Fire at J.B. Pennington

Students in Blountsville were out yesterday after an early-morning fire at J.B. Pennington High School. According to Blount County 911 director Caleb Branch, firefighters were called to the scene at 5:15 a.m. Tuesday. The fire, which was contained for the most part in a couple of hours, appeared to have possibly started in the school’s media center. Firefighters remained on […]

First conviction in Locust Fork double-murder

Paul Mason Trull was convicted last week by a Blount County jury in the September 2015 murders of Gary “Sambo” Hazelrig and Breann Sherrer. Trull, 20, was found guilty on two counts of felony murder, first-degree burglary, first-degree robbery, two counts of first-degree theft and one count of second-degree theft of property. Two other suspects – Michael Cody Dooley, 32, […]

Oneonta hires new chief

The city of Oneonta has announced the hiring of the city’s new police chief. Charles Clifton was selected to succeed James Chapman, who retired at the end of 2016. Clifton, 46, a Gadsden native, comes to Oneonta after serving as a deputy and investigator with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Department since 2005. He graduated from Etowah High School in 1990 […]

Man arrested after chase

The suspect who allegedly fired gunshots after a traffic stop and police chase in Snead last Thursday afternoon was captured in Marshall County late Thursday night. Jesus Cruz Flores, 36, is being held in the Marshall County Jail for a probation violation, second-degree escape and third-degree escape. The charges stem from outstanding warrants issued prior to the Snead incident. Snead […]

City receives first new sales tax check

Accompanied by Blount County Commission Chairman Chris Green, District 3 Commissioner Dean Calvert presented a $15,183.21 check to the Oneonta City Council at its meeting last week. Calvert thanked city officials for their support in the effort to win voter approval for the additional one-cent sales tax. The check reflects the city’s January portion of that new tax. Calvert reported […]

News Briefs

J.B. PENNINGTON FARM EQUIPMENT CONSIGNMENT AUCTION will be Saturday, March 25, beginning at 9 a.m. Consignment fee is 10% and items may be brought to the school before noon on Friday, March 24. All types of farm equipment will be sold. Donated items will be accepted with 100% of proceeds to benefit the school’s FFA program. No junk. Viewing of […]

Snead receives clean, unqualified audit opinion

In a heavily attended council session, Snead town auditor Lori Criswell presented the town’s 2016 audit. Criswell noted the town received an unqualified, clean opinion, which reveals no problems for the town. Criswell summarized portions of her report and offered to answer any questions councilors might have. Failing to receive any queries, she announced her willingness to address any individual […]

The 2018 governor’s race


Here in the Heart of Dixie, we are on the cusp of one of the best political years in modern history. Prior to the 1970s, our constitution disallowed succession of office for our state constitutional offices. In other words, you could not run for two consecutive four-year terms. That is why George Wallace ran his wife in his place in […]

City takes preliminary look at historical landmarks and preservation

Oneonta City Councilman Richard Phillips chaired an informational session on the possibility of the city’s establishing its own preservation commission. Councilors and attendees had several questions for Phillips, some of which he admitted he could not answer. Several expressed concerns that any commission or building designation not interfere with traditional property rights of owners. Real estate agent Barbara Andersen opined […]

DUI charges filed in weekend wreck

A wreck that occurred Sunday afternoon on the Blount-Marshall County line has resulted in DUI charges for the driver. Glenda Renay Tedder, 45, of Marshall County, has been charged with two counts of first-degree assault (felonies) and four counts of third-degree assault (misdemeanors) in the crash. The accident happened at 5:39 p.m. on U.S. 231. Four children – ages 2, […]