Construction of a new oversized vehicle tunnel and premium RV infield parking section at Talladega Superspeedway is still on schedule to be completed in time for the April NASCAR race, despite large amounts of rainfall and unusual groundwater conditions underneath the track.
Track Chairman Grant Lynch, during a news conference Wednesday at the track, said he’s amazed the general contractor, Taylor Corporation of Oxford, has been able to keep the project on schedule.
“The amount of water they have pumped out of that and the extra engineering they did from the original design, basically to keep that tunnel from floating up out of the earth, was remarkable,” Lynch said.
Alabama’s auto workers built nearly 1.6 million engines last year, as the state industry continues to carve out a place in global markets with innovative, high-performance parts, systems and finished vehicles.
Last year also saw major new developments in engine manufacturing among the state’s key players, and more advanced infrastructure is on the way in the coming year.
Hyundai expects to complete a key addition to its engine operations in Montgomery during the first half of 2019, while Honda continues to reap the benefits of a cutting-edge Alabama engine line installed several years ago.
"Frontier Airlines will begin direct flights from Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport on April 11, the airline announced today. Frontier Airlines will start by offering direct service to Denver, Orlando and Philadelphia from Birmingham. Introductory prices will start at $39."
"At 87, Clint Eastwood is not only trying new things, he’s trying daring new things, and his new film 15:17 to Paris represents one of the most audacious gambits of his career. To dramatize the tale of three Americans who tackled and subdued a heavily armed Islamist terrorist on a train out of Amsterdam in 2015, Eastwood cast the young men, none of whom had professional acting experience, as themselves. It’s a decision with little precedent in the entire history of motion pictures."
Prayer vigil to be held Thursday following eight-year-old’s murder at Galleria
Hoover City Councilman Derrick Murphy on Tuesday announced that he will host a prayer vigil in the wake of the tragic shooting at the Riverchase Galleria on Friday, July 3.
The shooting resulted in the death of eight-year-old Royta Giles, Jr., as well as injuries to three other bystanders. One suspect has been taken into custody and charged, and law enforcement officials have asked the public for assistance in identifying additional persons of interest.
Members of Giles’ family will reportedly join Murphy for his prayer vigil on Thursday, July 9, at 6:30 p.m. CT in the upper, far left parking lot of the Macy’s at the Galleria.
An advisory from Murphy outlined that local clergy, city and county officials, and members of the Galleria management team will also be in attendance.
Murphy noted that the purpose of the vigil will be two-fold.
“First, I feel it is imperative that we pray for Royta’s family and for all of the victims injured in this senseless shooting,” he said in a statement.
“Not only will we pray for them, but for everyone who was at the mall that day and experienced trauma in some way,” Murphy continued. “It is also important that we pray for our first responders and our community as a whole. We are all hurting from this situation. Now is the time to pray and support each other, knowing we will get through this together.”
The councilman then explained his second purpose.
“We must also address the issue of gun violence in our region. Our young people have too many easy avenues through which they can obtain guns today. That, coupled with their inability or unwillingness to solve disagreements effectively is leading to the loss of too many lives. There must be a change, it must start now, and it must start with the heart,” he concluded.
Anyone with information on the shooting or potential suspects should contact the Hoover Police Department or, to remain anonymous, call Metro Crime Stoppers at 205-254-7777.
‘You’re killing your own race’
Kesha Layfield, Giles’ grandmother, addressed the media this week.
“I hear, ‘Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter.’ How does it matter when you’re killing your own race?” she remarked.
“[W]hen you think it’s racism going on, you’re out here protesting, you’re out here marching for that,” Layfield added. “But what about him? He doesn’t have a voice.”
Per Alabama Media Group, Reverend David Miller of Birmingham’s Chosen Ministries also spoke this week about Giles’ death. Miller is a police officer in Midfield, as well as the Giles family’s pastor.
“Our hearts all went out because of what happened to George Floyd. The whole world went crazy, standing up for the brutality of George Floyd and how he was taken,” Miller reportedly said. “Everybody marched, everybody rioted, everybody tore up everything, and we understand that.”
“But [Giles’] life matters, too,” Miller stressed, “This baby boy will never, ever see the age of George Floyd, and yet we want to make it known that a change has to happen now. Right now. Everybody wants to be on TV, everybody wants to get publicity for rioting, but nobody wants to stand up when our own takes our own. We are here to say enough is enough.”
“What happened to the baby was wrong. It’s not going to end today. This is going to be a movement,” he added. “This baby boy right here, this prince among kings, we’re going to scream his name in Jesus’ name …”
Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn