4 years ago

Alabamians are saving lives with ‘Workout for Water’ fundraiser

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There are certain things that Americans often take for granted: our constitutional freedoms, a warm home, food, and even more essentially: clean water. Around the world, millions of people struggle to get access to this most basic human need. That’s where Neverthirst comes in.

Neverthirst was founded by Mark Whitehead and Iron Tribe Fitness CEO Forrest Walden to help bring clean water to those around the world lacking access by drilling specialized wells. Since 2008, Neverthirst has completed over 5,500 projects, providing over 400,000 people with clean water. During that same time period, the total number of people without access to clean water has dropped from 1.2 billion to 663 million since 2008.

“We felt called to the hard places,” Whitehead told Yellowhammer. “It all started in January of 2008, but we did not even have a focal point for the ministry until traveling to South Sudan later that year. There are less than 50 miles of paved road in the entire country. It’s very remote. Out of curiosity, we stopped in a tiny village called Witto and asked the chief to show us where they got their water from. He took us about a mile off the road and showed us a pool of green, stagnant water. Up until that point, we were really clueless about the water crisis — even though we were four months into being a water ministry. God led us to that village and made his vision crystal clear: You can meet this massive, overwhelming need — 1.2 billion people need clean water — and you can use it as a platform to advance the Gospel around the world.”

RELATED: The inspiring story of how Alabamians are changing the world through water

Today, Neverthirst is doing work in India, Cambodia, Nepal, South Sudan, Sudan and Chad. The goal for 2016 is to complete over 2,000 projects throughout Africa and Asia that will bring water to over 72,000 people.

But it all wouldn’t be possible without the support of Alabamians back home, and others around the country.

“We have a lot of church partnerships, individual donors, lemonade stands, garage sales, car washes — people can get as creative as they want when raising money for clean water projects,” said Whitehead. “It can be really fun.”

The biggest of these fundraisers is Walden’s personal brainchild: Workout for Water. In 2010, he hosted his first Workout for Water to help bring clean water to Haiti. It was a huge success and has become an annual fundraiser that has grown exponentially every year. Since 2009, the workouts have raised over $2 million, and it has proven critical for the growth and sustainability of Neverthirst.

With money collected from donations, Workout for Water has allowed Neverthirst to complete numerous projects in Africa and Asia, serving thousands of people with clean water.

Iron Tribe franchises from across the country host the event, and the workouts are friendly to people of all fitness levels. In fact, Iron Tribe staff and athletes have traveled with Neverthirst teams several times to help on their mission to serve those in need.

Alabama’s next Workout for Water event will be hosted on May 13, 2017 at Oak Mountain State Park. For more information, participants can visit the fundraisers website linked here.

26 mins ago

State Sen. Barfoot: Expect effort from legislature to pare down, take away state health officer’s authority to shut down businesses, churches

On Thursday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced she was extending the statewide mask mandate through March 5, exercising powers granted to her under the coronavirus emergency.

The edict is a far cry from last year’s statewide shutdown, which was imposed at the direction of State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris.  However, according to State Sen. Will Barfoot (R-Pike Road), there will be an effort to change some aspects of executive authority regarding the Emergency Management Act of 1955 on the table when the legislature meets for its 2021 regular session in less than two weeks.

During an appearance on “The Jeff Poor Show” on FM Talk 106.5 in Mobile, Barfoot touted legislation originally introduced by State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) last year to be reintroduced this year, which could “pare down” the State Health Officer’s authority and give the legislature a say in the extension of an emergency order.

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“In my opinion, if session had not been halted last year like it was, the Senate at least would have passed Senator Whatley’s bill, and I suspect that — well, I know that bill is coming up,” Barfoot explained. “I’m a co-sponsor on that again. The purpose of that bill is not to belittle or cast aspersions on any one individual. It’s the Emergency Management Act of 1955, which grants certain authority and powers to an unelected position, the state health officer position. No matter who that may be, tomorrow or 15, 20 years from now — Senator Whatley’s bill, in essence, would grant some of that authority, or pull back some of that authority from that unelected position and give it rightly to the chief executive of the state, an elected official, and at this point, Governor Ivey, and then also have some balance from the legislative branch. You know, our nation was built on judicial, executive and legislative branches having co-equal amounts of authority and there’s a balancing act there. And that’s also true for the state. And I guess since March, May, whenever we officially sine died, the legislative body has really not had a say because we haven’t been in session. The only way we can be called back into session is by the governor’s special session.”

“We’re looking forward to addressing Senator Whatley’s bill and hopefully making some changes that would maybe pare down that authority or take that authority away to arbitrarily shut down businesses and people’s lives, churches from an unelected official,” he added. “Again, not a dis at Dr. Harris, who has been in a difficult, difficult position. But it would simply be giving the governor the authority to make those decisions. She is the highest elected official of the executive branch in the state. And then also, as I said, some balance from the legislative body where when we’re in session, we can elect to extend any emergency orders or not. When we’re not in session, you still would have the Speaker of the House as well as the Pro-Tem to be able to sign off on a resolution one way or another as it relates to those executive emergency orders.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

48 mins ago

Mo Brooks says polling shows high favorables, high statewide name ID among Alabama GOP primary voters despite Electoral College challenge

It has been more than two weeks since U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) took part in an Electoral College challenge, which also included speaking at a rally in support of the challenge earlier in the day.

While Brooks has faced widespread criticism from his Democrat colleagues and liberal voices in the mainstream press, he maintains he is still held in favor by Alabama Republicans.

During an appearance on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Brooks offered an assessment of his constituents’ reactions and those statewide based on both anecdotal interactions and on polling.

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“They’re split,” he said. “But I’ll give you an example — in Republican ranks, overwhelming support for the positions I have taken. Yesterday, before flying to Washington, I went to a Republican Women of Madison Club meeting. When I walked in the door, they gave me a standing ovation. I had to leave before Will Ainsworth gave his speech, but when I walked out the door, they interrupted the proceedings and gave me a standing ovation. It kind of depends on which group of people you talk to. Of course, the socialists — they despise me because I’m willing to stand up and fight for the foundational principles that made us who we are as a nation. I don’t just talk the talk. I also walk the walk and they don’t like that because apparently to some degree, I’m somewhat persuasive in helping people to understand why these values need to be promoted and protected, the same values that have served us so well.”

“On the Republican side, you’ve got establishment folks that are kind of squishy,” Brooks continued. “They see the federal government as a vehicle by which you can get special benefits, tax favors or money, and they want congressmen and senators who can kind of work behind the scenes and cut whatever deals there are to be cut to improve the financial stature of what Jeff Sessions called our ‘masters of the universe’ crowd. They are very, very uncomfortable with my taking of positions of the conservative nature. But the vast, vast majority of the rank and file Republicans — they’re very supportive. There have been two polls done one with 1,100 Republican primary voters in Alabama. My name ID statewide is up to 81%. My favorable-unfavorable ratio is about 3.5 favorable to 1 unfavorable. That’s gold in any kind of election to have that kind of margin. And then there was one done last in my congressional district, and in the fifth congressional district, where voters know me better and they like the principled positions I take, the favorable-unfavorable ratio amongst Republicans was 4.5 to 1. That’s excellent. That’s outstanding.”

“So it really depends, Jeff, on who you speak to,” he added. “I understand the socialists don’t like me but that’s because I’m coming right at them. I disagree with the basic premise that the government knows more about how we should run our lives than we do. That is the exact antithesis of liberty and freedom, and also strongly disagree with those socialist voter blocs that would rather vote for a living than work for one because long-term, that doesn’t work. That’s just a system based on greed, where you’re envious of other people’s hard-earned money and you try to take it from them to give to yourself rather than earning it yourself, as those other people did.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

14 hours ago

Bill O’Brien hired as Crimson Tide offensive coordinator

University of Alabama head football coach Nick Saban on Thursday evening announced the hire of Bill O’Brien as the Crimson Tide’s offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach.

O’Brien arrives in Tuscaloosa after six-plus years as the head coach of the NFL’s Houston Texans, where he compiled a 52-48 record that included four AFC South titles, four playoff appearances and two appearances in the AFC Divisional Round.

A release from Alabama Athletics noted that O’Brien’s offenses in Houston proved to be balanced and potent with the Texans ranking in the top-10 in the league in rushing yards, while quarterback Deshaun Watson threw for 4,165 yards in 2018 and 3,852 yards in 2019.

“We are pleased and happy to be able to add Bill O’Brien to our coaching staff,” Saban said in a statement. “He has a wealth of experience as both an offensive coordinator and head coach in the NFL and college. Bill is one of the brightest offensive minds in football, an outstanding teacher and excellent recruiter. He will strengthen our coaching staff and give our players the best possible chance to be successful.”

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O’Brien fills the vacancy left by Steve Sarkisian becoming the Texas Longhorns’ head coach.

“I am honored and excited to join Coach Saban’s staff at The University of Alabama,” O’Brien stated. “I have an incredible amount of admiration for the rich football tradition at this University and the success Coach Saban has had during his time in Tuscaloosa. I’m looking forward to the opportunity to work with some of the best football players in the country, while helping to continue the success this program has enjoyed for many years.”

Prior to joining the Texans, he took on one of the tallest tasks in college football history when he was named head coach at Penn State on January 6, 2012, succeeding Joe Paterno. O’Brien spent two years leading the Nittany Lions program, posting a 15-9 overall record and a 10-6 mark in the Big Ten. During that time, Penn State was under a four-season postseason ban and a loss of 40 scholarships due to the child sex abuse scandal that occurred during Paterno’s tenure.

O’Brien was named the Bear Bryant, Maxwell Football Club and ESPN National Coach of the Year after winning more games than any other first-year head coach in the program’s previous 125 seasons during the 2012 season.

Before his time at Penn State, O’Brien spent five years on Bill Belichick’s staff in New England, including calling offensive plays for three seasons and serving as the offensive coordinator in 2011. He coached in Super Bowls XLII and XLVI and was Tom Brady’s position coach during his 2010 MVP season.

All together, O’Brien boasts 28 years of collegiate and NFL coaching experience and was last a college offensive coordinator at Duke during the 2005-06 seasons. Prior to his time with the Blue Devils, O’Brien served as the running backs coach at Maryland (2004) after spending eight years at Georgia Tech in a myriad of roles, including graduate assistant, running backs, offensive coordinator/quarterbacks and assistant head coach (1995-2002). O’Brien started his career at Brown, coaching the tight ends in 1993 and the inside linebackers in 1994.

This came after O’Brien played linebacker and defensive end at Brown from 1990-92 and graduated with a double concentration in political science and organizational behavioral management. He and his wife, Colleen, have two sons, Jack and Michael.

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

14 hours ago

Auburn trustee, Mobile native Lloyd Austin granted congressional waiver, paving way for confirmation as defense secretary

U.S. Army General Lloyd J. Austin (Ret.) on Thursday was granted a waiver through votes by both chambers of Congress, allowing him to be confirmed as the next secretary of the Department of Defense.

The waiver for Austin, who retired from active duty in 2016, was required because federal law mandates that the Secretary of Defense either be a civilian or someone who has been retired from the military for seven or more years.

The House of Representatives bipartisanly voted 326-78 to grant the waiver; the Senate shortly thereafter voted 69-27 to do the same. All members of Alabama’s congressional delegation voted in favor of the waiver for Austin, who is a native of Mobile.

He also currently serves on the Auburn University board of trustees.

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U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07) on Thursday morning had led a letter joined by fellow members of the Congressional Black Caucus urging her colleagues to support the waiver.

“I proudly support granting a waiver for Mobile, Alabama native and retired Four-Star General Lloyd Austin to serve as first Black Secretary of Defense,” Sewell said in a statement. “General Austin has an exemplary 41-year career of service and his battle-proven leadership and independence demonstrate he is the right choice to lead the Pentagon during these difficult times. We face many challenges as a nation, not least among them a historic pandemic that has disproportionately impacted communities of color and an unprecedented rise of white supremacist and far right-wing domestic terrorist groups. I’m confident in General Austin’s commitment and ability to course-correct and secure our nation from threats at home and abroad.”

U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers (AL-03), the ranking member of the House Armed Services Committee, also voiced his support for Austin, while raising process concerns. Rogers made his thoughts clear in remarks on the floor.

“I believe General Austin understands the threats we face,” the East Alabama congressman said, in part. “I believe he respects the principle of civilian control. I believe he will stand up to the efforts of many in the Democrat majority who seek to slash defense funding and rewrite our defense strategy.”

After a nearly 41-year decorated military career, Austin retired as a four-star general. Some of his former posts include service as the commander of U.S. Central Command, commander of the Combined Forces in Iraq and Syria, and as the 33rd vice chief of staff of the Army.

Austin is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and holds master’s degrees from Auburn and Webster University. He has received the Lifetime Achievement Award from Auburn, and his wife, Charlene, is also an Auburn graduate.

Additionally, the retired general currently serves on the board of directors for Raytheon Technologies and Nucor, both of which have significant Alabama presences.

He would be the first Black DoD secretary in American history. The Senate is expected to confirm him on Friday morning.

This comes after President Joe Biden last month announced his intent to nominate Austin to the important post.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (AL-01), who represents Austin’s hometown, released a statement in support of the nominee on Thursday.

“Today I voted yes on the waiver for the Secretary of Defense Appointment of General Austin, even though I am frustrated with the House Democrats’ deeply flawed process. I believe General Austin is well-qualified to serve as our nation’s Secretary of Defense, and I am optimistic that he will push back against far-left attempts to cut military funding and weaken our nation’s defenses,” said Carl.

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

17 hours ago

We are about to watch Alabama’s 7th U.S. House seat become Mexico’s 1st

“America First,” is dead, and “Americans Last” is the new normal. As a result, Alabama is screwed.

No one expected now-President Joe Biden to follow the agenda of now-former President Donald Trump. He ran on being the exact opposite of him in every way.

But now that Biden is in office, the real consequences of those actions are going to be felt, and we are going to feel it right here in Alabama.

On his first day, Biden decided that “America First” would be put down behind the White House. But who knew the execution would be so swift?

Look at the actions Biden has taken so far:

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He immediately rejoined the World Health Organization. WHO is a notoriously corrupt puppet of China that knowingly made the coronavirus pandemic worse by helping the Chinese government conceal the origins and reality surrounding the global issue. Empowering them solely because Trump rejected them will hardly make America better. It will just force us to keep funding them.

The Paris climate accord sounds like a great idea. Who doesn’t want to make the world a better place? But does this do that? No. It holds America and countries like China, Pakistan and India to different standards. This will only incentivize companies to abandon America to avoid stronger regulations, helping China and other countries. What will this do? Increase pollution and harm America’s economy.

Now, let’s talk illegal immigration. We have a caravan headed to America from south of the border. It will not be the first because Biden and his handlers will let them in.

The Biden administration also decided to pause immigration-related removals from the United States on day one.

Biden has announced the building of the border wall will stop, even though it has cut down on human trafficking, drugs, arrests and illegal immigration.

The wall worked. Biden decided to stop building it — not to help Americans, but to help those who would enter illegally.

So what does this mean for Alabama? Barring some miraculous court order, we will lose a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) have been fighting for more than three years to prevent illegal immigrants from being counted in for the allocation of U.S. House seats.

It is astonishing that a decision by an American president is made to intentionally take a seat away from states that have not been friendly to an overrun of our border and country by illegal immigrants.

There is no way to argue this puts Americans first in any possible way shape or form. This, by design, empowers foreign citizens and strips power away from Americans.

“America First” is dead; its execution was public and brutal. The media and their Democrats cheered its death.

“Americans Last” is the new normal, and Alabama is screwed.

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