The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

Episode 6: Interview with former Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna

(YHN)

Dale Jackson is joined former Nine Inch Nails drummer Chris Vrenna to talk about how he went from the life of sex, drugs, and rock and roll to leading the music department of Calhoun Community College in Decatur.

Vrenna describes how his love of music took him all over the world, granted him the awards and adulations of millions, and how it made him a better teacher in 2019 in Alabama.

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Episode 30: Bye week recap, college football midterm

(YHPN)

A rested DrunkAubie is back from the bye week ready to discuss South Carolina beating Georgia last week and the upcoming matchup with Arkansas.

In this episode, Rodrigo “Hot Rod” Blankenship goes to the eye doctor, Auburn Fans Anonymous and DA takes a college football midterm exam.

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13 hours ago

Black Alabamians should reject Doug Jones in 2020

(J. Drummond/Contributed, Wikicommons, YHN)

Last September, just before midnight, Senator Doug Jones grabbed his phone, went on Twitter and in no more than 50 words, told the people of Alabama that he would be voting NO on the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the United States Supreme Court.

Immediately, I was overcome with shock and indignation. Yes, more often than not, Senator Jones toes the party line; he votes against President Trump’s positions 84% of the time.

Naively, I assumed that with so much at stake, this time would be different.

Surely, I thought, he would be reminded of Brian Banks, an African-American senior at Long Beach Polytechnic High School who had just committed to UCLA before his career was destroyed by a false accusation of sexual assault.

Or maybe, the images of the nine black teenagers falsely accused of rape who collectively spent over 100 years in prison not far from where he grew up would cause him to demand, at the very least, a smidgen of evidence before casting blame.

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As he was pondering his decision, I was supremely certain he would hear the cries of Mamie Elizabeth Till-Mobley as she wept over the casket of her son, Emmett Till, who was abducted, brutally tormented, shot, folded in barbed wire and then dumped in the Tallahatchie River because he “whistled” at a white woman — a lie she recanted some 50 years later.

Surely, I thought, his years as a federal prosecutor, in which he routinely witnessed lives shattered over false accusations, might reignite his deep and profound respect for the sacred principle that, in our criminal justice system, one is innocent until proven guilty.

With his vote, Senator Jones endorsed a cultural movement which mandates that, even in the absence of evidentiary support, we must #BelieveAllWomen.

While seemingly well-intentioned, this categorical pledge should alarm Black folks in Alabama, as it stands to disproportionately affect us the most. Taking punitive action on the basis of accusation, and not evidence, is a philosophical regression that could awaken one of Jim Crow’s most destructive offspring: a society that values the voices spoken from white tongues over those from black ones.

The National Registry of Exonerations, in a 2017 report examining 1,900 exonerations over the past 30 years, determined that 47% of those exonerated were African-American, despite the fact that we make up only 13% of the U.S. population. In cases involving sexual assault, African-Americans constituted 22% of convictions, but 59% of exonerations. In other words, around half of the time, black men are wrongly convicted of sexual assault.

Realistically, if Kavanaugh is not afforded due process, despite being reared in some of America’s most privileged institutions, what chance do we have?

In a criminal justice system rife with inequalities, the presumption of innocence is often the only thing we can hope for. And Doug Jones’ philosophy — one that assumes guilt when accusations are made — is one that leads to the unjust imprisonment of men who look like me.

All survivors of sexual assault and rape deserve justice, just as the accused deserve one of America’s most potent protections: innocence until proven guilty. It is a cornerstone of American jurisprudence – one that separates us from brutal regimes across the globe and one that must not be relegated to a second-class status.

As election season is upon us and Doug Jones walks the streets of our neighborhoods and preaches to our congregations in the hopes of garnering our vote, remember that politics is more than just handshakes and speeches. Our votes, and the people they go to, have the power to turn ideas into reality.

Let’s vow to utilize that power to keep Jones and his destructive philosophy from creating more miscarriages of justice in our community.

Jalen Drummond is a native of Randolph County and alumnus of the University of Alabama

14 hours ago

Heaven to hell and back again: How faith, Nick Saban helped Tyrone Prothro get his life back

(University of Alabama/Contributed, YHN)

Three weeks. Just three weeks. That was the time between the greatest high of his life and the greatest low.

Today, 14 years later, the memories of two college football Saturdays please him, yet haunt him. From heaven to hell in a span of three weeks, and to this day, both places remain with him.

The greatest catch in the history of college football. A career-ending, gruesome injury just three weeks later: Tyrone Prothro is known worldwide for both, and the lessons he’s learned from the fall of 2005 have shaped the man that he has become.

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Man, was he speedy — a shifty offensive threat at Cleburne County High School, Prothro was listed at 5-foot-9-inches tall.

Most snickered when they saw his height listed as 5’9”, but it didn’t matter, because, in Heflin, Tyrone Protho was a giant — an unstoppable athlete who seemingly scored at will. And, a few years later when his signature football moment arrived on September 10, 2005, the then-Crimson Tide receiver was ready.

It was just before the half, and Bama quarterback Brodie Croyle was looking to send a message to Southern Miss as the home crowd smelled blood. Prothro smelled a big play, and boy, did he deliver.

As Croyle spotted a streaking Prothro down the field, Prothro spotted an opportunity. Up for the football Prothro went, collecting the football along with Southern Miss defensive back Jasper Faulk. As the pair tumbled to the turf, Prothro hung on as Faulk’s helmet was caught between the football and Prothro’s jersey. Tyrone squeezed the football like he had never squeezed a football before as he held onto the ball which was pinned against his opponent’s helmet.

In that moment, “The Catch” was born.

In the weeks that followed, Tyrone Prothro was not only the big man on campus, but rather the biggest story in America. Six months after The Catch, Twitter was born- –and oh, how that play would have gone viral if it had arrived a few months earlier. How big was that play? Prothro found himself in Hollywood the following July accepting the ESPY Award for “Best Play.” An ESPY for the kid from Heflin, Alabama? It was all so surreal.

October 1, 2005, brought to Tuscaloosa one of the biggest football games in recent memory. Three Saturdays after “The Catch,” Prothro was enjoying a performance for the ages. A first quarter 87-yard touchdown catch from Brodie Croyle? Why not? Prothro and crew led the Gators 7-0. Fast forward to the third quarter: Another Prothro TD catch from 16 yards and the Crimson Tide led 31-3. He believed that his life-changing season would continue.

Prothro’s life would indeed change, but it was not the change that he expected.

Late in the Florida game, Prothro went high into the air as he attempted to make another one of his circus catches. This time, as he landed awkwardly, his dream of playing in the NFL would be over. Prothro’s left leg snapped in half. A hush fell over the crowd as never before had Bama fans witnessed such horror, such sadness, such empathy. Through his pain, Prothro managed a thumbs up as he was carted off the field.

Yet just like that, football had left his life.

“Now what?” he asked himself. After all, Prothro had big dreams — but instead of preparing for the NFL Draft, Prothro found himself preparing for surgery.

And then another. And then another.

Prothro underwent a total of 12 surgeries, as he wasn’t concerned with playing football again, but rather walking again. And at the moment when Prothro felt as if all was lost in his life? In the midst of him questioning God?

More confusion arose, as that Alabama coaching carousel had his mind spinning: Dennis Franchione. Mike Price. Mike Shula. Joe Kines. Nick Saban. What in the world was happening in Tuscaloosa?

His football career was over — yet as his mind strained, his competitiveness kicked in: Tyrone Prothro continued working toward his degree.

The problem?

Focusing on his studies was not his strong suit. And as he looks back today, Prothro told the Huts And Nuts podcast that it was a man named Nick Saban who came to his rescue. Yes, the same coach for whom Prothro never played, the same coach who was forced to officially take Prothro off the Bama roster on August 3, 2007.

Said Prothro on the podcast, “My grades were falling and I was in the dumps. I had a meeting with Coach Saban and he told me that the best thing I could do was to get my degree. He then chewed me out in a second meeting and he helped me realize that it was the best thing I could do for myself.”

In August 2008, Tyrone Prothro graduated from the University of Alabama with a degree in Human Environmental Sciences.

It’s been 14 years since Prothro felt elation, 14 years since he felt despair. Yet today, he is a happy camper.

At the time of this writing, Prothro and his wife, Sidnie, were expecting the arrival of daughter Laila — she will enter the world as brother London welcomes her with open arms.

After taking a few days off, Prothro will head back to work as an offensive assistant coach with the Jasper High School football team.

Prothro advised, “If I can help one of these kids through my story, I feel it’s why I’m here. I’m going to help as many kids as I can.”

And of his shattered dream of playing in the NFL?

“I was projected to be a first-round pick. I’m not one to sit back and dwell on what wasn’t. All I can do is move forward and work like the next man, taking care of my family.”

Years after feeling an ultimate high and a heartbreaking low, the Alabama football family feels for Tyrone Prothro, as Bama fans are proud of how one of their own has handled adversity.

Prothro’s football life may not have been completed, but thanks to family, faith and a drive possessed by few others, he is now content.

“You just have to take the bull by the horns and keep plugging along. It will be then that it will all pay off,” he explained

Wise words indeed from a “Hero of the Game” and a man who will never forget those three weeks in 2005.

Listen to the full interview:

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

15 hours ago

Governor Ivey may go at the prison issue mostly alone

(D. Jackson/Contributed, Governor's Office/Hal Yeager, YHN)

Much like last year with the gas tax, legislators know that the issue of prisons is looming, and they are trying to get out ahead of it.

And like the gas tax play, it appears a special session during the 2020 regular session will be used.

We have been hearing for a while now that Governor Kay Ivey will consider calling for a special session to address this problem and State Senator Cam Ward (R-Alabaster), now a candidate for the Alabama state Supreme Court, confirmed as much during an appearance on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Wednesday.

In addition, Ward called for legislators to take an outside the box approach to the issue.

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Ward said the issue is significantly more complex than it has been made out to be, saying, “First of all, everyone wants one bill, one solution, and these aren’t one bill one solution issues.”

He warned that mass release was not going to be a solution, making it clear that would be a risk to “public safety.”

Ward added, “I think the bulk of any kind of prison reform is gonna be rehabilitation and alternative programming,” and suggested that outside the box approaches, such as drug rehabilitation programs, mental health initiatives and veterans courts, are the most effective means to solve the overarching problem of overpopulation.

Can this be done without massive sentencing reform? Ward says he thinks so.

“You can do this and in a way that everybody, everybody wants to be Conservative about it, but two, it can be solved in a way that doesn’t require a lot of new sentencing changes,” he advised.

There will still probably be a building of new prison capacity and that will likely be done by Kay Ivey and Kay Ivey alone.

He explained why the governor’s office could make a unilateral move, saying, “The reason they can do it without us is because they don’t need additional revenue.”

My takeaway:

How that plays out remains to be seen. Ward is right: This issue is not one that is going to be solved with one bill. It is complex and evolving and needs to be looked at from multiple angles.

The legislature will be absolutely thrilled to have the governor’s office handle a bulk of this issue on her own.

They won’t have to deal with voting to spend money on prison instead of schools, kids, healthcare, public safety and whatever other issues you care about.

She takes the heat, the prisons get built, they pass some slight reform laws and the issue goes away.

While I still think there are going to be some fights on this issue come next year, this is, for now, the best plan being suggested.

Listen here:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

15 hours ago

Mo Brooks introduces resolution demanding impeachment work available to public

(Mo Brooks/Facebook, CBS This Morning/Youtube, YHN)

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) introduced a House resolution Wednesday requiring impeachment related hearings, witness interviews and communications, document production and examinations, proceedings and other work be done in an open setting for public view.

“House Democrats are conducting a hyper-partisan impeachment effort in the Capitol basement that even members of Congress are barred from attending,” Brooks said in a news release. “As such, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s so-called ‘Impeachment Inquiry’ is a sham process that both violates House rules and violates even the most fundamental rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”

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“An impeachment inquiry that is secretive, violates both the Constitution and past precedent, and excludes Congressmen and the American people is illegitimate at best and a political charade and sham at worst,” he continued. “For emphasis, and most egregiously, Democrats are excluding the American people from the entire process.”

“The American people deserve the right to witness this impeachment process and hear unfiltered witness testimony, but Democrats instead adamantly seek to deny the American people the ability to judge the merits of impeachment efforts based solely on firsthand information, not gossip and hearsay,” Brooks added. “The veil of secrecy must be lifted and the selective leaking of deceptive testimony without context must end.”

Brooks then included a statement on “informed citizenry,” questioning why the Democrats are “opposed” to it.

“I’ve introduced a simple House resolution that demands that all impeachment related hearings, witness interviews and communications, document production and examinations, proceedings, and other related work be done in an open setting in public view,” Brooks said.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand how Democrats can possibly be opposed to open government and a more informed citizenry that gets real evidence firsthand rather than the illegally leaked gossip so readily parroted and aired by a complicit and partisan Fake News Media.”

Original cosponsors for the resolution include the following:

Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Congressman Scott Perry (PA-10), Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11), Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36), Congressman Tom McClintock (CA-04), Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06), Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Congressman Alexander X. Mooney (WV-02), Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-08), Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-09), Congressman Ted S. Yoho (FL-03), Congressman Chip Roy (TX-21), Congressman Bill Posey (FL-08), Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01), Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10), Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Congressman Michael Cloud (TX-27) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01).

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

17 hours ago

Rick Karle: Mark Ingram shows that Bama blood runs deep

(Sam Greene/Twitter)

I was really touched by the scene I saw Sunday as the Cincinnati Bengals faced the Baltimore Ravens in a key NFL matchup.

Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick suffered a knee injury early in the game. As medics and trainers attended to the Gadsden native, it was not a Bengals teammate that knelt by Dre’s side, but rather a former University of Alabama teammate who plays for the Ravens.

Yes, Baltimore running back Mark Ingram knelt by Dre’s side to comfort his friend.

It was a great reminder that football brotherhood — and Crimson Tide camaraderie — runs deep, as even in the NFL players can love and respect those on an opposing team.

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Dre has since had a MRI, which showed a hyperextended knee. He is expected to miss a month of playing time.

In the period between the injury occurring and his MRI results, Mark and thousands of others were standing behind Dre after he suffered what could have been a very serious injury.

To Mark Ingram I say, “Job well done, sir. We know that Dre loves you and appreciated your support.”

And to Dre, I say, “Hang in there, friend — we’re praying for you.”

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

19 hours ago

Congress considering three bills bad for Alabama small businesses

(NFIB/Contributed)

Sometimes, Congress comes up with a bill that would be bad news for Alabama’s small businesses. This time, though, it’s come up with three competing bills, each even worse than the other.

In the House, we have the Corporate Transparency Act of 2019. In the Senate, there’s the ILLICIT CASH Act and the TITLE Act.

Whatever it’s called, it’s overreaching legislation that would make it even harder and more expensive for people to operate a small business.

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Supporters of the bills say they’re merely trying to crack down money launderers and other crooks trying to hide behind small businesses. However, the measures would impose costly and burdensome new mandates that would distract employers from running their businesses. They would pose a severe invasion of innocent people’s privacy.

The common thread running through all of the bills is a provision that would require owners to file periodic reports with the government. The reports would include personal information on everyone with an ownership stake in the business. The Corporate Transparency Act in the House and the ILLICIT CASH Act in the Senate define that as owning at least a 25 percent stake in the business or receiving “substantial economic benefits” from its assets. The TITLE Act’s definition is even broader.

These filing requirements would hurt every business, regardless of size, but they would be especially destructive to small businesses.

Big corporations have teams of lawyers and compliance officers to keep up with the latest government mandates and ensure their employers are following the rules, but small businesses don’t.

The vast majority of NFIB’s small business members in Alabama has fewer than 10 employees. Over half fewer than five.

At a small business, the person in charge of compliance, of keeping track of the government’s latest mandates and filling out the paperwork is usually the same person who turns the lights on in the morning, locks up at night, and signs the checks – the owner. And if the owner makes a mistake and doesn’t comply, she could be fined or even sent to prison.

Under the House bill, owners who fail to provide the information could be sentenced to three years in prison and fined $10,000. Under the ILLICIT CASH Act, it’s four years and a $10,000 fine. Under the TITLE Act, it would be three years and a $1 million fine.

Paperwork is already a problem for Alabama’s small businesses.

According to the latest NFIB Small Business Problems and Priorities survey, federal paperwork ranks 12th out of 75 potential problems facing small businesses. If any of these bills become law, they would make federal paperwork an even greater distraction for entrepreneurs. It would divert even more time and resources from running and growing the business.

Just as troubling is the potential for a massive breach of people’s privacy.

These bills require the government to keep the beneficial ownership information for the life of the business plus five years. They also grant broad access to federal, state, local, or tribal government agencies through a simple request without the need for a subpoena or warrant. That’s bad enough, but there’s also the possibility that the information could be leaked or hacked.

Our members understand the need to stop criminals from exploiting small businesses for illegal gain. However, this legislation places an unfair burden on law-abiding entrepreneurs and makes it even harder for them to grow their businesses and create new jobs.

That’s why NFIB is urging Alabama’s congressional delegation to reject the Corporate Transparency Act, the TITLE Act, and the ILLICIT CASH Act.

Rosemary Elebash is NFIB’s state director for Alabama. She lives in Montgomery.

Celebrate the Seventh Amendment in Montgomery

(YHN)

The Alabama Association of Justice and its members invite all courthouse employees and judicial staff to celebrate 230 years of the Seventh Amendment guaranteeing the right to a civil jury trial.  Join the fun: Monday, October 21, 3:00 pm to 3:30 pm, 251 South Lawrence Street, Montgomery, AL in the Jury Assembly Room on the 4th Floor.

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This is the seventh of multiple stops on the Courthouse Appreciation Tour and the focus will be Alabama’s Appellate Courts.  Check out highlights from last month’s event in Jefferson County.

For more information contact jsmith@alabamajustice.org.

21 hours ago

More ‘rat poison’: Four Alabama football players named to midseason AP All-America team

(Solomon Crenshaw Jr./Alabama NewsCenter)

Four University of Alabama football players on Tuesday were named as midseason All-Americans by the Associated Press, however, record-breaking quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was snubbed for first-team honors.

Wide receiver DeVonta Smith was actually the only Tide player named to the first team. Smith is suspended for the first half of Bama’s Saturday home game against Tennessee after throwing a punch in the final quarter this past weekend at Texas A&M.

The three Alabama players named to the second team were quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, offensive tackle Jedrick Wills, Jr. and wide receiver Jerry Jeudy.

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LSU QB Joe Burrow beat Tagovailoa out for the only first-team spot at the position.

No. 1 ranked Alabama will host the second-ranked Tigers in Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 9.

LSU, No. 6 Wisconsin and No. 12 Oregon each placed three players on the first team, while Ohio State had a total of five players on the first and second teams, which was the most of any school.

Auburn was not represented on either AP midseason teams.

This comes in the immediate wake of Alabama head coach Nick Saban once again warning of “rat poison,” saying outside praise of the team can distract players from what really contributes to being successful on the field.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

21 hours ago

Carl, Coleman build big cash advantages in AL-01, AL-02

(Jerry Carl/Facebook, (J. Coleman/Contributed)

Candidates running in Alabama’s two open 2020 congressional races have now filed their FEC finance reports covering the third quarter of 2019, with one Republican candidate in each competitive field standing out when it comes to cash-on-hand.

In Alabama’s First Congressional District, the seat to be vacated by Congressman Bradley Byrne’s (R-Fairhope) U.S. Senate bid, former State Senator Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) technically led in Q3 fundraising.

Hightower raised $173,482 and spent $92,918 in the quarter, for an ending cash-on-hand of $447,611. Hightower has been endorsed by the Club for Growth in this race.

However, Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl brought in more total funds in the quarter and finished with significantly more money in the bank.

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Carl raised $155,866 in Q3, loaned himself another $100,000, spent $55,257 and was left with $741,307 cash-on-hand.

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Carl said, “I’m humbled by the outpouring of support from voters all over south Alabama. Over 95% of our money was raised from folks in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. I’m proud to report that we are in an excellent position to win the Republican primary on March 3, 2020.”

Next, State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) raised $91,680 in the quarter. He also spent $70,058, ending the period with $215,437 available.

Local businessman Wes Lambert only raised $9,935. However, he gave himself $5,000 and loaned himself another $110,000. Lambert spent $17,355 in Q3 and reported having $109,579 remaining in his campaign account.

Moving on to Alabama’s Second Congressional District, there was a decisive victor in both fundraising and cash-on-hand at the end of the third quarter.

Businessman and former Business Council of Alabama Chairman Jeff Coleman blew people away with a strong finance report.

Coleman actually raised more money in contributions than any of the Republican U.S. Senate candidates in the same quarter: $468,001.

He also loaned his campaign $500,000. Coleman spent just $2,973 in Q3, ending it with $965,027 on hand.

In a statement, Coleman said, “We are proud to report a robust figure that epitomizes the hard work of our team and the unwavering commitment of Alabamians to defending this seat. Liberals are focused on this district, and we know they plan to use the ‘Doug Jones’ model: divide Republicans and parade in an army of special interests from Planned Parenthood and labor unions to buy the seat.”

“With this strong quarter, we’re going to send a powerful message to Washington Democrats that this seat is off-limits,” he concluded.

Former Alabama Attorney General Troy King, who is currently leading sizably in polls due to his high name identification in the district, raised $102,742 in the quarter.

King spent a mere $371, finishing with $102,370.

“I am continually humbled by the support I am receiving from all across District 2. I attribute our success to the fact that many who live there have known and stood with me for a long time now. As a lifelong Republican, a native son of the Wiregrass, and a longtime resident of Montgomery, the folks in this district are like family to me. I understand them and those things that matter to them better than anyone else in this race,” King said in a statement. “I have been overwhelmed with the messages of encouragement I have received. Alabamians are ready to send a fighter to represent them and they are saying so with their support.”

“I have a strong career of standing with the little guy,” he added. “If you are tired of the crazies who have been running Washington DC, you can do something about it. Join me and let’s put an end to left wing control of our government.”

Former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) was not far behind King’s fundraising total, raising $70,822. He also loaned himself an additional $70,000.

Moore spent $12,732, closing the quarter with $128,089.

State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) raised $14,693 in Q3, spent $7,033 and reported $7,659 left cash-on-hand.

Both races are expected to add a candidate in this quarter, the final one of 2019.

John Castorani, an Army veteran and career intelligence officer, on Tuesday announced his candidacy in AL-01.

Jessica Fair Taylor of Prattville is expected to announce a bid in AL-02 in the coming days.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

22 hours ago

7 Things: Another Dem Debate, big money in Alabama GOP Senate race, no impeachment vote and more …

(YHN)

7. Halloween on Saturday

  • This year, Halloween falls on a weeknight, so once again there’s a petition making its rounds that would move Halloween to the last Saturday of October rather than always being on October 31. The petition was started by the Halloween and Costume Association.
  • The organization also altered the petition this year so that a National Trick or Treat Day would also be added; the organization stated, “Fifty-one percent of millennials say Halloween is their favorite holiday. Why cram it into two rushed evening weekday hours when it deserves a full day?”

6. Birmingham wants to create a huge no-smoking area

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  • A new city ordinance has been passed by the Birmingham City Council that has created a “Health District” that prohibits smoking anywhere within the district limits. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said he fully supports the organizations that support the ordinance.
  • The area within the “Health District” includes the University of Alabama at Birmingham and UAB Medicine, Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Jefferson County Department of Health, Children’s of Alabama, Cooper Green Mercy Health Services and Southern Research.

5. Mississippi is about to start selling lottery tickets; Alabama still doesn’t

  • Lottery tickets will be sold for the first time in Mississippi on November 25, several days ahead of originally planned December 1 start day. Within the first year, Mississippi is expected to generate $40 million, and it’s expected to more than double within the second year.
  • Mississippi will put this new revenue towards funding for education and infrastructure. Alabama, Hawaii, Alaska, Utah and Nevada are the only states that still don’t have the lottery.

4. Pence is going to Turkey

  • After President Donald Trump ordered that all U.S. troops be withdrawn from northern Syria, tensions between Turkey and the Kurdish forces have heightened. Trump has threatened sanctions, so now Vice President Mike Pence will be visiting Turkey with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  • Ambassador James Jeffrey and United States National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien will also be in attendance with the goal of Turkey declaring a cease-fire. Pence will assist in negotiations between Turkey and the Kurds.

3. No impeachment vote; Republicans move to censure Adam Schiff

  • U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) will not be holding a vote for impeachment of President Donald Trump any time soon, a point Trump uses to justify not cooperating, because Democrats from swing districts are not on board with actually moving forward with an attempt to remove the president.
  • Meanwhile, 135 House members have co-sponsored a resolution to censure House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) for reading a “parody” version of President Donald Trump’s phone call with the president of Ukraine in July at the testimony of acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire.

2. Merrill deposited the most, Byrne raised the most this quarter

  • Republican 2020 U.S. Senate candidates in Alabama have reported their third-quarter fundraising numbers, and Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill now has $738,000 cash-on-hand after bringing in $622,250, including a $250,000 bank loan, in Q3.
  • U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) led in fundraising (money raised from contributions) again this quarter. He reported that his campaign has $2,529,019 cash-on-hand and raised $408,383 in the third quarter, and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville was in a close second in fundraising with $373,000 brought in within Q3.

1. Democratic primary debate

  • Tuesday, 12 candidates participated in the 2020 Democratic primary debate in Ohio where it became clear that U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) is the new frontrunner and her opponents hit her on her lack of a plan for paying for Medicare for All and her “wealth tax” plan.
  • This debate also marked another poor night for former Vice President Joe Biden who was unable to handle a softball from CNN’s Anderson Cooper about his son’s unethical business dealings by deflecting it and, for some reason, U.S. Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) bailed him out.

23 hours ago

Doug Jones raises 77% from out-of-state in third quarter of 2019

(D. Jones/Facebook, Wikicommons, YHN)

Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) continues to find that an overwhelming majority of his financial support base comes from outside of Alabama, raising 77.85% of his itemized individual contributions from out-of-state in the third quarter of 2019.

This means just 22.15% of his itemized individual funds raised were from individuals with Alabama addresses in Q3, according to Jones’ latest quarterly finance report filed with the FEC.

Comparatively, donations from California, New York, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland combined equated to 43.22% of Jones’ itemized individual contribution total.

California led the way in the out-of-state trend, with Jones raising $220,667.93 in itemized individual contributions from the Golden State.

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New York, however, trailed closely at $192,106.35.

Also of note, Jones received $1,437 from donors listing foreign addresses — American citizens living abroad. This included one donor listing an address in Kazakhstan.

From all receipt sources, outside of just itemized individual contributions, Jones brought in $2,020,054 during Q3.

This included $259,239 raised from political committees (such as PACs) — an amount just shy of what he raised in itemized individual contributions from Alabamians.

To be clear, the above percentages do not factor in those PAC contributions. The locations of these committees would drive the geographic breakdown towards the out-of-state side of the equation even more.

Jones spent $1,237,344 during the quarter, finishing the time period with $5,042,251 cash-on-hand.

This type of reliance on non-Alabama funds is nothing new for Jones. In both the first and second quarters of 2019, Jones raised 88% of his itemized individual contributions from outside the Yellowhammer State.

Additionally, his already-high “burn rate” leaped up even more from Q2 to Q3 — from 41.9% to 61.3%.

This year has not been the only one Jones has raised eyebrows with his funding sources. In fact, in Q4 of 2018, Jones actually raised more from overseas alone than Alabama.

Read about Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate candidates’ third quarter 2019 fundraising numbers here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

24 hours ago

Tuberville to run first digital ad — ‘We can’t be bought, and we won’t back down’

Yellowhammer News has obtained a copy of former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville’s first video advertisement in Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate campaign cycle.

The ad, set to run on digital platforms online starting this week, embraces Tuberville’s status as the only competitive candidate in the race who has never before ran for or held elected office.

Tuberville currently enjoys a sizable double-digit lead over Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Secretary of State John Merrill, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

The ad centers on Tuberville explaining why he is “getting off the sidelines and into the fight.”

Watch:

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In the opening scene he says, “The way I was raised, before a football game, you stood to honor America. And after the game, you knelt to honor God.”

“But today, those values are under attack,” Tuberville continues. “Socialism. Abortion on demand. Open borders. It’s got to end. So I’m getting off the sidelines and into the fight.”

A narrator then cuts in, saying, “Tommy Tuberville — Christian. Conservative. Two-time SEC coach of the year. An outsider ready to take on politically correct, liberal Washington politicians.”

“I’m ready to fight for Alabama,” Tuberville emphasizes, jumping back in. “As your senator, I’ll have President Trump’s back.”

He adds, “We can’t be bought, and we won’t back down. Together, we will drain the swamp and build the wall; take care of veterans and respect law enforcement; protect life and defend the values that make America great.”

“I’m Tommy Tuberville, and I approve this message,” he concludes, “because weak-kneed career politicians aren’t tough enough to stand with President Trump. But I am.”

This comes after Mooney recently became the first candidate to run a television ad in the cycle.

RELATED: Here’s what Alabama’s 2020 GOP U.S. Senate candidates raised in the third quarter

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

Byrne: Congress must investigate the escalating Biden scandal

(Screenshot/FOX 10)

While Democrats recklessly intensify their partisan scheme to impeach President Trump, the Biden scandal has escalated to a level Congress can no longer responsibly ignore.

As more details come out regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings overseas, their connection with actions taken by his father, Joe Biden, in his official capacity as vice president raise new questions that must be answered.

For example, we have learned that Hunter Biden accompanied his father aboard Air Force Two to China six years ago. Ten days after the trip, Hunter Biden’s new Chinese private equity firm, formed in partnership with the communist government-owned Bank of China, received a license.

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Hunter Biden admitted to meeting with his Chinese partner in the fund during the visit but insists they did not discuss business. That sure doesn’t pass the smell test.

At least one Chinese government-owned company Hunter Biden’s firm later invested in, Aviation Industry Corporation of China, exists primarily to compete with the United States and has a history of stealing American technology.

Think about that. Hunter Biden partnered with the Chinese government in a lucrative business venture whose purpose is to weaken the United States.

We still do not know where else Hunter traveled or who else he met with on this trip.

But Joe Biden may have played an even more direct role in promoting his son’s financial prospects in Ukraine.

Joe Biden has bragged openly about successfully pressuring the Ukrainian government to remove its top prosecutor or risk losing United States assistance. We’ve now learned this prosecutor was investigating Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian company on whose board Hunter Biden sat at the time.

Some reports have Hunter Biden earning as much as $50,000 per month on the board – a hefty salary for someone with almost no experience in foreign policy or business.

Democrats can’t in good faith continue investigating every single action the president has ever taken—many predating his time as a political candidate—while the Biden scandal stares them straight in the face.

But this gets back to the purpose of the Democrats’ impeachment effort. It was never about corruption or any high-minded ideals. Democrat Congressman Al Green told us back in 2017 why Democrats want to impeach President Trump: “I’m concerned that if we don’t impeach this president, he will get reelected.”

If the same facts in the Biden case occurred with one of President Trump’s children, Democrats would have already launched a full-scale investigation. We must expose their hypocrisy.

This week I am introducing a House resolution calling for an investigation into the Bidens’ shady business dealings.

This resolution calls for the House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Government Reform, and Financial Services to begin investigations of business dealings of Hunter Biden during the period in which his father Joe Biden served as Vice President of the United States, whether those business dealings resulted in improper conflicts of interests, and whether Hunter Biden’s work affected United States foreign policy or a foreign government or foreign entity’s response.

As more information comes to light regarding Hunter Biden’s business dealings with the Ukrainians and Chinese and his father’s apparent actions to use his position as vice president to facilitate his son’s financial pursuits, it stretches all credibility to deny an investigation is warranted.

Instead of neglecting all their legislative responsibilities to investigate President Trump, Democrats must acknowledge a serious scandal festers in their own ranks and take appropriate action.

We need to stop playing politics and look to get to the bottom of a potentially real scandal.

If Democrats continue to ignore the Biden scandal, this impeachment inquiry will be haunted by a legacy of illegitimacy, and the American people’s faith in their representative government will suffer a demoralizing blow.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope. He is a 2020 candidate for the U.S. Senate.

2 days ago

Scholarship to fund 50 high school, college students’ path to automotive manufacturing careers

Tuesday, the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and Alabama Community College System (ACCS) announced they have partnered to give a total of $180,000 in scholarships, as well as mentors, to 50 students seeking a technical education certificate or associate degree in the automotive manufacturing industry.

This is not the first time this has been done. Earlier this year, scholarships were given to students who are currently in school this semester. Students who are awarded scholarships after the November deadline will begin classes in the spring, summer or fall semesters of 2020.

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The press release noted, “Interested students with at least a 2.5 GPA can learn more information and apply directly through the website, https://dreamitdoitalabama.com/aama/. Applicants must use the scholarship toward an automotive-related program, including the following: Automotive Manufacturing Technology; Automotive Manufacturing; Automotive Service Technician; Computer Numerical Control; Engineering Technology; Industrial Electronics Technology; Industrial Maintenance Technology; Injection Molding; Logistics; Machine Shop/Tool Technology; Manufacturing Technology; Mechanical Design Technology; Mechatronics; or Welding Technology.”

AAMA president Ron Davis said the scholarship program provides students with “tremendous opportunities.”

“The access our scholarship recipients have to mentors in the industry, in addition to the training they’ll receive while studying at an Alabama community college, provides tremendous opportunities in the automotive manufacturing industry,” Davis said. “Our partnership with Alabama’s community colleges is industry and education working together the way they should to help individuals succeed.”

Jeff Lynn, ACCS’ vice-chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development, said the scholarships complement other work-based learning initiatives in place for community colleges to continually provide world-class training that meets Alabama’s industry needs.

“The best advice we receive for how to educate and train an excellent workforce for employers and entrepreneurs is directly from the source – Alabama industry,” Lynn outlined. “With industry input and continued investment in career and technical training, including scholarships and new programs, the Alabama Community College System is providing what both employees and employers need to succeed.”

Each scholarship recipient will receive $3,600. According to the press release, the award covers tuition, fees and/or books needed. A full submission for the scholarship requires the following: a completed application; a resume; a maximum 500-word essay on why the student wants to work in Alabama’s automotive industry; one signed reference letter; an unofficial college or high school transcript; and a headshot photo.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 days ago

This video of former Auburn QB Brandon Cox’s son meeting his new baby brother will make your day

(R. Karle/Facebook)

Oh, my heart!

Former Auburn University quarterback Brandon Cox sent me this video of his son, Peyton, meeting his baby brother for the first time.

Parker Cox was born just a few days ago, and when Peyton first met his baby ‘bro? So sweet!

Watch:

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Congrats to Brandon, Carla and the entire family.

I can tell by looking at this video that the brothers are living in a loving home. It doesn’t get any better than this!

As Auburn’s starting quarterback from 2005 – 2007, Brandon Cox guided the Tigers to an impressive 29-9 record. In fact, he was a member of the winningest senior class in Auburn history, winning 50 total games during their time on the Plains. Cox had a record history in the Iron Bowl, going 3-0 against the Crimson Tide as Auburn’s starting quarterback.

An Alabama native, Cox attended Hewitt-Trussville High School.

Rick Karle is a 24-time Emmy winning broadcaster and a special sports contributor to Yellowhammer News. He is also the host of the Huts and Nuts podcast.

2 days ago

Nobel laureate to speak on ‘Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves’

(UAH/Contributed)

Dr. Rainer Weiss, a 2017 Nobel laureate in physics, will speak about “Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves” on Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. in Room 100 of the Material Sciences Building at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Dr. Weiss will discuss how the observations of gravitational waves from the mergers of compact binary sources opens a new way to learn about the universe. Sponsored by the UAH Department of Physics & Astronomy, his lecture will describe some of the difficult history of gravitational waves, which were first proposed about 100 years ago. The talk will end with a vision for the future of gravitational wave astronomy.

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Best known for inventing the laser interferometric technique used in 2016 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to detect gravitational waves for the first time, Dr. Weiss shares the Nobel Prize with Dr. Kip Thorne and Dr. Barry C. Barish “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.”

He is a professor of physics emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University (LSU). He was chair of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) Science Working Group.

2 days ago

Here’s what Alabama’s 2020 GOP U.S. Senate candidates raised in the third quarter

(Republican Women of Huntsville, B. Byrne, Stand with Judge Roy Moore, J. Merrill, A. Mooney for Alabama/Facebook)

Yellowhammer News on Tuesday learned that Secretary of State John H. Merrill achieved the largest financial haul of all Alabama Republican 2020 U.S. Senate candidates during the third quarter, which ended September 30. However, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) led in fundraising, raising the most amount of money from contributions.

Finance reports covering Q3 are due on Tuesday, and Yellowhammer News got the scoop on the leading candidates’ fundraising totals.

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Merrill received $372,520 in Q3 contributions and put in an additional $250,000 bank loan, for a total receipt of $622,250. Merrill had approximately $738,000 cash-on-hand at the end of the quarter.

His campaign advised that Merrill’s quarterly contributions came from 341 individual donors and three PACs. This included 157 donations under $100. Over 80% of the contributions were from Alabama.

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Merrill said, “I am humbled by the outpouring of support I have received from hardworking Alabamians from all over the state. Our campaign is gaining more and more momentum and support each and every day and I look forward to serving the people of Alabama in the United States Senate!”

Byrne raised $408,383 in the third quarter and reported having $2,529,019 cash-on-hand.

In a statement, Byrne said, “I am so grateful to every person who contributes to our fight to bring our Alabama values to the U.S. Senate.”

“From the start, this campaign has been fueled by grassroot supporters across Alabama, and today’s fundraising report shows that our campaign is only getting stronger and is built to last,” he added.

Former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who has been leading by a margin of about 15-20% in all available polling, raised $373,000 and had approximately $1,455,000 on hand at the end of Q3.

Approximately 82% of all of Tuberville’s contributions came from Alabamians, with 81% of all contributions being under $200. Tuberville’s haul came from 1,465 donors in Q3, with 98% being individuals.

In a statement, Tuberville campaign manager Paul Shashy said, “Voters are sick and tired of career politicians. They are disgusted with what they see taking place in Washington and want an outsider that will support President Trump and defeat Doug Jones in November.”

“It won’t be long before Coach’s opponents will start attacking him because they have nothing to run on,” he continued, speaking of the first-time candidate. “The swamp will do anything to hold on to power, but today’s report demonstrates that voters from across the state are excited to support a candidate that understands the challenges they are facing. Coach’s message of securing the border, standing firm against impeachment, and fighting for life, and our 2nd Amendment rights, is resonating with voters – it’s the very reason he has a double-digit lead on his nearest opponent.”

State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) raised $242,738 in the latest quarter, ending it with $386,045 cash-on-hand.

Mooney campaign general consultant Jordan Gehrke stated, “Arnold Mooney’s conservative grassroots support continues to grow, and he will have the money he needs to win.”

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore raised $63,153 and spent $45,188 during Q3, leaving him with $34,189 on hand.

An earlier version of this article was updated to reflect that Merrill’s numbers included a $250,000 loan rather than a $200,000 loan.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Alabama’s competitive edge in the new economy

(Pixabay, YHN)

Alabama has a proud history of fostering innovation and inspiring great ideas that have transformed how we live, work and do business. From the Saturn V rocket that took us to the moon to Shipt’s grocery delivery app that has now become a household name.

Through the leadership of Representative Bill Poole and Senator Greg Reed during this past session, the legislature passed the Alabama Incentives Modernization (AIM) Act, a transformative piece of legislation that primes Alabama for success by ensuring that entrepreneurs and technology-based companies have the tools they need to flourish in our state.

Simply put, the AIM Act is a game-changer.

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It expands Alabama’s economic development efforts by investing in tech-based jobs and removing barriers for companies that want to grow in the state. It accomplishes this by focusing on rural development, tech job recruitment and opportunity zone enhancement.

Most importantly, it serves as a launching point for prioritizing the workforce of the next generation.

Huntsville’s success as an aerospace and biotech hub continues to generate entrepreneurial and tech growth in the North Alabama region. In Mobile, the Innovation PortAL serves as a launchpad for growing startups and connecting them to the resources and funding they need to succeed. Tuscaloosa’s state-of-the-art incubator, The EDGE, supports West Alabama’s entrepreneurial community through professional development opportunities and local pitch competitions. And in Birmingham, we’ve seen smart, effective initiatives that have put Alabama on the map for growing companies, high-profile exits and emerging tech companies from San Francisco to Atlanta that are relocating their headquarters to Alabama.

With exciting momentum in all corners of our state, along with advancements in technology, infrastructure and workforce development, there’s never been a better time to connect all of these efforts at the state level so that we are all working together to move Alabama forward.

To accomplish this, we must ensure that the technology community has a seat at the table in policy and economic development discussions. Many states have already developed initiatives that have created vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems and impressive startup ventures that are making an impact in local economies. As Alabama competes with other states in attracting businesses and other economic development opportunities, we have an incredible opportunity to invest in the future of our state by supporting our startup community.

This new way of approaching economic growth will take collaboration, forward-thinking ideas and shared creative resources from all of us to fuel cutting-edge ideas and change.

At the Business Council of Alabama, we are committed to creating a pro-business climate that gives our state a competitive edge to grow the global economy. By prioritizing the startup and technology sector, I’m confident that Alabama will continue its strong tradition of fostering innovation and becoming a premier destination for businesses of all shapes and sizes to call home.

Katie Boyd Britt is the president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama.

2 days ago

Birmingham creating large non-smoking ‘Health District’

(PIxabay, YHN)

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday passed an ordinance that establishes a non-smoking “Health District” in Birmingham’s Southside neighborhood. Smoking will be prohibited on public property therein – including city streets and sidewalks.

The Health District will officially launch on December 1.

The ordinance was requested by prominent health-focused organizations within the Health District’s boundaries, including: Children’s of Alabama; Cooper Green Mercy Health Services; Jefferson County Department of Health; Southern Research; the University of Alabama at Birmingham and UAB Medicine; and Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

In a statement, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin expressed his “full support” of the effort and the organizations that requested the ordinance.

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“The entities within the Health District are leaders in promoting wellness through education, research and healthcare that help the residents of Birmingham, Jefferson County and beyond live better lives,” Woodfin said. “I am grateful for the leadership of these organizations, and I join the Birmingham City Council in full support.”

In the coming months, partner organizations will provide specific guidance to those who visit their campuses. Property owners within the district will have the option to create designated smoking areas on their property, if not prohibited by another ordinance.

Birmingham City Council President Valerie Abbott advised that it was important for the City Council to pass this ordinance in support of those wishing to promote good health.

“Organizations in this highly concentrated health-focused area of Birmingham have long desired to encourage quitting for those who smoke due to the many adverse health consequences for both smokers and non-smokers,” Abbott outlined. “This ordinance allows the City of Birmingham to proudly support those efforts.”

(UAB/Contributed)

In the past, organizations have prohibited or limited smoking on their property, but smoking was permitted on adjacent city sidewalks.

“This ordinance will allow organizations committed to the health of those we serve to enact meaningful policies and educational programs that make a real difference,” Mark Wilson, CEO of the Jefferson County Department of Health, explained.

The timing is especially good for the Birmingham VA Medical Center.

“The VA went smoke free this month,” Birmingham VA Medical Center director Stacy Vasquez commented, “and this ordinance will enable the VA to focus on decreasing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure for the health and wellbeing of those who serve or have served our country.”

UAB has had a non-smoking policy in place since 2015, but the institution more recently began to champion the idea of a health district to promote health and wellness, including tobacco cessation, clean air and walkability.

With more than 22,000 students, 23,000 faculty and staff, and well over a million annual patient visits, as well as other visitors, UAB sees the upcoming Health District as an opportunity to reach and help countless people.

“UAB recently launched a Grand Challenge – Healthy Alabama 2030: Live HealthSmart – with the goal of significantly improving the health of Alabamians,” UAB President and Southern Research Interim CEO Ray L. Watts said.

“This Health District is one of the many initiatives we will advance through our unique ability to make our state healthier through our focus on education, research, innovation and economic development, patient care and community service,” he added.

As part of the initiative, educational messages and resources to help people quit smoking will be promoted by the partner organizations.

“We hope the Health District will enhance a positive environment of awareness and support for the health of our young patients and their families,” Mike Warren, Children’s of Alabama president and CEO, remarked.

Cooper Green deputy director Laura Hurst agrees.

“We, too, intend to make the most of this opportunity to help people achieve better health,” Hurst concluded. “As we continue to increase our focus on supporting our patients’ overall wellbeing, not just treating them when they are sick, initiatives like these help us set a tone. This is a great thing.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Byrne raises over $400,000 in third quarter of 2019, leads Q3 fundraising

(B. Byrne/Facebook)

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) on Tuesday announced that his 2020 U.S. Senate campaign raised $408,383 in the third quarter and will report over $2.5 million cash-on-hand in their latest finance report to the Federal Election Commission.

Byrne continues to lead the field in fundraising so far in the GOP primary, including in Q3. He raised over $750,000 raised in the second quarter. His cash-on-hand was $2,439,905.29 at the end of Q2.

That figure rose approximately $90,000 by the close of Q3, sitting at $2,529,019.97.

In a statement, Byrne said, “I am so grateful to every person who contributes to our fight to bring our Alabama values to the U.S. Senate.”

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“From the start, this campaign has been fueled by grassroot supporters across Alabama, and today’s fundraising report shows that our campaign is only getting stronger and is built to last,” he added.

Byrne’s campaign advised that approximately $2,000,000 of their total cash-on-hand is available to be spent in the primary pursuant to federal election laws.

Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) raised $2,020,054 in the third quarter and spent $1,237,344 during that time period. Jones has $5,042,251 cash-on-hand as of the end of Q3.

Yellowhammer News will bring you the latest fundraising numbers from the other Republican Senate campaigns as soon as they are available.

Update:

Fundraising numbers from all leading GOP candidates are available here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

7 Things: War of words between Byrne and Jones, Trump to sanction Turkey, ‘impeachment’ hearing takes place and more …

(YHN)

7. LeBron James returns from China and immediately disappoints everyone

  • Los Angeles Lakers superstar LeBron James spoke to the press for the first time after returning from China and refused to comment on the situation in China, but was willing to criticize Houston Rockets general manager Daryl Morley for daring to support the protesters in Hong Kong.
  • The NBA may be able to save their business relationship with the Chinese government by muzzling their players and apologizing, but the players find themselves in an unenviable position of justifying their outspoken politicking on American matters while cowering and demuring on issues involving the red Chinese and Hong Kong.

6. Some people might actually want Troy King in Congress

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  • Nineteen days ago, Troy King announced that he would be campaigning for the District 2 congressional seat, and now he’s announced that his campaign has raised $100,000
  • King’s campaign has said that his name ID is at 88%, and he has said that his candidacy is for those “tired of the crazies who have been running Washington D.C.”

5. Toyota is partnering with the Trash Pandas

  • Tuesday, the Rocket City Trash Pandas announced that their field will be named “Toyota Field” for their partnership with Toyota Motor Manufacturing Alabama, Ballcorps LLC and Madison city.
  • Trash Pandas CEO Ralph Nelson announced the name, saying, “Discussions began more than two years ago, well before stadium plans were finalized, and today’s announcement reflects Toyota’s commitment to our region and unwavering support they have shown the Trash Pandas since day one.”

4. No surprise: The White House doesn’t support absurd video

  • After a parody video went viral that showed President Donald Trump killing politicians and media outlets, the White House has released a statement that Trump “strongly condemns” the video.
  • The video is a photoshopped parody of a scene from the movie “Kingsman,” and Trump is shown shooting and stabbing people like Mitt Romney, Maxine Waters, Hillary Clinton and news outlets like CNN, NPR and NBC.

3. Impeachment “bombshells”

  • Former deputy assistant to the president Fiona Hill was testifying on Monday and sources say she told Congress she saw “wrongdoing” in the dealings with Ukraine. She also claims national security adviser John Bolton had referred to Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as a “hand grenade” who was “going to blow everybody up,” adding his interactions were akin to a “drug deal.”
  • Republicans aren’t happy about the process and the fact that U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was removed from the hearing, which led to him asking, “What are Democrats so afraid of?” He also questioned why he wasn’t allowed to sit in on the testimony.

2. Sanctions to be issued against Turkey

  • President Donald Trump has announced that he intends to use executive order to bring sanctions against Turkey for their “destabilizing” actions in Syria after Trump’s decision to withdraw all U.S. troops from northern Syria.
  • Previously, Trump threatened that if Turkey did anything that he “considered to be off limits,” he “will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey.” Trump has told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that Turkey needs to immediately ceasefire.

1. Byrne wants the Bidens investigated, Jones seems disinterested

  • On Tuesday, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) will file a resolution asking three House committees to investigate Hunter Biden’s foreign business dealings while Joe Biden was vice president, which Byrne announced on Monday morning while appearing on “Fox & Friends.”
  • Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) attempted to tie this to President Donald Trump’s children who are still working in the fields they were working in prior to the 2016 election. Biden’s sons (yes, sons) got gigs in fields they had no business with and clearly sold access.

2 days ago

Jones, Byrne spar over investigating the Bidens

(B. Byrne/Facebook, NBC News/YouTube)

Following Congressman Bradley Byrne’s (AL-01) Monday announcement that he will file a resolution calling on three U.S. House committees to investigate the foreign business dealings of Hunter Biden, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) — a vocal supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential bid — rushed to attack the Republican Alabama congressman.

Byrne’s resolution calls for investigations into whether Hunter Biden’s business dealings resulted in improper conflicts of interests and whether his work affected United States foreign policy or a foreign government or foreign entity’s response.

In a statement, Byrne called Democrats out for turning “a blind eye to the Biden scandal,” adding, “If the same facts in the Biden case occurred with one of President Trump’s children, Democrats would have already launched a full-scale investigation.”

Later on Monday, Jones addressed Byrne’s move on Twitter. Byrne is one of the Republican candidates running to unseat Jones in 2020.

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Alabama’s junior senator shared a tweet by ABC News’ Matthew Dowd, which asserted, “If you are someone who has raised concerns about Hunter Biden and don’t also raise big concerns about the Trump children, then you fundamentally lack inegrity [sic] and don’t really care about building a more moral and less corrupt world.”

Jones commented, “I think Matthew is speaking to a certain Alabama congressman who says he is filing a bill to investigate the Bidens. I agree with you @matthewjdowd. We should all want the same things – the facts, the truth, and the rule of law – not pandering partisanship trying to be relevant.”

To be clear, Dowd’s tweet was published on Sunday, the day before Byrne announced his resolution, so Dowd was not actually referring specifically to Byrne.

After Jones’ Monday comments on Twitter, Yellowhammer News reached out to Jones’ office for further comment. Yellowhammer News specifically asked, “Does this mean Senator Jones supports an investigation into Hunter Biden and/or Vice President Biden?”

The Senate office forwarded the inquiry without response to Jones’ campaign.

Jones’ campaign then declined further comment from Jones himself.

However, Lizzie Grams, Jones’ campaign press secretary, provided a statement that she released on behalf of the campaign earlier in the day — on Monday morning.

“Information about Joe Biden and his son has been around for a long time and all alleged improprieties have been debunked by numerous sources,” Grams claimed.

“It is sad that Congressman Byrne would debase the integrity of his office by pandering to the President with such a desperate attempt to elevate his secondary status in the Republican primary,” she added.

Jones’ campaign then did not respond when specifically asked the same question for clarification: “Does this mean Senator Jones supports an investigation into Hunter Biden and/or Vice President Biden?”

Reached for reaction to Jones’ tweet by Yellowhammer, Byrne decried that Jones was once again “quick to come to defense of his buddy Joe Biden.”

“Doug Jones has been silent on the issue of impeachment, but he is quick to come to defense of his buddy Joe Biden,” Byrne stated.

“Just like when he voted against Judge Kavanaugh, spoke out in favor of gun control, and opposed strong pro-life protections, Doug is once again totally out of touch with Alabama,” he continued. “This is just further proof that Doug Jones doesn’t represent Alabama. That’s why I’m running for the Senate to Dump Doug and send a conservative fighter to the Senate.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn