Great Pumpkin Patch opens


Offering pumpkins, wagon rides, food, live weekend entertainment, bonfires, a petting zoo, train rides, inflatables, and did I mention pumpkins, The Great Pumpkin Patch opened for the 2018 season on Saturday, Sept. 29. The Great Pumpkin Patch originated in 1996 and sisters Pauline and Julie Swann purchased the business in 2005. Each year they have tried to add more features, […]

2019 budget approaches $9.5 million

City of Oneonta

Oneonta city councilors adopted their proposed 2019 budget with only slight changes from the previously considered Sept. 11 work session proposal. The most significant change entailed adjusting the street light expenditure figure from an apparently erroneous $30,000 to $130,000. Street light expenses shown over the past seven budgets had averaged in excess of $140,000 each year. Attempting to cover that […]

Chapman is new Hayden police chief


The town council of Hayden voted Sept. 25 to organize and start its first police department. At that same meeting, the council voted to hire James Chapman as the first chief. Chapman was the long-time police chief of Oneonta and the runner-up in the recent Republican Blount County sheriff primary election. Starting up the department has been discussed for almost […]

Wreck results in reckless murder arrest


A head-on collision between two pickup trucks in Blount County mid-day on Sept. 18 led to the death of one man and the subsequent arrest of another. Johnny Lee Hobson, 34, Cleveland, was arrested last Friday for reckless murder and DUI assault in the first degree. Hobson was driving a 2005 Ford F-250 on Ala 79 seven miles south of […]

Omnibus CAWACO grant

Once again, CAWACO comes through for county entities, this time with an omnibus series of grants totalling $25,302 for six different volunteer fire and rescue departments (VFDs). CAWACO is a funding agency of last resort – more precisely of first resort – because it’s often the only resort for the particular kind of small- to medium-scale grants needed for many […]

COMMUNITY CALENDAR

ABSENTEE VOTING for the Nov. 6, 2018, General Election is now open. To vote absentee in person, go to the second floor of the Blount County Courthouse (Room 208) and bring a photo ID. Office hours are 8 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. To request an application for a ballot and receive a ballot by mail, phone 625-4153. […]

What Ricky’s Reading


The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life andFreedom on Death Rowby Anthony Ray Hinton Anthony Ray Hinton was an ordinary man. He was born in Alabama in 1956, played baseball at West Jefferson High School in 1974, and worked in the coal mines upon graduation. Despite a brief stint in prison for stealing a car, Hinton kept his nose […]

Stinking stink bugs!

County Agent’s Corner

The smallest stink bug that we have had to deal with in the last several years is the Kudzu bug. This stink bug is about the size of a lady beetle. It is usually dark-brown to black in color and you may not notice the head or legs of this bug as it feeds on your beans, figs, or kudzu. […]

Blount County holds United Way kickoff


United Way (UW) of Central Alabama kicked off its Blount County campaign on Sept. 7 at The Depot in Oneonta. Campaign chair Kala Mathis announced Blount County’s campaign goal of $22,000. Keynote speaker was Sharde Oliver, UW community impact staff member. Mitchie Neel, executive director of Blount County Education Foundation, also spoke about how the organization’s partnership with UW serves […]

Snead employees ask for more duties and more pay


Following his retirement as a part-time employee of the Town of Snead, John Sanders offered to continue many of his prior duties as a contract employee. As town councilors considered that possibility, utility department workers proposed they assume those tasks for an additional two dollars an hour. Council members decided to accept that offer on a trial basis at their […]


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