After leading the state for the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic with the fewest number of cases in the state, Fayette County now leads the state in a more negative area. For the past two weeks, Fayette County has totaled the highest positivity rate for Coronavirus testing in the state. According to data compiled by the Alabama Department of Public Health, from Nov. 23 – Dec. 7, 377 COVID-19 tests had been administered to Fayette County residents. An alarming 212 of the tests were positive, resulting in a positivity rate of 56 percent.
The Loft, a community Christ-centered outreach ministry located in Fayette, served fresh cooked Thanksgiving meals to citizens of the surrounding area on Thanksgiving Day. Dana Beavers, owner of the Loft, said that she wanted to serve people who might not otherwise have a Thanksgiving meal. The meal consisted of ham, dressing, green beans, sweet potato casserole, rolls, dessert and a drink. Beavers said that approximately 135 plates were served to members of the community.
The Hubbertville Lions suffered a tough week of basketball, as the boys lost their first two games of the season and the girls lost to Marion County. The Lady Red Raiders defeated the homestanding Hubbertville girls on Dec. 4 by a score of 77-34. Hubbertville was led in scoring by Haylee Pollard, who scored 17 points including five three-point baskets. Laikyn Wright scored 12 points with seven rebounds, while McKenna Fisher and Kylee Dunn each scored two points. Krissa Comer rounded out the scoring for the Lady Lions with one point.
An email alleging a bomb threat to the Fayette County School System on Monday, Nov. 30 has caused a complete shutdown of the school system pending further investigation of the incident. Fayette County Superintendent of Education Jim Burkhalter issued the following statement on Tuesday, Dec. 1. “I received an email Monday morning concerning a threat to the schools. After consultation with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Department and the District Attorney’s office, we decided to dismiss the schools. The buses were back and ready to transport the students home at 10 a.m.
At the start of the season, no one was sure that football would even happen, much less make it to the playoffs. But after 15 weeks of play, the two best teams in the North, the Berry Wildcats and the Pickens County Tornadoes, faced-off in the semifinals. The two teams had already faced-off in the regular season in a close game won by the Wildcats. This game would prove to be just as close, with the teams going back and forth and fighting to the end. Unfortunately for the Berry faithful, this time the Wildcats would come up a little short, with the Tornadoes taking the win 24-18.
The Fayette City Council approved board appointments during its November 24 meeting. Councilman Eddy Campbell was absent from the meeting, with all other council members present. At the beginning of the meeting, Wade Jackson, a fifth grade student at Fayette Middle School, led those in attendance in prayer. Eady Porter, a fourth grade student at Fayette Elementary School, led the audience in the Pledge of Allegiance. Prior to the board appointments, Mayor Rod Northam addressed the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its current impact on Fayette County.
The Fayette County Commission voted during its Nov. 23 meeting to close Hell’s Creek Road, and to seek bids for solid waste removal within the county. All commissioners were present for the meeting. Dr. John Turner, a physician currently residing in Tennessee, addressed the closure of the Hell’s Creek Road during a public hearing prior to the meeting. Turner said that he is a former resident of Fayette County and an adjoining landowner to the Hell’s Creek Road property.
The Hubbertville girls basketball team opened the 2020-21 season on Monday, Nov. 23 with a 53-40 home win over the Brilliant Lady Tigers. Brilliant led by three points at the close of the first quarter, but the Lady Lions held a four point lead at halftime and pulled away in the second half to secure the win. Laikyn Wright led Hubbertville in scoring with 17 points and tied for the lead in rebounds with seven. Kaylee Dunn scored 13 points and also had seven rebounds.
A Fayette County woman is facing charges of first-degree assault and attempted murder in relation to an incident that was reported Friday, Nov. 13. Mary Jennifer Edwards is accused of stabbing another woman while at a location on Fayette County Road 49. The victim was hospitalized with multiple injuries from being struck in the head with a deadly weapon or dangerous instrument on Nov. 12.
The Fayette Zoning Board of Adjustments failed to overturn a building permit decision made by Fayette Building Inspection Officer Shannon Taylor that will allow a manufactured home to be permanently affixed in a R-2 neighborhood during the board’s Nov. 19 meeting. The Zoning Board of Adjustments consists of five members: Bruce Perry (chairman), Larry Pinkerton, Scott Walker, Bobby Avant and Michael Newman.
This year, a group of local citizens are organizing “An Old Fashioned Christmas” in Fayette to help brighten up the holidays during the midst of a nearly year-long COVID-19 pandemic.
Myra Nichols said that she and her husband Ned were talking to John and Karen Gordon a few years ago about possibly starting a downtown tradition in Fayette at Christmastime, especially since the ceasing of the annual “The Gospel According to Scrooge” productions that were so popular for so many years.
The Fayette County Board of Education held its annual organizational meeting on Nov. 10. Board member Keith Madison was absent with all other board members present. Prior to the beginning of the meeting, newly-elected board members Brenda Webb of District 4 and Julie Stough of District 5 were given the oath of office by Fayette County Probate Judge Mike Freeman. This was their first meeting to participate in as board members.
Fayette County, the State of Alabama and the United States are all currently experiencing a spike in new COVID-19 cases. For the first few months of the pandemic, Fayette County had the lowest number of total cases in the state. Now, several counties are ahead of Fayette County in the fewest number of cases in the state. As of Friday, Nov. 20, Fayette County had 800 total cases of the coronavirus, with 16 deaths. The new cases are rising by approximately 10 cases per day.
The Berry Wildcats were poised to make school history as they welcomed the Brilliant Tigers to Fred Webster Stadium for the third round of the playoffs. On the line for the Wildcats was its first 11-win season in school history, the school record for consecutive wins, but most importantly to the Wildcats, the first-ever appearance in the fourth round of the playoffs. Brilliant kept the game close in the first half, but 20 second half points by the Wildcats resulted in a 42–21 victory for Berry and a place in school history.
The Lions traveled to Pickens County on Friday night, closing out the 2020 season with a loss at the hands of the Tornadoes. Pickens County won the coin toss and following Taylor Hubbert’s kick, the Tornadoes started from its 42-yard line. The Lions’ defense stood strong, holding the Tornadoes on the opening possession with stops in the backfield by Grayson Sullivan, Alex Barnes, and Colby Tidwell. Facing fourth down and 12, Xerrance Washington’s punt rolled out of bounds at the Lions’ 43-yard line.
The 24th Judicial Circuit’s District Attorney Andy Hamlin announced on Wednesday, Nov. 11 the guilty plea and 20-year sentence of a defendant who shot a woman in the head during a drug transaction. Brandon Keyth Graham, 40, pled guilty last week to first-degree assault. The victim, 47, was driving a vehicle on Kelly Loop near Fayette County Road 91 with Graham as a passenger on Dec. 6, 2017.
The Fayette City Council held its first full meeting as a new council on Tuesday, Nov. 10 at Fayette City Hall. All members were present for the meeting. The meeting was opened with a prayer from guest Sean White. Will Ayers led the attendees in the Pledge of Allegiance to the U.S. Flag. Councilman Eddy Campbell made a motion, that was seconded by Councilman Jerry Nichols, to reappoint Dawn Clapp as Fayette City Clerk. The motion was approved unanimously.
The Fayette County Commission held its annual organizational meeting on Thursday, Nov. 12 at the Fayette Civic Center. Prior to the start of the meeting, Fayette County Probate Judge Mike Freeman issued the oaths of office to the four commissioners who won seats during this year’s election. They are as follows: Commissioner Shane Hughes, re-elected from District 2, Commissioner John Underwood, re-elected from District 6, newly-elected Commissioner Wesley Jacobs from District 4, and newly-elected Commissioner Robert Townley from District 5.