Citizens asked to meet motor vehicle ID rules anyway

One provision of the new state immigration law requires citizens to provide proof of citizenship when applying for or renewing motor vehicle license tags. U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn Monday issued a temporary injunction blocking the law from going into effect tomorrow, giving herself until Sept. 28 to rule on multiple aspects of the law’s constitutionality. An immediate local impact […]

Mental health authority seeks 2012 funding increase

Speaking before the Oneonta City Council, Jefferson-Blount-St. Clair Mental Health Authority associate director Jim Crego asked the officials to increase the municipality’s annual appropriation $300 to $4800 for fiscal 2012. City manager Ed Lowe had previously issued a call for groups who receive city funding to present their requests for the upcoming year. Municipal councils usually approve their budgets during […]

Are they taking away the drug card?

Short and long answer: No, but modified coverage is being discussed

Questions surfaced last week when a county employee expressed concern in a Facebook posting that “the Blount County Commission along with the probate judge are going to take away your drug card on your insurance AND go up on the insurance premiums. NO raises will be given unless you count the ones the commissioners will give themselves.” By the next […]

Snead council and developer reach accord on Lee Ridge Drive

Following a pre-council work/discussion session of more than an hour, the Snead Town Council endorsed an agreement offered by Mayor Tim Kent. Attorneys Scott McPherson for the town and John McLaughlin representing developer Terry Stover had presented arguments supporting each side’s position. Engineers Robert Nelson, for Snead, and John Hyde, for Stover, also exchanged statements, while a few of Lee […]

County to solicit bids on covered bridge repairs

After two years of recurring lengthy approval delays, the plans and specifications for renovation of Blount County’s three covered bridges have been approved in their final version by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT). The approval clears the way for bid-letting by the county. Appeals to Gov. Bentley and ALDOT director John Cooper apparently served to move the project forward […]

Breakfast speaker Lee lays it on the line

“Politics must stop at the schoolhouse door.” That’s from President Bill Clinton’s State of the Union address Feb.4, 1997. I thought of these words when I read recently that former Gov. Bob Riley intends to create an educational foundation to promote charter schools, merit pay for teachers, and consolidation of rural schools. Goodness knows Alabama public education needs all the […]

Alabama Scene

New Bingo trial start date clashes with BCS Championship Game

Former Lt. Governor and Attorney General Bill Baxley must be the most optimistic Crimson Tide fan in the state. Last Thursday after both defense lawyers and prosecutors suggested that U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson postpone the proposed Oct. 3 start of the second trial of VictoryLand owner Milton McGregor and six other defendants, Thompson moved the trial date to January […]

‘You never know what you can get away with until you try’

Representative Bachus speaks of past and possibly future service

Addressing the Blount County Republican Party, Sixth District United States Congressman Spencer Bachus began by reviewing the development of his political consciousness and his first decision to seek political office. He later related stories touching on his conclusion to align with the Republican Party, citing historic events during the Great Depression and beyond. Confessing an awkwardness, Bachus noted that some […]

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat August 31, 1977

At last – a new school! Monday, Oneonta’s new school complex received the first generation to begin school under its new roof. All Oneonta students, elementary, junior high, and high school are now housed under one gigantic roof on Hwy 75 southwest of town. Although construction will not be completely finished for several weeks, the complex includes three gyms, a […]