The Wire

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


    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


    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


    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.

18 mins ago

Auburn veterans association, University of Alabama veterans association unite again to raise awareness for veteran suicide


The University of Alabama and Auburn University veterans associations are once again teaming up to raise awareness for the 22 veterans lost each day to suicide by marching from Tuscaloosa to Auburn, Alabama, for the 2019 Iron Bowl.

The 150-mile “Operation Iron Ruck,” which will begin at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on November 26 and conclude at Jordan Hare Stadium in Auburn on November 30, will take an estimated 70 hours to complete.

“The Iron Ruck is an opportunity to bring awareness to an unnecessary plague that runs rampant in our veteran community,” said Auburn University Veterans Association President Jonathan Housand. “We hope to show how easy it is to put aside our differences to unite as brothers and sisters for a bigger cause than ourselves.”


“I want to thank the student veterans at the University of Alabama for demonstrating with the student veterans at Auburn University to bring this amazing event to life,” Housand added. “Together we are helping to prove that we are always here for each other and never out of the fight.”

The ruck march participants will carry a 22-pound ruck-sack to coincide with the Mission 22 suicide campaign. The packed ruck will consist of toiletries, undergarments and other items collected by the athletics and Student Veteran’s organizations and will be donated to Mission 22, 3 Hots and a Cot and the Bill Nichols State Veterans Home in Alexander City.

“The purpose of this March is to raise awareness of the tragedy of veteran suicide,” said Slade Salmon, president of the University of Alabama Campus Veterans Association. “We at the CVA extend our sincerest gratitude for the support from our local community around Tuscaloosa, Auburn University, and from the state of Alabama as well.”

Kody Pemberton, a University of Alabama student and member of the Veterans Association, says he is excited to participate once again in the ruck march.

“It’s great to see the new leadership of both organizations step up and spearhead the 2nd annual Ironbowl Ruck march,” Pemberton said. “Last year we had a great turn out and we were able to help many veterans, and I know this year Slade and Jonathan will go above and beyond to ensure we help even more.”

For more information on the march, an email can be sent to or

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

15 hours ago

Outrage over John Merrill’s comments is dishonest

(J. Merrill/Twitter)

Almost every week, Alabama is subjected to a dishonest cycle of news coverage from something that is either misinterpreted or an outright lie.

This week is no different.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill attended a Republican meeting in Fort Payne over the weekend and during a question and answer period, he responded to a question about the culture war by making a reference to “homosexual activities.”


Media outlets pounced on the quote to feed the outrage beast because nothing generates click like “Alabama politician” and “homosexual activities.”

The explanation of those comments is far less interesting than the media narrative surrounding it, the headlines it generated and the social media reaction it attracted.

The question Merrill was responding to was about changes in America’s pop culture. Merrill lamented the lack of television shows like “Gunsmoke” and “Andy Griffith,” which included him musing, “We’re too interested in homosexual activities.”

When Merrill appeared on WVNN radio’s “The Dale Jackson Show” Wednesday morning, he was asked what exactly he meant by that line.

He elaborated that he was talking about all of the media attention directed to the United States women’s national soccer team as the “most significant cultural event “ and how the focus on their activism and lifestyle opposed to their exceptional soccer accomplishments turned off many.

The 2020 candidate for U.S. Senate talked about how the media focused more on personality than the country they were playing for, saying, “The liberal mainstream media has promoted a narrative that has identified them as gay and as advocating for gay rights and homosexual issues related to their participation on the field as a secondary item.”

My takeaway:

Merrill is dead on here.

You were told either support the teams’ politics or you were not welcome.

Sports and entertainment used to be a respite from the real world, but that is now gone.

You will now have to view every aspect of your life through the social justice prism or risk the backlash.

Even the Apollo 11 anniversary.


A large number of Americans are generally tired of this, which is what John Merrill is accurately dialed into.


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

16 hours ago

Aderholt celebrates Apollo 11, calls for SLS to stay on schedule

(Rep. Aderholt/YouTube)

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04) on Wednesday delivered a speech on the U.S. House floor honoring North Alabama’s Apollo 11 contributions and urgently calling for the Space Launch System (SLS) to stay on schedule for the future of American space exploration.

Aderholt’s comments came the week of Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary. The launch occurred on July 16, 1969 and the landmark landing on the Moon’s surface happened four days later. Saturn V, which was developed at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, powered the mission.

After speaking of the legacy of Apollo 11, Aderholt turned his attention to how Alabama is set to make history once again.


“I am excited about the president’s call to accelerate our plans and to land again on the Moon, by 2024,” he said. “This mission, named Artemis, will also be historic – a woman astronaut will be the next person to step on the Moon.”

“I am very proud of the role my home state played in the development of our most powerful rockets, the Saturn family. … Likewise, I am proud that Marshall Space Flight Center, including the Machoud Assembly Facility, is the designer and builder of the Space Launch System. This will be the most powerful rocket in the world, and it is approximately 90% finished. The taxpayer owns it and will benefit from it as a national asset. It is the successful, combined work of private companies and suppliers from virtually every state in the nation,” Aderholt outlined.

Extolling the capabilities of SLS, he then said the system can be “ready by 2024, but only if we move ahead this year with that goal.”

Aderholt urged his colleagues to join him in supporting SLS.

“Systems like the SLS and Orion inspire innovation, and maybe one day other rockets and capsules will surpass them, but to reach our goal of 2024, we need to stay focused and complete these nearly mature systems,” he emphasized.

The Alabama congressman said the nation’s space ambitions should not end with the next Moon landing.

“Let’s reach that peak, let’s make that landing,” Aderholt concluded. “And as we ponder the future of the Moon, let’s look up again, and set a date, a real mission date, for setting foot on Mars.”


Aderholt’s full remarks as follows:

Fifty years ago this week, three brave Americans stepped foot on the Moon.

When we look at our children’s toys, it is amazing that they contain more data processing power than the systems which operated the Apollo vehicles.

These three American astronauts: Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins, could not know whether they would return. They were willing to serve their country and proud for America to be leading the world in space.

But even if our space program got a strong jump start because of the Cold War, this mission was also about the human spirit and the need to explore. The whole world was eager to hear news of the mission. No matter what might happen in the future, this would be the first time human beings stepped foot on a world other than our home. Neil Armstrong’s description of this mission as a “leap” was fitting then, and it is instructional now.

I am excited about the president’s call to accelerate our plans and to land again on the Moon, by 2024. This mission, named Artemis, will also be historic – a woman astronaut will be the next person to step on the Moon.

I am very proud of the role my home state played in the development of our most powerful rockets, the Saturn family. You can still see a real Saturn V rocket, suspended horizontally, at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Likewise, I am proud that Marshall Space Flight Center, including the Machoud Assembly Facility, is the designer and builder of the Space Launch System. This will be the most powerful rocket in the world, and it is approximately 90% finished. The taxpayer owns it and will benefit from it as a national asset. It is the successful, combined work of private companies and suppliers from virtually every state in the nation.

The Saturn V rocket was able to execute Apollo missions in one launch because the rocket’s third stage propelled the lander and re-entry vehicle to the Moon’s orbit. Similarly, the SLS Exploration Upper Stage, or EUS, will enable a payload delivery to Moon orbit – including the Orion capsule – of 45 metric tons – three to four times greater than other launch vehicles currently in use or close to completion. We can have that EUS capability ready by 2024, but only if we move ahead this year with that goal.

Systems like the SLS and Orion inspire innovation, and maybe one day other rockets and capsules will surpass them, but to reach our goal of 2024, we need to stay focused and complete these nearly mature systems.

Some have said in recent years about going to the Moon, “Been there, done that.” With all due respect, I disagree. But of this new mission to the Moon, I might say, “Go there, but don’t stop there.” Sustainability offers many future benefits, but let’s not get distracted and overfill our backpack for this first, human return to the Moon. Let’s reach that peak, let’s make that landing. And as we ponder the future of the Moon, let’s look up again, and set a date, a real mission date, for setting foot on Mars.

I yield back, Mr. Chairman.

RELATED: Huntsville celebrates Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary, looks to create next ‘giant leap’ — ‘Alabama is clearly in the lead, and we’re going to stay there’

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

17 hours ago

Tuberville on Dem socialist push: ‘Money and power is what it is about for the left — They could care less about these people’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

In American politics, the term “socialism” no longer carries the taboo it once had evidenced by the success of self-proclaimed socialist political candidates on the Democratic side of the aisle.

Given these changing times, it is certain to cause Republicans to question socialism in campaigns by sounding the alarm and warning those who are listening about the perils of that ideology. Such is the case with former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2020.

During an interview with “Alabama’s Morning News” host JT Nysewander on Birmingham radio’s 105.5 WERC on Tuesday, Tuberville questioned the reasoning for the push toward socialism for Democrats.


“Money and power is what it is about for the left,” Tuberville said. “They could care less about these people. They really could. They want to go to socialistic ways. It is really scary. When you and I grew up, if you brought up socialism or communism, it was a cuss word. Nowadays, they are pushing it. Biden said the first thing he is going to do if he is elected is raise taxes. The poor people are tired of sending all of their money up there and getting nothing back for it. It is a total scam.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

A ‘Story Worth Sharing’: Yellowhammer News and Serquest partner to award monthly grants to Alabama nonprofits

(Serquest, YHN)

Yellowhammer News and Serquest are partnering to bring you, “A Story Worth Sharing,” a monthly award given to an Alabama based nonprofit actively making an impact through their mission. Each month, the winning organization will receive a $1,000 grant from Serquest and promotion across the Yellowhammer Multimedia platforms.

Yellowhammer and Serquest are looking for nonprofits that go above and beyond to change lives and make a difference in their communities.

Already have a nonprofit in mind to nominate? Great!

Get started here with contest guidelines and a link to submit your nomination:


Nominations are now open and applicants only need to be nominated once. All non-winning nominations will automatically be eligible for selection in subsequent months. Monthly winners will be announced via a feature story that will be shared and promoted on Yellowhammer’s website, email and social media platforms.

Submit your nomination here.

Our organizations look forward to sharing these heartwarming and positive stories with you over the next few months as we highlight the good works of nonprofits throughout our state.

Serquest is an Alabama based software company founded by Hammond Cobb, IV of Montgomery. The organization sees itself as, “Digital road and bridge builders in the nonprofit sector to help people get where they want to go faster, life’s purpose can’t wait.”

Learn more about Serquest here.

19 hours ago

Van Smith lands ‘pro-jobs’ BCA endorsement in Alabama HD 42 race

(BCA/Contributed, YHN)

Autauga County Commissioner Van Smith has received a major boost as the special primary election for Alabama House District 42 draws near.

The board of directors of ProgressPAC, the Business Council of Alabama’s (BCA) political arm, on Wednesday announced that they have endorsed Smith, a farmer and retired educator.

“I am honored to have the support of the business community,” Smith said in a statement. “Education and workforce development are the cornerstones of my campaign. I look forward to championing pro-business ideals in Montgomery.”

The seat became vacant upon the death of State Rep. Jimmy Martin (R-Clanton) in late May. The primary is scheduled for August 20.


ProgressPAC Chairman John Mazyck said, “Van Smith’s background as a farmer and an educator combined with his service on the County Commission give him solid credentials to serve the central Alabama district in the House of Representatives.”

“He has demonstrated that he is committed to recruiting new industry and growing jobs. ProgressPAC is proud to endorse him in the August 20 special election,” Mazyck concluded.

BCA’s ProgressPAC is comprised of a statewide board of directors and nine regional advisory committees (RACs) that assess races in each locality and make endorsement recommendations to the full board of directors.

ProgressPAC’s RAC 4, chaired by Horace Horn of PowerSouth Energy, initially made the recommendation to endorse Smith, which was followed by the full board voting affirmatively on this recommendation.

“Alabama’s business community is proud to support Van Smith,” Horn emphasized. “We look forward to working with him as we continue to best position our state for continued growth, recruiting jobs and workforce development.”

Smith earned a master’s degree from Alabama A&M in Agriscience Education. He served 37 years in public education as a teacher, assistant principal and principal, retiring in 2013.

Since then, Smith, 66, has served on the Autauga County Commission. Born in Chilton County, he also currently operates Hickory Hill cattle and hay farm.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

20 hours ago

Mo Brooks: Apollo 11 legacy ‘lives on in the Tennessee Valley of Alabama’

(Rep. Brooks/YouTube)

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) on Wednesday took the floor of the U.S. House in celebration of Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary and his North Alabama district’s role in making that famous mission successful.

He reminisced on growing up near enough to Marshall Space Flight Center that he remembered “the Earth shake and the dishes in our kitchen cabinets rattle as the [Saturn] V engines were tested nearby.”

Brooks went on to emphasize that Alabama’s Marshall Space Flight Center “is the birthplace of America’s space program.”


He honored the many individuals working behind-the-scenes in Huntsville who made this statement a reality, also delivering optimistic, inspirational remarks about the future of U.S. space exploration and scientific achievement.

“[M]ankind’s greatest achievements are yet to come [and] America will continue to accomplish the unimaginable in space for the benefit of all humanity,” Brooks emphasized.

Similar to comments made at Tuesday night’s Apollo 11 50th anniversary dinner at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center, Brooks also stressed that North Alabama would be playing a vital role in the next space frontier: The Artemis program which will take Americans back to the surface of the Moon and eventually to Mars.

He concluded, “As we reach for the stars, I have confidence that the Tennessee Valley, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Huntsville, where we say The Sky is NOT the Limit,’ will be instrumental in carrying American astronauts back to the Moon, to Mars, and beyond!”


Brooks’ full remarks as follows:

Mr. Speaker, this week, America celebrates the 50th anniversary of one of mankind’s— and America’s— greatest achievements— walking on the surface of the Moon.

Although then only a child, I well-remember the Earth shake and the dishes in our kitchen cabinets rattle as the [Saturn] V engines were tested nearby.

Even now, 50 years after watching the Moon landing, I get chills remembering when Apollo astronauts landed and later planted the American flag on the Moon’s surface.

It was American ingenuity, boldness, technical prowess, and economic might that made this historic achievement possible.

I’m proud to say the legacy of the Apollo 11 Moon landing lives on in the Tennessee Valley of Alabama that I represent.

Some history is in order.

The Tennessee Valley’s Marshall Space Flight Center is the birthplace of America’s space program.

Americans generally, and Alabamians in particular, designed and engineered the Saturn V rocket that launched the historic Apollo 11 and took American astronauts to the Moon.

I will never forget the flames and the roar as our Saturn V rocket was launched and carried the Apollo 11 crew and vehicles to the Moon.

I remember with tremendous pride American Neil Armstrong’s words as he to set foot on the Moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

That giant leap, meant to benefit all mankind, is a prime example of American exceptionalism and helped cement America’s status as the best, most powerful, and most influential nation in world history.

When Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin planted America’s flag on the Moon’s surface on July 20th, 1969, there was no doubt that America’s space program had passed the Russians and become the preeminent leader in space exploration, a position America maintains today.

This week, America not only reflects on the miraculous achievements of the Apollo 11 mission, but we also honor those who played a critical role in its ultimate success.

The Tennessee Valley is immensely proud of our pivotal role in landing a man on the Moon and, equally importantly, returning them alive to Earth.

Reflecting our pride in America’s achievement, there are two— that’s two— Saturn V rockets displayed at the United States Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

These Saturn V displays help inspire the next generation to reach for the stars and achieve what now may be thought impossible.

While it is important to remember the historical achievements of the Apollo missions, it is also important to honor those who sacrificed their lives in the effort to achieve American greatness.

In that vein, Huntsville has named schools after Apollo Command Pilot Virgil “Gus” Grissom, Senior Pilot Ed White, and Pilot Roger Chaffee, each of whom died during a capsule fire during an Apollo 1 ground test.

After the Moon landing and return of Apollo 11 astronauts Buzz Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins to Earth on July 24, 1969, Huntsville’s streets were awash with revelers.

German Rocket Scientist Wernher Von Braun said on the Huntsville courthouse steps that day, “My friends, there was dancing here in the streets of Huntsville when our first satellites orbited the Earth. There was dancing again when the first Americans landed on the Moon. I’d like to ask you, “don’t hang up your dancing slippers.”

Von Braun’s words remind us that mankind’s greatest achievements are yet to come, that America will continue to accomplish the unimaginable in space for the benefit of all humanity.

As we reach for the stars, I have confidence that the Tennessee Valley, Marshall Space Flight Center, and Huntsville, where we say “The Sky is NOT the Limit,” will be instrumental in carrying American astronauts back to the Moon, to Mars, and beyond!

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

21 hours ago

2020 U.S. Senate hopeful State Rep. Mooney: ‘We’ve lost the 10th Amendment’ — ‘The federal court system is out of control’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

ATHENS — In this early going of the 2020 election cycle, the declared U.S. Senate candidates for the seat up next year are starting to make their ways around the state of Alabama and are defining their stances on ideology and policy.

On Tuesday, North Alabama Republican voters got one of their first glimpses of State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs), who announced he was seeking the seat currently occupied by U.S. Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) back in May.

Mooney, speaking at a meeting of the Limestone County Republican Party, warned Americans were losing their freedom and explained that the “liberal socialist left” under the banner of the Democratic Party had their designs on further intrusions.


“I think it is very simple as you have watched what was has gone on in relation to the whole concept of what we’re seeing and changing of our nation,” Mooney said. “We used to talk about Republicans and Democrats and independents. Then we had a Constitutional Party. Then we had the Libertarian Party and all of that. But now we’re talking about the liberal socialist left. They’re destroying freedom. They’re attacking the foundations of everything we believe in. You know, they wear a banner and say they’re a Democrat. I am sure there are Democrats turning over in their grave at some of the things that are being said.”

“My view is very simple: Conservative is a great word,” he continued. “It’s a positive word. I’ve heard people say it’s a racial term. It’s not a racial term. It talks about a people who believe in foundational values, constitutional principles – that are determined to stand on those values and principles and see our nation governed on them. The rule of law is significant, and we need to follow it.”

The Shelby County Republican pointed to the federal court system as an enabler of the expansion of government, resulting in deterioration of freedoms. He also declared the 10th Amendment, which reserves powers not delegated to the federal government by the Constitution for the states and the people.

“We’ve lost the 10th Amendment, folks,” Mooney added. “The 10th Amendment existed to reserve everything to the states, including abortion decisions, because there is nothing in the Constitution about abortion. But all of those things were supposed to be reserved to the states. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see much that’s being reserved to the states. The federal court system is out of control even with the massive number of people we have appointed, and that is something I can say the United States Senate has done well. But, I’d be concerned that that is the only thing that is being done.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

23 hours ago

Palmer on Trump’s ‘Squad’ tweets: ‘Ill-timed and insensitive, but not racist’

(WH/Flickr, G. Palmer/Facebook)

All six Republican members of Alabama’s U.S. House delegation on Tuesday voted against a resolution condemning President Donald Trump for tweets he made over the weekend calling on four prominent Democratic freshman congresswoman, known as “The Squad,” to “go back” to the countries from which they came.

With the resolution passing mostly on party lines (235 Democrats were joined by only four Republican supporting the measure), Congressmen Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Mo Brooks (AL-05) and Gary Palmer (AL-06) released statements explaining their positions.

Palmer did not embrace Trump’s tweets but emphasized Democrats were not in the right.

“President Trump’s comments on Twitter were ill-timed and insensitive, but not racist, as the Socialist Democrats have hypocritically claimed,” Palmer said.


He continued, “The hypocrisy is glaringly apparent when you consider that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently tweeted, ‘This administration has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants,’ and that Representative Ilhan Omar recently tweeted that support for Israel was ‘all about the Benjamins.’

“The Founders envisioned the House floor as a place where the people’s business is conducted,” Palmer advised. “It was not designed for hypocritical, political grandstanding. The House could conduct no other business if we responded to every unbecoming comment of elected officials on social media.”

He concluded that the Democrats were wasting time when real issues were going unresolved at the expense of scoring cheap partisan points.

“Instead of wasting time on comments made on a Twitter account, we should be focused on addressing the issues that are of greatest concern to Americans, including the crisis at our southern border. This is what we have been elected to do. We have not been elected as the social media police,” Palmer emphasized.

‘Socialist Squad’

In his statement, Byrne referenced his standing offer to pay the airfare for “The Squad” to go live in Venezuela, which was first reported by Yellowhammer News.

“Today’s vote is a transparent and ineffective attempt to distract from the open warfare inside the Democratic Party,” he commented. “The long histories of anti-Semitic and un-American comments from the so called ‘Socialist Squad’ deserve universal condemnation, and Democrats’ overnight transition from a circular firing squad to a circle of support is the height of hypocrisy.”

“Since ‘the Squad’ thinks America is such a terrible place, I’ve offered to fly them to the socialist paradise of Venezuela,”Byrne added. “In the meantime, we should stop wasting time on show votes like this and finally take action to secure the border and solve the immigration crisis.”

‘Hatred for America’s foundational principles’

In his statement, Brooks forcefully pushed back on the charges of “racism” against Trump, saying the tweets had nothing to do with race.

“President Trump hammered various Socialist Democrats for their support for evil Socialism; repugnant, non-stop invective and hatred shown for the foundational principles which have made America the greatest nation in world history; open disdain and dislike of Israel; and religious prejudice against the Jewish people,” the north Alabama congressman outlined.

“Socialist Democrats have no legitimate defense of Socialism, hatred for America’s foundational principles, open disdain and dislike of Israel, and religious prejudice against the Jewish people so, instead, they do what Socialist Democrats candidate schools train them to do: divert public attention by hollering racism despite the facts being crystal clear that President Trump was motivated by a lot of things, but none of them had anything at all to do with race or skin pigmentation,” Brooks continued.

Brooks said Democrats should not have “falsely” brought race into the equation.

“Just as a person’s skin pigmentation should not be wrongly used as a sword against him, a person’s skin pigmentation should also not be wrongly used as a shield that deflects from proper political discourse,” he added. “Socialist Democrats are wrong, sinister and insidious to interject race as a motivation for President Trump’s tweets when those very same tweets show on their face a variety of motivations that have nothing to do with race or skin pigmentation.”

“The Socialist Democrats’ imputing false, racial motive to President Trump without supporting evidence and in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary is malicious and vile conduct that insidiously divides America on racial grounds while undermining the credibility of legitimate racist claims made in American society,” Brooks concluded. “Revolting and malevolent conduct that promotes racial division for political gain must be condemned and opposed. With my vote, I do both.”

Update 2:20 p.m.:

Congressman Mike Rogers (AL-03) released a statement on voting against the resolution.

“The House Democrats are in total disarray and yesterday’s events on the House Floor were an embarrassment,” he said.

“Today’s expected vote to begin impeachment proceedings against President Trump is completely baseless and ridiculous,” Rogers added. “Democrats are still delusional and in denial about the 2016 election. They are so blinded by their hate for President Trump, that they would rather make cheap political points with their radical Socialist base than do their jobs. I am disgusted by it. I strongly stand with President Trump and his America First agenda.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

23 hours ago

7 Things: House Democrats vote to declare Trump racist, Jones keeps pulling in national money, Alabama’s abortion ban may need to wait until 2020 and more …


7. Donald Watkins and his son go down hard for fraud

  • Donald Watkins and Donald Watkins, Jr. were both sentenced to jail time and will be forced to pay restitution for defrauding a number of investors as part of a non-existent $1.5 billion bio-fuel scheme involving turning trash into ethanol.
  • The case involved Martin Luther King III, Condoleezza Rice, Charles Barkley and other professional athletes who were defrauded, and it included testimony from former NBA player Damon Stoudamire’s wife Natasha Taylor-Stoudamire also spoke at both sentencings saying, the Watkins duo took money from “victims that were trying to have generational wealth for our children’s children.” 

6. No federal charges in chokehold case


  • In 2014, Eric Garner passed away after an altercation with police in New York where a chokehold was used, and now the Justice Department has declined to federally charge any of the police officers involved.
  • During the altercation with police, Garner famously said, “I can’t breathe” multiple times, which became a rallying cry for those advocating for officers to be charged. But a Staten Island grand jury declined to press charges.

5. More jobs for Alabama

  • Motus Integrated Technologies will be building a new $15 million manufacturing plant in Gadsden that will provide 90 new jobs.
  • It’s planned that the plant will be opened in mid-2020, and automotive interior parts and headliners will be produced at the plant. This further destroys the idea that there is a boycott on Alabama over an abortion ban.

4. Everyone “The Squad” disagrees with is racist

  • U.S. Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has said that Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is “complicit in advancing racism” in the United States because he didn’t speak out against President Donald Trump’s comments.
  • This isn’t the first leader they have described as racist. The Squad called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) for singling out women of color, which Trump rejected out of hand.

3. Both sides want Alabama’s abortion bill put on hold

  • Both the attorney general’s office and those suing the state of Alabama want Alabama’s abortion bill put on hold until May of 2020. The issue is one of discovery and legalese, but it will delay the implementation of the law if a judge grants the request.
  • Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood’s CEO had to step down because she was more interested in women’s healthcare than all-out political advocacy and abortion activism, further disproving a popular media narrative about this organization.

2. Doug Jones doesn’t actually have that much support in Alabama

  • Sure, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) reported that he raised $2 million in the second quarter, but 87.78% of those donations came from out-of-state. Almost half, 45.35%, of his donations came from California, New York, Maryland, Virginia and Washington, D.C.
  • Jones has to convince Alabamians that he represents their values. His votes and his party’s most outspoken members are going to make that a pretty hard sell.

1. I guess it is official, Trump is a racist … or something

  • On Tuesday, the House passed a resolution that condemns President Donald Trump’s remarks on Twitter about four progressive House Democrats, which has been deemed racist.
  • The resolution passed in a 240-187 vote. It claimed that “Trump’s racist comments have legitimized fear and hatred of new Americans and people of color,” but in reality, it means nothing just like the claim Speaker Pelosi broke House rules by calling the president “racist.”



1 day ago

Huntsville celebrates Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary, looks to create next ‘giant leap’ — ‘Alabama is clearly in the lead, and we’re going to stay there’

(Gov. Ivey/Twitter)

HUNTSVILLE — A sea of people packed out the Davidson Center for Space Exploration at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center on Tuesday evening to celebrate the Rocket City’s past, present and future leadership in the space industry.

Among the crowd at the Apollo 11 50th anniversary dinner were famed astronauts and local and state officials.

However, with a scaled-down Saturn V rocket replica standing immediately beside the stage and the famed full-size replica Saturn V looming over the building, it was the behind-the-scenes work of scientists, techs and engineers that drew special praise throughout the evening.

Many of these unsung individuals were in attendance, and the enormous crowd gave them a resounding standing ovation for their innovation and dedication during the Space Race in the 1960s that made it possible for Apollo 11 to experience a perfect launch on July 16, 1969, and then land on the surface of the Moon on July 20, 1969.


Fifty years to the day from that launch, which was powered by the Huntsville-built Saturn V, all three of Dr. Wernher von Braun’s children were in attendance on Tuesday. He, of course, led the team of innovators in Huntsville that made Apollo 11 possible.

Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO of the Space and Rocket Center and 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact, served as the master of ceremonies for the evening.

She called Tuesday “the best day” of her life, thanking all of the individuals who made the momentous anniversary possible.

Following her opening remarks was Hal Brewer, co-founder and president of Huntsville’s INTUITIVE Research and Technology, who explained that he grew up in the Rocket City during the 1960s.

“I will certainly never forget watching the television in 1969 as the United States became the first country to land on the Moon,” he said. “I’ll never forget the awe, the excitement and the many questions I had surrounding that day. Those many questions — the one that grew in my mind was, ‘How? How had we been able to accomplish the unthinkable?’ Behind those famous first steps there was a group of engineers, technicians and scientists that designed, developed and tested the Saturn V rocket that launched into space. … This 300-foot engineering marvel sent man traveling at [almost] 25,000 miles per hour to the Moon, 240,000 miles away, and safely back.”

In later comments, Barnhart recounted that people were dancing in the streets of Huntsville after Apollo 11 successfully completed its mission in 1969.

Speaking of the Space Launch System (SLS), which is under development at Marshall Space Flight Center and slated to be NASA’s most powerful rocket ever, Barnhart quipped that Huntsville will be dancing again when its innovation powers Americans back to the surface of the Moon as part of the Artemis program.

Jody Singer (an Alabamian, 2019 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact and the first female to ever lead Marshall Space Flight Center) took to the stage and reinforced this. In fact, on the side of the stage opposite from the replica Saturn V towered a model version of the SLS.

Singer advised that SLS will allow for “the next giant leap” in human space exploration.

“From launch to landing, it’s coming through Huntsville, Alabama,” she emphasized, after sharing that Apollo 11 inspired her to pursue a career in the space industry.

“So just like Apollo inspired a generation, we will inspire the next generation through the Artemis program,” Singer added.

Not only will Artemis put the first woman on the surface of the Moon and help establish a sustainable American lunar presence, but the Alabama-driven program will also open the door for the first human trip to Mars — and beyond.

“I am confident, that in 50 years from now, we’ll be talking all about Space Launch System, what has happened in Huntsville [with Artemis] and how we’re [still] going forward… with the same awe that we hold today for Apollo 11 and the pride that we’re celebrating tonight,” she concluded.

Dr. Margrit von Braun, daughter of the space legend, is herself an environmental engineer who has dedicated her life to scientific pursuits. She delivered an impassioned address to the crowd on Tuesday, talking about journeying from “dreams to reality.”

Referencing Barnhart’s earlier comments, von Braun concluded her speech by saying, “Get your dancing slippers ready.”

‘We are celebrating the American spirit’

Governor Kay Ivey delivered an energetic keynote speech at the dinner on Tuesday, also touting Alabama’s historic role in Apollo 11’s success while emphasizing that the best is yet to come.

Speaking of the tumultuous time in American history in which the Space Race unfolded, Ivey took the crowd “down memory lane,” reminiscing on how many people doubted that President John F. Kennedy’s challenge to send man to the Moon within a decade could be accomplished.

“Now ladies and gentlemen,” Ivey continued in trademark fashion. “We are here tonight to celebrate that accomplishment and the significant role that Alabama has played in making this dream a reality.”

“As we have often done, Alabamians responded [to the challenge] by doing what we do best,” she explained. “We put our heads together, and we began working for a cause that is bigger than ourselves. So, as we celebrate this 50th anniversary of the Moon launch, we are celebrating the American spirit — and we are also celebrating the importance of collaboration.”

Speaking of the team of innovators led by Dr. von Braun, Ivey praised the development of Saturn V in Huntsville.

“It’s a good reminder that Americans — Alabamians — can accomplish just about anything when we put our mind to it,” Ivey stressed.

She said this type of “ingenuity and greatness of the people of our state” is fittingly celebrated as Alabama commemorates its bicentennial.

The governor added, “And just as we recognize the richness of our past, we must always be looking forward to new opportunities and new challenges. President Trump has issued his own challenge for us to return to the Moon and then eventually on to Mars.”

“While the possibility of going to Mars might seem unachievable to some people, remember: at one point in time so did landing on the Moon,” Ivey continued. “It’s good to know that Alabama and Alabamians will once again be at the launchpad for this new space frontier.”

This reflected sentiments Ivey recently expressed to Yellowhammer News in an exclusive interview.

She expressed optimism that the resurgence in national prioritization of human space exploration under the Trump administration will mean bright days for Alabama, highlighting how private and public entities in the state are at the forefront of various space initiatives.

“You’ve got ULA (United Launch Alliance) that’s building their new Vulcan [Centaur] rocket, and Marshall Space Flight Center is leading NASA’s effort [with SLS],” she said. “So, I think Alabama is clearly in the lead — and we’re going to stay there.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Birmingham’s Southern Research, Southern Company help put Alabama on cutting edge of renewable energy future


BIRMINGHAM — Southern Research on Tuesday held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for its new Energy Storage Research Center, which is the first of its kind in Alabama and is indicative, industry experts said, of the Yellowhammer State positioning itself at the forefront of next-generation energy needs.

The ceremony was held in collaboration with Southern Research’s partners on the important project: Southern Company, the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the U.S. Department of Energy and Oak Ridge National Laboratory.


The Energy Storage Research Center will serve as an industrywide resource for testing chemical, mechanical and thermal energy storage systems under actual conditions while offering increased reliability and resiliency; better management of peak load demand; and increased integration and value of intermittent renewable resources such as wind and solar.

The center will allow third-party innovators from the electric utility industry, academia, government and technology the ability to research, develop and demonstrate energy storage solutions.

At the end of the day, the goal is for this energy research to turn into real-world uses for utilities, as well as the commercial and industrial sectors. This is something that Southern Research and Southern Company have both long excelled at as partners, speakers during the ceremony said.

In fact, Southern Research’s senior director for energy & environment, Corey Tyree, explained that this is no accident, as Southern Research’s founder was a former CEO of Southern Company. Tom Martin founded Southern Research in Birmingham in 1941.

Since then, the independent, nonprofit, scientific and engineering research organization that supports clients and partners in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, defense, aerospace, environmental and energy industries has grown into a national gem. Southern Research’s staff of nearly 400 now works across four divisions in the pursuit of entrepreneurial and collaborative initiatives to develop and maintain a pipeline of intellectual property and innovative technologies that positively impact real-world problems.

Market forces

One of these problems for the energy sector in modern times is reducing carbon emissions. While renewable energy research has been underway across the world for some time now, solutions are still not ready for renewables (solar, wind, hydropower, etc.) to overtake traditional sources such as natural gas and coal.

Yet, the market is demanding increased renewable energy usage — and fast, Alabama Secretary of Commerce Greg Canfield advised during the ceremony.

He said he was present to speak to the fact that “the state of Alabama, through the Alabama Department of Commerce, has been focused on being a facilitator for the accelerated growth of renewable energy options and the research, testing and validation of the future generation of energy storage technologies that are necessary to scale renewables at the utility level.”

Canfield stressed this growth was being driven by market forces. He also emphasized that it is important to develop and implement the technology in a scalable way so “that renewable energy can be brought into reality at a cost-effective and truly market-sustainable fashion.”

“In just four years, we’ve participated in economic development activities across this state which have seen renewable energy for power production increase by three-to-four fold,” Canfield explained.

He said this growth in renewable energy use throughout the state’s grid has been made possible by the efforts of utilities such as Alabama Power Company, PowerSouth and TVA.

Canfield pointed to new Google, Facebook and Walmart facilities as being specific examples of economic development projects in Alabama that called for increased renewable energy usage.

“All of these companies, as well as many others that we are recruiting into our state and helping build the business environment to expand in our state, we’re finding that more and more every day [are] demanding green, sustainable, renewable energy as part of their operation in Alabama,” Canfield stated.

He outlined that the recent significant growth in renewable energy capacity is going to “continue to accelerate.”

“The demand for sustainable energy in our state, as well as worldwide, will continue to accelerate,” the commerce secretary added. “And it will come from customer demand.”

He explained that utilities in the state are “reacting to” this market demand, and projects like the new Energy Storage Research Center will help them do this as effectively and economically as possible.

Canfield said the state had provided seed money for this project going back to 2016 or 2017 and is a proud partner in the endeavor.

“This center really… is about the future of our state [from an economic development perspective],” Canfield noted. “It’s about the future of our nation, it’s about energy independence. But it’s also about how do we make capturing energy produced from renewable sources more readily available on a cost-effective basis. And ultimately that cost equation is what we’ll need for widespread adoption in the marketplace.”

“I can’t wait to see the future work that comes from this research center,” he concluded.

‘Clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy’

Roxann Walsh, director of reduced carbon, renewable and distributed energy research and development for Southern Company, also spoke during the ceremony.

She spoke on behalf of Southern Company and its subsidiary, Alabama Power, expressing that innovation is in the “DNA” and “spirit” of both entities.

Walsh said that this week’s celebration of Apollo 11’s 50th anniversary is an especially fitting time to announce this forward-looking endeavor. This year also marks a half-century of Southern Company’s modern energy research and development efforts.

The company has grown into the nation’s second-largest utility company, with innovation as a staple.

“[P]roviding clean, safe, reliable, affordable energy” is the core goal, Walsh advised.

The company’s “robust” research and development efforts help them keep up with market demands and actually get ahead of consumer needs.

Today, much of that focus is on renewable energy solutions and smart home/neighborhood projects, according to Walsh.

She said part of their success in these endeavors comes from collaboration with diverse partners across various sectors, just like the new Energy Storage Research Center.

The partner-leaders involved in the project affirmed Southern Company’s commitment to collaboration, innovation and renewables during the ceremony, including Charlie Vartanian of the U.S. Department of Energy and Mark McGranaghan of EPRI.

“We’ve always had a great relationship with Southern Company,” McGranaghan said. “Southern Company is kind of the model of establishing the participation and collaboration [across sectors for turning research into practical uses and technologies].”

Through this public-private partnership, led by Southern Research and Southern Company, the future is bright for the Yellowhammer State.

Canfield concluded, “[T]his facility puts Alabama at the forefront of some of the most important research being done for renewable energy in the U.S.”

RELATED: Rebuild Alabama bill puts state on cutting edge of electric vehicle infrastructure

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Jones latest finance report: 88% of funds from out-of-state again

(D. Jones/Facebook, Wikicommons, YHN)

Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) latest fundraising report has been filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC), with the senator continuing to rake in money from almost everywhere but his own home state.

Jones’ report, which covers April through June, showed that Alabama’s junior senator brought in $2,006,226.32 during the second quarter. With his expenses totaling $841,602.44 during the same time span, his “burn rate” was 41.9%, much higher than any of the Republicans vying to unseat him in 2020.

Geographically, the primary sources of contributions for Jones was much like the previous two quarters, when he raised more respectively from overseas and other states than from the Yellowhammer State.

In the second quarter, 87.78% of Jones’ itemized individual contributions came from out-of-state, compared to 12.22% coming from Alabamians. A whopping 45.35% of his itemized individual contributions came from California, New York and the D.C./Maryland/Virginia area alone.


He raised the most in itemized individual contributions from New York (16.16%), followed by California (15.10%).

Jones, a staunch advocate of counting illegal aliens in the census, received 8.02% of his itemized individual contributions from Texas.

By occupation, Jones received the most money in itemized individual funds from contributors self-reporting that they were unemployed (19.97%). Attorneys (19.03%) were the next highest occupation.

To be clear, the above percentages do not factor in the $392,352.94 Jones raised during the second quarter from other political committees, such as PACs. The locations of these committees would drive the geographic breakdown towards the out-of-state side of the equation even more.

Jones ended the quarter with $4,259,540.86 cash on hand.

Read about the Republican candidates’ fundraising numbers here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

SEC Football Media Days kicks off in Alabama

(D. Washington/Alabama NewsCenter)

Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey touched on sports gambling, player mental health, officiating and this year’s historic milestone for college football as he kicked off SEC Football Media Daysin Hoover.

The commissioner went over those and other topics ranging from looks back to last year and to issues that will be relevant for the coming year. One of the primary issues he brought up for the coming year is sports gambling.


“The SEC presidents and chancellors have expressed strong support for NCAA national office efforts to seek federal legislation that will regulate sports gambling,” Sankey said. “Ideally, there would be uniform practices governing gambling on college sports, particularly eliminating in-game betting and proposition bets on college sports.”

The commissioner went on to talk about the effects that unregulated sports gambling can have on student-athletes and what the conference plans to do to support them.

Celebrating 150 years of college football at SEC Media Days 2019 from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

“We’re seeing trends in the mental health area that should cause us all to pause before these ideas around specific event betting within college sports are allowed to take place. And I’m talking about, for example, whether a field goal is made or missed, whether a three-point try is successful. Is a pitched ball a strike or a ball?” Sankey said. “In January, five autonomy conferences adopted new minimum requirements for a provision of mental health counseling for student-athletes. I’m pleased to say for the Southeastern Conference, we meet or exceed those requirements.”

Sankey also discussed new officiating procedures, particularly how the league will address the public regarding calls and the addition of a sideline monitor used for looking over replay footage. “One of the benefits, in addition to the extra voice in the process, will be the ability to better explain replay decisions from the official to our head coaches on the field.” Other measures include more consistent training and overviews with officials and the creation of new communication channels to inform the public.

Sankey also discussed events celebrating 150 years of college football that take place all season with ESPN, including the documentary series “Saturdays in the South” and other activities that SEC schools will participate in.

SEC players will display commemorative patches on their uniforms. The league will also celebrate 150 of the finest moments of SEC football.

These will not be selected by the commissioner, Sankey said. “So, if someone gets angry about whether or not a moment is part of their 150th best, it won’t be me.”

The “Saturday’s in the South” documentary series will broadcast on Tuesdays for 90 minutes beginning in August in eight parts. “You will hear stories of greased railroad tracks, an era before the SEC chant was ever heard, and weave tales through the decades of the modern area of success experienced now by the Southeastern Conference,” Sankey said.

A preview of the series is being shown to select media groups Tuesday, July 16 at Birmingham’s historic Lyric Theatre.

To visit the new SEC Officiating Website:

2 days ago

ALDOT denies I-10 Wallace Tunnel will be subject to ‘early tolling’

(Wikipedia Commons)

During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5 on Monday, Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl, a candidate for Alabama’s first congressional seat to be vacated by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), told listeners it was his understanding the Alabama Department of Transportation intended to levy a toll on vehicles using the existing I-10 Wallace Tunnel immediately upon the proposed new Mobile Bay Bridge’s construction.

“Immediately, so I am told,” Carl said. “They will start tolling it immediately [upon breaking ground of the bridge]. I was told at that meeting it would be immediately.”

However, according to reporting from Mobile NBC affiliate WPMI’s Andrea Ramey, the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) says that is not the case.


“Bridge project spokesperson Allison Gregg said Carl’s statements are ‘not true. We have always said and are committed to no early tolling,'” Ramey wrote.

The proposed toll for both the new bridge and the existing tunnel have been met with strong opposition, including a Facebook group that has amassed nearly 26,000 followers in just a few weeks.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

Byrne: As Democrats fight, national security loses

(N. Pelosi/Flickr, A. Cortez-Ocasio Campaign, CBP/Flickr, YHN)

Protecting the safety of the American people is our must fundamental duty in Congress. In a city where few things receive bipartisan support, providing for the national defense has remained an area of compromise.

For 58 straight years, the House of Representatives has passed a bipartisan National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA).

Last month, the Senate did its job. By a vote of 86 to 8, it passed a bipartisan defense authorization bill. In the House, things were to play out differently.


If you’ve followed anything going on in Washington the past several weeks, you’ve seen the drama and infighting within the House Democrat Caucus. It truly is open warfare. Speaker Pelosi has had to deal with everything from radical socialist demands for legislation that won’t pass and even Twitter battles between her own members.

Recently the top staffer for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the leader of the radicals, called a group of Democratic Congressmen – several of them people of color – racists. Their crime in the eyes of the socialist regressives was supporting a bipartisan, Senate-passed bill to provide aid to migrants at the border.

However, to this new class who want nothing less than a complete breaking apart of our society and a restructuring of our entire way of life, nothing Pelosi offers them will ever be enough.

In a caucus meeting last week, Pelosi pleaded with her members to keep their internal battles private. It remains to be seen if the public spectacle will subside. Recent history suggests it will continue.

As the storm within the Democrat Caucus continued, the NDAA came to the House floor. I voted against this bill when we marked it up in the Armed Services Committee. This is a bad bill that does not provide the funding our military leaders insist is necessary to keep us competitive against China and Russia. It cuts personnel and nuclear deterrence spending. It strips aid from our allies overseas and limits President Trump’s military and diplomatic authority. It prohibits the funding of critical national security efforts at our border. It even begins the process of shuttering detention facilities at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

Republicans offered good faith amendments to improve the bill.

House Democrats blocked my amendment to prohibit the transfer of Guantanamo Bay detainees to the United States from even being debated on the House Floor. Forty detainees remaining in Guantanamo are architects of the September 11th attacks, Osama bin Laden body guards, and Al-Qaeda operatives. These are bad people who have done harm to the United States in the past and would again if given the opportunity. The fact that my amendment did not even get a chance to be voted on tells you a lot about the new Democratic party.

Even undercutting our national defense was not enough for many in the Democrat party. Speaker Pelosi did not yet have the votes to pass her bill.

Pelosi could have done what Speakers and leaders of the House Armed Services Committee have done for 58 years. She could have sought a middle ground to ensure our men and women in the military have what they need to protect us. Unfortunately, Pelosi caved to radical demands and went in the other direction.

For days, the House voted on amendment after amendment offered by Democrats. Dozens of items from the socialist wish list were added to the bill. In the end, the bill received enough votes from Democrats to pass, but this bill will never become law.

Despite this leftward turn, the most extreme House members still did not vote for the NDAA. For them, nothing will be enough except the radical remaking our country, even at the expense of national security. This war among Democrats will continue.

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

2 days ago

50 years ago today: Alabama-built Saturn V rocket powers Apollo 11 launch

(Rep. Aderholt/Twitter)

On July 16, 1969, the Huntsville-built Saturn V rocket powered the launch of Apollo 11, which would see American astronauts land on the surface of the Moon four days later.

For the 50th anniversary of this historic launch, Governor Kay Ivey will deliver an address Tuesday night in Huntsville at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center.

While North Alabama continues to be a national leader in the space industry, including NASA’s Artemis program (which will land the first woman on the surface of the Moon by 2024) and future expeditions to Mars and beyond, Yellowhammer State residents can be proud of the storied history that led to Huntsville’s nickname as “Rocket City, U.S.A.”

Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-04), a staunch ally of the space sector, posted a chill-inducing video Tuesday morning honoring this legacy.



A replica of the Saturn V rocket can be seen driving into Huntsville on I-565.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

7 Things: Trump gets what he wants, Byrne offers to pay for “The Squad” to fly Venezuela, Moore has a hard time raising money and more …

(A. Cortez-Ocasio, I. Omar, A. Pressley, R. Tlaib/Facebook)

7. “Made in America” is getting more American

  • President Donald Trump has announced that any “Made in America” products used by the government will now be required to use more American components to still be considered American products.
  • Currently, American products are actually allowed to contain 50% foreign components, but the executive order Trump signed would require that American products contain at least 75% American components.

6. Biden wants to save Obamacare with higher taxes


  • Due to most Democratic 2020 presidential candidates wanting to replace Obamacare with Medicare-for-all, former Vice President Joe Biden has come out with a plan that he hopes will save Obamacare.
  • According to Biden, his plan would include “a public option to Obamacare as the best way to lower costs and cover everyone.” New taxes on the wealthy would pay for the plan.

5. The Alabama Democratic Party website was as dead as the party for a while

  • When people visited the website they fittingly found links to “types of abortion” and “cheap abortion services” because the party failed to pay their web hosting bill because Chairwoman Nancy Worley said she paid with a credit card that canceled after they found fraudulent out of state purchases.
  • The website hasn’t been used for much over the last few years and still has a top post congratulating U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) for his 2017 victory. They don’t use their social media much either with reporting their “last post on Twitter was May 16, and the last post on Facebook was June 5”

4. More restrictions on asylum seekers

  • President Trump has announced a new policy that would require most asylum seekers to first seek asylum from the country they traversed, and only when their denied asylum there would they be eligible in the United States, but the ACLU is prepared to sue over this. Democratic presidential candidates are unhappy as well.
  • Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan said that this policy “will reduce the overwhelming burdens on our domestic system caused by asylum-seekers failing to seek urgent protection in the first available country,” as well as keeping out those who want to take advantage of our system. 

3. Moore has less 

  • Former Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore is falling far behind the other candidates with only $16,964 in donations. Since he announced his candidacy on June 20, everyone else is killing him. U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) raised $750,000 in the last quarter, former football coach Tommy Tuberville raised $420,000  and State Representative Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) raised $300,000.
  • However, Secretary of State John Merrill didn’t declare his candidacy for the 2020 U.S. Senate race until June 25, and according to Merrill’s social media pages, he raised $217,000 in only 12 days, which makes him a prolific fundraiser.

2. Byrne offers to buy a ticket for Omar

  • Byrne told Yellowhammer News that he would pay the airfare for U.S. Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI), Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) to live in Venezuela, and he said that way “they can enjoy their failed Socialist Paradise.”
  • Byrne is siding with the president that “America is an exceptional country, and I’m proud to live here.” Trump has doubled down on his earlier tweets, saying, “IF YOU ARE NOT HAPPY HERE, YOU CAN LEAVE!” He also stated that America will never be socialist or Communist.

1. “The Squad” reacts

  • During a news conference on Capitol Hill, Omar said that President Trump has been violating his constitutional oath. She added that “it is time for us to impeach this president” for a number of things including false claims of collusion and “committing human rights abuses at the border.”
  • For his part in all this, President Donald Trump seems to be happy the media and their Democrats are defending the four congresswomen, saying, “The Dems were trying to distance themselves from the four “progressives,” but now they are forced to embrace them. That means they are endorsing Socialism, hate of Israel and the USA! Not good for the Democrats!”


2 days ago

Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl: Existing I-10 Wallace Tunnel to be tolled ‘immediately’ upon the start of construction of proposed Mobile Bay Bridge

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

The details of the seemingly unpopular tolling aspect of the proposed new I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge have been limited. One verified detail is that in addition to the new bridge, the proposed $3-6 toll would also apply to the existing twin-span Wallace Tunnel completed in 1973.

However, the tolling of the Wallace Tunnel could come long before the new bridge is opened to traffic. In fact, the toll could come as soon as the ground is broken for the new bridge according to Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl.

Carl, who is seeking the Republican nomination for Alabama’s first congressional district open U.S. House of Representatives seat to be vacated by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), told Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5 that was made clear to him in meetings with officials from the Alabama Department of Transportation.


Carl told “Midday Mobile” host Sean Sullivan his original understanding of the project was that the existing Wallace Tunnel would not be tolled.

“Never, and I sat on the council that helped pick the engineering firm that took it over,” he said. “Never ever was the Wallace Tunnel brought up. We all assumed that it was being left alone. It wasn’t until the meeting in Spanish Fort two months ago, maybe three months ago – I’m losing track of time – that I found out about it. I backed off then. I said, ‘No, I can’t support. I will not support it.’ Because I always viewed that as the alternative route for the locals.”

“We were sold on the bridge project based on tourism traffic and trucking traffic,” he said. “Now what we’re learning is it is going to be based on the locals back. It’s going to be you and I paying for it. And I can go into the problems with that, but as a county commissioner, it’s positive in some ways and it’s negative in a lot. As your next congressman, I promise you it is a problem. It is a huge problem.”

The Mobile County Republican lamented the lack of federal money for the project and noted that by virtue of being part of the Interstate Highway System, the bridge could be used for federal purposes.

“That is a federal highway,” he added. “That highway was designed to take traffic from Jacksonville, Fla. to Los Angeles, Calif. Troops, if we move troops, they’ve got to cross that river. They’ve got to go through that tunnel or over that bridge. So why is not the federal government more involved?”

Carl was asked by Sullivan about the timeframe for implementing the toll, to which Carl said officials told him immediately and long before the opening of the new completed bridge project.

“Immediately, so I am told,” Carl said. “They will start tolling it immediately [upon breaking ground of the bridge]. I was told at that meeting it would be immediately.”

“Let’s say it takes eight years on the project,” he said. “That will be eight years they’ll charge on the tunnel.”

Later in the appearance, Carl reiterated that the toll would come “immediately.”

“Immediately is what I was told by the engineering firm,” Carl said.

“I think their PR on this has just been horrible,” he added.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 days ago

State Auditor Jim Zeigler: ALDOT mishandling of federal funding request for proposed Mobile Bay Bridge ‘deserves an investigation’

(Auditor Jim Zeigler/Twitter)

It has been a mystery to some as to why the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) did not aggressively pursue federal funding for the proposed new bridge and settled on a toll as a means to finance it.

The point was raised earlier this year by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2020, who questioned the half-hearted effort from ALDOT for an Infrastructure for Rebuilding America (INFRA) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“I’m not saying they wouldn’t take it,” Byrne said. “I think they would. But, they told me it’s just not a priority for them — that they’re just totally focused on tolling.”

During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Monday, State Auditor Jim Zeigler, who is spearheading the “Block the Mobile Bayway Toll” movement, suggested an investigation was in order to determine as to what ALDOT’s motivations were for not making federal money a priority.


Zeigler noted there had been issues with the original INFRA grant application they may have led to the state’s inability to nail down funding for the bridge. Thus, he argued the investigation was needed to determine if it was negligence or if it was intentional.

“They’re dead set on a toll,” Zeigler said. “They’re excited about getting some fat-cat tolling partner. And here they come and on one hand, they say, ‘We don’t want any federal money. We want to be able to toll. On the other hand, they applied two years ago for this $250 million, qualified for it, blew the application and lost the $250 million. That deserves an investigation.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 days ago

Alabama State Rep. Pringle visits Pelosi’s office to support Trump’s infrastructure talks, speak out against I-10 bridge toll

(Chris Pringle/YouTube, D. Trump/Instagram, N. Pelosi/Flickr)

State Representative Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) on Monday visited U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s (D-CA) office to fight the proposed I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge toll.

An email from Pringle’s AL-01 congressional campaign explained that he intended to personally ask Pelosi why she walked out on President Donald Trump during infrastructure talks last month. However, Pringle was turned away by Pelosi’s staff.

This did not dissuade Pringle from making his point, as he recorded a video outside of the speaker’s Capitol office and then published it for the world to see.

In the video, he called on Pelosi to stop “playing political games” with infrastructure, which is an issue that should have bipartisan support on the merits.


Pringle lamented that the Democrats’ obstruction is “going to cause [southwest Alabamians] to pay a $6 toll to cross that bridge (the to-be-built I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge) and that’s not right.”

“We need that infrastructure plan and we need it acted on now,” he added.


Pringle is an opponent of the proposed $6 (each way) toll, which he emphasized would hurt locals. Instead, he supports finding alternate funding solutions.

“The fact that Nancy Pelosi can’t get her act together to make progress on an infrastructure bill means we can’t get federal funding for projects like the Mobile River Bridge,” Pringle said in a statement. “As your next congressman, I’ll stand with President Trump and go toe to toe with liberal [D]emocrats to fight for the citizens of my district.”

“The citizens of Southwest Alabama deserve the ability to get between work and home every day without the added burden of $12 or more a day. This plan is nothing more than an added tax on our local families,” he concluded.

The trip to Pelosi’s office came three days after Pringle and the entire Mobile County delegation in the Alabama legislature sent a letter to Governor Kay Ivey opposing the toll, which has been proposed by the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) to fund the project.

“A toll would have a detrimental impact on individuals and families that we represent in the greater Mobile area,” the legislators wrote. “A toll could cost an individual hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars a year, which would be a huge financial burden on many of our constituents.”

They added, “We are certainly grateful that the bridge will be built, and hope that other funding possibilities will be explored to pay for its construction. Allow recreational users from out of state to pay the toll, not the working men and women of Mobile and Baldwin counties.”

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

Episode 17: Interview with former Auburn football players C.J. Uzomah and Mack VanGorder


Former Auburn football players C.J. Uzomah and Mack VanGorder join the DrunkAubie Podcast to talk about life on the plains and what they have gotten into since graduating

C.J. shares what it’s like to score a touchdown in the NFL and Mack describes playing for his dad, former Auburn Defensive Coordinator Brian VanGorder.

(Pardon some technical issues)

3 days ago

Mobile County’s House of Representatives delegation comes out against I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge toll on locals in letter to Ivey

As the toll on the proposed I-10 Mobile Bay Bridge continues to be the hot-button issue of the day in southwestern Alabama, the number of those in support of tolling is shrinking.

Republican candidates for Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate election and the first congressional district of Alabama’s U.S. House of Representatives seat to be vacated by U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) have all spoken out against an Alabama Department of Transportation proposal that would levy a toll of up to $6 each way for bridge-crossers.

The opposition does not stop there. In a letter to Gov. Kay Ivey obtained by Yellowhammer News, the Mobile County legislative delegation has voiced its opposition to a toll that would be levied on those in the “greater Mobile area.”


(Special to Yellowhammer News)

The letter to Ivey, with ALDOT Director John Cooper copied, was signed by Reps. Victor Gaston (R-Mobile), Adline Clarke (D-Mobile), Shane Stringer (R-Satsuma), Sam Jones (D-Mobile), Chris Pringle (R-Mobile), Napoleon Bracy (D-Prichard), Matt Simpson (R-Daphne), Chip Brown (R-Mobile), Margie Wilcox (R-Mobile) and Barbara Drummond (D-Mobile).

“The below undersigned members of the Mobile County delegation of the Alabama House of Representatives are opposed to charging Mobile area residents a toll to use the I-10 bridge that will be constructed over the Bayway. A toll would have a detrimental impact on individuals and families that we represent in the greater Mobile area. A toll could cost an individual hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars a year, which would be a huge financial burden on many of our constituents.

We are mindful of the efforts to improve the infrastructure in our state and appreciate these efforts to meet the needs of the citizens of Mobile County. We are certainly grateful that the bridge will be built, and hope that other funding possibilities will be explored to pay for its construction. Allow recreational users from out of state to pay the toll, not the working men and women of Mobile and Baldwin counties.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 days ago

Byrne offers to pay airfare for AOC, ‘The Squad’ to go live in Venezuela

(B. Byrne/Facebook, 60 Minutes/YouTube, WH/Flickr)

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), one of Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate candidates in the 2020 cycle, is siding with President Donald Trump in his feud with the four Democratic freshman congresswomen who comprise “The Squad:” Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) and Ayanna Pressley (D-MA).

Over the weekend, Trump drew criticism after tweeting The Squad should “go back [to the countries] from which they came.”


In a statement to Yellowhammer News on Monday, Byrne offered to pay the airfare for the four far-left Democrats to go live in Venezuela “so they can enjoy their failed Socialist Paradise.”

Byrne said, “I agree with President Trump that America is an exceptional country, and I’m proud to live here.”

“If AOC and the crew of Socialist Democrats are so angry with our country, then I’m offering to pay for their ticket to Venezuela so they can enjoy their failed Socialist Paradise,” he concluded.

Byrne then posted a video on Twitter of Trump reinforcing his initial message.

Trump also doubled down in a slew of tweets on Monday morning, — and then again in the afternoon.

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Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn