5 months ago

7 Things: Ivey faces blackface backlash, Zeigler wants ALDOT director gone, Comey broke rules and suffers no consequences and more …

7. Then there were ten

  • On Thursday, the Democratic National Committee announced the candidates who have qualified for the upcoming presidential primary debate on September 12 in Houston, and it’s only half of the last debate’s total.
  • There are only ten candidates who have qualified for the upcoming debate: former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ); South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg; U.S. Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA); former U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro; former U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX); U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN); U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MD); entrepreneur Andrew Yang; and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

6. JSU is being called out for using “crucifixion” imagery

  • The new Jacksonville State University college football hype video opens with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” playing, followed by red or white paint dripping down player’s limbs.
  • Some people have said that the video is using crucifixion imagery and are upset with the video due to religious reasons, however even if you aren’t offended by the video you can’t deny that it’s just plain weird.

5. Trump has established the U.S. Space Command

  • On Thursday, President Donald Trump held an event in the Rose Garden to further his move to create the Space Force. He officially reestablished the U.S. Space Command, which will serve as the military’s 11th combatant command and could be stationed at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville.
  • During the announcement, Trump said, “The dangers to our country constantly evolve, and so must we,” and noted that there are different evolving threats in terms of missile launches and new technology. Now, “it’s going to be a whole different ball game” for those who threaten the United States.

4. Lathan is defending her party’s resolution

  • Alabama Republican Party Chairwoman Terry Lathan on Thursday appeared on the “Matt & Aunie” show to defend the resolution pushing for U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar (D-MN) to be expelled from Congress and explained why there’s no issue with Alabama bringing this resolution.
  • Lathan said that Omar’s oath is to the constitution, not just to the people of Minnesota, and she went on to explain that even though different legislators represent different states, it “does not mean the people in Alabama just be quiet – because they pledge an allegiance to the constitution of our nation.” Lathan also said that if representatives from other states don’t want Alabama criticizing them, then those states would have to stop criticizing Alabama in turn.

3. Comey leaked but won’t be prosecuted

  • In an occurrence that seems all too common, Americans are being told that the rules do not apply to the powerful, as an Inspector General report found that former FBI Director James Comey violated bureau policies in handling documents and leaking. However, they decided not to pursue charges.
  • The DOJ’s IG’s office found that “Comey violated FBI policy and the requirements of his F.B.I. employment agreement when he chose this path” and his actions set a “dangerous example” because he was pursuing a “personally desired outcome.”

2. Axe the ALDOT director?

  • After Governor Kay Ivey announced that the I-10 Movile River Bridge and Bayway project is essentially “dead,” State Auditor Jim Zeigler is now saying that the ALDOT Director John Cooper should be fired.
  • In a letter that Zeigler sent to Ivey, he lays out reasons why Cooper should be fired, including “prematurely proceeding with the I-10 toll bridge project without having obtained support.” Zeigler said that Cooper no longer has credibility with people or elected officials in the state.

1. Alabama governor’s shame

  • 52 years ago, Governor Kay Ivey and her then-fiancé Ben LaRavia were interviewed on the Auburn student radio station when Ivey was Auburn’s SGA vice president, and during the interview LaRavia describes a Baptist Student Union skit that Ivey participated in where she wore “a pair of blue coveralls and she had put some black paint all over her face.” Ivey on Thursday already released this radio clip and a statement addressing the incident.
  • Ivey’s statement says that while she doesn’t remember the skit, wearing blackface or the radio interview from 1967, she “will not deny what is the obvious.” Ivey also isn’t trying to excuse any of her actions because she was a college student or because it occurred in the 1960’s, and the governor has offered her “heartfelt apologies for the pain and embarrassment this causes.” “I will do all I can – going forward – to help show the nation that the Alabama of today is a far cry from the Alabama of the 1960s,” she said.
15 mins ago

Auburn basketball to host ESPN’s College GameDay for first time

The basketball version of ESPN’s College GameDay is coming to Auburn for the first time ever on Saturday, February 1.

The national show is set to broadcast prior to Auburn’s upcoming top-20 matchup with Kentucky.

Host Rece Davis (an alumnus of the University of Alabama) and analysts Jay Bilas, LaPhonso Ellis and Seth Greenberg will be live from Auburn Arena, beginning at 10:00 a.m. CT on ESPN.

According to the university, this marks the first time Auburn has been featured on the show as a host or visiting team. Head coach Bruce Pearl has made four previous appearances on the show when he was coaching at Tennessee.

86

The Tigers have split the last six meetings with the Wildcats, including winning two of the last three inside Auburn Arena.

Additionally, Countdown to GameDay Live will serve as the pregame show to the pregame show. Each week, ESPN’s Rece Davis, Jason Fitz and Christine Williamson will join a wide array of ESPN college basketball analysts and reporters. The show will premiere this Saturday across Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and the ESPN App.

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

2 hours ago

Interview Day brings Alabama high schoolers together with employers

More than 250 high school seniors met with representatives from almost 30 companies at the Bessemer Civic Center for an Interview Day event designed to link those entering the workforce with those looking to hire.

The students were from 14 high schools across a six-county area (Blount, Chilton, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair and Walker).

Interview Day was the culmination of preparations the students made during the first semester of their senior year of school. From developing soft skills to working on resumes, the students came into the event prepared to put their best foot forward.

243

Interview Day pairs Alabama high school seniors with companies from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The event was presented by Central Six AlabamaWorks and the Onin Group in cooperation with the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce58 Inc. and Central Alabama Partnership for Training and Employment.

Companies were from a wide range of industries, including automotive, distribution, construction and skills trades, health care and hospitality.

“The reason why this program is so successful is that we’re addressing a gap,” said Tiffany Bishop, regional workforce development manager with Onin Group. “We have students who are going into unemployment and then we have employers that are looking for good talent, and all we’re doing is trying to bridge the gap to help them find each other.”

The effort comes as Alabama announces it ended 2019 with record low unemployment of 2.7% in December.

“I’m so proud to be able to close out this decade with record-breaking economic measures,” said Gov. Kay Ivey. “All year long, we’ve had good news to share, and to be able to end the year, and the decade, on such a positive note is wonderful. Earlier this year, Alabama had never reported an unemployment rate lower than 3%, and now we’ve had one for the last three months! Nearly 84,000 more people have jobs now than last year. I’m excited about the path that Alabama is on, and the positive impacts this news has on our people.”

(Courtesy of Alabama News Center)

4 hours ago

Rep. Mike Rogers: Donald Trump is the ‘most pro-life president ever’

Congressman Mike Rogers (R-AL) strongly commended President Donald Trump and the thousands of pro-life Americans who gathered in Washington, D.C., on Friday for the March for Life event.

“This week marked the 47th anniversary of the disastrous Roe v. Wade decision that cast a dark pall over the soul of our nation,” Rogers said in a statement. “Every person who has gathered in Washington for the march today is joined in spirit with millions of Americans across our land who staunchly believe in the sanctity of life.”

175

Rogers then went on to discuss President Trump and his strong support for a pro-life agenda:

I am especially proud President Trump will address the march and be the first sitting president to do so. President Trump is the most pro-life president ever to sit in the White House.  Last year, 58 pro-life laws were passed across the nation. It just shows how important and precious the lives of these unborn babies are to so many. Momentum is on our side. We must keep fighting

“As a Christian and the father of three beautiful children, I will always stand up for the rights of these precious lives and be a voice for them,” Rogers concluded.

The 47th annual March for Life was attended by thousands who celebrate the sanctity of life from conception to death and advocate for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court that legalized abortion and has resulted in an estimated 60 million deaths of unborn children.

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

5 hours ago

UAB’s Proton International to conduct first cancer treatments at end of February

Proton therapy, a highly sophisticated radiation technology for treating cancer, has come to Alabama with the opening of Proton International at UAB. The facility opened with a ribbon-cutting Jan. 13. The center is a partnership between the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Proton International.

Proton International at UAB is one of 36 proton therapy centers in the United States and the first in Alabama.

563

“With the establishment of this center, UAB Medicine has again brought one of the latest, most advanced medical technologies to our region,” said Will Ferniany, CEO of UAB Health System. “Proton therapy will be a valuable tool that our physicians and scientists in the Department of Radiation OncologySchool of Medicine and the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center can employ to the betterment of thousands of cancer patients in Alabama and the surrounding area.”

Proton therapy uses a beam of protons directed at the tumor site. The beam is configured to deliver the majority of its energy precisely at the tumor. Healthy tissue in front of the tumor receives a minimal amount of energy, and tissue behind the tumor receives little. This reduces damage to healthy tissue that is common in X-ray radiation and the cause of most side effects.

“Opening the center is an important milestone for the residents of Alabama who now have access to proton therapy closer to home,” said Chris Chandler, CEO of Proton International. “Our mission is to work in partnership with leading clinical entities, such as UAB, so patients and families do not have to travel long distances and suffer further cost and stress at such a critical time.”

UAB physicians anticipate beginning consultations with prospective patients in the next two weeks, with the first proton therapy treatments taking place at the end of February.

Proton therapy is used to treat tumors of the brain and central nervous system, spine, head and neck, lung, prostate, liver, gastrointestinal tract and colon, and some breast tumors. While it treats primarily single-site tumors, because of its focused dose capabilities in some cases it can be used for treating cancer that has spread to surrounding tissue.

“Proton therapy will allow us to treat deep-seated cancers,” said James A. Bonner, M.D., the Merle M. Salter Endowed Professor and chair of the UAB Department of Radiation Oncology. “It can be particularly efficacious in the treatment of children, who can be highly sensitive to the effects of radiation therapy. We are excited to offer this cutting-edge approach for patients and families in Birmingham, across Alabama and beyond.”

Proton International at UAB is on 20th Street South between Fourth and Fifth avenues. The facility consists of a three-story building to house clinical exam rooms, offices and the ProBeam proton therapy system, manufactured by Varian Medical Systems, a longtime partner with UAB in the delivery of radiation therapy. The medical staff, including radiation oncologists, medical physicists, dosimetrists, radiation therapy technologists and nurses, will be exclusively from UAB.

The heart of proton therapy is a machine called a cyclotron, which produces the proton beam and delivers it to the precise location in the body to destroy tumor cells. Proton International at UAB’s cyclotron, nick-named Emma, was manufactured in Germany. The $25 million, 90-ton cyclotron was brought by ship to Brunswick, Georgia, then transported to UAB last March by a specialized truck, with 20 axles, 78 wheels, and drivers in front and back. A heavy-lift crane was assembled on Fourth Avenue South to lift and deposit Emma into the facility via the roof.

UAB will be involved in clinical research studies on the use of proton therapy to discover the full utility of the therapy and produce best practice parameters on its use. Click here for a more detailed explanation of how proton therapy works.

This story originally appeared on the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s UAB News website.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

6 hours ago

Artificial reef teeming with life in Gulf of Mexico

An artificial reef created in the Gulf of Mexico four years ago appears to be teeming with life.

In 2016, two of Alabama Power’s retired boilers were sunk off the coast of Mobile County to improve the marine ecosystem. The giant steel structures previously used to turn steam into power have also proven to be a boon for offshore anglers.

“We put the reef down in the water that day, and it looks like you are just putting in something not useful and, now to see it flourish as a fish habitat and all the wildlife that’s there, it’s actually exciting,” said Susan Comensky, Alabama Power vice president for Environmental Affairs. “It’s a great success, and we are so grateful for what everybody brought to the table to make it a success.”

For decades, thousands of man-made objects, like old ships and concrete bridge rubble, have been sunk off the Alabama coastline. The 200,000-pound boilers were sunk from a barge donated by Cooper/T. Smith Corp., a marine transportation firm headquartered in Mobile.

308

Artificial reef off Alabama coast is full of marine life from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

The state’s artificial reef zone stretches almost from Florida to Mississippi and out 60 miles from shore. The result is one of the country’s best places for offshore fishing.

“We have several thousand (artificial) reefs off the coast of Alabama, and we have the biggest and best red snapper fishery in the world,” said Chris Blankenship, Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources commissioner. “We have built an incredible fishery off the coast of Alabama that is really unrivaled anywhere in the Gulf of Mexico or, really, in the country.”

The reefs have been a boon for the fish and the state’s economy.

“Every weekend that the red snapper fishery is open, as well as amberjack, gray triggerfish, vermillion snapper, there are people with thousands of boats that buy gas and bait and stay in hotel rooms. All of that adds to quite a big economic impact for the coastal areas of our state,” Blankenship said.

However, it’s not just anglers that are drawn to the reefs.

“A wide range of user groups can benefit from this reef – recreational anglers, commercial anglers and any kind of eco-tourism, things like scuba divers and underwater photography,” said Craig Newton, biologist with the Alabama Marine Resources Division.

The project is an example of what can be done when people work together for a common cause, planners say.

“What it does is allows all of us to maximize our resources to accomplish great things and do so in a way that our members and the people of Alabama can benefit,” said Tim Gothard, executive director of the Alabama Wildlife Federation.

The coordinates for the reef are 29 47.544, 87 59.104.

Find out more about the Marine Resources Division by visiting its Facebook page.

(Courtesy of Alabama News Center)