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.

2 weeks ago

Jeff Coleman: Broadband access more important now than ever before

(Jeff Coleman for Congress/Facebook, Pixabay, YHN)

In a world of viruses that can shut down global economies, shutter schoolhouse doors, and even physically keep us separated from one another, broadband access to our rural communities must rise to the forefront of our priorities. In the past two months, we have seen how difficult everyday education, communication, and commerce can be without the ability to utilize high-speed internet. Every day, though, there are communities in rural Alabama who live this even without stay-at-home orders.

Broadband access will be the key to the success of our next generation of students and businesses. Our state is poised to be a leader in rural broadband expansion thanks to leaders such as Senator Clay Scofield and former State House Member, now Senator, Donnie Chesteen and many others.

Children should not be forced to complete their homework in their parent’s car in a church parking lot due to connectivity issues or speed-related problems. Doctors should not be forced to ask sick patients to repeatedly come into clinics because they cannot monitor their health remotely. Farmers should not be forced to use outdated equipment because the newest and most efficient equipment is too technologically advanced for our outdated infrastructure.

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In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly every educator has been forced to evolve their way of teaching. Nearly everything our children are learning from their teachers is coming via the internet. However, in many rural areas of our state, parents and students are being forced to go to a local church, government building, or drive miles away from home to find an area with Wi-Fi connectivity — or even worse spend hundreds of dollars a month on hotspot devices, all so homework can be completed.

Now more than ever, physicians are relying on in-home medical capabilities. With our hospitals being rightfully focused on patients affected by the Coronavirus, many doctors are utilizing remote methods for care, except in rural communities either underserved or unserved with broadband. Patients in rural areas affected by a mild illness are not able to utilize telehealth options because the video connection is weak and communication is nearly impossible. This forces patients to make the difficult and sometimes dangerous trek to a metro area to receive care for a mild illness, while possibly being exposed to an even more dangerous virus.

Farmers cannot be forgotten in this discussion either. We rely on farmers to provide the food that feeds the world, and fiber that clothes the world. Now, they are relying on us to bring the tools needed to increase efficiency and ability on their farms. The use of precision agricultural equipment, customer communications, monitoring global commodity markets, and even reading up on the latest regulatory burdens from over-bearing bureaucrats are all modes that require high-quality broadband. We rely on our farmers, and now they need us.

Industry leaders are waiting for Alabama to become the manufacturing and innovation hub of the south, but the common topic of discussion is access to high-quality broadband. A priority of mine in Congress will be to work with internet service providers, cooperatives, public utilities, state and local leaders, infrastructure leaders, and other stakeholders to bring accessible, affordable, and quality broadband to every corner of our state. We must tackle this issue head on; otherwise, we will be left behind economically and educationally.

Our teachers and students need broadband. Our farmers need broadband. Our physicians and patients need broadband. It’s time for the state of Alabama to bring many voices together to solve this issue. As the Congressman from Alabama’s Second Congressional District, this will be one of my top priorities.

President Donald J. Trump emphasized the importance of rural broadband access in his 2020 State of the Union Address. President Trump said, “I am also committed to ensuring that every citizen can have access to high-speed internet, including — and especially in — rural America.” I look forward to being a champion, fierce fighter, and a strong advocate for rural broadband access alongside President Trump.

Jeff Coleman is the CEO of Coleman Worldwide Moving. He is currently a Republican candidate vying to represent Alabama’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives

12 months ago

Community support required to inspire future generations of Army leaders

(J. Coleman/Contributed, YHN)

“Thank you for your service.” As the civilian aide to the secretary of the Army for Alabama (South), I am always grateful for these words, which I hear often in this community.

What many people do not understand is that the United States Army is the one who is thankful.

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We are thankful for the camaraderie, the global understanding, the commitment made to our soldiers and their families and for the opportunity to dedicate every day to the people of this great country.

We are thankful for the education and cost-free healthcare we receive, the worldwide experiences we have had, the technical skills we have learned and the opportunity to be leaders in the most trusted organization in the world.

We are thankful to be part of history. On June 14, the Army celebrates 244 years of dedicated service. Generations of soldiers have inspired professionalism, honorable service and a commitment to the common good. For this, we are proud of our soldiers.

And now, we are part of the team inspiring the next great generation of soldiers to find their place in history.

That is no easy task, however, even though the majority of Americans have the highest levels of confidence in the U.S. Military.

We face many challenges when searching for the right people to fill our ranks. Yes, we need infantrymen and Special Forces soldiers, like you see in the movies, but we also need logisticians, nurses, engineers, truck drivers and IT specialists.

About 50% of today’s young people admit they know little to nothing about their nation’s military – the people who work daily to protect their freedom. They don’t understand the depth of the knowledge and technical skills they can learn in 150 different career paths. They don’t understand the degrees they can earn or that the benefits and perks often match or surpass those offered by civilian employers.

We see amazing young people desiring to serve their communities, and we believe that we are doing them a disservice if we are not encouraging them to explore the military as a potential career path.

The Army invests in its people, often to the benefit of outside organizations. Veterans are more likely to vote, volunteer and be involved in their communities. They have the maturity and self-discipline private industries are seeking.

Only 29% of today’s young people have the ability to meet our qualifications. We will work to find the right people, and we will compete to retain them for the good of our nation. But we need your help.

In honor of the 75th Anniversary of D-Day on June 6 and the Army’s 244th birthday on June 14, the Army is activating a nationwide “Call to Service”.

We challenge leaders, parents, educators and the community as a whole to step forward. Inspire the young people around you to be a part of something bigger, to be part of history. Inspire them to answer the call to serve their country through the United States Army.

Army Strong!!

Jeff Coleman works as a civilian aide to the secretary of the Army for Alabama (South)