The Wire

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

    Excerpt:

    Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.

    Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.

    “The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.

  • Alabama workers built 1.6M engines in 2018 to add auto horsepower

    Excerpt:

    Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.

    Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.

    Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.

  • Groundbreaking on Alabama’s newest aerospace plant made possible through key partnerships

    Excerpt:

    Political and business leaders gathered for a groundbreaking at Alabama’s newest aerospace plant gave credit to the formation of the many key partnerships that made it possible.

    Governor Kay Ivey and several other federal, state and local officials attended the event which celebrated the construction of rocket engine builder Blue Origin’s facility in Huntsville.

37 mins ago

Alabama’s May unemployment rate drops to 3.4% — Post-pandemic rate at lows; Record high wages

(Pixabay, YHN)

Alabama’s post-COVID pandemic economic recovery seems to be humming along based on data released Friday by the Alabama Department of Labor.

According to a press release, Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington revealed Alabama’s preliminary, seasonally adjusted May unemployment rate is 3.4%, down from April’s rate of 3.6%.

The 3.4% rate tops the May 2020 number of 7.9%.

“May’s rate represents 75,458 unemployed persons, compared to 79,319 in April and 174,680 in May 2020,” the release said. “May’s unemployed count is the lowest in 2021.”

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(ADOL)

“Our record-breaking streak is continuing in May, and we hope that it continues throughout the rest of the year,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in the statement. “Yet again, we’ve dropped our unemployment rate and each month we are getting closer and closer to our pre-pandemic record low unemployment rate of 2.6%. Our economy is adding jobs, and earlier barriers to joining the workforce have been significantly reduced. In fact, there are more job postings than there are people counted as unemployed! Alabama is, once again, open for business.”

Data showed that wage and salary employment grew last month by 4,700.

“Monthly gains were seen in the leisure and hospitality sector (+5,000), the trade, transportation, and utilities sector (+2,500), and the education and health services sector (+1,200), among others. Over the year, wage and salary employment increased 123,000, with gains in the leisure and hospitality sector (+37,100), the professional and business services sector (+23,000), and the manufacturing sector (+22,900), among others,” the release said.

Average weekly earnings for the private sector rose to a new record high of $974.12, up $66.91 over the year, according to the Department of Labor.

“As we continue to see improvement in nearly all sectors of the economy, we’re also seeing record high wages in Alabama,” Washington added. “Once again, our average weekly wages are at new record high, representing an almost $67 per week over-the-year increase. Both the leisure and hospitality and manufacturing sectors are showing record high wages as well, with significant yearly increases. The economy is responding as we expected to labor force fluctuations brought about by the pandemic.”

Broken down by county, Shelby County led the way with a rate of 1.8%, followed by Blount, Marshall, Franklin and DeKalb Counties.

Wilcox County topped the highest in the state with an unemployment rate of 8.8%.

When broken down by municipalities, Alabaster had the lowest rate at 1.7%. Selma had the state’s highest, coming in at 7.0%, followed by Prichard at 6.5% and Bessemer at 5.2%.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

1 hour ago

Shelby warns Biden on defense cuts — ‘Military investments in China and Russia … outpace U.S. investment’

(Sen. Shelby/YouTube)

U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) fired his own warning shots over what he views as an inadequate defense budget proposal from President Joe Biden.

During a full Senate Committee on Appropriations review of Biden’s Fiscal Year 2022 Department of Defense budget request, Shelby expressed his concern that the administration’s defense spending plan placed the nation at a disadvantage compared to its adversaries.

“The National Defense Strategy provides a road map for what the Department of Defense needs – at a minimum – to meet the challenges posed by a re-emergence of long-term strategic competition with China and Russia,” explained Shelby. “Anything less jeopardizes readiness, the recapitalization of capital assets, and necessary investments in new and emerging technologies.”

Shelby, who currently serves as vice chairman of the powerful Senate committee, believes that not meeting current national defense demands sends a dangerous message to the rest of the world.

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“This year, the budget proposal signals to the world that this administration is not committed to investing in readiness, training, state of the art equipment, and technological overmatch,” Shelby stated. “With military investments in China and Russia continuing to outpace U.S. investments, I find it hard to believe that the requirements outlined by General Dunford just four years ago are no longer instructive.”

This critical assessment from Alabama’s senior senator comes less than a month after the highest-ranking U.S. military officer described the nation’s relations with China and Russia as “fraying.”

In an address to graduates of the United States Air Force Academy, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said, “Right now we are in a great power competition with China and Russia. And we need to keep it at competition and avoid great power conflict.”

Milley and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin appeared before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday.

Shelby addressed both officials in his remarks, stating, “The world is a complex and dangerous place and I know that you both understand the magnitude of the challenges we face from our near peer adversaries who seek to undermine the United States’ position as a world leader and dominant military power. China and Russia are formidable adversaries and China, as you have acknowledged Secretary Austin, is proving to be a true pacing threat. China seeks hegemony – militarily, technologically, economically, and geopolitically – and is making unprecedented investments to see that to fruition.”

“Meanwhile, Russia is nearing the end of a massive military modernization program that saw its defense spending increase 30 percent in real dollars over the last 10 years,” he added.

Shelby concluded that he could not support an effective cut in defense spending in 2022.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

2 hours ago

U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl urges Biden to undergo tests for ‘mental impairment’

(Congressman Jerry Carl, President Joe Biden/Facebook)

U.S. Representative Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) joined 13 of his congressional colleagues in urging President Joe Biden to undergo an examination to determine his mental fitness to serve.

The group cited a string of embarrassing verbal gaffes by the president as the basis for their request.

In a letter sent to Biden on Thursday, the Republican members of Congress explained, “We write to you today to express concern with your current cognitive state. We believe that, regardless of gender, age, or political party, all Presidents should follow the precedent set by former President Donald Trump to document and demonstrate sound mental abilities.”

They continued, “Unfortunately, your mental decline and forgetfulness have become more apparent over the past 18 months. In March, you forgot the name of the Pentagon, the Department of Defense, and the Defense Secretary, though you had said ‘Secretary Austin’ just a few minutes prior.”

In addition, the letter cites Biden’s telling of an Amtrak story with an inexplicable timeline, forgetting the first line of the Declaration of Independence and obvious disorientation during a visit to Texas as examples for why they believe Biden is in need of cognitive testing.

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The list of gaffes attributable to his mental acuity seems to be piling up for the 46th president.

During the G7 Summit in England recently, he asked British Prime Minister Boris Johnson to introduce the South African president.

RELATED: Biden lashes out at media member and Alabama native Kaitlan Collins over Putin — ‘You’re in the wrong business’

Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce has questioned whether Biden’s cognitive state is a national security liability.

Biden has received criticism in the early stages of his administration for calling on only a predetermined list of reporters during press conferences. The most recent instance of this occurred while Biden was in Geneva, Switzerland, for a summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Carl and the other letter signers pushed for transparency with any medical assessments being made, as well.

“We encourage you to follow the example set by President Trump by undergoing a cognitive test as soon as possible and immediately making the results available for the American people,” they concluded.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

3 hours ago

ALGOP chair John Wahl: AEA resurgence ‘a concern’; Reminds GOP candidates ‘not a good idea’ accept their campaign contributions

(ALGOP)

For the first time in nearly a decade, the Alabama Education Association (AEA) seemingly flexed its muscle at the end of the 2021 legislative session by successfully pushing through a two-year delay to the Literacy Act, which mandates children be able to read at a third grade level before proceeding to the fourth grade.

Gov. Kay Ivey vetoed the delay, but it left political watchers wondering if this was just the beginning of the AEA’s return to the forefront of Alabama politics.

During an appearance on FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Thursday, Alabama Republican Party chairman John Wahl said it was indeed a concern for the party.

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“[I]t’s funny you bring that up because at one point in the past, there was actually a resolution passed by the state party, I believe, that was saying Republican candidates should not take money from the AEA because of their influence and the concern they would have over direct policy,” he stated. “So, of course, that’s a concern. That type of influence from anybody pushing to regulate themselves is never — you don’t want a group regulating themselves. That’s not good for policy.”

While there was a resolution in place that pertained to AEA campaign contributions to Republican candidates, Wahl said it was not an outright ban but a “strong recommendation” not to accept their money.

“I need to go back and look at the resolution in-depth,” Wahl said. “But I believe it was a resolution, so it’s not a direct ban. There’s no teeth to it. But it was a very strong recommendation to candidates — that it is not a good idea to take that money.”

“[T]here were jokes about how the AEA controlled the state and had a vast amount of control over policy and what would happen with the Governor’s office, the state legislature,” he explained. “So much of that has gotten better since Republicans have taken control. But you’re right — we’re seeing a resurgence, at least of their involvement. Hopefully not their influence.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

4 hours ago

Ainsworth scores Tuberville endorsement

(Tommy Tuberville campaign/contributed)

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has thrown his support to Will Ainsworth as the first-term lieutenant governor ramps up his reelection bid. Ainsworth announced Tuberville’s backing in a release from his campaign on Thursday.

The former college football coach offered that his endorsement of Ainsworth was an easy play call for him.

“I’ve spent most of my life recruiting,” Tuberville explained. “When you run across leadership it stands out, and I’ve seen firsthand that’s especially true in the political arena. Alabama is a gritty, hardworking,
conservative state that puts God and family first.”

He continued, “I’m proud to endorse Will Ainsworth for Lt. Governor as the leader that reflects the work ethic and values of the great state of Alabama!”

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After announcing in front of 3,000 people during the first week in June that he would seek reelection, Ainsworth has now picked up the endorsement of the Alabama Forestry Association in addition to that of Tuberville.

Ainsworth welcomed the support from Alabama’s newest U.S. Senator.

“I am proud to have Senator Tuberville’s endorsement as I seek a second term as lieutenant governor to continue building a 21st century Alabama in which our people can earn a good living at a high-paying job and raise their families in safe, strong communities,” he remarked. “I’m focused on taking our Christian conservative values to Montgomery every day, ensuring we preserve and better the Alabama we all know and love for future generations to enjoy.”

Ainsworth’s first term has been marked by his heavy involvement in the state’s economic issues.

He has overseen the Alabama Small Business Commission, a panel tasked with recommending policies and legislation benefiting small businesses operating across the state.

During last year’s COVID-19 crisis, Ainsworth formed an emergency task force within the commission to focus on the reopening of Alabama’s economy. Most of the task force’s plan was implemented by the state during the reopening process.

Ainsworth has also served as chairman of the Aerospace States Association, a national group whose mission is to support and promote the interests of the aerospace industry in Alabama and across the nation.

Ainsworth has outlined that his focus moving forward would be to preserve Alabama values while improving opportunities for future generations.

“The main reason I’m running is for my kids, your kids, your grandkids’ future,” he stated. “It is a huge time commitment, but I want to say this: I want our kids, your kids, everybody in here to always be proud to call Alabama home. I don’t want our kids to have to move to Atlanta or Nashville or Austin or another state. I want them to be able to live right here in Alabama and have the same opportunities as any kids in the world. We’re going to do that.”

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

21 hours ago

Real estate firm Audubon makes $32.7 million investment in Alabama multifamily property

(Audubon/Contributed, YHN)

ATLANTA – Audubon, an Atlanta-based real estate firm specializing in the acquisition, development and management of multifamily properties, announced it has closed on the purchase of Parks at Wakefield & Wellington, its first acquisition in Alabama. The total cost of the transaction was $32.7 million, or $80,147 per unit. Audubon’s portfolio of owned-and-operated multifamily assets now includes 6,200 units in 22 properties across five states.

The newest property, located just outside Birmingham in Hoover, Alabama, has been renamed Cadence at Bluff Park. The 408-unit property was originally built in 1973 and covers just under 24 acres, creating an open and accessible garden-style community within the Bluff Park neighborhood. The location also offers a plethora of walkable restaurant and retail destinations, including an adjacent shopping center undergoing a $10 million renovation.

“The outskirts of Birmingham have proven to be a hot spot for those who want to be near a metro area, but prefer to live outside of the hustle and bustle of the city itself,” said Myles Cunningham, chief investment officer for Audubon. “We relished the opportunity to further grow our footprint into Alabama and continue bolstering our portfolio across the Southeast.”

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Specializing in full-scale overhauls, Audubon is planning significant upgrades throughout Cadence at Bluff Park. The changes will be evident for those passing through and around the community, with updated exteriors on all buildings, fresh landscaping, a conversion of the tennis courts into a grilling area and dog park, the installation of a new playground, the transformation of the pool to a splash park for kids, and improvements to the parking lot and streets within the complex.

The same level of attention will be paid to interior upgrades, with Class-A finishes planned for every unit. Additionally, the leasing office and fitness center will be renovated and a new amenity building will be constructed.

“We know these are ambitious plans, but it was important to us to show existing and future residents we are committed to making Cadence at Bluff Park one of the premier multifamily communities in Birmingham,” added Cunningham.

The $14.7 million capital improvement program will begin immediately and is expected to be completed within the next two years.

Audubon is an Atlanta-based firm specializing in the acquisition and management of multifamily properties throughout the Southeastern region of the United States. With a senior staff that has collectively acquired, managed and renovated more than 50,000 apartment units, Audubon has a wide range of experience and expertise in repositioning multifamily assets. For more information, please visit http://www.acmapts.com.

1 day ago

Mo Brooks calls al(dot)com, other media attacks ‘one of the best endorsements’ for a GOP candidate; Says Katie Britt using fifth-grade tactic with ‘Mo’ lies’ claim

(Jeff Poor / Yellowhammer News)

The sparks continue to fly in the very early stages of the race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat on next year’s general election ballot.

Although it has been just over a week since former Business Council of Alabama president Katie Britt formally announced her candidacy for U.S. Senate, she and her opponent U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) have already traded remarks publicly.

During an appearance on Wednesday’s broadcast of “Alabama Morning News” on Birmingham’s News Radio 105.5 WERC, Brooks took on his critics, including Alabama’s local political and Britt.

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Brooks first sounded off on attacks from specific media outlets in Alabama, AL.com and Alabama Political Reporter. However, he said those attacks were positive for him and his campaign.

“I think that AL.com, the Alabama Reporter, all those groups that want to attack me — that’s one of the best endorsements a Republican candidate can get,” he said, “because that should signify to every Republican voter that this is the person who the fake news media is most concerned about, the kind of person who will actually do what they say they will while they’re campaigning. So, some people get kind of perturbed about all the lies, distortion at AL.com or some of these other smaller website blogs launch against me on a regular basis. But I take them as compliments, and I hope that Republican primary voters will, too.”

Later in the segment, Brooks responded to comments Britt given in a statement responding to the announcement of his Club for Growth PAC endorsement.

In that announcement, Brooks referred to Britt as a “professional lobbyist,” to which Britt said Brooks was engaging in “Mo’ lies.”

Brooks called that response from Britt a “fifth-grade tactic” and suggested her previous association with the BCA called into question her conservative values.

“[I] want to emphasize something,” Brooks said. “Katie Britt, on the one hand, tries to act like she’s all nicey-nicey. But on the other hand, she accuses her opponent of being a liar with zero specifics that can be rebutted and zero supporting evidence. As you noted in my comment, she just calls me a liar, but she does not disagree with any that I said. So, it’s kind of a fifth-grade tactic where you just start throwing names at other people, and when you do that, you’ve already lost the argument. And she’s lost the argument. She is a registered lobbyist. She’s a registered lobbyist for the Business Council of Alabama whose number one agenda item has been to import cheap foreign labor. She’s for these taxes, and we haven’t even gotten into the moral values issues that she, as president of the BCA, has caused the BCA to take positions on that are directly contrary to what most Alabama Christian voters would be able to stomach.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

2 days ago

Manufacture Alabama endorses Kay Ivey for governor

(Hal Yeager/Governor's Office, YHN)

It’s 510 days until Alabamians go to vote for governor. However, the campaign is underway for Gov. Kay Ivey, who made her intentions to seek reelection known earlier this month.

This week, she picked up one of her first major endorsements of the campaign cycle from Manufacture Alabama, a trade association dedicated to the interests and needs of manufacturing in Alabama.

George Clark, president of Manufacture Alabama, touted Ivey’s commitment to the concerns of manufacturing with the endorsement.

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“Manufacture Alabama is endorsing Governor Ivey for re-election due to her commitment to our state, her deep understanding of industry’s needs and her unwavering support for our manufacturers across Alabama,” he said in a statement. “Governor Ivey has long been a friend to our association and a passionate advocate for the manufacturing industry.  She has always been committed to make Alabama an even better place to live and conduct business and leads with a common-sense approach. Her tireless leadership has brought positive outcomes to our manufacturers and we couldn’t be prouder to give her our full endorsement.”

Ivey applauded endorsement and reiterated Alabama’s manufacturing sector was one of her priorities.

“The manufacturing industry is a critical sector of our state’s growing economy, and it is a particularly proud moment for our campaign to have earned the support of its leaders,” Ivey said in a statement. “It has been our mission over these last four years to cultivate a thriving business climate not just by Alabama standards, but to set the bar across all fifty states. We reached that goal – even amidst exceptionally uncertain and trying times – thanks to our working partnership with industry leaders like those at Manufacture Alabama. We know there is more work to be done to ensure that Alabama’s best is still yet to come.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

2 days ago

Biden lashes out at media member and Alabama native Kaitlan Collins over Putin — ‘You’re in the wrong business’

(CNN)

President Joe Biden on Wednesday got into a verbal sparring match with Alabama native and CNN chief White House correspondent Kaitlan Collins over Biden’s approach to his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The exchange between Biden and Collins took place while Biden was attending a summit with the Russian leader in Geneva, Switzerland, and ended with the leader of the free world wagging his finger scoldingly at the University of Alabama graduate and telling her that she was “in the wrong business.”

During a brief press avail, Collins asked Biden about his previously stated confidence in getting Putin to make concessions regarding Russia’s track record of bad behavior both at home and abroad.

Transcript of the back and forth between Biden and Collins as follows:

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COLLINS: Why are you so confident he’ll change his behavior, Mr. President?

BIDEN: Yeah, I’m not confident he’ll change his behavior. What the hell? What do you do all the time? When did I say I was confident?

COLLINS: You said in the next six months you would be able to determine that.

BIDEN: What I said, what I said was, let’s get it straight. What I said what will change their behavior is the rest of the world reacts to them and diminishes their standing in the world. I’m not confident of anything, I’m just stating the facts.

COLLINS: But given his past behavior has not changed, and in that press conference after sitting down with you for several hours, he denied any involvement in cyberattacks, he downplayed human rights abuses, he even refused to say Alexei Navalny’s name, so how does that account to a constructive meeting as president, President Putin framed it?

BIDEN: If you don’t understand that, you’re in the wrong business.

Interactions between Biden and his administration could thus far be classified more easily as cordial rather than challenging in nature, so the exchange between Collins and Biden today was noteworthy.

The exchange instantly sparked discussion on social media.

In the days leading up to the summit, Time magazine received criticism for its heroic portrayal of Biden on its cover. That portrayal has been contrasted with its depiction of former President Donald Trump under similar circumstances.

Joe Concha, media columnist for The Hill, remarked that the two magazine covers revealed something significant about the media’s approach to the two administrations.

“If I’m teaching a class in media bias, I’m putting this at the top of the syllabus,” said Concha during an appearance on Fox News. “This is all you need to know about not even bias but it’s activism.”

Watch Concha’s full reaction here:

Collins, a Prattville native and member of Yellowhammer’s D.C. Power and Influence list, was promoted to her current role for the network earlier this year.

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

2 days ago

Arrest warrant issued for Swalwell process server accused of trespassing at Mo Brooks’ home

(Screenshot/Office of U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks)

Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) finally served his colleague U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) notice of a lawsuit alleging Brooks was responsible for the January 6 Capitol Hill riot after a back-and-forth played out in the media.

The process server, Christian Seklecki of Georgia, was able to deliver service at Brooks’ home in Huntsville. However, he may have violated the law in doing so.

On Wednesday, Brooks’ office revealed Seklecki was being charged with first-degree criminal trespass, a Class A misdemeanor in Alabama, for entering Brooks’ home on June 6.

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According to a release from Brooks’ congressional office, Seklecki was alleged to have illegally entered Brooks’ home and to have “accosted” his wife, Martha Brooks.

A day later, Brooks released his home surveillance video showing Seklecki interacting with Martha Brooks and entering Brooks’ home without “knowledge or permission.”

“On June 6th a process server illegally entered our home,” Martha Brooks said in a statement. “I have worked with Huntsville City Police and the Madison County District Attorney’s office and sworn out a warrant for his arrest on the charge of 1st Degree Criminal Trespass. Mo and I take our security very seriously, as do all families.  My hope is that my actions today will cause the process server to think twice before illegally invading the sanctity of someone else’s home and put those who would threaten our security on notice that we will pursue illegal actions to the fullest extent of the law.”

Mo Brooks, also a candidate for U.S. Senate in Alabama, dismissed the lawsuit in the statement and insisted he was available for process service.

“Congressman Eric Swalwell lied in his politically motivated, meritless lawsuit against President Donald Trump and me when he falsely claimed I incited the January 6th Capitol violence,” Mo Brooks said. “Swalwell’s attorneys lied again when they strutted in front of the news media like peacocks in heat and falsely accused me of avoiding Swalwell’s lawsuit service when the fact is they could have served me roughly a hundred times before, during or after both Swalwell and I voted together on the House floor, or served me by U.S. Mail to my home address. In fact, when they finally got serious about serving me with the lawsuit, they served me not once, not twice, but three times, all within one week!  So much for avoiding service or being difficult to find!”

Brooks also criticized the media for “maliciously accepting Swalwell’s narrative.”

“CNN and the Fake News Media compounded the Swalwell team lies by maliciously accepting Swalwell’s narrative without explaining that the law that puts the burden on the plaintiff to serve lawsuit papers (not the other way around), and without giving my printed rebuttals fair and balanced air time and article space.  Swalwell’s team lied again then they denied their teammate illegally trespassed into my home.  Well, the home security video, the Huntsville Police Department, the Madison County District Attorney’s office, a warrant magistrate and an arrest warrant all say differently.”

“I ask Eric Swalwell to do the honorable thing and turn his teammate into Alabama authorities so that justice may be served and he can face the consequences of his criminal actions,” he continued.

Brooks added, “My wife, Martha, was scared to death when she discovered a stranger in our home hovering over her like a hawk!  Fortunately, the fright soon turned into anger and Martha chased Swalwell’s teammate out of our house like a stray, scalded dog.  You don’t mess with Martha!  I am proud as can be to have her as my wife!”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

2 days ago

Alabama AG Steve Marshall: New prison facilities ‘definitely important’ in pending case against Justice Department

(Screenshot/APTV)

Last December, the U.S. Department of Justice initiated long-threatened legal action against Alabama for its prison conditions, alleging they were in violation of the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.

Policymakers insist part of the solution to countering the suit is new prison construction, although some on the Democrat side of the aisle in the Alabama Legislature dispute that notion.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall said new facilities were a necessary part of the case. During an appearance on Tuesday’s broadcast of Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Marshall explained how a plan could satisfy a federal judge presiding over the lawsuit.

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“I think it is definitely important in the pending case that we have against the Department of Justice,” he said. “If we’re able to present to the judge that there is a plan in place to be able to deal with facility construction — it really is for two separate reasons. One of which is that we can share with the judge relating to the challenge about our ability to provide constitutionally grounded mental health care to the inmate population, that we have the facilities and the infrastructure in place to be able to do that. And then secondly, one of the allegations in the complaint has to do with concerns about inmate-on-inmate violence.”

Marshall continued, “If you look at the current facilities that we have in place, I think the argument can be made that we have a disproportionate amount of dormitory-style housing that would facilitate the opportunity for inmate — and remember we have a prison population that is 80% violent, that 42% of those that are there for murder, capital murder, rape, robbery — so we have a clear violent population in our prisons. But if we had the ability structurally to be able to segregate individuals in a more appropriate way, then we do additional measures for us to be able to push back against an argument that our facilities are not appropriate to keep individuals safe. So, I think it’s an important part of our strategy to be able to talk about to be able to hire sufficient staff, to be able to do the things we need to do.”

“And then beyond that, we’re able to show the judge factually that the evidence is there that Alabama met its responsibilities under the Constitution with regard to how it is we handle our corrections system,” he added

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 days ago

Blanchard touts being ‘outsider’ versus ’40-year career politician and hand-picked establishment candidate’; Says she is not intimidated by Katie Britt

(Screenshot/FNC)

Former U.S. ambassador to Slovenia Lynda Blanchard argues she is the true so-called “outsider” candidate in the race for Alabama’s U.S. Senate seat up in 2022.

On Tuesday, Blanchard appeared on Fox News Channel’s “Fox & Friends” to discuss the numerous vacancies in the Biden administration’s diplomatic corps around the world, in particular ambassadorships, which she argued posed a threat to U.S. national security.

However, she also weighed in on the 2022 race and took a couple of jabs at her opponents, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and former Business Council of Alabama president Katie Britt.

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“Obviously, I’m the only outsider, and I’m not beholden to anyone when I walk into D.C., whereas you have a 40-year career politician and then hand-picked establishment candidate. And that is very distinctive from an outsider that can walk in and not owe any PACs, any friends, anyone in D.C. a thing but only vote how Alabamians want me to vote.”

Co-host Brian Kilmeade asked Blanchard if Britt’s Capitol Hill experience intimidated her, which Blanchard dismissed.

“No,” Blanchard replied. “It does not because what my agenda is focused on the MAGA movement and what President Trump had achieved, and she is with establishment.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 days ago

Alabama Policy Institute, Eagle Forum offer resolution to state school board opposing critical race theory

(Pixabay, YHN)

Two of the state’s conservative advocacy groups have partnered to oppose the controversial critical race theory (CRT) in front of the state school board.

The Alabama Policy Institute (API) and Eagle Forum of Alabama have offered a resolution to the Alabama State School Board opposing the teaching of CRT in Alabama public schools, according to a release from the organizations.

The resolution was “prepared with expert input and analysis of the growing trend nationwide to inject the misguided concept that by their very existence our children are born either oppressor or oppressed and that nothing they can say or do will change that,” wrote API’s Phil Williams in a letter to the board.

Several states around the country have already taken steps to prohibit CRT from becoming part of their curriculums.

In Alabama, State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) has sponsored a bill to ban the teaching of CRT in the state’s public school system.

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Pringle did not mince his words during a recent appearance on “The Jeff Poor Show” in Mobile.

“This is just indoctrination — the woke culture indoctrination of our children,” Pringle said. “That’s all it is and it needs to be stopped in its tracks.”

Williams pointed to Alabama’s ability to overcome racial problems in the past as providing the state with a better perspective.

“To be sure Alabama has had its issues with racial injustice,” he noted. “That is a part of our history. But our history is also replete with a legacy of value, success, achievement and the very roots of the civil rights movement. No state has come further than Alabama.”

Pringle indicated that CRT will become an issue many other states will have to confront.

“People are waking up all around the nation to how bad this stuff is,” he remarked. “I mean, this is woke cancel culture gone completely amuck. They want to completely disregard our 14th and 15th Amendment rights, the Voting Rights Act, the Civil Rights Act.”

3 days ago

U.S. Senate hopeful Katie Britt: ‘No amnesty, ever’; Says building wall, reinstituting Trump-era ‘Remain in Mexico’ policy among immigration priorities

(Katie Boyd Britt/Contributed)

It has been nearly a week since former Business Council of Alabama head Katie Britt announced her intentions to seek the Republican nomination for Alabama’s 2022 U.S. Senate election.

While there is a little over 11 months until Alabama Republicans go to cast a ballot, one of the issues sure to weigh on their decision is where candidates stand on immigration.

During an interview that aired on Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Britt discussed her views. She proclaimed building the wall to shore up border security was a priority and opposed any so-called amnesty for those here illegally.

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“I believe we have to build the wall,” she said. “I think we have to build it, complete it and secure that border. I believe we have to reinstitute the remain in Mexico policy. I think we have to show strength to even deter people from coming to the border. I think we have to cut off any of the participation in any welfare programs. Obviously, that just encourages people to come over. I mean, if you look at a typical day on the border, what you’re hearing is they get about 39, 40 wanted criminals that come through the ports of entry. And they’re getting about 3,600 pounds of drugs every single day at the border.”

Britt added, “If you look at that — and I’m talking to sheriffs and law enforcement officers around this state — they are seeing a spike in crime and a spike in drugs. And it is a direct result of the weakness the Biden administration is showing at the border. We have to continue strength there. Obviously, no amnesty, ever. We are going to have to make sure we fix this because it is changing the fabric of our nation. And we cannot stand for it.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 days ago

State Sen. Chambliss: ‘Fairly probable’ design for initial Ivey prison plan would still be used for state-financed construction

(Screenshot/APTV)

Before running into political obstacles preventing a line of financing, Gov. Kay Ivey’s administration had put a lot of prep work into her lease-build prison plan, which now relies on the Alabama Legislature for a funding mechanism. Much of that work had to do with the design of the physical facilities, which would have been built on private land had the plan stayed intact.

However, State Sen. Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville), who operates Prattville-based Chambliss Engineering, a civil engineering firm, said he envisions a scenario where the state of Alabama could salvage those same plans and the properties built on land owned by the state, which could speed up the process.

In an appearance on “The Jeff Poor Show” on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Chambliss explained how some site work might not be needed, which would shorten the construction process. In addition to that, he said the state could put out the existing plans to bid even if it meant modifications for a different site than what the structure was initially designed for.

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“I think it’s fairly probable, and the reason that I think it is, is several different components to it,” he said. “One of the components that people keep forgetting is if we went to these private properties, you have utility infrastructure that is not there. So you’re talking about a year, 18 months, sometimes longer in some cases, especially when you’re dealing with wastewater to get those up. If you go to the existing state-owned properties, you already have that infrastructure there. So, in fact, you may actually have a shorter timeline in that regard. And to me — my background is in engineering, civil engineering, site engineering, that kind of thing — and I see no reason we can’t take the existing county state GIS information, including aerial photos, topography, overlay the prototype plan the [Alabama Department of Corrections] has and we [Hoar Program Managament] and others to come up with that, and overlay all that. And then, put that out to bid along with the HPM specs we’ve already paid for and have the final design as part of that bid package.”

“In my career, the very first water tank job I did in the mid-1990s — we did it that way, and we still do them that way,” Chambliss added. “So, I see no reason we can’t do that and expedite it. And, in addition, we would do one on the civil site and get that moving very quickly, and then the other on the building infrastructure. There’s no reason to know where every light switch goes for us to start clearing and grading and doing storm work. So, we can get moving pretty fast if we follow that type of process.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

3 days ago

Mayor Randall Woodfin highlights ‘Built to Last’ theme for Birmingham’s city anniversary

(City of Birmingham/YouTube)

The city of Birmingham turns 150 this year, and Mayor Randall Woodfin is emphasizing his hometown’s resiliency in celebrating the anniversary of its founding.

With the theme “Built to Last,” the city is set to hold a series of events from June through December to mark its 150 years as a city, according to Woodfin.

The mayor took to social media on Monday evening to outline some of the special initiatives taking place as part of the celebration.

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Among the thoughts Woodfin offered in a video released by the city was a vision for Birmingham’s future.

Partial transcript as follows:

Like the steel we were built on, we were built to last. Our future is in the world class of healthcare, education, technology and innovation, creating better ways to live, work and play. I see Birmingham as a home for small and large businesses, becoming a model for an inclusive and resilient economy. I see more opportunities for our homegrown talent, young, bright business owners and graduates remaining here, in their hometown, working to push us to the next level.

The city is holding an “I Love Birmingham Because…” letter writing campaign inviting anyone to submit reasons why they love Birmingham. Letters will be held in preservation by the Birmingham Public Library Archives.

As part of “Milestone Monday,” the city will showcase on social media any milestones that residents or Birmingham-based businesses are celebrating in 2021 and what the milestone means to them.

In addition, the city will post historic entries about Birmingham as “Did You Know?” posts on social media on Thursdays in 2021.

Although the city officially received its charter from the state legislature on December 19, 1871, which is regarded as Birmingham’s official birthday, the city began to take form in June of that year when the Elyton Company began selling lots in the area.

Watch the entire video titled, “Celebrating Birmingham’s 150th — Built to Last”:

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

4 days ago

Mo Brooks rolls out Club for Growth endorsement, hits ‘professional lobbyist’ opponent; Katie Britt responds: ‘Bless his heart’

(Mo Brooks/Facebook, BCA/Contributed)

On Monday, U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-Huntsville) U.S. Senate campaign unveiled one of the more significant endorsements to date in the race’s early stages for the GOP nomination for Alabama’s 2022 U.S. Senate contest.

The endorsement, while not totally unexpected, came from the Club for Growth, an entity that has been very active in Alabama elections in recent years. However, in announcing the endorsement, Brooks also took a shot at his opponent former Business Council of Alabama president Katie Britt, sparking another early skirmish in this election cycle.

Brooks referred to Britt as a “professional lobbyist” in touting the Club for Growth endorsement.

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“In Alabama’s U.S. Senate race, the Establishment, Never Trump, cheap foreign labor, debt junkie, tax and spend wings of the Republican Party are ALL coalescing their big-time money on professional lobbyist Katie Britt. Club for Growth’s endorsement and help is a much-needed counterweight to special interests who see the federal government as nothing more than a trough to feed at.”

“I am honored and thankful for Club for Growth’s endorsement,” he added. “Their endorsement is yet another third-party confirmation that Mo Brooks is THE fearless fighting conservative America needs in the U.S. Senate.”

Brooks held up the endorsement alongside his endorsement from former President Donald Trump given earlier this year.

“The importance of Club for Growth’s endorsement cannot be overstated. Club for Growth’s endorsement is a clarion call to conservatives in Alabama and all across America to support Mo Brooks for Senate. That is HUGE! Let me add one very important note. NO Republican candidate in history has ever lost a Republican primary when BOTH President Trump and the Club for Growth have endorsed. I am confident GOP voters will not break that that streak in Alabama.”

Yellowhammer News reached out to the Britt campaign to comment on the Club for Growth endorsement and response to Brooks’ jab.

“Bless his heart, there he goes again with Mo’ lies,” Britt said in a statement from the campaign. “As a first-time candidate, I’m not surprised that the Washington, D.C. super PACs have decided to back my opponent, who’s been in office since 1982. I have made it clear that I’m going to put Alabama First – and out-of-state special interests have obviously gotten the message. We’re working relentlessly every day to speak directly to the people of our great state about how I’ll be the Senator FOR Alabama, not just a senator from Alabama. We’re excited about the momentum that is building less than a week in, and we look forward to this grassroots movement taking us to victory in 2022.”

“I will proudly support Alabama’s agriculture industry, strengthen our military bases and defense community, and fight tirelessly for good-paying jobs for hard-working Alabamians – and never apologize for it,” she added. “If that means I get attacked by the Swamp, so be it. I’ll continue to focus on bettering the lives of all Alabamians.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

4 days ago

Ivey announces latest round of local projects — ‘When we invest in our roads and bridges, we are investing in our people and our future’

(YHN, Pixabay)

Gov. Kay Ivey announced on Monday a new round of local road improvement projects which will receive state funding. A total of 13 projects will receive funding through the Annual Grant Program, an initiative created under the Rebuild Alabama Act of 2019.

“Improving Alabama’s infrastructure remains a top priority of the Ivey Administration, and thanks to Rebuild Alabama, we are continually able to put these funds to good use. More and more communities and cities across our state are seeing new road and bridge projects in their areas, and I look forward to that continuing,” Ivey said in a release from her office. “When we invest in our roads and bridges, we are investing in our people and our future.”

The Rebuild Alabama Act requires ALDOT to establish an annual program setting aside $10 million off the top of the state’s share of new gas tax revenue for local projects.

Funding allocated to this round of projects totals $3.11 million, with 12 cities and counties contributing a total of $2 million in local matching funds. Any city or county government in Alabama may apply for funding from the program.

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Included among the list of projects receiving funding are the widening and resurfacing of Edwards Lake Road in Trussville, resurfacing of a portion of Joe Mallisham Parkway in Tuscaloosa and the resurfacing of Powell Road in Autauga County. Jefferson and Etowah Counties each received funding for two separate projects from this set of awards.

Construction is required to begin within one year of receiving the money from the state.

Earlier this year, the state approved $4.39 million for 21 local projects under the program after awarding a total of $10.2 million for local projects in 2020.

Another round of local projects is expected later this year, according to the governor’s office.

RELATED: Construction begins on historic Port of Mobile upgrades

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

4 days ago

Ashland’s Williams Fire launches $1 million expansion as growth sparks

(Williams Fire/Contributed)

ASHLAND, Alabama – When the emergency call comes in, the fire trucks must be well-equipped and always ready to roll. For many communities in Alabama and Georgia, Matt Williams is the guy who helps make sure the fire rigs are prepared for the job.

His family-owned company in Ashland, Williams Fire Apparatus, has long specialized in selling, outfitting, repairing and maintaining fire trucks for large departments such as Birmingham and DeKalb County, Georgia, as well as volunteer fire departments in communities across the region.

“We make all repairs, fix all wrecks, replace all parts, and do all the planned maintenance work in the middle,” Williams said. “Today, we’re probably working on 12 different fire trucks. Some of them are here in our facility and some are on the road. We do the full gamut of service.

“If it’s got wheels on it, we service it,” he said.

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Being a one-stop shop has paid dividends for Williams Fire, which has been in almost constant growth mode since Williams’ father, Jeff, started the company in 1987. Over the years, Williams Fire has carried out five expansions at its Ashland site.

Williams, who bought the company from his father in 2019, is in the midst of a $1 million project that will add a new 18,000-square-foot service facility and repurpose the firm’s original 13,000-square-foot building in Clay County.

Williams Fire began construction on the new, 18,000-square-foot service facility late last year, with completion set for August 2021. Williams said the project will allow him to hire between six and 10 new employees, adding to the 32 staffers now on the company’s payroll.

“Williams Fire Apparatus is the definition of a Made in Rural Alabama enterprise,” said Lamar Dewberry, executive director of the Clay County Economic Development Council. “This business helps ensure first responders in many communities have the ability to protect their citizens, and this is accomplished right here in rural Clay County, Alabama.

“Matt’s company is a great asset to our local community as it continues to grow,” he added.

Williams said the ongoing project will streamline the company’s operations and position it for future growth.

“The new building will be a full-time repair and service facility. Then our current building will transition into fabrication only. We build lots of parts for fire trucks – everything from shelving, bracketry, things to hold chainsaws and other equipment. We do a lot of fabrication,” he said.

FAMILY JOURNEY

Williams knows the family business backwards and forwards, having been involved in the operation since he was a youngster. The family journey began when his father left Quality Manufacturing in Talladega, where he had been building fire trucks, to start his own business in Ashland.

After its start in 1987, Williams Fire built its own brand of fire trucks until around 2003, when the Gulf War made it difficult to obtain parts such as chassis and transmissions. The company’s focus shifted to servicing and selling other brands of fire trucks.

Jeff Williams retired from the fire truck business in 2019, when son Matt took over.

Today, Williams Fire sells and services five brands of fire trucks and emergency vehicles: Sutphen, SVI Trucks, Southeast Apparatus, Ferrara Fire Apparatus and PL Custom Ambulance. Its territory covers Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina.

Besides Birmingham Fire & Rescue Service and DeKalb County Fire Rescue Department, other large customers include Gwinnett County Fire Rescue Services and Savannah Fire Rescue in Georgia, and Hoover Fire Department in Alabama. The company also counts many smaller fire departments as customers, as well as full-time volunteer departments that buy a new fire truck every 25 or 30 years.

A growing part of Williams Fire’s business is mounting equipment on fire trucks, and the new service facility will allow the company to expand that activity. Since 2016, the company has averaged 35 to 40 new apparatus installations per year, and it services hundreds more annually.

“Customers come up with their own version of what they want on an apparatus at times, and their ideas have to be cultivated into an actual vehicle,” Williams said. “There are some really smart people in this industry so working through a project with these people makes the experience very interesting and tough all at the same time.”

An interesting job Williams Fire is now working on is a tractor drawn aerial, or tiller, for DeKalb County in the Atlanta metro area.

“This rig is set to finish in the fall, and we are really excited to see this project completed. A tractor drawn aerial is one where there is a driver for the truck (tractor) and a driver for the trailer as well. Very fun project,” Williams said.

Brenda Tuck, rural development manager for the Alabama Department of Commerce, said Williams Fire’s growth plans are good news for Ashland, a city of around 2,000 residents in east central Alabama.

“We are so proud of Williams Fire Apparatus and Clay County,” Tuck said. “Being able to identify Williams Fire as one of our numerous high-impact expansion projects in rural Alabama really shines a light on the advantages present in our rural communities.”

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

4 days ago

Alabama Power honored with Emergency Response Award from Edison Electric Institute

(Alabama NewsCenter/Contributed)

The Edison Electric Institute has awarded Alabama Power its prestigious Emergency Response Award for the company’s rapid response to last year’s Hurricane Zeta and for helping others following this year’s Winter Storm Viola.

EEI is the association that represents all U.S. investor-owned electric utilities. Presented to EEI member companies, Emergency Response Awards recognize the recovery and assistance efforts of utilities following service disruptions caused by extreme weather or other natural events. Winners are chosen by a panel of judges following an international nomination process. The awards were presented Tuesday during EEI’s board of directors meeting.

“Alabama Power and its employees went above and beyond for customers and communities impacted by Hurricane Zeta and Winter Storm Viola, and they are exceptionally deserving of this outstanding award,” said EEI President Tom Kuhn.

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Zeta struck the coast of Louisiana in late October as a Category 2 hurricane and then roared through Alabama, knocking out service to nearly one-third of Alabama Power customers, from the Gulf Coast to east Alabama. The impact of the storm was similar to what the company experienced during Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and the April 27, 2011, tornadoes.

More than 5,000 lineworkers and support personnel from 19 states and Canada joined Alabama Power crews to help restore service amid difficult conditions.

Months later, in mid-February, it was Alabama Power crews who mobilized to help others after Winter Storm Viola brought frigid temperatures, snow and ice from the Southwest to the Northeast. The storm hit Texas especially hard.

After the company confirmed that Alabama Power customers were in good shape, more than 300 Alabama Power lineworkers and support personnel traveled to east Texas to assist Oncor in restoring power to its customers. In the first two days alone, Alabama Power personnel strung more than 300 spans of wire and replaced 22 poles and 25 transformers.

Investor-owned utilities in the U.S. typically help each other when major disasters strike under longstanding mutual assistance agreements.

“Many EEI member companies experienced historic storms and other significant weather-related events in recent months that left customers without power,” Kuhn said. “Mutual assistance is a hallmark of our industry and is critical to ensuring a safe and efficient restoration.

“Crews worked around the clock and often in the most dangerous of conditions to assess damage and to restore power safely and as quickly as possible. They did all of this during a global pandemic,” Kuhn said.

“We are proud to be recognized for our storm response efforts and commitment to serving our customers,” said Corey Sweeney, Alabama Power Storm Center Operations manager. “Our employees take great pride in helping others and doing their job safely.”

EEI’s U.S. utilities provide electricity to more than 220 million people in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. EEI also has among its members more than ​65 international electric companies, with operations in more than 90 countries.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

4 days ago

Association of County Commissions head Brasfield: ‘The state has already got a mega-prison — It’s called the county jails’

(Screenshot/YouTube)

As the Ivey administration continues to be confronted with obstacles to solving the state’s prison dilemma, law enforcement in all 67 counties is suffering in the meantime.

Inmates that have long since been sentenced to time in state prisons remain in county jails as the Alabama Department of Corrections (ADOC) sorts through problems dealing with COVID-19 and issues tied to the neglect of state facilities that are as a result incapable of accepting new inmates.

Association of County Commissions of Alabama executive Sonny Brasfield told Mobile radio FM Talk 106.5 that the problem has been a constant and suggested that county jails are already shouldering the burden that one of the three mega-prisons Gov. Kay Ivey has proposed would if constructed.

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“We used to say there were two things certain in life — death and taxes,” he said. “I think there are three things certain in Alabama — death, taxes and state inmates backed up in county jails. I worked for the counties for 33 years, and that’s an area I have to admit I haven’t done a very productive job. It’s a horrible problem. I think we’ve talked about it on our visits before during the COVID issues. But I don’t see things improving very much. Even now, I think all of us travel around and see things getting back to normal in so many, many ways, but we still have about 3,500 state inmates. There’s a lot of talk about building mega-prisons, and I’ve started saying the state has already got a mega-prison, and it’s called the county jails because we’re holding about as many inmates as the state would plan to put in one of those facilities.”

Brasfield pointed to a law set to take effect early next year that would force the ADOC to accept inmates from county jails sentenced to a state facility.

“[A]t some point, somebody in leadership at the Department of Corrections has to say these are our inmates and taking these inmates is a priority,” he stated. “The legislature passed a bill for us that takes effect January 1. When that new law takes effect, Jeff, the law will say that after the 30th day, the sheriff shall transfer custody to the state of Alabama. About 25 sheriffs had a call this week. They are counting the days down to January 1.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

4 days ago

State Senate Majority Leader Scofield on revamped prison plan: ‘We have to keep bad people in prison,’ ‘We have to keep the public safe’

(Screenshot/APTV)

It has been roughly two weeks since the June 1 funding deadline for a lease-build prison plan has come and gone, which has forced a course change for the Ivey administration on the issue.

Last week, leadership from both the State House and State Senate met with Gov. Kay Ivey to help determine what that course might be given Alabama’s prison situation is under direct threat from the Justice Department and federal courts for alleged violations of the Eighth Amendment.

During an appearance on Alabama Public Television’s “Capitol Journal,” State Senate Majority Leader Clay Scofield (R-Guntersville) discussed what those plans might entail. However, he told host Don Dailey the legislature’s priority on new prison construction was to maintain public safety.

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“There’s no question — we’re going to need new prisons,” he said. “We have to keep bad people in prison. First and foremost, we have to keep the public safe. That needs to be where we start out with from the very beginning. The number one premise has to be to keep the bad folks incarcerated and keep the good folks safe.  With that being said, any other type of reform measures needs to reflect just that. We need to make sure that the bad people are kept behind bars, and the good people are kept safe.”

“I think definitely the Republicans in the State Senate have that mindset and would only support legislation that would reflect that,” Scofield added.

The Marshall County lawmaker also said he thought a special session of the legislature called by Ivey would be an appropriate venue for tackling the issue.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

4 days ago

U.S. Reps. Brooks, Carl request increased funding for missile defense

(U.S. Space Force photo by Brittany E. N. Murphy)

U.S. Representatives Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and Jerry Carl (R-Mobile) submitted a request on Friday for increased funding for several of the nation’s missile defense programs.

In a letter to the House Appropriations Committee chairwoman and ranking member, Brooks and Carl joined seven other Republican colleagues in asking for funding above that outlined in President Joe Biden’s budget.

The members provided a list of missile defense programs worthy of more funding, including multiple programs with Alabama connections.

On the list was the Next Generation Interceptor program, which will be based out of Huntsville.

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In March, the Missile Defense Agency awarded a total of $7.6 billion in contracts to Lockheed Martin and Northrop Grumman to develop technology for the program. The stated purpose of the award is to replace aging ground-based interceptors and strengthen the nation’s first layer of defense against intercontinental ballistic missiles aimed at the United States.

Northrop Grumman will team with Raytheon Technologies on the project, while Lockheed Martin will work with its partner Aerojet Rocketdyne, a company it announced in December it was acquiring.

Also on the list was the U.S. Army’s Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) Missile system. The Boeing Company’s Huntsville-based Missile and Weapon Systems division was awarded nearly $1 billion earlier this year to develop a next-generation technology.

“The United States military’s ability to deter and defend against missile and rocket attacks by our adversaries is one of its most critical missions. Our military services and combatant commands work around the clock every day to track and defend against potential threats to the United States, our allies, and U.S. forces located throughout the world,” wrote the letter signers.

In a release from his office, Brooks emphasized the need for the additional funding.

“America’s national security hinges on our ability to defend against missile and rocket attacks from our adversaries,” he said. “My House Armed Services Committee colleagues and I were extremely disappointed to see President Joe Biden’s $8.9 billion budget request for Fiscal Year 2022 fall short of the $10.5 billion enacted in Fiscal Year 2021. If we don’t robustly support missile defense programs, America will be less prepared to defend itself against attack and rogue nations might attempt to exploit missile defense weaknesses. America must never allow our adversaries to mistakenly believe they can defeat us. We must adequately fund our nation’s most effective and vital deterrents.”

Tim Howe is an owner of Yellowhammer Multimedia

5 days ago

Auburn’s David Housel tackles more than sports in ‘From the Backbooth at Chappy’s’

(David Housel/Contributed)

When David Housel retired from Auburn University in 2006, after a legendary career as athletics director for the Tigers, it wasn’t long before his wife urged him to get busy again – and a deli on Glenn Avenue in Auburn was the beneficiary.

“Susan wanted me to do something to get out of the house,” Housel recalls. “I started going to Chappy’s to drink coffee, read the paper. Pretty soon, Kenny Howard would meet me there, and it just kind of grew from there.”

In short order, friends of Housel began to gather, first a few one day a week and then, just prior to the pandemic, 12-16 people nearly every day of the week.

They meet at Chappy’s, where a plaque commemorates Housel’s booth, and they talk – about sports, of course, but about pretty much anything that’s on their minds.

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Housel began to write essays about those mornings, posting them to Facebook. He’s now compiled more than 100 of those pieces into a new book, “From the Backbooth at Chappy’s: Stories of the South: Football, Politics, Religion, and More.” It’s officially released next week at a series of book signings at Chappy’s in the Auburn area from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. each day: Tuesday in Auburn, Wednesday in Montgomery and Thursday in Prattville.

“Consider this Housel unleashed,” the author says. “Most of the stuff I’ve written in my life has been about Auburn on an Auburn platform. Even after I retired, I was a representative of Auburn, even though I wasn’t working there. This is not an Auburn book. It’s about football, politics, religion and more.”

“From the Backbooth at Chappy’s,” with a foreword by Auburn graduate and acclaimed journalist Rheta Grimsley Johnson, evolved as Housel’s morning gatherings at Chappy’s evolved, though he began writing the essays fairly early in the process.

“When something is in your mind, in your heart, in your head, if you’re a writer, it just has to come out, and it just comes through your fingers,” Housel says. “Turns out people like to read it, so I got the Facebook page. I shared thoughts and essays and that kind of thing. It was not a planned thing.”

When COVID-19 came along, Housel decided to listen to a few folks who told him his musings would make a good book.

“I had been thinking a lot about it, and it was time to do it,” Housel says.

Housel has written six other books. Most have to do with Auburn sports history, but one, “From the Desk of David Housel,” is similar to “From the Backbooth at Chappy’s.”

“That one was primarily sports, but it had some other things in it,” Housel says. “This one is about the other stuff, but it has some sports in it.”

Though the three topics in his book’s title – football, politics and religion  – are often the subjects people are warned not to bring up if they want to keep the peace, Housel and his friends don’t shy away from any of them. Housel especially gravitates toward religious topics.

“I like the ones that I hope make people think,” he says of his essays. “The good Lord gave us a mind, and we’re supposed to use it. Too few people who call themselves Christians do what the Lord said and use their minds. … Faith has got to be built not on challenging God but questioning God. I think God likes that, because it shows we’re engaged and that we care.”

Now that the pandemic is ending, the Backbooth at Chappy’s events are slowly but surely returning to normal. On Mondays, Housel eats two eggs scrambled, lean bacon and a helium biscuit; on Tuesdays maybe a parfait with granola; on Wednesdays, it’s blueberry pancakes, and Fridays a waffle.

What remains constant is the conversation. And the writing.

“I’m still writing the Backbooth, and since the first of the year, I’ve written a couple I think are book-worthy,” Housel says. “I started out doing maybe one a week, but I’m old enough that I don’t have to meet a self-imposed deadline. When the spirit moves me, I write.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)