1. FINAL Runoff Election Results

    DALE COUNTY COMMISSIONChairman (R)
    Candidate Votes Percent
    STEVE MCKINNON -WINNER-

    Republican

    2249 66.42%
    ADAM ENFINGER

    Republican

    1137 33.57%

    Updated: 8:37 pm

    21 Precincts

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  2. Ozark's 18th Annual Crawdad & Music Festival delights attendees

    By Caitlyn Cummings

    Fun, music, and crawdads filled the streets of downtown Ozark last Saturday as the Ozark Parks and Recreation Department hosted the 18th Annual Ozark Crawdad and Music Festival on Saturday, April 6. Mild temperatures and sunny skies made for a pleasant festival day.

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  3. Dale County 200 Committee plans historic events for bicentennial year

    By Caitlynn Cummings

    Founded December 22, 1824, Dale County is celebrating its 200th Anniversary this year. The Dale County 200 Committee, headed by Susan Judah and Diane Clouse and comprised of various Dale County citizens and civic leaders, met recently to discuss upcoming events planned to honor Dale County’s rich history.

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  4. Smithsonian's traveling exhibit making stop in Ozark

    Staff Reports

    The Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street (MoMS), in collaboration with the Alabama Humanities Alliance, is set to unveil its insightful exhibition, “Crossroads: Change in Rural America,” at the Ann Rudd Art Center in Ozark. The exhibition will be open to the public from April 27 to June 15.

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  5. Alabama Ethics Law faces controversy over proposed changes

    By Christina Faulkner

    Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has voiced strong opposition to a proposed ethics bill, claiming it would decriminalize significant ethics offenses and undermine the state's effort to combat corruption.

    Introduced in February, the bill was referred to the Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee. After being read for the second time in March and placed on the calendar, the 69-page bill underwent an amendment. On April 2, the bill was read for the third time and passed with a significant vote of 79-9 in the State House.

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  6. It’s Extension’s Festival Era

    Submitted by County Extension Coordinator Melissa Voynich

    If you heard loud yelling last Friday about “SYRUPPPP OIL SPILLS!”, that was Dale County fourth graders collectively enjoying Extension’s Groundwater Festival 2024.

    Each year, we invite schools to bring more than 200 fourth graders to Wallace College’s Science building to enjoy a day of learning about filtration, aquifers, and the water cycle.

    There is singing, dancing, and yes, chocolate syrup oil spills.

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  7. Aabon: Ozark’s premier Durable Medical Equipment provider celebrates 33 Years of dedication and service

    By Christina Faulkner

    Celebrating an impressive 33 years in business on March 31, Aabon stands as a beacon of quality and customer service in Ozark. Owned and operated by Lt. Colonel Robert C. Harry (Army - Retired), this durable medical equipment (DME) provider is unique, filling a void in the area that would otherwise leave customers resorting to online orders.

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  8. Chicken feathers and hair clippings: A unique path to planet-friendly products

    By Travis Parker

    A unique startup is making waves by transforming human hair and chicken feathers – of which there are plenty in the Wiregrass – into eco-friendly products. SetaTech, the brainchild of CEO Blair Blacker, was celebrated at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, March 28, at the Ozark Technology Center Business Incubator.

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  9. Locked doors and alert homeowner thwart car break-in spree

    By Christina Faulkner

    A Midland City man is currently in custody at the Dale County Jail after his attempt to break into vehicles in Ozark was thwarted by a locked car door, a vigilant homeowner, and surveillance technology.

    Dominique Walker, 22, was arrested on Saturday, March 30, after his plan to burglarize vehicles in Ozark was foiled. According to Ozark Police Department Deputy Chief Michael Bryan, Walker had targeted Ozark to break into vehicles with the intention of stealing cash and valuables.

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  10. Trio arrested for breaking into empty home in Level Plains

    By Christina Faulkner

    Level Plains - Level Plains Police apprehended three suspects on Saturday, March 30, following a break-in at an unoccupied residence in the community.

    Chief Johnny Summers reported that this particular home has been targeted multiple times in the past. "Those that break into the home often squat there because the homeowners are not here," said Summers.

    Acting on a tip received early Saturday afternoon, Summers along with two officers entered the home and arrested all three suspects without any incidents.

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  11. Get Ready for Tomato Time!

    Submitted by County Extension Coordinator Melissa Voynich

    Extension offices in Alabama are known for their great gardening resources, and Dale County is no exception.

    We are here to help you in several ways to get your tomato - or whatever you want to grow! – garden accomplished.

    We have tomatoes on the brain because it is about time for fresh-sliced tomato sandwiches and salsa gardening, and we are excited to announce our resources to help with this.

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  12. Ozark Mayor Mark Blankenship honors military children with proclamation

    By Christina Faulkner

    On Tuesday, March 27, Mayor Mark Blankenship of the City of Ozark signed a proclamation to honor the Month of the Military Child, standing alongside leaders from Fort Novosel.

    The proclamation shines a spotlight on the unique challenges faced by military children. With military families relocating approximately every two to three years, these children often grapple with adjusting to new schools and building new support networks.

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  13. WCCD awarded $2.9 million grant for Rural Healthcare Center at DMC

    Staff Reports

    Wallace Community College-Dothan (WCCD) has been awarded a $2.9 million grant from the Alabama Community College System (ACCS) as part of the Alabama Centers for Rural Healthcare Opportunity legislative appropriation. This grant will facilitate the establishment of the Wiregrass Center for Rural Healthcare Opportunities on the campus of Dale Medical Center in Ozark, Alabama.

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  14. Foot Chase ensues after traffic stop in Pinckard

    By Christina Faulkner

    Pinckard, Al - A routine traffic stop turned into a foot chase and arrest in Pinckard on Thursday, March 21, as Pinckard Police Chief Lowell Williams observed a gray Altima passing three cars in a no-passing zone on Highway 134 near Pinckard Town Hall.

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  15. Recent City Council meeting yields positive results to boost EMS recruiting

    By Caitlyn Cummings

    The Ozark City Council's recent meeting on March 19 brought encouraging updates for the city.

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  16. Dale County 4H competition showcases talent

    By Christina Faulkner

    The Ozark Baptist Church Faith Factory in Ozark was as busy as a dairy farm during milking time Saturday, March 23 as 4Hers set up displays or calmed their nerves and practiced their speeches. With entrants from almost every school in the county, the Dale County 4H competition was an exciting event, determining those participants who would proceed to regionals.

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  17. Bruggink explores AI advancement and ethical implications

    By Christina Faulkner

    Dr. Peter Bruggink explored the advancement of artificial intelligence and its current abilities with members of the Ozark Rotary Club Tuesday, March 19.

    Bruggink said ChatGPT (Chat Generative Performance Transformative) has memorized millions of webpages to which it has had access to complete stories. Several professionals are already using AI as an agent to assist with various writing tasks, such as writing training programs, grants, and more.

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  18. Dale County Commission approves funding to support VBAS’s Encore Program

    By Christina Faulkner

    The Dale County Commission took a significant step towards bolstering community support by approving the allocation of funds to Vivian B. Adams School (VBAS) at its latest meeting held on Tuesday, March 12. The decision, made in accordance with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), will see up to $150,000 directed towards enhancing services offered by the school, particularly its Encore Program.

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  19. Two apprehended in overnight crime spree: Ozark Police Department swiftly acts

    By Christina Faulkner

    In a swift response to an overnight crime spree, the Ozark Police Department successfully apprehended two suspects on Sunday afternoon. Kiyon Vaughn, 24, and Ravaughn Turner, 25, both residents of Phenix City, were swiftly taken into custody after surveillance footage captured Vaughn in the act of breaking into vehicles in the vicinity of Noah Circle making off with medications, credit cards, and a firearm. The duo further attempted to utilize the stolen credit cards at Walmart.

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  20. Jeff Foxworthy brings laughter and generosity to Ozark: Fundraiser for Vivian B. Adams School

    By Christina Faulkner

    The Ozark Civic Center buzzed with anticipation on Thursday, March 14, as approximately 700 fans gathered to witness the comedic genius of Jeff Foxworthy. But this wasn't just any comedy show - it was a night filled with laughter, generosity, and heartfelt support for a local cause.

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  21. Tuberville recognizes Carroll High graduate as March Veteran of the Month

    By Christina Faulkner

    Senator Tommy Tuberville proudly acknowledges the exceptional contributions of H. Earle Thompson Jr., a distinguished Carroll High School graduate and decorated military veteran, as the Veteran of the Month for March.

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  22. Secretary of State Wes Allen addresses the Dale County GOP

    Staff Reports

    Secretary of State Wes Allen was the featured speaker at the Dale County GOP meeting Monday, March 18, 2024.

    During Secretary Allen’s remarks to the group, he discussed the topic of election integrity, advocating for the passage of SB1 and providing insight into his testimony before the United States Senate.

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  23. Dale County Commission awards $60,000 for renovations of the future Ariton Museum

    By Christina Faulkner

    In a move to preserve local history and cultural heritage, the Dale County Commission has allocated $60,000 in funds towards the renovation of the former Greyhound Bus Station, set to be the future Ariton Museum. The decision to support this endeavor comes as part of the county's utilization of funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to facilitate government services.

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  24. Dale County families contend with devastation after tornado strike

    By Christina Faulkner

    A devastating EF1 tornado, with peak winds reaching 105 mph, wreaked havoc in Dale County during the early morning hours of Saturday, March 9. Spanning a distance of 4.4 miles, the tornado touched down just west of the Mabson Community at 1:40 a.m., leaving behind just over a ½ mile wide trail of destruction.

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  25. Multi-agency effort leads to apprehension of fugitive in Daleville

    By Christina Faulkner

    In a coordinated effort involving various law enforcement agencies, the Daleville Police Department, led by Chief and Director of Public Safety John Crawford, successfully apprehended Burgess "Chad" Flowers on Wednesday, March 6. Flowers was wanted for parole violation and escape.

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  26. Dale County sees minor flooding after weekend deluge

    By Christina Faulkner

    A weekend deluge unleashed between 5-8 inches of rain in Dale County, resulting in minor flooding of low-lying areas. The aftermath extended into Sunday morning as the Choctawhatchee River swelled, prompting a flood warning that lingered until Monday morning.

    Several areas in Dale County felt the impact, with the river reaching flood stage at 19 feet, particularly affecting farmland in low-lying regions near the riverbanks. The most significant flooding was observed around the Highway 92 bridge in Clayhatchee.

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  27. Ozark City Council Greenlights Automated Red Light Cameras for Enhanced Traffic Safety

    By Caitlynn Cummings

    In a pivotal move during the recent Ozark City Council meeting on March 5, the council members approved a proposal to introduce automated red light cameras along U.S. Highway 231. Spearheaded by Ozark's Director of Public Safety, Charles Ward, the initiative is aimed at bolstering traffic enforcement and reducing instances of drivers running red lights.

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  28. Business owner challenges Ozark Mayor’s disconnect threat over restroom agreement

    By Caitlynn Cummings

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  29. Community quells flames of tragedy after devastating house fire

    By Christina Faulkner

    Tragedy struck on Thursday, February 28, as a house fire consumed the cherished home of the Wood family, displacing all twelve members of the household. The family, who had envisioned the residence as their "forever home," lost everything in the blaze that erupted after a day of homeschooling.

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  30. Storage Sense swiper in custody

    By Christina Faulkner

    The recent theft of substantial property from Storage Sense on Andrews Avenue has been successfully resolved by the Ozark Police Department, leading to the arrest of Ian Richman, a 36-year-old resident of Ozark. Richman now faces a litany of charges, including 23 counts of 3rd Degree Burglary, 24 counts of 3rd Degree Criminal Mischief, two counts each of Theft of Property 1st (exceeding $2500), Theft of Property 3rd, and Theft of Property 4th, as well as one count each of Theft of Property 2nd ($500 - $2500) and Trespass 3rd Degree.

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  31. All In Credit Union receives Congressional Certificate of Recognition for outstanding community service

    Staff Reports

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  32. Ozark’s Excellence in Business awards

    The Ozark Area Chamber of Commerce held their annual Excellence in Business Awards Thursday, February 22. Chamber members and the community voted through an online survey to select the winners in each category. Pictured (l-r) above are the winners of this year’s awards. Pam Schisler was awarded the Women in Business award. John Cawley holds the Nonprofit Excellence Award bestowed on the Ozark Kiwanis Club. Tami Sapp, Office Manager at Ozark Pediatrics accepted the award for Ozark Pediatrics for Business of the Year.

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  33. Accidental blaze consumes abandoned structure

    By Christina Faulkner

    The cause of a house fire that occurred at 2 Baldwin Circle in Ozark on Wednesday, February 28 has been ruled an accident by the State Fire Marshal's office.

    The fire started at approximately 1:15 p.m. after a worker attempting to demolish the building left the scene on a personal errand. According to witnesses, he had been using an electric chainsaw to begin demolition work which the property owner, Jerry Mack, had authorized.

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  34. Run-off election looms for April 16 between McKinnon and Enfinger

    By Christina Faulkner

    Dale County will return to the polls on April 16 for a run-off election between incumbent Dale County Commission Chair Steve McKinnon and Commissioner District 3 Adam Enfinger for Dale County Commission Chairman. Neither candidate brought in enough support to clearly win the race for this position. McKinnon carried 2,699 votes with Enfinger carrying 2,585 votes. The difference between two candidates was a mere 114 votes. Pinckard Mayor Bobby Borland, the third candidate for the ballot carried 17.71% of the total vote.

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  35. Publisher’s Statement on Endorsement of Adam Enfinger for Chairman Dale County Commission

    The Southern Star contacted candidates running for Dale County Commission Chairman with our interest in endorsing the best candidate.

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  36. Official Endosement

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  37. USDA grant empowers Dale County Schools with telehealth and technology integration

    By Christina Faulkner

    Dale County Schools in Alabama is set to revolutionize health and technology education with the recent acquisition of a significant USDA Healthy, Educated Alabama: Resilience through Technology (HEARtT) grant. The grant, valued at just over $741,000, aims to launch a comprehensive Telemedicine project, prioritizing mental and general health care accessibility for students, educators and staff.

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  38. Daleville partners with ODEDC to transform 253-acre industrial site

    By Christina Faulkner

    The City of Daleville and the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation (ODEDC) have come together to increase the marketability of the 253-acre Hanchey Field Road industrial site. With ODEDC applying for funding through the Alabama Site Evaluation and Economic Development Strategy (SEEDS) Act, the City of Daleville agreed to fund the match requirement for the grant.

    Over the years, the Hanchey Field Road site has received little attention. ODEDC President Holle Smith believes it’s time for that to change.

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  39. City Council hears proposal on playful upgrades and commends parade triumphs alongside city matters

    By Caitlyn Cummings

    The Ozark City Council heard a proposal from Parks and Recreation Director Ozzie Maianeto during the Ozark City Council meeting held Tuesday, February 20 for Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) playground enhancements for Steagall Park.

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  40. Explosive device detonated outside Attorney General’s office

    By Christina Faulkner

    Special Agents with the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency’s (ALEA) State Bureau of Investigation (SBI) received notification of a suspicious package near the intersection of Washington Avenue and South Bainbridge Street in Montgomery. The agents determined the suspicious package was an explosive device that was detonated in the early morning hours of Saturday, February 24.

    There were no injuries or damages to nearby buildings that have been reported to SBI or Montgomery police.

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  41. State public fishing lakes staples in communities

    By David Rainer

    Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources

    Alabama is blessed with an abundance of lakes, reservoirs and waterways for residents and visitors to enjoy for fishing, boating, birdwatching and many other outdoor activities. However, several pockets exist in the state that are not close or convenient for residents to get to the water.

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  42. Alabama House approves gambling proposal; Heads to Senate for further consideration

    By Christina Faulkner

    The Alabama House of Representatives approved a sweeping gambling proposal with an aim to put lottery and casino legislation before voters in November. The measure passed on a 70-32 vote exceeding the required 63 affirmative votes in the House for a proposed change to the Alabama Constitution.

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  43. Dale County transitions to SmartFusion for streamlined solid waste accounting

    By Christina Faulkner

    Dale County Solid Waste Authority has recently upgraded its solid waste accounting and billing system, bidding farewell to the locally developed but less user-friendly County Information Management System (CIMS). Developed in Montgomery, CIMS served its purpose but was limited to use on a single computer, posing challenges for efficient management.

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  44. Ozark Municipal Court resolves Mayor-Fontenot harassment case

    By Christina Faulkner

    A recent legal matter concluded in the Ozark Municipal Court, revealing the intricacies of a harassment case between Mayor Mark Blankenship and Bryant Fontenot. The case, which reached its resolution on February 7, revolved around an incident that transpired after a routine city council meeting on January 2. Fontenot faced charges brought forth by Mayor Blankenship, alleging harassment. The legal proceedings provided insights into the complexities of the case, ultimately resulting in Fontenot's acquittal by Judge Barbara Wade.

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  45. Ozark City Council explores additional employee pay increase and approves business matters

    By Christina Faulkner

    In a recent Ozark City Council meeting held on Tuesday, February 6, various topics were discussed, encompassing considerations for potential additional pay increases for city employees and several business-related approvals.

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