YouthBuild Graduates Look Forward to the Future

YouthBuild graduates are excited for the new opportunities now available to them after their completion of the program. Congratulations to: Pictured: Deven Taylor, Dontae Hughes, Savione Mull, Alaysia Curry, LeDarius Bishop, Antanisha Jones, Keyonna Washington, Chavis McGee, Faith Fulgham, and Thomas Legrone. Not pictured: Michael Daniels, Aaron Dyches, Kim Jones, Katelyn Kelley, Darrien Latham, and Devante Wilder.


The Pickens County YouthBuild program saw 16 young adults move one step closer to a successful future at their graduation ceremony held December 17 at Mt. Hebron Baptist Church Community Life Center in Aliceville. Wayne Davis, Director of YouthBuild welcomed the parents and friends of the graduates. “Our (YouthBuild) main goal is to educate and inspire,” Davis said.

House Fire in Aliceville


The Aliceville Fire Department was called out to an early-morning house fire on December 19. The house was located on 5th Street NW, behind the Food Fare grocery store. Assistant Fire Chief Derrick Jones said the volunteers responded in a timely fashion and were able to save the house.


50th Wedding Anniversary

JP and Mozelle Dixon

JP and Mozelle Dixon of Reform celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary on October 27, 2018 at the Belk Activity center in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Rejoicing and celebrating with them were their children; Russell (Ruby), Lisa (Maurice Sr.) and Victoria (Damaine Sr.) and grandchildren; Anthony, Maurice Jr., Mya, Malayiah, Katelynn, and Damine Jr. Also, many family members and friends shared in this celebration of love. Congratulations!

Stone / Walker to Wed

Stone / Walker

Jerry and Terisa Robbins of Carrollton, Alabama would like to announce the upcoming marriage of Terisa’s daughter, Breanna Stone to Cody Walker, son of David and Julie Walker of Lebanon, Tennessee.

Breanna is a 2013 graduate of Pickens Academy in Carrollton, Alabama and received her Bachelor in Fine Arts degree in Digital Photography from The Art Institute of Nashville in 2017. She is currently employed by Tucker Photography of Donaldson, Tennessee.

DAs Receive Grant for Victim Assistance

Alabama Governor Kay Ivey announced on December 10 a $6.23 million state grant which will allow Alabama District Attorneys to hire 88 Certified Victim Service Officers to assist victims of crimes.

“The criminal justice system can seem intimidating to people who have been victims of crime,” the Governor said. “I am pleased to support this program, which will provide knowledgeable professionals to help crime victims understand the court process and ensure that they know of other community resources that may further assist them.”

Robertson / Elkins to Wed

Robertson / Elkins

Kevin and Tonya Robertson announce the engagement of their daughter, Carley Marie Robertson, to Austin Elkins.

The bride-elect is the granddaughter of Winston and Mavis Robertson and Johnny and Patricia Smith. She is employed by Little Blessings daycare.

The groom-elect is the son of Buck and Charolette Elkins and Dewayne and Nicole Nance. He is the grandson of Gene and Sue Mcateer; and Debob and Julie McDaniel. He is employed at Envirro-Vac.

The wedding will be Dec. 16, 2018, at 2 p.m. at Sardis Freewill Baptist Church in Echola, Ala. 

Changes in First Responder Protocol Makes a Tough Job Tougher


Every fire department in Pickens County is volunteer based. “There is not a paid fire fighter in Pickens County,” said District 1 Commissioner Bobby Bain. Amazing considering the amount of time, not to mention the danger involved, in being a fire fighter/first responder.

Aliceville Fire Chief Willie Dixon had a few things to say about that at Aliceville’s city council meeting on November 28. Every meeting the council hears a report from the fire, street, and police department heads.

Local Career Tech Teacher Wins National Honor

Natalie Lavender, Health Sciences teacher at Pickens County College and Career Center in Carrollton, was awarded the Teacher of the Year in the Health Sciences division at the national conference meeting of the Association of Career and Technical Education held in San Antonio, Tex., on Nov. 29.


Natalie Lavender, Health Science teacher at the Pickens County College and Career Center (PCCCC) in Carrollton, has been awarded Teacher of the Year in the Health Science division by a national organization for career technical educators known as the Association for Career and Technical Education.

Economic Injury and Disaster Loans Available

The U.S. Small Business Administration announced today that Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and private nonprofit organizations located in Alabama as a result of rainfall and flooding from April 1 through June 30, 2018.

The loans are available in the following counties: Colbert, Franklin, Lamar, Lauderdale, Marion, Mobile, Pickens, and Washington in Alabama.

Commission Newcomer has Quarter-Mill Solution

Current Pickens County Commissioners, from left: District 4, Jerry Fitch; District 3, Drew Elmore; District 5, Mark Gray; District 1, Bobby Bain; and District 2, Bobby Ingram.


The newly-formed Pickens County Commission, containing two newcomers in the form of District 2 Commissioner Bobby Ingram and District 5 Commissioner Mark Gray, met for their first administration meeting the morning of Nov. 27. After general business was conducted, District 4 Commissioner Jerry Fitch raised the issue of a new motor grader for each district, an issue he had brought to the Commission’s attention several times before.

Aliceville Council Hears Recommendations Regarding City Eyesores

The building on 3rd Avenue in Aliceville, formerly a funeral home and a Methodist church, is still waiting either for repair or demolition. The city may file suit against the property owners if some action to alleviate the problem isn’t promptly taken.


As far back as June 27, the Aliceville City Council has been working to get the former funeral home on 3rd Avenue either demolished or repaired by the owners.

Santa Makes Emergency Stop in Aliceville

Santa preferred his sunglasses after a bump to the head last Friday afternoon. After a few minutes (and a few cookies), Santa was back to himself and ready to finish preparing for Christmas.


Lively St. Nick had to make an emergency stop at the Aliceville Public Library last Friday afternoon. Apparently, Santa was doing a fly-over to gather coordinates for the many parades scheduled in Pickens County over the next couple of weeks. Rudolf, Santa’s favorite reindeer and GPS, had a malfunction due to some bad reindeer lettuce and ended up in an emergency “crash” landing close to the library.

Proper Taxidermy Essential for Mounting Trophy Kills

Michael Stevens of Hill Country Taxidermy shows a remount of a deer killed by his father. Stevens used the most current form for the mount which was sculpted by Ben Mears from Mississippi. The sculpt is anatomically correct and fits Southern deer “like a glove.”


With deer hunting season now upon us, all the male and female hunters out there begin thinking of that big trophy buck. The one they can hang on the wall and reminisce about the wait and the kill.

Mounting a deer is no easy task and it is definitely not for the inexperienced. One local taxidermist sat down with me to discuss his process and experience mounting deer and other wildlife for display.

WAB’s Drew Wade Completes Executive Development Institute for Community Bankers

West Alabama Bank of Reform COO Drew Wade, right, receives his plaque for completing a rigorous 19-month leadership development program.

The Graduate School of Banking at Colorado (GSBC) is pleased to announce that Drew Wade, COO, West Alabama Bank, Reform, Ala., has graduated from the Executive Development Institute for Community Bankers® (EDI), a rigorous 19-month leadership development program for up-and-coming executive officers of community banks.

Elected Officials are Sworn into Office

Four of the five Commissioners were sworn in by Probate Judge John Paluzzi. From left: District 3 Commissioner Drew Elmore, District 5 Commissioner Mark Gray, District 1 Commissioner Bobby Bain, and District 2 Commissioner Bobby Ingram.


The swearing in of elected officials in the Pickens County community occurred over the past couple of weeks, welcoming all those elected to their positions in an official capacity. Former Pickens County District Attorney Chris McCool was sworn in as the Court of Criminal Appeals Judge Place Number 2 on November 9 in Montgomery.

At the swearing in of the Commissioners on Nov. 14 at the Judicial Building in Carrollton, McCool was on hand to swear in District 4 Commissioner Jerry Fitch.

Carrollton Gets $350,000 Grant for Lagoon Project

From left: Senator Gerald Allen; Governor Kay Ivey; Carrollton Mayor Mickey Walker; Kenneth Boswell; and Cory Johnson, Director West Alabama Regional Commission.

Carrollton received the Community Block Development Grant for $350,000 for the wetland lagoon cell, for tertiary advanced treatment, at the waste-water treatment plant on Latham Street. 

Robotics Club Forms for its Inaugural Year at Career Center

The Pickens County College and Career Center’s Robotics Club posed with their entry to Bevill State Community College’s BEST Robotics competition. (Photo was taken on Halloween day.) Front Row, from left: Collin Vang, GHS; Tori Pulliam, PCHS; Briana Harris, PCHS; Trishyla Means, PCHS; Jessica Phipps, GHS; Talaija Smith, AHS; Castella Sherrod, AHS; and Glenn Draper, PCHS. Back row, from left: Judson Stanfill, PA; Benjamin Stephens, GHS; and Wesley Junkins, GHS.

This year’s topic was Saving the Sea Turtles and Clean our Oceans.