1 week ago

Andy Burcham named ‘Voice of the Auburn Tigers,’ succeeding the late Rod Bramblett

Auburn Sports Properties and Auburn Athletics announced Monday that Andy Burcham, who has been part of Auburn radio broadcasts for the previous 31 years in various capacities, has been named the lead announcer for Auburn football, men’s basketball and baseball.

As the new “Voice of the Auburn Tigers,” Burcham assumes the responsibilities previously held by Rod Bramblett, who tragically passed away along with his wife, Paula, in a May car accident.

“I’m thrilled to be selected as the Voice of the Auburn Tigers,” Burcham said in a statement. “While it’s a bittersweet time and I wish the circumstances creating this opportunity were different, I am honored to be following in the footsteps of such legends as Rod Bramblett, Jim Fyffe, and others.”

Burcham worked alongside Bramblett for the previous 25 years broadcasting Auburn baseball and has served as the play-by-play voice for Auburn women’s basketball since 1988.

No stranger to Auburn football, Burcham has also been the pregame and postgame locker room host for Tiger football since 1990 and was the play-by-play announcer on Auburn football pay-per-view and tape-delay broadcasts from 1992-2013.

“With this job, you’re not just the voice of Auburn football, men’s basketball and baseball. You’re also the voice of Auburn,” Burcham emphasized. “You represent Auburn every day, and I will never forget that. I have been in this community and broadcasting Auburn games for 31 years. I understand and love Auburn and its tradition. I can’t wait to be a part of it moving forward.”

A versatile broadcaster, Burcham has done radio and SEC Network+ broadcasts for Auburn soccer since 2001, SEC Network+ broadcasts for Auburn baseball the last five years and locally hosted Auburn Opelika This Morning for 12 years while serving as station manager at WANI. A recipient of 15 Alabama Broadcaster Association awards, Burcham began his career in the Auburn-Opelika area as news and sports director for Fuller Broadcasting and Tiger Communications.

“During the very difficult process of replacing Rod, it was very clear that Andy Burcham was the right man to be the new Voice of the Auburn Tigers,” Auburn Sports Properties vice president and general manager Chris Davis explained.

He lauded Burcham as a “consummate professional.”

“He is well respected not only in his profession, but by his coworkers, Auburn Athletics coaches and administration, and in the community,” Davis outlined. “He understands the importance of this role. Andy is a consummate professional who puts great preparation, execution and passion into his work. Most importantly, Andy is a man of great character who loves and cares deeply for Auburn and what it represents. We’re very excited for Andy and can’t wait for the Auburn Family to embrace him in his new role.”

Burcham will co-host Tiger Talk with veteran Auburn broadcaster Brad Law and work alongside Law on Auburn baseball broadcasts.

Law will also serve as pregame and postgame locker room host for Auburn football. Brit Bowen will take over broadcasting duties of Auburn women’s basketball and Auburn softball.

“Simply put, Andy is unquestionably the right man for the job,” Auburn Athletics Director Allen Greene added. “His experience as a broadcaster is extensive and his affinity for Auburn is unrivaled. Having been part of the Auburn Family for over three decades, Andy understands what sets Auburn apart and understands the passion of our loyal fan base. He deeply respects those who have come before him and will assume this role with a great deal of humility.”

“Andy is a true Auburn Man,” Greene stressed.

Before his time in the Yellowhammer State, Burcham’s four-decade run in the profession started at Indiana State as an undergraduate student calling Sycamore football, men’s and women’s basketball and baseball for student radio station WISU. He also called games at Illinois State and Southern Illinois before coming to Auburn in 1988.

A native of Nashville, Ill., Burcham graduated from Indiana State University in 1983 with a degree in radio, television and film. Burcham is married to Dr. Jan Gunnels Burcham, a 1984 and 1992 Auburn University graduate, who is the Moselle Fletcher Endowed Chair and Associate Dean for the College of Education and Health Profession at Columbus State University.

Quentin Riggins, former Auburn linebacker and Auburn radio sideline reporter (1991-2015) and current member of the university’s board of trustees, said, “I am so excited to hear the news that my friend Andy Burcham will be the new Voice of the Auburn Tigers.”

He added, “Andy and I have walked the sidelines together for years and I can tell you the Auburn Family is getting one of the most talented guys in the business. He will bring his best to the stadium every day and he will bring a little bit of Rod with him as well. A tremendous hire!”

You can read reactions from more Auburn Athletics figures past and present here, including coaches Gus Malzahn and Bruce Pearl.

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

2 hours ago

Alabama postpones 50th anniversary tour over singer’s health

Country band Alabama says it is postponing the remainder of its 50th anniversary tour as lead singer Randy Owen battles health complications.

The group announced Wednesday that the 69-year-old Owen is suffering from migraines and vertigo, and doctors say he needs more time to recover.

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The news comes after a string of already-canceled shows due to the singer’s health.

Bass player and vocalist Teddy Gentry wrote in a statement that though he and the rest of the band are disappointed, Owen’s recovery is the priority.

The 50-city tour was scheduled through Nov. 23, where it would have ended in Salisbury, Maryland.

Rescheduled dates will be released in the coming weeks.
(Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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How Alabama’s Iron Tribe Fitness sets the standard for group workouts

Iron Tribe Fitness, founded in Birmingham, Alabama, is leading the way for workout programs across the nation. Ranked as one of the top five workouts in the nation, this 45-minute HIIT group workout class offers participants exciting and effective workouts in a time frame that works with any kind of schedule.

Recently, the gym hosted Coach 201, a weekend training session for their instructors in their downtown Birmingham corporate location. This session brought together all of Iron Tribe’s local coaching staff to review training guidelines and program goals.

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In hosting this training, Iron Tribe is living out their core value of delivering a consistent experience. Forrest Walden, Iron Tribe’s founder and CEO says this training session taps into the heart of what the program does — which is creating communities that change lives.

“It’s always great to see the entire team come together to fellowship and dive deep into why we do what we do every day,” Walden said.

During the training, Iron Tribe coaches were given the opportunity to learn more about the classes they teach and strengthen their relationships with each other. As a result, the coaches are empowered to return to their home gyms and lead their athletes with renewed skills and confidence.

“Kyle Sottung, our director of product development, is extremely thorough and talented at what he does. To see him lead our Birmingham coaches is always such a blessing. Our coaches are more empowered now than ever to pour into the Birmingham community,” Walden stated.

According to Walden, Iron Tribe is successful because the program is more than just a workout, but a way to strengthen the communities they serve.

“Iron Tribe stands on a list off essential core beliefs. These beliefs steer what we do every day, both inside and outside the gym. It’s our hope that by continuing to develop ourselves that we can be exceptional coaches and role models within our communities,” Walden said.

Ready to get in the best shape of your life? Learn more by visiting irontribefitness.com.

2 hours ago

Limestone County sheriff indicted, arrested on 13 financial theft, ethics charges

Attorney General Steve Marshall on Thursday announced that Limestone County Sheriff Michael Anthony Blakely has been indicted and arrested on several ethics charges.

Blakely, 68, surrendered to authorities and was later released on a $49,000 bond, according to the attorney general’s office.

The indictment includes 13 charges that cover a range of conduct over multiple years.

“Public officials are entrusted to perform their duties honestly and above reproach,” Marshall said in a statement. “When that bond of trust is broken, our society suffers undue harm. My office—working with our federal and state partners—is committed to ensuring that the violators of the public trust be held accountable under the law.”

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Specifically, the first four counts charge Blakely with four separate thefts from his campaign account that total $11,000.

Counts five through 10 charge him with theft or ethics charges stemming from his illegally taking money from Limestone County funds, including from the Sheriff’s Law Enforcement Fund.

Count 11 charges Blakely with soliciting a $1,000 wire transfer from a subordinate other than in the ordinary course of business.

Finally, counts 12 and 13 charge the sheriff with using his official position or office to acquire interest-free loans. Count 12 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans in the form of a $50,000 cashier’s check and/or a $22,189.68 credit. Count 13 charges Blakely with using his official position or office to obtain interest-free loans by taking money from a safe that was used to store the Limestone County inmates’ personal funds.

“I would like to thank the Federal Bureau of Investigation for its investigative assistance in this case,” Marshall added. “Anyone with information regarding corrupt practices by public officials is encouraged to contact the Alabama Attorney General’s Office at reportcorruption@ago.state.al.us.”

The case is being prosecuted by the state attorney general’s Special Prosecutions Division.

“While the overwhelming majority of public officials serve honorably, those who corrupt the operations of government rob their communities—their friends and neighbors—of the fundamental right to honest government, and we must insist on absolute honesty, integrity and trustworthiness from everyone,” FBI Birmingham Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr. commented.

“I want the citizens of north Alabama to know that if they have information about potential wrongdoing by a public official or law enforcement officer, the FBI wants to hear from you,” he advised. “If you have information, call my office’s Public Corruption Tip Line at (844) 404-TIPS, share what you know, and join in the fight against corruption.”

Blakely, as is the case with all indictments, is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

UPDATE 1:20 p.m.

Blakely’s attorneys held a press conference emphasizing that he will plead not guilty to all counts, per WHNT.

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

3 hours ago

NASCAR Hall of Famer Rusty Wallace: Talladega Superspeedway renovations ‘a whole different level’ — Expect to see other facilities follow its lead

On Wednesday at the Talladega Superspeedway, former NASCAR great Rusty Wallace, the 1989 champion of the sanctioning body’s premier series, took part in a tour with members of the media that showcased the finishing touches being put in the facility’s “Transformation” renovations with its October fall race weekend fast approaching.

The $50 million “Transformation” project comes as Talladega Superspeedway celebrates its 50th anniversary. Among the improved amenities are the Talladega Garage Experience, which is made up of the Open Air Club. Also included are a new Race Operations tower high above the track’s tri-oval and the new Pit Road Club that offers race fans a close-up view of team pit stops.

On Wednesday, Wallace appeared on Huntsville radio’s WVNN to discuss the facility’s overhaul and other changes to NASCAR over the past few decades.

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“These guys have taken it to a whole different level,” Wallace said. “I got there today, and we’re talking about all brand-new garage areas and they made it so all the fans can come down in the garage and stand literally three-foot in front of the race cars, watch the race cars pull in, watch the drivers get out, watch them run their motors, watch all the behind the scenes stuff. And that’s like nothing I’ve ever seen in our sport at all.”

“It adds some aspects to the new builds – the Daytona build, Phoenix, Ariz., Richmond, Va.,” he continued. “And those are fantastic. But Talladega is probably the best I’ve seen. I mean, you literally – you’re a fan. You can stand right in front of that car. It’s neat having that much access.”

When asked how it compared to another time in NASCAR when things were much more accessible, Wallace explained this offered an organization that that era did not provide.

“What it does is it organizes a lot better,” Wallace explained. “There’s places to watch. There are ways to watch. They’re even telling the pit crews where they can put their big toolboxes that they operate out of so it won’t obstruct the view of a fan that has come down there to see these cars.’

Wallace also touted the new 35,000-square foot Talladega Social Club with its 41-foot television and 71-foot wide bar, which was adjacent to the garage area.

The 1989 champion said he expected other NASCAR facilities around the country to follow Talladega’s lead.

“I think you’re going to see all these facilities around the country trying to keep up the facilities and make them the best you can,” he said. “If you ask Rusty Wallace, ‘Hey, do you want it hard or easy to sit inside of a race track,’ I’m going to tell them I want it easy. Do I want to go inside with the air conditioner when it is 100 degrees outside, I’m going to tell you yes. That’s the reason I like these new facilities they’ve got.”

Access to drivers and internet access also compliment the new facility, according to Wallace.

The track, along with its parent company, International Speedway Corporation, announced last year it’s “Transformation,” an approximate $50 million redevelopment that is part of ISC’s long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes.

Full completion of the modernized project is anticipated for October. For ticket information for the 1000Bulbs.com 500 and Sugarlands Shine 250 doubleheader NASCAR Playoffs weekend, October 11-13, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 855-518-RACE (7223).

@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.

4 hours ago

Alabama-made ULA rocket powers another GPS satellite into orbit

Alabama rocket builder United Launch Alliance (ULA) conducted its 135th mission Thursday morning when it powered yet another Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite into its targeted orbit.

The GPS III Magellan, built by Lockheed Martin, will enable the U.S. Air Force to continue modernizing the nation’s worldwide navigation network with improved accuracy, better anti-jam resiliency and a new signal for civil users.

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GPS satellites are frequent payload into space. Today’s launch was the 73rd GPS payload powered by ULA.

Of the 81 Air Force satellites in orbit, 34 are GPS satellites.

This fact recently led former Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson to quip, “The blue dot on your phone is not provided by your cellphone company; it comes from the United States Air Force.”

She elaborated that the Air Force provides GPS coordinates for about 1 billion people every day and enables an $80 billion piece of our economy. With its satellites, the Air Force takes pictures, gathers intelligence, facilitates global communication, monitors weather and conducts the critical task of providing timing signals for the New York Stock Exchange and every ATM in America.

This was the final flight for ULA’s Delta IV Medium rocket. The powerful Delta IV Heavy, with its three common booster cores, will continue to fly U.S. government missions.

The Delta IV’s main engine, manufactured by Aerojet Rocketdyne, consumed nearly a ton of fuel per second as it pushed the rocket in flight.

ULA’s 1.6 million square-foot manufacturing facility in Decatur is the largest of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Watch the launch:

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer News