County has...‘come a long way, overcome a lot of obstacles’

With new District 4 Commissioner Gary Stricklin (just sworn in this past November), a resounding note of the interview was struck well over halfway through the session with this answer: “I would say, based on what has happened within the county administration, that it’s come a long way and overcome a lot of obstacles. With the changes that have been […]

Drug court graduates 11 for a total of 34 since 2010

“This is the best thing I’ve been involved with since I’ve been a judge in Blount County,” said drug court Judge John Dobson, as he prepared for the ceremony involving 11 graduates the program. He referred to the life-altering changes experienced by participants in the program. Those who qualify for drug court are given an opportunity to have drug-related charges […]

Blount County burglaries solved

Sheriff Loyd Arrington told The Blount Countian last week that as many as 26 Blount County burglaries dating as far back as June of 2012 have been accounted for with the arrest two weeks ago of a suspect now being held in the St. Clair County jail. The suspect has so far confessed to a total of 38 burglaries covering […]


Middle school development explored

This month, the initial process of creating Oneonta Middle School could begin. This hot topic, among three others, is on the discussion table for the Oneonta board members. Oneonta Supt. Scott Coefield says beginning a middle school at Oneonta has many advantages including additional funding for administration as well as continuing their one-to-one technology initiative. “There are compliance issues with […]


Anything Goes scheduled for Thursday

Cleveland High School is looking to break records during the 30th annual Anything Goes. For the past 3 years, Cleveland has been named the Anything Goes champions, and no school has ever won four years in a row, according to Sherrie Hicks, member of the Anything Goes committee. And, for the first time, Southeastern School will join the other seven […]

Standridge’s bill signed

Gov. Robert Bentley signs Blount County District 34 David Standridge’s first statewide bill into law May 4. Standridge initiated and sponsored the bill in its passage through the Legislature. It passed 101 – 0 in the House, and 25 – 0 in the Senate. The bill protects against public disclosure of personal information of criminal justice employees, including law enforcement […]

Neely Arts kids get ‘double ‘O’s’

That’s not double zeros. It’s double O’s, like the capital letter ‘O.’ It stands for ‘outstanding.’ That’s the highest rating given by judges at the Alabama Music Teachers Association piano auditions. Double O’s means a student got outstanding scores for both of the two categories rated. One category is for the program of three selections representing three time periods of […]


Driving the nail in the Democratic coffin

On the night of the November 2010 election, I was in my regular post as the political analyst for Montgomery CBS affiliate WAKA Channel 8. Around midnight as it became evident that the Democratic ticket had been annihilated, my cohort, longtime anchor Glenn Halbrooks, looked over at me pensively and asked, “What do you think the Democratic Party does now?” […]

Flying high at first-ever career expo