Friday, March 23, 2018

Multiple Plots Sickening...

It would seem the Four-Way Motel debate is heating up again with David Black calling the situation a low priority for him. Oh, well, we're sure campaigning for a higher office comes before the welfare of Colbert County. Remember that when you cast your vote for state treasurer in June.

We continue to have readers ask us for more coverage. We now ask something of them. Let's not make this about Tony Logan or Frank Williamson simply because you don't like them. If there is a real problem here, and it seems more likely with every revelation, let's stick with that and place the blame where it belongs...if anyone can discover that person or group.



Speaking of revelations, we've had several readers send us information on the Wiseman situation at Lexington School. We're checking each report out before we speak on this couple, so don't think we've forgotten you. We will mention that David Wiseman must be close to retirement age for an educator, if that is any consolation. Often problems of this nature simply slink away and are never heard from again.


Speaking of slinking, it seems one of our Bad Boys is missing, or at least some of his friends fear that he is. We wish him no physical harm, but if he's left the Shoals, aren't we better off? Then again, if you really want to find him, why not check all the jails. After all, he's spent the majority of his adult life behind bars and hasn't shown any inclination to mend his wayward lifestyle...

Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Wisemans: Keeping it All in the Family?

Years ago a very savvy woman told us never to work for a family owned business. Why? No matter how close the family, there would be constant infighting with spouses jumping in to support their mates. As those old television listings would say: mayhem ensues.

Now we have a similar situation in the Lauderdale County School system. Just how common is it for spouses to work together at the same small rural school? We have no idea, but we can predict that at some point mayhem is destined to ensue.

Disgruntled Employees David & Hilda Wiseman

Some time ago during a situation stirred up by a would-be athlete turned local Baptist minister, we received some complaints about Lexington band director David Clayton Wiseman. Now he and his wife Hilda Jane Wiseman have filed a formal complaint against school administration.

Let's see how that works. Of the 95 or so school personnel, four have problems with administration and two of these are married to each other? Wow! What are the odds?

If anyone wants to record their problems with Wiseman, we'll be happy to publish the summary; however, in order to remedy the situation, parents and students need to contact the Lauderdale County School Board. 

Good luck!



New Political Action Committee

There will be a meeting of a new Northwest Alabama political action committee on Sunday at 2:00 at the Florence Public Library. The purpose of the committee is to vet candidates in regard to their stance on animal welfare issues. Everyone is invited to attend and make a difference.

Notice to local candidates, especially Lauderdale County Commission candidates: It would do well to take notice!

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Storms, Ambulances, & ...Sex Offenders

We've been asked if a tornado is spotted in Leighton, why do the warning sirens sound in Cherokee as well? Interesting question; we've seen many complain about similar phone warnings for peripheral areas. Does the EMA simply flip a switch and all county alarms are activated? Comments welcome.


It's hardly news that ambulances are frequently stopped at the railroad tracks in Sheffield. Such was the case on the afternoon of March 18th when an ambulance attempted to assist in a Sheffield Fire Department call:



Now a few corrections/addenda on the sex offender brouhaha in Tuscumbia:

1. The Four-Way property was definitely purchased by Chester McKinney, at least in part. Legal title may be in the name of McVantage; we're waiting on a clarification on that.

2. While we stated the Department of Corrections was involved, as it is in various drug treatment centers around the state, it is instead the Alabama Parole/Probation Department which has joined with Outreach Reentry Ministry to run (or at least give blessing to) the program centered in Tuscumbia.

3. If the Church of the Highlands is involved, we're going to surmise that group is assisting in finding jobs for some of those who will come here. This is what this new-age church has done in other areas of the state. We've been told that not all of these offenders will work for McVantage.

4. If anyone wants to blame Tuscumbia Chief Tony Logan or Colbert Sheriff Frank Williamson, it can be only for a delay in notifying residents who live in the affected area. This is not something new, and for those who say it has nothing to do with the upcoming election, we must ask "why complain now?" Both Chief Logan and Sheriff Williamson seem to be taking undue blame in decisions over which they had no control. 

5. We see that the name of Tuscumbia mayor Kerry Underwood has now been added to various hit lists. Did he facilitate the project's business license? We don't know and have no concrete idea as to why he's been added to a long list of alleged culprits in this endeavor. 

It would appear that most of the questions involving this "ministry" have been answered. For those who don't want it in the area, we ask how can it now be stopped?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Some Four-Way Facts

We continue to receive questions about the Four-Way property and related projects. Here's a quick update:

1. While the sign at the property states "Four-Way Inn," the property is registered for tax purposes as "Four-Way Motel."

2. The owner of record at the end of 2017 was Dilipkumar Patel. The property was valued at only slightly over $10,000.00 which should tell us all something of the physical state of the business.

3. A new owner will not show up on Delta Tax records until the end of 2018. Any sale of the property would be recorded at the Colbert County Court House in case anyone wants to research this and let us know if there is a new owner.

4. Outreach Reentry Ministry is definitely registered with the State as a non-profit corporation. It has been since February 1991, so it is not new. Registered officers are Jimmie Simpson and John Williams. No one else is named as being part of this organization.

5. At tonight's Colbert County Commission meeting, Chester McKinney is reported to have said the Church of the Highlands is part of this ministry.

Now some personal observations:

1. For those who say the Colbert County Commission should have stopped this, we ask "how?" The motel/half-way house is in the Tuscumbia police jurisdiction. Why all the drama at the county commission meeting? Is it to embarrass David Black? From what local attorneys tell us, David Black doesn't need anyone's help in embarrassing himself. Again, why not protest to the Tuscumbia City Council?

2. For those who truly wish to help convicted felons begin a new life, we suggest separating sex offenders from non-sex offenders. Those who may come to this project with a burglary or robbery conviction will only be burdened by the stigma of sex offender associated with the project.

3. For those who feel the county sheriff's website is not updated in a timely manner, why not lobby for more tax dollars to hire more personnel? Or perhaps a qualified volunteer could take over the website?

We might as well end this with a "to be continued" since we're sure it will be...

Sex Offender Notification in Tuscumbia?

Above all things, we believe in presenting truthful information. Yes, we give you our opinions, but we do so based on fact. Let's look at some facts about the Four-Way Motel controversy:

1. Flyers? In Alabama, a flyer is required to notify nearby residents of sex offenders. For a city the size of Tuscumbia, the radius is 1,500 ft. It would be the job of the Tuscumbia police to mail out these flyers since the Four-Way facility is in its jurisdiction. 

2. Those who have pointed out that possession of child pornography is a non-violent crime have been accused of "defending" these two men. No, it is simply presenting a fact. These two men who have moved to Colbert County have never been convicted of a violent sex offense. That doesn't mean that they will never commit one, but simply means as it stands now, it is a lie to call them violent sex offenders. 

3. Who is responsible for the predicted influx of sex offenders? The Alabama Department of Corrections and Outreach Reentry Ministry which have ostensibly teamed to bring this to our area.

4. If something goes wrong, who can be sued? We're hearing a lot of talk about the McKinney brothers, but their names are not on the official registration of Outreach Reentry Ministry, founded in the early 1990s. It would be prudent to establish just how the McKinneys are involved legally.

5. Do we think it's a great idea to have these sex offenders in Tuscumbia? One word: No.


Happy Vernal Equinox!


From a reader:

Colbert County, the home of a couple of Superintendents of Education who can’t budget and live within their means.
Colbert County Superintendent Gale Satchel wants the County Commission to raise our property taxes by 5 mil - yet when Chairman Darol Bendall asked her in the meeting how much 1 mil was, she said she didn’t know. Think about that one. She knows she needs 5 mil but doesn’t know what 1 mil is? I think we haven’t heard the last from that one - or those who are against the excessive waste!
Then, we have Muscle Shoals City Schools superintendent who also wants to raise our property taxes by 5 mil, while pressuring the County Commission to raise the sales tax also. Either way, he just wants more money.
Once again, refer to the earlier comment about Ms. Satchel’s inability to budget and live within her means. Reviewing their budgets and excessive spending on athletics and travel, there is room for much debate over their ability to manage such large organizations.
Not everyone who calls for higher taxes pays their fair share. Brian Lindsey lives outside of the Muscle Shoals school district but wants everyone to pay more property taxes while he won’t be affected at all. Mr. Lindsey doesn’t live in the city, pay city property taxes NOR DOES HE pay the out of district fee others have to pay to send their kids to Muscle Shoals even though he gets his paycheck from the Muscle Shoals education system and his kids go to Muscle Shoals.


When this nation was founded, many wanted to steer completely away from English methods and traditions. Our country doesn't mint pennies; it mints one-cent coins, based on the French centime. In other words, it takes 100 to make a dollar. Similarly, the mil is 1/1,000; it takes 10 mils to make one cent. 

Since a mil has never been minted in this county, many call it an abstraction. Whatever you want to call it, five mils equal a half-cent. If these tax proposals pass, your sales tax would increase by .005 on the dollar.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Tuscumbia Business Licenses/Hit & Run

We had a few readers who informed us that the old Four-Way Motel is not in the City of Tuscumbia. While that may be true, it is in the police jurisdiction. The Alabama Department of Revenue mandates that cities require a business license for establishments within their police jurisdiction. So, yes, at least some city offices knew the facility, be it a treatment center or half-way house, was coming. 

As of today, so far as we can ascertain, the facility has two patients/inmates. Both are non-violent. We keep hearing the word "violent" being applied to these offenders; however, we doubt that this will be the case. 

We do think that the Tuscumbia City Council should have held hearings on the matter - remember, this is in the city's police jurisdiction. If you live in Tuscumbia and are upset, contact your city council members. That being said, we've seen some projects practically fought over by the City of Florence and Lauderdale County, so the Colbert County Commission could have probably stepped in if it had wanted to...if it knew the facility was coming. 



It hasn't been that long ago that aspiring glamour model Christina Marie Carroll was arrested for a Florence hit-and-run. Now would-be electrician David Lee Borden of Cherokee has been arrested for a similar crime in Leighton. 

After the Carroll crime, we had at least two readers who criticized this blog for highlighting the case. They both admitted the hit-and-run was wrong, but sought to lay some blame on the victim. It does not matter if the victim was responsible for the accident. In both cases, they may have been.

What matters for legal and moral purposes is that the drivers chose to leave the scene of the accident. How hard is that to understand? David Lee Borden chose to leave the scene not once, but twice. He said he "panicked" the second time. So did he have an excuse for leaving the first time? 

At least his mama or some similar family member in whom he confided made him come back to face his despicable actions...

Sunday, March 18, 2018

This Disease/Blame the DOC

This Disease

There are things that terrify each of us. Things that we dare not say out loud or put on paper. Scenarios which should not be dwelled upon for fear that too much concentration will somehow bring them to life. Then there are those issues that we must talk about no matter how frightening, otherwise we risk having them spread like a virus. This week in our community I’m aware of at least three individuals who have made the unfortunate decision to take their own lives. Three people that will be remembered not only for how they lived, but for the empty spaces they leave behind in the hearts of those that knew them.  

Growing up as child in this area, I must have been guarded by my parents from such horrors taking place because I can’t recall suicide being as large of an issue as it is now. As hard as I try to think back, I can only remember two people that were loosely connected to me who chose to end their own life. One a family friend who’s attempt was not successful and consequently spent the rest of his years deformed by a split second bad decision. The other a rising star in high school. The kid we all wanted to be, who on the outside appeared to have life figured out, but on the inside struggled to fill some missing piece. 25 years later and I can’t step out onto a soccer field without remembering how much he loved the game and wonder what he would be up to now had things been different. Had he known how much he meant to those lucky enough to be around him even for a moment, would it have made a difference?

I’m not a counselor. I’m not a trained therapist who has spent years learning to help others fight their demons. At times I struggle with anxiety and depression just like everyone else. Although I don’t have a state issued license on the wall with my name in bold print certifying me to help with such things, it doesn’t mean I can’t recognize that suicide is a disease which is quickly spreading through our community. I don’t need a degree to listen to your problems and neither does anyone else. If you are reading this and think you are alone and nobody will understand, you’re wrong.

This morning as I was walking through the house I noticed a verse my wife had written on the refrigerator; Psalm 147:5 “Great is our Lord and mighty in power; His understanding has no limit”.

There are people around us that are hurting and all too often lately we don’t realize it until there’s no time left to let them know they are loved. I encourage you to look for those around you who are pulling away and pull them closer. Make sure your children know there is nothing they could ever do to separate themselves from your love or that of our God above. Remember to ask questions and have conversations and to not get so caught up in your own life, that when somebody you care about begins to lose value in their own, you take notice and are there to remind them how important they are. It doesn’t take special training to listen, to give a hug, to be a friend, to cure this disease called suicide. All it takes is love.


If any of us can help deter anyone from taking his or her life, we earn multiple stars in our crown. The dearest friend Shoalanda ever had placed a gun to her head and pulled the trigger. The friend was two hundred miles from the Shoals, but there is enough blame to go around and to reach across the Southeast. We live with it. We sincerely hope you never have to.



We continue to look into the Four-Way Motel/Half-Way House situation. From what we can ascertain, this project was initiated by the Alabama Department of Corrections in some form. If any city or county agency is to "blame" for its location here, we would first look at the Tuscumbia business license office or planning commission (if the city has the latter). 

So, no, neither Tuscumbia Chief Tony Logan nor Colbert County Sheriff Frank Williamson brought these people here. Blame certainly lies elsewhere.

Altruism aside, the McKinney family is making money by hiring these offenders. It may be a good work, but it's also profitable. 


There are currently 122 sex offenders residing in Colbert County, at least that's the registered number with past convictions. In the past three years, only two have been arrested, and these arrests resulted from a violation of SORNA address change requirements. 

These figures should put some of this into perspective.