Fayette County Superintendent of Education Jim Burkhalter told board members during the Aug. 21 meeting that the Fayette County school system is exploring the possibility of participating in the Alabama Sentry Program. The sentry program will allow an authorized and certified school administrator in a school without a resource officer to have a firearm on campus in a secure location to protect students and teachers in the event of a security threat to the school.
The Berry Town Council met in a work session on Aug. 20 to discuss budget issues for fiscal year 2019. All councilmen, Mayor Jimmy Madison and Town Clerk Marie McCluskey were in attendance. Berry Police Chief Gerald DeDeaux told the council that his department is needing new patrol cars and asked the council to consider options to buy or lease new cars during the next budget.
For the second straight year, the FayetteTigers completed a touchdown pass with little time remaining on the clock to defeat the Gordo Greenwave. Fayette senior Blake Wallace, who was starting his first game as quarterback for Fayette, completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Darion Walker with 4.7 seconds left on the clock to give Fayette a 19-13 victory.
The Lions kicked off its 2018 season by traveling to Phil Campbell to face the Bobcats in a fall jamboree. The varsity squads took the field for the first three quarters with the junior teams finishing out the last quarter of the game. Following the opening kick by Zach Hubbert, the Lion defense quickly stood ground holding the Bobcats offense in check, turning the ball over on downs at the Lions 42-yard line.
The Fayette Tigers entered last season seeking to rebound from an uncharacteristic 4-6 season in 2016. Head Coach Lance Tucker was optimistic last year, especially with the senior leadership that he had returning, including quarterback Chance Stevenson and receiver Darius Nalls.
His optimism was rewarded with a spectacular season, one that saw the Tigers play for the Class 4A state Championship before falling 21-7 to UMS-Wright on a snowy and freezing Bryant-Denny Stadium field.
Lamar Harris is beginning his 42nd year as the head football coach at Hubbertville, breaking a tie with the late Woody Clements of Holt as the longest head coaching tenure in Alabama high school football history. Harris’s tenure at Hubbertville also exceed the tenure of current Vestavia Hills coach, Buddy Anderson, by one year. Harris has seen a lot of changes since he started coaching at Hubbertville in 1977, and he has experienced both good and bad seasons. Yet Harris said that he loves what he does and has no immediate plans to retire.
Coach Caleb Hynds said before last season that he had always wanted to be a head football coach. He admits that last year was a learning process, but said his determination and the determination of his players is stronger than ever. “Last season was tough at times, but I learned a lot and it was a big adjustment for both me and the players,” he said. “I’m very hopeful that the results will be somewhat different this season.”
A sudden flash thunderstorm at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17 sent this heavy metal awning crashing into the front of Bolling’s Pharmacy. The awning apparently fell due to a sudden strong wind burst generated by the thunderstorm. Fortunately, the awning did not break any windows and no one was hurt during the incident.
The Fayette County Commission hired a new engineer and shop supervisor during its regularly scheduled Aug. 13 meeting. Current County Engineer Luke Porter resigned his position at the last commission meeting, with his resignation becoming effective on Aug. 31. At the time of his resignation, Porter told the commissioners that Mike Tomlin had also expressed an interest in returning to the shop and resigning his position as road supervisor. The commissioners accepted the resignations and posted each position during the same meeting. After a brief executive session during the most recent Aug.
The 2018 Berry High School Alumni Association reunion was highlighted by recognizing former Miss Berry winners. Special groups were a part of those present. The first Miss Berry, Ettie Grey Bozeman Clark, and the current Miss Berry, Tyner Beth Bowling, were present. A mother/daughter duo also attended, Charlotte Cannon Kilgore and Crystal Kilgore Elliers. Barbara Logan Clark and Rachel Moore Lawler, a grandmother - granddaughter were recognized. Tracy Clark Fields and Mandie Clark Mauldin are sisters who were crowned Miss Berry.
The Fayette City Council voted to donate $2,000 to the Fayette County High School stadium renovations during its Aug. 14 meeting. Amy Tucker spoke to the council concerning the recent renovations that the Fayette Boosters Club and other volunteers have been performing over the summer at John Morgan Brown Stadium.
The Glen Allen town council met in regular session on Tuesday, August 7 at the town hall. All councilors were present for the meeting. Following standard opening procedures, Mayor Allen J. Dunavant addressed the council concerning items of old business.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announces that seed cotton producers who want to participate in the Agriculture Risk Coverage (ARC) and Price Loss Coverage (PLC) programs for the 2018 crop year may now submit applications. The signup period begins now and ends on Dec. 7.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fayette Christian Academy, an outreach program of the Fayette First Free Will Baptist Church, is now offering classes for students from Pre-K to 12th grade, according to school director Bill Sullivan. Sullivan said that the school helps to fill the void for a private school that was left in the community following the closure of Fayette Academy several years ago.
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.
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.
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.
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.