Pirates sink Fayette on blustery night, 35-13


Zack Ingle (14) is shown running for a first quarter touchdown against Winfield as Isiah Dixon (52), Jaylen Hammonds (8) and Coulter Ary (57) block.

In a game that was delayed by lightning for approximately 30 minutes during the first quarter, the Winfield Pirates scored 21 points in the fourth quarter to defeat the homestanding Tigers 35-13. Fayette trailed 14-13 early in the fourth quarter before the Pirates scored the final 21 points to seal the victory.

 

Hubbertville rolls over Waterloo, 49-18


Quarterback Ethan Nichols (23) is shown handing off to Zach Hubbert (15) as Tanner Upton (25) blocks during the game against Waterloo.

Hubbertville made the long trek north to Lauderdale County to battle the Cougars of Waterloo. The two teams had never met on the gridiron so the atmosphere among players, coaches and fans were varied. Head coach Lamar Harris forewarned his Lions prior to boarding the bus that the long trip would be conducted as a "business venue" with the ultimate goal of remaining confident and bringing home the victory.

 

Cold Springs defeats Berry 27-20


Berry’s Isaac Darty (34) is pictured making a one-handed pass reception for a touchdown as Sam Franklin (2) watches.

Green Bay coaching legend Vince Lombardi once said, “We didn’t lose the game; we just ran out of time.” The Berry fans who traveled to Cullman County to watch the Wildcats take on the Cold Springs Eagles can identify with this. The two teams traded the lead all night, but ultimately the clock caught up with Berry and Cold Springs escaped with a seven-point victory, 27-20.

 

Old truss bridges are a vanishing sight in county


Shown is an old Pony Truss Bridge, which is located in Fayette County and still used for daily traffic.

Approximately 15 miles from downtown Fayette, is an old Warren Pony Truss bridge, estimated to have been built around 1928. It spans the Luxapallila Creek on Dodson Road (off of County Road 21). This unique bridge is currently still open to traffic. Its total length is 101.1 feet, with a deck width of 12.1 feet.

 

High school football is back!


Fayette’s cheerleaders lead the Tigers onto the field at Gordo.

The 2018 high school football season kicked off last week and the county teams appeared to be ready for action. Fayette County High School scored with 4.7 seconds remaining in the game to take a hard-earned 19-13 victory over Gordo, and Berry played Sulligent extremely close before losing a heartbreaker by the score of 30-22. Hubbertville also had a very impressive jamboree win against Phil Campbell. See additional pictures and details of these games in this week’s paper.

 

Fayette businesses hold ribbon-cuttings


The band, “Broken Bridge” provided entertainment from 6-8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 25 in the vacant lot next to Alabama Sunshine to celebrate the company’s move to its new spacious location.

Several Fayette businesses held ribbon-cutting ceremonies in Fayette last week. The Charming Cottage and Fannie’s Bistro and Events celebrated the opening of their new businesses, and Alabama Sunshine celebrated the opening of its new location.

BOE explores participating in Alabama Sentry Program


Scout Master Steven Nolen is shown addressing the Fayette County Board of Education at its Aug. 31 meeting.

Fayette County Superintendent of Education Jim Burkhalter told board members during the Aug. 21 meeting that the Fayette County school system is exploring the possibility of participating in the Alabama Sentry Program. The sentry program will allow an authorized and certified school administrator in a school without a resource officer to have a firearm on campus in a secure location to protect students and teachers in the event of a security threat to the school.

Berry Council discusses budget concerns


Shown at the Berry Town Council’s Aug. 20 budget work session are from left: Berry Mayor Jimmy Madison, and councilmen Wesley Jacobs, Chris Rice, Russell Madison, Troyce Townsel and Calvin Madison.

The Berry Town Council met in a work session on Aug. 20 to discuss budget issues for fiscal year 2019. All councilmen, Mayor Jimmy Madison and Town Clerk Marie McCluskey were in attendance. Berry Police Chief Gerald DeDeaux told the council that his department is needing new patrol cars and asked the council to consider options to buy or lease new cars during the next budget.

 

Tigers defeat Gordo in last second thriller


Fayette quarterback Blake Wallace (4) rolls out for yardage against Gordo as Zack Ingle (14) and Jackson Doran (51) block.

For the second straight year, the FayetteTigers completed a touchdown pass with little time remaining on the clock to defeat the Gordo Greenwave. Fayette senior Blake Wallace, who was starting his first game as quarterback for Fayette, completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Tre’Darion Walker with 4.7 seconds left on the clock to give Fayette a 19-13 victory.

 

Hubbertville easily wins jamboree


Blake Anthony (28) is shown breaking through the Phil Campbell defenders to score a touchdown.

The Lions kicked off its 2018 season by traveling to Phil Campbell to face the Bobcats in a fall jamboree. The varsity squads took the field for the first three quarters with the junior teams finishing out the last quarter of the game. Following the opening kick by Zach Hubbert, the Lion defense quickly stood ground holding the Bobcats offense in check, turning the ball over on downs at the Lions 42-yard line.

 

Fayette shuffles offense after spectacular 2017 season


Shown is the 2018 Fayette County High School football team.

The Fayette Tigers entered last season seeking to rebound from an uncharacteristic 4-6 season in 2016. Head Coach Lance Tucker was optimistic last year, especially with the senior leadership that he had returning, including quarterback Chance Stevenson and receiver Darius Nalls.
His optimism was rewarded with a spectacular season, one that saw the Tigers play for the Class 4A state Championship before falling 21-7 to UMS-Wright on a snowy and freezing Bryant-Denny Stadium field.

 

Harris optimistic about 42nd season at Hubbertville


Pictured is the 2018 Hubbertville football team and managers.

Lamar Harris is beginning his 42nd year as the head football coach at Hubbertville, breaking a tie with the late Woody Clements of Holt as the longest head coaching tenure in Alabama high school football history. Harris’s tenure at Hubbertville also exceed the tenure of  current Vestavia Hills coach, Buddy Anderson, by one year. Harris has seen a lot of changes since he started coaching at Hubbertville in 1977, and he has experienced both good and bad seasons. Yet Harris said that he loves what he does and has no immediate plans to retire.

 

Berry hopes to rebound from 3-7 season


Shown is the 2018 Berry High School football team.

Coach Caleb Hynds said before last season that he had always wanted to be a head football coach. He admits that last year was a learning process, but said his determination and the determination of his players is stronger than ever. “Last season was tough at times, but I learned a lot and it was a big adjustment for both me and the players,” he said. “I’m very hopeful that the results will be somewhat different this season.”

 

Awning falls st Bolling's during thunderstorm


This awning fell at Bolling's Pharmacy during a thunderstorm on Aug. 17.

A sudden flash thunderstorm at approximately 4:15 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 17 sent this heavy metal awning crashing into the front of Bolling’s Pharmacy. The awning apparently fell due to a sudden strong wind burst generated by the thunderstorm. Fortunately, the awning did not break any windows and no one was hurt during the incident.

 

County Commission hires engineer, road supervisor


County Attorney Allen Grocholski, Commissioner Joe Acker and Commissioner Barry Corkren are shown at the Aug. 13 meeting of the Fayette County Commission.

The Fayette County Commission hired a new engineer and shop supervisor during its regularly scheduled Aug. 13 meeting. Current County Engineer Luke Porter resigned his position at the last commission meeting, with his resignation becoming effective on Aug. 31. At the time of his resignation, Porter told the commissioners that Mike Tomlin had also expressed an interest in returning to the shop and resigning his position as road supervisor. The commissioners accepted the resignations and posted each position during the same meeting. After a brief executive session during the most recent Aug.

BHS Alumni Association holds reunion


Shown are the current Miss Berry, Tyner Beth Bowling and the first Miss Berry, Ettie Grey Bozeman Clark.

The 2018 Berry High School Alumni Association reunion was highlighted by recognizing former Miss Berry winners. Special groups were a part of those present. The first Miss Berry, Ettie Grey Bozeman Clark, and the current Miss Berry, Tyner Beth Bowling, were present. A mother/daughter duo also attended, Charlotte Cannon Kilgore and Crystal Kilgore Elliers. Barbara Logan Clark and Rachel Moore Lawler, a grandmother - granddaughter were recognized. Tracy Clark Fields and Mandie Clark Mauldin are sisters who were crowned Miss Berry.

FMS will hold eighth grade graduation in May

As part of Fayette Middle School’s commitment to prepare students for the adventures and rigor that high school brings, the eighth grade teachers and Principal Rodney Hannah have decided to begin the tradition of holding an eighth grade graduation ceremony at Fayette Middle School each May. While the eighth grade graduation will be an exciting event for our students, we understandably find it necessary to implement eligibility requirements for all eighth graders who wish to participate in this end-of-the-year activity.

 

Fayette County Sports HOF inducts 11 new members


The inductees into the 2018 Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame Class are, from left: Steve Johnson and Pat Johnson (accepting on behalf of their father, the late James Bercy Johnson), Brooke Everette Hynds, Benny Everette, Joe Gladden, Niki Arendale, ReGina Bigham Rice, Timothy Morris, Michael “Mookie” Moore, Brandi Burris, Jenni Thomley and Billy Fred Webster (accepting on behalf of his father, the late Fred Webster).

The 2018 Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame was held on Saturday, August 11 and inducted 11 new members to its honorees. Tom Roberts, former Fayette County High School athlete and retired director of broadcasting for the University of Alabama, emceed the event and presented the awards to the recipients.

Dogwood Productions hold reunion


Shown is the former cast and crew of Dogwood Productions who attended the Aug. 5 reunion.

Many members of the former cast and crew of Dogwood Productions gathered on Aug. 5 at the Fayette Civic Center for a reunion. They performed many of the songs that they had sung in the plays, “Come Back to God America” and “The Gospel According to Scrooge,” while reminiscing about the glory days of the production company.

 

Berry holds monthly council meeting


Shown is the Berry Town Council at its Aug. 6 monthly meeting. From left: Mayor Jimmy Madison and councilmen: Wesley Jacobs, Chris Rice, Russell Madison, Troyce Townsel and Calvin Madison.

The Berry City Council held a brief regular monthly meeting on Aug. 6 at Berry Town Hall.
All town councilmen were present for the meeting, in addition to Mayor Jimmy Madison and Town Clerk Marie McCluskey. Berry Police Chief Gerald DeDeaux was not present at the meeting to present the monthly police department report to the council. The only item of business on the agenda for the meeting was an appointment to the Berry Park Board to replace Shane Westbrook. Westbrook is now an employee for the Town of Berry, and as an employee, is unable to remain on the board.

 

Reese speaks to Chamber about The Arc


Wade Reese is shown speaking at the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce’s First Tuesday Luncheon.

Wade Reese, executive director of The Arc of Fayette, Lamar and Marengo Counties, spoke at the Fayette Area Chamber of Commerce’s First Tuesday Luncheon concerning the services that his agency provides to clients in the area. Reese said that The Arc is a not-for-profit organization that is dedicated to helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities thrive in their communities.

Lawsuit dismissed against sheriffs

A lawsuit filed by The Southern Center for Human Rights and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice against 49 Alabama sheriffs has been dismissed after a judge granted a judgement in favor of the defendants. The lawsuit was filed against the sheriffs, including Sheriff Rodney Ingle of Fayette, in an effort to gain access to inmate food records that the advocacy groups claim they had been denied. The lawsuit alleged that some sheriffs have been mishandling funds that were intended to adequately feed jail inmates.

 

Fayette's new fire chief brings experience to job


Shannon Taylor is the new Fayette Fire Chief.

Shannon Taylor brings a lot of experience with him to his job as Fayette’s new fire chief. He retired from Tuscaloosa Fire and Rescue in 2015 after 20 years of service, then continued to serve as fire chief at Green Pond before taking the job at Fayette.
He said that he is excited about moving to Fayette, a place he hopes to call home throughout his true retirement years when he finally hangs up his fire helmet.

 

Fayette BOE hires new personnel prior to start of school year


Shown is the Fayette County Board of Education at its Aug. 2 meeting. From left: Superintendent Jim Burkhalter, Board President Tom Hubbert, board members Sam Sullivan, Keith Madison, Tim Fields, John Stowe and Waldon Tucker.

The Fayette County Board of Education approved additional school personnel changes in preparation for the start of the new school year on Aug. 9.The board accepted the resignations of Abby Sanders, teacher at Fayette Elementary and Morris Moore, social studies teacher at Fayette County High School who also had coaching duties at both Fayette Middle and Fayette High School. These resignations are effective immediately.

 

FCHS cheerleaders attend UCA Camp


FCHS Varsity Cheerleaders from left, front row: Captain Erin Harville and Co-Captain Leah Howton. Second row: Rachel Freeman, Anna Mills and Camryn Hayes. Third row: Janya Savage, Marlee Yerby, Layla Birmingham and Samantha Holliman. Fourth row: Iteria Walker, Ali Burnett, Jacie Junkin, Kayla Mansfield and Grace Tucker.

The Fayette County High School Varsity and Junior Varsity cheerleaders attended a Universal Cheerleaders Association (UCA) Camp July 31 - Aug. 1. While at camp, each group learned new cheers, sideline chants and a rally dance. They also worked on new stunts and pyramids to incorporate into their materials.

 

Memories from Dogwood Productions reunion

The former cast and crew of Dogwood Productions held a reunion on Sunday, Aug. 5 at the Fayette Civic Center that brought back many memories of the glory days of the group’s performances. For years, Dogwood Productions held annual performances of “Come Back to God America” and “The Gospel According to Scrooge” that packed the Civic Center. The performers were local and always amazed the audiences by their musical and vocal talents.

 

FES selected as Alabama Bicentennial School

Governor Kay Ivey announced Friday, Aug. 3 the 200 schools selected as official Alabama Bicentennial Schools. Ivey was joined at the announcement by superintendents, principals, teachers, students, and administrators from the selected schools along with legislators and other dignitaries from across the state. Fayette Elementary School was one of the schools selected as an Alabama Bicentennial School.

 

Fayette Sports HOF is August 11

The 2018 Fayette County Sports Hall of Fame Banquet will be held Saturday, August 11 at 6 p.m. in the Earl McDonald Auditorium on the Fayette Campus of Bevill State Community College. The inductees are: Berry High School: Niki Arendale, James “Timothy” Morris, ReGina Bigham Rice and Fred Webster. Fayette County High School: Brandi Burris, Joe Gladden, Kenneth Michael Moore and Jennifer Thomley. Hubbertville High School: Benny Everette, Brooke Everette Hynds and James “Burcy” Johnson.

 

West Alabama Barbell Club strikes gold in West Virgina


Three members of the West Alabama Barbell Club competed recently in the national championship of powerlifting. Shown in front is Sydney Farris and behind from left are: Jessie Lindsey and Alex Moore.

A trio of Fayette County residents ventured into the hills of West Virgina and brought home the gold during the U.S. National Powerlifting Association’s Drug-Tested National Championships, held in Charleston, West Virgina. Alex Moore, Jessie Lindsey and Sydney Farris competed in meet and won seven gold medals and one bronze medals in the eight events that they competed in. They also set several national and world records in the process.

 

100th Birthday Celebration


Helping celebrate her special day, shown from left are: Lenora Carr, Wilbert Carr, James Moore, Hariette Moore, Frances Carr, Marie Carr, Henry Carr and Birdie C. Young.

Frances Carr celebrated her 100th birthday on July 27 at the Fayette Long-Term Care Facility in Fayette with family and friends. Her shirt expressed the sentiments of all her friends who were in attendance, stating; “Not everyone looks this good at 100.” Frances Carr is the oldest current member of McConnell Chapel AME Zion Church in Fayette. Helping celebrate her special day, shown from left are: Lenora Carr, Wilbert Carr, James Moore, Hariette Moore, Frances Carr, Marie Carr, Henry Carr and Birdie C. Young.

Porter resigns as Fayette County Engineer


Faye Meharg (standing), Fayette County Aging Program Director, is shown speaking to the Fayette County Commissioners concerning a proposal for cleaning services. Also pictured from left are Fayette County attorney Allen Grocholski, Commissioner Joe Acker and Commissioner Barry Corkren.

In a move that appeared to take most of the commissioners by surprise, Luke Porter resigned his position as Fayette County Engineer during the continuation of the commission’s July 23 meeting. Near the close of the regular meeting on Monday, July 23, Porter asked the commission to allow him an executive session to discuss a personnel matter. Following the executive session, the commission recessed the meeting until 2:30 p.m. on the following day.

Linton signs baseball scholarship


Shown at the signing front row, from left: Amy Linton (mom), Bret Linton and Gene Linton (dad). Back row: Ricky Bowen, owner and instructor at Bowen Baseball Academy; Bret Linton’s sister, Riley Linton; and Scott Humber, travel-team baseball coach.

Bret Linton, 2018 graduate of Fayette County High School, held a scholarship signing on July 21 at the Fayette Civic Center. Bret Linton signed to play catcher on the baseball team of the MUW Owls of Columbus, Miss., while pursuing a degree in business. Bret Linton thanked MUW, his coaches, family and friends for their support and help throughout his baseball career.

Dubose addresses council concerning work partnership


Russell Dubose, human resource director for Phifer Wire, spoke to the council about the company’s partnership with schools to help train workers for industries.

Russell Dubose, human resource director for Phifer Wire, spoke to the Fayette City Council during its July 24 meeting about the partnership that local industries are making with schools to help train skilled workers. Dubose said that Phifer has been a part of the Fayette community for more than 10 years and looks forward to its continued growth in the area following its current expansion into the former Arvin building. He said the company’s decision to expand to Fayette was a wise choice.

 

Return of theater to Fayette a success

Local theater production returned to the stage at the Fayette Civic Center last week to the delight of many in the Fayette community. Self Express Productions, based in Winfield, presented five performances of the Disney Classic “Mary Poppins” and proved once again that there are many talented people in Fayette and the surrounding counties who are more than capable of thrilling audiences with their musical and theatrical talents.

 

Theatrical performance of Mary Poppins at Fayette Civic Center


A portion of the cast from Self Express’ theatrical production of “Mary Poppins” is shown during a scene featuring the song, “Just a Spoonful of Sugar.” Pictured from left are: Ava Grace South (Michael Banks), Lily Beth Davis (Jane Banks), Casey Kauffman (co-producer and playing the lead role of Mary Poppins), and Brandi Davis (Winifred Banks).

The stage is again scheduled to come alive at the Fayette Civic Center Thursday, July 26 - Sunday July 29 as Self Express Productions performs the Disney classic “Mary Poppins.”
The movie version of theis classic, starring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews, remains popular more than 50 years after its release. Its popularity is so immense that a new film version, “Mary Poppins Returns,” is slated for release later this year.

 

Board of Education hires Raines as deputy superintendent


Mary Raines was approved as the new deputy superintendent at the July 17 meeting of the Fayette County Board of Education.

The Fayette County Board of Education approved the hiring of Mary Raines as the new deputy superintendent, following the resignation of current deputy superintendent Vic Herren, during its July 17 meeting. Raines has served as the board’s director of  curriculum and technology for the past few years and was unanimously approved by the board members in attendance to replace Herren. Herren resigned to take a job teaching seventh grade math at New Hope Middle School in Mississippi.

 

Freeman, Yerby winners in local primary runoff


Fayette Police Chief Danny Jenkins (left) congratulates Byron Yerby after the results for sheriff were announced.

Mike Freeman and Byron Yerby were the big winners in the Republican primary runoff for local office held on July 17. Freeman defeated Mike Newman 2,288 (67.49 percent) to 1,102 (32.51 percent) to win his party’s nomination for Fayette County probate judge. Freeman will face the Democratic nominee Greg Lowery, who defeated Scott Porter in the June 5 primary, in the Nov. 6 general election.

 

Fayette City Council approves hiring of new fire chief


Shown from left are councilmen Jerry Nichols, Cedric Wilson, Jason Cowart, Mayor Ray Nelson, Councilman Eddy Campbell, Councilwoman Linda McCraw and City Clerk Dawn Clapp at the council’s July 10 meeting.

The Fayette City Council approved Mayor Ray Nelson’s selection for new fire chief during its July 10 meeting. Shannon Taylor of Brookwood was selected by Mayor Nelson as the new fire chief replacing Tony Ellis who retired last month. The council is required to affirm the mayor’s choice, and after Councilman Jason Cowart made a motion that was seconded by Councilwoman Linda McCraw, the council unanimously approved Taylor as the next fire chief.

 

Commissioners discuss budget expenditures, approve mass notification system


Commissioner John Underwood, Commission Chairman Shane Hughes and Commissioner Joe Acker are shown inspecting the inside of the former Shop & Save Supermarket that is now owned by the commission. The building will become a supplemental annex for the county.

The Fayette County Commission held a work session prior to its regular monthly meeting on July 9. County Administrator John Gordon told the commissioners during the work session that most departments and items were well within their budgeted amounts after nine months of the 12-month fiscal budget for 2018.

 

Fayette, Berry and Fayette County participate in sales tax holiday

The Municipalities of Fayette and Berry, in conjunction with Fayette County and the State of Alabama, will participate in the annual school sales tax holiday on July 20-22. This is the 13th year that Alabama has held the tax holiday, and the second time that the event has been held in July. The sales tax holiday will begin on Friday, July 20 at 12:01 a.m. and end on Sunday, July 22 at 11:59 p.m.

 

Newman elected as President Pro Tem of school board


Jeff Newman, District 7 representative on the Alabama Board of Education

The Alabama Board of Education held its regular board meeting on Tuesday, July 10 in Montgomery and elected District 7 board member Jeff Newman as President Pro Tem of the board for the upcoming year. Newman, who previously served as vice-president of the board in 2015-16, is a former Lamar County Superintendent of Education. His district includes Fayette and Lamar counties. Newman was elected to the board in Nov. 2012 and was re-elected in Nov. 2016 for a second term.

 

Fayette EMA Director Russ Taylor receives certification


Russ Taylor is shown at work in the Fayette County EMA office on July 9.

Fayette County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) Director Russ Taylor recently completed the educational requirements and training to receive the designation of Advanced Level Emergency Manager. To become an Advanced Level Emergency Manager, Taylor had to complete 700 hours of core curriculum coursework and 300 hours of management-related training.