Courthouse remains open Saturday a.m.
After backing and filling over the question, Blount County Commission voted May 13 to continue closing courthouse offices a half day each Thursday and Saturday. For longer than anyone present at the May meeting could remember, these have been the courthouse hours. But in some disgruntlement, Dist. 3 Commissioner Bill C. Hudson pointed out that Blount is one of only seven of the state’s 67 counties that don’t keep their courthouse open all day Thursday and closed all day Saturday.
At the commission’s direction, clerk Donnie Thomas had made a survey of courthouse employees and had asked The Democrat to run a ballot in the paper…Thomas gave commissioners the survey results: 577 voting to close Saturdays and 116 voting to continue operating those offices two half days. He said about one-third of the voting was from the newspaper ballot.
The best quote from the discussion came from Hudson, who said, “I’ve got friends for it and friends against it, and I’m gonna stay with my friends.”
Gunman releases hostage
Sheriff J.C. Carr’s calm reasoning Saturday night is credited with persuading a Blount County man in his early twenties to release the hostage he had held at gunpoint for an hour.
Johnny Wayne Woods robbed the Oneonta Mitie Kwik Mart on U.S. 231 and took Sheila Alldredge hostage when it appeared he was about to be apprehended. According to sketchy reports available at presstime, Woods held a cocked pistol pointed at Alldredge’s side from 10:15 until 11:15 Saturday night.
Woods demanded to see Sheriff Carr, who talked him into releasing the hostage and into turning over his guns but Woods remained armed. A short time after Carr walked out of the store, Woods came out and turned himself in to Oneonta Officer Herbert “Bucky” Buchanan.
Locust Fork wins baseball championship
Behind tournament MVP Rodney “Knotty” Johnson, Locust Fork defeated Hayden 15-4 to win a rain-soaked Blount County Tournament at Oneonta.