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SMHS teacher dies suddenly

Faculty, staff, and students at Susan Moore High School are mourning the loss of one of their own. Phillip Edwin Cline Jr. (right), whose tenure at the school began last week, passed away late Monday afternoon. Cline’s mother, Dianne Cline, shared the news via Facebook. She wrote, “I have no words to fill the void in my life… today my […]

Velma and Vera

If you are fortunate enough to have crossed paths with Velma Hill and Vera McNew, you know that laughter is a large part of their life. The 96-year-old identical twin sisters, who reside in Blount County, may likely be the oldest set of living twins in the county. If not, they are one of only a few. Both Velma and […]


All we did was pray… I was reminded of a story a few days ago about a man who was trapped on his rooftop during a dangerous flood. The man prayed to God to help him. A boat paddled by and the rower called up to the man, “Climb down into my boat, I will help you.” The stranded gentleman […]

Summer camps successful

With 1,085 students attending 9,633 in-person sessions, this year’s summer camps were deemed successful. These camps have provided summer learning activities since 2011, with much of the funding obtained from grants each year. These camps are possible due to numerous volunteers who unselfishly give of their time to ensure students have every opportunity to achieve success both in school and […]

Woodland Bark

Oneonta’s new dog park, Woodland Bark, opened Saturday, July 30. This long-awaited addition to Woodland Park offers a safe, enclosed space for owners to bring their dogs. In order to ensure their safety, the enclosed area is divided into two sides — one for dogs 20 pounds and under and another for those exceeding 20 pounds. There are amenities such […]

Summer camps successful

Top: Edouard Ndecky was a special guest at Dreamcatchers Salute to the Olympics. Center: Hayden High visual arts camp. Bottom: Blountsville Explorers with Auntie Litter on River Day.

Thousands benefit from summer camps

Blount County Board of Education

Monday’s Blount County Board of Education meeting featured reports from the school system’s two curriculum coordinators, Bridgette Murphree and Cindy Bartlett, as well as Mitchie Neel, executive director of the Blount County Education Foundation. The three shared successes from this summer’s varied activities that covered everything from literacy and reading initiatives to robotics and coding. Throughout its series of camps […]

Back to school

The Alabama Department of Public Health released its guidance for the safe return to school late Tuesday morning. It closely follows the current COVID-19 recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In a letter to school officials, state health officer Dr. Scott Harris said, “The past 18 months have been incredibly difficult for our teachers, staff members, students, […]

Pop up splash pad

Who doesn’t enjoy splashing around in a little water on a hot, humid Alabama summer afternoon? Oneonta Fire and Rescue Service and the City of Oneonta popped up a splash pad in front of the fire department last Saturday much to the delight of the more than 200 people who came and went during the two-hour event. “Everyone needs to […]

Certified positions filled

Blount County Board of Education

The Blount County Board of Education convened for a special called meeting last Friday in an effort to fill several certified positions before the opening of school. Teachers return to school Monday, Aug. 2, with Blount County Schools opening their doors for their first full day of school with students on Thursday, Aug. 5. “The teacher shortage is real and […]

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