YEAR IN REVIEW: Bentley visits, talks about jobs

Published 4:37 pm Monday, December 31, 2012

Special speaker: Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley visited the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce’s luncheon in August.

Editor’s note: Below is the second part of a three-part series looking back at the top news stories of 2012. This installment covers May through August. Part 3 will be posted on New Year’s Day.


Chilton Food Innovation Center opens

The Chilton Food Innovation Center officially opened May 1 in Clanton.

The center that helps food growers and producers as well as business entrepreneurs get food products ready for market opened at 12 First Avenue in Clanton (the old Adair school).

Food made at the center must be acidified due to health department regulations, but that includes things like salsa, pickled products, some relishes and salad dressings, jams and jellies, chipotle and more.

Board member J. Sam Johnson said he hoped the center would have a long-term economic benefit for those in the produce industry.

Proposed districts would divide Chilton County

The Alabama House of Representatives and Senate districts released a proposal in May that would divide Chilton County into multiple districts.

Chilton County has been in one House and one Senate district since the lines were last drawn after the 2000 census. The districts are reapportioned every 10 years based on new census data.

Under the maps proposed by the state’s reapportionment committee, Chilton County would be in two Senate districts and three House districts.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced Oct. 24 that the U.S. Department of Justice pre-cleared the 2012 redistricting plans for the Alabama House of Representatives and the Alabama Senate.

Strange’s office submitted redistricting plans for review to the U.S. Attorney General and to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia pursuant to Section 5 of the federal Voting Rights Act.

Section 5 requires such review of any change in voting practices in certain states, including Alabama.

U.S. Department of Justice’s action moots the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, and the redistricting plans for the State House of Representatives and Senate can now be put into effect.

If adopted, the new districts will go into effect with the 2014 elections.

Calm during storm

An Isabella seventh grader was honored May 18 for helping get her family to safety during tornadoes in January.

During the school’s Honors Day program, meteorologist Kevin Laws of the Birmingham National Weather Service gave a Good Citizen Award to Olivia Faith Owens.