The Wire

  • Dale Jackson: As long as Nancy Worley leads the Alabama Democratic Party, they will remain stuck on the toilet

    Excerpt:

    In December of 2014, Alabama Democratic Party Chairwoman Nancy Worley wrote a Christmas letter, and it included details about an embarrassing ordeal where she was unable to get off the toilet, which is still a pretty good metaphor for Alabama Democrats.

    “April brought another trauma to my knees which balked when I tried to rise from my lowly 14″ commode. Again, I sat for hours awaiting Wade’s scheduled arrival; however, his attempt to lift me was futile—when he pulled me up, he fell backwards and I fell on my knees again. Solution: we installed the tallest available, 17 1/2 inch commode and a pull-up bar on my bathroom wall,” Worley wrote.

    The current head of the Alabama Democratic Party, who just won re-election, has overseen a pretty embarrassing period for her party. The only real victory that she can claim is the election of Senator Doug Jones. But even that victory was nothing to write home about. Most observers believe that election result was more about the national media descending on Roy Moore during the special election than the strength of Worley’s Democratic Party.

    And Jones’ failed wish that Worley be removed shows anyone watching that he doesn’t give her any credit; he wanted her gone and he explained to the Montgomery Advertiser’s Brian Lyman that the Alabama Democratic Party has issues he wants addressed without Worley at the helm:

  • ‘The Lord had his hand on me’: Alabama pastor struck by lightning after church service

    Excerpt:

    Pastor Ricky Adams, of the Argo Church of God in Walker County, was struck by lightning after the church’s service on Sunday.

    The Argo Area Volunteer Fire Department dispatched to the scene and discovered church members already assisting Adams upon their arrival.

    The pastor, who had been hit indirectly by a lightning strike, did not sustain any major injuries and did not even need to be transported to the hospital.

  • Alabama ranks second worst state for having a baby

    Excerpt:

    A newly-published ranking of states judges Alabama to be the 50th best – or 2nd worst – state in which to have a baby.

    The ranking, developed by the personal finance website WalletHub, compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia using four categories: cost, health care, baby-friendliness and family-friendliness.

    Its cost metric includes things like average cost of insurance premiums, cost of newborn screening and average annual cost of early childcare.

4 weeks ago

Coal company executive, Alabama attorney convicted of bribery

(Wikicommons/YHN)

A prominent Alabama attorney and a coal company executive have been convicted on federal charges involving bribery of a state lawmaker.

The verdict against Joel Gilbert, a partner with Balch & Bingham law firm, and Drummond Company Vice President David Roberson was announced Friday after a four-week trial. Jurors found them guilty of conspiracy, bribery, three counts of honest services wire fraud and money laundering.

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Prosecutors said the two men bribed former state Rep. Oliver Robinson to oppose the Environmental Protection Agency’s expansion of a Superfund site, and also to oppose prioritizing the site’s expensive cleanup. Robinson pleaded guilty last year to bribery and tax evasion. He has not yet been sentenced.

A third defendant, Balch attorney Steven McKinney, was dismissed from the case one day before closing arguments began.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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4 weeks ago

Live blog: Alabama votes — Runoff Returns

The state of Alabama (well, likely an “extraordinarily low” percentage) is voting Tuesday, July 14.

The lieutenant governor race pits Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh against Will Ainsworth in the runoff, while incumbent AG Steve Marshall squares off with former AG Troy King for attorney general. Also on today’s ballot, Martha Roby faces Bobby Bright for House District 2 and the race for commissioner of Alabama Department of Agriculture and Industries between Gerald Dial and Rick Pate.

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Update 9:40:
It’s no longer Dial time

Update 9:22:

Update 9:08:
Still a tight one for Cavanaugh and Ainsworth

Update 9:05:
A touching tribute

Update 9:01:

Down goes the King

Update 8:36:

AP calls House District 2 for Roby. She will face Tabitha Isner in November

Update 8:22:

NY Times has Roby 19,651 (67.2%) and Bright 9,599 (32.8%)

Update 8:15:

Update 7:48:

Marshall party enjoying the MLB All-Star Game

Update 7:40:

Update 7:25:

Per Montgomery Advertiser:
Lt. Gov race is a tight one.
Ainsworth: 105
Cavanaugh: 104

AG race also close early on.
Marshall: 125
King: 93

AG Commissioner close early.
Pate: 108
Dial: 96

NY Times shows big lead early for Roby in House District 2:
Roby: 261
Bright: 101

Update 7:00:

Polls are closed. Now we wait as results come in.

Update 6:50 p.m.:

Listen Live: Yellowhammer’s Jeff Poor and Dale Jackson on with Mobile FM Talk 106.5’s Sean Sullivan 8-10 p.m. at fmtalk1065.com.

Preview stories:

Five things to watch for on Runoff Election Night
The anatomy of races for attorney general and House District 2: What a win might mean
Here are the Alabama candidates who won the money race ahead of runoff

4 weeks ago

Georgia woman gets five years for filing fraudulent tax returns through Birmingham business

(Pixabay)

A Georgia woman has been sentenced to five years in prison for preparing and filing fraudulent tax returns through her Alabama-based business.

U.S. Attorney Jay E. Town, in a news release, says U.S. District Judge R. David Proctor sentenced 38-year-old Patrice Anderson on Monday for 13 tax-related counts. A federal jury convicted Anderson in September for using her Birmingham-area business, Queen’s Fast Tax, to file returns between 2009 and 2012 that she knew contained false information.

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Evidence at trial showed that Anderson filed tax returns claiming refundable credits to which her clients were not entitled so that they could receive much larger refunds than they were eligible for. In return, Anderson would charge the clients abnormally high fees – up to $3,000 per fraudulent return – to file their taxes.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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4 weeks ago

Steve Marshall returns to campaign in heated AG race with Troy King

(Marshall Campaign)

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall and former Attorney General Troy King are making their final pitches to voters ahead of Tuesday’s Republican runoff.

Marshall returned to the campaign trail Saturday for the first time following the suicide of his wife last month.

Marshall thanked people for supporting him during his loss. He said he never considered dropping out of the race because his wife had urged him to run.

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“One of the last things that my wife had left for me was a note. She said that I know you are the man for the job and the man for Alabama,” Marshall said.

A group of GOP attorneys generals, including Pam Bondi of Florida, held rallies with Marshall on Saturday in both ends of the state. Bondi said “ethics and integrity mean everything” and others praised his record as a prosecutor.

“We believe in what he’s doing for Alabama and I believe in what he’s doing for President Trump,” Bondi said Marshall is seeking to win the office in his own right after being appointed last year by then-Gov. Robert Bentley. He previously served 16 years as the district attorney of Marshall County.

Both King and Marshall are stressing their records in the heated runoff.

King, who was attorney general from 2004 to 2011, is seeking a political comeback.

King was appointed as attorney general by then-Gov. Bob Riley. He was elected to a full term in 2006, but he lost the 2010 GOP primary to Luther Strange.

In an interview with the Associated Press, King said he was the true Republican in the race, noting that, as a 10-year-old, he went door-to-door campaigning for Ronald Reagan. Marshall, who was initially appointed by Gov. Don Siegelman, switched to the GOP in 2011.

“On Tuesday this election is about the Republican Party nominating a standard-bearer. Only one of us is a Republican,” King said when asked why runoff voters should choose him.

King will hold a series of Monday rallies with Trump ally Roger Stone.

Both campaigns paused their activities last month following the death of Bridgette Marshall. King said he pulled his commercials from the air for a week after the death out of respect for his opponent.

In returning to the campaign trail, King said he would focus on contrasting their records.

That does not mean the primary has not gotten heated at times.

King criticized Bentley’s appointment of Marshall when Bentley was the subject of an ethics investigation as a “crooked deal.”

King said Marshall got his dream job and “let a man who corrupted Alabama go free.”

Marshall responded that he was ethically required to recuse himself from the investigation, but he appointed an “experienced tough prosecutor” to lead the probe and “six weeks after that Robert Bentley was out of office.” Bentley resigned after pleading guilty to misdemeanor campaign finance violations.

Marshall’s campaign sent out a direct mail piece with unflattering headlines from King’s time as attorney general, including that King had briefly been the subject of a federal grand jury investigation. The probe ended without charges.

King responded that the probe was politically motivated and was leaked to the press to derail his 2010 campaign. He said it ended without charges because he did nothing wrong.

The runoff winner will face Democrat Joseph Siegelman in November.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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4 weeks ago

Alabama among states running speed enforcement task

(Pixabay)

Alabama joins Georgia and three other states in a week-long speed enforcement operation beginning Monday.

“Operation Southern Shield” will run through Sunday, July 22.

Law enforcement in Georgia and Alabama will join Florida, Tennessee and South Carolina in pulling over drivers who are traveling above legal speed limits on interstates, major highways and local roads.

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Col. Mark W. McDonough, commissioner of the Georgia Department of Public Safety, says the main focus will be to encourage motorists to slow down. He says they hope the effort will reduce crashes and provide a safer experience for motorists.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says speeding killed more than 10,000 people in the United States in 2016 and was a factor in 27 percent of fatal crashes in the nation.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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4 weeks ago

Alabama man arrested in July 4 boating crash that killed two

(Hale County Jail)

A man faces charges in a west Alabama Fourth of July boating crash that killed two people and injured five others.

Al.com reports 29-year-old Richard Latham Jr. was arrested Friday in Tuscaloosa and transported to the Hale County Jail in Greensboro. Latham’s hometown was not released. A woman who answered the phone at the jail would not release that information, referring all calls to the sheriff’s office.

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Latham faces two counts of reckless murder and is being held without bond. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

Authorities say Latham was drinking and driving a ski boat on the Black Warrior River when the crash happened about four miles south of the Moundville boat landing.

Killed were 46-year-old Richard Glover, of Akron, and 23-year-old Destiny Graben, of Northport.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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4 weeks ago

Alabama mission groups back safely after being stranded in Haiti

(Russellville First Baptist Church/Facebook)

Two Alabama mission teams have returned back to the state after being stranded in Haiti for days amid a government spike in fuel prices.

News outlets report that the Faith Community Church team in Trussville and group members from First Baptist Church in Russellville arrived back in Alabama this week. The groups of nearly 50 students and chaperones had been in a secure compound since July 7.

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The State Department Bureau of Consular Affairs advised American citizens against traveling. The incident caused the closure of the airport in the capital city of Port-au-Prince and the stoppage of many flights to and from the U.S.

The cancellation of flights stranded church groups and volunteers from a number of U.S. states, including South Carolina, Florida, Georgia and Alabama.

Church officials say another group is expected to be on its way.

First Baptist senior pastor Patrick Martin is on the Haiti trip. In a Facebook post, he urged people to pray for the travelers.

“Praise God. Please continue praying. Pray for us to get out, but also please pray for those we are leaving behind,” Martin wrote. “Pray for Haiti. It’s a beautiful country with beautiful people. They have a bad reputation thanks to a corrupt government that would rather pad their own pockets than care for their people. Pray that the gospel would be a shining light in the middle of poverty, and that the Kingdom of God will advance through the efforts of those in country, as well as those who come in like we did.

Martin added: “We will be back. I promise.”

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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1 month ago

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1 month ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

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1 month ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

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2 months ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

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2 months ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

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2 months ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

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2 months ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

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2 months ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

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2 months ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

(YHN/Pixabay)

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2 months ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

(YHN/Pixabay)

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2 months ago

Merrill wins GOP nod for Secretary of State

(John Merrill/Facebook)

First-term incumbent John Merrill has won the GOP nomination for Secretary of State.

Merrill beat Marshall County Revenue Commissioner Michael Johnson. Merrill ran on his experience, while Johnson said he wanted to use his technical and administrative experience in the job.

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On the Democratic side Heather Milam, an entrepreneur and volunteer from Birmingham, has won the nomination. She defeated retired military reservist Lula Albert of Montgomery.

The secretary of state is Alabama’s top elections and record-keeping official.

2 months ago

Incumbent to face Tuscaloosa mayor in Alabama governor race

(Walt Maddox/Facebook)

Gov. Kay Ivey clinched the Republican nomination in Alabama’s gubernatorial primary race Tuesday, and now she seeks to win the office outright after her appointment 14 months ago, when predecessor Robert Bentley resigned in the fallout of a sex-tinged scandal.

She will face Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox, who won the Democratic nomination. Alabama hasn’t elected a Democrat to the governor’s office since 1998, but the party has been energized by a win in December’s U.S. Senate race and seeks a resurgence in state politics.

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Maddox defeated former Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb and other candidates. He’s been Tuscaloosa mayor since 2005 and is running on a platform that includes establishing a state lottery to fund a mixture of college scholarships, pre-kindergarten programs and financial assistance for the state’s poorest and struggling schools.

“It’s about the future of this state,” Maddox said Monday. “Do we want to provide the next generation with a better Alabama than the one we inherited or do we want leadership that remains silent to the problems of our times?”

In the seeking the Democratic nomination, Maddox obtained the valuable endorsements of Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin and the Alabama Democratic Conference, the state’s largest African-American political organization.

On the GOP side, Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle, evangelist Scott Dawson and state Sen. Bill Hightower didn’t collectively pull enough votes to force Ivey into a runoff.

In campaigning, Ivey emphasized the state’s falling unemployment rate, a robust economy and the quieting of the Bentley scandal.

“I’m proud of all we’ve gotten accomplished in these 14 months,” Ivey said during a Monday campaign stop in Montgomery. “When I became governor, I told the people we would clean up government, restore the people’s trust, and we would bring back our conservative values, and we have.”

Bentley’s resignation came after an alleged affair with a staffer prompted an ethics investigation and an impeachment push against him. Then-Lt. Gov. Ivey became governor in April 2017.

Ivey’s challengers had condemned her refusal to debate. They indirectly questioned whether the 73-year-old is healthy enough to complete a full term. In response, Ivey released a letter from her doctor saying she has no medical issues that would prevent her “from fulfilling her obligations as governor.”

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 months ago

Mo Brooks wins GOP nomination in District 5 primary

(AL Legislature)

U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks of Huntsville has won the GOP’s nomination in the District 5 primary.

Brooks defeated Army veteran Clayton Hinchman.

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Brooks is seeking his fifth term in Congress where he’s become known as a Tea Party favorite whose public comments sometimes cause a stir. Brooks recently gained attention for wondering aloud if falling rocks and erosion, not melting ice, are causing sea levels to rise.

Hinchman left the Army after a wartime injury and founded USi, a Huntsville technology company where he still works.

Former Huntsville city attorney Peter Joffrion is unopposed for the Democratic nomination and will face the GOP nominee in November.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 months ago

Former Miss America from Alabama on pageant dropping swimsuit portion: Honoring women doesn’t ‘involve putting on a two-piece bathing suit’

(Wikicommons)

When the Miss America pageant started in 1921, having young women parade around in bathing suits seemed like a great way to get tourists to come to the Atlantic City Boardwalk after Labor Day.

But how America views women has changed drastically since then, and the Miss America Organization is run by women who don’t think it’s such a hot idea.

Accordingly, when the pageant is held this September, nearly a year into the #MeToo era, it will no longer have a swimsuit competition.

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“We’re not going to judge you on your appearance because we are interested in what makes you you,” Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America and the new head of the organization’s board of trustees, said in making the announcement Tuesday on ABC’s “Good Morning America.”

For decades, women’s groups and others had complained that the swimsuit portion was outdated, sexist and more than a little silly.

Carlson, whose sexual harassment lawsuit against Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes led to his departure, said the board had heard from potential contestants who lamented, “We don’t want to be out there in high heels and swimsuits.”

The announcement came after a shake-up at the organization that resulted in the top three positions being held by women. The overhaul was triggered by an email scandal last December in which Miss America officials mocked winners’ intelligence, looks and sex lives.

Instead of showing off in a bathing suit, each contestant will interact with the judges to “highlight her achievements and goals in life and how she will use her talents, passion and ambition to perform the job of Miss America,” the organization said.

Carlson said the evening-wear portion of the competition will also be changed to allow women to wear something other than a gown if they want. The talent portion of the contest will remain.

“It’s what comes out of their mouths that we care about,” Carlson said.

Leanza Cornett, Miss America 1993, supported the dropping of the swimsuit competition.

“I hated it,” she said. “I always felt awkward and uncomfortable.”

She added: “In the climate of #MeToo, I think it’s a really wise decision. We’re living in a different era now, and when we move forward for the empowerment of women, we will be taken much more seriously, and I think that’s huge.”

But Kendall Morris, who competed in 2011 as Miss Texas, said the swimsuit competition taught her how to eat healthy and exercise, “not just for 15 seconds on stage but for a lifetime. It taught me a lifelong discipline beyond the Miss America stage.”

Carlson said she is not worried ratings for the nationally televised broadcast, set for Sept. 9 on ABC, might suffer. She said that the swimsuit portion is not the highest-rated portion and that viewers seem more interested in the talent competition.

The Miss America pageant is not the cultural event it once was. The 1988 broadcast was seen by 33.1 million viewers, according to the Nielsen company. Last year, 5.4 million people watched.

Because many of the state and local competitions that decide the Miss America finalists have already begun, the dropping of the swimsuit portion will not take effect at those levels until next year’s competition, the organization said.

Mallory Hytes Hagan, Miss America 2013, was a particular target of the emails, many of which ridiculed her weight gain after she won the title. In a Facebook video Tuesday, Hagan said she weighed 124 pounds when she was crowned. She said she is now 164 pounds, which she said most people would consider normal.

She is running for Congress in Alabama as a Democrat.

“There are tons of women across this country who are not ‘swimsuit-ready’ who are doing some really bad-ass stuff in their communities,” she said. “We should be honoring them, and that doesn’t involve putting on a two-piece bathing suit and walking on stage in heels.”

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 months ago

Tired of Facebook censoring what you read? Here’s how to fix that

(YHN/Pixabay)

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2 months ago

Man accused of firing gunshots at Alabama Church’s Chicken

(Birmingham PD)

A man has been accused of firing gunshots in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant in Alabama.

AL.com reports 27-year-old Ladarius Bloxom was charged in the Wednesday shooting in the parking lot of a Church’s Chicken.

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No one was injured in the shooting, but Birmingham police Lt. Pete Williston says the suspect was trying to shoot someone in the parking lot. While doing so, he fired numerous shots into the restaurant and hit two vehicles. One of the vehicles was occupied but the other was empty.

Bloxom was taken into custody at a home in Tarrant City. He was charged with several offenses including attempted murder and discharging a firearm into an occupied building. It is unclear if he has a lawyer.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 months ago

Search continues for man missing in Alabama since October

(Lawrence County Sheriff)

Authorities say a man who disappeared in Alabama more than seven months ago has still not been found.

Lawrence County Sheriff Gene Mitchell tells news outlets that 47-year-old Steven Patrick White has been missing since Oct. 27. Mitchell says White was last seen walking away from his home in Town Creek.

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The sheriff says that investigators, family members, volunteers and a dozen dogs searched the fields and woods Sunday near White’s home. Mitchell says the group of nearly 30 people concluded their search at 4 p.m.

He says the search was the third such one for White and they will continue to investigate his disappearance.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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