Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Barbara Broach is Retiring; Who Will Replace Her?

Long-time Director of Arts & Museums for the City of Florence Barbara Broach is retiring. We understand the position has been posted internally, but not publicly. Imagine that.

Perhaps the city can come up with an extra 30K to retain some headhunters? We're sure many in Canada will be interested in the job. We're also sure that after hiring a Canadian for the post of tourism director, the powers that be in Florence feel that hiring an inside person is now required to balance the bad press.

Really? We think the replacement for Ms. Broach might just create more bad publicity than any foreign hire.


Who knew the old Fairground Road was in a minority neighborhood? We certainly learn something every day. It's a horse pasture, for cryin' out loud. The animal shelter can't be more odoriferous than that. We have no idea how this will play out, but perhaps the City of Florence better hurry up and re-purchase the old country club property.


Speaking of UNA, we have just become aware of an enormous problem at that institution. It might not be monumental to everyone, but we've certainly heard from enough of the university's neighbors to check it out.

Tune in tomorrow...


Monday, August 31, 2015

A Resignation or Just Wagging the Dog?

An AL.com writer has suggested Gov. Robert Bentley should resign if he has been using public facilities to carry on an extra-marital affair. Has he indeed been doing as much?

The allegations come at an interesting time. Is someone wagging the dog or is our Mr. Meek leader really a Lothario at heart?


On the home front, no one locally has resigned, but we understand more spouses are turning up for various meetings.


Is New Bethel School now saved? We congratulate them on their 100th anniversary and hope the current Colbert superintendent doesn't make any more of his infamous command decisions before his term is over.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Anthony Olivis Throws in the Towel!

Colbert County School Superintendent Anthony Olivis has announced he will not seek re-election to his current post...after only one term. During that term, Olivis has managed to alienate half the teachers, support staff, and parents...not to mention those he's fired without cause. He's also managed to decimate the system's bank account.

Assistant Superintendent Jeff Cornelius...oh, excuse us...that's Dr. Cornelius we hear...will be running for the vacancy. We're accepting opinion pieces on this candidate or any other candidate for the post.

Good luck, Colbert County!


Autumn Wood, who was eligible for a parole hearing last April 1st, now has one scheduled for September 16th. The family of her victim Brooklyn Hollins wants Wood to serve the entire ten and one-half years of her sentence. Whether Wood makes parole or not, as long as she behaves herself, she will be free on April 24, 2017.


We never think of Brooklyn Hollins that we don't remember her last words. We know it's not as if everyone knows their last words will be exactly that, but it is a great reminder to watch what you say. How would your family feel if these words made it into print or were published on the Internet?


Saturday, August 29, 2015

Corruption at Joel Moyers' Trial

It seems that the list of oddities related to the Limestone County capital murder trial of Belle Mina man Joel Moyers just keeps growing and growing. Now a juror has come forward reporting that the case was discussed outside the jury room and he felt coerced into voting guilty. What does the county prosecutor say?

Brian Jones says it's smoke and mirrors. What might not be smoke and mirrors is that Jones and company insisted on the judge making rulings on issues while Moyers was too ill to attend the proceedings. A defendant in a capital murder case (or any other murder trial as far as we know) is allowed to be present at all proceedings if he so wishes.

From the Athens News Courier:

In his affidavit, Gilliam claims that after deliberation grew heated, jurors asked to break for lunch. He said five jurors, including the jury foreman, went to Zaxby’s restaurant. When they returned, one of the jurors sat next to Gilliam on a bench and told him: “Stay calm, we talked about it at lunch and we got a better plan maybe to help you out.”

He said he returned to the jury room angry and asked the other jurors, “So, what is y’all’s great scheme that y'all have come up with?” He said the other jurors could tell he was upset, so they backed away and didn’t explain what the plan was (to get him to vote for capital murder.) He said the five jurors admitted they had talked about it at lunch while at Zaxby’s.”

The above are just two of the new issues brought to light by Moyers' defense attorneys. The hearing will continue on September 1st. No matter what you may think of Moyers' guilt or innocence, remember that if the State of Alabama can strip him of his constitutional rights, they can strip you of yours.

Maybe even bus you to pick cotton...


And that wonderful paragon of innocence Ronald Weems will one day have a parole hearing—our unfairly administrated laws a work. Weems' cohorts in crime, Laurel Pruett, Matthew Fox, and Ashley Greenhill will be completing their sentences in October. Yes, in less than two months.

Greenhill had already left the area before her arrest. Will she now return here? Pruett has a child here that was never officially permanently taken from her custody. She also has family in the Carolinas where things may now be looking better for her. Matthew Fox? His family lives here, and we assume he will be welcomed back at his old job, a horror-house grave digger. Remember? He was the one described as someone who knew how to dispose of bodies.

While we hope the three are now able to lead peaceful, productive lives, we hope that their reappearance will not be thrown in the face of Amanda Taylor's family.


Friday, August 28, 2015

Rob Carnegie: What Was the Lure?

A reader has sent us a most interesting take on why Rob Carnegie is coming to the Shoals:

Carnegie won't be here long, just long enough to set the paycheck for someone's wife who will slide right in the comfy spot and order others around. Stay tuned for some good-ole-boy payback when property for the new animal shelter is bought at a premium.

Interesting, but what if it's another back room plot? The final details of Rob's contract have not even been worked out, but the code word seems to be bonuses. That's the one open end item in his package.

No matter the final salary, no matter if Rob's wife could have motivated the move (she could be a US citizen, even a Tennessee native—we have no idea), Rob has not dealt extensively with the board. Just wait...

Oh, about that board member resigning? No one has heard a word of which we're aware. We understand his wife has had very bad health for a long time. It certainly couldn't have gotten any better this past week.


UNA parking situation at the new dorms? We're seeing lots, and we mean lots, of vehicles parked in the lot at the College View Church of Christ. That's not being a good neighbor. Time for Kittsy to get his feet wet and take on a real problem.


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Say It Ain't So, Guv!

Of all the headlines we might have expected this week, the one we would never have anticipated was a divorce in the governor's mansion. Well, he is a lame duck, so no political harm done. Who saw it coming? We're sure someone did. We're also sure the real reasons will be known to few...and we're not one of them.

We were once disturbed by Bentley's name change during his first run for the Montgomery mansion. For those who don't know, he wanted to have the title. “Dr.” placed before his name on the ballot. Also for those who don't know, any attorney is also entitled to be called “Doctor.” Oh, where will it end?

When Bentley failed in this attempt, he had his first name legally changed to “Doctor;” then had it changed back when election officials declined to honor his request. We all have our odd little quirks, but this seemed a harbinger of nothing good. Perhaps we should be surprised it's taken this long to surface. And just why is this receiving so little coverage? Was it really that much of a surprise?


On the local divorce front, a certain Lauderdale action has again made news in Baldwin County. Isn't it wonderful when “He said; she said” is so public?

Attorneys for Kneeland Hibbett have stated it may be a year before his criminal case comes to trial. Perhaps Ms. Hibbett can postpone the divorce until her ex is on the sex offender registry. It would look so much better in court documents.


Speaking of surprises, hold your hat... It's coming to local news near you soon!


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Local Board Expenses?

Several readers have asked how expenses are handled with members of local boards. Each board may have a different policy, but we can give you a pretty good run-down on how most bodies handle these costs.

Local boards...oh, let's pick one...say the Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Board may offer a monthly stipend for each meeting. We don't have actual data, but appreciate any input from those who do. This would not be a large amount and would be paid via check.

Travel expenses? There's a possibility of some mileage reimbursement for those who might drive from Rogersville to Florence, etc., but it would be very little. Actual board members would have very little need to travel since they all live in this immediate area. The UNA and Alabama Music Hall of Fame boards do travel for meetings. We've received some inquiries about this, but obviously some travel is necessary.

Entertaining expenses? If any board member did need to take anyone to lunch/dinner, he or she could get an advance and then file an expense report, either paying back the excess or receiving a second check for overage. In most cases of this nature, the board member would probably simply file the report and not ask for an advance.

Proof? Expense reports have to be documented. If they aren't the board will hear from its accountants. It would be difficult to put too much over on a small board with limited funds.


Now, we see Rob Carnegie is being paid 110K per year. Nice salary. Rob will be working with an area 1/3 the size of Kingston, Ontario, but he will be working with a budget that is 1/10 of Kingston's. He will also be working with a board that is less than ideal.

Pass the popcorn.