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3 months ago

7 Things: Autopsy ratchets up the tension in Birmingham, Mike Rogers opposes government contract awarded to an Alabama company, Alabama home values take a hit on the coast and more …

7. Alabama-based religious broadcaster wins its battle with the federal government over religious liberty

— The Birmingham-based Eternal Word Television Network has struck a deal with the Federal government, and the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals has agreed to stop trying to force EWTN to provide Obamacare mandated birth control and abortifacients as healthcare.

— This battle has raged for more than seven years. The Trump administration abandoned the case against EWTN, clearing the way for the settlement that allows the Catholic organization to practice their faith without running afoul of Obamacare’s contraception mandate.

6. Senator Doug Jones praises Robert Mueller’s investigation but sidesteps impeachment talk

— Jones called Mueller’s investigation “very professional” and “incredibly efficient,” while drawing on his experience as a prosecutor saying people should not “jump to conclusions.”

— Jones told reporters impeachment isn’t on his mind yet, saying, “I don’t think anybody needs to be thinking about that.” He added, “I think Robert Mueller needs to finish his work.

5. As migrants ruin Tijuana’s tourism industry, a Democratic congresswoman went and joined the caravan

— Restaurant owners are reporting a 30 percent slump in business as tourists and visitors cancel trips to the tourist hotspot for fear of getting trapped in Mexico should the crossing close again and because of the general uncertainty of the crowd that has gathered south of the American border.

— Meanwhile, U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) joined the migrants and helped five asylum seekers gain access to the United States. She tweeted, “I was able to successfully assist 5 asylum seekers – 2 unaccompanied minors, a mother and her 9-year-old child, and a young man with a serious medical condition – into the United States.”

4. Alabama homes have lost billions in value on the coast; Experts cite sea level rise

— Researchers at the non-profit First Street Foundation and Columbia University found that coastal Alabama cities homes have lost a lot of value. Mobile Bay’s property values have gone down $46.7 million. Gulf Shores’ property values have dropped $26.1 million, Mobile’s $25.9 million and Dauphin Island’s $22.9 million.

— The study also found that in areas like Miami-Dade County, Fla., the New Jersey shore, coastal VirginiaNew YorkSouth Carolina, Delaware and others have declined $14.6 billion since 2005.

3. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-3) comes out against the awarding of a major contract to an Alabama firm

— Alabama’s United Launch Alliance was awarded a nearly $1 billion contract to develop a launch vehicle for future national security space missions. Rogers wants the bid process changed, which could lead to another company working on the program.

— The move seems somewhat odd for a congressman to oppose an award to a company based in his own state, but Rogers has long believed the federal government should take a bigger lead in this arena. He explained, “It has led me to call, along with President Trump, for the creation of the Space Force. This letter was simply an oversight of this program in my subcommittee’s jurisdiction.”

2. Neither Hoover PD nor ALEA will release the tape of the Riverchase Galleria shooting until the investigation is complete

— Monday’s deadline, placed by Hoover officials, came and went without a released video showing the events of Thanksgiving that led to the death of Emantic “EJ” Bradford, Jr., but Hoover announced they remain “committed to cooperating with ALEA in order to maintain the integrity of their investigation.”

— ALEA Secretary Hal Taylor sent a letter to the city urging them to show patience, Hoover’s police chief released a statement on his request explaining their decision making, saying, “He has specifically asked that we do not release any potential evidence as it may not only jeopardize the integrity of the case, but also complicate or delay their efforts.”

1. A private autopsy has been completed by the Bradford family, who claims it shows Bradford was “murdered” — Escalations are promised

— The results of a private autopsy by the Bradford’s family and their representatives at a press conference showed Bradford was shot three times from behind, which led to claims that Bradford was “murdered.” They demanded charges should be filed against the officer who shot him. they made it clear there would be consequences if it did not happen soon, calling the situation a “powder keg”.

— Protest “leader” Carlos Chaverst Jr. took to social media in an attempt to provoke a reaction from those angry over the shooting, threatening to put police officers’ names online (some of which took place in a since removed video), say “F**k peace, we want justice for EJ. They murdered him” and threatening to release the name and address of the officer involved in the shooting today at noon.

16 mins ago

Alabama prep star Maori Davenport drops suit against AHSAA

An Alabama high school basketball star who had been ruled ineligible dropped a lawsuit against the Alabama High School Athletic Association shortly after her senior season ended.

Pike County Circuit Judge Sonny Reagan dismissed the suit Wednesday at the request of Maori Davenport’s mother, Tara.

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The Charles Henderson star had sued the AHSAA and director Steve Savarese after she was ruled ineligible for accepting a payment from USA Basketball.

She played for Team USA last summer and received an $857.20 stipend, which was repaid.

The judge ordered Davenport’s temporary reinstatement and the case was twice delayed, meaning the Rutgers signee was able to play the season’s final five weeks.

Charles Henderson was eliminated Wednesday at the Class 5A state regional.

Jim Williams, an attorney representing the AHSAA, says his side did not have a chance to file an objection and “we did not consent to the dismissal.”
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

 

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1 hour ago

7 Things: Mueller probe could be over, Byrne officially the first Republican in 2020 U.S. Senate race, Alabama law forces government to give newspapers money and more …

7. Hate crime hoaxer has been arrested and charged with “filing a false police report

— Reports out of Chicago don’t look good for “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett as a grand jury has returned a felony indictment for what the Cook County district attorney believes was a fabricated hate crime to garner publicity. This is not the first time Smollett lied to the police. He pleaded no contest to providing false information to law enforcement after giving police a fake name in a 2017 DUI arrest.

6. Obama era regulations close a power plant; Alabama Power says employees will get new jobs

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— Alabama Power Company announced the Gorgas Steam Plant in Walker County will shut down, because of mandates put in place by President Barack Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), on April 15. Alabama Power has said all Plant Gorgas employees will keep their jobs and be transferred to other facilities. Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-4) called this an obvious outcome of the “War on Coal.” He stated, “This is just another example of the ‘War on Coal’ that was prevalent during the Obama Administration and how it deeply impacts rural communities with little concern for those who are hurt.”

5. The State Department says ISIS bride can’t come home to Alabama

— A former Hoover resident and thrice married ISIS bride has been informed that the United States would not welcome her back to the United States. President Donald Trump pushed for that decision and tweeted, “I have instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and he fully agrees, not to allow Hoda Muthana back into the Country!” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made it clear she won’t be welcomed. “Ms. [Muthana] is not a U.S. citizen and will not be admitted into the U.S. She does not have any legal basis, no valid passport, no right to a passport, nor any visa to travel to the U.S.,” Pompeo said.

4. White nationalist arrested with an arsenal and a hit list of Democrat politicians and journalists

— Christopher Paul Hasson, a U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant, called for “focused violence” and was planning a mass terrorist attack to kill “almost every last person on earth” and “establish a white homeland.” His targets included MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough, Sen. Dick Blumenthal (D-CT) and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). He also had 15 firearms and 1,000 rounds of ammunition. In court filings, the government said bluntly, “The defendant is a domestic terrorist.”

3. Alabama state law requires advertising in the local newspaper for various state and local entities, this means revenue for papers like the Democrat-Reporter

— A local newspaper embroiled in a racism controversy has benefitted for years from an Alabama law that predates the Internet and guarantees revenue for local newspapers. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) alone spent over $4,000 last year alone. This is only one agency of the state government and one small-town newspaper. It doesn’t factor in other government entities in the area that are required to do business with the newspaper. These laws represent millions of dollars for newspapers guaranteed by archaic state law.

2. It’s official: Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) is running for United State Senate

— Byrne announced his run at a Wintzell’s seafood restaurant in Mobile. Byrne referred to his potential future opponent U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) by criticizing his “radical policies.” Byrne also laid out the fight ahead, saying, “The fight for America’s future is too important to sit on the sidelines. I am running for the United States Senate to defend the values important to Alabama.” Jones responded to the news by hammering Byrne. “Given the results of his losing bid for Governor in 2010, in which he did not even win the Republican nomination, it’s hard to see why they would nominate a career politician like Bradley Byrne now,” Jones stated.

1. After almost two years, the Robert Mueller probe is coming to an end

— Attorney General Bill Barr could be ready to announce the end of FBI special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation and could submit a final report to Congress soon as well. These are the most obvious indications that the investigation is almost over. While it is unclear how much of the report will be made public, Barr has made it clear he plans to be “transparent” with Congress and the American people.

15 hours ago

Byrne first to officially declare run vs. Doug Jones – ‘Future is too important to sit on the sidelines’

Just down the street from where he grew up, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced Wednesday evening his candidacy for the United States Senate while surrounded by family, friends and supporters gathered at Wintzell’s Oyster House in beautiful downtown Mobile.

Byrne became the first candidate to officially announce a run against the incumbent from Mountain Brook, Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL). In doing so, Byrne made clear his campaign will focus on his record as a fighter for Alabama’s values, drawing a clear and direct contrast between his traditional Yellowhammer State roots and the “radical policies” being pushed by Jones’ Democratic Party.

In his announcement speech, Byrne emphasized, “The fight for America’s future is too important to sit on the sidelines. I am running for the United States Senate to defend the values important to Alabama.”

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The congressman spoke about the “disconnect” between hardworking, everyday Alabamians and people stuck in the bubble of Washington, D.C.

Byrne urged attendees, “Look in Washington and tell me you don’t see people that have a vision that’s fundamentally at odds with what America is.”

“We need a Senator who will fight with President Trump to defend the Constitution, build the wall, stand up for the unborn, push for lower taxes, make health care more affordable and protect the Second Amendment,” he outlined. “I will fight every day to bring Alabama’s conservative values to Washington.”

Answering questions from reporters following the announcement, Byrne decried the Democratic Party’s embrace of socialism and “[killing] babies as they’re delivered.”

He also warned voters that Democrats should be expected to try and interfere in the Republican primary through “fake news” and  manipulative social media efforts. This comes in the wake of revelations that “Project Birmingham” was orchestrated to aid Jones’ general election candidacy in 2017.

Byrne, a labor-employment attorney by trade, is the former chancellor of the state’s community college system and one-term member of the state senate. He has served southwest Alabama in Congress since January 2014.

The Republican primary for the U.S. Senate in Alabama will be held March 3, 2020, with the general election to follow in November.

You can watch Byrne’s announcement speech and hear him answer questions from reporters afterwards here.

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

16 hours ago

Watch live: Bradley Byrne announces U.S. Senate run against Doug Jones

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) is set to announce his candidacy for the United States Senate seat held by Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) live at the Wintzell’s Oyster House in downtown Mobile.

Watch live below:

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

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17 hours ago

Heavy rains swamping Deep South

Heavy rains are causing problems in parts of the Deep South.

Police in Huntsville, Alabama, say a half-dozen roads are blocked by downed trees or utility poles plus water from flash floods.

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Flood watches and warnings cover the northern parts of Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia and nearly all of Tennessee is at risk for floods.

Several school systems are delaying classes or closing.

The weather service is predicting as much as eight inches of rain in spots through Saturday, and freezing rain and sleet are possible in western South Carolina.

Forecasters say moisture from the Gulf is mixing with weather systems moving eastward in the Mississippi and Ohio valleys.

As much as one inch of rain an hour is possible, and the weather service says some areas could get more.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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