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1 year ago

New Miss Alabama Works to Combat Hunger

TUSCALOOSA, Ala. — Across the state and nation, Miss Alabama and Miss America are incredibly influential role models. For many young girls, they strive to achieve the level of scholarship, beauty, and grace that the women competing at the top-level of the pageant world exhibit so well. Last week, Jessica Procter of Tuscaloosa was the latest young woman to be crowned Miss Alabama. Although she worked very hard to get to this point, the real work of being a role model to thousands of young girls is just beginning.

A relative newcomer to pageant life, Procter said winning Miss Alabama was a dream come true. “Honestly, it was like living in an alternate universe,” Procter told Yellowhammer. “You picture that moment and you work for that moment, but when it finally happens, it feels unreal.”

Four years ago, Procter began participating in pageants during her junior year of high school. She wanted to boost her resume for college scholarship committees and figured performing well in pageants would look impressive.

She first saw a post about Miss Tuscaloosa Outstanding Teen on Facebook and wanted to give it a try. While she had no previous experience, she had an extensive background as a musical performer who sang with her family from a young age.

“I watched Miss America more than a few times as a kid,” she said, “but it was never something where I really knew how it worked.”

After placing third in her first-ever pageant, Procter caught pageant fever and she continued to perform well in state-level competitions. She has served as Miss West Central Outstanding Teen, Miss Alabama Outstanding Teen, Miss Center Point, Miss Tuscaloosa, and Miss Leeds Area. Overall, Procter has earned more than $42,000 in scholarship money that will ensure a debt-free graduation from The University of Alabama.

Procter emphasized the importance of scholarship and giving back in both the Miss Alabama and Miss America organizations. Founded in 1921, the Miss America Organization is still the nation’s largest provider of scholarship assistance to young women, as Procter is a paramount example.

“My most important role is to show the world what the Miss Alabama Organization is about,” she said. “It’s not about me, it’s about the organization and the good that it does. I’m just its voice this year.”

Procter’s platform focuses on the pressing issue of food insecurity, which is formally defined as the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food. She first saw the tragedy of hunger on a mission trip with her family overseas. Her experience changed her and forced her into action. “I couldn’t sit there when people in our world are struggling to meet basic necessities that I take for granted every single day,” she said.

At first, she wanted to start a program to help impoverished people overseas. But she soon found out that the problem plagues one in five Americans, and her focus soon shifted. She watched a 20/20 documentary in a freshman-year psychology class about hungry children in Camden, New Jersey, and one story from the video hit her especially hard.

“There was a boy named Isaac…who had never heard the words breakfast, lunch, and dinner before. He had never had three set meals a day. If he did, there was no need to name them because it wouldn’t be something he would get the next day. Three set meals a day was just an unattainable luxury in his life.”

She sat there in the 150-person class weeping. “This boy only lives 14 hours away from me, and here I am about to go eat at the dining hall and I’m worried about sending money overseas,” she said. “I need to do something about this in America.”

She contacted the West Alabama Food Bank about local hunger in her area. After some discussion, she formed Step Up to the Plate, a partnership with the West Alabama Food Bank, that works to find ways to address food insecurity in the state.

Step Up To The Plate fights hunger by conducting canned food drives, speaking to local community groups and schools, raising money, participating in and encouraging volunteerism at local soup bowls and food banks, and establishing food recovery programs at local businesses. “You’ve got to make other people as passionate as you are because you can’t do it alone,” she said.

Procter will take her cause and talents to the Miss America stage as one of the 52 final contestants. The ninety-seventh Miss America pageant will be held in Atlantic City, New Jersey on Sunday, September 10, 2017.

11 hours ago

Assistant U.S. attorney to replace Hart in leading Special Prosecutions Division

Multiple sources have told Yellowhammer News that Anna “Clark” Morris, the first assistant U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Alabama, will take over the Special Prosecutions Division of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office.

The announcement could be made as soon as Tuesday. Attorney General Steve Marshall accepted the resignation of Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart, who has led the division for years, on Monday morning.

Morris served as the acting U.S. Attorney for Alabama’s middle district last year, in between President Donald Trump firing former USA George Beck in March of 2017 and now-USA Louis Franklin being confirmed that September.

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Morris is an Alabama native and a graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law.

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

11 hours ago

Blue Cross and Blue Shield adds Ted Hosp to its governmental affairs team

Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) of Alabama is adding one of the state’s top legal minds to its already first-class governmental affairs team.

On Monday, BCBS announced that Ted Hosp has been officially named as the company’s executive director of governmental affairs.

Hosp joins Blue Cross from Alabama-based Maynard, Cooper and Gale, where he most recently chaired the prominent law firm’s governmental and regulatory affairs practice group. Hosp is widely recognized as a leader in the areas of government ethics laws and the legislative process. He is a graduate of Brown University and received his law degree from Fordham University.

In a press release, Robin Stone, BCBS vice president of governmental affairs, lauded the impact that Hosp is expected to have.

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“Ted’s experience at Maynard working with our company on legislative and regulatory issues will enable him to bring immediate and long term value to our advocacy on behalf of our customers at the local, state and federal level,” Stone said.

Hosp currently chairs the Alabama Access to Justice Commission, established by the state Supreme Court in 2007. Additionally, he serves on the Alabama State Bar Committee on Volunteer Lawyers Programs and on the board of the Middle District of Alabama Federal Defender’s Program. Hosp has previously served on the boards of the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Program and the Montgomery Bar Volunteer Lawyers Program.

He is married to Alison Wingate Hosp, who handles governmental affairs for the Alabama Retail Association as its vice president.

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

12 hours ago

EPA official resigns after indictment on Alabama ethics charges, replaced by Alabama native

Even with Trey Glenn leaving his post as the EPA’s Region Four administrator, Alabama will still have strong ties to the leader of that office.

According to The Hill, Mary Walker was named by EPA acting administrator Andrew Wheeler to fill the vacant role in an acting capacity after Glenn resigned on Monday following his indictment on ethics charges in Alabama.

Walker is a native of the Yellowhammer State and had been serving as Glenn’s deputy.

Before her service at the EPA, which included a previous stint as the region’s Water Protection Division director, she served as assistant director and COO for Georgia’s Environmental Protection Division.

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In his resignation letter to Wheeler, Glenn called the charges against him “unfounded” and vowed to fight them. He also stressed that he did not want to become a distraction for the Trump administration’s agenda.

“As you know, unfounded charges have been levied against me that I must and will fight,” Glenn wrote.

He added, “Stepping down now, I hope removes any distraction from you and all the great people who work at EPA as you carry out the agency’s mission.”

Glenn also noted that he intended “to focus on [his] family, fight these unfounded accusations and ultimately clear [his] name.”

Appointed by President Donald Trump, Glenn oversaw the agency’s Region Four, which includes Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Kentucky.

After being indicted, Glenn turned himself in last week to be arrested. He almost immediately was released on bond, along with former Alabama Environmental Management Commissioner Scott Phillips, who was indicted on related charges.

Both Glenn and Phillips have denied any wrongdoing.

The charges were brought by the Alabama Ethics Commission, with investigative assistance from the Jefferson County District Attorney’s office. Copies of the indictments have still yet to be made public as of Monday.

It is still unclear why the Attorney General’s Special Prosecutions Division was not involved in the investigation, as they specialize in these types of cases. The division’s chief, Deputy Attorney General Matt Hart, also resigned on Monday.

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

12 hours ago

Another day, another political contest where the media wants a Southern state to replicate Alabama’s Doug Jones mistake

When now-Senator Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook) was elected in December 2017, people around the globe pretended it was the beginning of something new for Democrats in the South. It was not.

Jones’ election was a one-off event, a blip not a trend. It was an event that happened in spite of rather than because of Jones, his political views and the massive turnout effort of Alabama Democrats.

The national media and their Democrats keep attempting to create the firestorm so they can get their next Doug Jones moment.

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They tried to stop now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh by calling him a gang rapist. They failed.

They tried to stop Governor-elect Ron Desantis in Florida by pretending he was racist. They failed.

They tried to bring Stacey Abrams across the finish line in Georgia by claiming her opponent was running a massive voter suppression machine. They failed.

Now, with Mississippi moving into a run-off election for a United State Senate seat where they want to deal the president of the United States another loss on top of his loss of 30+ House seats.

See Sunday’s “State of the Union” on CNN where Jake Tapper leads a “discussion” about the Mississippi Senate race that devolves into a denouncement of “lynching,” which their target Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith never mentioned, as well as a strategizing session about reaching out to black women like Doug Jones did to win in Alabama.

Karine Jean-Pierre on State of the Union – 11-18-18

Democrats want to make every seat in the South into the next Doug Jones.They tried racism in Florida and Georgia, now they are trying it in Mississippi.Oddly, they keep mentioning how Sen. Doug Jones won and pretending it was because he focused on black women.That's just not true, Jones won because Republicans stayed home. The math is simple:President Donald Trump's election in 2016:Donald Trump (R) – 62.08% – 1,318,255Hillary Clinton (D) – 34.36% – 729,547Sen. Doug Jones’ election in 2017:Roy Moore (R) – 48.4% – 649,240Doug Jones (D) – 49.9% – 670,551Gov. Kay Ivey’s election in 2018:Kay Ivey (R) – 59.6% – 1,014,821Walt Maddox (D) – 40.4% – 686,774

Posted by Dale Jackson on Sunday, November 18, 2018

The problem with this is clip is pretty obvious. Jones didn’t win because he energized black women. The only reason Jones won is that Republicans were convinced to stay home in large numbers because they were told their candidate was probably a child molester.

Jones won because Republicans stayed home.

President Donald Trump’s election in 2016:
Donald Trump (R) – 62.08% – 1,318,255
Hillary Clinton (D) – 34.36% – 729,547

Sen. Doug Jones’ election in 2017:
Roy Moore (R) – 48.4% – 649,240
Doug Jones (D) – 49.9% – 670,551

Gov. Kay Ivey’s election in 2018:
Kay Ivey (R) – 59.6% – 1,014,821
Walt Maddox (D) – 40.4% – 686,774

The Democratic turnout in Alabama’s 2017 U.S. Senate race was about one thing and one thing only — liberal hatred of President Donald Trump. The same can be said for the turnout of Democrats in Alabama in 2016 and 2018.

Democrats have plenty of reason to be excited about recent elections – even in the South. They won a race in Alabama that shouldn’t have even been competitive, but the repeated notion that Jones was some trendsetter who fired up a sleeping Democratic base is just a lie.

@TheDaleJackson is a contributing writer to Yellowhammer News and hosts a conservative talk show from 7-11 am weekdays on WVNN

13 hours ago

Tim Tebow Foundation’s Night to Shine coming to Birmingham in 2019

The Tim Tebow Foundation’s “Night to Shine,” a magical prom night experience for people with special needs, is coming to Birmingham.

Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church will serve as one of the nearly 500 churches around the world to host Night to Shine on February 8, 2019.

Night to Shine is an event for people 14 and older with special needs to receive royal treatment. Guests will enter the event on a red carpet filled with a crowd and paparazzi. Once they make it into the building, guests will be able to choose from an array of activities to partake in including hair and makeup stations, shoe shining areas and limousine rides. They can also choose their corsages and boutonnieres.

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The event also includes each guest being crowned as king or queen of the prom.

According to the official press release, the purpose of Night to Shine is to “demonstrate to people with special needs that God loves them and that they are worthy.”

Night to Shine launched in 2015, when 44 host churches and 15,000 volunteers worked together to honor more than 7,000 kings and queens of the prom. In February 2018, host churches and 175,000 volunteers celebrated 90,000 honored guests with special needs. The next Night to Shine is expected to take place in over 700 locations this coming February.

In addition to several business partnerships, this event will need around 150 youth and adult volunteers.

For more information, or to find out how you can volunteer for this great cause or register for the event, visit here.

Kyle Morris also contributes daily to Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @RealKyleMorris.