Winter weather on tap, again

Did you get enough milk sandwiches this past week, Blount County? Just when everyone survived one snowpocalypse, another one might be on the way. Thankfully, Blount County EMA director Don Roybal says this next dose of winter weather won’t be as intense as the last, but residents should still be prepared. Don’t expect as much snow this time around though. […]

Supreme Court overturns circuit court ruling on liquor sales

The Alabama Supreme Court last Friday overturned Circuit Judge Steven King’s November 2013 ruling concerning sale of alcoholic beverages in Blount County. That ruling cleared the way for municipal option elections since then in which citizens in five county municipalities voted on whether to allow sale of alcoholic beverages in their jurisdictions. (Oneonta, Blountsiville and Cleveland approved it; Locust Fork […]

Oneonta joins governmental chorus for UAB football

The Oneonta City Council passed a resolution endorsing restoration of intercollegiate football at UAB in its most recent session. The resolution calls on local businesses to provide support in attendance and finances for the athletic endeavor. It contends the program provides a financial boost to the surrounding communities and increases the college experience for students through scholarships, cheerleading, and marching […]

Indicted teacher resigns


In a called meeting Monday, the Blount County Board of Education accepted the resignation of Cleveland High teacher Matt Wester. Wester was indicted last month by a Blount County grand jury and charged with “a school employee having sexual contact with a student.” According to the indictment, Wester “is a school employee who intentionally and knowingly engaged in sexual contact […]


Further details on tax increase proposal

Gov. Robert Bentley Friday announced initial details of a $541 million tax increase proposal to shore up the state General Fund shortfall. For the last several years, the chronically ailing General Fund has been propped up with onetime revenue. In the past, such revenue was garnered from federal stimulus plan payments or borrowed from the Alabama Trust Fund, subject to […]

Chamber banquet set March 17


The 32nd annual banquet of the Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce is set for 6 p.m., March 17, at the World Outreach Center. Individual tickets are $25; a table seating eight can be reserved for $200. In keeping with long-standing tradition, awards will be present for five different civic, business, and education categories: Citizen of the Year, Volunteer of the […]

NEWS briefs

MEETINGS J.B. PENNINGTON ALUMNI ASSOCIATION will have the annual meeting Monday, March 9, at 6 p.m. in the home ec building. All PHS alumni are invited to attend. ALZHEIMER’S CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP will meet the fourth Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. to support and share with caregivers who may be struggling with the task of providing care for […]

The General Fund and Common Core


The first regular legislative session of the quadrennium has begun. Legislators have arrived in Montgomery for their three-and-a-half month session and they will face a myriad of problems and issues. The General Fund has been in the doldrums for several years. The chickens have to come home to roost. There is a crisis looming in the prisons. The continuing escalating […]

Equal justice?

Court stats show Blount County second-most overloaded in state

For several years, the Blount County legal community, including Circuit Judge Steven King and Blount County Bar Association president Bill Burns among others, have been sounding an alarm. The alarm is that Blount County is among the most undermanned counties in the state when it comes to having enough judges to handle the caseload generated by an expanding population. A […]

Peoples retires after 34 years with Blount County Schools

Southeastern principal Michael Peoples says it is ironic that he will retire the same year his school will celebrate its first-ever graduating class. “I plan on coming back and being a part of the graduation,” he says.“I’ve had these kids since they were in kindergarten.” Peoples has served as principal at Southeastern since 1997, and his last day on the […]