6 months ago

Tide kicker apologizes for missing tying field goal in Iron Bowl — ‘A kick I should make in my sleep’

University of Alabama football placekicker Joseph Bulovas on Sunday posted an apology on Twitter to Crimson Tide fans.

Bulovas, a redshirt sophomore, had the opportunity with just over two minutes left in the game to tie Saturday’s Iron Bowl at 48 points apiece with a 30-yard field goal attempt, however his kick missed, hitting the left upright. Auburn would go on to win by three points.

“After reflecting on the game, I just wanted to express my apologies to the entire Crimson Tide nation,” he said. “Nobody was more disappointed than myself.”

“Regardless of the circumstances, that is a kick I should make in my sleep and nobody is as big of a critic as I am of myself,” Bulovas continued. “To the fans, my coaches, and my teammates; I promise you will never see a guy work as hard as I will for the entirety of my career because I owe that to all of you.”

He concluded, “I refuse to let this be anything more than a bump in the road and I’m confident I will come back better because of it. I wear my emotions on my sleeve and this one was hard to take to say the least, but I have confidence in this team and in myself and that’s what’s motivating going forward. I have and will always give it everything I’ve got for this team which is something that will never change. God Bless and Roll Tide.”

Before that late miss, Bulovas in the Iron Bowl went six-for-six on PATs and also hit a 43-yard field goal.

He entered the season as the No. 2 kicker on Bama’s depth chart but has been the starter for a large portion of the year because of an injury to Will Reichard. Bulovas is now 8-11 on field goals this season.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

12 mins ago

Legislation easing restrictions on PPP loan payback supported by Alabama congressional delegation

Each member of Alabama’s congressional delegation voted in support of a bill to ease restrictions on businesses receiving loans under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that passed Congress this week and now heads to President Donald Trump’s desk.

The bill extends the time businesses have to spend their loans from eight to 24 weeks. Additionally, to qualify for loan forgiveness, borrowers would now be required to spend 60% of the loan on payroll where it had been 75% previously.

The Trump administration told Politico that the program has saved 50 million jobs across the country. The Birmingham Business Journal is reporting that $6 billion in PPP funds have been distributed in Alabama.

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The PPP was created as part of the $2.2 trillion stimulus packages known as the CARES Act that Congress passed in March as an attempt to alleviate the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The program proved so popular that legislation to replenish the funds proved necessary later in April.

The initial rollout of the program saw overwhelming demand that swamped many loan providers and led to some small businesses not receiving their loans in a timely fashion.

The kinks were later ironed out, and currently, the federal government holds $120 billion in PPP funds still available for a small business in need.

The initial eight-week deadline to pay back the loan for businesses that did not qualify for loan forgiveness was rapidly approaching for many PPP recipients.

Both payroll and rent/mortgage costs are eligible for forgiveness under the program.

Politico reported that some lenders expect an amount of renewed interest in the loans given the extended time available for repayment.

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

53 mins ago

ALDOT awards latest round of local road, bridge grants

Governor Kay Ivey and the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) on Thursday announced that $1.7 million in funding is being awarded to cities and counties for various local road and bridge projects.

The funding is part of ALDOT’s Annual Grant Program, which was created under the Rebuild Alabama Act enacted in spring of 2019.

The annual program by law sets aside $10 million off the top of the state’s share of Rebuild Alabama gas tax revenues for local road and bridge projects. This accounts for a small portion of the overall tax revenues that are put towards infrastructure improvements across the state.

A total of $7 million was already awarded earlier this year, with approximately $1.3 million to be awarded later this fiscal year.

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“Alabamians across the state are continually seeing the progress made on our roads and bridges. These projects now nearing a total of $9 million are going to go a long way in improving our state and the daily lives of every Alabamian,” Ivey said in a statement.

“Having a modern and safe infrastructure system will help Alabama continue to advance, and I remain committed to ensuring that this is a reality for us,” she concluded.

This latest award cycle sees six projects added to the 31 projects announced earlier this year. It is anticipated that all projects will be under contract by the end of the calendar year, after bids are taken.

You can view a list of the six new projects awarded grants here.

In addition to the Annual Grant Program, local governments can also apply for infrastructure funding under the ATRIP-II program, also created by the Rebuild Alabama Act.

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 hours ago

Huntsville mayor: ‘People who were not part of our community’ led Wednesday protest which resulted in tear gas usage, police officer injury

Huntsville has made the news after law enforcement officers on Wednesday used tear gas to break up a crowd who reportedly refused to comply with orders to disperse.

At least one police officer was injured Wednesday evening by the so-called protesters, and a reporter on the scene said objects were thrown at law enforcement vehicles. One local business was damaged.

On Thursday morning, Mayor Tommy Battle released a statement about what occurred, noting that “people who were not part of our community” were responsible for the unpermitted gathering that led to the clash.

“Yesterday, our city saw two separate protest events. The first was organized by the local chapter of the NAACP who worked with the City and Huntsville Police to organize a thoughtful event filled with hope and a call for justice,” the mayor said. “We gathered to mourn the tragedy that occurred in Minneapolis. We came together in supporting a First Amendment right to voice a call for change throughout our country. I saw families and small children. Students and seniors. Black and white. Our community has a shared mission – more must be done.”

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However, Battle outlined that a separate gathering from the permitted NAACP event subsequently occurred.

“What occurred after the NAACP event was disheartening,” he noted.

“A second event occurred, structured by people who were not part of our community,” Battle advised. “They gathered at the courthouse to block the square and protest.”

The mayor explained, “This was not part of a permitted event, and there were no local organizers in charge, which becomes a public safety issue. Even so, police allowed the protestors time to express themselves before asking everyone to leave. Most complied, but others did not. Police were clear in their instructions and worked with the remaining protestors for more than an hour before using non-lethal irritants. The protesters had every opportunity to peacefully leave and they chose otherwise. The leadership of this second group is not our community.”

“It is a hard thing for us to see in Huntsville, but we’ve worked too hard to grow this city as a place of respect and opportunity,” Battle concluded. “Let us turn pain into purpose and do the hard work to create meaningful change. We won’t let people and organizations from outside our community turn us against each other. This is a time for us to unite, to protect the city we love and to move forward in a way that is more equitable and just.​”

Sean Ross is the editor of Yellowhammer News. You can follow him on Twitter @sean_yhn

2 hours ago

State Sen. Elliott tabbed as ’emerging legislative leader’ by national foundation

State Senator Chris Elliott (R-Daphne) has been selected by a national group to be a member of the 2020 Emerging Legislative Leaders Program.

The national group choosing Elliott is the State Legislative Leaders Foundation (SLLF) in partnership with the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

Elliott is one of 50 state legislators from across the United States taking part in the program. Participation is limited to lawmakers in their first or second term.

“This leadership program provides an opportunity for collaboration with colleagues from across the country to share ideas and best practices to address complex public policy issues,” Elliott said in a release about his selection.

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The selection process included a nomination by Alabama State Senate leadership followed by a personal application from Elliott himself.

The application form on the SLLF site asks those applying for the program to be thorough in giving their responses because “this is a very competitive application process.”

Elliott commented, “I am humbled and honored to have been nominated by Senate Leadership and selected by SLLF to represent Alabama in this prestigious program.”

The program in which Elliott will take part is held in Charlottesville on the campus of the University of Virginia. The foundation’s website describes the proceedings as “4 days of challenging classroom discussions, led by a team of professors at the Darden School.”

Alabama legislators who have been selected as an “emerging leader” in years past include then-Rep. Greg Canfield (R-Vestavia Hills), Rep. Anthony Daniels (D-Huntsville), Sen. Tom Whatley (R-Auburn), Rep. Neil Rafferty (D-Birmingham) and Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster).

Henry Thornton is a staff writer for Yellowhammer News. You can contact him by email: henry@yellowhammernews.com or on Twitter @HenryThornton95

5 hours ago

7 Things: Alabama protests continue, all 4 officers charged in George Floyd case, Rosenstein acknowledges the FISA process was flawed and more …

7. Birmingham officer with coronavirus finally going home

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham police officer Sgt. Parnell Guyton has finally been sent home after spending 59 days at UAB Hospital fighting the coronavirus. A release said that he is “one of UAB Hospital’s first and most severely ill COVID-19 patients.”
  • Guyton was on a ventilator for 45 days at the hospital, “was in the Medical Intensive Care Unit for 23 days and spent 36 days in the Special Care Unit,” and his recovery from the virus has been called “a true miracle.”

6. GOP convention will be moved out of North Carolina

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  • While some portions of the Republican National Committee convention will take place in Charlotte, North Carolina, due to contractual obligations, an RNC official said, “The night the President accepts the nomination will not happen in Charlotte.”
  • Apparently, the decision isn’t completely final, but with how President Donald Trump has talked about the convention and wanting it to take place in full capacity, it’s unlikely that these plans will change. Trump said on Twitter that because of Governor Roy Cooper “we are now forced to seek another State to host the 2020 Republican National Convention.”

5. Marshall following through on Birmingham lawsuit

  • As promised, Attorney General Steve Marshall has filed a civil lawsuit against Birmingham for removing the Confederate monument in Linn Park, which will cost the city $25,000. 
  • In a statement, Marshall recalled how he made it known to Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin that if the monument were removed there would be a lawsuit filed and that he’s filing the suit against Birmingham for violating the Memorial Preservation Act. 

4. Byrne: We don’t need to deploy the military into cities

  • President Donald Trump recently came out and said that he could use the Insurrection Act to send military troops into cities where rioting and looting has been taking place as a way to restore order, but U.S. Representative Bradley Byrne (R-Fairhope) is saying there’s “no reason” for this. 
  • On Twitter, Byrne went into detail that the Insurrection Act “is a tool that should only be used as an absolute last resort,” which is in agreement with U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper’s statement that this act should be used “only in the most urgent and dire situations.” He added that the country is “not in one of those situations now.”

3. FISA warrants should not have been signed

  • Part of the catalyst for the premise of the Trump/Russia investigation was filled with so many errors and untruths that the man that signed off on the warrant renewals, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, now says he would not have signed off on the warrant had he known about the since-revealed misconduct. 
  • U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) asked about Trump/Russian collusion, “The whole concept that the campaign was colluding with the Russians, there was no there in August 2017. Do you agree with that statement?” Rosenstein replied, “I agree with that general statement.”

2. All four officers are now being charged

  • Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison has announced that the other three police officers involved in George Floyd’s death will be charged with third-degree murder, and the officer, Derek Chauvin, who knelt on Floyd’s neck will be charged with second-degree murder. 
  • The three other officers, Thomas Lane, Tou Thao and J.A. Keung, will also be charged with two counts of aiding and abetting. A maximum sentence of all four officer’s charges would carry a penalty of 50 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. This comes just before the memorial for George Floyd, which is set to be held on Thursday. 

1. Alabama protests continue

  • More Black Lives Matter protests have taken place in Huntsville, Vestavia Hills, Tuscaloosa and Montgomery, with all protests ending mostly peacefully, but some were arrested in Birmingham for curfew violations. Tear gas was deployed in Huntsville after the crowd refused to disperse. 
  • In Huntsville, a police officer was hurt by a thrown object as police attempted to clear the downtown square after fears the protest would turn violent with weapons seen in the crowd. In total, 24 people were arrested. Huntsville Police Department said, “What you saw tonight was probably the most extreme patience I’ve ever seen with people who wouldn’t do what we say and were breaking the law.”