BOE approves personnel, contract items during brief meeting

Shown is a portion of the crowd attending the Sept. 27 meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education.

The Fayette County Board of Education held a brief meeting on Sept. 27 to approve personnel items and contracts. Board Member Tim Fields was absent from the meeting with all other members present. The board began its meeting by unanimously approving the agenda for the meeting and the financial statement.


Fayette recognizes AP students

Shown at the Sept. 20 celebration are from left: Walt Gary, Coulter Ary, Noah Scott, Anna Kate Gillam, Olivia Yerby, Morgan Trull, Katie Henegar, Skyler Higginbotham and Jayli McClain. Not shown are: Mason Aldridge, Adrianna Cousette, Dylan Fulton, Marshal Graham, Skylar Hill, Macy Montgomery, Kaleb Sparks and Tracie Strickland.

Fayette County High School recognized its “A+ College-Ready Students” during an academic celebration held at the school’s library on Thursday, Sept. 20. The students and their teachers were also recognized during the Fayette-Curry Homecoming football game on Friday, Sept. 21. Fayette County High School is proud to be a participant in the Advanced Placement (AP) program and has implemented eight advanced placement courses that are offered to its highest achieving students.

Commission approves budget, bids for FY 2019

The Fayette County Commission approved its fiscal year 2019 budget and bid requests at its Sept. 24 meeting. Commissioners Barry Corkren and John Underwood were absent from the meeting. County Engineer Chris Howell asked the commissioners to re-classify Max Miller from a Flagman to Equipment Operator 1. He said that Miller would remain a part-time employee, but his pay would increase from $9 per hour to $10.50 per hour.


Macedonia Baptist Church celebrates 125th anniversary

Shown is Angie Cooper, a volunteer with the Alabama Baptist Historical Commission, as she presented a resolution from the commission to church pastor Casey Watkins.

Macedonia Baptist Church in Fayette celebrated its 125th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 30, with more than 120 people in attendance. Many former pastors were in attendance and each of them spoke about their memories of the church.

Fayette survives scare to defeat Sipsey Valley 31-27

Zack Ingle is shown running for a touchdown as Jordan Feltman (80), Hunter Kizzire (62) and Seth Stough (54) block.

The Tigers traded touchdowns with Sipsey Valley for most of the game before scoring its go-ahead points in the fourth quarter and controlling the tempo in the final period to take a 31-27 victory. Fayette led 12-7 until late in the second quarter, when a muffed punt attempt by Blake Wallace was returned by Sipsey Valley for a touchdown with 44 seconds remaining in the half. Missed extra points by the Tigers had Fayette on the short end of the touchdown swap until the fourth quarter.


Hubbertville defeats Hackleburg

Hubbertville’s Tanner Upton (25) is shown running for a touchdown against Hackleburg.

The Lions traveled to Hackleburg on Friday night to face the Panthers in a non-region game. Receiving the opening kick, the Lions utilized the ground game with runs by Zack Hubbert, Gage Key and Tanner Upton advancing quickly to the Panthers’ two-yard line in just five plays. Facing first and goal, Z. Hubbert took the ball into the endzone for the score with 9:30 remaining in the opening quarter. The PAT kick by Z. Hubbert was perfect, giving the Lions the early lead 7-0.


Donoho defeats Berry 42-14

Tyler Smith (6) is shown dropping back to pass as Isaac Darty (34) blocks.

The musical group Grateful Dead once sang about what a long, strange journey this has been. The Berry faithful who made the long trek to Calhoun County to see the Wildcats take on the Donoho Falcons could identify with that. The game saw problems with the field, controversial calls, and contention between players from both teams. The Wildcats hoped to upset the Falcons on their homecoming, but ultimately Donoho walked away with a 42 – 14 win.


BES receives check for reading success

Shown receiving a $20,000 check from the Alabama Department of Education for Berry Elementary School are from left: Eric Mackey, Alabama State Superintendent; Darrell Thomas, Berry Elementary principal; BES teachers Amber Stephens and Heather Windle; Mary Raines, Fayette County deputy superintendent; Jim Burkhalter, Fayette County superintendent and State Board Member Jeff Newman.

Berry Elementary School received a $20,000 check from the Alabama Department of Education in recognition of its outstanding success in reading achievement during a ceremony in Montgomery on Sept. 13. The state education department honored 50 of the top schools in the state for reading achievement, and each school received a $20,000 check at the ceremony. Berry Elementary School was the only school in Fayette County to receive this special reading recognition.


Celebrating 125 years of Christian service

Shown is a recent picture of Macedonia Baptist Church, as the church was framed by a rainbow in the background.

Macedonia Baptist Church, located on County Road 35 south of Fayette, will celebrate its 125th anniversary of Christian service on Sunday, Sept. 30. The church was founded on Nov. 19, 1893 when five men and six women assembled at Sulphur Springs School House to organize a new Missionary Baptist Church. Those individuals that gathered on that day were J.A. South, J.B. Kemp, Ira Griffin, G.W. Newton, J.M. Lindsey, F.A. South, Sara E. Kemp, Susan A. Griffin, T.O. Newton, Nora Lindsey and Ethel Kelley.

FCHS celebrates Homecoming

Shown is the 2018 Homecoming Court. From left: Julie Beavers, Samantha Holliman, Layla Birmingham, McKenzie Back, Morgan Trull (Queen), Lindy Hindman, Holley Files, Searaley Nichols and Jacie Junkin.

Fayette County High School celebrated its Homecoming on Sept. 21 with a 24-0 win over the Curry Yellow Jackets.

Gordon honored by FCHS

Shown are John Gordon (left) and FCHS Principal Jeremy Madden.

John Gordon (left) received a plaque from Fayette County High School Principal Jeremy Madden during the FCHS homecoming game recognizing his 42 years of service as the public address announcer at John Morgan Brown Stadium. Gordon officially retired from announcing this season after taking a leave-of-absence during the previous year.

Reeves retires from 24th Judicial Circuit

Shown are the people in the district attorney’s office Reeves worked with. From left: Merrell Nolen, Jack Nolen, District Attorney Chris McCool, Nancy Reeves, Andy Hamlin, Kaleb Beams and Steven Nolen.

The 24 Judicial Circuit honored Nancy Reeves with a retirement party on Aug. 23, in recognition for her 16 1/2 years of service to the district attorney’s office. Reeves was hired on Feb. 11, 2002 and will officially retire on Nov. 30.


Glen Allen refrains from seeking water funds

The Glen Allen town council unanimously decided at its Sept. 4 meeting to refrain from submitting an application to seek funding for assistance in upgrading the town's water infrastructure. All council members were present for the meeting.
Mayor Allen J. Dunavant informed the council that The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development is presently making available a historic level of funding for water and waste disposal infrastructure in rural towns and communities. The funding could be obtained by way of grants or long-term, low-interest rate loans.

Berry Council approves budget for 2019

The Berry Town Council held its regular monthly meeting on Sept. 10. All council members were present for the meeting. Town Clerk Marie McClusky presented the budget for fiscal year 2019 to the council. She said that the only significant change in the budget was the inclusion of a provision to purchase three new police cars, as detailed during discussions at the August meeting with Berry Police Chief Gerald DeDeaux.

Fayette gets shutout win over Curry 24-0

Walt Tucker (5) is shown throwing a pass as Langston Strawbridge (24) blocks.

Fayette used a solid passing attack and a dominating defensive effort to register a 24-0 homecoming victory over the Curry Yellow Jackets. Curry managed only two net yards rushing and less than 100 yards in total offense during the game. The swarming Tigers’ defense also forced Curry to lose four fumbles that were recovered by Fayette.


Berry gets first win of season

Johnathan Locke (7) is shown cradling a pass reception for a two-point conversion for the Berry Wildcats.

The Berry Wildcats faced the Meek Tigers with both teams looking to pick up their first regional win. The Tigers led early in the game, but the Wildcats took control in the second half to win 33–15. The Tigers won the toss and elected to take the opening kickoff. Meek started its opening possession on the Tigers’ 32-yard line. Nine plays later, Meek faced fourth and two on the Berry 28-yard line and decided to try to convert the down. The Wildcat defense stopped the Tigers for no gain and forced a turnover on downs.


Hub falls to South Lamar

Gage Alexander (10) is shown tackling a South Lamar ball carrier as Tanner Upton (25) comes in to assist.

The battle between the undefeated South Lamar Stallions and the Hubbertville Lions got off to a quick start on Friday night. The Stallions won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kick, wasting little time advancing the ball to the endzone for a quick score. Beginning the first offensive possession at its own 46 yard line, Jack Dawson dropped back and connected on a pass with Keidarris Griffin, who raced down the right sideline for the touchdown. The two-point conversion was unsuccessful, leaving the score 6-0 with only 11 seconds erased off the clock.


Governor’s job fair for people with disabilities

In partnership with the Alabama Career Center System / Alabama Department of Labor, the City of Huntsville, United Ability, the Alabama Department of Rehab Services, the Alabama Department of Mental Health, the Governor’s Office on Disability, and the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, Governor Kay Ivey announced plans to host the second annual Governor’s Job Fair for People with Disabilities.

Renovating the past for a productive future

Shown is a portion of downtown Fayette showing the after effects of the storefront renovations, which was one of the many phases of the Downtown Revitalization Program.

“We don’t tear down old buildings, we renovate and restore them,” said Fayette Mayor Ray Nelson. “We are proud of our historical past and want to preserve that heritage while preparing for business in the future.” With only a couple of noticeable exceptions, those being the McNease-Robertson Hospital/Clinic and Richard’s Theater, the buildings occupying present-day downtown Fayette have a very familiar look to the landscape of 50-100 years ago. The names on the buildings may have changed, but the buildings have been renovated and reborn into new vibrant businesses.


Commission votes to post operator, clerk positions

Shown at the Sept. 10 commission meeting are, from left: Commissioner Joe Acker, Commissioner Barry Corkren and shop supervisor Tim Whitson.

The Fayette County Commission voted to post a new accounts payable position and two road crew operator positions during its Sept. 10 meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, Commissioner Barry Corkren asked that the agenda for the meeting be amended to include the addition of “open and re-alignment positions.” The commissioners unanimously approved the agenda with the requested change added. Corkren said that the road crew has been understaffed and needs two equipment operators hired to fill the needs of the department.

Fayette City Council renews hospital tax

Shown at the Sept. 11 Fayette City Council 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 approved the renewal of the one-half cent sales tax that is earmarked for Fayette Medical center during its Sept. 11 meeting. Prior to the beginning of the meeting, Lee Auman, candidate for then United States House of Representatives, Fourth Congressional District, was introduced by Bobby Avant. Auman was allowed five minutes to speak and used that time to thank the council for their foresight in protecting the health and well-being of the citizens of the Fayette.

Never forget

Shown is the flag that was displayed at the Fayette Fire Department on Sept. 11.

The Fayette Fire Department displayed a giant flag on Sept. 11, remembering the nearly 3,000 innocent victims and the heroic first responders who lost their lives during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.



Fayette BOE approves budget, contracts during meeting

Shown at the BOE meeting representing Berry Elementary from left: Amber Stephens, Heather Windle and Principal Darrell Thomas. Berry Elementary placed in the top 50 schools in the state for reading growth in 2018.

The Fayette County Board of Education approved its budget for fiscal year 2019 during its Sept. 11 meeting. All members of the board were present for the meeting. Prior to the meeting, a budget hearing was held to present proposed revenues and expenditures for the upcoming year. Revenues were listed at $22,516,659 and expenditures were listed at $23,376,396. These are projected numbers and are subject to change within the year.


Fayette Arts Festival winners announced

Shown are the winners from the 49th annual Fayette Arts Festival.

The 49th annual Fayette Arts Festival, held on Sept. 8 at Guthrie Smith Park, announced its prize winners from this years festival. The winners are as follows: Jimmy Pierce, Cottondale – First Place, Fine Art Division; Cindy S. Vance, Bankston – Display Award; Marinda Michael, Baldwin, Miss. – Third Place, Craft Division; Ashleigh McCool, Gordo – Second Place, Fine Art Division; and She-She, B’ham – First Place, Folk Art Division. Middle: Dianne Wurtele, Birmingham – Patron’s Choice Award; Laura S.

Fayette wins WAC Volleyball Championship

The Fayette volleyball team won the WAC Championship, held Sept. 15 in Fayette. Shown from left, kneeling: Aleah Byars and Mary Kate Ballew. Back: Head Coach Jamie Lawler, Jessica Duck, Karli Rushing, Assistant Coach Danielle Newsome, Samantha Cox, Mary Grace Wyatt, Kayley Strickland, Grace Sullivan, Karrigen Koster and Assistant Coach Sandra Holliman.

The Fayette County High School Lady Tigers volleyball team won the West Alabama Conference (WAC) championship, played in Fayette on Sept. 15.

Fayette scores big in second quarter to defeat Cordova 35-12

KyHeim Montford (3) runs for a good gain after taking a handoff from quarterback Blake Wallace (4).

Fayette traveled to the sweltering hot football pit of the Blue Devils on Friday night and used a 29-point second quarter to easily defeat Cordova 35-12. The second quarter was so dominating that Fayette scored on each of its three offensive possessions in the period, accumulating 156 yards in the process. The Tigers also returned a punt 69-yards for a touchdown and then recovered the ensuing kickoff. The Blue Devils ran 12 plays in the second quarter, failing to gain a first down and with a net loss of six yards in the period.


Hubbertville defeats Meek 47-28

Cannon Alexander (55) closes in on a Meek ball carrier.

Hubbertville traveled to Arley Friday night to face-off against the Meek Tigers in Region 6 play. Quick scoring drives by both teams brought fans to their feet early in the opening minutes of the game. Starting its opening possession at the 29-yard line, Hubbertville's offensive front led by quarterback Ethan Nichols wasted little time taking the ball to the endzone. Zach Hubbert ran for a four-yard gain on first down, then Nichols called his own number and raced 50 yards moving the ball inside the Tigers red zone.

South Lamar defeats Berry 56-20

Isaac Darty (34) is pictured running for a good gain against South Lamar.

The Berry Wildcats were looking to pick up its first win of the season as they hosted the South Lamar Stallions. The game was riddled with penalties for both teams, but a big second quarter by the Stallions led them to a 56–20 victory. The Wildcats received the opening kickoff and returned it to the Berry 23-yard line. The Wildcats put together a six-play drive and faced fourth and 11. Berry elected to punt, and the South Lamar offense took the field for the first time in the game.

Fayette Medical Center celebrates 60th anniversary

Shown is a current view of Fayette Medical Center.

The Fayette Medical Center will celebrate its 60th anniversary on Friday, Sept. 21 and is still a vibrant, continually growing healthcare facility in the county. The hospital is a testament to the pioneers of healthcare in Fayette County and its roots started many years before, when the McNease-Robertson hospital/clinic was built. The McNease-Robertson facility came into existence because of a vision and care that Dr. B.W. McNease and Dr. John Banks Robertson had for the county.

Fayette Arts Festival a success

The band "Three on a String" was the featured musical act at the 49th annual Fayette Arts Festival.

The 49th annual Fayette Arts Festival, held on Sept. 8 at Guthrie Smith Park, was a huge success. Many visitors to the festival enjoyed the arts, crafts, vendors and entertainment throughout the day. The event was endorsed by the Alabama Bicentennial Commission, and featured the band “Three on a String” as the headlining musical entertainment.


Former Fayette police chief, Ralph Olive, passes away

Pictured is Ralph Olive when he was police chief of Fayette.

Former Fayette police chief Ralph Crawford Olive Sr. passed away on Saturday, Sept. 1 at the Veterans Administration Medical Center at the age of 77. Olive was born in Berry on Sept. 24, 1940, and graduated from Berry High School in 1958. His career with the Fayette Police Department began in 1965, and Olive served as the Fayette police chief from Oct. 1972 until his retirement in Dec. 1994. Current Fayette police chief Danny Jenkins said that Olive was a big influence on his life. “He gave me my start in law enforcement,” Jenkins said.

Hub defeats Berry, 45-20

Aaron Cribb (64) blocks as Gage Key (36) carries the ball for Hubbertville against Berry.

The backyard brawl between the Berry Wildcats and the Hubbertville Lions took place Friday night at Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium as the Lions hosted their cross county Region 6 rivals. In a show of unity the Berry Red Regiment Band joined the Lion Pride Band on the field for the presentation of the national anthem followed by team captains meeting at the center of the field to get the much anticipated game underway.


Tigers dominate Northside for 27-12

Fayette quarterback Blake Wallace completed this perfectly timed pass over the outstretched hands of a Northside defender into the waiting grasp of Tre’Darion Walker (6) for a 45-yard touchdown play.

The Fayette Tigers used a balanced offensive attack and a strong defensive effort to dominate the first three quarters, defeating the Northside Rams by a score of 27-12. The Tigers allowed Northside only 123 yards of total offense in the first three quarters and led the Rams 27-0 entering the final quarter of the game. Fayette appeared to enter the game with a renewed vigor, after losing to its rival Winfield the previous week. The Tigers also unveiled a new style uniform for the first time, as they took the field in their”Eye of the Tiger/Warrior” uniforms.


Physically Disabled Hunt dates announced for field trial area

The M. Barnett Lawley Forever Wild Field Trial Area (FWFTA) in Hale County will host a series of deer hunts for hunters with physical disabilities from late November 2018 through January 2019. Registration for the hunts will open Sept. 17 and run through Oct. 19. “Access to outdoor activities such as hunting should be available to everyone who has an interest,” said Chris Blankenship, Commissioner of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). “We are honored to provide hunting opportunities for all Alabamians including those with physical disabilities.”

Huff addresses council concerning benefits from tax

Shown at the Fayette City Council’s Aug. 28 meeting are from left: Councilman Jason Cowart, Mayor Ray Nelson, Councilman Eddy Campbell, Councilwoman Linda McCraw and City Clerk Dawn Clapp. Not present at the meeting were councilmen Jerry Nichols and Cedric Wilson.

Jeff Huff, of the Fayette Medical Center (FMC), gave the hospital’s annual report to the Fayette City Council at its Aug. 28 meeting. Councilmen Jerry Nichols and Cedric Wilson were absent from the meeting. Huff introduced several members of the FMC staff in attendance, then told the council that the one-half cent sales tax passed by the council three years ago to help the hospital has made a tremendous difference in the way the facility is able to do business.

49 annual Arts Festival this Saturday

Three on a String will be the featured musical entertainment at the 49th annual Fayette Arts Festival.

Guthrie Smith Park will host the 49th Fayette Arts Festival from 9:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 8. The Fayette Arts Festival is the longest consecutive-running arts festival in the state. This year’s festival is also an endorsed event of the Alabama Bicentennial Commission. To help celebrate Alabama’s 200th birthday, the Fayette Arts Festival will host Alabama’s own “Three on a String” as the morning entertainment on the Main Stage from 9:30 a.m. – noon.

Pirates sink Fayette on blustery night, 35-13

Zack Ingle (14) is shown running for a first quarter touchdown against Winfield as Isiah Dixon (52), Jaylen Hammonds (8) and Coulter Ary (57) block.

In a game that was delayed by lightning for approximately 30 minutes during the first quarter, the Winfield Pirates scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to defeat the homestanding Tigers 35-13. Fayette trailed 14-13 early in the fourth quarter before the Pirates scored the final 21 points to seal the victory.


Hubbertville rolls over Waterloo, 49-18

Quarterback Ethan Nichols (23) is shown handing off to Zach Hubbert (15) as Tanner Upton (25) blocks during the game against Waterloo.

Hubbertville made the long trek north to Lauderdale County to battle the Cougars of Waterloo. The two teams had never met on the gridiron so the atmosphere among players, coaches and fans were varied. Head coach Lamar Harris forewarned his Lions prior to boarding the bus that the long trip would be conducted as a "business venue" with the ultimate goal of remaining confident and bringing home the victory.


Cold Springs defeats Berry 27-20

Berry’s Isaac Darty (34) is pictured making a one-handed pass reception for a touchdown as Sam Franklin (2) watches.

Green Bay coaching legend Vince Lombardi once said, “We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.” The Berry fans who traveled to Cullman County to watch the Wildcats take on the Cold Springs Eagles can identify with this. The two teams traded the lead all night, but ultimately the clock caught up with Berry and Cold Springs escaped with a seven-point victory, 27-20.


Old truss bridges are a vanishing sight in county

Shown is an old Pony Truss Bridge, which is located in Fayette County and still used for daily traffic.

Approximately 15 miles from downtown Fayette, is an old Warren Pony Truss bridge, estimated to have been built around 1928. It spans the Luxapallila Creek on Dodson Road (off of County Road 21). This unique bridge is currently still open to traffic. Its total length is 101.1 feet, with a deck width of 12.1 feet.


High school football is back!

Fayette’s cheerleaders lead the Tigers onto the field at Gordo.

The 2018 high school football season kicked off last week and the county teams appeared to be ready for action. Fayette County High School scored with 4.7 seconds remaining in the game to take a hard-earned 19-13 victory over Gordo, and Berry played Sulligent extremely close before losing a heartbreaker by the score of 30-22. Hubbertville also had a very impressive jamboree win against Phil Campbell. See additional pictures and details of these games in this week’s paper.


Fayette businesses hold ribbon-cuttings

The band, “Broken Bridge” provided entertainment from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25 in the vacant lot next to Alabama Sunshine to celebrate the company’s move to its new spacious location.

Several Fayette businesses held ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Fayette last week. The Charming Cottage and Fannie’s Bistro and Events celebrated the opening of their new businesses, and Alabama Sunshine celebrated the opening of its new location.

BOE explores participating in Alabama Sentry Program

Scout Master Steven Nolen is shown addressing the Fayette County Board of Education at its Aug. 31 meeting.

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.

Berry Council discusses budget concerns

Shown at the Berry Town Council’s Aug. 20 budget work session are from left: Berry Mayor Jimmy Madison, and councilmen Wesley Jacobs, Chris Rice, Russell Madison, Troyce Townsel and Calvin Madison.

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.


Tigers defeat Gordo in last second thriller

Fayette quarterback Blake Wallace (4) rolls out for yardage against Gordo as Zack Ingle (14) and Jackson Doran (51) block.

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.


Hubbertville easily wins jamboree

Blake Anthony (28) is shown breaking through the Phil Campbell defenders to score a touchdown.

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.


Fayette shuffles offense after spectacular 2017 season

Shown is the 2018 Fayette County High School football team.

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.