The Wire

  • New tunnel, premium RV section at Talladega Superspeedway on schedule despite weather


    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


    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


    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.

1 year ago

Birmingham Legion FC announces Post Consumer Brands as first corporate sponsor


Birmingham Legion FC today announced Minnesota-based Post Consumer Brands – producers of such cereals such as Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles and Malt O Meal Bag Cereal – as the club’s first corporate sponsor for its inaugural 2019 season.

“Legion FC is proud to partner with such a community-oriented company as Post Consumer Brands,” said President and GM, Jay Heaps. “We believe this partnership will allow us to continue to build a strong bond in our community.”

“Post Consumer Brands is excited to partner with Legion FC via a co-op opportunity with local Piggly Wiggly franchise owners,” said David Kearney, senior account manager for Post Consumer Brands. “Partnering with Legion FC is a meaningful way for us to connect with soccer fans of all ages and backgrounds. We are looking forward to working with Legion FC going forward and supporting a top-level soccer team in Birmingham that we really feel the community is going to embrace and get behind.”


As part of the partnership, Legion FC and Post Consumer Brands will host a free soccer clinic for children, with information forthcoming. Specifics surrounding additional corporate sponsorships – including the club’s title sponsor – will be released as details are finalized.

Legion FC will play their first season in 2019 at the soon to be renovated stadium at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Season ticket deposits for the inaugural season can be made by visiting Fans are encouraged to follow Legion FC via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using the handle @bhmlegion.

About Post Consumer Brands

Post Consumer Brands is a subsidiary of Post Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POST), formed from the consolidation of Post Foods and MOM Brands in May 2015. Headquartered in Lakeville, Minn., Post Consumer Brands today is the third largest cereal company in the United States, with the broadest portfolio in the industry — from iconic household name brands and value ready-to-eat cereals to natural/organic and hot cereal varieties. As a company committed to high standards of quality and to our values, we are driven by one idea: To make better happen every day. For more information about our brands, visit this link

1 year ago

Huge Birmingham workout event to provide clean water around the world — Saturday!


Hundreds of people are expected to gather at Avondale Park in Birmingham on Saturday, May 5th to workout for a great cause.

Birmingham based Neverthirst and Iron Tribe Fitness will partner to host the 9th annual Workout for Water, their largest fundraising campaign of the year. This year’s goal is to raise $450,000 to serve 18,000 people with clean water projects in Chad, Uganda, India, Nepal, Cambodia and Myanmar.

Workout for Water events will take place at Iron Tribe Fitness in seven states.


The campaign culminates with a group workout.  In Birmingham, the event will take place Saturday, May 5th at 9 a.m. in Avondale Park.  All are invited, but it’s not necessary to participate in the workout to make a difference.  Anyone can give.  Generous partners of Neverthirst have provided matching funds up to $225,000 through the day of the event.  Every dollar raised will be matched.  Mark Whitehead, the director of Neverthirst says their work would not be possible without the generous support of people in Birmingham.

Neverthirst was founded in 2008 in Birmingham and has provided access to clean water to more than 513,000 people in seven countries.  More than 663 million people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water.It’s estimated more than 800 children under the age of five die every day from lack of access to clean water according to UNICEF.

Neverthirst was selected as a 4 Star Charity (the highest rating) by Charity Navigator. For more information or to support the work Neverthirst is doing go to To learn more about Workout for Water go to

(Neverthirst news release)

1 year ago

OWA welcomes Trattoria Pizza and Italian


Trattoria Pizza and Italian will soon be opening its newest location at OWA, Coastal Alabama’s award-winning resort destination. Trattoria Pizza & Italian has quickly become a regional favorite being recently voted both best pizza and best kept restaurant secret in South Alabama. Trattoria is scheduled to open early Summer 2018.

“Having an Italian offering at OWA has always been a key component in our planned culinary journey,” said Greg Rawls, Director of Business Development for Creek Indian Enterprises/OWA. “There will be nothing better than sitting down after exploring a day at OWA’s entertainment amenities than with a great glass of wine and authentically inspired Italian dishes. The Petersons and Trattoria have the same passion for Italian food that we have for creating an authentic, memorable experience at OWA.”


Greg and Jill Peterson have brought a slice of Little Italy in New York City to Coastal Alabama. From traditional, delicious Italian dishes, to hand-tossed, stone-fired pizza, Trattoria Pizza & Italian will soon be a favorite at OWA as well.

“OWA is the newest and most exciting entertainment destination in South, we are thrilled and humbled to become part of this great project,” said Greg Peterson, co-owner and operator. The key to success has been the Peterson’s eye for detail. All of Trattoria’s sauces, dressings and soups are made fresh from scratch.

“The experience we have created is very special,” said Jill Peterson. “We will take it a big step forward at OWA. Our bakery will produce fresh, hand tossed pizza dough and homemade, fresh baked bread for our delicious sandwiches as well as our signature Garlic Ballz. The sights, sounds and smells will be as inviting as everything on our menu.”

1 year ago

Republican Ritchie Whorton kicks off re-election campaign

(Whorton Campaign)

Incumbent Republican Ritchie Whorton has announced that he is seeking a second term as the State Representative for District 22. District 22 covers the Northeast section of Madison County and parts of Northwest Jackson County.

Whorton is inviting the public to attend his kickoff event and meet and greet
on Saturday, May 5th from 4-7 p.m. at Owens Cross Roads Methodist Church, 9177 Highway 431South, Owens Cross Roads, Alabama. Food and live entertainment will be provided and casual dress is encouraged. The event is family friendly.

Whorton’s record consistently ranks him as one of the top conservatives in the Alabama State House of Representatives and he was among the first to call for former Governor Robert Bentley’s resignation from office.


Whorton said, “It is an honor to represent the people of District 22 and I will continue to work for opportunities to strengthen our economy, create a more efficient state government, and represent their values.”

“Our state has faced many challenges over the past four years and we need to remain focused on creating new jobs, improving opportunities in education for our children, and working to balance our state’s budget.”

A small business owner and a strong advocate for economic development, Representative Whorton brings his experience to the Commerce and Small Business and Economic Development and Tourism Committees. Whorton also serves on the Ethics and Campaign Finance Committee and the Small Business Commission for the State of Alabama.

“There is still work to be done and I am committed to having a positive impact on the future of our state,” said Whorton. “I’ve got deep roots in our district and I will continue to work for opportunities to strengthen our local and state economy. For the past four years, my commitment has been to the people of District 22 and fighting on their behalf.”

Whorton is a co-owner of All-Star Enterprises, Inc. and he and his wife, Shirley, an educator, have been married for more than thirty years. Residents of Owens Cross Roads, the Whortons worship at Owens Cross Roads Methodist Church and are involved with a variety of community activities. They have two daughters, McKenna and Kylee.

“I am humbled and blessed to have the support of this district. I’d like to ask for your support again on June 5th in the Republican Primary so we can continue to move our district forward.”

The Alabama Republican Primary is June 5, 2018. More information about Whorton and his campaign may be found on his campaign website.

1 year ago

Does this mean no more colonoscopies? HudsonAlpha scientists find colon polyp markers

(Hudson Alpha)

Huntsville, Ala – HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology researchers announce the discovery of a measurable indicator in blood plasma that could identify patients who have colon polyps. The finding is an important first step in developing a blood test to screen for colon polyps that could become cancerous or even for colon cancer. The study was published online last week in Clinical Cancer Research, a publication of the American Association for Cancer Research.

“A blood test that fulfills the role currently played by colonoscopies would have major positive impacts,” said Brian Roberts, a senior scientist in the Myers Lab at HudsonAlpha and the lead author for the published study. “A lot of people joke about how they’d love to avoid the discomfort of colonoscopies,” he said, “but there’s a serious issue with people not actually getting screened.”

According to the American Cancer Society, of the adults age 50 and older for whom physicians recommend a colonoscopy screening, only about 65 percent comply.


For the project, Roberts and a group of scientists from four labs across HudsonAlpha studied small RNA – short strands of ribonucleic acid – in blood plasma collected from patients at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Medicine. The sample collection was part of a strong collaboration with Robert Kimberly, MD, and Meredith Fitz-Gerald at the Center for Clinical and Translational Science at UAB; and C. Mel Wilcox, MD, director of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Division in the Department of Medicine at UAB.

RNA is present in all cells, and while its best-known role is to act as a messenger carrying instructions from DNA for making proteins, the RNA types found in this study have diverse and complex functions. The team focused on “cell-free” RNA, found outside of cells in the liquid portion of blood, called plasma. Differences in the amount of certain cell-free RNA molecules identified patients with colorectal adenomas from those without. Colorectal adenomas are the type of colon polyp that can turn into cancer.

The patients in the study were a diverse group, representing nearly equal numbers of men and women mostly over 50 years old, with some younger patients as well. In addition, about 30 percent of the patients were African American, which means the RNA measurement method described in the paper works nearly equally well for men and women of both African and European descent, across a range of ages.

In the short term, these findings won’t affect patient care, according to Richard Myers, PhD. The study was conducted in the Myers Lab at HudosnAlpha, where Myers is president and science director as well as a faculty investigator.

“There’s a lot more work to do before patients might see a test like this at the clinic, but we’re optimistic that with more research and after clinical trials, eventually, we will see blood-based screening for colon polyps and colon cancer itself offered routinely to patients,” Myers said.

Moving forward, the group is considering other physical markers that could be measured in blood, such as cell-free DNA, proteins or immune system measurements, that could add to the RNA signature found in their study. They are also looking to repeat the study in a larger patient population.

In addition to Roberts and Myers, HudsonAlpha researchers who worked on the study include Andrew Hardigan, Dianna Moore, Ryne Ramaker, Angela Jones, and Greg Cooper, PhD.

Research in this publication is funded by the State of Alabama, the Center for Clinical and Translational Science NIH grant at UAB, and a generous donation from an anonymous private donor.

Roberts and Myers explain the significance of their research in the following video

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology is a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning, and commercialization. Opened in 2008, HudsonAlpha’s vision is to leverage the synergy between discovery, education, medicine, and economic development in genomic sciences to improve the human condition around the globe. The HudsonAlpha biotechnology campus consists of 152 acres nestled within Cummings Research Park, the nation’s second largest research park. The state-of-the-art facilities co-locate nonprofit scientific researchers with entrepreneurs and educators. HudsonAlpha has become a national and international leader in genetics and genomics research and biotech education and includes more than 30 diverse biotech companies on campus. To learn more about HudsonAlpha, visit

1 year ago

REALTOR®-backed first-time homebuyer and second-chance savings account bill passes House & Senate


The First-Time Homebuyer and Second-Chance Savings Account (FHSA) bill, HB 248, passed the Senate last week with a vote of 22-2. The House unanimously concurred Thursday morning with a vote of 97–0. The bill now goes to Governor Ivey’s office for consideration.

“On behalf of our 14,000 members, thank you to the Alabama Legislature for supporting this bill and a special thank you to the bill’s sponsors and cosponsors. We appreciate the overwhelming bi-partisan support this bill has received from legislators across the state,” Alabama REALTORS® CEO Jeremy Walker said. “Our legislators understand the obstacles first-time homebuyers face and took action toward providing a resource to help those individuals accomplish their dream of homeownership.”


REALTORS® advanced this program to help promote homeownership with potential first-time homebuyers in Alabama. This bill, if signed into law, would establish First-Time Homebuyer Savings Accounts to help first-time homebuyers save money toward the purchase of their first home. The FHSA bill creates tax-free savings accounts that a first-time buyer can use for the down payment and closing costs of a residence. These savings accounts will allow more Alabamians to experience the American dream of homeownership.

“Our members really rallied behind this bill and helped emphasize to legislators the positive impact this bill could have on Alabama’s housing market,” said Stacey Sanders, Alabama REALTORS® Public Policy Chair. “This bill not only benefits first-time buyers, but Alabama’s real estate industry as a whole. If signed into law, it would do a lot of good for a lot of people.”

The FHSA bill provides for a savings account for persons who have never owned a home or those that are re-entering the housing market, if they have not owned a home within 10 years. The savings from the account can be used to pay for a down payment and/or closing costs for a single-family dwelling. The bill states that deposits and earnings cannot exceed $50,000, and qualified expenditures must be made in five years from opening the account.

The Alabama Association of REALTORS® (AAR) is the largest statewide organization of real estate professionals comprised of over 14,000 members. United by adherence to a Code of Ethics, our members work as real estate professionals in the sale, lease, appraisal, management, and development of residential, commercial, rural, and resort properties throughout Alabama.

(Courtesy Alabama Realtors)

1 year ago

Alabama Legislature approves Rural Hospital Resource Center


The Alabama Legislature has approved a bill to create a resource center housed at the University of Alabama at Birmingham Health System to provide support for nonprofit, rural, public hospitals in the state that are facing economic pressures.

The bill, sponsored in the Senate by Sen. Greg Reed, R-Jasper, and in the House by Rep. Randall Shedd, R-Cullman, would create the Alabama Rural Hospital Resource Center, staffed and managed by the UAB Health System. It would assist rural public hospitals in areas including purchasing and supply chain, strategic planning, insurance and cost reporting, coding, recruitment, and compliance.

“I believe that increasing access to quality health care for Alabamians in rural areas is essential,” Reed said. “The physicians and researchers at UAB are among the best in the world, and this new center will give Alabama’s rural hospitals direct access to game-changing innovations in medicine and health care management.”


“This is a concept that provides benefit to all parties involved, but most of all to the residents of rural Alabama who have seen their local hospital close or be forced to cut services,” Shedd said. “This can help ensure that appropriate health care is available to all Alabamians where they live and work.”

The plan would call for the UAB Health System to add staff to provide expertise, advice and resources to hospitals that request assistance.

“As the flagship health enterprise in the state, UAB has robust systems in place in the areas where a rural hospital might have needs — areas including coding, supply chain or regulatory compliance,” said Will Ferniany, Ph.D., CEO of the UAB Health System. “We can offer our knowledge, insights, and support as a means of helping rural hospitals across the state remain viable and open.”

Ferniany acknowledged the Alabama Hospital Association for its assistance and support for the bill, and thanked Reed and Shedd, along with House and Senate leadership, for making passage a priority. The bill now goes to Gov. Kay Ivey for her signature, and the center will need approval from the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees.

“Many rural hospitals are in crisis,” Ferniany said. “The resource center is designed to help keep those nonprofit, public hospitals operational so that Alabamians can get medical care close to home when appropriate. That helps ensure that a tertiary care facility like UAB Hospital will have available resources for the situations for which we are uniquely positioned to provide care — including Level 1 trauma, transplantation, and advanced cancer care, for example.”

Ferniany says the resource center is one part of a larger effort by the UAB Health System to help stabilize small, rural hospitals and improve access to needed medical care for all residents of Alabama. That effort gained steam following a 2016 law enabling universities with medical schools to create University Health Authorities.

Hospitals that are eligible to request assistance from the center would be located in areas that meet federal designations of rural areas or have a shortage of health care resources under federal guidelines. More than 30 public hospitals in Alabama meet those criteria.

While the bill was passed, it has not been funded yet. The UAB Health System will work to determine interim funding prior to the 2019 legislative session to start providing support to eligible hospitals.

Once it is funded, another component of the center will be the creation of two rural administrative residency positions through UAB’s graduate program in health administration in the School of Health Professions to provide an incentive for graduates to consider administrative careers in rural areas.

About the UAB Health System
The UAB Health System is a $3.2 billion organization with more than 2,000 medical staff members and 17,750 employees in its hospitals, including UAB Hospital, UAB Hospital-Highlands, UAB Callahan Eye Hospital, and authority relationships at Medical West and Baptist Health Montgomery. UABHS is also committed to improving rural health care and manages Bryan W. Whitfield Memorial Hospital in Demopolis, LV Stabler Memorial Hospital in Greenville and John Paul Jones Hospital in Camden. Affiliation relationships include Infirmary Health System in Mobile, Eliza Coffee Memorial Hospital in Florence, Northeast Regional Medical Center in Anniston and Russell Medical in Alexander City. Find more information at and

(Courtesy University of Alabama at Birmingham)

1 year ago

Lowndesboro Mayor Rick Pate running for Alabama Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries

Rick Pate, The Mayor of The Town of Lowndesboro and President of Pate Landscape Co. held a press conference and announcement for his campaign for Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries, coinciding with The SLE Rodeo at Garrett Coliseum.

Pate is a Cattleman, a successful businessman and an active in many Agribusiness and Civic Associations. He is endorsed by The Alabama Cattleman’s PAC, The Alabama Farmer’s Federation, The Alabama Forestry Association, The Associated General Contractors of Alabama, and The Alabama Petroleum and Convenience Marketers Association.

“I’m running for Ag Commissioner to help the agribusiness community in our state flourish,” Pate said. “I’m a lifelong Republican and I want to use conservative values to protect the largest sector of Alabama’s economy from undo regulations, taxes and fees put on them by career politicians in Montgomery and Washington, D.C.”


Rick is the Vice Chairman of The Lowndes County Republican Party and serves on The ALGOP Executive Committee. He is active in many professional and civic organizations such as Rotary International, The Associated General Contractors, The Alabama Agribusiness Council, The Alabama Nursery and Landscape Association and The Alabama Wildlife Federation. He is a member of The Montgomery Chamber of Commerce, and The Business Council of Alabama.

“It is estimated that by 2050 we will have to double food production to meet the needs of the world – it will take visionary leaders who understand that we have to work smarter, not just harder, to achieve these goals,: Pate said. That is the vision that I have for the office of The Commissioner of Agriculture and Industries.”

Rick is a 1978 graduate of Auburn University in the School of Agriculture. He married to the former Julie Dismukes, and they have two sons Richard and James. Richard works in the international division of a large construction firm, and James has been accepted to medical school.


1 year ago

Rep. Byrne: Workplace safety is always a top priority

(United States Department of Labor/Instagram)
(United States Department of Labor/Instagram)

No matter the size of the business, the number of workers it employs, or the industry it supports, workplace safety is the responsibility and should be a chief priority of all businesses. Every worker deserves a safe and healthy workplace.

As Chairman of the House Workforce Protections Subcommittee, I recently convened a hearing to examine the role of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in supporting workplace safety. The hearing looked at how OSHA is ensuring safe workplaces and promoting smart, responsible regulatory policies for both employees and employers.

OSHA plays a key role in helping workers and employers make workplaces safe through its health and safety standards, guidelines, education, assistance, and outreach. The agency’s policies cover approximately 130 million workers at more than 8 million worksites. Its reach encompasses private sector employers and workers in all 50 states.

While OSHA has standards that provide employees with workplace protections across many industries, employers are continuously struggling to comply with the ever-changing standards and new regulations released by OSHA every year. I often hear stories from local businesses in Southwest Alabama who are negatively impacted by confusing, unnecessary, and ever-changing policies put forward by OSHA.

I have heard from countless employers and business owners who have told me about the challenges they face in complying with OSHA’s policies. While these employers agree that OSHA strives to create what it views as the safest working environments for employees, it is often hard for businesses of all sizes to stay in compliance with OSHA standards. Many businesses also agree that OSHA’s intentions are well-meaning, but are unworkable in the real world.

Furthermore, continuous change comes at a cost to many businesses as they must adjust operations to meet the new standards. These compliance costs are especially difficult for small businesses who have limited resources to meet new, burdensome OSHA standards. The added compliance costs are often passed on to consumers in the form of higher prices.

That said, there are programs at OSHA designed to help businesses of all sizes in a proactive way. Just last week, I visited the Cintas location in Mobile to celebrate their designation as an OSHA Voluntary Protection Program Star site. I continue to applaud the local employees for their commitment to workplace safety, and I think it is critical that OSHA pursue proactive, positive ways to ensure a safe workplace instead of only using punitive practices.

During the hearing, a representative from the National Association of Home Builders had this to say about how OSHA’s policies are making things harder for the construction industry:

“In recent years, OSHA has unleashed a ‘regulatory tsunami’ on the construction industry—a significant growth in the number and scope of regulations, along with the associated costs of these regulations—and the process by which many of OSHA’s compliance inspections were undertaken has raised concerns from our members about OSHA’s heavy-handed enforcement practices and procedures.”

Another big issue with OSHA currently is that the Senate has failed to confirm President Trump’s nominee to lead the agency, Scott Mungo. Mr. Mungo has worked on safety programs and policies at FedEx for many years, and he understands the real-world impact of federal policies. Like many other nominees, the Senate needs to confirm him so OSHA has a permanent leader in place.

It is my hope that with new leadership, a focus on the real-world impact of their agency’s policies, and proactive outreach, we can see greater trust between OSHA and business and truly promote workplace safety in a way that makes things better for American workers.

(U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne is a Republican from Fairhope)

1 year ago

Mobile and Baldwin county state rep earns award from Energy Institute of Alabama

EIA Executive Director Blake Hardwich (left) and EIA Chairman and former Speaker of the House Seth Hammett (right) present Rep. Randy Davis with the 2018 Leadership Award for his contributions and service to the energy industry.

EIA Executive Director Blake Hardwich (left) and EIA Chairman and former Speaker of the House Seth Hammett (right) present Rep. Randy Davis with the 2018 Leadership Award for
his contributions and service to the energy industry.

MONTGOMERY—Rep. Randy Davis, who represents the House District 96 counties of Baldwin and Mobile, is the 2018 recipient of the Energy Institute of Alabama’s Leadership Award. Davis received the award at the group’s Energy Day, held last week. “Representative Davis has been a staunch supporter of clean, affordable, reliable energy production in Alabama. He understands the need for a solid energy base, which also provides an economic boost to our economy in the form of jobs,” said EIA Chairman and former Speaker of the House Seth Hammett.

Davis was honored by the recognition. “I was surprised at receiving the award. My work has always been centered on making our state a better place. However, I am grateful and humbled by EIA’s recognition. Speaker Hammett appointed me to the Southern States Energy Board in 2003, and our work with the 15 other Southern states and two territories has been very valuable to the Baldwin/Mobile area and the State of Alabama. We are blessed with so many natural resources, and I have worked to make the coexistence between the energy and environmental communities the highest priority.”

As the vice chairman of the SSEB, Davis works to enhance economic development and the quality of life in the South through innovations in energy and environmental policies, programs and technologies.

“Vice Chairman, Randy Davis is the leader of a southern legislative caucus of key legislators who support innovative state energy and environmental legislation, new technologies, and inventive policies that spur economic development.  Randy is also a leader of the Southeast Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnership, a government/industry consortium, that was the first in the nation to demonstrate carbon capture and storage at Plant Barry in Bucks, Alabama,” said Kenneth J. Nemeth, secretary and executive director, Southern States Energy Board.

“Representative Davis embodies the spirit of a true legislative leader, serving his state while targeting technological breakthroughs that can be utilized throughout the nation. The Southern States Energy Board is duly proud and honored to have Representative Randy Davis as its vice chairman of the board,” he added.

Davis was first elected to the Alabama House of Representatives in 2002 and is currently serving his fourth term. He is the chairman of the Constitution, Campaigns and Elections committee and the Baldwin County Legislation committee. He is a member of the following committees: Agriculture and Forestry, Mobile County Legislation, Rules and Insurance.

The EIA’s mission is to promote reliable, affordable and clean energy to help grow Alabama’s economy, create high-paying jobs, and build public support for Alabama’s energy industry. To learn more, visit this link.

(Courtesy Energy Institute of Alabama)

1 year ago

Report from Washington: The true root of the gun problem

(M. Rogers/Facebook)
(Congressman Mike D. Rogers/Facebook)

(Opinion) Across East Alabama, I know our hearts and prayers have been with all of those affected by the recent tragedy at Parkland High School.

Any time innocent lives are lost – especially the lives of young people – it shakes us to the core.

The Parkland tragedy was the culmination of terrible mistakes and missed opportunities by various authorities.

Law enforcement was called regarding the shooter dozens of times with little or no follow up. The FBI failed to pass on tips to be investigated. The shooter even posted images and statements on social media about wanting to be a school shooter.

It is crystal clear he was a very mentally disturbed individual that authorities completely missed despite repeated warnings and opportunities.

The debate we should be having now is how did local, state and federal authorities fail to follow through on all the warnings? How can we improve mental health care in our nation? How can we make our schools safer?

According to State of Florida, a person who is adjudicated mentally defective or involuntarily committed by a judge may be prohibited from purchasing a gun. The Parkland shooter could have had either of these actions taken against him with the laws currently on the books by the state if the authorities had acted on the first warning signs.

The same was true with the killer in last year’s church massacre in Texas. He was convicted of domestic abuse and served time in a military jail. One cannot legally buy a gun with such convictions, but the Air Force never reported him to the national data base.

Instead of talking facts and looking for honest solutions, gun control advocates choose to attack the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens. A psychotic criminal intent on committing mass murder does not care about the law and will find a weapon – be it a gun, a knife, or even a vehicle to plow over people.

We must find ways to identify and help those suffering from mental illnesses.

I would like to hear from you. Please sign up for my e-Newsletter by visiting our website. To stay up to date, you can also like me on Facebook at Congressman Mike D. Rogers, follow me on Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram at RepMikeRogersAL, on Tumblr and you can also subscribe to my YouTube page at MikeRogersAL03.

(U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers is a Republican from Saks)

1 year ago

Mobile to host red snapper conference on March 22

(D. Rainer/Contributed)

(David Rainer)

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Marine Resources Division is hosting an Alabama Red Snapper Conference Thursday, March 22, 2018. It will take place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mobile-Downtown/Historic District Holiday Inn at 301 Government St., Mobile, AL 36602.

The purpose of the conference is to highlight recent management and research of red snapper ecology offshore of Alabama. This conference will be of interest to federal and state marine fisheries managers, local resource managers, and the Alabama recreational/commercial fishing community.

The topics to be covered include the following:

— Spatial distribution, abundance, and age composition of red snapper

— Artificial reefs and use by red snapper

— Estimates of fishing mortality

— Use of mandatory angler reporting to estimate recreational harvests

— Fishery-independent methods to estimate red snapper biomass.

There is no fee to attend the conference, but pre-registration is encouraged due to limited seating. Individuals interested in attending the conference should register here.

Those who cannot attend the conference may view presentations live via webinar here. Questions from the audience and webinar attendees will be addressed as time allows.

The presentations will be recorded and made available at this link.

For the agenda and more information about the conference, contact the Marine Resources Division at 251-861-2882 or visit this link.

(News Release/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

1 year ago

First-time contestant wins Waterfowl Stamp Art Competition

Painting of a male Red-breasted Merganser (Kirk Wickizer)
Painting of a male Red-breasted Merganser (Kirk Wickizer)

Kirk Wickizer of Huntsville, Ala., is the winner of this year’s Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest with his painting of a male Red-breasted Merganser. The winning artwork will be used as the design of the 2019-20 Alabama Waterfowl Stamp, which is required for licensed hunters when pursuing waterfowl in Alabama.

This was Wickizer’s first time entering the state contest and the win came as a surprise.

“I was a little nervous and didn’t think I would win,” Wickizer said. “I was having lunch (in Huntsville) with my wife during the judging. When I got the call a few hours later, I was extremely pleased. I’m very happy about it.”

Seven other artists entered the 2018 contest. Eric Greene of Mobile, Ala., took second place with his painting of a pair of wood ducks. Third place went to Barbara Keel Lunsford of Auburn, Ala., who also painted wood ducks.

In addition to his career designing airplane structures for Boeing, Wickizer runs a YouTube channel that showcases his true passion – painting. The channel, Kirk Wickizer Art, features several short videos on subjects ranging from how to paint landscapes to how to make your own canvas panels.

“I’ve been painting for a long time, but after my experience in this year’s contest I’m going to focus more on wildlife,” Wickizer said.

When deciding which waterfowl species to paint, it was the visual flair of the duck’s breeding plumage that drew Wickizer to the Red-breasted Merganser.

“Unlike more common breeds, it has a unique look,” he said. “From the long mohawk, the slim saw-toothed bill, and the wide spectrum of color, I couldn’t resist!”

In Alabama, the Red-breasted Merganser is usually found on estuaries, bays, shallow coastal waters, lakes, and deep, slow-moving rivers during its seasonal migration.

The 2018 contest was judged by a panel of experts in the fields of art, ornithology and conservation during the Fins, Feathers and Flowers event at Lakepoint State Park in Eufaula, Ala., on Saturday, February 17.

Representing the field of art was Lynn Schmidt, Chair of the Art Department at Wallace Community College in Dothan, Ala. Representing the field of ornithology was John Trent, Wildlife Biologist with the Alabama State Lands Division. Representing the field of conservation was John Earle, Refuge Manager at Eufaula National Wildlife Refuge.

Entries were judged on suitability for reproduction as a stamp, originality, artistic composition, anatomical accuracy and general rendering. The designs were limited to living species of North American migratory ducks or geese. Winning species from the past three years – American Wigeon, Mallard, and Green-winged Teal – were not eligible subjects for the contest this year.

Since 1978, the Alabama Waterfowl Stamp Art Contest has helped conserve waterfowl habitat and foster a connection with the outdoors. The annual contest is sponsored by the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries (WFF) and is open to resident Alabama artists only.

“Seeing ducks in the wild is a reminder of the importance of state and federal conservation efforts,” said Seth Maddox, WFF Migratory Game Bird Coordinator. “When someone purchases a waterfowl stamp they are ensuring that future generations of hunters and bird-watchers can continue seeing these animals in the wild.”

For more information about the contest, visit this link.

To view a video of how Wickizer’s winning artwork was created, visit here.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit their website.

(News Release/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

1 year ago

Washington County public fishing lake temporarily reopens

(Outdoor Alabama)
(Outdoor Alabama)


Washington County Public Fishing Lake temporarily reopened on Wednesday, February 21, 2018. The lake will close on April 30, 2018, for draining and restocking – a process that will take about two and half years to complete. Temporary operational hours will be sunrise to sunset, seven days a week. The lake is located at 809 State Lake Rd., Millry, Ala., 36558.

To fish at the lake, anglers age 16 and older will need a fishing license and a $3 daily fishing permit or a 2018 spring fishing permit ($10). The spring fishing permit is valid from February 21 to April 30, 2018. Free fishing permits for anglers 12 to 15 years of age will be available at the lake. Personal fishing boats may be launched with possession of a valid fishing permit. Daily creel limits and fishing regulations are posted at the lake.

A lake manager will not be available onsite. Anglers age 16 and older will need to purchase a fishing license and permit in one of the following ways: from a local license agent, online , through the Outdoor Alabama mobile app, at a county probate office, or by phone at 1-888-848-6887. Processing and/or convenience fees may apply.

Anglers will have to wait about two and a half years to fish at Washington County Public Fishing Lake again, but it should be well worth the wait. Typically, some of the best fishing occurs in ponds and lakes three to seven years after draining and restocking. For more information about Alabama’s state-owned public fishing lakes, call the Alabama Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries, Fisheries Section at 334-242-3471; or visit this link.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit this link.

(News Release/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

1 year ago

Wayne Reynolds launches campaign for Republican nomination for State Board of Education, District 8

Wayne Reynolds, EdD of Athens has officially declared his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Alabama State Board of Education District 8.

“I am excited to announce that I am running for the District 8 seat on the Alabama State Board of Education. I have served nearly 30 years of my work in public education including over ten years as a school superintendent. I am honored to have this opportunity to serve the children of Alabama again,” stated Reynolds.

“I believe that our children deserve to have the best education in America. Both my children had outstanding public educations from Kindergarten through post-college, but not all of Alabama’s children or even all the children in District 8 currently have the same opportunities. We must make Alabama schools great!”

“I want to see greater transparency and integrity from Alabama’s Board of Education. I want to see better ways of evaluating schools than we currently have. I think the people of Alabama should decide what our children are learning instead of a ‘one-size-fits-all’ system like Common Core.”

Reynolds, 71, holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia where he specialized in career and technical education, implementing one of the early high school student internship programs in Muskogee County, Georgia. He then went on to complete his Doctorate in Education from Auburn University.

He served for over 12 years as a public school superintendent including as school superintendent for Athens City Schools until 1993. After retirement, he served on the state curriculum development committee and textbook review committee.

A disabled veteran, Reynolds served as a medic in the United States Army in Vietnam from 1968–1969 with the 95th Evac and 22nd Surgical hospitals. He currently serves as National Treasurer for Vietnam Veterans of America and is now serving his 19th year as president of the Alabama State Council of Vietnam Veterans. Reynolds has also served on national committees on Finance, Veterans Healthcare, PTSD and Substance Abuse, Constitution, Employment Training Business Opportunities, and Veterans Affairs. He received a bronze medallion from the Chapel of the Four Chaplains and was Alabama’s Veteran of the Year in 2011.

Wayne has been re-elected to his third term on the Alabama Republican State Executive Committee. He also has been re-elected to his fourth term on the Limestone County Republican Executive Committee.

Reynolds lives in Athens with his wife, Carol. Reynolds and his wife have two children and two grandchildren. His son, Wesley, served in the Air Force and now practices medicine, and his daughter, Paige, works in weapons research for the U.S. Army.

For more information about his campaign, visit this link.

(News Release/Reynolds Campaign)

1 year ago

Conservation Department marks 110 years, fallen officers honored with memorial wall

Governor Kay Ivey addresses visitors in front of the memorial Conservation Officers wall (Outdoor Alabama)
Governor Kay Ivey addresses visitors in front of the memorial Conservation Officers wall
(Outdoor Alabama)


For 110 years, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources has been protecting the state’s natural resources. Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey and department officials celebrated that service and dedicated a memorial to 12 Conservation Enforcement Officers who lost their lives in the line of duty.

“On behalf of our entire state, I thank the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources for caring for our natural resources and wildlife for the past 110 years,” Governor Ivey said.

In 1907, Rep. John H. Wallace, a conservation pioneer, introduced a proposal to create Alabama’s Department of Game and Fish, now known as the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. The Alabama Legislature passed this bill, which included provisions for a State Game Commissioner and many of the most fundamental hunting laws.

Great strides have been made since the early days of horseback-mounted Game Wardens to the present-day Conservation Enforcement Officers. Although today’s officers use modern vehicles and equipment, they are still the front line against poachers and others who don’t choose to lawfully follow Alabama’s hunting and fishing laws and regulations.

“I am thankful for my career with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources,” said Conservation Commissioner Chris Blankenship. “I know from personal experience how many dedicated employees work for this department. Some of them work non-traditional hours and are frequently in dangerous situations. I want to thank all of them for their service to the State of Alabama.”

Since the Department’s creation in 1907, 12 officers have made the ultimate sacrifice in the protection of Alabama’s natural resources.

Officers who lost their lives in the line of duty, date of death and county of residence are as follows:

George S. Wilson, October 1, 1922, Montgomery County

Bart Cauley, March 19, 1932, Baldwin County

Vernon W. Wilson, June 25, 1951, Randolph County

Loyd C. Hays, May 1, 1964, Morgan County

John Roy Beam, December 6, 1976, DeKalb County

Frank Stewart Jr., December 24, 1978, Escambia County

Cecil Craig Chatman, November 28, 1982, Lowndes County

Grady R. Jackson, February 12, 1984, Pike County

James C. Vines, January 26, 1985, Greene County

Jimmy D. Hutto, March 25, 2002, Fayette County

James Lance Horner Jr., June 22, 2003, Clarke County

Nathan B. Mims, November 11, 2008, Chilton County

The officers were recognized Tuesday through the dedication of a memorial wall in their honor at the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources headquarters office in Montgomery.

“Today, I had the privilege of honoring 12 officers who died in the line of duty, making the ultimate sacrifice to protect Alabama’s natural resources. Our state remains indebted to those who preserve our beautiful, sweet home,” Ivey said.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit this link.

(News Release/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

1 year ago

Conservation advisory board meets in Montgomery March 3

(Outdoor Alabama/Facebook)

(Outdoor Alabama/Facebook)


The Alabama Conservation Advisory Board (CAB) will hold its first scheduled meeting of 2018 on Saturday, March 3, in Montgomery, Ala. The meeting will take place at the Alabama State Capitol Auditorium, 600 Dexter Ave., Montgomery, Ala., 36104. Visitors should use the entrance behind the Capitol on North Union Street.

Registration for those wishing to address the board will be from 8-8:30 a.m. The meeting will begin promptly at 9 a.m. Attendees with printed information they wish to share with CAB members are encouraged to bring 16 copies of the material for distribution.

The CAB assists in formulating policies for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR), examines all rules and regulations, and makes recommendations for their change or amendment. This includes hunting seasons and bag limits.

The board is comprised of 10 members appointed by the Governor for alternating terms of six years. Joseph Dobbs, Jr., of Birmingham currently serves as chairman. Additional CAB members include Greg Barksdale of Hanceville; Jessica Butler of Scottsboro; Patrick Cagle of Montgomery; Grady Hartzog of Eufaula; Brock Jones of Boligee; Raymond Jones, Jr., of Huntsville; Jeff Martin of Pell City; Ben C. Stimpson, Jr., of Mobile; and Gary Wolfe of Fairhope.

The three ex-officio CAB members include Gov. Kay Ivey, Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan, and Alabama Cooperative Extension System Director Dr. Gary Lemme. ADCNR Commissioner Chris Blankenship serves as ex-officio secretary.

If Americans with Disabilities Act accommodations are needed, please contact Betsy Jones at 334-242-3486 or Requests should be made as soon as possible, but at least seven days prior to the scheduled meeting.

The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources promotes wise stewardship, management and enjoyment of Alabama’s natural resources through four divisions: Marine Resources, State Lands, State Parks, and Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries. To learn more about ADCNR, visit this link.

(News Release/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

1 year ago

Etowah County Commissioner Tim Choate to seek re-election


(GADSDEN, AL) – Tim Choate, Etowah County Commissioner for District 6, has officially qualified with the Etowah County Republican Party to seek a fourth term on the County Commission. Commissioner Choate won the seat during a special election in 2005 and was re-elected three times thereafter. Commissioner Choate stated, “We are making excellent progress on the Little Canoe Creek Mega Site. We are working diligently to bring more high-paying jobs to Etowah County and I would like this vision to become a reality during my tenure as your County Commissioner.” During his terms as Commissioner, he has returned more than $450,000 in tax dollars to local schools, fire departments, police departments and the sheriff’s office. He has also been a strong supporter of the Etowah Co. Patriot’s Association.

Additionally, Commissioner Choate has assisted with obtaining funding for mental health initiatives, the Pilot Club, RiverFest, the Alabama Chocolate Festival and Glencoe’s Celebration in the Park. Fiscal responsibility is very important to him and due to the hard work of the Commission and staff, there has been a “no audit” finding for the previous eight years.

Commissioner Choate further stated, “If re-elected to serve as your County Commissioner, I pledge to continue promoting the Little Canoe Creek Mega Site which will bring more high paying jobs to Etowah County and will also to continue working to obtain a new northbound bridge from Southside to Rainbow City.”

Commissioner Choate has served three terms as President of Etowah County Commission, served on the Children’s Policy Council, Drug Task Force, ex-officio member of the Gadsden/Etowah Co. Chamber of Commerce, and served five years on the 310 Mental Health Board. He is also the past President of the Association of County Commissioners of Alabama and was a member of the ACCA Legislative Committee for several years. He is also an active member of the Economic Development Association of Alabama and the ACCA Board of Directors. He and his wife Nelda, reside in the Whorton Bend community of Gadsden and are members of Riverbend Baptist Church.

(News Release/Chaote Campign)

1 year ago

Judge Michelle Thomason announces run for Alabama Court of Civil Appeals

Monday September 18, 2017 Fairhope, Alabama: Today Judge Michelle Thomason announced her candidacy for the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals. Judge Thomason, an active member of Baldwin County’s Republican Party, will seek election to the seat that is currently held by Judge Craig Pittman. Judge Pittman, who will be retiring at the end of his term, has officially endorsed Judge Thomason as his replacement.

“Judge Pittman is an outstanding jurist. I am truly honored to have received his endorsement to fill this position upon his retirement”, says Thomason.

Judge Thomason is the Presiding District Judge in Baldwin County, and is in her 12th year on the bench. Although she is a District Judge by title, she is a Circuit Judge by special appointment, as the majority of her caseload involves family court cases. Additionally, she handles other criminal and civil cases, and presides over the Baldwin County Veterans Court, which she founded in February of 2014.

“While I have enjoyed every aspect of my position, my work to establish a Veterans’ Treatment Court in South Alabama has been by far the most rewarding thing I have ever done. If I am elected, I intend to make sure the work of the Court continues to provide assistance to the Veterans in our community that need and deserve our help.”

Judge Thomason graduated from Mobile College (now the University of Mobile) with a Bachelor of Science in Business in 1992, and was a banker for over ten years before she decided to change her career to the law. She received her Juris Doctor from Tulane Law School in 1995. Prior to becoming a judge, she was a partner in the law firm of Pearson, Cummins & Hart, where she practiced civil defense litigation as well as family law for over eleven years before taking the bench. In 2006 she was appointed by Governor Bob Riley to her current seat, and has served in that position since that time. In 2016, Judge Thomason was named Judge of the Year by the Alabama State Bar’s Family Law Section.

“The majority of the cases handled by the Court of Civil Appeals originates in the family courts. Most of the others involve complex business issues. Recently our legislature passed several new laws that create significant changes to existing family law and more are on the horizon. Additionally, recent decisions in the business arena may mean that this area of law sees significant change as well. I believe that my particular skill set, having education and extensive experience in both of these areas, not only makes me uniquely qualified to assist in interpreting these new laws, but will allow me to be an all-around asset to the Court.”

“Both of my parents had long careers in the legal field. I have a deep-rooted love and respect for the Rule of Law. I pledge to the citizens of this State that if elected, I will apply the law fairly and even-handedly in every single case before me.

Judge Thomason has served in many leadership roles throughout the state, all while handling one of the highest volume dockets in Alabama. She currently serves on the legislative committee for the Alabama District Judges Association, co-chairman of the Education Committee for the Alabama Judicial College, member of the Alabama Supreme Court committee for the Rules of Judicial Administration, member of the Alabama Judicial Reallocation Commission, is a charter member of the Board of Directors of Baldwin Substance Abuse Services and is the immediate past president of the Alabama District Judges Association. She has served for four years as the President of the Eastern Shore Republican Women, a role from which she has stepped down in order to run for the Court. She is a frequent speaker and lecturer to judges, lawyers, and others throughout the State on topics related to veteran’s courts, family law, domestic violence, court technology and ethics.

Judge Thomason’s business background, her trial experience as an attorney and as a trial court judge, her strong work ethic, and her conservative values are the traits that she believes set her apart in this race. “My parents taught me the value of education, hard work, integrity and faith in God. I pray every day that I can live up to those standards. Frankly, if everyone in public office simply followed the model our parents and grandparents set for us, this state and this country would be in a far different and far better place.”

Judge Thomason attends Graceport Church in Fairhope, and is a member of the Fairhope Sunset Rotary Club and a Paul Harris Fellow. She is married to Tony Thomason and has one son, Jonathan, who is the pastor at Robertsdale United Methodist Church, a daughter in law, Liz, and two grandchildren.

For More Information email Judge Thomason at:

(News Release/Thomason Campaign)
1 year ago

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris seeks 6th term

Lee County Coroner Bill Harris, a lifelong resident of Lee County, has filed qualifying papers and will seek his 6th consecutive term to serve the citizens of Lee County as Coroner.

Harris has over 30 years’ experience serving in the Lee County Coroner’s Office with 19 of those as Coroner.

The Lee County Coroner’s Office investigates over 500 cases per year and has a staff of three- the Coroner and two deputy coroners.

Harris has over 1000 hours of continuing education in the medical and death investigation fields and was the first coroner in the state to become certified as a Diplomate of the American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators.

Harris has been instrumental in getting legislation passed to increase the qualifications, education and training of coroners and deputy coroners of the state.

Harris currently serves as president of the Alabama Coroners Association and has served as president 15 of the last 17 years. He also serves as Chairman of the Alabama Coroners Training Commission, which regulates and approves all training of all coroners and deputy coroners in the state of Alabama.

Harris is a board member of the Alabama Organ Center Advisory Board, State Fatality Management Group, Lee County Child Death Review Team, and Alabama Violent Death Reporting System board.

As a member of the State Mortuary Operations Response Team, Harris serves as the Lee County Team Leader and was responsible for securing over $200,000 in grant funds to purchase state assets stationed in Lee County for mass casualty response.

Harris retired as an EMS Supervisor from East Alabama Medical Center Emergency Medical services in 2016 with over 24 years of service as an Alabama licensed paramedic.

Harris has been involved in several civic organizations over the last 40 years and attends Pepperell Methodist Church. He and his wife, Christy, will celebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary in June. They have four children Drew (Claire) Weaver, Dylan (Rachele) Weaver, Mary Catemann Peters, and Will Harris. They are also grandparents to three grandchildren Andrew Peters, Margaret Weaver and Hut Weaver.

“I ask not only for your vote but your support and prayers most importantly. If re-elected as Lee County Coroner I will continue to serve our area with compassion, professionalism, integrity and dedication.”

(News Release/Harris Campaign)
1 year ago

District 4 County Commissioner Jeff Overstreet seeks fourth term


Dist 4 County Commissioner Jeff Overstreet has announced he will seek a 4th term for the office in 2018. Overstreet was first elected in 2006.

Being a local business owner has served Overstreet well during his time on the Commission.

“My years in business have afforded me the opportunity to learn the basics about budgeting, spending, and prioritizing needs as they arise. The County Commission is very budget driven. Most of what we do has spending tax dollars at the heart of it, and it’s our duty to distribute those dollars wisely.”

Overstreet currently serves as the Chairman for the County Commission. He is an advanced graduate of the County Commission training program administered by Auburn University. He has served on various boards and committees at the state level.

“My desire is to see this County continue to grow, and bring good paying jobs here so our children can work in their communities and raise a family close to their loved ones. Our mega site is moving toward “Advantage-site”designation. District 4 received the largest allocation of funding in Etowah County through the state ATRIP program. We have built bridges, and paved roads (78%) in the district during my tenure. I have returned almost $400,000 to the schools, fire departments, and community events in the last 11 years.

We have maintained a workable budget and have had clean audits for the last 11 years. I have brought just over $700,000 in grants to District 4, and will continue to seek out all possibilities to bring tax dollars back to Etowah County.”

Jeff is married to Freeda Overstreet.

They reside in Rainbow City.

Please visit our Facebook page

(News Release/Overstreet Campaign)

1 year ago

Proncey Robertson announces candidacy for Alabama House of Representatives


Proncey Robertson has qualified to run for the Alabama House of Representatives District 7 in the Republican Primary. District 7 covers parts of Lawrence, Morgan, Franklin, and Winston Counties. The Republican Primary is June 5. 

Robertson is currently serving the public as a Police Lieutenant at the Decatur Police Department, where his primary role and title for the past several years is Homeland Security Coordinator and Public Information Officer for the Department. In that position he also supervises the School Resource Officer Program (SRO’s) for the Decatur City School System and remains the School Safety Liaison Officer. Robertson also has the responsibility to supervise the Safety Education Unit which is responsible for a number of Community outreach responsibilities.

His dedication and public service begin after his high school graduation when he joined the United States Air in 1986. He then served in the U.S. Air Force from 1986-1990 and in the Persian Gulf War. Most of his service time was spent at Little Rock, AFB, in Arkansas as a Life Support Specialists. After receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1990 he applied and joined the law enforcement community in Russellville, AR in January 1992. In 1994 he was hired by the Decatur Police Department in Decatur Alabama and has remained in Law Enforcement for over 26 years. He is a Graduate of the Arkansas & Alabama State Police Academies and was promoted to Sargent in 2003 and again to Lieutenant in 2011. Robertson was deputized as a Special Deputy-US Marshal and served as a Federal Task Force Officer on the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task force (JTTF) for 7 years (2006-2013).     

Robertson has a long record of documented law enforcement training and experience in a number of subjects and uses his knowledge and skills to teach others at the Alabama Law Enforcement state police academies as well as multiple school districts around the state. He is well respected for his skills and knowledge within the law enforcement and emergency response community. Some of those skills include: Narcotic Enforcement, Criminal Investigations, Dignitary Protection, Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), Homeland Security Protective Measures, Emergency Management and Planning and Counter Terrorism. Lt. Robertson has worked extensively with local and state school officials and industries in the development of “Active Shooter” response procedures and plans. He is a certified instructor in a number of subjects including multiple instructor certifications for “Active Shooter” response courses for local law enforcement officers, S.W.A.T. Tactics, and Emergency Management, (i.e. A.L.E.R.R.T, S.O.L.O., A.L.I.C.E.). He currently serves on the State Board of Educations “Safe Schools Task Force”. He is also a certified instructor for National Incident Management System, (NIMS) Incident Command System, (ICS) & the Homeland Security Course Surveillance Detection. Lt. Robertson is a member of the Alabama All Hazards Incident Management Team. (AHIMT) He also serves on the Ohio Valley Sector Maritime Security Committee, and the Morgan County Industrial Emergency Planning Committee.  

Robertson has supervised the Decatur Police Departments Robbery/Homicide Unit, Crime Scene Investigations (CSI), the Street Crimes Unit (ACU) and the Honor Guard Unit. He has been a member of the Decatur Police Departments Special Response Unit (SWAT) since 1995 and served as the Decatur SWAT team Commander for 11 of his 21 years on the team. 

Robertson is one of the most decorated officers within the Decatur Police Department with (16) sixteen department medals which includes the Department’s Highest Award “The Medal of Valor”. He was the 2003 American Legion “Law Enforcement Officer of the Year” for the State of Alabama.  

I have spent my career and life serving and protecting the public and now I want to bring that leadership and dedication to our state,” said Robertson. I decided to run because I believe that families and communities should be strong and free from government intrusion. Government should be smaller, smarter, and more efficient. Hardworking families are taxed enough and it’s time to cut the wasteful spending. I believe in our conservative values and that we should protect life. Our children deserve the best education possible and should never be left in failing schools. My experience in law enforcement and the Republican party has prepared me for this opportunity. I am looking forward to getting our message out over the next months,” concluded Robertson. 

Robertson has been actively involved and has served on the Lawrence County Executive committee since 2006. He is currently serving as the Chairman of the Lawrence County Executive Committee and has held that role for the past 4 years. He is also a member of the Alabama Republican Party Executive Committee due to his role as county chairman. Under Robertson’s leadership the local county party has made great strides to advance the Republican Party in Lawrence County. Since 2006 Lawrence County Republicans have won almost every local seat available changing Lawrence County from a Blue to Red County in a very short time. 

Robertson was also appointed by Rep. Ken Johnson to sever on the Lawrence County Community Development Commission in 2010 where he still serves. The LCCDC is a local commission which reviews and awards local grant requests for TVA in-lieu of Tax Monies within Lawrence County.  

Robertson has played a key role and is well known throughout the state for his work as the Co-director of the non-profit organization called “The Alabama Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics”. Over the past 20 years he has worked within this organization and help build this organization from the ground up with grass roots fundraising. In that role he has organized special events and fundraisers to bring awareness and financial support to “Alabama Special Olympics.” He has been one of the most successful fundraisers in the organizations history, and was inducted into the “Alabama Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics, Hall of Fame” 2015 for his work and dedication to helping to bring millions of dollars in donations for children and adults with developmental disabilities.

Robertson is married to his lovely wife of 14 years, Kristi and has two adult sons Jacob and Daniel. He and Kristi are members of the Mt Hope Baptist Church in Mt Hope, AL, where they sing in the choir and have taught Sunday school to adults and assisted with young ministers for 13 years.

(News Release/Robertson Campaign)

1 year ago

Hunters’ help needed to keep chronic wasting disease out of Alabama



The Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources reminds hunters that a regulation prohibiting the importation to Alabama of whole carcasses and certain body parts of any deer from a Chronic Wasting Disease-positive state now includes Mississippi. The Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks recently announced that a deer in that state has tested positive for CWD. A portion of Mississippi is open to deer hunting through Feb. 15.

Because the most likely way of CWD being introduced to Alabama is through transportation, it has been illegal for decades for live deer to be imported into Alabama. To further combat the potential threat of the introduction of CWD into Alabama, prohibition of the importation of whole carcasses and certain body parts of deer from any CWD-positive state was implemented in 2016.

Parts that may be legally imported to Alabama include completely deboned meat; cleaned skull plates with attached antlers, if no visible brain or spinal cord tissue is present; upper canine teeth, if no root structure or other soft tissue is present; and finished taxidermy products or tanned hides.

CWD is a fatal neurological disease of white-tailed deer and other deer species, including mule deer, elk and moose. It is caused by a mutated protein called a prion. The disease is infectious, communicable, and always fatal for white-tailed deer. 

Once CWD arrives, infected deer serve as a reservoir for prions which will be shed into the environment in saliva, urine, blood, soft-antler material and feces. There are no known management strategies to lessen the risk of indirect transmission of CWD once an environment has been contaminated. This makes eradication of CWD very difficult, if not impossible.

Wildlife Section Chief Keith Gauldin says that Alabama has had a CWD surveillance program in place for white-tailed deer for many years. “Our wildlife biologists have continued to sample our deer herd throughout Alabama for CWD testing since 2001. To date, no deer has tested positive for CWD, and we are asking the public’s help to keep Alabama CWD free.”

Citizens can assist the Division of Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries with its CWD monitoring program by reporting any illegal transport of live deer or elk on Alabama’s roads and highways. Call the Operation Game Watch line immediately at 1-800-272-4263 if you see live deer or elk being transported in Alabama.

Deer infected with CWD will behave abnormally, often showing little of their normal wariness or fear of humans. It is important to note that other diseases may cause deer to exhibit similar symptoms. If any deer are observed exhibiting this behavior, please contact the Wildlife and Freshwater Fisheries office nearest you or the Operation Game Watch line at 1-800-272-4263.

For more information on CWD visit this link

(News Release/Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources)

1 year ago

Jim Zeigler to run again for State Auditor


Birmingham – State Auditor Jim Zeigler qualified with the Republican Party last week to seek a second term. He filed to run in the June 5 GOP primary.

In a release, Zeigler said “state government needs a watchman against waste and mismanagement.   I have added that role to the state auditor’s office.”

Zeigler was a critic of former Gov. Robert Bentley, mounting challenges to what he called “mismanagement and abuse by the Bentley administration.”  He filed the initial ethics complaint against Bentley.  On April 5 of last year, the ethics commission found probable cause that Bentley committed felony violations, including Zeigler’s complaint.  Five days later, Bentley resigned.

Zeigler sued to invalidate the troubled STAARS software contract, claiming it was an illegal no-bid contract by the Bentley administration. The state then canceled the $47 million STAARS contract.

Zeigler exposed Bentley’s diversion of $1.8 million of BP settlement money to restore the governor’s mansion at the beach. That action came a month after Bentley lost his own personal beach home in his divorce from his wife of 50 years.

After Bentley resigned, Zeigler was legally required to audit Alabama’s three governor’s mansions and the governor’s office in the capitol. He located all items and produced four perfect audits.  He found the infamous “Wanda’s Desk,” which had been moved by Bentley to keep a secretary from being able to hear goings-on in the governor’s private office.

Zeigler has completed three years of a four-year term as auditor and is term-limited to two terms.

Zeigler’s office is up-to-date on all audits despite suffering cuts of 28.5% to his budget.  “Under adverse circumstances, we have continued to get things done for the taxpayers of Alabama.”

In 2016, Zeigler’s wife Jackie Zeigler won election to the State Board of Education from the seven counties of southwest Alabama’s first district.  The couple have two children. James “Win” Zeigler has completed the drone pilot certification course at the University of South Alabama. Mary Magdalene “Maggie” Zeigler is a freshman at the University of Alabama.

Zeigler, 69, is a retired elder law attorney, formerly representing Veterans and senior citizens in obtaining nursing home benefits.

(News Release/Ziegler Campaign)