Berry finishes second in its invitational

Kyla Edmonson is shown pitching for Berry.

Berry began its 2021 softball season with a 6-2 loss to Sulligent on Feb. 25. The losing pitcher for Berry was Kyla Edmonson, who allowed two earned runs on five hits in five innings of work.
Allie Taylor was two-for-three with a run scored, Gracyn Hydrick was two-for-three with a RBI, and Caitlyn Banks was two-for-three with a double. The Lady Wildcats lost its second game of the season 4-1 to South Lamar.


Fayette baseball off to good start

Langston Strawbridge is shown pitching for Fayette against Hubbertville.

Despite losing its opening game of the week to Caldonia by the score of 3-0, Fayette finished the week strong with three consecutive wins. Landon Lowe started the game at pitcher for Fayette and suffered the loss, allowing three runs and only six hits in 4 2/3 innings of work. Blake Johnson pitched the final 1 1/3 innings for the Tigers. Cooper Sanford had a double for Fayette, while Dylan Schloerb, Colton McCaleb and Blake Johnson each added hits for the Tigers.


Lady Tigers open season with two wins

Lauren Seale is shown pitching for Fayette against Brilliant.

The Fayette County High School Lady Tigers’ softball team got the 2021 season off to a good start by winning its first two games. Fayette opened the season with a 4-1 victory over the Dora Lady Bulldogs. Dora scored a run in the top of the fifth inning to take the lead before Fayette rallied in the bottom of the sixth to score four runs and seal the win.

Local businessman to build ‘The District’

Pictured are Jerry O’Dell and Pam Blackwood standing in front of the property that their company, Home Based Properties LLC, recently purchased. O’Dell said that they plan to completely renovate the upstairs portion of the property, the former Turner Hotel, and transform the site into an area that will be a focal point of the town for both local residents and visitors.

Local businessman Jerry O’Dell has long had a vision to enhance the viability of the downtown area of Fayette. He, along with his business partner Pam Blackwood of Northport, recently bought the former Turner Hotel property and the retail stores below the property. Together, they envision transforming the property into a focal point of Temple Avenue known as “The District.”

Fayette experiences wintry weather

This is a portion of the drainage ditch at Guthrie Smith Park in Fayette that froze during the wintry weather that the area experienced last week.

Fayette County saw a wintry mix of weather during the first portion of last week that closed school and many businesses for at least part of the week. The sleet, snow, and freezing rain began on Monday, Feb. 15, although most major roads in the county were still in decent conditions until about dark. The conditions deteriorated rapidly overnight, and almost everyone in the county awoke on the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 16 to light snow falling and ice on the roads.

Belk selects new council member

Belk Mayor Mike Ellison is shown administering the oath of office to new Councilman Joe Waldrop at the beginning of the Feb. 9 council meeting.

The Belk Town Council selected Joe Waldrop at its Feb. 9 meeting to replace Jeannie Hollingsworth as the new member of the Belk Town Council. All board members were present for the meeting. Hollingsworth, a longtime member of the Belk Town Council, died as the result of COVID-related issues on Dec. 18, 2020. Councilman Bill Davis nominated Waldrop to fill the vacant council position at the start of the meeting. There were no additional nominations and Councilwoman Karen Strickland made a motion to close the nominations.

BOE changes length of grading periods for schools

The Fayette County Board of Education voted to change the length of its grading periods from six weeks to nine weeks during its Feb. 18 meeting. Board member Julie Stough was absent from the meeting with all other members present. Many school systems in the same geographic area as the Fayette School System have already changed to four nine-week grading periods from the traditional six six-week grading periods formerly used. It was explained to the board members that the extra weeks would allow for more testing between grading periods.

Lady Wildcats lose in sub-regionals

Allie Taylor (33) is shown shooting a free throw for Berry.

The Berry Lady Wildcats lost a heartbreaker at home to Meek in a sub-regional basketball game by the score of 59-56. The game was close throughout, as the teams traded leads many times before Meek closed out the game with a road win to advance to regional play against R.A. Hubbard. Berry was led in scoring by Brooke Hill, who scored 23 points and had five steals during the game.


FCHS baseball splits series with Bibb County

The Fayette County High School baseball team lost the Friday game and won the Saturday game against Bibb County to begin its 2021 season with a 1-1 record. The opening game on Friday night was a close, high-scoring affair as the Tigers lost 14-13. Langston Strawbridge and Cooper Sanford led Fayette in hitting during the game with two hits each. Strawbridge had four RBIs during the game. Blake Johnson started the game as pitcher for Fayette, allowing four hits and five runs in two innings while striking out a batter.

Secretary of State John Merrill visits Fayette

Shown clockwise, from left front: Nolan Maddox, Ty Burnett, John Killian, Jep Fowler, Rebekah Fowler, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill and Preston Jones.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill visited Fayette on Tuesday, Feb. 9 and stopped by a local restaurant to eat with several Fayette citizens prior to speaking at a meeting.  Merrill has visited each of Alabama’s 67 counties at least once during the year for each of the past several years.

Celebrating 101!

Christine Fink is shown celebrating her 101st birthday.

Christine Fink, a resident at the Fayette Medical Center Long-Term Care facility, celebrated her 101st birthday on Friday, Feb. 12 with pizza and a special birthday cake. Fink said that she is doing good and still enjoys talking to her friends and the staff at Fayette Long-Term Care. “They have been wonderful to me,” she said of the staff. When asked her secret for long life, Fink replied, “Go to church, believe in the Good Lord, and say your prayers.”

Reed gives update on state legislative session

Senator Greg Reed, who was recently elected President Pro Tem of the Senate, said that the legislative session has already passed three key pieces of legislation that will help individuals and businesses within the state. The legislation passed included eliminating the paying of state sales tax on any type of COVID benefits received from the federal government. This includes stimulus checks for individuals and the Payroll Protection Plan benefits for businesses. Also, the legislature passed legislation that will protect businesses from frivolous lawsuits in relation to COVID liability.

City Council approves purchase of speed patrol trailer

Shown from left at the Feb. 9 meeting of the Fayette City Council: Mayor Rod Northam, City Councilman Tommy Williams, Councilwoman Virettia Whiteside and Councilman Eddy Campbell.

The Fayette City Council approved the purchase of a speed patrol trailer during its Feb. 9 meeting. All council members were present for the meeting. Prior to the start of the meeting, Dr. John Killian, director of the Fayette County Baptist Association, opened the meeting with prayer. Tre Pinkerton, a senior at Fayette County High School, led those in attendance in the Pledge of Allegiance.


Commission agrees to partnership to pave McConnell Loop

The Fayette County Commission agreed at its Feb. 8 meeting to partner with the City of Fayette to seek funds that would allow for the paving and/or resurfacing of McConnell Loop and 25th Street NE. All commissioners were present for the meeting. Commission Chairman Mike Freeman said that the City of Fayette had approached him with the idea of a partnership that would allow the paving of McConnell Loop and the resurfacing of 25th St. NE. He said that the combining of the projects could result in an overall savings of approximately $90,000 on the project.


Lady Wildcats win Area 9 Championship

Pictured are the Berry Lady Wildcats, 2021 Area 9 Tournament Champions.

The Berry girls’ basketball team was on top of its game last week, as they won the area tournament. They defeated Holy Spirit by a score of 74-37 on Tuesday, Feb. 9 in the Area 9 semifinals. Brooke Hill led the Lady Wildcats in scoring with 27 points, 11 rebounds, five assists and four steals. Zoe Mauldin followed with 14 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks, while Allie Taylor added 13 points to the scoreboard. Katelyn Willcutt scored nine points with 10 rebounds, while Anna Kate VanDee had six points, Maggie Hammack had three points and Lynsie Abernathy had two points.


Fayette ends season with losses in tournament

The Fayette varsity boys and girls basketball teams ended their seasons last week with losses to Haleyville in the area tournament. The boys’ team lost to Haleyville by a score of 67-36. Steve White led the Tigers in scoring with 10 points, followed by Landon Lowe with seven points.
Darius Loyd and Lewis Cannon each scored six points, while Tucker Whitley added five points and Tucker Sanford scored two points. Lowe and Whitley were playing their first games with the varsity, after playing the remainder of the season on the junior varsity.


Hubbertville Lions conclude season with tournament losses

Gage Key of Hubbertville is shown shooting a jump shot as Deon Mayfield defends for Berry.

The Hubbertville Lions were defeated by the Berry Wildcats in the Class 1A, Area 9 Tournament on Monday, Feb. 8, by the score of 72-41. Senior Gage Key led the scoring with 13 points, with Brady Porter adding seven points. Gage Alexander and Carter Hollingsworth each added six points, while Cade Fisher scored three points for the Lions. Austin Berryhill, Brodie Porter and Greyson Key each added two points to round out the scoring. The boys finished their season with a 3-18 record.

The circus comes to town

Pictured is one of the elephants in the Loomis Brothers Circus.

The Loomis Brothers Circus made a two-show appearance in Fayette on Thursday, Feb. 4. The circus featured clowns, elephants, tigers, horses, a high-wire act, and many other elements that comprise a traditional circus. Justin Loomis, owner and ringmaster of the circus, said that he always looks forward to bringing the circus to Fayette. He said the people of Fayette are always very supportive of the Loomis Brothers Circus.

Glen Allen makes contribution to school, VFD

Pictured is the Glen Allen Town Hall.

The Glen Allen Town Council met on Tuesday, Feb. 2 at the town’s community center. Councilors Bobbie S. McCraw and Dustin Youngblood were not in attendance for the regularly scheduled monthly meeting. The council unanimously elected to make an in-kind donation to the Fayette County Board of Education to assist organizations at Hubbertville School. Mayor Allen J. Dunavant brought before the council a proposal to continue the annual donation, which has been the practice of the council since 2005.

Berry Council approves new street lights for town

The Berry Town Council approved the installation of new, brighter LED lights for the streets during its Feb. 1 meeting. All council members were present for the meeting. The council received two proposals from Alabama Power concerning the installation of new lights. The first proposal stated the cost for the replacement of the lights with 53 watt bulbs at all locations. The cost for that proposal was $218.92 per month, or $2,627.04 per year. The second proposal was to use 53 watt bulbs only for Highway 18 through the city limits of Berry, with 35 watt bulbs used at all other locations.