The Wire

  • Marsh donates to border wall construction fund

    Excerpt:

    As a demonstration of his commitment to border security, Alabama Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh (R-Anniston) has personally donated to an online campaign to fund the construction of a wall on America’s southern border.

    “It is obvious that we cannot rely on politicians in Washington to do their job,” Marsh said in a statement to Yellowhammer News. “I have always believed that controlling our borders and our national security is of the utmost importance which is why I supported immigration reform in Alabama in 2011 and why today, I am putting my money where my mouth is and personally donating to build the wall.”

  • Brooks urges State of the Union be held in Senate chamber

    Excerpt:

    On Thursday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) and House colleagues sent a letter to President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) proposing the president’s annual State of the Union Address be held in the Senate chamber in light of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s historic move to revoke Trump’s invitation to deliver the address.

    In the letter, Brooks and his House colleagues explained, “Holding the State of the Union in the Senate Chamber is the best way to reveal the veracity of Speaker Pelosi’s alleged once-in-history reason for [canceling] or postponing the State of the Union.”

  • Mo Brooks baffled by Pelosi’s ‘shameless’ move to cancel Trump’s State of the Union

    Excerpt:

    After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Wednesday “suggested” to President Donald Trump that America’s annual State of the Union Address either be canceled and replaced by written remarks or postponed until after Washington, D.C. has ended the current partial government shutdown, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) slammed Pelosi’s “childish, partisan, political stunt.”

    In a statement, Brooks said that Pelosi is using the State of the Union Address as both a political bargaining chip and to muffle the president during the southern border crisis and funding negotiations.

2 days ago

7 Things: Shutdown day 27 sees Pelosi cancel Trump’s SOTU, Giuliani backtracks on collusion, former Rep. Ed Henry pleads guilty to one charge, and more …

(N. Pelosi/Flickr)

7. Airbus adding 400 new jobs and investing $300 million in Alabama, making Mobile the fourth largest aircraft manufacturer

— Airbus will begin building the A220 aircraft, the newest offering in Airbus. The state kicked assistance for Airbus to get the jobs in the form of support from AIDT, the state’s primary workforce development agency.

— Governor Kay Ivey pointed out that this is great for Alabama, now and in the future, because it will “strengthen the bonds that have developed between the global aerospace company and our state. Alabama has a long history in flight and, as this project shows, a bright future in the aviation industry.”

6. Alabama’s former quarterback Jalen Hurts chooses to transfer to Oklahoma

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— In an expected move, Alabama lost the best backup QB in the nation to the Oklahoma Sooners for his senior season. As a graduate transfer, he can play immediately.

— Hurts, the consummate team player, took to a backup role for Alabama after Tua Tagovailoa took the reins and helped Alabama to a national title over Georgia. He wrote Alabama fans a letter thanking them for their support.

5. Four Americans are killed in Syria — two soldiers and two civilians; Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) wonders if our withdrawal emboldens our enemies

— ISIS has claimed responsibility for the deadly explosion while conducting a routine patrol. It killed eight people in total.

— Graham’s criticism echoes the criticism conservatives leveled at President Barack Obama when he pulled troops from Iraq prematurely. He said, “My concern, by the statements made by President Trump, is that you set in motion enthusiasm by the enemy we’re fighting. You make people we’re trying to help wonder about us. And as they get bolder, the people we’re trying to help are going to get more uncertain. I saw this in Iraq. And I’m now seeing it in Syria.”

4. Another caravan crosses into Guatemala to head towards the United States after other caravans are seen as successes

— This migrant caravan formed in Honduras and plans to seek sanctuary in either Mexico or the United States. It could number up to 2,000 people.

— This caravan, like the other caravans that have headed to the United States, is being declared a group of refugees, but a member of the caravan admitted they are heading to the U.S. for work, saying, “We are going out of necessity, because of the poverty.”

3. Former State Rep. Ed Henry officially pleads guilty

— Henry pleaded to one charge of theft of government property. In exchange, prosecutors dismissed all 17 counts of a previous indictment that included conspiracy and violation of an anti-kickback law.

— Prosecutors said Henry had deals with doctors to waive Medicare co-pays and then reimburse Henry’s company for services that prosecutors believe patients would decline had they been required to pay the co-payments.

2. Trump’s spokesperson appears to backtrack on claims that there was no collusion with the Trump campaign and Russia

— In an appearance on CNN last night, Rudy GiulianI claimed, “I never said there was no collusion between the campaign or between people in the campaign.”

— This could be a sloppy media appearance or it could be an acknowledgment that someone in the Trump campaign did something wrong with Russia. Either way, this will be dissected along with Giuliani’s previous comments.

1. As we enter day 27 of the government shutdown, the president met with the bipartisan “Problem Solver Caucus” as Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) cancels the State of the Union

— The meeting was held at the White House with Sarah Huckabee Sanders saying, “The president and his team had a constructive meeting with bipartisan members of the problem solvers caucus.” Democrats declared a real “conversation can only begin in earnest once the government is reopened.”

— Pelosi’s aggressive decision to cancel the SOTU is being met with resistance from Alabama Congressman Mo Brooks (R-Huntsville) and from within her own party. Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) says it is the “wrong approach,” adding, “Where I come from in West Virginia we just don’t act this way.”

2 days ago

Alabama county commissioners group head: New gas tax revenue must go directly to roads — asphalt and concrete

(Twitter/ACCA)

In an appearance on Huntsville radio’s WVNN on Wednesday, Association of County Commissions of Alabama executive director Sonny Brasfield reiterated his plea for the state legislature to consider raising the gas tax.

Brasfield acknowledged that transparency and accountability must be elements of any proposal.

He also argued the new revenues should be mandated solely for roads and not equipment or personnel.

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“What we heard in 2017 and we tried to be very responsive to that, and there were a number of people who during this election in the House and Senate, candidates who were not afraid to say they were in favor of infrastructure improvements, is that we said this money has got to be more transparent, and this new money has got to be more accountable,” Brasfield said on “The Jeff Poor Show.” “From our association is what we’re promoting is that the county portion of this money, and I think you’ll see it handle in the state portion and city portion as well, needs to be accounted for separately from all other gas tax funds.”

“We need to ensure that money doesn’t go to salaries,” he continued. “It doesn’t go to equipment. The money goes directly on the roads in asphalt and concrete. And the response from the public has been much more positive when they know we’re not just trying to do the same old thing with this new money, that we recognize that if we’re going to ask for additional revenue, then we owe it to the voters, to the people that are going to be expecting the money out of their wallets, to ensure them the money is going to be put in a place where they can benefit from it. I think that is honestly changed the narrative on this issue.”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

2 days ago

Alabama Power, local officials partner to make downtown Montgomery a ‘Smart City’

(Contributed)

Wednesday, the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce along with Mayor Todd Strange, County Commission Chairman Elton Dean and Alabama Power Southern Division Vice President Leslie Sanders announced the creation of a Smart City Living Lab in downtown Montgomery.

In a press release, Alabama Power’s Sanders said, “We are proud to be a partner in this effort and leverage resources and technology that can help improve Montgomery for all residents. The benefit of reliable connectivity can be used to support a multitude of applications and ultimately deliver more for those who live in and visit Montgomery.”

The new project will feature fiber optic infrastructure, an expansion of the Open Data Portal, free public Wi-Fi in downtown areas, the conversion of street lights to LED, a public safety initiative and deployment of smart parking solutions for Alabama’s riverfront capital city, which is built on a dynamic history rooted in revolution as the center of both the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement.

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“Beginning with a ‘smart’ corridor from the capital to the riverfront, we are building a smart city from the ground up – using fiber and connectivity to seamlessly integrate into the existing environment, while providing a platform for the deployment of any number of smart city solutions,” Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce chairman Willie Durham explained.

Montgomery leaders announced that the smart corridor will be formalized through the creation of the Montgomery Smart Community Alliance, a public-private partnership focused on advancing smart city initiatives in the City of Montgomery.

As part of its work, the alliance is currently coordinating a smart community strategic plan to identify community priorities and solutions that address them, with several initiatives already underway.

Ongoing initiatives include:

  • The City of Montgomery launched its Open Data Portal in January 2017 and has already deployed several internal city initiatives to streamline processes and more efficiently and transparently track resources.
  • The Montgomery Internet Exchange (MGMix) – launched through a collaboration among Montgomery County, The City of Montgomery, research universities, Maxwell Gunter Air Force Base and the new Cyber College of the Air Force – is one of only four internet exchanges in the Southeast.
  • The Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce launched Phase I of the free public Wi-Fi network called “MGMWiFi” earlier this month, with plans to expand in the next few months.
  • Alabama Power is working to enhance energy infrastructure around the corridor and is also beginning the process of converting more than 22,000 street lights to LEDs to help improve public safety, increase uniformity, and create over $650,000 in savings over the next five years. Additional public safety and smart parking initiatives will follow.

Montgomery’s continued mission is to foster a business-friendly environment while understanding that a healthy mix of large and small businesses constitutes the lifeblood of the city and the River Region. The local chamber believes that a long history of trusted public-private partnership between the city, county, state and local business leadership creates an inviting business ecosystem.

“This is all about partnerships and leveraging resources to provide a sustainable, prosperous, equitable and inclusive future for all Montgomery residents. We are seeking to build a fabric of connectivity that can support a multitude of applications and services by utilizing the same communications platforms, thus creating efficiencies, saving costs, and ultimately delivering more for those living in and visiting Montgomery,” Strange advised.

Dean added, “Partnerships and shared goals have always been at the heart of Montgomery’s success, and today we again stand together and take a bold step towards a more prosperous future for our citizens.”

RELATED: Big changes coming to Montgomery in 2019

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

2 days ago

This year’s ‘Pastries with Palmer’ dates announced for Alabama’s 6th congressional district

(G. Palmer/Facebook)

On Wednesday, Congressman Gary Palmer (AL-6) announced the times for 2019 “Pastries with Palmer” meetings with constituents in his Washington, D.C. office.

“My staff and I are looking forward to welcoming many people from Alabama’s Sixth District to my office this year,” Palmer said in a press release. “We’ve been regularly hosting ‘Pastries with Palmer’ for a few years now and it always offers a unique opportunity to interact with constituents and hear from them about issues important to them.”

Palmer typically hosts “Pastries with Palmer” in his Capitol Hill office on the last Wednesday of every month’s legislative session. Meetings are a relaxed meet-and-greet time for constituents to enjoy fresh pastries and coffee with the congressman and his staff. The tradition started during Palmer’s first term in Congress and has become a favorite regular event among constituents of Alabama’s sixth congressional district.

The current dates and times for “Pastries with Palmer” as follows:

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January 30, 9:00 AM

February 27, 9:00 AM

March 27, 9:00 AM

April 11, 9:00 AM

May 22, 9:00 AM

June 26, 9:00 AM

July 25, 9:00 AM

September 25, 9:00 AM

October 30, 9:00 AM

November 20, 9:00 AM

December 11, 9:00 AM

Dates and time may vary, so it is recommended to call 202-225-4921 in advance for confirmation.

Palmer is serving as chair of the Republican Policy Committee in the newly convened 116th Congress, making him the House’s fifth highest ranking Republican.

He represents part or all of Jefferson, Shelby, Chilton, Coosa, Blount and Bibb Counties.

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

2 days ago

Mo Brooks baffled by Pelosi’s ‘shameless’ move to cancel Trump’s State of the Union

(M. Brooks, N. Pelosi/Facebook, White House/Flickr)

After House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) on Wednesday “suggested” to President Donald Trump that America’s annual State of the Union Address either be canceled and replaced by written remarks or postponed until after Washington, D.C. has ended the current partial government shutdown, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) slammed Pelosi’s “childish, partisan, political stunt.”

In a statement, Brooks said that Pelosi is using the State of the Union Address as both a political bargaining chip and to muffle the president during the southern border crisis and funding negotiations.

Brooks remarked, “House Speaker Pelosi’s letter is a childish, partisan, political stunt that undermines bipartisanship at a time America needs it the most. It is the height of hutzpah for Speaker Pelosi to feign concern for the President’s personal security during the State of the Union Address while callously showing no concern for the thousands of Americans who dies each year because of illegal aliens and America’s porous southern border.”

“Speaker Pelosi’s conduct is nothing more than a radical, hyper-partisan and shameless attempt to appease the Democrat Party’s Socialist base and childishly embarrass the President of the United States,” Brooks continued.

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“However unpleasant it may have been for conservative Republicans to listen to President Obama’s radical Socialist ideology, not once in six years did Republican leadership consider canceling President Obama’s State of the Union Address,” Brooks said. “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her radical Socialist base should show the same courtesy and maturity by treating President Trump the same way.”

He added, “It is one thing for Democrats and Republicans to vigorously disagree and advance conflicting beliefs. It is quite another to engage in hyper-partisan political stunts that may be the first in American history. Speaker Pelosi’s hyper-partisan political stunt confirms that Democrats who claimed bipartisanship during elections were simply mouthing the words in order to deceive the voting public and win election. In a word, Speaker Pelosi’s letter is ‘shameless.’”

“In a blow to Speaker Pelosi, a senior Department of Homeland Security official refuted Pelosi’s deceptive claim that security concerns justify her request to postpone or cancel the State of the Union Address. Speaker Pelosi and House Democrats not only never contacted Homeland Security or the Secret Service about this security red herring issue, both security agencies confirm they have been preparing for months and are ‘ready’ to secure the event,” Brooks concluded.Sean Ross is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 days ago

Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed named to national GOPAC advisory board

Sen. Greg Reed, Senate Majority Leader

Alabama Senate Majority Leader Greg Reed (R-Jasper) on Wednesday was named to GOPAC’s 2019 Legislative Leaders Advisory Board.

GOPAC is a federal 527 organization dedicated to educating and electing a new generation of Republican leaders.

In a statement to Yellowhammer News, Reed said, “GOPAC is committed to advancing ideas at the state and federal level that will spur job creation, rein in government spending, and ensure that future generations inherit a free and prosperous nation, so it is an honor to serve on GOPAC’s advisory board with legislative leaders from across the country.”

He added, “The exchange of policy ideas—hearing about what’s working in other states, and sharing what we have done well in Alabama—is tremendously valuable.”

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Members of the Legislative Leaders Advisory Board promote ideas they are championing by addressing elected officials, candidates and members at GOPAC events and via its digital program. In addition, they nominate a promising state legislator for the Emerging Leaders Program and provide updates on key legislative and political developments.

This is the second consecutive year that Reed has been tapped for this leadership position.

“Our Advisory Board Members are essential in our efforts to educate and elect leaders focused on Americans’ personal and economic security,” GOPAC Chairman David Avella said in a press release.

GOPAC describes its mission as follows:

Since 1978, GOPAC has been a force in America because we realize Republicans must champion the ideas that unite voters around a vision of creating jobs, getting government spending under control, making government more effective, and keeping America safe. This is why Republicans turn to GOPAC for coaching and best practices on effective ways to communicate conservative ideas and solutions.

GOPAC has proven success at building a healthy roster of prepared and tested Republican leaders ready to run for higher office. GOPAC is committed to identifying and supporting the next generation of Republican leaders by:

  • Advancing Free Market Conservatism: Each year GOPAC hosts three premium events to bring together legislative, industry, and community leaders to discuss conservative solutions to the challenges our country and states face. These multi-day conferences feature public policy briefings, issue discussions, leadership training, and networking opportunities.
  • Teaching Best Practices: GOPAC works with experienced political professionals to determine and teach effective campaign strategies through online video presentations known as “Imagine. Share. Impact.”
  • Teaming with Our Legislative Leaders Advisory Board: Composed of State Senate and House leadership, the Advisory Board helps promote the ideas and policies being implemented at the state level, as well as assist with electing a new generation of Republican leaders.
  • Analyzing Elections and Supporting Promising Candidates in Competitive Races: GOPAC provides financial support to promising Republican candidates in competitive federal, state, and local elections nationwide.

Reed was integral in the Alabama Senate Republican Caucus’ electoral success in the 2018 cycle.

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

3 days ago

Bradley Byrne: We need term limits

(Contributed)

On Wednesday, Congressman Bradley Byrne (AL-1) announced the introduction of a proposed amendment to the Constitution to impose term limits on members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.

House Joint Resolution 25 would amend the Constitution to limit Congressional service to six two-year House terms and two six-year Senate terms, or 12 years in each case.

The legislation has been referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary.

In a statement, Byrne said, “Seats in Congress belong to the American people, not any single elected official. Our Founding Fathers never expected individuals to make a career out of Congressional service, and term limits will allow us to keep fresh blood and ideas in the halls of Congress.”

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This is the latest action in Byrne’s long-standing pledge to support term limits, as he cosponsored similar amendments in the 113th, 114th, and 115th Congress.

“When I first ran for Congress, I pledged to support term limits, and I remain committed to that promise. I urge my colleagues in Congress to support this legislation to ensure the power remains with the people, not the government,” Byrne added.

Sign-up now for our daily newsletter and never miss another article from Yellowhammer News.

3 days ago

Auburn University’s online programs ranked among the best in the nation

(Auburn University/Facebook)

According to U.S. News & World Report’s 2019 Best Online Program rankings released on Tuesday, Auburn University’s online graduate programs are among the best in the nation.

The university’s online programs that received high marks include the Harbert College of Business’ MBA program at No. 9 and non-MBA, No. 13; Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, No. 12; and College of Education, No. 22

Harbert College was also ranked No. 5 on U.S. News & World Report’s list of Best Online MBA Programs for Veterans and No. 7 among the Best Online Graduate Business Programs for Veterans, while the College of Education ranks No. 6 among Best Online Education Programs for Veterans. The College of Engineering’s computer science and software engineering online program came in at No. 20 among Best Online Graduate Information Technology Programs.

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“Online education remains a vital part of our academic mission as we continue to build high-quality, competitive programs that support the changing needs of working professionals and students,” Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Bill Hardgrave said in a news release. “These rankings recognize our institution’s commitment to expanding educational access while maintaining the academic rigor and integrity of an Auburn degree.”

More than 300 online courses are taught each year by more than 150 Auburn faculty members. The university also offers three online undergraduate completer programs – a bachelor of science in business administration, an RN to BSN, and a bachelor of computer science – for students and professionals who have some college credits and want to complete their degrees with Auburn.

The data found in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings are based on each program’s reputation, admissions selectivity and faculty credentials, with some consideration of other factors that can improve online learning. The only programs considered for the rankings were those with required coursework that could be completed via distance education.

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

3 days ago

Roby: ‘I won’t stop fighting until our laws and policies protect life at every stage’

(Courtesy of Martha Roby/Twitter)

Representative Martha Roby (AL-2) spoke on the House floor Wednesday to commemorate the 2019 March for Life, which will take place in Washington, D.C. this Friday.

In her speech, Roby thanked and encouraged march participants and paid tribute to the unborn lives lost by abortion in the 45 years following the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision.

“45 years ago this month, the Supreme Court of the United States offered its infamous Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion on demand in this country,” Roby said. “Since that 1973 ruling, more than 60 million unborn children have had their lives terminated by abortion. To say this is a tragedy is an understatement.

“Our pro-life momentum is strong, especially during this time each year, but our work is far from being complete. I won’t stop fighting until our laws and policies protect life at every stage,” she emphasized.

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Watch:

The full text of Roby’s remarks as prepared follows:

Mr. Speaker, 45 years ago this month, the Supreme Court of the United States offered its infamous Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion on demand in this country.

While many abortion activists celebrate this anniversary as a victory for so-called “women’s health,” it represents a particularly somber occasion for those of us who advocate for life.

Since that 1973 ruling, more than 60 million unborn children in this country have had their lives terminated by abortion. To say this is a tragedy is an understatement.

Mr. Speaker, it is no secret that I am unapologetically pro-life. I believe life begins at conception and that we should work harder to build a culture that values life at every stage.

While not everyone shares my convictions about life or on certain policies surrounding rights of unborn children, our pro-life momentum is still strong.

This Friday, thousands of Americans will gather just outside this building on the National Mall to participate in this year’s March for Life, an annual event where the pro-life community comes together to advocate for the lives and rights of unborn children.

Some of the activists gathered here on Friday will have traveled from Alabama’s Second District, as far as 900 miles, to stand up for life.

So, Mr. Speaker, I want to take this opportunity to send a message to the thousands of pro-life marchers, especially those from Southeast Alabama I have the privilege of representing in Congress: Thank you for your dedication to this most worthy cause.
It is our responsibility to speak out for those who cannot yet speak for themselves. I am deeply grateful for your commitment to this incredibly important duty, and I, along with my pro-life colleagues here in Congress, stand with you.

My promise to you is that I will continue to use this platform that I have been given to be a vocal advocate for the unborn. I will continue to join you in defending the defenseless.

Our momentum is strong, especially during this time each year, but our work is far from being complete. I won’t stop fighting until our laws and policies protect life at every stage, and I hope you won’t either.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I yield back.

The 2019 March for Life schedule of events is available here.

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

3 days ago

Ivey, Airbus leaders break ground on Mobile’s A220 manufacturing facility

(Gov. Ivey/Twitter)

On Wednesday, Governor Kay Ivey joined leaders of Airbus, top local officials and others at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley for a groundbreaking ceremony to launch construction of the company’s new A220 aircraft manufacturing facility.

The assembly line is expected to satisfy the strong and growing U.S. demand for the A220 aircraft, the newest offering in Airbus’ commercial aircraft product line, and create more than 400 full-time jobs in Mobile.

“This is a great day for Mobile and for Alabama,” Ivey said in a press release. “Airbus’ growth plans will not only create new jobs for Alabamians but also strengthen the bonds that have developed between the global aerospace company and our state. Alabama has a long history in flight and, as this project shows, a bright future in the aviation industry.”

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Airbus CEO Tom Enders led the celebration and welcomed attendees including Airbus and other industry executives, Airbus manufacturing employees, state and national dignitaries and local community leaders.

Airbus manufactures A320 Family aircraft in Mobile, as well as helicopters and satellites elsewhere in the U.S. It also operates an engineering center in Mobile, as well other facilities across the nation.

Jeff Knittel, chairman and CEO of Airbus Americas, said that Airbus’ expansion in the United States reflects the company’s growing partnerships with customers, as well as with American supplier-partners and the communities in which the company operates across the U.S., like coastal Alabama.

“Our partnerships are growing again with the addition of an A220 manufacturing facility that will employ some 400 more employees at full rate,” Knittel outlined. “Together we’ve already put Mobile on the map in the world of global aviation, and together we are making a new mark for the future.”

The new assembly line, which is the company’s second U.S.-based commercial aircraft production facility, will be located at the Mobile Aeroplex at Brookley adjacent to the A320 Family production line and will facilitate assembly of A220-100 and A220-300 aircraft for U.S. customers.

Aircraft production is planned to begin in quarter three of this year, with first delivery of a Mobile-assembled A220 aircraft scheduled for 2020. The new A220 production facility will be complete by next year.

Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, said that the A220 assembly line project represents an important milestone for the state’s robust and expanding aerospace sector.

“Airbus’ decision to launch production of A220 aircraft at a new assembly line in Mobile will act as a powerful catalyst for sustained growth in an industrial sector that is key to Alabama’s future,” Canfield explained. “Airbus’ expanding presence in the Mobile aerospace cluster will spark significant job creation and spur additional aerospace investment in the region for many years.”

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

3 days ago

Mobile Chick-fil-A opens on a Sunday to grant boy’s wish

(WKRG/YouTube)

While Chick-fil-A is known for going above and beyond in serving customers, one franchise location in Mobile just steered their southern hospitality into unchartered territory.

“CBS This Morning” shared the story Tuesday in what has quickly become a viral Facebook post.

Elijah Sprague, a teenage boy with autism and cerebral palsy, dreamed of working at Chick-fil-A. So, to make his special wish come true, they opened on a Sunday for his 14th birthday celebration.

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Watch:

Elijah’s uncle manages the Mobile Chick-fil-A location on Airport Blvd. near University Blvd., and when he asked the owner if they could open up for the boy’s special day, the owner “said of course – they had to make Elijah’s dream come true,” the Facebook video outlined.

During this special Sunday service, approximately 40 friends were handed cookies by Elijah as they used the drive-through window.

Spending time with the people he loves while working at the restaurant he loves, Elijah had one very happy birthday. And, for a little boy that was given only a year to live at birth, his miracle story keeps on growing.

Now, his mom wanted to share this story to emphasize to people that kids with special needs are much more than that; their abilities outweigh their disabilities, and their love shines through.

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

3 days ago

Alabama House of Representatives releases committee assignments

(Wikicommons)

The Alabama House of Representatives released its standing committee assignments for all 105 of the chamber’s members on Tuesday as the March 5 start of the 2019 general session approaches.

This came the day after Inauguration Day, when Governor Kay Ivey said that this legislature has the unique chance to be the “most impactful” in the state’s storied history.

In a statement, Speaker of the House Mac McCutcheon (R-Monrovia) explained, “Most of the hard, complex, and important work of vetting and amending the measures that come before the House is completed in the trenches of the body’s standing committees.”

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“Each of our House members, Republican and Democrat alike, have unique insights, experience, and areas of expertise, and we worked hard to assign members to the committees that can best utilize their talents. I am confident that the members of our committees and the legislators who chair them will be prepared to go to work and carry out their duties when the Legislature convenes for the 2019 regular session on March 5,” McCutcheon said.

The assignments for the House’s 25 standing committees follow:

Rules
Chair: Rep. Mike Jones
Vice Chair: Rep. Paul Lee
Ranking Member: Rep. Barbara Boyd
Rep. David Faulkner
Rep. Victor Gaston
Rep. Ralph Howard
Rep. Ron Johnson
Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter
Rep. Jimmy Martin
Rep. Steve McMillan
Rep. Connie Rowe
Rep. David Standridge
Rep. Pebblin Warren
Rep. Randy Wood

Ways and Means Education
Chair: Rep. Bill Poole
Vice Chair: Danny Garrett
Ranking Member: Rep. Rod Scott
Rep. Alan Baker
Rep. Prince Chestnut
Rep. Terri Collins
Rep. Barbara Drummond
Rep. Corley Ellis
Rep. David Faulkner
Rep. Dexter Grimsely
Rep. Jamie Kiel
Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter
Rep. Joe Lovvorn
Rep. Steve McMillan
Rep. Debbie Wood

Ways and Means General Fund
Chair: Rep. Steve Clouse
Vice Chair: Rep. Kyle South
Ranking Member: Rep. Laura Hall
Rep. Napoleon Bracy
Rep. K.L Brown
Rep. Jim Carns
Rep. Victor Gaston
Rep. Lynn Greer
Rep. Kelvin Lawrence
Rep. Paul Lee
Rep. Arthur Mooney
Rep. Rex Reynolds
Rep. Chris Sells
Rep. Peblin Warren
Rep. Rich Wingo

Judiciary
Chair: Rep. Jim Hill
Vice Chair: Rep. Tim Wadsworth
Ranking Member: Rep. Thad McClammy
Rep. Wes Allen
Rep. Mike Ball
Rep. Prince Chestnut
Rep. Merika Coleman
Rep. Dickie Drake
Rep. Chris England
Rep. Allen Farley
Rep. David Faulkner
Rep. Matt Fridy
Rep. Mike Holmes
Rep. Phillip Pettus
Rep. Matt Simpson

Economic Development and Tourism
Chair: Rep. Becky Nordgren
Vice Chair: Rep. Ron Johnson
Ranking Member: Rep. Berry Forte
Rep. Chip Brown
Rep. Corey Harbison
Rep. Rolanda Hollis
Rep. Gil Isbell
Rep. Neil Rafferty
Rep. Ginny Shaver
Rep. Andy Whitt
Rep. Rep. Ritchie Whorton
Rep. Randy Wood

Education Policy
Chair: Rep. Terri Collins
Vice Chair: Rep. Danny Garrett
Ranking Member: Rep. Rodd Scott
Rep. Anthony Daniels
Rep. Will Dismukes
Rep. Barbara Drummond
Rep. Brett Easterbrook
Rep. Tracey Estes
Rep. Bob Fincher
Rep. Wes Kitchens
Rep. Tashina Morris
Rep. Kerry Rich
Rep. Proncey Robertson
Rep. Shane Stringer

Transportation, Utilities and Infrastructure
Chair: Rep. Lynn Greer
Vice Chair: Rep. Joe Faust
Ranking Member: Rep. A.J. McCampbell
Rep. Napoleon Bracy
Rep. Danny Crawford
Rep. Victor Gaston
Rep. Rolanda Hollis
Rep. Gil Isbell
Rep. Wes Kitchens
Rep. Parker Moore
Rep. Neil Rafferty
Rep. Randall Shedd
Rep. Margie Wilcox

Boards, Agencies and Commissions
Chair: Rep. Howard Sanderford
Vice Chair: Rep. Mike Holmes
Ranking Member: Rep. John Rogers
Rep. Napoleon Bracy
Rep. Steve Hurst
Rep. Parker Moore
Rep, Proncey Robertson
Rep. Jeff Sorrells
Rep. Scott Stadthagen

County and Municipal Government
Chair: Rep. Reed Ingram
Vice Chair: Rep. Margie Wilcox
Ranking Member: Rep. Barbara Boyd
Rep. Chris Blackshear
Rep. Adline Clarke
Rep. Danny Crawford
Rep. Steve Hurst
Rep. Sam Jones
Rep. Steve McMillan
Rep. Rodney Sullivan
Rep. David Wheeler
Rep. Debbie Wood

Ethics and Campaign Finance
Chair: Rep. Mike Ball
Vice Chair: Rep. Rich Wingo
Ranking Member: Rep. Thomas Jackson
Rep. Allan Farley
Rep. Berry Forte
Rep. Kirk Hatcher
Rep. Demitri Polizos
Rep. Rex Reynolds
Rep. Matt Simpson
Rep. Andrew Sorrell
Rep. Ritchie Whorton

Children and Senior Advocacy
Chair: Rep. K.L. Brown
Vice Chair: Rep. Randall Shedd
Ranking Member: Rep. Barbara Boyd
Rep. Jim Carns
Rep. Barbara Drummond
Rep. Tracey Estes
Rep. Tommy Hanes
Rep. Mary Moore
Rep. Ginny Shaver
Rep. Tim Wadsworth

Military and Veterans’ Affairs
Chair: Rep. Dickie Drake
Vice Chair: Rep. Connie Rowe
Ranking Member: Rep. Thad McClammy
Rep. Steve Clouse
Rep. Ralph Howard
Rep. Sam Jones
Rep. Phillip Petus
Rep. Allen Treadaway
Rep. Randy Wood

Insurance
Chair: Rep. Kerry Rich
Vice Chair: Rep. Corley Ellis
Ranking Member: Rep. Chris England
Rep. Chris Brown
Rep. Louise Alexander
Rep. Chip Brown
Rep. Anthony Daniels
Rep. Brett Easterbrook
Rep. David Faulkner
Rep. Jamie Kiel
Rep. Jimmy Martin
Rep. Kyle South
Rep. David Wheeler

Health
Chair: Rep. April Weaver
Vice Chair: Rep. Ron Johnson
Ranking Member: Rep. Laura Hall
Rep. Matt Fridy
Rep. Jeremy Gray
Rep. Paul Lee
Rep. Craig Lipscomb
Rep. Joe Lovvorn
Rep. Rhett Marques
Rep. Arnold Mooney
Rep. Becky Nordgren
Rep. Ed Oliver
Rep. Neil Rafferty
Rep. Chris Sells
Rep. Pebblin Warren

Agriculture and Forestry
Chair: Rep. Danny Crawford
Vice Chair: Rep. Steve Hurst
Ranking Member: Thomas Jackson
Rep. Will Dismukes
Rep. Joe Faust
Rep. Bob Fincher
Rep. Dexter Grimsley
Rep. Tommy Hanes
Rep. Ralph Howard
Rep. Reed Ingram
Rep. A.J. McCampbell
Rep. Ed Oliver
Rep. Ginney Shaver
Rep. Jeff Sorrells
Rep. Rodney Sullivan

State Government
Chair: Rep. Chris Pringle
Vice Chair: Rep. Chris Sells
Ranking Member: Rep. John Rogers
Rep. Mike Ball
Rep. Barbara Boyd
Rep. Brett Easterbrook
Rep. Rolanda Hollis
Rep. Jamie Kiel
Rep. Kelvin Lawrence
Rep. Connie Rowe
Rep. Harry Shiver
Rep. Scott Stadthagen
Rep. April Weaver

Commerce and Small Business
Chair: Rep. Jim Carns
Vice Chair: Rep. Dimitir Polizos
Ranking Member: Rep. Berry Forte
Rep. Louise Alexander
Rep. Adline Clarke
Rep. Jeremy Gray
Rep. Gill Isbell
Rep. Wes Kitchens
Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter
Rep. Rhett Marques
Rep. Matt Simpson
Rep. David Wheeler
Rep. Andy Whitt
Rep. Ritchie Whorton

Local Legislation
Chair: Rep. Alan Baker
VIce Chair: Rep. Richie Whorton
Ranking Member: Rep. Thomas Jackson
Rep. Louise Alexander
Rep. Will Dismukes
Rep. Bob Fincher
Rep. Dexter Grimsely
Rep. Ralph Howard
Rep. Craig Lipscomb
Rep. Rep. Randall Shedd
Rep. Harry Shiver
Rep. Scott Stadthagen
Rep. David Standridge
Rep. Tim Wadsworth
Rep. David Wheeler

Internal Affairs Commission
Chair: Rep. Randy Wood
Vice Chair: Rep. Nathaniel Ledbetter
Ranking Member: Rep. Laura Hall
Rep. Chris Blacksear
Rep. Anthony Daniels
Rep. Steve McMillan
Rep. Chris Pringle
Rep. Connie Rowe
Rep. Hoard Sanderford
Rep. Pebblin Warren
Rep. April Weaver

Technology and Research
Chair: Rep. Joe Lovvorn
Vice Chair: Rep. Corey Harbison
Ranking Member: Rep. Laura Hall
Rep. Alan Baker
Rep. Craig Lipscomb
Rep. Steve McMillan
Rep. Mary Moore
Rep. Howard Sanderford
Rep. Rod Scott
Rep. Andrew Sorrell

Urban and Rural Development
Chair: Rep. Randall Shedd
Vice Chair: Rep. David Standridge
Ranking Member: Rep. Prince Chestnut
Rep. Wes Allen
Rep. Chris Blackshear
Rep. Chip Brown
Rep. Sam Jones
Rep. TaShina Morris
Rep. Shane Stringer
Rep. Margie Wilcox
Rep. Debbie Wood

Constitutions, Campaigns and Elections
Chair: Rep. Matt Fridy
Vice Chair: Rep. Bob Fincher
Ranking Member: Juandalynn Givan
Rep. Wes Allen
Rep. Adline Clarke
Rep. Corey Harbison
Rep. Kirk Hatcher
Rep. Arnold Mooney
Rep. Dimitri Polizos
Rep. Chris Pringle
Rep. Howard Sanderford

Fiscal Responsibility
Chair: Rep. Chris Sells
Vice Chair: Rep. Mike Holmes
Ranking Member: Rep. Rod Scott
Rep. Lousie Alexander
Rep. Corley Ellis
Rep. Danny Garrett
Rep. Juandalynn Givan
Rep. Rhett Marques
Rep. Parker Moore
Rep. Ed Oliver
Rep. Rodney Sullivan

Financial Services
Chair: Rep. Chris Blackshear
Vice Chair: Rep. Jimmy Martin
Ranking Member: Rep. John Rogers
Rep. Reed Ingram
Rep. Kelvin Lawrence
Rep. Thad McClammy
Rep. Andrew Sorrell
Rep. Jeff Sorrells
Rep. Kyle South
Rep. David Standridge
Rep. Andy Whitt
Rep. Rich Wingo

Public Safety and Homeland Security
Chair: Rep. Allen Treadaway
Vice Chair: Rep. Allen Farley
Ranking Member: Rep. Thomas Jackson
Rep. Dickie Drake
Rep. Chris England
Rep. Tracey Estes
Rep. Jeremy Gray
Rep. Tommy Hanes
Rep. TaShina Morris
Rep. Phillip Pettus
Rep. Rex Reynolds
Rep. Proncey Robertson
Rep. Connie Rowe
Rep. Harry Shiver
Rep. Shane Stringer

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

3 days ago

Judge rules against Tuscaloosa’s car search policy

(Wikicommons)

A federal judge says an Alabama police department violated the Constitution by routinely impounding and searching the vehicle of every driver it arrests.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Madeline Haikala came in a lawsuit against the Tuscaloosa Police Department stemming from a traffic stop in 2017.

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The Tuscaloosa News reports Vincent Curry was stopped for having a broken taillight, and police later arrested him on an outstanding warrant.

Police had the vehicle towed and search, and an officer found a loaded handgun under the seat.

Curry’s attorneys argued the officers had no right to tow the vehicle and no reason to search it.

Prosecutors argued the search was legal.

The judge agreed with Curry’s attorney, and the city now says it is reviewing the decision.
 (Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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3 days ago

Jo Bonner discusses Kay Ivey’s Wilcox County roots, new term agenda in one-on-one interview

(FOX 10/YouTube)

On Tuesday, Gov. Kay Ivey announced former Rep. Jo Bonner was replacing long-time confidante Steve Pelham as her chief of staff, a move that had been rumored but made official the day after being sworn-in for a full-term at her inauguration ceremony.

Shortly after Ivey was sworn in on Monday, Bonner discussed Ivey’s inauguration and what the public should expect from the governor as her new term begins in an interview with Huntsville radio’s WVNN.

Both Bonner and Ivey hail from Wilcox County’s Camden, which was a topic that Bonner discussed as well.

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“This is a special day,” Bonner said on Monday’s broadcast of “The Jeff Poor Show.” “Any time you’ve got an inauguration, it’s special. It’s a new chapter, a new beginning. But in this case, it is extra special because this is a young lady who was born in Wilcox County, where Attorney General and former U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions is from – where so many wonderful people have come from, Camden and Wilcox County.”

“It’s a small county,” he said. “It’s one of the poorest counties per capita in the nation in terms of income. It’s one of the wealthiest counties in the world in terms of the quality of people. It’s not just people who have done like Gov. Ivey and have served in public life, but people who have made a difference in education, health care, people who have won prizes – national awards, recognition, people who have gone on to the military academies and have had successful careers in business.”

“Camden is a small town,” Bonner added. “Wilcox County is a place if they have ever heard of it – it’s because they like to hunt or fish.”

Bonner later offered details of an Ivey cabinet meeting that occurred after her November election victory over Democratic opponent Tuscaloosa Mayor Walt Maddox. According to the former U.S. congressman, Ivey laid out a “clear challenge” for her upcoming four-year term.

“She said, ‘We have all too often kicked the problems down the road, and it’s time to address some of these challenges, see them as opportunities, and we’re going to make the most of the next four years. We’re going to do things for the right reason,’” Bonner recounted. “She challenged them to lace their shoes up, and she said mine were going to be laced, and we’re going to get running, and we’re going to get a fast start.”

Bonner said it should not go unnoticed that the governor unused her inauguration as a platform to push the legislature for action on infrastructure and improving the state’s prison system, which is under the threat of a federal takeover.

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 days ago

Mo Brooks: Democrats ‘aiding and abetting’ illegal immigrants killing Americans

(Rep. Mo Brooks, YouTube)

Tuesday, Congressman Mo Brooks (AL-5) supported and spoke at an “Angel Moms” news conference on the U.S. Capitol grounds on behalf of Americans who have lost family members because of illegal alien crime as a result of America’s “porous” southern border.

During the event, Angel Moms and their family members shared their grief for loved ones who lost their lives at the hands of illegal aliens or because of holes in America’s border security.

This came the same day that Brooks delivered a passionate speech on the House floor describing the lives and deaths of people killed on American soil by illegal aliens, including multiple incidents tied to Alabama. The congressman also challenged Democrats in Congress to help protect American lives.

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The full text of Brooks’ speech follows:

Mr. Speaker, in 2018, more than 2,000 illegal aliens were apprehended by federal law enforcement officers for homicides committed on American soil.

That is roughly 2,000 dead in just one year! And that does not count some number of the 70,000 Americans whose lives are snuffed out each year by poisonous drugs, much of which is shipped illegally into America across our porous southern border!

Americans would know about these horrific killings if the media diverted just a fraction of the time it spends on extoling illegal aliens and attacking our brave border patrol and ICE officers and agents to telling the stories of American lives needlessly ended by illegal aliens.

Today I share a few stories about those who died solely because of illegal aliens and our porous southern border.

Louise Sollowin was a beloved mother, wife, and grandmother. Louise spent 50 years helping her sister fire up the oven at Omaha, Nebraska’s Orsi’s Italian Bakery, where she worked well into her 80s.

In 2013, after 93 years of life, Louise was brutally raped and beaten to death by an illegal alien. To make matters even more horrific, Louise’s daughter found her bleeding, battered and dying mother with a naked illegal alien passed out on top of her.

In 2010 in Houston, Texas, 14-year-old Shatavia Anderson, was shot in the chest and killed by two illegal aliens. Shatavia loved her family and loved talking on the phone. She proclaimed that one day she was “gonna be somebody.” Shatavia was robbed of that dream by illegal aliens.

In July 2018 in my home town of Huntsville, Alabama, two drug cartel related illegal aliens took Oralia Mendoza and her 13-year-old granddaughter, Mariah Lopez, from their home in the dark of night. Oralia was stabbed to death while her teenage granddaughter, Mariah, was forced to watch. Later, and in order to eliminate a witness, the illegal alien drug cartel members then beheaded Mariah and abandoned her body in the woods. Mariah’s decaying body was not found for weeks. Mariah was a special needs student at Challenger Middle School. Her teachers described her as a “sweet little girl” who “had a lot of friends.”

I have a Washington staff member, Michaila Lindow, who well-remembers being baby-sat as a young child by family friend Tad Mattle.

In 2009 in Huntsville, Alabama, then 19-year-old Tad Mattle was driving home with his girlfriend from a church social. While stopped at a red light, an illegal alien who was fleeing the scene of yet another crime, and whose blood alcohol content was three times the legal limit, rear-ended Tad Mattle’s car. This illegal alien had three prior DUIs. Tad Mattle’s car exploded on impact, tragically killing Tad Mattle and his girlfriend.

Tad, the oldest of 3 children, enjoyed making music and served as percussion leader in the Grissom High School Marching Band. Three days before he was killed, Tad was awarded a full scholarship to the University of Alabama in Huntsville, where he planned to pursue an engineering degree.

Mr. Speaker, each of these horrific deaths have one thing in common. None of these lives would have been stolen from us but for illegal aliens aided and abetted by Democrats who protect, promote and prefer the lives of illegal aliens to the lives of American citizens.

Mr. Speaker, these killings on American soil will continue if America does not secure our porous southern border.
As for those who support amnesty and open borders: how many American lives and dreams must be snuffed out by illegal aliens before Washington has the guts and integrity to secure our porous southern border?

How many dead Americans does it take before you will start saving lives rather than aiding and abetting those illegal aliens who take them?

Angel Moms and their family members participating in the Tuesday press conference included the following:

  • Avery, D.J. and Wendy Corcoran – on behalf of Pierce Corcoran, who was killed in Chattanooga, Tennessee when a DUI repeat offender and drunk illegal alien collided head-on with his vehicle
  • Sabine Durden – mother of Dominic Durden, who was killed when a DUI repeat offender and drunk illegal alien struck his motorcycle and drug Durden to his death while fleeing the scene of the wreck
  • Maureen Laquerre – sister of Richard Grossi, who was killed by an illegal alien in 2009
  • Maureen Maloney – mother of Matthew Denice, who was killed by a drunk illegal alien while riding his motorcycle
  • Mary Ann Mendoza – mother of Mesa, Arizona, Police Sergeant Brandon Mendoza, who was killed in a wreck by an illegal alien who was high on meth and “triple drunk” (blood-alcohol content triple the legal limit)
Congressman Brooks speaks at the “Angel Moms” press conference.

Brooks was joined at the press conference by fellow Republican Congressmen Louie Gohmert (TX-01), Matt Gaetz (FL-01), Chip Roy (TX-21), Andy Biggs (AZ-05), Jody Hice (GA-10) and Scott Perry (PA-10), along with retired Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Tom Homan.

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

3 days ago

7 Things: Democrats decline to meet with Trump as shutdown hits 26 days, Alabama appears to be in danger of losing a congressional seat, monuments law ruled unconstitutional and more …

(White House/Flickr)

7. Kraft is the latest corporation looking to get free publicity by helping employees; Food banks in Alabama are also helping

— The maker of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is offering federal workers unlimited free products at a free pop-up store in Washington D.C. until Sunday. The company is asking the workers “pay it forward” when they get paid.

— The Prodisee Pantry in Spanish Fort is preparing to help Coast Guard families and other government employees affected by the government shutdown

6. Governor Kay Ivey has named former Congressman Jo Bonner as her new chief of staff

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— Bonner will lead Ivey’s staff through what is expected to be a contentious session. The governor made the announcement by touting Bonner’s experience, saying, “Jo Bonner is a respected leader and a known quantity in Washington and throughout Alabama.”

— Bonner will replace Steve Pelham, who is heading to Auburn University to take on the role of vice president for economic development and be the chief of staff to Auburn University President Steven Leath.

5. Alabama is going to pay its February food stamp benefits early to get around the partial government shutdown

— Fear not. The recipients of food stamps in Alabama will receive their benefits for February because the agency that runs the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program program has developed a way to work around the partial government shutdown.

— The food stamp program will run into issues in March, but could still be funded for the 39 million people on food stamps in the United States.

4. President Trump’s pick for attorney general allows the media and their Democrats to trod the same old ground

— The president has not made a single move to fire FBI special counsel Robert Mueller, but the media and Democrats acted surprised when William Barr told them he “would not carry out” an order to fire him without “good cause.”

— Another trope the left likes to visit regularly is that Trump is assaulting the press regularly. Now, they believe Barr wants to allow Trump to jail journalists, even though he made it clear it was only possible if the nation was endangered.

3. Alabama’s “Alabama Memorial Preservation Act” is ruled unconstitutional and State Sen. Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa) is not happy

— The ruling by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo, filed 20 minutes before he retired, says the law which bans the removing or altering of historical monuments violated the free speech rights of local communities.

— Senator Allen called the ruling judicial activism, stating, “Judge Graffeo has taken it upon himself to know and declare that it is ‘undisputed’ that the majority of residents of Birmingham are ‘repulsed’ by the Linn Park monument, and has thus ruled the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act void. But judges are not kings, and judicial activism is no substitute for the democratic process.”

2. It looks like illegal immigrants will not be deterred from being included in the 2020 Censuswhich could hurt Alabama 

— A federal judge says the Trump administration may not add a question about citizenship to the 2020 census. He added that the question could be included but he won’t allow it because Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross added it arbitrarily and did not follow proper procedure.

— The judge concluded that the “addition of a citizenship question to the 2020 Census will cause a significant net differential decline in self-response rates among noncitizen households.” Not doing so will allocate representation to non-citizens.

1. Democrats turn down Trump’s invite to the White House as the partial government shutdown enters day 26

— The Trump administration said they were targeting Democratic members of Congress like the moderate Blue Dog Coalition, none of which attended the president’s attempt at a bipartisan lunch. This leads one to believe there is no end in sight for this shutdown.

— A federal judge has ruled that federal employees can not refuse to work without pay, citing “chaos” and a threat to public safety as the government is calling back thousands of workers.

3 days ago

Del Marsh on 2020: ‘I am looking at the U.S. Senate’

(Screenshot/YouTube)

In an appearance on WVNN earlier this week, Alabama State Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh (R-Anniston) acknowledged he was still considering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2020.

The seat up in 2020 is currently held by Sen. Doug Jones (D-Mountain Brook), who defeated his Republican opponent former Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore in an upset election in 2017.

Marsh would be considered to be one of the front-runners among a potential field that might include Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope), Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth and State Auditor Jim Zeigler.

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Marsh said he was “looking at” entering the contest, and was not optimistic about Jones’ chances to win reelection in a 2020 bid.

“I am looking at the U.S. Senate,” Marsh said in an interview on WVNN’s “The Jeff Poor Show.” “Listen, I respect Doug Jones. I mean, he believes in what he believes. He’s a Democrat. He believes in what he believes. I have no problem with that. But I do not believe the state of Alabama will elect another Democrat to the Senate. I just don’t. So to me, the race is going to be the primary. I am looking at that. I’ve talked to a lot of people. I’m looking at polling.”

“And I’ve got to ask myself – number one, does my family want me to do this?” he continued. “And do I think this is what is best for the state of Alabama? I’ve got to choose where do I best serve the state of Alabama?”

@Jeff_Poor is a graduate of Auburn University, the editor of Breitbart TV and host of “The Jeff Poor Show” from 2-5 p.m. on WVNN in Huntsville.

3 days ago

Big changes coming to Montgomery in 2019

(Contributed)

In addition to electing a new mayor later this year, the City of Montgomery will welcome an array of new developments, expansions and celebrations in 2019.

Alabama’s riverfront capital city is known for its Southern hospitality and its revitalized downtown area. Montgomery was the birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement and has established itself as a landmark Deep South destination for tourists across the globe.

However, this year is poised to usher in even more hospitality-related improvements. From the state’s first self-pour beer concept to an expansion of the Equal Justice Initiative Legacy Museum, Montgomery is excited to welcome visitors and locals alike to experience some of its newest properties and milestones in 2019.

The upcoming projects include the following:

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Staybridge Suites
The $12.5 million Staybridge Suites (located in the heart of the downtown convention district) is targeting an early 2019 opening and will feature more than 100 rooms focusing on extended-stay guests. One and two-bedroom suites will also be available with full kitchens, meeting space, a fitness center, a business center, a convenience store and an outdoor living room with a fire pit.

Hilltop Suites & Spa
Located just a block from the Equal Justice Initiative’s memorial, 2019 will see the beginning of construction for a new 80-suite boutique hotel. The Hilltop Suites & Spa will be home to multiple restaurants, a spa, 6,000 square-feet of meeting and event areas and a rooftop bar and lounge featuring breathtaking views overlooking downtown Montgomery and the Alabama River. The long-vacant Hilltop Arms apartment building will be the site for this new hotel.

Marriott Autography Collection Hotel Property
Montgomery’s historic Murphy House downtown will soon be developed into the state’s third Marriott Autograph Collection Hotel property, joining a list that features The Elyton in Birmingham and The Grand Bohemian in Mountain Brook. The luxury boutique hotel will begin construction this year and will include 84 rooms and suites, while also offering restaurant and corporate meeting space.

Tower Taproom
Set to open first quarter 2019, Tower Taproom will become the first self-pour beer concept in Alabama, offering over 40 beers, wines and ciders that patrons can pour by the ounce using an RFID card. The taproom will also be come to a selection of unique specialty burgers, salads and sandwiches for guests to enjoy with their drinks. A private event space below the taproom will also be available for booking shortly after its opening. Keep up to date on opening day progress via Facebook and Instagram.

Equal Justice Initiative (EJI) Legacy Museum Anniversary + Possible Expansion
The Equal Justice Initiative is looking to possibly add a restaurant, more retail space and a bus shuttle station to its Legacy Museum. Displaying the history of slavery and racism in America, the Legacy Museum will be celebrating its one-year anniversary in April. The Museum, founded by Montgomery’s Equal Justice Initiative as a counterpart to the National Memorial to Peace and Justice, is dedicated specifically to the memory of the victims of lynching and has already seen more than 200,00 visitors since its opening.

Downtown Free Wi-Fi Upgrade
Montgomery will soon offer expanded free Wi-Fi in the downtown area as part of the community’s ongoing technology initiative. The service is powered by the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce, the City of Montgomery, Montgomery County and Alabama Power Company.

In addition to these projects, Montgomery will host two major unique events in 2019.

On February 23, Montgomery will host its “Mardi Gras Block Party & Cajun Cook-Off,” and everyone is invited. This downtown event is free and tasting tickets will be on sale soon for the cook-off.

Then in December, the city will commemorate its 200th birthday along with the state of Alabama through ALABAMA 200, a chance for locals and visitors to celebrate with a variety of educational programs, community activities and statewide initiatives that teach, inspire and entertain.

For more information and a schedule of ALABAMA 200 activities and events occurring in Montgomery all year long, click here.

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

3 days ago

Funeral services set for murdered Birmingham Police Sgt. Wytasha Carter

(Blue Lives Matter/Twitter)

Visitation for Sgt. Wytasha Carter of the Birmingham Police Department will take place on Friday, with the funeral to follow on Saturday.

Per WBRC, family and friends will gather for the visitation from 12-6 p.m. at Ridout’s Trussville Chapel on Gadsden Highway.

The following day, Carter’s funeral will be held at 11 a.m. at the BJCC Legacy Arena. WBRC will air the service on-air and online.

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Carter was killed in the line of duty early Sunday morning as he and a fellow Birmingham PD officer were shot while responding to a call of car break-ins.

Governor Kay Ivey has ordered flags across Alabama to be lowered to half-staff to honor Carter.

The other officer shot in the line of duty, who has yet to be identified, remains in critical condition.

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

3 days ago

Aderholt named ranking member of appropriations subcommittee critical to north Alabama’s economy

(Headshot / Aderholt.house.gov)

On Tuesday, Congressman Robert Aderholt (AL-4) was named ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science, which funds NASA and the FBI, amongst other important economic engines.

In a statement, Aderholt said, “It is a great honor to be named the ranking member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice and Science. This subcommittee is certainly important to America, but even more so for North Alabama.”

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“This subcommittee is directly responsible for funding NASA and the FBI, along with the Department of Commerce,” Aderholt explained. “The FBI and NASA are two very important agencies to the economy of not only Huntsville, but also the northern portion of our state. NASA, of course, has a long history in this region and gave rise to Huntsville’s name as the Rocket City. And in just the past few years, the FBI has built a presence on Redstone Arsenal and is in the process of growing to a level of approximately 4,000 jobs.”

The congressman concluded, “With my leadership on this subcommittee, I will work to ensure that North Alabama continues to lead as we return to the moon, put boots on Mars and travel into deep space. And with the FBI’s Hazardous Devices School, and growing footprint in North Alabama, I will also be a voice to let my colleagues know that North Alabama is in a prime position to be a hub for matters concerning our national security.”

Aderholt also serves on the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

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

4 days ago

Is Doug Jones a foot soldier in the Democrat Civil War for taking a shot at liberal darling Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez?

(A. Ocasio Campaign, D. Jones/Facebook)

If you are Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) right now, you probably know you have almost no chance of being elected to a full term as a United State senator.

This obviously could change. Roy Moore could continue to crave the spotlight and enter a Republican primary field in 2020, but this is obviously a long-shot for him.

Complicating Jones’ life right now is a number of new Democratic members of the House of Representatives. They are outspoken, silly and contrary to the carefully crafted image Jones wants to sell to Alabama. Jones wants to be Mr. Moderate, a conservative-ish Democrat in the mold of former Congressman Bud Cramer (D-Huntsville), but he can’t do that if he is constantly dealing with a 24-hour news cycle where his fellow Democrats are acting nuts.

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Jones seems to know this, and the clearest way to distinguish himself from members like Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) is to directly scold her to The Hill.

He said, “I think it skews what’s really there for the Democratic Party.”

Jones seems to want to differentiate himself from Ocasio-Cortez’s brand of non-stop Twitter trolling will endear her to the same media that can’t let a Trump tweet go without an analysis of its impact. But Jones didn’t stop there. He also thinks this style of bomb-throwing is ineffective politics.

“When it gets time to get things done, that’s what people are going to be looking at — they’re going to be looking at the middle-of-the-roaders because it’s the only way to get anything done,” Jones stated.

If recent history is any judge, Ocasio-Cortez will not let these comments slide without a response. The fight for the soul of the Democratic Party is on and Jones will likely find himself out-gunned and without many powerful allies.

In response to similar criticism from former Democratic vice presidential candidate Joe Lieberman (D-CT), Ocasio-Cortez responded with the following tweet:

Will Jones double-down or will he slink back to his backbench for fear of his party’s base if she hits back?

For now, Jones sounds like he thinks his voters want him to get stuff done, but considering that Jones’ main accomplishment at this point in his Senate career is his vote against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation it is likely most Alabama voters would prefer he enjoys his time in Washington D.C. as a spectator before being sent home in 2020.

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

4 days ago

Trump AG nominee: Sessions ‘probably did the right thing’ in recusing himself from Russia probe

(Fox News/YouTube, U.S. Southern Command)

Attorney General-nominee William Barr on Tuesday said Jeff Sessions “probably did the right thing” in recusing himself from the investigation into alleged collusion with Russia by the Trump campaign, according to The Washington Post.

Barr previously served as attorney general from 1991-1993. During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Barr was asked by committee chair Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) about Sessions’ decision to recuse himself from the probe because he was involved in the Trump campaign.

“I am not sure of all of the facts, but I think he probably did the right thing recusing himself,” Barr said.

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This came the day after Sessions attended Alabama’s Inaugural Day festivities, including the swearing-in ceremony for all statewide elected officials and reception for state Attorney General Steve Marshall.

During Marshall’s event in the attorney general’s office building, Sessions said, “Do the right thing every day and usually things will work out… [well,] not always.”

After the laughter of the room started to subside, he added, “At least in the United States, when they fire you, they don’t shoot you like they do in some countries.”

Sessions’ relationship with President Donald Trump was eroded by the recusal and the president’s public attacks on both that decision and Sessions personally. He resigned at the request of the president in November.

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

4 days ago

State Sen. Gerald Allen responds to judge striking down Alabama Memorial Preservation Act — ‘Judges are not kings’

On Tuesday afternoon, State Senator Gerald Allen (R-Tuscaloosa), the sponsor of the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act, criticized Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo’s ruling that the law is unconstitutional.

Graffeo made the ruling Monday.

“Under the Constitution, judges are to be neutral umpires who apply the rule of law fairly,” Allen said in a statement. “A judge’s personal beliefs, whether about politics, sociology, or history, have no bearing on how he is to apply the law.”

He continued, “Judge Graffeo has taken it upon himself to know and declare that it is ‘undisputed’ that the majority of residents of Birmingham are ‘repulsed’ by the Linn Park monument, and has thus ruled the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act void. But judges are not kings, and judicial activism is no substitute for the democratic process.”

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“The Memorial Preservation Act is meant to thoughtfully preserve the entire story of Alabama’s history for future generations. The law was vigorously debated for months by the people of Alabama’s duly-elected representatives in the State Legislature, and passed with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate,” Allen advised.

He concluded, “The Attorney General’s Office is confident that the Memorial Preservation Act is constitutional, and I look forward to the Attorney General’s appeal of Judge Graffeo’s ruling.”

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

4 days ago

Judge voids Alabama law protecting Confederate monuments

(Allen Carter WTHR/Facebook, AL UJS)

A judge has overturned an Alabama law meant to prevent the removal of Confederate monuments from public property, ruling the act infringed on the rights of citizens in a mostly black city who are “repulsed” by the memorial.

The 10-page ruling issued late Monday by Jefferson County Circuit Judge Michael Graffeo said a 2017 state law barring the removal or alteration of historical monuments wrongly violated the free speech rights of local communities.

The law cannot be enforced, Graffeo ruled, but the state could still appeal.

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The attorney general’s comment had no immediate response to an email seeking comment Tuesday.

The state sued the city of Birmingham after officials tried to remove a 52-foot-tall (16-meter)-tall obelisk that was erected to honor Confederate veterans in a downtown park in 1905.

Rather than toppling the stone marker, the city built a 12-foot (3.6-meter)-tall wooden box around it.

Birmingham’s population of 210,000 is more than 70 percent black, and the judge said it was indisputable that most citizens are “repulsed” by the memorial.

He rejected the state’s claims that lawmakers had the power to protect historical monuments statewide.

The law includes a $25,000 penalty for removing or altering a historical monument, but the judge said the penalty was unconstitutional.

The city has not had to pay while the lawsuit worked its way through court.

The ruling came hours after the inauguration of Republican Gov. Kay Ivey, who signed the law and opened her campaign last year with a commercial that prominently showed Confederate monuments.

“We can’t change or erase our history, but here in Alabama we know something that Washington doesn’t. To get where we are going means understanding where we have been,” Ivey said in the ad.

Supporters of the law contend it protects not just Confederate memorials but historical markers of any kind, but rebel memorials have been an issue nationwide since a white supremacist gunman killed nine worshippers in a black church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.
(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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