History of Oneonta Fire Department

As a result of writer’s oversight, the history of Oneonta Fire Department was omitted from last week’s article on the unit. The following summarizes the history of the county’s largest department. The department was formed in 1924 as an all-volunteer department. The first piece of equipment acquired was a hose wagon that was typically pulled by firemen and attached to […]

Oneontan’s horse new stud at Auburn

Biduino, son of a horse-racing legend, has the honor of being the first non-university owned quarterhorse stallion invited to stand at stud at Auburn University, according to his owner David Clyde. Clyde is a long-time equine professional who owns a quarter horse facility along U.S. 231 in Oneonta. He and former partner Joe Fricks of Eutaw bought Biduino from lifetime […]

Local man lights up the sky

Browsing through the library, 11-yearold Michael Siefker searched for an interesting read. Settling on a book of magic, he found a recipe for “black powder.” As most young boys do, Michael found explosives intriguing. At the time, the ingredients were readily available at the corner store; so with list in hand, Michael went shopping. For weeks, his attempts were unsuccessful. […]

Year ends with personnel decisions

Oneonta City Board of Education

The Oneonta City Board of Education granted tenure to 11 faculty and staff members at last week’s meeting. The personnel moves were made after the board went into an executive session for more than an hour to discuss job performance, according to board president Bill Burdette. Granted tenure were teachers Rosemary Atkinson (kindergarten), Lori Fendley (special education), Melissa Gehri (fourth […]

Lest we forget…

Flowers placed at the Blount County Veterans Memorial show the striking red, white, and blue of the United States of America. The memorial, located on the front lawn of the Blount County Courthouse, was dedicated on Nov. 11, 1992, Veterans Day. The monument, which was sponsored by local organizations The American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, and Veterans of Foreign Wars […]

Economic groups identify immediate needs and priorities

The Blount County Industrial Development Board and its operating entity the Blount Economic Development Alliance last week got down to the more interesting business of deciding what needs to be done to pursue their joint mission. Priority: office support First, Cynthia Wingo, executive director of the Alliance and its only staff member, made it clear she needed office support. When […]

County roads ‘bombed’ with potholes as officials struggle with budget shortfalls, stress

No relief in sight...

A new figure of speech has appeared in county road discussions in recent months. “Our roads are so full of holes, they look like they’ve been bombed.” That’s the long form. The short form is simply “bombed out.” The image arises from a fiscal reality – inadequate funds to fix the roads – and an increasing frustration on the part […]

Agribusiness center director arrested

The executive director of the Blount County-Oneonta Agribusiness Center was arrested last week and charged with theft. Michelle Lee, 42, of Blountsville, was arrested by the Blount County Sheriff’s Department and charged with first-degree theft. “After the discovery of the potential accounting error, the board voted to turn the matter over to the Blount County Sheriff’s Department,” said Ed Lowe, […]


Holy and wholly armed

Background Scripture: Ephesians 6:10-18. Devotional Reading: Luke 11:14-23. I once knew a family who had been lifelong church members. But, when the family matriarch died, they grew irate, loudly condemning God for his audacity in taking their mother. I’m not sure they ever darkened the door of a church again. I have since wondered why and how their church failed […]



A reader of my column in White County, Ga., alerted me recently of a development at the courthouse there. Following the lead of many government entities around the country, county officials have established a public display featuring the Ten Commandments along with some other historical documents. The reader recalled a column I wrote a few years back about why it […]