The Berry Town Council voted at its April 6 meeting to allow Tier II employees in the Town of Berry to change the way their benefits would be structured at retirement. Councilman Chris Rice was absent from the meeting, with the remainder of the council members present. The meeting was moved from Berry Town Hall to the Berry Civic Center due to the need for “social distancing” requested by the state health department during the COVID-19 pandemic.
At 5 p.m. on April 9, the Alabama Department of Public Health listed 2,810 cases of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Alabama. Fayette County is listed as one of the lowest total number of cases in the state with one confirmed case.
As of 10:15 a.m. on April 8, Fayette County still had only one confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus out of 91 tests performed. Statewide, there were 2,241 cases of the virus reported with 48 confirmed deaths.
Former Fayette County Administrator John Ray Gordon lost his lengthy and courageous battle with cancer on April 1. He was 68 years old. Ironically, the day he died was his official retirement date from the county as administrator, having served 22 years doing the job that he truly loved. Gordon was a native of Arkansas, but many years ago he moved to Fayette and totally became one of the “locals” through the sharing of his talents, charm, laughter and generosity.
Alabama Governor Kay Ivey issued a “Stay-at-Home” order, effective at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4 for the entire state. Under the order, people are allowed to leave their homes for “essential” activities, but must remain at home otherwise. Included as reasons to be away from home are to provide or seek services at essential businesses, obtaining groceries or medical services, and caring for the sick. The entire order and allowable activities can be obtained by accessing the governor’s web site at: governor.alabama.gov At press time, the COVID-19 toll continues to grow across the nation.
The Fayette City Council held a work session on March 31 to discuss the city’s financial stability and actions during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. All council members were in attendance for the meeting. Prior to the council’s discussion of finances, an emergency situation was declared concerning one of the city’s pumps at the wastewater treatment facility. John Dill, manager of the wastewater treatment plant, told the council that one of the facility’s intermediate pumps had worn out and had to be replaced.
The Fayette County Health Department is hosting a drive-through Coronavirus testing site in Fayette at the Fayette County Health Department, 215 1st Avenue NW, Fayette this Thursday, April 9 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Contact the Fayette Co. Health Department for additional information regarding qualifications for the test and to schedule a test time.
With the number of Coronavirus cases in Alabama approaching 1,500 and 21 confirmed deaths, Governor Kay Ivey issued a "Stay-at-Home" order for the entire state effective at 5 p.m. on Saturday, April 4. The order allows limited travel for certain necessary activities, such as traveling to work at an essential job, seeking medical assistance, checking on relatives, or to buy groceries or medical supplies. The order also provides for fines and/or penalties for violations of the order. To see the full text of the order, visit Governor Kay Ivey's website.
At approximately 10 a.m. on Wednesday, April 1, Alabama officially recorded its 1,000th confirmed case of the COVID - 19 virus in the state, according to statistics released by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
Fayette County became the 55th county in Alabama to report a confirmed case of the Coronavirus COVID – 19 at approximately 3 p.m. on Monday, March 30. The rapidly spreading virus continues to escalate throughout Alabama and the United States, forcing curfews in many areas and shuttering all businesses throughout Alabama that are deemed “non-essential.”
The Fayette Civic Center will host an emergency blood drive for the American Red Cross on Monday, April 6 from 11 a.m. - 2 p.m. The blood drive was originally scheduled for April 7, but had to be changed due to a scheduling conflict with the Red Cross. Stephanie Holcomb, an account executive for the American Red Cross, said that this drive is crucial to the organization’s ability to help meet the United States blood needs.
The Fayette City Council voted four to one to consent to the termination of employment for Fayette Police Officer Jason Nalls during its Tuesday, March 24 meeting. All council members were present for the meeting. Fayette Mayor Ray Nelson said that based on an investigation by the Fayette Police Department and at the recommendation of Fayette Police Chief Danny Jenkins, he also recommended that the employment of Officer Nalls be terminated.
The Fayette County Commission voted to hire a new county engineer during its March 23 regular meeting, All of the commissioners were present for the meeting. Prior to the regular portion of the meeting, the commission held an emergency meeting to discuss the county’s response to the rapidly changing Coronavirus (COVID - 19) pandemic. Commission Chairman Mike Freeman said they were having an emergency meeting because of the seriousness of the situation and to focus attention on the need for quick action from the commission.
Governor Kay Ivey, in conjunction with the Alabama Department of Education, announced on Thursday, March 26 that the K-12 public schools in Alabama would stay closed for the remainder of the 2019-20 academic school year. Ivey added, “Beginning at the start of school on April 6, 2020, all public K-12 schools shall implement a plan to complete the 2019-2020 school year using alternate methods of instruction as established by the State Superintendent of Education."
The Coronavirus (COVID -19) topped 500 cases in Alabama as reported by the Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) at 3:05 p.m. on Thursday, March 26. The ADPH reported its first fatality from the Coronavirus on March 25, with the death toll from COVID - 19 remaining at one in Alabama at present time. For up-to-date information concerning the Coronavirus in Alabama, visit the ADPH website and check the latest figures via the site's dashboard. For U.S. totals, visit the Center for Disease Control.
The Coronavirus COVID - 19 continues to paralyse the state and nation, threatening to close all but the most essential services and businesses throughout the country. The stock market continues its free-fall. The Dow Jones Industrial average was approaching a new milestone mark of 30,000 approximately one month ago. On Monday, March 23, the average had slipped to just above 18,000, a 52-week low. Stores shelves are still bare in many places of essential basic food and household items.
A fast-moving and somewhat unexpected severe thunderstorm caused considerable damage in Fayette County during the early morning hours of Monday, March 23. One of the hardest hit areas by the storm appeared to be the Covin - Belk area. There were numerous trees blown down or uprooted during the storm, and several buildings suffered structural damage. A portion of the roof on the Covin voting precinct was blown off of the building. An awning at M&M in Covin was also blown off and destroyed in the storm.
The Fayette County Board of Education held its regular monthly meeting on March 17 at the courthouse annex building. Board Member Waldon Tucker was absent from the meeting, with all other board members present. At the beginning of the meeting, Board President Tom Hubbert made a motion to start the meeting with an executive session to discuss a legal matter. Board Member Sam Sullivan seconded the motion and it was approved unanimously. Following an executive session of approximately 30 minutes, the board reconvened in open session.
The Fayette Garden Club exhibits its pride in the community by planting and caring for flowers and plants in the downtown Fayette area. The service organization is dedicated to helping beautify the area through its use of plants and flowers, and the Fayette Garden Club also encourages others to help make the area more beautiful.