The Fayette County Board of Education took action on several personnel and contract issues during its May 25 meeting. All board members with the exception of Keith Madison were present at the meeting. Before any business was conducted at the meeting, board member John Stowe made a motion to enter executive session to discuss a personnel issue involving “good name and character.” The motion was seconded by board member Brenda Webb and was approved unanimously.
When Derrick Mills finished Fayette County High School in 1996, he did what many young high school graduates do; he left Fayette for college seeking bigger and better things. But Mills never forgot where he came from, and last Friday night, he returned to prove his love for his hometown. Mills delivered the commencement address at Fayette’s graduation, then delivered on a promise he had made to himself long ago – a promise to help others as he had been helped throughout the years.
A private contract mail route truck that transport mail for the United States Postal Service (USPS) was involved in a one vehicle accident on the morning of Saturday, May 22. The truck was enroute from the mail processing facility at Millbrook to the Fayette Post Office at the time the accident occurred. Debra J. Fetterly, United States Postal Service’s Strategic Communications Director for Alabama and South Florida Districts, said that the vehicle carrying the mail ended up overturned in a ditch alongside Highway 18 East. The accident occurred approximately five miles east of Fayette.
A Berry man who was driving drunk when he caused a serious accident that injured a 17-year-old has been sentenced to serve 15 years and a day in prison for first-degree assault. Wesley Aaron Studdard, 31, pleaded guilty in the Fayette County Circuit Court during a hearing held on May 11. 24th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Andy Hamlin announced the sentence on May 19.
What began as an investigation into a residential break-in near Lynn led multiple law enforcement agencies to Fayette County, where a majority of the allegedly stolen items were found and the suspect was arrested. Michael Dylan Tittle, 27, of Lynn, has currently been charged in Fayette County with receiving stolen property, since a large portion of the items taken from the Lynn residence were located there, noted Lynn Police Chief Bryan Kirkpatrick.
The Hamilton State Trooper Post reported two separate accidents during the past week that claimed the lives of two Fayette County residents. They released the following information concerning the accidents. A two-vehicle crash that occurred at approximately 6:43 p.m. on Wednesday, May 12, claimed the life of a Bankston man. Miles David Whitson, 70, was killed when the 2004 Toyota Tacoma he was driving attempted to pass two vehicles and collided head-on with a 2006 Dodge Ram. Whitson was pronounced deceased at the scene.
Approximately 400 people participated in the “March for Jesus” event, held in the streets of Fayette on Saturday, May 15. Organizer Milborn Savage said that he was thrilled with the turnout for this year’s march, especially since the nation is just beginning to recover from the COVID pandemic. The crowd contained a wide range of ages, from newborn babies being pushed in carriages to Perry Kelley, who will turn 95 on May 30. Kelley walked the entire length of the route in this year’s march.
The Fayette County Board of Education recognized the Fayette County Teachers of the Year, Nurses of the Year, and the valedictorian and salutatorian of each high school during its May 11 meeting. All board members were present for the meeting. Teachers of the Year as recognized during the board’s meeting were Savana Trice (Fayette Elementary School), Cristy Thompson (Fayette Middle School), Austyn Jones Freeman (Fayette County High School), Victoria Ellison (Berry Elementary School), Holley Naramore (Berry High School) and Chelsea Rutledge (Hubbertville School).
The Fayette City Council approved several proposed guidelines that will help return the Fayette Aquatic Park to a sense of normalcy following a year of unusual circumstances due to COVID restrictions. All council members were in attendance at the May 11 meeting, with the exception of Councilman Jerry Nichols. Prior to the start of the meeting, Gracelyn Westbrook, Alabama Southern Miss Ambassador and a member of the 4-H Council, led those in attendance in prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance.
The Fayette County Commission agreed at its May 10 meeting to adopt the “Investing in Alabama Counties (IAC)” plan offered through the Association of Alabama Commissions. The plan will help the county pursue reimbursable “American Relief Funds” that are still available through the CARES Act. All commissioners were present for the meeting.
Fayette County High School held its annual Awards Night on Thursday, May 8, with the senior class receiving more than $2 million dollars in total scholarship awards. One of the highlights of the night is the announcement of the top 10 seniors by academic scores. Trey Pinkerton is the valedictorian of the class, and Marlee Yerby is the salutatorian.
The Fayette County High School golf team recently completed a successful season, with a fourth place finish in the Class 4A State Championship. The fourth place finish was the icing on the cake for an all-around successful season. The team finished the regular season undefeated, was second in the five-team Fayette Invitational, finished second in the WAC Tournament, held at Oak Hill Country Club, and finished third in the Class 4A Sectional Tournament, held at Ol’ Colony in Tuscaloosa.
Fayette’s 23rd “March for Jesus” celebration and prayer rally will be held Saturday, May 15, beginning at the Fayette Depot Museum and concluding at the First Baptist Church/Fayette Civic Center parking lot on Temple Avenue. The march and rally have been held in Fayette each year since 1997, with the exception of 2003, and last year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce recognized its “Students of the Year” during a ceremony and reception held on Tuesday, May 4 at the Fayette Civic Center. The awards are presented annually to students selected as representatives from all of the schools within Fayette County. Chamber President Kelli Foster presented the awards to the recipients after they had been introduced and recognized by a school representative.
The Berry Town Council approved a “Memorandum of Understanding” with Community Service Programs of Alabama during its May 3 meeting. All council members were present for the meeting. According to Berry Mayor Jimmy Madison, there are some funds available through Community Services Programs to help people in financial need with their water bills. For the town’s water customers to be able to use the program for assistance, the town had to pass a Memorandum of Understanding.
Fayette’s 2021 softball season came to a close last week as Hamilton defeated Fayette twice in the Class 4A, Area 12 Tournament. Fayette had trouble in the field during the first game against Hamilton as the Lady Aggies won 12-2. The Lady Tigers out-hit Hamilton 7-2 in the game, with Searaley Nichols and Tyy Smith each collecting multiple hits.
Berry struggled for hits early in its first area tournament game against South Lamar, losing by a final score of 5-3. The Lady Wildcats had not managed a hit entering its half of the seventh inning. Ashlyn Smith led off the inning with a single, followed by a bunt single by Brooke Hill. Allie Taylor had a single, then Caitlyn Banks followed with a RBI single, scoring Smith.
With one out, Gracyn Hydrick singled to center field to score Hill. Anna Kate VanDee then hit into a fielder’s choice, scoring Allie Taylor with the third run of the inning.
The Hubbertville Lady Lions won one of three games in the area 12 tournament to close its 2021 softball season. Hubbertville lost a heartbreaker to Meek to begin the tournament by a score of 11-10. Emma Nichols started at pitcher for the Lady Lions, and was relieved by Dixie Moye, who suffered the loss. Laikyn Wright had a double, while Moye had a hit, scored two runs and had a RBI. Kaydance Brown and Krissa Comer each had hits and scored a run.