The Wire

  • Mobile pastor sentenced to 50 years for child sex crimes

    Excerpt from WKRG:

    Alvin McNeil was sentenced Thursday to 30 years on Rape 1st of a child and additional 20 years for sexual abuse of another child. The sentences are set to run consecutively.

    Back in April, a jury found Pastor Alvin McNeil guilty of rape and sex abuse of a child under 12.

    Judge Lockett revoked his bond and took the defendant into custody, the District Attorney’s office said.

    56-year-old Alvin McNeil was a pastor of Open Door True Worship Apostolic Church.

  • ‘Monster’ who video-recorded his rape of 3-year-old girl gets life without parole

    Excerpt from ABC 33/40:

    An Odenville man who video-recorded himself raping a 3-year-old girl was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole on Wednesday.

    43-year-old Robert Armbrust, Jr. pled guilty last week to rape, sodomy, sex abuse of a child younger than 12, and child porn involving a child younger than 17. St. Clair County Judge Phil Seay sentenced Armbrust to life in prison without parole for the rape charge and life in prison on the remaining charges.

    According to Chief Assistant District Attorney Lyle Harmon, Armbrust committed the horrific crimes from June through September 2016 while he and his girlfriend were babysitting a sick friend’s grandchild. Armbrust videotaped and photographed himself committing the child sex crimes.

  • Alabama Archers Win Top Honors at National Championship

    Excerpt from an Outdoor Alabama news release:

    It was a very good year for Alabama’s student archers at the National Archery in the Schools Program (NASP) Eastern National Championship. Placing in the top five of their shooting categories were two Alabama teams and four individual students. Additionally, an Alabama elementary school student was chosen as an Easton Academic Archer and five Alabama students made the NASP All-American Academic Team.

    “We are extremely proud of the performance of Alabama’s student archers,” said Marisa Futral, Hunter Education Coordinator for the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (ADCNR). “Their determination and dedication to both archery and academics is paying off and will serve them well in other aspects of life.”

    More than 14,000 archers traveled from 35 states to the competition, which was held May 10-12, 2018, in Louisville, Ky. Alabama’s top five results are listed below.

    Overall Competition

    Teams

    East Elementary, First Place, Elementary School Division
    Alma Bryant High, Fifth Place, High School Division
    Individuals

    Kayden Henderson, Vinemont Elementary, Third Place, Elementary School Male Division
    Allie Stewart, East Elementary, Fourth Place, Elementary School Female Division
    Caleb Thornton, Alma Bryant High, Third Place, in both the overall competition and the High School Male Division with a near perfect score of 297 (out of 300).
    International Bowhunters Organization 3D Tournament

    Teams

    East Elementary, First Place
    Individuals

    Ava Ray, East Elementary, Second Place, Elementary School Female Division
    Allie Stewart, East Elementary, Third Place, Elementary School Female Division
    Academic Archer

    The Easton Academic Archer program highlights students who excel in the classroom as well as on the archery range. Each of the newly chosen academic archers received a Genesis Bow and custom Easton Academic Archer arrows during the tournament.

    Pierce Gudger of East Elementary School was chosen as one of 10 academic archers for 2018.
    All-American Academic Team

    The 2018 NASP All-American Academic Team was formed based on the results of both the NASP Eastern and Western National tournaments and a roster of Academic Archers from across North America. Five students from Alabama have made this year’s team.

    Allie Stewart, East Elementary
    Jonathan Hall, Breitling Elementary
    Taylor Darby, Munford Middle
    Justin Liveoak, Chilton County High
    Caleb Thornton, Alma Bryant High

How to avoid going ‘wobbly’ on the truth

(Pixabay)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

REX TILLERSON ON HOW TO KEEP COUNTRY FROM GOING “WOBBLY”

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, there’s a little town in Virginia which you’ve visited many times, Lexington, Virginia, the home of Washington and Lee College but also the home of the Virginia Military Institute. It was at that place that former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was invited to come and give the commencement speech to the students.

He said, “If our leaders are to conceal the truth or we, as people, become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we, as America citizens, are on the pathway to relinquishing our freedom.”

He went on to say, “If we, as a people — a free people — go wobbly on the truth even on what may seem to be the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America.”

DR. REEDER: Well, yeah, wobbly until it all falls down. Now, I know everybody is reading this as a statement he is making concerning his previous boss, which is the president of the United States when he served as secretary of state, and I think that deserves analysis but that’s not where I want to go today.

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I think the removal of Secretary of State Tillerson, while he was on a mission by the president and his claim he did not know that was going to happen, that certainly is an interesting story of leadership, and this particular president’s style and Mr. Tillerson, who has come out of the corporate world in order to be the Secretary of State at the request of President Trump.

And I think that’s a story, but what I think he’s done is put his finger on something very, very truthful. It’s interesting that it should be done in that particular area because you’ve got Virginia Military Institute and you’ve got, next to it, Washington and Lee College, both of which have very stringent honor codes and, noteworthy, continue to this day, to some degree, both of those colleges.

OUR COUNTRY’S LEGACY IS OF UPRIGHT LEADERS 

One of the previous presidents, as many know, of Washington and Lee College was Robert E. Lee and, in his presidency, he was asked about the honor code. And he affirmed it, but then he said, “Really, you only need one and that is you ought to conduct yourself as a Christian gentleman.” And by the way, these are student-affirmed and student-enforced in both cases.

Here’s the way Jesus said it: Let your yes be yes and your no be no. Don’t be nuanced, trying to technically say the right thing but communicate the wrong thing or don’t say the right thing in the wrong way.

The way I try to say it is this: Say what you mean, mean what you say and never be mean when you say it. And that’s what I think Tillerson is saying, at least on the say what you mean and mean what you say.

LACK OF TRUST IN POLITICIANS IS THE NORM NOW

When a leader says something, it’s got to be trustworthy. It has become almost accepted fact the proverbial, “How do you know when a politician is lying? If he’s moving his mouth.” And, while that’s a joke, it is also a very sad joke.

It ought to be the exact opposite. Our first president, now, whether he actually cut down that cherry tree or not and then turned himself in… but the fact that things like that develop around a man tells you something about the man. And the story of Abraham Lincoln, who walked all those miles to return the coin because it wasn’t his — the stories abound of the truthfulness and trustworthiness.

You can’t be trustworthy if you can’t tell the truth and one of the things that is so important for a country such as this one that is based upon law is that, if you lose trust in those who lead you, then everything goes wobbly.

TRUST IN LEADERSHIP VS LEADERSHIP CRISIS

Well, how do you attempt to undo the wobbliness? Well, what happens in a country like ours is the same thing that happens in a family and the same thing that happens in a business and, by the way — since I’m a pastor — the same thing that happens in a church. If you lose trust in the soul and the gravitas and the truthfulness of your leaders and your leadership, once you lose that trust, the next step is to multiply legislation and regulations in order to attempt to maintain order.

And so, what do you see in our country now? You see reems and reems and reems of regulations, and legislations and lawsuits and that’s how the country now tries to maintain order. It used to be you didn’t need a 20-page contract — it was a handshake.

It used to be you could just write it out on a page and, “Is that what you said?” “Yeah, that’s what I said,” “Is that what you said?” “Yeah.” “Alright, let’s sign it.” You didn’t have to have 15 different statements for 13 different agencies to sign and seal and get a notary in order to cover any possible loopholes when the reality is, once you get into legislation and regulation to cover loopholes because people aren’t trustworthy, well, those same people just create more loopholes and now you’ve multiplied more legislation and regulation.

If a company, if a church, if a family has leaders that are trustworthy and that speak the truth, are reliable and you know that, what they’re saying, they actually say what they mean, mean what they say and would never be mean when they say it, then you don’t need all of those regulations and you don’t need all of that legislation and you certainly don’t need all of the lawsuits in order to try to restrain people.

Therefore, Mr. Tillerson’s statement is that a nation goes wobbly if its leaders do not speak the truth and speak the truth in terms of what actually is really happening — this is reality, we don’t have an alternate reality that we’re trying to create verbally. Here is what’s happening, here are the facts and then people are trustworthy to affirm them and to report them.

INTEGRITY-FILLED JOURNALISTS ARE CRITICAL, TOO

By the way, not only in the three branches of our government do we need that kind of leadership — in the judicial, in the legislative and in the executive branch on the local, state and national level — but, Tom, we need it in what many have called the fourth estate of our government and that is journalism.

To have journalists who do their work well and report facts factually, that is also a blessing. And our founding fathers knew that was important, which is why they created the freedom of the press to hold people accountable and the free practice of religion to mature and maintain our freedoms and call people to truthfulness and trustworthiness.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.

 

2 days 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)

2 days ago

It’s your fault! Decatur Daily, TimesDaily blame Alabama, not illegal immigration for possible loss of US House seat

(W.Miller/YHN)

Alabama is in danger of losing one of its seven congressional seats, and it’s your fault.

That is according to a Wednesday editorial that appeared in two north Alabama newspapers, the Decatur Daily and Florence’s TimesDaily.

The editorial board of the Daily and the TimesDaily reacted to a lawsuit filed by the state of Alabama and Rep. Mo Brooks’ (R-Huntsville) against the U.S. Department of Commerce and the U.S. Census Bureau announced a day earlier. The goal of the suit is to stop illegal immigrants from being counted in the 2020 census. If they are included, it could mean the loss of a congressional seat for Alabama after the data is compiled and the U.S. House seats are apportioned.

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According to the editorial, Alabama only has itself to blame if it loses a House seat given the tack the state has taken on illegal immigration, which it argued sent the wrong message to legal immigrants.

“The rest of the South is booming, and Alabama is the only state in the Deep South that looks likely to lose a congressional seat following the 2020 census. There is a reason for this: In 2011, the state Legislature passed HB 56, a draconian measure aimed at “illegal immigration.” The law had the net effect of making Alabama look inhospitable to immigrants legal and illegal.”

There’s no question HB had its problems. It was hastily conceived legislation, and it was destined to fail in the long run because it couldn’t pass muster with the courts.

However, if the message sent from Alabama’s tough stance on immigration is to blame, why isn’t Arizona in danger of losing one of its nine congressional seats for the similar immigration legislation it passed in 2010?

Arizona’s SB 1070 had much more of the national spotlight than Alabama’s HB 56. We all remember then-Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (R) tangling with President Barack Obama on the tarmac at the airport in Phoenix.

Instead, Arizona is expected to gain a seat after the 2020 Census according to Bloomberg.

So much for that theory.

Beyond that incorrect assumption, this editorial is just wrong in its key criticism that Alabama was in need of improvement on how “inviting” it has made itself to immigrants.

“Instead of suing the federal government, Alabama should instead work on making itself inviting to immigrants from abroad,” the editorial added. “Otherwise, in another 10 years, it may fall even further behind the rest of the country.”

Alabamians have welcomed Hispanic immigrants to its state. A trip through Franklin County’s Russellville or Marshall County’s Albertville doesn’t seem to suggest Alabama has closed its doors to them.

The Decatur Daily and TimesDaily make the dubious claim that all people in a congressional district, legal or illegal, are constitutionally guaranteed representation and therefore Alabama and Mo Brooks don’t have a legitimate gripe. But what it ignores is why Alabamians take issue with the federal government’s handling of immigration.

A mass influx of immigrants may make newspaper editors feel good about themselves, as they drive to and from the newspaper office while listening to the intellectual ramblings over the airwaves of Alabama Public Radio.

“Ah, if our state could only be as enlightened about humanity as we are!”

Immigration policy has a significant impact on the existing communities. Schools and infrastructure are often overwhelmed, public safety concerns are increased given any new population requires police and fire protection, and on and on.

How is any of this addressed by blaming voters for electing politicians that run on frustrations with immigration? Is it wrong to challenge an advantage given to other states that encourage illegal immigration through sanctuary city and lax drivers license policies?

Rather than publish some left-wing screed that reads more like a column written by a sophomore for a college newspaper, consider things from the point of view of your readers. Consider the impact of immigration on the communities they have built and have lived in all their lives.

That doesn’t seem like too much of an ask for newspapers of record in two of Alabama’s biggest cities.

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

2 days ago

Audio: Jefferson County DA discusses Acton Bowen case, claims of police systemic bias, and more

(YHN)

Jefferson County District Attorney Mike Anderton appeared on “The Wake-Up Call with Baylor and Hannah” Tuesday to discuss claims of systemic bias made against U.S. police officers, the upcoming Jefferson County District Attorney election, the Acton Bowen case, the Hoover bus driver DUI incident, and much more.

Find hosts Baylor Cook and Hannah Hutson‘s daily podcast for “The Wake-Up Call presented by Yellowhammer News” on Youtube.

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2 days 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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2 days 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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Lt. Gov. candidate Will Ainsworth portrays career politicians as masked burglars in new anti corruption campaign ad

(Ainsworth Campaign)

Republican lieutenant governor candidate Will Ainsworth is airing a new campaign commercial that focuses on fighting government corruption and portrays career politicians as masked burglars.

“This ad acknowledges that those who steal from others to enrich themselves are criminals whether they wear a ski mask in a bank or a suit and tie in the Alabama State House,” Ainsworth said. “Far too often, career politicians lose their perspective, become numb to corruption, and fall prey to the temptations that the political systems offers. As a newcomer to public service, that is why I sponsored term limit legislation in the Alabama House, and it is why I’ll help ensure that politicians who engage in corruption will experience the inside of a jail cell.”

The new campaign spot for Ainsworth, who sponsored term limit legislation as a first-term member of the Alabama House representing portions of Marshall, Blount, and DeKalb counties, is part of a massive $1.2 million media buy placed by his campaign and currently airs on network and cable stations across the state as well as in on-line digital and social media formats.

(Paid For By Friends of Will Ainsworth, 7520 Browns Valley Rd, Guntersville, AL 35976)

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2 days 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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2 days ago

How junk science puts innocent people in jail

(ReasonTV/YouTube)

On TV crime shows like “CSI,” “NCIS” and “Law & Order,” science gets the bad guys.

In real life, “science” often ensnares the innocent.

Former NYPD Detective Harry Houck gets annoyed when TV shows make forensic science look infallible.

“You watch a detective get down and look at a body (and say), ‘He’s been dead for three hours now… (H)e ate dinner four hours ago,'” scoffs Houck. “I can’t do that.”

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On TV, experts identify killers by their bite marks. In real life, experts claim they can do that.

The TV show “Cold Case Files” covered the trial of Alfred Swinton. He was convicted of murder because a bite-mark expert said his teeth matched a bite on the victim.

“A perfect match!” said Dr. Gus Karazulas, the “forensic odontologist” whose testimony clinched the conviction.

Karazulas sounded impartial and objective. “A forensic scientist is not on the side of the prosecutor or defense,” he said on “Cold Case Files.” “We look at the evidence.”

But Swinton was innocent. Lawyer Chris Fabricant helped get him released from jail by doing a DNA test, a much more reliable, less subjective form of science.

Fabricant scoffs at bite-mark testimony: “The doctor was just wrong. It’s an unreliable technique.”

The more room there is for an expert witness’s unique interpretation of the data, the more that can go wrong, says Fabricant. “Bite mark is similar to you and I looking at a cloud. I say to you, ‘John, doesn’t that cloud look like a rabbit?’ And you say, ‘Yeah, Chris, I think that does look like a rabbit.'”

That kind of junk science puts innocent people in jail.

I told Fabricant that I assumed most people in jail are guilty. Also, many people say crime is down because aggressive law enforcement has locked so many people up.

“If you think that maybe even 1 percent of convicted defendants may be innocent,” replied Fabricant, “we have 2.6 million people in prison today, (so) we are talking about tens of thousands of (innocent) people!”

Fabricant works with the Innocence Project, a group that works to get innocent people freed from prison. Through DNA evidence, the project’s lawyers have helped free 191 people.

That confident bite-mark expert who got Swinton convicted now admits he was wrong. “Bite mark evidence is junk science,” he told us via email. He resigned from the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.

But police still trust bite marks.

“Let’s say one tooth is missing in the front” of a bite mark, explains Houck. “You’ve got to go, well, our suspect’s got one tooth missing in the front. That’s pretty good!”

Houck says he’d demand other evidence. But not all cops do — especially when scientific “experts” say someone’s guilty.
Bite marks are just one dubious method police and prosecutors use.

FBI researchers claim fingerprints are right more than 99 percent of the time. But that still leaves plenty of wrongful convictions.

After terrorists killed 193 people in Madrid, the FBI matched a fingerprint on a terrorist’s bag to a man in Oregon named Brandon Mayfield. They arrested him. But Mayfield was innocent. Weeks later, Spanish investigators compared the prints more carefully and found the real terrorist.

Other techniques are even less accurate: carpet-fiber evidence, gun tracing, use of psychics, hair matching.

“A dog hair was associated wrongfully with a human hair,” says Fabricant. “Since the turn of this century, there have been 75 wrongful convictions (based on hair matches).”

Why do judges and lawyers accept such dubious evidence?

“We all went to law school because we don’t know science, we don’t know math,” he replied. “If somebody comes in in a white lab coat, and says, ‘I’ve been accredited by the American Board of Forensic Odontology,’ that’s good enough for government work.”

That shouldn’t be. Too much is at stake.

Jurors tend to believe people who call themselves “scientists.”

Judges should be more skeptical. They should ban junk science from courtrooms.

John Stossel is author of “No They Can’t! Why Government Fails — But Individuals Succeed.”

(JFS Productions, copyright 2018)

2 days ago

Birmingham Legion FC announces Post Consumer Brands as first corporate sponsor

(Legion)

Birmingham Legion FC today announced Minnesota-based Post Consumer Brands – producers of such cereals such as Honey Bunches of Oats, Pebbles and Malt O Meal Bag Cereal – as the club’s first corporate sponsor for its inaugural 2019 season.

“Legion FC is proud to partner with such a community-oriented company as Post Consumer Brands,” said President and GM, Jay Heaps. “We believe this partnership will allow us to continue to build a strong bond in our community.”

“Post Consumer Brands is excited to partner with Legion FC via a co-op opportunity with local Piggly Wiggly franchise owners,” said David Kearney, senior account manager for Post Consumer Brands. “Partnering with Legion FC is a meaningful way for us to connect with soccer fans of all ages and backgrounds. We are looking forward to working with Legion FC going forward and supporting a top-level soccer team in Birmingham that we really feel the community is going to embrace and get behind.”

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As part of the partnership, Legion FC and Post Consumer Brands will host a free soccer clinic for children, with information forthcoming. Specifics surrounding additional corporate sponsorships – including the club’s title sponsor – will be released as details are finalized.

Legion FC will play their first season in 2019 at the soon to be renovated stadium at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Season ticket deposits for the inaugural season can be made by visiting bhmlegion.com. Fans are encouraged to follow Legion FC via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter by using the handle @bhmlegion.

About Post Consumer Brands

Post Consumer Brands is a subsidiary of Post Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: POST), formed from the consolidation of Post Foods and MOM Brands in May 2015. Headquartered in Lakeville, Minn., Post Consumer Brands today is the third largest cereal company in the United States, with the broadest portfolio in the industry — from iconic household name brands and value ready-to-eat cereals to natural/organic and hot cereal varieties. As a company committed to high standards of quality and to our values, we are driven by one idea: To make better happen every day. For more information about our brands, visit this link

2 days ago

Dr. Sebastian Gorka joins “The Weekend Briefing with Kyle Morris”

(Fox News/YouTube)

Dr. Sebastian Gorka is a Fox News national security strategist, a former deputy assistant to President Trump, and a New York Times best selling author.

Last Saturday, Dr. Gorka joined “The Weekend Briefing with Kyle Morris” to discuss the horrific school shooting in Santa Fe, Texas, the upcoming North Korea Summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un, his book Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War and his latest book, Why We Fight: Recovering America’s Will to Win, which is now available for pre-order.

You can purchase Defeating Jihad: The Winnable War here.
Pre-order Why We Fight: Recovering America’s Will to Win here.

@RealKyleMorris is a Yellowhammer News contributor and host of The Weekend Briefing that airs noon-2 p.m. Saturdays on 101.1 WDYE

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2 days ago

7 Things: Alabama sues over illegals, Trump thinks N. Korean summit may not happen, Ainsworth has strong words for Gov. Ivey, and more

(U.S. Customs and Border Protection/Flickr)

1. Alabama’s Attorney General and Congressman Mo Brooks sue the federal government to stop the counting of illegals in the next census

— Democrats demand illegals continue to come into the country; they continue to want them counted for federal dollars and representation allocation.

— AG Marshall and Brooks believe that Alabama will lose a Congressional seat of the allocation if they are counted this way. They argue that statutes “require a census enumeration of the total of legally present resident population” instead of all people present.

2. President Trump says the summit with Kim Jung-un might not happen

— The summit is scheduled for next month but tensions between the South Koreans and North Koreans have bubbled up recently.

— Trump said there is a “substantial chance” the summit does not go down as scheduled; North Korean negotiators did not show for a planning trip two weeks ago.

3. State Representative and candidate for Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth says Gov. Kay Ivey will have “blood on her hands

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— Ainsworth has called on Gov. Ivey to call a special session now that her special committee on school safety has been completed.

— Speaking on the radio Tuesday morning Ainsworth said, “I want to be real clear on this, if the Legislature and specifically Governor Kay Ivey does not do anything before school starts back in the fall and there ends up being an incident or accident, the blood is on her hands.”

4. Vicious murderer could be paroled today, but Governor and Attorney General oppose

— Judith Ann Neelley and her husband chained 13-year-old Lisa Ann Millican to a bed, raped, beat her, injected drain cleaner into her, shot the girl in the back and tossed her body over a ledge, but Gov. Fob James commuted her death sentence, setting her up for a parole hearing today.

—Alabama’s Governor and AG have both have spoken out against the option of paroling Neelley; Marshall said she, “is not someone who needs to be out.”

5. Blue wave continues to wane, could be breaking at just the right time

— For the first time since the Reuters poll was taken, Republicans are leading Democrats when asked, “Thinking about the elections in 2018, if the election for U.S. Congress were held today, would you vote for the Democratic candidate or the Republican candidate in your district where you live?”

— 67 percent of Americans also view the job market for a quality job as “good”, which is the highest percentage since 2001.

6. Alabama school can’t punish kids for chanting racial slurs, but the NAACP wants them to

— Five white males are seen in a 32-second video chanting and spelling the n-word, and saying “To hell with the NAACP.”

— The Phenix City Schools superintendent says there is no connection to local area schools so there is nothing they can do.

7. School shooter’s father declares, “My son, to me, is not a criminal, he’s a victim

— Antonios Pagourtzis believes his son was the victim of bullying, saying “Something must have happened now, this last week.”

— He also appeared to put some of the blame on himself saying, “The kid didn’t own guns, I owned guns.” There are plenty of people who want to hold him accountable.

2 days 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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2 days 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.

2 days 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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U.S. Rep. Roby: House passes VA Bill, funds Choice Program

(U.S. VA/Flickr)

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed S. 2372, the VA MISSION Act, taking another critical step towards fulfilling our promise to make the Department of Veterans Affairs work for the men and women who have selflessly served our great nation. I was proud to support the legislation, and I am very pleased that it addresses a number of important pieces of the large VA puzzle.

First and foremost, the VA MISSION Act extends and makes permanent funding for the VA Choice Program that many veterans depend on to receive care. You may have heard that Choice funding was set to expire at the end of May, and this bill prevents that from happening. In both densely populated and rural states alike, it can be very challenging for the VA medical centers to properly care for all veterans in a timely fashion, particularly when specialists are required. The Choice Program is an attempt to bridge this gap by allowing veterans to access private-sector care at VA expense if they have to wait longer than 30 days for a VA appointment or if they live more than 40 miles from a VA health care facility. It has been recorded that 550,000 veterans have used Choice so far this year, and in 2017, 14,790 Alabamians enrolled. Therefore, I am extremely glad that the House has taken action to ensure that this important program is funded.

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Secondly, the VA MISSION Act expands the VA’s Post-9/11 Caregiver Program to include veterans of all eras. Currently, only caregivers of veterans from the post-9/11 era are eligible for monthly stipends through the VA, and I believe expanding this program to caregivers of veterans from all eras will help ensure that more veterans receive the help they need.

Finally, officials at the VA have said that their current physical footprint includes “hundreds of outdated or obsolete facilities,” and many of these facilities are often not in close proximity to large veteran populations. This is a gross waste and misuse of precious resources. Congressman Phil Roe, the Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs and author of the VA MISSION Act, said he believes a process free from bureaucratic politics is needed “to fix the massive and misaligned footprint” of the VA. The bill directs President Trump to establish a team to review the current VA operations across the country and make recommendations about ways we can modernize, improve, and streamline facilities and the services they provide. We can do better than this for our veterans, and I believe we will.

Before the House voted on the bill, 38 veterans groups issued a letter of support for the legislation and called it “a major step towards making improvements to and investments in the VA health care system… so that veterans have access to care when and where they need it.” I agree, and I believe this bill will improve the lives of veterans. Fortunately, I believe the Senate will act quickly on this important piece of legislation, and the President has suggested he will waste no time signing it into law.

You know as well as I do there’s no “quick fix” for the problems plaguing the VA – of course, I wish there was. Nonetheless, I will continue to support commonsense measures like the VA MISSION Act to deliver positive change for veterans. I have heard from countless veterans in Alabama’s Second District about the continued need for VA changes to improve the care they receive. We owe the men and women who have served our country the absolute best care possible, and I won’t stop fighting to achieve this. I hope we will soon see the VA MISSION Act signed into law.

U.S. Rep. Martha Roby is a Republican from Montgomery.

3 days ago

Is Starbucks going crazy? Amanda Head explains!

On this edition of the Final 30, we talk with Amanda Head about a “small world” situation, we cover Spotify and their new non-hate policy, and we cover another edition of Starbucks’ bias.

Does your project require the highest level of electrical engineering certainty and integrity available? McCutcheon’s Licensed Professional Engineering services provide this level of service. We can provide initial project visualization, equipment selection, drawings, code compliance, risk assessment and modernization planning that directly affect project success by removing the possibility of rework and change orders.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

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3 days ago

Alabama voters may elect controversial Jim Bonner because they think he’s someone else

(Facebook, Wikicommons)

Winning elections requires a strategy, and few strategies garner results like having a famous name.

Jim Bonner, a controversial candidate for Alabama Public Service Commission, Place 1, is showing promise as he leads his 6-year incumbent competitor among some Alabama voters, particularly those who used to be represented in Congress by Jo Bonner of Mobile.

Recent data published by Cygnal, a Montgomery-based polling firm, indicates that Jim Bonner leads current commissioner Jeremy Oden 28 percent to 6 percent in the Mobile area.

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“What makes this particular race so interesting is that Jim Bonner is benefiting greatly from having the same last name as the former Congressman Jo Bonner and his well-known sister former Judy Bonner,” Cygnal’s president, Brent Buchanan, said in a press release.

Jim Bonner has no apparent relation to Jo Bonner, but that doesn’t matter much.

“It appears from the data that this PSC race is within the margin of error strictly because of name confusion,” Buchanan said. “Jim Bonner is competitive across the state despite the fact that he has spent no money on advertising or building his name ID. Given what is expected to be a low turnout election, Jim Bonner would be favored to win this race if it were held today.”

In his own media market of Huntsville, Oden leads Bonner 25 percent to 9 percent, reinforcing the evidence that Bonner’s name “recognition” down on the coast is helping him in the polls.

What also makes this particular race so interesting, perhaps more so than the wonky polling data, is Jim Bonner himself.

On Monday, Alabama Political Reporter published this story including some of Bonner’s Facebook posts, wherein he makes a joke about the Holocaust and some unsavory comments about, presumably, an unnamed woman.

In response to the Reporter story, Bonner apparently deleted the posts and took to Facebook, writing, “Looks like my facebook posts have made some liberals mad.. NEWSFLASH : All my facebook posts are intended to make liberals mad !”

The highly-questionable posts add another layer of meaning to the conclusion that Alabama probably doesn’t know what it’s getting if it elects Jim Bonner.

Cygnal conducted its survey of 623 likely Republican primary voters between May 14 – 16, 2018.

@jeremywbeaman is a contributing writer for Yellowhammer News

3 days ago

State Rep. Ainsworth on Gov. Ivey: ‘The blood is on her hands’ if we have Alabama school gun incident

(Will Ainsworth for Lt. Governor)

Gov. Kay Ivey convened a committee to study school security in the wake of the massacre at Marjory Douglas High School and the committee found that we need more school resource officers and buildings that are harder to get into.

These no-brainer solutions require funding and planning, two things no government is good at. Bottom line: there is no way these things get implemented anytime soon. But Alabama already has a model in place for allowing trained teachers to carry in classrooms, it just needs an approval from the Legislature and a signature from the governor.

State Representative Will Ainsworth isn’t holding back his criticism of Gov. Ivey’s handling of this:

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“The reason I called for [a special session] Friday after the shooting, and really it’s too late, we should have done it last session when we actually had legislation and we had the opportunity. And so, we got an opportunity with the Legislature, the governor has an opportunity to fix the problem. She’s got the study back, and I want to be real clear on this, if the Legislature and specifically Governor Kay Ivey does not do anything before school starts back in the fall and there ends up being an incident or accident, the blood is on her hands.”

Why this matters: Ainsworth is completely correct. There has been a complete lack of action on this issue in the state of Alabama and elsewhere. Florida acted after the shooting in Parkland, and Texas will do SOMETHING after the shooting in Sante Fe. To say that the outcomes of these responses are appropriate is debatable. But we are not required to wait until after we have our own funerals because of a mass shooting event at an Alabama school before we do something.

Listen to the interview here:

3 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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3 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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Government branches must hold each other accountable, not circumvent each other

(USA.gov)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:

FBI AND JUDICIAL SECRETS UNEARTHED – WHAT NOW?

TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, last week, a report was released by The New York Times which revealed that, under the FBI director James Comey’s leadership, they used a secret program that does not require the approval of a judge to gather phone records and other documents on Donald Trump’s presidential campaign.

The FBI ordered phone records and other documents using national security letters, a secret type of subpoena, officials said, and at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page — Carter Page — and Mr. Papadopoulos.

That has become a politically contentious point with Mr. Trump’s allies who are questioning whether the FBI was spying on the Trump campaign and trying to entrap campaign officials.

The national security letters are controversial, in part, because they carry the force of the law but are created entirely outside of the judicial system. To issue one, an FBI official needs to attest that the information sought is relevant to a national security investigation. The letters have also been criticized because they are shrouded in secrecy.

Harry, we have three distinct branches of government — judicial, congressional and executive. Is this a breaching of those three separate branches of government?

DR. REEDER: Not so much breach, I would say, as to circumvent. Tom, when I was in the ninth grade, I have to confess I was not all that interested as I should have been in my studies, but there was one little bright star in all of this and that was Robert Woodburn — I still remember him today — who was my Civics teacher in the ninth grade. I just got drawn into it.

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FOUNDING FATHERS’ “AMERICAN EXPERIMENT” 

I was amazed at our founding fathers who had just made it very clear that they were carrying out this American experiment by, first, we’re not going to have a monarchy where one man rules and, therefore, his tyranny in the accumulation of power, and we’re not going to have an oligarchy were the elite rule in their accumulation of power and money and wealth and we’re not going to have a democracy where a mob can rule. What we’re going to have is a republic where it is a people who are agreed that, in their local government, their state government and their federal government, we will be ruled by law and, therefore, it is the law that is king.

And then, to carry out that law or to make that law or to amend that law, there would be three branches of government. There would be the executive branch of government, which executes the law as it exists; there would be the judicial branches of government that would govern and would make rulings based upon the law and rulings concerning the lawfulness of any other proposed law in terms of the existing law; and then, finally, there would be the legislative which upholds the law, makes amendments to the law or bring forth any new law. And all of these would be accountable to their vows to the Constitution of the United States.

The executive branch of government would be elected, the legislative branch of government would be elected and then the executive and the legislative would bring forth the nominees for those who would be judges and, in some states, those judge positions where also elected — others, they would be appointed by those who had been elected in the executive and legislative branch.

Now, having put all that together in those brief moments, you have to realize that was to be implemented, to some degree, on all three levels: the local level where you would have mayors and you would have councils and you would have local judges; and then you would have it on a state level where you’d have a governor and state legislatures and state judges as well as state supreme courts; and then you would have it on the national level. Tom, part of the genius, also, was that these were not hierarchical but interdependent and accountable to each other.

Tom, there are two things that we see breached in this article that you’ve pointed out and first is how the executive branch, or runaway branches of the executive branch, attempt to circumvent the role of the judicial and then how the legislative abandons their responsibility to hold all of them accountable.

CONGRESSIONAL HEARINGS ARE IMPORTANT, BUT ARE BEING ABUSED

Today, when we hear that the Congress is going to have a congressional hearing, what we basically think about is a sideshow in which various congressmen will use the opportunity to declare their talking points and lay out their next campaign and be able to make a name for themselves in what they question and how they question.

In reality, it was not there for a platform to promote our congressional members, but it was there for them to exercise oversight. They might have to have congressional hearings concerning the judicial branch or they might have to have congressional hearings concerning local and state governments on movements in the nation that need to be investigated in terms of any legislative impact. And there were congressional hearings for the executive branch, as well.

DO SPECIAL COUNSELS HELP OR HURT?

These are not moments for a showtime; these are moments to really hold people accountable: are you acting within your constitutional boundaries? I think you have said it before, most insightfully, these special prosecutors, I believe as you do, is not a good thing to do for various reasons.

Once you cut these special counsels loose and their investigative teams, with the powers of subpoena, the things that they have, they’re going to find something to validate what they’re doing and they can always argue, “I need to go down this trail because this may help me find what is happening over here that I was actually commissioned to do and investigate, but I need to investigate this because it may open up doors over here.”

Well, now they’re uncovering other things in the lives of people and in the past of people and they’re making it public and that becomes a political football to toss around. The special prosecutor is simply a statement of the cowardice or the ineptness of Congress to do their job in congressional hearings.

LET’S HOLD THESE EGREGIOUS BRANCH ACTIONS ACCOUNTABLE

Now, if there’s ever any place for clarity — moral clarity and legal clarity — it’s in the investigations that have and are and need to take place from Congress concerning how the FBI has been conducting itself and they also need to investigate how the IRS has been conducting itself.

Both have engaged in behavior that is punitive, oppressive and beyond the scope of their responsibilities but you need a Congress that will do its job, and then you need a judicial branch that will do its job and the executive branch needs to be accountable to the legislative body. And, once again, these congressional hearings have been the mechanism whereby that was supposed to be accomplished.

TOMORROW: REX TILLERSON GIVES WISE COMMENCEMENT ADVICE

TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on tomorrow’s edition of Today in Perspective, I want to take you to a little town in Virginia — Lexington, Virginia — where a lot of American history has taken place. Former Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was asked to talk to the graduates of VMI last week.

DR. REEDER: He made a comment that I think is extremely important to understand and, I believe, affirm what he said. Tom, can I also just finish up today’s program by mentioning this: the accountability that’s built into our government is an accountability we all need.

NOT JUST GOVERNMENT THAT NEEDS ACCOUNTABILITY 

There are three guys I’ve been with now for 34 years in an accountability relationship. I’ve got accountability to my wife, I’ve got accountability to my family, I’ve got accountability to those whom I work with and my elders and I believe this is very important, as you and I attempt to grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.

Accountability in life as well as accountability in government, that is a great principle but, most of all, I need to know that I am accountable to the Lord. My dear friends, I want you to know — and the other day they came out with a statement — that, once you put something in the digital world, it never goes away. You can find it and you can be held accountable.

Here’s what the Lord has said: “We give an account for every word and every action. How can I stand before a holy God Who will, by no means, leave the guilty unpunished and I’m accountable and will stand before Him because it is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgment?”

Well, let me tell you the way — the way is to come to Jesus Christ, Who will remove all of the guilt and shame by having taken our judgement for us at the cross and can set you on a new life where you come before the Lord, not as a criminal at the judgment seat, but as a son and a daughter able to affirm the stewardship of new life in Jesus Christ. Come to the One who sits at the judgment seat. He’s already come and He went to the cross for you.

Dr. Harry L. Reeder III is the Senior Pastor of Briarwood Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

This podcast was transcribed by Jessica Havin, editorial assistant for Yellowhammer News, who has transcribed some of the top podcasts in the country and whose work has been featured in a New York Times Bestseller.