Fayette BOE hires secretary/clerk for central office

Probate Judge William Oswalt (right) is shown issuing the oath of office to Superintendent Jim Burkhalter prior to the Dec. 4 Fayette County Board of Education meeting. Burkhalter is beginning his second term as superintendent.

The Fayette County Board of Education held a brief meeting on Tuesday, Dec. 4, followed by a work session. Prior to the start of the meeting, Fayette County Probate Judge William Oswalt issued the oath of office to Superintendent Jim Burkhalter, Board member John Stowe and Board Member Waldon Tucker. All three were incumbents who were re-elected to their offices during the November general election.


Berry holds Christmas Parade

Berry City Councilman Russell Madison is shown getting ready to watch the Berry Christmas parade with his wife Brittany Madison and their nine-month old son Walker Seth Madison.

The Town of Berry held its annual Christmas Parade on Thursday, Dec. 6. The Berry High School Marching Band performed in the parade, along with several colorful and festive nentries.

Fayette EMA announces new Mass Notification System

Russ Taylor, Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director for Fayette County, announced the start of a new Mass Notification System for Fayette County residents. Taylor said that the system was activated for Fayette County on Dec. 1. He said his department was able to fully fund the system’s cost with a grant through Homeland Security.


Berry Council appoints new council member, judge and city prosecutor

The Berry Town Council appointed a new town council member, municipal judge and city prosecutor to fill vacancies that occurred recently in those positions. Council members Russell Madison, Chris Rice and Calvin Madison were in attendance for the regularly scheduled monthly meeting, held Monday, Dec. 3 at Berry Town Hall. Absent from the meeting was Councilman Troyce Townsel. Berry Mayor Jimmy Madison, Town Clerk Marie McClusky and Berry Police Chief Gerald DeDeaux were also in attendance for the meeting.

Dodson named Director of Development

Jeff Dodson is the new Director of Development for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences for the University of North Dakota Alumni Association and Foundation.

Jeff Dodson, native of Fayette and former baseball coach at Bevill State Community College, has been named the new Director of Development for the School of Medicine and Health Sciences for the University of North Dakota Alumni Association and Foundation.


Fayette defeats Corner in thriller, loses to Winfield

T’Marvic Smith (1) sails in for a basket for Fayette against Corner as Trevor Billups (4) watches.

The Fayette County High School boys basketball team hosted Corner High School on Tuesday, Dec. 4 and won a come-from-behind thriller by a score of 67-63. Fayette had a lead for the first few seconds of the game and never led again until Trevor Billups hit a shot with 2.1 seconds left to give Fayette a 65-63 lead. After Corner threw the ball away on a full-court inbounds pass, Corner fouled Billups as Fayette inbounded the ball. Billups made the two free throws to give Fayette a hard-earned 67-63 victory.


Hubbertville girls finish second in tournament

Madison Cribb (20) looks for an opening to shoot the ball.

The Hubbertville Lady Lions finished second in the NAC Basketball Tournament, held Dec. 6-8 at Guin. The girls team received a first round bye and defeated Lynn in the semifinals on Dec. 7 by a score of 39-35. Leading the way for the Lady Lions was Gracie Dodd with 11 points, followed by Kendall Dunavant with nine points. Haylee Pollard had eight points for Hubbertville, Laikyn Wright scored seven points and Chelsea Porter added four points.


Berry Girls win NAC Championship

The Berry Lady Wildcats competed on Dec. 7-8 at the NAC Tournament in Guin and brought the championship trophy back to Berry. In the semifinals on Dec. 7, the Lady Wildcats played Marion County and won by a score of 51-40. The leading scorer for Berry was Brooke Hill with 22 points, five steals and two assists. She was followed by Zoe Mauldin with 12 points, and Tyner Beth Bowling with 10 points and two assists. Bailey Thomas also contributed five big assists during the game.

Fayette holds annual Christmas parade

The joy of Christmas is shown on these youngsters faces as they anxiously await the start of the Fayette Christmas parade on Dec. 3. Shown is Zendaya Kemp and Urijah Kemp, who attended the parade with their grandparents Edward Driver and Bobbie Kemp-Driver.

The Fayette Christmas parade was held in downtown Fayette on Monday, Dec. 3. The Fayette County High School band performed and their were many festive and spiritual entries in the parade.

Madison receives David M. Cochrane Award

Berry Mayor Jimmy Madison received the prestigious 2018 David M. Cochrane Award during the recent West Alabama Regional Commission. Shown front, from left, are: Hope Reed and Lavonne Madison. Back row: Skylar Reed, Jimmy Madison, Jeff Madison and Will Madison.

The West Alabama Regional Commission held their Annual Meeting and Awards Ceremony Thursday, Nov. 8 at Cypress Inn Pavilion. Candi Williams, State Director of AARP for Alabama, was the guest speaker for the evening. The highlight of the program was the presentation of the 2018 David M. Cochrane Award to the Honorable Jimmy Madison, Mayor of Berry. Members of the West Alabama Regional Commission’s board of directors were also recognized at the ceremony.


Commissioners donate to Joey Day

The Fayette County Commissioners donated $250 out of their personal funds to the Joey Day program in Fayette County. Shown from left are: Commissioner John Underwood, Commissioner James Knight, Joey Day Chairman Chuck Langley, Commission Chairman Joe Acker, Commissioner Shane Hughes and Commissioner Barry Corkren.

The Fayette County Commissioners donated $250 out of their personal funds to the Joey Day program in Fayette to buy Christmas presents for children in Fayette County.

Fayette County Commission discusses aging program

Shown are Dennis Stripling, executive dirctor of the West Alabama Regional Commission, and Pam McDaniel, director of the Area Agency on Aging, as they spoke to the Fayette County Commission.

The Fayette County Commission discussed its plans for the future of the aging program in the county, following the retirement in November of its long-time program director, Fay Meharg. All commissioners were present for the Nov. 26 meeting. Commissioner Barry Corkren said that he is certainly not against having an aging program in the county, but added that now by be the appropriate time to evaluate the way the program is funded and staffed to ensure that the program runs more efficiently and economically.


Fayette City Council discusses street situation

Luke Porter is shown adressing the Fayette City Council concerning options for possible street paving in Fayette.

The Fayette City Council discussed options for street paving at its regularly scheduled Nov. 27 meeting. Councilman Jerry Nichols was absent from the meeting, with the remainder of the council members and Fayette Mayor Ray Nelson in attendance.


Berry opens with win over Brilliant

Isaac Darty scores two points for the Wildcats.

The Berry Wildcats boys basketball team opened its 2018-19 basketball season on Nov. 29 at Brilliant and started the season off with a road win against the Tigers by the score of 67-48.
Berry was led in scoring by Isaac Darty with 20 points, followed by Levi Cannon with 16 points. Also scoring in double-digits were Sam Franklin with 13 points and Tyler Lollar with 10 points. Johnathan Locke scored six points and Isaiah Kizzire rounded out the scoring with two points.


Hubbertville defeats Brilliant in first game of year

The Hubbertville Lions boys team won its first game of the season on Nov. 27 at Brilliant by a score of 48-33. The Lions’ Aaron Cribb scored 16 points and had 13 rebounds, with Brady Tucker scoring 12 points and nine rebounds. Others scoring for Hubbertville were Zach Hubbert with nine points, Ethan Nichols with five points, Tanner Upton with four points and Cannon Alexander with two points. Brilliant’s Kevin Bryant scored 20 points to lead the Tigers.


Ennis sees bright future for Bevill State College

Shown is Dr. Kim Ennis, president of Bevill State Community College.

Dr. Kim Ennis, president of the Bevill State Community College system, said that despite a few temporary setbacks, the college is still strong and looking ahead to a bright future. “We’re positive about the future of our institution and we want other people to feel the same,” Ennis said. “Bevill has impacted the lives of so many individuals during the last almost 60 years and we think the college will continue to be a vital part of its service communities in the future.”


Christmas at the Park celebrates 14th anniversary

Shown is a sign that greets visitors to "Christmas at the Park."

This year marks the 14 anniversary of “Christmas at the Park” and according to organizers John and Doris Brasher, the lights and exhibits this year are better than ever. Doris Brasher said many new lights and two new scenes were added to the numerous exhibits that were already on display at Guthrie Smith Park. The two new scenes are “The 12 Days of Christmas” and a dinosaur Christmas display.


Fayette, Berry announce Christmas parade dates

The City of Fayette will hold its annual Christmas parade this year on Monday, Dec. 3, beginning at 5:30 p.m. Participants in the parade are asked to be at the vacant lot of the former Fayette Square Shopping Center at 4:30 p.m. to line-up for the parade. The parade will follow the usual parade route, traveling south on Temple Avenue and proceeding to Second Avenue heading north before disbanding back at the starting location.

Glen Allen Council holds November meeting

The Glen Allen Town Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Nov 6 at the town hall with all council members in attendance. Following standard opening procedures, Mayor Allen J. Dunavant stated the meeting would likely be very brief since the agenda consisted of only two items along with the monthly reports. The first item addressed from the agenda was the consideration of finding a date that would be best suitable for holding the annual Christmas Tree lighting ceremony.

Alabama monitoring Mississippi CWD cases

While Alabama Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) officials continue to do all they can to keep chronic wasting disease (CWD) out of Alabama, unfortunately the latest news from our neighbors in Mississippi is not good. Another deer in the lower Mississippi Delta in Issaquena County, a 2½-year-old doe, tested positive for CWD last week. The initial CWD case in Mississippi last January was also in Issaquena County, confirmed in a 4½-year-old buck.

Acker assumes chairmanship of commission

Commissioner Joe Acker (seated) assumed the chairmanship of the commission at the Nov. 14 meeting. Shown standing, from left are commissioners John Underwood, Billy Joe Rodgers, James Knight, Shane Hughes and Barry Corkren.

The Fayette County commission held its annual organizational meeting on Wednesday, Nov. 14. All commissioners were present for the meeting and commissioner Joe Acker assumed the chairmanship of the commission until January 2019, when newly-elected probate Judge, Mike Freeman, will serve as chairman. Commissioner Acker asked Freeman to sit with the commissioners at the meeting table since he would soon be chairman of the commission.


BOE holds organizational meeting

The Fayette County Board of Education held its Nov. 13 meeting in the gymnasium at Fayette Middle School. Shown from left are: Superintendent Jim Burkhalter, and board members Tom Hubbert, Keith Madison, Tim Fields and Waldon Tucker. Not present at the meeting were board members Sam Sullivan and John Stowe.

The Fayette County Board of Education held its yearly organizational meeting on Nov. 13 at the Fayette Middle School gymnasium. Prior to the meeting the local school board toured the facilities at Fayette Elementary School and Fayette Middle School. The meeting also offered the general public an opportunity to address the board concerning any topic relevant to the local schools or the school board. No one took this opportunity to address the board.


Council votes to seek abatement of Cotton Mill property

Shown are shoeboxes for “Operation Christmas Child” that were presented for shipment at the Nov. 13 Fayette City Council meeting. Shown from left, front: Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce Director Daniel White, Operation Christmas Child volunteer Jesse Griffin (holding a box donated by Mayor Ray Nelson), Councilwoman Linda McCraw and Councilman Jason Cowart. Back: Councilmen Jerry Nichols, Cedric Wilson and Eddy Campbell.

The Fayette City Council voted unanimously to file a lawsuit to abate the former Cotton Mill property during its Nov. 13 meeting. All members of the council were present. Mayor Pro Tem Cedric Wilson presided over the meeting during the absence of Mayor Ray Nelson.


Snow in Fayette

Shown is a picture of the trunk of a car with the date written in the snow.

A very light dusting of snow fell and slightly accumulated, mostly on wood and metal surfaces, in Fayette County on the morning of Thursday, Nov. 15. While the snowfall was almost immeasurable, the temperature for Wednesday, Nov. 13 and Thursday, Nov. 14 stayed mostly between 30 and 40 degrees for the 48 hour period.

Fayette loses 42-21 to Deshler in second round

Jason Robinson (2) is shown running for a long gain after taking a handoff from Blake Wallace (4). Shown blocking are Hunter Kizzire (62) and Darius Loyd (50).

In a matchup of Tigers, the Deshler Tigers used a balanced and powerful offensive attack to take control of the game in the second quarter and defeat the Fayette Tigers 42-21. Deshler (7-5) will travel to Hokes Bluff for the third round of the Alabama High School Athletic Association playoffs, while Fayette is eliminated and finishes its football season with a 9-3 record.

Pep rally at Fayette Long-Term Care

Shown are the fans and cheerleaders representing Alabama at the pep rally.

The Fayette Long-Term Care facility held its annual Alabama - Auburn pep rally on Nov. 15 to the delight of the residents. They enjoyed facing the fans of the opposite team and, with the aid of the Fayette County High School cheerleaders, they cheered loudly and forcibly for their favorite school.

Meteorologist Wyatt visits FMS

Shown is the sixth grade class as they listened to Wes Wyatt, meteorologist at Fayette Middle School.

WBRC - 6 Meteorologist Wes Wyatt visited Fayette Middle School on Tuesday, Nov. 12 to talk to the sixth grade class about his work as a meteorologist and about becoming weather-aware during potential weather events.

Berry High School completes volleyball season

Shown from left front: Seniors and captains Lydia Young, Tyner Bowling and Laine Henderson. Back: Head Coach Linnie Shepherd, Faithlyn McCoy, Dixie Odom, Zoe Mauldin, Raven Davis, Brooke Blanton, Iannah Fields, Maggie Hammack, Sarah Rice and Lynsie Abernathy.

Berry High School’s Volleyball team finished the season as the Area Seven Runner-Up and competed in Montgomery in the super regionals.

Senators seek legislation to prevent CWD

U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-Ala.) joined Senators John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) in introducing legislation to increase wildlife managers’ ability to keep wildlife healthy. The bill authorizes a special resource study to determine how chronic wasting disease (CWD) spreads and could be prevented in deer and elk. CWD can affect both wild and domestic herds of deer and elk in 25 states. However, state recommendations for preventing the spread of the disease vary.

Applications sought for service academies

Our nation’s service academies are elite institutions that train students to excel in academics and military affairs. These institutions seek well-rounded individuals with a high level of academic achievement, as well as a commitment to athletics, student activities, and civic organizations. Famous graduates of these institutions include Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and Jimmy Carter, as well as legendary Generals George Patton, Douglas MacArthur, and Norman Schwarzkopf. The academies have also produced numerous astronauts.

Freeman, Yerby big winners in Fayette Co. election

Mike Freeman (left) and Byron Yerby are shown congratulating each other on their victories in the general election.

The Republican candidates Mike Freeman and Byron Yerby won the two biggest contested offices in the county during the Nov. 6 general election. Yerby defeated current sheriff Rodney Ingle and current state trooper Tierre Agnew to win the sheriff race in Fayette County. Yerby received 3,893 votes and captured almost 52 percent of the votes cast in the sheriff’s race, easily outpolling Agnew (1,845 votes) and Ingle (1,777) votes. Agnew was the Democratic nominee and Ingle sought his fourth term as sheriff running as an Independent candidate.


Spillers speaks about life’s lessons

Shown is the Spillers family as they posed for a picture following the Veterns’ Day Program at Bevill. From left: Jacob Spillers, Bridget Spillers, Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell R. Spillers Jr. and Mickey Spillers.

Retired Lieutenant Colonel Mitchell R. Spillers, Jr. delivered the keynote address at the joint Fayette County High School and Bevill State Community College Veterans Day Program, Held at Bevill State on Nov. 8. Veterans Day is a day celebrated annually to pay tribute to the brave men and women who have served their country honorably during times of war and peace. It originated as Armistice Day in 1919 to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of World War I.


Jacobs resigns as Berry Council member

The Berry City Council met for its regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 5 with three council members in attendance. Shown from left are councilmen Russell Madison, Troyce Townsel and Calvin Madison

The Berry City Council held its regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 5 at the Berry Town Hall. Councilman Troyce Townsel, Councilman Russell Madison and Councilman Calvin Madison were present for the meeting, and Councilman Chris Rice and Councilman Wesley Jacobs were absent. Berry Mayor Jimmy Madison declared that a legal quorum was present that would allow business to be conducted at the meeting.


Fayette dominates Randolph in 26-8 victory

Will Brown (15) takes aim at a Randolph ball carrier as Samuel Kizzire (25) and Drae Prewitt (34) rush in to assist.

The Fayette Tigers scored on its first offensive play and dominated the Randolph Raiders to take a first round playoff victory by the score of 26-8. The domination was so complete that Randolph accumulated only 40 yards in total offense prior to its last scoring drive of 97 yards. That drive by the Raiders was against the Fayette second and third team players after the outcome of the game had already been decided.


Hub loses in playoffs to Waterloo 20-15

Zach Hubbert (15) battles hard to cross the endzone for a touchdown for the Lions as quarterback Ethan Nichols (23) watches and Logan Moye (59) and Tanner Upton (25) provide protection.

Hubbertville traveled north on Friday night to face the Waterloo Cougars. Advancing to the first round of the playoffs, the Lions season came to an end on the same field where its regular season began. The two teams met on Aug. 31, with the Lions exiting Waterloo with the win 49-18. This time, Waterloo got its revenge against the Lions, winning 20-15 and advancing in the state playoffs.

Bolling receives 20-year sentence on plea deal

Shown is Matthew Bolling, who pled guilty on Oct. 30 and received a 20-year sentence.

Matthew Austin Bolling, age 23 of Reform, was sentenced to 20 years in the Alabama Department of Corrections after pleading guilty to a lesser offense of possession with the intent to distribute. The plea deal was agreed to in Fayette County Circuit Clerk on Tuesday, Oct. 30.


Fayette’s Drum Major enhances marching band

Colby Allison, Fayette County High School’s first-ever drum major, is shown directing the marching band during halftime of the Fayette - Dora fotball game.

For the first time in the storied history of the Fayette County Marching Band, the band has a true drum major to direct the music on the field. According to current FCHS band director Brent Traylor, the marching band at Fayette had never had a drum major to direct its on-the-field music. Traylor, in his third year at the school, added a color guard last year and he said this was just the next step in the progression to complete the band ensemble.


Campbell - ‘Thank you’ to all the veterans

Shown is Jimmy Campbell as a soldier in Thailand.

Jimmy Campbell of Fayette said that he always loved planes. His dad had been a pilot and Campbell said the concept and adventure of flying always fascinated him. As a young man, Campbell joined the Air Force in Feb. 1965, driven by two things - his love of planes and a desire to serve his country in the Arned Forces.


FMS robotic team wins awards

Shown is the Fayette Middle School WIRED robotics team.

The 2018-2019 Fayette Middle School WIRED robotics team competed in the Bevill BEST Hub Robotics Competition, Friday and Saturday, Oct. 26-27. There were 14 teams registered for the event. This year's challenge included some very difficult tasks, such as driving a robot on a two x four suspended off the ground and creating an expandable arm to locate and move objects. On the day of competition, FMS WIRED competed against nine other schools for the top spot.

Sixth grade students hear FAWN program

Fayette students explore the contents of ground water.

The Fayette County Forestry, Agriculture, Wildlife and Natural Resources (FAWN) program was presented by the Forestry Service on Oct. 23 at Guthrie Smith Park in Fayette.The program was for sixth-grade students in the county and taught the students about preventing forest fires, types of forest products, how to use a compass, wildlife management, soil and water conservation, and other things relating to nature.

Residents of Fayette Long-Term Care treat children on Halloween

Shown is a group of trick-or-treaters who visited the Fayette Long-Term Care facility.

Residents at the Fayette Medical Center - Long-Term Care facility treated pre-school children in the area to treats on Halloween during the facility’s annual event. Children politely walked through the hallways in their colorful costumes, greeting the residents and receiving candy on their journey. Several of the residents and many of the staff members also dressed in colorful outfits as they waited to greet the children.

FCHS finishes successful volleyball season

Shown is the All-Area Tournament team. From left: Karli Rushing, Samantha Cox, Kaylee Riddle, Ashton McCullar, Allison Watkins, and Tournament-MVP Ali Temple.

The Fayette County High School varsity volleyball team completed a successful 2018 season, winning the regular season area title and finishing as the area runner-up to the Haleyville Lions in the tournament. The Lady Tigers also were the West Alabama Conference (WAC) champions during the season. Fayette finished with an outstanding 29-10 overall record.


Bevill finishes volleyball season

Shown is the 2018 Bevill State volleball team.

Bevill State finished its volleyball season with a 7-16 record and with Brooke Self being named Second Team All-Region. Head Coach Theresa Berry-Franks said she is proud of the team and their accomplishments during the second season of the renewal of Bevill Volleyball. Berry-Franks is also excited to have freshman players Ricki-Jill Burrough, Amanda Cunningham and Madison Pavlovec.She thanked the crowd for their support this season and said that she is hitting the recruiting trail to find new talent for next year’s squad.

Fire damages apartment building

Shown is the apartment building that was damaged by fire on Nov. 5.

The Fayette Fire Department responded to an apartment fire at 406 9th St. NE at 9:50 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 5. According to Fayette Fire Chief Shannon Taylor, there was a “heavy” fire inside the apartment upon arrival. The fire was quickly brought under control by the firemen, but the apartment sufferred heavy damage throughout the building’s interior. No injuries were sustained as a result of the fire.


Tigers defeat Dora 27-19, secures first seed in region

Isaiah Dixon (52) is shown blocking a pivotal Dora field goal. Parker Nichols (26, hidden from view in the picture) was also near the ball for the block. Other Fayette players pictured are Will Kizzire (65), Seth Stough (54) and Noah Sapp (10).

Fayette scored quickly, then used a solid defensive effort to defeat Dora and secure the number one seed in Class 4A, Region 5 for the Alabama high school football playoffs. The win broke a tie-breaker between Fayette, Good Hope and Northside to decide the first place seed in the region. Northside received the number two seed in the region, with Good Hope seeded third and Curry fourth.


Hubbertville defeats Phillips, faces Waterloo in playoffs

Cannon Alexander (55) has the player wrapped up as Gage Alexander (10) comes in to assist on the tackle.

Hubbertville closed out regular season play by hosting the Phillips High Bears on Friday night. Winning the coin toss, the Lions elected to receive the opening kick. Gage Key received the ball at the 20-yard line advancing to the 41-yard line and four plays later, he rambled his way down the right side line into end zone for the opening drive score. The PAT kick by Zach Hubbert was good and the Lions were on the scoreboard with 9:42 remaining in the first quarter.

Sexton’s art to be exhibited Sunday

This is one of the pieces of artwork created by Fayette native Mike Sexton that will be on display this Sunday at The Venue in Fayette.

Many people remember Mike Sexton: a native of Fayette, Fayette County High School graduate, husband, father, musician. Yet many people did not know the artistic side of Sexton, a sode that will be unveiled to the public during a showing of his artwork from 2-4 p.m. at The Venue in Fayette on Sunday, Nov. 4.