2016-02-17 E-Edition

Oneonta promotes, hires, advertises for city personnel

Following an extended executive session for pending litigation, the Oneonta City Council promoted revenue officer Joan Epps to bookkeeper. As intended, executive session discussion remains secret or privileged. The city is in the middle of a dispute with its former bookkeeper, Geneva Wall, who contends her dismissal constitutes an illegal action. The Blount County Merit Board has agreed to hear […]

Welders compete

Blount County Career Technical Center welding instructor Ronnie Chappell and the welding department hosted a welding competition at BCCTC partnering with Tulsa Welding School, located in Jacksonville, Fla. Students from BCCTC competed with programs from Selma, Anniston, Cullman, and DeKalb County. First place winner Evan Quick from Locust Fork High School, receives a full tuition scholarship to the professional welder […]

Can you spell W-I-N-N-E-R?

The 2016 Blount County Spelling Bee, held last week in the J. B. Pennington High School auditorium, was a 19-round, 89-word competition, with representatives from each school in the county competing for the title of the county’s best speller. Lois Ann Wester, a fourth-grader at Oneonta Elementary School, won the competition and Harrison Sample, a sixth-grade student at Oneonta Middle […]

A fun GOP primary could be coming


The presidential primary parade has been colorful and fun to watch this year. It has been even more amusing because of the pervasive presence of Donald Trump and the fact that those of us in the Heart of Dixie have a front row seat to the show. Since we will have an early vote in the presidential fray, due to […]

Lowe pleads for greater citizen involvement

Oneonta City Manager Ed Lowe responded to questions in a 90-minute mid-February interview. In the interview, as in past discussions, Lowe emphasized his desire for more community input. “I wish people would come to the council and work sessions to express their concerns. I believe that this is the process to get their input,” he offered. Let’s begin with Wallace […]

An SRO with spirit

Jack Helvin, owner of Classic Collision, wanted to do something for the Oneonta Police Department.“They work for us 24/7 and do such a great job, I felt it only fair we give back,” said Helvin. He approached Oneonta Police Chief James Chapman, the school, and the city with a proposal: take the Student Resource Officer’s (SRO) vehicle and make it […]

Would you like to bid on a classic car?

Three years ago, the Blount County Career Technical Center (BCCTC) received a very special gift. A 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix in excellent condition was given to the auto body repair department at the school. It had been a “project car” for a man living in Hoover but, due to serious health problems, he knew he wasn’t going to be able […]

Board supports sales tax increase


The Blount County Board of Education formally approved a resolution in support of the proposed sales tax increase – labeled as the Moving Blount County Forward Initiative – that is making its way through the Legislature in Montgomery. The board approved the resolution during last week’s meeting. The resolution states, in part, “the Moving Blount County Forward Initiative provides a […]

Judge King temporarily halts merit board hearing

Circuit Judge Steven King has placed a temporary restraining order on the Blount County Merit Board’s Feb. 17 scheduled hearing. Geneva Wall has challenged her dismissal as bookkeeper with the city of Oneonta. City attorney Alex Smith had contended last month that the board lacked jurisdiction, disputing Wall’s appeal. The board solicited a response from Wall and her attorney John […]