The path to fill more than 10,000 automotive manufacturing jobs within two years will be even more affordable in 2019 for 50 students in Alabama. The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and Alabama Community College System (ACCS) have partnered to provide a total $180,000 in scholarships, as well as mentors, to 50 students who want to pursue a technical education certificate or associate degree in the automotive manufacturing industry. The deadline to apply is Feb. 28.
A historic first march and rally in remembrance of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was held in downtown Fayette on Monday, Jan. 21. The event was organized by the Fayette County Ministerial Alliance. The celebration began at the Fayette County Courthouse and continued through the streets of Fayette to the First Baptist Church on Martin Luther King Drive. An estimated crowd of more than 200 people participated in the celebration.
Lance Tucker has accepted a job to be the head football coach at Bartlett High School in Tennessee, effective June 1. Tucker resignation as head football coach at Fayette County High School was accepted by the Fayette County Board of Education at its meeting on Jan. 15. The effective date of the resignation is May 31. At Fayette County High School, Tucker compiled a 76-31 record in eight seasons, including finishing as runner-up for the state championship three times during those seasons.
Kenneth Dawayne Elliott, 20, of Decatur pled guilty in Fayette Circuit Court to a second degree burglary charge on Jan. 10 and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. The plea deal was the result of a failed robbery and burglary attempt at the Fayette County branch of West Alabama Bank on Jan. 27, 2017. The original charges against Elliott were second degree burglary of a banking institution by force, first degree robbery, and attempting to elude a police officer.
The Fayette City Council addressed a speeding concern in a residential area of Temple Avenue during its Jan. 22 meeting. At the beginning of the regular meeting, Mayor Ray Nelson asked for an executive session to discuss “the good name and character of one or more individual.” A motion to enter executive session was made by Councilman Cedric Wilson and seconded by Councilman Jason Cowart. The motion was approved by a unanimous vote.
Forrest Deal, 16, of Fayette will be guest-starring in an upcoming episode of the TV comedy show “Young Sheldon.” The episode is entitled “David, Goliath, and a Yoo-Hoo from the Back,” and will air on the CBS network at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31. Deal filmed the episode of “Young Sheldon” at Warner Brothers Studio in Dec. 2018.
Headland High School Head Football Coach Danny Raines (center) was named the Alabama Class 4A Head Football Coach of the Year for the 2018 season by the Alabama Football Coaches Association. The former Berry High School coach led his team to a 10-2 record last season.The award was presented during a banquet on Jan. 26 in Montgomery.
The Hubbertville boys basketball team traveled to Vina on Jan. 22 and won a thriller by the score of 49-48. The game was close throughout, with Hubbertville leading at the half by a score of 21-17. Zach Hubbert led the Lions with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Brady Tucker had 11 points, followed by Tanner Upton with nine points and nine rebounds.
The Fayette boys hosted Curry in an area matchup for its only game of the week, losing by a score of 52-36. Leading the scoring for the Fayette Tigers was Harrison Whitley with 17 points. Landon Hamlett had 13 points and T’Marvic Smith scored four points for Fayette. Curry was led by Colton Aaron with 14 points, followed by Hunter Wilson with nine points on three three-point baskets.
The Berry High School girls basketball team played Lynn on Jan. 21 and dominated the court for a 45-19 win. The Lady Wildcats were led in scoring by Brooke Hill with 14 points, followed by Iannah Fields with 10 points. Tyner Bowling had eight points, while Bailey Thomas scored six points and hit the boards for nine rebounds.
Lance Tucker has resigned as head football coach at Fayette County High School, effective May 31. His resignation was accepted at the Jan. 15 meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education. Board member Keith Madison made a motion to accept Tucker’s resignation and the motion was seconded by Tim Fields. Madison, Fields, Hubbert and Sullivan voted to accept the resignation, while board member John Stowe voted against the motion. Board member Waldon Tucker abstained from voting on the motion.
County Engineer Chris Howell told the Fayette County Commission during its Jan. 11 meeting that the city has approached him about a mutually beneficial paving project between the city and the county. The city is proposing that the county use federal money that is at their disposal to pave a portion of County Road 21, County Road 38 West, a portion of 8th Avenue and 25th Street.
Fayette County Superintendent of Education Jim Burkhalter presented the results of the Alabama Education Report Cards recently released by the state during the board’s Jan. 15 meeting. Burkhalter said that the county’s scores were up at each individual school and for the system from last year’s scores. The Fayette County School System scored an 86 (B), compared to an 80 (B) last year.
The Berry Town Council released the data from its fiscal year 2018 audit, conducted by Kellum, Wilson and Associates, during its Jan. 8 meeting held at Berry Town Hall. All council members were present for the meeting. Phillip Eads represented the accounting firm at the meeting and stated that Berry received a clean audit with only a notation that the town needs more “segregation of duties.” He said this is a continuing yearly finding by his firm due to the size of the town and its limited resources.
The Fayette County High School varsity boys basketball team suffered through a tough week, losing three games including two area games. The Tigers were defeated by Dora on Jan. 14 by a score of 58-47. Trevor Billups led Fayette’s scoring with 19 points, followed closely by the 18 points from Landon Hamlett. Tre’Darion Walker added six points for the Tigers.
The Hubbertville’s girls basketball team hosted South Lamar on Jan. 15 and defeated the Lady Stallions by a score of 33-27. Gracie Dodd led the Lady Lions with 22 points and 12 rebounds, followed by Madison Cribb with five points, Haylee Pollard with four points and Kendall Dunavant with two points.
It was a tough week for the Berry boys’ basketball team.
On Jan. 14, Berry hosted Meek and was defeated by a score of 49-40.
Tyler Lollar led Berry with 16 points, followed by Isaac Darty with 13 points. Levi Cannon had seven points for the Wildcats and Johnathan Locke scored four points.
Three new county officials who have never before held public office were sworn-in during a ceremony at the Fayette County Courthouse on Jan. 11. Mike Freeman took the oath of office as the new probate judge from outgoing Probate Judge William Oswalt. After taking the oath, Freeman administered the oath of office to the new Fayette County Sheriff Byron Yerby.
A logger from the Northside area of Tuscaloosa County was seriously injured in an accident in the Berry area on Thursday, Jan. 10. Berry Police Chief Gerald DeDeaux said that Larry Williams was apparently cutting a tree when the tree fell on him, pinning him to the ground.
The Berry Wildcats’ varsity basketball teams defeated its cross-county rival Hubbertville in both boys and girls basketball last week. The boys’ game was close, but Berry prevailed by a score of 52-46. Leading the scoring for Berry was Tyler Lollar with 12 points, followed by Isaac Darty with 11. Sam Franklin added seven points for Berry, while Levi Cannon, Isaiah Kizzire and Colton Abernathy each scored six points. Johnathan Locke rounded out the scoring for the Wildcats with four points.
The Fayette County High School boys and girls basketball teams traveled to Curry on Jan. 11, each losing critical area games to the Yellow Jackets. The boys team trailed throughout the game, although the deficit was only six points at the end of the third quarter. Both teams increased their scoring tempo in the fourth period, and the Yellow Jackets pulled away for a 54-41 victory.
Fayette County Probate Judge William Oswalt said that the biggest pleasure and honor in his working career has been serving the people of Fayette County for the past 30 years. He said that from day one, he entered into the office and duties as Fayette County Probate Judge determined to “treat people with respect and dignity.”
District Judge Jerry Clary was not born and raised in Fayette County, but there is no doubt that he is now a true Fayette County citizen. Clary attended high school at Tuscaloosa High before attending the University of Alabama. He received both his undergraduate degree and law degree from Alabama, then decided to open a private law practice.
The City of Fayette received the second most rainfall ever recorded during the calendar year 2018. According to the rainfall data reported to the National Weather Service by Kristopher Gardner, the official weather observer for Fayette, the town received 78.95 inches of rain in 2018. This is second to the 81.38 inches of rainfall recorded by the city in 1973. The third highest total for Fayette was 15 years ago in 2003, when 77.69 inches of rain was recorded.
A ribbon-cutting and open house was held at White Oak Market, located at 113 Columbus St. East in Fayette, on Saturday, Jan. 5. White Oak Market sells custom built and refinished furniture from local builders, unique home accessories and gifts, jewelry, wall art and many more items. The store also offers furniture makeovers and decorating services, and offers layaways and gift certificates for their customers’ convenience.
Alabama Power Company recently awarded an “Efficiency Forward Grant” for approximately $7,000 to the Weldy Home to replace a heating/air conditioning unit at the facility. The Weldy Home, located in Fayette County, is a group home where girls who have been neglected or abandoned can receive nurturing and support in a safe family atmosphere.
Alabama Power Engineering Supervisor Russell Hill recently spoke to members of the Fayette Exchange Club concerning an extensive project that his company is undertaking in the Fayette area. Alabama Power is installing new power poles and a fiber-optic integrated system that will allow for quick restoration of power during a power outage.
Two escaped female inmates from the Fayette County jail were quickly returned to custody after escaping on Sunday, Dec. 23. Deputy Barry Corkren said that Carol Ann Eaton, 34, of 588 Northam Rd., Vernon, and Julie Burrage Miller, 39, of 1144 Co. Rd. 101, Fayette, escaped on Dec. 23 at approximately 5:30 - 6 p.m.
We continue our review of stories from 2018 with headlines from July - December. Events from the first six months of the year were reviewed in last week’s edition of The Times-Record. July - The annual Fayette Tractor and Truck Pull was held on July 7 at the Fayette Multipurpose Complex. Shannon Taylor was hired as the new fire chief for the Fayette Fire Department.
Jeff Newman was selected as President Pro Tem of the state Alabama Board of Education.
A worker injured in an industrial accident at Georgia Pacific in Belk on Friday, Dec. 21 has been discharged from the hospital and is continuing to recover from the incident, according to a spokesman for the company. Rick Kimble, director of communications for Georgia Pacific, said that at approximately 1 p.m. on Dec. 21, Melissa Watkins was pinned and caught under a moving platform at the facility. She was freed from the platform and was having extreme difficulty breathing, Kimble said.
Jonathan K. Smith, who has practiced general surgery in Fayette for a decade, will be leaving this summer to train as a surgical specialist. Dr. Smith will begin a fellowship in oncology breast surgery at Rutgers University in New Jersey in August. Dr. Smith said he will announce his plans in more detail soon. Until then, he said, he will continue to see patients.
Two long-time public servants of Fayette County will have receptions in January, honoring them for their service to the citizens of the county. Probate Judge William Oswalt and District Judge Jerry Clary were each elected to their respective offices in 1988. They have each served the county for the past 30 years in their official capacities, and each of the men will retire in January after choosing to not seek another term in office.
Sarah Stovall, a senior student and softball player at Carbon Hill High School, recently signed an athletic scholarship to play for Judson College. Although Stovall attends Carbon Hill High School in Walker County, she is a resident of Fayette County in the Huvbbertville community. Stovall posted a 9-9 record last season as a pitcher with a 4.91 ERA. In 94 innings pitched, she struck out 75 batters and walked 37 for Carbon Hill. Her team ended the season with a 34-24 record and advanced to the North Central Regional Tournament.
The Fayette City Council voted during its Dec. 21 meeting to hire Jesse Finch, a current policeman in Gordo, to fill a vacancy on the police staff. According to Fayette Police Chief Danny Jenkins, Finch is a recent graduate of the law enforcement academy. Jenkins said that Finch is a native of Fayette County and also stated that he still lives in Fayette County.
Tre’Darion Walker, a senior at Fayette County High School, was named first-team Class 4A all-state receiver by the Alabama Sports Writers Association for the 2018 season. Walker had 43 receptions for 1,051 yards and 14 touchdowns during the season. Cannon Alexander , senior offensive lineman at Hubbertville, was named Class 1A honorable mention.
Joey Day President Charles A. Langley received $3,005 from the Kirkland/Bluff/Wayside communities on Thursday, Dec. 13. Over 35 families, Wayside Church, The Animal Clinic, Nix Flying Service, The Kirkley Foundation, and Wayside Community Club made generous donations to the Joey Day Project with the hope that over 300 needy children referred by the Department of Human Resources will have a Merry Christmas as they receive clothing, shoes and toys.
The Berry boys basketball team defeated Waterloo 63-58 in a game played at Berry on Dec. 21. The games against Waterloo and Holy Spirit were added to the schedule to provide additional competition prior to the Christmas break. Isaac Darty had an outstanding game, scoring 29 points for the Wildcats. Levi Cannon and Tyler Lollar also scored in double figures for the Wildcats with 11 points each. Johnathan Locke scored five points, Sam Franklin had four points and Isaiah Kizzire notched three points for Berry.
Hubert Norris, a former long-time sheriff of Fayette County, passed away on December 12 at the age of 84. His funeral was held on Dec. 16 at Nelson Funeral Home with burial in the Bethabara Cemetery in Berry. Norris had a long and legendary career in law enforcement, beginning as police chief with the Berry Police Department in 1967, and continuing with the Fayette Police Department from before being elected sheriff in 1974.
The Fayette County Board of Education held its regularly scheduled meeting on Dec. 11 at the Hubbertville School Library. Board member Tim Fields was absent from the meeting, with all other board members and Superintendent Jim Burkhalter present. A motion to accept the low bid of $32,336 to build a privacy safety fence around the campus of Fayette Middle School was made by board member John Stowe and seconded by board member Keith Madison. The funds for the fence would be provided by the Fayette Community Foundation and from local school funds.
The Fayette County Commission continued its discussion concerning the aging program at its Dec. 10 meeting. Commission Chairman Joe Acker said that there appeared to be a general consensus after the commission’s last meeting to discontinue the Medicaid Waiver program that the aging program has been particpating in. He said that Pam McDaniel of the regional aging program stated that the county is already in violation of the guidelines because follow-up inspections were not being completed.