FMS will hold eighth grade graduation in May

As part of Fayette Middle School’s commitment to prepare students for the adventures and rigor that high school brings, the eighth grade teachers and Principal Rodney Hannah have decided to begin the tradition of holding an eighth grade graduation ceremony at Fayette Middle School each May. While the eighth grade graduation will be an exciting event for our students, we understandably find it necessary to implement eligibility requirements for all eighth graders who wish to participate in this end-of-the-year activity.

 

Fayette County Sports HOF inducts 11 new members


The inductees into the 2018 Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame Class are, from left: Steve Johnson and Pat Johnson (accepting on behalf of their father, the late James Bercy Johnson), Brooke Everette Hynds, Benny Everette, Joe Gladden, Niki Arendale, ReGina Bigham Rice, Timothy Morris, Michael “Mookie” Moore, Brandi Burris, Jenni Thomley and Billy Fred Webster (accepting on behalf of his father, the late Fred Webster).

The 2018 Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame was held on Saturday, August 11 and inducted 11 new members to its honorees. Tom Roberts, former Fayette County High School athlete and retired director of broadcasting for the University of Alabama, emceed the event and presented the awards to the recipients.

Dogwood Productions hold reunion


Shown is the former cast and crew of Dogwood Productions who attended the Aug. 5 reunion.

Many members of the former cast and crew of Dogwood Productions gathered on Aug. 5 at the Fayette Civic Center for a reunion. They performed many of the songs that they had sung in the plays, “Come Back to God America” and “The Gospel According to Scrooge,” while reminiscing about the glory days of the production company.

 

Berry holds monthly council meeting


Shown is the Berry Town Council at its Aug. 6 monthly meeting. From left: Mayor Jimmy Madison and councilmen: Wesley Jacobs, Chris Rice, Russell Madison, Troyce Townsel and Calvin Madison.

The Berry City Council held a brief regular monthly meeting on Aug. 6 at Berry Town Hall.
All town councilmen were present for the meeting, in addition to Mayor Jimmy Madison and Town Clerk Marie McCluskey. Berry Police Chief Gerald DeDeaux was not present at the meeting to present the monthly police department report to the council. The only item of business on the agenda for the meeting was an appointment to the Berry Park Board to replace Shane Westbrook. Westbrook is now an employee for the Town of Berry, and as an employee, is unable to remain on the board.

 

Reese speaks to Chamber about The Arc


Wade Reese is shown speaking at the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce’s First Tuesday Luncheon.

Wade Reese, executive director of The Arc of Fayette, Lamar and Marengo Counties, spoke at the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce’s First Tuesday Luncheon concerning the services that his agency provides to clients in the area. Reese said that The Arc is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities thrive in their communities.

Lawsuit dismissed against sheriffs

A lawsuit filed by The Southern Center for Human Rights and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice against 49 Alabama sheriffs has been dismissed after a judge granted a judgement in favor of the defendants. The lawsuit was filed against the sheriffs, including Sheriff Rodney Ingle of Fayette, in an effort to gain access to inmate food records that the advocacy groups claim they had been denied. The lawsuit alleged that some sheriffs have been mishandling funds that were intended to adequately feed jail inmates.

 

Fayette's new fire chief brings experience to job


Shannon Taylor is the new Fayette Fire Chief.

Shannon Taylor brings a lot of experience with him to his job as Fayette’s new fire chief. He retired from Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue in 2015 after 20 years of service, then continued to serve as fire chief at Green Pond before taking the job at Fayette.
He said that he is excited about moving to Fayette, a place he hopes to call home throughout his true retirement years when he finally hangs up his fire helmet.

 

Fayette BOE hires new personnel prior to start of school year


Shown is the Fayette County Board of Education at its Aug. 2 meeting. From left: Superintendent Jim Burkhalter, Board President Tom Hubbert, board members Sam Sullivan, Keith Madison, Tim Fields, John Stowe and Waldon Tucker.

The Fayette County Board of Education approved additional school personnel changes in preparation for the start of the new school year on Aug. 9.The board accepted the resignations of Abby Sanders, teacher at Fayette Elementary and Morris Moore, social studies teacher at Fayette County High School who also had coaching duties at both Fayette Middle and Fayette High School. These resignations are effective immediately.

 

FCHS cheerleaders attend UCA Camp


FCHS Varsity Cheerleaders from left, front row: Captain Erin Harville and Co-Captain Leah Howton. Second row: Rachel Freeman, Anna Mills and Camryn Hayes. Third row: Janya Savage, Marlee Yerby, Layla Birmingham and Samantha Holliman. Fourth row: Iteria Walker, Ali Burnett, Jacie Junkin, Kayla Mansfield and Grace Tucker.

The Fayette County High School Varsity and Junior Varsity cheerleaders attended a Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) Camp July 31 - Aug. 1. While at camp, each group learned new cheers, sideline chants and a rally dance. They also worked on new stunts and pyramids to incorporate into their materials.

 

Memories from Dogwood Productions reunion

The former cast and crew of Dogwood Productions held a reunion on Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Fayette Civic Center that brought back many memories of the glory days of the group’s performances. For years, Dogwood Productions held annual performances of “Come Back to God America” and “The Gospel According to Scrooge” that packed the Civic Center. The performers were local and always amazed the audiences by their musical and vocal talents.

 

FES selected as Alabama Bicentennial School

Governor Kay Ivey announced Friday, Aug. 3 the 200 schools selected as official Alabama Bicentennial Schools. Ivey was joined at the announcement by superintendents, principals, teachers, students, and administrators from the selected schools along with legislators and other dignitaries from across the state. Fayette Elementary School was one of the schools selected as an Alabama Bicentennial School.

 

Fayette Sports HOF is August 11

The 2018 Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Saturday, August 11 at 6 p.m. in the Earl McDonald Auditorium on the Fayette Campus of Bevill State Community College. The inductees are: Berry High School: Niki Arendale, James “Timothy” Morris, ReGina Bigham Rice and Fred Webster. Fayette County High School: Brandi Burris, Joe Gladden, Kenneth Michael Moore and Jennifer Thomley. Hubbertville High School: Benny Everette, Brooke Everette Hynds and James “Burcy” Johnson.

 

West Alabama Barbell Club strikes gold in West Virgina


Three members of the West Alabama Barbell Club competed recently in the national championship of powerlifting. Shown in front is Sydney Farris and behind from left are: Jessie Lindsey and Alex Moore.

A trio of Fayette County residents ventured into the hills of West Virgina and brought home the gold during the U.S. National Powerlifting Association’s Drug-Tested National Championships, held in Charleston, West Virgina. Alex Moore, Jessie Lindsey and Sydney Farris competed in meet and won seven gold medals and one bronze medals in the eight events that they competed in. They also set several national and world records in the process.

 

100th Birthday Celebration


Helping celebrate her special day, shown from left are: Lenora Carr, Wilbert Carr, James Moore, Hariette Moore, Frances Carr, Marie Carr, Henry Carr and Birdie C. Young.

Frances Carr celebrated her 100th birthday on July 27 at the Fayette Long-Term Care Facility in Fayette with family and friends. Her shirt expressed the sentiments of all her friends who were in attendance, stating; “Not everyone looks this good at 100.” Frances Carr is the oldest current member of McConnell Chapel AME Zion Church in Fayette. Helping celebrate her special day, shown from left are: Lenora Carr, Wilbert Carr, James Moore, Hariette Moore, Frances Carr, Marie Carr, Henry Carr and Birdie C. Young.

Porter resigns as Fayette County Engineer


Faye Meharg (standing), Fayette County Aging Program Director, is shown speaking to the Fayette County Commissioners concerning a proposal for cleaning services. Also pictured from left are Fayette County attorney Allen Grocholski, Commissioner Joe Acker and Commissioner Barry Corkren.

In a move that appeared to take most of the commissioners by surprise, Luke Porter resigned his position as Fayette County Engineer during the continuation of the commission’s July 23 meeting. Near the close of the regular meeting on Monday, July 23, Porter asked the commission to allow him an executive session to discuss a personnel matter. Following the executive session, the commission recessed the meeting until 2:30 p.m. on the following day.

Linton signs baseball scholarship


Shown at the signing front row, from left: Amy Linton (mom), Bret Linton and Gene Linton (dad). Back row: Ricky Bowen, owner and instructor at Bowen Baseball Academy; Bret Linton’s sister, Riley Linton; and Scott Humber, travel-team baseball coach.

Bret Linton, 2018 graduate of Fayette County High School, held a scholarship signing on July 21 at the Fayette Civic Center. Bret Linton signed to play catcher on the baseball team of the MUW Owls of Columbus, Miss., while pursuing a degree in business. Bret Linton thanked MUW, his coaches, family and friends for their support and help throughout his baseball career.

Dubose addresses council concerning work partnership


Russell Dubose, human resource director for Phifer Wire, spoke to the council about the company’s partnership with schools to help train workers for industries.

Russell Dubose, human resource director for Phifer Wire, spoke to the Fayette City Council during its July 24 meeting about the partnership that local industries are making with schools to help train skilled workers. Dubose said that Phifer has been a part of the Fayette community for more than 10 years and looks forward to its continued growth in the area following its current expansion into the former Arvin building. He said the company’s decision to expand to Fayette was a wise choice.

 

Return of theater to Fayette a success

Local theater production returned to the stage at the Fayette Civic Center last week to the delight of many in the Fayette community. Self Express Productions, based in Winfield, presented five performances of the Disney Classic “Mary Poppins” and proved once again that there are many talented people in Fayette and the surrounding counties who are more than capable of thrilling audiences with their musical and theatrical talents.

 

Theatrical performance of Mary Poppins at Fayette Civic Center


A portion of the cast from Self Express’ theatrical production of “Mary Poppins” is shown during a scene featuring the song, “Just a Spoonful of Sugar.” Pictured from left are: Ava Grace South (Michael Banks), Lily Beth Davis (Jane Banks), Casey Kauffman (co-producer and playing the lead role of Mary Poppins), and Brandi Davis (Winifred Banks).

The stage is again scheduled to come alive at the Fayette Civic Center Thursday, July 26 - Sunday July 29 as Self Express Productions performs the Disney classic “Mary Poppins.”
The movie version of theis classic, starring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews, remains popular more than 50 years after its release. Its popularity is so immense that a new film version, “Mary Poppins Returns,” is slated for release later this year.

 

Board of Education hires Raines as deputy superintendent


Mary Raines was approved as the new deputy superintendent at the July 17 meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education.

The Fayette County Board of Education approved the hiring of Mary Raines as the new deputy superintendent, following the resignation of current deputy superintendent Vic Herren, during its July 17 meeting. Raines has served as the board’s director of  curriculum and technology for the past few years and was unanimously approved by the board members in attendance to replace Herren. Herren resigned to take a job teaching seventh grade math at New Hope Middle School in Mississippi.

 

Freeman, Yerby winners in local primary runoff


Fayette Police Chief Danny Jenkins (left) congratulates Byron Yerby after the results for sheriff were announced.

Mike Freeman and Byron Yerby were the big winners in the Republican primary runoff for local office held on July 17. Freeman defeated Mike Newman 2,288 (67.49 percent) to 1,102 (32.51 percent) to win his party’s nomination for Fayette County probate judge. Freeman will face the Democratic nominee Greg Lowery, who defeated Scott Porter in the June 5 primary, in the Nov. 6 general election.

 

Fayette City Council approves hiring of new fire chief


Shown from left are councilmen Jerry Nichols, Cedric Wilson, Jason Cowart, Mayor Ray Nelson, Councilman Eddy Campbell, Councilwoman Linda McCraw and City Clerk Dawn Clapp at the council’s July 10 meeting.

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.

 

Commissioners discuss budget expenditures, approve mass notification system


Commissioner John Underwood, Commission Chairman Shane Hughes and Commissioner Joe Acker are shown inspecting the inside of the former Shop & Save Supermarket that is now owned by the commission. The building will become a supplemental annex for the county.

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.

 

Fayette, Berry and Fayette County participate in sales tax holiday

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.

 

Newman elected as President Pro Tem of school board


Jeff Newman, District 7 representative on the Alabama Board of Education

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 EMA Director Russ Taylor receives certification


Russ Taylor is shown at work in the Fayette County EMA office on July 9.

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.

 

Berry Town Council discusses lease agreement


The Berry Town Council held its regular scheduled meeting on July 2. Shown from left: Mayor Jimmy Madison and councilmen Wesley Jacobs, Chris Rice, Russell Madison and Troyce Townsel. Not shown is Calvin Madison, who was absent from the meeting.

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.

 

Glen Allen Town Council holds monthly meeting

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.

The musical "Mary Poppins" to be performed in Fayette

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.

 

County Commission approves hiring equipment operator


Shown from left are: County Attorney Allen Grocholski, Commissioner Joe Acker, Fayette Co. EMA Director Russ Taylor and County Administrator John Gordon at the June 25 meeting of the Fayette County Commission.

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.

 

Fayette BOE hears audit report, makes personnel changes


Shown at the June 26 Fayette County Board of Education meeting, from left: Superintendent Jim Burkhalter, Board President Tom Hubbert, and board members Sam Sullivan, Keith Madison, Tim Fields, John Stowe and Waldon Tucker.

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.

Fayette City Council hears equipment request, 311 report


Pictured at the June 26 Fayette City Council meeting from left: Councilman Jerry Nichols, Councilman Cedric Wilson, Mayor Ray Nelson, Councilman Eddy Campbell, Councilwoman Linda McCraw and City Clerk Dawn Clapp. Councilman Jason Cowart was absent from the meeting.

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.

Bountiful garden in a small space


Shown are Florence and Eugene Farris as they view their garden on June 21.

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.

Fuqua: Man on a mission


Jim Fuqua is shown throwing the javelin during one of his practice sessions at Guthrie Smith Park in Fayette.

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.

 

Advisory board expresses concerns with BSCC's Ennis


Shown, from left are: Eddie Britton, Tracy Estes, Phil Segraves, Bob Page, Paula Reeves, and Johnny Mack Morrow as they speak to the media following a meeting with Bevill State president Dr. Kim Ennis on Tuesday, June 19.

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.  

 

Porter pleads guilty to drug charge


Anne Michelle Porter

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.

 

Fayette County Commission holds brief meeting, executive session


The Fayette Co. Commission held its regular meeting on June 11. Shown from left are Commissioner Billy Rodgers, Commission Chairman Shane Hughes and Commissioner Barry Corkren. In the background are Greg Lowery (left) and Willie Ivey, visitors to the meeting

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.

 

Council welcomes new businesses during meeting

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.

Glen Allen holds council meeting

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).

Fayette man dies in accident

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.

 

Candidates qualify for runoff, Lowery and Burkhalter secure party nominations


Probate Judge William Oswalt (left) is shown congratulating Danny Jenkins (center) and Byron Yerby for making the July 17 Republican runoff for sheriff.

 

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.

 

A fallen soldier returns home


The remains of Sgt. Julius McKinney are shown being carefully carried off the plane after it landed at Memphis International Airport last week.

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.