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 days ago

Ryan Blaney wins Talladega Superspeedway’s 1000Bulbs(dot)com 500 in photo finish

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

It took 27 hours to get from the green flag to the checkered flag, but when it was all said and done, Ryan Blaney, the driver of Team Penske’s No. 12 Ford Mustang, earned the win on Monday afternoon in the 1000Bulbs.com 500 at Talladega Superspeedway.

Blaney edged out veteran NASCAR driver Ryan Newman by a margin of .007 seconds, which is reportedly only the sixth-closest Talladega margin of victory ever.

The win advances Blaney in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series’ playoff to determine the 2019 champion.

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“We got together a little coming through the trioval,” Blaney said of his run for the start-finish line with Newman. “He pushed me below the yellow line, but I wasn’t going below there after what happened in the truck race.”

Blaney was referring to Saturday’s Gander Outdoors Truck Series at Talladega, when Johnny Sauter lost the win after being ruled out of bounds by NASCAR and demoted from first to the last truck on the lead lap.

“Now we don’t have to worry about next week,” Blaney explained, given that he advances in the championship hunt by virtue of his race win. “We can go and fight for another win.”

The race did not end without the traditional “big one” crash. Brendan Gaughan, driver of the No. 62 Chevrolet launched into the air during the escapade.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

4 days ago

Fan-favorite Chase Elliott to lead field to the green flag at Talladega’s 1000Bulbs.com 500

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

TALLADEGA — On Sunday, Chase Elliott, driver of the #9 NAPA Night Vision Chevrolet, part of the Hendrick Motorsports stable, will lead the field to the green flag for the 51st running of the fall premiere series 1000Bulbs.com 500 held at Talladega Superspeedway.

Elliott, the winner of the NASCAR Monster Cup Series GEICO 500 at Talladega and a perennial fan favorite, locked down the Busch Pole Award with a lap speed of 192.707 mph. It is Elliott’s eighth career pole position and second at Talladega Superspeedway.

“In general, I feel like as a company at Hendrick, we’ve done a great job in the time I’ve been there,” Elliott said about his team’s effort that led to the pole award. “And we just continue to put emphasis on the speedways and put emphasis on things that take time, might not be worth a whole lot but make you go faster on qualifying day.”

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“You know, some of the small stuff may or may not help you when it comes to being in the draft,” he continued. “I like to think it does. I like to think a lot of the small things add up. And you know, if you just have a little bit of an advantage somewhere, it might help you somewhere. I would rather have it than not, and our team is the type of team that continues to put emphasis on these places and doesn’t overlook them.”

Elliott touted his chances for a victory on Sunday but expected “gamesmanship” to develop between the series’ manufacturers as the race unfolds.

“Number one, our car has pace, which is a good thing,” Elliott said. “Typically in these races, cars that have pace tend to kind of set the standard are able to do some things that if your car didn’t have pace. I’d much rather have it on my side than not. Can you still win without those little extras things here and there? Yes, but I do think it is a good thing to have if you do, and I feel like our car does. Hopefully, our car drives well tomorrow, and I’m sure as we start the race, we’ll see some gamesmanship being played among the manufacturers. I’m sure that will form up very quickly.”

Joining Elliott on the front row is Hendrick teammate Alex Bowman, followed by two more Hendrick teammates — William Byron and Jimmie Johnson.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

5 days ago

NASCAR driver Austin Dillon touts Talladega ‘Transformation’ — ‘Means a lot’ to update facilities to compete with other sports

(Courtesy of Talladega Superspeedway)

TALLADEGA — Now that the racing is underway at Talladega Superspeedway’s revamped facilities, reactions are trickling in from drivers and fans as they are settling into the new digs.

Austin Dillon, the driver of Richard Childress Racing’s storied #3 Chevrolet, offered a complimentary assessment of the facility during an interview with Yellowhammer News on Saturday.

“The new garage looks excellent,” he said. “Everything they drew up in the pictures when they were announcing they were going to do this, it looks identical. It’s great for our fans. It’s a great place to come.”

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“I’m a huge sports fan in general,” he continued. “When we update our facilities to compete with these other sports, I think it means a lot, and it goes a long way with our fans.”

Dillon said that with the new features, he is able to get a few more autographs in with fans and have conversations.

Restrictor plate racing has also changed this season, of which Dillon spoke approvingly.

“There’s a little more horsepower out there, but the downforce level is pretty high,” he said. “It’s just a little more driving it throughout the race, which is nice. The car seems to handle pretty good. We put on a good show. I like the way the manufacturers are working together now and have kind of created a different type of racing. You see the manufacturer-driven, working together. It’s cool.”

Dillon currently sits 23rd in NASCAR Monster Energy NASCAR points outside of the playoffs. However, he is hoping to have late-season success to build on for 2020.

“We want to build some momentum going into next year,” Dillon said. “Obviously we didn’t finish where we wanted to be here this year, this season, not making the playoffs. But we showed speed at certain times. We need to get back on track with some consistency throughout the end of the year, just being consistent, finishing where we should finish – a couple of top 10s for sure is where we’d like to be, and maybe steal a win by the end of the year.”

According to the veteran racecar driver, Talladega remains a unique facility, given its tradition and folklore.

“Talladega is a fun place,” he said. “We were just talking about Talladega Boulevard, the legends and the myths that come around this place. It’s a fun track to come to. It’s more relaxed for us drivers. But when you get on the track, it’s probably the most intense weekend for us. So, we enjoy coming here because you never know what would unfold and what it would look like in the end. That could put some of the most memorable moments in NASCAR history here.”

Partnered with Dillon’s effort this weekend at Talladega is General Motors Co.’s “BuyPower Card.” Dillon touted it as a useful product for NASCAR fans.

“It’s really cool,” Dillon said. “I’m a car enthusiast, a car guy. The GM BuyPower Card – you can put it toward different extras on your car, SiriusXM, oil change – whatever it may be you want to do, buy a new car. You can do that with the new GM BuyPower Card. I’m pumped to be a part of this partnership and feel like it is a good partnership, given I’ll be on the racetrack this weekend. Any fan that comes to the track has to stop and get gas, do different things getting here. I think it is the card for our fans in NASCAR.”

Dillon went on to point out Talladega Superspeedway was where Richard Childress Racing’s roots lie, calling it a memorable place for his car owner, Richard Childress.

“Everything started here,” he said. “So when we come here at RCR, the boss man wants to run good. He loves this place, loves seeing speed, showcase our engines – everything. This has been a memorable place for him, and we’d love to put him back in victory lane here.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

6 days ago

Talladega Superspeedway chairman Grant Lynch recalls how inaugural race prize money launched Dale Earnhardt-owner Richard Childress’ race team

(Courtesy of Talladega Superspeedway)

On Sunday, the 1000Bulbs.com 500 will be long-time Talladega Superspeedway chairman Grant Lynch’s last race in his role.

As the outgoing chairman, he will have overseen “Transformation,” an approximate $50 million redevelopment of Talladega Superspeedway, which is part of ISC’s long-term capital allocation plan and reinvestment into its major motorsports complexes.

Long before the decades of success that Talladega Superspeedway has had hosting events sanctioned by NASCAR, the first race in 1969 did not go quite as smoothly.

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In the lead-up to the first events after the track’s opening, a number of the drivers protested the new track based on safety concerns and did not participate in the race. However, some did, including current NASCAR team owner Richard Childress.

During an appearance on “The Jeff Poor Show” on Huntsville radio’s WVNN, Lynch recounted how Childress was able to take prize money to launch his business.

“He stayed behind and said he would run those two races,” Lynch said. “Mr. France had to have some races because he sold tickets to races and so he knew he had to put on a race and when the Professional Drivers Association formed a union, then struck — most of them left. About 11 or 12 stayed, and Richard stayed, and he got $5,000 from Mr. France to take home with him. He had never had $500. He went home with $5,000, and that’s how he started Richard Childress Enterprises.”

Childress would go on to prosper as a race team owner, including during his employment of Dale Earnhardt, who drove the iconic #3 Chevrolet for Childress.

On Sunday, Childress will take a few laps around the superspeedway in the same car Earnhardt earned his final victory, which came at Talladega’s 2000 Winston 500 before his untimely death in an accident at the 2001 Daytona 500. Earnhardt came through the field from 17th place with just a few laps remaining to secure the win.

For ticket information for the 1000Bulbs.com 500 and Sugarlands Shine 250 doubleheader NASCAR Playoffs this weekend, visit www.talladegasuperspeedway.com or call 855-518-RACE (7223).

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

6 days ago

Marsh: ‘No appetite whatsoever for any kind of Medicaid expansion’

(Screenshot/APTV)

For anyone holding out hope that Republicans in the state legislature would come around on so-called Medicaid expansion as a solution to any perceived rural health care woes, you may want to consider other policy options.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) dismissed the expansion of Medicaid rolls in Alabama as an option in the near term. However, he said there other options that could be offered.

“There’s no appetite whatsoever for any kind of Medicaid expansion,” Marsh said. “I can tell you that. I know the Democrats are rallying around that. I can tell you the Republicans are not for expanding Medicaid.”

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“Now, the rural health care issue – we’ve had meetings,” he continued. “We’ve had meetings on rural hospitals. We’ll continue to work with the hospital administration and association to talk about possible solutions, some of which – maybe it’s not a hospital, maybe it’s an EMA facility that gets people quick to a hospital in another adjoining county. There are things we’ve got to look at, but it won’t be Medicaid expansion.”

Marsh also questioned the notion that the solution to rural health care offerings was hospitals in all 67 counties.

“I don’t know how big this problem really is,” he added. “A lot of times when I get in the topic of rural health care, it’s not about health care. It’s about jobs. In some cases, in rural areas – hospitals are the biggest employer. But to me, number one, health care is health care. Do you really need it there? Is it providing a service in that area? If it doesn’t make sense, and quite honestly, I don’t think we need to have a hospital in every county. We’ve got to be fiscally responsible. If they don’t have a hospital, make sure they have quick access to a hospital through EMA or other entities we can work on to provide health care.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

1 week ago

Byrne: ‘There are some people running in this race that are for amnesty — That’s their right but I don’t believe in that’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

CULLMAN — Immigration continues to be a top issue for Republican voters interested in the early stages of the 2020 U.S. Senate GOP primary in Alabama, which was on display Tuesday night at a gathering of the Cullman County Republican Women.

Republican U.S. Senate hopeful U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) was in attendance to speak to the group about his campaign and fielded questions from attendees, one of which was about the immigration issue.

The question dealt with the prospect of an amnesty being offered to illegal immigrants in the United States. Byrne expressed his opposition and cited his years in Congress with former U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions, who in 2017 left the U.S. Senate to serve as U.S. attorney general for President Donald Trump.

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“I am totally opposed to amnesty for illegal aliens,” Byrne said. “You know, I do a lot of town halls in my congressional role. And it’s not unusual for me to do a town hall, get a question kind of like that and there will be a person in the back of the room and say, ‘I came here from x country, went through a long and difficult and expensive process to become a naturalized citizen. And I resent people who walked across the line and expect to be treated the same way I’m treated. So think about: As a matter of fairness to them, we shouldn’t give them amnesty. But to give them amnesty makes a travesty of our legal system. We have laws, and you’re not supposed to do that. And we’re just going to let you get away with that? Absolutely not.”

“So, I know there are some people running in this race that are for amnesty,” he continued. “That’s their right, but I don’t believe in that. My votes in the United States House of Representatives have always been very consistent about that. Jeff Sessions, when he was our U.S. Senator, was a major leader on that issue and taught me a lot about it. And I’m glad I had my years with Jeff to explain to me how this stuff works. So I am totally opposed to amnesty. I’ve already voted that way in the United States House of Representatives, and I’ll continue to vote that way in the U.S. Senate.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

1 week ago

State Rep. Wadsworth offers FQHCs as alternative to Medicaid expansion for rural health care

(Screenshot/APTV)

The recent string of rural hospital closures has been at the forefront of the debate on whether or not to expand Medicaid rolls in Alabama as some citizens find themselves without nearby access to health care.

However, State Rep. Tim Wadsworth (R-Arley), a member of the legislature that represents portions of rural Winston, Walker and Jefferson Counties, suggested an alternative to a potentially costly endeavor as such as Medicaid expansion as a solution to that problem in the form of Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC).

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Wadsworth spoke about his district’s experience with one of those facilities, which he touted as a better choice than Medicaid expansion.

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“It is,” he replied. “FQHC, there are still federal dollars that come, and it doesn’t require state dollars. The problem you have with expanding Medicaid is that Medicaid — there’s just not enough money to fund the expansion of Medicaid right now. But the FQHC does not require expanding Medicaid, and they still see Medicaid patients and Medicare patients, too. A lot of doctors will not see a Medicaid patient, a Medicare patient, and they’ll turn them away. Or they’re off four days a week, and you can’t get in, or it takes a while to see them.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

1 week ago

State Sen. Cam Ward to seek post on Alabama Supreme Court

(Screenshot/APTV)

On Monday, State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) formally announced his intentions to seek the Republican nomination for the Place 1 associate justice post on the Alabama Supreme Court.

Ward presently serves as the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman and president of the Alabama Law Institute. He represents a district that includes parts of Shelby, Bibb and Chilton Counties.

The Alabaster Republican is a graduate of Troy State University and Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. According to a release, he is a practicing attorney specializing in criminal justice reform and economic development.

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“The roles of the three branches of government are very well-defined,” Ward said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “The legislative branch writes the laws, the executive branch enforces the laws and the judicial branch interprets the laws. My judicial philosophy will be easy to understand. As a judge, my role will be to interpret the law exactly as it is written, not to write new ones.”

Ward will compete statewide in the Republican primary for his party’s nod on March 3, 2020.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

1 week ago

Marsh: ‘More importance’ put on vocational training over sentencing reform in pursuit of prison solution

(Screenshot/APTV)

It has now been six months since the Department of Justice (DoJ) issued an edict alleging Alabama’s prisons violated the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution.

According to lawmakers, the State of Alabama and the DoJ have been working toward a solution, with the ultimate plan being decided upon in a likely special session of the legislature.

During an appearance Friday on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” State Senate President Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) gave an update on those proceedings with the DoJ. He also previewed possible aspects of future plans.

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One course of action offered by policymakers is to take on sentencing reform, which in theory would lessen sentences for some crimes and potentially lessen the burden on overcrowded prisons.

However, Marsh said while he would entertain conversations about sentencing reform, he argued the focus should be aimed at vocational training.

“You know, it’s always part of the discussion,” Marsh said. “And I’m glad to have that discussion. We’ll look at that. But there again, the conversations I’ve had – more importance is being put on the vocational training aspect. Those people who are slated to get out currently, that when they come out, they have a vocation in order to get a job. But I have no argument looking at sentencing reform – what is deemed necessary. I would rely heavily on law enforcement in that direction – district attorneys and sheriffs to tell us what they see as a problem in current sentencing, and judges, of course. But there again, I’ve been more focused on the vocational training aspect of it.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Merrill doubles down on ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ — Calls for ‘full legal employment status’ path for illegal aliens

(S. Ross/YHN)

Recently, Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill pledged his support for “comprehensive immigration reform,” a term he says does not mean citizenship but instead one that means attention given to the employment status of those here in the country illegally.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Friday, Merrill, a Republican candidate for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up for grabs in 2020, reiterated those concerns regarding immigration.

Merrill told “Jeff Poor Show” fill-in host Will Hampson that his support did not mean he was “soft on immigration” and that the border wall should still be a priority. However, he argued those in the United States illegally that were employed, and those that were employing those illegally here, should have legal status so that they can have payroll tax deductions.

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“[I]mmigration has got to be given attention,” Merrill said. “We’ve got to build a border wall. We’ve got to stop the bleeding on the illegal immigration. We’ve got to stop the hemorrhaging that we currently see. And we need comprehensive immigration reform. Now, what does that mean? Let me tell you what that means because I can tell you that some people are trying to say, ‘Well, that means John Merrill is soft on immigration.’ That doesn’t mean that at all.”

“Anybody that’s here illegally that has committed a crime, or that has committed a crime since they have been here needs to be out of here,” he continued. “They need to be deported. They need to be sent back to the country from which they came. But you and I — all three of us on this conversation know that there are people currently here illegally right now in the United States who are working jobs, right now — who are getting paid but the people who are paying them are not paying taxes for them, and the people who are getting paid are not paying taxes.”

Merrill went on to ask Hampson and the show’s producer if that was something they wanted to continue and insisted the only way to accomplish that goal was through comprehensive immigration reform.

“If you don’t, then the only way to correct it is to have immigration reform because we’ve got to identify these people,” he explained. “We’ve got to make sure that once these people are identified, they’re properly designated with information that will allow us to know where they’re working, why they’re working, what they’re doing and when their jobs are up. I’m not for providing a path for citizenship for these people. But I am for providing a path for full legal employment status for these individuals, and that will call for comprehensive immigration reform.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Zeigler: No decision on 2020 AL-01 congressional run

(Auditor Jim Zeigler/Twitter)

With an apparent victory in spearheading a movement that stopped the Alabama Department of Transportation’s construction of an Interstate 10 Mobile Bay Bridge financed in part by tolls in his back pocket, speculation has been rampant State Auditor Jim Zeigler could seek a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

The departure of incumbent U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) to run for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020 has created a soon-to-come vacancy in Alabama’s first congressional district. Included among the announced GOP candidates are Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl, State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile), restauranteur Wes Lambert and former State Sen. Bill Hightower.

Zeigler, who is not an announced candidate, addressed the speculation during an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN during an interview with fill-in host Will Hampson. Zeigler told Hampson that he had not decided as of yet.

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“No, I have not, and it looks like we have got a large field of candidates – this is for the seat the Bradley Byrne is vacating,” Zeigler said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “He is not running for reelection because he is running for U.S. Senate in the first district of Alabama. It’s got Mobile, Baldwin, Escambia, Alabama, Monroe, Washington, and south Clarke County in that district. The deadline for everybody to make a decision about running for something in 2020 is a month away, November 8. Obviously, we’ll know something by that time.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Tuberville: Trump is ‘the only thing standing between socialism and the country’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Thursday during an appearance on “Alabama’s Morning News with JT” on Birmingham’s News Radio 105.5 WERC, former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, a candidate for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2020, spoke about the turmoil surrounding President Donald Trump and the threat of impeachment.

Tuberville suggested Trump was facing backlash from Washington, D.C. because he was perceived to be a threat to “their little game.”

“[W]e’re embarrassed for our country,” he said. “We’ve elected probably the best president of our time. They know that – the left knows that, and even some of the right now, they recognize what he is doing. He’s making changing. He’s disrupting their little game up there in Washington, D.C., and they cannot stand it.”

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“He’s the only thing standing between socialism and this country,” Tuberville continued. “Donald Trump – he’s like an offensive line. He’s trying to knock them out, keep them out of the backfield. Man, they just keep coming, and they keep coming. They make stuff, and they lie.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

State Sen. Tom Whatley endorses Tommy Tuberville for U.S. Senate

(Screenshot/APTV)

Wednesday, former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville’s 2020 U.S. Senate effort got a shot in the arm with its first major endorsement from a prominent elected official.

State Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) formally announced his endorsement of Tuberville’s candidacy. Whatley’s announcement is the second of such in recent weeks as the Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA) gave its endorsement to Tuberville as well.

In a statement provided by the Tuberville campaign, Whatley applauded Tuberville as an “outspoken supporter” of military veterans and cited him as someone that would be strong on immigration issues.

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“I am proud to endorse my friend, Tommy Tuberville, for the United States Senate,” Whatley said. “I have known Coach Tuberville for years and am confident he’s the strong, Christian conservative leader we need to defeat Doug Jones and make Alabama red again. As a Colonel in the Alabama Army National Guard and the United States Army Reserves, I want a Senator who is an outspoken supporter of our military veterans and backs it up with action.”

“In the U.S. Senate, Coach Tuberville will make veterans’ health care a top priority,” he continued. “Coach Tuberville will also stand with President Trump to stop illegal immigration and secure our borders. He knows we need to build the wall, ban sanctuary cities, and crack down on violent gangs.”

The Lee County Republican lawmaker praised Tuberville’s outsider qualities and noted his support from ALFA, which Whatley explained was a sign Tuberville would be a strong advocate for agriculture.

“Just like President Trump, Coach Tuberville is not a politician,” Whatley explained. “He will help drain the swamp in Washington, D.C. and pass a new law that says if Members of Congress don’t pass a balanced budget, then they don’t get paid! In Alabama, we have to balance our budget every year, and there’s no reason Washington shouldn’t have to as well. As Chairman of the State Senate Agriculture Committee, I know first-hand how important farming is in Alabama. Agriculture is still the number one industry in our state. I am proud that the Alabama Farmers Federation (ALFA), Alabama’s largest and most influential grassroots organization, endorsed Coach Tuberville for the United States Senate.”

“Like ALFA, I recognize that our family farms need a strong advocate in Washington to fight for our farming communities, and that’s exactly what Coach Tuberville will do,” he added. “We need Tommy Tuberville in the United States Senate standing up for Alabama in 2020, and I will do all I can to help ensure his victory.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Tuberville: Impeachment is ‘good versus evil’ — Democrats ‘have the hate in their eyes for a guy that the people of this country elected’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

As it stands right now, chalk former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville up as a “no” on any vote to convict and disqualify President Donald Trump in any impeachment proceeding that would reach the U.S. Senate if he were a member of that body.

During an appearance Tuesday on Birmingham radio’s Talk 99.5, Tuberville, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, decried congressional Democrats’ effort to impeach Trump and described it as “good versus evil.”

“They don’t like the guy because he is an outsider,” he said on “The Matt & Aunie Show.” “He’s not a swamp-dweller like the rest of them. He’s not running, playing their games. They’re not able to steal all the money they’ve stolen for years. He’s keeping an eye on them. The other things is they’re just trying to run the clock out. They don’t want to give him a win in anything. That’s the reason they don’t bring anything to the floor because it will pass because people in this country need help. But fodder to say, ‘Listen, look what I got done.’ I think like you said it’s going to backfire. It’s truly going to backfire. It’s just unfortunate for the people of this country. I call it good versus evil. That’s exactly what it is. These people have an ulterior motive for Donald Trump and this country and the Christian base of this country, and it just hurts to think our country has gotten to this point.”

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Co-host Matt Murphy offered an obligatory question to Tuberville, asking if anything in his view would lead him to vote to convict Trump as a U.S. senator.

“Not that I’ve seen or heard at this point,” Tuberville replied. “You don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. Just from what has happened in the last three years – you know what they’re trying to do. They’re just trying to run the clock out on the guy. I really think, too, they’re trying to do as much as they possibly can to physically make the guy – just drain him. You know – use every ounce of energy of just fighting off things other than trying to help the people that elected him. I really do believe that.”

“Just look at these people’s faces that have the hate in their eyes for a guy that the people of this country elected to be our president,” he added. “It’s a slap in the face not just to Donald Trump but to all of us – all of us that supported and voted for him to send him up there for change.”

Tuberville associated the effort with so-called deep state entities that he saw as seeking a diversion from what U.S. Attorney General William Barr may make available from his investigation into the 2016 presidential campaign.

“I never thought in my lifetime I would see a CIA, an FBI, a former president and all of this staff actually spy and try to bring down first a candidate and an elected president of the United States,” Tuberville said. “I think what they’re trying to do, too, is this Barr investigation is getting ready to come out. I got a feeling it ain’t going to be good for the folks on the left. And again, it’s really not left anymore. It’s socialism. They want to transform this country.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 weeks ago

Rep. Sewell: ‘You don’t need a quid pro quo’ for an impeachment inquiry

(Screenshot/CBS)

On Sunday, U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), explained how a whistleblower complaint alleging wrongdoing by President Donald Trump during a phone call with Ukranian President Volodymyr Zelensky would serve as a “road map” for an impeachment inquiry.

According to Sewell, who is also a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said the interpretation of the dialogue on the call that the president pressured Zelensky to launch an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden crossed a “rubicon.”

“Look, it’s not because I didn’t think that there were really unpresidential behavior by this president from moment one, but because I was worried that it would get us sidetracked from other more important items for the American people,” she said during an appearance on CBS’s “Face The Nation.” “But I do believe that we’ve crossed a Rubicon here. I do believe that this whistleblower allegation is so serious it gets to the very heart of our nation’s democracy, the integrity of our elections. And if any district understands that, it’s my district — Alabama seventh congressional district, which was the civil rights district where people died, fought, bled for the right to vote and the integrity of our elections are at question. When the president of the United States asks a foreign leader for a favor and then withholds millions of dollars of foreign aid in order to solicit interference in our election, I don’t think it gets more important than that.”

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“Face The Nation” host Margaret Brennan mentioned that Sewell’s Republican colleagues disputed the allegations of an implied quid pro quo, to which Sewell dismissed as a necessity for an impeachment inquiry.

“You don’t need a quid pro quo,” she said. “The reality is that the complaint speaks for itself and it corroborates the partial readout that we received earlier in the week. So I think that, you know, none of us come to Congress to try and impeach the president. I know the people elected me to go to Congress to lower prescription drug prices for them, to make sure that we have an equal, level playing field when it comes to education. But I think that we find ourselves at a very sombering moment in American history and we can either choose to live by the oath that we took, which is to uphold this Constitution and get to the bottom of what’s going on. We need to understand what the speaker has done is initiated an inquiry — an inquiry. And, obviously, the road map is the complaint. It raises lots of concerns as to the extent of this president’s portrayal, and we need to get to the bottom of that, and we need to do so in a deliberate manner.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

State Rep. Andy Whitt decries ‘very dangerous’ Alabama Highway 53 after two fatalities — Calls on ALDOT for improvements

(Screenshot/WAFF)

Despite promises of improvements for decades, a span of Alabama Highway 53 that stretches from Huntsville to Ardmore near the Alabama-Tennessee state line has remained a heavily traveled thoroughfare that poses public safety concerns.

Last weekend, two lives were claimed in an accident on Highway 53 near Ardmore, prompting State Rep. Andy Whitt (R-Harvest) to use social media to garner attention for action.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Tuesday, Whitt elaborated on his concerns and noted it had been a long-existing issue for residents of northwest Madison County and northeast Limestone County.

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“All of my life, they have been discussing four-laning Highway 53,” Whitt said. “For over 40 years, we have misled the people of Madison and Limestone County in the fact that saying Highway 53 would be four-laned. You know, our citizens expect better. They deserve better. And they’ve told better. This is a very dangerous road. And it needs immediate attention.”

(ALDOT)

“Speaker [Mac] McCutcheon and I were talking about it two or three weeks ago,” he added. “He said he remembers on the side of Highway 53 he was a child catching the school bus that when he stopped in the afternoon at the local country store, people saw engineers and markers going up on Highway 53, and they were thinking, ‘OK, now is the time we’re getting a four-lane Highway 53.’”

According to statistics provided by Whitt, over 17,000 cars pass through the intersection of Old Railroad Bed Road and Highway 53 on a daily basis, a major intersection on the route, which far exceeds “any acceptable numbers” for a two-lane road. He also noted that five of the top 10 most dangerous intersections in entire Madison County cross Highway 53, with one intersection averaging 5.57 accidents per week based on 2017 numbers.

Whitt tells Yellowhammer News the estimated cost for 3.4 miles of four-lane improvements is $30.9 million.

He also cited the 2015 dust-up between then-State Sen. Bill Holtzclaw (R-Madison) and current Alabama Department of Transportation director John Cooper that resulted in roughly $100 million in funding being pulled from Holtclaw’s district as another possible cause for delay.

However, Whitt told “The Jeff Poor Show” that local officials are continuing to make the project a priority.

“It’s sad and ironic at the same time that just this past week, our delegation met with [Madison County Commission] chairman Dale Strong,” he continued. “We met with the mayor’s office and several other individuals just to talk about priorities. [Highway] 53 was one of those. The city of Huntsville made it clear to me that it was one of their top three priorities to have that northwest corridor four-laned. We’ve done it everywhere else. We’ve got it on [Interstate] 565. We’re headed over east, north on [U.S. Highway] 231 into Tennessee. We are just lacking that four-lane road to carry out to the interstate in the northwest corner of Madison County but also carrying it further over into Limestone County.”

Whitt recounted former Gov. Fob James’ pledge in 1995 on a cotton wagon in Ardmore to four-lane, yet it still remains uncompleted. He said the hold-up had been a shift of priorities throughout administration in Montgomery.

“It would get shuffled down the stack,” he said. “That is unacceptable to me. It has been on there. It needs to stay on there. We’re going to work hard to do that.”

The project could get priority given the growth of the area, including the forthcoming Mazda Toyota Manufacturing facility under construction in eastern Limestone County.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

Tuberville on impeachment: ‘The Democratic Party is the best thing in the world for Netflix and Hulu’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

With the impeachment of President Donald Trump dominating the headlines nationally, it has also come up in the early stages of Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate race.

Fresh off the endorsement from the Alabama Farmers Federation, 2020 Republican U.S. Senate hopeful Tommy Tuberville reacted to U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announcing her caucus would proceed with an impeachment effort.

Tuberville told Huntsville radio’s WVNN that Pelosi’s effort would help Republicans, including his own cause.

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“This is just pushing the Republican Party and Donald Trump to victory,” Tuberville said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “I mean it is still going to be a hard case in terms of getting elected because it is so close in terms of Democrats and Republicans. But I tell you what, from just watching what goes on from afar, and none of us really know what’s going on behind the scenes but my goodness, do something for the American people, Democrats. We got the USMCA out there just waiting for the farmers.”

“You know, everything that could be brought to the floor to help this country and they’re worried about impeachment,” he continued. “If you want to worry about it, do a little of that. But do something for the American people. That’s what they were elected for, but they have absolutely lost their minds — along with the mainstream media, along with the people that just can’t stand Donald Trump. It amazes me every day as an American that has grown up in this country to watch what is going on. It is really childish. And like you said, this is going to help Donald Trump bigtime.”

The former football coach said as far as his interaction with voters is concerned, there is not much interest in impeachment.

“You know what they tell me they do?” he said. “They turn it off. The Democratic Party is the best thing in the world for Netflix and Hulu and all those other people. They are absolutely running people away from journalism because there is no journalism anymore and what they say goes straight to the mainstream media, and they’re voices for the Democratic Party. What they’re doing now is they’re catering to these TV stations and even a few radio stations are catering to the Democratic left. I guess that’s the voice they want and that’s the audience they want, and they’re getting it because the people of the state of Alabama — everywhere I go, they say, ‘Coach, we don’t want to listen to that.’ I mean, that’s old news. It’s over. Let’s get on with life.”

“It’s kind of helping my cause, too,” he added. “It just goes straight to career politicians. Nancy Pelosi, [Joe] Biden and Maxine Waters — they been up here 151 years. It has really gotten out of hand. It is what it is. I’m just going to go out there, do my job, campaign and tell people what I’m all about. I want to help them, and I think it helps everybody’s cause on the Republican side.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

John Merrill calls for ‘comprehensive immigration reform’ — ‘I’m not talking about legal status, I’m talking about legal employment status’

Immigration continues to be a topic of importance for Republican voters considering their selection for who will be their party’s nominee for the 2020 U.S. Senate race in Alabama.

During an appearance on Huntsville’s WVNN on Monday, Secretary of State John Merrill, one of those Republican candidates seeking the nod, confirmed immigration was the issue he was hearing most about on the campaign trail.

However, when asked about immigration and what is being said on the campaign trail, he said that the subject goes beyond the completion of the U.S.-Mexico border wall and includes comprehensive immigration reform.

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“Without a doubt,” he replied. “And you know the thing that I hear people talking about — it’s not just about building the wall, which we’re for. But it is about another part of that message that I don’t hear the other candidates talking about, and that’s about comprehensive immigration reform. I don’t know anybody that wants to provide a full path to citizenship for these individuals. But what they are looking for is a path for full employment for these people in a legal way. What we want is for those people to pay taxes and make sure they’re paying for benefits that they’re receiving instead of being net takers from our economy, be net producers for our economy. And that way, they’re going to be able to contribute more to society and help all of us because of those contributions.”

Merrill said he proposed legal employment status for some immigrants and added the difficulties lie in getting people to work that are receiving more in benefits from the social safety net by not working.

“Look Jeff — make sure you hear me when I say this: I’m not talking about legal status,” Merrill said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “I’m talking about legal employment status. The thing that is so important and very significant — I’ve talked to eight different business leaders this morning in four meetings that we had where they have shared with me their interests in making sure we provide a pathway for legal employment for these individuals because they cannot find people to work because there are a number of people in our state who are sitting on the couch, eating potato chips and drinking a Coca-Cola or sitting on the front porch waiting for the next check to come instead of being out working and trying to make a living for their families. They can make more money sitting at the house and not doing anything but waiting for the check to come. And that’s not good because that’s not what it is about. That’s not what we should be encouraging. It is what we should be discouraging.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

NWS Birmingham head meteorologist blames media for Trump-Dorian brouhaha — ‘We had reporters going to people’s houses’

(Screenshot/APTV)

Earlier this month, Alabama was once again in national media but this time for something not of its own doing.

What was perceived to be the National Weather Service in Birmingham responding directly to President Donald Trump was not that at all, according to NWS Birmingham meteorologist-in-charge Chris Darden.

On September 1, Trump had tweeted Hurricane Dorian threatened not only Florida but South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia and Alabama.

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However, at the time of Trump’s tweet, most forecast models did not have the storm impacting Alabama. Twenty minutes after Trump’s tweet, the National Weather Service in Birmingham fired off a tweet announcing there would be no Dorian impacts on Alabama.

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Darden told host Don Dailey the tweet was a reaction to a “flurry” of questions about the storm and not a response to Trump.

“That’s probably the thing that got misrepresented the most in the media,” he said. “That Sunday morning, we started getting a lot of calls in the office. People were calling in saying, ‘Why has the forecast changed? Why haven’t you put anything out? We had people asking if they needed to evacuate. We had questions on social media as well, like, you know, ‘Do I need to go down and get my mother or father?’ James Spann, of course, everyone knows James Spann in the state of Alabama, meteorologist in Birmingham — he was in church, apparently, when he was getting messages, frantic messages from people, why he had not notified them about the change in the track and Alabama would be impacted.”

“Based on this flurry of kind of these kinds of questions — that’s why we put the tweet and the Facebook post out,” Darden added. “At the time, we had no idea why this flurry was coming in.”

Darden said it was his impression that Trump cared deeply for Alabama based on Trump’s visit to Lee County after a series of devastating tornados earlier this year.

“I’ll say this: I was in Beauregard, Alabama, for a week after the tornados there and the 23 fatalities,” he said. “The president came in on Friday. He spent a lot of time with the folks down there. He clearly cares for the state of Alabama. He loves the residents. He was clearly distraught by what he saw down there. He has a keen interest in weather. There is absolutely nothing untoward in what we tried to do, in what we tried to communicate. I don’t think the President meant anything negative in what he was trying to put out as well. It was really just a misunderstanding. But it is something we can work on as an agency to communicate those things better.”

Darden also spoke of the media and actions of reporters covering the story that caused “tension” for him and his colleagues.

“There was a little bit of tension,” he said. ” I don’t think it was fear of retribution. But it was just we had so many people calling — so many different reporters calling. We had reporters going to people’s houses. My daughter got called. I don’t know how they got her number, but she is in class at Southern Miss. She got called. So, it was more of a frustration. You know, we just want to do our job. Our job is to forecast. Our job is to serve the public. We’re being distracted from that. We felt like it became more of a personal issue. When you’re trying to feed your baby at dinner time — that actually happened — two people show up, and you’re trying to put your baby to sleep, feed them and you can’t because two people knocking on your door, camped out in your yard. It just spun out of control.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 weeks ago

Alabama Democratic Party chairwoman Nancy Worley: ‘I have no plans to step down’

(Screenshot/APTV)

During this week’s broadcast of Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” Alabama Democratic Party (ADP) chairwoman Nancy Worley once again defended her party’s leadership and how the party selects its leaders.

Worley reacted to actions from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) revoking her and ADP vice chairman Randy Kelley’s convention credential.

She dismissed the relevance of having those credentials and insisted she would remain as the party’s head despite the actions of the DNC.

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“I have no plans to step down,” she said. “I was reelected last August. And the other side supporting another candidate — if that candidate had won, I don’t think we would have heard one single word about any of the controversy. But since I won reelection and the slate they supported — every single person was defeated, then all of a sudden everything is wrong with the party.”

Worley said her detractors, including the DNC, Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) and others wanted to take away the rights of blacks voting in proportionate numbers on the state committee.

“There are a lot of institutions in this state, in this country that re-fight the Civil War,” she said. “The [State Democratic Executive Committee] is no different from that. There are people that just can’t accept that blacks vote in such high numbers for the Democratic Party, and as a result of that they get more representation.”

Dailey asked Worley to clarify remarks made earlier this month regarding “a special circle of hell” for her adversaries at the DNC.

“I was referring to ‘Dante’s Inferno,’ but obviously I said there was a special place in hell for people who take away the rights of blacks in Alabama based on proportionate numbers of who vote in the party because blacks have fought hard to win the right to vote,” she explained. “Blacks have fought hard to register others to vote, and to educate them and to get people out to the polls and vote.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

4 weeks ago

Jones: Claim I called for Kavanaugh impeachment ‘a complete mischaracterization’ — ‘We need to just move on’

(Screenshot/YouTube)

Senator Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) says it is time to move on from any discussions regarding the impeachment of U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh that stem from allegations in a New York Times report, which has since been revised by editors given the incomplete information in the initial report.

On Sunday, Jones had said during an MSNBC appearance if Kavanaugh lied to the Senate Judiciary Committee during his confirmation hearings, impeachment could be a consideration. However, in a later appearance also on MSNBC, he later ruled out impeachment after The New York Times issued a clarification about the piece.

During his TV media call on Thursday, Jones called the premise of ever being a supporter of Kavanaugh’s impeachment a “complete mischaracterization.”

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“That’s a complete mischaracterization of what I said when those allegations came out in The New York Times,” Jones explained. “I said perjury is a serious allegation, and judges have been removed for perjury. But I didn’t say — I didn’t call for impeachment inquiry at that time. Since that Sunday, when I was asked about it, The New York Times retracted that. I think I’ve made it pretty clear since then that I don’t think an impeachment inquiry would be appropriate.”

Jones went on to express his concerns about the confirmation process but insisted that it was time to move on from the discussion of an impeachment inquiry.

“What did concern me about this — and I’ve said this consistently is that I thought the process that we went through with the Kavanaugh nomination was a flawed process,” Jones added. “It was not a process that was full, fair and complete. And I think that is a mistake. It is a mistake that the Judiciary Committee made and it sets a bad precedent. We just saw as part of this that a U.S. Senator’s letter concerning a potential witness was apparently ignored. That’s not a good thing.”

“So, I have criticized the process,” he continued. “I don’t think it was good. I think it was flawed. But at the same time, I don’t think what I’ve seen now would rise to anything involving an impeachment inquiry. We need to just move on. We’ve got a lot to do in the Senate and the House these days — Iran, gun violence, you name it. We just need to move on.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

4 weeks ago

Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling open to Tennessee River toll bridge — If that moves freight, freight companies, truckers ‘would just be thrilled to do it’

(ALDOT, Jeff Poor/YHN)

For decades, traffic headed west from Huntsville and other points toward the Shoals has relied upon the Captain William J. Hudson “Steamboat Bill” Memorial Bridges to cross the Tennessee River into Decatur. Once traffic crosses that bridge, it either heads south on U.S. Highway 31 toward Hartselle and Cullman, or it makes a hard-right 90-degree turn on to U.S. Highway Alternate 72 and heads toward Muscle Shoals, Tuscumbia and Sheffield.

As the manufacturing base in northern Alabama expands, freight traffic is expected to increase at that intersection and make the turn west even more precarious for commuters and commercial traffic.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Wednesday, Decatur Mayor Tab Bowling discussed that spot and possible solutions for the future, which could include a tolling component.

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“If you were to go now and sit in the Doubletree Hotel, which is where you’re talking about there where you make that turn to go to the Shoals, and just look at the amount of freight that comes in out of Memphis — Memphis is the distribution hub for America,” Bowling said on Wednesday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show.” “And that freight that comes out of Memphis, straight down [U.S. Highway Alternate] 72, and then it makes its way across our bridge and goes various routes from there — into Huntsville, Madison, Athens, gets on [Interstate] 65, has different directions it can go from there. But whenever we start producing a thousand cars a day, we have 4,000 employees plus the tiered suppliers who will be there. The amount of freight that will come in to take care of that I believe is going to double.”

Bowling noted the situation at the Hyundai facility near Montgomery as a sign of what is to come and commended Gov. Kay Ivey for the commitment to widen the existing Interstate 565 that connects Decatur and Huntsville.

“We visited the Hyundai facility manufacturing a thousand cars a day just south of Montgomery — just-in-time deliveries: batteries, tires, things of that nature — they receive a truck a minute,” he continued. “You think widening [Interstate] 565 is important? Heck yeah, it’s important. We’re thankful Gov. Ivey is going to get that done for us in the Spring of 2020.”

The Decatur mayor said the completion of a nearby overpass for Alabama Highway 20 remains his current top priority.  Once that is completed, Bowling said exploring the possibility of an alternate route over the Tennessee River would be appropriate.

“We’re working on an overpass on [Alabama] Highway 20 where Apple Lane Farms is,” he said. “That’s Decatur, and that’s a build grant that we received for $14 million from the Federal Highway Department. We’re very thankful for that. A lot of people made that happen. Once that project gets going, then we’ll start working on the other. But we want to be sure we do everything to make sure that project gets going first.”

As for the possibility of using tolls to finance a new bridge, Bowling said he expected that those moving freight would be “thrilled” if it expedited transit and that if it would improve commuter traffic on existing structures, it could be a possibility.

“If that moves freight, I would believe that the freight companies, the truckers would just be thrilled to do it,” Bowling explained. “If we were to take the trucks off of the [U.S.] Highway 31 bridges, I believe that our commuter traffic — it would be a lot easier to make that commute. And so, we’ll see what we can do. We’ll come up with a traffic plan. We’ll do traffic counts. Things to prove it out.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

4 weeks ago

Byrne applauds Trump administration for rescinding WOTUS rule; Says Mobile Baykeeper ‘absolutely wrong’ about environmental threat

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Last week, the Trump administration rescinded the Obama-era “Waters of the U.S.” (WOTUS) rule, which broadened the scope of “waters” protected by the Clean Water Act.

The rule faced numerous legal challenges and was decried by farmers as an overreach.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), a candidate for the U.S. Senate in 2020, applauded the Trump administration’s decision.

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“There was a power grab by the Obama administration,” Byrne said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “They wanted to take the traditional understanding about what is the water under the Clean Water Act that the EPA can regulate it and expand it to the point where if a farmer has two or three inches of standing water in their fields, all of a sudden the EPA tells them they can or can’t plant. That’s nonsense.”

“We actually had some legislation previously on it, but the Trump administration has just rescinded that rule,” he continued. “So we have gone back to a more common-sense understanding. I mean, a small pond in your yard is not something that should be regulated by the EPA. Some standing water in a big field is not something that should be regulated by the EPA.”

Byrne cited an AL(dot)com story quoting Mobile Baykeeper’s Casi Callaway decrying the move by the Trump administration and warning the impact that revoking the rule could have on the environment.

“Casi is a friend, but she is absolutely wrong about that,” Byrne remarked. “This is just a common-sense change going back to the way it has been for decades. It has worked fine for decades. I really appreciate the Trump administration making this change. And I understand why farmers and other people in other rural parts of Alabama felt so strongly about it.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

4 weeks ago

State Rep. Steve Clouse: Prison reform, CHIP top issues for general fund; ‘Not this year’ on Medicaid expansion

Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark)

The next general session of the Alabama legislature will not convene in Montgomery for another four and a half months. However, very significant challenges lie ahead for the members when they meet in 2020.

House General Fund budget committee chairman Rep. Steve Clouse (R-Ozark) discussed those challenges Tuesday during an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN.

Clouse said prisons would likely top the list for the legislature. However, determining what that will be is on hold he said until Gov. Kay Ivey’s administration offers a plan.

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“The prison situation will be front and center here,” Clouse said on “The Jeff Poor Show” during an on-location broadcast from Dothan. “We’re still basically waiting on the governor’s office, the administration to present a plan. They have got a couple of companies that are working on different alternatives for us – a lease-build type situation, and possibly going in and passing a bond issue ourselves that would have to come through the legislature.”

“I don’t know exactly where that’s going to go right now,” he added. “We’ll just have to look at the numbers when they come out.”

Clouse also cited the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which will soon require state governments picking up more and more of the cost, which will be upwards of an additional $70 million price tag in the coming year.

“One of the issues that we had last year was getting members in the legislature aware of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the demands are going to be placed more and more on the states,” he said. “That is the last 20 years since the program has been in existence, basically the federal government has been picking up the whole tab on that. Over the last four or five years, it has been under a one-year authorization, and you know, not knowing if it was going to be reauthorized or not — and even if it was, not knowing how much the feds were going to pick up. At the last minute, they’ve always picked it up, you know.”

“Of course, it is what led to last year – January of last year, when the federal government shut down the first time for four or five days – that was the impetus that brought everybody together to get the government back going again past continuing resolution in Washington to make sure CHIP got reauthorized,” Clouse continued. “Of course, they picked up the full tab last year and are doing it this year right now. But, starting October 1 with the new budget, we’ll have to pick up about $35 million of that cost, which we’re going to be able to do. And then next year, the full amount is going to be kicking in on us. That’s going to be about an additional $70 million.”

As for the possibility of Medicaid expansion, a policy favored by many of the state’s elected Democrats, Clouse said he did not think it would come this year and said a determination on that would happen when what direction national health care policy was going to take after the 2020 elections.

“I don’t think so right now – not this year,” Clouse said. “I think it’s going to be an issue, another national issue in the presidential race. It will probably come up a lot in our U.S. Senate race, and our congressional races about the national health care situation and whether or not we’re going to continue Obamacare. And if we do, what’s going to be the guidelines going forward.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.