The Wire

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

    Excerpt:

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

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

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

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

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

    Excerpt:

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

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

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

  • Alabama ranks second worst state for having a baby

    Excerpt:

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

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

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

27 mins ago

WATCH: University of Alabama Police Department completes lip sync battle featuring ‘Sweet Home Alabama’

(University of Alabama/Twitter)

Monday, The University of Alabama posted a video of their campus police department participating in a lip sync battle against Clemson University.

UAPD chose “Sweet Home Alabama” as their song and, afterward, challenged all other SEC schools to join in on the competition.

Watch the full video here.

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

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34 mins ago

Rep. Byrne: Illegal immigrants will not be housed in Baldwin County

(Rep. Bradley Byrne/Twitter)

Tuesday, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-01) announced that illegal immigrants would not be housed at Navy airfields in Baldwin County.

Congressman Byrne opposed the housing of 10,000 illegal immigrants at Naval Outlying Field Silverhill and Naval Outlying Field Wolf in south Baldwin County.

Byrne, along with other members of the Alabama and Florida Congressional delegation, sent a letter to Secretary of Defense Mattis and Secretary of Homeland Security Nielson expressing their concerns with the proposal.

Byrne released both a statement and a tweet on Tuesday regarding the decision of the proposal.

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“Housing illegal immigrants at ill-equipped airfields along the Gulf Coast was always a terrible idea, so I appreciate the confirmation that this plan is no longer being considered. We had a team effort to push back this flawed idea, and I especially want to thank Baldwin County Commissioners Chris Elliott and Tucker Dorsey and Baldwin County Sheriff Hoss Mack for their advocacy on this issue,” said Byrne in a news release.

He added, “While I am glad this issue is resolved, we must continue working to secure the border and eliminate the need for additional housing for illegal immigrants altogether. I remain 100% committed to working with President Trump to build a border wall, hire additional border patrol officers, and ensure our border security is as strong as possible.”

Click here to read the full letter ICE Deputy Director Ronald Vitiello sent to Rep. Byrne regarding the decision.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

1 hour ago

Liberal heckler hurls object, expletives at Doug Jones — Jones says ‘there’s just as many people passionate on the other side’

(Satire graphic by YHN/pic: D. Jones/Facebook)

After a liberal heckler hurled an object and expletives at Sen. Doug Jones at a town hall Monday, Alabama’s junior senator compared the incident, which ended with police officers hauling the agitator out, to peaceful conservative efforts to persuade Jones to vote to confirm President Trump’s nominee Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

AL.com’s Howard Koplowitz reported that Jones indicated at the town hall that “conservatives in the state are trying to apply the same pressure on him as the woman at the Birmingham event,” referring to the protester.

Jones said, “There’s just as many people passionate on the other side, so that doesn’t make it real easy.”

While the pressure on Jones from the left has stooped to this kind of antic, conservative efforts have all been peaceful and respectful to this point. They are backed by the fact that a majority of Alabamians polled support Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

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The Judicial Crisis Network’s massive ad buy has been flooding Alabama’s airwaves since July 9, and the NRA started their own ambitious television campaign last week.

Concerned Women for America, a Christian women’s organization, is also focusing grassroots efforts on the state.

Sen. Richard Shelby voiced his strong support for Kavanaugh’s confirmation after meeting with him recently, but Jones remains undecided.

“Senator Doug Jones’ inability to make a decision on casting an Alabama vote for Judge Kavanaugh is disconcerting,” Alabama Republican Party Chair Terry Lathan told Yellowhammer News.

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

1 hour ago

Arab High School to dump ‘Dixie’ tradition at football games

(Arab High School/Facebook))

A rural Alabama high school is ending its tradition of playing “Dixie” at football games.

John Mullins, superintendent of city schools in Arab, said he made the decision to quit playing the song at Arab (AY-rab) High School, but not because of any “external pressure.”

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Leaders in the educational system and the school board have talked for months about dropping the song, he said, and local news outlets reported in June that the longtime band director was retiring.

“While I fully understand the difficulty of changing a tradition, the song has negative connotations that contradict our school district’s core values of unity, integrity, and relationships,” Mullins said in a statement reported by WHNT-TV.

School bands throughout the South used to play “Dixie,” but the practice ended as the region got further away from legalized racial segregation.

The Arab High School Band has played “Dixie” after touchdowns for decades.

Students and staff at the school will vote on a new fight song after this football season.

In the meantime, the band will play an instrumental soul song that’s popular among marching bands, “The Horse.”

Census statistics show the town of about 8,200 people, located in northeastern Alabama, is more than 96 percent white.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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4 hours ago

Decatur High School teacher accused of having sex with students resigns

(Decatur PD)

An Alabama high school teacher who was paid nearly $130,000 while on leave fighting charges that she had sex with students has resigned.

The Decatur city school board accepted the resignation of Carrie Cabri Witt on Monday.

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Superintendent Michael Douglas tells the Decatur Daily that Witt quit the day before the board was scheduled to hold a hearing on her employment.

The 45-year-old Witt is charged with two counts of having sex with a student.

She’s been on paid leave since March 2016 while fighting the accusations.

Witt’s resignation letter says she “vehemently” denies committing any crime or having any inappropriate relationship with a student.

The school district has spent more than $128,000 on salary and benefits on Witt since placing her on leave.

She worked at Decatur High School.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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5 hours ago

How an incoming freshman overcame inner-city Chicago to get to Alabama State University – ‘This is the start of a new life’

(ABC 7 Chicago/YouTube)

Ivry Hall has a tale to tell – one that is too unbelievable and too tragic to be anything but real. But it is who life’s challenges have made him, and where Hall is going from here, that he wants to be his life’s story.

Chicago born-and-raised, Hall just turned 18 last month.

“I grew up on the South Side. Englewood, 64th and Laflin,”  he told WLS-TV. “My mom did a lot of moving, but that’s where I spent most of my childhood.”

His upbringing, like that of most in this infamous part of the Windy City, was filled with serious trouble.

“Gang banging,” Hall admitted. “I used to smoke when I was little.”

He also dropped out of school, saying that is what was expected of children like him in that urban neighborhood.

Hall said, “I did a lot of stuff. That’s just from the image I was seeing so I wanted to do it, too.”

And that was all before his mom, who was raising him as a single mother, got cancer when Hall was only 12.

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“When my mom passed away, I was so hurt,” he reflected. “And I just wanted to do better.”

This tragedy inspired Hall to go back to school, and after some time, attend Tilden High School.

While in a positive frame of mind again, his life did not necessarily get easier when he went back to get his education. Hall was living with a cousin who moved nearly two hours from where he went to class.

“I had to get on three buses and one train,” Hall explained.

However, through hard work and the right attitude, he always kept going.

“I don’t believe in giving up, and I think that failure is not an option,” said Hall.

Not only did his mom pass away when he was 12, but when he was a senior in high school, Hall’s dad died of lung failure.

“Of course, I lost my mom. I lost my dad,” he told WLS-TV in Chicago. “I wish they were still here to see what I’ve accomplished now, but they’re not. Everything is not going to come as you want it.”

Hall’s faith in Jesus Christ, sports and a local boxing gym got him through the hard times. He also had mentors at his church who never stopped encouraging him.

Hall said, “They are like, ‘Ivry, you’re going to be something. You’re so smart.’ And that stuff encouraged me to do good.”

“No pity party,” explained Father Michael Pfleger of St. Sabina Church, where Hall attends. “No ‘poor me.’ He was just a young brother who wanted the best for himself and others.”

Hall set a goal for himself when his mother died, and he never took his eye off achieving it.

“I always wish that I could graduate valedictorian, and look, I did,” he recounted. “I was beyond happy.”

Now, Hall is beginning his freshman year at Alabama State University in Montgomery, a triumph made possible in part by a $10,000 scholarship from his church.

The teen from the South Side of Chicago is just getting started on writing his life’s story, but he has a good plan for what comes next.

“Major in business, so I can open up my own business,” Hall forecasted.

He added, “I’m not for sure what I want to open up, but I want to help people.”

Hall now has his sights set on a new goal, and he is determined to succeed.

“I’m going to go to college and graduate, so I’m going to find a way to study,” Hall said. “I’m going to find a way to do everything without giving up.”

“If I give up, I will be just like everybody that I know,” he continued.

The young man also shared his key to overcoming the challenges life has thrown at him again and again.

“You have to give 100 percent in everything you do,” Hall emphasized. “Once you give up, you’ll only be used to giving up. At least try. If you can’t do it, continue to try.”

He has been through a lot in his short time on earth, but to him, a blank canvas awaits.

“This is the start of a new life,” Hall concluded.

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

5 hours ago

Former Prattville police officer gets 10 years for fraud, theft

(Prattville PD)

A former police officer in Alabama who pleaded guilty to insurance fraud and burglary has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.

The Montgomery Advertiser reports 51-year-old Leon Todd Townson was sentenced Monday.

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The former U.S. Marine is one of two former Prattville Police Department lieutenants charged with breaking into a home in 2015.

The other lieutenant, 48-year-old John Wayne McDaniel, is set to be sentenced Friday.

Townson also was charged in 2017 with defrauding an insurance agency by filing a claim containing false information.

The fraudulent claim prompted the agency to award Townson more than $190,000.

He resigned from the police department in 2005 before pleading guilty to trying to sell a modified rifle seized by the department’s drug unit.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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6 hours ago

GATR Technologies Inc. of Huntsville gets $522M Army contract for inflatable antennas

(GATR Technology/YouTube)

An Alabama company has a five-year, $522 million extension to an Army contract for inflatable satellite antenna systems.

GATR Technologies Inc. of Huntsville first won the contract in 2013.

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It said in early 2014 that the contract made the antennas more broadly available to the armed services, which already were using them in special operations units.

GATR’s ground-mounted antennas look like giant beach balls with tie-downs to point them in the right direction.

The antenna inside is reflective fabric.

Fans keep the air pressure in the top half slightly higher than in the bottom half, pushing the fabric down into the right shape.

The extension brings the contract’s total maximum value to more than $960 million.

It was announced Friday in the Pentagon’s daily list of military contracts.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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7 hours ago

Alabama AG Steve Marshall challenges reporting on new ‘In God We Trust’ law

(S. Marshall/FB)

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall on Monday pushed back on a recent report by the Associated Press that asserted the state’s new law allowing “In God We Trust” to be displayed in public schools is “expected” to face legal challenges.

In March, the state legislature approved a bill that took effect June 1 allowing such displays on public property, giving Alabama schools the right to exhibit the national motto.

However, critics are speaking out against the move, calling it “a constant push for theocracy,” as media outlets like AL.com and the Asssociated Press validate their outcry.

In a statement, Marshall challenged their assertions and strongly backed the law.

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“We don’t anticipate any lawsuits over this issue,” he told Yellowhammer News.

Marshall continued, “‘In God We Trust’ is the official national motto, adopted by an Act of Congress and displayed on the nation’s currency as well as in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives. A lawsuit against a school displaying the national motto would be laughed out of court.”

Alabama’s attorney general also called out critics for not being focused on the real challenges facing public schools.

“Frankly, in a time when schools are increasingly the targets of violence, it is hard to understand how one could argue that a renewed emphasis on our nation’s religious heritage through the display of ‘In God We Trust’ or the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance could be detrimental to our students,” Marshall added.

The legislation’s sponsor, state Rep. David Standridge (R-Hayden), recently decried the controversy that outside groups and the media have made out of the law.

Alabama will also decide in November whether the state’s 117-year-old constitution should be changed to allow public schools to display the Ten Commandments when voters have a referendum on Amendment One on the general election ballot.

“My hope is they have the Ten Commandments in the schools all over the state of Alabama as well as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the historical documents that go with this country,” said Dean Young, chairman of the Ten Commandments political action committee, which is pushing the amendment.

He added, “That way, children will be able to see and ask, ‘What are these documents’ and a teacher can say, ‘Those are the Ten Commandments and they come from God and this is what they say.'”

The critics claim the national political climate, including the leadership of President Donald Trump, is fueling renewed efforts to incorporate Christianity into the public realm.

“It’s a tsunami of Christian national laws in our country right now,” said Annie Laurie Gaylord, co-president of the Freedom from Religion Foundation, per the Associated Press.

“The upcoming election will say a lot about the direction of our nation,” she added.

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

7 hours ago

Alabama leaders react after Trump gives troops largest pay raise in years

(White House/Flickr)

President Donald Trump on Monday afternoon signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for fiscal year 2019, which gives American military personnel their largest pay raise in nine years.

“We must protect those who protect us,” President Trump said in a press release. “When our service members are in uniform, it is our obligation to ensure that they have the finest equipment, the finest training, care, and resources — better than any military on earth.

The White House emphasized that the 2019 NDAA is a sure-fire sign that the President is delivering on his campaign pledge to rebuild the American military, honor the nation’s service members, prepare for all potential threats, and stand with the country’s allies and defense partners worldwide.

Members of Alabama’s Congressional Delegation agree and enthusiastically voiced their support on Twitter, as did the state’s Republican Party.

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“Proud that @POTUS has signed the #FY19NDAA into law,” Senator Richard Shelby said. “It is vital that we continue to prioritize our national security by ensuring that our military is highly trained and well-equipped to best protect our great nation.”

The office of Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-1) released a lengthy statement, which in part highlights the leading role Byrne played in the bill as a member of both the House Armed Services Committee and the House-Senate Conference Committee.

“The strategy of peace through strength requires us to continue to produce and procure the best tools and resources possible,” Byrne said.

He also applauded the many important provisions of the 2019 NDAA that specifically benefit Alabama, including his district in the southwest part of the state.

“The bill authorizes the construction of three Littoral Combat Ships (LCS), which are built by Austal USA in Mobile,” Byrne outlined. He added that he was “proud” of this victory for his district.

Byrne’s colleague in southeast Alabama joined him in lauding the latest NDAA’s signing.

“I’m so pleased that @POTUS will sign the #FY19NDAA into law today,” Rep. Martha Roby (AL-2) said on Twitter. “This important measure continues to rebuild our nation’s military and provides proper support to those who wear the uniform.”

 

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

8 hours ago

Alabama Department of Revenue changes rules to comply with 2013 red tape law

(W.Miller/YHN)

Five years after the Alabama Legislature passed a law to cut red tape, state agencies are still culling their regulations.

Tuesday, the Alabama Department of Revenue will hold a hearing in Montgomery on a proposal to repeal a regulation concerning a property tax break the legislature gave to senior citizens in Baldwin County who meet certain qualifications.

The tax agency wrote a new rule in 2008 because the original rule referenced dates that no longer are valid. But the old regulation remains on the books. The Red Tape Reduction Act of 2013 requires that regulation to be formally eliminated, and that requires a hearing at the agency’s headquarters in Montgomery.

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“We’ve had to go back and look at all of our regulations to clear up all the rules,” said Frank Miles, a spokesman for the agency.

The red tap law that passed five years ago requires any agency that proposes a regulation that might adversely impact a business to prepare an economic impact statement and file it with the Joint Committee on Administrative Regulation Review.

Lawmakers at the time said they had received complaints from companies that red tape was consuming time and energy that could be put into the core business and creating jobs.

The law also requires existing rules and regulations to be reviewed every five years. Agencies are required to post information related to proposed and existing reviews.

The Baldwin County regulation in question refers to Oct. 1, 2005 — any residence constructed after that date would not qualify for the senior discount. It also cites Oct. 1, 2006 — the date at which property taxes would be frozen for taxpayers 65 and older who had lived in their homes for at least 10 years.

The superseding 2008 regulation deleted references to specific dates and now simply states that the tax break is available to folks 65 and older who have lived in the same home for at least 10 years.

The tax agency will take up two other proposed rules changes on Tuesday. The first is a new rule clarifying the procedures for a tax lien auction and tax lien sale. The regulation lays out procedures for collecting delinquent property taxes. The rule requires county tax officials to determine which method to use no later than Oct. 1 when property taxes become due.

The second proposed rule is an amendment to regulations concerning tobacco manufacturers and salesmen. For instance, it changes “should” to “shall” in text related to a requirement that salesmen be informed of the illegality of transferring unstamped tobacco between wholesalers and in their vehicles.

@BrendanKKirby is a senior political reporter at LifeZette and author of “Wicked Mobile.”

 

21 hours ago

Alabama Department of Public Health: Zika virus has not been confirmed in Pelham

(CDC)

The Alabama Department of Public Health issued a press release on Monday to clarify that it is merely investigating potential cases of the Zika and West Nile viruses in the state, following an incorrect media report stating that a case of the Zika virus has been confirmed in Pelham.

WBRC reported on Monday that the Shelby County Health Department has confirmed a case of Zika in Pelham, but a state health department official told Yellowhammer News that the presence of the Zika virus has not been confirmed.

“No case of Zika has been confirmed in Alabama,” Dr. Dee Jones, the state’s public health veterinarian, told Yellowhammer News.

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Jones went on to expound on the press release, explaining that the department is conducting investigations where the virus might appear in folks who have recently traveled abroad to places where the virus is endemic, but that no actual case has been confirmed.

The press release does not specify how many people are under investigation, but it does reinforce that in all cases of Zika that have been previously confirmed in Alabama, each virus has been contracted by those who have traveled to those areas of the world where the virus is endemic. In other words, there have been no cases of local transmission.

Read the full press release here.

22 hours ago

Paddlefish fishing indefinitely suspended on Alabama River

(ADCNR)

Last week, the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR) indefinitely suspended future commercial paddlefish fishing seasons on the Alabama River.

In the state’s press release it was noted that Paddlefish “mature slowly and have low reproductive rates making them highly susceptible to overfishing.”

The notification to residents of Alabama mentioned the ban that was instituted in the late 80’s to ensure that population growth remained stable for paddlefish:

“In 1988, ADCNR implemented a statewide prohibition on the commercial and recreational harvest of paddlefish in response to the rapid depletion of the species in Alabama waters that occurred during the early to mid-1980s. The biology and life history of paddlefish combined with a relatively low population size and the high value of its eggs for use as caviar makes it particularly vulnerable to overharvest and localized extinction.”

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After finding that the paddlefish population in the Alabama River had become sustainable enough to support a regulated commercial fishery, the ADCNR implemented a limited annual commercial season for paddlefish within designated management areas of the Alabama River with the understanding that these monitored commercial fishing efforts would provide the data necessary to develop a management plan for the species.

Upon reviewing the reproductive habits and population growth of paddlefish from the 2013-2016 seasons and not having enough quality information to research the sustainability of the paddlefish further from the 2017 season, the ADCNR feel this is the best path to follow.

An analysis of the reports from the 2017 season continuing into the 2018 season indicated that some “paddlefish harvesters were likely falsifying records in an effort to obscure an overharvest of the fishery.”

The press release also noted that reports of illegal fishing methods were used by some permitted paddlefish harvesters lead to ADCNR law enforcement officers initiating an intensive investigation. This investigation resulted in 135 convictions for paddlefish fishing violations.

More information can be found about the paddlefish in Alabama here.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and also contributes weekly to The Daily Caller

24 hours ago

Rick Dearborn, former Trump deputy chief of staff with Alabama ties, lands new gig

(Adams and Reese LLP)

Rick Dearborn, the former senior White House official with deep Alabama connections, has accepted a new position as senior policy adviser at Adams and Reese, LLP – a law firm that has a large in-state presence between its offices in Birmingham, Mobile and Montgomery.

Dearborn, who recently served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Legislative, Intergovernmental Affairs and Implementation under President Donald Trump’s administration, will collaborate with attorneys in the Louisiana-based firm’s government relations practice on federal and state strategy and public policy, per the Birmingham Business Journal.

Before serving in the Trump Administration from January 2017 – March 2018, Dearborn notably was the Executive Director of the Trump Transition Team, Sen. Jeff Sessions’ Chief of Staff from 2005 – 2017, and his legislative director from 1997 – 2005. Also currently a partner with The Cypress Group, Dearborn has more than 30 years of combined government and private-sector experience in Washington, D.C.

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“I am proud to associate with an esteemed team of government relations advisers and attorneys at Adams and Reese,” Dearborn told the Birmingham Business Journal. “It’s an honor to work with a forward-thinking team with such outstanding talent in the legal and business spheres. I look forward to bringing my knowledge to the table and collaborating with my colleagues on federal and state strategy and public policy.”

His wife, Gina, is a registered lobbyist in Alabama and President of Tucker Consulting in Birmingham.

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

1 day ago

Million Dollar Band posts chilling video of their ‘most treasured tradition’

(The University of Alabama Bands/Facebook)

The University of Alabama’s Million Dollar Band on Monday posted a chilling rendition of the university’s alma mater.

In the post, the band calls it, “our most treasured tradition” and explained that the group’s returning members circle their new members while singing.

“Welcoming them to the MDB Family! We love starting our Fall Camp with this awesome tradition,” the post added.

Watch:

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

1 day ago

‘In God We Trust’ motto could be coming to Alabama schools

(D. Standridge/Twitter)

Months after getting legislative approval, some public schools in Alabama are considering putting up “In God We Trust” displays.

The motto could soon become more common in Alabama schools, AL.com reported.

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Legal challenges are expected to follow.

State lawmakers in February approved legislation allowing such displays on public property.

Blount County’s school board is set to become one of the first systems to take action, the news site reported.

A policy on the issue could be drafted within the next month, Blount County Superintendent Rodney Green said.

Observers view Blount County as a testing ground for the upcoming legal battles with organizations that advocate for the separation of church and state.

“You would think that something that passes the Legislature won’t be challenged in the courtroom but we all know that it can and probably will,” said Green, who oversees a school system with more than 7,800 students over 17 schools north of Jefferson County.

National politics are fueling efforts to incorporate the motto or Christian symbols in government buildings, critics say.

“It’s a tsunami of Christian national laws in our country right now,” said Annie Laurie Gaylord, co-president of the Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom from Religion Foundation.

“The upcoming election will say a lot about the direction of our nation,” she added.

“With the Republicans in charge of Congress and so many of these states, we are seeing a constant push for theocracy.”

State Rep. David Standridge, R-Hayden, sponsored the original legislation that gives public bodies the right to display the “In God We Trust” motto.

The Alabama law became effective July 1.

The Alabama legislation is not a mandate, and is a lighter version of what was approved by Tennessee lawmakers this spring that requires the motto’s prominent display inside all public schools.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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1 day ago

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

(YHN/Pixabay)

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

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

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

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After what is being called a miracle, Adams thanked God that he is okay.

“The Lord had his hand on me,” he said, per WBMA-TV.

The church’s sign for the day read: “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.”

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

1 day ago

Alabama CEO gives daughter’s teacher a new car, gives God the credit

(USA Today/YouTube)

A teacher in Alabama cried tears of joy after receiving a brand new car from one of her student’s parents.

When Courtney Adeleye, CEO and founder of The Mane Choice, learned her daughter’s teacher at Huntsville Christian Academy took multiple buses just to get to and from work every day, she knew she had to do something.

The teacher has taught both of Adeleye’s girls and “is the sweetest person you would ever want to meet,” the business leader said in an Instagram post.

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Adeleye, who has been featured in Forbes for building her company from a $500 personal investment into an empire with over $25 million in annual sales, set an example for people everywhere with her definition of success.

“When you ask me to define success….this is my response! (Give to those without expectations),” Adeleye said.

She concluded, “All glory to GOD!”

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

1 day ago

Alabama ranks second worst state for having a baby

(Pixabay)

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

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

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

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The health care metric includes things like infant mortality rate, rate of pre-term births and number of pediatricians per capita, while the baby-friendliness metric looks at things like a state’s parental leave policy and child care centers per capita, among others.

Each state’s family-friendliness ranking is based upon another WalletHub study published earlier this year about the best states to raise a family.

According to the ranking, the best five states for having a baby are Vermont, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire and North Dakota, respectively. The worst five are Mississippi, Alabama, South Carolina, Louisiana and Oklahoma.

Though Alabama scores low in the major categories, having the highest infant mortality rate among states, it has among the lowest average annual infant care costs.

1 day ago

Famous Christian musician shares heartfelt post about his daughter choosing to attend Alabama

(Steven Curtis Chapman/YouTube)

Famed musician Steven Curtis Chapman on Thursday shared an emotional post about his daughter leaving home to begin her freshman year at the University of Alabama.

“This is a really exciting (& really hard) day for this dad’s heart,” he began.

Chapman explained, “Shaoey is headed out into the next chapter of the Great Adventure God has her on as we take her to University of Alabama to start school.”

The rest of his post should be relatable to parents everywhere, too.

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“No question she’s gonna continue to change the world, just like she has ours,” he added. “Just gonna miss her…a lot! Thankfully we’re not too far away. So proud of you Sho Sho!”

Chapman is considered to be one of the most prolific Christian musicians of all-time. He has won five Grammy awards and 58 Gospel Music Association Dove Awards, more than any other artist in history.

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

1 day ago

Disqualified party runoff winner Pamela Cousins will be back on the general ballot

(Pamela Cousins Campaign)

A candidate for a judgeship in Alabama has won a legal round in her battle to be on the ballot.

AL.com reports that Montgomery County Circuit Judge Johnny Hardwick ruled Friday against disqualifying Pamela Cousins from the ballot for district judge in Jefferson County.

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Cousins filed a complaint after learning that she was disqualified because she had not filed a Statement of Economic Interests with the Ethics Commission.

Her complaint says she filed the required Statement of Economic Interests with the Democratic Party and the state Supreme Court when she qualified to run for the judgeship, and that she was certified as a candidate in the primary and the runoff, which she won.

Hardwick ruled Cousins made a good faith effort and should not be disqualified from the general election ballot.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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1 day ago

Auburn President Steven Leath helps students get moved in

(Auburn University/Facebook)

Auburn University President Steven Leath personally helped move students into their new dorm rooms on Friday.

In a picture posted by Brian Keeter, Auburn’s Director of Public Affairs, Leath can be seen hoisting a mattress above his head as he assists incoming students.

This was a part of the university’s early move-in period, as was last Monday. These dates are set aside for returning band members, potential new sorority members, Army and Navy ROTC students and select other groups, according to Auburn Residence Life director Virginia Koch.

The remaining student population is scheduled to move in on Thursday of this week.

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Per the Opelika-Auburn News, a new move-in system is being utilized this year, which has reportedly improved the process for incoming students and their families.

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

1 day ago

Alabama’s Kristen Gillman wins second US Women’s Amateur title

(Alabama Women's Golf/Facebook)

Kristen Gillman won the U.S. Women’s Amateur for the second time Sunday, beating Alabama teammate Jiwon Jeon 7 and 6 in the 36-hole final at The Golf Club of Tennessee.

“It’s really cool to be able to have it on there again,” Gillman said about her name on the Robert Cox Trophy.

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“Everyone who was playing in this tournament was picturing their name on it at the end of the week, so it’s really nice to be able to do that and accomplish that.”

The 20-year-old Gillman, from Austin, Texas, also won in 2014 as a 16-year-old at Nassau Country Club in Glen Cove, New York.

“It was definitely more emotional to win this time,” Gillman said.

“And my mom (Laura) wasn’t able to come the first time, so she flew here last night to watch me play in the final match.

So it was really cool to have her be able to be here, too, to experience this win because I know that last time she wanted to be here, but she just had eye surgery, so she couldn’t fly.”

On Sunday, Gillman was 5-up after nine holes, winning four straight from Np. 4-7.

She was 5-up after 18 holes and increased the margin to seven on the second 18.

Gillman won the Japan LPGA’s Century 21 Ladies Golf Tournament last month for her first victory in a professional event.

She also starred in U.S. victories in the Curtis Cup and Palmer Cup, and tied for 27th this year in the U.S. Women’s Open.

Gillman’s four-year span between titles is the second-largest in event history.

Dorothy Campbell Hurd had a 14-year period between titles, winning in 1910 and 1924.

Margaret Curtis also had a four-year span between titles, winning her first in 1907 and second in 1911. She also won again in 1912.

The 21-year-old Jeon is from South Korea. She transferred from Daytona State Junior College to Alabama, with Gillman serving as Jeon’s host when she took her recruiting trip to Tuscaloosa last fall.

“She was very consistent all day,” Jeon said.

“It was a little difficult for me to catch up on her.

But that is the one I cannot control.

So I was trying to play my best.

I didn’t play my best today, but I tried my best on the course.

I really appreciate that she played great today.”
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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1 day ago

Striking union in south Alabama will meet with Coca-Cola Bottling Company and mediator today

(FOX10 News - WALA/YouTube)

Union members say they and an Alabama soft drink distributor are supposed to meet Monday with a federal mediator in hopes of resolving a strike.

Employees of Coca-Cola Bottling Company United in Mobile, Robertsdale and Leroy, as well as in Vancleave, Mississippi, went on strike Thursday.

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About 275 employees at the locations are represented by the Teamsters Union.

The locations last year were transferred to Birmingham-based Coke United from a North Carolina-based bottler.

Teamsters union Local 991 steward David Stephens tells AL.com that members seek to prevent lower pay for new employees and higher insurance costs.

Coke United says it plans to maintain deliveries. Spokeswoman Linda Sewell tells WALA-TV that the company continues negotiating in good faith.

A strike at the same locations lasted nearly three weeks in 2008.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)Sign-up now for our daily newsletter and never miss another article from Yellowhammer News.