The Wire

  • Three takeaways from Alabama’s Runoff Election

    Excerpt:

    With Alabama’s primary election runoffs now in the books, here are three takeaways from the results.

    North Alabama has spoken.
    When this election cycle began, it became evident that north Alabama saw a window of opportunity to increase its influence.  The results from the Republican primary runoff have shown the electorate in that area of the state was eager to flex its muscle.

    Will Ainsworth pulled out an impressive come-from-behind victory in the Lt. Governor’s race. Steve Marshall enjoyed a resounding win in his bid to retain the Attorney General’s office.

  • On Roby’s win: One false media narrative dies, a new one is born

    Excerpt:

    Like Lucy van Pelt of Peanuts comic strip fame repeatedly pulling the football away from Charlie Brown as he lines up to kick it, Rep. Martha Roby (R-Montgomery) once again has shown you can’t beat her in a Republican primary.

    Similar to when she defeated “Gather Your Armies” Rick Barber in the 2010 GOP primary and “Born Free American Woman” Becky Gerritson in the 2016 GOP primary, Roby defeated former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright for a second time on Tuesday night, this time by a whopping 36 points.

    Heading into yesterday, many national media reporters were sent into Alabama’s second congressional district looking at the possibility that Roby might have to answer to a revolt for not sticking with then-Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on the infamous Billy Bush weekend during the 2016 presidential campaign.

  • Mo Brooks Wins FreedomWorks’ Prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award

    Excerpt from a Rep. Mo Brooks news release:

    Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was one of only 31 members of the U.S. House of Representatives awarded the prestigious 2017 FreedomFighter Award by FreedomWorks, a leading conservative organization with more than six million members nationwide. Only members of Congress who score better than 90% on the FreedomWorks scorecard receive the FreedomFighter Award. Congressman Brooks’ FreedomWorks score was in the top 4% of all Congressmen in 2017.

    Brooks said, “FreedomWorks is a leading organization in the conservative movement. I thank them for their work keeping members of Congress accountable and scoring key House floor votes which helps the American people better understand the impact of those votes. I was proud to receive the prestigious FreedomWorks 2017 FreedomFighter Award for my voting record in 2017. If America is to maintain its place as the greatest country in world history, more members of Congress must fight for the foundational principles that made America great. I’m fighting in Congress for those principles, and I’m glad to have a partner as effective as FreedomWorks in the fight.”

3 years ago

Sessions blasts Senate Democrats for blocking sanctuary cities bill

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spars with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) over the impact the proposed immigration reforms will have on the domestic job market.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spars with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) over the impact the proposed immigration reforms will have on the domestic job market.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday on the controversial “sanctuary cities” bill which, if passed, would have allowed the federal government to withhold funds to local governments that choose not to cooperate with federal immigration laws and officials. The Republican-backed bill was filibustered by Senate Democrats on a vote of 54-45, it needed 60 to pass the Senate.

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL) slammed Senate Democrats who blocked the bill.

“Today Senate Democrats blocked legislation to address one of the biggest, most egregious, and most dangerous wrongs now occurring in our immigration system today: Sanctuary Cities,” Sessions wrote in a press release.

The Stop Sanctuary Cities Act was made a priority by Republicans following the murder of California woman Katie Steinle earlier this year, who was shot and killed by an illegal immigrant, Juan Francisco Lopez-Sanchez, while walking at San Francisco’s Pier 14 in early July.

Sanchez, at the time of the murder, had a felony record and been deported to Mexico five times, but even with a federal immigration detainer request, the city sheriff released him once an old marijuana charge was dropped.

“This bill would have been a modest but valuable first step towards ending the massive, unprecedented illegality,” said Sessions. “Sanctuary cities are together freeing an average of 1,000 criminal aliens a month. Countless crimes are happening as a result of these never-ending releases: DUIs, assaults, burglaries, drug crimes, gang crimes, and murders.”

The Stop Sanctuary Cities Act was rejected by Senate Democrats and others who opposed the bill had resorted to calling it “The Donald Trump Act,” trying to discredit any legitimacy.

“Votes to filibuster this bill were votes for continued bloodshed, for more parents burying more children, for more senseless tragedy,” stated Sessions. “This filibuster today makes clear that the Democratic Party not only has no intention of ending this lawless abuse, but desires to see it continued.”

A summary of the proposed bill can be found here.


 

1
3 years ago

‘Racist’ Alabama Republicans give the most campaign cash to African-American candidate Ben Carson

via Flickr credit given to Gage Skidmore
via Flickr credit given to Gage Skidmore
via Flickr credit given to Gage Skidmore

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Over the last few months many presidential candidates from both parties have visited Alabama hoping to generate support for their campaigns, participating in the newly-formed SEC Primary. Alabamians have responded to these visits by making monetary contributions to candidates and their national campaigns, as well as through volunteering. Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson now has the most campaign cash from Alabama of any 2016 presidential candidate, raising about $215,000 from July through September and has now raised about $272,000 total, according to new Federal Election Commission data.

In addition to his popularity with Evangelical Christians, Dr. Carson may have a leg up in Alabama because his national finance chairman, Dean Parker, is from Mobile.

With presidential candidates battling over the influential Southern primary vote next year, contributions reflect attitudes and overall support for the state’s potential candidate for president.

Below is the presidential contribution list for the 2015 October quarterly report in Alabama:

  • Carson America – $215,636
  • Jeb 2016, INC. – $164, 405
  • Cruz For President – $105,804
  • Hillary For America – $54,818
  • Huckabee For President, INC. – $20,669
  • Donald J. Trump For President, INC. – $16,570
  • Bernie 2016 – $16,470
  • Carly For President – $15,135
  • Kasich For America – $11,000
  • Rand Paul For President, INC. – $10,723
  • Marco Rubio For President – $7,837
  • Rick Santorum For President 2016 – $5,500
  • Jindal For President – $2,500
  • Lessig2016.US – $1,000
  • Webb 2016 – $650
  • Lindsey Graham 2016 – $585

These donations stand in contrast to the accusations of racism by Democrats in recent weeks and months due to its Voter ID laws, and the closure of 31 part-time satellite Drivers’ License offices. Democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have both leveled the accusation at the Alabama GOP calling them “cowards” and the decision “a blast from the Jim Crow past.”

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley dismissed the criticism and said Mrs. Clinton in particular should focus on issues she would actually have to deal with if she became President.

“Alabama will continue to work toward solutions to solve our budget shortfalls,” he said. “Meanwhile Mrs. Clinton can work to solve our country’s $18 Trillion deficit, in the unfortunate event she is elected President.”


 

1
3 years ago

Gaming interests try to position casinos as ‘no brainer’ fix for Alabama budget problems

(Dallas1200am/Flickr)
Flickr user Dallas1200am

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A pro-gambling non-profit is calling the legalization of gaming in Alabama a “no brainer” fix for state budget problems, but not all Alabamians are bought in.

The Alabama Jobs Foundation (AJF), a non-profit created during this year’s regular session of Alabama’s state legislature, promotes gaming in the Yellowhammer State, saying it is the answer to budgetary problems experienced during recent special session nightmares.

AJF advocates for the gaming plan proposed by Senator Del Marsh during the 2015 regular session. This constitutional amendment in summary would create the Alabama Lottery Corporation; allow slot machines and table games at the four existing racetracks where gaming is currently legal in Mobile, Macon County, Greene County and Birmingham; and authorize the Governor to negotiate a compact for gaming with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.

ALF argues that thousands of jobs would be created in the process of expansion of gaming in the State of Alabama.

Members of the Alabama Jobs Foundation are former Auburn Head Football Coach and Athletic Director Pat Dye,  Charles McCrary, retired president of Alabama Power, and Raymond Harbert, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Harbert Management Corporation.

According to a study by the Institute for Accountability and Government Efficiency at Auburn University of Montgomery, an Alabama lottery and casino gaming system would create a $1.2 billion annual economic impact for the State of Alabama, and generate almost $400 million in new revenue for State programs.

In addition, the study claims that more than 11,000 new jobs would be created if casino gaming were allowed at the current facilities located in Mobile, Birmingham, Macon and Greene County.

But the Alabama Policy Institute (API), a free market think tank established more than 25 years ago, says state-supported gambling is not the right approach.

“Research clearly shows that lotteries take the most from the least–from the poor,” wrote API president Caleb Crosby and vice president Katherine Robertson. “This has been proven by national-level data, as well as by data from Southern states with lotteries such as Georgia and North Carolina. In Georgia, residents in the ten poorest counties spent 44% more on lottery tickets than residents in the ten wealthiest counties, yet the former received 36% less in the education dollars provided by the lottery. In North Carolina, poverty rates in counties with high lottery-ticket sales were, on average, 42% higher than the rest of the state.”

Crosby and Robertson continued, “Exploiting the poor to pay for government would be a step backwards, economically and morally, in reducing Alabama’s poverty rates. A state-run lottery relies on the poor to feed government and attempts to justify it by promising–promising–that the proceeds will create government programs to serve the poor. But look at what’s happening in Illinois: lottery players, who are overwhelmingly poor, lined the state’s pockets, yet that didn’t solve the state’s abysmal fiscal situation. And, to make matters worse, Illinois can’t even afford to pay the winners of its lottery. The state making good on its promises–talk about slim odds!”

The Alabama Legislature returns to Montgomery for the 2016 Regular Session in February, when there is expected to be another round of proposed tax increases.


 

 

1
3 years ago

Bernie Sanders: Alabama Republicans are ‘cowards’ for implementing voter ID requirement

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)
Bernie Sanders
Photo by Gage Skidmore

Socialist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, who is running in the Democratic primary, declared via twitter Sunday that Republicans in Alabama are “cowards” for “suppressing” the votes of low income people, minorities, young people and seniors. This comes in response to the recent closure of 31 satellite Drivers’ License offices across Alabama. Sanders joins fellow Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in criticizing Republican leadership in Alabama and the GOP support for ID laws Clinton says makes voting harder for people of color and young people, two groups critical to her chances of winning the presidency, according to The Washington Post.

The closures have been met with criticism by the national media, Democrats, and voting rights advocates all across the country. On Friday, Bentley partially reversed the decision, saying that the offices would open in the affected areas once a month.

“To suggest the closure of the driver’s license offices is a racial issue is simply not true, and to suggest otherwise should be considered an effort to promote a political agenda,” said Bentley.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill, who is responsible for administering and overseeing elections, says there will still be multiple opportunities for people in every county to obtain an I.D. valid at the polling booth.

“The closure of 31 DMV offices will not leave citizens without a place to receive the required I.D. card to vote,” said Secretary Merrill. “All 67 counties in Alabama have a Board of Registrars that issue photo voter I.D. cards. If for some reason those citizens are not able to make it to the Board of Registrars, we’ll bring our mobile I.D. van and crew to that county. By October 31 our office will have brought the mobile I.D. van to every county in Alabama at least once.

Alabama’s new voter-ID law for both in-person and absentee voting went into effect last year and until now, hasn’t received negative feedback. Alabama has a total of 44 driver’s-license offices throughout the state. It also has 31 satellite offices that were open only part-time and that accounted for less than 5 percent of the driver’s licenses issued each year. Because of the budget passed by the state legislature, Alabama’s state government had to do away with limited resources. So the state government decided to close these satellite offices.

What all of the media and critics missed or deliberately ignored is that, in addition to being able to use a driver’s license to meet the voter-ID requirement, you can get a free voter ID in every single county in the state. In addition to DMV offices, the secretary of state offers free voter IDs in all 67 counties through the local election registrar.

“One of the most fundamental rights we as Americans are afforded is our right to vote,” says Secretary Merrill. “As Alabama’s Secretary of State and Chief Elections Official, I will do everything within my power to ensure every Alabamian is able to exercise their right to vote.”


 

1
3 years ago

ALGOP Chairman slams #DemDebate for ‘destructive,’ ‘harmful’ rhetoric

Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan (Mid Alabama Republican Club)
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan (Photo: Mid Alabama Republican Club)
Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan (Photo: Mid Alabama Republican Club)

LAS VEGAS, Nevada — Tuesday night marked the first Democratic presidential debate hosted by CNN. Millions watched to see whether or not front-runners former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and openly-socialist opponent Bernie Sanders, would provide audiences with heated debate and uncensored rhetoric. It’s safe to say that the gloves stayed on, but the absence of several issues warranted a response from ALGOP leadership.

“They did not speak on the economy or the flat-lined job growth that citizens desperately need addressed,” said ALGOP Chairman Terry Lathan. “Contrasted with the Republican presidential candidates, many of whom have released or are soon to release their economic growth plans, the Democrats are stuck in the ditch of no ideas, are playing the blame game and have a bankrupt vision for our nation.”

Tuesday’s debate featured Lincoln Chafee, Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders and Jim Webb.

It’s reported that the debate drew in 15.3 million viewers, compared to the 23.9 million viewers that tuned in to the first Republican debate in August.
Some were surprised by Sanders defense of Clinton’s recent email controversy surrounding the candidate during her time as Secretary of State. In where he, on stage, expressed that Americans were tired of hearing about the scandal in the media.
“I have been as transparent as I know to be, turning over 55,000 pages of my e-mails, asking that they be made public,” Clinton said. Clinton voiced blame to the congressional committee investigating the matter implying that it’s a personal attack on her credibility.
Lathan slammed the party’s candidates, saying the latest batch of Democrats displayed that they were walking the same path Barack Obama had, taking the nation down “a road that is destructive and harmful.”

“We look forward to November 2016, when we will take our nation back from the lines of thoughtless and reckless actions that have been thrust upon us.”

The Democratic primary debate was held at the Wynn resort and casino in Las Vegas before a live audience of more than 1,000.


1
3 years ago

Alabama’s recent pro-life moves could be in trouble

(Christine Szeto/Flickr)
(Flickr user Christine Szeto)
(Flickr user Christine Szeto)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Legislature’s laws requiring abortion clinics to be held to the same standard as other medical facilities may be in trouble if the  American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) gets its way.

In July the ACLU filed a lawsuit against the state of Alabama’s health officer to keep Tuscaloosa’s only abortion clinic, the West Alabama Women’s Center, Inc, open.

The suit was prompted by the state law, passed in 2013, requiring every physician who performs an abortion at a licensed abortion clinic must have staff privileges at a local hospital. If the clinic didn’t meet this requirement the alternative was for the clinic to enter into a written contract with a local physician who already had privileges to serve as the outside covering physician.

The idea was for clinic doctors to be able to care for their patients in the hospital in cases where there were complications from abortions.

The abortion clinic closed in January after its long time medical doctor, Dr. Louis Payne, who had the required privileges at DCH Regional Medical Center, retired. The clinic hired Dr. William Parker as the new medical director, but Parker was unable to obtain the now mandated privileges.

The reality of this requirement is that not a single ob-gyn physician who had access to admitting privileges would enter into a contract for fear of public association with an abortion clinic. Because of Parker’s inability to meet requirements combined with local physicians not wanting to enter contract, the facility was forced to suspend operations, and the West Alabama Women’s Center, represented by the ACLU, filed suit claiming that this regulation is unconstitutional under the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In 2013, the portions of law were found to be unconstitutional by a federal court in cases of three other Alabama abortion clinics.

In early August, U.S. District Judge Myron Thompson issued a temporary restraining order blocking the enforcement of this state requirement that had caused clinic operations to cease at Tuscaloosa’s abortion clinic, finding the plaintiffs would ultimately succeed because of the merit of their claims.

A one-year waiver from these requirements was granted for the Tuscaloosa clinic by State Health Officer Don Williamson. The abortion clinic has since been reopened and now waits on the Department of Public Health’s new regulations that would ensure “the health and safety of patients without creating an undue burden” on abortion rights.

On Oct. 21, the State Committee will meet to consider these new rules and changes but cannot become final until after a public comment period has been conducted.

Thompson has not yet issued a final order in that case, and the temporary restraining order remains in effect.

To read U.S. District Judge Thompson’s opinion please click here.


 

1
3 years ago

Huntsville schools’ ‘Team USA’ ranks in top ten at 2015 innovative electric car Greenpower Finals race

(Video Above: Team USA interviews with Know Huntsville before competition in England)

CORBY, England —  Huntsville City Schools’ Team USA competed Sunday in the 2015 Greenpower Finals Race, an annual electric car race in England. The team consisted of middle and high school students from the Huntsville school district. This year’s race was held at the Rockingham Motor Speedway in Corby, England.

The team placed seventh overall in Sunday’s race and is the only group from outside the U.K. to participate in the annual race for the past three years. Team USA also won the Siemens Engineering and Design Award.

The electric car challenge event was sponsored by the Greenpower Education Trust, whose objective is to advance education in the subjects of sustainable engineering and technology to young people. The program encourages students, with help from teachers and industry mentors, to plan, design, and build an electric car that will be put to the test against other teams looking to take home the hardware.

With strict regulations to follow, each team is given materials like standard motors and sets of batteries to build their electric cars. Students are encouraged and must use all their training in science, technology, engineering, in order to compete.

“It has been an absolutely great day,” said team lead Mike Evans. “We’re growing, the program is growing and we’re improving each year. What can you say, the kids gave it their heart and soul today and at the end of the day it showed.”

For more information on the program please visit hunstvillecityschools.org, or email greenpower.office@hsv-k12.org.


 

1
3 years ago

Alabama congressman: Division between Jews and Muslims is tearing Democratic Party apart

(Audio Above: Mo Brooks discusses House Speaker race and Democratic Party) 

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks joined Yellowhammer Radio Host Cliff Sims Friday to discuss the U.S. House Speaker race, and the shielding of the Democratic Party by the media.

The majority of the media, Brooks asserted during the interview, over-reports the “unity” of the Democratic Party in comparison with troubles often highlighted within the Republican Party

“The national news media is Democrat, left-wing, period,” said Brooks. “Now there are some exceptions but overall 90% of them favor the left side of the aisle and they do so in a visceral way. They try to highlight whatever disagreements there are within the Republican conference and minimize those same kinds of disagreements in the Democratic conference.”

The media, Brooks continued, is covering up, or rather not reporting internal dissent within the Democratic Party ranks. That dissent, according to the congressman, is at its deepest between two distinct groups.

“The biggest, deepest, most emotional political split in America right now is between Muslims and Jews. That is at the heart of the Democratic Party because you have those who are pro-Israel being attacked openly and behind the scenes by those who are pro-Palestinian. You can break it down on a religious basis, a geographic basis, or however you want to.”

While those two demographics are important to the Democratic Party, Brooks said an exodus is occurring among “pro-Israel forces” who are “slowly but surely figuring out that the Democratic Party is abandoning them and they are coming to the Republican Party, but that shift is not yet complete and the media doesn’t focus on it at all.”

The race to fill the House leadership position began shortly after U.S. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH8) shocked the nation and members of his own party when he announced his resignation, effective October 31st. Many potential candidates for the job have already come and gone, with favorite House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA23) unexpectedly dropping from the race last week.

This leaves factions within the Republican Party scrambling to try and find an ideal candidate for the job. Several members of Alabama’s congressional delegation have already spoken out on the resignation, urging members of their party to quickly find a new leader.

One member those within the more establishment wing of the Republican Party have been eyeing is former Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan (R-WI1).

When asked about Ryan’s conservative leanings, Brooks told Yellowhammer Radio, “Paul, in the overall political spectrum…moderate is the right place to put him. Within the Republican Party confines, he has some liberal leanings on amnesty and open borders type issues.” He continued by emphasizing Ryan’s voting record as “fairly liberal” and that he doesn’t think Ryan is a conservative by Alabama standards.

Brooks stressed that he has issues with the “dictatorial leadership system” that has been in place within the Republican Party and wishes that the next House Speaker commit to ending the top-down punishment style discipline.

When the Congressman was asked who he would consider run for Speaker of the House he replied, “The people I would want are Conservatives.”

 


 

1
3 years ago

The inspiring story of one Alabama single mother’s fight against Alzheimer’s

Carrie Richardson
Carrie Richardson
Carrie Richardson

Meet Carrie Richardson, a 34-year-old single mom of three from Montgomery, who was diagnosed more than two years ago with Early Onset Familial Alzheimer’s. Since then, she has been a leading voice raising awareness about Alzheimer’s across Alabama, even serving as ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Association for District 2 in Alabama.

Familial Alzheimer’s disease (FAD) is a rare form of Alzheimer’s that is entirely passed down through members of a family. Accounting for between 2-3% of all cases of Alzheimer’s, FAD usually has a much earlier onset than other types of Alzheimer’s, with symptoms developing as young as the 30s and 40s.

Richardson’s family has experienced the effects of FAD for generations. Her father was merely 4-years-old when his mother died from the disease while in her 40s. He and his three brothers all inherited the disease from their mother, passing away at 43-years-old  after having been diagnosed at age 36.

Years later, Richardson’s oldest cousin was diagnosed with FAD at age 36. He died a year later.

After being diagnosed two years ago, Richardson was directed to the Dominantly Inherited Alzheimer’s Network and encouraged to start taking the drug Gantenerumab, a drug used to slow down the Alzheimer’s process.

Richardson has three children, Hannah (14), Jacob (12), and Rylee (9). Richardson has said that her biggest fear is her children experiencing the effects of her own diagnosis.

“I didn’t think I was going to have it,” she said of her disease. “I had this weird notion that because my aunt was one of the five children who didn’t get it, that I wasn’t going to get it, too. I can’t even really describe it. I just sat there, and didn’t really show any emotion until the genetic counselor came in and talked about the chances of my children getting it. And that’s when I lost it.”

The mother of three bravely prepares for her children’s future taking the necessary steps of purchasing insurance policies and drafting a living will. She collects memories for her three children and wants them to understand her love for them, and passion for the Alzheimer’s cause.

“I don’t want to sit here and call myself strong or courageous,” she said. “I feel like that’s what any mother would do in the same situation.”

Richardson is a leading participant in The Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s, which is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer care, support and research. The Montgomery Walk to End Alzheimer’s is on Oct. 31 at 10:30 a.m. with registration at 8:30 a.m. If you would like to donate, participate, and support the fight to end Alzheimer’s disease, please visit Carrie’s donation page.

Alzheimer’s disease is the nation’s sixth-leading cause of death and in Alabama, there are approximately 86,000 people living with Alzheimer’s aged 65 and older. By the year 2025, that number is expected to increase to 110,000 people aged 65 years old and older. Nationwide, about 16 million will have the disease in 2050.

For more information  follow Carrie @carriemalia81 to stay up to date with her latest Alzheimer work.

To learn about Alzheimer’s research, visit the Alzheimer’s Association online at www.alz.org.

To make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association Walk to End Alzheimer’s please visit act.alz.org.


 

1
3 years ago

Derrick Henry’s celebratory ‘fail’ has teammates jumping with laughter

Derrick Henry Fail

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — The Alabama Crimson Tide calmed all, if any, concerns Bama fans had prior to last weekend after handling the Georgia Bulldogs in a 38-10 victory in Athens. Sharing in the spoils this season is Alabama running back, Derrick Henry, an impact player for the Crimson Tide shining with 560 yards and 9 TDs already for the 2015 season. With Henry off to a solid start, his stats and growing stardom couldn’t protect him from the jokes after his second quarter tumble “fail.”

In the second quarter during a team celebration Henry jumped to meet teammates in mid-air, but didn’t make contact with anyone or anything but the grass.

According to quarterback and teammate Jake Coker, Henry’s teammates are making fun of his “fail.”

Check it out in the video below:

The Alabama Crimson Tide gears up to play the Arkansas Razorbacks this Saturday at 6:00 PM CT at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa.


 

1
3 years ago

Alabama Ethics Commission reconsiders opinion allowing lawmakers to lobby for their employers

(YouTube)

YH Patricia Todd

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Ethics Commission meet reconsidered an advisory opinion Wednesday after some state officials expressed concerns the Commission’s previous stance would open the door to unethical and illegal behavior.

This August, the Alabama Ethics Commission issued an opinion advising State Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) that she could vote for legislation backed by her employer without breaking any ethics laws after she was hired as the state director of the Human Rights Campaign (HRC), a non-profit organization that advocates for the equality of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

The crux of the Aug. 5 advisory opinion given by the Alabama Ethics Commission at the request of HRC is as follows:

A member of the Alabama House of Representatives may advocate for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) community and may sponsor and vote on legislation affecting the LGBT community while serving as the Director of HRC Alabama, as her advocacy actions will be issue-based and will not provide any personal benefit to herself or her employer, HRC Alabama, However, should issues that uniquely affect her employer or herself appear before the Legislature, the legislator may not vote, attempt to influence or in any manner participate in those issues.

After the Ethics Commission gave their advisory opinion, some state officials raised concerns over the potential effect this would have over the enforcement of the ethics laws altogether.

Attorney General Luther Strange and Alabama District Attorney’s Association President Scott Anderson in September wrote a letter to the Ethics Commission requesting they reconsider the opinion out of concern that this advisory opinion “permits an interest group to pay a legislator to lobby the Legislature and local governments.”

“Please do not take this request as attack upon Rep. Patricia Todd, the HRC, or any position taken by any LGBT organizations,” Strange and Anderson wrote. “Our concern is not with the substance of any position taken by HRC or Rep. Todd, but is with the larger ramifications of this opinion upon the rule of law and its nullifying effect on the Alabama Ethics Code.”

The pair raised concerns over whether or not an interest group—regardless of its mission—could potentially hire state legislators and now legally advocate for “employers'” interests in State Legislature.

The Commission ruled Wednesday that the opinion couldn’t be interpreted as allowing lawmakers to lobby for their employers.

The Alabama Ethics Commission is also meeting on Wednesday to review the current issues surrounding the practice of private entities allowing their employees to also work for the state government as a “loaned employee.”

The most notable instance of this practice is former Speaker of the Alabama House Seth Hammett, who stepped down from his position as chief of staff to Governor Bentley just last week. Hammett was on executive loan from PowerSouth.

Patricia Todd was elected to the Alabama Legislature as the State Representative for House District 54 in November of 2006 as the first openly gay elected official in Alabama’s history.

This story may be updated.


1
3 years ago

Professional soccer is officially coming home to the Magic City


(Video Above: The Bama Hammers)

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Professional soccer will officially be coming to stay in the Magic City as the Birmingham Hammers become the newest members of the National Premier Soccer League (NPSL).

The NPSL is a nationwide league founded in 2002 as the Men’s Premier Soccer League. In the 13 years since its founding, the league has grown to more than 80 teams spanning the entire country. The Birmingham Hammers will be competing in the league’s Southeast Conference against clubs in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Knoxville, Nashville and New Orleans.

Each team is individually owned and operated, and is responsible for maintaining league minimum standards.

Alabamians were seen recently embracing the world phenomenon of soccer like never before. Just last month, the U.S. Women’s National Soccer team broke records at Legion Field with attendance reaching 35,753, the largest ever for a stand-alone WNT match in the southeastern United States. WNT beat Haiti 8-0 securing the victory and igniting the Yellowhammer State with football pride of a different sort.

Credit is given to long-time Hammers fans, Magic City supporters, and soccer fanatics altogether for bringing the professional soccer team status to the Birmingham Hammers. With the announcement now made, the president and general manager of the club, Morgan Copes, says that the Birmingham Hammers are excited for what comes next.

“We are ahead of it,” he said. “We’ve got to prepare for next summer. We’re very excited going forward but we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

The Hammers will be playing all home games at Vestavia Hills’ Sicard Hollow Athletic Complex serving as the team’s home field.

The Men’s Premier Soccer League, is the fourth tier of professional men’s soccer in the U.S. The top tier is Major League Soccer, followed by North American Soccer League and United Soccer League.

The Hammers are scheduled to begin league play in May 2016.

Please feel free to follow The Birmingham Hammers via Facebook or @BhamHammers to stay up to date on important news and info concerning the Magic City’s favorite professional soccer team.


 

1
3 years ago

Settlement between Alabama and BP over 2010 gulf oil spill finalized

yh_10515

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced Monday the state’s final settlement with BP concerning the damages caused by the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, also referred to as the BP oil spill. The agreement is set to bring approximately $2 billion dollars to Alabama in reparation for the economic and environmental damages resulting from the spill.

Earlier this year, BP, the United States, and the five Gulf States announced the global agreement and finally, after five long years litigation, the parties involved and the Federal District Court overseeing the case finalized the settlement and details.

“After five years of litigation, I am pleased to announce that Alabama’s $1 billion settlement with BP for economic damages is now officially approved by all parties,” said Attorney General Strange.  “In addition, the United States has lodged a consent decree that will allow the public to comment on the global settlement of natural resource damages and federal penalties, which if approved, will bring another billion dollars to Alabama’s coastal counties.”

Under the U.S. consent decree, more than $259 million of natural resource damages would be spent restoring any environmental conditions. This includes open ocean properties, beaches, and region-wide projects in Alabama’s coastal counties.

Alabama will also receive $708 million of BP’s payment of $5.5 billion in civil penalties. The 2012 Congressional RESTORE Act enforces that the received money will be spent on restoration, recovery projects, and tourism promotion.

The agreed upon settlement between Alabama and BP will pay $1 billion as follows:

– $950 million Paid by BP to the Alabama General Fund:
-$50 million each of the years 2016-2019
-$53.33 million in each of the years 2019-2033
-$50 million paid by BP in 2016 to the Alabama Gulf State Park Project

While Strange and others celebrated the agreement, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL1), whose district encompasses Alabama’s gulf coast, Tweeted that he was still “frustrated” by the deal.

Public comments on these terms can be made via the United States Department of Justice website through December 4, 2015. After receiving and considering all comments, it will be determined on whether to seek Court approval of the consent decree.


 

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3 years ago

Sessions: US has taken in four times more immigrants than any other nation on Earth

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spars with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) over the impact the proposed immigration reforms will have on the domestic job market.
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) spars with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) over the impact the proposed immigration reforms will have on the domestic job market.

WASHINGTON — According to new information produced by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and The National Interest, chaired by U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), for every 1 new American added to the population over the next 50 years, immigration will add 7 more.

The report, which was conducted by Pew Research Center, projects that freezing any new immigration,  the U.S. population will grow 14 million by 2065. Conversely, the report projects that the current immigration policy will add 103 million future immigrants/residents to the U.S. population over the next five decades.

Sessions immigration Pew graph

In 1970, fewer than 1 in 21 Americans were foreign-born; today, nearly 1 in 7 are foreign-born, Pew revealed, and the United States has taken in four times more worldwide immigrants than any other nation.

Sunday on Breitbart Sirius XM radio, Sen. Sessions discussed these Pew Research Center findings and how they can help put U.S. immigration policies in perspective in comparison to the rest of the world.

“America is surging past all historical [immigration] levels. I think it’s time to slow down,” Sessions declared, citing the immigration data and calling on other elected officials to listen to the American people who’ve elected them.“By a three-to-one majority of Americans they say we should reduce the flow of immigration rather than increase it. I think it’s time for politicians to look at this. They don’t know these numbers and they’re not listening to the American people,” he added.

Competition among lower-income workers, including prior immigrants, are impacted by the increasing new immigrant workforce that seeks the same jobs which drives down wages. Average hourly wages are lower today than in 1973, with the share of people not working the highest it’s been in four decades.

Sessions says that,”It is not mainstream, but extreme, to continue surging immigration beyond all historical precedent. It is time for moderation to prevail, and for us to focus on improving the jobs, wages, and security of the 300 million people already living inside our borders.”


 

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3 years ago

Sessions fights for a stronger response to illegal trade practices costing Alabama jobs

Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.)

WASHINGTON–  Alabama Republican Senator Jeff Sessions, leading a bipartisan group of his colleagues, sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker Wednesday asking for stronger assistance from the Obama administration in combatting illegal trade practices by foreign competitors who are providing foreign subsidies to undercut the jobs and wages of American workers.

Senator Sessions and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), members of the U.S. Senate Steel Caucus, were joined by Reps. Murphy (R-PA) and Visclosky (D-IN), co-Chairmen of the House Steel Caucus in penning the letter.

“We are writing to encourage you to use reprogramming authority to provide the necessary resources for the Office of Enforcement and Compliance (OEC) to investigate the historic number of trade petitions recently filed with the office by U.S. industry,” the lawmakers wrote. “These antidumping and countervailing duty cases, many of which have been brought by the steel industry, are American manufacturers’ most effective method of addressing foreign competitors’ unfair trade practices.  As such, it is critical that the OEC has sufficient analysts to conduct these investigations and evaluate the trade petitions in an accurate and efficient manner.”

The effects of the illegal trade practices by foreign competitors have already begun to be felt right here in the Yellowhammer State.

Last month, United States Steel Corporation (U.S. Steel) announced its plans to permanently close a blast furnace as well as some other operations at its Fairfield Works location in Jefferson County, a decision that will affect 1,100 employees.

The proposal of the permanent closure was initiated after U.S. Steel “conducted a market analysis of the company’s current and long-term global operational footprint competitiveness,” according to the Birmingham Business Journal. “Global influences in the market, like unfair trade and fluctuating oil prices, continue to have an impact on the business,” U.S. Steel said in a statement in January when the notification of layoffs were just beginning. This statement was clearly reaffirmed by their findings in the company’s recent market analysis.

Several countries, including China have been accused by U.S. lawmakers of participating in a practice called “dumping,” or flooding the market with goods priced under cost in order to drive out competition. Dumping is considered grounds for economic retaliation under international guidelines.

According to Sessions’s office, there are currently 6 major trade cases before the International Trade Commission covering both hot and cold-rolled steel and the pipe and tube industry, which has a significant presence in Alabama.


 

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3 years ago

Alabama sheriff department pressured by atheist group into removing ‘religious’ vehicle decals

Houston County sheriffHOUSTON COUNTY, Ala. — “Blessed are the Peacemakers” decals have been removed from Houston County Sheriff vehicles Wednesday after County Administrator Bill Dempsey made the removal recommendation to County Sheriff Donald Valenza.

Yellowhammer reported last month that the Houston County Sheriff Donald Valenza had bought and placed small decals on the back of every patrol car in his service with an excerpt from Matthew 5:9, stating “Blessed are the peacemakers.”

“I’ve always had religious belief, and I feel like that’s kept me alive,” Valenza said. “We’ve used that (quote) with (the special response team) for 15 years. It symbolizes the Houston County Sheriff’s Office.”

The decals, which Valenza said cost about $1.60 each, received mostly positive feedback from Alabamians and Houston County residents, but that isn’t acceptable according to Freedom From Religion Foundation, the Wisconsin-based non-profit atheist group which has become notorious for its attempt to bully organizations and municipalities into abandoning Christian symbols.

The out-of-state group threatened to sue the Houston County Sheriff if he didn’t comply with their order.

The Dothan Eagle reports that the recommendation was made Tuesday by Dempsey after he and the sheriff had received two letters from Americans United for Separation of Church and State making threats to take legal action if the decals were not removed from the sheriff’s vehicles.

“We have been in meetings with the sheriff for the past week, and we told him we support what’s written on the stickers and we support the spirit of it,” Dempsey said. “But unfortunately, from a legal perspective, we could spend hundreds of thousands and still likely lose.”

It appears that due to the time and money it would take to defend against any expensive lawsuit, the Houston County Sheriff Department will have to adhere to “recommended” orders.

This isn’t the first time the out-of-state group has bullied small towns in Alabama. In July, FFRF’s similar challenge to the city of Glencoe’s display of a Christian flag that was, in their opinion, a violation of the separation of Church and State.


 

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3 years ago

Alabama’s ‘Pie Lab’ named one of the nation’s best small-town bakeries

Source-Trip Advisor provided by management - Pie Labs PIES (March 2015)
Source-Trip Advisor provided by management - Pie Labs PIES (March 2015)
Source-Trip Advisor provided by management – Pie Labs PIES (March 2015)

GREENSBORO, Ala. — Pie Lab, a west Alabama bakery in Greensboro, recently made Travel + Leisure’s list of 15 Amazing Small Town Bakeries.

Travel + Leisure set out to list unique and delicious bakeries all around the country to show small-towns still have a big taste.

Pie Lab’s mission though is not to be just a pie shop, but a space where a community can come together to enjoy good food and good conversation. The now widely-known bakery opened its doors in 2009 to the Greensboro community and is operated by Chefs Seaborn and Kelley Whatley.

On Facebook, Pie Lab sums up their mission with, “Pie+Conversation = Ideas. Ideas+Design = Positive Change.”

Pie Lab’s story, which is inscribed on the store’s window, says that the small business was originally just an idea sketched on a napkin. The small-town full functioning restaurant desires to be an open and inclusive environment where all voices of the community can be heard.

Despite its name, Pie Lab doesn’t just bake pies, as the menu also includes salads, wraps, homemade pizzas, fried chicken, burgers, BBQ sandwiches and much more.

If you find yourself in the Greensboro area, or just experiencing the craving for mouth watering pies, take a few minutes to pop in and visit this Alabama original pie shop.


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3 years ago

Hillary Clinton set to make first Alabama campaign stop

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Hillary Clinton’s campaign has reportedly confirmed her first campaign stop in Alabama, accepting an invitation to speak at the Alabama Democratic Conference convention in Hoover on Oct. 17. She is currently the front-runner for the Democratic nomination for president and will be visiting just four days after the CNN Democratic Primary Debate on Oct. 13.

Clinton is set to speak during an ADC luncheon at the Wynfrey Hotel, and her speech is unlikely to be open to the public..

“Hillary Clinton is right on the issues and Alabama is fortunate to have her visit us, we believe she will be the next president of the United States,” said ADC Chairman Joe Reed in a news release.

Historically the ADC is a predominantly black political organization that was founded in 1960 by the national party in an effort to encourage African Americans in registering to vote.

Clinton’s October visit makes her the first Democratic candidate to swing through Alabama.

The Southern Super Tuesday, also called the “SEC Primary,” is new to the 2016 race, and has greatly increased the importance of the southeastern states to presidential candidates as evidenced by the multiple visits from candidates courting the votes of Alabamians during the last few months. This consolidated election day now separates the South for the same reason that Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and other states receive national attention—momentum.

“There’s so much focus on Iowa and New Hampshire, but Secretary Clinton and her team know that the South will deliver a huge number of delegates that will essentially seal the nomination for her,” said DuBose Porter, the Georgia Democratic Party chairman and a Clinton supporter.

Clinton’s advisers anticipate the eight Southern primaries will provide hundreds of delegates for Clinton, which will add to the goal of approximately 2,200 delegates needed for Clinton to receive the nomination.

Former U.S. Secretary of State Clinton has been under investigation for months concerning misuse of government email accounts and policy. Clinton is expected to testify before The Select Committee on Benghazi in October.


 

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3 years ago

Alabama’s U.S. Space and Rocket Center sets one-day attendance record with new exhibit

U.S Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL (Photo: Flikr user Bryce Edwards)
U.S Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL (Photo: Flikr user Bryce Edwards)
U.S Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL (Photo: Flikr user Bryce Edwards)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — The U.S. Space and Rocket Center Saturday set a one-day attendance record while hosting Museum Day Live, an annual event hosted by Smithsonian magazine which includes participating museums across the country. During the free event, almost 5,500 people visited the Rocket City hotspot to enjoy and explore the state’s largest tourist attraction.

The event highlighted the brand-new exhibit, Science Fiction, Science Future, which opened to the public just days before.

“We are honored that our community supports this Smithsonian Day event in such a powerful way,” said Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center, a Smithsonian Affiliate. “Providing this opportunity for everyone to visit the Smithsonian in their neighborhood is the right thing to do. We couldn’t be happier with this record turnout and we are already planning next year’s event.”

According to rocketcenter.com, Science Fiction, Science Future engages visitors with hands-on and full-body experiences that were once only imagined in pop culture sci-fi films. The exhibit incorporates robots, invisibility, mind control, holograms and augmented reality. A video of the new exhibit can be found here.

The Space Center attracts visitors from all over the world to the Yellowhammer State, offering exhibits on science and technology, the history of America’s space program and Redstone Arsenal as well as IMAX films and 3-D movies in a National Geographic Theater.

The new exhibit is scheduled to be on display from September 23, 2015 – March 6, 2016.


 

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3 years ago

Deontay Wilder defeats French challenger in true ‘Bronze Bomber’ fashion

Photographer Nik Layman with Alabama Newscenter
Photographer Nik Layman with Alabama Newscenter
Photographer Nik Layman with Alabama Newscenter

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Alabama’s celebrated hometown boxer, Deontay Wilder, won another impressive fight Saturday night improving his record to 35-0, 34 KOs. “The Bronze Bomber” battled it out with frenchman Johann Duhaupas, (32-3, 20 KOs), in the ring at Legacy Arena, in Birmingham.

WBC Heavyweight titleholder Wilder delivered a massive beating to Duhaupas going into the 11th round, where in Wilder fashion, the frenchman was driven to the ropes landing a dozen unanswered punches forcing the fight to be called with 55 seconds left in the round.

During the fight, 6-foot-7, 229-pound Wilder unleashed barrage after barrage on 6-foot-5, 236-pound Duhaupas with both earning applause from those in attendance. After the fight had been called, Wilder put his arm around the respected opponent and the two walked the ring together embracing the crowd’s cheers.

8,471 roaring fans were in attendance rooting on Tuscaloosa native Wilder as he took it to Duhaupas round after round. By the end of the match Duhaupas’ face was black-and-blue from taking the Bronze Bomber’s arsenal of punches from Wilder’s jabbing left and powerful right.

As the fight was called, Wilder was seen moving with excitement as he addressed the crowd with flair in that unique Bronze Bomber style. During the sixth round, Wilder entertained fans by dancing and shuffling across the ring in the final seconds.

“It’s tough fighting at home because you want to entertain the crowd. The people come out and they paid their hard-earned money, so they definitely want to see a show, and didn’t you all get a show tonight? Oh, my God,” ESPN.com reports Wilder addressing the crowd from the ring after the fight.

Although Wilder is attributed with the KO, Duhaupas was given nothing but respect by the heavyweight title holder. “He [Duhaupas] got a hell of chin. When [you’re] fighting for a world title it brings a different kind of beast, a bit different animal out of fighters,” Wilder explained. “They come to get it all whether they home or on the road. You got to give him credit. He definitely has my respect. He was very strong and I see why he’s never been stopped before. I was prepared to go all 12 rounds.”

Wilder didn’t escape the Frenchman unscathed, however, earning the first swollen eye of his career, which he says he’ll wear with pride.

The Premier Boxing Champions main event was the first heavyweight title fight on NBC in prime time in 30 years. The Alabama NewsCenter reports that the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau put a $1.5 million initial estimate on the economic impact the fight had on the metro area.

Wilder first defended his title in June, knocking out Texan Eric Molina in the 9th round. Wilder is due to have a mandatory defense against Russian-born Alexander Povetkin (29-1, 21 KOs) which many expect to be Wilder’s next fight.


 

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3 years ago

Which Alabama city is one of America’s best college football towns?

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College football is in full swing, and even after some SEC defeats last weekend, college football towns will still boom with first-time visitors and hardcore tailgaters for the next few months. In a recent feature by Travel + Leisure magazine, college football towns were put on a non-exhaustive list and compared across the country. Alumni and locals were asked about their beloved towns and given the opportunity to describe their favorite hotspots and destinations.

Tuscaloosa, home of the Alabama Crimson Tide, made the top 15 along with 3 other SEC schools on the Travel + Leisure America’s Best College Football Towns.

The other 3 SEC schools include: Ole Miss Rebels’ home of Oxford, Miss., Georgia Bulldogs of Athens, GA, and LSU Tigers’ Baton Rouge, LA.

The other 11 college towns and schools on the list are, in no particular order: Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan); Columbus, Ohio (Ohio State); Austin, Texas (Texas); Eugene, Ore. (Oregon); Madison, Wis. (Wisconsin); Clemson, S.C. (Clemson); Boise, Idaho (Boise State); Morgantown, W. Va. (West Virginia); Norman, Okla. (Oklahoma); South Bend, Ind. (Notre Dame); and State College, Penn. (Penn State).

“You might see an inordinate number of fedoras around town, and not because hipsters are invading the SEC,” Time + Leisure wrote. “The hats are an ode to legendary Crimson Tide coach Bear Bryant, who led Alabama to a smooth SIX national championships—including one with “Broadway Joe” Namath at quarterback—and donned a signature houndstooth lid on the sideline.”

The list also went on to reveal that Alabama football is an “obsession,” and describe how the belting of “Sweet Home Alabama” can be heard as the army of a hundred thousand fans sing it with pride.


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3 years ago

Alabama Walmart’s ‘epic gun oil fail’ may lead to rusty guns and unhappy wives

(Video Above: Alabamian Jamie Lee Bracey’s viral video depicts a hilarious mix up at the Florence Walmart)

FLORENCE, AL–An unsuspecting customer is shocked after reading the fine print on the product -“Gun Oil H2O”- in Walmart’s sporting goods section. Grabbing his cellphone, Jamie Lee Bracey records himself realizing that the product wasn’t to clean a rifle or pistol, but for some other use entirely.

“Let’s see here. ‘Long-lasting lubrication with easy cleanup. Glycerin and paraben free. Wetter, lighter feel than silicone,’” he read. “Oh that sounds good. That sounds really good. I think my gun would work really good, wetter and lighter.”

Imagine Bracey’s surprise when he reads that this “Gun Oil” is “for topical use” and user is to “apply desired amount to genital areas.”

That’s right, Bracey was reading “Water-based lubricant” in a much different context than originally assumed. Water used in gun oil for a firearm would ultimately cause rust which is enough to put “Gun Oil H2O” back where you found it.

TheBlaze reports that sporting good staffers at both Walmarts in the Florence, Alabama, area said there is no “Gun Oil H2O” for sale at gun counters. It’s not the first time a mix up like this has happened though. One store reports that the product is a pharmacy item that’s mistakenly brought to sporting goods in return boxes.

“They don’t even know what they’re sellin’,” Bracey said. “It’s crazy. Getcha some!”

According to wideopenspaces.com it’s an “epic, hysterical fail on Walmart’s part.”

Although it’s possible that the risqué product may have been moved to create a viral video with now 1.4 million views, it’s still laughable and makes for a classic mixup.


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3 years ago

Renovation of impactful Alabama ministry reveals the power of giving

(Jimmie Hale Mission)
C/O Jimmie Hale Mission
C/O Jimmie Hale Mission

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Since 1944 the Downtown Jimmie Hale Mission, Inc., more commonly known as The Jimmie Hale Mission, has been a multi-faceted ministry with impactful programs that shelter women and children, house the homeless, and operate fundraising thrift stores. Sunday, The Jimmie Hale Mission opened its doors for a public open house to show updates to its Jesse’s Place facility.

The newly-renovated Jessie’s Place, a ministry for homeless women and children, was completed by volunteers from a local church group and Jessie’s Place staff.

During the open house event, families, church groups, volunteers and other supporters enjoyed a tour and learned how they could become more involved in this great ministry.

“Many ladies come from different walks of life so just having new rooms, its just like a new start and also its more like home, it’s comfortable, it’s cozy and sometimes that’s what you need when you’re coming from different walks of life,” said Director of Jessie’s Place, LaTonya Melton.

“We would like to thank all of our supporters that attended our open house and our donors for their contributions. You helped us make Jessie’s Place a home for our women and children and not just a homeless facility. Thank You.”

Jessie’s Place is located at 2305 5th Avenue N., and all are encouraged to support the ministry by making a donation or donating their time for homeless women and children.

Monetary donations can be given online at www.jimmiehalemission.com.


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3 years ago

Alabama Supreme Court rejects lesbian couple’s adoption granted in Georgia

Alabama Supreme Court
Alabama Supreme Court

MONTGOMERY, Ala. — The Alabama Supreme Court Friday ruled the state does not have to legally recognize the adoption of three children by a lesbian woman which was granted by a Georgia court in 2007.

The two women involved in the case are identified as E.L. v. V.L in order to protect privacy.

The three children were conceived and born through artificial insemination during a long term relationship between  the two women.

Because Alabama at the time would not approve adoptions by same-sex couples, the two women moved to Fulton County Georgia, where a judge was “receptive to same-sex parents seeking such.”

V.L., the non-biological mother, adopted the three children with the Georgia court’s approval. After the two women ended their relationship in 2011, the biological mother, E.L, refused to allow V.L. to see the children. With the family living once again in Alabama, E.L. refused V.L.’s request to visit the children, arguing that 2007 Georgia adoption was invalid in Alabama.

Having first been appealed to the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals in October 2014, it was ruled that the Jefferson County judge had erred when allowing V.L. visitation rights to the children. Earlier this year the appeals court ruling was reversed thus taking the case to the Alabama Supreme Court.

The Court found that Alabama did not recognize the Georgia adoption by the non-biological mother, V.L., because the court found the Georgia court didn’t properly apply contemporary Georgia law.

According to Alabama Justice Tom Parker, adoption is not a fundamental right, but a privilege.

“Alabama has unequivocally held that adoption is a purely statutory right; an Alabamian’s right to adopt does not exist apart from Alabama’s positive law,” wrote Parker. “Thus, adoption is a privilege, not a right.”

The lone dissenter, Alabama Justice Greg Shaw, argued the Alabama Supreme Court doesn’t have the right to determine whether or not Georgia applied its own law in this case of legal adoption.

To view the entire Alabama Supreme Court ruling of E.L v. V.L. is available on the Court’s website.


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