Governor Ivey issues 'Stay-at-Home' order



With the number of Coronavirus cases in Alabama approaching 1,500 and 21 confirmed deaths, Governor Kay Ivey issued a "Stay-at-Home" order for the entire state effective at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. The order allows limited travel for certain necessary activities, such as traveling to work at an essential job, seeking medical assistance, checking on relatives, or to buy groceries or medical supplies. The order also provides for fines and/or penalties for violations of the order. To see the full text of the order, visit Governor Kay Ivey's website.

First case of COVID – 19 reported in Fayette County


Classes on-campus at Fayette Middle School and all other K-12 schools in Alabama were officially cancelled last week for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic school year.

Fayette County became the 55th county in Alabama to report a confirmed case of the Coronavirus COVID – 19 at approximately 3 p.m. on Monday, March 30. The rapidly spreading virus continues to escalate throughout Alabama and the United States, forcing curfews in many areas and shuttering all businesses throughout Alabama that are deemed “non-essential.”

 

Blood Drive to be held April 6


An emergency blood drive will be held on Monday, April 6 at the Fayette Civic Center.

The Fayette Civic Center will host an emergency blood drive for the American Red Cross on Monday, April 6 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. The blood drive was originally scheduled for April 7, but had to be changed due to a scheduling conflict with the Red Cross. Stephanie Holcomb, an account executive for the American Red Cross, said that this drive is crucial to the organization’s ability to help meet the United States blood needs.

Council consents to termination of police officer


Fayette Fire Chief Shannon Taylor is shown addressing the Fayette City Council at its March 24 meeting.

The Fayette City Council voted four to one to consent to the termination of employment for Fayette Police Officer Jason Nalls during its Tuesday, March 24 meeting. All council members were present for the meeting. Fayette Mayor Ray Nelson said that based on an investigation by the Fayette Police Department and at the recommendation of Fayette Police Chief Danny Jenkins, he also recommended that the employment of Officer Nalls be terminated.

Commission hires new engineer at March 23 meeting


Fayette County resident Mike Crowley is shown speaking to the Fayette County Commission concerning the condition of the county roads.

The Fayette County Commission voted to hire a new county engineer during its March 23 regular meeting, All of the commissioners were present for the meeting. Prior to the regular portion of the meeting, the commission held an emergency meeting to discuss the county’s response to the rapidly changing Coronavirus (COVID - 19) pandemic. Commission Chairman Mike Freeman said they were having an emergency meeting because of the seriousness of the situation and to focus attention on the need for quick action from the commission.

Ivey closes schools for remainder of academic year



Governor Kay Ivey, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Education, announced on Thursday, March 26 that the K-12 public schools in Alabama would stay closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic school year. Ivey added, “Beginning at the start of school on April 6, 2020, all public K-12 schools shall implement a plan to complete the 2019-2020 school year using alternate methods of instruction as established by the State Superintendent of Education."

Coronavirus hits 500 cases in Alabama



The Coronavirus (COVID -19) topped 500 cases in Alabama as reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) at 3:05 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. The ADPH reported its first fatality from the Coronavirus on March 25, with the death toll from COVID - 19 remaining at one in Alabama at present time. For up-to-date information concerning the Coronavirus in Alabama, visit the ADPH website and check the latest figures via the site's dashboard. For U.S. totals, visit the Center for Disease Control.

COVID - 19 tightens grip on state, nation



The Coronavirus COVID - 19 continues to paralyse the state and nation, threatening to close all but the most essential services and businesses throughout the country. The stock market continues its free-fall. The Dow Jones Industrial average was approaching a new milestone mark of 30,000 approximately one month ago. On Monday, March 23, the average had slipped to just above 18,000, a 52-week low. Stores shelves are still bare in many places of essential basic food and household items.

Storms cause significant damage in county


Shown is a portion of the damage that occurred at the Fayette Country Club. Pictured is the damage caused by a tree falling into the main building. The roof on the bathrooms at the Country Club’s pool was also blown off and into the main building.

A fast-moving and somewhat unexpected severe thunderstorm caused considerable damage in Fayette County during the early morning hours of Monday, March 23. One of the hardest hit areas by the storm appeared to be the Covin - Belk area. There were numerous trees blown down or uprooted during the storm, and several buildings suffered structural damage. A portion of the roof on the Covin voting precinct was blown off of the building. An awning at M&M in Covin was also blown off and destroyed in the storm.

BOE accepts retirements of several employees at meeting


Pictured at the March 17 meeting of the Fayette Co. Board of Education, from left: Superintendent Jim Burkhalter, Board President Tom Hubbert, and Board Members Sam Sullivan, Keith Madison, Tim Fields and John Stowe. Board Member Waldon Tucker was absent from the meeting.

The Fayette County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on March 17 at the courthouse annex building. Board Member Waldon Tucker was absent from the meeting, with all other board members present. At the beginning of the meeting, Board President Tom Hubbert made a motion to start the meeting with an executive session to discuss a legal matter. Board Member Sam Sullivan seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously. Following an executive session of approximately 30 minutes, the board reconvened in open session.

Fayette Garden Club exhibits community service


Shown at right are members of the Fayette Garden Club as they perform a labor of love by planting fresh flowers at the Fayette Depot Museum. Shown from left are: Frances Butler, Stephanie Butler, John Brasher, Doris Brasher and Sheena Peterson.

The Fayette Garden Club exhibits its pride in the community by planting and caring for flowers and plants in the downtown Fayette area. The service organization is dedicated to helping beautify the area through its use of plants and flowers, and the Fayette Garden Club also encourages others to help make the area more beautiful.

Fayette splits four baseball games


Samuel Kizzire is shown pitching for Fayette against Sulligent.
Note: These games were played prior to the closure of the schools for the Coronavirus outbreak. No games were played last week. The Fayette Tigers baseball team hosted the Carbon Hill Bulldogs on March 9 and lost a low-scoring pitcher’s duel by the score of 2-1. Colton McCaleb pitched seven innings for the Tigers and suffered the loss. He pitched a superb game, striking out 11 batters while walking only one.

Governor Ivey Issues Statement on Statewide Public Health Order



Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) on Thursday, March 19 issued the following statewide health order to aid in Alabama’s efforts to contain the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
 Statewide through April 5:
 All gatherings of 25 persons or more, or gatherings of any size that cannot maintain a consistent six-foot distance between persons, are prohibited. This Order shall apply to all gatherings, events or activities that bring 25 or more persons in a single room or single space at the same time.

Runoff election rescheduled for July 14



Governor Kay Ivey on Wednesday, March 18 announced the Primary Runoff Election would be held on July 14 due to concerns surrounding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. “Exercising my extraordinary powers under the Emergency Management Act, I am setting Alabama’s Primary Runoff Election for July 14, 2020,” said Ivey. “The ability to hold free and fair elections is an inherent right as citizens of the United States and the great State of Alabama, but the safety and well-being of Alabama citizens is paramount.

COVID - 19 putting normal lives on hold

This picture of completely empty paper goods shelves in a local store was typical this past weekend as panicked buyers rushed to stock up on supplies in case of a home quarantine.

The first case of Coronavirus (COVID - 19) was reported in Alabama in Montgomery on Friday, March 13. Like a bad horror movie, the aftermath of the virus has caused almost a total disruption in the lives of most people. As the cases and geographic areas where the virus has been located has increased, the toll on modern life has also escalated.

 

Commission hires Meharg as temporary aging director


Seated is County Administrator John Gordon, who was attending his last meeting as administrator before his retirement. From left, middle: Commission Chairman Mike Freeman, County Administrator Brooke Slatton, Commissioner Barry Corkren and Commissioner Joe Acker. Back: Commissioner Billy Joe Rodgers, Commissioner James Knight, Commissioner John Underwood, Commissioner Shane Hughes and County Attorney Allen Grocholski.

The Fayette County Commission approved a new cyber-security plan for its employees during its March 9 meeting. All commissioners were present at the meeting. The meeting also was the last meeting that County Administrator John Gordon would be attending as administrator. Gordon will take a couple of weeks vacation before his official retirement begins on April 1. He has served the county for the past 22 years as administrator.

 

Council sets qualifying fees for municipal elections


Shown is the Fayette City Council at its March 10 meeting. From left: Councilmen Jerry Nichols, Cedric Wilson and Jason Cowart; Mayor Ray Nelson, Councilman Eddy Campbell; Councilwoman Linda McCraw; and City Clerk Dawn Clapp.

The Fayette City Council set the dates and qualifying fees for the upcoming municipal elections during its March 10 meeting. All council members were present for the meeting. Mayor Ray Nelson announced that qualifying for the municipal election will occur from July 7 - 21. The municipal election will take place on Aug. 25, with the runoff election, if necessary on Oct. 6. The new mayor and council members will take office on the first Monday in November, which is Nov. 2.

 

Former Fayette resident awarded Fulbright Scholarship


Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, formerly of Fayette, was recently awarded the Fulbright Scholarship.

The U.S. Department of State and the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board announced that Dr. Jeffrey Anderson, University of Louisiana Monroe (ULM) Professor of History in the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences, has received a prestigious Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program award to teach American History in Slovakia next fall and spring.