The Fayette County Board of Education adopted its fiscal year 2020 budget and approved personnel changes during its Sept. 12 meeting. All board members were present for the meeting.
Proposed revenues included in the FY2020 budget are as follows: State, $15,657,751; Local, $4,747,377; Federal, $2,907,956; and other revenues, $110,873 for a total of $23,423,957.
The John Clifford Grimsley House, built in 1916, is one of the most iconic and recognizable houses in Fayette County. The house was recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and a ceremony was held on Sept. 13 recognizing its designation. The John Clifford Grimsley House is currently owned by two of John Clifford Grimsley’s granddaughters, Becky Matkov and Liz Venable.
The Fayette County HOSA - Future Health Professionals, enjoyed its second visit to the International Leadership Conference (ILC) with over 11,520 in attendance. The 42nd International Leadership Conference was held in Orlando, Fla,. on June 19-22. HOSA was represented by 54 chartered associations including Canada, American Samoa, Puerto Rico and China.
The Fayette County Commission held its regularly scheduled meeting on Sept. 9. All commissioners with the exception of Commissioner Shane Hughes, were present for the meeting. Also present were Commission Chairman Mike Freeman and County Administrator John Gordon. At the beginning of the meeting, Randy Slay, chairman of the Fayette County Conservation District, presented the commission with a new, full-color wall map of the county. The map is very detailed and Slay said that, “It is the best map that has ever been made of the county.”
The Berry Town Council approved its fiscal year 2020 budget during its Sept. 9 meeting. Councilman Chris Rice was absent, with all other council members present for the meeting.
Berry Town Clerk Marie McClusky said that sales tax and business license fees have increased during the past year. Court revenue was projected to be approximately the same as last year, with interest for the general fund slightly higher due to an interest rate increase on the town’s certificate of deposit. Other revenues for the town were projected to be similar to the revenues from the previous year.
The Cordova Blue Devils visited Fayette on a hot, overcast, full-moon, Friday-the-thirteenth night, seeking to make the Tigers its first victim of the 2019 football season. Cordova scored three unanswered touchdowns in the first half to take an early 21-14 lead, but the Tigers were able to fight off the Blue Devils to earn a hard-fought 34-27 victory.
Hubbertville welcomed the Meek Tigers to Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium on Friday night with hopes of bouncing back from last week’s loss. The Tigers won the coin toss, electing to receive the opening kick with Trinton Ory advancing the ball to the 27-yard line. Matt Sanders made the stop on the return for the Lions. The Tigers’ offense elected to attack with the passing game on its opening possession, but the Lions’ defense held its ground and forced a punt.
After years of discussions, debates, quarrels, and arguments, the long-awaited and badly-needed new Fayette County Jail is now a reality. The Fayette County Commission and Fayette County Sheriff’s Department held an open house and allowed citizens to tour the new jail on Sept. 8. According to Sheriff Byron Yerby, approximately 150 people toured the jail during the two-hour event. “The comments from the citizens were very positive,” Yerby said. “They thought the new jail was very secure and would serve the needs of the county for many, many years.”
The 50th edition of the annual Fayette Arts Festival will be held this Saturday, Sept. 14, at Guthrie Smith Park. One of the local artists/craftsmen exhibiting at the arts festival this year will be Angela Tingle of Fayette. Tingle said that she has always had an interest in arts and crafts, even as a young child. She said that she first began her serious interest in art a few years ago by making “Fairy houses.” These seemed to be popular with her friends and family, so she said that she decided to take the next step and begin making “flower dolls.”
The Northside Rams used a strong passing attack to control the ball and gain its first-ever victory against the Fayette Tigers by the score of 48-21. College-prospect Jake Corkren of Northside completed 27-of-41 passing attempts for 385 yards and three touchdowns. He was intercepted once during the game. Corkren also ran six times for 48 yards and a touchdown against Fayette.
The Glen Allen town council elected to form an exploratory committee to consider possible options with regards to hiring a water operator for oversight of the town’s water department.
During the council meeting held on Tuesday, Sept. 3, Mayor Allen J. Dunavant announced that water operator, John Wakefield had relayed his desire to step-down from the position as town water operator. Wakefield had informed Town Clerk Shirley Stewart of his decision, stating that he would like to focus more time on his personal business.
The Berry Wildcats began Region 6 play by hosting the Hubbertville Lions in the 78th meeting between the cross-county rivals. Both teams were able to put together long drives during the game, but a couple of big plays by the Wildcats’ offense would make the difference, as Berry took the win 28-6. Hubbertville won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. The Lions returned the kickoff to the Hubbertville 45-yard line to begin play. The Lions put together a four-play drive featuring runs by Triston Alexander, Gage Key, and Robert Anthony.
Blue Berry Hill, 19, of Cullman, was arrested for the Friday, Aug. 30 murder of Joshua Devin Bush, 18, of Fayette. According to Fayette County Sheriff Byron Yerby, a call was received from a Fayette County resident at approximately 2:03 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 30, concerning a body lying in the road at the intersection of Bly Road and Sand Springs Road in northern Fayette County.
Scott Davis, pastor of Fayette First Baptist Church, addressed the Fayette City Council at its Aug. 27 meeting concerning a proposed ordinance to sell alcohol on Sundays. “I felt kind of blindsided and disappointed when I saw in The Times-Record that Sunday alcohol sales are being considered by the council,” Davis said. “I opposed the sale of alcohol in the city, and I want to go on record opposing Sunday alcohol sales. I’m against alcohol sales of any kind and I will always speak out in opposition.”
The importance of the upcoming 2020 Census was stressed during the Aug. 26 meting of the Fayette County Commission. Commissioner John Underwood was absent, with the remaining commissioners being present. Also present was Fayette County Probate Judge Mike Freeman, who serves as the chairman of the commission. Commissioner Shane Hughes said that the 2019 annual convention of the Association of County Commissions of Alabama pointed out the importance of everyone in the county being counted during next year’s census.
Fayette County High School has re-established its cross-country track team this fall, after an absence of almost 40 years. The team will be coached by Ann Smith, the wife of new FCHS football coach Bill Smith. She is a teacher at FCHS, and has previously coached the cross-country team at Munford High School.
On a sandy field that resembled a backyard “sandlot” more than a high school football field, the Fayette Tigers defeated the Winfield Pirates 21-7 to secure Fayette Coach Bill Smith’s first win at his new school. Despite the poor condition of the Pirates’ field, Fayette’s Jason Robinson had a career day running the ball for the Tigers, rushing 23 times for 144 yards and two touchdowns.
The Berry Wildcats welcomed the Class 2A Cold Springs Eagles to Fred Webster Stadium for its 2019 home opener. Big plays on offense and defense helped the Wildcats control the game. Berry took an early lead and never looked back as they cruised to a 43–15 victory. Berry won the toss and elected to receive the opening kickoff. Will Knight returned the kick to the Wildcats’ 35-yard line. Berry ran three plays before punting on fourth and six. Cold Springs returned the punt to the Eagles’ 43-yard line to begin its first offensive possession.
Hubbertville welcomed the Waterloo Cougars to Wiley Hollingsworth Stadium on Friday night to open its regular season play. The Lions won the coin toss and elected to receive the opening kick. Gage Key fielded the kick at the 18-yard line, advancing the ball to the 40-yard line. Utilizing the running game with Gage Alexander, Blake Anthony and G. Key, the Lions quickly moved the ball across midfield to the Cougars 21-yard line, before the opening possession stalled.
Beginning Aug. 29, the State of Alabama will no longer issue marriage licenses.
A law passed this year by the Alabama legislature abolishes the practice of issuing marriage licenses in Alabama, and replaces the licenses with a “marriage certificate.” The certificate requires the parties wishing to be married to fill out a form, stating that they agree to marry and meet the legal requirements for marriage.
The Fayette County Board of Education accepted several resignations and made additional personnel changes during its Aug. 20 meeting. The following resignations were accepted by the board: Tana Humbers, math teacher at Hubbertville School; Alanna Parker, teacher at Fayette Elementary; Sara Beth Rhudy, teacher at Fayette Elementary; Amber Sanchez, teacher at Fayette Elementary; Kerrie L.
The Fayette County High School Tigers got the 2019 football season underway in the county, hosting the Gordo Greenwave last Thursday night at John Morgan Brown Stadium in Fayette. Berry opened its 2019 season last Friday night with a road game at Sulligent, while the Hubbertville Lions hosted Phil Campbell on Friday night in a non-regular season jamboree game.
A production team from the television show, “Simply Southern” recently filmed a segment on the Fayette-based hot sauce company, “Alabama Sunshine.” The production company traveled to Fayette and used both a traditional camera/tripod and a modern aerial drone to show how the fresh, locally-grown peppers are harvested for production.
The Fayette County Lady Tigers’ volleyball team traveled to Central High School on Saturday, Aug. 24 to compete in the “Falcon Frenzy” volleyball tournament. This was the season opener for Fayette, but the Lady Tigers began its 2019 season in fine fashion, winning 12 consecutive sets against six different opponents to finish the tournament undefeated and claim the championship trophy. Shown at left, from left, front: Mary Grace Wyatt, Samantha Cox, Karli Rushing, Kayley Strickland and Grace Sullivan.
The Gordo Greenwave football team marched into John Morgan Brown Stadium last Friday night, looking to avenge losses to Fayette each of the past two seasons. This time, there would be no last minute heroics for the Tigers as Gordo easily defeated Fayette 34-6. Gordo, ranked number three in the state in the pre-season Class 3A football poll, is a traditional football powerhouse and has won 48 of its last 51 regular season ball games. The Greenwave was determined to defeat Fayette this season, since two of those three regular season losses were to the Tigers.
The Berry Wildcats began its 2019 football campaign by traveling to Sulligent to face the 2A Blue Devils in the hopes of avenging last year’s loss. The Wildcats were bitten by the turnover bug and the Blue Devils took full advantage of to claim a 33–8 victory. Sulligent won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. Johnathan Locke returned the opening kick for the Wildcats to the Berry 28-yard line to begin play.
The Lions opened its 2019 season by hosting the Phil Campbell Bobcats in a jamboree game. The varsity teams competed the first three quarters of the game, and the junior varsity closed out the contest playing the fourth quarter. The Bobcats received the opening kick, advancing the ball from the five-yard line to the Lions’ 46-yard line. Hubbertville’s defense held the Bobcats on its opening possession, turning the ball over on downs at the Lions’ 48-yard line. The Lions could not capitalize on the field position and four snaps later, Phil Campbell took possession on its 48-yard line.
Those who appreciate wildlife art now have the ability to purchase new collectible licenses with a variety of flora and fauna from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). Licenses for Alabama’s 2019-2020 seasons and the new hard cards were available for purchase starting Monday, Aug. 26. Eight different cards that depict a variety of outdoors scenes are available for an extra $5 fee. The art scenes include deer, turkey, freshwater fishing, saltwater fishing, wildlife heritage with an indigo bunting, sandhill crane, or shooting sports.
During its Aug. 13 meeting, the Fayette City Council took the first step toward considering the passage of an ordinance that would allow for Sunday alcohol sales. All council members were present for the meeting. Councilman Jason Cowart said the Alabama legislature passed a law this year that allows municipalities already selling alcohol to pass an ordinance to sell alcohol on Sundays between the hours of noon and 8 p.m.
Governor Kay Ivey has awarded a $500,000 grant to upgrade a manufacturing plant in the City of Fayette and preserve 186 jobs. The Community Development Block Grant (CBDG) awarded to the City of Fayette will provide infrastructure needed for the expansion of Showa Best Glove Inc. The company manufactures gloves made of latex and similar materials for use in the medical, industrial, fishing and food industries.
Donald Jones, administrator at Fayette Medical Center, was the featured speaker for the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce’s “First Tuesday” luncheon on Aug. 6. “What a great year for Fayette Medical Center,” Jones said. He said that the hospital again received a “Five-Star” rating from the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. He said the rating places the hospital in the top 6.5 percent of hospitals in the country for quality and patient care.
For the first time since the 1983 football season, the Fayette County High School Tigers’ football team will be coached this year by someone who is not named Tucker. Head football coach Bill Smith comes to Fayette from Munford High School and is well aware of the legacy of winning that Waldon and Lance Tucker brought to the school. He knows this will be a transitional year for the Tigers, but he hopes that the transition does not mean a drop in the quality of play.
Caleb Hynds is starting his third year as the head football coach of the Berry Wildcats. He knows his first two seasons as coach were not up to the standards expected for football at Berry, but he sees a lot of reason for optimism this season. “We have a lot more older guys on the team this year,” Hynds said. “We have eight seniors and 24 players on the team that are in 10th - 12th grade. We have eight returning starters on each side of the ball. Our experience and maturity should make a big difference.
In 1977, Jimmy Carter was president of the United States, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was under 1,000, the average cost for a gallon of gasoline was 62 cents, and a first-class postage stamp sold for 13 cents. A lot has changed since 1977, but one thing in Fayette County and the history of Alabama high school football has remained the same - Lamar Harris is still the head football coach at Hubbertville School.
Approximately 100 former students and faculty members of the former Kennedy High School in Lamar County gathered on Saturday, Aug. 17 at the Kennedy Historical Building for a school reunion. The attendees enjoyed reminiscing about the good times they enjoyed at the school, and they also enjoyed seeing former classmates that they had not seen in years.
Heath Nails, the new band director at Fayette County High School, said that he is well aware of the legacy of the FCHS band program, including the tremendous success the program enjoyed for many years under the direction of legendary director Jerry Bobo. “The Fayette band program has a long history of excellence,” Nails said. “Everybody knows Jerry Bobo and the quality bands that he had at Fayette. I saw this as an opportunity for me to be a part of something special.”
The Berry Town Council voted at its Aug. 5 meeting to repair the town’s water tank and adopt its plan for revenue expenditures under the new “Rebuild Alabama Act.” Councilman Troyce Townsel was absent from the meeting and Councilman Chris Rice arrived late. All other council members were present at the beginning of the meeting.
No police report was given for the month in the absence of Berry Police Chief Gerald DeDeaux.
A new family physician has opened a practice at Fayette Medical Center (FMC). Dakota S. Acton-Jones, MD, is accepting patients at the Family Medical Clinic at Fayette Medical Center. She will also see patients admitted to the hospital as a hospitalist. Dr. Acton-Jones comes to FMC from Pickens County Primary Care. She is board certified in family medicine and is certified in advanced cardiac life support, advanced trauma life support and pediatric advanced life support.
The Glen Allen Town Council elected to add the town’s mural to the proposed statewide mural trail. The University of Alabama Center for Economic Development (UACED) is in the process of inventorying all existing murals and is collaborating with municipalities across the state in the endeavor of creating a statewide mural trail.
The Fayette County Sheriff Department reported that a man was shot on Wednesday, July 31 near the Bazemore Community following an apparent domestic violence altercation. Sheriff Department Investigator Heath Bolton said that the department received a phone call on the afternoon of July 31, stating that a person had been shot on County Road 65 near Bazemore.