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Alabama Legislature Corrects A Problem That Needed Fixin’


The Alabama Legislature has worked across the aisle to pass an Act that will have a positive impact on citizens who have a common interest; a job and a drivers license. If you have these two things, and mix in the third, an Alabama court system, then you will be interested in this article. Read on.


The new law will provide that a license could be suspended for a person who fails to make an initial appearance or a court ordered review on two or more occasions.


A court may not suspend an individual’s driver license for failure to pay a fine, fee, or court cost as a result of a traffic violation unless the individual fails to make six or more of the required payments after the court’s order requiring the payment of fines, fees, or court costs.


Any individual whose driver license or driving privilege is suspended for failure to appear, his or her driver license or driving privilege shall be reinstated upon compliance with the notice to appear.

“Nearly 170,000 Alabamians who have lost their driver’s licenses, not because they are habitually reckless or dangerous drivers, but because they failed to pay a traffic ticket or show up to court or discuss an unpaid traffic ticket,” said Akeisha Anderson, advocacy and policy director for Alabama Arise. “That’s 95 percent of people with suspended license.”

Anderson said that the suspension of a driver’s license only adds to the problems for people in poverty, as is can prevent a person from gaining or maintaining employment.

“It’s silly, in my opinion, that we fund our state budget off of practices like this that harm low-income families,” Anderson said. “People can’t pay off their ticket, they lose their license and lose their job and have even more trouble paying off the ticket because, oftentimes, that job is the sole vehicle for being able to pay off the ticket.”

That doesn’t just hurt the individual either, Anderson said.

“When we think about the workforce shortage right now, it really harms our economy that everyday people can’t often get a job if they don’t have a driver’s license,” Anderson said.

Alabama Arise cites a UAB study that if everyone with a debt-based driver’s license suspension had kept their license—and their jobs—the state would have brought in an extra $277.8 million in income and gas tax revenue compared to the $1442 million in outstanding debt owed by the drivers.

A 2023 study showed that 31 percent of underemployed and unemployed people cited lack of transportation as the reason they were not reaching their potential.

The bill does not change Alabama’s system of adding points to licenses, leading to suspensions for people who demonstrate habitual reckless driving.

The bill would apply retroactively, providing an instant boost by immediately ending numerous suspensions.

This bill has other significant provisions. For example, CDL licenses cannot be suspended for failure to appear and the process to reinstate a suspended license has been simplified.

Senate Bill 154 passed last week and is on the way to Governor Ivey for her signature. The Bill was sponsored by Senator Merika Coleman (D) of Jefferson County and Senator Will Barfoot (R) of Elmore County. We will print the complete text of the bill after the Governor signs it.

Sources: https://alison.legislature.state.al.us/bill-search

Alabama Appleseed


Alabama Changes Income Limits for WIC Benefits


Special to the Marion Times Standard

WIC stands for “Women, Infants, and Children.” It’s a  supplement food and formula allowance https://www.alabamapublichealth.gov/wic/ at helps pregnant women, women who have had a baby in the past 6 months, breastfeeding mothers, and children ages 5 and under. WIC provides extra benefits for healthy food and fresh fruit and vegetables in addition to other programs such as SNAP.  The new guidelines for income are in the chart below:

 2  36,482
 3  45,991  885
 4  55,500  1,068
 5  65,009  1,251
 6  74,518  1,434

The benefit values of WIC have also increased. As of May 1st, 2023, each child will receive $25 in food allowances per month, pregnant and postpartum women will receive $44 in food allowances per month, and breastfeeding women will receive $49 in food allowances per month. Along with food benefits, qualifying families receive healthcare referrals, free nutrition education, and breastfeeding support.

In the past, WIC benefits came in the form of paper vouchers. Now, WIC provides electronic benefits – which makes it easier for families to use them. If you are pregnant, less than 6 months postpartum, breastfeeding, or have a child 5 and under, you may qualify. In addition, you must:

  • Meet income guidelines (see chart above)
  • Be a resident of Alabama
  • Be seen by a health professional at the WIC clinic

If you’re still not sure, you can try the  WIC Prescreening Tool online.

For more information:

  • Visit WIC online at  Alabamapublichealth.gov
  • Call your local Alabama Department of Public Health
  • Call the toll free state line at: 1-888-942-4673 or 1-888-WIC-HOPE

(Source: share.newsbreak)

West Alabama Receives Millions in Funding for Summer Utility Assistance


By Sheila Duncan 

Several organizations in West Alabama that provide community services have been awarded grants to help low-income households pay for air conditioning during the hot summer months. These grants will help ensure that those in need have access to cooling relief. 

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey announced the awards this week; the statewide total in grants is nearly $26 million. 

Governor Ivey stated, “The sweltering temperatures of Alabama’s summer season can be a particularly difficult burden on low-income residents who are already struggling to make ends meet. These grants are being provided to help these families cope with the financial strain of paying utility bills and other necessities.” 

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is providing grants through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs for eligible individuals and organizations. 

West Alabama agencies getting grants include: 

  • Community Service Programs of West Alabama, serving Bibb, Choctaw, Dallas, Fayette, Greene, Hale, Lamar, Perry, Sumter, and Tuscaloosa counties: Receiving $2.18 million 
  • Walker County Community Action Agency, serving Walker County: Receiving $417,000 
  • Pickens County Community Action Committee and Community Development Corporation, serving Pickens County: Receiving $116,000 

If you’re in need of assistance with bills, housing, or any other need, you can call the  United Way of West Alabama’s 211 serviceand relate to resources. 

Uniontown: Holding onto Hope


By Sheila Duncan

Chairman Turner and Superintendent Mike Hill

Residents of Uniontown can help the banking situation by keeping their accounts at Cadence Bank until a new bank or credit union is established. This will show support from the community and help Federal, State, and Local officials in their efforts to resolve the banking issue. By keeping their accounts at Cadence Bank, residents will show their commitment to finding a solution and working towards a better banking environment in Uniontown.

Chairman Albert Turner recently held successful talks with banking officials and was informed that deposits are key to attracting a potential new partner for the Uniontown branch of Cadence Bank. Despite the closure of the Uniontown branch, Chairman Turner was quick to reassure customers that their accounts would remain insured by the FDIC up to $250,000.00. He added that churches, businesses, and individual accounts must stay with Cadence Bank until new banking arrangements are made available and saying they are confident that a new banking outfit will be ready to assume the Cadence Uniontown Branch before the July 31 deadline announced by Cadence Bank’s departure.

The first step in the action plan for the Uniontown Bank is to file an objection to Cadence’s decision to close the Uniontown branch. Chairman Turner has maintained that this action is detrimental to the banking system in rural America due to the lack of reliable internet service in rural Alabama and the lack of access to computers. If successful, this objection would keep the Uniontown branch open and expand its banking operations with the support of the Federal partnership. This option is very viable and could provide much needed banking services to rural residents.

The two banks Chairman Turner met with in Atlanta are Georgia Federal Bank and the Bank of North Georgia. Both are State Charter banks and are actively seeking new branches and opportunities to expand their reach. They are both in a good position to purchase the Uniontown and Fort Deposit banks, and Chairman Turner’s positive report is encouraging. It appears that both banks are interested in the purchase and will soon be in contact with Cadence.

State-chartered banks in Uniontown have been granted permission to install mobile teller machines, allowing customers to access all the banking services they would find in a brick-and-mortar bank. In addition, the Chairman and the Banking Superintendent of the state are actively seeking a credit union to provide financial services to Uniontown’s residents. They will be meeting with two potential candidates next week to discuss the possibility of setting up operations in the area. On Tuesday, May 9, 2023, the Perry County Commission took action to oppose the closure of Cadence Bank in Uniontown by passing a resolution to be included in a collection of resolutions and letters sent to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) in Dallas, Texas.

The City Commission of Uniontown unanimously voted to pass a resolution citing the irreparable damage that would be caused by the closure of the only bank in the city, Cadence Bank. The resolution requested that the FDIC allow Cadence Bank to sell its deposits to another bank, preventing the city from becoming a banking desert. Commissioner Hudson offered to forward the resolution to the City of Uniontown and to work towards a joint resolution between the governing bodies. The Perry County Commission has decided to keep their funds with Cadence Bank, specifically their Payroll Reserve Account of $50,000.00.

Communications and execution between all parties is ongoing.

(Source: Albert Turner media)

Perry County Commission Meeting


BE IT RESOLVED THAT THE PERRY COUNTY COMMISSION MET in its regular session on Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 6:00 P.M. at the Albert Turner, Sr. Courthouse Annex in the commission courtroom. The invocation was led by Albert Turner. The roll was called to establish a quorum. District #1: Present District #2: Present; District #3: Present; District #4: Present; District #5: Present.

Motion by Anthony Long and seconded by Thomas Harrison to adopt the agenda and add Item 20 ALABAMBOO INC., and Item 21 Jackie Wilson. Motion carried unanimously.

Motion by Anthony Long and seconded by Thomas Harrison to adopt the minutes. Motion carried.


Discussed storm shelter placement in District 5.


Discussed and presented information about commercial farming of bamboo and potential revenue for the county.


Updated commission on various road projects and discussed legislative bills that affect the highway department.


Motion by Anthony Long and seconded by Thomas Harrison to adopt the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Perry County and the Perry County School Board with the indemnification that should the School Board receive compensation as a result of their lawsuit, the County shall be reimbursed for the cost of repairs incurred for Pegues Circle. Motion carried.


Miss Wade (Accountant) presented the commission with a quarterly financial report.

Motion by Anthony Long and seconded by Thomas Harrison to approve and submit the 8038‐CP Form for IRS interest subsidy. Motion carried.


Motion by Albert Turner (gavel passed to Vice Chair‐Thomas Harrison) and seconded by Anthony Long to accept recommendations by the architect for alterations of the old jail. Roll call vote requested: District 1: Yea; District 2: Yea; District 3: District 4: Yea; District 5: Nea. Motion carried. (Gavel passed back to Chairman)


Motion by Anthony Long and seconded by Thomas Harrison to finance the excavator through Citizens Bank and send a letter of intent to purchase to Caterpillar. Motion carried.


Board of equalization appointments tabled and to be placed on the next agenda


Motion by Thomas Harrison and seconded by Benjamin Eaton to do a budgetary estimate on both sites (H&H building and current facility). Motion Carried.


Motion by Anthony Long and seconded Thomas Harrison to rename the Old National Guard Armory to the Inez Barnett and Coretta Scott‐King Community Center. Motion carried.


Motion by Anthony Long and seconded by Thomas Harrison to approve striping 3 lines to County Road 6 to Marion city limits. Motion Carried.


Tabled until next agenda


Motion by Thomas Harrison and seconded by Anthony Long for the Perry County Commission to declare April 23‐29 2023 National Crime Victims’ Week. Motion carried.


Motion by Anthony Long and seconded by Thomas Harrison to pay the claims. Motion carried.

Caveat: Commission Benjamin Eaton wanted in recorded in the minutes that information for the location of the storm shelter for District 5 in Uniontown has been available for over a month and provided the parcel number.

Motion by Anthony Long and seconded by Thomas Harrison to adjourn. Motion carried.

County Seeks to Establish Ambulance Service for Residents


By Sheila Duncan

Chairman Turner and Commissioner Long heard from the current ambulance service provider, ASAP, who informed the commission that they were unable to meet the needs of the community as contracted due to a lack of manpower and funding. In response, Chairman Turner informed the company that the current contract had ended and that the commission would be putting out a new Request for Proposal (RFP) for contracted services, as well as beginning the process of establishing a County-owned ambulance service. The Chairman also informed the public in attendance that ASAP would be formally notifying the State of their intention to change providers on May 29th, and that by June 28th a new contract provider would be in place, or a County-owned service would be up and running.

Chairman Turner began calling state and federal officials to seek funding for purchasing new ambulance units, should the Commission decide to go that route. He estimated that in a few days’ time, the County will know where it stands financially with regards to the ambulance business.

Chairman Turner announced that the County will be working diligently to ensure that the residents of Marion and Uniontown have access to an ALS level of emergency medical service by June 27th. To accomplish this, the County will be placing a notice of the RFP in local newspapers, as well as sending a direct invitation to known companies. Furthermore, Chairman Turner did not rule out the possibility of hiring a professional management company to bill and run the day-to-day operations of a County-owned service. The County will continue to work with ASAP until June 27th to provide ALS level medical service to the residents of Marion and Uniontown. After June 27th, the County will assess the RFPs received and will make a decision on the best way to provide medical service going forward. The County is committed to ensuring that the residents of Marion and Uniontown receive the highest level of medical service available.

The Chairman revealed his plans to meet with Dr. Ben Lee, Chairman of the Perry County Healthcare Authority, in order to discuss the possibility of a management company running a county owned ambulance service. He emphasized the need for collaboration between all stakeholders, including the cities, school board, healthcare authority, Marion Military Institute, and local industries. Furthermore, he suggested that the Arrowhead Landfill and the Healthcare Authority could provide two new ambulances in the coming weeks, and that the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission could provide additional funding in about a month’s time. Finally, the Chairman suggested that the County could also utilize its reserve funds to purchase a third truck for backup. The Chairman said he is reluctant to take this on with the County managing the operations from the Commission Chamber. He said that the County doesn’t have the software system, personnel nor the knowledge to effectively operate an ambulance service. However, with a Board and a management company he feels better about going into the business.

Commissioner Long suggested a special call meeting to be set to move forward the issue of ambulance service. He expressed his opinion that there is no greater issue before the County than this ambulance service issue, and he urged the Chairman to act quickly. Currently, the County pays a total of $345,000.00 for the ambulance service, which is broken down into the following: County General Fund and Perry County Healthcare Authority ($315,000.00), City of Marion ($12,500.00), City of Uniontown ($12,500.00), and Perry County Board of Education ($5,000.00).

(Source: Albert Turner social media)

Commission Unanimously Approves Naming of Barnett-King Center


By Sheila Duncan

The Perry County Commission unanimously voted to honor two notable women during their meeting on Tuesday, April 11th. Commissioner Anthony Long proposed a motion to rename the old Marion National Guard Armory after Mrs. Inez Barnett and Mrs. Coretta Scott-King, both of whom had made significant contributions to the local community. The motion was met with unanimous approval from the Commission.

The Perry County Commission recently approved a plan to transform the old Armory into a community housing and community center. The Commission will receive a grant from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) for the renovations, which will include a commercial kitchen, public showers, freezer storage, exercise/weight room, community meeting space, a stage, and a full auditorium that can be converted into a regulation-size basketball court. Additionally, the facility will provide space for the Perry County Healthcare Coordinator and serve as a community health center.

The State of Alabama has been awarded a 10 million dollar pool of funding from the Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to be administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), with Perry County set to receive a portion of the funding.