2 years ago

Alabama wins Silver Shovel Award for economic development

Area Development, a national publication, has selected Alabama for its Silver Shovel Award, a top honor recognizing the state’s economic development successes in 2017.

In announcing the award, Area Development singled out several large-scale projects, including Mercedes-Benz’s plans to build a Global Logistics Center in Bibb County and Blue Origin’s project to assemble rocket engines at a new facility in Huntsville.

“It was a good year for manufacturing in Silver Shovel recipient Alabama, with major investments in a diverse collection of projects, most of them brand-new. Additional jobs are driving in by way of logistics and distribution,” the publication says.
Area Development’s Gold and Silver Shovel Awards recognize the overall economic development effectiveness of state economic development efforts.

Alabama has won one of the awards each year since 2006, when it won a Gold Shovel. It won another Gold in 2012 and Silver awards in other years, including one for 2016.

“The business world has discovered that Alabama is one of the most attractive locations in the U.S. to make new investments, and this Silver Shovel award confirms that,” Governor Kay Ivey said.

“I will continue to work to position Alabama for economic growth that creates jobs and opportunities for our hard-working citizens.”

Area Development noted that Alabama landed a raft of major projects in 2017:

International Paper is investing $552.7 million at its Selma facility
Aerojet Rocketdyne is bringing 800 jobs and a new manufacturing facility to Huntsville
James Hardie Building Products is opening a $220 million production center in Prattville with 205 jobs
Autocar is investing $120 million in a new heavy truck assembly facility in Jefferson County with more than 700 jobs

“More manufacturing projects reflect growth in the food and poultry, aluminum, paper, and fiber cement industries, and Walmart has promised delivery of 550 distribution jobs” in Mobile County, Area development writes.


The state’s 2017 economic development results are outlined in the Alabama Department of Commerce’s “New & Expanding Industry Report,” released earlier this year. The report provides a detailed look at nearly 400 projects recorded in the state during another solid year of business recruitment and support.

“The mission of Alabama’s economic development team is to facilitate the creation of high-caliber jobs in strategic industry sectors that will flourish in the future,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Winning a Silver Shovel Award for the fifth consecutive year is another affirmation that our team is consistently executing our strategy and achieving positive results.”

Since 2012, economic development activity in Alabama has attracted nearly $29 billion in investment and more than 105,000 jobs, according to Commerce figures. Exact totals for 2017 were $4.4 billion in new capital investment and 15,465 anticipated jobs.

Alabama joined Utah and Louisiana in claiming a Silver Shovel award given to states with populations between 3 million and 5 million residents.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

20 seconds ago

7 Things: Sessions fires back at Byrne and Tuberville, Rep. John Rogers continues to be embarrassing, Obama acknowledges the economy is booming and more …

7. Bloomberg wants to buy the nomination

  • Since announcing his 2020 Democratic presidential bid, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been spending money on his campaign like crazy, already spending $188 million; new polls show that it is working.
  • U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has spent $50 million, U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has spent $34 million, U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has spent $10 million, former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has spent $34 million and former Vice President Joe Biden has spent $23 million. All have been in the race much longer than Bloomberg.

6. Democrats calling on ICE to not do its job


  • Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has announced that they’ll be sending their SWAT team to assist Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with detaining illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities, and now U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward Markey (D-MA) are demanding they “reverse course.”
  • Warren and Markey said that this “initiative is unnecessary, unwelcome, dangerous, menacing, retaliatory and unlikely to achieve its stated goal,” and went on to demand that CBP and ICE change their plans. They also questioned the reason “for employing paramilitary-style immigration personnel.”

5. Ainsworth announcing legislation to shorten the appeals process

  • Tuesday, Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth is planning to announce new legislation that would shorten the appeals process for those convicted of capital murder, which has been pushed for since the increased number of officers killed on duty throughout the state.
  • On Twitter, Ainsworth said, “’Back the Blue’ must be more than just a slogan. Actions must follow words, murdering an officer who maintains law and order should quickly cost your own life.”

4. Cruz isn’t happy about mandatory vasectomies

  • State Representative Rolanda Hollis (D-Birmingham) has introduced a ridiculous and embarrassing bill that would make it mandatory for men over 50 or with three kids to get a vasectomy, and now U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) is taking issue with the legislation.
  • Cruz said on Twitter, “Yikes. A government big enough to give you everything is big enough to take everything…literally!” Hollis has defended her bill saying that it’ll “help with the reproductive system, and yes, it is to neutralize the abortion ban bill.”

3. Obama wants credit for economic improvements, Trump calls that a “con job”

  • On the 11th anniversary of signing the 2009 economic stimulus package, President Barack Obama acknowledged the economy is booming — while the media and their Democrats are pretending otherwise —  and tweeted that he “signed the Recovery Act, paving the way for more than a decade of economic growth and the longest streak of job creation in American history.”
  • President Donald Trump tweeted that is a “con job” and his campaign has responded to Obama’s claim, saying, “Trump reversed every single failed Obama-era economic policy, and with it, reversed the floundering Obama/Biden economy,” adding that the former president and vice president “orchestrated the worst economic recovery in modern history.”

2. John Rogers has no clue what he is talking about

  • State Representative John Rogers (D-Birmingham) made very little news when he declared that NFL quarterback Cam Newton was transgender and there were 20 more transgender football players in the league without providing evidence.
  • Turns out Rogers doesn’t know what it is to be transgender and, while speaking to “The Pluralist,” Rogers suggested that there should be genetic testing to determine the sex of athletes. He stated, “If a person ends up being male, they can compete as male, and if they end up being a female they can compete as female.”

1. Sessions responding to Byrne and Tuberville’s tactics

  • Recently, U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) and former Auburn football coach Tommy Tuberville released campaign ads that throw punches at each other and at former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but now Sessions is responding with a statement and attacks of his own.
  • Sessions has described these tactics as “sleazy” and added that it’s “unfortunate that both Tommy Tuberville and Bradley Byrne have abandoned any pretense of running a positive campaign.” He also pointed out that this behavior is expected as they’re both “trailing in the polls,” adding that it’s made Tuberville and Byrne appear “desperate and afraid.”

42 mins ago

Alabama Democrat calls for mandatory genetic testing of all public school student-athletes

State Rep. John Rogers (D-Birmingham) is making news once again.

Yellowhammer News last week reported that Rogers in a House committee meeting said that his favorite football player is “transgender.” Asked by Yellowhammer afterwards what player he was referring to, Rogers at the time responded that he was referencing Cam Newton but that he misspoke and meant “gay” rather than “transgender.”

These remarks came during a hearing on HB 35, known as the “Gender is Real Legislative” (GIRL) Act.

In a follow-up interview to Yellowhammer’s reporting with the website “Pluralist” published on Monday, Rogers shared some more interesting thoughts on the subject.


HB 35 would require Alabama public schools to make sure every entrant in an athletic competition is sorted by the gender on their birth certificate. The bill also forbids any state, county or municipal government/agency from providing a facility to a single-gender competition that allows a transgender entrant. The GIRL Act exempts any event that is specifically designed to have both boys and girls as competitors.

In his interview with Pluralist, Rogers reportedly once again asserted that “a lot of people in the NFL have accused Cam Newton and other players of being [transgender].”

However, he did clarify that he himself did not know Newton to be transgender or gay; Rogers stated that he was simply trying to state that others believe this to be the case.

“I brought him up because there are a lot of insinuations about a lot of people who play athletics, whether they are transgender or not, and you never know,” Rogers reportedly told Pluralist. “Why would you point at someone if you don’t know and no test has been done?”

According to the publication, it subsequently became clear that Rogers seemed to be at least somewhat confusing being “transgender” with “intersexuality,” which is more colloquially understood as being a “hermaphrodite.”

“When you’re born, sometimes people are born a hermaphrodite,” Rogers remarked. “They’re born as a boy but they have other chromosomes of a girl, or they’re born as a girl but they have other chromosomes of a boy. Sometimes, the gender doesn’t take effect until later in life. That’s science. It’s x and y chromosomes.”

While reportedly decrying that “hermaphrodites” would be singled out under HB 35, Rogers then suggested a solution that would actually go further than the original legislation, which would rely on each student-athlete’s respective birth certificate for gender identification and eligibility purposes.

Rogers reportedly advocated that Alabama public school student-athletes be mandated to undergo genetic testing that would then be utilized to sort them for eligibility purposes.

“You need to get medical proof of what they really are: a boy or a girl. They need to have more x chromosomes than y chromosomes, which gender is prominent,” Rogers said. “Go with the test. Go with the biology.”

He added, “If a person ends up being male, they can compete as male, and if they end up being a female, they can compete as female.”

People around the state — and the country — may remember Rogers for his “kill ’em now or kill ’em later” comments made last year during debate of Alabama’s abortion ban legislation.

However, Rogers took a hardline conservative stance last week in advocating for an automatic death penalty without any appeals for convicted cop killers. No matter which ideological side of an issue Rogers finds himself aligned with, he seems to be making a splash whenever paired with a microphone.

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

2 hours ago

Pringle: Heterosexual, Southern, conservative Christians blamed for ‘every wrong in society’

State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) is out with a second television ad in his Republican bid for Alabama’s First Congressional District seat, and, like his first TV ad, the latest spot does not shy away from being different.

The new ad lasts 30 seconds and features Pringle speaking into the camera for all but the closing snippet at the very end that contains a mandatory disclaimer.

“I’m Chris Pringle,” he says to open. “These days, if you look like me and believe like me, every wrong in society is your fault.”


“If you’re straight, Southern, conservative and, heaven forbid, Christian, they call you a racist and blame you for everyone else’s problems,” he continues. “Maybe I’m not supposed to say that, but someone has to.”

“I’m Chris Pringle, and I approve this message because saving this country means keeping the radical left from killing it,” the candidate concludes.


In a statement to Yellowhammer News, he commented, “South Alabama deserves a leader who will put our conservative principles above political correctness, and who won’t concede an inch to radical leftists trying to destroy our way of life.”

Pringle is running in a competitive GOP primary field on March 3 that also includes former State Sen. Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) and Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl.

This latest ad comes as Pringle pushes to get his “Gender is Real Legislative” (GIRL) Act passed in the Alabama legislature. The bill would require public schools to make sure every entrant in an athletic competition is sorted by the gender on their birth certificate. The bill also forbids any state, county or municipal government/agency from providing a facility to a single-gender competition that allows a transgender entrant. The GIRL Act exempts any event that is specifically designed to have both boys and girls as competitors.

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

15 hours ago

UA Dance Marathon raises over $307,000 for Children’s Miracle Network

The University of Alabama Dance Marathon (UADM) announced Monday that it raised $307,843.20 for Children’s of Alabama during its most recent fundraiser, which takes place annually.

The total raised was presented during the organization’s recent BAMAthon event, the organization’s 13.1-hour dance marathon. Over the course of nine years at the University of Alabama, more than $1.6 million has been raised for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Birmingham.

Current and former patients of Children’s of Alabama, referred to as “Miracle Kids,” attended the event to share their stories with those participating in the event.


For the parents of Brayden Butler, “known to friends and family as B.B., a 13-year-old Miracle Kid from Chelsea who suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2014, UADM represents a place of belonging and an opportunity to find hope and healing.”

“B.B. deals with challenges due to his disability,” said Christie Butler, Brayden’s mother. “UADM has shown B.B. that there is a bigger purpose out there. It gives him a platform to reach others about all the good things that come from Children’s of Alabama.”

Lily Klootwyk, president of UADM 2020, offered her thanks to those who helped raise money and produce the event.

“UADM is a special organization full of people who are going to change this world,” Klootwyk said. “We’ve accomplished nothing alone and everything together.”

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

15 hours ago

Alabama Realtors Association announces primary endorsements

The political arm of the Alabama Association of Realtors on Monday announced its endorsement of candidates for Alabama’s upcoming March 3 primary elections.

The list of Alabama Realtors Political Action Committee (ARPAC) endorsements includes candidates respectively for the Public Service Commission, Supreme Court and Courts of both Civil and Criminal Appeals. Further, the National Association of Realtors PAC has announced endorsements in each of the state’s seven U.S. House districts. According to a release, all the announced candidates endorsed exhibited a commitment to home ownership, private property rights and economic growth.

“The real estate industry and Alabama’s economy are dependent upon each other to remain healthy and thriving,” stated Forrest Meadows, ARPAC trustees chair. “We look for candidates who understand the relationship between the two, and share the REALTOR® vision of protecting private property owners against harmful legislation and fighting for policies that will aid in the development of prosperous communities and businesses across the state.”


“We feel strongly that these candidates will work hard to ensure private property rights remain a top priority and support efforts for economic growth and homeownership in Alabama,” added Jeremy Walker, Alabama Association of Realtors CEO.

ARPAC endorsements as follows:

For president of the Alabama Public Service Commission:

Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh

For Alabama Supreme Court Place 2 Associate Justice:

Brad Mendheim

For Alabama Court of Civil Appeals:

Place 1: Bill Thompson
Place 2: Matt Fridy

For Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals:

Place 1: Mary Windom
Place 2: Beth Kellum

The National Association of Realtors endorsed the following congressional candidates:

U.S. House of Representatives, District 1: Chris Pringle
U.S. House of Representatives, District 2: Jeff Coleman
U.S. House of Representatives, District 3: Mike Rogers
U.S. House of Representatives, District 4: Robert Aderholt
U.S. House of Representatives, District 5: Mo Brooks
U.S. House of Representatives, District 6: Gary Palmer
U.S. House of Representatives, District 7: Terri Sewell

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