Qualifying for primaries comes to a close

Qualifying closed for both the Republican and Democratic parties on Jan. 28, with few if any last minutes surprises. No one qualified for a local office during the last week of qualifying. Two local candidates have no opposition in their bids for re-election. They have no opposition from either major party, virtually assuring them of re-election to their current positions.


Local teams working hard as area tournaments approach

Hubbertville’s Will Benton (4) makes a basket over the defense of Berry’s Chrishaun Jennings (5).

The local basketball teams are playing hard as the area tournaments quickly approach.
Fayette traveled to Hamilton on Jan. 22 and the boy’s team lost by the score of 54-42.
Landon Kimbrell led the scoring for the Tigers with 19 points, followed by Tucker Whitley with 13 points. Lucas Boyd scored four points, while Charles Grant and Landon Lowe each contributed three points for Fayette.


Former FCHS principal named to Russellville BOE

Radford Hester was recently appointed to the Russellville School Board.

Former Fayette County High School Principal Radford Hester was recently appointed by the Russellville City Council to serve as a member of the Russellville City School Board. The Russellville City Council made the appointment during a council meeting held on Dec. 6, 2021. The members of the Russellville City School board are not elected officials, but are appointed by the council. The board members serve five-year terms.


Killlingsworth addresses school board

Concerned parent David Killingsworth is shown addressing the school board.

Local resident David Killingsworth addressed the Fayette County Board of Education prior to its Jan. 18 meeting.  All board members were in attendance for the meeting. Killingsworth told the board that a prevalent concern has occurred in the schools as a by-product of sanitizing and disinfecting because of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said that many of the products used for cleaning contain chemicals and fragrances that can cause health concerns in some students and adults.


Edmonson signs scholarship with BSCC

Pictured at the scholarship signing, from left, front: Walker Edmonson, Wendy Edmonson, Kyla Edmonson, Kevin Edmonson and Bevill Pitching Coach Jonathan Lay. In back is Darrell Thomas, softball coach for Berry High School.

Kyla Edmonson, senior at Berry High School and pitcher for the Lady Wildcats softball team, signed a scholarship offer on Jan. 21 to continue her softball career at Bevill State Community College of Sumiton.

Several have qualified for local offices

With only a few days remaining to qualify for local office, the Superintendent of Education and Fayette County Sheriff races have attracted the most candidates. The Fayette County Republican Party began qualifying candidates for office for the 2022 elections on Dec. 1, 2021, and the Fayette County Democratic Party began its local qualifying on Dec. 20, 2021.


Local basketball teams have mixed results for week

Fayette’s Tucker Whitley (14) is shown scoring a basket over the outstretched hand of Berry’s Isaiah Kizzire (1).

Berry, Hubbertville and Fayette resumed playing high school basketball last week after missing a couple of games due to COVID and classes being taught virtually. Hubbertville hosted Pickens County on Jan. 20 and the boys were defeated by a score of 56-19. Brady Porter and Greyson Key led the Lions in scoring with six points each.


Phillips is the new Fayette Veterans Officer

Christopher Phillips is the new Veterans Service Officer for Fayette, Pickens and Lamar counties.

Christopher Phillips is the new Veterans Service Officer for Fayette, Pickens and Lamar counties, effective Dec. 1, 2021. After training for one month in Jasper, he now works out of the local area offices to serve local veterans. Phillips was born in Texas, and moved several times as a young child before his dad left the military and he settled in Alabama. He grew up in the Alexander City area, and graduated high school in 1995 from Jefferson Davis High School in Montgomery. In 1999, Phillips joined the Navy, where he trained as an Aviation Structural Mechanic.


Fayette City Council to pay relocation expenses

Pictured is Fayette Airport Manager Kip Madison as he addressed the city council.


The Fayette City Council voted during its Jan. 11 meeting to pay $50,000 in expenses to settle a claim filed by Henry and Ericka Hollis. All council members were present for the meeting.
Prior to the beginning of the meeting, Fayette Police Officer Ronnie Earnest led those in attendance in prayer, and Fayette Police Chief Danny Jenkins led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Frog sightings in Fayette

Last week, this frog painted by local artist Deborah Hill, settled into its new home outside of the Fayette Civic Center and Art Museum.

Two friendly frogs were spotted taking up permanent residence recently in downtown Fayette.  The frogs received their official unveiling in Oct. 2021 at the Fayette Frog Level and Bicentennial celebration.

Underwood to retire from police department

Fayette Assistant Police Chief John Underwood is retiring.

Assistant Police Chief John Underwood is retiring from the Fayette Police Department this month after serving 27 years with the department. “Big John,” as he is affectionally known throughout the community, started with the police department as a patrolman in 1995, and has served the past 15 years as assistant police chief.


Local teams have games posponed due to COVID

Carter Hollingsworth is pictured shooting free throws for the Hubbertville Lions.

The on-going COVID pandemic again disrupted school and extracurricular activities last week.
Local schools started attending virtual-only classes at midweek, which also forced the postponement of several key area matchups between teams. The area matchups will have to be rescheduled and played if at all possible due to playoff implications.


Commission votes to lease former recycling center

The Fayette County Commission voted to lease the former Fayette Recycling Center during its Jan. 10 meeting. Commissioner Wesley Jacobs was absent from the meeting, and Commissioner Robert Townley was also not present due to the death of his father-in-law. Commission Chairman Mike Freeman told the commissioners that a sub-contractor from Texas has expressed an interest in leasing the former recycling center. The building has been vacant for several months, and recently had some minor repairs completed to make the building suitable for lease.


Berry accepts Endo opioid settlement

Pictured at the Dec. 20, 2021 special-called meeting of the Berry Town Council, from left: Mayor Jimmy Madison, Councilwoman Mary Sue Lollar, and Councilmen Russell Madison, Troyce Townsel and Calvin Madison.

The Berry Town Council held a special-called meeting on Dec. 20, 2021. All council members were present with the exception of Councilman Chuck Tidwell. The meeting was called for the purpose of considering the proposed Endo Corporation opioid settlement, and to also hear the annual audit report from Phillip Eads, of the accounting firm Kellum, Wilson and Associates.


Former commissioner, Jerrell Aldridge, dies at age 81

Jerrell Aldridge

Former Fayette County Commissioner Jerrell Aldridge of Bankston died on Jan. 4 at the Fayette Medical Center’s Long-Term Care facility at the age of 81. Aldridge was appointed in 2003 to fill the unexpired term of Commissioner Hubert Norris, who was elected to serve another term as sheriff in Nov. 2002. Aldridge served two years as commissioner, including a year as Fayette County Commission Chairman in 2004.


Three local players make All-State in football

Three local football players were recently named to the 2021 Alabama Sports Writers Association All-State football team. Gage Alexander, Hubbertville running back, repeated as a first team All-State player in Class 1A after also making the team in 2020. Joining Alexander as first team Class 1A All-State was Tanner Parr of Berry, who was named All-State punter.
Making second team All-State from Hubbertville was defensive lineman Dawson Youngblood.


Accident causes minor injuries

Pictured are the vehicles involved in the accident that occurred in Fayette on Jan. 6.

An accident occurring at approximately noon on Thursday, Jan 6 on 2nd Ave. NE in Fayette fortunately caused only minor injuries to the occupants of the vehicles. The accident occurred between a 2006 Ford Focus, driven by Ruby Gann Fester of Fayette, and a 2004 Toyota Camry, driven by Kayla Denise Hosmer of Berry.

Lady Lions get breakthrough win against Berry

Madison Cribb (20) is shown driving for a layup as she is defended by Hailey Schicker (5) of Berry.

The Hubbertville Lady Lions accomplished something on Jan. 7 that they had not done in more than 10 years – beat the Berry Lady Wildcats in a basketball game. Hubbertville defeated Berry 53-33 to snap a 27-game losing streak against the Lady Wildcats.


Winter contrast

Pictured is a portion of a wooded area covered in snow on Monday morning, Jan. 3.

This Christmas and New Year’s season was unusually warm, with the high temperature in Fayette reaching 82 on New Year’s Day. However, the weather can change quickly in Alabama, and the high temperature on Jan. 2 was only 46 degrees. A light snow began falling at about 7 p.m. that night that fortunately caused little travel problems and provided great winter scenery.