Ghost Girls hold paranormal investigation at courthouse

Ghost Girls Lesley Hyde (left), Heather Lawrence (center), and Gordo Mayor Craig Patterson (right) gave visitors haunted history and paranormal investigation tours.

By BRIAN HAMILTON, Editor

An organization called ‘Ghost Girls’ held a paranormal investigation at the Historic Pickens County Courthouse on Saturday, February 9th and many folks came from near and far for the opportunity to go on a live ghost hunt. Ghost Girls was founded by friends Lesley Hyde and Heather Lawrence because of their interest in the paranormal.

Search, candlelight vigil held for missing woman

Genia Deason, niece of missing woman Janet Hamner, speaks to members of the press in the parking lot of Moe’s Travel Plaza on Tuesday, Feb. 12.

Six months to the day Coker woman Janet Hamner went missing, a search was conducted by her family members on Tuesday, Feb. 11 — also her 60th birthday.

Family members and other volunteers searched along side Highway 82 and wooded areas between the former Dunn’s store back to the Pickens County line. A candlelight vigil was held afterwards.

Commission: Property taxes to remain same

BY DOUG SANDERS JR., Correspondent

The Pickens County Commission held an uneventful and brief meeting last Tuesday night, including a delay on a decision about a real property appraiser, no change in property taxes, and a name change for the Sapps Communit Center.

Meeting for about 15 minutes on Feb. 12, the session began with the Commission agreeing to keeping the 2019 property tax rates the same as last year.

Real Property

Appraiser

Carrollton Mayor looking to stop dumping, loitering at West Highland

Carrollton Mayor Mickey Walker has put up logs to keep people from parking and loitering at West Highland St. Walker said dumping trash and loitering has been a major problem here for years.

By Brian Hamilton, Editor

The Carrollton City Council on Thursday, February 7th began with Pam Acker and Jane Quarles being appointed to the library board. Also, it was announced that bids for the Carrollton City Hall remodeling would be opened on February 14, at 8am.

Dumping and Loitering on West Highland Street

Aliceville City Hall to be used as warming station

Councilman Thomas Wilkins (left), Mayor Marva Gipson (center) and Warren Lavender II (right) listen as Chief Jones speaks regarding the police department.

By Brian Hamilton, Editor

The Aliceville City Council met on Wednesday, February 12, at the Aliceville City Hall. Mayor Marva Gipson began the meeting by appointing District Attorney Andy Hamlin and Demetrius Miller to the park and recreation committee and said that she would appoint at least two others at the next meeting. Aliceville librarian Francis Lewis asked that the city council re-appoint Susan Jones and John Paluzzi. The motion to re-appoint Jones and Paluzzi carried.

Warming Station

Pickens County Medical Center to partner with Boa Vida Healthcare

Pickens County Medical Center is located in Carrollton.

By BRIAN HAMILTON, Editor

Pickens County Medical Center is entering into an agreement to partner with Boa Vida Healthcare, which will allow the hospital to maintain current operations and provide additional services to the community. Last February, PCMC brought in John O’Neil, the former CEO of St. Vincent’s Hospital, to be the hospital’s CEO and help identify a strategic partner to lead the hospital in the future.

GES student wins 2019 County Spelling Bee

Winners of the annual Pickens County Spelling Bee were presented their prizes at the end of the bee on Feb. 7. Pictured from left: Eli Dawkins of Gordo Elementary School, winner; Tammy Hall, representing the Las Amigas Club of Gordo; and Arterrica Brewer of Aliceville Middle School, runner-up.

BY DOUG SANDERS JR., Correspondent

Eli Dawkins, a fifth grader from Gordo Elementary School, correctly spelled the words “hundredth” and “mathematics” last Thursday morning to win the 2019 Pickens County Spelling Bee.

Six students from Pickens County gathered at the Central Office of the Pickens County Board of Education on Feb. 7 for the event.

Reform council looking to make improvements to city park

Councilman Hagan, left, explains the proposed details of getting a new sign at Reform City Park as Reform Mayor Harton listens.

BY BRIAN HAMILTON, Editor

The Reform City Council is looking to replace the sign at the Reform City Park. Councilman Charles Hagan said the sign will be 4x8 feet and cost roughly $1,200. The city will then be responsible for having the sign mounted and painted.

“I think that it may cost a little more to get something like this, but that’s going to be there,” Councilwoman Pat Wheat said. “The sign that is there now has been there at least 20 years. I’d just rather pay a little more up front and be through with it.”

Westervelt Renewable Energy Plant welcomes new GM Ritu Linhart

Ritu Linhart, General Manager of Westervelt Renewable Energy Plant in Aliceville, speaks at the Aliceville Rotary meeting last Tuesday.

BY BRIAN HAMILTON, Editor

Ritu Linhart moved to Aliceville in December 2018 to take over as general manager of the Westervelt Renewable Energy Plant in Aliceville. She is originally from Miami, Fla. and lived in Waycross, Ga. before coming to Aliceville.

Finch / Frederick

Hollie Finch and Robert Frederick Jr.

Mr. & Mrs. Roy Finch are pleased to announce the marriage of their daughter, Hollie Finch to Robert Frederick Jr. on February 23, 2019 at 5pm at Reform Church of God.

Hollie is a 2010 graduate of Pickens County High School. She graduated Cum Laude from Lawson State in 2013 and is currently employed as Director of Human Resources for Cahaba Valley Home Health.

Paranormal investigation coming to Carrollton

Southern Ghost Girl Tours and Paranormal Investigations, along with Gordo Mayor Craig Patterson, will be hosting three tours and investigations of the Pickens County Courthouse on Saturday, February 9th. The first tour begins at 6pm, followed 7:30 and 9pm tours.

Patterson will tell the history of the courthouse and events. Tickets are $30 per person and a portion of all ticket sales will be donated to the Pickens County Preservation Association for the Courthouse. Tickets include a tour of the courthouse and all guests will be provided with paranormal investigation equipment.

BankFirst makes donation to Pickens Co. College & Career Center

BankFirst makes $10,000 donation to Pickens County College & Career Center Wednesday morning. (From left: Chan Mullenix, Heyward Gould, Martin Colvin, Leon Manning, Moak Griffin, Natalie Lavender, Gail Beams, Randy Simpson, Shawn McDaniel)

BY BRIAN HAMILTON, Editor

On Wednesday, BankFirst and First National Bank (who will soon merge with BankFirst) were at the Pickens County College and Career Center (PCCCC) to present a $10,000 check, which will be used to provide students with scholarships.

First National Bank to merge with BankFirst

BY BRIAN HAMILTON, Editor

First National Bank is in the process of merging with BankFirst, which is headquartered out of Columbus, Miss. According to FNB President Heyward Gould, the entire process of the merger will not be complete until near the end of 2019.

“The deal was scheduled to close in the first part of the second quarter, so hopefully April 2019,” Gould said. “It takes a while to integrate the system and computers, so that won’t take place until November. Signage changes and things like that won’t happen until then.”

Six Honored for Service by PCCAC

Pickens County honorees at 2nd Annual PCCAC banquet at Aliceville City Hall, from left: Gordo Mayor Craig Patterson, Joan Boothe, Rev. James Wright, Edgar Pruitt, Dr. Brittney Anderson, and Rev. Dr. Tim Alexander.

By Brian Hamilton, Correspondent

The Pickens County Community Action Committee held its second annual banquet at the Aliceville City Hall last Saturday night, celebrating the 54th anniversary of the PCCAC. The highlight of the banquet was the honoring of six individuals--Edgar Pruitt, Joan Boothe, Rev. Dr. Tim Alexander, Rev. James Wright, Dr. Brittney Anderson and Gordo Mayor Craig Patterson--for their service in Pickens County.

Aliceville Discusses Speed Breakers, Annexation Plans, Grant Prospects

BY GENA HUFF, Correspondent

The Aliceville City Council met Jan. 23 for their second session of 2019. The meeting was led by Mayor Pro-Tem Warren Lavender II in Mayor Marva Gipson’s absence.

Beginning as most other council meetings, with old business, speed breakers in certain high-speed risk areas were discussed and tabled again as precise quotes and locations were still under debate. Two areas mentioned for the breakers were the 4th Avenue hill that connects Highway 14 to Franconia Road and later, 5th Avenue near the Food Fare grocery store.

Alabama Shakespeare Festival Comes to Pickens County

Actors from the touring troupe of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival answering questions after the play on January 10. Shown from left: Dane McMichael, Tony Pelligrino, Eduardo Ruiz, Tyshon Boone, Toree Alexandre, Katrina Clark, Chris Marth, and Sigrid Wise.

BY GENA HUFF, Editor

The Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) touring troupe made an appearance in Pickens County January 10 for a presentation of Shakespeare’s “As You Like It.” Eight actors filled 17 roles, doing quick changes and characterizations while delving into the language that is Shakespeare.