The Wire

  • Fairhope firefighter facing new child sex crime allegations

    Excerpt from WKRG:

    A volunteer Fairhope firefighter, already facing child sex crime charges in Northwest Florida, is now also facing charges in Baldwin County

    Aaron Timony Green — seen smiling in his latest booking photo — was booked into the Baldwin County Corrections Center Tuesday morning on charges of child sex abuse and sodomy.

    According to Daphne Police, Green was arrested Monday, and the alleged abuse happened in November 2017.

    Police say the alleged victim was under 12.

  • Birmingham council passes $436 million budget

    Excerpt from AL.com:

    The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved the $436 million fiscal year 2019 operating budget.

    The budget is $8 million larger than last year’s budget, due to increased revenue from use and occupational taxes. According to the mayor’s office, 133 vacant jobs were cut from the budget, saving the city $4.7 million.

    Despite the larger budget, Mayor Randall Woodfin said there still wasn’t enough money for street paving or additional funding for Birmingham City Schools.

  • Martha Roby Honors Montgomery Native in 10th Annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game Tomorrow

    Excerpt from a Rep. Martha Roby news release:

    U.S. Representative Martha Roby (R-AL) will play in the 10th Annual Congressional Women’s Softball Game tomorrow, June 20, at 7:00 p.m. Eastern Time.

    This beloved tradition began in 2009 after Representative Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida was diagnosed with breast cancer. Each year, female members of Congress face members of the Washington, D.C., press corps to raise funds and awareness for the Young Survival Coalition (YSC), an organization that addresses a variety of issues unique to young women diagnosed with breast cancer.

    Each year, the players honor real women who are battling cancer. This year, Representative Roby will be playing for Courtney Pruitt, a Montgomery native and recent Alabama Christian Academy graduate who is currently undergoing intense treatment to fight leukemia. Courtney is the daughter of Representative Roby’s dear friend and Montgomery City Councilman Glen Pruitt.

    “This year marks the tenth consecutive year female members from both sides of the aisle have come together for the Congressional Women’s Softball Game to support young women battling cancer,” Representative Roby said. “I’m proud to be involved in this great event again this year, and I truly believe it demonstrates what we can accomplish when we put our differences aside to rally for a worthy cause. I am honored to play for my dear friend’s daughter Courtney as she continues to courageously battle this disease.”

4 years ago

Remington moves Bushmaster production line to Alabama

Bushmaster

Actions have consequences.

Sen. Charles Schumer, D-NY, last year urged the country’s major gun retailers “to suspend sales of modern assault-style weapons.” The State of New York then went a step further and passed the NY SAFE Act, which Gov. Andrew Cuomo described as the “toughest” gun control law in the United States. The Act’s definition of an “assault weapon” made it illegal to own some guns that were actually being manufactured in the state by Remington, America’s oldest gun manufacturer.

Remington subsequently decided that it would be expanding its operation into more gun-friendly territory, namely Alabama, where the company announced it would be opening a manufacturing facility that will bring roughly 2,000 jobs to The Yellowhammer State.

(Video below: Alabama’s ‘We Dare Defend our Rights’ motto played role in landing Remington — Article continues below the video)

Over the weekend, the consequences of New York’s anti-gun laws continue to be felt both there and in Alabama. Remington officials announced Friday that they are moving the production lines for the Bushmaster rifle and 1911 pistol from Ilion, NY to Hunstville, Ala.

The Bushmaster AR-15 semi-automatic rifle has been at the heart of the so-called “assault weapons” debate after it was used during the Newtown, Conn. shootings that killed 27. An AR-15 was also used at the theater shooting in Aurora, Colo. in 2012 and by the D.C. sniper roughly a decade ago. It is essentially the civilian version of the M-16, the fully automatic weapon that has been used by American soldiers since Vietnam.

The weapon has drawn the ire of liberal politicians, but has been fiercely defended by gun rights advocates, including NRA president David Keene who penned an op-ed titled “The AR-15: The Gun Liberals Love to Hate,” in which he criticized liberal politicians and members of the media for having “a simple minded and narrow understanding of why the founders included the Second Amendment in our Bill of Rights.”

Individuals defending the AR-15 say that it is an excellent weapon for self-defense. Perhaps most notably, business owners used AR-15s to successfully defended their shops against looters during the L.A. riots in the early 1990s.

The Bushmaster will now be made in Alabama. And along with the 1911 pistol production line, it will create roughly 150 jobs in the state.

Upon hearing the announcement, New York State Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, said he is “afraid additional jobs, and families, will be forced to move south,” unless the state rolls back its excessive gun laws.

“In Alabama we strongly support and uphold our great U.S. Constitution on which our nation and our states were founded,” Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley told Yellowhammer. “The Constitution serves to protect individual Freedoms. Among them are those guaranteed in the Second Amendment, which protects the right of the people to keep and bear Arms. We will protect the Freedoms of individuals and welcome any one or any company to Alabama to discover as so many have, that we are a pro-business state filled with good, hardworking people.”


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

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4 years ago

Remington Arms moving 2,000+ jobs from NY to Alabama

Remington

High level sources have informed Yellowhammer News that Remington, one of the world’s largest gun manufacturers, will on Monday join Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley in announcing that they are bringing over 2,000 jobs to Alabama.

The company is viewing the move into Alabama as an expansion, but it will likely impact their Ilion, NY plant as well. The New York facility currently employees around 1,200 people. It is expected to stay open, but with a reduced workforce.

“The company is making the move as an expansion of capacity, production and research,” a source told Yellowhammer on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. “The demand for Remington products has skyrocketed recently, for obvious reasons, so they need to increase their production capacity. They will be expanding their research capabilities with the Alabama plant, too.”

The initial estimated impact on Alabama’s economy will be roughly $87 million.

According to Remington’s website, the company designs, produces and sells sporting goods products for the hunting and shooting sports markets, as well as military, government and law enforcement markets. Founded in 1816 in upstate New York, the Company is one of the nation’s oldest continuously operating manufacturers. Remington is the only U.S. manufacturer of both firearms and ammunition products and one of the largest domestic producers of shotguns and rifles. The Company distributes its products throughout the U.S. and in over 55 foreign countries.

Remington first began considering new locations after the New York legislature passed the Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement (SAFE) Act in response to the tragic shootings in Newtown, Conn. In addition to banning magazines that contain more than seven rounds and requiring instant background checks on ammo purchases,  the NY SAFE Act broadened the definition of so-called “assault weapons” to include a wide range of guns, including the Bushmaster, which was being manufactured at Remington’s New York plant.

Almost half the states in the country have made pitches to Remington, included Arizona, Oklahoma, Michigan, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. But in the end, the company chose Huntsville, Ala.

Remington

The optics could not be worse for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who told WCNY radio host Susan Arbetter about a month ago that “extreme conservatives” who are “right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay,” have “no place in the state of New York.”

Gov. Bentley and Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard both immediately responded to Cuomo’s comments.

“In Alabama we strongly support and uphold our great U.S. Constitution on which our nation and our states were founded,” Bentley told Yellowhammer. “The Constitution serves to protect individual Freedoms. Among them are those guaranteed in the Second Amendment, which protects the right of the people to keep and bear Arms. We will protect the Freedoms of individuals and welcome any one or any company to Alabama to discover as so many have, that we are a pro-business state filled with good, hardworking people.”

“If he doesn’t want hard working pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment people in his state, we will gladly take them here in Alabama,” Speaker Hubbard added.

It looks like that’s exactly what is happening.

Yellowhammer will have full coverage of the announcement on Monday.


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

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4 years ago

The Great Alabama — New York Trade of 2014

Bentley vs. Cuomo

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told WCNY radio host Susan Arbetter over the weekend that “extreme conservatives” who are “right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay,” have “no place in the state of New York.”

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley responded to Cuomo’s comments, saying “We will protect the Freedoms of individuals and welcome any one or any company to Alabama.”

Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard also chimed in. “If (Gov. Cuomo) doesn’t want hard working pro-life and pro-2nd Amendment people in his state, we will gladly take them here in Alabama,” Hubbard said.

At least one conservative New Yorker has already indicated he will be leaving the state because of Cuomo’s comments. New York native Sean Hannity said he’s planning to leave The Empire State for good in favor of a lower-tax state, probably in the south.

“Now I want to tell you something – I was born and raised in New York,” Hannity said. “I want you to know that and I can’t wait to get out of here. I really can’t. I don’t want to pay their 10-percent state tax anymore. I live in the second-highest property taxed county in the entire country in Nassau County. I can’t wait to sell my house to somebody who wants it.

Now personally, I welcome anyone to come down to Alabama — regardless of their political beliefs — to experience firsthand why this is the greatest state in the country.

But all of this got me thinking, what if we could just come to some sort of agreement with the State of New York? What if we could make some trades? We’ll send some of our leftwing liberals up north in return for the handful of conservatives they have.

And so, with that, I present to you The Great Alabama — New York Trade of 2014.

Bronner for Trump

Alabama’s investment guru David Bronner has headed up the Retirement Systems of Alabama for over four decades. He grew RSA into one of the largest pension funds in the country. Unfortunately, the RSA has had a tough run of late, requiring a hefty investment from the taxpayers to prop it up. Bronner has found himself on the wrong side of conservatives in recent months by being one of the state’s biggest advocates of expanding Medicaid under ObamaCare. A handful of Democrats have even publicly stated their desire for him to be their Party’s nominee for governor, although Bronner’s never expressed any interest in that himself.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump‘s net worth has risen to an estimated $3.5 billion. As the Chairman and President of The Trump Organization, he oversees some of the country’s largest real estate investments and a brand licensing juggernaut. His television show The Apprentice and its spinoffs have experienced a 13 season run as one of TV’s biggest hits. Predictably, he’s back in the news today stoking speculation that he may run for President in 2016 as a Republican.

An eccentric investor who publicly pushes for the expansion of the welfare state in exchange for another eccentric investor who champions the free market? Trade accepted.

kennedy_archibald

Birmingham’s two most prominently featured liberal editorial writers, Joey Kennedy and John Archibald, have been delivering almost daily body blows to Alabama conservatives for a long time. Kennedy is the poster boy for the Birmingham News’ struggles to adapt to the digital age. He’s been noticeably absent from the public discourse lately, but he’s spent years talking down to his audience and berating them for being racists and stuck in the past. Archibald’s pessimism and disdain for the state he lives in is palpable in pretty much everything he writes.

Conservative talker Sean Hannity, who actually spent some time in Alabama in the past as a host on north Alabama talk staion WVNN, is a New York native who’s ready to get out. His radio show went into national syndication in 2001, and has since become one of the most listened to radio broadcasts in the country. His nightly television show has been a staple on Fox News since 2007. He’s also penned a couple of New York Times best-selling books.

We’re quite certain Kennedy and Archibald would be better received in New York, and Hannity would fit in much better in our neck of the woods.

birmingham_newyork

While we’re at it, let’s just go ahead and trade the entire Birmingham News for The New York Post.

The Birmingham News is the largest newspaper in Alabama. In 2012, The News moved from a daily to a thrice-weekly paper as a result of declining revenue and circulation. It’s currently trying to sell its $20 million office building and is hemorrhaging talent as it struggles to become a digital media company.

The News Corp-owned New York Post describes itself as the nation’s oldest continuously published daily paper. It was started in 1801 by federalist Alexander Hamilton, but is now NYC’s conservative alternative the The New York Times. It has the seventh largest circulation in the country.

Alabamians seem to be doing just fine with the option to read Yellowhammer online, but if we’ve got to have a print publication, it might as well be The Post instead of The News.

bedford_guliani

Democrat Roger Bedford has been in the Alabama State Senate since 1982. He’s legendary for his crafty political maneuvering on the Senate floor and behind-the-scenes. But he’s also one of the last remnants of a time in the Alabama legislature to which conservative Alabamians hope we never return.

Rudy Giuliani became known as “America’s Mayor” for his deft handling of New York City in the aftermath of 9/11. Prior to that, President Reagan appointed him to be U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York. During that time period, Guliani almost singlehandedly took down the Mafia in New York City, as well as other high profile white collar criminals and drug dealers. He ultimately ran an ill-fated presidential campaign in 2008 before returning to the private sector where he remains a partner in one of the top management and security consulting firms in the country.

We’ll gladly send Bedford up north in return for America’s Mayor.

tatum_downey

Cullman, Ala. native Channing Tatum made it big in Hollywood after his breakout role in the 2006 dance movie Step Up. He has gone on to be in two G.I. Joe movies, Dear John (2010), The Vow (2012) and 21 Jump Street (2012), among other films. Oh, you didn’t know he was from Alabama? Here’s another little known fact about Tatum. He was in Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs” music video back in 2000.

As if that’s not enough to send Tatum packing, he also had some choice words for potential conservative fans. “If they don’t like me because I voted for Obama, then f–k them,” Tatum said in 2009. I like horses and I like Obama. Nothin’ wrong with that.”

Robert Downey, Jr. is a Manhattan native who worked his way onto the Hollywood A-List, thanks in part to his roles as Iron Man and Sherlock Holmes. After a tough childhood “surrounded by drugs,” Downey was arrested in the mid-90s on multiple drug charges and ended up in a state prison in California. He now credits that experience with shaping his conservative political views.

“I have a really interesting political point of view, and it’s not always something I say too loud at dinner tables here,” Downey said. “You can’t go from a $2,000-a-night suite at La Mirage to a penitentiary and really understand it and come out a liberal. You can’t. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone else, but it was very, very, very educational for me and has informed my proclivities and politics every since.”

Downey also recently took the stage with Sting and absolutely killed it.

Giving up one of Hollywood’s most obnoxious stars in return for a super hero? Yea, that’ll work.

cox_voight

Mountain Brook, Ala. native Courteney Cox became one of the biggest television stars in history thanks to her role as Monica Geller on the hit NBC sitcom Friends. She’s appeared in countless other movies and television shows, including Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, the Scream movies, and The Longest Yard on the big screen, as well as Seinfeld, Saturday Night Live and Scrubs on TV. She’s such a big fan of Barack Obama that her and her then-husband David Arquette hosted an Obama victory party at their Beverly Hills home after he defeated Mitt Romney in 2012.

Jon Voight is Hollywood royalty. He sprang to stardom in the early 1970s after starring in Deliverance. He won the Academy Award for Best Actor in the 1978 film Coming Home about a paraplegic Vietnam vet. He was born in Yonkers, New York in 1938 and has been in too many films to even begin to list them all. He’s also the father of Angelina Jolie. Not bad, Mr. Voight.

As for his political views, Voight’s come a long way since appearing alongside Jane Fonda in support of leftists groups in the ’70s. He has become a staunch conservative and a supporter of the Tea Party movement. Check out the letter he read to the American people on Mike Huckabee’s television show in 2010.

We’ll gladly give up a Hollywood liberal who’s struggled to remain relevant in return for a Tea Party-loving, Academy Award winning actor with a body of work spanning a half century.

gucci_coolj

Radric Davis, better known by his stage name Gucci Mane, was born in Birmingham, Ala. in 1980. His 2005 independent debut album, which included the song “Icy,” put him on the map, especially in the south. He’s been involved in so many legal shenanigans between 2000 and 2013 that Wikipedia had to devote an entire multi-part, bullet-pointed section to them all. His song “Lemonade” featured what some critiques called “the worst rap lyrics of all time.” His 2010 mixtape was titled, “Burrock Obama.”

James Todd Smith, better known as LL Cool J is one of the best selling hip-hop artists of all-time and has had a career spanning three decades. He’s also had an extensive acting career, including a starring role in Any Given Sunday and a recurring role on CBS’ NCIS: Los Angeles.

Smith is a self-identified independent, but he actively campaigned for New York Governor George Pataki, a fiscally conservative but socially liberal Republican. He also attended the 2004 Republican National Convention.

Trading one of rap’s worst lyricists for a pop culture icon who’s campaigned for Republicans? Sure, we’ll do that.


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_Sims

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4 years ago

Bentley invites Constitution-loving New Yorkers shunned by Cuomo to move to Alabama


(Above: New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo says “extreme conservatives” have no place in his state)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo told WCNY radio host Susan Arbetter over the weekend that “extreme conservatives” who are “right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay,” have “no place in the state of New York.”

Cuomo was commenting on the difference between what he identifies as “extreme” conservatives and the more “moderate” Republicans, who he doesn’t mind keeping around.

Who are they? Are they these extreme conservatives who are right-to-life, pro-assault-weapon, anti-gay? Is that who they are? Because if that’s who they are and if they are the extreme conservatives, they have no place in the state of New York, because that’s not who New Yorkers are.

Cuomo’s comments have received a heavy backlash from the state’s conservatives, including Dennis Poust, communications director for the New York State Catholic Conference.

Today, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley responded to Cuomo’s comments with a simple message to Constitution-loving New Yorkers of all walks of life who feel shunned by their governor: Come on down!

“In Alabama we strongly support and uphold our great U.S. Constitution on which our nation and our states were founded,” Bentley told Yellowhammer. “The Constitution serves to protect individual Freedoms. Among them are those guaranteed in the Second Amendment, which protects the right of the people to keep and bear Arms. We will protect the Freedoms of individuals and welcome any one or any company to Alabama to discover as so many have, that we are a pro-business state filled with good, hardworking people.”

Bentley also encouraged tourists thinking about their next travel destination to consider what Alabama has to offer.

“Alabama has so much for people to enjoy, from our warm sunny beaches to our beautiful lakes and rivers,” Bentley said. “We’re proud of the cultural diversity that makes our state so unique, and we welcome New Yorkers and anyone to experience for themselves what makes our state so great.”

Back in New York, it appears that a lot of New Yorkers were already leaving, even before Cuomo encouraged them to.

A migration study conducted by United Van Lines found that 61 percent of their New York clients in 2013 were moving to other states. That’s the third highest percentage in the country.

Another study by the Tax Foundation found that 3.4 million residents left the high-taxing Empire State between 2000 and 2010. The state only gained 2.1 million new residents over that same time period, so 1.3 million more people left the state than came to it. The Tax Foundation estimates that population shift represents a loss of $45.6 billion in income for the state.

UPDATE: Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard has also taken to Facebook to encourage conservative New Yorkers to come south.


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_SimsYH Robert Bentley

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5 years ago

Iraq combat veteran issues challenge to gun-grabbing legislators

Aaron Weiss, a law enforcement officer and Iraq combat veteran rose earlier this year to speak out for the repeal of New York’s gun-grabbing “SAFE Act,” which was passed by the New York legislature and signed into law by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

After nearly coming to tears while describing the sacrifices he and his friends made in battle to protect the rights of Americans, Weiss issued a challenge to the member of the New York State State Assembly.

“Since voting to take away someone’s rights is totally different than being asked to enforce it, I want you to consider this,” Weiss said. “If you support the SAFE Act so whole heartedly, are you willing to stand with law enforcement members who lead from the front to enforcement? What I mean by that is if a constituent of yours feels so alienated by this law and the manner in which it was passed and they refuse to comply with it, are you willing to stack up on their front door and go in first?”

“I bet if a clause was in this bill that required you, the elected leadership, our elected leaders to go in the door first, I bet you would not be so steadfast,” he concluded.


Follow Cliff on Twitter @Cliff_SimsYH Aaron Weiss

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5 years ago

Bloomberg in ’16? ‘Impossible’

YH Michael Bloomberg

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has flirted with the prospect of a presidential bid before, but appears resigned to the conclusion he’ll never run . . . because he can’t win.

The exchange from the much-buzzed about New York Magazine piece this weekend:

If you’re an executive, can you really rule out running for president in 2016?

Yes. It’s just impossible. I am 100 percent convinced that you cannot in this country win an election unless you are the nominee of one of the two major parties. The second thing I am convinced of is that I could not get through the primary process with either party.

And, incidentally, I think I’ve got a better job than the president’s. He’s got a very tough Congress, and he’s removed from the day-to-day stuff. My job is the day-to-day stuff. That’s what I’m good at—or at least what I think I’m good at.

Bloomberg steered away from answering a question about his favorite 2016 prospect, calling Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo and Chris Christie all “very competent,” but declining to go any further.


Follow Dave’s blog at TheRun2016.com

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5 years ago

Governors take a pass on Syria

YH Scott Walker

One belief that usually unites governors of both parties is that they are doing the substantive, grown-up work that those in Congress are seemingly incapable of handling.

Yet when it comes to striking Syria militarily, leading governors appear fine with leaving it to the opinion of Congress.

The usually cocksure New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said earlier this the policy making on the matter should be left to federal representatives.

Two Democratic governors in the 2016 mix also took similar passes on the matter Wednesday.

Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley portrayed himself as just another citizen listening to the debate.

“I think all of us need a clear understanding of what it is exactly this mission would hope to accomplish – and why should we believe that the sort of strike being advocated would accomplish it,” O’Malley said. “That’s what I’m,  along with other Americans,  hoping to better understand in the course of this congressional debate.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo also delivered an answer focused on the process, rather than the policy, emphasizing the “truly serious, phenomenally serious topic” at hand.

“I want to see the federal government work,” Cuomo said. “I want to see Washington function, which means I don’t want to see the gridlock we’ve been seeing, I don’t want to see the hyperpartisanship we’ve been seeing.”

Earlier this week, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker made a futile attempt at linking the crisis overseas to state job growth.

A political consultant once told me: “If you ever want to scare the shit out of a first-time federal candidate for office, ask them about foreign policy.  Nobody knows anything.”

This probably applies to governors as well, though Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal must be given a sliver of credit for at least engaging the debate with substance, if not a full on position.


Follow Dave’s blog at TheRun2016.com

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