2 weeks ago

Mobile APSO’s ‘56 Days of Blessing’ helps Alabama community this spring

A café latte here, a candy bar there and it’s not long before you’ve spent a chunk of change.

From Feb. 17-April 13, several Mobile Division employees decided to forgo some daily indulgences to support the Mobile Chapter of the Alabama Power Service Organization (APSO).

Through Mobile APSO’s “56 Days of Blessings,” employees sacrificed some of their favorite things, such as barista-made coffee, manicures and pedicures, restaurant meals, hair appointments and fancy fishing lures. They donated nearly $2,000 to help area residents this spring.

“First off, we did an Easter project where we made small Easter baskets and donated those to four nonprofit organizations,” said Sharon Murrill, Mobile APSO president.

Among those efforts, Mobile APSO spent $560 on Easter baskets and treats for less fortunate children served by Light of the Village in Prichard and Sybil H. Smith Family Village, a program for children provided by Dumas Wesley Community Center in Mobile.

John Eads, founder of Light of the Village with his wife, Dolores, said the children were thrilled with their treats.

“We were privileged to hand out the Easter baskets to the kids directly,” said Eads, who has led the nonprofit for 12 years. “Some were distributed to different places. It’s fantastic to see a variety of people come together to help; this ministry is such a team effort.”

Sybil Smith Family Village sent a handwritten note to Mobile APSO.

“Thank you so much for your donation of Easter baskets for our kiddos at Sybil Smith Family Village,” wrote Associate Executive Director Sarah Laurio. “Both the kids and the parents were delighted when they saw them! We are so appreciative of your faithful and continued support of our program. We really would not be able to help these sweet families get back on their feet without kind, community minded folks such as you guys.”

Mobile APSO making a difference

While the endeavor wasn’t tied to a religious denomination, Mobile APSO asked employees to make a small sacrifice and donate to their community.

“We’re constantly brainstorming for virtual ideas – things we can do during the pandemic while social distancing,” said Murrill, Community Relations manager – Alabama Power Mobile Division Office.

For two months, Mobile APSO provided daily Facebook posts about employees’ efforts.

“We had many really, really cute ideas,” Murrill said. “We had one lady, Vivian Ballard, that, instead of going and purchasing some type of a fish meal, she reeled hers in. She actually got on a boat and caught a fish,” Murrill said, laughing. “That was very original.”

“When we decided to do this, I told everyone, ‘I want our folks who are giving this money to see that we are giving this back to our community,’” said Murrill, who made treats at home instead of buying smoothies. “It was a collaborative effort. I have a great board this year.

“We kept building and building on the idea – it was a lot of fun,” she said. “I think it’s so important to keep our members engaged, as well as letting them know we’re still doing things. We’re truly supporting the community where we work, we live, we go to church.”

Giving back was a labor of love for Tripp Ward. The Economic Development representative for Mobile Division groomed his AKC-registered pups to save money to donate.

“Our family has five springer spaniels,” said Ward, who uses a professional groomer in Baldwin County to bathe and trim the dogs. “I decided to groom one or two of them myself and send in that money to APSO. The one negative thing about springer spaniels is they shed. We find ourselves brushing them every day and using a Shop-Vac to clean up.”

For the long term, he’ll leave the task to professionals: “I will depend on my groomer,” said Ward, who worked at Mississippi Power 11 years before transferring to Alabama Power in 2018. “It’s a lot of work, especially when you don’t have the time and the right equipment.”

As part of the blessing project, Ballard put 30 years of fishing skills to use while spending quality time with her husband in the Mobile Delta. “Not only is it exciting to catch fish, it is very peaceful,” said the Mobile Division customer service representative, who donated to Mobile APSO instead of indulging in an expensive fish dinner.

Employees found many ways to give back. For instance, Ryan Allenbach, a market specialist in Partner Management, had family dinners at home on Friday nights instead of eating out, and donated the savings. Community Relations Manager Clinton Johnson gave up his monthly gym membership and personal trainer and worked out at home. Customer Service Manager Erin Delaport sacrificed her favorite “cookie two step” ice cream. Gayla Cunningham, Tionne Robinson and several other employees cut out shopping sprees and wrote a check to Mobile APSO.

In May, Mobile Chapter will use those funds in support of APSO’s state project to improve nutrition for underserved residents.

The first week, Mobile APSO members will fill backpacks for children at Light of the Village, providing snacks, fruit and water. The second week, members will donate tuna packs and ravioli to Housing First for distribution to Mobile County’s homeless. The third week, Mobile APSO will provide lunch at McKemie Place, which provides emergency overnight shelter to homeless women. The final week, members will give backpacks to children of the Boat People SOS-Bayou La Batre, an underserved Vietnamese American community.

Murrill said employees’ thoughtful sacrifices will provide big blessings to Mobile’s less fortunate residents.

“This was a small way for our employees to take part in a fun event while also giving back to our communities,” she said. “We may do this project again next year.”

(Courtesy of Alabama NewsCenter)

8 hours ago

Tuberville celebrates public charter schools — ‘Look forward to their continued success’

U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) this week co-sponsored a resolution honoring the 22nd annual National Charter Schools Week, which ends this Saturday.

The resolution was bipartisan and introduced by U.S. Senator Tim Scott (R-SC).

“After spending 40 years recruiting students from high schools all over the country, I know the difference a quality education can make in a young person’s life. I’ve seen public charter schools give parents a valuable option for students in Alabama and across the country,” said Tuberville in a statement.

“Charter schools give educators more flexibility to teach in ways that best fit students’ unique needs, and studies show charter schools help close the achievement gap for our most at-risk students,” he concluded. “I’m grateful for the educators and administrators who have helped make charter schools available to students and parents, and look forward to their continued success in educating America’s next generation of leaders.”


Nationally, 44 states — including Alabama — and the District of Columbia have public charter schools, with more than 7,500 schools serving approximately 3.3 million students.

Scott’s resolution congratulates “the students, parents, teachers, and leaders of charter schools across the United States for making ongoing contributions to education.”

The resolution notes that “high-performing public charter schools deliver a high-quality public education and challenge all students to reach their potential for academic success.”

“[P]ublic charter schools promote innovation and excellence in public education,” it continues. “[P]ublic charter schools throughout the United States provide millions of families with diverse and innovative educational options for the children of those families.”

The resolutions especially praises public charter schools for “making impressive strides in closing the academic achievement gap in schools in the United States, particularly in schools with some of the most disadvantaged students in both rural and urban communities.”

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

12 hours ago

State Rep. Stringer ousted from Mobile County Sheriff’s Office over ‘difference of opinion’ with sheriff; Blames pro-Second Amendment stance for removal

On Friday, the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office announced State Rep. Shane Stringer (R-Citronelle) was no longer serving as a captain for the department.

According to Mobile County Sheriff Office spokeswoman, Stringer was dismissed for his support of so-called constitutional carry, and Mobile County Sheriff Sam Cochran had a “difference of opinion” with the Mobile County Republican legislator.

Shortly after those reports surfaced, Stringer responded with his own press statement declaring himself “proud to stand in defense of the Second Amendment.”


“The Second Amendment gun rights of Alabamians are under attack from a liberal federal government that is out of control and even from some factions right here at home,” Stringer said in a release. “After dedicating my life and career to law enforcement, losing a job because I stand in support of Alabama gun owners is certainly surprising, but nothing will discourage me from defending the constitutional guarantees promised to all of us as American citizens.”

Also, according to the release, Cochran notified Stringer, who served as the Satsuma Police Chief before winning his election in 2018 to serve in the State House, on Wednesday of his dismissal from the captain’s post in the department “because he is sponsoring ‘constitutional carry’ gun rights legislation.

HB618 would allow Alabamians to carry or conceal a pistol without first obtaining a permit from their local sheriff’s office, an effort that the state’s sheriffs have vociferously opposed in the past.

“The U.S. Constitution does not say you have a right to keep and bear arms as long as you pay what amounts to a gun tax in the form of permit fees,” Stringer said in the release. “It says you have the right to keep and carry firearms. . .period.”

“As a state legislator, I swore an oath to God that I would support the U.S. Constitution, and this legislation does just that,” he added. “And whether or not I am employed by the Mobile Sheriff’s Office, my heart and soul will always belong to the mission of enforcing the law and to my fellow officers who seek to protect the men, women, and children of Alabama.”

The bill has 11 other co-sponsors, including State Rep. Proncey Robertson (R-Mount Hope), who served as an officer in the Decatur Police Department.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University and the University of South Alabama, the editor of Breitbart TV, a columnist for Mobile’s Lagniappe Weekly, and host of Mobile’s “The Jeff Poor Show” from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. on FM Talk 106.5.

16 hours ago

Report: Environmental activists team up with socialists, sex workers in Birmingham

According to a report published Thursday, left-wing Birmingham environmental group GASP is moving to support socialism and sex work in the Magic City.

Alabama Today reported that a rally is being planned in Birmingham to support sex workers, including prostitutes.

The first speaker listed for the event is reportedly GASP’s Nina Morgan, and the organization itself is set to have a table at the event alongside the local “Party for Socialism and Liberation.”

“Stated in their latest Facebook post is, ‘Without the economic, political, military and diplomatic backing of U.S. imperialism, the state of Israel would not last long,'” Alabama Today noted.


Morgan is listed as GASP’s “Climate & Environmental Justice Organizer.”

“She became radicalized first and foremost by her parents, who were divorced but often had conversations with her and her twin brother about the social ills of the world. Further, her political analysis emerged during her time serving on the youth council of a reproductive justice initiative called the Alabama Alliance for Healthy Youth,” GASP’s website advises.

The event, scheduled for June 6, is billed as an “International Sex Workers’ Day Rally.”

Per the Global Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) website, the day is an annual event. One of the organization’s core values is, “Opposition to all forms of criminalization and other legal oppression of sex work.”

A flier promoting the event shows a police car in flames, smushed by a stiletto.

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

17 hours ago

7 Things: Biden says you have his permission to take off your mask, special session may be needed, Democratic state representatives want Huntsville’s police chief fired and more …

7. 150 Republicans emerge and embarrass themselves again 

  • Since the first day Donald Trump came down the escalator, the American media and their Democrats touted the “courageous Republicans” who would abandon the party over the former president. With U.S. Representative Liz Cheney (R-WY) losing her leadership post, those same people are leaving the party again, for real this time.
  • The “Call for American Renewal” is an uncompelling list of the usually gripers and grifters, CNN and MSNBC contributors and Lincoln Project hacks. This includes independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin, former Trump staffer Anthony Scaramucci, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Richard Painter, columnist Max Boot and a “Who’s who or who’s that?” of American politics.

6. White House: We have to teach about systematic racism


  • White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to some who have said that teaching critical race theory is “liberal indoctrination,” saying that they don’t “think we believe that educating the youth, next leaders of the future, leaders of the country, on systemic racism is indoctrination.”
  • Psaki went on to say that teaching about systemic racism is “actually responsible.” This comes after U.S. Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) introduced the Ivory Tower Act to tax the endowments of colleges and universities to put more money toward training in trades. Cotton said that these establishments are making money while “indoctrinating our youth with un-American ideas.”

5. Ivey makes it clear that Alabama stands with Israel

  • Governor Kay Ivey clearly stated that Alabama is standing with Israel as they face attacks from the terrorist organization Hamas in Gaza. There has been some speculation from UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland that if conflict continues or gets worse, it could result in “a full-scale war.”
  • Alabama has a strong business relationship with Israel, with exports totaling $49 million in 2020, which was 27% higher than the state’s exports to Israel in 2019. Ivey spokesperson Gina Maiola said, “[I]it is appropriate with Alabama’s longstanding relationship with Israel that she reaffirmed our position as an ally and friend. As Governor Kay Ivey said this morning, Alabama stands with Israel.”

4. Group calling for Huntsville PD chief to be fired or forced to resign

  • Due to the comments made by Huntsville Police Chief Mark McMurray after officer William Ben Darby was convicted of murder, the Rosa Parks Day Committee in Huntsville is calling for Mayor Tommy Battle to fire McMurray.
  • State House Minority Leader Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville) and State Representative Laura Hall (D-Huntsville) were present with the committee at a press conference where they made these requests. They claimed that McMurray should be removed due to his comments on Darby and the handling of the protests downtown in 2020.

 3. Special session likely needed for issues like prisons and gambling

  • State Senator Clyde Chambliss (R-Prattville) said it’s likely a special session will be necessary to deal with issues like prisons and gambling since there’s only one more day left in the regular session and it’s unlikely that these issues will be resolved in that short time.
  • Chambliss said that Governor Kay Ivey should at least call “a five-day short special session to make it work.” He added that a special session to deal with building more prisons in the state is even more necessary as there have been funding concerns and the state still faces an order from the U.S. Department of Justice to fix unconstitutional conditions. Chambliss went on to say that if the issue isn’t addressed, he thinks “the DOJ is going to be very serious about their next steps.”

2. Biden thinks he did something on masks

  • New guidelines have been released from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on when vaccinated people should wear a mask by saying that they don’t need to wear a mask “in any setting” and you can “resume activities that you did prior to the pandemic.” The U.S. House, some cities (including Birmingham), states, and many businesses will keep the masks for now.
  • President Joe Biden hilariously tweeted some authoritarian nonsense, stating, “The rule is now simple: get vaccinated or wear a mask until you do.” Governor Kay Ivey praised the decision to lift masks, despite only lifting the statewide mask mandate in Alabama about a month ago. She said, “Finally, we are seeing some encouraging, common sense guidance from the CDC.”

1. Now schools should be open, too

  • After months of resistance to reopening schools, a teachers union is now deciding that schools must reopen in the fall. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers said, “There is no doubt: Schools must be open,” adding, “Given current circumstances, nothing should stand in the way of fully reopening our public schools this fall and keeping them open.” Weingarten also said, “The United States will not be fully back until we are fully back in school. And my union is all in.”
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci is calling for the schools to open up all the way, telling CNN, “I believe the schools should be open five days, full blast, just the way it was before,” and he wants it done “by the time we get to the fall.”

19 hours ago

Huntsville-based Torch Technologies awarded $722M U.S. Army contract

Huntsville-headquartered Torch Technologies this week announced a $722 million contract award from the federal government.

The task order comes via U.S. Army Combat Capabilities Development Command (DEVCOM) Aviation and Missile Center (AvMC) Systems Simulation Software and Integration Directorate (S3I) for Modeling and Simulation (M&S) Aviation and Missile Systems. The order has a five-year period of performance and will be executed primarily in the Rocket City.

According to a press release, the Torch team will develop and apply models and simulations to aviation and missile system analysis ensuring warfighter readiness and future capabilities are realized.


Torch will reportedly supply cost-effective solutions that facilitate readiness and technological dominance of the Army’s current and future force.

“Torch is pleased to continue our long-standing relationship with the DEVCOM AvMC S3I M&S customers,” stated Torch president and CEO John Watson. “We are proud to be a part of their important mission to provide weapons development and modernization support to our warfighters.”

A 100% employee-owned business with more than 900 global employees dedicated to quality technical services, competitive costs and ethical business practices, Torch also has an Alabama presence at Fort Rucker in the Wiregrass. In 2019, Torch annual revenues were approximately $513 million.

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