• Guest Editorial – Jim Farris

    Congratulations to the 2017 4A Baseball Public School Champs – the Haleyville Lions!

    In 2017, Haleyville was the best baseball team in 4A when following the true intent of fairness and equal play.  Haleyville followed the standard of common sense rules.  You play with the kids in your normal school area, who were either born there, as most were, or moved into the school zone without being recruited or given a scholarship.  Schools like Madison Academy, UMS Wright or LAMP do not play by these rules.  All of Haleyville’s kids played in Haleyville Dixie Youth, JV baseball, B-team baseball, and high school baseball together.  Most kids’ parents and grandparents attended Haleyville.  My 2 sons have family members who attended Haleyville dating back to the 1910’s.  There are several players like this on this year’s team – players whose family are multi-generation Haleyville families who have attended Haleyville schools.  Haleyville’s team is not some thrown together North Alabama all-star team.

    Haleyville’s school zone population, by best research, is around 4,800.  Madison Academy’s school zone, per Madison Academy and several news stories, encompasses the same school zone as all major metropolitan Huntsville High Schools combined.  The population of that is roughly 223,000 compared to 4,800 of Haleyville.  What Haleyville can’t do is go to a kid and say, “Come to our school.  Here is an academic scholarship – not an athletic one.”  All private schools can do this and say this to abide by AHSAA rules.  The AHSAA does not allow athletic scholarships.

    Here is more proof of questionable talent at Madison Academy –

    While in 3A, Madison Academy had Josh Langford, who enrolled at Jr. High.  He then became the Gatorade Player of the Year in basketball in the 2014-2015 season.  Most recruiting sites had him as the best player in the state.  At the same time, the Madison Academy 2014 football team had player Kerryon Johnson, who was named Mr. Football by the ASWA and the Gatorade Player of the Year.  What are the odds of a 3A school having the best player in the state in 1 sport – much less 2 in the same year?  I’m not saying that illegal recruiting was going on, but a 3A school having both players named the best in each sport for the whole state is questionable at the very least.  You take the large 7A schools with student populations of grades 9-12 at nearly 3,000 and in the past more than 3,000 – they have never accomplished this feat.  But a 3A private school just happens to do it. Continue reading

  • Board of Education

    The Haleyville Board of Education met Monday joined by the new Superintendent of Education Dr. Holly Sutherland. Board President Barry Burleson presided over the Board’s approval of 21 items including the updating and establishment of guides, handbooks, codes of conduct, supplements and stipends for the 2017-2018 school year.

    Approximately 350 student desks were declared surplus and obsolete. Six fundraisers, as well as the substitute teacher and lunchroom workers lists, were approved.

    Approval was made for the hiring of Tiffany Morgan, Brent McCoy, Michelle Rushing, Elizabeth Nelson and Meredith Sherrell and one transfer, Dusty Yealock from HES to HMS and the extenuation of Jamie White’s contract from 9 months to 10 months.

    Dr. Sutherland extended an invitation to everyone to keep up with the Haleyville school system on social media including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

  • State of the City

    Haleyville Mayor Ken Sunseri recently gave an update on the state of the city to the Haleyville Rotary Club. Sunseri stated sales and employment tax is up and the unemployment rate is now at 6%, the lowest in many years. The mobile home industry, which was the leading industry in this area at one time, is virtually gone. There are still many manufacturing and supply facilities in this area and all face a common problem, finding people to work. Sunseri stated the greatest competition has been the federal government. Sunseri said potential employees could take advantage of all the many government programs such as unemployment food stamps, medical and other benefits. Thus it was easier to stay and home and make the equivalent of $12.22 per hour without having to work.

    On a positive note, work is underway on the playground at the new sports complex. New hangers at the airport have just been completed and are full. The Cripple Creek subdivision project is now complete. The new sports complex has been a huge success and a boost to the city in bringing in out of town ball players and their families. The first month the complex was open the concession stand and field rentals grossed $25,000. Even though it is difficult to fully assess the full impact of the economics of the complex, it is obvious already, it was a good investment by the city.

    May city streets need paying and repair. Sunseri stated there is no money for paving even though he has over $3 million in paying projects on his desk.

    The next city council meeting has been moved from Monday, July 3 to Monday, July 10 because of the July 4th holiday.

  • Haleyville City Council

    The Haleyville City Council met Monday with all members present. The Council approved the May general operation bills and purchase orders in the amount of $169,198.32. The resignation of Haleyville Policer Officer Clay Wilson was approved. Wilson will be going to work for the Russellville Police Department. Mayor Sunseri hired Marc Casteel as a police officer effective July 5, pending his pre-employment physical and drug testing. Three life guards for the Haleyville swimming pool were hired as seasonal employees. They were Gracie Raines, Allison Watkins, and Blake Berry.

    The next council meeting which would be on the first Monday of July will be Monday, July 10, because of the July 4th holidays.

  • Haleyville City Council

    The Haleyville City Council met Monday, June 5, with Royce Benefield absent. A pay adjustment for city employees was approved which is a one-time salary supplement during the month of December to reward longevity in the workplace. The Council approved a resolution authorizing the city to enter into an agreement with Municipal Intercept Services in Montgomery to secure funds owed to the city by intercepting any refunds from the Alabama Department of Revenue to be applied to any debt owed to the municipality.

    A change order was approved to the Haleyville Sports Complex parking lot and walking trail paving project in order to balance the project contract. An agreement was approved for Creekside Erosion Control and Grassing in the amount of $9,373.20 for seeding 4.17 acres of slopes at the Sports Complex to prevent erosion. Approval was made for an agreement with 2 State Electrical Services for bi-annual service on 7 generators used by the city.

    Jade Bice representing the Haleyville Chamber of Commerce, Mayor Ken Sunseri and members of the council praised the city workers to including the street and sanitation department, police and others for their work to make this year’s 9-1-1 festival a success.

    Mayor Sunseri announced the hiring of Derek Henderson as a police officer effective June 19 and the hiring of two additional seasonal lifeguards for the Haleyville swimming pool.

    The next Haleyville City Council meeting will be Monday, June 19.

  • 9-1-1/Alumni Festivities

    Sweet Tea Trio performed before a record crowd estimated at over four thousand people who enjoyed the free concert Friday night, June 2 at the 9-1-1 festival in downtown Haleyville. The concert with headliner Diamond Rio was sponsored by the Haleyville Area Chamber of Commerce and the City of Haleyville. The festivities continued through Saturday with antique car and tractor shows, multiple vendors, and kids rides and activities.

    A combined HHS Alumni/9-1-1 Festival parade with the Haleyville Rotary Club Miss 9-1-1, Ashton Steele, 15, a Winston County High student was held Saturday Morning.

     At noon the HHS Alumni luncheon was held at the Haleyville Elementary School.

    Samuel Lee Masdon, III was honored as the 2017 Alumnus of the Year at the luncheon in a presentation by the Alumni Association President Debbie Wood.
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