Hangin’ in there

County engineer inspects covered bridges by rope access

With the recent changes to the bridge inspection standards, county engineer Winston Sitton was faced with having to find another way to ensure two of the three Blount County covered bridges were safe for travel. “We used to be able to inspect these bridges visually through long-range cameras or other such equipment,” Sitton says. “However, with the recent changes to […]

Coroner candidate challenged, ballot access approved

A challenge to the candidacy of LaShone Price, running for Blount County coroner, was handled last week by the Republican Party executive committee. The challenge was made by John Mark Vaughn, the incumbent coroner who is running for re-election. Following the hearing, party chairman Tim Kent announced that the challenge to Price’s candidacy had not succeeded. “Ballot access was approved,” […]

Man who saw EMA as a ministry isn’t retiring – just changing phase

Unflappable. That’s the answer. So, what’s the question? Here it is: What word best describes Max Armstrong? As director of the Blount County Emergency Management Agency (EMA) for the last 22 years, he’s been the face, the muscle, and the epitome of emergency response in Blount County. Yet he intended to take the job for only a couple of years […]

First four of eight candidate profiles


Eight candidates – seven Republicans and one Democrat – qualified to run for the Sixth District U.S. House of Representatives seat that came up for grabs when Rep. Spencer Bachus announced last fall that he would not seek re-election. Four of those candidates, taken alphabetically, are profiled in this edition. The remaining profiles will appear next week. The Republican candidates […]

Scott Beason

Age: 44 Born in/resides in: Born in Hartselle, resides in Gardendale Blount County connections: family land on Hamilton Mountain and on the Locust Fork; represented county in state Senate for eight years. Family details: Married to Lori Katherine (Quick) Beason with three children: Keller, 14, Merritt, 10, and McCalan “Mac”, 7 Education Graduated Gardendale High School, 1987. Graduated The University […]

Will Brooke

Age: 57 Born in/resides in: Born in Baton Rouge, La.; resides in Birmingham (55 years) Blount County connections: cites friends, other connections here Family details: Married to Maggie Williamson Brooke, with three grown children: Will, 31; Alex, 29; and Sally, 25 Education Graduated Mountain Brook High School, 1974. University of Alabama, bachelor’s degree in business administration, 1978. University of Alabama, […]

Paul DeMarco

Age: 46 Born in/resides in: Born in Birmingham; resides in Homewood Blount County connections: none cited Family details: Married to Dr. Jacqueline Dillon DeMarco; no children Education Graduated Auburn University with bachelor’s degree in journalism, 1990; University of Alabama Law School, 1993. Work Background Current (since 1993): attorney represent- ing businesses and individuals in Alabama Memberships, leadershippositions, prior political office, […]

Chad Mathis

Age: 43 Born in/resides in: Born in Evansville, Ind.; resides in Indian Springs Village Blount County connections: none cited Family details: Married to Angie Mathis with two children: Abby, 14, and Ben, 12 Education Graduated Castle High School (Ind.), 1989; graduated University of Evansville with bachelor’s degree, 1993. Graduated Indiana University School of Medicine with M.D., 1997 Work background Current: […]

Man arrested after Snead police chase

Kevin Lane Giddens, 33, of Alabaster, was arrested Friday night after an hourlong police chase, according to Capt. Pat Thomas with the Blount County Sheriff’s Department. Giddens was stopped at a driver’s license check on Pearlman Road by Snead police officer Casey Hathcock. Giddens, who has no valid driver’s license, handed the officer an I.D. card. While Hathcock checked his […]

Snead spends on maintenance and upgrade matters

Continuing the theme of recent meetings, Snead councilman Greg Ogles presented an additional report on several maintenance and upgrade issues he had explored for the council. Members agreed to accept a $4,110 bid for installing vinyl on all the exterior exposed wood of town hall. Councilors also agreed to repair the leaking roof and seal the ends of the utility […]