Traditions Park heralds new traditions in West Blount

Traditions Park, a 29-acre recreation complex that represents three years of sustained effort, officially opened Saturday, Aug. 19. And in so doing, it opens a whole new era in recreation – with economic implications, as well – for the area. Construction on the $2 million complex began in June of 2014. Today, it contains four lighted baseball/softball diamonds with a […]

Stolen school bus leads to chase through two counties

An early Monday morning bus chase through two counties landed a Bowling Green, Ky., man in custody. Brandon Peckinpaugh, 24, was booked into the Jefferson County jail late Monday morning and charged with attempting to elude law enforcement, reckless endangerment, and resisting arrest. His bond was set at $15,000. According to Blount County Sheriff’s Office Operations Manager Tim Kent, an […]

Oneonta officer arrested

A sergeant with the Oneonta Police Department has been placed on administrative leave with pay after a weekend arrest for DUI. Shane Osborn, who has been with the department since 2001, was arrested in St. Clair County Saturday by Alabama State Troopers and charged with DUI. He posted bond the next morning and was released. The Oneonta Police Department released […]

Pre-K classes begin at Appalachian

With the approval of a three-year grant in June, Appalachian School learned they would have the county’s first pre-K class and 18 active 4-year-olds would begin classes with the opening of the 2017-2018 school year. Wheels began to quickly turn as preparations were made to hire a teacher and an auxiliary teacher, and to develop a classroom with multiple hands-on […]

Wallace State-Oneonta continues to grow

Beginning with its first term of instruction in Oneonta in the summer of last year, Wallace State’s enrollment at the still-new Oneonta campus center has continued to grow steadily. Since the first contingent of 138 students registered that summer, enrollment climbed to nearly 200 last fall and stands at 302 this fall, with an increase of at least 100 more […]


TOWN OF CLEVELAND LABOR DAY CELEBRATION The annual fundraiser will be Monday, Sept. 4, at the park from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Local bands will provide music, there will be barbecue and chicken plates and fried pies for sale during the event, and there will be activities for the entire family. Pre-ordered Boston butts are $25, whole chickens are […]

Oneonta City Council holds one public hearing, sets two more

The first order of business at Oneonta’s Aug. 22 council meeting was to hold a public hearing to discuss the ordinance establishing an entertainment district in downtown Oneonta. (See diagram, A3.) The entertainment district designation allows any retail alcohol licensee to sell alcoholic beverages for consumption inside or outside the licensee’s premises, as long as the beverage is consumed within […]

Helping Hurricane Harvey victims

There are many ways Blount County citizens can help. • Donate online to the American Red Cross or The Salvation Army. Both organizations are on the ground now (, • Feeding Texas is a food bank affiliated with Feeding America ( • Donate blood. Blood supplies are always short during summer months, and natural disasters strain the situation further. […]

Budget approved; superintendent search, tax referendum discussed


The Oneonta City Board of Education tackled three major items at its regular meeting Monday evening: it approved the 2017-2018 budget, reviewed the timeline for interviewing and selecting a new superintendent for the system, and discussed progress toward initiating an ad valorem tax referendum. The approved budget projects expenditures for the 2017-18 fiscal year at $13,516,528, with revenues of $13,410,163. […]

Lions donate magnifying machine to Blount County Learning Center

DeWon Farmer, left, director of the Blount County Learning Center, and Tim Sosebee, president of the Hayden Lions Club, pose in front of an enhanced vision machine donated to the Center by the Lions. The machine, valued at $2,500, magnifies small text up to 200 times. It is designed to assist individuals with visual disabilities, and has already been assigned […]