Friday, October 31, 2014

Trick or Treat: 2014 Elections

Yes, in four days, we'll all be getting more tricks than treats when the election results are announced. Many elections are a Hobson's choice for the voters. Use this weekend to learn all you can about the various candidates before being stuck with them for four years.


Our fellow blogger J. Redmond tells us that Roger Bedford's ad referenced earlier depicts a shotgun, not a rifle. J. feels no self-respecting sniper would use a shotgun. We will point out that Charles Whitman killed at least two of his tower victims with a sawed-off shotgun.

Side note: Interesting that Bedford allowed his photograph to be taken with someone more attractive than he his...


Some Robin Ellis for ya:


Thursday, October 30, 2014

More Endorsements/Question from Bailey

Today the TimesDaily endorsed Lt. Gov. Kay Ivey's opponent on the grounds that no one could  be worse than she is. We're not making an endorsement, but we have an idea the state could certainly do worse. Remember Steve (Jug) Windom?


We do endorse Gov. Robert Bentley. Parker Griffith has changed parties so much he must be dizzy by now.


We see that Deborah Kimbrough has been denied parole; we certainly believe that is the correct decision. Yet according to the TD, the victim's daughter made this statement: Tina Woods said she and her family received two doses of good news Wednesday. Her father’s killer was denied parole, and she cannot be eligible again for five years.

We have no idea if family members misunderstand these proceedings or if local district attorneys simply give out misleading info. If Ms. Kimbrough should retain an attorney specializing in such things...and keeps a good record...she could easily have her parole date moved up to much less than five years. We doubt that she has the funds, but families of victims should be aware that there is always this possibility. The five year delay is simply standard in any crime of this nature.


From a reader:


I have a question about hunting. This is not a criticism, but a sincere question for our readers. So many say hunting is mainly about food. Okay. So why can you in most circumstances shoot only males? They're tougher and less tasty.

Isn't this one way that Tim Wisenbaker was caught when he tried to have the stolen bull processed for meat. Aren't steers the only male bovines used for food? So why kill male deer and elk for food?

Thanks for your input.



Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Thoughts on Andrews, Bedford, & More

First, we apologize to Phil Andrews for a "page" that was posted to our Facebook page. It was posted by a "Pete Wells" who has no other entries using this name. This is identical to one of Andrews' supporters using a fictitious name to post comments about Williamson. We do not believe either Andrews or Williamson condone these tactics.

Wells posted what simply amounted to a misdemeanor ticket in another state. We had copies of this, and if we had wished to publish it, we would have. We don't agree with canned hunts, but that's basically all this was. We'll go out on a limb here and speculate that most men in law enforcement would probably see nothing wrong with such hunts. We consider these hunts cruel, but there is nothing intrinsically illegal about them.

From Mr. Andrews:

I went to Colorado on an Elk hunt in October 1997 (17 years ago). Once there, we hired an Outfitter so that it would be completely organized and safe. While there, I shot an elk. When I got to the elk, it had dropped less than twenty feet across a boundary line. I immediately called to ask our paid guide what I should do, and he told me that he knew the landowner personally, and there would be no problem with me taking the elk.  I returned home with the elk, and a month later I received a ticket in the mail. I paid the ticket, and was allowed to keep the elk. That’s it. That’s what happened, and I would gladly sign anything you would like that would allow you to perform a complete background check on me, as I have nothing to hide. As far as animals, you have an open invitation to come to my house anytime and visit with my pet goats, pet cows, pet 20 year old horse that I bring into my garage during winter so he doesn’t get cold, and my pet dogs (three of which are rescue dogs). It should go without saying how much I love animals (just take a look at our family photos with all of our dogs!); they are part of our family. Please come and visit all of us! And as I have stated in my prior letter, a Sheriff cannot take over Animal Control or the Animal Shelter, but I will do everything in my power to work with and help any needs they may have. Shoalanda, I am a Christian family man and husband, not the kind of person that will tell people what they want to hear and make dozens of empty promises just to be elected. I cannot do that and sleep at night. But I will make you and every citizen of Colbert County one heartfelt promise- I promise that I will work every day to the best of my ability to make Colbert County a safe place for every citizen to live, work, and play. Thank you so much for allowing me the opportunity to speak with you.


We've had several comments about what it would take to have the Colbert County animal shelter placed under the jurisdiction of the sheriff's department. Many feel that it cannot be done without a statewide vote--due to Alabama having no home rule laws. That does not mean that it can't be done.

No matter who becomes the next sheriff in Colbert, Lauderdale, or Franklin Counties, we hope basic laws against animal cruelty are enforced. Apologies to Sheriff Oliver since it's hardly his fault, but we don't see them being enforced in Russellville, much less all of Franklin County.


We have previously stated that we would not make a recommendation in the Bedford-Stutts state senate race. We are sorely tempted to change our minds after seeing Bedford's ad in the Courier-Journal. There were two in the photo, and since both had their tongues hanging out, it was hard to tell which was which.
No, candidates, having your photo made while holding a $500.00 rifle that could take our half of the Shoals if we only had a clock tower high enough just doesn't appeal to all voters. We feel that somewhere even Charles Whitman is laughing at you.


All Rick CGI:


Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Reader Looks at Rick Singleton's Ad

From a reader on the Lauderdale race for sheriff:

A Few Things To Consider

I have a few points for the voters of Lauderdale County regarding our Sheriff’s candidates.

Item #1 – Mr. Hendershot has been married more than once. Mr. Singleton has only one spouse.

Because of this, Mr. Hendershot’s “family values” have been called into question. I think it’s safe to say that a lot of the people we know and love have been married more than once. So, the question is just what arbitrary number of marriages equates to a lack of “family values”? Also, bear in mind that just as it takes 2 to make a marriage, it likewise takes 2 to make a divorce. And, to my knowledge, when Mr. Hendershot ended his marriage, he did not abandon his children or fail to support them.

Ok. Since Sholanda has looked at Mr. Hendershot’s campaign ad claims with a critical eye, let’s likewise turn a critical eye to Mr. Singleton’s campaign ad claims.

Item #2 – Mr. Singleton’s campaign ad states he is the most qualified with “37 years of Law Enforcement experience, 26 as an Administrator....began his career with the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department where he spent 2 years as a jailer...” Folks, do the math. 37 minus 26 equals 11. As in, 11 years of street level cop work. Then, 11 years in the field, minus 2 for being in the jail, equals a total of 9 years of working-the-streets cop experience. And, if he started in the LCSD jail in 1972 to 1974, then he worked the streets from 1975 to 1984. Wow. Surely he has made an arrest since 1984?? Otherwise, that would mean he hasn’t made a case in 30 years. All felony cases in our county go through the District Court and are public record. So, I went up to the court house 4th Clerk’s Office, and found a public records computer. You know how many felony cases I found linked to Mr. Singleton? None. Zero. Zip. Zilch. Nada. Well, Ok. How about the Florence Municipal Court?

I went there too. Guess what? Not one Domestic Violence Case. Not one DUI. Not even a stop sign ticket – not any that I could find., if he’s not a “working chief”, do you think he will be a “working sheriff”?

Item #3 – Mr. Singleton has stated that he has valuable administrative experience leading a police department of 135 employees (Candidate Debate, UNA, Sept. 23, 2014). Yet, even with all of that experience, he made major missteps – to include failing to put controls in place that would have prevented not 1, not 2, but 3.....3 members of his Senior Command Staff (that means administrators like him, not rank and file police officers) that he promoted from committing sexual offenses that resulted in their terminations during his watch as Florence Police Chief. And, these offenses DID NOT take place in some seedy part of town, or even in the privacy of their own homes. No, these Senior Command Staff members committed their violations WHILE ON DUTY and AT THE POLICE DEPARTMENT. According to the Times Daily - Deputy Chief Pete Williford was terminated for charges including Sexual Harassment.

(Aug. 2, 2002), Patrol Officer Tony Hughes (demoted in a previous incident from onetime detective) resigned after being charged with 3rd degree domestic violence concerning a woman he had wiretapped.

(Sep. 8, 2007), Captain Spencer Butler was terminated after a lengthy Sexual Misconduct investigation

(April, 2004), and Captain Basil Kenny “Ken” Stanley was arrested at the police department by the FBI and later pled guilty to Child Pornography charges on his home and police department computers (Aug. 25, 2006). These are facts and they are not in dispute.

Bottom Line: Mr. Hendershot knows what it takes for our deputies to do their jobs, because he too is still out there working the streets daily. And as an Administrator, he has a track record of success managing and supervising his employees. Don’t be fooled. Be like Paul Harvey and be sure to get,  “The Rest of the Story”.


We appreciate all constructive comments; our only rebuttal to this one is the "family values." Let's begin with saying that Shoalanda herself couldn't care less if a couple gets divorced because she squeezes the toothpaste tube in the middle and he leaves the seat up. Just don't tell everyone about your "faith" in God and His word if you do this. The Bible plainly states its rules for Christian marriages...and btw, children are second to a spouse (this is not in reference to child endangerment as Hendershot claims in his third marriage). Many men support their multitude of offspring--Mick Jagger comes to mind. Family values? Nope, don't think Jagger has any either.

Another reader has asked us to comment on the candidates' children. We will say only that as far as we know, Rick Singleton has none outside of marriage. Having no offspring outside of marriage might not make one chaste, but it does suggest a person cares enough about himself and his partner to use precautions. We believe it's been taught for decades in high school health classes and there's no excuse for not using precautions. This is not a new opinion for us--see our posts on Hottie Scottie (Andrew Daniel Scott).


We will return to Phil Andrews in Colbert County tomorrow. Our apologies for a delay in our research. If any readers see a comment on our posts that is inappropriate, please reference the date or post title when contacting us. Thanks.



Monday, October 27, 2014

Phil Andrews' Policy Statement/Shannon Oliver

We received this from Mr. Phil Andrews, Republican candidate for Colbert County Sheriff:

I understand you might have questions about my platform. For over 2 years I have talked to my friends, family, supporters, and anyone that is interested in the future of our great county.  We have been door to door and at every possible event passing out 20,000 cards with my experience and platform. I purpose to live my life with integrity, honesty, and commitment to my family. My wife of over 27 years, Tracy, and I have 2 children, and I am a lifelong resident of Colbert County

I have first hand knowledge of writing and managing budgets as a small business owner/operator of Alabama Metal Duplications. In addition to having financial experience, my time as a small business owner has given me the opportunity to manage nearly 100 employees that have worked for my business over the course of 29 years. Through this overseeing of employees, I have learned the importance of working alongside others to find out what their needs are, so that they are better able and motivated to do their job. I believe each deputy and employee deserves the respect and opportunity to advance their careers. In order to boost morale in the department, I will implement shift schedule changes to enable deputies to have more weekends off, additional education time to better train employees, and family time.

As Sheriff, my qualifications will benefit this County. I have qualified and been certified in: Alabama Criminal Justice Information Center, NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor, Sniper Marksmanship, Regional Counterdrug Training Academy,  Tactical Operator, MSPD TACT Team, Police Motorcycle Course/MSPD Motor Unit. I’m especially proud of my NRA Law Enforcement Firearms Instructor status, as I am a staunch supporter of our 2nd Amendment Rights. 

As Sheriff, I will work with commissioners to write a budget for the Sheriff’s office to provide adequate training and equipment for the employees. If there are grants available, I will work to find the matching money to get those grants. Any good Sheriff would do that.

As Sheriff, I also plan to attend every County Commissioner meeting; however, I will only have one voice in these meetings to make changes. As such, the Sheriff does not have the authority to take over any agency such as Animal Control or the Drug Task Force. However, as Sheriff I will work closely with Animal Control and the Drug Task Force to ensure they have the training, facilities, and equipment they need in order to provide safe and humane treatment for animals, as well as keep our schools and communities safe and drug free.

I respect the citizens of Colbert County in that I will not mislead them with ads or claims of experience that I do not have. I will not make false promises of Grants that may not be available. Churches will not be a campaign stomping ground for me, nor my family. I believe in the sanctity of worship, free of politics. For each and every agency to operate at its fullest potential, requires mutual respect between all governing bodies. There will be the highest level of support for all agencies from me. Every agency is important. It’s vitally important to have a Sheriff that has a broad knowledge base, experience, and qualifications in multi-tasking and teamwork, which I have.

As I ask the people for their support and vote, they can trust me to deliver HONEST LEADERSHIP.
I will respect separation of government offices and responsibilities of each of those offices. 
The Sheriff has a huge job to do. Not to run the county, but to work with each and every agency to protect and serve. I have been in law enforcement for 13 years (10 years as a certified officer, 3 years as a reserve officer), and it is not just a job to me; it is my passion.

I have one agenda, and that is to work for a safer community with every resource available.

Lastly, I will not hide behind phantom ghost writers in social media smear campaigns. I believe in honest and straight forward means of communications and do not condone negative publications.

We're happy to publish this and have another topic on which Mr. Andrews will comment later, when we can ascertain his permission to post.


Mr. Andrews poses an interesting question; he says the sheriff cannot take over the governing of the animal control department. We realize he may have meant this as a general statement, as in referring to a coup type situation, but the Florence-Lauderdale animal control department resides under the jurisdiction of the Florence Police Department. We are aware of several cities in Alabama which have such an arrangement. Let's put some teeth in animal control!

Why? How about this if you haven't already seen it:


We haven't said much about the race for sheriff in Franklin County. Four years ago, we endorsed Shannon Oliver's opponent. During his four years in office, Mr. Oliver has done what we consider to be an excellent job. Considering the e-mail we receive about Lauderdale, and to a substantially lesser extent Colbert, we feel this shows that Shannon has been all he promised to be. Let's not get rid of a good thing.



Sunday, October 26, 2014

(An Edited) View from a Reader on Two Races

This missive from a friend is edited only to cut extraneous topics and to protect the writer's identity:

Lauderdale Sheriff race:

I know Rick, and have met Mr. Hendershot and know people that are supporting him that I think a lot of. Having many family members and friends in Lauderdale county, I haven't given much thought to that race since I have friends on both sides and don't live there.

It has been rather amusing to watch the postings you've made and the fun you've poked at Hendershot for his active past. Maybe a lover and not a fighter? (Just a little side bar humor). But, with all joking aside, that is an important office, and will require a lot of cleaning up after Ronnie Willis and Jr. Witt. And yes, I do know them personally and have knowledge of quite a few of their questionable pasts and activities.

Colbert Sheriff race:

That brings me to these thoughts. I am a resident of Muscle Shoals and Colbert County and am concerned about the Sheriff's race. I supported Jim Berryman openly in the democratic primary for several reasons. Knowing both Berryman and Williamson for some time, he was the better candidate for many reasons, but that is not for debate at this time since the voters spoke in the primary and Williamson is the candidate.

I'm interested in many things about Frank and the similarities to Hendershot. I try to always verify rumors I hear, so, I went online and to the courthouse to view records on Frank when questions were raised about his past that I was not aware of. I've seen the records on multiple marriages (similar to Hendershot) and many records on minor tickets and violations over the past few years.Friends in Cherokee have also verified the truth to problems with his employment at the Telephone Company there.

As far as Andrews, I began to ask people and customers that I knew personally and trusted to tell me why they were supporting Andrews so strongly. What I heard repeatedly was that Andrews was a hardworking man. He would tell you what he believed and stood for and not just what they wanted to hear. They told me about his family and his devotion to his wife and children. The words I heard often were "character", "dependable", "trustworthy", "hard worker", "helping".

It's concerning to me that what little I have found on Frank appears to be parallel to Hendershot, that you have not published those things in the same manner you have published many times on Hendershot. Frank is in his 4th marriage and has multiple traffic tickets and also a lien placed on him in the past. He is running on his father being a preacher and going into churches, nursing homes, gatherings, etc., and praying and singing gospel songs. Something Hendershot should have thought of too.

Shoalanda, I think you should know me pretty well by my past letters to you. I won't vote in any race if it's the "lesser of the evils". That is as well as throwing away a vote. I have to believe in the person I am voting for, or I am no better than the lesser of the evils.


We'll make these observations about our friend's comments:

1. For the umptheenth time, we have commented on Hendershot's five marriages since he is campaigning on "family values." Mr. Williamson is not using any such mottos in his campaign. If readers remember, we endorsed Jim Berryman in the primary.

2. The lesser of two evils? So you don't vote? If you don't vote, you may be responsible for the greater of two evils being elected. Just a thought...

3. Even though we have endorsed Frank Williamson in Colbert, Phil Andrews' supporters have been polite and offered constructive comments. Supporters for Augie Hendershot have been vulgar, belligerent, and even threatening. That does not mean Augie supports his "supporters," but it is telling.


Two evils? That brings us to Roger Bedford v. Larry Stutts.  We've heard too many tell of Stutts' paternalism to feel he's much better than Bedford (for years before he entered politics). We will leave the decision up to readers, but should you consider them equally good or bad, remember Bedford has clout--something Stutts will take years to build up. It's also much easier for an attorney to make time for the legislative session than a physician. Vote your conscience on this one.



Saturday, October 25, 2014

To Link or Not to Link?/Screen Names?

We regularly link articles from other sites. Some weeks ago we linked an on-the-scene article from the Quad-Cities Daily. The article concerned a family hostage situation in Muscle Shoals. A reader quickly asked us to remove it since the situation was ongoing. The fact that it was ongoing is why we linked it. Kudos to the QCD for having the courage to visit the scene and keep readers informed.

Even more recently we linked an article on a Sheffield bar shooting. We had several complaints on the photo that accompanied the PNS article--something over which we have no control.

On the flip side, we've had requests to link certain articles either here or on Facebook--specifically those on a Sheffield man who is charged with animal cruelty. In other words, you can't satisfy everyone.

For those who asked, we're not paid to link anyone. We don't get any money if you click on these external links or not. If you don't like the link, feel free to say so, but don't expect us to edit the original articles. We can't. It's as simple as that.


Sometimes it's easy to forget the different backgrounds we all come from. Many of our readers have extensive history in local cyberspace and many just seem to use e-mail and Facebook. The latter may not be aware that forums usually forbid posters to use their real names.

If we see something signed "Trader," "Deep Fat," or "Original Bama," we pretty well know that person and don't consider anything wrong with universally using these appellations. There's a big difference in using a long-standing screen name and creating a fake identity to blast a candidate for office.