The night of the escaped inmate

Authorities walk through how escape occurred; how search unfolded

Twenty years from now, Oneonta residents may still be talking about what happened Saturday night. While everyone gathered around their TV and monitored social media and police scanners, Blount County Sheriff’s deputies, Oneonta police officers, and other law enforcement personnel were searching for an inmate who escaped from the Blount County Correctional Facility. The incident began at 5:26 p.m. “We […]

911 takes prisoner’s escape in stride

The 911 Center got involved in the manhunt following the escape of inmate Justin MacNeil from the Blount County Correctional Facility Saturday, but it wasn’t nearly as big a deal to them as it was to some residents anxiously awaiting the wee-hours-of-the next-morning outcome. “It increased our call volume a little above normal, but not to any great extent,” said […]

Emergency declaration starts public, private recovery process

The purpose of a state of emergency declaration following a disaster event is to signal the magnitude of damage incurred and to qualify the county’s public and private sectors for government relief and assistance should the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and others deem it appropriate. “The idea is to let it be known that the damage is clearly beyond […]

Oneonta commits more than $1.75 million to land deal

In a called, end-of-year meeting held at 7 a.m. on Dec. 31, the Oneonta City Council voted to purchase an approximately 100- acre site just beyond the city limits. The purchase price exceeds $1,225,000 spread over 20 years in biannual payments at an interest rate of 4 percent. That payment represents half the appraised value of the land with the […]

Preliminary flood damage tally mounts as recovery begins

Preliminary estimates on flood damage to county roads and bridges were received yesterday, with three districts reporting by the newspaper’s afternoon deadline and one district’s figures expected soon. Officials emphasized these figures were preliminary and will possibly be revised upward as estimates are refined and further damages are discovered and evaluated in the days ahead. That is especially true of […]


SUSAN MOORE HIGH SCHOOL will have a dedication ceremony to name the Bruce McAfee Gymnasium on Friday, Jan. 8, at 6:30 p.m., at the school. The public is invited. MASTER GARDENER CLASS OFFERED The Blount County Extension office is offering the class on Wednesdays beginning Feb. 3 and ending April 20. The cost for the 12-week class is $125, which […]

Investigator provides update on community happenings


Oneonta Police Department Investigator Jimmy Baldwin provided information to The Blount Countian on multiple cases. Some are solved while others are still under investigation. • On New Year’s Day at approximately 9:30 p.m., authorities received an alarm call at the Limestone Springs Clubhouse. Upon investigation, law enforcement discovered the building had been broken into and property had been stolen. The […]

New construction and what it’s gonna be

What’s new?

To keep up with rapid developments in the form of new and not-so-new construction, The Blount Countian will provide updates from time to time like the following. Two new projects and one that has previously been reported constitute this update. New The steel structure beginning to take shape on Ala 75 south next to the Coin Laundry and near Auto […]

Presidential race shaping up


Folks, we are in the midst of a presidential race. Actually, it has been going for well over a year and we will select a new president in November. Barack Obama has served his eight-year limit. Thus, the parade of candidates seeking to occupy the Oval Office is long, especially on the Republican side. You may have noticed that in […]

National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day this Saturday

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) is encouraging others to show support to law enforcement this Saturday on National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. “You hear it said all the time – ours is a thankless job, but it doesn’t have to be,” said Chuck Canterbury, national president of the FOP. “Everyone knows of an encounter, a brief moment, or a […]