2019: a year in review
Hartselle and Morgan County saw several big stories in 2019. From new leaders in the school system and law enforcement to city-wide developments and improvements, we’ve rounded up the biggest stories of the year.
Barley takes the reigns as Hartselle Police Chief
Justin Barley began his first year as the Police Chief of the Hartselle Police Department. He filled the position after former chief, Ron Puckett was elected as the Morgan County Sheriff. Barley implemented several new programs during his first year as chief of the department including new hires and starting the School Protection Officer program.
School Protection Officers are implemented in Hartselle City Schools
The Hartselle Police Department and Hartselle City Schools entered into a partnership to add two School Protection Officers in the schools. The program drew from retired police officers to work part-time during the school year to keep the schools safe. The two officers joined in addition to the two School Resource Officers already in place at the high school and junior high school. Two additional School Protection Officers will be added in the Spring 2020 semester to provide an officer at each school.
City of Hartselle plans vision for the future
The City of Hartselle moved forward on plans for development in Hartselle. The city and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management held a vision workshop to plan ideas for the former Hartselle Hospital property. The community drew plans for how they would like to see the property developed. Ideas included an amphitheater, mixed-use development and a space for a new library and city hall.
City of Hartselle enters negotiations for former Wells Fargo building
The City of Hartselle signed a letter of intent to purchase the former Wells Fargo building in Hartselle during a City Council meeting in December. The building became available after Wells Fargo closed the branch in October. Hartselle City mayor, Randy Garrison, announced plans to move City Hall to the new location.
Pocket Park opens in Downtown Hartselle
A new pocket park was built in downtown Hartselle this year as part of a $50K grant from the Alabama Resource Conservation Council. The pocket park is located in a formerly vacant lot at 116 Main St. in downtown Hartselle. Hartselle City Mayor, Randy Garrison, said the park is the start of a plan to connect downtown with the Farmer’s Market in a greenspace.
Georgia man robs Hartselle Kroger, leads police in daylong manhunt
Londell Ramone Nunn Jr. was suspected of robbing the Hartselle Kroger of $2,000 on September 11. After fleeing the scene, Nunn was involved in minor auto accidents that led him to escape on foot. The suspect hid in a wooded area near Mountain View Road and Georgia Street leading Hartselle Police Department and surrounding agencies in a daylong manhunt of the area before being apprehended later that night.
Hartselle City Schools welcomes new principals
Hartselle City Schools named Robert “Rocky” Smith as the new principal at Hartselle Junior High School. Smith filled the position after former principal, Dr. Robbie Smith took a new position at Orange Beach Middle School. Rocky Smith was named the new principal during the June 11 school board meeting. HCS also welcomed Earon Eubanks Sheats as the principal of Hartselle Intermediate School. Sheats was chosen as principal in September among 49 other applicants.
Lady Tigers advance to finals
The Lady Tigers softball team returned to defend the state title in Montgomery again this year. The players received a send off from their classmates before heading to the finals. The team made it several rounds before falling 4-1 to Spanish Fort.
Puckett is sworn in as Sheriff
Former Hartselle Police Chief Ron Puckett was sworn in as Morgan County Sheriff Jan. 14. The ceremony took place at the old Morgan County Courthouse in Somerville and was administered by Judge David Breland.