Winds slam Hamilton over weekend

Ed Howell
Posted 6/1/17

Let’s clean out the notebook

•You will forgive me for looking back again to Hamilton, but I was glad not to find all the Facebook reports, photos and videos here over the weekend that I saw from Marion County. Sunday morning residents in …

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Winds slam Hamilton over weekend


Let’s clean out the notebook

•You will forgive me for looking back again to Hamilton, but I was glad not to find all the Facebook reports, photos and videos here over the weekend that I saw from Marion County. Sunday morning residents in Hamilton awoke to find Military Street a mess on the south end of the city (fronting Bevill State Community College-Hamilton and Walmart).

Apparent straight-line winds broke power poles, uprooted trees, destroyed billboards and blew out business signs south of the college. It did extensive damage to a nail salon and also damaged the roof of Dr. Brent Boyett’s office. Damage was also reported in the Haleyville area.

I can tell you power outages were rampant throughout the area, and Tombigbee Electric Co-op was continuing to give updates even a couple of days later on when people could expect for power to be restored. Even as far south as Winfield, Dad was experiencing a power outage Sunday; many of these lasted most of Sunday, which I am sure put a kink in the Memorial Day weekend.

•I came into G. Mays and Sons last Thursday, and I was told the official closing date would be a couple of days later. They had a number of chairs and love seats that were marked down to $99 and $199 respectively, but I finally decided not to do anything with the opportunity.

(I am being frugal. I am still recuperating from moving and health costs three months in, although overall things are beginning to look up, and the company insurance starts Thursday. At the same time, Memorial Day weekend was spent still trying to get the apartment in order, hanging pictures and throwing away excess.)

• I think the Badcock Home Furniture announcement in Jasper is a nice local morale booster. I am a little puzzled where it physically fits in that shopping center, but that will come in time. With Bull Building Supply going out of business, given that Bull always had a large supply of appliances to sell, I had wondered if more competition in that line could come in time — but I just noticed from Badcock’s website that they sell different appliances, as well.

• For that matter, you can tell Carbon Hill folks are dying to know how the redevelopment at the old bingo hall will wind up, as it sounds like a truck stop and one or two restaurants, probably of the fast-food variety. The developers are going low-key, but everyone is very happy there some work is actually being done.

Meanwhile, speculation runs rampant on what other developments are going on in Jasper, especially on U.S. Interstate 22. We understand a couple of recognized establishments could go out that way, although I hear other names bantered around across the county. But with all the business seen at that intersection, I am certain more will come there.

•Something hit me in time in discussing the decision by Pinnacle Bank to relocate its drive-through tellers and ATM from the Jasper Mall to the east side of town. If one thinks about where much of the development has been for Highway 118 (or old Highway 78), it would not be in the Parkland area or shopping center area. I think you could look at a dividing line from Airport Road and go east to Industrial Boulevard, heading out to the interstate. I think it is wise for them to look at that area, as well as the fact the mall branch was rather close to the downtown area.

(Pinnacle also caught on quickly to the downtown crowds going to the restaurants, to the point they are putting an ATM in front of the Pinnacle Tower. Locals used to downtown being a land of attorney offices are still shocked how it has become a trendy eating area.)

•I was surprised while hearing a report about a 10-year-old boy who slid off a brand new three-story water slide in California over the weekend, causing the slide to be closed. (Amazingly, the boy only had scratches even after skidding onto a concrete walkway.)

Consider this from the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions: “Currently 44 of 50 states regulate amusement parks. The six without state oversight are Alabama, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, Wyoming, and Utah. These states contain few, if any amusement parks (Wyoming has no parks).”

I don’t think we should be overburdened by regulations, but when children go to water parks or amusement parks in this state, we should have some basic safety regulations in place. Even smaller cities like Guin and Fayette have water parks, and larger facilities at Point Mallard and Alabama Splash attract many families. Someone in Montgomery needs to think about this one.

•For whatever it is worth, SmartAsset has come out with a list announcing the Best Places in Alabama for Your 401(k), in terms of performance. Jasper was listed in 10th place, with Fultondale, Troy and Homewood at the top. The biggest difference I saw was in employee contribution percentage, which, in the Top 10, was as high as 60 percent in Fultondale and 35 percent in Brewton; Jasper was at 41.6 percent. Investment performance and administrative fees were also considered, and the rankings were made by calculated indexes.

Ed Howell is the Daily Mountain Eagle’s news editor.