The Wire

  • Stray dog shot with arrow between its eyes in Walker County

    Excerpt from ABC 33/40:

    On Wednesday afternoon, the Walker County Humane Society rescued a stray dog who had been shot with an arrow between its eyes. The arrow has since been removed, and the dog is recovering at the humane society.

    Carbon Hill residents who noticed the injured dog alerted authorities after unsuccessful attempts at catching her last week. The humane society says the dog was so scared that rescue workers had to use sedative-laced cat food to catch her.

  • Trump explores tariffs on autos, auto parts

    Excerpt from AP:

    The Trump administration launched an investigation into whether tariffs are needed on the imports of automobiles into the United States, moving swiftly as talks over the North American Free Trade Agreement have stalled. President Donald Trump predicted earlier that U.S. automakers and auto workers would be “very happy” with the outcome of the NAFTA talks.

    The White House said in a statement Wednesday that the president had asked Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to consider whether the imports of automobiles, including trucks, and automotive parts threaten U.S. national security. The president said in the statement that “core industries such as automobiles and automotive parts are critical to our strength as a Nation.”

    The U.S. remains far apart on the talks over rewriting the trade pact with Canada and Mexico, with the discussions at an impasse over rules for car production. The initiation of the trade investigation could be seen as an attempt to gain leverage in the talks with the two U.S. neighbors. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has said that efforts to renegotiate the trade agreement could spill into next year.

  • Alice Martin stresses experience in campaign for attorney general

    Excerpt from Montgomery Advertiser:

    Before Alice Martin was an attorney, she was a nurse.

    “The nurses have the minute-by-minute contact with the patients, versus the doctors making rounds in the morning and afternoon,” Martin said in a recent interview. “It was so important to be the eyes for the physicians when they weren’t there, so you could tell them more than what you could chart.”

    While she ended up going into the law, Martin said her time as a psychiatric nurse proved valuable in a career where she’s worked as a private attorney, a prosecutor and a judge.

    “I used it in criminal cases when I was looking at autopsy reports, in forensic reports,” she said. “You can use it because it’s so much easier to communicate with doctors and nurses when you’re defending them in liability cases.”

    It goes with Martin’s chief argument in her campaign for attorney general: She has a resume no other candidate can match.

54 mins ago

Alabama city again refuses to release body camera recordings

(Huntsville Police/Facebook)

Officials in one of Alabama’s largest cities stand by their refusals to release recordings from police body cameras.

WHNT-TV reports the city has once again refused a request to release a recording.

The latest request came after a bystander’s video appeared to show a Huntsville police officer punching a suspect while trying to make an arrest. The department cleared the officer Monday, saying the video was part of a longer struggle.

Huntsville City Attorney Trey Riley says recordings are a “public record to a certain extent” but that doesn’t mean they’re “automatically available.”

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Riley says Huntsville will generally withhold recordings while a criminal case is ongoing.

The lawyer says the public can see videos if a case goes to trial, but acknowledges most cases don’t go to trial.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 hours ago

Here are Alabama’s population gainers and losers

(Wikicommons, Pixabay)

Baldwin County long has been Alabama’s fastest-growing county, so perhaps it should be no surprise that one of its towns is the state’s fast-growing municipality.

According to population estimates released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, Loxley added 335 new residents from July 2016 to July 2017. The 16.7 percent growth rate over that 12-month period topped the state.

It came in just ahead of fellow Baldwin County towns Summerdale (12.3 percent) and Silverhill (12 percent).

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Three other Baldwin cities also made the top 20 — No. 9 Spanish Fort (5.1 percent), No. 16 Fairhope (3.7 percent) and No. 17 Foley (3.3 percent).

They were among 179 Alabama municipalities that saw growth from mid-2016 to mid-2017. Meanwhile, 244 cities and towns lost population, while another 36 remained exactly the same.

Census figures show much of the rest of the South remains booming. Of the 15 American cities with the greatest numerical gains over the past year, eight are in the region. The South also has 10 of the 15 fastest-growing cities on a percentage basis.

While the biggest cities get most of the attention, that is not where most people live — either in Alabama or across the country. Nationally, only 3.9 percent of cities have 50,000 residents or more. Only nine Alabama cities meet that threshold. The nearly 1.7 million people who live in those cites make up about 34 percent of the state’s residents.

“The U.S. is a nation of small cities and towns,” Census Bureau demographer Joseph Bowman said in a statement. “Of the 19,500 incorporated places, about 76 percent had fewer than 5,000 people and almost half of these places had fewer than 1,000 people.”

Most of Alabama’s populous cities followed well-established trends over the past year. Birmingham retained its position as Alabama’s biggest city but shrank by about a quarter of a percentage point, to 210,710.

Montgomery and Mobile also lost residents. They and Birmingham have lost population since the 2010 census.

Huntsville, which passed Mobile in 2017 to become the third-biggest city, added another 2,629 residents. That was the most of any municipality in the state. Since 2010, the Rocket City’s population has jumped 8 percent. It now trails second-place Montgomery by just 4,933 people.

Among the top 10 cities, two others have outpaced Huntsville on percentage basis. Auburn grew by 2 percent since mid-2016 and is up to 63,973 residents. That is up 20 percent since 2010. And Madison jumped 2.2 percent on year and 13.8 percent since 2010, to 48,861.

Alabama’s 20 biggest cities got a new member over the past year — Daphne, in Baldwin County, replaced Homewood at No. 20. And Prattville swapped places with Gadsden at 13 and 14, respectively.

Here is a look at Alabama’s fastest-growing municipalities since the 2010 census:

  • 1. — Hayden, which has grown 203.6 percent.
  • 2. — Pike Road, which has grown 72.4 percent.
  • 3. — Summerdale, which has grown 60 percent.
  • 4. — S. Florian, which has grown 49 percent.
  • 5. — Loxley, which has grown 43 percent.
  • 6. — Fairhope, which has grown 36.6 percent.
  • 7. —Westover, which has grown 32 percent.
  • 8. — Uniontown, which has grown 30.7 percent.
  • 9. — Priceville, which has grown 30.3 percent.
  • 10. — Chelsea, which has grown 27.8 percent.

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

 

3 hours ago

2 struck by car in Birmingham parking lot after argument

(YHN/Pixabay)

Police are searching for a driver they say tried to run over a woman and her daughter in a fast food parking lot.

Birmingham police tell news outlets an unnamed 40-year-old woman was hospitalized Wednesday with serious injuries after she and her 21-year-old daughter were struck at a McDonald’s.

Witnesses say one of the victims had been arguing with a second woman and spit on the second woman’s car. That’s when police say the second woman hit the mother and daughter with the red car she was driving.

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The red car left the scene and hit another vehicle. Police are also trying to determine whether a gun was fired and whether that is linked to the hit-and-run.

The driver of the red car could face felony assault charges.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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4 hours ago

Alabamian Davey Allison named to NASCAR Hall of Fame along with Jeff Gordon, Alan Kulwicki, Jack Roush, Roger Penske

(Talladega Superspeedway PR)

On Wednesday, NASCAR announced the five inductees who will make up its 2019 Hall of Fame class. Among those is Hueytown native Davey Allison, the son of Bobby Allison, who is also a NASCAR Hall of Famer.

Allison compiled 19 race wins and 14 pole positions in stock car racing premiere series before his death in a tragic helicopter accident in 1993. He won his first race at Talladega Superspeedway in the 1987 Winston 500. He would win at his home track two more times, in 1989 and 1992. Allison’s biggest win came at the 1992 Daytona 500.

The late Allison is joined by Jeff Gordon, Jack Roush, Roger Penske and the late Alan Kulwicki to complete the 2019 class.

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The induction weekend is set for Jan. 31, 2019 through Saturday, Feb. 2, 2019 at the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Charlotte, N.C. The ceremony will take place on Feb. 1, 2019.

Watch — Allison wins 1992’s The Winston All-Star Race at Charlotte Motor Speedway:

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

5 hours ago

Auburn defeats Ole Miss 9-3 in SEC Tournament

(Auburn Athletics)

Edouard Julien hit a grand slam Wednesday as No. 7 seed Auburn defeated No. 2 seed Mississippi 9-3 in the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Auburn (39-19) remains in the winners’ bracket in the double-elimination portion of the tournament and faces No. 11 seed Texas A&M (38-19) on Thursday. Ole Miss (42-15) meets No. 3 seed Georgia (37-18) in an elimination game Thursday.

Auburn scored nine runs in the final three innings to rally from a 2-0 deficit.

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Julien capped the outburst with his grand slam in the ninth. On Tuesday, he had the game-winning hit in the 11th inning against Kentucky.

Auburn’s Conor Davis and Jay Estes each drove in two runs. Ole Miss’ Jacob Adams scored twice.

Auburn starter Tanner Burns (6-4) allowed three runs — one earned — in seven innings. Ole Miss reliever Greer Holston (2-1) took the loss after allowing one unearned run without retiring a batter.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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18 hours ago

20 percent of Americans have known someone suffering from opioid addiction

(Pixabay)

A federal survey reveals roughly 20 percent of Americans know or have known someone struggling with addiction to opioid painkillers.

The annual report on the economic well being of U.S. households by the Federal Reserve System included questions regarding exposure to opioids, a first in the history of the survey. It found at least one in five Americans personally know someone suffering with an addiction to opioids, reported The Hill.

While the study revealed that white people are roughly twice as likely to be impacted by opioid abuse, the results also showed opioid addiction does not discriminate along socioeconomic lines.

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“Adults who have been personally exposed to the opioid epidemic have somewhat less favorable assessments of economic conditions than those who have not been exposed,” said researchers, according to The Hill. “However, local unemployment rates are similar in the neighborhoods where those exposed to opioids live and where those not exposed live. Altogether, this analysis suggests the need to look beyond economic conditions to understand the roots of the current opioid epidemic.”

The researchers noted that a majority of adults impacted by the opioid epidemic have a positive view of their local economy.

Drug overdoses are now the leading cause of accidental death for Americans under age 50, killing more than 64,000 people in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increase is driven primarily by opioids, which claimed 42,249 lives in 2016, a 28-percent increase over the roughly 33,000 lives lost to opioids in 2015.

Opioid overdoses made up a staggering 66 percent of all drug overdose deaths in 2016, surpassing the annual number of lives lost to breast cancer. Deaths from synthetic opioids like fentanyl, a painkiller about 50 to 100 times more powerful than morphine, experienced a particularly dramatic increase, more than doubling from 9,580 lives in 2015 to 19,413 lives in 2016.

The epidemic is contributing to declining life expectancy in the U.S., officials said. Life expectancy dropped for the second consecutive year in 2016 for the first time since an outbreak of influenza in 1962 and 1963.

(Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.)

19 hours ago

Alabama teacher charged with having sex with student

(Tuscaloosa PD)

A statement from police says 54-year-old Meta Lovely of Duncanville surrendered Wednesday. She is being held on $30,000 bond on a charge of having sex with a student less than 19 years old.

Lovely worked as a substitute teacher at Bryant High School.

Police say they were told about a possible improper relationship between a school employee and a student on May 2.

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A lawyer representing Lovely, Mary Turner, says her client is innocent and “adamantly” denies the allegations.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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20 hours ago

Alabama’s gubernatorial candidates’ disagree and agree on how to create jobs

(W.Miller/YHN)

Alabama’s workforce won big earlier this year when Toyota-Mazda promised to create 4,000 jobs in the Huntsville area, though the number of tax dollars that state and local coffers will not see, due to abatements granted by authorities at both levels, is in the millions.

Some candidates for governor see such tax breaks as a poor way to invite job creators into the state, as indicated by their responses to recent questionnaires created by the Alabama Policy Institute and Yellowhammer News.

When asked how the candidates would foster job creation that rivals our neighboring states, Scott Dawson, a Republican candidate for governor, responded in part:

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“… We all have to remember that when we bring in a company from out-of-state, the incentives that we utilize to draw them are based on giving away free taxes. The takeaway is that we can do all of the recruiting that we want, but if we’re not making Alabama a sweet home for the businesses or would-be entrepreneurs that are already here — which pay Alabama taxes — we aren’t being financially responsible! I’m a conservative who knows that free market capitalism works.”

Democratic candidate State Rep. James Fields’ ideas are somewhat similar to Dawson’s.

“I will work to end the failed, short-sighted strategy of squeezing government, giving away the farm, and cutting taxes for corporations with the expectation that an economy will suddenly prosper,” Fields responded to the same question.

State Sen. Bill Hightower, who is also vying for the Republican nomination, criticized special tax carve-outs but made his argument more a critique of Alabama’s tax code rather than case-by-case incentives.

“More than 25 states across the nation have embarked on significant tax reform in the last few years,” Hightower wrote in his response. “It is apparent that each of them realize they are in a competition for jobs and growth. By improving their tax policies, they create a business and family-friendly environment which lends itself to prosperity…. But here in Alabama, special interests and career politicians have spent years rigging the tax code with special interest tax carve-outs. I want to make Alabama’s tax code simple, low, and effective in order to compete with neighboring states. ”

Hightower, along with the Democratic Mayor of Tuscaloosa, Walt Maddox, also stressed the importance of developing Alabama’s workforce as a way to attract investment, though the two disagree on a funding mechanism for the skills training. Maddox supports a lottery, while Hightower does not.

Gov. Kay Ivey, who is currently the race’s front-runner, responded broadly in favor of improving infrastructure, education, and workforce development, as did Maddox. She also wrote, “In only a year, more than $6 billion have been invested, 13,000 jobs have been created and we have achieved record low unemployment.”

Huntsville Mayor Tommy Battle also touted his record, calling himself the “most effective job creator in the state” and responding: “Over the last 10 years I have created more jobs than all other Alabama counties combined. That’s 63% of all jobs in the state of Alabama. I have created 53% of the jobs in this state announced while Governor Ivey has been in office.”

Battle has elsewhere advocated both infrastructure and workforce development as ways of attracting businesses.

Democratic candidate Sue Bell Cobb did not respond to the questionnaire.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

22 hours ago

Commerce wins President’s ‘E’ Award for supporting Alabama exports

(Made in Alabama)

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross this week presented the Alabama Department of Commerce with the President’s “E” Award for Export Service, the highest recognition an organization can receive for contributing to the expansion of U.S. exports.

At a ceremony in the nation’s capital, Secretary Ross said the Alabama Department of Commerce has demonstrated a sustained commitment to increasing exports.

“The ‘E’ Awards Committee was very impressed with the department’s formation of the Export Alabama Alliance,” he noted. “The department’s contributions to the export growth of Alabama companies through international trade missions were also particularly notable.

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“The Alabama Department of Commerce’s achievements have undoubtedly contributed to national export efforts that support the U.S. economy and create American jobs,” he added.

“Alabama companies are creating good-paying jobs as a result of exporting their products throughout the world.”

Alabama companies exported a record $21.7 billion in goods and services during 2017, led by shipments of motor vehicles, chemicals, primary metals, minerals, aircraft components and paper products to 189 foreign countries.Alabama’s exports have surged 21 percent since 2011 and 50 percent over a decade, reflecting a long-term growth trend.

“We are extremely honored to receive the President’s ‘E’ Award,” Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield said. “Alabama companies are creating good-paying jobs as a result of exporting their products throughout the world, and exports of goods and services continue to be an economic engine that spurs job creation and economic investment.”

FINDING MARKETS

The Alabama Department of Commerce’s Office of International Trade helps businesses across the state identify and penetrate foreign markets for their homegrown products. Over many years, the office has staged a series of trade and business development missions to countries around the globe, most recently to Argentina and Ecuador in April 2018.

“The Alabama International Trade program has proven to be a tremendous resource for the state’s small and medium-sized companies,” said Hilda Lockhart, director of Commerce’s Office of International Trade. “Assisting them in finding international markets for Alabama-made products is the key to growing exports and jobs at home.

“Receiving this prestigious award validates the hard work that all members of the Export Alabama Alliance have accomplished since it was formed in 2004,” she added.

The Export Alabama Alliance is a seamless network of international trade agencies with the fundamental objective of helping Alabama companies expand their business internationally.

Lockhart and Beau Lore, an international trade specialist in the Office of International Trade, were on hand at the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Herbert C. Hoover building on Constitution Avenue today to receive the award.

SUPPORTING JOBS

In total, Secretary Ross honored 43 U.S. companies and organizations from across the country with the President’s “E” Award for their role in strengthening the U.S. economy by sharing American ingenuity in foreign markets.

U.S. companies are nominated for the “E” Awards through the U.S. Commercial Service, part of the department’s International Trade Administration (ITA). With offices across the United States and in embassies and consulates around the world, the ITA lends its expertise at every stage of the exporting process.

U.S. exports totaled $2.33 trillion in 2017, accounting for 12 percent of U.S. gross domestic product. Exports supported an estimated 10.7 million jobs nationwide in 2016, according to the most recent ITA statistics.

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

23 hours ago

Rain from Gulf floods Southeast; tropical storm possible in Alabama

(W.Miller/YHN)

Heavy rains from the Gulf of Mexico are causing flooding in the Southeastern United States ahead of what could become the season’s first tropical storm.

The National Hurricane Center said Wednesday a disturbance has a 60 percent chance of becoming a subtropical or tropical system by Memorial Day. The rain is forecast to continue even if it doesn’t.

As much as 7 inches (18 centimeters) of rain is possible in south Florida, where some areas had more than 14 inches (35 centimeters) of rain last weekend.

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Similar rain totals are possible from southeastern Louisiana to central Georgia. In eastern Alabama, officials say downpours already have covered roads and bridges in Lee County.

The system will be named “Alberto” if it strengthens into the first tropical storm of the 2018 season.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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1 day ago

No parole for Neelley, convicted murderer in Alabama slaying of Georgia teen

(AL DOC)

Alabama’s parole board is refusing to free a woman convicted of killing a 13-year-old girl who was abducted from a north Georgia shopping mall.

The board refused parole for 53-year-old Judith Ann Neelley on Wednesday following emotional testimony from relatives of the victim, Lisa Ann Millican.

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Calvin Millican says Neelley should have gotten death for killing his sister.

Millican was abducted from a mall in Rome, Georgia, in 1982. She was sexually assaulted, injected with drain cleaner, shot and dumped into a canyon in northeast Alabama.

An attorney for Neelley, Julian McPhillips, says Neelley was “brainwashed” by her older husband into committing the crime.

Neelley became eligible for parole consideration after then-Gov. Fob James commuted her death sentence. She will be sent to Georgia if ever freed in Alabama.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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1 day ago

Former Alabama shelter director sentenced for animal cruelty

(B. Taylor/Facebook)

The former director of an Alabama animal shelter will avoid jail time after being convicted of animal cruelty.

Lawrence County Circuit Judge Mark Craig sentenced 84-year-old Bobbie Taylor to two years of probation and fined her $11,100 during a hearing Tuesday.

The Decatur Daily reports he also ordered her to undergo mental health treatment and barred her from possessing more than 10 animals.

Taylor was charged after police raided the animal shelter she was operating for the Lawrence County Commission in June 2015. Authorities say they found malnourished, neglected and sick animals living in overcrowded conditions.

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Jurors convicted Taylor of six counts of second-degree animal cruelty involving dogs in February.

Defense lawyer Tony Hughes says he’s thankful Taylor isn’t going to jail, but they still plan to appeal her conviction.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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1 day ago

UGA tennis player off team after drug charges in Alabama

(Pixabay)

A University of Georgia tennis player has been arrested in Alabama on drug charges.

Georgia coach Manny Diaz told the Athens Banner-Herald in a statement Monday that 20-year-old sophomore Nathan Ponwith was arrested Saturday in Baldwin County. Diaz says Ponwith has been dismissed from the team.

The county sheriff’s office website says Ponwith was charged with possession of a controlled substance (hallucinogen), second-degree possession of marijuana and public intoxication. He was released from jail Sunday after posting a $5,000 bond.

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It is unclear if Ponwith has a lawyer.

The Scottsdale, Arizona, native was the 2017 Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Year, and worked his way to be the Bulldogs’ No. 1 singles player. He usually played in the third and fourth spots during the team’s 13-11 record in 2017-18 season.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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1 day ago

‘Rick & Bubba’ radio show’s Bill ‘Bubba’ Bussey: I’m supporting Scott Dawson, Will Ainsworth, too (AUDIO)

(Screenshot/CSPAN)

On Tuesday’s broadcast of the syndicated “Rick & Bubba” radio program, co-host Bill “Bubba” Bussey called out Yellowhammer News for highlighting his co-host Rick Burgess’ comments about the 2018 gubernatorial race and neglecting to mention Bussey was in “lockstep” with Burgess’ views.

Bussey and Burgess are both supporters of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Dawson and Republican lieutenant gubernatorial hopeful Will Ainsworth.

The “Rick & Bubba” co-hosts were reflecting on a previous caller’s criticism of Burgess on the issue of global warming, to which Burgess noted he is often on the receiving end despite the two having the same opinion issues. Bussey stated that Burgess also tended to be the one showcased by news stories on the particular topic of Dawson’s run for governor.

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“We have an opposite effect in other things,” Bussey said. “And one — we have a state news agency here called Yellowhammer News. We can talk on the air about the same topic — just like what you’re talking about. You may say a few more words than I do about it, whatever. But we’re together. We’re in lockstep on something. The headline will be ‘Rick Burgess says this.’ ‘Rick Burgess says that.’ ‘Rick Burgess man of the year.’ ‘Rick Burgess…’ And it is never ‘Rick and Bubba.’ You have that opposite effect.”

“It’s just like with Scott [Dawson],” he added. “Look, I’m supporting Scott just like you are. I support Will Ainsworth just like you are. The story will come out, ‘Rick Burgess says Will Ainsworth blah, blah, blah.’ ‘Rick Burgess says.'”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and is the editor of Breitbart TV.

1 day ago

Auburn beats Kentucky 4-3 in 11 innings in SEC Tournament

(AU Athletics)

Edouard Julien singled home the winning run in the 11th inning Tuesday as No. 7 seed Auburn beat Kentucky 4-3 to eliminate the 10th-seeded Wildcats from the Southeastern Conference Tournament.

Auburn (38-19) advances to the double-elimination portion of the tournament and faces No. 2 seed Mississippi (42-14) on Wednesday.

Julien’s one-out single to center field off Zack Thompson (2-1) scored pinch runner Cade Evans from second base. Brett Wright singled and Brendan Venter walked to start the winning rally.

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Kentucky (34-22) wasted a brilliant performance from Sean Hjelle, who struck out nine and allowed just four hits in 7 1/3 innings of scoreless relief.

Kole Cottam hit a solo homer for Kentucky and had a game-tying RBI double with two outs in the ninth inning.

Auburn’s Will Holland had a solo shot and scored twice. Freshman Cody Greenhill (4-2) allowed Cottam’s game-tying double but pitched three innings of scoreless relief.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 days ago

Alabama AG talks gambling, census suit as Republican primary nears

(Marshall Campaign)

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has not been content during his brief tenure in office simply to enforce state law. He has devoted part of his energies to amplifying Alabama’s voice on a variety of constitutional issues.

This week’s lawsuit challenging the way the United States divvies up seats in the House of Representatives is only the latest example.

The state, along with U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville), filed the suit in Birmingham’s federal court against the U.S. Commerce Department and the Census Bureau. Currently, the 435 House seats are distributed based on total population. That means that Alabama likely will lose a seat and one of its Electoral College votes after the 2020 census.

But Marshall argues that using total population unfairly awards extra congressional districts to states with large numbers of illegal immigrants.

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“We don’t believe that the law requires that,” he said Tuesday during an appearance on FM 106.5 in Mobile.

Marshall stopped by during a campaign swing through Mobile that will include an appearance at the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce’s Pork & Politics in the Park event at U.S.S. Alabama Battleship Memorial Park from 6 p.m to 8 p.m.

Marshall said excluding illegal immigrants from apportionment would prevent Alabama — which has a small share of noncitizens — from losing a seat.

“We believe it’s an important fight for us,” he said.

Brooks took the floor of the House to announce the lawsuit.

“As of today, Alabama likely loses a congressional seat after the 2020 census if apportionment includes illegal alien counts,” he said. “The loss of an Alabama congressional seat will be a huge loss in Alabama’s political influence and will diminish Alabama’s influence in Congress and its importance in presidential elections.”

Marshall told host Sean Sullivan that the current system makes it lucrative for states like California to flout immigration law by crating “sanctuary” policies that limit cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

“Just open the doors, and say, ‘Safe haven here,’ and can greatly expand the census count for particular areas and particular states,” he said. “And so, that’s why we don’t want to create an [incentive], if you will, for people to be able to violate the law.”

Marshall has used the Attorney General’s office to weight in on issues like gun control and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, a quasi-amnesty initiative for illegal immigrants that he argues Barack Obama’s administration created without legal authority.

Weighing in on issues like that generates headlines and attention, which can be politically beneficial to an incumbent with no experience in statewide office facing a tough primary election next month.

But Marshall, whom former Gov. Robert Bentley appointed in February of last year said there are policy considerations.

“We have the opportunity to be able to speak on behalf of Alabama, to stand for the Constitution around the state,” he said.

The job, Marshall said, requires a willingness to call balls and strikes without regard to politics. He said that is why he decided to go after gambling operations.

“That wasn’t a smart political move for me to be able to take on 10 different facilities in the state,” he said. “You see lots of money going to [former attorney general and current candidate] Troy King because of his stance on gambling. But yet, if I’m not willing to follow the law, if I’m not willing to enforce the law — regardless of the political consequences — I don’t need this job.”

Asked if video gaming was legal, Marshall gave a succinct answer — “no.”

Marshall said Alabamians can change that if they want — by amending the state constitution.

“Again, my job is not to make that political call. My job is to be able to enforce the law,” he said. “And to the extent that that is illegal — and it is, and I think that it’s clear that it is — and if locals [don’t] want to enforce the law, it’s my obligation to do it.”

In addition to King, Marshall faces former U.S. Attorney Alice Martin and Chess Bedsole — who serves as Prsident Donald Trump’s Alabama campaign chairman in 2016 — in the June 5 primary.

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

2 days ago

Rabid fox attacks golfer, groundskeeper at Alabama club

(Rock Creek/FB)

Police say a rabid fox bit a golfer and a groundskeeper at an Alabama golf club.

AL.com cites a release from Fairhope police that says the male golfer reported being bitten as he stepped out of his golf cart at Rock Creek Golf Club on Sunday afternoon. A groundskeeper was then bitten while trying to catch the fox Monday morning.

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The golfer was hospitalized for treatment.

Fairhope Animal Control ended up catching the fox, which tested positive for rabies at the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. Both bite victims were notified of the fox’s rabies status and advised to take appropriate treatment.

The victims’ current conditions have not been reported.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 days ago

Alabama doctor acquitted in rock guitarist’s overdose death

Dr. Richard Snellgrove (ESIM)

Jurors acquitted an Alabama physician accused of prescribing drugs that killed a former guitarist for rock band 3 Doors Down.

The not guilty verdict was returned Monday in the case of Dr. Richard Snellgrove, court documents show. Snellgrove had been indicted on 13 counts of unlawful distribution of drugs and health care fraud tied to the 2016 death of Matthew Roberts.

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Prosecutors said Snellgrove prescribed drugs to Roberts even though he knew Roberts struggled with addiction. Snellgrove’s lawyer, Dennis Knizley, said the physician’s actions were reasonable and prosecutors targeted Snellgrove because Roberts was famous.

Knizley said text messages introduced by the defense at trial showed that Roberts was seeking illegal drugs in addition to medications he got from Snellgrove. The defense argued that alone showed Roberts’ death couldn’t be hung on Snellgrove.

“He was obtaining and abusing street drugs at the same time he was obtaining drugs and to a certain degree deceiving Dr. Snellgrove,” Knizley told The Associated Press in a telephone interview Tuesday.

A spokesman for U.S. Attorney Richard Moore did not immediately return an email seeking comment.

Roberts was a founding member of 3 Doors Down when the rock group began in 1996 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. He co-authored the band’s hit song “Kryptonite,” which in 2001 was nominated for a Grammy award for best rock song. Roberts left the band after its 2012 European tour, checking into rehab the same year. He was found dead in August 2016 in a hotel hallway in West Bend, Wisconsin, where he had gone to perform a charity concert.
Snellgrove had treated Roberts as early as 2005, and prosecutors argued that Snellgrove prescribed escalating amounts of medication in a way that was imprudent. Knizley described his client as a “good person and a good doctor” and said federal prosecutor had “wrecked” his reputation and medical practice.

U.S. District Judge Kristi DuBose on Thursday had dismissed four of the charges against Snellgrove relating to prescriptions he wrote to Jeremy Ryals, Roberts’ roommate and cousin. Prosecutors had alleged that Snellgrove knew the drugs were really for Roberts, but Knizley said prosecutors never proved those claims.

Jurors began deliberating on the remaining counts Friday after a two-week trial.

Roberts’ family is also suing Snellgrove, Rite Aid Corp. and others in a civil lawsuit in state court in Alabama. That case was stayed pending the outcome of Snellgrove’s criminal case.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 days ago

Police identify Alabama man found in truck in river crash

(The Gadsden Times/YouTube)

Police in Alabama have identified man whose body was found in a pickup truck that plunged into a river after driving off a bridge.

Authorities say 56-year-old Bobby Lee Benefield of the Ball Play community in Etowah County was identified after the truck was removed from the Coosa River at Gadsden on Monday.

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Investigators haven’t determined whether anyone else was in the vehicle at the time of the crash. And it’s unclear why the pickup crossed lanes of traffic before hitting the guardrail and going into the water.

Divers found the struck upside down at a depth of 22 feet (6.7 meters).

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 days ago

Mike Pence: ‘Things went awry in 2016 and we need to know what happened’ with DOJ, FBI

Mike Pence on Fox News (Fox News / screenshot)

“The American people understand that when it comes to the Department of Justice, when it comes to the FBI, that we have thousands of men and women who each and every day are dedicated to enforcing the laws and protecting our families and protecting our country,” Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News Monday evening.

“But the American people also have a sense that we all do, that things went awry in 2016 and we need to know what happened. We need to get to the bottom of the facts.”

Pence spoke shortly before a high-level meeting at the White House, where President Trump directed FBI Director Christopher Wray, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to look into reports that his campaign was surveilled.

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In a statement after that meeting, President Trump’s spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee announced that the Justice Department inspector-general will expand his current probe “to include any irregularities” on the part of the FBI or the Justice Department “concerning the Trump campaign.”

Justice Department Inspector-General Michael Horowitz is currently investigating alleged FISA abuse by the FBI. His investigation into the FBI’s handling of the Clinton email probe reportedly is complete and his conclusions are expected to come out any day now.

In her statement, Sanders told reporters, “It was also agreed that White House Chief of Staff Kelly will immediately set up a meeting with the FBI, DOJ, and DNI together with Congressional Leaders to review highly classified and other information they have requested.”

Nunes has been trying for months to get a look at classified documents that will explain how the Trump-Russia investigation started in the first place: “All we’re asking is, give us the documentation that you used to start this investigation,” Nunes said on Sunday.

Vice President Mike Pence told Fox News on Monday evening that President Trump is “grateful” that the Justice Department inspector-general will be looking into whether the Trump campaign was surveilled for political purposes.

“I think it would be very troubling to millions of Americans if that took place, but we are very confident that as the inspector general has been doing their work, looking at the conduct of the FBI during that period, by adding their focus to this that we will get to the bottom of it, because the American people have a right to know.”

“Is there any suggestion that there will be a second special counsel that would be dedicated to that endeavor?” Fox News’s Martha McCallum asked Pence.

“I think at this point, the Department of Justice has made it clear that they’ll be expanding inspector general’s current investigation to include these allegations, and we don’t know what happened. We read the press reports, but it’s all very troubling. It’s all very troubling to those of us that hold the FBI in such high regard that there are even allegations that people were assigned to surveil or even spy on our campaign,” Pence said.

“But look, the inspector general has the resources to get to the bottom of it. He’s been working on a major report about the FBI’s conduct, and by expanding into this role we are very confident that we will get to the bottom of it, we will find out what happened and the American people and all of us will have the facts.

Asked if President Trump will exercise his authority to declassify documents for the sake of transparency, as some Republicans have suggested, Pence said it’s up to the president:

“It will be the president’s decision to determine what he declassifies and what he doesn’t, but the principle here that the American people have a right to know what happened, the people’s congress ought to have the ability to review those materials in a timely way is a principle that we adhere to in this white house.

On Sunday, President Trump tweeted: “I hereby demand … that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!”

The New York Times and the Washington Post on Friday reported the FBI used a retired American professor to interact with Trump campaign officials as part of the FBI’s Trump-Russia probe.

(Courtesy CNSNews.com)

What’s justice-mercy balance? Alabama AG Marshall discusses Judith Ann Neelley, others

(AL DOC)

What’s the balance between justice and mercy?

Yellowhammer News last week asked Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall for his thoughts on justice and mercy in light of two current events:

— Convicted murderer Judith Ann Neelley is scheduled for a parole hearing Wednesday. Neelley has served more than 30 years of a life sentence for the violent 1982 murder of a 13-year-old Georgia girl.

— Democrat candidate for governor Sue Bell Cobb’s former campaign aid Paul Littlejohn III, a convicted rapist, was recently charged with violating state sex offender laws and resigned from Cobb’s campaign.

WATCH the 2-min video:

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2 days ago

Alabama governor opposes release of Judith Ann Neelley, convicted in slaying of Georgia teen

(AL DOC, Ivey Campaign)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey is opposing parole for a woman convicted of killing a Georgia teenager more than 35 years ago.

Ivey is urging the state’s parole board to reject an early release for Judith Ann Neelley.

Members are scheduled to consider her case on Wednesday.

Neelley was convicted with her husband of killing 13-year-old Lisa Ann Millican, who was abducted from a mall in Rome, Georgia, in 1982. The girl was sexually assaulted, injected with drain cleaner, shot and dumped into a canyon in northeast Alabama.

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Neelley was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to die, but Alabama Gov. Fob James commuted Neelley’s death sentence to life in 1999.

Neelley’s lawyer said she wanted to waive the hearing, but paperwork wasn’t filed and it’s scheduled in Montgomery.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 days ago

Alabama sues over undocumented residents in US Census

(Pixabay)

Alabama’s attorney general has filed a lawsuit against the federal government, challenging the longstanding practice of including immigrants living in the country illegally in U.S. Census counts that are used to determine congressional districts.

In the lawsuit filed Monday, Attorney General Steve Marshall argues that the predicted 2020 census numbers will cause Alabama to lose a congressional seat, and thus an electoral vote, to a state with a “larger illegal alien population.” Along with the state, U.S. Rep Mo Brooks of Alabama is a plaintiff in the lawsuit, filed against the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau.

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It has been a longstanding practice to include all U.S. residents, both citizens and noncitizens, in the census, which also determines the number of congressional seats for each state. In 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against two Texas residents who argued their votes were diluted by the practice of using the “whole population” to draw legislative district lines.

“As the Framers of the Constitution and the Fourteenth Amendment comprehended, representatives serve all residents, not just those eligible or registered to vote,” the court ruled.

Nonetheless, Alabama is seeking to have the practice declared unconstitutional. The state argues it violates existing statutes that “require a census enumeration of the total of legally present resident population.”

“Congressional seats should be apportioned based on the population of American citizens, not illegal aliens,” Brooks said in a statement. “After all, this is America, not the United Nations.”

On the other end of the political spectrum, mostly Democratic states have expressed concern that immigrants will be undercounted in the 2020 census as a result of a decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to include the question about citizenship status.

Seventeen states are seeking to have the question declared unconstitutional, based on fears that it will deter immigrants, including those in mixed-status households, from participating in the census and dilute representation in those states.

This story was updated by the AP at 2:20 p.m.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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2 days ago

Alabama school: No punishment over racist video

(Central High School)

A southeast Alabama school system says it can’t punish students who are seen chanting a racial epithet and cursing the NAACP in a video on social media.

Phenix City Schools superintendent Randy Wilkes told a news conference Monday the video showing five young men is “terribly offensive.” But he says it doesn’t have any apparent connection to area schools, so the teens can’t be punished.

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The Phenix City-Russell County NAACP is asking the system to show it doesn’t condone the behavior shown in the Snapchat video, which depicts young men riding in a car as they spell out a racial slur in unison.

Wilkes says principals at two schools met with parents of the students after learning of the video. He declined to disclose details of those conversations.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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