First Lady encourages reading during visit to Susan Moore Elementary

Last week, Alabama First Lady Dianne Bentley visited Susan Moore Elementary School to encourage reading and instill an appreciation for the state of Alabama. She read a book and spoke about Alabama attractions on Thursday to fourth-, fifth-, and sixthgrade students. “I hope students leave here today with a renewed interest in reading,” Bentley said.“When I read to students, I […]

Roundabout proposed for Cleveland intersection


The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) has proposed a project to construct a roundabout at the intersection of Ala 79 and Ala 160 in Cleveland, according to a public meeting held at the Cleveland Community Center on Aug. 11. A roundabout, according to material provided by ALDOT is “a type of circular intersection. (See diagram). Traffic flows in one direction […]

Are you ready for some FAIR FUN?


First things first. The Blount County Fair kicks off this year on Tuesday, Sept. 15, at 5 p.m. It runs every day thereafter, same time, same place, through Saturday, Sept. 19, opening at 5 p.m. each day and closing at 10 p.m. the first three nights and 11 p.m. the last two. Admission is $10 Tuesday and Wednesday, $12 Thursday […]

Courthouse security changes to begin soon

Changes to courthouse security arrangements will begin within two weeks, as all incoming members of the public will be routed temporarily to one of two doors: the door at the back parking area with the handicap ramp and the side door facing 3rd Street North and Compass Bank. Phase one of the transition also involves installation of electric strike locks […]


BENEFIT YARD SALE will be Saturday, Aug. 29, from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m. at Hydra Service Inc., 2104 Ala 160. Money raised will help with costs for a prosthetic arm for 15-year-old Jadon Neely, a Hayden High School student who is battling cancer and had to have his right arm amputated this summer. Fill a bag for $5. ONEONTA […]

What legislators expect


The Blount Countian last week asked members of the Blount County delegation what they expect from the next special session of the Legislature, which will probably be called within the next two weeks. We asked if there was a sense of cooperation brewing, and what kind of a budget proposal they expect to be hammered out by the Legislature. Here […]

No need for legislating social issues


Many would argue, and indeed numerous surveys indicate, that Alabama is one of, if not the most, conservative states in America. I would argue that if that is true then our Alabama Legislature is reflective of its constituents. A good many of the online and remaining large city daily newspapers castigate our super majority Republican legislature as ultra right-wing, uncaring […]

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, August 24, 1939

Sheriff’s force kept on jump Sheriff Miller and his deputies were busy last week. On Wednesday they captured a car carrying ten gallons of liquor at Allgood and placed two men in jail charged with transporting liquor through Blount County. On Thursday three stills were raided in the Western part of the County near Blount Springs. Two of these stills […]

Jadon’s Journey

Hayden student-athlete loses arm, but not courage

His Hayden classmates are settled back into their school routine, and his football teammates are back on the field. Meanwhile, Jadon Neely is preparing for his next round of chemotherapy. It all began with a harmless arm wrestling match. “I had been feeling pain in my arm for months prior to that, but I couldn’t explain it,” 15-year-old Neely says. […]

Permanent Wallace State site, building start taking shape

Shown above is a preliminary diagram – a “footprint”– of the proposed Wallace State Oneonta Campus Center. It would sit on the property now occupied by the Oneonta Public Library. According to this plan, the existing library would be demolished to make way for a 50,000-square-foot, two-story structure that would occupy a major part of the acre-plus lot. As proposed, […]