls basketball team. Shown from left, front: Abby Lovelace, Sara Beth Shirley and Sydney Durr. Back: Coach Danielle Hall, Keslyn Sullivan, Leanna Ray, Gracelyn Westbrook, Head Coach Jarrett Lovelace (back), Harlie Pogue, Savannah Underwood, Maty Freeman and Coach Timmy Fulmer.

Fayette Christian Academy held its first-ever sporting event on Nov. 5 as the Golden Eagles Junior High Girls basketball team faced off against the Amory Christian Academy Lions. Although the Golden Eagles suffered a 29 - 8 defeat, everyone couldn’t have been happier with the effort and they are also excited for the future.

Commission approves handicapped parking at courthouse

Shown at the annual organizational meeting of the Fayette County Commission is Chairman Mike Freeman (seated front) and from left, back: Commissioners Billy Joe Rodgers, James Knight, Shane Hughes, outgoing vice-chairman Joe Acker, John Underwood and incoming vice-chairman Barry Corkren.

The commission approved the addition of four handicapped parking spots on the south end of the courthouse during its Nov. 11 meeting. All commissioners were in attendance for the meeting. Newly hired county administrator, Brooke Slatton, who will be starting with the commission in early 2020, was also in attendance at the meeting.


Hubbert selected again as BOE President

Shown at the Nov. 12 meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education are, from left: Superintendent Jim Burkhalter, and board members: Tom Hubbert, Keith Madison, Tim Fields, John Stowe and Waldon Tucker. Absent from the meeting was Board Member Sam Sullivan. The meeting was held in the Fayette Elementary School Library.

The Fayette County Board of Education met at Fayette Elementary School on Nov. 12 for its annual organizational meeting. Board Member Sam Sullivan was absent, with all others board members present. The Board of Education toured Fayette Middle School and Fayette Elementary School prior to the meeting.


Fayette basketball begins 2019-20 season

The 2019 version of the Fayette County High School varsity basketball team is off and running, both literally and figuratively. New Head Basketball Coach Craig Smith has installed a new fast-paced offense for this season, with an emphasis on playing a full-court, pressing defense when the other team has the ball. Smith said that his objective is getting the ball up-court and getting off a makeable shot within 10 seconds of getting a defensive rebound or turnover.


Progress Club II names 'Woman of the Year'

Shown are family members, from left: Jack Nolen, Judge Merrell Nolen, Woman of the Year Sandy Nolen, Luke Nolen, and Julia Nolen.

On Nov. 12, Progress Club II had its annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Fayette Civic Center. Each year, Progress Club II recognizes an outstanding “Woman of the Year” for her contributions to the community and the organization. This year’s recipient is Sandy Nolen.

Glen Allen considers hiring water department employees

The Glen Allen town council met on Tuesday Nov. 5 at the town hall. Councilman Robert Aldridge was not in attendance for the scheduled meeting. Following standard opening procedures, Mayor Allen J. Dunavant gave an update from the exploratory committee which had been formed during the September council meeting to address avenues for hiring a certified water operator (Grade II) for the water department. The committee was tasked to explore and consider options for replacing Water Operator John Wakefield, who had submitted his intentions of resigning from the position.


Madden named finalist for 'Principal of the Year'

Dr. Jeremy Madden, principal of Fayette County High School (left) is shown receiving his award from Dr. Vic Wilson (right), Executive Director of CLAS.

Fayette County High School Principal Dr. Jeremy Madden recently represented the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) as District 7 South High School Principal of the Year at the 2019 AASSP/AAMSP Fall Conference, Nov. 10-13 in Orange Beach. Madden was named as a top three finalist and was interviewed by a selection committee. The winner of Alabama’s High School Principal of the Year award will be named in Jan. 2020. The Alabama High School Principal of the Year Award is sponsored by the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals and American Fidelity.

Royer speaks at Community Veterans Day program By

Shown are the veterans in attendance at the Community-Wide Veterans Day program held at Bevill.

Long-time broadcast journalist Mike Royer spoke about remembering and respecting the military during his address at the Community-Wide Veterans Day Program held at Bevill State Community College on Nov. 4 Royer is now the managing editor of WVUA 23 on the University of Alabama campus. He has just completed 43 years as a broadcast journalist, and has won numerous awards for his work as a journalist.

Several qualify for local races

Qualifying has ended for next year’s March 3 primaries, and several candidates are set to seek local office. All of the contested local primary races next year will be within the Republican Party. Fayette Democratic Party Chairman John Underwood, who is also a Fayette County Commissioner, said that he is seeking re-election to his District 6 Commission seat, while Billy Joe Rodgers has qualified as a Democrat for the County Commission District 5 position that he currently holds.

Restoration Springs offers hope, transition for recovery

Pictured is one of the cabins at Restoration Springs.

Lisa Bright, CEO of the Will Bright Foundation, spoke at the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce’s “First Tuesday” luncheon at the Fayette Civic Center on Nov. 5. She said that the Will Bright Foundation came about as a way to help others possibly avoid tragedy like her family faced when her son Will died of a heroin overdose at the age of 25.

More than just a football game

Shown are President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump at the Alabama - LSU football game.

Sometimes a football game is more than just a game - it is an event that reaches beyond what takes place on the field. Saturday’s Alabama - LSU football game was one of those special events. The past several seasons, this football rivalry has become one of the most competitive in college football.

Younghance honored by Fayette County High School

M.C. Younghance was honored prior to the start of the Fayette - Anniston football game for his 44 years of service raising the U.S. flag at all the home football games. Shown from left: Steve Younghance, Sharon Younghance, John Daniel Younghance, M.C. Younhance, FCHS Principlal Dr. Jeremy Madden and Fayette County Superintendent of Education Jim Burkhalter.

Younghance honored by Fayette County High School By Dean Maddox M.C. Younghance was recognized last Friday night before the start of the Fayette - Anniston football playoff game for his 44 years of service raising the American flag at all of the Fayette County High School home football games.

Bevill participates in 'Clean Home Alabama'

Shown are the participants from Bevill in the "Clean Home Alabama" project.

On Wednesday, Nov. 6, approximately 100 Bevill State Community College, Fayette Campus, students participated in the Alabama Community College System’s “Clean Home Alabama” initiative. In addition to students, teachers and faculty members also participated in the event. With more than 60 projects across the state, Clean Home Alabama is ACCS’s contribution to help “Keep Alabama Beautiful” as part of the state’s bicentennial year. Alabama’s 24 community colleges are hosting projects in every corner of the state, showcasing their commitment to serve their communities.

Tigers lose first round game to Anniston 19-6

Jason Robinson (2) picks up a big first down before being pushed out-of-bounds by an Anniston defender.

Anniston used a massive rushing attack to control the game’s tempo and defeat the Fayette Tigers 19-6 in a first-round state football playoff game. The Bulldogs outrushed the Tigers 241 net yards to 24, thus controlling the time of possession to earn the victory.

Panthers defeat Hubbertville 28-20

Zach Tidwell (73) blocks two players for Gage Alexander (10) who scores a touchdown for the Lions.

Advancing into the first round of the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year, the Lions traveled to northeast Alabama on Friday night to meet up with the Panthers of Spring Garden. Spring Garden, the top seed in region five, entered the contest with a 9-1 record and the Lions, with a 6-4 record, was seeded as the number four team from region six.

Berry falls to Donoho 34-6

Shown is Berry’s Johnathan Locke (7) running with the ball during the Wildcats’ first-round playoff game against Donoho. Trailing on the play and attempting to block is Josh Williams (10). Also attempting to block is Houston Cannon (56). Shown running in to assist are Deason Nichols (2), Tyler Lollar (20), Isaac Darty (58) and Dylan Westbrooks (28). Pictured on the Berry sidelines are Trent Smith (3), Noah Morrison (52), Timothy Wright (25) and Matthew Morrison (54).

The Grateful Dead once sang about what a long, strange journey this has been. The Berry faithful who made the long trek to Calhoun County to see the Wildcats take on the Donoho Falcons could identify with this. The Wildcats were returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and looking to avenge a week seven loss in the regular season to the Falcons. Berry controlled the clock during the game, but big plays by the Falcons were too much for the Wildcats to overcome as they fell 34-6.