The Wire

  • The surprising link between Alabama seafood, timber and U.S. national security, and how Shelby is leading the way


    There are plenty of areas of debate over exactly how and where the U.S. should spend its foreign aid dollars. But for Alabamians in particular — and the entire Gulf Coast region more broadly — the international assistance that flows into cracking down on illegal wildlife trafficking is paying massive dividends, both economically and, perhaps more surprisingly, in terms of national security.

    A survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates Americans grossly overestimate the amount the federal government spends on foreign aid.  The average answer was foreign aid accounts for a whopping 31 percent of spending. Fifteen percent of respondents actually thought it represented over half of the U.S. budget.

    In reality, according to the Congressional Research Service, it accounts for about 1 percent total when military, economic development and humanitarian efforts are combined.  And it is paying massive dividends for Alabama.

    Here’s how:

  • Rep. Byrne to Hold 12 Town Hall Meetings

    From a Congressman Bradley Byrne news release:

    Congressman Bradley Byrne (R-AL) announced today that he will hold twelve town hall meetings during the August District Work Period.

    Known as the “Better Off Now” Town Hall Tour, Congressman Byrne will hold public town halls in each of the counties that make up Alabama’s First Congressional District. Byrne will discuss how the American people are better off now thanks to a booming economy, stronger military, and safer communities.

    Byrne ranks among the top of all Members of Congress for the number of town hall meetings held. Since assuming office in late 2013, Byrne has held over 100 town hall meetings, including meetings over the phone and through Facebook.

    All the town hall meetings are open to the public and free to attend. All the information can be found online below.

  • HudsonAlpha technology director to present at Google Cloud conference

    Excerpt from a HudsonAlpha news release:

    HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology Technology Director Katreena Mullican has been invited to present at the Google Next ‘18 conference in San Francisco, Calif, July 24-26.

    Google Next is an international conference where more than 10,000 developers, technology leaders, and entrepreneurs come together to have a collaborative discussion about the Google Cloud Platform.

    Mullican has more than 20 years of experience in architecting Linux, virtualization and hybrid cloud solutions. As HudsonAlpha’s Cloud Whisperer, Mullican brings her expertise in automation of on-prem composable and public cloud infrastructure for scientific applications and workflows to the Institute.

    “HudsonAlpha is one of the top sequencing centers in the world, so it’s my job to think outside the box to design hybrid platforms appropriate for our sequencing and research workloads,” said Mullican.

    Mullican will participate in a Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) Cloud Talk Tuesday at 1:00 pm in the South Hall to discuss how HudsonAlpha uses the composable HPE Synergy platform for an on-premises Kubernetes cluster that can scale to Google Cloud Platform.

2 months ago

PGA champs Fred Funk, Tim Petrovic hold Alabama Power Junior Clinic today in Birmingham

(Regions Tradition/Facebook)

PGA champions Fred Funk and Tim Petrovic will offer life-long lessons to children this morning in Birmingham, part of Alabama Power’s Junior Clinic in advance of this week’s Regions Tradition.

More than 300 third through fifth graders from local schools will take part in the clinic at Greystone Golf & Country Club, which will focus on teaching students about life lessons that come with the game of golf.


During the clinic, students will learn what it means to be a professional golfer and how the PGA champions worked their way to the top through hard work, focus and determination. Funk and Petrovic will share stories about their careers while incorporating the importance of sportsmanship, honesty and friendship.

The Regions Tradition will take place Wednesday through Sunday. Tickets start at only $20, and children 18 and younger are admitted free with a ticketed adult.

All the stars of the PGA TOUR Champions will compete in this major championship, including John Daly, Vijay Singh, Steve Stricker, Tom Lehman and defending champion Bernhard Langer.

For more information, please visit

2 months ago

Yellowhammer launches new radio show on WYDE 101.1 FM

Yellowhammer Multimedia this week launched a new radio show: “The Wake-Up Call with Baylor and Hannah” that airs weekdays from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. on WYDE 101.1 FM.

The talk show focuses on politics, faith and culture and features Birmingham-based co-hosts Baylor Cook and former Rick and Bubba intern Hannah Hutson. The duo met at Samford University, where Cook is studying journalism and Hutson is editor-in-chief of the university newspaper.


“I’ve found that it is very rare to find other young women who are vocal on their conservative views,” Hutson said. “My goal is to bring a feminine touch to the show and voice the opinions I know many people have on a college campus but are sometimes hesitant to speak up about.”

Cook also co-hosts Yellowhammer’s radio show “The Weekend Briefing with Kyle Morris,” which airs Saturdays 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and replays Sundays 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on WYDE.

“I’m very excited for the opportunity to continue to grow my role with the Yellowhammer family, and to continue to work with the people of the great state of Alabama every day. I look forward to helping listeners across the state start their morning off not only in an informative fashion, but also in a fun way.”

Yellowhammer Multimedia CEO BJ Ellis describes the co-hosts as “deep thinkers with a relatable side.”

“I’m super excited about the new radio show,” Ellis said. “I have ultimate confidence in Baylor and Hannah. It’s nice to see young people thinking at the level they think at and not only that, they have great chemistry and the show will be very entertaining for listeners. This will be a great way to start the day.”

“The Wake-Up Call with Baylor and Hannah” can be heard in Birmingham, Huntsville and Cullman.

3 months ago

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones received ‘illegally over-sized campaign donations’ from Rosie O’Donnell – NY Post

(Wikimedia Commons)

Alabama Sen. Doug Jones and four other Democrats received “illegally over-sized campaign donations” from Rosie O’Donnell, according to a report in the NY Post.

The newspaper analyzed campaign finance reports and found that O’Donnell has “regularly” exceeded the contribution limits of $2,700 per election set by the Federal Election Commission.

“Alabama Sen. Doug Jones disclosed $4,700 from O’Donnell in his special general election bid last year against former GOP judge and accused child molester Roy Moore, his campaign filings show,” read the Post article. 


O’Donnell’s leftward politics first spilled into view years ago when she confronted actor Tom Selleck on her daytime talk show for his support of the NRA. She’s been a vocal advocate for leftist policies and a sometimes vulgar critic of conservatives since.

“Nothing nefarious,” O’Donnell told the Post. “I was not choosing to over donate. If [$2,700] is the cut off — [candidates] should refund the money.”

She claims to have used the contribution platform ActBlue to make the donations and said she doesn’t keep up with exactly how much she’s given to candidates.

The Post said Jones’ office didn’t return messages seeking comments.

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3 months ago

AUDIO: Straight talk about Tom Brokaw and #MeToo — Rachel Bryars joins Huntsville’s The Dale Jackson Show


Yellowhammer News Managing Editor Rachel Blackmon Bryars today joined the Dale Jackson Show on News Talk 770 AM / 92.5 FM WVNN to discuss an opinion article she wrote about the Tom Brokaw allegations, plus Bryars and Jackson discuss the #MeToo movement, the media, Mike Pence and why culture mocks virtue but destroys people who make mistakes.


Subscribe to our YouTube channel and never miss another interview, video post, or short film from Yellowhammer Multimedia.

3 months ago

Alabama Power customers won’t pay as much for power starting this summer


Power bills will go down for many Alabamians starting this summer.

The Public Service Commission today announced that Alabama Power Company’s 1.4 million customers will not pay as much for power and fuel beginning in July.

According to the PSC, there will be a $337 million reduction over the next two years because of the federal income tax cuts approved by Congress and signed into law by President Trump in December.


“This is a great day for Alabama consumers and taxpayers,” said PSC President Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh in a statement. “What a difference President Trump has made to reverse the out of control policies of the tax-and-spend-and-regulate Obama Administration.”

A typical residential customer will see monthly bill reductions of more than $9. Overall customer reductions will total $257 million from July to December and then customer bills will be reduced by another $50 million in 2019. Fuel costs will be reduced by $30 million.

“That is real money going back to Alabamians, who can spend it on things other than electric bills,” Commissioner Jeremy Oden said. “President Trump and Republicans in Congress deserve great praise for bringing real relief to Alabamians and all Americans.”

The Commission unanimously voted in support of the actions and worked with Alabama Power to guarantee no increases in the company’s base rates through 2020.

They also modified the rate system governing the company, lowering the top end of the range and providing an allowable percentage to be used to maintain the company’s credit rating that the PSC said is necessary to control the overall cost of debt for customers, according to a Commission press release.

3 months ago

Republican candidate for Montgomery County School Board alleged to be longtime Democrat, teacher’s union supporter


Larry Lee, a candidate for the Republican nomination for a seat on the Montgomery County Board of Education, has been described in a memo as a R.I.N.O (Republican-In-Name-Only) by a veteran GOP lawmaker for his longtime association with the Democrat Party and support of policies promoted by Alabama’s controversial teachers union.

“Larry Lee does not deserve to have our Republican brand beside his name,” wrote Perry O. Hooper, Jr., in a recent letter asking the Alabama Republican Party to refrain from certifying Lee should he prevail in the upcoming primary.

Lee is well known in political circles as a vocal opponent of the Alabama Accountability Act, the bill passed a few years ago that allows students who are stuck in underperforming public schools to receive vouchers for private education.

Hooper, a former Republican legislator who sits on the state party’s executive committee, claims his memo shows a “strong pattern of evidence” that Lee isn’t a genuine Republican and therefore shouldn’t be allowed to represent the party during a general election, including:


— Lee voted in the Democrat Party Primary as recently as the 2017 special U.S. Senate election.

— Lee has been a Democrat candidate for office four times — twice against U.S. Rep. Bill Dickinson (R-Montgomery) who Hooper calls one of the state party’s “Founding Fathers.”

— Lee contributed to the Democrat who challenged stalwart conservative U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) in the 2010 general election.

— Lee has been a paid contractor for the Alabama Education Association, Hooper’s memo alleges, and that Lee “parrots” the union’s policies in newspaper columns.

“When Mr. Lee goes to vote in the Republican Primary in a few weeks,” wrote Hooper, “it will be the eighth time he has seen his name on the ballot … every time prior to this one, he had a “D” beside his name.”

The school board race in Montgomery County is particularly critical this cycle. The school district, which has been called “chronically underperforming” by the local newspaper, was taken over by the State Board of Education and will not regain local control until its books and its performance show improvement.

The area where Lee is running to represent was described as a “Republican bastion,” by one political operative, so a Democrat would have a tough time winning in the general election.

Efforts to reach Lee were unsuccessful and a spokesperson for the Alabama Republican Party said it doesn’t discuss “inter-party business” like Hooper’s letter.

The primary is June 5.

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3 months ago

VIDEO: Alabama Gov. Ivey’s killer one-liner at Yellowhammer Women of Impact Awards


Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey and top female leaders from across the state gathered in Birmingham last month as honorees at Yellowhammer Multimedia’s inaugural Women of Impact Awards held at Ross Bridge Renaissance Resort & Spa.

National media personality Dr. Gina Loudon emceed the standing-room-only event, saying Alabama will always be her “sweet home” after she worked as a radio host in Birmingham.

WATCH the 3 min. video to see Gov. Ivey give the best one-liner of the evening:


Here is the full list of amazing honorees:

3 months ago

Alabama National Guard sniper keeps cool as snake slithers across his rifle barrel

A snake slithers across a sniper’s rifle (U.S. Army)

Snakes … why did it have to be snakes?

U.S. Army Sgt. William Frye took what had to be his unit’s photo of the year: a southern black racer slithered across a rifle held by an Alabama National Guard sniper during a recent training exercise at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.

The sniper was Pfc. William Snyder of Alabama’s 1-174 Infantry, and he kept his cool in a way that would have even impressed the late c.

“Our snipers are trained to remain perfectly still for hours on end when in position and remain invisible to enemies … and even wildlife,” read a post on the unit’s Facebook page.

Army Strong!

3 months ago

Yellowhammer News to begin carrying articles from the Mises Institute in Auburn


Yellowhammer News announced today that it will begin carrying articles written by the scholars at the Mises Institute, a world-renowned economics research center located in Auburn.

“Many conservatives are likely unaware that our beliefs in the free market were significantly, if not entirely, shaped by Ludwig Von Mises and his students,” said the site’s editor, J. Pepper Bryars. “In this era of tribalism and partisanship, getting back to our core principles — knowing them, abiding by them, teaching them — is more important than ever, and the scholars at the Mises Institute, located right here in Alabama, can help us achieve that goal.”


According to its website, the Mises Institute was founded in 1982 to “promote teaching and research in the Austrian school of economics, individual freedom, honest history, and international peace, in the tradition of Ludwig von Mises and Murray N. Rothbard.”

“As both Mises and Rothbard demonstrated with their work, free markets are really at the heart of a just society,” said Jeff Deist, president of the Mises Institute. “We don’t support markets for their own sake, but because they are so essential in promoting peace and freedom in the world today.”

The Mises Institute hosts faculty, students, and other researchers at its Auburn campus, and it works with dozens of associated scholars worldwide on a variety of research projects. The Institute has held hundreds of teaching conferences and seminars on subjects from monetary policy to the history of war, as well as the international and interdisciplinary Austrian Economics Research Conference.

From these programs, the Institute has sponsored many books and hundreds of scholarly papers, in addition to thousands of published popular articles on economic and historical issues.

For more information or to contribute to the Mises Institute, visit their website.

3 months ago

YH FILM: Former homeless Montgomery man shares hard-earned wisdom


A 63-year-old man known as “Wise William” is well-known in the Montgomery historic garden district for riding his bike all around town and sharing his smile and sunny outlook on life. William took a freight train from Birmingham to Montgomery forty years ago and stayed in Montgomery. He was homeless for some time but now has a room with an elderly lady.

“William is an inspiration,” said Chason Smitherman, Sr. who creates Yellowhammer Films and owns Growing Dreamz Media. “…We all need a little get up and go like William, and we all need to have that faith that William has.”

WATCH the 1-minute Yellowhammer film “Wise William”:

(What are your words of wisdom? Share this video on social media and start a conversation with your family and friends)

3 months ago

Alabama’s Yellowhammer Multimedia and Mississippi’s Y’all Politics announce strategic partnership

Birmingham-based Yellowhammer Multimedia on Monday announced a new strategic partnership with leading Mississippi political news site Y’all Politics.

Y’all Politics was founded in 2004 and has built a loyal audience who value honest news and insightful conservative opinion. The site has been recognized around the country for its work and is regularly cited in national publications.

Yellowhammer Multimedia is a leading online and radio-based news content provider in Alabama.

The scope of the partnership will include increasing Y’all Politics readership though additional content and social media, editorial guidance, event planning including the MSTop50 event sponsored annually by Y’all Politics, and development of new streams of revenue through digital production.

“We’ve watched as Yellowhammer has grown into a mature media presence in Alabama,” said Alan Lange, founder and CEO of Jackson New Media, Inc., (parent company of Y’all Politics).

“There is a lot of affinity between the two organizations and between the leaders of both organizations personally. This partnership is going to propel Y’all Politics to a different level and give readers in Mississippi a distinctly different platform for news and information.”


Yellowhammer Multimedia’s owner and publisher is Allison Ross, a successful consulting, real estate and public relations entrepreneur, who grew up in Pascagoula, Mississippi, and earned a degree in broadcast news and political science from the University of Alabama.

“Mississippi is my home and we are thrilled to become part of the Y’all Politics team,” said Ross. “This collaboration is incredibly exciting on both a personal and professional level.”

Ross, her husband John, and their twins Mac and Clara have lived in Decatur, Birmingham and Montgomery and currently reside in Memphis, Tennessee.

Brian “B.J.” Ellis, chief executive officer of Yellowhammer Multimedia, said he looks forward to establishing an active presence in Mississippi and partnering with Y’all Politics to combine experience and expertise going into the coming Mississippi elections in 2018 and 2019.

“After living in Mississippi for more than six years, the partnership will provide a great opportunity to reconnect with its people,” said Ellis, a former basketball coach for Delta State University and Mississippi Valley State University.

Y’all Politics added its first full-time reporter in January. Sarah Ulmer’s daily reports from the State Capitol have created an immediate impact on how news is reported there and additional reporting resources for Y’all Politics are planned in the coming months.

“Yellowhammer has positioned itself as Alabama’s premier source for conservative news, opinion and analysis,” Ross said. “We are proud of the multimedia enterprise we have built in Alabama and with the next two active years of Mississippi political cycles, we knew it was the right time to expand and amplify the Y’all Politics platform to the fullest.”

4 months ago

Dr. Gina Loudon is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact


Media personality Dr. Gina Loudon may have grown up in Missouri, but the firebrand conservative commentator who regularly appears on national television and radio says she will always call Alabama her “sweet home.”

Loudon, who got her talk radio and TV start in St. Louis, moved to Alabama to host the popular “Dr. Gina Show” on Birmingham’s WYDE where she said her broadcast career was “really born.”

“It really began happening for me in Alabama,” Loudon said in an interview with Yellowhammer News. “It wasn’t so much about me, but it was really about what my audience in Alabama taught me about myself, how they believed in me, and how they inspired me.”

Loudon arrived for her new job the day after tornadoes ravaged the area. She said the experience bonded her to Alabamians.


“I was put on air ’round the clock because we were the only radio signal that survived the tornado, and people were depending on us for food, medicine, and even company,” she said. “I didn’t know a single road, a single moray, or the difference between Alabama and Auburn. But I would learn.”

Loudon said she and her husband, former Missouri State Senator John Louden, had a conversation one evening at their home in Hoover and agreed they never wanted to leave Alabama.

“Our lives were complete,” she said. “We loved our work, our home, our friends, and our family was really flourishing in Alabama. We planned that night to stay forever.”

When John was recruited for a job in California, the couple initially said no before reconsidering whether God was calling them to serve in the state that Loudon said she felt was being destroyed by its government.

“We told ourselves it was a tour of duty, and looking back now, I can tell you that was a true description,” Loudon said. “California, in all her beauty, cost us greatly. Our children were changed, and we were attacked in ways that are darker than I can describe. But we fought the fight, alongside great patriots.”

Loudon, a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact, has gone on to host national TV shows and frequently appears on Sean Hannity’s radio show and networks such as Fox News, Fox Business, CSPAN, ABC and the BBC. She is the author of several books and her latest, “Mad Politics,” will be released in September and is now available for pre-order.

Loudon also serves on President Trump’s media advisory board and was a National Republican Convention delegate for Trump, as well as an official media surrogate and spokesperson for his campaign.

Her opinion columns have appeared on, and and she has been a featured speaker at the American Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).

She holds a master’s degree from St. Louis University and a master’s degree and doctorate in human development from Fielding Graduate University.

The Loudons have five children, one of whom is an adopted child with Down syndrome. Loudon is an outspoken advocate for special needs children and chairs a non-profit foundation to help families who choose life or wish to adopt children with special needs.

“For some reason, people find it difficult to believe that we set out, and searched for 10 years, for a child with Down syndrome who we could adopt,” Loudon wrote in a recent op-ed.

“Samuel was born to a Latino man and a Polish woman in a large public hospital in Florida. Today Samuel’s birth mom is one of my very best friends. She had attempted several times to abort him, and she says God intervened in miraculous ways … once when her car ran out of gas and another time when a train stalled across the highway,” Loudon wrote of her 12-year-old son’s birth story.

“We have been so blessed by adopting Samuel,” Loudon said in a touching St. Louis Post-Dispatch video produced when Samuel was a toddler. “There’s just no question that it has been, I would say, the hand of God in our family.”

Loudon returns to Alabama to host the inaugural Yellowhammer Women of Impact awards this evening, both as master of ceremonies, and as an honoree. Details and registration may be found here.

“Alabamians understand something that I can tell you with authority, most of the rest of the country don’t understand,” Loudon said. “They know secrets about life that make them wiser in many ways, than the ‘enlightened’ coasts or the ‘savvy states’ that love to look down their proverbial noses at the south. They taught me how to be a Woman of Impact.”

4 months ago

Jeana Ross is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact

An Alabama program called First Class Pre-K is seeing such extraordinary results that Harvard University is producing a documentary about the effort and more than 30,000 four-year-olds were pre-registered last year in hopes of snagging one of the less than 17,000 available spots state-wide.

The program is overseen by Alabama Secretary of Early Education Jeana Ross, a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact, who has seen First Class Pre-K’s attendance increase by 374 percent under her leadership, while maintaining the highest possible ranking for quality by the National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER).

Alabama hosts the program in more than 950 classrooms statewide and is one of only two states to meet all 10 of the institute’s quality benchmarks.


Ross told Yellowhammer News that the most rewarding part of her work is seeing firsthand the impact that skilled teachers can make, inspiring “a sense of wonder, joy, creativity, achievement and success” in a student’s learning.

“I care about children and their right to reach their greatest potential,” Ross said. “Education can and should provide children a powerful opportunity to find purpose and success for their future lives.”

Studies measuring results from tests such as the Alabama Reading and Math Test and the ACT found that First Class Pre-K alumni outperformed their peers who did not attend the program, according to the Alabama School Readiness Alliance.

Ross, who is the mother-in-law of Yellowhammer News owner and publisher Allison Ross, helped secure a $77.5 million preschool development grant to help fund the state-funded program, which also requires local communities to provide at least 25 percent of the funding to participate.

Also under her leadership, the Office of Early Learning and Family Support division of her department has expanded to serve 4,289 vulnerable families and children through more than $12 million in federal awards.

In all, Ross has led her department in writing and receiving federal grant awards totaling more than $100 million.

She attributes much of her success to the partnerships she has built with other groups serving children and families in Alabama to build a cohesive support system.

“My success has been achieved in a collective effort of devoted educators who, regardless of pay or recognition, work to create experiences where children enjoy through natural curiosity and joyful exploration a love of learning that lasts a lifetime,” Ross said.

Ross is a member of Governor Kay Ivey’s cabinet and was appointed by Governor Bentley in 2012. She advises the governor and state legislature in matters relating to the coordination of services for children under the age of 19 and, among her divisions, also oversees the Children’s Policy Councils, the Children First Trust Fund and the Head Start Collaboration office.

Ross previously served in a variety of education roles in Alabama, including as a central office administrator, assistant principal and classroom teacher. She holds a master’s degree in education leadership from the University of Alabama and a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from UAB.

“My hope for education in Alabama is for every child to have a competent, sensitive and responsive teacher every day, every year,” Ross said.

As other states look to Ross’s success in Alabama’s early education, she offered three recommendations in a 2017 U.S. Department of Education interview:

“Set high-quality standards, communicate what those are, and demonstrate what they look like; involve parents, businesses and industry leaders in the initiative; and provide supports such as coaching and monitoring to maintain quality,” she said.

Ross and her husband live in Guntersville and Montgomery and have two adult sons and two grandchildren.

Join Ross and special guests from across the state for a Birmingham awards event March 29 honoring the 20 Yellowhammer Women of Impact whose powerful contributions advance Alabama. Details and registration may be found here.

4 months ago

Evangelist Scott Dawson wins Pike County GOP straw poll in Alabama’s governor’s race

(Dawson Campaign)

Evangelist and gubernatorial candidate Scott Dawson won a straw poll earlier this week conducted by the Pike County Republican Club.

Dawson received 52 percent of the vote from the club’s members, followed by Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle with 38 percent, Governor Kay Ivey with 6 percent and State Sen. Bill Hightower with 4 percent, according to a release from Dawson’s campaign.

He recently won another straw poll, taking 39 of the 55 votes cast during a meeting earlier this month of the Tennessee Valley Republican Club in Huntsville.

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(Image: Scott Dawson for Governor)

4 months ago

VIDEO: Alabama Rep. Roby thanks Air Force secretary for decision to bring F-35s to Montgomery

U.S. Representative Martha Roby participated in a defense appropriations subcommittee hearing this week where she expressed her appreciation to Secretary Heather Wilson for the Air Force’s decision to base F-35 Joint Strike Fighters at Dannelly Field in Montgomery.

Roby also discussed other military-related programs in Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, including helicopter training at Fort Rucker near Enterprise and the professional education programs at Maxwell-Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery.

(Image: Representative Martha Roby/YouTube)

4 months ago

Dr. Patti Dare is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact

Alabamians who live in Huntsville know it’s not unusual for their neighbors, friends and other folks they meet around town to have the letters Ph.D behind their names and work in engineering, defense, tech and science fields that have helped the city earn its reputation as the smartest city in Alabama.

One of those Huntsville-area Ph.Ds is Patti Dare of Boeing, who earned her doctorate in chemistry from the University of South Florida. She now leads global sales and marketing for the company’s Strategic Deterrent Systems business, which includes its Minuteman programs, the Boeing Guidance Repair Center, Ground Based Strategic Deterrence (GBSD), and other intercontinental ballistic missile efforts, according to the company.

Dare, a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact, led the successful campaign to win one of the two government contracts awarded this past August to design and develop the next generation of ICBMs to replace the Minuteman system.


The project has brought hundreds of new jobs to Alabama and will continue to grow over the projected 50-year life of the program, according to company materials.

“I am so humbled and honored to have the opportunity to help protect our nation and lead this campaign … which will bring high wage, high tech, clean industry jobs to Alabama,” Dare said in a statement about the contract. “This mission is so critical to our generation and the generations to come – we need to get the best capability into the warfighter’s hands as quickly as possible and affordably. I am up for the challenge with this very talented government, Boeing and industry team.”

Dare’s diverse industry experience at various corporations is an asset, considering her responsibilities include “leveraging capabilities, expertise and resources” not just within Boeing but across the industry, according to a company bio.

Before joining Boeing, Dare was chief operating officer for Davidson Technologies, where she was responsible for programs in missiles, aerospace, cybersecurity and intelligence markets, as well as company growth and overall strategic vision.

Dare also served as a program director at Lockheed Martin, and among other achievements and responsibilities she was “responsible for the design, build, test and launch of targets and countermeasures supporting the Missile Defense Agency with 100% mission success,” the bio says.

Dare began her career at Honeywell International as a senior materials engineer and progressed to the positions of program manager for missile activities and business development manager for missiles and interceptors and special programs.

Dare credits her successful career trajectory to education, setting high goals and the people who helped her along the way.

“I had great mentors, coaches, people willing to take a chance on me, and an awesome support structure with family and friends,” Dare told Yellowhammer News. “I was very blessed having an encouraging and supportive family.”

Dare was born in Ohio and was the middle child between two brothers in a family that moved frequently for her father’s career.

When asked about leading as a woman in her industry, Dare said she’s learned some important lessons.

“Focus on the mission and the positive,” she said. “You need to gain respect. Relationships and communication are key. Asking for help is okay. Be yourself. Little things can make a big difference, and it’s not always about you or your career.”

Dare, who serves on the board for the U.S. Space & Rocket Center Education Foundation and on the University of Alabama in Huntsville engineering board, said the best life and work advice she could give is to try to find work-life balance, to mentor and help others, and to address problems “head-on.”

“Find things that make you happy,” she said. “Take time to think and reflect, find people you admire, respect and want to learn from, and share your lessons learned.”

Dare will be among 20 Alabama women, including Gov. Kay Ivey, honored in a March 29 awards event in Birmingham that will benefit Big Oak Ranch. Event details and registration may be found here.

4 months ago

VIDEO: Sen. Shelby speaks on bill to reform harmful Dodd-Frank regulations, improve economy

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-Tuscaloosa) voted this week in support of a bill to reform some of the harmful effects of the Dodd-Frank regulations enacted during the Obama era and brings relief to community banks and credit unions throughout Alabama.

The legislation, which passed 67-31, shifts the focus of regulatory agencies away from small institutions to larger ones that could pose significant risks to our economy, according to Shelby’s office. This will allow smaller banks and credit unions to focus on their customers rather than burdensome regulators.

(Image: SenatorRichardShelby/YouTube)

4 months ago

Roll Trump Roll – ‘Bama football to visit White House for national championship celebration

The Alabama Crimson Tide football team is travelling – yet again – to the White House to celebrate another national championship victory.

President Donald Trump will host Coach Nick Saban and the team at the White House on April 10, according to a source familiar with the plans.

The president attended the national championship game in Atlanta where Alabama defeated the Georgia Bulldogs in a stunning 26-23 overtime win.

An official announcement is expected later today.

(Image: White House/Flickr & Alabama Football/Facebook)

4 months ago

VIDEO: Alabama lawmaker explains his bill to arm teachers on national talk show

(Image: State Rep. Will Ainsworth on the Jesse Lee Peterson Show – J.L. Peterson/Youtube)

Alabama State Rep. Will Ainsworth, a Republican lawmaker from Guntersville, recently appeared on the Jesse Lee Peterson Show to promote his legislation to allow trained teachers to carry firearms on school grounds.

Watch the video here:

(Image: State Rep. Will Ainsworth on the Jesse Lee Peterson Show – J.L. Peterson/Youtube)

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4 months ago

Stephanie Bryan is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact

Did you know that the only federally recognized Indian tribe in Alabama operates as a sovereign nation with its own government and bylaws on a hard-won official reservation near Atmore?

Seated at the top of the tribe, in its highest leadership position, is a woman who has seen her people go from poverty to prosperity in the span of just a few decades.

In 2014, Stephanie Bryan, who will this month be honored as a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact, became the first female political leader elected to the position of tribal chair and CEO for the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, descendants of a segment of Creek Indians who once inhabited most of Alabama and Georgia.

Bryan told Yellowhammer News that it is not unusual for her tribe to prize women’s leadership because historically, they have had a “matrilineal society,” meaning that children are considered descendants from their mother’s clan, not their father’s.

“Women have traditionally been involved in the decision-making process for the greater good of the Tribe,” Bryan said, which includes nearly 3,000 enrolled members. “That said, I still grew up in the 80s in the deep South in a small town and there was no easy way to develop leadership skills.”

Bryan was raised by a single mother and said, “We didn’t have much money, but we had a lot of family, a lot of love, and a lot of fun.”

“We ran barefoot in the red dirt, played stickball, an old Indian game sort of like lacrosse, and spent a lot of time on the front porch shelling peas and just talking,” Bryan said. “I loved hearing the stories from my grandmother and aunts. They were funny and strong and had a deep faith in God and the future.

Bryan said her mother “pushed her to do more” because she did not want her daughter to remain poor, and that she went on to do well in high school, start a family young and attend the nearby junior college.

Bryan worked two jobs while raising her family in federally funded tribal housing and said her work in insurance taught her about business and customer service and forced her “to read a lot of complicated documents.”

Bryan’s mother was with her when she first won the tribal chair election, but passed away before she was reelected.

“I try to honor her by doing for others what she did for me. I listen,” said Bryan, who raised three children with her husband and has 10 grandchildren.

“Something else,” she said. “When another person has a good idea, I publicly recognize it. Because when we recognize each other’s value, we force others to recognize it too, and that is when one individual’s success strengthens us all.”

Today, Bryan oversees all tribal operations, including tribal government, Creek Indian Enterprises Development Authority (CIEDA), and PCI Gaming Authority (PCIGA).

The tribe’s economy has grown a stunning 1000 percent since Bryan began serving as vice-chair in 2006, according to figures from the tribe’s office.

The Poarch Creeks also said their economic impact in Alabama includes these 2016 figures:

— 9,064: Direct and indirect jobs the tribe provides in Alabama.

— $414.1 million: Spent on goods and services by tribal government, CIEDA and PCIGA.

— $298.1 million: State, local and federal income, sales and other related taxes generated by tribal government, CIEDA and PCIGA.

— $88.4 million: Paid in wages to PCIGA employees.

— $49.2 million: Contributed by the tribe in donations, charitable contributions, sponsorships and mutual aid agreements since 2013, including county drug task forces, the Huntsville Redstone Gateway nine project, fire departments, roads, buildings, hospitals, educational institutions, and many other community and government initiatives and projects.

— $25 million: Educational scholarships the PBCI have provided to tribal members and first generation descendants since 2013.

Perhaps the tribe is best known for its Wind Creek branded gaming facilities located in Atmore, Wetumpka and Montgomery, its resorts and casinos in Aruba and Curacao, and its $250 million OWA (pronounced oh- wah) complex in Foley, which includes an amusement park and was named by the Alabama Tourism Department as its 2018 attraction of the year.

Just last week, the Poarch Creeks announced another major expansion: the $1.3 billion acquisition of the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem in Pennsylvania.

“I will always stay humble, no matter how far we grow as a Tribe,” Bryan said. “…I will always remember where I come from and how blessed I have been.”

Bryan will be among 20 Alabama women, including Gov. Kay Ivey, honored in a March 29 awards event in Birmingham that will benefit Big Oak Ranch. Event details and registration may be found here.

4 months ago

Check out our new website design!

Out with the old, in with the … news feed!

Our website has undergone a complete redesign to better provide our readers with the information they want and need, including innovations like:

— The Wire, which will feature excerpts and links to relevant news from around the internet.

— A scrolling, news feed-based design so you can quickly scan our stories.

— And a “Latest Stories” tag (that stopwatch on the menu bar for you smartphone readers) so you can quickly see what’s new.

It was developed by Wes Thompson and the team at

And as with anything new, it’ll take some getting used to. We’ll also be working on a few glitches and bugs here and there, so your patience and feedback are greatly appreciated.

Thank you!

– The editors

5 months ago

Craig Ford’s newspaper deletes favorable reference to Mack Butler made by syndicated columnist – Heard in the Hallway

Yellowhammer News just heard in the hallway that the weekly newspaper owned by State Rep. Craig Ford, I-Gadsden, apparently removed a favorable reference to his Republican opponent that appeared in a statewide syndicated column it carries.

The column, Inside the Statehouse by Steve Flowers, was issued online February 28 and — between mentions of the races between Mary Scott Hunter and Sam Givan, and Donnie Chesteen and Harri Anne Smith — you could find this sentence:

“State Representative, Mack Butler, is favored to win the Republican Gadsden area seat of retiring Senator Phil Williams.”

However, when the column was published days later in the print edition of the Messenger, the sentence was apparently removed:

March 2, 2018 print edition of the Gadsden Messenger

Flowers told us that he doesn’t mind if editors remove certain portions of his column.

Regardless, Heard in the Hallway feels a little bit embarrassed for Ford … but just a little bit.

(Have a tip for Heard in the Hallway? Send it directly to

5 months ago

Eufaula High School basketball player delivers amazing post-game speech despite losing title game


Eufaula High School’s boy team lost a heartbreaker this week in the Class 5A state championship game.

According to Dothan Eagle, Eufaula overcame a nine-point deficit with three minutes remaining to force overtime, only to see their squad trail by seven points down three starters with just over a minute left in the extra period.

The Tigers had multiple chances to take the lead, but fell to Sylacauga 79-78 in Birmingham’s BJCC Legacy Arena.

After the game, Eufaula senior Terrell Jones delivered an amazing speech that not only brought his coach to tears, but everyone else in the room, too.

Transcript as follows:

It’s been a long time since, you know, Eufaula has been in the state championship. Since day one, I remember the first day Coach Smith came in the gym. He said, “If you want to be a state champion, you gotta be different. Everybody can’t be a state champion.”

I never forget a word that man said to me. Each and every second that wind down, I was just thinking, “I gotta be different. I gotta separate myself. I gotta separate myself to show that I’m different.” Because I wanted to be a state champion. And we fell one-point short.

But I know all those young guys in that locker room, they have a bright future. Because everything that I’ve been through, they’re going through and they still have to go through. So, it’s only gonna make them better. This man right there is the best coach I’ve ever had in my life. I wouldn’t trade him for the world.

5 months ago

VIDEO: UAB Hospital’s special Air Force surgical team appears on NBC Nightly News

Special Operations Surgical Team from Birmingham during a reenlistment. Back, left to right, Lt. Col. Ben Mitchell, Capt. Cade Reedy, Maj. Nelson Pacheco, Lt. Col. Matthew Uber. Kneeling, Maj. Justin Manley, left, and Tech. Sgt. Richard Holguin. (Air Force)
Special Operations Surgical Team from Birmingham during a reenlistment. Back, left to right, Lt. Col. Ben Mitchell, Capt. Cade Reedy, Maj. Nelson Pacheco, Lt. Col. Matthew Uber. Kneeling, Maj. Justin Manley, left, and Tech. Sgt. Richard Holguin. (Air Force)


Members of a U.S. Air Force special operations surgical team that’s based at UAB Hospital in Birmingham were recently awarded Bronze Stars for their service during a mission to an undisclosed location in 2016.

The small team of active duty doctors and nurses treated 750 patients, responded to 19 mass-casualty events, conducted 16 life-saving surgeries, and treated victims of a chemical weapons attack, according to a news release.

The airmen were featured Saturday’s broadcast of NBC Nightly News (video below).

A special arrangement between UAB Hospital and the Air Force allows active duty medical officers to serve in the facility’s level one trauma center when not deployed, handling emergency room and surgical cases. In return, the airmen gain valuable experience treating injuries that are often seen during combat operations – gunshots, stabbings and serious vehicle accidents.

“Military hospitals in the states typically don’t see a lot of trauma,” said Dr. Jeffrey Kerby, a director of surgery at UAB, in a news release. “For a medical team to keep their skills sharp, they need a more challenging environment.”

For their efforts during the deployment, the following airmen who work at UAB received Bronze Stars, the fourth highest honor the military and bestow upon a service member:

— Lt. Col. Ben Mitchell
— Lt. Col. Matthew Uber
— Maj. Justin Manley
— Maj. Jonathan Chin
— Maj. Nelson Pacheco
— Capt. Cade Reedy.
— Technical Sgt. Richard Holguin

 Here’s the video, courtesy NBC Nightly News:

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