5 months ago

Andy Whitt Announces Candidacy for Alabama House District 6


Andy Whitt has announced that he will seek the open vacancy in the Alabama House of Representatives, District 6 in the June 5, 2018, Republican Primary. Whitt is seeking the seat because Representative Phil Williams is not running for re-election.

Andy’s grassroots run deep in the district.  He and his family have lived in the community all of their lives, and Andy makes the 7th generation to call this area home.  He is married to his wife Jennifer for 20 years, and she is the current Assistant Principal at Sparkman Middle School.  They have two children, Grant and Emma Drew, both students of Sparkman High.  His son Grant is currently serving as the SGA/Class president for Sparkman High School.  The family attends church at Mt. Zion Baptist Church.

Andy has over twenty years in the finance and banking industry.   He is the Senior Vice President/Madison County Executive for First National Bank where he oversees the bank’s presence and growth into the North Alabama Market.  “It has been a fun and rewarding experience being a part of the community banking industry.  For me, it’s not a job; it’s about making new friends and developing new relationships to better serve the community.

After graduating high school from Sparkman High, he attended Calhoun College, then Samford University’s CBAA program, and the Graduate School of Banking at LSU. He is also a recent graduate of the Huntsville/Madison County Leadership Program- “Focus 35”.

“I am running for the House of Representatives because I want to put my finance and business experience to work for the people of this district and our state,” said Whitt.  “It’s time we do more with less, cut the wasteful spending and put hard-working families first.  Just like I run our community bank, I will make sure that our state is held accountable and there is a check and balance system in place.  I will work hard to make sure we receive our fair share of support for our roads and schools.  Moving our economy in the right direction is imperative, and I will work hard with our state and local leaders to bring more jobs and industries to North Alabama.  As we all know this last year was a tough time for our state.  I believe now more than ever it’s time for conservative leadership, moral values, and integrity.  I believe that my life experiences have prepared me for this opportunity,” concluded Whitt.

As a former volunteer fireman for over ten years and a community banker, he feels that it is very important to give back and invest in our communities.  “The reason why I decided to run for this position is because I wanted to serve my community and make sure that we have a voice at the table in Montgomery.  I am proud of the community service that I have done over the years, and now I want to do even more in public service by representing the good people of our district.” 

Beginning at an early age, Andy volunteered his time for many worthwhile causes, including Elkwood Village (Special Needs Home), Athens Rotary Club Board Member, the Ardmore and Athens Chamber of Commerce. He is currently serving on the board of The School Foundation, is a PAC member for the Madison County Board of Education, Athens State University Foundation Board, member of the Huntsville Rotary Club and a  “Paul Harris Fellow” Rotarian, member of the Committee of #100 and the Huntsville/Madison County Builders Association.


Bill funds ‘active shooter’ training for local law enforcement, school faculty and staff, and students

For much of the year, the safety of our students rests in the hands of the faculty, staff, and resource officers at our schools.  Without a shadow of a doubt, the people who know best how to protect our schools are the teachers, parents, administrators, police officers, and students in their own communities.

In February, the tragic shooting in Parkland, Florida resonated throughout our communities, highlighting a disturbing trend of individuals who clearly show signs of grave mental instability falling through the cracks.

Sadly, this incident likely could have been avoided had there been better oversight at every level of law enforcement. From the top down, we failed these students by not heeding the warning signs and working together as a team to ensure our students’ safety.


In response to this incident, the House recently passed the Student, Teacher’s Officer’s Prevention (STOP) School Violence Act, which Bill  to help identify and prevent school violence before these tragic events occur.

First, the STOP School Violence Act provides funding for training to prevent student violence, including training for local law enforcement officers, school personnel, and students in the event of an emergency.  This training would be designed to give students and school personnel the ability to recognize and respond quickly to warning signs of violent behavior and would include active shooter training.

Second, the bill provides funding for technology and equipment to improve school security.  This includes the development and operation of anonymous reporting systems, as well as the installation of metal detectors, locks, and other preventative technologies to keep schools secure.

The legislation also authorizes funding for school threat assessment and crisis intervention teams for school personnel to respond to threats before they become real-time incidents.  Recognizing the warning signs of violent, threatening behavior and having the proper resources to address it on the front end can prevent these tragedies from ever occurring.

Finally, the STOP School Violence Act provides funding to support law enforcement coordination efforts, particularly the officers who already staff schools.  From the federal level all the way down to our local law enforcement, we need to ensure there is accountability and communication when handling violent behavior.

Many of our local schools are already reevaluating their security measures and taking additional steps to promote a safe learning environment for our students.  Our students’ safety and security should always remain a top priority, and I believe it is imperative that our local schools have the most appropriate resources in place in the event of an emergency.

As we look for ways to prevent these terrible tragedies, I am open to additional solutions to address the underlying issues that cause these events to occur.  That said, I remain steadfastly committed to upholding the individual right of all law-abiding Americans to keep and bear arms.  Millions of Americans should not have their Second Amendment rights infringed upon due to the bad actions of a few individuals.

Rather, I believe we should focus on addressing mental health issues and combatting the role of violence in our modern culture, such as the prevalence of violent video games that normalize this behavior for our young students, and promoting commonsense solutions that will address the larger issues of mental health so that those with mental illness do not fall through the cracks.

There is still work to be done to ensure each child’s safety and well-being while attending classes. However, I am proud that we have taken this action in the House to promote a safe, secure learning environment for our children.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. 

(Image: File)

45 mins ago

Ex-Tuskegee football coach accused of selling cocaine, pot

A former assistant football coach at Tuskegee University is accused of selling cocaine and marijuana in Alabama.

U.S. Attorney Louis V. Franklin Sr. says in a statement that 33-year-old Ramone Jardon Nickerson was arrested Wednesday. Prosecutors say the Phenix City man was indicted by a grand jury after being found with roughly 3 ounces of cocaine, a pound of marijuana and a .40-caliber handgun March 13 in Russell County.


Tuskegee’s website says the alumnus coached cornerbacks and was a four-year starter before joining the coaching staff in 2006.

If convicted, Nickerson could be sentenced to a maximum 20 years in prison for drug trafficking charges and at least 5 years for a related gun charge. There’s no parole in the federal system.

It is unclear if Nickerson has a lawyer.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

1 hour ago

We have plenty of gun bills, we lack action

Is the Alabama legislature serious about dealing with the issue of school violence? If they are, it sure doesn’t seem like it. Yes, we have bills, lots of bills, some good and some bad. We have a bill about allowing teachers to carry, a bill about allowing volunteers to carry, a bill about metal detectors, a bill about banning semi-automatics, and a bill on age-limits. So we have bills, but apparently, we don’t have time. Maybe a special session can get it done:

“Not dissuaded by the announcement, Ainsworth floated the idea of a special session addressing school safety over the summer, and the Guntersville representative was darting around the chamber on Wednesday with petition and pen in hand,” reported Sam Mattison of Alabama Political Reporter.

Why this matters: A special session? For what? Do these legislators not know where they stand on banning semi-automatics or allowing teachers to carry firearms? Yes, these are controversial issues, but they aren’t hard to figure out whether you support them or not.


The legislature piddled around on this legislation and is letting the clock run out. Now everyone gets to go back to their district and talk about how they’re pro-gun/anti-gun legislation didn’t pass, but if we send them back for four more years they can get the job done.

The details:

— The length of the legislative session is 30 meeting days over a 105 day period.

— The House Public Safety Committee was unable to meet on gun bills on Wednesday because not enough members showed up.

— Depending on the source, a special session would cost taxpayers roughly $400,000.

— If Governor Kay Ivey calls a special session, and no one thinks she will, it will be limited to whatever she specifically puts in the “call”.

Dale Jackson hosts a daily radio show from 7-11 a.m. on NewsTalk 770 AM/92.5 FM WVNN and a weekly television show, “Guerrilla Politics,” on WAAY-TV, both in North Alabama. Follow him @TheDaleJackson.

2 hours ago

Alabama House approves school security money

Schools could soon be able to tap a state technology fund for security measures such as paying for school resource officers or surveillance cameras.

The Alabama House of Representatives on Thursday voted 96-4 for the bill. The Alabama Senate will now consider whether to go along with House changes to the proposal.


The legislation by Republican Sen. Trip Pittman of Montrose is one of the few school security proposals nearing final passage in the Alabama Legislature.

According the Legislative Services Agency, schools received a total of $21.4 million from the fund in 2016, but no money in 2017. A separate bill would steer an additional $58.8 million to the fund.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey has announced support for the legislation.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

3 hours ago

Alabama man pleads guilty to wife’s 2014 disappearance, slaying

An Alabama man who led police to his wife’s remains two years after she went missing has pleaded guilty in her shooting death.

Jefferson County Deputy District Attorney Shawn Allen said Wednesday that 45-year-old Joseph Sylvester Poe III was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on an intentional murder charge in the death of Paula Anne Worcester.


AL.com reports that Worcester’s sister reported her missing in July 2014, and she wasn’t located until Poe was arrested on unrelated charges in July 2016. He told Tarrant police he needed to talk to a detective about her disappearance, and then admitted to shooting her and leaving her body in a wooded area.

Police found skeletal remains in that location.

Poe had originally been charged with capital murder.

(Image: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office)

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)