The commission approved the addition of four handicapped parking spots on the south end of the courthouse during its Nov. 11 meeting. All commissioners were in attendance for the meeting. Newly hired county administrator, Brooke Slatton, who will be starting with the commission in early 2020, was also in attendance at the meeting.
The Fayette County Board of Education met at Fayette Elementary School on Nov. 12 for its annual organizational meeting. Board Member Sam Sullivan was absent, with all others board members present. The Board of Education toured Fayette Middle School and Fayette Elementary School prior to the meeting.
The 2019 version of the Fayette County High School varsity basketball team is off and running, both literally and figuratively. New Head Basketball Coach Craig Smith has installed a new fast-paced offense for this season, with an emphasis on playing a full-court, pressing defense when the other team has the ball. Smith said that his objective is getting the ball up-court and getting off a makeable shot within 10 seconds of getting a defensive rebound or turnover.
The Glen Allen town council met on Tuesday Nov. 5 at the town hall. Councilman Robert Aldridge was not in attendance for the scheduled meeting. Following standard opening procedures, Mayor Allen J. Dunavant gave an update from the exploratory committee which had been formed during the September council meeting to address avenues for hiring a certified water operator (Grade II) for the water department. The committee was tasked to explore and consider options for replacing Water Operator John Wakefield, who had submitted his intentions of resigning from the position.
Fayette County High School Principal Dr. Jeremy Madden recently represented the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals (AASSP) as District 7 South High School Principal of the Year at the 2019 AASSP/AAMSP Fall Conference, Nov. 10-13 in Orange Beach. Madden was named as a top three finalist and was interviewed by a selection committee. The winner of Alabama’s High School Principal of the Year award will be named in Jan. 2020. The Alabama High School Principal of the Year Award is sponsored by the Alabama Association of Secondary School Principals and American Fidelity.
Long-time broadcast journalist Mike Royer spoke about remembering and respecting the military during his address at the Community-Wide Veterans Day Program held at Bevill State Community College on Nov. 4 Royer is now the managing editor of WVUA 23 on the University of Alabama campus. He has just completed 43 years as a broadcast journalist, and has won numerous awards for his work as a journalist.
Qualifying has ended for next year’s March 3 primaries, and several candidates are set to seek local office. All of the contested local primary races next year will be within the Republican Party. Fayette Democratic Party Chairman John Underwood, who is also a Fayette County Commissioner, said that he is seeking re-election to his District 6 Commission seat, while Billy Joe Rodgers has qualified as a Democrat for the County Commission District 5 position that he currently holds.
Lisa Bright, CEO of the Will Bright Foundation, spoke at the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce’s “First Tuesday” luncheon at the Fayette Civic Center on Nov. 5. She said that the Will Bright Foundation came about as a way to help others possibly avoid tragedy like her family faced when her son Will died of a heroin overdose at the age of 25.
The Berry Town Council voted to replace the Christmas lights in town and to apply for a “Rebuild Alabama” grant during its regular council meeting on Nov. 4. Councilman Russell Madison was absent from the meeting, with all other council members present. Also present for the meeting were Mayor Jimmy Madison and Town Clerk Marie McClusky.
On Wednesday, Nov. 6, approximately 100 Bevill State Community College, Fayette Campus, students participated in the Alabama Community College System’s “Clean Home Alabama” initiative. In addition to students, teachers and faculty members also participated in the event. With more than 60 projects across the state, Clean Home Alabama is ACCS’s contribution to help “Keep Alabama Beautiful” as part of the state’s bicentennial year. Alabama’s 24 community colleges are hosting projects in every corner of the state, showcasing their commitment to serve their communities.
Advancing into the first round of the playoffs for the 10th consecutive year, the Lions traveled to northeast Alabama on Friday night to meet up with the Panthers of Spring Garden. Spring Garden, the top seed in region five, entered the contest with a 9-1 record and the Lions, with a 6-4 record, was seeded as the number four team from region six.
The Grateful Dead once sang about what a long, strange journey this has been. The Berry faithful who made the long trek to Calhoun County to see the Wildcats take on the Donoho Falcons could identify with this. The Wildcats were returning to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and looking to avenge a week seven loss in the regular season to the Falcons. Berry controlled the clock during the game, but big plays by the Falcons were too much for the Wildcats to overcome as they fell 34-6.
Two separate instances in Fayette County resulted in the death of accident victims. According to Fayette County Coroner Tim Kimbrell, Garrett Miles, 33, reportedly went hunting on Thursday, Oct. 31 off of County Road 47 in Fayette. When he failed to return, family members began searching for him.
On Nov. 3, Marion County 911 dispatch received a call about a 14-year-old male child who had been shot at 541 Smith Road in Fayette County. Winfield Police Department and EMS arrived on the scene, followed by Fayette County Sheriff’s Office deputies.
Andy Hamlin, district attorney for the 24th judicial circuit, spoke to the Fayette County Commission during its Oct. 28 meeting about the need for a domestic violence - sexual assault investigator. “The toughest cases to try are sexual abuse cases,” Hamlin said. “Not everyone is equipped to sit down with a four-year old and discuss a sexual assault.”
The Fayette County School System improved its ACT scores and academic indicators for the 2018 school year, according to recent figures released by the state board of education. After trailing the state average in both 2015 and 2016, Fayette County saw a dramatic increase in 2017 and increased that score slightly in 2018.
After an absence of several years, the Fayette Cross-Country team is back in action. Cross-country running is a 3.1 mile race over grass/dirt trails. The team competed in six regular season meets, and the sectional meet on Oct. 31 in Tuscaloosa. The team improved each week throughout the season. Carson Reese, a junior, qualified to compete in the state meet Saturday, Nov. 9 in Moulton. Henley Aldridge set the school record for a female 5K on Oct. 12 with a time of 23:57. Several of these young people also participated in other sports and activities while running cross-country.
Fayette defeated Dora 27-7, and is riding a seven-game win streak as it approaches its first-round playoff game against Anniston. Fayette had the ball for only one possession during the first quarter, driving the ball 69 yards in 14 plays before the drive stalled at the Dora 11-yard line and Fayette turned the ball over on downs to the Bulldogs.
Closing out regular season play, Hubbertville traveled north to Bear Creek to face-off against the Phillips High Bears, winning the game by a score of 48-16. Following the coin toss, the Lions received the opening kickoff at its 34-yard line. Utilizing runs by Blake Anthony and Gage Key, the Lions took its opening possession inside the Bears’ red zone. Facing second down and one, Anthony took the handoff around left end and headed for the end zone, but the Lions were penalized for a holding infraction, moving the ball back to the 19-yard line.
The Fayette County Board of Education toured Berry Elementary School and Berry High School on Oct. 22 before meeting in the high school library for its monthly meeting. Board members John Stowe and Tim Fields were absent with all other board members present for the meeting.
This Friday night at John Morgan Brown Stadium, the Fayette Tigers will host the Class 5A Dora Bulldogs at 7 p.m. However, fans will want to get to the stadium early, as the football team celebrates “Senior Night,” recognizing the parents of the senior football players, cheerleaders, majorettes and band members.
The last home game of the year is always special. However, the six Wildcat seniors, in addition to playing their last regular season game at Fred Webster Stadium, had even more on their minds. A win by the Wildcats over the Marion County Red Raiders would ensure that Berry would be the three seed from Region 6 heading into the playoffs. The game was closely contested and would not be decided until the fourth quarter, but the Wildcats fought hard and walked away with a 39–35 victory.
With the threat of severe weather and heavy rain, the Pickens County Tornadoes arrived in Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium one night earlier than scheduled. Hubbertville won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kick, with Alex Barnes and Gage Key lining up deep for the reception. Key advanced the kickoff 10 yards, setting the Lions up at its 25-yard line.
Governor Kay Ivey paid a quick visit to Fayette on Oct. 21, stopping at the Fayette County Courthouse to make a brief speech and greet residents before traveling to her next stop. She was in town to help celebrate Alabama’s Bicentennial. “Alabama has a lot to celebrate,” she said. She also added that the best part of serving as governor is getting to serve the “great people” of the state.