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.”
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 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
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.
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.
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 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.
Fayette County has been awarded federal funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/ Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program, Phase 35. Fayette County has been chosen to receive $8,005 for Phase 35 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs in the county.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
Gracie Bonds, student at the University of Alabama, recently received the Alpha Xi Fayette Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma’s Scholarship Grant-in-Aid. Bonds is a graduate and Salutatorian of Hubbertville High School, an Ambassador Scholarship Recipient for Bevill State Community College and is currently enrolled at the University of Alabama majoring in special education.
Hubbertville played Sulligent twice last week, once away and once at home, losing both games to the Lady Blue Devils. On April 23, Hubbertville traveled to Sulligent and was defeated by the Lady Blue Devils by a score of 5-0. Emma Nichols pitched a complete six-inning game for Hubbertville, allowing seven hits and only two earned runs. Gracie Dodd led the Lady Lions in hitting, with two singles in three at-bats. Cayla Tidwell added a double, while Haylee Pollard and Nichols had the only additional hits for Hubbertville.
The Fayette County Lady Tigers defeated Berry 13-10 in a game played at Berry on April 19. Fayette came from behind in the final inning to secure the victory in a game that saw several lead changes throughout the game. Each team had 15 hits during the highly competitive game.
The Fayette County Board of Education approved the retirement of four employees whose combined tenure with the system totaled more than 89 years during its April 17 meeting.
All board members were present with the exception of Sam Sullivan. The retirements accepted were: Janet Litton, teacher at Fayette Elementary School with 26 years service; Sherry Hall, teacher at Fayette Elementary with 23 years service; Debbie Ingle, elementary teacher at Hubbertville School with 25 ½ years service; and Charlie Dale Jones, bus driver with 15 years service.
Bevill State Community College announced on Wednesday, April 18 the reduction of 15 faculty and staff members from throughout the college’s five campus locations. These cuts follow a reduction of 19 employees from the system that occurred in August 2017. The previous cuts were instructed by the Alabama Community College System chancellor’s office in an effort to increase Bevill’s reserves. The Alabama Community College System also provided Bevill with guidance concerning the latest cuts.
Recent reports of the unauthorized use of blue police lights on a personal vehicle has prompted the Fayette County Sheriff Department to issue a warning to the public. A female resident was recently driving on County Road 26 when a black Dodge Charger pulled up behind her and turned on blue lights similar to the ones used by law enforcement. The driver did not pull over and soon the person driving the Charger turned off onto another road.
The Glen Allen Town Council met on Tuesday, April 3 at the town hall. The agenda for the regular scheduled monthly meeting was short as most items requiring action had been discussed in detail during the council's water-working meeting held on Tuesday, Feb. 6. All council members were in attendance at the water-working meeting and were also present for the council meeting. Mayor Allen J. Dunavant presented items one-by-one for discussion from the water-working meeting prior to the council electing to take the necessary action.
Berry had a rare week of softball, losing the only two games that it played during the week.
Holy Spirit pounced on Berry early and never looked back in a decisive 17-2 win against its area rival. Brooke Blanton was the losing pitcher, allowing seven hits in four innings of work while striking out five. Allie Taylor pitched two innings in relief, allowing five hits and striking out three. Sommer Bullard was one-for-three for the Lady Wildcats, with a double and a RBI. Gracyn Hydrick was one-for-two with a RBI. Tierra Grevins and Kierston Smith scored the only two runs for Berry.
The Hubbertville softball team hosted Brilliant on Wednesday, April 18 and easily defeated the Lady Tigers by a score of 18-2. Emma Nichols pitched a complete game for the Lady Lions, allowing four hits, one earned run and striking out two batters. Gracie Dodd had the big bat for Hubbertville, going three-for-three including a home run, two runs scored and four RBIs. Laikyn Wright also had three hits for Hubbertville, including a double, four runs scored and three RBIs.
A total of 52 people participated in the annual Glen Allen “Don’t Drop it on Alabama” clean-up day on Saturday, April 21. Glen Allen Mayor Allen Dunavant said that the crowd was smaller than usual due to the Hubbertville Park Day being held at the same time, but he said the clean-up campaign was a success.
Bevill traveled to Marion on April 12 and lost both games of a double-header to Marion Military Institute. In the first game, the Bears lost by a score of 5-3. Bevill took an early 1-0 lead in the first inning and stretched that lead to 3-1 by the second inning. MMI took the lead in the fourth and never relinquished to preserve the win. Parker Hubbard took the loss for Bevill despite surrendering only two earned runs. He struck out three opposing batters and allowed five hits.
Former Berry Town Council member Clyde Pendley, age 78, passed away at his home on Friday, April 13. Services were held on Monday, April 16 with burial in Memory Hill Garden cemetery. According to Berry Town Clerk Marie McClusky, Pendley served as a Berry councilman from his appointment for the remainder of an unexpired term in April 2007 until his resignation in February of this year due to health reasons.
Dr. Kim Ennis was named as the new president of Bevill State Community College by the Alabama Community College System’s Board of Directors during a meeting held on Tuesday, April 10 at Lawson State Community College.Ennis began her college career as a student at Walker College, which is now part of the Bevill State Community College system. Following her studies at Walker College, Ennis received her Bachelor’s degree in business at Birmingham Southern and later received her Masters’ and PHD in Education from the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Sandy Whitson, 46, of Fayette was arrested and charged with first degree burglary, third degree burglary, first degree theft of a vehicle and second degree domestic violence assault in connection with an attack on a Millport woman. The attack occurred at approximately 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 11, according to Millport police chief Charles White. He said Whitson broke into the female victim’s home and assaulted her before she could get away.
The Fayette County Commission voted to purchase the former Shop & Save Supermarket located across from the annex building during its April 9 meeting. Commissioner Barry Corkren said that the commission had an opportunity to purchase the supermarket property for the assessed value of $220,000 if they voted now to make the purchase. He said that the property would be put on the market if the county commission chose not to make the purchase.
The Fayette City Council approved the purchase of a security system for city hall during its April 10 meeting. Councilwoman Linda McCraw was absent from the meeting, with the remaining council members in attendance along with Mayor Ray Nelson.
Prior to beginning the discussion concerning security, Nelson said that he had a copy of a video from Kirkwood, Missouri that showed an active shooter killing two police officers, three city councilmen and the mayor during a council meeting. He said the video reinforces the need for security at governmental buildings.
The Berry Town Council held a special called meeting on March 19 to award the bid for the water line relocation in Bankston. Councilman Calvin Madison made a motion to adopt a resolution authorizing Mayor Jimmy Madison to contract on behalf of the Town of Berry with Robinson and Sons Construction to relocate the water line. The amount of the successful bid was $255,450 and the cost of the relocation will be reimbursed by the Alabama Department of Transportation.
Hubbertville defeated Pickens County 20-2 on April 10 in a three inning game.
Emma Nichols pitched a complete game for Hubbertville, allowing four hits and two unearned runs with three strikeouts and no walks. Gracie Dodd had two hits for Hubbertville, including a home run, with two runs scored and two RBIs. Chelsea Porter had three runs scored and two RBIs, Savannah McCraw scored a run and had two RBIs, and Cayla Tidwell had a double, RBI and scored two runs.
Fayette lost to Winfield on April 10 by a score of 7-6 as the Pirates Jack Williamson hit a two-run triple in the bottom of the eighth inning for Winfield’s come-from-behind win. Walt Tucker had a two-run double in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game at five, and Fayette had a 6-5 lead in the bottom of the eighth before the triple by Williamson. Austin McCaleb had a three hit night for Fayette and Tucker also had multiple hits in the game.
Berry started off the week on Monday, April 9 with a shutout softball win against Pickens County by a score of 15-0. Brooke Blanton started the game as pitcher for Berry and dominated the Lady Tornado batters, striking out eight of the nine batters she faced and allowing no hits. Blanton also contributed at the plate, going two-for-two with two RBIs and walked twice during the game.
Tatarian Williams, 28, of Fayette, accepted a plea deal in Fayette County Circuit Court on April 4 and was sentenced to spend the next 20 years in an Alabama Department of Corrections facility. Williams was arrested on June 10, 2016 and charged with drug trafficking and possession of drug paraphernalia following a raid on his residence, located on 3rd St. SE in Fayette. According to reports of the arrest, Antonious Charblye Delaney and Dionne Cherell Dixon were also arrested during the raid.