A look inside the Blount County Jail

With an average of 108 inmates housed at the Blount County Correctional Facility, the jail saw its least amount of residents in years. Yet, the facility was still six over capacity. According to Captain Mac Kent, who has worked in the jail for 24 years, the average number of inmates is approximately 145. “We double up on the beds, pull […]

Appeals Court clears way for same-sex marriages in Alabama


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta yesterday denied a request to extend the stay on an order striking down Alabama’s same-sex marriage ban as unconstitutional. That means same-sex couples will be able to legally marry in Alabama beginning next Monday, Feb. 9, in the absence of further developments between now and then. Alabama Attorney General […]

Oneonta council continues alcohol quest

While the city of Oneonta and others await the Alabama Supreme Court decision in the debate over the legality of the city’s alcohol referendum, its city council attempted still another tactic in its latest meeting. Councilors voted to request the state legislature remove Blount County from the law’s restrictions removing the right of its appropriate municipalities to vote on the […]

Brothers charged in separate beating deaths 23 years apart

While Christopher Thrasher sits in the Donaldson Correctional Facility in Jefferson County, his brother, Matthew Thrasher, could be headed down that same path. In 1993, 17-year-old Christopher was sentenced to life without parole in connection with his involvement in the 1992 beating of two Oneonta boys – Allen Eakes, 15, and Kevin Duncan, 14. Last month, Matthew, 33, waived extradition […]

Southeastern principal to retire, J.B. Pennington coach approved


The Blount County Board of Education accepted the retirement resignation of Southeaster principal Mike Peoples during Monday’s regular meeting. The board also approved the hiring of Todd Cassity as the new head football coach at J.B. Pennington High School. Peoples resigns after serving as principal at Southeastern since 1997. He has 34 years in education and was a teacher at […]

Council looks at signs and policy


With councilors Greg Ogles and Charles Sanders absent, remaining Snead council members chose to delay action on two matters. Town clerk Rae Ware had prepared a resolution addressing concerns of the town’s new insurance agent. That resolution defines “acceptable driving record” and clarifies points related to employee cell phone use. As explained by Ware and covered in previous discussion, the […]

‘The Boy Next Door’


It was Friday night and my friend, Taylor, and I were bored out of our minds, so we started thinking of something to take up our time. As we are thinking, we see a preview of “The Boy Next Door,” we both look at each other and say, “Yep.” In T-shirts and jeans we hoped in the car and took […]

Leadership stays the same


The Legislature completed their weeklong organizational session last month with very little fanfare or controversy. They will get to work on substantive issues beginning with the regular session in March. Their work will be cut out for them. They are facing a General Fund Budget that has at least a $250 million deficit. The Legislature that organized for the quadrennium […]

Oneonta City Schools’ Douglas in the groove on new job


Last week, The Blount Countian sat down with still-new Oneonta City Schools superintendent Dr. Mike Douglas for a state of the school system chat after his first semester at the helm, following the departure of former superintendent Scott Coefield last spring. Here are Douglas’s thoughts on some of the subjects covered: School finances “We’re financially sound,” Douglas reported.“We just don’t […]

Regular season ends, area tournaments begin

It’s tournament time in high school basketball. The regular season came to an end either last week or earlier this week and some area tournament have already begun. Four tournaments will be held in Blount County. Appalachian (girls) will host the 1A Area 12 Tournament, Cleveland (girls) will host the 2A Area 12 Tournament, and the 4A Area 10 tournaments […]