Not long after the turn of the century, Edward Doty started Covington County’s first newspaper, a weekly christened The Andalusia Star. It is the forefather of today’s Star-News.
Doty sold the paper to a Tennessee businessman, Oscar Duggar, but it was soon purchased by Byron Vickery, W.B. Locke and A.G. Jones of Andalusia. In 1923, The Covington News opened its doors. It published as a competing paper until 1948 when it was merged into the Star and The Andalusia Star-News was born.
In 1982, the newspaper became a daily, publishing on Tuesday through Saturday mornings. The forerunners of the Star-News were not the first newspapers published in Covington County. That honor goes to The Covington Times, which was established on November 11, 1886, but folded after several years. Doty sold the paper to a Tennessee businessman, Oscar Duggar, but it was soon purchased by Byron Vickery, W.B. Locke and A.G. Jones of Andalusia.
In 1923, The Covington News opened its doors. It published as a competing paper until 1948 when it was merged into the Star and The Andalusia Star-News was born. The forerunners of the Star-News were not the first newspapers published in Covington County. That honor goes to The Covington Times, which was established on November 11, 1886, but folded after several years.
In 1994, the newspaper moved into its modern offices located at 207 Dunson St. The expanded facilities included state-of-the-art prepress, mailroom and press equipment. The newspaper is a major printer of newspapers and specialty publications for south Alabama and the panhandle of Florida. In a typical week, more than 40 editions of daily, weekly and monthly publications are printed at The Star-News.
Our mission is to be the marketing and communication leader in Covington County. We seek to produce the highest quality product the economics of the community served can support. And then, by ingenuity and imagination, we strive for a higher quality in an effort to serve and build that community.
Published Tuesday through Saturday mornings.Distribution in combination with the free-distribution Extra is 17,500.
Employees of the Star-News are involved in a number of community clubs and organizations including Rotary, Kiwanis and Lions clubs. In addition, employees and the company are substantial contributors to the area’s United Way campaign.
The Star-News has won numerous state press association awards including: Alabama Press Association First Places in First Amendment Protection, Best Editorial Page, Best Editorial Column.
Motor freight businesses are enjoying increasing economic successes in the Andalusia area. Rail service for commercial transport is also available in the area. At the modern Andalusia-Opp Airport, located east of Andalusia on U.S. Highway 84, aircraft can land on the 5,000 foot, instrument-equipped runway which is capable of supporting general business aircraft.
The airport offers charter service, air ambulance, aircraft maintenance and fuel, and includes a heliport with a state-of-the-art hot refueling facility, which allows helicopters to refuel with their engines running.
Timber resources, primarily pine and hardwood, are abundant in the Andalusia area. Timber-related industries are among Covington County’s major employers and highest yeild industries. Other major industries in Andalusia include garment, carpet yarn manufacturing and packaging.
The major agricultural products in the area are peanuts, pecans, fruits, vegetables, cattle, poultry, hogs, cotton, wheat and soybeans. The Andalusia Industrial Park containes more than 200 industry-zoned acres, and the Andalusia-Opp Airport property includes a 165-acre industrial park especially attractive to aircraft-related industries.
Centrally located in South Alabama, just 32 miles off Interstate 65 and 45 miles off Interstate 10, Andalusia is easily accessible. Andalusia is located in Covington County.
Andalusia – 8,907
Covington County – 37,631
Andalusia’s residents enjoy a pleasant year-round climate, with long summers, mild winters and an average annual temperature of 66 degrees. Rainfall averages 55.7 inches per year.
Timber-related industries are among Covington County’s major employers and highest yeild industries. Other major industries in Andalusia include garment, carpet yarn manufacturing and packaging.
The Covington County School System is a public school system located in South Central Alabama with a total K-12 enrollment of approximately 3,300 students. The Covington County School System operates elementary, middle, and high schools at eight locations in the outlying areas of rural Alabama.
Lurleen B. Wallace Junior College. The Solon Dixon Forestry Education Center, located near Andalusia in the heart of Alabama’s timber country, provides unique opportunities for forestry and wildlife research.
The Center was designed to house Auburn University’s summer forestry education programs. It includes dormitories, dining facilities, an auditorium and classrooms to accommodate up to 120 students. Students attending the summer program learn about a wide range of forestry management situations.
“Andalusia is the proud home of the famousWorld Championship Domino Tournament and the Covington County Fair. It boasts the Solon and Martha Dixon Center for the Performing arts. The Covington Arts Council, the Andalusia Ballet Association and LBW College host cultural performances by both professional and local musicians and dancers in the Dixon Center. ”
The beauty of the 83,000-acre Conecuh National Forest, located southwest of Andalusia, with its tall trees, crystal clear spring-fed lakes and clean fresh air entices Andalusia residents and visitors to the area. Blue Lake and Open Pond, both located in the National Forest, provide swimming, hiking, camping and picnicking opportunities and fishing. North of Andalusia, the 2,700-acre Gantt Lake and the 700-acre Point A Lake offer fishing, boating and water sports, and Point A Park has camping and picnicking facilities.
On the Campus of LBW College in Andalusia, golfers enjoy playing the nine -hole public golf course, and walkers stroll along the beautiful nature trail, a walker’s paradise. Looking for other outdoor fun? Play in Andalusia’s eight recreation parks and on it 20 tennis courts. Or bring your team to one of Andalusia’s 18 ball fields.
And while in Andalusia, breathe deeply of the clean, fresh air. Since Andalusia’s businesses and industries help keep our air pure, no smog will block your view as you watch the squirrels scurry along. Game in the wildlife management areas near Andalusia make the city popular to hunters. Dove, quail, turkey and deer are abundant in the area.
Andalusia was originally named Montezuma but was later changed to Andalusia after moving due to health problems that citizens suffered from living in a flood plane. Citizens moved to higher ground, which is where Andalusia is now located. Historians aren’t certain where the name Andalusia came from but the most popular rumor is that a Spanish officer became separated from his regiment while traveling in the Northwest Florida region. He was captured by indians, in what is now Andalusia, and forced to trade his horse because the Indian braves were so captivated by the beauty of it. They wanted to give it their chief, Red Eagle, as a present. The Spanish officer agreed and he told them that the breed of the horse was an Andalusian, Spanish for To Walk Easy.
Covington County has had a total of five different court houses if you count the first in Montezuma. The courthouse prior to the existing courthouse is rumored to have been burned due to some shady land deals and a probate judge at that time mysteriously died from food poisoning.
Andalusia Chamber of Commerce