The public pension problem

Alabama Scene

Large investment losses sustained by public pension funds throughout the nation are forcing many states to spend more taxpayer dollars to keep their systems solvent, boost the retirement age for new hires, and seek higher contributions from employees. The Center for Retirement Research at Boston College reports that public pensions need $270 billion in additional contributions over the next four […]

The bookworm sez Wishing for a Snow Day

They are the stories your kids and grandkids love best. They can’t hear enough about the time your father was horsing around, fell off a sled, and skidded down the hill on his hinder. They laugh at tales of your brother, who always managed to cheat at games. And they’ve heard about your childhood fishing trips so many times, they […]

THE BIBLE SPEAKS The gods of fashion

Background Scripture: Isaiah 44. Devotional Reading: Psalms 106:40-48. I do not recall the headlines and lead stories of our local newspaper on January 1, 2010, but I do remember that it was not long before I was thinking that the New Year was getting off to a disappointing start: an economic crisis that was not swiftly being resolved, everincreasing ideological […]


COMMUNITY CUMBERLAND PRESBYTERIAN will have New Year’s Eve singing Friday, Dec. 31, beginning at 8 p.m. Singers will be the BlueGrass Gospel from Cullman. Snacks will be served that night at the church, located three miles south of Oneonta on Ala 75 at Allgood. For more information, contact Marfaye Love, 274-0636. FRIENDSHIP BAPTIST ASSOCIATION invites everyone to attend the Dec. […]



Lord, first of all, thank you for the careful and creative way in which you have designed this world. You have made this planet a marvelous place, filled with life and beauty. It is a privilege to recognize that we humans are a part of your amazing invention. Having said that, it is necessary to also say we are sorry. […]

Casey completes staff

Blount County District Attorney-elect Pamela Casey has completed her staff with the announcement of the hiring of three employees this week, including two assistant district attorneys. Jeremiah Giles will serve as an assistant district attorney. He comes to Blount County after serving as assistant district attorney for Baldwin County, a position he has held since 2006. Born and raised in […]

Blount native helping lead nonprofit

Laura Crandall Brown passed away more than a year ago – Dec. 14, 2009, to be exact – from ovarian cancer. She left behind her husband Walter Brown, her father Jim Crandall, her mother Cecilia Crandall, sister Emma Crandall, and many close friends. Laura may be gone but her legacy continues in the form of the Laura Crandall Brown Ovarian […]

Winter beauty at its best

Top news stories of 2010


The following are, in The Blount Countian’s judgment, the most significant news stories of the past year, based on the number of articles devoted to the subject, or in a few cases, based on the significance to the public of breaking news events. The number of topics selected is somewhat arbitrary; the top 10 wasn’t quite broad enough to cover […]

I’ll be thankful at Thanksgiving, but as for Christmas I gotta have it all’

I just have to get some stuff off my heart. … I was wrapping presents for my daughter, taking a mental inventory of the items that we had gotten her and what Santa Claus was getting her, hoping she was going to be excited, surprised, and happy with what she would be receiving. Then I wondered “will she be thankful?” […]