County’s fondest dreams fulfilled: $14.3 million from state for roads

The Alabama Transportation Rehabilitation and Improvement Program, (ATRIP), announced early last summer, has become a major boon for Blount County and an answer to county commissioners’ prayers. The state-administered federal highway aid program funds up to 80 percent of the improvement costs on major county bridge and roadway projects. In Blount County that amounts to more than $14,335,000 for 10 […]

Slippin’ and Slidin’

Oneonta council names city’s new fire chief

by Jim Kilgore The Oneonta City Council filled a major department vacancy, hiring Arthur Willis as the city’s new fire chief. Willis replaces David Osborne who retired in April. Before councilor Tonya Rogers’s motion, Mayor Ross Norris noted that several high qualified applicants had applied and the city appreciated the interest shown in the position. He asserted the city is […]

Hearing on class action status unlikely to affect right-to-vote case

A hearing on the class action status of local attorney and plaintiff Brandon Neal held last week in Blount County Circuit Court is unlikely to affect the hearing on the right-to-vote case itself (Neal vs. City of Oneonta), set for trial on Sept. 6, according to City of Oneonta (defendant’s) attorney Alex Smith. The main case involves a 2009 law […]

Selfless love in Mexico

Even though this is written in first person, it’s not about me. It’s not about my church family. It’s not even about Mexico. It’s meant to glorify the blessing Jesus Christ bestowed upon me and my LifePoint church family during our time in Reynosa, Mexico. I don’t know what I expected Mexico to be like. At first glance, I noticed […]


How is ‘failing’ schools concept flawed?

The Alabama Accountability Act requires the State Department of Education to identify “failing” schools. After several false starts, the list is now public and includes 78 schools, 72 of which ranked in the bottom 6 percent of all schools in three of the last six years. The other six came from schools that qualified to apply for federal School Improvement […]

Man arrested for breaking into McMillian Fab

After leads developed concerning repeated burglaries at McMillian Fabrication and Powell Engineering, the Oneonta Police Department took action last Tuesday night. Investigator Anthony Brewer and officer Keith Roddam arrested a 50-year-old Oneonta man after he broke into McMillan Fab a few minutes after the last employee left for the day. Brewer and Roddam had arrived at the company a couple […]


ONE-ON-ONE SMALL BUSINESS COUNSELING Jacksonville State University Small Business Development Center, the SBA, and the Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce will offer one-on-one counseling for prospective and existing small business owners at no charge on Tuesday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to noon at the chamber office. Phone 274-2153 to make the necessary appointment. AGING AND DISABILITY RESOURCE CENTER or […]


Looking at the 2014 election

Whether you realize it or not the 2014 election is upon us. The call to arms was in June, when campaign fundraising could officially begin. Under Alabama law, candidates can begin raising money exactly one year prior to the elections. That has been interpreted to mean one year prior to the primaries. The primary next year is in early June. […]

Brooksville in need of donations for tornado siren

During the April 27, 2011, tornado outbreak, tornadoes hit the community of Brooksville leaving destruction and damaged houses behind. After that date, the members of the Brooksville Volunteer Fire Department decided to take steps in order to keep their community safe if another tornado made its path through that area. “Thankfully, no one was hurt during the April 27 tornado, […]