Former Berry football coach named Class 4A Coach of the Year

Shown from left: Headland High School Principal Jason Bradford, Raines and Fellowship of Christian Athletes Chaplin Luke Stevens.

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.

Hubbertville wins one, loses one during week

Zach Hubbert is shown scoring a basket for Hubbertville against Pickens County.

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.


Fayette boys, girls lose to Curry

Iteria Walker scores a basket for Fayette in the Lady Tigers’ game against Curry.

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.

Berry girls dominate Lynn, defeat South Lamar

Tyler Lollar is shown scoring a basket for Berry against South Lamar.

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.


Tucker resigns as FCHS football coach

Fayette Football Coach Lance Tucker is shown discussing a call with an official during the 2018 football season. Tucker has submitted his resignation as head coach at Fayette County High School.

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.


Rare total eclipse visible in Fayette

Shown is a photograph of the total lunar eclipse on Jan. 20. This photograph was taken in Fayette County by The Times-Record News Editor Dean Maddox.

A rare total eclipse of the moon occurred on Sunday, Jan. 20. The total eclipse, also known as a “Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse," was visible in Fayette County from approximately 10:45 - 11:40 p.m.

Fayette County Commission hears paving proposal

The Fayette County Commission met on Jan. 14 in the Fayette County Courthouse Courtroom for the first time under the leadership of Probate Judge Mike Freeman. Shown from left are: commissioners Joe Acker, John Underwood, Billy Joe Rodgers and James Knight, Freeman, commissioners Shane Hughes and Barry Corkren.

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.

BOE presents county’s report cards

Pictured are Fayette County Superintendent of Education Jim Burkhalter and Board President Tom Hubbert at the Jan.15 meeting of the local school board.

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.


Berry Council releases data from annual audit

Shown are the Berry Town Council members at the Jan. 8 meeting. From left: Mary Sue Lollar, Chris Rice, Russell Madison, Troyce Townsel and Calvin Madison.

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.


Fayette boys suffer through tough week of losses

Fayette’s Trevor Billups is shown stealing the ball away from a Haleyville player.

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.


Hubbertville girls win one, lose one during week

Brady Tucker (24) scores a basket for Hubbertville as Aaron Cribb (21) and Tanner Upton (11) watch.

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.


Three new local officials sworn into office

Probate Judge William Oswalt (right) is shown giving the oath of office to new Probate Judge Mike Freeman as his wife Tonya Freeman watches during a ceremony held on Jan. 11 in the courtroom of the Fayette County Courthouse.

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.


Striegel retires with more than 44 years in law enforcement

Deputy Sam Striegel retired on Jan. 11 with more than 44 years in law enforcement.

Fayette County Sheriff Department Deputy Sam Striegel retired on Jan. 11 with more than 44 years of service in law enforcement. Striegel began wotking as a patrolman at the Fayette Police Department in March 1972 nad worked for more than 16 years before deciding to try something different.


City Council proposes plan to re-pave street, county road

Shown is an artist’s conception of the new Alabama One Credit Union, opening soon in Fayette. Credit Union officials announced the addition at the Fayette City Council meeting.

The Fayette City Council authorized a motion to prepare a letter with a proposal for a joint paving project with the Fayette County Commission during its Jan. 8 meeting. Councilwoman Linda McCraw was absent from the meeting and all other council members were present.


Man injured in logging accident

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.


Berry defeats rival Hubbertville in basketball

Bailey Thomas is shown driving hard toward the basket for the Lady Wildcats.

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.


Fayette boys, girls lose area game to Curry

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.

Oswalt: ‘Tried to treat people with dignity and respect’

Shown with Probate Judge William Oswalt at his retirement reception are members of his family. Front row, from left: Deidre Smith, Hollis Strawbridge, Houston Oswalt, Whitney Oswalt, Cheryl Oswalt and Harrison Oswalt. Back row: Probate Judge William Oswalt, Nelda Oswalt, Audrey Oswalt Strawbridge and Ron Strawbridge. Not shown: Craig Smith, Dylan Smith, Savannah Smith and Langston Strawbridge.

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.”


Clary thankful for 30 years of service as judge

District Judge Jerry Clary is retiring this month after serving Fayette County for 30 years.

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.


Body of missing woman found in Tuscaloosa County

A body believed to be Ashley Watkins was found on Jan. 2 in Tuscaloosa County.

The body of a woman reported missing in Fayette County was discovered by investigators with the Tuscaloosa County Sheriff Office on Wednesday, Jan. 2. Ashley Tenneil Watkins, 31, was reported missing in December to law enforcement officers at the Fayette County Sheriff Office.


2018 was second wettest year ever for Fayette County

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.


Ribbon-Cutting at White Oak Market

Shown at the ribbon-cutting are members of the Fayette Chamber of Commerce, White Oak Market employees, customers and friends. Holding the scissors at the ribbon-cutting is White Oak Market owner Crystal Evans.

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 presents grant to Weldy Home

Shown from left, are: Tracy Estes, member of the Alabama House of Representatives; Collins Davis, State Bank & Trust officer; Tracy Kelly, Alabama Power; Tina Prescott, executive director of the Weldy Home; Rebecca Terrell, Weldy Home board member; Lynn Hughes, Weldy Home board member; Tamra Trull, Citizens Bank officer and Chris Carothers, Citizens Bank officer.

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 engineer speaks to Exchange Club

Shown from left are: Dale Lawrence, Jerry Bobo, Andrew Bynum, Russell Hill, John Gary, Theron Nolen, Jason Wyatt and Jerry Clary.

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.

Tigers win four OT thriller at Brookwood

Landon Hamlett is shown scoring a basket for the Fayette Tigers during an area game against Haleyville.

The Fayette Tigers won a four overtime thriller at Class 6A Brookwood on Jan. 5 by a score of 41-38. The game was low-scoring throughout regulation, with Fayette leading 3-0 at the end of the first quarter and 8-5 at halftime. The game was tied 19-19 at the end of regulation.


Berry Boys, girls beat Hubbertville

Brady Tucker of Hubbertville is shown shooting for two points against Berry.

Berry traveled cross-county to face area rival Hubbertville in basketball on Jan. 4 and defeated the Lions in both boys and girls basketball. Despite a two-week layoff during the holiday season, the Wildcats still appeared sharp as they easily won each of the games.


Escaped inmates quickly back in custody

Shown is Julie Burrage Miller, one of the inmates who escaped from the Fayette County jail.

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.


Year-in-Review July - December 2018

Shown is a picture of Fayette Medical Center. The facility celebrated the 60th anniversary of its opening in September.

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.



Worker recovering after industrial accident

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.


Dr. Smith to train for oncology breast surgery

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.


Receptions announced for local judges

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.


Stovall signs with Judson College

Shown from left, front: father, Scott Stovall; Sarah Stovall; and mother, Sandra Stovall. Back row: Carbon Hill Coach Wade Tittle and Judson Coach Tom Hannah.

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.

Year-in-Review, January - June 2018

NBC 13 reporter Jeff Eliasoph is shown interviewing Andy Hamlin, chief assistant district attorney for the 24th judicial circuit, at the scene of the May 1 murders as an NBC 13 and a CBS 42 cameraman film the interview.

As we approach a new year, we pause to take a look back at some of the top stories from the first six months of 2018. January - Tyner Bowling, a cheerleader at Berry High School, participated in the London, England New Year’s Day parade.


Fayette hires new policeman

The Fayette City Council met on Dec. 21 at the Fayette Civic Center. Shown at left, from front, are: Councilman Cedric Wilson, Councilwoman Linda McCraw and City Clerk Dawn Clapp. On right, from front, are: City Attorney Dale Lawrence, Mayor Ray Nelson and Councilman Eddy Campbell. Not present were councilmen Jason Cowart and Jerry Nichols.

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.


Amedisys donates gifts

Representing the many staff members of Amedisys who donated gifts are, from left, front: Keely Parrish and Heather Fewell. Back row: Amy Mote, Darlene Pinion and Gayle Hicks.

Employees and staff at Amedisys Home Health of Fayette decided this year to sponsor three children through the Department of Human Resources to buy Christmas gifts instead of exchanging gifts among themselves. Shown are the toys and presents that they purchased for the children.

Walker named first team All-State

Tre'Darion Walker is shown seeking extra yardage after making a catch for Fayette during the 2018 season as T'Marvic Smith watches.

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.

Winfield wins WAC

The Winfield Pirates’ boys basketball team is pictured posing with the championship trophy won at the WAC Basketball Tournament in Fayette.

The Winfield Pirates traveled south to Fayette to participate in the West Alabama Conference (WAC) Basketball Tournament on Dec. 20-22 and swept all three conference championships.
Winfield built comfortable leads in all three championship games to cruise to easy victories.


Communities donate to Joey Day

The Kirkland/Bluff/Wayside communities donated to the Fayette Joey Day Project. Shown above, from left, are Robert Corbett, Terry Dillard, Chuck Langley, Theresa Simmons, and Arnold Norris.

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.

Berry defeats Waterloo

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.


Former Sheriff Hubert Norris passes away

Former Fayette Sheriff Hubert Norris

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.


BOE tables motion to purchase fence for FMS

Shown are members of the Fayette County Board of Education as they met at Hubbertville School on Dec. 11. From left: Superintendent Jim Burkhalter and board members Tom Hubbert, Sam Sullivan, Keith Madison, John Stowe and Waldon Tucker. Not shown is board member Tim Fields, who was absent from the meeting.

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.


Commission continues discussion on aging program

Shown at the Dec. 10 Fayette County Commission meeting are, from left: County Attorney Allen Grocholski, Commissioner Shane Hughes, Commissioner Barry Corkren and Probate Judge-elect Mike Freeman.

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.


Hynds gets 100th win as Berry defeats Pickens County

Berry's girls basketball team won the NAC Championship.

Berry’s girls coach Caleb Hynds recorded the 100th win of his coaching career as Berry defeated Pickens County 69-44. The Lady Wildcats easily overcame the Lady Tornadoes, aided by a 75 percent team performance from the free throw line. Brooke Hill led Berry with 17 points and 10 rebounds, followed closely by Tyner Beth Bowling with 16 points and Allie Taylor with 10 points.Zoe Mauldin added nine points for the Lady Wildcats and Bailey Thomas had five assists for Berry.


Hubbertville boys, girls have successful week

Hubbertville's girls finished as runner-up in the NAC Tournament.

Hubbertville boys and girls teams each won two games during the week and lost one.
The boys team defeated Vina on Dec. 10 by the score of 46-30. The Lions were led by Brady Tucker with 20 points, followed by Tanner Upton, Aaron Cribb  and Lawson Harkness with six points each. Zack Hubbert scored four points for Hubbertville, followed by Ethan Nichols and Cannon Alexander with two points each.


Fayette teams win one, lose one during week

T'Marvic Smith is shown making a basket against Brookwood.

The Fayette County High School varsity basketball teams played two games each last week with mixed results. The girls team won at South Lamar before falling to Brookwood at home, while the boys team lost a heartbreaker at South Lamar before beating Brookwood on its home floor.
 The girls team traveled to South Lamar on Dec. 11 and defeated the Lady Stallions 67-41.