Blount County Burning

Between Oct. 1 and Nov. 7, 1421 wildfires have occurred in Alabama, damaging approximately 15,400 acres. In Blount County, fire departments were dispatched to 180 wildfires in October. Since Nov. 1, departments have responded to another 105 fires. The frequency is increasing. From Sunday midnight through 1 p.m. Tuesday afternoon this week, 19 fires were reported to 911, according to […]

Trump overwhelms Clinton in record vote

Blount County returns…

Once again, Blount County revealed its strong Republican bent as voters chose Donald Trump for President with an overwhelming 89 percent of the vote. With one absentee precinct out, Trump had tallied 22,808 votes to Clinton’s 2150. The county releases the official vote count eight days after the election and after any valid provisional ballots have been added to the […]

Oneonta names first male library director

The Oneonta City Council named Ricky Statham, pictured above with wife Kimberly and daughter Madeline, as library director in its first meeting of the fiscal year. Statham becomes the first male to hold that position, advancing from his role as head circulation clerk. A native of Blountsville, the 28-yearold received his bachelor’s degree in English education from Athens State University. […]

Mid-year personnel moves dominate November meeting


Acting on the recommendation of Superintendent Rodney Green, the Blount County Board of Education handled numerous personnel decisions during the board’s regular meeting Nov. 7. Among the moves was the granting of leaves of absence to 14 system employees. The board also accepted the resignations of Susan Moore High teachers Edward Daryl Burnham (physical education/ driver education) and Melissa S. […]

‘I opposed it, but I’ll do my job’

Amstrong: tax increase post mortem...

District 1 Commissioner Allen Armstrong opposed Moving Blount County Forward (MBCF), the county 1- cent sales tax referendum, before it ever had a name, starting about mid-year last year or a little earlier. Last week, the people of Blount County approved the increase on the ballot by a healthy majority of 13,147 to 10,076 – 57 percent to 43 percent. […]

New councilors take seats at Oneonta

Nathaniel Butler and Richard Phillips joined the Oneonta City Council for their first regular council meeting last week. Elected in July and sworn in the night before, the two take seats formerly held by Mark Gargus and Tim McNair, respectively. The duo had the opportunity to make a bit of history for Oneonta by approving the appointment of Ricky Statham […]

Three stages of tax levy: elation, gravitas, practicality

We’ll deal with the stages named in the headline in roughly reverse order: practical matters first (and most), then a quick taste of gravitas and elation – all based on an interview with Probate Judge/Commission Chairman Chris Green – coming on the heels of last week’s approval by Blount County citizens of the Moving Blount County Forward (MBCF) referendum. Green […]

National Rural Health Day

of Forty- percent of Alabamians live in rural areas the state. Our rural communities are wonderful places to live and work and there are fifty hospitals that serve this population 24/ 7. Nov. 17 has been designated across the state as National Rural Health Day to “Celebrate the Power of Rural.” Rural Health Day was created to increase awareness of […]

Trump state campaign director Beavers: “The moon and stars have aligned for Alabama”

Dennis Beavers, of Blountsville, Trump campaign director for Alabama, suffered a relatively minor loss at the polls on Nov. 8. The Moving Blount County Forward initiative succeeded easily, in spite of his efforts to the contrary. But he more than made up for it with a major, major win. Make that a major, major, historic win. Make that a major, […]

Three die in weekend fires

The State Fire Marshal’s Office is leading investigations into a pair of weekend house fires in Blount County that left three people dead. The first fire was early Friday morning on Branch Wood Drive in West Blount. In that fire, Mike Tumlin, 56, got his family out of the house before re-entering the burning structure. Tumlin, the building inspector for […]