The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

4 months ago

Yellowhammer News — There’s an app for that

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Alabama’s fastest-growing and second-largest media outlet is available anytime with Yellowhammer’s mobile app. Stay informed on the latest in business, politics, sports, outdoors, faith, culture and more.

Online, on the radio, podcasts, events and more — if it matters in Alabama, it’s on Yellowhammer.

Available for both Apple and Android products. Download at the App Store or simply click here.

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4 months ago

Over 25 radio stations in Alabama broadcast Yellowhammer News every hour, every day

Need to reach millions? Yellowhammer broadcasts headline news updates to radio stations across the state every hour, every weekday.

Major coverage, at a fraction of the price. What can Yellowhammer do for you?

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4 months ago

Power and Influence: Alabamians in D.C.

(Wikicommons, YHN)

The state of Alabama has over the years sent leaders to Washington, D.C. who have etched their names on the country’s history in a myriad of ways. Merely a few include Justice Hugo Black, Sen. Howell Heflin, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the continued powerful presence of Sen. Richard Shelby.

The Yellowhammer State’s influence is not limited to elected and appointed leaders, though.

There exists an entire class of Alabamians who have descended on the nation’s capital to shape policy, serve their government and fuel public discourse on the most pressing issues. Some have done so in public view, most have not.

Yellowhammer News has compiled a list of native Alabamians, and those who have spent appreciable time living in the state, exerting power and influence in the seat of American politics.

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Abe Adams, managing partner, Targeted Victory: Adams tests the boundaries of what it means to be well-rounded. He is a multi-lingual lawyer with an engineering degree from the University of Alabama. A top-tier Republican campaign strategist, he also delves into corporate branding. Adams will continue to make his mark in D.C. well into the future.

 

Michael Allen, managing director, Beacon Global Strategies: Allen is one of the country’s foremost experts on national security policy and foreign affairs. The Mobile native and graduate of the University of Alabama Law School worked in the George W. Bush White House with national security and legislative responsibilities. In addition, he held the position of staff director for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. In private practice, Allen advises his clients on an array of complex global issues.

 

Britton Bonner, economic development team leader, Adams & Reese: Bonner is a frequent tip of the spear on economic development projects involving foreign direct investment. This work often originates out of his relationships and knowledge in D.C. Bonner has frequently led trade missions to Europe and Asia on behalf of Alabama’s aerospace, defense and shipbuilding industries. When there are economic development issues that need momentum in D.C., this Troy University graduate is usually involved.

 

Brent Buchanan, founder, Cygnal: Buchanan is Alabama’s homegrown pollster. He made such a name for himself in Montgomery that some were calling him Alabama’s Nate Silver. Now he has opened up shop in D.C. and is prospering. Cygnal has worked in 43 states and conducts more than 500 surveys per year for a variety of clients in politics, business and public policy.

 

Ray Cole, vice president, Van Scoyoc: Among the long list of highly influential individuals in D.C. who graduated from “The University of Richard Shelby,” Cole may be the valedictorian. His practice areas include some of his home state’s most important industries, such as aerospace, defense, agriculture, energy and financial services. The perception has existed for quite some time that if you need certain things done in D.C. and Alabama, Cole is the guy you need to hire. Cole serves on the University of Alabama President’s Cabinet and the Advisory Board for the Blackburn Institute.

 

Michael Davis, government relations expert, Balch & Bingham: Davis’ biography page on the firm website describes him as “a connected strategist and problem solver.” We could not have said it any better ourselves. The Mobile native long ago established himself as one of Alabama’s most effective people at getting things done in D.C. Davis’ relationships are built to last.

 

Rick Dearborn, Cypress Group/Adams & Reese: This Birmingham resident has been a fixture in D.C. for more than three decades. He is a partner at The Cypress Group and a senior policy advisor at Adams & Reese. Before entering the private sector, Dearborn held premier jobs in government as deputy chief of staff to President Donald Trump and chief of staff to former Senator Jeff Sessions. His wife Gina is a state lobbying stalwart, making them a true Alabama power couple.

 

Billy Godoy, director of federal affairs, General Motors: General Motors employs more than 86,000 people across the United States and has invested north of $27 billion in American facilities since 2009. While the enormity of its impact on the nation’s economy is apparent through numbers like those, the extent to which its health is tied to public policy decisions in D.C. is more difficult to describe. Regardless, the job falls on the shoulders of Alabama native Billy Godoy who has established a strong profile in the nation’s capital.

 

Brittney Godoy, co-founder, Socko Strategies: A productive fundraising apparatus is essential to any successful political operation. Raising money, though, is not nearly as easy as it sounds. That’s why a firm like the one Brittney Godoy has built is in such high demand in D.C. politics. The Alabama native and University of Alabama graduate has raised hundreds of millions of dollars for candidates and committees.

 

Stewart Hall, chairman, Crossroads Strategies: Hall has built a career in D.C. upon decades of experience, and his work for Richard Shelby has served as a rock-solid foundation. There are few issues that he has not tackled over the years, and he has maintained a foothold in the world of campaigns and strategy. Hall knows the ins and outs of the D.C. game like few others do.

 

Susan Hirschmann, chairman and CEO, Williams & Jensen: If there was such a thing as a super-lobbyist, this University of Montevallo graduate would be considered one. A former chief of staff to the House majority whip, she now runs one of the oldest independent lobbying firms in D.C. She served as one of three U.S. delegates to the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women in 2005. As a visiting fellow at Harvard University, Hirschmann wrote Skirting Tradition: Women in Politics Speak to the Next Generation.

 

Mike House, founder, Oak Grove Strategies: Politics and law have been House’s currency in Washington going all the way back to when he served as chief of staff to legendary Alabama political figure Howell Heflin. An Auburn University undergrad, with a law degree from the University of Alabama, he managed Howell Heflin’s Senate campaign in 1978. House has taken up permanent residence on lobbying power lists in D.C. He occupies the 10th spot on Washingtonian’s 50 Top Lobbyists and is a top three legislative lawyer by Chambers USA.

 

Mary Pat Lawrence, senior vice president for government affairs, Protective Life: Lawrence is one of those rare individuals whose name elicits near universal respect and admiration when brought up in conversation with her peers. An East Alabama native, with undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Alabama, she now oversees all government and regulatory affairs for the Alabama insurance juggernaut Protective Life. That’s a huge job considering the company, headquartered in Birmingham, maintains $120 billion in assets and employs more than 3,000 people across the country. The sky is the limit for Lawrence.

 

Walton Liles, co-founder, Blue Ridge Law & Policy: Liles’ government service could not have prepared him any better for a practice focusing on providing clients strategic legal advice and advocacy. Liles served as Senior Counsel for the House Committee on Financial Services. In addition, the University of Alabama Law School graduate learned from one of Alabama’s finest federal judges as a law clerk to Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Joel Dubina.

 

Torrie Miller Matous, chief of staff, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board: Matous is a Montgomery native who has worked for several notable members on Capitol Hill, including serving as chief of staff to Martha Roby and communications director for Richard Shelby. Aimed at bolstering investor confidence, the PCAOB oversees auditing of public companies and SEC-registered brokers and dealers, creating a web of regulatory interaction that Matous is tasked with managing.

 

Alex McCrary, director of federal governmental and corporate affairs, Alabama Power Company: The instability of today’s political and public policy climate can be difficult for any company to handle. The energy industry, in particular, has to continually monitor the proceedings in D.C. McCrary is charged with making sure Alabama Power Company’s voice is heard on Capitol Hill and throughout federal agencies. The Auburn University graduate has excelled in that role. McCrary’s work is particularly noted for his grasp of policy nuances as well as an ability to develop relationships that count.

 

Kasdin Miller Mitchell, partner, Kirkland & Ellis: Mitchell is a partner in the prestigious law firm Kirkland & Ellis. She held not one but two of the dream jobs for conservative jurists. She served as law clerk to Clarence Thomas on the Supreme Court of the United States and Bill Pryor on the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals. Mitchell also worked as a spokesman for former First Lady Laura Bush and at the U.S. Department of Energy. If you went into a lab to build a resume for a high-powered D.C. lawyer, Mitchell’s would be the one you would want to copy.

 

Leroy Nix, director of federal government affairs, Southern Company: Southern Company’s operating revenues total $23.4 billion. It has nearly 9 million utility customers while employing more than 29,000 people. As director of Federal Government Affairs, Nix is charged with protecting those vast interests with policymakers and agency personnel in D.C. He is a University of Alabama Law School graduate, and his connection to his home state persists as a member of the University of Montevallo Board of Trustees. Nix’s star continues to rise.

 

Chuck Penry, vice president for federal government relations, Tyson Foods: The Auburn graduate has been an advocate for rural America for many years. Previously, he worked on behalf of electric cooperatives, and now he is tasked with keeping the poultry industry prosperous. Penry’s time in D.C. goes all the way back to his service on Sen. Howell Heflin’s staff and as the senator’s representative on the Senate Agriculture Committee.

 

Gina Rigby, director of federal government affairs, AFLAC: Rigby heads up the D.C. government affairs operation for Columbus, Georgia-based AFLAC. The Fortune 500 company provides insurance coverage to more than 50 million people worldwide. Rigby, a Smith Station native, deals with Congress and the Trump administration on a myriad of issues including trade, taxes, healthcare and insurance.

 

Ed Rogers, founding partner, BGR Group: Rogers successfully completed the career journey to which so many young political operatives aspire. Old political hands in Montgomery still recall a young Rogers engaging in the kind of mundane tasks assigned to entry-level campaign workers such as putting out signs and coordinating volunteers. What seems like a lifetime later, he has reached legendary status in Republican power circles. A veteran of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush administrations, he also worked alongside the late Lee Atwater during the 1988 campaign. Rogers co-founded the powerhouse BGR Group with former Republican National Committee chairman and Mississippi governor Haley Barbour. He currently serves on the president’s cabinet at the University of Alabama and as a visiting professor.

 

Alex Schriver, executive vice president, Targeted Victory: Schriver is a political speedboat. A former College Republican National Committee chairman, he quickly ascended to serve as chief of staff to Congressman Bradley Byrne. After navigating the treacherous waters of Capitol Hill, he took up work in the private sector where he captains a large part of Targeted Victory’s strategic political work.

 

Amos Snead, executive vice president, Adfero: There is an unwritten rule in D.C. that you pay forward the help you received at the start of your career. Perhaps no one has taken up for young Alabamians searching for entry points onto Capitol Hill more than Snead. So much so that he even authored a book titled, “Climbing the Hill: How to Build a Career in Politics and Make a Difference.” A communications expert and graduate of the University of Montevallo, he is a co-founder of FamousDC, a digital media company and social network for life inside the Beltway.

 

David Stewart, partner, Bradley: Stewart is a seasoned veteran of D.C. governmental affairs. The Alabama native and former Jeff Sessions staffer assists his clients on Capitol Hill and the executive branch. Stewart’s practice includes advising clients on the intricacies of federal campaign finance laws. His practice fits seamlessly into the full-service approach of a law firm such as Bradley.

 

Bill Stiers, director of federal government relations, Maynard, Cooper & Gale: This University of Alabama graduate has logged more than thirty years in D.C. Stiers has worked as a congressional staffer, political consultant and as a fundraiser. He has solidified his stature in D.C. through his involvement in so many different parts of politics. Stiers’ advocacy delves into the areas which matter most to the state, including national security, aerospace, biotechnology, healthcare, financial services and manufacturing.

 

Steve Still, partner, Balch & Bingham: Still is a partner in the firm’s Public Policy and Government Relations practice. He has spent decades representing clients in front of Congress and federal agencies to the point that his name is now synonymous with law firm-based federal advocacy. In addition, Still is the only attorney in Alabama who is a member of the Federation of Regulatory Counsel.

 

Goodloe Sutton, director of government affairs, Boeing: Few industries require a more comprehensive federal affairs strategy than companies in the aerospace and defense industries. Boeing is the world’s largest aerospace contractor, employing more than 153,000 people across the U.S. It is unsurprising that the company would call upon Sutton to lead its government affairs. He has seen just about everything as a key Richard Shelby aide and member of the Senate Appropriations Committee staff.

 

Madeline Barter Vey, senior director political and public affairs, Equinor: After gaining ample experience on Capitol Hill and in private lobbying practice, Vey now directs political and public affairs for Equinor. The international energy company employs more than 30,000 people worldwide and counts on Vey to represent it in the formulation of U.S. energy policy. She is a graduate of the University of Alabama and a member of the Alabama State Bar.

 

Brad Wilson, vice president, Highwood Capital: A Dothan native, and University of Alabama graduate, Wilson is a key figure in the national political and business consulting firm Highwood Capital. He specializes in fundraising and development for political campaigns and non-profits. He’s a veteran political operative of the Alabama Republican Party from a time before the GOP enjoyed majority status in the state. Bolstering his impressive resume is his eight-year stint as state director for Richard Shelby.

Heather Caygle, Politico: Caygle is a Congress reporter for Politico. The UAB graduate and Crimson Tide fan previously covered the Hill for Bloomberg BNA. Her byline became nearly perpetual during impeachment as she captured the story from every conceivable angle. Her frequent television appearances include C-Span and PBS.

 

Kaitlan Collins, CNN: From Prattville to the White House press corps is quite a journey. This University of Alabama graduate has never been one to shy away from controversy. That approach has served her well and helped her become a fixture on cable news coverage. She was named to the Forbes 30 under 30 in news media in 2019. In 2018, Mediaite recognized her as the 50th most influential person in news media.

 

Jan Crawford, CBS: Crawford has registered a storied career in legal journalism. She is one of the news media’s most prominent observers of the nation’s highest court. With previous stops at the Chicago Tribune and ABC, Crawford now covers the legal system for CBS. Interviews with Supreme Court justices are rare, however, Crawford obtained two of the most notable in recent years when she sat down with Chief Justice John Roberts and the late Justice John Paul Stevens in separate interviews. Even after enjoying an abundance of fame and influence, the Baileyton native has maintained her priorities as evidenced by a profession of her love for fried okra and the Crimson Tide in her social media profile.

 

Alex Pappas, Fox News: Pappas is a senior politics editor for FoxNews.com. If there was big news on the presidential campaign trail this election cycle, Pappas probably wrote it. The Mobile native has worked at Daily Caller and has covered everything from the White House to congressional and local news and politics. Pappas has become a mainstay in D.C. news media.

 

Elaina Plott, New York Times: Plott joined the Times as a national political reporter late last year. To her new audience, she quickly affirmed her reputation as a gifted writer. Plott has brought unique insight into the chaos which has ensued in D.C. the past few months. Prior to the Times, she wrote for The Atlantic, National Review and Washingtonian. The Tuscaloosa native was named to Forbes 30 under 30 in news media for 2020.

 

Joe Scarborough, MSNBC: A University of Alabama alumnus and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, Scarborough has been ubiquitous in D.C. politics since the mid-1990s. Once a colleague of former Governor Bob Riley in the House, Scarborough hatched the name of his first show after hearing the slogan Riley used during his 2002 gubernatorial campaign. “Riley Country” became “Scarborough Country” on MSNBC, and a star was born. It remains to be seen what type of reception Scarborough would receive at Bryant-Denny Stadium these days. This mystery comes not as a result of a shift in his political beliefs, but rather based on the fact that he committed the unpardonable crime of getting married on the same day as the Iron Bowl in 2018. The #StopFallWeddings movement in Alabama is real.

Dayne Cutrell, chief of staff, Senator Richard Shelby: Cutrell’s climb of the ladder in D.C. has been textbook. The Mobile native, who played baseball at Samford University, began his career in Richard Shelby’s office as a legislative assistant before becoming legislative director. He then moved on to become a top aide to Shelby on the powerful Senate Appropriations Committee. Cutrell’s trajectory continues to be a steep one.

 

Dana Gresham, chief of staff, Senator Doug Jones: Gresham has built an impeccable resume in D.C. He served as assistant secretary for Government Affairs at the Department of Transportation, chief of staff to former congressman Artur Davis and as a staffer to former congressman Bud Cramer. A Birmingham native who attended the historic A.H. Parker High School, Gresham brings a vast knowledge of both Alabama and the D.C. machine to his job.

 

Wells Griffith, managing director and senior advisor to the CEO for energy, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC): There are some of us for whom becoming known as “Trump’s climate guy” would be a career apex. For Griffith, he might as well be just getting started. Until late last year, he served as special assistant to the president and senior director for international energy and environment on the National Security Council. He made his home state proud when he boldly espoused the virtues of coal power at a European climate conference. Now at DFC, Griffith has developed the kind of staying power in D.C. which will allow him to remain on lists like these indefinitely.

 

Willie Phillips, chairman, Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia: The person in charge of energy policy for the city where energy policy is made is in an uncommon position of influence. That person is Willie Phillips, and he happens to be from Alabama. A University of Montevallo graduate and member of the Alabama State Bar, Phillips is highly influential in public policy for regulatory matters for utilities and federal energy policy.

 

Kevin Turner, vice president and general counsel, U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC): Check out this list of previous employment positions: senior vice president and general counsel for the Export-Import Bank of the United States, chief of staff to former Senator Luther Strange and chief deputy attorney general for the state of Alabama. Those all belong to Turner who is now a high-ranking executive at DFC, an agency which partners with the private sector to provide financing solutions to the developing world.

4 months ago

Committed to helping your business on the road to recovery

(Pixabay, YHN)

As a member of Alabama’s small business community, Yellowhammer is ready to assist your company on the road to recovery.

Our knowledgeable team is here to help craft your message in a manner that is effective and affordable. Our commitment to moving the economy forward includes discounted pricing and specialized payment options.

Online, on the radio, podcasts, events and more – let us connect your business to the people of Alabama. What can Yellowhammer do for you?

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4 months ago

Alabama’s 2nd largest media outlet is now its fastest-growing

(Pixabay, YHN)

Yellowhammer increased its audience size by 43% in 2020 combined with 30% growth in 2019.

Our mission remains the same: reflect our state, its people and their values.

Online, on the radio, podcasts, events and more, Yellowhammer connects Alabama.

Find out how we can all grow together. 

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4 months ago

Yellowhammer connects your business to Alabama consumers

After nine years, our mission remains the same: reflect our state, its people and their values. As the state’s second-largest media outlet, Yellowhammer connects your business to the people of Alabama.

Online, on the radio, podcasts, events and more. What can Yellowhammer do for you?

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4 months ago

Online, on the radio, podcasts, events and more – Yellowhammer has you covered

(YHN)

The need for relevant, high-quality information has never been more vital than during this extraordinary time. As the state’s second-largest media outlet, Yellowhammer covers all of Alabama with a single mission – reflect our state, its people and their values.

Online, on the radio, podcasts, events and more – let us connect your business to the people of Alabama.  What can Yellowhammer do for you?

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4 months ago

Alabama’s top 10 most powerful and influential local officials

(John Merrill, Mayor Steven Reed, Jimmie Stephens, Montgomery County Sheriff's Office Alabama, Chairman Dale Strong, Baldwin County Sheriff's Office, Tommy Battle, Sandy Stimpson, Mayor Randall Woodfin/Facebook, YHN)

Alabama’s local officials wield a tremendous amount of influence on public policy and how business gets done. Recent events only serve to underscore the importance of the state’s local officials in improving the everyday lives of those they serve and helping their communities prosper.

After an extensive examination of local governments, and the men and women who occupy positions within them, Yellowhammer has compiled and ranked a list of the 10 most powerful and influential local officials from around the state. Some on the list have a heightened level of power and influence inside city limits and county lines, others extend farther out into the Yellowhammer State.

All move the needle in Alabama politics and policy.

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Mayors from midsize cities

Frank Brocato, Hoover. The over-the-mountain city is all grown up, and Brocato became its 10th mayor in 2016. Known for being business-friendly with a strong school system, Hoover has become a hub for a variety of commercial activities in the Birmingham area. Following 42 years of service in the city’s fire department, Brocato is the consummate advocate for Hoover.

Walt Maddox, Tuscaloosa. Having the state’s largest university within the limits of your city raises the stakes on your job performance, and Maddox has received resounding praise for his work in the West Alabama city. The Tuscaloosa native and former UAB football player has leveraged the strength of the University of Alabama to maximize the city’s economy and improve quality of life for its residents.

Gulf Coast mayors

Robert Craft (Gulf Shores) and Tony Kennon (Orange Beach). Tourism in Alabama is a $17 billion annual business, and the state’s beaches are the largest source of that revenue. So while their cities may not have the large population numbers of others, Craft and Kennon have significant influence because of their statewide value, and both mayors are perpetually working to ensure nothing stands in the way of those visitors who flock to their cities in droves. Balancing development with maintaining the beauty of their coastal beaches, and taking care of residents and tourists, alike, present challenges to which both have risen.

 

Patrick Davenport, probate judge, Houston County Davenport had several years of experience as an attorney specializing in probate law before becoming his home county’s probate judge. The Navy veteran and former Marine police officer has quickly developed a strong voice on some of Alabama’s most critical public policy initiatives, such as dealing with mental health issues within the state’s healthcare system. Davenport has also created models for greater efficiency at polling places for statewide implementation.

 

Elisabeth French, presiding judge of Jefferson County Circuit and district judges tend not to enjoy as much power and influence as other elected officials in Alabama. However, Jefferson County is different. The county’s judicial system is massive and intricate, and French is tasked with oversight for all the court system’s employees and is charged with maintaining an orderly and expeditious process through which justice can be administered. A Cumberland School of Law graduate, French is also the first African-American woman to serve as presiding judge for any judicial circuit in the state’s history.

 

Bill Partridge, chief of police, City of Oxford Partridge throughout his tenure has sought to stay on the forefront of law enforcement methods and technologies, and his work has impacted more than just his city. A graduate of the FBI Academy in Quantico, Virginia, Partridge currently serves as president of the Alabama Association of Chiefs of Police. As a founder of the East Area Metro Crime Center, Partridge says of its impact, “What this center will be able to do is, we’ll be able to bring in 23 different local, state, and federal agencies under one roof to share intelligence, and to share what’s going on on a day to day basis, to help solve crimes faster and hopefully prevent crimes.”

10. David Money, commissioner and probate judge, Henry County Money is one of the few remaining occupants of both the office of probate judge and chairman of the county commission. The Abbeville native has lived his entire life in Henry County, yet his influence reverberates throughout Alabama. He currently serves as president of the powerful Alabama Association of County Commissions, a position through which he has engaged prominently in state policy. Money was a vocal proponent of Rebuild Alabama and has a track record of economic development success for his area. A graduate of the University of Alabama, he formerly owned a Ford dealership prior to entering public service.

 

9. Steven Reed, mayor, City of Montgomery Reed was sworn in as Montgomery’s 57th mayor in November 2019. His term brings with it much hope and anticipation for a more holistic approach to governance in Alabama’s capital city. In a short time, Reed has already exhibited an ability to communicate effectively with people from all corners of the city. A former football player at Morehouse College, he received a Master of Business Administration at Vanderbilt University and has shown a keen understanding of how to meet the needs of the business community while tending to essential city services.

 

8. Connie Hudson, commissioner, Mobile County A commissioner in Alabama’s second-largest county, Hudson has spent more than two and a half decades building a power base in her area. She served nine years on the Mobile City Council before her election to the county commission. A graduate of Troy University, Hudson has had an impact on commerce along the Gulf Coast. She served on the board of the Alabama State Port Authority and as an advocate for the many large economic development projects Mobile has seen in recent years. A 2019 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact and current board member of the Alabama Association of County Commissions, Hudson continues to make her mark along the Gulf Coast.

 

7. Jimmie Stephens, commissioner, Jefferson County Stephens is the president of the county commission in the state’s most populous county. Few know the area they represent quite like Stephens. He grew up in Jefferson County and has never really left, having attended Bessemer High School and Samford University. That connection to his community has carried him to a position where a leads a commission which oversees a $700 million budget for its citizens. Stephens had a long career in the food and grocery industry prior to entering public service and has sought to implement business principles into county governance.

 

6. Derrick Cunningham, sheriff, Montgomery County While the capital city has struggled with its law enforcement effort over the last decade, Cunningham has built one of Alabama’s most effective and admired departments in the surrounding area. He has been a leading advocate for juvenile justice reform and better outcomes for children who enter the state’s criminal justice system. Cunningham was elected by his peers to the position of president of the Alabama Sheriffs Association. His infusion of technology and innovation into Montgomery County’s policing techniques has drawn praise. The Troy University graduate oversees a 300-person agency and a $27 million budget.

 

5. Dale Strong, commissioner, Madison County There will never be a power vacuum in Madison County so long as Strong is in office. He is a bit of an old-school politician trapped in a young man’s body. He looks for every opportunity to exert influence and pulls every lever of power available to him. As chairman of the county commission, he occupies the lone position elected county-wide. For those wanting greater efficiency in government, the Strong-led agencies in Madison County should serve as models. He has a professional background in banking and pharmaceutical sales, and he is an emergency medical technician. His relentless advocacy for improved infrastructure in the fast-growing county of 375,000 people will be one of the cornerstones of his legacy.

 

4. Hoss Mack, sheriff, Baldwin County Mack is a must-have relationship for current and aspiring statewide elected officials. This speaks to his political strength and influence in Baldwin County and to the respect he commands on law enforcement issues. Serving his fourth term in office, Mack has worked for the Baldwin County Sheriff’s Department in various capacities since 1989. He is a past president of the Alabama Sheriffs Association and a director of the National Sheriffs Association. He has been a voice on national initiatives such as the Blue Lightning task force which aims to stop human trafficking. Well over 6 million visitors trek through the 2,027 square miles that make up Mack’s jurisdiction, endowing him with tremendous responsibility for which he has proved highly capable.

 

3. Tommy Battle, mayor, Huntsville Battle leads a city chock-full of engineers, scientists, military veterans and entrepreneurs. On one hand, this is a group of natural rule-followers who consistently remain open to new ways of doing things. On the other hand, expectations are sky-high. Battle has managed to thrive in this environment and become one of the state’s most prominent elected officials. With the winds of innovation at his back, Battle has brought major economic development projects to Huntsville — and helped existing businesses grow — through his commitment to infrastructure and willingness to work with other governmental bodies throughout the Tennessee Valley. With a triple-A credit rating and a double-A baseball team, Battle’s Huntsville will continue to be a city many others across Alabama desire to replicate.

 

2. Sandy Stimpson, mayor, Mobile Stimpson spent more than 40 years in the building industry as a lumber manufacturer. That experience served him well as one of the enduring traits possessed by those at the top of this list is an ability to build consensus. Stimpson is the chief executive officer for a city that has diversity among its population and its interests. Manufacturing, tourism and professional services drive the city’s economy. International investment is critical. Public safety and revitalization are chief concerns in Mobile communities. Stimpson has effectively tackled them all and received strong reviews along the way. With the entire state getting back to work, the Port of Mobile expanding to accommodate additional shipping demand and Stimpson launching several other initiatives to improve quality of life for Mobilians, the city is poised to prosper in the coming years.

 

1. Randall Woodfin, mayor, Birmingham Woodfin will be exceedingly successful in whatever he decides to do when he finishes his tenure as mayor of Birmingham. If he chooses to start a business, practice law, launch a hedge fund or pursue a charitable endeavor, his ability to build coalitions and get people to buy into a common purpose is nearly unmatched in the Yellowhammer State. Woodfin became the city’s 30th mayor in 2017, and he has not looked back. The Morehouse College and Cumberland School of Law graduate immediately forged partnerships with some of the state’s largest employers, as well as with leaders on the neighborhood level. Woodfin has found a way to initiate programs, such as Birmingham Promise and BhamStrong, which benefit the entire spectrum of people, families and businesses calling Birmingham home. He has fostered a spirit of entrepreneurship in the city and revitalized areas previously thought lost. The sky is the limit for Woodfin, but for right now, he is the most powerful and influential local official in Alabama.

5 months ago

What can Yellowhammer do for you?

(YHN)

The need for relevant, high-quality information has never been more vital than during this extraordinary time. As we work to provide resources and information for all Alabamians, let us help connect you to consumers across the state.

The team at Yellowhammer is here for you and your business. What can Yellowhammer do for you?

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6 months ago

When people hear Yellowhammer, they stop and listen

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Need to reach millions? Yellowhammer broadcasts headline news updates to radio stations across Alabama every hour, every day.

Major coverage, at a fraction of the price.

What can Yellowhammer do for you?

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7 months ago

Senate committee advances bill to trim death penalty appeals

(Wikicommons)

A legislative committee has approved a bill that would shorten appeals in death penalty cases.

The Senate Judiciary Committee advanced the bill by State Sen. Cam Ward on a 4-3 vote.

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It moves to the full Senate.

The legislation would remove having appeals considered by the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals and instead send them straight to the state supreme court.

Ward said he believes condemned inmates still had plenty of avenues to appeal their cases, including the federal courts.

The proposal drew criticism from a defense lawyer who said inmates have been exonerated but those cases took years.

(Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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7 months ago

ASU event marks 60th anniversary of sit-in against segregation

(ASU/Facebook)

A three-day event is marking the 60th anniversary of the first Alabama sit-in against racial segregation.

Five of the surviving demonstrators will be on hand Monday for a remembrance at Alabama State University in Montgomery. Civil rights lawyer Fred Gray also will participate.

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A student sit-in began on Feb. 25, 1960, at the Montgomery County Courthouse snack bar.

Thirty-five black women and men asked to be served in defiance of the city’s segregation law.

They were inspired by similar sit-ins in North Carolina.

Then-Gov. John Patterson made Alabama State expel any students who participated by threatening its state funding.

 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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7 months ago

Senate committee votes down payday loan restrictions

(Tony Webster/Flickr)

An Alabama Senate committee has voted down a proposal to give payday lending customers longer to repay their loans.

Lawmakers voted 6-8 against the bill that would give borrowers 30 days to repay a loan instead of as little as 10 days.

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Senators who opposed it said they believed people would turn to internet lenders if the payday lending stores weren’t available in the state.

The committee vote was a blow to groups that have been seeking more restrictions on the industry.

Republican Sen. Tom Butler said the loans become debt traps for families.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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8 months ago

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8 months ago

When people hear Yellowhammer, they stop and listen

(PIxabay, YHN)

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8 months ago

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8 months ago

Need to reach Alabama decision-makers? Yellowhammer has you covered

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Every day, Yellowhammer is read by business owners and c-suite executives across the state. Your message, straight to Alabama’s influencers and decision-makers.

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8 months ago

More Alabama schools take time off because of flu outbreak

(CDC, YHN)

More Alabama schools are calling off classes because of a flu outbreak.

Two Pickens County schools will reopen on Monday following a two-day shutdown because of the illness.

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WIAT-TV reports that teachers and staff members spent Thursday wiping down locks, desks and mopping floors to help disinfect the high school.

The principal at Pickens County High School says 70 students went home sick with flu symptoms Wednesday.

Pickens County is located along the Mississippi line in west Alabama.

Schools are closed in the south Alabama town of Opp because of the flu.

Lamar County schools also shut down because of the illness.

(Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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8 months ago

When people hear Yellowhammer, they stop and listen

(PIxabay, YHN)

Need to reach millions? Yellowhammer broadcasts headline news updates to radio stations across the state every hour, every day.

Major coverage, at a fraction of the price.

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1
8 months ago

Your message — DELIVERED

Yellowhammer can deliver your message straight to the target audience, no matter where they are located. Our audience is engaged and our platforms are vast. Yellowhammer has reach and, more importantly, influence.

Your message … delivered.

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8 months ago

Alabama fire chief confirms 8 deaths in boat dock fire

(CBS 42/YouTube, YHN)

The fire chief in Scottsboro, Alabama, says at least eight people were killed in an explosive fire that consumed at least 35 vessels along the Tennessee River.

Chief Gene Necklaus said all eight people who were known to be missing are confirmed dead, and “that number could go up,” because they do not know how many were on boats that sank.

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At least seven people were sent to hospitals suffering from exposure to the water or flames.

The fire quickly consumed the dock as people were sleeping, cutting off their escape routes and raining debris into the water.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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8 months ago

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Our audience is engaged and our platforms are vast. No matter where your desired audience is, we can reach them. Let us design your strategy using our digital, radio, social media, TV and event platforms.

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8 months ago

Tampa Bay QB Jameis Winston donates $50K to Miles College

(Miles College/Facebook, YHN)

The football program at Miles College is getting a boost thanks to a donation from Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston.

WRBC-TV reports Winston, a Hueytown, Alabama, native, on Wednesday presented Miles College President Bobbie Knight and Athletic Director Reginald Ruffin a check for $50,000, which will be used for upgrades within the Alabama school’s program.

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Earlier this month, NBA Hall of Fame basketball player Charles Barkley donated $1 million to the school, a private historically black liberal arts college in Fairfield, Alabama.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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8 months ago

Birmingham launches anti-littering campaign

(Wikicommons, YHN)

An Alabama city has kicked off a new anti-littering campaign.

Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin launched his “Don’t be a D.U.M.M.Y.” campaign.

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D.U.M.M.Y. stands for Dumping Ugly Mess in My Yard.

The mayor and people in various Birmingham communities are tired of illegal trash dumping, WBRC-TV reported.

First-time offenders will face a $500 fine.

For a second or subsequent offense, the fine doubles to $1,000.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

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