Officials tour fire-damaged school

Between 4 a.m. and 5 a.m. last Tuesday, a fire occurred at J. B. Pennington High School to which nine fire departments subsequently responded, with the Blountsville department remaining for three days and two nights, directing water onto the area below the metal roof, which continued to smolder. While the State Fire Marshal’s Office has not released its final finding […]

Family dies in small plane crash

The investigation continues into what caused a small plane to seemingly come apart in the air, killing a Tennessee family over the weekend. The plane was flying over western Blount County Saturday when it crashed about 2:30 p.m., killing all four members of the family from Jackson, Tenn. Joseph Crenshaw, 45, his wife Jennifer, 43, and their two children – […]

Sentence handed down in Hazelrig- Sherrer murders

Following impact and mitigation statements, Judge Loyd Little imposed sentence, Monday, on recently convicted murderer Paul Mason Trull. A Blount County jury convicted Trull, March 17, on two counts of murder in the September 2015 deaths of Gary Randolph “Sambo” Hazelrig and Rasha Breann Sherrer. Little sentenced Trull to 75 years for each count, ordering the sentences to run concurrently. […]

Southeastern students learn sign language

Kim Smith considers herself a jack of all trades. A teacher at Southeastern School, she teaches seventh-and-eighth-grade reading, in-school suspension, career preparation, and sign language. Southeastern is the only school in the county to offer a course in sign language. Smith’s interest in sign language can be traced back to her youth. She read Helen Keller’s book and was hooked. […]

News Briefs

PADDLE FEST ON THE LOCUST FORK will be Saturday, April 1, at King’s Bend in Cleveland. There will be kayak and canoe clinics (bring your boat or reserve one), a practice whitewater race course with free instruction, a swap meet to buy and sell used boats and paddling gear, camping Friday and Saturday nights, and a two-pot hot meal Saturday […]

New employee needed


The Cleveland Town Council met Thursday, March 9, and Mayor Jerry Jones discussed the need to hire a parttime employee and called on utilities superintendent Steve Pass to explain. Pass said many of the current water meter registers are in need of replacement and, although they are under warranty and cost nothing but labor to replace, he can only have […]

Democratic names to remember in 2018


Last week we handicapped some of the potential horses in the upcoming 2018 Governor’s Race. We mentioned Judge Roy Moore, PSC President Twinkle Cavanaugh, Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, Secretary of State John Merrill, State Treasurer Young Boozer, State Sen. Del Marsh and Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle. Some others that may be considering pursuing the brass ring of Alabama politics are […]

ABBY award

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, March 31, 1960

Council insures full school term Because of action taken by the city council, Oneonta City Schools will remain open for the full nine months despite proration. Mayor J.W. Russum and the council voted unanimously to borrow $20,000.00 to keep schools open and to lend the money to the Oneonta school board. Official acceptance of the school board is expected to […]

Child Abuse in Blount County

This week, we wrap up our series on child abuse and we hope it has been informative for readers. Child abuse in any form – physical, verbal, emotional, sexual – is ugly. We have tried to present the information over the last three weeks in a manner that was informative without too much emotion or writer’s opinion. This week’s wrap-up […]