Sheriff: Alabama boy takes father’s SUV, runs out of gas
Authorities say an Alabama boy took his father’s SUV, drove into Mississippi and ran out of gas.
WDAM-TV reported Thursday that Perry County Sheriff Mitch Nobles says the boy took the vehicle and drove into Mississippi, where he eventually ran out of gas at the Circle K convenience store in New Augusta.
According to Nobles, the Mobile County boy was taken to the sheriff’s department and later released to his father.
Nobles says the boy will not face charges in Mississippi.
(Image: Perry County Sheriff’s Department/Facebook)
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
Univision’s The Root: Alabama Sen. Doug Jones ‘just screwed black voters’
In a scathing attack aimed at Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), The Root columnist Michael Harriot criticized Alabama’s junior senator for his vote on a measure to roll back some provisions of the Obama-era Dodd-Frank law that imposed regulations on the financial sector.
The bill passed in the U.S. Senate by a 67-31 margin and was applauded for being a bipartisan effort.
However, Harriot interpreted the law as a betrayal of the African-American voters that supported Jones in the 2017 special election:
My grandmother, a slight woman whose values still trickle down through four generations, and who radiated love and wisdom as if she were our family’s own self-contained solar system, once showed me the scars on her legs from being bitten by a police dog and instructed me to “trust a white man as far as you can throw him.”
While that ancient African proverb now seems like a bit of reverse racism, Alabama’s black voters, in all their egalitarian forgiveness and goodwill, ignored it this past December when they cast their ballots for Doug Jones, sending him to the Senate chambers to represent them.
Harriot, who claims to have once been a college macroeconomics instructor, goes on to add Jones and the Democratic Party “have thrown black people to the wolves.” He argues the bipartisan effort passed by the Senate on Wednesday “strips away for some banks the requirement to report the race, ethnicity and gender of their mortgage customers.”
That according to Harriot will make it easier for lenders “to deny black customers without fear of repercussion or lawsuits.”
Harriot goes on to note Jones had overwhelming support by the African-American community in Alabama last December but hammers him for his voting record:
[W]hen it comes to Doug Jones, even though he received 93 percent of the black male vote and a whopping 98 percent of the black female vote, he has not demonstrated that he intends to do anything for black Alabama voters. Jones has supported Trump’s position on 60 percent of the issues since black voters sent him to the Senate.
In an op-ed posted to AL(dot)com on Thursday, Jones defended his vote on the bill. He called it “regulatory relief,” and said it would not enable Wall Street to make the same mistakes of the past. He also hailed it for restoring the role credit unions play in some communities.
“At the end of the day, this will help our Alabama banks focus on what they do best – making loans to Main Street, while letting federal regulators do what they do best – focus their limited resources on Wall Street,” Jones wrote.
Harriot’s publication The Root is described as “a top online destination for African-American news and commentary.” It initially launched in 2008 by Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Donald Graham. Gates is known by some as the Harvard professor arrested and charged with disorderly conduct in 2009. That arrest led to then-President Barack Obama’s famous beer summit with Gates and the arresting officer, Cambridge Police Sgt. James Crowley.
Graham, chairman of Graham Holdings Company, is the son of long-time Washington Post publishers Katharine and Philip Graham.
In 2015, Univision purchased The Root.
Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.
Police: Disgruntled worker killed nurse in Alabama hospital
A job-related dispute led to a health care worker opening fire inside a hospital in a shooting that left two people dead and another critically injured, authorities said Thursday.
A man pulled out a gun and shot two people Wednesday night inside UAB Highlands, which is affiliated with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. The man then killed himself with a shot to the head, authorities said.
UAB spokesman Tyler Greer said the gunman, who police identified as 31-year-old Trevis Coleman of Birmingham, worked for UAB, as did Nancy Swift, a 63-year-old nursing manager who was killed.
A man who worked for Steris, a contractor who manages the hospital’s sterile supplies, was wounded and listed in critical condition. Authorities didn’t release his name, and Steris referred questions to police.
Lt. Peter Williston, a spokesman for the Birmingham Police Department, said investigators were still sorting out what had occurred.
“We do know it was an employee relations issues that led to what happened,” he said.
UAB Highlands is a campus of UAB Hospital, part of the medical school at the university.
Officials said metal detectors were in use, but they didn’t explain how the shooter entered the building with a gun.
The shootings forced the hospital to cancel all of Thursday’s scheduled surgeries.
“We ask that you please join us in prayer for these families, those who work where the incident occurred, and those who were immediately on the scene, including the first responders who acted so heroically under extremely difficult circumstances,” said Anthony Patterson, senior vice president of inpatient services for UAB Hospital.
Patterson said counseling services would be provided for employees.
(Image: Nancy Swift/Facebook)
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
7 Things: ‘Bama lawmaker believes women are ‘scared of guns,’ Trump sanctions Russia, UAB shooter identified, and more …
1. Alabama lawmaker’s terrible argument about guns and women get plenty of attention
— State Rep. Harry Shiver (R-Stockton) believes women should be protected, “are scared of guns”, and the best way to protect them is to not allow them to carry guns.
— In spite of this, the bill still passed out of committee and could get a floor vote this session, at least in the House.
2. President Donald Trump sanctions Russia over election meddling and other aggressive actions
— The sanctions were imposed on Russian organizations and individuals in retaliation for interference in the 2016 presidential election, cyber-attacks, and the latest nerve agent attack on British soil.
— This comes at the same time reports indicate Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is seeking records from the Trump family business.
3. UAB shooter identified, he was angry about being reprimanded and shot the person reprimanding him
— 63-year-old Nancy Swift was killed by Trevis Devon Coleman, in an incident that set off “active shooter” warnings on the Birmingham campus.
— Swift was reprimanding Coleman when he produced a handgun, killed Swift, shot another employee, and then killed himself.
4. Racial profiling bill, that would require the race of all people stopped during traffic stops
— The bill would require officers to record the race of a person pulled over in a traffic stop, submit the data to the state attorney general’s office, which could withhold funds from agencies that didn’t follow the law.
— The likelihood the AG withholds funds over this is almost nil, the problems this bill will create via intentionally misleading news reports will be numerous.
5. Stormy Daniels’ attorney implies she was “physically threatened” by someone, the media will spend all day on this
— Her attorney told the hosts of “Morning Joe”, “I think it will become apparent to people when they tune in to 60 minutes … the details related to the threat.”
— The attorney for the porn star went on to say the information will all be made clear on “60 Minutes” later this month.
6. Alabama’s football team will visit the White House after protests over the potential visit
— The Tide will roll in to Washington D.C. on April 10th to celebrate their overtime victory over Georgia, which the President attended.
7. The legislature looks to end Daylight Savings Time
— The Alabama Senate approved a resolution Thursday to end Daylight Saving Time permanent or keep it permanent, either way it would stop you from having to change your clocks once a year.
— Sen. Marco Rubio has a bill in Congress that would do the same thing, there definitely seems to be a movement growing for this.
LISTEN: Yellowhammer’s Jeff Poor discusses GOP loss in Pennsylvania, Trump in California and Alabama’s governor’s race on WYDE’s ‘The Line’
Wednesday on Birmingham’s Superstation 101 WYDE’s “The Line,” Breitbart.tv editor and Yellowhammer News contributing writer Jeff Poor discussed the day’s news with hosts Andrew McLain and Jessica Borklund.
During the segment, Poor explained what Conor Lamb’s apparent victory in Tuesday special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th Congressional District means for the upcoming midterms, President Donald Trump’s visit to California to inspect border wall prototypes and the shake-up underway in Trump’s administration.
He also discussed the upcoming election cycle for Alabamians as this year’s legislative session is coming to a close and the gubernatorial primary contests are heating up.
(Sign-up for our daily newsletter here and never miss another article from Yellowhammer News.)
Alabama House passes juvenile justice reform bill
Alabama lawmakers are one step closer to overhauling the state’s juvenile justice system after the House passed a bill aimed at keeping low-level offenders out of detention. Thursday’s vote was 69-20 after more than three hours of heated debate and multiple amendments.
The bill proposed by Rep. Jim Hill, a Republican and former juvenile judge, aims to keep low-level offenders at home instead of in lock-up facilities. It would limit the number of offenses that put juveniles into Department of Youth Services (DYS) custody and reduce the punishment for probation violations to briefer detention stays. It would also require a formal risk and needs assessment that allows judges and juvenile probation officers to divert children from detention.
The bill would re-invest $35 million in community-based programs on top of $1 million for juvenile justice reform approved in next year’s general fund budget.
“There is no doubt in my mind that placing children in out-of-home facilities should be your very last option. The only way it can be the last option is if you locally have another one,” Hill said. “The purpose of this bill is to deflect kids from DYS, which is expensive, and to reinvest those dollars in local programs so that juveniles can be provided the service in a local environment.”
The bill is based on recommendations made by the Alabama Juvenile Justice Task Force in December 2017. Nearly two-thirds of the children in DYS custody in 2016 didn’t commit a felony, according to the task force’s report. They were sent there for probation violations and misdemeanor offenses.
Alabama allows children as young as 14 to be tried as adults. Teens 16 and older are currently automatically placed in the adult system if they are charged with capital offenses, class A felonies and other crimes, such as an assault on a teacher or a school principal with a “dangerous instrument.”
The bill would limit which cases automatically get moved to adult court to capital offenses, murder, rape with a deadly weapon and robbery with a deadly weapon.
State prisons in October held one 15-year-old, three 16-year-olds and eleven 17-year-olds, according to statistics from the Department of Corrections.
A stream of lawmakers criticized and questioned the 80-page bill during debate.
Rep. John Knight, a Democrat, said he agreed with the intent of the bill but worried there wasn’t enough money to sustain it.
Rep. Elaine Beech, a Republican, said the legislation is an “unfunded mandate” and would overburden juvenile probation officers in her rural district who are already stretched.
DYS did not response to request for comment about whether the bill would strain officers.
Georgia implemented a similar law in 2013 that put only the most serious and violent young offenders in custody and diverted those with misdemeanors into community-based programs. Since 2013, yearly juvenile commitments to the Department of Juvenile Justice have decreased by 46 percent, according to the Georgia Council on Criminal Justice Reform.
The bill moves for a final vote to the Senate, where similar legislation was introduced this year but hasn’t yet been approved by committee. Sen. Cam Ward, the Republican sponsor and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he would push Wednesday’s committee meeting to Tuesday to get the bill on the floor for a vote on Thursday. The legislation faces a tight deadline before the session finishes at the end of March.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
How Opelika became Alabama’s gold standard for small-town downtown revitalization
You know the place – a dominant courthouse, a few oak trees, a park and a few businesses with storefronts along a sidewalk that is sheltered by awnings. Perhaps there is a post office, two or three churches, a museum or a library. Throw in a handful of offices, a diner or a coffee shop, and you have a small town downtown district.
They are scattered all throughout Alabama and serve as the primary junction in places like Eufaula, Ozark, Demopolis, Winfield, and Cullman. Some are weathering hard times as commerce has shifted beyond downtown to lower cost outposts along the highways—like the Walmart Supercenter or malls with Applebee’s and Buffalo Wild Wings.
Welcome to Opelika
In East Central Alabama’s Lee County, the city of Opelika is reversing that trend and making downtown the place to be. Opelika, a city with a population pushing 30,000, has a traditional, small-town Alabama downtown, but with a railroad corridor and two adjacent avenues at its northern boundary.
Opelika is often overshadowed by its sister city Auburn to the west with its well-known university and status as a destination during college football season. But with an economy that has benefitted from the presence of nearby Auburn University, Opelika has started a different trend and is growing from within by revitalizing its downtown.
Long-time Opelika resident Glenn Buxton, a 50-year veteran of the radio business who now serves as the director of the local museum, explains how Opelika resurgence has become noticeable in just the last several years.
“Even as late as 2010, there was nothing going on downtown until they started revitalizing the downtown restaurants,” he said in an interview with Yellowhammer News. “Now, there are people living downtown. You got all the restaurants. The parking lots are filled all the way up to where we are even at night. You have a lot of activities going on.”
“From 2009 back, you could take a rock and throw it down that street and not hit anybody,” Buxton added. “And of course, a lot of the stores were in bad shape.”
After 5 p.m. on weekdays and the entire weekend, activity ceases in many a downtown. After working hours, people migrate out to their homes on the edge of town, out in the country and away from the blocks surrounding the courthouse square.
That trend had reversed for Opelika. While many of its establishments close shop after business hours, there are also businesses that start the day around the same time. Restaurants, bars, a brewery and now a distillery maintain the downtown’s pulse late into the night hours.
A decades-long process
Getting to this point was a gradual process that goes back decades. Opelika Mayor Gary Fuller estimates the first steps took place under his predecessor former Mayor Bobby Freeman in the mid-1990s. Freeman’s successor Mayor Barbara Patton continued the effort, and the transformation is still taking place today.
“Toward the end of [Freeman’s] term, we started our first streetscape project,” Fuller explained to Yellowhammer News. “It was Courthouse Square, where the fountain is. Then we did some other streetscape downtown. We did a couple of blocks – underground utilities, landscape, new sidewalks. And then when I got here in 2004, we did several more streetscapes projects.”
What happened next Fuller suggests was something of an attitude adjustment by the downtown business owners. Initially, he explained the attitude seemed to be the businesses were downtown were something of a hobby for their owners. However, once they realized these businesses could be profitable, things started to change.
“We had some entrepreneurs come in,” he said. “They wanted to make some money. They were motivated by profit. They had a mortgage. They had a car payment. They had children in college. They wanted to make some money, so that changed that business atmosphere. So then, we got these great restaurants.”
The Marsh Collective
Fuller says the Irish Bred Pub, an establishment on the edge of the downtown district by the railroad, sparked his downtown’s resurgence.
The Irish Bred Pub (not to be confused with its franchise in Montgomery on Dexter Avenue that started that downtown’s revitalization) replaced an old drug store. The two-story gastropub has a balcony that wraps around a street corner and has an interior that is outfitted with mahogany to give a classic look.
Fuller credits local developer John Marsh the Irish Bred Pub’s interior and many of the other revitalized elements in Opelika.
Marsh, who Fuller describes as a “young entrepreneur,” is the owner of J Marsh Enterprises, Inc., a company that is in the business of—as Marsh would say—redemptifying historic spaces.
“We’ve done 185-plus houses and buildings and ten blocks, so we’ve dedicated a good portion of the last 20 years to redeeming this small patch of ground,” Marsh said. “I grew up in Opelika. It’s been my home for about 30 years, and we believe there is something powerful about redeeming cities. So we’ve renovated all these downtown buildings and residential houses in an effort to make a difference.
“We believe that when you save historic structures, it makes a generational difference,” he added. “We know that Opelika’s blessed with some great historic structures. In fact, it’s our Mount Rushmore in so many ways. It’s something unique for us to have the type of historic downtown we have with historic districts that are in such beautiful condition.”
Marsh said his 50-year vision for Opelika has opened up other opportunities for his business, which include Stanford, Ky., Winter Haven, Fla., Bloomfield, Ky. and Albany, Ga.
“We believe it is such a huge part of our opportunity to have Opelika flourish for the next 50 years,” he added. “That’s our dream. How do we help our city flourish for the next 50 years? We learned that by slowly doing the work, and we stored a huge vision we have for our downtown and for this area. Then secondly, it opened up the door for us to help cities all around America. We have seven cities that have different patrons with portfolios of up to $100 million that we helped through our consulting company that we helped steward whole towns.”
Critics of downtown revitalization projects cry gentrification, wherein the city improvements attract more affluent patrons and residents, with the effect of displacing lower-income people. Marsh says that is a faulty label for his efforts.
“People say, ‘Well, is this gentrification?’” he said. “We kind of coined our own word. We say, ‘No, we do redemptification.’ And that’s the creative work of redeeming a place to its intending beauty or glory. We have a different mindset about this type of work, and we paid the price over 25 years to learn with our own money.”
Marsh seeks to break the cycle of cookie-cutter development, which has plagued a lot of places in Alabama – strip malls with chain restaurants that offer a near-identical experience, be it in Tulsa, Okla. or Lakeland, Fla.
“Opelika has got a bright future – smart folks trying to do good work in the world and uniqueness,” he said. “Nobody ever goes to a city and says, ‘I had the most amazing dinner. I went to this town.’ ‘How was it?’ ‘Well, it was Ruby Tuesday’s.’ Nobody says that. We only celebrate uniqueness and to be honest with you, that’s one of the benefits of downtown Opelika. It’s not loaded with a bunch of chains that have the same experience as anywhere else in America.”
As Fuller had said, the business owners’ attitudes have a lot to do with the character of the downtown. Marsh says the first ingredient to set that tone is the culinary offerings.
“That’s in the hearts of the people that are running the businesses,” he said. “Businesses – you reproduce who you are, not what you want. Those are the operators who are creating. We realize food is powerful. Most town revitalization, we always start with food.”
“We know we can get people to drive through the worst part of town for good barbecue,” he added. “Food moves people. We use food as the primary starting point for building communities.”
The other elements beyond food he says are the overnight stay options, the specialty shops and retail and the residential component.
“We think we can bring people in from one gas tank away,” Marsh explained.
The John Emerald Distilling Company is a father-son team that released its first whiskey in 2015. That was a historic occasion given Alabama’s embrace of prohibition long before the rest of the country.
“They distilled the first legal whiskey made in Alabama since before prohibition,” Mayor Fuller explained. “Alabama, and we’re the only state capable of this, we declared prohibition five years before the federal [government] did. I’m sure the bootleggers helped promote that, them and the preachers – but they make whiskey.”
Fuller also touted Red Clay Brewing, which he praised as one of Opelika’s big draws.
“Next door to that is Red Clay Brewing,” he continued. “Both of those are attractions. Folks come in and want to go to the tasting room, and it just draws people downtown.”
More development to come
Fuller anticipates the city will continue its role in downtown revitalization, just as it had when it started decades earlier.
“We’d like to extend our streetscapes – take it a few more blocks in town to go to the underground wiring, redo the sidewalks, landscape, and so I suspect we’ll be doing some more of that.”
Currently, Fuller says there are a handful of downtown loft apartments that he highly recommends as nice and convenient.
“I want to tell you – I’ve been in a couple of those lofts. My wife and I could live there just like that,” he said.
Fuller, a four-term mayor, said he would like to see more residential offerings, perhaps in the form of a condo development.
“I can see in the coming years we’re going to see more and more of it,” Fuller said. “I’d love to see somebody find a nice piece of property downtown and put some kind of nice condo development, maybe with some underground parking and maybe with some retail on the ground floor.”
Lacking in Opelika’s downtown portfolio are hotel options. Aside from the Golden Cherry Motel, made famous by the 1979 Academy Award-nominated film “Norma Rae” and has seen better days, and the Heritage House Bed & Breakfast, most of Opelika’s lodging accommodations are away from downtown. They are around exits off of nearby I-85, or north of town near the city’s much-celebrated Grand National golf courses, part of Alabama’s Robert Trent Jones golf trail.
Marsh told Yellowhammer there is a plan in place to change that.
“We’re in the process of putting together an 88-room boutique hotel,” he said.
Marsh explained the entire effort had been a learning process through trial and error, which he indicated has made his business better positioned for the future.
“We have our heart and life invested in 10 blocks,” he explained. “We believe that we’re stewards of that place and we have to do a good job and make a difference for the people that live there. We want everyone in Opelika to flourish. That’s a pretty big order.”
Marsh predicted there would be “a lot more” over the next two years.
“People don’t want to drive as much,” he said. “They want to have fast Internet, good shipping and walkable to all the things they need, and a good quality of life. If we can provide that, I think Opelika has a unique – probably the most unique downtown, properly located to the I-85 corridor between Atlanta and Montgomery. I don’t think there’s any downtown that is better located with distance to the Interstate and inventory of historic buildings. Hopefully soon, with offerings – we have more restaurants and hospitality concepts and all of that coming. You’re going to see a lot more within the next 24 months.”
Jeff Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and works as the editor of Breitbart TV. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_poor.
(Top image: View of Downtown Opelika, Ala. from Railroad Ave. facing south — Jeff Poor / Yellowhammer News)
Man convicted of killing carnival boss executed in Alabama
A man convicted of killing his former boss at a traveling carnival nearly two decades ago was executed Thursday night after dropping his appeals and asking to be put to death.
Michael Wayne Eggers, 50, died at 7:29 p.m. CDT after receiving a lethal injection at a southwest Alabama prison.
He declined to give any last words, replying “No ma’am,” when the warden asked. He gave a thumbs-up signal to friends and family as the lethal injection began. The victim’s family did not witness the execution.
Eggers was sentenced to death for the 2000 strangulation of his former employer, Bennie Francis Murray. Prosecutors said Eggers admitted to strangling Murray, who had hired him to work at her concessions business for a traveling carnival, when they got into an argument when she was driving him to his car. Her body was found in Walker County, northwest of Birmingham.
Following disagreements with his attorneys, Eggers dropped his appeals in 2016 and asked Alabama to quickly schedule his execution. In a handwritten filing, he asked judges to allow his “immediate execution in the interests of truth, law and justice.”
His former attorneys unsuccessfully asked the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene. They argued that Eggers suffered from schizophrenia and delusions and was mentally incompetent when he made the decision. They wrote that Eggers believed he was the subject of a government conspiracy and “would rather die than be represented by lawyers who do not support his delusional view of his case.”
The Supreme Court ruled at 5:30 p.m. that the execution could proceed. It began about 80 minutes later.
Eggers raised his left arm after a corrections officer pinched his arm to check if he was unconscious. He did not respond to a second consciousness check about five minutes later. His breathing, which had been rapid and heavy at the start of the procedure, slowed to where it was no longer perceptible.
He was pronounced dead about 35 minutes after the death warrant was read.
Eggers opposed efforts by his former attorneys to stop the execution. The petition to the Supreme Court was made without his consent. A prison spokeswoman said Eggers requested that no attorneys be allowed to visit him, or witness the lethal injection. Eggers met with friends and family Thursday ahead of his lethal injection, but not attorneys.
The state attorney general’s office had asked the Supreme Court to let the execution proceed.
The state argued that Eggers made a rational decision to drop his appeals. Lawyers for the state noted that the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2017 upheld a district court’s ruling that he was competent.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said in a statement that “justice has finally been served tonight for the Murray family.”
“Michael Eggers showed no mercy towards his victim, his former employer, Bennie Francis Murray, who donated much of her personal time to helping him find a new job. On the night of her murder, Mrs. Murray gave Eggers a lift to pick up his car. Instead of showing her gratitude, Eggers rewarded her kindness by brutally beating and strangling her,” Marshall said.
His former attorney said that Eggers was mentally ill and used the death chamber to commit suicide.
“Tonight the state of Alabama assisted a severely mentally ill man in committing suicide. Michael Eggers was as mentally ill tonight as he was the previous eight times he asked to be executed over the last 15 years. Tonight, let’s pray for Mrs. Murray and her family, Mr Eggers and his family, and pray that in death, Michael finds the peace he did not have when he was alive,” attorney John Palombi wrote in an email.
This was Alabama’s first execution of the year.
The state halted the lethal injection of Doyle Lee Hamm last month when the execution team had trouble off getting the intravenous line connected. Hamm’s lawyer says he had damaged veins because of lymphoma, hepatitis and past drug use. A doctor hired by Hamm’s legal team wrote in a report included with the court filing that Hamm had at least 11 puncture sites and bled heavily from his groin during the attempts to connect the line.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
The conservative alternative to Martha Roby gains momentum as Terry Everett, lawmakers endorse Barry Moore
State Rep. Barry Moore’s campaign for Congress recently received strong endorsements from the district’s former congressman and a dozen of Alabama’s most conservative state lawmakers.
“Since I left Congress, government has grown, our representation has wavered, and District 2 values have been casted aside,” said former Republican Congressman Terry Everett, who represented the district from 1993-2009. “We need to make a change, and I am privileged to support Representative Barry Moore for Congress.”
Everett’s powerful endorsement comes days after 12 of the state’s most conservative lawmakers gathered in Montgomery to endorse Barry Moore, whose conservative record they witnessed firsthand while working alongside him in the State Legislature.
Wetumpka State Rep. Mike Holmes told reporters that the district has “an opportunity to send a strong, unapologetic conservative to Washington,” and Montgomery State Rep. Dimitri Polizos agreed, saying that Moore is a “proven conservative leader” who will “stand with President Trump and give our district the representation it deserves.”
(Paid for by Barry Moore for Congress)
Alabama State Legislature update: School budget, school guns — and daylight saving time
The Alabama Legislature on Thursday completed a monumental day of legislating that including debates over the education budget, raising teacher pay, adding new protections for children at unlicensed day care centers and reforming juvenile justice.
As significant as those developments were, however, it is likely that the legislative action that will generate the most discussion at barstools and kitchen tables across the state was the Senate’s passage of a resolution urging Alabama to stay on daylight saving time year-round.
Here is a closer look at the day’s biggest action in Montgomery.
The big story: The state Senate gave final approval to a $6.6 billion education budget for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 and voted to boost salaries for teachers and support personnel by 2.5 percent.
The budget would spend the most money on education than 2008 when revenues peaked before the economic collapse that forced a decade-long nosedive in tax revenue.
“Nothing is more important than ensuring a quality education for every student in Alabama, and this education budget is a statement of strong support for our teachers and schools,” Finance and Taxation Education Committee Chairman Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) said in a statement. “This is also a sustainable budget that protects taxpayers”
Overly optimistic revenue forecasts caused painful midyear education budget buts six times in a span from 2001 to 2011. Orr noted that the state has not experienced proration since the Republican majority came to power in 2011.
Alabama’s nationally recognized pre-kindergarten program would get an $18.5 million boost over the current year. Orr pointed to a study by the University of Alabama at Birmingham indicating that students who participated in the pre-K program — known as First Class — outperformed other students on math and reading assessments.
The National Institute for Early Education Research has named the program the nation’s best for 11 consecutive years. But it currently is available in just 941 classrooms statewide. That would increase by 120 next year under the legislation.
“This fiscally responsible budget is another step in the right direction as we were able to include a pay raise for teachers, increased funds for school security, and additional money for
classroom supplies,” Senate Pro Tempore Del Marsh (R-Anniston) said in a statement.
The pay raise would cost $102 million. The budget also would fund a new robotics program for middle and high school students, offers $500,000 for mental health counselors and increases funding for textbooks by $11 million.
“This budget is an investment in the future of Alabama,” Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) said in a statement. “Conservatives in the legislature are strongly committed to fighting for Alabama’s students and teachers, and improving our schools to ensure that every student in every county in Alabama has access to a quality education,”
The House of Representatives now must pass the Senate’s budget or negotiate changes that would have to pass both chambers before heading to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature.
Day care rules: In one of the most closely watched bills of the session, the Senate passed legislation on a 23-4 vote to impose new regulations on church-run day care centers.
The bill, the Child Care Safety Act, already has passed the House.
The bill would strengthen regulations for child care facilities that currently are exempt. It also requires health and fire inspections, requires insurance for faith-based programs and mandate criminal background checks for employees.
The bill’s House sponsor, Rep. Pebblin Warren (D-Tuskegee), told the Montgomery Advertiser that she was elated.
“I can’t even explain how I feel right now,” she told the paper. “I feel the blood running through my veins right now. I’m so happy. This is the day the Lord has made.”
VOICES for Alabama’s Children praised lawmakers for taking action but complained the bill did not go far enough.
“While the bill provides additional protections to some programs, we continue to reiterate our position — as we have clearly and repeatedly stated throughout this debate — that every child care facility should be licensed in the state of Alabama,” the group’s executive direction, Melanie Bridgeforth, said in a statement.
Bridgeforth added: “Collective efforts of advocates from around the state got us to this point and it will take those same voices and force to get us completely over the finish line with policy that requires all facilities to be licensed.”
More daylight at night? The Senate adopted a resolution urging President Donald Trump and the Department of Transportation to put Alabama on daylight saving time permanently.
Alabama also will send the resolution to other state legislatures asking them to join the effort.
Sen. Rusty Glover (R-Semmes) argued that making the switch would have clear benefits.
“This is something that Alabamians overwhelmingly want, and the research is clear: Daylight saving time is an unnecessary vestige of a bygone era that has become a burden on our citizens,” he said in a statement. “I want to thank my fellow legislators for joining me in this resolution, and I urge lawmakers around the country to do the same.”
Making the change would require congressional action, however, since a 1966 law prohibits states from saying on daylight saving time all year long.
It has its roots in an energy-conservation effort during World War I.
Armed teachers? The House Security Committee narrowly advanced a proposal to let teachers carry guns in school if they complete police-sponsored training.
To qualify, a teacher or school administrator would have complete a 40-hour training course that would comprise firearms safety, crisis management and active shooter training. Participants would have to complete a firearms test each year.
The school’s principal, superintendent and the local sheriff or police chief also would have to sign off.
“It’s also going to allow the superintendent, working with the principal as well as the local law enforcement agent, chief of police or the sheriff in that community, to actually decide who would carry,” the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Will Ainsworth (R-Guntersville) said, according to AL.com. “It’s still voluntary, strictly permissive.”
The 5-4 vote included dissents from three Democrats and Republican Harry Shiver, of Stockton.
Shiver, a former schoolteacher, said he opposed the bill because teachers with guns would be at risk of getting shot by police responding to a school shooting. He also said he worried because most teachers are women.
“I taught for 32 years and it’s mostly ladies that’s teaching, and they’ve got more things to worry about than carrying a gun,” he said.
Keeping youth out of prison: The Alabama House of Representatives voted 69-20 for legislation that would keep low-level juvenile offenders out of detention, according to the Associated Press.
Sponsored by Rep. Jim Hill (R-Moody), the bill would limit the offenses that could trigger detention. Other offenders would be directed to alternatives, like home detention.
According to the AP, two-thirds of children in detention in 2016 had not committed a felony. The bill would spend $35 million saved from detention costs to beef up community intervention programs.
“There is no doubt in my mind that placing children in out-of-home facilities should be your very last option,” said Hill, a former juvenile court judge. “The only way it can be the last option is if you locally have another one.”
Rep. Elaine Beech (D-Chatom), said the legislation is an “unfunded mandate” and would overburden juvenile probation officers in her rural district who are already stretched.
Tweet of the day:
We’d like to extend a tremendous thank you to all of the House members who supported Ala. counties and our youth today by voting YES on the county amendment to the juvenile justice reform bill, HB225. #OneVoice #alpolitics
— Alabama Counties (@alabamacounties) March 15, 2018
The Latest: Alabama man shoots 2 at hospital before killing self
The Latest on a hospital shooting in Alabama that left 2 dead, including the shooter.
Police in Alabama say that a “work conflict” was at the root of a shooting at a hospital in Birmingham that left two people dead and one person wounded.
Birmingham Police Department spokesman Peter Willison said Thursday that investigators were still trying to determine why the shooter fired at two people on Wednesday before turning the weapon on himself.
The shooter and one of the victims died. UAB Highlands Hospital Tyler Greer said both of the deceased were employees of the hospital. The third victim was hospitalized in critical condition and worked for a company that contracted services to the hospital.
UAB Highlands is a campus of UAB Hospital, which is part of the medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
Dr. Patti Dare is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact
Alabamians who live in Huntsville know it’s not unusual for their neighbors, friends and other folks they meet around town to have the letters Ph.D behind their names and work in engineering, defense, tech and science fields that have helped the city earn its reputation as the smartest city in Alabama.
One of those Huntsville-area Ph.Ds is Patti Dare of Boeing, who earned her doctorate in chemistry from the University of South Florida. She now leads global sales and marketing for the company’s Strategic Deterrent Systems business, which includes its Minuteman programs, the Boeing Guidance Repair Center, Ground Based Strategic Deterrence (GBSD), and other intercontinental ballistic missile efforts, according to the company.
Dare, a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact, led the successful campaign to win one of the two government contracts awarded this past August to design and develop the next generation of ICBMs to replace the Minuteman system.
The project has brought hundreds of new jobs to Alabama and will continue to grow over the projected 50-year life of the program, according to company materials.
“I am so humbled and honored to have the opportunity to help protect our nation and lead this campaign … which will bring high wage, high tech, clean industry jobs to Alabama,” Dare said in a statement about the contract. “This mission is so critical to our generation and the generations to come – we need to get the best capability into the warfighter’s hands as quickly as possible and affordably. I am up for the challenge with this very talented government, Boeing and industry team.”
Dare’s diverse industry experience at various corporations is an asset, considering her responsibilities include “leveraging capabilities, expertise and resources” not just within Boeing but across the industry, according to a company bio.
Before joining Boeing, Dare was chief operating officer for Davidson Technologies, where she was responsible for programs in missiles, aerospace, cybersecurity and intelligence markets, as well as company growth and overall strategic vision.
Dare also served as a program director at Lockheed Martin, and among other achievements and responsibilities she was “responsible for the design, build, test and launch of targets and countermeasures supporting the Missile Defense Agency with 100% mission success,” the bio says.
Dare began her career at Honeywell International as a senior materials engineer and progressed to the positions of program manager for missile activities and business development manager for missiles and interceptors and special programs.
Dare credits her successful career trajectory to education, setting high goals and the people who helped her along the way.
“I had great mentors, coaches, people willing to take a chance on me, and an awesome support structure with family and friends,” Dare told Yellowhammer News. “I was very blessed having an encouraging and supportive family.”
Dare was born in Ohio and was the middle child between two brothers in a family that moved frequently for her father’s career.
When asked about leading as a woman in her industry, Dare said she’s learned some important lessons.
“Focus on the mission and the positive,” she said. “You need to gain respect. Relationships and communication are key. Asking for help is okay. Be yourself. Little things can make a big difference, and it’s not always about you or your career.”
Dare, who serves on the board for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation and on the University of Alabama in Huntsville engineering board, said the best life and work advice she could give is to try to find work-life balance, to mentor and help others, and to address problems “head-on.”
“Find things that make you happy,” she said. “Take time to think and reflect, find people you admire, respect and want to learn from, and share your lessons learned.”
Dare will be among 20 Alabama women, including Gov. Kay Ivey, honored in a March 29 awards event in Birmingham that will benefit Big Oak Ranch. Event details and registration may be found here.
Rachel Blackmon Bryars is managing editor of Yellowhammer News.
Alabama lawmakers vote to give oversight over faith-based daycares
Alabama lawmakers have voted to give the state limited oversight over faith-based daycares.
The Alabama Senate voted 22-4 on Thursday for the compromise legislation.
Gov. Kay Ivey’s press office said she will review the bill before making a decision on signing it into law.
Alabama has long exempted daycares that claim a religious affiliation from the requirement to get a state license and standards such as required child-to-worker ratios. Nearly half of the daycare centers in the state are unlicensed.
The bill requires faith-based daycares that receive any state or federal funds to get licensed by the state.
It would also require exempt centers to submit proof of fire and safety inspections and background checks on workers.
Rep. Pebblin Warren, the bill’s sponsor, praised the passage as a significant step forward for child safety.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
VIDEO: Sen. Shelby speaks on bill to reform harmful Dodd-Frank regulations, improve economy
U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) voted this week in support of a bill to reform some of the harmful effects of the Dodd-Frank regulations enacted during the Obama era and brings relief to community banks and credit unions throughout Alabama.
The legislation, which passed 67-31, shifts the focus of regulatory agencies away from small institutions to larger ones that could pose significant risks to our economy, according to Shelby’s office. This will allow smaller banks and credit unions to focus on their customers rather than burdensome regulators.
A quick look at all of the races in Alabama this election cycle
Well, folks, the 2018 political year has begun and all of the horses are in the chute. It is going to be a good year for horse races.
Perennially, the year of the governor’s race has been the best year for Alabama politics. Historically, most Alabamians have been more interested in who they elect as governor than who is president.
However, we have really been more interested in who is sheriff than president. If the old adage that “All politics is local” applies in Tip O’Neil’s Massachusetts, it applies doubly in the Heart of Dixie.
Our forefathers, who wrote our now antiquated 1901 Constitution, must have perceived that our politics was localized because all of our races are on the ballot in gubernatorial years. This year we will not only elect a Governor, we will vote for a new Lt. Governor, new Attorney General, new Treasurer, new Agriculture Commissioner. Five seats on the State Supreme Court are on the ballot as well as three seats on the Court of Civil Appeals, and three places on the Court of Criminal Appeals.
Along with these State Court races, we have a good many of the Circuit Judges in the state running. All 68 Probate Judges are on the ballot. Lest some of you correct me that we only have 67 counties rather than 68, imperial Jefferson has two Probate Judges. That is not all folks, all 67 Sheriffs in the state are up for their four-year terms. Both political parties select their members to their local and state executive committees. Part of the state school board runs this year.
Last, but certainly not least, all of our legislative seats are up for election. Our constitution anoints the Legislature with a good amount of power. Probably more than the Executive and Judicial branches of state government.
Our Constitution was written and dictated by powerful agricultural Black Belt farming and Birmingham industrial interests. They wanted the power vested in the Legislative Branch. They orchestrated malapportioned representative bodies, and gave inordinate power to the Black Belt region.
The Legislature controls the purse strings of the state. Thus, the adage that “those that have the gold set the rules.” The most powerful organization then and still now is the Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA). They will disburse a token amount to the governor’s race, but they will concentrate their interest and resources on legislative races. Most of the other special interests and organizations will follow suit and do the same.
Therefore, you will see most of the special interest money focused on the 35 state senate seats and 105 House of Representative places up this year. Incumbents are usually hard to beat. Indeed, most of the most entrenched incumbent State Senators and Representatives are unopposed or have taken opposition.
There are 10 Senate Seats and 22 House seats where the incumbent is not running. These races will be interesting to watch and expensive and you will have one or two incumbents get benched. One that will probably go down is first term State Senator Larry Stutts in the Northwestern corner of the state.
Speaking of incumbents, very few sitting members of Congress ever lose. No matter if they are Democratic or Republican. However, one of our seven congressional seats is seriously in play. Incumbent Republican Martha Roby will have her hands full holding on to her congressional seat for a fourth term. She has been considered very vulnerable since her race two-years ago. She is being challenged by four significant Republicans and two Democrats.
Bobby Bright, who held the seat for two-years as a Democrat, lost the seat to Roby in 2010 only because he insisted on running as a Democrat. He has seen the light and is running for his old seat as a Republican. He is a former mayor of Montgomery for 10-years along with his two years in Congress. He is a stellar campaigner, who has roots in the Wiregrass.
Also in the race will be Rich Hobson, who will be the heir apparent to the Roy Moore organization. Enterprise/Coffee County State Representative Barry Moore will do well in his home Wiregrass area. Newcomer Tommy Amason will get some votes in the River Region. The race for the 2nd District should be interesting.
The other members of our Congressional delegation are Republicans Bradley Byrne, Mike Rogers, Robert Aderholt, Gary Palmer, and Mo Brooks, who all have free rides or token opposition. Our only Democratic Congressperson is Terri Sewell, who has no opposition.
We will handicap the governor’s race next week.
@SteveFlowersAL is a syndicated political columnist in Alabama.
Alabama man arrested on child porn, drug charges
A 22-year-old Alabama man has been arrested on child porn and drug charges after authorities found both in his Tuscaloosa apartment.
Nathaniel Jones has told police he owned the laptop containing child porn found during the search. Tuscaloosa Police Department Lt. Teena Richardson tells AL. com the agency’s Juvenile Division searched Jones’ apartment Friday and found marijuana, drug paraphernalia and the computer. The department didn’t say what led them to search Jones’ apartment.
Jones is charged with second-degree possession of marijuana and unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession of obscene matter containing visual depiction of persons under 17.
He’s out on bail. It’s unclear if he has a lawyer.
(Image: Tuscaloosa County Jail)
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
Everyone wants to “do something” about gun violence, but a voluntary “do not sell” list does NOTHING
After all the attention being directed towards school shootings, legislators are under pressure to “do something.”
State Senator Trip Pittman’s attempt is … something.
The Baldwin County Republican proposed, and passed out of the judiciary committee, a bill that would “allow an individual to restrict his or her firearm purchase ability by voluntarily adding his or her own name to the Voluntary Alabama Firearms Do Not Sell List.”
This bill is as absurd as it sounds:
“Under existing law, a person who fears that he or she may become a risk to himself or herself or others is not allowed to restrict his or her own legal ability to purchase firearms. This bill would allow an individual to restrict his or her firearm purchase ability by voluntarily adding his or her own name to the Voluntary Alabama Firearms Do Not Sell List, thereby prohibiting the sale of firearms to that individual.”
Why this matters: The bill comes from a study done at the University of Alabama, where 46 percent of respondents said they would surrender their right to purchase a firearm. The actual effectiveness of this legislation seems to be almost none, as the person who surrenders their rights could get their rights back after a waiting period. To pretend their are large groups of mentally unstable people clamoring to run to the government and announce their conditions is laughable. This legislation may make people feel like they are doing something, but they are not.
— Pittman’s bill passed the judiciary committee five to three.
— There are currently zero states that have similar legislation to allow the surrendering of an individuals 2nd Amendment rights.
— Individuals can have their name removed from the list, but the bill requires a waiting period of up to 21 days.
— Anyone who sells a firearm to someone on the list could be fined up to $5,000, this applies to those who have Federal Firearm Licenses.
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.
Parking spot fight leaves 1 Alabama man jailed, another on life support
An Alabama man accused of severely beating a Georgia man in a dispute over a handicapped parking spot has been charged with aggravated battery.
Morris Ellis was extradited to Winder, Georgia, on Tuesday after he was arrested in his hometown of Vestavia Hills, Alabama.
The family of 63-year-old Danny Payne tells WSB-TV that he’s on life support after suffering a severe head injury in the March 3 attack.
A Barrow County Sheriff’s statement says Ellis confronted Payne for parking in the spot outside a Fatz Cafe restaurant after failing to see a handicapped placard in the window of Payne’s vehicle.
Ellis is accused of making “physical contact.” Sheriff Jud Smith says his agency is trying to determine if Payne was punched or pushed. It’s unclear if Ellis has a lawyer.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
Bill requiring Alabama Police to record race data clears committee
Police in Alabama would have to collect data on traffic stops to prevent racial profiling, under a bill endorsed Wednesday by a committee in the state House.
The bill by state Sen. Rodger Smitherman, a Birmingham Democrat, would require officers to record the race of a person pulled over in a traffic stop. Police would submit data annually to the state attorney general’s office, which would withhold funds from agencies that didn’t follow the law.
Smitherman, who is black, said the bill’s purpose is to ensure drivers were only stopped for traffic violations. He shared his personal experiences about being pulled over five times without reason while driving luxury cars.
“I wasn’t in any violation of anything. I wasn’t cited or questioned,” Smitherman said. “It’s the life of an African-American in general and especially an African-American male. It has always happened and it has to stop.”
Smitherman also said he wanted to avoid a situation “like Ferguson and Baltimore,” referring to the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police officers that ignited protests.
Republican members of the House Judiciary Committee agreed with the bill’s intent but expressed concern about burdening police and the attorney general’s office with record-keeping. At a public hearing last week, Bobby Timmons of the Alabama Sheriffs’ Association said “the bill adds a whole lot of paperwork that we don’t have the personnel to do.” A representative from the attorney general’s office did not attend the hearing.
Smitherman said officers already record race in citations but should also have to document stops.
Rep. Allen Farley, a Republican who retired from a law enforcement career, said 99 percent of police “out there doing the right thing for the right reasons” would support the bill.
“No one wants to get rid of bad cops more than the good cops,” he said.
More than half of U.S. states do not require racial reporting on traffic stops, according to a 2014 NAACP report.
The bill passed on a voice vote with a few dissenting votes. It moves to a final vote on the House floor, where it didn’t pass last year.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
Roll Trump Roll – ‘Bama football to visit White House for national championship celebration
The Alabama Crimson Tide football team is travelling – yet again – to the White House to celebrate another national championship victory.
President Donald Trump will host Coach Nick Saban and the team at the White House on April 10, according to a source familiar with the plans.
The president attended the national championship game in Atlanta where Alabama defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in a stunning 26-23 overtime win.
An official announcement is expected later today.
Man who claimed he buried Alabama’s Natalee Holloway fatally stabbed
A man who once claimed he helped bury the remains of a missing Alabama girl in Aruba has died after police say he was stabbed during a foiled kidnapping in Florida.
The Tampa Bay Times reports 32-year-old John Christopher Ludwick tried to kidnap a woman Wednesday as she exited her driveway in North Port.
Police said she fought back, and Ludwick was stabbed in the struggle. He ran, but officers found him in a wooded area. He died at a hospital.
The Times reports Ludwick was a friend of Joran Van der Sloot, the prime suspect in the 2005 kidnapping of Natalee Holloway. Van der Sloot is in prison now for an unrelated murder. North Port police say they’ve informed authorities involved in the Holloway case of Ludwick’s death.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
Facebook’s ‘fact checker’ says the killing of unborn babies in abortion is a ‘disputed fact’
Listen to the 10 min audio
Read the transcript:
POLITICAL SPEECH BRINGS ABOUT “FACT-CHECKING” ON ABORTION
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, I want to take you to a story out of the news site, Daily Caller. It deals with PolitiFact. Now, PolitiFact is the organization that Facebook has employed to help rid the world of fake news. The interesting thing is that PolitiFact has now come out and declared that the killing of unborn babies in abortion is a disputed fac
DR. REEDER: They said that it falls under “fake news.” Of course, what they’re dealing with in the context of the story, Tom, was a congressman in the state of Texas who, when he went to speak to the League of Women voters, just told them that he would do his best to defund Planned Parenthood and he would do his best to rid us of the genocidal destruction of the unborn babies in the womb.
REASONS WHY POLITIFACT CLAIMS THIS IS FAKE NEWS
They took that on and said his claim that abortion is the murder or the killing of babies is “disputed fact.” And the basis that they did that is that organizations like Planned Parenthood have said that it is “fetal eradication” or “fetal reduction.” “Well, if they call it fetus reduction or fetal eradication, then that must not be killing babies so we will declare it as a disputed fact as a fact-checking organization.”
They also appealed to Roe v. Wade, that Roe v. Wade had legalized abortion so, if it is legal to kill the “fetus” in the womb, then that can’t be called murder because murder would be criminality and Roe v. Wade has declared it not to be murder. And Roe v. Wade has declared it to be a fetus, not a baby.
Tom, that is the same irrationality that people in the 19th century after the Dred Scott decision said, “Well, notice that the Supreme Court decision that was written by Judge Taney, that declares a slave is not a full person. Therefore, they can be owned like chattel slavery.”
BUT DOES A COURT DECISION DETERMINE REALITY?
The Supreme Court can say all that they want to — the fact that they said it does not make it true. Africans that were brought to this country are made in the image of God. They are people. They’re not partially a person — they’re actually a person.
Roe v. Wade does not determine reality any more than the Dred Scott determined reality so we say to the Supreme Court that passed Roe v. Wade, “You are being scientifically, spiritually, philosophically and rationally inconsistent. These are not just simply a conglomeration or a mass of cells that may or may not turn into a baby.”
Tom, all you have to do is be with a mother when the child moves in the womb. The mother does not say, “Oh, I just had a contraction of a cellular mass.” No, the mother says, “Oh, my baby just moved.”
From the moment of conception, everything that that child is is there — it’s only going to grow in size, not in terms of essence. All of its DNA is there. It is a baby.
REPRESENTATIVE SAYS, YES THIS IS A RACE ISSUE
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, it’s interesting you brought up Dred Scott because the gentleman that you referred to out of Texas, Jason Isaac, the thing that really got pro-abortion advocates upset was this statement that, “Every day, in America, we kill as many as 1,000 black children.”
DR. REEDER: Yes, Tom. And, by the way, this shouldn’t surprise us because who is the No. 1 provider and promoter of abortion? Planned Parenthood. Who founded Planned Parenthood? Margaret Sanger, a full-out supporter of eugenics who aimed at the eradication of the black race. And Planned Parenthood continued that legacy to this day. Planned Parenthood is mostly located in major cities and guess what? Major cities, over half of the African-American babies are aborted.
You go to New York, you go to Detroit, you go to Cleveland, you go to Los Angeles — in those cities, the number of abortions among African-Americans is greater than the number of delivery of babies. It is aimed as a genocidal instrument against the African-American race.
That is what’s absolutely astounding and that is what he took on, specifically — not only the one million plus that we abort in our nation every day, but the fact that it is aimed specifically at the African-American demographic in our population. They couldn’t deny that statistic so what they said was, “That’s not really killing African-American babies. Those are just fetuses — they’re not babies.”
What you’re doing is what we talked about yesterday, Tom, is that what you’re trying to do is minimize adultery as a sin by giving it a euphemism of an affair, so what we’re taking is an Anglicized Latin term, fetus, in order to refer to the baby in the womb in order to try to say it’s not a baby.
However, we know it’s a baby and, therefore, it is the destruction of the life of a baby. And, on the one hand, they want the freedom to kill these babies all the way up their birth in even what we call “partial-birth abortions — they want the freedom to do it, but they also want to hide under word games that they’re not really doing it: “fetal reduction,” “fetus eradication,” “We’ll call it a fetus instead of a baby.”
Listen, you know what it is — it’s a baby — and you know what you’re doing — you’re killing it. Why? Because it is an unwanted consequence of the sexual revolution. You’ve got to have it to get rid of the inconvenient and the unwanted.
CALL TO RATIONAL DEBATE
And I will throw out my statement again: anyone who supports abortion, I would love to debate you publicly on the difference between this and “The Final Solution” policy of the unwanted and inconvenient in Nazi Germany. In fact, we can go to the activity of Stalin as he would get rid of the unwanted. Mao Zedong, Pol Pot — they all have this Fascist power to eradicate the unwanted and the inconvenient.
And, in our nation, we now have the government historically embracing the funding and approval of the unwanted and inconvenient in what actually ought to be the safest place in existence and that is in the womb.
And, therefore, I would love for someone to rationally explain to me the difference between that and the public policies of tyrannical nation. Here, our tyranny is not a dictator — our tyranny is the sexual revolution and the cultural elite who want to have sexual gratification at all costs, even at the cost of putting to death the consequences of sexual promiscuity and that is “unwanted children.”
CHRISTIANS, CONTINUE MINISTRY TO CRISIS PARENTS
Tom, let me just say one final thing. You may not want them, but we do — Christians do — we’ll adopt them. And, by the way, for those who say no to the lies of Planned Parenthood, we’ll help you. We have places, not only to take the children that we have and to help you through the process so that you do not become drawn into the notion that the eradication of the child will have no consequences in your life.
To those fathers and mothers who are facing this child that you “don’t want,” we would love to spend time with you about what does it mean to want them and, if you cannot raise them, then there are those there that would raise them.
These are children made in the image of God, precious in His sight is every little one. Jesus loves the children and said, “Blessed are they, for as such are the kingdom of Heaven. Let the children come to me.”
TOMORROW: RABBI USES GOD’S WORD TO PROMOTE GENDER ISSUES
TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Thursday’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to a story out of The Daily Beast where a leftist rabbi named Jay Michaelson has disputed the idea that God’s design for gender involves accepting biological sex.
DR. REEDER: Yeah, in other words, he’s saying, “You may be born biologically a way, but that doesn’t mean you have to accept that as a gender identity in your life.” Let’s talk about that tomorrow, but what I really want to talk about is the horrendous affront to God and how he handles the Word of God to promote an irrational fabrication that separates gender from biological sex.
Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.
This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News. Jessica has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and her work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.
Alabama rural broadband bill now offers grants rather than incentives
A bill that would help the expansion of rural broadband in Alabama passed a House committee Wednesday, but a big change in the legislation could affect the pocketbooks of state taxpayers.
The Alabama Rural Broadband Act, sponsored by Sen. Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville), passed by unanimous voice vote in the House Education Committee after breezing through the Senate.
Scofield had initially hoped to offer tax incentives to private providers to expand into rural areas. His original legislation would have exempted broadband telecommunications network facilities from taxation for 10 years, exempted equipment and materials used by those facilities from the state’s sales and use tax, and would have offered an income tax credit equal to 10 percent of the investment in those facilities. Total tax credits would have been capped at $20 million per company.
But the House wanted to switch that to a grant program to possibly tap into President Trump’s infrastructure plan. The White House released a few details about the proposal last month. It would dedicate $50 billion to rural America, and governors of each state – as determined by an as-of-yet unspecified formula – would get 80 percent of the money to spend as they wish under the proposal. The other 20 percent of the funds would be provided to “selected states” that apply for Rural Performance Grants. Trump has said he’d like states to buy-in by chipping into the potential grant program.
Trump’s plan doesn’t dedicate infrastructure funds to broadband, but deems it a high priority.
“It’s not the delivery method we devised,” Scofield told Yellowhammer News of his bill. “The credits were not going to pass the House. That was clear.”
The substituted bill approved by the House Education Committee now offers grants at two tiers to pay for up to 20 percent of a broadband project’s total cost – a cap of $1.4 million per project that offers speeds of 25 megabits per second down and 3 megabits per second up, and a cap of $750,000 per project for 10/1 speeds.
The program would be administered by the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs. Companies would apply for grants, providing detailed information about what areas and residents would be served. Cooperatives would be eligible for the grants, but government entities could not receive the money, preventing the spread of municipal broadband projects through this program.
Rep. Donnie Chesteen (R-Geneva), the bill’s champion in the House, said at a Business Council of Alabama briefing earlier this week that compromise was needed to ensure the legislation moves forward in 2018.
“If we are going to be forward looking in technology, we can’t wait,” he said.
Scofield said some lawmakers wanted to provide the cash up front, but the money will still be given on the back end if the bill passes.
“They asked, ‘If you’re OK with the State of Alabama writing a check and say go build,’…unh-uh. It’s still not a giveaway program with cash.”
The total money that will be appropriated to the bill is still up in the air, but Scofield said he’s been told he could expect $10 million annually.
Although he had to compromise on the funding method for rural broadband expansion, the legislation still contains language that restricts overbuilding and establishes a legislative oversight committee that would monitor the grants to ensure effectiveness.
“It’s a good start to begin getting broadband out to our unserved and underserved areas of the state,” Scofield said.
The bill will be considered by the entire House next week – Scofield said he hopes to place it first on the agenda for Tuesday – and, if passed, would go to Gov. Kay Ivey’s desk. Ivey, in her State of the State speech in January, expressed a strong desire for programs to expand rural broadband.
Alabama sheriff legally used inmate food funds for beach house
An Alabama sheriff legally used more than $750,000 of funds meant to feed inmates to purchase a beach house.
Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin told The Birmingham News he follows a state law passed before World War II that allows sheriffs to keep “excess” inmate-feeding funds for themselves.
Entrekin reported on state ethics forms that he made “more than $250,000” each of the past three years through the funds.
The sheriff’s annual salary is more than $93,000. He and his wife purchased a four-bedroom house with an in-ground pool and canal access in September for $740,000.
Entrekin got a $592,000 mortgage. The home is one of several properties with a total assessed value of more than $1.7 million that the couple own together or separately.
(Image: Re-Elect Todd Entrekin Etowah County Sheriff/Facebook)
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)