The Fayette City Council approved Mayor Ray Nelson’s selection for new fire chief during its July 10 meeting. Shannon Taylor of Brookwood was selected by Mayor Nelson as the new fire chief replacing Tony Ellis who retired last month. The council is required to affirm the mayor’s choice, and after Councilman Jason Cowart made a motion that was seconded by Councilwoman Linda McCraw, the council unanimously approved Taylor as the next fire chief.
The Fayette County Commission held a work session prior to its regular monthly meeting on July 9. County Administrator John Gordon told the commissioners during the work session that most departments and items were well within their budgeted amounts after nine months of the 12-month fiscal budget for 2018.
The Municipalities of Fayette and Berry, in conjunction with Fayette County and the State of Alabama, will participate in the annual school sales tax holiday on July 20-22. This is the 13th year that Alabama has held the tax holiday, and the second time that the event has been held in July. The sales tax holiday will begin on Friday, July 20 at 12:01 a.m. and end on Sunday, July 22 at 11:59 p.m.
The Alabama Board of Education held its regular board meeting on Tuesday, July 10 in Montgomery and elected District 7 board member Jeff Newman as President Pro Tem of the board for the upcoming year. Newman, who previously served as vice-president of the board in 2015-16, is a former Lamar County Superintendent of Education. His district includes Fayette and Lamar counties. Newman was elected to the board in Nov. 2012 and was re-elected in Nov. 2016 for a second term.
Fayette County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Russ Taylor recently completed the educational requirements and training to receive the designation of Advanced Level Emergency Manager. To become an Advanced Level Emergency Manager, Taylor had to complete 700 hours of core curriculum coursework and 300 hours of management-related training.
The Berry Council held its regular monthly meeting on July 2 with all of the councilmen present except for Councilman Calvin Madison. Mayor Jimmy Madison said that the councilmen inspected the former armory building on June 21 that is currently leased to Ronnie Magouirk. The councilmen found several items that needed attention, some of the items were the leasee’s responsibility and some things needed to be repaired by the council.
Mike Freeman and Mike Newman will face each other in the Republican runoff for Fayette County probate judge, while Byron Yerby and Fayette Police Chief Danny Jenkins will square off against each other for the Republican nomination for sheriff during the July 17 Republican Party runoff.
During the regular monthly meeting of the Glen Allen Town Council on Tuesday, July 3, Mayor Allen J. Dunavant announced that the Alabama Bicentennial Commission Foundation has awarded the town a community grant in the amount of $2,500. The grant funding is awarded without the requirement of a local matching amount and will be issued upon the receipt of an official agreement executed between the Municipality of Glen Allen and the Alabama Bicentennial Commission Foundation.
Self Express Productions and the Fayette Arts Council proudly announces that a live musical production of the Disney classic Mary Poppins will be held at the Fayette Civic Center on July 26-29. Mary Poppins was one of the most popular Disney movies of all-time and later became a Broadway musical with more than 2,500 performances. It is a story of how Mary Poppins uses magic and musical enchantment to win over two young children and their family.
The Fayette County Commission approved hiring a replacement Class I Operator during its June 25 meeting. County Engineer Luke Porter said that an operator had recently left the department to take another job, leaving the maintenance crew on employee short. A motion was made by Billy Rodgers and seconded by James Knight allow the hiring of an Operator I position. The motion was approved by all the commissioners in attendance, with Commissioner Barry Corkren being absent due to illness.
The Fayette County Board of Education received its audit report and made several personnel changes during its June 26 meeting. Brooke Hynds, of the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, reported to the board that no irregularities were found regarding the finances for the 2017-18 school year. She emphasized that the audit was a good clean audit for the entire school system. The board accepted the resignations of Shelby Humphres and Michelle Porter, both teachers at Fayette Elementary. These resignations are effective immediately.
The Fayette City Council heard a request for a vehicle upgrade from city mechanic Curtis Moore concerning the need for repair or replacement of a dump truck during its June 26 meeting. Moore said that the dump truck they are using is 18 years old and needs a new transmission. He said the approximate cost to fix the transmission will be $4,500, and he also stated that the truck is too small to pull the equipment that they need.
Eugene and Florence Farris of Fayette have seemingly defied the odds on raising vegetables in a small space. This small garden at their home has produced a bountiful harvest of tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, squash, okra, pepper and many other varieties of vegetables. Florence Farris said that she has been amazed at the amount of fresh produce the tiny space has produced. She encourages other people to utilize the space around their homes to grow vegetables to eat and enjoy throughout the year.
After a lifetime of competing in various sports and suffering through numerous injuries and surgeries, Jim Fuqua of Fayette thought he had lost his competitive desire. Since his last injury in 2015, he had competed only once in a javelin competition before starting to throw the javelin again this year in February. “I told my wife that I was going to give this one more try, but if I couldn’t be competitive, I was giving it up,” he said.
A recently-formed legislative advisory task force has declared “no confidence” in newly-named Bevill State Community College (BSCC) President Dr. Kim Ennis. The BSCC-Hamilton Campus Legislative Advisory Task Force made the vote of “no confidence” in the system’s new leadership on Tuesday morning, June 19, in Hamilton.
Anne Michelle Porter of Fayette, former Fayette Elementary School teacher, pled guilty in Fayette County Circuit Court on June 14 to the charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. As a result of her plea, Porter received a 32-month sentence in custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections. However, the sentence will be suspended and Porter will be placed under three years of supervised probation.
The Fayette County Commission held a brief regular meeting on June 11 before entering executive session. Commissioner Joe Acker was absent from the meeting and all of the other commissioners were present. County Engineer Luke Porter was also absent from the meeting. County Shop Superintendent Mike Tomlin attended the meeting during Porter’s absence. County Administrator John Gordon asked the commissioners about the upcoming 90th annual Association of County Commissions of Alabama meeting that will be held at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach on Aug. 21-23.
The Fayette City Council received reports from two new businesses that are opening soon in the downtown area during its June 12 meeting. Ron and Anita Morris spoke to the council concerning their new business that will be opening in July. Ron Morris said that it would be a business that would sell his pottery and paintings , but added that it would also offer pottery classes for children and adults who want to learn more about the craft. Anita Morris will also have an area where she will teach cooking classes.
The Glen Allen town council held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 5 at the Glen Allen Town Hall. All councilors were in attendance for the meeting. Mayor Allen J. Dunavant brought before the council a consideration for the municipality to become a participating member of the Alabama League of Municipalities, Municipal Intercept Services (MIS).
The Hamilton Post of the Alabama State Troopers reported that a one vehicle crash at 10:45 p.m. on Monday, June 11 claimed the life of a Fayette man. Denver James Turner, 21, was killed when the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Dylan Keith Harkins, 23, ran through a stop sign, striking a tree and catching on fire. Turner was pronounced dead at the scene and Harkins was transported to DCH in Tuscaloosa.
Mike Freeman and Mike Newman will face each other in the Republican runoff for Fayette County probate judge, while Byron Yerby and Fayette Police Chief Danny Jenkins will square off against each other for the Republican nomination for sheriff. During the primary elections held on June 5, incumbent Fayette County Superintendent Jim Burkhalter defeated challenger Sandy Aldridge 2,577 to 1,800 to secure the Republican superintendent nomination. No one qualified in the county to run for superintendent as a Democrat.
The remains of a soldier who was killed during the Korean War have been identified and returned home for burial with full military honors. A casket carrying the remains of Sgt. Julius Ellis McKinney arrived Wednesday, June 6 at Memphis International Airport in Tennessee. He was declared dead by the army after being last seen on Dec. 2, 1950.
Editor’s note: The following article is being reprinted in its entirety in The Times-Record with permission and courtesy of B-Metro Magazine of Birmingham. The author’s name is not stated on the article. The exhibit that opens at the Birmingham Museum of Art on June 16 contains works of four Alabama folk artists with ties to Fayette and the Fayette Art Museum. These artists are: Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Benjamin F. Perkins, Sibyl Gibson and Fred Webster.
The Fayette County Board of Education approved several personnel and contractual items during its June 4 meeting. The board granted four days of on-the-job injury for Tammie Tittle, lunchroom worker at Hubbertville School. Maternity Leave and Family & Medical Leave was also granted to Emily Weeks, teacher at Fayette Elementary School, from approximately Aug. 1 - Aug. 27. The resignations of Kerrie Logan, Fayette Elementary teacher, and Caroline Watson, special education teacher at Fayette Elementary School, were accepted.
The Berry Town Council held its monthly meeting on June 4 at the Berry Town Hall. Mayor Jimmy Madison was present and all councilmen were present with the exception of Councilman Wesley Jacobs. Councilman Troyce Townsel made a motion to table discussion concerning the former armory building lease until after the council tours the building on June 22. Councilman Russell Madison seconded the motion and the motion was approved unanimously by the councilmen in attendance.
Berry High School had two softball players named to the Class 1A all-state team as selected by the Alanama Sportswriters Association. Bailey Thomas (near left), a junior, was selected as a first-team utility player. She led Berry in most offensive categories for the year. Sommer Bullard (far left), a senior, was a team captain and defensive Most Valuable Player for the Lady Wildcats.
Gwen Sanders celebrated her 100th birthday last week as many of her friends, former colleagues and former students dropped by to congratulate her on reaching this milestone. Sanders was born May 27, 1918 in Winfield and graduated from Winfield High School in 1936. She attended Florence State Teachers College (now the University of North Alabama), and started teaching after two years of college. She received her Bachelors degree from Florence and later received a Masters degree from The University of Alabama.
Ken is a misfit at school who keeps to himself and does not appear to have many friends. He is bullied by many of his classmates, and he never participates in group activities or sports. Ken’s grades are slipping, and he often skips class or does not attend school at all for a few days. One day, Ken tells his friend Barbara that he is “sick and tired of school.” He says that he has something planned that will make people wish they had been nicer to him. Ken tells Barbara that she shouldn’t go to school on Friday, because “something bad is going to happen at school that day.”