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.
The Fayette County Board of Education received its audit report and made several personnel changes during its June 26 meeting. Brooke Hynds, of the Alabama Department of Examiners of Public Accounts, reported to the board that no irregularities were found regarding the finances for the 2017-18 school year. She emphasized that the audit was a good clean audit for the entire school system. The board accepted the resignations of Shelby Humphres and Michelle Porter, both teachers at Fayette Elementary. These resignations are effective immediately.
The Fayette City Council heard a request for a vehicle upgrade from city mechanic Curtis Moore concerning the need for repair or replacement of a dump truck during its June 26 meeting. Moore said that the dump truck they are using is 18 years old and needs a new transmission. He said the approximate cost to fix the transmission will be $4,500, and he also stated that the truck is too small to pull the equipment that they need.
Eugene and Florence Farris of Fayette have seemingly defied the odds on raising vegetables in a small space. This small garden at their home has produced a bountiful harvest of tomatoes, cabbage, lettuce, squash, okra, pepper and many other varieties of vegetables. Florence Farris said that she has been amazed at the amount of fresh produce the tiny space has produced. She encourages other people to utilize the space around their homes to grow vegetables to eat and enjoy throughout the year.
After a lifetime of competing in various sports and suffering through numerous injuries and surgeries, Jim Fuqua of Fayette thought he had lost his competitive desire. Since his last injury in 2015, he had competed only once in a javelin competition before starting to throw the javelin again this year in February. “I told my wife that I was going to give this one more try, but if I couldn’t be competitive, I was giving it up,” he said.
A recently-formed legislative advisory task force has declared “no confidence” in newly-named Bevill State Community College (BSCC) President Dr. Kim Ennis. The BSCC-Hamilton Campus Legislative Advisory Task Force made the vote of “no confidence” in the system’s new leadership on Tuesday morning, June 19, in Hamilton.
Anne Michelle Porter of Fayette, former Fayette Elementary School teacher, pled guilty in Fayette County Circuit Court on June 14 to the charge of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. As a result of her plea, Porter received a 32-month sentence in custody of the Alabama Department of Corrections. However, the sentence will be suspended and Porter will be placed under three years of supervised probation.
The Fayette County Commission held a brief regular meeting on June 11 before entering executive session. Commissioner Joe Acker was absent from the meeting and all of the other commissioners were present. County Engineer Luke Porter was also absent from the meeting. County Shop Superintendent Mike Tomlin attended the meeting during Porter’s absence. County Administrator John Gordon asked the commissioners about the upcoming 90th annual Association of County Commissions of Alabama meeting that will be held at the Perdido Beach Resort in Orange Beach on Aug. 21-23.
The Fayette City Council received reports from two new businesses that are opening soon in the downtown area during its June 12 meeting. Ron and Anita Morris spoke to the council concerning their new business that will be opening in July. Ron Morris said that it would be a business that would sell his pottery and paintings , but added that it would also offer pottery classes for children and adults who want to learn more about the craft. Anita Morris will also have an area where she will teach cooking classes.
The Glen Allen town council held its regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 5 at the Glen Allen Town Hall. All councilors were in attendance for the meeting. Mayor Allen J. Dunavant brought before the council a consideration for the municipality to become a participating member of the Alabama League of Municipalities, Municipal Intercept Services (MIS).
The Hamilton Post of the Alabama State Troopers reported that a one vehicle crash at 10:45 p.m. on Monday, June 11 claimed the life of a Fayette man. Denver James Turner, 21, was killed when the 2013 Chevrolet Silverado, driven by Dylan Keith Harkins, 23, ran through a stop sign, striking a tree and catching on fire. Turner was pronounced dead at the scene and Harkins was transported to DCH in Tuscaloosa.
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 primary elections held on June 5, incumbent Fayette County Superintendent Jim Burkhalter defeated challenger Sandy Aldridge 2,577 to 1,800 to secure the Republican superintendent nomination. No one qualified in the county to run for superintendent as a Democrat.
The remains of a soldier who was killed during the Korean War have been identified and returned home for burial with full military honors. A casket carrying the remains of Sgt. Julius Ellis McKinney arrived Wednesday, June 6 at Memphis International Airport in Tennessee. He was declared dead by the army after being last seen on Dec. 2, 1950.
Editor’s note: The following article is being reprinted in its entirety in The Times-Record with permission and courtesy of B-Metro Magazine of Birmingham. The author’s name is not stated on the article. The exhibit that opens at the Birmingham Museum of Art on June 16 contains works of four Alabama folk artists with ties to Fayette and the Fayette Art Museum. These artists are: Jimmy Lee Sudduth, Benjamin F. Perkins, Sibyl Gibson and Fred Webster.
The Fayette County Board of Education approved several personnel and contractual items during its June 4 meeting. The board granted four days of on-the-job injury for Tammie Tittle, lunchroom worker at Hubbertville School. Maternity Leave and Family & Medical Leave was also granted to Emily Weeks, teacher at Fayette Elementary School, from approximately Aug. 1 - Aug. 27. The resignations of Kerrie Logan, Fayette Elementary teacher, and Caroline Watson, special education teacher at Fayette Elementary School, were accepted.
The Berry Town Council held its monthly meeting on June 4 at the Berry Town Hall. Mayor Jimmy Madison was present and all councilmen were present with the exception of Councilman Wesley Jacobs. Councilman Troyce Townsel made a motion to table discussion concerning the former armory building lease until after the council tours the building on June 22. Councilman Russell Madison seconded the motion and the motion was approved unanimously by the councilmen in attendance.
Berry High School had two softball players named to the Class 1A all-state team as selected by the Alanama Sportswriters Association. Bailey Thomas (near left), a junior, was selected as a first-team utility player. She led Berry in most offensive categories for the year. Sommer Bullard (far left), a senior, was a team captain and defensive Most Valuable Player for the Lady Wildcats.