Couldn’t hardly walk down the street

First impressions: “The crowd was the largest ever,” said Aimee “Not-Given-To- Hyperbole” Wilson. That name is important for a couple of reasons. One, she’s the executive director of the Blount- Oneonta Chamber of Commerce and it’s her job to make this festival happen. She’s led the charge of volunteers, sponsors, city helpers and assorted partners since 2007. So, who should […]

Conditions worsen since Oct. 12 ‘no-burn’ order

No rain forecast through Nov. 11...

Gov. Robert Bentley issued an emergency no-burn order on Oct. 12 for 46 counties in North and Central Alabama, due to unusually dry conditions. The fire alert was later extended to the 21 remaining counties in South Alabama. Since then, drought conditions in practically all counties, including Blount and all contiguous counties, have gotten worse and there’s no rain in […]

Avery Gibbs takes reins as EMA deputy director

Avery Gibbs, 22, of Fort Payne, has assumed Emergency Management Agency (EMA) duties as deputy director, taking over from former EMA deputy director Doug Smith who retired Sept. 29. Gibbs’s first official day on the job was Oct. 3, after spending three weeks in training before assuming the position full time. His initial duties include serving as the Fuelman contact […]

Courthouse renovation resumes; jail repairs, reinforcement begin


The renovation project to add a ramp for disabled persons to the front of the Blount County Courthouse, idled since early August, will resume next week, according to Probate Judge/Commission Chairman Chris Green. The original contract was terminated by the Blount County Commission due to breach of contract related to lengthy delays and unsatisfactory work. “I signed the settlement agreement […]

Job well done…


Another Covered Bridge Festival has come and gone and it’s past time we honor the Blount County-Oneonta Chamber of Commerce and executive director Aimee Wilson. This year’s festival was bigger and better than ever and that’s because of the work that Aimee and her seemingly endless number of volunteers put in. This thing doesn’t come together overnight and, yet, it […]

I stand with law enforcement

Shelnutt Writes

My father served as a police officer in Birmingham for 22 years. He was physically attacked on more than one occasion and shot at multiple times. As a kid, I was often scared that my father wouldn’t make it home. Each time I heard dad’s patrol car pull up in the driveway, a palpable sense of relief washed over me. […]

Snead 2017 budget up over $550,000 from past year

The approved 2017 Snead town budget reflects an increase of more than $550,000 from the 2016 plan. The state requires municipal balanced budgets. Snead’s budget, as prepared by town clerk Rae Ware, indicates total revenues of $2,686,693 and total expenses of $2,474,989. The water department receives most of the increase at $510,054 under the budget. That budget provides much of […]

News Briefs

STRAIGHT MOUNTAIN VOLUNTEER FIRE AND RESCUE is seeking volunteer firefighters for the area. Business meetings are held the first Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m., Station #1 at 4201 County Road 29. Training is held on the third Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. Phone Jeremy at 965-6616 with questions. NECTAR SENIOR CITIZENS CENTER needs donations to continue […]

JJ’s Discount Eyewear grand opening

That’s him– JJ, aka Jeff Lackey – out front with the super-sized scissors, leading the charge at the ribbon cutting for the new eyewear store in the Creekside Shopping Center, across from WalMart. There you’ll find designer eyewear at affordable prices, Lackey says, along with prescription sunglasses and sports glasses providing protection for basketball, soccer, scuba, and other active sports. […]

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, October 21, 1948

Freeze Costs County About Half Million The cold freezing weather which hit Alabama, and particularly Blount County, late Sunday night and into Monday, struck a deadly blow to Blount’s late tomato crop. The unexpected cold snap, which sent the thermometer 4 and 5 degrees below the freezing mark, caught the tomato growers completely by surprise. As one farmer said: “I […]