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.

56 mins ago

Bradley Byrne slams Democrats’ allegation of ‘bribery’ against President Trump

Republican Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01) gave a speech on the floor of the House of Representatives on Tuesday where he slammed Democrats’ latest allegation of “bribery” against President Donald Trump.

“Unfortunately, I must rise again because – like so many times before – the goalposts for impeaching President Trump have moved,” Byrne stated. “At this rate, Nancy Pelosi must be any field goal kicker’s worst nightmare.”

“Since day one – literally day one – it has been abundantly clear that the far-left members of the so-called ‘Squad’ have been moving this Democratic majority closer to impeaching the President,” Byrne continued. “They don’t care why or how. They don’t care what evidence, real or imagined, is used. They only care about the end result – impeaching President Trump so he will not win reelection.”

He added, “As this radical faction gains dominance in the Democrat party, Speaker Pelosi has tried every justification in the book to impeach this president.”

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Byrne then recalled the Democrats’ previous, failed attempts at destroying the Trump administration.

“We were told for years we’d get to impeachment from the Mueller report,” Byrne said. “They said, just wait, wait till the report! It’s going to show Russian Collusion! Well, two years and millions of dollars down the drain, Mueller showed no collusion. The Democrat narrative quickly turned towards ‘obstruction of justice,’ but that too fell flat.”

“But then, Mr. Speaker, the majority got a new gift – the whistleblower,” he continued. “Never mind he had no firsthand knowledge of what he blew the whistle on, never mind he’s a partisan Democrat, never mind he worked with Adam Schiff on his new allegations against President Trump.”

The rest of Byrne’s remarks are as follows:

It was campaign finance violations! Well, that didn’t work. So, then it was quid pro quo! For weeks, that’s all the majority has talked about. Not anymore. Apparently, Mr. Speaker, some highly-paid political consultants warned Speaker Pelosi that quid pro quo did not resonate with the American people. So now, it seems they’ve moved on to another version of impeachment that tested best in their focus groups – the nefarious-sounding ‘bribery.’ It’s bribery! That’s what we will impeach President Trump on!

Well, Mr. Speaker, I think my friends on the other side need to dust off their law books because, unfortunately for their latest impeachment fantasy, bribery isn’t just some word. It’s a real crime with a real definition. And it’s one that this majority cannot prove.

You see, bribery occurs when an individual ‘corruptly’ links receiving something of value in exchange for an official government action.

I say to the majority, show me how asking Ukraine to look into the 2016 election and into the sketchy dealings of Hunter Biden is acting corruptly! Because I’ll tell you what, I’ll show you evidence that Ukrainian officials were working to boost Secretary Clinton, and I’ll show you evidence that the Obama Administration was itself concerned about Hunter Biden’s deals. I think most Americans will say maybe the President of the United States should be looking into those things. I think they will say we want the President looking into possible corruption in our government and interference in our elections.

More importantly, I say to the majority, show me how President Trump linked aid to these investigations! Mr. Speaker, President Trump’s phone call with Ukraine President Zelensky, you know, the one that the whistleblower blew the whistle on, is on the internet! Everyone can read it. And I hope they will. Because nowhere in that call did President Trump ever link any aid to Ukraine in exchange for anything. The President did not one time, not one time, even mention any kind of hold on the aid. Not once!

This is not bribery. This is not impeachable conduct. Yet here we are, trying to remove the President of the United States, the leader of this country, the man chosen by the voters, over these newest allegations. Mr. Speaker, the American people see past this charade. They know this is a partisan political scheme. And at this point, I think most people who are paying attention – those who haven’t tuned out – know this is just the latest effort by Democrats to throw something at the wall and see if it sticks. President Trump has committed no ‘bribery, treason, or high crimes and misdemeanors’ – the only offenses that the Constitution says warrant impeachment.

I ask the majority – when do we stop and get back to the business of the American people? I yield back.

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

4 days ago

Crimson Tide football receives 2019 AFCA Academic Achievement Award

(Alabama Football/Facebook)

The American Football Coaches Association announced Thursday that the Alabama football program, which had a 100% graduation rate for 2017-18, is among six recipients of the 2019 Academic Achievement Award.

Others who received the honor this year include the Air Force Academy, Clemson, Louisville, Rice and Utah. The NCAA’s single-year Academic Progress Rate (APR) is used to select the winner and all six schools posted perfect scores of 1,000 for 2017-18.

The eight Tide graduates who had degrees in hand before the season opener against Duke are Giles Amos, Mike Bernier, Shyheim Carter, Landon Dickerson, Miller Forristall, Anfernee Jennings, Chris Owens and Matt Womack.

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“Since 2013, Alabama has seen 158 degrees earned (graduate and undergraduate) by players who were still suiting up for the Crimson Tide after having graduated,” a press release stated. “Since the 2010 season, Alabama has seen an impressive 24 players earn a master’s degree before stepping foot on the field for the final time.”

The press release also briefly detailed how they tally each team’s scores, stating, “Each student-athlete receiving athletically related financial aid earns one point for staying in school and one point for being academically eligible. A team’s total points are divided by points possible and then multiplied by 1,000 to equal the team’s Academic Progress Rate.”

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

5 days ago

Former Auburn stars Takeo Spikes, Darius Slayton to appear at ‘Nissan Heisman House Tour’ with ESPN’s Neil Everett

(AU)

Former Auburn linebacker Takeo Spikes and former Tiger wide receiver Darius Slayton are returning to Auburn as part of the “Nissan Heisman House Tour” with ESPN’s Neil Everett.

The event, which is scheduled to take place on November 16 in the Coca-Cola Tiger Fan Fest on the Nichols Center lawn, will allow fans to hear from both Spikes and Slayton and have their photos taken with them. Spikes is scheduled to appear from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., while Slayton will appear from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.

A press release stated, “Nissan and ESPN invite fans to ‘Get to know the Heisman Trophy Winners’ during a pre-game experience that celebrates college football’s most outstanding players.” Admission to the tour is free.

According to the press release, fans will also have the opportunity to:

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  • Take a picture with the Heisman Trophy, the most prestigious award in college football.
  • Win Heisman-themed prizes by participating in interactive games and sharing your experience on social media.
  • Race to the finish line against a Heisman winner in the Nissan Heisman House Dash, a digital game that puts you in the driver’s seat of a Nissan Rogue.
  • Strap on a headset in the Armchair Quarterback Virtual Reality Experience, as you interactively spot your targets to determine the outcome on the game’s final drive.
  • Watch live interviews between ESPN talent and some of college football’s most outstanding players
  • Participate in a photo session with gridiron greats.
  • Customize a Nissan Rogue in your team colors, while exploring the features of Nissan Intelligent Mobility.

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

1 week ago

Auburn’s famed golden eagle Nova possibly in early stages of heart failure

Nova takes flight (Photo: Auburn University)

Auburn University’s widely known golden eagle Nova, War Eagle VII, could potentially be in the early stages of heart failure, according to university veterinarians and a press release issued last week.

“The 20-year-old male eagle received a biannual checkup in early October at the College of Veterinary Medicine followed by another echocardiogram Oct. 31.,” the statement stated. “In 2017 he was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy, a chronic disease of the heart, and was sidelined from flying at football games to reduce stress.”

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“Nova’s condition has been medically managed and he has remained stable during the past two years, however, during his October exam, we observed decreased systolic function and enlarged vessels in his liver,” said Dr. Seth Oster, faculty avian veterinarian for the college’s Southeastern Raptor Center. “This could be an indication of the early stages of heart failure.”

Veterinarians also said they increased Nova’s dosage in a new round of treatments and that they will monitor how he responds.

“We will know more after we see how Nova responds to his latest rounds of treatment,” Oster said.

According to Andrew Hopkins, the assistant director of raptor training and education, Nova’s appearance at the Southeastern Raptor Center’s educational programs will be limited as veterans continue to monitor his progress.

The statement released on Nova’s health also provided background information on Nova.

It read, “Nova was hatched in 1999 at the Montgomery Zoo and was non-releasable due to human imprinting. He came to Auburn in 2000, made his first pre-game flight in 2004 and was designated War Eagle VII in 2006. He has helped promote wildlife conservation and awareness at almost 2,000 educational programs at the raptor center and at schools and conservation events around the Southeast. Raptor center staff conduct almost 300 presentations annually.”

Aurea, a 5-year-old female golden eagle, and Spirit, a 23-year-old female bald eagle, have both made pregame flights this season in Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.

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

2 weeks ago

Alabama reaches record number of foster care adoptions in Fiscal Year 2019

(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr)

Governor Kay Ivey announced Thursday that Alabama reported a record number of foster care adoptions, once again.

Alabama reported an all-time record of 731 foster care adoptions in Fiscal Year 2019, surpassing the previous year’s total of 727 foster care adoptions in the state.

“As Alabama sets another positive record, it is a privilege and truly special for me to spend time with adoptive parents and children who now have their forever home,” Ivey said in a press release.

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“To our foster families, adoption professionals, the Department of Human Resources, and most importantly, to the families who have chosen to bless many children with a forever and loving home – thank you! By providing a forever home, you are forever changing the life of a child, as well as your own,” she added.

“In FY 2019, 69 percent of children who left foster care, went home to family members or their parent(s). While most children in the state’s foster care system do return to their parents, there are still children seeking an adoptive family,” the press release stated.

Alabama Department of Human Resources Commissioner Nancy Buckner also celebrated the news, thanking  the “partners in the adoption process.”

“We are excited to have set an adoption record for the second consecutive year,” Buckner said. “I am extremely appreciative of our partners in the adoption process without whose help this would not have been possible, especially the adopting parents who have given our foster children forever families.”

As of now, there are 299 children in Alabama’s foster care system that are seeking families.
Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 weeks ago

Kay Ivey announces 16 GOMESA-funded projects for Alabama

(The University of Alabama in Huntsville/Contributed)

Governor Kay Ivey announced Wednesday at a press conference that $28 million would be spent on 16 projects, which are supported by funds from the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006 (GOMESA).

The 16 projects focus on “land acquisitions, research and recreational access improvements, which are included in the original intent and authorized use of GOMESA funds.”

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“I am thrilled to be joined today by many of our local leaders to announce 16 projects being funded by GOMESA,” Ivey said.

“Working closely with Commissioner Blankenship and the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, the almost $28 million will fund projects to beautify this region and ensure safety of those who enjoy the rivers and bay of South Alabama,” she added.

A press release stated, “GOMESA provides for the four Gulf Producing States and their eligible coastal political subdivisions (CPS) to share 37.5 percent of qualified revenues from Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) oil and gas leases issued since December 20, 2006.”

With approval from the Governor’s Office, the funds are administered by the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.

Listed of the 16 projects as follows:

  • Middleton Causeway Boat Ramp Improvements: $150,000
  • Administration of GOMESA: $214,220
  • Gulf State Park Recreational Access Enhancements: $4,000,000
  • Equipment and Supplies for Monitoring Harmful Algal Blooms Gulf Coastal Shellfish Growing Areas: $19,849.92
  • Install and Maintenance of a Stream Gage at Fish River on Baldwin County 32: $87,250.00
  • Baldwin County Intracoastal Waterway Boat Ramp Acquisition: $7,500,000
  • Marine Debris and Shoreline Cleanup Program: $1,314,500
  • Coastal Alabama Watershed Enhancement Project: $1,500,000
  • Sediment Geochemistry Investigation of the Mobile-Tensaw River Delta: $216,300
  • Sediment Characterization and Geochemistry Distribution within Mobile Bay and Mississippi Sound, Baldwin and Mobile Counties, Alabama: $755,304
  • Bayou La Batre Boat Ramp: $250,000
  • Dauphin Island Land Acquisition and Boat Ramp Addition: $4,065,000
  • Mobile Bay Western Shore Land Acquisition: $4,400,000
  • Restoration of D’Olive Bay Boat Channel: $800,000
  • Mount Vernon Park Enhancements for Addition to the Birding Trail: $78,000
  • Causeway Land Acquisition, Restoration, and Park Addition: $2,500,000

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

2 weeks ago

Koch Foods to invest more than $50 million in new Attalla facility

(Koch Foods of Gadsden/Facebook)

Representatives for Koch Foods joined Governor Kay Ivey and local leaders in Etowah County on Tuesday to announce that the company plans to invest more than $50 million to establish a grain storage and distribution facility in Attalla.

In a press release, Koch Foods, which employs 3,000 people in Alabama, stated the “new poultry feed-mill will create 28 new jobs with an annual payroll of $1 million” and “support the company’s recently expanded processing plant in nearby Gadsden.”

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“Koch Foods already has significant operations in Alabama, and this new investment will magnify the company’s economic impact on the state,” Ivey said. “This project adds a robust new dimension to the industrial sector in the state and permits us to strengthen our longstanding relationship with a major employer.”

The press release also said the 130-acre facility in Attalla will have the ability to hold more than 1 billion bushels of corn, served directly by rail.

“We are very excited about building one of the most technologically innovative grain storage facilities in the world,” said Matthew Herman, Koch senior vice president of Fresh Operations. “We continue to expand our business in Alabama and are thankful for the cooperative environment between business and government in the state to get things accomplished.”

In 2018, Koch announced an $80 million expansion of its Gadsden plant as part of a growth project, which involved 200 new jobs. That project set into motion a fourth processing line to the facility, boosting production capacity and making the Etowah County operation one of the largest poultry-processing plants in the country.

“We’re excited that Koch Foods has chosen Attalla for this large, high-tech facility,” Attalla Mayor Larry Means said. “We are thankful to have 28 new, high-paying jobs in our community, and this facility will build on the strong focus on industry and innovation that are woven into the history of Attalla.”

“In addition to the long-term operational jobs, there will be over 200 people working to build the facility here in Attalla over the next 18 months,” he added. “The economic impact of construction alone will be huge for the City of Attalla and all of Etowah County.”

Construction on the new facility, which is already underway, is set to conclude in 2021 with the facility becoming fully operational shortly after. A press release for the project stated the “company will start assembling a management team in the first quarter of 2020 and will begin interviewing prospective production workers in early 2021.”

“This project qualifies for two of the industrial sectors the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority has targeted — Logistics and Food & Farming,” said David Hooks, executive director of the Gadsden-Etowah Industrial Development Authority. “Locating this state-of-the-art facility will go a long way in solidifying Etowah County’s position as a national leader in both sectors.”

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

2 weeks ago

Ivey announces Alabama’s participation in 2020 Girls Go CyberStart Challenge

(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr)

Governor Kay Ivey announced Friday that Alabama will participate in the 2020 Girls Go CyberStart Challenge.

According to a press release, “the Girls Go CyberStart Challenge is a skills-based competition designed to encourage girls to pursue cyber-based learning and career opportunities.”

“Initiatives like the Girls Go CyberStart Challenge are critical because they help the next generation of women in Alabama close the gender gap in STEM related fields,” Governor Ivey said.

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She added, “With so many tech-based firms choosing Alabama as their new home, it is extremely important that we encourage our state’s youth to hone their tech-based skillsets, which give them the best opportunity to have fulfilling careers in this high-demand field.”

The Girls Go CyberStart Challenge, which is open to girls in grades nine through 12, is an online game consisting of a series of challenges that places students in the role of a cyber protection agent charged with solving realistic problems and puzzles.

“The Girls Go CyberStart Challenge addresses the most important intersectional needs in STEM – the growing demand for more cybersecurity and computer science specialists in the workforce, equity and diversity opportunities that engage more women in the most high demand and high need career areas,” said Dr. Jeff Gray, co-chairman of Governor Ivey’s Computer Science Advisory Council.

“The Girls Go CyberStart Challenge provides young women with an engaging and fun competition that fosters collaboration and exploration to develop the most in-demand skillsets as society relies more on digital services,” Gray added. “Young women in Alabama are emerging as national leaders in this area and are very competitive each year.”

The press release noted that Alabama had 418 girls from 23 schools participate in the 2019 Girls Go CyberStart Challenge. Three Alabama schools qualified for the National Finals Championship and the Alabama state winner achieved rank number 16 out of 120 schools nationally.

“The Girls Go CyberStart Challenge is an engaging way to introduce young women to cybersecurity through digital puzzles and team-based learning opportunities,” chairman of Governor Ivey’s STEM Advisory Council, Dr. Neil Lamb said. “Nearly every industry is impacted by cybersecurity, and the CyberStart challenge opens the door to a host of career opportunities for these Alabama learners.”

Registration for the Girls Go CyberStart Challenge opens on December 2, with online gaming commencing on January 13, 2020.

Additional details and preregistration can be found atwww.girlsgocyberstart.org.

3 weeks ago

University of Alabama highlights successful fundraising year

University of Alabama President's Mansion (Photo: Dave Smith)

The University of Alabama (UA) announced Tuesday that it had raised $202.7 million during the recently concluded fiscal year, which ended September 30.

The $202.7 million came from a record-setting 63,277 donors for the University.

“Our alumni and donors continue to steadfastly support and advance UA’s growth and impact as a national leader in higher education,” said UA President Stuart R. Bell. “We will continue to be good stewards of our resources by intentionally investing in our students and their educational opportunities at Alabama.”

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A press release noted, “Highlighting the successful 2018-19 fiscal year was the $30 million Hewson Hall Building Campaign benefiting the Culverhouse College of Business. Initially announced in September 2018, the campaign now has the entire $30 million committed for the project. Named in recognition of a $15 million gift from two alumni, Marillyn and James Hewson, Hewson Hall is projected to cost $60 million, with half of that funded by the University and the other half from charitable contributions.”

“When we embarked upon the Hewson Hall campaign, there was no doubt in our minds that our base of alumni and friends of the College would see the positive impact that the building will have on our ability to teach students and foster college-wide collaboration,” said Dr. Kay M. Palan, dean of UA’s Culverhouse College of Business.

Palan added, “To see that we’ve easily met our fundraising goal by the fairly accelerated deadline is clear evidence that our network sees Hewson Hall as a component critical to the future growth of the College.”

Pending approval from The University of Alabama Board of Trustees, Hewson Hall, which is set to open in August 2021, will be constructed across the street from Mary Hewell Alston Hall on the western edge of UA’s campus. According to the press release, Hewson Hall will be “configured around a three-story atrium – a light-filled, dynamic space designed to connect faculty, staff, and students. Plans for the 108,000-square-foot building include 22 classrooms, 31 team collaboration rooms and several conference rooms and other gathering spaces.”

“Thank you to everyone who contributed to the Hewson Hall Building Campaign, including the campaign cabinet, for their generosity to and enthusiasm for The University of Alabama,” said C.T. Fitzpatrick, chair of the campaign cabinet. “As a result of their efforts, we were able to complete a successful campaign in record time, which will expedite the impact this facility will have on students and faculty.”

The press release also highlighted some of the generous gifts from the Holle Family Foundation, Alabama Power Foundation and Coca-Cola Foundation, as well as the successful completion of the Blackburn Institute Legacy Endowment Campaign:

— A $10 million gift commitment from the Holle Family Foundation, of Birmingham, will establish the Holle Center for Communication Arts, an interdisciplinary center in the College of Communication and Information Sciences. The generous gift, which represents the largest commitment to-date for C&IS, honors the life of Brig. Gen. Everett Hughes Holle and his dedication to his alma mater and the profound impact he made on the field of communication.

— A $1.4 million grant from the Alabama Power Foundation established the Alabama Power Endowed Innovation and Talent Retention Fund, which will develop and sustain resources dedicated to business innovation and entrepreneurship, creating a lasting positive economic impact on the state of Alabama and its citizens.

— The Coca-Cola Foundation is continuing its support for the Coca-Cola First Generation Scholars program at UA with a new four-year grant award of $1 million. The program was first established at UA in 2006 with an initial $1 million gift. Since then, the Coca-Cola Foundation has awarded $4 million to support first generation students at Alabama.

— The Blackburn Institute Legacy Endowment Campaign was established with the goal of raising $2.1 million to double the size of the Institute’s endowment in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Thanks to the work of the volunteer committee, the campaign exceeded its goal, raising more than $2.2 million, half of which will be dedicated to the creation of a Statewide Fellows Support Fund, ensuring the financial and human resources necessary for the next phase of growth.

“Our donors have once again responded to the call for philanthropic support of the Capstone in a tremendous way. With their support, the University is positioning itself for even greater success,” said Bob Pierce, vice president for advancement.

“Hewson Hall is the crowning achievement of our fundraising year, and we look forward to that facility becoming a reality,” Pierce continued. “In addition, we have now averaged more than $200 million in new gifts and pledges the last two years, and those commitments are making an impact across campus in the form of new and enhanced scholarships, new chairs and professorships supporting our world-class faculty and new facilities to improve the student experience.”

He added, “The University is excelling in so many ways under Dr. Bell’s leadership, and we are fortunate to have him at the Capstone.”

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

3 weeks ago

Over $1 million awarded in grants to combat illegal drugs in Alabama

(Governor Kay Ivey/Flickr)

Governor Kay Ivey announced Monday that more than $1.4 million in grants are being awarded to continue the fight against illegal drugs in Alabama by “arresting those who buy or sell illegal drugs or falsely obtain prescription drugs.”

According to a press release, the funds will be “distributed to the seven regional offices of the Alabama Drug Enforcement Task Force under the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency. ALEA receives separate funding to help administer the task force. The task force offices were formed in January 2018 and are made up of officers in local law enforcement agencies.”

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“We must combat the illegal and illegally obtained drugs that rob so many people of productive lives and that destroy families,” Ivey said. “I am pleased to support this task force, and I am grateful to the men and women who risk their lives to take drugs off our streets.”

Over the course of two years, the statewide drug task force made up of 93 law enforcement officers representing 46 state, county and municipal law enforcement agencies has been involved in 991 drug cases, which resulted in 606 arrests. Agents have seized 508 pounds of marijuana, 228 pounds of methamphetamine and 11 pounds of heroin and opioids along with other drugs and more than 200 firearms.

“The seven regional drug task force offices each received $204,100 in grant funding,” the press release stated. “Each regional office covers eight to 12 counties, although officers have powers in other jurisdictions.  Funds will be used to cover overtime and operational expenses and equipment purchases.”

The Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs is administering the grants from funds made available to the state from the United States Justice Department.

“ADECA values its partnerships with ALEA and the regional drug task forces who are making a difference in our communities,” said ADECA Director Kenneth Boswell.

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

4 weeks ago

University of Alabama attracts record external funding for research and other sponsored activities

(University of Alabama)

For the second year in a row, the University of Alabama has received record external funding for research and other sponsored activities.

A press release from the university stated, “[F]or the 2019 fiscal year, UA’s total sponsored awards reached nearly $132.5 million, an increase of more than 33% from the previous year.”

Total sponsored awards include all competitive external funding for research, service, instruction, fellowships and construction.

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“Our research and economic development initiative is designed to make a difference in the lives of our students, our citizens, our state and our country,” said University of Alabama President Stuart R. Bell. “Whether it’s getting innovative solutions into the marketplace quickly to fill a societal need, mentoring our student scholars in research labs or aiding a small business in writing its business plan, we’re searching for, and finding, impactful ways of serving others.”

Dr. Russell J. Mumper, UA vice president for research and economic development shared his enthusiasm over the research conducted by those at the university.

“We’re leveraging our emerging and established research and service strengths to benefit society,” said Mumper. “This is essential to our mission and a core pillar of UA’s strategic plan.”

Mumper added external grants and contracts supporting UA research also reached record levels with a nearly 21% increase from the previous year.

“Our faculty and staff have enthusiastically embraced our plan of moving even closer to the top of premier comprehensive research institutions in the United States over the next five years,” Mumper continued. “With their talent and hard work, we’ll see an increasing number of ways in which the University impacts research and economic development in our state, nation and world.”

“I’d like to thank our Congressional delegation for their dedication in helping us secure some of these resources,” he stated. “Their hard work will be a sound investment for the region.”

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

4 weeks ago

Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama set to host Walk to END EPILEPSY in Birmingham

(Wikicommons, YHN)

The Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama announced this week that it will hold the Walk to END EPILEPSY in Birmingham on November 2, 2019.

The Walk to END EPILEPSY, which will be held at Railroad Park from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., brings the community together “to affect change through care, advocacy, research, and education.”

The event is expected to raise $50,000 to help more than 54,000 people living in Alabama and draw a crowd of more than 300 people who are “anticipated to support the Epilepsy Foundation’s fundraising efforts and help raise awareness about epilepsy.”

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“We are excited to hold the Walk to END EPILEPSY in Birmingham to further engage and mobilize the community to be part of the fight to END EPILEPSY,” said Sara Franklin, executive director of the Epilepsy Foundation of Alabama.

“The Walk to END EPILEPSY is the only Walk to END EPILEPSY in Alabama and serves as our largest fundraiser of the year,” she added. “This annual event strengthens our current efforts and generates funding to help families affected by epilepsy and seizures in our local community.”

A press release noted, “Over a lifetime, one in 10 people will have a seizure, and one in 26 will be diagnosed with epilepsy. There are more people living with epilepsy than with Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and cerebral palsy, combined. Yet, epilepsy receives one-tenth the research funding than any one of those disorders.”

To sign up or for more information about the Walk to END EPILEPSY in Birmingham, visit WalktoEndEpilepsy.org/birmingham. Contact Sara Franklin at sfranklin@efa.org for information about sponsorship opportunities.

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

1 month ago

Gary Palmer introduces resolution condemning global persecution of Christians

(Congressman Palmer)

Republican Rep. Gary Palmer (AL-6) introduced on Friday Res. 640, a resolution condemning the global persecution of Christians.

According to a press release, the resolution “recognizes that Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world and condemns systemic persecution for faith-related reasons.”

The resolution also “calls on the U.S. State Department to prioritize religious freedom in its foreign policy considerations.”

“Christians endure persecution for their faith every day around the world,” Palmer said in a statement. “Just a few recent examples include the horrific bombings on Palm Sunday in Egypt and on Easter Sunday in Sri Lanka this year.”

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He added, “Religious freedom is fundamental to human dignity and freedom, so it’s important for us to advocate for the end of all religious persecution around the world, particularly the persecution of Christians.”

According to multiple studies, including that of the Pew Research Center, Christians are the most persecuted religious group in the world. Examples include attacks on Christians by the Boko Haram in Nigeria, genocide against Christians by ISIS in Northern Iraq and Syria, and government prohibitions on church attendance, religious imagery, and Bible distribution in China.

Palmer’s press release noted, “According to Open Doors USA’s 2019 World Watch List, the 50 most dangerous countries for Christians were responsible for the deaths of 4,136 Christians for faith-related reasons, for 1,266 church or Christian building attacks, and for 2,625 imprisonments, arrests, sentencings, and detentions without trial of Christians.”

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

1 month ago

Mo Brooks introduces resolution demanding impeachment work available to public

(Mo Brooks/Facebook, CBS This Morning/Youtube, YHN)

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) introduced a House resolution Wednesday requiring impeachment related hearings, witness interviews and communications, document production and examinations, proceedings and other work be done in an open setting for public view.

“House Democrats are conducting a hyper-partisan impeachment effort in the Capitol basement that even members of Congress are barred from attending,” Brooks said in a news release. “As such, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s so-called ‘Impeachment Inquiry’ is a sham process that both violates House rules and violates even the most fundamental rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”

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“An impeachment inquiry that is secretive, violates both the Constitution and past precedent, and excludes Congressmen and the American people is illegitimate at best and a political charade and sham at worst,” he continued. “For emphasis, and most egregiously, Democrats are excluding the American people from the entire process.”

“The American people deserve the right to witness this impeachment process and hear unfiltered witness testimony, but Democrats instead adamantly seek to deny the American people the ability to judge the merits of impeachment efforts based solely on firsthand information, not gossip and hearsay,” Brooks added. “The veil of secrecy must be lifted and the selective leaking of deceptive testimony without context must end.”

Brooks then included a statement on “informed citizenry,” questioning why the Democrats are “opposed” to it.

“I’ve introduced a simple House resolution that demands that all impeachment related hearings, witness interviews and communications, document production and examinations, proceedings, and other related work be done in an open setting in public view,” Brooks said.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand how Democrats can possibly be opposed to open government and a more informed citizenry that gets real evidence firsthand rather than the illegally leaked gossip so readily parroted and aired by a complicit and partisan Fake News Media.”

Original cosponsors for the resolution include the following:

Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Congressman Scott Perry (PA-10), Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11), Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36), Congressman Tom McClintock (CA-04), Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06), Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Congressman Alexander X. Mooney (WV-02), Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-08), Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-09), Congressman Ted S. Yoho (FL-03), Congressman Chip Roy (TX-21), Congressman Bill Posey (FL-08), Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01), Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10), Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Congressman Michael Cloud (TX-27) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01).

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

1 month ago

Scholarship to fund 50 high school, college students’ path to automotive manufacturing careers

Tuesday, the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and Alabama Community College System (ACCS) announced they have partnered to give a total of $180,000 in scholarships, as well as mentors, to 50 students seeking a technical education certificate or associate degree in the automotive manufacturing industry.

This is not the first time this has been done. Earlier this year, scholarships were given to students who are currently in school this semester. Students who are awarded scholarships after the November deadline will begin classes in the spring, summer or fall semesters of 2020.

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The press release noted, “Interested students with at least a 2.5 GPA can learn more information and apply directly through the website, https://dreamitdoitalabama.com/aama/. Applicants must use the scholarship toward an automotive-related program, including the following: Automotive Manufacturing Technology; Automotive Manufacturing; Automotive Service Technician; Computer Numerical Control; Engineering Technology; Industrial Electronics Technology; Industrial Maintenance Technology; Injection Molding; Logistics; Machine Shop/Tool Technology; Manufacturing Technology; Mechanical Design Technology; Mechatronics; or Welding Technology.”

AAMA president Ron Davis said the scholarship program provides students with “tremendous opportunities.”

“The access our scholarship recipients have to mentors in the industry, in addition to the training they’ll receive while studying at an Alabama community college, provides tremendous opportunities in the automotive manufacturing industry,” Davis said. “Our partnership with Alabama’s community colleges is industry and education working together the way they should to help individuals succeed.”

Jeff Lynn, ACCS’ vice-chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development, said the scholarships complement other work-based learning initiatives in place for community colleges to continually provide world-class training that meets Alabama’s industry needs.

“The best advice we receive for how to educate and train an excellent workforce for employers and entrepreneurs is directly from the source – Alabama industry,” Lynn outlined. “With industry input and continued investment in career and technical training, including scholarships and new programs, the Alabama Community College System is providing what both employees and employers need to succeed.”

Each scholarship recipient will receive $3,600. According to the press release, the award covers tuition, fees and/or books needed. A full submission for the scholarship requires the following: a completed application; a resume; a maximum 500-word essay on why the student wants to work in Alabama’s automotive industry; one signed reference letter; an unofficial college or high school transcript; and a headshot photo.

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

1 month ago

Ivey announces ID Plastics to open manufacturing operation in Auburn, creating 50 jobs

(YHN/Pixabay)

Governor Kay Ivey announced Monday that ID Plastics LP, a manufacturer of a variety of technical plastic products, is set to open its first operation in Auburn, investing $9.8 million.

“Our continued efforts and partnerships with local communities have led to another great manufacturer coming to Alabama,” Ivey said. “ID Plastics’ decision to select Alabama will create 50 jobs for families in East Alabama over the next three years.”

At first, the company will produce the ID PACK sleeve, a foldable, returnable transportation container system used in various industries.

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A press release noted, “Brothers Martin and Andreas Hartl formed the Alabama-based business operation with the plan to bring various products of their companies, DUROtherm Plastics, a thermoforming specialist, and the Infinex Group, an extrusion specialist, to a production center in the U.S. The two companies are headquartered in the Black Forest in Southwest Germany and have approximately 600 employees.”

“Transport containers have always had downsides of one kind or another,” Martin Hartl said. “We responded with an innovative collapsing container system that eliminates these problems. The ID PACK is a truly problem-free sleeve pack system.”

Andreas Hart also discussed his vision for the company as it relates to the parts and manufacturing required.

“German technology made in the U.S.A. with state-of-the-art, customer-oriented manufacturing — that’s the perfect combination, the way we see it,” Hart said. “This was the foundation for the ID PACK collapsible container system and the big advantages it offers in a wide range of logistics applications.”

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders expressed his support for the German operation in a statement.

“We are grateful to be the U.S. headquarters and manufacturing location for ID Plastics,” Anders said. “Through our partnership with Auburn University, Southern Union Community College and our existing industries, the City of Auburn has created an excellent environment for technology-based, value-added manufacturing operations like ID Plastics. We welcome Andreas and Martin to the Auburn family.”

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, released a statement on the project and reflected on the strong economic ties between Alabama and the German industry.

“German companies have directed around $10 billion in new capital investment to Alabama in the past two decades because these companies have learned they can find success in our state,” Canfield said. “We welcome ID Plastics and look forward to helping another German business enterprise prosper in Alabama.”

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

1 month ago

USDA deputy undersecretary delivers speech on climate change at Auburn University

United States Department of Agriculture Deputy Undersecretary Scott Hutchins recently traveled to Auburn University where he delivered a speech on climate change to faculty and students.

“There are a lot of reasons for climate change, and there are a lot of things we need to do to prepare for it,” said Hutchins, an Auburn alumnus and the Fall 2019 Auburn University College of Agriculture E.T. York lecturer.

“I think we can do some mitigation, but most importantly, on behalf of our species, we need to adapt to it,” he said. “We need to make sure that our agricultural systems—our capabilities and our productivity—are not unduly affected by it. There are a number of ways we can focus on that, including plant breeding, land conservation and irrigation.”

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Hutchins insisted that farmers are not to blame for climate change and that those claims should not be tolerated.

“Some groups are quick to do that, but farmers are adapting to it in terms of how their operations work, and there is a tremendous opportunity to make more progress,” he said.

“We’re beginning to understand the particular impacts of climate variability, and I’m absolutely convinced that the industry’s ability to breed with advanced techniques as well as traditional techniques will allow us to stay ahead of that curve and allow us to adapt in different areas.”

Hutchins also discussed sustainable agricultural intensification.

“There are no doubts by anyone that we have big challenges ahead in terms of feeding the world,” Hutchins said. “I personally don’t worry about these big goals—we definitely have the capacity and capability to feed the world. What I do worry about is if we will do it in a way that will diminish our expanding capacity. That’s the biggest challenge—can we feed the world in a way that’s truly sustainable? We need to be able to talk about these best practices and other things, but we have to do it in a context where farm businesses can understand how to make it into a sustainable approach.”

“Every farmer and every farming operation is going to have a different formula on how they protect their soil or grow their soil health,” he continued.

“Some will be able to do it by intercropping and others in different ways,” Hutchins added. “The unique thing about this industry is that every cow is an experimental unit, and every acre is an experimental unit, so growers and ranchers can do their own experimentation in terms of what is working for their farmers. They literally — pardon the pun — don’t have to bet the farm on any particular tactic — they can find the ones that work for them.”

Another theme discussed by Hutchins was food and nutrition translation.

“I find it exciting that we now have the opportunity to change the game,” he said. “We partner with the Food and Nutrition Service every five years to co-sponsor the update of the dietary guidelines. Unfortunately, that’s become somewhat of a political rather than a science process only. Nonetheless, what I see on the horizon is our ability to work with genomics and to understand disease end-points. The ability to have precision nutrition in a healthy way is not that far away.”

According to a press release, Hutchins also said value-added innovation is a fourth theme and one in which the USDA is obligated to help producers and consumers.

“We have a very active office of technology transfer,” Hutchins stated. “On average, it takes about nine years from the time research is published until the time that it is picked up by any kind of patent. That’s a long gestation time for information. Can we improve that and bring it to the ranch or farm?”

Hutchins then discussed global agricultural science policy leadership.

“It gets down to the United States taking a positive, proactive and leadership role in helping shape science policy around the world,” Hutchins said. “The policy and rules and regulations should be based on credible, repeatable and peer-reviewed science. While that seems very straight-forward to those of us in this field, it’s not always the case around the world, and it has a huge impact on innovation.”

There are groups — fundamentally based in Europe—that follow the “precautionary principle,” he said.

“It sounds good, but it’s a political principle and not a scientific principle,” Hutchins said. “It forces scientists to prove a negative, and you can’t prove a negative. That’s why we advocate for risk-based assessment.”

Hutchins also offered advice to students on what recommendations “define successful scientists.”

“You need to have a passion for learning—not just cursory learning but deep learning,” he said.

He added, “Never stop being curious and never stop seeking new knowledge. But if you don’t have the passion, nothing else will matter.”

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

1 month ago

John Merrill to host counterintelligence and security seminar

(Screenshot/APTV)

Secretary of State John Merrill announced Monday that he will observe National Cybersecurity Awareness Month by hosting a cybersecurity seminar.

The seminar, which is set to take place on October 18, will feature Mr. Bill Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center. According to an online press release, the program “will educate election officials from all 67 counties on ways to improve economic security and increase our nation’s security against any international actors looking to influence a U.S. election.”

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“The Office of the Secretary of State is committed to providing safe and secure elections,” Merrill said. “We will continue to work with various agencies to ensure we are providing the best practices as deemed by the election community.”

Merrill said he also “hopes to increase awareness about the importance of cybersecurity and to provide Alabamians with the resources needed to be safe and secure online.”

In addition to conducting election-related cybersecurity training, Merrill released the following suggestions this month to promote a more cyber aware environment statewide:

  • Enable multi-factor authentication to ensure that the only person who has access to your account is you. Update your banking, email, social media and any other service that requires logging in.
  • Before connecting to a public wireless network, be sure to confirm the name of the network and any other necessary information with the appropriate staff to confirm the network is safe and secure.
  • Customize your standard password for different sites to prevent cybercriminals from gaining access to your accounts. Be sure to use different, complex passwords to stay protected.
  • Limit the information you post on social media. Seemingly random details can be used to track someone online and in the physical world. Keep personal information private.
  • If you are unsure who an email is from (even if the name seems familiar), do not respond or click on any links or attachments. Cybercriminals often use phishing tactics to fool users.

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

1 month ago

Byrne campaign announces 67-county leadership team

(B. Bryne/Facebook)

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01) has announced the launch of his U.S. Senate campaign’s grassroots leadership team, which covers all 67 counties and includes “200 key community leaders,” according to a Monday press release.

“It is an honor to have so many people from every corner of the state joining us in the fight to bring our Alabama values to the U.S. Senate,” Byrne said in a statement. “We are going to win this primary and defeat Doug Jones thanks to this team of homegrown supporters.”

“Bradley was the first candidate to announce financial contributions from all 67 counties and is now the first candidate to announce a full 67 county leadership team. The people of Alabama are ready for a Christian, conservative fighter, and they know Bradley is the man for the job,” added Byrne’s campaign manager, Seth Morrow.

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Morrow further noted, “We are committed to an Alabama grassroots campaign that is built to last, and the Grassroots Leadership Team marks yet another milestone for our campaign.”

The announcement said members of the grassroots leadership team will “serve as coordinators in their community and help with an assortment of tasks ranging from hosting meet and greets to distributing yard signs.”

Members of the grassroots leadership team as follows:

Senator Greg Albritton – Escambia County
Francis Andrews – Limestone County
Harold Appling – Tuscaloosa County
Greg Atkinson – Talladega County
JoAnn Averett – Chilton County
Loretta Bach – Montgomery County
Richard Baker – Marshall County
Donna Baker – Walker County
Representative Mike Ball – Madison County
Peggy Bamberg – Montgomery County
Mayor Ed Beasley – Crenshaw County
Bradley Bedwell – Houston County
Ann Priester Bennett – Lee County
Curt Bigbee – Franklin County
John Blue – Madison County
Ron Bolton – Tuscaloosa County
Traci Bowden – Marshall County
Billy Bowden – Marshall County
Jen Boyles – Russell County
Will Boyles – Russell County
Mayor David Bradford – Colbert County
Duwayne Bridges – Chambers County
Trey Brinkley – Etowah County
Representative Chip Brown – Mobile County
Dicksie Bush – Calhoun County
Emily Butler – Colbert County
Senator Tom Butler – Madison County
Kirkland Byars – Tuscaloosa County
David Byers – Jefferson County
Tom Cain – Randolph County
Sharon Cain – Randolph County
Jim Cary – Marshall County
Bill Castlen – Houston County
Frances Castlen – Houston County
Kenny Childree – Bullock County
Sheriff Sam Cochran – Mobile County
Bo Colley – Chambers County
Representative Terri Collins – Morgan County
Bruce Cooke – Sumter County
Mayor Jenny Countryman – Monroe County
Dylan Cox – Mobile County
Bill Crain – Madison County
Daniel Craven – Baldwin County
Ashton Crihfield – Lauderdale County
Belinda Crouch – Washington County
Donna Cude – Jefferson County
Rex Davis – Limestone County
John Dawson – Etowah County
Bart Dawson – St. Clair County
Mayor Sheldon Day – Clarke County
Mary Martha Defoor – Montgomery County
Grant DeMuth – Marshall County
Celia Dixon – Elmore County
Charla Doucet – Chilton County
Emily Durden – Montgomery County
Mason Dyess – Tuscaloosa County
Representative Brett Easterbrook- Washington County
Steve Edwards – Colbert County
Tracey Edwards – Elmore County
Gary Edwards – Elmore County
Don Edwards – Lee County
Gayle Edwards – Lee County
Senator Chris Elliott – Baldwin County
Bo Evans – Autauga County
Punkin Evans – Autauga County
Kathy Evans – Autauga County
Bradfield Evans – Lowndes County
Representative David Faulkner – Jefferson County
Representative Joe Faust – Baldwin County
Troy Fillingim – Henry County
Don Fisher – Montgomery County
Karen Fisher – Montgomery County
Katie Foster – Colbert County
Judy Fraser – Shelby County
Joe Fuller – Jefferson County
Vickie Fuller – Jefferson County
Representative Victor Gaston – Mobile County
Greg Gagliano – Shelby County
Kim Gagliano – Shelby County
Darren Garner – Macon County
James Gilliland Sr. – Coosa County
Joe Glass – Calhoun County
Kim Glass – Calhoun County
Logan Glass – Etowah County
Marvin Gregory – Tuscaloosa County
Art Hahn – Tallapoosa County
Commissioner Robert Ham – Lee County
Mayor Johnny Hammock – Tallapoosa County
Charles Hardage – Chambers County
Don Harris – Montgomery County
Howard Harrison – Coffee County
Grady Hartzog – Barbour County
Wesley Helton – Shelby County
Davis Henry – Dallas County
Rod Herring – Lee County
Karen Herring – Lee County
Steve Hicks – Cherokee County
Steve Hicks – Lauderdale County
David Hogan – Jefferson County
Kevin Holland – Escambia County
Leslie Hollingsworth – Shelby County
Webb Holmes – Perry County
Mayor Steve Holt – Lauderdale County
Cheryl Holt – Shelby County
Gene Howard – Calhoun County
Virginia Howard – Dale County
Kent Howard – Jefferson County
Carlton Hunley – Lee County
Will Hurts – Lawrence County
Sheriff Heath Jackson – Escambia County
Senator Andrew Jones – Cherokee County
Lisa Jones – Marshall County
Meador Jones – Hale County
Laura Joseph – Shelby County
Mark Kaiser – Baldwin County
Michael Keller – Winston County
Cody Kruse – Montgomery County
Steve Langley – Marion County
Bubba Lee – Baldwin County
Nick Lee – St. Clair County
Shag LaPrade – Coffee County
Senator Steve Livingston – Jackson County
Chris Live – Houston County
Mark Long – DeKalb County
Barney Lovelace – Morgan County
Jack Lovelady – Jackson County
Nikki Lovelady – Lawrence County
Margarett Lovett – Colbert County
Sheriff Hoss Mack – Baldwin County
Grady Martin – Choctaw County
Kirk Mattei – Mobile County
Ray McCarty – Pickens County
Mary Sue McClurkin – Shelby County
Van McClurkin – Shelby County
Colin McGuire – Butler County
Suzanne McKee – Marengo County
Robert McKee – Marengo County
Representative Steve McMillan – Baldwin County
Tom McMillan – Escambia County
Stephen McNair – Mobile County
Austin Monk – Cullman County
Pam Segars-Morris – Jefferson County
Will Morris – St. Clair County
Mayor Charles Murphy – Baldwin County
Jim Murphy – Blount County
Jason Neff – Tuscaloosa County
Sue Neuwien – Coffee County
Brown Nolen – Lauderdale County
Baylie Norton – Cleburne County
Jeff Overstreet – Etowah County
Summer Overstreet – Etowah County
Mike Parsons – Madison County
Brooks Payne – Tuscaloosa County
Captain Hal Pierce – Mobile County
Renee Powers – Chilton County
Tom Powers – Chilton County
Barbara L. Priester – Lee County
Cathy Quin – Tuscaloosa County
Charlie Ramsey – Monroe County
Rhonda Reynolds – Chilton County
Representative Kerry Rich – Marshall County
Elaine Ridenour – Dale County
Pete Riehm – Mobile County
Glenda Reitzell – Madison County
Colonel John Rietzell – Madison County
John Roberts – Madison County
Salem Saloom – Conecuh County
Daniel Sawyer – Monroe County
Deb Sellers – Jefferson County
John Sellers – Jefferson County
Art Sessions – Mobile County
Senator David Sessions – Mobile County
Greg Shirley – Talladega County
Representative Harry Shriver – Baldwin County
Kara Silvers – Lee County
Representative Matt Simpson – Baldwin County
Sheriff Rick Singleton – Lauderdale County
Stephanie Smith – Jefferson County
Eddie Smith – Lee County
Mike Sparks – Clay County
Alyce Spruell – Tuscaloosa County
Zach Stanton – Tuscaloosa County
David Steele – Mobile County
Jack Steele – Wilcox County
Kermit Marcus Stephens III – Bibb County
Karen Stewart – Elmore County
Sally French Stewart – Jefferson County
Representative Shane Stringer – Mobile County
Sam Stroud – Pike County
Mayor Bernie Sullivan – Crenshaw County
Sam Taylor – Lamar County
Lt. Col. Jim Terrell – Madison County
Jeff Thagard – Dale County
Robin Thagard – Dale County
Charlie Thompson – Lauderdale County
Steven Thornton – Madison County
Don Waldon – Fayette County
James Walker – Lauderdale County
Tim Walker – Marshall County
Jessie Weeks – Geneva County
Mikel Weeks – Geneva County
Honorable Tracie West — Lee County
Hugh Wheeless – Houston County
Chairman Greg White – Covington County
Representative Andy Whitt – Madison County
Representative Margie Wilcox – Mobile County
Senator Jack Williams – Mobile County
John Willis – Franklin County
Mayor Bob Wills – Baldwin County
Joann Wilmore – Autauga County
Don Woods – Greene County
Honorable David Yarber – Colbert County

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

2 months ago

Ivey announces Enviva’s multi-million dollar investment in Alabama, creating 85 Sumter County jobs

(Governor's Office)

Gov. Kay Ivey joined Eniva executives and local leaders on Thursday to announce the company’s plan to invest $175 million to construct a wood pellet production plant in Sumter County, which will create an economic boost in West Alabama.

The facility, which will be located at the Port of Epes Industrial Park, is expected to create 85 new full-time jobs and 180 additional jobs in logging, transportation and local services in the region.

“We are very excited about the prospect of Enviva joining Alabama’s business community with a very important manufacturing project in Sumter County,” Ivey said in a statement. “Enviva is the world’s largest producer of wood pellets for energy, and Alabama is proud to support the company’s efforts to provide a renewable fuel solution for worldwide power generation.”

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She added, “This project will create quality jobs for West Alabama’s citizens, improved timber markets for local landowners, and enhanced economic activity for the entire region.”

According to a press release, “Enviva, whose industrial wood pellets are used for low-carbon, renewable power generation, expects construction to be ready to begin on the Sumter County facility in early 2020, subject to receiving the necessary permits. Enviva expects construction to take between 15 and 18 months.”

“We are privileged to have been invited by the people of Alabama to invest in a remarkable community like Epes,” said John Keppler, chairman and CEO of Enviva.

He added, “With its thriving forest resources, great local workforce and favorable transportation logistics, we look forward to the opportunity to grow sustainably in West Alabama for decades to come.”

Bethesda, Maryland-based Enviva expects the wood pellet production plant in Epes to become the next facility in its strategic asset cluster in the Gulf region, which envisions other pellet plants in the states of Mississippi and Alabama, and a future deep-water marine terminal at the Port of Pascagoula.

Enviva said the proposed production facility would principally utilize a mix of softwood and scrap from mills sourced from within a 75-mile radius. The sustainably sourced pellets produced at the plant would be transported by barge via the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway to the terminal at Pascagoula, then exported to Europe and Asia.

Others around the state are also eagerly anticipating the project to begin.

“Enviva’s announcement that it expects to build a new wood pellet plant at the Port of Epes represents a major win for West Alabama,” said U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell, whose district includes the area. “The jobs and economic development this project would create would serve to uplift not only individuals and families but the entire Sumter County community.”

“We’re committed to helping create jobs through economic development in Alabama’s rural areas, and the opportunity for Enviva to locate this wood pellet plant at Epes is a significant development for Sumter County,” said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce. “Enviva is expected to make a major investment in this facility, which would drive economic growth in the area through the creation of direct and indirect jobs.”

The press release noted:

Enviva owns and operates eight plants in the Southeast that produce over 3.5 million metric tons of wood pellets annually. The expected Sumter County facility would be constructed to initially produce 700,000 metric tons of pellets annually, though production could eventually be increased to 1.15 million tons per year.

Enviva does not own forestland but works with suppliers that meet its strict sustainability criteria. The company’s sourcing practices ensures it takes only wood from responsibly managed working forests and it does not take wood from forests that are being converted out of forest use. It has several procedures in place to ensure it does not source wood from high conservation value bottomland forests and has created a proprietary monitoring system that works with its supply chain partners to verify and document the origin of all of their wood.

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

2 months ago

State Sen. Tom Whatley elected chairman of Joint Legislative Committee on Self-Driving Vehicles

State Senator Tom Whatley (Tom Whatley/Facebook)

State Senator Tom Whatley (R-Auburn) was elected chairman of the Alabama legislature’s Joint Committee on Self-Driving Vehicles.

The committee, which is composed of five state senators and five state representatives, was created by the state legislature in 2019 in order to “study all aspects of self-driving vehicles … including specifically, the issues of public safety and state and local economic impact regarding such vehicles.”

“Self-driving vehicles are already a reality, in terms of the technology, and there are a host of questions we need to consider from a legal and safety perspective,” Whatley said a press release. “It’s an honor to be named chairman of the committee, and I look forward to working with the other committee members, as we talk with researchers and technologists from around the country, to assess the best path forward for Alabama.”

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Alabama Lt. Governor Will Ainsworth, who had the appointing authority for the five Senate members on the committee, praised the selection of Whatley as chairman.

“Congratulations to Senator Whatley on being chosen as chairman — I know he will work well with all of the committee members, as they study an issue that has the potential to transform the transportation industry,” Ainsworth said. “Autonomous vehicles are certainly coming, and we need to think creatively and strategically to ensure that Alabama can benefit from these exciting advances in technology while protecting the safety of our roads and highways.”

The members of the Joint Committee are as follows: Sen. Tom Whatley, Sen. Randy Price, Sen. Clay Scofield, Sen. Rodger Smitherman, Sen. Gerald Allen, Rep. Wes Kitchens, Rep. Barbara Drummond, Rep. Danny Garrett, Rep. Margie Wilcox and Rep. Craig Lipscomb.

An online press release noted:

Per Senate Joint Resolution 21, any bill regulating the use of self-driving or autonomous vehicles shall be referred to the Joint Committee for review and comment, prior to being placed on a standing committee’s agenda in either legislative house.

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

2 months ago

Kay Ivey urges Alabamians to obtain STAR ID before 2020 deadline

Governor Kay Ivey and Secretary of the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Hal Taylor shared their message with Alabama residents on the importance of obtaining a STAR ID, which is a more secure identification to fly domestically on commercial aircraft and to enter military bases and certain federal facilities.

STAR ID, which was first introduced in the fall of 2011 and stands for Secure, Trusted and Reliable Identification, is fully compliant with the federal REAL ID Act of 2005.

“One year from today, on Oct. 1, 2020, all air travelers will need a STAR ID for commercial domestic flights and to visit certain federal facilities. Those who hold a valid, unexpired U.S. passport may opt to use it for domestic air travel,” Governor Ivey said.

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“If there is a chance you will need one, I encourage you to obtain this more secure version of Alabama’s driver license or non-driver ID card within the next few months to ensure you are prepared by the federal deadline,” she added.

An online press release noted, “STAR ID is Alabama’s version of the REAL ID program, developed about nine years ago to comply with federal legislation. In response to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and the ongoing threat of terrorist activity, the legislation modified federal law pertaining to security, authentication and issuance procedure standards for driver licenses and non-driver IDs.”

So far, more than 450,000 STAR IDs have been issued to residents in the Yellowhammer state.

“License commissioner and probate offices across the state will still offer driver license and ID renewals and duplicates, but you must visit one of our agency’s Driver License offices to obtain your first STAR ID,” Taylor said.

Those looking to obtain their first STAR ID will be turned away if they do not present the following paperwork to Driver License examiners: a birth certificate (original or certified copy) or valid, unexpired U.S. passport, a Social Security card and two documents verifying the address of principal residence. ALEA’s website features a list of accepted documents, as well as further information on the STAR ID program.

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

2 months ago

Study names Huntsville one of the best places to live in America

Downtown Huntsville, Alabama

A new study from U.S. News found that Huntsville, Alabama, ranked number 11 on its list of best places to live in America.

The study, which analyzed the 125 most populous metro areas to find the best places to live, found Huntsville to be one of “the best places to live based on quality of life and the job market in each metro area, as well as the value of living there and people’s desire to live there.”

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With one representing the lowest quality and ten representing the highest quality, Huntsville received the following ranking in the study:

  • Desirability – 5.4%
  • Value – 8.8%
  • Job Market – 7.3%
  • Quality of Life – 6.6%
  • Net Migration – 7.0%

Overall, Huntsville received a 7.1% scorecard rating.

The study also found Huntsville’s unemployment rate to be 3.5% with a $779 median monthly rent payment. The average annual salary sits at an estimated $53,600 with a median home price of $167,300.

U.S. News noted, “Though the cost of living in Huntsville is higher than the state average, residents tend to pay less than those who live in other major metro areas around the country. This is due in large part to lower housing costs.”

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

2 months 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.