Democracy at work

Over the last weeks, I have had the opportunity to watch not only our legal system but our democracy at work. Last week I attended the Hayden Town Council where the mayor with outstretched arms welcomed “all who will” to annex into Hayden. The council sat to the mayor’s left and right unified and nodding with agreement as different people […]

Packed house

Basketball fans from around the county filled Oneonta High School’s O.R. Ratliff Gymnasium last week for the Blount County Tournament. As evidenced by the picture above, Saturday’s finals meant standing-room only for spectators. Tournament titles were won by Locust Fork (B-team girls), Hayden (B-team boys and varsity girls), and Oneonta (varsity boys).

Community pitches in to restore town park

Town of Cleveland

Baseball is a game that can be played anywhere there is an open field or a vacant lot, as long as someone brings a bat, a ball, and something to mark the bases. The Cleveland Panthers, however, will be playing on a newly renovated field thanks to a community that supports them and the baseball programs there. In this small […]

After emotional council meeting…

Blount County DA files suit against Warrior tax ordinance

Blount County District Attorney Tommy Rountree last week filed a civil summons against the City of Warrior in Blount County Circuit Court challenging the legality of that city’s ordinance #2009-04. The ordinance imposes a 1.5 percent sales tax on businesses inside the city’s police jurisdiction, which includes several square miles of west Blount County, including businesses along a stretch of […]

Former Blount Countian intern crowned Miss UNA

Erica Gholson of Pine Mountain was crowned Miss UNA at the university’s annual pageant last weekend, also winning first place for talent with her vocal performance of the novelty song “Log Driver’s Waltz.” She will represent the University of North Alabama in this year’s Miss Alabama Pageant in June. She is the second local student to win Miss UNA in […]

Amplifying Rosa Mine complaint…

Environmental coalition petitions EPA to reform ADEM’s water pollution permitting program

Fourteen Alabama environmental organizations, led by the Alabama Rivers Alliance and including Friends of the Locust Fork River, have filed a petition with the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to strip the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) of its authority over water pollution permitting until it is able meet minimum requirements of the federal Clean Water Act. “The water […]



Background Scripture: Matthew 13:54-58; Luke 4:16-30. Devotional Reading Isaiah 53:1-9. Reading our scripture passages for this week, Matthew 13:54-58 and Luke 4:16-30 and contemplating Jesus’ homecoming to his native Nazareth, I remembered a homecoming of my own that took place on September 10, 1950, in the Park Evangelical United Brethren Church in Reading, Penn. I had just started my junior […]


GOSPEL BENEFIT SINGING for the Charles Edward Green family will be held Saturday, Feb. 6, at 6 p.m. at Blountsville VFW Hall. Special singers are the Spurgeons, Faithmen, Head’n Home, and The Singing Best. Concessions will offer hot dogs, chili, pinto beans and cornbread, cake, and pie. Cakes and other goods will be auctioned. FIRST INDEPENDENT CHURCH, Oneonta, will have […]



I received considerable response last week regarding what I wrote about Pat Robertson’s alleged conversations with God. So clearly, going after him this week for saying that the earthquake in Haiti was the result of a Haitian pact with the devil would surely provoke a lively debate. But the depth of suffering in Haiti deserves a more thoughtful assessment than […]

Alabama Scene

An unemployment tax tsunami hits state businesses

Last February, Gov. Bob Riley refused to support expanding Alabama’s unemployment compensation program so the state could qualify for an extra $66 million in federal economic stimulus funds. That decision meant that thousands of out-of-work Alabamians who may have qualified for the expanded benefits, such as people who worked part-time, would continue to be blocked from collecting unemployment in the […]

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