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.

15 hours ago

Mo Brooks introduces resolution demanding impeachment work available to public

(Mo Brooks/Facebook, CBS This Morning/Youtube, YHN)

Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) introduced a House resolution Wednesday requiring impeachment related hearings, witness interviews and communications, document production and examinations, proceedings and other work be done in an open setting for public view.

“House Democrats are conducting a hyper-partisan impeachment effort in the Capitol basement that even members of Congress are barred from attending,” Brooks said in a news release. “As such, Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s so-called ‘Impeachment Inquiry’ is a sham process that both violates House rules and violates even the most fundamental rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution.”

308

“An impeachment inquiry that is secretive, violates both the Constitution and past precedent, and excludes Congressmen and the American people is illegitimate at best and a political charade and sham at worst,” he continued. “For emphasis, and most egregiously, Democrats are excluding the American people from the entire process.”

“The American people deserve the right to witness this impeachment process and hear unfiltered witness testimony, but Democrats instead adamantly seek to deny the American people the ability to judge the merits of impeachment efforts based solely on firsthand information, not gossip and hearsay,” Brooks added. “The veil of secrecy must be lifted and the selective leaking of deceptive testimony without context must end.”

Brooks then included a statement on “informed citizenry,” questioning why the Democrats are “opposed” to it.

“I’ve introduced a simple House resolution that demands that all impeachment related hearings, witness interviews and communications, document production and examinations, proceedings, and other related work be done in an open setting in public view,” Brooks said.

“For the life of me, I don’t understand how Democrats can possibly be opposed to open government and a more informed citizenry that gets real evidence firsthand rather than the illegally leaked gossip so readily parroted and aired by a complicit and partisan Fake News Media.”

Original cosponsors for the resolution include the following:

Congressman Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Congressman Scott Perry (PA-10), Congressman Mark Meadows (NC-11), Congressman Brian Babin (TX-36), Congressman Tom McClintock (CA-04), Congressman David Schweikert (AZ-06), Congressman Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Congressman Alexander X. Mooney (WV-02), Congressman Warren Davidson (OH-08), Congressman Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Congressman Morgan Griffith (VA-09), Congressman Ted S. Yoho (FL-03), Congressman Chip Roy (TX-21), Congressman Bill Posey (FL-08), Congressman Andy Harris (MD-01), Congressman Jody Hice (GA-10), Congressman Paul Gosar (AZ-04), Congressman Michael Cloud (TX-27) and Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01).

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

21 hours ago

Carl, Coleman build big cash advantages in AL-01, AL-02

(Jerry Carl/Facebook, (J. Coleman/Contributed)

Candidates running in Alabama’s two open 2020 congressional races have now filed their FEC finance reports covering the third quarter of 2019, with one Republican candidate in each competitive field standing out when it comes to cash-on-hand.

In Alabama’s First Congressional District, the seat to be vacated by Congressman Bradley Byrne’s (R-Fairhope) U.S. Senate bid, former State Senator Bill Hightower (R-Mobile) technically led in Q3 fundraising.

Hightower raised $173,482 and spent $92,918 in the quarter, for an ending cash-on-hand of $447,611. Hightower has been endorsed by the Club for Growth in this race.

However, Mobile County Commissioner Jerry Carl brought in more total funds in the quarter and finished with significantly more money in the bank.

589

Carl raised $155,866 in Q3, loaned himself another $100,000, spent $55,257 and was left with $741,307 cash-on-hand.

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Carl said, “I’m humbled by the outpouring of support from voters all over south Alabama. Over 95% of our money was raised from folks in Alabama’s 1st Congressional District. I’m proud to report that we are in an excellent position to win the Republican primary on March 3, 2020.”

Next, State Rep. Chris Pringle (R-Mobile) raised $91,680 in the quarter. He also spent $70,058, ending the period with $215,437 available.

Local businessman Wes Lambert only raised $9,935. However, he gave himself $5,000 and loaned himself another $110,000. Lambert spent $17,355 in Q3 and reported having $109,579 remaining in his campaign account.

Moving on to Alabama’s Second Congressional District, there was a decisive victor in both fundraising and cash-on-hand at the end of the third quarter.

Businessman and former Business Council of Alabama Chairman Jeff Coleman blew people away with a strong finance report.

Coleman actually raised more money in contributions than any of the Republican U.S. Senate candidates in the same quarter: $468,001.

He also loaned his campaign $500,000. Coleman spent just $2,973 in Q3, ending it with $965,027 on hand.

In a statement, Coleman said, “We are proud to report a robust figure that epitomizes the hard work of our team and the unwavering commitment of Alabamians to defending this seat. Liberals are focused on this district, and we know they plan to use the ‘Doug Jones’ model: divide Republicans and parade in an army of special interests from Planned Parenthood and labor unions to buy the seat.”

“With this strong quarter, we’re going to send a powerful message to Washington Democrats that this seat is off-limits,” he concluded.

Former Alabama Attorney General Troy King, who is currently leading sizably in polls due to his high name identification in the district, raised $102,742 in the quarter.

King spent a mere $371, finishing with $102,370.

“I am continually humbled by the support I am receiving from all across District 2. I attribute our success to the fact that many who live there have known and stood with me for a long time now. As a lifelong Republican, a native son of the Wiregrass, and a longtime resident of Montgomery, the folks in this district are like family to me. I understand them and those things that matter to them better than anyone else in this race,” King said in a statement. “I have been overwhelmed with the messages of encouragement I have received. Alabamians are ready to send a fighter to represent them and they are saying so with their support.”

“I have a strong career of standing with the little guy,” he added. “If you are tired of the crazies who have been running Washington DC, you can do something about it. Join me and let’s put an end to left wing control of our government.”

Former State Rep. Barry Moore (R-Enterprise) was not far behind King’s fundraising total, raising $70,822. He also loaned himself an additional $70,000.

Moore spent $12,732, closing the quarter with $128,089.

State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) raised $14,693 in Q3, spent $7,033 and reported $7,659 left cash-on-hand.

Both races are expected to add a candidate in this quarter, the final one of 2019.

John Castorani, an Army veteran and career intelligence officer, on Tuesday announced his candidacy in AL-01.

Jessica Fair Taylor of Prattville is expected to announce a bid in AL-02 in the coming days.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

23 hours ago

Doug Jones raises 77% from out-of-state in third quarter of 2019

(D. Jones/Facebook, Wikicommons, YHN)

Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) continues to find that an overwhelming majority of his financial support base comes from outside of Alabama, raising 77.85% of his itemized individual contributions from out-of-state in the third quarter of 2019.

This means just 22.15% of his itemized individual funds raised were from individuals with Alabama addresses in Q3, according to Jones’ latest quarterly finance report filed with the FEC.

Comparatively, donations from California, New York, Washington, D.C., Virginia and Maryland combined equated to 43.22% of Jones’ itemized individual contribution total.

California led the way in the out-of-state trend, with Jones raising $220,667.93 in itemized individual contributions from the Golden State.

223

New York, however, trailed closely at $192,106.35.

Also of note, Jones received $1,437 from donors listing foreign addresses — American citizens living abroad. This included one donor listing an address in Kazakhstan.

From all receipt sources, outside of just itemized individual contributions, Jones brought in $2,020,054 during Q3.

This included $259,239 raised from political committees (such as PACs) — an amount just shy of what he raised in itemized individual contributions from Alabamians.

To be clear, the above percentages do not factor in those PAC contributions. The locations of these committees would drive the geographic breakdown towards the out-of-state side of the equation even more.

Jones spent $1,237,344 during the quarter, finishing the time period with $5,042,251 cash-on-hand.

This type of reliance on non-Alabama funds is nothing new for Jones. In both the first and second quarters of 2019, Jones raised 88% of his itemized individual contributions from outside the Yellowhammer State.

Additionally, his already-high “burn rate” leaped up even more from Q2 to Q3 — from 41.9% to 61.3%.

This year has not been the only one Jones has raised eyebrows with his funding sources. In fact, in Q4 of 2018, Jones actually raised more from overseas alone than Alabama.

Read about Alabama’s Republican U.S. Senate candidates’ third quarter 2019 fundraising numbers here.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

24 hours ago

Tuberville to run first digital ad — ‘We can’t be bought, and we won’t back down’

Yellowhammer News has obtained a copy of former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville’s first video advertisement in Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate campaign cycle.

The ad, set to run on digital platforms online starting this week, embraces Tuberville’s status as the only competitive candidate in the race who has never before ran for or held elected office.

Tuberville currently enjoys a sizable double-digit lead over Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), Secretary of State John Merrill, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs).

The ad centers on Tuberville explaining why he is “getting off the sidelines and into the fight.”

Watch:

212

In the opening scene he says, “The way I was raised, before a football game, you stood to honor America. And after the game, you knelt to honor God.”

“But today, those values are under attack,” Tuberville continues. “Socialism. Abortion on demand. Open borders. It’s got to end. So I’m getting off the sidelines and into the fight.”

A narrator then cuts in, saying, “Tommy Tuberville — Christian. Conservative. Two-time SEC coach of the year. An outsider ready to take on politically correct, liberal Washington politicians.”

“I’m ready to fight for Alabama,” Tuberville emphasizes, jumping back in. “As your senator, I’ll have President Trump’s back.”

He adds, “We can’t be bought, and we won’t back down. Together, we will drain the swamp and build the wall; take care of veterans and respect law enforcement; protect life and defend the values that make America great.”

“I’m Tommy Tuberville, and I approve this message,” he concludes, “because weak-kneed career politicians aren’t tough enough to stand with President Trump. But I am.”

This comes after Mooney recently became the first candidate to run a television ad in the cycle.

RELATED: Here’s what Alabama’s 2020 GOP U.S. Senate candidates raised in the third quarter

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Scholarship to fund 50 high school, college students’ path to automotive manufacturing careers

Tuesday, the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) and Alabama Community College System (ACCS) announced they have partnered to give a total of $180,000 in scholarships, as well as mentors, to 50 students seeking a technical education certificate or associate degree in the automotive manufacturing industry.

This is not the first time this has been done. Earlier this year, scholarships were given to students who are currently in school this semester. Students who are awarded scholarships after the November deadline will begin classes in the spring, summer or fall semesters of 2020.

306

The press release noted, “Interested students with at least a 2.5 GPA can learn more information and apply directly through the website, https://dreamitdoitalabama.com/aama/. Applicants must use the scholarship toward an automotive-related program, including the following: Automotive Manufacturing Technology; Automotive Manufacturing; Automotive Service Technician; Computer Numerical Control; Engineering Technology; Industrial Electronics Technology; Industrial Maintenance Technology; Injection Molding; Logistics; Machine Shop/Tool Technology; Manufacturing Technology; Mechanical Design Technology; Mechatronics; or Welding Technology.”

AAMA president Ron Davis said the scholarship program provides students with “tremendous opportunities.”

“The access our scholarship recipients have to mentors in the industry, in addition to the training they’ll receive while studying at an Alabama community college, provides tremendous opportunities in the automotive manufacturing industry,” Davis said. “Our partnership with Alabama’s community colleges is industry and education working together the way they should to help individuals succeed.”

Jeff Lynn, ACCS’ vice-chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development, said the scholarships complement other work-based learning initiatives in place for community colleges to continually provide world-class training that meets Alabama’s industry needs.

“The best advice we receive for how to educate and train an excellent workforce for employers and entrepreneurs is directly from the source – Alabama industry,” Lynn outlined. “With industry input and continued investment in career and technical training, including scholarships and new programs, the Alabama Community College System is providing what both employees and employers need to succeed.”

Each scholarship recipient will receive $3,600. According to the press release, the award covers tuition, fees and/or books needed. A full submission for the scholarship requires the following: a completed application; a resume; a maximum 500-word essay on why the student wants to work in Alabama’s automotive industry; one signed reference letter; an unofficial college or high school transcript; and a headshot photo.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

2 days ago

Nobel laureate to speak on ‘Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves’

(UAH/Contributed)

Dr. Rainer Weiss, a 2017 Nobel laureate in physics, will speak about “Probing the Universe with Gravitational Waves” on Nov. 26 at 6 p.m. in Room 100 of the Material Sciences Building at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Dr. Weiss will discuss how the observations of gravitational waves from the mergers of compact binary sources opens a new way to learn about the universe. Sponsored by the UAH Department of Physics & Astronomy, his lecture will describe some of the difficult history of gravitational waves, which were first proposed about 100 years ago. The talk will end with a vision for the future of gravitational wave astronomy.

88

Best known for inventing the laser interferometric technique used in 2016 by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) to detect gravitational waves for the first time, Dr. Weiss shares the Nobel Prize with Dr. Kip Thorne and Dr. Barry C. Barish “for decisive contributions to the LIGO detector and the observation of gravitational waves.”

He is a professor of physics emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and an adjunct professor at Louisiana State University (LSU). He was chair of the Cosmic Background Explorer (COBE) Science Working Group.

2 days ago

Birmingham creating large non-smoking ‘Health District’

(PIxabay, YHN)

The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday passed an ordinance that establishes a non-smoking “Health District” in Birmingham’s Southside neighborhood. Smoking will be prohibited on public property therein – including city streets and sidewalks.

The Health District will officially launch on December 1.

The ordinance was requested by prominent health-focused organizations within the Health District’s boundaries, including: Children’s of Alabama; Cooper Green Mercy Health Services; Jefferson County Department of Health; Southern Research; the University of Alabama at Birmingham and UAB Medicine; and Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

In a statement, Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin expressed his “full support” of the effort and the organizations that requested the ordinance.

545

“The entities within the Health District are leaders in promoting wellness through education, research and healthcare that help the residents of Birmingham, Jefferson County and beyond live better lives,” Woodfin said. “I am grateful for the leadership of these organizations, and I join the Birmingham City Council in full support.”

In the coming months, partner organizations will provide specific guidance to those who visit their campuses. Property owners within the district will have the option to create designated smoking areas on their property, if not prohibited by another ordinance.

Birmingham City Council President Valerie Abbott advised that it was important for the City Council to pass this ordinance in support of those wishing to promote good health.

“Organizations in this highly concentrated health-focused area of Birmingham have long desired to encourage quitting for those who smoke due to the many adverse health consequences for both smokers and non-smokers,” Abbott outlined. “This ordinance allows the City of Birmingham to proudly support those efforts.”

(UAB/Contributed)

In the past, organizations have prohibited or limited smoking on their property, but smoking was permitted on adjacent city sidewalks.

“This ordinance will allow organizations committed to the health of those we serve to enact meaningful policies and educational programs that make a real difference,” Mark Wilson, CEO of the Jefferson County Department of Health, explained.

The timing is especially good for the Birmingham VA Medical Center.

“The VA went smoke free this month,” Birmingham VA Medical Center director Stacy Vasquez commented, “and this ordinance will enable the VA to focus on decreasing tobacco use and secondhand smoke exposure for the health and wellbeing of those who serve or have served our country.”

UAB has had a non-smoking policy in place since 2015, but the institution more recently began to champion the idea of a health district to promote health and wellness, including tobacco cessation, clean air and walkability.

With more than 22,000 students, 23,000 faculty and staff, and well over a million annual patient visits, as well as other visitors, UAB sees the upcoming Health District as an opportunity to reach and help countless people.

“UAB recently launched a Grand Challenge – Healthy Alabama 2030: Live HealthSmart – with the goal of significantly improving the health of Alabamians,” UAB President and Southern Research Interim CEO Ray L. Watts said.

“This Health District is one of the many initiatives we will advance through our unique ability to make our state healthier through our focus on education, research, innovation and economic development, patient care and community service,” he added.

As part of the initiative, educational messages and resources to help people quit smoking will be promoted by the partner organizations.

“We hope the Health District will enhance a positive environment of awareness and support for the health of our young patients and their families,” Mike Warren, Children’s of Alabama president and CEO, remarked.

Cooper Green deputy director Laura Hurst agrees.

“We, too, intend to make the most of this opportunity to help people achieve better health,” Hurst concluded. “As we continue to increase our focus on supporting our patients’ overall wellbeing, not just treating them when they are sick, initiatives like these help us set a tone. This is a great thing.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Jones, Byrne spar over investigating the Bidens

(B. Byrne/Facebook, NBC News/YouTube)

Following Congressman Bradley Byrne’s (AL-01) Monday announcement that he will file a resolution calling on three U.S. House committees to investigate the foreign business dealings of Hunter Biden, U.S. Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) — a vocal supporter of former Vice President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential bid — rushed to attack the Republican Alabama congressman.

Byrne’s resolution calls for investigations into whether Hunter Biden’s business dealings resulted in improper conflicts of interests and whether his work affected United States foreign policy or a foreign government or foreign entity’s response.

In a statement, Byrne called Democrats out for turning “a blind eye to the Biden scandal,” adding, “If the same facts in the Biden case occurred with one of President Trump’s children, Democrats would have already launched a full-scale investigation.”

Later on Monday, Jones addressed Byrne’s move on Twitter. Byrne is one of the Republican candidates running to unseat Jones in 2020.

461

Alabama’s junior senator shared a tweet by ABC News’ Matthew Dowd, which asserted, “If you are someone who has raised concerns about Hunter Biden and don’t also raise big concerns about the Trump children, then you fundamentally lack inegrity [sic] and don’t really care about building a more moral and less corrupt world.”

Jones commented, “I think Matthew is speaking to a certain Alabama congressman who says he is filing a bill to investigate the Bidens. I agree with you @matthewjdowd. We should all want the same things – the facts, the truth, and the rule of law – not pandering partisanship trying to be relevant.”

To be clear, Dowd’s tweet was published on Sunday, the day before Byrne announced his resolution, so Dowd was not actually referring specifically to Byrne.

After Jones’ Monday comments on Twitter, Yellowhammer News reached out to Jones’ office for further comment. Yellowhammer News specifically asked, “Does this mean Senator Jones supports an investigation into Hunter Biden and/or Vice President Biden?”

The Senate office forwarded the inquiry without response to Jones’ campaign.

Jones’ campaign then declined further comment from Jones himself.

However, Lizzie Grams, Jones’ campaign press secretary, provided a statement that she released on behalf of the campaign earlier in the day — on Monday morning.

“Information about Joe Biden and his son has been around for a long time and all alleged improprieties have been debunked by numerous sources,” Grams claimed.

“It is sad that Congressman Byrne would debase the integrity of his office by pandering to the President with such a desperate attempt to elevate his secondary status in the Republican primary,” she added.

Jones’ campaign then did not respond when specifically asked the same question for clarification: “Does this mean Senator Jones supports an investigation into Hunter Biden and/or Vice President Biden?”

Reached for reaction to Jones’ tweet by Yellowhammer, Byrne decried that Jones was once again “quick to come to defense of his buddy Joe Biden.”

“Doug Jones has been silent on the issue of impeachment, but he is quick to come to defense of his buddy Joe Biden,” Byrne stated.

“Just like when he voted against Judge Kavanaugh, spoke out in favor of gun control, and opposed strong pro-life protections, Doug is once again totally out of touch with Alabama,” he continued. “This is just further proof that Doug Jones doesn’t represent Alabama. That’s why I’m running for the Senate to Dump Doug and send a conservative fighter to the Senate.”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 days ago

Ivey announces ID Plastics to open manufacturing operation in Auburn, creating 50 jobs

(YHN/Pixabay)

Governor Kay Ivey announced Monday that ID Plastics LP, a manufacturer of a variety of technical plastic products, is set to open its first operation in Auburn, investing $9.8 million.

“Our continued efforts and partnerships with local communities have led to another great manufacturer coming to Alabama,” Ivey said. “ID Plastics’ decision to select Alabama will create 50 jobs for families in East Alabama over the next three years.”

At first, the company will produce the ID PACK sleeve, a foldable, returnable transportation container system used in various industries.

312

A press release noted, “Brothers Martin and Andreas Hartl formed the Alabama-based business operation with the plan to bring various products of their companies, DUROtherm Plastics, a thermoforming specialist, and the Infinex Group, an extrusion specialist, to a production center in the U.S. The two companies are headquartered in the Black Forest in Southwest Germany and have approximately 600 employees.”

“Transport containers have always had downsides of one kind or another,” Martin Hartl said. “We responded with an innovative collapsing container system that eliminates these problems. The ID PACK is a truly problem-free sleeve pack system.”

Andreas Hart also discussed his vision for the company as it relates to the parts and manufacturing required.

“German technology made in the U.S.A. with state-of-the-art, customer-oriented manufacturing — that’s the perfect combination, the way we see it,” Hart said. “This was the foundation for the ID PACK collapsible container system and the big advantages it offers in a wide range of logistics applications.”

Auburn Mayor Ron Anders expressed his support for the German operation in a statement.

“We are grateful to be the U.S. headquarters and manufacturing location for ID Plastics,” Anders said. “Through our partnership with Auburn University, Southern Union Community College and our existing industries, the City of Auburn has created an excellent environment for technology-based, value-added manufacturing operations like ID Plastics. We welcome Andreas and Martin to the Auburn family.”

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, released a statement on the project and reflected on the strong economic ties between Alabama and the German industry.

“German companies have directed around $10 billion in new capital investment to Alabama in the past two decades because these companies have learned they can find success in our state,” Canfield said. “We welcome ID Plastics and look forward to helping another German business enterprise prosper in Alabama.”

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.

3 days ago

Mo Brooks: Trump is trying to put an end to endless war

(M. Brooks/Facebook, WH/Flickr

U.S. Representative Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) has a clear approach to the evolving situation in Syria: Leave it alone.

Brooks’ premise is that both Turkey and the Kurds are American allies, so getting involved on either side puts us in conflict with the other.

During a Monday interview on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show,” Brooks explained that this situation was seemingly inevitable, saying, “I wish that the Turks and the Kurds would get along peacefully, but they have got ill-will harboring and simmering for at least a hundred years.

419

He added, “To me, it was inevitable that whenever America reduced its presence in the Middle East, as we should, because we cannot afford to be the police cop on every corner, that violence would break out.”

The congressman acknowledged the role that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy played in the current situation, especially in the creation of ISIS. This is the same argument Trump used in 2016 and the then-candidate promised to end our “endless wars.”

Brooks went on to say that America does not need to involve itself in these issues any longer.

“I support any kind of decision to reduce our presence in these countries that do not appreciate our loss of life, our financial expenditures, in their countries,” he explained.

Brooks acknowledged this could be a situation the United States has to revisit in the future, but warned of a “war caucus that wants to be more aggressive int he Turk/Kurd fight.

“We’ve got a ‘war caucus,’ for lack of a better term, that does believe that the United States of America should be the cop on every corner of the planet, no matter the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform, no matter that every penny we spend on these efforts is borrowed money, money we can’t afford to pay back,” he advised.

My takeaway:

Again, Trump made this clear and Brooks appears to agree: We can’t afford to keep doing this forever. Even the most adamant war hawks from the post-9/11 period think we have been at this long enough. Many seem to see little more to gain from new and prolonged conflicts.

The president made it a campaign promise to end these foreign wars, and he is following through on that promise.

Like in everything else, he will be opposed by both sides of the political aisle. No matter what the president does, it has to be wrong — even if nobody else has any better solutions to offer.

But that does not make him wrong.

Do any of the Democratic presidential candidates advocate re-entering Syria if they win? How about sending more troops to Iraq and Afghanistan?

Only time will tell how this decision affects American interests. But unless something drastically changes in the region, we are better off by letting those with regional interests handle the issues in the Middle East.

Listen:

Dale Jackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

3 days ago

Federal grant to help develop workers in west Alabama

(UWA/Contributed)

A $2.5 million federal grant will help develop new workers with a goal of expanding economic development in rural west Alabama.

The money is going to the University of West Alabama for work in a 10-county region.

107

The area includes some of the state’s poorest counties, and officials sometimes cite the lack of qualified workers as part of the problem.

The grant will fund programs to develop new workers, recruit them into industry and get them working.

It will also establish and expand rural apprenticeship initiatives.

The grant was awarded by the Labor Department in partnership with the Delta Regional Authority and the Appalachian Regional Commission.

The University of West Alabama is one of eight organizations in five states to receive the money.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2019)

Sign-up now for our daily newsletter and never miss another article from Yellowhammer News.

3 days ago

Tuberville: ‘No doubt’ Alabama is college football’s top team, Finebaum ‘flat wrong’

(Jeff Poor/YHN)

Former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville is apparently a big fan of Nick Saban’s current Alabama team, especially on offense.

Tuberville on Monday interviewed on WNSP-FM 105.5’s “The Opening Kickoff” with Lee Shirvanian and Mark Heim, who then wrote about the conversation for Alabama Media Group.

With LSU coming off a big win against Florida, the Tigers leaped to second in Sunday’s AP Top 25 poll, garnering 12 first-place votes compared to top-ranked Alabama’s 30 first-place votes.

There has been significant debate across the country in the past two days as to whether LSU — or even Ohio State — deserve to be ranked ahead of the Tide; however, Tuberville believes the AP has it right.

351

The LSU-Alabama dynamic is especially relevant considering their upcoming battle at Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 9.

The former Auburn coach gave his analysis on what to expect when the two teams meet.

“LSU’s got a good team, but they are not Alabama,” Tuberville said. “They’re [LSU] not very good on the defensive line. They give up way too many plays on defense. Alabama will have their way with them.”

He did note one difference from when the teams played last year in Baton Rouge. Alabama won that contest 29-0.

“On the flip side of that, Joe Burrow is a lot better,” the coach advised. “How much better we’ll have to wait to see.”

Ultimately, though, Tuberville emphasized that the determining factor in comparing the two teams is the Tide’s offensive firepower.

Asked who the top team in college football is, Tuberville responded, “There’s no doubt about it (that Alabama is).”

“Those receivers and quarterback, you can’t stop them,” he continued. “No one has an answer for whether it is a back-shoulder throw on a fade route from Tua [Tagovailoa] to the receivers, or if they play outside and take that away, nobody has an answer for the quick slant.”

Heim also reached Paul Finebaum for his input on which team should be number one.

Finebaum, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and native of the Volunteer State, is apparently not as high on Alabama as Tuberville.

“I have Ohio State No. 1, but it could easily be Bama or LSU,” Finebaum remarked. “The Tigers have better wins and Alabama is more explosive, but the Buckeyes right now look like a more complete team.”

This led to a response from Tuberville on Twitter.

“I’ve been dealing with Paul Finebaum for years,” he quipped. “Heck, the darts I’ve endured from him have prepared me for all the false attacks that are about to be unleashed by my (political) opponents.”

“Paul, you’re great for College Football but flat wrong on this. There is no doubt that Alabama is #1,” Tuberville concluded.

Alabama plays Tennessee Saturday at 8:00 p.m. CST in Tuscaloosa.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 days ago

Byrne moves for official investigations into Hunter, Joe Biden

(Bradley Byrne/Twitter)

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) on Monday appeared live on the set of “Fox & Friends,” announcing that he will tomorrow file a resolution directing three U.S. House committees to begin investigating Hunter Biden’s business dealings during his father’s tenure as vice president.

Byrne’s resolution calls for the House Committees on Foreign Affairs, Oversight and Government Reform and Financial Services to begin investigations of foreign business dealings of Hunter Biden during the period in which Joe Biden served as VP, whether those business dealings resulted in improper conflicts of interests and whether Hunter Biden’s work affected United States foreign policy or a foreign government or foreign entity’s response.

“While Democrats intensify their partisan scheme to impeach President Trump, they continue to turn a blind eye to the Biden scandal,” Byrne said in a statement.

“If the same facts in the Biden case occurred with one of President Trump’s children, Democrats would have already launched a full-scale investigation,” he continued.

321

“We must draw attention to the Democrats’ hypocrisy and demand a full investigation into the Bidens and their sketchy business dealings with China and Ukraine. Instead of wasting time with the witch hunt against President Trump, Congress should demand answers from Joe and Hunter Biden and get to the bottom of all this nonsense,” the Republican Alabama congressman concluded.

On “Fox & Friends,” Byrne noted that he has previously called for an investigation into Hunter Biden’s business dealings involving China, pointing to an official visit to that country he participated in while his father was vice president.

More recently, we found out about “this Ukrainian thing,” as Byrne put it.

“I’m not asking for a foreign government to investigate him, I want the United States Congress to investigate,” he emphasized. “If the name on here was not Hunter Biden — if it were Donald Trump, Jr. — these investigations would have already started. I want the United States Congress to get to the bottom of this.”

Byrne’s resolution would need to pass the chamber to take effect. He was asked if the Democrats’ majority in the House will allow the investigations into the Bidens.

“Well, I don’t know — but they’d be hypocritical if they didn’t,” Byrne stressed. “There are real, serious concerns here. The American people deserve to know the facts. All I want are the facts.”

The resolution can be viewed here.

RELATED: Byrne: ‘Democrats should brace for a fight, because the American people will not stand for this attack’

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 days ago

Tide continues to top AP poll, Auburn No. 11

(UA Football, Auburn Football/Twitter)

The Associated Press released their weekly college football poll on Sunday, with the Crimson Tide holding on to the top ranking after a 48-27 win at Texas A&M and Auburn moving up one spot following a bye-week.

Alabama (6-0) received 1,503 total points and 30 first-place votes, while LSU (6-0) moved up to number two with 1,449 points and 12 first-place votes after beating Florida.

Clemson, Ohio State and Oklahoma rounded out the top five, followed by Wisconsin, Penn State, Notre Dame and Florida.

Georgia fell from third to number ten after a stunning home loss to unranked South Carolina. The top seven teams are all undefeated.

147

LSU and Bama will play in Bryant-Denny Stadium on November 9.

One conference has held both the top two spots 75 times since the AP poll started in 1936, none more than the SEC. Incredibly, this is the 27th time the SEC has simultaneously had the numbers one and two teams in the rankings since 2000. Ten of those times have involved the Tide and LSU Tigers at the same time.

RELATED: Return of ‘rat poison’: Saban warns players about listening to buzz about draft stock, records

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 days ago

Breakthrough research led by Auburn University professor fuels new product that forecasts long-term drought

(Alabama NewsCenter/Contributed)

Recently published climate research led by Sanjiv Kumar, a professor in Auburn University’s School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences, has already provided the basis of a pioneering new outlook product that is capable of forecasting drought.

Kumar and his team published their findings in the May issue of the Journal of Climate Science.

In August, the Massachusetts-based Climate Impact Company introduced an innovative new forecasting product developed based on that research. An article and accompanying chart on the company’s website now exhibits the most likely dry or drought-prone areas in North America for meteorological autumn, or September, October and November. The article cites the soil reemergence process as its source, breaking down the science behind it.

415

“It is striking to see the speed at which basic climate science research can deliver a practical solution nationally and internationally — in this case, less than four months,” said Kumar, who leads Auburn University’s Climate, Water and Society, or CWS, Lab in the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences. “This development highlights the way in which basic climate research can fuel practical solutions worldwide.”

The researchers based their pivotal findings on a process called soil reemergence. The idea is that the memory of the land lies not just at its surface, but also beneath its surface; because of that, it can serve as a predictor of future water availability.

The Climate Impact Company, a meteorological and climate consulting organization that aims to change the way industry looks at the impact of weather and climate, is using a combination of deep- and shallow-layer soil moisture deficits as the basis of its new drought outlook product.

The collaborative research included Kumar’s work at Auburn along with Matt Newman of the Boulder, Colorado-based NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory, or ESRL, and his colleagues Yan Wang and Ben Livneh, also at the University of Colorado Boulder.

Kumar, who joined the Auburn faculty in 2017, began working on the project in 2016, when he was a National Research Council associate at NOAA ESRL in Boulder.

Puneet Srivastava, director of the Auburn University Water Resources Centerand an expert in water resources and climate variability problems, said Kumar and team were the first to challenge the conventional thinking that root-zone moisture anomalies last only a few months.

“They are demonstrating that greater memory, in the order of several months to over a year, in soil moisture anomalies exist in the layer immediately below the root zone, which has potential to enhance interannual-to-decadal variability in droughts,” said Srivastava, who was not involved in the study.

School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences Dean Janaki Alavalapati said the rapid development of a forecast product based on Kumar’s research affirms that the findings will significantly affect climate science in the years to come.

“The findings that Dr. Kumar and his team have made in this research represent a major breakthrough in terms of the role of the land in climate predictability science,” Alavalapati said. “This could result in substantially improved predictability of drought, which could positively impact the lives of people affected by drought each year and affect the decisions of natural resource managers and policymakers.”

This story originally appeared on Auburn University’s website.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

4 days ago

Southern Research to develop smart robots for next-gen nuclear reactors under DOE grant

(Southern Research/Twitter)

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a team led by Southern Research a $2.8 million grant to develop smart maintenance robots that will work autonomously in the challenging conditions inside next-generation nuclear reactors.

The team working on the project, funded by DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), will use artificial intelligence and machine learning to train the robots to complete maintenance tasks at a future molten salt reactor (MSR) large component test facility.

Autonomous maintenance is seen as an enabling capability to making MSR technology economically viable as a safe, carbon-free energy source, according to Robert Amaro, Ph.D., a mechanical engineer and advanced manufacturing specialist at Southern Research’s Engineering division.

653

“The MSR technology is very promising because of its inherent safety, but the high-temperature, high-radiation environment makes it necessary to remotely maintain the reactor. Training robots to perform maintenance tasks is a key capability in the development of these reactors,” Amaro said.

As the project’s program manager, Amaro will prepare the robots for their mission, but what is unusual about this project is that the robots will be trained in a virtual environment, using machine learning to execute a range of routine maintenance tasks. The operator would provide high-level guidance to the smart robots but would not have to direct each specific task they perform in the MSR, Amaro said.

The success of this project promises to significantly advance future nuclear power generation.

On the project, Southern Research has partnered with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the creator of the original MSR technology; PaR Systems, a leading manufacturer of automation and robotic technology used in nuclear facilities; Intuitive Research and Technology Corp., which specializes in 3-D virtual training environments; DEFT Dynamics, an innovative small business developing real-time feedback for robots and manipulators; and Southern Company, a leading energy company based in Atlanta and the parent of Alabama Power.

The project supports a proposed concept being explored by Southern Company Research and Development (R&D) to develop a molten salt large component test facility in conjunction with its efforts to advance Generation IV nuclear energy systems. Southern Company and TerraPower, a nuclear startup founded by Bill Gates, received funding in 2016 as part of an ongoing effort to develop a Molten Chloride Fast Reactor that uses liquid salts as both a coolant and fuel.

Southern Company will assist the Southern Research team by providing 3-D modeling of the future test facility to help the robot training efforts. It will also provide oversight to ensure the technology developed by Southern Research is applicable to MSR technology.

“Southern Research has put together a strong technical team for this project, and this is a great opportunity for the organization to become part of a large, collaborative, industry-leading effort to develop next-generation nuclear power for the clean, safe, reliable and affordable generation of electricity,” said Nick Irvin, Southern Company director of research strategy, next-generation nuclear and crosscutting R&D.

Though MSR technology has never been commercialized, it was first developed as an experiment at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the 1960s. Now, almost 60 years later, the technology is seen by many as an energy system for the future.

Interest has been rekindled in MSR technology because it offers a zero-carbon energy resource that operates at high temperatures and low pressure using a nonreactive coolant. And these reactors are capable of being designed and scaled for both small- and large-scale deployments.

Collaborations

For Birmingham-based Southern Research, the project is groundbreaking in a number of ways, said Corey Tyree, Ph.D., senior director of Southern Research’s Energy and Environment division. It’s the organization’s first large-scale nuclear project and the first time it’s been funded by ARPA-E, a government agency that typically funds higher-risk projects that have a greater impact and a higher reward in the energy sector.

For Southern Research, it also represents the first major collaboration between its Engineering and Energy & Environment divisions on a project of this magnitude, he added.

“This is an exciting project because it moves us into some new directions,” Tyree said. “The work leverages our knowledge base in materials, energy and environment, while also moving us into new technical areas like automation, robotics and virtual environment training by partnering with other world leaders in these areas.”

Both Amaro and Tyree agree that the development of this autonomous robot technology can better position Southern Research for new industrial partnerships looking for applications in advanced manufacturing as well as applications supporting the nation’s space program, where a similar skill set may be required to perform complex tasks in hostile environments.

This story originally appeared on Southern Research’s website.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

5 days ago

ULA’s Alabama-based RocketShip makes first delivery with new name

(Made in Alabama/Contributed)

Many folks may know that the United Launch Alliance produces powerful rockets at a sprawling factory in Decatur. But few people probably realize that the ULA has its own rocket delivery ship based in the Alabama city.

The R/S RocketShip, as it’s now called, is a 312-foot vessel designed specially to transport boosters and other large rocket components from Decatur to launch sites 8,000 miles away in California and nearly 1,700 miles distant in Florida.

Earlier this week, the ship sailed into Port Canaveral to complete its first voyage from the 1.6 million-square-foot Decatur production plant to the Florida spaceport after a traditional renaming ceremony last month.

273

Its cargo: An Atlas V rocket for an upcoming national security mission.

“She is a highly maneuverable, unique custom-built rocket transport ship able to navigate both rivers and open ocean. The only U.S. flagged ship with that versatility,” ULA CEO Tory Bruno tweeted recently.

VOYAGE NO. 132

ULA said the cargo vessel has actually been in use for nearly two decades, bringing Delta IV rocket stages to Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida, and Vandenberg Air Force Base, California.

It also started carrying Atlas V stages in 2011 and soon will begin supporting the Vulcan Centaur program.

Voyage No. 132 departed Decatur on Sept. 27 for the 2,000-mile journey through shallow rivers, the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. It reached the Cape on Sunday.

In a blog post today, ULA said the Atlas V first stage and Centaur upper stage together will launch the upcoming AFSPC-7 mission for the Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center.

The stages were offloaded and taken to the Atlas Spaceflight Operations Center to await further processing for their mission.

The ship’s new name was selected after a contest that asked ULA employees to submit recommendations. ULA said RocketShip was chosen since it best reflects the vessel’s main mission.

The vessel was formerly known as the Delta Mariner.

The roll-on, roll-off cargo ship weighs nearly 19 million pounds, has complete living quarters and dining area for its crew of 16, a helipad on the top deck, a below-deck machine shop and sophisticated computers and navigational aids on the bridge.

It is operated by Foss Maritime on behalf of ULA.

You can watch a replay of the renaming ceremony, which observed all the maritime traditions.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

5 days ago

Alabama’s largest river cleanup celebrates 20 years

Susan Comensky, Alabama Power vice president of Environmental Affairs, speaks to volunteers during a special luncheon Tuesday in Montgomery. (Wynter Byrd / Alabama NewsCenter)

Twenty years ago, Gene Phifer approached his supervisor at Alabama Power with a simple idea: clean trash out of the Coosa River near Plant Gadsden.

“He really backed the program in a tremendous way,” Phifer said. “Not only him, but the executives got involved, too. They were staunchly behind it.”

The program was named Renew The Coosa and quickly evolved into Alabama’s largest river cleanup and one of the largest in the country before being renamed Renew Our Rivers. The company honored Phifer and dozens of other volunteers Tuesday for their efforts during a luncheon in Montgomery.

“Thank you for what you do to build a better Alabama,” said Zeke Smith, vice president of External Affairs for Alabama Power. “It’s just fabulous. It makes a difference.”

331

During the last two decades, more than 120,000 volunteers have collected more than 15.5 million pounds of trash and debris from waterways across the Southeast. The program has earned numerous awards including the 2019 Water Conservationist of the Year award from the Alabama Wildlife Federation.

“The waterways are so important to us and to the state of Alabama,” said Susan Comensky, Alabama Power vice president of Environmental Affairs. “Your dedication and your effort to see that they stay that way is an investment in all of our futures.”

Lynn Martin has volunteered 19 of the 20 years at cleanups around Alabama. She said her goal is to get more young people involved.

“I’ve got my 21-year-old daughter now involved,” Martin said. “We love it. It’s just an awesome feeling.”

Jim Eason leads cleanup efforts on the Winston County side of Smith Lake. He said the team effort is rewarding.

“I’m proud of the people I work with,” Eason said. “It’s sometimes daunting to see all the trash out there just a year or two after you cleaned it up, but they keep coming back and we keep picking up and cleaning.”

Phifer says he hopes the next 20 years will be even more fruitful.

“I hope it’s continuing on the same pace 20 years from now,” Phifer said. “I hope the educational component grows as fast as the other part does. I think that’s the part that we need to focus on going forward.”

Five more river cleanups are scheduled across Alabama this fall, including the final cleanup on Lake Martin Nov 1-2.

Remaining 2019 Renew Our River cleanups

Oct. 15: Dog River (Mobile County)
Contact: Catie Boss at 251-829-2146 or clboss@southernco.com

Oct. 22-24: R.L. Harris Lake (Tallapoosa River-Lake Wedowee)
Contact: Sheila Smith at 205-396-5093 or Marlin Glover at 770-445-0824

Oct. 26: Lake Mitchell (Coosa River)
Contact: Dale Vann at 205-910-3713

Oct. 28-Nov. 2: Neely Henry Lake (Coosa River)
Contact: Lisa Dover at 256-549-0900

Nov. 1-2: Lake Martin (Tallapoosa River)
Contact: John Thompson 334-399-3289 or lmra@lmra.info

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

5 days ago

Troy University unveils clock honoring Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr.’s 30 years as chancellor

Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. and his wife, Janice, stand at a clock on campus dedicated in honor of Hawkins' 30 years of service to the university. (Troy University)

“Time flies, but memories last forever.” Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr. recalled those words during a ceremony honoring his 30 years of service as Chancellor of Troy University.

Thanks to the help of donors, the university dedicated a clock in front of Smith Hall in honor of Hawkins’ years at Troy. Hawkins became chancellor on Sept. 1, 1989, following the retirement of Dr. Ralph Adams, who served in the position for 25 years.

Over the last three decades, Hawkins has led the university through an era of unprecedented growth, said Maj. Gen. Walter Givhan, USAF ret., who serves as Senior Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Economic Development.

“Dr. Hawkins has honored this university with 30 years of his time, talents and treasure and we have certainly reaped the benefits of that. It is only right and fitting that we honor him with this clock in recognition of those 30 great years,” Givhan said.

353

Hawkins called last Saturday’s ceremony humbling.

“Janice and I are so humbled and honored by this gathering,” Hawkins said. “Most of all, though, we are honored and humbled to serve a great university. It has been a remarkable time for us. The memories that we’ve been blessed to accumulate over these last three decades will last us forever. Life is about relationships, and we have certainly been blessed with the opportunity to build great relationships at this remarkable place.”

Gibson Vance, president pro-tempore of the university’s Board of Trustees, commended the couple for all they have done to grow and advance Troy University.

“When I thought about all of the qualities that it takes to be a great leader, the one I kept coming back to was vision,” Vance said. “When you think of vision, you don’t have to do anything more than walk from one side of this campus to the other – that was Jack’s vision. When you look at the quality of our students, the quality of our faculty and staff, the diversity we have on campus, the quality of our academics and sports programs, it’s remarkable and there is one reason for it – the vision of our chancellor, Dr. Jack Hawkins.”

Vance also expressed his appreciation for Troy’s first lady, presenting her with a bouquet of flowers.

“Troy University would not be the outstanding university it is without Janice Hawkins,” Vance said.

Also during the ceremony, the chancellor received proclamations honoring his service from the Troy University Student Government Association, the Troy University Faculty Senate, the City of Troy and Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey. The Sound of the South marching band also performed during the ceremony.

Before unveiling the clock, Hawkins said the future of Troy University is bright.

“I am convinced that the best is yet to be for this extraordinary university,” he said. “It is so unique and has so many great people. We are grateful to be a part of it and grateful to continue this journey with each of you.”

The Hawkinses were also honored with an on-the-field presentation during last week’s football game at Veterans Memorial Stadium.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

6 days ago

Tua Tagovailoa gifts signed ball, jersey for 12-year-old Bama fan to be buried with

(GoFundMe, P. Branton/Twitter, YHN)

Phenix City’s John Jones, 12, was tragically killed in a shooting that occurred one week ago Friday.

According to what a close family friend told WRBL, Jones’ relatives were immediately in “disbelief,” experiencing “[u]ndescribable pain.”

Jones, they said, had been diagnosed with autism at age-five.

He was described as “a very loving and affectionate young boy who was a die hard Alabama football fan.”

129

“Every weekend when a game was on he was watching it. He loved his Alabama with his daddy. His daddy and him would sit there and they would watch it and they would have a ball,” another close family friend explained.

Amidst their grief, the family had one final wish for the boy: That he would be buried in a Crimson Tide jersey signed by his favorite player, quarterback Tuanigamanuolepola “Tua” Tagovailoa.

One day ahead of his Saturday funeral, University of Alabama alumnus and WPLG reporter Parker Branton reported that the family’s hope will become reality.

Branton shared pictures of a Bama football and jersey, both signed by Tagovailoa, that will be buried with Jones.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

6 days ago

Marsh: ‘No appetite whatsoever for any kind of Medicaid expansion’

(Screenshot/APTV)

For anyone holding out hope that Republicans in the state legislature would come around on so-called Medicaid expansion as a solution to any perceived rural health care woes, you may want to consider other policy options.

During an appearance on Huntsville radio WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show,” Senate Pro Tem Del Marsh (R-Anniston) dismissed the expansion of Medicaid rolls in Alabama as an option in the near term. However, he said there other options that could be offered.

“There’s no appetite whatsoever for any kind of Medicaid expansion,” Marsh said. “I can tell you that. I know the Democrats are rallying around that. I can tell you the Republicans are not for expanding Medicaid.”

250

“Now, the rural health care issue – we’ve had meetings,” he continued. “We’ve had meetings on rural hospitals. We’ll continue to work with the hospital administration and association to talk about possible solutions, some of which – maybe it’s not a hospital, maybe it’s an EMA facility that gets people quick to a hospital in another adjoining county. There are things we’ve got to look at, but it won’t be Medicaid expansion.”

Marsh also questioned the notion that the solution to rural health care offerings was hospitals in all 67 counties.

“I don’t know how big this problem really is,” he added. “A lot of times when I get in the topic of rural health care, it’s not about health care. It’s about jobs. In some cases, in rural areas – hospitals are the biggest employer. But to me, number one, health care is health care. Do you really need it there? Is it providing a service in that area? If it doesn’t make sense, and quite honestly, I don’t think we need to have a hospital in every county. We’ve got to be fiscally responsible. If they don’t have a hospital, make sure they have quick access to a hospital through EMA or other entities we can work on to provide health care.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

6 days ago

Ivey completes radiation treatment, expects ‘full recovery’

(YHN, Gov. Kay Ivey/Flickr)

Governor Kay Ivey on Friday announced the completion of her radiation treatment for early-stage lung cancer, saying she expects “to make a full recovery.”

In a statement, Ivey outlined, “Three weeks ago, I announced that during a routine exam, my longtime family physician discovered a tiny, isolated malignancy on my lung. The day after I shared this news, I went in for an outpatient procedure, which allowed me to begin a series of specialized radiation treatments.”

194

“In a continued commitment to being fully transparent, I am happy to report that I have completed my radiation treatments,” she continued. “My doctor and I believe that based on the early stage it was discovered and the type of treatment it required, I expect to make a full recovery.”

Ivey stressed early detection as a key to the good prognosis.

“I also want to encourage the people of Alabama to have regular checkups with their doctor. Certainly, I remain very grateful this was detected so early,” she commented.

The governor thanked God for her blessings, as well as the people of Alabama for their prayers and support.

“I am constantly reminded that I have so much for which to be thankful; God has been incredibly gracious to me,” Ivey emphasized. “My blessings in life absolutely include serving the good people of Alabama. Your constant prayers and support enable me to continue leading our great state into a promising future.”

“Together, we will build a better Alabama. May God continue to bless each of you and this great state we call home,” she concluded.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

6 days ago

Alabama Dep. of Corrections K-9 officer dies in line of duty

(ALDOC/Facebook, YHN)

The Alabama Department of Corrections on Thursday announced that K-9 Officer “Hooch,” a Beagle, has died in the line of duty serving the people of the state.

The department tweeted that it “is deeply saddened to share that while tracking a lead for a fellow law enforcement agency today, K-9 Officer Hooch the Beagle lost his life in the line of duty in a vehicle accident. We will miss you, Hooch.”

61

More information was not immediately available.

This comes after Jake, another Alabama Department of Corrections K-9 officer, died earlier this year after being exposed to a substance believed to be synthetic marijuana while participating in a prison contraband raid.

Jake was given a burial with full honors.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

6 days ago

Jasper High students buying janitor new truck give God the credit: ‘He is making all of this possible’

(WVTM/YouTube)

Per local television reports, students at Jasper High School have nearly reached their fundraising goal to buy the school janitor a new truck. However, they are not personally taking credit for their deed, giving all the glory to God.

ABC 33/40 reported on Thursday that sophomores Preston Reed and Sam Hice wanted to celebrate Custodian Appreciation Week, which was last week, in a fitting way for Jasper High’s Travis Kennedy.

Kennedy, who has worked diligently at the school for over 20 years, reportedly drives his 1989 Ford Ranger approximately 4o miles round-trip every day from Winston County to Jasper. ABC 33/40 added that he does it all with “a smile on his face and keeps the school clean as a whistle.”

183

Since launching a fundraiser to get Kennedy a more reliable truck, the students have already raised almost $8,000. A local car dealership has generously agreed to match their funds raised dollar-for-dollar up to $10,000.

By his comments to ABC 33/40 alone, you can see why Kennedy is beloved.

“You can’t explain it,” he said. “You can’t explain it. You wish it was somebody else instead of you. I’d much rather see them be blessed. I’d rather have their friendship than this truck. I guarantee you.”

The students also displayed humble hearts.

“I hope people can realize that it is not just us pulling the string,” Hice told ABC 33/40. “It is God. It is really God. He is helping us, and he is making all of this possible.”

WVTM 13 also reported on this story Thursday.

Watch:

Update:

As of 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, the fundraiser had already picked up another $2,000+, putting the total raised at $10,287. 224 separate donations contributed to this total, which is still rising.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn