Fayette County High School celebrated the success of its AP scholar students with a ceremony on Friday, Oct. 18 at the school. FCHS was recently named an A+ College-Ready School of Excellence. In earning the recognition, Fayette exceeded its school-wide goal for AP qualifying scores during the 2018 - 2019 school year. The school had a total of 34 AP qualifying scores, with two AP scholars who passed three AP exams.
County Administrator John Gordon announced his plans to retire from his position during the Oct. 15 meeting of the Fayette County Commission. In a letter to the commissioners, Gordon expressed his desire to retire, effective April 1, 2020, stating that he has “been blessed to work for the commission 22 years as of Dec. 1, 2019.
Dr. Jeremy Madden, principal of Fayette County High School, has been named District Seven South High School Principal of the Year. Madden is a 19-year educator who became principal of Fayette County High School in 2011. He attended Russellville City Schools and graduated from Russellville High School in 1993.
The Fayette Tigers used a tremendous rushing game to control the tempo in the second half and defeat the Haleyville Lions 27-13. Fayette scored 14 points in the first quarter, but allowed the Lions to score 10 unanswered points in the second period to cut the Tigers’ lead to four points at the half. Fayette closed out the second half by running the ball 28 times and throwing only five passes.
The Hubbertville Lions traveled to Brilliant to faceoff against the Tigers on Friday night. Winning the coin toss, the Tigers elected to receive, with Braden O’Mary and Braden Burleson back deep to receive the opening kick. Gaberiele Arcidiacono’s kick was fielded by Burleson at the 10-yard line and advanced to the Tigers’ 31-yard line, where Xander Morrow made the stop. The Tiger’s first offensive possession came to a halt with the Tigers facing fourth down and 12 from its own 45-yard line. Gage Key fielded a punt at the 14-yard line and advanced to the 16.
Five people have been indicted and arrested in connection with the May 1, 2018 double homicide that occurred at a residence off of County Road 63 in Fayette County. Michael Council, 25, of New Jersey; Lazaro Moran, 33, of New Jersey; Lindettia Lynette Lowery, 33, of Fairfield; Brandon Lowery, 34, of Gadsden; and Britanny Bell-Spates, 25, of Gadsden have all been arrested at various locations during the past three months. Moran was arrested on Oct. 4 in New Jersey, and was the last of the suspects arrested.
Governor Kay Ivey will be in Fayette on Monday, Oct. 21 to speak to the citizens of the county as part of her tour celebrating Alabama’s Bicentennial. Ivey will deliver a short speech in front of the Fayette County Courthouse at 9:30 a.m, then spend a few minutes visiting with local residents before moving on to her next stop.
The much discussed and debated “Rails-to-Trails” project appears to be back on track after the Fayette City Council reversed its vote from the last meeting and again authorized the purchase of the land from Norfolk-Southern Railroad during its Oct. 8 meeting. At the council’s Sept. 24 meeting, Councilman Jason Cowart made a motion that was seconded by Councilman Jerry Nichols to rescind the authority of the city to purchase the land.
The weather is cooler, the leaves are turning, and the Fayette County Fair is back in town!
Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 16, and continuing until Saturday, Oct. 19, the Fayette County Fair returns to provide entertainment for “kids of all ages.” The fair will have plenty of exhibits, livestock shows, food, rides, and entertainment each night, and will also offer special events throughout the week.
DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center appear to be returning to near-normal functionality after suffering a ransomware attack on its system last week.
Bevill celebrated a “Pink-Out” tailgate party and volleyball match on Thursday, Oct. 10 in recognition of breast cancer awareness. Students and faculty enjoyed grilled hamburgers, hotdogs, and snacks prior to the Lady Bears match against Andrews College. Bevill State completed the afternoon of cancer awareness by defeating Andrew College 25-18, 25-10 and 25-13 in straight sets to win the match.
The FCHS Lady Tigers went undefeated in Vernon on Saturday, Oct. 5 to win the 2019 WAC Tournament. Fayette swept Sulligent (25-13, 25-19) and Lamar County (25-10, 25-9) to advance to the championship and defeated Winfield (26-24, 20-25, 15-11). In a tri-match on Monday, Oct. 7, the Lady Tigers suffered a loss against Northridge (25-20, 13-25, 10-15), but beat Oakman (25-18, 25-15). On Tuesday, Oct. 8, Fayette lost an area game to Curry (25-21, 25-23, 25-11), then defeated Sumiton Christian (25-11, 25-17), leaving Fayette with a 20-3 season record.
The Glen Allen Town Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday, Oct 1 at the town hall. Council members Gail Bircheat and Willie Rose McClinton were not in attendance for the meeting. The council discussed and reviewed possible options for filling the town’s water department’s water operator position. Water operator John Wakefield had previously notified the council of his desire to resign, but stated that he would continue in the position to allow time for the council to address the situation.
Fayette County High School Principal Dr. Jeremy Madden recently graduated from The University of Alabama Superintendents’ Academy.
Celebrating homecoming on Friday night, Hubbertville hosted the Lynn Bears in Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium. Unfortunately, the visiting team spoiled the Lions’ homecoming by defeating Hubbertville 31-20. The Bears took the opening kick down the field, utilizing only two plays to move the ball into the Lions’ red zone. Facing first and goal at the 10-yard line, Micah Cagle took the handoff, advancing three yards with Alex Barnes on the stop for the Lions.
Homecoming is always an exciting time of year, full of seeing old friends, remembering great times, and celebrating history. Returning alumni always hope to see their old high school team do well, and the Wildcats’ fans who braved the rain were not disappointed. In a game that saw both teams struggle with penalties and the elements, the Wildcats took a 31–20 victory over the Brilliant Tigers.
A cyber-security attack occurring on Oct. 1 resulted in the DCH Regional Health System having to respond to a ransomware attack of unknown sources. The attack affected the computer systems at DCH Regional Medical Center in Tuscaloosa, Northport Medical Center and Fayette Medical Center. Brad Fisher, spokesperson for DCH, said by phone Monday that the company’s technology and security personnel are working frantically to resolve the situation and return patient care to normal.
Nell Bailey Chapman said that she was born in Fayette County and attended the former Kirkland Junior High School through the fourth grade until her parents moved to Aberdeen, Miss. Due to her father finding work in an ammunition factory during the war. She said that her family was poor, but she added that she learned a very important lesson early in life from her frugal mother. Her mother’s motto was, “Do the best you can with what you’ve got.”
Fayette County Probate Judge Mike Freeman said that he learned quickly that he would have to get his “on-the-job training” after he was elected as probate judge. “Nothing I had done prior to being elected fully prepared me for the job of probate judge, he said. “You learn quickly, but everything has gone pretty smoothly.”
At the beginning of the school year, a group of eighth grade students at Fayette Middle School who were enrolled in a Family and Consumer Science class decided they wanted to do something to help publicize the wonderful things going on in their school. This decision was initiated by Taylor Kelly, the FMS FCCLA Vice-President, for this school year. After talking to his classmates, Kelly approached the Principal Ron Hannah with his idea. With the principal’s support, Tiger News was created.
Fayette cashed in two Oak Grove turnovers at the conclusion of the third quarter to take a 31-point lead and cruise to a 31-15 victory. The Fayette Tigers moved the ball on the opening possession of the game from its 27-yard line to the Oak Grove six, but a run and two failed pass attempts failed to gain additional yardage. Kent Bagwell kicked a 23-yard field goal on fourth down and with 9:34 left in the first quarter, Fayette took an early 3-0 lead.
Manufacturing Day, Oct. 4, is a celebration of modern manufacturing meant to inspire the next generation of manufacturers. In honor of that, Bevill State Community College’s Vehicle Technology and Repair (VTR) students from the Hamilton campus and Electrical Systems Technology (ELT) students from the Fayette and Hamilton campuses were invited to tour the Mercedes-Benz plant on Thursday, Oct. 3.
The Fayette City Council approved its fiscal year 2020 budget during its Sept. 24 meeting. A local resident, Bobby Avant, led the council in prayer prior to the beginning of the meeting. He also addressed the council concerning the purchase of land from Norfolk-Southern Railroad for the proposed Rails-to-Trails. “My first observation is that the price the railroad is charging is outrageous,” Avant said.”The fact that a donor has come forth to help with the purchase does not make it any less egregious. Building the trail is also based on getting future grants that may not happen.”
Qualifying for next year’s primaries and general election opens Tuesday, Oct. 8 and will end on Friday, Nov. 8. Local offices on the ballot will include county commission seats in districts two, four, five and six. Fayette County Board of Education seats up for election will include districts four and five.
The annual Frog Level Festival returns this weekend to downtown Fayette. The festival will open at 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 4 with entertainment provided on the big stage by B.J. Reeves. At 5:45 p.m., The Chris Simmons Band will take the stage, followed by “Nationwide Coverage” at 7:30 p.m. Nationwide Coverage will feature The Tuscaloosa Horns and Fayette native Mart Avant. Avant is always a crowd favorite when he performs in the Fayette area. On Saturday, Oct. 5., there will be a Cruise-In in downtown Fayette beginning at 8 a.m. Also at 8 a.m., the Bama Dancers will entertain the crowd.
Fines for overdue items are now a thing of the past for Fayette County Memorial Library. On Aug. 1, the library quietly implemented a new fine-free policy for its patrons. This change removes a barrier for people who cannot afford fines and wish to use the library, and it ensures that all members of our community have equitable access to library books and materials.
The Tigers’ Jason Robinson ran for 207 yards and three touchdowns on 14 carries as Fayette defeated Sipsey Valley 34-26. Fayette received the opening kickoff and following an exchange of punts, the Tigers moved 76 yards in seven plays for the first score of the game. Carter Sanford threw a six-yard touchdown pass to Kaleb Owens to complete the drive and following a Kent Bagwell kick for the extra point, Fayette led 7-0 with 5:28 remaining in the first quarter.
The Hubbertville Lions welcomed the Hackleburg Panthers to Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium on Friday night and won an old-time slugfest by the score of 71-48. The total points scored tied for the 16th most points scored in the history of Alabama high school football in one game. Ironically, Hubbertvile was also involved in a game with the second highest point total in history, as Parrish defeated Hubbertville 81-58 in 2003. The Panthers won the coin toss and deferred. Brodie Porter advanced Caden Jones’ opening kick eight yards, setting the Lions’ offense up at its 40-yard line.
The Berry Wildcats returned to Fred Webster Stadium to welcome the Donoho Falcons in the third-ever meeting between the two schools and the first to be played in Berry. The defenses from both teams set the tone of the game. In a game that would go back and forth all night, Donoho got the 17–14 victory on a late field goal. Donoho won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Donoho put together an 11-play drive deep into Wildcat territory.
On the surface, Hester Whittaker, a fifth grade student at Fayette Elementary School, appears to be one of the nicest, most polite 10-year old boy in the world. He has a genuine smile and charm that seem to mask the fierce competitor he becomes on a karate sparring mat. Make no mistake, he is still nice and polite to his opponents. He smiles at the beginning of the match and he is still smiling when the referee raises his hand in victory. Whittaker recently traveled with his parents to Lynchburg, Va. to compete in the “State Games of America.”
Beginning on Oct. 12, area code dialing will become mandatory for all calls made within the traditional “205” area code region of the state. Earlier this year, it was announced that an “overlay” area code would be implemented within the 205 area code region. The new area code is “659” and will serve the same region as the 205 area code currently serves.
50 years ago in November of 1968, Herb Lowe placed an ad in the local newspaper seeking people interested in forming a new Episcopal church. Four people responded: Toni Robertson, Hugh and Edna Avant and Dot Crutcher. From these humble beginnings, the worshiping community of St. Michael’s was born. In the years that followed, the fledgling congregation gathered in a store front before building the current church up the hill west of Five Points on 10th Street in the early 80’s.
The Meek High Tigers had been preparing all week to face the Berry Wildcats Friday, Sept. 20, for homecoming. Even though it was a close game, Berry handed Meek the defeat 36-30.
Meek kicked off to Berry to start the game. The Wildcats immediately started to move the ball and after 41 yards, got the first touchdown with Johnathan Locke running the ball over the goal line. The PAT was no good, but Berry was up 6-0.
Hubbertville traveled to Millport Friday night to face the South Lamar Stallions. The Lions won the coin toss and received the opening kickoff. The opening possession was shortlived, with Gage Key punting the ball away to the Stallions’ offense at the Lions’ 45-yard line. South Lamar wasted little time taking the ball downfield, with Herachio Washington and Christopher Sides swapping runs on the drive. Facing second and three at the 14-yard line, Sides took the ball across the goal for the score with 8:10 remaining in the opening quarter. The PAT kick was no good.
The Fayette Community Foundation will soon begin accepting grant applications for 2019.
During the Fayette City Council’s Sept. 10 meeting, a motion was approved to remove a proposed ordinance from consideration concerning Sunday alcohol sales in the city. All council members were present for the meeting. Councilman Jason Cowart made a motion to remove the ordinance from consideration, and the motion was seconded by Councilman Eddy Campbell. The motion was approved unanimously.