Cleveland STEAM lab named for former teacher

Students of Cleveland High School and Elementary School began using a new STEAM lab after they returned from Christmas break. STEAM is an acronym for Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics. Brett Thrasher is the lab’s teacher/ facilitator and led a tour of the facility, which is comprised of 15 computer stations with two seats at each. Students can work […]

County schools get good grades on A-F report cards

Both county school systems brought home good grades in the Alabama State Department of Education’s report card sweepstakes. Blount County Schools scored a B with an overall grade of 83, and Oneonta City Schools scored an A with an overall grade of 91. To put those grades in context, out of 137 public school districts statewide, there were 12 As, […]

‘All businesses in town are opposed to this thing…’ NOT

Oneonta school property tax

As the lines were drawn for and against Oneonta City Schools’ proposed 9-mil property tax increase, the statement was made in The Blount Countian that all businesses in town are opposed to it. The morning the paper came out, a mini-firestorm of callers buffeted the newspaper office taking issue with the statement. We didn’t count them, but there were a […]

Blountsville: The first 200 years

While Blountsville officially turns 200 years old this year, ancient burial grounds and petroglyphs document people traveling through the site of today’s Blountsville even before the first settler, Caleb Fryley, made his home at what was then identified as Bear Meat Cabin (Blountsville) in 1816. So much rich history, as well as some fun facts, have evolved since that first […]


DISABLED AMERICAN VETERANS The mobile service office van will be at the Frank Green Building today from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. A DAV service officer will be on hand for those who need assistance with claims. Phone Frank Cannon at 359-1865 for more information. CHILDREN’S CENTER OPEN HOUSE The Blount County Children’s Center will host an open house on […]

Qualifying candidates update

2018 elections

In the chart below, incumbents for elective offices are denoted by (i). Candidates who have qualified within the last week are shown in italics. A dash indicates no candidates have qualified as yet for the office. Sources for state office qualifiers are the Alabama Republican Party website and the Alabama Democratic Party website. Local qualifying information is provided by the […]

Oneonta council meeting addenda

Some have expressed concern that the article on Oneonta’s most recent council meeting omitted that body’s unanimous vote acknowledging the city’s upcoming school tax referendum. A former council member noted the school board had acted as prior councils had urged in seeking voter approval for additional revenue. Present councilman Richard Phillips provided the following statement on the approved council resolution. […]

Conviction upheld for Hazelrig/ Sherrer murderer

The Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals has upheld the murder conviction of Paul Anthony Trull, (above) who was one of three men convicted in the 2015 shooting deaths of Gary “Sambo” Hazelrig and Breann Sherrer. Trull, along with Lane Bosner and Cody Dooley, robbed the couple and shot them in September 2013. The trio went to the house seeking drugs […]

Shelby is one of our greatest senators


A few weeks back my column illuminated the career and influence attained by our senior U.S. Senator, Richard Shelby. In the column and in my book, “Six Decades of Alabama Political Stories,” I reference the fact that our current senior senator will be regarded as one of Alabama’s greatest U.S. Senators. I consider Lister Hill, John Sparkman, and Richard Shelby […]

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, February 9, 1933

Child Badly Burned The little seven-year-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Eppison, Jr., was severely burned at their home on route 3, Oneonta last Thursday morning. It seems the child was sitting in front of an open fireplace when its clothing caught on fire. It had its back toward the fire and the blaze ran up its back burning […]