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.

13 hours ago

Bradley Byrne campaign announces launch of ‘Farmers for Bradley’ coalition

(U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne/Facebook)

Bradley Byrne’s campaign for United States Senate announced Friday that key leaders from Alabama’s agriculture community have launched a “Farmers for Bradley” coalition to support Byrne.

Agriculture remains the top industry in Alabama, and we need a Senator who will not only vote right, but who will actually fight tooth and nail to support our farmers, landowners, and agribusinesses,” Byrne said in a statement. “To have such a strong group of agriculture leaders backing our campaign is a real honor and a testament to the hard work we have done over the years to support our Alabama farmers.”

Both State Senator Andrew Jones (R-Centre) and Mark Kaiser from Baldwin County, who lead the coalition, believe Byrne will fight for farmers in the Senate.

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“When I first met Bradley, it was clear he is a fighter,” Jones said. “Agriculture is a very difficult industry with a wide range of challenges, so it is so important we have a U.S. Senator who will work with our farmers and leaders at the state level to make life a little easier.”

Kaiser echoed Jones’ comments and said, “Bradley just gets it when it comes to agriculture. He has taken the time to learn about the various issues impacting Alabama’s agriculture community, and he has used that knowledge to fight for us in Washington. Bradley doesn’t just talk the talk, he walks the walk.”

“Bradley has an impressive record as a champion for Alabama’s farmers,” a press release stated. “From supporting the Farm Bill to cutting bureaucratic red tape, Bradley has always fought to ensure the farm economy remains stable and fair. Bradley plans to continue the fight for farmers by seeking a seat on the Senate Agriculture Committee.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 days ago

Ride to honor fallen Tuscaloosa PD’s Dornell Cousette scheduled for Sunday

(City of Tuscaloosa, Punishers LEMC T-Town Chapter Alabama/Facebook, PIxabay, YHN)

The Tuscaloosa chapter of the Punishers Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club plans to sponsor a motorcycle ride to honor Tuscaloosa Police Department Investigator Dornell Cousette, who lost his life in the line of duty Monday night.

The ride, which will begin at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, will begin at Veterans Park in University Mall, include a pass by the Tuscaloosa Police Department and conclude back at Veterans Park.

Registration for the event will be held from noon until 1:00 pm, followed by a safety briefing before the ride begins.

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Donations can be made on that day by those who decide to ride and even those who are not taking part in the ride. All donations made will go to Cousette’s family.

Donations can be made to the Cousette family through PayPal at @paypal.me/ttownpunishers.

According to a press release, the Punishers Motorcycle Club is “a brotherhood of law enforcement officers, court officers, correctional officers, and other justice system professionals; EMS, Firefighters, Military and like-minded individuals.”

On Wednesday night, to honor Cousette, the University of Alabama lit Bryant-Denny Stadium in blue.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

4 days ago

SAWDC AlabamaWorks! to host career event for high school students

(PIxabay, YHN)

SAWDC AlabamaWorks! is set to host its 10th Worlds of Opportunity hands-on career exploration event on Wednesday and Thursday, and will give students the opportunity to participate in activities relating to jobs that do not require a four-year degree.

According to a press release, the free event, which will be held at the Mobile Civic Center, is set to host high school students, including 7,919 Alabama eighth graders, and 128 businesses.

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Students will have the opportunity to speak with industry professionals about future jobs and high school seniors will have the chance to win a $1,000 scholarship towards a technical program at a local school.

“Students will have the opportunity to talk to industry professionals about high-demand jobs in our region and how they can obtain these jobs in the future,” the press release states. “High school seniors who attend WOO Varsity will be entered into a drawing to win a $1,000 scholarship toward a technical program, to Bishop State Community College, Coastal Alabama Community College, or Reid State Technical College.”

For more information on the WOO Varsity event, or to register, click here.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

1 week ago

Auburn Board of Trustees move forward with football performance center

(Bruce Nix/Alabama NewsCenter)

The Auburn Board of Trustees approved the initiation of a football performance center during its September meetings on Friday at the Auburn University Hotel & Conference Center.

According to a press release, the board’s decision will allow the university to begin to “scale and scope” the project, and begin the architect selection.

“We are very appreciative of the Board of Trustees’ approval of a football performance center,” said Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn. “This facility will be a tremendous asset for Auburn and the Auburn football program for many years to come.”

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“Our facility portfolio is among the best in the country, highlighted by the recently constructed Harbert Family Recruiting Center which complements the indoor practice facility, Lowder Student-Athlete Development Center (academics), and best-in-class dining facility and dormitory. The proximity of all these amenities to the hub of Auburn Athletics is a tremendous benefit for our student-athletes,” said Auburn Athletics Director Allen Greene in a statement. “The addition of a football performance center is important to the long-term success of our football program and clears a path for us to make additional facility enhancements which will have a department-wide impact.”

The process to construct a football performance center began earlier this year when a group of 10 people began looking for a solution and the benefits associated with repurposing existing football space to better serve the entire student-athlete population.

The facility will be paid for by funds from the athletic department and donors. Fundraising for the project through Tigers Unlimited is well underway and off to an unprecedented start.

“We are grateful for those who have stepped up in support of our vision of a state-of-the-art football performance center,” Greene added. “Moving forward, we are confident the Auburn Family will continue to respond to make this project a reality.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

1 week ago

UAH sets enrollment record for fifth straight year

(UAH/Contributed)

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) announced Tuesday that it had set an enrollment record for fall 2019, which marks the fifth consecutive year of enrollment growth for the school.

According to an emailed statement, the university has climbed 36% in enrollment since 2014 with official semester numbers nearing 10,000.

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“UAH is a destination of choice for ambitious students,” said UAH President Darren Dawson. “We have recruited another outstanding freshman class that is demonstrating their trust in UAH, where their education will deliver maximum value for the rest of their lives. When students enroll here, they find an outstanding and caring faculty, hands-on research activities, and exceptional experiential learning opportunities.”

As a result of successful student recruitment, in-state tuition was frozen throughout the UA system.

“For the first time in 40 years, the Board of Trustees has frozen in-state tuition throughout the System, and it has been a key part of our recruitment message,” Dawson stated. “I want to thank Chancellor Finis St. John and the Board of Trustees for working so effectively to keep our students and their families foremost in their decisions.”

In regards to its new freshmen class, the online statement from UAH noted:

– The entering class is the largest in UAH history.
– Overall GPA is 3.91.
– 48.7% scored 30 or above on the ACT.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris

1 week ago

University of Alabama receives one of its most talented classes, in-state freshmen increase

(University of Alabama)

The University of Alabama has received one of its most talented freshmen classes and an increase in the total of in-state freshmen attending the school this fall, according to a press release Wednesday.

According to the statement, the “freshman class includes 256 National Merit Scholars, the largest in UA history. Last year, UA ranked second nationally among public universities with 187 among the freshman class. Currently, UA has 727 National Merit Scholars enrolled, an increase of 113 over last fall.”

“The quality of our student body is impressive by every measure,” UA President Stuart R. Bell said. “Once again, ACT scores, high school GPAs and the high number of entering National Merit Scholars demonstrate that students are attracted to our campus because we offer a premier educational experience.”

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With 38,103 students, the university surpassed 38,000 students for the third consecutive year. In regards to the freshmen class. the university noted:

  • 40% graduated in the top 10% of their high school graduating class (a UA record).
  • 38% have a high school grade-point average of 4.0 or higher, with the average grade-point average being 3.77 (both are UA records).
  • Approximately 40% have an ACT score of 30 or more for the third consecutive year.

This is the second consecutive year the university has had a tuition freeze for in-state residents.

“With the support of Chancellor Finis St. John and our Board of Trustees, we continue to hold down costs, while investing in facilities and transformational educational experiences,” Bell continued. “We challenge our students to reach for excellence in all they do, so they can have a profound impact and contribute to Alabama’s expanding economy.”

Over the last year, the University of Alabama awarded more than 9,100 degrees, which boosted the state’s workforce.

“We remain focused not only on attracting outstanding undergraduate and graduate students, but also ensuring these students complete their degrees,” said Dr. Kevin Whitaker, UA executive vice president and provost.

For fall 2019, UA has 32,798 undergraduate students, including 6,764 first-time undergraduate students; 4,868 students enrolled in graduate programs, and 437 professional students enrolled in the School of Law and the College of Community Health Sciences. UA announced last month that for the first time, women make up a majority of law students in an entering class at the School of Law. Of the 137 first-year law students, 53% are women.

“As the state’s flagship university, our commitment to our students and our state has never been stronger,” Bell added. “This is evidenced by the impact we have daily in the lives of students on our campus and in communities across our state where our research and community partnerships are making a real difference in the lives of so many Alabamians.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris

2 weeks ago

University of Alabama organizations to honor 9/11 victims with flag display, stair climb

(Pixabay)

Organizations from the University of Alabama will honor the 2,977 victims who lost their lives in the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks with a flag display and a stair climb on Wednesday.

According to a press release from the University of Alabama’s Young Americans for Freedom chapter, the group will present the 9/11: Never Forget Project. This project is in collaboration with Young America’s Foundation (YAF) and is “the largest nationwide campus activism project of its kind, students at schools across the country annually display 2,977 American flags to remember those murdered at the hands of radical Islamists more than a decade ago.”

“It’s an honor to be given the opportunity to memorialize the lives lost on that tragic day,” said Joseph Ballard, National Board of Governors Member of Young Americans for Freedom. “First responders are heroes and this small act is a reminder of how lucky we are to have them.”

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“More than 200 campuses participate in this project each year, this year being no exception, and its popularity continues to increase,” an excerpt from the press release stated. “Since 2003, 10.4 million flags have been placed in the ground as part of YAF’s iconic project.”

The University of Alabama Young Americans for Freedom Chapter will begin setting up the flags at 8:00 a.m. Wednesday on the quad between Amelia Gayle Gorgas Library and Denny Chimes.

As many students begin displaying flags on the quad Wednesday, others will be taking part in the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, which has been organized by the University of Alabama Police Department and the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs.

According to a press release from the university, “First responders, military veterans and their family support groups will participate in the stair climb that will wind its way through Coleman Coliseum.”

“It’s the equivalent of 110 flights of stairs, which is supposed to be the equivalent of the World Trade Center,” said UAPD Sgt. Rachel Grooms. “It’s 8 ½ laps of Coleman Coliseum, so 110 flights up and 110 flights down.”

The memorial stair climb, which was started by five firefighters in Colorado in 2005, was brought to Alabama in 2018 by Grooms, whose father was a firefighter.

“For me, when I found out about the stair climbs, I wanted to create something like that here in Tuscaloosa,” Grooms explained. “Last year, we had roughly 97 participants, and we’re shooting for a minimum of 300-500 participants this year.”

Grooms also stressed the importance of remembering what occurred on that day in 2001.

“It’s a time that we came together, our country came together,” Grooms stated. “I feel it’s very important that we continue to remember that because there are students that we have here that don’t know about it or it didn’t really affect or impact them in a sense that they are even aware of. I think it’s something in our history that we need to make sure we honor and remember.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 weeks ago

Alabama Athletics raises record $106 million during Fiscal Year 2019

(Photo courtesy of the University of Alabama)

The University of Alabama Department of Athletics announced Friday that it raised a record of more than $106 million in the 2019 Fiscal Year from pledges and gifts to the Crimson Tide Foundation and donations to TIDE PRIDE.

The fundraising success, along with the University of Alabama Board of Trustees and presidential approval, allows for Phase I of The Crimson Standard, including Bryant-Denny Stadium and Rhoads Stadium, to move forward.

“We are excited to proceed with our first phase of The Crimson Standard,” said Greg Byrne, Alabama director of athletics. “As we’ve said since this project was announced, evolution of our facilities is critical to the success of our programs.”

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Byrne added, “We would like to thank The University of Alabama Board of Trustees, Chancellor St. John, President Pro Tempore Gray and President Bell for their support and approval of this project. We would also like to thank all of those who have contributed to The Crimson Standard thus far to help us reach our goals.”

As of today, nearly $270 million of the $600 million for this 10-year capital initiative has been committed.

Alabama Athletics announced in a press release, “Construction is slated to begin this month at Rhoads Stadium, while renovations to Bryant-Denny Stadium will start at the conclusion of the 2019 football season. The new Sports Science Center, which will be located in the Mal Moore Athletic Facility, is also part of the Phase I plans and is currently out for bid.”

“We are grateful for the support of all of our donors and thank each and everyone for helping us achieve a record-breaking year,” said J Batt, Alabama senior associate athletics director for development. “These philanthropic gifts are vital for us as we continue to move ahead with The Crimson Standard.”

The announcement also said fans will have the opportunity “to reserve seats in the new premium areas that will be available on the west side of Bryant-Denny Stadium beginning with the 2020 football season.” Options include loge boxes, the Champions Club and the Terrace Club.

For more information on The Crimson Standard, visit CrimsonTideFoundation.org.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 weeks ago

Nick Saban: ‘Miss Terry made me’ run on treadmill after Duke penalty

(Nick's Kids Foundation/Facebook)

Alabama Crimson Tide head coach Nick Saban said at a press conference this week that his wife, Terry Saban, made him run on a treadmill after he received an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty during last weekend’s game against the Duke Blue Devils.

“Miss Terry made me run on the treadmill for 20 minutes,” Saban told reporters. “The leadership group had a meeting, and they wanted to implement some disciplinary action, but it kind of got overruled. But I’m not proud of it. I really am not.”

Watch:

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“In all honesty, there was somebody in the white, it wasn’t a player, it was a coach,” Saban said in regards to the 15-yard penalty. “I thought they were upset because the players were celebrating a good play and that sort of fueled my reaction. … It is what it is. I’ll learn from it much like the players learn from their mistakes.”

After a 42-3 blowout against Duke, Alabama is set to host New Mexico State at Bryant Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa on Saturday for its home opener.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 weeks ago

Study shows Auburn University has $5.6 billion impact on Alabama

A new study shows Auburn University and its alumni make a $5.6 billion economic contribution to Alabama’s economy each year, which includes the creation of nearly 27,000 jobs, along with university employment.

“Auburn is a critical economic engine that benefits all Alabamians,” said Auburn interim President Jay Gogue. “We are establishing partnerships that provide students with learning experiences, while companies, organizations and communities benefit from Auburn’s renowned research and outreach.”

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The study, which was conducted by the Economic Research Services Inc. in Montgomery and Auburn’s Division of University Outreach, was based on research from the 2018-2019 statistical and financial data from Auburn’s main campus, Auburn University at Montgomery, the Alabama Agricultural Experiment Station and the Alabama Cooperative Extension System, which has offices in all 67 counties.

According to an Auburn University press release, the components of Auburn’s economic impact include:

An earning capacity of more than $3.4 billion by Auburn graduates in Alabama.A direct economic impact of $2.2 billion, representing Auburn’s in-state expenditures, such as payroll and purchases, student spending on local housing and food, construction and spending by visitors to university events. Auburn’s direct impact returned to the state’s economy more than eight times its state appropriation, or an $8.50 return for each dollar appropriated.

Auburn provides the primary academic support for a number of major state industries, businesses and occupations through its wide range of degree programs, professional education and training.

Auburn supports development of innovative research and technologies, industry collaboration and entrepreneurship that promote the economy of the state as well as the economic and security interests of the nation as a whole.

Auburn’s impact is responsible for creating 26,623 jobs in Alabama in addition to university employment.

The press release said the $5.6 billion impact “marks a 4 percent increase from a 2017 study conducted by University Outreach, which has led the studies since 1996.”

“This study confirms again what Alabamians already know about Auburn, that the university greatly contributes to the quality of life in Alabama,” said Royrickers Cook, vice president for University Outreach. “The university supports both emerging and traditional industries and provides services for the well-being of our citizens.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

3 weeks ago

Ivey announces Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence

Gov. Kay Ivey announced Tuesday at the Alabama Department of Archives and History (ADAH) the 21 schools that were selected as Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence.

Ivey was joined by superintendents, principals, and teachers from the schools that were selected. According to an online press release, each school also received a $5,000 Governor’s Award “to support its continued commitment to student-led community engagement.”

As described by the release, the Alabama Bicentennial Schools Initiative, which was founded by Ivey in 2017, “encouraged all public, private, and homeschool students and teachers to participate in the celebration of Alabama’s 200th anniversary of statehood.”

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“As Alabama nears 200 years of statehood, it is important to engage our students. After all, our students are the future of our state and the ones who will lead generations to come into the next 200 years and beyond,” Ivey said. “I am proud to award grants to twenty-one schools to carry out their community service and engagement projects. This is an exciting time for our state, and I am glad to see our young people taking initiative.”

Over the last year, Bicentennial Schools have taken part in several community projects, including “oral history projects to community gardens to mentorship programs, these projects fostered new relationships between schools, students, and local citizens that will extend well beyond Alabama’s bicentennial celebration.”

In addition to receiving the Governor’s Award grants, the Schools of Excellence will be invited to participate in commemoration ceremonies in Montgomery on December 14, 2019, the culmination of Alabama’s bicentennial.

“The 21 Alabama Bicentennial Schools Excellence embraced the spirit of the bicentennial in inspiring ways,” Steve Murray, director of the ADAH and co-chair of the Bicentennial Education Committee, said. “The combination of innovation, hard work, and community service seen in these projects serves as a model for building a bright future in Alabama’s third century.”

The Alabama Bicentennial Schools of Excellence include:

Clark-Shaw Magnet School, Mobile

Phillips Preparatory School, Mobile

Rachel Patterson Elementary School, Atmore

Headland Middle School, Headland

Montana Street Magnet School, Dothan

Webb Elementary School, Webb

Auburn High School, Auburn

Cedar Bluff School, Cedar Bluff

Springville Elementary School, Springville

W. Trenholm Primary School, TuscumbiaHamilton Elementary School, Hamilton

Walker Elementary School, Northport

Athens High School, Athens

Kilby Laboratory School, Florence

Moores Mill Intermediate School, New Market

Chelsea Park Elementary School, Chelsea

Vestavia Hills Elementary Cahaba Heights, Vestavia Hills

Pinson Valley High School, Pinson

Myrtlewood Elementary School, Fosters

George W. Carver High School, Birmingham

Oakdale Elementary School, Tuscaloosa

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

3 weeks ago

New University of Alabama radio station to provide information for game day fans

(University of Alabama)

Fans of the Alabama Crimson Tide now have a new way to receive information on game days in Tuscaloosa thanks to UA Info Radio.

UA Info Radio broadcasts on 92.5 FM and streams through ready.ua.edu, the UA Safety app and the UA Gameday app, according to a release from the university.

“We have one of the best game day experiences in the nation, and UA Info Radio will only make the experience better for our fans,” said Dr. Donald Keith, director of emergency management at The University of Alabama. “As fans drive into Tuscaloosa, they can tune in and hear the information they need before arriving on campus.”

On game days, UA Info Radio will share pre- and postgame traffic updates, as well as information on parking and pregame events, such as the family-friendly tailgate area and autograph sessions with former football players. By tuning into UA Info Radio, fans will also hear fun facts about the Crimson Tide, in addition to music from the Million Dollar Band, which includes “Yea, Alabama.”

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According to the release, “safety tips, such as what to do if you get separated from your party or how to contact University police, will be broadcast. In the event of severe weather or other emergencies that may occur during the game, UA Info Radio will provide fans with important safety information.”

When it is not a game day, UA Info Radio places focus on campus events, such as performances by UA’s theatre and dance department, selections from the School of Music and interesting facts about the Capstone. UA Info Radio also alerts students, faculty, staff and visitors of severe weather for the Tuscaloosa area.

UA acquired a low-power FM, non-commercial radio station for public safety after the April 27, 2011, tornado that wiped out much of Tuscaloosa and left several dead or injured.

“After the tornado, when the electricity was out for several days, the only way for many people to get information was through a battery-operated radio,” Keith added. “We decided at that time that UA needed a radio station that could be used to distribute information in the case of an emergency. UA Info Radio is just another tool we use to help keep people safe on our campus.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

3 weeks ago

Auburn named best college in Alabama

(Auburn University)

According to Money, Forbes and Niche, Auburn University is the top college in the state of Alabama for students to attend.

Auburn University announced that based on value, it was ranked top in the state in Money‘s 2019 Best Colleges in America ranking. For top academics, best experiences, career success and lowest debt, Forbes placed Auburn above all other undergraduate universities in the state in its Top Colleges 2019 rankings. Niche, a national online source known for its ratings and reviews of schools, named Auburn the number one Best College in Alabama in its 2020 Best Colleges in America findings.

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“We’re so pleased to see these rankings indicate what we already know about Auburn University — that it’s a great place and a great value,” said Bobby Woodard, Auburn’s senior vice president for Student Affairs.

Woodward added, “The criteria involved in these rankings hit areas of the utmost importance to students and their parents, including academics, value, food and campus life, and those areas are also important to us. We do our best every day to make the Auburn student experience the best it can be, and it’s nice to be recognized for that effort.”

Among other public colleges, Forbes‘ rating of Auburn is 47. Forbes went on to list the median salary of Auburn alumni with 10 or more years of experience at $104,500, while Money noted that three years after earning an undergraduate degree the average Auburn graduate makes an annual salary of $52,800.

Auburn University said in a release, “Forbes detailed how 49 percent of graduates under the age of 30 nationally are carrying loan debt for a median amount of $25,000. The average debt listed for Auburn by the Money ranking was $3,500 less than the national average, and the cost of an Auburn undergraduate degree, according to Money, falls $12,300 less than the average of the nation’s top colleges.”

Money also noted Auburn’s 77% graduation rate and used more than 19,000 data points — including tuition fees, family borrowing and career earnings — to give Auburn its rank.

“No other university in the state of Alabama came close to Auburn’s ranking with Money, which examined quality of education, affordability and outcomes as its criteria for determining a best value college,” Auburn’s announcement stated. “Under the quality of education assessment, such factors as six-year graduation rates, peer quality, instructor quality and Pell Grant recipient outcomes were measured.”

Niche gave Auburn University an overall grade of A, which included its superb scores in categories like academics, value, student life, professors and campus food. Niche reached its conclusion after the analysis of academics, admissions and financial and student life data from the U.S. Department of Education along with millions of reviews from students and alumni.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

4 weeks ago

Study: High costs prevent one in three Alabamians from using prescription drugs

(YHN/Pixabay)

AARP Alabama released a new set of data Monday that revealed the impact of high prescription drug prices on Alabamians, specifically for those living with cancer, prediabetes or diabetes and heart disease.

“While prescription drug prices continue skyrocketing, Americans are being forced to choose between filling life-saving medications or paying rent and buying food,” said AARP Alabama State Director Candi Williams. “So far in 2019, 29 states (including Alabama) have passed 46 new laws to rein in drug prices. It’s critical that state and federal lawmakers continue this momentum to stop Rx greed.”

In 2016, one in three Alabamians (35%) stopped using prescription drugs due to the high cost. An online infographic also highlighted recent price increases for select prescription drugs commonly used to treat cancer, diabetes and heart disease.

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According to an online statement provided by AARP Alabama, between 2012 and 2017, the retail price of prescription drugs saw the following drastic increases:

Revlimid, used to treat cancer, increased from $147,413 per year to $247,496 per year. In Alabama, 539,841 people are living with cancer.

Lantus, a form of insulin used to treat diabetes, increased from $2,907 per year to $4,702 per year. There are 587,856 people with diabetes or pre-diabetes in Alabama.

Aggrenox, a heart disease medication, increased from $3,030 per year to $5,930 per year. In Alabama, 206,211 people have heart disease.

Earlier this year, the Alabama House of Representatives unanimously passed Senate Bill 73 by State Sen. Arthur Orr (R-Decatur) that could help lower prescription drug costs for hardworking families in the Yellowhammer State.

“AARP Alabama has been encouraged by the bipartisan work of our state lawmakers this year to lower prescription drug prices,” Williams added. “Ultimately, drug costs are a national issue, so federal action is equally essential. We urge the Senate to pass the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act in the fall, when the House is expected to act on its own drug pricing bill.”

To learn more about AARP’s Stop Rx Greed campaign and view the national infographic, visit here.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

4 weeks ago

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama announces sponsorship of Montgomery’s bike share program

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama announced Friday a partnership with the City of Montgomery to help sponsor Montgomery’s bike share program.

Blue Cross, Baptist Health and Wind Creek Hospitality are collaborating to launch the new program, which is an innovative biking system aimed at improving the quality of life and increasing tourism in downtown Montgomery.

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“We are proud to partner with the City of Montgomery as we work together to build healthier communities across Alabama,” said Koko Mackin, vice president of Corporate Communications and Community Relations, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama in a press release. “Montgomery’s bike share program is an excellent opportunity to provide workers, residents, and visitors a new and convenient way to get around and enjoy our capital city.”

The Montgomery bike share program will be operated by Pace, a micro-mobility vendor. According to the announcement from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, bike stations are placed in prominent locations throughout Montgomery’s city-center.

Bike station locations include the Rosa Parks Library/Museum, First White House of the Confederacy, City Hall, Renaissance Hotel & Spa, Old Alabama Town, Morgan Library, Kress Building, Wright Brothers Park, the Alley and the Intermodal.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

1 month ago

University of Alabama in Huntsville honored for discovering one of physics’ ‘Holy Grails’

UAH President Darren Dawson and IEEE Region 3 Director Gregg Vaughn unveil the IEEE Milestone plaque on the UAH campus this week. (UAH.edu)

The University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) announced this week that it has been honored by The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers with a Milestone Plaque for a 1987 physics discovery.

The discovery of superconductivity at 93 Kelvin occurred on January 29, 1987, and the dedication of the award recognizes “the impact of the world’s first material to superconduct above the technologically significant temperature of liquid nitrogen.”

UAH said in a release posted to its website, “The material that is the subject of the discovery was first conceived, synthesized, and tested in a UAH physics laboratory in Wilson Hall. It has been referred to by some science writers as one of physics’ ‘Holy Grails.’ The discovery prompted an American Physical Society meeting in March of 1987 to become known as ‘The Woodstock of Physics.'”

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The site added, “By crossing the 77 Kelvin barrier and making superconductivity possible at the temperature of the much more affordable and easily used coolant liquid nitrogen, the material discovered at UAH opened up a realm of more practical superconductivity applications.”

The site also noted that superconductors have been useful in powerful electromagnets, such as those used in MRI and NMR machines, maglev trains, and fusion reactor research; low-loss electrical power cables; fast fault current limiters; fast digital circuits; sensitive detection and measurement of magnetism, subatomic particles, and light, along with radio-frequency and microwave filters.

The UAH material has been used in high field magnets (holding the current record of 45.5 Tesla), electric power cables, fault current limiters, and radio-frequency filters.

A bronze plaque, which was presented on Monday, will be mounted outside the room that once served as the superconductivity laboratory at UAH.

The plaque reads as follows:

On this site, a material consisting of yttrium, barium, copper, and oxygen was first conceived, synthesized, tested, and — on 29 January 1987 — found to exhibit stable and reproducible superconductivity at 93 Kelvin. This marked the first time the phenomenon had been unambiguously achieved above 77 Kelvin, the boiling point of liquid nitrogen, thus enabling more practical and widespread use of superconductors.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

1 month ago

Black Belt Adventures founder honored as Conservationist of the Year by Alabama Wildlife Federation

(AWF/Contributed)

Monday, the Alabama Wildlife Federation announced that Black Belt Adventures founder Thomas A. Harris was honored as the Conservationist of the Year in the Alabama Wildlife Federation’s 2019 Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards.

Harris, of Montgomery, was recognized along with other award winners at a banquet last Friday at the Montgomery Marriott Prattville Hotel & Conference Center at Capitol Hill.

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“I am humbled to receive this award,” Harris said. “To be recognized by such an important organization as the Alabama Wildlife Federation is truly remarkable.”

“Improving wildlife habitat is important to me and to my family. Working on these conservation and economic development projects has been a labor of love for me and for many others who have been major contributors in making the Alabama Black Belt
Adventures Association and the Alabama Quail Trail successful,” Harris added. “I ask that they accept this honor along with me.”

The Alabama Wildlife Federation said in a press release, “The AWF Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards have been presented for more than 40 years to individuals and organizations that make great contributions to the conservation of Alabama’s wildlife and related natural resources. The purpose of the awards program is to promote leadership by example and, in turn, increase conservation
for the natural resources of the state of Alabama – its wildlife, forests, soils, water, and air.”

A native of the Black Belt, Harris worked to create the ALBBAA to spotlight the abundance of outdoor activities available in the region of the state, to ensure outdoor tourism was a leading economic driver for the area. In order for his idea to take hold, landowners in the Black Belt had to make conservation a priority and with his leadership – and that of others – they have. Harris also founded the Alabama Quail Trail to work to help restore the Northern bobwhite quail population in the state.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

1 month ago

Auburn University ranked number one in the nation for happiest students

(Auburn University)

Auburn University was ranked number one for having the happiest students in the nation, according to The Princeton Review’s 2020 rankings released this week.

The university, located in the “Loveliest Village on the Plains,” was ranked number one in the “happiest students” category for Princeton Review’s “Best 385 Colleges” rankings.

Rankings in the study were based on surveys from 140,000 students, which included 80 questions and 385 colleges.

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According to the results published in a news release, students said the Auburn environment is “challenging, captivating, unique and yet still timeless.” Respondents also said the southern university “provides you plenty of resources and opportunities to get a top-notch education.” Students also noted that Auburn University offers a “nurturing education, extracurricular involvement opportunities and professional skill development.”

Respondents overwhelmingly were in agreement that Auburn University is a friendly campus, with one survey respondent stating, “The Auburn Family has your back.”

“Auburn students are happy because Auburn is more than a classroom, a football stadium or a degree,” said Mary Margaret Turton, president of Auburn’s Student Government Association. “Auburn is an empowering experience where students are challenged and motivated to become men and women of the Auburn Creed; a dedication to excellence in academia and student life and a place rooted in tradition and support that becomes home.”

Other top qualities mentioned by survey participants was Auburn’s “beautiful campus,” “amazing new recreation center” and “safe downtown.” The students also complimented the array of nearby food options.

“Auburn is a diverse place with a multitude of activities, so everyone can find something they like to participate in,” said Hudson Honeywell, a junior biomedical sciences major.

He added, “What makes me happy at Auburn is I have been provided with everything I was looking for in a college.  Auburn has given me a strong education, leadership and service opportunities, supportive faculty, exciting athletic events, many social activities and a loving community.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

1 month ago

Mo Brooks ranked number one for record on foundational principles

(M. Brooks/Facebook)

Announced Thursday, Republican Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) was ranked number one out of 435 other members of Congress by Heritage Action for his record on foundational principles.

Heritage Action, a political branch of the Heritage Foundation, evaluates Congressional records on issues of “free enterprise, limited government, individual freedom, traditional American values, and a strong national defense.”

“Heritage Action is on the front lines of the battle to protect America’s foundational principles from Congressional mischief,” Brooks said in a statement. “I thank them for helping to inform the voting public about which members of Congress keep their campaign promises (and which don’t) concerning Free-Enterprise vs. Socialism, liberty and freedom vs. tyranny, traditional American values vs. anti-American values, border security vs. open-borders, a strong national defense vs. weakening America’s defenses, and a host of other issues.”

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“Socialists, open-borders advocates, debt junkies, and those who hate America work overtime in Congress and across America to undermine America’s foundational principles and bring America down. They must not win,” Brooks continued. “I have in the past, and will in the future, fight for the foundational principles that have made America the greatest nation in world history. American prosperity and American lives are at stake.”

He added, “America’s future depends on beating back the anti-American tsunami that threatens to swamp and drown the very principles that have made us who we are: the greatest nation in world history.”

Earlier in the week, Brooks was ranked number one for his record on border security by NumbersUSA.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 months ago

Mo Brooks ranked number one for border security record

(Wikicommons)

For the eighth straight year, NumbersUSA has graded Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-Hunstville) border security record at #1 in all of the U. S. Congress.

NumbersUSA, which is America’s largest grassroots border security organization with over nine million members, gave Brooks a perfect 100% A+ record on its congressional scorecard. Only one other member of the U.S. House received a 100% A+ rating.

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“NumbersUSA is the premier grassroots border security advocacy organization in America,” Brooks said in a statement announcing his ranking. “I thank them for helping the public know which members of Congress fight to protect American lives, property, jobs and incomes from the current flood of illegal aliens.”

Brooks insisted the “tsunami of cheap illegal alien labor” deprives the American people of “jobs and wages.”

“Americans regularly rank border security as America’s most important issue. Rightfully so. The tsunami of cheap illegal alien labor steals jobs and wages from hard-working and struggling American families,” Brooks continued. “Worse yet, America’s porous southern border causes the deaths of 30,000+ Americans every single year (from illegal alien homicides and overdoses on poisonous drugs shipped across our porous southern border).”

He added, “It is abundantly clear that America’s open-borders advocates put their lust for political power above the interests of the American people. There is simply no amount of American blood on their hands that causes these callous politicians to stop betraying America, secure America’s borders, and save American jobs, incomes and lives.”

NumbersUSA applauded Brooks’ border security record and considered him to be a “true American patriot.”

“Congressman Mo Brooks is a true American patriot. He is unwavering in his commitment to setting U.S. immigration policy in the interest of American workers, much to the chagrin of giant tech, big business, and the open-borders lobby,” said Rosemary Jenks, director of Government Affairs for NumbersUSA. “His 100 percent rating with NumbersUSA reflects that commitment. Our nine million grassroots activists across the country are grateful to Congressman Brooks for his leadership, and we are proud to stand with him.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 months ago

Ted Hosp named VP of Governmental Affairs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield

(Contributed/BCBS)

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of Alabama announced Monday that Ted Hosp will serve as vice president of Governmental Affairs.

Hosp’s promotion comes upon the retirement of Robin Stone, longtime BCBS vice president of Governmental Affairs and a widely respected member of Alabama’s governmental affairs community.

Clay Loftin, one of the state’s rising stars in the lobbying world, will continue to serve as BCBS manager of Governmental Affairs, deputizing Hosp.

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Before taking on the new role, Hosp served as executive director of Governmental Affairs for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. He was once with the Maynard, Cooper and Gale law firm, where he chaired the firm’s Governmental and Regulatory Affairs practice group.

Hosp, a graduate of Brown University, received his law degree from Fordham University.

Hosp currently chairs the Alabama Access to Justice Commission, established by the state Supreme Court in 2007. Additionally, he serves on the Alabama State Bar Committee on Volunteer Lawyers Programs and on the board of the Middle District of Alabama Federal Defender’s Program. Hosp has also served on the boards of the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Montgomery Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 months ago

Congressmen Bradley Byrne, Ted Budd introduce Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act

(Rep. Bradley Byrne/Facebook)

After his trip to the southern border, Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) teamed up with Congressman Ted Budd (R-NC) to introduce the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act on Thursday.

According to a statement from Byrne’s office, the legislation will “protect victims of illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities.”

“I’m sick of hearing stories about illegal immigrants in sanctuary cities committing horrific crimes against American citizens. It’s time we do something about it,” Byrne said.

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“Not only will our legislation provide justice for victims, but it will push communities to abandon their reckless sanctuary policies and help disincentivize illegal immigration,” Byrne continued. “Whether it’s cracking down on sanctuary cities or providing additional resources to build the wall, now is the time for action to address the illegal immigration crisis.”

The bill creates a “new legal right for any individual, spouse, or child who is a victim of a violent crime or felony caused by an illegal immigrant to sue the responsible sanctuary city or jurisdiction.”

The proposal also “requires jurisdictions to waive immunity for these cases as a condition of receiving Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds and other grants.”

According to Byrne’s press release, “The bill defines a ‘Sanctuary Jurisdiction’ as any state or political subdivision (including a county or city) that has a statute, ordinance, policy, or practice that restricts a government official or entity from receiving or maintaining information about the immigration status of an individual, including refusing to comply with lawful detainer requests made by DHS or the notification of the release of an illegal immigrant.

At a North Carolina rally, President Donald Trump praised the legislation and Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), who led the Senate version of the bill.

Trump asserted the Justice for Victims of Sanctuary Cities Act will “give American victims the right to sue sanctuary cities and hold them accountable for the thousands of lives they have shattered.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 months ago

Mo Brooks: Mueller hearing a ‘circus act’ that diverts attention from America’s major threats

(MSNBC/YouTube)

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) joined One America News Wednesday where he discussed the Robert Mueller Judiciary Committee hearing, describing it as a “dog and pony show” and “circus act.”

According to an online statement released by Brooks’ team, the hearing wrongly diverts public attention from America’s deficit and debt threat, America’s border security crisis, and the socialism versus free enterprise debate.”

Watch:

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckRtFqdXJ-o

Brooks stated, “My general reaction to what has transpired with Mueller, and before him, Comey, and President Trump and all of this interaction, is the American people have been subjected to a dog and pony show, a circus act, that has in effect diverted the American public’s attention and Washington’s attention from major issues that face us as a nation.”

He continued, “We should be having a healthy debate over free-enterprise versus socialism, but instead we are mired in this kind of Mueller report nonsense.”

Brooks also said he believes the Russia investigation “should have been ended long ago.”

“In my judgement, Mueller and Comey, the Mueller Team, President Trump, they all knew early on, that there was zero evidence of collusion or conspiracy between the Trump campaign and Russia,” Brooks said. “As such, the Russia investigation, at least in so far as there is an interaction with President Trump’s campaign, or alleged interaction, it should have been ended long ago, years ago.”

Brooks added that he believes the “President of the United States should have terminated the Mueller investigation long ago.”

Before he concluded the interview, Brooks also spoke about the candidates taking part in the 2020 United States Senate race in Alabama.

“I am looking forward to whoever our nominee is and supporting them because I have great confidence that, that person will vote right, rather than wrong, as the current senator, Democrat, has been doing,” Brooks said.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 months ago

Merrill co-authors Alabama history book to benefit fourth-graders

Alabama Secretary of State John H. Merrill and author Tom Ward have teamed up to release a new history book titled Alabama: The Bicentennial, which celebrates Alabama’s 200th anniversary of statehood in 2019.

According to a statement, the book celebrates over 400 past and present Alabamians, including “athletes, authors, agriculture, artists, autos, achievers, aviation, armed forces, astronauts, and advocates for freedom.”

Every school in Alabama that features a fourth-grade classroom will receive a complimentary copy.

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Merrill announced 75% of the book proceeds will go to Friends of the Alabama Archives, a non-profit. Those funds will be used to sponsor fourth-grade field trips to the archives by schools that otherwise lack financial resources to make the trip.

“The great Rudyard Kipling once said, ‘If history were taught in the form of stories, it would not be forgotten,’” said Merrill, who will not receive any compensation from the book.

“When we encourage our students to read and tell these stories, we preserve the legacies of Alabama leaders of yesterday and today,” the 2020 candidate for U.S. Senate added. “When Tom and I started this project two years ago, we wanted to tie together the people, events, groups, and places that define the history in this state that we call home. Tom and I are so excited to release this book about a state and its people that are so special to us.”

Alabama: The Bicentennial is available for purchase at the Alabama Department of Archives & History and alabama200book.com. It will soon be available in bookstores around the state.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.