April is Child Abuse Prevention Awareness Month

Mention the words child abuse and people begin to shudder, and a conversation about the topic is almost impossible. People do not want to acknowledge child abuse happens, and they certainly don’t want to talk about it. It’s almost as if, “If we don’t talk about it, then it will go away.” Sadly, that is not the case. Child abuse […]

Berry Mountain Schoolhouse tour to highlight Historical Society gathering

The Blount County Historical Society will hold its quarterly gathering on Sunday, April 22, at 2 p.m. at the Berry Mountain Schoolhouse (above). The meeting will include a tour of the school by Helen Dunn who will speak about its historical significance as well as life in the Berry Mountain community during the Great Depression. The school sits on a […]

Robertson found guilty

On Thursday, April 12, Paula J. Robertson, 44, former chief of the Summit Volunteer Fire and Rescue Department, received a guilty verdict from a Blount County circuit court jury for first-degree theft of property, a class B felony. Robertson was arrested in March 2016 following an investigation by Deputy State Fire Marshall Patrick Crockett which indicated that Robertson had taken […]

BCCTC JAG earns awards

The Career Academy program began as the Blount County Focus program in 2005 to address the drop-out rate and offer further service to at-risk students from every Blount County high school. In 2010 the program title was changed to Career Academy, and Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG) began to be offered as a career tech elective. JAG is a state-based […]

Drug Take Back Day

Blount County District Attorney Pamela Casey has announced Drug Take Back Day will be Saturday, April 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The goal of this event is to allow a safe, convenient, and anonymous way to dispose of any unused or expired prescription medication. It also provides an opportunity to educate the public about the potential for abuse […]


SMOKE RISE HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION will have a community yard sale on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. Visit www.smokerisehoa.org for a map of participating homes and look for signs throughout the community. MASTER GARDENER PLANT SALE The annual sale will be Saturday, April 21, from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m., at the Blount […]

I told you so!


I told you last week we* would make mistakes, and darn if we didn’t go and do it. We caught it ourselves – after the paper was printed, of course – but not one person outside this office said a word. Thank you. We are chalking it up to community sympathy. Hoping we won’t make any glaring errors in the […]


The Hayden softball team photo in last week’s issue was provided by Danny Joiner. We failed to give credit. Josh Smith will assume the role of director of outside plant operations for OTELCO. Congratulations Josh! Steve Flowers does not provide headlines for his Inside the Statehouse column. We add those for layout purposes. Apparently we liked the April 4 headline […]

Nothing much will change


Our antiquated 1901 Constitution was designed to give inordinate power to the Legislature. During the Wallace years, the King of Alabama politics, George Wallace, usurped this power and controlled the Legislature from the executive branch of government. Over the last couple of decades the Legislature has wrestled this power back and pretty much excluded the governor from their bailiwick. Governors […]

From the Archives

The Southern Democrat, April 18, 1979

Blountsville On a split vote, Blountsville Town Council voted to allow the town’s housing authority to apply for about 48 units of low-rent housing. Disease threatens swine Pseudorabies, an infectious disease responsible for the death of thousands of swine throughout the Midwest, is threatening Alabama swine herds. It is suggested that Blount County swine producers have 25-50 percent of their […]