5 days ago

Mo Brooks releases lengthy statement defending himself from censure resolution

Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-05) on Tuesday released an almost 3,000-word statement defending his January 6 speech that is now the focus of a Democratic effort to censure the North Alabama Republican.

The censure resolution, cosponsored by former DNC chair Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), alleges that Brooks “encouraged and incited violence against his fellow Members of Congress, as part of an assault on the United States Capitol.”

In his lengthy remarks, Brooks rebutted that charge and said, “Socialist Democrats and their Fake News Media Allies won’t get an apology from me because my remarks were not wrong. Conversely, the Socialist Democrats and their Fake News Media Allies should be apologizing to the public for the egregiously and manipulative way they have deceived the public on this issue.”

Brooks’ full statement, unedited, as follows:

As one of America’s most effective conservative leaders, I defend my honor & reputation against scurrilous, George Orwellian, 1984, Socialist Democrats Politics of Personal Destruction, the same attack strategy used in 2012 against then-presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and nonstop against President Trump with false Russian Collusion charges and the 2019 sham impeachment effort.

Let’s be clear, this entire smear campaign is about intimidating, censoring and suppressing the ability of American citizens to fight at the ballot box the efforts of Socialist Democrats to seize control of the United States of America.

So that I am unambiguously clear, American citizens recourse is at the ballot box (maybe this comment will deter Socialist Democrats and Fake News Media from again shrilly shouting false claims of violence advocacy).

As you read these remarks, I ask that you consider two quotes.

First, as Jesus said in the Bible, John 8:32, “And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”.

Second, I quote the words of American patriot Martin Luther King, who stated in 1958 that, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.”

I ask the Members of Congress, the citizens of the great State of Alabama, and the citizens of America, to bear these words in mind, set their political stridency aside, and strive for justice.

Before I get into the meat of my remarks, let me add that January 6 was supposed to be a day of great debate on the floors of the House and Senate about voter fraud and election theft that is supposed to propel America to more honest or accurate elections.

Instead, our message was hijacked by people whose illegal breach of the Capitol did a great disservice to our cause and America.

Those who engaged in illegal conduct should be ashamed of themselves because their attack on the U.S. Capitol destroyed two months of debate and work.

Those who engaged in the illegal breach of the U.S. Capitol could not have done more damage if they had followed any script written by the Democrat National Committee.

I take great offense at anyone who suggests I am so politically inexperienced as to want to torpedo my honest and accurate election system effort I spent months fighting on.

Mo Brooks Background

Let me share a little about myself.  My long-time acquaintances and family would describe me as a straight arrow or a “square”.

I have never smoked tobacco.

I don’t consume alcohol.

I have never taken illegal drugs.

I have never been accused or convicted of any felonies or misdemeanors.

In half a century of driving, I have never had a DUI, a reckless driving ticket or even a speeding ticket.

I did once misjudge a traffic light and deservedly got a ticket, but that is it.

I have never had a vehicle wreck in which anyone claimed I was at fault.

My parents raised me to be a good, self-supporting citizen and I have strived to be just that.

My parents also encouraged me to participate in government if the opportunity arose, as this was a part of my ancestry.

On my mother’s side, we have a North Carolina ancestral history that includes a county sheriff, a state legislator, a board of education member, a road commissioner, and the like.

In fact, the first rest stop you come to on I-40 when you enter North Carolina from Tennessee is named after my grandfather, D. Reeves Noland.

I am proud of that ancestry.  I have tried to follow it.

As such, I have served the public for 36 years as a Tuscaloosa assistant district attorney, an Alabama legislator, the Madison County District Attorney, a county commissioner, and U.S. Congressman.

In my 36 years as a public servant, I have a perfect ethics record, having never been found guilty of an ethics violation, large or small.

I am proud that, in 1982, I was the first Republican legislator ever elected in Alabama House District 18.

I am proud that, in 1983, I was the first Republican legislator ever elected in Alabama House District 10.

I am proud that, in 2010, I was the first Republican elected in Alabama Congressional District 5 in more than 130 years.

I am proud that, in the history of the State of Alabama, no person has successfully carried the Republican banner in general elections more than I have.

You can imagine my dismay upon learning that Socialist Democrats, without ever even bothering to first discuss this matter with me to discern the truth, and without any substantive and connective evidence, so viciously besmirch my good name and character that took 66 years to build.

It is with that as a background, that I will address how misplaced and malevolent the motives are of those who falsely accuse me of bad conduct.

Accusation Flaw #1:

Mr. Malinowski, in his Censure Resolution, alleges that “Representative Mo Brooks addressed a rally in Washington, DC, attended by numerous members of known extremist and anti-government groups, including the Proud Boys, QAnon, Boogaloo Boys, and Oathkeepers, who would shortly thereafter march to seize the United States Capitol”

That statement is meaningless because it omits a key fact.  Mr. Malinowski fails to allege I knew any of that!

Why? Because I did not know any of that.

For the record, I have never knowingly associated or communicated with any of those groups in my life and I certainly had no inkling any of these groups were a part of the Trump rally at the Ellipse.  Perhaps, at some political event, I have had a photo with one, or a five second conversation with another, but, if so, I don’t recall it and paid no attention to it.

Per my cell phone records, on Tuesday morning, January 5, I had a telephone call with Brian Jack, White House Political Director.  He asked me to speak at the Trump rally the next day, Wednesday morning.

I had never attended a Trump rally in my life but had seen many on TV, and thought it honor for the White House to invite me to address Trump volunteers and supporters, so I readily agreed.

Due to lack of time, I did not draft my speech from scratch.

The bulk of my January 6 White House Ellipse speech comes from my often-used “America is Great” political speeches that I have given dozens of times, perhaps hundreds of times, in my 34 years of public service as a Tuscaloosa assistant district attorney, an Alabama legislator, the Madison County District Attorney, a county commissioner, and U.S. Congressman.

Further, I spoke very early in the political rally.  There was music, there was my speech, there was more music, then there was some number of speakers, then a couple hours or so later, President Trump began speaking.

I ask this question, if my remarks were as inspirational as the Socialist Democrats and their Fake News Media allies want the public to believe, why didn’t the Trump rally participants, after my remarks, immediately get up and storm the Capitol?

Why not indeed!  The answer is simple.  No one at the rally interpreted my remarks to be anything other than what they were: A pep talk after the derriere kicking conservatives suffered in the dismal 2020 elections.

As I will prove later, my remarks were clearly designed to reinvigorate people for the 2022 election cycle that had already begun two months ago and is now only a year away.

Accusation Flaw #2:

Mr. Malinoski’s Censure resolution alleges, “Whereas, Representative Brooks then exhorted the audience: “Today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking ass”.

While I did utter those words, what is deceitfully omitted is the immediately preceding sentence, that begins with, “But let’s be clear, regardless of today’s outcome, the 2022 and the 2024 elections are right around the corner.”

This preceding sentence, clearly and unambiguously confirms that my “take names and kicking derrieres” remarks refers to fighting to win elections in 2022 and 2024 and had absolutely nothing to do with the illegal breach of the Capitol that occurred later in the day.

Notably, Mr. Malinoski’s Censure Resolution deceitfully omits the key introductory clause of the “take names” sentence that confirms what I just said.  After focusing on winning the 2022 and 2024 elections, the beginning of the next sentence is “As such”.  “As such, today is the day American patriots start taking down names and kicking as.”

The phrase “As such” confirms that my “take names” sentence is in the context of the preceding 2022 and 2024 sentence and that I was encouraging people to join our fight to win the 2022 & 2024 elections “Today”.

I was not encouraging anyone to engage in violence.  I was encouraging people to begin a 2022 and 2024 election fight!

Accusation Flaw #3.

Mr. Malinoski’s Censure Resolution alleges I “encouraged and incited violence against his fellow Members of Congress, as part of an assault on the United States Capitol.”

That statement is utterly false and beyond contempt.

In addition to the foregoing rebuttals, consider the following:

1. I was in the House Chamber when the attack began! The idea that I would encourage and incite violence” on myself, my friends, and my colleagues is absurd.

2. The Censure resolution (and the Fake News Media) conveniently and deceitfully omit the action I asked rally attendees to undertake: take WORDS (not violence) to the Capitol!

At the start of my speech, I tell the audience quote, “I’ve got a message that I need you to take to your heart, and take back home, and along the way stop at the Capitol.”

My message is NOT violence, it is WORDS. Only the most malevolent or partisan of people would construe my speech otherwise.

At the very end of my speech, I emphasize that:

“What are the simple words we must shout to the heavens and carry, the message, to Capitol Hill? What are the words that cause Socialists and weak-kneed Republicans on Capitol Hill to shake in their boots and cower in their foxholes?

What are the words that scare the hell out of Socialists and weak-kneed Republicans alike?

Join with me! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA! Washington! America! Heed those words, because we’re going to carry them right to you.

That is right.  I exhorted the Trump rally attendees to bring words, NOT VIOLENCE, to the U.S. Capitol.

And those words are USA, USA, USA.

3. Mr. Malinowski and the Censure Resolution deceitfully attributes to me things that are absolutely false. It asserts, with no credible evidence, a linkage between my words and the illegal breach of the Capitol.

Let me emphasize something in that regard.  I have proudly served the people of the Great State of Alabama for 34 years.

I have given hundreds if not thousands of political speeches.  I have given dozens if not hundreds of political rally speeches. Not once in those 34 years of speech-giving has anyone been incited to violence. Not once!

As far as I knew, the Trump rally attendees were patriotic Americans who wished to exercise their Constitutional right to freely assemble, freely speak, and freely exercise their Constitutionally guaranteed right to protest.

Certainly, as far as I am aware (and granted I have never previously attended one), no prior Trump rally resulted in violence.

4. I made my speech in front of a bank of TV cameras.  The notion that I would give a recorded speech calling for riots and violence is the height of arrogance and stupidity.  I called for fighting in the 2022 and 2024 elections

5. The growing evidence is that various Militant groups came to Washington, DC on January 6 to engage in violent acts regardless of speech content.

For example, Mr. Malinowski’s Censure Resolution claims that militant, “extremist and anti-government groups, including the Proud Boys, QAnon, Boogaloo Boys, and Oathkeepers”, helped “seize the United States Capitol”.

One or more of these groups brought pipe bombs, firearms, and other explosive devices with them.

This level or preparation is evidence that violent actions were planned long before my remarks.  Ergo, my remarks had nothing to do with the ensuing violent acts.

WHY?

The reckless, defamatory, deceitful nature of the Censure Resolution begs the question of why would Socialist Democrats go to such lengths to deceitfully slander and defame the reputation of an honorable member of the opposition party?

Perhaps I can share a few very plausible motives.

Motive #1: Hypocrisy.

There is no end to the hypocrisy of Socialist Democrats who are so often willing to condemn what they themselves do!

I submit the following quotes, and the absence of any Censureship efforts regarding them, evidence how hypocritical this Censure Resolution is.

In 2019, Congressman Joaquin Castro stated, “We’ll also fight him [Trump] … in the streets!”

In 2020, Congresswoman Maxine Waters stated, “And if you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd, and you push back on them.  Any you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

In 2018, former Attorney General Eric Holder stated, “Michelle [Obama] always says that, you know, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ No. When they go low, we kick them. That’s what this new Democratic Party is about,”

In 2020, Vice-President Elect Kamala Harris encouraged people to help post bail out for violent protestors in Minnesota when she posted, ““If you’re able to, chip in now to the @MNFreedomFund to help post bail for those protesting on the ground in Minnesota.”

In 2020, Congresswoman Cori Bush stated, “We DISRUPT PEACE because lives are on the line. NO, I won’t coddle you or baby you by giving you a peaceful protest. Get a backbone- get some fight in you! We’re putting our lives on the line because black people are and IT STOPS NOW!! NO JUSTICE NO PEACE!!”

If Socialist Democrats were really concerned about stopping the violence, then why do they encourage, rather than discourage, the violence, the looting, the arson, the killings by Black Lives Matter or fascist ANTIFA?

Socialist Democrats are not motivated by justice.  They are motivated by political advantage.

Socialist Democrats acquiesce to violence they believe helps them at the polls and engage in fake, manipulative politics when they believe the violence hurts them at the polls.

In contrast, I oppose all violence of the kind we saw last week at the U.S. Capitol and have, as such and on numerous occasions, called for aggressive prosecution of every person who illegally breached Capitol security, regardless of their political motivation for doing so.

Motive #2:

I have evolved into a national leader in the:

Fight against dictatorial Socialism and fight for free enterprise and the freedom and liberty on which freedom is based.

Fight against the killing of unborn babies and fight for life.

Fight against unsustainable deficits that threaten America’s solvency and fight for financial responsibility that threatens to cut off a reliable Socialist Democrat block vote: those people on welfare who prefer to vote for a living rather than work for one.

Fight against Big Tech censorship and Socialist Democrats’ suppression of free speech and fight for freedom of assembly, freedom of religion, freedom of speech and the right to bear arms.

Fight against the voter fraud and election theft so many Socialist Democrats rely on to get elected and fight forhonest and accurate elections.

The burden of being a national leader in the fight for the foundational values that have combined to make America the greatest nation in world history is being a target of deceitful Socialist Democrat politics of personal destruction.

But know this, I am from the Great State of Alabama, where our motto is “We Dare Defend our Rights”.

Socialist Democrats and their Fake News Media Allies won’t get an apology from me because my remarks were not wrong.  Conversely, the Socialist Democrats and their Fake News Media Allies should be apologizing to the public for the egregiously and manipulative way they have deceived the public on this issue.

Rest assured; I will never apologize for fighting to win our causes at the ballot box.  That is the American way!

I conclude with two famous quotes.

The first is from Jesus, in the King James Bible, Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 2: “For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged, and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.”

I recommend everyone take these words to heart and very carefully consider them.

The second is from American patriot Martin Luther King, in his Letter from Birmingham Jail, April 16, 1963:

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

RELATED: Mo Brooks: ‘The violence at the U.S. Capitol today is despicable, un-American’ — ‘Prosecute these thugs’

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

33 mins ago

An open letter to President Trump from a former supporter

Dear President Trump,

I voted for and supported you, as did 74 million Americans throughout the land, and now we are all absolutely and completely betrayed. The Democrats have the presidency and Congress because of you. I am a Christian and wholeheartedly believe in forgiveness – but my forgiveness of you will be difficult. Here’s why.

For about three years your accomplishments were incredible – more than any president in my lifetime. You brought Kim Jong-un to the table and accomplished more in one year with North Korea than Barack Obama or Bill Clinton did in 16. Clinton’s sunshine policies and Obama’s Wilsonian overtures did nothing to advance anything with that Asian nation. But you had Kim talking, at least for a while.

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You managed to author new trade deals with Canada, Mexico, China and the European Union. You brought NATO to heal by demanding other member nations pay their fair shares. The border with Mexico was strengthened and we were on a concrete plan to better regulate and control illegal immigration.

The economy was perhaps your greatest accomplishment. Usually, the president has little power to deeply affect economic cycles but you lowered taxes and eliminated draconian regulations, essentially removing the tourniquet off of the economy’s blood flow. It absolutely erupted. In fact, I would argue that the economy – running like a greased locomotive going downhill by early 2019 – was better able to shoulder the initial economic shut down due to COVID.  Had Hillary been in the White House, I have no doubt that her weak economy would have tanked with a COVID shuttering. 

But once COVID hit, you implemented that shutdown and you seemed – at least initially – on top of the crisis. Always remember that politics is perception. And, fair or not, the media helps shape perception. Once the summer of 2019 came, you stopped acting like an active leader. You never directly addressed the people, as Reagan or the Bushes would have done. You never inspired confidence in our ability to defeat the virus. Instead, you endlessly moaned about the media and tried to shape perception via Twitter, which was largely unsuccessful.

I have no doubt that the media single-handedly destroyed your presidency with all the misinformation it monolithically propagated. From Charlottesville, VA, to COVID, you never could use the media for your own purposes. Instead, you antagonized it by fighting with Jim Accosta, Chris Cuomo, and other talking heads with whom you had no business arguing, like a child on a recess playground. 

George W. Bush understood that you will never gain the full support of the media and so when it was critical, he ignored it. He placed the media beneath himself and his office, which is absolutely proper.

Your ego would not allow you to be gentlemanly, empathetic or kind. I think this is one reason why the media hated you so much. And instead of leading the people through the COVID crisis, you were viewed by most Americans as petty. If you would have just been nice, pleasant and active for the media, you’d be president today.

Also significant, you never could give others credit when things went well or take the blame when they did not. Reagan was always the first to admit when he was wrong and when he was right, he credited others instead of himself. George H. W. Bush and his son did the same. Obama and Clinton were mixed with this – I saw them give and take credit. But you? You always took credit for everything, without exception. And what’s worse, when things went haywire, you blamed everyone else. What you did to Jeff Sessions was completely wrong. And you ended up doing the same thing to James Mattis, Rex Tillerson, William Barr and many others. During your four years you had four chiefs of staff, five Deputy Chiefs of Staff, four national security advisers and three secretaries of defense. The rate of turnover in your administration was higher than any other president.

Lastly, you manufactured what now seem to have been completely untrue stories about election fraud. You did this in complete dismissal of the truth and most damning, you willfully lied about it for over eight weeks while you should have been focused like a laser on Georgia.

When Republicans tried to legally and constitutionally stand against the electoral votes in certain swing states on January 6 (a largely symbolic gesture), you encouraged your supporters to march on the capitol, which they did. And when they overran the capitol police, ultimately causing the deaths of six Americans and the vandalism of our capitol building, you sat and watched, like Nero playing his fiddle, for hours and hours.

You never made it clear that this was illegal, violent, murderous and destructive. You, it seems to me, tacitly approved while the capitol was ransacked. This is pathetic. You sir do not deserve to be our president. I do not support impeachment or removal because it is essentially a fait accompli

However, your dithering on 6 January absolutely and concretely confirms that your time in Washington is over, forever. I will never vote for you again because you placed yourself above your office and the Constitution. 

Your actions have probably destroyed the Republican Party in its present form. And the damage that Biden-Harris will inflict on the nation will further illustrate the depths of your failure. Perhaps worst of all, the media’s false claims about gun-toting, redneck, racist conservatives that have been made for years have now been given a real example, the damaging results of which will not be known for a long time.

Goodbye, Mr. Trump. Go into that good night silently, please. Someday I will forgive you, but I don’t know when.

Kenny Moore is a missile defense engineer and college history teacher in Alabama

 

3 hours ago

Veronica Crock joins Commerce team as senior project manager

MONTGOMERY, Alabama – Veronica Crock, an experienced economic developer and former educator who focused on workforce preparedness, has joined the business development team at the Alabama Department of Commerce.

Crock, who holds the title of senior project manager, will concentrate her efforts on advanced manufacturing projects statewide. She will also have an initial focus on Southeast Alabama, where she previously worked as an economic developer.

“The project managers in Commerce’s Business Development Division work strategically to create opportunities and jobs for citizens all across Alabama, and Veronica has the expertise to help us advance that mission,” said Greg Canfield, Secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

“She is a great addition to our team.”

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‘OUTSTANDING JOB’

Crock previously served as the president of the Ozark-Dale County Economic Development Corp. in the region that houses the U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence/Fort Rucker and numerous aerospace companies.

She also served as president of Grow Southeast Alabama, an 11-county organization that promotes industrial growth and job creation across the region.

“Veronica is well known to our team at Commerce for the outstanding job she did in leading the local economic development efforts in Dale County, as well as her leadership with the regional efforts of Grow Southeast Alabama,” said Ted Clem, director of Commerce’s Business Development Division.

“We are excited to have someone of her caliber on our project management team.”

EXPERIENCE

Before starting her career in economic development, Crock served as dean at Enterprise State Community College and the Alabama Aviation College, where she collaborated with economic development organizations, local governments, and educational entities to establish a solid workforce development background.

She holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University, a master’s degree from Troy University, and completed doctoral research at Alabama State University. She is a graduate of the Applied Economic Development Honors Program at the University of Alabama and the Intensive Economic Development Training Institute at Auburn University.

“I am thankful for the opportunity to work with such a dedicated team of economic development professionals,” Crock said. “I look forward to serving the state in this new role and will work hard to be a valuable and contributing member of the Alabama team.”

(Courtesy of Made in Alabama)

4 hours ago

New respirators to aid front-line workers at Anniston hospital

A midnight run to Miami is helping protect health care workers at Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Anniston.

Thanks to the support of multiple community partners, RMC has obtained 20 Powered Air Purifying Respirators (PAPRs) that will be used by professional staff treating patients at the hospital who are suffering from COVID-19.

PAPRs are worn over the head, typically with a clear screen in front, to protect health care workers from potential exposure to airborne pathogens. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, PAPRs are in short supply, just when they are needed most.

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RMC officials were able to secure a supply of PAPRs – in Miami – with help from the Oxford Police Department. Indeed, not only did the police help find the vital equipment, they also agreed to make an overnight dash to South Florida to retrieve them.

The officers arrived back in Anniston Tuesday morning and delivered the critical equipment to the grateful team at the hospital, which continues to see a surge in COVID patients. 

“Nearly a year into this pandemic, we are grateful for the continued support that has kept our physicians and staff going,” said Lagina Fillingim, RMC Foundation director. “Thank you to everyone who made this donation possible.”

Oxford Police Chief Bill Partridge said the department was happy to assist.

“If we help them, it’s going to help us,” Partridge said. “They’re first responders like we are. They’re on the front lines every day.”

He said Oxford Mayor Alton Craft reached out to the department to see if they could help the hospital locate the PAPRs. “I told him we’d certainly try,” Partridge said.

“We went ahead and made an emergency purchase because they’re in high demand. Two officers drove down to pick them up,” he said.

He said the PAPRs will not only help the hospital workers, they indirectly help the police department and the entire community.

“When an officer is hurt or injured in the line of duty, we need the doctors and nurses to take care of them, and they can’t do that if they’re sick with COVID,” Partridge said.

The PAPRs were purchased with support from the Alabama Power Foundation and other community partners, including Noble Bank, the Calhoun County Chamber of CommerceCalhoun County Economic Development Council and the Community Foundation of Northeast Alabama.

The RMC Foundation continues to seek donors to support a variety of programs at its affiliated facilities, including the purchase of needed equipment and supplies. To learn more or to donate, visit https://rmccares.org/donate-now/.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

6 hours ago

Alabama Power hydro generation benefits from 2020 rainfall

Lots of rain in 2020 meant lots of clean, renewable, low-cost hydropower for Alabama Power customers.

Preliminary figures show the company produced significantly more hydropower in 2020 than projected, placing 2020 as the eighth-best year on record for hydroelectric energy production.

“Hydropower is one of the most cost-effective sources of energy,” said Herbie Johnson, Hydro general manager for Alabama Power. “The more hydropower produced, the better for our customers.”

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With hydropower, there’s no need to purchase fuel, since the source of the energy is a renewable resource: rain. Hydropower also creates no emissions, helping protect air quality.

Of course, hydropower is subject to the whims of Mother Nature, since it depends on ample rains to keep hydro reservoirs filled.

That wasn’t a problem in 2020, with record spring rains, adequate summer showers and two major hurricanes in the fall. Indeed, those record spring rains resulted in the best January through April in the company’s history for hydropower production.

Those spring rains broke records across the state, leading to higher-than-average rainfall totals for the year in multiple locations. At Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, for example, rainfall for all of 2020 was the fifth-highest on record. Rainfall data for Birmingham dates back to 1896. Anniston, Birmingham, Huntsville, Muscle Shoals and Tuscaloosa all recorded their soggiest first quarters ever in 2020, according to the National Weather Service.

The substantial spring rainfall, combined with wise management of water resources throughout the year, helped make 2020 a strong year for hydropower generation in Alabama.

Turbine upgrades at several Alabama Power dams in recent years have helped the company produce more renewable energy with less water. Alabama Power has 14 hydroelectric facilities on 11 lakes across the state. The company’s lakes also provide sources of drinking water, recreational opportunities and help fuel local economies.

Typically, Alabama Power gets between 4% and 8% of its electricity annually from hydro. The company’s diverse generating mix includes power produced from nuclear, natural gas and coal-fired power plants, and from renewable resources such as solar and wind.

Learn more about Alabama Power hydro generation at https://apcshorelines.com/.

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

8 hours ago

Daughter of Tuskegee receives COVID vaccine

As a daughter of the city of Tuskegee, I embrace her proud history. Tuskegee Institute, now University, the prolific George Washington Carver and the legacy of the courageous Tuskegee Airmen are among the first topics that I’m asked about when I meet people who are not from the area. Some people even ask if I know Lionel Richie, which always makes me smile. Invariably, conversations turn to another, less welcome topic, the shameful Tuskegee Syphilis Study that remains a scourge on my beloved hometown. Lately, the Study is being talked about in news reports as the disproportionate impact of the coronavirus on people of color increases.

With the recent news of emergency authorization for two COVID-19 vaccines, I’ve thought a lot about the weight of history and the skepticism and distrust for the healthcare industry that lingers in the African American community. As a registered nurse with Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS), I wonder how willing Veterans from my community will be to trust and take advantage of the promising, potentially lifesaving COVID-19 vaccine that is being offered at our facility.

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In-mid December, VA launched a phased plan to vaccinate Veterans who reside in community living centers and employees with the goal to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans and employees who want to be vaccinated. CAVHCS received its initial shipment of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and began vaccinating on December 22.

As I’ve weighed the pros and cons of the vaccine and what saying yes or no could mean, I say with certainty that I will get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. While I understand the vaccine does not guarantee that I will not become infected, it lowers the risk of getting infected with the virus that causes COVID-19.

Though I no longer live in Tuskegee, my commitment to the city runs deep as my octogenarian parents, whom I care for, still live in the community. As a wife, mother, health care professional and neighbor, getting the vaccine is only one way I’m looking out for the well-being of the Veterans I serve, my family and the residents of my childhood home.

After being vaccinated, I will continue to wear a mask, wash and sanitize my hands frequently and keep appropriate distance as recommended by the CDC. I urge Veterans and everyone in my hometown to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines to make an informed decision about being vaccinated against the coronavirus.

VA has online resources with information about the COVID-19 vaccines. Veterans who are interested in being vaccinated should call CAVHCS at 800-214-8387.

Cheryl Owens is a registered nurse with Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System