Rickwood Caverns to open April 1

Volunteers needed March 12

Plans are to open Rickwood Caverns State Park for the spring and summer season on April 1. The RV campground, the primitive camping area, and cave tours will all begin that day and the park will be fully staffed, according to park manager Lamar Pendergrass, who will divide his time between managing Rickwood Caverns State Park and Cathedral Caverns State […]

What’s happening on the Oneonta school funding front?

The Oneonta City School System’s parent meeting on Monday, March 1, resulted in the introduction of a 1,000-pound gorilla into ongoing funding discussions between the school board and city fathers. It took the form of a petition signed by a sizable majority of the 500-odd adults who attended the packed-auditorium meeting. It said: “Whether through existing or additional revenue, we […]

Jesse Holt

From Peleliu and World War II

Born on Halloween in 1925 in Nectar, one might not think Jesse Holt would have much luck in life. His mother died from an aneurysm when he was only 4 so he went to live with his grandparent (already “senior citizens,” he recalled. Holt grew up during the Great Depression, but he didn’t feel the effects that most people did. […]

Incumbent Carthal Self takes on ticket leader Mike Painter


The two highest vote-getters in the March 1 election for county commission District 2 will meet April 12 in the primary runoff election. Mike Painter, with 857 votes or 28.3 percent of the 3030 votes cast in the March 1 primary, will face incumbent Carthal Self, who polled 734 votes or 24.2 percent. This is the only runoff among the […]

Voice your support for state parks

Alabama’s state parks are treasures that should be cherished and protected for future generations. Unfortunately, over the past few years, the parks system has suffered from multiple budget transfers to fund other general fund agency shortfalls. Our state’s general fund has faced great challenges the past few years in terms of identifying adequate funding for state services. To fill the […]


MISSOULA CHILDREN’S THEATRE The Community Arts Council of Blount County, HomeTown Bank, and Hillview Farms Bed and Breakfast, will sponsor a week-long Missoula Children’s Theatre camp beginning with auditions on Monday, June 13, at 8 a.m. Rehearsals will be all week with ‘The Frog Prince’ performed Saturday, June 18, at 6 p.m. There are a limited number of roles available. […]

The story of Gov. Albert Brewer


One of the finest men to ever serve in Alabama government was Albert Brewer. In my opinion, he was one of the highest-caliber individuals to ever rise to the Governor’s office. Brewer hailed from Morgan County in the heart of the Tennessee Valley. He was first elected to the Legislature from Decatur in 1958 at the very young age of […]

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, March 13, 1980

Blount stays dryResults from last week’s wet/dry referendum:No – 5081Yes – 2929 Whether Blount County would stay dry or go wet brought greater numbers to the polls March 11 than anything else on the ballot. Blount County refused to legalize liquor sales by casting 64% of the votes in the referendum in the dry column. More unexpected perhaps was the […]

Locust Fork run ends in semifinals


The Locust Fork Hornets’ magical run through the 2015-2016 season came to an end last Tuesday in the semifinals of the 4A Final Four at Legacy Arena at the BJCC in Birmingham. A pair of last-second shots would not fall and Sipsey Valley survived with a 52-51 victory over the Lady Hornets. Locust Fork really controlled things in the first […]

Redskins shut out Fairview

The visiting Oneonta Redskin boys soccer team blew upstart Fairview away with a 10-0 win Friday. Oneonta got a hat trick from Darwin Arriaga and two goals each from Tyler Thomas and Victor Sanchez. Arnulfo Maldonado, Gabriel Piceno and Noah Piceno also scored for the Redskins. The 10 goals came from nine assists with Rogelio Arriaga registering three and Tyler […]