The Wire

  • Greensboro woman killed in weekend crash

    Excerpt from ABC 33/40:

    A weekend crash leaves a west Alabama woman dead and another recovering from injuries.

    57-year-old Isabella Ryans of Greensboro was seriously injured when she collided with a car driven by 20-year-old Alyssa Edwards.

    State Troopers tell ABC 33/40 the cars collided on Highway 11 just before 1:00 Sunday morning.

  • 2 jailed after 17 cats, 4 dogs found in van in Mobile

    Excerpt from

    A man and woman were charged with 21 counts each of second-degree animal cruelty after police found 17 cats and four dogs in their car during a traffic stop Saturday afternoon, according to Mobile police.

    Police stopped a Chrysler van driving near Theodore Dawes Road and Old Pascagoula Road just before 1 p.m. Saturday, police said. The driver, 40-year-old Bruce Stiles, did not have his driver’s license, police said.

    Tonya Pamplin, 42, another woman and 17 cats and four dogs were also in the van, police said.

    Police said the van was “overrun” with roaches, other pests and a large amount of refuse and cat litter.

  • More Americans watched the royal wedding than the Alabama-Georgia national title game

    Excerpt from WSFA:

    Nielsen reported 29.2 million Americans tuned in to 15 channels to catch a glimpse of the American actress marrying Europe’s most popular prince.

    Numbers in the United Kingdom were about 18 million. That’s down from the 24 million Britons who watched the last royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton in 2011, according to CNN. The audience in the United States was only 23 million.

    With an extra 6 million viewers, there’s no question the new Duchess of Sussex spiked American interest this time around.

    But how does her wedding compare to TV ratings for other major events?

    It did not surpass Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration in 2017, although it came noticeably close. Trump had a TV audience of 30.6 million.

    And the NFL’s super bowl still sits far above the rest of the field with 103.4 million viewers in 2018.

    Even so, the royal wedding topped these major TV events of the last year:

    — 2018 College Football Playoff National Championship – Alabama vs. Georgia – 16.7 million
    — 2018 Men’s basketball national championship game – Villanova vs. Michigan – 16.5 million

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)

3 days ago

Rural hospital closing in northeast Alabama

(City of Jacksonville)

Another rural Alabama hospital is shutting down, this time in the northeastern part of the state.

Directors have decided to close RMC Jacksonville at the end of June.

The hospital is operated by the Anniston-based RMC Health System, which says some services will be transferred from Jacksonville to other locations in Anniston. The cities are about 12 miles (19 kilometers) apart.


WBMA-TV reports that the announcement confirms the fears of hospital employees and weeks of rumors. The hospital had struggled financially in recent years, and several departments had closed.

The hospital is being donated to Jacksonville State University, which has a nursing program.

Jacksonville is the latest in a string of small towns to lose hospitals in recent years. The Census Bureau estimates the city’s population at around 12,800 people.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

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3 days ago

Marginalizing Melania

(White House/Flickr)

Need more evidence that there are two Americas? Here: Left-wing hatred of Melania Trump is inversely proportional to flyover admiration for the first lady.

In just the last month, late-night clown Jimmy Kimmel mocked Trump’s Slovenian accent, CNN contributor April Ryan attacked her as “not culturally American,” former Hillary Clinton spokesman Philippe Reines derided her genteel presence at former first lady Barbara’s funeral, and horror writer Stephen King snickered at her hospitalization this week for kidney surgery.

Yet, while partisans in the political press and entertainment media work hard to stoke division against and resentment of the Trump administration, “Melania” is now among the fastest-growing baby names in the nation, according to recently released Social Security data. And a new poll by anti-Trump CNN released on Monday reported a 10 percent jump in the first lady’s favorability ratings — from 47 percent in January to 57 percent last week.


That’s nearly 6 in 10 Americans with a positive view of FLOTUS. Uh-oh!

Imagine how much higher those impressive numbers would be if the same celeb tabloid reporters and TV hosts who slavered over the Obamas in Us magazine and on The View afforded Melania Trump the same courtesies. Imagine if the same couture divas who organized “Runway to Win” Obama campaign fundraisers and published breathless weekly reports on “Michelle Obama’s Best Looks Ever” harnessed their influence to promote Trump’s style and fashion sense.

Despite Trump’s successful career as an internationally photographed model featured in Harper’s Bazaar, GQ, Vanity Fair and Vogue, lib-dominated fashion and celebrity magazines have shunned her. Pop culture editors and producers — who turned Barack and Michelle Obama into the Beltway Brangelina, promoting their election campaign, re-election campaign, books and every last pet project — have ghosted her.

Why? Fear.

Melania Trump is not just strikingly beautiful. She is worldly, well-traveled and well-read. She speaks English, French, German, Italian and Serbian, in addition to her native Slovenian — more languages than any other woman who has served as America’s first lady. Her devotion to son Barron is exemplary. Her aversion to limelight and lack of political ambition are refreshing. So is her ability to refrain from public grievance-mongering over “sacrifices” and trade-offs made between work and home life (looking at you, Hill and ‘Chelle O).

The hostile White House press corps blames Trump’s own reticence for the publicity vacuum around her. But I believe there’s something deeper at work:

More exposure to this interesting and remarkable woman would mean more familiarity with her. More familiarity with her might mean more popularity. And God forbid there be more Republican women in the public eye who can compete with — and win against — the usual parade of militant kvetchers and moaners who pass themselves off as feminist role models.

Doubling down, both Hillary Clinton and Michelle Obama have assailed all women who didn’t vote for their political agendas as brainwashed by their husbands or selfishly unenlightened. “In light of this last election, I’m concerned about us, as women, and what we think about ourselves and about each other,” Obama complained at the United State of Women summit in California last week. “What is going on in our heads where we let that happen.”

It’s called choice. It’s called rejecting the tired old ideas that some women are more equal than others or that one party has a gender-based monopoly over the other. Smug Democratic divas who unleash their contempt for independent-minded women instead of working to win them over have learned nothing from the 2016 election.

So Trump, like so many prominent GOP women before her, will continue to be snubbed, humiliated and demonized by narrative control freaks because women on the right threaten the cultural hegemony of the left. Black or white, rich or poor, centrist or “far right,” native-born or naturalized, Republican mothers, wives and daughters must be otherized and forced to stay in media-manufactured lanes.

When leftists can’t win on their ideas, they resort to marginalizing the messengers of ideology they abhor — and their mates. It’s not an attractive look.

Michelle Malkin is host of “Michelle Malkin Investigates” on

(Creators, copyright 2018)

3 days ago

Watch: Scott Dawson, Rick Burgess lay out issue with Gov. Kay Ivey awarding federal grant money to Free2Be

Thursday on the “Rick & Bubba” radio program, Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Dawson elaborated on why he raised the issue of Gov. Kay Ivey’s distribution of federal grant money through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA) to Free2Be, an organization described as an LGBTQ activist group that has an apparent questionable past.

Earlier this week, Dawson held two press conference raising the issue. Dawson received backlash and was accused of having an ulterior motive by raising the issue, especially given outgoing State Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) used the announcement to advance the rumor Ivey was gay.

However, with the aid of “Rick & Bubba” co-host Rick Burgess, the two dismissed the notion there was any other intent behind raising questions about the grant money and explained why that it was an issue.


“Some things have happened that were not really the original intent,” Burgess said. “I know there’s a lot of other commentators that they’re so certain this was the original intent, and this was intended all along, and they’ve been in politics. … Whatever the case is, I know you as a man, and they don’t. And I know the conversations that we’ve had.”

Burgess went on to emphasize that whether the money was federal or not, it wasn’t relevant because “the money belongs to the people.”

Dawson explained the purpose of making the case at multiple stops statewide given the timing of the June 5 GOP gubernatorial primary.

“Whenever I found something out, I was just trying to make sure people knew about it,” Dawson added. “I’ve gone back in my mind, and have kind of researched this. The reason why we did it across the state is that we’re three weeks out from the election.”

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

3 days ago

7 Things: Trump Tower spied on, Burgess believes Dawson is both naive and brilliant, former State Rep. Patricia Todd has lost her job, and more …


1. It appears there was a spy placed in the Trump campaign in 2016, IG also finds possible criminal conduct in handling of Clinton probe

— A New York Times report, lays out that “at least one government informant met several times with Mr. Page and Mr. Papadopoulos, current and former officials,” which confirms the government run by Obama was spying on the Trump campaign.

— Trump called this revelation  “bigger than Watergate” and Americans continue to grow tired of this.

2. Rick Burgess continues to pretend Scott Dawson had no idea what he was doing BUT says it was really smart anyway


— Burgess is a supporter of Dawson, has said on social media that he doesn’t think Dawson foresaw the obvious attempted “outing” of Ivey even though Dawson admits to knowing about the rumors of Ivey’s orientation.

— He told his listeners, “When you saw what happened, I think that it might have been a good thing for the Republican Party because, in my opinion, this is what they were going to do in October.”

3. Former State Representative Patricia Todd loses her job for trying to “out” Kay Ivey

— After Todd’s Tweet accusing the governor of being gay, Todd’s to-be employer decided they did not want her leading a coalition of gay organizations in Orlando, Florida.

— One Orlando Alliance’s Jennifer Foster said, “The Board affirms that Ms. Todd’s recent comments are not aligned with the values of One Orlando Alliance. We strongly believe that coming out is a personal choice and we do not support involuntarily outing.

4. Tuscaloosa’s Mayor Walt Maddox picks up endorsement of Birmingham’s Mayor Randall Woodfin

— Woodfin called Maddox a “proven leader” and cited his ability to work with different groups of people as a reason to elect him. “Walt’s ability to convince people to work together – black and white, rich and poor, Democrat and Republican – has inspired how I seek to lead Birmingham to a new era of excellence,” reports Woodfin said.

— The Democrat primary is far less interesting than the Republican primary, the mayor’s endorsement could hold a lot of sway with the young and black portions of the Democrat Party.

5. Gov. Kay Ivey and Attorney General Steve Marshall get NRA endorsements

— The NRA’s record of endorsing incumbents in races is pretty obvious, incumbents also have an inside track to winning races.

— Marshall’s track record is far more concrete on gun issues; the NRA pointed out that he worked as AG to “prevent local governments from imposing gun control laws. He also stood strong against efforts to ban commonly owned firearms and magazines.”

6. U.S. birth-rate is at 30 year low and that must mean we need more immigrants

— The numbers are pretty amazing, especially in teen births, “the number of teen pregnancies dropped seven percent in 2017 from 2016, 55 percent since 2007, and an overall 70 percent drop since 1991.”

— Americans are not producing enough babies to replace the population, 1000 women will only produce 1764 births, which is not enough to replace the population.

7. Attempts to justify the media’s lying about Donald Trump’s “animals” comment continue into day two

— This is nothing new, it has been going on since he announced he was running, and it shows no sign of stopping.

— Democrat politicians seized on this obvious lie to declare themselves defenders of all people, gang-bangers too.

3 days ago

Miguel Angel Jimenez leads Alabama’s Regions Tradition


Miguel Angel Jimenez matched the course record with an 8-under 64 on Thursday to take the first-round lead in the Regions Tradition, the first of the PGA Tour Champions’ five major championships.

Jimenez birdied the first four holes and broke the front-nine record at 6-under 30 at Greystone Golf & Country Club. The Spaniard took the outright lead with a short birdie putt on No. 13 after a rain delay of 1 hour, 17 minutes.

Jimenez tied the course record set by Kenny Perry in the first round in 2016 and matched by Bernhard Langer in the final round a year ago. Jimenez also opened with a 64 in the Chubb Classic before finishing ninth.


“The only hole I didn’t play well, the 18th, but I missed my driver,” Jimenez said. “We were rushed looking at the weather coming or not and the gusting wind started to come in and I rushed myself.”

Gene Sauers, Wes Short Jr., Jerry Kelly and Joe Durant were second at 66.

Two-time defending champion Langer closed with a birdie for a 70. He has a record 10 senior major titles and is trying to become the first to win the Tradition three straight years since it began in 1989.

The round began with an early two-tee start to try to beat the rain that became a downpour around lunchtime. It will have a similar schedule Friday.

Durant closed with an eagle on the par-5 18th hole to help overcome two bogeys on the first five holes.

“It was a nice finish,” he said. “We were trying to beat the storm, too, so we were hurrying on the last hole. I was fortunate to hit a good second shot and then made a long putt, so we got it done.”

Kelly, meanwhile, got his eagle early on No. 2 and was 4 under after four holes, joking that he “was shooting for 54.”

“I haven’t gotten off to a good start for a while, so it was really nice to get comfortable again,” Kelly said. “I feel like I’ve been on edge for quite a few months. Just going to try and take it easy as it comes the rest of the way.”

Sauers, whose only PGA Tour Champions win came in the 2016 U.S. Senior Open Championship, went bogey-free.

Short was a little more up and down with two bogeys and eight birdies.

He needed two tries to get out of the bunker on No. 17 for a bogey after resuming play, saying he “got a little stiff there the last couple of holes after the delay and just it’s hard to play when you’re stiff.”

The rest of his round went much better.

“You can’t win today, but you sure can lose, so I’m in a good spot,” Short said. “Three more days like this and I should be in a good spot then, too, hopefully.”

Scott McCarron was among four players three shots back at 67. He had one of the better shots of the day, though, with an eagle from the fairway on No. 11 after taking a drop. “That’s why you take a drop, right there,” he said after the long eagle.

Mark Calcavecchia withdrew after 11 holes. He recently broke his left big toe tripping over a tow bar.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
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3 days ago

“Look what president Trump has already done in less than two years”- Bradley Byrne

(B. Byrne/Facebook)

Bradley Byrne and Ford Brown sit down in Washington, DC to discuss how the new “Farm Bill” will not only impact Alabama, but put some new farmers to work. We get an update on the North Korean-USA Summit in South Korea, and Bradley Byrne drops his prediction on the 2018 midterms.

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4 days ago

The most popular baby names in Alabama are …


Alabamians last year relied on tradition and the Bible in naming their babies, according to data released Thursday by the Social Security Administration.

The agency, which produced the data from applications for Social Security cards, determined that 398 Alabama boys got William for a first name. That was the most popular boy name in Alabama last year and ranked third nationally.

William also was most popular in eight other states. And the Irish version of the name, Liam, was first nationally and was most popular in 16 states.

Among girls, Ava was most popular in Alabama, with 358 newborns getting the name. It was third nationally. Ava was most popular in six other states plus the District of Columbia.


Overall, the most popular baby names in Alabama closely tracked the nation. William, James, Elijah, Noah, Mason and Liam all ranked in the top 10 both in Alabama and the nation. Among girls, Ava, Olivia, Emma, Amelia, Charlotte and Evelyn ranked among the top 10 both locally and across the nation.

There were some disparities, however. The biggest was Grayson, which ranked 10th most common in Alabama but only 34th nationally. John also was an outlier — No. 4 in Alabama but only 27th nationally.

The other points of disagreement were Samuel (eighth in Alabama and 21st nationally) and Jackson (ninth in Alabama and 20th nationally).

In the other direction, Benjamin is the name with the biggest disparity. It ranked No. 6 nationally last year, but came in 27th in Alabama.

There was more agreement between Alabama and the nation on girls names. The four popular Alabama names that did not make the top 10 nationally all came fairly close. Harper, No. 4 in Alabama, just missed the top 10 nationally at 11th place. The other three names were Elizabeth (sixth in Alabama but 13th nationally), Avery (eighth in Alabama but 14th nationally) and Ella (ninth in Alabama but 16th nationally).

The Social Security Administration listed the top 100 names for boys and girls in Alabama. Evan, the choice of 58 Alabama parents last year, came in 100th. Alice, the name given to 40 girls, was 100th for females. Alice fared better nationally, coming in 70th. Evan was 84th.

The agency lists 1,000 names for both boys and girls nationally. At the bottom for boys last year were Jaxx and Howard; those names each were given to 201 babies. For girls? It was Alora, the name conferred on 257 babies.

Even as the number of births has declined over the decades, popular names have been less concentrate at the top. Last year, for instance, not a single boy name made up even 1 percent of newborns in the United States. Emma — at 1.0528 percent — was the only girl name to do so.

Forty years ago, though, eight girl names and 23 boy names crossed that threshold. The most popular name, Michael, was the choice of 4.267 percent of parents.

Scanning the most popular names, it becomes clear that sometimes, what’s old becomes new again. Emma, the most popular girl name nationally last year, has been in the top five since 2002, ranking first in five of those years — including the last four consecutive years.

For much of the latter half of the 20th century, though, it was relatively rare to find an Emma in a maternity ward. From 1961 through 1984, Emma did make even the top 300. From 1900 through 1941, however, Emma cracked the top 100 every year and was in the top five for the first five years of the century.

@BrendanKKirby is a senior political reporter at LifeZette and author of “Wicked Mobile.”


AL AG Steve Marshall leading the fight to protect your gun rights

(Marshall Campaign)

Steve Marshall is a champion for Second Amendment rights. In his first year in office, he has led the fight both in Alabama and beyond to ensure that the individual right to bear arms is protected.

One of his first official acts as Attorney General was to lead twenty-five states in standing up for the right of individuals to carry firearms outside of the home. In a brief filed with the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of Alabama and 25 other states, Marshall questioned the constitutionality of a San Diego County gun restriction which banned citizens from possessing firearms outside of the home for self-defense. Believing the law to be a flagrant violation of Californians’ Second Amendment rights, Marshall said at the time of filing:


“The Constitution does not limit [the right to bear arms] to the interior of one’s own home, yet that is effectively what the sheriff of San Diego County has dictated to local residents. As a result, most of the citizens of San Diego County today cannot open carry or concealed carry outside their property, even for self-defense. This unconstitutional limitation on the Second Amendment must be challenged and I am proud to lead a 26-state court filing to the U.S. Supreme Court opposing this unlawful gun ban.”

Marshall asked the Supreme Court to reverse the ultra-liberal Ninth Circuit and strike down the California law. Marshall’s brief was joined by Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Immediately upon taking office, Steve Marshall took the lead in a case with national implications for Second Amendment rights. And this is just one example of how he’s methodically pushing back against those who want to whittle away at the right to bear arms. Throughout his time in office, Marshall has continually demonstrated his commitment to protecting our constitutional rights at the state and federal levels and gives us a clear picture of the kinds of issues he will focus on if elected in the June 5th primary.

(Paid for by Steve Marshall for Alabama, P.O. Box 3537, Montgomery, AL 36109)

4 days ago

LGBTQ group rescinds job offer to Alabama lawmaker after comment


A Florida LGBTQ organization founded in the aftermath of the PULSE nightclub shooting rescinded an employment offer to an Alabama lawmaker on Thursday after a social media post speculating about the Alabama governor’s personal life.

The One Orlando Alliance announced it has retracted a job offer to Patricia Todd, Alabama’s only openly gay lawmaker, to become the group’s new executive director.

Chairwoman Jennifer Foster in a statement said Todd showed a “lapse” in judgment despite a “well-established record of outstanding service to the community.”


“The Board affirms that Ms. Todd’s comments are not aligned with the values of One Orlando Alliance,” Foster said.

Todd wrote on social media this week regarding Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey, “Will someone out her for God’s sake.”

Ivey, in a statement issued by her campaign, responded that it was a “disgusting lie.”

“It’s false. It’s wrong. It’s a bald faced lie,” Ivey said.

Todd’s comments came after Ivey, responding to criticisms from a Republican primary challenger, said she did not personally agree with the “agenda” of another LGBTQ organization that had received a state grant.

Todd did not immediately respond to a voicemail and email requesting comment.

Todd announced earlier this year that she was not seeking re-election to the Alabama House of Representatives this year, and was moving to Florida to take the job with One Orlando.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
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Financial health of Business Council of Alabama could be in jeopardy


According to many lawmakers, recent years have not been kind to the Business Council of Alabama’s lobbying efforts.

And based upon financial filings, recent years may not have been kind to the organization’s fiscal health, either.

The BCA’s 2016 IRS Form 990 filing, which is required of 501(c)6 nonprofit organizations, does not paint a rosy picture of finances. An examination of the document reveals that contributions and income have decreased while salaries and expenses have increased. 


The document showed $4,142,334 in revenue and $4,776,029 in expenses, a deficit of $633,695. (The previous year showed a minimal surplus of $95,433.)

President and CEO Billy Canary’s total compensation that year was $627,595. Another $782,131 was transferred to ProgressPAC, the BCA’s lobbying arm.

Nancy Wall Hewston, senior vice president of communications for BCA, told Yellowhammer News in an email that public finance reports from 2016 showed only a “snapshot” in time and shouldn’t be used to determine an organization’s overall financial health.

But the IRS filing guidelines state that Form 990 is the primary mechanism by which an entity exempt from income tax is required to ”publicly disclose the organization’s annual returns.”

The BCA’s financial standing is facing even more uncertainty with the potential departure of several of its largest members.

Executives from three separate companies representing some of the highest contributors of the organization have told Yellowhammer News that a failure to change the organization’s leadership may compel some of the state’s largest employers to leave BCA and form a new entity with the goal of more effective advocacy on issues directly involving jobs and the economy.

These companies leaving could result in substantial funding losses for BCA. One estimate indicates the BCA would lose more than 25% of its already imperiled annual budget.

The Yellowhammer Multimedia Executive Board is comprised of the owners of the company.

4 days ago

Does hard work pay off? It did for Angela Graugnard of the Alexander Shunnarah law firm


Angela Graugnard joined The Ford Faction in this week’s Alexander Shunnarah Law Firm “Shark of The Week” to talk about her introduction into the firm.  Angela mentions her great story of almost “begging” Alex into his law firm by saying she could fit nicely in the very packed office.  Angela mentions about her husband who’s a cajun vegan and it blows the guys minds in a very funny and interesting interview on The Ford Faction.

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

4 days ago

Alabama physician’s prescriptions faulted in guitarist’s overdose


A pain specialist faults prescriptions by an Alabama physician accused of federal crimes in the 2016 drug overdose death of a former guitarist for rock band 3 Doors Down.

Dr. Richard Snellgrove is accused of unlawful distribution of drugs and health care fraud in a case tied to the death of Matthew Roberts. The Fairhope physician faces up to 240 years in prison and up to $2.8 million in fines if convicted. reports that Dr. Rahul Vohra testified Wednesday in the trial in Mobile that Snellgrove’s records don’t justify the painkillers he was prescribing, especially because he knew Roberts struggled with addiction.


Vohra is a specialist in pain treatment who works in Jackson, Mississippi, and reviews case files for Mississippi authorities of doctors suspected of improperly prescribing pain medicine.

He testified that Snellgrove did not use enough non-drug therapies; was willing to give opioids to a known addict; and escalated the strength of prescriptions at a rate Vohra found excessive. Vohra said a doctor has the responsibility to act when a patient shows signs of addiction.

Roberts was a founding member of 3 Doors Down when the rock group began in 1996 on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. 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.

Roberts’ family is also suing Snellgrove, Rite Aid Corp. and others in a civil lawsuit in state court in Alabama. That case is stayed pending the outcome of Snellgrove’s criminal case.

Snellgrove’s defense team argues their client provided reasonable treatment for a patient who had legitimate medical needs. Questioning Vohra, defense attorney Art Powell suggested that Roberts might have been deceiving Snellgrove, getting prescriptions from other sources and abusing street drugs as well.

Vohra also agreed when Powell asked him if Roberts might have had lasting pain from a 2006 car wreck and surgeries on his wrists for carpal tunnel syndrome and on one hand for a tendon disorder.

Powell brought up a suggestion that at one time, Snellgrove had deliberately been prescribing lower doses in order to wean Roberts off specific drugs. Vohra maintained that was illegal: That if Snellgrove knew Roberts had an addiction problem, he was forbidden from prescribing more painkillers. Robert should have been referred to a specialist for any such weaning treatment, he said.

“That’s what the DEA wants you to do,” said Powell.

“That’s what the DEA makes you do,” said Vohra.

Shortly before his death, Snellgrove gave Roberts a prescription for Fentanyl patches delivering 75 micrograms an hour of the drug. The patches are designed to be worn for 72 hours each, so that 10 last a month. Powell suggested that at the time of this death, Roberts might have gone through four of them in 30 hours.

The defense attorney posed a hypothetical question: If Roberts had taken his medicine as prescribed, might he still be alive?

“He might be,” Vohra answered.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
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4 days ago

State Sen. Glover: Education is key to Alabama’s future


As a former high school educator my time in the classroom gave me many valuable life lessons. Not a single year passed where I did not see the effects that cuts had on our students, their achievements, and even their parents.

While we are beginning to see an economic renaissance nationally, the figures from the latest hard data in 2016 show just how slow the recovery was for many people. In my own area of Southwest Alabama, the most recent figures show an underemployment rate of 23.7% – nearly 1 in 4 people are looking for better jobs and are willing to commute longer distances for those jobs.

Yet, of the five fastest growing occupations in the same area – four of the occupations can either be taught or outright require a community or technical college training.


Education will be part of the next legislative session. In a time when it seems everything is in flux – education and its impact on our communities remains a constant.

In a 2017 article, it was reported that of 67 counties – 18 had either local school systems or colleges as the county’s largest employer. It should be noted, that of the top eight counties for population – the largest employer in six of them are education institutions or school systems.

However, what is our plan? I never taught without planning my own lessons. How then can we effectively seize our future without a plan?

What I propose is to get back to the basics. Greater localized control, while working with every school system in the state to reduce classroom sizes can help our children quickly.

For those in high schools, I pledge to work and develop more streamlined pathways to community and technical college training. Increasing access to broadband at the same time will allow students across the state to take advantage of our higher education resources in a quick, thorough, and efficient fashion.

This can deliver to Alabama both the higher personal incomes and long term tax base our state needs – without raising personal taxes.

As your Lieutenant Governor, I would bring the perspective of a teacher – one who understands what cuts to education looks like at the dinner table and who understands the importance of education to our local communities.

State Sen. Rusty Glover is a Republican from Semmes.

4 days ago

Scott Dawson ally ‘Rick & Bubba’ show’s Rick Burgess: Patricia Todd tweet ‘might have been a good thing’ for GOP (AUDIO)

Thursday on his syndicated “Rick & Bubba” radio show program, co-host Rick Burgess, a supporter of Republican gubernatorial hopeful Scott Dawson, speculated on what might have caused Alabama State Rep. Patricia Todd (D-Birmingham) to post a tweet questioning the sexuality of Gov. Kay Ivey.

Burgess’s comments were in response to a caller’s remarks about Todd’s tweet. The caller suggested the tweet set Ivey up for the sympathy vote in next month’s Republican gubernatorial primary, and he went on to add that Ivey would be an easier opponent for Democrats in November.

Burgess made the case that Todd may have tipped off Democrats’ strategy for November in a possible general election setting, which he said was a good thing for Republicans.


“I thought the same thing,” he replied. “When you saw what happened, I think that it might have been a good thing for the Republican Party because, in my opinion, this is what they were going to do in October. And I think this particular person, Democrat, got angry and kind of launched before this gameplan was supposed to launch.”

“But I feel very confident that was coming from the Democrats,” he added. “They would act like it was not them doing it. But that was going to happen in October if Kay Ivey were to be the nominee. And I think that that strategy just got outed, no pun intended, quicker. So, I think the Democrats showed their hand a little bit on that.”

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

4 days ago

If Trump is so terrible, why must the media lie about what he says?

(White House/Flickr)

Americans are constantly being pounded with the narrative that President Donald Trump is a loud-mouthed, brash New Yorker who says crass things. It’s true, no question about it. There is already plenty to hammer the guy on, so there is no reason for the mainstream media to continue their lying about things he says.

Look at these headlines, then read the actual Trump quotes they reference.

USA Today Headline: 

OnPolitics Today: Trump calls undocumented people ‘animals,’ rhetoric with a dark past

Actual quote:


SHERIFF MIMS: Thank you. There could be an MS-13 member I know about — if they don’t reach a certain threshold, I cannot tell ICE about it.

THE PRESIDENT: We have people coming into the country, or trying to come in — and we’re stopping a lot of them — but we’re taking people out of the country. You wouldn’t believe how bad these people are. These aren’t people. These are animals.

The Atlantic Headline:

Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: ‘Some Very Fine People on Both Sides’

Actual quote:

“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right?” Trump said. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” he said.

“You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists,” Trump said. “The press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”

“You also had some very fine people on both sides,” he said.

BBC Headline:

‘Drug dealers, criminals, rapists’: What Trump thinks of Mexicans

Actual quote:

“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

Why this matters: All three of these quotes were spun-up as wildly-offensive and racist comments. They are also all taken out of context completely. In all of these instances, Trump separates good guys from bad guys, and he makes it clear the blunt language is for the bad guys. Unfortunately, once it is fed through the national media prism in NYC and DC, the actual context and intent is completely lost.

This is why the media is losing trust every single day.

The details:

— A poll done last year indicated that 63 percent of Americans thought “traditional media outlets” spread fake news before this latest fake controversy developed. Now? That number is 77 percent.

— 90 percent of media coverage has been negative against Trump in the first four months of this year.

— In January, 67 percent of Republicans saw political bias in the news while only 26 percent of Democrats felt that way, which tells us Democrats are enjoying what the media is selling.

— A recent poll shows that 51 percent of Republicans view the American media as the “enemy of the people,” while only 22 percent of Democrats felt the same way.

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

Let the Alabama pastor speak … and everybody speak up too

(WVTM 13 / Facebook)

Everyone likes free speech until someone says something we find vile.

Birmingham pastor Michael Jordan of New Era Baptist Church was in the news this week, decrying Church of the Highlands’ plans to open a campus in a high crime area of the inner city, calling “the white church” racist and hypocritical.

Jordan’s interview with Birmingham NBC affiliate WVTM is shocking and divisive, and many Alabamians, black and white, are slamming him as a “racist.”


“It’s a slavemaster church,” Jordan also said in an interview with “I call it plantation religion, slavemaster religion. The white rich folks start a church and put a black pastor in charge of it.”

Pretty harsh words. Pretty sure that’s the last thing Church of the Highlands is trying to be. But Jordan comes across, however resentfully, however colorfully, as having sincere concerns. We don’t have to agree with him to try and understand where he’s coming from.

If someone is willing to voice such controversial statements, chances are there are other people who feel the same way but aren’t willing to say it out loud.

It’s been said the best solution to speech we don’t like is more speech, so it’s worth your time to read this op-ed by Joe Lockett, a black radio talk show host in Birmingham who stepped up to confront speech with speech, even though he might disagree with some of my points here.

Also worth reading the classic “Prayer of St. Francis” to put all this in perspective:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love,
for it is in giving that one receives,
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.

Bring truth … bring love … bring pardon … bring joy … all require action, all can be done through speech.

So … speak up.

Rachel Blackmon Bryars is managing editor of Yellowhammer News

4 days ago

More sex abuse charges filed against Alabama evangelist

(Hoover PD)

Authorities have filed additional charges against an Alabama youth evangelist accused of sexually abusing children.

Etowah County sheriff’s officials said Thursday they’ve filed new sodomy and sexual abuse counts against 37-year-old Paul Edmond Acton Bowen of Southside.

Sheriff Todd Entrekin says the charges involve a juvenile who was allegedly sexually abused over several years.

Bowen was first arrested a month ago, and he now faces multiple charges in Etowah and Jefferson counties. He’s jailed in Gadsden.


Bowen has released a statement denying any inappropriate conduct, but the sheriff says there is a potential for more victims.

Bowen is a youth speaker who has written three books and operated Acton Bowen Outreach as a Christian ministry. Court records show his wife filed for divorce following his initial arrest.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
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Why Trump was right to move embassy to Jerusalem

(I. Trump/Instagram)

Listen to the 10 min audio

Read the transcript:


TOM LAMPRECHT:  Harry, this past Monday was a significant day in the nation of Israel as President Donald Trump of the United States made a bold decision that was actually passed by Congress 20 years ago to move the United States embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

DR. REEDER: This is something that has been the stated objective of almost every president and every Congress. And, in fact, it was almost an embarrassment to all of the allies who had knowingly turned their eyes and ears from the reality of the Holocaust being inflicted upon the Jewish people by the Nazi regime and then, of course, the uncovering of this site. So, the Holocaust, it was just a matter of a couple of years before the United Nations would pass the declaration for the restoration of Israel back to its homeland. Of course, all of this dates back to the Balfour Declaration of 1917.


Now comes this post-World War II movement. Every president, also, of course, wants to bring peace to the Middle East as well. Our last presidents have made initiatives and efforts but it’s been to no avail. Now, interestingly, what President Trump has done, which is placing our embassy in the capital of Jerusalem, let’s make a couple of facts abundantly clear. First of all, Jerusalem is, by the nation of Israel, declared to be her “eternal city,” the eternal capital of Israel.


Nations always place their embassies in the capital cities of the nation with which they have the relationships and our Congress has authorized that our embassy should be in the capital city of Jerusalem and has so directed it to be, but no president has placed our embassy in the capital city of Israel, which is Jerusalem.

Well, Tom, the question automatically says well, why haven’t presidents done what Congress has authorized? They put the embassy in Tel-Aviv, which has been the functional economic center of Israel. Even though all of their governmental buildings and organizations are located in Jerusalem, we’ve always put our embassy in Tel-Aviv.


Why? It’s been a bargaining chip out of deference to the Palestinians so that, in negotiations, that has positioned America as a broker of peace and it has been acknowledged that America would be the best broker of a peace agreement between the Palestinians and the Israeli nation.

Well, now, as Donald Trump has said, every president has promised to put the embassy there, Congress has authorized the embassy to be there, I’m going to put it there. He put it and an unmistakable message was given because it was on the day that commemorates the establishment of Israel in 1947. Therefore, the president does it and that, of course, has caused significant unrest in Israel.


TOM LAMPRECHT: In fact, there were dozens of Palestinians that were killed as the Israeli defense forces acted forcefully when a number of terrorists tried to breach a security fence.

DR. REEDER: There were efforts to disrupt the process, efforts to go through the security fences so there were Israeli defense forces. And the Israelis now are under a number of assaults in that there is the Iranian-backed assaults coming out of Syria, which Israel has responded to very forcefully externally and then the internal issues of the Palestinian unrest and their response and the Palestinians have declared that they no longer will look to America or follow America’s peace initiatives.

Now, a lot of people are sitting here looking at this, having seen something we’re going to comment on tomorrow, the Korean initiatives that have been somewhat successful, and what has been the role of this presidential administration. And some are looking at this and saying, well, this may be another example of business as usual by presidents, which is, “I’m not going to put the embassy there so I’ve got a bargaining chip.”

The fact is the bargaining chip hasn’t worked. It hasn’t worked now for four presidents. This president decides: I’m not going to use it as a bargaining chip. I’m going to go ahead and do it and let’s see if that moves the process forward, because there is no other ally that we have that we will not put an embassy in their capital and, if Israel is a strong ally for us, then we need to go ahead and do what we would do with every other nation. And then, from that position, let’s be a player in the matters of negotiating a peace agreement with the Palestinians.


It is my opinion that this actually may position the president’s negotiating teams in a more purposeful position. Instead of making Jerusalem a bargaining chip, you’ve made it a reality that has to be dealt with and now move ahead to deal with the reality of how we get a peace agreement there in Israel.

Of course, there’s some evangelicals that their position is this is futile to try to make a peace agreement because the Bible declares that there will be enmity between the sons of Ishmael and the sons of Isaac. However, I would suggest that, while in God’s purposes, what He does with the conflicts of nations is yet to be seen in His providence.

I believe the directive of God’s Word is very clear:

— We are to pray for the peace of Jerusalem.

— We should seek the peace of Jerusalem.

— We should be peacemakers wherever we go.

Well, Harry, what about wars? War is always the failure of human beings to deal with the issues of sin and unrighteousness and evil and, ultimately, wars may settle the immediacy of an issue, but they don’t position you for the long-term effects of what needs to be done for felicity — the fact that we need to promote peace. Whereby, with principles of what is right and what is wrong, you sit down at the table in order to do that which is just for both nations.


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, Abigail Shrier, who writes for The National Review and The Federalist, said the embassy move could be Trump’s most enduring presidential achievement.

DR. REEDER: I have that hope, Tom. I have that very, very hope. I just know that the past approach of withholding the embassy by presidential directive in order to use that to create the opportunity to be the broker of peace between the Israeli people and the Palestinian people hasn’t worked and there is no sense that it will work. I think go ahead and deal with Israel as you would with any other ally, place the embassy there, go ahead and establish that and let Israel deal with the reality of that.

And then, from that position, call the factions within Israel to a table and then I actually think you can speak with more pointedness to Israel, having affirmed her position as an ally rather than, “Israel, we are authorized to put an embassy in Jerusalem but we’re not going to do it unless you make concessions to the Palestinians. And, Palestinians, see, we haven’t put an embassy there so that shows that we’re really not an ally with Israel and you can trust us.”

I don’t think that kind of deception really works. Go ahead and put the embassy there and sit down and say, “Now let’s get on the table what are the issues and how can we create a solution that takes care of the Palestinian people within the confines of the borders of Israel and how can an appropriate nation be established for the Palestinian people?”

I will again remind our listeners that I believe that this was a failure prior to World War II when the Balfour Declaration was not properly fulfilled underneath English oversight and what today is Jordan actually was the very place whereby those who are in Israel were supposed to be given land and a nation and it was to be established. And the creation of Jordan was, actually, I believe, a political figment for other purposes that was put into place, but now Jordan is there — it’s going to be there — now you’ve got to deal with the necessity of, I believe, carving out a Palestinian nation and that’s going to require some appropriate negotiations by Israel with the Palestinian people.


I would also remind all of our listeners, Tom, that our kingdom we have our allegiance to as believers is, of course, the Kingdom of God that is to be spread with the Gospel to all the nations. And I would remind you that you have, in the Kingdom of God, brothers and sisters who are citizens of the Kingdom of God through a personal relationship with Christ as Lord and Savior who reside in both places. God’s covenant people come from all the nations and, therefore, we are to bring the Gospel of peace to all the nations.


TOM LAMPRECHT: Harry, on Friday’s edition of Today in Perspective, as you’ve already alluded to, we’re going to revisit the North Korean situation. Specifically, I want to take a look at those three detainees that came back to the United States last week and a special note they handed Mike Pence.

DR. REEDER: I would encourage our listeners, why don’t you read Psalm 126 before tomorrow?

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.

4 days ago

Woodpecker species holding its own in Alabama

(Justin Averette / Alabama NewsCenter)

On the banks of the Coosa River, a federally endangered woodpecker continues to hold its own, with a little help from friends.

For more than 30 years, Alabama Power Company biologists have worked to protect and expand red-cockaded woodpecker (RCW) populations on Lake Mitchell, which contains the largest population of RCWs on private property in the state.

The aptly-named woodpecker measures about 7 inches tall and is black and white except for the red streak males have along the side of their heads.


Each spring, Alabama Power partners with federal and state agencies to identify and track the bird through banding. In early May, biologists with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife or the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources will scale pine trees up to 30 feet to check on that year’s offspring.

The baby birds, just 6 to 9 days old, will be given a unique band of colored rings along their tiny legs.

“Their eyes are shut, and they are still pretty much featherless, but the size is about right where you can put bands on them,” said Eric Soehren, an ecologist with the Alabama Department of Conservation and Natural Resources. “If you wait too long – you can go 10 or possibly 11 days – but by then their eyes have opened up, and it’s a lot harder to pull them out. There is a small window of time in which you want to target.”

The bands will allow scientists to track the birds over their lifetime. Some birds from Lake Mitchell have turned up more than 100 miles away.

The first survey of red-cockaded woodpeckers was conducted in 1985. After last year’s nesting season, 11 active clusters produced a total of 17 fledglings – nine males and eight females. That’s in addition to 31 adult birds, bringing the total population of RCWs in 2017 to 48.

In addition to tracking, Alabama Power assists the woodpecker by providing habitat for the species.

While most woodpeckers carve openings in dead trees, RCWs bore holes exclusively in mature, living pine trees. To give the birds more nesting habitat, Alabama Power carves openings in trees using chainsaws.

“At the end of the next season, we will look at the number of birds there and compare that to the number of tree cavities at each cluster. If the number of birds exceeds the number of cavities, then we will hire consultants to go out and install artificial cavities for the birds,” said Chad Fitch, a biologist with Alabama Power. “That way, all the birds will have a place to live.”

Alabama Power also helps keep the longleaf pine forests that woodpeckers depend on healthy with regular prescribed burning and tree thinning.

“The habitat for red-cockaded woodpeckers really would not exist without thinning and prescribed burning at Lake Mitchell,” Fitch said. “We have prescribed burning at each cluster every other year or as needed to maintain an open, park-like area for RCW habitat.”

About the red-cockaded woodpecker

The red-cockaded woodpecker primarily feeds on ants, beetles, cockroaches, caterpillars, wood-boring insects, spiders and, occasionally, fruits or berries.

RCWs are a cooperative breeding species, which means some of the male birds from previous years will help take care of their half-siblings and future generations.

The nesting season runs from April to June and breeding females typically lay three to four eggs each season. Group members incubate eggs for 10 to 11 days. Once hatched, nestlings remain in the tree cavity for 26 to 28 days.

Upon fledging, the young often remain with the parents, forming clusters with three to four members. Groups can grow to as large as 10 birds; however, there is only one breeding pair within each cluster.

The “helpers” are all male as juvenile females generally leave the cluster before the next breeding season in search of solitary male groups.

The main predator of RCW nests is rat snakes. To combat these predators, the birds keep sap flowing from the pine trees as a defense mechanism.

The red-cockaded woodpecker plays a vital role in Southern pine forests. Several other animals, such as nuthatches, bluebirds, bees, wasps and other woodpeckers, use cavities excavated by RCWs.

(Courtesy of Alabama News Center)

4 days ago

Are sales taxes outdated for Alabama’s future economy?


Presidential tweets and a Supreme Court case have reignited the question of taxing internet sales. The Court in April heard arguments in South Dakota v. Wayfair regarding whether a retailer must have physical presence in a state to have to remit sales taxes. The physical presence rule goes back to 1967 and mail order catalogs.

E-commerce has been costing state and local governments tax revenue, as South Dakota argued in the case. But instead of trying to collect sales taxes online, perhaps we should abandon a 20th Century economy tax.


General sales taxes produced 23 percent of state and local tax revenues nationally in 2015, while “selective sales taxes” on gas, tobacco, and alcohol contributed another 11 percent. Alabama raises 48 percent of our tax revenue from these taxes. Abandoning sales taxes would open a chasm in Alabama government budgets.

Economics shows that we will have less of anything which we tax. Taxes affect our behavior, creating a cost beyond the revenue raised for the government. “Optimal tax theory” examines keeping this extra cost as low as possible while raising needed government revenue. Efficiency is not, of course, the only factor for evaluating taxes, as most of us also care about fairness.

First widely used in the 1930s, sales taxes readily funded local governments when most people shopped at stores near home. The local sales taxes Alabamians paid went to their city or county government. Times have changed.

Sales taxes have always had drawbacks. For one, they are regressive, meaning that taxes as a percentage of family income falls as income rises. Although economists disagree about how progressive taxes should be (with a progressive tax, payments as a percentage of income increase with income), few view regressive taxes as fair.

Beyond regressivity, services have also proven hard to tax. Malls and big box stores avoided a local sales tax by locating beyond the city limits. Consumer use taxes, enacted for purchases made without paying sales taxes, have proven cumbersome. High taxes on cigarettes have led to cross-border shopping and smuggling.

Online retailing worsened collection problems. Although Amazon now generally collects sales tax, universal collection will be neither easy nor cheap. Differential tax treatment of online and brick-and-mortar sellers raises economic and fairness concerns. Avoiding sales taxes helps keep inefficient online retailers in business. And brick-and-mortar retailers face unfair competition when consumers can avoid sales taxes online.

Internet shopping has improved life for shoppers and entrepreneurs. Shoppers can choose from sellers world-wide without leaving the house. Makers of unique products no longer need to rely on mail order catalogs, and social media groups promote the products to interested consumers. The cost of collecting sales taxes for small businesses, however, is substantial: 13 percent of tax revenues for small retailers, versus 2 percent for large retailers.

Public service ads today encourage people to shop local retailers to fund local government. But optimal tax theory says we should not let taxes distort economic activity too much. Should we potentially halt the evolution of e-commerce, and all the benefits this may bring, simply because local governments can more easily collect sales taxes from local stores?

Our city and county government provide valuable services like police and fire protection, streets, schools, and garbage collection. These services should be adequately funded. I also believe in federalism and want local governments to impose their own taxes. Having Washington collect more taxes and then fund local governments undermines federalism.

Alternatives exist for sales tax revenues. In Alabama, our lowest in the nation property taxes represent an alternative. We might want to try pollution taxes, which promise sound environmental policy and could fund government.

Should we substantially revamp our tax system? If sales tax collection does not stifle e-commerce, my concern becomes moot. Ultimately government in the United States is supposed to serve our interests. Perhaps sales taxes are as outdated as Sears, Toys-R-Us, and the famous retailers who collected them.

Daniel Sutter is the Charles G. Koch Professor of Economics with the Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy at Troy University.

4 days ago

Study: US Birth Rate Is At 30 Year Low


The United States birth rate is at a 30 year low in 2017, according to a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics released Thursday.

The number of babies dropped to an all-time low since 1987 with 3.85 babies born in 2017, two percent fewer than 2016, according to CDC’s study. The drop in women’s fertility is due to a wide variety of factors such as the 2007-2009 recession, more women going to college, and trying to pay off college debt before starting a family, The Wall Street Journal reported.


Kenneth M. Johnson, a demographer from the University of New Hampshire expected birth rates to increase following the 2007-2009 recession. “Every year I expect the number of births to go up and they don’t,” Johnson said. However, approximately 4.8 million fewer babies were born following the recession, according to Johnson.

“People are coming out with a lot of debt,” Jennie Brand, a University of California, Los Angeles sociology and statistics professor who researches fertility, told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s another thing they have to grapple with before they might think about starting a family.”

However, on the bright side, the research also found that teen pregnancy dropped to a new low. The number of teen pregnancies dropped seven percent in 2017 from 2016, 55 percent since 2007, and an overall 70 percent drop since 1991. One explanation might be the use of long-acting birth control.

“I’m absolutely astounded at the continuing decline in teen birthrates,” Brady Hamilton, a statistician at the National Center for Health Statistics.

United States’ fertility rate from women ages 15 to 44 is approximately 60.2 births per 1,000 women. However, this number is nothing compared to Japan, the country with the lowest birthrates. This Asian country has only eight births per 1,000 women, according to 2016 numbers from the World Bank. 2017 numbers showed that 914,000 babies were born in Japan, which is 36,000 less than 2016, according to government data, reported the Japan Times.

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4 days ago

Texas and Alabama to play in 2022 and 2023

(Longhorns, Crimson Tide/Facebook)

Texas and Alabama, which last met in 2010 Rose Bowl, will play each other in 2022 and 2023.

Texas officials announced the agreement Wednesday. Alabama will travel to Texas in 2022 and the teams meet in Tuscaloosa the following year. The Longhorns will push a home-and-home series with Ohio State from those years back to 2025-2026.


The Crimson Tide beat the Longhorns in the Rose Bowl to win the 2009 season national championship. The schools, among the most storied programs in college football, have met nine times dating to 1902 with Texas holding a 7-1-1 advantage. Most of those games have been on neutral fields. The last meeting on either school’s home field was in 1922, when Alabama traveled to Austin.

Texas also announced it had canceled a 2023 home game with Central Florida.

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)
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4 days ago

Why Jerusalem matters


This week, the Trump administration inaugurated the new American embassy in Jerusalem. The celebration in Israel was palpable; the embassy move came amidst the national celebration of the 70th anniversary of the creation of the state. The streets filled with Jews of all sorts, cheering and dancing.

Meanwhile, on the Gaza border, Hamas broadened its monthlong campaign to break down the Israel border, staging border “protests” attended by thousands — including terrorists who have used the supposed protests as a staging point for violent attacks on Israeli troops and territory. Palestinian terrorists have caused mass chaos, throwing Molotov cocktails at troops, attempting to rush the border, flinging explosives and tying incendiaries to kites in an attempt to set Israeli territory alight. The Israeli Defense Forces have responded with restraint. Despite this, a few dozen Palestinians have been killed, not the hundreds or thousands Hamas would presumably prefer.


But even as Yahya Sinwar, leader of Hamas in Gaza, suggested that “more than 100,000 people could storm the fence” between Israel and Gaza, and as 23-year-old Mohammed Mansoura announced, “We are excited to storm and get inside … to kill, throw stones,” the media covered the slow-rolling terror assault as a form of peaceful protest. A New York Times headline read “Israeli Troops Kill Dozens of Palestinian Protesters.” A Wall Street Journal headline reads “Scores Killed, Thousands Injured as Palestinians Protest US Embassy Opening In Jerusalem.”

Never mind that the riots had been going on for weeks preceding the embassy opening. Never mind that Hamas and the Palestinian Authority could quickly and permanently end all violence simply by stopping the violence. The real issue, according to the press, is President Trump and his Israeli friends.

What drives the leftist press’s coverage? Simply put, antipathy to the West. Israel is seen as an outpost of colonialism by leftists, and has been since the 1967 war. Then-President Barack Obama expressed the view well in his 2009 speech in Cairo, suggesting that Israel’s rationale relied on its “tragic history” that “culminated in an unprecedented Holocaust.” In this view, the Palestinians were shunted aside in favor of providing national reparations to Jews; the Jews took their Western ways into the heart of a foreign region.

This isn’t true. The living proof of that is Israel’s eternal connection to Jerusalem. That’s why both radical Muslims (including the Palestinian leadership) and the far left deny Israel’s historic bond with its homeland and hope desperately to stop public recognition of that bond. If Israel exists because Jewish connection pre-existed everything else, then Israel isn’t a new outpost of the West; it’s the oldest center of the West. That’s why Trump’s announcement is important: It’s a recognition that the West was founded on Jerusalem, rather than the other way around.

Peace will come when everyone recognizes what Trump has recognized: The Jewish connection to Jerusalem is unbreakable. And peace will come when Israel’s enemies realize that violence can’t change that underlying fact.

Ben Shapiro, 34, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show” and editor-in-chief of

(Creators, copyright 2018)