Thursday, April 28, 2016

287K Judgment Against Bryan Robinson

Bryan Robinson, a local investment adviser with ties to DreamVision, was a no-show in court yesterday. A Lauderdale County judge automatically entered a judgment against Robinson:

One has to speculate as to why Robinson failed to appear to answer the civil charges. Our sources have told us for some time the odds are good that Robinson will eventually face criminal charges in relation to these bogus land deals, as well as other contractual obligations that were never satisfied.


Some years ago we were surprised to learn that we were an ex-girlfriend of convicted killer Ronald Weems. We’ve also been called the ex-husband of a local teacher arrested for having sex with a student.

Most recently we’ve been called the ex-wife of “ED.” We’re sure Mr. D was as surprised as we were to learn of this relationship. We do want to thank Mr. D for his help in clearing up a matter that has been totally misrepresented and for any information he may have forwarded to us via perfectly legal channels.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Legislature Acted in Only 23 Days?

Humorist Lewis Grizzard once said that if the NBA had been in charge of World War II, Germany and Japan would still be in the running. The same may be said about the Alabama legislature where the word “committee” is tantamount to an abandoned Walker County mine shaft.

However, the legislature actually managed to get a law passed in only 23 days. In case you weren’t keeping up with events earlier this month at East Limestone High School:

Today the legislature has passed a bill, hopefully one without any loopholes, that makes it a misdemeanor to doctor a news article, etc., or in any way produce statements implying one has been arrested for or convicted of a felony when one hasn’t.

While it’s a good law, we’re not sure how much such legislation is needed. If the East Limestone student had been arrested legally, he would have pleaded to a lesser infraction. Most who would contemplate such jokes are adults who can, and should, be sued in civil court and hit in the pocketbook where it will do some serious damage.

How about our legislature puts their heads together on the subject of Medicaid?


It’s been said that if Gov. Bentley calls a special session, our legislature will convene, then immediately adjourn in order to let him know just what they think of his leadership. This might be an enticing idea, but how much would it cost the citizens of this state?


While most entertainment media have been consumed with the death of Prince, the music world has also lost another great talent…

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Lori Hook: Troll Supreme

Those who have read our blog for a number of years know we strongly advocate for proper safety gear and total off-road driving for go-karts, quadcycles, etc., both for adults and children. Yet no matter how strongly parents admonish children, it’s not unusual for a child to think that it won’t matter “just this once.”

That was the case with two Hartselle teenagers this past week. Two 15 year-old girls tragically lost their lives. As if this isn’t enough for the teens’ parents to bear, a troll has been attacking those who are hurting…and the victims as well.

Lori Hook is from Cullman; her Facebook page says not to bother her unless you’re an advocate of legalizing marijuana. Apparently lobbying for the legalization of pot is not Hook’s only hobby:

Several readers have contacted us about this woman. It’s possible FB would remove her posts, but the damage is already out there. Hook’s posts would be troubling no matter the circumstances, but according to friends of the victims’ families, no one even remotely connected to the accident knows the woman.

We’re pretty sure no one wants to know her now. Our sincerest sympathies to the families of Brianna Lewis and Breanna Jackson.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Tourism? No Exact Figures

Tourism figures are out for the year 2014, but do we really know the exact amount tourists spend in the Shoals each year? No. Even hotel/motel tax fees don’t give a complete picture since many rent rooms due to emergencies at home or special occasions. Restaurants? That truly has to be a guesstimate.

Remember Colbert County said their tourism income was down, but it could be related to a hotel/motel paying its taxes late (In other words, paying two years of taxes in 2014)? That could also work the opposite way in Lauderdale and Franklin if a business failed to pay its taxes.

As for the year 2014, Lauderdale citizens have Debbie Wilson to thank for the increase in tourism revenue. Just think of the good she could have done if she had remained.


A short morality tale:

Last night, I decided to light some lovely candles behind the fiberglass draperies in my front window. Then, being hungry, I placed a large pot of stew on the stove and turned it on high. Alas, I was too sleepy to eat it, but left it cooking in case I woke up hungry. But once in bed, I decided to smoke and read as best I could by a lamp that kept irritating me by popping and crackling.

Apparently I did fall asleep, for when I awoke the house was on fire. I ran outside and encountered a man walking by. I shouted at him to take a hose and put the fire out. Do you know what he said? He said he didn’t have a hose. I then gave him what-for and told him that because of his actions, he had let my home burn down and ruined my life. I guess that really told him, huh?


We’ve posted a new restaurant review; it’s an update to Logan’s Roadhouse in Muscle Shoals. If you have an interesting review about a local eatery, be sure to send it to us. We appreciate all articles; thanks especially to H.D. for this one.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Let's Do Nothing?/Your Right Ends Here

It's not unusual at Christmas to see a certain fallacy pointed out: Just because we can't give a million dollars to a charity, we're excused for not giving anything. We agree; everyone should do what they can.

It may be April, but we're seeing a lot of that fallacious thinking about events in Montgomery. Since no one has really insisted house speaker Mike Hubbard be removed from office, why insist Robert Bentley step down as governor?

At this point, the courts are presumably taking care of Hubbard. Yes, he should step down, but just because he hasn't, it doesn't follow that we should also allow Bentley to continue to lead, or whatever it is at this point he's doing.

Not a day has passed the last month that the public hasn't been informed of some shocking new revelation about our governor. Just three days ago we learned that Bentley took LaMason to the White House as his "date" for an official dinner.

Isn't it time we all contacted our state representatives and demanded they act...and act now?


Do we support battered women? Yes; however, that support ends when they take a gun and shoot a sleeping individual in the back. In other words, there's a limit any sensible person reaches in support of any cause or problem...and that includes addiction.

Our support for those addicted ends when that person no longer even tries to do right. We're pretty sure that Adolph Hitler was abused by his father and traumatized by the loss of his mother. Not too many excuse him, do they?

We're sorry when your friend/relative kills/steals/kidnaps, but it doesn't follow that any sensible person thinks he should be given a pass just because you love him. If we did, we wouldn't need prisons or jails, now would we?


This past week our blog received some criticism for linking an article about a Muscle Shoals jail inmate who died. Interestingly, the many news sources who actually wrote about this sad event didn't receive any criticism from this person.

We're pretty sure our critic simply used the inmate's death as an excuse to bash our blog, but it did remind us that we failed to mention who actually broke the story: Shoals Insider. The area's first online news source has returned to the fray the past few months, this time with mugshots as well as other legal listings. We've linked the SI in our sidebar; if you haven't been reading, you miss out on the total picture.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Florence-Lauderdale Sports Tourism?

What is sports tourism? Sports Tourism is defined as a specific travel outside of the usual environment for either passive or active involvement in competitive sport where sport is the prime motivational reason for travel and the touristic or leisure element may act to reinforce the overall experience.

Is Lauderdale County, and more specifically Florence, a target for sports tourism? Let's look at Lauderdale sport by sport:

1. Football/basketball/baseball - The University of North Alabama attracts tourists for its football program. The other two sports may also attract out of towners to a lesser degree. Their stay would usually be just overnight.

2. Tennis - Here's hoping we get those long promised new courts, but how many out of towners would come just for the pleasure of playing on them?

3. Fishing - Rogersville gets a gold star in this, but didn't the board say just last year that it wanted to concentrate less on promoting fishing in the area, that it wanted to branch out? Yes, but now we're back to the original question of what other sports areas? (After the Town of Rogersville's recent behavior, we're highly recommending Savannah, Tennessee, if you feel an overpowering need to fish.)

4. Skeet & Trap - A sport limited in appeal and another one that would probably entail only a one night stay over.

5. Boat Racing - The area has held some minor races before, but not any major meets. Is there room on the circuit for a new entry?

6. National Swim or Snow Ski Meets - Is there anyone out there who thinks the income derived from these tourists would ever offset the costs of facilities?

7. Golf - Sorry; they'll just go to Colbert County.

8. Wrestling - No comment.

9. Anything else - We're sure we've left something out, so we're happy to accept comments for an upgrade to this list.

In short, sports tourism is one of those terms that may sound good on paper, but is hardly suited to Lauderdale County's geographical location or current amenities. So why did Rob Carnegie, current Florence-Lauderdale Tourism CEO, suggest it? Perhaps it's much like his last idea of a barbecue cook off--recycling saves time and thought.

Friday, April 22, 2016


The couple was enjoying a camping trip, but couldn’t help but notice something odd about the pair in the camper next to theirs. The husband repeatedly reminded the woman to go inside out of the sun. The next morning, the campers found the woman with a swollen face and unable to leave her bed. They immediately called the local sheriff’s office.

The deputy who arrived thankfully knew that the sick woman hadn’t been the victim of a beating, but was suffering from an autoimmune attack brought on by too much sun. Was the woman who called authorities embarrassed? Probably. Was she wrong to have done so? No.

If you see a child that’s possibly being abused, call DHR. You might be wrong, but you might just save a life. It’s sad that some who knew of Serenity Renfroe’s abuse didn’t call anyone. It’s also sad that those who did call DHR, including a physician, didn’t receive an ideal response from that organization…but at least they did something.


Do you ever wonder what kind of person harasses another? We’re sure there are many reasons for such behavior and also many ways a person can react to harassment. Sometimes it’s better to stop being nice to a person because you feel sorry for them. You can be sure they have no such feelings for you; intimidation, or at least attempted intimidation, is usually best handled quickly and with, if needed, legal recourse.

We may be sorry for anyone with an addiction, but we’re much more sorry for his victims. That is not going to change. Right is not going to change, no matter how often you attempt to justify a friend/relative’s actions or lie about his behavior to others. Did you ever think that if you put as much effort into actually helping your addicted friend instead of trying to cover up for him, your friend just might have made some real progress? Or perhaps you would have realized he’s a sociopath that no amount of help can fix?


Our friend Nick Ireland is a crime writer based in Huntsville. He’s currently working on accounts of North Alabama murders which he hopes to publish in the near future. This is his second article for Shoals Crime: