Elliott discusses school improvement during visit

Plenty of statistics exist that might convince someone the state of Alabama could do better on tests scores, or college attendance, or a number of academically-relevant topics. But, state school board vice president Dr. Charles Elliott believes, although test scores are an important facet of education, they aren’t the most pressing issue we have in this state. “If Alabama were […]

City school board approves $12.3 million budget

The Oneonta City School Board approved its 2014 fiscal budget totaling $12,330,253 in anticipated expenditures. The action in the regular board meeting followed a special 50-minute public hearing reviewing the proposal for four of the five board members and any others interested. More than 50 high school seniors attended the public hearing, one of two required by the state before […]

Right to vote or duty to prohibit alcohol?

Lawsuit over holding wet/dry referenda in county municipalities produces collision of perspectives

“The fact is, this is a right-to-vote issue, and 64 counties have the right to vote on this matter; three (including Blount) don’t.” – Oneonta city manager Ed Lowe. “The right to vote is not the issue. It’s the sale of alcohol.” – minister and intervenor Glenn Bynum. Of course, they are both right. The case, styledNeal, et.al vs. City […]

Mayors criticize chamber of commerce, request re-establishment of economic development board

Mayors and their representatives from seven of the county’s 12 municipalities met with the county commission in an evening work session last week to express their dissatisfaction with economic development efforts in the county. The meeting had been called at the request of the mayors as a result of a previous mayors’ meeting on the same subject on Aug. 8. […]

Beware the bermudagrass stem maggot

Special to bermudagrass hayfield farmers. A call came in to the extension office from a farmer concerned about his bermudagrass hayfield. It looked as though frost had bitten the top of the grass – in July. As it turns out, the brown tips in the hayfield were the result of a newly introduced pest called the bermudagrass stem maggot. First […]

Oneonta council updates building code

Following prior opportunities for public comment and input, the Oneonta City Council finalized adoption of an updated building code for the city. The code generally corresponds to the 2009 International Building Code (IBC) but has some variances. City manager Ed Lowe read the ordinance stating the exceptions and explained that some of the IBC sections were either not pertinent to […]

Calvary Episcopal Church appoints new pastor

Calvary Episcopal Church in Oneonta has announced the appointment of their new pastor. He is The Rev. John Fletcher Comer Jr., who will serve as Calvary’s Priest in Charge, replacing The Rev. Jim Elliott, who retired at the end of August. Comer is a native Alabamian who grew up in Birmingham, attended Auburn University, and served in the Army during […]

‘Newspaper Joe,’ an Ozark original


The advent and proliferation of Internet communication has caused newspaper readership to decline over recent years. It has hit close to home with the demise of the urban daily papers in Alabama. The Birmingham News, Huntsville Times and Mobile Press Register are no longer dailies. However, our middle-sized and smalltown papers in Alabama are surviving. This is welcome news to […]

Volunteering offers more than just rank advancement


Ancient louse Genus thought extinct found alive and well in Blount County

A bark louse of the Order Psocoptera originally found in 1882 encased in Baltic Sea amber and classed as an extinct (Eocene) fossil has been found alive near Highland Lake, Alabama by local beetle expert Tim King. King identified the psycoptera and his classification has now been confirmed in a recent published paper by Edward L. Mockford, an international authority […]