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2009_2 News Archive

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*Friday, August 28th, 2009 Holloway House Fire on Sentry Road (Hwy. 19), Hamilton, AL
*Arts Council Received $1500 Check from Wal-Mart's "Good Works" Community Grant!
*August 22, 2009 “Sooty Mold” Production and Control
*August 29, 2009 Surprisingly good things to crow about …
*Bear Creek Civitan Meeting Monday, September 28, 2009

*Municipal Alcohol Sales in Marion County A Possibility?
*Hackleburg Civitan Meeting Wednesday, October 21, 2009
*The Senior Class of Phillips High School
*Ronald Gann Performs with Tim Cannon Band
*Guess Who Got A Haircut from Ms. Rich?
*The Story Behind Veteran's Day
*2010 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest Sunday, October 11, 2009
*Marion Co. Nov. Food Distribution
*mchs Christmas float 12/7/09
*Selecting shrubs that can tolerate wet soil

*Sam LeMaster Food Inspections for August 17-21-09
*Sam LeMaster Food Inspections for Sept 21-Oct 2, 2009

*Representative Mike Millican Monday, July 20, 2009
*Representative Mike Millican September 3, 2009
*representative mike millican october 15, 2009


*Senator Roger Bedford Capitol Report, Friday, July 24, 2009
*Senator Roger Bedford Capitol Report, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009
*Senator Roger Bedford Capitol Report, Friday, Sept. 18, 2009


Friday, August 28th, 2009 - Tragic Fire in Weston - Thankfully No Injuries Reported. Holloway House Fire on Sentry Road (Hwy. 19), Hamilton, AL

The home of Lee and Heather Holloway caught fire this afternoon, Friday, August 28th around 3:00 p.m.

According to sources, Mr. Holloway, who works nights, was asleep at home at the time the fire started.  No injuries were reported.

The Holloways have two young children, ages 7 and 5, who were at school at the time the fire began.

According to a friend, Co-Workers of the Holloways have already begun a drive to help the couple.

A yard sale will be held with proceeds going to aid the family.

It was reported to me that the family rented the home and had no renter's insurance on their belongings.

If you wish to help the family, contact Praise Assembly Church in Hamilton at (205) 921-9185 for more information. 

Below you can click on the thumbnails to see the pictures.


Arts Council Received $1500 Check from Wal-Mart's "Good Works" Community Grant!

Our arts council officers received a $1,500 check from Wal-Mart's "Good Works" community grant program today. These monies were awarded for use with our arts council projects. This presentation was awarded via the Hamilton store.

Shown left to right at the check presentation: Secretary Missy Miles, Vice-President Carrie Bolton, Hamilton Wal-Mart Assistant Manager Sherri Hawkins, President Tyna Pyburn, and Treasurer Ed Minter.

Wal-Mart Assistant Manager Sherri Hawkins commented that Wal-Mart was thrilled to award the grant for our arts programs, that she personally loved to draw and paint, and was excited for Wal-Mart to be helping promote art programs in the local area.

Northwest Alabama Arts Council, Inc.
P.O. Box 694
Hamilton, AL 35570
(205) 921-9483


August 29, 2009 Surprisingly good things to crow about …


We seem to be seeing more and more crows in our neighborhood. They also seem to be less afraid when confronted. What’s the deal?


A quick answer to your question is the crows are feeding on grubs, caterpillars, army worms and other insects that are abundant during this time of year. You mentioned the population increase and yes, you are correct. In the last 30 – 40 years, crows have decided that roosting in urban areas is more to their liking than roosting in the country.

Why this is happening is still being debated by the scientific community, but from a layman’s point of view it seems logical that having fewer predators and not having to go nearly so far to get to the grocery store makes good sense.

Speaking of good sense, most experts believe the crow to be among the most intelligent and social of all of our American birds. Crows have even been observed making tools out of twigs and leaves to catch their own insects. Unlike most birds, they plan ahead by hiding food and coming back later for a meal.

Crows are actually very interesting to read and learn about. They tend to mate for life and the offspring spend up to 5 to 7 years in the family unit helping to do family chores like babysitting subsequent nestlings and teaching learned parenting skills. If crows make it through their first year, they live a long time, often 17 years or more. Normally, you will see several family groups in your backyard with the average family size being about 6 to 9 crows. All of these families roost in large groups as protection from predators.

Crows work together and have figured out there is power in numbers when it comes to threatening predators or another of their own kind trying to move into their territory. They are alerted by one member and come together to form a “mob” to take care of business. The loud sound they make usually does the trick. That “caw-caw” sound that we associate with the crow is just one of many (up to 25) rattles, clicks and bell-like tones they use to communicate with each other.

A single family of crows can consume 40,000 grubs, caterpillars, army worms and other insects in one season. While crows are known and/or hated because of their cornfield prowess, one needs to understand that corn or grain makes up only a small percentage of their diet and the amount of good they do by eating our harmful insect pests normally offsets the damage to your garden corn crop.

Believe it or not, crows are actually good citizens of their ecosystem. They transport and store seed that contributes to the maintenance and renewal of our forests, which helps lots of things with soil erosion near the top of the list. Crows are also near the top of the list of nature’s cleanup crews as it relates to their habit of eating carrion (road kill).

For those of us in urban America who tend to have negative thoughts about crows and feel they are strictly a nuisance that needs to be eradicated because they make too much noise and too much mess, we may want to revisit this and weigh the pros and cons.

While I could continue with many more facts about this intelligent bird that we have criticized forever, I think I have “crowed” enough. We may not be ready for a “Thank You, Mr. Crow Day,” but hopefully we can educate ourselves into knowing that crows play a more important role than we thought when it comes to our environmental concerns.

David Hubbard
Regional Extension Agent
Alabama Cooperative Extension System

"Amy Hardin" <hardiam@aces.edu>  


August 22, 2009 “Sooty Mold” Production and Control … Look up to see where the real problem is coming from

Question: Several of my shrubs have a black powdery mold growing on the leaves. It is even growing on the patio furniture. What is causing this and what can I do to prevent it in the future?

Answer: The problem you are seeing is a common one this time of year and it is called “Sooty Mold”. The mold develops as a result of a fungus growing on the honeydew exudates produced from the feeding of aphids, scale, whiteflies or another sucking insect. This fungus does not infect the plant but can do damage as a result of reducing photosynthesis.

Also, as you have noticed it is very unsightly and generally makes a black sticky mess everywhere it grows. The sooty mold will usually wash off with the use of a mild insecticidal soap spray and water. However, you need to look up to see where the real problem is coming from. The insects are likely feeding on a tree positioned over the shrubs and patio furniture that is coated with the sooty mold.

I noticed some crape myrtles this past week that had a heavy infestation of aphids and sooty mold growing on its leaves and the leaves of everything below it. Hackberry and river birch trees are also notorious for heavy aphid feeding and sooty mold production. Most plants will tolerate a small insect population and light amounts of sooty mold.

Control of sooty molds begins with management of the insect creating the honeydew. For example, populations of aphids are usually highest on succulent, new growth. In some situations they can be dislodged with a strong stream of water if the plant is small enough. Also avoid excessive fertilization to keep plants healthy but not excessively vigorous. Overly vigorous plants are more attractive to insects.

The regular improper pruning of crape myrtles often seen in our area can contribute to the problem by causing excessively vigorous growth. Properly pruned crape myrtles will have less vigorous new growth and better air and light penetration, which will reduce the foliage’s attractiveness to sucking type insects.

Another important consideration may be ant management. Ants are attracted to and use honeydew as a source of food. Because of this, they will protect honeydew-producing insects from predators and parasites in order to harvest the honeydew. Using ant baits and spot treating ants can go a long way towards controlling these honeydew producing insects by giving the beneficial insects a chance to naturally control the bad guys. Once the honeydew-producing insects are suppressed, sooty molds will gradually weather away.

As mentioned before sooty molds can be washed off with a strong stream of water or soap and water to speed up the removal process. Plants such as hackberry that are perennial problems may be treated in the spring with a systemic insecticide to kill the aphids before they get a chance to do any significant feeding.

The systemic insecticide imidacloprid (Bayer Advanced Garden Tree & Shrub Insect Control or Merit) is available to both homeowners and professional applicators. The home-use product (Bayer Advanced Garden Tree & Shrub Insect Control) is diluted with water, and poured onto soil near the base of the tree trunk, as directed on the label.

Late winter to early spring (when the new leaves flush) is believed to be the most effective time for a soil treatment in our area. If the area is watered regularly, slightly later applications may do some good but early applications work best. If you wait until you see the problem it is too late.

Tony Glover
Regional Extension Agent
Alabama Cooperative Extension System

"Amy Hardin" <hardiam@aces.edu>


Selecting shrubs that can tolerate wet soil

Tony Glover Regional Extension Agent Alabama Cooperative Extension System

Question: I have an area near my home that I can’t seem to get any shrub to live because the soil is poorly drained. I want an evergreen shrub that I can keep fairly short. What would you suggest I try? Answer: Even during the drought of 2007 I kept telling folks we are more likely to kill plants from too much rather than too little water, but this year has brought that truth home again. Many of the soils we plant into are heavy clay soils that may be poorly drained and downright soggy during parts of the year. If you have this type soil you have three options to consider. One, raise the planting area by building a small mound 6 – 12” above the existing soil and blend a good topsoil into the upper 6 inches of the existing soil. Two, drain the excess water away from the area with buried perforated pipe – sometimes called a “French drain”. Three, choose plants that can tolerate the wet soil. The third option is the option you mentioned and the one I will discuss now. Actually there are several plants that will grow in your existing soil type. If you like hollies I would suggest either a dwarf yaupon (Ilex vomitoria ) or a dwarf inkberry (Ilex glabra ). The yaupon holly will be the easiest to find and two cultivars to look for are “Schillings dwarf” and “Nana”. The inkberry holly, like the yaupon, is native to the southeast but is not as common in the nursery trade but certainly a great plant to consider if you can find it. Some dwarf forms to look for are Compacta, Nordic, and Shamrock. The leaves are larger than other dwarf hollies which make for a softer less prickly look. Inkberry has many attributes other than just surviving wet soils. It will grow in full sun to part shade, it can take wet or dry conditions, clay to sandy soils and acid to slightly alkaline pH soils. It is also very easy to transplant or relocate if you decide to move it in the future. It is what folks in the industry call a bullet proof plant. The only down side I can think of is it tends to thin out and shed the lower leaves and branches, but the dwarf forms don’t have as much of a problem as the larger cultivars. Another great native plant to consider is a southern waxmyrtle (Myrica cerifera) cultivar named, “Tom’s Dwarf”. Much like the inkberry holly this plant is tolerant of a wide range of growing conditions including poorly drained soils. Many waxmyrtles have unsightly leaf spots on the foliage but “Tom’s Dwarf” has very good resistance and has the added benefit of being a true dwarf that only grows about four feet tall. The standard sized waxmyrtles make a small tree and are excellent screen or specimen plants in their own right. Waxmyrtles get their name from the fact that early pioneers boiled the berries to harvest wax from the fruit. Only the female waxmyrtle produce these berries, which are also a prized food source for certain birds that can digest the waxy coat. Lastly, you might consider a St. Johns-wort ( Hypericum densiflorum) another well adapted native plant. A good selection to consider is “Creel’s Gold Star” or “Brodie” which makes a fairly compact plant in sun to part shade in a wide range of soil conditions. It has the added benefit of a showy yellow bloom in May or June. The disadvantage to this plant is keeping it looking full and dense. The flowers may be dense, hence the name “densiflorum” but the plant needs some light pruning to keep it looking good. For more information, I highly recommend the book, Dirr's Trees and Shrubs for Warm Climates: An Illustrated Encyclopedia , by Dr. Michael Dir.


1. Motion to approve Minutes from last meeting.
Motion - Scotty Sanderson
Second - April Steele
2. Recommendation to hire Charles Scott as a temporary Police Officer at an hourly rate of pay of $12.75.
Motion - April Steele
Second -
Recommendation to hire two Street Department Employees at an hourly rate of pay of $11.40.
Recommendation: Tommy Miller
Recommendation: Jason Nelson
Motion - McDavid Franks
Second - Paul Stidham
4. Recommendation to hire two Police Officers.
Motion - Paul Stidham
Second - McDavid Franks
5. Steve Jackson Proposal
(Not brought up or discussed)
6. Announcements - Mayor Pro-Tem Annette Sherrill
1. Special called meeting Thursday, August 20th, 5:00 p.m.
(This meeting is to make a decision on the policemen to be hired.)
2. Planning Commission Meeting Thursday, August 20th, 6:00 p.m.
(Letters went out to the board members last week concerning the meeting)
3. Fulton Bridge Industrial Park
(McDavid Franks commented that there had been reinforcement steel girders placed in the window openings at the building in the Fulton Bridge Industrial Park until the city could get someone to repair them. The glass was broken out by storms. Also, the street in the F. B. Industrial Park has been started and should be completed in two or three months if the weather permits.)
Also discussed:
Councilman McDavid Franks asked that all the Yard Sale signs be kept up-to-date and asked everyone to please remove old signs that were out-of-date. (Even though there is an ordinance against these signs, the city has allowed them but request that they be removed as soon as the yard sales are over.)
Mayor Pro-Tem Annette Sherrill said that she understood that the lights were going up soon at the intersection of I-22 (Corridor X) and County Highway 35, at the Fulton Bridge Industrial Park.
Councilman Scotty Sanderson said that he has had complaints about taking up money at road blocks at intersections in town and that he had discussed it with Mayor Holliday who said that the council would take that up at a future work meeting. (Work meetings are open to the public and are normally held at 5:00 p.m. in the Mayor's office just prior to the regular 6:00 p.m. Council Meetings on the 1st and 3rd Monday evenings.)
Councilman Scotty Sanderson reported that the Soccer season had begun and that the registration was over.
The Mayor Pro-Tem, Annette Sherrill then asked for any comments from people in the audience at the meeting.
Tammie Williams spoke to the council about stray dogs killing two more of her cats and brought written allegations against the City of Hamilton and Marion County.
This alleged problem with the dogs has been an ongoing problem for Ms. Williams for some time as she has had other cats killed by dogs running loose.
The City Council of Hamilton, Alabama meets regularly at the Hamilton City Hall at 6:00 p.m., on the first and third Monday of each month.
The public is invited to be present at these meetings. It is a law that they be open for anyone to attend.




1. Motion to approve Minutes from last meeting.

2. Recommendation to pay Marion County Commission $5,217.66 for the City's portion for impoundment of animals. This is based on the 2000 census.

3. Recommendation for immediate consideration of Ordinance number 2009-20 to amend Ordinance number 2009-19 prohibiting the disruption of assemblies and certain behaviors and amplified noises within the municipal limits of the City of Hamilton, Alabama.

4. Recommendation to approve Ordinance number 2009-20.

5. Recommendation to award gasoline bid to Hamilton Petroleum for the following amounts: (only 2 bids received and Lowry Oil Co. withdrew their bid)
1.Gasoline-date of delivery wholesale rack price plus freight, inspection fee & profit.
A. First grade regular unleaded, minimum 89 octane: $2.0204 per gallon.
B. First grade super unleaded, minimum 93 octane: $2.1904 per gallon.

2. Diesel Fuel-date of delivery wholesale rack price plus freight, inspection fee and profit.
#2 low sulfur: $2.1196 per gallon.

Report from Council Members:

Update on Buttahatchee River Fall Fest:

A. Approval of the DCBG Grant-1st phase of the Downtown revitalization Plan.
B. 25 year lease from Marion County Board of Education on the Walking Track
expires 4/29/10.
C. Cost estimates on sewer projects.
D. New businesses in town-Lowe, Mobley, Lowe & LeDuke
Edward Jones, Larry Nix
E. Transportation-NACOLG
F. Munsingwear Building-Environmental work completed.

6. Motion to adjourn.







Bear Creek Civitan Meeting Monday, September 28, 2009

At our meeting on Monday, September 28th at 6pm at the Bobby Bishop Community Center, we will have Neal Cook, Deputy District Attorney for Winston County in the 25th Judicial Circuit and since January 12, 2009, has served as the Winston County Republican Party chairman. Neal is a graduate of Haleyville High School, graduate (cum laude) of the University of Alabama with a B.A. in Political Science, and he obtained his Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Alabama School of Law. Neal will have some very interesting things to tell us. All are invited for this prestigious event.

Jim Casteel


Municipal Alcohol Sales in Marion County A Possibility?

by Wayne Mays

With the passage of HB175 earlier this month, alcohol sales in municipalities in Marion County just might become a reality. HB175 is a bill that was introduced by James M. "JIMMY" Martin (D) from 42nd District, which includes the counties of Chilton and Shelby, on February 3, 2009 in the regular session of the Alabama House of Representatives.  The bill lowers the population requirement for towns to hold a municipal option election to change wet/dry status from 7,000 people to 1,000 people giving most towns in Marion County the opportunity to choose.

POPULATIONS (AS OF 2007) - Hamilton – 6786, Winfield – 4642, Guin – 2198, Hackleburg – 1453 and Bear Creek – 1004.

Brilliant, Glen Allen and Gu-Win all fall below the 1000 population limit.

For a town to hold an election to vote for the sale of alcoholic beverages the petition has to be filed with the city or town clerk with signatures of residents of that municipality totaling 30% of the number of voters that voted in the previous general election in that municipality. At the time of this story there is a petition being circulated in Hamilton which needs approximately 700 signatures and at last count had somewhere around 400 signatures. The municipal option election shall be held at the time of the primary, general, county-wide or municipal election next succeeding the date of the filing of the petition.

Click Here to View HB175


Hackleburg Civitan Meeting Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Hackleburg Civitan Meeting Wednesday, October 21, 2009, 12 NOON at Peoples Trust Bank in Hackleburg,
Guest speaker, Judy Webb Mays of 49 County News.Net and the Marion County Humane Society


TRIBUTE CONCERT to Establish a Scholarship in Honor of Retired Teacher, Ms. Charlotte Rich, Was A Success Saturday Night!

A Benefit was held Saturday Night, October 3rd, 2009 at the Hamilton High School Gym.

A Liberal Arts Scholarship has been set up in the name of Ms. Charlotte (Hall) Rich,  to be given to a deserving Hamilton High School Student each year.

Hopefully, this was the 1st Annual Benefit to fund the Scholarship honoring Ms. Rich, a retired and beloved English teacher for many years at Hamilton High School who suffers from a life-threatening illness.

Charlotte attended the event which was sponsored and promoted by the Hamilton High graduating Class of 1988, the Hamilton High School Annual Staff and the Tim Cannon Band. 

(Tim Cannon, Bryan Williams and David Sims, as well as Ronald Gann, John Helms Phillip Norris and others)

Organizers of the event did an excellent job.  There were guest speakers and door prizes were presented between music sets.

"ALL Money raised" will be placed into the scholarship. DONATIONS are also being accepted.  Checks can be made payable to Class of '88 Scholarship and mailed to SCHOLARSHIP FUND, 255 County Hwy 107, Hamilton, AL 35570.

For more information on donations, contact Kimmy Vinson at (205) 412-2999 or Benja Jackson at (205) 495-2024.


Ronald Gann Performs With The Tim Cannon Band at Sat. Night Benefit Concert.

Ronald Gann, former Hamilton resident and HHS graduate came home from Texas for the event.

Ronald was an outstanding addition to this ensemble!  

WOW! Who knew Ronald could play a Saxophone like that?

Bryan Williams &
Ronald Gann


Guess Who Got A Haircut from Ms. Rich?

At least there were no hard feelings after the haircut!

Local radio DJ and musician, Bryan Williams, allowed Ms. Rich to cut his hair! 

We were assured the long locks would be donated to a charity!

"Way to go" Bryan!


The Story Behind Veteran's Day

Most folks know that Veteran's Day honors those who have served in the military, the meaning behind its exact date (November 11) may not be so familiar. Here's the "rest of the story":

Back in 1918, in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a stop to hostilities was declared, ending World War I. An armistice to cease the fighting on the Western Front was signed by the Allied powers and Germany.

President Woodrow Wilson immediately proclaimed the day "Armistice Day," kicking off the annual commemoration on November 11. But over the years, with veterans returning from World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day — a day reserved to honor veterans returning from all wars. But 11/11 still represented the end of the Great War in the public's mind, and the date stuck.

In 1921, unidentified dead from the war were buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., Westminster Abbey in London, and the Arc de Triumph in Paris. The tradition to honor those killed in the war but never identified continues every year in the U.S. The ceremony is held at 11 a.m. at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery.

Congress designated Veterans Day as a legal holiday in 1938, and since then, most Americans have come to know it as a day for store sales and parades.






FOOD ASSISTANCE PROGRAM November 16-20, 2009

Marion-Winston Counties Community Action Agency will be in the following locations to distribute food to eligible families. No applications will be taken at the distribution sites.

*11-16-09 Double Springs (Armory Building) 11 am – 12 pm
Double Springs Municipal Building on Hwy 195 South
Addison Community Center 1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

*11-17-09 Guin City Hall 10 am – 11 am
Winfield Community Center 1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

*11-18-09 Haleyville Old ARC Building 10 am - 11:30 am
Lynn City Hall 1 pm - 2 pm

*11-19-09 Hamilton Recreation Center 10 am - 11:30 am
Brilliant Housing Authority 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

*11-20-09 Hackleburg Town Hall 10 am - 11 am
Bear Creek City Hall 12:30 pm - 1:30 pm

If additional information is needed please call:
Hamilton (205)921-4224,
Double Springs (205)489-5448,
Haleyville (205)486-7239
(This agency prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex age, handicap, religion or national origin)

Marion Winston Counties Community Action Committee
P.O. Box 1716
Hamilton , AL 35570
(205) 921-4224
(205) 921-3415 FAX

Jeff Fleming
Executive Director
Marion-Winston Counties
Community Action Committee



The Marion County Humane Society will have a float in the Hamilton Christmas Parade Monday night, December 7, 2009.


The Marion County Domestic Violence Task Force has partnered with the Northwest Alabama Rebel Cruisers car club on their Christmas float that will be in the Winfield, Brilliant, and Guin Christmas parades. Those dates are: Winfield: Monday, 12/7, Brilliant: Thursday, 12/10, and Guin: Monday, 12/14.

If you would like to ride or walk in any of the parades, please call Dotty Lyons at 205-245-3600. The cruisers have worked very hard on the float, so let’s show up to support them!

Also, we have one size large ladies’ polo shirt left and we’ll sell it for $25. Email me if you are interested.

We hope to see you tomorrow, December 3, 2009, at our holiday pot luck lunch!

Kier Vickery, Secretary

Marion County Domestic Violence Task Force
Kier Vickery, LGSW
Marion County DHR
Fax (205)921-6050


Alabama # 1 in both polls and an early favorite over Texas with their 32 - 13 SEC Championship Game win Saturday over the Florida Gators!  The Crimson Tide, (13-0, 8-0 SEC), is headed to Pasadena to play the Texas Longhorns, (13-0, 8-0 Big 12), winner of the 2009 Big 12 Championship, at the Citi BCS National Championship Game on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2010 (7 p.m. Central/ABC), in Pasadena, California!

It  is rumored the Tide is favored to win by 4 points!

The Auburn Tigers are going to Tampa! It's official: Auburn vs. Northwestern in the Outback Bowl in Tampa, FL. on Jan. 1, 2010.



6A - Hoover 28, Prattville 23
5A - Demopolis 27, Russellville 14
4A - Cherokee Co. 31, Jackson 27
3A - Piedmont 35, Cordova 28
2A - Reeltown 16, Clay Co. 8
1A - Brantley 28, Hackleburg 13


Winfield Public Library News

The Winfield Public Library celebrated Teen Read Week October 18th - 24th. The library hosted a teen contest theme "Map Other Worlds". Teens were encouraged to create maps or models of their favorite fictional worlds. Teens from surrounding communities (Guin, Winfield, Brilliant, and Hubbertville) were invited to participate.

The Winner was Brianna Taylor, daughter of Johnny and Christy Taylor. Brianna is 13 years old and attends the 7th grade at Winfield Middle School. Brianna's model was titled "Bella's Twilight Journey" . Brianna was awarded a ribbon, certificate, a book of her choice (valued at $25 or less), and $25 cash.

Regina Sperry
Winfield Public Library




3 to 4.3 Billion Barrels of Technically Recoverable Oil Assessed in North Dakota and Montana’s Bakken Formation—25 Times More Than 1995 Estimate—

You will be leaving 49countynews.net site.


2010 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest Sunday, October 11, 2009

For anyone who might be interested, the Outdoor Alabama magazine is holding its 2010 Outdoor Alabama Photo Contest.

Basic rules: The contest is open to any amateur photographer except employees of the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and members of their immediate families. An amateur is defined as someone who does not does not earn a living from photography. Photos must have been taken within the past two years, and previously published images are not eligible. All photos must have been taken in Alabama and species must be native to the state.

The deadline is October 31, 2009. There are multiple categories, and they do have student categories for children as young as six years old. The photo shown below was taken by Ben Jackson, III, of Birmingham, who received the honorable mention award in the youth 6 to 12 years of age category in the 2009 contest. This photo was taken on Marion County Highway 29 about five miles north of Hamilton and is entitled "Hamilton, Alabama Landscape."

(Photo courtesy Outdoor Alabama)

For further information, rules, or to obtain an application, please go to this website:

Northwest Alabama Arts Council, Inc.
P.O. Box 694
Hamilton, AL 35570
(205) 921-9483


The Senior Class of Phillips High School will be selling chances from September 3rd to October 29th for $2.00 a ticket on a Toshiba Satellite Laptop that was donated by the Bear Creek Civitan Club.

You may buy a ticket from any Phillips High School senior. The drawing will be on October 29th. at the Brilliant football game. You do not have to be present to win.
WINNER UPDATE! One of the seniors,
Carly Martello, won the laptop.

Thanks to Jim Casteel for this information.




 Senator Roger Bedford Capitol Report Friday, July 24, 2009

One of the main reasons I ran for the Alabama Legislature was to positively impact the daily lives of my constituents.

I understand that state government has the ability and the resources to positively impact an individual, a family, a community and a town. Leadership takes action and leadership demands results, and that is the hope and the potential of state government. That's why I wanted to be in public service.

But I also understand that when government fails to take action – fails to do what is right and needed for our constituents – people can be impacted negatively. Doing nothing has consequences, too; some that we can predict and others that we cannot.

So when the Alabama Legislature failed to accept $100 million in free federal stimulus money to expand Alabama 's unemployment program, I understood that there would be negative consequences for the families of Alabama . I voted to expand Alabama 's program -- as did every Democratic senator, save one -- but no member of the other political party joined us and our expansion idea failed.

And we are now seeing the results of that inaction. The unemployment rate for June stands at 10.1 percent, the highest rate for our state in twenty-five years. But I don't like talking in percentages, because percentages don't tell the real story of what is happening to our families. That Alabama unemployment number is really 215,617; that's 215,617 Alabamians without jobs last month.

That number doesn't even begin to tell the whole story in Alabama . Bureau of Labor Statistics has another number, a number that represents what they call “underutilization.” Underutilization is workers out of work or working in part-time jobs to get by. That number now stands at 16.5 percent.

And not even THAT number includes workers who have given up looking for new jobs because they just can't find one.

As much misery as those numbers represent, and those unemployment numbers will continue to rise throughout the year, the state of Alabama could have done something about it. We had the opportunity to expand our unemployment compensation program, providing a little bit of cushion to working families.

Our plan was simple: expand unemployment compensation benefits to part-time workers, 70 percent of whom are women helping to support their families; provide unemployment benefits to victims of domestic violence so hurt they cannot work; and provide unemployment benefits to those workers in training programs trying to better themselves. All common sense measures needed by Alabama families and all to be paid with $100 million of free federal stimulus dollars. Not a dime of Alabama taxpayer money would be used, just free federal dollars.

Instead of enacting that plan, according to the Wall Street Journal, Alabama joined the state of Mississippi as the only states in America that turned down the stimulus money, refusing to expand worker unemployment programs.

We can do better than this and, thankfully, the Alabama Legislature has one more chance next session to accept the federal stimulus dollars and expand our unemployment program. Our part-time workers, our victims of domestic violence and our citizens in job-training programs deserve no less.

Not only is this program expansion good for Alabama families, such an expansion is good for our economy, giving us a stimulus shock right here in our state. Expanding unemployment insurance is one of the most cost-effective fiscal stimulus measures that we can implement. It is estimated that Alabama will receive an economic return of more than $2 for every dollar we invest in our workers' unemployment benefits.

We cannot afford to leave this money in Washington, where it will simply be diverted to other states and their needs. Our families need help right now during the worse economic environment in our lifetimes. Take the free money now and use the free money now. The federal money will pay for the expansion from calendar year 2010 to 2013. Beginning in 2014, the cost to the state for this expansion will be $22 million. If at that point this expansion causes a tax increase on employers, then we simply change the law back. We can take care of 2014 in 2014.

I can think of 20,000 reasons to expand our unemployment benefits: It is estimated that these new benefits will help almost 20,000 more Alabamians.

It is time to give our workers the extra help they need facing the worst economic situation in our lifetimes. There is money available to do this. Our struggling families deserve it. And Alabama's economy needs it.

Governor Riley announced this week that their was a vacancy for the District Six position on the Auburn University of Board of Trustees, which includes the counties of Bibb, Chilton, Greene, Hale, Perry, Shelby, Sumter and Tuscaloosa. To be considered for the vacancy a person must be a resident of the United States , less than 70 years of age at time of appointment, cannot be an employee of Auburn University , cannot be a member of the selection committee and must reside in one the listed counties. The deadline to submit a nominee for this vacancy is August 10 by mail at Auburn University Trustee Selection Committee, Attention: Grant Davis, 105 Samford Hall, Auburn University , AL 36489 .

I want to thank the Franklin County Arts Council for honoring me this past week at their W.C. Handy Festival event at the Roxy Theatre for my past and continued support of their efforts to restore the historic Roxy Theatre in Russellville. It has been a privilege to assist with this important project. I believe that this project will continue to have a positive economic impact on the community. I appreciate the efforts of the Council and all of those that have played a part in the restoration of the Theatre.

This past week, the senate district received some good news by way of several grants announced from various agencies of the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Shelton State Community College received $133,000 to be used to administer traffic safety projects and grants in West Alabama, $236,812 was received by the Northwest Shoals Community College for the North Alabama Highway Safety Office proposes to continue implementation of the ADECA/LETS Highway Safety programs in North Alabama region including the counties of Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lawrence, Limestone, Lauderdale, Madison, Marion, Morgan and Winston, $25,000 for the Town of Kennedy for the purchase of a vehicle and $25,000 for the Colbert County Commission for the continuation of a multi-jurisdictional drug task force.

There were also three weatherization grants announced this week from ADECA. The grants were modifications to previous grants and include the CAA of Northwest Alabama, Inc., for $1,281,110, $2,381,218 for the Community Service Programs of West Alabama, Inc. and $2,147,283 for the CAP of North Alabama, Inc. All of these grants will be used for the Low Income Weatherization Assistance Program as subgrantees to weatherize homes of low-income, elderly and disabled residents of Alabama per the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

This past week also saw the awarding of two allocations from the Workforce Development Fund. Northwest Shoals Community College received $19,167 and Bevill State Community College received $23,000 to conduct Ready-To-Work programs which provide workplace readiness skills to individuals with limited employment history.

Marathon Equipment Company, Inc., also received a Workforce Development Fund grant in the amount of $49,800 to provide training to 150 employees in Introduction to Lean, Floor Supervisor Professional Development, Safety and Health, Value Stream Mapping, Non-Manufacturing Kaizen Implementation, and Kaizen Facilitator training in order that the company may remain competitive, increase market share, save jobs and hire additional workers.

The Alabama Department of Transportation announced the letting of two highway projects for July 31. The first project is in Lamar County for the plane/resurfacing of State Road 17 from 0.7 mile north of County Road 29 to County Road 30 in Sulligent. The other project is in Marion County and involves work on the bridge and approaches at Barn Creek on State Road 74 ( US 278). It is good to see ongoing highway work in our district which improves the safety and quality of travel in the area.

I was also able to travel to Marion , Fayette and Lamar Counties this past week and distribute grant checks. In Fayette, I gave $1,000 to the Fayette County High School majorettes, $1,000 to the Fayette County High School golf team, $1,000 to Hubbertville School and $1,000 to the Fayette County High School Band Foundation for equipment needs. In Lamar County , I gave $2,000 to the Lamar County Children’s Policy Council, $500 to the Food Pantry and $1,000 to the Lamar County High School volleyball team. In Marion County , I gave $1,000 to the Brilliant High School track team, $2,000 to the Hackleburg School boys basketball team, $1,000 to the Car Nut Museum and $1,000 to the Hackleburg baseball team for uniforms.

It was a pleasure, as always, to assist these fine extracurricular and community programs. As I have stated before, I was elected to represent you and part of that job is to bring back as much of our tax dollars as possible to help improve the quality of life of the citizens of Senate District 6.

Please continue to contact me at the following:

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.
Alabama State House
Suite 730, Montgomery, AL 36130

Phone:334-242-7862, Fax:334-353-4304

Roger Bedford & Associates, P.C.
P.O. Box 370, Russellville, AL 35653

Phone: 256-332-2880 Fax:256-332-7821

website: www.senatorbedford.com

E-mail: senbedford@aol.com


Senator Roger Bedford Capitol Report, Friday, Sept. 4, 2009

As most of you already know, there are severe problems with the Alabama Prepaid Affordable College Tuition program also known as PACT, which is run by the Alabama State Treasurer's office. Unfortunately, they Treasurer, Kay Ivey, ran it into the ground without telling Governor Riley or the Legislature about the severe problems.

The program began in the early 1990’s as a way for parents and/or grandparents to pay a set amount into it for the purpose of paying future college tuition costs for a student and/or students. The PACT program entered into a contract with their participants. Through this program, thousands of Alabama 's finest students have already attended college.

In March of this year, the Alabama Treasurer's Office informed the existing 49,000 PACT participants it did not have the money to meet all of its future tuition obligations. The Treasurer's Office blamed the collapse on the stock market crash, a crash that caused the Alabama program to lose a staggering 48 percent of its investments. The Alabama Treasurer asked the Legislature for a financial bailout. This bailout will cost Alabama taxpayers, according to a . According to recent Retirement Systems of Alabama (RSA) study, between $642 million and $1 billion dollars..

How did this happen? First, the stock market drop does not fully explain how Alabama 's losses were one of the worse, if not the worse, in the nation, according to USA Today. Other states, seeing the same out-of-control tuition hikes, made substantial changes to their programs years ago. West Virginia closed its program to investors in 2003. Colorado closed its program to new investors in 2002, and in 2003 gave participants the opportunity to transfer to other plans, withdraw funds or leave funds in the program with the understanding that important modifications would take place in the program. Alabama did not do anything. As you know, I have been a strong supporter of fixing this program for years.

So now the question is how do we address this issue in a financial responsible way that will benefit existing PACT participants but, not cause an undue burden upon taxpayers. The RSA study suggested the following possibilities:

1.If tuition continues to grow at a 7.25 percent rate, the PACT shortfall will be $642 million. That means next year Alabama will need to write a $642 million check to the PACT program.

2.The Legislature needs to find and allocate $100 million per year to PACT for the next 7.5 years, for a total bailout cost of $748.2 million. Third, the Legislature could commit to level funding of $52 million per year for the next 18 years, a bailout cost of $932.8 million. A fourth option by the RSA is the pay-as-you-go-option, a bailout plan that will cost more than $1 billion.

3.RSA also considered the cost of terminating the program. If PACT continues to pay for students already in college while refunding the rest, the bailout drops to just $60 million total to cover the refunds. However, if PACT refunds all participants and either stops paying for or substantially reduces the payments to students already in college, there would be no bailout: PACT has the assets to cover that cost.

If nothing is done, the PACT program runs out of money in 2015.

Of course, all of these options assume tuition rates rising at 7.25 percent per year. However, as the RSA points out, if Alabama universities could cap tuition increases to 3.75 percent for PACT students, the Legislature's allocation drops to $34 million per year for 18 years, a total bailout of $608 million. If Alabama universities froze tuition for PACT students for the entire 18-year period, the total bailout cost would drop to $355 million over the next 18 years, or $19.8 million per year. Freezing tuition could also mean spending $100 million per year for 2.5 years, a total cost of $256 million. As someone who has personally used the PACT program for my son’s college educational expenses, it saddens me to see the program fail like this and I am hopeful that we can find a way to solve this problem without costing the taxpayers too much money.

On a more positive note, I was able to present multiple grant checks in Franklin County including a $1,000 grant for Safeplace for their Walk-A-Mile for a Child event, $1,000 for the Russellville High School band for uniforms, $845 to Tharptown High School for the purchase of a flagpole and flag, $500 to the Russellville Little League for travel costs, $200 to the Phil Campbell Dixie Youth for uniforms, $600 to the Frog Pond Community Center for the purchase of a water heater, $800 to HOSA for travel expenses, $1,000 to the Franklin County Times for their newspapers in education program, $1,000 to the East Franklin Jr. High cheerleaders, $1,000 to the Russellville Middle School Robotics Team and $1,000 to the Russellville City School System as part of the teacher in-service drawing. As always, it is a pleasure to assist the school and community projects.

I also attended the Bear Creek Reservoir ribbon cutting this week. It was a great event with attendance by local officials, water authority personnel and people from TVA. It is my hope that this spirit of cooperation and community can continue.

I was also able to attend the Alabama Homeland Security’s Preparedness Day at McFarland Park . Area emergency management officials were in attendance and we were given a demonstration of water safety procedures and rescue techniques. I appreciate Governor Riley coming to our area and his remarks regarding the fine job which our emergency management agencies do throughout the State.

I want to congratulate the Marion County-Rankin Fite Airport on the recent refurbishing of hangar there so that it can be used to house aircraft and/or interested businesses. It was a pleasure to assist with this project and I commend the local officials at the airport as well as the Marion County Commission for their hard work and dedication to this project. I believe this will greatly assist with economic growth and development. I was proud to make this funding available to the Marion County Commission.

I am glad to see that the high school football season has gotten off to such a great start and I wish all the area teams a successful and safe season. I am looking forward to the college football season as well. Roll Tide!!

Please continue to contact me at the following:

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

Alabama State House

11 S. Union Street, Suite 730 , Montgomery , AL 36130


PO Box 370 , Russellville , AL 35653

Phone: 256-332-2880 Fax: 256-332-2801

E-mail: senbedford@aol.com Website:


Senator Roger Bedford Capitol Report Friday, Sept. 18, 2009

Natural Resources, Conservation Important to Alabama's Future

September 14-20 is Resource Conservation and Development (RC&D) week, time dedicated to increasing our awareness of natural resource conservation and the important role local communities can play in that effort.

Make no mistake: Alabama is blessed by hardworking citizens, geographic advantages and abundant natural resources that rival any state in the nation. And the impact of those resources on our economy can never be underestimated. Travel into any part of Alabama and you can witness firsthand those resources, from lakes to streams, from timber, coal and natural gas, all combined to create a quality of life and economic vitality that is uniquely our own.

More than 23 million Alabama acres are covered by forests, making Alabama the second largest commercial forest in the nation. The Alabama timber industry is the number one manufacturing industry in the state and the number one crop in 34 Alabama counties.

More than 80 percent of our forests are managed by family tree farmers, and the impact on Alabama jobs is immense. Approximately 48,000 workers are directly employed in the timber industry and another 100,000 are indirectly dependent upon this industry. All together, this Alabama industry produced more than $15 billion in products per year. So clearly, the conservation and management of this resource is critical to the future of Alabama 's economy.

Likewise, Alabama is covered by thousands of miles of streams and rivers and populated with hundreds of lakes and reservoirs in every part of our state. This valuable resource provides important recreational activities for our families, from fishing and swimming to skiing and boating. At the same time, with the Tri-state Water War, we all are aware of the important economic role that water plays on development. And as a perfect example of how all of our resources are interconnected, that 23 million acres of trees I mentioned plays a vital role in cleaning and filtering our water sources. Of course, all of us must engage in conserving this resource, from limiting our usage to reducing run-off from development.

Finally, the very soil we stand and build upon also plays a critical function in our economy. Just think of the number of farmers and cattle ranchers that exist in our state, and the jobs they also produce. Management of the soil must be done or our land will simply stop producing for us in the future.

Again, none of these components can be served in isolation, each aspect – soil, water, forests – is connected and any approach at environmental management must be cohesive and coordinated. That really is the role played by the RC&D Program. The program is a partnership between the Alabama Soil and Water Conversation Committee, Natural Resource Conservation Service, the Alabama Legislature, Alabama Cooperative Extension System and local people and the agencies of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The program operates on the principle that local control is best, and the structure of the program bears that philosophy out. There are nine RC&D councils in Alabama : the Alabama-Tombigbee Council, the Cawaco Council, the Coosa Valley Council, the Mid-South Council, the Northwest Alabama Council, the Gulf Coast Council, the Alabama Mountains Rivers Valleys Council, the Tombigbee Council, and the Wiregrass Council.

These councils bring together local leadership and community volunteers to focus on the development of human and natural resources in their areas. Local RC&D councils provide ways for people to plan and implement projects that will make their communities a better place to live. They bring together people, needs, concerns, opportunities and solutions.

Council goals include developing adequate public utilities, facilities and services including recreation, housing, roads, water and fire protection, etc., for all towns and rural areas. And just as important, they help develop and use natural resources in a manner that can expand economic and rural development while maximizing the protection and management of forest land, farm land, water and air.

This is an important balance that must be maintained, and I would like to thank all those local participants who give of their time and resources in creating that balance. Alabama is better for your efforts.

This week was a good one for the senate district as it relates to grant announcements including four from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) for our district. The Lawrence County Commission received $265,000 from ADECA to continue the operation of the Drug Task Force in the county; the Marion County Commission received $265,000 for the multi-jurisdictional task force so it can continue with drug investigations and drug enforcement; the Northwest Alabama Mental Health Center received $25,080 for the Prevention Plus Program which used “Too Good for Drugs” and other curricula aimed at drug and violence prevention among K-9th grade students and $31,500 was received by Winston County School for the “Buzzed” program which is a universal alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention program for grades 9-12. I am pleased to see these much needed funds in our area aimed at fighting the issues of drug abuse at all levels.

The Alabama Department of Homeland Security also awarded grants in the senate district to be used for K-12 school safety initiatives and programs to place additional mobile data devices in law enforcement patrol cars. The recipients of these grants are as follows:

$64,845 for Colbert County

$51,180 for Fayette County

$59,900 for Franklin County

$55,434 for Lamar County

$87,674 for Lawrence County

$53,138 for Marion County

$53,125 for Winston County

I was also able to present grants from the Northwest Alabama Resource Conservation and Development Council grants in the senate district including a grant to the Byrd Volunteer Fire Department to pour concrete and build a facility for outdoor cooking to be used during fundraisers and community events; a grant to the Hackleburg Senior Center to be used to purchase tables, chairs, furnishings and other equipment and a grant for Hackleburg High School to assist the girls basketball team with weight room equipment. I was also able to present RC & D grants for Franklin County including funds for the Vina Day Festival, funds for the Town of Hodges to provide a handicap accessible walking trail connector allowing a safe path by handicapped individuals; funds for the Franklin County Cool Runnings and Envirothon team and funds for the Tharptown High School for an interactive whiteboard to enhance curriculum in classroom.

I also wanted to advise interested parties that the Alabama Council for Developmental Disabilities will be taking applications for grants for innovative ideas that will benefit individuals with developmental disabilities. The deadline is 1:00p.m. on October 14, 2009 .

For more information contact the Alabama Council for Development Disabilities at 1-800-232-2158 or go online at www.acdd.org .

I am pleased to see the football season going so well at all levels. I really appreciate all the hard work of the coaches, players, band members, cheerleaders and others not only during the season but off season as well.

Please continue to contact me at the following:

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

Alabama State Senate

Alabama State House

11 S. Union Street

Suite 730

Montgomery , AL 36130

Phone: 334-242-7862


PO Box 370

Russellville , AL 35653

Phone: 256-332-2880

Fax: 256-332-2801

Email: senbedford@aol.com

Website: www.senatorbedford.com



This past week, I was able to travel to Glen Allen where Representative Thigpen and I were able to conduct a town meeting of sorts. I was pleased that the mayor and city council were able to host us and to see more than thirty citizens in attendance. It was a good evening in which we were able to discuss issues of importance not only to the local area but, also to the state.

I was also able to travel down to Winston County this past week and meet with Keith Jones of the Northwest Alabama Council of Local Governments and Don Vaughn with the Alabama Department of Transportation. We traveled on the Haleyville Armory Road as well as toured some of Corridor X and visited the Winston County Industrial Park. I am glad he was able to come from Montgomery and see first hand the road projects taking place locally as well as see the work that still needs to be done.

I was also able to present grants in Franklin County including a $100,000 grant to the City of Phil Campbell for their ballfield from ADECA. I was also proud to be able to meet with Heather Daracot and Franklin County School System Superintendent, Gary Williams, for the grant announcement for the schools from Children’s First. I was also able to present discretionary grants to the Russellville High School media center, $2,000 to the Russellville High School softball program, $750 to the Franklin County 4-H program, $1,000 to the Phil Campbell Elementary School, $1,000 to the Russellville High School volleyball team and $1,000 to the East Franklin Jr. High School softball team. It was a pleasure to be able to assist with these grants to help these school and community projects.

There was good news this past week in the senate district with the announcement by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs that they were awarding $43,234.00 to Safeplace to address the problems of expanding domestic violence services to a growing Hispanic population in Colbert, Lauderdale, Franklin, Marion and Winston Counties and to provide more personal on-site in rural counties to provide services, such as court advocacy and to refer both populations to the crisis line and residential facility when needed.

San, Inc., received a grant in the amount of $171,859.00 from ADECA to be used with their Turning Point program which provides services to victims of rape, and sexual assault and adult survivors of child sexual assault. Additional services are also provided including a 24-hour crisis line, emergency confidential shelter, individual and group counseling, case management, court advocacy, child advocacy, information and referrals to other community agencies. These services are provided to the counties of West Alabama.

San, Inc., also received a $20,000 grant for the Recovery project to help with job retention pertaining to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault to victims who come to Turning Point for counseling services.

The West Alabama Children’s Advocacy Center also received a grant from ADECA in the amount of $40,717.00. This grant will allow the Center to continue to provide child abuse services and a child friendly facility in Lamar County and to establish a facility in Fayette County and Pickens County with services including taped interviews and counseling sessions along with court preparations for the victims.

We are sliding into fall and with it comes the crazy weather of hot one day and cool the next along with the fall rains. I hope, however, you have been able to enjoy the football season and for the hunters, I know you are looking forward to the upcoming deer bow hunting season as well as gun season in November.

Please continue to contact me at the following:

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

Alabama State Senate

Alabama State House

11 S. Union Street

Suite 730

Montgomery , AL 36130

Phone: 334-242-7862


PO Box 370

Russellville , AL 35653

Phone: 256-332-2880

Fax: 256-332-2801

Email: senbedford@aol.com

Website: www.senatorbedford.com



This past week was another good one for the district as it relates to grants. The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs announced many grants for the district totaling $2,129,429.00 and breakdown as follows:

$70,126.00 to the Lawrence County Commission to be used to respond to domestic disturbances, make arrests, work with victims and offenders to reduce reoccurrence, support the judicial process and assist community resources to combat the problem

$400,000 to the City of Vernon in Lamar County in the form of a community development block grant to be used to repair and/or replace 12,000 linear feet of sewer line on 5th, 6th and 7th Streets as well as Columbus Avenue. The project is expected to benefit 165 individuals of whom 89% are of low and moderate income

$250,000 to the City of Fayette in Fayette County for the Store Fronts Improvement Project to restore 24 deteriorated business store fronts in downtown Fayette. The project will benefit 4,922 persons and will eliminate slum and blight.

$10,000 to the Town of Cherokee in Colbert County to be used to prepare a town-wide comprehensive plan to establish a policy framework for the future of the Town. The project will benefit 1,260 residents of whom 55.5% percent are low to moderate income.

$32,000 to the City of Hamilton in Marion County to be used to develop a downtown revitalization plan to eliminate slum and blighting conditions in the City.

$350,000 to the Fayette County Commission from Community Development Block Grant Funds to extend water lines to serve 37 homes in the Stough Community along County Road 9, Honeysuckle Road, Otts Road, Ford Valley Road and State Highway 102. The project will benefit 79 persons of whom 83.8% are of low and moderate income.

$400,000 to the Lamar County Commission from Community Development Block Grant Funds to provide new public water service to 46 households located along Stembridge Road, County Road 24, and County Road 49 in communities known as Stembridge and Fairview. The project will benefit 112 persons of whom 65.71% are of low and moderate income.

$217,303 to the Colbert County Commission for the rehabilitation of four bridges in the communities of Mill Creek Loop, North Pike and Ligon Springs. The project will benefit 414 persons of which 91% are low to moderate income.

$400,000 to the Marion County Commission from Community Development Block Grant Funds to provide new public water service to 59 households located in the southeastern portion of Marion County known as the Byrd/Barnesville Community. The project will benefit 140 persons of whom 83% are of low and moderate income.

It was a pleasure to assist local elected officials in obtaining these much needed funds to assist with these important community projects.

I was also able to help secure funding through my work as chairman of the State General Fund for the Alabama Department of Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention. They have released a report showing the distribution of funds for our district and they are as follows:

$75,000 to the Colbert-Laderdale Attention Homes, Inc. for the Helping Encouraged At-Risk Teens Program also known as HEART and the REAL parent program. The HEART program serves teens in Colbert, Lauderdale and Franklin Counties while the REAL program assist with parent education and support in these counties.

$85,000 to the Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Shoals which is a mentoring program for children. It serves residents of Colbert and Lauderdale Counties

$70,000 to the Community Action Agency of Northwest Alabama for the fatherhood and mother programs in Lauderdale, Franklin and Colbert Counties to assist with parental education and support.

$25,000 to the Franklin County School System for the Life Lessons 101 program.

$10,000 to Healing Place for their parent education and support program which serves residents of Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale Counties.

$40,000 to the Jasper Area Family Services Center for its Baby T.A.L.K. (Teaching Activities for Learning and Knowledge) program which serves residents in Fayette, Franklin, Marion, Lamar and Winston Counties.

$30,000 to Kid One Transport for the Breaking Down Barriers program which provides access to health care services for the Hispanic and Latino community and serves residents in Fayette and Winston Counties.

$40,000 to the Lawrence County Schools for the Lawrence County Teen Parents as Teachers program.

$15,000 to the Shoals Family Council for the Shoals Safe Exchange program which serves residents in Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale Counties

$20,000 to the United Cerebral Palsy of Northwest Alabama for their HEARTS Respite Care program. This program serves residents in Colbert, Franklin, Lauderdale and Lawrence Counties.

We must do all that we can to help prevent abuse and neglect of our children which are our greatest resource not only in the State of Alabama but, our great Nation as well.

I also enjoyed being on the Hutty show along with six other football prognosticators. I appreciate him allowing me to be on his show on 95.5 FM. I hope all of you are enjoying this cooler weather and great football season.

Please continue to contact me at the following:

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

Alabama State House

Suite 730, Montgomery, AL 36130

Phone:334-242-7862, Fax:334-353-4304

Roger Bedford & Associates, P.C.

P.O. Box 370, Russellville, AL 35653

Phone: 256-332-2880 Fax:256-332-7821

website: senatorbedford.com

E-mail: senbedford@aol.com




Representative Mike Millican Monday, July 20, 2009

Back-To-School Is Around the Corner

Make Sure To Take Advantage of the State Tax Holiday

The unseasonably cooler weather that visited our state recently had, dare we say it, a touch of fall in it. The low humidity and the mercury not rising toward 100 degrees made folks think that summer was not long in staying, even though it is still July and we’ll see heat waves and humidity return before it is all over.

Even though we are in the heart of summer, parents all across the state have been looking to the calendar and knowing that the start of school is just around the corner. It is commonplace now for school to start in the second week of August and some systems start even earlier. Gone are the days when school would begin after Labor Day.

There are many reasons for the earlier start dates. In 2006, the Legislature extended the school year from 170 to 175 days, a move intended to make sure our children received an equal amount of classroom time compared to other states.

State education officials say another reason for the earlier start time is because of federal regulations regarding standardized tests. Under federal law, schools that have failing grades on the tests must notify parents during the summer so that they may change schools. The reason why the state sets exam dates so early in the spring is to accommodate their notification schedule.

Local school administrators want to get as many weeks of classroom time in before these high stakes standardized tests, and that is one reason why the start date has crept earlier and earlier. Other reasons for the earlier start date are ideas like “fall break” and extended holiday vacation. The final outcome is that August is now a school month, not a summer vacation month.

Regardless of when classes begin, for parents, back-to-school means opening the wallet or purse to buy all the things kids need.

The good news is that this is the fourth year Alabama will have its sales tax holiday. This year it is August 7-9. During these dates, state government waives its 4 percent sales tax on back-to-school items. The sales tax holiday covers clothing items costing $100 or less, computer equipment costing $750 or less, school supplies costing $50 or less, and books costing $30 or less. Pretty much everything a student needs for class will be exempt during the tax holiday.

Most counties and cities also waive the local sales tax, although that is a local decision. To find out if a county or city is participating in the tax holiday this year, and to see a list of exempt items, go to the Alabama Department of Revenue website at:


The tough heat and humidity may yet return, but the kids will be starting school nonetheless in the next three weeks. Summer for them is fast coming to a close, but at least there is a much-needed break for parents with the upcoming sales tax holiday

E-Mail: mike.millican@alhouse.org


State House: Room 628-F
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
(334) 242-7768

Home: 995 Country Estates Drive
Hamilton, AL 35570
Home Phone: (205) 921-3214
Cell Phone: (205) 468-0694
FAX: (205) 921-5959


Representative Mike Millican September 3, 2009

Millican Announces That State Tax Refunds Are Coming Soon

Representative Mike Millican today shared the news that people who are waiting for their state tax refunds should get them this month.

“This is great news for people who filed their taxes on time, but have been waiting for their tax refund from the state,” said Millican.

“In tough economic times like these, every little bit helps, and it’s good to know that folks will finally get their money this month,” said Millican.

The state plans to send checks for the majority of refunds by September 30. If there are questions about a tax return, it may take a little longer to get the refund. Any person or couple who filed their returns on time should either have a refund or details from the state about the holdup by September 30.

People who have not received their state refunds may get them with interest of 4 percent. If someone filed a return April 15 or earlier, then they started getting interest on July 16. For people who filed after April 15, interest starts 90 days after the tax return is mailed or filed.

“I know people have been waiting to hear about when they’re getting their tax refund, so hopefully everyone will have their refunds by the end of the month,” said Millican.

People who have questions about individual tax refunds should call the state refund hotline at 800-558-3912.


Editorial from Representative Mike Millican Thursday, Oct. 9, 2009

Flu Season Comes Early To Alabama

This year’s flu season has everyone’s attention with the H1N1 virus, also known as the swine flu. The virus seems more contagious and hits the young more than other flu outbreaks, and when the news reports fatalities we all get worried.

State health officials are closely monitoring the spread of the flu this year. They say that most people affected by this strain of flu get well in a couple of days, without the need of a visit to the doctor. They urge common sense ways of reducing the risk of catching it, like washing hands frequently and covering your mouth and nose during coughs and sneezes with an arm instead of a hand. Most importantly, the state health department says people should stay home when symptoms show up, especially children.

Alabama is unfortunate this year because Alabama schools begin earlier than most other states. Any teacher will tell you that a classroom might as well be a laboratory when it comes to viruses; they seem to grow well there even though efforts are made to reduce their spreading. Kids forget to cover their mouths when coughing. They sharing lunches and crayons, and no amount of antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer will stop germs from spreading.

State school officials say student absences have about doubled in Alabama schools, going from an average absentee rate of about 3.5 percent to 7 percent. They can’t be sure that all these absences are caused by the flu, but there are indications that they are. Several schools have already been closed for a period due to outbreaks since the start of classes, though school officials are reluctant to shut schools as they did last spring. They say schools will close only if the virus becomes more lethal or if student and teacher absences become so high that keeping school doors open becomes unfeasible.

There are problems with flu outbreaks in Alabama schools because of the lack of school nurses. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there should be one nurse for every 750 students. In our state, we have one school nurse to about every 1,100 students. Many times nurses have to work multiple schools.
Recognizing this problem, last year the Alabama Legislature passed the School Nurse Act, setting the benchmark of one state-funded school nurse for every 500 students. In the last session, the law was amended to allow licensed practical nurses to become school nurses as long as they are under the supervision of a registered nurse. Changing the certification allowed for more nurses to be placed in schools as long as there is proper supervision and quality care will be maintained.

The Alabama Department of Public Health and the State Department of Education are working together to offer school vaccinations to Alabama's 748,000 students by late fall. Every child can get a vaccination as long as they have permission from a parent, and school employees can get a shot as well.

Health and school employees are working hard to reduce H1N1 and other flu cases. We need to help them by using common sense steps to stop its spread.




Well you can tell we are going into an election year when the chairman of the Republican party starts attacking Representative Thigpen, Representative Millican and myself. As usual they have slung a lot of false charges and mud at us but, fortunately, none of the charges are true and none of the mud stuck. We have fought hard to get a portion of the coal severance tax returned to benefit the people in our districts. Coal has been mined in Marion and Fayette Counties for years. Unfortunately, when the first coal severance tax was placed on it, these two counties did not receive any money. I was not serving in the senate at that time. The counties of Jefferson, Tuscaloosa and Walker did receive coal severance tax money. When the tax was renewed, I made sure that Marion and Fayette Counties got their fair share of the taxes on these nonrenewable resources. As you know, one hundred percent of these monies stay in these counties to help with economic development, fire departments, schools, water projects, senior citizen projects and other projects to improve the quality of life in these areas thus making them an even better place in which to live and work.

I will not be deterred by mudslinging attacks from South Alabama Republicans that serve in the legislature. Perhaps they are just jealous because they cannot get it for their areas.

Good news for our district came this past week with the announcement that AT & T would be activating a new cell site in Hackleburg, Alabama. This will enhance wireless coverage for residents and businesses in the area and is good news for those who have suffered with poor reception in the area.

On a positive note our district received several grants this past week from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. The Department issued four grant awards in the district for the low income home energy assistance program with funds to be used to provide energy assistance to low-income, elderly and disabled individuals in the State of Alabama who meet poverty guidelines. The agencies which received these grants are as follows:

CAP of North Alabama, Inc., $875,556, they serve the counties of Cullman, Lawrence and Morgan

CAA of Northwest Alabama, Inc., $682,286, they serve the counties of Colbert, Franklin and Lauderdale

Community Service Programs of West Alabama, $1,196,077, they serve the counties of Bibb, Fayette, Greene, Lamar and Tuscaloosa

Marion-Winston Counties Community Action Committee, Inc., $366,334, they serve the counties of Marion and Winston

In addition to these grants, the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs awarded the following:

Safeplace, Inc., $20,000, with the funds to be used for the recovery project to help job retention pertaining to domestic violence and provide legal services to victims of domestic violence

Safeplace, Inc., $10,000, to continue the Safeplac Hispanic/Rural Services Project which addresses the dual problems of expanding domestic violence services to a growing Hispanic population and to providing more personnel on-site in our rural counties to provide services, such as court advocacy, to our rural victims and to refer both populations to the crisis line and residential facility.

Northwest Shoals Community College, $844,835, to purchase car radar units and handheld radars which will be used by law enforcement to detect drivers who are exceeding the speed limits

Northwest Shoals Community College, $55,200, to be used for programs focused on addressing youths and adults driving under the influence for the counties of Colbert, Cullman, Franklin, Lauderdale, Lawrence, Limestone, Marion, Morgan and Winston.

It has been an exciting time in area high school football teams with many of our teams making it into the playoffs and continuing the fight to bring the state championship home to their local school. I wish all of them the best of luck and want all the teams in my senate district to know how proud I am of their hard work and efforts whether they made it to the playoffs or not. I know it takes a lot of time and dedication to play sports in school and I am also very proud of all the cheerleaders and band members as well as the parents and coaches who all came together for a wonderful football season.

I hope all of you will continue to contact me with your thoughts and views at:

Roger H. Bedford, Jr.

Alabama State House

Suite 730, Montgomery, AL 36130

Phone:334-242-7862, Fax:334-353-4304

Roger Bedford & Associates, P.C.

P.O. Box 370, Russellville, AL 35653

Phone: 256-332-2880 Fax:256-332-7821

website: www.senbedford.com

E-mail: senbedford@aol.com

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Thursday, Oct. 15, 2009 Editorial from the Desk of REPRESENTATIVE MIKE MILLICAN

Water Wars Persist, Even With Record Rain

Now that the years-long drought is officially over with one of the wettest Septembers on record, it is hard to believe that Alabama is still engaged in what the press is calling a “water war” with Georgia. Yet, even though the lakes and reservoirs were filled this summer and fall, watersheds shared by the states of Alabama, Georgia and Florida are still a limited and precious resource that must be cared for.

There must be an accord between the states about our commonly shared water resources. Right now, it still looks like Georgia and its governor want to fight rather than come to common ground, and it is a battle they are losing. However, instead of trying to put the matter to rest, our neighbor to the East may actually be thinking of expanding the conflict, and cause more problems between the states.

The decades old water dispute has centered on the main source of water for metro Atlanta, Lake Lanier. Lanier was built fifty years ago by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the headwaters of the Chattahoochee River, the waterway that forms much of the border between Alabama and Georgia. The dam and lake were authorized for flood control, hydropower and navigation, not as a reservoir for drinking water.

Yet as Atlanta grew and did not take into account its long term water needs, it simply took more and more of the water from Lanier. When the Corps decided to use the lake less for electricity and more for Atlanta, Alabama spoke up and sued, saying there was no consideration of what was going to happen downstream.

As the process wound through the courts and negotiations between the states faltered, a deal was struck between the Corps and Georgia in early 2004 for more water to go to Atlanta. Alabama and Florida challenged the settlement as a secret reallocation of commonly held water resources. Last July, a judge agreed with Alabama, and now Georgia is behind the eight ball on the ruling, and it would seem the negotiations.

Did that bring Georgia back to the table in a better frame of mind? The answer seems to be no. What there seems to be is a bunch of posturing and saber rattling. It isn’t about partisanship, because Gov. Riley, Georgia’s Gov. Perdue, and Florida’s Gov. Crist are all Republicans.

Now, the peach state is looking at other watersheds to see if they could also meet north Georgia’s water needs.

One of the watersheds they are looking at is what is known as the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa River basin. The Coosa and Tallapoosa rivers are absolutely critical for Alabama, comprising many hydroelectric dams, recreational lakes, and drinking water for some of the state’s largest cities. Georgia is even looking into to tapping into Tennessee River watershed, though no part of the river actually is in Georgia.

Alabama relies on its rivers more than almost any other state. We have the most navigable waterways in the country. Our lakes comprise a backbone of our tourism industry. We rely on dams for a significant portion of our power. Moreover, our rivers are a central part of the history of our state. The Great Seal of Alabama is a map of state’s principal river systems. Rivers are who we are, and are critical to our future.

The water war has done one good thing for the state, for the first time Alabama is developing a comprehensive water plan to preserve our resources. Last year, the Legislature created the Permanent Joint Legislative Committee on Water Policy and Management. The committee consists of House and Senate members, and it has been meeting and working on a comprehensive statewide water plan that will provide a basis to defend and preserve water resources from the pressures of development both inside and outside Alabama.

Yet, most of our state’s water resources could be in jeopardy by the actions of Georgia. That state has itself begun to enact a statewide plan, and it is about time.

I remain vigilant and will fight for our rights as downstream citizens. Hopefully, their state leaders will see the light, and their legal losses, and come to the negotiating table with a better attitude.


Sam LeMaster Food Inspections for August 17-21-09

Asian Wok (Hamilton) 88
Dinelli's (Hamilton) 92
Hamilton Drive-In 95
Hamilton Elementary Lunchroom 95
Jack Rabbit Slim's (Hackleburg) 98
K&A, Inc. (Hamilton) 84
La Estancia Mexican Restaurant (Hamilton) 92
McDonald's (Hamilton) 92
Midway Restaurant (Haleyville) 92
Phillips Lunchroom (Bear Creek) 98
Sno Biz (Hamilton) 93
Sonic Drive-in (Hamilton) 89
Taco Bell (Hamilton) 100
Teresa's Country Cafe (Hamilton) 87


Sam LeMaster Food Inspections for Sept 21-Oct 2, 2009

Aromas Cafe and Coffee Bar (Winfield) 99
Bassville (Haleyville) 94
Burgers and More II (Winfield) 95
Carolyn's Restaurant (Brilliant) 95
Catering by LeAnne (Guin) 98
Family Inn Motel (Winfield) 90
Guin Shell 94
Guthrie's (Hamilton) 90
Hardee's (Hamilton) 94
Huatulco Mexican Restaurant (Winfield) 85
Ivie's Cost Plus 10% Supermarket (Winfield) 95
Jack's (Winfield) 98
Mandarin House (Winfield) 91
New Mart Quick Shop (Winfield) 95
Plantation Steak House (Guin) 92
Seafood Selects (Winfield) 90
Taco bell (Winfield) 98
Token No. 19 (Winfield) 97
Winfield Senior Citizen Meal Site 99
Lunch Wagon (Hamilton) 90
Marion Regional Medical Center (Hamilton) 96