More arrests made in double murder

Blount County authorities have announced the arrests of three additional suspects in the murders of Ricardo Santiago Gonzalez and Adalberta Chavez Ruiz, whose remains were recovered Jan. 3 in a grave off Sims Road near Oneonta. On Dec. 15, the Blount County Sheriff’s Department received a missing persons report that led to the arrest of the couple’s son, Leo Chavez, […]

Meeting set to explain upcoming property tax referendum

A meeting to explain the need for a proposed property tax increase for Oneonta City Schools, involved in the upcoming referendum of Oneonta voters, has been scheduled for next week. The meeting is set for Monday, Jan. 15, at 7 p.m. at Oneonta High School’s Eris Horton Auditorium, Oneonta City Board of Education chairman Patrick Adams announced last week. The […]

Representatives talk about upcoming legislative session

WHAT’S UP IN 2018?

The Blount Countian talked to the county’s four representatives to get an initial impression on what concerns and issues may occupy the Legislature in this year’s session, which began Tuesday, Jan. 9. As one of them observed, just because they say what they expect from the session doesn‘t necessarily mean that’s exactly what’s going to happen. “There are always some […]

Big Al at the courthouse

Ok, it’s not the real Big Al…nevertheless, this giant inflatable greeted visitors to the Blount County Courthouse Monday before that night’s National Championship Game. Stationed outside Revenue Commissioner Gregg Armstrong’s office door, Big Al reminded everyone about the game that night. By the way, Alabama beat Georgia 26-23 in overtime…just in case you haven’t heard. –Rob Rice

‘Four days, 48 animal intakes’

According to director Karen Gilham, this shocking number of “four days, 48 animal intakes” at the Blount County Animal Adoption Center (BCAAC) is from Jan. 2 through Jan. 5. Thirty of the animal intakes were due to owner surrender. As Gilham was being interviewed as of shelter opening time on Jan. 6, there was another owner surrender going through the […]


DAY OF SERVICE To coincide with other projects around the country on Monday, Jan. 15, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Blount County residents are invited to assist with cleaning, organizing, fence clearing, and minor construction at Rocky Creek Equine, a local non-profit agency that provides animal-related contact therapy for children and adults with disabilities. Wear warm work clothes and gloves […]

Getting ahead of the game


The election cycle this year is shaping up to be a dramatic one, both at the national level, but at the state and local level as well, with nearly 30 state executive and judicial offices to be filled, not to mention140 Alabama Senate and House seats. Locally, there are some 19 elective offices to fill, including nine locally-elected state offices, […]

City authorizes demolition and salvage of Wren’s Nest building

In a Jan. 4 called meeting (delayed from an earlier date), Oneonta City Council members voted to accept B&H Dirt and Demolition’s low bid for razing the Wren’s Nest, formerly known as Miller Gallery, on Oneonta’s First Avenue. City manager – economic developer Ed Lowe advised councilors that the seven bids ranged from B&H’s low of $7,100 to $35,000. Lowe […]

George Workman revealed as alias for Michael Anthony Mayola


[In last week’s part one of this story, August, 1962, newspaper readers in various parts of the country had learned of the kidnapping and murder of 11-year-old Midfield resident Larry Wayne Thomas. By Aug. 8, many read of the arrest in Baltimore of Michael Anthony Mayola, who had confessed to those crimes.] Michael Anthony Mayola had adopted the name George […]

Changes coming for driveway pipe installation


The Blount County Commission approved a major change to its own driveway pipe permit procedure during Monday’s meeting. Effective Feb. 1, district crews will no longer install driveway pipe. Property owners will be required to install their own pipe and if the installation is found to be substandard, the county will replace the pipe and the contractor/landowner will be billed […]