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.

1 hour ago

Shelby secures deal that would give Trump $4.59 billion more to combat border crisis

(Sen. Shelby/Twitter)

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) on Wednesday got legislation overwhelmingly approved by the Senate Committee on Appropriations that would provide $4.59 billion in emergency supplemental funding to address the crisis at the United States’ border with Mexico.

The compromise legislation was negotiated by Shelby, the powerful chairman of the committee, and committee vice chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT). The committee voted to advance the legislation by a remarkable vote of 30-1.

Before the committee voted, Shelby delivered remarks strongly supporting increased border security.

“The situation is past the breaking point. We must act,” he urged his colleagues.

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Shelby’s full remarks as follows:

The Committee will come to order. Today the Committee considers legislation to address the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis along our southern border.

According to the Department of Homeland Security, more than 675,000 illegal immigrants have been apprehended or encountered at ports of entry so far this fiscal year.

Making this crisis even more acute, we are seeing a dramatic spike in the number of children and families making the dangerous journey north to the U.S.

Our personnel on the ground are doing everything they can to secure the border and care for these vulnerable populations.

But their determination has outstripped their resources.

Last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security stated the following:

“The volume and composition of populations arriving at the southern border are simply unsustainable. Unless Congress acts, the situation will continue to deteriorate – with grave consequences.”

The situation is past the breaking point. We must act.

I say to my colleagues, today the Appropriations Committee will act.

I am pleased that we will do so in a bipartisan manner, and I want to thank Vice Chairman Leahy for working with me to find common ground.

The legislation we bring before the Committee today contains a total of $4.59 billion to address the border crisis.

Of this amount, $2.9 billion is provided for the Department of Health and Human Services, which is tasked with caring for unaccompanied children and placing them in suitable homes.

The legislation also includes $1.3 billion for the Department of Homeland Security to provide basic necessities – food, shelter and medical care – to adult migrants they detain.

An additional $145 million is provided for the Department of Defense, which has mobilized to help respond to the crisis.

And finally, $220 million is included for the Department of Justice, to help process immigration cases and detain dangerous individuals.

This package does not include everything I wanted.

It does not include everything Vice Chairman Leahy wanted.

But most importantly, it does not include poison pills from either party.

I ask for my colleagues’ cooperation in holding any such amendments until this package reaches the Senate floor – just like we did during the FY19 process with such great success.

In addition, I ask my colleagues to refrain from offering any amendments that pertain to broader immigration policy.

The appropriate venue for such amendments is the authorizing committee, and Chairman Graham is marking up immigration legislation in the Judiciary Committee tomorrow.

So I urge my colleagues interested in broader immigration policy to discuss their ideas with Chairman Graham and Ranking Member Feinstein.

By adhering to this framework I believe that we will be able to move forward together with a strong bipartisan vote here today.

Our border security professionals and the children and families in their care cannot afford further delay, and I am hopeful that a strong bipartisan vote will provide the momentum needed to assist our folks on the front lines.

Before I turn to Vice Chairman Leahy to offer his remarks and make a motion, I want expand briefly on the importance of moving forward together – not just on this package, but on fiscal year ’20 appropriations bills.

Coming to an agreement on topline numbers is very important, and I am working with Leader McConnell, Secretary Mnuchin, Speaker Pelosi and Vice Chairman Leahy on that front.

But we also need to have agreement on keeping poison pills out of our process in fiscal year ’20.

That was the foundation of our success in fiscal year ’19.

And that is what is allowing us to move forward together here today.

I believe that my colleagues agree it should also be the basis for our work ahead.

If we show that critical mass is still behind this simple and proven framework, we can move bills quickly once we have topline numbers.

But if we start chipping away at it, I fear we will return to the old frustrations and failures of previous years.

Something none of us wants. I know I don’t.

And with that, I turn to my good friend and Vice Chairman, Senator Leahy, to offer his opening remarks and make a motion.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 hours ago

Mooney praises Trump for use of tariff threat on Mexico; Says immigration remains ‘a major issue’ for Alabamians

(Screenshot/YouTube)

If the early stages of the race for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat up in 2020 is any indicator, immigration remains a front-burner issue for Alabamians.

That is how State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs), a GOP candidate for U.S. Senate, views the subject as well.

In an interview that aired Wednesday on Huntsville’s WVNN, the Shelby County Republican weighed in on the topic and offered President Donald Trump praise for his use of tariffs to force Mexico to pledge to be more proactive in stymying the flow of migrants through the U.S.-Mexico border.

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“I think quite frankly, it got the results that were needed,” Mooney said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “We got people to the table. We got people there to cooperate, begin to solve the problem. You have got to use every tool that is in the toolbox. I’m a free trade person. I believe in that, but I also understand clearly that when you have a president who delivers on his threats in the manner Donald Trump has when he has challenged people to get them to the point of doing something and working on something, he’s been successful with that. They know he may do what he’s talking about. So, they tend to come and begin to negotiate. And then we get a resolution as such that is beneficial to us and beneficial to them.”

Mooney said among voters he has talked with on the campaign trail, the U.S. immigration system is one of their primary concerns.

“I hear consistently and constantly from voters in Alabama about immigration and how important it is and how much concern they have about it,” he added. “It is a major issue in this election, and it is a major issue for our nation, and it has got to be worked on and solved.”

@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.

3 hours ago

DeKalb Co. deputies bust another illegal alien human smuggling operation

(DeKalb County Sheriff's Office)

The DeKalb County criminal interdiction team on Wednesday busted yet another alleged human smuggling operation involving illegal aliens.

A press release from the sheriff’s office explained that the team was working the major highways and interstates within the county when interdiction deputies at approximately 10:30 a.m. conducted a traffic stop on a vehicle near the 218 mile marker of I-59.

After searching the vehicle, 10 illegal aliens were discovered.

An initial investigation determined a human smuggling operation was ongoing. The individuals were from El Salvador, Ecuador and Guatemala, according to the sheriff’s office.

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The Department of Homeland Security was then called to the scene and the suspects were taken into Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody.

“This is another great job by our Interdiction Team. Even though we are far from the Southern Border, we can still play a role in enforcing our nation’s laws right here in DeKalb County,” Sheriff Nick Welden said.

“While it may seem that they were trying to start a new life in our country, these people are exploited and taken advantage of. Some have to pay thousands of dollars to be smuggled in and are made to work for inhumane wages,” he added.

The investigation is still ongoing and federal charges are pending.

Welden concluded, “Again, I’d like to thank our interdiction team for another job well done. God Bless!”

Nine illegal aliens were arrested after a similar traffic stop in DeKalb County just weeks ago.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

3 hours ago

Former Miss America Heather Whitestone McCallum rules out Alabama 2020 U.S. Senate bid

(John McCallum for Congress 2014/YouTube)

Miss America 1995 Heather Whitestone McCallum will not be a candidate in Alabama’s 2020 U.S. Senate race.

She told Yellowhammer News on Wednesday evening that she has finalized her decision and will not run, saying the timing was not right for her.

A Republican, she had been considering running for several months, even conducting polling in the spring to help make an informed decision.

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“Alabama has given so much to me. It would definitely be an honor to give back to the people of my state,” Whitestone said in a statement to Yellowhammer News earlier this year. “That being said, it is something my husband John and I are praying about.”

Whitestone, a Dothan native, is also a former Miss Alabama. She made history as the first deaf Miss America, having fully lost her hearing when she was 18-months old. Whitestone underwent a cochlear implant surgery to partially restore her hearing in 2002.

She has authored multiple faith-centric books, including “Listening With My Heart,” “Believing The Promise,” “Let God Surprise You” and “Heavenly Crowns.” She is a graduate of Berry High School (now Hoover High School) and Jacksonville State University.

Whitestone, 46, has lived in Georgia for over two decades, having moved there after marrying her husband, John McCallum. She and John met when they were both serving as aides to then-U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA). John ran unsuccessfully for Congress himself in 2014. She and her husband have three children.

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) are the credible candidates who have formally announced Republican candidacies to unseat Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) thus far.

Unsuccessful 2017 Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore will announce Thursday at 2:00 p.m. in Montgomery whether he will join that field.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is expected to make an announcement on his potential Senate bid next week after filing his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

4 hours ago

Mo Brooks: ‘Nice guy’ Doug Jones ‘not able to masquerade as a moderate any longer’ — ‘Clear he is a Chuck Schumer left-winger’

(Screenshot/CSPAN)

On Wednesday, Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) gave a wide-ranging interview to C-SPAN’s “Washington Journal,” hitting on a variety of topics, including immigration, Iran and defense spending.

Host Pedro Echevarria also asked Brooks about the possibility of former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore running for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate up in 2020 currently occupied by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook).

The Madison County Republican declined to speculate about Moore’s candidacy, but predicted the ultimate GOP nominee would defeat Jones given the different dynamic of the 2020 election cycle with President Donald Trump on the ballot.

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“I do want the people back home in Alabama to know this: No matter who our Republican nominee is, that nominee is going to win in 2020 against Doug Jones. There’s going to be a whole different dynamic with it being a presidential election with Trump on the ballot, with a Democrat nominee on the ballot. And there’ll be a lot more people voting.”

“And Doug Jones – nice guy, but he’s voted for abortion,” Brooks continued. “He’s voted against our Supreme Court justices. He’s voted for open borders. He’s not going to be able to masquerade as a moderate any longer. It’s pretty clear he is a Chuck Schumer left-winger.”

@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.

5 hours ago

Byrne: Percentage of illegal border crossers ‘might be part of a terrorist effort’ — ‘We have to be very vigilant’

(U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne/Facebook)

In the very early stages of the 2020 U.S. Senate campaign, immigration has become one of the primary focuses, especially given the statements of one of the contest’s apparent front-runners, former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville.

One of the concerns is that among the mass influxes of illegal border crossers could be individuals that look to inflict harm on the country, particularly those from Middle Eastern nations coming in through the porous U.S.-Mexico border.

In an appearance on Huntsville’s WVNN, U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) said it is not out of the realm of possibilities such bad actors could be coming into the United States through Mexico.

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“What we know is is that unlike ten years ago, 80% of the people coming across the border are from three countries: They’re from El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras,” Byrne explained on Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show.” “They are families and unaccompanied minors, and they’re just overwhelming the system that we’re having so many of them, and they’re incredibly needy. But in addition to that 80% of the people that fall into that category, there are some onesies and twosies of people that might be – we can’t necessarily prove it, might be part of a terrorist effort. So, we have to be very vigilant about that.”

“Now the truth of the matter is in that other 20%, you’ve got people coming from all over the world,” he continued. “They found the body of a young Indian girl, a Hindu Indian girl, the other day out in the desert. So, we know they’re getting them from everywhere. And some of these people are coming across because they want to be part of America. And some of them are coming across for really bad reasons. Some of them are drug traffickers. Some of them are human traffickers. And we are concerned, though we can’t give you hard evidence of this – that some of them may be part of a terrorist effort in this country.”

The Baldwin County Republican U.S. congressman explained the difficulties in identifying those coming into the country seeking asylum as who they claim to be, which is problematic in determining potential threats.

“I mean, just because you’re from a Middle Eastern country doesn’t necessarily mean you’re part of a terrorist network,” Byrne said. “So there is a lot more that goes into it, and I’ve got to be careful what I say because of the classified briefings I’ve had, but there is a lot more that goes into this to try to make a determination who is this person. And part of the problem, Jeff, is the unknown. Because how can we know who these people are? They say, ‘My name is so-and-so, and I’m from this country, and I’m here because I’ve been persecuted in my country.’”

“Well, how do we know that?” he continued. “And how do we – in some of these countries like Syria, we have no way to go back and check that out because their communities are gone? The people we would go to, to try to verify who they are – are in some refugee camp somewhere. It’s just the impossibility to have full information on these people that is such a problem. And so you just can’t let whoever you want to come across the border. You have to have a very rigorous system to determine who are these people and whether they should be here or not.”

@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.

18 hours ago

Auburn’s Bruce Pearl slams AOC for ‘concentration camps’ tweets: ‘Attempt to rewrite the Holocaust’

(MSNBC/YouTube, AU/Contributed)

Auburn University head basketball coach Bruce Pearl is not tolerating what he views as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) “attempt to rewrite the holocaust” after she compared current immigration facilities in the U.S. to “concentration camps.”

Ocasio-Cortez on Tuesday tweeted, “This administration (the Trump administration) has established concentration camps on the southern border of the United States for immigrants, where they are being brutalized with dehumanizing conditions and dying.”

“This is not hyperbole,” she claimed. “It is the conclusion of expert analysis.”

In a follow-up tweet the same day, she doubled down and blamed others for taking offense to her original tweet.

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“And for the shrieking Republicans who don’t know the difference: concentration camps are not the same as death camps,” Ocasio-Cortez asserted.

“Concentration camps are considered by experts as ‘the mass detention of civilians without trial,'” she concluded. “And that’s exactly what this administration is doing.”

In a direct response to Ocasio-Cortez, Pearl tweeted, “Tell that to the people who died and survived those concentration camps that they don’t know the difference.”

“Never again is reserved for the 9 million people murdered including 6 million Jews,” he added. “The comparison is attempt to rewrite the holocaust! Stop!”

Pearl this spring became the fourth Jewish head coach in NCAA history to take a team to the Final Four. He was the first president of the Jewish Coaches Association.

This came as MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and CNN’s Andrew Kaczynski made similar “concentration camps” comparisons on Tuesday, with the two liberal media personalities drawing rebukes from the Auschwitz Memorial’s official Twitter account.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

18 hours ago

At Paris Air Show, Deloitte gives major gift to advance Alabama Cyber School

(Made in Alabama/Contributed)

PARIS — Deloitte presented a $100,000 gift to the Alabama School of Cyber Technology and Engineering Foundation Tuesday in a ceremony at the 2019 Paris Air Show.

The donation is a combination of a financial contribution as well as in-kind support. This donation is intended to promote and advance the state magnet school, which opens in Huntsville in August 2020.

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Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle accepted the check on behalf of Deloitte from Ray Winn, a partner at Deloitte & Touche LLP and a cyber leader.

“One of the primary conversations we are having here at the Paris Air Show is the need to secure aviation and missile platforms,” Mayor Battle said. “To do so requires a workforce that understands how cyber systems interact with hardware.

“This school sets the foundation blocks for creating those platforms.”

Carey Miller, a managing director at Deloitte & Touche LLP, said the firm has been committed to the success of the Huntsville community since opening its office there six years ago.

“The Huntsville community recognizes that cyber is everywhere and that by investing in education, it can be the nation’s cyber leader,” Miller said.

The independent residential magnet school will provide academically motivated 7th through 12th grade students from across the state with educational opportunities and experiences in the rapidly growing fields of cyber technology and engineering.

The school will also assist a broad range of teachers, administrators, and superintendents across the State of Alabama in replicating cyber technology and engineering studies in their own schools.

Deloitte is one of the largest professional service organizations in the world.

(Courtesy Made in Alabama)

21 hours ago

Shelby backs Trump, says Moore Senate bid could help Doug Jones

(R. Shelby, R. Moore/Facebook, WH/Flickr)

Senator Richard Shelby (R-AL) on Wednesday echoed sentiments previously expressed by President Donald Trump and Donald Trump, Jr., with Alabama’s senior senator saying a Roy Moore senate bid in 2020 could once again hand the seat back to Senator Doug Jones (D-AL).

Before a Senate Appropriations Committee meeting, Shelby was speaking to members of the media and was asked about a potential Moore bid, considering the former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice is set to make a formal announcement on his Senate intentions on Thursday.

Per pool reports, Shelby said he would not support Moore if he does indeed announce his candidacy, which is widely expected in the Yellowhammer State’s political circles.

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“For a lot of reasons known to you and everybody else…I think Alabama could do better,” Shelby emphasized, saying it would be difficult for Republicans to win back the seat with Moore as the nominee.

Shelby reportedly added that he has spoken with former Senator and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who Shelby believes would be “formidable” and would “probably clear the field.”

“I’ve not encouraged him to run, but he’s a friend,” Shelby noted.

Sources have told Yellowhammer News that Sessions is not currently actively considering mounting a campaign to reclaim his old seat.

Besides Sessions, Shelby hinted at other good options being available for Jones to be unseated.

“I think we’ve got a lot of talent in Alabama that maybe could come to the front,” he said.

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) are the credible candidates who have formally announced Republican candidacies to unseat Jones thus far.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is expected to make an announcement on his potential Senate bid next week after filing his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

22 hours ago

Daycares in subsidy program face deadline to get licensed

(Kid's Work Chicago Daycare/Flickr)

The deadline is approaching for Alabama daycares that receive subsidy payments to get licensed.

Alabama’s Department of Human Resources said Tuesday that 69 centers receiving the subsidies have yet to submit their application for licensure.

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That could put some parents in a bind if the center they use has not taken action.

A 2018 state law requires centers to get licensed by Aug. 1 to continue receiving the payments that help low and moderate-income families pay for childcare.

The Department of Human Resources spokesman Barry Spear said the department will help parents find a new center if needed.

A letter is being sent to parents in the program telling them that they will need to find a new center if their current one doesn’t become licensed by Aug. 1.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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23 hours ago

New scholarship program will send tomorrow’s astronauts to Space Camp

(Made in Alabama/Contributed)

PARIS — A new international education program to reward aspiring young space explorers and their teachers with a hands-on astronaut training experience at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center’s renowned Space Camp in Huntsville was launched Tuesday at the 2019 Paris Air Show.

The “Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship” invites students and educators in host communities of major international airshows to compete for an all-expenses paid week at Space Camp.

The program is named for the Apollo 15 Command Module Pilot and global advocate for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education.

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The new initiative was unveiled by Tom Kallman, president and CEO of international trade show organizer Kallman Worldwide, at the “Tribute to Apollo 50” VIP reception in the company’s Paris Air Show Partnership Chalet.

“The 50th Anniversary of Apollo’s success provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the positive impact that space programs have had on society, and re-emphasize the need for continued support of public and private initiatives dedicated to aerospace exploration and commerce,” Kallman said.

“In partnership with our event partners around the world, industry partners in the United States and the leaders of Space Camp, the world’s premiere astronaut training experience, we’re proud to launch the Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship to honor the past and inspire the future of space exploration.”

HEIGHTENING CONNECTIONS

Sixteen student awards and four teacher awards will be made each year beginning this fall. Participating airshows include Avalon (the Australian International Airshow), Bahrain Airshow, Dubai Airshow, FIDAE (Santiago, Chile), Japan Aerospace, Paris Air Show, the Royal International Air Tattoo and the Singapore Airshow.

Since 1982, Space Camp has provided the next generation of astronauts, engineers and scientists with an immersive program that includes astronaut training and simulated space missions.

Space Camp alumni include NASA and European Space Agency (ESA) astronauts, as well as engineers, scientists and technologists around the world.

“The Space Camp experience bonds like-minded space explorers through their training, missions and team experience,” said Dr. Deborah Barnhart, CEO and executive director of the U.S. Space & Rocket Center.

“Creating lasting relationships among nations is key to living and working in space and to accomplishing mankind’s next giant leap forward. In that same spirit, the Astronaut Al Worden Endeavour Scholarship heightens connections around the globe to achieve success in space for years to come.”

STEM PIPELINE

Endeavour scholarships will be awarded based on merit by select stakeholders in participating air show communities, and reviewed by a Space Camp team that includes Worden.

He will announce the first Endeavour Scholarships this November at the 2019 Dubai Airshow, and plans to visit with scholarship winners during their Space Camp tours.

“When you consider the decades of rigor and discipline it’s going to take to successfully put people from Earth on Mars, and that getting to Mars is just one of the countless engineering challenges we face on our own planet today, we need to pick up the pace,” Worden said.

“The pipeline for STEM talent can handle a lot more volume, and Space Camp is a proven connection.”

Worden was on hand for the announcement, joining Apollo program alumni Walt Cunningham (Apollo 7) and Charlie Duke (Apollo 16), along with representatives of 12 international space agencies and government and military officials.

(Courtesy Made in Alabama)

23 hours ago

Tuberville doubles down on Islamic terror threat crossing southern border: ‘An outsider does not have to be politically correct, and I’m not going to be’

(T. Tuberville for Senate/Facebook, YHN)

Former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, a candidate for U.S. Senate, has warned of Middle Easterners crossing the U.S.-Mexico border and the potential terror threat that could pose on numerous occasions in the early stages of the 2020 U.S. senatorial election cycle.

For that, he has received pushback from some who argue he is exaggerating the threat. However, Tuberville vows to be undeterred and not to bow to the whims of political correctness.

In an appearance on Huntsville radio station WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show” on Tuesday, Tuberville expressed that sentiment and doubled down on his contention that radical elements coming through the southern border is a threat to the country.

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“Here’s the deal: You know most politicians don’t want to talk about this because they’re politicians,” Tuberville said. “They’ve got to be politically correct. An outsider does not have to be politically correct, and I’m not going to be. I’m going to tell it like it is.”

The former football coach noted his personal encounters with those that had dealt with those crossing the U.S.-Mexico border from beyond the Western Hemisphere, which he said is reflected in media accounts, as well.

“If you’re coming here to change our laws and not go by our Constitution, you can go home as far as I’m concerned,” he said. “We don’t want you here. We do not want Shariah law here. We don’t want radical Islamic jihads. We don’t want that here. We know what that’s about. We’re a country of peace and freedom, and we want to keep our freedom. We want to keep American people safe and we don’t want people trying to tear this country down.”

“And as an outsider, I’m going to say that and I’m going to continue to say that,” Tuberville continued. “All these politicians can complain all they want, but we have big problems. We’ve got to make sure we try to solve those problems as much as we can and keep our eye on the ball. If we take our eye off the ball, we’re going to have huge problems.”

Tuberville emphasized that with immigration, maintaining a level of assimilation is important as to not disrupt and create more division nationally.

“The thing about this country is we got to stay together,” he said. “We got to stay together as Americans. And it doesn’t have to be with religion. I mean, we’ve got hundreds of different denominations and religions, and we need that. That’s the reason America is a strong country because we all believe in certain things and at the end of the day, we all believe in the flag and our Constitution. Now, if somebody else wants to go by different laws, they can pack their bags and go home, go back where they came from – because if we change that, if we change our ideas in terms of how we’re all going to live – if we’re not moving in the same direction by the same set of rules, we’re going to have huge problems. There’s going to be huge division.”

“We got enough problems in this country right now,” Tuberville continued. We don’t need more. You can tell, there are groups coming into this country that know we’re struggling with division and they just want to divide us more and more. But as an outsider in politics coming in, I want to do as much as I possibly can to try to bring that gap back together. And that’s how you do it – you talk, but you’ve got to talk about it. You know this social justice and all this about not being politically correct and we can’t hurt anybody’s feelings. You’ve probably heard me say this: There’s nothing in the Constitution that says you can’t get your feelings hurt. Now I’m not talking about racism. I’m talking about simple facts – that if you’re an American, you’ve got to go by laws and rules. You’ve got to pay taxes, you’ve got to understand that you’re here for a reason and you can’t try to change it. If you change it, go back home.”

@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.

1 day ago

Alabama grandmother holds suspect at gunpoint until police arrive

(CBS 42/YouTube)

Alabama’s state motto of Audemus jura nostra defendere — we dare defend our rights — has a new testimonial, thanks to 75-year-old Marcia Black of Limestone County.

A grandmother of four, Black helped capture a suspect wanted for a car theft Monday, according to CBS 42, by defending her property rights.

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Cameron Powers showed up at her residence that day, reportedly asking to use Black’s phone.

She quickly pulled out her rifle, but Powers did not stop approaching, leading Black to fire a warning shot into the air.

At that point, Black advised that Powers got on his knees, and she held him at gunpoint until deputies soon arrived to arrest the suspect.

Watch:

This came the same day in Limestone County that deputies discovered a meth-fueled “attack squirrel” in another incident.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 day ago

Second Alabama Buc-ee’s location coming to Leeds, groundbreaking scheduled

(Jameywiki/Wikimedia Commons)

Alabama is officially set to get its second Buc-ee’s location, with construction on a new convenience store set to break ground in Leeds on Wednesday, June 26.

CBS 42 on Tuesday reported that Leeds Mayor David Miller said the Buc-ee’s will be located off of I-20 exit 140 across the street from the Chevron station.

The Buc-ee’s in Baldwin County became the Yellowhammer State’s largest convenience store and the first Buc-ee’s to open outside of Texas when it opened earlier this year.

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The Lone Star State chain is known for having a surplus of gas pumps to choose from outside of its large stores, which offer a bevy of unique options available for purchase.

The Leeds location has publicly been in the works for over a year, but a definitive timeline on the project has been difficult to nail down until now.

On the opening day of the Baldwin County location in January, Buc-ee’s founder Arch “Beaver” Aplin expressed enthusiasm for continuing to make Alabama the center of the chain’s expansion.

“So we have a site just outside of Birmingham in a little town called Leeds, Alabama and we’ve been looking, yes, in the Auburn area… nothing confirmed just out looking,” Aplin said at that time. “I wanted to get this open before I did anything else, but the first day tells me we need more sites in Alabama.”

The Leeds mayor has previously said the city’s Buc-ee’s location is expected to include more than 100 gas pumps and potentially bring over 200 jobs to the area. Leeds’ revenue should get a significant boost, with the mayor estimating 18 million gallons of gas will be sold at the location in its first year of business alone.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

1 day ago

State Rep. Dismukes on Washington Post parental rights ‘fake news’: ‘Sometimes people try too hard for a really good, a really juicy story’

(Screenshot/APTV)

Last week, The Washington Post published an article by Emily Wax-Thibodeaux headlined, “In Alabama — where lawmakers banned abortion for rape victims — rapists’ parental rights are protected.”

As it turned out, the entire premise of the story was incorrect. On Monday, State Rep. Will Dismukes (R-Prattville) issued a press release calling out the Post and Alabama Media Group for reprinting the article for its inaccuracies.

Dismukes was the sponsor of the so-called Jessi’s Law, a law governing parental rights that was signed by Gov. Kay Ivey early this month. It clarified Alabama’s laws regarding parental rights, stating that “a parent for rape or incest is a ground for termination of parental rights if the rape or incest resulted in the conception of the child.”

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“It’s been kind of an interesting couple of weeks with some of the reports coming out,” Dismukes said on Tuesday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show” on Huntsville’s WVNN. “And I sat on the sideline as long as I could and I finally just had enough.”

Dismukes offered a summary of the law, which he said left no room for misinterpretation.

“Now it’s mandated that if you’re convicted of rape or incest, that you lose your parental rights,” he continued. “You’re not protected. The judges have always had the discretion, but this just makes it where you lose them. There is no question about it. You know, it doesn’t give any loophole to get out of it. It’s just cut-and-dried.”

The Autauga County Republican lawmaker said the time of his bill just so happen to come after the passage of the legislation banning abortion, but it had no relation to it.

“Right after we passed it, before the governor signed, I kept having different media outlets, The Washington Post being one, calling and trying to tie it to the abortion law,” Dismukes explained. “I was like, ‘Listen, you can go back when I filed it. It has no relation to this law.’ They tried to draw a line to connect it to it and as far as me dropping this bill and there being an abortion bill – there was no connection, no relation in the two in that sense.”

Overall, Dismukes said the media even at the level of state government try to create divisions for the sake of bettering the storyline, but that comes with consequences.

“I think what we see is sometimes people try too hard for a really good, a really juicy story,” he said. “Rather than just printing what it is and that being that, and it being just a story off of the truth, we’re trying to twist things to make it greater than it really is, and just causing a lot of unnecessary problems. And I think readers and followers of media and news would actually like it a lot more if people would just print the truth and report the truth and go on about their day.”

“We want to create this huge divide between Democrats and Republicans in the state legislature, and we don’t want to talk about how often we do work together, and how often we do get along, how often we do see eye-to-eye to continue moving Alabama in the right direction. I hope we can see a turn in media in what we print and report and broadcast, and we can really get the truth, and I think that we would see people in the general public a lot happier with that.”

@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.

1 day ago

Birmingham city councilman suggests calling in National Guard to combat crime; Mayor Woodfin disagrees

(WVTM/YouTube)

Birmingham City Councilor Steven Hoyt wants the National Guard to be considered as an option to combat violent crime in the Magic City.

Outlets reported that Hoyt made comments during a Tuesday city council meeting expressing his grave concern over community safety, especially related to gun violence and homicides.

While Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith has made changes during his approximately one-year tenure thus far, Hoyt said current policing strategies still aren’t “working.”

Speaking after a weekend of violence left five dead in the metro-area, he suggested, “[M]aybe we need to call the National Guard in here to help us control this city.”

Watch, via WVTM:

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According to Alabama Media Group, this came immediately after Hoyt stated, “Growing up, my mother told me if you don’t know how to do something, ask somebody. Get some help. If the governor can’t get things in order, she calls the president.”

To be clear, the governor does not currently play a role in the policing of Birmingham or Jefferson County. The governor does have the power to order the Alabama National Guard to “State Active Duty” during certain crises, including natural disasters and incidents of dangerous civil unrest, although it appears that Hoyt was suggesting President Donald Trump federalize the state’s National Guard and order them into the city as a form of martial law, rather than Governor Kay Ivey utilizing her authority.

However, Mayor Randall Woodfin during the meeting immediately rose to rebut Hoyt’s suggestion, stating bluntly, “We will not be calling the National Guard.”

The mayor emphasized that recent violent crimes, specifically mentioning the weekend murders in Belview Heights, were personal in nature as opposed to “random killings.”

Hoyt responded by saying people are still scared, whether most of the violence is random or not.

“That’s not life. That’s not quality of life,” he lamented. “I should be able to go to my house. My wife should be able to go to our house and all this without fear. Terror is something that’s real.”

As of Tuesday evening, Jefferson County has seen 83 homicides so far this year, 55 of those occurring in the city of Birmingham.

The city had experienced 47 homicides at this same point last year. Ultimately, Birmingham ended 2018 with 107 homicides, which was down slightly from 111 the year prior. Yet, last year was still one of the deadliest years in Birmingham’s recent history.

Smith said that the city’s police force has taken over 1,000 guns off the street since he became police chief in late June of 2018.

He stressed his confidence in the city’s strategy and that the results will ultimately bear him out, adding that there is “no magic wand” to make crime disappear overnight.

“It just takes good hard police work, and that we’re committed to doing,” Smith added.

The entirety of Tuesday’s city council meeting is available to watch here.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Texas longhorn in Alabama sets Guinness World Record

(Guiness World Records/YouTube)

A Texas longhorn in Alabama has broken the Guinness World Record for longest horns, with a horn span wider than the Statue of Liberty’s face.

News outlets report Guinness World Records announced last week that Poncho Via’s horns measured just over 10-feet-seven-inches as of last month, beating all previous records.

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The seven-year-old steer belongs to a family in Goodwater, just southeast of Birmingham.

Poncho’s owner Jeral Pope says he brought Poncho into the family when the steer was six months old.

The organization says the Pope family first noticed the potential of Poncho’s horns when he was about four years old and his horns were growing straight out instead of curving upward.

Pope says Poncho is a gentle giant with a soft spot for apples, carrots and marshmallows.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 days ago

Hollywood Doug Jones donor accused of ‘horrifying’ abuses

(Face the Nation/YouTube, G. Skidmore/Flickr, PIxabay, YHN)

A prominent member of Senator Doug Jones’ (D-AL) donor network, Hollywood filmmaker Max Landis, has been publicly accused of “wide range of emotional, physical and sexual abuse” by eight women.

The Daily Beast on Tuesday broke the story of “horrifying” allegations against Landis.

In addition to the eight women the outlet spoke with, receiving firsthand accounts, actress Anna Akana said that the total tally of Landis accusers would be too many to count.

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After the news broke, Yellowhammer News discovered that Landis donated three times to Jones in 2017 in the immediate aftermath of allegations made in The Washington Post against then-Republican nominee Roy Moore.

The contributions came on the same dates (November 14, 21 and 28 of 2017) that other Hollywood elites shoveled large amounts of money into Jones’ coffers, including ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel.

Jones faces reelection in 2020.

He has received more money from (and had more individual donors in) California than Alabama.

Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) are the credible candidates who have formally announced Republican candidacies to unseat Jones thus far.

Moore will announce Thursday whether he will join that field.

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill is expected to make an announcement on his potential Senate bid next week after filing his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission on Tuesday.

RELATED: Doug Jones: ‘I don’t know how’ you can compare Virginia Democrat, Kavanaugh sexual assault allegations

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Roy Moore to announce decision on U.S. Senate bid Thursday

Roy Moore speaks at his campaign headquarters on election night (NBC News/YouTube)

With just over 250 days until Alabama Republicans head to the polls to cast a ballot who they want representing them on the general election ballot against presumably incumbent Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), another well-known candidate could be adding his name to the list of choices.

Former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, who came up short against Jones in a 2017 special election contest, could be taking another shot at a U.S. Senate bid.

If Moore does enter the fray, he will be joining already declared candidates, which include U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), former Auburn head football coach Tommy Tuberville, State Rep. Arnold Mooney and others, and possible candidate Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill.

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In a statement provided to Yellowhammer News, Kayla Moore, wife of Roy Moore, said to expect an announcement on Thursday.

“Judge Moore will be making an announcement about his decision regarding the senate race on Thursday,” she said. “Details forthcoming. Enjoy the Trump rally!”

@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.

2 days ago

Alabama team seeks to build on $3 billion in aerospace projects

(Made in Alabama/Contributed)

Alabama’s aerospace and defense industry added more than 1,400 new jobs and $653 million in new investment last year, advancing the state’s robust lineup of operations that develop leading products and innovative technologies for markets around the world.

Highlights of the 2018 announcements include Airbus’ second production line for A220 aircraft at its Mobile plant, a $264 million project that is expected to create more than 430 jobs.

Other major moves are DynCorp International’s plans to execute its $152 million maintenance, repair and overall contract for U.S. Navy helicopters in Andalusia and Lockheed Martin’s latest expansion of its missile assembly operation in Troy.

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“The aerospace and defense industry is a cornerstone of Alabama’s economy, and many of the top international players continue to deepen their roots here,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“Since 2011, we’ve seen more than $3 billion in new investment and nearly 11,000 new jobs announced for this industry, bringing prosperity to communities across the state.”

The timing is right for Alabama’s aerospace growth story.

Secretary Canfield joined Alabama Governor Kay Ivey Monday for high-level meetings with aerospace industry decision-makers at the 2019 Paris Air Show, the industry’s most high-profile event this year. The Alabama team is seeking to lay the groundwork for future aerospace investment projects.

Employment in the sector is growing. Aerospace manufacturers added 1,200 jobs in Alabama between April 2018 and April 2019, according to figures from the state Department of Labor. More are on the way, thanks to expansion projects by Aerojet Rocketdyne and others.

‘SOFT LANDING’

While expansions by global aerospace manufacturers drove most of last year’s growth in the state industry, smaller, new-to-the-state firms are also finding homes in the sprawling network of support businesses, according to Commerce Department data.

Among them are Resicum International, an aviation training and maintenance provider that is setting up its headquarters and a new hangar facility in Gulf Shores, a $2.5 million, 18-job project.

Elsewhere in the state, American Plane Painting Co. announced six jobs and a $35,000 investment in Selma.

And in Ozark, home to Fort Rucker and the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence, California-based Coast Flight Training and Management Inc. said it would create 40 jobs and invest $880,000 in a new satellite training site for its Rotor Transition Program (RTP).

Ozark was the next logical move for the company, said Dan Verda, Coast Flight’s director of operations for RTP. The U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence is the primary training site for Army helicopter pilots.

“There are a number of Army helicopter pilots who transition into the civilian workforce from Fort Rucker every year,” Verda said. “This new satellite site will afford them the opportunity to work on their civilian fixed-wing ratings while they’re still on active duty, drawing a paycheck.

“It keeps from putting our veterans in a tight financial bind and grants them the ability to have a ‘soft landing’ into the civilian workforce as an airline pilot.”

Verda said Ozark was a great fit because of its proximity to Fort Rucker, an airport that exceeds all of the company’s needs and is primed for expansion and strong support from the community and the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corporation.

BUILDING ON GROWTH The Wiregrass region has become a major aerospace hub for Alabama, populated by key names such as Lockheed Martin and Sikorsky, along with a host of suppliers and highly-regarded flight training and aviation maintenance programs.

Last year, Dale County alone landed six aerospace and defense economic development projects.

The region’s biggest asset is the Alabama Aviation College in Ozark, an FAA-certified Aviation Maintenance Technician School that offers programs such as Airframe Technology, Powerplant Technology and Avionics, said Veronica Crock, President of the Ozark-Dale County EDC.

While the number of FAA-certified schools fluctuates, Crock said recent data shows only about 160 schools of this kind in the U.S., which gives the local industry and community a distinct advantage in workforce training.

Moreover, the college and the college system have been proactive in developing customized training programs that meet industry needs, she said. As a result, programs have been and are being put in place to meet specific industry needs with companies such as Bell Flight, M1 Support Services, and Sikorsky.

“It goes without saying that aviation is an important industry in Dale County,” Crock said. “We’re fortunate to be home to the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and to have companies such as M1 that employ over 3,500 people in support of the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence.

“The jobs created by all of our aviation companies, and supporting companies, are high-wage, high-demand jobs. The increased spending power seen by citizens moving into these high-wage jobs results in increased interest in industrial, commercial, residential, and community development.”

The goal is to keep building on that growth.

Crock said the county’s leaders are focused on ensuring their existing industry has the tools it needs to succeed and grow while they work to attract additional business.

“We’re capitalizing on and improving upon community assets to encourage an environment that is not only a great place to work, but also to play,” she said.

“We’re continuing to work with our workforce partners to ensure existing industry needs are met and to ensure programs are in place for industry we’re trying to attract. We’re also working closely with our regional partners to better market our area as a whole.”

(Courtesy Made in Alabama)

2 days ago

Meth-fueled ‘attack squirrel’ seized in north Alabama raid

(L. Connell WAFF/Twitter, PIxabay, YHN)

One furry fiend in north Alabama is giving a new meaning to the term “squirrelly.”

WAFF reported that Limestone County narcotics investigators on Monday arrested one man and are still looking for another after they executed a search warrant that yielded meth, drug paraphernalia, body armor and an “attack squirrel.”

Prior to executing the warrant, investigators had been informed that Mickey Paulk, 35, kept the squirrel inside his apartment as a pet, allegedly feeding the squirrel meth to keep it aggressive.

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Paulk — wanted for possession of a controlled substance, illegal possession of a firearm and possession of drug paraphernalia — has not yet been apprehended.

When law enforcement officers served the warrant on Monday, they reportedly found the squirrel inside a cage.

An Animal Control officer arrived soon thereafter and contacted the Alabama Game and Fish Division of the Department of Conservation.

Game and Fish officers subsequently confirmed that it is illegal to have a pet squirrel in the Yellowhammer State and recommended releasing the squirrel, which Limestone County deputies have since done.

Watch the video report here.

Anyone with information about Paulk’s whereabouts is urged to call the Limestone County Sheriff’s Office at 256-232-0111.

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Merrill files FEC paperwork for U.S. Senate campaign

Alabama Secretary of State John Merrill has officially filed his paperwork with the Federal Election Commission regarding a potential U.S. Senate bid in the upcoming 2020 cycle.

Merrill made the announcement on WVNN’s “The Dale Jackson Show” on Tuesday morning, saying a formal announcement of his candidacy could come next week.

Merrill would join Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01), former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville and State Rep. Arnold Mooney (R-Indian Springs) as the formally announced credible candidates in the race to unseat Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL).

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Merrill, in the Tuesday radio interview, emphasized, “Doug Jones does not represent the people of this state. Doug Jones does not represent Alabama thinking. Doug Jones does not represent Alabama values. And Doug Jones does not need to be the United States senator from the state of Alabama, representing the 4.8 million people that live in our state. Because he would be more inclined to be representing the people whose values he shares, and those people live in California, New York and other states that have liberal folks with liberal ideas and liberal values.”

Listen:

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

State Sen. Elliott on new Mobile Bay Bridge funding: Shelby hamstrung by changes in earmarking, Federal money not as readily available

(Contributed-State Sen. Chris Elliott/ALDOT)

The funding for the new Interstate 10 Mobile Bayway Bridge remains the hottest political topic in Southwest Alabama as residents continue to grapple with a century-old problem of perfecting the best way to get back and forth from Mobile to Baldwin County’s Eastern Shore.

Currently, the Alabama Department of Transportation appears to be set on allowing for a toll for the new bridge, which reportedly could cost as much as $6 each way per automobile. That has drawn the ire of local residents, especially on the heels of a move by the Alabama legislature to hike the state’s gasoline tax. It has also raised questions about the local congressional delegation and the Alabama Department of Transportation, and the perceived inability to secure federal money, which supposedly could be used in place of a toll.

During an appearance on Mobile radio’s FM Talk 106.5, Sen. Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) explained why federal money is not as readily available as it once might have been and how the project got to the point of requiring a so-called public-private partnership (P3), which he argued is now the norm for projects of this magnitude.

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“The simple answer to that is this is a very, very large project,” Elliott said on Monday’s broadcast of “Midday Mobile.” “When you start talking about $2.1 to $2.3 billion, this is a project that’s the largest of its kind, really in the Southeast, and one of the largest public infrastructure projects nationally. There are other on FHWA and USDOT’s [Federal Highway Administration and U.S. Department of Transportation] website that you can look through, many of which are private-public partnerships – these P3s we’re talking about right now. But that is the shift the federal government has made on how to fund major infrastructure projects like this – these public-private partnerships, and that’s really how we’ve ended up here.”

As for federal funding, or the lack thereof, Elliott told host Sean Sullivan given the end of the practice of earmarking by Congress, U.S. Sen. Richard Shelby’s (R-Tuscaloosa) ability as chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee is limited in steering federal money to Alabama for the project.

“Things have changed from the federal government’s standpoint,” Elliott said. “It really started when we quit doing earmarks. Remember earmarks in the federal government, and the powerful senator and the powerful congressman got the stuff in his district. And for what it’s worth – whether you like earmarks or not, I think everybody would agree that in Alabama, we really missed our timing on that because we got Senator Shelby as the chairman of the Appropriations Committee, the Senate Appropriations Committee, arguably the third or fourth-most powerful man in the world, in the country. And that’s where we missed the boat. If earmarks were still around and Shelby is in this position, I don’t think that we would be having this conversation. And so the good fiscal conservatives that we are, and most of us are here in South Alabama, don’t like earmarks and we’re applauding when the federal government got rid of them. And it was probably a good thing given the deficit and the debt that our federal government has. But, that’s where we missed out here in South Alabama – is we didn’t have Shelby in the right spot when the earmarks were there. “

“Senator Shelby has been very effective at bringing dollars back to Alabama, and other congressmen and senators have as well,” he added. “But Shelby has been particularly adept at it. And he has continued to do that and will continue to do with the port widening. But to talk to Senator Shelby and to talk to his office, it’s one thing to find $100 million, or $200 million, or even $500 million that we’re matching here at the local government level. But $2.1 billion is a whole different animal. And that is not something that is not something Senator Shelby is able to wave his wand and make happen, unfortunately.”

The Baldwin County Republican state senator indicated that the bridge’s details are still being determined, which will have an impact on funding and the amount of a possible future toll.

@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.

2 days ago

Mobile County treasurer: ‘Freaking queers have gotten too much sympathy’

(NBC 15/YouTube)

The treasurer of Mobile County is doubling down – and then some – after posting on Facebook, “Freaking queers have gotten too much sympathy.”

NBC 15 in Mobile on Monday reported that the country treasurer, Phil Benson, recently made the comment in reference to the Mobile County Republican Party Facebook page sharing a National Review article on June 12 about the famous Colorado cake shop owner who is being sued once again after refusing to make a “gender transition cake.”

Benson responded on the Mobile County GOP’s post, saying, “This poor guy needs to move to a place he is wanted. Freaking queers have gotten too much sympathy. A real abomination.”

His comment has since been removed by the Mobile County GOP’s Facebook page administrator, however Benson is going further than his original social media post.

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Partial NBC 15 interview transcript as follows:

NBC’s ANDREA RAMEY: Do you understand, though, how your words can be offensive to gay people or to anybody?

BENSON And gay people are offensive to me. Do you understand that?

RAMEY: All gay people, just because they’re gay, are offensive to you?

BENSON: They can be very offensive. All this beautiful rainbow stuff. When one of our presidents lit the White House with wonderful rainbow colors that offended me.

RAMEY: Do you have any apologies for anyone? People who we have spoken with in the LGBTQ community say this is really offensive and are offended by what you said.

BENSON: I’m sorry they are offended. Their lifestyle offends me.

RAMEY: So you stand by what you say?

BENSON:Do they offend me? Do I think that they have gotten too much power over you and I? Yes. I think too many sub groups have gotten too much control over us through the government.

This reportedly came after Benson initially insisted that before he would participate in the interview, the reporter had to sit down in his office and read Genesis 19, which is the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

NBC 15 sought out comment from Alabama Republican Party Chairman Terry Lathan on this local matter.

“Mr. Benson’s comments represent his own personal opinion,” she said. “I find them to be unnecessary, divisive and reflect solely on himself.”

Watch:

Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn