Pickensville Town Clerk arrested on theft charges

Sidra Simpson

Pickensville Town Clerk Sidra Simpson, 44,  was arrested on Friday, July 26, 2019 and charged with an ethics violation alleging that she stole public funds from the town.
Simpson has served as the town clerk, magistrate, and court clerk for Pickensville in the last 10 years.
24th Judicial Circuit District Attorney Andy Hamlin could not specify an amount stolen by Simpson when interviewed Friday evening.

SMART™ Student Health and Wellness Model Expands to Gordo Schools for Fall 2019 Opening

Dr. John Brandon, SMART Contracted Physician Preceptor; Kim Taylor SMART Utilization Manager; Amanda Newman, Gordo’s SMART Patient Services Representative; Dr. Yolima Moncada, Director of SMART Clinical Operations; and Juan Pablo Sanchez, SMART Business Development Manager

Gordo, Ala. — Pickens County Primary Care and Ginn Group Consulting (GGC) are pleased to announce the opening of a new SMART Clinic at Gordo High School serving both Gordo High and Gordo Elementary School. A second SMART Clinic will eventually be phased in to operate at GES.

Aliceville Mayor informs City Council that additional $113,000 is needed to make it to end of fiscal year

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The Aliceville City Council held their Council Meeting on  July 24th at 6 p.m. at Aliceville City Hall.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Marva Gipson.  Councilman Terrence Windham held the opening prayer.  The minutes from the previous meeting were approved by the council members.
There was no old business presented during the meeting.    

Aliceville Chamber Director Edgar Pruitt working to get commercial apartments in Aliceville

Executive Director of Aliceville Chamber of Commerce, Edgar Pruitt, said that declining population in Aliceville and Pickens County started in 1980 and every year since then, the county is averaging a 9-10% decline. Pruitt says that when you look at the makeup of the population, Pickens County has become an aging population. In a decade, a significant amount of the baby boomer generation will either die or become incapacitated. He explains that an aging population needs infrastructure to support that population such as the hospital.  

Sommerville charged with multiple crimes after Aliceville police chase on July 19

Fred Sommerville

After a chase led to an arrest with one found dead in Aliceville on Friday, July 19, 2019, a suspect was finally named and charged in connection with two murders.
Fred Sommerville, 47, of Ardmore, Ala., was charged on Monday with Attempt to Elude Police, Theft of Property, Abuse of a Corpse, and Reckless Endangerment through the Pickens County Sheriff’s Department. In Ardmore, Sommerville faces a capital murder charge related to the two deaths.

 

Commission denies YouthBuild request to donate land

On Tuesday, July 23, 2019, the Pickens County Commission held a brief meeting to vote on several items on their agenda.  
Commissioner Bobby Bain opened the meeting with an invitation to any citizen requests.  Mr. Wayne Davis with YouthBuild then stood and asked the committee if they had taken an opportunity to discuss the parcel that he had previously asked the county to donate to his organization.
“A few days ago they came in and asked about a space of land, can we get a follow up on that,” Davis said.

Pickens County Resident recalls working for NASA on 50th Anniversary of Moon Landing

July 16, 2019 was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing.  In commemoration of the anniversary of the Apollo Landing, I sat down with Gordo residentJohn Williams, who worked for McDonald Douglas, an aerospace manufacturing corporation.
Williams was contracted at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas as a Flight Operations Engineer from 1976 to 1979.

 

Pickens County Herald hires Michael Stevens as advertising sales and design manager

The Pickens County Herald  has recently brought on Michael Stevens as an advertising sales and advertising design manager.
Stevens is originally from Starkville, Miss. and recently retired from working in poultry. He also runs a taxidermy business called Hill Country Taxidermy, a business he has operated for 11 years.
Stevens worked in the agriculture and poultry industry for 27 years.

Pickens County Fellows to give monthly Health Talks

Pickens County Fellows

Pickens County Fellows will be hosting a monthly Health Talk at the Aliceville Public Library consisting of various health topics ranging from wellness to financial well-being.
The program is offered through the Pickens County Partnership, a partnership through the University of Alabama with the goal of working with Pickens County Medical Center to educate the community on health and well-being.

Reform Council: Grant for sewer repairs on track

The Reform City Council meeting on July 16, 2019 began with the council approving the minutes of the July 2nd meeting. All were in favor to approve the accounts payable as well. All council members were present except for councilwoman Pat Wheat.
Mayor Bennie Harton began the meeting by discussing the price for the handicapped table at the mini park in Reform.  
Councilman Malcolm Giles said that the one that the council had looked at for $836 was probably going to be the best price.

West Alabama Bank celebrates 75th anniversary

West Alabama Bank

Folks who picked up a copy of the Pickens County Herald's July 29, 1944 issue read about a wide range of news. There were stories about FDR's nomination for his fourth term as president of the United States, the construction of new stables across from the railroad depot in Reform and the announcement of Unity Grove's annual camp meeting in Palmetto.
But the largest headline that day was "Reform Opens New Bank." Articles invited readers to visit the bank on its opening day, July 29.

People of Pickens: Drew Wade

Drew Wade

Drew Wade has been the Chief Operating Officer of West Alabama Bank in Reform, Ala. since 2007. Wade graduated from Pickens Academy in 1989 and then attended Marion Military Institute before graduating from the University of Alabama with a bachelors degree in business in 1994. In 1994, Wade started his career at West Alabama Bank, the bank that his grandfather, John Wade, started as The Bank of Reform in 1944 and his father, Andrew C. “Bubba” Wade worked at from 1963 until 2017. Drew is married to the former Ashley Pate of Carrollton and has three children named William, Andrew, and Mary.

German man traces father's path through POW camps in Aliceville

Wolfgang Lodman visited the Aliceville Museum recently with the desire of tracing his late father's path from Germany to Aliceville, where he spent time in the 1940s during the World War II POW camps. His father, Peter Klaus Lodman arrived in Aliceville on June 2, 1943 and Lodman said he believed that his dad was one of the first to arrive here in Aliceville. Lodman arrived in New York on a cargo ship, just as his father had came over to the United States and then took the train from New York to Tuscaloosa, where he then rented a car to get from Tuscaloosa to Aliceville.

PCMC welcomes new detox and recovery program

Journey Detox and Recovery, LLC, founded in 2012 at Clay County Hospital by CEO Lamar Ward and CFO Kathy Evans. The program is an inpatient medical detoxification and recovery facility where all phases of recovery are managed. The program's priority is to help patients detoxify their body without putting any other chemicals into the body, such as suboxone, a drug that is used to treat pain, as well as addiction to narcotic pain relievers.

People of Pickens: Terence Williamson

Terence Williamson

Gordo resident and councilman Terence Williamson recently won the 2019 NWTF World Friction Turkey Calling Championship. Williamson is a Construction Manager for ALDOT over the Greene, Pickens, Marion, Lamar, Fayette, Winston, and Walker Counties.
Back in February, Williamson and teammate Hunter Wallace won the Grand National Turkey Calling Contest in Nashville, Tennessee and after competing in both competitions numerous times, Williamson was finally able to win both competitions for the first time in 2019.

 

Sewell holds Town Hall meeting in Carrollton

U.S. 7th Congressional District
Representative Terri Sewell speaks at her Town Hall meeting at the Carrollton Service Center on Friday afternoon

 Congresswoman Terri Sewell held a Town Hall meeting at the Carrollton Service Center last Friday at 4 p.m. where she met with Pickens County constituents to discuss healthcare issues, specifically rural healthcare and the Pickens County Medical Center.
Before the Town Hall meeting, health screenings were available to all at the service center. Pickens County was Sewell’s sixth stop on her 2019 Congress in Your Community tour, which includes 14 counties in the 7th Congressional Disctrict.

Pot Luck Shop celebrates mental health awareness month

Left to right are former Board member Maribelle McDougal, Pot Luck Store manager Barbara Byrd, and current Pot Luck's Board of Directors Theodis Henderson, President Elizabeth Rice,, Kim Price, Patricia Bonner, Johnnie Spain, Johnny Spain and Charles Quarles.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Locally, that includes the Robison-Geer Center, a day habilitation program with Indian Rivers Mental Health Center. The Robison-Geer Center is the only day program in Pickens County. There are currently 12 clients that come to the center daily to learn independent living skills, money management skills, along with community resource and social skills. The staff works together to come up with creative and fun ways to provide training for the individuals attending the center.