The Wire

  • Black Bear Sightings Continue to Increase in Alabama

    Excerpt from an Outdoor Alabama news release:

    Add Jackson, Limestone, Marshall, Morgan and St. Clair counties to the growing list of black bear sightings in Alabama in 2018. In recent years, bears have also been recorded in Chambers, Elmore, Jefferson, Lee, Macon and Tallapoosa counties. These recent sightings are more evidence of the state’s expanding black bear population.

    Biologists from the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources say the increase in sightings may be due to a combination of factors including changes in bear distribution, habitat fragmentation, seasonal movement and the summer mating season. However, most spring and summer bear sightings are of juvenile males being pushed out of their previous ranges by their mothers and other adult males.

    Historically, a small population of black bears have remained rooted in Mobile and Washington counties. Baldwin, Covington and Escambia counties on the Florida border host yet another population of bears. In northeast Alabama, bears migrating from northwest Georgia have established a small but viable population.

    “While seeing a black bear in Alabama is uncommon and exciting, it is no cause for alarm,” said Marianne Hudson, Conservation Outreach Specialist for the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF). “There has never been a black bear attack on a human in Alabama.”

    Black bears are typically secretive, shy animals that will avoid human interaction. Occasionally, a curious bear will explore a human-populated area in search of food.

    “If you are lucky enough to see a bear, simply leave it alone,” Hudson said.

  • Rep. Byrne Releases Statement on Russia

    From a Bradley Byrne news release:

    Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) issued the following statement regarding President Donald Trump’s meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, this morning in Helsinki.

    Congressman Byrne said: “I applaud President Trump’s decision to start a dialogue with President Putin and I’m glad he is making it a priority. However, we must remember that Russia is not an ally – economically or militarily. They are an adversary. The United States should not tolerate actions by the Russians that intervene in our domestic affairs or pose a threat to our national security.”

  • Alabama Recreational Red Snapper Season Closes July 22

    Excerpt from an Outdoor Alabama news release:

    The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division (MRD) announces the closure of Alabama state waters to the harvest of red snapper by private anglers and state-licensed commercial party boats at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, July 22, 2018. The quota of 984,291 pounds issued under NOAA Fisheries’ Alabama Recreational Red Snapper Exempted Fishing Permit (EFP) is expected to be met by the closure date.

    “Alabama anglers fished extremely hard on the good weather days during the season,” said Marine Resources Director Scott Bannon. “That level of effort, coupled with larger average-sized fish harvested this year as compared to last year, resulted in a daily harvest rate two times higher than 2017, which prompted an earlier than anticipated closure.

    “The purpose of the EFP was to demonstrate Alabama’s ability to establish a season and monitor landings within a fixed quota and I think we have shown we can do that,” said Bannon.

    Anglers are reminded of the following:

    — Possession of red snapper in Alabama waters while state waters are closed is prohibited regardless of where the fish were harvested.
    — Alabama anglers may fish in federal waters off the coast of Alabama (outside of 9 nm) and land in a state that is open to the landing of red snapper, but they must adhere to the open state’s rules and not transit in Alabama state waters with red snapper on board.
    — The season for federally-permitted charter for-hire vessels will close at 12:01 a.m. July 22.

9 months ago

Major Steel Company To Headquarter In Mobile

Mobile, Ala.

As reported by WKRG News, SSAB Steel announced earlier today that they will relocate their business headquarters in Mobile, Al. The announcement came at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce meeting and was met with great enthusiasm.

SSAB has been operating in the port city for nearly 20 years now, providing jobs across South Alabama. However, their recent decision to move from Illinois means even more economic growth for the region.

In a Tweet, Congressman Bradley Byrne expressed his support by saying “SSAB’s decision to move their headquarters to Mobile is just another indicator that our local economy continues to boom!”

In a statement by SSAB, they described themselves as “a highly-specialized global steel company driven by close customer relationships. SSAB develops high-strength steels and provides services for better performance and sustainability. The company is a leading producer on the global market for Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) and Quenched & Tempered Steels (Q&T), strip, plate and tubular products, as well as construction solutions. SSAB’s steels and services help to make end products lighter and increase their strength and lifespan.”

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9 months ago

State Senator Tim Melson Announces Bid For Second Term

Earlier today Republican Senator Tim Melson announced his intent to seek a second term in the Alabama State Senate.

A native Alabamian, Melson represents Lauderdale, Limestone and Madison Counties. He received his medical degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and before his first term in the Senate, he spent nearly 20 years as a practicing anesthesiologist at Helen Keller Hospital.

In a statement addressing his candidacy, the Senator Melson said, “When I ran in 2014, I wanted to help bring more jobs and economic development to North Alabama.We needed a pro-business state senator who would be a real advocate for our area in Montgomery.Working with our local delegation, I made sure that Hwy 43 was expanded and I’ve worked with economic development officials in Limestone, Lauderdale, and Madison counties. There is a lot of excitement around the upcoming Lauderdale workforce development center and the adjacent agricultural multipurpose facility. These facilities will be an economic boost for the area. The workforce development center will help improve our workforce and match people with good-paying jobs. The agricultural multipurpose facility will lead to more local jobs and more tourism for our economy.”

He also made clear that there was more work to be done. Highlighting his fight to uphold conservative ideals, Melson touted his record of protecting the second amendment, opposing Obamacare, and fighting for the rights of the unborn. “My record is clear that I have been strong on those issues. I hope the people of North Alabama will give me the chance to continue representing them,” said Melson.

Aside from his Senate duties, Melson is a crop farmer and cattleman hobbyist. He’s been married to his wife Lynn for 37 years, and they have three children and four grandchildren.

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9 months ago

Pelican Found Tortured In Baldwin County Alabama

Photo from Pixabay
Photo from Pixabay

As reported by WKRG News, the Baldwin County authorities confirm that a pelican was found dead after having its beak and feet bound with electrical tape.

Alabama Ecological Services Field Office made the matter public in a Facebook post Tuesday. The post reads, “we need your help solving a disturbing crime. Someone found a dead pelican with its beak and feet bound with electrical tape. Authorities believe someone captured the bird and left it to die at Pelican Point (also known as Mullet Point) in south Baldwin County. Not only is this a violation of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It’s also a sickening thing to do. If you have any information on this case, please call our law enforcement office at 251-441-5758. Please share!”

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, violating the Migratory Bird Treaty Act is punishable by a fine of up to $500 or six months in jail.

Again, if you have any information surrounding this crime, please call 251-441-5758.

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9 months ago

Avery Johnson Picks Up 4-Star Recruit 

Avery Johnson meets with the media for the first time. (Photo via YouTube)
Avery Johnson meets with the media for the first time. (Photo via YouTube)

As reported by Bleacher Report, Alabama Basketball Coach Avery Johnson scored big for the Tide by picking up point guard Jared Butler.

Announcing his decision on Twitter, Butler was a highly sought-after prospect. According to 247Sports, he was the 89th overall recruit in the nation in the 2018 class and No. 15 among point guards.

Since taking over Alabama’s basketball program in 2015, Johnson has continuously added talent to the Tide’s roster. It’s evident he’s done that again with the addition of Butler.

A Louisiana native, Butler has made a name for himself as a guard who aggressively attacks defenses and who possesses the speed to keep them on their toes. While many view him as a bit undersized for his position, few dispute his ability to create open looks while “quarterbacking” offenses as a point guard.

In a statement to Scout’s Evan Daniels, Butler touched on his decision to join the Tide. “I’m headed to the University of Alabama, and I picked them because I talk to God a lot and my family a lot and we’ve spent months and days talking, and it seemed like the best situation and the best people,” said Butler.

Many predict this to be a breakout season for Alabama. Avery has had the time necessary to build his own program, and Butler will help add depth to the Tide’s roster.

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9 months ago

Plans To Fix Birmingham’s Highway 280 Could Cause Other Problems

As the Alabama Department of Transportation prepares to tackle some of the worst traffic in the Birmingham area, many environmental experts warn that the new construction project could adversely impact the city’s drinking water.

If you’ve spent any time in Birmingham, then chances are you are familiar with the traffic nightmares of Highway 280. Morning or night, the odds are pretty high that you’ll become the victim of a traffic jam that is more akin to a discombobulated jigsaw puzzle than an orderly flow of vehicles. With that said, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that a proposed solution to fix 280 might cause other problems.

ALDOT has proposed the construction of an entirely new road between 280 and Sicard Hollow Road. However, according to the Cahaba River Society, the new project jeopardizes the area’s potable water supply.

Few dispute that the new road would bring much-needed congestion relief, the group just believes it would come at too great of a coast. In a statement to ABC 33/40, Executive Director of the Cahaba River Society Beth Stewart said, “We’ve said, ALDOT – you need to study the cumulative impacts and everything that would be brought on by the  road, and how all of that would affect the Little Cahaba River and our drinking water.”

Current plans show the road running through protected land that was purchased with Birmingham Water Works ratepayer money. Many fear that a significant environmental change in that area would negatively impact drinking by removing nature’s natural filtering system.

Along with options to build the new road, ALDOT is also considering a “no build” alternative. The Cahaba River Society is advocating for the “no build” plan until a complete environmental survey can be conducted.

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9 months ago

Huntsville Set To Host Wounded Warriors Softball Tournament

Photo courtesy of Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Facebook page
Photo courtesy of Wounded Warrior Amputee Softball Team Facebook page

A traveling softball tournament that will make everyone in attendance want to stand up and cheer is returning to the Rocket City. The tournament, hosted by the Association of The United States Army is comprised of players who are all Wounded Warriors and combat amputees.

As reported by WHNT News, the inspirational tournament has visited the Yellowhammer state before. Retired United States Force Staff Sergeant Nick Bradley is a traveling member of the team. Touching on what it’s like to play in Huntsville he said, “You know it’s an unspoken bond really, and it’s amazing to get to come to a town that loves its military so much, that does have such a big military presence.”

While the conclusion of the game will be determined by the scoreboard, the real purpose of the tournament transcends balls and strikes. “While at the end of the game somebody will have more points than the other, everybody will win just because of the experience,” said Command Sergeant Major Billy Counts.

The tournament is set to place October 28th. The first game will start at 10:30 a.m. at the Metro Kiwanis Sports Complex. The public is invited to enjoy the day and admission is free.

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9 months ago

Massive Drug Arrests In Franklin County

As reported by WHNT News, the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office has announced nearly 100 drug arrests over the past 60 days.

Sheriff Shannon Oliver knows all too well the drug problem that’s gripping the country. As law enforcement official, he sees it every day, but even Sheriff Oliver was surprised with the number of drug-related arrests his deputies and task-force agents have made in his county since mid-August—98 to be exact.

“That’s a lot of arrests,” said Sheriff Oliver. “ There’s plenty of more out there, but that’s a lot of arrests and a lot of work. It seems like it is becoming every part of the county, every corner, it’s everywhere you turn, there is something to do with drugs.”

To put things in perspective, the number of arrests have been so high that for the past 60 days, the jail has had a population increase of 30 percent.

Sheriff Oliver stated how proud he is of these officers. “ They worked very hard and put forth a great effort to make all of these arrests in this short amount of time.” A list of those most recently arrested can be found on the Sherriff’s Department website latest news release.

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9 months ago

Alabama Gets Its First Taste of Fall. Enjoy It While It Lasts

It's fall – time for football and staving off the cold to come, with seven easy energy-savers from Residential Marketing at Alabama Power.
It’s fall – time for football and staving off the cold to come, with seven easy energy-savers from Residential Marketing at Alabama Power.

If you’re familiar with Alabama weather, then you haven’t been all that surprised with the June like weather we’ve been having. Still, with all the pumpkin carving and hayrides taking place, it would be a lot easier to enjoy the fall season if you needed a sweater instead of swim trunks. So, if you’ve been praying for colder weather, it looks like your prayers have been answered (at least for now)!

As a strong front made its way across the state Sunday night, so to came cool/dry air. As many made their Monday commute, they were greeted with a 20-degree drop in temperature.

Meteorologists indicate that the cool temperatures felt this morning should stay throughout the week. This means Alabamians can expect highs in the low 70s during the day, then cool nights in the low 50s and upper 40s.

The dry air, which is rolling in from the north, is also keeping humidity levels low. As a result, skies above Alabama should remain clear throughout the week and into the weekend.

So get out and enjoy the weather. If you’ve spent any time in Alabama, you know it won’t last for long.

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9 months ago

Mobile BayBears Future Uncertain

As reported by Fox 10 News, the Mobile BayBears have been sold to BallCorps, LLC of Arizona. While the sale of the longtime Mobile team has been confirmed, reports indicate that the new owners are preparing to request a relocation to Madison, Alabama.

The BayBears have called Hank Aaron Stadium home for the past 20 years. Since their arrival in 1997, the minor league club has changed affiliations several times; starting as the San Diego Padres and now the Los Angeles Angels.

While the Southern League unanimously approved the sale of the BayBears, a request for relocation will still have to be approved. However, many see this as a technicality. Ralph Nelson, CEO of BallCorps, is a prominent figure in the league. He helped oversee MLB umpires and is widely known in the commissioner’s office. Should he request a transfer, many believe that approval is all but guaranteed.

When asked about the future of his team, BayBears Manager Chris Morgan said, “I can tell you with 100% certainty that the BayBears will be playing in Mobile in 2018 and our staff is looking forward to staging a great season for our fans. With regard to the report of potential relocation of the team of 2019, I am not in a position to respond to that report at this time. I would defer to Southern League office for any information regarding approval of the sale of the team as well as any potential relocation.”

Should the BayBears relocate, it is unclear whether or not a new team will fill their place at Hank Aaron Stadium.

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9 months ago

Avondale Brewing And Other Popular Birmingham Restaurants Sold Over The Weekend

Photo courtesy of Avondale Brewing Company
Photo courtesy of Avondale Brewing Company

As reported by ABC 33/40 News, a prominent block in the Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham was sold over the weekend. Part of the sale includes Avondale Brewing Company, Post Office Pies, and Saw’s Soul Kitchen.

Orchestra Partners, the company behind the purchase, wants patrons to know that their favorite spots are not going anywhere. “Our business model is to try and re-develop tired, underutilized parts of downtown but another part of our model that we don’t ever want to forget is helping maintain things that are being re-used in the way that we see fit so helping maintain Avondale in its current form,” said Co-Founder John Boone.

Currently, the Avondale area brings in thousands of people each weekend. Whether its the food, fresh beer, or regular concerts, Avondale has established itself as a top destination in the Magic City.

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9 months ago

Multi State Police Chase Ends In Huntsville

The sight no one wants to see: police lights in the rearview mirror.

As reported by WHNT News, a police chase that started in Tennessee ended in Huntsville last night.

According to officials, a vehicle carrying three occupants was hailed by police in Lincoln County, Tennessee. After refusing to pull over, the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Department chased the suspects into Alabama.

The fleeing SUV traveled down Highway 231/431, reaching speeds of 100 MPH. Once the suspects reached Huntsville, the SUV blew a tire, stopping on Chancellor Square.

The three suspects attempted to flee on foot, but they were quickly apprehended by police. It has been determined that the vehicle was stolen, and police found a firearm inside during the search.

As of now, the three suspects are being held in the Madison County Jail.

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9 months ago

Alabama Congressman Will Serve As Negotiator For Annual Defense Bill

As a member of the House Armed Services Committee, Congressman Bradley Byrne will sit on the House conference committee for the 2018 National Authorization Act (NDAA).

The NDAA is the apparatus that outlines the budget and expenditures of the United States Department of Defense. Passed annually since 1961, the NDAA is a critical piece of legislation that provides the military with the resources they need to adequately protect against foreign aggression.

In a statement from Rep. Byrne, he said “Given the ever-increasing range of threats facing our nation, it is vital our military has the resources and tools necessary to defend our country and deter aggression around the globe. The conference committee must ensure adequate funding for the men and women who serve in our armed forces and work to grow the size and capabilities of the U.S. Navy.”

Two separate bills were signed by the House and Senate earlier this year. Based on parliamentary rules, a conference must be held amongst the separate bodies to decide on a single version of the bill. Rep. Byrne will sit on the House’s conference, helping negotiate with the Senate team.

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9 months ago

New Flyer Bus Set To Spend $25 Million On Anniston Center

Photo courtesy of Alabama News Center
Photo courtesy of Alabama News Center

As reported by Alabama News Center, the city of Anniston is set to get a sizable expansion to its existing New Flyer bus campus. As the first Vehicle Innovation Center (VIC) in North America, New Flyer has paired up with an Alabama city to help shape the way bus technology progresses in the 21st Century.

At over 76,000 square feet, the new addition will give New Flyer nearly 400,000 square feet of working space in their Anniston facility. Their goal is to use the new facility as a manufacturing lab and training area designed to push the boundaries of electric transportation technology.

“Developing safe and sustainable bus technology that Americans can rely on is a key driver behind our investment to create the Vehicle Innovation Center,” said Wayne Joseph, president of New Flyer of America. “By leveraging 50 years of experience in zero-emission bus manufacturing, we look forward to advancing our industry with transit solutions that help preserve the environment while contributing to the development of smart, connected cities.”

New Flyer’s announcement is the latest in a wave of automotive businesses migrating to Alabama. In recent weeks we’ve seen huge announcements from manufacturers like Toyota and Mercedes.

Pointing out what a great addition New Flyer is, Alabama Power Easter Division Vice President Tony Smoke said, “We are proud of the work New Flyer is doing in Anniston and the impact on the entire country’s transportation industry. This expansion is a tremendous example of how existing industry in the region is being elevated and sustained.”

The expansion is expected to be completed in the summer of 2018.

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9 months ago

City of Mobile Does Its Part In Puerto Rico

As reported by Fox 10 News, the residents of Mobile are hard at work making the people of Puerto Rico get the supplies they need. From the Blue Gill, Felix’s Fish Camp, and Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse, supplies have been pouring in by the truckload, all headed to help those devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Behind the collection of water, food, baby supplies, dog food, and first aid is Luis del Valle. Raised in Puerto Rico, Valle is Vice President of Cooper Restaurants, a parent company of the restaurants managing the donations.

Born in Puerto Rico and cognizant of the situation the locals are in, Valle said “We have been overwhelmed by all the donations. Team Mobile showed it. I had no idea. I mean I know I live in a great place, that’s why I live here. I’m not going to leave, but they really, really, really showed it. They really, really, really showed it.”

Currently, the items collected are scheduled to be shipped to Puerto Rico next week. They have organizers there who will help distribute the supplies. Because of the scheduled shipment, Valle is no longer accepting donations. However, if you would like to make a monetary donation to further help relief efforts, they ask that you click here.

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9 months ago

New Alabama Poll Shows Moore Leads Jones Among Likely Voters in December

A new poll shows that Republican Roy Moore leads Democrat Doug Jones by eight points in the upcoming election to fill Jeff Session’s old Senate seat. The seat is currently held by Luther Strange, who Moore defeated in the Republican primary runoff last month.

This poll was conducted by Cyngal, a Montgomery-based polling and communications firm, and L2, a  nonpartisan voter data and analytics provider. The survey polled 497 likely Alabama voters in this special general election, coming up on December 12.

“This race between Moore and Jones looks a lot like the Moore-Strange competition of the past few months,” said Brent Buchanan, president of Cygnal. “At this point, the data shows the result will be the same for Judge Moore come December.”

One important aspect of the poll is that it shows Moore with a commanding 14-point lead over Jones among voters with the highest propensity to turn out.

Other key findings in the poll include:

  • ● Males support Moore (53%-38%) while females barely break for Jones (46%-45%).
  • ●  The closest age group is voters 35-49 years old (48% Jones – 45% Moore) [20% of t/o].
  • ●  Among voters with the highest propensity to vote in December, Moore leads by 14pts. Jonesleads among low propensity voters, but the margin isn’t likely to be significant enough to changeresults.
  • ●  Moore leads Jones among married voters by 25pts (57%-32%).
  • ●  Among voters that usually support Republican candidates, 13% say they will supportDoug Jones; likewise 8% of Democratic-leaning voters will support Roy Moore.
  • ●  Head-to-head by (grouped) media market [see toplines for groupings] :
    • ○  Huntsville (20% of vote) – 52% Moore – 39% Jones
    • ○  Birmingham (41% of vote) – 46% Jones – 45% Moore
    • ○  Montgomery (25% of vote) – 50% Moore – 39% Jones
    • ○  Mobile (14% of vote) – 57% Moore – 36% Jones

With respect to these regional numbers, Cygnal’s vice president of research and analytics, Matt Hubbard, said, “The US Senate race is going to be won or lost in the Birmingham media market area. Roy Moore dominates in the other 60% of the state, so the Birmingham region becomes make or break for Doug Jones.”

Another fascinating aspect of this poll is the apparent connection between the voters’  football alliances and their pick in the Senate race. While Alabama and Auburn fans both favor Moore over Jones, his support is higher among Crimson Tide fans than War Eagle supporters. ‘Bama fans picked Moore 54%-38% over Jones, while Auburn fans picked him 50%-45%.

Moore’s favorability ratings are also higher than Jones, with 52.9% of those surveyed giving Moore “overall favorable rating” and 32.7% giving Jones the same.

 

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9 months ago

College Football Preview: Alabama vs. Arkansas

Set for a 6:15 kickoff, Bret Bielema’s Razorbacks are traveling to Tuscaloosa to take on the #1 Crimson Tide. While the matchup has become a midseason right of passage, it’s hardly an even contest. Over the past ten seasons, Alabama has gone undefeated against Arkansas. Some games haven’t been pretty, like the 2014 game where the Tide narrowly escaped with a win, but it’s no secret Alabama owns this annual matchup.

Most consider it a foregone conclusion that Nick Saban will out game Bielema on Saturday. Should they be that comfortable, or is there more to this game then meets the eye?

So, without further ado, here are our weekly keys to success.

Razorback Physicality and Talent: It’s hard to deny that, under Bielema, Arkansas brings tenacity to any game they play. If you think they are just going to lay down for Alabama, then you need to think again. There probably aren’t many better examples of a team that encompasses SEC football. When you tune into Saturday’s game, you’re going to see smash mouth football at it’s best. The Razorbacks are going to make Alabama fight for every yard, just like they have in previous years. So, don’t expect to see a crazy high score like you did against Ole Miss.

That said, physicality and determination can only take a team so far and that’s the problem with Arkansas. While they play with a lot of grit, they just don’t have the talent to compete with the Tide. Case in point: the loss they suffered last week to a mediocre South Carolina team. By all accounts, Arkansas should have asserted their will, but they didn’t. Why? They fundamentally lack the talent and depth necessary to win consistently.

The Alabama Strategy: There is a very compelling argument for Nick Saban being the best coach of all time. His football aptitude and attention to detail effectively make him the 12th man.

The biggest advantage Alabama has this week, other than a roster packed with NFL talent, is Nick Saban. We know Arkansas doesn’t have the talent to compete with Alabama and so does Saban. He’s known for breaking down a team and hitting them where they are most vulnerable, and that is what you’ll see again in this game. Nick has had 10 seasons worth of strategy against Arkansas, and he knows right where to hit them.

The biggest factor on the Alabama side will defiantly be the game plan. Arkansas will put up a valiant fight, but you’ve got to bring more to the table when you take on the Tide. Saban knows there is no point in slamming against a wall; he will meticulously pick through the Razorbacks weaknesses until they lose their will to fight.

Alabama vs. Arkansas Prediction

Alabama – 33

Arkansas – 7

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9 months ago

WATCH: Alabama Running Back Has Weakness Just Like Everyone Else. . . Kinda

If you’ve watched football this year, then you’ve undoubtedly noticed Alabama’s Damien Harris running the football. He’s been outperforming the competition, and many believe that he might be the best back in the SEC.

But if you think those skills came without sacrifice, you’d be mistaken. Just like us mortals, Harris has a weakness of his own. . . Honey Buns.

That’s right. In a post-game interview, Harris revealed the hardest part about getting into the shape he’s in now. It wasn’t the running, early mornings, or insane lifting routine. Nope, it was avoiding those tasty threats we are all guilty of buying at the gas station.

Don’t believe us? Here is the video. See for yourself.

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9 months ago

Big Changes At Talladega This Year

Photo: Talladega Superspeedway Facebook
Photo: Talladega Superspeedway Facebook

As reported by ABC 33/40, NASCAR fans are gearing up for one of the hottest venues in the racing world. Like every year, thousands will flock to Alabama for the opportunity to experience the Alabama 500. And this year, there is a new law fans are going to love.

For the first time in the city’s history, Lincoln officials have approved the sale of alcohol on Sundays.

Up until this point, if you wanted to enjoy a beer at Talladega, you had to bring it yourself or travel to another city and buy it. Now the city plans on saving fans and local businesses the hassle of maneuvering the archaic law by allowing Sunday sales.

Businesses will still have some restriction. For example, alcohol will be prohibited until after certain times. Nonetheless, many predict the new law will only boost Talledega’s popularity among fans.

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9 months ago

Suspended Auburn Assistant Basketball Coach Released On 100K Bond

Photo from AuburnTigers.com
Photo from AuburnTigers.com

Suspended Auburn Associate Head Basketball Coach Chuck Person has been released from federal custody on a $100,000 bond.

As we reported earlier, Person was arrested by federal officers after the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York charged himself and four other collegiate basketball coaches with fraud and corruption. Federal officials claim that Person’s accepted payments from a sports agent in exchange for access to Auburn players.

As part of an extensive investigation, four coaches from different organizations were arrested. Speaking to the serious nature of their crimes, Joon H. Kim, acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York said, “Coaches at some of the nation’s top programs were taking cash bribes, managers and advisers were circling blue-chip prospects like coyotes, and employees of a global sportswear company were funneling cash to families of high school recruits.”

Person is currently suspended without pay from his role at Auburn University. As part of his bond, he has surrendered his passport and is only allowed to travel to New York for court appearances.

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9 months ago

Alabama Ship Builder Receives New Contract From U.S. Navy

Littoral Combat Ship, built for the U.S. Navy in Mobile, Ala. (Photo: Austal)

Austal USA, which maintains a substantial manufacturing facility in Mobile, has been awarded a new six-year contract by the U.S. Navy.

For the past several years Austal has been constructing littoral combat ships on the behalf of the U.S. military. Based on a trimaran seaframe, these ships operate in the shallow waters close to shore. Former Secretary of the Navy Gordon R. England said the concept behind the ship is to “create a small, fast, maneuverable and relatively inexpensive family of ships.”

Now, after being awarded their contract in 2010, Austal has constructed numerous naval ships and employed thousands of Alabama workers.

The new extension will commission funds for the construction of Austal’s 15th Alabama built ship. This is in addition to the five ships that are already under construction.

“When Alabama’s businesses succeed, Alabamians succeed,” said Gov. Ivey. “Austal USA is a 21st Century, technology-driven, employer which provides good wages and good opportunities for its employees. Austal is critical to our state’s high-tech military and aerospace manufacturing sector. By adding to its ship order, the U.S. Navy is signaling its confidence in Austal’s products and the employees who build it. Alabama has a skilled workforce that is known for producing high-quality goods. I look forward to more announcements like this one from Austral, as well as other companies that do business in Alabama, because of our trained workforce and our positive business environment.”

The name of the new ship has yet to be announced. However, those currently under construction are the USS Omaha, USS Manchester, USS Tulsa, USS Charleston, USS Cincinnati, USS Kansas City, USS Oakland, and USS Mobile.

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9 months ago

Birmingham Man Charged With Capital Murder

Verneil Wilson Jefferson County Jail mugshot
Verneil Wilson Jefferson County Jail mugshot

As reported by AL.com, a Jefferson County grand jury has indicted Verneil Wilson, 40, on capital murder after he allegedly shot and killed his ex-wife’s fiancé.

Wilson was arrested in early July when police suspected he was behind the death of Adrian Lockett. Initially, Wilson was charged with murder. However, after further investigation, police now believe that the death of Lockett was the product of a calculated killing by Wilson.

According to police, Wilson forced himself inside the home of Lockett. Once inside, he shot Lockett multiple times. He then drove himself to police headquarters to surrender to police.

Along with capital murder, Wilson has also been charged with domestic violence for striking his ex-wife with a pistol.

Unlike an ordinary murder charge, capital murder carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison or death. Should Wilson be convicted, his case will move into the sentencing face, where is fate will be decided.

He is currently being held without bond in the Jefferson County Jail.

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9 months ago

Alabama Power Made Swift Work of Storm Damage From Hurricane Nate

Photo courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter
Photo courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter

As reported by Alabama Newscenter, out of the 156,000 Alabama homes left without power as a result of Hurricane Nate, less than 10,000 remain in the dark.

Immediately following the storm, Alabama Power workers, with the assistance of crews from 11 other states, began work to restore services as soon as conditions allowed. In some areas, work began as soon as Sunday night, and by Monday more than 147,000 residences had been restored.

Of the 8,500 Alabamians still without power, most are located in the Mobile area. This region suffered the brunt of the storm, as Nate brought high winds and storm surge through most of South Alabama.

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9 months ago

Gov. Ivey Announces Changes To The Alabama Community College System

Photo courtesy of Gov. Ivey's Facebook

In a push to be “a leader in the automotive industry,” Gov. Kay Ivey has announced that Alabama will be the first state to roll out nationally recognized manufacturing credentials at every community college.

“We are once again proving Alabama is a leader in the automotive industry by offering these credentials in all of our two-year colleges,” Governor Ivey said. “It’s only fitting that this announcement comes on Manufacturing Day. Alabama is committed to providing a 21st Century workforce that is prepared for 21st Century manufacturing like that found in this growing auto industry.”

Alabama has been consistently gaining national recognition in the automotive industry. The new community college requirements will further that recognition through Alabama’s partnership with the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC). A federally recognized training and certification system, the MSSC focuses on skills and knowledge needed by manufacturers in today’s workplace.

Students wishing to increase their competitiveness in an ever-changing market will have the option of becoming a Certified Production Technician (CPT) or Certified Logistics Technician (CLT). Upon completion of either certification, students will be educated in manufacturing processes and production, safety, quality, and maintenance.

Touching on why these certificates are essential to success in the workplace, Alabama Community College System Chancellor Jimmy Baker said, “Manufacturing is more technology-driven than ever before and we’re excited to partner with MSSC to ensure that Alabama students are receiving the certifications and training they need to fill the high-tech, high-demand manufacturing jobs of the future.The Alabama Community College System is constantly seeking out new opportunities for Alabama students to create a better future whether it’s transferring to a four-year institution, training for a career, or learning basic literacy and workforce skills. Our partnership with MSSC provides yet another pathway for our students to succeed.”

High school students will also have the ability to participate in the new programs through dual enrollment classes.

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9 months ago

AG Sessions Stands Resolute With President Trump On Immigration

(Wikicommons)

Over the weekend President Trump released a list of immigration proposals that, if granted, would help bring some of his campaign promises to fruition. The letter included the funding for a wall along the Mexican border, a crackdown on the influx of Central American minors, and the elimination of federal grants to sanctuary cities.

Now Attorney General Jeff Sessions, a long-time advocate for lawful immigration policies, has publicly applauded President Trump’s recent proposal.

Here is the complete statement from Attorney General Sessions:

“For decades the American people rightly have pleaded with their government for a lawful system of immigration.  They have asked for secure borders and an immigration system that serves the national interest. Unfortunately, over the last several decades respect for the rule of law has broken down and immigration enforcement has been sacrificed for the sake of political expediency. This has made us less secure and it cannot stand. Now President Trump has put forth a series of proposals that will restore the rule of law to our immigration system, prioritize America’s safety and security, and end the lawlessness. These are reasonable proposals that will build on the early success of President Trump’s leadership. This plan will work. If followed it will produce an immigration system with integrity and one in which we can take pride. Perhaps the best result will be that unlawful attempts to enter will continue their dramatic decline. I applaud President Trump and urge Congress to listen to the American people and swiftly pass these commonsense proposals into law. The Department of Justice stands ready to continue making our neighborhoods and communities safe and secure again.”

In the release, President Trump made clear that the proposals “must be included as part of any legislation addressing the status of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. . . Without these reforms, illegal immigration and chain migration, which severely and unfairly burden American workers and taxpayers, will continue without end.”

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