“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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Fayette Community Foundation will soon accept grant applications for 2018. According to the Fayette Community Foundation’s mission statement, “The Foundation shall seek to support, promote, improve, and maintain the health, educational, and cultural institutions serving the citizens of Fayette County.”
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 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.
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.
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.