Reward offered in murder case



Up to a $10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of person or persons involved in a homicide on Ebell Road, according to Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey. On Jan.13, a body was found in a burned-out house on Ebell Road, which has resulted in a murder investigation, according to Blount County Sheriff […]

Branch accepts 911 director job



Caleb Branch, 25, has accepted the job of 911 director, effective Jan. 21. Branch holds a bachelor’s degree in emergency management with a minor in public safety communications from Jacksonville State University. In addition, he holds associates degrees in criminalistics and emergency medical services-paramedic from Faulkner University and Southern Union Community College, respectively. Previous experience includes jobs at Oxford EMS, […]

Oneonta ties for secondhighest graduation rate in the state



With a graduation rate of 97 percent, Oneonta High School tied for the second highest graduation rate in the state for 2013. School systems from Madison City, Mountain Brook, and Satsuma City were also at 97 percent, according to the Alabama State Department of Education. Vestavia Hills had the highest percentage of graduates with 99 percent. The state graduation average […]

West Blount VFD board advances fire district plans by Ron Gholson



The West Blount Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) board of directors report progress toward their goal of collecting 1200 signatures on a petition requesting a referendum on forming a local fire district for the collection of mandatory annual fire dues. Board chairman Greg Reid said that as of the end of last week, about 100 signatures had been collected in connection […]

Two more qualify



by Ron Gholson Two additional candidates have qualified for public office in Blount County, as of Monday Jan. 20, bringing to eight the number qualified since Jan. 13, the first day of qualifying. Qualifying for revenue commissioner was Ann Self, a former Blount County revenue commission appraiser. She ran unsuccessfully for the office in 2008. Qualifying for Blount County Board […]

Chamber announces upcoming events



The Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce will hold its January luncheon today at 12 noon at Twin Oaks, with Public Service Commissioner Jeremy Oden as guest speaker. Oden, up for election for the first time since he was appointed in December of 2012, will discuss the Public Service Commission’s regulatory processes, a subject of considerable controversy in light of Alabama […]

Any challenger for Gov. Bentley?



It looks like our good doctor Gov. Robert Bentley will escape a serious challenge to his re-election bid this year. The GOP primary, which is tantamount to election in a statewide race in the Heart of Dixie, is less than five months away. If Gov. Bentley were going to get a significant opponent they would have surfaced by now. In […]

Still planning to introduce water works bill, says DeMarco



“We’re working on the details of the (Birmingham Water Works Board) bill, and still plan to introduce it, probably in the next couple of weeks,” Rep. Paul DeMarco, R-Homewood, told The Blount Countian last week. The bill, originally introduced in last year’s legislative session to determined opposition from lobbyists, failed to make it to the floor for a vote before […]

Police pursuit disrupts bus routes



On Monday, two school buses – one from Cleveland and one from Hayden – were kept off their routes due to a police pursuit on county road 45, according to Blount County Supt. Jim Carr. “County road 45 is where the Cleveland and Hayden routes interconnect,” said Carr. “We made a decision to not send our children to that area […]

Hayden students back to school after water problems



Test results showed no health concerns were associated with water discoloration found in Hayden schools last Wednesday, according to Blount County assistant Supt. Rodney Green. As a precaution, all Hayden schools were dismissed Thursday after water at Hayden Elementary and Hayden High School was reported to be discolored the previous day, according to Green. “The water discoloration was discovered at […]


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