Immigration law impacts county

A number of procedures affecting citizenship identification mandated in the state’s new immigration law will now go into effect immediately, following a delay until Sept. 28 for a federal judge to rule on whether to stay them indefinitely. Judge Sharon Blackburn ruled last week, in effect permitting much of the law to go into effect and blocking only selected provisions. […]

KidCheck goes digital

Since 2008 schools in Blount County have partnered with the nonprofit organization KidCheck to conduct free health screenings for elementary and high school students, and this year KidCheck has begun using a new wireless technology system. KidCheck provides an opportunity for schoolaged children and teenagers in this county to have comprehensive health screenings performed by college nursing students. This health […]

Northern Beltline hearing produces few local voices

Last week’s public hearing at Gardendale Civic Center afforded a golden opportunity for many advocacy groups to stake out their position – for or against – on construction of the Northern Beltway, to be designated I- 422 when it is completed. That could be some time after 2032 when construction on the later phases of the 52-mile, $4.7-billion project is […]

Active election year looms in 2012

Next year, 2012, is a Presidential election year. That alone makes it significant. Even more important from a local standpoint are nine state and county offices that will be in play this year. Below is a first glimpse of offices to be filled in the order they will appear on the ballot, and several election-related dates.The Blount Countian will continue […]


Clayton named to succeed Renno

Jim Ed Clayton of Springville has been named executive director of Blount County Children’s Center to succeed Jerry Renno, who retired after 15 years in that position. Clayton is a 1978 graduate of Hewitt- Trussville High School and a 1982 graduate of UAB, where he majored in accounting. He earned his master of business administration from UAB in 1991. After […]

Palmer, timber industry being ‘singled out’

In reply to the article printed in the September 28, 2011, edition of your newspaper, I would like to make the following observations: Your statement that the case filed by the Alabama Forestry Association and Todd Palmer against Blount County “pits the interest of county taxpayers who pay for road construction and maintenance against the right of an individual to […]


In a story last week concerning a lawsuit over weight restrictions on county roads, the newspaper inadvertantly and erroneously reported that the plaintiff in the suit Todd Palmer owns more than 34,200 acres in Blount County. The correct figure is 3,200.

Alabama Scene

Unintended consequences II

The Birmingham News reported Sunday that crops are rotting in Alabama’s fields because farmers can’t find enough workers to harvest them. Agriculture and industry officials in the state say even legal immigrants are not showing up for jobs at construction sites and poultry plants because they fear a hostile state climate. Farmer Keith Smith, who has 200 acres of ripening […]

Bid opened on Covered Bridge renovation

A single bid of $469,000 was submitted to renovate Blount County’s three covered bridges. The bid was submitted by Bob Smith Construction of Trussville, and opened at a recessed meeting of the Blount County Commssion on Sept. 26. According to county engineer Richard Spraggins, the contract for the work will be sent to the contractor, who has 15 days to […]

Oneonta approves budget of almost $6.4 million

With the new fiscal year approaching, the Oneonta City Council approved a 2012 budget of $6,390,100. That budget falls more than $460,000 below the city’s 2011 budget of $6,857,100. The bulk of that decrease came by reducing anticipated revenues $622,000 from funds transfers. While the budget anticipates a decline in a few other revenue sources, most reflect an expected increase. […]