NFL Honors Howard Ballard; approve 2016-17 school calendar year

All Board members were present, with the exception of Arthur Oliver.

Superintendent Billy Walker was excited to present a Super Bowl 50 football sent by the NFL in honor of the 50th Super Bowl anniversary, presented to the former Clay County High School, in recognition of the former Clay County High School graduate Howard “House” Ballard. This golden football was given in honor of Ballard’s accomplishment of playing in Super Bowls XXV, XXVI, XXVII and XXVIII for the Buffalo Bills.

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The NFL recognized every player in the NFL who had ever played in a Super Bowl with these footballs presented to their former high school and community. This was a total of 3000 players and 2000 different schools across the country. In addition to this, the NFL will also send character education teaching materials to  Clay Central Head Coach Herron and his staff for the Volunteer players ( since there is no Clay County High School).

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Ballard was unable to be present for this special award, since  he had recently accepted the Offensive Line Coach for Lane College in Tennessee, but expressed his gratitude to Superintendent Walker via phone. Ballard stated he was very appreciative to the Board members, the Clay County Education System and to this former Coach, Richard Beverly for laying the foundation for his NFL career.  Ballard also mentioned his former Coach was going to be honored with an induction to the Alabama State Football Hall of Fame in March .


Walker spoke fondly of his former classmate: “That’s just what kind of person Howard is, always thinking of others. I had the pleasure and honor of growing up with and playing football side by side with him. Howard is just a good a person as he was a football player. I’m very proud of Howard and his accomplishments.

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The following items on the agenda were approved, as recommended by the Superintendent:

  •  approval of the attached 2 year Real Estate Lease of the Board Room from the Estate of Kenneth F. Ingram. The annual rental fee will be $2,400.00. (see attachment)
  • Recommended by the Superintendent, approval of the Financial Reports for January 2016
  • Recommended by the Superintendent, approval of the minutes from the January 19, 2016, and the February 4, 2016, meetings.
  • Approval of Item 1A, ( an addition to the agenda)
  •  approval of the agenda.
  •  approval for Brad Strother, Technology Coordinator, to submit bids to vendors and Forms 470 and 471. Bids will be presented at the April 2016 meeting. After approval, bids will be written into contracts that will begin July 1, 2016 and will be effective for one year, with options to renew annually for three years.
  •  approval of the 2016-17 School Calendar.
  •  approval for the Central Junior High School Beta Club to attend the State convention March 16-18, 2016 in Birmingham. There will be no cost to the board for this trip.
  •  approval of 32  Personnel Action items which included the retirement of long- time school bus driver, Willoughby Gaither – Bus Driver and the hiring of Shawnee Gortney as an Ashland Elementary teacher.
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Informational items were as follows:

  • Congratulations  was extended to the Central High School Project Lead the Way Engineering Program for completing the rigorous requirements of the AL State Dept. of Education Business/lndustry Certification Process. The certification period is 2015-2016 to 2020-2021.
  •  Mr. Walker will be attending a mandatory Superintendents meeting February 24-26 in Tuscaloosa.
  • Board members were given information on Unified, Comprehensive, and Equitable System of Learning Supports and a CSFO Employment Contract for review.

The next regular Board Meeting will be March 24, 2016

Wet or Dry??? What’s your Choice?

With the upcoming wet/dry elections just around the corner on Tuesday, March 1, 2016 for both cities of Lineville and Ashland, there are many  misconceptions about the economic impact it will have on the cities, among other issues. On that note, I’ve done some research with surrounding cities and counties that were once dry for some facts and figures.

Of course, you know that all of Randolph County went wet in 2013, so they didn’t have the municipalities to compare with. But the city of Wedowee, population 818, reported  a revenue increase last year of $41,000 in alcohol license fees and $71,000 in alcohol tax.

The city of Heflin, in Cleburne County, which is wet, reports they have not had  a bar/lounge move into the area that has yet to be supported. Every business of this type that attempted to open closed soon afterwards. Economically, Heflin has fared well with more restaurants,  grocery stores, a winery, and chain restaurants have moved into the area after going wet. . They see a 10% increase every year from business license and revenues. Last year, they added draft beer, which will make more of an impact. The city of Heflin also saw a decrease in their DUI drivers. This was thought to be because those who drove a long way to get alcohol would drink it on the way back, but since they were buying locally now, they would just wait until they got home. 

Another dry county where a city went wet was Rogersville, in Lauderdale County. Rogersville went wet three years ago and set up a separate account for strictly alcohol related revenues. Three years later, they have  almost $400,000 in this account. Rogersville has a population of 1400.

The city of Monroeville, population 6,419, went wet when their county(Monroe) stayed dry. Monroeville now grosses over $200,000 every year just with beer, wine and liquor taxes. That total is not including business licenses.

The city of Roanoke also saw a huge boost in their revenues by going wet. Population approx. 6,500.

Another common myth is that Lineville and Ashland will lose their share of the TVA funds the county receives for being dry. This is simply not true. Not only will the county continue to receive some $320,000 of TVA funds, the cities will also CONTINUE to get their share of $10,000 each. So, in addition to NOT losing these funds, you would see an increase in revenues from business licenses,  and alcohol tax, not to mention possibly bring in more businesses for growth, possibly creating more jobs for our local area.

After speaking with a couple of regulars who frequently pick up aluminum cans on the sides of the roads, they both report that over half of what they picked up were beer cans in this county.

Folks, I can’t tell you how huge this election is for either city. if you are a citizen in either town, let your voice be heard as to your vote. Don’t let the fate of both cities be decided by just a handful of people. If you don’t vote, then you have no right to complain.

In the event either city goes wet, each council will call a special meeting to get an ordinance in place  as how alcohol revenues will be used, taxes, fees, and how to maintain control however they feel it should be. Example: if the council decided they wanted to put in the ordinance that you could not be caught drinking a beer within a mile of the schools, then they can vote to pass this law. 

Come March 1st, the vote could go either way, but MAKE CERTAIN that your choice is documented. There are 2,395 citizens who live inside the city limits of Lineville (a portion of this is children) and  1200+ residents voted in the last general election in Lineville.

With a population of 2037 Ashland residents, according to the 2010 census ( some children), only 400 residents turned out at the polls for Ashland’s last election. These numbers are simply unacceptable. That’s why it VERY important that EVERY CITIZEN who is able to get out and vote on this issue.

Editor’s note: My personal opinion- After reviewing this information, I feel that Both cities could benefit greatly from extra revenue, not to mention how each cities’ fire and police departments could use more updated equipment and extra personnel.

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I understand this is a huge moral and Biblical issue with many people and I am, by no means, trying to take anything away from those who are opposed, because everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I have heard that there will also be more crime if the cities go wet, but my personal opinion is that Clay County is blessed with some VERY GOOD law enforcement, who work really hard to keep a hold on crime and they do an excellent job. So, I don’t feel they will ever let either city become crime ridden over an extended period of time.

Folks, we have the wettest dry county you will ever see and I don’t think going wet is going to change anything other than the fact that you will now be able to buy alcohol in the local stores. People who are going to drink are going to drink regardless of how far they have to drive, so you may as well cash in on it. Does it sound like we are condoning their behavior? Well, maybe so. But it’s not us who has chosen to abuse the substance.

Addiction is every aspect of our life, and we all have fight it in some form of the word, whether its gluttony, gambling, drinking, smoking, shopping, drug use, etc. Some forms are just worse on your health than others are, but all are dangerous unless you can learn to control it. The key to life is learning to do things in moderation so you can be free of that addiction ( with the exception of drug use).

This is just my two cents now and you know what they say about opinions. But, everyone is allowed to have their say. In closing, I would like to say that I respect the views of those who oppose, and can even agree on some of their reasons, but going wet just makes more sense in the end. Both cities are poor and it seems like the only way we ever get anything new is through some type of grant. What’s wrong with wanting to be self-sufficient?

When seeking employment, we usually always look at the salary comparisons and go with the largest because we feel it is the best choice. That’s why I think WET is the best choice, because these figures speak for themselves. Wet is already here and has been for some time now, it just hasn’t been official.

Now, you are all more than welcome to state your opinions in the comment thread, but please remember to keep it clean and without slander.   Happy Voting, people 🙂

Chamber of Commerce holds Annual Dinner

It was a packed house at the  annual Clay County Chamber of Commerce Dinner  held on Thursday, February 11, 2016 at the Clay Central Sr. High Cafeteria. Those in attendance enjoyed a fabulous meal, an entertaining speaker, and good fellowship.

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The meeting was opened by Chamber Board member, Karen Carr, who is also seeking the office of Clay County Board of Education.

chamber 1After a few brief words, the invocation was given by 2nd Vice President Stephen Young, just before the meal. Over 130 attendees enjoyed an amazing meal, of entree ribeye steak sandwiches, donated by the Clay County Cattlemen’s Association.

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Chamber President Bradley Strother also addressed the crowd and introduced the new CEO of Clay County Hospital, Mr.  Joel Tate, who spoke a few words.

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Chamber Director Tiffany Young spoke briefly to the crowd on the importance of social media on the promotion of local events.  Young said the Chamber’s facebook page was very vital when sharing business members’ events and ongoing promotions of its members and the success they had when going this route. She invited everyone to stay in communication with her so she could help pass along important information to the public whenever possible.

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Young also spoke of the success of Chamber events held throughout the year. With the help of sponsors and community participation, there had been three (3) movie nights held last year, one (1) at Ashland City Park and two (2) at Lineville City Park. These movie nights were aimed towards quality family time with movies for the entire family.

Another successful series of events offered by the Chamber was the Learn for Life Workshops, which offered a variety of subjects for all members and non-members as well. ” Our goal with these workshops is to be able to give back to the community and for the public to learn information that would be useful in life along the way”, said Young. Examples of such workshops held were, a beginner Excel class and one self-defense class. A survey was placed on each table for all attendees to submit any input for any future ideas about the workshops.

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Young explained that The Chamber and Economic  Development Council were in partnership to find permanent housing for the Chamber, which they were hopeful to have a plan in place by April.” We look forward to continuing to grow and to provide support and encouragement to our members” said Young, in closing. 

Young also thanked the following people for their part in making the event such a success:

  • Central High School – for hosting the event
  • Guest Speaker- Lee McBride
  • Clay County Cattlemen’s Association- for the Ribeye Sandwiches
  • Duke’s Jewelry- for donating the plaques
  • Teresa Henderson and Karen Carr for decorations
  • First Assembly of God for the sound system
  • Clay Central Junior Ambassadors- for did an amazing job of providing  meal support for attendees, such as replenishing drinks and clearing of dishes.

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Next up was Guest Speaker, Lee McBride, a Christian Entertainer, who was a huge hit. McBride has traveled the country as a Christian Comedian, storyteller, and evangelist.  Throughout the duration of McBride’s presentation,  eruptions of laughter could be heard frequently  throughout the audience as McBride entertained everyone with his humorous real life accounts of his childhood.


The highlight of the night was the presentation of the three most prestigious awards of the year made by CEO Tiffany Young, which included the following:

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Business of the Year: Hurst Construction

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Business person of the year: Janine Mosley of M3 Connectionschamber 12

Volunteer of the Year: Sharon McNatt of Ann’s Flowers & Gifts

The meeting was closed by Vice President Tim Worthy.

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2016 Queen of Hearts Division Winners

The Central High School Marching Volunteers is proud to present the Queen of Hearts 2016 Division Winners! We would like to extend Special Thanks to the following:

  • Kana Avenue Photography
  • Ann’s Florist
  • Denise Keith as Tabulator
  • Chris Bass (CBass) as MC

0-11 months:

12699159_10205577987037033_2141220359_o Miss Nova Walker : Prettiest Eyes, Prettiest Hair, Miss Photogenic, Queen;  Miss Madelyn Rae Hurst : Prettiest Smile, Best Dressed, 1st Alternate

1-2 years

Groups 1_2 yrLeft to right- Miss Presley Johns : Prettiest Hair,  1st Alternate; Miss Holly Anne Hubbard : Prettiest Eyes , Miss Photogenic , Queen; Miss Piper Claire Champion: Best Dressed,  2nd Alternate;  Miss Autumn Dubose : Prettiest Smile,  3rd Alternate 

3-4 years

12754806_10205577988037058_1084839691_oLeft to right Miss Kinslee Glenn : Prettiest Hair,  1st Alternate;  Miss Saylor Ayers : Best Dressed, Miss Photogenic,  Queen ; Miss Lexie Grace Overton : Prettiest Eyes,  2nd Alternate;  Miss Atleigh Mai McNatt: Prettiest Smile,  3rd Alternate

5-6 years

Groups 5_6 yrLeft to right  Miss Emmy Hathcock: Best Dressed, 1st Alternate; Miss Marlie Ann Allen:  Prettiest Eyes,  2nd Alternate;  Miss Alyssa Lauryn Channell: Prettiest Hair,  Miss Photogenic, Queen; Miss Mariana Warren: 3rd Alternate;  Miss Adyson Jaymes Gortney: Prettiest Smile 

7-9 years

12754943_10205577990157111_2009139036_oLeft to right Front row- Miss Abbie Patterson : Prettiest Hair,  Miss Scarlett Diana Windsor: Prettiest Eyes 

Back row – Miss Baxley Caroline Ayers:  Prettiest Smile,  2nd Alternate;  Miss Mya Glenn: Best Dressed,  Miss Photogenic,  Queen;   Miss Sophie Madaline Price : 1st Alternate; Miss Marli Kaye Price: 3rd Alternate 

10-12 years

12735546_10205577991277139_1001379938_nLeft to right–  Front row- Miss Savana Long : 3rd Alternate;  Miss Rivers Elise Jackson:  Prettiest Smile 

 Back row- Miss Raylee Denise Moore: Prettiest Eyes,  Miss Photogenic,  1st Alternate;  Miss Carlee Isabella Tapley :Best Dressed, Queen; Miss Kaylie Businelle:  Prettiest Hair, 2nd Alternate 

13-15 years

Group 13_15 yrLeft to right– Miss Anna Grace Davidson: Prettiest Hair,  Miss Photogenic,  1st Alternate; Miss Eriel Lashay Sims :Prettiest Smile, Queen;  Miss MaLaysia Monique Marbury: Prettiest Eyes,  2nd Alternate;  Miss Bayli Glenn Strickland: Best Dressed,  3rd Alternate

16-up years

Group 16_upLeft to right– Miss Callen Anese Brown : Prettiest Smile,  Best Dressed, Miss Photogenic,  Queen; Miss Megan Denney : Prettiest Eyes,  Prettiest Hair,  1st Alternate



Lightning Strike causes Natural Gas Leak in Lineville


A lightning strike to a tree caused a natural gas line leak on Oak Grove Rd around 4:45 PM on Monday, February 16, 2016. The lightning strike ran down the tree and jumped across to a nearby underground gas line, causing it to rupture.

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Lineville Police Department Officers were the first to arrive on the scene, responding to reports of a tree on fire. They immediately detected the strong odor of natural gas and requested Lineville Fire Department to the scene and called East Central Alabama Gas to respond. 

Upon calling, East Central ordered evacuations to be made up to 500 feet of the area and traffic blocked immediately. East Central Alabama Gas responded within minutes to the scene with five trucks. After the gas line was located, the gas was cut off to the exposed line. 

Lineville Police Department also responded to the scene.



Ashland Council applies for CDBG Grant to Move Utilities for Hwy 77S Road Re-location

The Ashland Council met Monday, February 15, 2016 for the regular session.


The Council agreed to Adopt Resolution 02-15-01-2016: to apply for CDBG Grant to cover the cost of moving the utilities in the re-location of an area of the road on Hwy 77 in front of Wellborn Cabinets to accommodate their future expansion. This grant has a  match of $371,000. The $371,000  match will include a cash match of $150,000 and the remaining$221,000 will be taken care of with in-kind work throughout the course of the project . This cash match will be broken down and paid by the following entities:

  • $22,500 paid by the City of Ashland
  • $22,500 paid by Ashland Water & Sewer
  • $52,500 paid by Wellborn Cabinets
  • $52,500 paid by East Central Alabama Gas
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The following items on the agenda were approved with no discussion:

  • Approval of agenda and all meeting minutes.
  • Approval to pay current bills.
  • Approval to hire Caitlin Morris as a part-time Library Aid at $7.25 per hour for approximately 2 hours per week with a start date of 2/16/2016.
  • Approval for Court Clerk Robin Catrett to attend Regional Seminar to maintain certification on 3/31/2016-4/01/2016 at $185.00 and reimburse travel expenses.
  • Approval to have glass window and frame installed by The Glass Doctor for court office at New City Hall in the amount of $2,185
  • Approval to pay Nelson and Nelson engineering fees of $611.05 on 3rd Avenue South Project.
  • Approval to purchase Hydrant Pro Flow Tester at a cost of $429 from Southern Pipe for Ashland Fire Department.
  • Approval to purchase Brother IntelliFAX 4100e Class Laser Fax Machine at a cost of $284.99.

The decision was made to schedule an interview date for the part-time maintenance position of Monday, March 7, 2016 at 3:00 PM.

Mayor Fetner commended Maintenance Supervisor Jeremy Nash on all of his hard work with attaining FEMA grant money for recent flooding repairs of roads, culverts, etc. The total cost of these repairs applied for is approximately $115,000.

Nash’s maintenance report included the following:

  •  getting the ball fields ready for baseball season which will start soon.
  • Replacement of the roof on T-Ball concession stand
  • Replacement of the column at Ashland Water Dept. which was knocked down by a customer at the drive-thru window recently.
  • getting The Boy Scout building ready.
  • Assisting Contractors with work at new City Hall.
  • Patching pot holes in the road and edging sidewalks
  • re-installing damaged or missing traffic signs.
  • picking up trash on right of ways.




Lineville Council discuss Museum, Park, and Election

The Lineville Council met Monday, February 15, 2016 to discuss general city business. The following agenda items were passed with a unanimous vote:

  • Approval of Resolution 2-15-2016-1: Appointment of additional alternates for the upcoming city election on March 1, 2016.
  • Approval the lease agreement for the former Jerry’s Barber Shop building of $250 a month. This business will be a clothing/accessories store.
  •  A meeting date of Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 12:00 noon was approved for canvassing election results
  • Approval of the quarterly finance report
  • Approval to name an alternate bus driver, Annetta Ackles, on a part-time basis for the city whenever there is a need.

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Council member Carolyn Smith gave a update on the progress of the Lineville Museum. She thanked the Lineville Merchants Association for the generous donation of five display cases. Smith said they were looking into having plaques placed outside in memory of the original Board members Frank Horn and Doug Foster, who were both very instrumental in the development of this facility. There was also discussion of signage and placement of an old school bell.


Council member David Proctor reported that new pipe had been installed in the park,  as well as new roofs on the park pavilions. Proctor thanked the City Maintenance crew for performing these tasks. These repairs were paid for by Park Board funds.

Proctor also thanked the  Police Department for their prompt response to a truck fire that occurred on Thursday, February 11 at Lineville Clinic. Proctor said the Fire Dept. had a great response time, but the police officer on duty already had the fire extinguished by the time they arrived on the scene. Proctor said it was great that the police cars had fire extinguishers on board for events such as this one.


Proctor also reminded everyone the annual Spring pageant would be held Saturday, April 2, 2016. All proceeds go towards to Lineville Park.

Mayor Adamson reported there were 230 kids who had signed up for the youth Baseball league .

In closing, the Mayor reminded everyone how important it was to get out and vote in the upcoming municipal option election on March 1, 2016 so that every voice could be heard. ” I’m encouraging every citizen to get out and vote”, said Adamson, ” Don’t let just a few people be the deciding factor.”

This election will determine if the city of Lineville will go wet or remain dry.