The Wire

  • WATCH: Blount County football fans join together in prayer before game

    After it was announced earlier this week that Blount County Schools would no longer allow student or volunteer-led prayer over the intercom before games, fans were worried that their prayer would be silenced.

    However, if Friday’s Locust Fork High School game was any indication, prayer in Blount County will continue.

    In a video posted on Twitter, the crowd of students and fans can be seen banding together to use the designated pregame moment of silence to fill the stands with the Lord’s Prayer.

  • Mike Rogers on Kavanaugh: ‘It is Doug Jones’ job to represent the majority will in Alabama when he casts his vote in Washington’

    Friday during an appearance on Birmingham’s Talk 99.5’s “Matt & Aunie Show,” Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks) weighed in on the current controversy surrounding U.S. Supreme Court associate justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation and how his colleagues in the U.S. Senate are handling the confirmation process to date.

    During the segment, Rogers responded to a question about his House colleague Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) calling on Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) to vote for Kavanaugh’s confirmation if Kavanaugh accuser Christine Blasey Ford did not step forward and announce her intentions to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

    The Calhoun County Republican agreed with Byrne and suggested Jones “represent the majority will” of Alabamians.

  • Ivey, Byrne showcase ‘old-fashioned’ courthouse rally as GOP poised to take Monroe County

    Excerpt:

    MONROEVILLE – During Alabama’s transition from Democrat to Republican that began in the 1990s and was capped off in 2010 with the GOP finally gaining control of all the branches of government in Montgomery, the local government in Monroe County was one place that was able to resist that trend.

    However, the politics of the state could finally be catching up with one of Alabama’s most historic counties.

    In a setting that had the feeling of being a throwback to the heyday of political rallies staged by the likes former Gov. “Big” Jim Folsom and former Congressman Frank Boykin, the Monroe County Republican Party hosted a rally featuring Gov. Kay Ivey and Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) on the lawn of the old Monroe County Courthouse that is thought to be the inspiration for the courthouse in fictitious Maycomb, Alabama, the scene of Harper Lee’s “To Kill A Mockingbird.”

    The goal of the event was to energize GOP voters headed into the midterm elections and flip major local offices in Monroe County, including district judge, sheriff and probate judge, currently held by Democrats to Republican.

2 days ago

Make-A-Wish surprises Pell City teen battling Leukemia

(Mileena "Strong" Painter's Journey/Facebook)

Magic was in the air as Mileena Painter attended her school’s football game Tuesday night in Pell City.

Per a report by WBRC, Mileena, who has been fighting Leukemia since August 2017, was left in awe after a balloon release revealed Make-A-Wish had granted her wish of a trip to Disney World and Universal Studios.

Overwhelmed with emotion as the announcement echoed throughout the stadium, Mileena burst into tears alongside many of her teammates.

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“Thank you so much,” Mileena Painter said, via WBRC. “I know I’m gonna survive but this has given me so much hope.”

Mileena will be making the special trip with her family and many of her best friends.

Rachel, Mileena’s mother, shared her excitement after her daughter had found out about the trip.

“I’m just thankful we were able to do it here. where all of her friends are, with her squad mates and the other cheerleaders, who she loves and in front of all of her friends and family,” Rachel told WBRC. “This is … this is family.”

Mileena is scheduled to complete her treatments next December.

Watch WBRC’s report here.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 days ago

Rep. Aderholt announces $1.1 million funding set to combat opioid crisis

(Headshot / Aderholt.house.gov)

On Friday, Congressman Robert Aderholt announced that more than $1.1 million would be given to community health centers in Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District in order to combat the deadly opioid crisis.

“The United States is currently addressing a crisis which shows no discrimination. People of all races, ethnicities, geographic regions and socio-economic classes are impacted by this national crisis and, unfortunately, Alabama has not been spared,” said Congressman Aderholt.

He added, “Congress and federal agencies must work with state and local governments, as well as community organizations to support individuals and communities that have felt left behind. These HHS grants will empower community health centers and rural organizations to expand both opioid addiction treatment and prevention programs.”

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Cities that will benefit from the large sum of money are Gadsden, Parrish, Scottsboro and Tuscaloosa.

Four community health centers will receive a total of $975,250 through the Expanding Access to Quality Substance Use Disorder and Mental Health Services awards:

  • Quality of Life Services, Inc. Gadsden- $293,000
  • Capstone Rural Health Center, Parrish- $287,250
  • Northeast Alabama Health Services, Inc., Scottsboro- $110,000
  • Whatley Health Services, Inc., Tuscaloosa- $285,000

One community health center will receive an additional award through the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Planning program:

  • Capstone Rural Health Center, Parrish- $200,000

A total of $1,175,250 will be awarded to community health centers in Alabama’s Fourth Congressional District.

“In July, I stood with my colleagues in Congress to pass a bipartisan bill, the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act, which improves and expands access to treatment and recovery services, improves data to identify and help at-risk patients and families, and cracks down on foreign shipments of illicit drugs.  A final version of this legislation is being negotiated with the Senate and I am hopeful that we can get it signed into law by the President before the end of this year.  I stand ready to further work in Congress providing relief to all of our friends and families affected,” Congressman Aderholt stated.

Thursday, Sen. Richard Shelby announced $4 million in critical opioid treatment funds for 15 Alabama community health centers.
@RealKyleMorris
 is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

4 days ago

Alabama sees uptick in students entering career technical courses, leading to well-paying jobs

(Limestone County Career Technical Center/Facebook)

While many are enrolling in four-year institutions across the country, Alabama is seeing a rise in the number of students enrolling in career technical careers that could lead to well-paying jobs.

According to the State Department of Education, more than 27,000 students in Alabama earned career technical education credentials within the last school year.

Many school districts, such as Limestone County, are offering a wide variety of Career Technical Education courses than others, says a Rocket City Now report.

Limestone County Career Technical Center is offering a new advanced manufacturing class that will provide the opportunity for students to receive certification as a production technician, which employers are desperately seeking.

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“We have everything from cosmetology, to graphic arts, culinary, robotics, pre-engineering, cyber security, IT networking, building construction, skilled trades, HVAC, electrical,” said Vince Green, Limestone County Career Technical Center director.

Green explained that the advanced manufacturing class is newly added.

“We actually built this program this summer, and as far as I know, it’s the only dual enrollment advanced manufacturing being offered in our area,” said Green.

According to Green, the hands-on experience in the advanced manufacturing program will prepare them for a position with the Toyota-Mazda plant, which hires more than “800 production workers a year.”

“This dual enrollment classes that we’re offering, they’re college classes. So maybe we can change the mindset of some kids that come to us that think college is not an option for them. Once they’re successful with us doing dual enrollment, they could possibly change their mind and go ahead and get those Associate Degrees,” said Green.

Green also mentioned that some Toyota-Mazda leaders toured the Limestone County Career Technical Center and were impressed with the hard work from the students.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

5 days ago

Speaker Mac McCutcheon: Ivey ‘doesn’t really need to debate’ Maddox

(Mac McCutcheon/Facebook)

As the gubernatorial election for the state of Alabama draws near, Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) weighed in on Republican Gov. Kay Ivey’s decision to not debate her Democratic challenger Walt Maddox, despite the Tuscaloosa mayor’s pleas.

McCutcheon said Ivey, who chose to not debate any of her three Republican challengers before the primary, “doesn’t really need to debate” her Democratic challenger for the November 6 election.

“When it comes to debates, in a campaign, every campaign is different,” McCutcheon told WHNT. “The candidates of those campaigns, they need to look at the polling, they need to look at the issues, they need to look at the opportunity they have.”

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“I think from the polling numbers that we’re running in all of our legislative districts Gov. Ivey is polling very high, she’s got a lot of support,” he added. “Governor Ivey is in a position right now where doesn’t really need to debate Mayor Maddox.”

Speaker McCutcheon said debates often do not provide detailed responses. He insisted that voters can find answers to their questions without a debate.

“If they’re listening to social media, if they’re looking at her job performance, if they’re looking at the issues and really digging deep into the issues, I think the answers are there for the public,” said McCutcheon.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

6 days ago

Byrne introduces legislation to enhance school safety

(Screenshot / YouTube)

Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced on Monday his bill to provide school officials with better information regarding students concerning school safety.

The Make Schools Safer Act ensures that the Director of the Institute of Education Sciences includes studies and resources surrounding school safety and mental health in the What Works Clearinghouse, which educators, counselors and principals have access to.

“School safety should be a priority for every level of government. While I do not want the federal government to mandate how schools protect their students, I believe it is appropriate for the federal government to provide high-quality research and information to schools about the best practices for keeping students safe, coordinating with law enforcement, and identifying at-risk students. My bill offers a simple yet profound step toward making our schools safer,” Byrne, who serves as a member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, said in news release.

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The new studies and resources will “focus on educating appropriate school personnel on techniques for identifying students who may need assistance, collaborate with health care professionals, state and local law enforcement, youth organizations, and parents to implement procedures to assist students.”

Byrne suggests that by making multiple resources available, schools can choose which works best for them, rather than having the same solution for multiple schools from the federal government.

Read more about the Make Schools Safer Act here.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

1 week ago

Alabama Superintendent Mackey calls for additional funding for school safety, other programs

(SSA)

Thursday, Eric Mackey, Alabama state superintendent of schools, announced that the department would be requesting extra funding for school safety, math and reading programs and transportation once the legislature returns in March of 2019.

Mackey said the department would be seeking a $30 million in nurse funding and a pre-K special education funding increase of $16.8 million.

“That does not pay for one more nurse than is out there,” Mackey said. “They’re paying for that now. If we can fund that, that frees up other local money.”

Among the different proposals is a $5 million increase to provide extra support for dyslexic students and focuses greatly on the Alabama Reading Initiative.

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Mackey also mentioned that this funding could assist local schools in funding of other programs.

“All across the state, local communities, superintendents, and school boards want to expand their programs,” said Mackey. “Some want to expand their AP programs. Some want to expand their middle school computer science classes. Those priorities change from community to community.”

An $11 million increase in transportation and an increase in funding for English language learners from $140 per student to $400 is suggested in the proposal.

“Those students may not have been in school,” Mackey said. “They are not proficient in Spanish. It’s very difficult to teach them the basic tenets of language. You’re not just teaching them another language, but teaching them to read for the first time.”

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

1 week ago

Middle school receives washer and dryer donation from Birmingham church

(Pixabay)

A Birmingham Church is ensuring that children who attend Jones Valley Middle School always have clean clothes by donating a washing machine and dryer.

South Park Baptist Church gifted the new washer and dryer, along with detergent, to the school on Wednesday.

“It makes us feel great. The Lord said ‘look out for one another’ and that is what we choose to do. Look out for one another. This school and another school later on. Thank you, Jesus,” said Anita Sellers, wife of the pastor at South Park Baptist, via WBRC.

Both members of the church, school and community are overjoyed as it is important for children to not be judged by their clothes.

“Children often make fun of them. They have low self-esteem and one of our goals is to make children feel important because they are. They have a purpose and a plan,” Regina Ward told the news station.

Milton Hopkins, principal at Jones Valley Middle School, was appreciative of the donation and mentioned that he had been seeking partners to assist with school needs for three years.

“It can make a big difference. Self-esteem is really important in the middle school level. Especially it’s important to our children feel good about who they are,” said Hopkins.

The washer and dryer will also reportedly be used by the school’s football and basketball teams.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

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1 week ago

Birmingham Business Alliance’s Jeff Traywick honored as a top 50 economic developer in North America

(Contributed)

On Wednesday, it was announced that Jeff Traywick, the Birmingham Business Alliance’s vice president of Economic Development, was named as one of the top 50 economic developers in North America.

“Jeff is a tremendous asset to the Birmingham seven-county region,” said BBA President and CEO Brian Hilson. “As evidenced by the numerous economic development successes led by Jeff recently, Birmingham is experiencing an influx of jobs and capital investment thanks in large part to the commitment Jeff shows to his work. This honor is extremely well-deserved, and we are proud to have him on our team and representing Birmingham.”

Consultant Connect, from which the honor stems, is a consulting agency working to connect economic developers and site consultants. Traywick was nominated for his excellent work in building the Birmingham metropolitan area.

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Some of Traywick’s recent economic development projects he managed for the BBA include Amazon’s $325 million fulfillment center in Bessemer and Autocar’s $120 million Birmingham manufacturing plant.

“This annual list recognizing North America’s Top 50 Economic Developers is designed to acknowledge the hard work of the top leaders in this field and elevate the conversation around economic development and job creation,” said Ron Kitchens, a managing partner of Consultant Connect. “Each of the leaders represented on this year’s list are beyond deserving of this recognition for their efforts in building our communities.”

Traywick will receive the award at Consultant Connect’s ECONOMIX conference in Nashville in December.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 weeks ago

Sen. Shelby announces $3.5 million award for Montgomery Fire and Rescue Department

(Montgomery Fire & Rescue)

On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) announced a $3,553,843 award for the City of Montgomery Fire/Rescue Department after it was reported the city’s fire and rescue had spent more than $2 million over its budget to cover a personnel shortage.

The award stems from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response grant program.

“This grant will serve a critical role in stabilizing the operational and administrative services of MFR,” said Senator Shelby.  “The funding will ensure the city has the proper resources and staff to adequately respond to emergency medical, fire, and rescue incidents throughout the area.  I am proud that FEMA has awarded this SAFER grant to facilitate increased safety and security in the City of Montgomery.”

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The more than $3 million SAFER grant will give funding to hire additional firefighters and first responders over a three year period to ensure proper staffing standards.

“We could not be more grateful to Sen. Richard Shelby for his role in helping Montgomery secure this SAFER grant to increase the number of firefighters who serve and protect our capital city,” said Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange.  “The additional 33 firefighters provided by this grant will help us meet the increasing demand for suppression and emergency medical services.  Sen. Shelby’s support for this grant award speaks to his abiding commitment to the public’s safety and his unflagging work on behalf of our city and state.”

SAFER grants are important in making sure emergency needs are met and communities are up to par with their counterparts across the country. SAFER grants are awarded to fire departments, national, state, local, tribal, or territorial organizations that serve the interests of firefighters.

Last week, U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers announced a $150,000 grant to Calhoun County fire departments.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 weeks ago

Alabama lawmakers unite to endorse Port of Mobile project

(Made in Alabama)

In a bipartisan and bicameral effort, the Alabama congressional delegation endorsed the modernization of the Mobile Harbor Federal Navigation Channel, one of the largest development projects in the Yellowhammer state.

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) led the delegation and offered his support for the project.

“The deepening and widening of the Port of Mobile will provide economic development opportunities throughout the entire state of Alabama,” said Senator Shelby in a statement.  “This project will create an avenue for exponential growth by facilitating and expanding commerce in the state.  I look forward to continuing our work with the Corps as we strive to improve the safety and efficiency of the Port in an increasingly global marketplace.”

Newly elected Senator Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) also joined in expressing his concern for the modernization of the Port of Mobile.

“Alabama is a trade state and the modernization of the Port of Mobile is key to our economic future,” Senator Jones said in a news release. “I’m proud to join Senator Shelby and my colleagues in fighting for Alabama farmers and businesses and supporting their efforts to secure new opportunities brought by a wider, deeper port. This is an important step forward in our efforts to maximize the competitive advantage of Alabama’s farmers, shippers, and manufacturers.”

In addition to Senator Shelby and Senator Jones, U.S. Representatives Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville), Mike Rogers (R-Saks), Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), Martha Roby (R-Montgomery), Terri Sewell (D-Birmingham), Bradley Byrne (R-Mobile) and Gary Palmer (R-Hoover) also signed the letter.

“The Port of Mobile is critical to Southwest Alabama, but it plays just as important a role throughout the rest of our state.  The deepening and widening project will greatly expand the capabilities at the Port and the overall economic potential – meaning a win for all of us.  I appreciate the work Senator Shelby and our Alabama delegation has put in to move the project forward, and I will continue working with stakeholders at all levels to ensure the project remains on track,” said Representative Byrne.

The Alabama lawmakers shared their comments with the Mobile District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in support of the Tentatively Selected Plan identified in the Draft Mobile Harbor, Mobile, Alabama Integrated General Reevaluation Report with Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

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2 weeks ago

Rep. Rogers Announces Calhoun County fire departments will receive $150,000 grant

(M. Rogers/Facebook)

Friday, Congressman Mike Rogers announced that fire departments across Calhoun County would be receiving more than $150,000 in grants from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Rogers says the grant, which will be split and distributed to Piedmont Fire Department, Weaver Fire Department and Alexandria Fire Department, will be used to purchase new operations and safety equipment.

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“Calhoun County’s first responders are our first line of defense,” Rogers said in a statement. “I congratulate the men and women of these fire departments for receiving these grants and hope it will ultimately help increase the safety for all local citizens.”

Rogers, who serves on the Committee on Homeland Security in Congress, said the grant should be awarded under the 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Estimated amounts granted to each fire department are as follows:

  • Piedmont Fire Department – $56,477
  • Weaver Fire Department – $69,048
  • Alexandria Volunteer Fire Department – $24,762

The Homeland Security Department says this program is set in place to provide funding directly to fire departments, nonaffiliated EMS organizations and state fire training academies that are unaffiliated with a hospital.

“I am pleased to see the federal government is continuing to make these types of investments in the Third District,” Rogers added.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 weeks ago

Rep. Byrne ‘actively looking’ at U.S. Senate run against Doug Jones

(B. Byrne, D. Jones/FB)

During an interview with WPMI on Wednesday, Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-1) expressed and expounded on the possibility of him running against Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) in 2020.

“I’ve made no secret about it. I’m actively looking at running for the Senate in 2020,” Byrne said.

Byrne, who said he wants to focus on national issues that are impacting Alabama, made it clear that he had been weighing his options and traveling around the state to talk with people outside of his district.

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“I know Senator Jones. I’ve known him for a long time. I have nothing personal bad to say about him, I like him personally and admire his work as a prosecutor. I don’t think that his political philosophy lines up with the political philosophy of the average person in Alabama,” he told WPMI.

Byrne mentioned that Alabama would need a Republican to run as an alternative for those who had differing ideology from Jones.

“I love what I am doing. I’m not unhappy being in the house. It’d be a good thing for me to stay in the house as long as the people from my district want me to stay there,” said the Congressman.

“We in Alabama have become accustomed to having very strong U.S. Senators,” added Byrne. “I just don’t think, and I don’t mean this in any way personal, that Sen. Jones fits into that mold.

Byrne said in the interview that he needs a partner who is willing to get things done for his district and the state.

“If there’s not anybody else to do it, who I think can get the job done, then yes I’m happy to do it. I would do it with a smile on my face, but I understand that this is a decision that’s ultimately up to the people of the state of Alabama,” he stated.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

3 weeks ago

Former Homeland Security official appointed to lead Auburn’s Cybersecurity Institute

(CBS News/YouTube)

In an effort to maintain its leadership in cybersecurity, Auburn University announced it has chosen well-known cyber expert Frank Cilluffo to direct Auburn’s Charles D. McCrary Institute.

Before his appointment, Cilluffo previously served as an associate vice president at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C., where he focused on national security, cybersecurity policy and research initiatives.

While at The George Washington University, Cilluffo also directed the Center for Cyber and Homeland Security and assisted in launching the World Executive MBA in Cybersecurity program at the university.

President George W. Bush appointed Cilliuffo to the Office of Homeland Security following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. While serving in the office, he became involved in homeland security and counterterrorism strategies, policy initiatives and served as an advisor to Director Tom Ridge.

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“Frank is one of the world’s pre-eminent experts on cybersecurity and homeland security, and we are excited to have someone of his caliber leading such an important endeavor,” said Christopher B. Roberts, dean of engineering, in a news release. “The McCrary Institute has allowed Auburn University to build on the track record of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s Cyber Research Center and emerge as a national leader in cybersecurity research.

“Having Frank spearhead this effort only bolsters our commitment in this vital area,” he added. “His leadership record is second to none, and his innovation and professionalism in the cybersecurity community is broadly recognized.”

Prior to being appointed by President George W. Bush, Cilluffo spent eight years in senior positions with the Center for Strategic and International Studies. While serving in senior roles, he chaired or directed numerous committees and task forces on homeland defense, counterterrorism and transnational organized crime.

Cilluffo, whose appointment is effective Sept. 17, has previously testified before Congress on several different occasions revolving around counterterrorism, cyber threats, security and deterrence and weapons proliferation.

“I am excited to join a first-class university and high-caliber team committed to tackling some of the greatest national and economic security challenges facing our country today,” Cilluffo said. “As the cyber threat landscape continues to evolve, so too must our response. The time has come to move beyond ‘admiring the problem,’ toward implementing solutions.

“Auburn is poised to achieve wide-ranging impact by marshaling and mobilizing the wealth of policy, research and technology expertise that resides within the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering and the university as a whole. By working to leverage this knowledge, the McCrary Institute will foster and formulate solutions; educate and empower the workforce of today and tomorrow; and help turn concepts into capabilities to meet the needs of both industry and government,” he added.

Auburn University describes the McCrary Institute as being “focused on practical, interdisciplinary research and innovation in infrastructure and cybersecurity.”

@RealKyleMorris
 is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

3 weeks ago

Alabama State Senator Phil Williams on In-N-Out to Alabama: ‘I’m serious’ — ‘We would love to have you’

(Fox and Friends/Twitter)

As In-N-Out continues to face backlash from Democrats after giving money to the Republican Party, Alabama State Senator Phil Williams doubled down on his invitation to the burger chain to the Yellowhammer State during a Tuesday morning appearance on “Fox & Friends,” saying he is “serious.”

Sen. Williams touted Alabama’s current economic success and unemployment numbers, saying, “Alabama is sitting right now poised as one of the best business climates in the entire nation. And we are sitting at record low unemployment, 3.7 percent earlier this year.”

Watch:

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“[Alabama is] one of the greatest states in the nation to move to, so I am serious when I say ‘Hey, In-N-Out Burger, we would love to have you in Alabama,’” he later stated.

In-N-Out drew immense criticism from Democrats after it was revealed the burger chain had donated $25,000 to the California Republican Party.

After hearing the news, California Democratic Party Chair Eric Bauman sent out a tweet calling for a boycott against the restaurants.

Bauman has since walked back on his statement, saying, “There is no boycott. I out one tweet out at 10:30 at night and it turned into a whole thing. We’ve raised so much money in small donations as a result of that one tweet.”

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

3 weeks ago

President of the Universal Society of Hinduism calls for Alabama to end ‘highly insensitive’ yoga ban

(Wikicommons)

In response to yoga being banned from school activities in Alabama because it was deemed “inappropriate,” the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism is calling on the state to end its almost 25-year ban on yoga in public schools.

Rajan Zed, Hindu statesman and Indian American from Nevada, insists that the ban on yoga is “doing a disservice” to the students of Alabama.

“Yoga, although introduced and nourished by Hinduism, was a world heritage and liberation powerhouse to be utilized by all,” said Zed.

Zed also noted that it was “highly insensitive” to list yoga at the top of the list for inappropriate activities.

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In 2006, then-State Superintendent Joe Morton warned that teaching yoga could be a violation of Alabama Code.

The 2006 letter said that yoga should “not to be offered during regular school hours or after school hours to public school students on a public school campus in Alabama.”

The 1993 ban prohibits instructors from using “any techniques that involve the induction of hypnotic states, guided imagery, meditation or yoga.”Current State School Superintendent Eric Mackey has said that the document is outdated and that it would not be enforced as long as he held office.

This is not the first time Rajan Zed has spoken out against Alabama’s prohibition against yoga in public schools. In 2016, Zed and other Hindus praised Cullman City Schools after they introduced yoga to their students.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

4 weeks ago

Yellowhammer exclusive: Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens sound off on Shaun King, Doug Jones and ANTIFA

(YHN)

Friday, Yellowhammer News’ Kyle Morris had the opportunity to interview two of conservative media’s most recent sensations, Charlie Kirk and Candace Owens.

Kirk and Owens, who were the keynote speakers at the 2018 ALGOP Summer Dinner, both appear frequently on Fox News and are the stars of Turning Point USA.

The two discussed an array of topics throughout the interview, including Shaun King’s upcoming speech at the University of North Alabama, social media censorship, Doug Jones’ refusal to support Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and their experience of getting attacked by ANTIFA while eating breakfast in Philadelphia.

Watch: 

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Asked about her thoughts on Shaun King speaking at UNA in September Owens chuckled and responded, “Is he coming as a black man or a white man?”

After being informed that he was coming as a black man, Owens said, “Oh, right, the black man that won’t grow his hair out because he is white.”

“I can’t think of anything more insulting to the black community than to have people that are pretending to be black and at the forefront of what they consider black movements offering critiques of actual black conservatives.”

She went on to say that King was “the furthest thing from a black person” and that “he should not be at the forefront of any black conversation until he has an honest conversation with himself about the fact that he is a white man.”

Kirk and Owens briefly discussed social media censorship and Owens’ recent Twitter suspension that resulted in a revolt from her supporters and “blew up the internet.”

The two were recently involved in an attack perpetrated by ANTIFA.

Owens says, “I didn’t think that we would get hurt. My number one concern was that I would get arrested.”

Both Owens and Kirk insisted that Democrats in red states should be more than willing to side with Republicans on most issues and “pretend to be moderate.”

Kirk said, “What does Doug Jones think? Kavanaugh is going to get confirmed.”

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller 

1 month ago

Truck drivers, nurses most needed occupations in Alabama

(YHN/Pixabay)

Data from the Alabama Department of Labor reveals that truck drivers and registered nurses are two of the most coveted employees.

The data, stemming from the Alabama Department of Labor’s Labor Market Information Division, shows that advertisements calling for truck drivers and registered nurses dominate all other job postings.

Along with truck drivers and registered nurses, retail salespersons are also highly sought-after. For the month of July, heavy and tractor-trailer truck driver ads totaled 3,868, ads searching for registered nurses totaled 2,089 and ads for retail salespersons totaled 1,398, combining for a total of 7,355 advertisements.

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(Alabama Department of Labor)

The data also shows 1,014 ads for truck drivers are more than 90 days old, compared to 471 for registered nurses and 429 ads for retail salespersons.

Other top online job postings were searching for customer service representatives, industrial engineers and maintenance repair workers.

(Alabama Department of Labor)

The data also revealed that Averitt (927), UAB Medicine (649), Community Health Systems, Inc. (393), Compass Group (366), and the University of Alabama (354) were the top five employers with the most online job advertisements posted online in July.

Job postings and careers throughout Alabama can be found here.

1 month ago

Report: Alabama among the states where $100 is worth the most

(YHN)

A Tax Foundation study analyzed data and adjusted the value of $100 to find out the states where $100 is worth the least amount, and Alabama is at the top of the list, trailing just behind its neighbor for the top spot.

The report found Alabama to be ranked second in the country where you can get the most bang for your buck, where $100 is worth $115.47.

Mississippi, which slightly outranked the Yellowhammer state by $0.27, took first place after the report found that the value of $100 in that state can get you $115.74 worth of goods.

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The other three states ranking in the top five where $100 goes the furthest are Arkansas ($115.07), West Virginia ($114.16) and Kentucky ($113.90).

The place in the United States where $100 goes the least is Hawaii ($84.46), followed by the District of Columbia ($86.28), New York ($86.51), California ($87.41) and New Jersey ($88.34).

Comparing the Tax Foundation’s 2016 report analyzing the value of $100 in each state, Alabama has seen a $1.57 increase in two years, while Mississippi has only seen a $0.40 increase.

The report also mentioned how regional price differences can impact Americans.

The author writes, “Regional price differences are strikingly large; real purchasing power is 34 percent greater in Mississippi than it is in New York. In other words, by this measure, if you have $50,000 in after-tax income in Mississippi, you would need after-tax earnings of $67,000 in New York just to afford the same overall standard of living.”

To read the entire report, click here.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller 

1 month ago

UAB increases counseling staff due to rise in students seeking mental health help

(UAB)

After seeing a rise in the number of students seeking mental health support, the University of Alabama at Birmingham is increasing their number of counselors, says a report by ABC 33/40.

UAB joins the ranks of several other nationwide colleges who are currently seeing the same trend.

The school has doubled the number of employed counselors over the last five years and is now set to add an additional counselor to the mix.

According to the report, the UAB counseling center has seen a 114 percent increase for students seeking counseling services over the last half-decade. That rate is somewhat startling, considering UAB’s eight percent increase in enrollment over the same time period.

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The report suggests that many of the students are placing a great deal of time in mental health support because seeking assistance is becoming “more normal and has less stigma.”

UAB Grad Student Celina Atkins, who now serves on UAB’s Student Advisory Board for Counseling Service, is highlighted in the report and said, “I was in crisis last spring semester.”

Atkins was hesitant to attend counseling, but after speaking with friends who had experienced counseling before, she decided to go.

The counseling experience resulted in a “tremendous turnaround” for Atkins, she told ABC 33/40.

Asmi Chakraborty, who also serves on the Student Advisory Board for Counseling Service at UAB, said, “People are becoming more normalized to the idea that I can actually go to counseling and seek help and that’s actually a good thing to do early on.”

In the report, Director of UAB Student Counseling Services Dr. Angela Stowe explained the need for such counseling services.

“56 percent of students report experiencing overwhelming anxiety,” said Stowe.

Stowe also mentioned that student depression has increased dramatically within the last twelve months and that many students were feeling hopeless.

Stowe also mentioned that students were thinking and attempting suicide.

“Suicide is the second leading cause of death for college students so it’s a very serious issue,” Stowe explained in the report.

Stowe attributes the rising cost of college and increased prevalence of homelessness, food and security to the skyrocketing need for counseling across the nation.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller 

1 month ago

Rep. Byrne: Illegal immigrants will not be housed in Baldwin County

(Rep. Bradley Byrne/Twitter)

Tuesday, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) announced that illegal immigrants would not be housed at Navy airfields in Baldwin County.

Congressman Byrne opposed the housing of 10,000 illegal immigrants at Naval Outlying Field Silverhill and Naval Outlying Field Wolf in south Baldwin County.

Byrne, along with other members of the Alabama and Florida Congressional delegation, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security Nielson expressing their concerns with the proposal.

Byrne released both a statement and a tweet on Tuesday regarding the decision of the proposal.

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“Housing illegal immigrants at ill-equipped airfields along the Gulf Coast was always a terrible idea, so I appreciate the confirmation that this plan is no longer being considered. We had a team effort to push back this flawed idea, and I especially want to thank Baldwin County Commissioners Chris Elliott and Tucker Dorsey and Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack for their advocacy on this issue,” said Byrne in a news release.

He added, “While I am glad this issue is resolved, we must continue working to secure the border and eliminate the need for additional housing for illegal immigrants altogether. I remain 100% committed to working with President Trump to build a border wall, hire additional border patrol officers, and ensure our border security is as strong as possible.”

Click here to read the full letter ICE Deputy Director Ronald Vitiello sent to Rep. Byrne regarding the decision.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

1 month ago

Paddlefish fishing indefinitely suspended on Alabama River

(ADCNR)

Last week, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) indefinitely suspended future commercial paddlefish fishing seasons on the Alabama River.

In the state’s press release it was noted that Paddlefish “mature slowly and have low reproductive rates making them highly susceptible to overfishing.”

The notification to residents of Alabama mentioned the ban that was instituted in the late 80’s to ensure that population growth remained stable for paddlefish:

“In 1988, ADCNR implemented a statewide prohibition on the commercial and recreational harvest of paddlefish in response to the rapid depletion of the species in Alabama waters that occurred during the early to mid-1980s. The biology and life history of paddlefish combined with a relatively low population size and the high value of its eggs for use as caviar makes it particularly vulnerable to overharvest and localized extinction.”

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After finding that the paddlefish population in the Alabama River had become sustainable enough to support a regulated commercial fishery, the ADCNR implemented a limited annual commercial season for paddlefish within designated management areas of the Alabama River with the understanding that these monitored commercial fishing efforts would provide the data necessary to develop a management plan for the species.

Upon reviewing the reproductive habits and population growth of paddlefish from the 2013-2016 seasons and not having enough quality information to research the sustainability of the paddlefish further from the 2017 season, the ADCNR feel this is the best path to follow.

An analysis of the reports from the 2017 season continuing into the 2018 season indicated that some “paddlefish harvesters were likely falsifying records in an effort to obscure an overharvest of the fishery.”

The press release also noted that reports of illegal fishing methods were used by some permitted paddlefish harvesters lead to ADCNR law enforcement officers initiating an intensive investigation. This investigation resulted in 135 convictions for paddlefish fishing violations.

More information can be found about the paddlefish in Alabama here.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 months ago

Wedding day turns into rescue mission at Orange Beach

(City of Orange Beach/Facebook)

An act of heroism saved one person’s life after a wedding photo session in Orange Beach was interrupted.

Per a WBRC report, Zac Edwards, a former lifeguard and coast guardsman, sprung into action mid-photo session to save a man from drowning in the ocean.

“A lady had come up to us and said that guy is out there struggling. He can’t get back, he’s having a hard time,” Cindy Edwards, Zac’s new bride, told WBRC.

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Cindy told her husband to forget about the pictures and go help because of his prior experience as a lifeguard.

“She said don’t worry about your pants, just go. See you’ve got to listen to your wife because otherwise, you’re in trouble,” Zac recalled.

“And he goes to start taking his shirt off and he went off to take off his bottoms and I was like ‘you don’t have time’ the guy kept drifting further and further out and he was struggling,” said Cindy.

Zac and the young man he rescued were reportedly stuck for a moment as they struggled with the high surf that warranted a red flag warning to beachgoers. First responders eventually arrived at the scene and brought both Edwards and the young man to safety.

“It’s scary. You don’t wanna lose a loved one, unfortunately, living here, we hear about it way too often. Just be mindful of those flags and knowing to be cautious,” Cindy said.

During the horrifying rescue, Zac said all he could do was think about his new bride.

“It beat us up pretty hard getting in and we pulled up on the beach everybody grabs him. I got up and she’s running out in her wedding dress. I’m bleeding from the nose and trying to tell her get away because I know how important that dress was and I didn’t want to ruin that,” he told WBRC.

Both Zac and Cindy Edwards credit one another as their own personal heroes.

The newlyweds have both spoken to the family of the young man who hails from Mississippi, and report he is doing well, but is sore after almost drowning.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 months ago

Low voter turnout in Republican Primary Runoff for Bullock County

(Wikicommons)

While voter turnout was low in last month’s Primary Runoff election, Bullock County had extremely low numbers with only 208 ballots being cast in the Republican Primary, says a report by Union Springs Herald.

One precinct, Guerryton, failed to have a single voter cast a ballot, which is seemingly unheard of, especially for a Republican Primary Runoff in Alabama.

Population estimates for July 1, 2017 show Bullock County, Alabama, with a total population of 10,309 people. That’s a 5.5 percent difference from April 2010, where the estimated total population was 10,911.

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Total ballots cast in the Bullock County precincts were: Midway – 3, Three Notch – 5, Guerryton – 0, Peachburg – 8, Union Springs Armory – 45, Aberfoil – 7, Sardis – 3, Indian Creek – 6, Perote – 19, Corinth – 7, Inverness – 10, Fitzpatrick – 40, Thompson – 7, Cornerstone – 10, Post Oak – 25, and Absentee – 13

Bullock County Probate Judge James Tatum said, “One of the precincts, Guerryton, did not have anyone to vote at all. It was a very light turnout. The general election is November 6, 2018. There was 272 votes cast in the Republican primary on June 5. There was no run-off in last Tuesday’s Bullock County election for any local or statewide democratic candidate. None of the local democratic candidates have opposition in the general election.”

In the 2016 Presidential Election, Hillary Clinton received 75.1 percent of the Bullock County vote, while Donald Trump only received 24.2 percent, proving the county is largely compromised of Democrat voters.

The Alabama Senate 2017 special election between Roy Moore and Doug Jones also provides evidence that Bullock County is largely represented by Democrats. Jones received 80.4 percent of the county vote while Moore only received 19.4.

Bullock County faced scrutiny last December after sample ballots marked for Democratic candidate Doug Jones were found in the Bullock County Probate Judge Office.

After being made aware that marked sample ballots were found around his office, Tatum said, via Alabama News, “We have a high volume of traffic throughout the day in this office because it’s a public office and people tend to leave different fliers and we try to police that as best we can.”

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

2 months ago

‘Trump Anxiety Disorder’ on the rise, therapists say

(ODN/YouTube)

Therapists have now coined the phrase ‘Trump Anxiety Disorder’ after hearing from an increasing number of patients who name President Donald Trump’s “volatility” as part of their issues.

In a report from Canadian news outlet, CBC, Elisabeth LaMotte detailed the anxiety stemming from her patients.

One patient reportedly asked LaMotte at her Washington practice if Trump was going to “blow us up.”

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LaMotte, who is the founder of the D.C. Counseling and Psychotherapy Center, refers to those feeling on edge about the president’s decisions as “collective anxiety.”

“There is a fear of the world ending,” she said. “It’s very disorienting and constantly unsettling.”

Therapists have reported unusually high levels of politics-related stress in their practices for the past few months.

LaMotte added some patients are in pain after “feeling socially or familially isolated” for favoring the president’s agenda, “even if they don’t support his tactics.”

LaMotte also made mention that the anxiety exhibited by these patients strongly resembles those of people raised by parents with a personality disorder. She said those resembling traits are ones like “grandiosity, excessive attention-seeking and severe lack of empathy.”

“Whether it’s conscious or not, I think we look to the president of the United States as a psychological parent,” she explained.

The symptoms of ‘Trump Anxiety Disorder’ vary, however, LaMotte said they often include feeling a loss of control and helplessness and fretting about what’s occurring in the country and excessive time on social media.

“They say they’re wondering what’s next,” LaMotte stated.

According to LaMotte, Trump’s appointment of conservative judges to the Supreme Court has left lesbian clients “significantly concerned about the legitimacy of their marriage in the future.”

The report also lists examples of specific patients, specifically one who supports President Trump’s agenda.

Jaime Gale from Ohio fears “getting pounced on by somebody who doesn’t like me because of Trump.”