Traffic enforcement blitz

“We’re gonna saturate Blount County (with state troopers), we’re going to tick a lotta people off (by writing a lot of tickets), and probably put some people in jail. It’ll last until our overtime runs out. In fact, this coming Friday night, you might want to just stay home off the roads.” That was the unmistakable takeaway from last night’s […]

Body cameras are good tools for law enforcement

Snead Police Department’s recent acquisition of body cameras makes it the latest in the county to provide officers with the recording devices. Blount County deputies and investigators have worn the devices for the last two years, according to Operations Officer Tim Kent. Oneonta Police Chief Charles Clifton said all his officers wear body cameras and have done so for several […]

Piceno fulfills grandmother’s last wish

As graduation day approached, Oneonta High School senior Noaha Piceno had mixed emotions. Graduation meant he had successfully completed high school, but it also meant he was fulfilling his dying grandmother’s last wish. Piceno knew his grandmother’s days were numbered. She grew weaker and weaker as graduation day approached and the reality of her not being able to see him […]

Another fine Fling…

The Oneonta Business Association continues to improve on something that didn’t really need much improvement as the streets of Oneonta were once again inundated with people, food, arts and crafts, performers and classic vehicles for Saturday’s June Fling. An expanded area for the kids was a big hit with the little guys and girls and everyone could appreciate the relatively […]

Shedd appointed to major House steering committee

District 11 Rep. Randall Shedd (R – Fairview), representing central and northern portions of Blount County, has been appointed a member of the Republican Caucus Steering Committee of the Alabama House of Representatives, a significant leadership post in the caucus structure. The announcement was made last week by House Majority Leader Nathaniel Ledbetter (R – Rainsville). Ledbetter said the caucus […]

Staff Sgt. Jack E. Martin awarded Silver Star

Years after being killed in action during the Invasion of Mapia in World War II, Staff Sgt. Jack E. Martin was awarded the Silver Star for his “unusual gallantry in the face of the enemy, his aggressiveness and perseverance and his supreme sacrifice.” A delayed celebration of this award (proudly displayed by brother Sid Martin) was held in conjunction with […]

Alabama’s Bankhead family


Since we are in the midst of an election for a U.S. Senator, let me share the story of one of the most prestigious congressional families in Alabama history. The Bankheads of Jasper would likely be the most prominent political family in Alabama political lore. More than likely there has never been a father serve as one of America’s most […]

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, June 6, 1979

Representative Harvey opposes governor’s school, road programs Representative Bob Harvey is against Governor Fob James’s proposed war on illiteracy and his proposed 4- cents-per-gallon gasoline tax increase because he says Blount County stands to gain nothing by either. “Blount County will get no money; we will get the short end of the deal. The money will go where tests run […]

News Briefs

BAMACARRY OF BLOUNT COUNTY will meet tomorrow, June 8, at 6:30 p.m., at Munoz Mexican Restaurant in Hayden. All gun rights enthusiasts are invited. ONEONTA PUBLIC LIBRARY Hal Hendrix of the Blount County Beekeepers Association will give a presentation to adults tomorrow, June 8, at 5:30 p.m. The movie ‘Flubber’ will be shown outside the library on Friday, June 9, […]

FY 2018 Education Budget passes Legislature; Pennington funds intact; restoration update


The Alabama Legislature passed the 2018 Education Budget May 17, incorporating $750,000 in relief funds for the restoration of J. B. Pennington High School, extensively damaged in a fire on March 21. Passage crowned the diligent efforts of District 9 Sen. Clay Scofield and District 11 Rep. Randall Shedd, both of whom made securing funding for the school their top […]